A Word on the Koran

Nowhere in the Koran does it say that girls should not be educated;

Nowhere in the Koran does it say that a man should throw a bucket of acid on the face of his daughter if she disrespects her family’s reputation;

Nowhere in the Koran does it say that we should shoot a girl who stands up for the rights of her fellow women;

Nowhere does it say in the Koran that if you spill the blood of innocent people that you will be rewarded in heaven with forty virgins.

Yes, there are some leftover vestiges of the patriarchal society out of which the Koran came. For example, Muhammad (P.B.U.H) had more than one wife. But even facts like these can be reinterpreted by both more and less modern Muslims, as is being done so the world over.

(c.f., referenced in the Wikipedia entry on “ISIL,” Hasan, Mehdi (10 March 2015), “Mehdi Hasan: How Islamic is Islamic State?”, New Statesman, retrieved 7 July 2015, Consider the various statements of Muslim groups such as the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, representing 57 countries (Isis has “nothing to do with Islam”); the Islamic Society of North America (Isis’s actions are “in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches”); al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most prestigious seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world (Isis is acting “under the guise of this holy religion . . . in an attempt to export their false Islam”); and even Saudi Arabia’s Salafist Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al ash-Sheikh (Isis is “the number-one enemy of Islam”).

Khadija, the Prophet’s first wife, is considered the first convert to Islam. She encouraged Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) to trust his spiritual experiences. Aisha, his last wife, helped to preach Muhammad’s message and was respected in her own right as a scholar, intellect, and leader. So while Islam did not wholeheartedly break free of the patriarchy of its environment, it was certainly not misogynistic. It may have been sexist in its primary voice of men speaking to other men. But the role of women, if anything, was sexist mostly for its holding of women on a pedestal. People who hold there is an essential evil within Islam simply have no ground on which to stand, as has been demonstrated countless times.

Wherever it is Christians who form the bulk of the disenfranchised masses, it is Christians who become terrorists (e.g. the KKK in the U.S., the Nazi’s in Germany);

Wherever it is Hindus who form the bulk of the disenfranchised masses, it is Hindus who become terrorists (e.g. the assassination of M. K. Gandhi in 1948);

Wherever it is atheists who form the bulk of the disenfranchised masses, it is atheists who become terrorists (e.g. Stalin’s Russia);

Wherever it is Muslims who form the bulk of the disenfranchised masses, it is Muslims who become terrorists (e.g. ISIL and the Al Queda).

We must stop this shadow-boxing. If we want to solve this problem, we must first identify it: The economic and spiritual disenfranchisement of the masses. This cause was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be the source of our woe. Three causes, actually: the disenfranchisement, the inability to correctly identify the problem, and the failure to address it.

In word and in deed, let us always address our brothers and sisters from the heart. Let us see what we can do for them. Let us cease our countlessly tried-and-failed policies of weaponization, deposement, divide-and-conquer, colonization of the mind and market, and, above all, our daily increase of ill-will toward each other through inciteful images and words throughout the media. We forget that free speech means also freedom to not speak, or to choose to speak out of love. Let see if we can choose not to repeat history yet again. As Goethe said,
He whose vision cannot cover
History’s three thousand years,
Must in outer darkness hover,
Live within the day’s frontiers
(quoted in Ken Wilbur’s Up From Eden)

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