There has been some news lately that covers a burkini ban somewhere in Europe and new battle brewing over the Muslim swimwear line. I read a few headlines in passing and it made me decide to log-in to see if there was an uptick in stats due to people searching for burkini. Sure enough there has been a little bump. Not much though because this blog doesn’t get many views anyway which is fine because I’m not in it for blogging dollars. At any rate, I decided to dust the old blog off a little bit and type out a few thoughts that have been on my mind lately but I didn’t write about.
I was walking home one night and while gazing at the sky it made me think about Muslims and their claim that Muhammad foretold of a barrier between the waters in the sea. I can’t find my Quran and am too lazy to Google the verse but many Muslims are at least faintly familiar with claims that Muhammad revealed a difference between fresh water and sea water. His claim was that there was some sort of barrier between the waters that makes them different. I believe they call this “Miracles of the Quran” and Muslim talib-ul-ilm have given lectures based on these so-called miracles.
Muslims can mislead with these statements because: 1) If they tell this stuff to a bunch of uneducated learners then will probably believe it and 2) they never bother to break down the Arabic to see what the word barrier referred to. They then go on to make these great exhortations that Islam is the truth and Allah is the true God because he revealed these things to Muhammad before science and the Greek philosophers had discovered them. When in reality Muhammad probably spent all of his time in that cave reading over materials and the coming back with his “revelations”. When the Jews of Yemen called him out on his fraud he tried to cover it up by saying he couldn’t read. Allah even went so far as to whip out an ayah or two in response to Yemeni Jewish criticism.
You don’t have to be rocket scientist or have your own Archangel deliver personal messages to you from God to figure out there is a difference between sea water and fresh water and then come to a primitive conclusion that there some sort of barrier between the waters. For one, no physical barrier exists which is what Muhammad alluded to. Muslims try to change the meaning to a very loose interpretation meaning there is some sort of invisible barrier that causes the two not to mix. Keep in mind, this is coming from the very sheikhs who insisted that the eartjh was flat even after it had been proven otherwise and that anyone who did not agree was going against the word of Allah and should be killed.
No barrier exists in the manner that Muhammad mentioned. He only posited a theory when he came across two types of water, one bitter and salty and the other fresh tasting. However his theory was wrong yet Muslims pass this terrible science all around the globe under the guise of threats that this is the only true way when it is anything but. So how does this relate to my evening trek and staring at the stars? I figured if Allah, the all-knowing, can reveal the miracles to Muhammad about a barrier in the rivers and sea then why didn’t Allah bother to reveal knowledge about barriers in the sky, air, and space?
I mean wouldn’t that make sense while He was at it? It took years for scientists to breakdown different types of levels of oxygen in the air and break the levels up into different spheres until you are on the edge of space. So why didn’t Allah happen to mention this barrier that covers the earth and separates space “air” from earth air? Rest assured if you pose a question like that then Muslims(or any religious person for that matter) will quickly shut it down and claim that God chose to reveal some secrets and chose to keep some secrets hidden. But that still doesn’t explain Muhammad other faulty and wrong miracles but hey at the end of the day “you just need to have faith in Allah sister, fear the Iblis and the shayateen, not ask so many questions, and make more du’a”. And then change the subject.
About a year or so ago, there was a big hulla-balloo surrounding Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage certificates to gay couples. Her reasoning was that, as a Christian, she was bound by the law of God and it superseded her employers laws. I was going to write about a similar incident I had when I was a practicing Muslim but never got around to so I guess I will explore it today.
I am not gay/lesbian so this is issue I was facing did not have to do with marriage licenses although Muslim marriage certificates can go through some skirmishes with the polygyny thing and all of that. A problem arose with a female employee and my renewing my driver’s license in the Deep South. No doubt she was a die hard Christian as many older, white women in the Southern United States are. A little back story first though.
A few years prior a Muslimah in Winter Park, Florida decided to challenge drivers license photo pictures. She argued that she should not be forced to remove her niqab for license photos because it violated her religious beliefs. She tried, unsuccessfully, to have the law changed where she could take a photo with full face veil. Even though I sported the niqab, I did not agree with her tactics as it defeated the purpose to of photo identification if your face would be covered in the photo. There were other measures she could take if she didn’t want to be seen: go at an earlier time when it was less busy, ask if she could have a separate room, or go with a male family member who might try to shield her from view as much as possible. But trying to get the state to alter the law for a photo not showing the face was a useless battle in mu opinion.
Which it proved to be because she lost. Not only did she lose but hackers got ahold of her personal information and plastered it all over the internet. It included full blown pictures of her without hijab and arrest information during her time as a kafirah. Not only did that happen but it set off a domino effect for other states reviewing their laws license photos and creating new ones that explicitly stated no head gear of any kind could be worn in the photo. So there was no real problem as related to the identification because Islamic sheikhs and scholars argue all day and night about if the niqab id mandatory or not. She could have taken her photo with hijab and been done with it. But no, instead she caused a change in law where Muslim women were now forced to remove their hijab as well.
However this did not last long because when religious groups start trying to force one set of archaic beliefs over another set of archaic beliefs, they never stop to look at who else they may be effecting. In this case it was nuns, Sikhs, cancer patients/medically ill, and any other class of people that routinely covered their hair. The state I tried to renew license in was one of those states that responded to the niqab controversy by quickly implementing laws that prevented anyone from wearing anything on their head or face when it came photos for legal identification. I had moved away for some time and then moved back and was not aware of this until my fateful day with meeting the Kim Davis mentor.
