Not a single mainstream news outlet has identified the approximately 1,000 men who congregated by the main train station in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve and raped and sexually assaulted hundreds of women — or their counterparts who did the same thing in Zurich, Helsinki, and elsewhere — as Muslims. But there is little doubt that they were indeed Muslim, since they have been identified as migrants and most of the migrants are Muslims.
Most importantly, identifying the attackers as Muslim leads directly to understanding the attacks themselves, because the attackers were acting in accord with Islamic teachings.
Sexual assault plagues all cultures — but only in Islam is it given divine sanction.
In 2006, then-Grand Mufti of Australia Taj Din al-Hilali sparked a controversy when he said:
If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.
He was referring to women who get raped:
If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.
Al-Hilali further complained that judges in the West were too tough on young Muslims charged with sexual assault and rape, since unveiled Western women “sway suggestively”:
[T]hen you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years. But the problem, but the problem all began with who?
Sounds horrific? The Mufti was expressing a view that is both common in the Islamic world and comes directly from scripture.
A hadith depicts Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, saying to a Muslim woman:
“‘O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this,’ and he pointed to her face and hands.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4092)
The idea behind a woman covering everything except her face and hands is rooted in the assumption that if a man is tempted by her, it’s her fault. She must therefore try to quell that temptation by removing its impetus and covering up. If she fails to do so — or if she covers up and is attacked anyway — the fault lies entirely with her.
And her family can cleanse itself of the dishonor she has brought upon them by putting her to death, the common “honor killing.”
There is no room in this web of assumptions, which is all too common in the Islamic world, for the idea that if a man rapes or sexually assaults a woman, he bears the guilt. The guilt is all on his victim.
Reinforcing these assumptions is the fact that the seizure of infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an. Non-Muslim women exist for the sexual pleasure of Muslim men.
The Islamic State (ISIS) became notorious for capturing non-Muslim women and selling them as sex slaves, as in this video. One of the buyers in that video quotes the Qur’an: “… except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be blamed.” That’s Qur’an 70:30, which is the conclusion of a passage about how righteous men “guard their private parts” (70:29) except when with their wives or the captives their right hands possess. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take these “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50) as sex slaves. The Qur’an says:
“O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50).
Qur’an 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls:
“The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6)
The rape of captive women is also sanctioned in Islamic tradition:
Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa’id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa’id, did you hear Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-’azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them.
So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Sahih Muslim 3371)
It is also in Islamic law:
When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled. (Umdat al-Salik O9.13)
The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that meant Muslims would take slaves. In a subsequent interview, he elaborated:
Jihad is only between Muslims and infidels. Spoils, slaves, and prisoners are only to be taken in war between Muslims and infidels. Muslims in the past conquered, invaded, and took over countries. This is agreed to by all scholars — there is no disagreement on this from any of them, from the smallest to the largest, on the issue of taking spoils and prisoners. The prisoners and spoils are distributed among the fighters, which includes men, women, children, wealth, and so on.
When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Koran 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point — there is no disagreement from any of them.
When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.
Around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti politician, Salwa al-Mutairi, also spoke out in favor of the Islamic practice of sexual slavery of non-Muslim women, emphasizing that the practice accorded with Islamic law and the parameters of Islamic morality:
A merchant told me that he would like to have a sex slave. He said he would not be negligent with her, and that Islam permitted this sort of thing. He was speaking the truth. I brought up [this man’s] situation to the muftis in Mecca. I told them that I had a question, since they were men who specialized in what was halal, and what was good, and who loved women. I said, “What is the law of sex slaves?”
The mufti said, “With the law of sex slaves, there must be a Muslim nation at war with a Christian nation, or a nation which is not of the religion, not of the religion of Islam. And there must be prisoners of war.”
“Is this forbidden by Islam?” I asked.
“Absolutely not. Sex slaves are not forbidden by Islam. On the contrary, sex slaves are under a different law than the free woman. The free woman must be completely covered except for her face and hands. But the sex slave can be naked from the waist up. She differs a lot from the free woman. While the free woman requires a marriage contract, the sex slave does not — she only needs to be purchased by her husband, and that’s it. Therefore the sex slave is different than the free woman.”
The savage exploitation of girls and young women is, unfortunately, a cross-cultural phenomenon, but only in Islamic law does it carry divine sanction. These Muslims in Cologne no doubt don’t think they have done anything wrong — these women are just infidels, uncovered meat.