Believers in “moderate” Islam often describe violent jihad as “extremist” and a “distortion” of Islam, despite the fact that violence against the infidel (or the financial support of it) is sanctioned by the Koran and recognized by the four main schools of Islamic law as the duty of all good Muslims. Violent jihad is supported by a consensus of Islamic scholars, and is as “mainstream” an Islamic activity as bowing towards Mecca or making the hajj.
The same can be said of other retrograde and barbaric behaviors practiced by Muslims. Apologists for Islam claim that beheading, the lopping off of limbs, wife-beating, female genital mutilation, the stoning of adulterers, and slavery are “extreme” interpretations and do not represent “true Islam”. Nothing could be further from the truth: all of these activities have scriptural validation and enjoy the consensus of the scholars.
The prominent mufti in the following article from ANSAmed is no “extremist”: he is a respected member of Algeria’s traditional Islamic establishment. Let’s see what he has to say about wife-beating:
Algeria: Prison for Violent Husbands is Against Koran, Mufti
ALGIERS, MARCH 15 — The proposal to introduce prison terms for men who beat their wives goes against the Koran and the teachings of the prophet Mohamed, according to the head of Algeria’s Superior Islamic Council.
Qaher Sharif fiercely criticised the bill presented to the head of state Abdelaziz Bouteflika by the head of the Consultative Council on Human Rights Farouk Qustantiti. “This man’s aim is to violate a law of the Koran and of the Sunnah, and he meddles in subjects that are beyond his competence”, Sharif said in an interview with the Arab-language edition of the daily newspaper El Khabar.
“He’s done it before with the death penalty, and now with beatings,” he added, asking “what difference can it make to him what goes on between a man and his wife?”
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The President of the Islamic Council said that he was stunned by Qustantini’s proposal, because “God has already pointed out precisely the way that a husband must behave towards his wife”. He quoted verses 34 and 35 of the Surah on women, in which men are advised to “admonish women, confine them to their bed and beat them” should they commit “nushooz”, a term signifying both infidelity and a refusal of sexual intercourse.
Sharif pointed out that the text is so precise that it indicates the method of punishment to be used against the wife, and that this should be neither “too insistent, nor provoke disfigurement”.
Westerners who bend themselves into halal pretzels trying to brand doctrines such as this “extreme” are eventually done in by plain, ordinary facts. These are not extremist positions in Islam. They are the norm, and have been for fourteen centuries.
To meet prevailing Western standards, a non-extreme version of Islam would necessitate the gutting of nine-tenths of Islam’s own holiest scriptures. How likely is that to happen?
Hat tip: Insubria.