Mordechai Kedar Joined Geller and Spencer At Pro-Israel, Anti-Muslim Rally

If you had any doubts of the type of cretins we are dealing with look who flew-in just for the anti-Muslim, pro-Israel massacre on Gaza rally.

via. IslamophobiaWatch

Yesterday Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s American Freedom Defense Initiative held a rally in Union Square, New York, under the slogan “We the living support Israel”.

In an apparent attempt to boost turnout – even Geller must be aware that the vast majority of New York’s Jewish community, including committed supporters of the state of Israel, will have nothing to do with her – the event was subtitled “And minorities persecuted under Islamic rule”.

According to Geller, an individual who enjoys at best a tenuous relationship with reality, the event attracted “thousands” of AFDI supporters, though it’s odd that her website contains no pictures of this vast throng. From photographic evidence, it looks as though the attendance was at most a couple of hundred. A report at the Huffington Post puts it at “around 150″.

The speakers included Israeli academic Mordechai Kedar (pictured), who flew to the US specially to address the rally. According to Geller’s report, he devoted his speech to showing “how the jihadists are proceeding according to quranic imperatives”.

You’ll remember Kaidar. He’s the man who recently hit the headlines after he argued that the only thing that would deter attacks on Israel would be if the sisters or mothers of the perpetrators were raped.

Loonwatch

Harry’s Place Contributor Says Rape Isn’t That Bad

Andy Hughes Facebook profile

The Neoconservative Zionist website Harry’s Place whose commenters we’ve engaged in the past is taken to task by Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch for hypocrisy, double standards and Islamophobia.

Sarah Brown, a regular commenter on articles here is also criticized. (h/t: Frank P.)

Harry’s Place contributor says rape isn’t that bad

by Bob Pitt

Last year we ran a piece on former English Defence League activist Andy Hughes, proprietor of the Islamic Far-Right in Britain blog, whose articles denouncing the Islamist threat to western civilisation are regularly crossposted at the notorious Islamophobic blog Harry’s Place.

We pointed out that, in addition to declaring his admiration for convicted thug Joel Titus, the ex-leader of the EDL’s youth section, Hughes had made antisemitic comments on the Expose Facebook page under the pseudonym of Arry Bo. Expressing his dislike of “Yids” who “think they are superior beings and the rest of us are scum”, Hughes wrote that this explained “why Jews have been kicked out of so many countries” .

Given HP’s readiness to denounce opponents of the state of Israel as antisemites, you might have thought they would be quick to dissociate themselves from Hughes and his vile remarks. But no. Sarah Annes Brown, who presents herself as the voice of reason at Harry’s Place (competition isn’t exactly fierce), happily accepted Hughes’ laughable explanation that in posting these antisemitic comments he was simply trying to wind people up. She attributed this to the fact that Hughes is “a bit – skittish”!

Earlier today Hughes joined a discussion at Expose, posting comments under one of his other aliases, Arry Ajalami. Although he has in the past insisted that he has broken with the EDL and rejects its current methods and ideology (which is why HP say they have no problem with publishing his articles), this didn’t prevent Hughes from posting a number of comments that show he still identifies closely with this gang of racists and fascists.

Even more disgusting, however, was Hughes’ reaction to the posting of a screenshot from the EDL LGBT Division’s Facebook page, in which one EDL supporter advocated a sexual assault on Expose admin Darcy Jones. A denunciation of “these muslim dogs and the liberal garbage who protect them”, was followed by: “Let them rape Darcy. She likes these dogs so much.”

Hughes’ response was: “Well my cousin’s mate was raped and she said it wasn’t THAT bad. She didn’t like it but said it wasn’t as bad as when she got beaten up by a gang of Muslims.” Quite rightly, the comment was almost immediately removed, but not before Expose had taken a screenshot which can be viewed here. You’ll notice, by the way, that Hughes had adopted the National Front logo as his profile picture.

During the past week Harry’s Place has been making hay over the Socialist Workers Party’s failure to deal properly with an accusation of rape against one of its leading figures. Before that, HP attacked George Galloway over his remarks trivialising the rape charges against Julian Assange. So you might think that, in all consistency, they would have to sever links with Hughes over his own reprehensible views on sexual violence and cease crossposting articles from his Islamic Far-Right in Britain blog.

But, again, this would almost certainly be a mistaken assumption. If you’re prepared to assist in the witch-hunting of Muslim organisations, then you can announce your admiration for a violent hooligan, express atrocious antisemitic views, declare your support for a street movement of anti-Muslim thugs, claim that being raped isn’t such a bad experience after all, and you’ll probably get a free pass from Harry’s Place. They’ll put it all down to your skittish personality.

Wingnut Islamophobes Create Another Hoax Story: Muslims Rape Horse

The sick servile minds of the Islamophobes know no depths of depravity that they aren’t willing to revel in; EDL Review takes them to task for circulating lies in the Islamophobic looniverse.:

Muslim Horse Rape Story EXPOSED

(EDL Review)

Islamophobic sites like IslamVersusEuropeBaredNakedIslam and Vivienco, have been posting and regurgitating a story claiming that a 53-year-old ‘Muslim’ inhabitant of El Ejido abused, and raped a female horse (click on the names for their articles). But the story has been manipulated and has been a petty attempt to demonise Muslims.

First of all, it’s extremely strange that these sites have provided no or little source or reference to the story they are mentioning. Secondly, the author fails to give the name of the rapist, and only gives the initials ‘M.A’. Why? Is it so we don’t find out that this incident never even happened? Thirdly, earlier news reports (like this) only say the man was ‘African’. There was no mention of his faith.

A real-looking picture of a dead horse has been added into the manipulating articles, giving the impression it’s the same horse that was ‘raped’. As you can see, BaredNakedIslam even claim it is.

But this picture isn’t even of the incident! It’s a four-year-old picture that has been used previously in a Spanish news article titled ‘Wild horses cause three accidents in recent days Carnota’ (here), explaining how some Spanish workers were injured when crashing into horses on a road!

Clearly, these websites have been manipulating people by twisting things for their biased agenda. Only the gullible have been believing them without checking their accuracy, like the English Defence League (EDL) Surrey Division.

Note: We have exposed sites such as Vivienco before when they circulated a similar duck rape article and blamed it on a Muslim. The story was alsomanipulated. Read about it below.

Further reading:

  1. Islamophobic Duck Rape Stories EXPOSED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More female empowerment under the sharia (Islamic law).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morocco activists target ‘rape marriage law’

Robert Spencer’s “Police Blotter” Scholarship

Many times, we have commented on Robert Spencer’s “scholarship” and his “scholarly ways.” Yet, when one really looks at his operation and his alleged “exposure” of the radical jihadists in Islam, it is really  nothing more than a “Police blotter.” A police blotter is a listing of the police investigations, calls, and actions in a particular city or town. It is public record. Here is an example of one from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Now, Colorado Springs is a nice town. In fact, in 2006 it was listed as one of the Best Places to Live in America. Yet, if you only judged the town of Colorado Springs by its police blotter, a much different picture would emerge in one’s mind:

Thursday, October 14, 2010 4:30 PM [RELEASE AT WILL]:

As was previously reported, on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at around 1:15 AM, the Colorado Springs Police Department was notified of a possible dead body at 1248 Potter Dr, the Rustic Hills Park Apartments. A security officer was checking the parking lot area of the apartments when he located an unresponsive male inside of a parked vehicle. Officers and medical personnel were dispatched and upon arrival they located a male party with an apparent head trauma inside of a vehicle in the northern parking lot. The male was transported to Memorial Hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced dead.

The El Paso County Coroner’s Office has completed an autopsy on the man and determined he died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide. The victim is identified as 37 year old Martique Webster of Colorado Springs. This is the 23rd homicide is Colorado Springs this year. There were 17 this time last year.

[...]

As was previously reported, at approximately 3:15 PM on 10-12-2010 Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) Tactical Enforcement Officers were transporting 20 year old John R. Winkler after he was arrested on two felony warrants to the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. Mr. Winkler was handcuffed behind his back and seat belted in an unmarked police vehicle. Mr. Winkler managed to unbuckle his seatbelt, open the door and jump out of the moving police vehicle. After recovering from his fall he began to run across the lanes of the interstate when he was struck by a southbound vehicle. John R. Winkler succumbed to the injuries he received in the crash last night at an area hospital.

Today, 10-14-2010 CSPD received information that John R. Winkler’s father, 43 year old John P. Winkler of Oklahoma, was on his way to Colorado Springs to kill the police officers that were transporting his son when his son jumped from the car. Mr. Winkler is on parole for drug and weapons violations in Oklahoma. CSPD confirmed that Mr. Winkler was in Colorado Springs and additional information was obtained that Winkler intended on carrying out the threat.

Due to the threat, CSPD locked down all the police divisions to include the Police Operations Center (POC) and put two officers in every patrol car. The parking lots of all divisions were being monitored by police and medical was staged at all divisions. A command post was established at the POC to coordinate regional law enforcement efforts. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO), FBI, ATF, DEA and the Colorado Springs Fire Department assisted with resources to assist us in our attempts to locate Mr. Winkler before he could carry out any alleged threats.

Mr. Winkler was located in the Rockrimmon area of Colorado Springs and was taken into custody without incident for parole violations and questioning reference the alleged threats. Mr. Winkler was near, but outside of his vehicle when he was contacted, and it was determined after the contact that he did not have a weapon on his person. The investigation into the threats is ongoing and a search warrant is being sought for the vehicle Mr. Winkler was driving.

The CSPD takes all threats to the public or police officers very seriously and will take every precaution to insure their safety. At this point Mr. Winkler has not been charged for the threats, but that is still a possibility pending the outcome of the investigation. 

[...]

On 10/13/10 Officers were dispatched to a possible stabbing in the 1700 block of Woodburn St. Officers contacted a female who stated she was stabbed by an identified male. She was taken to the hospital, treated and released for a possible stab wound to the hand.

My Lord, judging by the police blotter, Colorado Springs looks like an awful place to live. Is this a fair way by which a town such as Colorado Springs is judged?

What about the United States? Most people around the world would jump at any chance to get to live and raise their families in the United States. This is truly a wonderful country, full of freedom, and opportunity, and tolerance. It is a place that Robert Spencer and his other Islam-hater friends want to fundamentally change with their hate speech and rhetoric.

Yet, if the only thing by which America would be judged is her crime statistics, a very different picture would emerge:

In 2009, there were 1,318,398 violent crimes in the United States; 15,241 murders; 88,097 forcible rapes; 408,217 robberies; 806,843 aggravated assaults; 9,320,971 property crimes; 2,199,125 burglaries; 6,327,230 larcenies; and 794,616 motor vehicle thefts.

This is according to the FBI. Is this an accurate picture of the reality of America? Is America reflected in the actions of her criminals? Of course not. In fact, looking at the numbers is actually deceiving, because, in reality, violent and property crimes are actually down in the United States last year. But, one wouldn’t realize that if he or she solely focused on the numbers.

This is exactly what Robert Spencer does: he judges the 1.5 billion people who profess the Islamic faith by the actions of their criminals. And the “jihadists” are just that: criminals who cloak their brutal and horrific crimes in the garb of religious piety. And the clerics who use Islamic sources to justify acts of un-Islamic barbarity are accessories to those crimes.

Take a look at his headlines:

Al-Qaeda: Ram cars into crowds for Allah

Indonesia: Muslims oppose building of churches

India: Muslims thrash reporter for asking an inconvenient question

According to Sharia, rape is not possible in marriage, says Islamophobe Muslim cleric

The site goes on, and on, and on, and on. He cherry picks outrageous stories from the Muslim world and wants his readers (and the rest of the public) to conclude that Islam and Muslims are like the criminals who act in their name. And when it is proven that his assertions are incorrect, he does not acknowledge this at all, because he is well on his way to blog about another crime committed by some Muslim somewhere; or about some crazy thing said by some cleric somewhere; or about the truly horrific things that the “Islamic jihadists” do around the world.

His site is basically a “Police blotter.” Is this the way to judge a people? Is this true “scholarship”?

Robert Spencer Fuming Over LoonWatch, Threatens Danios With 101 Lashes

As his arguments become exposed, so does he.

As his arguments become exposed, so does he.

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

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

Spencer dodging LoonWatch… again

Robert Spencer has said something like the following many times:

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

Really?

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

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

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

I smell something. And it smells like chicken.

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

Why are you chickening out, Spencer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recently someone forwarded me a pseudo-scholarly piece

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

Then, Spencer says:

by a smooth Islamic apologist

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

He goes on:

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

No complaints here.

Here is the real doozie:

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

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

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

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

Spencer Responds to My Latest Article on Dhimmitude

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

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

Spencer writes (emphasis is mine):

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

Clearly a reference to yours truly.

Spencer goes on:

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

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

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

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

To which I had replied:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then Spencer goes off on another tangent, writing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Time For Honoring Yourself is at an End sound bite

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

Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer, the author of the Islamophobook The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)

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

Robert Spencer’s Claims

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

Rape: Four witnesses needed

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

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

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

Spencer also says the exact same thing on his website:

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

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

Women as Witnesses under Sharia

Robert Spencer writes:

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

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

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

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

The issue revolves around the following Quranic verse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamal Badawi comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women as Witnesses under the Judeo-Christian Laws

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

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

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

The Talmud forbade Jewish courts from accepting women as witnesses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Testimony of Women in Cases of Adultery

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

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

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

The Bible declares:

The Test for an Unfaithful Wife

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. What was the case supposed:

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

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

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

II. The process of the trial must be thus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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