Save the Women!


The truth about Sharia law

Posted in Islam,religion,Uncategorized by Save the Women! on October 23, 2009

An Egyptian writer explanes Sharia  law.

If you want to call it law, I call it an unfair mix of male-favouring rules and restrictions and punishments for women.

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19 Responses to 'The truth about Sharia law'

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  1. MoQ said,

    The video does provide some valid info about the issues in the Islamic world. However, it comes from the 700 club and Pat Robertson so the focus was on over stating many of the issues. Pat Robertson is also an extremist Christian with an agenda. Note: CBN stands for Christian Broadcasting Network, which is focused on evangelizing the USA and other countries.

    I think you should avoid sources like Pat Robertson’s shows, because mixing the legitimate issues with the agenda driven host makes the argument lose its impact. I think you will find many better sources for this information.

    I really enjoy your blog and thank you for your effort to educate others.

  2. aerinndis said,

    Ok, I don’t like Pat Robinson, but I do like this book and this was an interview with her.
    But you ae right, it doesn’t help you if you choose his platform to promote your ideas…

  3. oby said,

    While I agree the right wing venue is not the most convincing venue due to their own political agendas I totally understand your trying to put the word out there. I find the idea of Sharia in the West so frightening as to be almost too hard to think about. I cannot imagine living under a system that would not allow me to worship, not allow me any rights, not allow me the most basic of freedoms. I try to imagine a world without all the things that I enjoy now that would not be allowed under Sharia. Things that would be considered Harem such as beautiful art in museums that would be considered idolatry under Sharia jsut to name one thing. And I think people are fooling themselves if they say it could never happen in the West…I believe we need to be vigilant to guard against it. Look at Indonesia(not west I know)…a peaceful and happy country where even though the vast majority are Muslims all religions enjoyed a sense of freedom to worship and they peacefully coexisted. Now Sharia is spreading across the country and it is wreaking havoc on the minority religions and slowly taking away the freedoms of women and others. There is an excellent article in the National Geographic about it last month.

    Sharia is not good for anyone other than Muslim men…

  4. MoQ said,

    @Oby,

    I agree the west should be very careful about guarding its secular identity and laws. Much of the success of western countries is based on constitutional freedoms. Radical Muslims reject many of the basic human rights and freedoms the west offered them, which are the primary reason they were accepted in these Western societies. Instead of embracing the values of their new countries they aim to destroy the corner stones of democracy.

    “Sharia is not good for anyone other than Muslim men…”

    Shariia is not good for anyone except the ruler and the elites. It is a system of laws based on the prophets methods of controlling his followers and shaping them into a loyal army. Yes, you see men receive more privileges at the expense of women. Sacrificing the rights of women, who were not valuable as warriors was a logical way to reward fighters for their loyalty.

    1400 years later radical Muslims want to use the prophets guidance to rule modern societies. Using a system that is at its best only suitable for waring tribes. Although, women have it many times worse, men also lose many freedoms under Shariia.

  5. oby said,

    MoQ…

    Thank you for clarifying…how would the west guard against it short of closing down immigration and perhaps putting a limit on births(as if that could be possible) which might not be a bad idea if need be to prevent this? If these hard line Muslims left their countries to come here(the West) why would they come if not for a better life….and if they came for a better life that allowed them more advantages why the heck would they try to destroy what gave them those freedoms in the first place? In other words kill the Golden Goose so to speak?

    I fear because I see it as a dark cloud that could spread over the Earth and instead of forwarding society it could dump us right back into the Dark Ages in a relatively short period of time.

    “Shariia is not good for anyone except the ruler and the elites”.

    How, then, can people not see that it is not good except for a few people and how did it get to be so intricately entwined with Islam? And being so entwined with Islam how can Muslims realize that is unislamic? Sorry to ask you so many questions. I find it baffling.

  6. MoQ said,

    @Oby,

    I agree you asked a lot of questions (good ones). I cannot guarantee that this will be short:

    “how would the west guard against it….”
    I think the west has to focus on insuring the constitutional freedoms and laws are never touched. I believe Europeans specifically have many politicians that cater to the strange demands of Muslim communities in hopes that they will get the minority votes (example England’s allowing Shariia family courts). I think citizens of these countries should recognize this and oust those politicians out of office promptly. The USA is not in as much danger since the Muslim communities do not form a major voting block.

    ” If these hard line Muslims left their countries to come here(the West) why would they come if not for a better life….”

