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January 30th, 2012
01:30 PM ET

Islam doesn't justify 'honor murders,' experts insist

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Zainab Shafia's crime was to run off to marry a man her parents hated. Middle sister Sahar's crime was to wear revealing clothes and have secret boyfriends. Youngest sister Geeti's crime was to do badly in school and call social workers for help dealing with a family home in turmoil.

The punishment for all three teenage Canadian sisters was the same: death.

Their executioner: their brother, acting on instructions from the father to run their car off the road.

Another family member, their father's first wife in a polygamous marriage, was also killed.

Hamed Shafia, his father, Mohammed, and his mother, Tooba Mohammed Yahya, were sentenced to life in prison for murder, with Judge Robert Maranger excoriating their "twisted notion of honor, a notion of honor that is founded upon the domination and control of women, a sick notion of honor that has absolutely no place in any civilized society."

Leading Muslim thinkers wholeheartedly endorsed the Canadian judge's verdict, insisting that "honor murders" had no place and no support in Islam.

"There is nothing in the Quran that justifies honor killings. There is nothing that says you should kill for the honor of the family," said Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford in England.

"This idea that 'somehow a girl has besmirched our honor and therefore the thing to do is kill her' is bizarre, and Muslims should stop using this defense," he said, arguing that the practice is cultural, not religious in origin.

"You cannot say this is what Islam approves of. You can say this is what their culture approves of," he said.

The Shafia family is originally from Afghanistan.

Experts say honor murders take place in many parts of the world.

"It's definitely a problem that happens in many different places: the Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh and among immigrant communities in North America," said Nadya Khalife, a researcher on women's rights in the Arab world for Human Rights Watch.

Several Arab countries and territories, including Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, have laws providing lesser sentences for honor murders than for other murders, Human Rights Watch says.

Egypt and Jordan also have laws that have been interpreted to allow reduced sentences for honor crimes, the group says.

Reliable figures of the number of honor murders are hard to come by, Khalife said, but she pointed to a United Nations Population Fund estimate of 5,000 per year.

Khalife agreed that the practice should not be blamed on Islam.

"It's not linked to religion; it's more cultural," she said. "There have been several Islamic scholars who have issued fatwas against honor killing."

Mohammed Shafia, who denied murder, said himself in court that Islam did not justify honor murders.

"In our religion, a person who kills his wife or daughter, there is nothing more dishonorable," he testified.

But Shafia was heard condemning his dead children in wiretapped conversations played in court.

"May the devil defecate on their graves! This is what a daughter should be? Would a daughter be such a whore?" he said.

Hargey, the director of the Muslim Educational Centre, said violence was sometimes the result of painful transition.

"Muslims are in a state of flux," he said.

"They are between two worlds: the ancient world and the new technological age," he said. "Women are getting rights and the ability to choose their own spouses. The family in Canada didn't know how to respond to this: the conflict between the discipline of children and the new reality."

Irshad Manji, the author of "Allah, Liberty and Love: Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom," said there was another conflict at work in honor murders, a term CNN uses in preference to "honor killings" because the latter phrase does not properly describe the crime.

It is "a tribal tradition that emphasizes the family or the tribe or the community over the individual," she said.

Although the practice may not be Islamic, she said, not all Muslims understand the distinction.

"It is a problem within Islam because of how Muslims often confuse culture and religion," she said. "It's Muslims who have to learn to separate culture and religion. If we don't, Islam will continue to get the bad name that it gets."

But one vocal British campaigner against honor violence points out that not all the crimes are perpetrated by Muslims.

Jasvinder Sanghera, who was the victim of a forced marriage, is not Muslim; she is Sikh.

"Significant cases are happening within South Asian communities, be it Pakistani, Indian, Sikh, Muslim, Kurdish, Iranian, Middle Eastern communities," she said.

"And we have to recognize that because the statistics don't lie. I am not standing here trying to embarrass those communities. But equally, those communities should be ashamed because this is happening in their community and they are not taking a stand," she said.

On the other hand, honor murders are not a problem in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population.

"No such a practice can be found among Indonesian Muslims," said Azyumardi Azra, the director of the graduate school at the State Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia.

" 'Honor killing' is, I believe, a cultural problem among Arab and South Asian Muslims. I don't think that kind of practice has an Islamic basis," he said.

Although women and girls make up the overwhelming number of victims, there have been at least some male victims, including Ahmet Yildiz, a gay Turkish man whose fugitive father is the main suspect in his 2008 shooting death.

Britain has had about a dozen honor murders per year for the past several years, said Ghayasuddin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain.

He, too, said the crimes were not justified by Islam.

"This comes from tribal customs where the father - not both parents - see children as their property. A girl decides to marry somebody of whom their parents do not approve, and they conspire and find some way to kill and dispose of this body," he said. "This is a kind of misplaced shame that parents feel that their daughter has decided to marry somebody of her choosing, not theirs."

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service has an expert devoted to prosecuting honor-based violence, Nazir Afzal.

Convicting perpetrators can be difficult, he said.

"There is a wall of silence around this, and people are not prepared to talk," he said.

But Afzal insisted that it was "absolutely important that you bring every single person to justice because you want to deter other people from doing it."

And along with the Islamic scholars and human rights advocates, he rejected out of hand the idea that religion justified it.

"At the end of the day, murder is murder. There is no faith on Earth, no community on Earth that justifies this," he said.

"Abrahamic faiths say 'Thou shalt not kill,' " he pointed out. "At the end of the day, nobody should die for this."

CNN's Paula Newton, Atika Shubert, Bharati Naik, Ashley Hayes, Ivan Watson and Becky Anderson contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Canada • Islam • Violence

soundoff (2,115 Responses)
  1. Jewel of Allah

    Allah, all praise be unto Him, actually has both male and female genitalia (how could it be otherwise?). Ibrahim knew this and was ashamed of Allah, all praise be unto Him, and began the lie that so many believe today that Allah, all praise be unto Him, is somehow male. Nothing of the sort! Self-copulation, practiced by those truly made in the image of Allah, all praise be unto Him, has always been the right and good practice of all who have been faithful to Him from the beginning. All should pray fervently that the sons of Ibrahim should turn away from Ibrahim's lie and self-copulate to the glory of Allah, all praise be unto Him.

    August 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      Sorry to ruin your lies, but, as Muslims we DO NOT believe that we are created in the image of Allah, that is the Christian version!!!

      August 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Details

      Husayn ibn Khalid says: "I said to Hadrat Rida, 'O Son of the Messenger of God, the people narrate that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and his Household, said, "God created Adam in His own image." ' The Imam said, 'God damn them! They have omitted the first part of the tradition. The Messenger of God passed by two men who were abusing each other. The Prophet heard one of them say to his companion, "May God disfigure your face and of everyone who looks like you!" Thereat the Messenger of God, may God bless him and his Household, said, "O servant of God! Don't say that to your brother, for God, Almighty and Glorious, created Adam in His image."'

      August 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Details

      Anyway, no one said you were created in the image of Allah.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      This is definitely a "false" saying attributed to the prophet (as many had tried to create lies about true Islam), prophet Mohammed to begin with did NOT have a son!! This word, "hadrat" is most probably used by the "Shi'ites" who are well kow for fabricating traditions or sayings and attributing them to the prophet.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Details

      "many had tried to create lies about true Islam". Christianity has that problem too. You have my sympathy.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  2. Islam-will-prevail

    The funny thing is that NO matter how much the media tries to portray Islam as being a "bad" religion, and there are many people who like to believe those lies and jump on the "attack Islam" band wagon. Why you ask?? It is because Islam is the fastest growing religion in the World, and many churches keep loosing the "faithful" after they have discovered the corrupted religion they follow!! As Muslims, we do believe in Jesus as a prophet of God who did bring about a purse and true message from God, but, over the years people changed that message and continue to do so. Recent "Western media" report that 50,000 Britons accept Islam as their faith EVERY YEAR!! and in the USA, 20,000 every year!!! 60% of those accepting Islam in the West are Women!! Surprised?? Don't believe?? Simply go to YouTube and make a search on "American women convert to Islam" or "Western women convert to Islam" and you will see how many are finding the TRUTH in this beautiful religion and accepting it as their own!! The beauty of a woman in Islam, they realized, is in the beauty of her soul and beliefs, and not in the her cup size and lips!!! A Muslim woman earns her respect by how she behaves, how she thinks, and how she treats others and deals with others, and not by how short her skirt is, or how much skin she is willing to show in public!!

