Welcome to FAITH COMPLEX: First Guest: Asra Nomani

FAITH COMPLEX By Jacques D. Berlinerblau Today marks the launch of Faith Complex–a show about the collision of religion, politics … Continued

FAITH COMPLEX

By Jacques D. Berlinerblau

Today marks the launch of Faith Complex–a show about the collision of religion, politics and art. Faith Complex is a joint production of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and Program for Jewish Civilization. We are delighted to be teaming up again with our old ale-house cronies at the Washington Post “On Faith” page.

Today we invite you to view Part I of our interview with Asra Nomani, entitled “A Bad Girl of Islam.” This is the prelude to Part II, “Take Back Your Mosque!,” which airs this Friday.

Over the next few weeks you will learn a lot about our intellectual turn-ons. You know, pretty standard stuff: heresy, groovy theologians, literature, foreign policy, music, Disestablishment, Beltway intrigue, Wars of Ideas, long walks in the rain, and antiquing for mid-century modern furniture with that Special Someone.

We are just getting started and trying to better understand that emerging genre known as Short Interview Videos Geared To Web Audiences. There is a lot we don’t yet understand about the idiom (For example: how many people a year commit suicide in post-production studios?). But at least we are amusing ourselves as we figure it all out.

Much of the fun is generated by our guests. Ms. Nomani is the central protagonist in the forthcoming documentary, “The Mosque in Morgantown,” which will be shown on PBS, June 15th. It’s a fascinating, sober and visually compelling portrait of an American-Muslim community grappling (rather earnestly, I would say) with its own burgeoning pluralism.

In person, Ms. Nomani is every bit as intelligent, intense and witty as she is on film. Having spent the first half of my scholarly career writing about heretics, let me assure you that she is the real deal!

Two things about our interview are especially intriguing. The first is her discussion of a sudden ideological and theological shift that occurred in American-Muslim communities in the 1970s. The second concerns an exchange we had about the need for denominationalism in contemporary Islam (see Part Two).

Next week’s episode of Faith Complex features Mr. David Friedman of the Anti-Defamation League who will discuss the vexing phenomenon of Cyber Anti-Semitism. After that, we host Professor Abdullahi an-Naim, author of Islam and the Secular State–a book so visionary that I promise to voluntary revoke my own tenure if it does not set the scholarly agenda about Sharia law for years to come.

So there we go. All of us at Faith Complex, including my co-producer Dr. Tom Banchoff and our crack team of student research assistants, hope these short segments are elucidating and enjoyable. Now please go ahead, click and get complex.

Watch Part I
of my interview with Asra Nomani.

Watch Part II of my interview with Asra Nomani.

Jacques Berlinerblau is associate Professor and Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is the author of several books including, “Thumpin’ It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today’s Presidential Politics” (Westminster John Knox).

By Jacques D. Berlinerblau | 
May 20, 2009; 9:19 AM ET

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  • asra

    Thank you for the kind words and the honor of having me be on the season opener of Faith Complex!This program is an exciting new venture in the nexus between academia and the media, and I want to congratulate all of the Georgetown faculty and students who made this vision reality. (Including the very important makeup lady!)We filmed on the campus of Georgetown University in what could be considered a symbolic ivory tower, but, as the dynamic host of the program, Dr. Berlinerblau led me in a very real conversation about Islam in this world. I know I’ll be watching future shows with other guests. I encourage everyone to become regular viewers! Thanks again for the honor of being on Faith Complex!

  • leilaash

    Asra,Although I don’t agree with all your methods, I applaud your efforts. I am a young Muslim woman and have not set foot inside of a masjid since I was 9 in order to avoid conflict. The movement towards male-female integration in places of worship is a laudable goal (although I personally think the communal nature of Islamic prayer demands that some consideration be given to the placement of women and men). If I no longer had to worry about whether my femininity is perceived as threatening by Muslim men (the way I dress, the way I talk, the way I move), then I would feel more at ease at a mosque. The future of Islam depends on women’s involvement in running a mosque, and engagement in scholarly debate. Muslims need to recognize that society would be enriched by the presence of women in public life. Attitudes are slowly changing with many first generation of American-born Muslims now reaching adulthood. Female Muslim students have already made great strides on college campuses. The Muslim Student Association at my law school was formed by women. It is only natural that these women, upon graduation, will want to see the same roles reflected in the larger scope of public life. Women need to have these kinds of expectations to achieve the outcomes they desire.Sincerely,L.A.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    i am very concerned that the koran cannot be reconciled with any kind of respect for women and equal rights.you seem to think it’s possible. how?

  • Nadia74

    Hello Asra and Hello to everyone who makes this high quality media available for everyone to see! Good job with the interview and I look forward to seeing the rest. My video ended abruptly and all kinds of other stuff launched and I looked for more but then I noticed that this is a new post. Perhaps there will be more soon? I am eager to hear more about Asra’s story and this Bad Girl of Islam thing. The truth is, I’m a bit of a bad girl myself but glory goes to God first. I am a big fan of promoting dialogue between all people of different backgrounds for our common good. Way to go! Look for me on FB if you would like to discuss further or post here and let me know another better way. :),N

  • ukba

    Asra,

  • asizk

    Why is Asra forcing herself on Islam and Muslims:the Koran says “No compulsion in religion.” She is so self-centred that she thinks she is a threat to Muslim men!!!!! I did not know there was a civil war between Muslim men and women.Besides Asra abused the sanctity of Mecca when she took her out of woodlock child with her and wondered why she was “Alone in Mecca.”Asra may like to join hirsi ali-the would make good company.

