Bahraini Government acts as a Religious Policeman

Love is very precious. It is the one thing that fills you with immense happiness and allows your spirit to soar beyond traditional boundaries without any regard to cultural taboos, if left unhindered, of course.

People also have been known to do really stupid things in the name of love. But regardless of how others feel about actions due to matters of the heart, it is ultimately a personal decision that should not be interfered with, especially by whole governments who position themselves as protectors of a person’s conscience.

Maya and Yadavendra’s wedding photoThis certainly seems to be the case of Maya (née Maryam) who fell in love with an Indian boy whom she subsequently married, much to the chagrin of the Bahraini embassy in India who unilaterally confiscated her Bahraini passport; thus, perpetrating a clear human rights violation as the grounds of that surely illegal action was based on interference in one’s choice of faith.

Maryam converted to Hinduism on her marriage to Yadavendra.

That – to the clerks in the Bahraini embassy who should be reminded that they are installed there to protect and serve Bahraini citizens – is grounds enough for Maya to be excommunicated. Evidently reaching that decision on behalf of the State.

Maya’s passport has not been returned to her even after 20 years of it being confiscated. A fact that suggests full and unwarranted culpability of the government of Bahrain, resulting in her virtual incarceration and much hardship.

I urge the MPs and human rights activists to take up her case and render her the service that should be accorded to her as a Bahraini. Give her back her passport.

It is not up to the government to decide on an individual’s matters of faith, let alone those of the heart.

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44 Comments
  • Lee Ann
    23 January 2008

    Sort of makes the phrase “there is no compulsion in religion”…moot when faced with this sort of backlash…and even death in some cases.

    Why Muslims, who at the best of times break a few islamic laws on their own, see fit to dictate to others what they must follow and punish them if they dont on issues that are very clearly personal dicisions is beyone me and taking the rights of the human being to choose away from them…the very right to choose that God gave us….if God can allow us to choose…why can we not allow each other?

  • Astro
    23 January 2008

    Wonder how this makes Bahrain’s small, but well respected, population of Hindu subjects (as well as those practicing other religons) feel? 😡

  • Ali
    23 January 2008

    What about Obama? He was a muslim when he was born but now running for US pres. he says he isn’t.

    I thought we had no choice about being a muslim but maybe we do….

  • Aliandra
    23 January 2008

    Ali;

    Barack Obama’s parents were non-religious and brought him up the same way. His father was born a Muslim but was an atheist when he met the mother. Obama took up Christianity as a young adult.

  • Abdullatif
    23 January 2008

    In Islam, what is the punishment for those who convert from Islam to another religion?

    Look it up. Taking her passport was a kind gesture.

  • mahmood
    23 January 2008

    1973 Constitution:

    Article 22
    Freedom of conscience is absolute. The State shall guarantee the inviolability of places of worship and the freedom to perform religious rites and to hold religious processions and meetings in accordance with the customs observed in the country.

    2002 Constitution:

    Article 22 [Conscience, Religion]

    Freedom of conscience is absolute. The State guarantees the inviolability of worship, and the freedom to perform religious rites and hold religious parades and meetings in accordance with the customs observed in the country.

    Any more questions?

    The State is NOT concerned with a person’s conscience. That’s the exclusive domain of the person and God.

    Therefore, and based on both versions of the constitution, the government is in the wrong and should correct its position and compensate the wronged citizen for the hardship they have put her through.

  • Nine
    23 January 2008

    It may or it may not be true that Barak Obama was borne a Muslim but one thing that is certain is that he was borne in a free country that gave him choice and he chose Christianity. May be it was out of convenience. May be it was out of conviction. This we may never know but one thing we know for sure is that he was not forced to choose this or that. It was his free will.

  • Lee Ann
    23 January 2008

    Actually…there is no punishment for apostasy in the Quran…God speaks several times about believers who stop believing…then turn back to belief…then turn away again..until eventually they stop believing all together…and He says they will be the losers on Judgment Day…He does not mention anywhere that those who turn away from Islam should be dealt with harshly…hell awaits them apparently…whats worse than that?

  • Steve the American
    24 January 2008

    Methinks the problem is not Bahrain but Islam. Of course, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. First, she never need return to a country that casually rejects her on a whim, a place where she has little value or rights as an independent human with free will. She may be able to opt for political refugee status in India, a humane and tolerant country. Second, her conversion to Hinduism spares her offspring from being indoctrinated into such a hateful and intolerant religion as Islam. She has freed all her descendants to live fuller, freer, better lives. Undoubtedly, they will thank her for that for generations to come.

