Do not be taken by pity for them

Muhammad Syed tweeted this important item from Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s talk:

“If you don’t allow for compassion, that is the end of civilization” @Ayaan #AACon15 in ref to Quran 24:2

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Says it all, doesn’t it. “Do not be taken by pity for them” – WHY NOT? If you flinch at the idea of flogging people for having sex, you have the right intuition. If you stamp out that flinch and go ahead and flog them, you have the wrong intuition.

And yet one of the names of Allah is “the merciful.” On the basis of what?


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    And make sure it is done openly and publicly, to have the appropriate terrorizing effect on all who witness the barbarity.

  2. Ed says

    Ironically, commands like this give me mild optimism about human nature.

    Similar texts are in the Bible about not taking pity when killing or torturing people whose behavior would be seen as inoffensive or at worst minor transgressions unless one is strongly indoctrinated to feel otherwise.

    It’s as if the writers understood that empathy, rationality and a sense of fairness exist in most people; much to the annoyance of supporters of extreme authoritarianism.

  3. johnthedrunkard says

    But…Hirsi Ali said this, so it must be evil racist Islamophobia to even know the text is there.

    Ali calls for ‘reformation.’ How can such a thing happen? The worst texts of the Bible are still in place, and still ascribed absolute authority by millions of Christians and Jews. All it takes is a David Koresh, a Jim Jones, a Meir Kahane, a Pat Robertson etc. to point to the book and launch a new barbarism.

    Most people’s morals are already superior to those of their ‘holy books.’ A genuine reformation would require a permanent declaration of the improved moral position. E.g. ‘the bible says nothing against slavery, but we do because:….’

    How can Muslims counter the direct commands for conquest and enslavement encoded at the heart of their religion?

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