    August 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • toad

      Islam is represented by a bunch of fuckwads. It's a real shame that a perfectly splendid god like Allah chose a putrid merchant, Muhammad, to deliver his word to the loathsome inhabitants of the armpit of the world. Thus came the word of Allah to the world. Allah is a loser until he comes to his senses and loses you shit heads. Jews would be a better choice.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      Regardless if you are Christian or not, Americans are known for committing some of the worst crimes against humans (of their kind or else). Priests having a go at small children in the house of God!!?? Men raping their wive's daughters? etc. etc. etc. Should I go on?

      August 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • toad

      Sorry I was away... Yes, do go on. Tell me more about these Americans.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      dear toad, not sure why some of my replies do not make it through. Anyhow, I will try again: I was only making the point that if you want to judge some people following a religion by a few cases you hear about in the media, then, Americans in general have lots of interesting stories upon which I can claim that Christianity is a horrible religion and so are its followers as you tried to portray Muslims.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • toad

      Christians? They are also unsuccessful representatives of the Truth.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      OK, so, if you are not Christian but is American (or of any other country), I am sure I could find some vices committed by people and attribute that to their religion or nationality or anything related to them!! Muslims account for 1.5 Billion people all across the World. So, when sme Muslims committs an awful act, which some do, after all we are humans, then we cannot attribute that act to the teachings of God or Islam!!! Many so-called Muslims are Muslims by name only and are not educated in the true teachings of Islam. Today, most Muslim countries live in severe poverty and lack the basic needs of a human. So, don't be surprised when ignorance causes some who profess to be Muslim to act unlike a true Muslim.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • toad

      Perhaps we agree. What are people when compared to God?

      August 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Mario Delicata

      I have no religion, I am an Atheist. A question I always ask is 'Why all the main religions of the world preach peace and respect (especially Buddhism) while Islam not. What 'Jackattack' said is right no? Terrorism is always linked to Islam, not to Juddahism, Christianity, Hinduism, Moonies, etc

      August 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  3. NoDoubt

    Honor killings stem from back several centuries ago when there were many nomads and other barbarian cultures roaming around the middle east, china, etc. Nowadays the average person can't run around killing other people's tribes, so the turn inward and kill the one they deem as the 'fault' for the problem.

    August 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  4. jhiujk

    let the dad.. how come a mother be this evil....

    August 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  5. Cjl@pak

    How can anyone in their right mind believe the words of mohammed to be words of God, he has such a twisted mind and filty teachings about women, and by the way allah is a name of a pagan god who has three daughters, mohammed is such a sick man as far as women are concerned, he is sick and so is the religion he brought,

    August 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Yazan

    islam just just just kill cheating huband or wife (if there no reasone for cheat)

    August 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  7. jj

    i feel so sad and discouraged every time i read the news like this. How could they treat the people they love this way?!?! i believe that everyone in the world feels the same way even though they don't express their feeling and thoughts. i believe that deep inside their hearts they know IT IS COMPLETELY WRONG but they don't know what to do......

    August 24, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  8. llatpoh

    It's all data folks, and the data tells us there is a pattern, and in that pattern is a very big problem. And until EVERYONE can have an honest conversation about the underlying drivers of the problem, both cultural AND religious, no progress can be made.

