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Sistani on gays.
March 17, 2006 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Ayatollah Sistani says it's OK to kill gays. More here and here. Kind of sobering to think about how conservative the man is, a man who is so crucial (just imagine if he were assassinated) to Iraq's future and the U.S. effort there. If it were up to him, chess would be banned! Check out Sistani wisdom on the full range of issues. Here's a no brainer: "Question : Is having an orgy permissible under the Qur’an? Answer : It's forbidden."
posted by js003 (86 comments total)

 
Wot? A muslim cleric behaving stupidly. Simply shocking!
posted by philmas at 9:16 AM on March 17, 2006


Hey, you know... invading Iran on false intel and killing tens of thousands of innocent people just got a little more palatable.

Thanks, propaganda man!
posted by squirrel at 9:18 AM on March 17, 2006


wakko says it's OK to kill Ayatollah Sistani.
posted by wakko at 9:21 AM on March 17, 2006


If chess = gambling & debauchery
then why's there no world league of chess in Vegas every year?

Sounds like it'd fit right in.
posted by stumcg at 9:23 AM on March 17, 2006


no, the point isn't about invading iran or killing sistani. it's about what's in store for iraq.
posted by js003 at 9:23 AM on March 17, 2006


Iran's President Ahmadinejad has already suggested that the Jews be moved to Alaska. Where would these clerics recommend the Gays be sent? Hawaii? Ibiza?
posted by billysumday at 9:24 AM on March 17, 2006


Wot? A muslim cleric behaving stupidly. Simply shocking!

Fixed.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:26 AM on March 17, 2006


Yet unlike the US's religious extremists, he's OK with birth control.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:26 AM on March 17, 2006


Cat's hair does not invalidate prayer.

Phew!
posted by scottreynen at 9:28 AM on March 17, 2006


Question : Is anal intercourse permissible.?

Answer : Permission is bound to wife’s agreement, but it is strongly undesirable.

Well, sez him.
posted by psmealey at 9:30 AM on March 17, 2006


Sistani on anal sex.
posted by maxreax at 9:30 AM on March 17, 2006


I think "permissible but extremely abominable" is a much more honest way to say "I think butt sex is gross" than the more common "you are evil if you do it" line.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:32 AM on March 17, 2006


Digging deeper, uh, so to speak, I found this one:

§ Answer : Masturbation is not permissible under any circumstances.

This explains so much.
posted by psmealey at 9:32 AM on March 17, 2006


"Gays must be killed," says the man wearing a dress and a fashionable hat.



In a related story, Catholic priests who preach about God, virtue, and the evils of homosexuality are discovered to be gay pedophiles. Film at eleven.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:34 AM on March 17, 2006


Regarding orgies, this one is much better than the one in the fpp:

§ Question : What is an orgy?

§ Answer : It's forbidden.
posted by qvantamon at 9:35 AM on March 17, 2006


The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Be careful of backbiting because backbiting is worse than adultery, in that a person who commits adultery can repent and ask forgiveness from God, and Allãh can forgive him whereas Allãh will not forgive the backbiter until the person who was at the receiving end forgives him.”

Stone the backbiters!

(great link, BTW)
posted by Rumple at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2006


fandango_matt:

Turbans are no longer fab. Where have you been, girlfriend?
posted by jonmc at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2006


§ Answer : It is not permissible, because it is a means for Lahv (debauchery) and gambling. Many traditions have been reported from the Holy Prophet and the Imams (a.s.) that prohibit playing chess. Moreover, when we do not know the reason behind the forbiddenness of an act, we are bound to obey in absolute obedience. There is a reason for it, but we do not know it and when we do not know it, it does not mean that we should not abide by it.

SAMRT!!
posted by delmoi at 9:39 AM on March 17, 2006


What's a backbiter? Is the like what Marv Albert did?
posted by psmealey at 9:40 AM on March 17, 2006


Ayatolla Sistani doesn't care about gay people.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:41 AM on March 17, 2006


Is it permissible to drink beer that says “alcohol free” on it?... if it means a drink made from barley that does not cause mild drunkenness, there is no problem in it.

It's Millet time!
posted by zaelic at 9:41 AM on March 17, 2006


§ Question : Is it necessary for a woman to do indoor activities like washing dishes, cooking food and ironing her husband's clothes?

