Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beyond sensibilities; What to believe regarding Islam

In the West we have a penchant to ignore or disregard that which makes us uncomfortable.  Especially when it comes to religion, we do not take kindly to the denigration or demonization of ones personal relation with the deity of their choice.  When we hear of some behavior or action from Islam or Muslims that is so far beyond our ability to comprehend, we dismiss it as so much static.  Refusing to accept the unpleasant aspects of any situation always results in someone getting hurt, usually it's those who refuse to see the truth for what it means.

Raymond Ibrahim explains it all for us, and gives some tips on how to discern between the real and the hoax.

From October 11 by Raymond Ibrahim

Islam’s Insanities: All Just a ‘Hoax’?

You read something immensely disturbing concerning the Muslim world—say, that some Muslims seek to legalize sex-slavery or destroy Egypt’s Pyramids or approve of sodomy-suicide-missions or crucify infidels. Your mind—exclaiming “tell me this is a joke!”—finds it difficult to accept such news. Then, somewhere from the bowels of the Internet, relief arrives. The much welcomed word “Hoax!” appears, reconfirming your worldview. All is well again.

But is it? Are such accounts mere hoaxes? Or is this just another strategy by those who apologize for Islam’s insanities—a strategy that relies exclusively on the fact that the Western mindset cannot fathom such news, anyway, and thus is all too willing to accept the hoax charge without a second thought?
Recall the news that Salafi parliamentarians in Egypt were pushing for a law legalizing necrophilia. This information first appeared in Egypt’s most circulated newspaper, Al Ahram, followed by Al Arabiya. The news went viral, prompting Western dismay. But then a cutesy Christian Science Monitor article titled “Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey” tried to return us to the status quo. Its author, one Dan Murphy, admonished the many websites that disseminated the necrophilia story: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, kids. At least until there’s like, you know, some proof.”

And his “proof” that it was a hoax? Nothing. He even confirmed that “there was a Moroccan cleric a few years back who apparently did issue a religious ruling saying that husbands remained married to their wives in the first six hours after death and, so, well, you know [i.e., he permitted necrophilia]. But that guy is far, far out on the nutty fringe.”

Aside from Murphy’s immature tone—”so, well, you know” what?—one fails to see how characterizing a cleric as a “nut” means that his religious ruling is a “hoax”—that it never existed? Likewise, when it comes to fatwas, it matters not which nation they hail from, so that Egyptians can easily uphold the fatwa of a Moroccan, or vice-versa, because in Islam there is no “national” distinction, only the umma.

And yet, no matter how shallow or lacking in evidence, these hoax charges resonate well, simply because the mainstream Western mentality instinctively rejects, in this case, the idea of codifying necrophilia.
Much of this is exacerbated by the fact that most Westerners, including reporters, cannot independently verify such stories, as they usually originate in Middle Eastern languages. Which leads to my familiarity with this matter: I get most of my news directly from the Arabic media—knowing that it is better to get my information directly “from the horse’s mouth” than to get it from the limited and filtered Western media.

Accordingly, I am often first to expose stories that go unreported in the West—for instance, the fact that the U.S. embassy in Cairo was being threatened days before the Muhammad movie became a convenient excuse to riot and destroy (the original reason was to coerce the U.S. to free the Blind Sheikh and others).

However, those who prefer to keep such stories suppressed have learned to cry “hoax”—taking advantage of the fact that most Americans cannot read Arabic or verify these accounts for themselves.

Thus, when I documented the indisputable fact that several Islamists were calling for the destruction of Egypt’s Pyramids, the New York Times and Huffington Post cried “hoax”; when I shed light on an obscure “sodomy fatwa” which helped explain the role of intention in Islam (or niyya), Muslims and others cried hoax, including by lying and distorting; and when I reported on how Muslim Brotherhood supporters crucified their opponents, the National Post and others cried hoax.

And yet, none of these naysayers offered any meaningful evidence (click above links for my full responses). Instead, they banked on the fact that it is simply too hard to believe these stories in the first place.

Read it all

No comments: