Witch-hunters: a list of warning signs

12 12 2008

I have been mulling this over a long time, all those religious weirdos… what sends them ticking? With the recent commotion one of Bedu’s posts, it has again become abundantly clear that, although following the same religion, different people can have almost opposite opinions. I used sometimes to think religions make people nuts, or some religions are more insane as others… But that is not really the point.


It’s the humans!
I’m convinced there is a certain percentage of the human species who are not actually certifiable, but definitely wacko in a specific way. Religion has nothing to do with it, religion is a handy handle and holds a particular attraction for this percentage of deranged nutters.

On the whole I don’t mind what people do, they can be as deranged as they like, as long as you don’t hurt others. But that is exactly the point: these kind of lunatics are the ones responsible for the greatest evils committed on the planet. I don’t believe in the devil, or demons, or jinn, or ”the evil eye”. We have no need of them, we as humans can breed and spread more evil than is imaginable. Evil starts in the mind of those who have no real feelings, no empathy for the suffering of others, who think they are above the rest of humanity, and who can see only a very small portion of the world.

It’s these kind of humans who end up as nazi-camp-guards, witch-hunters and those who brainwash and send out suicide-bombers.
So I’ll call them ”witch-hunters” for the rest of this article. They are the ones who can easily live with causing innumerable deaths and sufferings, because ”God wants it” ”It’s all for the cause”, ”Some people will have to be sacrificed” and ”I only followed orders”


I am not kidding, I think we, the ”normal” part of humanity are not aware enough how evil will escalate if such deranged people are given any power. We should be ever vigilant not to let the soulless witch-hunters get any foothold. I don’t mean get rid of them, but they should be kept on a short leash.
We know how many millions the nazi’s killed, The medieval witch-hunts are estimated to have cost millions of deaths, mainly women. This is evil on an un-imaginable scale!


Ok, how to recognise a potentially dangerous witch-hunter:
I have noticed an astounding list of similarities, no matter what the religion (or atheïsm) these people are attracted too, which makes me think there is something in the mindset rather than religion as such. They all show the same symptoms, use the same expressions, the same language.
A witch hunter will show several of the following symptoms:

  • A witch hunter likes to follow an absolute ideology
  • At some point they ”have seen the light” they become ”Born Again Christians” or ”Revert Salafi Muslims”, ”Neo-Nazi’s” or, in rare cases; ”Absolute Atheists”
  • They may have had a very wild past which they now need to wipe out by going to the other extreme.
  • Once they have decided on the ideology to follow they immerse themselves completely, but not in a spiritual sense, they are completely obsessed with texts, and follow those texts to the letter
  • If a text needs explaining they do so in the most absolute and unpleasant manner
  • They don’t like women, even if they are women themselves. Women get harsher, more strict rules to live by, more dress restrictions, and more severe punishments.
  • They show no real compassion to others outside their circle, moreover, all rules of decency and correct behaviour don’t count for anybody outside their own circle.
  • they congregate in these little ”circles” or ”covens” and strengthen each other in their vanity, screwed perceptions and callousness.
  • they never stop to contemplate ”meaning”, ”substance” or ”intention”, they feel safe when only looking at the most superficial adherence of texts
  • They prefer to listen to scholars, and read little books full of explanations of their religious texts, rather than read their original books for themselves and come to a deep understanding.
  • When they have absorbed enough text, the start slapping other people around the head with their knowledge, for every occasion they can produce an appropriate text.
  • They get incredibly vain about their knowledge, and can never express themselves succinctly, but always make veeeeery looooong and booooring statements.
  • ”They know better”. Better than God or whatever prophet is applicable.
    They do. At the very least they are perfectly in the know about what God likes or doesn’t like in any and all situations. They keep going on about how God would not approve of railways, or how God does not approve of dating, God does not approve of women, or how God does not like dogs (both created by God to be such sweet, loyal and loving creatures, but hey, God still doesn’t like them!)
  • They delight in suffering.
    No, really. They get off on suffering, they will always find ways to make life miserable for themselves. For some reason they are convinced that God won’t love them if they actually enjoy living in God’s creation. They think God wants you to suffer.
  • When they are safely ensconced into a thoroughly unpleasant lifestyle themselves, they start looking around them and start insisting others must suffer too!
    I suppose it’s no fun to suffer yourself, and see other people having a lot of fun. And anyway they always are more severe and started suffering earlier, so they can still feel superior. But all that fun and enjoyment has to go!
  • If other people are not keen on following their example, they start threatening with hell-fire. They say stuff like ”You will burn in hell” if you: date/don’t cover/work/don’t work/use birthcontrol/listen to music/dance/sport/say ”no” to your husband/have a boy/girl-friend/own a dog/read/have your own opinions/think, etc.
  • People not belonging to the ”righteous” group can be made to suffer, it doesn’t matter.
  • They loooove to be able to find fault in others
  • They loooove to denounce non-conformists to the authorities, if they have the good fortune to live in a country where the authorities are corrupted in evil.
  • They are totally obsessed with sex, in an unhealthy manner. It’s like their every second thought is about sex. They see sex everywhere, in any circumstances, any actions, meetings, whatever, everything is connected with some sexual action in their minds. If they want to hurt anybody, commenting at your sexual life/preferences/practises is a standard practise.
  • They are completely blind and deaf towards anything, anything at all, which doesn’t conform to their particular view of the world. That view is severely limited, they walk around with blinders on their head, hearing nothing, seeing nothing which doesn’t accord with what they want to see.
  • On the other hand, they also like to put forward an extremely biased and twisted representation of the life/country of other people, always extremely negative, and replete with deviant sexual practises.
  • I suppose I don’t need to add that it is impossible, as an outsider, to discuss anything with these people, they don’t discuss, they are always right, and they denounce anything they don’t like as the devil’s work, and you as the devil’s minion and there’s the end to another discussion. No discussions. At all.