  • jacksprat1

    Asizk: get your head out of the sand. Make the real move and treat your women as equals as your founder planned.

  • hsnkhwj

    It has become fashionable now a days to condemn the “Wahabi” version of Islam. The idea is to attack Islam as such. It is true that the Wahabi version of Islam is stricter than other versions (such as Sufi version) of Islam.Religion can not be changed at the whims of individuals like Asra nor can one invent his/her own version of religion. For example, the five pillars of Islam can not be changed.Men and women in Islam are equal but different. There is a role of segregation in social gatherings. That is to prevent what happened to her–conception out of wedlock. No man or woman is supposed to “sleep around” because this destructive behavior destroys family system.Speaking of contradictions: People in the West believe that “our women are free”. Yes, they are “free” only to be exploited by men.How serious is the matter of domestic violence in the West? The answer: very serious.If our women in the West are “free”, then why is there so much domestic violence? Why is there so much distrust between men and women? Why is there a need for “prenuptial agreements”? Why is there such a high rate of divorce? “Free at last, Free at last.”Why are teen age pregnancies on the rise again in America? Yes, “free” to be exploited. Is it really good for society?America is a great nation. Asra is “free” to establish her own mosque/church/synagogue. But she can not force other Muslims to follow her path and ideology.

  • ThomasBaum

    asizkYou wrote, “Besides Asra abused the sanctity of Mecca when she took her out of woodlock child with her and wondered why she was “Alone in Mecca.””Do you really think that God, the True Living God, places the “sanctity of Mecca” above a child?Do you think that an “out of wedlock” child is any less in the Eyes of God?Maybe she felt “Alone in Mecca” because the god of islam is not God.Sounds as if the god of islam or some of those supposedly speaking for him are rather petty and I might add some of those supposedly speaking for Jesus, God-Incarnate are rather petty also.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    ASRAI watched and listened to the video and I thank you and those involved in making it.First off, I would like to say something that I have said many times on these postings: God is a searcher of hearts and minds not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and it is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.You mentioned that you wanted to identify with Hagar, in the bible this is Ismael’s Mom’s name, you mentioned the name that she is referred to in the koran.I don’t know how her story unfolds in the koran but in the bible, it seems to me she is treated rather shabbily by some of the humans but God reaches out to her in God’s Way and comforts her and her child.Until a couple of years ago, I used to think that Islam was pretty much around as long as Judaism but then I found out that it started in the 600’s AD.Do you know why the big gap in years?Have you ever noticed that, at least among believers, that the Jews believe in what I refer to as the Old Testament, Christians believe in both the Old and New Testament and one flows into the other, whereas the Koran doesn’t flow from either and yet claims that it does?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • hsnkhwj

    Thomas Baum wrote:Do you really think that God, the True Living God, places the “sanctity of Mecca” above a child?Do you think that an “out of wedlock” child is any less in the Eyes of God?Maybe she felt “Alone in Mecca” because the god of islam is not God.”******************************************************************8The point you miss is that humans need to control their behavior. If men and women have “free sex” because they mix together, that behavior should be prevented. In Islam, there are rules that define who men and women can socially interact or be alone with. Men other than blood relatives can interact with women in professional situations or in job situation but not in situations like partying. PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION OF HANKY PANKY.Women dress modestly. Their bodies are not for display. Only a husband can look at the body of his wife, that too in privacy.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,you said,oh my god…!

  • shark2

    The woman seems to have guilt problem which then turns her away and compel her to find excuses.

  • hsnkhwj

    a”re you really saying women are more “exploited” in “the west” than in “islamic society”?!?! implying that they’re better of in saudi arabia than in the united states? before i say too much, i just want to make sure i understand you statement.Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 20, 2009 10:42 PM…”**********************************************************To claim utopia from any society is the height of ignorance. People want to demonize Islam on such issues without even realizing that there are similar issues within the societies of those who want to vilify Muslims.One case of beheading of a woman in Buffalo receives big headlines in major newspapers, when domestic violence is so rampant in America. Did you watch CBS evening News today on the subject of the major escalation of domestic violence in America?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,now, of course all muslim men don’t abuse their wives, sisters etc… but, there is scriptural justification for it. i can’t think of a jewish/christian verse actually allowing a man to “scourge” his wife. i could be wrong on that.

  • Nosmanic

    hsnkhwjWhat is truely amazing is that your “defending” a brand of Islam that advocates violence against women, as social justice. By attacking a society that is so open that it can hold together with a bad story on the news, not meant to down play bad events.

  • hsnkhwj

    “Now, of course all muslim men don’t abuse their wives, sisters etc… but, there is scriptural justification for it. i can’t think of a jewish/christian verse actually allowing a man to “scourge” his wife. i could be wrong on that.”Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 21, 2009 12:02 AMYour opinions are based on ignorance. My plea to you is PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF.Here are some references for you to read:GENESIS 3:16Genesis 4:19Genesis 16:2Genesis 19:8In Exodus 1:!5-16THE LIST IS REAL LONG? To answer your question on CBS News: Just a case few days ago in which a white woman received transplant of a face after her husband had shot her in the face some two years ago. The miracle was a new face and a new beginning for her.Archie Bunker had opinion about “everything” without really “knowing” things. Hope you are careful not to do that.You seem to be a rational person.

