Friday, August 14, 2015

Islamic texts justify sex slavery

Perhaps you have seen the important NY Times article which has gone viral this week: 'ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape'. To those unfamiliar with Islamic history or jurisprudence, the revelations in the landmark article are shocking, mind-blowing. But to those of us who have been studying Islam for at least a little while, the NY Times piece seems long overdue.

Following my recent post of the article by Fr George Maximov, 'Women Saints Who Suffered Under Islam', I was thinking of doing some followup posts on the theme of Islam's treatment of women. First in the series has to be the below excellent article by Robert Spencer, in which he comments on the NY Times article and expounds on the theological foundations of sex slavery in the Quran and the example of Muhammad.

Why should Christians be made aware of this satanic component of Islam?

1) To shine light into the darkness, and expose the lie that the "god" of Islam is the same as the True God revealed to the world in the Person of Jesus Christ;
2) To wake up well intentioned but uninformed Christians, who have been led to believe that Islam is basically "almost the same" as Christianity. One Orthodox hierarch in the Middle East openly teaches that "if you are a Christian and you know a lot about Islam and love what you know, your heart will embrace the Muslims around you and if you are educated, you will hold in esteem much from their religion and openly recognize the truth that is in their religion." This kind of thinking is the leaven of apostasy;
3) To equip Christians to refute Muslim preachers and proselytizers, so instead of being silent before them, Christians may point out to them the errors in their beliefs, and hopefully, by God's grace, lead them to repent, that, as St Silouan prayed for the peoples of the whole world, "they may come to know Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit."

‘He Said That Raping Me Is His Prayer to God’
It must be faced: in Islamic texts and teachings, the theological basis for this horror exists.
by Robert Spencer, PJ Media — April 14, 2015

There have been reports of hundreds of Yazidi women and children being sold at jihadi slave markets. In this picture a displaced Yazidi girl takes shelter at a school in Dahuk - See more at:
“He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God. … He said that raping me is his prayer to God.”

These extraordinary statements come from girls who were kept as sex slaves by jihadis of the Islamic State, as reported in a lengthy and revealing New York Times piece that was published Thursday.

Not only does the piece illustrate the horrifying ordeal that Yazidi and other non-Muslim women endure at the hands of the Islamic State when they are forced into sexual slavery, but — most surprisingly — the article explains in detail how these monsters believe they are pleasing their bloodthirsty god by destroying these girls.

Reported the Times’ Rukmini Callimachi:

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

Both before and after he raped her, he prostrated himself in Islamic prayer:

“He told me,” the girl recounted, “that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God.”

This was no isolated incident. A fifteen-year-old girl who had been forced into sex slavery recalled:

“He kept telling me this is ibadah” – that is, worship of Allah. “He said that raping me is his prayer to God. I said to him, ‘What you’re doing to me is wrong, and it will not bring you closer to God.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s allowed. It’s halal.’”

All this is reminiscent of Hamas’ statement:

Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to God.”

What kind of god is this?

What kind of moral blindness has overtaken non-Muslim leaders? They sit and drink tea and “dialogue” with Muslim clerics while being careful to avoid mention of anything like this — if they’re even aware of it at all — much less ask them what they’re doing to combat within Muslim communities the theological basis for sex slavery.

It must be faced: in Islamic texts and teachings, such a theological basis manifestly exists.
The Times quotes Kecia Ali, an academic Islamic apologist at Boston University:

In the milieu in which the Quran arose, there was a widespread practice of men having sexual relationships with unfree women.

“Unfree women”: for some reason, Ali doesn’t want to say the word “slave.” She goes on to claim:
[I]t wasn’t a particular religious institution. It was just how people did things.

However — and surprisingly, considering the track record — the Times had the integrity to cite Cole Bunzel of Princeton University. The article noted that Bunzel points out:

[There are] numerous references to the phrase “Those your right hand possesses” in the Quran, which for centuries has been interpreted to mean female slaves. He also points to the corpus of Islamic jurisprudence, which continues into the modern era and which he says includes detailed rules for the treatment of slaves.

There is a great deal of scripture that sanctions slavery. You can argue that it is no longer relevant and has fallen into abeyance. ISIS would argue that these institutions need to be revived, because that is what the Prophet and his companions did.

According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says:

O Prophet! We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have paid their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses of those whom Allah has given you as spoils of war (33:50).

Qur’an 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls:

The believers must win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or those whom their right hands possess, for they are free from blame. (Qur’an 23:1-6)

The rape of captive women is also sanctioned in Islamic tradition:

Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa’id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa’id, did you hear Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-’azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. 
So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Muslim 3371)

It is also in Islamic law:

When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled. (Umdat al-Salik O9.13)

One Islamic State jihadi, when challenged over his sexual abuse of a twelve-year-old girl by a woman who pointed out “she’s just a little girl,” replied:

No. She’s not a little girl. She’s a slave. And she knows exactly how to have sex. And having sex with her pleases God.”

The savage exploitation of girls and young women is, unfortunately, a cross-cultural phenomenon, but only in Islamic law does it carry divine sanction. Until this is confronted, many, many more young girls’ lives will be destroyed at the hands of men who think that in doing so they are bringing a smile to the face of their angry, vengeful, violent god.