lördag 2 maj 2009

Tantalus

Tantalus was a figure from Greek mythology. According to the stories he cut his son Pelops up, boiled him and presented his parts to the gods as a sacrifice. The gods in turn were horrified and thus punished him.

His punishment was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any. And so this torment and torture continues even today.

The most widely used way to criticize any civilization is to attack its treatment towards its most vulnerable groups. How a society treats its underprivileged, its ethnic minorities and its women. Yes the creature created from Adam’s ribs has always been a bone of contention.

In most Muslim countries women are ill treated in the name of religion, although the real causes lie in traditions and not religion, a fact that the enlightened media so easily tends to forget. Although all males are chauvinists the Muslim male is egoist and self centered. They boost about the exalted level of respect and dignity Islam gives to women but forgets that he himself has snatched those privileges from her today.

Women in most non Muslim communities, although have gained some significant achievements but the western standards are UNACCEPTABLE. The women in west have become an object of satisfaction and a commodity with an undiminishing price tag. In the name of freedom and equality the west has snatched away the dignity and respect women deserve and replaced it with inhumane sexual practices.

Islam always ordains its followers to achieve a level of balance in both the practical and spiritual aspects of life. It emphasizes social harmony and mutual respect among all creatures encompassing humans, animals and even non living things. Islamic laws are not oppressive. In their entirety they not only protect the dignity and honor of women but also grant them power. Powers that she can exercise on not only a few individuals rather on the entire society.

But these laws are to be established in their entirety. Just putting women under the veil and not lowering the gaze would always be a half hearted effort. The western media no matter how much it claims to be free and liberal is bigoted and biased to the extreme levels. It happily reports marriages of young girls to older men but forgets to report the plight of rape victims in its own backyard.

The decision lies with us, the Muslim males, to recognize the true value of our women, to realize the harshness in our attitudes towards them, to realize the biasness in our customs and traditions towards women and above all to realize that no matter what a women wears, a burqa or a bikini, she will always be someone’s wife, daughter, sister and mother and needs to be revered so that one’s own wife, daughter, sister and mother can be revered.

….until then the torment of tantulus will continue…


By guest writer Musafir

lördag 28 februari 2009

Don´t blame me if I don't like them anymore!

Something smells very rotten about this liberty they promissed.

video

tisdag 10 februari 2009

Driving the Mullahs crazy

In 1990 47 women challenged the authorities by taking their families' cars out for a drive. They were jailed for a day and many lost their jobs.

Yet looking at the bright side, in a country where only 5 % of women are employed although with literacy rates soaring above 70%, 47 women losing their jobs is not a big deal. From that day on it was made illegal for women to drive through the streets of the kingdom.

The arguments given by religious scholars for such a law are as follows:

  • Driving a car involves uncovering the face which is considered obligatory for women to cover in Saudi.
  • Driving a car may lead women to go out of house more often.
  • Driving a car may lead women to have interaction with non-mahram males, i.e., they can be stopped by policemen at the scenes of traffic infractions.
  • Women driving cars may lead to overcrowding the streets and many young men may be deprived of the opportunity to drive..

What one fails to grasp is the logic and wisdom behind such arguments. Do they mean that women going out more are dangerous to society or do they mean that women are more dangerous drivers than men?

No matter how one looks at it, the fact is very simple. Islam, the religion the system that brought peace, tranquillity and an age of development to Arabia is now vanishing. The age of jahiliya is back and with a vengeance.


By guest writer Musafir



måndag 1 december 2008

The New Changes Made to the Hudood Ordinance (HDO) and its Opposition By The Religious Scholars.



Disclaimer: the following work is merely a collection and translation of different articles and therefore I take only credit in collecting the most relevant facts and opinions of other people. In the end I have given a conclusion which solely reflects my opinions and understanding of the situation.


Background

In the late 1970’s there was a popular demand by the people of Pakistan for the implementation of Islamic laws in the country. The Nizam-e-Mustafa movement was on its peak. Under such conditions General Zia ul Haq, who had just seized power in a coup, introduced certain measures that on the face were Islamic but in reality had no value.

However the hudood ordinance (HDO) was an exception because unlike other measures, that were only the brain child of General Zia or his associates, this was formed after due consultations and discussions with lawyers, judges and Ulema. Furthermore it was accepted by all the Ulemas of Pakistan belonging to different sects.

Despite its merits it was rejected altogether by the western minded sections of the society. It was criticized as a law that is oppressive towards women. The most common propaganda was that a women who has been raped needs to provide four witnesses in order to verify her claim in a court of law. The Ulema instead of answering these allegations in a logical and reasonable way started conjuring up conspiracy theories, theories that accused western nations and governments for devising ill plans against Islam. Due to their inadequate and ill timed responses the general public became convinced that the law is oppressive by nature.


