Archive for Rape

Daily Mail Continues to Publish Inflammatory Headlines

Posted in Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Daily Mail Eid rape headline

The above was a recent headline in the Daily Mail. One wonders if the Daily Mail would ever run an article titled, “Christian gang kidnaps and rapes two girls as part of their Christmas celebration?”

The wholesale misattribution of the criminal conduct of these men to Islam fits a long pattern of Islamophobic reporting at the Daily Mail.

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch breaks it down below :

Another inflammatory anti-Muslim headline in the Mail

That’s the headline to an article in today’s Daily Mail, reporting on the conviction of a group of men for abducting, assaulting and raping two girls, aged 15 and 16.

The article quotes one of the convicted men as claiming that sex with the two girls was consensual: “It was Eid. We treated them as our guests. OK, so they gave us [sex] but we were buying them food and drink.”

And that single quote is the sole the basis for an inflammatory headline that plays to the poisonous far-right racist myth that Muslims are directed by their faith to sexually molest young girls.

It’s worth noting that the report is written by Katherine Faulkner, who last year co-authored the equally irresponsible and misleading report of a drunken assault in Leicester, which led to an EDL protest against so-called “anti-white racism” in the town.

It is no accident that the Mail was one of Anders Breivik’s favourite English-language newspapers. It is cited numerous times in the manifesto he published to justify his terrorist killings and an article by Melanie Phillips is reproduced in its entirety.

Amina Filali: Moroccan ‘Rape Marriage Law’ Highlights Worldwide Problem

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by loonwatch

Amina_Filali_Morocco_Protest

Morocco: Protests for Amina Filali and a change to the law

A 15 year old Moroccan teenager, Amina Filali was raped and subsequently forced to marry her rapist, despairing of justice Filali committed suicide.

Rape victims being forced to marry their rapists is an ancient practice that existed in many cultures throughout history, and is a real problem all over the world today, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

What compounded the crime was that not only was Filali forced to marry her rapist but Moroccan law was not on her side. The legal system in Morocco integrated this abhorrent cultural phenomenon in the 1950′s.

Islamophobes were quick at the time to misattribute the practice to Islam. For instance hate-monger Robert Spencer wrote:

This is done because the focus in Islam is not on the rape at all, but on the shame the woman has brought to her family by her sexual immorality, even if she was forced. That shame is erased if the rapist marries her.

Not to be outdone, the looniest blogger ever, Pamela Geller wrote:

More female empowerment under the sharia (Islamic law).

These were just two of the most prominent Islamophobes commenting on Filali’s death, hundreds of hate-blogs and sites in the Islamophobic looniverse echoed such commentary, sprinkling in their own anti-Muslim spin.

The misattribution of such cases and issues to Sharia’ and Islam is of course part of the well-worn demonization war that Spencer, Geller and their cohorts have been waging for years now. Facts are unimportant in this war, any crime or heinous action committed by a Muslim must be assigned to Islam goes their thinking. Lying to prove their point is not an impediment.

What they and their drone like blind followers will conveniently overlook for instance is that,

“…in 12 Latin American countries…rapist can be exonerated if he offers to marry the victim and she accepts…In Costa Rica, he can be exonerated even if she refuses his offer…” (UNICEF)

The majority of these nations are Catholic Christian, are we then going to blame Christianity for these laws?

If one wished to play a tit for tat it could easily be pointed out to the Islamophobes that it is in fact the Bible which commands a raped woman to marry her rapist, not the Qur’an,

“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” (Deuteronomy 22: 28-29)

Sadly, what is obfuscated and lost when the hate-mongers resort to racist tropes and Orientalist misattributions are the intrepid activists, the Muslim and Arab feminists who are fighting to change laws that can lead to such tragic results in their countries:

Morocco activists target ‘rape marriage law’

Yossi Gurvitz: IDF Colonel-Rabbi Implies Rape is Permitted in War

Posted in Loon Rabbis, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by loonwatch

Rabbi_Colonel_Eyal_Karim

Rabbi Colonel Eyal Karim

Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz describes himself as a former Orthodox Jew who claims to have seen the “light” and turned atheist at the age of 17. We are unfamiliar with his work but received this tip from a reader regarding one of his recent articles.

It is titled, IDF Colonel-rabbi implies: Rape is permitted in war. Colonel Eyal Qarim was questioned, (seemingly while not in uniform) about whether rape is permitted in war, and his answer implied that it was allowed.

Now I am unfamiliar with halacha or Jewish law, but my guess is it is a system as varied and expansive as Sharia’. Most likely you can find any opinion under the sun within halacha and so I am sure many will insist that the opinion proffered by the IDF Rabbi is not the only one, and is not the position of the IDF.

However, looking at the question and answer it exposes a troubling indication that an IDF Colonel Rabbi who was once being considered for the position of Chief Rabbi held the view that “rape is permitted in war.” More over it is not the first time that extremely problematic views have been expressed by influential IDF Rabbis.

It also brings us back to the question, “what if they were Muslim?”  If a prominent Muslim scholar had offered such an opinion one can be assured that it would be all over MEMRI.

Gurvitz omitted the whole question from the reader to the Rabbi, but we provide an approximate translation via. Google for context:

There have been various wars between nations, such as the First World War, for example, different nations fought each other, and no one was particularly good for the Jews or bad for the Jews…

But if they had captured a village and there were Jews and Jewish girls were raped, it is considered, rightly, a disaster and tragedy to the girl and family.

If yes, rape in war is considered a shocker. How, then was I told that a long, beautiful woman is allowed, according to some authorities, even before the process described in the Torah, I mean, surrender and lay with it created, and only then take her home, etc.?

This seems contradictory. After all, if rape is considered a civil war and not something shocking, why, apparently, Jews allowed?

Is it allowed in our days [sic] for an IDF soldier, for example, to rape girls during a fight, or is such a thing forbidden?

Now it’s very clear that the questioner is asking whether or not rape is allowed in war time. This is the answer that Rabbi Qarim gave (translation via. Gorvitz):

“The wars of Israel […] are mitzvah wars, in which they differ from the rest of the wars the nations wage among themselves. Since, essentially, a war is not an individual matter, but rather nations wage war as a whole, there are cases in which the personality of the individual is “erased” for the benefit of the whole. And vice versa: sometimes you risk a large unit for the saving of an individual, when it is essential for purposes of morale. One of the important and critical values during war is maintaining the army’s fighting ability […]

As in war the prohibition against risking your life is broken for the benefit of others, so are the prohibitions against immorality and of kashrut. Wine touched by gentiles, consumption of which is prohibited in peacetime, is allowed at war, to maintain the good spirit of the warriors. Consumption of prohibited foods is permitted at war (and some say, even when kosher food is available), to maintain the fitness of the warriors, even though they are prohibited during peacetime. Just so, war removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations (gilui arayot in the original – YZG), and even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge (yetzer ha’ra in the original  -YZG), under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole.”

Gorvitz comments on this:

Wow. Herein lies a hornet’s nest. The first is that according to Qarim, the rape of female prisoners is not just permitted, it is also essential to war; the success of the whole at war relies on it.

….

Another problem is that Qarim invokes here the usual apologetics of those who speak of “Jewish morality”: he claims war is a conflict between nations, not individuals, and that the individual has no importance at war. The raped woman is not a woman, is not a person, has no feelings and if she feels pain it is unimportant: she is not a woman or a person, just an individual of an enemy tribe whose misfortune was to be captured. Furthermore, Qarim says that rape during wartime is immoral if carried out by a rival tribe – but all Jewish wars are, by definition, mitzvah wars. If the rape of the defenseless is part and parcel of “Jewish morality,” it’s not hard to reach the conclusion it is inferior to all modern morality systems. It is also worth noting (Hebrew) that “Jewish morality” is a by-product of German blood and iron romanticism.

