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Monday, December 7, 2009

Conscience and Radicalization: Muslim reformer, Dr Hamid Tawfik

In this video, Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a Muslim reformer, testifies to his earlier radicalization as a medical student. This was, he says,  due neither to poverty nor lack of education, but to religious passion – "my dream was just to serve God."  This dream was then formed and shaped by "religious teaching," which radicalized him. However Dr Hamid's conscience led him to renounce the radical path.

On responding to radicals:
"Never give concessions to radicals.  The more you give concessions, the more they attack you."

On human rights:
"Human rights values and women's rights were the first enemy for us."

Watch the video:

Mark Durie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Abduction and Islamization of Christian Women in Egypt

This Report Comes from Christian Solidarity International. 
The Abduction and Islamization of Christian Women in Egypt

A Report: The Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Forced Marriages of Christian Women in Egypt

Click Here to View and Download Full Report      

A pioneering new report released by Christian Solidarity International and The Coptic Foundation for Human Rights details the abduction, rape, forced marriage and forced islamization of Coptic women and girls in Egypt.

Despite their significant numbers in Egypt (8-12%), the Christian community, known as the Copts, is frequently subject to widespread marginalization from society and even violent forms of abuse. According to the Egyptian Constitution, Islam is the “religion of the state” and its “principle source of legislation”.

While the hardship of minority communities in the Middle East is well documented, the abuse detailed in this report reveals a disturbing union of religious oppression, gender-based sexual and physical violence and forced marriage that corresponds with international standards of human trafficking. There have been fifty such cases in the previous year in one Egyptian parish alone.

Among the dozens of cases documented in the report:

Seventeen year old R. received a call, the polite young man introduced himself as Amir and said that he was an admirer of hers. He wanted to meet her in a church. She was drugged, kidnapped, and when she woke up,“Amir” told her that he was in reality Wali … She was given the name Fatima, beaten every day, forced to wear a black veil, and marry a man named Mahmoud whom she had never met. When she refused to have sex with Mahmoud, his family held her down while he raped her. She began bleeding profusely. She is unable to have children as a result of the rape.

The tactic complicity of the Egyptian Government is apparent in its systematic lack of investigations and prosecutions, suspension of programs designed for protection, and virtual absence of social services for survivors of this abuse.

Speaking in Cairo in June, President Obama called on the Arab world to defend the fundamental human rights of women and religious minorities in the Middle East. Although the US Government and Pope Shenouda III, the Patriarch of the Coptic Church, have protested this specific phenomenon, there has been negligible action on Capitol Hill or by the international human rights field in response.

This report demonstrates consistent patterns used by perpetrators, their victims, government and law enforcement, and members of Egypt’s faith communities. Also valuable, the report concludes with a set of recommendations for the international community, the Government of Egypt, the Coptic community in Egypt and the Christian community abroad.

American anti-trafficking specialist Michele Clark and Egyptian women’s rights activist Nadia Ghaly conducted research for the report in Egypt and published their findings in Washington, D.C.

Mark's Comment:

The phenomenon of abduction of non-Muslim women is reported in many sources, present and past, from all over the Muslim world.  It is connected to the teachings of Islam, as discussed in my new book The Third Choice.  Sadly a hadith appears to support the use of deceit in arranging marriage with a young woman, because she can be considered to have given consent by "her silence":

Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle said, "It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the marriage). I said, "A virgin feels shy." The Prophet; said, "Her silence means her consent." Some people said, "If a man falls in love with an orphan slave girl or a virgin and she refuses (him) and then he makes a trick by bringing two false witnesses to testify that he has married her, and then she attains the age of puberty and agrees to marry him and the judge accepts the false witness and the husband knows that the witnesses were false ones, he may consummate his marriage."  (Bukhari: Volume 9, Book 86, Number 101)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Announcing the Third Choice


The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom, by Mark Durie, published by Deror Books.

Foreword by Bat Ye'or.

Endorsements of The Third Choice

Expected release date:  February 15, 2010

In the classical Islamic ideology of conquest, the first choice offered to non-Muslims was conversion to Islam; the second choice was the sword; and the third was surrender. Mark Durie’s innovative book exposes the history and ideology of surrender - the ‘third choice’ - which determined the lived reality of dhimmis (non-Muslims) under Muslim rule. Durie bases his analysis of the dhimmi condition in the teachings of Islam and the life of Muhammad. His ground-breaking analyses show how the ideology of the terms of surrender – known as a dhimma pact – determined life for non-Muslims under Islamic dominance.  The worldview of dhimmitude, Durie argues, offers indispensable keys for understanding current trends in global politics, including the widening impact of sharia revival, deterioration of human rights for non-Muslims in Islamic societies, jihad terrorism, recurring patterns of Western appeasement, and the often fraught relationship between migrant Muslim communities in the West and their host societies.

About the Author
Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, Mark Durie has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

About the Cover

The Third Choice will be widely available from internet bookstores throughout the world. 
It will be distributed internationally by Ingram Books. 
RRP US$24.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hate Speech Laws, Islamic Blasphemy Strictures and Freedom of Speech

Click on the link and then on the audio or video link to watch this talk....

Hate Speech Laws, Islamic Blasphemy Strictures, and Freedom of Speech: The Case of Australia

September 15, 2009, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington , D.C. Headquarters

The Center for Religious Freedom held a discussion with The Rev. Dr. Mark Durie

In December 2004, pastors Daniel Scot and Daniel Nalliah of the evangelical group Catch the Fire Ministries (CTFM) were found guilty by an Australian judge of religious vilification for criticizing Islam in the course of a religious seminar and were ordered to publicly disavow their beliefs. Four and a half years after the lawsuit was brought, the pastors ultimately prevailed in the courts. Pastor Scot, who had grown up in Pakistan and fled the country after being accused there of the capital crime of blasphemy, remarked that religious vilification statutes like that under which he had been convicted in Australia were "blasphemy laws in disguise" and "sharia by stealth."

Today, similar charges of incitement to religious hatred and religious defamation are being used to punish religiously held beliefs in many countries, including in the West. Dr. Durie will discuss the broader legal and religious freedom implications of the Catch the Fire case, the proliferation of efforts to penalize critical speech about Islam, and the ability of secular courts to rule on theological issues. He will contrast this case with similar ones in Europe and assess the ramifications of the Catch the Fire case for public discussions of Islam and terrorism in Australia.


This lecture was the first in the Center for Religious Freedom's Fall series on "Lifting the Theocratic Iron Curtain: Examining the Application of Muslim Blasphemy and Apostasy Rules in the Contemporary World."