Sunday, November 21, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
FoxNews says "An Al Qaeda leader, the head of a designated terror group, a confessed jihadist-in-training — it's a 'Who's Who' of controversial figures linked to radical Islam, and in some cases terror, that a FoxNews.com investigation reveals have attended weekly prayer sessions on Capitol Hill since the 9/11 attacks."
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
In contrast to the links in my previous post, the link below suggests that the oppression of women is not mandated by Islam itself, but is rather created by sociological conditions. The author argues that women and men have the same religious obligations, as provided by the Qu’ran. The author also cites a number of verses suggesting that women have a duty to seek education, much as do men. The Qu’ran condemns female infanticide, which was apparently widely practiced prior to Islam. Finally, in response to the verse directing that males receive twice the inheritance of females, the author suggests that whereas the man must support his family with the inheritance, the woman can do as she pleases.
I also found interesting the following video, discussing the compatibility of feminism and Islam. The woman discussing their compatibility seems to ignore the actual content of Sharia law, and speaks instead about the compatibility of feminism with the secular governments and institutions of certain Islamic countries.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Typing "human rights" and "Islam" into Google seems a great way to find nothing. So instead I asked an Indonesian woman to help me find something worth talking about. She pointed me to this event from 2009 because it was the first time she'd participated in a human rights anything.
As I read this article, a few things immediately jumped off the page. The first being the comment made by the author that simply the ability to have this discussion in Malaysia was a step in the right direction. That such repression of an ideal we Americans take for granted everyday is rampant in places as secular as Malaysia and Indonesia took me aback. I assumed those types of things occurred in Afghanistan, but in southeast Asia?
The second thing that really struck me from the internal discussion were the competing ideas for the concept of basic human rights. That there was a mainstream push for "equality" that does not seem to live up to its billing as well as a push for what I can only classify as a westernized equality of religious ideals rooted in constitutional protections. What happens to these insufficient changes and doctrines with respect to meeting the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights or even organizations like Human Rights Watch? How much progress is sufficient?
Obviously there is a problem in the area of women's rights in the family in many Islamic countries and there are significant strides being made that are not televised. But to what end? Are we expecting Islamic women to have the freedoms of Catholic women in the US or Atheist women in the Netherlands? 70 years ago, few women were in the American workforce. 100 years ago they couldn't vote. A few hundred years ago, the property rights of women varied by state. If we hold the Islamic women's rights movement to a western standard, we'll be standing here waiting quite some time. Hopefully they have a shorter learning curve.
I wanted to see what the Qu’ran itself says about the rights of women, and I came across the following website in the process. Of particular note in the Qu’ran are a number of verses suggesting that women are inherently less valuable than men (see, for example, the verses regarding inheritance and bearing witness). For comparison, however, many Bible verses taken out of context are only marginally more favorable to women (see also below).
Several of the articles that I found on the interaction between Sharia law and women’s rights echoed these ideas.
http://www.ntpi.org/html/womensrights.html (though admittedly, this isn’t the most unbiased of websites).
Though this isn’t directly related to the extent that Islam respects human rights, the French burqa ban provides some interesting insights. In particular, it suggests that many European countries (including, as discussed below, the French), perceive that Islam treats women as inferior by forcing them to wear this traditional garb. I have provided a few links below describing the ban and reactions to the ban. One interesting fact: women who wear one in public receive a small fine and are forced to attend citizenship classes, whereas men who force a woman to wear a burqa receive a substantial fine and potential prison time.
Some basic information: http://www.smh.com.au/world/contentious-veil-ban-sails-through-french-senate-20100915-15cqo.html
A Saudi woman’s blog favoring the ban: http://saudiwoman.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/the-french-burqa-ban/
Another Muslim woman’s discussion of the ban: http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/12-burka-the-other-view-620--bi-10
Monday, November 8, 2010
It has a decent wikipedia page for background, but the full text of the Cairo Declaration is here:
It affirms at the outset that it is a Document on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a guide for Member states in all aspects of life.
