\"Be The Moderate Muslim\" author misleads

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"Be The Moderate Muslim" author misleads

Here we have an editorial in the Arab News by Kareem Elbayar. He seems to be taking issue with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who asks where are the moderate Muslims.
Ayaan uses the example of the Qur'anic way of dealing with adultery to show Islamic heavy-handedness. This is Kareem's response to that:
... Quote:
Ali conveniently omits these facts from her narrative — just as she plucks a single verse from the Qur’an, devoid of any context — in order to create a black-and-white fantasy world of Muslim radicals versus civilized Westerners. Yes Ms. Ali, verse 24:2 of the Qur’an sets out a harsh punishment for adultery — but verse 24:4 requires four eyewitnesses (an almost impossible standard to meet) and, more importantly, verse 24:5 states that the punishment should not be applied to those who sincerely repent. (So much for your argument that the Qur’an orders believers to show no compassion).


He is correct in that if one accuses a married woman and then fails to present four witnesses that person is to receive 80 lashes and no longer be considered a witness. After that, Kareem seems to stray from the rest of the documented facts.

Mr. Elbayar claims that verse 25 allows for leniency, but the mercy is not to be meted out by the judge, as can be seen in reading the verse for one's self:
"[24:5] If they repent afterwards and reform, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful."
Notice, the mercy described is from Allah, and after the sentencing and punishment is given.

It should also be noted that all adulteresses are not treated the same. Not all accused, I should say. What if the accuser is the husband of the wife? If Mr. Elbatar were to read just one verse more he'd see:
"[24:6] As for those who accuse their own spouses, without any other witnesses, then the testimony may be accepted if he swears by GOD four times that he is telling the truth."

Reading further and you will see that it gets even more complicated. If the wife swears four times that the accuser is a liar, she is then deemed innocent.

This seems to be a stalemate, with one person a liar and the other either seeing justice or being denied it, doesn't it? If that were the bottom line, that is, but if one look elsewhere in the Qur'an it is clear that there is more to consider.

"Get two witnesses, out of your own men, then a man and a woman, such as ye choose, for one witness, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her." (emphasis mine)
So, this makes it clear that a woman is legally half that of a man. It is clear how even a less than deft Islamic council could bring more weight on the side of the accuser.

It is more than just that. Women are at a disadvantage in cases of rape. because of the need of four witnesses. It can be pretty tough to get justice under such judicial weights, as we saw recently in the infamous Saudi case where the culprits were found guilty, but then so was the victim. It seems that it is imposible for a woman to get justice as no mater what, she brought it upon herself.

I'm thinking that Kareem Elbayar's case against Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a little dubious, at best. Rather than arguing against her, maybe he should be doing more to convince the "moderates" that are supposed to be the vast majority to make more of a difference. After all, if Muslims make up a forth of the world's population today and the Islamists are only a small percentage of that great number the world of the Infidels should be able to see the difference, shouldn't we?

While Mr. Elbayar is at it, maybe he can explain these thoughts as well:

How Qur'an-following Muslims should treat Jews and Christians:

What it means to be an "infidel" in a sharia country:
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 26-12-2007

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