  • hsnkhwj

    “Now, of course all muslim men don’t abuse their wives, sisters etc… but, there is scriptural justification for it. i can’t think of a jewish/christian verse actually allowing a man to “scourge” his wife. i could be wrong on that.”Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 21, 2009 12:02 AMYour opinions are based on ignorance. My plea to you is PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF.Here are some references for you to read:GENESIS 3:16Genesis 4:19Genesis 16:2Genesis 19:8In Exodus 1:!5-16THE LIST IS REAL LONG? To answer your question on CBS News: Just a case few days ago in which a white woman received transplant of a face after her husband had shot her in the face some two years ago. The miracle was a new face and a new beginning for her.Archie Bunker had opinion about “everything” without really “knowing” things. Hope you are careful not to do that.You seem to be a rational person.

  • abhab

    HSKNW pontificates thus:

  • hsnkhwj

    The latest fatwa (religious edict) by a senior cleric in the Azhar University, the oldest and most respected religious institution in the Muslim world, was that for a woman to work in the same establishment with men she “had to breast feed each of her male colleagues five “satisfying nursings”. The justification was that then the woman would become technically the mother of all the male employees and so permissible for her to be in the same room with them. The ahadith professor based his edict on an “authentic” hadith (tradition) attributed to the Muslim prophet.Posted by: abhab | May 21, 2009 9:14 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^YOU NEVER PROVIDE ANY DOCUMENTATION OF WHAT YOU SAY.Where did you find this fatwa–on some Islamophobic website?This is a great example of a campaign of disinformation on Islam.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,gen3:16**huh? this must be a mistake, it’s not about abusing women.** gen4:9**yes, many wives is misogynistic. it is bad morals. of course it’s in the koran, too – and in “modern” muslim society as well. today, outside the muslim world (and mormons…) polygamy is kind of frowned upon. this verse isn’t about beating women.** gen16:2**yes, treating women as possessions, but still NOT “beat your wife if she misbehaves.”**gen19:8**yes, again, this is a horrible story of trying to please god by “sacrificing” women – treating them as possessions. it’s horrible. but it’s still not “BEAT THEM”. ex1:15,16**huh? not at all about abusing women.and, since you started naming verses, how ’bout this old favorite from the koran:i love the ending “Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.” hillarious (in a tragic way).

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hitman2, you said,”What self-respect remains when a young lady is de-flowered many a times before she get married, such is the result of free mixing of the genders.”that’s rich! “deflowered”?! why the obsession with virgins? women in the west are allowed to be virgins if they want. as far as self-respect, it is only your (male? i presume) religious viewpoint that could possibly make you think islam is “respectful” of women.

  • hsnkhwj

    Walter-in-Falls-Church:Did you know a few Biblical decrees may shed more light on the subject, thus providing a better basis for an impartial evaluation. In the Mosaic Law, the wife was betrothed. Explaining this concept, the Encyclopedia Biblica states: “To betroth a wife to oneself meant simply to acquire possession of her by payment of the purchase money; the betrothed is a girl for whom the purchase money has been paid.” From the legal point of view, the consent of the girl was not necessary for the validation of her marriage. “The girl’s consent is unnecessary and the need for it is nowhere suggested in the Law.”As to the right of divorce, we read in the Encyclopedia Biblica: “The woman being man’s property, his right to divorce her follows as a matter of course.” The right to divorce was held only by man. “In the Mosaic Law divorce was a privilege of the husband only …. “

  • hsnkhwj

    Walter-IN-Falls-Church:# Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of humankind. He is the father; she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her role is not less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are as many qualities and as much humanity as there are in her partner. To this equal partner- ship in the reproduction of human kind God says:O mankind! Verily We have created your from a single (pair) of a male and a female,m and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other… (Qur’an, 49:13; cf. 4:1).# She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsibilities and in receiving rewards for her deeds. She is acknowledged as an independent personality, in possession of human qualities and worthy of spiritual aspirations. Her human nature is neither inferior to nor deviant from that of man. Both are members of one another. God says:And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): ‘Never will I cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one of another… (3:195; cf 9:71;33:35-36;66:19-21).# She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. When Islam enjoins the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and woman. Almost fourteen centuries ago, Muhammad declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was very clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history.# She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she happen to belong to the female sex. It is reported in the Qur’an and history that woman not only expressed her opinion freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur’an, 58:1-4; 60:10-12). Besides there were occasions when Muslim women expressed their views on legislative matters of public interest, and stood in opposition to the Caliphs, who then accepted the sound arguments of these women.

