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Spanish priest arrested with 21,000 images of child porn; what if he were Muslim?

Spain was largely free of the high-profile child sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in many European countries and the United States… until now. Even more men of the cloth are found to be involved in sexual child abuse. A Spanish Catholic priest was arrested with 21,000 images of child porn on computersin his church.

To be fair, it should be obvious that hoarding pornography of any sorts, especially children, is against the formal teachings of the Catholic Church. “If the accusation is true, this is something that hurts us deeply, that we sincerely regret and that we reject unreservedly,” the diocese said. Just because some criminals belong to a faith does not mean that faith endorses criminal behavior. Reasonably open-minded people can understand that.

But what if he were Muslim?

Expect no fairness from the anti-Muslim conflict-o-sphere. Child porn is a tenet of Islam, we’d be told. We’d see another repeat of the whole child bride fiasco, echoing again and again the tired “Muhammad is a pedophile” smear.

But was Muhammad’s marriage to the young but post-pubescent Aisha unusual for 7th century Arabia? Nope. As Colin Turner of the University of Durham Middle East Studies department points out:

A marriage between an older man and a young girl was customary among the Bedouins, as it still is in many societies across the world today. It was not unheard of in Muhammad’s time for boys and girls to be promised to each other in marriage almost as soon as they were born, particularly if the union was of direct political significance to the families concerned. However, such marriages were almost certainly not consummated until both parties had entered adulthood, which Arabs in the 7th century tended to reach at an earlier age than Westerners today. It is highly unlikely that Muhammad would not have taken Aisha into his bed until she was at least in her early  teens, which was wholly in keeping with the customs of the day, and in context not in the least improper.

[Turner, C. (2006). The messenger. Islam: the basics(pp. 34-35). London: Routledge.]

But wasn’t Muhammad some sexual pervert that couldn’t control his libido? False. As Aisha herself testified:

Narrated Aisha: “The Prophet used to kiss and embrace his wives while he was fasting, and he had more power to control his desires than any of you.”

[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3 Book 31 Number 149]

But wasn’t Muhammad a violent misogynist who beat women and children all day? Wrong again. As Aisha again testifies:

Narrated Aisha: “The Messenger of Allah never struck a servant or a woman.”

[Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41 Number 4786]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، عَلَيْهَا السَّلاَمُ قَالَتْ مَا ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَادِمًا وَلاَ امْرَأَةً قَطُّ

Now, do these same anti-Muslim bloggers know (or care) that Christian sources record that Joseph married the Virgin Mary when he was 90 and she was 12? Probably not.

A year after his wife’s death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates…

[Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Joseph]

Will these same anti-Muslim keyboard warriors accuse Joseph of being a pedophile and Christianity of being a religion of pedophilia? Not likely. So what is at play here? As George Readings observed, “This attempt to aggressively apply a modern British definition of pedophilia to seventh century Arabia strikes me as a sign of severe anthropological illiteracy…”

Anthropological illiteracy indeed! But who has time for troublesome scientific principles and scholarly analysis if you rely on “closed information systems based on pretend information” and your anti-Muslim canards fit so neatly into your supremacist ideological view of the world?

Note: This article is part of our “What if they were Muslim?” series. In this series, we examine the double standards used by anti-Muslim activists when discussing religious extremism in Islam as compared to other religions. We reject using extremists of any religion to justify prejudice, stereotypes, and hostility towards all members of that religion. Period.

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  • Ugur Mustafa

    NassirH,

    Thank you for the reply. Anyway, I have decided to use a partial translation. I sense a considerable de-Islamization of university-educated people in my country, Turkey, of an Islamophobic nature because of propaganda like the one dealt with here. The Islamophobes who are deceiving children of Muslims into becoming Islamophobes like themselves with loony propaganda material are not extremist Christian loons here of course; they are rather left-wing secularists. The leftists in Turkey tend to be from the richer and therefore better fed and better educated segments of the society; they see Islam as the major threat to their “elite left-wing (!)” lifestyle and attack it with ignorant arguments similar to those used by the Western Islamophobes. Actually these arguments are mostly translated from Western source materials.

    Hence I find some of the posts here at LoonWatch.com important for my language too.

