July 20, 2006
July 22-23, 2006, weekend

July 21, 2006


In the aftermath of the U.S. House vote this week to protect the "under God" words in the Pledge of Allegiance, I thought you might be interested in some editorial comment from newspapers on the subject. For one from Pennsylvania, click here. And here's one from another paper in Pennsylvania. So far the people worrying about the Pledge are taking it on the chin. But for a little balance, click here for the Web site of a group fighting to keep "under God" in the Pledge. Where do you stand on this?

* * *


In a blog entry the other day here about an effort to create an international charter for Muslim women's rights, I said that "the religion as defined by the Prophet Muhammad, in fact, was in many ways liberating to women."

Hijab_1Several readers challenged me on that assertion. So I'd like to delve into that a little deeper today and why I stand by the statement.

Although it's true that some verses in the Qur'an are problematic for women -- especially when read through Western cultural eyes -- the fact is that the Qur'an, standing in an almost revolutionary way against its time, gave women rights to inheritance, rights to own property, right to keep their own wages, rights to create marriage contracts beneficial to themselves, rights to receive material and physical support from their husbands and other rights.

One of the most respected Islamic scholars in the world, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, says this in his 2004 book The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity:

"Considering the practices that were going on in pre-Islamic Arabia, the regulations of Islam effected a remarkable transformation in bestowing economic and social rights upon women and protecting them from injustice."

In the next sentence, however, he acknowledges that "human beings being what they are, there continue to be Muslim husbands who are cruel toward their wives and who abuse them physically -- against the injunctions of Islam. . . But to neglect for one moment the power that most Muslim women wield within the family and in the most important decisions affecting the lives of family members is simply to misunderstand the actual role and status of women in Islamic society."

There is much more about women and Islam in this enlightening book and I commend it to you.

Another scholar who has been helpful to me in my understanding of Islam and particularly the role of women in that religion is Marilyn Klaus, who has taught classes about Islam at both the University of Kansas and at Wichita State University.

When I asked her about my contention that in the beginning Islam was quite liberating for women, she said, "I certainly would concur with you."

"The subject," she said, "has generated so much general interest and scholarship that there are now very well argued positions by both male and female Muslim scholars who are doing linguistic, historical, critical analysis of the Qur’an similar to the higher criticism of the Biblical texts. One of the best is Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an by Asma Barlas. I used it last semester in my Women and Islam course, and, though it is very challenging to undergraduates, most students were very excited about have the old stereotypes based on traditional reading of the Qur’an challenged in very compelling arguments."

Klaus also recommends a book called A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed to help you understand this subject.

And she is reading, but hasn't yet finished, a new book called Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out, edited by Fawzia Afzal Khan. She's finding it helpful, too.

"But mostly," she adds, "I believe, the best ways to approach this issue is to underscore that 'what the Qur’an says' is determined by cultural attitudes and customs and that those are as diverse in the Islamic world as in the West. Islam is not monolithic. Women’s lives, rights, treatment vary depending on economic status, family traditions, political position, power structure, current events (such as a US-led war on Iraq), on what type to Islam is promoted (Shi’a, Sunni, etc.), marital status, etc. Muslim women’s lives are every bit as diverse as the lives of all other women."

One other quote from an interesting book (published in 1975): Muhammad: The Messenger of God by Betty Kelen: "The tenderness he (Muhammad) felt for women would be reflected in the Qur'an, in laws that put an end to cruel and primitive social conditions in which many women then lived -- being lucky to find themselves alive at all and not buried at birth for being female or respectively married instead of prostituted by their clan heads."

Earlier this year, I spent some time in the Washington, D.C., area attending a seminar on religion in America. One of our speakers was Asra Q. Nomani, author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam.

Nomani went straight to perhaps the most problematic verse for women in the Qur'an, Surah 4:34. Here is one of the translations of part of that verse: ". . .and as to those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places, and beat them. . ."

In other translations, the word "beat" is softened to mean, essentially, a threatening or light-touch gesture. But Nomani was clear that she thinks there is no good way to interpret the verse and that a reformed Islam would strike it as impossible to live with. And yet Nomani has not left her faith. She believes women in Islam can be whole and free and believes the Prophet Muhammad meant for them to be exactly that.

