Let’s see if Mr Islam can dodge this one

By skepticlawyer

Keysar Trad has got his hands full this time. He’s stuck with arguing that this, said by the wonderfully thoughtful Mr Hilaly, has been ‘mistranslated’ or ‘misinterpreted’:

But when it comes to adultery, it’s 90 per cent the women’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman possesses the weapon of seduction. It is she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then it’s a look, then a smile, then a conversation, a greeting, then a conversation, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay jail. (laughs). Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 years.

But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, scholar al-Rafihi says: ‘If I came across a rape crime – kidnap and violation of honour – I would discipline the man and order that the woman be arrested and jailed for life.’ Why would you do this, Rafihi? He says because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have snatched it. If you take a kilo of meat, and you don’t put it in the fridge or in the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you’re crazy. Isn’t this true? If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If the meat was covered, the cats wouldn’t roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won’t get it. If the meat was in the fridge and it (the cat) smelled it, it can bang its head as much as it wants, but it’s no use.

If the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she’s wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don’t happen. That’s why he said she owns the weapon of seduction. Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger to achieve my needs. Satan tells women you’re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons. The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.

Here’s Keysar doing his best to arse-cover for his boss, and here’s Irfan Yusuf having to point out what should be blindingly obvious. There’s also an excellent post by Phil over at LP on the issue. Some female commentators suggested hiding in the fridge, to which others responded that it would need to be a large fridge. I suggested that some armed libertarians posted outside the fridge may be a good idea, but the offer has been politely declined.

Seriously, though, the scariest piece of information emerged in a comment by Kate, which linked to this story. Money quote:

Michael Flood, a researcher at La Trobe University and a contributor to the project, said: “Too many people believe men are uncontrollable sexual beasts and women are liars and temptresses.” Men, especially from migrant communities and those with traditional views about gender roles, were more likely to have “violence-supportive” views.

I do not buy the clash of civilisations argument. I do not think that men are uncontrollable rutting beasts (a point eloquently made by some men over at LP). What gives?

In other news: even SBS’s Arabic translator isn’t letting Hilaly off the hook – go here for details.

UPDATE: Over at LP, Naomi has suggested that

Methinks that the women marching in Reclaim the Night down in Sydney should detour past the Lakemba Mosque and chant ‘yes means yes and no means no, whatever we wear, wherever we go.’ Just like when I was a girlie.

Phil thinks – in light of the fact that Hilaly’s congregation has rallied around him – that her suggestion is a good one.

43 Comments

  1. Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Crikey, John, when we get together we’ll have to have a mutual trip down memory lane about the Garden City Christian Church. Mind you, even they don’t come at the ‘God Hates Fags’ schtick.

    I was in a mooting team at law school once with a Sevvy who kept trying to take me on over evolution (me, an ex HS science/human sciences/HPE teacher). Eventually I exploded and completely demolished everything she stood for. It wasn’t pretty and nearly buggered the team. I did put up with her for a month though.

    I still maintain that even to equate the COC crowd with Hilaly and friends amounts to immoral equivalency, as irritating as the former may be.

  2. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Libertarianism is the true faith.

    More seriously, Andrew has another take on this:
    http://andrewnorton.info/blog/2006/10/27/why-has-sheik-hilali-had-such-a-roasting/

  3. Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Andrew N’s right about progressive politics legitimising attacks on an unpopular target:

    they allow opinions on Arab Muslim attitudes to be offered without accusations of racism or prejudice, since despite his usual ‘out of context’ excuse he clearly, in his capacity as a Muslim community leader, said things that go way beyond accepted Australian norms on the subject. He is a rich symbolic target. Better still for his critics, not to oppose his views would be regarded as another sin, sexism. People who want to oppose Arab Islamic views have the perfect progressive cover.

    Even so, I’m glad the attacks have been made. As I said over at LP, Hilaly and his congregation need to be called on this crap.

  4. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing wrong with calling people for their bad behaviour. Fine. At what point does this become a general criticism of all religion? For all their faults (sorry CL) religion, at the margin, provides a positive force to society. Any religion that promotes hard work, prudence, respect for elders and tradition, and the like adds value.

  5. Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I think CL is happy to admit religion has its faults. He’s certainly done so on other threads. For the record I’m also happy to hammer religion generally and Islam in particular.

    I’m also of the view that there’s pretty strong evidence that Islam hasn’t added value at the margins in its host societies for more than 200 years, while various forms (although not all) of Christianity clearly have done so.

    For some reason I keep thinking of those barely productive fields, scrubland and meadow…

  6. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Religion going through a bad patch is not unique in history. Islamic countries at the moment have totalitarian governments and poor prospects in general. But Islam didn’t invent poor government – it didn’t even perfect poor government. Government, we can all agree, is a problem.

