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View Diary: 15-Year Old Rape/Abuse Victim Sentenced, Under Sharia Law, To Public Lashing For 'Fornication' (94 comments)

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  •  An honest approach is definitely crucial (1+ / 0-)
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    and I think we can shake hands and agree on that point, absolutely.

    As to this:

    I guess my thing is this - A lot of women live under extreme oppression in Islam. And I never understood why western feminism doesn't try to help them more. And outside of the gay community, there is almost no discussion of their treatment of gays.
    I'm with you on those too, I think.  And yeah, a lot of us are working so hard to not be racist and ethnocentric that it can get in the way of recognizing when aspects of other cultures really are terrible.  And I wish like hell that we could do more to help the people suffering under this oppression.

    But I've seen something of American Islam and its own version of sharia, and from what I've seen it really does differ from sharia as practiced in Islamic theocracies about as sharply as contemporary American Christianity differs from Inquisition-era Christianity (and, for that matter, as contemporary American Judaism differs from Biblical Judaism, under which idolaters could be killed without process of law and their killers would not be considered murderers).

    I think a big part of how fanatical religions become milder and more open-minded is through exposure to others who don't share the same worldview, under circumstances where neither can threaten the other's safety.  When you see how others live, you start to get the idea that maybe your own way of life isn't the only possible good way; that hey, maybe civilization doesn't collapse if not everybody keeps the same restday, or if women leave their homes and hold jobs, or if men smooch other men.  And when that happens, religious practice and religious philosophy change -- slowly, and not universally, but they do change.  Three hundred years ago it was unthinkable among devout Jews to teach their daughters to study Bible; today it's unthinkable not to.  One hundred years ago it was unthinkable that any Christian church of any denomination would marry two men or two women; today it's happening.

    And I think that's the best reason for the comparison, however ridiculous it may seem:  to demonstrate that if we've changed, so can they.

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