Educating Bill O'Reilly on the 'Rape Factor' in Islam (updated)
Andrew G. Bostom
Last night for a few brief shining television moments (captured here), Wafa Sultan, courageous author of the indispensible jeremiad "A God Who Hates," strove gamely to educate Bill O'Reilly -- often seemingly impenetrable by facts regarding Sharia -- about how Islamic Law, patterned on the "perfect example" of Islam's prophet Muhammad, sanctions rape.
The news "hook" for Wafa's unfortunately rare appearance was the recent alleged rape of a Libyan woman, Iman Al-Obeidi by Qadaffi's minions.
As a working physician in her native Syria, Wafa noted that she was familiar with "many such crimes" committed with the sanction of Sharia -- Islamic Law. She elaborated that under Sharia,
Any sexual activity is considered the given right of a male...A Muslim woman cannot report being raped because she will be asked to provide four witnesses otherwise she will be accused of committing adultery, and she will be stoned to death.
The scholar Ibn Warraq affirms this "iniquitous situation." He notes that Koran 24.4 states: "And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony - They indeed are evil-doers." But Warraq elaborates how this injunction renders women defenseless under misogynistic Islamic Law, past and present:
Muslim jurists will only accept four male witnesses. These witnesses must declare that they have "seen the parties in the very act of carnal conjunction." Once an accusation of fornication and adultery has been made, the accuser himself or herself risks punishment if he or she does not furnish the necessary legal proofs. Witnesses are in the same situation. If a man were to break into a woman's dormitory and rape half a dozen women, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses. Indeed the victim of a rape would hesitate before going in front of the law, since she would risk being condemned herself and have little chance of obtaining justice. "If the woman's words were sufficient in such cases," explains Judge Zharoor ul Haq of Pakistan, "then no man would be safe.
Responding to Wafa Sultan's remarks, Mr. O'Reilly expressed his (uninformed) incredulity regarding the teaching, and example of Islam's prophet:
I find it hard to believe that the prophet Muhammad would preach a doctrine where any woman can be abused at any time by any Muslim man and be held not accountable.
And Wafa replied, appropriately
You need to get familiar with Muhammad's life and how he treated women in his life...Don't forget, Muhammad is the role model for every Muslim man.
Notwithstanding the predictable American Muslim Brotherhood taqiyya O'Reilly is likely to air in the coming days as a "fair and balanced" riposte to Wafa's irrefragable presentation, some salient details merit review.
What was Muhammad's "perfect" role model? And what do Islam's canonical texts, especially the Koran and the hadith (Muhammad's "guiding" words and deeds as recorded by his pious Muslim companions), opine on these matters?
Using the Koranic "revelation" as justification, Muhammad insists that he is entitled, not simply his own wives, but those captured in battle, and cousins as well, as per Allah's grant in Koran 33:50.
O Prophet, We have made lawful for thee thy wives whom thou hast given their wages and what thy right hand owns, spoils of war that God has given thee, and the daughters of thy uncles paternal and aunts paternal, thy uncles maternal and aunts maternal, who have emigrated with thee, and any woman believer, if she give herself to the Prophet and if the Prophet desire to take her in marriage, for thee exclusively, apart from the believers -- We know what We have imposed upon them touching their wives and what their right hands own -- that there may be no fault in thee; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.
Koran 4:24 extends the "privilege" of having sexual intercourse with captured slave women to all Muslim men.
For example, Muhammad and his minions attacked and subdued the prosperous Jewish tribe Banu-Mustaliq in a surprise raid (during 626 A.D.). The Banu al-Mustaliq males were slaughtered and the "booty" included the victims' women. Juwayriyya, the most beautiful captive and daughter of the leader of the Banu al-Mustaliq was taken as a "bride" for Muhammad himself. The mass rape by "coitus interruptus" of the captured women-as sanctioned by Muhammad-was described in a canonical hadith, thusly:
(Sunan Abu Dawud 2167) -- Muhairiz said: I entered the mosque and saw Abu Sa'id al-Khudri. I sat with him and asked about withdrawing the penis (while having intercourse). Abu Sa'id said: We went out with the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to Banu al-Mustaliq, and took some Arab women captive, and we desired the women, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, and we wanted ransom; so we intended to withdraw the penis (while having intercourse with the slave-women). But we asked ourselves: Can we draw the penis when the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) is among us before asking him about it? So we asked him about it. He said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born."
Moreover, according to modern Western law (for example this Canadian law), statutory rape is sexual intercourse with anyone under the age of 14 - a punishable offense unless both parties are aged within two years of each other, or the accused is aged 12 to 13. Here is how the two most important canonical hadith collections describe Muhammad's "relationship" with Aisha - their "marriage contract" and its sexual consummation - when the Muslim prophet was some four decades older than his child bride (aged 6-7 at the time of her "marriage"):
Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3311: Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and she was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88: Narrated Ursa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151: Narrated Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, who had not yet reached the age of puberty.)
Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 5981: Aisha reported that she used to play with dolls in the presence of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and when her playmates came to her they left (the house) because they felt shy of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), whereas Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent them to her.
