Rant Back

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Slaves & Women

rebelle: Men all over the world twist the teachings of Islam to justify their actions of abusing their wives or ‘mistresses’. So you see we can’t really blame the religion. . Blame the men who perverted islam for their own ‘evil’ purposes and personal sexual gratification.

One example of Quranic verse manipulation does not mean every 'evil' thing every Muslim has done in reference to the Quran is a twisted interpretation.

For example. there are various mentions of slavery in the Quran, none of them in a disapproving manner.

"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers, and whose whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom God has assigned thee."
- Verse 50, Surah Al Ahzab

"There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And (ladies), fear God; for God is Witness to all things."
- Verse 55, Surah Al Ahzab

"And say to the believing women they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons. their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hand possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss."
- Verse 33, Surah Al Nur

I've given the verses from where it came from so that before you accuse me of quoting out of context, you can check the context for yourself. Or maybe you want to question the authenticity of the translation. For your convenience, I used this specific version:

The Holy Quran, Original Arabic Text with English Translation and Selected Commentaries, by Adullah Yusuf Ali (2000, Saba Islamic Media). It was printed in Malaysia, and has a stamp in front of it showing it is approved by 'Kementerian Dalam Negeri' (it does not tell if it's from Brunei or Malaysia). I've checked various tafsirs online, as I currently do not have several different versions of Quranic translations lying around, and they pretty much say the same thing.

So it's not something I pulled out of the internet from an atheist website. It's taken straight out of the Quran. I did not take quotes from hadith (not even from one as acknowledged as Bukhari) because, well, some people might argue they're not authentic or suspect in accuracy.

There's also the devaluing of women in the Quran:

"...And get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her."
- Verse 282, Surah Al Baqarah

"God thus directs you as regards to your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females..."
- Verse 11, Surah Al Nisa

"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hand possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."
- Verse 3, Surah Al Nisa

"Truly man was created impatient. Fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him; Not so those devoted to prayer; Those who remain steadfast to their prayer ... And those who guard their chastity, Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hand possess - for (then) they are not to be blamed."
Verse 19-30, Surah Al Ma'arij

Apologists argue that it was a different time then. People in Muhammad's time were not subject to the same ethics or moral system we apply to ourselves today. So then, why are we still using the Quran to shape our morality? Doesn't that show morality is not something Allah showed us, but merely our own sense of what is right or what is wrong?

When we begin to cherry-pick verses and say that slaves are not acceptable anymore or that women can work and don't have to stay at home all the time, then we are contradicting the Quran's teachings. So the 'moderate' Muslim is caught in a weird place.

If one were to accept Quran as the true word of God and Muhammad was the last true prophet, then one would think the Quran is infallible. That would mean obeying it to the smallest detail. Yet we don't, because we know deep in our minds that many of the things in the Quran are morally suspect, ambiguous or even clearly wrong.

We don't stone adulterers. We don't cut off hands of thieves. We know these are harsh punishments.

And why would God, the omniscient one, not see this coming? Did God not see that morals and ethics would change in the next thousands of years? If the excuse is to 'ease' converts into the 'new' religion at the time, as people have argued, then it is quite inconsistent of God. Okay. So God writes (or reveals) a whole holy book meant to tell you how to live your life in staggering detail. Then God puts in a few bits just to 'ease' people into converting? And hey, it's not minor offences like not covering your hair or washing parts of your body before a prayer. It's about owning a slave and undermining women rights! That should probably be the first things on God's list if God was introduing a new religion to a merchant.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Opening The Mind

Dayang: Also remember that Islam is a religion whereas Malay is a race and culture, thus treat each as such.
23 Jun 09, 04:40
Dayang: so keep debating, but do not lose sight of your purpose, in hope that you may find your answers.
23 Jun 09, 04:38
Dayang: I applaud when and if you debate with due intelligence, because Islam encourages man to use his mind
23 Jun 09, 04:36
Dayang: ...content in the remembrance of Allah.
23 Jun 09, 04:34
Dayang: What's beautiful about Islam, if you dare open your heart to it, is that the true Muslims are...
23 Jun 09, 04:33
Dayang: It's rather ironic that the self-proclaimed "open-mind" resorts to such parochial tactics.

