Daniel Pipes: Resisting Islamic Law





[Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum. His website address is http://www.danielpipes.org. Click here for his blog.]

Westerners opposed to the application of the Islamic law (the Shari‘a) watch with dismay as it goes from strength to strength in their countries – harems increasingly accepted, a church leader endorsing Islamic law, a judge referring to the Koran, clandestine Muslim courts meting out justice. What can be done to stop the progress of this medieval legal system so deeply at odds with modern life, one that oppresses women and turns non-Muslims into second-class citizens?

A first step is for Westerners to mount a united front against the Shari‘a. Facing near-unanimous hostility, Islamists back down. For one example, note the retreat last week by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a dispute concerning guide dogs used by the blind.

Muslims traditionally consider dogs impure animals to be avoided, creating an aversion that becomes problematic when Muslim store-owners or taxi drivers deny service to blind Westerners relying on service dogs. I have collected fifteen such cases on my weblog, at"Muslim Taxi Drivers vs. Seeing-Eye Dogs": five from the United States (New Orleans, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Brooksville, Fl.; Everett, Wash.); four from Canada (Vancouver, twice in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Alberta); three from the United Kingdom (Cambridge, twice in London); two from Australia (Melbourne, Sydney); and one from Norway (Oslo).

News accounts quote Muslim cabbies rudely rejecting blind would-be passengers, yelling at them,"No dog, No dog, Get out, get out";"Get that dog out of here"; and"No dogs, no dogs." The blind find themselves rejected, humiliated, abandoned, insulted, or even injured, left in the rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere, made late for an appointment, or caused to miss a flight.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes and his guide dog. Innes is often denied service by taxi drivers.

Islamist organizations initially responded to this problem by supporting anti-canine cabbies. The Muslim Association of Canada pointed out how Muslims generally regard dog saliva as unclean. CAIR on one occasion echoed this assertion, claiming that"the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer." On another, the head of CAIR, Nihad Awad, declared that"People from the Middle East especially … have been indoctrinated with a kind of fear of dogs" and justified a driver rejecting a guide dog on the grounds that he"has a genuine fear and he acted in good faith. He acted in accordance with his religious beliefs."

However, when the police and the courts are called in, the legal rights of the blind to their basic needs and their dignity almost always trump the Muslim dislike for dogs. The Muslim proprietor or driver invariably finds himself admonished, fined, re-educated, warned, or even jailed. The judge who found a cabby's behavior to be"a total disgrace" spoke for many.

CAIR, realizing that its approach had failed in the courts of both law and of public opinion, suddenly and nimbly switched sides. In a cynical maneuver, for example, it organized 300 cabbies in Minneapolis to provide free rides for participants at a National Federation of the Blind conference. (Unconvinced by this obvious ploy, a federation official responded:"We really are uncomfortable … with the offer of getting free rides. We don't think that solves anything. We believe the cabdrivers need to realize that the law says they will not turn down a blind person.") And, finally, last week, the Canadian office of CAIR issued a statement urging Muslims to accommodate blind taxi passengers, quoting a board member that"Islam allows for dogs to be used by the visually impaired."

CAIR's capitulation contains an important lesson: When Westerners broadly agree on rejecting a specific Islamic law or tradition and unite against it, Western Islamists must adjust to the majority's will. Guide dogs for the blind represent just one of many such consensus issues; others tend to involve women, such as husbands beating wives, the burqa head coverings, female genital mutilation, and"honor" killings. Western unity can also compel Islamists to denounce their preferred positions in areas such as slavery and Shar‘i-compliant finances.

Other Islam-derived practices do not (yet) exist in the West but do prevail in the Muslim world. These include punishing a woman for being raped, exploiting children as suicide bombers, and executing offenders for such crimes as converting out of Islam, adultery, having a child out of wedlock, or witchcraft. Western solidarity can win concessions in these areas too.

If Westerners stick together, the Shari‘a is doomed. If we do not, we are doomed.





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Sally Gee - 3/1/2008

"But even if the situation were completely analogous (say it was Jewish cabdrivers who refused to carry Muslims)..."

So your drift is that Muslims are analogous to dogs, puke sodden, hate filled smokers passing themselves off as Ecksteins. Gotcha. An interesting argument from a much awarded professor.

"... not deciding to read a book (however dumb as an educational decision) is not the same as throwing the diabled out of the cab; one involves active harm inflicted on a disabled person"

Good to point that out. But isn't it the case that not reading (or actually reading) a book may be a primary cause of behaviour which results in many, many disabled being thrown out of cabs, or into Auschwitz, or being murdered in Gaza by the rockets and tanks of the viciously racist state of Israel? Just a pitiable thought on my part.


art eckstein - 3/1/2008

Note, readers, that Gee's sarcasm shows her view on the action of the school discussed above is negative; she has brought this irrelevant incident foreward merely as a "tu quoque" ("You do it too") argument aimed at Jews.

1. But even if the situations were completely parallel (say it was Jewish cabdrivers who refused to carry Muslims), this would not lessen the negative judgment one can make on the Muslim cab-drivers, taken by themselves, who refused to carry the blind. Rather, both groups (Musllim and Jewish cabbies) would both be in the wrong. Gee obviously thinks the Jews are wrong about the books.

2. But the situations are in any case *not" parallel: not deciding to read a book (however dumb as an educational decision) is not the same as throwing the diabled out of the cab; one involves active harm inflicted on a disabled person.

3. And in any case the problem for Gee is that Gee has been *defending* the Muslim cab-drivers for their maltreatment of the diabled, not criticizing them. She has been defending them and defending them, driven back by N.F. and myself from one ridiculous position to the next, offering ever more ridiculous pretexts. Yet she attacks the Jewish students for something much less harmful to persons. This is then an example not of a parallel but rather of the crudest kind of double standards on her part.

4. In terms of the quality of Gee's "thought" about this whole issue, note Gee's accusation above of "racism" against N.F. because he equated the Muslim cabbies' refusal to carry blind people with the guide-dogs to cabbies refusing to carry African-Americans 40 years ago. She misses the point-- that the issue is the refusal of disabled PEOPLE with dogs (to which disabled PEOPLE the African-Americans 40 years ago were being equated), not the dogs themselves (to which African Americans were NOT being equated!). Somehow, Gee missed this obvious point, and having missed it, went on from there to level a very serious and very irresponsible accusation against N.F. Of course, N.F. was able to dismiss the accusation quickly and easily. But...What--Gee missed an obvious and central point in what she was reading and then went on, on the basis of her crude mistake, to make irresponsible and harmful remarks? I am so surprised.

All in all, this entire thread has been a pitiable intellectual performance on her part.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/29/2008

Note, readers, that Gee's sarcasm shows her views the action of the school discussed above are negative; she has brought this irrelevant incident foreward merele as "tu quoque" argument aimed at Jews.

1. But even if the situation were completely analogous (say it was Jewish cabdrivers who refused to carry Muslims), this would not lessen the negative judgment one can make on the Muslim cab-drivers who refused to carry the blind. They would both be in the wrong. She obviously thinks the Jews are wrong about the books.

2. But the situations are not analogous: not deciding to read a book (however dumb as an educational decision) is not the same as throwing the diabled out of the cab; one involves active harm inflicted on a disabled person.

3. And in any case the problem for Gee is that Gee has been *defending* the Muslim cab-drivers for their maltreatment of the diabled. She has been defending them and defending them, driven back by N.F. and myself from one ridiculous position into offering ever more ridiculous pretexts. Yet she attacks the Jewish students for something much less harmful to persons. This is then an example of the crudest kind of double standards on her part.

4. In terms of the quality of Gee's "thought" about this whole issue, note that Gee's accusation above of "racism" against N.F. because he equated the refusal to carry blind people with the dogs to cabbies refusing to carry African-Americans 40 years ago misses the point that the issue is the refusal of disabled PEOPLE with dogs (to which PEOPLE African-Americans 40 years ago were being equated), not the dogs themselves (to which African Americans were NOT being equated!). Somehow, Gee missed this obvious point, and having missed it, went on level a very serious and very irresponsible accusation against N.F. Of course, he was able to dismiss the accusation quickly and easily. But...What--Gee missed an obvious and central point in what she was reading and then went on, on the basis of her crude mistake to make irresponsible and harmful remarks? I am so surprised.

All in all, this entire thread has been a pitiable intellectual performance on her part.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

Mr Friedman, in the nature of things, I have a wide range of books available to me from which I can make a reasoned choice, but taxi cabs are limited and I want to make sure that there are some real choices available to people who are as risk (or the half crazed, puke covered Ecktein) averse as I am.

And I certainly support the right of these obviously dimwitted students to make the choice they have made. I just can't understand why the school hasn't been closed down when it is supported by the English taxpayer and it obviously seeds the growth of anti-Western terrorism.

Time for final drinky and then go for eats. Nighty night, Mr Friedman, hope you sleep tight.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/29/2008

In any case, this has nothing to do with throwing blind people out of cabs for religious reasons. Not reading a book is not the same as refusing service to the disabled when you are publicly and legally obligated to do so, and then assaulting the disabled person you have refused.

Argument by analogy is always dicey; for primitive hate-filled intellects such as Gee it is a very dangerous tactic indeed because the analogy may not work; and so it has turned out here.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

On further thought, delete my last comment.

I take the protest as being akin to on again off again boycott in the US by some African American students against The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I do not support such boycotts.

I do not believe in the ban the books you do not like movement. But, that does not mean that there are no offensive books.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

It seems to me that you ought support these protests. It is no different than the protests made on behalf of the cab drivers.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

Your views sound very hateful. Professor Eckstein is, so far as I know, a very nice fellow.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

Apropos Mr Eckstein: (a)'cos I share the pre-scientific belief that idiocy is catching; and (b) because I want businesses to know that if they do business with him I won't do business with them because if I do people might assume that I do not find his views, let alone signs of his presence, wholly disagreeable. Anyway, he probably doesn't think much of Shakespeare either.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

I've just seen this story in the London Evening Standard and found a more complete version on the Daily Mail website. This will really boost Mr Eckstein and all the other hateheads. I guess he'll rub his hands and say, "Job well done!" I bet these kids can't relate what they think they're protesting to what is really being done to their fellow human beings in Gaza. Do you, Mr Freidman?

“A top Jewish school has plummeted down the league tables after pupils were allowed to boycott a Shakespeare test on the grounds that the Bard was anti-Semitic.

“Nine teenagers out of a 45-strong group would not sit the Key Stage Three Shakespeare test last May because they were offended by The Merchant of Venice.

“The girls launched their protest after studying the controverisal character of Shylock who demands a pound of flesh from a debtor in The Merchant of Venice.

“This is despite the fact that the national curriculum test for 14-year-olds centred on The Tempest.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=522938&;in_page_id=1770


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

Do you really mean that you would not ride in a cab that Professor Eckstein had been in? And if so, why, praytell?

As for your comment about the equation of discrimination against African Americans with discrimination against dogs, that is not what I stated. Rather, my concern is discrimination against people who have dogs - most particularly, handicapped people who need dogs in order to move about in society. Such people have rights and such rights are not addressed adequately by the notion, pushed by right wing extremists (like you?), that a business ought be able do whatever it wants.

At least you now admit that your views and those of the extreme right are in close sync. That provides me much insight into your thinking all around. It explains most of your politics so far revealed.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

Many arguments are shared by left and right, liberal and conservative as we travel along a common pathway to different destination points.

As a woman, I would prefer a cab to be driven by a woman and I only use firms which have women drivers and a women-only policy. As a consumer, I am deeply unhappy at the thought that I may be placed in the position of renting a cab which has accomodated a dog or a smoker or someone who has puked all over the seats or Mr Eckstein and, if such is the case, I would rather let it go and I will search out a non-dog, non-smoking, puke and Eckstein free cab, or find some alternative mode of transport. The rights of the dog loving, smoking hatehead are in conflict with those of the dog loathing, anti-smoking, Eckstein averse passenger and cannot easily be balanced.

I must say that I find your willingness to equate discrimination against dogs with discrimination against African Americans deeply offensive and at one with your attitude towards the inhabitants of Gaza. I think this must have a lot to do with your secular outlook on life.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/29/2008

The issue is serious enough for CAIR to issue a statement condemning the cabbies. This indicates the scale of the problem.

No one generalized to all Muslims, although one may note that the CAIR statement is addressed to all Msulims. Read what I wrote--and read it carefully.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

fair ought to be spelled "fare," as in taxi fare.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

The custom and law in the US is not to refuse a taxi fair. There have been court battles in which drivers refused to drive African Americans for fear of being hijacked or robbed or being compelled to drive to neighborhoods in which African Americans live. The drivers generally lose. Why? Because discrimination by race by a business owner is generally thought to be illegal - no matter the business purpose. I would expect that the same formula would be applicable if the discrimination were by gender.

Single gender athletic fitness centers have been taken to court and have lost at least some, if not most, cases. Here is a report on one such case. Whether the law is well considered, I am not sure. It is worth noting - following up on a point I previously made that most important law is state law - that the anti-discrimination case law in issue is state law, not federal law.

Your argument - and I have said this before - is the argument of a far right wing conservative. In other words, you stand to right of even President Bush on this issue, arguing that business owners ought do anything they like - so long as it makes business sense. Is that really the argument you want to make and the company you want to be in?


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

European students are a minuscule portion of the world - in fact, even of Europe. I have substantial contact with Europeans as a result of my law practice - much of which is international. Most of the people I deal with seem entirely disinterested in the dispute and, in any event, know nothing at all about it. Further, my contacts in other countries around the world (e.g. Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc., etc.) show even less interest in the matter than in Europe.