§ Answer : Although it is not wife's religious duty to do these job it is morally good for her to cooperate with her husband and help him in his difficulties. A woman has the right to ask her husband to pay her for the work she does at home.

If only.....
posted by Rumple at 9:41 AM on March 17, 2006


al-Sistani’s website, which called for the killing of lesbian and gay men “in the most serve way”, according to Outrage translations.

That's some crappy translation those Outrage people have there. "Serve way"!?


Also, any religion that forbids Chess or music is a crackpot religion for crackpots, so that includes at least al-Sistani's flavor of Islam.
It is probably best to respond with untrammeled ridicule. Or cartoons.
posted by sour cream at 9:41 AM on March 17, 2006


Sistani says that gays and lesbians are "self-absorbed hedonists who want to impose their particular sexuality on the rest of Iraq."

Oh, sorry, that was Pat Robertson talking about America.
posted by digaman at 9:41 AM on March 17, 2006


Is having an orgy permissible under the Qur’an? Answer : It's forbidden.

Well, I was going to convert to Islam.
posted by S.C. at 9:47 AM on March 17, 2006


digaman, see, that's what I'm saying. If Sistani says "kill gays" it's not via some bullshit excuse like "they're hedonists." I appreciate his honesty if nothing else.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:50 AM on March 17, 2006


Turbans are out!? And I just outfitted my harem in Versace!



For related reading, check out Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeni Bantam Books, 1979:

"A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate vaginally, but sodomising the child is acceptable. If a man does penetrate and damage the child then, he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl will not count as one of his four permanent wives and the man will not be eligible to marry the girl's sister... It is better for a girl to marry at such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband's house, rather than her father's home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven."

"A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels* and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village, but selling the meat to a neighbouring village is reasonable."

"If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel*, their urine and their excrement become impure and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed as quickly as possible and burned."

"Wine and all intoxicating beverages are impure, but opium and hashish are not."

"If a man sodomises the son, brother, or father of his wife after their marriage, the marriage remains valid."

"If a man completes a prayer and discovers his member is not covered, the prayer remains valid."

"During sexual intercourse, if the penis enters a woman's vagina or a man's anus, fully or only as far as the circumcision ring, both partners become impure, even if they have not reached puberty; they must consequently perform ablutions."

"A woman who has contracted a continuing marriage does not have the right to go out of the house without her husband's permission; she must remain at his disposal for the fulfillment of any one of his desires, and may not refuse herself to him except for a religiously valid reason. If she is totally submissive to him, the husband must provide her with her food, clothing, and lodging, whether or not he has the means to do so. A woman who refuses herself to her husband is guilty, and may not demand from him food, clothing, lodging, or any later sexual relations; however, she retains the right to be paid damages if she is repudiated."

"If a father (or paternal grandfather) marries off his daughter (or granddaughter) in her absence without knowing for a certainty that she is alive, the marriage becomes null and void as soon as it is established that she was dead at the time of the marriage."

"If a man commits adultery with an unmarried woman, and subsequently marries her, the child born of that marriage will be a bastard unless the parents can be sure it was conceived after they were married. A child born of an adulterous father is legitimate."

"Ali [son in law of Mohammed], having cut off the hands of two thieves, treated their wounds and offered them his hospitality, and this affected them so much that they became utterly devoted to him; or again when he heard that the marauding army of Muawiyah had abused a woman of one of the tribes, he was so upset and moved to pity he declared: "If a man died after such an occurrence, no one could blame him." And yet, despite a nature as sensitive as that, Ali bared his sword and hacked the perpetrators to pieces. This is the meaning of justice."

posted by fandango_matt at 9:57 AM on March 17, 2006


That Pat Robertson that blamed americans for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 ?

