Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 4, “Women,” verses 1-16

posted at 9:00 am on August 19, 2007 by Robert Spencer

Sura 4, “Women,” is another Medinan sura, containing laws for the conduct of women and Islamic family life.

V. 1 says that Allah created men and women from a “single soul.” Many Muslims in the West have pointed to this verse as evidence that Islam recognizes the full human dignity of women. Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari says that “other religions also have referred to this question, but it is the Qur’an alone which in a number of verses expressly says that woman has been created of the species of man, and both man and woman have the same innate character.” He then quotes 4:1. The “single soul” from which mankind was created was Adam’s, and while the Biblical story of Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib is not repeated here, Muhammad refers to it in a hadith that suggests that while men and women may have the same “innate character,” that doesn’t mean they are equal in dignity, for women are…crooked: “Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her.”

V. 3 is the basis for Islamic polygamy, allowing a man to take as many as four wives, as long as he believes he is able to “deal justly” with all of them. For according to the Mishkat Al-Masabih, Muhammad said: “The person who has two wives, but is not just between them, shall appear on the Day of Judgment in such a condition that one half of his body will be collapsing.” But of course, justice in these circumstances is in the eye of the beholder. Ibn Kathir says this the requirement to deal justly with one’s wives is no big deal, since treating them justly isn’t the same as treating them equally: “it is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him.”

And as for polygamy, Asad notes that “one might ask why the same latitude has not been given to women as well; but the answer is simple. Notwithstanding the spiritual factor of love which influences the relations between man and woman, the determinant biological reason for the sexual urge is, in both sexes, procreation: and whereas a woman can, at one time, conceive a child from one man only and has to carry it for nine months before she can conceive another, a man can beget a child every time he cohabits with a woman. Thus, while nature would have been merely wasteful if it had produced a polygamous instinct in woman, man’s polygamous inclination is biologically justified.”

V. 3 goes on to say that if a man cannot deal justly with multiples wives, then he should marry only one, or resort to “the captives that your right hands possess” – that is, slave girls.

Slave girls? Bulandshahri explains the wisdom of this practice, and longs for the good old days:

During Jihad (religion war), many men and women become war captives. The Amirul Mu’minin [leader of the believers, or caliph – an office now vacant] has the choice of distributing them amongst the Mujahidin [warriors of jihad], in which event they will become the property of these Mujahidin. This enslavement is the penalty for disbelief (kufr).

He goes on to explain that this is not ancient history:

None of the injunctions pertaining to slavery have been abrogated in the Shari’ah. The reason that the Muslims of today do not have slaves is because they do not engage in Jihad (religion war). Their wars are fought by the instruction of the disbelievers (kuffar) and are halted by the same felons. The Muslim [sic] have been shackled by such treaties of the disbelievers (kuffar) whereby they cannot enslave anyone in the event of a war. Muslims have been denied a great boon whereby every home could have had a slave. May Allah grant the Muslims the ability to escape the tentacles of the enemy, remain steadfast upon the Din (religion) and engage in Jihad (religion war) according to the injunctions of Shari’ah. Amen!

V. 3 also directs Muslims to “marry women who seem good to you.” Ibn Majah records a tradition in which Muhammad details the qualities of a good wife, including that “she obeys when instructed” and “the husband is pleased to look at her.”

V. 4 requires a husband to give his wife a dowry. Ibn Kathir explains that “no person after the Prophet is allowed to marry a woman except with the required dowry…” However, the wife may choose to free the husband from this obligation: “If the wife gives him part or all of that dowry with a good heart, her husband is allowed to take it…”

Verses 5-14 give rules for inheritance and related matters. V. 11 directs that when an estate is being parceled out, daughters are to receive half the share that sons receive.

Verses 15-16 lay down penalties for sexual immorality. V. 15 prescribes home imprisonment until death (unless “Allah ordain for them some (other) way”) for women found guilty of “lewdness” on the testimony of four witnesses. According to Islamic law, these four witnesses must be male Muslims; women’s testimony is inadmissible in cases of a sexual nature, even in rape cases in which she is the victim. If a woman is found guilty of adultery, she is to be stoned to death; if she is found guilty of fornication, she gets 100 lashes (cf. Qur’an 24:2). The penalty of stoning does not appear in the Qur’an, but Umar, one of Muhammad’s early companions and the second caliph, or successor of Muhammad as leader of the Muslims, said that it was nevertheless the will of Allah: “I am afraid,” he said, “that after a long time has passed, people may say, ‘We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,’ and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed.” Umar affirmed: “Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” And he added that Muhammad “carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.”

V. 16, says the Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, refers to men who commit “a lewd act, adultery or homosexual intercourse.” They are to be punished “with insults and beatings with sandals; but if they repent, of this [lewd act], and make amends, through [good] action, then leave them be, and do not harm them.” However, it adds that this verse “is abrogated by the prescribed punishment if adultery is meant [by the lewd act],” that is, stoning. The Islamic jurist al-Shafi’i, it goes on, requires stoning of homosexuals also, but “according to him, the person who is the object of the [penetrative] act is not stoned, even if he be married; rather, he is flogged and banished.”

Next week: When to beat your wife, and what you should do first.

(Here you can find links to all the earlier “Blogging the Qur’an” segments. Here is a good Arabic/English Qur’an, here are two popular Muslim translations, those of Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, along with a third by M. H. Shakir. Here is another popular translation, that of Muhammad Asad. And here is an omnibus of ten Qur’an translations.)


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Nothing else is showing up on the page, Robert, except this story and the headline news at page top. [And maybe delete this comment once the home page is returned to normal?]

andycanuck on August 19, 2007 at 9:36 AM

“… man’s polygamous inclination is biologically justified.”

