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The Forum > Article Comments > Starting point for a Muslim conversation > Comments

Starting point for a Muslim conversation : Comments

By Shakira Hussein, published 11/9/2007

Book review: Waleed Aly's book, 'People Like Us', was disappointing. I found myself longing for a greater level of engagement with people unlike us.

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Secularism is deeper than skin deep my dear Dr. Shakira Hussein. No matter how clever you may be or how you can critique a book and spin its content, nothing is going to change what your beloved prophet thought of women subjugation under his religion of Islam.

The fact that you are born a Muslim gives you no freedom to change what Allah has dictated to his prophet: that you are worth HALF a man and you are deficient in all aspect of conduct, inteligence, and religion.

Women in Islam should cover themselves because they are a walking eye soar and a lump of wickedness that may soil men and nullify their prayer rituals to Allah.

The secular system as you well know accepts women and men as EQUAL (one man equals one woman). So tell me how can you expect us to believe your rant when your religiontells you that you are worth one half of a man and be one whole secular woman at the same time?

The reality is that you are following a counterfeit religion, an invention that may look like the real deal but cannot survive in the God's real world. Hte God who created man in His image.

This is why you have problems with the “other”. Islam can only exist in a bubble; it has no place in modern societies.

The only way you can change that is by starting to QUESTION your own beliefs. You don’t need “us” to do it for you – you don’t need the Arabic language to study your texts – just google it!

There is power in education – so educate yourself and stop following a seventh century Bin Laden just because he said so.
Posted by coach, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 1:31:28 PM
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Thanks Shakira for the review. I'll be sure to look out for your work, there must be some challenging mental gymnastics in there!

Coach, only someone committed to "biblical inerrancy" would presume to speak so confidently about the true meaning of someone else's religion. While fundamentalism is popular amongst many "people of the book", it is not the case that one must follow slavishly the letter of a religion's holy book and medieval law to be an adherent.

It's very easy to debate an imaginary fundamentalist, because you can hit her with her own book and she must stand and take the blow. But it's more honest to debate real people, who have minds of their own and won't readily conform to your rigid mental caricature.

You seem to think that, somehow, the Islamic material to be found on the internet is free from the interference of Western scholarship or, for that matter, from error. But the net is as far from a stone tablet as anything yet devised by human minds!

Directing someone to "google it" necessarily carries an implied caution to filter the results selectively. I'm certain that Shakira Hussein's bulls hit filter is better attuned to Islamic texts, history and progressive Western influence than someone who regularly posts from a position of intolerant commitment to another religion with a different infallible text.
Posted by xoddam, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 3:15:29 PM
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Shakira....the first step in having a conversation with Christians and Jews, is to have SORRY DAY..where you, and Walid Aly, Amir Ali,Kaysar Trad, Sheikh Hilali etc.. stand on a public podium and express:

a) Your deep and genuine regret for the anguish, pain, emotional suffering, trauma and fear generated in Christians and Jews for the various hate passages in the Quran and Hadith directed specifically at them. In particular surah 9:29 & 30.

b) Publically repudiate these texts, and disassociate yourselves from them. (Along with the repulsive 23:5-6 33:50 and many others)

While you are at it....Hilali can repent of his sinful bigamy, (4 wives and many children) apologise for breaking Australian law, apologise for not leaving the country when he knew he was only being kept here by Paul Keating for political reasons. Mr Trad can also repent of his questionable support for the above actions of Hilali. (I would say 'seditious' because he is supporting a high profile public figure who is self confessedly breaking Australian law, thus undermining that law and the institution which enacted parliament) that's my opinion.

You should be there also..and they can with one voice publically repudiate, deny, reject the idea that a Woman's testimony is only worth half that of a man.

Once we get to that point.. we can speak of:


If we don't arrive at that point, then we are stuck with the intolerance and misogynistic "hate speech" which I refer to above.

To us, the important point is not 'how' you currently interpret those things, but the simple fact of their existence.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 5:58:27 PM
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Muslims must emerge from the gloom of circumambient Westophobia that appears to be holding them back. Westophobia within the muslim community seems to be spreading as fast as equine influenza. Just where does the irrational fear known as Westophobia come from?
Posted by Sage, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 6:15:20 PM
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Aly is not a poster boy for starting this “conversation”, he is a qualified promoter of Islam, period.

In HIS research, the women HE spoke with: none said they wore hijab on the instruction of men. But, if they were being oppressed or forced to wear hijab, they would be very unlikely to disclose this to a Muslim man. Let's just accept the facts: Muslim women want to wear the hijab. It offers protection from the evils of western-style sexual decadence.

Picking apart the Islamic worldview through the “Muslim secular feminist” glasses of Shakira Hussein, is unhelpful.

Should the West continue to insist Muslim women adopt western values? It is like asking a Muslim woman to strip off the hijab and go around in a bikini.

Western women have hit the top position in their organization,sure. But then there are the marriages that end in divorce, the glass-ceiling, the relentless grind, the feelings of guilt and inadequacy, the babies that never arrive, unmarried, financially-independent single women approaching 40.

Australian families are trapped in mortgages that one income cannot afford. The great ideal of western feminism has been debunked, and Muslim women are rightfully resisting it.

A Muslim exists to submit to a higher authority. Believe it or not Hussein and Aly, Christian women also strive to submit to God and their husbands, quoting from Ephesians, “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord”..(5:22)

But our husbands have the harder task: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (5:25)

Yes, our husbands are asked to love us, even to the point of sacrificial death.

“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself”. (5:28)

And we can do this, within the framework of western secular society, with equal rights to our men. So, Waleed, instead of focusing your research on Muslim women and parading your Western wife in hijab, I think it is Muslim men you need to turn your efforts to
Posted by katieO, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 6:41:25 PM
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Muslims want to 'start a conversation'?

Well, they can start by explaining two things:

1. the hate and violence against non-Muslims in the Quran and the accounts relating to the many vile things their did prophet did, as recorded in the traditions (and why the say "praise be unto him" after the name of this man, and copnsider him a great moral example, in view of his actions recorded by his friends and followers).

2. The situation of Muslim societies, or better, the status of non-Muslims and other oppressed groups in those countries where Islam dominates.

Before any dialogue is possible, these issues need to be explained and resolved. After all, why should anyone believe anything a Muslim says about "human rights", "secularism" or "separation of church and state" "tolerance" and other important, fundamental issues when the facts are that Muslims say and do one thing where they dominate (hate, violence, oppression) and do differently in places where they are a minority (sweet talk, respect us, Islam is peace, bla bla bla).

Muslims only want to talk about how the West can accomodate them. It is a one-way street. The give nothing, only make demands.

Muslims have no credibility on these issues. When Muslims renounce the hate and violence in the Quran and denounce the vile acts of their prophet and start treating non-Muslims like they want to be treated, then and only then can have a serious conversation.

Until then, when a Muslim talks about "dialogue", it is just cute words without any content, just smoke and mirrors.

Makes sense to me....

Posted by kactuz, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 1:16:57 AM
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