Sisatani, Robertons ..same venom, same audience ,different delivery style.
posted by elpapacito at 10:07 AM on March 17, 2006


I get a 404 on the first link. Anyone have a cached ver?
posted by hjo3 at 10:17 AM on March 17, 2006


Speaking of killing us: an interview with self-described "Biblicist", truck driver and Senate candidate Merrill Keiser, Jr. of Fremont, Ohio, who said homosexuality should be a felony, punishable by death.


and Doug Ireland has had extensive coverage of what happens to us in Iran (and out) for a while --awful.

and Ireland in In These Times has a roundup: Iran’s Anti-Gay Pogrom
posted by amberglow at 10:32 AM on March 17, 2006


Metafilter: Stone the backbiters!
posted by three blind mice at 10:37 AM on March 17, 2006


Um, is there an actual news link to support this? Nothing against OutRage, but I'd like to see something a little more authoritative. It's no secret Islam, like many religions, isn't crazy about homosexuality, but calling for killings is quite a leap, and Sistani is (if nothing else) politically astute enough to realize the problems such a statement would cause him.
posted by languagehat at 10:40 AM on March 17, 2006


languagehat: first of all, it's not a new thing, but here you go--actual link to Sistani's site at bottom: IRAQ: AYATOLLAH SISTANI SAYS DEATH TO GAYS
posted by amberglow at 10:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Thanks, amberglow.

Can any Arabic-speakers here confirm that this:

§ الجواب : حرام. ويعاقب فاعلهما بل يقتل فاعل اللواط اشد قتلة.

means 'Forbidden. Punished, in fact, killed. The people involved should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.'?
posted by languagehat at 10:56 AM on March 17, 2006


Yeah, but don't forget, Islam is a complete bunch of arse peaceful, tolerant religion, and this man and his opinions do not represent the cowed majority
those who quietly agree, really
those who are too scared to disgree
most peace-loving Muslims.
posted by Decani at 11:06 AM on March 17, 2006


so's Christianity, Decani--do you have a point?
posted by amberglow at 11:11 AM on March 17, 2006


fandango_matt - I call bullshit on the quotes attributed to the book. There is absolutely NO. FUCKING. WAY. any muslim scholar, or anyone who knows anything at all about Islam said such things like it's OK to molest babies or have sex with animals.

Someone sent me the same quotes a year or two ago. I wonder where that book came from or if its some kind of urban legend or something.

I have somewhat of an Islamic education and, from the little I know about religion, all those quotes are absolutely absurd. I will say that our family is Sunni and the Shiites have different rules. I was surprised to see Sistani says anal sex is OK when, to my knowledge, it is absolutely forbidden.

But the sites linked to earlier are definitely authentic. There are lots of sites like that around. IslamQA.com is one of the more notable.
posted by b_thinky at 11:15 AM on March 17, 2006


I'm sure that I'd find Sistani's views on homosexuality to be reprehensible (since I'm not crazy about the generic Islamic or Judeo-Christian view of the matter to begin with). All of these links look pretty slanted to me, though. Is there a translation of the fatwa in question that hasn't been provided by Outrage?

For instance, in the press release amberglow linked: "[Sistani] wants to impose an Iranian-style theocracy on the Iraqi people." That doesn't jibe with the impression I have of Sistani, eg if you compare it to this BBC profile.
posted by whir at 11:19 AM on March 17, 2006


b_thinky: Supposedly, the Arabic book those sayings are supposedly taken from can be downloaded here, supposedly.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:25 AM on March 17, 2006


“A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However...”

And he’s located where?
*checks online plane tickets*

If he said that, I don’t see how anyone can follow him. If.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:29 AM on March 17, 2006


Whir, I'm not sure of my position, but most Jews belong to divisions of Judaism that not only accept gays, but are on the verge of allowing them to be clergy. (Reform, yes; Conservative, almost).

So stop being a dick and lumping Judaism with either Islam or Christianity. Islam IS significantly in the MIDDLE AGES, despite all the BS you will hear.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:30 AM on March 17, 2006


(I don't think there should be gay Rabbis, but that's a far cry from the position espoused by this post)
posted by ParisParamus at 11:31 AM on March 17, 2006


Gay Rabbis: The Thing That Should Not Be
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:32 AM on March 17, 2006


languagehat: That's pretty much correct. I do know homosexuality is without a doubt forbidden in Islam, as it is in Christianity and Judaism, though I'm not certain it's punishable by death. Adultery is punishable by death, but pre-marital sex is not.

This is really not a surprise to me, nor should it be to anyone. Islam is an unchanging religion and one of the worst sins is to "invent" new rules of Islam. If homosexuality was illegal and punishable by death in the Qu'ran, it will be so today as well. The fact that Christian society has changed its interpretation of the Bible to "tolerate" homosexuality and other sins is one of the major griped of the muslim world vs Christians.

