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YMCA Offers Women-Only Swim Hours For Muslim Women

Evening Edition

Above: With summer now in full swing, San Diegans are heading to beaches and pools to cool off and get exercise. But for East-African women in City Heights, taking a dip isn’t so easy. Many of them are Muslim and can’t swim in co-ed pools. But that’s changing. Megan Burks of our media partner, Speak City Heights, tells us how some residents and their local YMCA are getting Muslim women in the water and active this summer. (Video by Katie Euphrat)

Audio

Aired 6/28/12

With summer now in full swing, San Diegans are heading to beaches and pools to cool off and get exercise. But for East-African women in City Heights, taking a dip isn’t so easy. Many of them are Muslim and can’t swim in co-ed pools - but that’s changing.

Special Feature Speak City Heights

Speak City Heights is a media collaborative aimed at amplifying the voices of residents in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods. (Read more)

Each Saturday, staff at the Copley YMCA in City Heights begin clearing out the pool and locker rooms early. They send their male lifeguards home and a female lifeguard and swim instructor clock on for a special after-hours lesson.

About 15 East African women and girls then file through the back doors for a women-only swim class. The YMCA began offering it this spring after moms and daughters in a group called City Heights Hope told the directors they can’t swim in front of men because they’re Muslim.

“We came here and I was just looking at the water and I was like, ‘Wow, I wish one day we could come and swim here,’” said Miriam Adam, 14.

Adam, whose parents emigrated from Eritrea, said she and the other group members initially asked the YMCA to include women-only services at its new facility, which isn’t scheduled to open until 2014. But the directors said they could start swim classes as quickly as the women could sign up. The class roster was full a month later.

For many of the women and girls, this is the first opportunity they’ve had to learn how to swim. The young girls are outfitted with arm floaties and taught to blow bubbles, while their older sisters and moms grasp Styrofoam barbells and cling to the walls to practice kicking.

“Kids I’ve never seen will walk in and know their way around the pool right away, whereas everybody that comes in will be like, ‘Can we do this? Can we do that? Can I do it already? Can I get in? Can I get in? Can we start the lesson now?’” said YMCA lifeguard Nicole Velasco. “So it’s a lot of fun to see that they really wanted to learn, too, not just get in and splash around.”

Before the YMCA started women-only swim classes, Birefes Ali hadn't been in the water since she was a teenager in Ethiopia.
Enlarge this image

Above: Before the YMCA started women-only swim classes, Birefes Ali hadn't been in the water since she was a teenager in Ethiopia.

Birefes Ali said she hasn’t been in the water since she was a teenager in Ethiopia. She’s learning all over again with her 3- and 5-year-old daughters.

“The first time it was kind of scary and exciting,” Ali said during her fourth class. “Still, I’m in the shallow [end]. I’m not going to the deep area.”

Ali said the best part is spending time with her daughters.

“Of course, every kid likes water and I wanted them to grow up like normal kids and learn how to swim,” Ali said over shrieking and splashing kids. “I want them to have fun. They’re really having fun. They’re very excited.”

But the classes aren’t just about cooling off and having fun. They’re the first step in making exercise more accessible for Muslim women in City Heights.

“They have diabetes, high blood pressure, and doctors are telling them all the time, ‘Go exercise,’” said Sahra Abdi, director of United Women of East Africa. “But where are they going to do it?”

Modesty required by their faith keep Muslim women from just hopping on the treadmill at their local gym. And alternatives like walking through the park on a warm day can be hard because the women must be covered from head to toes. The women also say they worry about safety while they’re walking.

“In City Heights, there are gangs and a lot of activities that are going on near the parks,” Abdi said. “Sometimes when the women are there, people are calling their names and they are kind of pushing them out. So it’s really scary for them to be at the parks.”

There are also cultural barriers that keep them from using the parks. The women can’t risk coming into contact with off-leash dogs. They follow strict hygiene guidelines in their faith, which considers dogs to be unclean, or not halal.

They also didn’t grow up with dogs as pets.

“In Africa, dogs are kind of wild, so you never see a good dog. So when any women of East Africa see dogs, we tend to be scared,” Abdi said. “So those two issues are real—the religion and the cultural.”

Abdi said the women want to work on making the parks safer next. They’d also like to practice yoga and use the treadmills at the new YMCA.

“They are hopeful because we are part of the society. So if we don’t have access to the services that other people have, it’s kind of making us isolated,” Abdi said. “So we’re trying to break any barriers that we have so our daughters, who are as American as anybody else, will be able to swim or do whatever they want to do. So there’s no limitation at all in the future.”

Video by Katie Euphrat. City Heights Hope receives funding from The California Endowment, which also supports Speak City Heights.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Atticus'

Atticus | June 27, 2012 at 6:23 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Women only swim? Sorry, but that's discrimination, illegal and should be defied with every opportunity. This is America, not Eritrea, not Somalia, and not any of the sharia ruled nations that these women FLED. Americans should not have to compromise our ideals to accommodate theirs... and banning men from using a community center for the sake of the religious "sensitivities" of others is forsaking American values. This ban cannot be legally enforced and I encourage all men to show up and swim during the "woman only" hours. Enough is enough.

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Avatar for user 'Atticus'

Atticus | June 27, 2012 at 6:26 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

ps... if these women feel isolated its because they choose to follow an ideology that isolates them from the society in which they live.

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Avatar for user 'onjourney'

onjourney | June 27, 2012 at 7:51 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

This is HORRIFIC and sad. They come to a country and expect it to change to meet their needs - further isolating them from our culture. It is rude and pompous and flies in the face of years and years of women's suffrage in our country. They are free to walk the streets, to participate in our culture and they CHOOSE not to. There is no need to accommodate this perpetuation of demeaning women, not here, not now.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 27, 2012 at 9 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

What does YMCA stand for? I always thought it was Young Men's Christian Association. Seems pretty far outside their scope to accommodate muslim women by excluding christian men.
Why does anyone think this is a good thing?

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Avatar for user 'Really123'

Really123 | June 27, 2012 at 9:34 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Akin to private companies, such as Curves and Spa Lady that cater to women, the YMCA can make this a women only swim. But unlike those same companies, the YMCA accepts federal funds. If the Boy Scouts can be prevented from using public facilities for exclusive beliefs, then the YMCA should either be forced to make this an open swim to everyone, or, give back their federal funding.

I suppose one could argue that the government funds would be kept separate from the funds used to finance this segregated swim. But using the example of conservatives reviling anything Planned Parenthood, we could have the same standard here. If you support any part of the beast, you support the whole beast. Hopefully some organization will help the YMCA come to terms with this issue and force a choice.

I personally don't support this segregation. There are young girls all over this country fighting to be given even footing with boys in the high school sports arena. What does this say to them?

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Avatar for user 'brenda4816'

brenda4816 | June 27, 2012 at 10:13 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

What exactly is the "American Culture" if it isn't accepting of this?

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Avatar for user 'brenda4816'

brenda4816 | June 27, 2012 at 10:24 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

*accepting of the "Women-Only Swim Hours For Muslim Women"

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 27, 2012 at 10:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

When I read the headline, I thought this sounds wrong.

But reading the story, it's only a swim class.

I think we can have reasonable accommodation on things like this.

It's like having a driving school who has most for their classes in English but then has some other classes in different languages for people who prefer that.

Is it really that much of a burden to allow 1 all-female swim class for those who prefer that?

I don't see a problem based on **cultural** accommodation, but I would oppose **religious** accommodation.

As long as no ritual is part of this (no praying, etc) and as long as non-Muslim women are welcome (there may be women not of Muslim faith who,also prefer all women classes) then I'm OK with it.

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Avatar for user 'tyedyed'

tyedyed | June 27, 2012 at 10:43 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Islamic Sharia Law being followed in San Diego. Looks like a copy of what was started in PG county Maryland.
Isn't it nice that we had a civil war and the civil rights movement to make everybody try and get along together only to have this special needs group take things back to their 7 Century rules, NOT. Everywhere that Sharia goes, freedom and women's rights goes down or disappears. Look at the history of Islam.
If people do not want to live by the customs of the people of the United States, do not come here. If you are born here and want to live by the 7th Century rules and not the free society we live in, go somewhere that is ruled by those ancient customs.

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Avatar for user 'Outside2view'

Outside2view | June 27, 2012 at 11:31 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Last time I checked the world population was about equally divided in numbers between men and women. Many women, regardless of religion may prefer a female only time slot to swim or use the facility.
It would be unfair if the rule was exclusively for muslim women. Other women who choose to swim in bikinis or whatever their culture allows MUST also be admitted at the same time, then I think it will be a fair rule.

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Avatar for user 'onjourney'

onjourney | June 27, 2012 at 11:33 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

“They are hopeful because we are part of the society. So if we don’t have access to the services that other people have, it’s kind of making us isolated,” Abdi said. “So we’re trying to break any barriers that we have so our daughters, who are as American as anybody else, will be able to swim or do whatever they want to do. So there’s no limitation at all in the future.”

This... as if WE are making them isolated. They made their choices and have isolated themselves. And yes, swimming after it is closed continues that. Do they or do they not want to be in and a part of our country. Special exceptions is not integrating them into this wonderful country of ours. The best way to make sure there are no limitations in the future is to become part of the country. You don't have to put on a bikini but the outfit that your "religion" requires is silly at the least and an insult. Your men are out among us. What do they think of how we dress, act and get along in our world?

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 27, 2012 at 11:40 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Tyedyed must be from the militant wing of the Hippie movement. I don't think a swim class catering to Muslim women is going to bring about the end of Western Civilization. On some levels, it's no different than adults having to clear out a recreation center's basketball court because of a children's gymnastics class.

Isn't there another way to look at this? Imagine the perspective of those women: "How thoughtful of the YMCA to provide this service to us. What a great country!" There's this coffee shop around the corner from my house in Normal Heights. The clientele is 99% Ethiopian/Eritrean. Hanging out over there, albeit briefly, is too cool for words. I feel fortunate to experience their culture without having to travel to their homelands.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 27, 2012 at 12:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Separate but equal?

How is this any different from a white-only restaurant or a male-only country club?

I'm perfectly fine with this with the exception that the YMCA is partially funded with public money. Removing that, any commercial or non-profit organization should be allowed to set rules to attract the customers they want and prohibit the customers they don't.

This feel-good story is a perfect argument for separate but equal policies.

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Avatar for user 'Outside2view'

Outside2view | June 27, 2012 at 12:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

California Defender. I do not see how a couple of hours for women only in a swimming pool, which is otherwise open to all, is equated a raciest eatery or a misogynistic elitist drinking hole?

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Avatar for user 'starei2juarez'

starei2juarez | June 27, 2012 at 12:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

OMG! I am all for equality... but this has gone above and beyond, nice yes, but when people come to this country they are to asimulate. If we went to a Muslim nation do you think they would accomate us? No way... will they provide a place to speak english only? no? Would they use there money to support us? no... When you come here you are more than welcome to keep your culture your religion... but this is just wrong. And being funded by our tax dollars? no... not right...

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Avatar for user 'Outside2view'

Outside2view | June 27, 2012 at 1 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

stare12juarez, you are missing my point. Take it out if the realm of religion or nationality. What would be wrong with swimming hours for women only! christian women, budhist women, jewish women muslim women or athiest women. Women form Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia or America? There are modest women of all kinds who who prefer to swim in a all female enviroment. What is so wrong with that? Should we force our ideas of openess on ecveryone?

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Avatar for user 'Michelle_CityHeights'

Michelle_CityHeights | June 27, 2012 at 1:42 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm disheartened, this is putting it mildly, by the response to the KPBS storty on the Muslim women and girls swim classes. I'm thrilled that the American Society accommodates people like Atticus and Brenda, freedom of speech. And freedom of if you are a shy, modest woman and you can afford it, if you own a car, you can go to Spa Lady or Curves. But what about people, and we are talking about people, who live in a community where there is NO access to Spa Lady or Curve facilities. What choice do they have? These Muslim women want to take care of their health and their children's health. These women go after hours to the Copley YWCA abd they pay for the lifeguard. So I ask you, what impact does this have on your life? I imagine none. I also venture to guess you don't know a Muslim or you wouldn't be this offensive. Please take the time to be empathetic. Or if you can't manage that, then put your negative energy somewhere else that impacts you. Thank you for listening, a Non-Muslim woman

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Avatar for user 'DebbieT'

DebbieT | June 27, 2012 at 1:46 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Tears came to my eyes as I read this piece. How wonderful of the Y to provide this accomodation. My daughter learned to swim at the Copley Y 35 years ago. I am happy to see that they are serving the community with sensitivity and innovation. Drowning is a hug concern in San Diego. Kudos to the Copley YMCA.

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Avatar for user 'sara_k'

sara_k | June 27, 2012 at 1:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm proud to be part of a society that works to accommodate healthy options for people groups with genuine needs - especially when other parts of the same society limit access.

Very cool, Copley YMCA. Enjoy the pool time, ladies, and maybe one day I'll join you in a yoga class!

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Avatar for user 'readysteadystop'

readysteadystop | June 27, 2012 at 1:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Everyone complaining about it being exclusionary... what about single-sex restrooms? Shouldn't those be shut down since they're dividing men and women? Your argument doesn't fly. Stop trying to use an invalid argument to mask your obvious xenophobic and ignorant motivations. It's fantastic that the YMCA is opening their pool to these women.

It pains me to see so many people demanding that these women "assimilate" or give up their beliefs to fit some imaginary mold of American society. These are the same people who scream about how America is great because it's a free country. How is it free if you're demanding people bend to your will? That's not how freedom works. These women are free to believe what they choose, practice the religion they choose, and expect reasonable accommodation.

The YMCA is a private organization who has recognized a need for these women to stay healthy and have graciously offered their facility as a means to get exercise, until the Muslim women have their own facility (owning in 2014 - which people would know if they'd bothered to watch the entire story). It's fantastic that the YMCA is reaching out to the community like this and I hope they continue to recognize people from all walks of life desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle, regardless of their background.

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Avatar for user 'calicalicali'

calicalicali | June 27, 2012 at 2 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you to the Y for offering this service! The fact that it filled up so quickly should prove how useful this program is.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 27, 2012 at 2:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Outside2view,

Because I'm not equating it to a racism or a "misogynistic elitist drinking hole." You are. This is an unfair application of separate but equal. Just as this very exclusive group (Eastern African Muslim women) is now afforded special privileges at a publicly funded facility, then why not Southern Californian Atheist men?

Pat Finn,

Can you answer that question?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 27, 2012 at 2:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

"Everyone complaining about it being exclusionary... what about single-sex restrooms? Shouldn't those be shut down since they're dividing men and women? Your argument doesn't fly. Stop trying to use an invalid argument to mask your obvious xenophobic and ignorant motivations. It's fantastic that the YMCA is opening their pool to these women."

RSS, There are many public places that only have one restroom. I don't have a problem with this. If you want to make them joint, go ahead.

The Y had already ALREADY opened their pool to these women, the women simply would not use it unless others were kept out. If that isn’t exclusionary, what is it?
I understand why I am kept out of a parking space reserved for a guy in a wheelchair. I don't get why I would be kept out of a place because someone was shy about their body.

Is cultural repression or poor body image now on the list of things we provide special accommodation for?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 27, 2012 at 2:46 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

readysteadystop,

Stop tossing "xenophobic" and "ignorant" labels at everyone who doesn't hold the same views as you.

Nobody is demanding that these women assimilate. I'm perfectly fine with them having their own pool, club, bathroom, market, housing, school, or whatever else. Just APPLY THE POLICY EQUALLY. That is what America is about: equality.

What the YMCA is doing is promoting inequality...and with taxpayer dollars.

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Avatar for user 'sara_k'

sara_k | June 27, 2012 at 3:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Just what America needs: more white men demanding special privileges.

Precisely what does providing this much-appreciated service for a segment of American society take away from anyone else?

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Avatar for user 'Katie Schoolov'

Katie Schoolov, KPBS Staff | June 27, 2012 at 3:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I am the videographer/editor who worked on this story with Megan Burks of Speak City Heights. To clarify on the details of the class: it takes place outside of the normal Copley YMCA business hours and therefore does not exclude the public because nobody else would be using the facility at the time this class takes place. The class and lifeguard are paid for by the Muslim women who requested the class and their community group, City Heights Hope, which is funded by a grant from the California Endowment.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 27, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Peking Duck,

"I don't see a problem based on cultural accommodation, but I would oppose religious accommodation."

But this IS a religious accommodation. Just because their religion is part of their culture does not mean it is not a sharia accommodation.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 27, 2012 at 3:55 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Katie,

Thank you for the clarification, but it does not alter the underlying issue.

Nor has anyone been able to answer my question:

Can a group of white men exclusively use a facility and hire staff (who are selected with the same exclusivity)?

Furthermore, are business hours the only limitation for discrimination?

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Avatar for user 'sara_k'

sara_k | June 27, 2012 at 4:15 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

CaliforniaDefender:

Your concern for the poor, underprivileged white man is touching.

Why don't you put together an interested group and reach out to the YMCA to ask them?

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Avatar for user 'Megan Burks'

Megan Burks, KPBS Staff | June 27, 2012 at 4:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

My name is Megan Burks and I am the journalist who covered this story. I would like to clarify some points: The women pay for this service by becoming YMCA members like all facility users. The class happens after YMCA operating hours once a week. The same kind of service has been offered before to private parties, Special Olympics athletes and other groups. The staff do begin clearing the pool out early to maintain organization and safety as people are coming and going. There were no complaints about this from Copley YMCA members the two times I was there to report. The class is a women-only class, not a Muslims-only class. The women do not pray during the class. Other women are welcome to join if they are or become YMCA members. I assume the offering will be capped at some point to maintain safety.

This piece is one in a series about quality of life issues in City Heights, where refugees and immigrants make up a significant portion of the population. We have talked to residents of multiple races, ethnicities, faiths and ages who say their health is adversely impacted by a lack of parks and real or perceived violence. I encourage you to head over to www.SpeakCityHeights.org to learn more about how the community is coming together to improve health and wellbeing in the neighborhood and to become more acquainted with the refugee community.

Thank you for reading and for sharing your voice.

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Avatar for user 'Megan Burks'

Megan Burks, KPBS Staff | June 27, 2012 at 4:34 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

CaliforniaDefender:

See above. Private groups may rent YMCA facilities.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 27, 2012 at 4:41 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sara_k,

Your sarcastic contempt for poor white men is inappropriate at best.

It is also interesting that you are unable to answer my question.

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Avatar for user 'sara_k'

sara_k | June 27, 2012 at 4:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I love white men! Just not when they're crying about nonexistent persecution.

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Avatar for user 'sariously'

sariously | June 27, 2012 at 5:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Yikes, guys. It's ONE CLASS among several others that was opened up for a specific audience since there was a demand. It's not like the pool is women-only 100% of the time. And even if it were, it's not illegal. What about the women-only gym chain, Curves? And what about swim classes that have age caps? Stop freaking out just because these women are Muslim and believe in something different than you. And while we're on the subject of Muslim--what's with the comments about this religion being non-American? There are plenty of American born citizens who are of the Islam faith--they'd probably also benefit from the availability of this class.

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Avatar for user 'pauisanoun'

pauisanoun | June 27, 2012 at 6:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Atticus sounds like s/he has white people problems: http://i.imgur.com/aBSSN.jpg

On another note, nice story. I'm glad the Y is able to provide a class like this and able to make these women feel included in their community.

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Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | June 27, 2012 at 7:22 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Californian defender is right on here. I'm surprised by the lack of women-only hours easily funded by whatever fee is required to cover the expense.
Non-implementation of a requisite fee would DEGRADE service quality to the general membership as they'll be forced to finance their boutique service expenses seen at month's end for the superior anti-American service demanded by the Disintegrators. (Without the integration of newcomers, Disintegration exists!)

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 27, 2012 at 7:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Megan Burks,

I am perfectly fine with African Muslim women having exclusive access to a swimming pool (with the exception of using public funding). Time of day, paying dues, and similarity to private parties is irrelevant.

The central issue is fairness and equality for any group of people to exclusively use a facility or service.

This is a return to "separate but equal", but in our modern society, is there any argument against it?

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Avatar for user 'Outside2view'

Outside2view | June 28, 2012 at 10:53 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

CaliforniaDefender

The term, "Separate but Equal" has been used in the past and presently by apartheid regimes who wish to maintain an elite class while ensuring the the larger population has limited access to resourses. As such separtae but equal has a bad wrap.

But the essence of the idea truely does apply to this situation, where any small group have an equal right to separate themselves for whatever purpose.

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Avatar for user 'dlou2004'

dlou2004 | June 28, 2012 at 10:53 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

wow, it always depresses me how ignorant and reactionary so many of the comments are

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 28, 2012 at 12:10 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Outside2view,

I'm well aware of the historical connotation of "separate but equal", I'm just fascinated that minority groups are now willfully and purposely engaging in it. Not just in this swimming pool, but in many other areas like universities, housing, and employment.

Now we must allow all groups, including majority groups, to institute "separate but equal" as that is an issue of equality and fairness.

dlou2004,

Care to contribute to the conversation more than just informing us that you're depressed?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 28, 2012 at 12:39 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sara_k your attitude is disgusting.

White men aren't persecuted, therefore they don't deserve the same privileges as other groups. This society is moving towards giving minorities (gays, etc) special rights, far beyond what the majority enjoys.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 28, 2012 at 3:24 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

MEB, perhaps an amended article explaining how private parties can contract with the Y to host exclusive events would be helpful.

'Look what they are doing that you could do as well' reads very differently from 'look what they are doing that you excluded from'.

I thank you, and the rest of the staff, for your clarifications.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 28, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

JeanMarc:

Name one right gays have that the majority doesn't have.

You seem to be confusing special rights with equal rights.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 28, 2012 at 4:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm glad that the YMCA is accommodating in this matter. It troubles me when you have Islamophobes make hateful comments on this story's comment's page. Some women are more comfortable swimming in a women's only class. What is wrong with that? People need to get beyond their prejudices and xenophobia.

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Avatar for user 'btwixt'

btwixt | June 28, 2012 at 4:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I am a proponent of the YMCA and use their facilities daily but I think this women's swim program is wrong-headed. For one thing, I think the public who pays to use those facilities should be able to get an accounting of the actual costs of the program since it may indirectly impact them. Are the lifeguards working overtime, for example. Are there additional administrative and maintenance costs that are not accounted for? If so, are other paying members making up the difference? What happens, as one poster mentioned, when the program becomes too popular and will have to be limited? Will it then be expanded? My guess is, yes.

I know the "Y" has good intentions but it sets a bad precident. What if other groups want to do the same thing? Where do you draw the line? I assume the "Y" does receive public funding as someone mentioned, and I don't see how they can limit public access to their facilities to accomodate a particular group.

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Avatar for user 'happy_gal'

happy_gal | June 28, 2012 at 5:06 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

i really dont understand why everybody's freaking out over a swim class. the ymca is by no means exluding anyone as its facilities are open and available to everyone the whole week. I applaud them for introducing a ladies swim class as it is very hard to find here in san diego. i love going to the ymca and personally do not like to be seen in a bathing suit by men so i REALLY appreciate the fact that i dont need to pay for a separate membership at a ladies gym to go for a swim class. Thanks to the YMCA and Katie for covering the article!

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AishaSaif | June 28, 2012 at 7:18 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I find it interesting how otherwise liberal women rally around Islamic gender apartheid out of a poorly informed and misguided sense of multiculturalism. Btw, I am an Arab woman, so please spare me the lame accusation of Islamophobia. It is not Islamophobic to stand against the Muslim practice of hiding the feminine from the public, from placing the onus only women to hide themselves in the public sphere. If this wasn't based on religion or against women, for example, if the YMCA had a practice of white only swim times or heterosexual only swim times, these same "liberal" naive supporters of this policy would be up in arms. But create a fake accusation of islamophobia and force women into hiding based on Islam and you'll have nothing but support from white american women who have never suffered under Islam.

How is it not sexist that women have to hide themselves and cover any trace of their feminity in public while men can dress however they want? Shame on anyone who justifies and abets this oppression. It makes me worry for the United States that the progressive can be so easily duped. I consider myself very progressive and stood aghast and the coddling the left does to authoritarian and sexist Islamic practices.

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AishaSaif | June 28, 2012 at 7:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Also, the fact that the male employees of the YMCA are prohibited from working during the same hours as female lifeguards actually violates the law. Someone should contact the relevant California authority about this immediately. Providing favoritism to workers based on gender is against the law in California.

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AishaSaif | June 28, 2012 at 7:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

There was a time when white bigots didn't want black men to see white women swimming. And some white women were brainwashed to agree with this.

Guess what, you white liberals now support Muslim bigots who don't want to let other men even see their women! This shows how blinded you are, you throw equality of genders under the bus because you are so naive. These women are brainwashed by Islam from birth to hide themselves and you now coddle that sexism. Just because it is taught in a religion that seems exotic to you doesn't mean it can't be demeaning and sexist. You are no better than those white bigots who didn't want to share pools with blacks back in the 1950's.

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 12:38 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - First off Muslim men cannot wear whatever they want. That is a misconception and shows you haven't studied Islam well. Men have a dress code too, covering between the navel and knees. Not to digress further, it was Muslim women who wanted this accommodation, not some alpha male Muslim man who wanted to keep women hidden from the public sphere. In fact American Muslim women, many of them deal daily in the public sphere whether they be doctors, engineers, lawyers, activists, etc. Covering is not a symbol of oppression. Even famous Muslim Feminist Dr. Leila Ahmed on her latest book on the veil has went completely 180 degrees on her initial assumption on why women wear it. Dr. Katherine Bullock a Canadian Muslim woman and convert wrote a whole book on why women cover. So this who notion of being brainwashed into the religion is totally false. I suggest you also read a book called I speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim. The problem is you essentialize Muslim women as weak, brainwashed , etc when there is nuance.

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 12:46 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - Several Muslim women I spoke to were thrilled when they heard about this class. Many who love to swim don't feel comfortable swimming in an co-ed pool and prefer to swim with only other women. This is not because they are brainwashed by Islam. It's a comfort factor. Same thing goes for Women only gyms. Some women dont feel comfortable working on in gyms where both men and women work out so they go to an all women gym. That doesn't mean they are in the dark ages or whatever. A little history lesson....in pre modern islamic history women thrived far more than in europe of the same period. The fact that the oldest mosques still around in the muslim world were from the endowments of rich muslim women (example Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco; Al Azhar in Egypt, and Qayrawan in Tunis). The hateful comments in on this site for this story were indeed islamophobic.

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Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 6:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

To MEBurks:
Thank you for your comments pointing people to what you see as the big picture of this story. Your intentions seem sincere and noble, and context is indeed everything. I suggest that you misunderstand that there exists an even bigger picture: the global impact of the social, political, religious, military and economic 1400-year-old ideology that is Islam. Muslim activists (for example, those who push for gender segregation) are skilled at using manipulative language that is palatable for consumption by a generous yet naïve public, in order to incrementally advance their agenda of domination and subjugation of non-Muslims. As you read this, I imagine you dismissing my comments as extreme, absurd, or even -- to use the term created by Muslims to silence criticism, debate, and discernment -- Islamophobic. You've scratched the surface of an important existential issue of our time: What is Islam? Resources abound for those who wish to honestly confront that question. The Koran, which is available online, is a must-read, as well as the Hadiths and the life of Mohammed. Muslim blogs and writings clearly spell out an agenda of domination. Human rights blogs such as Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch, and the long blog list on his site, are also a good place to begin. On Facebook, you can follow the writer and film-maker Eric Allen Bell and his journey of greater understanding of the true face of Islam. Former Muslims such as Nonie Darwish and others have courageously written about Islam at the risk of their lives, in order to help non-Muslims understand an ideology that doesn't fit any Western standard, despite the best propaganda from Muslim apologists and activists. I respectfully suggest that you owe it to yourself and to your readers to delve deeper.
One Islamic group, the Muslim Student Association, makes their intentions clearly known for anyone willing to expand their working knowledge of Islam beyond talking points, sounds bites, and deceptive slogans (Religion of Peace):


Sincerely, Nyeemah

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Really123 | June 29, 2012 at 8:05 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime- Aisha is speaking about her personal experiences. You assume that she needs to be educated in the ways of Islam. You make eloquent points, however, the issue here has digressed into a discussion about veils and covers. Here's the point as I see it. It's a nice and neighborly thing to do, to accomondate these women. Most people naturally want to make others feel good. If it were my private pool, I would not only allow it, but encourage it. That does not change the fact that whether or not these women pay dues, they are obtaining exculsionary benefit from an organization that takes public funds.

People fight like mad to keep the public funding area clear. It's insn't by far. But, it is scrutinized severely. We don't fund artists out of National Endowment for the Arts based on sexual content (Karen Finely). Heck, you can't even get any arts money or TOT funds form the city if you don't have a "diverse" membership or board of directors. The point is we make special accomodations for public funding that "society" has deemed important. A big one is to minimize discrimination by having inclusionary policies. I have been in this field and I'm very sensitive to what requirements need to be met.

They shouldn't have a women only swim, as the title of the article says, based on being Muslim. Not with public funds. The issue really is that this is at the Y.

If I may go further on a clash of cultures thought, it seems to me that where private entities HAVE been exclusionary, our society rallys against it and tries to break the policy. I belive there was a golf course issue in the past few years not allowing women. It chafed the general public enough for it to make the news to the point where even a non-sports person like me heard about it.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 9:43 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

@sublime619 Islam is a misogynistic ideological system- the Quran holds that husbands can beat their wives (4:34), that a woman's testimony is less than a man's, that if a man touches a woman and can't find water to wash himself with, it is better that he was with dirt before he prays, and that women inherit half of what men inherit (4:11). I can't wait to see you spin this to try and tell us that these things are actually pro-woman somehow. It is obvious that you are a 'true believer' and no amount evidence or data can sway.

In my country of origin, it would be a feminist and progressive act to let women swim in public, however, in this country where progressivism has become dominated by shallow identity politics - feminism is twisted on its head. According to sublime619 hiding women in public, unequal accommodation to coddle and 'protect' women, is the way to go. She sounds exactly like a mullah/imam - they use this language when speakign as to why women must be controlled and hidden as well - they claim this is even more 'freedom' and it is for their protection. Of course, sublime619 asks us to deny the very evidence of our eyes. Just look at how women are treated in these women's country of origin - they are mere chattel in Somalia - and now sublime619 wants us to believe that extended the retrograde Islamic practices to the US somehow makes them suddenly liberating. Of course some of these women may want to be separated as they have been brainwashed by islam from birth - they fear the retaliation and violence of their men. Remember these women's culture mutilated their genitals as well and they were brainwashed to accept that as well. What's next sublime619 are you going to claim that North Korea is the perfect example of a freedom of the press?

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 9:48 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Here are list of misogynistic maxims from the Quran:

Qur'an (4:11) - (Inheritance) "The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females" (see also verse 4:176). In Islam, sexism is mathematically established.

Qur'an (2:282) - (Court testimony) "And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not found then a man and two women." Muslim apologists offer creative explanations to explain why Allah felt that a man's testimony in court should be valued twice as highly as a woman's, but studies consistently show that women are actually less likely to tell lies than men, meaning that they would make more reliable witnesses.

Qur'an (2:228) - "and the men are a degree above them [women]"

Qur'an (5:6) - "And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it" i.e. Men are to rub dirt on their hands if there is no water to purify them following casual contact with a woman (such as shaking hands).

Qur'an (2:223) - "Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will..." A man has dominion over his wives' bodies as he does his land. This verse is overtly sexual. There is some dispute as to whether it is referring to the practice of anal intercourse, which it has been used historically to justify. If this is what Muhammad meant, however, then it would appear to contradict what he said in Muslim (8:3365).

Qur'an (4:3) - (Wife-to-husband ratio) "Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four" Inequality by numbers.

Qur'an (4:24) and Qur'an (33:50) - A man is permitted to take women as sex slaves outside of marriage. Note that the verse distinguishes wives from captives (those whom they right hand possesses).

And this is just a sample!

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 9:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Really123 Thank you for your comment - "It's a nice and neighborly thing to do, to accomondate these women. Most people naturally want to make others feel good. If it were my private pool, I would not only allow it, but encourage it. That does not change the fact that whether or not these women pay dues, they are obtaining exclusionary benefit from an organization that takes public funds."

I really agree with this. In the public sphere, all communities and groups should be treated with as absolute equality as possible. It may seem like a favor to give Muslim women extra rights, but in the long run, it is actually hurting them as it enables the sexist system that their male-dominated religion and society shoves on them.

Also, there is the fact that the male employees of the YMCA (regardless of its public or private status) are discriminated against as there are hours they can't work. This is against the law and a bad idea. Imagine if a company said that women doctors shouldn't work with male patients! How unfair and discriminatory that would be. And this is what sublime619 ultimately wants - in Islamic gender apartheid - women are to be separated from men in many more situations than just a public swimming pool. From the Muslim perspective that I grew up under - this is the true goal.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

If the veil was truly liberating then why don't a substantial portion of non-Muslim wear it? Why are Muslim countries consistently (though not exclusively) at the top of the list as the worst places to be a woman?

Under sublime619's 'logic' Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan are leaders in women's rights as women are compelled to be veiled (hijab, niqab, etc.). What freedom!!!

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btwixt | June 29, 2012 at 10:09 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

There are probably lots of people who are uncomfortable in a community pool/gymnasium. One woman said she didn't want men to see her in a bathing suit. Others may have a physical disability or maybe they're overweight and are uncomfortable being seen. Whatever the reason, you just need to get over it and realize there may be some discomfort in a public gym and live with it like everyone else does.

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 10:20 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - You could stop the with the straw man argument. I never suggested that countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan were leaders in women's rights. In fact I agree along with mainstream scholars and especially Muslim women that those countries not only have issues with women's rights but also human rights in general. You also have chosen to nit-pick and misinterpret quranic verses. Especially the one with the issue of tayyamum. First off if you studied Islamic law it is a minority position that if opposite gender makes skin to skin contact who are not nonmarriagable kin breaks tahara, not because they are filthy. The majority positions do not hold that or put an additional caveat if pleasure is derived or intended. As far as wife beating. Wife beating and domestic violence is not allowed in the Islam. Peaceful Families Project is a Muslim organization headed by a Muslim Woman who addresses the issue and has a video of many American Muslim scholars and leaders who have explicitly condemned such practices as unislamic. also if you youtube hamza yusuf, a well known american muslim scholar, he has a whole khutba or sermon on addressing domestic violence. So your whole essentialist notions on Islam and overgeneralizing is not only insulting to Muslim women but also other muslims. Again I recommend you read Leila Ahmed who is also Arab, Muslim, and a Feminist who is considered among the pioneers in muslim feminist thought who teaches at Harvard Divinity. Her first book Women, Gender and Islam address that islam itself is not the problem but some patriarchal interpretations. Women werent hidden in the prophet's time but participated. More evidence of that is famous women in islam by dr umar faruq abdallah who gives countless examples of women luminaries. A book on marriage contracts published by Harvard also shows that women were empowered in medieval times and took their husbands to court if they were abusive. Wael Hallaq in his book on shariah provided documentary evidence as well. So your anecdotal evidence and argument doesnt fly.

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 10:27 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - more erroneous arguments. you are purposely misrepresenting what i am saying. My contention is, you are essentializing islam when islam is made of different interpretations and degree of practice. I've quoted my evidence using scholarly academic works so dont take my word for it. You can't compare the contemporary muslim world as an example of ideal islam because most countries in the Muslim world are secular in governance and law. In fact countries like egypt based their legal system on the french. Same with west Africa. In the book Sharia Inc, it compares several Muslim majority countries and majority of them use secular systems. Iran and Saudi are the exception but even those two countries are problematic since not until contemporary times that an "Islamic" state functioned within the paradigm of the nation-state system where the state is supreme and determines right from wrong and actually controls religion SEE Noah Feldman's Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. The result is oppressive control of religion which has never existed before.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 10:33 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 said "Wife beating and domestic violence is not allowed in the Islam." But the Quran mandates and the Quran is the very basis of all of Islam.

Here are 5 translations so you don't try and squirm out of this:

Five translations of Qur'an 4:34:

"Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme." (Dawood's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

"Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. As for those from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great." (Pickthall's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

"Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; God is All high, All great." (Arberry's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

"Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in their sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. (Shakir's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whom part you fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance) for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all). (Ali's version of the Koran, Quran, 4:34)

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 10:40 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Really - Well Aisha's problem is blaming the entire religion of Islam for something that has nothing to do with this article. She goes on a rant based on anecdotal evidence. If she asked practicing Muslim women in America who dont feel the way she describes, she would understand the difference of the horrors overseas which is a human issue not what the religion of islam advocates. American Muslim women have advanced degrees, professionals, many are leaders of Muslim organizations. Dr. Ingrid Matteson a professor of Islamic studies and formerly headed the only muslim chaplaincy program in Connecticut was president of ISNA until her term expired. Zahra Billoo is a lawyer and executive director for the bay area chapter of CAIR. Leila Ahmed, professor at Harvard Divinity wrote two very nuanced books on women and islam, her latest on the veil. Dr. Katherine bullock wrote a book on muslim women's own views on the hijab and veil that is now in its 3rd edition. Notice she totally ignores what I cited choosing to continue to rant. Going back to the topic. I don't see anything wrong with accomodating a group of people. It happens all the time with other groups. Jewish groups have established kosher markings on food and desserts. Sikhs have accomodations for their turban in the workplace. If we are to claim to be a multireligious, multicultural society why not? As long as it does not take another's rights away it should be ok.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 10:43 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 says "You can't compare the contemporary muslim world as an example of ideal islam because most countries in the Muslim world are secular in governance and law. In fact countries like egypt based their legal system on the french. Same with west Africa. In the book Sharia Inc, it compares several Muslim majority countries and majority of them use secular systems."

As oppossed to glory days of women that were medieval Abasid Iraq or the Ottoman Empire?

Many of the these Muslim majority nations may have ostensibly secular legal systems but they are fraught with input from sharia. For example, why is Asia Bibi sitting in a Pakistani prison sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam! Why are non-Muslims not allowed to change their religions throughout the Islamic world? Are they applying french law for this?

In Egypt blasphemy calls for the minimum sentence for such an offender is six months and maximum five years! Is that secular french law?

Indonesia just sentenced a man to jail for a year for the crime of ... atheism from Islam.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/06/20126146135415374.html

Is this secular french law?

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 10:46 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 I'm not ranting, I'm countering your clearly biased and untrue assertions about Islam and showing that it is sexist at its very core. Are women coopted into this system? Sure. Many blacks were part of the African slave trade, many poor people will vote for Mitt Romney... It is an aspect of ideology that it can convince people to militate against their group's real interests.

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 10:50 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - Do you read Arabic? why translation? Translation into other languages is always problematic. Ask anyone who is bilingual or even speaks even more languages secondly if you actually read the entire verse it talks about taking steps, if this fails do this, if this doesnt work do this. Now if you have ever spoken to domestic violence victims and the ones who perpetuate domestic violence? do they go into logical calm steps of progression? Studies have shown that in fact most domestic violence cases occur during the heat of the moment, out of passion and anger, not by taking steps. So in fact the Quranic verse was said to end domestic violence not encourage it. Thirdly, Prophet Muhammad did not beat any of his wives. And who is the most practical example on how to live the Quran? Prophet Muhammad. Again dont take my word for it, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf did a whole sermon on it and breaks down linguistically the word daruba. Also peaceful families project addresses it in their research. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDEKJD.... The publication from peaceful families project is called Change From Within: Diverse Perspectives on Domestic Violence in Muslim Communities.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 10:57 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 - are you really stating the 4:34 doesn't mandate wife beating? When it clearly does, do you know classical Arabic more than the scholars who did the translations? I doubt, you simply exericinsg bad faith in denying something that is clear in the Quran. Sure, it is really really politically incorrect now - and Islamic apologists in the West are dancing around this inconvenient reality as best they can.

Oh and Mohamed advocated rape of women and female sex slavery - so let's not get to excited about his example.

"O Allah's Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?" The Prophet said, "Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari 34:432)

"We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter" (Sahih Muslim 3371)

The hadith are full of allowance for female rape by Mohamed.

Here you go, squirm some more.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 10:58 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Mohamed, the perfect example, sold women for horses!

"Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu'l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons." (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham/Hisham 693)

I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: “Give me that girl.” (Sahih Muslim 4345) <--- is this an example anyone of us want anyone following?

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 10:59 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - Apparently you havent looked into laws of the French and British. They had blasphemy laws. Again anecdotal. I provided my evidence, much of which are from academic sources. The only person who is being biased is you. Do you even know professor leila ahmed? She is a professor at Harvard Divinity and one of the pioneers in Muslim Feminism. I read both of her works. If you actually did your research as former McGill Chair and now Columbia Univ Chair Wael Hallaq (He is Christian Arab by the way) when the countries became nation-states, the majority of the system is secular and only elements of islamic family law crept in. But even he argues with evidence that shariah is practically nonexistent now because it no longer resembles how it looked before colonialism and the formation of the nation states. SEE Can Shariah be Restored? http://globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/islam/fiqh/hallaq_shariah.html . also have you even looked up peaceful families project? To assume everyone is brainwashed is an oversimplistic argument. Many Muslim women i know are doctors, activists who work for the aclu, and see no contradiction to their religious practice and them being empowered muslim women. You may be living in a cave and havent been around the muslim community here in america but women here are thriving and still are practicing muslims.

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Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 11:01 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

There are no exercise barriers for this group, exept the self-imposed, quite purposeful lack of assimilation by those with a much broader agenda than most are willing to see.

The camel's nose is under the tent.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 11:02 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Mohadmed didn't beat his wife? Maybe you should learn your hadith a little better sister.

Sahih Muslim #2127:

…When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'Aisha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?…

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 11:05 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 you want us to ignore the text of 4:34, many hadith in support thereof and centuries of domestic violence against women that was pervasive throughout Islamic world - please don't act too haughty about others oversimplifying.

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AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 11:12 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

What good is it become a doctor, attorney or other professional when under sublime619's system, you aren't even allowed to swim in public?

There were many black professionals under jim crow, I'm sure that they would have enjoyed using the same facilities as whites. Pointing out the fact that some blacks were able to achieve success despite jim crow, doesn't justify that bigoted system. Just like pointing out that Muslim women can achieve professions under sexist Islamic ideological structures, doesn't make its sexism any less demeaning.

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sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 11:12 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - more cherrypicking without context. Rape is unlawful in islam. Research domestic violence does it occur after someone first admonishes their spouse for being rebellious? then after that refuses to sleep with her, then if that didnt work to lightly tap her? No. Look at the studies. Domestic violence occurs in the heat of the moment, passions flaring. There is no careful sequential thought about it, there is no progression just rage and violence. I can take the New Testament, or the Hebrew bible or any scripture and quote out of context to boost my argument. So spare me with that. I've given you a list of academic works, domestic violence groups run by muslim women who are trying to stop the problem, etc for you to refer to. If we compare apples to oranges what century did UK allow women to own property and choose who they want to marry or divorce? US didnt allow women to own property on their own untl late 19th century to early 20th. If we look at post colonial studies on the middle east who regressed women's rights? evidence and history says the colonial project. like i said rich muslim women endowed mosques and centers of education. we had muslim women scholars. evidence is cited in cambridge illustrated history of islam which shows the biographic dictionaries of women luminaries from the 14th century to the 19th. By the time we reach 19th century only a handful of women luminaries as compared to 14th century which has 25%. Unlike you, i did the research and can cite works to prove my argument without cherry picking. One of my fav muslim women scholars was Umm Hani Maryam who was from egypt 15th century...not only was she an islamic scholar but also a business owner. Name a woman from europe that had such aptitude and rights who wasnt royalty or aristocracy of the same period? So we have to ask ourselves what happened? How did they regress? I specialize in the social sciences so ive studied this.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 11:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - Again you confuse and misrepresent my argument and issue. Nothing prohibits from Muslim women from swimming in public. It was Muslim women who requested the accommodation. Apparently you haven't been to the beach in a while in San Diego (assuming you are here). I was at the beach with friends in la jolla and saw plenty of muslim women swimming and some even surfing in the waters. They were actually wearing the burqini which is like a modified wet suit with a headcovering. Islam is not a bigoted system as you claim. Also to give some background on myself I am a convert to Islam. So i wasnt brainwashed from birth but actually studied several religions while in college before i converted. I see a lot of issues in the muslim community but unlike you i know how to differentiate between human beings who use their own selfish alpha male intepretations vs. how islam is. I am actually part of a mosque that has women on its board. I used to work for a Muslim org who's former president was a women and she is a pediatrician. A Muslim woman works for ACLU as a policy advocate and is a good friend of mine. She isn't oppressed on hidden from public. So spare me with your erroneous arguments and start reading and researching. Ill be happy to give you the titles again.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 11:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

My heart aches for sublime619, who has to undergo amazing mental contortions in order to avoid the truth re: the toxic nature of Islam and its harmful effects.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 11:37 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - dont believe me..ask successful muslim women here who wear the hijab if they feel oppressed or are victims of a sexist religion. Do you even know Nana Asma'u? since you love mentioning african americans. She was an african fulani scholar and daughter of uthman dan fodio who established the sokoto caliphate in africa. Since you are all on the feminst tip i would think you can name empowered muslim women luminaries. Sikandur Begum the queen of Bhopal during the early colonization of the indian subcontinent. Nusayba bint Ka'ab who fought in the battlefield with other muslims during the time of the prophet muhammad and even defended him at the battle of uhud? I can keep listing them. From different time periods. We can even mentioned contemporary ones like the muslim woman who is hijabi who won the nobel prize and one of the leaders of the arab spring in Yeman Tawakel Karman. Dr. Zainab Alwani who is not only a professor of islamic studies at Howard but also a member of the fiqh council of north america. Wow these women are really sheltered and kept from the public square. Even non hijabis like famous Sahar Aziz who is a lawyer and advocate for muslim rights, despite her not wearing hijab she doesnt think islam is a sexist oppressive religion.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 11:39 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Nyeemah - the fact you quoted robert spencer shows you need for education. Spencer has been labeled an anti muslim hate propagandist by the respected hate groups monitoring org southern poverty law center (same group that has battled the kkk and white supremacist groups for several decades).

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 12:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 was actually able to use the sentence "I was at the beach with friends in la jolla and saw plenty of muslim women swimming and some even surfing in the waters. They were actually wearing the burqini which is like a modified wet suit with a headcovering. " followed by "She isn't oppressed on hidden from public." in the same paragraph!

If this isn't a testament to religion's and the avoidance of cognitive dissonance - then what is!

Btw - sublime619 - what do you think of Mohamed hitting Aisha and Mohamed countenancing rape of female captives in the hadith that I cited above? As a convert, you should learn more about the man that founded your religion.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 29, 2012 at 12:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Religion should be tolerated and respected. Overloading a comments board and arguing religious doctrine should not.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 12:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime - I didn't quote the humanitarian Robert Spencer. I did refer to him as an excellent resource for the truth re: Islam. He is.

I am aware of propaganda put out by the SPLC, as well as that of other seditious, leftist organizations that are happy to unite with Muslims as co-haters of Western Judeo-Christian values. Their words and actions concerning the manifestation of Islam in our world are folly. People like Robert Spencer care deeply about oppression caused by Islam which disallows freedom of conscience and religion. If you really are a convert, then your twisted logic may be your coping machanism for this harsh reality:

http://islamqa.info/en/ref/12406

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 29, 2012 at 12:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for turning this into a pointless religious debate! Who cares if those women wear full plate armor with clown shoes while swimming!

Your long-winded rants have completely diverted the original debate over discriminatory access, which is far more important of a discussion than which mystical book said what about whom.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 12:33 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

DeLaRick: Do you believe one should tolerate intolerance in the name of tolerance? Islam is a very intolerant ideology. By tolerating Islam, you're tolerating death fatwas for people who wish to leave Islam.

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Avatar for user 'sara_k'

sara_k | June 29, 2012 at 12:35 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

@AishaSaif ~ Thank you for your comments.

It's not for me, being outside of Islam, to change it. Change is incremental, across multiple platforms, and the bulk of the discriminatory aspects must be changed from within.

In the meantime, why does it set feminism back to accommodate children and their mothers who would otherwise not have access to learning such life skills as swimming? To healthy exercise? Once swimming is demystified, perhaps some of these women will be part of the change from within the community to lead a cultural shift.

Feminism is not defined for every person the same way. I'm glad there are people like you drawing your line in the sand, but others might not be ready to take such a strong stance. It takes all kinds moving in a similar direction to build a broader movement.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 12:37 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

DeLaRick said: "Religion should be tolerated and respected." I would ask why? What if the religion teaches inferiority of one sex or race? Or is anti-science? Why should that particular religion be respected? Tolerated in the sense that it shoudn't be persecuted by the government, but in the sense that others aren't free to mock it or deride it for its harmful retrograde teachings.

I think that this is a major problem - people label a set of beliefs and claim the creator of the universe gave it to them and now we all have to walk on eggs shells around it. No, religion is a set of beliefs just like Republican tax policy or Democratic health care policy, etc. It is just as open to debate as anything.

