Can Islam Help Us Prevent More Sexual Abuse Scandals?
Or has The Independent completely departed from reality?
The UK’s Independent, hitherto generally regarded as not run by insane people, on Sunday ran a piece entitled: “How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse scandals.” Now on the question of the Independent’s sanity, the jury is decidedly out.
The article is written by Qasim Rashid, which explains a great deal. Rashid is a professional liar, a one-man cottage industry of deception and hypocrisy. He has whitewashed Muhammad’s support for torture and the reality of jihad violence and Sharia oppression; dissembled about the Qur’an’s sanction of deception of unbelievers; lied about the presence of violent passages in the Qur’an; lied about the Qur’an’s sanction of beating disobedient women; lied about the nature of Sharia; called for limitations on the freedom of speech and expression to outlaw behavior and speech some Muslims may find offensive; and lied about Muhammad’s stance toward the persecution of Christians. He has even blamed Christianity for Islam’s death penalty for blasphemy. When challenged about the “facts” he has presented, he (like virtually all other Islamic supremacists) responds with furious ad hominem contempt, but never answers the refutations of his articles on substantive grounds — because, of course, he cannot do so.
In this one, however, Rashid has outdone himself, claiming that “the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse scandals.” This is true in one sense: since Islam doesn’t actually recognize many varieties of sexual abuse as wrongdoing, the scandals would go away. But the abuse wouldn’t.
Rashid contradicts himself right off the bat, saying that “the cancer of sexual abuse against women that we see in Christian majority America is just as prevalent in Muslim majority Pakistan.” Yet later in the article, he claims below that “rather than preach empty dogmatic theories, Islam instead prescribes a proven secular model.” Proven where? In which Islamic country has sexual abuse been eradicated or even lessened by people following Islamic teachings? If not in Islam-besotted Pakistan, then where?
Undaunted by any obligation to provide a rational, evidence-based argument, Rashid continues: “This is where Islamic teachings and Prophet Muhammad’s example provide a solution that no state truly can. And while there are people who don’t believe that sexual abuse is even a problem, some on the left will disagree that accountability to a higher power is a solution….Quran 4:2 first establishes men and women as equal beings. Chapter 4:20 then forbids men from forcing a woman to act against her will, thereby ensuring women maintain autonomy and self-determination.”
Rashid’s Qur’an is one verse off from the standard edition. It’s 4:1 that says “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women,” and it’s 4:19 that says, “O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.” That is not exactly the same thing as forbidding men from forcing women to act against their will; it refers only to forcing them to be given in inheritance.
As always, Rashid’s pieces are notable more for what they leave out than what they put in: Rashid doesn’t mention that the same chapter of the Qur’an says that a man can have sexual relations with “those your right hands possess” (4:3, 4:24), i.e., slave girls whose consent is neither required nor sought.
Rashid adds: “Chapter 4:35 furthermore prevents violence against women by forcing men to control themselves and never resort to physically harming women – preempting physical abuse.”
In reality, Qur’an 4:34 says just the opposite. It doesn’t forbid men to harm women physically. Instead, it says to beat women from whom a man “fears disobedience”: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.”
In case anyone is skeptical that Rashid’s verse citations are one verse off from the standard Qur’anic verse divisions, here is 4:35: “And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted.” Nothing in that verse says anything about not physically harming women.
Digging deeper, Rashid continues:
The Quran further obliges men to provide for a woman’s every financial need, while holding that anything a woman earns is hers alone – preempting financial abuse. And when it comes to the Islamic concept of Hijab, it is men who are first commanded to never gawk at women, and instead guard their private parts and chastity, regardless of how women choose to dress – pre-empting sexual abuse.
In reality, the Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59) The implication there is that if women do not cover themselves adequately with their outer garments, they may be abused, and that such abuse would be justified. And indeed, the assumption behind the hijab is not that a man must not gawk at women, but that women are responsible for making sure that they don’t. And if men gawk anyway, the woman he is gawking at could end up being punished.
Not content to misrepresent the Qur’an, Rashid misrepresents Muhammad:
Prophet Muhammad himself illustrated this point. In a famous incident, a woman described as strikingly beautiful approached the Prophet to seek his guidance on some religious matters. The Prophet’s companion, Al Fadl, began to stare at her because of her beauty. Noting this, the Prophet Muhammad did not scold the woman for her attire, but instead, he “reached his hand backwards, catching Al Fadl’s chin, and turned his face to the other side so that he would not gaze at her”.
Accordingly, the Prophet Muhammad by example demonstrated that the burden of modesty, respect, and combating abuse of women rests on men. Indeed, men must take the lead in stopping such sexual abuse. After all, while the Quran obliges women to dress modestly as a covenant with God, Islam prescribes no punishment whatsoever for women who choose to dress otherwise.
On the contrary, on numerous occasions Prophet Muhammad punished an accused rapist on the testimony of the rape survivor alone. In this environment of gender equity, women in Islam rise to the rank of legal scholars, warriors, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists while lovingly embracing identities as mothers and housewives.
In reality, Muhammad condoned the rape of captive Infidel women: “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) ‘And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 2150; see also Sahih Muslim 3433) “O Allah’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Sahih Bukhari 34:432) “I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: ‘Give me that girl.’” (Sahih Muslim 4345)
So not only does Muhammad allow the rape, cautioning only against coitus interruptus, but he seizes one of the slave girls for himself.
Qasim Rashid undoubtedly knows the material I am quoting here. He is being deliberately deceptive, to hoodwink people into ignorance and complacency regarding the sexual abuse that is rampant and taken for granted in Muslim countries. In the final analysis, he is on Harvey Weinstein’s side.