Friday, December 14, 2007

Islam is O.K. The Imam's are NOT!

A couple of days ago we told you the story of a 16 year old Canadian Muslim girl who was strangled to death by her father because she refused to wear a Hijab (head cover) when she went out in public.

(Even though Toronto is the most cosmopolitan city in the world, wearing a Hijab for a sixteen year old suburban Muslim girl is still a traumatic experience. Especially at school!)
Her father thought that her intransigence on correct Muslim dress was bringing dishonor to the family and this led to the altercation that claimed young Aqsa's life!

The irony in all of this is the fact that it is NOT Islam that is making a big deal out of proper dress, but rather the Imam's themselves.

Here we have a group of misogynist men who have been brought up with a sense of "Fundamentalist, Islamic" beliefs, (Otherwise they would not have become Imam's to begin with!) and hammer their own prejudices and interpretations of Islam into the faithful five times a day.

(Imam's are not the same as a priest in the Christian faith in that Islam, on the surface, let's every man communicate directly with God, while in actual fact it is the Imam's that control public opinion and the direction of the faith.)
Here is an example of this from my book "The Plain Truth About God!"

The Islamic State, as it has come to be known, exists in the Middle East on the principal of obedience being due to God only and that Muslims reject the Western, secular idea of separation of church and state!

This is a nice trick fostered by the Islamic clergy to hold on to as much power as possible in spite of the emergence of democratic and populist movements in the world at large.

One of the greatest drawbacks to Islam is that it operates on the surface as being infallible, much as Christianity did.

Among Muslims however, it is acknowledged that the Prophet Muhammad left no actual interpretation of the Koran, but rather said it should be read and taken literally as the word of God.

This means we have a Divine text that is adding to the confusion by being interpreted differently from scholar to scholar and person to person.

This interpretation by individuals depends on every one’s personal understanding, experience, social, political, and economic environment.

(In fact, this happened almost exactly the same way among the early Christians.)

In Islam, no one, not an individual dictator, an elected national body, or a scholar of religion, theoretically has the right to make any legislation that contradicts what is stated in the Koran or the Hadith of the Prophet.

If they do so, they are committing an act of grave Shirk, or “putting themselves in God’s place.”

BUT, the clergy interprets and decides which part of the Koran they want the general population to use.

They are also the ones that give guidance as to “what it really means.”

It is one of the greatest con-jobs in history since anything that goes wrong or not according to their particular plan is obviously “God’s Will.”

(It is also the one of the main reasons that a Muslims will end every second sentence with the phrase “Insh-Allah” - or –“ God willing!” Being as pragmatic as they are, this puts the onus back on God for whatever happens and absolves them of being in “Shirk.”)

As a believer, a man (remember this is a male dominated organization that would put the Catholic Church to shame) can offer his own proposals for the renewal of his religion, so it is always open to change.

The sad truth of the matter is that in Islam, as in every other religion in the world, there are no shortages of people who try and put themselves in positions of influence and power. (The Imam's)

This, for the purpose of spreading their own version of reality amongst the masses.
Another one of the other great threats to the Islamic state comes from a source that has been kept in check for the last 1400 years.

Of course we are talking about the subjugation of women throughout the Muslim world.

Men are concerned that any loosening of the reins that keeps their females in a position of subservience will lead to an all out revolution by women.

(In light of this, it is interesting to note that women enjoyed an almost equal position with men in Arab society before the coming of Islam.)

This makes us wonder how much of the abolition of rights for women was a cultural phenomenon and how much can be attributed to a misogynistic group of men (Imam's)using religion to undermine a woman’s place in society.

We are not just pointing the finger at Muslim society here, since it is a fact that the Christian community has also done its fair share in the subjugation of women. (After all, it was Jesus who championed the cause of women, only to have it put on the back burner again by Paul!)

From the book;

It might seem a bit unfair to bring this subject up in the section on Islam but the Muslims are, for the moment, the greatest perpetrators of injustice to women, and since the matter must be addressed, it may as well be here.

As we saw earlier in this book, throughout history it has been the men who waged war, made laws, and generally ran things according to their outlook. That was fine when the men went hunting while women stayed back at the campsite or early settlements.

Over the centuries, however, we have seen a gradual shift in responsibilities and division of work, with females taking an ever more proactive role in society, as they should!

Men, by their very nature of being the hunter-gatherers, have always had the inclination to “shoot first and ask questions later.”

This might have worked well in the past, but society is at a point now where the more reasoned and analytical approach employed by women might be a lot better for us in the long run. The natural balance that the female mind gives to a male deserves to be listened to much more than it has been so far in history.

Remember, in the Jahili culture of old, women used to mix freely with men. They used to dress in the same way as women in the secular societies now dress themselves.

It was only after the advent of Islam that it became the custom for Arab women to spend most of their time at home, to cover their bodies, and be kept away from other men.

You will now find some people who tell you that the Hijab (women’s Islamic dress) is an Arab custom, and not an Islamic requirement. Wrong!

Arab society was at one time much more enlightened than now and it is through the diligence of a few religious extremists through the centuries that the population has become narrow-minded in their world and cultural views.

This is one of the first things that have to be changed for women to take their rightful place in Arab society.

But then again-the difference between the wishing and the doing is great.
** Women have three roles - obey the father, obey the husband, obey the son.—Mid-East Proverb.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at and the blog "Perspective" at

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