Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


The dark side of minority religions

posted by Rod Dreher

Over on the Big Journalism site, Bruce Carroll highlights a YouTube clip in which a Muslim adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University agreed under questioning in a public forum that Islam requires the death penalty for homosexuals. The Muslim, a chaplain at the university, also said that Muslims aren’t at liberty to question this teaching. In his rather vituperative blog entry, Carroll talks about how a statement like this would have been covered by the MSM and in the blogosphere if it had been made by an Evangelical Christian.
I know what he means. When I lived in Dallas, I ran across this kind of thing with some frequency. It used to drive me crazy how journalists at my own newspaper, and at other media outlets in Dallas, showed little or no interest when leading Muslim figures would say things this outrageous, or affiliate themselves closely with those in their faith who did. If influential Christians in the community had said such things, they would have been ripped, and would have deserved it. But the media have a strong tendency to want to protect minority religions, I find. Moreover, some in the media get caught up in a ridiculous form of zero-sum thinking, assuming that if right-wing Christians are up in arms over what certain Muslims say, then maybe the Muslims aren’t all wrong. It’s seeing the complexities of our religious reality through a culture-war prism, and it’s really distorting. All of us — myself included — have that temptation, and we have to resist it. Like Orwell said, it’s a struggle to see what is in front of our noses.
This is not exactly big news, I know, but I’ve noticed in myself and in others a tendency to downplay the dark side of religions and religious groups — especially minority religions — of which we approve. I have favorable views on haredi Jews and their devotion to community, and feel almost protective of them, in an odd way, because they are at least superficially countercultural in a way I like. But a secular Jewish reporter friend of mine who once covered the haredim in suburban New York spent an afternoon disabusing me of my sentimental views, and forced me to see the shadow side of all that communal devotion and piety.
I once read a Buddhist scholar, I think it was, remarking that we in the West romanticize and sentimentalize Tibetan Buddhism, in part because the Dalai Lama is such an admirable figure, and in part out of laudable and entirely justifiable sympathy with the Tibetans and their resistance to Han Chinese cultural imperialism. But, he said, there is a serious dark side to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, one that Westerners either don’t see or won’t see, because it doesn’t fit the narrative we prefer (and, perhaps, because we don’t want to give any comfort to the Chinese). We have seen something similar in reporting about Haitian voodoo. And yet, does anybody think that Appalachian Pentecostals would command nearly the same kind of respectful attention from the American news media — this, even though theirs is a minority religion, and among the poorest and least powerful of any U.S. religious demographic?
How difficult it is to try to see religions, and religious people, as they actually are, instead of how we want (or need) them to be. But how necessary!



Advertisement
Comments read comments(32)
post a comment
JayR

posted March 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm


But the media have a strong tendency to want to protect minority religions, I find.
I don’t know if it is that so much as a recognition that minority religions have less influence. As a consumer of news I care not one jot about this adjunct professor (a leading scholar???) says, not because I don’t find his sentiments (which don’t really surprise me) reprehensible, but because he has little to no impact on my life. Whereas an influential evangelical Christian has his hands on, or at least close to, the levers of power, so such a pronouncement from him would be more relevant to my day to day life. And I think news organizations recognize this.
And yet, does anybody think that Appalachian Pentecostals would command nearly the same kind of respectful attention from the American news media — this, even though theirs is a minority religion, and among the poorest and least powerful of any U.S. religious demographic?
To a non-Christian, there is little to no meaningful distinction (even after the supposed details of both are explained) between the Pentecostals and the Southern Baptists (for instance). It’s like saying that the Florida Marlins don’t get a fair hearing in the media because sports coverage focuses on the New York Yankees.



