Wednesday, 25 August 2010

That wife-beating verse again

Among the most contentious verses of the Qur’an is 34, of the fourth surah, which concerns women, their rights, obligations, justice,and marriage laws. Common and popular translations of Surah 4:34 are as follows: 







Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct*, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them** (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali)




Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fearrebellion*, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them**. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.



- (Mohammed 'Marmaduke' Pickthall)




Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion*, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them**; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. 



- (Muhammad Habib Shakir)







Husbands should take good care of their wives, with (the bounties) God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in their husbands' absence. If you fearhigh-handedness* from your wives, remind them (of the teachings of God), then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them*. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them.

- Muhammad A. S. Abdel-Haleem







Now, in order to comprehend holistically my position, let us look more closely at the semantics of the emboldened words above, which in Arabic are نُشُوز (nushuz) and أضربوهن (idribuhunna), from the root verb ضرب (daraba):







*Nushuz







Nushuz is widely accepted to mean “rebellion” and can be used in reference to the actions of a husband, as in surah 128, or a wife, as in surah 4, so "it cannot therefore be understood in terms of a ruler-ruled relationship", according to Sunni scholar Ahmad Shafaat; this, thus, does not imply that the husband holds authority and power over the wife. In surah 4, however, nushuz is translated as “ill-treatment” in reference to a husband's behaviour towards his wife, which is probably a better-fitting translation as it covers a whole range of meanings: “animosity”; “hostility”; “ill-will”; “discord” - acts that are perceived today as mental cruelty. My dictionary (The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic by Hans Wehr; edited by J. M. Cohen) translates it as: “animosity”; ”hostility”; “antipathy”; “dissonance”; “discord”; “disobedience”; “violation of marital duties on part of husband or wife”; “[and specifically] recalcitrance of a woman towards her husband or brutal treatment of the wife by the husband” and The Arabic-English Dictionary of Qur’anic Usage (by El-Said M. Badawi and M. A. Abdel-Haleem) lists: “discordant behaviour towards a spouse”, “being contrary or antagonistic in dealing with a spouse”. Nashaza, the verb from which nushuz comes, is translated as: “to be elevated”; “to be located high above”; “to rise” and “high ground”; “elevation”; “protrusion”; “to stand out”; “to be discordant”; “to be rebellious”; “to be perverted” respectively in the aforementioned dictionaries. A footnote at the bottom of the page of the Abdel-Haleem translation of the Qur’an gives an explanation as to why “high-handedness” is the preferred translation - "It applies to a situation where one partner assumes superiority to the other and behaves accordingly”.

I emphasize how nushuz is a reprehensible action or behaviour committed either by a woman or a man. This is subtly significant as it suggests equality within marriage and an equal responsibility of both marital parties to fulfil their godly and spousal obligations in marriage.




In the context of the verse in question, nushuz can be interpreted as a deeply offensive act committed by a wife, transgressing her marital duties. She behaves in a superior manner, rebelling against the spousal responsibilities Allah has allocated to her and acting hostile towards her husband. Marriage is a profoundly sacred union in Islam, so one can imagine the abhorrent nature of the misdemeanour or disloyalty committed that merits first admonition (reminding the wife of her marital responsibilities and Islamic duty to honour them),then - should she continue to transgress her marital duties - refuse to share her bed, and then - should she still refuse to stop dishonouring her responsibility as a wife – daraba must be inflicted upon her, which brings us to the next word to be explored.




**Idribuhunna







Daraba - the root verb of idribuhunna in the said surah - can be translated into more than 100 meanings and is used throughout the Qur'an to describe very widely varying actions: “to separate”; “to set out on the road [i.e. to travel]”; “to mint (a coin) “to shroud (in darkness)”; “to cover”; “to dispatch”; “to throw”; “to raise”; and, of course, “to smite/strike/hit”, among many others. 







