Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Islam Permits Muslim Men to Rape Non-Muslim Female Captives: Zakaria is Refuted - Part 1

[ Part 2 ]

This is a rebuttal to Yamin Zakaria's letter titled "Islam's tolerance for Prisoners of War and intolerance of Rape" which appeared in the Readers' Opinion section of News From Bangladesh.  Mr. Zakaria's letter is provided  below, the parts to be rebutted are quoted in our response. 

Warning: The letter and the rebuttal deal with rape and extreme violence. 

Link to original presentation of Mr. Zakaria's letter.    

Mr. Zakaria admits that Islam permits the jihadists to have sex with their female captives. His primary claim is that this does not constitute an endorsement of rape. His claim is not credible for one simple reason: He assumes that the captive non-Muslim female would willingly engage in sex with the Muslim men who had just slaughtered her people (her husband, and/or other family members and loved ones, etc.), some time within about one month of that killing. The sheer implausibility and improbability of that assumption, compared against the overwhelming likelihood that sex under such conditions was forced (i.e., rape), should be enough to show that Zakaria is wrong.  

Nevertheless, for those of you who would like to see the long answer, and read about (a) the Islamic policy on rape of female captives and slaves, and (b) the incredible claims of Mr. Zakaria, please read on. The reasons for making such an extensive rebuttal, to what appears to be a casually-written letter of an Islamist apologist, are two: First, the lengthy rebuttal provides comprehensive reference material about rape and abuse of women, especially of non-Muslim women, in Islam. Second, the rebuttal exposes the kinds of lies, half-truths, and misleading statements that typically come from Islamist writers. 

As will be shown in this extensive rebuttal, Islam does permit the Muslim males to coerce the non-Muslim female captives to have sexual intercourse.This is permitted once it has been ascertained that the female is not pregnant. In this context, the sexual intercourse is coerced. The female captive is forced to have sex against her will, and that conforms exactly to the standard definition of rape. Mr. Zakaria does not deny that the men were permitted to have sex with these female captives. Mr. Zakaria's defence of Islam on this issue is similar to another one made by an imam who is an author of a popular Islamic website called "ask-imam." Here is an excerpt of the imam's extensive answer to a reader's question about Islam's general policy in regards to copulation with the non-Muslim females taken captive in war ("slave girls"): 

    "Islam ensured that the slave girl's duties were not restricted merely to domestic chores but also gave her master permission to copulate with her. This concession created an atmosphere of love and harmony between the slave girl and her master. Islam thereby raised the status of the war captive-maidens close to that of wives. It was a psychological cure to her grief-stricken heart, being deprived of her family and thrown into the hands of a strange society." (1) 

A similar popular website, Islam Q & A, reviews several Islamic scholarly opinions and concludes: 

    "The Book of Allaah indicates that the sexual relationships that are permitted are only of two types, either marriage or those (women slaves) whom one's right hand possesses. 

      Al-Umm, 5/43.  

    The wife has no right to object to her husband owning female slaves or to his having intercourse with them.  

    And Allaah knows best." (2)

As will be shown, these answers are fully consistent with the Koran and hadith. What is most striking in the above answers is the shocking lack of empathy. They-Mr. Zakaria, the imams who wrote the answers quoted above, and Mohammad/'Allah'-do not seem to grasp the crime of rape from the perspective of the victim. That is, they can't seem to allow themselves to see that this is a horrendous crime, which would have a devastating impact on the victim. This absence of empathy is remarkable, given the magnitude of the crime, and given the circumstances under which it was committed. The context was brought about by imperialist Islamically-motivated raids and wars that were launched to acquire land, property, wealth, and slaves. These campaigns were carried out in the service of the larger goal of establishing and spreading Islam; the acquisition of land, material, and people was, supposedly, for the service of Islam, and not for greed, lust, and other base human motives. Backed by the force of this deliberately-established context, the Muslim men then coerced the traumatized non-Muslim female captives to have sex. These women were forced to have sex with those men who had in many cases, only just recently, killed their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons-and other members of their society. At the same time, besides their own suffering, these women would have to cope with the realization that their sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, and other members of their society were also suffering the psychological torture of mass institutionalized slavery and rape. Only someone bereft of empathy, lacking in sympathetic insight into the human mind and emotions, would truly believe that the female captives would have had sex willingly and freely with these men under these conditions. This sets the context for our rebuttal of Mr. Zakaria's letter.

    "Islam's tolerance for Prisoners of War and intolerance of Rape"

Mr. Zakaria says he will show that Islam's policies are tolerant toward (female) prisoners of war (captives) and are intolerant of rape (of female captives). We will address those claims in Part 1.  

Unfortunately, he does not stick to addressing those claims. He has slipped into his letter a variety of additional claims in the form of counterattacks against the various critics of Islam, and against Western society in general. Although many of these counterattacks are irrelevant to Mr. Zakaria's own stated aims in his title and in his letter, we will also try to deal with several of his remarks which we find to be inaccurate, misleading, and/or inappropriate. We have superscripted each point to be addressed from Mr. Zakaria's writing, e.g., "...war on Islam and Muslims1...".  This rebuttal will address Mr. Zakaria's additional fallacies and falsities in Part 2. It will not be possible to address every false or misleading claim made by Mr. Zakaria (to do so would require a book-length treatment!), but the focus will be on the most important claims that need to be addressed. 

Part 1

{Yamin Zakaria's, YZ's, first paragraph is refuted in Part 2. The second-through-fifth paragraphs were removed, because they are either irrelevant to the topic, or are else they contain claims that are redundant with those addressed below. In the first 5 paragraphs, Mr. Zakaria has only used the opportunity to make absurd allegations about Western culture, including his preposterous claim that American society views the horrendous crime of rape as merely a "minor side annoyance" of sex tourism! His claim that criminals in the west are "deliberately rewarded" for rape is totally ridiculous. How is it that Zakaria's ravings are so widely-published? Aside from some vaguely-worded, unsubstantiated, and reckless remarks about the western culture, he has thus far said practically nothing to address problems in Islam. That is typical of his writing.} 

    YZ: "So, how does the allegation of rape fit into Islam, given that Islam does not even permit you to have consensual sex outside marriage,1 then by greater reasoning2 it could not permit you to force someone to have sex with you. Certainly abduction and rape of any woman3 inside the Islamic State is severely punishable. It is generally regarded as an act of "waging war against the society" usually punishable by death!4 The allegation of rape is based on the practice of taking the captured women from the battlefield as war booty, who are then distributed amongst the soldiers as concubines; the Quran refers to this category as (Ma Malakat Aymanukum, literally: "what your right hand possesses".5"  

1. Islam does permit sex outside of marriage, as Mr. Zakaria admits by the end of the paragraph. Islam allows not only polygamy but, further, polygyny, meaning that the Muslim male may have sex with additional females to whom he is not married-in this case slaves/captives (70:29-30, 4:24, 23:5-6) in addition to his multiple wives (4:3). 

2. What "greater reasoning"? Zakaria is supposed to be talking about Islam's policies and citing qualified Islamic scholars. The questions that he should be answering are 'What does the Koran allow?', 'What did the prophet allow?', and 'What does Islamic Law allow?' 

3. Zakaria says "any woman". Actually Muslim men are permitted to rape non-Muslim women captives and slaves inside and outside the Islamic state (see below). 

4. "Waging war against the society" is punishable by death. However, the Islamic laws to which Mr. Zakaria alludes, in the context of this topic, pertain to fornication and adultery, not rape. In traditional Islam (e.g., as practiced in Saudi Arabia today), if a non-Muslim man has consensual sex with (i.e., does not rape) a Muslim woman, this is punishable by death (it is classified as War against God or corruption on earth-both are huge categories which could include almost any significant words or actions deemed to be against Islam).  

5. Mr. Zakaria, apparently, has no concerns whatsoever in talking about women as "war booty" and "what your right hand possesses." (Note: Captives were slaves, "right hand possessions," but not all slaves owned by Muslims were captured in battles and raids, etc.). Allah/Mohammad and his Muslims had no such concerns either. Here are the relevant Koranic verses, which Mr. Zakaria does not bother to cite:   

      23:5. "And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts).

    23:6. Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame" 

      70:29. "And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts) .

    79:30. Except with their wives and the (women slaves and captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be blamed," 

    4:24. "Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you-" 

    33:50. "O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses - whom Allah has given to you-" 

Note that all (parenthetical) and [bracketted] insertions in quotes, throughout this article, are from the original sources, unless otherwise noted. In some segments in quotes I have set the text in bold to highlight key elements in the quote. All available translations and tafsirs agree on the meaning of the verses. In context, the above verses state that it is lawful in the eyes of Allah, for all time, that the Muslim man may have sex with his wives and his female slaves and captives. (Verse 33:50 refers specifically to Mohammad; the other verses refer to Muslim men generally).  

    YZ: "The argument of rape is built on two basis, first, taking of the captives from the battlefield and second, the subsequent allocation of the captives to the soldiers as concubines1 (Sabee)."  

    YZ: "The mere abduction of a woman does not constitute rape but in any case the women are not abducted as the critics claim; they are simply prisoners of war (POW). Nobody went specifically to hunt for them as they allege2, they were simply there of their own will aiding the battle. War means killing and usurping the possession of the enemy. If it is wrong to take females as captives then it must also be wrong to kill them and others. In that case the argument should be against the actual war itself3 not just the taking of female captive as POWs, because the latter is a consequence of war."  

1. The word concubine is sometimes used, even though these women are prisoners who are obligated to have sex with their captors. By using the milder word "concubine" instead of the more accurate "sex slave," Mr. Zakaria tries to make the whole practice seem less horrific.  

