"Camels creation is its own miracle. The camel is not always seen as a beautiful animal. But it is absolutely perfect for what it needs to do and where it needs to survive. This is a gift from God. Without camels, no one could travel in the deserts, so huge sections of the world would be not just difficult to live on, but completely unlivable," according to submission.org. Apart from its anthropocentric slant -- camels = God's gift to man -- we couldn't agree more. Our version would be expressed in Darwinian terms, but the bottom line would be very much the same: Camels survived the great winnowing process of evolution because they are good at what they do. (Michael Graber photo)
"Fabricated hadiths contradict the Quran," according to submission.org, "Your Best Source for Islam (Submission) on the Internet," where Fido is man's best friend:
NO WHERE does God call the dogs dirty animals or give any indication that they should be avoided or treated the way many Muslims think they should.
Abu Hurayra, whose name is translated as father of little cat,* hated dogs and women, and from his mouth came many hadiths that insulted women and cursed the dogs and make them undesirable animals that need to be avoided and in other hadiths killed.
[By contrast, according to Islam Online -- another your-questions-about-Islam-answered site -- "In two separate hadiths narrated by Abu Hurayrah (the cat-loving Companion), the Prophet told his Companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst." We report, you decide.]
Then there's "conservative" Iranian cleric Hojatolislam Hassani [via Little Green Footballs], who "denounced the 'moral depravity' of owning a dog, and called for the arrest of all dogs and their owners" back in the fall of 2002:
Dogs are considered unclean in Islamic law and the spread of dog ownership in Westernised secular circles in Iran is frowned upon by the religious establishment.
The practice is seen by conservatives as a corrupting influence of decadent Western culture.
But despite the clampdowns, dog ownership has been on the rise, especially among rich Iranians in the north of Tehran.
Regarding women's wear, submission.org is pro choice:
Muslim women have to wear the veil: This is a very common misconception, as Quran does not command the veil (Hijab). Wearing the veil is a tradition and is only supported by the man-made books of Hadiths and Sunna. These books do not represent the words of God in the Quran and on many occasions contradict them. Please see: Women Dress code in Islam.
Again, "experts" disagree. As we blogged awhile back in our post "Feminists and Islamicists, sisters under the skin":
The head-covering Islamist hijab -- far from being an honored tradition dating back to the Koran -- was actually a modern invention "inspired by the headgear of Lebanese Catholic nuns, itself inspired by that of Christian women in classical Western paintings," according to Amir Tahiri, who explained that "In 1981, Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic, announced that 'scientific research had shown that women's hair emitted rays that drove men insane' . . . To protect the public, the new Islamist regime passed a law in 1982 making the hijab mandatory for females aged above six, regardless of religious faith."
*You don't suppose this whole thing about dogs' being "unclean" was an insidious feline plot to run Rover out of the house? According to Islam Online, "The Prophet Muhammad taught mercy to all of God’s creation. There are many reports of his love for cats resulting in their historical acceptance among Muslims."