Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Review of The Hidden Half

This week I was excited to receive the following review of my book The Hidden Half by Bill Muehlenberg, a well known commentator on current issues.

Stuart Robinson, The Hidden Half: Women and Islam. CHI Books, 2017.

For nearly a half a century Stuart Robinson has lived, worked and/or travelled in Muslim countries. He has written a number of vital books on Islam including his important 2003 volume, Mosques and Miracles. Thus he is well placed to deal with this topic. And what a vitally important subject it is. Says Robinson:

Although approximately 10% of the world’s population may be Muslim and female, within countries where Islamic law predominates, they are mostly silenced in public places and rendered effectively invisible by the clothing they are obliged to wear. They are frequently condemned to suffer abuse and indignity through male mouthpieces who determine their role and outcomes.

Image of The Hidden Half: Women and Islam

In a number of well-documented and meaty chapters, he looks at the various ways in which women are oppressed by Islam. Whether it is Female Genital Mutilation, forced coverings, honour killings, child brides, second class citizenship, or religious rape (yes, that exists in Islam), women are treated abysmally in this religion.

Consider just one issue which has made at least some news headlines of late. In the UK where the Muslim population is said to double each decade, Muslim paedophile gangs had been at work there for decades. Robinson cites a 300+ page research report on this which documents all the horrific abuse, rape and torture.

For example, a number of Muslim males were jailed for grooming up to 100 underage girls for sex. The study found that “Muslim males are 154 times more likely than others to perpetuate this sort of crime.” Much of the mainstream media has stayed silent on this story, so it is terrific to see Robinson bravely exposing it.

Facts, figures, data and research presented in the book are supplemented by numerous personal horror stories of women being treated so very poorly in Islam. It makes for frightening reading, but it is necessary reading. We all owe Stuart Robinson a great debt in producing this urgent wake-up call.

As Elizabeth Kendall says in her foreword, “The events reported in this book may disturb you and even move you to tears. But if change is to occur, reality must first be faced.” Quite so, and the reality of how women fare under Islam is expertly and carefully documented in this must-read volume.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

AN UNEXPECTED OUTCOME

Being on talk back radio is always a risk. What may happen is quite unpredictable. As I sat in my office in Melbourne, Australia, a call came in from Adelaide. the capital city of a neighbouring State of South Australia. It was a young lady who wanted to discuss an issue relating to Islam. She opened the conversation by saying that she had become a Muslim. To establish a context for the discussion I asked a few questions.

“Where did you go to school in Adelaide”?

She replied, ”All my life I attended a Christian denominational school”.

“Did you ever read a Bible”?

“Never”.

“And you have become a Muslim”?

“Yes”.

“Have you ever read the Quran”?

“No.”

“So why did you become a Muslim”?

“Some of my girlfriends and I thought it would be a cool thing to do”.

“That was your only reason”?

“Yes”.

I had heard reports that in Australia 65% of new converts to Islam were women. In the UK it was reportedly 70%. Admittedly some  Middle Eastern males may appear to some to be quite handsome. But regardless of the reasons, had any of these young women heard of law of Apostasy? Islam’s front door is wide and inviting. Its invitation is attractively presented and simply put. But perhaps unknown to such new followers of the teaching and example of Prophet Muhammad  is that unlike in any other religion there is no back door of escape once  any person enters that space. The death penalty may be applied to men and imprisonment for women who dare to leave for any reason.

It seems almost unbelievable that in this day and age so little is known about Islam by many that anyone would make such a momentous decision on no greater motive than “it seemed a cool thing to do’!

I decided to dig further. It took a couple of years of scarce spare time but now I am very excited to announce that the book is out. It’s called “The Hidden Half—Women and Islam”. You can buy it from your local Christian Book store or you may buy it directly from me at a special introductory price. Go to the section on this site headed “Books” and follow the prompts.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

From Confusion to Clarity

By early 1981 American embassy hostages held in Tehran were back home. A discreet reception was held for some of them in a suburban home in Northern Virginia, USA. One former hostage, Malcolm Kalp, was reported to have said at that meeting,

“We still think the Soviet Union is our enemy, that worldwide communism is still the principal threat to our way of life. But the real challenge isn’t the Soviet Union – it’s militant Islam. We have no idea what we are up against”.Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.02.32 pm

Three and a half decades later his observation remains accurate on all counts. Mostly only those who have lived within Islamic societies and have studied their sacred texts (Qur’an, Hadith and Sira) can understand what is happening and give some explanation of likely outcomes should the message of revivalist Islam continue to spread unchecked around the world. And spreading it surely is.

