Reprogramming: Texas vs. Dearbornistan

Debbie Schlussel makes a great point about the polygamy and rituals of the religious group seized in Texas and the same behaviors (and worse) in Islam—-

When I saw the report on the Texas compound I couldn’t put my finger on why it bothered me (other than the fact that what seems to have went on there is abhorrent).

But I did have a flash of wonder in my mind if all cults and religious sects would have been treated the same in this country….I think my thought was completed and my answer came in Schlussel’s post:

Press accounts have said that the kids, particularly the girls, need to be “deprogrammed” from this religion, and that it is abusive, polygamist, and unconscionable in its “rapist” behavior toward young teens. Oh, and they dress in quaint, modest clothing. Can you imagine hearing representatives from the state saying this about say, a certain religion whose name begins with an “I” and ends with an “M”, with an “S-L-A” in the middle?:

Now, if the state gets its way, hundreds of children could be put in foster homes, in what could be a wrenching cultural adjustment that may require intensive counseling.”What they are up against is having to deprogram an entire community.”

 The story is dominating the news, unlike another religion that regularly does the same thing in far greater numbers all over America, and all over the world.

While I agree with all of that–that the behavior and conduct is wrong, you could say the exact same thing about another compound dominated by an extremist religion whose middle-aged men have multiple wives, have sex and kids with underaged women, and are “programmed” to be abused. The compound is called “Dearbornistan” and the religion is Islam

She has some interesting points regarding Islamization of Dearborn and the respect that Sharia law seems to have gained there. Read the complete post here.


16 Responses

  1. All in name of God..under the umbrella of religion

  2. GJB: Different God’s though–no matter what anyone says, the “god” of Islam is not the same God of Christianity and Judaism–it could’t be logically. Saddest thing about this kind of stuff is that people end up judging “religion” and “God” based on kooks like these. I’ve always told people–never judge religion based on its followers–judge it based on it teachings.

  3. (This comment approved, but I did alter some of the “choice” words—sharprightturn)
    firstly, I would be posting this on Debbie Schlussel’s site, except that she does not seem to be interested in feedback by people she does not agree with. funny, I thought that was the whole point of blogging.
    secondly, lets get a few things straight:
    -polygamy is ILLEGAL in the USA. the few muslims that are interested in it (most are not, and ignore it) mostly do not live in the states. many muslims that live here are immigrants, and so have left a country where their rights are abused. most LOVE the rights we have in the states, and are enthusiastic about upholding its laws. like many first generation immigrants, they are often more patriotic then many liberal americans!
    -when groups of perverts are found with lots of wives and raping young girls, they are prosecuted. end of story. this has happened twice in the last three years in your country of “Dearbornistan”

    most importantly, this Debbie needs to get her f?*&king facts right about the “mooslimes” in this country and who they are. sure, some are weirdos with a thing for young girls and a habit of playing the PC card for all it’s worth. do you approve of the habits of everyone you have ever met that calls themselves Christian? child molesting cardinals ok with you? i thought not.

    most muslims are trying to fit into society the best they can with people like you around. they go to school, they have jobs, they struggle with their kids, they gripe about shitty weather and local politicians, and they worry that their teenagers will do drugs or not get into college. they pay their taxes. they go to pta meetings. they even donate blood. (look out, you might get some!) the thing is, these things are not remotely interesting from a journalists point of view, and no one ever got into a newspaper for being a normal, hardworking, struggling average family. so the people you dont hear about are the ones who face the repercussions of the s*&%heads that make the newspaper.

    you know what the muslims i know are like? one family is in their twenties, owns a small store, both are in school full time (Phd and undergrad), and are awaiting their second child this summer. the wife volunteers at the local womans shelter, and the man is active in the local audabon (yes, birdwatching) society. their older girl, now 2, is enrolled in the local montessori school where she learns spanish (she is not yet three and has more languages at her command then most american adults). the wife is graduating this semester, and has maintained a 4.0. they are both immigrants from syria, and left there because they wanted their kids to grow up with real human rights, and all the trappings that come with it. they love the fact that their daughter goes to school with kids from all over the world. and guess what? they’re devout muslims. they pray five times a day and the wife covers her head. luckily for them, they live in a university town where people are used to seeing someone different, so they dont have to worry about their daughter getting beaten up the way they might somewhere else.
    you want a better example? how about my postal service worker, a really sweet woman who has two kids and brings them to play with my asian neighbor every sunday, when we all sit around drinking afternoon beers? shes turkish, and the turks believe in their beer, but they are just as muslim as the most die hard saudi. or the russian muslim in my spanish 401 class, who plans on being an international journalist, specifically on the issue of womans rights? she works for the destruction of Saudi’s restrictive sex segregation laws, but you can bet she’s a muslim.

