Author: cjamesyee

Yvonne Ridley: From captive to convert. BBC News Online [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-10-9 17:56:34 |Display all floors
Originally posted by Baiquen at 2010-10-9 17:53

htt p: //s weetness-l ight.c om/a rchive/germ an-indicte d-for-mai ling-kora n-to ilet-paper

The Mohammed paper is no longer on sale but check out this ballsy German.

Nice,didn't know that. Well, since we are in China...shouldn't be so difficult to find a factory that could make some for me.......
Patria est ubicunque bene/Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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Post time 2010-10-9 18:00:29 |Display all floors

The Guardian

Yvonne Ridley was a hard-drinking, hard-nosed news reporter until her capture by the Taliban
and subsequent conversion to Islam. She tells Eloise Napier how the Koran changed her life

It was September 28 2001 - just 17 days after the
destruction of the World Trade Centre. Yvonne Ridley,
a 43-year-old single mother, and chief reporter at the
Sunday Express, had been sent to Islamabad in nearby
Pakistan to cover the start of George Bush's "war on
terror". In search of a scoop, she had dressed in a
burka and made an illegal sortie over the border into

It was on the return journey, just two miles from the
border, that her careful plans unravelled, with
disastrous consequences. Ridley was passing by a
Taliban checkpoint when her donkey bolted. She was
just attempting to scoop up the reins when her camera
slipped from her shoulder and into full view of a
Taliban soldier.

Ridley thought she was either going to be gang-raped or stoned to death.
"I wondered how much pain I could take and prayed that, whatever happened, I would die quickly," she says.
In the event, she was only taken to jail, first in Jalalabad and then in Kabul, and held for a total of 10 days.
In her diary, she recorded: "They [her Taliban captors] constantly refer to me as their guest and say that they are sad if I am sad.
I can't believe it ... I wish everyone at home knew how I was being treated.
I bet people think I am being tortured, beaten and sexually abused.
Instead, I am being treated with kindness and respect. It is unbelievable."

Her capture was to mark a watershed in Ridley's life -
it began her own road to Islam and her decision to
become a committed peace campaigner. She quit her job
at the Sunday Express and moved to Qatar, leaving her
only child in the UK.

"I always wanted to be an actress," says Ridley with a
lopsided smile. It is now two years and three months
since her capture, and we are sitting beside a
swimming pool in the well-heeled compound where she
lives in Doha, Qatar's capital. It is midwinter, and
the heat from the sun is gentle on our backs. Far from
wearing the voluminous robes sported by many Muslim
women in Qatar, she is clad in green combat-style
trousers and a large black T-shirt bearing the words
"Don't panic, I'm Islamic!"

When, last year, Ridley converted from C of E to
Islam, some commentators suggested that she was
suffering from Stockholm syndrome - the psychological
condition in which captives divest themselves of
former beliefs and adopt those of their captors.
Ridley rejects this, saying that at no time did anyone
try to brainwash her. She tells me that, at one point,
she was visited by a cleric who asked if she wanted to
convert to Islam. She refused but said that she would
read the Koran if she ever got out. She kept her word,
and what began as an academic exercise became a
spiritual journey.

It seems ironic that such a strident believer in the equality of the sexes should choose a religion that
appears to encourage the subjugation of women. "On the contrary," she says,
"the Koran makes it clear that women are equal in spirituality, worth and education.
What everyone forgets is that Islam is perfect; people are not."

What has impressed Ridley more than anything else is
the sisterhood among Muslim women. "They are always
helping each other in matters such as childcare,
fundraising and studying. They want each other to do
well. I hadn't expected this. In the west we're all
too busy pinching each other's boyfriends, and
criticising each other's clothes or weight."

The daughter of a miner from Durham, Ridley started in
provincial newspapers before progressing to jobs with
the Daily Mirror, the News of the World, the Sunday
Times and the Daily and Sunday Express. "I reached the
rank of editor by being one of the boys, although I
didn't recognise this until much later," she says.

Things changed when Ridley had her daughter, Daisy -
the result, as she bitterly regrets admitting, of a
burst condom. Suddenly, she couldn't do the after-work
drinks where all the networking was done and deals
were struck. For her, motherhood was "like being in a
three-legged race with a ball and chain on the legs".
Her solution to the problem was to send Daisy, now 11,
to boarding school in the Lake District. (Daisy's
father and grandparents live close by and provide a
stable home life for her.) In the holidays, Daisy
often flies out to join her mother and the two of them
take off on travel expeditions.

As we wander back to Ridley's villa, with its airy
rooms and marble floor, I comment that private
education doesn't come cheap. She gives me a
semi-smile. "In my bleakest, blackest moments I look
at Daisy and I think: 'Porsche Boxster!' "

Ridley has no zeal to convert the rest of the world to
Islam, and is happy for Daisy to be brought up a
Christian - although "of course, it's a very good
stepping-stone to Islam." In the background, the call
to prayer echoes through the windows. I ask her if she
prays five times a day, as good Muslims are supposed
to do. She says she tries to, although she hasn't
appeared to do so while I have been with her - despite
having heard the call several times already.

