Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Bassam Zawadi on Rape

In my last post, I pointed out Bassam’s frightening comment that governments are luring men to rape women by not implementing stricter clothing laws. Bassam’s claim is quite consistent with Muslim views. The problem, of course, is that because of this twisted view of women, many Muslims around the world see a woman’s dress as an invitation to rape. Moreover, Muslim authorities in many countries simply will not punish rapists. Bassam replied to my post, and I will address his comments.


Bassam said: “Did I say that if women who dress shamelessly lure men to rape them and are responsible? Yes they are partly responsible for if they didn't dress shamelessly then they wouldn't have enticed the rapist to attack them. This is basic logic that no one can argue with.”


So Bassam admits that he is claiming that a woman is “partly responsible” if she is raped, provided she was dressed immodestly, since the rape may not have occurred had she been dressed in Muslim garb. Now compare Bassam’s view to the following claims:


“If you park your new car in the driveway, and it gets stolen, you’re partly to blame, since new cars entice people to steal them, and you didn’t cover your car with a tarp.”


“If you’re black, and you go to a neighborhood full of white supremacists, and they kill you, it’s partly your fault, since you wouldn’t have been killed if you hadn’t gone to their neighborhood.”


If Bassam really believes what he says about women (and I know he does), then he should agree with these other claims.


Bassam said: “Did I say that THE RAPIST IS NOT TO BLAME? This is absurd. The Prophet punished the rapist with death. It is the rapist's fault for not lowering his gaze as commanded by God in Surah 24 and he has no authority to 'punish' a woman for dressing immodestly for this is vigilantism. It is the government's duty to ensure that women dress appropriately in the society and they definately don't take measures such as rape in order to do that.”


(1) “Did I say that the rapist is not to blame?” I never said that you claimed this. My point is that this is what happens in the Muslim world. Muslim men see a woman who isn’t dressed according to Muslim standards, and they gang-rape her. The woman complains to the police. The police talk to the men, who say, “We thought the woman was a prostitute, because of the way she was dressed.” Since the testimony of women isn’t equal to that of a man in Islam, the police must side with the rapists. Best case scenario, the men will be charged with fornication. But they won’t be charged with rape. Most likely, they won’t be charged with anything. The woman, if she is in the right Muslim country, may even go to jail. Like it or not, Bassam, this is what happens over, and over, and over in the Muslim world (thanks to Muhammad).


(2) “The Prophet punished the rapist with death.” Bassam, please give readers the details and sources regarding Muhammad’s command that rapists be killed. Of course, you have to admit that it was perfectly acceptable for Muslims to rape their female captives (since Muhammad himself allowed this). And that’s the problem. Muhammad definitely allowed rape in certain situations. Why not rape a woman who needs to be taught a lesson?


(3) You claimed that it’s the government’s responsibility to enforce clothing restrictions. But your government does enforce clothing restrictions—by allowing men to rape women who don’t follow the rules. You can’t deny this, Bassam. You know that’s what happens in your country. If a woman is dressed immodestly, and she is raped, the government will ignore her cries for justice, just as it will ignore the pleas of a woman who is constantly assaulted by her husband (thanks to Muhammad).


Bassam said: “What I find most interesting is that the very thing that David is repulsed by in his article is found in his Bible. For the God of the Bible allegedly commanded women to be raped because they were haughty!!! They used to be proud of their adornments and therefore God said that they asked for it!!!”


Bassam gave a link to this article, which argues that in Isaiah 3:17 God punishes haughty women with rape. According to the translation in the article, Isaiah 3:17 says: "Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts." The article goes on to argue that “discover their secret parts” means that the women will be raped.


The problem here is that this argument is (perhaps deliberately) based on an outdated and flawed translation of Isaiah. Consider two modern translations, the first being the most popular English translation, the second being the most literal English translation:


New International Version: "Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald."


New American Standard Bible: "Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, And the LORD will make their foreheads bare."


Is there anything about rape here? Not at all! And this makes it all the more shocking when Bassam triumphantly comments: "I PROVED IT FROM YOUR BIBLE THAT WOMEN WERE RAPED FOR BEING HAUGHTY. SHOW ME THIS SAME DISPICABLE THING IN ISLAM."


Show him the same thing in Islam? Just watch the news, Bassam. It happens all the time (thanks to Muhammad).

25 comments:

Um Yaquub said...

Is there ever a case where Muslim boys are taught to control their urges? Any urges? By his own words Bassam does not sound like someone we'd want to have living next-door! (He seems to justify rape and invasion....not too comfortable a neighbour!)

Sunil said...

What we see in teachings/practice of Muhammad when it comes to women are things like allowance for wife beating; repeated proclamations of low opinion of women and their intellectual abilities; Polygamy; Child marriage; evident self-serving suras involving his marriage to his daughter-in-law, menstruation as sign of eligibility for sex etc; depiction of virgins in paradise; proclamations such as "your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like"; his own treatment of wives and so on. All these fall short of ideal (both from common sense and NT scriptural doctrine of how we ought to live). If we look at the various oppressive restrictions placed on women (not just about clothing, but all other), the only/primary consideration seems to be that of lustfulness and sexuality - as if there is nothing else to think/consider about when it comes to women.

The Islamic scholars/leaders not only continue to justify these actions/teachings/rules but also continue to practice/enforce them. It sometimes takes the form of criminal enforcement and human rights violations - using things like flogging, stoning, beating, killing etc and some cases even odd things like threatening to pour acid if they see womens' faces not covered (like in pakistan recently) etc.

Bassam said...

David Wood has outdone himself this time. Let’s see what he’s got to say.


David said…


Now compare Bassam’s view to the following claims:
“If you park your new car in the driveway, and it gets stolen, you’re partly to blame, since new cars entice people to steal them, and you didn’t cover your car with a tarp.”
“If you’re black, and you go to a neighborhood full of white supremacists, and they kill you, it’s partly your fault, since you wouldn’t have been killed if you hadn’t gone to their neighborhood.”
If Bassam really believes what he says about women (and I know he does), then he should agree with these other claims.



How logically fallacious could David’s examples be.

First, regarding the car example.

David’s example should been more like this…

“If you park your new car in the driveway, and you forgot to lock the door as you usually do and openly left your latptop and wallet on the car seat where everybody could see it as usual and your car and belongings then got stolen and the law of the country clearly states that you are not supposed to do so then you’re partly to blame.”


So if the person on a continuous basis makes himself or herself an easy target for thieves (just many women might do for rapists) and continually ignore the law of the country which states that citizens must always lock their doors and hide their personal belongings (just as the law of God commands the woman to dress up modestly) then I argue that yes, the person is party to blame. HOWEVER, I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE PERSON DESERVES IT OR THAT THE CRIMINAL IS JUSTIFIED. WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT THE VICTIM COULD HAVE AVOIDED THE SITUATION BY TAKING CERTAIN PRECAUTIONS.


The same thing regarding the black guy and the white supremacists. If he knows that it is common and usual for white supremacists to beat up black guys who go into their neighbourhood and then he goes ALONE FOR NO RELEVANT REASON and then he gets beaten up, then yes he is partly to blame. HOWEVER, THAT DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE ACTION OF THE RACISTS.

I have to keep putting certain statements in caps lock so that people like David Wood and Umm Yaqub won’t misinterpret certain things that I say.


David Wood then continues to talk about corruption in the Muslim world, which I never denied. I don’t see how this is a threat to the truth of Islam unless David Wood could prove that their actions are from Islamic teachings. David keeps saying ‘thanks to Muhammad’, yet he is never able to prove that it is so.


David said…

Bassam, please give readers the details and sources regarding Muhammad’s command that rapists be killed.


You can check Sunan Abu Dawud, Book Book 38, Number 4366 in which the Prophet commands a rapist to be killed.


However, forget that narration. The proof is more clearly from the Qur’an. Since, most rapists use a weapon to rape their victims they will be subject to the punishment instituted by the Qur’an. See this fatwa for more details http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=41682&ln=eng&txt=rape

I would like to know what punishment your religion institutes for these kind of people?


David said…

Of course, you have to admit that it was perfectly acceptable for Muslims to rape their female captives (since Muhammad himself allowed this).


Show me narrations that state that the Muslims RAPED their slave girls. I DON’T’ WANT YOUR INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SITUATIONS OR YOUR OPINIONS, SHOW ME THE PROOF. IF YOU DON’T THEN YOU ARE A LIAR AND YOU MUST RETRACT THIS STATEMENT AND APOLOGISE.


David then goes on to ATTEMPT to refute the rape charge in his Bible. It is ironic that David Wood in the past once falsely accused me of giving a link to an Islamic website talking about an issue about women in Islam and then stated that the Muslims use false translations to escape arguments. Not only was David’s charge false BUT HE HIMSELF IS USING IT.