Seems like there is a lot of justification going on!

Thank you Mr. Spencer for sharing your knowledge. It is eye-opening and appreciated!

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 9:37 AM

So Pelosi and her feminist agenda wont be welcomed by her new best friends? Say it ain’t so!

csdeven on August 19, 2007 at 10:04 AM

(Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)

“When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.”

zane on August 19, 2007 at 10:08 AM

zane on August 19, 2007 at 10:08 AM

Yes, Old Testament stuff. Seems like the teaching of the Koran is stuck in the Old Testament with a lot of convenient “revelations” thrown in. The thing about Christianity, is we are now under a new covenant! Jesus nailed the Law to the cross!

(Galations 5:22-23)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Reading Mr. Spencer’s post, I couldn’t help but contrast it with a Proverbs 31 woman! Also, God’s picture of Marriage in Ephesians 5.

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 10:23 AM

is we are now under a new covenant!
Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 10:23 AM

All well an good Ordinary except well, Jesus (according to the bible) IS the God of the Old Testament. So Jesus/God condoned slavery and the killing of all non virgins and baby boys in Deut. That’s why those poor virgins were mercifully allowed to mourn their mothers for a month.

Amazing the similarities.

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 10:34 AM

I can only see Blogging the Qur’an and we pick you click on the main page.

Speakup on August 19, 2007 at 10:35 AM

me too.

its vintage duh on August 19, 2007 at 10:39 AM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 10:34 AM

This concept may be hard for me to explain, but I will try to communicate best I can. When Israel was taking possession of the land that God had promised, He would often tell the Israelites to kill every living thing. Man, woman, child, cattle, everything. The way I understand it it was for two purposes. God was expelling the people from the land because of their many many transgressions and perversions. Also, so that the Israelites would not be enticed to worship false gods by the survivors. The Old Testament is a type and a shadow of things to come. Under the new covenant, we are to “eliminate” all the spiritual enemies in our heart (lust, envy, anger, etc.) so they don’t cause us to stumble.

As for taking captive women as wives, even in the passage you site, the women are treated much much better than if they had been captured by another people group of the time. Lots of provision for her feelings and notice she becomes a “wife”, not a slave girl. Maybe someone smarter than me can explain this part of it better.

Still, we are under the new, not the old. Jesus died and reconciled all men (and women) back to himself. We now have the right to become His children, if we believe!

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM

Ordinary1 sez:

Yes, Old Testament stuff. Seems like the teaching of the Koran is stuck in the Old Testament with a lot of convenient “revelations” thrown in. The thing about Christianity, is we are now under a new covenant! Jesus nailed the Law to the cross!

The problem I have with this is that while we (rightly IMHO) critique portions of the Quran as barbaric, similar passages of the Old Testament are given a pass. The point is that at one time, YHVH also endorsed very similar behavior that we find from Allah. Did YHVH at one time find slavery and mysogeny to be morally correct behavior? It appears to me that he did.

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM

Clearly it is the will of Allah that only a critique of the Koran and Islam by Mr. Spenser appears on this webpage, alone.

Meanwhile, Muslim women should find a more equitable faith.

Any “religion” that says you are only worth half (or 1/4th, when it comes to marriage) of a man sounds more like a parody than a parity.

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 10:57 AM

Robert,

verse 15 gives the consequences of women guilty of ‘lewdness” (Yusufali and Pickthal) or “indecency” (Shakir). Similarly, Yusfali in verse 16 seems to be the only translation that implies homosexuality, “If *two men* among you …”, while the other translations seem to me to be ambiguous in their meaning.

My question is how many translations are given to passages like these? Given the apparant ambiguity to my Western eyes, it seems it can mean nearly anything I wish it to. How sure are we that v16 is describing homosexual acts? You describe lewdness as “sexual immorality”. This immorality is in the eye of the beholder. Can lewdness be interpreted as merely showing too much skin or some other minor infraction?

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 11:07 AM

God was expelling the people from the land because of their many many transgressions and perversions.
Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM

Babies have perversions? Why does God have his followers slaughter babies for their many many transgressions and perversions when he could easily Sodom & Gommorrah the people themselves?

the women are treated much much better than if they had been captured by another people group of the time.

So that makes the “taking” of pretty young virgins after killing their mothers, fathers, brothers, and married sisters by God’s people OK? Why wasn’t God concerned with the young virgins corrupting his people?

Why is the character of God inconsistant with the character of Jesus when they are both the same?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:24 AM

Thank you Mr. Spencer for sharing your knowledge. It is eye-opening and appreciated!

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 9:37 AM

I thank you as well, Mr. Spencer.

Will you share your knowledge of the Talmud in Hot Air soon?

kiakjones on August 19, 2007 at 11:28 AM

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM

What do you mean Old Testament? The New Testament doesn’t suddenly say “slavery = bad” at any point. The Bible is ambivalent about the practice throughout.

Slavery has no moral dimension in Christianity.

Lehosh on August 19, 2007 at 11:29 AM

Any “religion” that says you are only worth half (or 1/4th, when it comes to marriage) of a man sounds more like a parody than a parity.
profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 10:57 AM

– Leviticus 27:3-7

And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver…. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.
And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.

And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.

And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:33 AM

The New Testament doesn’t suddenly say “slavery = bad” at any point.
Lehosh on August 19, 2007 at 11:29 AM

I would hardly say the bible has been ambiguous. In the OT there were instructions on how to treat slaves. As for the NT it is quite apparent slavery wasn’t condemned by Peter.

slaves, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly…” (1 Peter 2:18-19).

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:51 AM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:33 AM

When Christians and Jews in the 21st century start basing their laws and societies on such passages, give us a call.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 11:58 AM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:51 AM

Peter is talking about a larger point. If you are a slave, if you are a slave owner, the main thing is to act Christ-like in order to be an example to unbelievers so that they might believe.

“All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.
Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved Teach and preach these principles.” 1 Timothy 6:1&2

or as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:20-23
“Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”

The main thing is the main thing. Serve God in a Christ-like manner no matter what circumstance you find yourself in. If you can gain your freedom, do so. But there are no chains on Earth that can hold you when you become God’s bond servant!

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 12:12 PM

Oh great, I knew the violent-passages-in-the-Old-Testament canard would come up. What’s the point of that? Christians and Jews don’t use scripture as an excuse to commit mass murder against unbelievers these days. Fundamentalist Muslims however, do commit mass murder using their scripture as their reason. I am so sick of tu quoque as a f***ing tactic, okay?

Ooh, there’s finally a preview button.

mram on August 19, 2007 at 12:18 PM

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 11:58 AM

My response was directed toward the statement made by Profitsbeard. Perhaps he was unaware the financial inequities existed in the Bible as well.

Any “religion” that says you are only worth half (or 1/4th, when it comes to marriage) of a man sounds more like a parody than a parity.

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 10:57 AM

At no point did I make general assertions as to modern day practices. That would be a relativist fallacy of your own contribution.

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 12:26 PM

if you are a slave owner, the main thing is to act Christ-like in order to be an example to unbelievers so that they might believe.
Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 12:12 PM

So slavery is ok with God/Jesus as long as you are a good and kindly slaveowner? And believing slaveowners are the best kind of slaveowners of all? So a person can be both a slaveowner and act in a manner that is Christlike? Do believing slaveowners thank God/Jesus for their slaves? If you a believer, owned slaves now would God/Jesus approve or disapprove?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Slavery was a completely different thing back then. Historians estimate that between 80 and 90% of people were enslaved to others. Slavery was not a cruel practise, for the most part. Rather, it was a matter of survival for people who had no other option. The commandments that G-d set down for slavery were quite revolutionary as He expected that slaves be treated like actual people. He commanded that every year of jubilee (every 7 years, I believe), all slaves be set free. Most slaves after being set free chose to stay with their masters.

Female slaves were often used for all sorts of bad stuff. If they were considered married to their masters they were in fact given the same consideration as the other wives. Which meant inheritance for their offspring.

When we think of slavery we think of the cruelty and injustice of modern slavery. Slavery in the ancient times were quite another thing, especially under the Mosaic laws. It was actually surprising humane, given the time.

As for the wiping out of the other civilizations, I suppose if you consider baby sacrifice in the Valley of the Shadow of Death a good thing, then maybe wiping out the people who did it was a bad idea.

And finally the only slaves being held now are mostly by Muslims. When my Jewish neighbours or the Baptist congregation start holding slaves, then I’ll start getting worried about them.

It’ll be a cold day in a very warm place before I marry a man who has THREE other wives. Just to stay slightly on topic.

mjk on August 19, 2007 at 12:37 PM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 12:36 PM

You are missing the point. No matter what injustice we might suffer, serve God! By doing so, Christians can be an example and hopefully others will be moved to serve God too. God is much more concerned about where you spend eternity. It’s serving God that is important here, not whether you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of slavery.

“… although if you can gain your freedom, do so.”

Freedom is preferred, but being a willing slave to Christ is the point.

When Christians and Jews in the 21st century start basing their laws and societies on such passages, give us a call.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Yep.

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 12:44 PM

Slavery was a completely different thing back then.
mjk on August 19, 2007 at 12:37 PM

But God/Jesus was not “completely different” back then. He was the same as he is today. What is wrong now would also be considered wrong then as God/Jesus is either unchanging or he can change his mind? Which is it? It makes little difference what was popular “culture” back then or how well slaves were or were not treated, if the forced submission of one human by another is wrong it is wrong no matter how the times change or what the consequences to the human being were he not to be a slave.

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 12:55 PM

Ordinary1, you just summed up what I dug out my HA password from obscurity to say, and much better than I could’ve.

When Christians and Jews in the 21st century start basing their laws and societies on such passages, give us a call.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Double Yep.

Beth A. on August 19, 2007 at 1:00 PM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 12:36 PM

I think American Christians settled the question of slavery in the 1860s.

“If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away,”
- Abraham Lincoln

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:11 PM

It’s serving God that is important here, not whether you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of slavery.
Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 12:44 PM

The point is God/Jesus could have made clear slaveholders are an abomination to Himself. Instead God/Jesus made clear that slaveholders were OK with Him and the believing ones were treasured brethren. In the OT beatings were approved and instructions were provided on acceptable ways of beating and killing slaves and for what circumstances.

Concerning Timothy, if you are ever to find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of slavery by a Muslim for instance, you are to focus on your belief and you are not to rebel but to honor despite your masters unbelief and cruelty because to do so would be blaspemous. Timothy said as you quoted above …..” All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 1 Timothy 6:1&2

Would God/Jesus today disapprove of you a believing slave to rebel against a Muslim master or would he more approve of you continuing to be a slave but conducting yourself in a Christ-like manner?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 1:16 PM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 1:16 PM

How about trying to live in this century?

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:18 PM

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:11 PM

There were plenty of devout Confederate Christians who fought FOR slavery as they interpreted it to be clearly bibliclally justified. Unfornately God/Jesus wasn’t more clear in his inspired writings so as we could have avoided that war of biblical slavery interpretation altogether. You think God/Jesus would/should have anticipated these arguments of ambiguity.

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 1:26 PM

How about trying to live in this century?

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:18 PM

So God/Jesus changes his view of slavery depending on the century?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 1:29 PM

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 1:16 PM

They were wrong and paid in blood.

