The UK government today raised its terror threat level from substantial to severe, the fourth highest of five levels.
"That means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but there is no intelligence to suggest that an attack is imminent," Home Secretary Theresa May said. "The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq, where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West."
But the world and the Church will be judged globally and from the beginning at the Last Judgment when our bodies will be raised from the clay of the earth and fashioned anew for those in heaven according to the Glorified Body of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
But that global judgment of the world and of the Church happens in the here and now quite often. I think of the manner in which the sex abuse scandal of the Church has been revealed and judged in the here and now. And now we see hints of a similar judgement against the United States in our current worldwide crisis and as a certain president ditters with no real sense of engagement or direction except when it comes to promoting the LGBT agenda and making it easier for clinics to provide abortions, the genocide of babies yet to be born and forcing the Church to do that which is evil in all areas of sexuality including marriage, contraception and abortion. There is a real moral bankruptsy and confusion of priorities of a president here and rightly to be harshly judged by God.
And thus we have this stunning judgment of the USA and our President from Chaldean Patriarch Sako (in union with Rome)! Keep in mind that it is our current President, despite the questionable intervention into Iraq and other parts of the Middle East by another President, who abandoned Iraq altogether when Military bases could have remained to protect this country and its region from what is currently happening. In this regard, the current President is accountable.
Chaldean Patriarch Sako had been mistakenly reported as saying that, "the US is behind ISIS," but he does not back off (rightly, of course) from claiming indirect US responsibility for all that is happening to Iraqi Christians:
The United States is indirectly responsible for the violence in Iraq that has seen more than half of the Christian population displaced, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako said Thursday, after a media report quoted him saying "America is behind ISIS."
“The U.S. is indirectly responsible for what is going on in Iraq as it said it would ensure democracy and the well-being of the people, but 10 years have passed and on the contrary we have gone backward,” Sako told reporters at Beirut's airport.
He was responding to a question following remarks attributed to him in the local daily Ad-Diyar in which he accused the U.S. of supporting ISIS.
“ Iraq has been divided ... and the Americans left Iraq in the midst of a vacuum where there was no army to protect [the people] and ISIS and these jihadist groups have been present for four years,” he said, before boarding a plane to Iraq.
“There were about 1 million Christians in Iraq and more than half of them have been displaced. Only 400,000 are left while displacement is still rising,” Sako added. (Source)
And despite it all: "Obama confesses: ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ for Islamic State"
Not the United States... just the United States governmanr, most especially Barack Hussein Obama.
It's entirely within the realm of possibility for the US to be complicit in all this.
But we must remember that the US is no monolith. We are a divided country. The State Department has it's own ambitions as does the CIA/NSA. The Pentagon and MIC have their own interests. The establishment GOP and centrist DNC have a particular interest that they don't share with the Socialist or Tea Party wings.
Big power geopolitics often involves betrayal, lies, dirty tricks, etc... so first America threatens Qadaffi in Libya and then makes a deal with him, and then opens diplomatic ties with him....and then foments a rebellion against him...and then supports various factions....who then seize his massive stores of weaponry and use them to foment Jihad across North Africa (but also allows someone to ship guns to the rebellion in Syria...)
Others point to the fact that "we" have destabilized every government in the Middle East since 2009. Turkey is going fundamentalist. Iran's people power movement was not supported so was crushed (leaving Mullah's in power). Egypt - a long time ally was pushed to collapse in the "Arab Spring" and the Muslim Brotherhood encouraged to stand up. There are wars raging across Africa right now (not that anyone would know about it but US troops are fighting on the ground there).
So what's going on? Various things. Proxy wars are going on. The Caliphate is the prize for the Muslims and 4 major players are being played off by the greater Powers (US, EU, RUSSIA, CHINA). Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and ISIS are all struggling for hegemony. But the practical result is devastation for the whole region.
I've no doubt the larger powers are feeding this contagion for the sake of weapons deals, and other advantages of a destabilized situation. It's not just the USA who is involved here.
As an American Catholic the OBVIOUS takeaway for me is that the same forces who rule the US domestically and who have no qualm about Iraqi Catholics being used as cannon fodder, will probably have the same feelings for us domestically.... they'll use us for votes or agitation when possible, but if we cross them, they'll easily turn on us too.
We are a minority in the US. 25% and we're divided politically 50/50 thus nicely cancelling out our otherwise politically powerful swing vote. Neither DNC nor GOP has to come groveling to bishops for support since they're happy we're divided ideologically.