He ignores how almost all the Bible translations say ‘secret parts’ and quotes two ‘modern’ translations. I checked the Hebrew lexicon over here http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H06596&Version=kjv and I didn’t see scalp there.

Plus David Wood forgot about an article that I wrote over here http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/biblical_god_orders_the_rape_of_women in which the verses there are even clearer about the issue and I quote Bible commentators to prove it.

Zechariah 14:2 talks about how women will be raped and the chapter describes this day as ‘the day of the lord’.


You know what is the difference between me and you David? You can’t prove your arguments from Quran and authentic hadith. You commit the fallacy of judging a religion based on its followers. WHILE I PROVE DIRECTLY FROM YOUR BIBLE the very things that you falsely accuse the true religion of Islam of and condemn so heartedly.

The difference between me and you is that your arguments are EMOTIONAL AND SUBJECTIVE while mine are OBJECTIVE AND STRICTLY TRUTH SEEKING WITH ALL EMOTIONS DISATTACHED. This is how I came to follow the truth. I keep feeling ashamed of my self of how I even considered to be a Christian the past. Thank God, Allah saved me from seeking the truth with emotions and supported me to find the truth with OJBECTIVE EVIDENCE.


David, lets quit the chit chat and silly games. Let’s get down to business and start debating on which religion is true. Christianity or Islam. Once this is settled, we have no right to critique any laws of the other person’s religion. Once the truth is discovered, one must submit to it rather he or she likes it or not.

You said you won’t be free till October I think. Well I think you could do it sooner if you stop wasting your time writing useless posts such as this one and start getting down to business.

Kind Regards,

Bassam

Bassam said...

Umm Yaqub said…

(He seems to justify rape and invasion....not too comfortable a neighbour!)


I won’t even bother replying back to your offensive comment about me. Go reread what I said in previous posts and then tell me where exactly I justified rape and invasion.


In Christianity moderate drinking is allowed. You can drink as long as you don’t get drunk. You know what that means? That means that you can also logically take drugs as long as you don’t get high and you wouldn’t be violating any Christian teachings.

I sure wouldn’t want a true abiding Christian as my neighbour. He or she might be stacking up drugs!!!

I would also not want a Christian as my neighbour because he might have a beautiful daughter in her teens or early twenties. She might go out wearing tight jeans, showing a little cleavage here and there and be walking around while she can be exposed to my children who would see that in their face.

That won’t be good.

Man I sure wouldn’t want a true abiding Christian as my neighbour!!!

If this offends you, then please look at the disgusting accusation that you put forth against me and ask how I feel.

If you’re not offended, then great.

But remember. The difference between my comments and yours is that mine are actually true, while yours are unfounded.

Bassam said...

Sunil said…


wife beating;


Addressed in previous posts and you guys proved nothing.


repeated proclamations of low opinion of women and their intellectual abilities

Addressed here http://islamic-answers.com/are_women_deficient_in_intelligence_and_religion___



Polygamy


Where’s the argument? I challenge you to show me where in your entire Bible polygamy is prohibited. Paul only prohibited it for the beacons, not for the masses.


Child marriage


Addressed in previous posts and David Wood couldn’t reply back to my response at the end.


evident self-serving suras involving his marriage to his daughter-in-law


She wasn’t’ literally his daughter in law. Zayd was his adopted son and since Islam came to abolish the fact that adoption of a boy can make you his real father so then Zaynab ceased to be the daughter in law.


menstruation as sign of eligibility for sex

Umm, that is how it was in biblical times. What is your eligibility criteria and prove it objectively.


depiction of virgins in paradise


The argument is? Read my article here http://muslim-responses.com/Islamic_Heaven/Islamic_Heaven_


proclamations such as "your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like";


The meaning of this verse is clarified here http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/islamic_way_of_making_love_to_wife.htm


his own treatment of wives and so on.


What about his treatment?



If we look at the various oppressive restrictions placed on women (not just about clothing, but all other), the only/primary consideration seems to be that of lustfulness and sexuality - as if there is nothing else to think/consider about when it comes to women.


Well offcourse that is the impression you get when all you people do is focus on those aspects.

Why don’t you emphasize aspects such as…

http://islamic-answers.com/men_and_women_were_made_for_the_benefit_of_each_other

http://islamic-answers.com/women_scholars_of_hadeeth

http://islamic-answers.com/the_inner_beauty_of_a_woman

http://islamic-answers.com/women_scholars_of_hadeeth

http://islamic-answers.com/they_are_clothing_for_you_and_you_are_clothing_for_them

http://muslim-responses.com/Womens_Rights_in_Islam/Womens_Rights_in_Islam_


Sunil said…

It sometimes takes the form of criminal enforcement and human rights violations - using things like flogging, stoning, beating, killing etc and some cases even odd things like threatening to pour acid if they see womens' faces not covered (like in pakistan recently) etc.


That acid thing has nothing to do with Islam.

Flogging and stoning are punishments for fornication and adultery respectively. It is applicable to those who confess to their crime or are caught red handed by four witnesses.

As for killing, well if someone committed premeditated murder and was found guilty and the relatives of the victim don’t forgive him then he is to be killed.

What human right violations are you talking about? What is the punishment that should be instituted for those who violate the laws of God?

Again, we are getting into subjective issues Sunil and you won’t be proving anything unless you provide OBJECTIVE evidence besides your personal opinions which carry no weight.

GeneMBridges said...

Where’s the argument? I challenge you to show me where in your entire Bible polygamy is prohibited. Paul only prohibited it for the beacons, not for the masses.

Only if you ignore what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 on marriage. There's nothing there about it being for deacons only. Once again, Bassam doesn't display a familiarity with the material he's attempting to refute.


David then goes on to ATTEMPT to refute the rape charge in his Bible. It is ironic that David Wood in the past once falsely accused me of giving a link to an Islamic website talking about an issue about women in Islam and then stated that the Muslims use false translations to escape arguments. Not only was David’s charge false BUT HE HIMSELF IS USING IT.

He ignores how almost all the Bible translations say ‘secret parts’ and quotes two ‘modern’ translations.


A. Even if they were all to say "secret parts" where is your exegesis that shows that this refers to sexual organs, rape, etc? All you've done is assume what you need to prove.

B. "Almost all translations" is not an argument. Which translations, and why are they to be preferred over others? Where's the supporting argument?

C. "Secret parts" refers to the uncovering of that which was covered. This violation is a judgment on Israel's women.

D. And as a judgment, what is being done by the nations is simply by way of God allowing the Israelites to be treated as covenant breakers.
They wish to be like pagans, therefore God permits them to be treated like pagans. What is unjust about this treatment? God turns right around and judges the nations that overrun Israel for this very thing. So, even if we say that this refers to rape in its most literal sense, what we have here isn't the permission of the covenant people to rape, but the permission of the pagan invaders to inflict this on Israel as a judgment for its sins - a thing for which these same nations are later judged.


In Christianity moderate drinking is allowed. You can drink as long as you don’t get drunk. You know what that means? That means that you can also logically take drugs as long as you don’t get high and you wouldn’t be violating any Christian teachings.


Not at all, for the Bible speaks of this issue when it condemns "sorcery." The Greek word is "pharmakeia," and can be taken to refer to drug use as well. Once again, Bassam does not show himself familiar with the very texts he chooses to cite.

ree said...

"Show me narrations that state that the Muslims RAPED their slave girls. I DON’T’ WANT YOUR INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SITUATIONS OR YOUR OPINIONS, SHOW ME THE PROOF."

You don't want David's interpretation, but you do want Bassam's. You keep accusing others of being "subjective," while you, you feel, are being "objective."

You don't appear to understand the nature of human understanding and interpretation, which is inherently subjective. What do you think makes your interpretation of the Q'uran correct and Al Qaeda's, for example, incorrect?

Why do you think your Islamic apologetic site's interpretation of the Bible is objective (or even whatever Christian commentaries you selectively choose to try to make your point) while the Christians you're talking to are interpreting the Bible subjectively?

"The difference between me and you is that your arguments are EMOTIONAL AND SUBJECTIVE while mine are OBJECTIVE AND STRICTLY TRUTH SEEKING WITH ALL EMOTIONS DISATTACHED. This is how I came to follow the truth."

As long as you think that you're objective, and only other people are subjective, you'll continue to engage in your question begging arguments, assuming that everyone else just "isn't getting it."

If we really want to get anywhere in a discussion comparing Christianity and Islam, we need to recognize each one as an entire, self-contained worldview, considering how well each one provides a coherent and consistent lens with which to interpret human experience. In this way, we can recognize which one has truly been revealed.

Sunil said...

