Saudi Arabia: Rise of the Fear of Women

Arab News ran an opinion piece recently by Mohammed Al-Saif which discussed the rise of gynophobia (the fear of women) in Saudi Arabia.  The article highlights Samar Badawi who was a recipient of the International Women of Courage award presented by the U.S. Department of State.  She received her award for recognition of her role as an activist in advocating women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

Am I the only one who sees it as somewhat ironic that while Saudi men will worship, honor and usually obey their mothers they may have a candid disregard of other women.  Is this in part due to fear?

I remember that one young Saudi guy commented on the blog that he had not seen an uncovered woman other than his mother and sisters since he was 10 years old.  Can you imagine growing up in such an environment?

In many ways it is no wonder that a Saudi man could have a fear of women and want to keep her isolated. If a Saudi man does not have healthy interaction with women it’s no surprise that he may not know how to act, speak or perhaps even behave himself.  Why should the world be surprised that Saudi Arabia has one of the highest divorce rates in the world?

A woman can be the man’s best friend.  She can be his greatest support.  The woman has many talents and skills that should be put to use for the greater benefit of society.

Right now Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud is preparing to lead a group of ten Saudi women to the Mt. Everest base camp.  No group of Saudi men have yet to complete this feat.

I’m glad to hear of more Saudi women standing up and taking action for what they believe in, in spite of any resistance from the male society.  Honestly though, I think that the fear of women will not go away until changes are made at the most basic level in Saudi society starting with primary school students.

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99 Responses

  1. “A woman can be the man’s best friend. She can be his greatest support. The woman has many talents and skills that should be put to use for the greater benefit of society.”

    Well said. A woman would go to war for a man that she loves. In turn she wants him to do the same.

  2. I don’t understand why they fear women. We aren’t *that* scary. :)

  3. On one hand it’s great the Princess is aiming to scale Mt. Everest, on the other hand probably not alot of women in her homeland can be helped by this action for their immediate personal situation. Just another curious event for ordinary women trying to live their lives and being as a free as possible to be themselves.

    Look, this is how I see it: let’s just say I climbed the Mt. for the cause of abused women of which some are immigrant in North America. How would that help them? It wouldn’t. Sorry. I would be a fool to think that same women would be interested in my exploits.

    As long as she does it for personal satisfaction that’s cool. Otherwise she might as well come back down the mountain and spend more time directly helping abused women by giving them shelter, protection, etc.

  4. Western news media is fond of saying how mistreated Women are in Islam. If you do not talk of Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, I think that women are treated relatively well, at least I was.

    The same news people like to say how mistreated Mormon women are too, but so far, I feel like a princess.

    I will say that some men are very fond of discounting women. I once had the dip stick from my car taken from my hand, and was scolded by a Muslim man for touching it. “Sister, this is Men work only.” Another time I was told to get off a ladder by a sister, and she sternly admonished me to not get anything started, because she did not want to do men work.

    I think the fear of women is just a lame, childish excuse by men to continue being irresponsible.

  5. Great insight. Women truly are capable of being a man’s best friend and pillar of support. Most of the guys in Saudi Arabia don’t know what they’re missing out on.

  6. Gwen, you seem to have this obsession of flitting from one misogynist religion to another, at the moment you’re into Mormonism. (How any rational thinking human being can go for a religion which is that obviously a scam is a mystery for me). You just seem to really enjoy being treated as a second grade human being and you translate that s being ”treated like a princess”. Knowing what we do know about your propensity for religious masochism your comment adds very little value, except proving that there is a sucker born every day, even amongst the female half of humanity.

    But I am glad you are enjoying yourself.

  7. By ‘I remember that one young Saudi guy commented on the blog that he had not seen an uncovered woman other than his mother and sisters since he was 10 years old’, do you mean to say that seeing ‘Uncovered’ women would have made him a better Person?

    Do you know what the rape statistics in the West are? Does uncovering oneself make one a more liberated person?

    Islam has prescribed the Hijab for a reason, its to keep women and their beauty away from the eyes of their non-guardians!

  8. @Aliadlw,
    Do you know what rape statistics are in the Islamic world? Clothing has nothing to do with rape, or respect to women. Any woman who has spent time in both places knows that in the Islamic world even fully covered you get more disrespectful looking than you do on a beach in the west.

  9. Aliadlw, rape has to do with disrespect for women, not with clothes, if anything this neurotic covering up of the ”sinful” flesh of women makes men totally obsessed with sex. It has the opposite effect of what it pretends to aim for.
    I say ”pretend” because I don’t believe the true reason for encasing women in the black death shroud is ”modesty”. I think it has more to do with suppression of women. It is sexualising, it makes clear to everybody that ”here is a sexual object”. From the moment a little girl is encased in the death shroud she is publicly announced as a sex object, a walking vagina which must be hidden from view other than that of her owner.

    If women are only seen as sex object rape statistics will be off the roof. I know that no statistics are being kept, and it is very dangerous for a woman in Muslim countries to admit to being raped at all of course. And for men it is a safe crime, no woman would dare to report on them and then the whole of the judicial system and culture and religion is against the victims and supports the rapists.
    And you think no women get raped in such a situation? You need to start thinking.
    We know that the less respect for women the more rape will occur.
    The less chance of punishment the more rape will occur.
    And there is no country where women are as little respected and as badly protected as sentient feeling human beings as in Saudi Arabia.

    So figure it out for yourself. I am convinced that if there were true statistics of rapes inside Saudi Arabia the numbers would be astronomical.

  10. Btw, ”hijab” in the time of the prophet had a different meaning, it was used for something like a curtain. And in the time of the prophet only the elite Jewish women covered, slaves and common women were not even allowed to cover.
    besides, the passages which speak of ”covering” women could have been mistranslated from the Syro-Aramaic and then it would mean a girdle, as a symbol of your intention to be chaste.

    Let’s not forget that with all religious magic books there has been editing and mistranslations. So instead of being obsessed with the small print of a text which is messed about with over the ages, look around you. What are the effects of having women locked up in a long piece of black cloth? (btw, a recent fashion, only 30 years ago enforced by the government, before that Saudi women managed fine wearing practical traditional clothes)
    -women are not exposed to sunlight and develop illnesses as a result
    -women can give birth to deformed children purely because they are not out in the sun
    -men get turned on by a black wall
    -women are clearly designated as sex objects
    -women are restricted in their movements, even sight if they veil their eyes
    - women are harassed mercilessly by men if they are out on their own
    -men turn into raving sex maniacs

    Where I live I walk the streets at night alone without being worried and certainly without being harassed. I could if I wanted to walk the street in a bikini without being harassed.

    Be honest, you know that a woman fully covered and looking like a black garbage bag walking the streets even in broad daylight is never safe in Saudi Arabia.
    Please, start thinking.

  11. So yes, I am far more liberated than the Saudi women.

    You said: *By ‘I remember that one young Saudi guy commented on the blog that he had not seen an uncovered woman other than his mother and sisters since he was 10 years old’, do you mean to say that seeing ‘Uncovered’ women would have made him a better Person?*

    Yes. It would definitely have made him into a better, more balanced, less sexually repressed and more mentally healthy person.

  12. I wonder how good all the religious education is in Saudi Arabia, if Saudis believe a woman by herself is in danger from men. Apparently Saudis believe other Saudis will behave badly.

