Speaking clearly about Islam

Babette Francis - News Weekly, 6 August 2011

Dr Philip Ayres asks, “Why don’t we speak clearly about Islam?” (News Weekly, July 23, 2011). Many have — former Muslims, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, and Australian Christians such as Rev. Dr Mark Durie, Anglican vicar at St Mary’s, Caulfield, Victoria, and several Jewish analysts.

I myself have written several articles on the subject, including a recent one in which I urged that Muslim immigrants should be required to give certain undertakings before being accepted into Australia (News Weekly, March 19, 2011).

In Islam there is no separation between religion and state. Islam is as much political ideology, like socialism or fascism, as it is religion. The Koran is regarded as the unalterable word of Allah and is interpreted literally. There are poetic passages, but there are also many incitements to violence and killing and the subjugation of women. That some verses in the Koran contradict others is puzzling for non-Muslims, but glossed over by Muslim preachers. That Muslims regard Jesus as a prophet and have respect for the Virgin Mary has not stopped them from killing Christians when expedient, or from treating Christians as second- class citizens (dhimmis) in Muslim- majority countries.

Three recent news items highlight why the imposition of sharia law is intolerable. In June this year, a popular Egyptian Muslim preacher Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini boasted how Islam allows Muslims to buy and sell conquered infidel women, so that “When I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.” Support for al-Huwaini came from Muslim woman political activist, Salwa al-Mutairi, who once stood as a candidate for Kuwait’s parliament. She too has declared that she seeks to “revive the institution of sex-slavery”. An English report of this appeared in the Kuwait Times, and the Arabic news website Al Arabiya has a video of al-Mutairi addressing the topic. She said Muslim men who fear being seduced or tempted into immoral behaviour by the beauty of their female servants, or even those servants “casting spells” on them, would be better to purchase women from an “enslaved maid” agency for sexual purposes and that special offices could be set up to provide concubines in the same way as domestic staff recruitment agencies provide housemaids.

Al-Mutairi insists that “it’s of course true” that “the prophet of Islam legitimised sex-slavery”. She recounts how when she was in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, she asked various sheikhs and muftis about the legality of sex-slavery according to sharia. They all confirmed it to be perfectly legal, pointing out that “extra virile” men would do well to purchase sex-slaves to sate their appetites without sinning.

Al-Mutairi says: “A Muslim state must [first] attack a Christian state or any non-Muslim state — and they [the women] must be captives of the raid. Is this forbidden? Not at all; according to Islam, sex slaves are not at all forbidden. Quite the contrary, the rules regulating sex-slaves differ from those for free women [i.e., Muslim women]. The latter’s body must be covered entirely, except for her face and hands, whereas the sex-slave is kept naked from the belly-button on up — she is different from the free woman; the free woman has to be married properly to her husband, but the sex-slave — he just buys her and that’s that. “For example, in the Chechnyan war, there are female Russian captives. So buy those and sell them here in Kuwait to devout merchants. Better that than have our men engage in forbidden sexual relations. I don’t see any problem in this, no problem at all.”

She recommends that the enslaved girls be at least 15-years-old…. The second news item is from the UK Daily Mail (July 14, 2011) about a mother, Emma Mitchell, 32, who was prevented from breastfeeding her 19-week-old son, Aaron, by a receptionist at the Oldham Civic Centre in Greater Manchester who told her it was a “multicultural building” and that breastfeeding there would “cause an uproar among Muslim visitors”. She was told to use the toilets of a nearby shopping centre, but argued with a manager before being offered an empty room under supervision. Mitchell said: “It was just awful. I felt humiliated, intimidated and guilty through the whole thing.” As Kuwaiti al-Mutairi recommends that infidel women captured as sex slaves be kept naked from the belly-button up, why would Muslim visitors be offended by an infidel woman breastfeeding her baby?

Fides, a Catholic news agency, reported (July 15, 2011) that an Islamist terrorist insurgency has claimed 4,000 lives in southern Thailand since 2004. Recent victims include two beheaded boys: “They are all innocent victims, guilty only for not being Muslims,” according to a Fides source. “We will kill, burn and destroy all Buddhists: you will never be able to live in peace here,” declares a pamphlet distributed by the terrorists. “The Pattani Islamic guerrillas announce that they will never stop the slaughter of infidels of Siam until the land of Pattani [becomes] an Islamic state.” I hope these three recent new items are clear enough about the nature of Islam.