The God SquadPosted: January 22, 2008
Seemingly disconnected from the title of the post, I now get a 15 minute breakfast break at work. This is my reward for turning up at 8 rather than 8:30 (I successfully argued that I couldn’t physically function if I had to eat at 6:30 and then wait over 7 hours before eating again).
What this means, however, is that I end up watching Sky News, which is projected onto the wall of the staff restaurant.
And what this means is that I have a whole new source of irritation to disturb my day. And sometimes some real news.
So, in the news today? Something about the precarious state of the stock market – apparently it’s the fault of the Americans, who have such a big country they can afford to bring down their interest rate by 1%, whereas we on our tiny little island have no such option. Or something. It seemed strangely linked to virility and manliness and, you know, size, but maybe that’s just me being a cock-obsessed slutwhore. You never know.
Anyway, that story obviously doesn’t link to God. Unless God is secretly also cock-obsessed. But let’s assume that that would be a bit silly, and then I can talk about what I actually wanted to.
The story that irritated me was the startling news that political-extremist types “recruit” at universities.
No! You think?!
As my mother once said, “at the University of East Anglia there was nothing to do, except become radical.”
Of course politics becomes big at uni. Lots of young people are away from home, sometimes for the first time, trying to work out who they are and who they want to be, and you think politics isn’t going to make an appearance?! For goodness’ sake, it’s people of university age who’ve just got the vote!
But this wasn’t the most irritating bit. The really, really irritating bit was the sadly innevitable mention of Teh Muslim Extremists. You’d think they held a monopoly on extremism, if you believed the media. But that can’t be right, because before that, the extreme group was Teh Communists (also known, amusingly, as “The Reds Under The Bed”). And I saw the Socialist Workers’ Party just the other day. So they do all still exist. That must be quite irritating for them, actually. The communists, I mean. Because now nobody talks about them.
Presumably, atheism isn’t as bad as believing in the ‘wrong’ God.
Basically, the soundbites were saying that “Muslim extremists” were “luring” or “recruiting” “young Muslim women”. That the “extremists” were saying that the society of the West was a bit shite, really, and that Islam would be better for them.
And I did what I’ve been doing quite a lot recently, and thinking that actually I sympathised with the people who were being demonised.
Western society is a bit shite, really. There are a lot of problems with it. And when you look at the model that Islam wants to provide:
“Islam instead maintains that both types of roles are equally deserving of pursuit and respect and that when accompanied by the equity demanded by the religion, a division of labor along sex lines is generally beneficial to all members of the society.
This might be regarded by the feminist as opening the door to discrimination, but as Muslims we regard Islamic traditions as standing clearly and unequivocally for the support of male-female equity. In the Quran, no difference whatever is made between the sexes in relation to God. “For men who submit [to God] and for women who submit [to God], for believing men and believing women, for devout men and devout women, for truthful men and truthful women, for steadfast men and steadfast women, for humble men and humble women, for charitable men and charitable women, for men who fast and women who fast, for men
who guard their chastity and women who guard, for men who remember God much and for women who remember – for them God has prepared forgiveness and a mighty reward” (33:35). “Whoever performs good deeds, whether male or female and is a believer, We shall surely make him live a good life and We will certainly reward them for the best of what they did” (16:97).“
Well, doesn’t it make you wonder what a society like that would be like? It doesn’t sound too bad, to me. I mean, from the religious point of view, can you imagine the Bible saying anything so rooted in equality? I can’t.
So, I might have a quibble with the way work should be divided along gender lines – I can’t think of many jobs that can be performed well by only one gender – but I think they have a point when they say that “both types of roles [typically male vs. typically female] are equally deserving of pursuit and respect”.
Strangely enough, it reminds me of something Bitchy Jones once wrote:
“Way back in the past when they invented misogyny they decided that women were lower status and thus had the low status role in sex. He had the mighty phallus – she had the dirty needy hole. You can see how femdom later thought, hey, lets flip this shit. Let’s make the guy be called slut for wanting and be filled. But those things aren’t really submissive. Having something pushed into your body that feels amazing is only submissive because someone decided that the female role in sex was a submissive one.”
For once, let’s ignore the sex. Yes, I know it’s hard. Er, difficult. But seriously, the point I’m getting at is that things associated with women – traditional roles, be it in the bedroom or in the workplace – only seem “less good” for the reason that Bitchy says so well – “when they invented misogyny they decided that women were lower status”. [emphasis mine].
Damn, I just made a link between Islam and Femdom. That’s got to be a first, surely.
So, and back to Islam, isn’t it great that it’s saying both roles are equally deserving of respect?
Because they are. They are just as good as each other. And this is something that Western society has failed in teaching us, rather drastically.
So, to be honest, it’s not such a silly – or radical! – idea, to say that Islam can offer young women something that Western society can’t. Whether it actually lives up to this idea, I don’t know.
Anyway, so the whole ‘news’ story irritated me.
And it infuriated me that a middle-aged male professor could be talking so confidently about the perils of Teh Extremists to young Muslim women, without justifying it. Either without thinking about the points I put forward above, or simply without mentioning them.
I suspect he simply hasn’t thought about it. Like many of the men I know in real life wouldn’t think about it.
And it felt like, once again, Muslims were being tarred with the “heathen unbeliever” brush. You know, the one that says, “oh, well, it’s jolly good to go to Church, dontcherknow, and even just staying at home on a Sunday, that’s not so bad, eh… but praying to Allah – well, it’s just not done, dear boy! Not, er, not British, old chap, what!”
It would seem that for all my relief that at least the British public don’t let their politicians get too devout, or claim that God tells them to go on crusades, they are still easily swayed by religion.
The God Squad, you see, is still insiduously there. Because it still seems terribly bad form to think that a religion involving the “wrong” deity could be a reasonable religion.