Making rulings or interpretations is a serious matter, and the vast majority of muslims will seek a religous education to become an "Islamic scholar" before voicing opinions very loudly. This is one of the main reasons you don't see more average/moderate muslims speak out against the extremists. Ask anyone their views on a controversial topic and the answer you'll likely receive is "I'm not a scholar."

This reluctance to voice authoritative opinions of course leaves an opening for assholes like bin Laden or Sistani to take over. Osama, of course, has the background of a constructin engineer, not a religious scholar.
posted by b_thinky at 11:32 AM on March 17, 2006


Gay Rabbis: The Thing That Should Not Be Fabulous
posted by davejay at 11:44 AM on March 17, 2006


PP: "stop [...] lumping Judaism with either Islam or Christianity"

Well, what I meant when I said Islamic / Judeo-Christian views was specifically the little bits of Leviticus that the more intolerant types are always quoting to justify discrimination against gays, which if I recall correctly Leviticus is canonical in all three Abrahamic religions. Obviously there are going to be variations on how seriously those bits are taken in any particular practicing religious community.

I didn't know Reform Judaism was on the verge of accepting gay people as rabbis, but that seems like good news (for joke writers, if nobody else).
posted by whir at 11:48 AM on March 17, 2006


posted by Smedleyman If he said that, I don’t see how anyone can follow him. If.

Never underestimate the power of a charismatic religious demagogue.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:50 AM on March 17, 2006


Wait... what if I just put the tip of my pinky finger in Ayatollah Sistani's asshole while I'm getting a rimjob from a male billie goat.

Does that count as an orgy? and is the goat gay?
posted by thefreek at 11:53 AM on March 17, 2006


b_thinky, so what you are saying is that Islam is destined to stay in the middle ages by design. That's scary.
posted by sour cream at 11:55 AM on March 17, 2006


Reform Judaism has had gay rabbis for years now--since 87, and gay marriage ceremonies for a few years now. Conservatives are voting on gay rabbis and marriage in December (but they've been losing members for a long time--both to Orthodox and to Reform).
posted by amberglow at 11:58 AM on March 17, 2006


No, no. Islam is destined to stay in the middle ages, because that's where its leaders want it to stay.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:03 PM on March 17, 2006


Apparently "Black Gammon" is also forbidden. Or will be, as soon as somebody invents it...
posted by uosuaq at 12:10 PM on March 17, 2006


"Wait... what if I just put the tip of my pinky finger in Ayatollah Sistani's asshole while I'm getting a rimjob from a male billie goat."

All billie goats are male.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:12 PM on March 17, 2006


Whir, I believe gay rabbis already are accepted by the UAHC (I think that's the governing org); it's the Conservative org. that's still debating the issue.

In any case your reference to Leviticus is, with all due respect, just ignorant. Judaism has never accepted a literal interpretation of the Torah, including its penalties for "crimes."

I suspect there are lots of ill-informed people out there when it comes to Judaism; Christianity gained much of its critical mass by telling lies about Judaism.

As for Islam, MIDDLE AGES is still the operative word. I don't know if this means that eventually, at some point in the future, Islam will modernize, or whether the fact that it hasn't proves that it never will.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:13 PM on March 17, 2006


Islam IS significantly in the MIDDLE AGES, despite all the BS you will hear.

Y'know... that is a total crock of shit. I have had many close friends, workmates and classmates over the years in my travels in the US, Europe and the Mideast that are Muslim (devout to varying degrees), and in terms of comparing them with friends of different faiths and even those of no faith, they are the most open, least judgmental and coolest people I know.

Islam is by the definition of its own tenets, anti-hierarchical. There is no central governing body or person, and interpretations of the Qu'ran very WIDELY (just as there are differences between Hasidim and Mainlain Protestants), not just from country to country, but sometimes from mosque to mosque.

What is being talked about here is a very narrow interpretation of one (albeit powerful) person's views that are held by a very limited group of Muslims in one part of the word. To damn Islam for it, is akin to damning all Christians for what Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps say.

