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Reply to Ianus- #24 reasons to waste time on the internet.

Reader comment on item: Shoeless George Bush
in response to reader comment: "Common values"

Submitted by Chris G. (United States), Jul 26, 2007 at 19:49

1. Family values. Ok you say they are not monogamous. True Muslims can marry up to four wives, but how many do? You will find that very very few do marry more then one wife. Why? Because there are strict rules for marrying more then one wife which include first the consent of the first wife. Then they must be able to treat each wife equally. If they do not for example buy gifts for all their wives rather then just one favorite, then the wife who is neglected can divorce him. I think its funny when I hear people say that divorce is very low in Islamic cultures but from my experience it is quite high (although not quite as high as here). So all in all, usually only very rich men tend to marry more then one wife. The majority only have one wife.

2. I do not know if that hadith you quote is weak or strong in validity (yes that really does matter) however what I do know for a fact that is irrefutable is that Mohammad's first wife was a powerful business woman who owned a huge trading company managing caravans and other forms of trade. He worked for her, not the other way around. Furthermore, in shariat law, a woman is very clearly allowed to own her own business and furthermore, she does not have to share profits with her husband. The Husband is seen as the primary source of income for the family however and he must share anything he makes with his wife (or wives).

In the June 2001 issue of the Gulf Marketing Review, they did a study that found that women hold 34% of all private sector businesses in Riyadh and 25.6% in Jeddah, which alone is home to 4000 Saudi businesswomen, holding bank accounts worth $11.5 Billion. Saudi women own 20% Public company shares, 15% of privately owned and 10% in Real Estates. Apparently the magazine wanted to bring attention to this market so that their vendors could target this untapped demographic by making their advertisements more female oriented. Unfortunately the Taliban apparently ignored Shariat and went by that one hadith which fell in line with their traditional cultural practices of keeping women imprisoned and oppressed.

3. Self-Defense- Um…sometimes they are attacked first…but no in some cases they falsely say that they attaack in self-defense. Keep in mind however that we invaded Iraq on exactly that same argument. A "Preemptive Strike" I believe we called it. Most nations try to justify aggression as defense.

4. Strong Communities- By community, I mean neighbors looking out for one another and taking care of the poor and sick within their communities. Say what you want, but in the Muslim countries I've lived in, Muslims did a very good job of taking care of each other….sometimes too much where they were always wanting to get in your business. lol. Not much privacy in some of those countries. In Indonesia however it was really inspiring. You had privacy, but at the same time, the neighborhoods were so awesome with stuff like competitions to see who had the cleanest neighborhood and disputes between neighbors resolved by the village Imam. All in all I've never seen that level of harmony here in America except in a few small towns that still hold those traditional values.

5. Law and order. You don't like law and order? Ok. Freedom is limited here in America. You have TONS of laws prohibiting you from doing whatever you want. Sure you have the freedom to do crazy stuff…but you must often face the consequences and go to jail for it. Start yelling death threats against President Bush and yelling about overthrowing the government and you'll find out quickly how far you freedom's go. As for freedom, yes you are right, I did not list it. They do have some freedoms, but not as many as we enjoy. Only in periods of relatively liberal Islamic rule (like in Cordoba) did intellectualism flourish.

Today, higher education is indeed a very important aspect of most Muslim countries. However fundamentalists are discouraging young Muslims to be educated in "Western sciences" and thus many countries in the Middle East are falling behind and are growing in fundamentalist movements that only the "despots" keep under control. Muslim scientists have done a lot of innovative research but it has mainly been in the United States and Europe. So yeah, freedom is lacking.

6. Capital Punishment- Hey, they do have low murder rates overall (aside from Iraq). But seriously, I've actually witnessed a beheading in Riyadh and it is instant. One swipe of a very sharp saber and the head rolls into a basket. I didn't see it as anymore brutal then lethal injection (which apparently has often been botched where prisoners may have felt quite a bit of pain before dying). Personally I think a large caliber bullet to the base of the skull is the most humane.

7. Pro-life? Actually I share your view 100%. I say that to Christian fundamentalists who believe that abortion should NEVER be done regardless of the situation. I've known plenty of single parents and their churches were never around to help them raise children in a single parent home working minimum wage jobs.. Nevertheless, Muslims share similar views on abortion as fundamentalist Christians and many conservatives.

8. Belief against infanticide- Say what you may, but before Mohammad, infanticide was a common practice. You make an assumption about the reason, but nowhere in any Islamic text does it state the reason being to support Jihad.

9. Belief in One God- I don't know who Arthur Schopenhauer is…

10. Jump for Jesus- Hey I didn't say their depiction of Jesus was the same. Just that they love Jesus as well.  What would you expect? For them to say that Jesus will come and abolish Islam? As for pigs…most Americans kill and eat them all the time. Hmmmm…..bacon!!!!