Bassam,

>> wife beating... Addressed in previous posts and you guys proved nothing.
>> Child marriage ...Addressed in previous posts and David Wood couldn’t reply back to my response at the end.
>> menstruation as sign of eligibility for sex ...Umm, that is how it was in biblical times. What is your eligibility criteria and prove it objectively.
>> Polygamy...Where’s the argument? I challenge you to show me where in your entire Bible polygamy is prohibited. Paul only prohibited it for the beacons, not for the masses.
>> repeated proclamations of low opinion of women and their intellectual abilities ... Addressed here http://islamic-answers.com/are_women_deficient_in_intelligence_and_religion___
>> proclamations such as "your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like" …The meaning of this verse is clarified here http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/islamic_way_of_making_love_to_wife.htm


I haven’t seen the posts where you said you addressed some of the things. But going by the pattern of your arguments, one can tell that you must have asked David Wood for some kind of an absolute "proof" of why these kinds of things are to be deemed as falling short of ideal?
Upon basic application of things we know scientifically about sexuality and other considerations of human development, education etc, we can say that it is not good to take menstruation as immediate sign to start sexuality. About Polygamy, the narratives of Genesis and the words of Jesus connecting the meaning of marriage from its creation ordinance, with Adam and Eve as paradigmatic couple etc allude to monogamy as the ideal (e.g. Jesus saying "… He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh' Or Paul saying "Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" etc). Even apart from scriptures, just as the issue with menstruation as sign of starting sexuality, upon basic application of common sense and reasoning, one can see that such allowance for polygamy falls short of the best.

Regarding low depiction of women, the link you gave talks about one of the passage on which this charge is made. The kind of justifications in the article are like this : "two women witnesses are required in place of one-man witness. This has to do with the role of each of the two sexes in Islamic society." or "women tend to be more forgetful than men because of their natural cycles of menstruation, pregnancy, giving birth, raising children etc". If this specific issue about witnesses is seen as only relevant to Muhammad’s time and not applicable later on, that would be better.

And regarding, "Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will" it is supposed to mean "Sex is not a thing to be ashamed off" and so on? The link you gave does not even address the parallel hadiths or related proclamations like "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning." and so on.


Asking of "proofs" of why these things fall short of 'how we ought to live', is a gross misuse of the word "proof". It is sheer escapism, because the field of religion/philosophy is not an exact science where we can talk about perfect mathematical proofs. We cannot give a mathematical proof of something even as basic as existence of God. We form our belief systems based on our considerations of logical consistency, congruence, Historical reliability upon preponderance of evidence, comprehensiveness (consider a wide range of experience), explanatory power of observable reality and so on (above all, humbling ourselves before God and seeking help to the Truth).
Muhammad's teachings/actions violate almost every single moral/doctrinal teachings/message/principles laid out by Jesus in all aspects (not just about women). They violate NT and basic common sense. What is worse, these actions/teachings of Muhammad are not only justified but also continued to enforced, often in extremely violent and oppressive manner.

>> your personal opinions which carry no weight

How then can 'your personal opinion' on what constitutes true God's revelation on what is ideal for us, in these matters like wife-beating, polygamy, child marriage, menstruation as sign to start sexuality, proclamations and oppressive restrictions on women etc carry weight? (especially when most of these actions fall short even on basic common sense and violate Jesus' teachings/message?)

Mumtaz said...

Bassam,
Your comparison on racism vs rape.
Does this mean we as women should protect ourselves from men because they cannot control their urges (as um jaquub said). The Quraan states “Lower your gaze” Why don’t you? We don’t walk around naked or an invitation on our forehead that says “rape me”. Rape cannot be compared to racism. There is just no moral justification to this comparison.

Your use of caps is only to comfort and justify yourself.

YOU REFER TO THE QURAAN ON WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO RAPIST. YET IN THE SAME BREATH YOU JUSTIFY THE ACTION OF THE RAPIST BY BLAMING THE WOMEN ON THEIR ACTIONS AND DRESS CODE.

Go with the times Bassam, most medication consist of drugs and alcohol. I see my mufti’s and imams drink the same medication. What does the Quraan say about this?

Despite all the links you provide. IN reality we are your sex slaves! “We must be subservient to you!”

At the judicial council, even fully clothed, we women are not allowed to represent ourselves. Thus, hundreds of articles were down loaded from various sites to justify our plea. Despite this, the judicial council ruled against the woman.

All the sites you provide are just to lure people into Islam under false pretences.

Regards

Bassam said...

Genem said…

Only if you ignore what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 on marriage.

I just the read chapter and I don’t see where Paul prohibited polygamy. I wish you could have been more specific.

Genem said…

A. Even if they were all to say "secret parts" where is your exegesis that shows that this refers to sexual organs, rape, etc? All you've done is assume what you need to prove.


Even though its obvious that is rape, I am willing to not argue about it and just state that your God punished the women exposing their private parts to the people and this is still immoral.

Genem said…

B. "Almost all translations" is not an argument. Which translations, and why are they to be preferred over others? Where's the supporting argument?


Because they are linguistically correct. I checked the Hebrew lexicon from blueletterbible.org and it does not say ‘scalp’.


Also don’t forget the article that I posted, which referred to Isaiah 13 and Zecharia 14 and are more explicit on the issue of rape.


Genem said…

Not at all, for the Bible speaks of this issue when it condemns "sorcery." The Greek word is "pharmakeia," and can be taken to refer to drug use as well.

But again, it needs to be understood in its proper context. What is really being condemned here is taking something that would allow you to lose your consciousness. You have to remember that alcohol is a drug as well. Therefore, if in one place alcohol is permitted as long as you don’t get drunk and then in another place you want to interpret a verse generally condemning drugs all together then you have yourself a contradiction. The only way to reconcile it is that Paul’s intention was to prohibit people from taking substances that would allow them to lose their consciousness. However, apparently it seems that Paul allowed alcohol (again, remember it is a kind of drug) as long as you don’t get drunk. Therefore, we can also logically conclude that taking marijuana in small amounts in order to avoid getting high is permissible as well. I don’t see how the Bible condemns this act.



Ree said…

You don't want David's interpretation, but you do want Bassam's. You keep accusing others of being "subjective," while you, you feel, are being "objective."

Listen, I want evidence. If you want to provide evidence about an Islamic ruling you derive it from Islamic sources. This is what I was asking David for. So yes, I was being objective and David being subjective (we are assuming David is subjective until he provides the evidence)

Ree said…

You don't appear to understand the nature of human understanding and interpretation, which is inherently subjective. What do you think makes your interpretation of the Q'uran correct and Al Qaeda's, for example, incorrect?


As I said in a previous post, we understand the Qur’an in four or more different ways. Al Qaeda’s interpretations don’t stand the criteria, therefore could be proven false.


Sunil said…

Upon basic application of things we know scientifically about sexuality and other considerations of human development, education etc, we can say that it is not good to take menstruation as immediate sign to start sexuality.

Maybe, with women of today. Did you test the women back in those times?

Sunil goes on to attempt to prove that the Bible prohibits polygamy but fails. He only shows verses in which Jesus or Paul are speaking about a man and his wife in the singular. Therefore, the false assumption that polygamy is prohibited is then derived. You didn’t prove it buddy.


Sunil said…

upon basic application of common sense and reasoning,


Sunil its becoming more irritating the more you talk like this and don’t prove it. My reasoning and common sense is different than yours and I don’t see how you jave objectively proven yours to be correct. Can you please stop being SUBJECTIVE and start providing evidence?

Sunil said…

If this specific issue about witnesses is seen as only relevant to Muhammad’s time and not applicable later on, that would be better.


I follow God’s law, not your limited reasoning and opinions.


Sunil said…


The link you gave does not even address the parallel hadiths or related proclamations like "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning." and so on.


Okay it is emphasizing the sin of the wife who refuses the bed of her husband for no valid reason. So what? You take one hadith, emphasize on it and give the false impression that this is the only way men view their wives in Islam, as ‘sex objects’. There is really nothing here for me to address since you don’t provide any objective argument (as usual)

Sunil goes on to say that it is not valid or correct to ask for scientific or mathematical proof for these kinds of issues. And I agree with him. Because I never expected anyone to do so and the only reason why I keep asking for it is to try to make you guys realize that your arguments are not valid or correct in the first place. We are wasting our time discussing issues such as these and should be spending our time debating which religion is correct. We should debate who can provide proper evidence for the truth of his or her religion. Once that is established, then we must submit to all laws of that religion regardless of whether we like them or not.


And Mumtaz had nothing of value to say, so no point replying back to her.



Kind Regards,
Bassam

Bassam said...

It is annoying to see how Christians such as Sunil simply assume without a shadow of a doubt that the NT is superior in morality when compared to other teachings and that is should be used as a standard for comparison. Again, this is subjective.

