Archive for Arab

Valentine’s Day Musings: Enjoy Sex

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by loonwatch
Burqa  Valentine
An Indian Muslim woman with a Valentine’s Day teddy bear at a gift shop in Ahmedabad (AFP, Sam Panthaky)

Many Islamic authorities forbid the celebration of Valentine’s Day since at its root it is a non-Islamic religious holiday. However the topic of love, experiencing love and loving one’s partner are central discussions across the Islamic world.

In this vein we share the following story of Widad Lootah, a woman who wears the niqab and is quite frank and open in writing about sex. The article below highlights the fact that for some the amount of openness from Lootah is breaching taboos within conservative society, however it must be pointed out that open discussion about the joy and importance of sex is obviously not without precedence in Muslim societies or Islamic history. For instance, the great Andalusian scholar and polymath Ibn Hazm wrote a seminal early treatise on the various forms of love, infatuation, etc. (going into quite some detail) titled The Ring of the Dove.

UAE Islamic love guru urges women to enjoy sex

by Lara Sukhtian (AFP)

DUBAI — Emirati love guru Widad Lootah is not your typical marriage counsellor. She is an ultra-conservative Muslim who wears the full veil and talks a lot about sex, often quoting the Muslim holy book the Koran.

On the eve of Valentine’s day, Lootah is calling on Muslim and Arab women everywhere to “embrace love and love making.”

“Don’t shy away from it, don’t feel ashamed by it. Enjoy it, you’re supposed to,” she said in an interview with AFP, adding that she is trying to break common misconceptions that sex in Islam is only about conceiving children.

“It’s also about having fun,” she said.

Dressed in a shroud of black revealing only her eyes — a choice, she says, that allows her to emulate the Muslim prophet’s wives — Lootah was frank and explicit about the importance Islam places on a healthy sex life.

“It’s at the core” of a happy marriage, she said.

Lootah noted that her 11 years as a marriage counsellor at the Dubai courthouse made her realise that “what happens (or doesn’t happen) in bed” is the main source of marital problems in the United Arab Emirates.

Public, and in many cases private, discussions about sex are still taboo in much of the conservative Muslim world, a reality she says contradicts Islam’s approach to the subject.

There are only two simple rules for sex in Islam: you must be married “and anal sex is strictly forbidden,” Lootah said.

“Everything else, including all sexually intimate acts below the belly button, is allowed. Feel each other, touch each other, kiss each other all over… it’s OK.”

The problem is, “there is so much shame and disgrace” associated with the enjoyment of sex in the Arab world.

Lootah is an adamant believer in bringing the discussion of sex out into the open, although at times doing so has proven it can be a risky business.

In 2009, she published the much-debated Muslim sex guide “Top Secret: Sexual Guidance for Married Couples.”

Her book, and her comments in interviews on the subject, initially triggered a slew of insults, condemnation and even threats against her life.

“They called me all sorts of things: crazy, vile, immoral, criminal,” she said. “Some even called me a traitor and spy for Israel and America.”

Today, Lootah is probably the UAE’s most prominent marriage counsellor, known by her clients as “Mama Widad.”

Lootah has also vigorously lobbied her home government to introduce sexual education in Emirati schools.

For older teens, “it’s very important that we educate them, both males and females, about sex… we have to prepare them psychologically and emotionally for it, and we have to teach them about the act itself.”

But first, we must “educate the teachers so they can educate the students,” said Lootah, adding that such education would also help protect young children from sexual predators.

They have to be “taught what form of adult-child interaction is appropriate and what’s not,” she said. “We need to teach them so they know to recognise the danger when it’s there.”

She said the taboos surrounding sex have also contributed to high divorce rates in the Emirates and to generally unhappy marriages.

In about a month, Lootah plans to submit her second book, “Top Secret Volume Two,” to the government censors, and in traditional Lootah style, its pages will contain a lot of sex talk.

But this time, the topic of discussion is forbidden sex under Islam.