A few examples:
The evangelists who ring your doorbell carrying a bible with notched leaves so they can always slap you in the face with a bible passage. It’s incredible, there is no normal conversation possible with these people, any sentence you can utter will be countered with a passage from ”the book”


Veiling: Women veil ”because God wants you to be modestly dressed” If and to what extend a woman chooses to veil, is between her and God. In reality. But not to the witch-hunters: veiling up to the most unhealty extremes is a requirement: if you don’t submit you go to hell.  To the with-hunters veiling is between other women and them! They choose to interpret modest dress not as covering from the chest to the knees, but to be covered completely in black drapes. Because this way you can ”Express yourself as an individual and not as a sexobject”


Yeah, right.
What it actually means that the world (and the child) is made very aware that any girl from about 11 years onward is a sexual object and therefore needs to be covered from the eyes of men. Thereby proclaiming insistently: Sexual object passing by!
And we all know how that works out: I’ve heard from Saudi women how they can’t even do their household shopping with toddler in one hand and a shopping bag in the other, fully veiled, and they are still harassed regularly in a manner which would get the perpetrator arrested in the ”Decadent West”

Giving ”Good Advice”: It takes some courage, to go and tell people you think they could do better on some points. It takes diplomacy and a loving heart to do so without antagonising your subject.


Witch hunters have no diplomacy and certainly no loving hearts, they give ”good advice” to show off how much better they are, how they alone know what is right, how much better they are as humans, and the usually manage to put in something to let you know how sub-human you are, and how you are on a downward elevator to hell.

Witch hunters only show concern towards their own members. They are devoid of feelings or empathy as soon as they consider somebody as a ”heretic”, or ”unbeliever”.


Anybody outside the ”righteous” is an outcast, they can be tortured, burned, whatever. This may even be desirable to ”cleanse” the community/land/planet of independent thinkers.


So I can only hope there will remain enough independent thinkers to keep some freedom of thoughts and expression going. And I hope I have made it clear that we should make sure we will not get overruled by anybody without heart soul and compassion.

Clouddragon wants you!

To keep vigil in blog-sphere!




54 responses

12 12 2008

Wow! That’s quite a rant, but you’ve identified a certain personality structure that cuts across religious and cultural divides. Yes, it’s true, you can find these people in various places, but I’ve notcied them specifically in Christianity and Islam.

I’ve never heard of a Buddhist witch-hunter, have you?

12 12 2008

Your post brings back many memories of ‘A man for all seasons’ by Robert Bolt. It is always the most virtuous and the most pious that transgress most horridly at even humanity’s basest values:

Here’s the money quote:

Alice: Arrest him!
More: Why, what has he done?
Margaret:: He’s bad!
More: There is no law against that.
Roper: There is! God’s law!
More: Then God can arrest him.
Roper: Sophistication upon sophistication.
More: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what’s legal, not what’s right. And I’ll stick to what’s legal.
Roper: Then you set man’s law above God’s!
More: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact — I’m not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can’t navigate. I’m no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I’m a forester.I doubt if there’s a man alive who could follow me there, thank God.
Alice: While you talk, he’s gone!
More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake. [/quote]


12 12 2008

@ Marahm

Yes, there have been budhist witch-hunters. I find it quite disconcerting that Western budhism (which is a fairly new phenomenon, If I had to guess I’d say mid 20th century) seems to cleanse the on the hands of (old school) Eastern Budhism. But I think we’re talking more of a state of mind in the ‘human condition’, a fear of what is new, a fear of what different and it almost uninevitably ends in the end of common human decency and the surrender tollerance.


12 12 2008
American Bedu

Excellent succinct post! Loved every word – bravo!

12 12 2008

Marahm, quite a rant? oh, dear, I tried to keep it short…. :mrgreen:
I agree, I see them mostly in the three major (and related) religions. Trust me there are people like this in Judaism too.

I think buddism doesn’t lend itself so easily to cutting down ”unbelievers” by the thousands…

Berend, nice (long) comment :mrgreen:
I was defenitely trying to get across that this is a common human ”mindset” and can be found in all human populations, anywhere on the globe, following any kind of doctrine.
I think it has something to do with ”growing up” I think most humans are ”domesticated” and never grow up, thereby remaining open and playful and interested in their surrounding, while a small percentage reall ”grow up” and freezes up into a nearly blind, suspicious dangerous wild human. Next post…

12 12 2008

See Marahm? Bedu thinks it ”succinct” :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

12 12 2008

A very ranty rant & so terrible what was done in the name of God not to mention the Catholic Inquisition & the Crusades.
I couldn’t help but think of a movie made by a bunch of British Loonies

