Saturday, January 24, 2009

HATEWATCH: Yet even more great moments from Tim Blair's News Ltd blog ...

The Abu Hamza pseudo-controversy has provided the nazified imbeciles congregating around the News Limited blob ... woops ... blog of Tim Blair with further inspiration for laughably inane comment. Here are some excerpts. Try not to laugh too hard.

Barak Obama eating a hamburger (not a Sea Kitten, note) prepared by the wife of a Muslim cleric - in an unforgivable affront to the Jewish and Christian faiths! No! Just the Jewish one. Wait! Which one doesn’t eat ham again? Oh yeah, the Muslims.
bill of sydney
Fri 23 Jan 09 (05:28am)
What the ...? And for all you interfaith buffs, shove this up your halal/kosher ham sandwich!

dowp replied to bill
Fri 23 Jan 09 (06:59pm)

Er BIll. Jews don’t eat ham, bacon, pork or other pig-based ingredients. Not if they’re religious anyway.

Just ONE of the religious obligations MoHAMmed stole from the Jews to try to convert them to Islam.

Don’t you know anything?
But this isn't just about religion. It's also about colour. People with white skin clearly have more conscience ...

Speaking of contex, in the video of the audience there are many ‘non-Anglo’ faces. They all look expressionless as they listen to the hateful Imam - apparently drinking in the message obediently.
But there is one ‘Anglo’ and he has a smirk [of embarrassment?] on his face. He seems to be half looking to see how he should react to the teaching to beat his wife.
Which of these reactions shows assimilation to the Australian culture?
Barrie (Reply)
Fri 23 Jan 09 (08:33am)
Moving onto page 2, some people are wondering why conservatives aren't stupid enough to buy into this tabloid tripe ...

Where are our cultural commentators, Greer of the Long Face and John Pilchard, on this; and, more importantly, where is Malcolm Turnbull, every conservative think tank spokesman and people elected by half of Australian voters to speak stridently against those things that are inimical to our way of life?
Mick Gold Coast QLD of Gold Coast QLD (Reply)
Fri 23 Jan 09 (09:07am)
Even after someone pointed out that even Muslims have actively condemned any hint of condoning domestic violence, the usual cultural nuance and sophistication returns ...

John E replied to ann j
Fri 23 Jan 09 (01:33pm)

The mere fact that the video is 4-5 years old, and yet they still broadcasted it - knowing full well the filth that was contained on it, and the likely reaction by the public - means that the Muslims who produced it deserve every bit of the condemnation that rightly flows their way.

I’d like to think - and certainly hope - that this line of thinking is, in fact, limited to a bunch of fringe crazies within the Muslim religion, but there appears to be very little objective evidence that that is the case.
Meanwhile, it's time to bring in extraneous leftwing ideas like human rights ...
So according to this Muslim cleric it’s OK for Muslim men to beat their wives so long as they don’t draw blood or create bruises.

Then how come other Muslims complain that terrorist suspects were tortured at Guantanamo Bay ? Surely it’s not torture ? Surely it’s just a bit of harmless wife-beating ?

Men can hit there innocent wives but the US can’t interrogate terrorist suspects ?
Bruce Smith (Reply)
Fri 23 Jan 09 (01:37pm)

I look forward to comments from "Augustus", "tim blair" and the anonymous chap from Normanhurst to this post. Enjoy!

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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Get Flocked


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Devshirme said...

It would be a lot more useful if, instead of chiding Tim's audience for 'cultural nuance and sophistication', you were to put up something educational to actually address the point raised.

The issue is that Q4:34, which asserts male superiority and permits the beating of disobedient wives, has been interpreted by both historical and contemporary Islamic jurists precisely as Tim's cleric describes.

It requires more than a few statements from Westernised Muslims 'condemning' it. It requires Muslims to first acknowledge what it says and that this is the way it has been interpreted by many Islamic religious authorities, to support their claims that this interpretation is wrong (if that's what they truly believe) by citing the appropriate religious evidence and argument, explaining why there are still Muslim clerics that remain unconvinced, and most importantly of all, for Muslims to stop doing it.

