Before I begin, I must warn you, as with my last post, that in some places I will have to repeat myself by quoting previous responses to REASON INFUSION. This cannot be avoided because he tends to repeat himself often.
I would also like to note that REASON INFUSION disallows embedding his videos, disallows comments on his videos, and, to date, has refused to link back to those who he is replying to. This is not a blanket policy of his. If you take a look at his other videos, e.g. here, they remain open for comments. If he doesn't want to allow comments, then that is fine by me, but his refusal to link back to us means his viewers have no immediate way of reading these responses from Blackmore and I.
This is not anything new. Years ago, the notable critic Dr. Ali Sina was in a written debate with Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a well-known Pakistani Muslim scholar who gives legal advice on Islamic issues to the Pakistani Government and the Parliament. If my memory serves me correctly, half way through the debate, Sina's website, FaithFreedom International, was banned in Pakistan and Ghamidi refused to host their exchange on his own website.
This only further proves what an epic waste of my time it is to reply to this nonsense, but, at least with this last batch of videos, reply I shall.
Denial of Islam's Role & Theological Justification of the "Arab" Slave Trade
REASON INFUSION continually begins his videos by asking himself, but never really answering, the question, "how can a black man be Muslim in light of the Arab slave trade?" As Blackmore notes in his reply, this is the wrong question. The question he should be asking himself is, "how can a black man be Muslim in light of the Islamic slave trade?"
Sure, Arab slavery, in fact, slavery itself, existed long before the birth of Muhammad and Islam. The slavery of Africans by the Europeans is but a tiny link in the long history of human enslavement, and each link in this long chain is as abhorrent and worthy of condemnation as the next. But, according to REASON INFUSION, this is not so.
He tells us of the many innocent Africans who were enslaved by the Europeans, but never discusses the innocent white Europeans who were also enslaved and raped by African Muslims. He repeatedly tells us of innocent blacks who were lynched by whites, but never discusses the innocent non-Muslims who still are to this very day lynched by Muslim mobs on charges of "blaspheming Islam", charges which are false 95% of the time.
In fact, being the hypocrite that he is, REASON INFUSION actually gives his seal of approval to slavery carried out at certain times. But why is this, if we are to believe that Islam condemns slavery and if we are to believe that Islamic slavery was in fact "Arab" slavery?
Before Islam, slavery to most Arabs was tribal. With the advent of Islam, Muhammad took it out of the tribal and into the religious sphere. Slavery, sexual or otherwise, is a legitimate part of Islamic theology and is partly entwined within the doctrine of Jihad. The offspring of two slaves are automatically slaves by birth, and the enslavement of enemy combatants, their women and their children during jihad is permissible under Islam.
This is why today we still see "slave families" being inherited from one slave-owner to another in places like Yemen. This is why today we still see Muslims defend slavery by claiming "It is our religion and custom," and asking "Why does the international community try to stop it?" in countries like Mauritania. This is why today we see a female Kuwaiti activist and former candidate for parliament pushing for sex-slave laws in the hope that Muslim Chechens can enslave non-Muslim Russian women into a life of sexual abuse at the hands of Kuwaiti Muslim men. This is why today we see Egyptian Shaykhs advocating jihad raids a few times a year to bring back women and children who can be sold in the market "like groceries" to bring in extra income. And this is why hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Christians and Animists have been enslaved by Muslims.
Yes, there may be "Arab" nationalist overtones present in some cases, but this is all legitimized and justified by the predominant religions of the slavers and the enslaved. As a result, we see wide-spread denial by Muslims of the atrocities that have and still are being committed in the name of Islam. And it is not "Anti-Islamists" who claim their motivations are religious, it is the Muslims themselves who do this.
Keeping Harems full of sex-slaves is a decidedly non-Western tradition. A tradition upheld by Muhammad and the early Muslims. Whilst having sex with your slaves would have probably been frowned upon by Western slavers, this was, and still is, not the case with the Eastern Islamic slavers. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims. And who would be put on guard of these harems? Black male slaves who were violently, and often (about 8-9 out of every 10) fatally castrated by their Muslim masters.
I mention all of this because using slaves as a convenient sexual release, and the trading of slaves obtained through jihad, was practiced by both Muhammad and the early Muslims.
In essence, the Qur'an tells us Muhammad is allowed to sexually defile "those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war" [Qur'an 33:50], and there are copious amounts of Sahih Hadith narrations that discuss how to correctly have sex with your slaves and non-Muslim captives obtained as "booty" through jihad.