In the back of mind, I knew I should have gone to the downtown location because they would have been easier to work with. But I was pregnant, had small children, and was at a W.I.C. office building that was literally only a few steps from a license renewal office. Granted it was back in Redneckville and I expected some backlash but I just didn’t have the energy to go 30-45 minutes away to downtown. I wound up having to do that anyway because the lady at the counter refused to allow me to renew my license unless I removed ALL headgear. I was fine with pulling up the niqab and taking a full face photo as I had done so many times before but she claimed it all had to come off.
Apparently she ran into her office and contacted the division in the capitol city while I was standing in line. I know because she admitted it after we got into an argument. She asked them to quickly fax over a copy of the law that stated no one could wear head coverings in identification photos. Once she got her fax she made it a point to come rushing over to me and told me I couldn’t take a photo with any coverings and she had proof. Perhaps she was feeling emboldened by the blood of Jesus(and a shot of noonday whiskey) and like she was some type of hero but this quickly escalated into a argument where I chewed her out, snatched her little paper, demanded that she write down her name and her director’s name on a card, and a then I left. A few days later I went downtown, snapped my little picture with the hijab on and full face showing, got my license, and left.
Not too long after that the new law was quickly repealed and overturned. Had it not been, I would have been the one suing the state. While southern Christians thought they were being clever they were not. In their efforts to solve a non-existant problem and block Muslims from wearing head coverings, they created a bigger one. Soon after this new law was implemented not only did the license division have to force Muslims to remove their head coverings they also had to force Nuns to remove their habits. They had to force orthodox Jewish women to remove their coverings. They had to force Sikhs to remove their head coverings. They had to force orthodox Christian and Mormon women to remove any head covering they had. They had to force cancer patients to remove their wigs becausee that was not their natural hair and the wig fell under the rule of head covering. All of these people turned up at a meeting to overturn the law and I suspect the state realized they not only looked like backwards fools but they were also facing a massive lawsuit if they didn’t quickly repeal the law.
So G.I. Jane and her band of Christian zealots want to use the state and government to take on G.I. Aminah and her band of Muslim zealots. However this leads to a more important question on the role of religion and the state in governance of a society. I am of the opinion that religion and government are one and the same and it always has been as it shapes the structure to which the society functions. So if that is the case should a religious person be allowed to let their beliefs supersede their duties of employment?
Maryann, who is 16 years old, was date raped by a boy on their first night out. Even though she fought back and was clear with her “NO” the boy was stronger than her and he was successful in penetration and ejaculation. She did not tell anyone because people would think she was a slut and that she must have wanted it if she went on a date with the guy. The sex resulted in a pregnancy. She was a small girl and carried the pregnancy in a way that no one could tell until she went into delivery.
The state she lived in recently passed a law that said any women could abort child all the way up until 40 weeks or up until the feet had exited the womb. So that meant if the head had been pushed out but not the feet then the doctor could still kill the baby and neither the mother nor the doctor would be charged with murder under the guise of her body, her choice. Maryann reveals to her shocked parents during labor that she doesn’t want the baby and the state says she can abort it before the feet pass out of the womb. She does not need their permission so she is going to have it done.
Dr. Rebecca is the physician who is going to deliver Maryann’s baby is a strict Pessimatarian(made that up) and her beliefs do not condone any abortions. She has never been faced with having to kill a child a 40 weeks but she never thought about it because she knew outright she wouldn’t do it. Due to scheduling conflicts , Dr. Rebecca is the only doctor on staff that can deliver Maryann’s baby and sign off on it. Dr. Rebecca has received notification that her patient want to abort her child. She refuses stating her religious beliefs and goes into the room to inform the patient and her parents that she will not murder the baby no matter what state law states. She lets the patient know she can deliver the baby and put it up for adoption, no questions asked, or go to another hospital.
So while this scenario has several conundrums going on the question is: Is Dr. Rebecca correct to for placing her religious beliefs over the duties of her employment and the laws of state? Why or why not?
Yes these are two wildly different scenarios, one being showing your face in a photo and the other involving the murder of baby but the premise is the same. Can or should a person be allowed to put their religious convictions over state, federal and government rulings(as relates the U.S.). If so, why? Common responses are:
- It is a widely recognized religion. This is a poor answer. Who decides which religions are accepted and which one aren’t? What are their criteria for judging which religion is to be accepted and which one is to denied? What if one religion is in gross opposition to another religion?
- God is my ruler and God has allowed/disallowed so-and-so subject. This is a poor answer. There are plenty of modern problems that God does not mention at all that must be resolved with secular principles, debates, and laws. Which God is the correct God? Who decides?
- So-and-so religion fought many wars and was the victor, thus it is the only belief system to be followed. What if that belief system also says all followers must hand over all of their earnings to the state and serve them in totality without questioning or be killed. Just because a belief system won by the sword or by might doesn’t make all of its rulings correct.
- Well I’m just going to adhere to and have faith in this belief system anyway. As an adult, most people also accepted the U.S. belief system of having the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want* which is on opposition to this person’s faith. So why do you get to cherry-pick when you will adhere to your faith and when you will adhere to your country?
So the bottom line is that things are more complicated than just ban this or ban that or only follow this way or that way. People try to take complex issues and wind them down to catchy one-line attention grabbers that work the crowd into a tizzy. I am a big supporter of banning Islam and its practice for reasons I may list in another post. However I say this with the knowledge that it takes more than banning something to develop well-rounded laws and principles to develop the structure of a society that form its application of ethics and morality going forward.
*whatever they want, whenever they want – I am not a believer in this line of thinking even as an agnostic atheist so it doesn’t apply to me.