A Happy Tune

Time for some heavy-duty mocking and sneering. At the Guardian’s ‘Islam Awareness Week’, for a start.

Religious hate crime is on the increase in the UK, according to the latest Crown Prosecution Service statistics – a worrying trend that the government is attempting to tackle in its Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, which creates the new offence of incitement to religious hatred…Much of the Islamophobia experienced by young British Muslims is the result of a legacy of ignorance about the beliefs and practices of Islam.

No doubt. But, sadly, some of it – depending on how the Guardian is defining ‘Islamophobia,’ of course – could also be the result of knowledge about some of the beliefs and practices of Islam. Especially if by ‘Islamophobia’ the Guardian means simply dislike or disapprobation of some of the beliefs and practices of Islam, that could well be the result of knowledge rather than ignorance. This article seems to assume that more knowledge of beliefs and practices of Islam will necessarily lead to increased admiration of them. But that is merely an assumption.

The article points us toward this site where we find this lovely page on ‘Family Life’.

It is usual for the men to meet at cafes or meeting places and women to meet together at one of their homes. It is rare for men and women to meet publicly. In the home visitors will be met by the man of the house, women stay in the background.

Ah. In other words, it is usual for men to be able to go out in the world and to go wherever they like, and it is usual for women to be confined at home. Men act like grown-up people, women act like stupid frightened children. That is usual.

On the seventh day of a baby’s life his or her hair will be shaved off and the equivalent weight of gold given to the poor. An offering follows. Two sheep if it is a boy and one if it is a girl.

Because, of course, a boy is worth twice as much as a girl. Obviously.

They are expected to work hard in school, can be treated quite strictly, (especially the girls), and expected to spend time with their families.

A sinister note.

Arranged marriages are usual with in a muslim community. Most young people are happy that their parents will make a good choice for them.

Ah. Asked them, have you? Asked, especially, the women? Asked them with no men present? (No, of course not, because you can’t, so that’s out.) How exactly do you know, then? And why do you even think it’s likely?

It is very unusual for a Muslim man to have more than one wife. He is able to have up to four but he must be able to provide fairly and equally for all of them. Occasionally it might happen that if a Muslim man’s wife cannot have children or she becomes very ill and needs looking after, then the man will take a second wife but it is not common.

Oh is that how it works! Occasionally if a woman becomes very ill, her husband will take a second wife to look after the first one – I see! I didn’t realize that. What a charming custom. One wonders what the second wife gets out of it, but it’s certainly nice for the first one.

Once a Muslim lady become a wife her first responsibility is to look after the home and family.

And of course because of the arranged marriage thing, along with the being worth only one sheep instead of two thing, and the not being allowed to go out thing, a Muslim lady doesn’t really have the option of not marrying at all, so if she happens to be a person who doesn’t in fact want to look after a home and family, well that’s just too fucking bad, isn’t it.

Divorce is not really acceptable to Muslims. It is considered to be the worst possible occurrence, it is distasteful and only allowed only in extreme circumstances though of course it is a legal option even if not a cultural one. If she is divorced a woman becomes the responsibility of the men in her family.

And on those vanishingly rare occasions when divorce does happen, it is made beautifully easy because the man has only to recite the talaq three times and hey presto that is the divorce. (This rule does not apply to the woman.) The men in the family of a divorced woman are not always best pleased to see her, and are sometimes apt to kill her in a fit of temper when they think she might have done something to their honour by being a divorced woman. If she doesn’t have any men in her family, she starves, of course. And quite right too.

So there you are, children; now all your nasty Islamophobia will go away, won’t it. A little knowledge works wonders.

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