There is a rule of thumb about all disputes that I think is applicable. Apart from people of ideological commitment or personal or business interest, the vast majority of human beings care mostly about disputes that directly affect them and very little about other peoples's problems. Lack of proximity to a dispute tends, apart from people of ideological commitment or who are directly impacted personally or in business-wise, to diminish interest. While I do not have a formula for for the rate that interest diminishes with distance but I bet it is not all that different from the inverse square rule that applies to light and gravity.

So far as Gaza is concerned, my view is that Palestinian Arabs created most of their own problems. In this regard, I note that there were always compromises that might have resolved the dispute. There are, unfortunately, consequences to adopting an all or nothing position. Palestinian Arabs think that compromise is not appropriate and that they not only have rights but, more importantly, only they have rights.

That Europeans - mostly the young - fail to make the elementary distinction between having rights and having all of the rights speaks to the poor quality of thought in Europe, most especially in Europeans schools. It also speaks to a population that plays the role of brute, yoking together ideas without much caring whether they are true.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/29/2008

Prof
The issue here, the latest that is, is IRRESPONSIBLE GENERALIZATIONS; the whole sale condemnation arising out of the mis, the ill, the ill advised, the ignorance begotten behaviour of SOME
and the ,consciously, implied unsubtle
EXTENTION to ALL!

For you to go on childishly reciting your litany of incidents , as you always do, is failure to face the real issue; as defined above.
(If an incident(s) here and an incident(s) there is valid grounds for GENERALIZATION then anybody can prove anything!)

Whenever you manage to separate the incidental from the prevailing you might, just might, be able to see things differently; ie understand the human condition.

Which I DOUBT on BOTH counts!

Re your awards:WOW!


A. M. Eckstein - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee would do better to answer my specific arguments than to make personal attacks on me.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

I think that if Mr Eckstein's students were to read this corresponance, they would truly have the measure of the man!

What's your latest award, I wonder? Mr Pathetic 2008?


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

So, for instance, and remember I'm currently in what George Bush refers to as "Yurrup!", you would argue, by analogy, that it is wrong from a woman taxi driver to refuse all male fare when unaccompanied by a female (or as in the case of the firms I use regularly, any male accompanied by a female or not) even when the premise underlying that business is that your purpose is to serve the female market?


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

'I do not think that the whole world could care less about the Arab Israeli conflict. A small fraction of the world cares. Most people know next to nothing about it."

Only in America, Mr Friedman, only in America. As an American student in London who's been to most countries in the EU, and some not, that's not the impression I get from that bit of the rest of the world I have visited.

Oh, and I don't think you can excuse war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the state of Israel on Hamas - in much the same way that you can't blame the war crimes and crimes against humanity on the Czechs, the Gypsies, the Poles, the Jews, and so on, on their elected representatives. But you might because you seem to enjoy existing in a very different moral universe from most of the rest of us.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Omar,

It is worth considering in this situation that while you have presented a reasoned argument regarding the cab drivers, Ms. Gee has not. I really do think your argument about the doctrine of necessity is not only valid but an important argument.

And, at the same time, I really do think that some adjustments to the law are appropriately sought - even where the necessity might be an appropriate approach - to protect the religious sensibilities of Muslims. However, such should be considered by the same legal and social analysis used - and here I speak about the US - in connection with considering adjustments to the law sought by followers of other religions.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Ms. Gee,

I do not think that the whole world could care less about the Arab Israeli conflict. A small fraction of the world cares. Most people know next to nothing about it.

You, for reasons unexplained, are obsessed with how Gazans are treated but fail entirely to consider that groups like Hamas - the party that rules that territory - make it very difficult to address concerns of the Gazans, some of which are legitimate.


N. Friedman - 2/29/2008

Omar,

Your nasty reaction to my paying you a compliment for a well considered opinion is not what I would expect.

My word "explained" related to the fact that I had misunderstood what you had initially written. Which is to say, you told me what you had said.

In fact, I had really misinterpreted what you wrote. That, and nothing more.


art eckstein - 2/29/2008

Is Omar saying these cab-drivers were not Islamicists? Were not Muslims? CAIR originally defended them, as Muslims, on Islamic grounds. Not me--CAIR.

Is Omar saying that this problem is not widespread? It is widespread enough, and public outrage was strong enough, for CAIR to have changed its mind, ceased defending the cab-driver fanatics, arguing instead that they misunderstand Islam, and urging them to stop the practice. Again, it's not me who indicated the problem was widespread--it was CAIR.

And the practice is not merely widespread but continuing. Hence I cited a case from December 2007 in Alberta, Canada, where a blind woman was refused a cab-ride by a dozen cab-drivers in a row, all of them Muslims, all on religious grounds: put yourself in her place, Omar and Gee! Finally a private person took pity on her and drove her home from the airport in his own car.
Do Omar and Gee deny that this happened? Do they assert it's just a fluke? But it isn't, not according to CAIR itself, the leading Muslim interest-group in the United States, which sees there is a definite problem here.

Yes, Omar, I've received awards from my university, and was just invited to give a prestigious lecture out in California. That is because, indeed, I employ FACTS.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/29/2008

Speaking of irresponsible generalization as a tool in the disinformation/misinformation "mission" of the herd against Arabs, Moslems and Islam in general Prof Eckstein was not late in providing us with some outstanding examples and demonstrations.
His latest gem being(Facts are Facts (#119713)by art eckstein on February 29, 2008 at 9:11 AM):

1-"Gee evidently
-thinks (WOW)
2-that
-widespread (WOW)
-Muslim immigrant violation of Western laws (WOW)
3-is not a fit subject for discussion--it's so impolite. On grounds of "multiculturalism", she even defends the right of
-Islamicist cab-drivers (WOW)
-not to pick up blind people,(WOW)
something that not even Omar or CAIR tries to do. "

Then the heartless, but valiant
fish/killer cum Rambo of words and intellect, Professor Eckstein, hastens to add:

"N.F. and I won this debate ...."

And that is a highly awarded , multi awarded?, university Professor!!!!


art eckstein - 2/29/2008

Gee asserted that certain events never happened, that Muslims didn't actually manhandle blind people out of their cabs, etc. That this was all just anti-Muslim hate propaganda, etc.

So I provided a case where a Muslim bus-driver was convicted in court of battery for assaulting a blind person in order to drive that person out of his taxi-cab. Both N. F. and myself then skewered Gee's contemptible attempts to make the blind person into the aggressor in the case, and her ridiculous attempts to argue that this view is actually what the court ruled, even though (a) the taxi-driver was convicted of battery, (b) was sentenced to 120 days community service, and (c) and that 120 days community service was community service to blind people.

This is not an isolated incident, or an example of hatred of Muslims. Even CAIR admits there's a problem with Islamicist taxi-drivers who won't pick up blind people with seeing-eye dogs, in contravention of the law.

Gee evidently thinks that widespread Muslim immigrant violation of Western laws is not a fit subject for discussion--it's so impolite. On grounds of "multiculturalism", she even defends the right of Islamicist cab-drivers not to pick up blind people, something that not even Omar or CAIR tries to do.

N.F. and I won this debate on grounds of fact and argument. All Gee has to give HNN in return is personal vituperation.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

Hatehead, you're so useless that you've not even managed to make it last. You fell out of the race a long, long time ago.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

That's an interesting thought experiment you've suggested. I usually put myself in the position of a Gazan woman of my own age. I find it helps me to understand what the rest of the world knows and takes for granted about Israel's regime of terror. And I very often put myself in the position of a Muslim living in a non-Muslim society where the fear of Islam is stoked up by pathetic half crazed Zionist religio-ethnic hateheads like you.


art eckstein - 2/29/2008

I simply meant that N. F. and I have certainly won our two separate fights with the idiotic and anti-semitic Gee. I don't put myself first.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/29/2008


"I'm certain I've won this particular debate. N.F. too."
(Re: An Open letter to Ms Gee! (#119690)by art eckstein on February 28, 2008 at 6:08 PM)

Wow!
The Rambo of words and intellect has "won" !
And the side kick is gracious enough to recognize the role of others, N.F. who else?, in this astounding victory!


omar ibrahim baker - 2/29/2008

Mr Friedman
You say:

"In fact, you are mistaken. I indicated, after you explained yourself, that you were you being critical."
(Re: An Open letter to Ms Gee! (#119680)by N. Friedman on February 28, 2008 at 2:04 PM)

I had no reason to "explain" myself; I have every reason, for the benefit of others, to point out your ceaseless conscious contortion and deliberate eschewing of the real meaning of others' phrases and words including feigned
"misunderstanding" or "non understanding”; all in the service of racist Zionist colonialism and the discharge of your role in the
“ mission”.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/29/2008

Well, I get exercized when facts of a case are ignored or denied in the face of obvious evidence (like the cab-driver being found guilty of battery and sentenced to serve the blind), and when I see someone defending behavior by Muslims that not even Omar will defend.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/29/2008

NO, it wasn't fairies, it was facts. Facts like the fact that your hero-Muslim-cabbie, trying so desperately to fight off that aggressive blind person, was in reality found guilty of battery by the judge and sentenced to serve the blind for 120 days.

And of course, the examples of this disgraceful behavior by Muslim cabbies--even Omar says it's wrong-- continue. The one from Alberta from last December had a blind person being refused by 10 or 15 straight Muslim cabbies. In the end, a private person took pity on her and drove her home. Gee, put yourself in the position of that blind person. Think about it.


Sally Gee - 2/29/2008

On matters of imprisonment in the United State I defer to your knowledge and experience, Mr Friedman (leaving aside, of course, the Guantanomo detainees and those in similar institutions operated by the American government throughout the world).

So if it is not even a close call, why does it exercise the fantasies of you and the half crazed Zionist relio-ethnic haters, Eckstein and Pipes? Maybe it a bit like the idea of cold fusion, to extract a great deal out of a great deal of nothing.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

Evidently, you did not read the article very carefully. The issue is not where people scrub but if they will scrub where they do not want to scrub. And, further, the request for a separate facility was shown as an example of a problem that was solved, not a solution for the problem in issue. Which is to say, you have quoted from the article out of context.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

If you lived in the US, you would know that your expectations and reality are, in this case, entirely unrelated. In fact, unless the victim was in the hospital with a severe injury, prison time for a simple battery - and not, I have not heard the phrase "with a dangerous weapon" (in which case it would be a felony, not a misdemeanor) and even then the weapon involved would need to be really dangerous, like a gun or knife - simply is not in the cards. Which is to say, a bit of familiarity with the US would help you not say silly things.

Again, Ms. Gee, this is not even a close call. Even a vicious attack would not, without a substantial injury or a seriously dangerous weapon, lead anywhere near a prison.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

"Here is an example, from Great Britain, of what appear to be very unreasonable demands. In the linked to circumstances, Muslim medical staff refuse to scrub in accordance with recognized health standards used in the UK."

And what do I read when I follow the link?

"Steve Ryan, medical director at Alder Hey said that while the "bare below the elbows" dress code is a matter of patient safety, the trust would work with Muslim students to find a solution.

He said: "We specify bare below elbows, no wrist watches, nail varnish or false nails in clinical areas.

"Good hand hygiene is one of the most important and simplest actions we can take to prevent healthcare associated infections.

"A number of female Muslim students had approached the University of Liverpool to ask if we would provide facilities for them to change their outerwear and hijab for theatre scrubs."

Problem, solution. If there are further problems, I am sure that female students will supply similarly robust and commonsense solutions. It's the grownup way.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Diddums, now. Bet the fairies popped up from the bottom of the garden to tell you that, heh?


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

And it may be that "luck" favoured the defendant because the battery was mitigated by the provacative action of the victim by causing a dog to enter the defendant's taxi cab without permission. That's why it is sensible to refer to the judgement, 'cos in the real world, if someone batters a blind person without provocation, one would expect a sentence a little greater than 120 hours or 120 days or whatever it is that Mr Eckstein remembers as the outcome of the case.

I think it's a speculation too far to sugest that it is the result of the defendant having a serious record. If this were so, even a little manhandling would have led to the pokey.

I'm sure the 2 million plus prisoners in Americn jails (leaving aside those in Guantanemo and other subject to extrordinary - or perhaps not that extrordinary, after all - rendition, etc) take great pride in the quality of justice meted out to everyone in the United States whether or not they can afford an attorney.


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

I'm certain I've won this particular debate. N.F. too.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

In the US, if an accused cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent the accused, free of charge.

If the allegations raise a matter of principle, there is no difficulty obtaining high class legal counsel to protect civil liberties. Perhaps you have heard of the ACLU. They represent cases of principle for FREE. And, they are very, very good at what they do.

I doubt the accused would make a case of principle out of the right to beat someone up. I think what occurred is that the accused had a serious criminal record. That best explains the result. So, when a case of battery came along, there was no choice by to take the case to trial. And, unfortunately for the accused, he lost. He is likely lucky that the judge did not issue a prison sentence.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

"But perhaps we should canvass the proposition that the consistent violation of Western laws on the proper treatment of the disabled by Muslims and on overtly religious grounds should be a banned topic of conversation."

Not a particularly graceful loser are you, Mr Eckstein?


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Mr Eckstein, you have succeeded in adding a new dimension to the term "idiocy". Congratulations. Your family must be very proud to have you bring such distinction on yourself.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Doesn't follow. Not if it's a matter of principle but the defendant is unable to pony up the price of lawyering to make a real drag out fight possible. Good try though.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/28/2008

N.F. is once more exactly correct. Even Omar says that the cab-drivers are ignoramuses. Since they defend their behavior on grounds of Islam (a defense that Omar disputes, evidently rightly), he should realize what shame they bring upon Islam.

The only reason this is an issue is that it is happening continuously and blind people are complaining.