It was unjustified by Christ’s admonition to “Do unto others…”

Again, the question is settled for Christians. Try living in this century.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:32 PM

Again, When Christians and Jews in the 21st century start basing their laws and societies on such passages, give us a call. In the mean time, you look silly by trying to draw moral equivalences.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:38 PM

frreal, let us assume that man, possesing free will, has established an institution – slavery – that you find abhorrent and wish to eliminate, while, however, preserving man’s free will. You might do so in one of two ways.

You might issue a decree, saying “stop that!” In this way you voice your disapproval, but you may not have much of an impact on man’s character. Having free will, he may defy the decree, and continue the practice either overtly, or under some set of justifications in his mind.

Alternatively, you may institute an entire moral code and system, that believes that all people inately have dignity and worth, in the hopes that man’s sometimes cruel nature will be fundamentally transformed, and the institution of slavery will whither and disappear as a result, as has been the case in Jewish societies for thousands of years. In the meantime, you institute regulations that render the abhorrent institution infinetely more humane than what man had practiced to that point, but that man will more likely find more acceptable than an all out decree banning slavery. Paraphrasing the Talmud, “He who acquires a slave, acquires a master.” True, this approach is more ambiguous, but has the promise of effecting a more true and lasting change in man, over the long (eternal) run.

ncc770 on August 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

mram sez:

Oh great, I knew the violent-passages-in-the-Old-Testament canard would come up. What’s the point of that? Christians and Jews don’t use scripture as an excuse to commit mass murder against unbelievers these days.

mram, here is the point. We are going through the Blogging the Quran series to learn more about Islam via their own scriptures. Are we not to do the same with the Christian and Jewish scriptures? Do we just ignore the ugly passages and say “oh well, that is not practiced anymore”? Wait a minute here, it is not that simple. So far, through Sura 4 of the Quran, I have seen little difference between the morality imposed by the Quran, and that imposed by the Bible. The Quran is certainly more militant so far, but other than that, their treatments of infidels, women, homosexuals, etc.. is pretty similar in both sets of Scriptures.

Am I to just excuse that because modern Christians ignore those ugly passages of their Bibles these days?

When Ted Haggard makes a mockery of Christianity, we are told not to judge Christianity based on its followers, but by the words of Scripture. OK, but when the words of Scripture get ugly and make a mockery of Christianity, we are told that Christians do not follow that stuff anymore, and to not pay attention to those portions of Scripture.

Huh? I mean, which is it? You can’t so easily have it both ways.

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 1:38 PM

The issue is settled by modern day Christians, thankfully. The issue is not so settled when looking at the scriptures concerning the subject. You have your 21st morality concerning slavery but the question is what is God/Jesus’ stance on slavery? I cannot assert moral equivalences BigOldDog I can only deal with what is presented to me in the Word of God. If the Word of God is reliable it must be consistant throughout all times and cultures. Shouldn’t it?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 1:56 PM

HelsSailing:

1) Why don’t YOU go start a critique of the Bible somewhere? Oh, that would be redundant, because there’s just about a million of ‘em. You can’t possibly imagine that you’re bringing up some new information that people aren’t bombarded with constantly.

2) You’re right, THIS is a discussion of Islam. Why are you trying to make it about Christianity instead? What exactly are you afraid of that you are compelled to try to change the subject?

I could go on, but what’s the point? We know why this is happening.

For whatever reason, some people can’t ALLOW a discussion of Islam without diverting it to their personal bogeymen. This is almost universal among moonbats, and a few other philosophical persuasions. I encounter this all the time, this compulsive, obsessive subject-changing.

Add to this a general inability to admit that judgement is valid, and the person in question ends up equivocating between murdering cults and your basic harmless local Episcopalians. They aren’t the same thing, and people who pretend they are, at best, are seriously deluded.

And then, for some people, it’s just the child’s instict to get their “but” into the conversation, in the way of an excuse. Which is what compulsive subject-changing LOOKS like to most people, whether or not it’s your motive to make excuses for terrorists.

Merovign on August 19, 2007 at 2:01 PM

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

We’re learning about it because it’s relevant to today. It’s used to justify actions today. It’s used to govern societies today. It used as the basis of law today. Otherwise, nobody would give a flying fig.

What you and your compatriots are doing is trying to draw moral equivalencies that don’t exist in the 21st century. Since such attempts seem to be the subject of Robert’s latest book, and you seem to care about these issues, why don’t you read it. Perhaps it answers all of your questions.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 2:01 PM

frreal, this post is a discussion of the Qu’ran. Even if the OT and NT contained nothing but violent, misogynistic slavery-justifying passages (which they don’t), that would say precisely nothing about what the Qu’ran says. It would also and does also tell us precisely nothing about where Islamists get their behavioral cues. They claim the Qu’ran is their guide. This series simply looks at the Qu’ran at face value and then takes into account he hadiths and traditions in interpreting the Qu’ran.

This series isn’t a class in comparative religion, and it’s not an opportunity for one commenter to hijack the discussion to distract from the main points that Robert is presenting about the Qu’ran to whatever the one commenter (you, in this case) wants to talk about. If you’re looking for either of those two things, you’re in the wrong place.

Ditto for you, zane. You’ve hijacked a number of posts lately. This is your last warning not to do that.

Bryan on August 19, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Merovign asks:

You’re right, THIS is a discussion of Islam. Why are you trying to make it about Christianity instead?

I am not trying to discuss Christianity, rather the comparison was made between the OT and Quran, and I am commenting on that. I have also made many comments on this blog in the past comparing the Quran to Gnostic Chrisitan (heretical) Scriptures, as has Mr Spencer. Comparisons of the Quran with these scriptures is unavoidable in a format like this.