Well, there is much more that could be said on this subject, but perhaps that's enough to interest you to do some more reading on it. Or to talk with Muslim women about their views on all this.

By the way: Speaking of Muslim women and their status, here's an interesting story about their slowly-slowly growing role in the Saudi Arabian government.

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.



Thank you for a thoughtful discussion of women's rights in Islam. Agreed, treatment of women in Islamic cultures is multifaceted. One thing I think is important to keep in mind is that the Prophet was a poor man whose first wife, Kadija, was a well-to-do merchant. In other words, he married up. It was she who financed his mission to spread the word of Islam after he had his first spiritual experiences, and she was one of his most important backers throughout her life.

SC in KC

Regarding Muslim women...

I agree that the social structure and rule of law provided by codified Islam is preferable to the anarchy of lawlessness, and women benefit from that rule of law as they would from ANY rule of law. However, when compared to other social structures, Islam is still denigrating to women in general.

Christianity, in contrast, doesn't merely address the worldly and material concerns of women, but specifically recognizes their right to inherit God's kingdom as full heirs, as first-born sons. In Islam, women are still characterized as servants to men, even in the afterlife. This sexual servitude in the afterlife is non-existant in Christianity where, as a body, the church is the bride of Christ, and all the members of the church are co-heirs with Christ.

Regarding "...under God..."

I've stated before, and I will state again, that it is appropriate for our nation to corporately acknowledge the existence and influence of God, regardless of what name you apply to God. It is not a statement of piety, but is rather an acknowledgement of the foundation upon which our rights are based, and upon which our government was built. Just as we recognize the sacrifice of the men and women who have died to protect our liberty, we should continue to recognize the source and dispenser of that liberty.

Greg Swartz

As a secular humanist and atheist, I find the "under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance to be deeply offensive.

While the United States is far from a perfect country, I love and respect it very much! As a reader of history, I cherish the rights and prosperity that we have in the U.S. today. We have so much that people never could have dreamed of hundreds or thousands of years ago.

Yet in pledging allegiance to this wonderful country I must make an assertion that the country is "under God" and I certainly feel that to be an absolute absurdity. Sure, I am told that I could just not say the words "under God" but then why should I be put in that position? Or, I could state affirmatively (perhaps even loudly) "UNDER NO GOD" but then once again why should I have to put in that situation?

It is my belief that this country was founded on principles that allow a person to believe in a god or not to believe in a god. But whether that is true or not is really not relevant. Today we are a truely international country. We have Muslims, Buddhists, Africans, Asians, Native Americans and many others who do not believe in the Judeo-Christian God. How can we be such a country while embarrassing all the non-God people while pledging allegiance to the country they have adopted and love!

It seems to me that a pledge of allegiance should be to the point and not wander into controversial issues. Religion has forever caused strife. Why have that element in our pledge?

Steve S


It is completely inappropriate and contrary to our rights as Americans to require belief in a god to swear allegance to our country. I was born and raised in Kansas City, have lived hear for most of my life, and pay my taxes. But because I am an atheist, I can not legaly swear allegence to my country even though I am supposed to have freedom of religious belief.


There are so many faithless Christians in this country that it sickens me. The faithless Christian professes the greatness of God, but they don't believe anyone will follow God without government intervention or their own intervention.

I knew one man who had a student draft deferral during Vietnam, and he was barely surviving. He parents decided to stop helping him out because they had read about the large number of Christians that go to college and lose their religion. So they reasoned, and *told* him, that it would be better if he went to war than to go to college and risk that. That man is a devout atheist today. I would be, too. His parents were faithless Christians: they knew their son could not stay a believer unless they protected their son from all those evil things. They had no faith in their son, or in the indwelling Spirit.

Rules don't get us anywhere. In fact, rule-based Christianity is anti-Christ. And here's just one rule, right or wrong, that I just don't care about. And since you do, then I'd defer to you. But I'm not runnning the country, the faithless Christians are.


