The UK is in the grip of an appalling scandal involving tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of vast-majority white girls – teen girls and child girls – abused by gangs of Pakistani Muslim men. The abuse is nationwide through the Midlands to the North, almost always in Labour controlled areas, and often involving criminal conspiracy to cover it up by corrupt and colluding police officers, council workers, care system workers, and elected councillors.
In rare cases parts of the establishment, rather than criminally conspiring – and here I name the Guardian newspaper – simply colluded in the abuse by refusing to comment on the race and religion of the perpetrators and victims. They would seize on the small, but significant number of P-M victims too or the occasional white male friend who joined the P-M gang and say “Look! See! It’s not about race or religious hate!’
But for these men it was, and by refusing to acknowledge that we turn away from a pattern of abuse and abusers that can help us catch more offenders. You might as well say that the Catholic priest scandal had nothing to do with the Catholic community because most child rapists are not Catholic priests. The latter is true but it is also irrelevant.
Equally, #ISIS is burying children alive, forcing other children to become soldier killers, raping and enslaving Yazidi women and children, and cutting the heads off journalists, including pro-Arab world journalists like Steven Sotloff. And all of this is done in the name of Islam.
It comes after many other horrors done in the same name. Our “ally” Saudi Arabia just beheaded 19 men and flogs women for driving, for example.
Yet when I go on Twitter and both insist on addressing the crucial fact that the organized gang-rape gangs of Labour towns are Pakistani Muslim males, and at the same time defend Islam, the faith, and the vastly peaceable and law-abiding Muslim majority, people often accuse me of being inconsistent or not being plain-spoken enough. ‘The Religion of Peace’ said sarcastically is the contemptuous thing many tweeters say. Then they insist that #SCIS (So-Called Islamic State) are “ordinary Muslims” because the Quran says (cite controversial verse that read out of context looks hate-mongering). “Say what you like, Christianity doesn’t do that.” “Judaism doesn’t do that.”
But the fact is, this is not true. Both our faiths DID do that. ALL major faiths have self-identifying adherents who justify torture and death in the name of their religion. I am a Catholic. In the 1400s-1600s, my church’s hierarchy was a morass of vile sin as well as housing saints and good people beyond telling. We tortured Jews in the Inquisition. We tied Protestants to the stake and burned them alive as they did to us. The tortures and deaths we meted out were as bad or worse as anything ISIS is doing now, in the name of Allah (SWT) the Compassionate, the Merciful – only we meted them out in the name of Christ Jesus, who told us “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
This Catholicism was not a different faith to the one practiced by Pope Francis or Pope St. John Paul II. It was the same faith, interpreted badly to the point of being totally the opposite to what God intended, to enable the work of the devil. It is #SCIS and rape gangs twisted view of Islam that has led them to see other faiths and races as less than themselves; to rape women and children, when the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said “Women and men are like the teeth of a comb” and orders that men be kind to women, and have sex only with their wives. All the negative traits ascribed to Islam can be found to exactly the same degree in the Holy Bible.
And if you be apprehensive that you will not be able to do justice to the orphans, you may marry two or three or four women whom you choose. But if you apprehend that you might not be able to do justice to them, then marry only one wife, or marry those who have fallen in your possession. Surah 4:3
Now, you can say this allows polygamy if you like. But a liberal interpretation of the verse would be that it forbids polygamy since no man can do justice to two wives at once. Compare to Judeo-Xtn Deuteronomy, 21:15-16
If a man has two wives-one beloved and the other despised-and they bear him sons, the beloved one and the despised one, and the firstborn son is from the despised one. Then it will be, on the day he [the husband] bequeaths his property to his sons, that he will not be able to give the son of the beloved [wife] birthright precedence over the son of the despised [wife]-the [real] firstborn son.
Again, this shows only the protection, or advancement, of human rights from the status quo at the time. The Islamophobes like to quote Quran verses about beating wives, or stoning to death, or attacking Jews. But let us compare: as #SCIS buries children alive, let me quote the Holy Bible, 1 Samuel 15:3
“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
Indeed, read the whole of 1 Samuel 15 if you want to see why I could never be a born-again Christian, who takes each verse in the Bible literally. It is impossible to take the Bible literally as it contradicts itself, often. 1 Samuel 15 is not compatible with a loving God, who does not desire the slaughter of infants, and who punishes Saul because he did not destroy everything but left a few cattle alive.
And as to the verses regularly trotted out as to the inferior status of women in Islam, there are just as many in my Catholic Bible. Yet although I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God it does not mean that I need regard it all as literally true. One has to do a lot of dancing around to make 1:Samuel 15 fit with the vision of a loving God. This blog does a nice job of that.
(in sum, he argues that the human author mistakenly makes the point ‘man must obey God’ by using a wrong story where Amalek is not not real, historical people, but symbol of whatever might stand in the way of the people of God.)
To take one small example of how interpretation of holy texts is needed to get to the truth: St. John Paul II revolutionized millennia of Catholic teaching on the role of wives in marriage “Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord” – like in the Quran, a verse than puts women beneath men – not by overturning Catholic teaching (which can never happen) but by adding to the context so that the meaning is completely reversed. This verse can only be understood, he said, in light of the preceding one “Be subject to another out of reverence for Christ.” And thus, taught the Holy Father to the whole Church from the Throne of Peter (technical language meaning this is binding) YES, a wife must submit to her husband but a husband must also submit to his wife. And so they are equal.
So – like the Saint, Pope John Paul II, I honour Islam, and the Quran, and the Hadiths. I see all the references to stoning to death, offering daughters for rape, and the like, within my own Bible. It is understanding and context, and interpretation, that takes us to a place where we can see more clearly what God intended for us.
Be subject to one another, out of reverence for Christ – Ephesians 5:21
They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them. – Quran 2:187
On the equal creation of men and women
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
“O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from this pair scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and reverence the wombs (that bore you); for Allah ever watches over you.” – Quran 4:1
And on the true teaching of Islam on women, against which all other verses must be interpreted:
And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. – Quran 2:228
Finally, if #SCIS and the rape gangs truly followed Islam – and if the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish killers of centuries past had truly followed our own faiths, we would have been bound by this one, overarching truth, repeated throughout every major faith’s scriptures:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; – Lamentations 3:22
In the name of Allah, the entirely merciful, the especially merciful. – Quran 1:1
Amen and Ameen, and so God have mercy on us all.