June 13, 2010


One thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance. I can confidently say that the USA has done a good job of teaching people how to mingle and do business with people of other beliefs, religions, and cultures. I grew up immersed in this culture of tolerance. I see a lot of common fundamental values among different cultures and religions. The common bond among Americans is the desire for freedom and equal rights for all.

There is one way that we can reject this freedom and those rights to people, by denying certain groups the status of human beings. We all do this to children, because they are incapable of independent survival. The matter of the change of status from child to adult is a gray area perhaps never to be fully resolved.

Slavery of Blacks in America was justified in this way. People had to think of them as subhuman in order to live with their slavery. Slavery for millennia before that was justified simply by: “You lost the war; you are the spoils of war and my property”.

Women have been denied equal rights for millennia among many different cultures. Giving women the vote and the right to hold leadership positions is relatively recent in most cultures. Yet I find the status of women in Islam to be beyond toleration.

Under Islam a girl is born the property of her father until he sells her to her husband. She is the property of her husband until he dies or casts her off. She has no choice in this, no freedom at any time, and no more rights than any inanimate object that he owns. Her owner can freely subject her to any kind of abuse. She can be executed if she tries to escape.

I haven’t read a word of the Koran. My information is all second hand, although I did observe the selling off of daughters by a Pakistani family, a neighbor when I lived in Scotland. If you think I’ve got it wrong, please post a comment.

I don’t think it’s my business, or the business of my country, to try to change this, unless it happens within our country. But we should be ready to offer refuge to any woman who dares to escape from such bondage.

16 Responses to “ISLAM VS FREEDOM”

  1. umersultan Says:

    You have no clue what you are saying!

  2. umersultan Says:

    Pay a visit to the local Mosque if there is one!! or ask for literature about Islam from a Muslim.

    • glennodell Says:

      Thanks, Umersultan, for your comments, but let’s move into the 21st century. Instead of me going to a mosque to research this, please explain to me where I’m wrong, right here in a comment, on my blog.

  3. umersultan Says:

    “Under Islam a girl is born the property of her father until he sells her to her husband. She is the property of her husband until he dies or casts her off. She has no choice in this, no freedom at any time, and no more rights than any inanimate object that he owns. Her owner can freely subject her to any kind of abuse. She can be executed if she tries to escape.”

    This entire Paragraph is contrary to Islamic Law. Women is neither a property of her father nor her husband.

    She chooses who to marry and who not to marry. If she refuses to marry someone, her father cannot force her to marry. Prophet Muhammad himself nullified such marriage when a girl told him that his father forcefully married her!

    She has a right in inheritance, and ownership. She can have her own business and has no obligation to share her income with her husband! While her Husband has obligation to provide for her (even in the case if she has a form of income)!

    Prophet Muhammad has been very explicit about the kind treatment of women. In case of Domestic violence, the woman has a right to knock the doors of court.

    Women is not a cult in Islam and is not blamed for Evil Eve as the Bible preaches.
    Women is not burned alive with her husband like in Hinduism, because in Islam woman earns salvation by serving God and not her husband.

    Going to a mosque in order to understand about the issue that which you have no clue about is backwardness.

    You should read this. And make sure you read the entire article:

  4. glennodell Says:

    Thanks, Umersultan. I stand corrected. The one case of forced marriage for a price that I encountered was a Pakistani family. Perhaps it was Pakistani culture, or just that family. And yes, there is a lot of anti-Muslim propaganda flying about on the internet, much of it obviously exaggerated or fiction.

    • umersultan Says:

      It is definitely that family. There are people in the very rural parts of Sindh (Pakistan) where Feudal Lords forcibly “marry” a Muslim woman to the Holy Quran.
      This practice has reduced but probably still survives. Things like these have no place in Islam.
      There is a lot of Culture, family tradition playing out than actual religion.

  5. glennodell Says:

    Thanks again, Umersultan

    My original blast at Islam was triggered by a bit of Email which I won’t repeat here. I’ll Email it to you. I still have a question. Aren’t there many interpretations of the Koran and thus different versions of Sharia in the various Muslim sects, just as there are in different Jewish and Christian sects?

    • umersultan Says:

      Sharia is mostly defined and safe. There is indeed difference of opinion in some subjects. Sharia is also very wide. It is from Politics, to food, to clothing to society.
      Like Pork and Alcohol is forbidden for Muslims to consume, and this is part of Sharia.
      The problem comes when cultural practices are mixed with Islam. For example stopping women from education by Talibans. This is cultural. 40-50 years ago, they didn;t even let boys get education for fearing that the educated boys will leave their family way and will result in weakening the tribe. Pashtun law was mixed with Sharia, and we know the result.

      Like in Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive. In most of the muslim world they drive. So that is Saudi culture not the sharia (although they would argue that is based on Islam just like Taliban did).

      Sharia is based on the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (sayings/practice) of Prophet Muhammad. The problem is that Muslims today have little to no knowledge of Islam at all. Besides the crazy illiteracy rate in the Muslim World, even among the educated Muslims- the majority has no knowledge of Islam. They are following Islam through Culture and through their parents ways.

      The Holy Quran doesn’t have many interpretations. There is a different of opinion on few rulings. And if the populace is properly educated about Islam, all the craziness in the Muslim world would get minimized.