For when I read the gospel, I wasn't soo impressed by things such as Jesus speaking rudely to his mother in John 2:4. I don't find this to be an ultimate example to follow when someone speaks to his mother. I wasn't impressed with Jesus' continuous insults to the disbelievers with terms such as 'serpent, brood of vipers, adulterous generation, etc,' while at the same time he taught his followers to show love and kindness to these people. I wasn't impressed with how Jesus made sinful for people to call their Christian brothers 'fools' but did not do the same with non Christians. I wasn't impressed with how Jesus made a whip out of cords and used it to ruin the business transactions for those at the temple, while he had no governmental authority to do so. I don't find him to be an ideal or practical example to follow when it comes to these kind of situations.

For a supposed God incarnate Prophet, I am not impressed at all by the Bilical Jesus. For an ordinary prophet who is a man, I find the Biblical Jesus 'pretty good, but not so AMAZINGLY WOW'

I don't expect responses to what I said, for again this is all subjectivity and this is not the way to discover truth.

I hope that Christians such as Sunil can wake up and smell the coffee and realize that if he would like objective truth seekers to join his religion, then he is taking the wrong approach.

Kind Regards,
Bassam

Sunil said...

Bassam,

>> Sunil goes on to say that it is not valid or correct to ask for scientific or mathematical proof for these kinds of issues. And I agree with him ... the only reason why I keep asking for it is to try to make you guys realize that your arguments are not valid or correct in the first place

I made that statement about the field of religion/philosophy in general - starting from as basic a thing as the question of very existence of God. There is no mathematical proof to prove the existence of God (much less, things that depend on the premise of existence of God). What we do is to look at various objective factors ranging from historical reliability, logical consistence, congruence, what kind of moral laws it gives and if they make sense (based on independent analysis of the issues involved) etc and humbly pray God for help in understanding.

>> As I said in a previous post, we understand the Qur’an in four or more different ways. Al Qaeda’s interpretations don’t stand the criteria, therefore could be proven false.

When there can be no mathematical proof for existence of God, such claims of mathematical proof for/against the interpretations of yours as compared to that of Al Qeada is out of question. No offence intended, but it may be stated that many who know about Islamic theology, (post-hijrah) teachings/actions/history of Muhammad and of his followers might well reasonably judge that the scores of organizations like the Al Qaeda and the behavior of Islamic nations are not being untrue to the faith. Try claiming that you have a mathematical proof against Osama Bin Laden in a debate with him :-) The very use of the word “proof” in these matters is a classical logical fallacy of category mistake.

>> We are wasting our time discussing issues such as these and should be spending our time debating which religion is correct.

It is not at all a waste of time talking about the life/actions/teachings of Muhammad. All this is legitimate part of debating which religion is correct (in more ways than one). These are legitimate questions on the integrity of the faith. For example, if Muhammad has violated every single moral/doctrinal principles laid out by Jesus on things like the proclamation of the kingdom of God, basis of Jesus' Judgment (even according to Islam, Jesus will come on the Judgment day :-)), definition of marriage, proclamations on eye-for-eye, love for enemies etc - it is both an external and internal critique of Islam hitting at the very root of the faith. Not only from the perspective of Authority of Jesus and NT - equally, from a completely independent study/analysis also, we see that things like wife-beating, polygamy, child marriage, menstruation as sign to start sexuality, proclamations and oppressive restrictions on women etc are not ideal in building the best of societies. Now, don’t ask me to reproduce here all the studies of social experts, scientists, human rights/development experts etc on these issues which form the basis on which the independent democratic nations have come up with fixing minimum age for marriage, domestic violence acts disallowing wife-beating, equal opportunity acts, marriage laws involving monogamy, judicial procedures involving human rights etc. All the independent nations (that do not presuppose Muhammad’s teachings as valid) consider all its citizens of every tradition/faith as equal subjects of state and they all fully agree with these principles (based on input from independent social and scientific studies/evidence) as consonant with public order and the common good. I wonder if you can be true to yourself and fight against these principles. (on the basis that the teachings/actions of Muhammad have approved the acts/teachings we are talking about and hence are better?). You called my appeal to independent study as irritating and subjective. If so, you should study these independent studies (on child marriage, polygamy, wife-beating, oppressive restrictions on women etc) and their conclusions and start objectively critiquing against them. In the absence of that, your call for mathematical proof is not only a logical fallacy of category mistake but merely serves no more than as an escapist option. Should it not be irritating when you repeatedly make this category mistake and apparently use it as an escapist option?

Many social reformers of many nations (including my country) have spent their life times eradicating these very things which Islamic leaders/scholars are justifying and continuing its enforcement (often with an iron hand using brutal means involving human rights violations). Thankfully no one asked our social reformers to produce a mathematical proof of why these social evils/iniquities are not the best for society.

Bassam said...

Sunil said that God cannot be mathematically proven. Well, I believe that God could be objectively proven. If you read the works of Harun Yahya or Dr. William Lane Craig, you see that they do just that.


As for your claim of wife beating. Umm, it seems like your talking about wife abuse and this is something that Islam does not permit as well. Therefore, this is all a result of your ignorance of the Islamic teachings regarding wife beating. Read the posts under the topic of wife beating previously posted.

Regarding prohibiting polygamy, this is purely subjective on your end. Countries throughout history have permitted polygamy until the past few centuries. Governments such as the US will not punish an adulterer in jail but do so for a man who married a second wife in public with the approval of the first. Don’t you know that the population of women is much higher than that of men. If each person were to have one spouse then you would have a big bunch of women with no husband. What solution do you propose for them?

Regarding equal opportunity acts. Islam AS WELL AS CHRISTIANITY does not teach that men and women have equal rights but that they are equal in human dignity. Islam teaches that men and women have equally balanced rights. See here http://muslim-responses.com/Womens_Rights_in_Islam/Womens_Rights_in_Islam_

As for minimum age on women to get married. This varies from culture to culture and you have no right to condemn the other unless backed up with objective evidence. You are assuming that all people from all regions of the world are the same and therefore implement the same criteria on them and that is false.

And no offense but I personally do not care about the Biblical Jesus and the NT. Sunil, can’t you understand that you haven’t proven that the NT is the word of God? Can’t you understand that I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR SUBJECTIVE OPINIONS? Why can’t you understand this? Why don’t you know how to PROVE YOUR VIEWS?

As for the whole Al Qaeda issue. Of course they can be disproved with evidence. One can easily appeal to Islamic sources and refute them and that would be objective. For the criteria that would be used is objective and that is the teachings of the Quran, Prophet and his companions and early classical scholars.

But your criteria is subjective since all you do is give me your opinions and cultural values.

Sunil, stop annoying me with your constant statements like

‘Islam does not follow the high order of revelation that Jesus gave us in the NT’

or

‘Muhammad’s actions are clearly immoral and go against the NT’

and start giving evidence. How dare you accuse me of using an escapist option while it is only you who only has emotions to defend himself on the Day of Judgment.

Bassam said...

Sunil talked about depiction of virgins. Lets read some depictions in the Bible regarding two lovers and see how spiritually inspiring they are...

Song of Songs 8:1-3

"If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother's breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I would lead you and bring you to my mother's house-- she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink the nectar of my pomegranates. His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me."

Song of Solomon 8:10

"Dear brothers, I'm a walled-in virgin still, but my breasts are full— And when my lover sees me, he knows he'll soon be satisfied."

Song of Songs 4:5

"Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies."

Song of Songs 1:13

"My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts."

Song of Songs 1:16

"How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant"

Song of Songs 1:2-4

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! Take me away with you--let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you!"


Song of Songs 4:9

"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace."

Song of Songs 4:10

"How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!"

Song of Songs 4:12

"You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain."


Song of Songs 5:4

"I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: 'Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.' I have taken off my robe must I put it on again? I have washed my feet, must I soil them again? My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him."


Song of Songs 7:1-4, 8-9

"How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman's hands. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbi.
.......
I said 'I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.' May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine.

Song of Songs 7:11

"Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages."

GeneMBridges said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GeneMBridges said...

Only if you ignore what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 on marriage.

I just the read chapter and I don’t see where Paul prohibited polygamy. I wish you could have been more specific.


1. Paul repeatedly condemns adultery.

2. Paul in 1 Corithinans 7 only mentions a single wife, not many. Each man is to have his own wife and each woman is to have her own husband. Wife and husband are both singular here.

3. Paul's theology of marriage is built on the creation narrative. There Adam has just one wife.

4. Paul speaks of marriage as an analog for Christ and the Church. Church is singular (see Ephesians 5). Christ is married to one Church, not many churches. Christ is not an adulterer.

5. In Romans 7: So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. (Rom 7)Notice that a polyandrous relationship would also be adultery.

6.It is clear that those in Church government/leadership are to be monogamous (the 'husband of one wife' clause shows up in both statements of elder/deacon qualifications: 1 Tim 3.2 and Titus 1.6).

