Critical Thinking: “Joys of Muslim Women” Forward Debunked Item-By-Item

I recently saw the forward, “Joys of Muslim Women” as a meme/forward making the rounds on Facebook (19,212 shares as of this writing), and I naturally sought out some kind of snopes-gotcha link to counterpost, but turns out all I could really find was far too vague, as if no one wanted to touch it with a 40-foot pole. The snopes article for it, as of June 2016, only says “mixture” and only mixture they’re willing to mention is that it’s misattributed to Nonie Darwish; that she did write other things that attempt to ‘expose’ Muslim practices, but that the list attributed to her isn’t precisely any of the words she wrote — but doesn’t say which parts are actually mixed up.

Well, challenge accepted.

I am an American from non-Muslim lineage (to my knowledge). I am well-versed in the judeochristian text, for comparison. If you’re a Christian reading this to hopefully gain an advantage in spewing your filth at Muslims or their faith in general, I think you’re in for a pretty big surprise concerning your own text. I believe myself to be and identify as being among the “People of the Book” that heed the Abrahamic YHWH as the true God, and I place the transgressionless works (of whom English-speakers call) Jesus Christ in place of my own, as my sole defense regarding the throne judgment review of one’s life which ascertains to what degree of righteousness I possess.

Critical Thinking Applied Here

How would you go about fairly characterizing ANYTHING as being “in the Muslim faith” in the first place? For my purposes, let’s assume that there must be a specific law that can be referenced or cited, that even remotely suggests directly that something “Muslim” is actually even real, AND that is does actually apply to a statistically significant body of believers.

Let’s RULE OUT anything that a Muslim individual has ever done, because people, in general, act in their own interests. It is not logically sound to propose that “since a Muslim individual did it once ever, it is therefore a Muslim practice,” in the same way it isn’t logically sound to propose that, “since a Christian (or American) individual did it once, it is therefore a Christian (or American) practice.”

Let’s RULE OUT the actions of one single tribunal or one single flawed judgment of a single court that only governs a small area, as if it were applicable to all people. In the same way that Americans under the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin must abide by the assertions that court makes, that “Americans” are not bound by that same assertion necessarily, since there are millions and millions of other Americans who live and operate outside of that court’s jurisdiction.

Laws and rulings in America get turned over all the time. If you can cite a reference to some 2003 ruling that a smaller court ruled that the defendant’s shooting of someone from Mexico in self defense was justified, it would make no sense to reason it’s perfectly fine to just shoot anyone who is from Mexico. What if there was a higher court’s ruling that reversed that 2003 judgment, and gave the shooter the death penalty? You’d be leaving out that detail.

YOU MUST APPLY THE SAME STANDARD to rulings and laws that you cite from Muslim-dominated countries.

An individual is responsible for his/her own actions, and the actions they take are not representative of a larger body of individuals, even if that individual is literally employed as a representative of the faith. For example, if a protestant Christian man, who is an elder in his church, rapes someone: it is not fair to say that this rape is something that “Christians” do or “in the Christian faith, you can rape.”

Similarly, if a person who identifies as Muslim, and is even established as a kind of expert or official on behalf of the faith, rapes someone: it is by the same standard not logical to presume that crime to be somehow a “Muslim” practice.

If you cannot grasp or disagree with this, then this article is too complex for you to understand.

In order to prove that something is “in the Muslim faith” you’re going to have to cite specifically a directive, law, code, or otherwise institution of legal authorization by which any diligent and thoughtful student, earnest in honesty, that does actually apply to all, or a statistically significant majority of “Muslims” and not strictly limited to just a single township or bizarre sect by which all others may be compared. Also, to establish your case of innocence, you must also prove that there ISN’T an identical or similar statute that can point to your own authorization of the same thing.

If you allow the tenets or cited text of a single, bizarre sect to account for all Muslims, then in order to not be hypocritical, then you must allow for any strange bylaw for any strange Christian-like cult, even if it applies only to that cult’s members, to be considered for all Christians. If you can find a bylaw in the Ku Klux Klan’s or Westboro Baptist’s teaching materials that authorizes hate speech, then you must consider that authorization as applicable to all Americans or all Christians, IF you insist on simultaneously claiming that something is “Muslim” just because you found a single reference to it in some little sect that authorizes it.

