Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Islam, Virgins and Grapes

In an article titled Islam, virgins and grapes, Nicholas D. Kristof (photo) writes in the New York Times about a conference in Notre Dame about the interpretation of the Koran. Good reading, as it shows how even in Islam, new manners of understanding the Koran begin to be discussed.

In Afghanistan, 300 brave women marched to demand a measure of equal rights, defying a furious mob of about 1,000 people who spat, threw stones and called the women “whores.” The marchers asserted that a woman should not need her husband’s consent to go to school or work outside the home.

In Pakistan, the Taliban flogged a teenage girl in front of a crowd, as two men held her face down in the dirt. A video shows the girl, whose “crime” may have been to go out of her house alone, crying piteously that she will never break the rules again.

Muslim fundamentalists damage Islam far more than any number of Danish cartoonists ever could, for it’s inevitably the extremists who capture the world’s attention. But there is the beginning of an intellectual reform movement in the Islamic world, and one window into this awakening was an international conference this week at the University of Notre Dame on the latest scholarship about the Koran. Read the whole article HERE

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