June 18, 2016
Religion, Sexuality, and Homosexuality
Many well-meaning people believe that the murderous aspects of today?s Muslim true-believers is a perversion of a good religion. To say that there are many Muslims who live peaceful lives is true. But a sizable minority of violent Muslims (Islamists) have Islamic texts to back them up. Islam is a religion, like all other religions, and the behavior of its adherents depends upon how literally they choose to practice their faith. I criticize all "true believers" for their choice of literal obedience to their religions; it is wrong to say that their actions have no relationship to their faith.
There is no touchier issue for traditional religions than modern secular practices regarding sexuality. All traditional religions, if practiced literally, denigrate and suppress women; are categorically opposed to women having control over their sexuality and fertility; and all are hostile to homosexuality. Literalists quote scripture to support this.
Fortunately in the western world, religion has become voluntary. Christianity and Judaism have long since had reformations that put them not only in accord with modern values of sexual equality, but also accept what science tells us: that sexuality is a spectrum of genetic wiring, not two separate species of male and female.
Islam, traditional Hinduism, African societies (Christian and Muslim), and authoritarian dictatorships (Russia), are rigorous to the point of murder when women or homosexuals step out of line. They believe that control over their subjects? sexuality is essential to their nation?s survival. Now that we know that sexual orientation is largely biological, pity people so wired who live in traditional worlds.
Islam, which has not yet had a reformation (although this is beginning in the US) has one other wrinkle regarding homosexuality that is little known. Islam has inherited from Ancient Greece a custom never discussed, yet practiced: that the penetrator is not homosexual, but the one playing the role of the woman is. We note today that ISIS rapes men as well as women, which is designed to totally destroy the victim and his community. This practice is prevalent even today in Afghanistan, where Pashtoon men have stables of boys at their disposal, young entertainers who dress as girls and dance and perform in plays and are used as sex objects. These men do not consider themselves homosexuals.
Islam and Muslim society so segregate girls and boys that it distorts what we see as normal sexuality. Boys at their most testosterone-prone, adolescents, must resort to each other or to girl servants who offer anal sex (to protect their virginity). And harems of women have been notorious, even before Islam, for resorting to each other for sex. One crazy Turkish sultan had his entire harem drowned when he discovered this.
A little reading between the lines can illuminate that sick puppy who murdered so many people in Orlando. Being born in the US did not protect him from Afghan domestic culture. His hatred of homosexuals may not be just adherence to his religion, which certainly advocates killing homosexuals. It seems that he hung out at the gay nightclub that he later savaged. What was this about? Could it be that he had problems with his own sexuality? Had he been the victim as a child of an adult in his family or community? His first wife also identified another element: anger that expressed itself in beating her.
No, he was not perverting Islam; he was practicing it literally. From Mohammad himself "When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes." "Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to." Lesbians are included: "Sihaq (Lesbian sex) is zina (illegitimate sexual intercourse)." Zina is grounds for execution. The Taliban conducted 10 public executions of homosexuals in Afghanistan in 1979.
In Pakistan, 45 transgender men were murdered in the past two years. One was mocked and left to bleed out in a hospital after an attack. Black Africa, Christian or Muslim, has the most state-ordered violence against homosexuals, prison or death. It is the law in Kenya.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.ne