Much of the criticism of Islam is way off the mark
IN RESPONSE to the letter by Themba Dube entitled “A certain religion is the problem” (The Star December 30), it is unfortunate that Dube has chosen to slyly use the Syrian refugee crisis to condemn Islam and Muslims.
Perhaps if he were a diligent student of history he would realise the absurdity of attacking a religion which is approximately 1 500 years old, based upon a few incidents in the current narrative.
Noam Chomsky, who is regarded as the West’s most prominent intellectual, reminds us of the following: “In 1492 Christian conquerors extended their barbaric sway over the most advanced and tolerant civilisation in Europe (ie Muslim Spain). Jews and Muslims were either ethnically cleansed or forced to convert.” (From his book Hopes and Prospects, published in 2011).
So much for Dube’s implied claim of only Christians “turning the other cheek”.
Dube also brings up the verse from the Qur’an “Slay the idolaters…”
May I remind him that there are about 6 616 verses in the Qur’an, and fewer than 16 of them deal with violent Muslim selfdefence tactics in a war situation.
These remarkably few verses are used ad nauseam and are quoted hopelessly out of context by people like Dube to hammer Muslims.
As for the charge of polygamy in Islam (allowing a man to have up to four wives), is not something any fair-minded Muslim is ashamed of.
After all, any Islamic marriage contract is entered into freely and willingly by all parties concerned. Ultimately, the Qur’anic law (with strict conditions attached) is viewed only as an accommodation and not a recommendation. Hence most Muslims have only one wife.
Muslims also regard the polygamy provision as infinitely superior to a person having numerous sexual partners without subscribing to the corresponding contractual responsibilities and duties of marriage.
The tragedy of Aids, unwanted children, etc merely confirms the wisdom of the proviso.
Furthermore, allowing polyandry (a woman having more than one husband), as Dube suggests Islam should do, is to go against the dictates of nature.
As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes) once remarked: “If one tries to rise too much above nature, one will fall far below it.”
Finally, let me deal with the charge of the “three recitations of Muslim divorce”. Dube is probably unaware that there is a whole chapter in the Qur’an dedicated to the lengthy and fair process of divorce (for example chapter 65).
Muslims who use any other system of divorce (for example three simple recitations) do so in spite of the Qur’an and not because of it! I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. Lenasia