Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lucia Muslims unhappy with Catholics in Oz

It seems it's just not fair!
Nelson [Education Minister] is also quiet about Cardinal Pell's insistence that Catholic schools commit to a vow of fidelity by adhering to church teaching on homosexuality, birth control and women's ordination. So failure to adhere to Australian values, like equality for women and homosexuals, are suddenly not worth Nelson's successor, Julie Bishop, insisting on threat of financial excommunication.
Still, I have no objection to Catholics, Muslims or the Brethren running schools for their own flock. I do object to the double standards alleged conservatives apply to different religious groups.

It is interesting to see a national broadsheet publishing editorials defending Pell's recent comments threatening adverse religious communal consequences for NSW Catholic MPs voting in favour of embryonic stem cell research. Pell is defended for doing his job to explain and uphold Catholic principles, to remind Australian Catholics of the rules that apply to their lives, if lived as Catholics.

Sheik Al-Din Hilali and his defenders used virtually the same excuses to justify his recent attempts to develop new advertising slogans for the cat food industry. He said he was only speaking to Muslims, using a turn of phrase to advise them of the importance of modest clothing. Similarly, his comments about Australia's convict heritage were made on Egyptian TV for a Middle Eastern Arabic-speaking audience. Further, Hilali wasn't telling Muslims how to vote on a certain issue. Nor was he threatening Muslims who disagreed with him with possible religious communal consequences.

Sheik Hilali no doubt finds his argument compelling. He accused politicians and media of applying double standards. Now, in the response of allegedly conservative political leaders and media outlets to Pell's outburst, Hilali has reason to feel vindicated.
I think the above writer is referring to the Hilali's unfortunate comment comparing under-dressed women to uncovered meat, saying something to the effect of, who could blame a man for attacking a woman who to him looked like uncovered meat. If the man, or men in the rape case below, were cats, no one would blame them. Calling Hilali's comments, "new advertising slogans for the cat food industry" is an attempt to make his comments less outrageous than they were.
THE nation's most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned "meat" that attracts voracious animals.

In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who "sway suggestively" and wore make-up and immodest dress ... "and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years".

"But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he asked.

The leader of the 2000 rapes in Sydney's southwest, Bilal Skaf, a Muslim, was initially sentenced to 55 years' jail, but later had the sentence reduced on appeal.

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men.

"It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa)."
So, it's just not fair. Archbishop Cardinal Pell gets a free pass to demand Catholic educators swear an oath to the Catholic faith, but when a Muslim cleric compares under-dressed women to uncovered meat, the media go ballistic!

Um, yeah.

A couple of things. First a vow of fidelity to Catholic Church teachings does not equate to a lack of equality for women and homosexuals. Saying that women cannot be priests does not in any way mean that women are not equal to men - it's just saying that women cannot be priests, just like men cannot give birth to babies. Both are physical impossibilities. But saying men cannot give birth to babies does not imply in any way whatsoever that men are not equal to women.

As with homosexuals. Saying that that homosexual acts are sinful does not imply that the person is unequal. Just like the murderer or adulterer or rapist or thief or person living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage can ask for and receive absolution, so can the homosexual. Australian society considers sexual relationships outside of marriage to be fine and dandy, just like homosexuality, yet their society still allows for Catholics to consider both to be sinful.

However, blaming women for vicious rapes just because the woman is under-dressed; in other words not swathed in such a way as to depersonalise her, is guaranteed to receive negative media and public attention. Australian society is used to the expectation that men exercise self-control with regards to women - no matter how they are dressed.

If Australia was a Muslim country, where everyone knew that men cannot control themselves when they see a flash of feminine skin, then that would be another matter. But what the writer is really complaining about is the inherent Australian culture, which sees nothing wrong with what Catholics are currently doing, and is also deeply disturbed by the Muslim position that says to women that they are "weapons used by Satan".

Though, the media reaction to Archbishop Cardinal Pell was hardly a free-pass.

Related Links:
When the cardinal rule doesn't apply to all by Irfan Yusuf
Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks

7 comment(s):

Greg Bourke said...

Ha, that cartoon unintentionaly displays its ignorance. Since when did Catholic education ever mention what the Pope says! Especially here in NZ :)

Anonymous said...

"Saying that women cannot be priests does not in any way mean that women are not equal to men - it's just saying that women cannot be priests, just like men cannot give birth to babies. Both are physical impossibilities."

How? There is no physical reason a woman cannot be a priest. Can you tell me one?

Anonymous said...

Anon
Christ was a MAN, not a woman. That was the gender of His person: a priest must act in persona Christi to the Bride of Christ, ie. the Church. A woman priest would entail same sex marriage is OK, and its not.

The physical aspect of gender is not a social construct: it is a biological one, despite what crackpot sociological theorists would have us believe. It is ingrained in our DNA.

Thus, there is one physical reason.

Anonymous said...

Hi mrtips.

Your first point is a social/philisophical construct. I agree totally with your second point, however it underminds your first point.

You have failed to give a physical reason. Men cannot have babies because they don't have a uterious.

Anonymous said...

Anon

Try telling a nude man that his willy is a social construct.

You are seriously deluded if you think the second point undermines the first: it actually anticipated your reply and all you could do was go back to the first one and try and make it seem like it was a social construct.

Now THATS uterious.

Anonymous said...

MrTips.

I shall address this argument in fuller manner then.

Lucyna stated “Saying that women cannot be priests does not in any way mean that women are not equal to men - it's just saying that women cannot be priests, just like men cannot give birth to babies. Both are physical impossibilities”.

I asked, “How? There is no physical reason a woman cannot be a priest. Can you tell me one?”

To which you responded “Christ was a MAN, not a woman. That was the gender of His person: a priest must act in persona Christi to the Bride of Christ, ie. the Church. A woman priest would entail same sex marriage is OK, and its not.

The physical aspect of gender is not a social construct: it is a biological one, despite what crackpot sociological theorists would have us believe. It is ingrained in our DNA.”

My response to this was probably a bit hurried, and unedited, for which apologise.

I agree the physical aspect of gender is not a social construct. There are clear physiological differences between men and women. A man will be stronger, and faster than a woman. A woman will have better endurance and pain tolerance than a man. A man does not have a uterus and cannot give birth to a baby. This is a physical impossibility, although I would add the proviso that technology could in some future date progress to the level that after a sex change, a man might be able to give birth, but then comes the philosophical debate as to whether that being is truly a man or woman.

Christ was a man. This too is true.

That a priest must “act in persona for Christ” and therefore must be a man, is a philosophical argument, and is not a physical reason a woman cannot be a priest. This is a social construct born from a philosophical position based in dogma, and has no relationship to the biological nature of a priest.

It may be impossible for a woman to be a Catholic priest, but this is not a physically impossibility. It is a philosophical impossibility.

Lucyna said...

Anon,

It really depends on the way you look at how the Catholic Church operates. Many people seem to think the Pope can wake up one day and change the rules. He cannot. He is bound by the will of God. The will of God is not philosophical, it is absolute. The last Pope has decreed, infallibly, that women cannot become priests. Therefore, the only way that it is more likely that a woman could become a Catholic Priest would be if she became a man. Since this is a physical impossibility, it is physically impossible for a woman to be a priest.

I deliberately chose the comparison between men not being able to have babies, just as women cannot be priests to stress the level of impossibility we are talking about here.

I do find it interesting that you find this one point to jump on in a a post of mine about a Muslim in Australia complaining that it's not fair that a cleric compares women to uncovered meat and the media's all over him and then the Catholic Archbishop calls for oaths by Catholic educators on points of faith and the media apparently give him a free ride.

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