2. Capturing women and children as slaves was one of the sub-goals of aggressive jihad, along with the seizing of land, livestock, money, weapons, etc. All of that "property" was to be put to the service of Islam, to be used and spent in Allah's Cause. (Allah's Cause is to establish and spread Islam until the whole world is under Islamic Law-the larger strategic goal (3)). The descriptions of Mohammad's (i.e., the apostle's) raid on the Jewish population of Khaibar (Khaybar) are typical:  

    Ishaq:510. "When the Apostle looked down on Khaybar he told his Companions, and what into error they throw, and Lord of the winds and what they winnow, we ask Thee for the booty of this town and its people. Forward in the name of Allah.' He used to say this of every town he raided." 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Number 4437:

    "It has been narrated on the authority of Anas that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) raided Khaibar. One morning we offered prayers in the darkness of early dawn (near Khaibar). Then the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) mounted (his horse). Abu Talha mounted his and I mounted behind Abu Talha on the same horse. The Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him) rode through the streets of Khaibar and (I rode so close to him) that my knee touched the thigh of the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him). The wrapper got aside from his thigh, and I could see its whiteness. When he entered the town, he said: God is Great. Khaibar shall face destruction. When we descend in the city-square of a people, it is a bad day for them who have been warned (and have not taken heed). He said these words thrice. The people of the town had just come out from (their houses) to go about their jobs. They said (in surprise): Muhammad has come. We captured Khaibar by force." 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 512:

    Narrated Anas: "The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark and then said, "Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned." Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst the captives. She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet . The Prophet made her manumission as her 'Mahr.'"  

Note: Mohammad quickly manumitted her and married her; also see Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367. 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 143:

    Narrated Anas bin Malik: "-when Allah enabled him [the Prophet] to conquer the Fort (of Khaibar), the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtab was described to him. Her husband had been killed while she was a bride. So Allah's Apostle selected her for himself and took her along with him till we reached a place called Sad-AsSahba,' where her menses were over and he took her for his wife.Haris (a kind of dish) was served on a small leather sheet. Then Allah's Apostle told me to call those who were around me. So, that was the marriage banquet of Allah's Apostle and Safiya-" (Brackets added. Also see Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3325). 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 523:

    Narrated Anas bin Malik: "The Prophet stayed with Safiya bint Huyai for three days on the way of Khaibar where he consummated his marriage with her. Safiya was amongst those who were ordered to use a veil."  

Mohammad was clearly attracted to Safiya's physical beauty. The most likely reason for the speedy, make-shift 'marriage' was that this permitted Mohammad the quickest route to have 'lawful' sex with Safiya (i.e., "consummated" his marriage to her). This was a key condition of marriage contracts:  

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 81:

    Narrated 'Uqba: "The Prophet said: "The stipulations most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women's) private parts (i.e. the stipulations of the marriage contract)."" 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3302:

    "'Uqba b. Amir (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most worthy condition which must be fulfilled is that which makes sexual intercourse lawful. In the narration transmitted by Ibn Muthanna (instead of the word "condition") it is "conditions"." 

The prophet Mohammad also took other female captives for himself in this manner (33:50-52). Ibn Kathir notes, from 33:50,  

    "-which refers to the slave-girls taken captive by Mohammad "-(those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses whom Allah has given to you,) means, `the slave-girls whom you took from the war booty are also permitted to you.' He owned Safiyyah and Juwayriyah, then he manumitted them and married them, and he owned Rayhanah bint Sham`un An-Nadariyyah and Mariyah Al-Qibtiyyah, the mother of his son Ibrahim, upon him be peace; they were both among the prisoners, may Allah be pleased with them-" 

Note that Mohammad's Coptic Christian slave Mariyah was not obtained through war but was received by Mohammad as a gift from an Egyptian ruler. See Shamoun's discussion of Mariyah's status (4)

Mohammad's speedy marriage to Safiya has been investigated thoroughly (5). Mohammad had sex with her (i.e., raped her) near in time to when her husband was tortured and killed by Mohammad's men. The men were acting on Mohammad's orders. Here's how 'the apostle' had dealt with Safiya's husband:  

    "Kinana, the husband of Safiya, had been guardian of the tribe's treasures, and he was brought before the apostle, who asked where they were hidden. But Kinana refused to disclose the place. Then a Jew came who said, 'I have seen Kinana walk around a certain ruin every morning.' The apostle asked Kinana, 'Art thou prepared to die if we find thou knewest where the treasure was?' And he replied, 'Yes.' So the apostle ordered the ruin to be dug up, and some of the treasure was found. After that Kinana was asked again about the remainder, but he still refused to tell. The apostle of Allah handed him over to al-Zubayr, saying, 'Torture him until he tells what he knows', and al-Zubayr kindled a fire on his chest so that he almost expired; then the apostle gave him to Muhammad b. Maslama, who struck off his head." (6)  

Capturing women in particular was probably a significant motivation for the young Muslim men. Such sentiment among the Muslim men was quoted in the historian Tabari's work in quoting one jihadist's declaration (Tabari IX:25): "By Allah, I did not come to Fight for nothing. I wanted a victory over Ta'if so that I might obtain a slave girl from them and make her pregnant." Sex with the "war booty" captives was considered by Mohammad to be a much-deserved reward for the jihadists: 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 637:

    Narrated Buraida: "The Prophet sent 'Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and 'Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, "Don't you see this (i.e. Ali)?" When we reached the Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, "O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumus.""  

3. We can certainly argue against the ethics of Mohammad's wars too. The vast majority of the "wars" fought by Mohammad's men were aggressive jihads, raids, surprise attacks, etc. Capturing women was probably a major incentive for the men. Because Mohammad and the Muslims were practicing polygyny, this would have led to a shortage of available females among the Muslims. There would be many men without mates. The raids and wars of aggression had multiple objectives, but they certainly supplied the demand for more females.  

4. Mr. Zakaria is misleading when he claims that the sex with the female captives only came about as the unavoidable consequence of warfare. The practice of having sex with the female captives could have been forbidden by Mohammad, but instead he led his men in engaging in it, and he ('Allah') came up with rules to make it lawful for all Muslims for all time. It should also be understood that not all of the sex-slaves were obtained through battle or terror; some were obtained by Muslims through other means, such as their trading in slaves. Also note that verses 23:5-6 and 70:29-30, which give permission to the Muslim men to have sex with their female slaves ("right hand possessions"), were revealed during the Meccan phase of Mohammad's career, before he and his Muslims became involved in raids, battles, etc.  

    YZ: "If the female captives are not ransomed or killed1 or set free, then they are allocated to soldiers as concubines. This also depends on the actual international situation, how the enemies are behaving with the Islamic State and how they are treating Muslim prisoners. In the case that the women prisoners are distributed as concubines there are very clear and detailed rules2  regarding how they should be treated, definitely not left to the whims of the soldiers to do as they please."  

1. Female captives could be killed, as Zakaria admits, but particularly if they spoke against Islam (see "singing girls," below). The captives could also be ransomed for money or people, or else set free, depending on the 'grace' (or whim) of the Muslim authority. The Muslim authority was under no general obligation to set war captives free. Rather, it was most often the case that only individual slaves could be released, much later, and only when certain conditions had been met (this is described below), and war captives generally did not meet these conditions. 

2. It is precisely those "detailed rules" that permitted the men to do as they pleased. Mr. Zakaria thinks the 'sex' in this context is morally or ethically acceptable because 'Allah' has made it lawful. A simple clear rule would have been: Do not allow the jihadists to have sex with (i.e., rape) the female captives. Why didn't 'Allah' come up with that rule? Allah, who is supposedly the best of judges and all-wise, and "able to do all things," spends hundreds of verses in the Koran threatening disbelievers with hell-fire simply for disbelieving, and praises himself in hundreds more verses, but he does not even give a single verse to forbid rape! Why are Islamist-spokesmen like Mr. Zakaria left to try and quibble over detailed rules that, when examined in detail, end up approving, instead of forbidding, the rape of female captives? Such apologist-spokesmen would rather try to deceive the public with some convoluted justification of rape than simply admit that Mohammad/Allah was immoral. 

    YZ: "What commentators need to realize is that in Islam a captive woman as a concubine, has essentially same legal rights as a wife,1 this is surely distinct from the victims of abduction and rape. Remember, this is despite the fact that she is not a guest but a prisoner of war. First of all she is allocated to the soldier and then she has to go through the Iddah period2 of clearing the womb, which can take up to 1 month to ensure that she is not already pregnant, during this period no man may approach her. She has the right to be fed, clothed, and sheltered adequately at all times. After that period her master may approach her but he cannot force himself on her. He cannot have sex against her will. Equally she is not entitled legally to refuse without good reason, the exact same as a wife. But in the case that she does refuse, the relationship would naturally come to an end. Remember, even a slap on her face would mean in Islam necessitating her freedom.3" 

1. The "same legal rights as the wife" in Islam? This is not true with regard to the master-slave relationship, because the female captive is a slave (!) and does not have freedom. A slave did not have property rights, nor many other rights-limited as they were-that wives had. As a slave and war captive, she does not have the power to get a divorce to get free of her captor. Nevertheless, a Muslim wife's power to obtain a divorce from her Muslim husband is very limited under traditional Islamic law that has not yet been modified by western influences: 

    "Under sharia, the husband has the unilateral right to divorce his wife without cause-Classical sharia lays out very limited conditions under which a woman can divorce a man-he must be infertile at the time of marriage; insane; or have leprosy or another contagious skin disease. Most Islamic nations, including Egypt and Iran, now allow women to sue for divorce for many other reasons, including the failure to provide financial support."  (7)  

Anyways, does Mr. Zakaria expect that most readers will assume that a slave-girl having the same legal rights as a wife in Islam would be necessarily be a good state of affairs? This question is worth addressing. In his famous farewell address, Mohammad said to his Muslims "-The women who live with you are like captives, unable to manage for themselves: you took them as a trust from Allah, and enjoyed their sex as lawful through a word from Allah-" Mr. Zakaria himself has railed against equal rights for women in Islam, calling the proposals of moderate progressive reformers "idiocy," and accusing one such Muslim woman thinker (Amina Abdul Wadud) of being guilty of "apostasy"(8)!  Note that Mr. Zakaria supports the death penalty for apostasy (9).  