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm


“To a non-Christian, there is little to no meaningful distinction (even after the supposed details of both are explained) between the Pentecostals and the Southern Baptists (for instance). It’s like saying that the Florida Marlins don’t get a fair hearing in the media because sports coverage focuses on the New York Yankees.”
Exactly. While there are indeed nuances of difference between the thousands of Christian belief variants currently evidenced in the world, to those of us who do not believe there is a strong tendency to see them all as pretty much the same.
I’m tempted to suggest that this is a human tendency to see the “other side” as monolithic while seeing the “home team” as nuanced and complex. Whether it is religious, racial, or political groupings I think this tendency is present.
However, I do take issue with this statement: “The Muslim, a chaplain at the university, also said that Muslims aren’t at liberty to question this teaching. In his rather vituperative blog entry, Carroll talks about how a statement like this would have been covered by the MSM and in the blogosphere if it had been made by an Evangelical Christian.”
In point of fact there are numerous similar statements made on a regular basis by Evangelical Christians that never are covered in the main stream media. For example:
restlesswanderings.com/2010/01/christian-ministry-endorses-death-penalty-for-homosexuality/
As mentioned in this post, a Presbyterian minister has offered the same statement with regards to Christian teaching. Yet this has had no coverage that I can find in the main stream media, and relatively few items in the blogosphere about it. And this comment has been out for two months, unlike the comment from the Muslim chaplain.
Yet when I Google “Muslim cleric gays must die” I find an interesting result that seems inconsistent with the meme of this post, Mr. Dreher.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=muslim+cleric+gays+die&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=3d121c88310e67e3
I find stories in many main stream newspapers and blogs concerning a variety of statements by Muslim clerics regarding gays. These stories go back a number of years:
http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=88729
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1163510/All-homosexuals-stoned-death-says-Muslim-preacher-hate.html
Both of these go back to 2009. This next ones goes back to 2006.
sweetness-light.com/archive/uk-muslim-cleric-defends-execution-of-homosexuals
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/226/226549_muslim_cleric_backs_execution_of_gays.html
And this one to 2008.
http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/features/newsonthehour/2008/oct/05/newsbreak-05-10-2008-001.htm
Now I note that the post Mr. Dreher references is on the Big Journalism site, and we all know the reliability and spin potential of its host, Andrew Breitbart.
mediamatters.org/blog/201001260064
But hopefully we can dismiss the notion that the main stream media and blogosphere ignore such rantings as these Muslim clerics have offered.



report abuse
 

Max Schadendreude

posted March 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm


I know plenty of Christians who say that “Islam requires the death penalty for homosexuals”.



report abuse
 

Joseph

posted March 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm


I suspect that most of us recognize that this Muslim chaplain is telling the truth. But, look, what are we supposed to do with this insight into the fundamental character of Islam? I mean what practical consequence should it have for our polity? I ask this question quite sincerely, and I’d be eager to know if anyone here has any ideas about that. Most of us (myself included) would certainly resist any attempt to criminalize the Muslim faith or expel Muslims from our country. And, thank God, no one is seriously suggesting we do anything like that. So what *should* we do with the realization that, however nice most Muslims are, Islam itself is a vile, bloodthirsty politico-spiritual virus? Could it be that most people turn a blind eye to this kind of “news” because it simply doesn’t do us any practical good to dwell on it?



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm


The problem, Joseph, is the people never hear about it. In Dallas, it used to tick me off that the imam of the biggest most in Texas was a man who enjoyed a public reputation as an avuncular moderate, but whose record gave reason to suspect there was something else going on with him. We are facing a long-term struggle with radical Islam, and if there is radicalism of young American Muslims going on in mosques and Islamic religious institutions, we need to know about it so we can figure out how to deal with it. Like you, I would stand against any attempt to criminalize Islam, but Muslims must be held just as accountable for what their leaders teach, preach and welcome into their mosques as Christians, and anybody else. It’s the free ride that our media give people who ought to be scrutinized that bothers me. And the double standard.



report abuse
 

Jon in the Nati

posted March 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm


” I would stand against any attempt to criminalize Islam, but Muslims must be held just as accountable for what their leaders teach, preach and welcome into their mosques as Christians, and anybody else”
I am concerned, RD, about how we would do this. We do, of course, have constitutionally-defined tests as to when speech can be restricted (the short answer is “rarely”); even the most radical of imams would likely find his speech protected under the current and historical aegis of the First Amendment. An instructive note would be that of the KKK in the 50’s and later.
My point is only that it is fantastically difficult to prosecute anyone for preaching something like that. This is not a recent phenomenon, either; it has been the prevailing view of First Amendment jurisprudence for most of the nation’s history (with a few very notable exceptions re: communism in the 20’s, and again in the 50’s).



