Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Choudhary and stoning

Ashraf Choudhary thinks its OK to stone gays and adulterers - but only overseas, not here. It's a lovely example of the places people are driven to when they hold mututally incompatible beliefs - in this case, that the Koran is correct and cannot be questioned even when it dictates barbarity, and an understanding (as reflected in his voting record and explanation for his vote on the Civil Union Act) that human rights are indivisible and that the rights of any depend on the rights of all. It's also a thoroughly retrograde view, and one Choudhary should be ashamed of. Right and wrong do not change depending on which country you are in, and human rights do not stop at the New Zealand border.


My take on the Choudhary situation is here.


Posted by Brian Boyko : 7/05/2005 03:23:00 PM


Well, I have to wonder whether AC supported the CUB out of conviction or some very heavy lobbying behind closed doors.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 7/05/2005 03:34:00 PM

The guy operates with his balls in a vise. Just because he's Muslim, he's required to represent Muslim interests even though he's a Labour MP and those two things clearly conflict. The only Christian MPs who get grilled on issues like this are ones who stand for Christian parties. He wasn't asked if he thought stoning was right, he was asking if he thought the Koran was wrong.

He stuck his neck out on the CUB, because he believed in it. He DID get slagged off by the Muslim community over it. I wrote and thanked him, because I felt that to balance that, he should know that his vote was appreciated. Sometimes, y'know, it's okay to praise people when they do something right.

Posted by Ghet : 7/05/2005 04:06:00 PM

Well, I look forward to a campaign to stop any future cricket tours of Pakistan because of their treatment of gay people (let alone honour rapes and killings of women!)

Posted by Uroskin : 7/05/2005 04:13:00 PM

Craig: And I have to wonder whether he really means what he said, or whether its a fudge to avoid offending his constituency by questioning the Koran - because from the context of the question, it seems that he had just said something which seemed to contradict it (unfortunately I didn't see the program; this is just going from what is quoted in the Herald). But either way, he owes someone an explanation for his views, and if sincerely (but inconsistently) held, then I don't think he really belongs in the Labour party. But then, on that count neither does Taito Phillip Field...

Brian: actually, I think both left and right (well, DPF) have been pretty consistent in slagging off Pope Tamaki and his ilk as well. But it's that ilk which are the problem anyway - they will use this to say "see? Muslims are evil", while demanding that we treat gays and adulterers in exactly the same way here in New Zealand...

And on the gripping hand, I think the voting record speaks for itself. Especially when compared to those of Bill Gudgeon, Paul Adams, or even Don Brash.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/05/2005 04:31:00 PM

Ghet: Christians (even Fundamentalists) also have some fairly good ways of dodging the bits of Leviticus and Deuteronomy they don't like, which makes those who choose not to all the more shocking. I don't know enough about Islam to know whether Choudhary could have done the same.

Uroskin: I'll be pushing the torture angle myself. But its not scheduled till 2008 in any case...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/05/2005 04:42:00 PM

"Christians (even Fundamentalists) also have some fairly good ways of dodging the bits of Leviticus and Deuteronomy they don't like..."

In Acts in the New Testament the first ever council was about which bits of Jewish law got to apply to the gentile populations. It was always regarded as a question, but it has been pretty settled for about, 2000 years, give or take for the old denominations - Catholic and Orthodox.

Posted by muerk : 7/05/2005 05:52:00 PM


As I can't read Ashraf's mind, you may very well be right - and I'd be very pleased if you were. But, using your analogy, if Choudhary "operates with his balls in a vise" he really shouldn't put them there in the first place. He was perfectly capable of refusing to answer that question, or drawing a clear distinction between an interpretation of the Koran (one that is highly contentious, by the way) and his beliefs.

But if he actually thinks it's acceptable to murder homosexuals, that should be unacceptable to every political party. If Idiot's take is correct - that Choudhary was merely pandering to a vocal fundamentalist element in the Muslim community that's even worse in my view.

Who else will he trash and demean when it's politically expedient to do so? And could it be possible that mainstream Muslims are actually more tolerant, or more robust, that he gives them credit for?

As a Catholic Tory, I wouldn't find similar sentiments acceptable in any way, shape or form from (say) Bill English. And I certainly wouldn't accept that the fundamental right to life of gays and lesbians stops at this country's borders.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 7/05/2005 08:52:00 PM

I think his statement pretty much settles it in any case. Sure, it's still inconsistent, but how he resolves that personal tension is really up to him.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/06/2005 12:12:00 AM

Right, and if he'd refused to answer, your response would have been, hey, that's alright then? I doubt it.

My point was that you wouldn't see this stuff from say Bill English, because in the normal course of events he wouldn't be asked, and neither would any other MP who happened to be Christian, unless Christianity was their election platform ie they were standing for Destiny. Choudhary's on the Labour list, he's not standing as a Muslim candidate. If he was then yes, the questions would be justified.

I'm bi and an adulteress, they'd have to stone me twice. But I don't believe AC supports stoning, and neither does anyone else.

Posted by Ghet : 7/06/2005 10:52:00 AM