For instance, here is an egregious case from December 2007 (i.e., two months ago), which shows that maltreatment of the blind on grounds of Islam is still going on by Muslim cabbies, despite the law:

Dec. 4, 2007: Remote Fort McMurray, Alberta (population: 65,000) has the same problem, Chuck Chiang reports in "Refused: Airport cabbies wouldn't take blind woman with guide dog, despite laws on her side." Diane Bergeron, a blind woman with a seeing-eye dog, landed at the airport two days ago and despite "a whole line of ten, 15 taxis waiting outside," she said, "not one would take me because of my dog." Eventually, a bystander took her to her hotel in town.

Nor was her plight unusual: Provincial and municipal laws to the contrary, blind Albertans with guide dogs face difficulties getting cabs. "It happens frequently, everywhere," said Ellie Shuster, spokeswoman for a national non-profit agency providing services to blind Canadians. She works for blind cab riders their rights, cab drivers to learn their obligations, and police officers the laws they must enforce.

Indeed, despite laws strictly forbidding the refusal of seeing-eye dogs, local cab companies take a relaxed attitude on the topic. "We can't make the drivers do it," said Ron MacNeill, owner of Sun Taxi."


Omar, I ask you to read this testimony carefully and put yourself in the position of this blind person, refused by 10 or 15 Muslim cabbies in a row on grounds of the Islamic faith.

Since the blind are complaining and complaining, and since Muslim (or perhaps its better to say Islamicist) cab-drivers are continuing to do it--hence CAIR's remonstrance with them--it's not surprising that this is an issue.

But perhaps we should canvass the proposition that the consistent violation of Western laws on the proper treatment of the disabled by Muslims and on overtly religious grounds should be a banned topic of conversation.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

I herd that!


A. M. Eckstein - 2/28/2008

I think Gee perceives a worldwide conspiracy of blind people and Jews. Hmm...

These incidents appeared for one reason only: because blind people consistently complained of being refused, abandoned and even manhandled by Muslim cabbies because of their guide-dogs. This didn't happen once, and didn't happen only in the past; in the case from December 2007 it happened to a blind person ten times in a row. Gee ought to put herself in the position of that blind person, and think about the situation. The behavior of the Muslim cabbies was and is a violation of the law.

Perhaps Gee is proposing a general rule that consistent violation of certain laws on universal rights (including rights of the disabled), when done by Muslims but by no other group be forbidden as a topic of conversation or debate. Of course, it isn't even all Muslims, but the specific Gee-protected class of fanatics and (according even to Omar) ignoramuses.

But again, if they were such ignoramuses, why did CAIR originally defend the cabbies' behavior towards the blind on grounds of Islam?




N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Omar,

In fact, you are mistaken. I indicated, after you explained yourself, that you were you being critical.

As for the rest of what you write, the issue of exceptions being made for religious reasons is legitimate, for Muslims or anyone else. The question is always the specifics of what is requested. In this case, you are right - if I understand you correct - that the drivers and their supporters could have viewed the matter as covered by the doctrine of necessity.

In fact, if you look more carefully, you will see that I offered you a compliment for your making what I thought to be an important point which I had not considered - and had not even understood you to have meant on my first reading.

As for this herd thing, that is a bigoted comment.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/28/2008

Ms Gee
You ask:"But if it has nothing to do with Jews or Israel, why are Zionist religio-ethnic hateheads like you, Pipes and Freidman wasting so much time on this trivial issue? "
Then you say:
"I think it can be summed up in two phrases: "the company you keep" and "you've all got form, and lots of it".

It is that and much more than that.
The herd never misses an opportunity to denigrate and demonize Islam.
They base their "contributions" on real occurrences as the, by now, notorious case of the "blind person, his dog and Moslem taxi drivers", or on fictitious and/or malignantly contrived "happening", "sayings" etc., as is the overwhelming majority of their other "contributions".
(note Eckstein's claim that beating one's wife is "enthroned in Islam etc etc .)
Also note worthy is that in their efforts they unfailingly
"generalize" the issue ; never did they imply, as it must be the case, that these were exceptional cases of "some" Moslem taxi drivers who refused etc etc.

Another note worthy characteristic is their unfailing tendency
to "extrapolate" and contort the meaning of phrases and put words in other people's mouths.
(Note :Friedman's allegation that I "defended" those taxi drivers)

With Eckstein, he being what he is, it is always very transparent, with "gentleman" Friedman it is less so ; he failed to concede that I never "defended" those taxi drivers.

A third characteristic is their total avoidance of, complete blindness to, unpleasant facts particularly if conveyed by a "neutral" party.
(Note their total avoidance of my post about the killing of children at Muir's article "A land with no people")
I can go on and on but I am sure by know you have found out for yourself what is their modus operandi.

The long and short of the issue is that in their blind defense of the Zionist colony in Palestine, Israel, they, with many others in US media, are marshalled, embarked on a well planned "mission"/task/duty to denigrate and demonize the Arabs, the Moslems AND Islam in general with all possible means bar none.

The sad thing about this, for the Ara/Moslem world AND the USA, is that they, and their counterparts in US media, never ponder the effect of their efforts on the interests of the USA which, presumably, should be their primary consideration.
Keep well!


A. M. Eckstein - 2/28/2008

The only person crazed here is Gee, who thinks the blind person was the aggressor and that the judge didn't decide that the cabbie had committed battery.

Friedman's argument about the implications of the verdict and the implications of the punishment imposed on the cabbie is exactly the same as what I myself posted in #119659.

The only person out of the loop here is the crazed anti-semite Gee.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

If it were just a bit of shoving, there would have been no trial. Rather, there would have been a pretrial resolution of some sort, as I noted. That would even be the case if there were a real drag out fight. So, that theory of yours makes no sense.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

No Ms. Gee,

It is very unlikely that someone would be in prison for the type of crime committed. That, as I note, is not the approach taken in the US.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

The issue here is how, if at all, society needs to bend its laws for a particular religion. Some degree of accommodation is reasonably appropriate and is, at least in the US, already made and in fact, ought to made for all religions. There are obviously cases still to be worked out.

Of course, not everything demanded or sought by a religion is reasonable. And, not every demand or request ought to be honored. The case of charmers of poisonous snakes comes to mind.

Here is an example, from Great Britain, of what appear to be very unreasonable demands. In the linked to circumstances, Muslim medical staff refuse to scrub in accordance with recognized health standards used in the UK.

Such is not a reasonable demand or even suggestion and suggests medical people who place religion or, more likely, politics or political religion before the Hippocratic oath. Moreover, such people are not, as Omar notes with respect to cab drivers, adopting the the rule of necessity with respect to the Muslim religious precept of modest dress. Surely, the doctrine of necessity applies were, in fact, these medical people really interested their patients and not, as some believe, interested in politics.

Which is the point. Were the demands really religious, a different approach would likely be taken by the medical people. But since, so far as I know, doctors even in Muslim countries typically follow contemporary rules with respect to scrubbing, the conclusion I reach is that these requests or demands are politics or political religious demands designed to change Great Britain (or the US) and not to protect real religious concerns. Again: as Omar correctly says, the rule of necessity ought apply.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

I don't disgree with you, Mr Friedman. The judge would rightly have been outraged making an "attack" (probably a little pushing and shoving but obviously nothing serious) on a blind person and was pretty ticked off by the fact that the case came to trial. and it strikes me, for the reason you give, that the sentence serves justice well.

I don't think Mr Eckstein sees it quite the way we do because he seems to have made a considerable emotional investment in his interpretation of this matter which, remember, was first raised in Mr Pipes unsavoury and over-emotive discussion of proposals involving the limited and voluntary application of Sharia within existing legal frameworks in those countries with a (possibly, significant) Muslim populations.

You seem to be a much more sensible fellow than your friends so I no longer class you as being one of those half crazed Zionist religio-ethnic haters. Keep it up, Mr Friedman and we will make a responsible adult out of you yet.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Get the judgement, post it, and then we'll see. But my guess, even without the use of complex and costly extrapolation techniques, is that you're wrong. Dead wrong. Otherwise this guy would have been put in pokey, right?


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

"Show Mr. Friedman cases where Buddhist, Hindu, Unitarian or Jewish cabbies refused service to blind people on religious grounds, or even manhandled them out of their cabs.

"Muslim cab-drivers did do this and do this now, and their stated reasons are religious--hence CAIR"

So the only reason this information was identified in the first place is that its use enables three half crazed Zionist religio-ethnic haters to attack Muslims and Muslim organisations which seek to mediate between Muslims and other communities including dog lovers. Shouldn't this a cause for celebrating the cultural flexibity and adaptive qualities of Islam and Muslims in general, or is boorishness just a thing that half crazed Zionist religio-ethnic haters feel compelled to do 'cos they just can't help themselves?


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

Where did I say this was a great issue? I wondered why you think it is a great issue. You claim now that it is not a great issue. Perhaps that was your view all along. Although it must be noted ...

You made the very first post in connection with Dr. Pipe's article. I only chimed in after reading some of the nonsense - and, in some cases, sense - being spun on this page.

Evidently, you do not like dogs. That is your privilege. I know lots of people who agree with you about dogs.

You would make a complete prohibition, thus keeping dogs out of all taxicabs. Fine, if you can convince the legislature that such is good public policy. But - and here is where you are very confused -, the view of those supporting the cab drivers is to make an exception to the law for them, which would do nothing at all to help you, since they are not seeking to keep dogs out of all taxicabs - only their taxicabs.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

In cases where no one is seriously hurt, cases are normally resolved without a finding of guilty - unless the accused has a fairly substantial record of breaking the law, in which case the person could go to prison. In most such cases, prosecutors will allow the accused either to receive (and the terminology and details vary from state to state but the concepts are pretty much the same across the US) what is called in some states pre-trial probation (i.e. there will be neither a finding of guilt nor an admission of guilt and, if the accused stays out of trouble for a specified period of time, the case will be dismissed - and, if not, the case can, in the court and/or prosecutor's discretion, be re-opened) or, if the prosecutor believes the matter is more serious and/or the victim for a good reason insists on a stronger penalty (e.g. because he or she was injured), a continuance without a finding (i.e. the accused admits to at least one crime - usually a lesser crime - and the judge indicates that if the accused stays out of trouble for a specified period of time, the case will be dismissed - or, if the accused gets in trouble during that period, the finding of guilt, in the court's discretion, will be entered and the accused sentenced according to the rules applicable to the admitted to crime).

So, there is, first of all, the question of why there was a trial rather than a plea bargain. That could be for any of a number of reasons. However, having had a trial, there is the question why the verdict was not, somehow, resolved to something short of a guilty finding notwithstanding the finding of the court - or jury if the accused had a jury. Then, there is the question of the sentence.

My take is that the judge was outraged by the attack on a blind person. That is the most likely explanation for the guilty finding and the sentence to community service of any kind. After that, the fact that such community service was directed to blind people almost certainly means that the judge wanted the accused to understand the real needs of blind people, again suggesting a pretty outraged judge.

On the other hand, no jail time was entered, if I understand correctly. That suggests that the judge, while outraged, did not think the cabdriver was a heinous criminal - only a person who was not only insensitive but in need of learning a lessen.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

I have no idea what your background is. I also do not care.

However, I do note that I have not suggested that I would have a different attitude were the same sort of claim to be raised about non-Muslims. For what it is worth, I think that prosecution and jailing of poisonous snake charmers is fine and, so far as I know, most such charmers are not Muslim. And, so far as I know, those who charm the snakes - and their audiences - do so with religious aims in mind.

Further, I have not split hairs. I have noted real distinctions recognized both by law and by society - all over the world. Distinctions, Ms. Gee, are the lifeblood of civilization and help to distinguish us from mere brutes. Brutes, because they are filled with rage, bring together things which are really distinguishable.


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

Show Mr. Friedman cases where Buddhist, Hindu, Unitarian or Jewish cabbies refused service to blind people on religious grounds, or even manhandled them out of their cabs.

Muslim cab-drivers did do this and do this now, and their stated reasons are religious--hence CAIR, which originally defended them on religious grounds, has released a statement in the face of popular outrage urging that they accept that their religious grounds are false. CAIR, in other words, sees a problem--even CAIR sees a problem.

Only Gee sees no problem here and even defends the Muslim cabbies' right to reject or even eject the blind from their cabs on grounds of personal conscience.

And it is still going on, despite the law:

Dec. 4, 2007: Remote Fort McMurray, Alberta (population: 65,000) has the same problem, Chuck Chiang reports in "Refused: Airport cabbies wouldn't take blind woman with guide dog, despite laws on her side." Diane Bergeron, a blind woman with a seeing-eye dog, landed at the airport two days ago and despite "a whole line of ten, 15 taxis waiting outside," she said, "not one would take me because of my dog." Eventually, a bystander took her to her hotel in town.

Nor was her plight unusual: Provincial and municipal laws to the contrary, blind Albertans with guide dogs face difficulties getting cabs. "It happens frequently, everywhere," said Ellie Shuster, spokeswoman for a national non-profit agency providing services to blind Canadians. She works for blind cab riders their rights, cab drivers to learn their obligations, and police officers the laws they must enforce.

Indeed, despite laws strictly forbidding the refusal of seeing-eye dogs, local cab companies take a relaxed attitude on the topic. "We can't make the drivers do it," said Ron MacNeill, owner of Sun Taxi.


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

I was challenged to cite a case where a Muslim cab-driver had not merely refused service to the blind with a guide dog, or abandoned them on the sidewalk, but had actually manhandled a blind person to get them out of his cab, as Pipes charged. That is exactly what I did; I cited a case.

The court found the Muslim cab-driver guilty of battery; sentenced him to 120 days community service; and not general community service but service specifically for the blind.

If Gee wants to argue that this verdict shows that the court thought the blind person was somehow guilty in this incident, there is nothing I can do for such a person intellectually or to correct her mental health.