But these leaders are told to be examples to the flock, and the believers are told to follow the example of the apostles, disciples, and leaders. [Phil 3.17; 4.9; 1 Thess 1.6,7; 2 Thess 3.7,9; 1 Tim 4.12; Tit 2.7; 1 Pet 5.3; 1 Cor 4.6; 1 Cor 11.1]

Therefore, in the absence of other NT instruction, ALL believers are to emulate the purity and scripturally-mandated characteristics of our elders--including the monogamous one (2nd in each list!).

In fact, one measure of the 'godliness' of a widow, worthy of welfare support from scarce church funds, was that she be a "wife of one husband" (the exact same phrase turned around)--I Timothy 5.9. The reference to polyandry shows that monogamy was important for general believers as well.

We might also point out that the post-NT church was likewise anti-polygamy:

1. Justin Martyr (c.160) rebukes the Jews for allowing polygamy:

"Your imprudent and blind masters [i.e., Jewish teachers] even until this time permit each man to have four or five wives. And if anyone sees a beautiful woman and desires to have her, they quote the doings of Jacob." [ANF, vol. 1, p. 266]

2. Irenaeus (c.180) condemns the Gnostics for, among other things, polygamy:

"Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives..." [ANF, vol. 1, p.353]

3. Tertullian (c.207) was also explicit:

"Chapter II.-Marriage Lawful, But Not Polygamy. We do not indeed forbid the union of man and woman, blest by God as the seminary of the human race, and devised for the replenishment of the earth and the furnishing of the world, and therefore permitted, yet Singly. For Adam was the one husband of Eve, and Eve his one wife, one woman, one rib. (ANF: Tertullian, To His Wife)

4. Methodius (cf.290) was clear on the issue, arguing that it had stopped at the time of the Prophets:

"The contracting of marriage with several wives had been done away with from the times of the prophets. For we read, 'Do not go after your lusts, but refrain yourself from your appetites'...And in another place, 'Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.' This plainly forbids a plurality of wives." [ANF, vol. 6, p.312]


5 The Pseudo-Clementine Literature boasts about how St. Thomas taught the Parthians [i.e., an Iranian culture] to abandon polygamy:


"But I shall give a still stronger proof of the matters in hand. For, behold, scarcely seven years have yet passed since the advent of the righteous and true Prophet; and in the course of these, inert of all nations coming to Judaea, and moved both by the signs and miracles Which they saw, and by the grandeur of His doctrine, received His faith; and then going back to their own countries, they rejected the lawless rites of the Gentiles, and their incestuous marriages. In short, among the Parthians-as Thomas, who is preaching the Gospel amongst them, has written to us-not many now are addicted to polygamy; nor among the Medes do many throw their dead to dogs; nor are the Persians pleased with intercourse with their mothers, or incestuous marriages with their daughters; nor do the Susian women practise the adulteries that were allowed them; nor has Genesis been able to force those into crimes whom the teaching of religion restrained. (ANF 8: "Book IX: Chapter XXIX.-The Gospel More Powerful Than 'Genesis.'"]

6. The Council of Neocaesarea a.d. 315 (circa) refers to a 'purification period' for polygamists. By that time, sinners had to 'sit out' of Church activities until they had demonstrated reformation. If a sin showed up on this list of canons, it was considered a 'bad sin'--and polygamy shows up here:

"Ancient Epitome of Canon III. The time (for doing penance and purification) of polygamists is well known. A zeal for penance may shorten it." [ANF]

7. Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea, mentioned it a number of times in his letters, generally concerning the period for exclusion from church for polygamists, calling it 'limited fornication'(!):

"IV. In the case of trigamy and polygamy they laid down the same rule, in proportion, as in the case of digamy; namely one year for digamy (some authorities say two years); for trigamy men are separated for three and often for four years; but this is no longer described as marriage at all, but as polygamy; nay rather as limited fornication. It is for this reason that the Lord said to the woman of Samaria, who had five husbands, "he whom thou now hast is not thy husband." He does not reckon those who had exceeded the limits of a second marriage as worthy of the title of husband or wife. In cases of trigamy we have accepted a seclusion of five years, not by the canons, but following the precept of our predecessors. Such offenders ought not to be altogether prohibited from the privileges of the Church; they should be considered deserving of hearing after two or three years, and afterwards of being permitted to stand in their place; but they must be kept from the communion of the good gift, and only restored to the place of communion after showing some fruit of repentance. [ANF: (Canonica Prima.)To Amphilochius, concerning the Canons. Letter CLXXXVIII written c.347.]

Also, you continue to link to articles that you think refute our position, but these articles don't ever interact with the contrary position in detail.

What you need to do, Bassam, is start interacting with scholarly works on the issues. If you take a contrary position, then sobeit, but you need to take advantage of the articles on subjects like this.

Because they are linguistically correct. I checked the Hebrew lexicon from blueletterbible.org and it does not say ‘scalp’.

I'm going to be generous here, because, Bassam, I don't think you understand something important about the BLB website.

At BLB, one must actually enter a word into their lexicon, then search for it. BLB's lexicon is keyed to Strong's, but the Strong's to which it is keyed is the KJV.

Strong's Concordance also keys to the NASB, but that's a different version of Strong's and that is not on the BLB website, so, what you've done is beg the question for the KJV by using this resource.

So, you have two choices:

1. What you really need isn't the BLB but a statement from a translating committee about why it chose to go with one translation over another.

2. Find the NASB version of Strong's concordance and a lexicon keyed to it, and then explain why the translations differ and why you prefer one over the other.

That question relates to the translation principles and choices behind the KJV and ESV and the NASB.

Even though its obvious that is rape, I am willing to not argue about it and just state that your God punished the women exposing their private parts to the people and this is still immoral.

I've already dealt with these and your other statements, and you have not interacted with anything I said, Bassam.

God does not command the covenant people - Israel to rape these women. God raises up pagan nations (Babylon and Assyria) to do it. This is a punishment on the covenant people. The women wish to play the harlot, and Isaiah's theology of sin revolves around the idea of idolatry as harlotry. So, God gives the people what they desire (freedom from the covenant with Him) by giving them what they deserve according to the terms of the covenant. This is a curse, not command.

Israel acts immorally while claiming to be under God's protection, so God causes immoral things to happen to them as punishment through withdrawing His protection and actually raising up pagan nations to enact that punishment. They all get their just recompense.

You seem to forget, I'm a supralapsarian Calvinist, your ethical objections do nothing to refute my theology as a consequence. I am quite comfortable with God decreeing immoral things as punishments on immoral people.

And in context, since I dealt with this in a previous post to you, God punishes Babylon and Assyria by allowing the same things to befall them, only this time it is Persia and the Medes who do it. Then the Greeks do it the Persians and so on until the eschaton when God Himself will settle all accounts. There is nothing unjust here at all. In fact, it's perfectly and poetically just from beginning to end.

You seem to forget that, as a Calvinist, I am very comfortable with God decreeing all things, both good and evil, moral and immoral. We draw a distinction between God's sovereign will/decree and His preceptive will/decrees.

Your argument might work on your garden variety Arminian next door, but it makes no dent in my theology.


Also don’t forget the article that I posted, which referred to Isaiah 13 and Zecharia 14 and are more explicit on the issue of rape.

That's not an argument. I already dealt with that, as well as its misuse of John Gill.

Sunil talked about depiction of virgins. Lets read some depictions in the Bible regarding two lovers and see how spiritually inspiring they are...

Is this an internal critique or an external critique, Bassam? If the former, then where is the supporting argument that this is immoral according to biblical standards? If the latter, then you're simply begging the question.

But again, it needs to be understood in its proper context. What is really being condemned here is taking something that would allow you to lose your consciousness. You have to remember that alcohol is a drug as well. Therefore, if in one place alcohol is permitted as long as you don’t get drunk and then in another place you want to interpret a verse generally condemning drugs all together then you have yourself a contradiction. The only way to reconcile it is that Paul’s intention was to prohibit people from taking substances that would allow them to lose their consciousness.

Notice here that Bassam is talking about context, et.al., but hasn't given us any text from which to work. i will assume he is thinking about Timothy.

However, apparently it seems that Paul allowed alcohol (again, remember it is a kind of drug) as long as you don’t get drunk.

This is true.

Therefore, we can also logically conclude that taking marijuana in small amounts in order to avoid getting high is permissible as well. I don’t see how the Bible condemns this act.

This, Bassam, is called a non-sequitur. Your conclusion suffers from oversimplification. You've stripped away all the distinctions to arrive at your conclusion and imposed external constraints.

1. Where does the Bible say that alcohol is a "drug?" You've imposed an external modern definition on the text that the text does not recognize.

