Lets hear more from our local expert on Islam

Yes, I am frustrated at Eriks comments on Islam. But I have to say, he certainly does his research:

Now I am certainly not an expert on the Qur’an, but after 10 minutes research…

Wow Erik! Don’t go out of your way here. Your depth of understanding is certainly astounding.

So, according to this web page…

Seriously Erik. As we all know there is a lot of crazy crack out there on the internet. You need to cross reference. Have you ever actually spoken to a Muslim (on purpose)? Have you asked anyone who studies the religion about this? Considering your above attempts I would suggest no.

The website you quote also had the following:

www.submission.org is not owned, governed, maintained, managed or operated by any kind of legal organizations or organized groups.

Not a totally reputable source perhaps? I have to say, unless you can read Arabic and look at the original texts then you can’t be sure. Anyway, in just a few minutes of my own browsing:

Rape is an abhorrent crime and an abominable sin. This heinous crime is forbidden not only in Islam but in all religions, and all people of sound thinking and pure human nature reject it.

A raped woman is a victim that must be treated with honor and kindness. She is not required to produce four witnesses to prove the crime done against her, nor is she punished for the crime done against her.

Both from this article by an actual Sheikh.

So please stop talking about that which you don’t know. Stick to programming and your obviously hidden talent for web design 😉

5 thoughts on “Lets hear more from our local expert on Islam”

  1. Why do we care so much about a religion that has zero impact on our lives? We don’t live in a theocracy, and the Qur’an is not the center of our existence. Muslims are tiny minority (1.5%) of the Australian population, hugely outnumbered by other minorities such as Buddhists and atheists. The world is full of injustice and prejudice, to point the finger at Muslims is just plain foolish, and in the Australian context would appear rather manipulative.

    Anyone can dig up any religion in any country at any point in history and find something that reflects poorly upon it (even if we limit the search to the treatment of women). Pointing to Pakistan and saying it typifies all Muslims is no more rational then pointing to soviet Russia and saying it typifies atheists, or the Spanish Inquisition and saying it typifies Christianity. Having a battle of selective quotes and quasi literal interpretations is no more intelligent given the historical edits and/or inaccuracy inherit in religious Scripture and the fact that belief in religion is personal journey, not an intellectual battle royal.

    Live and let live, as much as TodayTonight and 2GB (to name just a few) would like you to think otherwise, Muslims are not out to impose their religion on the greater population. The vast majority of the the worlds Muslims are good people not living under strict Sharia Law, to suggest otherwise is bigotry or idiocy, take your pick. Speak to Muslims and don’t take a “Literal Interpretation” of TodayTonight, you will very quickly learn that you have nothing to fear.


    Links :

    Imsa – Listen: National consultations on elimination prejudice against Arab and Muslim Australians
    + http://www.humanrights.gov.au/racial_discrimination/isma/index.html

    The Qur’an
    + http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2800 (i dont know if this is a good translation or not)

  2. Pia, you know I have a very high opinion of you and respect you a lot, but I found this post really quite frustrating because I think your arguments could have been better and don’t do anything for your case here, and also that you are somewhat mis-aiming at Erik who, I think, is not aiming at making a generalisation about Islam at all (except for perhaps his suggestion for an Islamic reformation which is not a new concept and has been well argued for in terms of modernising the religion).

    Frankly, there are many interpretations of Islam and different countries impose different levels of adherance to Islamic law, from progressive to ancient fundamentalist interpretations. Quoting parts of articles, out of context, at each other is not going to answer this dispute. Talking to friends who are not in or who don’t have personal experience or substantial knowledge of the laws of the country of question is not going to answer this dispute either.

    There are certainly countries that practise Sharia law, which involves treating women particularly badly. There are also progressive Muslim countries where the laws are much more modern and up to world standards. Just because Erik has pointed out one such fundamentalist country doesn’t mean that he is making a generalisation about Islam, just that he doesn’t agree with the state of affairs in a fundamentalist country. Islam is a religion in which religious leaders disagree all the time, so quoting one particular reference is never going to work unless you have the full context of the country and situation the reference is working from, etc. etc.

    Sure, Erik may not necessarily use the best sources for his arguments, but they are much more useful to his argument than your sources are in discussing the issue at hand, which is Pakistani rape laws. He claims that a woman requires 4 male witnesses of rape, and backs that up with a Guardian article on rape issues in Pakistan and extracts from the Qu’ran that specifically say that women require four witnesses which could well be used by Pakistani officials to justify their laws. You attempt to counter-argue by way of quoting a random Saudi Shiekh who operates in a completely different sphere of Islamic practice. You claim in your previous post on the topic that “many of the abhorrent practices towards women in some countries that try to use Islam as an excuse, draw these practices from much older cultural practices from way before Islam was even around”, but Erik has shown that there is Qu’ranic evidence that in this case it was at least adopted by the religion and is therefore part of the religion. Sure, the horrid people who enact these laws most likely use their own interpretations of the Qu’ran to justify themselves, much like right wing fundamentalist Christians use their own interpretations of the Bible to justify their own horrific views on homosexuality etc. but I don’t see where Erik is trying to suggest that he thinks that all Islamic countries operate like this.

    Also, a minor point, but resorting to personal attacks at the end of this post really drew away from your arguments and made them seem particularly petty.

    So what’s my main point? If you’re going to argue about delicate issues which are very region-specific, concentrate on relevant local evidence to back your arguments up, and don’t resort to personal attacks. Oh, and “Islam doesn’t kill people, people kill people” is a fallacy, because it’s been widely accepted amongst philosophers and sociologists that items can have political status (Andrew Shapiro is the main person behind the idea of the “myth of neutral technology” which is where the “guns don’t kill people” etc. idea is completely destroyed) and Islam definitely has political status so … unfortunately your title doesn’t really hold.

    I’m not attempting to make a statement that agrees with either of you, just to point out the problems in the arguments you present.

  3. Thanks for your reply Catie. I probably could have stayed away from his arguments altogether, but I felt he has been very anti-Islam on several occasions and I felt it was appropriate to call him on it. My initial reaction to his post was calm and talking about how the problem isn’t the religion itself. I had several people write to me thanking me for posting that. Then I let myself respond to his stupid reply, which I shouldn’t have.

    Anyway, I care deeply that we don’t bring this stupidity to our community, and I would prefer _someone_ make a comment on posts like Eriks, rather than having them out there making some group (in this case Muslims) in our community feel excluded and targeted.

    FOSS is about freedom for _everybody_.

  4. Pia, I think many of the people who’ve accused you of going off half-baked are headed for a big shock.

    I thought James words were interesting, if a little on the shallow side for him.

    For example, we see Old Testament womens’ rights as a bit primitive, but the non-rights which they called into question (probably well-summarised as “women are property”) seriously sucked. Likewise, we look at Islamic women’s rights a bit oddly, but thats because others do, too. The bit about women being one step less than a man has sadly been hyped out of sight, because a lot of Islam, too, was pretty liberal.

    Them’s my words, and everyone’s probably happy to ignore them. (-:

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