This was a response from Abdul that I thought should be made into a post.
Abdul Basit says:
Augustine, Wayne & Billy,
Thank you very much for the very kind and beautiful address of the issue.
I actually didn’t have a full understanding of the way of how Christian Receives the Old Testimony. Any how, my goal is to show the rational of Muslims regarding their religion.
Regarding the Women Issue: first of all regarding the head cover:
in the early days of Islam, there was no law of covering the head till the Surah 33:59 came. http://quran.al-islam.com/Loader.aspx?pageid=738&BookID=15&page=1
There was only one Companion who thought they shall cover the whole body including the faces. While all other Companions believe the face can be shown which is very obvious from the Ayah.
Therefore, more than 95% of the Muslim women show their faces. (the only two country who apply the whole body cover is Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan) I am a Saudi Arabian with a Semi-Afghan Origin and below is why I think the most strict rule shall be used.
The law of a country is usually based on its environment. you cannot apply a law that cannot fit the environment. in the Arabian Peninsula there are people called the Desert Arab (9 phrases were warning Muslim of them e.g. Surah 9:97 & 48:11)
therefore, women are exposed to a danger life if they expose themselves to them. They would be protected if they covered the whole body. In Afghanistan, which is not a pleasant place to go. These people are also very danger and the rules must be strict to control them. They are drug manufacturer and very opium farmer. So Muslims Ruler (of course weaken already in Afghanistan) tend to apply the most stringent rules to keep the peace.
this is not true. What you are referring to is the arabic Culture which Islam came to change and it was changed in the early ages but the Arab kept their culture the same.
we have the same Mosaic law. the application of the law happened twice during our Prophet time and he avoided to punish those people but because of their insistence he applied the rule (search “Hadith Muslim 4202″) the and the third time was a man saw his wife with another man but since he couldn’t give the right evidence he made what we call mula’anah and divorced her (read http://www.alim.org/library/hadith/SHB/407/9 or search “Hadith Muslim 3553″).
What you mentioned is applied by the Desert Arab, Afghan and Canaan tribes not Islam.
Regarding whether the American Women are living better life or not:
I can think of many aspect that make the life better as follows:
1- is it fun: well Religion is not fun. If you want to have fun that cross the lines of the religion, do it and try not to brag about it. (more than 70% of the Muslims countries are very open and you can find women free to do even as prostitutes job and nobody even blame her. I brought that extreme to demonstrate the amount of freedom they have.) (25% are balanced and they can do what ever they like except (drinking alcohol and having an illegal affair publicly), 5%
2- Freedom to do social activities: for 95% of the Muslim women (except Afghan and Saudi Arabia), they have similar life to the European or American. for the Afghan, their life were about to be good till they were engaged in the war. For the Saudi’s, well, it is kind of difficult to judge but I am sure that 99.99% of them if given the choice between living in US or Saudi they would say Saudi. They feel more of their female side there. Life in the US is very tough for most women and some times a woman need to sells herself to live.
3- Freedom of unlawful Pregnancy: Well we have almost zero single Moms and very high percentage of the women don’t care much about bringing food to the table.
4- Economically: Women are kind of spoiled in most of the Muslims countries. (except those who are getting westernized). They are majority in the workforce of the countries. and they don’t get jobs such as Secretaries or the attractive waiters. They do what respected women do (clothes industry, Education, Health, Government Administration.) go to Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, UAE, (etc.) , it is difficult to find women in a non-westernized facility working in a low type of work (such as waiter, secretary) Islam didn’t prohibit that at all, they use to work what ever suit them unless the work require manly actions.
5- Control: the wife of the prophet after his death is one of the biggest example on how women used to rule men. She took her Camel and gathered the men for the revenge of Caliphate Ottoman. and because of her, the biggest war after the prophet death was her’s and it was called the battle of the Camel.
Now My Question to you:
1- The stories of the Old Testimony for me shall not be distributed to everybody because such stories might reduce the huge sins in the eye of the receiver. this might be the reason the old Roman Church didn’t allow people to read the bible.
2- in the Old Testimony God made a promise by himself to give the land of Canaan to Israel by the power of the people (Jihad). If you read the both testimonies, you conclude that it is not the same God.
3- Augustine, you said that there are only two laws you are following, Love God and Love you neighbor. but there are certain things you are not allowed to do. like looking at strange women with sexual feeling. You might be able to love that women (in the name of God) but you cannot control your instinct the punishment of that is very harsh which make it better to take you eye out than having that punishment. Another example, Paul told you to eat from the butcher without asking where this meat came from, but if you know it was sacrifices of the pagan, then you are not allowed to eat from (the pagans . you cannot love god and disobey him in the same time.
4- The Women are liberated but still they were considered less than men, (1 Corinthians 11:9). The teaching of the Christian was only for men, In Islam, Women made almost the same contribution in the teaching of the religion.