Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cherie Blair blasts organised religion

Mrs Blair says religion 'is no excuse for inequality'. She denounced the treatment of women on religious grounds as a "distortion" of the true message of faiths such as Islam. Mrs Blair said women's rights were a "universal ethic that cuts across all cultures and all religions...and imperative for our shared humanity."

IMO: Most people have noticed that that is correct, and to deny it, compromises any right for their own views to be taken seriously. Just as most people (a bunch of Babbits) can see that simply murdering people of a different faith is not generally a fair form of protest, so too this female degradation that occurs so regularly in all of the major faiths, does not serve these faith's own interests. Muslims and Jews seem worst, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs appear largely to be at least trying to enter the modern world in a balanced and sane way, even if they certainly do not usually succeed. I often think that both Islam and Judaism could both be isolated as an anachronism from society but one is minded of the words of Harold Wilson who said of Britain it should be "dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th Century" - and perhaps so should Islam and Judaism, whether they like it or not - for their own good. This all goes far beyond the 'gay vicar' quibbles of the Anglicans, whose arguments on both sides generally seem to have moved far from reality. In that case, reasonable religious arguments *in favour* of Sodom and Gomorrha never seem to have been established and both sides seem to have tried to overwhelm the issue with 'spin'. This kind of factor is writ large in Islam and Judaism. Many people have in practice become sceptics or agnostics for no better reason than these shenanigans. For example Orthodox Jewish practices, under which a woman cannot divorce without her husband's consent, and other clearly obsolete practices, which cannot be condoned as a preservation measure.

In Islam, there is no difference between men and women's relationship to God; they receive identical rewards and punishments for their conduct, yet women's right to take a full part in their religion is still subject to restrictions. And they often find themselves compelled to wear veils, and not only because of the lack of morality of non Muslims. 1) Women in Saudi are not permitted to leave the house unaccompanied by a male.2) Women in Saudi are not permitted to drive cars but suitably qualified women in the US can pilot the space shuttle - that travels over 11 times the speed of sound in orbit. 3) Women in Iran are being hanged publicly by mobile cranes - for entertainment. The silence from the anti-death penalty lefties is, as usual, deafening. 4) Shia muslim men can marry and divorce within 24 hours. Its basically a way of getting round anti-sex outside marriage rules. 5) Under the Taliban, who were overthrown thanks to an 'illegal' war, women were getting their finger nails pulled out for wearing nail varnish and beaten in the street for being unaccompanied by a male.

IMO: How to proceed ? It varies in each case, but something has to be done.

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