The indiscriminate bombing of civilians during the war
in order to destroy Afghan morale affected Ridley more
than anything before or since. As a result of her
disgust, she contacted the anti-war campaigner and
Labour MP, Alan Simpson. He persuaded her to talk at
the Stop the War Coalition rally in Trafalgar Square
in September 2002. Since then, she has travelled
across the world addressing anti-war conferences,
meetings and rallies.

Her retainer with the Sunday Express ended in February
2003 and, shortly afterwards, al-Jazeera offered her a
job as senior editor of its English-language website.
Life at the new job was rosy to start with but, within
six months, a secretary from the office was sent round
to her home with the message: "You've been

Her dismissal has never been fully explained by the
news station, though a spokesman cites "administrative
reasons". Reading between the lines, it seems that
Ridley was just more trouble than she was worth. Not
only did she attempt to set up the first branch of the
National Union of Journalists in the Middle East, but
her reports on the conduct of US soldiers in Iraq are
also said to have angered the White House. When
al-Jazeera suggested she sign an inferior contract,
Ridley refused. In retaliation, her former employers
declined to sanction her exit visa and so, when I
visited her, she was stuck in Doha, twiddling her
thumbs while the lawyers tried to thrash out the

Unprompted, she reveals that al-Jazeera is sitting on several Osama bin Laden videotapes,
none of which has been released because of White House fears that they will incite more terrorist attacks.
She then mentions that the UK intelligence services called her in for questioning after her business cards
were found on terrorist suspects. With a certain panache, she refused to be questioned in Scotland Yard and, instead,
insisted on meeting her interviewers in Patisserie Valerie on London's Old Compton Street.
With rows of croissants and strawberry tarts sitting prettily behind the glass counter, she told the officers firmly:
"If I was involved in anything suspicious, do you think I'd be stupid enough to give my card to a known suspect?"

Next, Ridley brings up the subject of possible
sleeping al-Qaida terrorist cells in the UK. "My
theory is that MI6 knows full well who some of the
players are," she says. "I suspect there is an
unwritten agreement that nothing [terrorist attacks]
will happen in the UK, so long as MI6 is kept in the
loop." I ask her how she has come to this conclusion,
and her answer is simple. "Through talking to people
from all backgrounds - the intelligence service, the
Muslim world ..."

Later that evening, we visit a restaurant close to her
home. The food is delicious, although Ridley, now
swathed in dramatic black robes, eats little and
instead puffs cherry tobacco from a large, ornate
hookah. A few of her former colleagues from al-Jazeera
join us. They are all British Muslims, bright and
younger than Ridley. They have an open affection for
her and, when the conversation is not centred on
office gossip, they tease her gently. She entertains
everyone with an anecdote from her Taliban odyssey.
The last few days of her incarceration were spent in a
Kabul jail, where a group of evangelical Christian
missionaries were imprisoned. They were accused of
trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, a charge
they hotly denied. When Ridley made a second trip to
Afghanistan the following year, she discovered that
the Christians' headquarters had been located right
next door to Osama bin Laden's former house. They had
had no idea.

Ridley's first novel, Ticket to Paradise, has just
been published in the US. Rife with thinly disguised
scandal, it is likely to stir up a hornet's nest in
Fleet Street. More novels and a move into politics
look likely; she is considering standing for the
European parliament. She has no regrets about the path
her life has taken. The sobriety that has come with
her new lifestyle has made her realise that much of
her old confidence was founded on alcohol.

"I don't know how long my celebrity/notoriety is going
to last, but I am going to use it for as long as I am
able, to highlight injustices and atrocities," says
Ridley. "Hopefully, it will change perceptions, or at
least get people talking more about what is happening
- and how bombs and bullets are not necessarily the

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Post time 2010-10-9 20:00:26 |Display all floors
Originally posted by kyosan at 2010-9-13 14:39
I like reading your threads because through them I get more insight into Islam which is something I'd like to know more about. And I can understand why you would want to create threads about people ...

Why don't you just get it over with and move to pakistan, join the 'brotherhood' and take up explosives training?

It's clear that is where you are headed.  Your guilt is so strong it seems like a logical course for you correct?

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Post time 2010-10-9 20:02:10 |Display all floors
Originally posted by JFenix at 2010-10-9 20:00

Why don't you just get it over with and move to pakistan, join the 'brotherhood' and take up explosives training?

It's clear that is where you are headed.  Your guilt is so strong it seems l ...

Seems kyosan didn't hear about what the Taliban did to the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan......
Patria est ubicunque bene/Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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Post time 2010-10-9 20:07:52 |Display all floors
Originally posted by Alex2010 at 2010-10-9 20:02

Seems kyosan didn't hear about what the Taliban did to the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan......

i don't know that it matters to him.  He's always going to view them as the victim and feel guilt about being a part of the 'aggressors'.

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Medal Medal of honor Gold Medal July's Best Writer 2012 October's Best Writer 2012

Post time 2010-10-9 20:11:51 |Display all floors
An overview might be helpful before we begin. Islam started when Muhammad, a seventh century Arab, purported to be the Messenger of God. That much we know for sure. The Qur'an, he claimed, was a series of revelations he received directly from a nameless Lord.

