February 29, 2008

Your Life Under Shariya - IV

Islam is touted as an egalitarian religion by several eminent intellectuals on the Left. I have personally heard from some of these fellows who claim this honor for the religion. On economic equality, look for the Gini Index for household wealth or income distribution for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates? How long did you search the web? An hour, two, three? Okey, give up. I couldn't find any data on wealth or income distribution measures for these countries. The same goes for Libya, Oman, Quatar ... I wonder why. According to a UNDP report, Iran scores 43.0, Malaysia 49.2, and Nigeria 43.7. A Gini Index less than 30.0 signals a fairly equal distribution. With the sole exception of Bosnia, I could not find a single Islamic country that could be characterized as economically egalitarian.

How about a socially egalitarian Islam? Here are a couple of excerpts from the current Islamic Penal Law of Iran:

Article 300.
The blood money for the first- or second-degree murder of a Muslim woman is half of that of a murdered Muslim man.

Article 487. Section 6. Blood money for the aborted fetus which has taken in the human spirit shall be paid in full if it is male, one-half if it is female, and three-quarters if its gender is in doubt.
According the International Religious Freedom Report on Saudi Arabia [2006]:
Islamic law considers Hindus to be polytheists; identification with polytheism is used to justify discrimination against Hindus, inter alia, in calculating accidental death or injury compensation. Christians and Jews, who are classified as "People of the Book," are also discriminated against, but to a lesser extent than Hindus. For example, according to the country's "Hanbali" interpretation of Shari'a, once fault is determined by a court, a Muslim male receives 100 percent of the amount of compensation determined, a male Jew or Christian receives 50 percent, and all others (including Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs) receive 1/16 of the amount a male Muslim may receive.

Women's testimony is worth only half that of men, and a non-Muslim woman's testimony is worth less than that of a Muslim woman.

Islamic societies, it seems, have a legally recognized hierarchy: α - Muslims, γ — Christians and Jews, ε — Everyone else. Within each of these "castes", men are superior to women, I suppose. Altogether, Islam has six castes, the alphas, the betas, the gammas, the deltas, the epsilons, and the zetas.

Egalitarian? You be the judge!

1 comment :
  1. Islam - egalitarian? You must be joking!


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