In 2004, there was an incident where a chastity belt of a British woman had set off the metal detector alarm. When questioned, the woman plainly said she was forced to wear the belt by her husband to prevent her from having sexual relations with anyone during her visit to Greece.
The concept was designed from the 15th century chastity girdle that was allegedly used by noblemen and the rich who married ‘young wives’. Let us for a moment assume this is true.
The contrasting reality
Even if the concept of a chastity belt was true, it was not something that remained fixated through the ages. Well, the British woman in question is perhaps one of the freakishly absurd exceptions of the day.
Likewise, even the chastity girdle is a myth as of this day, only popular as a BDSM fetish and perhaps as an anti-rape device as used in some regions with high rates of rape instances.
Similar is the concept of child marriage. Although an evil that was present even through the 20th century in India, it is not a modern concept and not a valid or fair point to cite as an editorial on a race or religion, as is the chastity belt in the case of the former.
The Complete Infidel’s Guide to The Koran
What one sees in this book seems to be a similar generalization of particular verses of the Qur’an as the whole point or purpose of Islam as a religion.
The book also tends to selectively rationalize verses in the Qur’an, in what is seen even if not in reality, an attempt to ridicule the Qur’an as the holy book of the Muslims as is the Bible for Christianity.
A comparative study might suggest the whole concept of the Immaculate Conception as a clinical absurdity, although faith would exhort otherwise, as would the description that the Qur’an is a book compiled from what is perceived from the language as hallucinations of the Prophet and his disciples.
The contrasting reality
When one tries to rationalize a faith, it most surely results in a paradox. That is reality because faith is to believe in a higher being, be it God, Jesus, Allah or for that matter the God with an elephant head.
The religious texts found across the globe be it in the Mayan, Aztec and Incan civilizations in Central America, the Christian, Jew and Muslims in the Middle East Asia, and Europe, the Hindus of India, or for that matter the Buddhists of China, are contemporary commentaries that need to be interpreted with current variables of the time. They are not books that can be translated verbatim, interpreted for the words and shown as irrational.
For example the interpretation of the Psalm 104.5, which says “[God] (w)ho laid the foundations of the Earth, that it should not be removed for ever. “, would advocate geocentrism which is as ridiculous as interpreting the Qur’an’s stating that Prophet consummated his marriage to Aisha as its advocacy of child marriage.
The reality here
What the book interprets from the verses of the Qur’an is a dated and non-current commentary that would definitely not describe the ways of the world today, as the norm and rules in Islam. Reality however is in stark contrast as neither the Bible, nor the Qur’an advocates as of this day, anything to the effect of what is written in them as verses.
They are dated and time-sensitive commentaries that would have to be understood and discussed, and not unilaterally condemned as incorrigible religions that are averse to reform.
Around the turn of the millennium, meaning less than 12 years ago, five states in the US, removed the theory of evolution and replaced it with the concept of Intelligent Design in its curriculum. So did Romania.
Simlarly and more recently, in 2008, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum.
During the War on Terror, the likes of Lynddie England committed crimes against humanity in their treatment of Muslim under-trials and terror suspects in Iraq.
The big question
It is – do these constitute a National or Racial stance? Not so. Would that include former president George W Bush’s inadvertent use of the word “Crusade” in describing the War on Terror, which drew global criticism and condemnation and a very quick and apologetic reversal from the White House? Definitely!
These are but actions and statements of individuals or groups that are definitely not representative of the world.
Books and works such as The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran, are commentaries and editorials based on questionably selective study and generalization of the extreme. Such works are often a product of emotions such as doubt and insecurity pertaining to the unknown, where the absence of dialog and open discussion cements the presumptions on either side.
We at Muslim Academy believe that it is this lack of dialog that has effectively created a barrier in mutual comprehension that has resulted in the creation of such literature.
We encourage informative and educative discussions on the subject so we could foster understanding among both parties, making this world a better place for all, so to speak.