I challenged Gee to prove I was somehow wrong in this case, that I had "fabricated it". She made that accusation, and it was a serious one. I asked for evidence to back up her accusation. As usual, she has none. Case closed.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Guess I'm just another self-hating Jew, right? But after a lifetime of hearing this kind of hate generated nonsense around me - well, who would blame me?

And this attack, in this context would not/could not have been made by Mr Pipes if the cab driver had been a Unitarian, a Buddhist, and certainly not if he had been Jewish - and I'm pretty sure that there are at least a couple of cab driving believers in each of these faiths who believe and act on the principle that dogs are unclean.

And the way you split hairs...? The trick is not to respond to the problem you wish to respond to, but to respond to the problem which has been raised. Pathetic really.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Just because you can shout loudy doesn't mean that your pathetically weak argument is strengthened. God, you must be really hysterical in class, as we say. Must be fun to watch, though. Well, once maybe.

But despite the caps, 120 days or FOUR MONTHS of community service (I'm surprised yu don't insist on using green ink) for BATTERY, not to mention your original account of the case, suggests that the tariff was low for a reason, and that reason is likely to be provacative behaviour on the part of the victim. QED, and go off and scream and cry in rage in a janitor's cupboard somewhere and give the rest of us some peace from your over-emotional, self indulgent, religio-ethnic hate attacks.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

Is there a great issue? I think it is a trivial matter which highlights a much, much greater issue: the apparent freedom with which you, Pipes and Eckstein feel able to pursue your crackpot religio-ethnic hatreds which seems to arise only from your support of the terror state of Israel.

And, personally, I would ban dogs from all public places on grounds of hygiene, aesthetics, religion - pretty much any reason, in fact - because I don't like them. And I would certainly not wish to be in a cab in which there had been a dog for the same reasons I would not use a cab in which someone had been smoking.


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

The cabbie was PROSECUTED and he was found GUILTY OF BATTERY . He accepted the verdict of the court. He did not appeal. He was sentenced to FOUR MONTHS of community service--and it was service working specifically FOR THE BLIND. It wasn't general community service--it was service specifically FOR THE BLIND. Does that sound to you like the court ruled that the BLIND person was at fault? Just how insane are you, Gee? Case closed.

But I tell you what--if you think there's more here than what is obvious, YOU get the court transcript. YOU wanted a court case, I gave you one. Go ahead, knock yourself out, show that actually the court thought that the BLIND PERSON was at fault, yet somehow imposed on the cabby a punishment of WORKING FOR THE BLIND.


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

The cabbie was PROSECUTED and he was found GUILTY OF BATTERY . He accepted the verdict of the court. He did not appeal. He was sentenced to FOUR MONTHS of community service--and it was service working specifically FOR THE BLIND. It wasn't general community service--it was service specifically FOR THE BLIND. Does that sound to you like the court ruled that the BLIND person was at fault? Just how insane are you, Gee? Case closed.

But I tell you what--if you think there's more here than what is obvious, YOU get the court transcript. YOU wanted a court case, I gave you one. Go ahead, knock yourself out, show that actually the court thought that the BLIND PERSON was at fault, yet somehow imposed on the cabby a punishment of WORKING FOR THE BLIND.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

I shall address the point that concerns me.

As for your concern about my involvement here, that is a pretty pathetic comment. Such an argument is called ad hominem and, as such, is an invalid argument. One might also point the finger at you and ask why someone like you finds it necessary to comment about taxi drivers who refuse to carry dogs and why you find it necessary to inject vile comments about people who disagree with you. I shall not do that because, to me, ad hominem arguments are invalid.

On your other comment that appears to be addressed to me that the law ought be changed to keep dogs out of taxicabs, I know people who are afraid of dogs so I do not think your point wholly inane. I suppose that the law could, if that were public preference, be changed to keep dogs out of all cabs, although there is the federal law requiring access by handicapped people - so, in all likelihood, seeing eye dogs would be allowed. Changes in the law would be a decision for a legislature.

In fact, what appears to be sought on behalf of the drivers - contrary to what you would like - is an exemption from the law as it currently stands. And, as I said, that is a doubtful case under US law, most especially because, as Omar notes, the doctrine of necessity applies. But, even if it did not apply, it is not likely that the law would be bent by a court.


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

1. Despite Gee, Dan Pipes is not "an Israeli Jew", in Gee's words; he is an American citizen, not an Israeli. But I guess a Jew is a Jew to Gee.

2. Harvard Magazine, which is (to say the least) a liberal publication, did an article on Dan Pipes a year ago; it emphasized--and how we will be shocked to learn that Gee's description of Pipes is 100% wrong!--that Pipes carefully distinguishes between Islam in general vs. fundamentalist political Islamicism.

3. Pipes is fluent in Arabic, holds a Ph.D. from Harvard in Medieval Islamic History, and spent two years in Cairo.


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

"(I note she still implies that the blind were the aggressors in these incidents; I note that faced with my demand that she provide EVIDENCE to back up her absurd claim that all these cabbie incidents were invented--she hasn't provided the slightest evidence of fabrication. Hmm."

I have suggested more than once that you post the court transcripts or, if not, the judgements. On the one case I discussed which went to trial, I suggested that 120 community service for assault implied a degree of provocation on the art of the complainant. Prove me wrong. Post the judgement.

I also see you give the same value to Rosa Parks and her colleagues in a great struggle against injustice as you do a dog, a point subsequently confirmed by Mr Freidman. I am speechless.


"N.F. is also correct that since this topic has nothing to do with Jews or Israel, Gee's obsessive throwing in of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli comments is a grim witness to her obsessive and grotesque anti-semitism."

But if it has nothing to do with Jews or Israel, why are Zionist religio-ethnic hateheads like you, Pipes and Freidman wasting so much time on this trivial issue? I think it can be summed up in two phrases: "the company you keep" and "you've all got form, and lots of it".

"If, however, the supporters of the drivers and the drivers themselves are not sincere, we have attempts to gain societal privileges, using religion to advance that agenda."

But isn't this true regardless of sincerity? Why not ban dogs from cab, full stop? I don't want to travelin a cab where a dog has been. Do the rights of one categry of customer exceed those of another? Alternatively, why not simply label cabs "doggie" cabs and "non-doggy" cabs and leave it up to customer choice? After all, isn't that the American way?

God, two pantaloons in one day!


art eckstein - 2/28/2008

N.F., we are not in disagreement.

Omar is clearly onto something with the "doctrine of necessity", and I said so. Yes, Omar seems to be right, an it is the same as how in Judaism the principle of "healing on the Sabbath" trumps Jewish prohibitions against working on the Sabbath. But if Omar is right, the question THEN becomes the following:

Didn't CAIR know this? After all, they are leading American Muslims; indeed, they are the leading spokes-group for Muslims in the U.S. Why then did CAIR defend the drivers on RELIGIOUS grounds? No one denies that they did.

As for the cabbies, assuming they were sincere, MUST we--for the sake of "multiculturalism"--be at the mercy of primitive versions of Islam which not even Omar defends? That was what the cabbies were about in refusing the blind, for forcing them from the cabs.

One part of the answer regarding CAIR, if not the primitive cabbies, may be what I wrote about the parallel with Western imperialists trying to gain uniquely privileged status and rights for Westerners in China a century ago. This "imperialist offensive" is a position which you state as: "If, however, the supporters of the drivers and the drivers themselves are not sincere, we have attempts to gain societal privileges, using religion to advance that agenda."


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

On your comment about Dr. Pipes, clearly you do not have a sufficient imagination. And, your lack of imagination is a product of your obsession - your view that Jews only care about themselves. For the record, people, including Jews, tend to have many concerns.

As for your second comment, democratic theory is one thing. The views of those living in a democracy are quite a different thing. Next time, ask your question more clearly.

And again: there is a difference in a democracy between belief and action. We can believe what we want. However, we cannot do everything we want, even if motivated by religion. That is rather obviously the case. Or, would you support a religion in its support for sacrificing human beings?


Sally Gee - 2/28/2008

"Other than your obsession with Jews and Israel, what does the cab driver issue have to do with Israel? Nothing I can think of."

Well, to tell you the truth, I can't imagine Dr Pipes raising anything that isn't to the PR benefit of Israel by being to the disadvantage of Mulslims whoever they may be and wherever they may be. And that's a kinda noticable feature of the relgio-ethnic hate articles he allows to be posted on HHN.

"I understood your words as they appear. The comment concerns the conscience of people who live in democracies, not the democratic view of religion."

Too facile by half, Me Friedman. The comment concerns the conscience of people who make up a democracy and who amongst them, as opposed to the state, and between them will have a view, or more precisely a range of views about religion, which extend from the antagonistic to the toleranty bemused to the welcoming. As I said, you have your own increasing idiosyncratic and untenable concept of democracy which would appear to have more to do with service to a foreign state than to the United States, or, as you are wont to refer, to any known Western values.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Professor,

I actually think that Omar is correct in his critique of the drivers and their supporters. The doctrine of necessity would, as he says, certainly apply in a case like this if, in fact, there were a religious objection of the type that might apply to the presence of a dog (that is beyond the objection to dogs as house pets) in a taxicab. In this instance, I thus think he has written something rather interesting and important.

Note importantly that, for whatever reason - convenience or ignorance or otherwise -, the doctrine of necessity does not appear to have been raised by those advocates of the drivers. Rather, it was the black and white of whether or not there is a prohibition and the need to protect the rights of the drivers who have religious sensibilities (and then later, personal sensibilities). So, the question is raised why the doctrine of necessity is not being raised, when Omar is clearly correct that it could be raised.

As I noted to Omar, there is something to working to change an immoral law to a more desired form and not merely accepting a bad status quo. That was the idea of traditional civil rights groups. And, that could, were the supporters of the cab drivers sincere - and, for purposes of this discussion, I think it might be assumed, at least for some of the drivers -, be a motivation.

Even if they were sincere, the agenda with dogs in taxicabs runs into other legitimate rights, not bigoted racial laws designed to secure societal privileges, as existed in the US South (and were fought by people like Rosa Parks). So, they have an odd case that is difficult to defend as a civil rights case.

If, however, the supporters of the drivers and the drivers themselves are not sincere, we have attempts to gain societal privileges, using religion to advance that agenda.


N. Friedman - 2/28/2008

Ms. Gee,

Dr. Pipes is an American, not an Israeli. His father, you may perhaps know, was a professor at Harvard. The younger Dr. Pipes is a fairly well known scholar.

Other than your obsession with Jews and Israel, what does the cab driver issue have to do with Israel? Nothing I can think of.

As for the legal stuff I have noted, what I have stated is factual. Calling me names does not change that. It does, for any reader here - as I stated to Mr. Hamilton (and, Mr. Hamilton, you will see that I am correct), you have revealed your views rather well.

Fine. You think there is a Jewish plot to undermine Muslims who do not want to comply with US laws which protects people who ride would ride in taxi cabs.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

"Your hatred of Israel runs to areas that have nothing to do with Israel, such as US cab drivers who refuse to transport dogs. If you think that has to do with Israel, you clearly have an obsession with Jews. Moreover, your attempt to defend your position by means of insinuating Israel and Jews into the topic runs afoul of the principle of logic called tu quoque. Which is to say, yours is an invalid argument."

Oh, right, Daniel Pipes is not a Jewish Israeli writing any kind of unmitigated crap to present muslims, Canadian taxi drivers, Islam, Islamism, Sharia, as being somehow subversive of Western values in their subverive entirety.

And I suppose you consider you, yourself, to be an impartial, ethnically neutral individual the brilliance of whose analytical intellect has lead him objectively to support the USA's client terror state, Israel, in all the vastness of its crimes against humanity until the provincial Tel Aviv tail is now wagging the cosmopolitian Washington dog through your efforts at stirring up religio-ethnic hatred against Muslims, not to mention the efforts of all those, well, hatefilled Jews just like you.

But, then, if such are my premises and you choose to misrepresent and misrepresent them so amateurishly, your argument isn't just invalid in terms of mind, it's probably invalid in the respect of the one which is so tangential to reality which you somehow managed to get into your head.

Like I said, you're a panterloon but essentially an amateur one of distinct and irredemable inferiorities. Do you never feel any shame at the nonsense you write or is this how lawyers are supposed to be in America? Is this why George Bush is president, that all the lawyers are as as partial to the partial as you are?


A. M. Eckstein - 2/27/2008

Back from California, and I see the debate is still going on. Some comments.

1. If the positon taken by the cabdrivers was so ignorant of Islam, as Omar says, why did CAIR--the major Muslim "civil rights" organization in the U.S.--originally support the cabdrivers, on RELIGIOUS grounds?

CAIR is not a small or unimportant organization. It is the major Muslim lobbying group in the U.S. It's executive director at the time said the following:


Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., referred to the hadiths and defended the driver.

“People from the Middle East especially, we have been indoctrinated with a kind of fear of dogs,” Mr. Awad said. “The driver has a genuine fear and he acted in good faith. He's acted in accordance with his religious beliefs.”

2. To be sure, CAIR under the pressure of public outrage at the mistreatment of the blind by Muslim cabbies later changed its tune and emphasized the parts of Islamic teaching that Omar now emphasizes himself. But that was not their original position.

3. If their original position was NOT taken for religious reasons (though, again, CAIR claimed it was at the time), then their original position was taken (as N.F. has said) for POLITICAL reasons. Now--what would those political reasons be? It's clear: to increase special Muslim privileges within the West, in the name of "sensitivity to Muslim sensitivities"--the kind of special privileges that Muslims do NOT accord non-Islamic religions in areas they control (far from it!). In short: it was an example of imperialism, just like the attempt of Western powers to impose on the Chinese the granting of special privileges for Westerners in China a century ago.

