Free Speech

"Islam Is RIGHT About Women"

That's what flyers posted in Winchester (Massachusetts) say.


WHDH-TV, WCVB-TV, and Boston 25 News report. Legally speaking, of course the content of the speech is constitutionally protected (notwithstanding some people's attempt to label it "hate speech"). But at least some of the signs seem to be posted on city street signs, and the city is certainly entitled to prohibit such posting (and from the stories it sounds like there might be such an ordinance already), so long as it does so evenhandedly, regardless of the viewpoint of the signs. (See Members of the City Council v. Taxpayers for Vincent (1984).)

Setting aside the legal, was this politically self-defeating expression by a Muslim? (Religious people sometimes do feel driven to express their views in certain ways, even when they are politically self-defeating.) Was it put up by a critic of Islam who wanted to highlight certain traditional Muslim teachings? By a prankster who was trying to put people who are reluctant to criticize Islam, but who certainly don't support conservative Muslim teachings about women, in a tough rhetorical spot? Only the Shadow knows.

Thanks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) for the pointer.

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  1. “a prankster who was trying to put people who are reluctant to criticize Islam, but who certainly don’t support conservative Muslim teachings about women, in a tough rhetorical spot?”

    I don’t know, but it it sounds like something such a prankster would have done.

    1. Or maybe just a guy bitter over a tough breakup.

      1. Yeah. I don’t know who did do it. But I’m pretty confident that I do know who did NOT do it . . . a religious Muslim.

        1. It could be, but I found it’s someone who grew up in a Muslim family. American converts to Islam for non-marriage reasons are often whacky and preachy.

          1. Found should be doubt, the exact opposite of what I intended.

    2. My Uncle Nicholas just got Buick Regal GS by work part-time using a laptop >>>>

  2. “”What is the intent behind it and what are we trying to prove by putting it on this pole so ambiguously,” said Shakeelur Rahman, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Burlington. “There is not a lot of clarity in it. I hope the person was trying to encourage people to look it up maybe or research it.””

    So…what’s the unclear point? What Islam says about women?

    I recall flipping through *Reliance of the Traveller*

    …and reading that, while God prefers people not to get divorced, He allows husbands to divorce their wives by repeating “I divorce you,” or by imposing some condition (e. g., “don’t visit Kareem”) which the wife then violates.

    p. 525 – “It is obligatory for a women to let her husband have sex with her immediately when

    “(a) he asks her;

    “(b) at home (O: home meaning the place in which he is currently staying, even if being lent to him or rented);

    “(c) and she can physically endure it.

    “(d) (O: Another condition that should be added is that her marriage payment (mahr, def: m8) has been received or deferred to a term not yet expired.”

    The check bounced, so it was rape.

    1. p. 171 – “It is offensive for an attractive or young woman to come to the mosque to pray…though not offensive for women who are not young or attractive when this is unlikely to cause temptation.”

      1. p. 539 – “Whenever (a husbands) spends the night with one wife, he is obliged to spend nights with the others, giving equal time to each one.”

        1. That last one is actually reasonable, and many other cultures that practiced polygamy had similar rules. Emperors of China were known to have a schedule so that they fulfilled all their obligations to all of their concubines. It’s a law against abandonment.

          1. I thought the Chinese emperors simply pointed to the menu and said, “tonight I think I’ll have the #15”

        2. Eddy,

          Have you checked out some of the crazy shit in the Bible. The first part is all kinds of nutty laws where God kills everyone in horrible ways and the second part (even nuttier!) is where his “son” goes around and gets all preachy and Marxian. “You have a better chance as a rich man at going to Heaven as a camel does of passing through the eye of a needle?!?” Fuck that, slaver. Read Ayn Rand.

          1. But…what about the Bible?

            And architect rape fantasies aren’t my thing.

          2. If the Bible actually says “go thou and do likewise,” after describing Israelite massacres, then the Bible is wrong. Just as any book justifying architect-rapists or blowing up buildings which conflict with your architectural vision, is wrong.

            1. You know what Moses did when he came down from the Mount, right? The first time, not the second time.

              1. Maybe you could print up some leaflets saying “Christianity and Judaism were right about killing 3,000 golden-calf worshippers.”