    Yes they come here for a better life, including better economical conditions and freedoms. The problem is some of the people the west allowed are the most radical decedents of the Arab countries. Although Muslim extremists are known to be anti west, Western governments naively allowed them in as refugees. A good example is Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman, who’s followers made the first attempt at the WTC. He was able to gain visa access to the US at the same time he was wanted for radical activities in his home country Egypt. I think the US and European countries have imprved their immigration policies dramatically since 911.

    The bigger issue today, is the funding many that many of the Mosques and Institutions in the USA and Europe receive from Saudi Arabia, who’s radical clerics are spreading the worst form of Islam across the world.

    “How, then, can people not see that it is not good except for a few people and how did it get to be so intricately entwined with Islam?”

    Note when I say elite, I include the upper class that surrounds rulers and the clerics that benefit from alliances with the system. People follow even if it is against their own benefit for multiple reasons (other religions have these issues also):

    – The message is sugar coated by religious leaders. For examples Christina leaders never speak about all the horrific stories of genocide ordered by God in the old testament. So most Christians only hear about the merciful peace loving Jesus and forget about the verses that helped justify wars like the crusades. In general people want to feel that their religion is good so they ignore all negativity. Muslims are no different.

    – Fear of questioning. The religious elites in every religion have an interest of controlling people to maintain their status. They instruct people not to question anything or risk the wrath of the mean god. In essence all religions depend on blind faith. Followers even brag about their ability to suspend logic in favor of faith. Under this type of control the clerics can make a person believe in anything.

    – Lack of independent sources of education. In the Arabic world. Different points of view are almost non existent even in the most liberal countries. People are fed Islamic Dogma every day and that becomes the only reality and logic they know.

    There is more to say, but this is getting extremely long so I will stop here. I hope this helps.

    • oby said,

      MoQ…

      Thank you for taking your time to clarify…do you have any books you might recommend…in other words how did you learn? Just a lot of reading? I’m fairly new to this whole thing…since August end I have been trying to learn and I am finding it to be a rather dense subject. It can be difficult to discuss with Muslims because it seems to offend making it a bit difficult sometimes to get a clear answer.

      Once again thank you for taking your time to answer me.

    • MoQ said,

      @oby,
      Unfortunately, in my case most books I have read on Islam are either out of date or do not present information I do not know already. Many others are written from a biased christian or Muslim views. So i cannot recommend many books. I can however recommend 2 of my favorite authors: Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Look for “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” and “The God Delusion” respectively for the authors.

      I was born in the middle east and have spent many years in the region. So naturally I am knowledgeable about the Muslim world issues. As an Atheist I can look at religious issues from my own unique perspective and form opinions and theories. I have came to the realization that Islamic history and laws make sense, if you look at them from tribal control perspective. The entire religion is based on the life of a man born of an elite family, but found himself on the sidelines because his father died before his birth and he could not claim his desired position in the clan. Islam is about his struggle and triumph to achieve power using religious control knowledge he acquired from studying older religions like Judaism.

      I know Muslims will not discuss many of the religious issues. Most also feel that they will be committing a grave sin if they even question the religion. What you are encountering is the typical position of defending the religion at all costs. I am hoping blogs like this go a long way for these conversations to occur.

      • aerinndis said,

        @Moq, thank you for contributing. With your background your words carry weight,

      • oby said,

        MoQ…

        I completely agree with aerinndis! Your background and knowledge of the subject is very helpful. I do agree with your statement that Islam is about tribal control in many ways. As a war strategy it was probably very effective in its day…the problem is that that form of Islam, like the Crusades which was about political gain as well, belongs in another time and place. I, as a Christian, feel incredibly creepy inside whenever I think of the Crusades and what was done in the name of Christ! It absolutely goes against the teachings of Christ and today I don’t believe something like that would fly again as I would imagine most Christians would speak out in outrage if people were forcibly made to accept the religion.

        I am almost done with a book by Irshad Manji which actually goes to the heart of what you say about Tribal Islam. She too mentions that it was about unifying the Arabian Peninsula…however, she said something that made me sit up and take notice…she says that only 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs yet, this Saudi, tribal form of Islam has gained hold in the world and managed to transform what was once a fairly benign practice into a very dangerous, fundamentalist practice. I found that absolutely astounding that such a small representation of the faith could change it for ALL Muslims and for the stricter rather than the gentler. She, too says that people accept this blindly and would not dare to question for fear they would be considered not true Muslims as well as the intimidation they would face. That strategy has been totally successful to keep people in submission and gagged.

