Anti-Muslim Film Obscures Real Islamist Evils
The biggest problem with a crude video like the “Innocence of Muslims” is that it obscures a rational, fact-based discussion of the very real evils underpinning today’s Islamist movement.
Sam Bacile’s badly done, incendiary polemic provokes a psychological reaction that discourages critical thinking. It encourages some people to dismiss the valid evils of current-day Islamists. Or it encourages others to brand Muslims as evil rather than the political and cultural factors that pervert Islam to promote abhorrent practices. (Burn a Quran and Die: Is Islam Evil?)
NOTE: I use the words “Islamist” to refer to today’s violent, intolerant hijacking of Islam by those who manipulate religion for their own personal and political goals. “Islamist” is not a synonym for “Muslim.” or “Islam.” In fact, I consider them exact opposites.
In my fact-based, faith-driven thrillers (Die By Wire, Perfect Killer and Daughter of God) I always focus on the chasm that exists between faith and its frequent perversions by power-hungry religious authorities and the “deals with the Devil” that they usually cut with governments and cultures.
Those deals with the Devil provoke and perpetuate many evils.
In Daughter of God (which was soundly plagiarized by The Da Vinci Code) I focused on the oppression of women by the Catholic Church and its predecessors, looking at the factors that caused concepts of God to evolve from female to male.
In Perfect Killer , I used racial discrimination in my birth state of Mississippi, to look at how fundamentalist Protestant theology persecuted people of color and other faiths (primarily Jews and Catholics).
And in Die By Wire — my newest book — I took a look at how backward cultural practices and totalitarian, male power hunger drove deaths and degradation of Muslim women.
One of those disgusting cultural practices I dealt with in Die By Wire is the perpetuation of the practice of child brides — essentially the sanctioned rape of girls as young as nine. (See: Stop The Global Horror Of Child Brides)
RELIGIOUS “PEDOPHILIA” ONCE WIDESPREAD
Enlightened people today find that disgusting. But it’s vital to realize that child brides were once a widespread and accepted practice among all culture, even in the United States and other developed countries up to 150 years ago. This was provably the case among Christians, Jews and those of other world cultures in the year 610 A.D. which is the traditional date for the founding of Islam.
The Islam=pedophile accusations are usually based on the anecdotal belief that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a pedophile because one of his wives, A’ishah was supposedly just eight years old when he first had intercourse with her.
At the very bottom of this article, you will find an entire fact-based chapter dealing with this issue from my book, Die By Wire.
Of course, this interpretation has been disputed. It could have been an attempt by early transcribers of the Qu’ran to add enough verbiage so that it legitimized the cultural practice of the time. These sorts of justification-by-scripture have been provably documented in other major scriptures like the Christian and Jewish bibles.
But challenging anything at all in the Qu’ran today is apostasy that’s punishable by death. It’s the reason that any Qu’ranic scholar brave enough to write about the development of the Qu’ran can escape death only by writing under a pseudonym.
Of course, there was a time in the not all that distant future when challenging the words of the Christian bible could also get you killed. But Western culture has evolved to reject that form or lethal censorship just as it has come to abhor child brides and other practices.
CULTURE AND RELIGIOUS PRACTICE INEXTRICABLY LINKED
The point here is that culture, power games and societal pressure often have more influence upon the behavior of religious adherents than their faith or their scriptures. That distinction needs to be heard and understood before any attempts to deal with it can succeed.
That is why “Innocence” obscures the real evils and thwarts the sort of intelligent consideration that might eventually bring benefit to the world.
Finally, understanding the origins of abhorrent cultural practices like child brides should never mean those practices should be condoned. They should be vigorously opposed. Certainly, many will see condemnation of child brides as an attack on Islam. Others, like Bacile, will see them as a poor excuse to attack the faith rather than the cultural practice.
And both of those misguided attitudes will continue to succeed as long as rational, thinking people fail to understand the difference.
Zahra had been Mira’s spotter and guide in Ossetia. Her keen mind and photographic memory could log targets, prioritize them, then later create the indictment that became their death sentence.
Maarika handed Zahra the remote control, then stood in the shadows just beyond the screen.
Without preamble, Zahra lifted the remote.
Aliyah sat next to a man with graying hair who looked like a father or grandfather.
“This is a wedding photo. Aliyah and her husband.”
Mira’s took a deep breath. Swallowed against her anger and sought the cold places in her mind. Emotions at this point were counterproductive to the mission. She exhaled.
Zahra’s eyes connected with Mira’s for a moment, then pulled back to encompass the entire room.
“Aliyah is eleven years old, the child of this woman.”
A woman who looked on the far side of forty.
“This photo of Aliyah’s mother was taken on her twenty-fifth birthday, a week before the husband discarded her.”
“According to shariah, Islamic law, as it’s been incorrectly interpreted for centuries — all a man needs to do to dump a wife is to say ‘I divorce you’ three times. It’s probably a pre-Islam cultural artifact. But that doesn’t really matter because it’s the reality on the ground today.”
The terrified countenance of a weeping woman, buried standing up with just her shoulders and head showing.
“After the divorce, her brothers stoned her to death for having an unchaperoned meeting with a man.
“But just when you think things cannot get more perverse, we must embrace Aliyah,” Zahra continued. “The man in the photo here, Aliyah’s husband, is her first cousin, her father’s brothers eldest son. He’s forty-one, but looks older because life is hard in the countryside outside of Quetta.
“Marriage among close relatives in the Islamic world is common,” she continued. “The Center for Arab Genomic Studies in Dubai found that Arabs have the highest rate of genetic defects in the world, and that 63 percent of those come from in-breeding. Despite that, the Dutch government has been warned that if it fails to honor the legality of such marriages, or those of very young girls, it will be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and would lose its case in court in Strasbourg.”
In unison, every head in the room rolled in disbelief.
Mira struggled with the angry fist clenched in her gut.
“Faulty but widely followed interpretations of shariah allow girls as young as nine to be married,” Zahra continued. “And for that marriage to be consummated sexually. Some Islamic countries have tried to outlaw this form of institutional incest and pedophilia, but the laws have had little effect on practice. I do not blame Islam for this. People of all faiths will practice their culture even when it runs counter to their holy scriptures.”
Eleven broad, astonished faces perfectly reflected the light from Aliyah’s innocent expression.
“Aliyah got pregnant on her wedding night. She died in childbirth eight and a half months later. Her hips had not developed sufficiently to allow an adequate birth canal. The baby died too.
“But she was lucky in her own way,” Zahra said. “If she had survived, she would likely have developed an obstetric fistula.”
Blank looks from half the women.
“Caused by a narrow birth canal. The baby’s head presses too hard against the pubic bone. That cuts off circulation to the vagina and to the bladder or the colon and opens up holes among them. Tissue dies, gangrene sets in. If the victim survives, body waste leaks through the permanent wounds. Incontinence, horrible odors. The girl is seen as unclean. Ostracism, and abandonment follow. You connect the dots.
“Most of you have never heard of obstetric fistula because it has long disappeared from the developed world. But it’s a growing problem in regions linked to forced marriages and child brides having babies.”
The banally evil man again.
“Like many other commodities, child bride supply suffers from geographical trade imbalances,” Zahra said. “In the same manner that this man moves microwave ovens and bulk sulfur from where they are in abundance to locations with ready customers, so too does he deliver young girls to satisfy a ready market demand.”
She nodded to the audience.
“It is a growing market worldwide,” Zahra continued. “In the Netherlands alone, the import of child brides has risen more than thirty percent in the past two years and tops 15,000. What’s more, the traffic goes both ways. Every summer when school ends here in the Netherlands, girls disappear from the system, sent back for a forced marriage in the home country. Significantly, it’s big business.”
Screen captures from a web site, the writing in Arabic. It resembled a school yearbook with rows and columns of photos of young girls.
“Most of the largest web sites like this one accept their substantial payments via our target’s hawala system. And use his transport system for delivery of the goods.”
“The main sites have more than 7 million subscribers lusting over 1.2 million young girls.”
Scroll wheel. Page bottom.
“There,” Zahra said. “Next-to-last row. Second from the right.”
She waited. Some in the room leaned forward for a better view.
“Many young girls are imported one by one as a business deal between poor relatives in the old country and those here who wish to buy a bride. But most are physically smuggled here by this man who receives thousands of dollars for the purchase and transport. All handled by this man’s hawala network.”
“Aliyah was smuggled in, jammed in with twelve other girls in a hidden compartment in an Antonov cargo jet owned by this man’s network. Only one of the bride buyers paid our target extra for solid identity papers. Without those, a girl spends her life as a sex slave.
“Aliyah had no papers. Her owner-husband locked her in a dark bedroom and raped her repeatedly. She died in childbirth in the bloody bathroom of a government-subsidized apartment in Osdorp. Southwest Amsterdam. Not far from us.”
“A Caesarian would have saved Aliyah’s life, but without papers, taking her to a doctor or to an emergency room would have exposed the husband to a world of legal problems. So she and her baby died.”
Zahra squinted, made her face solid and strong, then surrendered the remote to Maarika. Mira saw the tears in Zahra’s eyes as she reclaimed her seat.
“In addition to the child bride sex trade, evidence confirms this man’s empire commits tens of thousands of evil, and illegal acts every day, all around the globe,” Maarika said. “Governments have failed to stop him. But when we take him out, that will not only strike a blow for Aliyah and her sisters in slavery, it will stop his other evil too.”
A light scattering of politely enthusiastic applause rippled through the shadows. Maarika turned to Mira.
“Please ask your questions to the Sisters who have created this mission. You’ll have the opportunity to review the indictment materials afterwards.”
Read more and get more free samples at Amazon, Die By Wire