Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Fruits of Islam

If you want to see the effects of Muhammad's teachings, look no further than Saudi Arabia. (H/T Radical Moderate)

Islam, Common Sense, and Ringtones!

We often hear from Muslims that Islam is a rational religion and as such that it is the best foundation for civilization. That's why the following video concerning the Islamic position on Ringtones will come as no surprise to you, at least if you are an intelligent person, though it will still no doubt leave you in awe and wonder that Muhammad saw this matter so clearly in seventh century Arabia. If people in Western society had not been so bent on kicking against the goads of reason and would have just accepted what they knew to be true, which is just to say, if they would have bucked their love for music and took a logical approach to this issue, we all could have been spared from such obvious threats to civilization as Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. If you have been resisting the dictates of common sense, then listen as Muhammad through one of his modern followers beckons you back to the straight path, the path of all the prophets, including David, the sweet psalmist of Israel (oops!).

Department of Homeland Security Adviser Mohamed Elibiary Compares Evangelical Christians to Muslim Brotherhood

An "Evangelical" Christian is a Christian who emphasizes preaching the Gospel and being "born again." Evangelicals may be other things (Republican or Democrat, etc.), but this is the characteristic feature of Evangelicals. Since Christians are commanded to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's" (Matthew 22:21), Christianity contains a clear distinction between political power and the Gospel.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic political movement devoted to the implementation of Sharia. Members of the Brotherhood seek political power, even through violent revolution, assassinations, or terrorism.

Even someone who hates Christianity should be able to see a difference here. The fact that Mohamed Elibiary (and many who are like him) see no difference shows that their hatred of Christianity and love of Sharia have affected their ability to think rationally.



WND—Department of Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary has penned yet another controversial tweet, this time likening the Muslim Brotherhood to evangelical Christians and comparing the Brotherhood’s indoctrination to Bible study groups.

WND found that Elibiary tweeted: “Ignorant #Islamophobes (redundant I know) protested my saying #MB like #Evangelicals. Usra like Bible study grp.”

The “MB,” or Muslim Brotherhood, seeks a worldwide Islamic caliphate ruled by Shariah, or Islamic law, and teaches followers to help establish an Islamic state wherever they live.

An usra is a small teaching group devised by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna to indoctrinate his followers. Brotherhood leaders form weekly meetings to teach the Islamist group’s methods and ideology.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Ikhwanweb website describes usra as the “smallest unit of MB structure which represents the practical area of MB spiritual education and Tarbiah (training).” (Continue Reading.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Was Muhammad a Pedophile?

For the Western mind, one of the most disturbing facts about Islam is that its founder had a sexual relationship with a nine-year-old girl. Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha has even led some critics to refer to him as a “pedophile.” This is, of course, extremely upsetting to Muslims, who view their prophet as the ideal servant of God and as the greatest example of what a man should strive to be (see Qur’an 33:21). Nevertheless, Muhammad’s relationship with a young girl presents a problem for Muslims, especially for those who want to share their faith with others.

Some Muslims are so embarrassed by their prophet’s marriage to a prepubescent girl that they are attempting to rewrite history, claiming that, contrary to all available sources, Aisha must have been much older than history demands. Other Muslims appeal to moral relativism, suggesting that, while sex with young girls may be wrong today, it wasn’t wrong in seventh-century Arabia. Still other Muslims try to offer morally sufficient reasons for their prophet to marry Aisha (i.e., some good state of affairs that could only be attained through Muhammad’s relationship with Aisha).

Since pedophilia is one of the most serious charges that can be leveled against a person, the term “pedophile” should not be used lightly. With that said, let us carefully examine Muhammad’s relationship with Aisha, recalling the Western principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty.

FIRST MUSLIM DEFENSE: Aisha was older than nine when Muhammad first had sex with her.

Faced with the arguments of Western critics, Muslim apologists sometimes creatively piece together information from various accounts in an attempt to deny that Aisha was as young as critics often claim. Maulana Muhammad Ali writes:

The popular misconception as to Aishah’s age may be removed here. . . . Isabah, speaking of the Holy Prophet’s daughter Fatimah, says that she was about five years older than Aishah. It is a well-established fact that Fatimah was born when the Ka’bah was being rebuilt, i.e., five years before the Call. Aishah was therefore born in the year of the Call or a little before it, and she could not have been less than ten years at the time of her marriage with the Holy Prophet in the tenth year of the Call. . . . And as the period between her marriage and its consummation was not less than five years, because the consummation took place in the second year of the Flight, it follows that she could not have been less than fifteen at that time. The popular account that she was six years at marriage and nine years at the time of consummation is decidedly not correct because it supposes the period between the marriage and its consummation to be only three years, and this is historically wrong. (Ali, pp. 183-184)

RESPONSE: The historical evidence for Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha when she was still a child is too strong to be ignored.

Notice that Ali hasn’t offered a single quotation from any Muslim source claiming that Aisha was a teenager when Muhammad first had sex with her. Why not? Because there are no such sources. The problem with Ali’s selective and carefully edited defense (other than the complete lack of references) is that it ignores the numerous accounts we possess which record Aisha’s age when her marriage was consummated. Many of these accounts are from Aisha herself. Indeed, the evidence for Muhammad’s marriage to the young Aisha is as strong as the evidence for just about any other fact in Islam. We have copious traditions from Islam’s most trusted historical sources reporting Muhammad’s marriage proposal when Aisha was six or seven years old, as well as his consummation of that marriage when she was nine:

Sahih al-Bukhari 3896—Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Al-Madina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he wrote the marriage (wedding) contract with Aishah when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.

Sahih al-Bukhari 5158—Narrated Urwa: 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 Muslim 3310—Aisha reported: Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

Sahih Muslim 3311—Aisha reported that Allah’s Apostle 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.

Sunan Abu Dawud 2116—Aishah said: The Apostle of Allah married me when I was seven years old. (The narrator Sulaiman said: Or six years.) He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old.

This is just a sample of the early Muslim traditions reporting Muhammad’s marriage to the young Aisha, but it is sufficient to show that she certainly wasn’t fifteen years old at the time of the consummation, as some Muslims claim.

(For a fuller treatment of the early evidence regarding Muhammad’s marriage to the young Aisha, click here.)

In addition to traditions concerning Aisha’s age, various ahadith also provide details about how the relationship began and progressed:

Sahih al-Bukhari 3895—Narrated Aishah that the Prophet said to her, “You have been shown to me twice in my dream. I saw you pictured on a piece of silk and someone said (to me), ‘This is your wife.’ When I uncovered the picture, I saw that it was yours. I said, ‘If this is from Allah it will be accomplished.’”

After having this dream about Aisha (who couldn’t have been more than six years old at the time), Muhammad proceeded to ask her father Abu Bakr for her hand in marriage. Abu Bakr understandably objected at first, but Muhammad was able to persuade him to consent.

Sahih al-Bukhari 5081—Narrated Urwa: The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for Aishah’s hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said, “But I am your brother.” The Prophet said, “You are my brother in Allah’s religion and His Book, but she (Aishah) is lawful for me to marry.”

The marriage contract was subsequently written. However, Aisha became extremely ill, so she wasn’t taken to his house for consummation until three years later:

Sahih al-Bukhari 3894—Narrated Aishah: My marriage (wedding) contract with the Prophet was written when I was a girl of six (years). We came to Al-Madina and we dismounted at the place of Bani Al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on, my hair grew (again) and my mother, Umm Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became normal, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Messenger came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.

Once Aisha was a part of Muhammad’s household, she became his favorite wife, even after he had married several other women. Indeed, Muhammad’s other wives had to plead with him for equal treatment (to no avail):

Sahih al-Bukhari 2581—Narrated Urwa that Aishah said: “The wives of Allah’s Messenger were in two groups.” Urwa added: One group consisted of Aishah, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sauda; and the other group consisted of Umm Salama and the other wives of Allah’s Messenger. The Muslims knew that Allah’s Messenger loved Aishah, so if any of them had a gift and wished to give to Allah’s Messenger, he would delay it till Allah’s Messenger had come to Aishah’s home and then he would send his gift to Allah’s Messenger in her home. The group of Umm Salama discussed the matter together and decided that Umm Salama should request Allah’s Messenger to tell the people to send their gifts to him in whatever wife’s house he was. Umm Salama told Allah’s Messenger of what they had said, but he did not reply. Then they (those wives) asked Umm Salama about it. She said, “He did not say anything to me.” They asked her to talk to him again. She talked to him again when she met him on her day, but he gave no reply. When they asked her, she replied that he had given no reply. They said to her, “Talk to him till he gives you a reply.” When it was her turn, she talked to him again. He then said to her, “Do not hurt me regarding Aishah, as the Divine Revelations do not come to me on any of the beds except that of Aishah.”