"...it is appropriate for our nation to corporately acknowledge the existence and influence of God, regardless of what name you apply to God..."

The acknowledgement of a generic god in the Pledge of Allegience and on our money gives most Americans a false sense of pleasing God. There is only one God, but all religions don't worship Him. American civil religion makes people feel good, but it's not God-pleasing. Therefore, anyone who is an atheist shouldn't worry about the "under God" portion of the Pledge. It's a meaningless gesture to a generic god that doesn't exist.

Steve S

I agree that it is a "meaningless gesture to a god that doesn't exist." I just don't think I should be forced to make that gesture to pledge allegience to my country.

SC in KC

"As a secular humanist and atheist, I find the "under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance to be deeply offensive."

There is no Constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom from offense. There IS a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religious expression, though. I find a great many secular humanist ideals offensive, but still honor the democratic process by which those ideals are implemented.

"But because I am an atheist, I can not legaly swear allegence to my country even though I am supposed to have freedom of religious belief."

Why not? Nothing is preventing you from legally swearing allegiance to the USA. Acknowledging that the nation is under God isn't a legal proclamation, nor is it a statement of faith. It is an acknowledgement that the founding fathers recognized God, and that they sought to secure the freedoms endowed by God.

"It's a meaningless gesture to a generic god that doesn't exist."

There is great meaning for me, and for the majority of Americans. Surely you don't wish to throw democratic representative governance out for the sake of appeasing someone's narrow world view, do you?

"I just don't think I should be forced to make that gesture to pledge allegience to my country."

You're not forced to do anything, except make a choice. The problem seems to be that you don't like the choices. I can relate to that.

There are a host of choices I have to make on a regular basis that don't seem to have a "right" answer. When I turn on my television, I am forced to choose among a poor lot of programs. Even if I find a station that doesn't offend me, I am forced to endure offensive advertisements. Why should I have to turn off my television or pay high prices for cable programming just to protect my family from the filth on TV?

The choices aren't easy, but I make them. More often than not, that means turning off the TV and reading, or playing a family game, or working in the woodshop, or having a family sing-a-long (yes, it's corny, but a lot of fun). Having made the choice, I find I am almost always blessed by making the right choice.

The fact is, we don't pledge allegiance to some cold institution. We pledge our allegiance to the government. That government is of the people, by the people, for the people. Since the vast majority of the people in this country claim to know and live under God, it only stands to reason that we are a "nation under God".

Steve S

You're right, I don't like the choice I'm forced to make. One of the things I don't like about the choice is that it is a choice I shouldn't be forced to make. In a country with freedom of religion, I shouldn't be forced to choose between expressing a religious belief I don't believe or not pledging allegience to my country. Try to put yourself in my shoes or a Muslim's shoes. Would you like the choice of either expressing "Under Allah" or not pledging allegience? Should you have to make that choice? No! As Eisenhower said when he signed the law in 1954, "Under God" was added to the pledge for the expressed purpose of "declaring the United States of America a Christian nation." So how can that not violate the non-establishment clause of the Constitution?

SC in KC

"Would you like the choice of either expressing "Under Allah" or not pledging allegience?"

No, I wouldn't like that choice at all. I think I would find another country to live in. That would be the right choice, though obviously not the easy choice.

"As Eisenhower said when he signed the law in 1954, "Under God" was added to the pledge for the expressed purpose of "declaring the United States of America a Christian nation." So how can that not violate the non-establishment clause of the Constitution?"

First, the President cannot establish legislative intent. He is, by definition, not a member of the legislature.

Second, even if Eisenhower was correct in his assertion, acknowledging that the US is a Christian nation does not endorse that religion any more than acknowledging that the sky is blue endorses blue as my favorite color. The US is a Christian nation, founded by Christians, populated by a gross majority of Christians, based upon Christian values. The sky is blue, for crying out loud.

Now, if Congress wanted to add "...under Jesus Christ, to which all citizens must pray..." to the Pledge, I would consider that a violation of the establishment clause. If Congress mandated prayer in schools, I would consider that a violation of the establishment clause.