Neither political party has aims and ambitions with our best interest at heart - it's always alliances of convenience not conviction.
Look at how many bishops, nuns, priests, laity voted straight Democratic ticket only to have HHS arbitrarily and UNNECCESSARILY choose to mandate abortion via health care? It is entirely within the power of the HHS secretary to give 'waivers' (and she has to millions of special interest folk!). That was a pointed message that they don't need Catholics and will run us over if they want to. The GOP has done similar things in the past to Catholics too.
JusadBellum makes some interesting points. Especially the last paragraph, because it highlights the human desire to strike a deal with the Devil. This is what happened with ISIS, Libya, etc., etc. We always think we can bind someone else to a deal and expect them to keep it. When coupled to a sophomoric understanding of Realpolitik we don't just set up disasters, we facilitate the plans of our enemies.
Heck, I think that might even be true for Vatican II.
The US has become weak and has no resolve. Three weak presidents in a row will be difficult to overcome.
We do not even have enough sense to see that Islam is the enemy. We keep trying to blame a particular segment of Islam when it is the entire thrust of that evil religion to kill and destroy anyone not a follower of Allah. As long as we are that dumb and keep electing leaders with their heads you know where nothing will change and our dirties will soon be exploding. But, hey, go ahead and keep apologizing for Muslims, oh, and the rioters in Ferguson, too. They are just poor victims.
PS My sentence should have said "our cities will soon be exploding. " What is it with this spell-check, anyway?
It will be interesting to see how this works itself out. If we don't use bombs, the only way to slow them down is cut off the funding. The last folks to benefit from the cash flow of a Muslim country are the lower classes. If they can't fund the weapons and palaces then the poor will not get housed or fed. And I am not talking about just the oil money, either. A lot of the funding that flows directly to the terror groups flows from groups we call moderate Muslims. We don't have the guts to stop that because a lot of that also pays for the campaigns our elected officials.
It's the eliminator. DANG! I meant "Illuminati"
"Look at how many bishops, nuns, priests, laity voted straight Democratic ticket"
A visitor to the USCCB building in Washington during the last presidential campaign remarked that its parking lot was wall-to-wall Obama bumper stickers, not a Republican sticker in sight.
Small wonder the Catholic Church in this country is sometimes called "the Democratic party at worship". And thus 72 million abortion deaths and counting, while Catholics hold the balance of power in national elections.
Jolly, our cities won't be exploding from jihadis - there's simply not enough of them for critical mass here.
If cities 'explode' it'll be due to a catastrophic economic flash crash or bank holiday or similar (as in EBT cards going blank). If the EBT system crashed for longer than 3 weeks, we would have riots. But the republic is not threatened by 'just' that segment.
Have we not all witnessed in the past 2 years examples of how any small incident goes viral, suddenly everyone is talking about it, while another, more impactful news story is buried?
The whole country is united in controversy over Ferguson while Russia rolls tanks into Ukraine. Amazing - I watched in real time as the stock market...did nothing with the news.
So here's the deal: are we really sure our cities will explode the way we've been led to think about it? Poor urban minorities looting the strip malls... what happens if that's not at all how it'll go down?
Desperate, shocked, and panicked people will do crazy, suicidal and counter-productive things and this is a universal, non-racial or ethnic specific trait of humans.
We think of the havoc not having EBT CARDS would have on the urban (and relatively unarmed) poor. But what would a bank holiday (no access to ATMs for cash or swipe cards) have on the middle or even upper classes who are alcoholics and addicts? 3 weeks without your vice of choice or habit might make tens of thousands of our otherwise upstanding citizens completely flip out.
Don't think this hasn't all been wargamed out. There's a darn good reason why cops are being militarized and it has little to do with the "Phantom menace" of Jihadis.
The kicker is, once you put yourself in the shoes of some "continuity of government" civil servant, you can see the logic behind MRAPs in every jurisdiction and a militarized constabulary.
Look to what is happening to Iraqi Catholics. Mostly unarmed civilians utterly at the mercy of non-Catholics. It can happen here.
Yes, indeed, Henry!
I think many (not all) priests/nuns/bishops pretty much just do their own thing because there really is no accountability to another human, and magisterial teaching somehow gets co-opted issue by issue. It is confusing at best to the average pew-sitter and beyond disheartening (scandalous?) for many of the fallen-away.