The hadith tell us that Muslims practiced "coitus interruptus [al-'Azl, or the practice of pulling out the penis prior to ejaculation] while the Quran was being revealed" [Sahih Bukhari 7:62:136]. We are told in many different narrations that, Muhammad's men, who were allotted female captives as their share of the booty, approached Muhammad and asked him about this because they did not want to lower the market value of their "merchandise" by impregnating them. What did Muhammad, the "perfect" example, advise them to do? Did he instruct them to stop raping their captives? No, he tells them to not bother pulling out and to simply cum inside them because "No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence" [Sahih Bukhari 3:34:432].
In another Sahih hadith, we again read something similar, where a Muslim seeks Muhammad's advice by telling him that he has had intercourse (i.e. raped) his slave-girl but does not want her to conceive. Note that this particular girl was not a concubine (i.e. non-Muslim sex slaves like those owned by Muhammad), she was only a "servant who carried water". The difference here is the fact that Muhammad explicitly gives his seal of approval to the rape of female slaves by replying, "Practise 'azl, if you so like, but what is decreed for her will come to her" [Sahih Muslim 8:3383]. Yet the hypocrite REASON INFUSION condemns some of the repulsive founding fathers of America for having intercourse (i.e. raping) black slaves but will not condemn Muhammad, the four Caliphs of Islam (including his son-in-law who even beat a female slave in front of Muhammad [Ibn Ishaq:496]), and the early Muslims for doing the very same thing with their non-Muslim slaves.
When Muhammad and his army besieged the Jewish Banu Qurayza, Sahih hadith tell us that "He [Muhammad] then killed their men and distributed their women, children and property among the Muslims" and spared the few who converted to Islam [Sahih Bukhari 5:59:362]. In another hadith, we are told that the "men" Muhammad slaughtered, weren't only men but male children "who had begun to grow hair (pubes)". [Abu Dawud 38:4390]. In the Sirat literature (which together with the hadith form Muhammad's Sunnah) we are told that Muhammad then "took his fifth of the booty," [Ishaq:465] that he "selected for himself from among the Jewish women of the Qurayza, Rayhanah bt. Amr. She became his concubine. When he predeceased her, she was still in his possession. When the Messenger of Allah took her as a captive, she showed herself averse to Islam and insisted on Judaism," [Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 38] and that "the Messenger of Allah sent Sa’d bin Zayd with some of the Qurayza captives to Najd, and in exchange for them he purchased horses and arms" [Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, pp. 39-40]
Now to REASON INFUSION; is that Arab slavery or Islamic slavery committed by Muhammad and his followers? And when Muslims, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, enslave others explicitly using Islam and Muhammad as justifications, are they participating in the "Arab" slave trade or the Islamic slave trade?
REASON INFUSION bemoans my linking to anti-Islam pages, but I do this more out of convenience than out of necessity. In fact most of the links I have posted thus far lead to news articles or hadith texts taken directly from the online Compendium of Muslim Texts. Of course this is not possible with all the primary sources, some which are unavailable elsewhere online. However, I do own the Sirat Rasul Allah and all 40 volumes of al-Tabari's History, among other text, and could always needlessly waste more of my time by typing out the quotes manually. But even the white-wash provided by the BBC (which never explains what they mean by a "legitimate jihad") concludes that,
"The Prophet Muhammad did not try to abolish slavery, and bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves himself"
"The legality of slavery in Islam, together with the example of the Prophet Muhammad, who himself bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves, may explain why slavery persisted until the 19th century in many places (and later still in some countries)."
"Slaves were owned in all Islamic societies, both sedentary and nomadic, ranging from Arabia in the centre to North Africa in the west and to what is now Pakistan and Indonesia in the east. Some Islamic states, such as the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate, and the Sokoto caliphate [Nigeria], must be termed slave societies because slaves there were very important numerically as well as a focus of the polities' energies."
Pakistani, Turk, Indonesian, and Fulani Muslim slavers of the Sokoto Caliphate can hardly be considered "Arab". The only commonality they possess is their religion, Islam.
|African Fulani women|
The Fulani were the first people south of the desert to become Muslims, and were responsible for spreading Islam throughout West Africa through a series of jihads, joining with Ousemane dan Fodio in the 18th Century. They formed Islamic Fulani empires in many places, notably in Maasina in Mali, Sokoto in Nigeria, Adamawa in northern Cameroon, Fouta Tooro in Senegal, and Fouta Jaalon in Guinea.
As they conquered different towns and peoples, they would take captives from those tribes. Those captives became their slaves, adopting the language and lifestyle of the Fulani, and working their fields for them.
Another form of slavery using religion explicitly as justification would be the Devshirme:
Devshirme (derived from , "collection, gathering"; called "collection of boys" or "blood tax" in Balkan countries in their native languages) was the systematic abduction of young boys from conquered Christian lands by the Ottoman sultans as a form of regular taxation in order to build a loyal slave army (formerly largely composed of war captives) and the class of (military) administrators called the "Janissaries", or other servants such as tellak in hamams. . Boys delivered to the Ottomans in this way were called ghilmán or acemi oglanlar ("novice boys").
