Omar Qayum and the Charge of “Misogyny”

Omar Qayum is a volunteer at the North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF). Today he posted an article on the MDI blog taking issue with various events in Canada. I read through the article over lunch, and just about choked on my pasta when I ran across this section in response to Roman Catholic Michael Coren:

I challenge Michael to refute the following blatantly misogynistic passages in the New Testament as they are precisely why Catholic women are forbidden from becoming ordained priests:

►men are the heads of women, 1 Corinthians 11:2-10
►women are to be submissive to their husbands, Ephesians 5:21-24
►women are to remain silent in church, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
►women are not to have authority over men, 1 Timothy 11:15
►women are to be domestic, Titus 2:4-9

It is sad to see how we have degenerated into a society of extremes and ignorance.

I included that last line because of the great irony it represents. I won’t get into the Taliban blowing up schools for women, or how many women I see on the net who have had acid thrown in their faces, or the young woman run down by her dad in a car in a post office parking lot here in the Phoenix area a few years ago (an “honor killing”). That’s too easy. What I wanted to do was point out the absurdity of identifying any of these NT passages as “misogynistic.” Talk about redefining language! And what is more…I thought Islam maintained that there are definitely gender specific roles that are part of God’s ordained order? So how do any of these texts engender hatred of women? How is having order in the home indicative of hatred of women, or how is order in the church, or a recognition of the normal calling of God for women to nurture children and care for the family, indicative of hatred of women? And finally, how can a Muslim make this kind of argument?

Of course, the answer probably lies in failed sarcasm, at least, I hope so. I hope our writer was simply being sarcastic and, well, just didn’t do a good job making that clear. Unfortunately, given my experience with many Muslims and their general attitude toward the Christian Scriptures, it is truly hard to say.