  • Proud Bahraini
    24 January 2008

    RESPECT, I don’t understand why people are judging her, ok she got married to an Indian?!

    SO WHAT.

    Why am I allowed to get married to a foreign woman and she is not?

    Who cares if she converts or changes religions?

    At times I don’t understand the Bahraini society, it drives me crazy.

  • bukhalid
    24 January 2008

    To Steve the American:

    Many people like you believe Islam does not tolerate the existence of other religions present in the world, which is wrong.

    Islam recognizes that there are a lot of religions on this earth, and gives the right to individuals to choose the path which they believe to be true. Religion is not to be, and was never, forced upon an individual against their own will.

    God said:

    “…There is no compulsion in religion…” (Quran 2:256)

    “To you be your religion, to me be mine.”
    – Prophet Muhammad

    “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Prophet Muhammad)

    Don’t forget the Arabian Peninsula during the time of the Prophet was a region in which various faiths were present. There were Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, polytheists, and others not affiliated with any religion.

    When the Prophet migrated to Medina, his role was the political leader of a state, governed by Islam, which demanded that clear laws of governance be laid out to ensure harmony and stability.

    To ensure the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Jews, Christians and polytheists, the Prophet laid down a ‘constitution’ which detailed the responsibilities of all parties which resided in Medina, their obligations towards each other, and certain restrictions which were placed on each. All parties were to obey what was mentioned therein, and any breach of its articles was regarded as an act of treachery.

    Concrenung the death penalty for apostasy:

    Islam always promotes that believing in something must always come from the heart and mind, and practicing what you don’t believe in is called hypocrisy (alnifaaq), and hypocrites (munaafiqoon) are considered worse than the Kuffar. How can you force someone to be/stay a Muslim if he doesnt belive in Islam anymore? Wouldn’t he be a hypocrite (munaafiq)?

    “Kill whoever changes his religion” has a weak foundation because: This hadith was only transmitted from Muhammad (pbuh) by one individual. It was not confirmed by a second person. According to Islamic law, this is insufficient basis on which to impose the death penalty. Many scholars interpret this passage as referring only to instances of high treason. (e.g. declaring war on Islam, Muhammad (pbuh), God, etc.)

    There is also no historical record which indicates that Muhammad (pbuh) or any of his companions ever sentenced anyone to death for apostasy.

    A number of Islamic scholars from past centuries, Ibrahim al-Naka’I, Sufyan al-Thawri, Shams al-Din al-Sarakhsi, Abul Walid al-Baji and Ibn Taymiyyah, have all held that apostasy is a serious sin, but not one that requires the death penalty. In modern times, Mahmud Shaltut, Sheikh of al-Azhar, and Dr Mohammed Sayed Tantawi have concurred.

    The hadith contradicts the Quran and other instances in which the Prophet did not compel anyone to embrace Islam, nor punish them if they recanted.”

    The verses also about apostasy in the Quraan seem to tell us that it is God that will punish apostates in the afterlife, and DOES NOT prescribe punishment.

    003.86
    “How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Messenger was true and clear arguments had come to them; and Allah does not guide the unjust people.

    003.087
    (As for) these, their reward is that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men, all together.

    003.088
    SHAKIR: Abiding in it; their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be respited.

    003.089
    SHAKIR: Except those who repent after that and amend, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    003.090
    SHAKIR: Surely, those who disbelieve a,fter their believing, then increase in unbelief, their repentance shall not be accepted, and these are they that go astray.

  • ammaro
    24 January 2008

    oh no way; bahrain has stooped to a new low. i had always believed this sort of action to be performed by heretic parents or families, but not on the scale of the government. anyhow; i know of many non-muslims with bahraini passports, and many more being given out to non-muslims, so why restrict her because of changing her religious belief?

  • Steve the American
    24 January 2008

    bukhalid,

    The reason why many people like myself believe Islam does not tolerate the existence of other religions in the world is that Islam does not tolerate the existence of not only other religions but other philosophies as well. Muslims are currently engaged in a worldwide jihad against the worshippers of other religions, one that has made 10,000+ attacks since the Sep 11 terror attacks, claiming 60,000 lives and wounding 90,000. I have a pretty good view of the Pentagon every day I go to work where Muslims killed dozens of people in their insane scheme to establish a worldwide Islamic empire.

    Scarcely a day passes without the news bringing us more news of barbarous and bloody Muslim intolerance. When I was in Egypt last fall, Coptic Christians told me that they couldn’t hang a cross on the rear view mirror of their car because their windows will be smashed by Muslims. Muslims blow up trains and planes, behead non-Muslims in snuff videos, and butcher people in discos. Such jihadis are heroes in the bloodthirsty Muslim world.

    It is astonishing that you cite the existence of tribes in Arabia worshipping other religions in the time of Mohammed as proof of Islamic tolerance. Where are those tribes now? How exactly did Mohammed tolerate the Jews of the Quraysh tribe? It is an article of faith now that Arabia is for Muslims only. And you use Arabia as an example of Muslim tolerance? For Pete’s sake, the Saudis won’t even allow non-Muslims to be buried in Saudi Arabia.

    While the Koran contains many peaceful suras, as everyone with a casual knowledge of Islam knows, those suras were abrogated by the later violent verses. The Verse of the Sword which commands Muslims to ambush non-Muslims abrogates over 200 peaceful suras, according to Muslim theologians. Mohammed’s last words were to fight every man until all the world is Islamic. That is the essence of intolerance.

    Furthermore, it is common knowledge that Muslim governments deal out the death penalty to apostates. Muslim apostates are routinely threatened with death and attacked. Even critics of Islam like Ibn Warraq must use assumed names to escape murder.

    Nowhere do Muslims peacefully coexist with non-Muslims. Where ever Muslims go, they make war on their neighbors and hosts. Where ever they go, they seek to impose their religion on everyone so as to dominate their environment. The idea that Islam is a tolerant religion is simply absurd.

  • Capt. Arab
    24 January 2008

    Three things worth mentioning..

    1. Give the girl her passport back and yes to compensation.
    2. Regarding her change of faith, that is her decison and her problem. Right or wrong, it is she who will be held accountable.
    3. Bahrain has naturalized many people of different nationalities, including Indians which some are Muslim and non-muslim.
    4. Some of us are born Muslims, have muslim names, yet we are only Muslim by name; i.e. non-practicing. What is the difference?

    To Steve the American, please do not make assumptions about other religions just because you do not understand it. I do not blame your assumption either, mainly because the Islam that is fed through the media to you guys in the West is of a distorted nature, and secondly because of 9/11 and the terrorists attacks are done by groups who proclaim to be Muslims, but in fact are not, and the Islamic world denounces them. They are cowards who hide behind the curtain of Islam, and have no idea of the Islamic peaceful concept.

  • Lee Ann
    24 January 2008

    Steve

    Usually ur post are pretty interesting…fanning the flames of fires most often…but that post is wrong in so many ways…you are spouting exactly what the media feeds you about alot of so called Islamic issues. In this day and age it doesnt take much effort to get factual information…if your going to allow western media to do all your thinking for you Im surprised you havent been killed by any of your Muslim American neighbors…Im sure you have some…there are plenty of them there and no doubt plotting to take over the world…starting with America….so sad(for you).

  • AbuRasool
    24 January 2008

    add to to commenT # 6

    Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance
    ______________________

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    (Adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly, on 10 December 1948).

  • Steve the American
    24 January 2008

    Capt Ahab: “To Steve the American, please do not make assumptions about other religions just because you do not understand it.”

    The terrorist atrocities done by Muslims are not assumptions made by me but facts. Sep 11 has delivered a perfect understanding of what Islam is all about to most Americans. I don’t need to have a jumbo jet fall on me to understand that Islam promotes itself by violence, and that the Muslim world celebrates such violence.

    Capt Ahab: “I do not blame your assumption either, mainly because the Islam that is fed through the media to you guys in the West is of a distorted nature, and secondly because of 9/11 and the terrorists attacks are done by groups who proclaim to be Muslims, but in fact are not, and the Islamic world denounces them. They are cowards who hide behind the curtain of Islam, and have no idea of the Islamic peaceful concept.”

    You simply don’t know what you are saying. The Western media are ridiculously politically correct to the point of absurdity in reporting terror perpetrated by Muslims. Everytime two guys named Mohammed are caught plotting to blow up a public building the media here feigns ignorance as to any possible motive, motives which are obvious to any sentient being.

    The Islamic world did not denounce the Sep 11 skyjackers, but celebrated them the world over. In Saudi Arabia, 95% of adult men supported Bin Laden a month after Sep 11. I was told by Egyptians that the Egyptian people were proud of the Sep 11 attacks at the time. And it’s not hard to find translations of Egyptian newspapers celebrating the deaths of Americans on Sep 11 as if Egypt won the World Cup.

