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Taj: Very nuanced, but still rooting for sharia

Reader comment on item: Destroying Sculptures of Muhammad

Submitted by Plato (India), May 23, 2008 at 12:08

Taj you wrote: (italics from my previous post)

Because the concept of purity pre-dates Islam, is it to be accepted? In Hinduism the concept of purity, probably older than Judaism, has the concept of impure humans who cannot be touched. Should this practice be continued on the basis of its antiquity?

>>No, nor did I say it should.<<

As you have reduced your answers to a short sentence let me hazard a guess of what it means. You did not say that untouchability should be practiced (or did you?). You are saying that antiquity does not sanctify the archaic laws of the Hindus (or are you). On the other hand you conclude ‘it would be difficult (probably by divine design, lol) to then attempt to alter the law for the sake of modern consideration…' Which translates to saying that it is difficult (and if by divine design, impossible) to alter the law on dietary taboos, however silly they appear with our modern understanding of hygiene. I extrapolated this to the other sharia laws.

Boundaries?? The caste system is also about boundaries. About all those theories of animal uncleanness that you refer to can you tell about one that seems convincing to you?

>>I already did: boundaries<<

Touché. Missed that.

You seem unsure of so many things in your religion.

>>I am glad you used the word "seem".<<

I could not possibly make a categorical statement about your belief. I am not Allah. That is why ‘seem' and not ‘are'.

You got that right, Taj. There is no rhyme or reason for considering dog's unclean. You can find so many other Islamic practices like animal sacrifice, wudu which also seem to have no rhyme or reason.

>>Bad editing. Go back and notice my use of "with regard to hygiene"...

In the context of establishing boundaries for practice, it makes perfect sense.<<

Practice of what? Religion? You are saying that with respect to spiritual hygiene the boundaries set by considering dogs unclean (in the spiritual sense) makes sense. Have I understood you correctly?

Gabriel was frightened of dogs, not pigs. Maybe because they are likely to bite unwelcome strangers, angels not excepted?

>>Where do you assume the term "frightened"? And notice your use of "maybe"...<<

Afraid then, or scared, or shy, or allergic. Take your pick. Gabriel would not enter a house with a dog in it would he, if the hadith is to be believed? Good you noticed my use of ‘maybe'. All dogs do not bite, even unwelcome strangers. You also should have noticed the word ‘likely'.

How about food cooked by, say Hindus, many of whom make a supplication, if only in their minds, to the deity who presides over the destiny of cooks? Or whose kitchens will have innumerable pictures of gods looking down benignly on the food that is being cooked?

>>How would you know that they made such a supplication if only in their minds (without the use of telepathy)? That a kitchen has pictures doesn't render the food prohibited.<<

Just as I know that Muslims genuflecting while praying are also making supplications to Allah. Would you eat at a Christian table where they say a loud prayer to their lord, Jesus?

It is obvious that the purpose behind all that obfuscation was to justify sticking with archaic religious laws. What I can also extrapolate from this complicated bit of obfuscation is that since the original considerations for slavery in Islam have nothing to do with ‘temporal' contexts Muslims also unsuccessfully opposed the attempt to alter the law on slave keeping ‘for the sake of modern consideration'. So too now for the status of women in society. For the eye-for-an-eye laws, for animal sacrifices etc.

>>Nothing I stated was complicated - that you "extrapolated" anything indicates to me the propensity to go off on tangents...I was commenting to B Williame about dietary and purity laws in Islam - how you tie this to slavery, women's rights or eye for an eye is curious if not a bit non-sensical<<

This was your conclusion: Thusly, it would be difficult (probably by divine design, lol) to then attempt to alter the law for the sake of modern consideration - since the original considerations have little to nothing to do with "temporal" context - despite many arguments to this effect...

The extrapolation is the result of the sub-text I see running through the post of yours trying to defend Islamic law and practices (in this particular instance of the purity requirements) by a nuanced use of words (as evidenced by what I have pasted above from your post). The conclusion you have drawn I took (wrongly?) to be general in nature, and not limited to diet. If dietary purity (read boundaries) is accepted on the basis of sharia (read ancient practice) and not on the basis of hygiene or cruelty then so can other laws. The tangent I am on radiates from the sharia circle .

Regards

Plato

Submitting....

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