The Hans Wehr Dictionary has an impressively long list of translations: “to beat/strike/hit”; “to shoot/fire”; “to shell/bombard”; “to play (an instrument)”; “to sting [of a scorpion]”; “to make music”; “to type [on a typewriter]”; “to separate”; “to impose”; “to turn away from/leave/forsake/abandon/avoid”; “to pulsate/palpitate/throb/beat [of a vein or heart]”; “to ache (violently)”; “to hurt (a wound or tooth)”; “to move/stir”; “to rove/roam about/travel”; “to loiter/stroll”; “to cruise (ship)”; “to migrate [of a bird]”; “to incline (to a colour)/shade (into a colour)”; “to cover/mount (a camel)”, plus many more in combination with other words as verbal phrases (the translations cover almost two full pages, just to get the picture).

Is it not rather arbitrary, therefore, to handpick “beat” or “hit” as the intended meaning of 4:34? Given the magnitude of possible translations, it is incumbent upon us to refer to other areas of the Qur’an to analyze the permissibility of violence and the nature of how Muslims should behave towards their marital partners. Here is a list of its varying meanings in different surah:



  • “To travel”, “to get out”: 3:156; 4:101; 38:44; 73:20; 2:273



  • “To strike”: 2:60,73; 7:160; 8:12; 20:77; 24:31; 26:63; 37:93; 47:4



  • “To beat”: 8:50; 47:27



  • “To set up”: 43:58; 57:13



  • “To give (examples)”: 14:24,45; 16:75,76,112; 18:32,45; 24:35; 30:28,58; 36:78; 39:27,29; 43:17; 59:21; 66:10,11



  • “To take away”, “to ignore”: 43:5



  • “To condemn”: 2:61



  • “To seal”, “to draw over”: 18:11



  • “To cover”: 24:31



  • “To explain”: 13:17
Domestic violence and marital obligations
Muslim husbands are expected to take care of, protect, and support their wives according to surah 4:34 itself:
Husbands should take good care of their wives, with [the bounties] God had given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money…
- M. A. S. Abdel-Haleem
The man is supposed to be the breadwinner and head of the household and, hence, Islam says, should provide for his wife, who is also his companion, friend, helper, and confidante. This does not suggest a superiority-inferiority relationship based on dominance and oppression, but rather that the husband’s and wife’s respective conjugal roles are complementary (and the woman can – but is not compelled – to work).
These points are adumbrated clearly in surah 9:71, 3:133-6, 4:128, and 30:21 which interestingly reject violence as an acceptable approach to fellow human beings:
The believers, both men and women, support each other; they order what is right and forbid what is wrong; they keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; they obey God and His Messenger. God will give His mercy to such people: God is almighty and wise. (9:71)
Hurry towards your Lord’s forgiveness and a Garden as wide as the heavens and earth prepared for the righteous, who give, both in prosperity and adversity, who restrain their anger and pardon people – who forgives sins but God? – and who never knowingly persist in doing wrong. The reward for such people is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens graced with flowing streams, where they will remain. How excellent is the reward for those who labour! (3:133-36)
If a wife fears high-handedness or alienation from her husband, neither of them will be blamed if they come to a peaceful settlement, for peace is best. Although human souls are prone to selfishness, if you do good and are mindful of God, He is well aware of all that you do. (4:128)
Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquility: He ordained love and kindness between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect. (30:21) - M. A. S. Abdel-Haleem
Not only is violence condemned and repudiated, those who refrain from it are rewarded by Allah with entry into Paradise – restraint from aggression is urged and praised in the name of peace. Those who are abusive and get away with it in this life face torment in the Hereafter. Physical violence transgresses God’s commandment to act in a manner that is peaceful; He abhors belligerence, except in self-defence (where it is still not advisable, if only permissible):
There is no cause to act against anyone who defends himself after being wronged, but there is cause to act against those who oppress people and transgress in the land against all justice - they will have an agonizing torment - though if a person is patient and forgives, this is one of the greatest things. 