  13. I don’t agree with the extreme gender segregation. Just this morning my husband made a comment that people around the world are sending men to the moon and building the latest technology while the youth in Jeddah are petitioning for rights to enter malls without having to be with family members. About hijab, the ONLY true reason I wear it is to obey my Lord’s command, the extra benefits that come with wearing hijab I consider as a bonus!

  14. @ Sandy-
    ‘Any woman who has spent time in both places knows that in the Islamic world even fully covered you get more disrespectful looking than you do on a beach in the west.’

    Saudi Arabia is the only country where Women are treated with so much respect, where even eve teasing can land you in Jail, where, if you are standing in queue, women are given first preference before men!

    Just because you see women in an abaya, doesn’t mean they are ignorant fools!

    Let me present a few facts-
    Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted and 54% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police

    http://www.rainn.org/statistics

    Around 84,767 women were raped in US in 2010

    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

    @Aafke-Art-
    ‘rape has to do with disrespect for women, not with clothes, if anything this neurotic covering up of the ”sinful” flesh of women makes men totally obsessed with sex.’

    Neurotic Covering?? This may be because you prefer nude women to covered women!

    ‘From the moment a little girl is encased in the death shroud she is publicly announced….’

    How can you even use such a terrible language? Just because you don’t like to see women covered doesn’t mean they will relent and throw away their Hijabs!

    Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu`alayhi wa sallam) said ,

    “Allah is modest and covering. He loves modesty and privacy.” [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i Al-Bayhaqi, Ahmad].
    Thus, as modesty is a quality that is loved by Allah, we women take comfort in knowing that e are modest and not like those women who show themselves off to the world.

    Muslim women are like diamonds, even more important than diamond. We are “The hidden precious pearls/gems” that Allaah has created, al’hamdulillaah and Hijab/Naqab is just to secure us from evils. Its not oppressing us, we go out, we meet friends, we shop, we study, we are just like other women, but we cover ourselves!

    YOU TALK ABOUT WOMEN BEING DEGRADED AND CONSIDERED AS OBJECTS OF LUST?

    Babylonian Civilization:
    The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.

    Greek Civilization:
    Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient civilizations. Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of all rights and were looked down upon. In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.

    Roman Civilization:
    When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans.

    Egyptian Civilization:
    The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil

    Pre-Islamic Arabia:
    Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.

    People usually only discuss ‘hijaab’ in the context of women. However, in the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijaab’ for men before ‘hijaab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:

    “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”
    [Al-Qur’an 24:30]

    And lets just go through these verses in the Bible:

    1 Corinthians 11. (King James Version)

    5-6 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven . 6 For if the woman be not covered , let her also be shorn : but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven , let her be covered .

    How do you see Mother Mary dressed? Isn’t she covered? Have you seen nuns? Aren’t they covered?

    How can you be such hypocrites?

    Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk down the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijab i.e. the whole body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a skirt or a mini. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini? Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Qur’an rightly says that hijab prevents the women from being molested.

    Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honour. Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies who are employed as mere tools at the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.

  15. @aliadlw – oh please cut the crap . I’m usually tolerant, but today is the b”day of my SIL who’s no more and i’m not upto being NICE.

    Let me start with a disclaimer – Islam if followed correctly is not better or worse than any other religion in this world.

    OK now as for your comment about saudi treating women wih respect , which saudi, the one on the moon!!! they may throw eve teasers in jail, but they let abusers have a gala time, they let women be suppreseed, they keep woman form her kids, they keep woman from working, they keep women from travelling where and when she pleases, they make dicorce a hard thing for a woman, they make woman a seconclass citizen in her OWN country .

    As a woman i don’t want to be served first, i want to be served Equally. i dont’ want to be treated as a pearl in some instances and garbage in others, just treat me as a Normal HUMAN BEING .
    ya ya ya i get it women and men are diff, that’s universal, no men are the same , yet they get treated the same, why not women.

  16. i dont’ want to be treated as a pearl in some instances and garbage in others, just treat me as a Normal HUMAN BEING .

    nice one!

  17. And this is news? The reason why women are suppressed around the world is because of fear and insecurities on the part of men. The need to control almost always comes from fear.

    I remember the first time very religious young male family members (not the norm for the family) met me in KSA and how much difficulty they had looking at me with no abaya or covered hair. They were coached to shake my hand and I do know that it was a very, very big step for them. In the end they were more or less at ease with me but not entirely. Poor lads.

  18. @aliadlw,
    I call BS. I find it hard to believe you’ve ever been in Saudi. I live here. You are describing another planet. I, like most women here wear an abaya everyday and a great many are not ignorant fools. But we are all treated that way in terms of legal status and many cultural norms. Saudi women deserve better than what they are getting and the standard of public male behaviour is the worst I’ve ever seen. The honking, the phone call harrassment, the car-chasing, the foot-chasing in malls, etc. I suppose if you stay in your home it’s alright. But if you have a life and try to go out and do anything its nonsense.

  19. Haha! Great post and great comments! It’s been a long time.

    Aliadlw – please, get your head out of the propaganda and get out into the streets in Saudi.

  20. I agree with you, Sandy. I’m beginning to doubt whether Alia has been to the Kingdom. I also think she is a Muslim convert/revert.

  21. Well, the pearl and diamond business is certainly a direct copy/paste from places like muslimmatters or islamqa. Yawn.

  22. Mrs Bawazir:

    Let me ask this: How certain are you that what you are wearing is what God what’s you to wear? Again, I ask this because it is well documented and a known fact that the koran had several thousand variance before it’s codification in the 9th century. Even after the codification there were scholars who objected to the codification who where either silenced or forced to take back their statements. Next over a 1/3 of the koran could not be disciphered. Next the language itself is being re-examined and it fits more closely to the SyroAramiac language thus would leave only about 5 percent of the text as discipherable. In addition, the SryoAramaic words fall in line with the texts of the Christian theology.

    Now again, this is discussed by scholars with PHD’s, there are works from earlier scholars on the codification and the problems of the text.

    So I ask again, how do you even know if what you are doing has anything to do with God?

  23. Bigstick sweetie, would you stop already? I am CONVINCED that MY God commands me to wear hijab based on my researches so I think that is more than enough. I really do not need you to again and again tell me to go the other way because I disagree with you and you disagree with me so I think the best is to leave it at that. Just because you don’t like or agree with my thinking, it doesn’t mean I should change to satisfy you!?!? And why are people attacking aliadlw simply because she stated her OPINION? does the opinion only matters if it was anti-Islam then? let her state her opinion, she didn’t disrespect or attack anyone here. such double standards!

  24. aliadlw:

    Christian theology. Something I really know a great deal about.

    And lets just go through these verses in the Bible:

    1 Corinthians 11. (King James Version)

    5-6 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven . 6 For if the woman be not covered , let her also be shorn : but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven , let her be covered .

    How do you see Mother Mary dressed? Isn’t she covered? Have you seen nuns? Aren’t they covered?

    Let’s start with the verse in Corinthians.