  • ThomasBaum

    hsnkhwj You wrote, “Men and women in Islam are equal but different.”I don’t know where you live but here in America we used to have a civil law quite similiar to that, it was called seperate but equal, also referred to as segregation and it referred to races rather than sexes.By the way, not only are men and women different but absolutely every human being is different from every other human being, should all human beings be segregated from each other?Then you wrote, “There is a role of segregation in social gatherings. That is to prevent what happened to her–conception out of wedlock.”Do you think that God’s Will should be imposed by outside forces or should doing God’s Will come from inside the person.Should people, male and female, be forced by others to live up to their “standards” or should God’s Gift of “free will” come into play.By the way, in the bible, Mary conceived “out of wedlock” and isn’t that what it says in the koran?Then you wrote, “Speaking of contradictions: People in the West believe that “our women are free”. Yes, they are “free” only to be exploited by men.”By the way, why is it that when a woman is “exploited by men” not just in the West but, in your world view, I guess it would be called the “non-West that the woman is the one to pay, so to speak?Why penalize women for the exploitation of men and why by inference think that men will only stop their “expoitation” by “hiding women”?Do you think that God is ashamed of the physicality of humans, male and female, and do you think that we should be ashamed of something that God said was good?Then you wrote, “If our women in the West are “free”, then why is there so much domestic violence? Why is there so much distrust between men and women? Why is there a need for “prenuptial agreements”? Why is there such a high rate of divorce? “Free at last, Free at last.””Mankind has free will and one has to be blind or unwilling to see and deaf or unwilling to hear to think that everywhere except the “West” all people treat all other people just wonderfully, is that what you are trying to say?Then you wrote, “America is a great nation. Asra is “free” to establish her own mosque/church/synagogue. But she can not force other Muslims to follow her path and ideology”It didn’t strike me that Asra is trying to “establish” or “force other Muslims” but it should be pretty obvious that some Muslims are trying to do what you are accusing Asra of doing.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    hsnkhwj You wrote, “The point you miss is that humans need to control their behavior.”You say “humans need to control their behavior” and yet what you mean is that the state, the religion, the whatever… needs to control people’s behavior and that the proverbial “we” are here to enforce it on you.You then wrote, “If men and women have “free sex” because they mix together, that behavior should be prevented.”If you think that something is wrong then don’t do it and if anyone thinks that the only thing involved in “sex” is sex than I feel sorry for them.You then wrote, “In Islam, there are rules that define who men and women can socially interact or be alone with. Men other than blood relatives can interact with women in professional situations or in job situation but not in situations like partying. PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION OF HANKY PANKY.Women dress modestly. Their bodies are not for display. Only a husband can look at the body of his wife, that too in privacy.”From what I have read on different postings on this web site, this interpretation of Islam is your interpretation not all Muslims’s interpretation.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • abhab

    HSKNW chides me for NOT documenting my “allegations” as if he documents his obsessive allegations or that he is not aware of the phenomenon of “Adult Nursing” in his religion. Here are some documentations.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    sorry, it’s so LONG i have to break it up…If you accuse an honorable women of adultery, be sure to bring four witness. Otherwise you will receive 80 lashes. 24:4 A husband can accuse his wife of adultery with only one witness. 24:6 Believing women must lower their gaze and be modest, cover themselves with veils, and not reveal themselves except to their husbands, relatives, children, and slaves. 24:31 If Muhammad’s wives are good, Allah will give them “an immense reward.” 33:28-29 The wives of Muhammad will be punished double for lewdness. (And that is easy for Allah.) 33:30 The wives of Muhammad are not like other women. They must not leave their houses. 33:32-33 When Allah or Muhammad decide that a man and a woman should marry, they must marry. 33:36 Allah gave Zeyd to Muhammad in marriage. This was so that all Muslims would know that it’s OK to marry your adopted son’s ex-wife. 33:37 Allah says it is lawful for Muhammad to marry any women he wants. 33:50-51 If men must speak to Muhammad’s wives they must speak from behind a curtain. And no one must ever marry one of his wives. 33:53 But it’s OK for Muhammad’s wives to talk with certain people. 33:55 Women must cover themselves when in public. 33:59 Those who “did wrong” will go to hell, and their wives will go to hell with them (no matter how they behaved). 37:22-23 But the single-minded slaves of Allah will enjoy a Garden filled with lovely-eyed virgins. 37:40-48 Female companions await those who enter the Gardens of Eden on the Day of Reckoning. 38:52

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    sorry…still more…Allah will reward faithful Muslims after they die with “fair ones with wide, lovely eyes.” 44:54 Allah will reward those in the Garden with beautiful wives with wide, lovely eyes. 52:20 Those who disbelieve in the afterlife give female names to angels. 53:27 Allah will give those in the Garden women of modest gaze whom neither man nor jinn have touched before them. 55:56 Allah will reward believing men with “fair ones” (beautiful women) in heaven. 55:71-72 Those in the Garden will be attended by immortal youths with wide, lovely eyes. 56:17-23 Allah made virgins to be lovers and friends to those on his right hand. 56:36-37 Your wives and children are your enemies. They are to you only a temptation. 64:14-15 Instructions for divorcing your wives. 65:1-6 Allah’s rules for divorcing wives that have not yet reached puberty. 65:4 O Prophet! Why bannest thou that which Allah hath made lawful for thee, seeking to please thy wives?”Muhammad’s wives need to be careful. If they criticize their husband, Allah will replace them with better ones. 66:5 The wives of Noah and Lot (who were both righteous) betrayed their husbands and are now in the Fire. 66:10 Doom is about to fall on all disbelievers. Only worshippers (Muslims) and those who preserve their chastity (except with their wives and slave girls) will be spared from “the fires of hell” that are “eagar to roast.” 70:1-30 You don’t have to be chaste around your wives or your slave girls. 70:29-30 Abu Lahab will die and be plunged in flaming Fire. His wife will have on her neck a halter of palm fiber. 111:1-5 (from: skeptic’s annoted koran)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    abhab,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum,it seems obvious to me that the new testament was an improvement on the old testament in terms of its treatment of women. it still has its problems of course, but it reflects society’s moral advance of several hundreds of years over the old testament. then, i don’t know what happened, but the koran took a step backward, back to the days where joshua the jihadist – was the model.

