Spanishbride responds to criticism of her ‘agenda’ by reader RTJ

STOCKHOLM 2015-03-18
Handslag mellan en kvinna och en man
Foto: Anders Wiklund / TT / kod 10040

My posts about the handshaking incident that led to an Auckland University academic losing his job have stimulated many excellent discussions and a number of readers disagreed with me. As my bio clearly states…

If you agree with me that’s nice but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo. Look between the lines, do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

One response to one of my posts asked questions that really got down to the heart of my motivation for writing the post. Here it is below as well as my response to it.

“Western values” (a quaint and conveniently stereotyped concept), and my own personal values include respect for other’s deeply held convictions. When I observe a deep taboo belief in another person I don’t consider the nugacities of civil rituals to trump them as you seem to.

Would you force a germophobe to touch your sweaty hand? Why force this woman to behave immodestly when modesty is so important to her? I grew up in a religion where drinking tea and coffee were forbidden. When offered a cuppa I would turn it down. No one tried to pour it down my throat, though they might have thought it was odd. Out of respect for my wacko religion, they offered something else instead.

Those are the “western values” that I embrace as my own. It’s as simple as that. Using this story as a pretext to attack Islam and ‘shariah’ (a project that I assume you did not just embark on) is as transparent as it is ludicrous. You say “I expect her to treat men as her equal”. She is entitled to the same. Negating her beliefs isn’t treating her as an equal. Overlaying your beliefs on top of hers isn’t treating her as an equal.

Be honest with yourself at least, even if you can’t do it here in this forum. If you’re like most of us, shaking hands is at best an occasional and sometimes awkward act for you. The last time I did it was at a funeral, I think. It’s not a central tenet of the Kiwi code, though it was of the bullying religion I grew up in. You’re not a Mormon by any chance, are you? And btw, I believe plenty of businessmen in NZ bow to visiting Japanese peers to show their respect for their counterpart’s customs and display their own worldliness. Have seen academics at Auckland Uni do the same.


Your comment illustrates perfectly the inherent weakness of Western culture. It is so accommodating and tolerant that it allows values and beliefs completely at odds with its own into the tent.

These values and beliefs eventually take over and Western values like equality and democracy are lost. I certainly do have an agenda here because I understand completely the Islamic agenda.

They are advancing their agenda effectively all over the Western world because of the naive tolerance of people like you.

How far, exactly, are you willing to take this tolerance of her different beliefs and values? Where will you draw the line? When her husband wants her daughter’s genitals to be mutilated by FGM, which is their culture, will you draw the line then?

Pakistani-born polygamist Yasir Mohib’s 12-month jail sentence for assaulting one of his wives with a hammer has raised inconsistencies in NZ law. Photo / Dean Purcell

What about when her husband wants to beat her as per the instructions in the Koran? What about when he wants to marry their 12-year-old daughter off to a 45-year-old man? What about when they want your local school sexually segregated because of their values?

Once you stop defending and caring about Western values and culture you will lose them. No other cultures invade like the culture of Islam because other cultures do not have that agenda. I am half Lebanese and my grandparents assimilated because they had no agenda to impose their culture on New Zealanders.

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If you agree with me that’s nice but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo. Look between the lines, do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.