Sunday, February 17, 2008

COMMENT: Archbishop of Allah?

According to his profile on OnlineOpinion, Jonathan Ariel is ...

... an economist and financial analyst. He holds a MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
He also enjoys dabbling in political polemics. Heck, so do I. Who doesn't?

But after reading his take on the pseudo-controversy surrounding a recent academic speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it seems clear to me that Ariel should stick to financial analysis.

Ariel makes his position clear with this quote ...

Sharia law is simultaneously undemocratic and unChristian.
In a sense, any religious law is unChristian. This is because Christianity (at least in its protestant format) is a faith which has rejected any role for law within religion. Unlike Jews, Christians have rejected the laws of Moses as espoused in the Torah and explained in the various Jewish scholarly commentaries.

In this sense, both Judaism and Islam are similar. They both regard religious life as being governed not merely by prayer and minimal liturgy but also by a sacred law revealed by God that explains to us how we should live, both as individuals and as communities.

But apart from this sense, I'm not sure in what way the sacred law of Islam is unChristian. Then again, I'm not entirely sure which version of Christianity Ariel follows.

I don't want to waste too much of my time on Ariel's rant. It seems to me he isn't too fond of non-white and non-Christian migrants in general. But what intrigues me is the headline to his article.

Of course, it is quite likely that Ariel did not actually choose this headline. It may have been chosen by the sub-editors of the website.

Yet regardless of who picked the headline, the fact is that the term "Allah" is a title give to God by Arabic-speakers of all faiths. Arab Christians across the Middle East (indeed, across the world) use the word "Allah" when addressing God in prayer. In that respect, if the next Pope were to be Palestinian or Lebanese, One could safely say he would be the "Pope of Allah".

So the term "Allah" is not one limited to any particular faith. Indeed, many Muslims don't use the term "Allah". In Farsi and Urdu, other words and phrases are used e.g. "Khuda" and "Parvar Digaar".

© Irfan Yusuf 2008

Mel & Steve do the sharia shuffle ...

Here’s a rather funked-up summary of the interview between Melanie Phillips and Stephen Crittenden (or should that be vice versa?) that appeared recently on Radio National’s The Religion Report. The purported subject was a recent speech on religion and secular law delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The real subject was why everyone should become scared sh*tless of anyone who doesn’t blame all the ills of the world on sharia.

STEVE: Yoh, sis. Sharia sux badly! ‘Em bloody Moslems wanna establish demselves as a separate entity. That Ro-bro Williams fella like dis kinda stuff ‘coz it’s da happnin thang in his own church. Yoh tell, Mel. You waz there at da lecture. Give us the low-down run-down.

MEL: Yeah, like innit! These nasty Moslems ain’t happy with da English common law. For that reason, they wanna impose dis parallel jurisdiction sh*t on us, a kind of supplementary jurisdiction. Dis is da Islamisation by stealth. Them Moslems are gettin married two three times and doin dat dangerous sharia-compliant mortgage sh*t where da interest amputated from da loan and sh*t.

STEVE: Sh*t, man! What else did da funky Ro-bro say?

MEL: Man, don’t ask me. I waz like way spaced out, man. I borrowed some stash from dat Winehouse sista. Man, when you sniff up her stash-a-hash, you get some pure stuff. Like implementin sharia. Man, you can’t just pick and choose and mix it all up. Once it’s there, you just can’t control it. OK, I hear there are liberal interpretations of Islam, but then how can a non-Moslem like moi talk about dat liberal sh*t? But I so spaced out, I wanna give this f#cktup fatwa: Everywhere sharia has been applied in the world at the moment, the more authoritarian, draconian form holds sway. Dat’s right, bro. Everywhere.

STEVE: Yoh, sis, you freakin’ me out wid dat sh*t.

MEL: Dat’s not all, bro Stevie. Here’s one more fatwa: we already haz da situations where we got lotsa honour killings, honour-based violence, sexual violence, gender violence against women and dat sh*t. Man, all dis is rooted in da view dat women is having half the value of men. Dis sh*t is rooted in Islam.

STEVE: But man, sis, I don't think all dem Moslems agree. What you say to dem, sis?

MEL: I tell yah, Stevie. Any genuine Moslem scholar who challenges my f#cktup fatwas are just doin spindoctorin as if dey are to be true reformers. Bro, you know da reality dey are subtle and sophisticated operators with dubious records and are banned from entering the US of A and France coz dey havin links to extremists.

STEVE: You sayin, sis, dat dey havin links to you?

MEL: No, bro Stevie. I say day havin links to da wrong kinds extremists. Da cure is to stop readin their books and start readin mine!

STEVE: Thanks for coming on da show, sis.

© Irfan Yusuf 2008