Poor western (in general) and US (in particular) understanding of Islam

8 01 2010

WATCHING CNN’s SITUATION Room program earlier today, I fail to understand such ignorance of Islam by supposedly highly-intelligent top brass S.O.B’s (Special Operational Blunders) in the United States! 😦 REAL NO-BRAINERS! Grrr!!!

One American Republican politician was quoted by the program host, Wolf Blitzer, to have accused the Fort Hood military base shooter as a Muslim ‘terrorist’ simply because the mentally-troubled former doctor in the US Army was heard to have shouted “ALLAHU AKBAR” when he opened fire at random during the terrible shooting spree in November last year. The trained psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik Hassan, allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 30 others in the tragic rampage.

“ALLAHU AKBAR” is Arabic for Allah (God) is the Greatest — nothing more, nothing less! Whenever any Muslim has to slaughter an animal e.g. a cow or goat or chicken, etc (except pigs or dogs which are forbidden for Muslims to consume) to be considered as “Halal” or permissible to eat according to Islamic laws, he would have to say Bismillahi Allahu Akbarat the start of slitting the animal’s throat quickly with the sharpest of knives. Such a ritual would ease the pain felt by and purify the slaughtered animal. And the English translation of that particular Arabic phrase is ‘In the name of Allah the Greatest’.

Now, does that make us Muslims ‘animal terrorists’ to express such a subtly gentle word of the Greatest or “Akbar” (Noun: Al-Kabbir) which is one of 99 names of God in the Islamic Belief?! BAHHH!! πŸ˜›

By posting this, the CIA ‘Intel Operatives embedded’ in the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam or the US State Department or Homeland Security or Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) in Washington D.C. are more than welcome to put me on a No-Fly List, for all I care!

ALLAHU AKBAR! (GOD IS THE GREATEST POWER) and not any earthly self-proclaimed super power like America or British or European colonialists, okay! If God wills me to fly, I’ll fly even if I’m in any No-Fly list CRAP! My foot!! πŸ˜›

Just because a few Muslims resorted to desperate measures to seek world attention for their disgusts for unreasonable western tactics and legislations on countering acts of terrorism, it doesn’t justify and give biased racist profilers the rights to solely mistreat all travelers with Muslim names or wearing Islamic clothings and garbs to over-the-top security checks!! This security breach brouhaha is being fully blown out of all proportions. It is ridiculously and absurdly paranoia at its worst!!! Let’s listen to “Asma Ul-Husna” (99 Names of Allah) one more time:

Alright, enough of ‘threats of terror’ and let’s try to understand why a Muslim man can marry more than one wife but only up to a maximum of four at any one time (extracted from IslamCan.com):

Why does the Qur’an allow Muslim men to have four wives?

There are some situations in which it is advantageous to society to have men marry multiple wives, and for this reason polygyny is practiced by many religions and cultures. Here we will see that the Qur’an permits only a restricted and limited form of that practice. Only 2% of Muslim marriages are of this nature.

Notice that the Qur’an permits but does not command a man to have four wives. Furthermore, the Qur’an stipulates that a man is responsible for the maintenance of his wife or wives. If a man has more than one wife, he has to provide separate living accommodation for each of his wives. Multiple marriages are a heavy responsibility on the male. It is not a pleasure trip as some people may assume. Some even imagine all kinds of sexual exploits involving a man and his wives altogether.

However, such activity is not permissible in Islam. A man must divide his time equally among his wives. He may, for example, spend one night with each wife on a rotating schedule. If a man cannot maintain justice in the treatment of his wives, the Qur’an stipulates that he is to have no more than one wife.

Polygyny provides a solution to some of life’s problems. When there is a shortage of men, for example after a devastating war, many women will be unable to find husbands. Most women in that situation, given the option, would rather be a co-wife than no wife. If one maintains a strict monogamy in such a situation, moral depravity is bound to result.

It may be useful at this point to see what some non-Muslim writers are now saying on this much misunderstood subject. John Esposito says: “Although it is found in many religious and cultural traditions, polygamy (or more precisely, polygyny) is most often identified with Islam in the minds of Westerners. In fact, the Qur’an and Islamic Law sought to control and regulate the number of spouses rather than give free license”. (John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University, 1988, p.97).

Esposito then goes on to explain that in a society which allowed men an unlimited number of wives, Islam limited the number of wives to four. Then he continued to say: “The Qur’an permits a man to marry up to four wives, provided he can support and treat them all equally. Muslims regard this Qur’anic command as strengthening the status of women and the family for it sought to ensure the welfare of single women and widows in a society whose male population was diminished by warfare, and to curb unrestricted polygamy (John Esposito: Islam the Straight Path, p.97).

Karen Armstrong explains much the same in her book entitled, “Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Understand Islam”. She says: “”We have to see the ruling about polygamy in context. In seventh-century Arabia, when a man could have as many wives as he chose, to prescribe only four was a limitation, not a license to new oppression. (Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Understand Islam, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1991, p.191).

It is unfortunate that the Western media often gives the wrong impression of what Islam is all about. Karen Armstrong writes: “Popular films like Harem give an absurd and inflated picture of the sexual life of the Muslim sheikh which reveals more about Western fantasy than it does about the reality (p.190).”

Some people incorrectly assume that because of this ruling most Muslim men would have four wives. However, as Huston Smith points out, “multiple wives are seldom found in Islam today” (The World’s Religions, p. 252). Ira Zep p, Jr. says that “less than 2% of Muslim marriages are polygamous” (A Muslim Primer, p.180).

About this being a solution for the problem of surplus women, Ira Zepp, Jr. comments on page 181 of his book: “The Roman Catholic Church is facing the same problem today in parts of Africa. Social and economic reasons are forcing the Church to reconsider polygamy as a Christian option. (See Polygamy Reconsidered by Eugene Hillman, New York: Orbis Press, 1973).

P.S. Wouldn’t Tiger Woods be better off being a Muslim and marry four wives rather than cheat on his blonde wife to ‘transgress’ and go for extra-marital flings behind her back with 14 other women?!? πŸ˜‰





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