Tu Quoque or not Tu Quoque?
REASON INFUSION then moves onto using the tu quoque ("you too") logical fallacy against my nationality/ethnicity (a fallacy which he, in the first video, hilariously attempted to lecture me on, when it was him and only him who has ever employed it in this discussion). He once again quotes statistics on child abuse and other forms of oppression in Bangladesh in an attempt to stifle discussion on Islam by trying to undermine the credibility of its critics and shift the focus away from Islam. Rather than repeat myself, I will simply quote my previous reply to this patent nonsense with some (actually, a lot of) additional thoughts at the end:
As I predicted but did not seriously expect in my previous response, now that REASON INFUSION is aware that I am not white, and now that he is unable to use his stock tu quoque arguments against me, he has moved onto my South Asian/Bangladeshi ethnicity/nationality. He proceeds to roll out statistics on child abuse etc. in my overwhelming Muslim country of Bangladesh, and (in his second video) notes issues such as bride-burning which are prevalent in some areas of South Asia. He then begs the question, why have I not condemned such things or have not linked to sites which address those issues?
In essence, he is saying critics of Islam and their websites should be ignored if they do not also have a billion other links denouncing every incident of oppression and injustice that has ever taken place. Sorry to disappoint, but reality just doesn't work like that. Even if you tried, it would be an impossible feat.
Would you criticize a British children's charity or claim that they are morally inconsistent and insincere for not discussing British slavery, imperialism, war, oppression and so forth? Of course you would not. To do so would be ridiculous. And assuming that these children's charities do not equally condemn those other things because they, to your knowledge, have not discussed them would be equally ridiculous.
This blog is only a tiny part of my life, and, as its name suggests, it focuses on Islam and issues related to it. REASON INFUSION has no idea of what I do elsewhere or the issues I have spoken out against. Indeed, I have spoken of child labor, abuse, and other issues related to Bangladesh and South Asia in general, and I didn't need a pompous, vulgar hypocrite like REASON INFUSION to goad me into doing so. It goes without saying that I condemn barbaric and backward practices such as bride-burning.
As I pointed out previously to REASON INFUSION, there is a time and place for everything. Unless he is viewing a website that is specifically designed to be a source of information on completely unrelated topics, i.e. an Encyclopaedia of general knowledge, it is completely moronic of him or anyone else to expect them to stray very far from their subject matter. But this is something that he fails to understand. Or at least fails to acknowledge when trying to silence critics of Islam. I say this because his constant tu quoque diversions onto other unrelated topics only reveal his own hypocrisy.
I am a Bangladeshi. On this particular blog I discuss issues concerning Islam and have always condemned racism and the use of Islam as a leverage for so-called critics to push their racist views. Yet REASON INFUSION quotes statistics on abuse in Bangladesh (which btw is a Muslim majority country) and mentions bride-burnings (presumably because, as with bride-burnings, Hinduism is the religion most associated with South Asians) and then ignorantly begs the questions, why have I not condemned any of those things?
Let us now turn the tables and apply REASON INFUSION's odd moral standards and requirements to himself. REASON INFUSION is an African-American Muslim. He discusses issues concerning blacks and condemns white barbarity. But....
Why hasn't he, up until now, discussed/condemned the fact that 4 out of 5 Middle-Eastern women (Islam being their predominant religion) are sexually abused between the ages of 3 and 6 by family members?
Why hasn't he discussed/condemned the fact that 94% of Yemeni children (2-14 yrs) are subjected to violence from a parent or guardian, and more than half of all Yemeni girls are married before reaching puberty?
He tells us of the many innocent Africans who were enslaved by the Europeans, but why hasn't he specifically discussed/condemned the fact that 1.25 million innocent white Europeans were also enslaved and raped by African Muslims?
He repeatedly tells us of innocent blacks who were lynched by racist white monsters, but why hasn't he discussed/condemned the fact that (as of March 2011) more than 30 people accused of Blasphemy under Pakistani law have been killed by Muslim lynch mobs?
Why hasn't he discussed/condemned the fact that 1 out of 3 British Muslims aged 16 to 24 believe that Muslim apostates like myself should be executed?
With REASON INFUSION being a Muslim and an African-American, I could also point out similar, yet probably less alarming, statistics on the United States and sub-Saharan Africa, so why has he failed to condemn any of these statistics on Muslims, Americans, and Africans in his videos?
As a Muslim, as an American, and as a black man, the fact that he has not singled out each specific issue and its related statistic and then publicly condemned them, does not in anyway mean he condones any of it, but according to REASON INFUSION's own twisted “logic” he does support all of this and therefore has no right to criticize whites for their slavery of Africans. According to his own logic, it is he who is a “hypocrite”, and it is he who is “slick in his condemnation”.
In addition to repeating what he had said in his previous video, he now discusses Hindus and India in relation to bride-burning. As I have already stated, I do not need a pompous, vulgar hypocrite like him to spur me into "self" criticism, something which Muslims appear incapable of doing. I am highly critical of many aspects of South Asian culture. And it goes without saying that I condemn barbaric and backward practices such as bride-burning.
But more to the point, why is he bringing up such a weak tu quoque defense for Islamic slavery? In addition to having nothing to do with slavery, I am neither Hindu nor Indian. My ancestors may have been Hindu and Indian, but my parents and all relations are Muslim and Bangladeshi. What, do we all look the same to him? Judging by his virulent racism towards whites, whom he dubs as a "savage" kind, I wouldn't put it past him. He also conveniently leaves out the fact that Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan also partake in this barbaric practice.
To be fair to REASON INFUSION, he does state that Hindu scriptures do not promote bride-burning. But why then does he even bring this up in a discussion on religion (more specifically a discussion on slavery in Islam)? If there were no religious basis for the slavery, past and present, carried out by Muslims, I would not be having this discussion, or at least the discussion would not be about Islam.
Going back to the point of child sexual abuse in Bangladesh, something which I obviously condemn, isn't it a little hypocritical of REASON INFUSION to bring this, and also the issue of child brides, into the discussion when millions of girls are being abused all over the world explicitly because of Islam? For, what else are contemporary Islamic pedophilic marriages, if not religiously sanctified child sexual abuse?
As with slavery, pedophilic marriages are justified in Islam by the example set by Muhammad who at the age of 51 married Aisha, his "favorite" wife, when she was only six lunar years old, and consummated his marriage with her when she was only 9 lunar years old (making her possibly 8 years old according to the Gregorian calender we all use today). Many "reformists" who conveniently spend all their time trying to "refute" critics rather than actually attempting reform by discussing it with fellow Muslims, have tried only recently to deny this, but none of their arguments stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny.
Muhammad and Aisha's relationship is widely used today to hinder attempts by developing countries to move forward by banning child marriages. For example; in countries like Yemen, Bangladesh (yes, my country, the country which REASON INFUSION ironically attempts to malign), and Northern Nigeria, recent attempts at reforming laws and banning child marriages have been opposed and stopped on the grounds that such a ban would be "un-Islamic".
In his video, REASON INFUSION further maligns my nationality by quoting a report that says "Bangladeshis are alarmingly tolerant of child abuse". Well, is this really a surprise when attempts to stop Islamic child abuse in my country are met with a response from a Mufti who threatens to "wage jihad in the country if the government will pass any law banning child marriage"? Mufti Amini states that "two hundred thousand Jihadists of his group are ready to 'sacrifice' lives if any such law, which goes against "Koran and Sunnah" will be passed by the current government in the country". And which part of Muhammad's Sunnah does it go against? You've guessed it, his pedophilic marriage to Aisha. He states:
"Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam, who also married minor Ayesha, when she was just eight years old. The new law initiated by the current government will put the moral character of the prophet into controversy and challenge."
Humans are all the same underneath. Who we are and where we're born does not change that. What does change us is our beliefs, especially religious ones. If it is true that they are "alarmingly tolerant of child abuse", this is not a result of who they are, it's a result of what they believe.
There are also some cases where Muhammad and Aisha's relationship is used to effectively "turn back the clock" by legalizing child marriages in places they were previously illegal. For example; in 2010, the Malaysian State of southern Malacca legalized child marriages specifically between adult Muslim men and young Muslim girls below the age of 16. Ivy Josiah, the executive director of the Women's Aid Organisation, noted "Child marriage amounts to paedophilia ... It is really a regressive move. It is turning back the clock." The same thing is also being attempted in post-"Arab Spring" Egypt, a country which is currently in the middle of further Islamization.
Doesn't REASON INFUSION have any shame? He brings up child abuse and marriages in an attempt to somehow justify Islamic slavery, yet fails to condemn Islam which is possibly the biggest cause of child sexual abuse in the world today. Just read some of the heart-breaking statistics on the subject. This Islamically approved abuse of children is now also spreading to Western countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States
Even the physical abuse of children has been approved by Muhammad, who in several hadiths instructed parents to "Command a boy to pray when he reaches the age of seven years. When he becomes ten years old, then beat him for prayer" [Abu Dawud 2:494]. This has resulted in just that; Muslim parents/guardians/teachers in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh (yes, again, the country which REASON INFUSION singles-out for its abuse of children, ironically in an attempt to defend Islam) and even in Western countries like Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom beating their children (in some cases, to death) for not praying/reciting the Qur'an.
Okay, that's it for now. In the next part I shall be covering crime statistics in the West which REASON INFUSION decided to bring into the discussion, and the conversion, especially of women, to Islam in the West.