A Video of Muslim Women Who Have Been Victims of Acid Attacks

I don’t want to get all “Islamophobic” on you, so I’ll just place this video of Muslim women who have been victims of acid attacks right here without comment:

Yes, there are obviously many other factors in play here, including politics, economics, power, etc. But to say that the criminals’ religious beliefs had nothing at all to do with it seems willfully ignorant to me.

(Okay, one comment.)

(via ConversationWithA)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://twitter.com/jfigdor Jonathan Figdor

    If a Christian firebombs an abortion clinic, and says it’s because god told him to do so, I tend to believe him. So when a Muslim bombs Boston and says it is because of “religious fervor,” I believe him, for consistency’s sake.

    • Anne

      Did he say that? I’ve read that the younger brother said (relaying what he was told by big brother) that it was in retaliation for our wars in the middle-east. You get religion and nationalism mixed up in that ball of anger, but not necessarily “god told him to do so.” The headlines about what the bomber confessed to are a lot more salacious than the quotes in the actual articles – don’t confuse them. There are many levels of religion being a factor and no indication that (younger brother, at least) was hearing voices.

    • http://twitter.com/Hughmanist Hugh

      “If a Christian firebombs an abortion clinic, and says it’s because god told him to do so, I tend to believe him.”
      You’ve a very bad opinion of God and a great deal of confidence in the honesty of a criminal.

      • Carmelita Spats

        There’s a “good opinion” about Biblegawd? Yahweh is the Trinity’s creep who condones genocide, coerced abortion, slavery, infanticide, rape, sexual slavery, servile concubinage, coprophagy, torture, mutilation, misogyny, racism and more. Yahweh impregnated a teenager with Himself so that He could sacrifice Himself to Himself as part of a genius plan to forgive premarital sex. Yahweh-the-Yahoo is not only evil, He is crazier than an acre of snakes.

  • SeekerLancer

    Thanks for not shirking away from the issue Hemant. At least unlike the controversial “which religion is worse” topic we can all agree that atrocities like this are completely unacceptable.

  • LesterBallard

    It’s their religion; their culture; who are we to judge?

    • Michael Williams

      Man, I seriously hope that you were joking, somehow, with this comment. We are human freaking beings, with empathy, thats who we are. There is no scenario, no circumstance where the stuff in the above video is “Ok”, and it should be looked down upon by every human being.

    • liu

      We’re human beings who posses empathy, logic, amd reason. And all three of those things tell us that this is wrong, that this is evil, and that this is shit.

    • LesterBallard

      Work on your sarcasm detectors.

      • liu

        Work on your sarcasm.

        (Glad I don’t have to hate you.)

      • Michael Williams

        Do you seriously think that short post has any obvious sarcasm in it? I agree with Lester, you really need to sharpen your sarcasm skills.

        • LesterBallard

          I’m confused; I’m Lester.

  • Anne

    Who is saying that religious beliefs have nothing to do with it?

  • Rwlawoffice

    I really don’t understand the reluctance here. There never seems to be any such reluctance when you want to point out Christian bad behavior to blame it on religion. It seems like Liberals are bending over backwards to avoid insulting Islam but will go out if their way to bash Christianity.

    • http://mittenatheist.blogspot.com/ Kari Lynn

      There’s this thing called sarcasm. Hemant was utilizing it with his first sentence. You should try it some time. It’s fun.

    • TheG

      The reason many people are more cautious when insulting Islam is that they are more likely to stab you in the throat, jump out and spray you in the face with acid, or blow up your place of business. It sounds to me that you are expressing jealousy. Do you want to do this to your critics? I suspected this envy of murderous intent was prevalent among Christians, I just have never heard any of you express it so openly.

    • Sean Lissemore

      Nope. You don’t understand our argument at all.

      The issue here is people like Mehta are saying Muslims are uniquely evil compared to other religions. It has gotten to the point where you have people like Sam Harris who think Muslims should have less rights than other religious people. That necessarily makes them Islamophobes.

  • Nik Pfirsig

    Vitriolage, Is not exclusive to Islam, so why is it reported as such? I’m not defending anyone who perpetrates these atrocities, but is it fair to leave out all the Hindu, Christian and Buddhist nations where this is practiced?

    • liu

      Where is splashing acid in peoples faces practiced by the religions you’ve mentioned?

      This is an honest question. I have no doubt that these religions do have instances of vitriolage in them, but the only specific examples I’ve seen have been Muslim and Hindu.

    • DKeane123

      I agree with liu – let us know when these other religions poison the wells of schools that teach girls how to read (or shoot them for advocating education). I can’t remember the last time 100,000 Buddhists protested to kill a couple of bloggers that they claimed had defamed their religion.

  • Sean Lissemore

    ” But to say that the criminals’ religious beliefs had nothing at all to do with it seems willfully ignorant to me.”

    And to suggest that in any way represents the position of people who are not Islamophobic is also willfully ignorant.

    You can’t intelligently debate our position so you erect strawmen to fight against.

    • Sean Lissemore

      The issue here is that you are saying that Islam is the distinguishing factor. You are suggesting that if all things are equal Christians would not be as violent or ignorant as Muslims.

      We’re saying that the distinguishing factor is something else or a mix of things (SES, education, politics etc.). While Islam provides justification and motivation for these people, any religion could be equally as effective in providing justification for these actions.

      • james Hampton

        Islam plays a huge role In education and politics in western Muslim majority countries.

  • Gus Snarp

    Oh come one, Hemant, stop building straw men. You’re better than this. Yes, this is horrific and should not happen in any kind of civilized society. Yes, religion is to blame, Islam specifically. I think people have mad it clear we’re perfectly willing to see these kinds of awful practices and their religious causes criticized.

    Here’s an idea, if you don’t want to be accused of Islamophobia, how about you continue to legitimately criticize the extremist and fundamentalist brand of Islam that does this sort of thing, but maybe also go out of your way to find good things done in the name of Islam as you have done many times with Christian churches?

    Or you know, just post the video without comment, as you said you were. I doubt anyone here would have commented on Islamophobia. Too late to do that experiment now.

    • DKeane123

      Here’s an idea how about we have mainstream Islam get rid of some of these central tenents of islam:

      God wrote every word of the Koran – so these “moral” codes of conduct are not to be questioned by our imperfect morality.

      Sharia Law is Moral Perfection.

      The verse of the sword (slay the idolaters…)

      The verses that specifically say it is okay to kill christians and jews

      The verses that sanction men to beat their wives.(because they are property).

      Let’s not forget about the flogging for adultery, the ban on teaching women, women are also not allowed to participate in government or run for office, the insistence that everyone has to respect and obey their beliefs (100,000 calling for the death of bloggers in Bangladesh rioting over cartoons and the trailer to a movie) ,stonings and crucifiction (look up how they are carried out in Iran and Sudan).

      Why are we even talking about this? These ideas are by any moral standard horrible and they are sanctioned and carried out by both individuals and endorsed by many Islamic states.

      • Sean_Lissemore

        The Hadith specifically outlaws attacking women and children, which the Boston bombers did. But let’s not mention that!

        • DKeane123

          Yes and I am sure there is consensus on The Hadith as being the proper interpretation. Welcome to religion. And just so i don’t get painted by the same brush (which I may anyways) as Sam Harris – I have no problem with Muslims, I have a problem with many of the principles of Islam (and the Hindu caste system, lots of OT, and so on and so on). In the link below – I like the quote that people that refuse to kill non-believers for Islam are doomed to hell (and I know the website itself is biased, but the quotes are direct). http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_BG Dave Bg

    They must do the same to those that trow acid. Trow it at them!

    • baal

      Retributive justice is worse than useless. cf. ‘eye for an eye’

      The issue here is that painful disfiguring is being used to support thuggish and misogynistic social norms. There are two big questions, what to do about it (it’s beyond barbaric) and whether or not the acid throwing is related to Islam. We’re not really talking about explicit Koranic verses so much as Islamic teaching about the role of women in society and religious support for using extreme measures to support the view on woman that Islam promulgates (though not in all majority Islamic countries).

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Why would you portray this as a particularly Muslim problem?

    Wikipedia sez

    These attacks are most common in Cambodia,[9] Afghanistan,[10] India,[11] Bangladesh,[6][7] Pakistan[6] and other nearby countries… The Thomas Reuters Foundation survey [22] says that India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for women to live in [23] as women belonging to any class, caste or creed and religion
    can be victims of this cruel form of violence and disfigurement, a
    premeditated crime intended to kill or maim her permanently and act as a
    lesson to put her in her place…. As described in the “History” section, acid attacks in the United States and the United Kingdom were common during the 18th century but have since declined as the judicial system became more developed…

  • J.R. Robbins

    The problem with apologists, like sean lissemore here is that, as videos like this prove, islam IS uniquely evil compared to other religions. No question or debate. When people like that pop up their asinine comments, they ARE offended by atheists just pointing out these atrocities. They wouldn’t dare blame the religion of peace. People like that creep me the f**k out!

  • Sean_Lissemore

    Basically Mehta’s argument has come to lying about our position. Of course no one is saying that religion doesn’t play a role. But this is part of his desperate attempt to convince others (including himself) that he is not a bigot.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    The problem is that acid attacks also happen(ed) to Indian Hindu women. So Islam is an important factor, but the most important factor is a strict patriarchal culture in which daughters are marriage barter and their “shame” in the mere potential of being non-virgins is transferable to the entire family.

    The religion certainly isn’t helping things. But given that the religious can pick and choose verses to follow, and Islam has several famous female teachers and scholars, both in the time of Mohammed and during its Golden Age, I’m going to have to put this one down to cultural influences outside of religion.

    • Sean_Lissemore

      Wrong! According to Mehta those durty ebil moooooslems are the most disgusting religion on earth!!!!! No other religion aproaches those durty mooooselms in their evilnesss!!!!

      • liu

        I have no idea why you think Hemant hates cows.

  • Gus Snarp

    But hey, way to take a real injustice done to real women, who really suffer and make it all about you and Sam Harris with your snark and sarcasm. Good job.


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