    It was only years after the attack that a couple imams here and there made fatwas weakly opposing Bin Laden and Sep 11. There are far more fatwas issued supporting the jihad. While Muslims are quick to run screaming into the streets, burning and killing, over Danish cartoons, there is no Muslim demonstration against Muslim terror anywhere. There is a distinct absence of outrage in the Muslim world when it comes to Islamic terror, which many Muslims openly support.

  • Nine
    24 January 2008

    I say give her passport back along with an apology and a handsome compensation.

    As for you Lee Ann well Steve the American may be wrong but it would have been great if you had responded to his accusations rather than lecturing him. That would have made a more interesting debate.

  • Capt. Arab
    24 January 2008

    To Steve the American:
    In response to your response # 17..

    The terrorist atrocities done by Muslims are not assumptions made by me but facts. Sep 11 has delivered a perfect understanding of what Islam is all about to most Americans. I don’t need to have a jumbo jet fall on me to understand that Islam promotes itself by violence, and that the Muslim world celebrates such violence.

    Is that the reason why Sikhs were attacked in America, just because all Americans such as your good self thought they were Muslims? Wow.. What an understanding. My friend, the five fingers on your hand are not the same dimension, size or height. It is totally not fair in your argument to say all Muslims are the same, i.e. terrorists. Besides, you are right that individual sympathizers of Bin Laden of certain countries such as Egypt, Yeman, Saudi-Arabia and various other countries may have celebrated the sad attack in which thousands lost their life for no reason; yet you fail to mention that a great majority did denounced the attacks. Would it be fair for me to say that all Americans are such and such just because I disagree with the American foreign policies when it comes to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria? I believe that I have more sense than that.. Or maybe, I should remind you that isn’t it America that supported Bin-Laden, Saddam Hussain and the Taliban just because at the time it suited them? Again, that would be unfair of me to hold all Americans responsible.

    You simply don’t know what you are saying. The Western media are ridiculously politically correct to the point of absurdity in reporting terror perpetrated by Muslims. Everytime two guys named Mohammed are caught plotting to blow up a public building the media here feigns ignorance as to any possible motive, motives which are obvious to any sentient being.

    I suppose the Anthrax is the work of Muslims too.. Ehh. Very obvious that you lack research my friend. Again, you generalize your argument.

    I was told by Egyptians that the Egyptian people were proud of the Sep 11 attacks at the time. And it’s not hard to find translations of Egyptian newspapers celebrating the deaths of Americans on Sep 11 as if Egypt won the World Cup.

    You see, your topic is baseless.. You mention you are told, you heard, you read.. What are you gonna’ come up with next? You dreamt… We all know that there are problems everywhere, we are not proud of them. Unfortunately the reactions are different everywhere, ignorance of a nation can be disastrous at the best of times, not saying they are right. No one has the right to take another mans life. Again, should I mention the attacks on Mosques in America, Abu-Gharib Prison scandal, rape and God knows what else.. I wonder what your explanation would be?

    It was only years after the attack that a couple imams here and there made fatwas weakly opposing Bin Laden and Sep 11. There are far more fatwas issued supporting the jihad. While Muslims are quick to run screaming into the streets, burning and killing, over Danish cartoons, there is no Muslim demonstration against Muslim terror anywhere. There is a distinct absence of outrage in the Muslim world when it comes to Islamic terror, which many Muslims openly support.

    Again, my friend you generalize. These terror cells operating under the umbrella of Jihad have no idea of what Jihad is, and neither do you. Jihad comes under 3 situations; defending ones country, protecting ones livelihood and protecting one’s family. One can not simply sign up for Jihad, pack his bags and off he goes. Maybe if you visit this part of the world, it may give yo some indication how people of different faiths can co-exist in harmony, inter-marry and prosper. As for the Danish cartoons, that again is public reaction and don’t assume the same goes for all. If you ask me… Islam is insulted everyday through internet websites, newspapers, etc.. which is nothing new. Rather than react and act defensive, we should levitate our argument with logic and sense, rather than violence. Rather than reading what radical Muslims say on the pulpit (which seems to be exactly what you react to), why not also listen to what liberal Muslims write about Terror and America. I believe you will be very surprised, and you may stand corrected. Don’t you read about the arrests of certain sleeper cells in various Arab countries? Or did you turn a blind eye because it didn’t suit your argument?

    Steve, quit watching 24, Sleeper Cell and other programs catered for the American public which seem to generalize that all Muslims are terrorists, and that Islam is not a religion of peace.

    Whether we are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or whatever.. Co-existence is the key, so please don’t make it any worse by generalizing faith followers. Reading your articles, I have the belief that you bigger than that.. Then again, you are making believe that you may be big in body but small in mind, just like all typical Americans who just love to shoot and ask questions later… See how generalizing upsets you… 😥
    Have a good day my friend..

