Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Islam; The niqab; BBC standards; Syria; Good News; Brothels; and Film clips.

I've read the Koran a couple of times and each time have concluded there's enough material there for both a good religion and a bad one. Watching the Kenyan siege and listening to commentaries on the internecine sectarian violence in Syria, the question again arose of how much the adherents of peaceful Islam are doing to suppress the adherents of murderous Islam. The answer would appear to be Not enough. Perhaps things will improve once oil is not important to us and the Middle East can be left to tear itself apart.

Meanwhile, the BBC this morning reported the results of a recent London poll which showed significantly increased anti-Muslim attitudes among young people in London. The Muslim woman given a chance by the BBC to comment on this not only did this poorly but also insisted on wearing a niqab for the interview, even though she admitted she didn't in her job. She insisted that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving (doubtless true), and she blamed the media for not stressing the 'extreme Islamist' nature of the Somali terrorists, for example. What she didn't do was answer the question of whether her choice to wear the niqab both got in the way of communication and (unsaid) risked increasing anti-Muslim attitudes.

Talking of the BBC . . . You know the game is up when whoever writes the News copy has the announcer says 'amount of times' instead of 'number of times'. I give up.

And talking of Syria . . . Here's a thought-provoking video.

Good news from Spain:-
1. August tourist numbers were 7% up on last year and were the highest since records started in 1995. This possibly reflects that both Egypt and Turkey saw lower numbers because of civil unrest. Cataluña was the biggest beneficiary of this upsurge.
2. The Spanish government is increasing penalties for maltreatment of animals. Ditto for those sexually abusing minors.
Bullfighting, of course, doesn't fall into the category of cruelty to animals. Nor even slowly lancing a bull to death, apparently. I wonder if this is enshrined in statutes. Perhaps as a blanket exemption for Fiestas.

They say that no one in the UK is ever more than 70 miles away from the sea. Likewise, in Spain, you're never more than 7km from a brothel. I exaggerate, of course, but not by much. Clubs are a regular part of the landscape here. Years ago, Spanish friends of mine claimed they only went there for a drink but I was sceptical. Now comes some evidence suggesting I might have been too harsh on them. A recent survey in Madrid reveals that, while a quarter of young men admit they've visited a brothel, the main reason for doing so was "morbid fascination and curiosity", rather than a desire to use the services of a prostitute. Most interestingly, 5% of young women admitted to visiting a Club.

Finally . . . I recently posted a clip of Sara Montiel's 1969 film Esa Mujer, set  in Pontevedra. For fans, here's a couple more. One set along the coast between Bayona and Vigo, where the wind howls incessantly. Topically, the huge rock face you can see behind the convent (really a monastery) is the one against which the illegal 4-star hotel I mentioned recently is built. And one where she seen harvesting percebes (goose barnacles). Sort of, as this is usually done in more dangerous circumstances out at sea.

5 comments:

Ululating Umlungu said...

Re your assertion that there's enough material in the Quran for both a good religion and a bad one. If one considers Naskh or abrogation used in Islamic legal exegesis for seemingly contradictory material within or between the twin bases of Islamic holy law: the Quran and the Prophetic Sunna. Naskh employs the logic of chronology and progressive revelation. The different situations encountered over the course of Muhammad's more than two decade term as prophet, it is argued, required new rulings to meet the Muslim community's changing circumstances. Or, from a more theologically inflected stand-point, the expiration points of those rulings God intended as temporary all along were reached. A classic example of this is the early community's increasingly belligerent posture towards its pagan and Jewish neighbours:

Many verses counsel patience in the face of the mockery of the unbelievers, while other verses incite to warfare against the unbelievers. The former are linked to the [chronologically anterior] Meccan phase of the mission when the Muslims were too few and weak to do other than endure insult; the latter are linked to Medina where the Prophet had acquired the numbers and the strength to hit back at his enemies. The discrepancy between the two sets of verses indicates that different situations call for different regulations.

Here's a list of abrogated verses in the Quran
http://wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Abrogations_in_the_Qur'an

Colin said...

Thank-you for taking the trouble to write that.

I have a couple of questions:

1. Was the 'progressive revelation' made to Mohammed?
2. If not, to whom and (roughly) when?
3. Do the abrogating verses simply replace the original verses or do they run alongside?
4. Are both sets of verses accepted as the word of God? By Sunnis as well as Shiites?
5. For absolute clarity, is this the Verse of the Sword But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
6. Is there an authorised complete text of the Quran in English where the new verses replace the abrogated verses?

Thanks.

Ululating Umlungu said...

1. Was the 'progressive revelation' made to Mohammed?
2. If not, to whom and (roughly) when?


Yes, they were made to Mohammed who is said to have received his first revelation at age 40, and continued to receive them until his death aged 62 or 63. The different situations encountered over the course of his more than two decade term as prophet, it is argued, required new rulings to meet the Muslim community's changing circumstances.
3. Do the abrogating verses simply replace the original verses or do they run alongside?

The "Tafsir-i-Azizi" explains three kinds of Naskh or abrogation.
Where a verse has been removed from the Quran and another given in its place.
Where the injunction (command) is abrogated and the letters of the verse remain.
Where both the verse and its injunction are removed from the text.
http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Abrogation_(Naskh)

4. Are both sets of verses accepted as the word of God? By Sunnis as well as Shiites?

The principle of naskh (abrogation) is acknowledged by both Sunnis and Shī'a, among those groups that did reject naskh were the Mu'tazili, Zaidiyah, and Quranists.

5. For absolute clarity, is this the Verse of the Sword But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."

Yes

6. Is there an authorised complete text of the Quran in English where the new verses replace the abrogated verses?

Yes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_translations_of_the_Quran
The Qur'an is not in chronological order, but arranged roughly longest chapter to the shortest. 113 verses are abrogated by the Sword verse (9: 5), and 9 verses are abrogated by the Fighting verse (9: 29): "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day."
Abrogation is applicable to both sources of Islamic law: the Qur’an and the Sunna. A Qur’anic verse may abrogate another Qur’anic verse, and a Prophetic Sunna may likewise abrogate another Prophetic Sunna. The possibility of abrogation between these two sources, though, is a more contentious issue.

Colin said...

Very many thanks again. I will try to find the time to read everything.

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