    Sure, miltant Islam is an international problem. Go back 1000 years and miltant Christianty was a problem, go back 2000 years and militant Judiaism was a problem. Go back 30 years and militant socialism was a problem. (Hopefully militant Libertarians will never be a problem).

  7. Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Making libertarians militant would be like herding cats, Sinc. I love my dogs but I know what I resemble when it comes to being ordered about 😉

  8. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    As much as I’d like to blame the fascist Howard government for taking the guns away, it was the Keating regime that prevented me from importing my gun. CZ 75, modified for combat – not that I ever carried it around, but it’s the thought that counts.

  9. Amir
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, despite people’s expectations to the contrary, we can’t condemn what we don’t know about. Sh Taj’s comments were made on the fourth day of Ramadan after evening prayer at Lakemba mosque. They were not broadcast, published or made available on the LMA website. Even if they were, they would still not be read by the majority of Muslims in this country who, firstly, don’t see Sh Taj as their spiritual leader and are not particularly interested in what he says; and, more importantly, Arabic is not the first language of most Muslims.

    As for the cluster, not everyone attending the mosque during Ramadan would understand Arabic. Of those, only some would be paying attention. And of those. it can’t be assumed that everyone would have agreed with it or not questioned it because, quite often, Muslims hear things that we disagree with. Lastly, it is not even possible to say it is a Lakemba cluster because there is, in Lakemba alone, two other mosques offering prayer during Ramadan (both in Haldon St) and there are a number of mosques nearby that Lakemba people would also go to such as Belmore, Punchbowl, Bankstown, etc. Given it is Ramadan, Muslims would also be visiting one another and often praying in mosques other than the one they frequent regularly.

  10. Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Ooooh very flash Sinc, and modded too. Mind you there are probably a few buried in various parts of Qld. Not everyone meekly handed their guns in for the buyback.

    I’m starting to get the impression – tossers at Leftwrites aside – that Hilaly has unintentionally woken the Great Australian Beast, and said Beast is not happy. Not sure how it will pan out, but the national conversation is certainly interesting to watch.

    One thing – I don’t think the ‘I was misunderstood’ line is working with the large numbers of young, educated Australian Muslim women who happen to speak Arabic. The excrement has just hit the rotary oscillator, methinks.

  11. Amir
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m also of the view that there’s pretty strong evidence that Islam hasn’t added value at the margins in its host societies for more than 200 years, while various forms (although not all) of Christianity clearly have done so.

    Where can I find this strong evidence? I’d be interested in seeing it.

  12. Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    You people at Austrolabe have done a pretty good job on the parlous state of Islamic societies and economics over the last couple of hundred years, down from a high point just before the Mongol sack of Baghdad. I wanted to link to your post on the Ottoman command economy (although I suspect the rot had set in before that), but then this juicy morsel came up.

    CL has done a pretty impressive job on the links between Christianity and western power, particularly as interpreted in the United States and Britain. That said, the Christianity that become so dominant was a very particular enlightenment version of Christianity.

    R. Joseph Hoffman makes the comment in his introduction to Ibn Warraq’s Why I am not a Muslim that

    Islam’s methods of exegesis, legal reasoning and political argumentation look peculiar and retrograde to the Westerner precisely because the Westerner – whether a liberal Anglican or an Evangelical Christian – stands on the other shore of a sea that Islam has chosen not to cross.

    He goes on to note that:

    It is small consolation to those who yearn for a restoration of Christian values or biblical religion that Christianity did not mean [emphasis in original] to cross the sea of faith either, or at least had expected, in embarking on its intellectual journey during the renaissance, to find God on the other side.

    The consequences of a religion’s failure to have a positive economic impact on the lives of those who subscribe to its core tenets may be negligible or nil: after all, we are dealing (ultimately) with rewards in the afterlife.

    That said, for a faith that has an overt commitment to justice and political reform (as Islam clearly does), this lack represents a failure that cannot conveniently be ascribed to Western intervention or colonialism.

  13. rog
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I am not so sure the congregation in mosques are dozing, they seem to pounce on any little mistake the infidels make with alarming ferocity, the Pope had to make severe penance for his sins

  14. Amir
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Islam should have a positive impact on people’s economic life but it doesn’t because what many Muslims think is Islamic economics is really just a pseudo-religious variant of socialism. e.g. command economies, confiscatory tax systems that target the ‘rich’, forced egalitarianism, nationalisation of private industry, regulated markets etc.

    The libertarian-ish Islamic think tank Minaret of Freedom Institute at http://www.minaret.org has a lot of articles describing how Islam views property rights, taxation, etc.

  15. Posted October 27, 2006 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    At a guess, Amir, this stuff would be hotly debated in Muslim circles; it would also be pretty difficult to peg an ancient religious text to a scholarly understanding of economics.

    Christianity has largely abandoned this field to secular economists. Unless early Islam produced a Smith, Ricardo or Mill, Islam may have to do the same.

  16. Timothy Can
    Posted October 27, 2006 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    sl I don’t see the relevance of either of your remarks, though the reference to my genitalia is typically feminist.

  17. Posted October 28, 2006 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Tim, refer Naomi’s comment above, which I brought across from LP in my update. If what I wear impacts on you, that is your problem.

  18. Amir
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    At a guess, Amir, this stuff would be hotly debated in Muslim circles; it would also be pretty difficult to peg an ancient religious text to a scholarly understanding of economics.

    Christianity has largely abandoned this field to secular economists. Unless early Islam produced a Smith, Ricardo or Mill, Islam may have to do the same.

    Well, Islam isn’t just the Qu’ran but also the body of traditions known as the Sunnah where there is a lot said about economics and matters of trade.

    Anyway, it is indeed possible to derive “scholarly understandings” of economics from these texts as evidenced by the influence that Islamic economic ideas had on Western economists and political philosophers. For example, the Laffer Curve was ‘invented’ by Ibn Khaldoun (as Lafffer himself noted) a few centuries earlier, and John Locke reportedly adopted his natural rights philosophy after reading the writings of Ibn Tufayl al-Qaisi.

  19. jc
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Amir

    You can’t have a functional economy if you can’t apply interest or need to get round it for religious reasons.

    You can say shopkeepers should be allowed to set prices freely etc but you will never have a first world economy unless the cost of money is recognized. And yes I am aware that a few banks recently set up as interest free banks inswitzerland.

  20. rog
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    There seems to be two sets of rules when dealing with Islam; we are told (by our betters) that we need to show more tolerance and more understanding and that to criticise Islam is to suffer being racist, discriminatory and you are breaking the law and could be charged with inciting hatred.

    Then we have leading Islamic clerics openly contemptuous of western values and calling women “pieces of meat” who deserve to be raped.

    Some of the Islamic community may well say that they are against the cleric but the cleric remains unrepentant and well supported by the “grass roots.” This same community will use the law to prosecute non muslims who are critical of Islam whilst calling for the White House to be “cleaned from the world.”

    Islam needs to undergo a mighty reform before I can accept it as being anything but a fascism dressed as religion.

  21. GMB
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “I do not think that men are uncontrollable rutting beasts (a point eloquently made by some men over at LP). ”

    I’m not saying that I don’t agree with this. But I’m a bit troubled by the idea of taking LP types as the representative set.

  22. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    There are far too many people around here willing to give superstition an undeserved pass (even where they are harshly critical). I’m afraid the “Mufti” is being effectively let off because we are attacking him only for his repulsive auxiliary views, while leaving him untouched at the very radix of his philosophy.

    Jason forgot to link to the first part of the quote:

    “Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast? Where will they end up? In hell and not part-time, for eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.”

    There is as much evidence that Mohammad had a direct line to “Allah” – the angry name-changing (possibly bipolar) sky-God of the Near East – as there is that Hitler is God and I am his prophet. They are both unfalsifiable propositions based entirely on a SINGLE data (I shouldn’t say “data” , so much as “cognition”) piece – the stated opinion of one guy.

    If you cannot immediately grasp that both propositions are epistemologically equal, and that Hitlerianism and Islam are thus of equal merit (in fact, Yahweh/Allah killed FAR more people than Hitler!), then you should probably give up on the 21st Century before it gets too offensive for your sensibilities.

    This point must be emphasised, reemphasised, and rubbed in the face of all angry theists everywhere, just as you rub a puppy’s nose in their urine.

    PS – anyone who disagrees with libertarianism will deservedly catch on fire for all eternity, although I can’t really explain why. If you have a problem with me saying that, you’d better get started on a VERY long list of equally culpable interlocutors. If you don’t do so, having condemned me first, then you are a spineless coward.

    Bye for now!

  23. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey, am I on mod?

  24. Jason Soon
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Everyone’s first comment is always on mod, Chopper.

  25. Jason Soon
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    hmm actually I don’t know why you were on mod that 2nd time.

  26. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Nothing to do with me, Jason – maybe it was the ‘bipolar’ word. Has someone stuck that in the spaminator?

  27. Jason Soon
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I did, because Scott was complaining about Birdy using it as a term of abuse.

