I get called lots of high-minded names: bigot, Islamophobe, RWNJ, xenophobe, racist, anti-Muslim and the like.
Names like that hardly advance the course of humanity, and are designed to shut down debate.
What got me interested in Islam? And what got me motivated to do something about it?
I have read about Islam from many sources, including Sally Armstrong’s “Veiled Threat” to Sally Neighbour’s “Mother of Mohammed”. I have met and spoken with women and men from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. I have read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book “Infidel” and have long sought sources of knowledge from both online and personal experience.
I started seeking knowledge in 2002/2003 and it was only in June of 2009 that I really sat up and took notice when three Muslim girls and their “Aunt Rona” were killed and dumped in the Rideau Canal. Their names I know by heart. I will not forget their story, and their short lives will have meaning and clarity. Their names are Zainab, Sahar, Geeti and Rona. They were killed by their father, mother and brother, for not wearing the hijab, and not behaving in accordance with the family wishes.
Rob Tripp, a Canadian crime writer followed the case of these girls from the get-go. He wrote a book about the crimes, “Without Honour” which has one of the most compelling prologues I have ever read.
I followed the case with interest and was astounded to learn that these defenceless girls told Montreal school teachers, Montreal social workers and finally Montreal police about how scared they were of their father, how abusive some family members were to them and how afraid they were of certain family members. This fell on deaf ears, partly because the public servants involved had no understanding of Islamic teachings about women, how honour killings are used to restore the family’s shame and that in fact the girls were potentially in grave mortal danger from their very family.
I have nothing but praise for the Kingston Police who investigated the case, and kept an open mind as to the unthinkable: that the mother, father and brother committed this honour crime.
There seems to be a cone of silence around this case. Close friends and family would not discuss it as it was unfolding and don’t seem too eager to talk about it now. Perhaps it is old news.
Why should we hold Islamic doctrine to account for its treatment of women? Why should we expose the doctrine of Jihad and its obvious ramifications for non-Muslims? Why should we expose the practice of female genital mutilation? Why should we expose the practice of child marriage and the practice of “thighing” toddlers? Why should we expose the provisions of sharia laws which value Muslim women at half that of a Muslim man, and non Muslims at half the value of Muslims? Why should we expose the treatment of homosexuals under Islamic law? Why should we expose Islamic doctrine which openly calls for the killing of Jews, Christians and unbelievers? Why should we expose the Islamic sanction of lying (Taquiyya)? Why should we expose the dress codes that provide some to walk around the streets in full disguise (niqab and burka)? Why should we expose the punishment for blasphemy under Islamic law?
If gentle readers cannot answer the questions posed above, then I can only suggest familiarising themselves with Western values: Equality of women and men, equality of everyone under the law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association and separation of church (mosque) and state. Read the history of Lebanon, which was 65% Christian. Beirut was once known as the “Paris of the East”. Find out what happened, and why. Brigitte Gabrielle might be able to help you understand.