  • Steve the American
    25 January 2008

    Lee Ann: “you are spouting exactly what the media feeds you about alot of so called Islamic issues.”

    Lee Ann, I challenge you to produce any anti-Islamic article presented in the American mainstream media. The lefty journalists here just don’t do it, no matter how warranted. Only a few US media printed the Danish cartoons, they are so politically correct. And afraid.

    The coverage of Islam here is candy-coated, taking the Wahhabists at CAIR as civil rights spokesmen for Islam, even while CAIR sports leaders convicted of supporting terrorism and openly says it wants the US to come under Sharia law.

    The bottom line is that you make an ad hominem attack here instead of factually rebutting any of my points. That’s a rather typical defense of Islam, which is logically indefensible.

    Lee Ann: “In this day and age it doesnt take much effort to get factual information…”

    That’s exactly what I’ve done and why Islam and Muslims have sunk so low in my opinion. The facts do them in. However, if you care to list any of the points I have made and present facts to rebut it, have at it. I would be glad to argue it out. As it is, your rebuttal is very vague.

    Lee Ann: “if your going to allow western media to do all your thinking for you Im surprised you havent been killed by any of your Muslim American neighbors…Im sure you have some…there are plenty of them there and no doubt plotting to take over the world…starting with America….so sad(for you).”

    Actually, I let the facts form my opinion. It is indisputable that Muslims want to attack Washington, DC, where I live. For example, there is a Saudi madrassa a few miles from my home where they teach their kids to hate non-Muslims, telling them it is OK to lie and steal from infidels, among many other hateful things. One of their graduates was recently convicted of plotting to assassinate the president. Two other administrators were convicted of supporting terror.

    They just caught two Muslim guys driving down the freeway with a trunk load of pipe bombs. FBI interrogations revealed that they had been making videotapes of potential targets in Washington and sending them to Al Qaeda. They say they wanted to do some “violent jihad.”

    Of course, 184 of my neighbors were killed by Muslims when they skyjacked a jet out of Dulles into the Pentagon on Sep 11. Maybe you’ve heard about it.

    John Allen Muhammad, a Muslim convert, shot ten people dead in the Washington area as part of his murder spree in 2002. He wanted to recruit a platoon of snipers to wreak mass murder all over the US.

    I would be happy to provide cites of insane Muslims who plot to take over the world for Islam. There are plenty of them. Just google caliphate. They’re not shy about their plans.

    And where ever you go in the US, the local mosques are full of Wahhabi hate literature. The Saudi embassy here in DC hands out brochures in Arabic reminding tourists of their religious duty to hate America.

    However, if you want to make your case that all of this is untrue, I welcome the opportunity. Bring it on.

  • Steve the American
    25 January 2008

    bukhalid: “Many people like you believe Islam does not tolerate the existence of other religions present in the world, which is wrong. Islam recognizes that there are a lot of religions on this earth, and gives the right to individuals to choose the path which they believe to be true. Religion is not to be, and was never, forced upon an individual against their own will.”

    From StrategyPage on the current jihad by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, where Muslims are targeting priests, doubtless due to an excess of tolerance for other religions:

    “Increased threats against Christian clergy in the south has led to assigning soldiers as bodyguards. For over a century, southern Moslems have been converting to Christianity, seeing it as a more modern and helpful religion. This angers the Moslem traditionalists, who point out that Moslem scripture calls for those who convert, to be executed. However, killing converts tends to create more hostility towards Islam. Thus the current campaign against Christian clergy, which only makes the government angrier at the Islamic militants. That’s nothing new.”

    Bukhalid, if you think that’s bad, you should see what the Muslims are doing in Thailand, murdering non-Muslims on street corners, schools, and in their beds, targeting teachers. More Islamic tolerance in action, eh?

  • mahmood
    25 January 2008

    Muslims want to attack Washington, DC, where I live.

    What? ALL of them? Damn!

    Well, THIS Muslim is coming to Washington, DC next month, and guess what, I come completely in peace!

  • Capt. Arab
    25 January 2008

    Seems like Steve the American is out on a anti-Muslim crusade.. If what he says is true, the FBI would have been up their backside before the word go.
    Go on Charlie Bronson… Save the world.. or rather save your own little imaginary world where you seem to believe that the Muslims are out to take-over the world.
    By the way the mass-murderer so-called (The Sniper) had issues totally not related to Islam, Jihad or any other Terrorist organization. So wake up and get your facts right,or stay asleep z z z zz

  • Lee Ann
    25 January 2008

    Nine

    I wasnt debating him….this is not a forum for debate…I was just pointing out that his post wasnt very factual concerning ISLAM…..

