Tag Archives: Islam

Islamists Lose In Kuwait!

Fear of Islam and terrorists has been a staple of the right wing American media since 9/11 and the attempt to portray those of Muslim faith as synonymous with violence has become part of thinking in too many places in the world. The reality of Islam is far from the portrait painted by Fox News and people like Rush Limbaugh. The recent elections in Kuwait revealed a dramatic drop in power for Islamists in Parliament while women won four seats for the first time in history. This election comes a month after Indonesian voters witnessed a drop in votes for fundamentalists of over 10 percentage points.

It would be surprising if American conservatives ever told the truth about the vast majority of Muslims who oppose violence and hatred. The next step in moving away from hysteria is for Israel to reach out to moderate Muslims and agree to an independent Palestinian state. This will set the course of history moving in new directions within the Middle East.

Turkish Alevi Seek Equal Rights

Turkey’s Alevi community is a religious group which differs from other branches of the Muslim religion. It is more flexible in its approach to the Muslim faith and does not support a religious control of society as do so many fundamentalists. Alevi supporters are planning massive rallies all over Turkey to demonstrate the need for equal rights. They want all examples of prejudice and discrimination against the religion to be voided. Their demands include making state-run religious classes non-compulsory, having their religious houses of worship recognized by the government and full implementation of citizenship. It is part of their believe that all groups and religions should be treated in an equal manner.

Alevi leaders object to efforts by the government to push for assimilation of the Alevi religion within existing Muslim entities. A few efforts by the Justice and Development Party have been made such as aiding a few pages of information about the Alevi religion in textbooks and sometimes turning a blind eye to failure of Alevi students to attend compulsory religious classes.

There is no question the Alevi religion is the most liberal and open within the Muslim religion. It is time for them to be accepted as Muslims.

British Writer Blasts Islamic Religion

British novelist Ian McEwan came out swinging against the Muslim religion in a blunt interview he gave with the Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper. He was particularly upset because fellow novelist Martin Amis was roundly attacked for making negative remarks about the Muslim faith. “A dear friend has been called a racist. As soon as a writer expresses an opinion against Islamism, immediately someone on the left leaps to his feet and claims because the majority of Muslims are dark-skinned, he who criticizes it is a racist.” McEwan made clear his own dislike of the Muslim religion. “And I myself despise Islamism because it wants to create a society that I detest based on religious belief, on lack of freedom for women, intolerance towards homosexuality, and son on.” He feels very much the same way concerning American right wing fundamentalist religions although they have no desire to utilize terror tactics against his nation.

Obviously, Mr. McEwan has a right to express an opinion without being charged with the crime of “hate.” If every expression of hate was a crime jails would be crowded. He has a right to detest the Muslim or Christian or Jewish religion, and to make known why he dislikes them. Of course, many of the reasons he cites for opposing Islamism, could also be leveled against fundamentalist Christianity or Judaism. Perhaps, if those who disagree with McEwan replied with good arguments and evidence his claims are incorrect, freedom of speech could be upheld while also enabling most people to obtain an accurate vision of the world.

The best response to McEwan is silence or intellectual arguments against him are the best way to counter his ideas. Violence or threats only prove his is right.

Fight For Women’s Rights In Egypt

The Egyptian People’s Assembly has been engaged in discussions about the rights of women in certain aspects of society. There is a reference in the Quran pertaining to the number of witnesses in transactions: “get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women.” According to Zeinab Radwan, the passage is not discussing any inherent intellectual inferiority of women, but takes into account that at the time it was written, fewer women were engaged in business transactions. She challenges the view of some Musim men the passage means women views are only half the worth of male views.

The discussion of worth of testimony also plunged into issues pertainng to non-Muslims. Abdel-Moeti Byoumi, a member of the Islamic Research Council, agrees with Radwan that since Islam allows Muslim men to marry non-Muslims, it means a non-Muslim woman has the same rights as do Muslim women. Muslim Brotherhood MP Hamdi Zahran Hussein disagrees and argues Islam does not accord non-Muslim relativs the right to inherit from a Muslim. When a Muslim dies, only Muslim relatives are entitled to inherit.

There apparently is disagreement among Muslims regarding certain aspects of their faith. the world has changed dramatically from the days of Muhammad and today’s life entails Muslims and non-Muslims interacting in dozens of ways, both economic and social. Perhaps, it is time to make adjustments and bring the past into the present.

Indonesian Religious Controversy Over Muslim Heretic

Indonesia is being rocked with controversy over the emergence of a new Muslim group whose leader, Ahmad Mushaddeq, claims to have been told by God he is the new prophet whose task is to replace the Prophet Muhammad and bring new ideas into the Muslim religion. Angry mobs have assaulted his followers driving many out of their homes and forced them to live in refugee camps. Last weekend a mob a wrecked the home of Mushaddeq who is now in custody on grounds he violated Indonesian law by spreading a “misguided religion.’ In 2005, Muhammad Yusman Roy was sent to jail for his misguided religious idea that people should pray in the Indonesian language rather than Arabic. Two years ago Lia Aminuddin was sent to jail for two years for claiming she was a prophet who spoke with God. As Muhammad Nafik writes in the Jakarta Post: “Religious leaders should be reminded that it is God’s– not their-perogative to judge the rightness of a man’s life.” The Indonesian Attorney General is considering whether or not to jail Mushaddeq under laws making it illegal to spread “misguided religion.”

It is interesting that new prophets are emerging in a world in which the Muslim religion is experiencing many traumatic conflicts. Most probably, such world conditions invariably spawn religious leaders who wish to bring some type of comfort to people. Mr. Naflik is correct, we humans should step aside and allow God to make determinations as to the validity of any religious leader.

Fight For Women’s Rights In Rural Turkey

Rural Turkey continues being the main supporter for those in Turkey who wish to restrain the rights of women. Teachers in southeast Turkey encountered dozens of women who were hiding their daughters in sheds to hid them from teachers seeking to foster the idea of education for women. There is a split among the parents of women in this region, some accept the forces of modernity including the rights of women to an education while others fight against this prospect. Mujhan Sahin, a female teacher from the region commented: “There is a prejudice against women in the region. They should not read, go out or stand on their feet.” She noted this attitude was conveyed to her parents who defied tradition and educated their children. As a result of Ms. Sahin’s efforts, over 20 girls were allowed to attend school.

Ironically, Kurds in Turkey remain the most conservative elements of the population even as many within their ranks fight for the right to belong to the nation of Kurdistan.

John McCain: Only Christians Should Be Presidents!

John McCain’s efforts to pander for right-wing Christian votes reached a new level when he told the nation of his belief that only Christians were qualified to run for the presidency. He claimed the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.” McCain said, “I admire Islam. There is a lot of good principles in it. But, I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, I prefer someone I know who has a solid grounding in my faith.”

There is NO mention in the Constitution of the United States of America about God or Christian principles. The men who wrote the document were quite clear they were NOT establishing a nation based on Christian principles. Actually, the Puritans regarded the Old Testament as of equal importance to their religion as the New Testament. I guess McCain believes Senator Joseph Lieberman had no right to run for the vice presidency. McCain has insulted millions of Americans, the tragedy is he doesn’t realize he insulted them.