In a recent interview on CNN, Muslim apologist Reza Aslan made it clear that barbaric practices like female genital mutilation and the treatment of women in “a few” Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran has no place in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t think this has anything to do with Islam. The fact that so many countries ruled by Muslim theocracies also just so happen to treat women horribly must be a coincidence.
Christians aren’t off the hook here either. Aslan mentioned a few other African nations that are ruled by Christian theocracies that also engage in female genital mutilation. See it isn’t a Muslim thing, he concludes. Check out the whole clip:
Okay, Reza got me. Islam isn’t the only religion that treats women horribly. This however doesn’t absolve Islam from treating women horribly. In fact, it just further emphasizes the fact that religion has no place in the 21st century. The fact is that the holy books of all of the Abrahamic religions advocate for the mistreatment of women. It is just that more Muslims take their religion more seriously than most Jews and Christians do… although there are plenty of Jews and Christians who take their religion somewhat seriously too.
In North Dakota, there is a news story about a school that has banned women from wearing leggings and tight pants because the school feels that girls wearing such clothing are too distracting to the male teachers and male students. While this isn’t nearly the same as what happens in many Muslim controlled countries, the mentality is strikingly similar. Maybe the school would be happier if the girls would just wear something a little baggier and that covered their entire body – like, I don’t know; a Burka!
Jesus did say that if a man looked at a woman with lust in his heart, he would be committing the sin of adultery. He also said that it was better to pluck out your eyes than to allow them to cause you to sin and be tortured for all eternity in Hell. Maybe, we can avoid “lusting in our hearts” by forcing women to wear ugly clothing that completely covers them up. That’s how most Muslims countries do it and it seems to have worked out for them so far… oh wait – not so much.
We live in the 21st century and yet a surprisingly high number of people claim to get their morality from holy books written well before we as a species recognized the immorality of slavery and well before most civilized countries acknowledged the equal right of women to vote.
The Torah, the Bible, and the Koran are not good sources for morality in the 21st century. Those books advocate for treating women as mere property at best and as the cause of man’s sin at worst. But there is another way. We can just admit the obvious fact that all these religions are bullshit and that our morality isn’t derived from ancient holy books, but rather from our evolutionary sense of empathy, which manifests itself through compassion. We identify with other people and therefore feel compassion for them and seek to increase the general well-being of others.
- Reza Aslan: Bill Maher’s Thinking On Islam ‘Not Very Sophisticated’ (crooksandliars.com)
- Interview: Qasim Rashid author of ‘Extremist’ (examiner.com)
- Atheism 101: Why do atheists only focus on Christianity? (examiner.com)
- Another Embarrassing Reza Aslan Interview (skepticink.com)
- Muslim Women Claim Not To Be Oppressed (skepticink.com)