CROWD: A witch! A witch! A witch! We’ve got a witch! A witch!
VILLAGER #1: We have found a witch, might we burn her?
CROWD: Burn her! Burn!
BEDEMIR: How do you know she is a witch?
VILLAGER #2: She looks like one.
BEDEMIR: Bring her forward.
WITCH: I’m not a witch. I’m not a witch.
BEDEMIR: But you are dressed as one.
WITCH: They dressed me up like this.
CROWD: No, we didn’t… no.
WITCH: And this isn’t my nose, it’s a false one.
VILLAGER #1: Well, we did do the nose.
BEDEMIR: The nose?
VILLAGER #1: And the hat — but she is a witch!
CROWD: Burn her! Witch! Witch! Burn her!
BEDEMIR: Did you dress her up like this?
CROWD: No, no… no … yes. Yes, yes, a bit, a bit.
VILLAGER #1: She has got a wart.
BEDEMIR: What makes you think she is a witch?
VILLAGER #3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
BEDEMIR: A newt?
VILLAGER #3: I got better.
VILLAGER #2: Burn her anyway!
CROWD: Burn! Burn her!
BEDEMIR: Quiet, quiet. Quiet! There are ways of telling whether
she is a witch.
CROWD: Are there? What are they?
BEDEMIR: Tell me, what do you do with witches?
VILLAGER #2: Burn!
CROWD: Burn, burn them up!
BEDEMIR: And what do you burn apart from witches?
VILLAGER #1: More witches!
VILLAGER #2: Wood!
BEDEMIR: So, why do witches burn?
VILLAGER #3: B–… ’cause they’re made of wood…?
CROWD: Oh yeah, yeah…
BEDEMIR: So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
VILLAGER #1: Build a bridge out of her.
BEDEMIR: Aah, but can you not also build bridges out of stone?
VILLAGER #2: Oh, yeah.
BEDEMIR: Does wood sink in water?
VILLAGER #1: No, no.
VILLAGER #2: It floats! It floats!
VILLAGER #1: Throw her into the pond!
CROWD: The pond!
BEDEMIR: What also floats in water?
VILLAGER #1: Bread!
VILLAGER #2: Apples!
VILLAGER #3: Very small rocks!
VILLAGER #1: Cider!
VILLAGER #2: Great gravy!
VILLAGER #1: Cherries!
VILLAGER #3: Churches — churches!
VILLAGER #2: Lead — lead!
ARTHUR: A duck.
CROWD: Oooh.
BEDEMIR: Exactly! So, logically…,
VILLAGER #1: If… she.. weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood.
BEDEMIR: And therefore–?
VILLAGER #1: A witch!
CROWD: A witch!

12 12 2008

Tony, can you make a comment any longer???
But an excellent comment! 😀

12 12 2008
Saudi in US

Great article Aafke.

I may add a few trait to your list:

– A total dismissal of logic even when faced with overwhelming evidence that contradicts their interpretation of the text. Example: opposition of evolution theory. This produces the circular arguments that you encounter with the ultra religious, because logic is a convenience to be used when it is on their side. It is never a principal they follow.

– Never seeing the Forrest from the trees (big picture): I can refer to the example of evolution here also. The principal arguments most use in refuting the theory is based on some claim of a missing link that did not stand scientific scrutiny. However, they will use that one specific case to refute every thing, while the fact is the scientific method was actually working in putting evidence under the proper review. They never get the total picture and thus they end up arguing from a position of lack of understanding and look like radicals. This can be applied to many believes held by ultra conservatives. They disregard human knowledge not just in science, but philosophy, history, social sciences, etc. There are countries that do not educate their young people properly, because of this issue. Actually, in the Arabic world there is a list that includes some of the greatest contemporary thinkers who are accused of being apostates (Nobel price winners in some cases). Talk about a witch hunt!!!

– Reinterpreting their text when they reach a point where they main stream does not agree with them. Flat earthers are a prime example of this.

12 12 2008

Very thought-provoking post. Thank you, Aafke.

13 12 2008

Aafke, thank you; you have all said it… And recently I saw “imagining argentina” that brought back flood waters of memories of what the “witch hunters” did in Latin America in their “dirty wars”…there, it was and still is hard to find out what these people were really after…what is for sure is that so many of us were left with interrupted lives and neverending question on where “los desaparecidos” -the vanished- ones are…

Those are consequences we must never let these “witch hunters” erase or silence or justify…

13 12 2008

OK, it’s still quite a rant, a SUCCINCT rant, if you must, and that’s better than a WINDBAG rant. I liked it! Maybe I should rant once in awhile. That’s part of the purpose of blogging, no?

I’ve actually been fascinated with the personality type that you portray. I would almost like to be one. They are so sure, so confident, so solid in their beliefs and practices. They don’t worry about half the issues I ponder regularly. It must feel nice to be so right all the time.

13 12 2008

Now if big Pharma could only come up with a pill for obsesive religious personality disorder maybe we could get on with the business of saving/developing the planet and humanity?

You nailed it Aafke! Bravo!