But we're not talking about mandates or requirements. We're talking about the ability to acknowledge the obvious without being labeled discriminatory by those who would go out of their way to be offended by something that doesn't apply to them.

You've got several options...
A) Whine
B) Move
C) Get enough votes to change the law
D) Grow some thicker skin

Still, the fact remains that we have a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom OF religion, not FROM religion.

Greg Swartz

SC in Kc wrote:
Still, the fact remains that we have a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom OF religion, not FROM religion.

SC you cannot seriously believe that we have no freedom FROM religion. What you wrote says two things:

First: Religion has the right to impose its will on everyone.

Second: As long as we have some religion, then we are okay. We can choose any religion we want, but we must have one!


SC in KC

No, Greg, what I wrote said four things:

First: The US Constitution provides for the free expression of religion.

Second: The US Constitution does not provide for the freedom from exposure to religious ideology.

Third: The acknowledgement that our nation was founded to protect rights endowed upon us by God by the inclusion of "...under God..." or "In God we trust" does not constitute a violation of anybody's rights.

Fourth: If these facts trouble you, you have options. It's obvious to me which option you are exercising.

Ruth of Tucson

Pledge - "under god" (lc intended(
The comments above remind me of what my primary care doctor said about standing up for principles. Before he finished medical school, he enlisted with the promise that he would serve as a medic in viet Nam. But when he got there, he was ordered to go out and shoot people. He said that he would be glad to serve on the front line as a medic and take all those risks but he would NOT bear arms because killing was against his religion. So they had a court marshal and he was sent to prison in AZ. Fortuntely congressman Mo Udal and our minister convinced the feds that this was absurd. So he was sprung and he was accepted at the U of AZ medical school in family practice. When people are tempted to protest some law, he said he asked himself the question before taking action - "is this law, important enough to break?"

Personally I don't think this "under god" in the pledge or the empty prayers that some clergy says at the start of a city council meeting qualify. To me they are empty but not worth the hassle. There are so many horrible abuses we should save our engery to fight.


I agree. The use of this word god in this context is vain. The courts think so, too.

The whole topic is vain; the whole discussion is vain. You can tell because the words just sound like big, loud, crashing gongs and cymbals, which is what happens when there is no love involved; it's just a cold, intellectual game (except possibly for Greg who claims to be bothered by making a false oath, and Ruth's concerns that she raised.) Form over substance. Blahhh, bllllaaaah, bllaaaaaaaah, blahahd, crash, cRAAAAAsshshshs, gooooOOooOOong.


Bill, thanks for keeping true to what Islam brought to women. When I give my talks, I say that Islam gave women equal rights. It usually raises some eybrows because of the misconceptions and the headlines that appears in our media about certain men doing unIslamic acts to women. As if to say this is what Islam is. Anyway, with more people speaking and writing correct information maybe that will educate/inform the uneducated/uninformed about Islam.

Here's another book you may want to refer to your readers: Muslim Wome in America by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, a Geortown professor. If you look at pages 126-127, you'll find a couple of women you know:) M


Why is it that almost all of these books about how great Islam is for women are written by American Muslims? It almost seems as if non-western Muslims have entirely different view of Islam and women, doesn't it?


Since we are throwing out book titles, I might suggest "Voices behind the Veil (The World of Islam Through the Eyes of Women)" which is edited by Ergun Caner, but written by Christian missionaries to Islamic countries, journalists, and former Muslims, all women, for a first hand account of what life is like for Muslim women. I would also recommend, written by Caner, "Unveiling Islam" and (for Steve) "Christian Jihad", on the Crusades.

As to the other discussion on the Pledge, the nation was founded on Christian principles by believers and unbelievers who acknowledged who recognized this point.

For a person who subscribes to secular humanism and atheism, I might suggest Canada as an ideal place to live in North America, and if one wishes to live overseas, Great Britain. Both are pretty much devoid of recognition of God, have a highly advanced socialistic society. It would be a real Utopia. No one to remind you that God is in His heaven or make you say things you don't want to say. The Brits sing "God save the Queen" still, but they don't hold out anymore that He will save them.


