“The Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins” says the former Prime Minister. “Rather as reformers attempted with the Christian Church centuries later.”. The inability of the former Prime Minister to tell the difference between the Anglican Church and a wife-beating manual is a sad testament to many things. Not the least of which is his functional illiteracy.
If Islam was trying to return to the origins of Judaism and Christianity, it took the wrong road around. Mohammed’s GPS may have told him he was headed to Jerusalem, but instead he ended up in Mecca. Which is what happens when you attach a GPS to a flying horse and religious ideas to greedy bandits.
Jewish and Christian scriptures were not possessed with the “fear of disobedience” or the need to compel their wives to cover their faces to avoid being raped on the spot by their own cousins. Which originated the headbags of Muslim modesty. But then Jews and Christians tended to court their wives, rather than abduct them and rape them in front of their husbands.
When your wedding canopy is a knife at her throat, and your “meet-cute” was burning her village, there’s good reason to fear her disobedience. And when your relationship is based on being the first man to grab her as she made a run for it, there is good reason to keep her inside or cover her from head to toe. You may be her first rapist, but your cousins and friends will have no objection to being her second and third. When rape is legal, and every adult male around you is a potential rapist, then purdah and headbags are a natural way for fathers and husbands to protect their investment.
There is nothing spiritual about Muslim modesty. It is, as Blair said, “Practical”. In a society of rapists, women had better remain at home, cover up, or end up like Lara Logan. But you don’t have to be a blonde at a celebration of Egyptian democracy to be assaulted. It happens just as often in the UK now. Take Abul Malik of Trafalgar Road, who raped a female passenger when she couldn’t cover the full fare. And why not. Back in Pakistan, rape is a time honored means of restitution in disputes. And now so it is in the UK too.
We can of course go on pretending that all this ugly and sordid stuff has nothing to do with the high-minded ideals Islam and go on cheering the Sharia councils who “are doing their damnedest” to make Islam compatible with liberal democracy. Except it isn’t Islam that they are making compatible with liberal democracy, rather it is liberal democracy that they are making damnably compatible with Islam.
Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, has explained that equality before the law now means that some people will be governed under the law, and others under Sharia law. Of course there will be no beating of women with sticks. Yet. For now it will have to be the metaphorical sticks of a legal system which is under the impression that women are an inferior form of life.
How much justice can women expect from divorce proceedings that take place under the authority of the Koran which says that, men have authority over women because “they spend their wealth to maintain them.” Which denies that domestic abuse and marital rape are wrong.
Baroness Cox has introduced the “Arbitration and Mediation Services Equality Bill” which puts forward the controversial idea that no mediator can operate on the belief that a woman has fewer rights than a man. That such a bill had to be put forward in 2011, ninety-three years after the triumph of women’s suffrage, is outrageous. But what is even more outrageous is the opposition to it.
The Islamic Sharia Council’s Suhaib Hasan replied that, “It is indeed a crime that Lady Cox has made no attempt to understand the workings of the shariah councils.” Of course that isn’t an actual crime that she can be beaten with sticks for. Yet.
The media’s message is don’t worry. Every day Muslim immigrants are adapting to the new way of life. But who is really doing the adapting? The real message of don’t worry, is don’t worry and be Muslim. And if you can’t, then keep to the floor and hope that they don’t keep beating you once you’re down.
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