Bassam, you never cease to amaze me. You try to answer an objection and only manage to show that the objection has far more warrant than anyone had imagined. In my previous post, I tried to clarify your position by drawing some analogies. Since you had claimed that a woman who doesn’t dress according to Muslim regulations is partly responsible if she is raped, I attempted to show that this sort of reasoning, if correct, would apply to other situations (implying that practically every victim of a crime is worthy of blame). To see if you really believe your claim, I asked whether you would agree with the following parallel claim:
“If you park your new car in the driveway, and it gets stolen, you’re partly to blame, since new cars entice people to steal them, and you didn’t cover your car with a tarp.”
Interestingly, I thought you would agree that a person who parks his car in his driveway deserves no blame if his car is stolen, even though the car might not have been stolen if it had been covered with a tarp. Instead, you responded by saying that this example doesn’t do justice to the case of a woman who rejects Muslim clothing regulations. You even say that women who don’t dress according to Islamic law have made themselves “easy targets” for rapists!
How logically fallacious could David’s examples be.
First, regarding the car example.
David’s example should been more like this…
“If you park your new car in the driveway, and you forgot to lock the door as you usually do and openly left your latptop and wallet on the car seat where everybody could see it as usual and your car and belongings then got stolen and the law of the country clearly states that you are not supposed to do so then you’re partly to blame.”
So if the person on a continuous basis makes himself or herself an easy target for thieves (just many women might do for rapists) and continually ignore the law of the country which states that citizens must always lock their doors and hide their personal belongings (just as the law of God commands the woman to dress up modestly) then I argue that yes, the person is party to blame. HOWEVER, I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE PERSON DESERVES IT OR THAT THE CRIMINAL IS JUSTIFIED. WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT THE VICTIM COULD HAVE AVOIDED THE SITUATION BY TAKING CERTAIN PRECAUTIONS.
This is quite frightening, Bassam. Again, I assumed that you felt that a woman is to blame in the same manner as a man who leaves a shiny new car uncovered in his driveway. That is, they both leave something out in the open which might provide an evil person with an opportunity to do something wrong. (Notice, there’s no logical fallacy in what I said. I’ve taught logic courses in the past, Bassam, and I notice that you like to toss around these accusations without actually understanding them.) However, as your comment shows, you believe that a woman is far more culpable than I had imagined. Instead of comparing a woman in a miniskirt to a man who leaves something valuable where others may see it, you compare her to a man who leaves his car out in the open, unlocked, unguarded, with valuable possessions ripe for the taking! In other words, a man who leaves his valuables out in the open, where anyone can quite easily take them, is going out of his way to make the theft as easy as possible. And this is what you think about a woman who shows off her legs because she thinks they are pretty! You believe that she is doing everything in her power to make it as easy and as tempting as possible for a man to rape her! Needless to say, non-Muslims don’t generally feel this way, which is why we’re so repulsed by your comments. (And, given these comments, your claim that you aren’t saying that such a woman “deserves it” sounds hollow.)
Um Yaquub said that she would be frightened if you were her neighbor, and you took great offense at this. But you should try to understand the perspective of a person who hasn’t been taught since childhood that women who dress in a certain manner are (almost deliberately) making themselves “easy targets” for rapists. This would sound frightening to any woman.
You replied by saying that you wouldn’t want a Christian woman as a neighbor, since she might wear a miniskirt and tempt your son. But here we see a tremendous area of disagreement between our two camps. Human beings only learn to overcome temptation by confronting it and conquering it. I don’t want to keep my son locked in a room all his life just so he won’t sin. Rather, I want my son to achieve victory over temptation. All of my sons will grow up in the West, and they will certainly face temptation. But in the process, they will learn to deal with it. When a woman walks down the street in a miniskirt, my sons won’t go into a frenzy, because they will have learned to overcome their passions. The Muslim goal is to keep their sons from so much as seeing a woman. Then, when a Muslim teenager sees a woman without a burka for the first time (having been taught that such women have made themselves “easy targets” for rapists), he goes berserk, because he has never learned to control himself. (Indeed, I don’t see any emphasis in Islam on teaching Muslim men to control themselves. Instead, Muslim men learn how to control women.)
This is why there’s such a tremendous problem with rape among Muslims in the West. I can’t imagine why you don’t see it, when the problem can be seen in your own words above!
Bassam said: “Show me narrations that state that the Muslims RAPED their slave girls. I DON’T’ WANT YOUR INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SITUATIONS OR YOUR OPINIONS, SHOW ME THE PROOF. IF YOU DON’T THEN YOU ARE A LIAR AND YOU MUST RETRACT THIS STATEMENT AND APOLOGISE.”
This was a nice try on your part. You want me to show you a narration saying that Muslims “raped” their slave girls. But you know as well as I do that in Islam, a female captive is the property of her owner, and he is free to have sex with her (since Muhammad granted men this right in the Qur’an). Hence, Muslims don’t view sex with captives as “rape,” regardless of whether the captives consent or not. This, of course, is a significant area of disagreement between Muslims and the West. In America, we would say that any sexual act in which the woman does not consent is an act of rape. Muhammad’s teachings, however, have kept the Muslim world in horrible darkness.