“It’s about homosexual and lesbian relations and their effect on the institution of marriage,” said Lootah, adding that she had to tread carefully given the sensitivity of the subject and intense emotions it stirs in the Muslim world.

When asked why she has taken on the cause of love and sex in Islam, Lootah argued that it was an issue of “women’s rights.”

“I can’t fix everything… but I can try and fix the role of women (in sex and marriage) in the Arab world.”

As for her opinion of Valentine’s day, she says Islam forbids the celebration of non-Muslim holidays.

“But if you consider Valentine’s day as a mere reminder to show one’s love to another, then why not? I don’t object to it,” she said. But “if that’s the case, then every day should be Valentine’s day.”

Any last words of advice?

“Experience love… even before marriage, that’s OK. But don’t do anything forbidden by Islam.”

Sikh Temple Vandalized–but were Muslims the Intended Target?

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by loonwatch
Images of the vandalism at the Sterling Heights Sikh temple Images of the vandalism at the Sterling Heights Sikh temple

Sikh Temple Vandalized–but were Muslims the Intended Target?

By 

Vandals targeted a Sikh house of worship in suburban Detroit this week. But there are signs they intended to target Muslims.

According to the Sikh Society of Michigan, the Sikh temple (known as a Gurdwara) in Sterling Heights has been under construction for several years, without any incidents or controversy.

That changed when someone vandalized the building sometime on Sunday night.

The vandals spray painted “don’t builed” [sic] on an outside wall. They also left images of a cross, a gun, and a misspelled version of the name “Mohammed.”

Muslims revere Mohammed as a prophet, but it has nothing to do with the Sikh religion. The word leads many to believe to believe the vandals thought they were targeting Muslims.

Dawud Walid, executive director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), calls the vandalism a hate crime.

“We joined the Sikh community in calling for local and federal law enforcement to use their full resources to investigate this recent hate crime,” Walid said.

The US Justice Department in Detroit says the incident is on their radar. They’ve met with members of the Sikh community about it.

But a DOJ spokeswoman says it’s yet how they’ll be involved in the investigation, or any potential prosecution. Anyone with information about the incident should contact Sterling Heights Police.

Walid also suggests the incident could stem from politicians’ “fanning the flames” of xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in an election year.

“We hope that they will be a little more responsible,” Walid said. “They should understand that their statements and ads may push people over the edge, and they do have consequences.”

The US Sikh community has fallen victim to anti-Muslim sentiment before. A Sikh man was murdered in Arizona soon after the September 11th attacks. The killer thought he was Arab or Muslim.

Another anti-Islam protest comes to Dearborn

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by loonwatch

Another anti-Islam protest comes to Dearborn

Another protest over what organizers call “radical strains” of Islam is planned on Saturday in front of Dearborn City Hall.

The Order of the Dragon, a pro-Israeli group, is planning the 3 p.m. demonstration to call attention to the “implementation of Sharia” or Islamic law in some court rulings, said Frank Fiorello, the head of the group’s Michigan chapter.

“We have a lot of people worried about Sharia creeping into family court,” said Fiorello, a Marlette resident. “There are 23 different jurisdictions where Sharia is being implemented in family court.” Fiorello did not provide specifics, but said there are recent cases in Ann Arbor District Court.

Other groups participating in the rally include the American Defense League, ACT! For America and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center’s Palestinian Wall of Lies, Fiorello said.

Fiorello, a Detroit native, was scheduled to host controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones’ protest in Dearborn on April 22 but Fiorello backed off his protest after meeting with Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly and a member of an interfaith group.

Jones ended up protesting a week later after being ordered by a Dearborn district judge that he would have to post a peace bond if he wanted to protest outside the Islamic Center of America on Good Friday.

Fiorello also said he backed away from Jones after a difference of option about how the protest should be handled. ”We’re not wanting to be involved in shock tactics,” said Fiorello. “That is not our route.”

