Monday, February 06, 2006

Islam and human rights

Warning. The following text contains graphic descriptions of barbarism.

Islam and human rights

In the following I will quote from a comparison of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and Islam. You may argue, that this comes from the "Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society" and as such is a opinion too colored. If that is so, then please refute.

The name of the comparison is "Is Islam Compatible With Democracy and Human Rights?" and is well worth a perusal even though it is a large text.

It is well known that Islamic societies are ruled by Sharia law and are non secular. How does this conform to human rights. Well - hardly at all. See this comparison of the first 5 articles:

Human Rights and Islam

Let us look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and compareit to Islamic law and doctrine.

Article 1 " All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood ".

Article 2 " Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status ".

Article 3 " Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person "

Article 4 No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms "

Comments: (1) Women are inferior under Islamic law; their testimony in a court of law is worth half that of a man; their movement is strictly restricted, they cannot marry a non-Muslim

(2) Non - Muslims living in Muslim countries have inferior status under Islamic law, they may not testify against a Muslim. In Saudi Arabia, following a tradition of Muhammed who said " Two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia ", non _ Muslims are forbidden to practice their religion, build churches, possess Bibles etc.

(3) Non-believers -- atheists (surely the most neglected minority in history) -- in Muslim countries do not have "the right to life ". They are to be killed. Muslim doctors of law generally divide sins into great sins and little sins. Of the seventeen great sins, unbelief is the greatest, more heinous than murder, theft, adultery etc..

(4) Slavery is recognised in the Koran. Muslims are allowed to cohabit with any of their female slaves (Sura iv.3); they are allowed to take possession of married women if they are slaves (Sura iv.28); the helpless position of the slave as regard his master illustrates the helpless position of the false gods of Arabia in the presence of their Creator (Sura xvi.77).

Article 5 No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Comments (1) We have seen what punishments are in store for the transgressers of the Holy Law: amputations, crucifixion, stoning to death, floggings. I suppose a Muslim could argue that these were not unusual for a Muslim country, but what of their inhumanity? Again a Muslim could contend that they are of divine origin and must not be judged by human criteria. By human standards, they ARE inhuman.

This is just the first part and it is easy to see the complete incompatibility. If not so, lets us look at some of the methods of punishment. Remember these punishments are not necessarily for murder. Murder is not considered one of the worst crimes.

If you so care there are websites, where you can watch an actual stoning. I have seen some and it made me sick. The worst was the obvious glee of the ordinary! people throwing the stones.

What happens in Stoning?
In stoning to death, the victims's hands are tied behind their backs and their bodies are put in a cloth sack. Then, this human "package" is buried in a hole, with only the victims heads showing above the ground. If its a woman, she is buried upto her shoulders. This is to give her an seemingly equal (but nonetheless impossible) chance to escape recognizing her lesser physical strength.
After the hapless individual has been secured in the hole, people start chanting "Allah hu Akbar" (meaning, God is great), and throw palm sized stones at the head of the victim from a certain distance (a circle is drawn).
The stones are thrown until the person dies or until he/she escapes out of the hole and crosses the circle. Escaping is impossible, given that the individual's hands are tied behind their backs and they are buried in a hole upto their necks or shoulders (in the case of males and females respectively).
Naturally, the procedure is extremely barbaric and bloody.

Read this petition and remember, this goes on today in our world:

We the undersigned are tremendously grieved that 19-year-old Leila after suffering so much poverty and unjust persecution through out her childhood has been sentenced to execution by the Islamic courts in Iran.
Leila at the age of 8 was sold into Sigheh (a temporary marriage under Islamic law between man and woman for a price given to the woman or her family. These marriages last any where from 1 hour to years.) to a man old enough to be her father. For her Sigheh, her family only received enough money to cover one day’s meals. No body heard the cries of pain and anguish of this little child as she was raped and her life was ruined under the pretense of Islamic law! She was nine when she became pregnant and was condemned by an Islamic judge to one hundred lashes from a whip for a crime committed against her. Once again no one heeded to her cries for help! Once she was 12 her poverty-stricken family sold her again under the law of “Sigheh”. Her new owner (husband) began prostituting her body at once. She was 14 when she became pregnant again and was once again condemned bay Islamic judge to one hundred lashes for unwillingly being involved in prostitution. The very last time this desolate child was sold to a 55 year old man whom also prostituted her for his own benefit.
Now the Islamic regime has issued her execution order. While condemning this crime against this child, Leila, we demand her immediate release. We advocate that those (civilians and government and courtroom officials) who were in any shape or way involved in: the acts of “Sigheh”, raping a helpless nine year old child, putting her in prostitution and prison, whipping her for the crimes committed against her and condemning her to death should be publicly associated with the crimes committed and brought to justice in an international court where they will be prosecuted for such horrendous offenses towards humanity

Wife beating is not only legal but at times demanded by the Quran:

Quran (4:34) orders a man to beat his wife if she doesn't obey him?
Quran 4:34: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in their sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Further from the article on human rights:

Why Islam is Incompatible With Democracy and Human Rights:
A Summary:

(1) Islamic law tries to legislate for every single aspect of an individual's life, the individual is not at liberty to think or decide for himself, he has but to accept God's rulings as interpreted infallibly by the doctors of law. The fact is we do not have, nor can such a complete ethical code exist in a liberal democracy; we do not and cannot have an all -embracing, all-inclusive scale of values.

(2) The measure of any culture's level of democracy is the the rights and position it accords to women and its minorities. Islamic law denies the rights of women, and non- Muslim religious minorities. Pagans or non-believers are shown no tolerance: death or conversion. Jews and Christians are treated as second class citizens. Because of the Islamic doctrine of Muhammad being the last of the true prophets and Islam being the final and most complete word of God, " Muslim sects " such as the Ahmadis are persecuted, harassed and physically attacked. Muslims have yet to appreciate that democracy is not " majority rule ", that the tyranny of the majority must be guarded against, every democratic society must be wary of imposing "its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them ".

Women are considered inferior to men, and they have less rights and duties from the religious point of view. As regards blood-money, evidence, and inheritance, a woman is counted as half a man; equally in regard to marriage and divorce her position is less advantageous than that of the man; her husband may even beat her, in certain cases
And a last quote on a reason behind the irrational fear and loathing of the West:

It is paradoxical that Muslims often wish to point out the influence of Islam in the making of modern Europe, to the Muslim contribution towards the very civilisation they profess to despise. The Americans would not have walked on the moon, we are told, if it had not been for the 'Arab contributions to the exact sciences". At the same time, the West is denounced as being shallow, materialistic, decadent, irreligious and scientific. This scientific materialism is contrasted with the Muslim's own putative superior spirituality and profundity. (How blind obedience to a book constitutes spirituality is not clear.) Even to talk of the influence of Islam on the West is to betray an inferiority complex, as though only those aspects of Islam were worthy of note that went in to the making of the West. And, of course, it reveals the Muslims' sense of present failure and inadequacy.

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