If you wish to cite something specific, such as “in the KKK, you’re allowed to,” or “in the bylaws of the Westboro Baptist church, you’re allowed to,” then fine — do so, if you can find a specific reference that applies to that small section of people. However, DO NOT attempt to propose that “since a bylaw of the Westboro Baptist church says so” says something is authorized, that the same authorization must therefore be “Christian” or “American” even if the land in which the Westboro Baptist church operates is within the stereotypical “Christian” governance of the “Christian” America.

Likewise, if you wish to cite something specific, such as “in the town of Basra, Iraq, you’re allowed to,” then fine — do so, if you can find a specific reference that applies to that small section of people. However, DO NOT attempt to propose that “since the city code of Basra, Iraq, says so” that the same authorization must therefore apply to all Iraqis, or all Muslims, even if the land in which Basra, Iraq operates is within the stereotypical governance of a “Muslim” country.

The forward in question does not obey these rules.

This forward does not establish what it means by “Muslim” specifically — if that applies to only residents of a statistically-significant Muslim population (who could, for instance, be Christians living there, as well as people who are just ordinary citizens who have no particular Muslim affiliation other than just living there. It does not establish what it means by “in the Muslim faith” because there is more than one “Muslim faith” in same way that “in the Christian faith” according to protestants can be wildly different to the codes followed by those “in the Christian faith” according to Catholics.

This forward does not establish locale, jurisdiction, dates or times when the ruling came into effect, nor does it offer verse citations, population sizes to which the code is limited, whether the code is by oral tradition or statute, or anything else. It exists purely as speculation or undefended accusation.

Think for a moment if there was a list of horrible things done in the bible, but without listing where in the bible those deeds were mentioned, and then those things were put under a list titled, “things the holy bible approves of” since, if it appeared in there, then it therefore must be approved by people who believe it, right? No. Not at all.

Nailing someone’s head to the ground with a tent spike thru their temple while they lie sleeping, is not at all recommended, but it happens in the bible (Judges 4:21). Calling forth she-bears from the forest to maul children in response to calling you a bald-head, is not at all recommended, but it happens in the bible (2 Kings 2:23-24). YOU MUST APPLY THAT SAME STANDARD to things that happen in the text of the Qu’ran; that doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good idea, recommended, legal, or required. It is POSSIBLE it could be universally applicable, but better research as to whether it is or isn’t would be required, which would necessitate diligent and rigorous study.

A list of “horrible things the bible lets you do” that includes the tent spike and the she-bears as bulleted points, would not offer diligent or rigorous study.

Likewise, the forward in question does not offer diligent or rigorous study.

If you cannot specify which particular citations, mutually agreeable references, scope of application, or proof that there is such a rule, THEN YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS SAYING IT.

Lastly, consider whether I were to just repeat this list of things included in the forward, but title it “things that are false about Muslims” but didn’t provide any evidence. The SAME AMOUNT of evidence is offered to prove that they are true. Therefore, neither of those two lists would be reasonable to presume honest or diligently researched.

The original forward

The following is the full text of the forward as I’ve observed it, which I will attempt to debunk or affirm item by item, with a dash of critical thinking:

Joys of Muslim Women by Nonie Darwish
In the Muslim faith a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old and have sexual intimacy with this child, consummating the marriage by 9.
The dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave) and for the purchase of the private parts of the woman, to use her as a toy.
Even though a woman is abused she can not obtain a divorce.
To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses.
Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry. The family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family. Husbands can beat their wives ‘at will’ and he does not have to say why he has beaten her.
The husband is permitted to have (4 wives) and a temporary wife for an hour (prostitute) at his discretion.
The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.
In the West World (America) Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife can not obtain a divorce and he can have full and complete control of her. It is amazing and alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending American Universities are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.
By passing this on, enlightened American women may avoid becoming a slave under Shariah Law.
Author and lecturer Nonie Darwish says the goal of radical Islamists is to impose Shariah law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty in two.
Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before emigrating to America in 1978, When she was eight years old, her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel He was a high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza .
When he died, he was considered a “shahid,” a martyr for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society.
But Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim culture and upbringing. She converted to Christianity after hearing a Christian preacher on television.
In her latest book, Darwish warns about creeping Sharia law – what it is, what it means, and how it is manifested in Islamic countries.
For the West, she says radical Islamists are working to impose Sharia on the world. If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed.
In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President! I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!
Let’s not allow this to happen in America

Let’s get started.

