Peaceful Muslims. A very touching article.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by NightTrain, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. NightTrain
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    Jordan's dilemma over 'honour killings'
    By Clare Murphy
    BBC News Online

    "A woman is like an olive tree. When its branch catches woodworm, it has to be chopped off so that society stays clean and pure."
    So declared one tribal leader when pressed on the issue of "honour killings" in Jordan, where approximately every two weeks a woman is killed by a male relative because of the shame she has brought upon her family by an alleged sexual transgression - "sins" which include being raped.

    Her killer will, on average, receive a sentence of some six months' imprisonment.

    Latest efforts to impose a harsher penalty on men who kill their daughters and sisters suffered a fresh setback in parliament this week, after deputies refused to sanction an amendment to the penal code.

    The day after parliament sat, three brothers hacked to death their two sisters with axes "to cleanse the family honour".

    Parliament's failure to approve the amendment is likely to be a disappointment for Jordan's King Abdullah, who is keen to present his country to the outside world as a pioneering model for reform and a beacon of moderate Islam.

    It is widely agreed that the root and cause of honour killing is a complex, historical phenomenon which has no justification in Islam's holy book, the Koran, and which has also been known to occur elsewhere in the world and among other religions.

    Nonetheless, it is the insistence within Islamic culture of the need to preserve women's purity - and the disgrace that any stain on this purity may bring upon the family - that appears to be making it so tough in Jordan to stamp out the crime and to bring their perpetrators to court on murder charges.

    Identity issues

    The issue was poignantly brought to international attention earlier this year with the publication of the book Forbidden Love by Norma Khouri, who wrote a tribute to her best friend Dalia - killed by her father in Amman after she started an affair with a Christian boy.

    Dalia's case may have focused minds, but since her death dozens of other women have been killed at the hands of fathers and brothers.

    Those found guilty of such killings rarely receive sentences longer than one year, and many serve terms of one month. They tend to be sentenced under legislation which reduces sentences for crimes committed in a "fit of rage" sparked by an "unlawful action" on the part of the victim.

    According to campaigning journalist Rana Husseini, actions such as leaving the family home for a period, or uttering words such as "This is my life. I am free to do as I choose" were all considered unlawful acts in verdicts on honour killings issued last year.


    For the deputies who rejected the amendments, invoking harsher punishments against the perpetrators threatens the very fabric of conservative Jordanian society. Lenient sentencing, they argue, dissuades women from committing "sin" in the first place.
    "It's also a question of culture and identity," says Adab Saoud, one of six female deputies who holds her seat thanks to a royal-imposed quota and one of the MPs who voted against the bill.

    "Obviously these killings are wrong and against our religion. But the notion of honour is a very important one in our society. And we need to accept that."

    Ms Husseini agrees that Jordan's cultural identity is proving a sticking point in the campaign to change the law.

    "One of the main problems with the debate over the past few years are the terms which were set. The king told parliament they should look at this because Jordan was being criticised by the West.

    "It was the wrong way to present it, because it seemed as though the West was being allowed to impose itself on our sovereign affairs. And that got people's backs up. "

    Victimhood

    Curiously, when it comes to determining who is ultimately to blame for the killing of young women by their male relatives, there is reluctance to point the finger at the men themselves.

    "I know it would be much simpler and easier if there were certain types of men who did this," said Norma Khouri shortly after her book was published. "But Dalia's father was not a cruel monster - in many ways, he was a typical Arab man, just like my dad."

    Ms Husseini goes as far as talking about the men as being themselves "victims".

    "It is so hard to understand the extent of the social, cultural and traditional pressures on these men. They are constantly told the family honour is at stake, they are virtually blackmailed."

    Female relatives also play a role in the murder of their daughters, sisters and nieces.

    Many do so because they are scared they will be tarred with the same brush if they refuse to co-operate, others because they too believe the family honour has been disgraced.

    Rania Arafat, who lived in Amman, might have turned 27 this year if her two aunts had not turned up at her door one morning to say they had arranged a secret meeting with her boyfriend, with whom she had been conducting an illicit affair.

    When the three arrived at the supposed rendezvous point, the aunts stepped aside and Rania was shot in the head by her brother.


    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/3094736.stm

    Published: 2003/09/10 11:59:11 GMT
     
  2. Dawoud
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    Dawoud Guest

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    This is my first posting on this message board.
    Im muslim as is my wife I wanted you to know that many of the problems with and in Islam today are cultural not religous.
    Nothing in the Koran says women are to be treated like property or not educated or held as chattle.
    My wife has a masters degree in physics and taught at Mohammed V university in Rabat Morocco for 9 years.
    Her family are doctors engineers and teachers and none of them would ever subscribe to the terrable form of Islam expounded by the Wahabis (Saudis)
    Her mother is a very pious woman who goes to mecca every year and last december when we were in Morocco she told me and i quote" Ossama Ben Laudin did great harm to Islam"
    But saddly heres the problem thoe 10% of the people in Morocco have masters degrees .
    60% cannot read or write. This leads to them being told what to think and how to interpert the Quran by (and im sorry to say this) hate filled clerics in the Mosques.
    Islam need a reformation just like the christian church went thru in the last few hundred years. And there is alot of hope for this because of the internet and the fact that so many people in the middle east are under 30 and want change.
     