  • tony55398

    Islam is equal to early Judaism

  • tony55398

    I should have said Orthodox judism

  • abhab

    Walter in Falls Church:

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    thanks for answering my koran questions. it’s funny you say the translations actually “clean up” (make more palatable) the “bad” verses (like you say, adding the word “lightly”).in dialogues with muslim apologists i sometimes eventually hear them say, “well, you’ve got to read it in the original arabic” – as if that will make it sound MORE humane. you’re saying the original arabic is LESS humane?

  • shark2

    by Dr. Christine Schirrmacher

  • shark2

    To false interpreters of Quran:The aim of the Qur’an is to guide man and not to teach nature study or history or philosophy or any other science or art, it does not concern itself with these latter subjects. The only thing with which it is concerned is to expound the Reality, to remove misunderstandings and misconceptions about it, to impress the Truth upon the minds, to warn them of the consequences of wrong attitudes and to invite humanity to the Right Way. The same is true of the criticism of the creeds, of the moral systems, of the deeds of men and communities and of its disussions of the problems of metaphysics etc. That is why it states or discusses or cites a thing only to the extent relevant to its aims and objects and leaves out unnecessary and irrelevant details and turns over and over again to its Central Theme and to its invitation round which every other topic revolves. When the Qur’an is studied in this light, no doubt is left that the whole of it is a closely reasoned argument and there is continuity of subject throughout the Book.

  • shark2

    As a matter of fact, this Book is not irrelevant anywhere with regard to is Subject, its Central Theme and its Aim. From its very beginning to its end, the different topics it deals with are so intimately connected with its Central Theme that they may be likened to the beautiful gems of the same necklace, despite their different colors and sizes. The Qur’an keeps the same object in view, whether it is relating the story of the creation of the earth or of the Heavens or of man or is referring to the manifestations in the universe or stating events from human history. As the aim of the Qur’an is to guide man and not to teach nature study or history or philosophy or any other science or art, it does not concern itself with these latter subjects. The only thing with which it is concerned is to expound the Reality, to remove misunderstandings and misconceptions about it, to impress the Truth upon the minds, to warn them of the consequences of wrong attitudes and to invite humanity to the Right Way. The same is true of the criticism of the creeds, of the moral systems, of the deeds of men and communities and of its discussions of the problems of metaphysics etc. That is why it states or discusses or cites a thing only to the extent relevant to its aims and objects and leaves out unnecessary and irrelevant details and turns over and over again to its Central Theme and to its invitation round which every other topic revolves.

  • shark2

    AbhabYour ignorance is obvious as usual, dont mislead the readers, there is no “versions” of Quran. There is a differece between version and translation.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    shark2,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    shark2,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    abhab,

  • hsnkhwj

    Shark 2:I checked with some Egyptian acquaintances about Muslim adults drinking woman’s milk posted by an Islamophobe here. These sources tell me it is all false.What they think is happening is that the enemies of Muslims are demonizing Muslims by creating fake websites,then post false information about Islam and then referencing to them on blogs and mentionimng to people not familiar with Islam.This is called a campaign of disinformation. In the past, enemies of Islam have attempted to put on the market fake copies of Koran. They did not know that million of Muslims have MEMORIZED kORAN and can immediately know the difference between the fake version from the true version.You know some of those names who are deep down Islamophobes who keep posting falsehoods about Islam. BEWARE!

  • hsnkhwj

    FROM ONTARIO CONSULTANTS ON RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE:The status of women in the Biblehorizontal ruleSponsored link.horizontal rulehorizontal rule

  • abhab

    Interpreting The Koran And Breastfeeding With Ezzat AttiaCAIRO — A professor at Egypt’s Islamic Al Azhar university Monday(May 27, 2007) retracted a controversial religious edict which states that a woman can only be left alone with a strange man if she breastfeeds him.• Anorak News » Blog Archive » Interpreting The Koran And …

  • shark2

    walter-in-fallschurch shark2,You can use translations of Abdullah Yousaf Ali or Pikthall. But to read the translation is not sufficient unless you do not read the commentary by which to come to know reference to the context.

  • shark2

    AbhabAll your posts from several months are based on same sort of repetition,criticizing Islam. I have yet to see a single post from your side which tell something positive thinking that you have, any sort.

  • shark2

    HSNKHWJYour mature posts are very impressive and I admire you for such efforts.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,you said,”This is clearly a tender touch of the Islamic teachings…”HAHAAahHaaHaHaHAHAhhaHahAHHahha!that’s really funny, considering,of course you can find a few verses talking about women without demeaning them. i quoted about 50 (?) awful verses – AWFUL from the perspective of modern enlightened women – i’m sure they were GREAT verses 1300 years ago, if you were a man.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    shark2,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,in fact, i would say this fact PROVES that these books are NOT DIVINE – not the torah, not the OT, not the NT, and not the koran. but i still maintain that the koran (and islamic society) treats women worse than those other ancient scriptures.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj, you said,what the heck does THAT mean!?is it a threat? am i in danger?! are “religion-of-peace” muslims going to find me and “correct” my views, maybe by beheading my wife or something? what do i have to “beware” of?