    Steve

    Everything you posted is what “MUSLIMS” do…not what God or the Quran asks them to do. Christians have been known to blow up the odd abortion clinic now and then believing they are following Christian ideology…but does that discredit Christianity or the persons who did it?

    There are alot(far too many) religious idiots of the world who believe they have the unmitigated audacity to speak in Gods name…they believe they are doing Gods work or following some sort of divine plan…I dont care if they shout Allahu Ahkbar and carry the Holy Quran while they are flying planes into buildings, bombing nightclubs, or killing innocent women, children, and anyone else that gets in the way….they are nothing more than religous psychotics with delusions of granduer…not to mention visions of virgins and non stop sex filling their heads. Muslims, right minded Muslims, Muslims who actually FEAR God do not accept these religious psychotics as being “real” Muslims and that rather than enjoying the charms of pubescent virgins in a heavenly afterlife…they will suffer “the burning of their skins and when that skin is burned it will be replaced with a new skin…and never will that burning cease for them”…such is the punishment from God that awaits them…so much for doing Gods work.

    So Im not debating with you about what SOME Muslims do…Im just pointing out that they are not doing it because the Quran or God tells them too…

  • aga
    25 January 2008

    Mahmoud, I hope that you enjoy your trip to DC and that you have time (and suitable weather conditions) to sight see.

  • mahmood
    25 January 2008

    Thanks aga I’m fairly sure that I’ll do both!

  • Steve the American
    26 January 2008

    mahmood: “Muslims want to attack Washington, DC, where I live. What? ALL of them? Damn! Well, THIS Muslim is coming to Washington, DC next month, and guess what, I come completely in peace!”

    Of course I believe you but you don’t mind if we frisk you first, do you?

  • mahmood
    26 January 2008

    If that’s beyond a handshake, I would rather submit to catwoman or someone like that! 😀

  • Ann (Mobay DP)
    26 January 2008

    in accordance with the customs observed in the country

    Here, I believe, lies the limitation on the “guaranteed right”. I wonder why they didn’t remove that phrase when they amended the constitution. It’s so ridiculously broad. It would have been better even if they had limited it by saying

    in accordance with the laws of the country.

    This is an interesting debate. I wonder what Steve the American would say if we said Christians are all terrorists as they have committed most of the atrocities and genocides in the earth’s history – the Inquisition & the Salem Witch hunt are only two examples. Another might include the elimination of whole peoples when the Christian Europeans came to claim the “New World” for themselves. The Tainos, Arawaks, Caribs were all exterminated. Need we even mention slavery? One of the greatest atrocities committed to date. It was endorsed by the Christian World for over 300 years.

    I think we have to be careful when making sweeping generalisations about religious doctrines/beliefs. Christianity, per se, is not bad. Neither is Islam, in and of itself,bad.

    It is, however, the interpretation of such doctrines and the evil desire of some people to control the thoughts of others that usually results in the corruption of religious doctrines.

    There really is no justification for anyone telling any human being to believe this or that. I think this woman’s case is heartbreaking and a classic example of a constitution being totally inadequate in protecting the rights of its citizens.

    Mahmood, can you tell us whether Amnesty ever took up the case?

  • Ethan
    28 January 2008

    Mahmood, can you tell us whether Amnesty ever took up the case?

    I don’t see anything on the Amnesty site about it, though I may not have been looking hard enough.

    Amnesty, however has a propensity not to take up (non-world-affecting) cases that involve Middle Eastern countries oppressing their citizens. Maybe they fear the possible backlash.

  • Steve the American
    28 January 2008

    Ann (Mobay DP): “I wonder what Steve the American would say if we said Christians are all terrorists as they have committed most of the atrocities and genocides in the earth’s history – the Inquisition & the Salem Witch hunt are only two examples.”

    Steve the American would say you’re spouting unhinged propaganda when you claim Christians have “committed most of the atrocities and genocides in the earth’s history.” Atrocities and genocides were the standard currency of ancient world history long before Christ. I’d say folks like Ghengis Khan and Tamerlane could give the Christians a good run for their money, atrocity-wise. But then you’d have to know history to know that, not just goofy anti-Western propaganda.

    The Inquisition and Salem Witch Hunt are two particularly weak examples of atrocities. Only a handful of witches in Salem were killed, with even that extreme population coming to their senses nearly immediately after. The chief judge expressed remorse that he had been carried along with the popular madness.