You could help by providing the chain of reasoning, from authentic and authoritative Islamic sources. We can use that against the abusers.

As for 'extraneous left wing ideas like human rights', are they not contrary to Islam, in setting human laws ahead of Allah's? Torture is permitted in Islam, which is why Hamas, the Taliban, and all their little friends have no intention of stopping doing it. I expect you know what religion Kinana ibn al-Rabi was, and why it was done, and I assume you're not going to condemn him for that. Surely all these people are simply following the example of uswa hasana, al insaan, al kaamil. For all time!

Or do you have authentic arguments explaining why the Muslim Mujahideen are wrong about that, too? It's like it's only bad if you do it to Muslims.

Kinana's skin colour was probably irrelevant here, but I guess it's safe to say it was probably 'black'.

Peace and love.

Anonymous said...
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Mrs Devshirme said...

Can I grow my hair again? I promise I'll behave. I'll even do french on you on Saturdays.

Devshirme said...

Mrs Devshirme,

From Umdat al Salik, again, w51.

w51.1 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "May Allah curse women who wear false hair or arrange it for others, who tattoo or have themselves tattooed, who pluch facial hair or eyebrows or have them plucked, and women who separate their front teeth for beauty, altering what Allah has created."

w51.2 (Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani:) Nawawi says that "an exception from the prohibition of plucking away facial hair is when a woman has a beard, mustache, or hair growing between her lower lip and chin, in which case it is not unlawful for her to remove it, but rather commendable, (mustahabb)," the permissibility being on condition that her husband knows and gives his permission, though it is prohibited if he does not, because of the deception it entails (Fath al Bari (y17), 10.378).

The last is a reference to Fath al-Bari bi sharh Sahih al-Imam Abi 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari.

But might I remind you, the Prophet said "Whoever imitates a nation is one of them!" (Sunan Abu Dawood, Book 32 (kitab al libas), 4020.)

Mrs Devshirme said...

Can I cut and paste bits from Hallacha that allow a man to order that his wife shaves her head? Or how about the bits that allow child marriage?

Devshirme said...

Mrs Devshirme,

You can do as you wish, but it wouldn't be relevant to the discussion, or counter the point. It would be no more relevant to cite the Aztec religion on human sacrifice.

We're talking about Islam here, and the disconnect between what orthodox Islamic texts, histories, and clerics say, and the unsupported assertions of a few Westernised Muslims trying to downplay Islam's conflict with modern Western values.

There are several positions you could take. You could do as several religions have done and openly drop the bits that conflict with modern values - admitting that they're there but 'sinfully' refusing to do them. You could do as some of the hierarchical religions have done and officially change the religion, by decree. Or you could perhaps find some re-interpretation of scripture to explain how the original interpreters got it wrong, and justify an alternative. (None of those are allowed in orthodox Islam, of course, so you'll have to change/get round the rules on bi'da/innovation too.) Or of course you could declare it to be the modern values that are in the wrong, and openly follow Allah's law.

What you can't do is pretend they're not really there, and that when people point to present-day clerics expounding on it, to pretend that this only betrays a lack of sophistication and knowledge of Islam's subtleties on the part of the critics. Because that's a lie, and you'll get caught out in it one of these days.

Muslims need the West to have no sophisticated understanding of Islam. If they ever find out what it actually says and requires, things will get very unfriendly. We don't want that, either. It would be much better to sort your approach out first.

Tim's cleric is explaining genuine Islamic law as it is followed by many genuine Muslims in Muslim-controlled countries today. And from a Western perspective, Tim's audience's attitude to that is entirely justified. Repeatedly comparing them to Nazis, or trying to drag in other religions, doesn't do the Muslim case any good at all.

Mrs Devshirme said...

Devshirme, you think that by quoting one book of classical Islamic personal law, you have covered the entire field of understanding among all Moslems - Sunni, Shia, Ismaili etc.

You think that putting 3 hadith side by side represents the totality of everything Moslem legal and religious tradition has to say about gender relations, dress etc.