Like rogue organisms from some cancerous tumour, cells of fundamentalist Islam multiply and metastasise faster than intelligence agencies can track them. United Nations Secretary, General Ban Ki- Moon said on February 5, 2016 that by the previous December 34 organisations had sworn allegiance to the Caliphate of the Islamic State. But only days after that announcement, on February 7, 2016, private counter-terrorism organisation IntelCentre claimed that the number of affiliates and supporting organisations had already risen to 43. From the Philippines in the East (Abu Sayaf and Ansar al Khilifah) to Nigeria in the West (Boko Haram), from Indonesia in the South (Jemaah Anshorut Tawhid) to Russia in the North (Caucasus Emirate) and in many countries in between, Islamist organisations are armed and ready. They are intolerant of anything that is at variance from their own claims, interpretations and demands. This expansion “demonstrates the speed and scale at which the gravity of the threat has evolved in just 18 months,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

In December 2014, General Michael K. Nugata, Special Operations commander for the United States military in the Middle East, commenting on the rapid rise of Islamic State reportedly said, “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.” At least he was honest in expressing his and others’ ignorance and their inability to comprehend what is happening. To begin to articulate a coherent response remains a step too far.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.02.23 pm

 

A similar posture is evidenced but not admitted by most Western political leaders. It is a commonly heard response from bellwether politicians that even after the most atrocious Islamic terrorist attacks which killed many of their own citizens whom they are ostensibly elected to protect, they continue to claim that such activities have nothing to do with Islam. This conveniently overlooks the glaring fact that the only element common to all such attacks is that the perpetrators are committed to the fundamental tenets of Islam.

The primary reason for this current politically correct response is that in any democracy, elected representatives are dependent on votes from their constituents to retain personal privilege and power at their next election. In a country such as France where the number of Muslims is thought to be approximately 10% of the population, those votes are critical. After one of the recent attacks in France, one of the highest ranking politicians reportedly ventured to express the view that the problems they experience with some of their Muslim constituency could be overcome by building more mosques! At least that might have temporarily secured a few Muslim votes. Presumably to maintain favour with some voters and to secure personal power, France’s politicians through various statements and policies, maintain a high level of antipathy toward Israel while favouring HAMAS and the PLO whose repeatedly avowed aims include the destruction of Israel. Israel is the only state in the cauldron of Middle East furies that has maintained a record of democracy and peaceful transitions of political power for almost seven decades. No state is without fault, but surely such bias favouring one state whose avowed aim is the destruction of another, ought to be seriously challenged.

In the West, only worship at the altar of secular humanism is permitted within State discourse. Traditional religion, especially Christianity, has been marginalised, discounted and almost banned from consideration in the contest of ideas. Bereft of the moral underpinnings and Judaeo-Christian values upon which Western democracies were established, they are now almost defenseless and endangered as they are increasingly penetrated by alien philosophies and theologies. Unfettered from predictable behaviours and practices by their own set of values, Islamist invaders are intent on their goal of world domination. For those who disagree with them, the message is– surrender or die. No prisoners will be taken unless individuals are temporarily valuable as pawns in a deadly game of ransom.

Having rejected their own religious history and traditions, most Western leaders are unable to comprehend the power of religious conviction that drives emerging contemporary Islamic movements. At best all these elites seem capable of doing is to call for reform within Islam. In this they are at least partially right. They infer distinction between people, i.e. Muslims and the theological doctrines that compulsorily drive them.