  28. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    ‘I’m afraid the “Mufti” is being effectively let off because we are attacking him only for his repulsive auxiliary views, while leaving him untouched at the very radix of his philosophy.’

    That seems to be Andrew’s point too. The guys going down for a PC crime, not all the other stuff. In short, upset the lefties and you’re toast, upset the right and you’re toasted.

  29. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never gotten a single militant theist to admit that applauding the eternal immolation of people who disagree with you, on the basis of your unproveable psychobabble and nothing more, is immoral, even sociopathic.

    However, not a single person has really tried to contest my argument, as opposed to ignoring my discomforting views entirely, which really suggests they know damn well I’m onto them.

  30. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    You need to join the skeptics, Steve. I wanted to say that earlier, but CL didn’t turn up to protect the Christians from a dose of immoral equivalency, so yours truly had to do it.

  31. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    In case anyone still doesn’t get it – the “radix” of the Mufti’s philosophy is the shahadah:

    “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his Prophet”.

    Every Muslim with an IQ above 115 should already know the epistemological status of the above sentence. They should draw appropriate conclusions for all faith-based moral coercion (including the shariah). If they don’t, then I’m afraid they deserve to be vilified mercilessly.

  32. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Anyway, I’ve been called into the office. Ta ta!

  33. jc
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Humphreys
    Implies that christianity is just as bad as Islam in terms of taking things a few from ancient times.
    Here he is:

    jc says — ´Christianity and Judaism believe that God spoken words were interpreted by humans´

    “Not totally true. Many born-agains believe that the Bible is 100% correct and the divine words of God. I grew up in such a community. They believe the world was created 4000BC and that the history of Eygpt is a satanic plot. This is the AOG and COC mob… and by extention, Family First. ”

    fisrt of all these people that believe in the literal translation of the Bible aren’t exactly the large majority of Christianity.

    Secondly, I don’t really see these guys referring to rape victims as carnal bait. I also haven’t seen a lot of suicide bombings from these people either.

    Humphreys, don’t give us “they’re just as bad” routine because it ain’t washing.

  34. Posted October 28, 2006 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    No rest for the wicked, Steve 😉

  35. jc
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    What’s really quite interesting is that this idiot made those comments about a month ago. Now, when the cat is out of the bag our friendly worshipers of the religion of peace try on the “I’m shocked routine”…… as though we’re going to fall for it.

    It wasn’t these comments that concern me a great deal though. The prick seem to be inciting an attack on the White House by his recent comments. He obviously practices the principle of when you’re in a hole keep digging.

    This last comment could be deemed a pretty clear incitment to terrorism. I’m wondering why we don’t pick the fucker up by his ankles and swing him back to Egypt where he came from. I’m sure the welfare is pretty generous there and he could live like a real sheik.

  36. Posted October 28, 2006 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    We can’t boot him because he’s a citizen, JC. Thanks to Keating and friends, we’re stuck with the bugger.

  37. jc
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Really, He’s a citizen? I thought he was a permanent resident.

  38. jc
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Why did the greatest treasurer take special interst in this little creep?

    Let me guess here were tons of potential votes in Sydeneys west that needed to be locked up. Am I right?

  39. Posted October 28, 2006 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Yep. Go here.

  40. rog
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    You would think that he was as guilty of inciting hatred as pastor Danny Nalliah – who was found guilty of inciting hatred because he read from the koran.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Nalliah

    Dannys problem is that he cant stack branches for the ALP.

  41. Boris
    Posted October 28, 2006 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    This is a great issue to shame leftist protectors of islamic extremistm, but hasn’t this been a rather typical view of many men across many cultures over the centuries? I would guess that it is still held quietly by many people, although it has become so politically incorrect that even opponents of PC won’t dare associate with it.

    Timothy shocking comment is just a tip of the iceberg.

  42. Jason Soon
    Posted November 1, 2006 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Malcolm Fraser speaks – do people give a shit?

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/fraser-attacked-as-an-apologist-for-extremism/2006/11/01/1162339918511.html

    Mr Fraser told the Herald that Muslims were being made pariahs as Catholics once were.

    He did not condone Sheik Hilaly’s remarks but said there were different standards being applied – such as the contrasting reaction Sheik Hilaly’s sermon received compared with a recent controversial speech by Pope Benedict which outraged Muslims.

    “The Pope’s remarks were enormously serious. Anyone had to know they would be grossly offensive to a very large number of people,” Mr Fraser said. “In relation to the Pope, the Government said he was taken out of context, misinterpreted, he’s apologised and let’s move on.

    “The Government response in relation to Sheik Hilaly has been very aggressive, no question of moving on. They want to stick on it,” he said

  43. Posted November 1, 2006 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    What an idiot.

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