Morning Links

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

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157 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Joe | 

    BSK–the Koran is actually kind of progressive, from a 7th century perspective. And the Prophet Mohammed did not hate women, or treat women in his life badly for the time (although the Aisha marriage age difference seems questionable even for back then).

    But with the rise of Wahabbism and Salafism in Islam has changed that. And while that sort of strict fundamentalism is not common in the United States, it is growing here, in Canada and is becoming almost a norm elsewhere, especially in Europe.

  2. #2 |  BSK | 

    Joe-

    I understand that is the reality in practice in many places, and it is regrettable and deplorable that that is the case. Regrettable because, as you said, for a long time Islam was at the forefront of providing/protecting woman’s rights (up until about the 19th/20th century, depending on where you were). And deplorable because any such treatment of woman (or anyone else for that matter) is never justified, whether it is a religious text or anything else that is being used as the justification.

    But the reason to make distinct what the Koran and Shariah law actually says and what is practiced in certain countries is because much of the animosity towards Muslims is premised on, “There books says to kill woman for breathing! How can we accept them!”-type arguments. But the books do not say that, at least not that I’ve seen. So while there is reason to object to the practices, and probably legitimate concern about the potential for such practices to spread, it is unfair to act as if those believes are inherent to the religion and, thus, applicable to all those who follow it. While we may rightfully be weary of how Shariah law could/would be practiced here in America based on its practice elsewhere, I’d rather let the Muslims here proved that they should be restricted in this way rather than assume they will and restrict them from the get go.

    Again, I’m not saying that Shariah law should become codified in the American legal system or otherwise legitimized. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that everyone who believes in following Shariah law or advocates its adoption is a raving wife beater, even if so many elsewhere are.

  3. #3 |  BSK | 

    I should add, when I say we wait and see what Muslims pursuing Shariah Law do here before we attempt to restrict Shariah Law, that obviously existing laws regarding spousal abuse and the like should be rigorously enforced. If a Muslim says he wants to practice Shariah Law, we should not assume that means he wants to beat his wife because there is nothing in the Koran that links the two. Should he prove to be a wife beater, than throw his ass in jail. Should every Muslim looking to practice Shariah Law prove to be a wife beater, than I think it is reasonable to consider restrictions on the practice. Just wanted to clarify.

  4. #4 |  Elemenope | 

    That Arrogant Bastard Ale is delicious! Damn expensive, but sharp and tasty. Perhaps *slightly* too sharp (I still prefer Newcastle), but a good brew nonetheless.

    Thanks for the tip.

  5. #5 |  Joe | 

    BSK, The Koran is a series of revelations over time. What started off moderate became increasingly harsher (the Medina vs. Mecca revelations). So if you read it and find parts that are very moderate, those tend to be the earlier translations. Islamic scholars interpret authority accordingly (later is controlling). But the Koran is just a general outline. Then the Hadiths, or the written history of the Prophet, along with the Sunnah, or the custom and practice of the Prophet and his early followers, are a huge part of Sharia. You have to understand it all to understand Sharia.

    Salafists believe the history of first three generations of Muslims are instructive on how everyone should live. They believe any deviation (not in technology but custom and practice) is a deviation against Islam. Hence the 7th century views of how women should act.

  6. #6 |  rob sama | 

    BSK,

    Sharia law says all kind of nasty things, including death sentences for apostates. The point is, this country was founded precisely on the idea (among others) that the church is not the one who creates or adjudicates laws. If you think that’s a bad premise on which to found a society, then fine. You may keep with the company of the ground zero imam. I do not, and I especially do not take kindly to the suggestion that local religious groups ought to be allowed to live under a separate set of laws than the rest of us. Hence I see this imam as a menace. He has a right to be here and to build his mosque, but he is not a good guy. Which is why I was so surprised to see Radley post that link the other day.

  7. #7 |  BSK | 

    rob-

    I never said I agree with the premise. In fact, I expressed that I disagree. I did note that, especially within a libertarian context, there is an interesting argument to be made for a group of people to be self-governing, assuming certain stipulations based on affiliation and barriers of exit.

    Now, as to the Imam, it all depends on how you interpret his statements. You interpret them to be a pronouncement in favor of Muslims being allowed to beat their wives without punishment, which is a rather extreme interpretation. At the other end of the spectrum is the interpretation that he’s simply advocating for local, group-based governance, speaking specifically about religious groups being allowed to govern themselves. Again, I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it’s far less scary when it’s put that way. Who’s to say which of us is right? Obviously, we don’t know, because the Imam did not elaborate on his statement enough for either of us to know for sure. As such, we should discuss what he actually said instead of what he might have meant.

    Joe-

    Thanks for the info. It seems we still run into the problem of practice vs theory with an admittedly scary legacy of practice. Yet, I still think, absent any direct evidence that folks here want to beat their wives (or engage in any other such crimes), they should be free to pursue, practice, and express their religion freely.