Freedom of expression is under attack. This is a theme I am addressing here in America this week as part of the Free Speech Summit being held in Florida under the sponsorship of the Florida Security Council. And it is clear that a serious discussion of the threats to our freedoms in the West cannot come too soon.
For example, my friend Rep. Adam Hasner, the majority leader of the Florida House of Representatives was attacked in a press release issued by the national office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday for daring to appear at a private event with me this past weekend. Because of that appearance, CAIR is demanding that Rep. Hasner step down or be removed from his position.
This attack on a friend and fellow legislator is of grave concern to me. CAIR’s assault on Rep. Hasner strikes at the very heart of our most basic freedoms. In fact, it is but the latest episode in that organization’s long-running and determined effort to silence its critics. Indeed, CAIR seeks to suppress all those who dare to challenge the theo-political-legal program that authoritative Islam calls “Shariah.” In so doing, they are seeking to impose what amount to Shariah blasphemy codes.
It is especially important to note that Adam Hasner is not only being attacked for comments he made that are deemed offensive by those who seek to impose Shariah in America. His career is now being threatened for comments made by others in his presence – in this case, by me. Thus the Islamists are infringing not only on this country’s constitutionally protected freedom of expression but also freedom of association.
If a high-ranking public official – elected by the people and appointed to his leadership position by his peers – cannot speak honestly and openly about his concerns, and do so in places and the company of his choosing, without fear of suppression or other retribution, who among us is safe?
I know these threats firsthand. Even before the international release last year of my short documentary film, Fitna, I have faced constant death threats and protests. My name has appeared on assassination lists. I have been subject of an Al-Qaeda death fatwa. I will be charged with blasphemy and contempt of Muslims by Jordanian prosecutors. I face prosecutions in my own country and elsewhere. I was recently banned from the United Kingdom because the Home Secretary believed my mere presence in the country constituted a national security threat.
In this trying time let us recall that in the darkest hours of World War II, when the world faced a global threat from German Nazism, Italian Fascism and Japanese Imperialism, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill challenged his people to rise to the occasion and fight. He told them, “Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
This is why I am in America this week talking about the fight we now must wage in the West to defend our liberties. Freedom of association is one of the basic liberties guaranteed not only by the US Constitution but by the European Convention of Human Rights. And yet CAIR wants to silence and punish Rep. Hasner for associating with me. If America needs a poster child for the threat to our freedoms from Islamic extremism, no better example than CAIR could be found.
This episode underscores that the threat to freedom posed by creeping Shariah imposed by CAIR’s type of stealthy jihad is not just a problem in the Middle East, or Europe. It is also a problem in America.
I will not be bullied by Islamic thugs who want to use our freedoms to destroy those very same freedoms. And I will not stand by as they seek to do it to others.
Founded and directed by members of the international network of the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR has an explicit agenda to subvert our freedoms and impose Islamic Shariah law on non-Muslims. This is not speculation on my part. This is the testimony of one of CAIR’s founders and chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmed, who told a California audience in 1998 that this was their agenda. “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,” he said. “The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” When CAIR officials say that this is their ultimate objective, we should believe them.
In just the past few weeks, the Council on American Islamic Relations has sought to silence another courageous lawmaker, Rep. Peter King, the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee in the US House of Representatives. His “offense”? Rep. King correctly observed that CAIR and other Muslims were not providing enough assistance to the law enforcement authorities in combating terrorism-related activities in American mosques.
CAIR has attempted to silence other critics, as well. They have sued bloggers; they have defamed journalists who have asked too many questions about their terrorist ties; and they have tried to intimidate publications that have published articles challenging their putative “civil rights mission.” If they get away with it, CAIR will seek to threaten the careers of more politicians with the courage to say things and associate with those of challenge Shariah and the effort to impose it in this country.
It is utterly hypocritical that, on the one hand, CAIR claims to be defending freedom of religion in attacking Rep. Hasner when, on the other, they actively seek support from Islamic regimes that are among the worst of the worst human rights abusers on the planet – and notorious for suppressing religious freedoms.
I have been told that in an Arabic News article that CAIR officials have solicited and received financial support from Saudi Prince Al-Walid Bin Talal, whose country outlaws any religious expression except its own Wahhabi strain of Islam. You can’t even own a Bible or wear a cross in the country run by their patrons, and yet CAIR wants to lecture us about religious freedom?
The land for CAIR’s Capitol Hill office in Washington D.C. was purchased with a $250,000 donation from the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank and the deed to their headquarters is held by the foundation of United Arab Emirates Defense Minister Gen. Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. Sheik al-Maktoum’s country prohibits any non-Islamic religious proselytizing and threatens anyone caught with distribution of non-Muslim religious literature with imprisonment.
Whether it is in America or back home in my own country, we are under attack by groups like CAIR who aim to silence their critics. This is why I am here in America. I aim to continue to fight regardless of the threats and intimidation and I am asking Americans to join with us. And when they attack good men like Rep. Adam Hasner, we must realize that they are attacking each and every one of us and the freedoms that we hold dear.
(HH here: for those of you who do not know what a “safe district” is let me explain. Due to demographics a safe district is one that is dominated by voters that support one party almost to the exclusion of any opposition. After runoffs internal to the party the final candidate is utterly assured election no matter who they face in the final vote. Because of this the “palatiblity” of the candidate due to racial considerations is moot. If she had made it to the final election it would have been proof that she DID have local support and in that final election she would win even if a large number of voters abstained. Why exclude her? Sheer racism and anti-semeticism!)
Labour Party embroiled in race row after candidate told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected
By Emily Andrews
Elaina Cohen, …, claims she was told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected as a Labour candidate in Birmingham
The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected.
Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because ‘my Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish’.
Mrs Cohen, 50, has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham.
She said: ‘I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think something like that, let alone say it.
‘People should not be allowed to make racist comments like that. If someone in the party feels I cannot represent them because of my colour or religion, that’s ridiculous.
‘I felt particularly aggrieved because I have worked across all sections of the community, particularly with the Muslim section, and have been on official visits to Pakistan.’
Mrs Cohen had applied to stand as a Labour councillor for the Birmingham ward of East Handsworth and Lozells, which has a high Asian and Afro-Caribbean population.
As one of Labour’s safest seats on Tory-led Birmingham city council, the final candidate would be almost certain of victory at the June 4 by-election.
But when Mrs Cohen telephoned 57-year-old Mr Hussain for his support, she was astonished to be told that she was too ‘white and Jewish’ to be considered.
Lorraine Briscoe, who runs a local community association, was sitting next to Mrs Cohen when the conversation took place on speakerphone last Tuesday.
‘I was disgusted that a councillor could make comments like that in 2009,’ she said.
‘He told her, “They will not vote for someone who is white and Jewish. My Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish”.
‘Elaina then asked him if he had talked to his Muslim members about it and he said, “I don’t want to talk about it with you” and hung up.
‘Elaina does a lot of good work in this community and she does not see race or religion, she just sees people.’
Two days after the alleged conversation, Mrs Cohen and another candidate were rejected by a pre-selection panel after failing to gain the support of the local party.
Instead, members were presented with one candidate, black South African Hendrina Quinnen, who was selected by an almost unanimous vote.
Mrs Cohen has now sent an official complaint to Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and Birmingham city council accusing Mr Hussain of improper conduct.
Mr Hussain said yesterday: ‘I would not make those sort of comments. The allegations are not true.’
HH here: The personality Muslim world (as opposed to the world of Muslims in the West) seems to be quite split nowadays. We have one personality that insists that the orthodox expression of Islam is barbaric and shameful and desperately needs to have a good old fashioned reformation. This personality can be heard in the voices of people like Wafa Sultan, Tarek Fatah, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish.
But side by side with them lives another, stronger, more violent personality. Call it Big Imam. This personality sees all that is “western” like man-made laws and constitutions and universal Human rights are unholy deviance and will beat or kill anyone who denies its right to hold the God given Truth. The orthodox Islamic does not preach ideas, they proclaim what simply IS. It is for the masses to submit to this “truth”…or else. This makes for an uncomfortable political life in these countries to say the least.
This blog is dedicated to cheering on the first personality and highlighting and informing about the other. Here is a bit from the “this is a good thing” file.)
By Liam Stack Liam Stack – Mon Apr 20, 5:00 am ET
Cairo – Egyptian followers of the Bahai religion celebrated a long-awaited legal victory last week when the country’s Interior Ministry allowed them to obtain national identity cards without falsely listing their faith as one of the only three recognized by the state.
Rights activists say the ministry’s decision to honor a court ruling allowing Bahais to leave their religion off their official documents is an historic first step towards a more inclusive definition of what it means to be Egyptian.
“It is a significant development in our legal history as a nation,” says Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which filed a lawsuit against the Interior Ministry’s Civil Status Department on behalf of Bahai citizens. “It is the first legal institution to sanction, or even accommodate, the idea that you can be Egyptian and follow a religion outside the three recognized ones.”
All Egyptians are required to obtain a national ID card at age 16. The card states their religious affiliation, and since 2000 there have only been three options: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish.
The cards are necessary for accessing almost all aspects of life in Egypt, from opening a bank account to immunizing children.
Those who follow a faith besides the three the state refers to as “the heavenly religions” were previously either forced to lie about their religion or go without the cards, consigned to a bleak state of official nonexistence.
But on March 16, Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld a lower courts’ 2008 ruling that all Egyptians have a right to obtain official documents, such as ID cards and birth certificates, without stating their religion.
The Interior Ministry had appeared not to recognize the 2008 ruling, and Bahais had reported trouble registering their children in schools and universities.
But the ministry issued the new order March 19 complying with the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision, and it went into effect April 15. Authorities say new IDs will be available within two weeks.
Under the new rules, Egyptians can opt to have a dash mark printed in place of a religion.
Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, called the former policy “abusive” and “without any basis in Egypt’s statutory law,” in a statement released when the new policy went into effect.
“We hope this means that the government intends to eradicate all policies that discriminate on the basis of religion and instead promote freedom of belief for all Egyptians,” he said.
Problems with documents began recently
Egyptian Bahais long lived peacefully beside their Christian, Muslim, and Jewish countrymen. That began to change in the 1950s, when some in Egypt became suspicious of the fact that the Bahai world headquarters are located in the Israeli city of Haifa.
Egypt’s Bahai citizens say they began having problems obtaining official documents in 2000, after an effort to modernize the Interior Ministry instituted a computerized system of issuing ID cards, ending the old practice of hand-writing them.
Violence toward Bahais
“Before that there were no problems, they used to write out Bahai or just put a dash,” says Labib Iskander, a professor of mathematics at Cairo University and follower of the Bahai faith. “My old card still says Bahai, and to this day I still have not gotten a new one. Now when I do there will be a dash.”
But the ruling comes at a tense time for the nation’s Bahais, and recent violence directed at them suggests that popular attitudes have yet to catch up with those of the government.
In late March a riot broke out in the southern Egyptian town of Al Shoroneya after a satellite TV station aired a segment on Bahais celebrating the Iranian New Year with a picnic in a Cairo park.
One of the picnickers identified himself as a resident of the village and described it using a phrase in Arabic that could either mean “there are many Bahais there” or “everyone there is Bahai.”
Eight Bahai residents’ homes were set ablaze in the riot, and local media reports indicate the town’s entire Bahai population has fled.
Dr. Iskander is happy about the government’s new policy but says that old attitudes die hard, noting that the state is still unwilling to write the word “Bahai” itself on the national identity cards.
“They think that writing it would mean recognizing it as a religion, but that’s not true,” he says. “It would mean recognizing that some people are just different, and that they believe in something else. But they don’t want to do that.”
The Taleban have not yet heeded calls to disarm
Taleban militants operating in Pakistan’s Swat region who agreed a peace deal with the government have expanded operations into nearby Buner.
Dozens of militants have been streaming into bordering Buner to take over mosques and government offices.
Buner is part of the Malakand region, which has just seen the implementation of Sharia law under the peace deal.
Under the deal the Taleban were expected to disarm.
Buner district is only about 100km (62 miles) from the capital, Islamabad.
Recent reports said the Taleban had ransacked the offices of international aid and development agencies working in Buner.
Some employees of the agencies were also briefly taken hostage before being released on Monday.
The Taleban have banned the playing of music in cars and are also using mosques to invite local youth to join them.
We implemented Sharia law as it was a demand of the people, not just the Taleban
Mian Iftikhar Hussain,
The Taleban have also started regular patrols in the district.
Buner’s police chief, Rashid Khan, said the police had lodged an official complaint over the matter.
But the Taleban are not mentioned in the reports, which only names “unknown persons” as the culprits.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain maintains that the Taleban must disarm as agreed under the peace deal.
“Even Sufi Mohammad has said that there is no reason for the Taleban not to disarm,” he said.
He was referring to the head of a local religious group who has been acting as the government’s chief negotiator with the Taleban.
“We initially adopted the path of dialogue and reconciliation, but this is as far as we can go,” Mr Hussain said.
“We implemented Sharia law as it was a demand of the people, not just the Taleban.
“If they continue with their activities, they will not have the support of the people.
“The majority of the people are now with the government. The government will not stand by and tolerate [the violation of] the peace deal.”
The Taleban say they will not lay down their arms until Sharia is fully implemented.
Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Swat Taleban, said his movement’s aim was the enforcement of Sharia law in all of Pakistan.
(Head Heretic here: I can’t say that I need to comment much. There is an active slow-burn civil war gouing on in Pakistan and the government is, at best, passive in its face. The people have no power against the Talibs and it is worth a policemants life to even report that the “culprits” were Talibs. This story definately belongs in the “not a good thing” file.)
Romancing the Jihad
Why are so many on the Left enamored with Islamism?
By Clifford D. May
Ask those on the Left what values they champion, and they will say equality, tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights, and human rights. Militant Islamists oppose all that, not infrequently through the application of lethal force. So how does one explain the burgeoning Left-Islamist alliance?
I know: There are principled individuals on the Left who do not condone terrorism or minimize the Islamist threat. The author Paul Berman, unambiguously and unashamedly a man of the Left, has been more incisive on these issues than just about anyone else. Left-of-center publications such as The New Republic have not been apologists for radical jihadists.
But The Nation has been soft on Islamism for decades. Back in 1979, editorial-board member Richard Falk welcomed the Iranian revolution, saying it “may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.” Immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, longtime Nation contributor Robert Fisk complained that “terrorism” is a “racist” term.
It is no exaggeration to call groups such as MoveOn.org pro-appeasement. Further left on the political spectrum, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition sympathizes with both Islamists and the Stalinist regime in North Korea — which is in league with Islamist Iran and its client state, Syria. Meanwhile, Hugo Chávez, the Bolivarian-socialist Venezuelan strongman, is developing a strategic alliance with Iran’s ruling mullahs and with Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy.
In a new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror, Jamie Glazov takes a hard look at this unholy alliance. A historian by training, Glazov is the son of dissidents who fled the Soviet Union only to find that, on American campuses, they were not welcomed by the liberal/Left lumpen professoriate.
Glazov’s book indicts artists and intellectuals of the Left — e.g. George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Susan Sontag — for having “venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, habitually excusing their atrocities while blaming Americans and even the victims for their crimes.”
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Left spent several years wandering in the wilderness. Many of them, Glazov suggests, looked upon the terrorist attacks of 9/11 less as an atrocity than as an opportunity to revive a moribund revolutionary movement.
Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Lynne Stewart, and Stanley Cohen are among the luminaries of the Left Glazov accuses of having found common ground with Islamists.
He notes that the novelist Norman Mailer called the 9/11 hijackers “brilliant” and their terrorism “understandable” because “everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel which consequently had to be destroyed.”
And then there is Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal, who in 2003, from his prison cell, published a book called Revolutionary Islam that urged “all revolutionaries, including those of the left, even atheists,” to accept the leadership of militant jihadists, Osama bin Laden key among them. His reasoning: “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the United States.”
Glazov quotes the British lawmaker, George Galloway, elaborating on the rationale for this coalition. “Not only do I think [a Muslim-leftist alliance is] possible, but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already,” Galloway said. “It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries, mainly Muslim countries. They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization, which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world, turning us basically into factory chickens which can be force-fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture and whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations.”
And in 1979, the success of the Islamist Revolution in Iran depended, in large measure, on the support given by the Iranian Left to the Ayatollah Khomeini. Once firmly in power, the clerical regime repaid its leftist enablers with executions, assassinations, and prison sentences. Evidently, no lessons were learned.
Glazov concludes that the Left’s “romance with Islamism is just a logical continuation of the long leftist tradition of worshipping America’s foes. . . . The Left clearly continues to be inspired by its undying Marxist conviction that capitalism is evil and that forces of revolution are rising to overthrow it — and must be supported.” On that basis, militant Islamism is regarded as a “valiant form of ‘resistance’ against American imperialism and oppression.”
If such values as equality, tolerance, and human rights are crushed in the process, that’s a price many on the Left are willing to pay. Those on the Left who disagree should perhaps speak up more loudly and more often.
— Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.
(HH:I seriously could not dare to make this up. Iran is going all out for the Insane Country of the Year Award. Be prepared to laugh til you cry when you see the students diligently taking notes.)