Yet a third problem is that, essentially, Qarim says there is nothing which may be prohibited in war, if it is done “for the success of the whole.” We know that the killing of armed combatants is permitted (this is, after all, the essence of war), and we now learn that, for His Blessed Name, the rape of women is also permitted. Then we must ask ourselves whether it is also permitted, for the sake of victory, to also kill unarmed people. Children, for instance, who we have good reason to think may seek one day vengeance for the death of their fathers and brothers and the torturing of their mothers and sisters. The notorious book “Torat Ha’Melekh” answered in the affirmative; it would be interesting to know what Qarim thinks, and whether there is anything he thinks a Jewish soldier ought not to do for victory.

But the real problem here is that Eyal Qarim is an IDF colonel (Aluf Mishneh), and is a senior officer in the Military Rabbinate, i.e. is in a senior position in the IDF religious edicts apparatus. I’ve sent the following questions to the IDF Spokesman:

  1. Is the rape of women during wartime agreeable to the IDF Ethics Code?
  2. If not, why does a prominent military rabbi promote it?
  3. If not, does the IDF intend to end the service of Col. Qarim, or bring charges against him?
  4. How does the IDF Spokesman intend to deal with the anticipated damage to its image in the international arena, resulting from Col. Qarim’s ruling?

Frankly, I did not expect an answer, but surprisingly enough an enraged officer from IDF Spokesman New Media Unit called me. His official response was that Qarim was not an officer in active service when he wrote that ruling, and furthermore that my question “disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion,” and hence his unit will no longer answer my questions.

I told him that, as an Israeli citizen, I considered Col. Qarim to be a ticking time bomb, which will blow up in the IDF’s face should a soldier rape an enemy woman: it would automatically be seen as official policy. I told him this happened in the past. He vehemently denied it, and wouldn’t listen.

I think that the fact that Qarim was on hiatus at the time – earlier he was the religious officer of a crack unit, Sayeret Matkal (commando unit) – is unimportant. What is important is that the Military Rabbinate chose to re-call an officer who wrote such a ruling to active service. Qarim was briefly considered a candidate for the position of the Chief Military Rabbi. This is the face of the IDF in 2012, and this is the face of the rabbis it chooses to employ. There are certainly more humane rabbis than Qarim; yet somehow these are not the rabbis who are promoted.

UK: Daily Mail Conflates Violent Criminal’s Actions with Islam

Posted in Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Is it necessary to turn a story about a rapist into one about the religion he grew up with?

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

‘Strict Muslim’ raped four women at knifepoint to ‘punish them for being on the streets at night’

by Bob Pitt

Thus the headline to an article in today’s Daily Mail. As is almost invariably the case when this newspaper reports on any issue involving Muslims, the headline is intentionally misleading.

If you read the article, you’ll see it is the rapist’s family background that is characterised as “strict Muslim” not the individual himself. In fact the judge in passing sentence made the point that the rapist carried out the attacks despite and in contradiction to his religious upbringing: “The fact that you have attacked these women not withstanding your background must represent your own wholly warped personality.”

But the headline suggests to the reader that it was the man’s strict adherence to his faith which produced the violent misogyny that led him to commit these crimes.

Arab Jailed for Having Sex with Israeli Woman

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by loonwatch

A very interesting and unbelievable case from Israel.

Arab jailed for sex with Israeli woman

By Adrian Blomfield, The Daily Telegraph July 20, 2010 1:02 PM

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after consensual sexual intercourse with an Israeli woman who believed he was Jewish because he introduced himself as “Daniel”. An Israeli court made international legal history by jailing Sabbar Kashur, from East Jerusalem, for 18 months.

The 30 year-old delivery man was convicted of “rape by deception” after a criminal trial that drew criticism from across Israel.

Kashur was accused of misleading the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, by introducing himself with the traditionally Jewish name when they met on a street in central Jerusalem in 2008. After striking up a conversation, they went into a nearby office block and engaged in a sexual encounter, after which Kashur quickly left.

The woman discovered his true racial background later, lawyers said.

Although conceding that the sexual intercourse was consensual, Tzvi Segal, the district court judge, concluded that the law had a duty to protect women from “smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price”.

She said: “If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have co-operated.”

A conviction for rape by deception on the grounds of racial misrepresentation is believed to be internationally unprecedented, according to British legal experts.

The charge is rarely used in the West. In 2007, a Syrian pilot walked free from a court in Swansea after being accused of tricking a woman into intercourse by saying it could cure a sexually transmitted disease. While forced sexual intercourse by deception is an offence under Israeli law, experts say it is a charge used sparingly in cases involving protracted deceit and a promise of marriage.

Adnan Aladdin, Kashur’s lawyer, said he had filed an appeal to ensure the verdict was not considered to be setting a precedent, adding that otherwise “many men would find themselves in jail”.

Israeli legal experts said they found the verdict disquieting. “It puts the law in the position of what could loosely be described as discrimination. I would feel intuitively uncomfortable about prosecuting someone for something like that,” said a former senior justice ministry official.

Gideon Levy, a leading liberal commentator, said: “What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman? Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not.”

The prosecutor was unavailable for comment. District attorney officials declined to discuss the case.

© Copyright (c) The Daily Telegraph

 

Church Forces Girl to Apologize After Being Raped, What if they were Muslim?

Posted in Loon Media, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2010 by loonwatch
Tina Anderson

We have often heard about horror stories from Saudia Arabia where a woman is raped and along with her attacker is accused of committing fornication and then flogged or at least sentenced to be flogged. Some might think that this sort of thing could never happen anywhere else, but something equally egregious occurred here in the USA.

A Christian church found out that one of its parishioner raped a fellow parishioner twice, impregnating her. What did they do? They sheltered the rapist, made him apologize for raping the girl and made the girl apologize for becoming pregnant.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks#p/u/7/V0hftd5B_Io 350 300]

Police: Girl raped, then relocated

After being raped and impregnated by a fellow churchgoer more than twice her age, a 15-year-old Concord girl was forced by Trinity Baptist Church leaders to stand before the congregation to apologize before they helped whisk her out of state, according to the police.

While her pastor, Chuck Phelps, reported the alleged rape in 1997 to state youth officials, Concord police detectives were never able to find the victim. The victim said she was sent to another church member’s home in Colorado, where she was home-schooled and not allowed to have contact with others her age. It wasn’t until this past February that the victim, who is now 28, decided to come forward after reading about other similar cases, realizing for the first time it wasn’t her fault that she had been raped, she told the police.

The police arrested Ernest Willis, 51, of Gilford, last week in connection with the case, accusing him of raping the girl twice – once in the back seat of a car he was teaching her to drive in and again after showing up at her Concord home while her parents were away. He was charged with four felonies – two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor, court records show.

In a statement to the police, the victim said Willis came to her home in the summer of 1997 without warning.

“He said he wanted to talk to me about something so I let him in the house,” she wrote. “He locked the door behind him and pushed me over to the couch. I had a dress on and he pulled it off. I pushed my hands against his shoulders and said ‘No,’ but he didn’t stop.”

At the time of the alleged rape, Phelps was in touch with the police, who told him to contact the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

But moving the girl out of state prevented the police from collecting evidence or a statement, the police said yesterday.

“Without a victim, it makes it very difficult to have a case,” said Lt. Keith Mitchell. “That basically made the investigation very difficult.”

At the time, Willis also refused to give a statement, police records show.

So for 13 years, a file on the case sat closed and marked “unresolved” at the Concord police station.

Police records do not show whether detectives asked church leaders to help them get in contact with the victim or if information was withheld.

“If somebody tried to cover this up or not cover this up, that’s a separate issue,” Mitchell said.

Phelps did not return a message seeking comment yesterday. He no longer works at the church.

“The leadership of Trinity Baptist Church reported this alleged crime within 24 hours of hearing the accusations on Oct. 8, 1997,” said spokesman Peter Flint from a prepared statement. “We continue in our commitment to cooperate with authorities so that justice is served.”

