Sunday, December 18, 2005

They Protest Heff's Polyamory Ain't Islamic 

Gloria Steinem creates some collateral damage in dissing Hugh Hefner and now has to endure the blowback:

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem didn't make any friends in the American Muslim community yesterday with her attack on aging swinger Hugh Hefner in The New York Observer.

'I think Gloria Steinem should know better,' said Edina Lekovic of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, after Steinem claimed Hef's multi-girlfriend lifestyle is 'Moslem.'

'Her most glaring error is that having girlfriends outside of marriage is hardly encouraged by Islam, and secondly, polygamy is practiced by less than 2% of the global Muslim population.'

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed.
So can we assume that by claiming polygamy is practiced by less than 2% of the world's population of 1 billion Muslims, that she is implicitly acknowledging it to be practiced by more than 1%? If so, that pegs the harem's lower limit to at least 10 million or more. That's four times the entire population of Utah. Not a well crafted denial of Islamic polygamy if you ask me.

But even beyond that, no, Hef's treatment of women isn't Islamic.
At least I don't think he does those things. But if Ibrahim Hooper insists Hugh's behavior isn't Islamic, then that's good enough for me. Hef's ok.

** Fine print: Of course I know most Muslims don't beat or kill their wives and daughters for going outside without a scarf. But a frightening number of Islamic religious leaders condone variations on these themes, and it is woven into whole swathes of Islam's cultural fabric as well. Take a brief look around if you doubt it -- many Muslims deny it is Islamic; that's great, but I would encourage them to spend more time fighting it than denying it. I would spend my time condemning honor killings, wife beatings and the general widespread oppression of women, before I got around to dickering with Gloria Steinem about the precise percentage of Islamic polygamists.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: