Originally published under the title "Good News: Female Muslim Prof. Says Muslims Can Rape, Rob Infidel Women Only in Some Circumstances."
Suad Saleh, a professor of Islamic doctrine at Al Azhar University, says Muslims can rape "legitimately-owned slaves" captured in the course of jihad, but it's important not to bend the rules.
Straining at gnats while swallowing camels is increasingly how Islam's apologists rationalize away the violence and hate Sharia engenders for the "infidel," the non-Muslim.
Consider the true significance of yet another learned Muslim justifying the enslavement and rape of non-Muslim women.
Suad Saleh, a female professor of Islamic doctrine at Al Azhar University, correctly defined the Arabic phrase melk al-yamin—"right hand possession" (Koran 4:3)—by saying non-Muslim "female prisoners of wars are 'those whom you own.' In order to humiliate them, they become the property of the [Muslim] army commander, or of a Muslim, and he can have sex with them just like he has sex with his wives."
Ms. Saleh's comments, made in September 2014, are not new. Countless Muslims, beginning with Muhammad himself, have confirmed that Islam permits the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women seized during the jihad. Saleh cannot even take the "honor" of being the first Muslim woman to support this inherently misogynistic creed.
No, what is of interest here is how the Al Azhar professor swallows a camel by claiming that the Islamic institution of sex slavery is fair and just, but then she strains at gnats by complaining that some Muslims exploit it to the detriment of Islam:
Some [Muslim] opportunists and extremists, who only harm Islam, say: "I will bring a woman from East Asia, as [as a sex slave] under the status of 'right hand possessions.' And with the consent of my wife, I will allocate this woman a room in the house, and will have sex with her as a slave girl." This is nonsense. This is not prescribed by Islam at all. Islam says that a woman is either a wife or a slave girl. Legitimately-owned slaves come from among prisoners of war.
Saleh is correct that some Muslim men twist the "right hand possession" law in ways that allow them to have nonconventional sex. For instance, some years back in Egypt a Muslim scholar formally took a woman to be his "right hand possession," even though she wasn't conquered in a jihad and in fact entered the agreement willingly.
An inherently unjust and uncivilized law will by nature always be 'abused.'
Yet what Professor Saleh and many other Muslim apologists fail to understand is that an inherently unjust and uncivilized law—such as one that permits the sexual enslavement of women simply because they are non-Muslims—will by nature always be "abused."
For example, Saleh and others will insist that the mass rape and sexual abuse of European women by Muslim men in Cologne and elsewhere does not fit the literal definition of "right hand possessions." But other interrelated Islamic doctrines command Muslim men to hate all non-Muslims and to see women—especially infidel women—as little more than sex objects (or, in the words of a Muslim who recently murdered a Christian girl in Pakistan for refusing him sex, "Christian girls are only meant for one thing: the [sexual] pleasure of Muslim men."
Moreover, Islamic clerics routinely encourage Muslims to migrate to the West and help empower Islam anyway they can—including through propaganda, proselytization, apologetics, births, theft, etc.—and not just through violent jihad. If they do any of these, they technically become jihadis (after all and as the apologists are fond of insisting, jihad literally means "striving" on behalf of Islam.) Thus many Muslim rapists in Europe believe it is their Islamic right and reward to molest and rape infidel women.
The "exploitation" of Islam's already unjust and uncivilized laws is common and inevitable. Muslims are not supposed to coerce non-Muslims to convert (Koran 2:256). Yet from the dawn of history up to the present, forced conversions have been a normal aspect of Islam. Why? Because based on the hate that Islam engenders for non-Muslims, "compelling" infidels (especially attractive females) to embrace Islam can—and often is—rationalized as an altruistic act. After all, how bad can it be to force hell-bound infidels into the true religion? Moreover, it helps the growth of Islam and so can also fall into the jihad category. As one human rights report explained while discussing the rampant sexual abuse and forced conversion of Christian girls in Pakistan:
The dark side of the forced conversion to Islam is not restricted only to the religious Muslim groups but also involves the criminal elements who are engaged in rape and abduction and then justify their heinous crimes by forcing the victims to convert to Islam. The Muslim fundamentalists are happy to offer these criminals shelter and use the excuse that they are providing a great service to their sacred cause of increasing the population of Muslims.
Likewise, Islamic law (based on Koran 9:29) calls for the leaders of state to extort money (jizya) from Christians and Jews who live under Islam. Most Muslim countries, thanks to European pressure in the colonial era, abolished this practice and its strictures. However, Muslims around the world know the basics, namely, that the non-Muslim is meant to provide the Muslim with wealth and resources—or, in the words of one caliph to his military commander in Christian Egypt: "milk the camel [the Copts] until it gives no more milk, and until it milks blood." Nearly 1600 years later, a Muslim cleric and welfare recipient in the UK referred to British taxpayers as "slaves," and explained:
We take the jizya, which is our haq [Arabic for "right"], anyway. The normal situation by the way is to take money from the kafir [infidel], isn't it? So this is the normal situation. They give us the money—you work, give us the money, Allahu Akbar. We take the money.
Unsurprisingly, all over the Muslim world, non-Muslims are being kidnapped and held for ransom—and sometimes killed even after the ransom is received—or just robbed and plundered.
The problem isn't that Muslims aren't following Islam's rules on sexual enslavement, but rather that Islam allows it at all.
In short, the problem isn't that Muslims aren't strictly following Islam's rules concerning the sexual enslavement of infidel women—but rather that Islam allows non-Muslim women to be enslaved in the first place; the problem isn't that Muslims aren't strictly following Islam's rules concerning conversion—but rather that Islam calls for nonstop enmity and war for non-Muslims in the first place.
The problem isn't that Muslims aren't strictly following Islam's rules concerning who has the ultimate right to collect jizya from infidels—but rather that Islam allows non-Muslims to be plundered in the first place.
Put differently, it is no solace to learn that Islam permits Muslims to enslave, rape, convert, and plunder non-Muslims in certain circumstances, but not others.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.