13 12 2008

@ alwaysinthekitchen

Recently, major breakthroughs have been made:

13 12 2008

I should say that I couldn’t help having a wide smile while reading this master piece. I know that it should be the other way around cause it’s really a sad thing to be a witchfinder, and the more we have , the worse it is going to be 🙂

“although following the same religion, different people can have almost opposite opinions.”
It’s not really the opposite, but it’s a matter of thinking or “not-thinking” I’ll try to illustrate this with an example. Last week, a guy here was asked , why you don’t eat meat. He replied because it is not “Halal” The person asked him, why do you only eat “Halal” meat. the guy replied cause God said so. The person found that this guy knows nothing, so he closed the conversation. Then this same person asked another Muslim the same thing. The Muslim replied by saying, God loves animal, and he doesn’t like to see animal suffering. Part of Islam is to treat animal kindly. God prohibited us to eat those animal that were shocked with electricity, drawn on water or by any other mean that results in animal suffering. Also cleanness is important. Hence, there is a certain method that if the animal was slaughtered in, we can eat it. The animal has to be slaughtered from a certain vein in the neck which guarantee that the animal will die instantly and with the minimal possible suffering. Also there should not be any other animal watching this, so they’ll not be terrified… The person was satisfied with the answer. So both what the two guys said were true, and the same, except one of them understood the reason , and the other was just blindly following without using his brain. Indeed if anyone goes over the Qur’an, will find that it stresses the use of our brain to think . i.e. “olo al albab” = those who think.

“They don’t like women, even if they are women themselves.”
LOL, 🙂 you reminded me with a story 🙂 once a woman here who thinks that she knows about Islam a lot, was talking to a group of women saying to them, that God Allow men to marry more than one, and we should be happy when our husbands go an marry a 2nd , we should support them cause this is a command from God. There was something wrong in the understanding of this woman, so another Muslim woman, waited till everyone has left and talked with this other woman personally and explained to her that there are certain rules should be followed , and not just “yalla I’m marrying another woman” from nowhere. Anyway I don’t want to be long-winded 🙂 You indeed come to hear variety of responses for a the same thing, maybe the end-goal is one, but methods and ways differs.

“read little books full of explanations of their religious texts, rather than read their original books for themselves and come to a deep understanding.”
I couldn’t agree more.

“They think God wants you to suffer.”
God never wants anyone to suffer. They just didn’t understand the message.

Conclusion: a wonderful post, and deep thinking. Well-done.

13 12 2008

Wow! Great article about witch-hunters! Totally agree with it.These people just lack compassion and love.I just wonder what they learn to be who they are.Just sickening.My hubby came over as I was viewing the pics here and he called the veiled women ghosts.Just not used to seeing them around here like that!
Just a silly question,what will make them think that they can be wrong?

13 12 2008

Saudi in US, you are so right with your points, especially: *because logic is a convenience to be used when it is on their side.*

all your points are valid, Science is also a commodity used only for it’s name, not actually used as such, but they like to drop the word from time to time…

Inal, it’s these concequences that frighten me. One victim is already one too many. The mcCarthy communist whitch-hunts are a good example of the loonies at work without a religious background.

Marahm, ranting is what blogs are all about! 😉
I can see the attraction too. If you are like that you are so safe and comfortable, and so superior! Must bde a lovely state of mind… You are even fully convinced you will gain Jannah! (That will be a great shock btw)
Allthough I am convinced myself I will be katapulted straight to heaven, even if I’m a bit naughty at times. (and while blogging) :mrgreen:


Khalid, So I really take it you finished some excellent examinations with top-scores?

I like your example, it makes the distinction between well-thought out, and mindlessly following very clear.
And this stress in Quran about the need to use your brain and the nessecity of intent to be counted seemed to me foolproof. But it isn’t, for those who don’t want to read can still ignore it.
I also like the many times you read that religion should not consist of hardship, and on the contrary is meant to make life easier. And that there is ”no compulsion in religion” and that ”men and women are equal in the eyes of God”

As you are new to my blog, I think you might enjoy the following posts:

13 12 2008

Lat: Nothing, that is impossible. My point is that we shouldn’t shoot them or anything, but perhaps lock them up somewhere where they are really uncomfortable, and can wallow in their suffering. That should make them happy!
Naaah, just kiddin’!!!
I think we should always stay alert and make sure people with this mindset do not get into any position of authority, and that they don’t get the chance of putting other people to hurt. It is high time we stand up for freedom of expression, freedom of thought. These principles are the first ones the witch-hunters want to curtail.

13 12 2008

WOW Aafke, you are the best! I loved this post.

13 12 2008

Aafke, I don’t know what to say other than a big WOW! Excellent piece. I am linking.

13 12 2008

Hi ~W~, Glad to be a source of enjoyment 🙂

Achelois, haaaaa, nice for my stats!

13 12 2008
Read this « Achelois: a retired goddess

[…] December 13, 2008 · No Comments Speaks for itself […]

13 12 2008

This was a great post. I can think of quite a few people this would apply to, especially in the blogosphere.

13 12 2008

I hardest thing to convince a “religious nut” about is that you are an individual…and therefore are allowed to have your own opinion…lead your life your own way…”sin” if you want to..whatever…but if they consider you Christian…Muslim…Jewish…whatever…then you are forced to live as rigidly as they do…any meandering from “the straight path” results in a downward trip to Hell…no excuses.

God may be Merciful and Forgiving…religous folk are not.

