The Wall Street Journal: You Still Can’t Write About Muhammad

August 23, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Wall Street Journal has an interesting opinion piece on how liberal academia is preventing even somewhat fictitious novels about Islam to be published in the United States: You Still Can’t Write About Muhammad.

 

Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha’s life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of “The Jewel of Medina” — a tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet’s harem.

 

It’s not going to happen: In May, Random House abruptly called off publication of the book. The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world.

 

[…]

 

This time, the instigator of the trouble wasn’t a radical Muslim cleric, but an American academic. In April, looking for endorsements, Random House sent galleys to writers and scholars, including Denise Spellberg, an associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Jones put her on the list because she read Ms. Spellberg’s book, “Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of ‘A’isha Bint Abi Bakr.”

[…]

 

In an interview, Ms. Spellberg told me the novel is a “very ugly, stupid piece of work.” The novel, for example, includes a scene on the night when Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha: “the pain of consummation soon melted away. Muhammad was so gentle. I hardly felt the scorpion’s sting. To be in his arms, skin to skin, was the bliss I had longed for all my life.” Says Ms. Spellberg: “I walked through a metal detector to see ‘Last Temptation of Christ,'” the controversial 1980s film adaptation of a novel that depicted a relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. “I don’t have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history. You can’t play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography.”

 

 

This paragraph begs me to raise a number of remarks:

 

1. Isn’t it hypocritical that Ms. Spellberg doesn’t mind watching films depicting Jesus in a manner offensive to Christians, and yet minds a novel on Islam?

 

2. “I don’t have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history.”

 

Fiction is a distortion from reality. So her two statements here contradict each other.

 

And to set the record straight, there is nothing fictional about Muhammad raping Aisha when she was nine years old, demonstrated by a large number of Sahih (authentic) hadiths like these:

 

Sahih Muslim: ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

 

(The novel sets Aisha’s age of consummation to be 14, though.)

 

3. “You can’t play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography.” Muhammad and his companions did not mind talking about his sexual adventures with his harems, so what’s the problem with that?

 

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 298:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in Itikaf, he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in my periods (menses).

 

 

Bukhari Vol.1 Book.6, Number.299
‘Aisha said: “Whenever Allah’s Apostle wanted to fondle anyone of us during her periods (menses), he used to order her to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and start fondling her.” ‘Aisha added, “None of you could control his sexual desires as the Prophet could.”

 

Bukhari Vol.7 Book.62 Number.6
Narrated Anas: The Prophet used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.

 

Bukhari Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660:
Narrated Aisha:
Magic was worked on Allah’s Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: That is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect).  

 

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3460:

Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to me: Jabir, have you married? I said: Yes. He (again) said: A virgin or one previously married? I said: Messenger of Allah, with one who was previously married, whereupon he said: Why didn’t you marry a young girl so that you could sport with her and she could sport with you, or you could amuse with her and she could amuse with you?

 

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268

Narrated Qatada:

Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).

 

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 270:

Narrated Muhammad bin Al-Muntathir:

on the authority of his father that he had asked ‘Aisha about the saying of Ibn ‘Umar(i.e. he did not like to be a Muhrim while the smell of scent was still coming from his body). ‘Aisha said, “I scented Allah’s Apostle and he went round (had sexual intercourse with) all his wives, and in the morning he was Muhrim (after taking a bath).”

 

The opinion pieces continues:

“She thinks there is a very real possibility of major danger for the building and staff and widespread violence,” Ms. Garrett wrote. “Denise says it is ‘a declaration of war . . . explosive stuff . . . a national security issue.’ Thinks it will be far more controversial than the satanic verses and the Danish cartoons. Does not know if the author and Ballantine folks are clueless or calculating, but thinks the book should be withdrawn ASAP.” (“The Jewel of Medina” was to be published by Random House’s Ballantine Books.) That day, the email spread like wildfire through Random House, which also received a letter from Ms. Spellberg and her attorney, saying she would sue the publisher if her name was associated with the novel. On May 2, a Ballantine editor told Ms. Jones’s agent the company decided to possibly postpone publication of the book.

 

On a May 21 conference call, Random House executive Elizabeth McGuire told the author and her agent that the publishing house had decided to indefinitely postpone publication of the novel for “fear of a possible terrorist threat from extremist Muslims” and concern for “the safety and security of the Random House building and employees.”

 

This is not the first time publishers of books on the embarrassing aspects of Islam face pressure against their work. However, this case is unique because the dhimmi publisher had not even faced any public pressure from Muslims to cave into in the first place. To my knowledge, the publisher has not received any

 

This is an indication that Muslim terrorist tactics have worked on some dhimmis. Their violent reaction to any novel on Islam, any criticism of Islam, and any silly cartoon on Muhammad, has successfully made some publishers think twice before allowing anything about Islam to be placed on paper. It’s an extremely unfortunate reality that, even in America, we have dhimmis who are allowing Muslims to censor others.

 

The irony is that, while Ms. Spellberg attempted to stifle Ms Jones’ book through fearmongering, Ms. Jones is getting so much publicity on the matter that she will likely find another publisher easily.

 

Sherry Jones had a blog here this month, but it’s no longer there. Clueless as to why.

 

(By the way, be sure not to do your business with Random House.)

Saudi religious police ban pet cats – Part 2

August 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In response to my previous post on the Saudi religious police banning pet cats, a Muslim friend wrote me some comments:

omg i have so much to say!!

 

umm.. briefly…

 

Pedophilia, I agree it was ‘odd’ marrying Aisha since she was so young. But, he did not have ahem relations with her till she was matured. It’s not clear about the age, but she was around 17/18 when she had relations.

 

Amputations- It is a very harsh punishment. But, it instills fear in those who hear about the punishments of criminals. I’ve heard somewhere that due to this, Saudi’s crime rate is low. I’m not rooting for it, but I’m trying to justify it.

 

Pets- Dogs are seen as dirty animals, and supposedly they have the ability to see satan. The ban on cats as well is inane. The prophet had cats as pets.

 

Keep in mind Saudi is full of wahhabism. It’s like the endogenous islamic country. pisses me off…..I can find justifications for the rules and restrictions, but they’re not strong enough.

 

Will write more after exams.. Amazing post!!

 

take care

I decided to respond to her:

 

Pedophilia, I agree it was ‘odd’ marrying Aisha since she was so young. But, he did not have ahem relations with her till she was matured. It’s not clear about the age, but she was around 17/18 when she had relations.

I find your answer to be false but encouraging. It’s encouraging because you would obviously feel embarrassed if Muhammad had actually raped Aisha when she was nine. This is good. Many Muslims actually sanction it.

It’s false because he did not first have relations with her when she was 17-18 years old. Muhammad was dead by the time Aisha was about 18.

There are several Sahih (authentic) hadiths in which Aisha herself states the ‘marriage’ was consummated when she was a nine-year-old girl (technically, 8, since she was referring to 9 lunar years). In fact, she was playing with her dolls at the time.

Examples:
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 90
Narrated Aisha:
“When the Prophet married me, my mother came to me and made me enter the house (of the Prophet) and nothing surprised me but the coming of Allah’s Apostle to me in the forenoon.”

Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3311:
“’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.”

Even if he can be forgiven under the pretext of moral relativism, the fact that he is seen as the example of conduct for all time makes child marriage Islamically permissible. Child marriages were commonplace in the Taliban. The legal age of female marriage in Iran is nine. Saudi imams still sanction child marriages.

 

This is not a fringe interpretation I brought up from texts in a dusty bookshelf, but the mainstream interpretation. Even ‘moderate’ Canadian imams like Bilal Phillips say that it’s okay to have child bride, because Muhammad himself had one.

 

 

 

 

Amputations- It is a very harsh punishment. But, it instills fear in those who hear about the punishments of criminals. I’ve heard somewhere that due to this, Saudi’s crime rate is low. I’m not rooting for it, but I’m trying to justify it.

First, why are you trying to justify it if you are not rooting for it? If anyone other than Muhammad had prescribed amputations, you would have described it as barbaric. Keep this in mind as you try to defend your religion.

Think about it for a minute. What happens when you cut a thief’s hand or leg? He or she is less able to find a job to make a living. Muhammad had no comprehension of this. This monster chopped thieves’ limbs to their death:

Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Number 4396:
“A thief was brought to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! Then he said: Cut off his hand. So his (right) hand was cut off. He was brought a second time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! Then he said: Cut off his foot.

So his (left) foot was cut off.
He was brought a third time and he said: Kill him.
The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah!
So he said: Cut off his hand. (So his (left) hand was cut off.)
He was brought a fourth time and he said: Kill him.
The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah!
So he said: Cut off his foot. So his (right) foot was cut off.
He was brought a fifth time and he said: Kill him.

So we took him away and killed him. We then dragged him and cast him into a well and threw stones over him.”

 

 

 

 

And out of Islamic justice, it seems Muhammad never even heard the man’s case to establish his guilt.
Finally, even if it did lower the crime rate, it’s like saying we should impose a curfew to maintain the safety of citizens. There is a limit to this. Thieves should be isolated from society and be trained on a skill to be given the chance later to contribute to society. Chopping off limbs won’t solve the problem.

 

Pets- Dogs are seen as dirty animals, and supposedly they have the ability to see satan. The ban on cats as well is inane. The prophet had cats as pets.

Dogs are considered to be impure in Islam. Angels are said not to enter a house that has a dog. However, it is permissible to have one outside the house to guard the house, but not as a pet. I don’t know about their amazing vision to see Satan, although I would expect it to be an asset for Muslims if that were true. (I’d like to know if someone I hate were in my bathroom! LOL).

It seems you agree that dogs should not be touched. Well, how about those that help the blind? There are many Muslim taxi drivers in North America and Europe who kick out blind passengers because of their guide dogs. Do you actually sanction this? I may love cats, but I’m still with the dogs here!!!

Cats are okay to keep as pets, to my understanding. I think what is forbidden is to make a profit out of giving cats to people (selling them). I may be wrong.

The reason behind Saudi’s ban on cats is so men don’t use them to attract women. There is no Islamic mandate that supports this, but the end can be used to justify the means. Muhammad could not tolerate his women to be seen by other men, so he had them covered in face veils. Picture yourself in his shoes: A 50-60 year old with about a dozen of mostly young women he captured from his raids. No wonder he felt insecure. And since everyone wants to emulate the ‘perfect human being’, they enter his bubble mentality and find any means to enforce that.

 

 

Keep in mind Saudi is full of wahhabism. It’s like the endogenous islamic country. pisses me off…..I can find justifications for the rules and restrictions, but they’re not strong enough.
What is Wahhabism? Wahhabism is the Islamic reformation that was started by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. His idea was that any cultural additions to Islamic culture should be considered a forbidden ‘bidda’ (innovation), which the Quran forbids. He engaged in a jihad to impose pure Islamic laws on Islamic land. So Wahhabism is basically Islam. People make a distinction between the two because they don’t want to offend moderate Muslims who have no theological backing in the first place.
Wahhabis are honest. They want to follow their religion. I dislike moderates. They want to have their cake and eat it. They are disguising a wolf in grandma’s dress. They need to be shamed.

Will write more after exams.. Amazing post!!

Good luck with exams! Write back here or by private message (up to you). My aim is not to embarrass or show off, but to educate. (Okay, and rant…. No one messes with cats, not even Allah!!!!!)

PS: “My aim is not to embarrass or show off, but to educate.”
Actually, embarrassing Muslims is a tactic I sometimes use. It’s an effective antidote to counter their fear of hell. Shame is a big thing in Middle Eastern culture. I do it on a case by case basis.

Saudi religious police ban pet cats

August 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I wrote on this elsewhere last month, and I thought I’d publish it here as well.
 

 

1) Misogyny:
a) Theory:
Q 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; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them.”

Q 2:228 “Men are a degree above [women]”

Sahih Bukhari: “I saw that most of [Hell’s] inhabitants were women… Because of their ungratefulness… They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds.”

Sahih Bukhari: “I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you [women].”

b) Practice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlyeT1MBEzE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nUI3TUdFCk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFr0JtsA_c8

 

 

2) Glorifying terror:
a) Theory:
Sahih Bukhari: “I have been made victorious with terror” (Literal: “Nusirtu bil-ro3b”)Q 3:151: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they set up with Allah that for which He has sent down no authority, and their abode is the fire, and evil is the abode of the unjust.”

 

Sahih Muslim: “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned others.”b) Practice:
Any news piece referring to “French youths”, “Asian Brits”, “radicalized individuals (Buddhists? Methodists? Evil Jooz?)”, etc. committing acts of insanity.

 

3) Pedophilia:
a) Theory:
Sahih Muslim: ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

 

b) Practice:

http://yementimes.com/article.shtml?i=1145&p=front&a=2

 

 

 

 

4) Hatred of the ‘infidel’
a) Theory:
Q 9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax [jizya] in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”Q 48:29: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves”

 

Sahih Muslim: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.” 

b) Practice:

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=664065

 

 

 

 

5) Amputations:
a) Theory:
Sahih Bukhari: “He then ordered to cut their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, They were put in ‘Al-Harra’ and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.” Abu Qilaba said, “Those people committed theft and murder, became infidels after embracing Islam and fought against Allah and His Apostle .”Q 5:33: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”

 

Q 5:38: “As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands.” 

b) Practice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z_0Z2zsXqo
http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa&articleid=251387
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A02E6D81238F937A15754C0A9649C8B63

 

 

 

6) And now…. Ban on Cats
a) Theory:
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/010.smt.html#010.3808

“Abu Zubair said: I asked Jabir about the price of a dog and a cat; he said: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) disapproved of that.”

b) Practice:
Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs

 

 

(Nerdish blurb: Technically, the reason for the ruling may be Islamically flawed, since it sounds more like an innovation (bid3a). However given the circusmtances of the revealtion of Q 2:217, which in itself is another story, make it possible to justify pretty much anything in order to impose Sharia. IMHO though, Abu Hurairah (literally: “Father of the Kitten”) must be disappointed.)

Greetings!

August 7, 2008 at 12:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hello,

I’m not sure what exactly my blog will cover, but I created it to post some of my thoughts on my former religion, Islam.

I’ll let my future posts do all the explaining.

Cheerio!

PI.

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