    Regards,
    Ugur Mustafa

  • NassirH

    Ugur Mustafa:

    I’m sure Loonwatch won’t mind if you post their article on your blog. In fact, they would probably like that.

  • Ugur Mustafa

    Salamun alaykum,

    Greeneye, I have translated your article into Turkish and would like to post my translation on my blog citing your pseudonym and the address of this web page. Would you permit me to do that?

    Also, I’d like to ask a question about your quotation from Colin Turner. I think there is probably be a mistake in the citation of this sentence:

    “It is highly unlikely that Muhammad would not have taken Aisha into his bed until she was at least in her early teens […]”.

    Wouldn’t it be “[…] Muhammad would have taken […]”?

    Wassalaam,
    Ugur Mustafa

  • Mosizzle

    I’m going to agree with you just to end this insane conversation over what cause Pedophilia. I’m no psychologist and looking at your passionately written comment, then I suppose you know way more than me.

    I’m sorry.

    And I never said that children should not report it!
    “make religious leaders aware that they are not above suspicion and if children report anything they will be listened to (this methood works in secular western schools where single male teachers teach, take note Mosizzle)”

  • Beautiful Muslim Doll

    Syed

    “Don’t leave kids alone with anybody, unless they are also accompanied by a volunteer parent (take turns so its not the same volunteer each time). If you suspect abuse – act on it and report it to the authorities (not to the religious committee, etc.). Discuss appropriate adult behavior with your kids.”

    Syed, yes good solutions, most abuse against children, sexual that is is comittee by those close to the child,

    it is why sexual abuse in secular western schools is rare, because teachers are not considered to be something great or godly, but men normal men.

    the solution to tackling this problem, is to do what the catholic church has done,

    1 bring it out into the open
    2. make religious leaders aware that they are not above suspicion and if children report anything they will be listened to (this methood works in secular western schools where single male teachers teach, take note Mosizzle)
    3. Parents should be told that religious leaders should not be thought of as being different to other men, and they can be guilty of the same sins as everyone else, and should not be considered “above sinning”
    4.that it is not shameful to discuss this problem with your child,

    Now the problem facing religious comminities (all of them, not just Catholic) is that many parents dont even discuss this with their child, instead they tell their children that if their religous teacher complains, they will have failed them, that’s why the abuse happens.

    It’s only now that Catholoc priests are probably aware that if they abuse they will be caught, so the abuse is probably less in their community than in times gone by.

  • Beautiful Muslim Doll

    Muhammed Abdul Haqq,

    thank you for a wonderful post. I don’t doubt an abused child would freely talk to you, wheras someone like mosizzle would scare them off reporting anything

    Mosizzle

    “I don’t see why we are even arguing. These pedos, wherever they are and whatever religion they are from, need to be sorted out. And their religion should not take the blame, though, like I said, specific rulings such as those that forbid priests from getting married should be reversed to help prevent such tragedies.”

    we are arguing because you apparently don’t know what fornication means.

    it means sex with a consentual adult. what the priests and other religious figures (like rabbis and imams do) is not due to lack of sex. if they comitted fornication, it would be with a consenting adult (man or woman) or a hiring a prostitute. that would be fornication.

    Rape and child abuse is not fornication.

    doing it with scared children too afraid to report it, is child abuse, it’s a crime and its not due to lack of sex. Why havn’t you commented on the sex abuse from rabbis and imams who have wives?

    let me clarify further, read muhammed abdul haq’s post first too,

    Why do teachers in western schools in europe not abuse children so prolifically as do the religious figures?

    the answer is, they are not considered to be all powerful, and sin free, they are warned that if they have sex even with a consenting child (under 16) they will face jail, even touching children is against the law, it’s sexual molestation,

    There are clear laws in place, they are warned, and pareents warn their children, and children know if teachers abuse them, they will be listened to.

    On the other hand, children who in the grip of religouus figures face people like you, who inisist it’s a lack of wives,

    why don’t male teachers in europe or america comit sex abuse so prolifically against children? it’s because they’re not on a pedestal.