- M. A. S. Abdel-Haleem

Conclusion







Allah commands Muslims to refrain from aggression; all that is wajib [obligatory] and haram [forbidden] is stated lucidly in the Qur'an. If we are to accept the accuracy of the orthodox translation of idribuhunna as “beat them”, must Muslims then concede that the Qur’an contradicts itself (ergo, cancelling its own authenticity)? Of course not. Scripture interprets scripture, and seeking answers in other verses and surah of the Qur’an shows unambiguously that violent behaviour is an affront to Islam and the principles of Islamic marriage and interpersonal relations. Indeed, as Allah will permit fighting in self-defence, surely He wouldn’t condemn a wife who is being beaten according to the popular translation of 4:34 from responding to that attack by dishing out similar strikes to her enraged husband? This is ludicrous, as is the orthodox rendering of that verse. I propose that the most appropriate and befitting translation is ofidribuhunna is “leave them” or “separate from them” (or even another suitable word with undertones to the effect of walking out on the marriage), which are listed among the (abundant) meanings of daraba and used in other verses of the Qur’an where daraba is present in the original Arabic. Interestingly, this interpretation is in harmony with surah 2:231 and 65:6, which command the husband who is splitting up with his wife either to let her live in the marital home in peace or to house her elsewhere according to his means. Expressly, he must not put her in a position with intent to commit aggression or burden her unnecessarily! My re-interpretation of surah 4:34 is, thus, in coherent, consistent accord with God’s revilement of oppression towards the estranged wife in the same context (i.e. marital break-down).

The message of surah 4, tellingly entitled An-Nisa [The Woman], is women’s rights and obligations and justice for the vulnerable (children and orphans). It is focused on how the woman can be defended against oppression, not how she can be subjugated violently by the dear person who God has enjoined to trust, support, protect, and care for her. It simply makes no sense contextually, logically, consistently, or – more importantly, islamically for us to understand this is the Lord ordaining battery.
Surah 4:34 delineates a situation where the wife disrespects, is disloyal to, or deliberately ignores marital duties – the very flexible, multi-meaning nufuz – and how she should get on the right path and restore peace between the couple. Given that cruelty is grounds for divorce if the victim first, the husband should reason with her, have it out – point out the error of her ways and urge her not to transgress Allah; if she doesn’t take heed and continues to be so offensively rebellious, the husband should cease sexual relations with her, which is an integral, fundamental part of the Islamic marriage; should she still insist on violating her Lord’s will and duties of the sacred union He has created for her, the husband may separate from her if she expresses no wish to repent. This is feasible and logical in terms of consistency, i.e. the order of punishments for the wife’s nufuz make sense: admonition, cessation of intimacy, break-up. Would God really sanction domestic violence when setting the framework of a peaceful, non-aggressive rapprochement for the husband and wife? Just take a look at the following ayah [verse]:
If you [believers] fear that a couple may break up, appoint one arbiter from his family and one from hers. Then, if the couple want to put things right, God will bring about a reconciliation between them: God is all knowing, all aware.
Interestingly, some translators add in parentheses the adverb “lightly” after “beat them”, with an explanation in the footnote that any smiting that is done to the face or is hard enough to leave a visible mark is a transgression of God’s law worthy of punishment itself, but this does not exist in the original Arabic! It appears that the scholars realize how brutal the translation sounds and feel a need to ‘explain themselves’ or assuage the perceived severity of the act by playing God and adding something of their imagination, rather than questioning the patriarchal culture that may have influenced the mistranslation or even challenging their reliance on orthodox scholarly commentary itself.

The Reformist Qur'an translates it thus: 







The men are to support the women by what God has gifted them over one another and for what they spend of their money. The reformed women are devotees and protectors of privacy what God has protected. As for those women from whom you fear disloyalty, then you shall advise them, abandon them in the bedchamber, and separate from them; if they obey you, then do not seek a way over them; God is High.







