Friday, July 13, 2007

Bassam Zawadi on Rape: Are Women in Miniskirts Asking for It?

One of the most frightening things about Islam is that even moderate Muslims have some very radical views. For instance, we saw recently that Bassam Zawadi believes that it’s okay for Muslims to invade countries (causing a great deal of bloodshed) which prohibit the preaching of Islam. More recently, Bassam has repeated the common Muslim charge that women who dress immodestly are asking for rape. He said in the "comments" section:

“You have to understand that Western Law easies and facilitates these kind of things to occur. Allowing women to dress up immodestly and acting shamelessly lures men to rape them and promotes fornication and adultery which can result in Aids. If these things occur in Muslim countries then its because they got influenced from the West and not from Islamic law. I am not talking about the people but talking about the governing system.”

It seems, however, that Bassam has modified the claim. Normally, Muslims claim that women who wear, for example, miniskirts, are inviting men to rape them. But Bassam is criticizing governments. He appears to be saying that if a government does not force women to dress according to Muslim standards, the government is “luring” men to rape the women.

The most important thing to keep in mind here is that Bassam is not a radical Muslim. He is quite moderate in his views, and he lives in a country that is very moderate (United Arab Emirates). But even so, Bassam, like many other Muslims, associates clothing styles with an invitation to rape. In the eyes of Muslims, if a woman wears certain clothing, and she is raped, it's her own fault. She has no right to complain. In the West, we blame the criminal rather than the victim. In the Muslim world, the rape victim is often viewed as the criminal.

For instance, in the United Arab Emirates (again, quite moderate), a woman named Touria Tiouli was gang-raped by three Muslim men. She reported the assault to the authorities, but the rapists claimed that Tiouli was a prostitute, and she was promptly charged with fornication. You can read the results of the trial here. Notice the pattern in the article. Some men asked if Tiouli needed a ride home. Since she agreed to get into the car with the men, she was inviting them to rape her. (It should be noted that Tiouli came from France, where getting a ride home does not qualify as grounds for rape.)

We see this pattern quite frequently among Muslims. Here’s an article about one of the Muslim brothers who went on a gang-raping rampage in Australia. He justified his crimes by saying that it was the victims’ fault, since they were willing to go along with the Muslims to a party. Apparently, if a Muslim invites you to a party, and you agree, you’re a bad girl, so you deserve to be raped.

Sheikh Qaradawi has summed up the Muslim position here. If a woman is raped because she was dressed immodestly, she is guilty of provoking the rape. I confess that I find this view absolutely repulsive.

Islam is the “Religion of Blame.” If a woman is raped, it’s her fault, not the rapist’s. If Muslims kill innocent people, it’s the West’s fault, not the terrorists’. Take another look at Bassam’s words above, and you’ll see that he not only blames rape on a woman’s clothing, he also blames the West for rape in the Muslim world! (He says: “If these things occur in Muslim countries then its because they got influenced from the West and not from Islamic law.”)

This is how Muslims get by. Whenever a problem is found in Islam, Muslims point a finger somewhere else. Change will not come until Muslims take a good look at the real source of their problems: Muhammad, the Qur’an, and the Hadith.

For more on rape in Islam, see:

“Rape in Islam: Blaming the Victim”

“Rape of Unbelievers in Islam”

“Muhammad and the Female Captives”

17 comments:

Bassam said...

I would have to say that I am repulsed by David's article. He should atleast have me clarify what I was trying to say before he issues such a post.

Did I say that if women who dress shamelessly lure men to rape them and are responsible?

Yes they are partly responsible for if they didn't dress shamelessly then they wouldn't have enticed the rapist to attack them. This is basic logic that no one can argue with.

Did I say that THE RAPIST IS NOT TO BLAME?

This is absurd. The Prophet punished the rapist with death. It is the rapist's fault for not lowering his gaze as commanded by God in Surah 24 and he has no authority to 'punish' a woman for dressing immodestly for this is vigilantism. It is the government's duty to ensure that women dress appropriately in the society and they definately don't take measures such as rape in order to do that.

