Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The stolen Nigerian schoolgirls

Another in the long list of excusers of Islam who claim it has nothing to do with Boko Haram, the Islamist group that kidnapped nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls; from the International New York Times (17-18 May):
Contrary to the claims made by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, the Quran does not condone child theft. In fact, Muhammad was himself an orphan, and there are passages in the Quran specifically intended to protect the rights of orphans, especially girls. The Quran also establishes rights for women (to divorce, reconciliation, inheritance and personal property) that were not uniformly given to women in Europe for another 12 centuries. Like so many people who pretend to know something of the Quran, this pompous Nigerian thug clearly knows nothing about it — and his self-sanctifying claims are false.
David Rounds, Ukiah, Calif.
The writer is the editor of Religion East and West, the journal of the Institute for World Religion
A few of comments:
  • The girls are not orphans, or at least the majority are not -- their parents have been looking of them. So I'm not sure why Rounds raises that issue.
  • The Koran does indeed condone the theft of girls, if they are seen as "infidels", which most of these were, as they are Christian. Eg, here.
  • We can grant -- though it's arguable -- that the Koran "establishes rights for women" that were not granted in the west for many centuries; but note that there's been no development in their rights since then, and women are treated very badly in Islamic law, to this day.