    August 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  9. tarya

    If you identify yourself as anything except muslim and ask a muslim if violence is acceptable, they will say the quran forbids it. But, if you were muslim like I was and asked the question, you would be told a thousand reasons that it's totally acceptable to abuse women, slaughter innocent people, maim your enemies, etc. Islam had two ways to move forward and it chose the path that degrades women, enslaves entire populations, kills freedom and murders innocent people. Other religions have equally poor historical records, but they have evolved much further.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      Dear fellow humans!! You all have it VERY WRONG about Islam!!! Islam over 1400 years ago made the woman an equal to man!!!! She could own a business, choose to marry or not, work, equal pay, inherit, choose to divorce her husband, go to battle side-to-side to men, object to the rulers and even correct them when wrong, and SO MANY other rights that women in the Western World had to fight for and just got ONLY some 50 years ago, and they are still fighting for other rights!! However, there are some differences based on the nature and body of the man and woman!! SO, for example a man cannot have babies, does anyone like to disagree with that? Hence, women are biologically built by God (Allah) for certain matters that men are not even capable off!!! EVEN SO, IN ISLAM, a woman deserves the right of hired home help (if her husband is financially capable)!! Oh, and finally, when a companion asked the prophet Mohammed, "who is most deserving of my friendship?" He told him "Your Mother!", he asked, then who? He told him again, "Your Mother", and the man asked again, then who? And for the third time: "YOUR MOTHER", on the fourth time of asking, then who? The prophet told him: "Your Father". So, believe it or NOT, as Muslims we revere and respect our mothers with great respect. SO, do you think that a person can treat his mother with great respect but then treat his wife with the opposite?? That is not what we are taught as Muslims!!

      The prophet Mohammed taught us to treat our wives with GREAT respect, and he said: "The best of you are those who are best to their Families (the Arabic word used can also mean Wives)." Right as the prophet's death he kept repeating and telling his companions to "be good to your WOMEN!!!"

      August 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Islam-will-prevail

      Sorry: Right "before" the prophet's death...

      August 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  10. Muzzie

    Islam is an outright disease.

    August 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Mikon

    There is a difference between religion and culture. When people move from their native country and settle in a new country, they should abide by the law of the new country. If they can't do that they should remain where they are and kill each other and be gone.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  12. bs

    bs

    August 21, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  13. abbot25

    Wow we need Experts to tell us this???
    I wonder why no experts are saying the same about Budhism, Hindism, jainism, Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Zorastrianism, Sikhism, Athiesm.
    Why are these Experts scrambling whenever there is a muslim jihad???

    August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  14. L. Foster

    From the Sunni Muslim sahih hadiths:

    Sahi Muslim No. 4206:
    “A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”

    August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Farooq

      Shame on you to report only the first part of the hadith.
      BTW you people used to burn women alive for they were witches, carried out ethnic cleansing of millions of native Red Indians, killed millions of African slaves and even today are busy in killing Innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who gives you the right to hold a moral superiority and utter this nonsense. Huh!

      August 25, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  15. Vigormortis

    The fact that almost every comment on this thread is people arguing about religion is hiliarious. That's exactly what shouldn't have happened, but since we're at it...

    All religion is useless. You shouldn't need to be taught to love others, not kill other people, etc. etc. These ideas should be innate in any person that isn't broken, and religion will never fix those broken people. Religion has been used as a control mechanism for society since its inception, and continues to run countries to this day.

    August 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  16. Ellen

    Islam IS violent.
    It is the duty of every muslim to fight unbelievers as it is commanded in the koran and the hadiths. No muslim would ever question the koran, which is according to them, god's word.
    Here is what the 'Umdat as-Salik wa 'Uddat an-Nasik (Reliance of the Traveller), THE classical manual on sharia law (based on the koran and the hadiths) says regarding the verses JackAttack correctly quoted (there's much more, but there's not enough space to post everything) (you can find the Al Azhar certified English version on the web):
    :
    o9.0 JIHAD
    (O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada
    signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is
    spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him
    peace) said as he was returning from jihad.
    "We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad."
    The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus (def: b7) is such Koranic verses as:
    (1) "Fighting is prescribed for you" (Koran 2:216);
    (2) "Slay them wherever you find them" (Koran 4:89);
    (3) "Fight the idolators utterly" (Koran 9:36);

    ....

    THE OBJECTIVES OF JIHAD
    o9.8 The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first
    invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social
    order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya).

    August 21, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • Jackson

      Jihad actually means- struggle.
      so when they are fighting jihad, they are trying to get through a rough time or something like that

      August 25, 2012 at 3:08 am |
  17. Ellen

    This article is one big lie. I wonder how retarded the author is or how much CAIR oaid him to write this BS.