The vast majority of Muslims want peace and prosperity like most non-Muslims. However the ideology of Islam as contained in its sacred texts and developed into Sharia Law is the locus of real challenge. As Muslims know, this is not open to change. The emerging movements already claim to represent reform, back to basics as was practised in the days of the Prophet in seventh century Arabia. In the meantime, to lessen our anxieties we grant equivalence to Islam. We unthinkingly accept the Muslim claim that the three major world religions worship the same God, are of Abrahamic origin and honour the same “Prophets”. But a careful analysis and comparison between the entities as described in each religion’s texts reveal they are so different as to be incomparable.

“Equivalence fosters ambiguity; ambiguity gives birth to confusion; and confusion breeds disaster, as the early 21st-century has already shown.” (Sandys and Hendey, God and Churchill, London, S P CK, 2015). To shed some light into the darkness, to discover a little clarity in the midst of confusion and to consider a modest yet powerful response get a copy of Islam Rising – the Middle East and Us by Stuart Robinson.

Leave a comment

Filed under Islam and Christianity, The Middle East and Us, Uncategorized

Misunderstandings

As soon as I arrived in Lome, the capital of Togo, West Africa, I asked my contact a number of questions to clarify local customs. At my first two speaking engagements, which included people from 19 nations and a live radio audience of about two million listeners, I apologised in advance for my lack of knowledge of the detail of local culture and hoped they would be generous in their forgiveness and acceptance of me—in spite of my blundering ignorance. In such matters I try to be a fast learner. Even so I still make mistakes.

I like softly whistling tunes to myself. Then someone told me I shouldn’t do that. Local non-Christians believe whistling disturbs the spirits of the ancestors. It’s also thought the practice calls snakes. The only people permitted to whistle are herdsmen guiding their cattle. The poor snakes must be riven with anxiety syndrome. On the one hand they are being called to come. On the other they risk being trampled to death by cattle.

I stopped whistling. But not every foreigner tries to be culturally contextualized. The way in which outsiders know they are welcome to a home, a meeting or any gathering in Togo is upon arrival someone will immediately come forward and offer to carry whatever may be in their hands. When this gesture of welcome was extended to a European visitor he got angry. “Don’t touch my luggage. It’s mine,” was his response. He thought someone wanted to steal his luggage.

As an American couple passed by the wife paused to say “Hello”. The husband immediately called to his wife, “Come on now. Don’t waste time. We are leaving immediately.” Enquiry revealed that although the couple had been in the country for many years the husband had developed relationships with virtually no one. He had a reputation for never having time. Africans sometimes jest, “You foreigners have watches. But we Africans have time.”

Regardless of ranking in society or just pressures of work, Togolese always pause and courteously greet the other person. Outside of our own cultural contexts we are all prone to fall into the pit of misinterpretation of others’ words and deeds. Failure to investigate and study carefully what’s happening around us can have deadly effects. One such instance is seen in the West’s failure to understand Islam.

Behaviour which falls outside our secularized, humanistic, scientific worldview we label as exceptional or radical and refuse to admit it could be more general. Hence western governments speak of radicalisation and deradicalisation of their Muslim citizens. Early causes attributed to the radicalization process were claimed to be poverty, social disadvantage etc. This theory was firmly held until those responsible for violence in Western countries or the Middle East were revealed to be often well-educated, middle class citizens. Few opinion makers thought to examine the basic teachings of Islam itself.

In the Quran Surah 9:123 Allah instructs, “Fight those of the disbelievers who are near you.” Surah 9:14-15 adds, “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy (or heal) the breasts of believing people…and remove the rage of their hearts.”

The Arabic used in these surahs is said to mean “to fight to kill.” So there is a simple timeless command—to kill non-believers.

And why not?

It’s very gradually being understood by non-Muslims that one of the few ways of obtaining certainty of entrance to Paradise for a Muslim is to die as a martyr while on Jihad. This serves as a very persuasive recruiting device for the militarily inclined. What is equally powerful but less well known outside of the Muslim community is the teaching of one of the greatly revered authoritative sources of Islam’s prophet Mohammad.

In the collection of Traditions (Hadith), Sahih Muslim chapter 789 paragraph 4661 Mohammad reportedly said, “A disbeliever and a believer who killed him will never be gathered together in Hell.” The inference is that the disbeliever obviously ends up in Hell while the believer (of Islam) is assured of residence in Paradise. Therefore the therapy to calm a troubled Muslim may be to murder a disbeliever.

Obviously not every Muslim who seeks an assured place in Paradise resorts to a Jihad or therapy that advocates killing an unbeliever.

The concepts referred to above so jar on non-Muslim minds that the only way they can reconcile realities of what is happening in the Middle East and in violence in countless other locations, is to declare such behaviours as non-Islamic, radicalism, Islamism, Salafism or by other names.

We have much to learn. To understand a little more, snatch a copy of my latest publication, Islam Rising available here, while the special introductory offer is still available.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Islam Rising

I am very pleased to let you now that my new book, Islam Rising, has just been officially released and is already receiving high praise from a number of quarters. Secular political leaders and media minders have marginalized religion unless it serves their professional interests. Historical memory hardly extends beyond yesterday’s sound bites or delves deeper than the flutter of social media comment.Islam-Rising_cover

This book summarizes elements of how enduring turmoil in the Middle East have arisen and some implications for the rest of the world.

“With typical careful background investigation and insightful analysis, Robinson clarifies about Islamic State what some are too afraid to admit. A book to be thoroughly recommended.”

Dr Bernie Power. Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Melbourne School of Theology, Australia.

As part of our launch we have decided to reduce it from its already very affordable price.

RRP $6.99 but our SPECIAL OFFER if you purchase before September 30 $5.00 (plus postage and handling). Click here to purchase.

In doing this I am hoping that cost will not be a barrier to anyone who wants a copy of this timely book in order to understand one of the most pressing issues we face today.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Middle East and Us – Part 3, Why Is This Happening?

This is the third of a series of four posts I will be doing entitled  THE MIDDLE EAST AND US. The following posts will be uploaded over the coming weeks.

Part 1 is found at this link https://drstuartrobinson.com/2014/09/10/the-middle-and-us-part-1/

and Part 2 can be found at https://drstuartrobinson.com/2014/09/16/the-middle-east-and-us-part-2-northern-syria-and-iraq/

or by searching my home page.

THE MIDDLE EAST AND US—PART 3

Why is this happening?

Firstly there is the teaching of Islam. Muslims are not our enemies. Like people anywhere they hold many different opinions. The real threat is Islam itself. It’s teaching is contained in:

The Quran, which is claimed to be direct revelation from Allah through its Prophet Muhammed

The Traditions (Hadith) of which there are many thousands. These tell us what Islam’s Prophet said and did.

The Life of Mohammed (Sirat Rasul Allah) by Ibn Ishaq written a century after Mohammed’s death (632CE).

Codified collections of material that constitute Sharia Law.

Whatever is found in these volumes validates or authenticates Muslim belief and practice. There seems to be nothing in the current revivalist upsurge of Islam around the world the example of which and the motivation for which are not first sourced in these books. Variant Interpretations of this body of literature sacred to Islam, were closed a millennium ago when Muslims turned away from the processes of philosophy and rational thought and took refuge in dogma. One of Islam’s greatest mediaeval scholars, al Ghazali, declared the gate of ijtihad was closed and “since then Sunni Islam has adopted the official position that no new interpretations of the law can be entertained”.[i] Therefore reform of Islam becomes mostly a Westernized vain hope.

So, it is taught that Muslims are the best people on earth, that they will rule the whole world, that they are winners and all others are losers (Q24:52;3:85;39:65) and that once Islam has conquered a country, it is theirs forever. When these aspirations are frustrated, reformers with revolutionary zeal arise and declare that Muslim people have become nominal and apostate. Allah’s will is thwarted. Regaining his blessing will only happen if all return to the basics, to resume jihad against the infidels and against Muslim rulers who have compromised the true Way, the Sunnah.

The siren call to reform Islam by returning to its earliest practices, becomes a compelling solution to the question that bedevils all Muslim societies, “How should we live?”