Sounds like more love. GoooooOOooooOoooOOOOOng. Craaashhshshshshshhshs.

Ruth from Tucson

One of the anglo (our Muslims friends who came origially from Iran are also Amricans) Muslim women in our group pointed out the need to recognize that culture of a country affects how the religion is practiced. She noted that according to the Koran women enjoy equal status.

Islam is not the only religion where culture influences the way the religion is practiced.


Here is something from one translation of Chapter 4 of the Noble Qu'ran. Notice the difference in rights of men and women. The same was true in Solomon's time, too.

PICKTHAL: And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.

PICKTHAL: 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.

Here is another verse from Chapter 4 of the Noble Qu'ran:

PICKTHAL: As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation).


Ok, I’ll make this as brief as I can. Although it is maintained for our gullible consumption in this country that Islam, as defined in the Qur’an, requires great respect be shown to women and that it somehow provides enlightened norms of honoring women, the more I research and the more I travel, the more I find this is definitely not the case.

I am simply not interested in reading Islamic apologetic propaganda by Anglophones, nor by Islamic converts in this country who have never seen the outworking of that religion in the real world, where shar’ia law is the governing corpus of law. For every 10 authors Mr. Tammeus advocates reading on the pro-Islamic side of the ledger, I can counteroffer 20 authors of previous Islamic faith and heritage that disparage their former faith and write to inform Westerners of the true nature of Islam.

Those that immediately come to mind are Emir Fethi Caner and Ergun Mehmet Caner who were brought to this country by their father for the express purpose of establishing mosques and converting Americans to Islam… they came to Christ with the result that their father expelled them from the family forever…. So much for freedom of religion/ freedom of the individual to choose…

Another is Ibn Warraq, who wrote: Why I Am Not a Muslim… the list goes on and on.

Or you might go to Dhimmi Watch http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/ and read about the execution this month of a mentally deranged girl of 16 years of age who was hung from a crane in Tehran…. Her crime?…. She was raped…

Or you could read the Reuters report http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060719/od_nm/saudi_marriage_dc_3 on temporary marriages (misyar/ mut’a).... a practice that permits men to “legally” marry a woman for a night or two and then dissolve the marriage…. A convenient way of fornicating without the sticky inconveniences of incurring the sin of “adultery”….. This is on the rise in Saudi Arabia, but is not new to the Islamic world (India’s West coast is another hot spot for this type of “sanctioned consummation”…)

But let’s dispense, for the moment, with anecdotal lines of evidence and go to that which defines any religious community—their holy scriptures. Their “divine” word communicated from God to mankind with the purpose of defining normative behavior.

A previous reader challenged Mr. Tammeus to defend his assertion that Islam is in many ways liberating to women, and to do so from the standpoint of the Qur’an and “not some double-speaking imam”.

Tammeus did go to the Qur’an (the surah I brought up) and I agree with his conclusion that the Qur’an advocates beating disobedient wives. He spoke of going to Washington, D.C. earlier this year and listening to Asra Q. Nomani, who addressed Surah 4:34. which advises the Muslim husband to beat disobedient wives. Tammeus says "In other translations, the word "beat" is softened to mean, essentially, a threatening or light-touch gesture. But Nomani was clear that she thinks there is NO GOOD WAY to interpret the verse and that a reformed Islam would strike it as IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE WITH…. And yet Nomani has not left her faith. She believes women in Islam can be whole and free and believes the Prophet Muhammad meant for them to be exactly that.”

Two points: (1) I find it tragic that a woman who acknowledges that the ONLY correct and truthful translation of surah 4:34 is to physically BEAT the disobedient wife would STILL cling to her faith… positing her hope that somehow, and despite the revealed word of Allah, Muhammad would somehow not want this to be the case. Everywhere else I research, Islamic theologians are adamant that Muhammad was devoted to the words of the Qur’an and its most perfect adherent….

