Friday, July 22, 2011

Putting the Best Possible Spin on Islam

I was at my local library just now and lo and behold what did I espy in the "New and Recommended" section but What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam (Second Edition). Of course, by "everyone" what the chap who wrote it--perhaps the world's pre-eminent academic shill for Islam, John Esposito--really means is what every kafir should know about it so that Islam can thrive and grow like gangbusters. For fun I thought I'd open the book  three times times at random and quote what I found. Here goes:

Random selection #1:
Islamic law provides one of the clearest and most important examples of diversity of opinions. Islamic law developed in response to the concrete realities of daily life. Since of heart of Islam and being a Muslim is submission to God's will, the primary question for believers was"What should I do and how?" During the Umayyad Empire (661-750), rulers set up a rudimentary legal system based upon the Quran, the Sunnah, and local customs and traditions. However, many pious Muslims became concerned about the influence of rulers on the development of the law. They wanted to anchor Islamic law more firmly to its revealed sources and make it less vulnerable to manipulation by rulers and their appointed judges.
Random selection #2:
Islamic dress is also used as a symbol of protest and liberation. It has developed political overtones, becoming a source of national pride as well as resistance to Western dominance (cultural as well as political) and to authoritarian regimes. Many young Muslim women have adopted Islamic dress to symbolize a return to their cultural roots and rejection of a Western imperialist tradition that in their view shows little respect for women. These young women thing that Western fashions force women into uncomfortable and undignified outfits that turn them into sexual objects lacking propriety and dignity. Women who wear Islamic dress thus find it strange or offensive for people to condemn their own modest fashions as imprisoning or misogynist. The West should not condemn the hijab or Islam, they say, but rather a social system that promotes an unrealistic ideal, makes young girls obsessive about their physical beauty and their weight, and teaches young boys to rate girls based on that ideal.
Random selection #3:
Muslims who believe interest is forbidden (haram) have faced a crisis of conscience when they purchase a home mortgage or invest in the stock market. Islamic banks and financial institutions were created to respond to this need. Although Islamic finance and banking has spread in much of the Muslim world, until recently it has been relatively invisible in the America and Europe.
Well, that was fun.

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