Moving on from the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, Ayatollah Khomeinei states that the basic fundamental rights are: the right to live, the right to be free, the right to benefit from justice, the right to welfare.
www.iranchamber.com/history/akhamenei/works/human_right_islam.pdf (see page 7)
Lastly, I'd like to link to this site, which uses a great deal of scripture and Quran references to develop the author's positions on human rights, and it is a good summary.
Of particular note for this week is the Rights of Enemy Combatants, as we will be discussing war.
Friday, November 5, 2010
The link above provides a short piece on the potential issues with this voter approved ban and the lawsuit that will challenge the law.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Out of the 7 Current Major Conflicts claiming 1,000 or more lives per year, 5 are motivated by Islam as set forth by at least one of the belligerents involved in the conflict. By Comparison, none of those conflicts were motivated by any other religion.
14 out of 20 lesser, ongoing violent conflicts are either directly motivated by Islam or fought by a people or country to which over 85% of its adherents are Muslim.
The link takes you to the current ongoing military conflicts. You'll have to click on the info about each conflict and each country in order to verify the results of my research.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
- "Jihad" is often used as a term referring to national liberation. (We should be careful about applying the label of "Islam" to what is essentially a political movement.)
- In response to Osama Bin Laden's fatwas calling for "Jihad" against the West, Sachedina says "This argument for terrorism as a legitimate means of conduct in war is a clear departure from the classical rulings which regard the ethics of war as important part of jihad."
Obviously, to state that "Islam is a violent religion" is taking a complex issue and reducing it to a level of simplicity that is naive, especially in the law profession. To get a closer look on the issue I researched many sites and I thought this line of blogs might be the most thought provoking: http://www.danielpipes.org/990/what-is-jihad. I wanted to start with this article because it points out that jihad is not a rare occurrence in modern society. It occurs very frequently. In fact, it seems our society is numb to jihad. We hear about religious attacks almost every day. And, the grisly reality jihad plays in our modern culture cannot be simply wished away until a form of non-violent jihad is proclaimed by moderate Muslims as the only modern option for Islam.
Daniel Pipes, the author of the blog above, expounded on some of the atrocities of Sudan’s state-sponsored jihad. I have many close friends from Sudan and one in particular who barely escaped jihad with his own life. His name is Malual and as a young boy he had to outrun the jihadists who murdered his father in cold blood and openly raped the women and girls at their family home. At only 8 years old, Malual almost died many times on a treacherous journey to move undetected to the Sudanese border. He eventually found refuge in Ethiopia (only to be turned away) and ultimately made it safely to Uganda, completely on foot with no worldly possessions. He said his faith kept him strong. He talks about the hatred he experienced first hand, but it is the love of Christ that allows him to move on in forgiveness. His forgiveness is surprising! Check out this gripping website for more info on the Lost Boys of Sudan: http://www.allianceforthelostboys.com/. Malual’s reality of terror from militant Islam seemed worlds away until it hit America on 9/11.
Merely typing “jihad 9 11” in Google produces some very unique sites. Many sites are extremist and could be the prototype of “Islamophobia” as discussed in class. An example is “History of Jihad” which outlines various arguments why Islam should be stopped and invites professors and scholars to join the debate (perhaps we should join in because what I read did not seem balanced): http://www.historyofjihad.org/. I also came across the Loyalist party which is dedicated to the eradication of Islamic threat around the world. http://www.loyalistparty.com/. I left disgusted by these sites due to the sheer lack of knowledge and the message of hate they spread.
The reality is, 9/11 was planned and carried out by radical Muslims mostly from Saudia Arabia. Here is a website that profiles the terrorists from 9/11. http://www.sptimes.com/2002/09/01/911/plotters.shtml. It’s interesting to think about how the jihadists lived amongst Americans for months prior to 9/11. Did they ever see humanity or want to renege on their commitment to terror?
Even today as I looked at updated election results I ran across this article and almost kept on going: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39969792/ns/world_news-mideastn_africa/. A tragedy like this would be headline news before 9/11, rather than just another article about militant uprisings. It appears jihad and terrorism now go hand in hand…which is why it’s no longer a blurry concept for the Western World. If one’s beliefs determine one’s behaviors, then I only hope that those who believe that Islam is not a violent religion would begin to gain control and thrust out of the modern Islamic belief system.