(2) This continues to leave us with the problem that the Qur’an gives husbands the right to physically BEAT their wives subject to their OWN interpretation of what constitutes “disobedience”… they are not required to take their suspicion to a court or judge [not that even THAT would lessen the dilemma for those Muslim women who wish to live free, un-bullied lives…]

I again challenge Tammeus to defend his oft-repeated mantra in this blog [that Islam treats women with dignity and respect], and to do so from the basis of the Qur’an and not those who argue from what they “want” to be the case… or what they want us to hear…

Bill, I would kindly suggest that your intellectual responsibility in this case [as a religious blog editor and as an “interfaith expert” for the Kansas City Star] is to provide an authoritative, logical, and well-reasoned defense for the compassionate version of Islam you frequently peddle.

I can show you, in countless verses, how the God of the Bible elevates women higher than any other human system of religiosity, for example:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… [Christ loved the church SO MUCH that He went to the Cross and was crucified for her!] THAT is the HIGHEST standard of love one can bestow upon a wife—and a standard that none of us ever attain, but are commanded to tirelessly work towards in our own marriages. In other words, spouse abuse and chauvinistic bullying is expressly off limits in the Christian marriage.

Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives AS THEIR OWN BODIES…

Can ANYONE point me to similar ayats in the Qur’an? Anything in the Qur’an that even approximates this kind of high standard for spousal treatment?.........

Another reader responded that in Islam, per the Qur’an, women have the same legal rights as men. Either he thinks we are just exceedingly ignorant in this country and lack basic skills of simple research, or HE is unacquainted with the facts. Bottom line is that women do NOT have the same legal rights. Their testimony in court does NOT equate to the testimony of a man.

Surah 2:282 …and call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and TWO women, of such as ye approve as witnesses…. [In this case a women’s testimony equals HALF a man’s.}

Surah 2:228 …and women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; BUT men have a degree (of advantage) OVER THEM.

Surah 53:21-22 What! For you the male sex, and for him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division MOST UNFAIR!

How about inheritance? Surah 4:11 Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of TWO FEMALES…

And finally, the last point I’ll touch on this evening, is that of the afterlife. I challenge anyone to find for me a surah/ ayat that describes heaven in terms a woman would appreciate…. No, what you will find are sensuous descriptions of heaven that appeal to MEN! They are waited upon by lovely virgins….. Any passages describing virgin men waiting upon faithful Muslim women in the afterlife? Not a ONE.

Surah 78:31-33 Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfillment of (the heart's) desires; Gardens enclosed, and grapevines; And voluptuous women of equal age; [another translation says: “damsels with swelling breasts for companions…]

Surah 55:54-56 They will recline on Carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be near (and easy of reach). Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? In them will be (Maidens/ virgins), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched…

There are several other such passages, but I will not waste time printed them up here. You may go to http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/ the USC/MSA website to look up multiple translations of the Qur’an and Hadith in order to research the Islamic faith for yourself.

Let’s recap just a FEW of the points I brought up in this brief rebuttal:

1. Husbands may beat their wives per 4:34 as Tammeus acknowledges and has no answer for.
2. The Islamic world (Sunni AND Shi’a) participate in the practice of temporary marriage in order to sidestep adultery.
3. Muslim women, per the Qur’an, do not have the same weight of legal witness as a man
4. Muslim women, per the Qur’an, are not entitled to the same inheritance as a man
5. Heaven, as described in the Qur’an, is a sensuous place of sexual pleasure geared for the MAN; there are no lascivious heavenly descriptions that would appeal to a Muslim woman

I did not, at this point, choose to get into the topic of polygamy [which the Qur’an endorses and the Bible deplores], nor of the prophet Muhammad’s taking of a nine year old girl as a wife; nor of the prophet’s convenient securing for himself the “special right” to take more wives than other Muslim men…

Islam respectful of women? I still await a decent case to persuade me…


Quotes From President Bush:

"America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith is practiced and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant can be fully and equally American because we're one country. Race and color should not divide us, because America is one country."

"When it comes to the common rights and needs of men and women, there is no clash of civilizations. The requirements of freedom apply fully to Africa and Latin America and the entire Islamic world. The peoples of the Islamic nations want and deserve the same freedoms and opportunities as people in every nation. And their governments should listen to their hopes."


.........and your point?

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