      • David Jahntz Says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it possible that much of the confusion by non-Muslim people such as myself is because of the two types of Islam trying to be understood. I have read in newspapers that there is quite a difference between Sunni and Shia dogma, attitudes or policies regarding topics you and Glenn have brought up here. News reports of extreme behavior by Muslim parents or community religious leaders sensationalizes the ideas of women as property and other family situations.

  6. umersultan Says:

    @ David: The news show Muslims very polarized into Shia and Sunni, and project that both are very different.
    From theological point of view, there is great difference between Sunni and Shia, because of the methodology both have used.
    News projects what they want to public to believe-right or wrong. I have mentioned this in quite a few posts at my blog regarding this.

    The truth is during last US presidential elections, when John McCain said that “Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran”, there were huge rallies in Pakistan, and the through the public show off people said that if that happens, they will consider cross Pakistani border and fight for Iran against US.

    As far as religion is concerned. Islam is based on the Holy book of Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Sunnah).

    • David Jahntz Says:

      I guess what I was getting at was this… Would it be possible to create better relations with one form of Islam over another?

      And, perhaps more important than WHO to talk to, might it be HOW we talk to anyone of the Islamic faith? Would reading the Quran give American diplomats insight into how to find a middle ground to both of our concerns?

      Being raised Catholic, I was taught in the 1950s that non-Catholics were not going to heaven. Thank goodness that changed with John XXIII and Vatican II. Does Islam teach that followers of other religions might go to heaven and deserve respect for their different beliefs?

      I ask that because if people cannot meet on equal moral or ethical terms, very little can be solved between them.

      I for one do not believe that Israel could have been founded in 1948 and sustained until now without Western intervention so that is an unnatural existence in the Mideast. It feels like a form of misdirected reparations by the West for previous wrongdoings.

      Of course the problem is how to deal with a resulting situation? Build more walls and strangely shaped borders which was the 20th century solution to just about every inconvenient international problem.

      I drew maps for the Chicago Tribune for over 30 years and am very familiar with Iron Curtains, Berlin Walls, DMZs and the West Bank patchwork of walls that only tend to focus people’s attention on unresolved conflicts.

  7. umersultan Says:

    I think morals and ethics are pretty general and standard among all the nations. But policies are not made based on morality or ethics, instead policies are made based on lobbies and political interest groups-domestic & foreign.

    I don’t think so it should be looked in a way that can we have good relations with one form of Islam over another. Its not about Islam at all, its about the policies that governments take (on both sides).

    E.g Iran poses no threat to America at all, yet America is very aggressive in its policies towards Iran because of the political rivalry between Iran and Israel. These kinds of policies have broader consequences, impacting America, and religion has no part in it.

    Reading Quran might help is the cases if the politicians are eager to understand Muslims, but if they want reasons to find ills in Muslims and their faith they can easily take verses out of context and use it as a tool to gain votes, as it happened during anti-Obama campaigns during last presidential elections.

    • David Jahntz Says:

      As a Libertarian I have a very strong belief that modern Israel owes too much of it’s existence to Western involvement where it never belonged according to the founders of the United States. You wrote of lobbyists and political interests. Whether it is oil around Southwest Asia or the Persian Gulf or strategic metals in Africa or Afghanistan, the West and the U.S. in particular is trying to find a shortcut to supplying its addiction to non-renewable products at the expense of entangling alliances and creating foreign dependency on American consumers and taxpayers who send money into their upper classes and governments. In the case if Israel, I remember hearing the cycle of U.S. money going to Israel (but not for military use) only to have that money being used for socialistic domestic programs while their military budget is funded by other activity in their economy. In other words, there is no way for U.S. handouts to not end up subsidizing a foreign country’s defense system one way or another! Backing out of the Middle East and other regions is the only way for the U.S. to honestly serve the best interests of any foreign people. Muslims have lived inside the U.S. to learn how to fly airplanes into our buildings and at the same time had experienced our personal freedoms. They still wanted to kill Americans — so what good is any diplomacy or military occupation. Closing our borders more tightly seems like the most sane approach America could take for its own security. Even if we isolate ourselves more in the near future, the Chinese will eventually be the #1 consumer of the world’s goods — at least until they over-pollute their own land. They will probably become the next imperial power of the 21st century, I suspect.

      • glennodell Says:

        Yes, David, we have always been too involved in Israel. I believe that without our support, Israel would have long since faced reality and worked out a 2-state agreement with the Muslims in Palestine. I feel that this is half the reason the Muslims resent the USA. The other half is our overpowering presence- our military bases in the middle east, and our support of unpopular regimes such as our one-time support of Saddam Hussein.

      • umersultan Says:

        Just a correct the people who flew planes into the WTC came from airports in Europe!
        But being Muslim is a threat to America, then Hispanics, Christians and Jews are greater threat to America as well. Because according to FBI stats, over 30% terrorist attack on US soil came from Hispanics, about 7% came from Jews, about 5-6% came from Muslims!

        If we start generalizing the people by races, color, and religion, it will be very easy to deport them. But that won’t solve the problem, if the exploitative policies are being made to please some lobbies and organizations!

  8. glennodell Says:

    Thanks, Umersultan, for the interesting stats, but your comments have wandered off from the thread of this conversation. Have you nothing to say about Israel? Perhaps it’s too sensitive a subject.


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