Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's Arabic, Is It Islamic?

Islam sometimes seems to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia contains Mecca, the city all Muslims must visit at least once, if possible. And Saudi Arabia is one of the most prominently and proudly Islamic country in the world.

Islam is closely identified with the Arab world, and the Middle East.

That may be why it's so hard to sort out what's Islamic and what's Arabic, or Middle Eastern.

I think it's important to figure out where Islam ends and Middle Eastern cultural standards begin. It's easy to assume that
  • Outfits like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which claim to be defending Islam, represent typical Islamic beliefs
  • Saudi Arabia represents the best and brightest that Islam has to offer, in terms of a government following Islamic beliefs
I sincerely hope that these assumptions are not true. Here's why:
  • Not long ago, the local Taliban told a teenage boy in Afghanistan was told to stop teaching English after school. When he disobeyed them, the Taliban members dragged him into the street and executed him. Unpleasantly.
    • The Taliban have killed teachers and students before, for attending government-run schools. The Taliban think those schools are un-Islamic.
  • Meanwhile, back in Saudi Arabia, a young woman was raped. She's going to be lashed 200 times, and do jail time.
    • It took "six heavily-armed men" - maybe seven - to carry off the assault. They were sentenced to between one and five years.
    • The young woman was sentenced to 90 lashes first, for being in a car with a man who isn't an immediate relative. The 200 lashes came after she talked to the press about what was being done to her.
    • To be fair, the rapists' sentences were increased, too: Now they're supposed to serve two to nine years.
    • Shiite Muslims aren't happy about this little matter. She's Shiite. The rapists are Sunni. Sunni Muslims run Saudi Arabia.
I hope that executing teenagers for teaching English and flogging rape victims is not part of Islamic belief. I want to believe that this sort of barbarity is a cultural quirk, not something supported by the five pillars of Islam.

I'll be back to this topic again.

Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.
Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.