Hi Dayang.

My last post was a rant. I made that clear. But I understand your point.

In addressing one side of God that Muslims usually ignore (or even become apologists for), I am trying to highlight what I think are absurd qualities for such an influential 'God' to have. I also think that religious people are so caught up in the 'beauties' of their religion, they tend to forget the blindingly obvious, like their God being unreasonably punitive, narcissistic and flawed.

For the sake of argument, I will use Islam here, even though it's general to most religions.

While you claim that Islam encourages using the mind, it has made many people narrow-minded and 'parochial.' A few verses in the Quran saying you should use your mind contradicts the assertion that Islam should not be questioned. That doubt in the belief of God itself is a grave sin in the eyes of Islam is something that does not cater to the 'open mind' claim.

When you say what's beautiful about Islam is that 'true Muslims are content in the remembrance of Allah,' has been said about every major religion out there. 'You will find true happiness if you open yourself as accepting Jesus as your personal saviour,' for example. It's easy to say about anything, and thus will never sway anyone. Heck I can even say that for things like Star Wars or stamp-collecting.

'If you open yourself to it, you might find stamp-collecting is a rewarding experience.' Notice how easy it is to say it, but how hard it is for someone listening to it to be convinced? That's how I feel when you say 'open yourself to Islam' to me. Unless of course you happen to like stamp-collecting. In which case, replace it with collecting Star Wars figurine.

I've got a better idea. Let's use Atheism. If you open your mind to atheism, you will find content in knowing you've got one life to live and you might as well live it. If you open your mind to atheism, you will find content in knowing that it's your conscience, not fear, that is dictating your actions, and thus your good deeds become all the more valuable and rewarding. If you open your mind to atheism, you will find content in the remembrance of humanity. You get the point.

I'm quite confused about your last statement. I have never confused the Malay culture and Islam. I often talk about the two side by side because in Brunei, they intertwine a lot of the time. So I really don't know what you're implying I should do here.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

If God Is Real

Ah yes. This is a rant. So if you're easily offended, here's something to look at. Another photo of kittens.

I don't fucking get it.

Is God really that petty?

Oh, don't wear your tudung. You'll go to hell for millions and millions of years. What the fuck. Talk about some harsh punishment there.

It's like any kind of torture, genocide or general stupidity can be justified if God does it.

What? You worshipped a golden cow while my boy was gone? Go kill yourself in a mass suicide. What? You didn't slaughter that animal in the exact way I asked you to? You're fucking filthy, you filthy haram-eater. Really. Some of these rules are fucking ridiculous.

If you were just to think for a moment about these rules, then you'd notice that a lot of them are so trivial yet disobeying them could land you an eternity being sodomised by Satan. Is this the God I'm supposed to worship? Really? Fuck him (it's always a him with these Abrahamic religions). I'm not worshipping that prick. God is like an angry child who's got too much power in his hands.

God is a cock-up. Human beings as the most perfect beings on Earth? Unlikely. We nuke each other up just because of big egos and money and greed and power and land and pride and ethnocentricity. We've spoilt the Earth so much we've probably already went past the point of no return. 99% of all species already extinct? Not very efficient eh, God? Tsunamis, natural disasters, terrorism, general fucked-upness. I think God needs secretaries. Oh wait, that's what angels are for. Beings created solely to worship him.

Wait. What. The. Fuck.

How more narcissistic can you be? You created a whole species (?) of beings just so they could worship you? Really? No wonder Satan fucking rebelled. I know where he's coming from now. With a boss like that, who needs, urm... Dictators? Mass-murderers? Narcissists?


Did I make you angry?

Do I fucking care?

This here is, I admit, not a discussion. It's a motherfucking rant. I will be more civilised in my next post. But hey, I'm not done with this one yet. Oh, you didn't think you're gonna be let off that easily, did you?

Well, you're right. I'm done.