Bellum, I pretty much agree. But, I would not discount the real possibility of Muslim terror strikes in our cities. It only takes one of them with a dirty bomb, a bio weapon (even a primitive one), or a few with automatic weapons and some C-4. Just imagine what a few suicidal/homicidal Muslims could do in a major city in the middle of the day with AK's, grenades, and a rocket launcher or two.
As far as police militarizing, I don't blame them at all. The stuff they could face these days is pretty serious. We aren't talking about some punk in the street charging a cop, or some gangbanger robbing a Quik Mart. They should have used some of their ordnance on the rioters in Ferguson. That kind of lawlessness should not be tolerated. If the thugs ever experienced live ammo on a large scale, that kind of nonsense would stop.
Anyway, stay out of urban areas, buy guns and ammo, and practice. If the EBT thing ever goes under, the rabble will move out to the suburbs. That will provide everyone with a target rich environment.
JusadBellum, That is the problem, no one believes it can happen here, not even the resident of the White house. I actually believe he would love to see it happen.
I was originally going to try to correct what I see as various misimpressions in this thread – and then I realized that there is absolutely no point in making the effort. They continue to recur in thread after thread. You can lead a horse to water and all that. You will believe what you want to believe whatever anyone says and whatever the facts may be. So I am not posting what I originally drafted. I will, however, suggest that people should read more Greek mythology, especially about Pandora and Icarus.
P.S. I will also share one inconvenient fact: Iraqi Christians were already being attacked and persecuted before Obama became President. According to the UNHCR, as of June 2007 2.2 million Iraqis had been displaced to other countries. The vast majority were Christians. Other sources suggest about 1.4 million Christians lived in Iraq before the invasion. So, do the math.
Stay out of "urban" areas....
Read "where Blacks live"
If "the EBT thing" ever goes under...
Read "Blacks on Welfare"
...the "rabble" will move out to the "suburbs."
read ... the "Blacks" will move out to "Where the good White people live."
Dang, Anonymous, you got it!!! Amazing!!!
Cue hand wringing and running in small circles…Anon 2.
No, not amazing at all. To paraphrase you, "If it looks like a racist and talks like a racist...!
Anonymous 2 - Don't despair. All things are possible with God, and the hardest of hearts can be renewed.
Is that supposed to be a response to my first comment or the second or both? Either way, how about addressing the merits of the second comment -- for a change?
If people now condemn Obama for allowing all this misery to be inflicted on the Iraqi Christians, are they also prepared to blame Bush equally (or perhaps even more since more appear to have been affected). After the invasion Islamic extremists (who were of course unleashed by the invasion) attacked, tortured, abducted, and killed (and yes, beheaded and mutilated) Iraqi Christians and forced Christian women to wear Islamic dress. I rather imagine that is why most of them fled to other countries. But where was the outrage then? Indeed, where is the outrage about that now? Hearing none I ask: Is the difference that Bush was not, well, how should I put it, Obama?
When people stop playing politics with this mess and start facing facts and behaving like adults, we might, just might, be able to make some progress. When FOX News and the right wing blogosphere stares talking about the travesty perpetrated upon Christians under Bush – and the Bush Administration’s denial that there was a problem in response to a 2007 inquiry by a certain Senator from Illinois – it might help to restore my faith and hope in our corrupt politics. If they have indeed already done this, please tell me.
And here is another interesting factoid: Tariq Aziz, Hussein’s foreign minister, was Roman Catholic. That in itself tells you that Iraqi Christians qua Christians were MUCH better off under Hussein than after “regime change” (which they were). Oooops!
Thank you for the encouragement, Pater. As you can see, I am still trying.
And having been thus encouraged:
Jolly Jansenist, you said: “We keep trying to blame a particular segment of Islam when it is the entire thrust of that evil religion to kill and destroy anyone not a follower of Allah.”
No, you are wrong, it is a particular segment. Historically, Islam was far more tolerant of religious minorities than Christianity. This is basic history. Dhimmitude for People of the Book was very progressive for its time, but it looks, and is, regressive today.
Ignotus, It is common sense, not racism.
In other news, I see that NATO ( a bad practical joke) is planning to send a 10,000 man force to "intervene" against Russia and Putin. This force is, of course, similar to a gnat on a dog's butt and, if NATO pushes Putin, they will be utterly destroyed. Putin is the big dog on the bloc now and he cleans himself with people like Obama. So, forget Iraq, Ferguson, and all that. This could really get interesting.
Indeed it could. Anyone remember the Russian Empire? The Soviet Union? Commonwealth of Independent States? Russia is acting like Russia.