    Here is what the 'Umdat as-Salik wa 'Uddat an-Nasik (Reliance of the Traveller), THEclassical manual on sharia law says about abusing non-muslims:

    o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:
    (2) a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim;
    (4) a father or mother (or their fathers of mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring;

    o5.4 (O: There is no expiation for killing someone who has left Islam, a highwayman (def: o15). or a convicted married adulterer

    o8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

    o11.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:

    (1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, thought not for drunkenness;
    (2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
    (3) are not greeted with "as-Salamu 'alaykum";
    (4) must keep to the side of the street;
    (5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
    (6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite
    the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
    (7) and are forbidden to build new churches.

    August 21, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • BaconLover

      Thanks for this great post! Paragraph o1.2 (4) is the paragraph in the which justifies islamic honor killings.
      It's good to have people like you who can prove honor killings are explicitly not punishable according to the most important islamic manual on sharia law. If you look at muslim countries, you will in fact see that those who kill their children barely ever get punished. What you posted is one of the main reasons.

      HONOR KILLINGS ARE LEGAL ACCORDING TO SHARIA LAW (01.2).

      August 21, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • MaryInBoise

      So does this mean that Islam and sharia law are inseparable? Or is that cultural as well? Why don't they have honor murders in Indonesia? Of course, it was harder for me to take your post seriously when you started off using a hurtful slur for a person with intellectual disabilities to describe the author...

      August 21, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • Krzysztof

      Have you ever read Leviticus?

      August 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  18. Jennifer

    Fritz you ask a silly question. Every man and woman on this planet gets to make their own choice to do good or to do evil. Islam and other religions urge those to do good, to love your neighbor more than you love yourself, to be kind to the poor, to love your family, to be peaceable with all, etc. These are the things that some religions teach, and if certain members of a society decide to abstain from it, how can you blame the entire system? For many the purpose of religion is to love and serve God, and much of that involves loving his other creations, including the people around you. That is the "good" that it CAN accomplish, but you cannot blame God for the evil that man puts in his own heart.

    August 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  19. t3chn0ph0b3

    As Christians are with the bible, most Muslims are obviously not experts on the Quran.

    August 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      By that, I mean that most Christians are not experts on the bible either. Poorly written. Sorry.

      August 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Canada

      yep, they're called Catholics.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  20. Hateem

    Hi

    I am a Muslim and I believe that Islam does not approve of honour killings.
    Notice I say Islam and not Quran. This is because the Quran is a book detailing revelations from Allah to the Prophet (PBUH).

    Translated and summarised from scripture.
    'The Quran does not explain Islam. If you want to see what Islam truly is, then follow the Hadith (which in fact is an account of the Prophet (PBUH).
    The Quran does not detail laws of Islam. We obtain them through the Hadith.

    All through Hadith we are reminded of love, compassion to out families, friends and even towards people who are of a different faith. An insane amount of emphasis is placed on the relationship between parents and children. Parents are directed to love their children, and children to love and respect their parents.

    The issue of honour killings does indeed arise from cultural difficulties. In Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhaan (provinces of Pakistan) there is a lot of tribal pressure on parents. Due to that parents feel that if their children do not turn out the way they are expected they will bring shame upon the family in the society. The same is found in Asian families in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada. You would think that people who manage to make it outside of Pakistan would be a bit strong willed, and fight for their children. They however, bow to the pressure of society.

    The problem as I see it is that children growing up in these societies are stuffed with a mix of 'their parent's outdated ideologies' and 'social pressure', which blends into a form of Islam they turn upon. They are forced to do certain stuff, often humiliated, blackmailed by parents, force ably married. That is wrong on so many accounts that I can not even begin to explain why.

    Cultural problems are so much to blame.
    Example, near the Afghan-Paki border and in border areas of Afghan girls are not allowed to go to schools. That is a cultural problem.
    Hadith summary of translation.
    'Education is necessary (farz) for both Muslim men and women.'
    'Seek education even if you have to travel to China (travelling to China was regarded as an extremely long journey back then).'
    The point here is that even though Islam approves, more so, forces men and Women to study, women are still being denied education in many Islamic countries, while others allow education freely. That is a cultural problem.

    Brings back to the main point. Islam does NOT approve honour killings, heck it even goes to say,
    'A murder of one human being is the death of all humanity'.

    May Peace be with you.

    August 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Madame X

      Thank you, Hateem, for your thoughtful comment. The children of Abraham – Muslim, Jewish and Christian alike – believe in a single, merciful and loving God. We are all instructed to love our children and respect our elders, to do good deeds and honor God. It is unfortunate, indeed tragic, that over the centuries mankind has, for their own selfish reasons, twisted such beautiful teachings, setting brother against brother.

      Peace.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • fritz

      Sure, Islam doesn't condone the murder of women over points of male honor. Fine. But if Islam is so ineffective in stopping this murderous aspect of your Islamic culture, then what good is your religion? Just to make you feel superior to all those who believe differently?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bazoing

      Are you saying that you accept some scriptures but not others? Or that the Quran does not provide guidance? Notice that there are many flavors of Islam as there are many flavors of Christianity. What is to prevent your son or your uncle from taking the Quran seriously and becoming a brute. Please go someplace Islamic in peace. And please US leave them alone!

      August 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Hateem

      @ fritz

      Ah but there is where Islam does have strict guidelines. In the Prophet (PBUH)'s time a murderer would have a death sentence handed to him, unless the family of the victim forgives him with/without blood money. If he is not pardoned then a murderer is given a death sentence.

      Now that is a guideline, it is up to the country to incorporate it or not. If you read the article regarding the latest honour killing it shows the murderer saying that he will be released due to a blood money settlement.
      In Pakistan due to corruption, murderers often get away by bribing officials etc to escape the death sentence.
      The UK isn't an Islamic state, there isn't a death sentence for murderers. However, if the UK honour killing case had been taken to the country of the murderers' origin they probably would have received a death sentence.

      A summary of a translated Hadith'
      'A person who is more pious is greater in Allah's Eyes'
      We are not the ones who are to make judgement about superiority. There are repeated incidents (in scripture) where a person who had lived a life of sin was deemed worthy of entering heaven due to a single good deed. Sometimes that deed being as simple as removing a pin lying on the ground with the intention of protecting other travellers.
      I don't know who you are fritz, what you do, what your intentions are when you do a good/bad deed. Who am I to judge you, or compare myself to you and declare myself the better man.

      Peace.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Hateem

      @ Bazoing.
      When I say the first Kalmaa or declare myself a Muslim I consciously accept the Quran as one of the 4 Divine Books, and along with that I accept Prophet (PBUH)'s Hadith.
      In practical terms my intellect does not allow me to comprehend the Quran in its original words. It was said that the Quran shows us what Islam is, and the Prophet's (PBUH) life is the best example of Islam (which is a way of life).
      I am just saying that for a normal Muslim, who does not understand Arabic the Hadith is the best way to grasp the roots of Islam.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • JackAttack

      Hateem, you are a lying POS. Please stop with you taqqia (the koran explicitly encourages to lie to non-muslims if it helps islam). Here's a few peaceful verses from the koran and hadiths:

      Quran (2:191-193) – "And slay them wherever ye find them"
      Quran (2:216) – "Fighting is prescribed for you"
      Quran (3:56) – "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."
      Quran (3:151) – "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers,"
      Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"
      Quran (8:39) – "And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah"
      Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that "Allah must have no rivals."
      Quran (8:65) – "O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight..."
      Quran (9:5) – "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush,
      Quran (9:14) – "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..."
      Quran (9:29) – "Fight those who believe not in Allah
      Quran (9:73) – "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers
      Quran (9:123) – "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

      August 21, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • MaryInBoise

      @Fritz: Here in our mainly Christian culture, we have plenty of spousal and child abuse; people commit violence against each other all the time. Why hasn't Christianity stopped that?

      August 21, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • MaryInBoise

      @JackAttack: Seriously? You're nitpicking specific verses to imply that all Muslims are violent? I sure hope you aren't a Christian. Because I can do the same thing. There are plenty of bible verses that advocate murdering your disobedient children and killing apostates among other things. A few examples below:

      Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

      Ezekial 9: 5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. 7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth.

