Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Islamic troubles and the media...

This latest in reply to a letter from my Muslim friend in which he referred to the Lavon Affair to persuade me that the "troubles" in Nigeria and Sudan and elsewhere in the Muslim world were as likely caused by external instigators as by Muslims. He also stated that he was neither a detractor nor a supporter of the Iranian regime and suggested that we mustn't jump to conclusions each time the "media feed us a story" from an Islamic country. I get frustrated that he seems unable to admit any Islamic country might have itself to blame...

 I agree that Middle Eastern politics are murky and that often things are not as simple as they first appear. I agree that the Israeli secret services have carried out morally dubious operations. A pity you so often seem unwilling to admit any fault on the part of any Muslim nation. (even to the point of ignoring Islam's pivotal role in the slave trade, I seem to remember...)
With regards to Iran, of course none of us knows for sure what is going on there, but sometimes what we hear must make you at least a little concerned for the region (and the rest of the world...).
Here's a report I came across today:

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says uprisings in the Middle East region are part of the battle against Zionist autocracy in the world.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the Zionists, US, and Western powers feel weak in the face of Islamic Awakening and “this feeling of weakness and defeat will grow by the day.”

The Leader said humanity is standing at a critical juncture and is on the verge of a “grand development.”

“Humanity has passed all material and ideological schools such as Marxism, Liberal Democracy and Secular Nationalism and is at the beginning of a new era,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei further urged the revolutionary youths to vigilantly guard the fruit of their efforts and not allow arrogant powers to “hijack” and “derail” their revolutions.

The Leader stressed that despite social, historical and geographical differences, Muslim nations are “everyone is against the satanic US and Israeli dominance and cannot tolerate the cancerous tumor of Israel.” 

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with foreign guests participating in the "Islamic Awakening and Youth Conference" in Tehran. The two-day event kicked off on Sunday with some 15-hundred participants from 73 countries.

The conference mainly focuses on the pivotal role of the youth in the wave of Islamic Awakening that is sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa. 

Heart-warming stuff, eh? Does it make the hair stand up on the back of your neck? Do you feel a swelling in your Islamic breast?
I'm joking. But I'm not sure the Ayatollah was. And certainly the blood-thirsty anti-Semitic morons who left their comments at the end of the article didn't think he was joking, either.

Understandably your first reaction might be to distrust the report's authenticity (and perhaps blame it on Zionist/US/Western etc etc. fear mongering) 
The fact that I found this on Press TV (I assume you agree Press TV is unlikely to have Western bias or swallow lies fed to them by the West...) should go some way to reassure you. 
But I'm sure they're all really peace-loving, misunderstood friendly chaps who follow the Prophet's injunction to love thy neighbour (oh no - that was the other chap, wasn't it...) and there's nothing at all to worry about. But just in case... I think it may be worth watching developments pretty closely from now on...

AN alarming number of under-age girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington, according to a leading campaign group.
The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) claim that at least 30 girls in the borough  were forced into marriage in 2010.
The practice was condemned by the Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, who said such marriages were against Islam and “unacceptable”.
He pledged to invalidate any marriage which he said were carried out by “back-street Imams”.
IKWRO, which made headlines last month when they revealed there had been almost 3,000 “honour-based” violence cases in 2010, has shown the Tribune records which revealed at least three 11-year-old girls and two nine-year-olds had been forced into marriage with older men within Islington. The oldest girls involved were 16.
They have warned that hundreds of Islington girls could be suffering sexual, emotional and physical scars as a result of the child marriages every year and are calling for teachers, social workers and police to be better trained to spot and manage the abuse.
Dianna Nammi, director of IKWRO, explained that the girls are married in a mosque’s sharia court. This means they are not legally married according to British law, rendering the Home Office unable to recognise or prove the abuse.
“They are still expected to carry out their wifely duties, though, and that includes sleeping with their husband,” she said.
“They have to cook for them, wash their clothes, everything. They are still attending schools in Islington, struggling to do their primary school homework, and at thesame time being practically raped by a middle-aged man regularly and being abused by their families. So they are a wife, but in a primary school uniform.
“I have heard of this happening in Islington by back-street imams. They are imams who have little knowledge of Islam – they are not educated, and they simply lead prayers, and yes they will do this and it is very quietly kept a secret with no one admitting to it.
“Islam says both parties must truly consent in their hearts, and if the girl was forced into it in any way then she can invalidate her Sharia marriage with or without the husband’s permission.
“I will personally do that for anyone who comes to me. This is simply child abuse, as a child does not know what they are doing.
“My heart goes out to the girls.”
Imam Saad explained that Sharia law stated an individual can marry when they begin puberty, with the most important stipulation being that they are “rushd”, or mature enough to understand marriage.
A spokesman for the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) said he was “unsure” whether the lack of legal status of the marriages affected whether the they could intervene or not, but directed the Tribune to government practice guidelines on dealing with forced marriage.
Presumably you'll say that this is not what Islam advises or teaches. But aren't you supposed to follow the Prophet's example? And it seems fairly clear to me that this is what these "uneducated back-street Imams" are doing:

Sahih Bukhari 7.62.88: "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)."
Why does God allow his religion to be so misunderstood? Why do so many who follow Islam get the wrong end of the stick and use it to excuse hatred and bullying, genital mutilation and rape? Why, if Islam is truly the final revelation, is it so abused and misused? Why did God make it so easy to misinterpret that it seems to have a higher proportion of "misunderstanders" than any other religion? Have you considered these questions? 

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