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Monday, 22 October 2012 08:46

Say No to Christian Sharia Law

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As a Muslim, I believe that God created us with the capacity to make decisions for ourselves. We are responsible for the decisions we make, but in order to be able to make healthy decisions, the full range of choices — and the freedom to choose — must be made available. The American Constitution protects women’s reproductive rights simply by offering us the freedom to make those choices.

To take away a woman’s right to choose, then, is not only unconstitutional. It is also oppressive. The desire to control a woman’s body — a frightening phenomenon that’s recently been touted by the conservatives in the Republican Party, including presidential candidate Romney — is strikingly similar to the oft-bemoaned patriarchal structure in the practice of Islam.

I find the curtailing of a woman’s rights in the name of religion all too familiar. The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” originally crafted by Republicans Paul Ryan (the Republican Vice Presidential nominee) and Todd Akin, is a legal document, rooted in their particular interpretation of Christianity. The fact that these legislators have passed a law that forces their religious beliefs on me and other women makes them no different than the some Muslim mullahs. Sharia, or Islamic law, in many Muslim countries, has become a tool of oppression rather than a tool for protecting rights. Though supporters of both may view themselves as being on opposite ends of the morality spectrum, there is little difference, if any, between them. Both take away women’s rights, and both legislate religious beliefs.

The use of contraception is not simply a right. For some women contraception provides a health benefit. For others it allows them to control when they conceive, which is especially important because the responsibility of pregnancy bears heavily on women physically and emotionally, not to mention sometimes financially. Beyond that, in an overpopulated world, having an unplanned child is not just unfair to a woman and her family, but also to to the child.

Religious institutions and our government should not be allowed to impose religious values. To do so takes away our God given right to self-determination. It certainly runs afoul of separation of Church and State.

Please don’t turn America into a theocracy. I don’t want to be governed by the laws of Sharia, and I am equally opposed to being governed by a Christian version of that religious code.

Not voting this November 6th is not an option. And who you vote for matters. It really matters.

To learn more about the issues facing Muslim women (and all women) this election season, you can join Muslims for Progressive Values on October 29, 2012, as we host feminist, writer, and activist Mona Eltahawy. Ms. Eltahawy will be the keynote speaker at an evening event titled “Unshackling Islam from Patriarchy.” For more details, check out: http://monaeltahawy.eventbrite.com/

By Ani Zonneveld, Aslan Media Columnist

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-1 # Laure 2012-10-22 15:46
I am fascinated. You embrace the Muslim faith, and yet I don't understand how you can square that with the anti-woman and anti-choice views of so many Muslim men who claim to be basing those views, like "I can beat my wife," based on foundational scriptures of your faith.

http://freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/574-what-does-the-koran-say-about-women.html

Could you help me understand this seeming contradiction? If it is a pillar of Islam to accept the Quran without question, all the nice things he wrote about women don't quite make up for the "escape clauses" that have made life miserable for many Muslim daughters and wives over the centuries.
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-10-23 00:45
Thanks for posting. Glad you're fascinated!

Can you post a reference to 'killing girls in America'?

There's a passage in the Quran "...we have created you into nations and tribes for you to learn from each other and not to hate each other". If we all, Muslims included, lived by this we would have a much more peaceful world.

So much of what you are quoting about Islam is actually false and I understand there are a tremendous number of anti Islam books and websites out there, some claiming to be 'authentic', and its easy to be misled.

Re: "Beat my wife". The conservatives, salafi Muslims like the Christian right promote this as Islam. In actually it means 'to walk away', which coincidentally is exactly what Prophet Muhammad did.
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-1 # Laure 2012-10-22 15:54
Obama has, in my opinion, brought credibility to Muslims in America. But we are seeing sharia-type killings of young American girls now. However oppressive you feel Christian legislators may be on the abortion issue, is a growing Muslim presence a good idea? The basic tenets of Islam do not allow for true respect of the religion or non-religion of others, because those who are not Muslims might as well be dead if they do not convert. As numbers grow, so does confidence that the Islamic way will permeate and control more and more of America...and that means abridging free speech (can't laugh at Mohammed, for example) to start with, which many Muslims have clearly taken as excuse for deadly force overseas. Killing girls on American soil tells us that the violent element is here, as well.
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+1 # Cassandra 2012-10-22 21:41
Laure, I kindly suggest that you read up more on the different interpretations in Islamic thought. First, there is no compulsion in Islam--it says so in the Qur'an. The Qur'an does not say that individuals are forbidden to insult Islam or Prophet Mohammed. The so-called blasphemy laws are cultural. Please also look into the history of the Middle East. What you are seeing happening now in the MENA region is a combination of people misunderstandin g their faith AND being frustrated with foreign influence. Also..there is no such pillar in Islam that says one accepts Islam without question. The five pillars are: Zakat (charity), Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), fasting during ramadan, salat (praying five times a day), and shahada (belief in one god and that prophet mohammed is the last messenger). Oh..and scholars have looked at the phrase that you mentioned (about wife beating). Scholars have said that it means--tapping lightly, like with a tooth-brush.
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+1 # Cassandra 2012-10-22 21:44
Scholars noticed that none of the hadiths mention prophet mohammed beating any of his wives. A lot of times, like with any religion, people are ignorant about their faith for many reasons. sometimes it's an issue of people not even being literate--in their native language or in Arabic (the language of the Qur'an).

and the idea that Islam is going to corrupt the US is crazy. Islam has been here a long time--a significant portion of slaves were actually Muslim. So..the religion has been here since that time period... I also suggest that you visit some Islamic Centers and/or mosques and actually talk to imams (religious leaders in mosques..like a pastor) about the concerns that you have about Islam.
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+1 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-10-23 00:46
Thanks Cassandra for jumping in. :-)
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-10-23 00:44
Thanks for posting. Glad you're fascinated!

Can you post a reference to 'killing girls in America'?

There's a passage in the Quran "...we have created you into nations and tribes for you to learn from each other and not to hate each other". If we all, Muslims included, lived by this we would have a much more peaceful world.

So much of what you are quoting about Islam is actually false and I understand there are a tremendous number of anti Islam books and websites out there, some claiming to be 'authentic', and its easy to be misled.

Re: "Beat my wife". The conservatives, salafi Muslims like the Christian right promote this as Islam. In actually it means 'to walk away', which coincidentally is exactly what Prophet Muhammad did.
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+2 # rlwheele 2012-10-23 01:15
I was just having a conversation on this very topic. As an American Christian I have found it very disconcerting that political arguments surrounding personal freedom are often framed in a religious context. Not only does this contradict the idea of separation of church and state but for Christians this should be seen as contrary Biblical teaching. I often remind my Christian friends during conversations on abortion, gay rights, etc. That most folks who identify themselves as Christian believe that God gave humanity free will, that Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world, and that Christ never forced anyone into anything. It is painfully ironic to me that often times these folks who want to protect the potential of life by outlawing abortion are often the ones who are supportive of America going to war. In any case this sort of religious legislation just strikes me as religious insecurity under a guise of righteousness. "The temptation of the age is looking good w/out being good"
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