I guarantee you that some of my Pakistani, Algerian, Lebanese and Croatian friends think this guy is as full of shit and apostate as any ultraconservative personality cult fundie Christian.
posted by psmealey at 12:17 PM on March 17, 2006


Okay, that ethnikoi site sonofsamiam pointed out is some weird shit.

I'm with b-thinky. No way any Muslim religious authority of any stripe is going to say something like that.

Although, I remember reading this stuff years ago and pointing it out to a roomie who was into Arabic and Persian. He said the legalistic nature of Shi'ism caused people like Sistani and Khomeini to write volumes of treatises covering ever more obscure facets of life so as to ascend from hojatalislam to ayatollah.

Still, I doubt it.
posted by atchafalaya at 12:19 PM on March 17, 2006


I guarantee you that some of my Pakistani, Algerian, Lebanese and Croatian friends think this guy is as full of shit and apostate as any ultraconservative personality cult fundie Christian.

Unfortunately for us, whatever religeon you do or dont adopt, these are the people in power.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:30 PM on March 17, 2006


"Y'know... that is a total crock of shit. I have had many close friends, workmates and classmates over the years in my travels in the US, Europe and the Mideast that are Muslim (devout to varying degrees), and in terms of comparing them with friends of different faiths and even those of no faith, they are the most open, least judgmental and coolest people I know."

Well, I hope you are correct, and I will try to keep an oper mind, but I don't seem much evidence of it. Are you sure you are taking into consideration the the "devoutness" dynamic in your assessment? I know there are many Muslims who can be described as such, but they are not Imams; they are, to steal a line from personal ads, "more spiritiual than religious."

Where are the leaders, the spokespersons, the Imams who don't want to kill all the gays?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:34 PM on March 17, 2006


posted by ParisParamus Where are the leaders, the spokespersons, the Imams who don't want to kill all the gays?

And there you have it. Islam is a religion of peace, yes? So what Islam and Muslims need are clerics and imams and ayatollahs to start condemning the bombings, the hatred, and the people who condone such behavior. Right now, all we hear is silence. And tacit approval.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:49 PM on March 17, 2006


I like it. It's like a Sistani FAQ.
posted by iamck at 12:50 PM on March 17, 2006


PP's thoughtful and reasoned remarks are making me dizzy. Is grass still green, are donuts still sweet?
posted by squirrel at 12:51 PM on March 17, 2006


Where are the leaders, the spokespersons, the Imams who don't want to kill all the gays?

The burden of proof lies on you. Go google em. Let's be honest here, they don't make the front page of CNN.
posted by iamck at 12:51 PM on March 17, 2006


Here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
posted by maxreax at 1:14 PM on March 17, 2006


Actually, the burden of proof lies with Muslims who condemn the words and behavior of those who use Islam as rationale for hatred and murder. If Muslims want to change their image, they ought to openly condemn the clerics and imams and ayatollahs and people who support hatred and murder.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:16 PM on March 17, 2006


thanxmaxreax.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:16 PM on March 17, 2006


Here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

But the problem is not there are not progressive Muslims. Of course there are. Islam is not like some institution with a central authority like a corporation where a policy or edict can be universally implemented on the say so of a couple of guys at the top. Or even where pressure can be put on those guys by others.

Local Mullah's hold all the power. In someplace they are like Mob Godfathers.

So the majority of these progressives live HERE to avoid these hardliners, or their organizations are based here, in the west. The bulk of people that need to hear this progressive message don't live in the west.

And you have the added complication of the rarely questioned acceptance of sectarian political rule in Muslim countries- Islamic Republics. The Islamic Republic cannot exist as a modern pluralistic democratic state - it simply can't by principle, structure and scripture (even taking into account interpretations) - just like a the idealized right-wing American Christian Theocracy is an anathema to democratic ideals.

We have to stop pretending that they are simply another democratic system of political communities on par with say European parliamentary democracies. They are not.

So yes. In practical terms Islam IS still struggling with the baggage of the middle ages - more so than western predominantly Christian states. Pretending it's all ok so we don't offend people will not help.
posted by tkchrist at 1:43 PM on March 17, 2006


Ivan Karamazov got it backwards. When you believe in God, you can justify any evil.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:59 PM on March 17, 2006


When you believe in God, you can justify any evil.

