Sexual abuse scandals continue to flood the news. Their almost as common as cockroaches in government buildings apparently.

As the scions of politics, news, and entertainments continue to fall, one by one, many of us have taken a step back and asked – how do we solve this problem?

Well, if you ask Mr. Qasim Rashid, when it comes to women’s rights & stopping sexual abuse, the answer, obviously lies in Islam. You know, Islam, that bastion of civil rights, religious toleration, and equality…or something like that.
Now, let me begin by saying I am in no way impugning Mr. Rashid’s motives. I believe that he believes everything he says. I further believe he truly has women’s best interest at heart. However, I believe the solution he offers rings hollow when certain facts are examined.
The Argument
Mr. Rashid begins by saying:
“First, a woman’s attire, alcohol intake, marital status, and education level do not contribute to sexual abuse – abusive men do.
Makes sense so far. Criminals are the ones guilty of the crime. Pretty basic.

Social Norms?

“Social norms demonise a woman for speaking out, victim-blaming her by asking what she was wearing, whether she gave signals inviting abuse, or asking why she didn’t speak up sooner.
I’m not sure what social norms are being referred to here. If someone were to say to me, “I was just sexually abused.” My first response would indeed NOT be “Well, what were you wearing? Bet you asked for it!”
In order for something to be a societal norm, it has to be something that society normally does in a given situation. No proof is offered here. In fact, if recent history shows us anything, it is that we are generally inclined to believe a woman and demonize the alleged abuser (with or without evidence).

But Don’t Let Facts Get In the Way!

“Why has society advanced people like Harvey Weinstein, Roger Aisles, Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, and even our Commander in Chief to the pinnacle of success, despite the decades long testimony of sexual abuse and rape from dozens of women?
How can we rely on government when 97 per cent of rapists never see a day in prison, judges punish rape of an unconscious college woman with a measly three months in jail, award rapists with equal custody of the child born from a woman they raped, and the US Department of Education rolls back rules that protect women in college from sexual assault?

It’s a legitimate question. It seems that the highest reaches of society contain some of the best, but many of the worst, humanity has to offer. Why is that? It couldn’t be that we’ve been told for decades that traditional American Christian morality is just religious zealotry and has no place in the public sector? Could it?

The 97% stat is blatantly false. The source he cited states: “Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police.” That estimate (because it is only an estimate) is based off a survey where respondents were asked, “…has anyone attacked or threatened you in any of these ways…Any rape, attempted rape or other type of sexual attack…”

1) This survey was just that – a survey. There was no verification of claims. Nor is there a reason to believe it is an accurate sampling of America. 2) Being threatened with rape is not the same as rape. It is still evil, awful, & deplorable. Yet, conflating the 2 into a statistic like this is misleading and dishonest.

The Stanford case of Brock Turner is disturbing. Our justice system is made up of individuals who make mistakes, and have bad judgements. However, we have a justice system for a reason. And in the vast majority of cases, it does work. The rapist who nearly got custody of that child born from a woman he raped? Yeah, our justice system figured that one out and the order was rescinded. The rollback of Obama’s DOE rules (The Dear Colleague Letter) doesn’t put women at risk. All it does is increase the standard for evidence in sexual abuse allegation cases.
Moving on….

A Gun Argument?

“The fact is that states are not moral actors – people are. But when people let bad behavior go unchallenged we inch closer to societal anarchy. In truth, any expectation that we can simply pass a law to stop sexual abuse is foolish.
…Such legislation, if passed, will also fail because state laws only punish the actor once the act is completed, they don’t prevent the act in the first place….
For a second there, I thought this guy must’ve been a Paineful Truth reader! It’s true – government is made up of individuals. Just like society, the news media, Hollywood, are all made up of individuals, who each have a duty to stand up for what’s right.
Then he makes a point that 2nd Amendment proponents have long been making – laws do not stop evil people. Very well put.


And now we go off the rails…

“This is where Islamic teachings and Prophet Muhammad’s example provide a solution that no state truly can. And while there are people who don’t believe that sexual abuse is even a problem, some on the left will disagree that accountability to a higher power is a solution.

This is a reasonable argument, in part, due to the hypocrisy of allegedly religious men like Congressman Tim Murphy, who condemns abortion and infidelity, yet was caught encouraging his mistress to have one, or former Indiana GOP chair Rick Halvorsen who was convicted of incest. Yes, Islam implores accountability to the creator, but rather than preach empty dogmatic theories, Islam instead prescribes a proven secular model.
This is key – the author makes a point that I agree with – no state can pass a law that will solve these problems. Accountability to a higher power is the solution. However, where we disagree is which “higher power” that is. I think I can prove that the author’s “higher power” is not one that we should consider an authority on the subject of protecting women’s rights.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

 

In the second paragraph above, the author deals his own death blow to his entire premise – the hypocrisy of 2 “Christian” individuals “proves” that Christianity is merely empty dogmatic theories and therefore useless in preventing sexual assault.

With this reasoning, we can conclude that if at least 2 Islamic individuals can be shown to be hypocrites, then that will prove that Islam is merely empty dogmatic theories and therefore useless in preventing sexual assault.
The author claims that Islam’s teachings will preempt physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse. Let’s see if that’s the case, shall we?

Hypocrites

While the author makes claims that Muhammad was a women’s rights activist & that Islam is all about empowerment, neither history, nor the Koran bears this out. There are several accounts of him having women put to death. Muhammad took a 6 year old as a wife and consummated the marriage when she was 9 years old. So much for consenting adults. There are many other examples, but I think you get the point.

Muhammad. Hypocrite.
Now, let’s examine Saudi Arabia. A country that officially claims Islam as its state religion. This country is made up of individuals who’ve individually agreed that gross anti-woman policies should be the law of the land, punishable by prison and sometimes even death.

Saudi Arabia. Hypocrite.

The country of Pakistan. Same thing. Girls who disobey their parents are apparently regularly put to death in so-called “honor killings”. I’ve got a problem if this is the kind of “honor” Islam wants to show women. Again, this country is made up of individual men who perpetrate these atrocities on women.
Pakistan. Hypocrite.

And Now, A Lesson from A Christmas Carol

The author provided 2 examples to “prove” Christianity is merely empty dogmatic theories. I’ve just provided 3 examples (one is the religion’s main dude, and two are countries full of men basically subjugating women). Does that prove that Islam is merely empty dogmatic theories?

According to the author’s logic, apparently so.
However, I was recently re-reading Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. In it, Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Present why the Ghost is allowing people who claim to be Christians to make the poor go hungry. The Ghost’s response is quite fitting here –
“There are some upon this earth of yours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us, and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”

Takeaway

The necessity of answering to a higher power is essential to correcting the abuse of women we’re seeing in society today. However, the author’s claim, that the higher power can be found in Islam, rings hollow.
An entire group of people cannot, and should not be judged by the actions of a few (or a country full of) hypocrites. However, the religion of Islam, as proven above, was founded by a man who slept with a 9 year old, & allows the murder of those who would “transgress & disbelieve”.

Can this be the religion with a higher power who will solve all of our sexual abuse problems? I think not.

The United States of America has never held Christianity as our official state religion. However, the principles of Christianity are woven into who we were meant to be. I do not say “who we are” because there is no doubt we have strayed from our moorings.
Yet, the ideals of true Christianity, of love toward your neighbor, treating them like you’d like to be treated, acknowledgement of a duty to God, are what made us a great nation.
We can become that again. But it starts with returning to the tried and true principles we have abandoned.