Now, what if someone had told Archduke Ferdinand’s driver that the itinerary had been changed . . .?
From talking to those I know who voted for Mr Obama, I have been left with the impression that they are disappointed and disenchanted with him. From a Catholic standpoint this is most understandable given some of the stong-willed positions and adamancy he has shown on such things as taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood(the largest abortion provider in the U.S.) , same -sex marriage, and the contraceptive mandate, just to name a few. I would have strong reservations about hiring someone who voted for Obama to teach in our Catholic schools. At the very least, if I knew of someone like this teaching in a Catholic school and I were a position to do so, I would monitor what they were teaching. As far as foreign policy, the world is a far more dangerous place at this point in time and a large part of it has to do with Mr Obama's lack of effective leadership. If one is perceived as weak willed, less than involved,or unwilling to effectively exercise power then that invites the bad actors of the world such as ISIS a opening to advance their malevolent agenda and philosophy. Things can always change but up to now Mr. Obama's Foreign policy has been a disaster. That includes his administration pushing abortion and same-sex marriage recognition
to other countries of the world
where those things were restricted or not allowed.
I understand. Now would someone like to address my point about the Bush administration and the Christians in Iraq.
Regarding your “litmus test” for employing people in Catholic schools, what on earth are we coming to? I hope you understand why I take this personally. I have given my reasons why I voted for Obama until I am blue in the face. Despite my vote, I bet I am as opposed to abortion as you are – maybe even more so for reasons I am not going into on this Blog. And yet judgment falls!
So, are we arguing that Bush sucked just as bad as Obama? Not very helpful. Bush was weak, but tolerable and he loved the country. Obama is weak and intolerable and he hates the country. I'll take Bush.
I wouldn't characterize my position as giving a "litmus test". I could accept a "don't ask, don't tell policy". What I was referring to are those who would openly state: "yes I voted for Mr. Obama and I would do so again" and would bring that philosophy into a Catholic classroom. When people who subscribe to the President's philosophy are voted into office, there are consequences. We see what these consequences are in our own country and in the rest of the world. Thank God that there are enough faithful commited and prayerful Catholics at the present moment in this world that we are spared (for right now) greater tribulations than what we are now facing. There are consequences when that kind of secular philosophy is brought into the classroom. This is not to deny that there are those who vote for this kind of candidate but who don't promote that philosophy either explicitly or implicitly. If they teach and don't depart from Catholic teaching I see no problem. This is why teachers in Catholic schools should be required to uphold Catholic teaching (even by example - as we saw in the episode with Mr. Dollar). It does happen however that some do promote ideologies and philosophies contrary to Church teaching and this is why you see in some cases and in some places Catholic parents home-schooling rather than sending their children to the local parochial school.
No, Gene, we are not arguing that. We are arguing that we should be thinking critically as Catholics not emotively as Republicans or Democrats.
So, do you now admit that the Christians in Iraq were imperiled by George Bush’s invasion of Iraq and that Christians were far better off under Saddam Hussein that under “regime change.”
And are you now prepared to view critically all those gung ho neocon types who would do it all again and then some if they could in order to “show that America is strong” or “project American power”? And can you explain why we should even give them the time of day?
Anon 2, First of all, I never thought Bush dealt properly with Iraq and the post-911 debacle. The day after Bush found out that the terrorists were Islamic, he should have carpet bombed Mecca and Medina, Baghdad, and every major Islamic city in the Middle East, began a wholesale deportation of Muslims in the US, forbade them from immigrating, and declared them undesirables. That would have been for starters. Going after Hussein meant absolutely nothing.
Were Christians better off under Hussein…yes, with the caveat that they, as all other citizens, were subject to the whims of his henchmen and the whole fickle tyranny. Curtis Lemay: "If you kill enough of them, they will stop fighting." This also applies to the looters in Ferguson, "If you kill enough of them, they will stop rioting." We have no stomach for law and order anymore…no resolve, no guts. It is true of the Church, as well, nobody from the Pope down has the guts to excommunicate, ban, or discipline apostate Catholics in high places or Priests in low places. We do not believe in consequences anymore…theologically, we do not believe in judgement anymore. We are lost in a wilderness of narcissism, self-indulgence, and guilt. The correction, if it ever comes, will be costly, violent, and protracted. But, it needs to happen.
Wholesale slaughter of non-combatants is a mortal sin and completely opposed to the De Fide teaching of the Church.
The idea that bombing Mecca and Medina and other centers of Muslim population is going to rid to rid the world of Muslims is absurd.