    2. Those are older Arab traditions, and while they proliferated with Islam they aren’t technically Islamic. Muslim groups that aren’t super conservative don’t believe non-Arabs must follow or believe in them, though it can be seen as more devout to do so. That’s why many African and Southeast Asian Muslim women don’t wear restrictive coverings or sometimes none extra at all (or didn’t, before the recent lurch towards conservativism).

      1. One difficulty is that the “super-conservative” brand of Islam is quite well-funded and has some enthusiastic proselytes, who claim (whether accurately or not it’s not for me to say) that these “older Arab traditions” are part of normative Islam, and they’re willing to back up their interpretation with force.

        And then there are those who aren’t necessarily “super-conservative” but who defer to those who are, based on a preference for not being beheaded.

  3. This is the latest prank organized by 4chan.

    1. It’s OK to be white. Another fine and irrefutable troll.

    1. I thought this was going to be a pic of Justin Trudeau!

  4. Islam causes lib activists to have what can best be described as a psychotic breakdown from extreme cognitive dissonance. So they do bizarre things like invent this parallel Islam thats ultrafeminist and proLGBKGDJFDLFJLFDKL and derives all its tenets from 21st century womyn’s studies professors and twitter influencers rather than the koran. They then delusion ally insist over the objection of actual muslims that all/almost all Muslims belong to this religion even though the muslims themselves are by and large fine with actual Islam.

    1. LGBTQWERTY works too 🙂

    2. Sounds more like you’ve broken before the idea that someone can believe in freedom of religion even if they don’t agree with the religion.

    3. Sorry to burst your bubble, but most Muslims in the US aren’t of the extremely traditional type you’re so scared of. US Muslims, for example, largely support gay marriage. The few who are extremely traditional are mostly white and black dudes converted through the internet.

      1. What makes you think I’m afraid of Muslims?

        1. …you wonder whether most Muslims in the US are retrograde fundamentalists? Because the proof is in the pudding. Plenty of head-scarves, not a lot of beekeepers.

          But if you continue to want a cite, check out the PEW polls of American Muslims.

    4. The Cultural Marxists are going after Western Values and Christian tradition.

      That’s why they can seemingly be such hypocrites on the subject of women, gays, and Moslems.

    5. Can I go on record here and say I see no contradiction. I’m for putting violent Islamists and their kissing cousins in the Evangelical movement in the nearest re-education camp where they are to be shown the lectures of Murray Rothbard until they fucking convert.

      1. Re-education camps?

        F off slaver.

  5. “notwithstanding some people’s attempt to label it “hate speech”

    It’s definitely hate speech. But saying so is also hate speech.

    1. So is pointing out hate speech, hate speech?

      1. All speech is hate speech…to someone.

        1. I would kill to have a Bing Crosby like singer do an “everybody loves somebody sometime” version of this sentence as a song.

      2. Native Americans don’t like to be pointed at. Pointing is hate speech.

    2. It’s definitely hate speech. But saying so is also hate speech.

      Unless the religion is correct, in which case we can discuss it between screaming in Hell.

  6. This Was A Genius Level Troll Of The Leftist Indoctrinated Mind. Think of it as a Computer Virus for the Leftist Brain.
    A Leftist Can Neither Condemn or Support The Statement Without Suffering Their Own Cognitive Dissonance And Feelings Of Self Loathing For Supporting Islam Against Feminism or Feminism Against Islam, All The While Violating The Tenants Of Faith Set Forth By The “Church of Woke” and Suffering The Wrath of Fellow Leftist Bots.
    I Salute The Brave Soul Who Printed And Posted Those Signs, The Left Will No Doubt Suffer The Pain of Having to Face Reality, But It’s A Small Price To Pay For A Little Normalcy In Every Day Thought.
    It Might Even Wake A Few Of Them Up From The Stupidity Coma They’re Living in LMAO!!!

    1. I hate to tell you this, but I think you have it exactly backwards.

      Someone wanted to point out that the conservative Muslims who have the regressive attitudes towards women are, well, conservative, or RIGHT in the political sense rather than in the correctness sense.