      Psalms 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

      Exodus 32:27-29:Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.' "

      2 Chronicles 15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • abbot25

      @maryINBoise:
      The difference here is that Muslims believe that Quran is the literal word of God. You disapprove one line then you disapprove of God's command. Hence all the violence if you question it.
      All Christians know that the Bible was written by men over 100 years. Who uses the old testament anymore?

      August 21, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Hateem

      @ JackAttack
      Quoting out of context can hardly be considered an argument.
      I have heard something of that nature being used before. There is a Muslim scholar called Dr.Zakir Nair. He went into great detail regarding quotations out of context. I am pretty sure those verses you wrote were the ones he talked about.

      Those verses refer to the time of war. When the Prophet (PBUH) and other Muslims were in direct war with the Quraish of Mecca.
      The Quraish there are referred to as the non believers.
      If I wasn't pretty clear last time, Quran is a series of revelations, which were sent according to the time. This as it was sent in a time of war commanded the Muslims to fight against the Quraish.
      Name one war general who would'nt say that. Example, suppose say if USA went into war and the general asked his troops to spare everyone, that would'nt be right. The Muslims at that time were at war and those command were put just for the war.

      You tell me, why would a religion which emphasises on peace, loving and compassion (towards all) ask its followers to slay every non believer. That my friend is most definitely NOT Islam.
      I quote from my earlier post.
      Hadith : 'A murder of one human being is the death of all humanity'.

      The Hadith is what we must look at to see what Islam truly is :
      Quoting your statement here,
      Muhammad further explains that "Allah must have no rivals"
      As Muslims we consciously accept that there is only One God. Those quotes you wrote, as I seem them, are out of context.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Hateem

      @abbot25
      The difference here is that Muslims believe that Quran is the literal word of God. You disapprove one line then you disapprove of God's command. Hence all the violence if you question it.

      I think this obsession with using the Quran as the method of attacking Islam has gone too far.
      Yes, Muslims believe that it is the literal word of Allah. Questioning the Quran actually serves no purpose. If ones truly wishes to challenge Islamic principles he/she should look at the life of the Prophet (PBUH) who is fact is the perfect example of what the Islamic way of life is. His life is recorded in the Hadith, so the Hadith can be challenged. Because the Hadith is written by man, you can logically only challenge the word of man.

      Regarding the outburst when someone questions the Quran. I said earlier that I can not comprehend the Quran myself, so who am I to start fighting against you if you question the Quran. Fact is even if you do question the Quran you won't know any more about what you are challenging that I do.
      Hence, the argument is baseless as you would be arguing against something you don't fully understand, and I would be arguing for something I don't fully understand.

      Peace.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Sanibels

      @JackAttack: "You are a lying POS"? really? so much hatred! No wonder we end up with mass murders like the ones directed at the Sikh community. If you cannot argue in a decent and respectful way, then please shut up!

      August 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Mario Delicata

      Youre a good man Hateem, I like your writing, May Allah bless you and keep you in his path. If all Muslims are like you and believe in peace we would not have any problems. This goes also to all the Christians hinduists, buddists, jewish etc. Respect and peace must prevail.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • borntdings

      Hateem is another moslim LIAR trying out a new tactic. And I LOVE CATCHING moslims like Hateem RED HANDED IN THE MIDDLE OF LYING!!! Honor murder is purely islamic in origin. The quran clearly states that the murdering your children is permissible/encouraged in order to be better serve islam. Now Hateem is trying to say we can't quote the quran to prove islam is a vile evil ideology. YOU ARE A JOKE Hateem!
      quran chapter 18 verses 75, 81 and 82. I have to paraphrase a little because the quran is a rambling mess of babble. Here are the honor murdering versus straight from the quran; "So they journeyed on till, when they meet a young boy, HE SLEW HIM. Moses said, Hast thou slain an innocent person without his having slain anyone? Surely thou hast done a hideous thing? He replied, did I not tell thee thou wouldst not be able to journey with me in patience?" "And as for the youth, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should cause them trouble through REBELLION AND DISBELIEF. So we desired that their lord (allah) give them in exchange a child better than him in purity and closer in filial affection."
      islam is the religion of hate and murder, to include child murder!

      August 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.