The ugly living legacy of such pedophilia persists in Islamic communities across the globe from Yemen, to Afghanistan-to Britain. Here is a description of the modern horrors, including rape, engendered by Muhammad's "sacralized" example from a contemporary female Muslim child "bride" living in the West-in London:
"I told them I was terrified and desperate, that I was just a child and far too young to get married. I pleaded with them to help me escape, but no one saw anything wrong in what was happening. I begged my husband not to marry me, but he told me I had no choice." Despite being two years below the British age of consent, Ayse was moved into her cousin's family home, where she lived openly as his wife in the local Kurdish Turkish community. "I was all alone in a foreign country, unable to speak the language," she said. "I was trapped. Until I escaped, I didn't even realize that marrying at 14 wasn't legal in Britain: everyone I knew in London regarded it as normal." In the two years before she reached 16, the sex Ayse was coerced into having with her cousin was statutory rape. "It was disgusting, awful," she said. "I used to scream and cry all night. I was too young, too tender. It killed me inside. Life became meaningless."
Of course since Koran 2:223 states that women are "tilth" to be "cultivated" (or "plowed") as men please, contemporary mainstream, institutional Islam sanctions marital rape. As reported in the UK Independent (10/14/10), president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, affirmed this view during March, 2010 interview. Sheikh Sayeed was in fact responding to an inchoate effort at modernizing the contracts which govern Muslim marriages in Britain. The good Sheikh, representing Britain's main Islamic Sharia court, the Islamic Sharia Council, promptly published a rebuttal of the contract, which included a statement on sexual abuse (page 6 here). He opined in the March interview:
Clearly there cannot be any "rape" within the marriage. Maybe "aggression", maybe "indecent activity."
He further rejected both the characterization of non-consensual marital sex as rape, and the prosecution of such offenders as "not Islamic." Sheikh Sayeed, who came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1977, also brazenly expressed his Sharia-supremacism and accompanying disdain for Western, i.e., British Law, stating
...to make it exactly as the Western culture demands is as if we are compromising Islamic religion with secular non-Islamic values.
No other sharia council can claim they are so diverse as ours because other sharia councils, they are following one school of fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence]. Ours is diverse -we are hanafi, shafi'i, hanbali.we have Bangladeshi...we have Pakistani, we have Indian, we have Palestinian, we have Somali scholars on our board.
At present there are 16 main sharia courts around Britain, located in Birmingham, Bradford, and Ealing in West London. These institutions are "complemented" by more informal sharia-based tribunals-the think tank Civitas asserting that up to 85 tribunals currently exist in Britain.
But for those like Bill O'Reilly who naively -- and smugly -- proclaim such phenomena are absent within the Muslim communities of North America, consider AMJA, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. AMJA's mission statement claims the organization was, "...founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America...AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation's laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities."
In response to the specific query, "Is there a such thing as Marital Rape?," the AMJA issued fatwa #2982:
In the name of Allah, all praise is for Allah, and may peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family. To proceed:
For a wife to abandon the bed of her husband without excuse is haram [forbidden]. It is one of the major sins and the angels curse her until the morning as we have been informed by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). She is considered nashiz (rebellious) under these circumstances. As for the issue of forcing a wife to have sex, if she refuses, this would not be called rape, even though it goes against natural instincts and destroys love and mercy, and there is a great sin upon the wife who refuses; and Allah Almighty is more exalted and more knowledgeable.
An ocean apart from Britain -- now a recognized Western hotbed for "Islamic fundamentalism" -- the same Sharia-sanctioned misogynistic bigotry prevails in a North American clerical organization openly advising US and Canadian Muslims.
Let us hope against hope Wafa Sultan's appearance opens Bill O'Reilly's eyes -- and his audience's-to disturbing reality.
The Daily Mail reports on a predictable turn of events in the alleged Libyan rape case discussed last night by The O'Reilly Factor.
The Libyan woman who was arrested after telling foreign journalists she had been gang-raped by Gaddafi's troops has been charged, a government spokesman said today.
In a chaotic press conference, the official said Iman Al-Obeidi was being questioned by police - despite a promise that she had been returned to her family. "The accuser has now become the accused," he added, accusing her of a "grave offence."
The spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said the men accused by Iman al-Obeidi are now suing her. A son of a high ranking Libyan official was among those she claimed had raped her, he said. "The boys she accused are bringing a case against her because it's a very grave offence to accuse someone of a sexual crime,' he told reporters in the Libyan capital."
Grave offense (repeated twice), indeed, according to Koran 24.4, which states: "And those who accuse honorable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony." If the claim of rape is not thus "proven" by this essentially impossible standard, such severe Sharia punishment remains sanctioned by authoritative Islam as a "hadd" offense.
Moreover it also merits noting that the broader Islamic understanding of "slander" (for lesser offenses) bears no resemblance to its conception in Western law-slander is merely offensive to, or "disliked" by the person being targeted. It does not have to be false, or damaging, or financially harmful. Reliance of the Traveller, or ‘Umdat al-Salik, is a highly widely respected classical manual of Islamic jurisprudence is by the 14th century jurist Ahmad ibn Naqib Al-Misri, endorsed for contemporary use by the "Sunni Vatican" of Islam, Cairo's Al-Azhar University. Here is how "slander" is defined by this as authoritative Islamic Law manual, invoking a tradition of the Muslim prophet Muhammad:
"Do you know what slander is?" They answered, "Allah and His messenger know best." He said, "It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike." Someone asked, "what if he is as I say?" And he replied, "If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not, you have calumniated him." [emphasis added]
[Thus] Slander and talebearing are two of the ugliest and most frequently met with qualities among men, few people being safe from them. I have begun with them because of the widespread need to warn people of them...Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike...