Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Does Islam have dispensation from equality laws?

FOR the time being a very contentious issue appears to have gone off the radar in Northern Ireland. However, it will inevitably reappear on the agenda – especially when a planning application is made for a larger Islamic Centre in Belfast.

Such an application will be within the parameters of the Government's equality laws. I have never heard of planning committees asking Muslim applicants if their religion practices equality within their own rules.

May I ask your readers to examine the role of women in Islam, taking the following extracts from the Koran and the Hadith?

1. "Men have a status above women" (Koran: Sura 2/228)

2. "Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet, women and sons" (Koran: Sura 3/14)

3. "I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than women" (Hadith: Al Bukhari 2/541)

In the secular world, such utterances in the fields of industry, bureaucracy, government employment and education would engender a furious response.

Individuals would be dismissed from their employment on grounds of 'sexism' and the compensation payouts from employers would be phenomenal, but Islam has a dispensation from this.

Can this really be equality?

To be scriptural, the irrefutable definition of equality is "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God".

DAVID FLEMING

Downham Market, Norfolk

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