On February 19, 2006, Iranian TV channel 4 covered a film seminar that included a lecture by Professor Hasan Bolkhari.(1) In addition to being a member of the Film Council of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Bolkhari is a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry,(2) and active on behalf of interfaith issues.(3)
The following are excerpts from Bokhari’s lecture.
Hasan Bolkhari: There is a cartoon that children like. They like it very much, and so do adults – Tom and Jerry.
Some say that this creation by Walt Disney will be remembered forever. The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon. It is still shown throughout the world. This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse – especially the mouse.
Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe.
If you study European history, you will see who was the main power to hoard money and wealth, in the 19th century. In most cases, it is the Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons which caused Hitler to begin the anti-Semitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the crematoria began… Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it.
Watch Schindler’s List. Every Jew was forced to wear a yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed “dirty mice.” Tom and Jerry was made in order to change the Europeans’ perception of mice. One of terms used was “dirty mice.”
I’d like to tell you that… It should be noted that mice are very cunning…and dirty.
No ethnic group or people operates in such a clandestine manner as the Jews.
Read the history of the Jews in Europe. This ultimately led to Hitler’s hatred and resentment. As it turns out, Hitler had behind-the-scene connections with the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion].
Tom and Jerry was made in order to display the exact opposite image. If you happen to watch this cartoon tomorrow, bear in mind the points I have just raised, and watch it from this perspective. The mouse is very clever and smart. Everything he does is so cute. He kicks the poor cat’s ass. Yet this cruelty does not make you despise the mouse. He looks so nice, and he is so clever… This is exactly why some say it was meant to erase this image of mice from the minds of European children, and to show that the mouse is not dirty and has these traits.
Unfortunately, we have many such cases in Hollywood shows.
Endnotes: (1) According to the site of the 2005 Iranian Short Film Festival (http://www.shortfilmfest-ir.com/2005/jury/jury_spritual_2005_page-3.htm ), Hasan Bolkhari (b. 1962) holds a Ph.D in Islamic Philosophy and, among other things, teaches philosophy of art at Tabatabaei and Al-Zahra Universities in Iran and is a prolific author of literary and scientific works. According to the site, he is also counselor and member of the Film Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and a member of the IRIB’s Approval Group – TV Films and Serials. (2) According to a BBC report (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/822312.stm ), Bolkhari is a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry; according to the IRIB’s English-language Radio Islam, he is an Iranian mass media expert (http://www.irib.ir/worldservice/englishRADIO/ISLAM/muslims.htm ). (3) According to the World Catholic Association for Communication, he was the Iranian member of the interfaith jury of the recent 24th Fajr International Film Festival (http://www.wmaker.net/signis_en/index.php?action=article&id_article=294434 ). According to the site, “the Interfaith Jury was set up in 2003 to promote inter-religious dialogue between Christians and Muslims.” The jury also included a U.K. and a Belgian juror.
(HH here: The Arab Atheists Network has released a film entitled The Story of Women in Islam that is available on YouTube. It it in six parts. I am here embedding them interspersed with a transcript and my commentary.)
A female experiences disparagement in Islam from the moment of her birth. While a newborn male gets to have two sheep offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving on his behalf, they offer only one on behalf of the female. Muhammad (570-632), the prophet of Islam, said, “Two sheep for the boy and one for the female” (see: The authentic of Al-Tirmidhi’s collection, Al-Albani, Hadith no. 1516). Islam also permits the father to marry off his daughter before she reaches adolescence. On the legally prescribed period of waiting (termed as `Iddah’) during which a woman may not remarry after being widowed or divorced in order to ensure no pregnancy occurred, the Quran says, “Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if you have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same).” (65:4).
“Those who have no courses” that is, those who have not reached adolescence yet. Ubay Bin Kab, a close companion of Mohammad, said: “When the verse in Surat Al-Baqarah was revealed prescribing the `Iddah’ of divorce, some people in Al-Madinah said, `There are still some women whose Iddah has not been mentioned in the Qur’an. There are the little girls, the old whose menstruation is discontinued, and the pregnant’. In response, this verse was revealed: “Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses…” (See: Al-Mustadrak, by Al-Hakim. pp. 492-493. This narration is authentic according to Al-Hakim and Al-dhahabi.).
(HH here: let us not too lightly skip over the concept of ‘Iddah’. As the children of a marriage are considered the property of the husband it is important for the Muslim man to have a clear claim on any children his divorced former wife may carry. Make no bones about it, the sole purpose of that is to ensure his ability to come and take them from her after birth if he wishes. To be sure certain traditions allow the mother to keep her bebies until they reach some pre-determined “Age of reason” where the male is needed to ensure they get a “proper” upbringing.”
Throughout the ages, the Muslim commentators of the Quran confirmed this explanation of the verse. Here are quotations from the most notable of them. Al- Tabari (839-923) said, “This also includes the ‘Iddah’ of girls who have not menstruated yet as they are such little.. if divorced after being sexually consummated in marriage”.
Al-Baghawi (1045-1117) said, “Those little girls who have not reached menstruation age yet”.
Az-Zammakhshari (1074-1143) said, “They are those little girls”.
Al-Qurtubi (1204-1273) said, “She is the little girl”.
Ibn Kathir (1302-1373) said, “The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause. This is the meaning of His saying: “and for those who have no courses”.
Al-Mahali and As-Syyouti (1445-1505) both said, “for how such young they are”.
Al-Alousi (1802-1854) said, “Those little girls who have not got their menstruation period yet”.
As Mohammad reached 52, Abu Bakr got his daughter, Aisha, married off to him when she was only 6 years old. Mohammad began having sexual relations with her when she was just 9. This is what Aisha says as recoded in “Al-Bukhari’s authentic”, the second authoritative book in Islam next to the Quran, “The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. My mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, ‘Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.’ Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.” (See: Al-Bukhari’s authentic vol.3 p.66). Muslim jurisprudents unanimously agreed on having the little girl being married off. Ibn Abdul Bur (978-1071) says, ” Jurisprudents have unanimously agreed that a father is entitled to marry off his little girl without consulting her as Aisha herself was married off to the Messenger of Allah when she was six years old.” (See: Al Tamhid vol. 19 p. 98).
Ibn Battal (died 1057) said, “A little girl is unanimously permitted to marry an adult even if she is in the crib” (See: Fat`h Al-Bari by Ibn Hajar, vol. 9 p. 124).
Ibn Al-Monther (856-931) said, “All known jurisprudents have unanimously agreed that a father’s marrying off his firstborn daughter is permissible as long as he gets her to be married off to an acceptable man. In fact, as a father he is allowed that in spite of her reluctance and refusal”. (See: Al-Moghni by Ibn Qudama, vol. 9 p. 398).
Ibn Qudama (1146-1223) said, “A father is entitled to marry off his little girl undisputedly since Abu Bakr Al Sidiq married Aisha off to the prophet while she was 6 years old without asking her permission” (See: Al Kafi by Ibn Qudama, vol. 4 p. 243).
A husband is entitled to have sexual intercourse with his wife, a little girl though she may be, as long as her body is capable of enduring sexual intercourse, even if she has not reached adolescence yet. If she, however, is not capable of enduring this intercourse, he is allowed to sexually enjoy her without having intercourse. Al-Kharshi (died 1101) said, “His saying ‘and it is possible to have sex with her’ has a reference to the fact that there is no specific age, which will vary from one person to another, and this does not necessitate been adult as it is the case with man, for if she endured intercourse, then she is enabling the man to receive full sexual pleasure”. (See: Sharh Mukhtassar Khalil, Al-Kharsahi, section on “marriage”, chapter on dowry).
Al Zali`yye (died 1343) says, “They varied on specifying the age, some said, she could be nine years of age. What is true is it has nothing to do with age but it has everything to do with the ability to endure sexual intercourse, as a fat, large woman would endure sexual intercourse, though she may be young of age” (See: Tabyeen Al-Haqa’eq, book of divorce, chapter on divorce alimony).
And this is what happened with Aisha. Her family fattened her up before sending her off to her wedding with Mohammed. Aisha said, “My mother was giving me fattening recipes in order to prepare me for the Messenger of Allah, and she got nowhere until I began eating cucumber until I got fattened very well” (See: The authentic of Ibn Maja’s collection, Al-Albani. vol. 3 p. 131). This would lead Al-Sarakhsi (died 1090) to comment on this story related by Aisha stating, “This in itself is a proof that a little girl is permitted to be wedded with her husband if she is fit for men, for she was in her wedded with him while she was 9 years old. so she was young as it appears. In a Hadith it is mentioned that they fattened her and when she got fat she was sent off to her wedding with the Messenger of Allah”. (See: Al-Mabsoott by Al Sarakhsi, vol. 4 p. 213).
(A video clip of Dream Channel by Sheikh Farahat Al Sayyed Al Manji of Al-Azhar).
Sheikh Al Manji says: “There is no evidence in Islam for specifying marriage age. Just upfront, in Islam there is no set specific age for marriage.
Interviewer: From this I gather you agree.
Al Manji: Yes.
Interviewer: You are confirming that Fatwa (previously mentioned in the show).
Al Manji: I am not confirming that Fatwa, I am simply telling you that she can bear marriage, that is, bear sexual intercourse.
Interviewer: At what age can a girl endure “marriage”?
Al Manji: I actually don’t know, but let me tell you, there is a girl who could be 15 years old, bubbly though she may be, yet she is not good for anything and knows nothing. Also there might be a girl who is just 10 years of age and look at her! She is so big and tall, to give you an example. What does it all depend on? Well, it all depends on where she is raised.
Interviewer: So it has nothing to do with age?
Al Manji: No, Islamic Law didn’t specify age.
Interviewer: There is a girl who is 9 years old and she is so big and tall, could she get married?
Al Manji: Of course yes. Why not?
Interviewer: Call us at this number… as I am not really in the mood. Your honor the Sheikh this is so hard to accept. 9 years of age and gets married? This is…….
Al Manji: yes, 9 years old and getting married. And I said, as long as she can bear a man. I am speaking to you in light of the Islamic Law. This Law “Sharia” is what really matters.
In one of the largest Islamic sites on the Internet specialized in giving fatwas (religious authoritative verdicts) www.islamweb.net , a fatwa entitled “Sexually Enjoying the Little Girl of a Wife- Legally Islamic View” said, “There is no problem or issue in kissing the little girl of a wife lustfully and thighing (rubbing the penis against her thighs) and so on, even if she cannot bear sexual intercourse. Muslim jurisprudents have shown that the foundation lies in man’s being able to sexually enjoy his wife if he wants to as long as there is no harm. This included his masturbating with her hands, fondling her and kissing her and so forth”. http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/Fatwa/ShowFatwa.php?lang=A&Id=78529&Option=FatwaId
In another fatwa entitled “Sexually Enjoying the Little Girl of a Wife”, it stated, “There is no harm in ejaculating between the thighs of this little girl who cannot afford to bear intercourse and it might harm her, as long as such ejaculation is without sexual penetration. Muslim jurisprudents have shown that the starting point in all of this and what really matters the most is that the man is permitted to sexually enjoy his wife in any manner he wants as long as there is no harm.” http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/Fatwa/ShowFatwa.php?Option=FatwaId&lang=A&Id=56312
Shiite Muslims are not any different. Imam Khomeini (1902-1989), leader of Islamic revolution in Iran, said in his book “Tahrir Al Wasilah” (vol. 2 p. 221) the following: “A wife should not receive sexual intercourse before she is fully nine years old, be this marriage permanent or temporary. But for all other forms of pleasure, as in lustful touch, embrace or thighing (rubbing the penis against her thighs), there is no problem in them, even if she is a little suckling baby”.
Shiite scholar, Al-Ayrawani, says that to receive sexual pleasure from the suckling baby is unanimously agreed upon by Muslim jurisprudents, be they Sunnis or Shiites.”
(HH here: Take note that all of the verses and ahadith quoted are from authoritative sources. As we will see futher on in the video the major Islamic sources are NOT in disagreement on this subject at all.)
Enquiring person: “Mr Imam Khomeini has mentioned in his book Tahrir Al-Wasilah a matter: ‘A wife should not receive sexual intercourse before she is fully nine years old, be this marriage permanent or temporary. But for all other forms of pleasure, as in lustful touch or embrace, there is no problem in them, even if she is a little suckling baby’. We hope that the Sheikh would expound on the last paragraph. Please go ahead our mullah”.
Sheikh Ayrawani: In fact, this issue is one of the things that our Shiite jurisprudents, have all unanimously agreed upon. They (Sunnis) also have it in their books, it’s not belonging to us (Shiites) only. Now, suppose a man wants to get married to a little girl, to marry her permanently. What do you think? Let us now leave aside temporal marriage. I am here talking about the permanent kind of marriage. It is permitted for a man to marry off his daughter of 5 years of age to a man. Question: is that permitted or not permitted?. All Muslim jurisprudents agree and see no problem with that whatsoever. The father has every right to marry her off to a man. He is her custodian. Within the bounds of interest that is perfectly normal. The father is entitled to marry her off without any prohibition. Let us suppose that she is just two years of age. Or let us even say she is just one year old. There is not the least problem in that. By marrying her, she becomes lawful ‘halal’ for the husband (to do whatever he wants to her). Now, you tell me, can the husband kiss her or no?. Well, there is not the least problem in that since this little one is his own wife and therefore no problem at all.”
An adolescent woman experiences disparagement at the first sign of her becoming an adult woman, which is the beginning of menses. Scientifically speaking, menstruation is normal blood that passes due to the fall of the arterioles that multiplied to from a layer in the uterine wall so that the expected fertilized egg be attached to and fed by. Due largely to the ignorance of the people of the old days, there is wide misunderstanding on the nature of menses, a number of cultures and religions dealt with the menses as unclean and imposed demeaning rituals for the woman in her menstrual period. Islam is one of these religions. The Quran says (2: 222), “And they ask you about menstruation. Say: it is a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean.” In Islam, a woman in her time of menstruation is not permitted to pray or fast. Muhammad said as recorded in “Al-Bukhari’s authentic” (vol. 2 p.45), “Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?..This is the deficiency in her religion.”
Now that she is an adult woman, she is put on equal footing with the donkey and the dog insofar as abolishing the prayer of a Muslim male if she would just pass in front of him. Mohammad said as recorded in “Muslim’s authentic” (vol. 2 p.60), the third authoritative book in Islam next to the Quran and “Al-Bukhari’s authentic”, “A woman, a donkey and a dog disrupt the prayer”.
In Islam, a woman is of a lesser mind than the man, and so her testimony in financial dealings is only worth half his, according to the Quran (2:282), “and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs (by forgetting), the other can remind her”.
Muhammad said about women as recorded in “Al-Bukhari’s authentic” (vol. 1, p. 115), “I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you (women). A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the witness of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “That is from the deficiency in her intelligence.”
Women cannot provide witness in the case of felonies and penalties. They cannot give witness without a man except in matters which men should not be exposed to. Ali Bin Abi Talib (Muhammad’s cousin) said, “Women’s witness is not permitted in the case of divorce, marriage, felonies and blood”. (See: Abdul Razzaiq’s collection, vol. 8, pp. 329-330).
Ibn Al Munther (856-931) said: “Muslim jurists have unanimously agreed on the literal reading of this verse in that they permitted women’s testimony alongside that of men. They limited this to finances and debts. But they said that her witness is not allowed in the case of felonies and penalties. They didn’t reach agreement on the position of her testimony in marriage, divorce, genealogy and loyalties. While the majority prohibited it, the Kufis permitted it. Muslim jurists have also agreed on accepting their testimonies without a man in matters which men should not be exposed to such as menstruation and the giving of birth”. (See: Fat`h Al-Bari by Ibn Hajar, vol. 5 p. 266).
(Quran 4:5) “To those fools do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support”.
Ibn Kathir (1302-1373), the most notable Quran commentator, says: “`The ‘fool’ is the ignorant, simple-minded person who has little knowledge in areas of benefit and harm. This is why, according to the majority of the scholars, Allah used the term foolish to include women and children, when He said (4:5) “To those fools do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support”. (See: Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir vol. 1 p. 290, Sura 2 verse no. 13).
(Quran 2:228) “men have a degree (of advantage) over them (women)” Ibn Kathir (1302-1373) commentated: “men are in a more advantageous position than women physically as well as in their mannerism, status, obedience (of women to them), spending, taking care of the affairs and in general, in this life and in the Hereafter”.
(Quran 4:34) “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property”.
Ibn Kathir commentated: “meaning, the man is responsible for the woman, and he is her maintainer, caretaker and leader who disciplines her if she deviates. ‘because Allah has made one of them to excel the other’, meaning, because men excel over women and are better than them. This is why prophethood was exclusive of men, as well as other important positions of leadership. The Prophet said, ‘People who appoint a woman to be their leader, will never achieve success.’ Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Such is the case with appointing women as judges or on other positions of leadership. A man in himself is superior to the woman and he bestows favour upon her always. For these reasons it is suitable that he is appointed her maintainer”.
A female in Islam is allotted half of what a male gets in inheritance. (Quran 4:11) “Allah directs you regarding your Children’s (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females”.
A woman is also an image of devil as recorded in “Muslim’s authentic” (vol. 4, p. 129), that the prophet “saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zainab, as she was tanning a leather and had sexual intercourse with her.He then went to his Companions and told them: a woman advances and retires in the image of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife (for sex), for that will repel what he feels in his heart.”
After adolescence, it is an obligation for the woman to cover her body in front of men who might not be “Maharem” (ie. Father, siblings, sons, uncles and nephews), or a spouse. In our age, Muslims claim that the veil was sanctioned out of guarding modesty and morality and also so that a woman will not entice a man. But historical facts from Islamic sources reveal that the veil was originally sanctioned as a classifying law to separate slave girls, who would be captives of war, from free women. The veil verse says, (33:59) “O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments; this will be more proper that they should be recognized and not annoyed”. “more proper that they should be recognized” which means their being recognized as free women and not slave girls. Throughout the ages, the Muslim commentators of the Quran have backed up this interpretation.
Al-Tabari (839-923) says, “To draw their cloaks close round them helps them in not being identified by anybody passing by so that they might know that these are not slave girls, thus harassing them”.
Al-Baghawi (1045-1117) says, “This verse was revealed in the case of those adulterers who would chase in Al-Madinah after women who might have to go outside to use the bathroom. At first they would wink at the woman, and if she keeps silent they keep following her, but if she rebukes them, they would leave her alone. They were only seeking after slave girls, and yet it was hard for them to identify a free woman from a slave girl since they all dressed alike, dressed in some kind of cover. They complained to their husbands and it got mentioned to the messenger of Allah and thus the verse was revealed”.
Az-Zamakhshari (1074-1143) says, “In the beginning of Islam, women who were following their customs dressed immodestly. Young men would go out in the fields and palm lots at night in order to chase after slave girls going to bathroom. They would try to sexually harass a free woman under the pretext that she might be a slave girl, and so they were ordered to change their attire from that of the slave girls by wearing cloaks, quilts, and covering both heads and faces”.
Ibn Al-Jawzi (1114-1201) said, “’should be recognized’ means their being recognized as free women”. Al-Qurtubi (1204-1273) said, “Before this verse was revealed, a woman of the household of believers would go outside to use the bathroom and some perverts would try to harass her thinking that she is a slave girl. She would scream and he goes away. They complained to the prophet and this verse was revealed for that reason”.
Ibn Kathir (1302-1373) said, “means, if they do that, it will be known that they are free, and that they are not slaves or whores.”
Al-Mahali and As-Syyoutti (1445-1505) both said, “ ‘more proper’ that is they are closer to be ‘to be recognized’ i.e. that they are free women ‘and not annoye’ that is, by sexually harassing them unlike the slave girls, as they are not covered in their faces and getting harassed by hypocrites”.
Al Alousi (1802-1854) said, “ ‘Adna’ means closer to ‘to be recognized’ that is being set apart from the slave girls who were vulnerable to being sexually harassed”.
Ummar Bin Al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Mohammad and second successor (caliph) to him, used to beat a slave girl if she wore the veil. Anas Bin Malik, a companion of Muhammad, said, “Omar saw a slave girl of ours wearing the veil, he struck her and said to her: “Don’t be dressed like free women” (See: Ibn Abi Shaiba’s collection, vol. 3, p. 127). Anas Bin Malik also said: “A slave girl went on into where Omar Bin Al-Khattab was sitting. She had a dressed that she used for a veil. Omar asked her, “Have you been freed?”. She said, “No”. He said, “What then is the veil for? Move it away from your head, for the veil is to be on the heads of free women”. She tarried and Omar got up to her and struck her on her head with a rod until she moved it away from her head”. (See: Ibn Abi Shaiba’s collection, vol. 3 p. 128).
Anas Ibn Malik also said, “slave girls of Omar were waiting on us with their hair being uncovered and their breasts shaking”. (See: As-Sunnan Al-Kubra by Al-Bayhaqi, vol. 2 p. 321). This narration is authentic according to Al-Albani. (See: Hijab Al-mar;a Walibasuha Fe Al-Sala, Ibn Taymyyah p. 43 , checked by Al-Albani). Al Bayhaqi said, “These narrations about Omar Bin Al-Khattab are authentic”. (See: As-Sunnan Al-Kubra by Al Bayhaqi, vol. 2 p. 321).
For a slave girl what parts in view of another male is the same thing that a male should not show in front of another male, and that stretches from the navel to the knees. Mohammad said, “When one of you marries off his female servant to his slave or to his employee, he should not look at her private part below the navel and above the knees.” (See: The authentic of Abu Dawood’ collection, by Al-Albani, vol. 2, p. 523). That means if a slave girl gets married, she changes status as far as her owner is concerned in that he is no longer allowed to see more than what is between the navel and the knees, and this is what has been established by most Muslim jurisprudents. Al-Nawawi (1233-1277) said: “Man’s private parts would be what is between his navel and knees, and the same goes for the slave girl. But a free woman can show only her face and hands”. (See: Minhaj Al-Talibeen by Al-Nawawi, p. 105).
Al-Maqdisi (1160-1227) says, “A slave girl’s privates are the same like man”. (See: Sharh Al-Umdah, p. 65).
Al-Dardeer (1715-1786) says, “private parts for a man is his male organ and buttocks, and for the slave girl it is the same”. (See: Al-sharh Al- Sagheer, vol. 1 p. 285).
In the history of Islam, slave girls were being sold in the markets, stripped naked and men would check them out in any form they wanted to. If Ubdallah Bin Omar Bin Al-Khattab, a companion of Mohammad, wanted to buy a slave girl, he would place his hand on her buttocks, take a look at her legs, belly, put his hand between her breasts and then shake her. (See Abdul Razzaq’s collection, vol. 7 p. 286. and see also As-Sunnan Al-Kubra by Al-Bayhaqi, vol. 5 p. 537).
Ali Bin Abi Talib, Mohammad’s cousin and the fourth caliph, was asked about the slave girl being sold. “Is it permissible to look at her legs, buttocks, and her belly?”. He replied, “No problem with that. No prohibition. She was not made to stand except to be checked out as a bargain” (See Abdul Razzaq’s collection, vol. 7 p. 287).
Abdullah Bin Masood, a prominent Quran scholar and a close companion of Mohammad, said in relation to the slave girl being sold, “If I touch her or a wall, I don’t care; it is all the same to me”. (See Abdul Razzaq’s collection, vol.7 p.287).
In Islam, a man is entitled to marry up to 4 wives. Yet he has an unlimited number of slave girls that he is entitled to have sex with. A woman, however, has nobody but her own husband.
(Quran 4:3) “marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess”.
(Quran 23:5-6) “And who guard their private parts, Except with their wives or what their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame”.
(comments on the last verse) Al-Tabari (839-923) says, “ ‘what their right hands possess’ refers to the slave girls.”
Al Baghawi (1045-1117) says, “This verse is specific of men as evidenced in his saying ‘or whom their right hands possess‘, since that a woman isn’t allowed to sexually enjoy her own slave.”
Az-Zamakhshari (1074-1143) says, “what is meant is that they guard their private parts at all times except in the case of their marrying or having slave girls”.
Ibn Al Jawzi (1114-1201) expounds, “ ‘But who ever seeks’, that is, he actually sought after, ‘beyond that’ referring to wives and slave girls.”
Ibn Kathir (1302-1373) says, “and do not approach anyone except the wives whom Allah has made permissible for them or their right hand possessions from the captives”.
Al Mahali and As-Soyyoutti (1445-1505) both said: ” ‘what their right hands possess’ ” referring to slave girls.”
Al-Aloussi (1802-1854) says, “what is meant is whatever slave girl their right hand has owned. Note that Allah used the word ‘what’ in describing who they are instead of the word ‘whom’. This signifies that they are objects, articles of merchandise for sale. Or signifies that they are considered non-sentient beings because of their femininity which points to their lacking brains in reasoning. Women’s being non-sentient is quite obvious whether they be Circassian, Roman or anything like that. But how obvious would it be if they be Negro or from any black ethnicity?, I swear that if they supposedly aren’t belonging to the animals class, then they aren’t far from belonging to it. The verse is specific to men, since that women unanimously aren’t permitted to have sex with their slaves”.
(Quran 4:24) “Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those which your right hands possess”.
It’s recorded in “Muslim’s authentic” (vol. 4 p.170) that “at the Battle of Hanain Allah’s Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger seemed to refrain from having sex with married captive women. Then Allah sent down regarding that: ” Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those which your right hands possess ” (i.e. it’s lawful to have sex with them when their ‘Idda’ period came to an end).”
Ibn Kathir says in his commentary: “you are prohibited from marrying women who are already married, ‘except those which your right hands possess’, meaning, except those whom you acquire through war, it’s allowed for you to have sex with such women after making sure they are not pregnant. The verse was revealed for this case.”
What Muslims claim to be the privileges of Mohammad is the fact that he could marry more than 4 wives. Anas Bin Malik, a close companion of Mohammad, said as recorded in “Al-Bukhari’s authentic” (vol. 1 p.110), “The Prophet used to visit (for sex) all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.”
As for the slave-girls of Mohammad, the Quran says, (33:50) “O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and what your right hand possesses out of what Allah has given to you as prisoners of war”.
Ibn Kathir says in his commentary, “means, the slave-girls whom you took from the war booty are also permitted to you. He owned Safiyyah and Juwayriyah, then he manumitted them and married them, and he owned Rayhanah bint Sham`un An-Nadariyyah and Mariyah Al-Qibtiyyah, the mother of his son Ibrahim; they were both among the slave-girls”.
Muslims’ many raids resulted in capturing many women, which multiplied the number of slave-girls in Muslim lands. Ali Bin Abi Talib, Mohammad’s cousin and the fourth caliph, passed away while he had 19 slave girls in his property. (See: Abdul Razzaq’ collection, vol. 7 p. 288).
At the end of the first century of Islamic era, Musa Bin Nusair conquered Morocco. Ibn Kathir says in his history on this regard:
“Plenty of pretty boys and pretty women were taken as captives. And sent off to the caliph, 40, 000 heads, which is fifth of what he captured. . . when he went entered upon the caliph in Damascus he came along with 30,000 of captives, not to mention what we already listed. This was fifth of what he captured in the last raid which he launched into the lands of Morocco.” (See: Al Bidaya wa Al-Nihayyah, vol. 12 p. 629).
The caliph of Abbasid period, Harun Al Rashid, a very well-renowned caliph for the Abbassaid State which ruled the Muslims for 5 centuries, had in his house 4,000 slave-girls. (See: Al Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya, Ibn Kathir, vol. 14 p. 49).
(A video clip from Iqra Channel in a show entitled “Before You are Judged” by Basma Wahba)
Basma: Well, now, folks, I have now 2 of the giants of Al-Azhar Islamist scholars. They are required to refute this allegation, that Islam encourages slavery and the companions of the Prophet were sexually enjoying whatever their right hands possessed. How shall we respond to that?
Jamal Qutub: whoever doesn’t like it can bang his head against the wall.
Mabrook: I have a very small question. Do you believe that the Quran is the Word of God?. Or it is the same like Hadith which some are authentic and some are questionable?
Basma: I am Basma Wahbah a believer.
Mabrook: I am asking Ms. Basma in the same way I am asking any of the people watching the TV show now.
Basma: We are indeed believers.
Mabrook: This is not the point. We are trying to objectively discuss an issue now. What does objectivity here mean? It means, I ask people if they believe that the Quran is the Word of God? A person might say, yes and there is no corruption in the Quran. He might quote for me the verse in the Quran “We have revealed the Book and we are guarding it. Great! Is everybody fully at peace that it is the Word of God? Yes! Then read from surat Al-Nissa (“women” chapter). I read “marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess”. Do I have any right to abolish such a verse? What do I do about it now? Erase it with an eraser? In order to make it a beautiful religion and I defend it, I do this to the Quran?. And this was the first question.
Basma: I am a believer. How do I answer (the allegation)? How do I answer?.
Mabrook: (islam) is not accused so no need to answer. My religion is God’s Word. It says “Or what your right hands possess”. In surat Al-Muminin, (sura 23), it begins with saying, “Successful indeed are the believers. Who are humble in their prayers,…..” until he said” “And who guard their private parts, Except with their wives or what their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame. But whoever seeks to go beyond that, these are they that exceed the limits.”. Having read this, how shall I answer? I simply say, “This is my religion”.
Basma: So, in brief, you have no answer.
Mabrook: No! We have a world!.
Basma: This is how our religion works and if anyone doesn’t like it he can bang his head against the wall.
Basma: what if somebody we meet at the street is asking, we can’t reply? I just want to know. I really want to know.
Jamal Qutb: What do you want to know?
Basma: I want to know.
Jamal: We are telling you that the Quran is there and this verse is not abrogated.
Basma: Sheikh Jamal, May I frankly say something to you? I want to frankly tell you that 90% of Muslims including me don’t know what the point is in this verse saying “or what your right hands possess”.
Jamal: you don’t need to know.
Basma: And we frankly can’t stomach this verse.
Jamal: you don’t need to know.
Basma: what do you mean “I don’t need to”? Is that a reasonable answer sheikh Jamal?.
Jamal: Of course, all Muslims don’t need to…..
Basma: I come to ask you a question and you tell me that I don’t need to know?
Jamal: is there a wise person in the world who would claim to express the divine wisdom that god knows?. Is there anybody in the world Dr Mabrook who would know how to express divine wisdom in these verses? .
Mabrook: only god would.
Basma: This is not about divine wisdom, this is about human liberty.
Jamal: No everybody is free with himself.
In Islam, a woman cannot marry without the approval of her ‘Walee’, that is, the man in charge of her as a father or a brother. Mohammed said, “whichever woman gets married without the approval of her ‘Walee’, her marriage is abolished” (See: The authentic of Ibn Dawood’s collection, Al-Albany, vol. 1 p. 584).
Regarding the wife’s status in marriage in Islam, Mohammad says, “If one of you marries a woman or buys a slave, he should say: ‘O Allah, I ask you for the good in her, and in the disposition you have given her; I take refuge in you from the evil in her, and in the disposition you have given her.’ When he buys a camel, he should take hold of the top of its hump and say the same kind of thing.” (See: The authentic of Ibn Dawood’ collection, Al-Albani, vol. 1 p. 601).
And also Mohammad says: “If I were to justify a person to prostrate after anybody other than God, I would have commanded the woman to prostrate after her husband. I swear to my lord, a woman cannot fulfill the obligation of her Lord until she has fulfilled the obligation of her husband, and even if he calls her for sex while she is on the back of a camel, she would never refuse him”. (See: The authentic of Ibn Dawood’ collection, Al-Albani, vol. 2 p.121).
Mohammad said, “Three are there whose prayers do not get any further than their ears. A rebellious slave until he comes back to his owner, a woman who would go to bed and her husband is indignant at her, and the leader of a people that they are loathing to have for a leader.” (See: The authentic of Al-Tirmidhi’s collection, Al-Albani, vol. 1 p. 209).
Muhammad said, “If any woman asks her husband for divorce without some strong reason, the odor of Paradise will be forbidden to her”. (See: The authentic of Ibn Dawood’ collection, Al-Albani, vol.2 p.17).
(A video clip from Iqra Channel by Dr. Ghazi Al-Shimari, Saudi expert of family affairs. Translated by Memri TV)
Ghazi: The prophet said: “If I were to order anybody to bow before anyone, I would order the wife to bow before her husband”. The husband’s rights are very great. Therefore, according to a reliable Hadith, a woman said: “Oh Prophet of Allah, I will not marry before you tell me what my husband’s rights from me are.” The prophet said: “Do you really want to know?” she said: “yes”. He said: “if pus or blood comes out of your husband’s nose and you lick it up, you still will not have observed all his rights”. The rights of the husband are great, and a wife must observe them.
(A video clip from Iqra Channel by Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajid. Translated by Memri TV)
According to Islam, a wife needs to comply with her husband’s desires in bed. The prophet Muhammad said: “If a man calls his wife to fulfill his needs. She must come, even if she is by the stove.” According to the Al-Tarmizi tradition. The prophet issued a severe warning to any wife who rebels against her husband in bed. The prophet said: “If a man invites his wife to bed and she refuses, and he is angry at her, the angels curse her until she wakes up in the morning.” This tradition was mentioned in the collections of Al-Bukhari and Muslim. God is aware of men’s needs. He knows that a man my have just come home, and maybe he desires something or maybe he saw something. He knows what this need is, and this is why he ordered the wife to consent to her husband even if she is by the stove, even if she is baking she must consent to him. Moreover, the prophet Muhammad said to the woman: “Compare yourself to him, he’s your paradise and your hell.” Imam Ahmad passed this on in his true Hadith. The wife must consent to her husband’s wishes and obey him. The wife in the west is not obliged to do so. Moreover, a wife can be raped by her husband there. They claim that if he has sex with her against her will – this is rape!, they consider this rape. They claim she must be willing. They claim that she must want it.”
(A video clip from Al-Majd Channel by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Fuzan. Translated by Memri TV)
This is why the prophet said: “When a man calls his wife to fulfill his needs, she must go to him, even if she is busy with the oven”. Imagine this: There is fire in the oven, and she wants to bake bread. But even if she’s busy with this work that cannot be neglected, when he calls her, she must leave the oven and go to her husband. Another Hadith says: “She must go to him even if she is on the back of a camel”. She must go to him even if she is riding.
The Quran permits a man to beat his wife if she did not obey him, or even if he feels that she might not obey him, that is before the disobedience might occur. (Quran 4:34) ““As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them”. Ibn Kathir says in his commentary, “meaning, the woman from whom you fear ill conduct with her husband, such as when she acts as if she is above her husband, disobeys him, ignores him, dislikes him, and so forth.”
(A video clip from Mercy Channel by Sheikh Al Khatib. Translated by Memri TV)
One of the husband’s rights is to discipline his wife if she is disobedient. What does the “disobedience” mean?. Disobedience is to leave the house without the husband’s permission, to refuse to obey the husband in bed, to speak to the husband impolitely, or to do the opposite of what he likes. All these are forms of disobedience.
Mohammad said, “Hang the whip up somewhere so that the people of the household might see it; it is discipline to them” (See: The authentic of Al-Jami Al-Sagheer Wa Ziyadatuh, Al-Albani, vol. 2 p. 744).
(A video clip from Qatar TV. Friday sermon. Translated by Memri TV)
(The Koran says: ) “and beat them.” This verse is of a wondrous nature. There are three types of women with whom a man cannot live unless he carries a rod on his shoulder. The first type is a woman who was brought up this way. Her parents ask her to go to school and she doesn’t – the beat her. “Eat” – “I don’t want to” – they beat her. So she became accustomed to beatings, she was brought up that way. We pray Allah will help her husband later. He will only get along with her if he practices wife beating. The second type is a woman who is condescending towards her husband and ignores him. With her, too, only a rod will help. The third type is a twisted woman who will not obey her husband unless he oppresses her, beats her, uses force against her, and overpowers her with his voice.
In Jordan, one of the Arab open countries where they achieved the highest Arab percentage in eliminating illiteracy, a survey conducted by the National Council for Family Affairs in 2002, has revealed that 83% of women have supported man’s right to beat his wife if she is found to have done anything that shows her being unfaithful to the husband. 60% of women have voted for the husband’s right to beat the wife if she burnt the food in cooking, and 52% have voted for a man’s beating his wife if she did not obey his commands. This is what Islam does to women in society.
Death and the Afterlife
In Islam, whoever kills a soul willfully is to be also murdered. The family of the murdered one have the right to give up punishment and ask for the blood money. This compensation could be the judgment in cases of unintentional killing as road accidents. In Islam, the blood money paid for the killing of a woman is half the sum paid for the killing of a man. Imam Shafe`ee (767-820) said, “Be it in old or recent times, I do not know of a verdict except that woman’s blood money is half the one of the man” (See his book Al-Om, vol. 7 p. 261).
Ibn Abdul Bar (978-1071) said, “Jurisprudents of Islam have agreed that woman’s blood money is half that of a man” (See: Al-Tamhid by Ibn Abd al Bar, vol. 17, p. 358). Al Kasani (died 1191) said, “Woman’s blood money is worth half the one of the man, as the companions of the prophet unanimously have established, in that it is related by Omar, Ali and Ibn Masood and Zayd Bin Thabit (companions) that they said in relation to woman’s blood money that it is indeed half that of the male. No one among companions objected to them, so it’s unanimously agreed. And since a woman in inheritance and testimony is on half merit of the male, so her blood money is on the same status” (See: Bada`ee Al Sana`ee vol. 7 p. 254).
In the Shiite sect, if a woman is murdered and her family asked for the penalty (killing the murderer), they have to pay to the family of the man who committed the murder half of his blood money. Al-Kulainy recorded in Al-Kafi (the first authoritative Hdith collection according to Shiites) (vol. 7 p.299) that Jaafar Al-Sadiq (699-765), one of the 12 Infallible Imams of Shiites, said in relation to a man who murdered his wife on purpose, “If her family wishes to kill him then they have to pay his family half of his blood money. But if they wish, they can take half of the blood money.”
After a woman dies, the greater likelihood is that she is going to Hell. Muhammad said as recorded in “Al-Bukhari’s authentic” (vol. 1 p. 1), “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the inmates of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?”. He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands.”
Muhammed also said as recorded in “Muslim’s authentic” (vol. 8 p. 88), “Amongst the inmates of Paradise the women would form a minority”.
But if she is fortunate and she gets into Paradise she is facing the fact that a man will have in addition to his wives from this world his other wives from paradise, the wide-eyed virgins (Houris). The Quran says (44:54), “and We will wed them with Houris pure, beautiful ones.”
Regarding the men of paradise, Mohammad said as recorded in “Al-Bukhari’s authentic” (vol. 2 p. 434), “Everyone of them will have two wives”.
Moreover, The ‘Shaheed’ (martyr) is married to 72 virgins of the wide-eyed Houris. Thus says Mohammad. (See: The authentic of Al-Tirmidhi’s collection, Al-Albani, vol. 2 p. 240).
But as for a woman, in Paradise, she has none but her husband of the world where she lived previously. The Quran says regarding the wives of these men in paradise, “And with them shall be those who restrain the eyes, having beautiful eyes” (37:48). Ibn Kathir said in his commentary, “means, chaste females, who will not look at anyone other than their husbands”.
And Mohammad also said, “A woman (in paradise) is to the last of her husbands.” (See: The collection of authentic Hadith, Al Albany, vol. 3 p. 275). Hudhayfah Bin Al-Yaman, a companion of the Prophet, said to his wife, “If you wish to be my wife in Paradise, don’t re-marry after I die, for a woman in paradise is for the last of her husbands, and so Allah has prohibited the wives of the prophet to re-marry after him because they are his wives in paradise too” (See: As-Sunan Al-Kubra, Al-Bayhaqi, vol. 7 p. 111).
This is the story of woman in Islam: injustice and disparagement from the moment of her birth and to no end, even in the alleged Paradise.
(HH here: Frankly I didn’t have the stomach to go and comment on all the things that I would have liked to address. This film makes me very tired. Please do note however how the chanted verses relate supposedly God Given FACT OF REALITY that the rest of us see as child abuse and obscenity. By hallowing the Quran as the actual, factual and only word of God they sidestep all moral restraints and logic. The religion that supposedly takes the ban on Idolatry the most seriously has completely idolized and declared sacrosanct the words of a disturbed warlord. Now take a deep breath and go hug your wife, girlfriend, husband, son or daughter.)
As Islamists try to bully the West into stifling free speech, we must not tolerate the intolerant.
April 14, 2009 – by Mary Madigan
When discussing religion, how do we know when respecting apparently faith-based beliefs leads to contempt for our beliefs? Should we tolerate the intolerant? These questions are particularly relevant when a secular political body, the United Nations, recently passed an anti-blasphemy measure (backed by the 57-state Organization of the Islamic Conference) combating “defamation of religions.”
The Columbia University School of Law conference Candor or Respect: Talking About the Religion of Others, held on February 26, was supposed to focus on the treatment of all religions within the realms of the public sphere (governance, diplomacy, and journalism). It was not supposed to concentrate solely on Islam. But these days, when a discussion focuses on religion, and when panel members agree that “there is reason to believe that a failure of either candor or respect could be profoundly dangerous,” the subject of Islam will tend to take center stage.
As several panelists noted, the association of religion with profound danger and abuse would not have occurred to the majority of the population ten years ago. But we all understand the concept now. Speaker Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society said, “We’ve seen a shift” in the concept of respect for religion since pre-Cold War times. The old definition, described in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concerned the need to protect religious belief against coercion by the state. The religious defamation resolution that was passed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2008 defines respect of religion as the protection of Islam from “attempts to identify [it] with terrorism, violence, and human rights violations.” As Mr. Leo noted, restraints on criticism of Islam were not just directed at states; they were also directed against individuals.
This definition of respect was put forward by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an organization of 57 states that call themselves “the collective voice of the Muslim world.” Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who published the “Danish cartoons,” understood why the OIC demanded censorship in the name of “respect.” As a former correspondent in the Soviet Union, he saw how the Russian government and mafia used intimidation to gain “respect.” In his Washington Post article titled “Why I Published Those Cartoons,” he said: “I am sensitive about calls for censorship on the grounds of insult. This is a popular trick of totalitarian movements: Label any critique or call for debate as an insult and punish the offenders. … The lesson from the Cold War is: If you give in to totalitarian impulses once, new demands follow. The West prevailed in the Cold War because we stood by our fundamental values and did not appease totalitarian tyrants.”
Lately, it’s sadly obvious that most Western elites have changed their policies on appeasing totalitarian tyrants.
In 15-minute segments many panelists offered insights on dealing with the candor-or-respect issue. Journalist Ari Goldman admitted that objectivity “is dead.” The best option is for journalists to use “fairness.” Respect is what journalists owe the subject of an article and candor is what they owe the reader.
When Bat Ye’or spoke as part of a panel discussion on “Why is religion such a touchy subject?” she investigated the reasons why Muslims were so touchy about criticism. Muslims believe that the Koran is a “divine truth” and that the prophet was a perfect model for all to follow, whose every word and deed was inspired by God. Islam is not just a religion; it’s a lifestyle, a political system, and a legal system. For believers, if one criticizes only one aspect of the belief, the entire system is under attack.
Marci Hamilton of Cardozo Law School discussed the tension between what one is allowed to say about religion and what one is not. This concept was basically unknown to her ten years ago, when a religious lobbyist told her that it was “wrong” to use the words “religious” and “lobbyist” in the same sentence. But when she found out about this unwritten and unenforceable law, she lightly noted that she was determined to say those words in the same sentence every day.
Keeping religion out of political discussions would be one solution, but these days that’s not an option. Philip Hamburger of Columbia Law School, who arranged the conference, said that before 9/11 there was a brief period in human history in which we could pretend that religion didn’t matter anymore. Then, he said, it “all came crashing down.” Religion matters, so we have to deal with it.
David Littman, a UN historian and human rights activist, whose right to speak out against Sharia law is relentlessly censored by other UN delegates, suggested that we follow the advice of Sir Karl Popper, who said:
If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. …
We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.
Another useful idea to remember is the quote often attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The violent Muslim reaction to Jyllands-Posten’s publication of the Muhammad cartoons was an attempt, organized by Islamist states like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran, to enforce Sharia law in Europe. The Western government and media response to this violent intolerance and this attack against our laws was, for the most part, submission. The elites showed that they were not willing to stand beside the people who bravely created and published the drawings. They were not willing to risk death or even mild social discomfort to defend our rights. This obsequious reaction proved to the Islamists that they had free rein to bully us further.
The opponents of the “anti-blasphemy” resolution need to put various divisive religious and cultural arguments aside, and we need to unify to defend our right not to tolerate the intolerant. In addition to Littman and the participants in the conference, many rational voices are speaking out against the United Nations’ attempt to make the “anti-blasphemy” resolution binding for member nations. The West missed — or chickened out of — our last opportunity to defend our rights. We can’t let that happen again.
Mary Madigan is the publisher of the Exit Zero blog. She also guest blogs on Solomonia.
The Purpose of NATO
The new enemy of the West seems to be ideological Islam. If NATO wants to be a useful instrument in defending the West against this enemy it needs to accept a new member state – Israel – and stop groveling to Turkey.
Last week, Bernard Kouchner, the powerful Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, announced that he is no longer in favor of admitting Turkey to the European Union. Mr. Kouchner changed his mind, he said, at the recent NATO summit in Strasbourg on April 4th. There, Ankara threatened to veto the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister, as NATO’s new Secretary-General. The Turks objected to Mr. Rasmussen they said because in 2005 he defended the freedom of expression of Danish cartoonists who had depicted the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Turkey is governed by the AKP, a popular Islamic party in Central and Eastern Anatolia. The AKP’s voters feel more strongly in favor of the Islamic law which prohibits depicting the Muslim prophet than about basic Western values such as freedom of expression. These voters already feel “hurt” by the mere depiction of their prophet, which in Islam is blasphemy. The Turkish threats in Strasbourg jolted Mr. Kouchner into realizing what the future has in store for the European Union if Turkey becomes a member. “I was very shocked by the pressure that was brought on us,” Mr. Kouchner said. “Turkey’s evolution in, let’s say, a more religious direction, towards a less robust secularism, worries me.”
Prior to Mr. Rasmussen, President Obama had also traveled to Istanbul to declare that “The United States is not at war with Islam” and to express American support for Turkish EU membership. While Mr. Kouchner, a liberal European, was shocked by the behavior of the Turks in Strasbourg, Mr. Obama, a liberal American, clearly was not. He did not find it worrying in the least. “If Turkey can be a member of NATO and send its troops to help protect and support its allies and its young men are put in their way, I don’t see why you should not also be allowed to sell apricots to Europe or have more freedom to travel,” Mr. Obama told his AKP hosts in Istanbul.
Perhaps Mr. Obama does not realize that for ordinary Europeans the European Union is about more than selling apricots and tourism. Ordinary Europeans expect the EU to defend European identity. Unlike Mr. Obama, ordinary Europeans doubt whether Turkey is “bound to Europe” and “shares Europe’s history and culture.” The current wave of distrust of the EU by ordinary Europeans is caused to a large extent by their fear that the EU institutions in Brussels are pushing for Turkish-EU membership. This would make Turkey the most populous of all EU member states, with the largest number of seats in the European Parliament, and turn the AKP into the most powerful political party in Europe. What this would lead to suddenly dawned on the secularist Mr. Kouchner in Strasbourg, but it had already been clear to many of his compatriots when they rejected the EU Constitution in a referendum in 2005. Indeed, one of the main reasons why the French rejected the Constitution was their concern about Turkish accession to the EU.
According to a Eurobarometer survey, taken shortly after the 2005 referendum, opposition to Turkey’s entry to the EU runs as high as 80% in countries such as France and Germany.
The Pew Center’s Global Attitude Polls indicate that citizens in EU countries with high percentages of Muslim immigrants adopt negative attitudes towards Muslims. These Europeans have noticed how their neighborhoods, cities and countries are losing their traditional European identity based on the erosion of European values due to the immigration of large numbers of Muslims with entirely different views of how people should behave and what liberties they should have.
“We are not at war with Islam,” Mr. Obama said in Istanbul. He seems to have forgotten that Europe and America were never at war with the Soviet Union either. Indeed, the purpose of NATO was to ensure peace and stability in Europe by maintaining a level of deterrence which restrained the Soviet Union from attacking NATO or any of its member states. NATO ensured that we were never at war with the Soviets by preparing itself for war against the Soviets. In doing so, NATO successfully preserved the freedoms of the West.
Today, ideological Islam seems to have replaced Marxism as the main threat to the freedoms of the West. If sixty years after its foundation, NATO wants to continue serving its purpose, it should stand strong against every attempt at intimidation including by ideological Islam. Instead of giving in to AKP threats it should forcefully reject them. If this means that Turkey leaves the organization, so be it. NATO should have shown Turkey the door in Strasbourg instead of giving in to the whims of the AKP.
NATO serves no purpose if it does not include all countries which, because they stand for basic Western values, are threatened by ideological Islam. Israel is in the frontline in this battle. NATO serves no purpose if it does not include Israel. An attack by ideological Islam on Israel should be considered an attack on the entire free world. Perceptive European politicians are aware of this. In a recent interview the Belgian politician Filip Dewinter advocated the accession of Israel to NATO “because NATO defends freedoms and democratic values characteristic of European civilization, and I have always said so and will repeat it again, that Israel is an outpost of the free West surrounded by Islam-occupied territory.”
Mr. Obama went to Istanbul to grovel at the feet of the AKP and speak out in favor of Turkey’s EU admission. As America is not a member of the EU, however, EU affairs are none of Mr. Obama’s business. Ordinary Europeans are justifiably offended by Mr. Obama’s arrogance, which is an indication of the unilateral approach of the Obama White House when dealing with Europe. If Mr. Obama wants to serve the free world he should go to Istanbul to speak out in favor of Israel’s admission to NATO.
Read it all by clicking on the title
(HH here: I have to say I am still unsure of Obama’s tactics. Despite the fear-mongers there is just as much truth to the possibility that he is simply playing the Muslims game right back at them with empty words and no real actions to support them. Look at his continued used of force in Pakistan’s tribal regions right from the start of his administration. Look at the pirate response. I feel there is every possibility that Obama is jut talking for the idea of putting pressure on Turkey to become more secular. He promotes the idea but will he press it? Lets not pay too much attention to meaningless concessions and see what hard lines are or are not drawn.)
DESPITE the popularity of successive Pirates of the Caribbean films, real pirates are not cuddly criminals.
Nor are they members of an oppressed minority group suffering from low self-esteem. They are murderers and kidnappers who live by the gun and understand only one thing – force.
Sunday’s successful rescue of American sea captain Richard Phillips, after US President Barack Obama authorised the use of force against the Somali pirates who held him captive, emphasises that reality.
A team of US Navy SEALS aboard the USS Bainbridge freed Phillips after shooting his captors from their position about 30m away, a ridiculously easy shot for trained marksmen.
This followed an earlier rescue of a French yacht crew by French commandos, during which a French yachtsman was killed, possibly by the French rescue team.
A photograph of the French crew taken before their rescue shows an anguished woman held at gunpoint by a young pirate armed with an automatic weapon. Anyone who doubts the ruthlessness of the pirates should use that image as a reality check.
The US effort marked Obama’s first authorisation of force against a group hostile to Americans, and it is reported that he received news of the successful rescue 11 minutes after it was completed, and spoke with Phillips shortly after.