Well…Not As Much Anyway
While this is great news, it really isn’t…news.
A study was recently released that shows Muslims generally do not commit adultery as often as their Christian and Jewish counterparts. This isn’t really news to me because I’ve always figured this to be true and chances are you did as well.
But here’s where things get interesting. Not only do Muslims screw around less, but non-Muslims who live in Muslim majority nations also screw around less!
Now that’s something I definitely did not know.
HIV/AIDS In The Muslim World
There’s a lot of great information in this study. But let’s look at what actually prompted the researchers to do this study in the first place.
One of the researchers noticed that there was a much lower incidence of HIV/AIDS infections in Muslim majority countries.
The study was inspired by Adamczyk’s earlier cross-national work, where she noticed that the infections for HIV/AIDS were much higher in Christian majority than Muslim majority nations. At that time there was some preliminary research that also found that Muslim adherents had lower infection rates than Christian adherents.
While the study was initially about trying to discover why the big difference in HIV/AIDS cases, it eventually became a look into the sexual behaviors of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Jews.
And just to be fair, the report does suggest that Hindus are also less likely to screw around. But since there are so few Hindus outside of India, there may not be enough information to determine why that’s the case. Also, there are very few Hindu-majority nations (India, Nepal, and Mauritius).
But we’re not talking about Hindus today. We’re talking about Muslims!
You can go and read the report yourself if you’d like. Or you can let me break it down for you.
It Has Nothing To Do With Women’s Rights
I can already tell what the haters are gonna do. They’re going to start blathering on about Islam demeans women and Muslim men treat women so badly, blah, blah, blah.
It’s very easy for us to get sidetracked in that silly debate, so I’m going to shut that door right now. Besides the fact that “women’s rights” has nothing to do with infidelity (unless the Islam-Haters are stating that women’s liberation leads to infidelity and the breakdown of the family structure), this report clearly states that was not a factor.
We also looked to see whether restrictions on women’s mobility explained why residents in Muslim-majority nations were less likely to have premarital sex. But, we did not find that legal restrictions mediated the relationship, suggesting that informal Islamic-inspired norms are more likely to have an influence on sexual behaviors than legal constraints.
Instead, this report shows that “Islamic-inspired norms” actually caused Muslims to be more loyal in their marriages.
Islamic-inspired norms = Islamic Culture
But Wait, It Gets Better
As good as all of that sounds, there’s even more to cheer about. According to this report, not only do Muslims screw around less, but so do non-Muslims living among Muslims.
That was astonishing. I had no idea that Muslims and Muslim culture could so strongly affect the behaviors of people of different faiths.
We found that a national Islamic religious context was associated with lower odds of premarital sex for all residents, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Obviously, having a Muslim majority country makes everyone act more civilized.
Of course, I know what the haters are gonna say.
They’re going to start yelling and screaming about all the crap a small fraction of Muslims do that seem to always make international news. Things like:
- The attempted murder of Malala Yusufzai.
- A whole bunch of highly publicized “honor killings.”
- Acid attacks on Afghan schoolgirls.
- And a whole bunch of other nasty things…
And these are definitely issues that we as Muslims need to deal with. However, there are two things we should keep in mind:
- For every disgusting attack against women that takes place in the Muslim world, there is an equally disgusting and shocking attack against innocents in the West.
- NONE of these attacks are prescribed in Islam. In fact, when these things happen (especially in the case of Malala Yusufzai) Muslims are often some of the first and vocal to speak out against them.
It would be too easy to go into the horrible things that take place right here in my home country, the U.S.A. It would also take too long, so I’m just going to leave it alone.
Suffice it to say, while Muslims do have some things to work out, we’ve also got a lot of good things going for us.
What Does This Mean?
This report reinforces certain ideas I’ve always had about Islam.
- Muslims should be leading by example. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We Need To Stop Practicing Islam And Start Living Islam.
- Muslims really need to stick closely to the commandments of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh). The rules and regulations of Islam are there for a reason.
- Muslims have no reason to be ashamed of anything in our religion. Everything in Islam is for our own good. We run into trouble when we try to do things differently.
As Muslims, we actually have the opportunity to influence the behavior and culture of those around us for the better. But we’re going to have a hard time doing that if we are not acting right ourselves.
What we do is so much more important than what we say.