Jones, meanwhile, has planned to protest against “radical Islam” at the Arab American International Festival in Dearborn next month.

Detroit News, 25 May 2011

Arab victim ‘stabbed 10 times by haredim’

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by loonwatch
If an Arab Muslim or Christian perpetrated such an act Islam or so called “Islamic culture,” whatever that means, would be the center of attention. Here we have Haredim, Orthodox Jews stabbing Arabs in a racist assault, what if they were Muslim?

Arab victim ‘stabbed 10 times by haredim’

by Hassan Shaalan from Israel News

Christian Arab assaulted near Safed says ‘Jews’ racism against us has reached point of real violence’

Alber Halul, who was stabbed Saturday night by a group of masked men he claims are haredim, recounted the attack Sunday. “They threatened to shoot us if we resisted and stabbed me 10 times – in my head, my leg, and my neck,” he told Ynet.

Halul, a 22-year old Christian Arab from the Galilee town of Gush Halav, was assaulted while with a group of friends at Ein Zeitim forest, near Safed.
He says that at around 12:30 am two vehicles arrived at their gathering place and eight masked men alighted, and attacked them. Halul is currently being treated for wounds in his back, head, and legs at Ziv Hospital in Safed.

“At around 12:30 five masked drove up in a Nissan jeep and began driving in circles near us. Then they left and came back with another vehicle, and came closer,” he recalled from his hospital bed.

“They threw stun grenades and fired in the air. Then eight masked men got out of the car and began to attack us. The guys I was with ran away but I stayed to protect a girl who was with us. They stabbed me 10 times in my head, my leg, and my neck until they hit me hard and I fell to the ground.”

Halul says he knows the men were ultra-Orthodox Jews although they wore masks. “While they were attacking us one of the said that if we dared to resist they’ll shoot us and we knew from their accent and their clothes that they were ultra-Orthodox,” he said.

It wasn’t the first time the 22-year old was attacked due to his race. “I won’t return to the forest again. The Jews’ hatred and racism against us has reached a point of real violence that threatens our lives,” he said.

I don’t want to blame anyone and hope that the police will reach the people behind this attack because such people shouldn’t be walking the streets – they are a menace to the Jewish and Arab public.”

But police have not yet made any arrests in the case, and say they have no suspects. “The case is still being investigated,” police said in a statement.

It’s Official: Bill Maher is a Racist

Posted in Feature, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2011 by loonwatch

How long will Bill Maher get a pass on his racism and anti-Muslim Islamophobia? Is it acceptable because the targets are Arabs and Muslims and because Maher is a comedian from whom outrageous things are expected?

On his last show Bill Maher went on a speel undermining the Democratic character of Revolutions sweeping across the Arab world. Amongst his ludicrous statements he claimed “women can’t vote in 19 of 22 Arab countries,” that “women who have dated an Arab man, the results aren’t good,” that “Arab men have a sense of “entitlement,” etc. He also went onto forward the argument that “we are better than them,” justifying it by implying he is not a “cultural relativist.”

No, Bill might not be a “cultural relativist” but he sure sounds like a “cultural supremacist.” His factual accuracy about the Islamic and Arab world is akin to Robert Spencer’s. It is patently false that “19 of 22″ Arab states don’t allow for women to vote, a brief trip to Wikipidea would have disabused him of that false fact:

Women were granted the right to vote on a universal and equal basis in Lebanon in 1952[46]Syria (to vote) in 1949 [47] (Restrictions or conditions lifted) in 1953 [48]Egypt in 1956[49]Tunisia in 1959 [50]Mauritania in 1961[51]Algeria in 1962 [52]Morocco in 1963 [53]Libya [54] and Sudan in 1964 [55],Yemen (Partly)in 1967 [47] (full right) in 1970 [56]Bahrain in 1973 [57]Jordan in 1974 [58]Iraq (Full right) 1980 [57] Oman (Partly) in 1994 and (Fully granted) 2003 [59], and Kuwait in 2005 [57].

