||2017-11-01 16:11:01, 조회 : 599, 추천 : 183
Social Control Begins at Home
Chapter 6 (Part 1)
Last week, we explored what it means to be "shackled by sharia." We learned that sharia dictates your life in every way. It dictates your daily, moral, political and economical life. The sharia law is practiced in many places around the world and is determined to stay. Yet, we learned that sharia prohibits the growth for Muslims and targets vulnerable groups (e.g women and homosexuals). Sharia may appear as a set of principles, but these principles have had a clutch on millions of Muslims around this modern world. Today we will see how commanding right and forbidding wrong keeps Muslims orderly and how this method is used for social control.
As a teenage girl, Ali often wondered "why does the ritual prayers have to be said five times a day?" Why couldn't it be shortened to two times a day? This question has probably crossed the minds of many other Muslims. Yet, when Ali asked this question, her half sister went into a tirade of lectures and condemning Ali as one that does not perform her sacred duties as a Muslim. Then her half sister went to Ali's family and tried to convince them to have Ali sent away and be treated for "madness" because Ali "dared to ask a question about faith and its practice." Commanding right and forbidding wrong can be seen as a function to socially control Muslims in Islam. Any question, doubts or debates are "intolerable" and is silenced. In essence, Ali's half sister believed it was her duty to correct her on what is right and forbidding wrong. Notice how it was Ali's half sister that was condemning Ali. In Islam, persecution of the "thinker" is done by the immediate family. Ali states, "The power of the Muslim system is that the authorities do not need to be involved. Social control begins at home."
Due to this upbringing in the homes of Muslims, Ali found that her Muslim students in her Harvard seminar felt uneasy when it came to discussing the political organizations in Islam. Moreover, she found her Muslim students practicing commanding right and forbidding wrong. For example, she had a student from Nigeria who claimed he knew the in's and out's of sharia and repeatedly interrupted Ali to "correct" her. Interestingly, he addressed Ali as "sister" in order to emphasize the "kinship element" yet, he still viewed her as an apostate to him. In Islam, a man has an "unequivocal right" to command right to a woman, even if he is his teacher. This function is practiced in order to silence the "dissent" and further encourages totalitarianism in Islam.
Where does this function originate from? While this function can be seen in Western civilization, Islam gets this function directly from the Qur'an. In the Qur'an 3:104, it states, "Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that s good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong: They are he ones to attain felicity." Then in Qur'an 9:71, it states, "Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah." More explicitly, in Qur'an 9:71, it states, "The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what s evil." The Qur'an gives way for believers to practice commanding right and forbidding wrong. It is a duty in which every Muslim should adhere to. That is why you can find religious police in Iran and Saudi Arabia for beating women who show their ankles in public or finding those who drink alcohol. This concept of commanding right and forbidding wrong has survived since the medieval times and it doesn't appear that it will go away any time soon.
This concept is used to justify honor killings. It justifies the killing of fathers, brothers and daughters. In the Islamic world, any behavior, such as questioning ones faith or wanting to leave Islam is reason enough to kill your own daughter. Honor killings happen all around the world, yet there is no exact number to determine the killings. Ali writes that "almost a thousand honor killings occur in Pakistan alone." Honor killings are underreported or disguised. What does these honor killings look like in practice? In Pakistan, a twenty-five year old woman who married against her father's wishes was stoned to death. A Pakistani father and mother doused their fifteen-year old daughter with acid because they believed she looked at a boy who passed by on a motorcycle. They "feared dishonor" and decided to kill their daughter before she brings dishonor to their family. Before they doused her with acid, the girl cried out, "I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again." But her mother said, "I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way."
One of the reasons why this concept continues to persist is because it sounds "virtuous." What is wrong with commanding right and forbidding wrong? Isn't this something we should all practice? However, this is where Islamic and Western values conflict. The core of Western tradition believes that an individual should decide for himself his belief and the manner in which he wants to live his life. Islam on the other hand, believes that rules should dictate how one lives and expects all Muslims to enforce these rules. This concept is being used more than ever, as Islam communities have become more radicalized. Therefore, now an atheist is quickly revealed because he/she does not pray give times a day or use the term "Inshallah" whenever he/she is referring to the future.
Commanding right and forbidding wrong may appear innocent but this concept has become the justification of thousands of honor killings. Commanding right and forbidding wrong is at the heart of the Qur'an and it requires its believers to act accordingly. This function has turned daughters from fathers, mothers from sons. This has been ingrained in Muslims as a "sacred duty" that should be carried out. Next week, we will discuss how this doctrine takes root and honor crimes in America.
1) When Ali questioned why she needs to pray five times a day, how did her half-sister respond? Do you think Ali's half-sister responded appropriately?
2) What is social control? How is this used in Islam?
3) Does the Qur'an support this concept? What does this do to the believer?
4) How does this concept appear "virtuous?" Compare this to the way Christians look at commanding right and forbidding wrong. Are there any similarities or differences?