Sunday, January 14

:: Faith and Conscience

Asra Q. Nomani writes persuasively in today's Washington Post about domestic violence and contemporary interpretations of the Koran. While she admirably focuses on the specific verse referencing abuse rather than relying on vagueness and generalizations, it is worth noting that a similar discussion concerning the Bible is taking place as well. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently released a report on domestic violence and the influence of the Biblical command that a wife must "obey" her husband:

“Over the centuries questionable assumptions about the relation between men and women, which were supposed to reflect the will of God, have influenced the Church’s interpretation of the Bible, its moral teaching and pastoral practice.. It is a tragic fact that bad theology, in this case a faulty understanding of God and human beings in relationship, can have the effect — whether intended or not — of betraying victims of domestic abuse and encouraging the actions of perpetrators.”
Nomani is right: if you believe that might makes right in the private sphere, most likely you believe in the public sphere as well. This is one of the reasons extremist Muslims in the Middle East sound so very much like extremist Christians in the United States.

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