    or how about the woman who just finished her third degree, grew up in the midwest to irish-scotch parents, rides a motorcycle, works as an evolutionary biologist, has three tattoos and counting, has wine with dinner, loves knitting and gardening, and enjoys deer hunting? on top of which she covers her head and gets funny looks in the grocery store. even funnier looks when shes on that motorcycle. that would be me. that’s right, i’m not arab, not even remotely close, and i sure didn’t immigrate here; my fathers family traces back to the fur trappers in new england, so i can play that game of who’s been here longest.
    the point of all this is, think about the diversity in a group so huge as 1.2 billion people (the estimated number of muslims in the world). think about it, and them think about how you would like being compared to the least respectable christians you know about. thats how most muslims feel in the this country.

  4. actually, it is the same God. muslims hold that Jesus and Moses were both prophets before Mohammad, they were the first messengers of God. Mohammad came later and added to their message.

  5. hmm, rereading my post i realize its a bit more vitriolic then i intended. sorry. that article worried me that i might get shot if i go to southern florida. my intent is not to pick fights with the denizens of this blog, but to try and engage in discussion and maybe, broaden everyones horizens a bit. thanks.

  6. Molokhiya,
    With all due respect, they are not the same God.
    Jesus died and rose again three days later and is the Savior of the World.
    Mohammed died and is still dead.

  7. of course, but Mohammad is not a god, and no muslim would ever say he is. in fact, the injunction about not making pictures of him is so that people did not start worshipping him. he was merely a messenger for whom we hold a lot of respect.

  8. sharprightturn,

    I think the reference is to God the Father. Muslims, along with Christians (via the Jews) trace their spiritual lineage back to Abraham. Hence, the commonality. If more people took this to heart, particularly those who cherry-pick the Koran/Bible passages that best fit their ideology, we would have fewer problems.

  9. In my opinion this thread is a perfection illustratoin why we will always need to maintain the seperation of church and state….meaning state sponsired or mandated “religion”.

    Do people take the seperation of church and state too far? (Mt Soledad in San Diego, Sharprightturn’s daughter’s teacher, 10 commandments at courthouses etc) Hell yes they do. However, living in a state run by any religion (even if it was consistant with my faith) would be much worse.

    There is only one GOD and I don’t want the government of my state telling me which one it is..

  10. wow did we all come at this from totally different angles? 🙂
    I will clarify my thoughts. Molokhiya, I did misspeak about Mohammed in reference to God. Where it gets fuzzy for me when people say it is the “same God” that Christians and Muslims pray to.

    But the Christian God is established upon the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is the God I pray to. I believe Jesus is divine and the Son of God (not only a prophet) and he died to save me from sin. That is not the same God of Islam.

    Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet and not divine. As I understand it, Islam teaches that Jesus didn’t die on the cross nor rise again. In addition, obviously Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, nor that Christ’s death means salvation for those who believe. Well if Jesus was a prophet, then he wasn’t a very good one in the beliefs of Muslims. He taught about salvation, but that is rejected by Islam.

    In addition, the Koran teaches that Allah is truth.
    But Christianity teaches the Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is part of the “triune” God in Christianity.

    So if you are a devout Christian praying to God or you are a devout Muslim praying to Allah, you are not praying to the same concept or being of God.

    For Muslims, the concept of the same God seems to be integral to their religion and thinking. However, Christianity teaches there that their will be false prophets and not to follow them. Many Christians believe that Mohammaed is one of those false prophets. Aside from whether a Christian believes that or not, the Christian God described and worshipped in the Bible is a wholly different God than that of Muslims…..and most Christians would reject the notion that they are the same just based on the Bible.
    A better summary than I can give is here:

    As far as church and state issues. I fully believe in the freedom of religion in this country. I do not believe that the government should dictate when , where and how you worship. We should be free to worship as Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews…you name it.