    On the other hand rabbi’s priests, and imams are on a pedestal, they know people will say “oh he wouldn’t do that, he’s a religous figure, hes too holy”

    this is what Muslim chilfren report, it’s what Jewish children in Iasrael report (according to The Awareness Centrre,) and it’s what Catholic and Chrisitan children whose priests are God on earch face.

    Do you understand it now or not?

    it;’s not a lack of wives, otherwise please explain why single male teachers in secular societies do not abuse children so prolifically.

    did you even read the links i posted?

  • Mosizzle

    “What if he were Muslim? Then the Spanish Muslim groups would be whining about “Islamophobia” and planning riots.”

    The fact is, Rocky Lore, he wasn’t Muslim but a Catholic priest. Do we see Catholic priests being assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. Does America consider limiting their rights and accusing the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics of being pedophiles. Nein.

    Like they mentioned on the Daily Show, Catholic priests can still build churches near playgrounds.

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq

    @Rocky Lore

    “What if he were Muslim? Then the Spanish Muslim groups would be whining about “Islamophobia” and planning riots.”

    You see, this is why Islamophobes are standing in quicksand. You can’t even get the definition of Islamophobia correct, instead try to divert with countless false allegations,straw men arguments, logical fallacies, red herrings, non sequiturs…shall i go on? That was very pathetic rocky lore

    Allahu A’lam

  • Rocky Lore

    What if he were Muslim? Then the Spanish Muslim groups would be whining about “Islamophobia” and planning riots.

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq

    i am sure haram pork can remember this:

    muhammad ‘abd-al haqq Says:
    October 19th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Just wait for the goalpoasts to get moved!

    i’ve seen this ridiculous line of reasoning before. It’s grasping at straws hoping to trip up muslims with at least one false charge. The arguments go a little something like this:

    1. Islamophobes say Muhammad(saws)was lecherous since he had so many wives. That gets refuted, so the goalposts are moved.

    2.Muhammad(sasws) must have made up his revelations since he gets more wives than other muslim men. That gets refuted, so the goalposts are moved.

    3. Islam allows sex with slave girls. That gets refuted, so the goalposts are moved again.

    4. Islam allows sex with prepubescent girls. That gets refuted, so the goalposts are moved again.

    5. Muhammad “thighed” Aisha(ra) before the marriage was consummated. That gets refuted, so the goalposts are moved again.

    6. Aisha(ra) still played with dolls at the time of her marriage, so it’s obvious the hadith about her being 6 when married and 9 when it was consummated is true. That gets refuted, so the goalposts get moved again.

    7. Ok, so maybe he wasn’t a pedophile but it was statutory rape. That’s easily refuted so the goalposts are moved again.

    8. And, ignoring Old Testament history, we are back at square one as to why Muhammad(saws) had so many wives.

    Islamophobes swear that we haven’t seen these bogus arguments before. Like there is some uber secret Islamic clerical council dedicated to hiding the truth about Islam from muslims and the rest of the world. One thing is for certain, Islamophobes are obsessed with the sex life of the Prophet(saws).

    You can keep pretending that we haven;t seen or refuted your arguments before, but we are on to your devious tactics. You keep hoping one will slip through and you will break the “spell” of Islam. Keep trying and failing miserably. Your shameless parroting of anti-Islam orientalist polemicists, missionaries, and hate-sites is all you got?

    Allahu A’lam

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq

    Anthropologically speaking, the chief reasons for the sexual abuse of children usually fall into two categories both stemming from an abnormal psychosexual development:

    1) Pedophilia. It cannot be prevented by removing celibacy from the Catholic priesthood or with marriage being used as a deterrent. Pedophiles are exclusively sexually attracted to children, so in the case of married men who do it, we have to understand the social pressure to conform in a religious community is enormous when compared to secular communities. Especially in the case of Muslims, because pedophilia, child abuse, homosexuality and rape are so abhorrent in Islam.