13 12 2008

Tulip, yes, lately I have encountered a few of them :mrgreen:

Coolred38, what do I read? Words like ”individual” ”opinion” ”meandering” are najis! You are hopeless!
Or hopeful, your are always so clever and right to the spot! You are amazing! 🙂

13 12 2008

Wow, i love this post seems like you’ve put a lot of thought into this. You’re right about humans being evil, religion is merely something to twist to their own ways, their own wants. I think thats what creates cults, psycho people with power over gullible people, who’ve been brain washed.
“They don’t like women, even if they are women themselves. Women get harsher, more strict rules to live by, more dress restrictions, and more severe punishments”
I couldn’t agree more, i don’t understand the compulsion some women have of degrading their own gender, why can’t women leave women alone?

13 12 2008

outcastrebelchic, welcome to my blog 🙂 Hm, this has been mulling around in my head this year… It’s the commotion caused by a fairly innocent post on American Bedu which decided me I realle needed to write this one down.
About women… well, (my brother is going to have a field day over this, but…) some women…. some women are stupid. It can’t be helped. Some women are stupid, lazy and masochistic.
Not us of course, but some women…
And let’s not forget, a lot of women have been told from baby onwards, that they are weak, dumb, useless, worthless nothings. And that does work you know, not with all women, but it does kill off personality in quite a few.
And some wmoen are just plain stupid. sigh…

14 12 2008
susie of arabia

Aafke, Aafke, Aafke!!! Another terrific deep thinking, soul searching post. You have outdone yourself yet again!
You really hit the nail on the head with this post. The witch-hunters do not believe that anyone should ever have any fun because God/Allah prohibits fun in any form. Life is about suffering, for one and all. And they love attacking others and making everyone else miserable because they are so miserable and nasty. They have those “Holier Than Thou” attitudes down pat.
Marahm – you could NEVER ever be one of them – you’re too nice!
Thank you for writing this genius masterpiece, Aafke!

14 12 2008

Wow!! This is the most titillating (and insightful) post I have ever read on any blog. I love it!! And, I agree with every single word you have written.

Thanks for putting this out there!!

14 12 2008

First off, excellently written, well thought out post, Aafke. (may I add, as always? 🙂 )

The characteristics of ‘witch-hunters’ you’ve pointed out are so comprehensive that I can hardly find anything to add to them.

“They may have had a very wild past which they now need to wipe out by going to the other extreme.”
“When they have absorbed enough text, the start slapping other people around the head with their knowledge, for every occasion they can produce an appropriate text.”
“They are totally obsessed with sex, in an unhealthy manner.”
“They delight in suffering.”

I’d say this pretty much about sums up the first four indications that you’re talking to a witch hunter.

However, moving on to the part about veiling.

Women veil ”because God wants you to cover yourself” They choose to interpret this not as covering from the chest to the knees, but to cover yourself completely in black drapes…
Yeah, right.

I take exception to this statement. How they ‘choose’ to interpret God’s words is between no one but themselves and God. I think my point of view will be clearer if I use an example.

I cover my head because, yes, I believe my hair does add to my general allure so like everyone else covers from their chest to their knees, I like to lean towards this interpretation, and I feel more comfortable covering my hair up too. However, I have a mother who doesn’t do that…I have cousins who choose to just cover from ‘chest to knees’ and I have NEVER questioned their interpretation of the verse because that’s between them and God. Just like I dislike it if I am asked to defend my right to cover my hair: it is between ME AND GOD.

While it is wrong for people to point and say ‘oh look, s/he has a dog so must be filthy’ or ‘she doesn’t cover up properly’, it is equally wrong to make fun of someone’s personal belief by saying ‘yeah right.’

You say ‘we all know how that works out’. Really? It works out fine for me. I wear a smart trench coat style abaya or some loose pants and a shirt and i pin my scarf up properly. If someone chooses to wear a whole curtain on themselves, I’d put it down to that woman’s lack of sense. I don’t think, were the woman in your example wearing a triangular scarf pinned in place and a coat-style abaya, she’d have had such difficulty managing her children and shopping.

However, let me put it clearly that I am totally with you on this point in context of the ‘witch-hunters’ because forcing either belief: to cover one’s hair /wear a veil OR to uncover is EQUALLY WRONG.

That aside, I think this is the most thought provoking and comprehensive piece of writing on this topic I have read in ages…maybe ever. Although I know you are amazingly perceptive, it always pleasantly surprises me how you write every piece with the incisiveness and insight of a professional, extensive-traveling journalist.

Rock on. 😉

14 12 2008

Quite a rant! I loved it.

God, someone just emailed me a link to a “great blog” – and it turned to be some ‘great imam from Yemen’ proclaiming … don’t even wanna get into it.

You have a merry christmas and happy new year!

14 12 2008

Dixie says: God dusnt lyk dogs???? Wot abowt poodools???

14 12 2008

misspecs, I agree you have a point about the veiling-thing. I’m not really a journalist you know, and just spew my biased opinion all over the place. I’m going to modify the text a bit because you made me chance my mind a bit, and I could write that down better.
But still, I have heard reports from saudi women that they are harrassed to an intolerable degree, while in abaya, shayla and niqab, I wasn’t making that up, all this excessive veiling and segregation in KSA makes it worse, not better.

Haleem, I fully trust you to pick out the really cool blogs! “mrgreen:

14 12 2008

Dixie: God doos luv poodools, with-hunters don’t!