  • asizk

    Thomas Paul Moses Baum,I was strictly refering to Asra’s advertising of her illicit behaviour of having a child out of wedlock-and not the sanctity of the child who is absloutely innocent and sinless.It was after an adultrous Muslim woman repeatedly confessing to adultry and insisting on punishment-that the Prophet sent her back also repatedly until she delivered her out of wedlock child;then she came back to confirm her repentence and for punishment and again He sent her back to nurse the child for two years.The Prophet told his companions that she was so sincere in her repentence that such repentence would be adequate to forgive the entire human race.Clearly the child’s well being and sanctity was the Prophet’s priority.On a different occasion He said that it was easire for him to see Kabba pulled down brick by brick than see the blood of one human being shed.Like Asra, we all commit sins-but we need not advertise them on top of Mount Mena during the hajj in Mecca-and later in a book.She should have shown more resepct for her faith and for the sensebilities of her Muslim brothers and sisters.She felt alone because of,more likely, her feeling guilty and not-rpt not-because of the “Muslim God”:there is no such being-Muslims worship a tribal God, they worship the one and only God there is,the God of all the universe and of all creatures and human beings including those who do not belive in him.The God that Muslims worship is the God of Adam,Abraham,Moses,Jesus and Muhammad-he is all merciful, compassionate,loving,closer to his beliveing creatures than their viens and is all embracing.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj, shark2,the issue here, now, today, is, “how are women treated in society TODAY?”so, do you think women are “better off” in “muslim countries”, or are they “better off” in “secular countries”?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “On a different occasion He said that it was easire for him to see Kabba pulled down brick by brick than see the blood of one human being shed.”- that’s really a lovely sentiment. it really and truly is. now, how do you square that with:2:216 (pickthal)4:89 (pickthal)

  • hightech2

    Bill:Me:This Human Lifestyle is about Worshiping God a Higher ‘Being’, in our Image, not Serving Life on our Home Planet, with Free Will for All Human Souls. How many Masters/Haves and Slaves/Havenots Souls, are there on Planet Earth? Humans on a Planet cannot be Equal Souls, until they Die and go to Heaven? Is Body and Soul different?In Genesis, Male and Female were Created Equal Genetic and Physical Adult ‘Body and Soul’ Clones. When did the Male become Dominant over the Female and Reproduce Children Souls? Or, did Humans Reproduced like Animals, and there never was Perfect Adult Humans Souls on Earth, as stated in Genesis and Myth? Why was this Fairy Tale about Perfect Humans, handed down from Human Generation to Generation? Humans again have the High Tech Science, like ‘in the beginning’, to Clone Life.With High Tech Birth and Regeneration of our Bodies, and with Spaceship travel, Humans can have Eternal Physical Life, After Birth, on Planets and in Spaceships.GOD is the GOD of the Visible and the Invisible Life Species. Eternal Life is for Visible Living Purebred Adult Humans, and Invisible GODs Elements. It is up to the Human Species if they have Generation Body Birth, Death, and Rebirth.Or, with High Tech Science, have Eternal Human Life After Birth, on Planets and in Spaceships.

  • hsnkhwj

    “The God that Muslims worship is the God of Adam,Abraham,Moses,Jesus and Muhammad-he is all merciful, compassionate,loving,closer to his beliveing creatures than their viens and is all embracing.Posted by: asizk | May 22, 2009 9:09 AM”Kudos to asizk ! You articulated a very rational comment on the subject. May God bless you!*********************************************************I addressed my last comment to you. Hope you read some of the diatribe posted in response to my comment. You understood correctly my word “Beware”, i.e., beware of falsehoods posted (by some individuals–whose names amount to being anonymous)here. Your response is correct, i.e. disinformation is not dialogue. IT WAS NOT A THREAT TO ANYBODY. THIS PERSON IS TRYING TO USE RHETORICAL INTIMIDATION AGAINST ME.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    MODERATOR/WEBMASTER:it is very difficult to follow a thread of comments scrolling UP to the start of a new comment, then DOWN to read it, then back UP to the start of a new one, then DOWN to read it and so on.anyway, you didn’t ask, but i did say “please”. 😉

  • abhab

    Azsik pontificates thus:Really! Why then did your prophet criminalize adoption? Are you aware of how much suffering been imposed on orphans in Muslim societies over this decree. The more galling aspect of this crime against humanity is the reason behind this decree. It is because the prophet of Allah suddenly decided to add his daughter-in-law, Zainab, to his harem. When the townspeople began to question this practice (Marriage to daughter in-law), which was unknown in their culture, he looked for a way out. Since his son Zayd, the husband of Zainab, was an adopted son, the prophet claimed that Allah had suddenly decided that adoption should be illegal. This, off course, meant that Zainab would no longer be his daughter in-law. He, accordingly got himself out of this bind smelling like roses, but at what expense to orphans?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj, shark2, asizk,look, i’m sorry to come off so harsh. it’s just that when i started reading the koran i was appalled by what i read. (i was similarly appalled by jewish and to a lesser extent christian scripture.)this all started for me on 9/11. i never had a beef with islam before that. for me, “terrorism” was something that happened “over there” in the middle east. so, obviously my perspective is colored by the fact that i only began to care on 9/11. my view is also colored by the fact that i’m atheist. so for me, the whole “conflict” between “islam” and “the west” is over make-believe things… it’s so frustrating.but whether i think it’s make-believe or not, it’s a real problem in the real world. and i’m really being STUPID by “taking it out” on guys like you. i mean, you sound like the “moderate muslims” i think can SAVE THE WORLD from the bad ones like bin laden et. al.i really think the answer the to win “hearts and minds” of moderate muslims and have moderate muslims “fix” “islamic society” from the inside. pardon me if that sounds arrogant, but i think the “enlightenment” values of freedom, equality, human rights ARE better than ANYONE’s ancient scriptural values of allegiance to one certain (imaginary) god, morality as compliance with religious rules, and the requirement to “spread the word”.anyway, sorry to be so harsh. i guess i’m mad at you guys because i wish moderate muslims were more vocal in denouncing their militant bretheren.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    abhab,”It is because the prophet of Allah suddenly decided to add his daughter-in-law, Zainab, to his harem. When the townspeople began to question this practice (Marriage to daughter in-law), which was unknown in their culture, he looked for a way out. Since his son Zayd, the husband of Zainab, was an adopted son, the prophet claimed that Allah had suddenly decided that adoption should be illegal. This, off course, meant that Zainab would no longer be his daughter in-law.”you know people tell me i have to read all the “bad” verses in “context”…but when i learn context, it’s not always so good. also, it seems like “context” often takes the “good part” out of the good verses…

  • hsnkhwj

    walter-in-fallschurch :I applaud your remorse. Only great men and women express remorse.I too am angry at the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 invoking the name of Islam. I have condemned those extremists numerous times in America’s big as well as small town newspapers. In fact, those guys are responsible for all the problems they have caused to devout as well moderate Muslims.Killing innocent people can never be a noble act.We are nobody to criticize you for being an atheist. Most atheists are ethical people.I admit that Muslims have not changed with the times technologically but spiritually they firmly believe that the 5 pillars of Islam can not be changed: (1) Belief in one God and Mohammad as His messenger,(2) They submit to God 5 times a day and pray to Him to guide them to the right path prescribed by Him, (3)They fast for 30 days as an obedience to His will, (4) They give zakaat (mandatory 2.5% of yearly savings to the needy), and (5) perform Hajj once in lifetime if they can financially and physically afford.All these things do not hurt anybody or non-believers. FAITH is not subject to empirical evidence that is applied in science.Again, thank you! And PEACE!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,thomas jefferson said,so, one problem i have with islam is there seems to be a belief in something called and “islamic society” or an “islamic country”. to my way of thinking that very concept is immoral. how can you have a country (a free one, anyway) that’s “islamic” – or “christian” or “jewish” or “hindu”.for instance, iraq just wrote a new constitution. they felt compelled to start with something like “no laws may be enacted with contradict the undisputed rules of islam.”why couldn’t they just have a “secular” society with “human rights” rules?so, my question is: why do “muslim countries” exist? is there something in the koran or ahadith that instructs that?

  • abhab

    Hsknw assures us:I have never heard any body say they do. What every thinking person knows that what hurts non Muslims as well Muslims is the denigrating of women and the incitement of hate and violence against the “other” that riddles the pages of your scriptures. You can worship a stone for all I care but do not throw stones at me for not believing in the things you believe in.

  • hsnkhwj

    walter-in-fallschurch | May 22, 2009 12:30 PM:*******************************************************************I would like to live in a society (where the paradigm is “all men are created equal”) America fits that need. I too have read Thomas Jefferson and the famous quote. Thanks to him, America became America of his vision.But is it perfect? No. Last election, Sarah Palin and the conservatives became a force to be reckoned with. Religion, sectarian affiliations are still a big factor in America.I do not know why Iraq adopted the constitution the way you described. To me, if Christians and other minorities are given equal rights and equal opportunity, then it does not matter.IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ME THAT ALL HUMANS ARE GIVEN EQUAL RIGHTS. That is what makes America a great country.Other countries: that is a dream some day it will come true. It is in the works, but it will take perhaps another century.That is a reality.

  • harrytsc

    Our belief systems are constantly changing and future changes are not predictable. We can sometimes glimpse the past by the few written words that survive unaltered. There is a website that quotes some of our more famous early Americans that is interesting. Maybe some of the quotes are out of context and some may be in error but most are probably accurate. The site is:

  • ThomasBaum

    PART IIYou also wrote that God is all embacing, do you believe this? Jesus embraced ALL SINS OF ALL MANKIND and Jesus embraced ALL the pain of Everyone’s hell which people have individually and custom-built for themself, is this what you mean by ALL EMBRACING?There seem to be some Christians that do not realize that Jesus died for each one of us individually and Jesus asked us to die for those that threw away God’s Free Gift, do you know that that is what Christianity is about? It seems to me that quite a few people that call themself, Christian, besides not believing that ALL will be in the Kingdom there are many that seem to be looking forward to some not being there. As I say, mighty “Christian” of them. I refer to it as the ‘good enough news’ as in ‘as long as I get to the ‘good place’ rather than the “Good News” which is for ALL to be in the Kingdom.I will never believe that the god of islam is God for the simple fact that God is a Trinity and that Jesus is God-Incarnate but nevertheless there are going to be many that are in for a rude awakening to find out that God is not the egomaniac that some think God to be.The True Living God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof. Whether or not you or anyone else believes this, do you think that I can put it any more direct and simple?Also as I have said before: It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows. This also seems to me to be straightforward and simple irregardless of whether or not someone believes it.I firmly believe that it is better to do the wrong thing for the right reason than the right thing for the wrong reason.Seems to me that no one always knows exactly what to do but our motives are important, of course I also believe that none of us always lives up to good motives.God cares and so should we.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • hsnkhwj

    The Islamophobes posting here should read a rather long comment (blog) by someone named Shannon on Jack Silverman’s article in Nashville Scene. She does a marvelous job in explaining what Islam is all about.I have posted her comments in several parts in the articles, “Europe’s misunderstood Muslims.”

