Stepping into the Breach: religion and sexual repression: Much is being said of intolerance in western societies, as if this somehow justifies the violent anger of young muslims against the countries they were born in. Self flagellation is not going to resolve a dilemma whose roots are also religious. Misogyny and homophobia have theological support and one is Sharia laws.
Moroccan courts have sentenced two homosexuals, who were beat to a pulp in the town of Beni Mallal, to prison for the crime of being homosexual. They actually got stiffer sentences than their aggressors.
In the West we have Christian Fundamentalists who reject homosexuality, deny evolution and want prayer in school. But condemning them is no justification to tolerate backwards laws in Muslim countries. Over the past 50 years great strides were made in equality and tolerance. In Western countries we have gay-marriage, equal rights laws for religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, including for LGBT, and laws to protect the rights of women. Christian fundamentalists are openly challenged by other Christians every day, and using the Bible.
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ(Mathew 22:21) I may be wrong but I believe it is probably this statement from the New Testament, more than any other which allowed for Democracy to take hold in Christendom and allow for separation of Church and State. The Reformation, The Humanist Movement, and The Enlightenment owe a lot to Mathew, or Jesus, as the case may be.
When Ayann Hirsi Ali calls on Muslims to reform, she is going up against texts which clearly impose ‘God’s laws’ on Earth. These texts unequivocally dictate the death penalty for homosexuality, stoning to death for adultery, beheading for apostasy and so on; texts which are not open to interpretation. As Graeme Wood pointed out in the March 2015 Atlantic Monthly , ISIS and al Qaeda will win any theological argument based on the Qaran. They are obeying Islam and its texts to the letter.
As Ayaan Ali Hirsi insists, it is also a debate Muslims need to lead. There are many in the West today trying to save Islam’s image to prevent social conflict following the terror attacks. But these non-Muslims cannot apologize in Islam’s stead. And perhaps the right place to start that debate should be with the question of equal rights for women and sexual minorities.