That was the reaction many readers had to a recent opinion article in the UK’s “Independent” news magazine. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, that online newspaper declared that there was only one solution to stopping the abuse of women: Islam.
Yes, the same religion that forces wives to hide under burkas and stones women for being rape victims is surely the answer to all of America’s ills… or at least the author Qasim Rashid wants you to think so.
“Harvey Weinstein is just another case of a powerful man abusing women because we live in a society that lets him get away with it, but we can change that,” the opinion writer and U.S.-based civil rights lawyer declared. That sounded reasonable enough, but then things took a turn for the bizarre.
Rashid insisted that Islam was the answer, and the Quran “establishes men and women as equal beings.” Try not spit out your coffee.
“It is men who are first commanded to never gawk at women, and instead guard their private parts and chastity, regardless of how women choose to dress – pre-empting sexual abuse,” the article declares. In other words, force all women to hide their faces, because equality.
Let’s look at the Quran itself and see what it says about that “equality.”
“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other,” states chapter 4, verse 34 of the Quran. “As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.”
Hey, nothing quite says “treat women well” like a swift and brutal beating. The Quran says so!
The sanctimonious Muslim lawyer then lectured readers that the true model of respecting women was none other than Muhammad.
“My advocacy is informed not just by the law, but by strategies detailed in Islamic teachings and Prophet Muhammad’s example to pre-empt sexual abuse,” Rashid continued.
What do Islam’s own teachings and records say about Muhammad? Well, he was a pedophile, adulterer, and sexual abuser.
“A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he 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,” states Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Hadith 3311.
Yes, you read that right. Muhammad was such a “defender of women” that he married and raped an underage girl so young she was still playing with dolls.
It should be pointed out that the Independent was recently part of a purchase by a Saudi Arabian investor with an Islamic name, who now controls up to half of the newspaper’s stock.
“Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel has taken a stake of between 25% and 50% in Independent Digital News and Media, the holding company of the Independent, according to filings at Companies House,” reported The Guardian.
If we were cynical, we might say there was an agenda. Not very “Independent” after all.
The fact is that the records of sexual abuse within Islamic populations are so dismal that there isn’t enough space in this article to chronicle them all. From rape gangs to female genital mutilation to stoning and honor killings, the Muslim world has absolutely no standing — none — to speak about protecting women.
It may be true that the United States needs to talk about sexual abuse. As more details come out about the Weinstein case, it looks like the problem is elitists who stay silent because they are part of the same club that is doing the abusing. Perhaps we should talk about that.
The way to actually stop sexual assault is to tell the truth, even when it might hurt some star’s career.
On the other side of the coin, being dishonest about Islam and its real record on women helps nobody, yet lying and ignoring blatant problems is exactly what this Independent op-ed piece seeks to do.