By Jennifer Bonne
One of the reasons Islam can never integrate with Western society is because so many things that make up the basic freedoms people in the West enjoy are against the teachings of Islam. Islam has a word for things that it considers ungodly or immoral – Haraam, which means ‘forbidden’ in Arabic. Islamic leaders don’t just want these things forbidden for Muslims, but think the entire world should adhere to their rules too.
The problem with Haraam is that many of the things that Islam considered forbidden and a sin are part and parcel of normal Western society and range from
mortgages and credit cards to drinking alcohol and eating pork. The list of things that are
Haraam is exhaustive. While some of these are perfectly sensible, such as
murder and theft, many things considered Haraam are downright ridiculous, oppressive or simply archaic, and include some of the fundamental freedoms that have been enjoyed in the West for centuries.
Women, Adultery and Sexuality
Islam’s views on women are extreme. The Qur’an states that a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s; furthermore, a woman who doesn’t abide by her husband’s wishes is committing a sin. It is Haraam, for instance, for a wife to refuse her husband sex, and she must seek to please him at all times. Men can also punish their wives by beating them, while a woman must dress in accordance with the Qur’an. This means not only making sure they are modestly covered which in some Islamic states means from head to toe, but also
basic feminine preening such as dyeing hair or plucking the eyebrows is considered Haraam.
While adultery is considered wrong by many religions, Christianity included, what makes Islam’s views on adultery so startling is that it often includes being a rape victim. While Islam does consider rape itself Haraam, it sets ridiculous, one-sided rules for proving it. For a woman to claim she has been raped, four men who have witnessed the act need to testify. Failing to provide these witnesses means that a woman is guilty of adultery – and the penalties for such a crime in several Islamic states is often stoning to death.
Islam is extremely strict when it comes to sexuality. Not only is homosexuality Haraam, whether gay, lesbian or bisexual, but also Islam forbids women or men dressing as each other. This not only forbids transvestism and harmless drag acts, but also it is Haraam for women to wear clothing such as trousers or shirts.
Modern capitalist society is not one that sits well with Islam. Virtually everything about modern commerce is considered Haraam. Islam is very strict when it comes to business. Any wealth creation in Islam has to be related to the value of the goods traded. It considers interest (Riba) on loans or other financial instruments as sinful. Therefore, everything from getting a mortgage to having a savings account or credit card is Haraam.
Islam also considers gambling Haraam, but this doesn’t just include playing blackjack or roulette. To an Islamic scholar, buying stocks and shares is gambling, as are many forms of insurance. Islam also prohibits the trading of Haraam goods, which includes all sorts of things such as selling alcohol. Goods are also not supposed
to be sold to or purchased from a person or business that has committed a Haraam act.
Islam considers all sorts of common food items as Haraam. These range from ham, bacon and alcohol to even medicines that contain ethanol. While Islam allows for the eating of meat, all animals have to be slaughtered in accordance with the Qur’an, which involves ritual bloodletting in order for the meat to be acceptable for consumption. This involves an animal slowly bleeding to death and is far crueler
than modern American methods
Islam is also chalk full of other medieval practices. It is Haraam, for instance, for a slave to run away from its master. Slavery itself, it seems, is something that is not Haraam in Islam. Islam also prohibits the practicing of magic. This not only includes cabaret acts such as David Copperfield and the use of astrology and horoscopes, but also, many modern science practices, which are deemed Haraam. To this end, Saudi Arabia, a country that has proclaimed the Qur’an as its constitution, has deemed the ‘crime’ of witchcraft as a capital offense, and has repeatedly executed people for it.
Islam is not conducive to Western or modern society. It is a belief system that is based on medieval source documents written in a far bloodthirstier and illiberal time. Too many of the freedoms we in the West take for granted are considered Haraam, and Islam is intent on getting rid of all of them.