Why don't you look at how the Beth Din operates in Israel and in Jewish diaspora countries. Jewish and Islamic religious laws are very similar. But the Beth Din operates in a way that doesn't allow women to get a divorce unless the husband is willing to provide it, even if the hubby is screwing a few women on the side. Also, the Beth Din doesn't grant a woman divorce just because of domestic violence. In fact, the Beth Din rarely prosecutes men for domestic violence.

And then ask yourself this: does the operation of the Beth Din in Israel make a crap-load of difference to John Safran or Isla Fisher? Or are you going to tell us that Judaism affects all Jews in exactly the same way regardless of where they live?

You need to understand that Moslems understand and practise their religion differently depending on where they come from, whether they live as minority or majority, what sect they follow, what other cultural and other forces interact with their religion, etc.

You are perfectly entitled to think that a classical Shafei book of religious law will affect the behaviour of Shia Moslems in Azerbaijan where people have probably never heard of Ahmed ibn Naqib al-Masri and can't read Arabic, let alone Keller's translation. Juts as you can believe that John Howard's daughter will be influenced by how Indian Catholics approach canon law in divorce matters even though Howard's daughter is neither Goan nor Catholic.

Keep pasting texts whose context you wouldn't understand if it hit you in the gonads, and keep playing the role of armchair critic. You only end up looking like a moron.

And what the f*ck is "the Muslim case"? Do all Moslems agree on the same agenda?

If you think Moslems from South Africa, Mauritania, Mali, New Zealand and .China all believe in and practise religion the same way, you need to see a psychiatrist

Mrs Devshirme said...

"Torture is permitted in Islam, which is why Hamas, the Taliban, and all their little friends have no intention of stopping doing it."

OK, so you are saying there is a law in Islam that deals with torture. Is it a Shia or Sunni law? If Sunni, which one of the 4 Sunni schools does it belong to? If shia, which living mujtahid endorses its use? What are its limits? How is it to be administered?

Does Islam also endorse the use by HAMAS of the suicide vest?

Devshirme's toyboy said...

"None of those are allowed in orthodox Islam, of course, so you'll have to change/get round the rules on bi'da/innovation too."

So what is bidah hasanah? Or doesn't the website you cut and paste from talk about that?

Devshirme said...

Mrs Devshirme,

Don't be ridiculous! Of course I don't believe I can cover all of Muslim law in a paragraph! But neither can you get away with saying "it's complicated" and leaving the argument entirely unaddressed.

This is precisely the point I'm trying to make. We see these clerics, books on fiqh, fatwas, judges, and so on claiming that wife beating is permitted or whatever, able to quote from hadith and Qur'aan, able to give extended explanations and complicated conditions, and as outsiders we assume they're the experts. And then we come across people like you who say "don't be silly it's not like that" and "our beliefs are not all the same", but seem unable to muster hadith, Qur'aan, Sunna, or indeed any coherent argument to demonstrate that, or indeed to explain why these clerics are saying what they say. Who are we to believe?

People keep on suggesting I'm cutting-and-pasting, without understanding. On the contrary, I've gone to some lengths to try to understand. I've even bought several of your tedious books. You keep complaining about critics who don't take the time to study Islam - well I'm the alternative. And now I'm challenging you to back up your claims.

I would be very happy if you can provide me with alternative readings to demonstrate that these nutty clerics are all wrong. In fact, it's exactly what I'm asking for. (I'd even be pleased with evidence that only some of the major schools require it, although that would leave the issue of those that do.) I'm open to the possibility that there are some such arguments, but it will take more than some condescending sneering and vague allusions to a lack of 'cultural nuance and sophistication'.

Do any of you have this sophisticated knowledge that you claim these critics lack? Are any of you doing more than cutting-and-pasting? If so, educate us.

I suspect you're all bluffing. But I'd prefer to be wrong.

I note you keep on trying to bring the Jews into it, as if that was an argument. I've already explained that it's as irrelevant here as citing the Aztecs. Should I come across a Jew who believes in such practices while calling other people Nazis for saying so, I'll criticise it, but I don't consider it to excuse or justify any other religion one iota.

I'd also point out that given the reputation both Muslims and Nazis have for Jew-hate, it's a really bad idea to keep irrelevantly going on about them in conjunction with a post calling your critics Nazis. Bad tactics!

