Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Telegraph

I was browsing through the Dailt Telegraph's website when I happened upon their "comprehensive guide to Islam". This is the letter I've sent them regarding it-

I have just read the article “What is Islam?”


The piece begins by stating that 83% of Britons know little or nothing about Islam. I wonder if the author is any different.

He or she makes several assertions about misunderstandings of Islam-

Most people carry in their heads a tangled network of half-acknowledged ideas about Islam until they learn better: the idea that Islam is necessarily oppressive to women, the idea that Islamic law necessarily leads to stonings or amputations, the idea that Muslims' loyalty to their country is challenged by faithfulness to their religion.”

However, it is difficult to accept these statements when the Koran itself (the literal word of God according to the Muslim faith) seems to disagree.

Oppression of women

2:223 Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).

4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.

24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.

33:59 O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

64:14 O ye who believe! Lo! among your wives and your children there are enemies for you, therefor beware of them. And if ye efface and overlook and forgive, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.


“5.38 And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

47:4 Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain.

Of course the punishment of stoning for adultery is not mentioned in the Koran itself but it does appear in the hadith, including the Sahih Bukhari which I believe is considered to be the most reliable of the hadith:

“So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque. I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones. (Bukhari, volume 6, book 60, number 79)”

Loyalty to country

9:24 - 009.024 “Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.”

If family is not to be considered more important than Allah, how are we supposed to believe that loyalty to one’s country is higher?

Given these statements taken directly from the Koran I’m interested to know quite why you felt it was necessary to publish an article which flatly contradicts the Koran itself. Was this a deliberate attempt to mislead your readers or simply poor research on the subject? Given that this is a central piece on your “comprehensive guide to Islam” section of the website I would have presumed that you would have taken steps to provide accurate information rather than what I can only call falsehoods.

I await your response.

1 comment:

FrauBudgie said...


But ... don't hold your breath waiting ..