‘Completely in shock’

The victim said she came forward after getting in touch with Jocelyn Zichterman, who runs an online group for victims of church abuse.

In a seven-page statement to the police, the victim recounted the moments leading up to her departure from New Hampshire.

At 14, she began babysitting for Willis, a well-known member of the church. She told the police she would often stay the night if he got home late.

Just over a year later, he offered to give her driving lessons. While in the parking lot of a Concord business, Willis asked her to pull over to switch seats, she told the police.

But instead he pulled her into the backseat and raped her, according to a statement to the police.

In the summer of 1997, Willis raped her again, this time while at her home while her mother was out, according to police records.

“I was completely in shock, but too scared to go and tell anyone because I thought I would get blamed for what happened,” she said.

Over the next few months, the girl became suspicious she was pregnant. She called Willis, who brought over a pregnancy test that came up positive, she told the police.

“He asked me if I wanted him to take me to a neighboring state where underage abortions were legal . . . and he would pay for an abortion,” she told the police. “He then asked me if I wanted him to punch me in the stomach as hard as he could because that might cause a miscarriage.”

She declined both.

‘Church discipline’

The victim told her mother about the pregnancy. Soon after, Phelps was also alerted.

The victim said Phelps told her she would be put up for “church discipline,” where parishioners go before the congregation to apologize for their sins.

She asked why. “Pastor Phelps then said that (Willis) may have been 99 percent responsible, but I needed to confess my 1 percent guilt in the situation,” the victim told the police.

“He told me that I should be happy that I didn’t live in Old Testament times because I would have been stoned.”

Fran Earle, the church’s former clerk, witnessed the punishment session.

At a night meeting of the church’s fellowship in 1997, Phelps invited Willis to the front of the room. Willis apologized to the group for not being faithful to his wife, Earle said.

“I can remember saying to my husband, I don’t understand it’s any of our business why this is being brought up,” Earle said.

Phelps then told parishioners a second matter was at hand; he invited the victim to apologize for getting pregnant.

“I can still see the little girl standing up there with this smile on her face trying to get through this,” Earle said.

A day after the session, Earle called the pastor’s wife, who said the victim had decided not to press charges for statutory rape.

“You’ve got to understand, we trusted our pastor and his wife to be telling us the truth,” Earle said. “They told us it had been reported. He reported it as a consensual act between a man and a woman. Well, I didn’t know a 15-year-old was a woman.”

Earle, who left the church in 2001 after 19 years, said it was regular to see young girls who were pregnant called to the front of the congregation to be humiliated.

Rob Sims, another former member, said the discipline sessions were formulaic – Phelps would read Bible verses, give a limited overview of what happened and then each person would read a statement.

“(The) statement agreed that they had done wrong and why they ‘now believed’ that they had sinned,” he said. “Then Pastor Phelps would give a few closing remarks and then a vote would be taken to remove the guilty party from membership or to keep them in membership but under discipline, or something to that effect.”

The police said the victim’s family asked for her to be moved to Colorado.

“I think that she clearly did not want to go to Colorado, and I’m quite sure she expressed that to the church, her mother and the pastor,” said Concord police Detective Chris DeAngelis. “However, she was a juvenile. Her mom requests assistance and that was what they came up with.”

Mitchell said the police are looking at pressing other charges.

Willis was released on $100,000 personal recognizance bail. He faces an arraignment June 16 in Concord District Court.

Trent Spiner can be reached at 369-3306 or tspiner@cmonitor.com

 

Robert Spencer Fuming Over LoonWatch, Threatens Danios With 101 Lashes

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by loonwatch
As his arguments become exposed, so does he.As his arguments become exposed, so does he.

As many of you well know, I have taken it upon myself to refute Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), cover to cover, page by page, and line by line.  I have already written several articles refuting Spencer, exposing him for the fear-mongering fraudster that he is.

Omer Subhani, a reader of our website, blogged it out best:

Spencer dodging LoonWatch… again

Robert Spencer has said something like the following many times:

“…I am always happy to debate any serious Muslim spokesman…”

Really?

Then why not debate the writer of multiple refutations of your work?

That writer goes by the name of Danios and he or she writes over at Loon Watch. Danios has written numerous refutations of Spencer’s work without much of a peepleaking from Spencer. Yet, Spencer was more than happy to share with his audiencea list of people he has formerly debated.

But no mention of anything written by anyone at Loon Watch.

I smell something. And it smells like chicken.

What’s the excuse? Danios is writing anonymously? That shouldn’t matter. Spencer, you have continuously proclaimed from the day you started writing your blog that you would debate anyone, anywhere, any time. Well, Danios has penned multiple refutations of your work and yet you have failed to reply. You have hinted at Danios’ work in previous posts, but you haven’t gotten around to refuting Danios. You havecalled Danios a “slick liar,” but have failed to respond substantively to what Danios wrote.

Why are you chickening out, Spencer?

You’re aware of Danios’ refutations of your work, but you won’t engage in dialog. Usually when someone doesn’t respond to another person’s argument it means that they’ve conceded the point. Maybe Danios’ refutations of your claims were so absolute that it really isn’t worth debating. If that’s the case, then be a man about it and say so.

Subhani notes that Robert Spencer referred to me as a “slick liar,” but it may interest you to know that Spencer was so frustrated that he went even further, declaring:

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 100 lashes

In another article, Spencer upped the ante, and decided that 100 was just not enough, and threw in one more for added effect:

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 101 lashes

Instead of using such violent language, why doesn’t Spencer just refute the points I raised?  Isn’t that always his gripe against those who write about him negatively in the media?

The “piece” I wrote for which I became a “slick liar” can be found here: Robert Spencer Rapes the Truth, Part 1: Does Sharia Reject the Testimony of a Rape Victim? In that article, I contest Spencer’s bold claim that in rape cases a woman’s testimony is rejected under Sharia.  And I promised that in part 2 (coming to a theater near you soon) I will discuss Spencer’s claim that under Sharia a woman is lashed if she claims rape but cannot produce four witnesses.

So let’s read Spencer’s response, which is as follows:

Recently someone forwarded me a pseudo-scholarly piece by a smooth Islamic apologist purporting to prove that I was wrong, wrong, wrong (and therefore evil as well, of course) about Islamic rules of evidence for crimes of zina (adultery, fornication, and other sexual offenses), and claiming that rape victims in the Islamic world are never punished for being raped. The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 100 lashes instead of “Camille” for his obfuscation and enabling of this kind of torture of women.

OK, let’s take that one line at a time, shall we?  First, Spencer writes:

Recently someone forwarded me a pseudo-scholarly piece

Here is a really bad case of projection.  Robert Spencer tries passing himself off as a scholar, and therefore assumes that I would too.  Apparently, Spencer has no idea what a scholarly paper looks like, because if he did, he would know that my article is far too irreverent a piece to be scholarly.   Does that mean that every piece of writing that is not scholarly becomes pseudo-scholarly?  What an absurd understanding.  Do newspaper articles or op-eds then become pseudo-scholarly works?

Then, Spencer says:

by a smooth Islamic apologist

I haven’t revealed what religion (if any) I follow.  In fact, I think the fact that I approach these debates as a neutral outsider–instead of approaching them as a vested Muslim–is what gives me the edge over other people who have debated with Spencer.  And in any case, Spencer can then be considered “a smooth Catholic apologist.”  Actually, he’s more like a Catholic crusader who attacks the infidel Islamic world with his vitriolic pen.

He goes on:

I was wrong, wrong, wrong (and therefore evil as well, of course)

No complaints here.

Here is the real doozie:

and claiming that rape victims in the Islamic world are never punished for being raped.

I’ve noticed that Robert Spencer always does this in his polemical pieces.  First, he builds up his argument with half-truths, and then near the end he will insert an outright lie.  Nowhere did I claim that “rape victims in the Islamic world are never punished for being raped. “  This is a complete strawman argument.  Clearly, there are uneducated fundamentalists who do that, and who need to be stopped.  My contention with Spencer is his claim that such a thing is inherently part of Islam itself or the Islamic jurisprudential tradition.

Spencer then proceeds to report a case of a rape victim being punished in the Islamic world.  So instead of critically analyzing the arguments I put forward in my article (Robert Spencer Rapes the Truth, Part 1: Does Sharia Reject the Testimony of a Rape Victim?), Spencer constructs a strawman argument (claiming that I think or said that rape victims are never punished in the Islamic world) and then proceeds to knock it down by citing a case of just such a thing.  Clearly, Spencer’s need to construct a strawman is rooted in his inability to address any of my arguments.  Meanwhile, my own arguments against him are always precision guided surgical strikes.

My ever so dearest Robert Spencer: please do address the actual points I raised in the article.

Spencer Responds to My Latest Article on Dhimmitude

Awhile back, I published part 1 of my rebuttal of Robert Spencer on the topic of dhimmitude.  I alreadyaddressed Spencer’s bumbling reply to part 1.  Once again, he was absolutely unable to debate the actual topic, which was the historical treatment of dhimmis (vs perpetual serfs).  After Spencer refused to respond, I called him out as a chicken.

Then a few days back, I published part 2 of my dhimmitude series.  Just now, Spencer issued a response.  For some odd reason, however, Spencer refuses to take my name and suffices himself with veiled (but painfully obvious) references.  (Similarly, he refused to take LoonWatch’s blessed name when one of our intrepid writers broke the story about how FuckAllah.com and FuckIslam.com mysteriously redirected to his website; instead, he somehow chose to target CAIR, who simply reproduced our article.)

Spencer writes (emphasis is mine):

More or less on a regular basis I am sent purported refutations of what I say here and in my books — essays that purport to show that Islam doesn’t really teach warfare against unbelievers and their subjugation as inferiors under the rule of Islamic law,

Clearly a reference to yours truly.

Spencer goes on:

although these purported refutations usually content themselves with showing that Christians or someone else were doing something worse,

Completely false.  I only contented myself after proving that contemporary Muslims reject the Pact of Umar (a document which is so central to your Islamophobic viewpoint that you call it the “the foundation for Islamic law regarding the treatment of the dhimmis”).  So yes, I was quite pleased with myself after I toppled the foundation of your argument.  (I treated myself with ice cream.)

If you are referring to part 1, I had already been quite clear that my rebuttal would come in multiple parts, and that the first part would simply contest your claim that historically Muslims treated Jews worse than Christians did. And I have already answered this argument of yours in my response to your bumbling reply.  Or do we have to go through this again?  You had said earlier:

It is an extended (very extended) example of the familiar tu quoque fallacy in which Islamic apologists always indulge: other people have done evil, and therefore our evil is not so bad or not to be spoken of.

To which I had replied:

I certainly never said that the “evil is not so bad.”  What I said was that the “evil” (your choice of words) done to infidels in the Islamic realm was historically less than that done to infidels in Christendom.  And I said that to negate chapter four of your book, in which you specifically wrote “the idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false,” and “the Muslim laws were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom.”  I am fact-checking your book, and you made a claim, and I refuted it.  Simple as that.  Now it is up to you to either defend your initial claim or concede that you were wrong to state it.

Back to Spencer’s recent response, he goes on:

or that some document or other to which I refer in my books is held in no esteem by Muslims

That’s it?  You’ve conceded the point?  Wow.  This was easier than I thought.  Suddenly, you’ve moved the goalposts, as evidenced by what you say next:

or virtually anything other than actually proving that there exists a sect or school of Islam that teaches that Muslims must live with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis

I’m starting to sense a pattern here.  Every time I refute one of your arguments, you will move to the next one.  But don’t worry, Spencer my love, your wish is my command.  In fact, the third (and final) part of my dhimmitude series will prove exactly what you asked for, namely that contemporary Muslims do believe that they should live with non-Muslims as equals.  Stay tuned for that.  (I’m sure by that time you’ll skip to another topic, never standing up like a man and defending the actual issue I write on.)

Then Spencer goes off on another tangent, writing:

In any case, the fundamental problem with all these alleged refutations is that if I am misunderstanding Islam, an awful lot of Muslims, including Islamic clerics who have devoted their lives to studying the Qur’an and Sunnah, misunderstand it in the same way. And here we have another. Afzali says he betrayed his religion, but that is, I suspect, just in order to bamboozle the unbelievers yet again.

Notice how Spencer tries to prove that there is a “fundamental problem with all these alleged refutations” by giving the example of Ahmad Afzali, an Imam who tipped off an Al-Qaeda militant.  Ummm…am I missing something here?  What does Ahmad Afzali have to do with any of my refutations of Spencer?  What does Afzali tipping off an Al-Qaeda militant have to do with the historical treatment of dhimmis vs perpetual serfs (part 1) or the Pact of Umar (part 2)?  It’s completely nonsensical and shows the sheer desperation Spencer is feeling right now.

How about instead of going off on random tangents you address the points I raised?  You obviously have enough time to rant about me on your website (although in a veiled manner), yet don’t have the time to construct a few decent logical arguments? Why then did you make the claim that “I am always happy to debate any serious Muslim spokesman”?  You after all call me an “Islamic apologist”, and I assume “Islamic apologists” are also “Muslim spokesmen”, so why don’t you debate me?  Your loyal readers argue that LoonWatch is “beneath you,” and thus “unworthy of your time.”  Yet, here you are ranting about me (albeit in a veiled manner); so why not better use that time to give more substantive responses?

Well, the answer is obvious: you’re a bully, and you’ve been bullying people for a very, very long time.  But like all bullies, when you meet someone your own size, you run away like the coward you are.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not going anywhere.  You are in quite a bind: if you try to respond to my arguments, the weakness of your case will become even more apparent.  If you decide not to engage me due to this fear, you still lose by virtue of forfeiture.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  Either way is fine by me.

"The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end."“The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.”

 

Wembley Preacher Raped Victim because the Scripture Said so

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by loonwatch
Paul DentonPaul Denton

Just Imagine if he were Muslim. This would be headline news for months. (hat tip: Amy)

Wembley Preacher Jailed for Rape

By Jack Royston

A “REMORSELESS” Wembley preacher who raped a woman on seven consecutive days was jailed on Friday.

Paul Robin Denton, 46, of Barnhill Road, was jailed for 12 years after repeatedly abusing his 32-year-old victim in October 2007.

He was found guilty after a trial at Inner London Crown Court when jurors heard how the religious fanatic put the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, through “hell on earth”.

She told the court Denton believed women should be submissive “because the scripture says so”.

When she challenged his views, Denton, who changed his name to Lord Denton, repeatedly punched her in the face, head-butted her, pulled out her hair, and raped her “day after day” as a punishment.

Detective Constable Jon Wedger said: “The level of abuse and the time period it has been spread over has had an overwhelming impact on the victim. Denton has shown no remorse for his actions, even making her go through the ordeal of the trial.

“I hope knowing he has been held accountable for his actions will go someway to helping his victim come to terms with what has happened and allow her to move forward with her life.

“She has shown incredible bravery throughout the criminal proceedings and I hope that strength continues as she rebuilds her life.”

He was arrested in February 2008 but while on bail he sneaked into his victim’s house and stole her hat.

He then sent it back to her in an effort to intimidate her.

Denton, who committed the crimes in Daventry, but later moved to Wembley, was born in Croydon and moved to South Africa with his parents when aged eight months old.

He claims he was kidnapped by his father after his parents split up and told the court he was forced to leave the country after being part of an anti-apartheid group.

He was found guilty of seven counts of rape, four of assault and one of witness intimidation.

 

Israeli with 17 Wives Arrested for Enslavement and Rape, what if he were Muslim?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by loonwatch
Goel RatzonGoel Ratzon

Goel Ratzon is an Israeli with some heterodox beliefs, his actions are clearly outside of mainstream Judaism, but imagine if he had been from a Muslim country what would the media reaction be? Of course we know how Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller would react they would say this is “normative” Islam, but of course we won’t hear a peep out of them on this story.

Israeli living with 17 women arrested for enslavement and rape

A Tel Aviv man who has been living with 17 women with whom he fathered 38 children was arrested on Monday on suspicion of enslavement, rape, extortion by threat and sexual assault of minors, among other charges, police said after a gag order was lifted on the case.

Police launched an undercover investigation into the suspect, Goel Ratzon, in June 2009 after receiving a complaint about abuse from one of his “wives.”

Ratzon, 60, allegedly subjected his family to strict disciplinary measures, but has claimed that the women and children lived with him on their own accord.

Click here to read Goel Ratzon’s ‘rulebook’

More than a year ago, Channel 10 aired a documentary on Ratzon and his many wives, which gained widespread attention and criticism after he said that there had been several attempts at collective suicide after some of the women thought he was going to leave them. Also in the film, some of the women said they would commit mass suicide if anyone tried to harm their leader.

Wary of mass suicide, police were accompanied to his home by social workers and psychologists on Monday so as to avoid hysteria and any attempts at mass suicide after his arrest.

Police confiscated a rule book by which Ratzon forced his family to abide. The women were forbidden to communicate with men, be in physical contact with their biological family, eat meat, smoke, drink alcohol or dress immodestly.

Ratzon is considered by his companions to be the savior (Goel in Hebrew) of the universe, and is attributed godly and supernatural abilities. Many of the women have tattooed his name and portrait to several parts of their bodies.

The names of every one of Ratzon’s children include his own first name. For instance, one of his sons is called Avinu Ha-Goel (our father the savior) and he has a daughter named Tehilat Ha-Goel (glory of the savior).

 

Robert Spencer Rapes the Truth, Part 1: Does Sharia Reject the Testimony of a Rape Victim?

Posted in Feature, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2009 by loonwatch
Robert SpencerRobert Spencer, the author of the Islamophobook The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)

This is a rebuttal of chapter five of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), which is entitled “Islam oppresses women.” On pp.74-76, Spencer claims that the Sharia rejects a rape victim’s testimony.

Robert Spencer’s Claims

Says Spencer in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades):

Rape: Four witnesses needed

Most threatening of all to women may be the Muslim understanding of rape as it plays out in conjunction with Islamic restrictions on the validity of a woman’s testimony. In court, a woman’s testimony is worth half as much as that of a man. (Quran 2:282)

Islamic legal theorists have restricted the validity of a woman’s testimony even further by limiting it to, in the words of one Muslim legal manual, “cases involving property, or transactions dealing with property, such as sales.”  Otherwise only men can testify. And in cases of sexual misbehavior, four male witnesses are required…

Consequently, it is almost impossible to prove rape in lands that follow the dictates of the Sharia.  Men can commit rape with impunity: As long as they deny the charge and there are no witnesses, they will get off scot-free, because the victim’s testimony is inadmissible.  Even worse, if a woman accuses a man of rape, she may end up incriminating herself.  If the required male witnesses can’t be found, the victim’s charge of rape becomes an admission of adultery. [1]

Spencer also says the exact same thing on his website:

Consequently, it is even today virtually impossible to prove rape in lands that follow the dictates of the Sharia. Even worse, if a woman accuses a man of rape, she may end up incriminating herself. If the required male witnesses can’t be found, the victim’s charge of rape becomes an admission of adultery.

Let us analyze Spencer’s claims one point at a time:

Women as Witnesses under Sharia

Robert Spencer writes:

In court, a woman’s testimony is worth half as much as that of a man. (Quran 2:282)

Islamic legal theorists have restricted the validity of a woman’s testimony even further by limiting it to, in the words of one Muslim legal manual, “cases involving property, or transactions dealing with property, such as sales.”  Otherwise only men can testify.

There are two claims made here: (1) a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s;  (2) a woman’s testimony is accepted only in financial transactions (even then only by half), and rejected altogether in other cases, including rape.

Of course the reality is that Spencer has spoken a half-truth, which is what he normally does.  Spencer’s modus operandi is simple: he presents the absolutely most conservative view as if it is not only the most authoritative one but also the only one.  He then compares this ultraconservative Islamic opinion with the most liberal Judeo-Christian view, and then says aha!

The issue revolves around the following Quranic verse:

O you who believe! When you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time, then write it down; and let a scribe write it down between you with fairness…and call from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other. (Quran, 2:282)

Some Islamic jurists opined that the Quranic verse only permitted a woman’s testimony in cases related to financial transactions.  Therefore, they reasoned, it ought to be excluded in all other cases.  This opinion was prominent in the writings of medieval jurists, and is clung onto by some ultraconservative Muslims.

However, Spencer neglected to inform his readers of less stringent views that abound today.  Contemporary Muslims argue that the Quranic verse 2:282 has nothing to do with the courts or legal system in general:

…There is no verse anywhere in the Qur’an, which directs a court of law to consider a woman’s witness to be half reliable as that of a man. As for the verse 282 of Al-Baqarah, which is presented to substantiate the viewpoint in question, it has quite a different meaning and implication than what is construed from it…

Actually this verse addresses the common man. It does not relate to the law and thus gives no directive regarding judicial matters. In other words, it does not call upon the state, the legislative council or the legal authorities. This verse just invokes the common man’s attention for taking precautionary measures in case of a particular situation of conflict…

The verse states that when two or more individuals enter into an agreement for a loan for a fixed period of time, they should write it down thereby avoiding any misunderstanding or dispute. As a further safeguard to avoid such misunderstanding, they should make two men witnesses to the agreement. In case they are not able to find two men, then they may take two women instead of a man…Obviously, if this were a directive pertaining to judicial matters, it would have addressed the state or legal authorities. [2]

In other words, these Muslims argue that the Quranic verse cannot be generalized to all court cases; instead, it simply pertains to financial matters, and contracts of debt in specific.  It is argued that the women of pre-Islamic Arabia were generally unaware of the intricacies of the business world.  Tahir Haddad, an Islamic thinker of the early twentieth century, writes:

The fact that woman lagged behind man in all aspects of life [in the pre-Islamic times] made her less proficient in intellectual and mathematical tasks, especially since at that time she did not get her share of education and culture to prepare her for that…[which was taken into] account when it was decided that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man…[in] issue[s]…such as debts. [3]

The lack of business acumen that women of that particular time generally possessed was the reason that a woman’s singular testimony about a contract of debt might be rejected by the common man, resulting in conflicts.  The intent of the Quranic verse was after all to prevent infighting between Muslims, as was often the case between creditors and debtors.  Therefore, argue these contemporary Muslims, witnesses had to be produced who would be accepted by the common man as being authoritative.

Some contemporary Muslims even argue that such a restriction (i.e. the requirement of two women as witnesses instead of one) would not be applicable if the cause for the restriction (i.e. the lack of business acumen on the part of the woman) was not present.  The Islamic cleric Muzammil Siddiqi[4] issued the following fatwa (religious edict):

Question:

Does Islam regard the testimony of women as half of a man’s just in cases of transactions or in every case? Who are the scholars that maintain the first view? What is the evidence of those scholars saying that her testimony is not accepted in cases of murder and adultery?

Answer:

The word shahadah [testimony] in its various forms has occurred in the Qur’an about 156 times. There is only one case (Al-Baqarah 2:282) where there is a reference to gender. Apart from this one reference, there is no other place where the issue of gender is brought in the context of testimony. According to the Qur’an, it does not make any difference whether the person testifying is a male or female; the only objective is to ascertain accuracy and to establish justice and fairness. In one place in the Qur’an, there is an explicit reference that equates the testimonies of the male and female (See Surat An-Nur 24:6-9).

Only in the context of business transactions and loan contracts, it is mentioned that if two men are not available for testimony, then one man and two women are to be provided for that particular purpose (See Surat Al-Baqarah 2:282). The reason is not because of gender; it is given in the Qur’anic verse: If one errs, the other may remind her. Some scholars have suggested that this was due to the fact that most women in the past and even now were not involved in the intricate business dealings. So the Qur’an accepted their testimony, but to insure justice indicated that there should be two.

It is also important to note that the Shari`ah emphasizes that we follow the law exactly in the matters of worship; in economic dealings, however, the issue of justice is the main factor. If a judge sees that there is a woman who is very qualified and has good understanding of business transactions, the judge may consider her testimony equal to the testimony of a man. This will not be against the teachings of the Qur’an. [5]

Jamal Badawi, [6] another Islamic cleric (who Spencer himself quotes as an authority from time to time), comments:

The context of this passage (verse, or ayah) [verse 2:282] relates to testimony on financial transactions, which are often complex and laden with business jargon. The passage does not make blanket generalization [against the testimony of women]…In numerous societies, past and present, women generally may not be heavily involved with and experienced in business transactions. As such, they may not be completely cognizant of what is involved…

It must be added that unlike pure acts of worship, which must be observed exactly as taught by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, testimony is a means to an end, ascertaining justice as a major objective of Islamic law. Therefore, it is the duty of a fair judge to be guided by this objective when assessing the worth and credibility of a given testimony, regardless of the gender of the witness. A witness of a female graduate of a business school is certainly far more worthy than the witness of an illiterate person with no business education or experience. [7]

Robert Spencer claims that the Sharia itself excludes a woman’s testimony in cases of rape; yet, this is not the interpretation of Sharia that many Muslims follow:

The simple point is that this verse peculiarly relates to bearing witness on documentary evidence i.e. sale deeds, leasing agreements, loan agreements, guarantee cards and trust deeds etc. In the above related cases, one is free to choose the witnesses. But, in cases of accidents, theft, murder, robbery, rape, and hijacking etc the witnesses are not a matter of choice. Whosoever is present at the scene should and can be taken as a witness. Thus we cannot say that the witness of a woman in cases other than documentary evidence, as explained above, will be affected by this verse. [8]

Jalal Abualrub [9], a “Wahhabi” [10] cleric, writes:

The Quran states that we need two women [as] witnesses in cases of financial transactions in place of one man.  There is no proof whatsoever that this is also the case in any other dispute, including criminal cases such as rape.  In fact, a woman’s testimony is accepted in the most important aspect of Islam: the religion itself.  Did anyone ask Aishah to bring another witness or a man to support her narrations of the Prophet’s practices and sayings? [11]

What Spencer will do is simple: he will cite various Islamic clerics, mostly classical medieval ones, as a proof that the Sharia itself says such-and-such.  Yet, the reality is that even though most Muslims believe that the Sharia is divinely one, they also acknowledge that there are multipleinterpretations of it.  If some Islamic scholars argued that a woman’s testimony ought to be excluded, others argued that it should be considered equal to that of a man’s.  Spencer attempts to portray the ultraconservative interpretation of the Sharia as the only one–and to him it is the only authoritative one, with all other understandings deemed as either “taqiyya based” or simply unorthodox and therefore unrepresentative (as if Spencer is the pope of Islam!).

Yet, contemporary Muslims point out that the opinions of Islamic jurists (including the classical ones) are just that: opinions.  Unlike papal decrees in Catholicism, the rulings of Islamic clerics are neither infallible or binding. Imam Abu Hanifa, the eminent jurist who founded the Hanafi school of thought, decreed:

What comes from the Messenger of God, we accept with our mind and heart, by my father and mother, we cannot oppose it. What comes from the Companions, we choose from. As for what comes from other sources, well, they are human beings as we are. [12]

So while the Muslims find the Quran and authentic hadiths/sunna to be infallible and binding, they do not view the interpretations of them to be such.  Along this line, Jalal Abualrub wrote:

We should avoid thinking of the opinions of the scholars as infallible.  What is infallible is the Quran and Sunnah alone.  Scholars of all schools have their own opinions and fatawa that may either be correct or wrong.  For instance, a Maliki scholar can claim whatever opinion his madhhab says, but we are not bound by and certainly the religion is not bound by it.

So when Allah states in Surat al-Baqarah that in regards to financial transactions the testimony of two women can be used with the testimony of one man, no one has the right to make this specific ruling apply in other cases.  Let me remind you again: the female Companions [of the Prophet] have narrated and testified on countless occasions about aspects of creed, fiqh and other Islamic topics.  Have you heard any of the [male] Companions ever say that their testimony cannot be accepted unless they bring another woman and man to agree?  I mentioned this because money issues and criminal issues are certainly far less important than religious issues that establish a ruling for all times.

It must be remembered that the scholars  are not infallible, and their efforts are only explanatory–they are not the final authority.  We respect the scholars, but we agree that they are human and make mistakes. [13]

Abualrub brings up the point that the testimony of women was accepted on aspects of religion and creed, which are more important than crime and punishment.  This is one proof that contemporary Muslims use, namely that the female Companions bore witness to the actions of the Prophet Muhammad; there is no rule in Islam that the testimony of a woman in this regard be considered half of a man’s.

Another proof that contemporary Muslims use–to prove that a woman’s testimony is equal to that of a man’s–is the Quranic passage 24:6-9 (just two verses down from the verses that Spencer has quoted).  In these verses, the husband may testify against the wife that she has committed adultery, but if the wife gives her own testimony declaring this to be a lie, then the wife’s testimony trumps that of her husband’s.  Muzammil Siddiqi writes:

In one place in the Qur’an, there is an explicit reference that equates the testimonies of the male and female (See Surat An-Nur 24:6-9). [14]

Jamal Badawi comments:

Most Qur’anic references to testimony (witness) do not make any reference to gender. Some references fully equate the testimony of males and females…

[Verse 2:282] cannot be used as an argument that there is a general rule in the Qur’an that the worth of a female’s witness is only half the male’s. This presumed “rule” is voided by the above reference (24:6-9), which explicitly equates the testimony of both genders on the issue at hand. [15]

Contemporary Muslims point out that many classical scholars permitted female judges; how could it be then that a woman would be permitted to serve as a judge but not as a witness, the former of which is in charge of the latter?  The judge uses his wisdom to give judgment, whereas a witness simply retells what he/she witnessed.  Therefore, if a woman is allowed to be a judge, she ought to be permitted to be a witness as well.  Tahir Haddad wryly comments:

The assertion [that women ought to be barred from serving as witnesses]…is even stranger in view of the fact that according to the jurisprudence of the four orthodox Islamic law schools a woman is allowed to act as a judge to rule on differences between people in a role similar to that of a man.  Abu-Hanifa al-Nu’man [Imam Abu Hanifa] who was a contemporary of some of the Prophet’s Companions, confirmed that it is acceptable in Islam [for her to be a judge]…So, do we deduce from this that Islam…[bars her as] a witness…and at the same time elevates her by conferring her the responsibilities of a judge? [16]

Jalal Abualrub notes that the words of some of the fallible scholars contradicts the infallible authentic hadiths; Abualrub quotes the following narration in the Islamic texts:

When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet for prayer, a man attacked her and raped her. She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: “That man did such and such to me.” And when a company of the emigrants came by, she said: “That man did such and such to me.” They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her.

She said: “Yes, this is he.” Then they brought him to the Apostle of God.  When [the Prophet] was about to pass sentence, the man who had [actually] assaulted her stood up and said: “Apostle of God, I am the man who did it to her.”

[The Prophet] said to her: “Go away, for God has forgiven you.” But he told the [innocent] man some good words, and to the [guilty] man who had had raped her, he said: “Stone him to death.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, #4366)

Abualrub points out that contrary to Robert Spencer’s claim that a woman’s testimony is not accepted in cases of rape, the Prophet Muhammad convicted a man based solely on one woman’s testimony.  Abualrub comments:

As for the woman mentioned in the narration, it is clear that no one asked her for four witnesses nor did anyone suspect her character, and her testimony alone was used as proof, and the innocent man who was wrongly accused was set free, while she was not punished even though she identified the wrong man, so how can the critics of Islam today claim that the Shari’ah itself says a woman is to be lashed for failing to bring forth four witnesses, when this woman in the narration not only did not do that but also identified the wrong man!? [17]

Abualrub mentions a number of salient points here, which we shall discuss in greater detail in the next part of this article.  But for now, the bolded part is most relevant to our discussion, as it shows that contemporary Muslims have a very strong proof that in their religion a woman’s testimony is to be accepted in cases of rape, contrary to what Robert Spencer–the self-proclaimed pope of Islam–insists.

Women as Witnesses under the Judeo-Christian Laws

What we have thus far concluded is that yes it is true that some Muslims (such as those living in the medieval times and some ultraconservatives today) believe that a woman’s testimony is rejected in most legal proceedings.  On the other hand, many contemporary Muslims feel otherwise, a fact that Robert Spencer conveniently ignores.

But Spencer’s half-truth does not end there.  He also purposefully neglects to mention that a woman’s testimony is rejected in traditional Halakha (Jewish law) and Biblical law (of the Christians). The Jewish Virtual Library declares that there has been a longstanding “rabbinic rule that a woman is ineligible to testify as a witness.” [18] Rabbi Aaron Mackler writes:

The vast majority of Orthodox rabbis, and some Conservative rabbis, do not accept the legitimacy of women serving as witnesses. [19]

The Talmud forbade Jewish courts from accepting women as witnesses:

The Talmudic interpretation of the law held that women or slaves were not admitted as witnesses; nor could one such testify on the basis of testimony heard form an eye-witness. [20]

It is for this reason that the testimony of a woman is not accepted in the Orthodox rabbinical courts up until this day.  However, like the Muslims, there is a difference of opinion amongst Jewry; Reform Jews and some Conservative rabbis accept women as witnesses.

We see then that the situation of the Muslims and the Jews with regard to this issue is very similar if not identical; why is it then that Robert Spencer arrives at dramatically different conclusions about Islam/Muslims/Quran/Sharia than he does about Judaism/Jews/Talmud/Halakha?  Why does Spencer entitle the chapter of his book as “Islam oppresses women,” but not say “Judaism oppresses women?”  If one criticizes the Quran for one thing, should not such a person criticize the Talmud for the exact same thing?  It seems there is one standard for Islam and another for Judaism and Christianity.  This is indeed the modus operandi for the Islamophobic movement in general; I have already in a previous article detailed Daniel Pipes’ fantastic double standards towards Sharia and Halakha.

The traditional Biblical law also excluded women from serving as witnesses. The Bible says:

One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses…The two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. (Deuteronomy 19:15-17)

Notice that Robert Spencer argues that the four witnesses in the Quranic verse 24:4 ought to be males, since the word “witnesses” appears in the masculine.  Yet, this was the exact same logic that Christian scholars used: the Bible uses the word “men” when it refers to witnesses.  John Gill, a well-renowned Biblical scholar of the eighteenth century, commented on this verse that it

teaches that there is no witness by women; and so it is elsewhere said, an oath of witness is made by men, and not by women; on which it is observed that a woman is not fit to bear witness, as it is written “then both the men,” [meaning] men and not women. [21]

Medieval Islamic and Christian scholars opined that witnesses ought to be male, based on the fact that both holy books (the Quran and Bible respectively) used masculine words for “witnesses.”  Yet, for some reason Robert Spencer argues that the Quran specifically requires male witnesses, whereas the Bible does not!  Again, this exposes Spencer’s  bias.

The Testimony of Women in Cases of Adultery

Robert Spencer, likes to contrast the Quran with the Bible; his book is full of such side-by-side comparisons.  Let us play his game then.  Both the Quran and the Bible deal with the case of a husband accusing his wife of adultery.  The Quran declares that if a wife denies the charges, then she is exonerated by the law–her testimony is accepted over that of her husband’s, and any worldly punishment is waived.  The Quran declares:

As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves: let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies, swearing by God that he is of those who speaks the truth; And the fifth oath should be invoking the curse of God on himself if he is of those who lie. But it shall avert the punishment from her if she bears witness/testifies before God four times that the thing he says is indeed false, and if she takes an oath a fifth time that the wrath of God be upon her if he speaks the truth. (Quran, 24:6-9)

This is the Islamic law of Al-Li’an. The Bible, on the other hand, has the Law of Jealousy: if a husband suspects his wife of adultery, then he is to bring her to the priest.  The priest will then dump dust and ink into a container of water, and force her to drink the dirtied water.  If she gets sick from it (or dies), it proves the allegation that she was adulterous; if she does not fall sick, then she is exonerated.  Furthermore, the woman is to drink this water in a state of public humiliation: her head is to be uncovered (a sign of shame back then) and she is forced to stand at the east gate of the temple in sight of the people, so that she might serve as a reminder against lewdness.  (All this even before she drinks the contaminated water.)

The Bible declares:

The Test for an Unfaithful Wife

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him by sleeping with another man, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act, and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure–then he is to take his wife to the priest…

The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD. Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.…Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has slept with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have defiled yourself by sleeping with a man other than your husband”–here the priest is to put the woman under this curse of the oath–”may the LORD cause your people to curse and denounce you when he causes your thigh to waste away and your abdomen to swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells and your thigh wastes away. ” Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”

The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. He shall have the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water will enter her and cause bitter suffering…He is to have the woman drink the water.  If she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, then when she is made to drink the water that brings a curse, it will go into her and cause bitter suffering; her abdomen will swell and her thigh waste away, and she will become accursed among her people.

If, however, the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children. This, then, is the law of jealousywhen a woman goes astray and defiles herself while married to her husband, or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the LORD and is to apply this entire law to her [i.e. death by stoning]. The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’” (Numbers 5:11-31)

Matthew Henry, the eminent seventeenth and eighteenth century commentator on the Bible, explained these verses:

We have here the law concerning the solemn trial of a wife whose husband was jealous of her.

I. What was the case supposed:

1. That a man had some reason to suspect his wife to have committed adultery,

2. It is supposed to be a sin which great care is taken by the sinners to conceal, which there is no witness of…

3. The spirit of jealousy is supposed to come upon the husband…then he may compel her to drink the bitter water.  But the law here does not tie him to that particular method of proving the just cause of his suspicion; it might be otherwise proved. In case it could be proved that she had committed adultery, she was to be put to death (Lev. 20:10); but, if it was uncertain, then this law took place. Hence, (1.) Let all wives be admonished not to give any the least occasion for the suspicion of their chastity; it is not enough that they abstain from the evil of uncleanness, but they must abstain from all appearance of it, from every thing that looks like it, or leads to it, or may give the least umbrage to jealousy; for how great a matter may a little fire kindle! (2.) Let all husbands be admonished not to entertain any causeless or unjust suspicions of their wives…

II. The process of the trial must be thus:

(1.) Her husband must bring her to the priest, with the witnesses that could prove the ground of his suspicion, and desire that she might be put upon her trial. The Jews say that the priest was first to endeavour to persuade her to confess the truth…If she confessed, saying, “I am defiled,” she was not put to death, but was divorced and lost her dowry; if she said, “I am pure,” then they proceeded.

(3.) The priest was to prepare the water of jealousy…it must be [in] an earthen vessel, because the coarser and plainer every thing was the more agreeable it was to the occasion. Dust must be put into the water, to signify the reproach she lay under, and the shame she ought to take to herself, putting her mouth in the dust; but dust from the floor of the tabernacle

(4.) The woman was to be set before the Lord, at the east gate of the temple-court (say the Jews), and her head was to be uncovered, in token of her sorrowful condition; and there she stood for a spectacle to the world, that other women might learn not to do after her lewdness, Eze. 23:48

(5.) The priest was to adjure her to tell the truth, and to denounce the curse of God against her if she were guilty, and to declare what would be the effect of her drinking the water of jealousy, v. 19-22. He must assure her that, if she were innocent, the water would do her no harm, v. 19. None need fear the curse of the law if they have not broken the commands of the law. But, if she were guilty, this water would be poison to her, it would make her belly to swell and her thigh to rot, and she should be a curse or abomination among her people, v. 21, 22…

(6.) The priest was to write this curse in a scrip or scroll of parchment, verbatim-word for word, as he had expressed it, and then to wipe or scrape out what he had written into the water (v. 23), to signify that it was that curse which impregnated the water, and gave it its strength to effect what was intended. It signified that, if she were innocent, the curse should be blotted out and never appear against her, as it is written, Isa. 43:25, I am he that blotteth out thy transgression, and Ps. 51:9, Blot out my iniquities; but that, if she were guilty, the curse, as it was written, being infused into the water, would enter into her bowels with the water, even like oil into her bones (Ps. 109:18)…

(7.) The woman must then drink the water (v. 24); it is called the bitter water…

(9.) …If the suspected woman was really guilty, the water she drank would be poison to her (v. 27), her belly would swell and her thigh rot by a vile disease for vile deserts, and she would mourn at the last when her flesh and body were consumed, Prov. 5:11. Bishop Patrick says, from some of the Jewish writers, that the effect of these waters appeared immediately, she grew pale, and her eyes ready to start out of her head… [22]

The husband could not only accuse the woman of adultery during the marriage, but of fornicationbefore the wedding.  His testimony was accepted without question unless her father could provide physical proof saying otherwise; the wife’s testimony on the other hand was not considered at all.  The Bible says:

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

Imagine if this was in the Quran: Spencer would have a field day!  He would wax and wane about how the only way the wife in this case could avert stoning to death would be by her parents somehow producing a blood stained cloth–blood from a broken hymen…evidence which seems mighty hard to come by.  And even if she is found innocent by this physical evidence, in that case the husband pays the wife’s father, not her.  Furthermore, the wife stays married to such a husband “as long as he lives.”  But if no proof can be found, which seems the most probable outcome, then she was to be publicly stoned to death by the men of the town.  Again: imagine Spencer’s rantings and ravings if this all were in the Quran!

To be clear: I am not trying here to demonize Christianity.  Obviously the Christians of today do not enforce the Law of Jealousy or demand virgins to show proof of their virginity.  Yet, what is apparent here is the double standard with which Spencer approaches the religious texts. Many Islamophobes pride themselves as being the protectors of the Judeo-Christian tradition, yet squirm when we apply the same standards to Judaism or Christianity.

Conclusion

Robert Spencer relies on half-truths: he only mentions the most conservative opinion amongst Muslims, as if it is somehow the only one.  In reality, contemporary Muslims believe that women can testify in trials, including cases of rape.  They interpret the Quranic verse 2:282 to be limited in scope.

Furthermore, Spencer conveniently neglects to mention that Orthodox rabbinical courts to this day refuse to accept women as witnesses, based on Talmudic teachings.  (And such understandings abounded in Christianity as well.)  Spencer ought to be as critical of the Halakha as the Sharia, but his double standard in this regard is reminiscent of Daniel Pipes’ double standards, as I documented  in a previous article.  This biased methodology underlies the Islamophobic mentality in general.

In part 2 of “Robert Spencer Rapes the Truth,” we’ll discuss the rest of Spencer’s spurious claims on the same topic, focusing specifically on his allegation that a rape victim is lashed if she fails to produce four witnesses.

Footnotes

refer back to article 1. Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), 74-76. ISBN 0-89526-013-1

refer back to article 2. http://www.renaissance.com.pk/Julrefl12y4.html#1.

refer back to article 3. al-Tahir al-Haddad, Muslim Women in Law and Society: Annotated Translation of al-Tahir al-Haddad, 38. ISBN 0415418879, 9780415418874

refer back to article 4. Muzammil H. Siddiqi is the President of the Fiqh Council of North America

refer back to article 5. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1203515453417&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar

refer back to article 6. Jamal Badawi is a member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Fiqh Council.

refer back to article 7. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar&cid=1119503544348

refer back to article 8. http://www.renaissance.com.pk/Julrefl12y4.html#1.

refer back to article 9. Jalal Abualrub is a prolific Islamic author and translator

refer back to article 10. The proper term is “Salafi”. “Wahhabi” is considered offensive; it has been used here only because readers may be unfamiliar with “Salafi”.

refer back to article 11. Jalal Abualrub, http://islamlife.com/religion2/

refer back to article 12. as quoted in Tariq Ramadan’s Radical Reform, 53.

refer back to article 13. Jalal Abualrub, http://islamlife.com/religion2/

refer back to article 14. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1203515453417&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar

refer back to article 15. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1119503544348&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar

refer back to article 16. al-Tahir al-Haddad, Muslim Women in Law and Society: Annotated Translation of al-Tahir al-Haddad, 38.

refer back to article 17. Jalal Abualrub, http://islamlife.com/religion2/

refer back to article 18. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/agunot1.html

refer back to article 19. http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/teshuvot/docs/20052010/mackler_women_witnesses.pdf

refer back to article 20. Jacob Nuesner, Understanding Rabbinic Judaism, 67. ISBN 0870682385, 9780870682384

refer back to article 21. John Gill’s Exposition to the Bible, Commentary on Deuteronomy 19:17, http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/deuteronomy-19-17.html

refer back to article 22. Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary, http://biblebrowser.com/numbers/5-29.htm

 

Goa: Indian MP says Rape not a Crime, what if he were Muslim?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by loonwatch
Shantaram NaikShantaram Naik

A Muslim Indian MP has said that rape after midnight is not a crime…no wait a second! He isn’t Mooslim!!

A Goan Hindu MP has said that if tourists get raped after midnight it shouldn’t be considered rape. What if he were Muslim? This would be news all over the media, Robert Spencer and Pamela Gellerwould be adding it to their litanies of look at what “Islam” is doing. Of course we wont hear a peep out of them about this. (hat tip to our indelible reader: Retaane)

Goa MP says Rape after Midnight not a Crime

An Indian politician has sparked outrage after he suggested that cases when a woman was raped after staying out past midnight should be treated differently to other sexual attacks.

Speaking before the country’s parliament, Shantaram Naik, an MP from Goa from the ruling Congress Party, reportedly made a series of “contentious” comments referring to the British teenager Scarlett Keeling, who was raped and murdered in Goa last year, and a Russian woman who alleges she was recently the victim of an assault by a state politician.

“An alleged rape of a lady who moves with strangers for days together even beyond middle of the night is to be treated on different footings,” said Mr Naik, as opposition MPs shouted their disapproval.

He then turned his attention to the media, accusing it of sensationalising and over-reporting such attacks. “If we go by electronic media coverage of recent times, it appears that nothing happens except incidents of rape,” he added.

Mr Naik’s comments were also criticised by the Russian consulate in Mumbai, which wrote to the state government saying it intended to advise Russian visitors not to stay out past 10pm if it was not safe for them to do so.

“Essentially the Russian government is concerned about the safety about its citizens,” Vikram Verma, a lawyer representing the consulate, told the Times of India. “If [the state authorities] feel that Russians should not be out late in the night, we would [be] happy to give them any advisory which would improve their safety and security.”

The darker side of Goa, which has long attracted visitors from around the world, has received no shortage of publicity following a series of killings and assaults on tourists – among them Devon teenager Scarlett Keeling in February 2008. An initial investigation by police concluded she had drowned but after the intervention of her mother, it was shown the 15-year-old had been murdered.