The recent beheading of a Muslim woman in Buffalo, NY, has resulted in the Muslim community attempting to spin its way out of the role Islam plays in "honor killings".
Read from Jihad Watch:
In wake of beheading by "moderate Muslim," Buffalo-area Muslims spread soothing falsehoods about Islam
Aasiya Zubair Hassan was beheaded by her 'moderate Muslim' husband in the studios of his moderate Muslim TV station. And now for some damage control: time for a soothing falsehood session. 'Muslim women discuss true meaning of Islam: Gathering examines misconceptions,' by Deidre Williams from the Buffalo News, September 28 (thanks to James):
'What is the meaning of jihad? What is shariah?
How many wives did the Muslim Prophet Muhammad have, and was he married to them simultaneously?
Such topics were discussed Sunday at a women's-only seminar sponsored by the Women's Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's Buffalo chapter. About 100 women, mostly Muslim, attended the event in the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga.
The seminar was partly in response to the case of Aasiya Zubair Hassan, a Muslim wife and mother who was beheaded Feb. 12, allegedly by her Pakistan-born husband and business partner in their Orchard Park television studio.
"The crime was labeled as an honor killing. We want people to know there is no place for honor killing in Islam," said Tahmina Rehman, seminar organizer and president of the organization's Buffalo chapter.'
Is that so? Then why did Syria recently scrap a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but 'the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour "provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing."'? Wow -- two years for murder! You can serve more time than that for serial double parking. Why did the Jordanian Parliament vote down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings? Al-Jazeera reported that 'Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.'
'Shanaz Butt, moderator for the event as well as acting dean for research and graduate studies and a pharmacology professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said misconceptions about Islam include the idea of jihad, which is often associated with the military, violence and bloodshed.
But lost in translation is the true meaning of the word, which is to strive or to make an effort, Butt said.
"A student trying to pass an exam is a jihadist. A mother raising her children is a jihadist. The people in the seminar are all jihadists because we are striving," she added.'
Indeed. But note the careful language here. Is Butt actually saying that jihad does not involve warfare or the subjugation of non-Muslims? Not according to this report. From this report it appears that she started talking about etymology and thereby misdirected her audience, giving them the impression that jihad had no martial or military aspect, without ever coming out and saying so.
In any case, jihad does have a military aspect. One manual of Islamic law defines it as an imperative to make war against 'Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax.' ('Umdat al-Salik o9.8)
'Often Islam is portrayed as a backward and barbaric, viewing women as weak and submissive to a religion that oppresses them, said the speakers.
They acknowledged that some Muslim women are not treated well, but said that should not be blamed on Islamic religious law, or shariah.
The problem is those who misinterpret the teachings to suit their own agendas.
"They use different interpretations; hence, we see acts of terrorism conducted in the name of Islam. Some use it to condone beating of wives," said Saliha Malik, a professor at Brown University, who converted to Islam in 1987.'
Imagine! Where could they have gotten such an idea? Could it be from Koran 4:34, which tells men to beat their disobedient wives after first warning them and then sending them to sleep in separate beds? This is, of course, an extremely controversial verse, so it is worth noting how several translators render the key word here, وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ, waidriboohunna.
Pickthall: 'and scourge them'
Yusuf Ali: '(And last) beat them (lightly)'
Al-Hilali/Khan: '(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)'
Shakir: 'and beat them'
Sher Ali: 'and chastise them'
Khalifa: 'then you may (as a last alternative) beat them'
Arberry: 'and beat them'
Rodwell: 'and scourge them'
Sale: 'and chastise them'
Asad: 'then beat them'
I guess they all got it wrong!
'Muhammad's relationships with his 12 wives, the speakers said, show him as a role model for treating a wife.
Even though the prophet had many spouses, he was in a monogamous marriage for 25 years with his first wife, Khadija.
He became polygamous after she died, Malik said, but not to satisfy his physical appetites.'
How would Malik, or anyone, know this?
'His marriages were examples of how a man should treat his wife, said Nusrat Rashid, a Philadelphia attorney and guest speaker.
In addition, she said, Muhammad united various Islamic tribes through his marriages, and he demonstrated compassion, fairness and justice to women.
His 11 other wives included elderly widows, two war widows, a non-Arab slave, a Jewish widow who converted to Islam and a widow with small children.
"Muhammad never beat his wives. He didn't yell at them. If they were angry with him, he played aloof and stayed away from them for a short while," said Malik, who referred to specific verses in the Quran to prove the points.'
There is no verse in the Koran that says that Muhammad didn't beat his wives, or yell at them. I challenge anyone reading this to prove otherwise. And Muhammad 'never beat his wives'? Yet Aisha, his favorite wife, says that at one point 'he struck me on the chest which caused me pain.'
'According to the text, Malik said, wives were created for husbands to find peace of mind in them and that it is unlawful to "inherit women against their will," or to detain them wrongfully.
"There are so many inaccuracies," Rehman said. "We're trying to teach and clear up misconceptions and trying to get people to understand that Islam is about peace and love, not oppression and depression."'
Telling the truth might be a good way to start."