The hudood ordinance at a glance

The ordinance consists of 110 articles with considerable number of sub articles. Some of crimes that are dealt with in this law are:
  1. Rape or consensual extra marital sex.
  2. Qazf: false accusation.
  3. Blasphemy against the Prophet Pbuh.
  4. Alcohol consumption.
  5. Theft.
Before I go further it has become necessary to explain what Islam says about extra marital sex. The picture below clearly describes the difference between an Islamic system and other systems. In Islam families are the most basic and important units. The basic aim of most of the Islamic principles is to uphold a safe and healthy family life and safeguard family values. That is the reason why rape or consensual sex is considered as cognized offence rather than crime against individual.



Now back to our hudood ordinance. Depending upon the crime there are two types of punishments that can be executed.

  1. Punishment of Hud. Hud is a term in Islamic jurisprudence that means the nature, method and magnitude of the punishment cannot be changed.
  2. Taazeer: this term means that the nature, method and magnitude of the punishment can be changed and decided according to the Qazi or judge.

The Hud punishment for rape and consensual sex is death by stoning for married men and 100 lashes for unmarried men. The requirement for four witnesses is needed only for executing Hud punishment. If rape/consensual sex are proven by the means of physical evidence or less than four witnesses then the criminals can receive punishment according to Taazeer.

There are people who would criticize the need for two sorts of punishments but they are ignorant of the fact that rape is one of the crimes in the world where physical evidence has little or no implications. One such example is the stureplan case that emerged in Stockholm in 2007 and 2008 (details at the end). Furthermore a jail sentence, although has been practiced, is a unislamic concept. In Islam sentences are short but severe e.g. lashes, chopping of hands, heavy fines and death.


The changes made through Women Protection Bill 2006

In 2006 a bill was proposed in the country by the above mentioned name and some changes were made. There was a big hue and cry from various religious leaders and political parties. I will give a brief list of some of the prominent changes made and why they were objected to as being unislamic.

  1. Hud punishment for rape has been abolished completely. Only taazeer punishment can be given.
  2. Rape/consensual sex are no longer a cognized offence. This means that no FIR can be reported in a police station and the case must be taken directly to the court with two witnesses. This also limits the powers of the court to act in such cases.
  3. Previously if a person was acquitted of the crime of rape, a trial against him/her could be initiated in the same court at the same moment for the crime of consensual sex. Now a person acquitted of rape can not be tried for consensual sex.
  4. According to many Ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH if a person is found guilty of a crime in a court and the punishment of Hud has been declared by the court then no one has the right to change the decision. Therefore article 20 section 5 clearly states that provincial government cannot change the verdict if someone has been given the punishment of Hud. In the new law article 20 section 5 has been removed.
  5. According to article 3 of HDO, it is to be given dominance over other laws i.e. if a conflict arises between laws stated in HDO and any other ordinance than the laws stated in HDO are to be implemented. This article has been removed as well from the new Law.
  6. It was stated in HDO that if during court procedures a person is found guilty of an offence that is regarded as crime by legislations other than the HDO then he/she can be given punishment by the same court. This was done as to remove the complexities within the legal system and make it more efficient. However this provision has been removed in the new law as well.


Why the HDO never worked?

A single law or legislation is not enough to run a society. In a successful judicial system different legislations strengthen and support each other. Loop holes and back doors in one law can lead to failures in others. Therefore the HDO was misused by people and many women suffered.

HDO will never work unless it is supplemented by strict anti-corruption laws and social education programmes. An active participation from both religious leaders and legal experts will be required for this process. Especially the religious scholars need to come forward and educate the masses and realize that it is their fault in the first place that led to misconceptions and dislike for the HDO.


The Stureplan case


The case is interesting in the sense that it clearly describes the technical and legal difficulties when dealing with issues like rape. A woman met two men at a pub. She went with them to an apartment owned by one of the men and all three got heavily drunk. The next morning the woman reported both men to the police and charged them with raping her. On medical examination it was found that the woman had been treated violently and had many bruises on her body. Both men were arrested.

The district court after hearing both the parties decided in favour of both the men and set them free. The main reasons behind this decision were firstly all three were heavily drunk and no one could give a clear account of the situation. Secondly both men admitted to having violent sex with the woman and considered it a form of foreplay and they even said that the woman had agreed to this act. The response from the media and general public was in favour of the woman and both the judges and the legal system were heavily criticized. After a few months the case went to the appeals court where the judges surprisingly gave a totally new verdict, agreeing with the woman the court found both men guilty and were imprisoned.

Such complexities are common in dealing with such cases. Physical evidence is meaningless and in the end it is one mans word against the others and the courts have to decide which version of the story is the true one.

By guest writer Musafir

torsdag 2 oktober 2008

Every soul will taste of Death


"Every soul will taste of death. And ye will be paid on the Day of Resurrection only that which ye have fairly earned. Whoso is removed from the Fire and is made to enter paradise, he indeed is triumphant. The life of this world is but comfort of illusion"
[The Qur'an 3:185]


كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ ذَآٮِٕقَةُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِ‌ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوۡنَ أُجُورَڪُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۖ فَمَن زُحۡزِحَ عَنِ ٱلنَّارِ وَأُدۡخِلَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ فَقَدۡ فَازَ
‌ۗ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡغُرُورِ



tisdag 30 september 2008

Happy new Eid!


Eid Mubarak for all brothers and sisters in Islam!