      1. So you’re fine criticising it as long as you can tie it to conservatives, who are opposed?


      2. Riiiiiiiighttttt….. haha.

    2. Luckily you capitalized every word; otherwise I wouldn’t have been sure if I should take you seriously.

  7. Here’s a similar deal with “Allah is gay” signs in London. You-tuber Lauren Southern, who’s videos are enjoyable to watch with the sound off, later did the same thing.

    1. And he got banned from entering the UK because he mocked religion.

      1. That’s right, he did. Are men who like looking at him gay?

  8. Professor,is there an underlying bias in your article in that you think that Islam is Wrong about women?

    1. Any Abrahamic religion that doesn’t practice “cafeteria-style” is “Wrong about women”. And slavery. And a host of other issues.

      There’s a reason fundamentalists don’t do well in modern societies.

  9. “Thanks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) for the pointer.”

    Prof. Volokh and Prof. Reynolds constitute a powerful case against the hiring of movement conservatives for faculty positions at America’s strong schools. Why would our better schools wish to emulate weak, conservative-controlled schools, whose faculties are dominated by right-wingers?

    The market has spoken, vividly. Conservatives like neither the verdict nor the reasoning.

    1. But leftists hate markets. Doesn’t that make it a market failure failure, and government should intervene to restore the non-market failure?

      Hoisted by their own retard!

      1. I think it’d be hilarious if more universities started advertising a quota for “conservatives”, and would not oppose this at all.

        ‘course, then conservatives in academia would forevermore be “diversity hires”, which would of course be rude.

    2. You done jerking off to Rachel Maddow?

      1. The Volokh Conspiracy’s self-proclaimed ‘civility standards’ for comments apparently did not last long . . . maybe no longer than was needed to compose a single censorious e-mail to a disfavored commenter.

        1. So as long as the poopy diatribe ad hominem doesn’t use the word, “poopy”, it’s ok?

          Did you even read your own post?

          1. He can barely write. You expect him to read also?

  10. This has 4chan’s /pol/ written all over it. In fact, if it isn’t /pol/ then I’m extremely disappointed.

  11. Don’t be retarded. It’s been all over /pol/ for days.

    Unless you’re suffering from it, how could anyone not see it’s a tactic to poke a stick at the cognitive dissonance of the left?

    1. The 4chan commenters make Reason commenters look like Oxford debaters.

      One of the commenters thought it was a Muslim plot to radicalize young men (who had presumably had bad relationships with women).

      1. I mean, I can actually envision a scenario where, somewhere in Dubai, Sheikh Yamouni Makir is thinking of ways to get some favorable publicity for Islam in the United States.

        “I know – I will pose as a alt-right troll and persuade the people on 4chan to say positive things about Islam in order to ‘own the libs.’ The media will take it from there. Free publicity, all to the glory of God.”

    2. Stopped browsing /pol/ a while ago. It’s good to see that I can still identify their work.

    3. It was amusing to watch the womyn in the Boston news piece dance around any explanation of just exactly HOW the signs were offensive. Nor did the news people presenting the story provide much clarification. Unsurprisingly.

  12. Of course it was 4chan. And judging by all of the cognitive dissonance floating around… it worked masterfully.

  13. Ah, so it’s all about owning the libs. And by libs, I mean the imaginary ones that you’ve made up.

    1. “And by libs, I mean the imaginary ones that you’ve made up.”

      Definitely not the real ones who called the police and were talking to the news people.

      1. ‘cept no one is talking about chuckleheads who don’t know about the First Amendment. Instead, you have lots of commenters below and above crowing about how liberals can’t be both feminist and think Islam has a right to exist.

        Which is only a problem for imaginary liberals dealing with imaginary Islam.

        1. “‘cept no one is talking about chuckleheads who don’t know about the First Amendment.”

          They’re talking about

          1. Stupid commenting system. They’re talking about people getting upset and calling the police over something that ought to be fairly innocuous in a pluralistic society.

        2. “Instead, you have lots of commenters below and above crowing about how liberals can’t be both feminist and think Islam has a right to exist.”

          Well, sure. Presumably the pranksters want to show that “libs” believe, at the same time, that “Islam”, writ large, is entitled to its beliefs, and that people are not entitled to certain beliefs about women. And there is an extent to which that is true.

          1. That’s not what anyone is talking about either.

            You keep casting about, but I’m sorry, your compatriots are wallowing in the supposed dissonance between Islam being good and feminism being good. Of course, they’re telling on their own simplistic worldview, so I can see how you’d want to make it about something else.

            1. Sarcastro: “I’m not owned! I’m not owned!”

              1. I like wint as well, but you are just about the only person in the thread talking about whoever called the cops – everyone else is talking about nonexistent cognitive dissonance.

                1. There is a cognitive dissonance, you stupid faggot. The fact that you’re seriously able to sit here and pretend that Christianity (or any other religion) is anywhere NEAR Islam in terms of anti-woman sentiment is absolutely LAUGHABLE, which is exactly why we are seeing the reactions from liberals we are seeing. You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about, and should shut the fuck up.

                  1. Love it when they prove me right.

                    You’re generalizing about Islam (And Christianity) too much to be useful, and that in a multicultural society you allow some people to believe stuff that you think is awful.

  14. Process of elimination:
    Was the poster(s) a devout Muslim? Maybe. He could have had a Western girlfriend who dumped him and all he’s been thinking about is “how dare that bitch dump ME!”. So he wants people to know that Islam contains the CORRECT story about women.

    Was the poster some non-Muslim trying to provoke people.
    Another maybe. If he actually knew the dirt about women in the Quran and Hadith then he may want people to investigate the subject and see for themselves just how bad it is. That failed however because the post contained certain trigger words but left out others. The new rules; if you don’t want to set off the morons don’t include “warning word’s” without “comforting” words. For example, “Islam is RIGHT about women” contains the warning word Islam, but fails to include a comforting words like “Islam is RIGHT about women, women who want to succeed” or some crap like that. Weak comforting words won’t help as in “some say that Islam is RIGHT about women”.

    In any case it is at least 75% likely this is the work of a provocateur, probably not religious and political right or center.

  15. While I have no information on the provenance of the instant messages, their content and apparent target audience strikes me as similar to past poster campaigns organized by 4chan’s /pol/ board (e.g., “It’s OK to be white” from 2017).

  16. I grew up in Winchester. It’s a rather apolitical/conservative (by Mass standards) town. So I am guessing it’s a guy going through a bitter divorce as someone mentioned. Or someone trying to get attention because hardly anything newsworthy ever happens there. If they really wanted to start shit, they would have posted these signs in Cambridge.

    1. Also, although the town is a bit more diverse than it was when I was a kid, don’t think there are more than maybe a handful of Muslims who live there.

  17. 4chan.

    The poster is designed to confuse people. It is making leftists angry but they have no idea why it’s making them angry. They want to critisize it but they can’t because to them, critisizing Islam would make them Islamophobic and racist. So instead they’ll just say it’s “a poster put up by those evil white supremacists designed to stir up hatred”.

    1. Not all Islam is fundamentalist.

      Weird how many people seem to be unable to figure that out, and so dance around about how imaginary libs are getting owned.

      Heck, how many on the right want to ban fundamentalist Islam as a faith, even as they cry about government hostility towards Christianity?

      1. Isn’t that a freshman elective at Liberty University?

      2. “Not all Islam is fundamentalist.”

        So you’re saying that Islam is, in fact, right about women?

        1. It’s not a coherent statement, any more than Christianity is right about women.

          1. So why call the police?

            1. …do you think I’m defending those guys?

              1. Do you think the poster poster thought 100% of liberals would go into shock? Or did he/she rightly suspect that it would set off enough people to cause a stir and get the people on the radio to discuss whether it’s hateful to say, “Islam is right about women.” It strikes me that a troll successfully trolled and those of use amused by trolling were amused. It’s sort of on par with “I’m not gay, NTTAWT” for showing the dissonance people experience when they’re not sure what the approved feeling for the situation is.

            2. The only picture of it that I’ve seen was on a parking sign. I thought that it was about women drivers.

      3. Speaking of dancing around things………

        Here in Seattle I know several atheists (nothing wrong with that) who think that white Christians are idiots just for believing in god. They absolutely will not apply that same judgment to muslims, or even black or brown Christians.

        Pointing out hypocrisy is fun!


