Thursday, January 22, 2015
Islamic crime of the week
Here's the second installment of our new regular feature highlighting outrageous, violent aspects of mainstream Islam that are incompatible with civilization. Last week featured Saudi Arabia's sentencing of Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for unapproved blogging that happened to offend Muslim clerics. Happily the continuation of the flogging has again been postponed. He's not dead yet.
This week we have not one but two offenses. The first comes from The Islamic Republic of Iran, the center of Shia Islam. Iran's parliament is considering a bill that would punish anyone owning a dog as a pet with 74 lashes and fine of up to $3,700. I have been unable to learn if the law passed.
The "Islam Question and Answer" site, apparently a major outlet for explaining Islamic thought,explains that owning a dog is haraam in Islam, and if you do keep a dog your qiraats will be deducted from your hasanaat. (I.e. it's anathema, and you'll lose brownie points in heaven...why do Muslims refuse to translate their beliefs into plain English?) The rationalization for this is that keeping a dog in the house in unclean. Oh? In fact, keeping a Muslim in the house is a much greater disease threat -- humans share the same diseases; you won't catch a cold or flu from a dog. You can more easily catch diseases from any human, Muslims included.
Shaykh al-Munajjid also tells a recent convert to Islam that she must get rid of her dog of eleven years. Oh? If you adopt a dog, the dog becomes dependent on you, psychologically and physically. It's plain cruelty to suddenly abandon it. Islam is cruel. That's not my contention, that's al-Munajjid's position.
Perhaps in the grand scheme of things giving someone 74 lashes for owning a dog isn't as bad as shooting them for drawing cartoons or being Jewish (although if more than 50 lashes would likely kill Raif Badawi, 74 sounds like a death penalty). But it is crazy, outrageous, and unacceptable. I live with a dog. I love dogs. I do not trust people who do not like dogs. If someone doesn't want to have a dog, that's his or her business, but if I choose differently. Dogs and humans evolved together; a good human-canine team is something special. If Islam doesn't approve of dogs, to hell with Islam.
But wait, there's more! Our second crime comes from Sunni Egypt. According to Al Bawaba News, Egyptian authorities are waging war on people who decide they just don't buy arguments for God. I know that some atheists in the United States claim to be persecuted, but I don't know of anyone who received a three year prison term for blasphemy, as Karim El-Banna did.
Iran and Egypt are Muslim countries. The "Islamic Q & A" site is mainstream Muslim. Mainstream Islam is illiberal, authoritarian, despotic.
Photo: Chief blogger Charles N. Steele and canine companions Chaos and Luna in the backcountry of South Cottonwood Canyon, Hyalite Range, southern Montana. Click for bigger view.