Salman Rushdie:
"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 12:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Its sets them back for the following reasons:

1. It condones Islamic gender apartheid. The very reason that the women aren't allowed to swim in public.

2. It creates unequal employment for the male lifeguards who are discriminated against for their gender. Which may be a small set of people in this case, but extrapolate the idea that businesses can discriminate based on gender and it easy to see that this practice is problematic. Your right that feminism is defined and in flux - but employment discrimination is.

3. As a member of society you do have the right to be critical of any system's sexism - regardless of whether you are white and scared because they created a word "islamophobe" or "racist" to speciously throw at you if you say that they are sexist.

4. Islam is not generally interested in evolution. It is interested in imposition. Just look at Britain's example, they set up shariah family mediators and now have women suffering more discrimination with examples of domestic violence going unreported. The men that control these Somali women are not interested in maybe one day letting them swim in public - you are a fool to think otherwise.

If you live in a society where islamic gender apartheid operates, you have the right to try and change it.

Salman Rushdie: "The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 29, 2012 at 12:48 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

CaliforniaDefender said: "Thanks for turning this into a pointless religious debate! "

That is what this is at its very heart. It isn't quakers or methodists or buddhists asking for us to set aside our notions of gender equality and obtain special rules. It is Muslims. And they are doing it because they follow misogynistic ideals of their belief system. I couldn't even show my hair in public until I had married an American and knew that I would never have to return to my repressive homeland. This was because of Islam, not culture.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 12:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sara_k: You are applying your sweetness and very kind ethics to a situation in which that mind-set will never fit. Never. You are assuming that Muslims wish to change. They do not. They want the world around them to change for them and to impose their rules on others. It's easier to see in countries where Muslim demographics allow for more boldness in their demands, in their laws, in their discriminatory treatment of non-Muslims.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 1:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - more anecdotal evidence and false assumptions about Islam. It seems like you ignored most of what I've been writing about. I'll take professor leila ahmed of Harvard Divinity's more nuanced analysis over yours any day. Rape is a capital crime in Islamic law so it isnt allowed. Secondly the Prophet Muhammad never struck any of his wives. Your cherry picking and misrepresenting the hadith literature. Also have you asked muslim women why they wear the headscarf? Research shows that the vast majority wear it for modesty reasons and for the religion. They dont feel overshadowed or invisible from society. They also say that they want to be appreciated for their talent, their mind, their intellect, their merit not their body parts. And for you to ignore the problem in America in particular of young women ( i have a daughter by the way) who are brainwashed (using your term) to be more concerned about how they look, how they weigh, how big their breasts should be , how thin their waist is...this shows the failure of feminism (which has been said by several social scientists). First wave feminism was about equal access and participation. The latest wave is about sexuality. Yet we still have a glass ceiling in corporate america.

Nyeemah: robert spencer a humanitarian? Well if you are attacking the good work of SPLC who bankrupted local white supremacist Tom Metzger and other white supremacist and challenged the hate groups across the country whether it be anti semities, islamophobes, anti gay groups, etc than you have issues.

The problem with both of you is your essentialize islam and the muslim community as if we all think alike, all act the same. We are a very diverse community just like any other religious community.

To apply what happens overseas (who not only have women's rights issues but human rights issues, economic issues, etc all caused by complex forces and issues not necessarily religion) to all Muslims is not only dishonest but a disservice to the community. So in other words all i hate anti-Muslim or anti Islamic rants devoid of evidence backed up by academia .

If Muslim women want a women's only class for swimming why cant we accommodate them? No alpha male muslim is forcing them to swim there, they asked for that accommodation.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 1:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

California Defender - It all started from the rants of Aisha and others on the problem of Islam itself which wasnt even the topic to begin with.

Again, i think its about accommodation that Muslim women who frequent that YMCA requested and the Y welcomed. i dont see why people should have a problem.

In other spheres there are women and men classes in other areas. Women only changing rooms and men only changing rooms. Women only gyms. One Muslim woman i spoke to said the reason why she goes to a woman only gym is because she doesnt feel comfortable working out with men, especially if they are staring you up and down like a piece of meat.

Again the article says a class its not a policy that is up 24/7 but for a particular time. That certain block of time is devoted to that class. just as when i went ice skating at UTC. there is a block of time where the ice skating rink is closed for pee wee icehockey or figure skating. That day i had to come back hours later because they closed it off for one of those purposes. are they discriminating? no.

It is not discriminating against men. Far from it.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 29, 2012 at 1:42 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

There is even a recent article on Muslim women surfers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cassie-williams/muslim-women-surfing_b_1633933.html

and here is an older article of a good friend of mine who was not only president of her MSA at Berkeley but she also was president of a Muslim org and a pediatrician. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/03/opinion/la-oe-samady-father-taxi-driver-20101003

So much for Muslim women being oppressed on America. Overseas in some countries definitely (for reasons more complex than islam is evil and sexist)

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 29, 2012 at 3:06 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime,

I understand Aisha's frustration over our society enabling Islam to repress women. However, they are in America and those women are free to stop practicing it at any time. Apparently, they are also free to discriminate against others who don't.

My point is that "separate but equal" is now happily encouraged so long as the group isn't white or male. And that needs to change! This about equality!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 29, 2012 at 3:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime,

I forgot to mention that there are no women-only gyms. If you are referring to Curves, they state they are "created specifically for women" but as far as I can tell men are not prohibited. Male and female changing rooms are more about safety than anything else, although Europeans have mixed changing rooms and don't have any problems with it.

As I have said, I see no issue with a private business or organization excluding anyone they don't want to serve. Just don't do it with public money like the YMCA!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 29, 2012 at 3:25 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

@SARA K, great come back to CA Offender's remarks. You see, he is a white male who thinks he is being persecuted.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 29, 2012 at 3:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

CA OFFENDER wants "equality," yet he is the same person who rants against the San Diego Latino Film Festival and the lesser known Black Film Festival.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 29, 2012 at 4:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Mission,

I never opposed the culturally based Latino Film Festival, but black yes. If you recall, I suggested it be renamed the African Film Festival to remove any notion of racism.

However, my opinion is changing in light of this article on pool segregation and so many others. If our society is going adopt segregation, so be it. Let's have lots of different pool hours for each race, gender, religion, and ethnicity, or combo thereof, with film festivals they can enjoy while bobbing around in the water.

Just be fair and equal by allowing all groups to segregate.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | June 29, 2012 at 4:43 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

"Nyeemah: robert spencer a humanitarian? Well if you are attacking the good work of SPLC who bankrupted local white supremacist Tom Metzger and other white supremacist and challenged the hate groups across the country whether it be anti semities, islamophobes, anti gay groups, etc than you have issues."
______

You misrepresented what I said about SPLC; I specifically criticized their nonsense re: Islam, yet you chose to turn that into something it wasn't. For the record, however, I do know that SPLC is the most profitable non-profit in the US, raking in tens of millions above and beyond their spending to squash fairly weak and marginal fringe groups like the ones you mentioned through shakedowns and hustling. Outrage is big business. The SPLC are extrememly wealthy cowards who, rather than take on the very real hate in Islam, go after the people who draw attention to the human rights abuses that are inherent in islam. I'll be impressed by them the day they have something to say about the Koran verses that refer to non-Muslims and Jews as pigs and apes, etc. and all the other hate-filled verses that address the punishment that non-Muslims deserve, according to the Koran. Mosques all over the US teach and preach hate; SPLC could be quite busy but it wouldn't be profitable or safe..

And yes, Robert Spencer works to advance human rights and freedom through education.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 29, 2012 at 4:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Mission,

Sara K had a great comeback to my argument? Oh, that's right, you define great comebacks as snarky insults. Save your nonsense for another day, the weather is too nice for it.

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Avatar for user 'btwixt'

btwixt | June 29, 2012 at 5:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to **CaliforniaDefender** for trying to get back on the original topic. It would be nice to know if the YMCA has policy guidelines about use of their facilities as it would apply in this case. Someone had to give the approval for this off hour use.

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Avatar for user 'johnnym'

johnnym | June 29, 2012 at 6:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not a member of that particular Y but customarily Saturday afternoon is a busy time for the YMCA. The idea that it's closed on Saturday to accomodate foreigners who don't want to practice our customs seems odd at best. Maybe it would be better if they patronized the Young Women's Muslim Association instead of the YMCA.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 29, 2012 at 10:43 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

To AISHA SAID:

"The Left mocks the Right; the Right always thinks it's Right." -- Bono

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 29, 2012 at 10:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

NYEMIAH : "The SPLC are extrememly wealthy cowards who, rather than take on the very real hate in Islam, go after the people who draw attention to the human rights abuses that are inherent in islam. I'll be impressed by them the day they have something to say about the Koran verses that refer to non-Muslims and Jews as pigs and apes, etc. and all the other hate-filled verses that address the punishment that non-Muslims deserve, according to the Koran. Mosques all over the US teach and preach hate; SPLC could be quite busy but it wouldn't be profitable or safe.."

How do you feel about nominally "Christian" Nativists who refer to undocumented immigrants as "cockroaches" and Mexican Americans as "anchor babies"?

"He's an Arab! You can tell!" -- a Jewish character in the 1976 Made-forTv-movie RAID ON ENTEBBE.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 29, 2012 at 10:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

PS: NYEMIAH, funny you should refer to the SPLC as "cowards." The title of the current book by that well-known rightwing hustler, Glenn Beck.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | June 30, 2012 at 3:46 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

How do you feel about nominally "Christian" Nativists who refer to undocumented immigrants as "cockroaches" and Mexican Americans as "anchor babies"?
_____
Why would you ask that? "Cockroaches" is a despicable name for anyone, of course. It's a deplorable attitude and heart and mind-set, which is exactly why Islam's hate is so destructive. How can one rightfully recognize and condemn that hatred, and yet turn the other way or even condone hatred rooted in supremacist attitudes of Islam? It makes no sense. Christian doctrine calls for loving one's neighbor, so actions of hate are an aberration from that; those fringe "Christian" groups are following their own sick, twisted cult, but they do not represent true Christianity. Isalmic doctrine is the opposite, calling for "those who do not embrace Islam to be pursued and destroyed by a piercing flame" for one Koran example. The most pure examples of CHristians fully embracing their faith are the servants and saints of history who have spread good not evil (think Mother Teresa). Sadly, the most devout followers of Islam are those who fully embody the Koran verses and act on those many verses that call for the subjugations killing of infidels (think Khalid ALi-M Aldarsari).

I do not follow Glenn Beck. The word 'coward' may be a book title, but it is very useful for descibing people who hide behind self-righteous indignation.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 10:24 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

It is interesting to watch how the supporters of Islamic repression of women are also so ready to associate those who disagree with them with other accusations of racism. It is as if they have only one mode - unquestioningly accept everything non-white people do or be a racist. Islam is not a race - it is a set of ideas, many of those ideas are anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-freethinker, anti-freedom of conscience, and anti-freedom of speech. Disagreeing with Islam's injunction against women (and women only) to hide either all or most of themselves in public, to denude the public of the feminine, makes one a true progressive and not a racist.

sublime619 also sets for the argument that because there are some muslim women in professions, the islamic practices of covering and hiding the femine is somehow o.k.. There are polygamist fundamental mormon women who may be succesful at business, if you ask them they will tell you they are not repressed - does this justify child marriage and polygamy practiced by their religion? NO - although sublime619 would say yes, I would say that these are unequal, repressive practices all the same.

islam is sexist - i've proved it by quoting quran and hadith. sublime619 actually commits apostasy in that he (and he is a man http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 who is arguing in favor of the covering of women) attempts alter the quran and attempts to negate its words. the idea that the quran is the unalterable and eternal word of god is basic to all islam. sublime619 has really shown how little he understands islam and how bad he wants to make it appear to be something it isn't.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 10:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

"Women only changing rooms and men only changing rooms. " The fact that we don't allow genders to change their clothes and show in different rooms is a world of difference then a public gym or swimming pool. This is the most moronic argument of all. This argument could be used to justify all gender discrimination and shows just what a poor thinker sublime is. what's next "all buses and airplanes can be gender exclusive because women and men use separate bathrooms!" "all movie theaters should be gender separate because women and men use separate bathrooms!"

here what boils down to, men, men like sublime http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 want to control women, they want to ensure their virginity and dominate their sex lives. this isn't exclusive to islam, but islam has some very brutal ways to enforce this - hijab, niqab, female genital mutilation, etc. so men create a religion like islam and brainwash women from birth - you must be a virgin! you must hide your hair in public so that men are not tempted by you! etc. notice how men don't have to wear hijab or go to separate swimming pools. sublime http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 have you ever seen a male muslim in a burqini that you keep blurtng on about? nope. why don't you sublime http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 wear a burqini? because your a man and the onus is on women to hide themselves, not you. but somehow you log into a comments board to rant on about how wonderful they are, all the while never intending to wear one yourselves ,only wanting women to do it. what a hypocrite you are and a fool who offers lame "but there are separate bathroom" arguments.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 12:17 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - First of all, you don't know me. The profile link isn't even me! I don't know where you got that info from. LoL I dont even have any tattoos! So try again. I don't put my personal info out on this page.

So don't ever lump me in with people who commit abuses of women. More strawman arguments with no substance and more anecdotal evidence. Secondly Islam does not condone nor order genital mutilation. The only poor thinker is you Aisha. Unlike you, I can cite academic studies from feminists themselves that blows your argument out of the water. You're just recycling orientalist, or rather neo-orientalist writings and theories that have been debunked for almost a decade by feminists like Leila Ahmed and Katherine Bullock. In fact Katherine Bullock addresses your stereotypes and overgeneralizations in her book Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil: Challenging Historical and Modern Stereotypes. All you do is throw around terms like "brainwashed." and "oppression" as if liberalism and so-called modernism will save you. You function from a paradigm of putting Islam and Muslims as "Other, "backward," "oppressed."

You keep using straw man arguments , totally misrepresenting my views that i advocate gender discrimination but in reality I don't. You totally ignore what Muslim women have said about the hijab from their own lips from their own writings. None of them ever suggested nor opine that they do so because they are forced by their husbands or men or by "sexist" islam. I liken it to a Muslim women who wrote a blog about how a certain Arab Feminist tried to use the same recycled garbage you put out and entitled her blog " You do not speak for us." That is exactly the point. You don't speak for them, nor will I attempt to do so. They can speak for themselves. My friend who is a pediatrician she doesnt feel oppressed, she CHOOSES TO COVER not because she is brainwashed but because she wants to. Despite her being covered it has not inhibited her from going to the finest universities becoming a doctor, being a board president for a major Muslim org. So your whole argument about oppression is a joke.

The only thing lame is your argument. So I dare you. I dare you to do some research and look up and read the books I cited, coming from Muslim women feminists themselves. You can claim bias all you want and look up profiles that are not even me to begin with but the academic research is pretty clear and refutes your recycled colonialist, orientalist arguments about Muslim women and Islam. Assuming you are Arab, try reading the Edward Said's orientalism.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | June 30, 2012 at 12:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

@Katie Euphrat & Megan Burks. If what you state in your posts had been part of the article--which they should have been because they are at the heart of the story--possibly most of the comments by others would not have been written and/or necessary. For example, CalDefender's belief that the Muslim women have "exclusive access" to the pool. The article was poorly written.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 12:44 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

It is a crazy coincidence that you use sublime619 and live in San Diego and this guy uses sublime619 and lives in San Diego. Think of the odds!