15 12 2008

I was always fascinated in reading about witch hunters and you couldn’t have summed it up in a much better way. In the olden days, midwives were burned at the stake, they were considered witches because the idiots(male doctors) couldn’t stop the women from bleeding to death. Imagine how many deaths would have been saved if these midwives/female healers were supported to help women.

15 12 2008

I too enjoyed this post and really appreciated misspecs comment on it because that particular point was the only “problem” I had with it.

15 12 2008

‘If someone chooses to wear a whole curtain on themselves, I’d put it down to that woman’s lack of sense.’

Then why are the non hijabis not allowed to say the same about your choice then?

15 12 2008

Then why are the non hijabis not allowed to say the same about your choice then?

This is what we call ‘an argument from ignorance’. Nowhere in her post does Clouddragon claim, or even say, that non hijabis do not have the right to voice their opinion. Discussion on disagreement is a very healthy and I dare say a nesseccesary institution. The point Clouddragon is trying to make ist that fanatics will not discuss anything nor consider other options or even have the will to try to find a compromise. AFAIC fanatics, be they jews, christians, muslims, national-socialists, communists, scientologists etc, etc, are prisoners of their own locked-in mindset. Clouddragon can take criticism with the best of them, trust me, I’ve known her my whole life.

‘the most fervent beleivers are those who harbor the gravest doubts, and try to conceal them’


15 12 2008

Thank you for considering my point of view, Aafke.

I wasn’t implying you were making it up @ KSA. What you say is very true. The women do dress like those shown in the picture. What I was trying to say was that they should have a sense to cover up in a better more manageable way, specially if they have children with them. Like I said (and you said too), yes, harrassing anyone and forcing them either to wear a hijb or to not wear it is equally wrong. Thse women should have a right to choose. Agreed.

And biased? you? You are never! I agree with Rhysz, you always consider everyone’s point of view and you are open to criticism. You’re a blogger I look up to!

Lynn: I’m not quiet sure what you pointed out. Anyways, what I was pointing out was that if a woman dresses in a way that makes her difficult to manage her day-to-day activities, it is her own lack of sense. Wearing a curtain style abaya when you have children and shopping to handle is just as silly as wearing, say, 3 inch heels while doing the same tasks. Therefore, the main point was that difficulties that could’ve been solved by use of a little common sense cannot be put down to veiling/hijab itself.

I think you should re-read my comment. I said the very same thing that you asked: how much a woman chooses (key word, CHOOSES) to cover is between her and her God. If a woman doesn’t cover her hair/legs/whatever, she is practicing her right to choose and you or I are nobody to interfere and take her to task on this. Women with huge abayas and shaylas can wear them all they want: its their choice to wear it, but the problem in everyday life they face is not something that can be put down to the actual belief in how much should be covered. That is what I meant. I hope I’ve clarified my point of view now!

15 12 2008

sf: midwives/female healers were persecuted also because they were competition for the new male doctors. And because they were women.
I think I will write a loong post one the burning times soon….

Tasmiya Lynn misspecs, don’t forget that the bit about veiling was about the witch-hunters not allowing any other view on veiling than their own.
It wasn’t about my own view, but about people not being allowed to keep it between them and God.

misspecs, well, biased as on my own blog I don’t bother too much to mince words. And anyway I am very angry at witch-hunters at the moment so not at all inclined to be polite.
I think in KSA women are under huge pressure to wear the most uncomfortable forms of veiling. I cannot believe it is always personal preference. Notice the reports how most shed abaya and even hijab as soon as they cross the border.
KSA is the quintessential example of a country where the witch-hunters are in power.

15 12 2008

‘what I was pointing out was that if a woman dresses in a way that makes her difficult to manage her day-to-day activities, it is her own lack of sense. Wearing a curtain style abaya when you have children and shopping to handle is just as silly as wearing, say, 3 inch heels while doing the same tasks. Therefore, the main point was that difficulties that could’ve been solved by use of a little common sense cannot be put down to veiling/hijab itself.’

Still, it is HER interpretation that she needs to cover that much and maybe doesn’t consider it hardshipjust as it is your choice to dress the way you do pinning your hijab ‘properly’ (implies that others are not proper). Could I say that you also are not using sense if dressing the way you do, per YOUR interpretation, causes you hardship (assuming that we can determine what causes a hardship for another person)

Aafke, can I join your anti-witch-hunter gang?

15 12 2008

Lynn, you are welcome to join the anti-witch-hunters-league. I ended my rant with a call to arms!

misspecs had a defenite point in her comment, many people can choose for themselves what they wear and how uncomfortable you are. Some countries excepted.
everybody can dress as they like in my opinion, but people are not allowed to tell other people how to dress in my opinion.

I don’t think you understood exactely what misspecs was saying, and misinterpretation is always around the corner, as we don’t talk face to face. We must always be careful how we interpret each other’s comments.

And now we are not going to continue on the pro- contra-hijab/niqab road, because whenever there is a whiff of hijab/niqab; all discussions on the internet tend to get hijacked completely by the how to cover-controversy.

The subject of this post is enforcement, paranoia and persecution, by severely deranged humans.