4. As for Gee's argument about "individual conscience," N.F. is perfectly correct once more. That argument could have been used (and indeed 40 years ago it WAS used, and prominently) by racist southerners to deny African-Americans public services and accommodations. Is that the sort of conduct what Gee wishes to defend? (I note she still implies that the blind were the aggressors in these incidents; I note that faced with my demand that she provide EVIDENCE to back up her absurd claim that all these cabbie incidents were invented--she hasn't provided the slightest evidence of fabrication. Hmm.

5. N.F. is also correct that since this topic has nothing to do with Jews or Israel, Gee's obsessive throwing in of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli comments is a grim witness to her obsessive and grotesque anti-semitism.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

Again, I shall note but ignore - other than to remind you that a tu quoque argument is invalid - your anti-Jewish bigotry, which appears to be an obsession for you. Again, the topic is taxicab drivers who refuse to transport passengers because such passengers carry dogs. If you think Israel has a thing to do with this, you are clearly a bigot.

As for what you write, while I make mistakes, I am reasonably precise. I understood your words as they appear. The comment concerns the conscience of people who live in democracies, not the democratic view of religion.

As for the democratic view - which, evidently, was what you meant -, individual conscience is certainly to be respected. However, that does not mean that everything people do for religious reasons requires government support. Which is to say, there is a distinction between belief and practice. Belief is always to be permitted. Practice is not always to be permitted because practice may run afoul of the rights of others.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

Even for you, Mr Friedman, this is a pathetic piece of spurious pedantic panterloonery. And, interestingly, if I may be so bold as to guide your reading habits for the moment, I used the term "individual conscience in a secular democracy" which clearly covers both "religion in democracy" and "the democratic view of religion".

Might I suggest that the fault actually lies in your singular view of the term "democracy" which seems to apply only something which serves the interests of the Israeli terror state?

As an aside, I know a boy who seems only to be able to talk for the sake of making a noise and he's very boring too and becomes just as confused and blustering as you when anyone picks up on something he's said that's particularly stupid. But then I know some very intelligent and knowledgable people as well so I suppose it all balances out in the end.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

Well, the question would arise, if you do not think highly of CAIR, about why you see a great issue here. I would thus ask the nature of your concern and I would note Omar's comment that the drivers are, religiously speaking, in the wrong.

And, I would note my view that the objection to dogs as house pets does not pertain to vehicles operated to transport members of the public - although I do not doubt that, for a driver, a taxicab could have some of the personal and emotional attributes of home.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Omar,

I do not disagree with your critique of the drivers. However, I think you do not understand the position they take and that groups that support them take.

In this comment, I am giving such people the benefit of the doubt that they act in earnest to protect what they see as religious or personal sensibilities.

There is, as you say, the position in Islam that one follows the law of the land in which one lives, according to a rule of necessity. However, necessity does not have to mean - and such is a tradition in Western countries, most especially in the US - accepting a law as permanent. In fact, the custom in places like the US and other parts of the West is to take action to change the law.

By way of example, consider the case of Rosa Parks. Where she lived in the US, African Americans were not permitted to ride in the front of a bus. She took that on by refusing to give up her seat to a White American. That led to a boycott of the bus sytem which, in turn, resulted in African Americans gaining a right they had been denied.

Now, in the case of today's cab drivers, their supporters appeared to want to make the refusal to carry dogs one of conscience that ought result in a change in the law. The problem, however, is that there are countervailing interests that are legitimate.

Please note, in conclusion, that I misunderstood your initial comment. I thought your position was the same as that of CAIR. In this case, your argument is more upfront and interesting than the ones CAIR seems to make. And, I might add that your comment raises issues that bring the concept of necessity - one that is, by the way, not unique to Islam - into interesting focus.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Corrections:

I meant to say that state law protected copyright without regard to the copyright clause of the US Constitution. My comment suggested, inadvertently, that such is also the case under federal law and that is not so.

Also, there is an error in the sentence that reads: "So far as matters relating to discrimination and accommodations, such laws were passed pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution which permits commerce to pass laws that impact on commerce among the various states."

The sentence should read:

So far as matters relating to discrimination and accommodations, such laws were passed pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution which permits Congress to pass laws that impact on commerce among the various states.

Also, there is a mistake in the sentence that reads: "The courts have not been kind religious institutions seeking to remain open on the Sabbath in states that have blue laws (i.e. laws that do not permit work on the Sabbath) - although I do not know if any states still have such laws on the books."

The sentence should read:

The courts have not been kind to businesses run by religious people seeking to remain open on the Sabbath in states that have blue laws (i.e. laws that do not permit work on the Sabbath) - although I do not know if any states still have such laws on the books.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

You write: "Not so much anti-Jewish bigotry than a realistic detestation of Israel and its murderous policies, Mr Friedman."

Your hatred of Israel runs to areas that have nothing to do with Israel, such as US cab drivers who refuse to transport dogs. If you think that has to do with Israel, you clearly have an obsession with Jews. Moreover, your attempt to defend your position by means of insinuating Israel and Jews into the topic runs afoul of the principle of logic called tu quoque. Which is to say, yours is an invalid argument.

Regarding Federal law, you clearly do not understand enough about US law to have a serious discussion on the subject. However, so that you may understand a bit more than you currently know, Federal law is not more important law than state law. The US system does not work that way. In fact, most of the more important laws (e.g. outlawing murder, arson, rape, etc.) are state law.

Federal law is, by and large, restricted to topics set forth in the US Constitution. In most instances, the fact that a topic is set out in the US Constitution does not - at least according to the current understanding of law - automatically reserve such laws to the US government, although there are instances where that is the case.

Take the example of copyright law. The US Constitution permits the US Congress to pass laws that protect authors rights to their works of authorship - in Constitutional language, the science. In particularly, the Federal government can pass laws that grant rights to authors for a limited period. Traditionally, the Federal and state governments, unrelated to what appears in the US Constitution, had law that addressed the topic, with the Federal government's laws being directed only to circumstances where a work of authorship was published. More recently, with the passage of the Copyright Act of 1976, the Federal government largely preempted state law on the topic by protecting the copyright in works of authorship for both published and unpublished works. Notwithstanding, there are still important state laws that continue to pertain to copyright disputes including laws regarding unfair competition. Arguments persist regarding how far a state - as well as the Federal government - may go in protecting authors.

So far as matters relating to discrimination and accommodations, such laws were passed pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution which permits commerce to pass laws that impact on commerce among the various states. There have been long and complicated legal battles about what sort of laws are within the scope of the Commerce Clause, since not all commerce affects interstate commerce (i.e. is commerce among the states). Suffice it to say that one might argue Ad nauseam concerning whether or not a taxi in a local town affects interstate commerce.

Noting the limits on the power of the federal government to address local commerce, it is important to remember that state laws also exist (as do state constitutions) and provide protection of civil liberties. In some instances, the protection is even greater than that provided under Federal law or than under the Federal Constitution.

Now, returning to the topic really at hand, there is the reasonable question whether a taxi driver can, for whatever reason, refuse to carry a passenger. Right wing conservatives tend to say yes. Liberals tend to say no.

Where religious rights come into play, such rights must be taken into consideration but do not necessarily trump other rights. I noted examples where the courts have spoken. Again, the courts have not been kind to polygamy or to snake charmers. The courts have been kind to Amish parents wishing not to educate their children beyond elementary school and to people seeking government benefits which, had the person been willing to work on the Sabbath, they would not need or received. The courts have not been kind religious institutions seeking to remain open on the Sabbath in states that have blue laws (i.e. laws that do not permit work on the Sabbath) - although I do not know if any states still have such laws on the books. So, there is a mixture.

And, given my understanding of the law, I would expect a court not to be kindly to people refusing to carry passengers who carry dogs.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

Read what you wrote a bit more closely. It was about religion in democracy, not about the democratic view of religion. There is a big difference.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

Whoops, unusually for me, an error. But then, unlike so many of my fellow contributors, I can admit when I make a mistake. Here's my corrected response to Mr Freidman's pantaloonery:

Mr Friedman, first you write: "I shall, however, address your point that "But isn't religion about individual conscience in a secular democracy?" No. I do not think that is the case."

And then you deny what you have written: "I did not make a comment about democracy, nor did you."

I think even you can probably see why it is so easy to take your word on any matter whatsoever so lightly.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

Mr Friedman, first you write: "I did not make a comment about democracy, nor did you."

And then you deny what you have written: "I shall, however, address your point that "But isn't religion about individual conscience in a secular democracy?" No. I do not think that is the case."

I think even you can probably see why it is so easy to take your word on any matter whatsoever so lightly.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

"I shall ignore your anti-Jewish bigotry."

Not so much anti-Jewish bigotry than a realistic detestation of Israel and its murderous policies, Mr Friedman.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to ignore your anti-anti-Israel bigotry (effectively a form of bigotry directed against the majority of humankind) when it distorts your ability to reason with such great effect.

Interesting blether on anti-discimination law, though, Mr Friedman. And are there federal laws against doggie discrimination by taxi drivers? Is it one of the Bush administration's central pillars? Perhaps Mrs Clinton has expressed a view on this matter. I suspect the Supreme Court has not.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

I shall ignore your anti-Jewish bigotry.

Most religions have a communal sense. I did not make a comment about democracy, nor did you. Read what you wrote to which I had commented.

As for examples, I also gave an example of Amish not allowing their children to be educated beyond elementary school.

Actually, accommodation laws against discrimination based on, for example, race are federal law. And, laws giving access to the handicapped are also federal law - and state law. But, even if they were part of state law only, that would not make them less important in the US system.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

So not wanting to have a dog in your cab is on a par with snake handling and polygamy in the USA. What interesting (some unkinfd folks might say, unhinged) comparators you pick, Mr Friedman.

"I shall, however, address your point that "But isn't religion about individual conscience in a secular democracy?" No. I do not think that is the case."

So, I take it that in your version of secular democracy, individual conscience, unless it accords with the interests of the Jewish entity in Palestine of course, has no play at all, by definition? What an interesting - and foolish - mind you have, Mr Freidman.

"The rights of ordinary citizens - most especially the blind - to have equal access to accommodations is a rather important policy in the US, likely more important to a court than the preference of some to keep distant from dogs."

Is this the policy of the federal government? Has the Supreme court ruled on this? What about the rights of the individual states and local government to regulate the taxi trade? And what about equal opportunities for dog lovers who are not blind? It strikes me as another can of worms (or, perhaps, red herring) dug up by some of the more idiot members of the Jewish-Israel Lobby.


Sally Gee - 2/27/2008

"So, I would hope that we can rely on what CAIR says when it says that the prohibition of having dogs as house pets for Muslims does not extend to prohibiting the transit of dogs in vehicles."

Yeah, right. About as much as I would rely on the YWCA for pronouncements on the nature of God's Word.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/27/2008

That is NOT a defense of the taxi driver; that is a condemnation. Islam stipulates, actually ordains, that :"Necessities allow overlooking prohibitions!"
That, or those, taxi drivers, in their ignorance of Islam, failed to appreciate that the "dog" is a necessity for the blind and hence they could, actually should, serve him/her.
That was neither defense nor justification it was a condemnation of their ignorance to refuse service and more ignorance to base that on religious, Islamic, grounds.
Lame, very lame Mr. Friedman and contrived!

Once again Mr Friedman you deliberately contort words and sentences, and inanely extrapolate, to serve your purpose.

I thought that was peculiar to your scholarly comrade; it seems to be a standard tool with the whole lot!


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

I am going to ignore the less polite and bigoted portions of your rant.

I shall, however, address your point that "But isn't religion about individual conscience in a secular democracy?" No. I do not think that is the case.

I think that different religious confessions conceptualize religion in a very different way. And, that impacts on how individual conscience perceives religion in a secular democracy or anywhere else.

So, I do not think that democracy has a single understanding of religion. And, I do not think that religion has only one model within a democracy. I think it depends on the religion.

Most religions concern more than individual conscience.

In any event and in relation to the topic of Dr. Pipe's article, society has no obligation to permit every religious practice. In the US, snake handling is a religious practice in some parts of the country. The practice, notwithstanding the fact that it is a religious practice of very long standing, is a crime. And, when snake handling events occur and the police find out, people are prosecuted and found guilty. And, the defense of freedom of religion fails.

Further, the practice of polygamy is outlawed in the US. In fact, it is considered a crime. And, those who practice polygamy are, when discovered, prosecuted even if such practice is within a religious tradition. And the prosecutions lead to guilty convictions and jail time for the convicted, notwithstanding the defense of freedom of religion.

So, if a taxi driver wants to refuse, for religious reasons, riders who, for example, take a dog with them, the law has the right, as I see it, to say that such practice runs afoul of other important legal considerations. In this case, the issue may involve illegal discrimination against blind people - which was a hard fought for right.

Now, as for the real story here. There has been reporting in US papers that the politics of some religiously motivated groups is behind the push of some cab drivers to refuse to transport people with dogs. In this case, the tactic of such groups backfired when it became clear that the practice allegedly prohibited for religious reasons is not banned by any traditional understanding of Islam. In this regard, I noted above that the issue involved relates to having dogs as house pets, not in taxicabs.

But, even if it came out that Islam prohibited the carrying of dogs in taxicabs, the law would probably not bend to accommodate that religious practice. The rights of ordinary citizens - most especially the blind - to have equal access to accommodations is a rather important policy in the US, likely more important to a court than the preference of some to keep distant from dogs.

I might compare this with a rare circumstance where the law did bend to allow an unusual religious practice, namely, the right of Amish not to educate their young beyond elementary school. In this instance, religion triumphed on the ground that people ought to have the right to instill their ideas of religious conscience in their children. I do not think that the prohibition on dogs - were it really a religious law - is likely to be seen to be of the same order as the rights protected on behalf of Amish.


