It’s the new big thing in Hollyweird. Remember Janet Jackson? I wonder if she knows whether Michael or Mohammet touched … you know.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled Thursday that an Austrian woman’s criminal conviction and fine for her statements accusing the Prophet Muhammad of pedophilia did not breach her right to free speech.
The court said it “found in particular that the domestic courts comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant’s statements and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
More on Daily Sabah
I apologize for the misspelling. It must be Marx and Spencer, of course.
This article is behind a paywall like most gems for the hard-core followers.
“Muslim Fashion – The Freedom of The Veiled Woman” is the title. The teaser:
Are mini-skirts really progressive? An exhibition of Muslim fashion questions the Western fashion dogma: Covering the body can also be liberating.
ZEIT seems to become religiously missionary. This could become a weekly series. Katajun Amirpur’s article is called “Koran – Reading Is Not Understanding.”
The teaser claims that “Since time immemorial the Koran was interpreted: mystically, philosophically, rationalist [translation note: not rational, see rationalism]. This variety brings life into it. Only a literal interpretation has no value.”
I joked last week that the left has found a new wanna-have religion: the postmodern Islam. And this is exactly the attitude. Instead of saying that there are good and bad parts the mission is to claim that everything in Islam is good and then to lie about it when a questioner becomes uncomfortable. A text is a piece of communication and its interpretation has its limits in figuring out what the producer actually meant. Words and phrases can be ambiguous, but this is not what postmodernists mean when they say “interpretation.” They mean that you should feel free to lie about what somebody else tried to say.
Taking out of context isolated verses from the Qur’an to support one’s own preconceived theses, as Islam critics and fundamentalists nowadays do in equal measure and thus coming together in an unintentional collusion [German: Schulterschluss], is grotesque from an Islamic theological point of view; more so: It is a sign of complete ignorance.
Backing up an argument with an insult (ignorance) speaks for itself. She makes an allegation: Critics and fundamentalists were taking phrases out of a context. She does not provide any evidence. Fair enough, that would also be too difficult if we were talking about a widespread phenomenon. I also write “the left thinks” and “the left does” because I know that people who read this blog are basically aware of the characteristics of the left and are capable of matching the claims with their own observations. But if I wrote to people who have little to no contact with people from the political left, I would give examples. She does not provide one example of a quote from an Islam critic or from a fundamentalist which has a different meaning in a context that is hidden from the audience.
Then there is this collusion allegation. Give me a dime for every moron who claims that conservatives would “help ISIS.” The idea here is that because you do something that they do, namely be honest about the text, makes you as evil as them. Conservatives are not driven by hatred. I don’t mind doing the same things like my opponents. I would cook the very same couscous. What is even the argument?
Then she claims that one must not interpret a verse before taking into account the entire Koran and ALL Überlieferungen [the word includes traditions and all evidence, written and others, from history]. Since it is completely impossible to know ALL Überlieferungen, the demand not to interpret a verse would mean a complete Koran reading prohibition. But thankfully Germans and Muslims are not used to ask questions.
She quotes “Islam scientist” (yes, that is a thing in Germanistan) Thomas Bauer on his “study” titled “Culture of Ambiguity” as saying that the Muslim culture historically stood out as being particularly capable of accepting different truths side by side.
You might have guessed already: “Islam science” is probably [legal note: guess, just opinion] the taxpayer-funded wing of the Muslim Brotherhood terror organization on German universities. Katajun Amirpur is a professor of “Islam science” at the University of Cologne.
Then she claims that this phrase (sura 22:39) were constantly used by Islam critics to highlight the violence of Islam:
Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.
I have not heard anybody ever quoting this to me. It seems less ubiquitous than she claims. I bet that she knows this and lies to us. She also cannot see this as an example of a quote taken out of context. Nobody [but some loony hardcore pacifists] would ever object to this verse as it is!
It’s even worse. She goes on and gives a context showing that the verse which sounds harmless was actually malicious. The translation with “being fought” is apparently wrong, not to say, a lie. She says it was revealed in 630 when Mohammed invaded Mekka, breaking a peace treaty. He was not attacked. He was the aggressor. The original meant “permission to fight has been given to those who had been fought” some time ago.