We all believe in consequences, but we also believe in being guided by the moral teaching of the Church. Slaughtering rioters in Ferguson or innocent residents of Muslim majority cities is about as immoral as it gets.
Are you serious or are you just emoting?
If you are serious, are we to conclude that you would protect the developing human being in the womb (I assume you are opposed to abortion) but once born all bets are off? Or is there protection in your universe for some born human beings who fit a certain profile? If so, what is that profile?
“This is not to deny that there are those who vote for this kind of candidate but who don't promote that philosophy either explicitly or implicitly.”
I am gratified that you acknowledge this.
I am serious, Anon 2. Oh, Ignotus, it is not immoral to kill enemies in a war and, like it or not, we are in a war with Islam. They do not give a damn about our innocents, and I do not give a damn about their's, if there are any. They are enemies of the Church and the nation., and they would cut off your priestly head quicker than you could say, "I feel so guilty." When enough people in the right places realize this, we may begin to deal with them as we should.
PS We would not deliberately kill innocents…but, if they are standing where we want to shoot or drop a bomb, it can't be helped. Allah will save them.
So, when I was living in Britain in the 1960s and 70s and members of the Provisional IRA were committing their terrorist atrocities (car bombs, pub bombs, shopping center bombs, etc.) against innocent British citizens, we should have carpet bombed Dublin and deported every Irish national living in Britain.
Oh, wait a minute . . . I forgot, they were Catholic and back then, like most Brits, I was still a heretic. . . Never mind.
Pin/Gene - If you "do not give a damn about their (Muslim) innocents" then you are the equivalent, morally, of those who target innocents.
This is one of the great, great dangers of giving in to violence, whether in thought or words or actions. Eventually, the power of evil is allowed to overcome the power of grace.
At that point, the seduction carried out by the Evil One is complete; his task is done.
The result is death, both physical and spiritual.
Very important read:
Anon 2, there is a difference in how one proceeds against terrorists in pone's own country…long term policy should have prevented such a thing from happening, however, once thew problem arises, you have to exterminate them little by little. In the case of a foreign source of vermin, it is preferable to destroy them in their home territory.
Pin/Gene - Once again, your views are contrary to those of the Church. And once again, I am happy to be standing with the Church, not you.
The Church's teaching is clear: The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians.
Further: The Church cautions combatants that not everything is licit in war. Actions which are forbidden, and which constitute morally unlawful orders that may not be followed, include:
- attacks against, and mistreatment of, non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners;
- genocide, whether of a people, nation or ethnic minorities;
- indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants.
Your hatred is self-destructive, that's clear. It's also, as George Bernard Shaw wrote, a cowardly act, your revenge for being intimidated.
I read the article and did some additional research. Thank you for sharing it. I did not know about this scandal. Yes, I agree, the Left (in this case the Labor Party-controlled Council) often feels disabled by “guilt” or “projected guilt” over racism. I am familiar with the problems of the British Left, and the American Left, in this respect. It is sad when manipulated emotions get in the way of clear thinking.
This said, the author of the Patheos article then leaps to all kinds of conclusions about the Islamic faith on the grounds that he “suspects” the crimes had something to do with the Islamic religion. The article is hopelessly incomplete – so much so that I do not know where to begin. And I wonder whether the author is also trying to manipulate emotions, in this case about Islam. Please talk to some Muslims and see what they say about this and whether they think such appalling behavior is sanctioned by Islam. Yes, of course, people can always point to some religious text justifying their behavior. And yes, some Muslims do this too. But I wonder how many so-called Christians in the U.S. justify mistreating their wives and children by invoking the Bible. Try an internet search for “Bible and Wife Beating” and “Bible and Mistreating Children” as I have just done and you will get the idea. Let’s just not pretend it doesn’t happen here. We all know it does.
I write not as someone of the Left (or the Right for that matter). I write as a Catholic who does not believe spreading misconceptions or half-truths about Islam is particularly helpful, especially in the current climate (this comment is not directed at you but at the author of the piece). It would behoove people to LEARN something about Islam before they go off all half-cocked about it. And yet this same author writes another piece warning conservative Christians not to be seduced by reactionary politicians who might capitalize on the very fears the author is unwittingly feeding in the first piece. How ironic!:
For added perspective check out the name Enoch Powell (former British politician) some time.