What I find most interesting is that the very thing that David is repulsed by in his article is found in his Bible. For the God of the Bible allegedly commanded women to be raped because they were haughty!!! They used to be proud of their adornments and therefore God said that they asked for it!!! http://islamic-answers.com/haughty_women_are_punished_in_the_bible_with_rape___


Lets see if David Wood is as UNBIASED and OBJECTIVE as he claims and writes an article condemning that Biblical passage as well.

Note to David: always clarify from people what they mean when they say things before you post about it.

Kind Regards,
Bassam

Bassam said...

Oh yeah...

For more on rape in the Bible visit the rape section here

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/terrorism__rape_and_other_cruel_acts_in_the_bible

Bassam said...

Top classical Muslim scholars said that the rape victim is not punished in any way if she is raped...

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

The scholars are unanimously agreed that the rapist is to be subjected to the hadd punishment if there is clear evidence against him that he deserves the hadd punishment, or if he admits to that. Otherwise, he is to be punished (i.e., if there is no proof that the hadd punishment for zina may be carried out against him because he does not confess, and there are not four witnesses, then the judge may punish him and stipulate a punishment that will deter him and others like him). There is no punishment for the woman if it is true that he forced her and overpowered her, which may be proven by her screaming and shouting for help. End quote.

Al-Istidhkaar, 7/146

Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

In our view the man who rapes a woman, whether she is a virgin or not, if she is a free woman he must pay a “dowry” like that of her peers, and if she is a slave he must pay whatever has been detracted from her value. The punishment is to be carried out on the rapist and there is no punishment for the woman who has been raped, whatever the case. End quote.

Al-Muwatta’, 2/734

GeneMBridges said...

Notice the double standard in Bassam's interaction with the Bible, yet again.

He points us to a link regarding rape in the Bible.

But is this an internal critique or an external critique? (Answer, the article is an external critique).

If the latter, what is its epistemic warrant? In other words, why should we accept its indictment of OT ethics? Why should OT ethics be judged on the basis of Islamic ethics?

If an internal critique, how does this contradict the gospel, OT theology, OT ethics, NT theology, or NT ethics?

A. Rape in the OT is employed by the nations as punishment on the covenant people. What's unjust about this? God raises up the nations to invade Israel. Part of their actions includes rape. Then God punishes the nations for their sins, including these rapes by causing other nations to rise up and perpetrate the same sins and crimes against the nation he previously raised up and so on.

B. Rape as part of such punishment is treating Israel as having apostatized from the covenant. Why should God protect them from these curses? God is only obligated to protect those who are faithful to the covenant. That's basic OT theology and NT theology too.

C. These also typical critiques by liberals and atheists. Notice how Bassam accepts this sort of criticism for Christianity, but he rejects it when it comes against Islam from the same sorts of critics. That's a double standard.

D. He acts as if these haven't been answered.

E. Let's suppose that we have sins here ordained by God. That sort of argument might work on your friendly Arminian next door. But I'm a supralapsarian Calvinist. It makes not a dent in my theology.

F. And how would sin disprove the gospel? The gospel is predicated on sin, for sin generates the need for the gospel.

G. It would also only apply to OT ethics, but, as I've pointed out before, what we have in the OT are signs and shadows of the NT. The Church is obligated to NT ethics, not OT ethics. At most, this would be a problem for ancient Judaism, not Islam.

H. I'd add that the "refutation" of Isa. 13:16 draws on John Gill's commentary, but the writer leaves out the rest of the commentary for his readers.

Gill is explaining that these punishments are, in point of fact, "eye for an eye" just punishments for same and similar actions of the Babylonians against the Jews. God raises up the Medes and Persians to inflict the same/similar acts upon the Babylonians that they enacted upon the Jews. Of course, this cycle will continue with Greece upon the Persians and on through history. So, far from the rapists notbeing held accountable, the text is saying precisely the opposite.

This, of course, is the way God often punishes sin by permitting it to continue, sin upon sin, crime upon crime, cycle upon cycle. He gives people what they want. In hell, for example, men and women are given absolute liberty to express whatever hatred for each other and God they wish. So, God allows them free reign and so continues to pour out wrath upon them.

Bassam said...

Dear Genem

Did i in anyway use this to defend Islam or attack Christianity. All i said was that the very thing that David abhorred is found in the Bible.

Its hilarious how you accuse me of double standards while it is the Christians who attack Islam employing the double standards.

Who constantly attacks the other person's religion when it comes to these issues? Muslims or Christians?

I only use them for retaliatory purposes. If you can believe this in your Bible then you can believe that in Islam. Simple as that.

Sunil said...

David Wood writes..

>> Islam is the “Religion of Blame.” If a woman is raped, it’s her fault ..

The reason why many Muslims make statements attributing women’s dress to rape is to wriggle themselves out of the impractical authoritarian, ritualistic/legalistic nature of Islam even in matters such as dress code. There are reports of women being even killed for the simple reason of not following "Islamic dress code". Recently, I have seen shocking images of villagers being taken out and being beaten mercilessly for not following “Islamic culture”. Instead of correcting the anomalies, some Muslims want to justify these things by casting aspersions and blaming the women for rape etc.

It is amazing how much of Islamic apologetics ends up as a perpetual search for excuses. When the actions of Muhammad or that of his followers are shown, the standard Muslim apologetic is to look for excuse from other scriptures or even cultures (whether it is on polygamy or child marriage or use of sword in matters of religious faith, or attitude towards his wives, depiction of women, freedom of speech, apostasy laws, communal taxation, human rights, political equality of all people before the state etc). The desperation shows when one points out to some OT poem/song or points to mention about how bad things will be when defeated in war and so on under titles of "atrocities and rape in bible".

In the New Covenant Era, the Scriptures are all about Jesus and God's Grace in overcoming/deliverance from sin. Trying to use the OT as an excuse for sin is a gross misuse - even if it is true that in OT times, some of the failings (when judged by NT standards) were permitted/overlooked, that is not an excuse after we have the higher order of revelation and standards in Jesus.

Bassam said...

Sunil said…

When the actions of Muhammad or that of his followers are shown, the standard Muslim apologetic is to look for excuse from other scriptures or even cultures


This shows how futile it is for Muslims to engage in serious dialogues with Christians such as Sunil. Christians such as Sunil state that something is part of Islam yet show no proof for it. They judge the religion by the misguided actions of its adherents. So first you put forth a false allegation.

Secondly, the irony of the matter is that the very same thing is found in your Bible.

You guys resort to desperate tactics in order to justify it as well.

I mean, how can I take you people seriously?

Sunil states that I have to appeal to the Bible to justify something. Sunil, I am getting tired of how you don’t understand when someone says something very clearly over half a dozen times.

I DON’T USE YOUR BIBLE TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING FOR YOU DON’T EVEN POINT ANYTHING WRONG IN ISLAMIC TEACHINGS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I ONLY APPEAL TO YOUR BIBLE TO EXPOSE YOUR DOUBLE STANDARDS AND THAT THINGS, WHICH ARE WORSE THAN THE FALSE ACCUSATIONS YOU LEVEL AGAINST ISLAM ARE FOUND IN YOUR BIBLE.

DRILL THAT INTO YOUR HEAD SUNIL. DRILL THAT IN AND UNDERSTAND. STOP ACCUSSING ME OF APPEALING TO YOUR BIBLE TO JUSTIFY SOMETHING BECAUSE I DON’T.

MY CHALLENGE TO SUNIL: You said in your post that there were Muslims who go kill women for not covering themselves up properly and beat them up in the villages and then you said that this is the action of Muhammad and his followers. PROVE IT!!!

I PROVED IT FROM YOUR BIBLE THAT WOMEN WERE RAPED FOR BEING HAUGHTY. SHOW ME THIS SAME DISPICABLE THING IN ISLAM.