According to the Koran and hadith, the wife must absolutely obey her husband. The Koran orders the husband to beat the wife if he "fears disobedience" from her. Verse 4:34, the notorious wife-beating verse, does say "beat" her (or hit, or scourge). At least 10 available respectable translations of the Koran say "beat" (or scourge, or hit), and multiple tafsirs and ahadith confirm it (see below). For a discussion of 4:34 and the word "beat," see (10). Here is verse 4:34 (note that "Qanitat" means obedient):  

    "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are Qanitat, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard. As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, and beat them, but if they return to obedience, do not seek a means against them. Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great."  

Ibn Kathir's tafsir of 4:34 is as follows:  

    "Allah said,  (Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,) meaning, the man is responsible for the woman, and he is her maintainer, caretaker and leader who disciplines her if she deviates. (because Allah has made one of them to excel the other,) meaning, because men excel over women and are better than them for certain tasks. This is why prophethood was exclusive of men, as well as other important positions of leadership. The Prophet said,

    (People who appoint a woman to be their leader, will never achieve success.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Such is the case with appointing women as judges or on other positions of leadership.

    (and because they spend from their means.) meaning the dowry, expenditures and various expenses that Allah ordained in His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger for men to spend on women. For these reasons it is suitable that he is appointed her maintainer, just as Allah said,

      (But men have a degree (of responsibility) over them). 

      Qualities of the Righteous Wife  

      Allah said,

      (Therefore, the righteous) women,

      (are Qanitat), obedient to their husbands, as Ibn `Abbas and others stated.

    (and guard in the husband's absence) As-Suddi and others said that it means she protects her honor and her husband's property when he is absent, and Allah's statement,

    (what Allah orders them to guard.) means, the protected [husband] is the one whom Allah protects. Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

    (The best women is she who when you look at her, she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are absent, she protects her honor and your property.) Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,

    (Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, ) until its end. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf said that the Messenger of Allah said,

    (If the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month, protected her chastity and obeyed her husband, she will be told, 'Enter Paradise from any of its doors you wish.') 

    Dealing with the Wife's Ill-Conduct  

    Allah said,

    (As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct,) meaning, the woman from whom you see ill conduct with her husband, such as when she acts as if she is above her husband, disobeys him, ignores him, dislikes him, and so forth. When these signs appear in a woman, her husband should advise her and remind her of Allah's torment if she disobeys him. Indeed, Allah ordered the wife to obey her husband and prohibited her from disobeying him, because of the enormity of his rights and all that he does for her. The Messenger of Allah said,

    (If I were to command anyone to prostrate before anyone, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband, because of the enormity of his right upon her.) Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

    (If the man asks his wife to come to his bed and she declines, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.) Muslim recorded it with the wording,

    (If the wife goes to sleep while ignoring her husband's bed, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.) This is why Allah said,

    (As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first)). Allah's statement,

    (abandon them in their beds,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said "The abandonment refers to not having intercourse with her, to lie on her bed with his back to her.'' Several others said similarly. As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, `Ikrimah, and Ibn `Abbas, in another narration, added, "Not to speak with her or talk to her.'' The Sunan and Musnad compilers recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri said, "O Allah's Messenger! What is the right that the wife of one of us has on him'' The Prophet said,

    (To feed her when you eat, cloth her when you buy clothes for yourself, refrain from striking her face or cursing her, and to not abandon her, except in the house.) Allah's statement,

    (beat them) means, if advice and ignoring her in the bed do not produce the desired results, you are allowed to discipline the wife, without severe beating. Muslim recorded that Jabir said that during the Farewell Hajj, the Prophet said;

    (Fear Allah regarding women, for they are your assistants. You have the right on them that they do not allow any person whom you dislike to step on your mat. However, if they do that, you are allowed to discipline them lightly. They have a right on you that you provide them with their provision and clothes, in a reasonable manner.) Ibn `Abbas and several others said that the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it means, a beating that is not severe."" 

Wives must be obedient, otherwise the husband is permitted to beat her to keep her in line. What does "a beating that is not severe" mean to Mohammad and his men, who mutilated, tortured, and decapitated their opponents? We need a concrete example of what Mohammad, in that context, considered to be an acceptable level of beating. In at least one case, the prophet permitted a beating that was hard enough to cause obvious bruise-marks [I add my comments in brackets]: 

      Sahih Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 72, Number 715. 

    "Ayesha said "I have not seen anyone suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!"" [The "green" adjective is in reference to the visible bruising from the beating. In this incident, Ayesha brought to the prophet's attention a woman who had been badly beaten by her husband in a domestic quarrel. In response, the prophet did not condemn the beating, and "Allah" did not substitute a new verse in place of the 4:34, even though Allah supposedly had the power to substitute in new verses to replace others (2:106, 16:101)]. 

Mohammad struck his own wife, the child-bride Aisha (Ayesha), hard enough to cause her pain: 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 2127:

    "-He [Mohammad] struck me [Ayesha] on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?" [The prophet struck Ayesha deliberately, to rebuke her for having secretly watched him pray. There is no indication that Mohammad thought that striking Ayesha was an "unjust" way of dealing with her]. 

Because Muslims must try to follow Mohammad's example conduct (33:21) and standard of character (68:4), and obey him (4:80), this means that the beating called for in verse 4:34 can be hard enough to cause pain and clearly visible bruising*, but "not severe" and not striking her face. *(Some fiqh rulings say there should not be visible bruisings, but this is inconsistent with other rulings and is inconsistent with the above-cited example from "sahih" hadith illustrating what the prophet considered acceptable). The beating which Allah/Mohammad envisioned was not a light symbolic tapping, as some apologists have claimed. The disciplinary beating is supposed to be the latter of a series of progressive punishments. Mohammad wanted the Muslim wives to be obedient, meek, and grateful to their husbands. This is confirmed in the following hadith:  

      Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2141:

    "Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab: "Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.""  

At first, Mohammad said don't beat them. Then, when it was found that the women had become "emboldened toward their husbands," Mohammad gave the husbands permission to beat them (Koran, 4:34). When the latter policy was in effect, Mohammad criticized those women who complained about their husbands' abusiveness! Finally, although verse 4:35 calls for abitration to settle the dispute between the husband and wife, Mohammad says in the hadith below that the husband will not even be questioned for beating his wife: 

      Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142:

    "Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife."  

Mohammad ("Allah") warned that he would replace his wives if they were not sufficiently obedient and pious (66:5). Mohammad further threatened the believing women generally with a terrible penalty of torture and hell-fire in the hereafter:  

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 541:

    "(The Prophet Muhammad said) I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were women....[because] they are ungrateful to their husbands and they are deficient in intelligence."  (Also in Sahih Muslim, Book 36, Numbers 6596, 6597. Sahih Muslim Book 36, Number 6600 also says women are the minority in Paradise. [Brackets added] 

Islamic laws even permit the Muslim husband to use force to "enjoy" a wife. Abul Kasem, in his article Sex and Sexuality in Islam (11), quotes from the Hedaya, an authoritative commentary on Islamic laws: 

      "Here is what Hedaya (ref. 11, p. 141) writes:  

      "One can enjoy a wife by force"  

      "But not if she be refractory." 

    "If a wife be disobedient or refractory and go abroad without her husband's consent, she is not entitled to any support from him, until she return and make submission, because the rejection of the matrimonial restraint in this instance originates with her; but when she returns home, she is then subject to it, for which reason she again becomes entitled to her support as before. It is otherwise where a woman, residing in the house of her husband, refuses to admit him to the conjugal embrace, as she is entitled to maintenance, notwithstanding her opposition, because being then in his power, he may, if he please, enjoy her by force.""  

The above hadith, tafsir, verses, fiqh, and legal interpretations, all show that the rights of the wife were limited in that she was held to a stringent standard of obedience to her husband's wishes, such that he could beat her as punishment and use force to "enjoy" her. If this is the standard for the Muslim males' treatment of Muslim wives, how could the treatment possibly be better for the already traumatized non-Muslim captive females? In fact, depending on whether or not the slave had violated Islamic laws, she could be punished physically by her master, as illustrated in this hadith: 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 731:

    "Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid: The Prophet said, "If a slave-girl (Ama) commits illegal sexual intercourse, scourge her; if she does it again, scourge her again; if she repeats it, scourge her again." The narrator added that on the third or the fourth offence, the Prophet said, "Sell her even for a hair rope.""[Also see Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Numbers 362 and 363; these use the term "lash" for scourge]. 

Mohammad here orders the Muslim masters to lash or flog the female slave if she commits illegal sexual intercourse. Illegal sexual intercourse would include having sex with anyone other than her current master (12). If she does not cease she must be sold. At some point, a female slave might voluntarily have sex with someone to whom she is actually attracted (e.g., someone other than her master; perhaps with another slave from her own original tribe), or she could be raped by someone (other than her master). In either case, she could be punished. Mohammad's phrasing "Sell her even for a hair rope" shows his utter contempt toward the slave girls who did not follow his rules. 

It should be added that there were circumstances in which Mohammad ordered Muslims not to beat their slaves. This was not a general prohibition:

      Sahih Muslim Book 15, Number 4079:

    "Zadhan reported that Ibn Umar called his slave and he found the marks (of beating) upon his back. He said to him: I have caused you pain. He said: No. But he (Ibn Umar) said: You are free. He then took hold of something from the earth and said: There is no reward for me even to the weight equal to it. I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who beats a slave without cognizable offence of his or slaps him (without any serious fault), then expiation for it is that he should set him free." 

      Sahih Muslim Book 15, Number 4089:

    "Abu Mas'ud reported that he had been beating his slave and he had been saying: I seek refuge with Allah, but he continued beating him, whereupon he said: I seek refuge with Allah's Messenger, and he spared him. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: By Allah, God has more dominance over you than you have over him (the slave). He said that he set him free. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters, but made no mention of (these words) of his: I seek refuge with Allah, I seek refuge with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him)." 