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm


“Like you, I would stand against any attempt to criminalize Islam, but Muslims must be held just as accountable for what their leaders teach, preach and welcome into their mosques as Christians, and anybody else. It’s the free ride that our media give people who ought to be scrutinized that bothers me. And the double standard.”
Mr. Dreher, I think I understand what you are saying. But how would you suggest we go about publicizing this while avoiding incidents such as this:
blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2010/02/vandals_strike_at_nashville_mo.php
After Sensationalized TV Report, Vandals Strike Nashville Mosque
By Jeff Woods in Law and Order
Wed., Feb. 10 2010 @ 4:30P
I agree with you that such statements need to be countered in the public arena. However, the question we also need to address is to how best counter those statements while not stepping over the line and encouraging violence against property or person. As many of your past posts have evidenced, while you are consistently critical of homosexuality and our society’s acceptance of it, you are also consistently critical of those who would commit violence against homosexuals or their allies.
How do we strike that balance in this instance?



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm


“I am concerned, RD, about how we would do this. We do, of course, have constitutionally-defined tests as to when speech can be restricted (the short answer is “rarely”); even the most radical of imams would likely find his speech protected under the current and historical aegis of the First Amendment. An instructive note would be that of the KKK in the 50’s and later.”
This is true. And if we attempt to regulate the speech of “unpopular” religions, how do we do it without infringing also on the speech of “popular” religions? If we attempt to criminalize the Muslim cleric’s teaching that the Koran teaches gays must be put to death, do we also criminalize Christian ministers who teach the same from the Bible?
Or as we attempt to control the speech of radical Muslim clerics calling for their followers to stand up to the “Great Satan” of our nation, do we also control the speech of similarly radical Christian ministers who invoke Bible passages in prayers that our President dies soon?
Where do we draw the line, Mr. Dreher? To me, the best way to handle this is in the public square, with people in the media giving face to ALL who would use religion in this way, not just Muslims.
But then we have people saying that Christianity is under attack in this nation.
Such is the conundrum we face, is it not?



report abuse
 

Joseph

posted March 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm


OK, Rod. But is it a bad thing if people don’t hear about this? I’m not saying we should censor the news. I just don’t see the point of dwelling on something so horrific when there is not a thing any of us can do about it. Look, if these imams were preaching something that was a hateful distortion of authentic Islam, then maybe it would be fair to hold Muslims “accountable,” as you say, for the crazy stuff their imam is saying. But I don’t think that’s the case. Most of us, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, recognize that these imams are not preaching a distortion of the genuine Islam, but rather the real thing. They are telling the truth about what their religion teaches, and there is nothing any of us (the imams, the muslim faithful, or you and me) can do to change that. In other words, this chaplain’s claim about orthodox Islam is an inconvenient truth, not only for pandering liberals who want to believe that Islam is just great, but for all of us. The fact is that the vast majority of Muslims, today as in the past, manage to ignore this part of their religion. That is just fine by me. Why should I insist that they face the reality of what Islam teaches? If they do so with sufficient intellectual integrity, they must ultimately be brought either to conversion to some other faith or into deeper conformity with Islam. I don’t see any evidence, historically speaking, that the former is likely. Muslims convert to Christianity because they come to know Jesus Christ, not because they were slipshod Muslims who got tired of the ugliness of Islam. The latter seems far more probable, and I for one don’t want to be there when that happens. Serious question: what concrete good do you imagine coming out of more public awareness that this is what Islam teaches?



report abuse
 

David J. White

posted March 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm


To a non-Christian, there is little to no meaningful distinction (even after the supposed details of both are explained) between the Pentecostals and the Southern Baptists (for instance).
Well, to many non-Muslims (e.g., me) there is little to no meaningful distinction between the Sunnis and the Shiites. But we have learned to our cost in Iraq and elsewhere that ignoring that distinction has unpleasant consequences.
Heck, as a Catholic I’ve always had trouble understanding the difference between one kind of Protestant and another. But just because one has trouble seeing a distinction doesn’t mean it isn’t important.



report abuse
 

Zoetius

posted March 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm


I think our societies lack of tolerance for minority religious practices stems from “ingroup” expectations and social norms. We perceive the Appalachian snake handlers and poison drinkers more as “us” and therefore have a right to insist on consistent social norms.
Same for our the US attitudes toward domestic terrorist (i.e. they’re crazy, but they’re our crazies)vs foreign born terrorists.
For example, your crazy uncle Harry drives you insane, you refused to be seen with him as a teenager, and you loudly rebuke him for his bizarre behavior as an adult.
Your friend, however, has a lovely old duffer for an uncle, eccentric to the core, and you wonder why your friend can’t stand to be seen with him.