It is clear that this verse is actually a guideline for reconciliation, forgiveness, and love, by gentle reproof and reasonable incentives; this, above all, is promoted here. The Qur’an, however, has the foresight and sagacity to know that not every wife, unfortunately, will be persuaded by her husband’s pleas and offers a peaceful settlement and way out of this confrontational, hostile, and unhappy environment by separation, which corresponds harmoniously with surah 4:128, where Allah proclaims that “peace is best”. A common feature of Qur’anic punishment of ungodly transgressions, not excluding the nushuz of surah 4:34, is the use of social pressure to push the offending Muslim back on the moral, Islamic path and into Allah’s forgiveness through proper conduct, acceptance of wrong-doing, and genuine regret. God always keeps goodness and repentance open to transgressors before life-threatening punishments, such as Hell in the Hereafter.

Finally, I would like to add that, in review of my conclusion, surah 4:34-5 provides a tolerant, benign, peaceful, fair, rational, sensible, and clement guideline that not only Muslims, but non-Muslims and even atheists could follow to apply to their own troubled marriages.

The above is Leon Georgiou's response to my post at http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-interpretation-of-that-wife-beating.html  Instead of interpreting "scourge", "beat" or whatever right out of existence as he seems to be doing, my interpretation has the virtue of (a) not violating the sense of the verse and (b) being effective without using violence.  


I wonder what he has to say about that.

31 comments:

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Claire Khaw said...

Had a quick look at your blog, Mr Lonely. I think that for the moment you should read more and write less and see how things go if you are trying to be a writer. There is really nothing new under the sun, including the growing pains of adolescence, and the realisation that we cannot be the thing we thought we wanted to be.

Tilo Reber said...

There is a lot of effort being expended by the Islamic world to reform the image of Islam in the west. They understand how barbaric Islam looks to westerners. The rewriting of 4.34 is just part of that process. But the Ahadith say that a man shall not be asked why he beat his wife. And there is also a Hadith about Mohammed striking Aisha. I have spent some time debating on Islamic web sites, and the accepted word is "beat". This is also supported by usage within the Islamic world. For example, there is a 95% domestic violence rate in Pakistan. Before you embrace Islam too much for characteristics that you like, also consider that the Islamic civilization was left in the dust of history by the innovations of western culture. They have contributed virtually nothing to science for the last 1000 years. Theologically, Islam is so brain dead that it kills innovation. Even during the golden age of Islam, the leading scientists cared nothing for the religion in which they lived. And how can you possibly consider Mohammed as anything other than a male slapper. If you want a larger context for your ideas, try Nietszche's "Beyond Good and Evil", and "The Geneology of Morals" Really, you are trying to squeeze blood from a rock in trying to squeeze something intellectual out of Islam.

Claire Khaw said...

Please understand that I reject anything in the Hadith that goes against Koranic principles. In fact, I intend to dump anything in the Hadith that is not irrational, over-restrictive and unIslamic.

Here is my proposed interpretation of that wife-beating verse:

http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-interpretation-of-that-wife-beating.html

The reason why they are so backward is because they practise all that crap in the Hadith that is actually unIslamic and ignore the Koran. Many of them are illiterate and rely on others to tell them what the Koran says.

When I am in power, you cannot be called a proper Muslim unless and until you can pass a test in Koranic knowledge.

Tilo Reber said...

Claire, every Muslim will claim that a Hadith can only be used if it is consistent with the Quran. And they will tell you that all of the Hadith are in fact consistent with the Quran. But even if you throw out all of the Hadiths and stick stricktly to the Quran, you still have an endless array of problems. 4.34 is just one of them. There is no question that 4.34 means "beat" and the fact that new age Muslims want to fool the west with a reinterpretation should tell you that maybe you don't have the right basis for your ideaology to begin with. In addition to the Quran transaltions that you use I also have one by Arthur J Arberry. It says this. "And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them." That was published in 1955. There was never a problem with the translation being "beat" until the last twenty years or so when Muslims realized that westerners were looking at their book and were horrified with the ugliness and brutality. Then suddenly translations started appearing that said (lightly) or (with a feather) or other such nonsense. But the Arabic versions still have no such additions. And when you try to pass off secular Islam as a good idea, you are not going to be able to get away from the main man, Mohammed. And what do you have there. First he married an older rich woman for her money. Later he screwed a 9 year old when he was 56. In between, he was raping slave women. He set it up so god would let him have 9 wives. Let's face it, the guy was a male slapper. The work of his life was centered around satisfying his dick. I don't have a problem with someone trying to get laid, but creating a fake religion to make it happen is a little much.