    This is a letter that was sent to the church from Paul to the Church in Corinth. Now, here is the deal. Corinth back in the day was a thriving large multi-cultural city when numerous different faiths of the time. Now one issue was that many religions of the time wore little to no clothing and Christianity was a version of Judiasm. Now there are two thoughts of why Paul wrote the letter to this ONE CHURCH – one is that women who wore the veil were treated better than those who didn’t as it showed them of higher status. So there may have been a situation where the priest/apostles where treating women poorly based upon status or perception. Thus the letter was meant to stop this action. The next is that there was some sort of incident that was scandalous by a woman and/ or man that this criteria for this ONE CHURCH was put into place for a reason to this again PARTICULAR CHURCH.

    Now understand that the Roman Ceasar who put together the bible to organization a religion during 325 CE did so to bring people in line with his views and within his power. Now by the time this timeframe occurred the status of women from the 1st and 2nd century had gone down greatly so the bible was constructed in a manner that purposely altered the perceptions of women and their contributions from the earlier history of the christian movement. Therefore numerous gospels were purposely left out and certain letters of Paul were inserted.

    Now out of the 12 letters that are in the bible that is directly associated to Paul, there are five which are known to be forgeries. Next most scholars actually agree that there was never a directive or an intention of Paul to have these letters ever become divine codification within the bible.

    To try to get you to understand is that at the time Paul was trying to get the Christian movement going and he was more of an administrator of Chruches with many of them being a good distance from one another. So he was often times putting out fires and trying to get people to come into the religion while making certain concessions. So try to image yourself running several business each with different cliental. You might not have one do the same as the other simply because of the culture of the cliental or the surrounding issues.

    Again these letters are administrative letters given to the Christian churches of the time.

    Next:

    There is NO picture of Mary nor has there every been. Hate to burst your bubble. Mary has no picture and the translation of virgin has recently been stated to mean “young maiden.”

    The whole nun thing well. That was based upon the administrative letters that was put into the bible in 325 as a means to silence and limit women.

    Here is a tidbit. One of the apostles that Paul refers to is a woman. The name was changed in the 12th century from Junia to Junius as it was offensive that a woman could be an apostle. It was well known all the way to that point and history has documented the fact.

    Next the Gospel of Thomas (left out of the bible) was written about the same time as the Gospel of Mark and shows a different light on Mary Magadelen. She was known as the apostle’s apostle.

    By the way there are numerous scholars that state that the Gospel of Mark was meant to be an allegory.

    Hope this sheds some light on the matter.

  25. Mrs Bawazir, Honey :D :

    Well if your happy that is all that counts so long as you don’t force other to wear it or have judgement issues on women who were less.

    Here is my deal. What I care about is that somehow you think that others who don’t wear it are valued less or deserve less or have the meat/dog concept. That is my issue. From my point of view when a religion or a country or a culture demands that a woman or man wear attire in a manner to which certain forms of Islam demands (absolute compulsion) then it is oppression. You have to understand that although you find it to be something that is required by God others don’t.

    Next, many women and girls have been killed, maimed or tortured for not wearing it and they have been restricted in physical fitness, movement, opportunities etc. as well. There are many people who look at the attire and see the blood of women dripping from it. So instead of a godly symbol you might see, they see it as a symbol of hate to women. Whether you like this view or not, it is what many people see and they find it offensive just like the KKK who come out in their dress wear as it is deemed offensive to certain factions in the USA for what the dress wear represents.

    The thing is that I don’t care if you wear it because you want to.
    From reading what you have you are a bit of a spit fire. So I have no doubt you will not allow even your husband to deviate too far. However, just like you have told me before to keep an open mind. Then, I ask you to keep an open mind and maybe read some scholarly works of the hidden origins of Islam.

    Remember I have read the Quran. I have also read numerous works by scholars regarding the origins of Islam and the language of the text.

    So, what type of research have you done and who are the author’s of the works. I have provided some to you. Only fair, you provide some to me.

    Next, seriously have you ever read the Reliance of the Traveler? You keep avoiding this one.

    Work with me here.

  26. hehe Bigstick, i like the spitfire term :) I do not view anyone as less based on their attire, it’s their deeds and attitudes that is important. no i have not read that book you keep recommending. And to answer your query, most of the religious teaching I gained were from attending lectures in Mosques and university, lectures held by organizations such as Al Maghrib Institute, and books would be the Holy Quran, Hadith Muslim/Bukhari, Tafsir Ibnu Katsier, Tafsir by Dr Ahmad Hatta, most books by Sayyd Qutb, Imam Ghazali, El Bahi El Khuly, Imam Nawawi, Yusuf Al Kandahlawy, Dr Danial Zainal Abidin, Dato Ismail Kamus, Dr Haron Din, Fiqh Islam by Sulaiman Rasjid, Fiqh Al Sirah by Imam Ghazali to name a few. but at the moment, I’m trying to finish The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer, its so hard to finish a book with a baby on my lap.

  27. Mrs. B:

    Enjoy them while they are small. They are easier to keep up with. Also remember this little kids little problems – Big kids BIG PROBLEMS. ;)

  28. Mrs Bawazir:

    Let me give you a different spin on Islam from a very young Muslim woman by providing you the name of a blog that keeps me intrigued. I have to admit she keeps me intrigued with her very different perception. Can’t say I agree with her version but it is her way, I do find it an interesting way of viewing things.

    The title of the blog site is the fatal feminist. Again, a very different view I assure you.

  29. Enjoy them while they are small. They are easier to keep up with. Also remember this little kids little problems – Big kids BIG PROBLEMS.

    Bigstick, when you not talking about religion or culture, you are actually very nice. O righty then, I’ll have a look at the blog. Take care and I know you are passionate when it comes to your views on religion but do try not to brush people up the wrong way.

  30. i’ve just visited her blog bigstick and i must say i am loving it. the owner of the blog, Nahida, is very well informed despite her seemingly young age. thanks for pointing her blog out to me. cheers.

  31. Mrs Bawazir,

    I find it hard to believe that you have read Hadith by Muslim and Bukhari. They are basically about the wars of your prophet against his neighbors. There are whole chapters dedicated to describing the raids and who went on them. If we were to pretend it was George doing those things, you would condemn every attack, every murder, each rape and every little sin. But no…

    Anyway, enjoy your children – they are the sole purpose of life and the fountain of our greatest happiness. I wish I could offer a better world for you and them.

    Bigstick,

    I have gleamed something of your history from your posts this last month – in many ways it is not too different from my own, minus the geography. I am a few years older, but maybe not wiser. I can match in your Christian education – and then some.
    ,
    All in all, Muslims, infidels, men, women, optimists, cynics, young and old – we have a very eclectic group here

    JK

  32. Anyway, enjoy your children – they are the sole purpose of life and the fountain of our greatest happiness.

    I love that!Agreed!

  33. Bigstick, there are also a lot of indications that Marc was a plagiarized and embellished version of the Odyssey.

    Does that matter? Well in so far as there are just so many proofs, so many facts, that all these magic books, the Torah, the Bible the Quran are made up of earlier religions, writings, and forgeries. That they were edited and changed, and they are way behind our current civilizations in morality.
    It is insane to base your life on the small prints of these books, especially when they limit your freedom.