report abuse
 

Zoetius

posted March 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm


Rod,
Have you considered addressing radical islam more as a cult (not the academic sense, more like Waco, TX or Charles Manson)?
-Z



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted March 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm


Tangentially, I think the Buddhist scholar you referred to, Rod, is Donald Lopez, whose book, Prisoners of Shangri-La, is excellent. There’s another (and more hysterical) book along that line by the Trimondis, but I think it’s currently available only in German. Not that I have anything against Buddhists, Tibetan or otherwise, but we tend to demonize “mean” religions (Islam) and lionize “nice” ones (Buddhism) when we need to be clear-sighted across the board.



report abuse
 

Jon

posted March 11, 2010 at 8:20 pm


Re: I am concerned, RD, about how we would do this.
Is anyone saying to make laws against illiberal religious attitudes? we didn’t do that against Catholicism which, 150 years ago, espoused some pretty ugly views too. Social opprobrium and an insistence that all religious groups must obey public laws (regarding tolerance of each other, women’s rights, etc.) are not empty gestures.



report abuse
 

AnotherBeliever

posted March 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm


The Torah also mandates stoning for homosexuality. And dishonoring your parents.
That bit is still in the Bible we all carry around.
The problem is not so much in what a religious book or teacher dictates as it is in what a community decides to accept as the norm.
That some Muslim teachers are demanding that the entire Muslim Ummah follow every jot and tittle of the Quran’s less than friendly bits is the problem here.



report abuse
 

Joseph

posted March 11, 2010 at 11:58 pm


Well, AnotherBeliever, I don’t know exactly how it works for modern Jews, but Christians have a very explicit and well articulated account as to why we don’t stone homosexuals and parent-dishonorers or circumcise our sons or forbid pork. That code is in our Bible, as you say, but that doesn’t mean that it is prescriptive for us. Indeed, it has not been since the time of the apostles. So I don’t think Christianity and Islam are in the same boat here.



report abuse
 

Al-Dhariyat

posted March 12, 2010 at 9:08 am


I’m a practicing Muslim but I don’t go to Mosque or consort with the ummah, nor do I obviously agree with this so-called scholar. How am I to be held accountable for their hateful teachings?
Secondly, the Qur’an doesn’t prescribe stoning homosexuals. This comes from sharia’ which is largely based on interpretations of the Qu’an which are several hundred years old. Interpretations, which I and many others don’t agree with. Muslims have a very clear delineation of what is fard (required) – it must be explicitly stated in the Qur’an. The rest is interpretation and I’m not bound by scholarly interpretation.
Even though I personally don’t disapprove of homosexuality, it is, in my opinion, not impossible for a more conservative Muslim than myself to take the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach that many Christians do.
Also, I don’t quite understand why if the Bible mandates stoning homosexuals, it isn’t prescriptive? This isn’t meant as a jab, I’m honestly asking.



report abuse
 

Ben

posted March 12, 2010 at 10:34 am


Jon,
I believe that if some form of law had been inacted during the (Catholic)inquisition,a lot of innocent lives may have been saved.I must use the old saying”Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it…).I believe present day society has a chance to learn from the mistakes of the past.



report abuse
 

Jon

posted March 12, 2010 at 11:09 am


Ben,
I am not reading Rod as calling for any sort law against intolerant religious ideas. I am reading as suggesting we not give such religions a pass just because they are minority religions and little understood by the public, but rather we sould examine them, warts and all and be ready to critucize where the depart from the civilized norms that are the foundation of our society.



report abuse
 

Hector

posted March 12, 2010 at 1:27 pm


Re: Also, I don’t quite understand why if the Bible mandates stoning homosexuals, it isn’t prescriptive?
Dhariyat,
Jesus explicitly forbade the death penalty for sexual sins, in John 7:53-8:11. Moreover, the Mosaic law in general is no longer applicable, it was fulfilled by the death of Christ.
I’m a Christian, and I don’t happen to believe that homosexuality is a sin. Even if it were, however, it would be horrendously wrong to treat it as a capital crime. Christians are not bound to take everything in the Bible literally.



