One thing the mainstream media knows about Huma Abedin is that she is elegant. Time reported on how Weiner’s “elegant and accomplished wife… declared her love and support for him, visibly pained at having to speak in public as the sad, sordid details of his repeat behavior were exposed yet again.” The Wall Street Journal lamented:
Watching the elegant Huma Abedin stand next to her man Tuesday as he explained his latest sexually charged online exchanges was painful for a normal human being to watch.
What they’re less sure of is why this elegant woman would stand by the increasingly ridiculous Weiner. Time thinks, rather fancifully, that it’s because “divorce can still be stigmatizing in some social circles where parents are particularly ambitious about providing the absolute best environment for their children” – and because, well, Huma just “loves this guy despite it all.”
Most others, however, agree that it is because she is seeking power and influence, and thinks – however improbably – that Anthony Weiner is still the pathway to them. Even Weiner’s sexting partner Sydney Leathers said of the Weiner-Abedin union: “It almost feels to me like it’s more of an arrangement, or a business relationship, than a marriage.” She said she thought Abedin stuck with Weiner “for the power, for the fame, for the stature.”
Maybe so. And she also may be staying in it because Weiner’s indiscretions just don’t matter to her that much – not necessarily because they have a sham marriage, but because Abedin is approaching the marriage from an Islamic perspective.
Huma Abedin comes from a family of devout Muslims with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. She herself, according to the Washington Post, is “a practicing Muslim.” If this is accurate, and Huma Abedin has never denied it, then it raises a number of questions that have never been answered. Islamic law prohibits a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man. A Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, but not the other way around.
Consequently, when a non-Muslim man begins a relationship with an observant Muslim woman, he is usually pressured to convert to Islam, and such conversion is made a condition of the marriage. This only happens, of course, if the Muslim family is devout and observant enough to make sure it happens. We know that Abedin’s family is devout, and that apparently she herself is also. But in today’s political climate, even to ask the question of whether Weiner converted to Islam to marry her is to invite a cascade of ridicule. Apparently it is inconceivable to the leftist media that a practicing Muslim might want to observe the strictures of Islamic law regarding marriage.
But ridicule, however correct Saul Alinsky may have been in saying that it is a potent weapon to discredit and silence one’s opposition, doesn’t make the questions go away. And the questions regarding how Huma Abedin’s status as a “practicing Muslim” may affect her marriage to Weiner don’t end there. Islamic law also allows a Muslim man to have as many as four wives, and to enjoy also the sexual favors of his “captives of the right hand [milk al-yamin]” (Qur’an 4:24) – that is, sex slaves.
As hard as it may be to believe, this is not a fabrication of venomous “Islamophobes.” The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that,
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.
Right around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti activist and 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:
Sex slaves are not forbidden by Islam.…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.
If Huma Abedin is indeed a “practicing Muslim,” then there is no reason to think that she doesn’t believe in the Qur’an’s allowances for polygamy and sex slavery (for men only, that is), and thus it could well be that her husband’s appalling behavior simply doesn’t appall her. She may accept the idea that a husband of a Muslim wife may well have a wandering eye, and go on the prowl for other women, and even perhaps marry one or more of those other women while remaining married to her.
If one is in a marriage of convenience in the first place, assumptions like this could make accepting Weiner’s behavior all the easier – and may account for how Mrs. Weiner was able to maintain her elegance in the most trying of circumstances last week.