Tilo Reber said...

Here is an example that shows that a woman doesn't have equal rights in a court.

[24:6] And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by God that they are solemnly telling the truth;


In Islam the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. Now, while the Swedes may be idiots for assuming that the woman is always telling the truth and the man is not, it's just as idiotic to assume that the man is always telling the truth and that the only people that are capable of lewdness are women.

[4:15] If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or God ordain for them some (other) way.

While you might be able to convince people that matriarchy is a bad idea, you will never convince them that beating women is a good idea. There are some men, that once they have an excuse, will get drunk and beat their women just because they like it or because they have something they want to get out of their system. The practicle effect of 4.34 has always been that millions of Muslim women got the crap beat out of them, often for no good reason.

[66.5] Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins.

Here the Quran leans on women in a way that it never leans on men. And let me give you a hint, Claire, you could never be a submissive, obedient, adorer.

[70:29] And those who guard their chastity,
[70:30] Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) they are not to be blamed,

This one gives men permission to rape slave girls. Another idea that you are unlikely to ever sell in the west.

Tilo Reber said...

Here is a Hadith that shows that Mohammed was a liar, a murderer, and that he would kill people who only criticised him. Despite your feelings about hadiths, can you say with any certainty that this story is not true?

Sahih Bukhari
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). "The Prophet said, "You may say it." Then Muhammad bin Maslama went to Kab and said, "That man (i.e. Muhammad demands Sadaqa (i.e. Zakat) from us, and he has troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you." ......

Claire Khaw said...

If you can't have sex with your sex slave, who can you have sex with??!!

The Koran does not recommend having sex with 9 year olds and no Muslim is suggesting that so I am not bothered about what you say Muhammad did or didn't do.

Have you read my interpretation of the wife-beating verse?

Tilo Reber said...

"If you can't have sex with your sex slave, who can you have sex with??!!"

Make that your campaign slogan, along with droping disabled children on their heads. You'll be sure to go far.

Claire Khaw said...

The trouble with these Islamophobes is that they have no sense of humour.

Claire Khaw said...

Since I reject any Hadith that contradicts the Koran I am not bothered about what you say about Muhammad. If he did indeed do all the things you like to believe he did, then the wisdom of the saying "Do as I say and not as I do" would kick in.

Claire Khaw said...

"In Islam the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man."

Which verse is that then?

Claire Khaw said...

"While you might be able to convince people that matriarchy is a bad idea, you will never convince them that beating women is a good idea."

Please read
http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-interpretation-of-that-wife-beating.html

to see how I interpret this verse.

Tilo Reber said...

Claire: "The trouble with these Islamophobes is that they have no sense of humour."

Okay, but if you want it to be a joke, the you follow with - "but seriously, (followed by response to Quran approving of the rape of slave women).

So what is your response to the Quran approving of the rape of slave women.

And regarding being an Islamophobe, yes; and I'm also a Naziophobe.

Tilo Reber said...

"then the wisdom of the saying "Do as I say and not as I do" would kick in."

That's not called wisdom, it's called hypocrisy.

Tilo Reber said...

Claire: Which verse is that then?

[2.282].....let his guardian dictate with fairness; and call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other; and the witnesses should not refuse when they are summoned;

The verse from the Quran is then supported by this hadith:

Sahih Bukhari
Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."

Was he right Claire? Is your mind deficient?

Tilo Reber said...

Claire: Please read ...
to see how I interpret this verse.

I already did and I already answered there. In any case, I doubt that Muslim men are going to read the Quran and then check with Claire to see how they should interpret it. If you push the Quran, you are going to get what it says, not what you think it should mean.

