Amor Interview

The following is based on an interview by author, lawyer and Islamic feminist Samia Amor given to Louis Cornellier of Le Devoir.

In an interview with Cornellier about her recently published book L'Islam (Novalis, Montréal, 2008) Amor rationalizes verses of the Koran that 1) give men absolute power over women; 2) condone rape if it's done in a marital setting; 3) allows men to beat their wives on a whim as simply imposing "additional responsibilities" on husbands to care for their wives. No, she is not kidding!

During the interview she makes a claim that in the West is seldom challenged and is simply not true: that Islamic scriptures are meant to be openly discussed and their meaning agreed upon, and that this alleged on-going dialogue among the believers is a type of democracy that is equivalent, if not superior, to the Western model.

That the Koran is meant to be deliberated upon is not just wishful thinking, it verges on the delusional, a very dangerous delusion if the West buys into this canard.

As Christian Makarian author of Le Choc Jesus-Mahomet (The Jesus-Muhammad Collision, my translation) wrote "the Koran is meant to be memorized, not reflected upon".

What is there to be reflected upon in the following verse which is typical of Allah's clear and precise instructions?

5:38 As for the thieves, whether male or female, cut off their hands in punishment for what they did, as an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty and Wise.

How do Allah's feminists reconcile their opinion of their religion as being kind, considerate and compassionate with cruel pitiless verses like the above which permeate the Koran (on the subject of cutting off hands Amor does express a preference for a thief not having his hands amputated if the theft was a matter of survival, or if prisons are available).

As to freedom of speech, Amor, the Islamic feminist makes the following remarks (again my translation) which her interviewer called "debatable" (no kidding!):

In my opinion everyone should be free to think and say whatever he wants [however] too much freedom of speech can create as much damage as a fatwa against freedom of speech.

What about verses such as the following which explicitly recognizes that women are a man's property to do with as his god instructs him.

2:221 ... do not give your women (believing women) in marriage to polytheists until they believe...

Amor admits during the interview that it is perhaps unfair that believing men are allowed to marry unbelievers but believing women are restricted to marrying believers.

Amor paints a reassuring picture of Islam, and seeks comfort in wishful interpretations of Allah's and His Messenger's demeaning comments about her sex.

Wishful thinking will not make things better for women; it can only make things worse, much worse. But for men it can only get better with women like Amor and like-minded feminists fighting for men's God-given right to impose their will, through violence if necessary, on them and their less willing sisters.

Bernard Payeur