Thursday, February 19, 2015

Allah's QC 1.3: Women

What does the Qur'an say about the value of a woman? And what does it say about her place in society? Although Muhammad makes a few pronouncements that are almost encouraging, it is hard to know what to make of them, given his otherwise degenerate view of women.

As I mentioned before, Muhammad appropriates the books of Moses as part of his religious heritage. He refers often to various well known stories, such as Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah. These two stories in particular tell us quite a bit about a woman's worth. In the Garden, Eve is created expressly to be Adam's mate, his helper, not a person in her own right. In Sodom, Lot offers his daughters to the raping mob. While God finds this obscenity perfectly acceptable, he executes Lot's wife for the crime of looking back at the destruction of her home. Muhammad provides commentary, dismissing Lot's wife as an old woman who stayed behind and was condemned to hell.

Muhammad adds a few more words to the message of the Old Testament, to make sure you, women, know how much you're worth. In some cases relating to contracts and inheritance, your value as a human being could rise to half that of a man. But it's only while you're capable of breeding that you have your few rare chances to reach that height. God's feelings about girls are hardly better than his feelings about old women. The pagan Arabs believed that God has daughters. God finds this idea enormously offensive. But there is something that angers him further: these same pagans are stricken with grief at the birth of a girl. So they are knowingly dumping their garbage, that is, you, on God. Although your reproductive organs give you some value as a commodity, your vagina in particular works against you. You are dirty. Having sex with you makes your man dirty. He's not even allowed to pray until he cleans up. And during your period, you are diseased, practically contagious.

So much for your self-esteem. Where do you fit in society? In the ancient play called Lysistrata, the women of Greece find a measure of political power by refusing to have sex with their men. Under Muhammad, this is not an option. Your man doesn't need you for sex. He is allowed three other wives beside you. And it's no good forming an alliance with them, as he can always have sex with his slaves. And he is the one who gets to refuse you: he can divorce you by simply refraining from having sex with you for a few months, and then you are out on the street, along with your children.

It is your responsibility to avoid inflaming the lusts of men. To attract as little attention as possible, you must cover your hair, your neck, cleavage, ankles, and don't make eye contact. In fact, just stay in the house unless there's a good reason to go out. When you do go out, walk softly. Only trashy women stamp their feet (to draw attention to the bracelets on their hidden ankles). But don't speak softly; your soft voice--men just can't be held responsible.

Does the Qur'an really give men permission to hit you? Yes, within reason. Only your husband is allowed to do it, and only if you are misbehaving. It is to be a last resort, after he has tried other prescribed measures to get you under control, such as refusing to have sex with you--that is, threatening to divorce you, and leave you destitute. And when your man finally decides you need a beating, he can't make it severe or violent. But even if "non-violent beating" weren't a moron's oxymoron, we have to ask: how severely would a man have to beat you to make you his bitch? At the very least, he'll have to hit you hard enough that you won't hit him back.

In heaven, God gives men virgins. If your man is the pig that Muhammad has encouraged him to be, you will surely be relieved to see him run off with all those bimbos. But what is your reward for putting up with him? A harem of your own? Maybe a bunch of hot guys who let you finish your sentences? No. Maybe just one guy who knows how to operate a toilet seat? No. Remember, you exist for men; you're not a person.

What are these "almost encouraging" pronouncements I mentioned at the beginning? Muhammad drops a few hints to men that killing your infant daughters is not a great idea. He gives you a couple of nods for the difficulties of pregnancy and the ordeal of childbirth. And the transfer of wealth that accompanies marriage is not a purchase: your husband pays it directly to you and it's your own property. But these are anomalies; they clearly don't fit his overall framework. And let's not forget: we're looking only at the Qur'an at this point, only one of the pillars of Islamic doctrine. Stay tuned for the Hadith.

Muhammad's philosophy of women follows the same pattern as his philosophy of compassion. It is a steaming pile of outrageously bad ideas, adorned with a handful of accidentally less-bad ideas.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Allah's QC 1.2: Heaven (And Virgins?)

Muhammad's vision of hell highlights not only his psychopathic tendencies, but also his lack of creativity. Although his vile celebrations may seem visionary, we know that they are borrowed from centuries of tradition built up by Christian theologians. As for his heaven, we already know it rests on a foundation of barbarism; living there would be its own kind of hell. Can Muhammad, with his limited imagination, conjure anything to attract us to heaven, other than the fact that we won't be on fire? Let's have a look.

Heaven is a land of enormous gardens, often overlooking rivers. There are flowering meadows, springs, fountains, vineyards, and big trees that cast plenty of shade.

If you have thoroughly kissed God's ass, or died--or killed--for the cause of defending his infinitely fragile ego, you will live here eternally in bliss, serenity, social harmony, peace. If we hadn't already learned about hell and the savagery it embodies, we might wonder how those who go around torturing and murdering their fellow human beings could enjoy such a place. But we have seen, and will see again, that they are attracted to Yahweh for a reason.

Although the weather is always nice, God has provided shelter. You will live in a mansion with lofty halls. You will sit on a throne, wearing the finest green silk, embroidered with gold. Jewelry made of gold, silver, and pearls will always be in fashion.

When you're hungry, you will stroll to your meals on carpets and recline with your fellow believers on luxurious couches. For an appetizer, there is delicious fruit, still on the tree, that you can reach from your comfortable seat. Anything you can't easily reach will be brought to you on golden trays by beautiful, eternally youthful servants. But guys, don't get excited just yet. Even if they are human, which is not at all clear, Muhammad refers to them as manservants. Your silver goblet will always be full. On the beverages menu are exotic, magical wines that cause neither hangover nor alcoholism. If magic wine is not to your taste, there are rivers of magic milk, magic honey, and of course, boring old magic water. For your main course, you will have meat, and...meat. And meat.

What forms of entertainment will you find? Only one amusement for the general population is advertised: Muhammad invites you to add to the agony of those who are suffering unspeakable torment in hell. Although everyone will join in the delight of pouring boiling water on the faces of the damned, surely the most grateful recipients of this reward are God's murderers and torturers, who would otherwise not enjoy heaven.

As for that other, more exclusive form of entertainment: you'll be happy to learn that the Qur'an never says you get 72 virgins. Happy, because there is never a hint of there being a limit to the number of virgins you can avail yourself of. You can even marry them, although we must wonder what the point of marriage would be, as your virgins will be heavily guarded, presumably against communal use. Given the absurdly pornographic overtones of Muhammad's hell, we might expect his virgin stories to be at least a little kinky. Unfortunately, generations of prudish Christian theologians are of no inspirational value on this front. For all Muhammad's poetic imagery, his accommodating virgins are basically pretty girls with big tits.

Maybe you like stormy weather, vegetables, beer. Maybe your sex fantasies have evolved since adolescence. And just maybe, you have the slightest concern for the lives and the suffering of your fellow human beings. Insipid, yet ghastly, Muhammad's heaven won't be your kind of place. Except, of course, you won't be on fire.

That's 1.2. Thanks for watching.