Anon 2, thanks for reading that link (I really didn't think any of you would). As you say, how ironic; or is it that he sees these deep problems from a broader Catholic perspective rather than the narrow one we often experience influenced by geopolitics. If you read his daily blog over time, you will see how balanced the priest-author is and how he views issues through a different lense than the simplistic right/left thinking so often employed in our discussions.
I actually attended a seminar in Augusta (also attended by your good Pater Kavanaugh), taught by a very knowledgeable Muslim scholar who explored the Muslim religion and touched briefly on the differences between the two major sect traditions (Shia/Sunni). He was very genuine and persuasive about the peaceful underpinnings of the people of "The Book" (Qu'ran). But he did generalize quite a bit, and I found myself forced to explore the Qu'ran more. When you read passages regarding treatment of "infidels", you get a much truer picture. Muslims do not operate from the same underpinnings as Christians AT ALL. And Sharia law is, of course, based on a whole different view of life--we cannot kid ourselves about that.
But even if those differences did not exist and the starting points were the same, as you pointed out, Christians (even Catholics) cannot always be trusted to hold to the higher ground of their good faith tenets. Even men of good will and proper Christian catechesis can commit horrible wrong-doing. But if men come from very a different perspective regarding the worth and dignity of every human person, atrocities are inevitable.
Once again, Ignotus, you got it all wrong…but, never mind.
If you guys can't get to sleep tonight, I suggest you read Anon 2's posts. That'll do the trick.
Anon Amigo - Was that the panel discussion held at 1st Baptist?
No Pater, it was a Saturday seminar at Aquinas High School. The speaker was a friend-colleague of Dr. James Cutsinger, Professor of Religious Studies at USC, who sponsored the event.
Pin/Gene - No, I have not got the Church's teaching wrong. Your belief that killing innocents by bombing major metropolitan areas simply because they are populated by Muslims is what is all wrong.
You try to slink away from this with your "...never mind." but it doesn't work.
And everyone here reading your comments knows it.
Anon Amigo - Yes, I recall now.
I see where those peace loving Muslims have released another video of a journalist being beheaded. I also read where they are threatening to kidnap and behead a US citizen in Fla. Yessir, Anon 2 and Ignotus…peace at any price. Right?
Well, ah, you're welcome...
Pin/Gene - No one, except you, said anything about peace at any price.
Your assertion that we should bomb innocent civilians in Mecca, Medina, etc, is the issue.
You can feint and feign all you want, but you are the one making statements that are directly repugnant to Catholic morality.
I would not expect someone who had not attended law school for three years in the U.S. to set themselves up as an expert in any area of American law. Quite frankly, the Shari‘a is just as complex. Reading the Qur’an (in translation mind you) without reading other primary texts and the commentaries of the various schools on them is a bit non-lawyers reading a statute and thinking they now know the law on that subject. Or take another example – anyone can read and understand the Bible, right? No need for biblical scholars, no need for the magisterium, etc. You get the idea.
I have read the infidel passages too. I have also read various commentaries on them (admittedly in English).
Are there Muslim fundamentalists who just read the passages in the Qur’an and take them literally with no regard for context? Of course there are, just as there are Christian fundamentalists who do the same thing with the Bible. But they hardly represent all Christians, and they certainly do not represent Catholics. Similarly the fundamentalists hardly represent all Muslims.
The quoted passage in the linked article about wife beating is a good example of the problem. The passage requires careful exegesis regarding the different stages of response by a husband. Moreover, the translation of the last resort stage as “beat them” may even be unfaithful to the original Arabic, especially when interpreted together with the Sunnah of the Prophet (which has ambiguities of its own in this respect). But you wouldn’t know any of this from just reading the passage in translation or from reading many Western commentators who have suddenly become experts on the Shar‘ia without ever studying it.
Similarly, the author mentions polygamy. But once again the relevant passages in the Qur’an require careful exegesis. They permit a man to have more than one wife, “provided he can treat them all equally [or equitably].” As you can well imagine, this condition is not easy to satisfy. Most Muslim marriages are not polygamous (about 4% world-wide and then usually driven more by cultural norms). Tunisia interpreted the condition as being impossible of performance and on that basis banned polygamy several decades ago.
So, things just are not a simple as they appear. Of course, as you can tell from his responses, someone like Gene cannot handle complexity but I am pretty sure you can.
Am I an expert myself? Certainly not! But I do have an advantage over many people – I know there is a great deal I do not know. And so I make it my business to learn as much as I can.
Yes, Anon 2 , I agree... We must all make it our business to learn as much as we can...
Post a Comment