Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A dog, a donkey, and a woman? Why in God's name . . .

Suha Al-Jundi
(Image from Elaph dot Com)

In Memri "Special Dispatch No. 5990" (March 9, 2015 ), the "Arab Woman Columnist [Suha Al-Jundi] Marks International Women's Day With [a] Sarcastic Article" enumerating "various Islamic laws and customs that harm women, humiliate them, and discriminate against them, such as the inheritance, marriage and divorce laws," and she speaks with heavy irony of the "lofty status" that Islam grants to women and the "great respect" that it has for women, as the following shows:
A woman's testimony has half the weight of a man's, since she is feeble-minded and ruled by her emotions. Hence, for her testimony to be accepted, she must find another woman who witnessed the crime [to corroborate her story]. Otherwise she must stay home and remain silent, rather than tell the truth [about what she knows] . . . . A man may take four wives, even if his salary is meagre and his (physical) abilities limited. That is simply the nature of mammals who live in packs of one male and several females. Religious law must conform to this nature . . . . Divorce in Islam is very simple. Islam does not compel a woman to remain tied to the family she has dedicated her life to establishing. The man may divorce her with a spoken or written word, or even with a gesture, if he is deaf or paralyzed. To ensure that she leave the house quickly, Islam does [not?] grant her any right to the fruits of her efforts . . . . [Islam] obliges a woman to wear a hijab the minute she reaches puberty, even if she is [only] ten years old. This, in order to guard the woman and her chastity, and ensure that men will not be aroused and licentiousness will not spread. If the woman suffers vitamin D deficiency as a result of insufficient exposure to sunlight, she should take fish oil capsules. If she can't find any, Allah will reward her doubly for her ability to endure suffering . . . . If a man summons his wife to have intercourse with him and she refuses, the angels will curse her, even if [she refused because] her husband does not respect her, does not make her feel cherished and safe, or because he smells bad . . . . If a husband is concerned his wife may be rebellious (even if this is just a fear that has not yet materialized), he must warn her. If she does not repent he must throw her out of the house, and if she [still] fails to repent he must hit her. This, even if she is smarter and more knowledgeable than him, or if her salary is higher and she contributes more to the family income . . . . If a dog, a donkey or a woman passes in front of a man as he is praying, his prayer is null and void. This, because the woman is beautiful and attractive, and causes him to be aroused . . . .
That final point explains why a woman should not pass in front of a praying man, but why the dog, why the donkey? Surely not the same reasoning! I hope . . .

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At 3:55 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

It's morbidly fascinating to see the bizarre way in which biology is woven (rather selectively) into the question of human morality and conduct, especially as regards polygamy.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That pretty obscure, Kevin, but I think I'll let be whatever's lurking in that scary chasm . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:11 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Hmm... I thought I was being fairly clear, but perhaps not. I was referring primarily to this:

"A man may take four wives, even if his salary is meagre and his (physical) abilities limited. That is simply the nature of mammals who live in packs of one male and several females."

Biology is being used as justification for a certain brand of morality. Polygamy is OK because mammals do it, so it's implied that we should model our behavior on that of the mammals.

Man's animal nature also gets a mention re: men's arousal at the sight of insufficiently covered women, and biology comes up as an issue with respect to vitamin D and fish oil.

But this suite of examples tying biology to how people should conduct themselves strikes me as rather arbitrary, hence my "rather selectively" comment.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Oh . . . I thought you were hinting at some off-color joke.

But you were making a very interesting point.


Jeffery Hodges

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