Sunday, 17 September 2017
by Hugh Fitzgerald
From a BBC News item:
The BBC notes that “one of the first inclusive mosques was set up in Paris in 2012 by Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a gay imam from Algeria who now lives in France with his male civil partner. He is working with Ms Ates to help set up inclusive mosques elsewhere, including in Britain.”
Zahed attributes the ability to set up these “inclusive mosques” to the freedoms available in Europe, the very freedoms that are absent in all the lands where Islam rules: “Europe is the place where we can work on, what we consider to be, the reform of Islam,” he tells the BBC reporter. “Because we have freedom of speech and democracy and education and welfare.”
It doesn’t occur to Zahed to wonder if there might be something about Islam itself that explains why, all over the Muslim lands, those very freedoms are nonexistent, while they can be found everywhere in Europe. For that would require a questioning of Islam itself. If Islam can only be “reformed” in the West, that is, only in those countries where Muslims themselves do not dominate, isn’t it likely that whatever “reforms” of Islam — however small — are achieved here and there in the West, they cannot possibly be accepted in Muslim lands? And why don’t the Muslim lands “have freedom of speech and democracy and education and welfare”? What does that tell us about Islam?
About Zahed’s “inclusive” mosque in Paris, though five years have gone by since it opened as a single prayer room, apparently no second “inclusive” mosque has appeared either in France, or anywhere else in Europe, until this Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque opened this past summer in Berlin. That tells us something about the supposed “wave” of reform — two mosques in all of Europe, in five years. The reporter mentions that there have been some “inclusive” meetings (i.e., including homosexuals) of Muslims for prayers in private homes, or in venues that need to be continuously shifted, obviously out of fear of attack. Can these really be described as “mosques” at all, since in their secrecy and constant movement they appear to be more akin to the cells of an outlawed political party in a totalitarian state?
When Zahed was asked by the BBC reporter “what he would say to Muslims who believe that homosexuality is a sin,” he replied:
Really? You can’t be “homophobic” and still be a Muslim? This will come as quite a surprise, not just to ISIS, but to the Islamic Republic in Iran, run by ayatollahs well-versed in the Qur’an and Hadith, and to the governments of many other Muslim states, where homosexuals are cruelly persecuted, or even executed. And sometimes the punishment is carried out not by the state, but by Muslim vigilantes.
Where does this “homophobia” in Muslim states come from? From the immutable Qur’an, and from the Hadith.
The Qur’an contains unambiguous condemnations of homosexual activity: “And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’…And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.” (Qur’an 7:80-84)
Muhammad specifies the punishment for homosexual behavior in a hadith: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4462); “It was narrated that Jabir: “The Prophet said: ‘There is nothing I fear for my followers more than the deed of the people of Lot.’”—?Al-Tirmidhi: 1457, Ibn Maajah: 2563
And Muslims worldwide apparently agree. In Saudi Arabia, men can be beheaded for committing homosexual acts. In Iran, they are hung from cranes. ISIS prefers to throw them from tall buildings to their death. And even in Muslim countries where the death penalty is not inflicted, the treatment of homosexuals can be unusually cruel. In Egypt, for example, the police troll for homosexuals online, using personal ads, then arrest them. Some have been given five-year prison sentences, others have been, according to Human Rights Watch, “whipped, bound and suspended in painful positions, splashed with cold water, burned with cigarettes, shocked with electricity to the limbs, genitals or tongue.”
Muslim clerics from Morocco to Qatar to Indonesia have denounced homosexual behavior. In 2016, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association listed the 12 countries where same-sex sexual acts are punishable by death: Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Mauritania, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, and Iraq. 11 of the 12 are Muslim states, and Nigeria is more than half Muslim. In another dozen states, all of them Muslim, homosexual acts are severely punished, though with prison and flogging, rather than capital punishment. If the Parisian “reformist” imam Zahed believes that Islam is not “homophobic,” then perhaps he should explain this to all these Muslim officials who mete out these sentences of jail, flogging, and death, to homosexuals, and should point out where they have so badly misunderstood their own faith, and explain as well to mainstream Believers who seem to think that homosexuality is Islamically unacceptable. And their belief stems directly from the words both of Allah in the Qur’an (7:80-84) and of Muhammad in a hadith (Al-Tirmidhi: 1457). What texts can Zahed offer in support of his claim that Islam is not homophobic? He knows as well as anyone how mainstream Muslims treat homosexuals like himself.