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hsnkhwj,

  • ThomasBaum

    PART IIYou also wrote that God is all embacing, do you believe this? Jesus embraced ALL SINS OF ALL MANKIND and Jesus embraced ALL the pain of Everyone’s hell which people have individually and custom-built for themself, is this what you mean by ALL EMBRACING?There seem to be some Christians that do not realize that Jesus died for each one of us individually and Jesus asked us to die for those that threw away God’s Free Gift, do you know that that is what Christianity is about? It seems to me that quite a few people that call themself, Christian, besides not believing that ALL will be in the Kingdom there are many that seem to be looking forward to some not being there. As I say, mighty Christian of them. I refer to it as the ‘good enough news’ as in ‘as long as I get to the ‘good place’ rather than the “Good News” which is for ALL to be in the Kingdom.I will never believe that the god of islam is God for the simple fact that God is a Trinity and that Jesus is God-Incarnate but nevertheless there are going to be many that are in for a rude awakening to find out that God is not the egomaniac that some think God to be.The True Living God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof. Whether or not you or anyone else believes this, do you think that I can put it any more direct and simple?Also as I have said before: It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows. This also seems to me to be straightforward and simple irregardless of whether or not someone believes it.I firmly believe that it is better to do the wrong thing for the right reason than the right thing for the wrong reason.Seems to me that no one always knows exactly what to do but our motives are important, of course I also believe that none of us always lives up to good motives.God cares and so should we.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    PART IASIZK You wrote, “It was after an adultrous Muslim woman repeatedly confessing to adultry and insisting on punishment-that the Prophet sent her back also repatedly until she delivered her out of wedlock child;then she came back to confirm her repentence and for punishment and again He sent her back to nurse the child for two years.The Prophet told his companions that she was so sincere in her repentence that such repentence would be adequate to forgive the entire human race.Clearly the child’s well being and sanctity was the Prophet’s priority.On a different occasion He said that it was easire for him to see Kabba pulled down brick by brick than see the blood of one human being shed.”Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to have read about this on another post previously and then Mohammed had her killed, is that correct or incorrect?You then wrote, “The God that Muslims worship is the God of Adam,Abraham,Moses,Jesus and Muhammad-he is all merciful, compassionate,loving,closer to his beliveing creatures than their viens and is all embracing.”I disagree for the simple fact that I have met God and God is a Trinity and is a Being of Pure Love and that Jesus is God-Incarnate, not merely a prophet.I have never read the koran and for that matter I have never read the whole bible but after meeting God, I dove into bible studies, so to speak, and I found out that, at least for me, when Jesus said, “I will send the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth”, I have found that the Holy Spirit speaks to me thru other people and sometimes, I have no idea how much, the person that the Holy Spirit speaks thru does not have a clue about it. This is not the only way that the Holy Spirit works in my life but it is one of them.You write that God is all merciful, do you believe that? Will ALL be with God in the Kingdom or is there a limit to God’s mercy?

  • hsnkhwj

    ThomaBaum wrote:”You also wrote that God is all embacing, do you believe this? Jesus embraced ALL SINS OF ALL MANKIND and Jesus embraced ALL the pain of Everyone’s hell which people have individually and custom-built for themself, is this what you mean by ALL EMBRACING?”******************************************************************You are free to believe what you want. But I believe, no one died for my sins, nor did Jesus died for the sins of billions, perhaps trillions of peoples since his time, and trillions more to come.Every human being is responsible to his own deeds. There is no escape from this and there is no license to commit sins since someone else died for your sins.Otherwise, why did God create heaven and hell?

  • ThomasBaum

    hsnkhwjSince it appears that the Part I site is now taking postings, I am posting my reply here also.You wrote, “Every human being is responsible to his own deeds. There is no escape from this and there is no license to commit sins since someone else died for your sins.”If you have been reading my postings, I have said that we have free will and that we are responsible for what we do.Jesus asked us to “die” for those that will never ask for forgiveness, that is what “Christianity” is about.There are many ways to “die” besides just the physical. Dying, in the physical sense, is part of life.Since Jesus asked us to take His yoke upon us and a yoke is when two are tethered together as one, then ultimately, all are saved by Jesus with, as I have said, us becoming active participants in God’s Plan.You also wrote, “Otherwise, why did God create heaven and hell?”As I have said, God did not create “hell”, if one were to die and wake up in “hell”, so to speak, maybe not right away but they will come to the realization that they built it themself.Just what do you think “heaven” is?Just as it is written, the new heavens and the new earth, that is what the Kingdom will be, exactly what, I don’t know.If the Kingdom is not for absolutely All of humanity then God is a loser since a “tie” would be a loss but as I have said: God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • zebra4

    Thomasbaum:Are you hallucinating? Is it simply playing with words?Death is death. Don’t play semantics game when you can not answer a blogger’s legitimate question.

  • zebra4

    What a bunch of crap!DYING is Dying. Nothing else. You love semantics!