2. Drugs in the modern sense, in Scripture, are indexed to witchcraft, for in NT parlance the word is "pharmakeia" - from which the English word "pharmacy" is derived - and that word translates as "sorcery." Sorcery is witchcraft and witchcraft is explicitly and completely condemned.

3. Scripture draws a distinction between the use and abuse of alcohol and the use of drugs. There is nothing at all inconsistent or contradictory about this, unless, of course, you are imposing this constraint as an external criticism, but that is simply circular logic, for you're begging the question.

Once again, you don't seem to understand the difference between an external and an internal critique.

ree said...

"Once again, you don't seem to understand the difference between an external and an internal critique."

I think that, at some level, he does, but he seems to lose that distinction when he critiques Christianity. His response to external critiques against Islam is to dismiss them as "subjective," when what he really means, it seems, is that they're question begging. Of course, he dismisses internal critiques that reveal inconsistencies, as well, but he does seem to recognize that they're a different kind of argument.

Bassam said...

Genem shows passages that condemn polyandry. Very good, because Islam condemns polyandry as well.

Showing passages that talk about the singular husband and wife doesn’t mean that they are prohibiting polygyny. There are statements in the Quran and hadith that talk about the singular as well but that does not mean only monogamy is allowed. You’re assuming and interpreting something and the evidence for it is not solid.

You talk about deacons and how they have to have one wife and how we must take them as examples and that this even includes having only one wife. I disagree. Doesn’t the Bible also say that you take Paul and Jesus as examples? They weren’t married so does that mean you should not be married either? Paul is clearly talking about their character to follow and faith. Some Christians have said that deacons should only have one wife as an exception because they are too busy to attend to church needs. Also, again this wouldn’t show that polygamy is prohibited. But that monogamy is recommended and it is recommended to take deacons as examples. So still you don’t show prohibition of polygamy except for deacons.

As for Christ being married to the church and you say that there is one church. Well I can view it another way and say that the church is comprised of more than one individual.

The OT clearly permits polygyny and I don’t see where the NT clearly abrogates it.


Genem said…


You seem to forget, I'm a supralapsarian Calvinist, your ethical objections do nothing to refute my theology as a consequence. I am quite comfortable with God decreeing immoral things as punishments on immoral people.

You seem to forget that, as a Calvinist, I am very comfortable with God decreeing all things, both good and evil, moral and immoral. We draw a distinction between God's sovereign will/decree and His preceptive will/decrees.


Bravo Genem for your statement. That way, it is easier to expose Christian double standard when they have ethical objections towards Islam. But you must remember what my position was in the first place. I never used these arguments to disprove Christianity. I only used them to expose the double standards of Christians such as Sunil and David Wood.

However, I never went as far as saying that God would issue immoral decrees. But you did. It will be fun to see whether David and Sunil would agree with you on that. Do you David and Sunil? Do you agree with Genem that God could issue immoral decrees sometimes? If yes, then let me see you say it. If no, then please debate with Genem. I will grab the popcorn and watch.


Genem said…

That's not an argument. I already dealt with that, as well as its misuse of John Gill.


You dealt with nothing. You basically said that they deserved it because they did it to the women of the Israelites before. That is an illogical argument. The women of Babylon don’t deserve to be raped just because their men did it to other women.

Genem said…

Is this an internal critique or an external critique, Bassam? If the former, then where is the supporting argument that this is immoral according to biblical standards? If the latter, then you're simply begging the question.


No critique at all. Just wanted to know Sunil’s opinion about those passages and continue to expose Christian double standard. Because if that was not found in the Bible but in the Qu’ran you people would be making sooo much noise about it.


You’re point about drugs, still not proven.

ree said...

Gene didn't use the adjective "immoral" as a modifier for the decree, which seems ironic coming from the one who keeps complaining about his words being misrepresented.

I'm curious, now, though. In your worldview, is Allah not sovereign?

ree said...

I posted my comment too soon; I should have edited it for clarification. What's ironic is not what Gene said, but that you would twist Gene's words the way you did when you're constantly accusing people of doing that to you.

What Gene said is that God decrees all things, including the immoral acts of people, as part of His sovereign will. Not that God's decrees are, themselves, immoral.

So again, do Muslims not believe in a sovereign God?

Sunil said...

Bassam,

>> Sunil said that God cannot be mathematically proven. Well, I believe that God could be objectively proven. If you read the works of Harun Yahya or Dr. William Lane Craig, you see that they do just that.

Dr. William Lane Craig would loose all his respect, if he ever makes a childish statement that he is presenting a mathematical/absolute proof for God's existence. Craig argues that there are good reasons to believe that theism is true and that it is more reasonable to believe in existence of God than not. He himself says that it is not the same as an absolute/mathematical proof. If the independent findings from varied fields including history, archeology, science, judiciary, human development, social sciences, human rights etc are not only in conformity with the scriptures but on relevant aspects, excelled in the scriptures (for example, as the case of morality based on Jesus' life/message/teachings) then there is a case which can be seen as a positive case for theism. Craig also makes arguments on the basis of things like historicity (of crucifixion/resurrection, reliability of NT, establishment of early church by apostles etc), philosophical reasonableness, and explanatory power etc to argue that the Judeo-Christian worldview is the most reasonable worldview out there.

Craig's opponents can still argue that the reasons presented are not enough and that there are other factors due to which there need not be a God or that the God is not as necessarily to be seen as in the Judeo-Christian faith. The listeners can then evaluate and judge for themselves which way they want to place their beliefs (a process which may often involve listening to their inner voice of God and asking God to help). This is as far as we can go in an objective argument is concerned. There is also a subjective dimension like one's personal relationship with Christ, renewal of nature, overcoming/deliverance from sin as part of salvation as promised in scriptures and so on. That these are subjective still does not mean that they should not be stated or expressed. The narration of these experiences (some of which may be only subjective experiences but still based on scriptures) may also be used by God and hence they have its place (through God's inner voice which is in everyone).

This brings us to a second word which you are misusing or wrongly using - which is the word "subjective". The word "subjective" means that which is only relevant to the person making the statement and has no relevance outside. The issues being discussed here about the teachings/actions/prescriptions of Muhammad with respect to women - like wife beating, polygamy, child marriage, menstruation as sign to start sexuality, eligibility/value as witness in a court, proclamations and oppressive restrictions on women, treatment of one's wife, human rights etc are issues that are debated and discussed in the highest decision making bodies of independent Nations. The input is taken from scholarly conclusions/analysis by experts (cutting across religious affiliations, cultures etc) from various fields including science, medicine, human development, human rights, anthropologists, historians, social scientists, statisticians etc. Independent governments make their policies based on these (and not on the basis of my "subjective emotions"). The objective scholarly conclusions on these matters can be used in a debate. Secondly, even if there is a point that is based on one's subjective conscience, if one is confident about the existence of God, and on the based on scriptures, believe that God's laws and morality is written on everyone's hearts and the conscience is bearing witness (that there is a God's inner voice in everyone telling us that is moral goodness and what is not), they can still be stated. And then leave it to the listeners/readers to evaluate within them selves and decide if it makes sense.

William Lane Craig’s (and of others) moral argument in defense of theism makes use of the objective nature of morality and how well the notion of objective morality fits into the idea that all humans are made in the image of God; Jesus’ summation of the law into ‘love the Lord your God with all your strength and with all your soul and with all your heart and with all your mind’, and, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’; other teachings of Jesus/NT etc. – the resulting morality is consistent with human rights, love, justice, non-sectarian non-communal equality before law, women’s rights, basic freedom/liberty of speech/conscience in proportion to responsibility, basic human dignity etc. I have not seen the moral argument (or a form of it) being used in the context of debate with Islam, but I think it can be (because Muhammad’s actions/teachings/prescriptions are not consistent with these values).

Contd …

GeneMBridges said...

Showing passages that talk about the singular husband and wife doesn’t mean that they are prohibiting polygyny.

No, it shows that they assume monogamy in accordance with the customs of the day.

What you need, Bassam, is a statement from Paul that polygamy is permitted. Where is that?

There are statements in the Quran and hadith that talk about the singular as well but that does not mean only monogamy is allowed. You’re assuming and interpreting something and the evidence for it is not solid.

What I did was mount a systematic argument, which you ignored.

You talk about deacons and how they have to have one wife and how we must take them as examples and that this even includes having only one wife. I disagree. Doesn’t the Bible also say that you take Paul and Jesus as examples? They weren’t married so does that mean you should not be married either? Paul is clearly talking about their character to follow and faith.

Notice that Bassam gives no text and no exegesis. Is he unable or unwilling to do this?

What the texts state is that the people are to follow the examples of their deacons and elders. The second part of the list of qualifications for both offices is being "a one woman man." So, if this is not to be emulated, why not?

That said, it does not mean that only married persons are qualified for office.

Some Christians have said that deacons should only have one wife as an exception because they are too busy to attend to church needs.

