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Sunday, 4 May 2008

And today's Muslim objection is . . .

Angry Muslims – yes, lazy-journalism time again. They all begin like that. Standard intro taken from The Journo's Bumper Book of Clichés: angry muslims, crucial decision, vital game, residents up in arms. Or is it just the fact that Muslims are always angry? Or does it just seem that way?

Anyway, these particular "angry Muslims" are angry over a course in Islamic studies at the University of Western Sydney. They say it's too sexually explicit and promotes – horror of horrors – lesbianism. Oh, and it says the Koran is misogynistic.

"Students, community members and the Australian National Imams Council have complained about the content of the course, Women in Arabic and Islamic Literature, being taught at the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies," says this story in the Australian. They say it gives a negative view of women in Islam.

Doesn't Islam provide its own negative view of women, by draping them in bin liners and deeming them only a fraction as reliable as men witnesses, and by stoning them in some countries for having been raped or by denying them education?

The story goes on, "The imams council has circulated a petition recording its 'deep concern with regards to the course structure and content', saying it involved 'repeated and unjustified attacks upon Islam'."

Another group, Muslims for Peace, says that, now the course's "wicked nature should be crystal clear", Muslims should "fear Almighty Allah" and "break all connections" with it. It has demanded that the course's lecturer, Samar Habib, be dismissed and the course be abolished

The National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies was set up last year with federal government funds and operates out of three universities: the University of Melbourne, Griffith University in Queensland and the University of Western Sydney.

The course includes excerpts from The Perfumed Garden by Sheik Nafzawi, a book on Arabian erotica written in the sixteenth century and translated into English in 1886, which has been likened to the Indian Kama Sutra.

"Dr Habib, who has written her PhD thesis on female homosexuality in the Middle East and has written an introduction in an erotic lesbian novel published overseas entitled I Am You, has been accused of promoting lesbianism," the Australian's story continues. "Homosexuality is forbidden in the Koran for both sexes."

Anything that hints that Islam might be a tad unkind to women and is a wee bit out of touch for not quite liking poofs and lezzies is an insult to Islam. Ah, yes, it's all making sense now.

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