Friday, June 30, 2006

The Middle East Gay Journal in Battle

Somehow, I went into battle with Rasheed Eldin of Eye on Gay Muslims, an anti-gay site, over my posting about Cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi. He points out a mistranlation of MEMRI which read:
There is disagreement. […] The important thing is to treat this act as a crime.

With the ellipsis leaving out critical bits, which he translates as:
And some of them — differences [of opinion, so] it is possible for
us to choose from them in our era what is most appropriate, and what is
lightest, recognising how widespread the tribulation is: because
tribulations and sins being widespread is something in Islamic legal
theory that causes things to be lightened. The important thing is to
consider/treat this act as a crime.

This is a huge difference, I admit, which I should have noticed.

Eldin wants me to apologize for my "laying into" Qaradawi, which I refuse to do. Even if he weren't calling for the murder of gay people this time, he's done it before. Plus, it's still anti-gay. I believe that gay people shouldn't be punished at all.

What's worse is that Eldin wants to monopolize Islamic thought. He says that Qaradawi is voicing the Islamic perspective, when he is truly voicing an Islamic persective. He criticizes me for not being open-minded about anti-gay Islamic views, but then dismisses pro-gay views as un-Islamic. In fact, he calls pro-gay people "Islam-haters" It's a vicious double standard.

21 Comments:

Blogger mike davis said...

Should you enter into pointless discussions about sexuality with backward clergy? Clearly you aspire to a Western life (in the context of a Lebanese joie de vivre), so it is useless to 'discuss' these matters with folk who want to live in the 7th century.

I like your site, you have got the 'Bradshaw' writing style perfectly. Keep up the good work.

mike davis
sydney australia

July 01, 2006 6:57 AM  
Blogger Samawel said...

Keep up the work....

I got spammed by whoever it was linking through the comments on my Falsaf blog to them.

I replied explaining the blog/website was homophobic... But I have to say, I'm glad they don't have a Fred Phelps style

July 01, 2006 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Taleb Haqq said...

To Mike Davis. Can you please explain what you mean by a "Western" life? It is cowardly to call those that might disagree with you "backwards" or "from the 7th century"...although it does give you an easy escape from any sensible discussion. Perhaps that is not what you're looking for.

July 01, 2006 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Rasheed Eldin said...

On the contrary, I'm ever ready to engage with differing views. I'mn waiting for people to articulate them clearly so they can be subject to critique. My own views are open to critique, as I publish all (non-abusive) comments on my blog.

By the way, Qaradawi is not a "cleric". If you're a Muslim (and even if you're not), you should know that there is no clergy in Islam (except maybe among Shi'a). Qaradawi is a scholar and jurist.

July 01, 2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

Taleb Haqq can ask what I mean, and I am happy to answer...I won't send anyone to kill him just because he disagrees with me, which is a real worry for religious dissidents in the muslim Middle East.

By 'Western' I mean a life where the person can make a very wide range of important personal decisions without being attacked viciously or being the target of murderous incitement; I mean where a person can be free to act on these decisions in the context of a legal system which recognises the person as a free person and not as an 'abd', a slave...not even a 'slave of God'.

The Islamists do want a life for all that is modelled on the (imagined) life of Mohammad in the 7th century. Western people do not want to be victimised by muslim clergy (they are in fact a clerical caste, although they prefer to call themselves 'scholars').

The bottom line is that Islamists do not see anyway a muslim can be a free person.. in their view Islam is compulsory and the compulsion will be enforced with violence if necessary.

Western life allows for the person to decide for him/herself to make the decision on how much, if any, religion will be in the life of the free person. Islam categorically forbids this act of freedom. The differences between Western and Islamic life are quite stark. I think they are unbridgeable

You personally may be a nice and quiet muslim on these matters, but there are vast numbers of equally orthodox muslims who would happily kill me and others for our religious views and life decisions. This urge to kill (for religious reasons) non muslims (and muslims deemed not sufficiently 'islamic') is a mainstream muslim idea...you may choose personally not to act on it, but vast numbers of other muslims are happy to act on it. They are also very true muslims.

Please remember that we are all now reading the internet and the islamists are posting their real views on islam every day. Anyone in the West who follows these postings is light years away from believing the nonsense about 'Islam is a religion of peace'. The islamists have shown us that it is not.

July 02, 2006 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Talebh Haqq said...

oh wow, I don't even know where to begin, that was perhaps one of the most bigoted comments I have ever read. My point is that "western" and "eastern" are very ambiguous to use as an "identity". Who are these "Islamists"..and do you really believe that most Muslims believe in using violence?!?!?

July 02, 2006 6:16 AM  
Blogger mike davis said...

Talebh, stop being childish. 'Eastern' and 'Western'are two of the easiest things in the world to use to identify people and not only people...how would you describe baklava? Eastern or Western cooking?

Do you have the slightest doubt that I am a 'Westerner'? What leads you to this conclusion?

The 'islamists' are the Wahhabis/ Salafists and their millions of muslim supporters who approve of the most rigid and violent interpretation of Islam. Are you now going to deny these people exist? Perhaps they are not really muslims?

Perhaps you are one? Take a test...

What should happen to the muslim boy next door who decides to become a Christian? 1.What do you think should happen...and 2.what does mainstream Islam say should happen?

Can you actually answer these two simple questions, please.

July 02, 2006 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Taleb Haqq said...

We are talking about classifying people here, it is completely ambiguous especially in our day and age to call someone a "westernet" or an "easterner"...especially when it comes to their religious behaviour. Islam, and other religions, are now worldwide and canot be classified as "eastern" or "western". Comparing religion to food...I don't know who's the childish one.

To briefly answer your question. If this person decides to leave his faith and there is an established Muslim state and he is simply not convinced by Islam, then nothing is done to him. As the Qur'an states "there is no compulsion in religion". If, however, he decides to leave his religion to promote a war against Islam and the Muslims, then he most certainly would be fought. Again, this is in an established Muslim state.

Next. Are you trying to imply that Qaradawi is a "Wahhabi"? Shaykh Qaradawi is the most respected Muslim scholar of our time. But you can still disagree with him, just don't attack his character :)

July 02, 2006 2:51 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

...nothing is done to him for leaving Islam!? Stop lying Talebh. Do you think that no-one reads the internet which carries these stories all the time?

July 02, 2006 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Taleb Haqq said...

Who exactly are you talking about? I am stating Islam's view on this and what Qaradawi's views on this are. If some countries decide to do otherwise then that is their problem. You refused to answer my question :)

July 02, 2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

I assume Taleb that what you read below is 'un islamic'...given that it concerns children, not adults. I accept that adults can choose to fight, and die if need be, in a war. Children cannot morally make this choice.

What does the scholar Qaradawi say about this matter and children...

I think modern islam is now just a dead end death cult. What do you think?




"This week, Palestinian television reprised, after a three-year absence, a clip featuring Palestinian child Mohammed a-Dura, calling to other children to join him in a shaheed heaven for children.
The dramatic heart-wrenching footage of a-Dura, shot dead in crossfire in a clash between Israeli and Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip in the beginning of the intifada in September 2000, was broadcast around the world.


"Palestinian Media Watch" reported on the television clip on Saturday, and announced, "The Palestinian Authority is once again airing video clips designed to influence the behavior of young children and to make them seek deaths as shaheeds."
The clip, which caused much controversy when it first aired, was taken off the air in the fall of 2003, after Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus, presented the clip at a U.S. Senate hearing.
Following the hearing, senators slammed the clip and criticized it as "horrifying abuse of children."
In the clip, a child portraying a-Dura is peacefully playing in heaven, and calls to other children, "follow me." The popular singer Aida performs the song in the clip, which describes how the earth longs for the deaths of children, saying, "How pleasant is the smell of the earth whose thirst is quenched by blood pouring out of young bodies."
Another clip that aired this week after a long absence depicts a young girl witnessing her mother's murder and then singing about how she misses her mother. She sings, "If you can't come to me, I can come to you."
Palestinian Media Watch reported that the 2000-2003 Palestinian television campaign to recruit young children was so effective, that 70 to 80 percent of Palestinian children during that time wanted to die as shaheeds, according to three separate polls.
Marcus fears that the "sudden and surprising reprisal of the a-Dura clip, calling upon children to join him in a playground in shaheed children's heaven, may be only the first of many steps in a wide campaign designed to recruit children for the cause."

July 03, 2006 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Taleb Haqq said...

Why are you going off topic? It is only your wish that Islam is a cult. It is a religion, protected by God, no matter how much you want it to be otherwise :)

July 03, 2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

I have no wish in relation to Islam. It appears to me and many people in the West that islam is, today, so riddled with violence...against gays, against women, against children (as in the disgusting TV program from Palestine),against non muslims (non muslim workers in Saudi Arabia not permitted to have churches)...that it cannot be of any use in the modern world.( In the past, things may have been different in islam, but we are all now living in the present. What happens today affects us.)

Sadly, Taleb, you appear to be brainwashed with Islam. This is not a proper approach to religion...it certainly is impossible to function in the 21st century (15th in the islamic calendar)if you are simply brainwashed.

I am not a student of the the scholar Qaradawi and you are. I am interested to know his scholarly views on the Palestinian TV show directed at Palestinian children. Is this hostile...to ask a scholar for his views?

You(and many muslims) should acquire an adult and mature approach to Islam and religion...you are not a slave, you must use your intelligence and see what is good and also see what is not good. This applies to EVERYTHING in the world.

Just because you are muslim it does not mean that you have to think that everything that muslims do is 100% good; or everything in islam is 100% good...no matter what the situation or facts.

I am gay, but I certainly do not think that all gays are only good...many things done and said by many gays are bad and wrong. I use my brains to approach life and other people. I recommend it.

ps..stop being terrified of going to Hell. You wont. Nobody does. This irrational fear is a major obsession with every muslim i have ever encountered, and that is a lot of people.

