Societies governed by man-made laws run the risk of getting into awkward situations. Take the example of Canada where the Supreme Court ruled last month that the provincial government must change within six months the Family Law Act of Ontario relating to spousal benefits. The court ruled that ‘same-sex couples’ - yes, couples consisting of two members of the same sex - must be entitled to the same family benefits as normal married couples. The Supreme Court gave its ruling in what has come to be called the M-and-H case. A lesbian woman living with another woman brought the case against her former female lover in court, claiming that she was entitled to the same benefits after her separation as are husband and wife couples. The Supreme Court agreed.
After the ruling, premier Mike Harris of Ontario, then running for re-election (his party won the majority in the June 3 provincial elections) promised to introduce an amendment in the legislature if he were re-elected. The ruling has sparked debate in Canada about the definition of marriage.
In the House of Commons (federal parliament), the Reform Party (a conservative party of Canada) introduced a bill on June 8 forcing the federal government to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Eric Lowther, the Reform Party family issues critic, said: "Let’s decide where we stand on marriage. Is it the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, or not?"
It may appear strange that such issues should even be debated but the fact is that in much of the western world, the traditional definition of family has long been abandoned. It no longer means husband and wife with or without children. There are what are referred to as single-parent families, same-sex families and so on. Its consequences have been horrendous, especially for children.
Debate about marriage and same-sex couples has been forced by the prevalent lifestyle. That this should become an issue, given that the society has long abandoned all inhibitions about sexuality is perplexing. After all, why should people have to resort to same-sex relationships when there is no restriction on premarital sex between men and women, or living out of wedlock in a society that has adopted a culture of nakedness? In such an environment, one would think there would be no need to resort to other, perverse sexual practices. Yet they have. Why?
While God created natural attraction between men and women in order to continue the process of procreation, the culture of nakedness has had a devastating effect on people’s thinking. When sexual activity is so prevalent in society without rules and regulations, human beings fall even lower than beasts. In fact, even beasts do not indulge in such practices since their behaviour is regulated by natural biological needs. Only humans have the privilege to fulfil their biological needs as well as find comfort and enjoyment with their spousal partners.
But when humans violate the divinely ordained principles of sex between men and women in a married relationship, then the beast within humans comes to the fore. Take the example of Hollywood, where nakedness is the dominant culture: homosexuality is more widespread among actors and actresses than the rest of society. The number of famous actors who have died of AIDS because of their homosexuality is disproportionately high. One would think that in an environment where sexual liaison between men and women is so widespread, there would be no need for homosexual behaviour.
The reason is simple. The Hollywood culture and society, which sets the pace for the rest of western society, is driven by the urge for more and more exotic forms of sexual experience. The man-to-woman relationship, being normal and routinely available, does not fulfil their needs anymore, hence the promotion of man-to-man and woman-to-woman relations, with all their attendant negative consequences.
Children brought up in a family where one parent is missing have a greater tendency to crime. In the US, for instance, nearly 73 percent of all prison inmates are from broken homes, that is from families without the authority of a father. This is not coincidental. A child needs both parents for his/her natural growth. While adults chase the mirage of exotic pleasure, children suffer the consequences.
There is another, hitherto little-considered aspect of family living. In societies where men and women are properly covered, family relations are more stable. There is a simple reason for this. What is hidden leads to increased natural attraction. Thus, when men and women are prohibited from indulging in sexual encounters with all and sundry, their natural urges, regulated in a proper environment, become stronger, leading to a more satisfying family life.
The west is heading in a direction where most children will soon have no idea of who their parents are, and thus lose respect for adults. The loneliness of ‘senior citizens’ in the western society testifies to this problem. Similarly, the ‘rebelliousness’ of young people is also partly the result of this phenomenon. The government is no substitute for parenthood.
Muslims living in the west must pay attention to the storm brewing around them and take measures to protect themselves its devastation. And Muslims living in more ‘traditional’ societies, regarded as ‘backward’ and ‘repressive’ in the west because they insist on maintaining normal human values, must take every possible safeguard to prevent the spread of western amorality into our lives and, in particular, those of our children.
Muslimedia: August 16-31, 1999