Would the teachings of Islam really prevent sexual abuse scandals?

Source: Christian Concern

The Independent published an astonishing article this week, entitled: “How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse scandals”. It is written by Qasim Rashid, an Ahmadiyya Muslim writer and commentator. This comes after revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s appalling behaviour have been headline news almost continuously for some days.

Can this be true?

At first glance, one wonders how Rashid can possibly think this. After all, the teachings of Islam enable lecherous men to have up to four wives at a time (Q 4:3), any of which can be divorced at will, not to mention sex slaves as well (Q 4:24). Accusations of rape require four male eyewitnesses (Q 4:15).  This means that in Pakistan, for example, women who have been raped often face charges of adultery, and are imprisoned or worse. There has not been a single Islamic scholarly formal condemnation of such practices. We have all read of the capturing and abuse of sex slaves by Islamic State and Boko Haram, and also of Islamic rape gangs in this country. If none of this is regarded as scandalous then there is a sense in which Islam would indeed do away with sex scandals.

What is his argument?

How exactly does Rashid really think that the teachings of Islam would prevent sexual abuse scandals?

Let’s look at his arguments:

“Yes, Islam implores accountability to the creator, but rather than preach empty dogmatic theories, Islam instead prescribes a proven secular model.”

I agree with the benefits of recognising accountability to the creator. What I don’t see is any proven Islamic model for preventing sexual abuse, let alone a ‘secular’ one. Islam does not create secular states, it creates Islamic states. In which Islamic country in any period of history has the teaching of Islam provided a proven model for preventing sex scandals?

Men and women equal?

Rashid argues that Islam teaches the equality of men and women:

“In a recent internationally broadcast lecture given live before roughly 6,000 Muslim women, the Khalifa of Islam said, “Chapter four, verse two of the Holy Quran…clarifies that women were not created out of the body of a man or from his rib. Rather, the Quran testifies to the fact that men and women were created from a single soul and are of the same kind and species.”

“Thus, the Quran 4:2 first establishes men and women as equal beings.

Rashid’s references are one verse off from standard qur’anic references. So Quran 4:1 does say that men and women were created from a single soul. There is an implied criticism here of the Biblical teaching of Eve being made from Adam’s rib. This is also the same substance. What really matters is not how they were made, but whether men and women are understood to be equal

Read further

The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comments:

We believe that we have to learn from the goodness of all traditions and every religion. Islam, Christianity and the Western civilization have all great things to offer regarding women’s rights.

At the same time we believe that the holy Quran is the word of All Knowing God, but should not be understood in the context of the seventh century Arabia, rather in the context of the 21st century global village: God Is Living, So Why Does Religion Treat God As Dead?

It seems both the Muslim writer and the Christian critic are cherry picking and not presenting a comprehensive view.

As Muslims, we cannot give lip service to women rights and then go around and try to implement strictest understanding of Hijab and modest dressing, segregation of sexes and other so called Islamic teachings, to the detriment of the Muslim women, in our societies and countries. We need to precisely define women rights as we understand them in the light of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Before we hold mirror to the Western civilization, we need to define what we believe in. No Muslim scholar has ever comprehensively defined as to how the Muslim women can be professors, lawyers, judges, CEOs, journalists, prime ministers and presidents and astronauts yet be good Muslims, and how can we move the so called Muslim countries and the Western countries towards that vision.

10 replies

  1. I sort of expected this rebuttal. Fact is that abuse happens if you do not follow your religious teachings, whether Muslim or Christian.

  2. Rafiq— thank you so much Rafiq, this is another excellent article to discuss here!
    I urge young Muslim should read this wonderful, and informative article. Do not miss it.!

    I am inspired by this paragraph —We believe that we have to learn from the goodness of all traditions and every religion. Islam, Christianity and the Western civilization have all great things to offer regarding women’s rights.—

    The world has 2 influencial books; million people read it and follow it. We cannot claim that our belief is the true one without read and investigate other book ( Bible).

    The extremist clerics prevent Muslim to read the Bible just because of FEAR. They forbid Muslim to have and to read it, even they accuse God’s Book is corruped. How dare they are!
    Whereas God never say one verse in Al Quran. Where they got the idea? Just hatred. Hatred will blind people.

    I agree there are many goodness, many wisdom and wisdom give us a light in this dark world. Is it cool.

    Again Thank you Rafiq, God bless you for bring out this article here.

    A wise man never stop learning, but a stupid one feel he is smart enough.

    All our love❤️
    Progressive Muslim is a champion for change!

    • My dear Somi. Even Christian scholars admit that the bible we have now is not the original version. Moreover Christian scholars also do not claim that it is a word-by-word revelation, as the Qur’an is. Consequently we cannot compare the Qur’an, which is a revelation, with the various books of the bible, which is just a book of stories told by unknown authors. One Christian Priest once told me that ‘yes, your Qur’an can be compared to our Holy Ghost’ (not that I can say that I understand what he means by that).

      • Rafiq— every one is free to say what he/she want to say about Bible— Pro and Con will never end— it is fine—but I tell you Rafiq—there are many good stuffs for guiding our life to achieve peace, happiness and prosperity, it is worth.
        All❤️

  3. Dear Rafiq.
    I would like to comment this paragraph===
    At the same time we believe that the holy Quran is the word of All Knowing God, but should not be understood in the context of the seventh century Arabia, rather in the context of the 21st century global village===

    I am glad that Ahmadiyyah has started to reform the old interpretation of Islam 130 years ago, such as:
    1. There is a prophet after Prophet Muhammad pbuh
    2. I agree that the system secular is compatible with Islam.

    Conversely, The wahhabi extremist (isis) say that the interpretation of Islam cannot be changed as written in Al Quran forever. Interpretation is own interpertation.
    The true system of government is Caliphate Q.2:30.
    They reject democratic secular system.
    They reject strongly a new prophet after prophet Muhammad pbuh.

    From Progressive Muslim; believe that Islam is a religion of progressive. Syariah law can be reformed in contex on 21th Century.
    For detail: How Muslim fast at northern Arctic country where the length of day time 22 hours, and 2 hours at southern Arctic? How Muslim pray ?

    http://ilovemodrenislam.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-to-fast-for-ramadan-in-arctic.html?m=1

    All ❤️
    Hopefully not delated.

    • we do not really feel like promoting your website, therefore, without that link there is more chance that your comment will not be deleted. Readers of TMT: Please note that we do not ‘promote’ outside websites. Please use your own discretion ..

      • Rafiq—we agree that we have to protect the right of expression or to respond other dicussion as long as in good manner.
        If you limit the freedom of expression— you just like Saudi Arabia blog Forum. It is not cool.
        I do not intent to promote my website here, I want to give reader with full explanation —that is why I post it.
        Please reflect ..!
        ❤️

  4. Dear Rafiq—my comment on this paragraph===
    Rather, the Quran testifies to the fact that men and women were created from a single soul and are of the same kind and species.”

    “Thus, the Quran 4:2 first establishes men and women as equal beings.==

    1. At the beginning woman created from the rip of man
    2. After that woman and man create from a single soul from God. It means male and female are equal. There are some verses describe that male and female are equal at front of God or law.
    3. But also there some verses describe that male is not equal with female. A man has many wives and slaves— female will get 1/2 heritance than male—A husband is leader in the house—2 witness female is equal 1 male witness—etc

    Wahhabi extremist clerics ( ISIS ) say that syariah law like above cannot be reformed or changed for ever.

    Progressive Muslim say that Point #3 can be changed: male and female are equal: female can be leader—male and female witness are equal—male and female will get the same heritance—man cannot treat female as slave anymore—so Prigressive Muslim believe that syariah laws can be reformed in 21 century.

    What do you think Ahmadiyyah?
    All ❤️

  5. Would the teachings of Islam really prevent sexual abuse scandals?

    Yes—At the time of prophet Muhammad pbuh; how to prevent sexual abuse scandal by trying to implement of Hijab and modest dressing, segregation of sexes — when a women want to go out side ask a guardian man—so called Islamic teachings—

    In 21th century, I believe that segregation of sex —-ask a guardian man— women have to wear Hijab etc cannot be implemented anymore in global society.

    It will creat conflict among plural society with different religion.
    I believe that the purpose of religion is not to impose our belief to other for political purpose— but religion is a private matter to between us and God.

    What do think Rafiq, Zia?
    All ❤️

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