    For all its infamy, the Inquisition didn’t actually kill that many people. Only a handful of people were condemned to death every year, though the killing went on for a very long time.

    Ann (Mobay DP): “Another might include the elimination of whole peoples when the Christian Europeans came to claim the “New World” for themselves. The Tainos, Arawaks, Caribs were all exterminated.”

    Actually, those evil white Christian Europeans did not exterminate the Indians. There were two million Indians in North America when Columbus arrived. There are two milion now.

    Where Indian populations died en masse, it occurred from disease like smallpox they caught from the Europeans, for which they had no immunity. The Europeans had no idea how disease worked until the late 1800s. It’s intellectually dishonest to claim the Europeans killed off the Indians. The bottom line is that Europeans developed immunity from many diseases due to the different farm animals that were part of their civilization.

    Ann (Mobay DP): “Need we even mention slavery? One of the greatest atrocities committed to date. It was endorsed by the Christian World for over 300 years.”

    Black slavery was long established in Africa before the Europeans bought from African slave markets and it continues to this day, long after Europeans outlawed slavery. If you are outraged over slavery, shouldn’t your outrage be better directed at the African slave market?

    And, by the way, have you any outrage to spare against the North African Muslims, the Barbary pirates, who took millions of Europeans as slaves, capturing them from ships sailing the Mediterranean. Of course not.

    Yours is another dreary exercise in anti-Western ranting, precisely selective in your criticism and poorly informed.

  • Steve the American
    28 January 2008

    Capt Ahab: “Seems like Steve the American is out on a anti-Muslim crusade.”

    False. I am on no crusade to convert Muslims to Christianity. I, like most Americans, don’t care what the Muslims worship, just as long as they leave us alone. We only oppose Muslims when they kill people to spread their evil religion. Give up the terror and you could worship bottle caps for all we care.

    Muslims tend to think the world is a mirror image of themselves. Just because your religion demands jihad against the world doesn’t mean the rest of the world is on a reciprocal crusade against you. The rest of the world is better than that. You need to think outside the Arab Islamic box to understand the motives of the rest of the world.

    Capt Ahab: “If what he says is true, the FBI would have been up their backside before the word go.”

    The FBI quite sensibly monitors the mosques, since virtually all Islamic terror begins in a mosque. Trucks loaded with sensors to detect radiation regularly drive by local mosques here in DC, checking for dirty bombs. Hopefully, they are developing informants in mosques that sport radical elements.

    Capt Ahab: “Go on Charlie Bronson… Save the world.. or rather save your own little imaginary world where you seem to believe that the Muslims are out to take-over the world.”

    “We don’t shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world.”
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to theological students, Qom, Iran

    “We see already in America a nucleus of Islam, a base for Islam. This will become bigger, stronger, more important, until Islam will take control and will seize the power in America and the world,” said Faraj.”
    Sheik Saleh Faraj, Islamic Liberation Party, West Bank

    “The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
    CAIR Co-founder Omar Ahmad

    “We will rule the nations, by Allah’s will, the U.S.A. will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered … .”
    Yasser Ghalban, leader, Hamas

    “We will export our revolution throughout the world . . . until the calls ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’ are echoed all over the world.”
    Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979

    “I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘There is no god but Allah.'”
    Prophet Muhammad’s farewell address, March 632

    “I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad.”
    Osama bin Laden, November 2001

    Capt Ahab: “By the way the mass-murderer so-called (The Sniper) had issues totally not related to Islam, Jihad or any other Terrorist organization.”

    And that differs from every other loony Muslim terrorist killer how?

  • rocknroll
    28 January 2008

    what a pity a simple discussion about a bahraini woman married to a foreigner turns in something else.

  • Steve the American
    28 January 2008

    rocknroll: “what a pity a simple discussion about a bahraini woman married to a foreigner turns in something else.”

    The problem is not just a Bahraini Muslim woman wanting to marry somebody outside her faith and converting to Hinduism. It’s much bigger than the petty and malicious harassment of a few government officials. It’s an expression of the dysfunctional nature of Islam.

  • Nine
    28 January 2008

    Rocknroll,
    Yes it is pity everybody has expressed an opinion one way or the other except you!

  • Sig
    29 January 2008

    Even though he is being quite shrill about it, Steve is not spouting gibberish.
    There is a strong militant aspect of islam. But what is more disturbing is the quiet acquiescence of the majority.
    While I can explain the lunatic behaviour of a few men, crazed with longing for relevance, I cannot excuse the silence of the “moderate” muslims who don’t speak out against them. Those few that do, speak softly.

  • Steve the American
    30 January 2008

    39Sig: “Even though he is being quite shrill about it, Steve is not spouting gibberish.”

    Thank you for your stirring defense, which has brought tears of gratitude to my eyes.

    39Sig: “There is a strong militant aspect of islam. But what is more disturbing is the quiet acquiescence of the majority. While I can explain the lunatic behaviour of a few men, crazed with longing for relevance, I cannot excuse the silence of the “moderate” muslims who don’t speak out against them. Those few that do, speak softly.”

    That’s not acquiescense. It’s acceptance. How can any Muslim speak against jihad which is quite clearly endorsed by the Koran and sanctified by the example of Mohammed? You can only reject jihad by rejecting much of Islam, tearing pages of violent suras out of the Koran and denying Mohammed as a perfect moral examplar. There’s the rub. Muslims can only reject jihad through heresy.

  • Nine
    30 January 2008

    Steve,
    Let’s wait for Capt. Arab to respond to your accusations. In comment 20 above he says;

    “Jihad comes under 3 situations; defending ones country, protecting ones livelihood and protecting one’s family”.

    This clearly contradicts what you say.

    I shall hold my breadth!

  • Steve the American
    30 January 2008

    Nine,

    In practice, Muslim terrorists can easily contrive any number of excuses that their acts are defending Islam. The Muslim men stopped on the freeway here not long ago with a car full of pipe bombs claimed that blowing up oil storage tanks would be in the defense of Islam because that oil was being stolen from Muslim countries. Muslims attack McDonald’s burger joints because they claim they are defending against a Western attack on Muslim culture. Bin Laden and his Saudis claim that the Sep 11 attacks were justified by the presence of infidel troops in Arabia, even though those US troops saved Saudi Arabia from invasion.

    Capt. Arab’s distinction is no distinction at all, merely a pretense. Muslims attack their neighbors and patrons everywhere they go in the world and they always concoct excuses that their attacks are legitimate defenses of Islam. That’s why Islam has come to be seen as a liar’s religion in the Western world.

  • Nine
    31 January 2008

    Capt.Arab,
    It is over to you!

  • Willie
    14 February 2008

    Steve the American:
    Muslims tend to think the world is a mirror image of themselves. Just because your religion demands jihad against the world doesn’t mean the rest of the world is on a reciprocal crusade against you

    I think that is a brilliant observation. Alas, it also applies the other way round: Westerns tend to think that islam is a mirror-image of their modern-day, weak, castrated version of Christianity. So they think that all “religious fundamentalists” are the same, thus putting say the Amish on the same level as the Muslim Brotherhood.

    A picture of mutual ignorance…

  • Mariam
    16 February 2008

    The topic was about the girl who married an indian, yet in every subject attacking Islam seems to easy. I am a Muslim who is in a relationship with a Christian, we hardly talk about the differences because at the end we are human beings. we both have the right to practice our own religion together. We are facing tremendous pressure from my family because they don’t understand the meaning of choosing a life partner (Husband) who is from a different religion. they take all the necessary measures to force us not to be together. We both feel that we need to fight this because we both know that they cannot live our lives for us. I am 30, yet all these years i have never met a “Bahraini” gentlmen who does not want what is underneath my cloths. I am sorry to be so blunt but what is happening in this part of the world is very sad. What legal rights do i have to protect myself from the madness that my family is forcing upon me? It is not like someone came to propose to me and i refused. I found the person whom i want to grow old with, yet this is frawned upon because he is a foreigner? we both live in fear every single day and what they are doing is only making our love for each other grow stronger. I believe that parents who force their children to live a certain lifestyle even after they are fully grown to make their own choice (good or bad) must change. How silly we both feel watching our backs the whole time and lying the whole time just to spend a few minutes together? We are both grown human beings! he is a 39 year old man! What kind of life is this when we both live in fear?

  • lorena
    21 February 2008

    Oh Mariam this seams to be my historie , but not being muslim, being Christian ,, my parents dont talk to me for 2 years lol … now they love hubby and they call in each Eid lol can you believe? good luck!

  • Nine
    23 February 2008

    Mariam,
    You may not be able to change the world but surely you can change yourself. The problem here seems that you want to have the cake and eat it. You can not do that!

    Your family, and so it seems your religion, forbids your marriage to the guy you love.

    This is not a unique story. You hear about it all the time and everywhere.

    The decision may be hard but it is straightforward. You have to make a choice between your family (perhaps your religion also) and the man you love. The lady above made a decision and so did the lady under discussion. It is time you made yours.

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