Which Christians? Which commentaries?

Also, again this wouldn’t show that polygamy is prohibited. But that monogamy is recommended and it is recommended to take deacons as examples. So still you don’t show prohibition of polygamy except for deacons.

1. Actually, the Bible speaks of following the example of Christ and Paul is specific ways, being single is never listed. Both Paul and Christ teach that being single is not a status greater than that of being married.

2. What I did was mount a comprehensive exegetical argument that you have rejected without counterexegesis. So, I'll take that as a statement that you have no response.

3. I also provided the witness of the Early Church Fathers on their understanding.

4. I can also provide one from the culture and historical setting of the text:

1. Polygamy was NOT practiced in Greek and Roman societies of the time:


"Even though we may find numerous traces of polygamy and polyandry in the Gk. myths, monogamy predominated in the Gk. world in the historical period. Morality within marriage was strict. The Homeric hero had one wife, who was faithful and inviolable, a good manager of the home and mother. Gk. marriage was monogamous. [NIDNTT:s.v. "Marriage, adultery, bride, bridegroom"]


"Polygamy was not practiced in the Roman world outside Palestine, though illegal bigamy and certainly adultery were. [EBC: in.loc. 1 Tim 3]




2. Polygamy was practiced somewhat in 1st century Palestinian Judaism (by the government/aristocratic leaders):


"In the Second Temple period, Jewish society was, at least theoretically, polygamous, like other oriental societies of the time but in contrast to the neighboring Greek and Roman societies...."[HI:JWGRP:85]

"There is evidence of the practice of polygamy in Palestinian Judaism in NT times (cf. J. Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus: An Investigation into Economic and Social Conditions during the New Testament Period, 1969, 90, 93, 369f.). Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.) had ten wives (Josephus, Ant. 17, 19f.; War 1,562) and a considerable harem (War 1,511). Polygamy and concubinage among the aristocracy is attested by Josephus, Ant. 12, 186ff.; 13, 380; War 1, 97. The continued practice of levirate marriage (Yeb. 15b) evidently led to polygamy, which was countenanced by the school of Shammai but not by that of Hillel. [NIDNTT:s.v. "Marriage, adultery, bride, bridegroom"]




3. Among the Jews, it was not accepted by the prestigious school of Hillel (above), nor by the strict Dead Sea Sect (Qumran), and was not widely practiced, esp. among the rabbi's:


"But even if polygamy was permitted by tannaitic halakhah, other halakhic systems counseled otherwise. During the Second Temple period, monogamy was preferred even on the conceptual plane by, above all, the Dead Sea Sect whose halakhah explicitly prohibited polygamy. In the reworked version of the statutes of the king in the Temple Scroll, it is stated: "he shall not take another wife in addition to her, for she alone shall be with him all the days of her life" (LVII 17-8). In the Damascus Covenant, criticism is leveled against the 'builders of the wall' (Pharisees?) in the following terms: 'they shall be caught in fornication twice; once by taking a second wife while the first is still alive...' [HI:JWGRP:85]

"it was known in Jewish society as represented in rabbinic literature, polygamy was not widespread in practice, especially not among the sages themselves." [HI:JWGRP:86]



So, polygamy was present only in a particular subset of Palestinian Judaism (not in Roman society, Greek society, Diaspora Jewish communities, the Hillel-school, or Dead Sea Sect), and generally confined to the aristocracy.

You, by way of contrast, have not provided any contrary information.

5. Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." (NIV Matt 19.8-9, pp. Mark 10.1-12)


The key thing to note here is that this argument fails if polygamy is acceptable! Jesus' point is that improper divorce does not nullify a marriage, and if the first marriage still stands, then a "second" marriage is adultery--and NOT simply 'polygamy'!

If you think Paul is contradicting Jesus, then I look forward to your exegetical argument.

I might add that the NT theology of marriage extends beyond the Pauline corpus.

As for Christ being married to the church and you say that there is one church. Well I can view it another way and say that the church is comprised of more than one individual.

In Scripture "ekklesia" (church) is never used of individual Christians. It is used to speak of those individuals in aggregate, local churches and of the one universal church. In context, Ephesians 5 is speaking of the latter, not the former. If you think differently and that this text is speaking of one local church or several local churches, then, by all means, provide a supporting argument, not an assertion.

The OT clearly permits polygyny and I don’t see where the NT clearly abrogates it.


I've pointed out to you before that OT ethics and theology are not NT ethics and theology. The OT was written in the Ancient Near East, where polygamy was common.

Where the OT depicts polygamy, it is always negative, not positive.
Where is there a OT figure with multiple wives who is not spoken of negatively when it comes to his polygamy?

Certain items are allowed in that culture, due to the hardness of men's hearts, like divorce. Nobody denies this.

However, I never went as far as saying that God would issue immoral decrees. But you did. It will be fun to see whether David and Sunil would agree with you on that. Do you David and Sunil? Do you agree with Genem that God could issue immoral decrees sometimes? If yes, then let me see you say it. If no, then please debate with Genem. I will grab the popcorn and watch.

I never said that the decree is immoral. That's your critique creeping in. So much for your forked tongue complaints about others distorting what you say.

So, what you've done is beg the question. Is this an internal critique or an external one, Bassam?

In Scripture, God promises that the curses of the covenant will come upon apostates. Part of the curse for apostasy is to allow them to get what they deserive, and if that means the women are playing the harlot, then like the harlot they shall be treated.

What is unjust about this? The Law says "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." The women act shamefully, so they are treated shamefully. They are immoral, so immorality befalls them, a punishment commensurate with their idolatrous, prideful behavior.

If you think that's immoral, then you'll have do more than assert it.

You dealt with nothing. You basically said that they deserved it because they did it to the women of the Israelites before. That is an illogical argument.

Really? What laws of logic are violated? Once again, you're all assertion, no argument.

The women of Babylon don’t deserve to be raped just because their men did it to other women.

Is this an internal critique or an external critique, Bassam? According to the Law of God, yes it is. They perpetrated this crime on the women of Israel, so God allows the same thing to befall their women, "an eye for an eye."

I might point out that the Law's explicit penalty for rape is death, so God has the option here of destroying the men who raped the women with death (which He does do). And in ANE societies, the women were victims of the crimes of the men. So, they are raped because of the sins of the men.
So, according to the cultural standards of that day, this was not at all unjust. Thus, its rather difficult to see if your criticism is internal or external.

Further, as I pointed out, and you neglected to mention, this is a cycle that continues until the day all accounts are settled personally by God.

You’re point about drugs, still not proven.

Once again, this an assertion, not an argument. Either Bassam has no reply or his too incompetent to reply.

Bassam said...

Sunil said…

The issues being discussed here about the teachings/actions/prescriptions of Muhammad with respect to women - like wife beating, polygamy, child marriage, menstruation as sign to start sexuality, eligibility/value as witness in a court, proclamations and oppressive restrictions on women, treatment of one's wife, human rights etc are issues that are debated and discussed in the highest decision making bodies of independent Nations. The input is taken from scholarly conclusions/analysis by experts (cutting across religious affiliations, cultures etc) from various fields including science, medicine, human development, human rights, anthropologists, historians, social scientists, statisticians etc. Independent governments make their policies based on these (and not on the basis of my "subjective emotions").


Again, what your problem is that you keep putting forth false accusations against Islam. What countries forbid is WIFE ABUSE. Islam forbids WIFE ABUSE. So that is no problem. Secondly, as for CHILD marriage. Here, people differ on as to what constitutes the appropriate age for marriage and there is no universal truth as to what that age would be. We don’t look at it from the perspective of age, but maturity of the person and physical bodily changes in the individual. As for oppressive restrictions on women, again it is your subjective opinion that Muslim women are oppressed while we do not see it that way. We see that the women in the west are the ones who are actually disgraced. So we think differently and you haven’t proven that your morally deficient views are correct.

You have not shown that Islam goes against any objective moral values or universal truths. E.g. such as permitting rape, murder, kidnapping, etc. or any other crime against innocents. You have only given what your opinion states.

Many nations around the world allow pornography, adultery and homosexuality to flourish in their countries so does that justify it? If they don’t objectively prove what they say then I will stick with God’s laws. As far I see it, Islam does not go against any objective moral values.

Regarding the existence of God. I don’t believe in God because it is simply more reasonable but because I am CERTAIN that He exists. When I look at the arguments from William Lane Craig and evidence for Islam combined I see no other conclusion to reach. I see no other possibility. Seems like we think differently.

Bassam said...

Genem said…

What you need, Bassam, is a statement from Paul that polygamy is permitted. Where is that?

No I don’t. The burden of proof is on you. It is assumed that everything is permitted unless stated otherwise and not vice versa. It’s like me asking you to show me where Gatorade is permissible to drink.