Distilled essence of glibity.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:01 PM on March 17, 2006


Thanks, I was aiming for glib.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:04 PM on March 17, 2006


Extra points to someone who can come up with rules for Black Gammon: The perfect mixture of Blackjack and Backgammon.
posted by qvantamon at 2:35 PM on March 17, 2006


I will try to keep an oper mind

Bullshit, Paris. You have not the slightest intention of keeping an open mind. We've had this discussion a million times already, and the "Islam suXX0rz" camp is completely uninterested in any information that contradicts their simplistic worldview. If we're going to judge by the most bigoted and fundamentalist representatives, then Judaism is just as much in the Middle Ages (to use that ridiculous figure of speech) as Islam, and so for that matter is Christianity. I prefer to judge by people who live and think in the modern world, and the Muslims I've known have all rejected bigotry and fundamentalism. But keep your simplistic views if they make you happy; just don't pretend you're interested in dialogue or "keeping an open mind."
posted by languagehat at 2:36 PM on March 17, 2006


But the problem is not there are not progressive Muslims. Of course there are. Islam is not like some institution with a central authority like a corporation where a policy or edict can be universally implemented on the say so of a couple of guys at the top. Or even where pressure can be put on those guys by others.

A massive part of the problem lies not with Islam in and of itself, but with the way Islam has been activated as a radical postcolonial political philosophy by a few very smart people.

As with any former imperialist domain struggling to assert socio-cultural (as well as political) independence, most of the Middle East was forced to grapple with the problem of "national" identity--a concept not entirely foreign, but still different enough from the political structures in place to provide a degree of difficulty. Compounding that was the largely arbitrary way many of the borders in the Middle East were set, with little to no regard for ethnicity or culture (see: Iraq). You can see in mid-20th century Iran an attempt by Reza Shah to formulate a pre-Islamic, crypto-Zoroastrian identity that was soon overcome by Khomeini's hardline Muslim identity (an identity that has its roots as far back as the the Wahabbis in the 18th century, but is also related to the Muslim Brotherhood of Sayyid Qut'b--and is at the same time entirely different insofar as Khomeini was, and most Iranians are, Shia).

Middle-Eastern Muslims are no more "struggling with the baggage of the middle ages" than we are. What they are struggling with is the baggage of European imperialism and colonialism. In fact, reading some 20th-century Muslim thinkers like Ali Shariati can give you the somewhat sobering though that had we not meddled with the attempt at constitutional democracy, we might not have the radical Iran we need to deal with today.

The Islamic Republic cannot exist as a modern pluralistic democratic state - it simply can't by principle, structure and scripture (even taking into account interpretations) - just like a the idealized right-wing American Christian Theocracy is an anathema to democratic ideals.

"Islam," in and of itself, doesn't mean anything. It, like any other religion, can be interpereted by anyone to mean almost anything. To imply that "Islam" is fundamentally incompatible with democracy requires a very narrow view of it; given the time, I could probably make the case that Christianity is incompatible with democracy. (In fact, I probably wouldn't have to--I'd imagine that the Catholic Church was none to happy about mass democracy in its infantile stages.)
posted by maxreax at 2:52 PM on March 17, 2006


My god, man, you're... making sense! Quick, get out the side door before they find you and stone you!
posted by languagehat at 3:07 PM on March 17, 2006


languagehat : "Bullshit, Paris. You have not the slightest intention of keeping an open mind."

I can't believe I'm saying this to you, languagehat, but: relax. ParisParamus is being pretty calm and straightforward. Disagree with him, but keep it civil.
posted by Bugbread at 3:38 PM on March 17, 2006


"Right now, all we hear is silence. And tacit approval." - posted by fandango_matt

It occurs to me that when that happens, often you need to check out where it is you're getting your information.

Whenever I hear the "they don't love their children" and sundry analogies I tend to question my sources.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:49 PM on March 17, 2006


Good to hear that all Iraqs other problems have been solved.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on March 17, 2006


"Islam," in and of itself, doesn't mean anything. It, like any other religion, can be interpreted by anyone to mean almost anything. To imply that "Islam" is fundamentally incompatible with democracy requires a very narrow view of it; given the time, I could probably make the case that Christianity is incompatible with democracy. (In fact, I probably wouldn't have to--I'd imagine that the Catholic Church was none to happy about mass democracy in its infantile stages.)