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 2:13 PM

You might issue a decree, saying “stop that!” In this way you voice your disapproval, but you may not have much of an impact on man’s character.

True, this approach is more ambiguous, but has the promise of effecting a more true and lasting change in man, over the long (eternal) run.

ncc770 on August 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

So you are saying that if God had written back in Genesis “Stop that!” slavery is wrong because ALL people have dignity and worth that man would not have had a change of heart. Why does God care whether or not the people find something that is morally repugnant to Him acceptable or unacceptable. Either God/Jesus approves of slavery or he doesn’t. God saw fit to write down that murder, stealing adultry etc were wrong but it was ok to allow the free will of man to run its course with slavery? It matters not whether God thinks the people will approve or disapprove what do they know anyway they are abominations of sin in God’s eyes anyway.

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 2:13 PM

frreal, either discuss the Qu’ran or leave.

Bryan on August 19, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Bryan is correct – back to the Koran.

Thanks again Mr. Spencer for this informative series. Clearly as frreal’s hijacking shows, many of us have knowledge of and strong opinions on the Torah and Gospels. What we clearly lack is education on the Koran – a knowledge gap that you are filling.

ncc770 on August 19, 2007 at 2:23 PM

Robert, I have a question regarding the Islamic concept of marraige. When enumerating the people a man may not marry, we come to verse 24: “And all married women except those whom your right hands possess…”

Huh? I think this means that a female slave can have 2 legitimate husbands! One, her first husband also presumably held in captivity, and two, her owner.

Ummmm …. this does not make much sense to me. Am I reading this right? Or is the term ‘marraige’ in the Islamic world synonymous with ‘benifactor’, as in a slave owner? This seems to make more sense in the context of the passage, rather than a modern concept of husband and wife.

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 2:28 PM

In the OT, we were given a minimal set of laws that gave us a wide degree of latitude, loose enough even to permit us slaves, in order to show that our sinful nature was not able to obey even those laws.

When Jesus brought in the era of Grace, the laws actually became much stricter, e.g. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The only way such laws would be bearable is if we knew that our failed attempts would be forgiven. Jesus made the rules that we should follow much stricter, but made it clear that following them is not what would earn our salvation, because that would lead to arrogance.

While shamefully slavery did flourish for a few hundred years in parts of the Americas, for the most part slavery in the past 2000 years has been a Muslim phenonenon. Any cruel form of slavery is clearly prohibited by “love your neighbor.” I think that God only allowed slavery to continue in order to show us the way that sin leads to death.

pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Pedestrian says:

Jesus made the rules that we should follow much stricter, but made it clear that following them is not what would earn our salvation, because that would lead to arrogance

Strictly speaking Jesus made the rules, but Paul made that inference to salvation, not Jesus.

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 2:38 PM

As much as I’d like to continue OT, that would be tempting fate.

The polygamy thing is an interesting factor, especially when combined with the duty to jihad and the promise of paradise for jihadis.

The reduction of “available” females, the promise of companionship if you die attacking others… evidently no one needs to draw THEM a picture to reach the obvious conclusion.

Merovign on August 19, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Slavery was a major institution worldwide until the advent of the industrial era. Slaves were the fuel that drove societal advancement. They worked mines, fields, kept records, fought, whatever. The Serfs of old Russia, the peasants of pre-Revolutionary France and the conquered peoples of the Incas, Aztecs and Chinese were all subjected to forced indenture. Call them what you will. Jesus/God preaching against slavery and succeeding would have destroyed any economies that bought into that particular sermon. Give Cesar is his due. Letting man rule man here on earth was not just an accommodation; it was an acknowledgment of reality.

The engine of the Old South was slavery in its most vile incarnation. Race based and institutionalized in a world that was rapidly moving toward mechanical orientated labor. Knowing mankind as we do, it’s not hard to imagine a world without oil returning to differing forms of slavery. In fact, I’d bet on it.

The thing is that the world has moved on, just as TBOD has implied.

So today, the brain trust of Islam wants to give its fighters a boon. Houseslaves and harems; a taste of the afterlife as it were. Another example of Muslims wanting a return to the good old days. Who thinks they’ve already started? I’d bet on that too.

dingbat on August 19, 2007 at 3:05 PM

The more I learn about Islam and its teachings, the clearer it becomes that Islam is nothing more than a heresy of the Old Testament.

Maxx on August 19, 2007 at 3:27 PM

God! these poor deranged troglodytes are seeking guidance from an insane stone aged text. It is almost too primitive for our advanced sensibilities to imagine. It is like a bad horror movie.

Stoning people is pretty bad but the whole not eating pork thing, that is just sick. I am gonna fry up some pork chops and make some green beans with an extra dollop of bacon grease. Maybe that will help release my mind of the barbaric images.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Is there any reason that the number of wives a man can have is capped at four? And I’m assuming that the reference to slave women doesn’t count towards any number…that any number of slave women can be “used”? And how can it be that, if sex is merely for procreation, that slave women would come into play? I see that Islam puts women in the position of being the one’s who, by their nature or physical appearance, initiate the sexual urges in men, ergo the burka…or at a minimum, head scarves.

My main question would be…Do many Islamic men these days take more than one wife? It just seems that I don’t see it that often.

JetBoy on August 19, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Strictly speaking Jesus made the rules, but Paul made that inference to salvation, not Jesus.

HeIsSailing on August 19, 2007 at 2:38 PM

I’m not quite sure what you are saying. Jesus certainly criticized the priests as hypocrites because of their arrogance, for example Matt 21:32.

As for salvation by grace, Jesus said

“If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.” (Mark 13:20)

pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 4:08 PM

My main question would be…Do many Islamic men these days take more than one wife? It just seems that I don’t see it that often.

