Not a silver tongue
Gene Simmons of KISS has offended Muslims in Australia with some salty comments during a radio interview. From The Age, with thanks to faustaw:
KISS bass player Gene Simmons has caused an uproar among Australia’s Muslim community by launching an attack on Islamic culture while in Melbourne.
The lizard-tongued rock god who is touring Australia with the world’s most enduring glam rock band launched an attack on Muslim extremists during an interview on Melbourne’s 3AW radio.
“Extremism believes that it’s okay to strap bombs on to your children and send them to paradise and whatever else and to behead people,” he said yesterday.
The Israeli-born US musician went on to say Islam was a “vile culture” that treated women worse than dogs.
Muslim women had to walk behind their men and were not allowed to be educated or own houses, he said.
“Your dog, however, can walk side by side, your dog is allowed to have its own dog house… you can send your dog to school to learn tricks, sit, beg, do all that stuff – none of the women have that advantage.”
He went on to say the west was under threat.
“This is a vile culture and if you think for a second that it’s going to just live in the sands of God’s armpit you’ve got another thing coming,” he said.
“They want to come and live right where you live and they think that you’re evil.”
Simmons said the United Nations approach did not work and the west had to “speak softly and carry a big stick”.
The radio station today fielded calls from Muslims upset at the comments, including Australian Muslim of the year Susan Carland, who said Australian Muslims rejected extremism and did not fit Simmons’ stereotype.
Ms Carland said she had two degrees, was doing her honours and “certainly do not walk behind my husband”.
Chairman of the Islamic Council of Victoria Yasser Soliman said Simmons’ comments were “very unfortunate”.
“He’s very famous obviously and popular and, as a result, influential,” he said.
“Mixing the entertainment world with the political and religious world is a minefield.”
He said Simmons had begun by talking about extremists but had gone on to vilify the entire Muslim culture.
“A number of his claims regarding women and what they are allowed to do and not do are wrong – Islam teaches the opposite,” he said.
Simmons had a right to free speech, but this had to be balanced against the damage done to innocent people, he said.
“I think it would be good for overseas speakers and commentators to be given some sort of advice in regards to our vilification laws here,” he said.
“They leave and go back to where they arrived from, but they leave behind a big mess that we have to live with.”
Simmons may not be a silver-tongued diplomat, but his words were more accurate than Carland lets on. There is, of course, the Qur’an verse sanctioning wife-beating (4:34), the devaluation of legal testimony by women (2:282), hadiths dictating that a wife can never refuse her husband sex, even if she is cooking or otherwise occupied, Sharia provisions forbidding a woman even to venture out of her house without her husband’s permission, and much more. If Carland doesn’t live by these, that’s great. But it doesn’t make them any less part of Islamic law.
UPDATE: Now Simmons says he didn’t say it. Didn’t say what exactly? Unclear. From his website, with thanks to Mentat:
Lately, comments that have been attributed to me in the press have been printed. They are false. Please use your own logic and best judgement when reading media. Sometimes media is responsible and sometimes, it is not.
You know me. And, I believe your instincts will guide you in determining what is real and what is not.