There’s good news on the horizon. According to Trevor Philips, the head of the UK’s ‘Equality and Human Rights Commission’, Muslims “are doing their damnedest” to develop an Islam compatible with liberal democracy. And if you don’t believe him, then just ask Tony Blair, who reads the Koran every day and marvels at how progressive it is.
Forget all the worrying and fussing over Muslim immigration and terrorism. The future looks bright for Britain. We’re probably only days away from the first female Imam and drive through abortion clinics in local mosques. Mecca is going to host its first swimsuit competition on its black rock and Ramadan will unite with Gay Pride Day for a parade that no one will ever be able to forget.
At The Guardian, where left is always right, Musleh Faradhi assures us that Sharia courts are not about to displace English law or flog Prince Charles as an adulterer in front of Buckingham Palace. “Women who come to this country with little or no English and are then discriminated against by their own husbands or relatives has nothing to do with sharia, but rather with traditions and culture,” says Faradhi. “This should not be used as a stick with which to beat sharia councils.”
That sounds fair enough except when you remember that Sharia councils are usually the ones who beat women with sticks, rather than the other way around. For reasons that have nothing to do with the Koran, but with traditions, culture and the equinox. It would be a shame if Sharia’s habit of beating women with sticks were to be used to beat Sharia councils with sticks. When it comes to Muslims, turnabout is never fair play. Even when the sticks are metaphorical ones. And the ones they use are all too real.
According to Tony Blair, the Koran is, “ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance”. This claim would be true only if the Koran had been written in the age of the dinosaurs. And probably not even then. The educated Cro-Magnon would have taken one sniff at the Koran and opted for something more progressive. Like the Daily Mail or Benny Hill.
In the progressive words of the Koran, “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other.” (Koran 4:34). It’s hard to argue with that. At least if you’re a woman and under the authority of a Sharia council. Bring enough Muslim men with sticks together and then good luck arguing with Allah’s Theory of Gender Evolution without getting beheaded. Or at least beaten bloody with sticks.
“Good women are obedient,” says the Koran. “They guard their unseen parts.” Which in the Muslim world often includes their faces, their voices and themselves, until the whole woman becomes one unseen part. “As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.”
The liberal Britain which long since disavowed, “A woman, a dog and a walnut tree; the harder they are beaten, the better they be”, has welcomed it back in as, “A woman, a dog and a palm tree.” It is easy to argue with the practices of beating a domestic walnut tree, but who are we to argue with the cultural tree harvesting methods of an ancient belief system which must be superior to ours on account of it being practiced by the people we once colonized.
And the verse finishes, that having beaten them “Then if they obey you, take no further action against them.” This must be the part that Tony Blair and Western liberal readers find so ahead of its time in its attitude toward women. That once having beaten a woman, if she complies, then you should stop beating her. The nobility and generosity of these words should touch the heart of even a Germaine Greer.
The Koran may tell you to beat women, but it doesn’t tell you to keep beating them once they’re cringing on the floor. This generosity extends not only to women, but to all sorts of beloved infidels. Once he surrenders, and pays Jizya, accepting his role as an inferior– the well-behaved Muslim is not supposed to keep beating him. Women, Dhimmis, slaves and other people whom Allah hath made inferior are not to be beaten so long as they obey you.
You can see why Tony Blair might consider this attitude toward governance ahead of its time. Anyone who has had contact with England’s bureaucracy can well appreciate a form of governance that stops beating you once you’re lying prone on the floor.
“The Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins” says the former Prime Minister. “Rather as reformers attempted with the Christian Church centuries later.”. The inability of the former Prime Minister to tell the difference between the Anglican Church and a wife-beating manual is a sad testament to many things. Not the least of which is his functional illiteracy.
If Islam was trying to return to the origins of Judaism and Christianity, it took the wrong road around. Mohammed’s GPS may have told him he was headed to Jerusalem, but instead he ended up in Mecca. Which is what happens when you attach a GPS to a flying horse and religious ideas to greedy bandits.
Jewish and Christian scriptures were not possessed with the “fear of disobedience” or the need to compel their wives to cover their faces to avoid being raped on the spot by their own cousins. Which originated the headbags of Muslim modesty. But then Jews and Christians tended to court their wives, rather than abduct them and rape them in front of their husbands.
When your wedding canopy is a knife at her throat, and your “meet-cute” was burning her village, there’s good reason to fear her disobedience. And when your relationship is based on being the first man to grab her as she made a run for it, there is good reason to keep her inside or cover her from head to toe. You may be her first rapist, but your cousins and friends will have no objection to being her second and third. When rape is legal, and every adult male around you is a potential rapist, then purdah and headbags are a natural way for fathers and husbands to protect their investment.
There is nothing spiritual about Muslim modesty. It is, as Blair said, “Practical”. In a society of rapists, women had better remain at home, cover up, or end up like Lara Logan. But you don’t have to be a blonde at a celebration of Egyptian democracy to be assaulted. It happens just as often in the UK now. Take Abul Malik of Trafalgar Road, who raped a female passenger when she couldn’t cover the full fare. And why not. Back in Pakistan, rape is a time honored means of restitution in disputes. And now so it is in the UK too.
We can of course go on pretending that all this ugly and sordid stuff has nothing to do with the high-minded ideals Islam and go on cheering the Sharia councils who “are doing their damnedest” to make Islam compatible with liberal democracy. Except it isn’t Islam that they are making compatible with liberal democracy, rather it is liberal democracy that they are making damnably compatible with Islam.
Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, has explained that equality before the law now means that some people will be governed under the law, and others under Sharia law. Of course there will be no beating of women with sticks. Yet. For now it will have to be the metaphorical sticks of a legal system which is under the impression that women are an inferior form of life.
How much justice can women expect from divorce proceedings that take place under the authority of the Koran which says that, men have authority over women because “they spend their wealth to maintain them.” Which denies that domestic abuse and marital rape are wrong.
Baroness Cox has introduced the “Arbitration and Mediation Services Equality Bill” which puts forward the controversial idea that no mediator can operate on the belief that a woman has fewer rights than a man. That such a bill had to be put forward in 2011, ninety-three years after the triumph of women’s suffrage, is outrageous. But what is even more outrageous is the opposition to it.
The Islamic Sharia Council’s Suhaib Hasan replied that, “It is indeed a crime that Lady Cox has made no attempt to understand the workings of the shariah councils.” Of course that isn’t an actual crime that she can be beaten with sticks for. Yet.
The media’s message is don’t worry. Every day Muslim immigrants are adapting to the new way of life. But who is really doing the adapting?The real message of don’t worry, is don’t worry and be Muslim. And if you can’t, then keep to the floor and hope that they don’t keep beating you once you’re down.