The reality, (what is lost on Maher) is that even though nearly all Arab states allow for voting for men and women, their votes didn’t matter in the autocratic kleptocracies that littered the Middle East, and this is what Arabs — men and women — have been fighting against these past few months. It seems Maher just can’t handle all the myths he’s been pushing being shattered.

Bill Maher goes onto talk about how Arab men are bad spouses and boyfriends, to buttress his points he brings up “anecdotal” evidence and his opinion that Arabs have a “sense of entitlement.” How does Bill know? Has he dated Arab men? This is one of those things that is so ridiculous and patently unsubstantiated that it is beyond being laughable, you almost cringe with embarrassment for how stupid it makes Maher look.

Maher also seemed to use “Arab” and “Muslim” interchangeably, perhaps not knowing that a significant number of Arabs are not Muslims. While there are certainly problems in the Middle East and the Muslim world regarding the treatment of women, Maher judges Arabs and Muslims by their lowest common denominator. Ignoring countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan and others that have progressive legislation regarding women and which have had women presidents, prime ministers, parliamentarians, business leaders, sports icons, journalists, etc.

At the end of the day Maher needs to have someone on his show who can push back against the myths that he indulges in and propagates. Someone of the caliber of As’ad Abu Khalil or Juan Cole might be a good start.

You can watch the segment at Mediaite:

Bill Maher Slams Muslim Men’s Treatment Of Women, Gets Heckled By Audience Member

(Mediaite)

Maher was having it out with Smiley over relative treatment of women in Muslim countries and American society – Smiley didn’t argue that Muslim countries often exhibit poor attitudes toward women, but argued treatment of women in America has a long way to go, too. Maher called it a “false equivalency,” and it went on from there. Maher read off a list of the ways women are oppressed in Arab countries – in 19 of 22, they can’t vote; in Saudi Arabia they aren’t allowed to drive; etc.

Then, he got into slightly weirder territory. He asserted that “civilization begins with civilizing the men,” and then, after saying, “I know this is anecdotal” (not an auspicious way to start when you’re trying to make a convincing argument), unleashed this line:

“Talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good.”

Maher added they have a “sense of entitlement,” indeed quite the anecdotal piece of “evidence,” and one to which guest Michelle Caruso-Cabrera shot back, “Every man I’ve ever dated has a sense of entitlement.” And Maher kept on having none of Smiley’s argument that Americans shouldn’t act superior about treatment of women and rejected the notion he was “demonizing” anyone by saying Americans’ treatment of women is better:

“They’re worse. What’s wrong with just saying that?”

And it continued on like that until a guy in the crowd started yelling about Hellfire missiles…and yelling, and yelling. He rattled off so much so quickly (though most of it was tough to hear) that Maher guessed it was a prepared speech…a guess buoyed by the fact that the rant, as Maher also pointed out, indeed didn’t have a whole lot to do with what the panel was talking about. Video of the segment below – the interruption begins at the 5:32 mark.

 

Arab and Muslim Hate Crimes Examined

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2011 by loonwatch

I didn’t know that hate crimes against Arabs were classified as “other ethnicity.”

Arab and Muslim Hate Crimes Examined

(USF News)

TAMPA. Fla. (Feb. 1, 2011) – In the weeks and months following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, hate crimes against Arab and Muslim-Americans spiked. However, hate crimes against other groups decreased during this time, says a newly published article authored by researchers at the University of South Florida and the State University of New York at Albany.

“Hate Crimes against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America,” appearing in the February issue of Social Problems, reveals that, concurrent to the dramatic rise in hate crimes against Arab and Muslim-Americans in the wake of 9/11, the incidence of hate crimes against blacks, whites, Asians, and Latinos fell.

The team of sociologists, led by USF Associate Professor James Cavendish and doctoral student Ilir Disha and associate professor Ryan King from SUNY-Albany conclude that “9/11 created a climate in which many Americans felt united against a ‘new enemy’ and in which acts of hatred against Arabs and Muslims became ‘normalized’ behaviors.”

