Islam does have a problem with homosexuality. But so do western conservatives

Omar Mateen – who shot dead 50 people in an Orlando gay club – was both an

Islamist terrorist and a violent homophobe.

These things are not mutually exclusive. They are concomitant. Mateen attacked

the West in general but targeted gay people in particular. Inevitably some people

say Islam is incompatible with Western life because it is incompatible with our

attitudes towards sexuality.

Are they right? Well, it’s complicated. And on a matter as sensitive as this, there

is nothing wrong with admitting that it’s complicated.

Liberals, say the Right, must find themselves in a terrible quandary. As

supporters of both gay liberation and multiculturalism, how do they process the

fact that many Muslims believe homosexuality is a crime?

Conservatives insist that their confident defence of Western history and

philosophy is more gay-friendly than liberal multiculturalism.

Liberals listening to Trump and Spahn might choke on their tofu. When, they

would counter, did Western conservatives suddenly become fans of sexual

freedom? Haven’t they spent decades fighting gay rights?

Marco Rubio, the Florida senator, was one of the first Republicans to say that

Orlando was an attack on gay people – and good for him. But Left-wing critics

argued that his outspoken opposition to gay marriage was part of the cultural

environment in which Mateen’s bigotry grew.

Islam wasn’t the only religious authority that Mateen would have encountered in

Florida telling him that gay people are going to Hell. He could have tuned in to

any evangelical radio show to hear that.

When we ask Muslims to interrogate attitudes towards sexuality in their

community, we do so assuming that our own culture is 100 per cent gay friendly.

It is not.

Polls suggest that around a third of Americans still believe that homosexuality

should be discouraged. Homosexual acts have only been legal in the West since

the 1960s. Gay marriage has only been on the agenda for a decade and is still

bitterly resented by social conservatives.

The conservatives are right: Islam does have a problem with homosexuality. Yet

so do many conservatives. And it would be an inversion of Western values to

insist that any individual suddenly rethink their religious beliefs if they want to

be accepted into society.

But Muslims, I’m sure, would welcome a social contract requiring everyone to

obey the law and respect the distinction between church and state. And, most of

all, live and let live.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/13/islam-does- have-a- problem-

with-homosexuality- but-so- do-western- c/

Son of a pied-noir rallies under the banner ‘Muslims of France’

He confirms being “heavily influenced by the philosophy of the General,” and “converted to Islam around the age of seven.” Bruno Perez, 52 years old, is the UDMF candidate in Marseille for the upcoming local elections. “I am a Gaullist who never drifted,” he affirmed.

On February 12 the UDMF, founded in 2012, announced its presence by running eight candidates in the upcoming elections but a week later decided to only run two in Marseille, Bruno Perez and Houria Medjbar. “I was contacted three weeks ago by the UDMF,” Perez recalls, “I didn’t know this party or its leaders. It’s a friend who put me in contact. He is also my substitute for the election.” He states that now “we are in a hurry,” and that his political stance “has nothing to do with promoting sharia!”

Son of a pied-noir who moved to France in 1962, Perez was stunned by the reaction provoked by his candidature: “In the Muslim Democratic Union of France, we are all Muslims, but that’s not what is most important. Before anything else we are democrats, republicans, and we respect secularism…but we are there to repeat that Muslims of France, is not the Islamic State.”

Perez has a history in politics. In 1995 he campaigned for the RPR. “It’s there that I met Houria Medjbar,” he explained, “who’s now been my friend for twenty years.” A Charles Pasqua supporter, he then followed the former Interior Minister of the Gathering of the French People and presented himself under the label in the 2001 local elections, gaining 3% of the votes.

Could principles of Islamic finance feed into a sustainable economic system?

October 18, 2013

 

Islamic finance has been a significant global force for the past few decades, but in recent years sharia-compliant saving and investing have become more common. For example, in June, Goldman Sachs provided a loan to Arcapita Bank, an Islamic investment company, that in compliance with sharia law did not charge interest. In July, a US-based trade association, the World Council of Credit Unions, published a manual explaining to would-be community financiers in developing countries how to operate sharia-compliant credit unions.

Western discussions of sharia law often focus on extremist groups imposing brutal interpretations of these legal codes on unwilling populations. But sharia law, which derives from the Qur’an and the religious teaching of Islam, can also be applied to the finance sector. Importantly, Islamic finance can be seen as part of a wider movement towards the promotion of sustainability as a key element of economic life.

The basic premise under sharia law that no one should profit purely from money leads to a shift in both parties’ perspective away from the short-term transaction and towards the longer-term relationship and its consequences.

In short, the structures that have evolved do away with classic debt – and the banks that provide such financing – in exchange for direct participations in risk and reward. For example, an ijara can be used to purchase real estate for the purpose of leasing it out to tenants and the rental income is distributed pro rata to subscribers. A sukuk is a fully negotiable certificate that can be bought and sold on the secondary market, and allows the new owner to “step into the shoes” of the original holder, taking all the rights, obligations and liabilities relating to the underlying assets that accompany the certificate.

Importantly, participants in an ijara and holders of a sukuk have no guaranteed return and are all economically aligned in the long-term success of the project. If the project fails, they cannot simply take their profits to date and sell of the loan collateral to make themselves whole. As a result, Islamic finance encourages the creation of social value alongside economic value.

But Islamic finance is a legitimate expression of an economic philosophy of the use of money. This shouldn’t be stigmatised or criminalised – especially in light of the excesses and abuses that preceded the recent global financial crisis.

Islamic finance is becoming an important part of important emerging economies in the Middle East and Asia – high-growth markets where businesses will want to compete and succeed. And the Muslim population is continuing to grow and can be an engine for further growth.

 

The Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/islamic-finance-sustainable-economic-system

Anti-Muslim Prejudice in the West – Past and Present, by Maleiha Malik

This collection makes a unique contribution to the study of anti-Muslim prejudice by placing the issue in both its past and present context. The essays cover historical and contemporary subjects from the eleventh century to the present day. They examine the forms that anti-Muslim prejudice takes, the historical influences on these forms, and how they relate to other forms of prejudice such as racism, antisemitism or sexism, and indeed how anti-Muslim prejudice becomes institutionalized.

This volume looks at anti-Muslim prejudice from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, including politics, sociology, philosophy, history, international relations, law, cultural studies and comparative literature. The essays contribute to our understanding of the different levels at which anti-Muslim prejudice emerges and operates – the local, the national and the transnational – by also including case studies from a range of contexts including Britain, Europe and the US.

This book contributes to a deeper understanding of contemporary political problems and controversial topics, such as issues that focus on Muslim women: the ‘headscarf’ debates, honour killings and forced marriages. There is also analysis of media bias in the representation of Muslims and Islam, and other urgent social and political issues such as the social exclusion of European Muslims and the political mobilisation against Islam by far-right parties.

Quebecois academics support dueling manifestos on religious accommodation

A new type of warfare – albeit perfectly peaceful – has taken form in Quebec, as intellectuals and academics weigh in on the issue of accommodating religious minorities. The debate has been reignited recently with the “ niqab ” incident, in which a woman who refused to show her face to her language teacher and disrupted the class with her many demands was finally – after months of attempted compromise – expelled from French classes for immigrants.

On one side are the “pluralists,” who call for more openness to immigrants, and for what is called in French a “ laïcité ouverte ” (a secular regime that allows for some compromise with religious fundamentalists). The initiators of their manifesto, “for a pluralist Quebec,” are mostly professors of philosophy.

The authors of this second manifesto, eager to dissociate themselves from those who use the concept of secularism to cover up their dislike of the recent waves of Muslim immigration, argue that “ laïcité ” has always been part of Quebec history, an argument that is a considerable exaggeration.

Muslims in Dearborn learn religious and political philosophy to understand how to integrate in US

Led by Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, one of the most revered thinkers in global Shiism, a program called I.M.A.M. deploys scholars and lecturers to help US Shiites integrate into US society. The Dearborn I.M.A.M. group studies sources like the US Federalist Papers, Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” and Joel Osteen’s books, as well as historical issues like slavery in the US. The program tells Shiites to vote, participate in the census, and hold public office without abandoning their faith.

“We call them Islamic values, but they are universal values,” says Bahar al-Uloom, lecturer for the Shiite student group in Dearborn. “If it’s a principle or act that would help all Americans, all I need to do is speak it in a language that is universal.”

Turkish-German Asl? Bayram performs Anne Frank

Asl? Bayram was the first Miss Germany of Turkish background in 2005. In 1994 her father had been murdered by a Neo-Nazi. She took up acting with a renowned play-acting professor in Vienna and performed a play on Anne Frank that took her on a world tour. The German-speaking media paid special attention to the Muslim actress playing the Jewish Anne Frank. At the early age of 28, she has now published an autobiographical book on her experiences and life philosophy. The journalist of this article met Asl? Bayram in Vienna.

Swiss minaret ban raises identity tensions in France, says Abdennour Bidar

In this editorial French philosopher and writer Abdennour Bidar considers the consequences of the minaret ban for Muslims in France. The culture of fear and of political Islam in particular is of concern, he claims. Bidar points to how both sides can act in reaction in this climate. Please see the article to appreciate the complex philosophical article he makes about identity and alterity.

Death Threat Against Robert Redeker Leads to 8 Months in Prison and Fine

Eight months in prison with a fine of 1,000 Euros was requested in Orl_ans as punishment for a 26 year-old who threatened to kill Robert Redeker, a philosophy professor who on 19 September 2006 published a critique against Islam in the Le Figaro daily newspaper. Mustapha Dian, the young Frenchman of Moroccan origins, sent three emails to Redeker who lives in the Toulouse region.