  34. @Jay,

    Welcome to the AB family! (smile)

  35. @aliadlw

    I find comments about pre-Isalmic Arabia amusing. I doubt much reseach exists today that would allow anyone to make any acccurate statements on how female babies were treated or anything else. In the West for a long time people assumed structures such as the Pyramids in Egypt were built by slave labor, today we know that isn’t so. The ideas about slave labor came from the Bible. One cannot trust religious propaganda to tell the truth about history.

  36. Arabia harbored some great and very sophisticated cultures ages before Islam was invented.
    Mecca was a very important pilgrimage center for other religions.
    The Nabateans have left ruins, and they were a fascinating and very, very highly developed people, we have found out only in the last decade how highly developed they were, fantastic architects.

    I know the Wahhabis want to destroy the ruins they left in Saudi Arabia, but it is too late, we all know they lived there. We all know that Mecca and Medina were very highly developed thriving cities, with trade and pilgrims from very far away.

    It is really silly to try and claim that people in Arabia were underdeveloped barbarians. It’s just not true.

  37. @aafke

    I am glad that a bit more is known that what as being taught in the early 1970′s (when I studied art history). Still there is a lot more that could be known if real archaeology was a possible.

  38. Please look at my flikr photos (scroll down the blog and they are on the bottom right hand side) and you’ll see the photos I took when visiting Maidan Saleh with my husband. Additionally, I’m happy to say that the film ‘Arabia’ gives a nice portion about Maidan Saleh and the Nabeteans.

  39. Jerry, they are doing real archaeology in Petra, they have discovered graves underneath the most important rock hewn edifice, Al Kazneh. And the city itself is now estimated to have had at least 50.000 inhabitants, apart from the traders and visitors. They had the most amazing water management, so perfect, they collected water from 25 km around, and kept it in a large number of cisterns, they also had water displays. They had theatres, they traded far and wide. The Al Kazneh had beautiful statues, carved out of the same rock, with Amazons! They were destroyed by religious barbarians :(
    The Nabateans were probably the most sophisticated people of the age, and they were right there in Saudi Arabia. Their trade routes went straight through to south Arabia. They shared worship of the Goddess Al Uzza with the Meccans.

    The Arabic alphabet developed out of the Nabatean Cursive script. It seems the Nabatean civilization had a great influence to the development of Arabian culture.

    Oh, and that was hundreds of years before the prophet Mohammed turned up.

  40. Oh, and that was hundreds of years before the prophet Mohammed turned up.

    Before the prophet Muhammad came (to spread Islam), the pagan Arabs were burying their newborn daughters alive, treating their slaves like animals (worst actually), women were treated only for sex. Many women sold themselves for sex to make a living, they would fly flags on their houses, and were called ladies of the flags (dhat er rayyat). the number of women a man could marry was not fixed, in fact when a man dies, his son would inherit all his wives except his mother. the most outstanding feature of pre-Islamic Arabia was the non existent of political organization. there was no government of any form in the Arabia peninsula with the exception of Yemen in the south-west. the only authoritativeness was their tribe leader but this was more of moral than politic. they lived for generation after generations and centuries after centuries without a government. No government meant no law. in matters of crimes, the injured party would take it into their own hands. Ethics of course did not enter into the picture anywhere. Since the Arabs were anarchist by instinct, war was never-ending.

  41. All Arabs were notorious for being arrogant, conceit, boastful, excessive love of plunder and vindictive and due to these characteristics they were unable to form any political organization even far so a state of their own. They lack political discipline and never recognize any authoritative figure until the rise of Islam.

    Herbert J. Muller
    “In Mohammed’s Arabia there was no state – there were only scattered independent tribes and towns. The Prophet formed his own state, and he gave it a sacred law prescribed by Allah.” (The Loom of History, 1958)

    The prophet who himself was illiterate, the conditions of pre-Islamic Arabia where most Arabs were not interested to learn the art of reading and writing. However, their greatest intellectual accomplishment was their poetry and this was seen both before and after Islam. Before Islam, the Arabs played only a marginal role in the history of Middle East and would remain forever as shepards and animists had Muhammad not provided them the focus and stimulus into a purposeful driving force. He created an entirely new mental and psychological ecology and his work placed an emphatic period in history.

    That was when prophet Muhammad turned up.

  42. Mrs Bawazir, The story that Arabia was a conglomerate of primitive barbarian tribes is just not true. There is a mountain of archaeological evidence that at least the cities were advanced cultures and traders.
    To claim anything else is just silly.

    The fact is that Mohammeds first wife Khadisha was very wealthy, from an important family, and ran her own very large international business. While he was married to her he could not have extra wives or sex slaves. Large numbers of people went on pilgrimage to Meccah for at least 450 years before Mohammed.
    The people in these cities were sophisticated. That not everybody could write was normal; you had scribes to write for you.

    I don’t see why it should be a ”badge of honor” that Mohammed could not write. However, I do believe it is true, as you can clearly see that when Mohammed got more power and better scribes at his disposal the sura’s become longer, more sophisticated and incorporate more of the then available knowlege.

  43. How can you say that the people before Mohammed were not interested in writing and poetry?
    What is that assertion based on? Not on facts.
    The facts are that ancient writings have been found all over the place? The best bits of the Quran are plagiarized bits from earlier poets. Why did Mohammed send out assassins to murder poets who criticized him?
    Because poets were infulential.

    Where do you think Arabic writing came from?
    Not from Mohammed, who was illiterate. And as I said, Arabic writing was developed from the cursive Nabatean script. Who were, as I wrote, a very advanced culture centuries older.
    There are many foreign words in the Quran, from many different languages, in the past it was quite normal for Islamic scholars to discuss these and they made lists of the words and what language they came from.

  44. It makes one wonder about how clever God is… Why does God always choose some backwards primitive group of misogynist barbarians in the Middle East to send ”His Message”????
    Why not go to a culture where everybody can write, like China, and where ”His Message” has a chance of being shared and expanded quickly?
    Why is God not capable of making this message stick a bit better?/ Why does he have to start all over again every few thousand years?

    Why did God wait 20.000 years of humanity before he decided to tell humanity what’s what?
    And why does he keep failing?
    And why is God such a misogynist? Why is he apparently obsessed with what people wear but in none of his three attempts to set humanity right he makes up a decent rule such as ”Thou shalt not have sex with women against their will” or ”Thou shalst not abuse and/ or rape children” and ”Thou shalt not take other people as slaves”

    Like I said before, in one single afternoon I could write a magic book which is a hundred times better than the Quran, the Bible, and the Thora combined.
    I am way more intelligent and humane than any prophet mentioned in the bible and Mohammed.
    And I am even literate.
    So nobody needs to wait a few generations before my message is finally written down
    It’s about time people start following me as the greatest and last of the prophets.

    Please send all your money to my PayPal account.

    And you can wear what ever you think is appropriate.

  45. Aafke, you may be literate but why cannot you understand what I just said? I said the Arabs (before and after Islam) were most intellectual in their poetry, and to add, their eloquence. i didn’t say it was a badge of honor that the prophet was illiterate, i was stating it as a common condition in the Jahilliyah (Ignorance) Era where the pagan Arabs were mostly illiterate (cannot read nor write). The Jews and Christians were the custodians of such knowledges.

    -The Nabataeans kingdom ended a long time before Islam came.

    - Have a look at this http://richardfrye.org/files/Arabia_before_Islam.pdf

    It details the up-rise of civilization centuries before the Ignorance Era. It also details the instability of the Arabian due to war and rivalry. And it details further the flourishing age after Islam, that grew from India to China to the Atlantic Ocean.

    - You are right, Arabic language was no invention of Muhammad.

    - God always choose some backwards primitive group of misogynist barbarians in the Middle East to send His Message as a saviour and to send His mercy. If He sent them to a place where people were already living in great civilization, what would be the point?

    - God is not obsessed in what people wear (although some of us here are obsessed on why people want to cover). He commanded the believers to guard their modesty and to not transgress.

    - God not only made a decent rule about rape, He made a DAMN good rule as can be seen in this verse Surah al An’am 6.120
    ”Abandon all harm (ithm), whether committed openly or in secret.”
    (Check Surah al A`raf 7:33)
    In the last address to his community, the Prophet (saw) said: “Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection… Regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust… Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you… You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.” The Prophet (saw) did not prohibit only the unlawful encroachment of one another’s life and property, but also honor and respect.

    - Personally, I don’t think you will make much of a prophet because a cynical prophet is not really easy to follow.

  46. I forgot to answer your first question ( I will also not make a good prophet), on where was my assertion based. To list a few, Classical Islam – A History 600-1258 by G.E Grunebaum, Mohammad and the Rise of Islam by D.S Margoliouth, Mohammed by Maxime Rodinson, The Loom of History by Herbert J. Muller and The Arabs- A Compact History by Francesco Gabrielli etc etc.

  47. Well, we know now that people in Arabia were not ignorant at all. How sophisticated the Nabateans for example actually were has only become clear over the last decade.
    And we know that women could and did gain power and influence. We also know the Qaaba (tended by female priestesses) was the place of worship of many gods, but the most important were three female Goddesses. We know that it had already been for centuries a very important destination for pilgrimage.
    You really think that all that trade, all those travelers did not bring knowledge for many centuries? You really think it is possible for people who make their money in trade and religious pilgrimages can do so while remaining ignorant baby eaters?
    Maybe some small ignorant misogynist tribe indulged in this way to get rid of unwanted females, but it is impossible that it was common. And it’s quite possible just malignant propaganda like insisting that there was a time of ignorance (which there wasn’t) before Mohammed.
    If women can be rich traders, leaders of tribes, priestesses and important poets it’s impossible that ”burying babies alive” can have been common among the civilized people of Arabia.

    Most of the knowledge of the era available was known by Arabs. Arabic people also traveled to acquire knowledge.
    As is clear from reading the Quran, Arabs at that time were acquainted with Galenic medicine, as parts of it are repeated almost verbatim in the Quran. (complete with all the mistakes)

    So it’s just not true that they were ignorant barbarians at that time. Mohammed did not bring any miraculous enlightenment. On the contrary, he did things that were unheard of before he came along, like attacking villages without warning, poisoning wells, such things were scandalous at the time and he had to invent special divine commands to justify himself.

    So maybe Arabia would have been better off if Mohammed had been less successful with his new religion. Maybe the gulf area would now have a higher form of civilization, maybe they would be up with the rest of the world in science and technology and human rights. And women’s rights. Maybe they would actually produce stuff, get Nobel prizes, have women competing in the Olympic games…

  48. The Abrahamic god does not in any of his magic books, or examples of his prophets, including his son, condemn slavery, abuse of children and rape.
    Nowhere in any of the three magic books is there any support for the victim of rape. Nowhere in any society which claims to follow the divine rule book do women have equal rights and protection, and especially not in Islamic societies.
    God is a crappy writer.

  49. Mrs.B:

    I know it was posted somewhere were you and wendy talked about utopia. Quite frankly most Islamically controlled or influenced countries are not tolerate. Malaysia has been heading backwards for sometime. The biggest fear the religious have is that atheist expose the lies told by the religious to tout their religious views of how great they made things when in fact they made thing worse and destroyed peoples lies.

    Example the crap you are espousing about how women obtained more rights through Islam. Scholars did not hold with this verision. In fact, it shows the opposite. In addition, how is it that before Muhammad women could have businesses and be successfule at business but afterward they become less intelligent in finance? The way I read it that once his first wife died he blew threw the money, bankrupt the business and the found another source of money this is when you see him going from sorta nice to the not so nice person finding sources of income from raids, booty, mafia tactics, and torture.

    By the way didn’t whole covering of the women occurred due to a follower of Muhammah because he recognized Aisha going to the Head (out door facitily). So there is your divine inspiration for your covering. It kind of sums it up on this matter. It is crap, make believe God doesn’t care what you wear.

    Regarding Malaysia beign at all tolerant you should re-think that. Here is what they do to atheist.

    http://the-diplomat.com/asean-beat/2012/01/25/man-arrested-for-being-atheist/

  50. I believe Mrs. B said Malaysia was the most tolerant of Islamic countries. I don’t believe she said it was without problems just as I said Canada was about the best country (at the moment) for tolerance but it is also not perfect.

  51. I think the Netherlands is one of the most tolerant countries.
    If Malaysia is the most tolerant islamic country then that is very sad. And it illustrates the low level of tolerance Islamic countries have.

  52. @Wendy

    To which what I stated speaks volumes for the country and Islam, since Malaysia is one of the most tolerant intolerant countries.

  53. Aafke … I think The Netherlands are beginning to lose their tolerance with the rise of the ‘right’. I also am afraid it will happen here.

  54. Wendy:

    Define you understanding of the right, please. Just so I know the points.

  55. The governmental ‘right’. Evangelical Christian rule (certainly as scary as Islamic control in my mind). Racism as in exclusion of immigration of certain religions and colours. Reduction of rights such as abortion. Refusing the right to build a place of worship for a particular religion. Those are some of my thoughts on ‘right’.

    I just watched an interview on Talk to Al Jazeera with Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and I actually felt sick to the stomach listening to some of the things he was saying/not saying. Look it up, watch and you will see what frightens me.

  56. Actually when I think of it England has a pretty high rating on freedoms.

  57. Wendy:

    Then we are on the same page. That has been going on in the US as well. Recently there has been a hugh push back and women/men who don’t condone religion influence issues are coming together and going to force out certain politicians across the US.

    Some examples are Gov. Bob McDonnell in Virginia, Santorum (dumbass running president), Rick Perry and the new ultrasound law in Texas, Personhood bills, abortion issues, and birth control elimination. In addition the whole moral objection to allowing someone to have a particular coverage under their health insurance. This is just the tip of the iceburg as other states are getting this pushed through by by-passing the voters to implementing once the Republican party gets control of house, senate and executive branch (governor or president).

    The republican are going to get hurt this year. I for one am in several organizations that are pushing against the dictators. They are known as the Christian “Taliban” or Domionionist/Quiverful group. They are another hateful group right up there with the Ultra-Orthodox in NY that run women off roads for riding bicycles in areas that they considered their neighbors and they have morality police as well. They use block votes that get them influence and create hostile hateful situations to others.

    Then the US is one of the most religious western countries around but thankful it is getting far less so every year. As each time the religious do something to supposely help others they insist on inflicting their hateful ideology upon others starting with women and children by taking secular money and then making them bishop bucks.

  58. Perhaps you are not aware but Canadians are very well versed in American politics. :) Whether we like it or not we are tied to US politics so we keep ourselves very well informed and seemingly more informed than many Americans. LOL!!!

  59. Wendy:

    I haven’t kept up too much with Canadian politics but I know there are some issues. From my understanding the Canadians had the presents of mind not to allow alternative laws for the religious such as Sharia or Beth din. Correct me if I am wrong. I think that ruling came down in the 11th hour though. I also know that there are only like 4 major companies that control the rental property and this creates issues for people renting as these companies are not conducive to adhere to quality housing standards. At least this is what I hear. I also know that housing is outrages creating issues on ownership. Again correct me if I am wrong.

  60. I don’t want to turn this this away from it’s original subject.
    Rental is not an issue or problem. People do not need to go through rental companies to rent.
    Sharia law has not been allowed so far but it is always a possibility. It is some Muslim groups that get it stopped here BTW.
    Property prices can be high here depending on where one lives. That is the same everywhere I believe.
    EVERYONE has access to good affordable health care.

  61. Wendy:

    True the US has high prices as well. They cancelled the whole Shaira march last year. They had a march scheduled in Washington, DC. This is when several states had the no Sharia law push. The issue comes up with Beth Din’s as they are allowed in the US. This is another court system that I think should not be recognized as it has numerous forms of religiously institutionalized discrimination. However, I know numerous Jews who don’t use these courts and are very secular.

    Anyway. Thanks for the info on the rental situation. I actually don’t live all that far from the Canadian border.

  62. For those of you who would actually like to learn some documented history. Hear is a very concise and well written presentation of how a number of historical events got us to this point.

    This is written extremely well and provides excellent sources.

    http://arthuride.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/serpent-in-the-garden/

  63. It’s amusing to me that many of these discussions seem to come back to religion (Islam in particular). I believe that the basic intent of all religions is relatively the same- to worship one ultimate creative life force of the universe. The basic points are the same: 1) Love God/Allah/etc. 2)Love other people equally -in a large amount- with yourself. People are social creatures, so it only makes sense for us to help each other, animals, our environment, etc.

    How the religions are used to gain power in society, however, is another matter.

    As for men fearing women, I think it depends on the individual. Some feel emotionally, mentally, and/or physically challenged by women. I am a very independent woman and sometimes that is not well-received by men. For cultures where it is the man’s responsibility to work hard for money for the family and the woman’s job to care for the home (this includes some parts of America, too), the man may feel threatened if the woman can do everything herself because then what does she need him for? In case the men are wondering, the answer is simple: for companionship because hopefully your wife/girlfriend/whoever loves you and as long as you treat her right, she should stay with you. Sometimes, it’s the men who over-complicate things.

  64. @Wendy,
    “Actually when I think of it England has a pretty high rating on freedoms.”

    Maybe it seems that way to you, but I feel much freer in the US. I had to show ID in England to buy a pair of scissors, stores are not allowed to be open all day on Sunday, etc. Also, there is more corruption in government there and the standard of living is much lower. That said, there are some perks to living in England, such as the rest of Europe being at your doorstep and it being easier to use public transportation. In some cases, such as with leasing places to stay and nutritional information on food products, there really needs to be better, stricter laws in place in England. However, that is my opinion based on some of the things I saw over there. I didn’t have any major problems with leasing accomodation, but a friend of mine did.

  65. I lived for three years in London doing a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art and I loved living in England, English people are very friendly. They are much nicer and more respectful to artists than the Dutch, There are so many museums and art galleries, and it’s a lovely country to travel in.
    I have many friends all over the country and have visited many parts. It is steeped in history and historical houses and gardens, I love it!

    As to food, I have never seen worse ”food” than in America. And the poisons Americans put into the water and food, and nobody seems to care! Fluoride in the water, ”pink slime” in the meat, genetically modified food, and it’s not on the labels. Incredible! There are only a few places where I dare to buy decent food in America and it’s very expensive.

    As for religions, the Abrahamic religions have as their goal the conversion of ”unbelievers” and the subjugation of women. They all consider women to be deficient, and the property of men. And that’s where this ”fear of women” comes from.
    And as the ”fear of women” is based in, and supported by, the Abrahamic religions it is inevitable that many commentators cut right through the crap and go for the cause of misogyny: religion.
    Hope this makes it clear for you.

    (Of course they are all misogynist as they are all the same religion really, Judaism came out of a set tribal gods, Christianity is a plagiarized version of Judaism, and Islam is a plagiarized version of Christianity)

  66. Strange One … having experienced the UK and the USA the UK comes ahead hands down on tolerance, safety (no guns) religious freedom and less overt racism. The separation of God and State in the US government is almost a myth.

  67. Yes, Wendy, i agree.

  68. @wendy –

    I have the opposite reaction, UK to us was very intolerant, US is more acceptiong ( to us atleast) . UK was a bit racist .

    I’ve had religious freedom in both places

    I like Guns :-) Both me an dF go to the range atleast once a month, it’s our stress relief, Both my kids can handle guns and my daughter is an excellent shot. My son i would say is the least interested in them

    so i would not like the no Guns rule at all :-)

  69. Radhaa …
    There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000. The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides, with 17,352 (55.6%) of the total 31,224 firearm-related deaths in 2007 due to suicide, while 12,632 (40.5%) were homicide deaths. It is now higher.

    All I can say is that I’m sorry that you love your guns so much. There are many kinds of stress relievers out there. Shooting a gun shouldn’t be one of them IMHO. I feel sad that your children have been taught to use one. Sorry, but that’s how strongly I feel about guns.

    You had a much different experience from my African husband who had lived in the UK before the USA. He became a Canadian BECAUSE of the racism in the USA.

  70. @Wendy, I mostly agree about the UK. I spend a lot of time there. BUT the US is sooo big I find it really can vary from place to place, the racism etc.

  71. True enough but I think the calmer and more lenient states are outnumbered by the others.

  72. @Wendy,

    ” having experienced the UK and the USA the UK comes ahead hands down on tolerance, safety (no guns) religious freedom and less overt racism. The separation of God and State in the US government is almost a myth.”

    I lived in the UK for about 1 1/2 years. I grew up in different areas of the US for 20+ years. I have friends around the world.

    The history of the UK is not without its share of racism (which I believe exists to about the same extent in both- very little compared with other places). I know there are pockets of racism in the US, but it really depends on the region. Most places are without racism. That said, I don’t like to associate with racist people anywhere. Interestingly, I have found that many people around the world share a fear of black people which is odd to me since I grew up in places in the US where racism was not really an issue. In fact, about half my friends when I was a child were black due to the population distribution (roughly 40% black, 40% white, 10% other). We never really had any issues with racism among my age group, although some existed in the older population. There are some places in the deep south I would not want to live due to racism but most places in the US are not this way.

    In the US, people may try to convert you to their religion, but they respect your right to worship (or not worship) how you want to. There are only a handful of religious wackos that are not tolerant of other religions- same as other places. In fact, there are muslim, christian, agnostic, and buddhists in my family, and I believe hindu now as well. What do we all have in common? A love for the U.S. culture and way of life, and a love for each other.

    It has actually been proven that there is more of a difference between socioeconomic groups in the US than race or religion.

    A “no guns” policy is not freedom. Besides, a fair share of people in the UK own guns irregardless of the law both for protection and for fun.