    Where I draw the line is when the Judeo-Christian founding of this country is overlooked. We are founded on those principles and many of our laws were solidified around religious beliefs in that tradition.

    So, don’t believe this country should bow to the pressure of Sharia Law (as is happening in places like Michigan and Minnesota). That is not our law and basically that drives us back to a governnent -condoned religion (Islam) to do so. How crazy is that?

    I also don’t believe that elected officials should be sworn in on anything but the Bible when taking office.

    The traditions and founding of this country are solidly in the corner Christianity. Yes, that means you will see the Ten Commandments in office buildings and Bibles being used in the swearing-in ceremony…..heck, you may even hear a prayer before a Friday night football game.

    All of those examples and more are a far cry from a government-established religion and are true examples of where we came from and who first established this country.

  11. hmmm, interesting points all, but I do not think my purpose was to get into a theological debate. according to the Qu’ran, we’re worshipping the same god. clearly you see it differently. fair enough, I have no interest in telling others what to believe.

    what I was trying to get at is that the tendancy to paint with such a broad brush all american muslims is downright frightening for many of us. I know NOBODY who wants sharia in this country (granted, I don’t know everyone.) I for one do not care if there is a prayer before a friday night football game, nor am I concerned if adults choose to post the Ten Commandmants in their offices. I would not be thrilled by my child being required to pray in school, and I would be furious if I were denied the right to pray in public if I had to.

  12. hmmm, interesting points all, but I do not think my purpose was to get into a theological debate. according to the Qu’ran, we’re worshipping the same god. clearly you see it differently. fair enough, I have no interest in telling others what to believe.

    what I was trying to get at is that the tendancy to paint with such a broad brush all american muslims is downright frightening for many of us. this is a case of a few making the rest of us look really, really bad. and as for your examples of religion in public, how would you feel if your kid came home from school and told you a little muslim girl was praying in a funny way in a strange language in homeroom? I can bet you wouldn’t like it too much. how do you think I feel when my daughter tells me her friends at school make fun of her when she prays? there is no argument that can convince me it is right to let one religion and not the other make their faith public. personally, i think this means we should all keep it at home. would i like to be able to wear my headscarf without cashiers and random strangers being rude to me? you bet I would. would i give up wearing it if I never had to hear from someone again how “oppressed” christianity is in this country? in a red hot minute. I have a hard time feeling sorry for a religion that gets “oppressed” because you can’t require kids to say a morning prayer. try wearing a headscarf to a Menards sometime, and you might feel a bit differently.

  13. oh yes, Allah just means God in arabic. you’re right about Jesus, we believe he was a man, just like Mohammad, just like Moses, and that he had messages of equality and brotherhood to bring to us. it isn’t that we really reject salvation, but we do not believe in Original Sin, and so salvation in the way you mean it does not really apply.
    really, it comes down to which dusty old tome (sorry, I feel i should make up for many muslims COMLETE lack of sense of humor about this..) you believe is closer to the truth. they both have their merits, they both have their arguments. it is for God to know, and for us to find out in the best way that we can.

  14. Molokhiya,
    Thanks for your comments on the blog. I like rational discussion and you have offered it. thanks.

    I agree we should all be able to worship as we please. I have a few thoughts on the “oppression” of Christians and people being rude to those with headscarves…

    While I can’t speak for everyone, when I see a headscarf I do take notice, but I try my best not to treat that person any differently than I would someone without a scarf, unless it is warranted in some behaviorial way.

    However, if you are going to wear a headscarf in a majority Christian country, I think the expectation should be that not everyone will be looking at that headscarf as normally as they would a pair of Nike sneakers, for instance.

    I do think any child should be able to pray where they wish as long as it is not disruptive to what they are supposed to be doing at the time.