Then there is Zahed’s claim that Islam is not “misogynistic.” Perhaps he can explain then, why, according to the Sharia, Muslim women inherit only half as much as men (Qur’an 4:11); their testimony is worth half that of a man (2:282); polygamy is licit (Muhammad, the Perfect Man, allowed himself –there is some disagreement as to the exact number — perhaps as many as fourteen wives), and so are female sex slaves, “those whom your right hand possesses”; a Muslim man is allowed to beat his disobedient wife, though “lightly”; a Muslim man need only pronounce the triple-talaq to divorce his wife; and women are described in the Qur’an as inferior to men, for “the men are a degree above them” (2:228); and in the Sahih Bukhari (6:301) “[Muhammad] said, ‘Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man? They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This [is because of] the deficiency in her intelligence.” There is much more, in the Hadith, about the inferior status of women, but these cited texts should be enough to give any fair-minded person pause — and Imam Zahed may wish to reconsider his amazing claim that misogyny has no place in Islam.
“Judeophobia’ — hatred of Jews — is, like “misogyny” and “homophobia,” impossible for a true Muslim, claims Imam Zahed. And once again the Qur’an begs to differ, for on the subject of Jews it is very — and unpleasantly — clear.
Here is how Robert Spencer sums up what the Qur’an teaches about Jews:
That’s quite a lot — helpfully put together by Robert Spencer — for Imam Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed to have overlooked, in the Quran, in the classic commentators such as Ibn Kathir, in the remarks of present-day clerics. Does he think that he can somehow “reform” Islam by misstating what needs to be “reformed”? It is perfectly acceptable, and most welcome, for Imam Zahed to denounce “homophobia” and “misogyny” and “Judeophobia.” It is completely unacceptable, however, for him to claim that in Islam — the “true” Islam to which Imam Zahed believes himself to be privy — these do not exist, and that it is not possible to be a Muslim and at the same time be homophobic, or misogynistic, or judeophobic. For the textual evidence that it is not only possible, but necessary, for mainstream Muslims who follow the Qur’an, to be all three, see above.
Let’s not get too excited about Imam Zahed’s “inclusive” — i.e., for homosexuals too — Paris mosque (like the Berlin mosque, it’s a single prayer room). Neither the Paris nor the Berlin mosque represent, as some assume, the kind of step forward in the “reform” of Islam that is most needed. Zahed, like Ates, may be more “inclusive” in who can attend — that is, LGBT members — his mosque. But if he cannot admit to, and instead denies, some of the worst features of the ideology of Islam, including homophobia, misogyny, and judeophobia (antisemitism), then he cannot conceivably be a genuine reformer. Refusing to recognize that there is a problem is of no help in trying to solve it. He could, after all, have said that “we must recognize that in Islam there is a problem with homophobia, misogyny, and Judeophobia that needs to be discussed.” He could have, but didn’t.
There is no way to “reform” Islam if even the seemingly most liberal-minded of its clerics can’t allow themselves to recognize what Islam inculcates. And “reform” of Islam’s content will take much more than allowing in, to much excited acclaim by non-Muslims, men and women to pray side by side, or LGBTQ worshippers, or Sunnis, Shi’a, and Alevis, all welcome to pray at the same mosque. Very few Muslims seem to be as impressed with the Berlin mosque as are the Western media: “‘They’re creating a new religion, that’s not Islamic,’ commented one DeutscheWelle user. ‘These people are not following the religion of our prophet. They have no conception of the religion. What idiocy,’ commented another.” Fatwas of condemnation have been issued in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.
And the impact of these “inclusive” mosques has been greatly exaggerated. As we have seen, to date in Europe there has been one “inclusive” (LGBT) mosque in France, a second one now, in Germany, and a third is planned for Great Britain. They are not, in other words, busting out all over. And why should they? Seyran Ates has been receiving 300 letters of support but also “3,000 emails full of hate,including death threats” every day. She is now under permanent 24-hour guard. That does not suggest a popular movement, nor is her example one that others are rushing to emulate. It has been five years since Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed opened the first “inclusive” mosque in Europe. Can two such mosques in five years really be hailed as significant “progress” when those who have opened them require such protection, and just as important, when there has been no change in the texts or teachings of Islam, only in who is allowed to attend or officiate?
In making so much of the mosque in Berlin, the Western media reveals its eagerness — and naive hopefulness — about the possibility of “reform” in Islam. Such “reform” should mean not so much changing the rules on the attendance at, and functioning of, the mosque, but, rather, reform of the contents of the faith, and most of all, it should include changes to what Muslims are taught about non-Muslims. That is the essence of the problem the non-Muslims of the world have with Islam, and while “inclusivity” for both worshippers and imams at mosques is to be welcomed, this does nothing to change what Islam teaches about infidels.
Isn’t this Berlin mosque a case, if we may move from Texas to Arabia, of all hat, and no camel?
First published in Jihad Watch.
Posted on 09/17/2017 5:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
17 Sep 2017
Robert the Brucie
All scat and no Kamel?