        1. They sound more like contrarians than atheists then. But enjoy, I guess.

      4. And not all Nazis and Nazi enablers wanted to genocide Jews either but that really doesn’t matter when you consider who they made their bedfellows with.

  18. The Volokh Conspiracy, Instapundit, and 4chan . . . working together to set the standards for conservative blogging.

    Congratulations, anons. This is /b/eautiful.

  19. Seems similar to the “It’s OK to be white” signs. The reaction proves their point.

    1. What does the credulous republication by conservative academics demonstrate?

      1. “What does the credulous republication by conservative academics demonstrate?”

        Well, let’s see…

        “Was it put up by a critic of Islam who wanted to highlight certain traditional Muslim teachings? By a prankster who was trying to put people who are reluctant to criticize Islam, but who certainly don’t support conservative Muslim teachings about women, in a tough rhetorical spot?”

        I guess it demonstrates that the OP was correct.

    2. You mean Prof. Volokh being bemused?

      1. I mean having the police go through and remove the signs.

        1. To specifically give the cops the benefit of the doubt, illegal posting of fliers isn’t the sort of crime the proactively go after – it’s a complaint-driven system, and of course some of the complaints are going to be by people who don’t like the fliers’ content.

          Just so long as they take all complaints seriously, no matter the content, and so long as they remove illegal fliers, and allow legal fliers, regardless of viewpoint.

  20. Little surprise that neither evangelical Christians, many of whom — coughPenceDuggarscough — hold similar views about women, or incels (look it up) made the list of possible culprits.

    1. Similar views to whom? Several commenters have pointed out that not all Muslims hold the “conservative” or “fundamentalist” views expounded in texts like *Reliance of the traveller.*

      If you *are* referring to “conservative” texts like *Reliance of the Traveller,* then which principles does Pence approve of? discouraging pretty women from worshipping in public? Allowing easy divorce (if initiated by the husband)? Approving wife-beating? Equal conjugal-visit time for all four wives?

      I’d think that if he held such views he’d have been held to account for them before this, so all you’d have to do would be search the archives of Salon or Jezebel to find the pro-wife-beating, pro-divorce statements.

      1. Similar views on women as fundamentalist Islam, obviously. I hope you’re handsome because you ain’t bright.

        1. If it’s obvious, you can furnish evidence.

          Which fundamentalist Islamic principles does Pence approve of? Discouraging pretty women from worshipping in public? Allowing easy divorce (if initiated by the husband)? Approving wife-beating? Equal conjugal-visit time for all four wives?

          Several commenters have pointed out that not all Muslims hold the “conservative” or “fundamentalist” views expounded in texts like *Reliance of the traveller.* Do all these commenters have to rely on their looks?

  21. The takeaway is that we don’t have to tolerate shit that’s wrong.

    Like abortion, affirmative action, gender fluidity. The tenets of feminism.

  22. /pol/ memes aside, I hope these posters point out something I’ve been worried about for quite a long time. As a Jew, I know the innate threat we face from the international Muslim community. Even today, synagogues are bulldozed, congregations are bombed, children are executed in front of their parents…and it’s always by Muslim extremists. Bonus points when they control their own governments. Sure, we get a few loose cannon atheists larping as white nationalist saviors, but the overwhelming majority of the violence against us comes from a single source (and always has). Before they start banning our religious practice outright and charging jizya, we need to recognize that these are not the sort of ideas that can thrive in a multicultural society.

    1. Jews used the allies greed to steal Palestine and create and apartheid, racist, terrorist state.

      That theft began the last 71 years of conflict in the Middle East.

      You deserve NO sympathy.

      1. Jews will never again be weak, and never again allow themselves to be murdered and ethnically cleansed. Your ‘allegations’ are nothing more than gaslighting. Don’t you WISH you could call jews white and arabs brown! White people control everything! Jews control everything!
        Go to hell antisemite. Every time greed and jew is mentioned in the same sentence it’s clear who is talking.

        1. I take great satisfaction in sharing the truth, dipshit.

          If the truth is anti Jew, you are fucked.

          1. Who controls the British crown?
            Who keeps the metric system down?
            (((They))) do, (((they))) do

            Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
            Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
            (((They))) do, (((they))) do

  23. Very Very nice article sir ji thanks for sharing this great information…

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