Sunday, April 24, 2016

Zakaria interviews prominent "lesbian" moderate Muslim; more on NC bathrooms

Today, Fareed Zakari presented Irshad Manji on his Global Public Square program on CNN, introducing here as “gay” as well as advocating free thinking in Islam. This was part of Zakaria's preparation for a Monday night special "Why they hate us" -- and CNN has a habit of delaying its special reports when anything "happens".

Manji related a story of being told in school, “you believe what we tell you to believe, or you leave”.
She then discovered the “public library” (yes, “it’s free”), where she learned that in the past Islam had a tradition of open inquiry of faith.

Manji also discussed the "72 virgins" idea, saying that the word for "virgin" might really have mean't "raisin" and that the number 72 doesn't really appear in the Koran.

Within the Christian world, the Baptist denomination has a similar paradox, with a tradition of individualized exploration of faith despite an authoritarian ministerial structure within the Southern Baptist Convention, the “buckle of the Bible belt” and the source of anti-gay rhetoric in the past.

I do have a little more reaction to the North Carolina bathroom bill mess.  I don’t think one becomes a “bigot” by maintaining that a state can reasonably require, through normal legislation, that every person use the bathroom consistent with what is on his or her birth certificate, if the person is allowed to change gender officially once the actual medical process has started.  That’s the case in N.C.   It sounds like a sensible idea for public safety, even if any “threat” is obviously remote. The problem is that the NC law, which the governor says he is trying to reverse partially, had been set up so that all local laws about discrimination in any area were invalidated automatically, as a partially “unintended consequence”.

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