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Go to: Chaplain's E-mail Sparks Controversy

Dune010's Avatar Jump to comment 119 by Dune010

I am still talking about raping a nine year old girl, whatever “social expectations” you might assume as driver – it is and remains immoral and wrong.

Are you still refusing to read what I have written, or are you pretending? Let me quote myself:

"I have not, at any point, been addressing the issue of whether Mohammed's actions were right or wrong."

And you try to weasel out here with some apologetics of “social norm and expectations of the time”.

I am not trying to "weasel" out of anything. I have been consistent in my arguments, and if I change my mind about something in the course of an argument such as this, I acknowledge it. Neither am I offering "apologetics". As I have reminded you above, I am not dealing with the morality of the situation. Instead I am discussing what we, as historians, can really claim. You may well be correct that certain physical attributes are universally attractive, but this is irrelevant as far as my arguments are concerned. I contest that if such marriages were commonplace in Mohammed's society we cannot be certain that he was motivated by a particular taste for nine-year-old girls. It may have been a matter of social expectation. I have said this before. If you disagree, please respond to what I am actually writing.

I just have some photos from history books in my mind about kindergarten age royal marriages. But if you do some digging I am sure you will find lots of centuries old laws of European countries defining minimum ages for marriages.
And even there are some cases of old men marrying 6 year old girls in other countries – it is still wrong !

So, now you are claiming that marriages in medieval Europe were not "between small children, not a bearded 40 year old man with a small girl"? I do not see why this is particularly important. I presume that you were originally responding to the fact that I wrote that "I vaguely remember examples of it [child marriage] from various societies throughout history". As far as I can tell you are only arguing with yourself here.

I think you made some statements which you might not mean that extreme as they appear to us here and put yourself somewhere in a corner where you try now to weasel out.

Is that so? Which "extreme" statements are you referring to exactly? Was it where I claimed that we should be careful about making statements about history that we cannot necessarily support? Dear Lord, no! Save us! I must "weasel" my way out of supporting caution in the study of history before I'm lynched.

I suspect that you are in fact referring to those oh so many occasions when I have claimed that Mohammed was definitely not a paedophile, or that the religion of Islam is fundamentally cute and fluffy.

Sun, 19 Apr 2009 10:56:00 UTC | #350060

Go to: Chaplain's E-mail Sparks Controversy

Dune010's Avatar Jump to comment 116 by Dune010

Roland F,

We are not talking about the age of a symbolic marriage at the age of 6, we are talking about “consuming the marriage“ with 9 years. And whatever your assumed moral values of Arabia during this times are, raping a 9 year old is wrong and pervert ! period.

Honestly, have you read anything that I have written? Let me make it absolutely clear for you. I have not, at any point, been addressing the issue of whether Mohammed's actions were right or wrong. The section that you take your quotation from emphasises that the word "perverted" implies abnormality. Disagree with that definition if you so choose, but to simply claim that something can be perverted regardless of context without any justification is worthless. Furthermore, you have not told me how it is that you can be so certain that Mohammed was motivated by a penchant for young girls and not by social expectations.

And as you claim to have so deep knowledge about the (limited real information) about the life of the prophet (cheese be upon him) you should be aware of the “consummation” of the marriage, not just the symbolic marriage of children, also common in medieval Europe to join kingdoms.

I have made no claim to "deep knowledge", so please do not portray me as arrogant when I have only offered the information at my disposal. I am aware that the sources say that Mohammed's marriage to Aisha was consummated when she was nine. As I have said, I remember reading about various cases of child marriage elsewhere in Europe (although I do not believe that the practice was used only "to join kingdoms"). I do not see the significance of your comments here.

And the main problem is that these immoral acts whether the real historical Mohammed did it or not, are still role models for Islamic societies and the RD.NET here is full of articles about 8 year old girls forced to marry, are raped and sometimes try to escape from their abuser, file for divorce etc. in Muslim countries today.

When was it exactly that I implied that no harm has come from the belief that Mohammed's marriage provides a good example?

In fact I have dealt with this comment before. In post 24 Jamiso makes that same point. I responded in post 30 saying that I agreed that this belief is important, and I made reference to this again in post 49.

PS: child marriges in medieval Europe were between small children, not a bearded 40 year old man with a small girl.

What is your evidence for this?

Sun, 19 Apr 2009 07:30:00 UTC | #350012

Go to: Chaplain's E-mail Sparks Controversy

Dune010's Avatar Jump to comment 111 by Dune010


Hm. Can we say, then, that eighteenth and early nineteenth century slave owners were not, per se, racists? That's not a rhetorical question. I guess we'd need to pin down what is meant by "racist". How about the idea that such people did not necessarily hate or despise blacks?