The slave should not be beaten unless they have committed a "cognizable offence" (i.e., violation of Islamic laws, such as speaking out against Islam). In addition, the latter hadith suggests that if the slave declares seeking refuge with (or repentance from) Allah, that can prevent or reduce a punishment. Non-Muslim slaves could not, honestly, make such an appeal.  

2. Regarding the waiting period, or iddah, in the case of female captives, Ibn Kathir's tafsir of verse 4:24 states: 

      "Forbidding Women Already Married, Except for Female Slaves  

      Allah said,

    (Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess.) The Ayah means, you are prohibited from marrying women who are already married,

    (except those whom your right hands possess) except those whom you acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after making sure they are not pregnant. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "We captured some women from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked having sexual relations with them because they already had husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed,

    (Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess). Consequently, we had sexual relations with these women.'' [-]" 

And al-Jalalayn tafsir (4:24) states: 

    "And, forbidden to you are, wedded women, those with spouses, that you should marry them before they have left their spouses, be they Muslim free women or not; save what your right hands own, of captured [slave] girls, whom you may have sexual intercourse with, even if they should have spouses among the enemy camp, but only after they have been absolved of the possibility of pregnancy [after the completion of one menstrual cycle]; this is what God has prescribed for you (kitāba is in the accusative because it is the verbal noun)-"  

Likewise, Ibn Abbas' tafsir (4:24) states:  

    "(And all married women (are forbidden unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess) of captives, even if they have husbands in the Abode of War, after ascertaining that they are not pregnant, by waiting for the lapse of one period of menstruation-" 

The Muslim men were permitted to have sexual intercourse with these traumatized, emotionally-devastated captive females after they had menstuated. This was permitted even if their husbands were still alive. (For further information on the laws regarding intercourse with the captive slave-girls, see (12)). 

As the above tafsirs show, these females' marriages to their husbands were considered to have been unilaterally annulled by "Allah"/Mohammad  (or Islamic ruler) to make the intercourse between slave and slave-owner legal, and in this case the laws regarding fornication do not apply, provided the iddah period was observed. As scholar and critic of Islam Robert Spencer writes,  

    "The Islamic legal manual 'Umdat al-Salik [Reliance of the Traveller], which carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates: "When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman's previous marriage is immediately annulled."" (13)

    [Brackets added] 

The hadith cited in Ibn Kathir's tafsir (above) portrays a scenario in which Mohammad's men are concerned about the polytheist women captives' marriages, but "Allah" does not have a revelation on this matter until after the men express their concerns:   

    Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3432 (also 3433, 3434):

    "Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that at the Battle of Hanain Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: "And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (iv. 24)" (i. e. they were lawful for them when their 'Idda period came to an end)." 

      Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 2, Number 2150:

    "Abu Said al-Khudri said: "The apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, "And all married women (are forbidden) unto your save those (captives) whom your right hand possesses". That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period."" 

Can you imagine the emotional states of these women captives during this ordeal? But 'Allah' simply provides a revelation (verse 4:24) that permits the Muslim men to have their way with the 'polytheist' women, right in the presence of those womens' husbands who were also held captive, without any concern or empathy for the non-Muslim captives as human beings, nor with any respect for their (non-Muslim) institution of marriage. It seems Allah's role here is to wipe the Muslim men's consciences clear, to remove whatever moral restraints they had, in committing these crimes against humanity. 

Did the Muslim men in these situations actually wait until the females had menstruated? (This is of course a minor concern in light of the magnitude of the crime of rape). The answer is not certain, but there is some evidence to suggest that the men directly under Mohammad's guidance did not wait. For example, the Sahih Muslim hadith below, which is also reported in the Sahih Bukhari collection, implies that the men did not wait for up to a month: 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3371 (3371-3388):

    "Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born." 

Let's review some key points of this hadith:  

(i) The Muslim men are on an aggressive jihad expedition; they are invaders.

(ii) At least some of the men are married and "suffering" from not having had sex with their wives in some time, so they deem it acceptable to have sex with the "excellent" women they've taken captive.

(iii) They also would like to use these same women for ransom (money or exchange of people).

(iv) At least some of them ("we") have already had sex with the women, or some of them are in the process of doing so (see "we are doing an act"), or they are about to do so, following the prophet's judgement. They are using coitus interruptus to prevent pregnancy.

(v) They ask Mohammad, who is present, for guidance. Mohammad tells them whether or not a child is to be born is Allah's decision. He does not forbid rape. He does not forbid selling the women for profit. 

First of all, does anyone think, after reading that hadith carefully, that those men had waited up to a month before raping the women? Secondly, the prophet's statements on coitus interruptus vary between circumstances, but he is fully consistent in allowing the men to have sex with (i.e., rape) the female captives. Although Mohammad does not forbid coitus interruptus with slave/captive females, overall he prefers that they should not withdraw the penis when ejaculating. Indeed, Mohammad permits the traumatized women captives to be forcibly impregnated. The remark "we also desired ransom for them" indicates that at least some of the men in this incident were concerned about getting the women pregnant because the women captives could not be ransomed while they were pregnant (12)

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 432:

    "Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: that while he was sitting with Allah's Apostle he said, "O Allah's Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?" The Prophet said, "Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.""  

Clearly, these men wanted to get their pleasure before ransoming the women for profit. The hadith does at least raise doubts about whether the men waited the duration of the iddah period. But iddah or no iddah, rape is rape. It is inconceivable that sexual intercourse under those conditions was not rape.  

3. Next, Mr. Zakaria gives a contorted explanation, such that (a) the Muslim man cannot force the captive woman to have sex with him, but (b) the captive woman cannot refuse to have sex with him without a "good reason"(!), and (c) the captive woman can refuse to have sex and can leave the master-slave relationship without penalty, and the man is not permitted to slap her on the face.  

Regarding 3(a), there are no rulings that say that a Muslim man cannot force a lawfully-obtained, non-pregnant non-Muslim captive woman, after the iddah period, to have sex with him. The concept of rape is not described in the Koran or hadith; only unlawful sexual intercourse (e.g., fornication, adultery, sodomy) is forbidden. Also note that even if the Muslim man was not aggressively forceful in his advances, the situational constraints-the Muslim state's power over her is absolute-would compel the woman, out of fear, to acquiesce to the sexual intercourse. Like so many aspects of Islam, this situation is governed by fear. There is very little deterrent to prevent a Muslim man from killing his female slave. There are no penalties mentioned in the Koran, or only minimal penalties mentioned in the hadith, when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim. It is reported in Sahih Bukhari, v9, b83, n50 and v4, b52, n283 that "-no Muslim should be killed in Qisas (equality in punishment) for killing a Kafir (disbeliever)." This is confirmed in Islamic law, which states that a Muslim may kill a non-Muslim without being subject to the law of retaliation (Qisas) (Reliance of the Traveller, o1.2, see (2)). The penalty (to be paid in blood money) for killing a woman is only half the penalty for killing a man, and the penalty is reduced greatly if the victim is a non-Muslim (Reliance of the Traveller, o4.9. ). If the female war captive is from a people who are still at war with the Muslims, there could be zero penalty for killing her (Reliance of the Traveller, o4.17). These women would quite legitimately fear being killed by their Muslim captors, captors who had killed many of those womens' people. If a female captive spoke out in anger or frustration, insultingly, or mockingly about Islam, Muslims, or Mohammad, she could be killed, and the killer would not be penalized at all in such a case. There are many instances described in the ahadith where the prophet Mohammad (14) executed or assassinated persons who he believed had insulted him, Allah, Islam, or Muslims. Here is just one such example:   

      Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2678:

    "Narrated Sa'id ibn Yarbu' al-Makhzumi: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: on the day of the conquest of Mecca: There are four persons whom I shall not give protection in the sacred and non-sacred territory. He then named them. There were two singing girls of al-Maqis; one of them was killed and the other escaped and embraced Islam." 

These singing girls had not plotted or carried out any violence against Mohammad or the Muslims at all. They had sung lyrics that Mohammad believed were insulting to him as prophet of Islam. Therefore 'Allah' (Mohammad) required that they be executed. One of the girls was forgiven because she embraced Islam. The other did not embrace Islam and so Mohammad had her executed. Embracing Islam was therefore a means to survival. Clearly, the threat of execution was a major factor in compelling captive slave females to "convert" to Islam. This would reduce the chances of being executed for saying something, even accidentally or sarcastically, that could be construed as un-Islamic. The Hanbali jurist Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) wrote that captive non-Muslim non-combatants, including women and children, could be executed if they merely engaged in verbal or written opposition to Islam:

    "As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words [eg. by propaganda] and acts [by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some jurists are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for women and children since they constitute property for Muslims." 

    (Source: Ibn Taymiyya (1996). al-Siyasa al-shariyya. (Translated by Rudolph Peters). Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam. (pp. 44-54; see p. 49). Princeton NJ. Markus Wiener Publishers). 

This tradition of threatening, executing, or assassinating critics (those who "fight" using free expression against Islam) continues today. 

Regarding 3(b), Mr. Zakaria admits that a woman cannot legally refuse to have sex with her husband if he demands it, unless she has a "good reason." Simply not being willing to have sex is not a "good reason" in Islam; she must be obedient and conform to the man's desires (see Ibn Kathir's tafsir of 4:34, above). The hadith cited by Ibn Kathir regarding the angels "cursing the female until morning" (e.g., see Sahih Bukhari, v7, b62, n121) is conceptually consistent with Mohammad's policy of compelling the woman to have sex. 

Regarding 3(c), if (or when) the Muslim captor did rape the female captive, then what? Can she complain to the Muslim authorities, and, with credible evidence, have that man punished with rape? The Koran, Mohammad, and traditional Islam do not recognize the concept of rape (i.e., coercing a person to have sexual intercourse against their will). Nevertheless, even if some interpretation of Islam did recognize the concept of rape, what then? Would a case be prosecuted fairly? First of all, according to the Koran, a woman's testimony is worth only half that of a man's testimony (2:282). According to Islamic law, a non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim (Reliance of the Traveller, o24.2-4, o24.2(e)., also see Koran 65:2). In addition, the Koran asserts that non-Muslims are liars (2:10, 4:50, 9:42, 16:39, 16:105, 59:11, 7:66; 58:18-19). Thus, a non-Muslim female captive's testimony would be given practically no credibility against that of the Muslim man. Furthermore, in cases of alleged sexual impropriety, the woman requires 4 male eye-witnesses, all testifying to have witnesed the alleged act! This is based on the Koran's verses 24:4 and 24:13. If she makes the allegation but cannot bring the four witnesses, she is considered an evil-doer (24:4) and a liar (24:13) and will be given a harsh penalty. These Koran-based rules also apply in regards to Mr. Zakaria's claims about the female captive being slapped on the face by her captor: If she testifies to that, her testimony is given practically no weight because she is a female non-Muslim testifying against a Muslim male, and she risks being punished if she can't prove the allegations. Besides, we've already seen that the master is permitted to flog the female slave if she violates Islamic law. 

    YZ: "Is it any surprise that most of the Sabees were easily absorbed, many freed themselves1 and virtually all converted to Islam2? If she thought she was treated unjustly she is hardly likely to embrace their religion and/or marry their master after gaining emancipation. Also, Islam has always3 encouraged freeing these women captives this is why in so many places freeing a female concubine appears as a penance."  

1. It is highly misleading to say that they "freed themselves." Slaves, being slaves, were forbidden to leave by their own free will. The female captives could be bought and sold (except while they were pregnant). They could only be manumitted (freed) with the permission, and by the 'grace,' of their masters. A contract could be drawn up between the Muslim master and the slave, such that the slave could buy his or her way out of slavery. Here are the most relevant verses: 

    24:32. "And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihun (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficent for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).

    24:33. And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His Bounty. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you know that they are good and trustworthy. And give them something yourselves out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you. And force not your maids to prostitution, if they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the (perishable) goods of this worldly life. But if anyone compels them (to prostitution), then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to those women, i.e. He will forgive them because they have been forced to do this evil action unwillingly)." 

Excerpts from Ibn Kathir's tafsir of verse 24:33:  

    "There are three (from among the poor) whom it is a right upon Allah to help: one who gets married seeking chastity; a slave who makes a contract with his master with the aim of buying his freedom; and one who fights for the sake of Allah.)

    And such of your servants as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them.) This is a command from Allah to slave-owners: if their servants ask them for a contract of emancipation, they should write it for them, provided that the servant has some skill and means of earning so that he can pay his master the money that is stipulated in the contract.

    -Musa bin Anas told him that Sirin, who had a lot of money, asked Anas for a contract of emancipation and he refused. So he went to `Umar (bin Al-Khattab), may Allah be pleased with him, and he said, `Write it for him.' He refused, so `Umar hit him with his whip and recited,

    (give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them.) Then he wrote the contract.''

This verse is often cited by apologists, framed as if it says that any slave could simply ask his or her Muslim master to sign a piece of paper declaring him or her free. That was not the case. This verse refers to a slave having to either work to buy him/herself out of slavery or be bought out of slavery by sponsors. And it does not apply to all slaves. Note the following conditions for a slave to buy his or her freedom from the Muslim master: "If you know they are good and trustworthy." This rules out the manumitting of non-Muslim slaves who were obtained as war captives. In addition, the Koran is clear that there is "no good" in non-Muslims (8:23); non-Muslims are said to be "guilty" for disbelieving (45:31, 83:29); they are liars (2:10, 4:50, 9:42, 16:39, 16:105, 59:11), "evil" (2:91, 2:99), and so on (15). Verse 28:86 is absolutely clear that Muslims should "never help" the disbelievers. All of these statements, taken as the perfect words of guidance from Allah (2:2), make it impossible, or else very unlikely, for a disbelieving (i.e., non-Muslim) slave to be manumitted, without the Muslim owner violating the Koran.  

Marriage to her master (or some other master) was the main way that a female slave could be manumitted. She had to be manumitted first, because it was unlawful for a master to marry a slave, including his own slave. For marriage to a Muslim man, a Muslim female slave was considered to be preferable over a non-Muslim free woman (Koran, 2:221, 4:25). Slaves had to obtain permission from their master(s) before they could get married (16). To be married to a (Muslim) master, she had to convert to Islam (this follows the general rule in verse 2:221) if she was not Jewish, Christian, or Sabean.  

The preference for the freeing of Muslim slaves (or those who declare conversion to Islam) over the freeing of non-Muslim slaves is also evident in many ahadith. Here are some examples: 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 693:

    "Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever frees a Muslim slave, Allah will save all the parts of his body from the (Hell) Fire as he has freed the body-parts of the slave." Said bin Marjana said that he narrated that Hadith to 'Ali bin Al-Husain and he freed his slave for whom 'Abdullah bin Ja'far had offered him ten thousand Dirhams or one-thousand Dinars." 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 724:

    "Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "A pious slave gets a double reward." Abu Huraira added: By Him in Whose Hands my soul is but for Jihad (i.e. holy battles), Hajj, and my duty to serve my mother, I would have loved to die as a slave."  

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 727:

    "Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, "The Mamluk (slave) who worships his Lord in a perfect manner, and is dutiful, sincere and obedient to his Saiyid (master), will get a double reward."" 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 255:

    "Narrated Abu Burda's father: The Prophet said, "Three persons will get their reward twice. (One is) a person who has a slave girl and he educates her properly and teaches her good manners properly (without violence) and then manumits and marries her. Such a person will get a double reward. (Another is) a believer from the people of the scriptures who has been a true believer and then he believes in the Prophet (Muhammad). Such a person will get a double reward. (The third is) a slave who observes Allah's Rights and Obligations and is sincere to his master."" 

Some notes of explanantion for the terms used in those ahadith above are needed. First, "pious" here is an adjective that can only be meant to refer to someone, after Mohammad's revelation, who believes in Islam. Islam is the only acceptable religion (3:85) after Mohammad's revelation. The same is true for the description "worships his Lord in a perfect manner." Second, educating a slave, before manumitting and then marrying her, requires that she be "educated" to adopt or at least agree to live by Islamic beliefs and rules; everything other than Islamic teaching is considered jahiliyyah, meaning ignorance. Third, in regards to "educating" the female slave, the translator's parenthetical insertion "without violence" does not have any bearing whatsoever on the fact that violence could be used to punish the slave if the slave had committed some violation of Islamic law. Fourth, where the latter hadith refers to "a believer from the people of the scriptures who has been a true believer," that means a person who, prior to Mohammad's revelations, had a belief in Christianity or Judaism that was consistent with Mohammad's idiosyncratic version of the "true" version of those religions. After Mohammad's revelations, they had to believe in Islam, period. As for those Jews and Christians who did not meet these criteria, or who rejected Islam outright, they would not be rewarded at all but instead were "evil" (7:177), the "worst of created beings" (98:6) and would be punished for eternity in hell (3:113-119). Fifth, even if Jewish and Christian slaves were manumitted without converting to Islam, they were not free under the Islamic state. Rather, they would be subjected to the onerous and humiliating conditions of dhimmitude, and would be required to pay a special non-Muslim head tax known as jizya, in accordance with verse 9:29. Lastly, the institution of slavery itself is supported in the ahadith (and in the Koran, see verse 16:71, below), with (Mohammad's Companion) Abu Huraira's statement "I would have loved to die as a slave," and Mohammad's own statement that a slave who follows Islam and is sincere to his master will get a reward "twice" in the hereafter. Being "sincere" to his/her master meant, among other things, not trying to escape captivity! This is confirmed by ahadith such as these: 

      "Chapter 32: Calling the Slave as Infidel. 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 129:

    "It is narrated on the authority of Jarir that he heard (the Holy Prophet) saying, The slave who fled from his master committed an act of infidelity as long as he would not return to him. Mansur observed: By God, this hadith was narrated from the Apostle (may peace and blessings be upon him), but I do not like that this should be narrated on my authority here in Basra." 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 130:

    "It is narrated on the authority of Jarir that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: The slave who fled from his master, responsibility with regard to him was absolved." 

      Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 131:

    "Jarir b. Abdullah reported it from the Holy Prophet: When the slave runs away from his master, his prayer is not accepted." 

Next, it is necessary to take a closer look at another aspect of Islamic manumission.    

      Sahih Muslim, Book 9, Number 3581:

    "Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased witli him) reported Allah's Prophet (may peace be upon him) as saying: If anyone emancipates a share in a slave, he is to be completely emancipated if he has money; but if he has none, the slave will be required to work to pay for his freedom, but must not be over-burdened." 

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 698:

    "Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever frees his share of a common slave and he has sufficient money to free him completely, should let its price be estimated by a just man and give his partners the price of their shares and manumit the slave; otherwise (i.e. if he has not sufficient money) he manumits the slave partially."" 

      Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 29, Number 3916:

    "Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If any slave entered into an agreement to buy his freedom for one hundred uqiyahs and he pays them all but ten, he remains a slave (until he pays the remaining ten); and if a slave entered into an agreement to purchase his freedom for one hundred dinars, and he pays them all but ten dinars, he remains a slave (until he pays the remaining ten)." 

