ISLAM, SEX, & THE TERROR WAR
By Alan Caruba
A quick look at the Judeo-Christian tradition shows how its creators felt conflicted about women. Eve, of course, gets the blame for the expulsion from Eden. If one reads the Ten Commandments, it is noteworthy they include injunctions against adultery and against coveting the wife of your neighbor. So, sex and the problems that can arise from it were on the minds of the writers of the laws set forth for Jews. In both the Old and New Testaments, a great deal of thought is devoted to the relationship of men and women. There is even debate today over the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The early Church fathers converted her from a beloved apostle of Jesus to a prostitute. When it comes to religion, women do not fare well.
Muhammad, an Arab merchant with what appears to be a powerful sex drive, promulgated some significant changes, as he put together Islam in order to bring the various Arabian tribes under his control. The most obvious change he instituted was the right of a man to have four wives. When Muhammad took a fancy to the wife of an adopted son, Ziad, a quick divorce ensued and a marriage followed (Koran 33:37). Muhammad was given special dispensation (Koran 33:50) to have a score of wives and concubines. His second wife after the death of his first was literally a child who was married off to him at the age of six and had her marriage consummated at age nine. He was 53 at the time.
The notion of four wives is clearly out of step with the Judeo-Christian tradition of one man and one woman forming an exclusive union. Multiple marriages (for men only) were, however, an effective way for Muhammad to induce early converts to Islam. Moreover, under Islam, a man could also keep any number of concubines. There’s even a mechanism to sanction what we in the West would call “one night stands” and what Muslims have called a “m’uta marriage.” It is banned by Sunnis, but reportedly still permitted by Shiites. In short, men were given license to satisfy their lust and, at the same time, produce more children to increase the population of Muslims.
Muslim apologists maintain that women have equal rights, but Muslims recommend, above all other considerations, that a woman be a virgin when she marries and that she marry early. Islam appears to limit sex exclusively to marriage, but historically Muslim men were given access to as many women as they could afford, as wives, as concubines, or as “right hand possessions”, i.e., women captured in war. Conversely, sex between two unmarried people is regarded as “filthy.” Indeed, sex and hygiene is the subject of detailed attention.
Islamic laws and traditions regarding sex are extensive and detailed. The most intimate details of sex are discussed and the actions to be taken before and after are described. Where Islam is the state religion, there is a pathological obsession with “modesty” that Westerners would call “puritanical,” in terms of their own society.
The extent to which the reaction of much of Middle Eastern Islam to Western attitudes and behavior about sex fuels the widespread terror war cannot be known. If Muslim men were to lose the actual control their societies and cultures exercise over women, it would undermine much of the reason to be a Muslim.
Lust, however, has no religion. A religion that loses its control over this aspect of its adherents’ lives, is in trouble. Even in America, the power of religion to influence behavior is reflected in the battle over the issue of abortion and, now, same-sex marriages. Religious beliefs concerning the existence of God, modesty of dress and behavior, and marital fidelity remain strong in America, even if popular culture appears to flaunt them. As regards the current tenor of popular culture, Hollywood rarely has reflected widely held beliefs based in Judeo-Christian traditions.
This is not to say that religion anywhere is having much success curbing lust. The sex trade worldwide is rampant. Pornography has become a multi-billion dollar business, especially via the Internet. The Catholic Church is trying to deal with revelations of widespread pederasty among its priests. Episcopalians are facing a major church schism over the ordination of a homosexual bishop. Worldwide, films and television in many nations encourage a casual attitude toward sex. The spread of AIDS is testimony to the failure of both religions and governments to make much impact on this lethal disease.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the reaction of fundamentalist Muslims regarding issues involving sex. This is not to suggest that Islam’s holy warriors are more or less lustful than any other people, but that their religion prohibits any open expression of sexual attraction, holding hands, kissing in public, or dressing provocatively. So, while Islam can be extraordinarily candid about sex, it still is something it wants restricted to the marriage chamber. Adultery can rate a death sentence in some Muslim nations.
We now live in a time when fundamentalist elements of the Islamic population are waging a worldwide terror war to preserve the seventh century sexual traditions of a fringe culture and laws set down by a man whose own sex life must surely astonish and even appall any Muslim who examines it. When it comes to sex, the Islamic holy war is being fought in the name of a man who did not feel restrained by the rules of his own era.
Many Muslims look upon the West with an arrogant sense of moral superiority. It’s not that Western behavior is anything to brag about, but it surely isn’t a good reason for which to be killed either.
The Middle East & the Arabs
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
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American Government 1