    Oppressed may be a strong word for the plight of Christians in this country, but one would be naive not to see assaults on the Christian faith from many angles. As one small example, Christians believe homosexuality is an affront to God, but many in the so-called “progressive” world and most of the Main Stream Media treat us as bigots if we even speak as such. (Take a look at some of the comments I received on my blog from backers of homosexuality for instance)

    Having said all of that, I still believe that this country’s tradition is Judeo-Christian and should stay that way. While I think everyone has basic human rights, I am not a big fan of the big multi-cultralism push that exists in our country right now. I see it as an excuse for various groups of people (including Muslims, illegal immigrants, even some legal immigrants) not to have to assimilate into the traditions, laws, and culture of this country. And while I understand why many people want to live in this country, it does not mean that this country has to change for them, but they have to acquire our language, culture, and traditions where possible. That doesn’t mean I think everyone should be Christian and wear Nike’s, but it does mean that if you are in this country, you better respect its religious background, language, traditions, people, culture, etc.

    While I appreciate your point that not all Muslims are carrying swords and out for Jihad in this country, I do think that those who don’t follow that line should be speaking out more against it. We live in a country that was attacked by Muslims in a horrific, tremendous way. And there continues to be many in and outside the country who would like to see this country attacked into oblivion. So this is the perception of Muslims, in general, that many of us will continue to carry until the “moderate” Muslims decide to speak out against it. I know there are probably people like you who do, but I don’t think I have ever seen a national movement of Muslims or any major announcements by these “moderate” Muslims denouncing things like 9/11 (or even the publicly-funded school in Minnesota that teaches Islam and is housed with a Mosque?!?!) That is wrong.

    I could probably go on and on, but I will spare everyone that at this time…thanks for commenting everyone.

  15. “While I appreciate your point that not all Muslims are carrying swords and out for Jihad in this country, I do think that those who don’t follow that line should be speaking out more against it.”
    I wholeheartedly agree with you on at least that point!!! And you will find, if you have the inclination to look, there are a number of prominent muslim writers and thinkers who agree, and who urge their fellow moderates to be more outspoken against the violence done in their name. (Irshad Manji is the most easily readable, I believe).
    I also think, in your bringing up expectations in wearing something that obviously sets you apart, that it IS primarily the duty of the person who is standing out to be patient with misunderstanding. I personally do not think it is responsible to wear something like a hijab if you are not willing to field (polite!) questions about it. ignorance is only perpetuated by people feeling there is something they do not understand and can not ask about. In my opinion, and in that of most of my “covered” friends (I say this in quotes because in any arab country, our jeans and t-shirt plus scarf combo would not fly…..but hey, another reason why we like living here!), it only helps community relations if we are open to discussion when people ask us questions. It is foolish to think no one will treat me differently because of it, but I DO expect courtesy, the same as any one else, and that is the frightening part. i have encountered not just plain ignorance, or curiousity, but a decent amount of straight up HATRED. vehement, get the h*ll out of my sight and go curl up and die sort of hatred.
    that is why i think it is important for both sides to educate themselves, and be more open to discussion. I do not want my kids exposed to this sort of violent rejection based on one small thing they hold in common with enemies of our country. The Nazi’s claimed to be Christian. No one holds it against you. (At least, I hope not…)
    for the record, I am also, in addition to being a practicing muslim, quite liberal, definitely a democrat, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and in a lot of ways, I am probably the epitome of the very progressive world that is forming the assault on Christian values that you talk about! I think you would find, if you reached out to some more socially conservative (then me, that is) american muslims, you would have a lot in common with them on some of the touchstone american political issues (abortion, gay rights, etc…) I know in my town the one thing that the local churchs and the mosque collaborate on is the annual anti-abortion protest. while i don’t agree with the subject, I thoroughly approve of even this small effort to work together on things that we feel we have in common. it is small steps like this that change the bigger pictures.
    I have very much enjoyed this blog. I enjoy real discussion, and it is often so very difficult for people from very opposite sides of political idiologies to have any sort of meaningful discussion without a rapid descent into name calling; liberals and conservatives alike are responsible for this. I hope I can leave you all with a bit more understanding of where some of us are coming from. it all comes down to education. REAL education; that means I should not go to my imam to learn about christianity, and you should not get your info on islam from a pastor! I take to heart the injunction to get moderates more outspoken against violence, and I hope you all will think, next time, before blaming the problem on “muslims”. we are all different.
    It’s been a pleasure,

  16. tattoos & wine = haram. how do you resolve the tension between your faith and your actions? i would buy that the tattoos were prior to conversion, but wine is def haram.

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