  73. @Aafke,
    The “pink slime” thing is not okay, and I agree the US needs to get better with regards to labeling their meat products (although I think the standards with regards to chicken is better). What I didn’t like about the UK food labels was that it didn’t state things like Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, etc. content so I would have to go home, look up the nutritional information of the ingredients in the food and then return to the grocery store before buying.

    You should look at Sprouts, although Whole Foods is okay (if also very expensive). There are also farmer’s markets, co-ops, and mail-order catalogs to buy food from. There are only a few types of foods where you have to worry about them being GMOs, soy being one. I no longer eat soy anyways because of the high estrogen levels in the soy. From what I could tell, the UK (and rest of the EU) isn’t a whole lot better, except with regards to labelling GMO foods and using sugar in products rather than high fructose corn syrup.

  74. They put soy in almost anything and an excess can lead to hyperthyroidism. However, I prefer to cook from scratch anyway. I do not trust, nor do I like ready made foods.
    We have a sprouts and a farmers market. And I buy gallons of spring water for drinking and cooking.
    And America uses sugar in everything just as much as far as I know. People are addicted to sugar, nobody needs sugar but they put in the most unexpected foods. And sugar is pure poison.
    Another reason to buy only basic food ingredients and make your own dinners, drinks, etc.

  75. @wendy – yes many people feel that way.
    We however keep our gunsafe and secure and yes we do have other stress relievers but for me It is very very important to be able to handle a gun, i feel it is also v v imp for my kids to be able to handle it.
    guess it comes from NCC background in schools and college :-)

    I’m all for responsibile safety, however i wouldn’t like my freedom to own a gun be taken away, especially if it’s secure, registered and it’s users are trained.

    As for suicide – if someone wants to commit suicide ,guns is the least of the issues. I see people trying to kill themselves on a regular basis and not having a gun is not going to stop them. :-)

    you are however entitled to your views . My parents feel the same way , my mom says she hates to see a gun in the hands of a woman !!!! for all my feminist talk, i just smile , nod and walk away.

  76. I have found that many people around the world share a fear of black people which is odd to me since I grew up in places in the US where racism was not really an issue.

    A rather odd statement to make don’t you think? And when did this become a race relation article anyway, or did I miss something? So strange one, I would assume you travelled all the 200+ countries in the world to come up with such a conclusive statement, right. And I suppose by black people you mean, men, women, children, old, the disabled, and the poor. ? And please link the quality scientific research article here I would be interested to find out what your participants fear is, is it the color of Black people’s skin or the prejudice against Black people perpetuated by the USA media, or perhaps it was your own masked prejudice to project your own dislike for black people on the ‘many people around the world’. Btw I live around black people here in Australia; I have never for once feared for my life.

  77. Wendy:

    I agree again with Radhaa. I like the freedom to own my own gun, shotgun, and rifle. I enjoy hunting my own food as well, particular on grass fed game. It is better for you. I am damn good at firearms as well and as my kids grow up I will teach them the understanding, respect and ability of a gun, rifle and shotgun. In addition, I have no qualms protecting my family from home invaders or other individuals who would pose a bodily or life threaten threat to my family.

    Also by the time a police officer makes it to you the action is often times already over with; so I hope for your sake you protected yourself otherwise the outcome might not be to your liking. With the understanding that somethings even if you protected yourself the outcome my still not be to your liking but at least you gave it your all.

    No matter what there will always be people who intend to do others harm. Interesting though, those states in the US that have the least firearm restrictions are often the safer states than those who place extreme restrictions on them.

    Quite frankly anything you have including your hands is a weapon. Heck you can mix household chemicals for a nice explosive combination if you know how. A ball point pen is an extremely deadly weapon for upclose combat. An assailant gets close in hand to hand and you can just take this into the orbital cavity blinding the person or even killing them. Of course your own thumbs could do the same. A sharp object cutting the jugular vein and you bleed out in under 2 minutes. Okay, I know some of you will be freaked out over this part but it is a reality. The reality is that if a person is intent on mass destruction or taking out one person they have good chance of doing just that as they have the element of surprise as well as the opportunity of timing for vunerability and often times black market access to a plethora of devices unless they know how to build it themselves. This again is reality. Good people rarely are the problem. You see they stay within the bounds, abide by laws and do what good people do. Now someone operating outside the law just doesn’t give a damn. Remember, doors are only made for law abiding citizens….. really, as a good burglar can go in and out of your house, get what they want and get out in less than 2 to 3 minutes.

    The issue is the frame of mind of the assailant. If the individual is going to kill themselves or someone else they will either make the attempt or complete the act. Simple as that. Another issue is the mind set of the victim, is the victim capable of protecting themselves and doing what is necessary to affect their survival? That is the question. This is often times what seperates a person from a victim and a survivor.

    Next, the reason so many people get themselves hurt or killed is often times from firearms is due to no firearms training and no respect for what firearms are capable of. People need to learn true gun safety and safety means the storage of the weapon and bullets, proper handling of the weapon, proper cleaning, etc. If you have kids then ensure that you have a safe to put the weapon into and that it be one that is easily accessible to you. In other words do not get a safe that has a turn dial combination as under duress or andrenaline surge you will often times mess up the combination and it is a slow means on getting to your weapon anyway. You will want one that is by keypad as this is the quickest to get into and the safest. I personnally wouldn’t have one that has a key lock as this isn’t safe as far as I am concerned as kids can cut the locking device off. If you suspect your kids ever figure out the touch pad combination change it immediately.

    If you own a firearm for the purpose of protection make damn sure you know you are capable of pulling the trigger and stopping the action of the assailant. If you are not then you have just handed over a firearm to your assailant to which could be used on you.

    If you can’t do this then by all means don’t own a gun.

    As far as suicides, well…… when a person gets to this point they have already made their decision and they will complete the act by whatever means necessary. I remember a young woman who was extremely depressed. She had, had professional help, medication and family support but nothing help. Her parents tried to help her, called numerous times on her attempted and almost successful suicide attempts, (cutting her wrists, drug overdose, purposeful car accidents) she finally completed the act by hanging herself. Took years for her parents to come to grips with the fact that they had done all they could to help her but she just wanted to die and she did. Now they look at it differently, they have grandchildren that she gave birth to and see them as a blessing. I promise you that in suicides it has nothing to do with the weapon and everything to do with the mind set of the indiviidual.

    Then in December my friend killed himself with his own service weapon. I don’t blame the gun as it didn’t pull the trigger, he did. I will tell you this. Even today, I get a little and some times a lot angry over his decision as no one really saw it coming. However, it was his decision and one that the living are still dealing with.

    This is what I have experienced and from that; it is what I have formed my opinion upon.

    I am so off topic here.

  78. @Sam,

    It was an observation I have made by being around people from various cultures and is something I don’t understand. I think it has to do with the media, but I’m not really sure. I have noticed this prejudice among some people from at least one Arab country as well as some Chinese and Taiwanese. I am not sure what other cultures this prejudice is common in; it’s more or less anecdotal evidence that I gathered from being around different people and not something I kept track of. It caught my attention purely because I don’t understand that mentality. I also don’t understand it when people from one tribe/ethnic group/nationality don’t want their children (or themselves) to marry outside it.