16 12 2008

My personal experience proves that it is not just those ‘witch-hunters’ in positions of authority that you need to be vigilant against as you yourself said ‘It’s these kind of humans who end up as nazi-camp-guards, witch-hunters and those who brainwash and send out suicide-bombers.’ With the emphasis on BRAINWASH. It all starts with using terms like ‘properly pinned hijab’ if you understand what I mean. Next thing you know the All -American girl has turned herself into a ‘proper’ niqabi who no longer is able to think without those ‘witch-hunters’ guiding her in her every move until she becomes a witch-hunter herself.

16 12 2008

Oh, I agree, these are the signs to look out for, Like I said in my post: all ”normal” people should be aware of the warning signs, and stop witch-hunters before they get into a position of power.
I do agree that, especially in Islam, a pre-occupation with women’s ”correct modesty” is a hot topic. It is increadible how any blog-post with a remote hint towards hijab or covering, turns into endless discussions about veiling.
(I’m trying to avoid that here, but somehow I can never get any weirdos to stick around here, so it probably won’t happen)

I’ve seen it happen again and again: as soon as the dread word ”hijab” falls, all subsequent conversations cluster around ”correct” or ”sufficient” veiling.
It is as if the muslim-community itself equals religion to the amount of drapes a woman uses to cover herself.
There seems to be a most haram tendency to worship the veil. Nowadays the woman’s hijab is an idol.
And here’s my title for the next post.
Don’t touch that dial folks, we’ll be right back!

16 12 2008

I’m sick of witch hunters, too. The holier-than-thou thing? Ugh. I grew up in the American heartland and can say that I felt strangled by the Bible Belt. I don’t live there anymore.

Plus, the drive to shave the corners off the square pegs isn’t limited to religion, either. Adding to the tension is our psychological need as humans to fit into “the tribe.”

17 12 2008

It just ocurred to me- sounds very sci-fi…some of you will remember the topic of the Borg on Star Trek- and “the collective”- group think at its worst…to them and our real “witch-hunters” its- “resistance is futile; you will be assimilated”! Talk about not having a conversation!


17 12 2008

Aafke, this is a brilliant post. Well done!

I often tell my friends back in the US that I am often more comfortable here in Kuwait with Moslem women, rather than non-believers (I am religious). I loved it that you make the point that virulent non-believers can be as witch-hunty as virulent believers. We can believe, or not believe, and not be nuts.

And I think you are totally right, the focus always seems to be on making life tougher for women, and pumping up men to be our “protectors.” God save us from such protection!

17 12 2008

@ Intlxpatr

Usually, I tend to stay away from this subject but the Law Library seesm particularly dreery this day. Non-beleivers (I’m not religious=), can be easily devided into two groups, which can not and must not be confused.

Most non-believers are secularists who seek to keep the wall between religion and the state intact and as strong as possible. I’ll lump myself in with this group, we’re not particularly well organized because we tend to have very different views. Luckilly, we tend to celebrate our differences instead of mourning them. Ou differing views tend to lead to fun arguments and dialogue, something which I’m a bit addicted to.

Virulent non-beleivers are NOT secular, we tend to view them as foreign as the muttawa themselves. These guys are either utterly uninformed (which seems to be a fad over here, they’re arguments hold no more water than ‘religion is stupid’, clearly not the kind of people one can have an intelligent discussion with. The other group, IMhO a much more dangerous group, has already been exposed many times in history. They seek to exchange religion for endless worship of the state (communism, national-socialism). For instance, in North-Korea (one of the most heinous states the world has witnessed) all that is good flows from the state (or the ‘dear leader’, his dead father is the ‘great leader’ which makes the country a Necrocracy. The old communist countries (Albania takes the cherry) and some of the more right wing dictatorships lock in to the exact same ‘witch-hunting’ thinking proces (or lack there off) as the extreme religious types. Their methods differ only in the slightest details, they’ll prosecute, tortures and violate you as much as possible. (why am I suddenly thinking of McCarthy and the recent ‘un-American arguments?)

Anyway, people on my side of the fence, although I wish they weren’t, seem to think that everything associated with religion is somehow tainted. I like to call these people morons, they seem to know everything yet have experienced nothing. Some people thought I was batshit insane when I told them I adore Bach, Passion of Matthew or that my friend showed me some muslem song that I thought were quite beutifull. This mindset is exactly as culpable of ignorance and stupidity as the ‘witch- hunters’. Oh well, this is turning into a rant…….

@ Aafke
Hey sis, please save this post for me even if you block it from the site^^ One of my friends may be giving me a domain for my birthday and I want to use this for my first post.

Own domain > own blog ;P


18 12 2008

I’m a believer who also likes to keep that secular wall up. 🙂

18 12 2008

Inal, you are right, they are the origins of the Borg! Maybe they don’t look like that (yet) but they defenitely are like that!

Still: resistance is not futile!!!!!!!!!
(not until they are really Borg)

intlxpatr, The most remarcable thing is, that even the atheïsts who want you to convert to atheïsm, àlso use the same vocabulary to ”convert” you.

Yeah, are men so dim that they can only see ”protection of women” as in their ”Own Advantage, to the Detriment of Women”???
Why can’t they take it literally? take real care for us, and really protect us?

Rhysz, eeehm, you are right about everything. 😀

21 12 2008
Abu Sinan

Good post Aafke. The post brought music to mind for me, but then I relate everything to music. It reminded me of the song by Rush called “Witch Hunt” and the song sung by Irish singer Christy Moore called “The Burning Times” about witch hunts in Europe.