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 1:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - Not a coincidence. All you had to do is simply click on my profile name here on this thread and you would see nothing, because I provided nothing on my profile.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 1:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

From Dr. Katherine Bullock's book in the introduction:
"Chapter One traces the origins of the ‘veil is oppressive’ discourse
in the West. I argue that attacking the veil was an essential part of the
colonial project, necessary to break down barriers between colonial
power and hidden women. The point is to stress the constructed
nature of the antiveil discourse, and to highlight its link to Western
political interests. I also show how the move to independence in
colonized Muslim countries included a focus on the veil, as nationalist
élites accepted the West’s version of the meaning of ^ij¥b and strove
to ‘liberate’ their country from backward Islamic practices. Chapter
Two presents interviews with some Toronto Muslim women. Between
May and July 1996, I interviewed fifteen Sunni Muslim women and
one Ismaili woman to ask them about their understanding of ^ij¥b,
and for those who cover, their experiences of wearing ^ij¥b in Toronto.
The chapter draws on feminist methods of using women’s
experience as a foundation of knowledge. Chapter Three is a survey of
the contemporary ‘re-veiling’ movement in the Muslim world. Here
I draw on contemporary anthropological, sociological and historical
literatures that discuss the ‘re-veiling’ phenomenon. These surveys
demonstrate that women cover for many different reasons, be they
religious, social or political. Empirical reality alone challenges the
Western stereotype that all Muslim women are forced to cover and
that covering is oppressive. With a critique of Moroccan feminist
Fatima Mernissi’s perspective on the veil, Chapter Four moves the
book into theoretical grounds. Here I show that Mernissi’s analysis
of the veil is based on an idiosyncratic reading of Islam. Her interpretations
are based on her own negative personal experiences with
veiling, but she argues that all Muslim women suffer because of
veiling. I disagree with that conclusion and attempt to show why an
alternative reading is possible within Islam. Chapter Five is an effort
toward formulating a positive theory of the veil. I draw on two
testimonials by Muslim women in newspaper articles about their
positive experience of covering. The women’s arguments derive from
feminist critiques of the exploitation of the female body in capitalist
society to contend that covering can be a form of liberation. I end the
chapter by highlighting the aspect of religious belief that is all too
often left out. I shall reiterate as I proceed through the book that I am
not attempting to argue that the veil is never oppressive for Muslim women. Clearly some women experience covering as oppressive. My
point is that the ‘veil is oppressive’ notion has become a paradigm in
which the ‘meaning’ of the veil as oppressive assumes the status of a
truth claim. I am saying that I disagree with that interpretation. In
this book, I present an alternative perspective."

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 1:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

This detailed and significant study is a powerful critique of the popular western
notion that the veil is a symbol of Muslim women’s oppression. In postulating a
positive theory of the hijab the author challenges with great sophistication both the
pop culture view of Muslim women as being utterly subjugated by men, as well as
the more complex arguments put forward by liberal feminists such as Mernissi,
Macleod and others who have sought to criticize women’s choices to cover as ultimately unliberating. Examining and questioning the validity and accuracy of some
of the latter’s assumptions, the author puts forward the case that the judgment of
the veil as being an oppressive feature of Islam is based on liberal understandings of
‘equality’ and ‘liberty’ that preclude other ways of thinking about ‘equality’ and
‘liberty’ that offer a positive approach for contemplating the wearing of the veil.
The author argues that in a consumer capitalist culture, the hijab can be experienced
as liberation from the tyranny of the beauty myth and the thin ‘ideal’
woman.

Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil straddles many academic disciplines: political
theory, feminism, anthropology, sociology, history and the Middle East and Islamic
Studies. The author’s research is wide-ranging — from the historical background
of the western stereotype of the veil and the influence of the colonial era, to modern
veiling trends in Muslim and non-Muslim countries. Her analysis includes
interviews with a group of Muslim women from various backgrounds in Toronto,
Canada. Ultimately, in dispelling some widely held myths about Muslim women
and the hijab, the author introduces respectability to the believing Muslim
women’s voice, claiming liberation and the equality of women as fundamental to
Islam itself.

KATHERINE BULLOCK is an alumna of the University of Toronto, where she
earned her doctorate in Political Science in 1999. It was during her doctoral studies
that she embraced Islam. Her Ph.D. dissertation was on “Politics of the Veil” and she
has spoken on this, and other topics relevant to Muslim women, to Church and
academic circles in Canada, the USA and Australia. Dr. Bullock is originally from
Australia, and now lives in California with her husband and son.
(blurb from book)

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 1:10 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Was Katherine Bullock ever arrested and beaten by the basij in Tehran for not covering her hair? Was she ever forced into marriage by a Pakistani Sunni father? Was she ever groped on the streets of Cairo and told to be in hijab? Or is she just some white guilt academic?

I love how sublime loves to quote academics that mean nothing to 99.9999% of the world's practicing Muslims.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 1:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime is actually advocating that there is nothing wrong with covering women and not men. He love burqinis and hijabs..... only er.... not for himself, just for women... so he doesn't have to suffer temptation. If this isn't the utter definition of chauvanism then what is?

If covering yourself with a bag is so wonderful, why don't you go hijab sublime?

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 1:18 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Man, I still can get over how sublime619 lives in San Diego and this sublime619 is also from San Diego http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667

And how the both used '619' right after the same word and aren't the same person.... I mean thought fathom of the odds even if you limited the last three numbers to 000-999, they both used the world 'sublime' and then the exact same number. Which is utterly arbitrary.

http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667

Sublime, you post a photo of you in the veil reading some academic tract that noone in the muslim world cares about by a crazypants "doctor" in some soft academic subject.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 1:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 you never told me what you thought about the hadith where aisha describes how mohamed beat her? remember you claimed he was the perfect example and never beat his wives, then I showed you that he beat aisha and raped female captives?

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 1:41 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = Is that all you can say? Petty insults and lack of evidence arguments? Unlike you who uses anecdotal evidence, Dr. Bullock actually interviewed Muslim women from various backgrounds on the hijab and veil. She surveyed literature from feminists of different schools of thought on the topic. Looked at the colonial project and its effect on Muslim women in the Muslim world. Looked at Muslim feminists like Mernissi and Ahmed and what they said.

What research have you done on the topic of Muslim women, hijab? veiling?? What literature have you read which has been peer reviewed? All you seem to do is babble and rant.

I never said nor claimed I speak for Muslim women. They are more than capable to speak for themselves and they have. You must be living in a cave because there are more and more writings coming out from Muslim women not only on the hijab but how they feel as Muslim women in terms of the wider society, within their own communities, and even within themselves like love relationships. But again you seem to ignore all of that.

I do not deny the very real horror stories that you mention: forced marriages, rapes, genital mutilation, the trampling of muslim women rights...but to say that represents the majority of muslim women around the world is not only inaccurate and irresponsible, but also a flat out lie and i challenge you to present qualitative and quantitative research to substantiate that. And mind you, I dont live in a cave. I regularly read human rights reports like Amnesty intl, human rights watch, icrc, etc who monitor women's rights but even they will say it is not the majority or all muslim women.

I do dress appropriately according to what my religion requires of me. What happens overseas is a problem of human rights and it should be condemned. No one should be forced to do anything. My wife even before I met her chooses to cover. Never have i ever forced her to cover. SHE CHOOSES TO FROM HER OWN FREE WILL. And when my daughter gets to the age of maturity, she will also make her own choice and i will respect whatever choice she makes. There is a verse in the Quran, "There is no compulsion in religion." What Iran and Saudi are doing is clearly wrong and goes against mainstream Islamic law. And by you mentioning it again it shows you havent read all that i have said. Contemporary muslim thinkers have said it becomes problematic when the government has control over the religion. It becomes oppressive. If you read the literature on it, its clear that government even in pre modern times never controlled the religion, it was the independent muslim jurists who defined and interpreted the religion and that the government whatever it maybe only enforced aspects of it.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 1:43 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

So you can keep mentioning all the horror stories you hear or see in media but it doesnt prove your point. It just shows that even muslims mess up. But if we look at so called liberalized and "modern socieities" what do we see? We still see female oppression in the work place, in popular culture. We see just as much if not more domestic violence, rape, etc. Go look at any local, state and federal law enforcement reports as well as women rights advocate groups.

See unlike you, I can back it up with evidence, academic studies. I'm not speaking from opinion but from facts. These works are written by women. Not males who think what women should do. I do that purposely because of what you are saying now. Your false accusations about me and my argument. You have no argument that is why you chose to attack me the person rather than my argument itself. That is called ad hominem in informal logic. And again you are just recycling arguments and positions that have been refuted decades ago. So that shows several things...1) either you haven't read and haven't done the research on this issue (I have and have over a dozen books on this topic in addition to electronic peer reviewed journal articles written by feminists, muslim writers, and scholars) 2) Or you have such a blind hatred toward anything islam or muslim due to your own personal experiences that you dont care what the argument and research has to say.

Either way you lose the argument on this issue.

Crazypants doctor? Is that the best you can come up with?

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 1:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = The prophet muhammad didnt beat aisha nor did he rape anyone. Try citing valid sources instead of the ones you pick up from anti-islamic websites.

Any fool can pick up any holy book or scripture and cherry pick without any context or exegesis.

If that was indeed true why isn't it mentioned by non-muslim writers who wrote on the bio of the prophet muhammad like karen armstrong? or even the orientalists like dr. montgomery watt? So your so called story is uncorroborated. I've read over a dozen bios on the prophet muhammad from both muslim and non muslim sources. Even from orientalists who denigrate him in other ways but never have they mentioned it. So try again and stay on topic.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 1:55 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime said "The prophet muhammad didnt beat aisha nor did he rape anyone. Try citing valid sources"

I'm not sure which version of Islam you though you converted to, but the hadith are second only to the quran in validity.

This shows what a blind apologist you are.

Sahih Muslim is one of the Six major collections (Al-Kutub Al-Sittah) of the hadith in Sunni Islam. And you are going to tell me that crazypant Katherine Bullock takes precedence of Sahih Muslim hadith? Where do you attend masjid? This is crazy.

What it does show is how willing blind you are to the bigotted unPC aspects of Islam, just a blind sad apologist who can't even acknowledge the quran and hadith if it doesn't agree with what you hope islam is.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 1:57 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Here are two of the atrocious accounts of Mohamed in the autoritive Sahih Muslim hadtih.

"We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter" (Sahih Muslim 3371)

Ok. so we have a gang rape event that Mohamed is approving of. What next...
Oh yes, Mohamed beating his wife.

Sahih Muslim #2127:

…When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'Aisha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?…

So if the question is can sublime really be muslim if he doesn't believe aisha the prophet's wife? And takes, some crazypants nobody academic over the origial aisha?

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 2:10 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = Crazypants doctor nobody? Apparently her work is praised by people in academia in universities that you probably can only dream to ever study at.

I addressed your issue already. All you are doing is cherrypicking hadith accounts without commentary or exegesis and is not corroborated by other sources. Had your citation been true in YOUR CONTEXT OR UNDERSTANDING. Why didnt Montgomery Watt who thought the the Prophet was sincere but deluded and mistaken mention it? Or other critical orientalist bios of the Prophet. That shows you cherry picked.

I can say for christians that your bible in the NT argues for war and jesus said it

"I have not come to bring peace but a sword" which is in the gospel of matthew. Does that mean jesus advocated for war? No respecting exegete in the bible would interpret it that way.

So spare me the google research for "anything the prophet muhammad did that was weird or evil "

Again you are attacking me and not the argument....because its not about me its about your lack of facts and argument. You can't refute anything Dr. Bullock has written about. Even Leila Ahmed who originally thought the veil and hijab was a step backward for muslim women no longer thinks that because of her research. And unlike you, she is a Chair at Harvard Divinity and one of the most respected muslim feminists in America whose research and argument is a lot more nuanced than you trying to find out my background and ended up with some guy with tattoos lool.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 2:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Why rely on Western people who lived centuries aftewards to help me assuage my discomfort at reading Mohamed's wife beating and gang rapes when I have his wife aisha and the authoritative hadith already? I'm not like you, I'm no longer Muslim, so I can read the text for what it is, and not rely on some white guilty ridden Western nobody academic in some soft discipline to tell the sky is purple and up is really down. I'm not that gullible, nor do I want to be.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 2:22 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh here we go with the old ruse of - but the Bible says atrocities too! First, that is lame moral ethics - the failings of others don't justify mohamed's wife beating and gang rape.

Second, I'm not christian, I'll agree with you on the bible.

Tell me what is nuance about gang raping captive women? What is nuanced about hitting your wife? Please, tell me these nuances - also, please tell me the nuance as to why you don't wear a veil as a man.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 2:25 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = also Struck" is a bad translation. The word used is 'lahaza' , which could be translated as "Push" and at most "slap with an open palm" but not a hard, violent slap (and note translating it as "slap" is weaker and less probable). A correct translation would be:

- He pushed me (lahadani) in the chest (fi sadri) with a push (lahdatan)which made me sore (awja'atni).

It is very interesting to note that "pushing" of the Prophet does indeed convey meaning - usually to drive away evil influence and thought.

- Amir ibn Raba and Sahl ibn Hunayf went out to bathe. Amir took off his woolen robe. He [Sahl] narrates: "I looked at him and I cast the evil eye on him. He went down into the water then I heard a noise coming from him. I called out to him three times but there was no answer. I went to call the Messenger of Allah who came on foot and waded his way in the water. Then he slapped/pushed his chest with his hand, saying: "O Allah! drive away from him its heat and its coolness and its harm." Then he rose up and said: "If one of you sees something that pleases him in his brother - whether in his person or property - let him invoke blessing for him, for the evil eye is a reality."

(Tafsir ibn Kathir)

Again that shows he didnt abuse her. again abuse is not corroborated in any other source even the orientalists who were clearly biased against islam and the prophet. when exegesis and commentary is applied and context as i have shown here the meaning of the hadith becomes clear.

So much for your claim of the Prophet abusing his wife Aisha...but again a digression on your part as well as the issue of women slave captives (which is moot in our times since slavery is outlawed and irrelevant to our topic).

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 2:29 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = digressing from the topic...I'll wait for your paper refuting leila ahmed and katherine bullock's research. Your just puffing smoke. And no, i didnt assume you are christian. So far you have no argument. Or better yet, try researching the topic before making claims not backed up by facts.

But before you can even refute their arguments you have to read them right? Oh you haven't read them nor any other work of any worth on this debate or topic. So your arguing from ignorance rather than evidence or fact. Google doesnt count. Any fool could do that.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = that is the best argument you have ad hominem attacks on an academic who has more to offer on this topic than your entire thread of useless digressive arguments.

I doubt you did any polling on how muslim women feel. did any studies with them so how is your opinion based on fact?

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 2:33 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

"He pushed me (lahadani) in the chest (fi sadri) with a push (lahdatan)which made me sore (awja'atni)."

Oh ok - just pushing that makes a smaller woman 'sore' - no you're right - that wouldn't be abuse.

I wonder if anyone else is buying this - or can we all see what a ideological zombie sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 is?

Sublime619 did you know that Mohamed never banned slavery? For me, a basic definition of any moral human would be opposition to human slavery- especially sexual rape of slaves. Mohamed promoted both. What a weak excuse. Mohamed promotion of gang rape (and yes Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667) and gang rape is still with us so you're lame excuse is worthless. The women's status as slaves makes it all the more repugnant - almost as repugnant as your lame excuses for the gang rape. I mean what kind of human, what kind of man, makes excuses for gang rape to win an argument?????..........

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 2:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I can see a defendant arrested for domestic violence making this excuse: "Your honor, I didn't really beat her, it was just a 'push' that made her 'sore'"

God, what a chauvanist you must be sublime619, your true colors are coming out as I force these hadith on you, you tried so hard to avoid them, but when you looked up the source, you knew that you had to admit their authority, so now you just make the most pathetic excuses to diminish them.

God that just sick, "rape of slave women is o.k. because there isn't any more slavery"

wow, i'm flabergasted, really, just amazed...

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 2:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = why you still posting up that profile that is obviously not me? That shows not only your argument is wrong and fallacious but you are also purposely lying to other readers here by putting up a profile that is not even me. I am not even close to being native american. I dont have tattoos. I am not single. This was already addressed yet you purposely are lying and claiming that is me.

If you actually click on my name on this thread there is no info on me. You have gone further into the gutter now. You can't prove your point so you have to resort to putting up profile of someone and claiming its me when in fact it isn't.

You also missed the point on the commentary on that hadith. The prophet did it to others including other men to pushing"of the Prophet does indeed convey meaning - usually to drive away evil influence and thought. This was not to commit domestic violence on her or to abuse her. Again try reading what i said. I'll put in caps in case you can't see it as a reminder IF IN FACT THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD ABUSED HIS WIVES WHY DIDNT ANY ORIENTALIST LIKE WATT AND OTHERS MENTIONED IT IN THEIR BIOS OF THE PROPHET? So in other words your claims of abuse have no validity and no source.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = I also never heard of POF. I know you are desperate to try and find some dirt on me by trying to google search me because you can't refute what i have cited so you have to resort to low below the belt personal attacks on me by trying to find me on the net and digging up some profile that isnt even me. unlike the profile , I graduated from college..this guy says some college. He says he is single, has tattoos, he is native american, etc. I'm none of that. In fact if you knew my real name you would get a couple of hits on google because I've appeared on local and some national media, i even have clips of them from youtube.

I've only used this name sublime619 for kpbs and huffington post. all other places ive used my real name. my real name is on facebook, twitter.

So try again.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Now sublime619 is stating that abusing his wife aisha was ok because he also smacked around his male followers.

And you think this guy is holy and a good example why?

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = totally misrepresenting my argument. You have no credibility or integrity. You have done this more than once on this thread. Now you are digressing to the topic of prophet muhammad because you can't defend your original position.

If you feel so strongly about this topic. Then let us have a debate face to face at a public library in San Diego. There you can't hide behind google search and anti muslim websites. I'll even give you two months to prepare (since I have to fast for ramadan and it ends after august 20 or so). So sometime in September. The topic will be Does Islam oppress women? or something similar since you claim to be some sort of feminist for women's rights.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Until I told him, sublime 619 didn't even know what Sahih Muslim was. This is like claiming to be christian and not knowing who Paul was. Why would I even care what Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 thinks of 19th and 20th near eastern scholarship? Has read it all? Nope. Is the argument that the plain text of the hadith doesn't mean what it says because some dudes 1,000 years later didn't write about mean anything from gibberish on Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 's part?

That isn't even an argument, first you can't prove they never did, and second, even if they didn't it doesn't change what the hadith teach.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:10 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

As for Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 I mean if one guy had used sublime614 and another sublime 618 i might think 'wow, that's close!', but two people from the same city each picking one of a million words in the english language and then each picking three random integers as the suffix of that first random word - both in san diego. the odds are incredible.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:16 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = Again misrepresenting my argument and my views. I didn't know the collection of sahih muslim? lol are you kidding me? If this was a live discussion i bet you can't even tell me the sihah sitta without google searching it. So please.

Are you going to continue to lie about me by putting some profile that isn't me? I already told you it isn't me. Do you purposely lie when you are losing an argument?

I don't even know what that other guy is other than he is using a screen name on a single's website. I already told you and you can look it up. i only use this screen name on huffington post and here that's it.

If you are going to insist on lying about me that shows how in the gutter you really are.

What is more interesting is this guy on his profile says he isnt religious. So how does a native american with tattoos who isnt religious knows so much about islam, muslim women and other stuff similar to this topic? Did that even register with you?

Now if you see the huffington post sublime619 you will see similarities of posting and comments on islam, muslims, etc.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = I dont know why you insist on saying this guy is me when in fact isnt. The guy says he is a capricorn. Since when do muslims use pagan zodiac signs? Even if I did, according to that zodiac calendar im a leo.

It's clear you are trying to make this into some personal attacks. Or you can just be doing this on person to bait me to tell you my real name so you can look me up. I value my privacy and with a wife and baby I dont ever compromise on that.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Here is my profile on huffpost http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Sublime619?action=profile

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

No I believe you sublime619, I'm on your side on this. It is just an amazing coincidence isn't it! One arbitrary word and three exact integers and both of you live in San Diego. I just think that is amazing. The odds are astronomical!

http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:29 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Trust me Sublime619, no need to personally attack you when you condone beating of women and gang rape of slave women all to protect some guy who claimed the creator of the universe spoke to him but never mentioned antibiotics or even basic water sanitation.

Find me a prophet who received the recipe for antibiotic or laplace transforms and i'll pick that religion. Not some wife beater, friend smacker who says gang rape of female captives is o.k.

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:29 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

so if you believe me...then why several posts ago you keep putting that link up? that shows youre purposely lying about me

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:32 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I post it because I can't get over how amazing the coincidence is - i mean what if someone's datingsite username was tartar546 and he was from fresno, then another tartar546 shows up in here, also from fresno - BOTH ARE MEN - but they aren't the same person! Almost like the odds of winning the lottery.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:35 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I also see the logic of proving the Huff Post profile link as it does nothing whatsover to show that you aren't the guy in the picture with his tits being grabbed.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:35 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

condone beating of women and rape? lying about me again. Never did that so why say that? oh but i expect less from you since for over two posts you kept putting up some native american guys profile saying its me despite the fact that i am not the guy. I probably done more to try and address domestic violence than you have in your entire life. Two years ago i actually organized a domestic violence workshop with peaceful families project with a local mosque here in san diego and peaceful families project presented on a panel for an annual doctors and social workers conference in San Diego sponsored by Rady's Children hospital and other well known groups.

So don't give me that. Not only do you lie about me but also my views as cheap points in a desperate attempt to win an argument that you already lost.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = still lying about me? See you keep insisting that profile is me when i already told you it isnt. You even admitted you believed me yet you still do it? What kind of person are you?

Again how does a non religious native american, with tattoos (tattoos are haram in islam by the way) who is a capricorn (im a leo), who is single (im married with a daughter, married for over 8 years) know so much about islam?

Are you really that thick headed or slow?

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Good for you Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 of course, Mohamed still beat his wife and promoted gang rape of slaves so when you did this, you weren't following islam or his example. the quran 4:34 actually says that a man should hit his wife in certain circumstances as well.

but i'm glad you can transcend your religion at times and still do good. this can show you that you don't need the crutch of religion to be a good person; :)

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:40 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't know, maybe your lying about your current situation, maybe you were using that dating website for affair sex - HOW WOULD I KNOW!

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:41 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - Still posting that profile? What is wrong with you? See that just shows what kind of person you are. Still lying about me. I already told you that isnt me. So why you keep on posting it? What is your purpose for doing that? to show how deceitful you are to the other readers?

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't believe this is you Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 - like I said, it is amazing coincidence - both men from san diego!

but please continue telling me how mohamed's gang rape is o.k. because slavery isn't allowed any more. btw, it was the british navy that ended the slave trade the islamic world was/is the last to let it go. abeed can mean both slave and black person in arabic.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = you are in the gutter for real. I have nothing else to say. You have turned this discussion into a personal attack on me by using some profile of a person i dont even know as if that will make your argument stronger.

Even the Islamophobes I've debated on other forums wouldn't even go that low and try to purposely lie like that on me personally.

This shows that you are basically an internet troll who likes to attack people and uses any kind of dirty trick to try and avoid the issues.

You even admitted that you believe me yet two posts later you keep up again. That is what trolls do. I'm reporting you to kpbs for this.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:46 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha yeah you dont believe its me yet two posts ago you put it up again. im reporting you.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 buddy, you've been shown to be a fool - let us all witness that Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667 actually said that mohamed's gang rape of the slaves was o.k. because slavery is still around. he actually used that as a justification.

i'll just keep posting that until you go away.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:48 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

i'm not violating any terms of service - take down the dating website if you don't want anyone seeing your boobs being grabbed by another man.

its not my fault you forgot it was still up.

Sublime619 http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=35075667

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:48 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

and ill keep reporting you. See you lied again. until kpbs bans you for trolling.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

basically, there is nothing that mohamed could have done no matter how bad, and Sublime619 wouldn't do mental gymnastics to justify it!

mohamed also kicked his adopted son out of his family to take his son's daughter as his wife!

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sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

First you say its me. Then you admit it isnt. then post later you keep putting that link up. you can even make up your mind yourself.

Rape is unlawful in islam. it is a capital crime and the prophet muhammad never ordered it nor condoned it.

You're just being an internet troll.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:51 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

One of the most shocking events in the life of Muhammad, one which has been a major source of embarrassment for Muslims, is his marriage to his adopted son's former wife, Zaynab bint Jash. Zaynab had married Zayd, the freed slave of Muhammad's first wife, Khadijah, whom Muhammad adopted as his son. According to some versions of the story, Muhammad had ventured to see his adopted son, Zayd, at his house. Upon arriving, he found Zaynab unveiled and was enamored by her beauty. As he departed, Muhammad made some comments which she heard and, when her husband returned, told him what had transpired. After Zayd heard that Muhammad had made some comments about his wife's beauty, he went to his adoptive father and told him that he would divorce her so he could marry her if this is what Muhammad desired. Muhammad refused and encouraged his adopted son to remain with his wife. Subsequently, Zayd divorced his wife and Muhammad was commanded by Allah to then marry Zaynab, his adopted son's divorcee.

The Quran refers to this marriage in the following passage:

When thou saidst to him whom God had blessed and thou hadst favoured, 'Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear God,' and thou wast CONCEALING WITHIN THYSELF what God should reveal, FEARING OTHER MEN; and God has better right for thee to fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her, THEN WE GAVE HER IN MARRIAGE TO THEE, so that there should not be any fault in the believers, touching the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished what they would of them; and God's commandment must be performed. S. 33:37

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:52 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

how can stealing one's daughter in law and destroying one's son be a good example? seems like mohamed's 'revelations' were very self serving.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:52 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Again if everything you said was true about the prophet, it would have been corroborated by orientalists because they would have a lot to gain in deconstructing islam than you would.

That is my evidence on the contrary.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime619 said "Rape is unlawful in islam. it is a capital crime and the prophet muhammad never ordered it nor condoned it."

of course, islam defines rape differently then the modern world.

There is no equivalent term for ‘rape’ in the Qur'an. Likewise, there is not a single verse in the Qur'an which even remotely discourages forced sex. In contrast, there are several verses in this book which give the green light to rape and other sexual crimes against women.

Qur'an chapter 4 verse 24 discusses lawful and forbidden women for pious Muslims. Before we delve into this verse, it should be noted that it is not easy to understand what is being suggested using the verse alone. Therefore, relying on authoritative Tafsirs (Qur'an interpretations) and Sahih (authentic) Hadiths associated with it, are necessary to get the exact picture.

Verse 4:24
Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek them from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication. So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due, but if you agree mutually after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

What we see in the beginning of this verse as “forbidden” refers to sexual intercourse. The Qur'an dictates, women already married are forbidden for Muslims except those whom their right hands possess (sex slaves). It is the ordinance of Allah.

It is obvious from this verse, a Muslim can have sexual relations with his slave-woman. But it is important to know the context of this verse, as it sheds light onto the nature of allowance. If we go through a Sahih Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud:
Abu Said al-Khudri said: "The apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess". That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period." [The Quran verse is 4:24]

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:55 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Here in the above hadith from Abu Dawud, we understand why the Qur'anic verse 4:24 was allegedly revealed to Muhammad. It was to encourage his fighters to have sexual contacts with female captives even while their husbands were alive as prisoners of war. The hadith sheds some more light on this fact, when we read:
"Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers."

The Abu Dawud hadith is confirmed by the two Sahih collections, namely Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. There is a chapter devoted to this in the Sahih Muslim collection. The title of the chapter speaks in volumes as we read:
Sahih Muslim. Chapter 29: Title: It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a captive woman after she is purified of menses or delivery. In case she has a husband, her marriage is abrogated after she becomes captive.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that at the Battle of Hunain Allah's Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that:" And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (Quran 4:. 24)" (i. e. they were lawful for them when their 'Idda period came to an end).
Sahih Muslim 8:3432

Similarly in Sahih Bukhari:
Narrated Ibn Muhairiz: I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Said Al-Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about Al-Azl (i.e. coitus interruptus). Abu Said said, "We went out with Allah's Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interrupt us, we said, 'How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah's Apostle who is present among us?" We asked (him) about it and he said, 'It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist."

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Lots of raping of women in Mohamed's day under his orders.

Yep, once again sublim619 get's it wrong and shows how little he knows his own religion.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:57 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Ibn Kathir, the most prominent of all Qur'an interpreters has this to say, in regards to verse 4:24:
The Ayah (verses) means Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess.), you are prohibited from marrying women who are already married, except those whom your right hands possess) except those whom you acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after making sure they are not pregnant. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "We captured some women from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked having sexual relations with them because they already had husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and this Ayah (verse) was revealed, Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess). Accordingly, we had sexual relations with these women." (Alternate translation can be: as a result of these verses, their (Infidels) wives have become lawful for us) This is the wording collected by At-Tirmidhi An-Nasa'i, Ibn Jarir and Muslim in his Sahih.
--Forbidding Women Already Married, Except for Female Slaves

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:58 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

so i ask myself - who knows islam better sublime or Ibn Kathir? hmmmm.......

maybe you can find another crazytown western white guilt academic to quote - because i'm laying down the tafsir and hadith all over the place here sublime

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 3:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha - bet all your citations are found from those anti islam sites. None of your stuff is original. You really need to get a life. See more digression. Can't address the hijab and private and public space issue as well as muslim women are oppressed so you move to another topic that has nothing to do with the story on kpbs.

So basically you 1) attack me by falsely implying that im native american, not religious, a capricorn, has tattoos. 2) now you are attacking the prophet muhammad by google search. All of which have been addressed by counter arguments.

Your attack on me already has scuttled whatever remaining integrity you have with the other readers. In fact many of my interfaith partners and friends muslim and not, especially my wife are looking at these comments. They think you are so desperate you have to use such tactics.

Also apparently you ignored my challenge to a debate because you know you will lose without being in front of a computer. In a stage you cant hide behind a computer. you either got the evidence or not. your argument is either sound or not. two months to prepare. yet you ignored it. nothing but a internet armchair intellectual right?

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 3:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

great video from a renowned sheik stating that wife rape is o.k. in islam

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 4 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime said "bet all your citations are found from those anti islam sites"

yes, ones that quote mohamed and the hadith. i'm just quoting hadith and tafsirs to you, as a muslim you claim this is your religion, please learn from hadith then.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = stop hiding behind your computer. if you really want to debate. my offer stands.

ibn kathir is not the end all be all of exegetes of quran. We have tabari who is the dean of exegetes, qurtubi, qadi abu bakr ibn al arabi, and fakhr deen al razi.

Plus knowing you and your integrity you probably misquoted him and used an interpretation some anti muslim site cited. try again.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 4:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = MEMRI TV? which is controlled by pro israeli think tank and runned by israeli intelligence? Academic in middle eastern history and islamic studies think memri isnt worth anything. Renown scholar? that is some guy in a beard. A renown scholar is Dr. Tariq Ramadan. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah. Habib Umar ibn Hafith Shaykh Abdul Hakim Jackson.

If you rely on MEMRI for your knowledge of Arab discourse, you are really not informed. Arab public opinion, based on MEMRI's releases, is reduced or caricatured to either Bin Laden fans or Bush fans, while Arab public opinion is mosty a fan of neither people. --As'ad AbuKhalil

This is just one sample of many critiques.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 4:10 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = see you even admit it that you go to anti islam sites. How do you even know they are citing it correctly or just cherry picking? See this shows your lack of integrity

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 4:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime - let's take mohamed kicking his son out of family to take his daughter in law as his wife first.

what is your greasy two bit excuse for this? it is "duh orientalist didn't say so me no know how it happen"? or something else?

we'll get to wife rape next.

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AishaSaif | June 30, 2012 at 4:14 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago


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btwixt | June 30, 2012 at 4:39 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

If you want to rant about Islam, why don't you just exchange information so you can talk it out between yourselves instead of taking over this topic?

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 4:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Btwixt = I agree. That is why i challenged her to a face to face debate.

Aisha = You lack integrity and it continues to show with your posting of MEMRI's "translation." of some shaykh i never heard of.

You want debate about women and islam? Let us do it face to face at a neutral spot like a library in san diego. invite whoever you want. ill invite whoever i want. september 2012.

That way you can't hide behind google search because any fool could do that. If you are so confident about it then agree to it.

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Avatar for user 'sublime619'

sublime619 | June 30, 2012 at 4:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll reiterate and go back to topic. I think it's great that YMCA city heights is offering this to their community members. I'll definitely enroll my daughter when she is old enough in these classes.

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Missionaccomplished | June 30, 2012 at 9:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

AISHA SAIF, have you read John Esposito?

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btwixt | July 1, 2012 at 9:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

To get back on to the original topic of "YMCA Offers Women-Only Swim Hours For Muslim Women", I would think the best way to deal with this situation is for someone who is impacted to talk with the director of the Copely YMCA and get an explanation of their policy for private party use of their facilities. If the explanation is unsatisfactory, then maybe the appropriate elected official may be able to get involved if public funds are being used by the facility.

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JohnL | July 1, 2012 at 9:51 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I find it disgusting and outrageous that KPBS has allowed the hate-speech and cyber-bullying on here tho stand,obviously someone connected to one of the groups listed on the SPLC website.This helps to undermine domestic and international security,
also off topic

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 1, 2012 at 10:14 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Since when is quoting the quran and hadith hate speach?

Islamic segregation of women to hide their hair and bodies is the source of this story - it is germane to criticize the reason these women have to stay invisible.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 1, 2012 at 10:16 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

If it was a story on right-wing christian extremism - wouldn't a discussion on the ideological motives of the participants be appropriate - yes and even welcomed by the leftist white-guilt crowd in here. but dare to bring the same examination to islam and white-people call me, a women from pakistan, a racist. good grief!