        I am sure you must be familiar with Vatican ll. Although it was hypothesized in the mid fifties it started taking hold in the late 50’s to early 60’s. As a Catholic,I can remember as a kid in the early sixties going to mass and hearing the priest say it in Latin with his back to the people. It was a much stricter religion then…one was expected to just accept. Now the whole thing is changed and the church(thank goodness) has undergone a transformation…I am not sure if it was for political purposes, but it has made the church a better place. We are encouraged to questions and debate and in my opinion, the church is a much better place for having gone through this reformation. 25% of the world’s population is not going to be convinced that Islam was a political strategy. Perhaps Islam could use the same sort of reformation as the Catholic church to make it a gentler, more tolerant religion.

        Do you have a website? Thanks for listening to my long explanation.

    • MoQ said,

      @oby,

      Thanks for your comment and this wonderful exchange.

      I agree that the Islamic world has unbalanced influence of Arabic control of thoughts and ideas. Specifically the Salafi brand of Islam that is fueled by Egyptian Radical thinkers and Saudi petrodollar support. If you look at the history of the movement of the Egyptian Akhwan and the period of Saudi influence starting in the 60’s, you will see an alliance forming between these groups.

      This alliance became more powerful with the rise of Saudi as an economic power house in the 70’s. It gained even more power after the siege of the holly mosque in Mecca. A new Salafi movement started by the name of Al Sahwah Al Islamiah. If you look at places like Egypt, you will notice a progressive increase in Islamic conservatism from that point on. A good simple of that is the increase use of Hijab by women.

      Just to make the point clear regarding the alliance between Egyptians and Saudis. It is no coincidence that AQ has its head as a rich Saudi and its spiritual leader as an well educated Egyptian.

      Consequently with the funding and increased conservatism the movement has moved to places like Palestine, other Arabic countries, Muslim countries and even influencing Western Muslims. The fact is that Money drives influence. If Mosques are funded, imams and teachers salaries are paid for, book shelves are filled with teaching from a certain brand of Islam, etc. Then that is the only Islam people will know. In this case it happens to be a fundamentalist movement of Islam that includes some very radical clerics and supporters.

      I also agree that Christianity has reformed somewhat. However, I do not think they reformed far enough. In my opinion as long as religions seek to engage in politics and try to shape laws, we will continue to experience issues. I do not believe in any religion, but I am a supporter of freedom to worship and having spiritual believes. The Vatican is like any other religious institution it has political aims and that is where i think the line should be drawn.

      • MoQ said,

        PS. I do not have a blog. I prefer discussions like this over breaching from a blog at this point of time at least. If I start a blog I would like to wait for the proper timing where I can devote more of my time to it.

      • oby said,

        MoQ…

        I too have enjoyed the exchange very much…

        I do agree that all religions seem to have an agenda and in many cases that agenda can cause big issues. I am not absolving my own religion of that but, in truth, my focus is on Islam at the moment because it seems to be in such strife. That is why I started the whole journey into Islam thing. I couldn’t understand why there seemed to be so much turmoil within the faith.( I live in the USA and so far thank goodness there doesn’t seem to be too much animosity between Muslims and non. They seem to be assimilated decently well here…the immigrants I mean… although I must admit they do seem a bit reticent to engage. I do try to make an effort to say hello and give at least the ladies a quick smile… It seems that sometimes they are shocked and then I don’t know if I should have tried to be friendly because I am not out to offend. FYI…I am a woman so it wouldn’t be taken the wrong way!) Back to my point…From an outsiders perspective I had always thought of the faith as a coexisting one. But in the last 15 years or so it seemed that there was a great deal of turmoil that I didn’t remember as a kid and I wanted to know why? Why would rational people who I never thought of as anything other than coexisting seem to be so at odds with the whole world? Other religions definitely have agendas but most are not out there bombing and killing and threatening death over what seems to be very minor slights… That was my beginning premise…I started visiting blogs and websites( I WISH I could read Arabic because I feel that I am not getting a full viewpoint even though the English ones are run by Arabs/Muslims/someone with a knowledge of the subject)

        What I have learned, which I admit is minimal at this point, is that there is a whole lot more behind this than religion. Some of it is due to Western interference but a lot of it has nothing to do with that. So much of it is political and tribal. Old axes to grind, old scores to settle. I was at a loss to understand why so many Muslims have died at the hands of other Muslims. Why insurgents, for example bomb other Muslims that have done nothing to them. Why are women treated as second class citizens in the most restrictive countries? why do these men not realize that their best helper is not their buddy from the souk, but their wives who will be the ones to care for them and their children? why didn’t they have a better social standing and why are women not allowed to contribute to societies to help them advance?