Claire Khaw said...

"So what is your response to the Quran approving of the rape of slave women."

It doesn't actually say rape your slave women, Tilo. It says you can have sex with your slave women and it wouldn't be considered unIsamic.

If they convert to Islam, you may marry them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_slavery

Claire Khaw said...

Are you suggesting that I am a Nazi, Tilo?

Claire Khaw said...

Do as I say, not as I do, IMHO is good advice rather than hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is when you pretend that you are better than you are.

How is saying that the guidance of the Koran is superior to the behaviour of Muhammad hypocrisy?

Claire Khaw said...

2:282 concerns loan agreements only.

"O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you in (terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned."

Claire Khaw said...

"I doubt that Muslim men are going to read the Quran and then check with Claire to see how they should interpret it. If you push the Quran, you are going to get what it says, not what you think it should mean."

I am not saying that my interpretations are considered authoritative by Muslims.

What I am saying is that they will be popular amongst both Muslims and non-Muslims once enough people take the idea of Secular Koranism seriously.

My knowledge of the Koran is acknowledged by Islamic scholars to be good.

So all that needs to happen is for enough people who matter to like my interpretations enough to want to adopt them.

"All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth." - Nietzsche

Tilo Reber said...

Claire: "What I am saying is that they will be popular amongst both Muslims and non-Muslims once enough people take the idea of Secular Koranism seriously."

If you really intend to spend time trying to popularize an idealogoy, I would suggest another direction. Virtually every page of the Quran reminds you that if you do as god and Mohammed want you to do you will be rewarded in heaven and if you don't you will be punished in hell. This is in the Quran with mind numbing repetition. It's going to be hard to sort the god part out of that. Then there is the jihad part that will also be hard to sort out and that no one will want any part of. The political part that you are left with after all the trash is taken out is really not that spectacular.

Look, without constant force, intimidation and social pressure Islam would have died a long time ago. You don't have the option of force or intimidation, so your chances of selling it are zero. If you want to search for a better political ideaology, why not see what Sunny Singh is doing over on her Arthashastra site. At least you immediately start out with a system that has some intellectual content. There is none in Islam.

Tilo Reber said...

"All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth." - Nietzsche

Nietzsche is seldom far off. In your attempt to propagate secular Islam you have neither power or truth. And your only chance of getting any power is to begin with something that will resonate with people. With Islam the only response that you will get is people holding their nose. And if you try real hard to sell secular Islam to current Muslims, you are likely to be killed for apostacy.

Tilo Reber said...

"Hypocrisy is when you pretend that you are better than you are."

No that is called arrogance. Hypocrisy is when you pretend to be one thing with your words and then show that you are another with your actions.

Tilo Reber said...

Claire: "2:282 concerns loan agreements only."

Notice the word "witnesses" in 2:282. That unreliability that Mohammed attributes to women in 2:282 has, in practice, been extended to everything in Islam.

Claire Khaw said...

"Notice the word "witnesses" in 2:282. That unreliability that Mohammed attributes to women in 2:282 has, in practice, been extended to everything in Islam."

I had noticed, and that is why I predict that my interpretations will be quite popular.

Claire Khaw said...

No, Tilo, arrogance is just another word for pride. Look it up, Tilo, look it up.

Claire Khaw said...

"if you try real hard to sell secular Islam to current Muslims, you are likely to be killed for apostacy."

You can only be an apostate if you were ever a Muslim. I am not and have never been a Muslim.

The penalty for apostasy is not death in the Koran but it is in the Hadith, which is full of crap.

Claire Khaw said...

"your only chance of getting any power is to begin with something that will resonate with people."

You got that right, mate. And that is why I am promoting a species of Islam that I intend to call one of the following:

Anglican Islam

Khavian Islam

Koranist Islam

Secular Koranism

Libertarian Islam

Claire Khaw said...

"Then there is the jihad part that will also be hard to sort out and that no one will want any part of."

What jihad bit do you find hard to sort out?

Have you heard this programme, Tilo?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wntys