The former Kuwaiti minister of information, Saad bin Tafla al Ajami, sums up what is happening thus: “The truth that we cannot deny is: ISIS learned from our schools, prayed in our mosques, listened to our media and our religious platforms, read from our books and references, and followed fatwas (religious edicts) we produced”.[ii] Precisely so.

No Muslim wants to criticize another Muslim who longs to return to Islam as practiced and exemplified by Mohammed. This is so especially if they are in a minority in a non-Muslim country. Thus when the New York Towers were destroyed, there was muted reaction by Muslims in the West. But in many Muslim majority cities there was dancing in the streets.

The second major reason revivalist Islam is running rampant in the Middle East and increasingly behaving as it does in the West is Western Democracy.

Western Democracy

Nearly all politicians want to retain personal power more than anything else. In a democracy winning votes does this. Votes are won by giving people what they want.

In the case of Australia, reportedly after careful investigation, the Hawke government’s Department of Immigration issued a deportation order for anti-Semitic activities by Sheik Taj El Din Hamid Hilaly. But he lived in Lakemba, a suburb of Sydney, where there were lots of votes by Muslims. So the Hawke government overturned its own edict. Grand Mufti leader of Muslims in Australia, Imam Hilaly would later reportedly describe the New York atrocity as “God’s work against infidels”.

In the 20 Federal Parliamentary seats in western Sydney, all have significant Muslim populations. The Labor party holds 19 of these. When the former Foreign Minister Bob Carr reportedly spent an hour with Prime Minister Gillard emphasizing the electoral importance of the Muslim vote, the Gillard government dropped support for Israel in the United Nations.[iii]

The Abbot government in August 2014 under pressure from the Muslim community and others dropped its intention to change section 18(c) of the Federal Racial Discrimination Act. It was hoping that in so doing it would gain Muslim support for its proposal to enact tougher anti-terrorism laws. Muslims leaders approved the first action but opposed the second.

Democratically elected governments seldom do anything that may risk votes at the next election.

An election in the autonomous region of Catalonia in Spain is due in 2014. 465,000 Muslims live in that region. Their leaders report that the government, the Convergence and Union Party, has promised permission to build the third largest mosque in the world financed from Qatar if the Muslims vote for them. The mosque’s minaret is planned to tower 300 metres to overshadow symbolically the spires of the Sagardia Familia Roman Catholic cathedral by 130 metres. In one of the mosques in that region, Abdelwahab Houzi preached in support of the concept saying that it would represent a significant step in Muslims accumulating power with a view to implementing Sharia Law.[iv]

Secular politicians disallow theology in public debate. World-renowned secularist sociologist Peter Berger recently said, “Those who neglect religion in their analyses of contemporary affairs do so at great peril.”[v]

Part four of this series will be uploaded next week.

If you are interested in reading more my books on this subject and more are available for purchase at https://drstuartrobinson.com/books/

[i] Robert A. Reilly, The Closing of the Muslim Mind. ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, 2011, x-xi.

[ii] The Clarion Project (Radicalislam.org). Issue 128. August 21 2014 (viewed August 22 2014].

[iii] Andrew Bolt, We’re muzzled, but bigots rant. Herald Sun, August 17 2014, 13.

[iv] Soeren Kern, http://www.clarionproject.org/print/analysis/barcelona-mega-mosque-promised-separatists-votes (viewed August 17 2014).

[v] Bernard Lane, Academic looks for theoretical salvation. The Australian, August 27 2014, 28.

1 Comment

Filed under Islam and Christianity, The Middle East and Us, Uncategorized

The Middle East and Us: Part 2 – Northern Syria and Iraq

This is the second of a series of four posts I will be doing entitle  THE MIDDLE EAST AND US. The following two posts will be uploaded over the coming three weeks.

Part 1 is found at this link https://drstuartrobinson.com/2014/09/10/the-middle-and-us-part-1/

or by searching my home page.

THE MIDDLE EAST AND US—PART 2

The situation in Northern Syria and Iraq shares similarities with the Gaza Israel conflict.