    2) Rapists who abuse children, like any other type of rapist, commits these acts to gain personal power and control. It is not about sexual desire, and many rapists actually see sex as something depraved in itself, so the humiliation they mete out to their victims reflects an abnormal psychosexual pathology. That Islam recommends marriage as a deterrent from fornication in no way implies that pedophilia and homosexuality are considered in this category of prohibited acts. The prohibition is with adult male/female fornication in mind. This is why many scholars were unsure or confused about whether homosexuality and pedophilia were in fact the zina spoken of in the Qur’an or a separate category. We see many medieval rulings where homosexuality was punished in the same way as adultery and fornication.

    i can neither laud the Catholic Church or defend Muslim and Jewish leaders who engage in this type of despicable behavior.

    ———————

    @ haram pork

    “How can you not convict Mohammad,when her accuser Aisha herself claims that she was only 6 years old when she was married to Mohammad,who was 50 years old.He entered her when she was 9 and still playing with her dolls.You can find all that in authentic Hadiths.If she were a mature woman and still playing with dolls,then she must have been mentally retarded,which she certainly was not.”

    When will have an original thought? That nonsense about dolls has been thoroughly refuted o master of the false analogy.Question: what makes the hadiths related to this story authentic and others false? Are we cherry-picking again in order to reach premature conclusions about Islam and prop up our hate-filled propaganda?

    “..view pornography on Internet are from SAUDI ARABIA and PAKISTAN whose followers are MUSLIMS.Check it out,if you wish.”

    That’s just pure bunk and i’m sure everyone reading that line got a good laugh from it!

    Allahu A’lam

  • Mosizzle

    I don’t see why we are even arguing. These pedos, wherever they are and whatever religion they are from, need to be sorted out. And their religion should not take the blame, though, like I said, specific rulings such as those that forbid priests from getting married should be reversed to help prevent such tragedies.

  • I’m sorry, I just read what I wrote, most of it is crap, please feel free to ignore it. I am not on form today…

  • The reading of my words is yours and not what I meant, sorry next time I will be clearer.

    Why do married men do it? Why do we do all sorts of things? This is a physiological question I an ill suited to answer but in my mind there are a few scenarios I can think of:

    – unhappy marriage for whatever reason

    – crap sex life meaning they look for sexual fulfillment in other ways

    – previously abused, ‘bullied bully’ syndrome

    I don’t think you can be ‘happily married’ and still pedophile, if you are happily married that suggests you are sexually fulfilled and wouldn’t need to find another outlet. I will also hazard that far far far fewer pedophiles are married men or at least have an active sex life when compared to unmarried or no sex life, hence fulfillment of sexual desires via normal means cuts down the problem. As was said by Mosizzle though, you will still get people doing it for whatever reason, social factors or whatever since I can believe a person would be ‘born’ like it.

    And I will still refuse to applaud the Catholic Church, you may feel they are doing a great job but I frankly can’t see it and I can tell that, had no one spoken up, it would have stayed hidden. Seriously, what are they doing to solve this problem? I saw the Pope’s letter, some half hearted mumblings from mid level leaders of some sort and a load of obstruction and complaints when the police in various European nations tried to get involved, including refusal to hand over documents. You want me to clap that? I hope I’m not coming across rude, I’m not, I just don’t see anything worthy of my thanks.

    As for your links, well, good news and bad news, yes it happens and you’ll note the scale is not as high as it was with the Catholic Church, but at the same time it seems something is being done. Who knows. Over here, I have never heard of the problem and I work with kids all the time. I know the kids would tell me if they were messed with, so maybe that’s it, someone to tell who they can trust. I also told the ones I work with what to do if such a thing ever happens to them to they are in a situation they don’t like, again, that gives them some defense. I still don’t think that is the case in the Catholic Church, whatever you say, as I stated I’ve not seen anything to suggest movement on the issue but since it is in the open, movement will be inevitable and not pretty. Maybe that’s another way, to get it out and unhidden, which your links suggest is done already. Finally, some of the communities where it happens have a cultural thing to go with it, I think of Afghanistan in particular as a well known example so that would need dealing with. Your suggestions?

  • Syed

    BMD asked, “what solution do you suggest for sex abuse of children in the Muslim community by religous leaders?”

    Don’t leave kids alone with anybody, unless they are also accompanied by a volunteer parent (take turns so its not the same volunteer each time). If you suspect abuse – act on it and report it to the authorities (not to the religious committee, etc.). Discuss appropriate adult behavior with your kids.

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