        I have to admit I started it from a selfish viewpoint…will this spill into my world on a regular basis or will 9/11 be a rarity I hope.

        Amazingly, I found so much more nuance than I had ever thought possible. And I found myself getting angry the more I learned. How did a people that had so much to contribute during the “Golden Age”, literature, science, art, math, etc…things that we still use today, become so entrenched in dogma that didn’t allow them to advance forward? How did Ijtihad get lost? Why can’t they go back to the time of enlightenment and advance their societies like they did before and contribute to the world with great things as they did at one time? What are we as a world community losing because of this loss of Ijtihad? And perhaps most importantly if Islam coexisted with the Golden Age once why the heck can’t it again? It seems to me that the whole world can benefit from that. I feel angry at the big boys at the top (irshad Manji agrees with you that it is the head guys who control it for all) who in my opinion are robbing people of their God given (sorry, I know you are an athiest-no offense) right to think and question, debate and engage. It is OK to ask questions…the Heavens will not rain down on us. why shouldn’t they have the chance to live to their fullest potential and to have societies that grant them the rights that we in the West enjoy IF that is something that they would want…A belief in God and human rights can coexist quite nicely.

        Oh well…I am sorry MoQ…I’ll get off of my soapbox. I found that instead of it being THEIR problem I started to feel that it was a world problem. Not only because it spills into my world and that makes it my business, but because I started to feel sad about the loss of what they can contribute to the world society…and I as an “unbeliever” could never be taken seriously in my earnestness on the subject.

        I asked if you have a blog/website because
        aerinndis has been very gracious in allowing us to use her website for our discussion, but I don’t want to take advantage of her graciousness and overstay( and overwrite) my welcome. I simply thought you might have some information/blog etc on which I could further talk and continue my education of the subject. I have pretty much devoted a HUGE amount of my free time to the understanding of what is going on in Islam…your input has been absolutely invaluable. I will follow up on the things you have mentioned.

        I realize you are an atheist and the fact that you took so much time to explain a lot of the dynamics of Islam makes me ever more grateful for your efforts.

      • MoQ said,

        @Oby,

        That is quite an impressive research you have done into Islam. You certainly know more than most people.

        “How did Ijtihad get lost?”

        I believe Ijtihad is a double edge sword. It is basically a process where old text (hadith and quraan) are reviewed for religious opinions regarding current needs. Islam has religious text that is vague and/or contradictory through which you can justify anything to suit a specific agenda. It is a method to further support the control of the religious clerics. It gives them full control on making new rules.

        In modern Islam, Ijtihad has been taken to a new level with many clerics issuing fatwas and broadcasting them through satellite shows or publishing them on the internet. Since, the Salafis have the most money now a days their interpretation of Islam to fit the modern age is the most common.

        The issue in my opinion is that followers are allowing these clerics to control their morality and how they live their lives. This is a bigger issue for Islam today, but it certainly exists in other religions including Christianity. My believe is no one has a monopoly on morality. Humans can develop moral codes and laws without relying on a power hungry class of people and ancient books that do not relate to our lives today.

        Regarding, believe in God. I think you have every right to refer to your believes without having to apologize for it. I do enjoy the discussions with people of faith who have respect for others’ opinions. Religions can co exists as long as people focus on the spiritual path and do not to enforce their morality on others.

        I also think STW has provided a good place for us to discuss different issues and these discussions may extend to other articles. She certainly keeps adding new ones to stir more discussions. I do like to write, but find very little to start a blog.

      • aerinndis said,

        Thank you MoQ
        And Thank you Oby. I am really happy to have such eloquent and polite people enriching my blog posts.

  7. aerinndis said,

    This is a very interesting discussion, thank you Oby and Moq.
    I think that western countries should be a whole lot more careful about their aquired freedoms. Tose freedoms didn’t come for free. Many people fought and died over many centuries to gain those freedoms of opinion, speech and religion.
    It makes me sick to see how the spineless selfish politicions now-a-days are squadering our heritage for a few fickle votes.
    Now it is difficult to turn back the clock. You cannot just throw everybody out whom you have given asylum.
    But what the western countries càn do is to let nobody chip away one inch of anything which attacks those freedoms .
    And that includes everybody who lives in the country.
    So that includen WOMEN.
    No woman shouldhave to deal with being regarded as a second rate citizen and that means NO sharia law, in any way in any western country! NOT EVER!!!

  8. oby said,

    @MoQ

    Thanks for the compliment. I must tell you that I find Islam, it’s history and trying to fish through everything like a puzzle, very dense. It is mentally exhausting sometimes…not because it is uninteresting…I find it very interesting… but because there is a LOT of contradictory info out there…in trying to be fair I need to read and try to see how everything fits together. I think a class or something could do a lot of the leg work for me. LOL!

    Ijtihad…my understanding of Ijtihad is slightly different than what you have outlined. My understanding is that it is something of the past… it was a time when Muslim, Christians and Jews and others I am sure, all traded, worked and interacted together in a fluid way. Not that there wasn’t friction but it was a very workable situation…amazing how people can overlook their differences for commerce! LOL!……During this time, exchange of information, stories, traditions, etc was rich. Islamic tenants did not hold people back. They were allowed to explore and investigate…I don’t think they had this very restrictive, oppressive “can’t make a move without consulting the Quran” thought process which allowed them much more expressive interpretation which manifested in the arts, science and other contributions. It makes me marvel that 1000+ years later we use these things casually without even thinking about it…AND if Islam had been so restrictive back then we would not have what we have now…Kind of weird how 1000 years ago is a lot more free than now. I have to ponder that sometimes.

    Hadith…my understanding of Hadith is rather similar to the Gospels of Christ. Let me explain…The Prophet Mohammed said and did things throughout his life and his followers would relay that info to others when asked. It was an oral tradition for many years…but then they got worried that things would get lost or forgotten so they wrote them down. The only problem was it was 200+ years after the Prophet’s death so how much of the info had gotten watered down or changed in the preceeding years? Someone explained it to me like this…think of the whisper game(if you’ve ever played it)One person says something in someone’s ear. Each person whispers what they heard in the next person’s ear…25 people later the last person says it out loud…Holy smokes! How much has the message changed by the time it gets to the end? Hadith is like that. How much had it changed in the 200 years after the Prophet’s death…how much of people’s own agendas was added? Can it be trusted as pure? This explanation and all explanation of Hadith came to me from Muslims. The same with Gospels of Christ…how much has gotten lost over time? The BIG difference is that with THINKING, non radical Christians(vs. radical Christians) they realize that the gospels might not be accurate in full context to the teachings of Christ…that PEOPLE wrote it down and therefore it may not be EXACTLY as Jesus said…the spirit of the teaching is there but might have been changed and adapted over the years. They use them as a guide line and don’t rely on them verbatim as the word of God that is absolutely intractable and cannot be questioned. It is more fluid allowing for adaptation for the time while retaining the spirit or essence of Christ’s teachings. With Hadith it is believed it came directly from God and therefore cannot be questioned or changed. Well, heck, we are 1400 years + in the future. How CAN it stay the same? Stoning 1000 years ago might have been an effective punishment. But now we have courts, laws, more humane ways of capital punishment if that is what a society believes in. The Hadith is not allowed to develop with the times and that is one of the big problems and probably why, when it is followed so restrictively and verbatim, the society using it takes on a medieval feel.

    I think you are spot on in your analysis about using Hadith and interpretations of the Quaran to assert the control of the clerics. Hopefully, since KSA banned all imams from issuing fatwas and put that control into the hands of Senior Board of the Ulema I have my fingers crossed that power might become more centralized and less opportunistic for every Imam that might like to further his position.

    I do agree that Muslims (and others) are allowing self interested clergy to dictate how they live their lives. My understanding of the Quran is that it gives people a great deal of latitude in interpretation which would allow it to adapt the Faith nicely to the modern times, but it is clergy who want to retain power that give it such a NARROW interpretation to the great detriment of Muslims. I have never understood how people can use a 2000 year old book, be it gospels or Quran and claim TOTAL unwavering adherence. Guys…that was written from a 2000 year old perspective! It’s OK to adapt it a little to our modern times. God will understand. Sheesh! But until Muslims find the courage to stand up and speak out about the disservice being done to them I doubt it will change. We non Muslims can try to talk about the morality and stonings etc, but we will only be accused of trying to undermine and destroy Islam. That would NOT be true. We in the West would like to see more human rights equality for women and Muslims, but we will not be seen as helpers…rather as people trying to destroy their faith. So it MUST come from within the faith and the clergy with their ever present threats have managed to keep people gagged and intimidated precisely so that they don’t cause a ruckus. I agree with your attitude about spirituality and morality.

    As for not having a blog…no sweat. I don’t either. In truth I am too lazy to try to keep it up and fresh. So I understand. SORRY this is so long!

  9. Snap said,

    The video has been removed…do you know where it lives now?


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