They do in Britain and Saudi Arabia.

aengus on August 19, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Krykeee.

It just keeps getting better n better….

locomotivebreath1901 on August 19, 2007 at 4:22 PM

My main question would be…Do many Islamic men these days take more than one wife? It just seems that I don’t see it that often.
They do in Britain and Saudi Arabia.

aengus on August 19, 2007 at 4:09 PM

I was in the U.A.E. and there was a nice pool where ex-pats and hotel guest hung out.
This Arab and his family came. His many kids ages 1 to 8 were swimming and frolicking at the pool. His three wive wearing black coverings from head to toe had to stay out in the sun with the kids. It was full sun and at least 120 F. The Arab wasn’t so unlucky he sat at the cabana bar with me drinking non-alcoholic beverages, while I pounded gin & tonics. He was a real nice guy we talked about many subject ranging from Islam, polygamy to business and import/export. He even insisted that I try on his head towel and the little doily that goes on under it.

Any who, to answer your question, yes they do have multi-wives but only guys that can afford it.
Most Arabs that aren’t connected to a wealthy family are very poor and just sit around fiddling with their worry beads. Most of the labor work is done by imported labor from Pak, India, Philippines, etc. You can’t do an honest days work when ya have to stop and pray all the time.
It is sick really.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 4:39 PM

Robert

What is the explanation for Mohammed allowing himself as many wives as he liked, while allowing his followers only 4?

Also, I recall that in 2:223, which refered to the wife being a tilth, you mentioned that it’s interpreted as allowing only vaginal sex, as opposed to anal. But doesn’t a good portion of Islamic jurisprudence use this as signifing the actual role/value of women in Islamic society?

Also, is the Islamic law that states that if a woman is molested by her father-in-law, she becomes her husband’s mother – addressed in this chapter or another? As you may recall, this is modeled after Mohammed’s marriage to Zainab.

Also, is there anything in the Quran that puts a lower limit on a marriage age for a girl?

infidelpride on August 19, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Also, not exactly off-topic, but on the subject of Islamic attitudes towards women, both Robert and Ali Sina once featured in a FrontPage Magazine symposium on this topic. It was revealing as to the mindset of the Mohammedan.

infidelpride on August 19, 2007 at 6:14 PM

A general note to all the “The Bible is just as bad or worse” folks:

Please pardon the advertisement, but I discuss many of the issues you raise above, including violent passages in the Bible, slavery, and the treatment of women, from the standpoint of a comparison between Christianity and Islam in my new book Religion of Peace?. I can’t reproduce the whole book here, but I think that if you think the Bible is just as violent as the Qur’an, or that it condones slavery in the same manner and to the same extent, or relegates women to second-class status in the same way, you might find it illuminating, and/or provocative.

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:25 PM

HeIsSailing,

verse 15 gives the consequences of women guilty of ‘lewdness” (Yusufali and Pickthal) or “indecency” (Shakir). Similarly, Yusfali in verse 16 seems to be the only translation that implies homosexuality, “If *two men* among you …”, while the other translations seem to me to be ambiguous in their meaning.

My question is how many translations are given to passages like these?

Ali and Rodwell have “two men.” Hilali and Khan, on the other hand, explicitly rule that out: they have “And the two persons (man and woman)…” Most others are ambiguous. Meanwhile, some speak of “indecency,” and some of “adultery.”

Given the apparant ambiguity to my Western eyes, it seems it can mean nearly anything I wish it to. How sure are we that v16 is describing homosexual acts?

Well, as you can see above, mainstream commentators see it that way, but not all commentators. Ibn Kathir reports that Mujahid said that 4:16 “was revealed about the case of two men who do it.”

You describe lewdness as “sexual immorality”. This immorality is in the eye of the beholder. Can lewdness be interpreted as merely showing too much skin or some other minor infraction?

Islamic law on this has not generally considered 4:16 to apply simply to women who aren’t adequately covered, but to sexual immorality, which is delineated in detail as to what it is and what it isn’t in that same law. It includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc.

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:38 PM

kiakjones:

Will you share your knowledge of the Talmud in Hot Air soon?

Sure. In fact, I’ll do it right now:

The Talmud. Hmmm. Mishnah and Gemara. There’s the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud. Lots of volumes. A lifetime of study would not encompass it.

There. Done. That’s my knowledge of the Talmud.

Next week: My knowledge of The Bhagavad Gita!

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:43 PM

HeIsSailing:

Robert, I have a question regarding the Islamic concept of marraige. When enumerating the people a man may not marry, we come to verse 24: “And all married women except those whom your right hands possess…”

Huh? I think this means that a female slave can have 2 legitimate husbands! One, her first husband also presumably held in captivity, and two, her owner.

No. Islamic law stipulates that if a woman is taken captive in war, her marriage is immediately and automatically annulled (cf. ‘Umdat al-Salik o9.13).

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:53 PM

JetBoy

Is there any reason that the number of wives a man can have is capped at four?

Some kind of natural reason? No.

And I’m assuming that the reference to slave women doesn’t count towards any number…that any number of slave women can be “used”?

Yes.

And how can it be that, if sex is merely for procreation, that slave women would come into play?

It isn’t just for procreation. It’s fun for men and women alike — more for women, which is why they must be tightly controlled.

I see that Islam puts women in the position of being the one’s who, by their nature or physical appearance, initiate the sexual urges in men, ergo the burka…or at a minimum, head scarves.

My main question would be…Do many Islamic men these days take more than one wife? It just seems that I don’t see it that often.

Yes, it happens. A man has to be wealthy enough to care for both (or all), so that cuts down on the rate of polygamy considerably.

on August 19, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:57 PM

infidelpride

What is the explanation for Mohammed allowing himself as many wives as he liked, while allowing his followers only 4?

He was exempt from this provision as a favor from Allah, in recognition of his exalted prophetic role.

Also, I recall that in 2:223, which refered to the wife being a tilth, you mentioned that it’s interpreted as allowing only vaginal sex, as opposed to anal. But doesn’t a good portion of Islamic jurisprudence use this as signifing the actual role/value of women in Islamic society?

Yes. I did not mean to imply that the only use made of this verse was the one I outlined, and referred to Qutb’s explanation of the verse, which does detail in role and value of women in Islamic society.

Also, is the Islamic law that states that if a woman is molested by her father-in-law, she becomes her husband’s mother – addressed in this chapter or another? As you may recall, this is modeled after Mohammed’s marriage to Zainab.

Also, is there anything in the Quran that puts a lower limit on a marriage age for a girl?

on August 19, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 7:01 PM

infidelpride:

Whoops. I see I left some things unanswered.

Also, is the Islamic law that states that if a woman is molested by her father-in-law, she becomes her husband’s mother – addressed in this chapter or another? As you may recall, this is modeled after Mohammed’s marriage to Zainab.

It doesn’t say quite that. Zeinab is referred to in sura 33, so we won’t be there for awhile.

Also, is there anything in the Quran that puts a lower limit on a marriage age for a girl?

No, that’s based on Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, as in these ahadith.

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Allah really showed a lot of respect to his wives. After a bunch got banquets with one sheep, then another with a plate of fruit and yogurt, then a real party

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 101:
Narrated Safiyya bint Shaiba:

The Prophet gave a banquet with two Mudds of barley on marrying some of his wives. (1 Mudd= 1 3/4 of a kilogram) .

pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Robert, any thoughts on this article from today’s Washington Post?

Risks in a Muslim Reformation
By Diana Muir,
Sunday, August 19, 2007; B07

File under, be careful what you wish for? Ex:

Hassan al Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; Sayyid Qutb, a leading Muslim Brotherhood thinker; and Ibn Wahab, the founder of modern Salafi, or Wahhabist, Islam, call upon Muslims to return to the uncorrupted beliefs and practices of early Islam and to become as pure as Salafis, or the first three generations of Muslims. To become, as it were, Puritans.

TheBigOldDog on August 19, 2007 at 8:13 PM

There seems to be an idea abroad that some process that happened in Christian Europe could simply be repeated in Islam. But what happened in the Europe and America was that because of the Reformation, the rulers had no choice but rule according to what is in the Bible. As that article TheBigOldDog points to, the Islamic Reformation just winds up with the Taliban.

It’s not any process, but simply reading the Bible, that liberated Europe. Robert’s work shows how doomed Islamic Reformation is, because the Quran is an uninspired, iron-age mess.

pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 8:36 PM

Polygamy seems a good enough reason to require burkas in a country where it is outlawed.

sonnyspats1 on August 19, 2007 at 8:42 PM

Next week: My knowledge of The Bhagavad Gita!

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:43 PM

That’s okay, I got a copy in LAX from this bald headed dude.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 11:26 PM

but I think that if you think the Bible is just as violent as the Qur’an, or that it condones slavery in the same manner and to the same extent, or relegates women to second-class status in the same way, you might find it illuminating, and/or provocative.

Robert Spencer on August 19, 2007 at 6:25 PM

as much as I truly, truly appreciate your countless hours of research and commentary on the Quran, and though I may find your book undoubtedly illuminating and provacative my cynical deconverted self can’t help but note the nuance of your statement. The way I interpret your emphasis is that if you think the Quran is bad, the Bible is no where near as atrocious.

I come from a perspective that it shouldn’t even be open for debate. There shouldn’t even be an initial yeah, yeah the Bible has some atrocities but you should see what they do in the Quran. My opinion is that an omnibenevolent God, an ever merciful God ought to be at least as merciful as myself. If I could never bring myself to sacrifice my son as Abraham would have or plunge a sword into the bellies of the children and babies of my enemies is it appropriate for me to worship a God that would ask me to do so?

I won’t presume to have read your book Robert, because I haven’t. I simply want to worship a God that doesn’t require other MEN to interpret his word for me and decide which books I ought to read (canonization) and which books don’t belong. If I can’t place myself in 1000 BC and stomach the act of plunging a sword into the heart of an infant boy for the approval of God there is something wrong. Either I am unfaithful or there is something wrong with the request.

Bryan would prefer I not comment if I have nothing that pertains to the Quran. That’s well and good except I can only comment on the comments being made and the responses to my comments. I can only comment within the realm of the things I am familiar with. I am not familiar with the Quran however I have no problem dismissing it as I have dismissing the Bible. I can of course, jump on the bandwagon and say those crazy Muslims they will believe anything. Is that what you want Bryan? I ask with all due respect.

Perhaps we need a blogging the Bible weekly thread to coincide with the blogging the Quran thread. Yes we have Slates version… but how about one that comes from a Conservative site? It seems these religious threads tend to generate quite a bit of traffic. Just a thought anyways or a test a faith even?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:33 PM

I don’t know what Bible you guys read, but my Bible tells me that Jesus came to fulfill the law. Therefore by doing so he nulified the judgments of the Old Testiment. Jesus is the Word Made Flesh. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Jesus said “you are commanded not to murder I say to you if a man has only anger against his brother he has sinned”. There are many many more examples of the unconditional love Jesus taught and lived by. The Beatitudes are another example. Jesus walked with the sinners and tax collectors. He healed the sick and forgave the sins of the wicked. Jesus cast out demons. He even forgave a thief who believed on the cross while dying. The Old testiment is not in force today. The New Testament with the Gospels are the only law of God. We will be judged by Jesus in the final judgment.

sonnyspats1 on August 20, 2007 at 12:43 AM

If I could never bring myself to sacrifice my son as Abraham would have or plunge a sword into the bellies of the children and babies of my enemies is it appropriate for me to worship a God that would ask me to do so?

frreal on August 19, 2007 at 11:33 PM

I don’t like it when people say nowadays “God is telling me to XYZ” because he’s not really. When God told Moses to take off his shoes next the burning bush, God really did. When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham knew it was God telling him, because God had spoken directly to him many times before. Abraham knew that it was the right thing to do, even though it made no sense in human terms, because it was coming directly from the source of all goodness.