11. Respect thy elders- Actually beating respect into a child is a traditional Christian concept supported by the Bible.

12. Yeah, it's the same way that all kosher animals are killed by Jews. In both the Jewish and Islamic faith, it is considered to be the most humane method of killing animals. I did not say Muslims did not kill animals. However if an animal is starving for example, a Muslim should feed it out of compassion.

Hadith - Bukhari 4:538, Narrated Abu Huraira
"Allah's Apostle said, "A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that."

13. Doing good for the sake of God. It's not just semantics. The majority of doing "good" is the same "good" for a Christian or Jew. This includes such things as feeding the poor, taking care of the elderly, not gossiping, praying to God regularly, etc… Sure a few things will differ. No culture has identical ideas of "good". Even here in America we disagree amongst each other all the time about what is "good". This whole thread is a case in point.

14. Judgement by Allah- I refer to God as Allah. If you prefer, I'll say God. Christians and Jews like Muslims believe in a final judgement by God. The exact definition of who God actually is however differs. Jews and Christians don't agree on that either. If anything Islam and Judaism are much more similar in that aspect of their religions.

15. Witch hunts??? I never saw any witch hunts while I lived in Saudi Arabia nor any witch hunts in any other Islamic countries. I think you are confusing witches with Jinns. Most Muslims however aren't anymore cncerned with Jinns (which are regarded as sometimes dangers spirits) then most Christians are of fairies and gremlins. However you do have a few Muslims that are extremely superstitious. But I most definitely would not characterize the entire religion as being obsessed with Jinns. They like bathrooms by the way…so be careful when you poop. 

16. Men superior to women. Well duh. Of coarse we are.  (joking) LOL In practice women have a lot of rights to be quite independent in Shariat. Today in places like Morocco there is a great emphasis placed on female scholars to provide oversight in mosques to make sure that women are treated well and their legal rights protected in their family courts. It is similar in Malaysia and Indonesia.

17. Wife Beating- This is a far better refutation to that then I could put together.
However I should note that some Muslim sects to believe in beating their wives severely especially in areas like Saudi Arabia. However attitudes there are changing and its being talked about more openly now.

18. Kafrs in hell--- yeah although again I've heard different beliefs on that and also whether hell is eternal or just temporary. The earlier nice verses about Christians and Jews basically say if they are righteous they have nothing to fear from Allah. But Salafi jurists argue that such verses were abrogated by the verses of the sword. If you want I can dig up that whole argument against abrogation.

19. Dhimmitude- In practice the level of "dhimmitude" varied greatly. However taking war booty was a common practice at that time. What you refer to was most likely a verse speaking about a specific battle. Unfortunately many Muslims take such verses to mean doing such things forever and ever and ever in every war they fight against non-Muslims.

20. About Mohammad being perfect. There is a lot of weird contradictions in that as several times Mohammad admits making mistakes, but yeah, apparently he assassinated anyone who pissed him off.

21. I don't know much about that hadith

22. I haven't seen this, but yeah it wouldn't surprise me. So just remember you're always wrong. Just kidding. lol

23. Yeah drinking budlight and eating pork rinds is HARAM!!! So is painting pictures of people or critters….oh and you forgot…most scholars say no music either other then the human voice and maybe a drum. That's why the Al-Qaeda theme songs in their propaganda is always just people singing creepy songs. However there is a minority opinion and fortunately the Middle East is still a rich treasure trove of musical heritage. (I'm a musician myself and play the Turkish Saz, Oud, and also the Indian Sitar amongst many other types of instruments).

24. Bible bad, Qu'ran good. Check. Yeah they believe that. But they also believe there is still some truth in the Bible, which is basically anything that agrees with the Qu'ran.

As for our Greek heritage, Western civilization is much more then just that. Don't forget the Roman heritage that shaped much of Europe (although much of which was derived from the Greeks). Also look at where much of mathematics was preserved during the "Dark Ages". The majority of it was preserved and much of it enhanced by Arabic philosophers and academics especially those in Cordoba, Spain during Islamic rule there. Europeans also took a lot of ideas from the Chinese that is only now beginning to be studied. Technically speaking however, America is a huge mess of cultures and beliefs from all over the world. In my opinion that's what makes America great.

At any rate, we can argue forever about Islamic theology so I won't post any more responses on debates this long about Islam as that was not my point in posting on this forum. I am not here to defend Islam. I am hear to push the idea of alternative methods in counter-terrorism short of wiping out all Muslims from the face of the Earth..

Chris G.


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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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