    I haven’t been around the world, but I’ve been around people from many diverse ethnic backgrounds. Would you like me to list them all?

    I was just surprised it was an issue in such different cultures. By black I meant skin color, although sometimes skin color is taken as ethnicity here in the US (thus the statistics of where I grew up) which utterly confuses me sometimes when they do this in the US because I do not define ethnicity by skin color so I just check other.

    The point I was making was that the US isn’t that racist anymore. There are pockets of it here, for sure, but what is left of it is steadily declining. I just happen to ramble on sometimes. Sorry.

  79. Lets not forget that when a Zombie invasion hits, you really need some home defense weapons. I cannot fathom how careless people are when (not) preparing for the eventualities of life!

  80. Strange one said .. “The point I was making was that the US isn’t that racist anymore. There are pockets of it here, for sure, but what is left of it is steadily declining. I just happen to ramble on sometimes. Sorry.”

    Strange one … you have to be joking! Anyway the only place my husband said he would have lived is in Oregon or Washington. The racism came from both white and black Americans … many black folk apparently are not fond of Africans coming in either.

    Bigstick, Someone being close enough to cut my throat is one thing. Someone being able to shoot me from a distance because they feel threatened is another.

    Of course there are guns in Canada and the UK. Mostly they are owned by criminals who shoot other criminals. The incidences of innocents being shot and/or killed are very low. I am happy to know that people are not walking around me carrying guns!! Some of you may be very responsible with the guns they own but many others are not.

    What always makes me laugh are those who say they have a gun in their homes to protect themselves but it’s okay because the guns are locked away in a safe place. I guess they are not going to be good for defense if you have to go and get that gun from a safe place to shoot the thief standing in your bedroom. Too often a family member or friend is shot because the hand with the gun thought it was a bad man.

    Each to his own, though.

  81. Wendy:

    Just so you know there are approximately 36 states that allow conceal carry. So you will be amazed how many people are carrying in the US and it is just concealed. I have spoken with quite a few in my career. it is far more than you realize.

    Next, yes a gun in the safe is somewhat of an impediment. However you should realize that if your home is being broken into you often know it and have a little time to get to the safe. I also sleep next the the safe so if I hear something I have it very close and in my hands within a few seconds. I have trained my kids in where to go in the house for different types of emergencies to include potential breakins.

    Next, I generally never leave the home unless I am armed but then again I am not so trusting.

    Then quite frankly, living is dangerous no matter what and there is a chance that you just might not win in these situations.

    To me a vehicle has a far worse fatality rate than weapons that people have access and licenses for and they too can be used as a weapon and the death from these accidents are far greater than those with a gun.

    I actually have a far greater chance of dying in a car accident than by gun shot.

    Of course my career has kind of warped me.

    I have long since given up on feeling anything for criminals getting killed by their own doing either by being shot in the effort of another protecting themselves or in some sort of gang warfare. It was their choice to place themselves in such harms way knowing the potential consequences.

    I also know that if someone has made up their mind to use a weapon to kill people they will do so irregardless of the law. So no law will stop that but it could prevent someone who is a law abiding citizen from shooting back and stopping the person.

    I am actually more for taken cars away for 1st DWI/DUI and keeping someone from obtaining a license for a number of years afterwards as this is one thing that kills more people than guns by citizens.

    Again, this is just my opinion based upon my life experiences.

    AB is going to tell me to go to the debate page any moment now. I can feel it.

  82. Now why on earth do you think I’d be surprised about the number of states that allow concealed weapons? No big surprise here. I already told you that Canadians are as, if not more informed than many Americans about what goes on south of our border. I have learned a lot more about who you are in the last couple of days and let me just say that thank the “sky daddy” that I am a Canadian.

  83. Wendy:

    Really, what do think you know about me? Curious.

  84. I’m glad that owning a gun is illegal here bcoz at this moment, I have a strong tingling to use it. Every single night, some rowdy teenagers/young adults are making a ruckus outside, my poor baby can’t sleepwell due to this. Ah the violence in me is surfacing!

  85. MRS Bawazir, A jet of ice cold water would be effective. I wonder if one could not rig something, a few hidden spouts, and when you press a button a jet of water springs out.

    They used to have these in Dutch seventeenth century gardens, it was considered funny, :roll: a visitor walks the garden un-suspiciously, and then suddenly a jet of water comes out of the ground.

  86. Wendy, ah, so you are Canadian? My best friends will be emigrating to Vancouver in two weeks.. :( Lucky them.
    I thank the Goddess of the Invisible Pink Unicorn that I am born in the Netherlands. Also a good place. I really consider myself lucky.

  87. Aafke, that’s a great idea. I will try it, hopefully I’ll still be alive after doing so. Teenagers can be pretty psychopathic at times when we adults spoil their party.

  88. :twisted: You should make a video for you-tube!

  89. hahaha you mean a Blair Witch Project-ish spoof?

  90. Aafke … There have been so many wonderful Dutch immigrate to Canada. There’s a strong connection since WWII and it’s lovely! I also like The Netherlands and have visited 4 times. I’ve mentioned that I’m a Canuck many times, Aafke. :) I used to be in the accommodation business in a small place pop. 1200 with 1,000,000 tourists a year. The Dutch, Germans and Brits were our biggest tourism base. The only problem I have with the Dutch tourist is that so many of them still smoke. LOL!!!

  91. Wendy:

    Still waiting. :)

  92. Okay now we agree that meeting few people qualifies for nothing much but just an opinion ‘gathered from being around different people’. But I don’t know if you have noticed this disturbing pattern from your comments that you seem to paint an entire group of peoples i.e. tribes, ethnics or nationalities with one broad brush. Honestly I’m not getting what you are saying; you come across as a hypocrite. You surround yourself with prejudiced people and conclude that their conduct is representative of their nations and yet you assume pockets of racism in USA are an indication of its decline, why are your friends not pockets of racism in decline in their nations just like in the USA? So here, why is racism in the USA not a reflection of your country just like you would like to believe it is for other nations? With your mindset, I guess is it okay for you if people conclude that Americans are racists should they come across racists Americans? By the way here in my area, I have met Arabs, Chinese, Taiwanese married to darker people than them, and they seem happy to me.

    ‘I haven’t been around the world, but I’ve been around people from many diverse ethnic backgrounds. Would you like me to list them all? Knock yourself out mate, the board is all yours.

  93. Sam says: “By the way here in my area, I have met Arabs, Chinese, Taiwanese married to darker people than them, and they seem happy to me.”

    Fast question: Sam, from this statement you made it sounds like you think all Arabs are of fair skin tones like the chinese people. What makes you think that Arabs can’t be of dark skin tones? Some are light, some are dark , and alot of them are somewhere in between. Arab is not a race, it’s much more of a cultural entity than anything.

  94. Sam, who were you addressing your comment to?

  95. From BBC today – Saudi Princess: What I’d Change About My Country

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17446831

  96. I like the fact that she confirms that Saudi men harass women which only proves that they don’t honor women they only use them, abuse them and cage them.

  97. It’s a good … no, make that a great article.

  98. @ Wendy
    Sorry my comment was for one miss strange one

    @Omiesh
    Thnaks mate

  99. @ Sam … I didn’t think it was for me but just wanted to make sure. :)

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