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Why a little knowledge is dangerous

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 06:27 PM PDT

If Moses and his tribe made the journey from the Nile Delta to Mt Sinai, then they need not have crossed the Red Sea because the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments is north of the Red Sea between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (which is very far north of the Red Sea).


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Ravinder Singh e-mailed the letter below (Syariah law good for rapists) to Malaysian Insider and Free Malaysia Today. Maybe, today, we can talk about that letter. I am so tired of reading numerous comments from non-Muslims these last few years that Islamic law allows rape on grounds that it is so hard to find four (upstanding) witnesses to prove rape.

First of all, there is a difference between rape (which is a crime of violence) and zina or adultery (which is illicit but consensual sex). If you borrow money from a bank (which is consensual on the part of both parties -- the lender and the borrower) and you do not pay back your loan, would you get arrested and charged for robbery (which is not consensual on the part of the bank but you took the money anyway)?

After all, in both cases you took the bank's money and they lost this money. But in the second case it was by force and was not consensual. In short, you 'raped' the bank or took something by force (like you do to a woman you rape).

Hence when we talk about zina we need to talk about adultery and not rape. And thou shall not commit adultery is one of the Ten Commandments of the Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

Adultery is one of three sins, along with idolatry and murder, which the Mishnah says must be resisted to the point of death.

"Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife." -- Genesis 20:3

"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." -- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

"Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse, and undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents' stable union." -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2335

Hence all three of the Abrahamic faiths are united on this issue.

Some say that Jesus 'abrogated' this law with the 'let he who has not sinned cast the first stone' statement (if that incident really did happen). Jesus did not abrogate this law. Jesus just said that if you want to punish someone with the death sentence then make sure you are someone of high morals and not equally a sinner. In other words, if you, too, are an adulterer then what right do you have in putting someone to death for adultery?

And does not Islam say the same thing? In fact, even in common law if the witness is someone of questionable character then this witness's testimony is suspect.

Okay, Moses was reported to have received the Ten Commandments at the burning bush on Mt Sinai at St Catherine soon after the exodus from Egypt. The Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe that this incident did happen and it is reported in the holy books of all the three Abrahamic faiths. There is definitely no dispute here.

"And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God." -- Exodus 31:18

The holy books also report that Moses and his people crossed the Red Sea -- which God had parted -- to get to Mt Sinai and that the Pharaoh and his entire army drowned (not a single Egyptian survived) when God closed back the Red Sea as soon as Moses and his people had safely crossed.

If Moses and his tribe made the journey from the Nile Delta to Mt Sinai, then they need not have crossed the Red Sea because the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments is north of the Red Sea between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (which is very far north of the Red Sea).

The map below plots the journey that the Israelites took and you can see that they need not have travelled so far south and crossed the Red Sea to get from the Nile Delta to Mt Sinai.

So, before we argue about whether God did or did not give humankind the Ten Commandments through Moses at Mt Sinai and whether Jesus did or did not abrogate this law and whether the Muslims are following Jesus or Moses in implementing the laws of the Ten Commandments, let us first of all talk about the story of the parting of the Red sea and if this story is not in the least plausible then is the story about the burning bush and the two tablets plausible?

Here we are arguing about a so-called historical fact (the Ten Commandments and the punishment for breaking these Commandments) when in the first place we need to argue about whether the incident of the Ten Commandments really did happen when the parting of the Red Sea may not have happened after all.


Syariah law good for rapists

FMT LETTER, From Ravinder Singh, via e-mail

Rapists in the making and "zina" minded persons will be the happiest ones to have hudud laws in place. The punishment might be stoning to death, but convicting them will be an impossibility under hudud as four mature adults of impeccable character are required to come forward and bear witness that they saw the act taking place. How on earth will this be possible in today's society and environment?

Then, those sitting on judgment themselves must be of impeccable character. This reminds me of a story in the bible when Jesus' disciples or followers brought to him a woman whom they accused of being of loose character. They demanded that he order she be stoned to death. His response was simple and straight to the point: Let anyone who is without sin cast the first stone. No one dared to do that.

Yes, hudud was practiced even during the time of Jesus.

PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi claims that hudud is "more focused on preventing crime; so we should work to reduce situations that would spur people to commit crime."

His so-called "British law" is also focused on preventing crime. It also provides the death penalty for crimes like murder just like hudud. Can Nasrudin tell us if there are any laws other than hudud that do not have the objective of preventing crime? Isn't that the purpose of all criminal laws?

Does he know or understand that in today's world a rapist can be convicted without any eyewitnesses, but with solid DNA evidence? Under hudud DNA evidence will be inadmissible and the rapists and zinaists would be laughing at the hudud law and society will be worse off with the hudud law unable to do what Nasrudin claims it will do.

This is not a figment of my imagination but the reality of today's society and environment. Hudud will actually spur the sex-maniacs to commit rape and zina more bravely.

Life is not enriched by having "spiritual" laws as Nasrudin claims, but by the way children are brought up. Laws don't fail because they lack spirituality, but societies fail because spirituality is not inculcated into children at a tender age and throughout their growing years. Thus children grow up not knowing law and order, not knowing what is right and what is wrong, not knowing how they should carry themselves, how they should treat others.

If Nasrudin is serious about creating a law-abiding, or law-fearing society, he should take the challenge of working in a school where teachers are afraid of the children, where child-gangs rule the day, and use spirituality to change the character of these children.

If he could succeed in doing so, it will be a model for all schools to follow to check the deplorable discipline of the children. And this will definitely go a very long way in creating an adult society of the future that is spiritual and God-fearing.

Our schools are the cause of the failure of our society. So don't be so simplistic and blame certain laws while claiming superiority of others. Do not be blind to the deplorable discipline situation in our schools. Here is where societies are created or destroyed.

Jika hendak meluntur buluh, biarlah dari rebungnya.



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