The Israelites also knew directly from God what those babies would grow up to if not killed. No one would be justified in doing that without a direct command to that from God. Only God could know exactly what would happen if those infants were left to live. They would have grown up to be people who really did sacrifice people for religion, by placing live infants on burning altars.

A more difficult question is why God did’t tell someone to kill Hilter or Stalin as an infant, but we don’t know what is has prevented without out knowing it, or what the long term consequences of Hilter and Stalin actions are compared to what alternatives could have been.

pedestrian on August 20, 2007 at 2:47 AM

Amazing that those of you that don’t know God would question him! Without Jesus Christ and his saving grace there would be no true freedom in the world today! Our Puritan founders were Christians and the foundation of this democracy is Christian liberty. The fact that we don’t get it right (slavery and treatment of women) doesn’t change the statements of Paul that through Christ there is no difference between any of us including man or woman, slave or free man! God sees us all as his children, forgiven sinners covered by Christ’s blood on the cross. Stop the nonsense comparing Old Testement Law and Christianity…you know not of what you speak!

sabbott on August 20, 2007 at 8:01 AM

It is very difficult for people in this modern age to comprehend the goings-on in earlier ages, especially without being steeped in education about a subject culture. Concerning such things as misogyny and slavery: Today these are condemned (largely) in Western culture, among others. In earlier ages these were rampant among the children of man. We don’t know what it’s like for these to be rampant, and it a grievous error to project modern understanding on earlier cultures. In the age of the Old Testament misogyny and slavery were rampant among virtually all cultures of the Middle East environment in which the Old Testament was written. I submit that the writer of the Pentateuch (Torah, if you will), by revelation from God actually tones down the practice of the time, rather than inflaming it. Zane’s quotation of Deuteronomy 21:10-14 indeed does detail a practice we find repugnant. But, hey, it’s much better than what was going on otherwise! Even then, God approached people where they were. Where once such women were enslaved and/or abused, God advises good treatment and even family position. Look at the progress that has been made!

BNCurtis on August 20, 2007 at 8:07 AM

I think it’s great that Mr. Spencer jumped into the thread to answer. I’ve got his book, “The Truth About Mohammed” in audio, and it is very informative.
Here’s my view:
Mohammed rejected Christianity-obviously the Gospel had been spread throughout the known world by the time Mohammed came along.
So, in rejecting Jesus Christ, Mohammed doomed himself to Hell, and all Muslims following in his footsteps end up there also. All for trusting in a false religion. All for rejecting the Gospel. It’s a terrible, horrific waste, and as we go through the Q’uran and other Muslim teachings, we see how twisted up Muslims become.

Doug on August 20, 2007 at 10:25 AM

BNCurtis

While you are right about the fact that accepted social practices were vastly different in ancient times, it’s also true that not all civilizations practiced slavery and misogyny – e.g. the Zoroastrian Persians (the villains of the history fiction movie 300). Those things did exist in the pre-Christian Roman empire, so that Christians (and Jews) inherited the practice, and were then left to do what they judged normal.

But consider the sweeping changes Mohammed made in Arabia, and one will see why Islam does deserve the opprobrium that it gets. For instance, a lot of customs near and dear to the pre-Islamic Arabs – from idol worship onwards – were stamped out by Mohammed, who couldn’t bear the thought of anyone but himself Allah being worshiped. On the status of women itself, it’s worth noting that his first wife Khadijah (whom Muslims love to tout as an example of female emancipation in Islam) was an independent trader in pre-Islamic Arab society – Islam wasn’t what gave her the right to be independent. Similarly, she voluntarily chose Mohammed – no honor killings were involved as a result of her decision (again, contrast that with today, if a Muslim girl anywhere wants to marry an Infidel guy).

The narrative behind this chapter of the Quran is that Arab (and other non-Muslim) women actually lost most of their rights and dignity once Islam arrived at the scene.

Is that the same story with Christianity and Judaism? Did women in pre-Christian and pre-Jewish societies (except maybe the Greeks?) have more rights than their Judeo-Christian successors?

infidelpride on August 20, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Thanks Robert.

You thread-jackers here need to go blog the Bible somewhere else. This is about the Koran. You’re just wasting our time dealing with your sophomoric comments and pseudo-questions.

Bryan, please keep your finger close to the “ban” button for these goofs.

Mojave Mark on August 22, 2007 at 10:04 AM

I know you think you are being clever frreal.

However, you have only convinced me that we are in a HOLY WAR (in the sense that others have used it – us against them).

I don’t give a hoot what the Khoran says, or the bible for that matter. I know what I was taught. And it is more than evident what they are taught.

There will be no resolving this without bloodshed. So be it. I didn’t want to go in the “rapture” anyway. I rather stay and fight.

Agrippa2k on August 23, 2007 at 6:51 AM

Idiot! The “rapture” is never mentioned in the Old Testement or the New! It is an invention of the Reformed Church in America…a demomination with which many conservative Christians do not agree…

sabbott on August 23, 2007 at 3:16 PM