She ends her column with an example of a “modernistic” author, an engineer (it is beyond me why she emphasizes this). Muhammad Shahrur is not just modern, he follows(?) or embodies(?) something called “modernistism” (not even “modernism”, German adjective used: “modernistisch”). Shashrur argues that the commands come with a spectrum of valid interpretations. The example in the ZEIT article is sura 5:38:
[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah
Neither the preceding nor the following lines provide any context. Yet, Shahrur claims that amputation was the upper limit, the worst potential punishment, and that the line could also mean “order them to do community service.” What special knowledge does he have to make that claim? Was Mohammed asking his followers to feed the camels if they stole something? Are we now so into lying that we don’t even bother to offer a foundation for our deception?
ZEIT published a theological article speaking for and about the left’s wanna-have religion: postmodern Islam.
The author Mansur Seddiqzai is a school teacher and teaches Islam. In Germany church and state are not separated. Religious instructions are commanded by the constitution although students can opt out for philosophy classes on ethics.
Seddiqzai starts with an altered version of a story that he often reads to his pupils.
Heinz takes his son Fritz to the forest because he heard voices that told him to sacrifice him. The police intervenes.
After telling this story he usually asks the class how they would deal with Heinz. The usual condemnation follows. The pupils are supposed to learn that today’s morals are different from historical morals. And while he emphasizes again and again that all his students prefer modern morals to tribal ones, he does not give one argument why the modern ones are better.
He also alters the story in a significant way. The voice from G-d is turned into some voice in Abraham’s/Heinz’ head. This is another common element of many religious readings these days. Legends are not seen as legends first and, before digging into what they still tell us about those who taught them and the historical facts they reveal, we just assume that Abraham was a real man and the voice from an invisible being is just a loon’s invisible friend. This is how atheists mock the religious!
There is a difference if in a hypothetical scenario G-d himself talks (and questioning it is not part of the moral of the given story) or you just hear a voice in your head. I don’t know any Muslim, Jew or Christian who thinks that the Lord still talks to people. Usually the revelation is considered to be revealed.
Seddiqzai says that his students admire Abraham and his son “who is called Isaac in Judaism and Ishmael in Islam” for their submissiveness. Isaac and Ishmael are two different sons! Jews/Christians and Muslims disagree on who is supposed to be sacrificed! What is more important is that Isaac must be fooled to follow his father. He is not submissive at all! Even if stories tell us little, they never fail to tell us something about the people who told them.
The author tells his students that submissiveness is not modern. Back in the day, this were the moral, but now we are supposedly over it. Indeed the Koran story has submissiveness as its moral, complete submissiveness of both Abraham and Ishmael. Judaism does not even preach submission under G-d. Given that the Festival of the Sacrifice عيد الأضحى is the most important annual event in Islam, the idea that modernity has changed something has little substance.
And we are hitting the basic problem of postmodernism. The claim that all cultures and morals were equal (present and past), everything were interpretation and nothing were binding, is immediately brushed away when the postmodernists demand that progress is infallibly for the better and the current authority is always right.
I personally believe that postmodernism is a sly trick to make people gullible. Endless lessons in schools are spent on interpreting things (arts, literature, religious texts, culture). Everything is freed up, no limits, it seems. Yet, the student who hits the opinion of the teacher best will be rewarded for it. Postmodernism does not question authority. It just questions the authority of the truth, the intention of words, and gives way to the political authority of the day. And the left’s willingness to misrepresent and strawman their opponents is the result of their postmodern interpretation circus in school.
Seddiqzai blows it with a “psychological interpretation.” In this version, Abraham dreams to sacrifice his son and only wished that his son was devout enough to let it happen.” Remember that the article does not make it clear that the story is completely different in Christianity and Judaism. The title is even “Religious class – When Heinz becomes Abraham.” So the reader is tricked into believing that what he says is equally valid for all Abrahamic religions.
Postmodernism comes with a big deal of dishonesty. It does not say, I disagree with the text. But this would be essential. People feel the dishonesty. Seddiqzai even admits that his pupils are not very happy with his “psychological interpretation.” If I were a Muslim and some ISIS recruiter walked up to me and asked, “Do you follow Allah or your dream-voice-in-the-head teacher?”, I would join up!
Seddiqzai answers the question about what is the right interpretation with “There is no right interpretation.” And because postmodernism is essentially authoritarian, he adds that “we” must not cease the interpretation to “esoterics” and “radicals.” Consequently “truth” is what the authority says and that is better the majority of “you.”
He goes on to say that the fight for “women equality” is about reinterpreting the holy texts. Doubtful students, who read the story correctly, are told that they would “give up their self-determination to a higher instance.” Yes, but this instance is G-d and when push comes to shove he might become more important than feminism.
No, Muslims must question, disagree and challenge old texts, fickle majorities and worldly authorities alike, and not interpret everything for their or anybody else’s pleasure.