Many people have come here, and to other polygamy sites, to argue that islam and polygyny is not about equality and human rights, it’s about what is just. Since men and women are not identical, it is argued, they should not have the same rights and duties.
If we only follow islam, people claim, the world would be perfect, since the quran tells us how to live our lives in every single detail. If we follow the laws of the quran, perfect harmony and a perfect world would be the result. If women stop fighting for equality and basic human rights based on equality, and in stead bend to obey our husbands in everything, submit to our husbands, their superiority and islamic rights over us, it would contribute to this perfect order.
But, human rights apart, is a perfect world what we want?
I have just come back from Berlin.
This beautiful city with its marvellous past of erudition, philosophy, art and religion is deeply marked by its twentieth century history of war, hate, division and murder.
The crimes committed by nazism have given birth to commemorative statues and monuments all over Berlin. Monuments that stand there to remind us what happens when one group of people claim to have rights over another, when one group of people claim that natural law has made some people superior to another group of people. But also what happens when we strive to create the perfect world. The world where only people who conform to the right idea are respected. The world where all people must be of the same faith, the same blood. What happens when you claim that differences between people and peoples are proof that these people should have different rights and duties. When natural differences are enhanced by separation and apartheid. When differences of nature are turned into laws that divide society, forcing a group of people to dress in a certain way, go to separate schools, separate doctors – stay separate.
Today, we often wonder how nazism could ever win votes, how anybody could ever be tempted to agree with this ideology of evil. But it’s simple, you see. Man has always looked for advantages, for excuses for selfishness. Especially in dire circumstances where claims to god given, or natural, superiority could enhance the chance of survival. And nazism was presented in a very appealing package. It was never presented to the greater public as an ideology of murder. It was presented as an ideology of justice, of a perfect society, a perfect world.
Later on, communism was sold to people the same way. This ideology too offered justice, a perfect world, if everybody would just follow the laws and think alike and bend to the fact that all people are equal but some are more equal than others. As always.
The Iron Cross was succeeded by the Iron Curtain.
Discrimination, violation of human rights, abuse and murder prevailed, all because people were looking to build the perfect world. All because people claimed that perfection could be accomplished while some people had rights over other people. Divine rights or natural rights.
When man has tried to make reality of Utopia, of a Perfect World, be it based on natural law or divine law, is when man has created Hell on earth.
Give me a world of imperfection, where society protects the equal rights of all, where we stand as equals before the law and each other, no matter what are our differences and flaws – and I will show you the best of worlds.
And this can never be achieved while people claim that nature or any kind of god has given one group of people rights that are denied to another group. Giving voice to the claim that groups must be kept separate, divided, with different rights, different duties, different clothes, different schools is giving voice to the same ideas that murdered tens of millions of people during the last century. Saying that women and men, blacks and whites, jews and christians or any peoples should have different rights, different duties because it is just and leads to harmony is continuing the work of Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin.
In stead of looking for perfection, we should strive hard to love and respect imperfection, the wonderful uniqueness of man.