Genem said…

What the texts state is that the people are to follow the examples of their deacons and elders. The second part of the list of qualifications for both offices is being "a one woman man." So, if this is not to be emulated, why not?

1. Actually, the Bible speaks of following the example of Christ and Paul is specific ways, being single is never listed. Both Paul and Christ teach that being single is not a status greater than that of being married.


You said that being single is never listed. Really? Read 1 Corinthians 7:7-8 in which Paul clearly states that he wishes men were single like him and that it is good to stay unmarried like him. Also in Philippians 4:9, Paul told his people to put into practice what ever they saw from him. So it’s also possible that this includes his celibacy since they saw that from him. Paul also says in 1 Cor 11:1 that we should follow his example just as he followed the example of Christ and both of them were unmarried. So this shows that remaining unmarried is a very big possibility as to what is meant here. Therefore he was asking people to take his example. Now, no where is it said that it is compulsory to follow the example of the deacons in all regards just as you might argue that it is not meant to follow Paul and Jesus in all regards. This is your personal exegesis in which you have offered no objective and strong proof for. Plus, if the person is forced to follow the deacon even in the way he is married then that means that it is compulsory for the person to be married. Since the deacon should be married to one wife. But then you are going to argue back that the marriage is optional and not compulsory even though the text makes it sound that way. It appears to me that you just like to interpret the scripture as you please. Plus when I see Christians are being encouraged to be like over seers in 1 Peter 5, I see what is being emphasized is the fact that they shouldn’t be greedy and love to serve the lord. Nothing about marriage there.



It seems like this website has refuted your argument regarding the beacons. http://www.patriarchywebsite.com/polygamy/poly-obj-qa2.htm Actually, these Christians refute almost all of the arguments against polygamy in the Bible http://www.patriarchywebsite.com/polygamy/ and so does this site http://www.biblicalpolygamy.com/exegesis/adultery/ and here is the refutation to your Matthew 19 argument http://www.biblicalpolygamy.com/exegesis/adultery/

Also another site addresses the Matthew 19 argument…

Q: In Mt 19:9, why does a man who divorces his wife and marries another commit adultery, since polygamy was allowed?
A: No, polygamy is not adultery. Jesus’ teaching here is the same regardless of monogamy or polygamy. There are five points to consider in the answer.
God’s view on divorce is plainly stated in Malachi 2:16: God hates it. In the time of the Mosaic Law, God only permitted it because their hearts were hard, according to Matthew 19:8. In the New Testament, it is not permitted to divorce your spouse, except for adultery.
However, if an unbelieving spouse insists on divorcing you, God commands us to allow this since God has called us to peace, as 1 Corinthians 7:15 says. Obeying God’s command to allow [reluctantly] a spouse to divorce you, is Biblically different than disobeying God’s command by choosing to divorce your spouse.
God’s view on polygamy was a model of two (not multiple) becoming one flesh (1 Corinthians 6:16). It was permitted in both the Old and New Testaments. However, in the New Testament, it frowned upon, since church leaders could not be polygamous.
More primary than God’s model for monogamous marriage is God’s command on divorce. When Christian missionaries preach among primitive peoples, they tell polygamous men not to divorce their wives, because that would deprive the wives of financial support; however, they do discourage the husbands from marrying more wives.
Therefore, it was choosing to break the marriage vow that was the cause of the adultery, not the polygamy. Regardless of whether a man had more than one wife or not, if a man chooses to divorce, which God hates, then God does not want him to marry again.

Source: http://www.biblequery.org/mt.htm



Martin Luther himself acquiesced that he found nothing in the Bible to condemn polygamy:

I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter. (De Wette II, 459, ibid., pp. 329-330.)

And even some early Church Fathers such as Theodoret of Cyrus who said: “Indeed for this reason (to be fruitful and multiply) He did not forbid the ancients to have many wives: so that the race of men might be increased,” The Faith of the Early Fathers, VolIII, page 245.


Of course, since he disagrees with you, you will just brush it off by saying that he was a heretic. Well, maybe the people you quoted were heretics? Oh let me guess, they aren’t heretics because they agree with your understanding of Christianity? How convenient.


Genem said…

Where the OT depicts polygamy, it is always negative, not positive.
Where is there a OT figure with multiple wives who is not spoken of negatively when it comes to his polygamy?

This is an interesting statement. I would like to see where polygamy is spoken of negatively all the time. Some cite Solomon’s example because his wives lured him into idolatry. Obviously this has nothing to do with his polygamy but with his bad choice of wives. God actually permits polygamy in Exodus 21:10 but with certain conditions. How can God ordain something negative? God rewarded David by giving him multiple wives. If polygamy is a sinful institution, why did God reward David by giving him that which is negative (2 Sam. 12:8)?




Genem said…

I never said that the decree is immoral. That's your critique creeping in. So much for your forked tongue complaints about others distorting what you say.


Umm actually you did if someone reads your statement he will get that impression. Here is what you said…

“You seem to forget that, as a Calvinist, I am very comfortable with God decreeing all things, both good and evil, moral and immoral.”

Anyways, my apologies for not asking you to clarify your self when you said that. But when you guys distort what I say, you really do. Even though I state my opinion very clearly unlike you.


Genem said…

Part of the curse for apostasy is to allow them to get what they deserive, and if that means the women are playing the harlot, then like the harlot they shall be treated.

What is unjust about this? The Law says "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." The women act shamefully, so they are treated shamefully. They are immoral, so immorality befalls them, a punishment commensurate with their idolatrous, prideful behavior.

How interesting. So you are saying that the prostitute deserves to get raped? David Wood is condemning sinful and misguided Muslims who say this, yet you support this.


Genem said…

Is this an internal critique or an external critique, Bassam? According to the Law of God, yes it is. They perpetrated this crime on the women of Israel, so God allows the same thing to befall their women, "an eye for an eye."


Man this is getting worse and worse. David, I hope you are reading this. Genem this is both INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL. First of all, the Bible says that everyone dies for their own sin in Deut.

Secondly, EYE FOR AN EYE applies to punishing the CRIMINAL who hurt the victim. If someone killed your father (God forbid), that doesn’t mean you can go and have his father killed. You have that criminal killed.

How can women be raped and punished for the crimes of men before them?

Oh deary me, I can’t believe Islam is the one under moral investigation while you guys admit this stuff from your Bible.

Genem said…

Once again, this an assertion, not an argument. Either Bassam has no reply or his too incompetent to reply.


You really offered no case at this point. Because if we want to take that Paul banned pharmacia then that means that you can’t even use medicine to cure your self. However, obviously that is not what Paul meant. Paul’s intention was to prohibit people from using pharmacia in order to intoxicate themselves. However, someone can still use pharmacia if it wasn’t for that purpose. If you want a total ban on pharamacia then don’t use any medicine then. Therefore, using pharmacia to not get high seems un prohibited, which means that you can smoke pot as long as you don’t get high and this is not condemned just as your religion does not condemn drinking alcohol and not getting drunk. I know that you are ashamed of this, but at least admit the deficiencies found in your religion.

Sunil said...

Bassam,

>> Regarding the existence of God. I don’t believe in God because it is simply more reasonable but because I am CERTAIN that He exists. When I look at the arguments from William Lane Craig and evidence for Islam combined I see no other conclusion to reach. I see no other possibility. Seems like we think differently.


My worldview is based on a combination of factors. First and foremost, there are excellent reasons to believe in existence of God. Secondly, there are very good reasons to believe in the historical accounts about Jesus, his claims, teachings, doctrine, crucifixion, resurrection, establishment of early church based on this by the disciples etc. The evidence is as strong as it can get. So at an objective level, I pick the most reasonable worldview conceivable (not the same as absolute mathematical proof – to say so in the context of moral/philosophical doctrine is a logical fallacy of category mistake). Thirdly, there is also a subjective dimension - the real personal experience of relationship with God, seeking of God’s help to lead into Truth, listening to the inner voice of God in moral/philosophical judgments, assurance of forgiveness of sins, most importantly the real practical deliverance/victory from personal sin etc.

So it is a combination of objective and subjective dimensions at work here. A faith that is merely at cerebral level (alone) is of no use for salvation/redemption. On the other hand a faith that is only subjective may be a delusion. So, a combination of both is required. And yes, I am also ‘certain’, but based on combination of factors mentioned above.

>> Many nations around the world allow pornography, adultery and homosexuality to flourish in their countries so does that justify it?

It does not, but that does not mean that we should throw way all the good laws we have. (related to wife-beating, polygamy, oppressive restrictions on women, menstruation as sign to begin sexuality, child marriage, value of women as witness, mode of trial in rape cases, dealing with slaves/women captives, religious persecution etc). If some states do not have state law against adultery and homosexuality that is because they think it may not be an area where the state should enforce (this is highly debated of course).