July 04, 2006 2:52 AM  
Anonymous shax said...

Mike, perhaps it would be wise if you followed your own advice and practiced critical thinking instead of being brainwashed by racist and vacuous media headlines. I'm not going to defend Islam and say its a religion of peace: All religions are religions of peace, and all religions are religions of violence (remember the spanish inquisition? Or Hitler's extermination of the jews in a prophetic mixture of racism and religious intolerance? Or the Klan perhaps?). I suspect you have never actually been to the Arab world if you insist that 'mainstream Islam' advocates the killing of converts to Christianity. Religious extremism is a plague on all parts of the world, and instead of falling back on the ridiculous and lazy argument that Islam is just backwards, you would do well to attempt to understand the reasons behind the rise of radical islamism in the region. Perhaps you could also take a more critical look at the paradise you call the "West", one that happens to be plagued with racism and whose freedom and luxury are predicated on the exploitation of developing nations (the elite on one side always collude with the elite on the other at the expense of the majority). Basically what I'm trying to say is stop being such a silly narrow-minded racist bigot.

July 04, 2006 2:42 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

excellent remarks by Shax. Points...

I have, over the years, lived and worked in the middle east for more than a decade. Have plenty of experience of muslims there,very poor and very rich.

I fully recognise that most muslims are peaceful and are concerned with going about their lives and getting on with personal matters. Politics, religious and otherwise, is something they observe but don't involve themselves in.

I am not anti-muslim. One of the two truely great loves of my life (in the 1970s) was a muslim boy in a middle eastern city. He even invited me to his undesired wedding...forced on him by his family. He verged on being a perfect person. I am not anti muslim.

What I am 'anti' is the grinding poverty I see the muslims living in. The cause of this grinding poverty is the grip on ordinary muslims held by vicious backward 'islamic politics' and the parasite politicians and imams that infest the middle east..and their wicked Western allies.

I'm not even really 'anti islam'. As an outsider I tend to prefer Shia islam, if pushed to make a choice. Not that I am in any way inclined to become a muslim...not possible as I have seen it up close and am very unimpressed by Muhammad of Mecca.

As for criticism of the West...I can make any criticism (and do) without fear of punishment. No muslim in the middle east can do this because of the power of parasite local politicians and imams who are more interested in their money and power. You and I could have this discussion on any Western TV channel, but not in the middle east, certainly not in a seriously islamic country.

(Maybe an accidental, one off, unrepeatable performance on al Jazeera TV)

In the West, the Christian people in the past rebelled and put the kings and priests in their place. This is why we have been able to make serious social progress. The muslims HAVE to rebel against their poverty and put their kings and imams in their place.

This will be harder for you because America will side with your kings and imams. But it still has to be done, some how.

I am not even slightly narrow minded and Jamal (from the very poor end of the spectrum) could tell you that I am not remotely bigotted. He loved me deeply..and even after all these years I still love him.

July 05, 2006 3:41 AM  
Anonymous Yousef said...

The Muslims don't HAVE to do anything, and certainly not on instructions given by a racist bigot.

July 05, 2006 7:34 AM  
Anonymous shax said...

Agreed, Mike. I can't quite reconcile your last post with the ones you wrote before, but I'll take you at your last word :)

July 05, 2006 12:39 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

Yousef...you are wrong. I'm not a racist bigot (always the argument used when someone does not have a case) and muslims DO have to do something about the poverty and lack of education and health care and work opportunities and proper laws and proper housing and personal liberty and lack of privacy and...and..and...all the things which crush the lives of 90% of the muslims.

you get the idea.

When you bend over and stick your head in the sand...you know what happens. This is what is happening to muslims right now.

Why should this happen forever?

For Shax...attention has to be first gained..this is done by banging a drum loudly...

July 05, 2006 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Yousef said...

What you're going to blame world poverty on Muslims now? World poverty is a WORLD problem and is a result of unfair globalization laws and the greedy "west" (as you call it). It is the whole worled that needs to act to fix this problem.

And you're still WAY off topic by the way lol

July 05, 2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger mike davis said...

The topic is what the people make the topic. Try and curb your urge to censorship.

Your views on the poverty of the muslims are very cold to those muslims who are living in great poverty. Maybe this topic doesn't touch you personally.

Poverty in the muslim world is directly the result of the social and economic policies promoted by muslim leaders. The same principle applies everywhere.

You have nothing to offer if you are going to blame everyone else for problems which muslims themselves MUST address.

There is no way forward for muslims unless they sensibly set out to solve these problems...action is needed not talk.

Don't you actually care for other muslims and their situation?

July 06, 2006 1:41 AM  
Anonymous Yousef said...

Well I'm not the one calling Muslims brainwahed. Nor am I the one with the skewed views and the ever changing topics. How can you care about Muslims when you are calling them brainwashed. Were you not the one that said that "there is no hell"??? Muslims believe that there is a hell and a day when we will all be held to account for what it is that we did.

July 06, 2006 2:35 AM  

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