Note: I didn’t use capital letters to emphasize me raising my voice but so that Sunil can pay more attention to what I am saying.

Kind Regards,
Bassam

Sunil said...

Bassam,

>> I DON’T USE YOUR BIBLE TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING FOR YOU DON’T EVEN POINT ANYTHING WRONG IN ISLAMIC TEACHINGS IN THE FIRST PLACE.


If you notice, the previous post was not addressed specifically to you (though I did have you also in mind, in some of the statements I made). It was a general comment about how, when pointed about things like polygamy or child marriage or use of sword in matters of religious faith, or attitude towards his wives, depiction of women, freedom of speech, apostasy laws, communal taxation, human rights, vengefulness/retaliation/eye-for-eye, political equality of all people before the state etc, the Islamic apologetics search for excuses about how even OT personalities did some of these things and for justification, misuse things like OT poem/song, OT mention of how bad things will be when Israel is captured etc. (ignoring the advent of New Covenant and the higher order of revelation/standard in Jesus). All the David Woods posts that we are commenting on have to do with Islamic teaching (and so also the things I listed above) and how these teachings are manifested in today’s world, by those who claim to be Muhammad’s followers in their killings, religious persecution, attitude towards women, human rights violations etc. So, it is not clear what you mean when you say that 'nothing wrong is pointed about Islamic teachings in the first place'.

>> MY CHALLENGE TO SUNIL: You said in your post that there were Muslims who go kill women for not covering themselves up properly and beat them up in the villages and then you said that this is the action of Muhammad and his followers. PROVE IT!!!

I have mentioned the reported incidents of killing women for not following Islamic dress code, and beating up of villagers for not following Islamic culture. On these two points, while I mentioned the "impractical authoritarian, ritualistic/legalistic nature of Islam even in matters such as dress code", I did not say that this is the action of Muhammad (please read my post again).

>> DRILL THAT INTO YOUR HEAD SUNIL. DRILL THAT IN AND UNDERSTAND.

You are showing articles with fancy titles such as "atrocities and rape in bible" and so on. If one looks into the article, all one sees is some mention about how bad things will be when Israel is captured or some poem/song with is in line with OT's eye-for-eye etc. So, I am also trying to 'drill in', is that it is not serving any purpose because, besides being largely erroneous interpretation (it is true that OT had 'eye-for-eye', but I disagree with your other allegations and I responded to your links in other posts), the standard we ought to look at is that of New Covenant Era and the higher order of revelation in Jesus.

You wrote to Genembridges,

>> Who constantly attacks the other person's religion when it comes to these issues? Muslims or Christians?
I only use them for retaliatory purposes. If you can believe this in your Bible then you can believe that in Islam..


This is a dialogue/debate about what we believe and the reasons for the belief. There is no need of any 'retaliation' in this. Each one of us have to just state what we believe and why believe. After all, it is to God that we are all accountable and God is witness. If some Christians raise the issue of actions of Muhammad and that of his followers, it is because they see these actions/doctrines/principles as falling short and violative of the standards/doctrines/principles proclaimed by Jesus in the New Covenant. To understand the kingdom of God (New Covenant)proclaimed by Jesus, in the words of Jesus, "I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he".

ree said...

"It is the government's duty to ensure that women dress appropriately in the society..."

Bassam,

Do you consider it the government's duty to legislate against all sinful temptations or just women's behavior?

Bassam said...

Sunil is truly a hopeless case.

Sunil do me a favor and add me on MSN messenger. My email is b_zawadi@hotmail.com

I would like to have an audio convo with you. You seem to be escaping arguments through text.

As for Ree...

Do you consider it the government's duty to legislate against all sinful temptations or just women's behavior?


Yes, anything that is within the government's control. Obviously the government won't have control over someone having sinful thoughts in his or her mind. But whatever is in their control then yes.

ree said...

Thanks for the response, Bassam. I'm trying to work your view out in my mind. So, for example, since people can be tempted to steal when they see others having things they can't afford, is it the government's responsibility to distribute wealth evenly? If so, why doesn't this seem to be part of Islamic law? And if not, why not?

