Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, although taken up among the glitterati, has been ridiculed as emblematic of her husband’s weakness and lack of will in the face of Islamic jihad. This is, however, unfair not only to Mrs. Obama, but to Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and the other noted human rights activists who have endorsed this campaign. After all, it is not the only Obama administration response to the kidnapping, forcible conversion to Islam, and sex slavery of these girls (in accord with Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50, etc.). The administration has now announced that it is sending U.S. troops to help find these girls. Eighty troops. To Chad.
I am not in favor of Wilsonian “nation-building” military adventures in Muslim countries with no tradition of or desire for a pluralistic society that accords equal rights to women and non-Muslims, or for republican rule that would approve laws other than those mandated by Allah in the Qur’an and Sunnah. However, it would be hard to oppose an all-out effort directed toward eradicating Boko Haram – that is, the Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad – from the face of the earth.
That, of course, is not what Obama is doing. He is sending a tiny number of troops to a country the girls are not in, so as to engage in aerial reconnaissance to try to find them. But what does a kidnapped schoolgirl who has been forcibly converted to Islam and married to a jihadist look like from the air? U.S. officials know that these girls have been dispersed, which only emphasizes that this initiative is more about style than substance – just like Michelle’s hashtag campaign.
But if that’s what U.S. diplomacy looks like in the Obamanation, then let’s make the most of it. Here are six more hashtags that Michelle (and Rocky, and Han Solo, and Nino Brown) can use to declare their righteous indignation before the world:
Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) declared Thursday that girls as young as nine years old could be married “if the signs of puberty were visible.” Islamic apologists in the West routinely claim that Muhammad did not marry a child and that child marriage is not permitted in Islam, but actually, few things are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage. Islamic tradition records that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death) (Bukhari 7.62.88).
Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).
Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.
Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this even today. But could 1,400 years of Islamic tradition and the example of the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) stand up to a Michelle Obama hashtag? It’s time to find out!
Also on Thursday, in China’s northwestern city of Urumqi, Islamic jihadists in SUVs plowed through metal barriers and into an open-air market crowded with shoppers. Once there, they threw explosives out of the SUVs, murdering 31 people and injuring over 90.
This kind of jihad attack could happen at any open-air market anywhere. It’s time for a hashtag to nip this kind of thing in the bud.
According to AFP, Iranian police last Tuesday “arrested six Iranians suspected of posting a version of U.S. singer Pharrell Williams’s hit song ‘Happy’ on the Internet.” The clip showed three men and three women (all of whom were unveiled) dancing and singing along with the tune. Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia fumed:
After a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity was released in cyberspace, police decided to identify those involved in making that clip. Following a series of intelligence and police operations and after coordinating with the judiciary, all the suspects were identified and arrested.
After they were arrested, they were forced to make statements of “repentance” on state television and then freed on bail, although the director of the clip is still being held. Although the arrests have opened up the Iranian mullahcracy to international criticism, and even the “moderate” President Rouhani has mildly criticized the Iranian war against happiness, the charges have not been dropped. The mullahs seem determined to enforce the principles that the Ayatollah Khomeini so memorably expressed at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution: “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”
That declaration would make for a few good hashtags as well.
Muhammad Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s general guide, had his day in court in Egypt last week, and strongly rejected charges that the Brotherhood had committed acts of violence against the Egyptian people. “We have fought only against the Jews,” Badie declared, “and Kamel Al-Sharif may testify about the conduct of the Muslim Brotherhood in the  war in Palestine. We fought against the Jews. The Israeli strategic research institute wrote in a report: ‘Our greatest enemies in the world are the Muslim Brotherhood.’ This is an honor for us, yet now we are being accused of conspiring with Hamas against the Egyptian people. This is an absolute lie.”
The idea that Badie would think that the Brotherhood’s making war against “the Jews” (not “the Israelis”) would be an exonerating factor, and that his accusers would take it as such, shows the depth and breadth of Islamic antisemitism. That is not surprising, considering that the Qur’an designates the Jews as “the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers” (5:82), but it certainly militates against the “peace process” that Michelle’s husband has been so ardently pushing, heedless of Palestinian intransigence, unilateralism, and taste for genocidal rhetoric.
Surely a well-worded hashtag would devastate Badie and other Islamic antisemites, and more than do the trick here.
Recently video surfaced of Islamic jihadists from various countries fighting in Iraq as part of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Quoting the Qur’an and chanting “Allahu akbar,” they declared “to the tyrants and infidels wherever they may be”: “We say to you, as the Prophet Muhammad said: ‘We have brought slaughter upon you.’” Chanting, “We are Muslims! We are Muslims!,” they burned their passports – after one brandished a sword and exclaimed: “Know this, oh infidels: By Allah, we shall cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of you, you filth. We shall conquer Jerusalem from you, oh Jews! We shall conquer Rome and Andalusia, Allah willing.”
This declaration of Islamic conquest and slaughter flies in the face of the understanding of Islam as benign, tolerant and pluralistic that we must accept in the U.S. on pain of charges of “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.” They will conquer Jerusalem, Rome, and Spain, will they? Not if our hashtags have anything to say about it!
I shudder to think of the embarrassment and shame these jihadis will feel when they consult their Twitter feeds.