Reading things like this is so completely depressing. You know what an Islamic Republic is, right? It's not simply a place where Muslims happen live and form just any 'ol secular democratic government like any other, you know.

An "Islamic Republic" is incompatible with democratic principles. Not muslims. And not necessarily Islam - though it appears there is a particular scripture precedent and a predilection to form Theocracies in Islamic societies.

ALL theocracies are incompatible with democratic principles. Why is that so hard to admit?

Are you trying to argue in FAVOR of theocracies? Or are you trying to tell me that somehow Islamic Republics are NOT theocracies? Or that America and Europe are a type of Theocracy themselves? Please tell me no. I doubt you are.

I understand what you are saying about the European powers carving up and imposing artificial national identities being a serious problem, yet to blame everything Islamic societies are going through —their reactionary nature and lack of progressive movements — as all the result of post colonial schism just does not hold up, brother. Not at all. And it won't help to do that. because, guess what? Your putting the cure squarely in the hands of people you saying are the problem - the west. I mean, what do you DO with that line of reasoning?

It's another form of turing to the past to move forward. It NEVER works.

There are INTRINSIC dysfunction to these societies. For Christ sake the extremists are using Caliphates as utopian models - and that is a very popular notion throughout the mideast? What does that say?

The US is, itself, a former colony. Hey? Can we use THAT as an excuse for the religious Right and Bush? Maybe we invade other countries because, like an abused child, we mimic our abuser. So what good does all that do?

Blaming everything on colonialism will NOT achieve anything.
posted by tkchrist at 4:40 PM on March 17, 2006


An "Islamic Republic" is incompatible with democratic principles. Not muslims. And not necessarily Islam - though it appears there is a particular scripture precedent and a predilection to form Theocracies in Islamic societies.

What, exactly, is an "Islamic Republic"? Is largely secular (albeit dictatorial) Pakistan an "Islamic Republic"? Is Mullah-controlled Iran an "Islamic Repbulic"? Is the joke of a government in Afghanistan an "Islamic Republic"? All three have "Islamic Republic" in their names. It's an empty phrase with no more meaning than what people put in it.

And bullshit, by the way, on a "predilection to form theocracies." We could sit here all day and quote the Qu'ran and the New Testament back to each other, and find enough repugnancy and beauty to fill the page several times over.

There are INTRINSIC dysfunction to these societies. For Christ sake the extremists are using Caliphates as utopian models - and that is a very popular notion throughout the mideast? What does that say?

Intrinsic to Middle Easterners? To Muslims? To Islam?
posted by maxreax at 6:48 PM on March 17, 2006


Intrinsic to Middle Easterners? To Muslims? To Islam?

Intrinsic to the cultures. At this time. Yes. You have to blind not to see it. Does that mean they can't change? No.

Please... are you gong for the big "R" in this argument? Because if you do I am o-u-t.

I am not implying there are intrinsic genetic traits if that is the disgusting canard you want to hang on this debate. So let me head you off right now, buddy.

You don't think cultures - at given moments in time - have predilections towards certain dysfunctional attitudes like sexism and militarism? Including OURS in the west? I go in to great detail but somebody will likely scream "GODWIN! GODWIN!" over and over.

So you think theocracy is fine I take it? Yes or no. Answer please.

And yes I CAN quote in the Qu'ran where it details what Islamic governance should be - and it is somewhat (not toatlly) unique inthat regard. You denying that?

Islamic societies need to change themselves to progress. But. Hell. Keep blaiming everybody else. Colonialsim. the US. Europe. Hell, blame Moon men, for all the good it will do these poor people.
posted by tkchrist at 7:09 PM on March 17, 2006


Intrinsic to the cultures. At this time. Yes. You have to blind not to see it. Does that mean they can't change? No.
Please... are you gong for the big "R" in this argument? Because if you do I am o-u-t.
I am not implying there are intrinsic genetic traits if that is the disgusting canard you want to hang on this debate. So let me head you off right now, buddy.


I don't mean to imply racism on your part; I'm sorry if that's how it came out. I merely meant to point out that the Middle East is host to a huge variety in ethnicities, cultures and religions, and so to say that "cultures" are intrisically incompatible with democracy is stepping onto shaky ground politically, anthropologically, sociologically and religiously.