Also, in your view, are there any limits on the degree to which women's behavior should be legislated to keep men from sinning?

Thanks again for your patient responses.

Bassam said...

Dear Ree

As for the thief, if it is due to an issue of them being poor then ofcourse it is the governments duty to ensure that they are not poor to the extent where they need to steal in order to survive. That is why we have Zakah, the third pillar of Islam which distributes wealth amongst the society fairly.

As for the degree on the woman. She is obliged to wear the dress code legislated by God. The criteria are six...

1. Extent: The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering is the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijab’. All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.
2. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.
3. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.
4. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.
5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
6. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.


Also on top of this, the man and woman are supposed to subdue their look and not look lustfully at each other for this is considered the 'adultery of the eye'.

If the man exceeds all this and still harasses the woman then surely he must be definately be punished.

ree said...

Hi Bassam,

You said,

"As for the thief, if it is due to an issue of them being poor then ofcourse it is the governments duty to ensure that they are not poor to the extent where they need to steal in order to survive. That is why we have Zakah, the third pillar of Islam which distributes wealth amongst the society fairly."

In the case of the thief, he may have adequate wealth to care for his needs and the needs of his family, but he may not be able to afford all the luxuries his neighbor can afford. Because of the human propensity toward sin, he may be provoked to envy, and he may go so far as to steal to get what he wants.

In the same vein, a man may have a wife with whom he can satisfy his sexual desires, but because of the sin nature, he may lust after other women.

Although I confess that I'm not familiar with the third pillar of Islam, I'm pretty sure that in Islamic countries, some people are richer than others. Not all can afford the exact same lifestyle.

The point I'm getting at is that the principle behind the requirement that women be hidden behind a heavy curtain of clothing is not followed consistently in other areas in your religion. Not only that, it's not even followed consistently for men and women in the same area. Although I agree that men are generally more visually stimulated by the opposite sex than women are, a good-looking, well-built young man walking around in nothing but a pair of board shorts (which, apparently, would fulfill the requirement for the Muslim dress code) can certainly stimulate many young women toward impure thoughts as well.

So one can't help but recognize something other than piety going on when women are singled out and forced to adhere to such burdensome, uncomfortable, and oppressive restrictions.

Bassam said...

For someone to be sexually stimulated by a woman who reveals certain parts of her body cannot be compared to someone who is willing to steal and incur punishment upon himself for luxury purposes.



I mean, how far do you want to go? Then that would mean that the Islamic state should ban metal kitchen knives because someone might use it as a weapon. That would then mean that the Islamic state should ban cars because someone might use it in a wreck less manner.



Crime is always bound to happen but the Islamic state would do as much as it REASONABLY could in order to prevent.



As for the women being enticed by men and men being enticed by women. You have to understand that it is not usually the women who would go on harassing the man or raping the man while it is usually the other way around and thus we must protect the woman in the society.



The citizens are supposed to follow God’s law and lower their gaze.



You said that woman should not go through such ‘oppressive’ restriction.



I find your opinion highly subjective and uncalled for. For there are millions of women who can state otherwise (and hundreds of thousands of them could be women converts)



How would you define the dress code? Who judges what is immodest or not? Your religion states nothing. Our religion states it and we follow and trust God’s judgment who is more knowledgeable than your self and I.





Kind Regards,


Bassam

www.call-to-monotheism.com

ree said...

"For someone to be sexually stimulated by a woman who reveals certain parts of her body cannot be compared to someone who is willing to steal and incur punishment upon himself for luxury purposes."

Why not? We're sinful creatures. Most men have lustful thoughts when they see attractive women, and most people have greedy or envious thoughts when they see others obtaining things they can't have. But relatively few will resort to rape or theft, especially in a society that values personal restraint and responsibility and a society that genuinely values its women.

Now, of course it's unreasonable to think we must legislate against everything that might cause harm (such as kitchen knives and cars), and that's exactly my point. Forcing burdensome restrictions on half the population because the other half just might be tempted to commit crimes against them is enormously unreasonable.