N. Friedman - 2/27/2008

Ms. Gee,

Male circumcision is not mutilation. It is a commonly conducted medical procedure as well as, for some people, a religious procedure. Doctors, at least in the US, do not perform mutilation but they do perform circumcisions on a regular basis. And, male circumcision is nothing like female circumcision, which is a form of mutilation. If you do not realize that, you need to do some more reading.

CAIR is the acronym for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The group holds itself out as a Muslim group. According to its website: "CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding."

So, I would hope that we can rely on what CAIR says when it says that the prohibition of having dogs as house pets for Muslims does not extend to prohibiting the transit of dogs in vehicles. But, when CAIR speaks about Christianity or Judaism, I think there are likely better sources.


Sally Gee - 2/26/2008

But, Mr Freidman, would you feel confident in the advice of a "religious authority" which, in your words, shifts from "the grounds originally asserted by CAIR and then rejected by CAIR"? Doesn't seem like very clever theology to me and a lot less clever lawyering, if you take my drift.

But isn't religion about individual conscience in a secular democracy? So what, really, has CAIR got to do with a decision made on the job by a taxi driver who refuses to have a dog - even one accompanied by an adult - in his cab. Can't he have personal religious views which should be respected (I mean, within reason, not like committing armed aggression and conducting a war of terror against the Lebanese people and then running away when it gets a bit too hot, and then picking on Gaza).

Aren't there other cabs? Doesn't it represent a real marketing opportunity for an on-the-ball cab company amongst doggy lovers? What is the real problem apart from a few seedy Zionist religio-ethnic hateheads comparing their mutilated genitals before taking another dreary poke at Muslims?


Sally Gee - 2/26/2008

"And, as CAIR notes, religion is not at issue in any serious way here. So, there is no religious right to respect."

So is CAIR just an authorty on Islam or is it an authority on other religions as well? Should we, for instance, suggest to the Archbishop of Canterbury that he consults CAIR on matters of Anglican observance?

"And, in particular, he seems to point to your very odd comment - seemingly a barb at Judaism - that reads:

"Why no reference to the practice of male genital mutilation, I wonder?"

So pointing to an obvious example gender differentiation is odd, is it? What world do you live in, Mr Friedman, that you have so little understanding of the obvious?

And what is this "seeming barb at Judaism"? Is male genital mutilation only supposed to be a Jewish thing, then? I do note that your apologies for this ritual barbarity (medical reasons, parental preference,etc) are not disimilar to the arguments used by those who favour female genital circumcision which, presumably in the byways of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv, "is universally considered a bad idea". Good to know we have your support in this matter.


N. Friedman - 2/26/2008

Ms. Gee,

I respect other peoples' religious convictions. However, religion is not the only issue involved with respect to drivers and riders in taxicabs. And, as CAIR notes, religion is not at issue in any serious way here. So, there is no religious right to respect.

I did not take Professor Eckstein's remarks to be an attack on Islam. I took them as directed mostly toward you, a person who has not revealed her religion, if any. He, it appears, sees you stating nasty things about religions other than Islam. And, in particular, he seems to point to your very odd comment - seemingly a barb at Judaism - that reads:

Why no reference to the practice of male genital mutilation, I wonder?

Aside from the fact that circumcision is not mutilation, at various periods, it has not only been something not found objectionable by the medical community but, from time to time (depending on any given study that may come out) recommended. At present, you will find that it is believed to have medical benefits but not enough for it to be firmly recommended. Instead, it is considered to be in the discretion of parents, with most parents in the US opting to circumcise their boys.

Which is to say, female circumcision is universally considered a bad idea - a form of mutilation. Male circumcision is not considered mutilation and may even be beneficial.


N. Friedman - 2/26/2008

Ms. Gee,

I respect other peoples' religious convictions. However, religion is not the only issue involved with respect to drivers and riders in taxicabs. And, as CAIR notes, religion is not at issue in any serious way here. So, there is no religious right to respect.

I did not take Professor Eckstein's remarks to be an attack on Islam. I took them as directed mostly toward you, a person who has not revealed her religion, if any. He, it appears, sees you stating nasty things about religions other than Islam. And, in particular, he seems to point to your very odd comment - seemingly a barb at Judaism - that reads:

Why no reference to the practice of male genital mutilation, I wonder?

Aside from the fact that circumcision is not mutilation, at various periods, it has not only been something not found objectionable by the medical community but, from time to time (depending on any given study that may come out) recommended. At present, you will find that it is believed to have medical benefits but not enough for it to be firmly recommended. Instead, it is considered to be in the discretion of parents, with most parents in the US opting to circumcise their boys.

Which is to say, female circumcision is universally considered a bad idea - a form of mutilation. Male circumcision is not considered mutilation and may even be beneficial.


N. Friedman - 2/26/2008

Omar,

What you claimed is that it is ignorance of Islam which would lead someone to deny service on Islamic grounds. Here are your words:

"For a Moslem taxi driver, or in any other profession, to refuse serving a blind person because of his dog , his substitute eyes, denotes a degree of ignorance of Islam only paralled, and excelled, by he who does NOT know the difference, in Islam, between "allow"and "enthrone""

In other words, any defense you might offer for the drivers would not be on Islamic grounds - the grounds originally asserted by CAIR and then rejected by CAIR.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/26/2008

MR R.R.Hamilton
If it makes feel good insulting your superiors there is little we can do about it except wish you a speedy recovery and a quick return to the land of the civil!


Sally Gee - 2/26/2008

Perhaps your words are more likely to be heeded Mr Hamilton if you were to say something pertinent, relevent and interesting on occasion.


Sally Gee - 2/26/2008

Mr Friedman perhaps you do not intend to misrepresent me out of malicious motives, and I do not wish to misrepresent you.

Please read my words carefully. I did not say you are "on the right of the political spectrum". I would hope you have the good taste and grace not to be. I did refer to the version of the far right "that is in your head" and suggest that your understanding of "the far right" is as equally weak as your understanding of religious conviction, its purpose and practice, and my own support, as a political secularist,for the public respect of other people's religious convictions.

I'm not sure that turning conflict of rights between a dog owner and a taxi driver into an incendiary attack on Muslims and their beliefs as Messrs Pipes and Eckstein have chosen to do is the most sensible way to maintain a healthy and tolerant secularism. But, then, that's not their purpose is it, never has been, and never will be - not unless they experience some form of Pauline conversion on the road the... where?... Toronto, maybe? Or just grow up.





R.R. Hamilton - 2/26/2008

I warned Mr. Friedman against publically arguing with idiots, but my words were unheeded.

From a story about dogs, we have much salivation (also an issue!). Ms. Gee and Mr. Baker salivate on sight of Mr. Daniel Pipes name, and apparently Mr. Eckstein salivates on the sight of Ms. Gee's and Mr. Baker's comments. Pavlov got no less response.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/26/2008


Mr Friedman
You contend that:
"....if the reasons for refusing to transport people with dogs were, contrary to what CAIR and Omar now claim,"

Where ever did I claim that??

Kindly refrain from putting words in my mouth.
My only input to this sad issue was to question Pipes "truthfulness ans veracity".
I repeat:
Where ever did I claim that??



N. Friedman - 2/26/2008

Ms. Gee,

I am not on the right of the political spectrum. That is in your head.

Indeed, my thoughts on this matter come from living in a secular country, meaning one where the government separates itself from religion - a wall of separation as Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the US, wrote. That notion of law has served Americans very well, especially when the courts protect that separation.

So, I do not like when people play games with the protections given by the US constitution. That goes for any groups who would, whether or not intentionally, undermine the US constitution.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

"Now that CAIR has clarified its understanding of Islamic law so that there is no religious reason to counterbalance anyway, it is rather difficult to imagine taking the concern of the drivers seriously..."

What a strange - and profoundly secular - idea of religious conviction, and the relative value of a religion's sources, teachings and authorities.

And just because your version of the far right may share your version of my ideas with your version of me may well just mean that your version of you is thrice wrong.


N. Friedman - 2/25/2008

My understanding is that Islam generally teaches kindness towards animals. But, that is not the entire teaching, most especially with respect to dogs. The teaching has generally been opposed to having dogs as house pets. Such prohibition runs consistent with Mohammad's dealings with dogs.

Hence, it is not at all surprising that CAIR would argue that Islam would not permit dogs in taxi cabs, a place which, to a driver, takes on the attributes of a home. I can understand the concern that such matter raises for a devout Muslim. However, CAIR has walked away from such position, suggesting that they have a purely political motive for raising the issue.

In any event, such behavior by drivers comes into conflict with - and I am referring specifically to the US - both US law and custom. Which is to say, cab drivers are not permitted to do whatever they will, taking this passenger while refusing another one.

Legally, there would be a question, if the reasons for refusing to transport people with dogs were, contrary to what CAIR and Omar now claim, religious, somewhat akin to the Supreme Court case in Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963), which concerned obtaining government benefits due to refusing work, for religious reasons, on the Sabbath. The difference - and this is likely why religious sentiments (were they real) regarding dogs in taxicabs would, I suspect, lose out under US law - is that there is an important state policy that requires, in many jurisdictions, drivers not to refuse riders. There are reasons to protect the civil rights of taxi riders not to mention concern for blind people who need seeing eye dogs. Now that CAIR has clarified its understanding of Islamic law so that there is no religious reason to counterbalance anyway, it is rather difficult to imagine taking the concern of the drivers seriously, except, of course, by those who think that business owners should always have the right to do whatever they will. Such people, however, are typically on the far right of the political spectrum, a place which I doubt Ms. Gee would feel comfortable.

One has to wonder the reason why such issue has been pushed by groups like CAIR. It sounds like pure politics. If, on the other hand, there really were a religious issue here, as noted in the prohibition about keeping dogs as house pets, one has to wonder why CAIR walked away from its earlier view that this was an issue of religion. That, too, makes it all sound like pure politics. That, itself, raises concerns.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/25/2008

According to Webster "ABANDON" has the following meanings:

"Main Entry: 1aban·don
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈban-dən\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English abandounen, from Anglo-French abanduner, from (mettre) a bandun to hand over, put in someone's control
Date: 14th century
1 a: to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent b: to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in <abandon property>
2: to withdraw from often in the face of danger or encroachment <abandon ship>
3: to withdraw protection, support, or help from <he abandoned his family>
4: to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly
5 a: to cease from maintaining, practicing, or using <abandoned their native language> b: to cease intending or attempting to perform <abandoned the escape>"
2,3,4 &5 are clear in that they imply "withdrawl" of a service etc.
Which inevitably entails that the service was first proffered then "withdrawn".

The challenge stands Prof:
"The issue here, the challenge, is Pipes' truthfulness, objectivity and veracity and your absurd defense of him and it vs Sally Gee is his inane contention that :

"The blind find themselves ...., abandoned, left in the rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere,..."
where all three heinous acts
"abandoned, "left" and "dropped" unmistakably imply that they were first driven to a place by the same (Moslem)taxi driver to be later refused further service and
"abandoned", "left" or "dropped"
by him!

How could that be?

Did that taxi driver start his journey as a non Moslem, who accepted to give the service to a blind person and his dog, then refused further service by converting to Islam along the way??"

Perhaps a remedial course in California, and a long break, can be of benefit!


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

"... and those evil greedy Jews (see the last phrase of the diatribe about "finances" for THAT"

So, like, where did I say this? You are with "facts" as the burning sun is with snow, hate boy.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

Then post the court transcript and we will all be able to see who played what role, hate boy!


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

No male genital mutilation in Islam, then, hate boy? Maybe some of us are just against religio-ethnic genital mutilation full stop.


art eckstein - 2/25/2008

1. Gee makes the blind person the aggressor! Even though the court found the Muslim cab-driver guilty of battery.

2. Her FINAL, desperatel defense is that I am making this whole incident up. I challenge her to prove it false, that it is, in her phrase "an unmediated lie of Zionist propagandists." EVIDENCE that this incident is made up, Ms. Gee! EVIDENCE!

3. Too bad I'm off to California. This is like shooting fish in a barrel. But that's enough. Keep drinking the Kool-aide, Omar and Gee!


art eckstein - 2/25/2008

It's an anti-semitic diatribe. Since everything I have said is provable fact, including court cases that Gee wanted produced and which I did produce, my statements cannot be "unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists" and those evil greedy Jews (see the last phrase of the diatribe about "finances" for THAT).

Too bad I'm off to California. This is like shooting fish in a barrel.


art eckstein - 2/25/2008

Gee does not consider the remark about Pipes not caring about MALE circumcision (Pipes is Jewish) only female circumcision, a snide anti-Jewish remark. She doesn't consider the FOLLOWING to be an anti-semitic remark either (see below):

"Don't mince around being a wobbly little religio-enthic hate freak unable to pony up the evidence and admit you just a conduit for unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists and those members of the British Board of Jewish Deputies propaganda desperately opposed to any recognition in any form of Sharia compliant finances."

Too bad I'm off to California. This is like shooting fish in a barrel.


art eckstein - 2/25/2008

Here is what Omar ALSO wrote in that entry, which he neglects to mention:

The issue here, the challenge, is Pipes' truthfulness, objectivity and veracity [NOTE: TRUTHFULNESS...VERACITY] and your absurd defense of him and it vs Sally Gee is his inane contention that :

"The blind find themselves ...., abandoned, left in the rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere,..."
where all three heinous acts
"abandoned, "left" and "dropped" unmistakably imply that they were first driven to a place by the same (Moslem)taxi driver to be later refused further service and
"abandoned", "left" or "dropped"
by him!

How could that be?

Did that taxi driver start his journey as a non Moslem, who accepted to give the service to a blind person and his dog, then refused further service by converting to Islam along the way??"