The researchers made ample use of hate-crime statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) program, and to an important but lesser degree from U.S. Census demographic variables, Arab and Muslim advocacy groups’ measures, and county indicators of political affiliation obtained from Polidata.

The study also reveals that in the aftermath of 9/11 Arab and Muslim-Americans were at greatest risk of victimization in U.S. counties where their proportion of the population was very small while the proportion of the population that was white was very large. The authors argue that this is a case where “the small minority group is visible, has little protection, and is thus highly vulnerable.”

According to Cavendish, a couple of different theories might explain why Arab and Muslim Americans have higher rates of victimization in counties where their population proportions are small and whites’ population proportions are large. One theory, which the authors present in their article, argues that when a minority group represents an extremely small percentage of the population, the majority group may feel like it can commit acts of violence without fear of the minority group mobilizing or retaliating against it.  The minority group, it is believed, is simply too small to pose a threat to those members of the majority who are inclined to commit acts of violence.

The authors criticize the lack of an “Arab” category in the nation’s hate-crime reporting mechanisms, which, they argue, is a major obstacle in studying hate crimes against Arab Americans in the wake of 9/11. While Muslims are covered by the racial, ethnic and religious categories established by the federal Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, hate crimes against Arabs are likely to be assigned to the “other ethnicity” category.

The full report, Historical Events and Spaces of Hate: Hate Crimes against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America, is available athttp://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1525/sp.2011.58.1.21.pdf?acceptTC=true.

Media contact: Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.

 

Arab Jailed for Having Sex with Israeli Woman

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by loonwatch

A very interesting and unbelievable case from Israel.

Arab jailed for sex with Israeli woman

By Adrian Blomfield, The Daily Telegraph July 20, 2010 1:02 PM

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after consensual sexual intercourse with an Israeli woman who believed he was Jewish because he introduced himself as “Daniel”. An Israeli court made international legal history by jailing Sabbar Kashur, from East Jerusalem, for 18 months.

The 30 year-old delivery man was convicted of “rape by deception” after a criminal trial that drew criticism from across Israel.

Kashur was accused of misleading the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, by introducing himself with the traditionally Jewish name when they met on a street in central Jerusalem in 2008. After striking up a conversation, they went into a nearby office block and engaged in a sexual encounter, after which Kashur quickly left.

The woman discovered his true racial background later, lawyers said.

Although conceding that the sexual intercourse was consensual, Tzvi Segal, the district court judge, concluded that the law had a duty to protect women from “smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price”.

She said: “If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have co-operated.”

A conviction for rape by deception on the grounds of racial misrepresentation is believed to be internationally unprecedented, according to British legal experts.

The charge is rarely used in the West. In 2007, a Syrian pilot walked free from a court in Swansea after being accused of tricking a woman into intercourse by saying it could cure a sexually transmitted disease. While forced sexual intercourse by deception is an offence under Israeli law, experts say it is a charge used sparingly in cases involving protracted deceit and a promise of marriage.

Adnan Aladdin, Kashur’s lawyer, said he had filed an appeal to ensure the verdict was not considered to be setting a precedent, adding that otherwise “many men would find themselves in jail”.

Israeli legal experts said they found the verdict disquieting. “It puts the law in the position of what could loosely be described as discrimination. I would feel intuitively uncomfortable about prosecuting someone for something like that,” said a former senior justice ministry official.

Gideon Levy, a leading liberal commentator, said: “What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman? Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not.”

The prosecutor was unavailable for comment. District attorney officials declined to discuss the case.

© Copyright (c) The Daily Telegraph

 

Obama is not an Arab… “He’s a Decent Man”

Posted in Loon Flashback, Video with tags , , , on April 17, 2009 by loonwatch
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpE6ljPjSAk 300 250]

Which begs the question can “an Arab” be “a decent family man”? Hmm, the taxing questions of the 21st century…