|Jean Leon Gerome. The Slave Market|
"I kidnapped your daughters. I will sell them in the market in the name of Allah. There is a market to sell humans. Allah said I should sell them – he ordered me to sell them. I will sell these women." So said Boko Haram's leader.
The kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls has outraged the world. That's a good thing.
We need more outrage and condemnation because sexual predation and sexual slavery have always been a significant part of Islam, and they are condoned in the Koran, the hadiths, and the example of the life of Islam's founder, Mohammed.
Mohammed "married" his Jewish "wife" Safiyah the same day he killed her husband, Kinana, and massacred her entire tribe. Mohammed tortured Kinana with fire and then decapitated him. Mohammed tortured Kinana in order to extract from him the location of valuables that Mohammed wanted to steal as war booty. At the time of their "marriage" Mohammed was sixty and Safiyah, a just widowed war captive, was 17.
Well, cultural relativists say, bad things happened in the Judeo-Christian Old Testament. After all, Abraham, the founder of Judaism, when his wife Sarah was barren, took Sarah's servant Hagar as his concubine, and fathered Ishmael by Hagar.
The difference is this: the Abraham-Hagar story in the Old Testament is descriptive. It's a history of how Abraham behaved. It's not prescriptive. It's not God saying, "This is how you should behave."
The Old Testament points out that Abraham's decision to take his servant as a concubine lead to trouble and heartbreak. Sarah did become pregnant with Isaac, and Abraham exiled Hagar and his own son Ishmael into the desert, nearly killing both. This, the Bible tells us, is not a good thing.
Similarly, the prophet Nathan castigated King David for lusting after Bathsheba, another man's wife, and David was forced to atone for this sin. But it wasn't enough – more disaster followed – David's son by Bathsheba died, and David's other son. Absalom, publicly slept with David's concubines. The message here is very grim.
In the Old Testament, men who have sex with engaged slaves were guilty of a sin and had to ask God, through a material sacrifice, for forgiveness.
Genesis 2:24 and Mark 10:8 both counsel one man and one woman joined as one flesh as marriage. Not one man and all of his sex slaves.
Mohammed's biography is prescriptive. Mohammed's acts constitute Allah's instructions on how to behave. Mohammed is the "perfect example, worthy to be emulated." Muslims hold Mohammed up as an example, and allow no criticism of him. Raping a captured slave girl is not just something that Mohammed did, it's something Muslims should do.
The Koran advises men to have sex with their sex slaves more often than it advises Muslims to pray five times a day. See here.
In fact, Mohammed counseled Muslim men to have sex with their captives in front of their husbands. See here.
The promise of war booty and rape echoes down through the Muslim Conquest. When Tariq ibn Ziyad invaded Spain in 711, he promised his jihadis "a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek [ie Christian] maidens, their graceful forms draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings."
Phyllis Chesler reminds readers of this in her recent essay "Boko Haram and the History of Child Rape in Jihad." From that essay:
"Boko Haram’s behavior is typical of any armed Muslim force beginning in Mohammed’s time. The Prophet’s warriors went on raids and systematically massacred the Jewish tribes in Arabia. The men who refused to convert were beheaded--and then the Prophet divided the women, children, houses, and chattels among the Muslims. The women were forcibly converted and kept as 'wives' or slaves."
The Arab Slave Trade was magnitudes larger than the Atlantic Slave Trade. In the Arab Slave Trade, male slaves were summarily castrated. Female slaves were raped. American author Edith Wharton described the conventional use of black sex slaves in her 1920 book "In Morocco."
"Ignorance, unhealthiness and a precocious sexual initiation prevail in all classes. Education consists in learning by heart endless passages of the Koran…At eight or nine the little girls are married, at twelve the son of the house is 'given his first negress'; and thereafter, in the rich and leisured class, both sexes live till old age in an atmosphere of sensuality without seduction."
"The Caïd is a great man. He and his famous elder brother, holding the southern marches of Morocco against alien enemies and internal rebellion, played a preponderant part in the defense of the French colonies in North Africa during the long struggle of the war…Yet when I looked at the tiny creature watching him with those anxious joyless eyes I felt once more the abyss that slavery and the harem put between the most Europeanized Mahometan and the western conception of life. The Caïd's little black slaves are well-known in Morocco, and behind the sad child leaning in the archway stood all the shadowy evils of the social system that hangs like a millstone about the neck of Islam."