Muslims could own shares in a slave, and manumissions could be "partial." The slave is not considered free until he or she has paid off all of the amount agreed upon in the contract. For the slave-owner to free him or her, the owner must contribute (see 24:33), or receive from other sponsors, sufficient funds to meet the precise amount specified in the contract. All the while, keep in mind that (a) this does not generally apply to war captives, (b) disbelievers are (according to the Koran) not good or trustworthy, and (c) Muslims are ordered to never help or support the disbelievers (28:86). All of this must be done without violating the Koran:

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 735:

    Narrated 'Urwa: That 'Aisha told him that Buraira came to seek her help in her writing of emancipation (for a certain sum) and that time she had not paid anything of it. 'Aisha said to her, "Go back to your masters, and if they agree that I will pay the amount of your writing of emancipation and get your Wala', I will do so." Buraira informed her masters of that but they refused and said, "If she (i.e. 'Aisha) is seeking Allah's reward, then she can do so, but your Wala' will be for us." 'Aisha mentioned that to Allah's Apostle who said to her, "Buy and manumit her, as the Wala' is for the liberator." Allah's Apostle then got up and said, "What about the people who stipulate conditions which are not present in Allah's Laws? Whoever imposes conditions which are not present in Allah's Laws, then those conditions will be invalid, even if he imposed these conditions a hundred times. Allah's conditions (Laws) are the truth and are more solid."  

The Koran itself is even more emphatic: "-Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: Such are wrong-doers." (5:45). Because 'Allah' never abolished the institution of slavery, but instead allowed it and regulated it, slavery can never be abolished in Islam without violating the Koran. 

2. It is not surprising that the slaves would tend to declare a conversion to Islam when they were living under the Islamic state, under Islamic rules, due to the deliberately punishing conditions for non-Muslims.  

3. It is wrong to say, as Mr. Zakaria does, that Islam "always" encouraged freeing the captives. Slaves were generally only released in certain individual cases according to strict rules, and, as was noted, the war captives in question normally would not have qualified for release. Note that "Allah"/Mohammad never abolished slavery as an institution, and never ordered Muslims to stop acquiring more and more slaves, and buying and selling slaves. Any slaves who were freed would simply be replaced with more slaves. Due to Mohammad's numerous aggressive jihads, in which slaves were acquired, he certainly increased the numbers of slaves owned by Muslims. Let's also keep in mind that Mohammad and his wives had slaves. The Koran has no verse that forbids slavery, but has several verses which assume its acceptability and mention regulations pertaining to its practice (2:221, 4:3, 4:36, 23:5-6, 24:58, 30:28, 33:50-52, 33:55, 70:29-30). According to the Koran, Allah is sovereign of the heavens and the earth (7:157-158) and is "able to do all things"-but not abolish slavery. The Koran says that slavery exists because it is Allah's will that some people should be favoured over others in material wealth and property:  

    16:71. "And Allah has preferred some of you above others in wealth and properties. Then, those who are preferred will by no means hand over their wealth and properties to those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in respect thereof. Do they then deny the Favour of Allah?" 

The female captive slaves were part of the war booty, which was a gift from Allah to the true Muslim believers who were willing to fight in Allah's Cause. (The disbelievers fight on the side of Satan, see 4:76). Those jihadists who survived the battle and who were victorious received a share of the 'war booty' (48:19-21); those who were slain were to receive their reward of beautiful virgins and servant boys in Paradise (37:40-47, 78:31, 44:54, 52:20, 55:51-78, 56:28-). By Allah's decree, the real 'war booty' had been made lawful, or legal to obtain, for Mohammad and his followers (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331; Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 351). The capturing and keeping of slaves, especially non-Arab slaves, is a central element of Islam, is still practiced today in some Islamic countries, and was practiced through Islamic history (17)

    YZ: "In that era, women easily accepted  the fair treatment from Islam1, as non-Islamic societies took women prisoners their fate was much, much worse, they were virtually treated like animals, they had no legal rights and were humiliated as representative of their enemies2 rather than treated as distinct individuals with rights. So looking at how the Sabee is treated by Islamic laws, it does not even close to rape, nor is she a sex-slave3 otherwise she would not have legal rights in any areas. She can even take the head of the Islamic state to court.4  

1. Zakaria says that these rape victims "easily accepted the fair treatment from Islam"! 

2. Actually, the female slaves held captive by Muslims were treated as representative of their enemies. That's why Muslims destroyed their lives, held them captive, and raped them. The women captives were representative of disbelievers and therefore there was no need, from the Koranic perspective, to respect them as individuals. They are guilty according to the Islamic notion of collective guilt, whereby all disbelievers are the enemy and guilty according to Allah. The Koran requires that Muslims humiliate non-Muslims living under Islamic law (9:29).  

3. Not a sex slave? She is held captive so that the Muslim man can have sex with her, she is not permitted to refuse the sex-so she is a sex slave, and she is raped.  

4. Another unsupported claim. I doubt that a slave could take the head of the Islamic state to court. But, even if this was permitted, her testimony as a non-Muslim female captive would not be worth much compared to the Muslim male head of state's testimony. (And, no doubt, the Muslim male head of a Muslim state would be a pious, and therefore favoured, and eminently forgivable, man). 

    YZ: "If critics and hate mongers want to criticize the actions of individuals, criminals or monsters so be it; however if they want to comment on what is Islam, they will have to concede its fair1 and practical nature2  is in no way endorsing or encouraging of rape, in fact the opposite is the case with harsh punishments for rapists3 unlike the domiciles of its critics. No doubt, the treatment given by the Islamic state in the past excelled the track record of other nations in this arena of treating prisoners of war."  

1. Have to concede its "fair" nature? Based on what? Mr. Zakaria has not presented a single reference pertaining to Islamic law and has not quoted or cited the Koran, Hadith, Sira, or any Islamic jurisprudence. 

2. Islam's "practical" nature? What is practical about requiring the "proof" of 4 Muslim male eye-witnesses to convict an accused of an act of adultery or fornication?  

3. The Muslim male captor was legally permitted to have sex with as many slaves as were made available to him according to the Islamic government. There was no penalty for raping them.

    YZ: "On the contrary real rape is flourishing within secular societies. Only recently we saw literally mass raping and gang raping inside the heart of Europe during the Bosnian war, even the UN took part in the gruesome rituals. Japanese forces did the same when they invaded China, the infamous rape of Nanking. Russian soldiers raped over 500,000 German women during the Second World War, and the Italian women were also raped. 1

    I use the word rape because it fits the above mentioned notion of rape, women were randomly picked up by anyone and forced to have sex, then the soldiers left or others took over like in the gang rape situation. One can go on listing examples but such traits were never followed by Muslims as it was never endorsed by Islam."2  

1. We will not dispute the specifics of the cases cited by Mr. Zakaria because his general point that rape is an all-too-common occurrence in human history, and even today, is correct. No country, no group of people anywhere in the world, to my knowledge, did not have some men who committed rape. Nevertheless, rape is clearly illegal according to all modern secular western laws. Rape is not illegal in Islam, as was already shown.  

2. His claim that rape was never endorsed by Islam was already shown to be false. The claim that the abomination of rape was "never followed by Muslims" is also false. No, not just false, but an egregious lie. No doubt, when we cite examples of Muslims raping, Zakaria will claim those rapists were not real Muslims. But we have already shown how Islam permits rape. Also note, in the above tafsirs of 4:24, the phrases "enemy camp" and "Abode of War." This, Land of War (or Dar ul Harb), refers to all territory, anywhere in the world, that is deemed to be not yet under Islamic law (i.e., it is not yet Land/House of Islam or Dar ul Islam) nor inhabited by a people who have a temporary truce (hudna) with a Muslim nation. Because Islam regards itself at war with all non-Muslim peoples who refuse Islam or are not protected by temporary truce with Islamic countries, according to Koranic law Muslim males can take captive and rape any non-Muslim female (married or not) in any country that is deemed to be not under Islamic law. In his in-depth article on Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Abul Kasem writes: 

    "...a Muslim man (whether married or not), while living in an infidel country, can...(...have sex) with any number of infidel women without even having the slightest fear of committing Zina (fornication) or adultery-This is what I found when I consulted the living and breathing Islam, that is, Sha'ria [the material below is quoted from the Hedaya; note 'Mussulman' means Muslim]:   

      "No punishment for Zina or adultery committed in a foreign country (ref. 11, p185)  

    "Punishment is not incurred by committing whoredom in foreign country. If a Mussulman be guilty of whoredom in a foreign country, or in the territory of the rebels, and afterwards return into a Mussulman state, punishment is not to be meted out on him, on the plea that a man, in embracing the Mussulman faith, binds himself to all the obligations thereof, wherever he may be. The arguments of our doctors on this occasion are twofold; --FIRST, the Prophet has said, "punishment is not to be inflicted in a foreign land"SECONDLY, the design of the institution of punishment is that it may operate as a prevention or warning; now the Mussulman magistrate has no authority in a foreign country, wherefore if punishment were instituted upon a person committing whoredom in a foreign country, yet the institution would be useless; for the use of the institution is that punishment may be executed; and as the magistrate has no authority in a foreign country, the execution is impossible; whence it appears that the commission of whoredom in a foreign country does not occasion punishment there; and if this person should afterwards come from the foreign territory into a Mussulman state, punishment cannot be executed upon him; because as his whoredom did not occasion punishment at the time of its being committed, it will not afterwards occasion.""(11) [Brackets added]. 

With that in mind, let's consider some examples. As Donna M. Hughes writes on the atrocities unfolding in Sudan: 

    "Where Islamic fundamentalists attack enemy populations, women and girls suffer even more. In Sudan in 1989, a coup installed the present military dictator Omar al Bashir, who declared Sudan to be an Islamic republic and imposed sharia (Islamic law). The Arab Islamist government intensified the long-standing conflict with the south by backing raids against the Christian and animist civilian populations. The raiders killed men and animals, burned villagers, and abducted women and children. Since 1983 - when the Sudan People's Liberation Army started the warfare that preceded Bashir's coup - an estimated 2 million people have been killed and 4.5 million people have become refugees and internally displaced persons. Two hundred thousand women and children have been captured for labor and sexual slavery. Some of the victims were trafficked into slavery and sexual servitude beyond northern Sudan to Middle Eastern countries. 

    "Once in the north, the slaves are subjected to forced Islamization and Arabization-The inhabitants of Darfur are Muslims but from black African tribes. They are not Arab, and most significantly, not Islamist. The government seized this opportunity to ethnically cleanse the west as it has done in the south.  

    "Government airplanes and helicopters have bombed and strafed villages, and government-backed militia, called Janjaweed - meaning armed men on horseback - have attacked civilian populations in a scorched-earth campaign of killing, raping, burning villages, and driving people from their homes. An estimated 1.2 million people have been internally displaced and 170,000 have fled across the border into Chad. An estimated 30,000 have been killed.  

    "-One rape victim was told by her attacker: "You, the black women, we will exterminate you, you have no God.""(18)  

Robert Spencer, in a 2004 article, cites examples of rape carried out by Muslims during jihads, from two different parts of the world:  

    "This happened in Darfur, from which Sudanese military personnel actually airlifted women to Khartoum to serve as sex slaves-

    "[a  victim reported that] Each of us was raped by between three and six men-.One woman refused to have sex with them, so they split her head into pieces with an axe in front of us."

    "Meanwhile, Indira Dzetskelova, the mother of one of the child hostages in Beslan, Russia, reports that "several 15-year-old girls were raped by terrorists." Her daughter "heard their terrible cries and screams when those monsters took them away." (13)  

A comprehensive report published by Amnesty International contains similar horrific accounts: 

    "A., aged 37, from Mukjar told Amnesty International how the Janjawid had raped and humiliated women: "When we tried to escape they shot more children. They raped women; I saw many cases of Janjawid raping women and girls. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish.""(19)  

What about male captives and slaves, given that Islam forbids sodomy? This doesn't stop the Arab-Muslim perpetrators in Sudan. Male captives are being raped in Sudan, as described by Maria Sliwa, who interviewed some of the victims: 

    "A continuous flow of tears poured down his precious adolescent face, as he spoke of the way he was repeatedly raped and sodomized by gangs of government soldiers.  

    "They raped me," Majok cried. "And when I tried to refuse, they beat me." After taking care of his master's cattle all day, Majok said he was often raped at night. He told me that his rapes were very painful and he would rarely get a full night's sleep. He also spoke about the other slave boys he saw who suffered his same fate. "I saw with my eyes other boys get raped," Majok said. "He [the master] went to collect the other boys and took them to that special place. I saw them get raped."  

    "Since 1989, Sudan's extremist government, which is seated in the North, has been waging war against its diverse populace. The battle is over land, oil, power and religion, by a government that is made up of some of Africa's most aggressive Arab Islamists, says Jesper Strudsholm, Africa correspondent for Politiken." (20)  

The on-going atrocity in Sudan reflects two aspects of Islam: Muslim supremacism (e.g., 3:110; 98:7), which is one of the core principles of Islam, and a lingering element of Arab supremacism, which exists in some Islamic traditions and laws (see Note 1, below). 

The raping of female captives, whether non-Muslim or those regarded as lesser or not true Muslim, under Islamic law, is nothing new and is not an uncommon occurrence in jails in the Islamic world. For example, a young woman, Isma, tells that she was raped in Saudi Arabia, and was threatened again with rape while in custody there: 

    "In Isma's case-she was raped last year in the holy city of Madinah. "I was the victim, I was raped and molested but I was named as the accused, and the man who committed the crime was not touched," she said, hiding her face with both hands in shame. 

    "[Isma]:We were chained all during this period. The only time jail officials removed the chain was during lunch or when anyone went to the bathroom or at prayer time," she said.  

    "[Isma]: Once a jail official offered me help and assured me I would be released if I agreed to sleep with him." 

    "The women prisoners were mostly Pakistanis, Indonesians, Bangladeshis and Nigerians. [i.e., mostly non-Arabs] "When I used to protest against the ill treatment they beat me on my back," Isma added." (21) [Brackets added]. 

The systematic jihad rape of non-Muslim captives who are taken as slaves is consistent with historical accounts. This example, from an article by Andrew Bostom, shows Islamic jihadist rape of nuns (22). Bostom writes:  

    "John Cameniates provided an eyewitness account of the jihad capture and pillage of Thessaloniki in 904 C.E.-excerpts from Cameniates narrative reveals that:

    "The Thessalonians tried to escape through the streets, pursued by the Saracens, who were unleashed like wild beasts. In their panic, men, women, the elderly, and children, 'fell into each other's arms to give each other one last kiss.' The enemy hit with no mercy. Parents were killed while trying to defend their children. No one was spared: women, children, the elderly, all were immediately pierced by the sword-Nuns, petrified with fear, with their hair disheveled, tried to escape, and ended up by the thousands in the hands of the barbarians, who killed the older ones, and sent the younger and more attractive ones into captivity and dishonor- The Saracens also massacred the unfortunate people who had sought refuge inside churches."  

Also cited in that article by Dr. Bostom are historical rulings of Islamic jurists, based on the prophet Mohammad's rulings and conduct, permitting the killing of women and children captives. Such killing of women and children was also permitted during jihads (also see Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Numbers 4321, 4322, 4323; and Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256; and note that the Koran does not forbid the killing of non-Muslim women and children). This is despite the fact that, in other circumstances, the prophet is reported to have forbidden the killing of women and children. 

Rape perpetrated by predominantly Muslim immigrants and those of Muslim background have increased alarmingly in Europe in recent years, as has been well-documented by the blogger Fjordman: 

    "According to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Br, it is four times more likely that a known rapist is born abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. According to these statistics, almost half of all perpetrators are immigrants. In Norway and Denmark, we know that non-Western immigrants, which frequently means Muslims, are grossly overrepresented on rape statistics. In Oslo, Norway, immigrants were involved in two out of three rape charges in 2001. The numbers in Denmark were the same, and even higher in the city of Copenhagen with three out of four rape charges. Sweden has a larger immigrant, including Muslim, population than any other country in northern Europe. The numbers there are likely to be at least as bad as with its Scandinavian neighbors. The actual number is thus probably even higher than what the authorities are reporting now, as it doesn't include second generation immigrants. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in Svea high court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents." 

    "The number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations are so extremely high that it is difficult  to view them only as random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. This  happens in most Western European countries, as well as in other infidels countries such as India. In Bradford, England, Channel 4 pulled a documentary about Pakistani and other Muslim men sexually abusing white English girls, some as young as 11. Writer Theodore Dalrymple thinks that "thanks to their cultural inheritance, (Muslim) abuse of women is systematic rather than unsystematic as it is with the whites and blacks." In France, grotesque reports about systematic gang rapes of French or "too Western" Muslim girls keep coming in. At the same time, European jails are getting filled up with Muslims imprisoned for robberies and all kinds of violent crimes, and Muslims bomb European civilians. You can see the mainstream media are struggling to make sense of all of this. That's because they can't, or don't want to, see the obvious: This is exactly how an invading army would behave. Rape, pillage and bomb-If you postulate that many of the Muslims in Europe view themselves as a conquering army and that European women are simply war booty, it all makes perfect sense and is in full accordance with Islamic law."      (23) 

Yes, as we've seen, it is consistent with Islamic law. The predominantly Muslim male rapists are targetting predominantly non-Muslim European women. From the standpoint of Islamic law, it doesn't matter what a Muslim man does to a non-Muslim female in Dar ul Harb (Land of War, i.e., non-Muslim countries), because there is no penalty for the Muslim man in such a case. (Note, however, how Islamic law allows for the killing of apostates and critics, anywhere in the world). It is not only Islamic law, but the cultural traditions upon which it is built, with the elements of disrespect towards women and non-Muslim women in particular, that lead to the tendency for some Muslims to intentionally target and rape non-Muslim women (and "less-Muslim" women). This is expressed in this section by Fjordman: 

    "Some Muslim immigrants admit their bias quite openly. An Islamic Mufti in Copenhagen sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are "asking for rape." Apparently, he's not the only one thinking this way. "It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl," says Hamid. "The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries." It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne - this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background. "It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore-- girl, I mean" says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. "Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That's what I am going to do. I don't have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces."" (23)

The same type of trend has emerged in Australia, where once again Muslim male perpetrators are targetting non-Muslim women on the belief that non-Muslim women are not to be respected, whereas strict Muslim women must be spared from being raped. Journalist Sharon Lapkin (24) writes: 

    "When a number of teenage Australian girls were subjected to hours of sexual degradation during a spate of gang rapes in Sydney that occurred between 1998 and 2002, the perpetrators of these assaults framed their rationale in ethnic terms. The young victims were informed that they were "sluts" and "Aussie pigs" while they were being hunted down and abused.  

    "In Australia's New South Wales Supreme Court in December 2005, a visiting Pakistani rapist testified that his victims had no right to say no, because they were not wearing a headscarf.

    "And earlier this year Australians were outraged when Lebanese Sheik Faiz Mohammed gave a lecture in Sydney where he informed his audience that rape victims had no one to blame but themselves. Women, he said, who wore skimpy clothing, invited men to rape them. 

    "And with haunting synchronicity in 2004, the London Telegraph reported that visiting Egyptian scholar Sheik Yusaf al-Qaradawi claimed female rape victims should be punished if they were dressed immodestly when they were raped. He added, "For her to be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown good conduct."" 

Blaming the victim: That is no surprise coming from Qaradawi. What Qaradawi's claim (and that of many other conservative Muslims) can be reduced to is this: If she is non-Muslim, or dresses as such, she can be raped, and if she is raped, it his her own fault. As Lapkin continues- 

    "Unfortunately, Western women are not the only victims in this epidemic. In Indonesia, in 1998, human rights groups documented the testimony of over 100 Chinese women who were gang raped during the riots that preceded the fall of President Suharto. Many of them were told: "You must be raped, because you are Chinese and non-Muslim." 

    "Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that in April 2005, a 9-year-old Pakistani girl was raped, beaten with a cricket bat, hanged upside down from the ceiling, had spoonfuls of chillies poured into her mouth, and repeatedly bashed while handcuffed. Her Muslim neighbours told her they were taking revenge for the American bombing of Iraqi children and informed her they were doing it because she was an "infidel and a Christian."" (24)  

Fjordman and other commentators may be correct. The examples from Sudan, Europe, Australia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, suggest that rape is being used as a weapon, a tactic, or a strategem of war, against the non-Muslim populations. In another article, Lapkin traces one of the rape cases in Australia back to Islamic cultural traditions in Pakistan: 

    "In some parts of Pakistan, sexual assault - including gang rape - is officially sanctified as a legitimate form of enforcing the social value system.

    "One village council recently ordered that five young girls should be "abducted, raped or murdered" for refusing to be treated as chattel. The girls were aged between six and thirteen when they were married without their knowledge, to pay a family debt.

    "And when Mukhtar Mai's 12-year-old brother was alleged to have committed an offence in a small Pakistani farming village, the village council ordered that his sister be gang-raped. So, she was taken to a hut where four men repeatedly assaulted her.

    "According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan there were 804 cases of such officially orchestrated sexual assault in 2000, and 434 of these were gang rapes. And if that isn't bad enough, the victims of these atrocities are then expected to commit suicide because rape victims bring irreparable shame upon their family."(25) 

The Koran does not forbid rape and does not put any lower age limit on slave girls and wives. The rape of girls is permitted by Islam because, first of all, the Koran assumes in its divorce laws the acceptability of marriages to pre-pubescent females (65:4, see tafsirs of Ibn Kathir, al-Jalalayn, Ibn Abbas, Maududi, and so on) and many authentic ahadith from the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim collections, as well as many others, clearly and directly state that Aisha was either 6 or 7 years of age when Mohammad married her, and she was 9 years of age when he consummated that marriage.  

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:

    "Narrated 'Ursa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." 

A thorough presentation of this issue has been presented by Sam Shamoun (26). Even though it is possible, as apologists have suggested, that Aisha could have menstruated at such a young age, the fact remains that at 9 years of age she was still a child, and according to the ahadith she was still playing with dolls. Because a child does not have the capacity to form a proper consent to have sex with an adult, then the sex with these girls must be viewed not only as a crime of pedophilia but an act of rape. Due to Mohammad's actions with Aisha, there is no Islamic basis for forbidding sex with slave girls who are 9 years of age or older. (Indeed, there is no explicitly stated age limit in the Koran and ahadith). Any attempt to raise the age limit in modern times in Muslim countries has been due to influences outside of Islam. 

The descriptions of these cases and trends could go on and on. What has been presented shows that some Muslims who commit rape are following Islamic law and tradition, which invalidates Mr. Zakaria's claim that these rapes have nothing to do with Islam. Some Muslims also rape when they have deviated from Islamic law, which invalidates Mr. Zakarias additional claim that "such traits were never followed by Muslims," where such traits include sodomy, gang-rape, etc.  

Conclusions, Part 1.

Koran- and Sunnah-based Islam permits a Muslim man to (a) rape non-Muslim female war captives and other non-Muslim female slaves, and (b) rape Muslim and non-Muslim wives. This all took place under the auspices of Islamic law during the prophet Mohammad's time, throughout Islamic history, and is still taking place throughout many parts of the world today. 

Part 2 >>>

Acknowledgements, Part 1. 

I thank the many authors whose works are quoted extensively here.  

General Sources, Part 1. 


Tafsirs/Commentary: Ibn Kathir's tafsir (on-line edition, not complete ).

Al-Jalalayn and Ibn Abbas tafsirs /TafseerQuran.asp


Hadith: /fundamentals/hadithsunnah /bukhari/ /fundamentals/hadithsunnah /muslim/ /fundamentals/hadithsunnah /abudawud/ 

Islamic Law (Fiqh): Ahmed ibn Naqib al-Misri (1999). Reliance of the Traveller ('Umdat al-Salik): A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. (Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller). Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications.

(There are different editions of this work, which deals with the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence).

Several examples of the Islamic laws from Reliance of the Traveller can be found online, e.g., /newswire/display_any/21475 (Thanks to Mentat). 

References, Part 1. 

(1) /view.php?q=5482 Slave girls: an excerpt from the imam's extensive discussion. 

(2) ?ln=eng&QR=10382 Question #10382: Ruling on having intercourse with a slave woman when one has a wife 

(3) /about252-islamwatch.html The Goal of Islam: A Mission to the World, Archimedez,

(4) /Shamoun/mary_concubine.htm Mohammad's Coptic Slave Mariyah, article by Sam Shamoun, at Answering-Islam. 

(5) /oped/AbulKasem51209p2.htm Mohammad had Violated the Qur'an, Abul Kasem, Dec. 9, 2005,  

(6) /Articles/sira/20.htm  From the Sira (brief): This link has a short account of the capture of Khaibar. 

(7) .html?id=8034 Islam: Governing Under Sharia, Sharon Otterman, Council on Foreign Relations, March 14, 2005. 

(8) /headlines/idiocy_of_gender _equality_the_case_of_the _woman_imam

Idiocy of Gender Equality, Yamin Zakaria,, March 23, 2005. 

(9) ?recordID=157 Kill the Apostate, Yamin Zakaria, International Institute of Peace, 2006-03-29. 

(10) /Silas/wife-beating.htm Wife Beating in Islam, Silas,, retrieved April 27, 2006. 

(11) /AbulKasem/sex_and_sexuality _in_islam.htm Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Abul Kasem, , Apr. 25, 2006. 

(12) /Articles/SStephan/slavegirls .htm Further information pertaining to intercourse with slave girls, cites comments by Maududi, posted on faithfreedom by S. Stephan. 

(13) /Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID =15206 The Rape Jihad, Robert Spencer, FrontPageMagazine September 24, 2004. 

(14) /Muhammad/Enemies/index.html Muhammad and his Personal Enemies, Answering-Islam, retrieved April 27, 2006. 

(15) /post-486-islamwatch.html#486 Insults and Opposition to Non-Muslims, posted by Archimedez, 

(16) /marriage_dictionaryofislam .html Excerpted from the Marriage chapter in the "Dictionary of Islam" by Thomas Patrick Hughes (c) 1886, retrieved from, April 26, 2006. 

(17) /index.php?option=com_content &task=view&id=15&Itemid=27

Black Slaves, Arab Masters, Andrew G. Bostom,, April 18, 2005. 

(18) /comment/hughes200408120844.asp The Rape of Sudan Terrorism Against Women and Girls, Donna M. Hughes, NationalReview August 12, 2004. 

(19) /index/engafr540762004 Sudan. Darfur: Rape as a weapon of war: sexual violence and its consequences. Amnesty international, 19 July 2004. 

(20) /Sudan.html Sudan's Rape Cries, Maria Sliwa, Global Tryst, retrieved April 25, 2006. 

(21) /DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data /subcontinent/2006/April /subcontinent_April924.xml &section=subcontinent&col=  Sixteen-year-old [Pakistani] girl raped, jailed in Saudi Arabia, Khaleej Times Online, (AFP), 24 April 2006. 

(22) /Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID =14964 Jihad Killings of POWs and Non-Combatants, Andrew Bostom, FrontPage Magazine, September 9, 2004. 

(23) /oped/Fjordman51213.htm Immigrant Rape Wave in Sweden, Fjordman, faithfredom, 2005/12/13. 

(24) /Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID =20646 Western Muslims' Racist Rape Spree, Sharon Lapkin, December 27, 2005. 

(25) /articles/readarticle.asp?ID =20535&p=1 Muslim Gang Rapes and the Aussie Riots, Sharon Lapkin,  December 15, 2005. 

(26) /Shamoun/prepubescent.htm Muhammad and Aisha Revisited: An Examination of Muhammad's Marriage to a Prepubescent Girl And Its Moral Implications, Sam Shamoun, Answering-Islam, as retrieved April 26, 2006. 

Notes, Part 1. 

1. Muslim-Arab Supremacism In Islam.  

Quoting from the Reliance of the Traveller, Abul Kasem observes that "-the mandatory qualifications of an Islamic caliph are: 1. must be a Muslim 2. must be a male 3. must be from the Quraysh tribe of the Arabs 4. must be a freeman (i.e., not a slave) 5. must be of sound mind. This provision of Islamic law means that the world (the Pan Islamic world) must be ruled by an Arab (from the Quraysh stock, probably from Saudi Arabia or Jordan) and no one else." /AbulKasem/IslamOppressed.htm When is Islam Oppressed? Abul Kasem, Nov. 20, 2005. 

As is often the case, there are inconsistent statements in the ahadith, with some stating "Allah has chosen Arabs above others," etc., but with others contradicting those (see Mohammad's Farewell Address). However, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has recently revealed his Arab supremacist views by endorsing the racist massacres, enslavement, and rape of black Muslims (who are considered lesser Muslims by the Arab Muslims in Sudan), Christians, and animists, that is taking place in Sudan, and calling for the Arab Muslims there to fight against U.N. peacekeepers who may be sent there (Source: /2006/04/nonsensical-bin-laden -calls-for-jihad.html Nonsensical bin Laden Calls for Jihad in Sudan's Darfur, Sudan Watch, April, 23, 2006).  

Apparently the Muslims are not Muslim enough for the Islamist government of Sudan and their associate bin Laden. One victim of the violent campaign, who had been held as a slave by an Arab family, noted of the Black Muslim victims, "They took the religion of Islam, but they didn't take the whole packet," Deng said. "And today, they're paying a price for it." (Source: /content/news/stories/2006/04 /18/20060418GDRslavery.html Speaker talks of slavery in Sudan, Jimmy Ryals, The Daily Reflector, April 18, 2006 

[ Part 2 ]

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