The inspirational experience was described by Muhammad to be like a bell, clanging in his head, causing him to shake and sweat profusely. These rather nasty experiences continued, he said, until he was able to decipher the message. Thus the Qur'an, Muslims believe, is God’s revelation to man through his final and most important prophet.

Yet only Muhammad heard these "revelations." He offered no evidence of his divine inspiration - we take the Qur'an solely on his word. The Bible, by comparison, had forty authors, all literate, who told a consistent story over the course of fifteen centuries. Muhammad, who was admittedly illiterate, acted alone in the formation of Islam and is alleged to have invented his religion over the course of twenty-two years.

Over a billion people live in nations controlled by Islamic principles. Thus to many, Muhammad was a rousing success. Yet these very same nations are among the world's most destitute, least free, and most violent. And they are the fountain of terror, providing the money, men, motive, and means for murder. In that light, Muhammad’s legacy is considerably more tarnished.

There were no miracles to prove Muhammad’s claim of being a godly conduit. There were no healings, walking on water, parting seas, raising folks from the dead, or feeding multitudes. And there are no fulfilled prophecies, like the exacting and detailed predictions that Biblical prophets routinely made to demonstrate their divine authority. But the most troubling part about our absolute reliance on Muhammad’s testimony that he and his Qur'an were divinely inspired is that the prophet's character was as deficient, and his life was as despicable, as anyone who has ever lived.

That's not flattering, but it's the only rational conclusion that can be drawn from the original source material. According to the Qur'an and Sunnah Muhammad founded Islam to rule over Arabs, Persians, and Byzantines, and through conquest, to steal their treasures. I will identify and quote thousands of verses from the Islamic scriptures to prove this, but for now, I want you to be an informed skeptic - one with a global view of Muhammad and his creation. This introductory summary will serve as a handrail in what is otherwise a topsy-turvy and disjointed realm. As we move through Muhammad’s tortured Genesis accounts and convoluted recastings of Biblical patriarchs, you will need this perspective to comprehend his motives and agenda.

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Post time 2010-10-9 20:12:11 |Display all floors
Over the course of these pages you will discover that the prophet's "ministry" in Mecca was filled with troubling episodes. Following his first Qur'anic revelation, Muhammad claimed to have been demon possessed. By his own admission, he tried to commit suicide. Those who knew him best, his family and neighbors, said that he had gone mad. "He is a demon-possessed sorcerer fabricating scripture,"  they said, accusing him of plagiarism and of having purely selfish motives. They mocked his prophetic claims, ridiculed his Qur'an, and said that his preposterous notion of turning many pagan idols into the one God was insane. As a result of this verbal abuse, all chronicled in the Qur'an, Muhammad pledged to slaughter his kin.

With the Quraysh Bargain, the Meccans proved that Muhammad had established Islam to garner what he craved: power, sex, and money. The Satanic Verses, which followed, demonstrated that he was inspired by Lucifer, the Biblical Satan. Muhammad’s hallucinogenic Night's Journey to the nonexistent Temple in Jerusalem, confirmed that he could not be trusted. This flight of fancy was followed by the Pledge of Aqaba, where Islam turned political and declared war on all mankind.

Ninety Qur'an surahs were revealed during this period. They open with a score that mirror the style and content of Hanif poetry composed by Zayd, a contemporary of Muhammad. At this point, the prophet's revealing spirit was an unnamed "Lord." When we're finally introduced, we learn that the Islamic god's name is Ar-Rahman. And he is a dark and demented spirit, one who spends his days in hell. He deceives men, leads them astray, shackles them, dragging them to their doom. Ar-Rahman personally participates in hell's torments, turning men on a spit, tearing them apart, forcing them to eat thorns, pitch, and boiling water. His paradise is a brothel. Its rivers flow with wine, and multiple virgins satiate the carnal desires of the faithful.

As you might imagine, Muhammad’s contemporaries, the Quraysh tribe in the little berg of Mecca, thought he was nuts. The Qur'an contains over 400 iterations of the never-ending argument between Muhammad and his tribe. Those who knew this "prophet" best called him a charlatan. They charged him with the very offenses the Qur'an and Hadith confirm he was guilty of perpetrating. Then, demonstrating the maturity and discipline of a schoolyard bully, the Islamic god struck back. He slandered the Meccans with an exhaustive list of hateful slurs and threatened them with a painful doom.

When I first read the Qur'an, I was surprised to find the endless regurgitation of spiteful attacks. The Meccans shouted: "Muhammad, you are an insane, demon-possessed sorcerer, forging the Qur'an." Allah answered: "My Messenger is not insane, nor is he demon-possessed." I found this perplexing. Why didn't some enterprising scribe edit these incriminating charges out before codifying the Qur'an? Then I realized that without the raging feud, there was no justification for the scripture's single most repetitive rant: "If you reject Muhammad, Muslims will kill you so that his god can roast you alive."

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