1

If you skipped any of the critical thinking portion above the above the quoted text, then you must go back and read it. If you refuse, then you have no business reading what follows.

In the Muslim faith a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old and have sexual intimacy with this child, consummating the marriage by 9.

I can’t find any reference text that can credibly prescribe a specific age for marriage, but neither has Judaism or Christianity.

I can’t find any evidence, anywhere, that suggests anything regarding Islam’s position on person of age 1 or age 9, or any age thereabouts, that (a) proposes the legitimacy of marriage consummation or sensual activities of any kind based on age, and (b) can be credibly applied to all or a statistically-significant majority of Muslims.

There is a very widespread misunderstanding that Muslim women must wait 3 months before being allowed to divorce (thus having been married prior) if they are not having their “monthly courses” but this would also be true for women who have reached menopause, women who are pregnant, women on certain medications, and others who are physiologically incapable due to their own genetics such as birth defect.

Similarly, if a Christian husband according to Ephesians 5:25 is advised to love their wives as Christ loved the church, but does not specify which age the husband is allowed to marry, is it therefore logical to assume that a Christian husband may take a wife of age 1 and consummate that marriage at age 9? No, it isn’t, and you’re therefore not allowed to apply the same illogical position to Muslims, either, just because it doesn’t say they can’t.

2

The dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave) and for the purchase of the private parts of the woman, to use her as a toy.

The only evidence I can find of a “dowry” given to anyone in Islam is paid to the wife alone, and not to the family. The dowry is called a “mahr” and itself is fairly complicated and there are varying opinions (and therefore not in application to all or a statistical-majority of Muslims) on what constitutes an appropriate value/ quantity/e tc of the mahr. Anyone wishing to take a wife must pay this dowry to the wife herself, not to guardians, and must go about the care to research the case-by-case value of the dowry. It is not a transaction in exchange for goods or services, but is paid from husband to wife as an expression of being serious about the relationship.

You might just as likely say that an American or Christian can “get away with only spending $5 on a wedding ring, if the wife accepts it” and is therefore trading permission to marry her for only $5, but that’s not at all a valid interpretation.

3

Even though a woman is abused she can not obtain a divorce.

This was covered to some degree in another article I wrote in 2009, Top 10 Anti-Women Qur’an Quotes, Explained when confronting the idea that abuse is even allowed at all in the first place. The verse of the Qu’ran used to justify beating actually had a kinda funny English translation from my copy, that husbands were first to say something about it, and if not then corrected then to refuse to share a bed with them, and if still not corrected, “and last, spank them lightly; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means of annoyance.” A footnote from that text indicates that there is widespread agreement that “all authorities are unanimous in deprecating any sort of cruelty, even of the nagging kind…” so abuse in general even of the nagging sort isn’t even allowed to begin with.

There is also the concept of a Khula, which is the right for a wife to divorce a husband by repayment of the dowry or some other arrangement of value. I can’t find much agreement on authority about whether the women is permitted to initiate the divorce (for any reason) and therefore not an assertion that it applies to all or a statistical-majority of Muslims, give assuming that abuse is not even allowed in the first place and is therefore a breaking of the terms of marriage, it would seem the husband would be subject to a judgment by a court for having done so with the plausibility of ending in divorce — but I don’t find any reference to substantiate it as a “Muslim” thing having application to any given Muslim you might meet anywhere.

4

To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses.

This link and this link and this link seem to offer fairly credible write-ups about the topic, saying that this is untrue, and offers citations from specific sources about why it is untrue. The second link even offers counterevidence that, in the Judeochristian text, the raped must marry the rapist, or both of them must be stoned to death — but these are not practices of Christians or America, so it is not legitimate to say any such accusations from the forwarded text are “Muslim” either.

5a-5b

Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry. The family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family.

This sounds a lot like anecdotal evidence, as if to say, “I saw this happen once” as if it were true everywhere and might be confusing general underground vigilante culture as if they were based in Islam, which is like confusing urban gang member clash violence in America with people also attend curling tournaments in America, since they’re both from the same country and since they’re under the same federal government.