I remember when I first met my wife she worried that I was one of the nut case Salafi reverts who become an extremist to make up for their past.

These types seems to forget that it is a well known teaching that when you convert to Islam that your previous sins are forgiven and that they only thing they need to do is to concentrate on the future.

Instead these folks just become polar opposites of what they once were, and in a different way, just as bad.

24 12 2008
Merry Christmas! « Clouddragon

[…] opinion on how music is from the devil trying to distract us from God, a bizarre opinion shared by deluded blind witch hunters, both in christianity and Islam. While in Christianity this discussion was held many centuries ago, it is still alive and thriving […]

24 12 2008

Abu Sinan, ah, music to your ears you say? Then it múst be all wrong what I wrote here! 😉
Well, You have a beard! Very suspicious! But as you have proven (at least to your wife) that your heart is in the right place, and your head is screwed on right, I am also very happy to see you back on my blog. 🙂

I agree with the ”polar opposites” in effect nothing changes…

26 07 2010

In Anthropology 1 (don’t ask) I was given some interesting definitions with regards to group dynamics and ideology.

Those within a group (let’s take a very weird cult, for argument’s sake) tend to exaggerate the similarities between group members, and exaggerate their differences to out-group individuals. And then there’s group-think, which we all know and love. There was a lovely book called the March of Folly, but I quite forget the author. I know exactly which shelf it’s on, in the local public library, but that doesn’t help ^^ People tend to get caught up in how wonderful the group is, and how terrible the out-group is.

Look at Phillip II of Spain: he was completely of the opinion that his Catholicism was the only “true” Christianity, and full of righteous piety while burning Reformists at the stake. Of course, I’m suspicious of the excessively pious. The ones that can’t possibly admit they’re wrong. Monomania is the least of their worries. The obsession with sex, or the repression of females, all that weird stuff – I’m reminded of Norman Bates. Or some kinds of serial killer. Not that all fanatics fall into this mould, of course. Some are just trigger-happy. And any “born again” Christian who ignores something as fundamental as Thou shalt not kill, or Do not judge others, and God will not judge you, is highly suspect, in my mind. As a tree is known by its fruit, so a man is known by his deeds…

What interested me re ideology, of course, is it was defined as any doctine that is strictly adhered to, for the sake of the economic superiority of those holding it. Strange, but it does ring true. Most …what were they called?… autos de fe were given to those whose crime was being exceedingly rich, because anyone condemned by the Inquisition (and “relaxed” to the secular government for execution) had their estates forfeit to the Church. Very convenient. A lot of the Jews in the Medieaval period in Europe suffered extremely, simply because, with all other work forbidden to them, they became money-lenders and usurers. Anyone that rich in a time when usury was frowned on and a middle class did not exist was fair prey for most unscrupulous rulers; King John I of England was said to keep Jews in his dungeons, “at his pleasure”, in order to secure loans. But of course, the poor people concerned had no ability to secure any return payment, and would rather not give him anything. Of course, the basal ideology was that they, like Muslims, were heretics. And so fair game.

In fact, there grew a strange obsession with “heresy” in Medieaval Spain, post-reconquista. It came to be viewed as a blood taint. Guilt by ancestral association, as it were. Even if you had only the tiniest drop of Jewish or Moorish blood, you were fair game. Those who were the foremost proponents of said persecution became very, very rich by hiding their own history very, very well. Torquemada, for example, was part Jewish. Hitler’s grandmother was Jewish. As is Ahmadinejad. (Oh dear, I can’t think why it looks like I’ve misspelt him, but I fear I have.) But their extreme, excessive fanaticism probably hid/hides a tiny smidgeon of deep self-disgust, and the best way to cleanse yourself from perceived sin is to shift the focus to others and wipe them out thoroughly, to prove your own devotion to purity. Which leads me to believe that McCarthy and Nixon, to name but a few, were only accusing others in order to smell of roses themselves.

Think about it, though: if, through racism, you can reserve the best and most high-paying jobs for your own ethnicity, why be egalitarian? Why promote women when the male sex profits so deeply from the glass ceiling? Except that having half your population so disempowered has devastating effects on your GDP as a whole. And you’re forced to promote the inadequate instead of hiring on merit. Women who don’t have the option of high-paying jobs are far less likely to have well-educated children, and cannot provide for their families when the male breadwinner is lacking. In the long term view of things, then, all ideology is irrational. Collectively, rather than individually, for what Southern plantation owner would benefit from freeing his slaves? What high-powered CEO would open himself to being outclassed by a highly intelligent, driven businesswoman?

Spain after the Reconquista was economically enriched in the short term, but entirely lost the long-term flowering of culture and learning that developed under Moorish rule, which would have enabled her to prosper far more throughout history.

Then again, one can argue that most of Morocco was built on the blood, sweat and tears of Christians of all nations, taken captive and sold into slavery by the Sallee rovers, among others. Jihad was extremely profitable. And everyone seems to forget that the Crusades came about to thwart Turkish attacks on the Golden Horn. And Phillip was engaged on defeating the Turks himself – the Caliph was intent on building himself a marvelous western palace in Paris, to more easily subdue Europe in the summer. But history is oft forgotten.

Nevertheless, I would love to read your “hidden” posts, if you would let me 🙂

And one day I hope to purchase one of your Arabs in the Alhambra, if can ever afford it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: