Saturday, 9 March 2013

Stephen Sackur and Timo Soiny: does Sackur not know about pedophilia in Islam or is he dissembling?

BBC's Hard Talk's Stephen Sackur gives Timo Soini a hard time (Feb 22nd) over the statements of one of Soini's Finnish National party members.  To wit: that said member had stated five years ago that the "Prophet Muhammad" was a pedophile and Islam a pedophilic religion.  The party member had been found guilty of the crime of "ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion".
Sackur wanted to know why the party member had not been sacked.
Several things here:
First: "ethnic agitation".  What ethnicity is Islam?  It's multi-ethnic, of course, including ethnic Finns (whatever they might be...).
Second: "Breaching the sanctity of religion": what, is "blasphemy" now to be a crime in Finland?
Third: what about the party member's comments which led to his being charged for this "crime"?  Muhammad, by common knowledge in Islam (the Sirah, official life of Muhammad and reliable Hadith such as Sahih Bukhari) married Aisha when she was six years old and consummated the marriage when she was nine.
One might say "that was then, this is now".  But Muhammad is held in Islam to be the "perfect example of a man", to be emulated unto today.  He "revealed" the Koran, which is inerrant and for all time.
It is revealing that even Muslims who try to deny Muhammad's pedophilia do not do so on the basis that times were different, or that "pedophilia" is understood differently in Islam, but on the basis that Aisha, his pre-pubescent bride, was actually not nine, but nineteen (none of the sound Hadiths supports this, and the Koran specifically allows underage coupling: eg article and comments here). That argument implies an acceptance by Muslim apologists of the fact that pedophilia is sex with children below middle teenage-hood.
As for Islam today: because of Muhammad's actions are normative for Muslims and because the Koran allows underage marriage, sex with young girls is common and accepted (whatever those apologists seek to deny).
If we accept -- as both sides of this argument appear to -- that pedophilia means sex with underage children, then Islam is pedophiliac.  The evidence is widespread in the Muslim world of today (eg child brides in south Asia, of which BBC has itself reported. Even countries lauded as "Moderate Muslim", like Malaysia will marry girls as young as 12, under Sharia law).  Muslim clerics regularly cite Koranic and Islamic jurisprudence in fatwas that justify marriage to and sexual relations with young children including the pre-pubscent.  [See footnote below].
Of course, we could say those are just "our" standards and not those of other religions and cultures.  But that's not what's argued here, in the video -- or even what Muslim apologists suggest, as I noted above. Sackur's position (one ineluctably infers) is simply that there is no pedophilia by Muhammad or Islam and that Soini's party member is guilty of "ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion" for saying that there is.  Yet it is palpably and provably true that both Muhammad and Islam are both pedophilic.
EG: Fatwa 178318, here. There are many similar:
 It is permissible for a man to arrange a marriage for his young son even if he has not reached puberty; it is also permissible for him to arrange a marriage for his young daughter even if she had not reached the age of puberty.