The concept of an honor killing (as vigilante justice for any crime) is also not even a Muslim concept, per se — it has roots all over the world. The person, who has already been established to not be the author claimed, doesn’t even bother to cite when or where this supposed event took place, and what the repercussions were for the family for doing so, if it even did happen. I could just as easily include this item under “things that have never happened” and it would have to be just as true, because just as much evidence is presented to support it.

5c

Husbands can beat their wives ‘at will’ and he does not have to say why he has beaten her.

This outright falsity is already debunked above in #3, regarding no right whatsoever to beat their wives, insomuch as they are not even allowed to engage in any “means of annoyance” for that matter.

6

The husband is permitted to have (4 wives) and a temporary wife for an hour (prostitute) at his discretion.

This is also partly debunked in my 2009 response, Top 10 Anti-Women Qur’an Quotes, Explained, where the actual context for the widely stereotyped passage in the Qu’ran:

Referenced Passage – Sura 4:3. The conditions for this particular passage refer specifically to the care of orphans, in that basically (paraphrased), “if you’re not sure you’ll be able to manage the orphan and his/her property rightfully and appropriately, you may take additional wives.” This is moreso an effort to relieve the burden of properly and respectfully caring for orphans over which the male finds himself guardian (through a relative’s death, etc), emphasizing that the matter is not about lustful endeavors of having more ladies to party with, but that the orphan would be genuinely taken care of, in an honest way.

The concept of a “temporary wife for an hour (prostitute)” is so outlandishly false that it sounds almost like part of a “two Muslims walk into a bar” joke. If you honestly believed this, then I know a guy who has an engine shampoo service you might be interested in. The verses in the Qu’ran that restrict permitted matters of sexual relations are so extensive that you’d have to conduct an extensive family history, interview the prospected temporary wife on her monthly courses, and more, all within that one hour.

7

The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

So does the US legal code, Sherlock.

“Shariah Muslim law” was arguably the first of any religious ruling bodies to grant women rights in any capacity at all, whereas the Judeochristian texts offer little, if any, whatsoever. A Muslim country is also not exclusively dominated by Sharia — there are numerous laws that are not covered by Sharia-based legal systems, and are not considered Sharia, but to the outsider like your average American, these could be easily confused.

Think of the difference being similar to municipal law and the Constitution. If there were a municipal law against smoking inside restaurants, it wouldn’t be governed by the Constitution whereas the constitution is silent on the issue of smoking in indoor commercial establishments. It would be “constitutional” only in the sense that there isn’t a constitutionality that it necessarily breaks — likewise, loads of man-made laws in countries governed by Sharia are not Sharia-based laws.

Further, municipal code governs the private life, as well as the public life, of the non-Muslim, American woman also. But, without specifying which parts, does that mean strictly the worst ways you can personally imagine? WHICH laws govern the private life and public life of the Muslim woman?

Well, in the US, you have to wear a seat belt in the comfort of your own personal vehicle when driving on the road. Since Muslim women also must obey this rule, then it could be said that the US legal system governs the private life and public life of Muslim women also. But it also governs the same of men, too. You’re leaving out a lot of details that would make this sentence just super ordinary and obvious.

8

In the West World (America) Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife can not obtain a divorce and he can have full and complete control of her. It is amazing and alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending American Universities are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.

(a) The existence of only two Muslim men to “demand Shariah law” (which operates outside of man-made laws anyway, so wouldn’t even be subject to demand) in order that to be true in the technical sense. How many exactly are doing so would be a key point to offer. If 100 million are demanding there not be any, and only 2 are demanding there should be, then whether 2 demand it is irrelevant.
(b) Sharia law does not allow a husband to have “full and complete control of her” in the first place, as already discussed prior.
(c) Just one of “our sisters and daughters” submitting unsuspectingly (submitting is of the will, not by accident) to Sharia would also be an “amazing and alarming” number, but when has that happened? Shall we just imagine that it did happen, or are you planning to elaborate on when and where that actually has happened?

9a-z

The rest of the forward is a bio about a woman named Nonie Darwish who did not write the forwarded text attributed to her. You can read about her here from Wikipedia, or from her own personal site here at your leisure, instead of blindly trusting some e-mail forward.

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