Islamic Law, Freedom, and Transgender Rights

We have been told over and over again that organized religion is restrictive and full of meaningless rules and regulations. And as far as organized religions go, Islam is the most stringent and burdensome of all.

There is much that can be said against this. First: take a step back and examine what it means for a law to be stringent or burdensome. I won’t spell it out for you here, but if you think you have a line of argument, leave a comment with explanation.

Now, putting that aside, there is still much that can be said. Let’s look at laws comparatively. New York City passed extensive legislation this year on Gender Identity and Expression and legal enforcement guidelines thereof. I encourage you to read through this [link in the comments] and be amazed at how exacting, how stringent, how overbearing these regulations are. Here are some examples of violations

– Intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses.

– Covered entities may avoid violations of the NYCHRL by creating a policy of asking everyone what their preferred gender pronoun is so that no individual is singled out for such questions and by updating their systems to allow all individuals to self-identify their names and genders. They should not limit the options for identification to male and female only.

– Prohibiting an individual from using a particular program or facility because they do not conform to sex stereotypes. For example, a women’s shelter may not turn away a woman because she looks too masculine nor may a men’s shelter deny service to a man because he does not look masculine enough.

– Barring someone from a program or facility out of concern that a transgender or gender non-conforming person will make others uncomfortable.

– Maintaining grooming and appearance standards that apply differently to individuals who identify as men or women or which have gender-based distinctions. For example, requiring different uniforms for men and women, or requiring that female bartenders wear makeup.

And the list goes on.

I won’t get into how problematic and self-defeating this legislation is regarding the dissolution of traditional gender. I’ll leave that for another post.

What I want to point out is simply how extensive these regulations are. And ultimately, all this is only concerned with employers and their businesses. It doesn’t cover all the other areas of life that concern gender distinction. These laws severely constrict people’s behavior AND thinking and subjects them to overbearing standards. If people simply disagree philosophically, metaphysically, or religiously that gender distinctions should be abolished, too bad. Your views don’t matter. Shut up and obey the law.

And again, my point was not to focus on transgenderism. This same reasoning applies to things like gay marriage and any other area of secular law.