Regarding torture - and I make no claims to be an expert on this... Mostly, it is the absence of rules against that is the problem. Male unbelievers captured in Jihad can certainly be killed, but there are fewer explicit rules on their treatment. You've got Q5:32 that advocates murder, crucifixion, and having hands and feet chopped off. Q8:12 suggests casting terror into their hearts and cutting off their fingertips and heads. Mawardi comments on the conduct of Jihad by saying that the Caliph should fight by whatever means most help the Muslims and hurt the enemy, and gives examples of destructive tactics indicating no limits. Although elsewhere it says women and children are to be spared (and enslaved) unless they fight.

But there are plenty of other examples in Islamic practice - flogging as a judicial punishment surely has the same essential aim and method, and stoning is designed to be protracted and agonising.

And as I said earlier, devout Muslims such as Ibn Ishaq seem to have had no problem recounting the Kinana story, and apparently considered it credible. Would they have done so if the torture of prisoners was well known to be forbidden?

In any case, it's not up to me to prove that torture is allowed. It's up to you lot to persuade the Taliban, Al Qaida, and others who do it in the name of Jihad that it isn't.


Yes, I did know about it. But it doesn't include innovations contrary to Qur'aan and hadith, which these would be. There's also the 'gates of ijtihad' thing, although I understand that was political and could theoretically be overturned. But I applaud the effort. This is exactly the sort of thing I'm after - technical arguments to demonstrate that Islam can be reformed.

Mrs Devshirme said...

"Regarding torture - and I make no claims to be an expert on this... Mostly, it is the absence of rules against that is the problem."

In Islam, there is no specific rule forbidding a person from taking a loaf of bread and cutting it into the stape of Marilyn Munroe's skirt. Does that mean Moslems are allowed to waste valuable time doing this?

Like you, I am also not an expert. But I do know that there are specific rules governing what is and is not permissible during war.

There are narrations to the effect that one is not allowed to harm POW's. There is the story of one POW captured who had his front two teeth forced out. When the Prophet heard this, he was most annoyed and ordered the torturer to be punished. Not sure if compensation was also involved.

What general rule can be derived from this? Not sure. Guessit means torture is out of the question.

There's another rule or law also that might affect this. It's about keeping and upholding treaties. If you've signed a treaty forbidding torture, you have to keep it.

There are other rules governing this as well. How these rules interact is a little complicated. I don't know the intricacies of it. But I know you will have a cut and paste for everything.

You cut and paste sayings of Muhammad about make up and tattoos to prove that domestic violence is fabulous. Why stop at that level of absurdity? Maybe you could cut and paste rules for slaughtering animals to prove Moslems can mistreat animals.

Devshirme said...

Mrs Devshirme,

None of the above was cut-and-paste, actually. I don't have the book in soft-copy, so I had to do it the hard way.

My aim here is not simply to have a go at Islam. You can get that sort of thing anywhere. It's more than that. There is a tendency amongst Muslims to dismiss any criticism as either ignorance or falsehoods born out of hatred. Sometimes it is. But sometimes the critics have a point; and when you don't answer the point but try to claim it's nothing but the same sort of ignorance/hate, you only confirm that they're right.

I'm pointing out that some of it is apparently neither ignorant nor false. And if you don't take it seriously and do something about it, your problems will only get worse.

I can't tell you what to do about it, and I can't do it for you. Only Muslims can reform Islam. Only Muslims can choose to.

Anyone who takes the time to look into Islam can find out the truth. Denying it or making counter-accusations only delays things a little, they solve nothing. You have to deal with it, one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

"Denying it or making counter-accusations only delays things a little, they solve nothing. You have to deal with it, one way or the other."

On behalf of the 1.2 billion Muslims I simply have no right to speak on behalf of, I'd like to thank Devshirme for alerting us all of the serious problems that we all collectively face. I urge the nations of the allegedly Islamic world to read for the first time the religious text Devshirme has read and then critique it in exactly the same manner as Devshirme has suggested. No doubt you will then see the light emitting from Devshirme's backside in the same manner as I have.

