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Posted by Whittier on July 13, 2003 18:29:06 UTC

Hi Nahla,
You told me your age so I'll tell you mine too.

Nahla, 18 years old:
"The Judicial system in Islam doesn’t “claim their motivation was not given in the rules of this world”. There are the laws and they judge according to them in a fair system of defense and witnesses, just like any other system. The fact that the source of these laws is divine doesn’t make the system convoluted."

Mike, 46 years old:
By "rules of this world," I meant rules
which are not claimed to have been given
directly by God. In that sense, your "legal" system is based on rules not of this world, but of God. If you think this world and God are the same thing, it will be interesting to read how you explain that.

Nahla, 18 years old:
"The punishment of having sex without marriage for unmarried people is whipping 100 lashes, and death for married people. But there are strict rules to carrying out the punishment. You must have four witnesses; otherwise the punishment cannot be carried out. You don’t think adultery is serious because you’re so used to the concept of sex outside marriage. But to me, and any Muslim, it’s shameful and completely unjustified. Moreover, a big degradation for women and men too. Why would any one marry if he could get what he wants without any obligations? If you look at it my way, you’ll see it’s dangerous to the stability of the society and individual contentment."

I did not say I don't think adultery is serious, but I define it in ways which appear different than fundamentalists. The big world has unfaithfulness, deception and betrayal of many kinds. I am very disapproving of the emphasis that fundamentalists place on scriptural authority in matters concerning sex, then proceed to violate my sensibilities on matters pertaining to academic excellence, literacy, free speech, freedom of conscience, environmental stewardship, and honesty in debate.

I wish to address your statement about adultery in a way I hope does not offend you, but may at first seem outrageous:
What is the punishment for killing someone for adultery? I think it is a larger degradation.
What is the source of the authority to kill someone for adultery? I think it is human hard-heartedness.


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