  3. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    Good post, Dawoud.

    As a person who has access to people that know what's going on in the muslim community, would you please forward these questions to the appropriate persons :

    How does Islam receive such attacks such as the USS Cole and 9/11?

    I chose those two because one is a legitimate military target and one is a civilian target.

    Any light you can shed upon my questions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    NT
     
  4. Dawoud
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    Dawoud Guest

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    I really cant say how all Muslims feel about the 2 attacks you speak of there are 1.3 billion of us.
    I can only tell you how I feel about it
    My father was in the US navy in WW2 his ship was torpedoed and he lost both his legs defending this country. Any attack on any US service peole should be stopped and whoever does it should be punnished.
    And the WTC
    Let me quote you something from the Quran


    "if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people."

    As far as im concerned if late at nite when all is quiet and you listen to the silence you can hear them building a special room in Hell for Ossam and his cohorts
     
  5. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    Amen.

    Agreed wholeheartedly, and welcome aboard!

    There are many more questions that will be posed to you, should you chose to stick around, I am sure. Please do not take them personally, as many of us have virtually no background with Islam and we are genuinely ignorant of the customs and beliefs of your religion.

    Again, welcome aboard and please feel free to jump in to any topic you wish to. Generally speaking, most of us here will be polite and considerate.

    NT
     
  6. NightTrain
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    P.S. - Please extend my gratitude to your Father for his service to this great country of ours. My Grandfather was severely wounded on Okinawa during WWII and I spent countless hours on his knee, listening to his war stories. I'm sure you can relate.
     
  7. janeeng
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    Dawoud, yes, welcome to the board! I think you can spread some knowledge here and answer some questions for those that don't understand muslims! Thanks for that post! i think I can open my eyes a little after that.

    I have to agree with you, that it's not the religion - for instance, after 9/11 - my Son's friend at that time, he was Muslim and Arab - his Mom didn't seem very welcomed at the school anymore, and I would see that the Mother's there would talk about her when she arrived - I felt bad for her - so one day I went up to her and asked her how she felt about it all - her words were very touching. She told me, she didn't do this, she wasn't part of 9/11 yet people blame her because of her background, she gets threats, and people look down on her - she said she didn't believe in Bin Laden's ways, and her family didn't either - she told me more things, but I really felt bad - i then decided to save her from the crap at the school and took over taking her Son to school - now I was the target, but they knew, if they said something to me, I would blast them right back! I couldn't stand half of them anyway - they didn't give this woman a chance, to see the real her and just cut her off - for what I did, they came over one day with a Turkey, it was nearly Thanksgiving - a big turkey and she thanked me for all I did and said her Husband wanted us to enjoy a dinner. I thought that was so sincere and was greatful! Unfortanately, this year, they moved - I don't know the answers why, but I just feel it's because of all the hate! so, I try, even though there are times I get mad, but I will say there are good out there, and you can't blame a person because of who or what they are!
     
  8. janeeng
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    That was some story! you seem to have it all together and a happy marriage! that's a great thing!!!!

    Thanks for that information, though you didn't have to put all that in there...it was nice to read something as nice as that for once.

    Glad your here!
     
  9. Spirit_Soul
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    But on the religious freedom part: It depends on where you were in morrocco.

    I had a friend who went there and she wore shorts in the street. They were throwing stones at her and calling her names. She came back to U.S.A after a week or so by catching the next flight home.

    Also, about people not hating America... May be their family does not hate America, but most people in the arab world are basically brainwashed to hate America, just like we are getting brainwashed here to hate Iraq.
     
  10. Dawoud
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    Dawoud Guest

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    I have been from one end of Morocco to the other.
    And yes i have heard similar storys about other western women having things like happened to your friend.
    She was in a different culture they wernt going into hers she was going into theirs.....maybe she should of done alittle reading before she wore the shorts and just had a tad more respect for the culture and religion she was visiting.
    There are jerks in all cultures.
    Up at the university i work at after 9-11 someone i worked with was very very rude to my wife when she came to pick me up from work she was dressed in totally western clothing and the only thing she was guilty of was being muslim.
    My boss had to pull me away from him i was in the process of whipping his fat redneck ass.
    they transferred him to another department the next day.
     

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