I think that it would be fair to say that they were not necessarily racists (Rugby, that is how you spell it). There is certainly no reason to assume that they hated black people. Slave owning would certainly be facilitated by a belief that black people were naturally servile, and a slave-owning society may lead to such a belief. I think that it would be fair to describe such a belief as racist. However, I suspect that there will have been people who owned slaves but did not think that those slaves were inherently inferior on account of their race.

Each of these cases must be examined individually, as the words involved have subtle differences that can make all the difference. For example, whether someone is perverted depends on what is considered normal, so it is probably not best to compare the proposed perversion of Mohammed to the proposed racism of Thomas Jefferson. I think that discussing whether Mohammed was a paedophile would make more sense in this context.

It is also interesting how other beliefs can be important in determining whether someone's actions imply a certain state of mind. For example, if the Islamic woman circumcising her granddaughter believes that what she is doing is for the girl's benefit, I would say that she was not a sadist. This is similar to the surgeon who cuts out someone's appendix because he believes that the procedure will save that person's life. If the slave owner believed that life as a slave was not worse than life as a free person then he could rightfully claim that he was not a racist. I imagine that the former case is more common than the latter.


Suffice to say in the arguments you provided there may or may have not been the intent of perversion or sadism, but the acts that necessarilly (dang I hate that word, how do you spell it?) follow are perverse and sadistic.

While an act can be perverse, I would say that this is linked to whether the intention was perverse, as perversion (by definition) is relative to society. I do not see how an act can be sadistic. Sadism is drawing pleasure from the pain of others. If the person does not draw said pleasure then how can the act be sadistic? Acts can certainly be judged separately from the people who commit them. However, words such as sadistic and racist imply intention. You would have to judge them using different words.

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 09:18:00 UTC | #349785

Go to: Chaplain's E-mail Sparks Controversy

Dune010's Avatar Jump to comment 106 by Dune010


You somehow glibly write off mohammeds paedaphelia as not borne of perversion, but some sort of cultural 'thing'.

I am not convinced that he was a paedophile. Of course, he might have been, but it is an issue that I think requires further thought.

Your assumption presumes everybody in mohammeds arabia was okay with paedaphelia, including the children. Just as we see the flaws in our own society, so too can we see the flaws in others.

I am not assuming that. You appear to be assuming that I think that Mohammed's actions were acceptable (assuming that what is said about his relationship with Aisha is accurate). I do not. However, I am not sure that his actions can be attributed to perversion. I do not know how common child marriage was in that place and time, but I vaguely remember examples of it from various societies throughout history. Suppose for a moment that it was very common in Mohammed's society. This would not mean that we would have to consider it acceptable, but it would make it difficult to attribute to perversion. In Mohammed's society it may have been expected that he would marry a girl of that age. It may have been the case that Mohammed was motivated by conforming to social norms, rather than by a particular lust for children.

Another example would be the women who carry out genital mutilation on female relatives. What they do may not be acceptable, but I would hesitate before attributing their actions to sadism. They too, I suspect, are often motivated by tradition.

If anyone has any evidence that Mohammed's marriage was unusual then I would be interested to hear about it.

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 08:16:00 UTC | #349771

Go to: Chaplain's E-mail Sparks Controversy

Dune010's Avatar Jump to comment 100 by Dune010


Islam (the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran) is a cesspool(A filthy, disgusting, or morally corrupt place.)
is that clear?

Islam, as a religion, is offensive to me. I do not like it. So we can agree about that.

I still feel justified in my original assumption that we were talking about the Islamic civilisation of the Near East, rather than the religion of that time and place. You define a cesspool as a "place", which was the impression that I was given by the metaphor as well. The original cancer metaphor (as I said) fits well with religion, but "cesspool" definitely makes me think of a place. As I have consistently emphasised, the appropriateness of a metaphor is a trivial point, but at least now we are talking about the same thing.


Yes, it is appropriate to call Islam a cesspool. Maybe you know little about Mohammed, but I have read about his extreme treachery. He made deals with people and then betrayed them. He made them his friends and then had them killled. This is also the way Islam ws spread for the first couple of hundred years. Convert or die. There was no alternative so it grew by fear.

Have you read what I have written so far? Honestly? You are welcome to contest whether or not the sources for the life of Mohammed are reliable, but this does not appear to be what you are doing. If I am not mistaken, you are either acknowledging that there are source problems ("maybe you know little about Mohammed") and then proceeding to ignore those source problems ("I have read about..."), or you are implying that it is just me who knows little about Mohammed (through my ignorance rather than through an understanding of the source problems) and that through reading about the subject you have obtained information that I have not. Please clarify this for me.

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 04:28:00 UTC | #349731

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