The Bible does exhort women to dress and present themselves modestly, but you're right that it isn't laid out in explicit detail what that means. Genuine godliness isn't measured by one's adherence to legalistic requirements.

But there's something seriously wrong with a society of men who can't catch sight of any part of a woman without losing control of themselves. When it's instilled in men that a woman who doesn't cover every inch of herself is immodest and immoral with the implication that she's "asking for it," men will be strongly inclined to blame women and will fail to take responsibility for their own actions.

I know you believe that your religion has been revealed by God, and is, by definition, right, so my criticism will have no impact. But the kind of society your religion produces is evidence to many that it wasn't revealed by God.

Bassam said...

Dear Ree

Now I kind of see where the confusion is lying.

You seem to be getting the impression that the dress code's sole purpose is to prevent rape. This is obviously false, but only one of its purposes. It stops and prevents one from looking at a woman lustfully and have evil thoughts in his head and it also prevents fornication since the first step to it is simply looking at a person lustfully and then initiate contact. It makes most men respect the woman for her personality and god fearing consciousness besides her physical looks.

For someone to just look with admiration at someone's car cannot be compared to this.

Your statements about oppressive restriction are unfounded and biased. Many Muslim women find it liberating and are proud to wear 'a uniform' that identifies them as women following the law of God.

Your statement about our societies disproving our religion. Again, your committing the fallacy of judging a religion according to its misguided adherents. If there are negative things occuring in Muslim countries and want to blame Islam for it then make sure to prove it from Islamic teachings.

As for Christianity not assigning a dress code is a big weakness in your religion. What constitutes modesty and immodesty is subjective and it is very likely that women will be dressing immodestly while they think that they are dressing modestly and therefore causing problems in the society. This is a result of the lack of proper/detailed teachings in your religion.

Ree, we will not be getting no where with this discussion unless one provides OBJECTIVE evidence for what the other person is saying. When people want to prove or disprove certain things about a person's religion, this is not the approach to take. For these are subjective matters and each person has his or her own point of view.

It all simply comes down to who has the true religion and once that is proven then one must submit to its laws unconditionally rather he or she likes it or not.

Regards,
Bassam

ree said...

"You seem to be getting the impression that the dress code's sole purpose is to prevent rape."

No, I understand that it's more than that. It's, ostensibly, to keep men from sinning in their thoughts, as well, by lusting after women. This is comparable to the covetousness one might feel by seeing his neighbor's car. But that's why I pointed out the inconsistency with men having such a low standard of modesty. They may not be in danger of being attacked by women, but they can certainly incite lust in women, making it difficult for the women to avert their eyes.

I understand the principle you're advocating in regard to modesty, and I agree with it. It's the way it's practiced in Islam that I'm addressing.

"Your statements about oppressive restriction are unfounded and biased. Many Muslim women find it liberating and are proud to wear 'a uniform' that identifies them as women following the law of God."

And many other women testify to it being oppressive. I'm never surprised at those who are "proud" to be publicly recognized to be, supposedly, "following the law of God," though. Self-righteousness holds a powerful pull with our sin nature. We all like to be admired for our "goodness."

"Your statement about our societies disproving our religion. Again, your committing the fallacy of judging a religion according to its misguided adherents. If there are negative things occuring in Muslim countries and want to blame Islam for it then make sure to prove it from Islamic teachings."

I disagree that this is a fallacy. According to its adherents, Islam is very effective in restraining sin in society, so when we see widespread blatantly sinful attitudes being produced in thse strict Islamic societies, that's an indictment against Islam.

"What constitutes modesty and immodesty is subjective and it is very likely that women will be dressing immodestly while they think that they are dressing modestly and therefore causing problems in the society."

LOL If dressing modestly really means what your religion teaches, then it's not only "very likely" that non-Islamic women will fail to meet the standard, it's virtually guaranteed!

And in regard to your "objective vs. subjective" arguments, see my comments on the more recent post.