Thus, Aisha held a place of special favor among Muhammad’s wives, which caused a great deal of tension among the women. Since it may be taken as historically certain that Aisha was very young when her marriage to Muhammad was consummated, critics sometimes charge that Muhammad’s preference for Aisha reveals his preference for young girls. We find some amount of support for this view in Sahih al-Bukhari:

Sahih al-Bukhari 2967—Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: . . . When I took the permission of Allah’s Messenger, he asked me whether I had married a virgin or a matron and I replied that I had married a matron. He said, “Why hadn’t you married a virgin who would have played with you, and you would have played with her?” I replied, “O Allah’s Messenger! My father died (or was martyred) and I have some young sisters, so I felt it not proper that I should marry a young girl like them who would neither teach them manners nor serve them.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6130—Narrated Aishah: 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 Messenger 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 Aishah at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.)

Nevertheless, it must be noted that, if Muhammad had truly been obsessed with young girls, he could have taken many others as his wives. Muhammad eventually held complete power in Medina and later in Mecca, yet he didn’t build himself a harem of young girls. Since there isn’t enough evidence to support the charge that Muhammad had a perverted obsession with prepubescent girls, critics should be careful when making such a claim.

To sum up, the evidence makes it abundantly clear (1) that Muhammad had sexual intercourse with Aisha when she was very young, (2) that this relationship was pursued by Muhammad after he had dreamed about her, and (3) that she was his favorite wife. With so much historical data concerning the age of Aisha, it should be obvious that Muslims who deny her young age do so out of embarrassment.

SECOND MUSLIM DEFENSE: Morality is relative to one’s culture.

Another method of defending Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha is the Muslim appeal to moral relativism. According to this view, since different cultures have different standards of morality, it is wrong to criticize the standards of others based on one’s own ethical system. Consider the following responses by Maqsood Jafri and Abdur Rahman Squires:

The Arabs practiced polygamy. In the wake of custom the Prophet Muhammad married some ladies. Hazrat Khadijah was fifteen years older [than] him at the time of marriage. Most of them were his age sake. In his fifties he married Hazrat Aiysha, the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr when she was just bloomed to youth. Hinting this marriage some of the orientalists charge Prophet Muhammad as a “pedophile”. It was not only the Prophet Muhammad who had married a young girl [but] even the father of Hazrat Aiysha, Hazrat Abu Bakr had also married a young girl in his sixties. It was . . . part of the prevalent Arab culture and custom. Hence not to be taken seriously. (Source)

The large majority of Islamic jurists say that the earliest time which a marriage can be consummated is at the onset of sexual maturity (bulugh), meaning puberty. Since this was the norm of all Semitic cultures and it still is the norm of many cultures today—it is certainly not something that Islam invented. (Source)

Thus, since the practice of marrying young girls was “part of the prevalent Arab culture and custom,” it is “not to be taken seriously” as a criticism of Islam.

RESPONSE: Islam is utterly inconsistent with moral relativism.

This defense is truly amazing, for, when defending Muhammad’s moral perfection, Muslims often maintain that Muhammad condemned the Arab culture for its immorality. Abul A’la Mawdudi describes Muhammad’s moral stance as follows:

After spending his life in such chaste, pure and civilized manner, there comes a revolution in [Muhammad’s] being. He wearies of the darkness and ignorance, corruption, immorality, idolatry, and disorder which surround him on all sides. . . . He wants to get hold of that power with which he might bring about the downfall of the corrupt and disorderly world and lay the foundations of a new and better one. . . . He wanted to change the whole structure of society which had been handed down to them from time immemorial. (Mawdudi, pp. 53, 56)

Muslims are quick to point out immorality around the world, especially in the West. It seems, then, that they are presenting a very inconsistent message. When confronted with an immoral practice in another culture, Muslims cry out in one accord, “We condemn these practices, for they are against the eternal, perfect, and unalterable Law of God!” Yet, whenever the moral character of Muhammad is being scrutinized, Muslims suddenly say, “Don’t judge Muhammad! You should remember that he was from a different culture! Marrying young girls was common in Arabia, and it still is, thanks to Muhammad’s precedent. Different people have different moral standards, so no one should worry about Muhammad’s sexual relationship with a nine-year-old girl.”

This convenient switch from moral absolutism to moral relativism is logically unacceptable. If it is wrong to judge the practices of another culture, then both Muhammad and the Qur’an were wrong for condemning immoral practices in Arabia. But if condemning immoral practices is acceptable, then Muslim apologists need a better response to criticisms of Muhammad’s relationship with Aisha.

We should also note that, because Muhammad is described as the ideal pattern of conduct in the Qur’an (33:21), Muhammad’s actions, according to Islam, can never be wrong. In other words, if Muhammad is the pattern of conduct that Muslims are supposed to follow, and Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl, then marriage to young girls can’t even be wrong in our day, since Muhammad is still the pattern of conduct for Muslims. This is precisely why the practice of marrying child-brides continues in the Muslim world. Islamic clerics recognize that the practice can’t be condemned without thereby condemning Muhammad.

THIRD MUSLIM DEFENSE: Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha was part of God’s plan.

Muslim apologists have developed another answer to Muhammad’s critics, namely, that Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha was part of God’s divine plan (i.e., God had an important reason for it). Consider two such responses by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi and Abdur Rahman Squires:

It should be borne in mind that, like all acts of the Holy Prophet, even this marriage had a Divine purpose behind it. Hazrat Aisha was a precocious girl and was developing both in mind and body with rapidity peculiar to such rare personalities. She was admitted to the house of the Holy Prophet just at the threshold of her puberty, the most impressionable and formative period of her life. It was the Holy Prophet who nurtured her sensibilities and directed the growth of her faculties to the most fruitful channel and thus she was made to play an eminent role in the history of Islam. Moreover, she was the only virgin lady to enter the House of the Holy Prophet and was thus very competent to share the feelings of other ladies of younger age who had numerous questions to ask from the Holy Prophet with regard to sexual ethics and morality. These ladies felt shy of asking them through the elderly wives of the Holy Prophet out of modesty. They could speak out their minds comparatively more freely to Aisha who was more or less of their own age group. (Siddiqi, Note on Sahih Muslim 1860)

Puberty is a biological sign which shows that a woman is capable of bearing children. Can anyone logically deny this? Part of the wisdom behind the Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to Aishah just after she reached puberty is to firmly establish this as a point of Islamic Law, even though it was already a cultural norm in all Semitic societies (including the one Jesus grew up in). (Source)

Here Muslim apologists argue that Muhammad married Aisha for a divine purpose. Young girls who had questions about sex needed someone to talk to, and who better for this task than the young wife of the Prophet? Further, Muhammad wanted to establish puberty as an appropriate age for marriage, so he decided to demonstrate this rule by marrying Aisha.

RESPONSE: Muslims have failed to offer a sufficient reason for God to ordain the marriage.

There are numerous problems with this line of defense. First, such a response could be used to justify nearly any behavior. Consider a husband on trial for beating his wife. When he takes the stand, he explains, “Your Honor, many women are victims of spousal abuse, and they need someone to talk to. Out of the kindness of my heart, I decided to beat my wife, so that she would be able to comfort other women whose husbands beat them.” This explanation would never be accepted (except, perhaps, in countries under Islamic rule, where Qur’an 4:34 guarantees a husband’s right to beat his wife). Besides, if Muhammad had simply outlawed sex with children instead of becoming a willing participant, little girls wouldn’t have to worry about sex, and they wouldn’t need to question Aisha.

Second, it isn’t necessary for a lawgiver to institute laws by performing actions that create a precedent. In other words, Muhammad didn’t need to marry a young girl in order establish a law about marrying girls who had reached puberty. Muhammad, as Islam’s lawgiver, could have simply issued a decree. For instance, Muhammad allowed husbands to beat their wives. Was it necessary for Muhammad to beat his wives in order to establish this as a law? Certainly not (even though he did beat Aisha in Sahih Muslim 2127). Similarly, when an American lawmaker says that killing someone in self-defense is acceptable, no one argues that the lawmaker must go out and kill someone in self-defense for his law to stand. Hence, the argument that Muhammad needed to marry a young girl to establish puberty as the appropriate age for marriage completely fails.

Third, the Muslim claim that Aisha was a “precocious child” strains the evidence. As we have seen, Aisha herself reports that, when she was taken to Muhammad’s house, she was playing on a swing with her friends. She was also still playing with dolls. Based on the evidence, Aisha sounds like a normal little girl, not like a young adult. Moreover, Muhammad didn’t marry her because she was precocious; he married her because he was dreaming about her.

Fourth, God couldn’t have been using Muhammad’s relationship with Aisha to establish puberty as the minimum age for marriage, since the Qur’an clearly allows marriage to prepubescent girls. According to Surah 2:228, if a Muslim man wants to divorce his wife, he should wait until she has gone through three monthly cycles (i.e., three periods) in order to make sure that she isn't pregnant. But the question later arose: What about wives who do not have monthly cycles? How long should their husbands wait to divorce them? The Qur'an answers this question in Surah 65:4, where it gives divorce rules for (1) women who do not have monthly cycles because they are too old, (2) girls who do not have monthly cycles because they are too young, and (3) women and girls who do not have monthly cycles because they are pregnant. The verse declares that, if Muslim men want to divorce girls who haven't yet reached puberty, they must wait three months (after having sex with them). The verse reads:

Qur'an 65:4 (Hilali-Khan)—And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the 'Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubts (about their periods), is three months, and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, except in case of death]. And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is until they deliver (their burdens), and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.

In case there is confusion about the meaning of this verse, here are three classic Muslim commentaries on 65:4:

Tafsir Ibn Kathir—Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her `Iddah is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah [see 2:228]. The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn—And [as for] those of your women who (read allà'ï or allà'i in both instances) no longer expect to menstruate, if you have any doubts, about their waiting period, their prescribed [waiting] period shall be three months, and [also for] those who have not yet menstruated, because of their young age, their period shall [also] be three months.

Tafsir Ibn Abbas—(And for such of your women as despair of menstruation) because of old age, (if ye doubt) about their waiting period, (their period (of waiting) shall be three months) upon which another man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! What about the waiting period of those who do not have menstruation because they are too young?” (along with those who have it not) because of young age, their waiting period is three months.

Hence, unless Muslims expect us to believe that God wanted Muhammad to marry Aisha in order to refute the Qur’an, they must abandon this response. (I could also point out that, according to Muslim sources, Aisha hadn’t reached puberty by the time Muhammad consummated his marriage with her. Click here for sources proving that Aisha was still prepubescent when she was taken to Muhammad’s house.)

Fifth, Muslims search for reasons that would justify Muhammad’s relationship with Aisha because they are convinced that everything Muhammad did had a divine purpose behind it. When critics point out Muhammad’s numerous murders and assassinations, Muslims claim that these violent acts were fair and just. When critics note the extent of Muhammad’s polygamy, or his participation in the slave-trade, or his countless robberies (click here for references), Muslims provide answers based on the view that Muhammad was an outstanding moral example. Similarly, when Muslims are confronted with the evidence for Muhammad’s sexual encounters with Aisha, they assume that there must have been a reason for it. They then invent reasons for Muhammad’s behavior (i.e., the other little girls needed someone to talk to about sex), and they offer these reasons as a defense of Muhammad’s morality. However, non-Muslims do not share this confidence in Muhammad’s moral perfection. When non-Muslims hear about Muhammad’s violence, his greed, his polygamy, and his support of spousal abuse, we aren’t as quick to exonerate Muhammad as Muslims are. Because of this, Muslim justifications for Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha sound hollow when presented as a defense of his actions.

Finally, Muslim explanations for Muhammad’s behavior fail to take into account the dangers that accompany sex at a young age. Many Muslims assume that, as soon as a young girl gets her first period, she is suddenly ready to bear children. This “old enough to bleed, old enough to breed” mentality, aside from being disgusting, is completely false. A nine-year-old girl isn’t ready for sex or childbirth, even if she reaches menses earlier than other little girls. Children that young are still growing. When they become pregnant, their bodies divert nutritional resources to the developing fetus, depriving the growing girls of much-needed vitamins and minerals. Further, complications often result from adolescent pregnancies, because the bodies of the young girls simply aren’t ready to give birth.

(For a discussion of child-brides, click here.)

Western nations, unfettered by blind allegiance to seventh-century Arab ethics, have long discerned the dangers posed by adolescent pregnancies. Muslim apologists often claim that marriage to young girls was common in biblical times. This may be correct, but it has nothing to do with God endorsing the practice. Whereas many Christian countries have recognized the potential harms brought on by pregnancies among adolescent girls and have raised the legal age for marriage, Muslim countries are often kept from such advancements specifically because of Muhammad. This is very interesting, for Muslims frequently claim that Muhammad was scientifically enlightened and that the Qur’an is a scientific masterpiece. In reality, Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha is causing health problems (and even death) for young girls across the Middle East and North Africa, and has been doing so for nearly fourteen centuries. The dangers have even been noted by the United Nations, which issued the following report in an attempt to curb Islamic child marriage:

Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practicing them.

Child marriage robs a girl of her childhood-time necessary to develop physically, emotionally and psychologically. In fact, early marriage inflicts great emotional stress as the young woman is removed from her parents’ home to that of her husband and in-laws. Her husband, who will invariably be many years her senior, will have little in common with a young teenager. It is with this strange man that she has to develop an intimate emotional and physical relationship. She is obliged to have intercourse, although physically she might not be fully developed.

Health complications that result from early marriage in the Middle East and North Africa, for example, include the risk of operative delivery, low weight and malnutrition resulting from frequent pregnancies and lactation in the period of life when the young mothers are themselves still growing.

Early pregnancy can have harmful consequences for both young mothers and their babies. According to UNICEF, no girl should become pregnant before the age of 18 because she is not yet physically ready to bear children. Babies of mothers younger than 18 tend to be born premature and have low body weight; such babies are more likely to die in the first year of life. The risk to the young mother’s own health is also greater. Poor health is common among indigent pregnant and lactating women.

In many parts of the developing world, especially in rural areas, girls marry shortly after puberty and are expected to start having children immediately. Although the situation has improved since the early 1980’s, in many areas the majority of girls under 20 years of age are already married and having children. Although many countries have raised the legal age for marriage, this has had little impact on traditional societies where marriage and child-bearing confer "status" on a woman.

An additional health risk to young mothers is obstructed labor, which occurs when the baby’s head is too big for the orifice of the mother. This provokes vesicovaginal fistulas, especially when an untrained traditional birth attendant forces the baby’s head out unduly. (Source)

Contrary to Muslim claims, a nine-year-old girl just isn’t ready for sexual intercourse or for its possible ramifications (i.e., pregnancy, giving birth, breast-feeding, and raising a child). It is unnecessarily dangerous, for a much safer relationship could be crafted if the marriage were to take place several years later, when the girl reaches her late teens. Muslims may respond here by arguing, “But Aisha never became pregnant, so none of this matters.” Yet it does matter. Every year, countless young girls, still playing with dolls, are taken to live with much older husbands. If these husbands were to be challenged, they wouldn’t respond by saying, “But it’s part of Arabic culture”; instead, they would reply, “It can’t be wrong, because Muhammad did it.” In other words, even if we grant the bizarre claim that Aisha was somehow ready for sex and marriage, most nine-year-old girls aren’t ready for sex and marriage. But the practice of marrying children continues to this day in many Muslim countries, largely because Muslims hold up Muhammad as their highest role model.

FOURTH MUSLIM DEFENSE: The average lifespan in Muhammad’s day was so low that people had to marry young.

Muslim debater Osama Abdallah argues that Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha was justified, because people in Muhammad’s day needed to marry early:

Life 1400 years ago was very rough in the too hot desert. From my personal knowledge, the average life span back then was 50 years. People used to die from all kinds of diseases. Both parents of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for instance, died natural deaths before he even knew them. (Source)

On this view, since people could die at any time in the “hot desert,” they would get married at a very early age to make sure they had as many years together as possible.

RESPONSE: Muhammad was already more than fifty years old when he consummated his marriage to Aisha, so there was no need for him to marry such a young girl.

Abdallah’s claim might make sense if Muhammad had been nine or ten years old when he married Aisha. But the Prophet of Islam was already well advanced in years. He was far closer to death than most available women, so why not marry an adult instead of a child? At the very least, why not marry a fully developed twenty-year-old instead of a little girl playing on a swing? By marrying Aisha when she was so young, Muhammad was, in effect, condemning her to a life of widowhood, for the Qur’an barred Muslims from marrying Muhammad’s widows (33:53). Beyond all this, Abdallah’s argument ignores the facts. Muhammad didn’t marry Aisha because the average life span was fifty years old; instead, he married her because (1) he had been dreaming about her, and (2) he had the power to persuade Abu Bakr to give him his daughter in marriage.

FIFTH MUSLIM DEFENSE: Other people have done it too—even Christians!

Abdallah also employs an “everybody’s doing it, so it’s okay” defense:

Not only was it a custom in the Arab society to Engage/Marry a young girl, it was also common in the Jewish society. The case of Mary the mother of Jesus comes to mind. In non biblical sources she was between 11-14 years old when she conceived Jesus. Mary had already been “BETROTHED” to Joseph before conceiving Jesus. Joseph was a much older man. Therefore Mary was younger than 11-14 years of age when she was “BETROTHED” to Joseph. We Muslims would never call Joseph a Child Molester, nor would we refer to the “Holy Ghost” of the Bible, that “Impregnated” Mary as a “Rapist” or “Adulterer.” (Source)

RESPONSE: Besides committing the “tu quoque” fallacy, this defense misses the point of the criticism against Muhammad.

Tu quoque is a type of fallacy that attempts to ignore a criticism because of some hypocrisy found in the critic. For instance, suppose I’m a thief. One day, I catch someone stealing my car, and I say, “Stop, Thief!” If the person stealing my car turns to me and says, “But you’re a thief too, so it’s not wrong for me to steal,” he will be committing the tu quoque fallacy. (It’s not okay to steal just because other people steal.)

Muslims rely heavily on the tu quoque. When people criticize Islam for terrorism, it’s common to hear Muslims say, “But Americans are killing Arabs!” as if this were a meaningful response to the charge. Likewise, when someone says, “Look at all the people Muhammad killed,” Muslims respond by saying, “But people were killed in the Bible too.”

To say that Joseph married a young girl in the Bible does nothing to address the problem of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha. At best, such a defense would only show that Christians are being inconsistent. But in reality, the Muslim defense doesn’t even show this, since their comparison fails, for several reasons.

First, there is no real historical data reporting the age of Mary when she married Joseph. True, given the custom of the time, she was probably fairly young, perhaps as young as twelve or thirteen. But since we have no historical references to her age, we can’t rule out the possibility that Mary was twenty years old. The point here is this: people criticize Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha based on what we know (i.e., that Aisha was nine years old), whereas Muslims reply based on what we don’t know (i.e., the age of Mary).

Second, we must not forget that, biologically, thirteen-year-old girls are very different from nine-year-old girls. Nine-year-old girls typically haven’t reached menses. In a best-case scenario for Abdallah’s defense, a girl this young may have just entered the beginning stages of puberty (note: puberty is a process that lasts several years). A thirteen-year-old girl, on the other hand, may be coming to the end of puberty. Thus, even if we grant a young age for Mary, there would still be a world of difference between her and Aisha.

Third, Muslim apologists seem to miss the fact that Joseph is not the standard of morality in Christianity. When critics point to the age of Aisha, they are arguing something like this: “You’re trying to tell me that Muhammad was the greatest moral example of all time and that I should believe everything he says? I can’t believe that a person who would have sex with a little girl was the greatest man ever.” More simply, Muhammad is foundational to Islam. If there is a problem with Muhammad, there is a problem with Islam. If Muhammad was immoral, then it becomes difficult to take his teachings seriously. Thus, it makes no sense for a Muslim to say, “Well, Joseph married a young girl too.” Joseph isn’t foundational to Christianity. If an ancient text were found tomorrow, and this ancient text proved that Joseph was an axe-murderer, Christianity wouldn’t be affected at all, because Christians don’t consider him to be a prophet, or a bringer of revelation, or even an important figure in Christianity. Thus, if Muslims want to show that Christians are being inconsistent, they need to show that Jesus, or Peter, or Paul, or someone central to Christianity, did the things that Muhammad did. Fortunately, Jesus was sinless, and the apostles lived exemplary lives once they had committed themselves to Jesus.

The Internet is filled with examples of Muslim responses of this sort. Muslim websites constantly note that young girls are married in various countries and that these young girls sometimes give birth. No one doubts this. The problem is that this has nothing to do with whether or not marriage to a nine-year-old girl is morally acceptable for a mighty prophet. The fact that Muslims are forced to resort to an “everyone’s doing it” defense shows that they have run out of responses.

ASSESSMENT: Two Interpretations of “Pedophile.”

Muhammad unquestionably had sex with Aisha when she was nine years old. Does this make him a pedophile? Our answer to this question will depend on our definition of “pedophile.” In common usage, as well as in some dictionaries and even certain medical dictionaries, a “pedophile” is defined as anyone who is attracted to a young girl or boy. Stedman's Medical Dictionary, for instance, defines “pedophilia” as “the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children” (Source). Since Muhammad had sex with a child, he been called a “pedophile” in this sense in numerous writings, sermons, and conversations.

The term “pedophile” has a more specific clinical use, however, where a “pedophile” is someone who has an exclusive or primary sexual interest in children. For example, The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders defines “pedophilia” as “a psychosexual disorder in which the fantasy or actual act of engaging in sexual activity with prepubertal children is the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification” (Source). Because Muhammad was sexually attracted to women and girls of various ages (including Khadijah, who was 15 years his senior), he would not be a pedophile in this more specific sense.

Hence, given the ambiguity of the term, care should be used when applying it. Indeed, since the term is commonly understood in the narrower sense, critics of Islam may be better off not using it at all. (Needless to say, people who are interested in maintaining an ongoing discussion with Muslims should avoid emotionally charged terms whenever possible.)

Nevertheless, Muslims are too hasty in dismissing objections to Muhammad’s relationship with Aisha. When Muslims tell us to convert to Islam, we can’t simply ignore their prophet’s marriage to a nine-year-old girl. Muslims view Muhammad as the highest example of a moral life, but his marriage to Aisha conflicts with that view. If they want to put Muhammad forward as the pattern of conduct for all humanity, Muslims need to come to terms with the many questionable things he did, as well as the catastrophic impact of his actions.

There is, of course, a simple (but highly explicit) way to evaluate the importance of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha. We must begin by trying to get a mental picture of a morally perfect man. For Muslims, this will include all the things they have been taught about Muhammad. According to their picture, he is kind, generous, patient, humble, and trustworthy. He protects orphans and widows, endures persecution, helps the needy, and promotes justice. He prays faithfully, fasts regularly, and obeys God in everything. He is loyal to his friends and patient with his enemies. He never gives in when tempted with evil. Now we must picture this same man in a room with an innocent little girl. He takes away her doll, climbs on top of her, and forces his penis inside her. She doesn’t know what is happening because she is too young to know much about sex. Frightened and confused, she cries because of the pain and bleeds on her bed, but she tries to remain quiet out of respect for her new husband, who, in return, endangers her life.

If a person is able to keep the same vision of moral perfection throughout this description, he may have the faith necessary to be a Muslim. But if his vision of the perfect man is at odds with what Muhammad did on numerous occasions, he will need to look elsewhere for an ideal human being.


WORKS CITED

Ali, Maulana Muhammad. Muhammad the Prophet (St. Lambert: Payette and Sims, 1993).
Mawdudi, Abul A’la. Towards Understanding Islam (Islamic Circle of North America, 1986).
Sahih al-Bukhari, Muhammad Muhsin Khan, tr. (Riyadh: Darussalam Publishers, 1997).
Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, tr. (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 2000).
Sunan Abu Dawud, Ahmad Hasan, tr. (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 2000).

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Former Muslim's Open Letter to Dr. Zakir Naik

It can be disheartening to see so much blatant deception among Islam's top apologists. However, I've been saying for several years that by spreading erroneous propaganda in defense of Islam, people like Zakir Naik are setting themselves up for a fall. The more lies Dr. Naik tells in order to convert ignorant people to Islam, the easier it becomes to expose his lies.

Here's an open letter from a former fan of Dr. Naik. He is clearly upset that he once trusted Islam's most popular apologist. We can only hope that more Muslims will take heed.

Assalamu Alaikum,

Zakir Sahab,

This is Sarfraz Ahmed from Kolkata (India). You must not remember me, but I volunteered at Park Circus Maidan (Kolkata) when you visited the city in the year 2006 for a session. I have been in Saudi Arabia for five year and was a staunch Ahle Hadith and quite successfully propagated this sect in our locality. I was a member of Jubail Dawah Centre in Saudi Arabia and used to talk people of Islamic universities in there where research is done on Islamic subjects and literatures. I have been a great fan of yours. Being a Ahle-Hadith, I have a pretty good knowledge of Quran and Hadiths but a year back and I used to argue with people of other faiths and other sects and denomination and used to urge Muslim youth to sacrifice their life for Jihad but when I came back from Saudi, I met my school days’ friend, Abid Ali, who is very learned and writes articles sometimes in FFI and Islam-Watch. He enlightened me about Islam. He shuddered me with questions and criticisms raised against Islam. He showed me a few things about your arguments or justifications, like why pork is prohibited in Islam and beef is allowed as swine practice wife swapping and Kaaba is at the centre of the earth, which is indeed a spheroid. And how you proved that Quran says, the earth is egg-shaped which, previously, I was unable to grasp the fallacy of. Here, is the one.

Translations of (Quran-79:30)
Pickthal: “And after that He spread the earth,”
Yusuf Ali: “And the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse)”
Malik: “After that He spread out the earth,”
Arberry: “and the earth-after that He spread it out,”
Shakir: “And the earth, He expanded it after that.”
Sarwar: “After this, He spread out the earth,”
Hilali/Khan: “And after that He spread the earth,”
Maulana Ali: “And the earth, He cast it after that.”
Free Minds: “And the land after that He spread out.”

Zakir Naik: “And the earth, moreover, Hath He made egg shaped.”
(In the Quran and Modern Science: Compatible or Incompatible? Page-11, Chpater-3-Astronomy)

It is only Islamic bogus-scientist who can find a central point even on a spherical object. How disgusting these people are who believe in such absurdities and fallacies.

Islam is the only religion solely running on the lies and the illegitimate income (Haraam ki Kamai) and Arabs are the only creature on the earth which eat without work and earn without labour, while even plants and trees survive on toil by digging into earth. Obviously they would believe in Allah and Muhammad ardently, both the source of their effortless income. While large mass of Ummah live the life of destitution and hardship all over the globe, spending their little hard-earned money on Hajj and Umrah. Religion is an excellent stuff in keeping mass ignorant and content with poverty and misery while the corrupt enjoy every sort of luxury and lavishness. Abid also showed me that you and people of the your organisation and your volunteers decline the challenge of debate between you and Ali Sina, saying it has to be carried out face to face in the presence of thousands of people. Is this how you defend Islam and is this what your pedophile prophet Muhammad taught you? In fact, this is what your prophet taught Ummah, to silence critics, to kill apostates, to non-believers, to kill Jews and Christians, rather everyone who do not believe in the lies of Muhammad. I read all your books and seen all the video you produced, and Abid showed me how you fooled 1 Billion who were desperate to be nincompoop all over this modern world by writing just few thin books. If there is really a hell, then I guarantee your prophet, you and people like you will be in the intense of it. You are extremely corrupt, immoral and fraudulent man, now I feel nauseated by your name.

Mr. Naik, I challenge you that Ali Sina will definitely come to India and will debate in the presence of thousands of Muslims, rather lakhs of them, provided that you remove that verse from Quran which says, apostates should be killed (Q- 4:89), let’s see who is ‘Mard ka Bacha’ (Macho Man). I guarantee Ali Sina would come to debate face to face with you (He is a Real Man of Honour), you just fulfill the condition. Let’s see who is ‘Mard ka Bacha’!

In all religions, scriptures are interpreted as per the meanings from the relevant dictionaries but in Islam Arabic dictionaries are amended as per the contemporary facts and truth which science and technology reveals. In the universities and research centers like IRF and others this perversion, manipulation and amendments are made with extreme care and complete dishonesty.

I wept holding the black cover of Kaaba, now I am weeping why I wept, ignorantly like a jackass. Now, I realized these things nothing but emotional foolishness, which is the main prop, all religions stand on.

Now, I am out of Islam, and this is my testimony to FFI and IW. I feel grateful that Allah did not guide me to the allegedly ‘Siratul Mustaqeem’.

A proud and fresh ex-Muslim, Sarfaraz

Period. (Source)

60 Minutes: Benghazi

On September 11, 2012, the Obama Fantasy ran into the Islamic Reality. The Obama Fantasy goes something like this: "Muslims just want a little respect. Hence, if we praise their religion, they will love us. If we help them conquer secular dictators, they will love us even more. The way to end terrorism, then, is to show Muslims that we're on their side." This fantasy led Obama to praise Islam in Cairo shortly after he was elected President. It also led the U.S. to back jihadists in Libya, Egypt, and Syria. 

Unfortunately, the Islamic Reality is that the Qur'an commands Muslims to violently subjugate non-Muslims (9:29) and to brutally slaughter anyone who opposes Islam (5:33). Jihadists do not want respect. They want paradise. And they can only attain paradise by obeying Allah's commands in the Qur'an.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fifteen-Year-Old Yemeni Girl Killed by Father for Talking to Her Fiancé

But the real problem is Islamophobia, right?

(CNN)—A 15-year-old Yemeni girl was burned to death by her father for "communicating with her fiance," according to Yemen's Interior Ministry.

The father, a 35-year-old man, was arrested Tuesday in a village in Taiz Province. The statement did not clarify when the girl was killed.

The case, which activists are calling an honor crime, is once again highlighting the plight of young girls in Yemen, where child marriages and honor killings still happen.

According to Human Rights Watch, more than half of all females in Yemen are married off before the age of 18.

Leading child rights advocate Ahmed Al-Qureshi confirmed to CNN his organization, Seyaj, had been asked to investigate the incident, one he considered an "honor killing." (Continue Reading.)

Syrian Conflict Spreads to Australia

Not to worry, though. The U.S. is backing the Syrian rebels, while Russia is backing the Assad regime. So there's no chance of this escalating further.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saudi Leaders Threaten Women Over Planned Protest

Notice that women in the Muslim world must constantly appeal to the international community to win their rights. Why? Because change in Islam never comes from within.

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi officials stepped up warnings on Friday over plans by women to challenge the male-only driving rules in the ultraconservative kingdom, saying that even online support for the protest could bring arrest.

The warnings came on the eve of the planned protest by Saudi women activists who have obtained driver's licenses abroad. The Internet has been a key tool in reaching out to international media and organizing the demonstration, similar to one staged last year by a small group of women.

Though no specific Saudi law bans women from driving, the rules are enforced by Saudi clerics who hold far-reaching influence over the ruling monarchy and give it political legitimacy.

Mention of the strict Saudi laws against online political dissent significantly broadens the possible fallout from the expected campaign by Saudi women, who have pledged to get behind the wheel on Saturday in defiance of Saudi traditions enforced by the nation's powerful Islamic religious establishment.

Friday's edition of the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat quotes Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Turki al-Faisal as saying cyber-laws could apply to anyone supporting the women driving campaign.

Conviction can bring up to five-year prison sentences and stiff fines, the article quoted a Saudi consultant on cyber laws, Marwan al-Ruwqi. (Continue Reading.)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Iran Sentences Christians to 80 Lashes for Drinking Communion Wine

The persecution of Christians in the Muslim world has continued for nearly fourteen centuries. Yet, according to Western Muslim organizations like CAIR and ISNA, as well as most politicians and media groups, only racists would object to the Islamic doctrines that give rise to this persecution.

FoxNews—Four Iranian Christians were reportedly sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion, a shocking punishment meted out even as a new United Nations report blasted the Islamic republic for its systematic persecution of non-Muslims.

The four men were sentenced Oct. 6 after being arrested in a house church last December and charged with consuming alcohol in violation of the theocracy's strict laws, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. They were among several Christians punished for their faith in a nation where converting from Islam to Christianity can bring the death penalty. According to a new October UN report by Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, such persecution is common, despite new President Hasan Rouhani's pledge to be a moderate.

“At least 20 Christians were in custody in July 2013," Shaheed wrote. "In addition, violations of the rights of Christians, particularly those belonging to evangelical Protestant groups, many of whom are converts, who proselytize to and serve Iranian Christians of Muslim background, continue to be reported.” (Continue Reading.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

U.S. Government Calls Evangelical Christians a Threat to the Nation . . . at Fort Hood

No word yet on whether actual jihadists are a threat to the nation.

FoxNews—Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A soldier who attended the Oct. 17th briefing told me the counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.”

Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, is advising the soldier and has launched an investigation into the incident.

“The American public should be outraged that the U.S. Army is teaching our troops that evangelical Christians and Tea Party members are enemies of America, and that they can be punished for supporting or participating in those groups,” said Berry, a former Marine Corps JAG officer.

“These statements about evangelicals being domestic enemies are a serious charge.”

The soldier told me he fears reprisals and asked not to be identified. He said there was a blanket statement that donating to any groups that were considered a threat to the military and government was punishable under military regulations.

“My first concern was if I was going to be in trouble going to church,” the evangelical Christian soldier told me. “Can I tithe? Can I donate to Christian charities? What if I donate to a politician who is a part of the Tea Party movement?”

Another soldier who attended the briefing alerted the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. That individual’s recollections of the briefing matched the soldier who reached out to me.

“I was very shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” the soldier said. “I felt like my religious liberties, that I risk my life and sacrifice time away from family to fight for, were being taken away.”

And while a large portion of the briefing dealt with the threat evangelicals and the Tea Party pose to the nation, barely a word was said about Islamic extremism, the soldier said.

“Our community is still healing from the act of terrorism brought on by Nidal Hasan – who really is a terrorist,” the soldier said. “This is a slap in the face. “The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.” (Continue Reading.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ode to Bin Laden by Samantha Lewthwaite

"White Widow" Lewthwaite
Samantha Louise Lewthwaite, aka the "White Widow," was raised as a Christian. As a teenager, however, she converted to Islam and eventually married Germaine Lindsay, another convert to Islam. After Germaine Lindsay died in the 7/7 Bombings in London, the media rushed to Lewthwaite as she declared that Islam is a religion of peace that had nothing to do with her husband's attack on innocent civilians. Unfortunately, Lewthwaite was lying, but she knew that she could easily manipulate the gullible media. Lewthwaite is now on the run, raising her children to be martyrs for Allah, and writing Islamic poetry. Here is her love poem about Osama bin Laden.

Ode to Bin Laden

Oh sheik osama my father, my brother
My love for you is like no other
Oh Sheik Osama now that you are gone
The muslims must wake up they must be strong
I know that you are in a better place
That Allah has bestowed upon you grace.
Us we are left to continue what you started.
To seek the victory until we are martyred.
To instill terror into kuffar.
Until the world is governed by la illaha illala.
Oh sheik osama no this for true
My heart will not find peace until all muslims do.
Everything you had you gave for Allah
No surrender will take us all far.
Your life an example of how we should be.
Oh Muslims listen to our beloved sheik’s words
Let not his struggle and efforts go unheard
Revive what he started and strive to success
Then maybe we can be raised with the best.
Oh sheik Osama we are jealous of you to be of those who the promise is true
The promise is truth which is binding if only we knew
Verily Allah has purchased the lives of the believers that theirs shall be paradise.
They fight in Allahs cause, so they kill and are killed.
It is a promise binding on Allah in taurat, injill and Qur’an
And who is truer to his covenant than Allah?
As for our enemies our words will be less.
You picked the wrong army to contest.
Al Qaeda are stronger and fiercer than ever.
Thinking in the end you are stupid it will NEVER
Be over until the day that we see our lands returned and governed by He Allah the almighty, whose law is complete.
So make your plans and He is the best of planners.
Their was no victory for you Mr Obama, the honour is his on martyred Osama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Source)

Did you catch her quotation from Surah 9:111? The verse reads:

Qur’an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.

Australian Sunnis Threaten to Kill and Rape Dearborn Shias During Hajj

Note that the attackers are not from Afghanistan or Sudan. They were Australian Muslims who were ready to slaughter and rape U.S. Shias during the Hajj. Perhaps President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron can explain "true" Islam to these violent Sunnis.

Detroit Free Press—A group of metro Detroiters visiting Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim pilgrimage said they were attacked and threatened with death last week by a group of Sunni men from Australia because they are Shias, a minority sect within Islam.

One of the members of the group was strangled until his face turned blue and women in the group were threatened with rape, according to people who witnessed the attack last week. They allege that authorities in Saudi Arabia did not take their complaints seriously and deleted a video one of them had made of the incident.

A U.S. State Department official told the Free Press on Monday: “We are concerned by reports that a group of U.S. citizens was attacked ... at a campsite for Hajj pilgrims located outside of Mecca. We take these reports seriously and are committed to the protection of U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad.”

The Embassy of Saudi Arabia did not return a reporter’s calls or an e-mail seeking comment. The State Department official said the hajj and interior ministries in Saudi Arabia “have confirmed that they are investigating” the incident.

The Michigan Shias, led by Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of Dearborn, the spiritual leader of metro Detroit’s biggest mosque, were in Saudi Arabia on hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage that all observant Muslims are required to take at least once in their life if they’re able to. The group included three women from the Amen family who were featured in the reality TV show “All-American Muslim.”

While Shias from metro Detroit have reported being harassed before on hajj, last week’s incident was much more extreme and frightening, members of the group told the Free Press.

The attack occurred Wednesday evening as some members of the group walked into a tent in Mina, a city in Saudi Arabia where pilgrims are required to spend a night to fulfill the requirements of hajj. The tent was for pilgrims from the U.S., Australia and European countries.

The Shias said they were confronted by a large group of men they later learned were Lebanese-Australians who belong to a Sunni group known as Salafis.

The Salafis asked one of the Shia men if he was Shia, recalled Seyed Mothafar Al-Qazwini, a nephew of Imam Al-Qazwini. “He responded ‘yes.’ He was immediately attacked by three men, one grabbing him in a choke hold, the others punching him in the face.”

Al-Qazwini said the leader of the Salafis then shouted “Kill them all. Kill the Shia.”

Suehaila Amen of Dearborn said the attackers also yelled “Kafir” at the Shias, an insult that means “infidel” or “non-Muslim.”

Some of the Sunnis then ran to the women’s tents, telling them “if they do not leave in 15 minutes, they will rape them all,” Al-Qazwini said. (Continue Reading.)

Brunei Turns to Sharia

When U.S lawmakers introduce bills permanently banning the application of Sharia penalties where Sharia would conflict with U.S. laws, the media assures us that Sharia is benign and that it's only a matter of daily prayers, fasting, and so on. Yet whenever a nation adopts Sharia, suddenly the nation's leaders know that Sharia includes stoning for adulterers, amputations for thieves, etc. How can Sharia be so unclear to us and so incredibly clear to Muslim leaders?


BBC News—The sultanate of Brunei has announced it will enforce a tough new Sharia law penal code.

The code - to apply only to Muslims - is expected to introduce death by stoning for adulterers and the severing of limbs for theft.

Brunei already adheres to a stronger form of Islamic law than neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia, banning the sale and consumption of alcohol.

The new code, to be enforced in six months, will strengthen that policy.

Punishments could also include flogging for such crimes as consumption of alcohol or abortion, according to a copy of the code seen by news agency AFP.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 67, who is one of the world's wealthiest men, introduced the code, calling it "a part of the great history of our nation".

The sultan had already made religious education compulsory for Muslim children and ordered businesses to close during Friday prayers.

But until now, Brunei's Sharia courts were limited to family matters like marriage and inheritance.

Its civil courts are based on British law, a leftover from the sultanate's days as a British protectorate.

Brunei's citizens have one of the highest standards of living in Asia, thanks to revenues from oil and gas, and enjoy free medical care and education.

The sultan pledged the new code would not change his country's policies and officials have said in the past judges would be given discretion in sentencing.

The code is to be applied only to Muslims, who make up about two-thirds of a population of 420,000.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told AFP the situation shows "respect for basic civil and political rights is near zero in Brunei". (Source)

Jihadists Shoot and Hack to Death 19 in Nigeria

I had to get this story from Al Jazeera, because most Western news agencies aren't even bothering to report the attack. Of course, if non-Muslims had brutally murdered 19 Muslims, it would be international news for weeks, and world leaders would be lecturing us all about the dangers of Islamophobia. But since we have yet another thoroughly unsurprising terrorist carried out in the name of Allah, it doesn't even count as "news."

Al Jazeera—Boko Haram gunmen dressed in military uniform have killed 19 people near the Nigerian border with Cameroon in the restive northeast, residents and a survivor say.

The gunmen, armed with Kalashnikovs, blocked a highway on Sunday near the town of Logumani, 30km from the border around 5am local time, shooting and hacking to death 19 motorists and burning three trucks, residents said.

"We have recovered 19 dead bodies from the scene of the attack by Boko Haram gunmen," Musa Abur, leader of a civilian vigilante group in the area, told the AFP news agency.

"Five of the victims, who included two truck drivers and their assistants, were shot dead while the rest were slaughtered," he said.

He said the gunmen had attacked the border town of Gamboru near Logumani late on Friday but were repelled by soldiers and local vigilantes.

A similar account was given by another passenger. "We were asked to get out of our vehicles and lie face down by nine men dressed as soldiers who blocked the road around 5:00am," the man who gave his name as Buba told AFP.

"They shot dead five people and went about slaughtering 14 others before someone called them on the phone that soldiers were heading their way," he said.

"They abandoned the rest of us and sped into the bush on their motorcycles," added Buba who was shot in the leg. (Continue Reading.)

James White OWNS Shabir Ally!!! And SCHOOLS Him Too!!! Booyah!!!

Yes, it's a childish title for a post. And that's the point. I've often said that I think Shabir Ally is Islam's best debater. But now it seems that Shabir is resorting to childish antics such as claiming victory in the middle of a debate, in an effort to sway audience members who can't quite follow the arguments. I'm wondering if Shabir learned this tactic from Nadir Ahmed, who would repeatedly claim victory even when he was embarrassing himself and his religion.

So is Shabir going the route of empty rhetoric? If so, this is a dark day for the debate world. Instead of carefully weighing arguments and evidence, perhaps we should all just give up and start saying our guy "schooled" and "owned" the opposition. Of course, since Shabir, like all Muslim debaters, is thoroughly inconsistent in his methodology (he becomes a skeptic/atheist when he examines Christianity, but a Muslim fundamentalist when he examines Islam), Shabir's best bet may be a rhetorical attempt to distract the audience from his inconsistency.

Here is a portion of James's first response to Shabir:

During the cross examination period I asked Shabir to provide me with earlier Christian material than that found in the Carmen Christi, the hymn to Christ as to God, found in Philippians 2:5-11, that would demonstrate a view of Jesus contrary to that found in that primitive text. His response surprised me. He did not seek to identify a more primitive stratum of tradition. He did not question the provenance of the hymn fragment. Instead, he responded by pointing me to—the Old Testament! Now, of course, the Old Testament was not produced by early Christians, was it? It was completed centuries before the Christian movement began with Jesus of Nazareth. Our debate was about the earliest disciples of Jesus and what they believed about Him. Surely the Old Testament is relevant as a background document, but it seemed to me, and I leave it to the listeners to decide for themselves, that Shabir conceded, in his response, that the oldest specifically Christian tradition does, in fact, present the deity of Christ. Appealing to Shabir’s personal interpretation of the Old Testament is not sufficient to fulfill the burden of the debate topic.

But as I further pointed out, Dr. Ally tied himself in an even worse logical bind with the rest of his argument. He basically said that they earliest followers of Jesus were “monotheistic Jews” who could not have believed what Paul was teaching (clearly admitting Paul taught the deity of Christ, though errantly thinking that means he denied monotheism, an error that would have required Shabir to refute my exegesis of 1 Corinthians 8:6-7, which he was not able to do). Well, of course they were monotheistic Jews. That does not make them unitarians, however, as Paul was a monotheist Jew without embracing unitarianism. But, Shabir then went on to say that the deity of Christ developed slowly—first a slight elevation of Jesus, then a little more, to the status of a demigod, and then finally to full deity, etc., over time. This is one of the reasons Shabir (and all radical skeptical critics) have to move the gospels as far from the time period of Christ’s ministry as possible, to allow for this “evolutionary process” to take place. (I note in passing the popularity of putting John as late as 170 AD only a century ago—a theory blown apart by P52). But how can there be a slow evolutionary process like this, with the elevation of a mere man to the status of a demigod and then a full deity, if, in fact, the disciples of Jesus were monotheistic Jews? Would monotheistic Jews accept this kind of evolutionary development over time? Of course not! So, one has to modify the argument so that it is no longer monotheistic Jews who are in view in this development period, but, evidently, someone else—possibly pagans or polytheists or Greeks or something? We were not told when the transition supposedly took place. But once again we were left with a ton of assumptions and silence—we were told what the early Christians could not believe, but we were not given anything they left us to confirm the assertions made.

Now, after the cross-examination, I had another rebuttal period. I pointed out what had just happened, and laid out the problems with Shabir’s position. When Shabir rose to speak, he began by saying that he found it very strange that someone who had “lost the debate so badly” could claim to have won it! I was surprised at his tactic, but upon reflection, I fully understood it. He was under a great deal of pressure, having been introduced as the “leading” Islamic apologist, and so he needed to make a strong statement to deflect the argument that had just been presented. This he did in a way that riled up his base—but I don’t think it carried much weight with those who were seriously considering the issues. (Continue Reading.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Naida Asiyalova, Russian Suicide Bomber, Was Recent Convert to Islam

Naida Asiyalova converted to Islam and married explosives expert Dmitry Sokolov. Then she did this:


If this had happened in London, Prime Minister David Cameron would be at a press conference right now, reminding the world that such attacks have nothing at all to do with Islam's clear commands to kill unbelievers. If it had happened in New York, President Barrack Obama would be at a press conference right now, reminding the world that such attacks have nothing to do with Islam's clear commands to kill unbelievers. Let's see if President Vladimir Putin has more spine than Western leaders.

Muslim "Revert" Naida Asiyalova
RT—Preliminary data suggests that a female suicide bomber conducted the attack on the bus in Volgograd, central Russia, killing six people and injuring 37, according to the Russian Investigative Committee.

“Today at 2:05pm Moscow time [10:05 GMT] in Volgograd inside a bus, as a result of an unknown explosive device going off, a blast happened, leading to casualties,” a national Anti-terrorist Committee representative said in the statement.

Forty passengers were on the bus. At least eight of them are in critical condition. A 20-month-old toddler is among those injured. His state is assessed as moderately severe.

Russia’s Health Ministry indicated that most of the victims in the explosion sustained mine explosive-type wounds, caused by the bus’s paneling and the shattered glass.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Emergencies Ministry and the Ministry of Health to provide all the necessary help to the victims of the blast. An Emergencies Ministry plane, with medics and five special medical units on board, has arrived in Volgograd to help treat the injured.

A three-day mourning for the victims of the terrorist attack has been declared in Volgograd Oblast.

A young man named Ilya, an eyewitness of the terror act, who was in a different bus on the same route, described the scene of the blast to RT:

“First I saw a lot of pieces of broken glass scattered all over the driveway [road]… There definitely was an explosion in [the bus] as its windows burst outside sending glass to a considerable distance, but with no fire outbreak… There were a lot of police there and also people who had been just driving by and stopped to help the victims, they were bringing med kits with them. There were people from the emergency service at the scene helping the injured, but I saw a woman sitting inside the bus. She was covered with blood and I couldn’t make out whether she was alive or not. She was just sitting there.”

According to Ilya, lots of students use that bus route, as it stops at Volgograd State University, and there were apparently some students at the scene of the blast. The bus also passes the local Cardio Center, he said, adding that some heart patients might have been there too.

A relative of one of the surviving passengers told Echo of Moscow radio the explosion went off in the middle of the bus aisle. There were a lot of youngsters on the bus at the time of the blast, he said.

Witnesses reported that the front part of the vehicle was heavily damaged, and that the nearby cars had their windows broken.

The Investigative Committee has identified the woman who was the suicide bomber behind the blast: it's allegedly Naida Asiyalova, from Dagestan.

The preliminary information indicates that “the female suicide bomber recently converted to Islam, and was the wife of a militant leader,” an Investigative Committee representative told the media. (Continue Reading.)

For more on Jihad, watch this:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

UK Inmates Being Bullied into Converting to Islam

With nothing but time on their hands, UK Muslim inmates can't manage to find all of the peaceful, tolerant verses in the Qur'an. So they focus on the easy-to-find verses about violently subjugating unbelievers. Perhaps Prime Minister David Cameron can take some time out of his busy schedule to visit these inmates and explain "true" Islam to them. (He certainly finds time to explain it to non-Muslims.)

United Kingdom—Sky News has learned that increasing numbers of British inmates are being bullied into converting to Islam while in jail.

The Prison Officers Association says it is symptomatic of the growing power and influence of Muslim gangs in prison.

However, there are also concerns that some of those converts could be radicalised by more extremist elements in prison.

Sky News spoke to one young woman who said her brother was being bullied by members of a Muslim gang, who were trying to force him into converting to Islam.

The woman did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals against her brother, who is serving a sentence in excess of 10 years in a high security prison in England.

She said: "He just looks like a broken man ... he's tearful on visits. I'm just really scared for him."

She also claimed the bullying had taken a more violent turn: "He's been physically assaulted. He's had black eyes.

"In the showers, he got threatened with a knife. He's not going to back down. He's not going to convert for anyone."

She added: "He just spends his time in hiding in his cell. He's got at least another five years to serve. I don't know how much longer he can hold out."

Official sources acknowledge forced conversions are a problem in the country's prisons.

How large the problem is remains unclear, as inmates are often afraid to report such intimidation for fear of reprisals.

Joe Chapman, a former prison officer who now acts as a prison law consultant, believes the problem is on the increase.

"I think it could be a huge problem. Previously I'd probably only worked in about a dozen or so prisons as an officer," Mr Chapman said.

"But this job takes me to 40 or 50 over the year, throughout the country. It's become obvious to me that it's a growing problem.

"About half a dozen of my clients have directly reported problems with being forced to convert ... those that weren't Muslim when they came in and those that were and have been forced to look at more radical ideas about their faith."

It is the potential route to extremism that will be of most concern to the authorities. (Continue Reading.)

Let's Get Ready to Rumble: Two Muslims Square Off

Suhaib Webb and Abu Mussab have it out over Hamza Yusuf (among other things). The love is strong between these two followers of Allah and Muhammad. Watch and learn what brotherly love is all about.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Don't Let Her Leave Islam

Here's an interesting (and well made) video by Muslims. The point of the video is that Muslims need to help recent converts so that they don't leave Islam, but it's striking in its honesty about the experience of many converts. (I've heard plenty of stories of converts to Islam whose lives parallel much of what's in the video, especially the beatings.)

Pat Condell: There's No Racist Like a Liberal Racist

Islam is an ideology that promotes spousal abuse, sex with prepubescent girls, and the violent subjugation of unbelievers. If you criticize this ideology, however, you will be called a "racist," as if only racists are against spousal abuse, sex with prepubescent girls, or the violent subjugation of unbelievers.

Pat Condell responds to the "racism" charge in his latest video: "There's No Racist Like a Liberal Racist."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Obama-Backed Syrian Rebels Plant Bombs in Church

But if we keep sending the rebels weapons and supplies, maybe they'll eventually decide that the violent passages of the Qur'an should be ignored. (That seems to be the theory of Western governments.)

The Telegraph—Bombs have been planted in the confessional box of one of the world's oldest churches in a Syrian town hailed as the country's last remaining centre of religious tolerance, Syria's most senior Christian leader has disclosed.

On a visit to London to highlight the persecution of Christians in the civil war, Patriarch Gregorios III said the two devices were found at the Cathedral of Constantine and Helen in the rebel-held town of Yabroud.

Not only is the church one of the oldest in the world, but it lies in a town where Christians and Sunni Muslims have so far resisted efforts by al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups to drive a wedge between them.

As The Telegraph reported on a visit to Yabroud earlier this month, a self-appointed local council has tried to keep both foreign jihadists and local mafia gangs at bay, as well as government forces. Only last week the Syrian army shelled the church.

The Patriarch said that early on Tuesday morning, two remote controlled bombs were discovered planted in the church, one of them in the confessional box. Challenging the town's image of harmony, he also claimed that local Christian families had been asked to pay a monthly protection tax of $35,000 by local "armed groups".

"Yabroud is under the control of armed groups, and Christians are asked for protection money, yet in spite of this, there are these bombs being placed in the church," he said.

He added that in the event of a rebel victory in the country's civil war, life for Christians could get even harder because of the hardline Islamist elements in the anti-government ranks. (Continue Reading.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CAIR Spokeswoman Sarwat Husain Advises Muslims to Take Advantage of Gullible Media

Sarwat Husain is Vice Chair of the National Board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Speaking to a Muslim audience, she gives this advice: "It is very important, media in the United States is very gullible. Okay? And they will see if you have something, especially as a Muslim, if you have something to say, they'll come running to you. And take advantage of that."

Ms. Husain and I agree on one thing. The media are very, very gullible. The same reporters that CAIR calls "gullible" are the reporters who come running whenever CAIR wants to condemn critics of Jihad.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ethiopia: Premature Detonation Kills Suicide Bombers, No One Else

Jihadists are picking up the pace, while our leaders are making world peace collages in their dream journals.

(Reuters) - Two Somali suicide bombers who had planned to kill football fans during Ethiopia's World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria on Sunday blew themselves up accidentally before carrying out the attack, the Ethiopian government said on Monday.

The explosion on Sunday happened in the upscale Bole district of the capital, about 5 km (3 miles) from Addis Ababa Stadium where thousands of fans were gathering for the match.

"They were Somali nationals and plotted to carry out a suicide attack disguised as fans on either the stadium or areas where large crowds gathered to watch the game," government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said.

Explosives, arms, hand grenades and football shirts were found at the scene of the blast, at a residential address an hour before kick-off, Shimeles said. Three suspects were detained. The Bole district has a small Somali refugee community.

"Heavy police presence must have caused their nervousness and state of agitation which led to the detonation that caused their own death," Shimeles said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist rebels have vowed to exact revenge on Ethiopia for sending troops to Somalia to fight the al Qaeda-linked militants, alongside African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi and Kenya. (Continue Reading.)

For more on jihad, watch this:

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Toilets of Satan!

The following video taps into the rich pool of wisdom that wells up and flows from the Islamic sources. If the demonstrably otherworldly insight of Muhammad, a seventh century Arab that Muslims purport to have been illiterate and otherwise unresourceful in himself, is not obvious to you after watching this video, then little else can be expected to get through to you.

 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

William Lane Craig vs. Reza Aslan on the Historical Jesus

Reza Aslan claims to be a scholar of religion, yet he is completely out of touch with anything remotely resembling Historical Jesus scholarship. Nevertheless, his ignorance of the field didn't stop him from writing a book on the life of Jesus (which ranks alongside Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code in its scholarly prowess). William Lane Craig (an actual Historical Jesus scholar) responds to Aslan in the following video. If Aslan ever responds, I suspect he'll use his favorite tactic: Calling everyone who disagrees with him a "bigot."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Update on Islam in East Africa

Islam - the Religion of Peace and Love!

Some people portray Islam as a religion of hate and violence. Don't simply let other people tell you what to think about Islam. See for yourself what Muslims teach in the following video.

Saudi Men to Receive 2,000 Lashes for Dancing Naked

But don't let such punishments distract you from the fact that Islamophobia is the real problem.

(CNN) -- Four Saudi men accused of dancing naked on the roof of a car and posting a video of the incident online have been sentenced to as many as 2,000 lashes and up to 10 years in prison, and fined thousands of dollars, a newspaper reported this week.

A criminal court in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia, handed down the verdict on Wednesday, according to the newspaper al-Sharq.

Three of the men were sentenced to three to seven years in prison and 500 to 1,200 lashes, and one man received the harshest sentence -- 10 years and 2,000 lashes.

The fines came to 50,000 Saudi riyals ($13,000), the newspaper reported. The car they danced on was confiscated, al-Sharq reported, adding that the video of the incident has been removed. (Continue Reading.)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

U.S. Special Forces Capture Abu Anas Al Liby

Our leaders hunt down jihadists, but defend the ideology that calls for jihad. We might as well attack apples while nurturing apple trees.

Abu Anas Al Liby
FoxNews—Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that a pair of raids conducted in Africa by U.S. special forces signaled the ongoing determination of the United States to bring terrorists to justice and sent the message that "members of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide."

The Pentagon confirmed Saturday night that U.S. special forces had captured alive Abu Anas Al Liby in Tripoli, Libya. Liby, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Speaking Sunday at an economic conference in Bali, Indonesia, Kerry praised the "quality and courage" of the forces involved in the two actions and vowed that the United States "will never stop in the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror" and would "continue to try to bring people to justice in an appropriate way with hopes that ultimately these kinds of activities against everybody in the world will stop." (Continue Reading.)