Keeping in mind the fact that Muslims would not use the word “rape” in describing sex with unwilling women, it is quite easy to meet your challenge. I know that you are familiar with the women of Banu al-Mustaliq. Muhammad and his followers killed the men, then took the women captive. The Muslims were a long way from home, and they wanted to have sex with the women. However, they also wanted to sell the women into slavery, so they didn’t want to get the women pregnant. They therefore decided to practice coitus interruptus, where the man pulls out his penis before ejaculating in the woman. They brought the entire matter before Muhammad, who had no objections to the Muslims having sex with the women. Indeed, Muhammad’s only recommendation was that the men shouldn’t use coitus interruptus!
So what do we have here? Muhammad and his followers slaughter the men of Banu al-Mustaliq and take the women as captives. Soon, the Muslims are going to sell the women into slavery. But the men want to have sex with their captives first, since the Qur’an guarantees their right to do so. We know, then, that the Muslims had sex with these women, whose families had just been slaughtered by Muslims and who were about to become slaves at the hands of Muhammad. The only question for us is whether these women wanted to have sex with the men who had annihilated their husbands and fathers, or whether they didn’t want to have sex with these men. I think it’s obvious that the women of Banu al-Mustaliq wouldn’t have wanted to have sex with the Muslims, especially since the men were about to sell them into slavery (where they would likely be further sexually abused). Hence, Muhammad granted his men the right to have sex with women who would have been repulsed at the thought of having sex with their Muslim captors, and this qualifies as rape. Your challenge, Bassam, is easily met. (For plenty of references, see “Muhammad and the Female Captives.”)
On a different matter, you continue to argue that Isaiah 3:17 talks about women being raped because they were haughty. You claim that “most” modern versions translate the passage as “secret parts.” I have eighteen English translations of the Old Testament, and only nine of them translate the passage as “secret parts.” The other half use some variation of “laying the head bare.” You claim that the word “scalp” isn’t in the text, but I must point out that (and here’s the key) neither is “secret parts”! The passage simply refers to something being laid bare. Some translators conclude that the passage is saying that the women’s bodies will be laid bare, while others (more literally) translate the verse as saying that the women’s heads will be laid bare. Notice, Bassam, that this latter translation fits the context much better, and is therefore the preferred translation. The women were rejecting the teachings of God, and had even become proud of it. To show their high status, they were wearing all sorts of ornaments on their heads. It certainly makes sense to think that Isaiah 3:17 says that their heads would be laid bare. But regardless of what you think, you can’t use a clearly ambiguous passage to support your argument just because you want to feel better about the Muslim view that rape is okay in certain situations.
You also claim that I am here doing the same thing I accused you of doing when you wanted to deny Muslims their right to beat their wives. But the situations are hardly comparable. I pointed out that Isaiah 3:17 may be translated in various ways, and that the most literal translation of the verse (as well as many others) has nothing to do with women being raped. Is that the case with Surah 4:34? Do half of our translations say nothing about beating women? On the contrary, all of my English translations guarantee a husband the right to beat his wife if she gets out of line. But you ignore the obvious meaning of the verse simply because you know that it is extremely offensive (and, perhaps, because deep down you have a better moral outlook than Muhammad). Again, the two cases are not the same.
Bassam said: “David keeps saying ‘thanks to Muhammad’, yet he is never able to prove that it is so.”
Perhaps I’m not able to prove it to you, since you’re quite unwilling to see any problems in Muhammad’s teachings. But to any non-Muslim, it is quite clear that many of the problems we see in the Muslim world result from the teachings of Muhammad. For instance, when women are raped, they are rarely able to establish this in court. Why? Because Muhammad declared that a woman’s testimony is only half as valuable as a man’s. Hence, when a woman says, “That man raped me!” and the man says, “No, she’s just a prostitute,” the courts must give higher status to the man’s testimony. The woman, of course, goes to jail (or takes some lashes).
And, again, we know that Muhammad allowed Muslims to have sex with their female captives, regardless of whether the captives were willing or not. This is certainly relevant to the way many Muslims view rape in the world today. Muhammad showed how infidels were to be treated. Is it a surprise that Muslims rape infidels today?
Bassam said: “You can check Sunan Abu Dawud, Book Book 38, Number 4366 in which the Prophet commands a rapist to be killed.”
I had a reason for asking you to share the details of this rape, Bassam. And yet you left out the details. Notice (1) that the woman was a Muslim in good standing, (2) that she was raped while praying, and (3) that the man confessed that he had raped her. No one is saying that Islam does not punish rapists who confess that they have raped good Muslim women during prayer. What we are saying is that Islam has practically nothing to say about a Muslim who rapes a non-Muslim (or even a Muslim) woman and denies his crime. In fact, in the Muslim world, it is the woman who will typically be punished in such situations.
If you’d like to continue, Bassam, I’d be happy to. We can have “Bassam Zawadi on Rape,” Parts Four, Five, and Six. But hopefully you are learning that, at least in the eyes of people who are able to critically evaluate Muhammad’s commands, Islam is full of offensive, repulsive, horrendous teachings.