I have shown in fact that people were indeed abandoned, citing specific cases--as well as specific cases of manhandling. Omar may say that the cabbies are bad Muslims, or rather not Muslims (though they claim to be pious Muslims of the highest sort). But that claim is NOT what CAIR itself said originally: they presented a RELIGIOUS defense of the cabbies, based on Islam. Does Omar deny it? Later they decided this was a losing proposition in terms of public relations, at which point they changed their tune.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

Mr Eckstein, if Ms Dewdney, tried discourteously to impose on the driver by forcing a dog into the cab against his wishes, then it was appropriate for him insist that the dog be ejected.

The actual (assuming you've not just invented it to make a weak point) case seems to be about the driver's over-reaction to this imposition on his right to do business in a manner he thought appropriate, that is, dog free, to the extent that he exacerbated, presumably unintentionally, Ms Dewdney's pre-existing injury.

What do you feel the punishment should have been, Mr Eckstein? A lynching instead of 120 days of community service at the Lighthouse for the Blind? Imprisonment in Guantanemo, maybe?

You may not like it, Mr Eckstein, but lots of people, many of them not Muslims, have as profound an aversion to dogs as you are profoundly averse to anything which might possibly be construed as the truth.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

Childish. Mr Eckstein refers to a "court case", of which he fails to provide any evidence although the "facts" he recounts do not fit any scenario devised by Mr Pipes fertile imagination about the blind, their dogs and Muslim taxidrivers. No Goebbells he, then!

And is this an "anti-semitic diatribe" or a carefully balanced statement of fact?

"Don't mince around being a wobbly little religio-enthic hate freak unable to pony up the evidence and admit you just a conduit for unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists and those members of the British Board of Jewish Deputies propaganda desperately opposed to any recognition in any form of Sharia compliant finances."

All true, Mr Eckstein, all true.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

Mr Eckstein, you assert palpable nonsense as fact, and then you pretend any factual assertion made poor little me, whether about the issues at point or concerning the genetic origins of your silliness and the extent of your religio-ethnic hatreds, is somehow a personal attack and/or an example or "a snide anti-semitic remark".

I have yet to see evidence of this "snide anti-semitic remark" although have asked you nicely to point to it. Another Eckstein "fact" gone wrong, methinks.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/25/2008

Prof
No where did I "deny" that certain Moslem taxi drivers refused a blind person and his or her dog service!.
All I said is that they are "ignorant" of Islam.
The very words I used are:
"For a Moslem taxi driver, or in any other profession, to refuse serving a blind person because of his dog , his substitute eyes, denotes a degree of ignorance of Islam only paralled, and excelled, by he who does NOT know the difference, in Islam, between "allow"and
"enthrone"".
I see no "denial" in that!
Once again you make up, fabricate, unfounded allegations then proceed to demolish them.


art eckstein - 2/25/2008

3. I await an apology from Gee, but I know I won't get one: Gee doubted that there ever was an incident when someone was actually ejected from the cab, and essentially she called me a liar. (She still does, in #1.) I provided just such an incident. Instead of apologizing, and admitting I was correct, she responds with additional personal insults, and tries to make the violent Muslim cabbie look good, and the blind person the aggessor! Wow. Again: here is the incident, in which the cabbie ended up pleading guilty to battery:

In July 1997, for example, a New Orleans taxi driver, Mahmoud Awad, got so incensed at his passenger, Sandi Dewdney, trying to bring a dog into the cab that he physically yanked her out of it by the arm while yelling "No dog, No dog, Get out, get out." He harmed her broken wrist. To this, CAIR replied by pointing out that "the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer" and left it to the scholars of Islam to decide whether a guide dog should be allowed in a cab. The judge, after researching Islamic attitudes and finding no support for the driver's claims, called his behavior "a total disgrace." Awad pled guilty to battery and was sentenced to 120 days of community service at the Lighthouse for the Blind.

That's it on this thread for me. I've more than proven my point, with hard facts. I'm off to California for three days to give lectures at a prestigious university.


art eckstein - 2/25/2008

I provided the evidence from a court case, as Ms. Gee required in the first part of her statement. Yet I see no apology from her in response about doubting my facts, no contrition, no acknowledgment that I know what I'm talking about, no acknowledgment that the facts referred to have now been proven in court.

On the contrary, she then repeats the second part of her statement, and there is no way to consider the second part of her statement anything other than a disgusting anti-semitic diatribe, to wit:

"Don't mince around being a wobbly little religio-enthic hate freak unable to pony up the evidence and admit you just a conduit for unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists and those members of the British Board of Jewish Deputies propaganda desperately opposed to any recognition in any form of Sharia compliant finances."

Any ordinary person would be ashamed to have that quotation just above go out under his or her own name.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

Tell me, Herr Eckstein, how can a clear statement of even clearer facts be written in "her vile anti-semitic way'? Here's the statement your whinging about. Perhaps you may choose to parse for the benefit of, well, whoever might benefit from having you parse away.

" If you have clear evidence in the form of a court certified witness statement supporting your assertion that, ""Blind people were rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds (the seeing-eye dogs); no one denies this," then produce it. Don't mince around being a wobbly little religio-enthic hate freak unable to pony up the evidence and admit you just a conduit for unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists and those members of the British Board of Jewish Deputies propaganda desperately opposed to any recognition in any form of Sharia compliant finances."

As I said, what a dinwit.


Sally Gee - 2/25/2008

Again Eckstein tells me what I supposed to have said but did not.

1 Given the lack of truth in the details, it is not surprising that Mr Baker regards this story as a slander against Muslims. I regard the versions offered by Messrs Pipes and Eckstein as hate crimes worthy of prosecution in any civilised country.

2 A refusal to pick up some punters at Cambridge Railway Station does not really merit the term abandonment given the rate at which taxis pick u passengers there. What a plonker's excuse for another outburst of hysterical Zionist religio-ethnic hatred!

3 Mr Awad's cab was invaded against his wish, he over-reacted and paid the price. 120 days of community service, a light sentence which suggests the victim may well have contributed heavily to the authorship of her own misfortune. Scraping the barrel, I would say, Mr Eckstein.

4 I won't begin to repond to Mr Eckstein's hate filled garbage about Sharia other than to point out that the major point at issue is Sharia compliant financial arrangements.

Intellectually, you are stray fluff, Mr Eckstein, a slackjawed creature of his genetically fuelled religio-ethnic hatred seemingly triggered at will by Pipes' collection of the dopiest urban myths which are only recycled because he's dumb enough to think they might advance the Zionist interest. I rather like them because I know they have the opposite effect.

Perhaps you'll grow up one day, Mr Eckstein. Who knows?


art eckstein - 2/25/2008


Gee writes, in her vile anti-semitic way: " If you have clear evidence in the form of a court certified witness statement supporting your assertion that, ""Blind people were rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds (the seeing-eye dogs); no one denies this," then produce it. Don't mince around being a wobbly little religio-enthic hate freak unable to pony up the evidence and admit you just a conduit for unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists and those members of the British Board of Jewish Deputies propaganda desperately opposed to any recognition in any form of Sharia compliant finances."

Gee. Here is an incident that should make even YOU blush:

In July 1997, for example, a New Orleans taxi driver, Mahmoud Awad, got so incensed at his passenger, Sandi Dewdney, trying to bring a dog into the cab that he physically yanked her out of it by the arm while yelling "No dog, No dog, Get out, get out." He harmed her broken wrist. To this, CAIR replied by pointing out that "the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer" and left it to the scholars of Islam to decide whether a guide dog should be allowed in a cab. The judge, after researching Islamic attitudes and finding no support for the driver's claims, called his behavior "a total disgrace." Awad pled guilty to battery and was sentenced to 120 days of community service at the Lighthouse for the Blind.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

1. Omar thinks this Muslim cabbie story is a slander against Muslims, and that no Muslim would do this. Here, grom one of the incidents, a defense of the cabbies made precisely on the basis of Islamic religion made before CAIR decided to abandon the cabbies.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., referred to hadiths and defended the drivers.

“People from the Middle East especially, we have been indoctrinated with a kind of fear of dogs,” Mr. Awad said. “The driver has a genuine fear and he acted in good faith. He's acted in accordance with his religious beliefs.”

So much for Omar.

2. Both Omar and Ms. Gee deny that a Muslim would abandon blind people in the road. How about this, then?

June 14, 2007 update: Sallahaddin Abdullah, 40, was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,000 court costs in Cambridge, England, for abandoning Paul and Kerry Monaghan, plus their guide dogs, on the pavement outside Cambridge Railway Station. Abdullah may also lose his taxi license.

The married couple were stranded as they tried to make their way to Addenbrooke's Hospital for an appointment on August 15 last year. Abdullah told Cambridge Magistrates' Court: "Sorry, I sneeze; my religion" before taking another passenger from the queue and driving away. The court was told this was to imply he was allergic to dogs. The stunned couple, from North Walsham in Norfolk, are both registered blind, and Mrs Monaghan is also deaf. The next taxi driver at the rank picked up the couple and took a note of Abdullah's cab number so they could make a complaint.

So much of Omar and Gee.

3. Gee wants an incident when someone was actually ejected from the cab. It's always bad tactics to ask a question when you don't know the answer, Gee. Here is an incident that should make even YOU blush:

In July 1997, for example, a New Orleans taxi driver, Mahmoud Awad, got so incensed at his passenger, Sandi Dewdney, trying to bring a dog into the cab that he physically yanked her out of it by the arm while yelling "No dog, No dog, Get out, get out." He harmed her broken wrist. To this, CAIR replied by pointing out that "the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer" and left it to the scholars of Islam to decide whether a guide dog should be allowed in a cab. The judge, after researching Islamic attitudes and finding no support for the driver's claims, called his behavior "a total disgrace." Awad pled guilty to battery and was sentenced to 120 days of community service at the Lighthouse for the Blind.

So much for Gee.

4. Gee's cya blather above about "if both sides agree to use Sharia" then it could be used blithely ignores the real and practical condition of the women involved in these disputes. If such an "confessional option" ever comes into existence under British law, these women often will have no choice BUT to "agree" to the Sharia option. The alternatives could be beatings, or even honor-killing. Or will Gee deny the honor-killings as well, as she has denied so many other facts? Indeed, if these women are non-English speaking immigrants and are kept intentionally ignorant by their menfolk, as sometimes happens, the chances that they will even know they have the theoretical choice (as Christopher Hitchens has pointed out).


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

1. Omar thinks this Muslim cabbie story is a slander against Muslims, and that no Muslim would do this. Here, grom one of the incidents, a defense of the cabbies made precisely on the basis of Islamic religion made before CAIR decided to abandon the cabbies.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., referred to hadiths and defended the drivers.

“People from the Middle East especially, we have been indoctrinated with a kind of fear of dogs,” Mr. Awad said. “The driver has a genuine fear and he acted in good faith. He's acted in accordance with his religious beliefs.”

So much for Omar.

2. Both Omar and Ms. Gee deny that a Muslim would abandon blind people in the road. How about this, then?

June 14, 2007 update: Sallahaddin Abdullah, 40, was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,000 court costs in Cambridge, England, for abandoning Paul and Kerry Monaghan, plus their guide dogs, on the pavement outside Cambridge Railway Station. Abdullah may also lose his taxi license.

The married couple were stranded as they tried to make their way to Addenbrooke's Hospital for an appointment on August 15 last year. Abdullah told Cambridge Magistrates' Court: "Sorry, I sneeze; my religion" before taking another passenger from the queue and driving away. The court was told this was to imply he was allergic to dogs. The stunned couple, from North Walsham in Norfolk, are both registered blind, and Mrs Monaghan is also deaf. The next taxi driver at the rank picked up the couple and took a note of Abdullah's cab number so they could make a complaint.

So much of Omar and Gee.

3. Gee wants an incident when someone was actually ejected from the cab. It's always bad tactics to ask a question when you don't know the answer, Gee. Here is an incident that should make even YOU blush:

In July 1997, for example, a New Orleans taxi driver, Mahmoud Awad, got so incensed at his passenger, Sandi Dewdney, trying to bring a dog into the cab that he physically yanked her out of it by the arm while yelling "No dog, No dog, Get out, get out." He harmed her broken wrist. To this, CAIR replied by pointing out that "the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer" and left it to the scholars of Islam to decide whether a guide dog should be allowed in a cab. The judge, after researching Islamic attitudes and finding no support for the driver's claims, called his behavior "a total disgrace." Awad pled guilty to battery and was sentenced to 120 days of community service at the Lighthouse for the Blind.

So much for Gee.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

Gee, as usual has no facts. So, as usual, she resorts to personal attacks instead. I caught Gee when she made a snide anti-semitic remark. I also showed that her references to israel as a "Nazi state" were ridiculous simply on the basis of polls of Palestinian Israelis. Her response does not deal with the facts I presented;

It is merely a generalized personal attack with no substance.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

I think I'd like this comment I made earlier to stand in this thread as well because I sense it's as well to get to it sooner rather than later:

Re: Shari'a law in Britain (#119453)
by Sally Gee on February 24, 2008 at 6:54 AM

Mr Ecktein, any basis for the determination of legal jurisiction is arbitrary but adding a confessional option where the parties to a civil dispute can make use of Sharia if they all agee that it is appropriate to do so means that, for some at least, this will be mitigated to some degree if Parliament follows advice of the wise Dr Williams.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

But it doesn't say Muslim cabbies are ejecting blind passengers and their dogs or willfully driving them out to some forlorn outpost before tossing them out of their cab. It merely states that, "There have been a number of incidents over the past months where Muslim cabbies have not allowed seeing-eye dogs into their cars".

Gues the Big Lie has fallen apart for you this time, Mr Eckstein.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

As I think it speaks for thousands, nay, millions of women, creep!


