Sunday, 4 August 2013

Debate Review: Does Islam Teach Rape of Women Captives of War (Robert Spencer v Nadir Ahmed)

This seems to have been a debate which has stemmed from the hideous wall of internet anti-Muslim propaganda which claims Muslims are allowed to rape women captives of war. Of course we have already seen, from Islamic sources that rape of slave girls/captives is NOT allowed, see here:

However, this  debate between Robert Spencer and Nadir Ahmed is useful in highlighting the utter lack of supporting evidence on the part of those who claim Muslims are allowed to rape captive women. So one wonders, why do so many anti-Islam bigots on the net eagerly propagate such a claim? It’s simple; firstly it fits their agenda of demonizing Muslims as hordes waiting to invade the West to rape European and North American women, secondly they continually repeat the claim with the hope that if they repeat a lie again and again people will start to believe such a lie.

Robert Spencer v Nadir Ahmed - Does Islam teach rape of women captives of war?

Debate Review - an easy victory for the Muslim

Nadir Ahmed, the Muslim debater, actually won the debate in his opening statement by making mention of the fact that the opposition (Robert Spencer in this case) has NO evidence from the Islamic sources despite the vastness of the Islamic sources.

Nadir Ahmed also alerts the audience to the fact that there is NO teaching in Islam that justifies the rape of slave women. So here we see not only is there no instance of rape recorded in the Islamic sources but there is also no teaching allowing such rape!

Nadir goes further, he concludes from the fact that there is no instance of rape in the Islamic sources that there must be a moral teaching out there which does not allow Muslims to rape their captives.

[OUTSIDE OF DEBATE NOTE: A moral teaching can actually be found in the Quran. The Quran (4:36) teaches that one should be good to the slaves (obviously rape is not treating slaves well thus rape does not seem to be allowed in Islam)

Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful [Translation of the meanings of Quran 4:36 by Muhsin Khan]

Also we have sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (p) which forbid hurting the slaves physically and emotionally (see here) – thus obviously raping of captive women is not allowed]
Nadir looks into the example of the Prophet Muhammad (p) and finds 3 narrations of events in the life of Prophet Muhammad (p) regarding slave women which he believes are evidence for a moral example which taught people not to rape (see criticism section for more discussion on one of these narrations)

Robert Spencer has no evidence

Spencer makes the claim that as slaves are the ‘property of another human being’ then they have no rights or will, Spencer then intimates the slave can be raped as she cannot say no. This argument does not stand against Islam as slaves do have rights in Islam and moreover the slave is not allowed to be hurt and must be treated well. Thus Spencer’s intricately built argument has no basis against Islam. Robert Spencer simply argues a straw-man here.

Robert Spencer makes a big play on the fact that Muslims are allowed to have sexual relations with slaves. However, he offers no evidence that these slaves can be raped. In fact Robert Spencer if he is consistent would then also claim the Bible allows rape too (ref Numbers 31). The truth is Robert had nothing. The mere fact that captives are people whom a man is permitted to have sexual intercourse with does not mean rape is allowed. Most rational people can see this. Somebody should tell Spencer.

Spencer veers off topic as he had no arguments or evidences for his claims

Spencer goes off topic and starts talking about some anti-slavery activists in Mauratania. This had nothing to do with the debate topic (‘Does Islam permit rape of captive women of war?’). Robert Spencer also used the term ‘sex slave’ to describe female slaves, I’m not too sure where he got that term from and whether it’s some debate tactic he was employing.

Spencer brings up polygamy. Erm what has that to do with the topic? Nothing. Yes polygamy is allowed in Islam. It’s allowed in Christianity:

Spencer also brings up the issue of beating one’s wife. Again nothing to do with the debate. In Islam the best of us are those who are the best to their wives. For more on the wife beating issue see:

Spencer also claimed Prophet Muhammad hit Aisha. This is a wrong translation. Spencer really does seem like the average shoddy Islamophobe who grabs anything from the net to use regardless of how silly it makes him look:

Robert Spencer being Deceptive!

Apart from Spencer continually claiming rape took place (without offering any evidence of such) he also claimed that Prophet Muhammad had relations with Safiyah whilst the battle was taking place. He offered no evidence for this. In fact, Robert Spencer just highlighted his ignorance as Saffiyah was given the choice between being set free and going back to her people or marrying Prophet Muhammad (p). She chose to marry Prophet Muhammad (p), see this citation from the biography writer Martin Lings:

He [the Prophet Muhammad - Ed.] then told Safiyyah that he was prepared to set her free, and he offered her the choice between remaining a Jewess and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. “I choose God and His Messenger,” she said; and they were married at the first halt on the homeward march.5 Sourced from:

Spencer also claimed 'Rayhana was raped later on’. He gives no evidence for such. This is rank dishonesty – he makes claims without giving evidence. He has no evidence at all. There’s nothing to suggest Rayhana was raped later on. Nadir called this a 'lie' and challenged Spencer to bring some evidence for this. Robert Spencer did not bring anything; in fact Spencer did not even bring this subject up again!

Robert Spencer – concept of consent

Spencer again shows his ignorance as he claims there’s nothing which comes close to the concept of consent. He was clearly unaware that Islam does not allow hurting the slave physically and emotionally (rape would contravene such teachings) and the Islamic teaching of treating slaves will (rape would contravene such a teaching). Also the scholar in the link teaches any sex with a slave girl has to be done as if one is having relations with their wife (i.e. in a way which considers the woman's sexual pleasure, is romantic and respectful etc) so clearly this is something indicaing it has to be consensual too.

Robert Spencer's Arguments Against the Bible (Judaism and Christianity)?

Robert Spencer's claims would actually apply with greater force against his own faith (Christianity) as the captives are indeed married in Christianity and sex is allowed with such captives. As far as I am aware, Christianity does not have the same teachings of respecting the emotional and physical well being of slaves (which indicates rape is not allowed) that Islam does contain. Thus Spencer's claims without any evidence would be more of a problem for a Christian than a Muslim!

I do want to state I do NOT believe that Christianity, Judaism or any religion allows rape.

Criticisms of both speakers

Why in the world did Robert Spencer even bother to attempt to debate this subject? He had no material to support his assertions. Spencer was off topic and also deceptive.

Nadir, though the clear victor in this debate, was a little repetitive (like Spencer) and could have given the audience more evidence for rape not being allowed in Islam. He could have cited Islamic sources which teach harming slaves is not allowed (and such material as in the links below).

Nadir’s first example of the other woman in the hadith related to Saffiyah (ra), does not appear to have been used correctly as the woman was not crying due to her thinking she may be raped but rather she passed the body of her dead husband, See:

The conclusion from this debate is simple, Islam does not allow the rape of women captives of war!

It was demonstrated by Nadir and his opponent (Robert Spencer) that there is no instance of rape in the Islamic sources and there is no teaching justifying rape.

Robert Spencer had nothing. Absolutely nothing to support his claim and ultimately decided to go off topic.


Islam on slave girls/concubines:
Christian apologist appears to believe rape is allowed in Bible:

Miracles performed by Prophet Muhammad (p):

Jesus taught people to do the Will of God (according to Mark 3:35) in order to become his brothers, mothers or sisters. A Muslim means one who submits to the Will of God. Do you want to become a brother of Jesus? If yes, become a Muslim. Now is the time.

Learn about Islam:


Anonymous said...

Robert spencer exposed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Robert spencer spotters r mad cos he lost in debate

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 2:00-4:00 PM
"Understanding Islam Biblically"
St. Luke's Lutheran Church
2021 West State Road 426
Oviedo, FL 32765

Thursday, August 1, 2013, 6:30-9:00 PM
"Is Islam a Threat to Western Civilization?"
Third floor meeting room above Doc's Streetside Grill
1315 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806

Friday, August 2, 2013, 6:30-9:00 PM
"Islam and Human Rights"
Civic Center at Eastmonte
830 Magnolia Dr.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Saturday, August 3, 2013, 2:00-4:00 PM
Faith Lutheran Church
4150 Goodlette-Frank Rd.
Naples, FL 34103

Anonymous said...

FoxNews—The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert on Friday to U.S. citizens over an Al Qaeda terror threat, as the U.S. government prepared to close its embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world this Sunday over related security concerns.

U.S. officials have not offered many details on the nature of the threat, but apparently are taking it seriously.

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said the alert indicates the U.S. government must have some "pretty good information" about a possible threat.

The travel alert issued Friday warned Americans of the "continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula."

It said: "Current information suggests that al-Qa'ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August."

The alert reminded Americans about the potential for attacks on transit systems and other "tourist infrastructure."

Pentagon officials also said there is an increased alert among security personnel in the region in response to the Al Qaeda terror threats.

"Actions have been taken," one Pentagon official told Fox News.

Retired Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News military analyst, said the threat is yet another sign that Al Qaeda and its affiliates are emboldened -- and stressed that the U.S. needs to do a better job securing its embassies.

"It has got to be one of our top priorities," he told Fox News.

Keane said it appears Al Qaeda is trying build off the Benghazi terror attack. "When they sense weakness, they attack," he said. "They believe that we're pulling back, and they were stunned ... that we did not come after them immediately after that attack." (Continue Reading.)


Robert Spencer:

1. Robert Spencer is the author of the virulently anti-Muslim website “JihadWatch”; he is also co-head of the “Stop Islamization of Nations”, “Stop Islamization of America”, and “American Freedom Defence Initiative” organisations. Spencer’s pivotal role in the multimillion-dollar international anti-Muslim propaganda network has been heavily documented. An extensive and fully-referenced list of examples of Spencer’s statements (a) demonising the entire Muslim population and (b) demonising the religion of Islam as a whole is available here.

2. Robert Spencer and “JihadWatch” were the most heavily cited sources of propaganda in the terrorist Anders Breivik’s manifesto; in fact, Breivik explicitly stated “About Islam, I recommend essentially everything written by Robert Spencer”.

3. Robert Spencer is formally allied with racist white supremacists and European neo-Nazis, and has even organised joint public demonstrations with them.

4. Robert Spencer is an ordained Catholic deacon (also see here) who has repeatedly made demonstrably false statements about Islam & Muslims (eg: see here, here, here, here, here and here) and repeatedly tried to hide the evidence when his misinformation was exposed. Spencer has publicly admitted that his actions are heavily motivated by his [unilateral] agenda for the dominance of the Catholic Church.

5. Robert Spencer’s actions are in direct violation of official Vatican policy towards Islam and Muslims. Spencer’s actions also directly undermine the extensive Christian-Muslim interfaith bridge-building efforts of his own Catholic sect’s global leadership (see here and here) and indeed the admirable message promoted by Pope Francis himself (see here, here, and here).

Unknown said...

Great post Br. Snow!

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