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 1, 2012 at 10:17 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

as you can see sublime619 has been brainwashing his daughter from birth to be ashamed of her body and hide it from all but the men, like him, that control her. big man there sublime619 - the veil is good enough for the women in your life, but you don't wear it!

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 1, 2012 at 12:58 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

JohnL | today at 9:51 a.m. ― 2 hours, 34 minutes ago

I find it disgusting and outrageous that KPBS has allowed the hate-speech and cyber-bullying on here tho stand,obviously someone connected to one of the groups listed on the SPLC website.This helps to undermine domestic and international security, also off topic
____________
I was wondering if you could please clarify your comment. What exactly are you saying is "hate speech and cyber bullying"? There are basically two sides of thought on this comment board (three if you want to include the people who just think we should all keep our heads in the sand): those who see serious problems with the ideology if Islam, and those who defend Islam's doctrines and jurisprudence. Are you suggesting that the voices of those who have lived, studied, and thoughtfully discerned, and formed an opinion on the dangers of Islam, are not allowed to have a voice. Do first amendment protections only apply to one side? Nope. Not here. Not in the United States of America (unless you're Molly Norris - more on that later) where everyday religions are scrutinized and criticized (see Catholic Church, Mormon Church, etc) . That's good! And Islam should not be excluded from the applications and judgments of critical thinking skills. We do not have blasphemy laws.

There is the possibility that the hate speech you were referring to are the actual Koran verses calling for killing infidels, spousal abuse, etc. In that case, I would agree with you that that is hate speech, but I fully support the broadcast of those verses so that people can begin to understand what Muslims read and teach.

Regarding your comment that criticism of Islam undermines domestic and international security. Is that a threat? Or simply an observation that when criticized (as in the truth pointed out), Mulsims threaten violent protests and offer death threats to those who disagree with them? I believe real 'Islamophobia' is fear of violence and being put on the 'bad' list of Muslim organizations that engage in their own form of very real bullying. Trey Parker and Matt Stone could tell you what I'm talking about. Molly Norris could, if she didn't have to go into hiding for exercising free speech rights. Theo van Gogh could tell you, except angry Muslims who did not like what he had to say killed him. Perhaps you feel safer self-censoring criticism, but do not expect others to do so.

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AishaSaif | July 1, 2012 at 2:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Great article today about movement in Morocco to stop veiling of young girls:

"For sociologist Karima Wadghiri, forcing girls to wear the veil does not only violate children’s rights and kill their innocence, but also nourishes in them a wrong perception of their bodies."

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/01/223803.html

At least the Arabs are showing progress, unlike the American left and zombie converts like sublime619- they are pulling us into a new dark ages.

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sublime619 | July 1, 2012 at 8:40 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha = more personal attacks because you realized your recycled arguments about the hijab and veil have been already addressed , refuted and discussed with nuance and careful thought by muslim feminists.

This shows how much far down the gutter you have to go to win an argument.

If you actually read history...Muslims pulled Europe out of the dark ages. And you obviously ignored the other topic about you even reading Professor John Esposito.

I'll keep saying it. You act like an internet troll. Your hatred of islam has blinded you so much you can't even comprehend between fact and fiction. overgeneralization to nuance.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 2, 2012 at 4:40 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

sublime: I've noticed that you characterize others' comments as "attacks" instead of seeing them as the expresiion of beliefs and convictions based on research and compassion. Freedom of conscience and thought is limited in Islam, but it cannot be controlled in free minds, on comment boards, and certainly not in this great country; that must be very frustrating for you and your friends/advisors. You seem to be the one to throw out name-calling and accusactions quite readily. I'm wondering who is really blinded? Please know that the number of peope who see that this whole swimtime/hijab/gender-segregation-maneuvering for what it is -- a method of exerting control over non-Muslims -- is growing every day. Please know that there are others who care deeply about Freedom - including yours.

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JeanMarc | July 2, 2012 at 12:24 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you AishaSaif and Nyeemah for breathing some logic and truth into the leftist PC-crazy comments here. How on earth can people be so afraid to offend that they support oppression and abuse in the name of religious tolerance? People need to wake up.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 2, 2012 at 12:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

JeanMarc,

I hope your bags are packed and car is gassed-up. There are some women in Mississippi who are being oppressed by Christians.

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JeanMarc | July 2, 2012 at 2:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for your insightful contribution to this discussion, DeLaRick.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 2, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Sublime619 said "Muslims pulled Europe out of the dark ages."

As someone with with degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering, I'm going to have disagree with this statement as made by an utter scientific illiterate.

It is true that Europe had a dark age - however, Europe isn't the center of the world, so meh....

And it is true that there was some advancement of mathematics and medicine by Muslims during that period, but it is relatively average and heavily dependent on Indian mathematics and earlier Greek writers. I don't want to disparage great thinkers like Khayyám et al though. Science is science whoever does it.

One point is certain, Khayyám et al weren't using Islam for their mathematical insights, they were applying a pre-modern version of science. Also, all of Muslim math and science was nothing compared to Newton alone. I don't look like Newton, and of a diff. race then him - but one has to stand in awe of the great insights and advancements that burst forth in science during and after the age of enlightenment in Europe. It is a tradition that borrow zero from Islamic teachings. There is nothing in the Quran about calculus, plastic, antibiotics, germ theory of disease, jet propulsion, super novae, etc. One would think if Mohamed was talking to the creator of the universe that he would at least learn enough to keep his sewage water away from his drinking water - but alas, such was not the case. It would be to modern science to complete that task.

So, no Muslms didn't pull Europe out of the Dark Ages, it was modern Science and the Enlightenment - and Islam is antithetical to the Enlightenment. Which is why chauvinist men who want to impose Islamic gender apartheid on their daughters and wives are trying to pull us back into a backward dark world.

Btw, sublime619 when are you going to wear the veil?

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Avatar for user 'DG'

DG | July 2, 2012 at 11:20 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I think it's kind and generous of the Y - and altogether in the spirit of what's best about America - to accommodate these women and their children in the pool. I notice lots of arguing and sweeping statements in this commentary thread (not that I've read them all - too much ranting), but I keep coming back to the simple human fact of happy people enjoying splashing around in the water, hurting no-one. I vote yes to that.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 5:58 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Hi, DG: You might learn something by reading the valid arguments in the discussion on this forum. You seem to be the type who fits in the category of those with their heads in the sand., which is completely understandable because on the surface, extending special exceptions to Muslims can seem like the nice thing to do. You even put that generous (yet naive) attitude into the framework of our country's ethos; however, at the heart of our country's success is assimilation. The requests for special exceptions and circumstances may sound reasonable, but they are part of something larger and unreasonable: a foothold to greater subjugation of non-Muslims. You may be laughing at this point. Don't. Instead, start to read about the countries in Europe that are a few years ahead of us in terms of Muslim immigration.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 6 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's a start (an older column but touches on many areas):
Growth of Islamistan in Europe means No-Go Zones for Non-Muslims
Soeren Kern August 23rd 2011
Hudson New York
Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims. Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services. The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations. In Britain, for example, a Muslim group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.
The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 6:01 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets), for example, extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighborhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced." And street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalized or blacked out with spray paint.
In the Bury Park area of Luton, Muslims have been accused of "ethnic cleansing" by harassing non-Muslims to the point that many of them move out of Muslim neighborhoods. In the West Midlands, two Christian preachers have been accused of "hate crimes" for handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. In Leytonstone in east London, the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen heckled the former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: "How dare you come to a Muslim area."
In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered "no-go" zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.
Muslim immigrants are taking control of other parts of France too. In Paris and other French cities with high Muslim populations, such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims are closing off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, are closing down local businesses and trapping non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for Friday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allahu Akbar" via loudspeakers into the streets.
The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com and which have been denounced as an "occupation without tanks or soldiers," have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.

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Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 6:01 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

In the Belgian capital of Brussels (which is 20 percent Muslim), several immigrant neighborhoods have become "no-go" zones for police officers, who frequently are pelted with rocks by Muslim youth. In the Kuregem district of Brussels, which often resembles an urban war zone, police are forced to patrol the area with two police cars: one car to carry out the patrols and another car to prevent the first car from being attacked. In the Molenbeek district of Brussels, police have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat a sandwich in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
In Germany, Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut, in an August 1 interview with the newspaper Der Westen, revealed that Muslim immigrants are imposing "no-go" zones in cities across Germany at an alarming rate.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 7:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's an example of more advanced influence of Islamic desire for dominence:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18665522

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 3, 2012 at 9:16 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

DG - unfortunately, the question isn't as simply as you state it. The question is whether men and women are to be segregated to accomodate Islamic gender apartheid for a certain period. Many of us say no, that EVERYONE is equal and should swim together. Some like Sublime619 say that Muslims should have special dispensation to enforce their gender segregation rules at the expense of non-Muslim men who can't work during that period and can't swim during that period as well.

If you want to be simplistic and support Islamic gender apartheid out of some misplaced sense of multiculturalism trumps civil rights - phrasing something as serious and demeaning as Islamic gender apartheid in some polly anna - 'can't we all just splash" phrase is a sign that you have no idea how much women suffer throughout the Muslim world.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | July 3, 2012 at 9:46 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Islam is a danger, a threat to humanity. People need to stop trying to prove how progressive, tolerant, and accepting they are and speak out against this oppressive idealism. Some things really are bad and wrong, and we don't have to accept everything we see around us in the name of multiculturalism or religious tolerance. It is ok to speak out against threats to civilized society.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | July 3, 2012 at 10:05 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

KPBS--I agree with JohnL that it is outrageous that you allowed two people to hijack the comments. Doesn't anyone monitor/moderate the comments? Free speech, etc, is well and good, but not applicable to this case. It early on deviated from the subject of the pool to religious arguments.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

"Free speech is all well and good, but not applicable in this case." - 'Len'

And there you have it: Muslim impudence on display for all to see.

No one who is American first would make such a seditious statement re: free speech. What 'Len' is really saying is, continue to look the other way while we make advances because of your complacency.

If I'm wrong, and Len is not Muslim, but for some reason has a misplaced sense of allegiance, then it's time to wake up.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 3, 2012 at 11:33 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

JeanMarc, all religions are a threat to society when overtaken by extremists.

I admit to not reading all 200 comments on here as I don't have that much time today, but glancing at "AishaSaif's" comments, it seems as if this person is taking an all or nothing approach that just escalates religious and cultural tension.

Yes, religious texts from all religions are littered with outdated, extremist, lunacy.

So what's your point? That no moderate Muslims exist on the planet?

Grow up missy, we are talking about some immigrant women who attend an all-female swim class. Just because some crazy extremist is calling for jihad doesn't extrapolate onto the subjects of this article simply because they are Muslim and prefer on all womean swim class.

It's interesting that you spew on here hate towards bleeding heart liberals, but you seem to side with right wing crazies who believe all the crazy crap in the bible. Is all the torture and sexual violence in the bible somehow better in your eyes than that in the Koran?

My guess: you are not a Pakistanis woman, you are a white male Republican sitting in your mom's basement on unemployment posing as a Michelle Malkin-esque self loathing crazy on the computer.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 3, 2012 at 11:40 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Run to the hills everybody!

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 3, 2012 at 12:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Peking_Duck_SD said "Grow up missy, we are talking about some immigrant women who attend an all-female swim class."

Yes, and they discriminate against male lifeguards and other Y employees who can't work during the session. Extrapolate this out further and you justifying gender-based discrimination to accommodate Islamic extremism. Also, is this the moderate islam you speak of? You know, segregating genders and veiling women? How scary if it is, and if it is not - then why are you supporting extremist Islam that veils women?

As a man, are you willing to wear a veil?

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 3, 2012 at 1:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Islam is against homosexuality. What if Muslims wanted lesbians excluded from these swim classes as well?

They are already setting up gay-free zones in England, Belgium and Germany.

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Avatar for user 'JohnL'

JohnL | July 3, 2012 at 2:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Peggy Pico with surprise, reported last night the large amount of comments, seemingly unaware that a particularly nasty troll with multiple accounts had hijacked this thread to promote their extremist hate.It seems KPBS has yet to catch up to how this works, Bring out the Mods!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 3, 2012 at 5:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Aisha, greed Islam is against homosexuality.

However, the majority of Muslims I know a accepting of homosexuality.

Again, the issue needs to be measured with reason - very few people of any religion refuse to take with a grain of salt antiquated scriptures that advocate discrimination, violence, etc. You seem o be implying that Mulims can't be moderate which I don't believe.

I just don't think an all female swim class is that big of deal.

Are younlso offended by children's swim classes? Domthey discriminate against adults?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 3, 2012 at 5:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

* the first sentence of my post above should read **agreed**, not greed.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 3, 2012 at 5:22 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Notice how Peking_Duck_SD doesn't treat me as an equal, but rather belittles me as "missy", while he argues for a policy of segregating women....

What a sad chauvinist.

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | July 3, 2012 at 5:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Hello,

I've been watching this conversation and trying to decide whether to moderate or not. I've seen a few of you jump in and ask others to stay on topic. That seemed to work, but only for a short period of time before it digresses into a religious/political debate.

I'm going to officially ask for everyone to stay on topic. And please, no personal attacks. If the central point of your comment is focused on the character of another person, then it's not appropriate. It's better left unsaid.

For more on what we expect in our online community, please review our Community Discussion Rules: http://www.kpbs.org/about/terms-service/#rules-of-use

Thanks!

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 3, 2012 at 5:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Peking_Duck_SD "However, the majority of Muslims I know a accepting of homosexuality."

Really, I guess that is because you have never visited a Muslim nation. Not a single one has same-sex marriage - so that destroys your assertion as coming from someone who is utterly uninformed.

On top of that - being gay is punishable by death and/or prison in most Muslim land. Again, this proves that you are incredibly uninformed.

Just review this list of gay rights by nation and maybe learn something beyond merely reinforcing a completely inaccurate view of gay rights and islam.

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | July 3, 2012 at 5:34 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

AishaSaif,

I'm going to ask politely that you stay on topic. In this case, it's reasonable to assume that you didn't see my previous post.

As you can see, some have complained that this has turned into a religious debate. If it continues I'll need to remove comments. Please stay focused and follow our terms of service.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 3, 2012 at 5:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Tammy Carpowich said " That seemed to work, but only for a short period of time before it digresses into a religious/political debate."

I ask, how could a story about the gender segregation of Muslim women not digress into a discussion of the religion?

I think the underlying issue is that some people naively assumed that the YMCA's accommodation of Islamic gender segregation was supposed to only be viewed as this wonderful progressive polly ana story. And now just simply can't believe that there is disagreement with it.

Why silence that disagreement Tammy? Why silence some of us who are showing the invalid and retrograde grounds of this practice?

Remember - religion is an ideology and not race or ethnicity. It is not 'evil' to question any ideology or disagree with it. I know this may seem like a radical thought to some who have overly expanded multiculturalism to a cartoonish character of its former self.

As the great Salman Rushdie stated:
"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."

And this is what your censorship errr..... sorry I mean 'moderation' would do - it would silence the debate ... just more evidence of the mindset that screams with glee and joy at the 'exotic' practice of islamic veiling and hiding of women.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 3, 2012 at 8:46 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I am in shock that a KPBS representative would call for and actually threaten censorship of a very robust and thoughtful discussion on this Community Discussion forum. What? Are certain members of the Public not allowed to comment because of a few weak complaints? You're kidding, please. The people who think that the comments are off-topic are mistaken. Of course this is a discussion of the rights and role of women is Islam. How could religion not be discussed? How could you so easily throw free speech under the bus? You cannot. Constitutional protections apply even if you're feeling uncomfortable with the topic at hand, or you're afraid that certain comments may make others angry, or whatever pressure you're feeling that would compel you to chastise one person specifically, when others have perhaps crossed the same line you've drawn. What exactly does the P in PBS stand for? I seriously question your commitment to the public you serve, not just those with whom you might agree.

Tomorrow is Independence Day. July 4th. Of all days, we need to recognize that there are many values served by the protecting of Free Speech. The discovery of Truth is impossible without the freedom to allow disagreements, even if they are personally upsetting to us. Yes to Freedom. No to censorship. Happy Fourth of July.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 4, 2012 at 8:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

KPBS - Cannot stop thinking about an organization that receives public funds seeking to limit individual freedoms on this day to celebrate freedom. Does your legal representation know you're doing that?

Heading out to enjoy this great Independence Day in this great country, and hoping that concept is somehow renewed in the KPBS staff. Happy Birthday, USA!!!!!

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Avatar for user 'susanmartha'

susanmartha | July 4, 2012 at 8:13 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

i am celebrating those who attend this women and girls only swim time at the Y.

i can only imagine the relief they must feel when they are able to get away from those who seek to control their every move, IMHO.

the comments here have ranged from instructive to hilarious, thanks to all for the read.

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Avatar for user 'JohnL'

JohnL | July 4, 2012 at 8:14 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

As a strong supporter of 1st Amendment rights (Happy 4th!) and having read TOS I believe these definitely apply some on this thread -"KPBS expects users to be civil and courteous even when in disagreement. Personal attacks, insults, profanity, hate speech or harassment based on class, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, race, sexual orientation or other offensive conduct will not be permitted.Discussion that is off topic or unrelated to the story will be removed.You may not post duplicate and redundant User Materials.
You may not impersonate public figures or other users, or provide any false information about yourself."
I'm sure many would also appreciate moderation on the constant anti-immigrant Nativist spamming on many others

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 4, 2012 at 9:45 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

JohnL said: "I'm sure many would also appreciate moderation on the constant anti-immigrant Nativist spamming on many others "

How is being critical of gender segregation and the Islamic motivations behind it amount to being a 'nativist".

Do you smear everyone who disagrees with you as a racist?

How can I, an immigrant non-white person be racist for merely criticizing a set of beliefs that I disagree with?

On this Independence Day, I am thankful live in a country where I can be a non-believer and say as much, in my land of birth, apostasy is death.

Just ask Asia Bibi - a woman on death row in Pakistan for the 'crime' of blasphemy against Islam.

JohnL is Asia Bibi a 'nativist' and a racist as well?

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 4, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I believe that both sides of this discussion each have a belief that they are doing the right thing.

The pro-Islamic gender segregation crowd seems to be equating Islamic veiling of women (only) as the next Rosa Parks type event. And they vilify anyone who disagrees with the practice of covering and hiding women (and not men) with those mean white racists who support Jim Crow segregation. I can see the motivation for such confusion - these sequestered women aren't white and they are exotic - thus anything one that doesn't immediately cave in to every religious and cultural practice they propose must then a 'nativist' and a racist. For example, female genital mutilation is also practiced on all almost all women in Somali. I think this is also a Rosa Parks type issue where we have to support the mutilation of any immigrant Somali woman's genitals because it would racist and 'nativist' to do otherwise.

I should actually apologize, I see how I was a 'nativist' and a racist - I now need to simply blindly support any Islamic practice and demand (i.e. veiling, gender segregation, coerced marrying of young girls to men from home country, female genital mutilation) . After all, Islam is just off limits. Sure we can be critical of Mormons and the Mega Church christains, but they're white! And that makes all the difference - Islam is brown and exotic and therefore not even up for discussion. Especially on a public comments board for a story about Islamic gender segregation.

I got it now. Thank you PBS and your 'progressive' readers for teaching me this truth. Hiding/veiling these women in a gender segregated facility where even the male staff is banned is just like letting Rosa Parks leave the back of the bus.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 4, 2012 at 12:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Aisha, I am well aware of the laws regarding homosexuality in the Muslim world, and the reason ou are calling me uninformed is because you didn't understand my post.

I said the majority of Muslims I know have no problem with homosexuality.

That's not up for debate dear, that's a fact that I am relating from my personal life.

The reason for the anti-homosexuality laws in many Muslim countries is due to Theocraic governments, not due to an intolerant populace.

I have several Persian friends, including one who is gay who is current,y living in Tehran. I have talked extensively with all of them, and they tell me the majority of Iranians are pretty educated and moderate, but they are unfortunately governed by radicals. They tell me that underground parties with alcohol and gambling are common occurrences in every neighborhood since you can't purchase alcohol publicly. Homosexuality also exists there, it's just moved underground.

Your problem is you are demonizing millions of people based on the minority radicals. Most Iranians are not like the government officials there. Most Afghanis are not Taliban. You are simply overgeneralizing and using every crude stereotype you can come up with to demonize all Muslims.

Any country, whether the majority are Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or anything else for that matter tend to be more tolerant and moderate when there is a separation of church (or temple or mosque) and state.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 4, 2012 at 1:08 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Aisha you seem to be confusing the troubling aspects of theocracy governments with religions themselves.

ANY religion will manifest into extremism when it's used to control people, i.e. govern.

If the U.S. we're a theocracy run by Christian zealots, we would be every bit as oppressive as Iran.

And you discussed homosexuality as an example of the intolerance of Islam, But again I point out that Christian extremism is no better - the only difference is it's not the basis for our government.

Case in point, American Christian politicians who have their hands in the pot regarding the repressive anti-homosexuality laws (up to and including death) in sub-Saharan Africa:

http://www.alternet.org/story/153723/how_deep_is_the_republican_christian_right's_connection_to_the_anti-gay_bills_sweeping_sub-saharan_africa/?page=entire

Again, I sum up my point to you that no one religion is any better or worse than another -- ANY religion is equally as oppressive when dealing with radicals, and, on the flip side, there are moderates in all religions who are tolerant.

Judge the individual and their personal beliefs, not their religion.

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 4, 2012 at 2:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Peking_Duck_SD asserted "Again, I sum up my point to you that no one religion is any better or worse than another "

This is false for several reasons. First, not all religions have the same tenets and teachings. For example, Jains, no matter how radical, will never become terrorists as non-violence is the essential tenet of Jainism. A radical Jain usually ends up starving themselves so as to ensure doing no harm.

Second, a core belief of Islam is that the Quran is the unalterable and eternal word of Allah. A Muslim cannot cherry pick the Quran and even a moderate Muslim must still yield to its text which is full of intolerance and misogyny.

Third, I think that Peking_Duck_SD is confusing Persians with practicing Muslims. Sure there are few practicing Muslim Persian - but they are by far a minority. In fact, I have never met a Persian American who practiced Islam and was anywhere near a 'moderate Muslim', but rather a secular person from at most a Muslim background (as huge swaths of the so. cal. persian community are atheist, Jews, Zartoshti, christian and bahai)

I think there is a basic misunderstanding that many in here have -when I say "islam", I don't mean "muslims", but rather the ideological system. I am not saying that Muslims are always women-haters, but rather that the system of Islam is full of anti-woman tenets as they are integrated into the heart of the Quran itself. I sort of assumed that everyone would be able to make this basic distinction. ... one can always hope!

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 4, 2012 at 2:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

One of the real special aspects of Islamist is that they are always willing to provide non-Muslims with a list of demands.

I encourage everyone to revisit the video and make a list of changes the Muslim women's group seems to want in order for us to accommodate their religious demands.

Here is my list:

1. Dog free public spaces - especially parks.
2. Gender-segregated swimming pools
3. Gender-segregated yoga and other fitness classes
4. Gender-segregated weight room and treadmills

Let's not be racist and give it to them!

Did you know that pet dogs are banned from many places in many Islamic countries. For example, Iran severely restricts dog ownership and even bans walking dogs in most public space so as not to offend practicing muslims - we should do this in U.S. as well so these sweet women can go to parks and exercise! indeed, we will be 'nativists' and racist if we dont!

Also, the new Y must have gender segregated yoga and other exercise classes and areas. Even male staff can't enter here. Indeed, to maximize the religious sentiments of these women, we should probably not even hire any male staff for Y's anymore.

Can anyone rewatch the video and make some other suggestions so that we can stop offending muslim sentiments, besides having dogs and gender equality?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 4, 2012 at 2:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Looks like the attempt to bring this back on topic failed. While I'm not in favor of deleting posts (censoring), can they be moved to an article that is more appropriate?

Like this one: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jul/03/seven-wonders-muslim-world

I find the freeway sign in the picture to be quite interesting. Will we see them in America one day?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 4, 2012 at 3:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Ahh, thank you Aisha for trying to bring it back as you posted while I was writing.

What the YMCA has done is just an indication of which direction America is going and that is full circle back to the days of segregation. Except now everyone gleefully desires it.

However, shouldn't the YMCA be segregating based on being young, male, and Christian? Perhaps they should change their tag line to "Young Men's Christian Association (Young Christian Men Prohibited)."

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Avatar for user 'JohnL'

JohnL | July 4, 2012 at 3:42 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

The trolling continues,half the posts on here should be taken down for violation of tos alone, 2 Ids are by the same man and , would bet are connected to the fanatic br eit bart slim e rs who, let me remind tried to take down KPBS

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Avatar for user 'AishaSaif'

AishaSaif | July 4, 2012 at 3:57 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

@California Defender

It seems from the video that the Muslim group is interested in more than just segregating the YMCA - they want to remove dogs from public spaces as well - or least have segregated public spaces where dogs are no longer allowed. I think that we would be nativist racist 'breitbart slimers" if we don't concede and change our love of fur babies to not offend Muslim religious sentiments.

Dogs are one of my favorite aspects of moving to the united states and giving up islam. i now have two !

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | July 4, 2012 at 4:43 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

I am in favor of thoughtful discussion, but our TOS are clear that we expect you to stay on topic. Since others in our online community have complained, I'm asking again that you focus on the issue. How Islam views same sex relationships is not on topic. Nor is the issue of dogs in public places.

CaliforniaDefender has specifically asked that I not remove comments. I'll honor that request as long as future comments are relevant to the article.

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Avatar for user 'Nyeemah'

Nyeemah | July 4, 2012 at 5:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Dogs in public places, etc. is most definitely part of the issue: Listen to the tape! Follow the discussion on here carefully. It's been spelled out quite clearly.

I am voicing a complaint about the people who wish to limit the civil liberties of a free people enjoying free speech and free thought on a Community Discussion forum. The comments requesting removal of opinions that they don't agree with are offensive to a free people. They are a distraction from the real issues, and the accusations ('trolling') are rude and uncalled for.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 4, 2012 at 6:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Tammy Carpowich,

Thank you for being so responsive, especially on a holiday!

===

Nyeemah,

KPBS is a publicly funded news organization, so I do agree that they must be more accepting and open to a wide variety of posts than say CNN or FOX which are private (and regularly censor views they disagree with).

My complaint is that people are getting off-topic by debating religious scriptural verses. The topic is the YMCA (or any public or private entity) segregating based on gender, race, and/or religion. At first I was outraged at the YMCA, but now I agree with them, so long as all groups have the freedom to be separate but equal.

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AishaSaif,

Isn't that photo interesting as well as the video? Perhaps we too should have segregated freeways as they do in Saudi Arabia. All the sign would need to say is "Cars with Dogs Hanging their Heads out the Window Only".

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Nyeemah | July 4, 2012 at 7:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

CaDef: Exactly what you think is off-topic is exactly what others believe to be at the exact heart and soul of this issue, which is that there is a much bigger picture than most can see yet. (see previous comments)

Re: separate but equal... uh... that was overturned in 1954, Can we please keep moving forward?

Also, to understand why Koranic verses are indeed part of the debate, you can read the Koran online on many different sites.

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Missionaccomplished | July 4, 2012 at 9:06 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Missionaccomplished | July 4, 2012 at 9:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Missionaccomplished | July 4, 2012 at 9:17 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Nyeemah | July 5, 2012 at 6:20 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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JohnL | July 5, 2012 at 9 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh My God! Imagine if this article had been about Muslims on bikes! The outrage!
Absolutely many of these comments should be taken down. This does nothing but to foster hate and division. There are a Billion Muslims on the planet, we'd better figure out how to get along, It's pretty funny when a rightie complains about KPBS being publicly financed and should be fair to all sides, while also complaining about it and trying to take it down.The duplicity on the right is stunning.

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Rose_B | July 5, 2012 at 10:23 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Many people are saying, these women should integrate. HOW? If you insist on banning services that help them to adjust, you will delay their integration to our culture.
You do not know what doors this could open, One mother said she wanted her daughters to grow up normal' hat might mean that if the little girls eventually break free from their parent's culture and religion, they will already have skills that can help them fit in.
Poor body image is not exclusive to strict religious groups. Some people just plain feel ugly or something. Others are self-conscious because they are overweight, underweight, have never participated in sports or exercise before, have had surgery, have been disfugured by accident, or have birthmarks. Lots of places offer (women-only) programs for women recovering from breast cancer surgery. Is that discriminiatory? NO! I think disallowing the women-only swim classes would be the discriminatory act. Why should the Y or any other organization refuse to accomodate people with poor boby image, whatever their religion or reason?
I personally don't like the mjority of swimsuits available for women. I think they are immodest. I think any normal man would be titilated by a woman in a bikini. I consider it unfair to flaunt and then exepect the men not to be aroused.
I didn't grow up in a repressive culture, but I did grow up with lots of boy cousins and I'm a bit pf a tomboy in some ways. I come to the concluson about modesty because I like and understand the men in my life.
BTW, many women wear veils, not only Moslem women. Some Jews wear wigs as a substitute for veils. Amish and Menonite women wear head coverings, and they are at least nominally Christians. Brides of all faiths wear veils as a part of Western culture. Some black women wear hats to church, very noticable hats. Bereaved women wear veils to funerals to cover the tearstains. And many upper-class women wear hats, some with veils attached, as a matter of fashion.

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Nyeemah | July 5, 2012 at 10:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

My comment was completely appropriate and on topic. Good thing I got a screen shot. I'll be contacting you soon.

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AishaSaif | July 5, 2012 at 11:10 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

@Tammy Carpowich

The issue of dogs offending Muslim sensibilities is actually about 10% of the video that forms the news story. In the video, the Islamist woman provides a list of our American practices that offend her Muslim sensibilities (I provided the list supra). She then argues that Muslims are a part of society now and implies that we need to change our current modern lifestyles to accommodate them, i.e. limit dogs in public spaces and provide completely Islamicaly gender segregated gym facilities (she also asks for Islamic gender apartheid yoga classes, work out rooms and treadmills in addition to the swimming period now gleefully provided to them) . The video provides several camera shots of dog walkers enjoying their pets in a public park - an activity that would soon disappear if we are willing to be "progressive" enough to accommodate all the demands asked of us by this Muslim women's group.

I encourage you to watch the video before moderating. Watching it and actually listening to the Muslim group leader's agenda may be enlightening for you.

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AishaSaif | July 5, 2012 at 11:15 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Rose_B stated "Many people are saying, these women should integrate. HOW? If you insist on banning services that help them to adjust, you will delay their integration to our culture. "

I came from an Islamic country and I've integrated just fine. I accept the social norms and values of the United States and live accordingly. I don't ask for special rules for my group because of my (former) religion. I go to the beach and see both men and women and think "if I want to come here, I should accept that this country allows men and women to interact and be on the same level in public".

These women don't want to integrate, they want us to change to accommodate their Muslim sensibilities. They want parks without dogs and gyms that are completely gender segregated. How does this help them integrate? It doesn't - it is taking the retrograde practices of their Islamic societies and damaging/modifying our far more equal society.

Please watch the video and tell me the woman speaking for the group doesn't also wish for dog free parks and complete gender segregation at gyms.

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AishaSaif | July 5, 2012 at 11:18 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

John_L said "Oh My God! Imagine if this article had been about Muslims on bikes! "

As long as they weren't asking for dog free paths and gender segregated bike lanes, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. But in this story the Muslim group is asking for just that - and that is offensive to our value that men and women are equal and can interact freely in public spaces. I don't believe we should change this wonder aspiration and value to accommodate Islamic gender segregation.

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AishaSaif | July 5, 2012 at 11:22 a.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

Rose_B said "NO! I think disallowing the women-only swim classes would be the discriminatory act. Why should the Y or any other organization refuse to accomodate people with poor boby image, whatever their religion or reason? "

I would ask you to watch this article and replace 'Muslim woman" with "black man". Imagine if racist white men didn't want their white women swimming with black men (this was a fact about 50 years ago). Would you still claim segregation is not discriminatory? Why is religious based gender discrimination not discrimination? Is it because Islam discriminates against women and not blacks?

Also, you're solution is untenable as it would lead to any group claiming it needs separate and special treatment because it doesn't feel comfortable around another group. Could Arizona have special pools for Latinos and Whites? You seem to say yes to this.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 5, 2012 at 1:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

AISHA SAIF, all your ranting and you have yet to answer my earlier question:
Have you read John Esposito?

(Please point out a violtion of "terms of usage," Ms Carpowich.)

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Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | July 5, 2012 at 2:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm closing the comments here -- for the first time ever on KPBS.org (as far as I know).

Mission, to answer your question...

I removed comments that I considered to be off topic, particularly the debate about the specifics of Islam the comparison to other religions. I know some of you have said that it is on topic. I can see your point, but I disagree -- especially when I've seen complaints in this same thread from people who think that it's not relevant to the story. One comment also included a personal attack against another user in this community and that person's moral character.

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