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm


“Jesus explicitly forbade the death penalty for sexual sins, in John 7:53-8:11.”
An interesting passage, that.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+7%3A53-8%3A11&version=NIV
The Bible Gateway echoes several other sources regarding this passage.
“((The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.)) ”
And this expands on the controversy surrounding this passage (from Wikipedia, caveat emptor):
“The pericope is not found in its canonical place in any of the earliest surviving Greek Gospel manuscripts; neither in the two 3rd century papyrus witnesses to John – P66 and P75; nor in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, although all four of these manuscripts may acknowledge the existence of the passage via diacritical marks at the spot. The first surviving Greek manuscript to contain the pericope is the Latin/Greek diglot Codex Bezae of the late 4th or early 5th century. Papias (circa AD 125) refers to a story of Jesus and a woman “accused of many sins” as being found in the Gospel of the Hebrews, which may well refer to this passage; there is a very certain quotation of the pericope adulterae in the 3rd Century Syriac Didascalia Apostolorum; though without indicating John’s Gospel. The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book II.24 refers to the passage “And when the elders had set another woman which had sinned before Him, and had left the sentence to Him, and were gone out, our Lord, the Searcher of the hearts, inquiring of her whether the elders had condemned her, and being answered No, He said unto her: “Go thy way therefore, for neither do I condemn thee.”” Book II is generally dated to the late third century (Von Drey, Krabbe, Bunsen, Funk).[6] Codex Fuldensis which is positively dated to AD 546 contains the adulterae pericope. The Second Epistle of Pope Callistus section 6[7] contains a quote that may be from John 8:11 – “Let him see to it that he sin no more, that the sentence of the Gospel may abide in him: “Go, and sin no more.”” However the epistle quotes from eighth century writings and is not thought to be genuine.[8]”
It is interesting that the verse most often used to ameliorate the harsh judgments of so many other Biblical texts has its origins questioned in this way.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted March 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm


“Islam requires the death penalty for homosexuals.”
Big frikkin’ WHOOP, Rod. So does ‘devout’ Christianity. At least, if the “Christian” comboxers who continually pull-quote from Leviticus about ‘surely they shall be put to death’ are any indication.
Yet more selective literalism. Not helpgul.
[Note from Rod: You know what’s not helpgul either? Failing to realize that the Old Testament law is not binding on Christians. The people who cite Leviticus as normative Christian teaching are people who wish to condemn Christian teaching without understanding it. It is fine to criticize Christian teaching on homosexuality, but you should know what that really is, not what you think it is. — RD.]



report abuse
 

JayR

posted March 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm


Failing to realize that the Old Testament law is not binding on Christians. The people who cite Leviticus as normative Christian teaching are people who wish to condemn Christian teaching without understanding it.
But it is binding on Jews. And yet Judiasm has somehow managed to come to terms with this and no Jews seriously advocate executing gays (or people who wear cotton/rayon blends). What is the fundamental difference. I would argue that one is that Jews have embraced modernity whereas Islam in many parts of the world is still pre-modern.
But wait. Rod, aren’t these Muslims your anti-modernism brethren? Shouldn’t you be sympathetic to their perspective, at least, even if the outcomes aren’t to your liking?



report abuse
 

Hector

posted March 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm


HL van Buren,
With all due respect, who cares? If you believe (with whatever qualifications) that the Holy Spirit guided the Church in choosing the canonical scriptures, then it’s plausible that the Spirit also guided them in adding or subtracting passages here and there. We read the Bible that the Church gives us, not some hypothetical, nonexistent Original Bible that sprung readymade from the pen of St. John the evangelist, and personally that’s good enough for me. Whether or not the Pericope Adulterae was in the original Gospel of John isn’t really the issue, the issue is whether it accurately records the teaching of Christ.



report abuse
 

Hector

posted March 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm


Jay R,
Rod doesn’t have to agree with everything done in the name of tradition and the past, any more than a garden variety Swedish Social Democrat has to agree with everything that the Chinese Maoists did in the name of ‘progress’.
Neither progress, nor tradition, comes in just one shade.
For the record, it seems to me that there are plenty of Muslims who manage to combine a firm faith with tolerance for homosexuals. Not being a Muslim, I’m not going to tell them they’re wrong.



report abuse
 

JayR

posted March 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm


Rod doesn’t have to agree with everything done in the name of tradition and the past
No. But I would think that he would at least sympathize with his fellow traditionalists, at least if he wants a fair hearing that his traditions are the ones that the rest of us should abide by.
For the record, it seems to me that there are plenty of Muslims who manage to combine a firm faith with tolerance for homosexuals. Not being a Muslim, I’m not going to tell them they’re wrong.
Yes. My point exactly. Not all Muslims are pre-modern. But here we are condemning the traditionalists and respecting the modernists, whereas Rod has argued the exact reverse with regard to other groups.