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

If you are posting in a public forum and this is what you call evidence of "these cases" where the blind and their dogs first enter a taxi driven by a muslim, who may or may not be blind, only to be verbally abused and told to get out of the taxi, then God only knows what you get away with in class with your poor students. They must believe that early onset dementia is the norm for Zionist professors with serious issues pertaining to the display of religio-ethnic hatred disorders.

If you have clear evidence in the form of a court certified witness statement supporting your assertion that, ""Blind people were rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds (the seeing-eye dogs); no one denies this," then produce it. Don't mince around being a wobbly little religio-enthic hate freak unable to pony up the evidence and admit you just a conduit for unmediated lies produced by Zionist propagandists and those members of the British Board of Jewish Deputies propaganda desperately opposed to any recognition in any form of Sharia compliant finances.

Be a man for once and 'fess up like one, Mr Eckstein.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

1. CAIR-CAN Urges Accommodation for Blind Taxi Passengers

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 7:56 am
- For Immediate Release -

(Ottawa, Canada - Feb. 6, 2008) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today asked Muslim taxi drivers to accommodate blind passengers accompanied by seeing-eye dogs. There have been a number of incidents over the past months where Muslim cabbies have not allowed seeing-eye dogs into their cars.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008


1. CAIR-CAN Urges Accommodation for Blind Taxi Passengers

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 7:56 am
- For Immediate Release -

(Ottawa, Canada - Feb. 6, 2008) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today asked Muslim taxi drivers to accommodate blind passengers accompanied by seeing-eye dogs. There have been a number of incidents over the past months where Muslim cabbies have not allowed seeing-eye dogs into their cars.

2. An example from April 1999, but note that CAIR is dealing with far more recent incidents:

BY PERRY BROTHERS
The Cincinnati Enquirer

For Annie McEachrin, her 4-year-old black Labrador, Jessica, is more than a companion. Blind since birth, Ms. McEachrin relies on Jessica for mobility, traveling everywhere with a hand on the dog guide's harness.

Hassan Taher is a devout Muslim who adheres strictly to his interpretation of Islamic law. It's a law, he believes, that considers dogs impure. He won't allow them in his taxicab.

On Feb. 4, when Ms. McEachrin, 43, tried to hail Mr. Taher's cab, their rights clashed — setting up a battle between the rights of the disabled and religious freedom that hadn't been seen before.

Situations like this have cropped up nationwide, said Joanne Ritter, spokeswoman for Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc., a private, nonprofit San Rafael, Calif.-based organization that provides and trains dog guides and owners free of charge.

“It's at best a nuisance; at worst, it underscores the feelings that anyone being dis criminated against has. Blindness is enough of a hassle in your everyday life without being denied access to things they have every right to,” Ms. Ritter said.

Mr. Alwali said he does not require his drivers to allow dogs guides in the cabs.

“We don't have a policy against dogs, unless your religion says not” to handle them, Mr. Alwali said.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/24/2008

Prof
For a Moslem taxi driver, or in any other profession, to refuse serving a blind person because of his dog , his substitute eyes, denotes a degree of ignorance of Islam only paralled, and excelled, by he who does NOT know the difference, in Islam,between "allow" and "enthrone"!

Your effusive defence of the rights of the blinds , though a noble cause per se and never a bone of contention, is just a facade behind which you are hiding!

The issue here, the challenge, is Pipes' truthfulness, objectivity and veracity and your absurd defense of him and it vs Sally Gee is his inane contention that :

"The blind find themselves ...., abandoned, left in the rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere,..."
where all three heinous acts
"abandoned, "left" and "dropped" unmistakably imply that they were first driven to a place by the same (Moslem)taxi driver to be later refused further service and
"abandoned", "left" or "dropped"
by him!

How could that be?

Did that taxi driver start his journey as a non Moslem, who accepted to give the service to a blind person and his dog, then refused further service by converting to Islam along the way??"

That was the challenge: the inane contention by Pipes and the no less inane defense by Eckstein , not the rights of the blind and their dogs to a decent service by all taxi drivers.
That right, that you so self righteously defend, was never challenged despite your tireless efforts to create the semblance that it was.
So typical of both Pipes and Eckstein!


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

Her post just above unfortunately speaks for itself, I'd say.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

"Blind people were rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds (the seeing-eye dogs); no one denies this."

OK. So just post witness statement sworn under oath that the precise events you recounted in the above sentence occurred in just one case, let alone "these cases".

What a dimwit.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

Be that as it may, Mr Eckstein, but what has this got to do with Mr Pipes fascination with female genital mutilation and his complete lack of concern over the mutilation of the male member? Another example of double standards?


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

NO ONE involved in these cases denies that that is exactly what happened. No one--not even CAIR. Keep smoking that crack, Ms. Gee.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

The POINT here, which Ms. Gee prefers not to understand, is that if Israel WERE Gee's "Nazi state", and especially Nazi in its policy towards the Palestinians, you would NOT have a poll which shows that 62-78% of Palestinian Israelis prefer to remain Israeli citizens rather than to be citizens of a Palestinian state, Nor would one have thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem applying for Israeli citizenship when there is now the prospect of the area coming under the PA.

In contrast to these Palestinian figures regarding Israel, in 1938 one would NOT have found that 62-78% of German Jews said that they perferred to live in Nazi Germany than under their own people!

(The Palestinian poll, incidentally, had nothing to do with emigration, it was not about leaving one's home.)

Hence, Israel is NOT Ms. Gee's "Nazi state" according to Palestinian polling--and she would be well advized just drop that vicious and ridiculous slander and never mention it again.



Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

But, Mr Eckstein, where have I said that I believe "that 62-78% of Jews in Germany preferred living under the Nazis than living under their own people"?

God, you really are a one for total tosh aren't you? Your students must either see you as a role model for idiocy or as a very cruel warning of the vagaries of fate.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

"Blind people were rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds (the seeing-eye dogs); no one denies this."

Mr Eckstein, I deny this on the grounds stated above by Mr Baker and myself. I think the term "get out of" is the giveaway. Dr Goebbells would not have made such a pathetically stupid mistake.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

Gee, no one denies these incidents happened--not even CAIR. You have to drop that line of disbelief.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

If Gee believes that 62-78% of Jews in Germany preferred living under the Nazis than living under their own people, she really is out of her mind.

In fact, Gee has no response to these statistics. When offered a choice between the Israeli government and the PA, 62-78% of Arab Israelis prefer israel. This simply would not be the case if israel's characteristics were anything like the "Nazi state" of Gee's slanders. She's put herself in a
ridiculous position.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

But are saying that the Canadians have an abundance of blind taxi drivers who can't see another blind person getting in their taxi with a dog, and when they finally twig that the dog is there the blind passenger-person (and, presumably, the dog) are "rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds". I know that you have no sympathy for Muslims on the grounds of your genetically inherited unbridled religio-ethnic hatred issues, but have you also no respect for the wishes of blind taxi drivers who find dogs offensive on the grounds that they are dogs? If so, I don't think you would find me a particularly comfortable blind taxi driver to share a journey with.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

More irrelevent tosh. If Jews didn't like living under the Nazis, how come so many stuck around for so long? Now that's a fact really worth your attention, Mr Eckstein.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

Blind people were rudely yelled at by Muslim cab-drivers and told to get out of the cab on religious grounds (the seeing-eye dogs); no one denies this. Put yourself in the position of a blind person to whom this has happened. Say it's on the street. It is difficult enough to get a cab, especially for a blind person; now imagine you're rudely told to get out because the Muslim cab-driver considers you religioiusly unclean, and to try someone else.

No one denies this happened.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

Personal attacks cannot stand against facts. Gee intended a snide remark about Pipes being jewish, and I caught her at it.

Personal attacks cannot stand the polling data either. .No Jews would've preferred living under the Nazis (!) (by 62-78%) to living under their own people. All Gee's other blather is irrelevant. Gee's continual slander equating Israel with "a Nazi state" is now completely undermined by the polling data among Israeli Arabs. Period.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

Mr Baker, the only significant point that Pipes has been trying to get across over these any months is the one tucked in amongst all the dog whistle stuff: "Western unity can also compel Islamists to denounce their preferred positions in areas such as slavery and Shar‘i-compliant finances." The use of slavery is one of the many dog whistles but the real meat for the Pipes and Ecksteins of this world is the attack on "Shar‘i-compliant finances".

That's why all these guys are so upset about the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks and feel the need to work themselves up into vast pointless tizzies so they can give their religio-ethnic hate genes a little work out at the expense of the inhabitants of the Gaza concentration camp. Who was it who advised us all to "just follow the money?" Wise words.


Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

Oh, Mr Eckstein, ever so sensitive aren't you. And what did the poll say about Israeli Arab support for a secular bi-national state? Wonder what the level of support for a bi-national secular encompassing Palestine in its entirety would be in Gaza and on the West Bank? Pretty high, I suspect. But I expect you would prefer to return to your musings about dodgy todgers and, more specifically, Mr Pipes pipe.

Now, be a good boy and make sure to take your next pill and the fits of silliness should decrease in intensity over the course of the nxt few hours.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/24/2008



Re: Pipes Fecund Imagination and Word Prowess! (#119466)
by art eckstein on February 24, 2008 at 12:18 PM
"No one, not even CAIR, denies that these incidents occurred."

By "these incidents" do you mean Prof that a blind person with a dog was first served by a Moslem taxi driver then "abandoned" etc in the middle of no where??
Is that what you mean??
Kindly explain.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

No one, not even CAIR, denies that these incidents occurred. CAIR first defended the actions of the Muslim cab-drivers, but now has repoved the cab drivers on Islamic grounds.


art eckstein - 2/24/2008

Ms. Gee's snide remark about the Jews was that Pipes was concerned with female circumcision but what about male circumcision. She evidently thought this an amusing hit at Pipes.

Gee asked for evidence. I always have it.

By the way, regarding Ms. Gee's continuous slander about israel being a "Nazi State', I note several recent polls (January 2008) of Israeli Arabs: they show by margins of 62% up to78% that they would rather stay in Israel than come under the authority of the Palestinian Authority. Thousands of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have applied for Israeli citizenship as soon as the question of transferring sovereignty to the PA came up.

Now, Ms. Gee doesn't like the PA and sees it (correctly) as corrupt. She prefers the rule of the Hamas genocidal terrorists, they are her heroes. Fine. But the fact is that one would not find 62-78% of Jews preferring to living in Nazi Germany rather than living in their own state governed by their own people. Nor would one have found thousands of Jews applying to be citizens of Nazi Germany either.

FACTS Ms. Gee--in this case polling of Israeli Arabs--will always defeat personal attacks. Please respond to these facts, and explain how they do not affect your continuous slanders about Israel as "a classic Nazi state."

Or wait--that was Ms. Gee's LAST week, that Israel was "a classic Nazi state." The assertion was on the basis of the "starving to death of Palestinians" in Gaza--another slander she was never able to back up, though she was pressed and pressed. But a couple of weeks before that, her position was first that Israel was a "classic Nazi state" but then, in the face of facts, she had to excogitate that it was a "developed Nazi state", which, when she was pressed on THAT, turned out to mean a state with none of the characteristics of a Nazi state.

It's tiresome to have to answer her, but someone has to do it. Her slanders cannot go unanswered. Well, now they've been answered--by polling of Israeli Arabs.



omar ibrahim baker - 2/24/2008

Blind hate is truly blinding; blinding to the degree that its repercussions do not only blind the eyes but the mind as well and leads its bearer to phantasy land where he contradicts himself and unveils himself for what he truly is: a fabricator and a falsifier in the service of his blindness of mind and conscience.
I note with interest, and pleasure, Pipes self righteous condemnation of barbaric Moslem taxi drivers guilty of, in his sentence:

"The blind find themselves ...., abandoned, left in the rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere,..."

where all three heinous acts
"abandoned, "left" and "dropped" unmistakably imply that they were first driven to a place by the same (Moslem)taxi driver to be later refused further service and
"abandoned", "left" or "dropped"
by him!

How could that be?

Did that taxi driver start his journey as a non Moslem, who accepted to give the service to a blind person and his dog, then refused further service by converting to Islam along the way??

Amazing what blind hatred, a sine qua non of a racist mind and psychotic deformation, can do!
It blinds them to the fact that 2+2=4 and that a fecund imagination and word prowess is no substitute for reason and truth.

The importance of this episode is that it is typical of all of Pipes’ oeuvre and ilk’s: string along as many false accusations as is within your vocabulary and your fecund imagination.
And we have people who, hopefully inadvertently, republish this rubbish and "scholarly Professors" who consciously defend it!



Sally Gee - 2/24/2008

I think you've forgotten to take your silly pills again, Mr Eckstein! You must always ask for the calendar packs - they make it so much easier to get it right.

Oh, and what was my snide remark about Jews, prithee? Perhaps Mr Eckstein has serious gender issues also. I suspect it goes hand in glove with all that religio-ethnic hatred that he so loves to preach.


art eckstein - 2/23/2008

Amazingly, Ms. Gee is less concerned about numerous Muslim cabdrivers refusing rides to the blind than she is about Pipes being "impolite"--impolite, that is, in mentioning Islamist female genital mutilation and wife-beating, along with refusing rides to the blind.

She also couldn't resist throwing in a snide remark about Jews; no doubt this warmed the cockles of her racist heart.

Says it all.


Sally Gee - 2/23/2008

Mr Pipes recycles his dreary, hate inflamed nonsense yet again but this time he chooses to spice it up with a reference to female genital mutilation. Why no reference to the practice of male genital mutilation, I wonder? I suggest that, in addition to his religio-ethnic hatred issue, Mr Pipes has a few gender issues which urgently require resolution.

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