You don't think cultures - at given moments in time - have predilections towards certain dysfunctional attitudes like sexism and militarism? Including OURS in the west? I go in to great detail but somebody will likely scream "GODWIN! GODWIN!" over and over.

No, because if our culture truly had a "predilection" towards militarism, sexism, homophobia, etc., we'd always be returning to those regressive modes. This isn't quite as simple as "this culture leans towards this, that culture leans towards that"--there are a multitude of political, historical, religious etc. factors that play into the current situation, many of which have nothing to do with "Middle Eastern culture."

So you think theocracy is fine I take it? Yes or no. Answer please.

Um... no? I don't think it's quite that simple.

And yes I CAN quote in the Qu'ran where it details what Islamic governance should be - and it is somewhat (not toatlly) unique inthat regard. You denying that?

No, my point was that in the same way we can quote specific Sura that seem to support theocratic rule, we can also quote Sura that seem to oppose it--just as in the Holy Bible.

Islamic societies need to change themselves to progress. But. Hell. Keep blaiming everybody else. Colonialsim. the US. Europe. Hell, blame Moon men, for all the good it will do these poor people.

Right. It's their own fault, because their culture is so backwards.
posted by maxreax at 9:10 PM on March 17, 2006


PP, I am curious when you say Judaism never believed in the Deutronomic laws, that it's always been interpreted "metaphorically."

Please forgive my ignorance on Judaism, I was raised in a fundamentalist (pentecostal) church, and have a very distorted view of Judaism, though I've tried to learn more. My mother LIKES Pat Robertson ferchrisakes...

That said, I am assuming you mean to say Rabbinical Judaism as it evolved in the Babylonian exile interpreted everything in a metaphorical context?

What is the historical extent of Judaism that you talk about, i.e. when did it start? What was before it, in terms of how it evolved?

Are Abraham and Moses a pure myth, or are they historical figures, or based on historic personages? Was there a tribal identity based upon a strong patriarchal identity at some point in the founding of Judaism?

Isn't this what we're arguing? That, sure, maybe not now, or even since the Babylonian exile, does Judaism not believe in a literal interpretation of events... BUT, at one point, the "founding fathers" of Judaism/the Hebrew faith were a nomadic peoples who lived in a pagan world which was quite violent...

Surely it wouldn't be a far fetch to argue that a culture that evolved in that time period and has written rules calling for stoning to death homosexuals and children who talk back to their parents, etc... would actually mean it literally?

I think that *this* is what we're saying when we say "Judeo-Christian" belief has a strong reactionary/theocratic tendency.

Please inform me more, thanks...
posted by symbioid at 10:11 PM on March 17, 2006


BUSH/CHENEY '08

"Unfortunately for us, whatever religeon you do or dont adopt, these are the people in power."
posted by stenseng at 10:39 PM on March 17, 2006


symbiod, some people take the absence of any actual examples of stonings and stuff in the bible due to those specific proscriptions, as opposed to the other drastic and harsh punishments actually recounted as indicative of how much weight they should be given. For instance, there are no stories about people getting punished for wearing a garment of mixed thread, yet there's a line saying they should be. On the other hand, there are multiple stories of children disobeying their parents, which tells readers that it's much more important. There are multiple stories of families, and sibling relations, and other topics, etc. There isn't one story about shellfish. There isn't one story about a homosexual being punished (it's only mentioned in passing, as part of the Sodom and Gomorrah stuff). It'd be absurd to give lines like the shellfish one or the mixed thread or the sodomy one the same weight and importance as the actual stories told, and their meanings.

The old testament (and the new) was written over a period of many years, and by many authors. Each added and changed depending on what situations the society was in. Furthermore, it's still changing and being added to, as commentary and stuff continues to be added. 1000 years from now, people will look and see sentences about driving on the Sabbath. What will they think?
posted by amberglow at 11:06 PM on March 17, 2006


check out all this stuff, symbiod
posted by amberglow at 11:23 PM on March 17, 2006


so's Christianity, Decani--do you have a point?

I think my point would have been abundantly clear to any person of at least moderate intelligence, amberglow. Still, nice red herring. Very... fragrant.
posted by Decani at 4:26 PM on March 18, 2006


You too can pose questions of policy of Sistani.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 6:32 PM on March 18, 2006


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