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm


“With all due respect, who cares? If you believe (with whatever qualifications) that the Holy Spirit guided the Church in choosing the canonical scriptures, then it’s plausible that the Spirit also guided them in adding or subtracting passages here and there.”
Thus we have, all under the umbrella of Christianity, beliefs ranging from the “Chicago Statement on Inerrancy” advocated by much of the evangelical branch, to the progressive revelation position posited by incrementalists (who strangely resist the idea that such revelation continues in the modern timeframe).
Occam’s Razor, at some point, enters into the picture, does it not?



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm


“Failing to realize that the Old Testament law is not binding on Christians.”
Well, it’s not binding on many Christians, perhaps most Christians, but certainly not all Christians. Seventh-Day Adventists and some other groups believe that at least part of the OT law holds in the church age.
And there are MANY groups that hold selectively to the teachings of the OT, at least to the extent that it places their group advantageously against others.



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm


“Christians are not bound to take everything in the Bible literally.”
Certainly not all Christians do. Many of your mainline Protestant denominations do not hold to a literal interpretation. But there are indeed other denominations that hold to a very literal interpretation of at least portions of the Bible, and they chastise those “liberal” Christians who do not share their position.



report abuse
 

rr

posted March 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm


quote: “Certainly not all Christians do. Many of your mainline Protestant denominations do not hold to a literal interpretation.”
No Christian interprets all of the Bible literally. Just ask fundamentalist what the Bible says about baptism and communion. They will quickly tell you that it is all symbolic on the sacraments. The question isn’t about a “literal” versus a “non-literal” interpretation. The issue is something else altogether.
rr



report abuse
 

Maham Khan

posted March 25, 2010 at 11:56 am


Muslims do a diservice to the Holy Qur’an themselves, by not understanding what it says and attribute to it something that it does not say. The Qur’an does not command the death penalty for any sin. I ask readers to not confuse this with the actions of many misguided Muslims today.
We read in the Qur’an,
“And those of your women who are guilty of lewedness – call to witness four of you against them; and if they bear witness, then confine them to the houses until death overtake them or Allah open for them a way”. (4:16).
This verse clearly reveals that women who engage in immoral acts are to be left alone, preferably in their own homes. And apparently things may change for them as the verse further reveals “or Allah open for them a way”. Otherwise such women are forced to remain in the “houses”. There is no mention of punishing them with death.
The following verse is about homosexual men:
“And if two men from among you are guilty of it, punish them both. And if they repent and amend, then leave them alone; surely Allah is Oft-Returning (with compassion and is) Merciful.” (4:17).
Here again, there is no mention of capital punishment for homosexuality. Punishment is required, though it isn’t described in this verse. However, the commandment of flogging with stripes, the adulterer and adulteress might apply here (24:3-4). These verses also indicate that those who commit such acts can only marry their own likes; this reveals that the wrong-doers are not to be put to death by man himself.
I hope this clears some misunderstanding concerning what the faculty member of the Vanderbilt University said. How he can deduce the death penalty for anyone, from the Holy Qur’an is beyond reason.



report abuse
 

Pingback: Ghosts of gay-bashing

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Rod Dreher. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Most Recent Scientology Story on Beliefnet! Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:25:02pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mommy explains her plastic surgery
In Dallas (naturally), a parenting magazine discusses how easy it is for mommies who don't like their post-child bodies to get surgery -- and to have it financed! -- to reverse the effects of time and childbirth. Don't like what nursing has done to your na-nas? Doc has just the solution: Doctors say

posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the October 12, 2006, entry in which I revealed and explained wh

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to!

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a racist verdict, and a bizarre one -- but there's more t

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.