Northern Syria and Iraq APG_syria_iraq_map_sk_140611_16x9_992

In northern Syria and Iraq there are at least 18 different jihadi groups who seemingly spend as much time fighting one another as they do fighting the Shi’ite surrogate regimes of Assad in Syria and until recently Malaki in Iraq. Unleashed from the restraints imposed by dictators in those and other Middle Eastern countries, they rampage across the land causing death and havoc wherever they go. They torture, rape, kill adult non-Sunni males, by beheading, crucifying and shooting. Reports say they rape and sell women, girls and boys into slavery while saving some to gratify their own sexual desires.

To those who object to what’s happening, prominent writer and cleric, Hussein bin Mahmoud is reported as saying that “…beheading is an effective way to terrorize the enemies of Islam. Under Islamic law, American journalist, James Foley was a Harbi, that is, a non-Muslim whose life was not protected by an agreement of protection. Islam allows and encourages such acts since it is a religion of war and fighting.”[i]

UK Muslim leader Anjem Choudary justified the beheading of American journalist, James Foley, by reportedly saying that beheading was permissible under Shariah (Islamic) law. “Muslims who abide by Shariah and follow the jurisprudence do not make a distinction between civilian and army. This fellow was not just a civilian of America. He was a journalist.”[ii]

Even to question from within the community, what is happening may be dangerous. HAMAS in Gaza, like the movements in northern Iraq and Syria, is also known for its practice of extrajudicial execution. Recently about 20 people were summarily executed and their bodies were dragged through the streets. Two of those executed were women. They had been asking questions about Palestinians who had been killed.[iii]

When it comes to people like Yazidis who are regarded as infidels and Shi’ites whom Sunnis consider to be apostate, they automatically qualify to be killed.

The Quran refers to Jews and Christians as “People of the Book”. They are at least first invited to become Muslims. If they refuse they may be exiled, taxed into impoverishment or killed.

Muslims whom the West would have regarded as moderates, who have lived in harmony next to their Christian neighbors for centuries in these countries, have reportedly suddenly turned on their Christian and other non-Muslim neighbors telling them to leave because these lands are exclusively Muslim countries.[iv] Assyrian Christians equate what is happening with the genocide of 100 years ago in which it is claimed that the Ottoman government was responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Armenian and Christian groups, which included Assyrians and Greeks.[v]

It has been estimated that 1.2 million people have been forced to flee. As in previous invasions, churches are destroyed or turned into mosques. For the first time in 2000 years, Christianity has been obliterated from these lands.

But concerning these atrocities there are few processions in the streets of Western cities. When the movements like Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shebaab in Kenya and Somalia, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt the governments of Sudan or Iran, carry out their atrocities, there is little overseas public response.

Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, has claimed that around the world each day an average of 1000 Muslims are killed, of which almost 90% are killed by other Muslims. If his estimate is accurate, this means that every four days the number of Muslims killed by other Muslims is more than those who have died in the last 10 years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[vi] Yet the Muslim community remains muted and silent in Western countries. It’s only when Israel is involved that reaction is ramped up.

Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dewod of the Syrian Orthodox Church (UK) says, “They are killing our people in the name of Allah, telling people that anyone who kills a Christian will go straight to Paradise”.[vii]

If you are interested in reading more my books on this subject and more are available for purchase at https://drstuartrobinson.com/books/

[i]Jihadi Cleric Justifies IS Beheadings: Islam Is a Religion Of Beheading. MEMRI Special Despatch/5826/August 25 2014.

[ii] Ryan Mauro, www.clarionproject.org/print/analysis/uks-anjem-choudary-justifies-beheading-of-james-foley (viewed August 30 2014).

[iii] Khaled Abu Toameh, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4646/hamas-war-crimes. August 25 2014.

[iv] MEMRI Daily, Special Dispatch No.5820, August 13 2014.

[v] Rachel Baxendale, Churches demand safe haven for Christians. The Australian, August 25 2014, 2.

[vi] Sam Westrop, http://www.clarionproject.org/print/analysis/uk-islamists-join-neo-nazis-marxists-anti-semitism (viewed August 28 2014).

[vii] Elizabeth Kendall, Religious Liberty Prayer Bulleting, 273. August 13 2014.

3 Comments

Filed under Islam and Christianity, The Middle East and Us, Uncategorized