Anonymous said...

Devshirme said: "This is exactly the sort of thing I'm after - technical arguments to demonstrate that Islam can be reformed."

Two points.

First, one should be careful what one wishes for. Many Muslims HAVE been actively engaged in substantial "reform" of how the religion should operate. The Muslim Brotherhood, Jemaah Islamiyah, and al Qaeda are all good examples of modernist Islamic reformers.

Second, for a taste of slow-and-steady reform WITHIN traditional boundaries of Islam, see, for example, Nadirsyah Hosen’s “Nahdlatul Ulama And
Collective Ijtihad” in the New Zealand Journal Of Asian Studies vol.6, no.1 (June, 2004), pp. 5-26. For a more substantial and detailed account of slow-and-steady reform WITHIN traditional boundaries of Islam, see ANU Professor Barry Hooker's excellent book, Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa, published by Allen & Unwin.

Devshirme said...

Anonymous 1,

You're not required to speak on behalf of all Muslims, only yourselves. In the same way that Tim's commentators have not been compared to unsophisticated Nazis by the whole umma, only yourselves.

In the same way that you can't say on behalf of the whole umma that this sort of unpleasantness is not a genuine part of Islam.

The question was about Islam permitting the beating of disobedient wives. Either you believe Islam does allow this as stated, in which case Tim's mob are in the right criticising it, or you believe it doesn't, (or at least not in the sense they're thinking,) in which case you need to back that opinion up. What I'm saying you can't get away with is pretending that their outrage is so obviously in the wrong that you don't even need to give evidence for it. Because if you do, it makes you look to us not only like a bunch of savage barbarians, but as if you're lying badly to try to hide the embarrassing fact.

The language of Umdat al Salik and many other sources is quite plain, and we can read. Islam allows things that offend against human rights, as we currently define them. If that's correct, you'll eventually have to accept the consequences. If there are other sources that say different, show us. If you're right about it all being more nuanced and complex than that, educate us about the nuances - don't just sneer.

Anonymous 2,

Thank you for the references. I've read the first one, and if I understand it correctly, it says that their new method starts by searching existing judgements, seeks a consensus where they disagree, reasons by analogy from past judgements if there is no exact match, and only then does it consider applying new interpretation to the original texts. Not only that, but their selection of quoted texts appears ad hoc, and despite being formally accepted the new method hasn't been generally applied. Is that right?

Would that really help when it came to reinterpreting such past scholarly judgements (and I'd be obliged if you can point them out if any aren't) as the collective obligation to wage offensive Jihad, forced marriage, death for apostasy, marital rape, wife-beating, not being allowed to leave the house without one's husband's permission, permitting slavery, and so on?

Because that's the sort of reform I'm talking about.

And yes, I know that most Muslims don't practice/tolerate any of that. But is that Islam? Or are you simply not practising parts of it?

I should say, I and many others are happy with the vast majority of Islam. Declaration of faith, prayer, fast, pilgrimage, charity (so long as its not to Jihad fronts) - no problem. Wear what you like, eat and drink as you want, do or not do, an' it hurt none. The one thing we're not happy with is when any of it is imposed on others, by threat or force. All the rest you're welcome to.

Anonymous said...

It is particularly pathetic that Irfan posts on his own blog as Anonymous and Mrs Devershirme amongst other aliases.

Bron said...

How do you know, Anonymous?

Irf said...

Anon, naturally I would spend exhorbitant amounts of time researching, crafting and posting anonymous posts on my own blog threatening myself, my family and others with violence, genocde etc.

Irf said...

"The question was about Islam permitting the beating of disobedient wives. Either you believe Islam does allow this as stated, in which case Tim's mob are in the right criticising it, or you believe it doesn't, (or at least not in the sense they're thinking,) in which case you need to back that opinion up."

So now you are saying Tim's morons have the power to declare people from certain minorities innocent until proven guilty if they belong to a culture he hates.

Meanwhile Australian men of all cultures beat their wives and sexually assault them with or without religious justification.

How strange it is that bigots will pretend to be feminists if it furthers their prejudice.