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Anti-Muslim Blogoshpere Runs Amuck: Forced to Eat Crow

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Islamophobes purposefully mistook these girls as child brides

The Loon world was whipped into a frenzy based on, as usual, the reinforcing winds of ignorance and hate. In what was meant to be an unremarkable story, Tim Marshall a reporter for Sky News blogged on a mass wedding celebration in the Gaza Strip officiated by  Hamas. Marshall reports in his excellent blog Islamophobia. Ignorance or Propaganda?,

The party is for 450 grooms, the brides are elsewhere, some among the 5,000 or so guests. It’s the way things are done here, Personally I’m for the mixing of the sexes, but I’m not about to argue, I’m outnumbered.

Up on the stage there’s music and dancing. Everyone’s having a good time, even me, although the Hamas robocops are making me a little nervous. Sure Hamas have cold blooded killers among them, sure they support the murder of children in Israel, sure they are cracking down on women’s rights, but many of their supporters are just ordinary people. And they need a break…Then the fireworks explode, the cheering begins, and in march the Hamas scouts, bashing drums, looking every inch the future Hamas fighters many will be. Then the grooms, aged about 18 to about 28. They are holding hands with their young nieces and cousins, little girls aged from about 3 to 8, made up to the nines, wearing white wedding dresses.

So what has gotten the Loon world completely riled up? Well it seems that many of the anti-Muslims misconstrued the occasion and thought the grooms were actually marrying the little girls who were their nieces or cousins! Tim Marshall explains,

Our report on this put it into context saying that it took place just a mile from the Israeli border and was a message from Hamas about its strength confidence and future fighters. Oh and that the brides were elsewhere. Pretty straightforward.

It never struck me for a moment that the little girls might later be described in the bloggersphere as the brides! How naive I am.

Dozens, and I mean dozens, of websites took the video of the event and wrote lurid stories about Hamas mass paedophilia with headlines about ‘450 child brides’, and endless copy about how disgusting this was, how it showed how depraved Islam is, et al, ad infinitum. Site after site jumped on the story, linking from one totally wrong load of rubbish to the next. I’ll give credit to Tundra Tabloids who at least took down the video, but most sites just ploughed on regardless.

So which sites are these, and what have the various reactions been? Bartholomew gives us a hint,

The many websites that picked this up have responded in various ways: some issuing corrections, some quickly deleting their postings, and some insisting that it’s all true and that Marshall is trying to cover up the fact: “Why”, demands one site “would Tim Marshall defend the Gaza pedophiles?” One of the sites that decided to scrub was Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, which is worth noting as Spencer claims some sort of academic expertise on Islam.

Where does this collective hallucination and fixation on fiction originate from? The simple, straight forward answer is that it comes from the collective hysterical hatred shared by those who despise Islam and Muslims. It is a manifestation of Islamophobia, “ie. an irrational fear of Islam.” It springs from the idea that Islam is evil, inherently backwards, oppressive to women. The talking point goes, “Muhammad was a pedophile who married 9 year old A’isha and these vile Mooslims must be doing it now on this massive scale!” George Readings puts this into some context in a recent post on The Spitoons (via Bartholemew),

The “argument” goes that Muslims believe Muhammad to be a perfect model for behaviour and therefore the fact of Muhammad’s marriage to A’isha somehow proves Islam to be a depraved religion…This attempt to aggressively apply a modern British definition of paedophilia to seventh century Arabia strikes me as a sign of severe anthropological illiteracy…

…Marriage to a pre-pubescant child with whom consummation occurs upon reaching puberty is not a model most people would be happy with in the modern world (although Bolivia sets the age of consent at puberty).

Which is probably why nearly all Muslim countries have reformed these rules beyond recognition. The age of consent in Algeria and Malaysia is 16, in Indonesia it is 19 for males and 16 for females. In Egypt it’s 18 for both and Tunisia 20. Reform has not, however, come to Saudi Arabia. Back in April the world followed the case of a mother trying to obtain a divorce for her eight-year-old daughter who had been married off by her father to a friend he owed a debt. In the end she succeeded and now there is even talk of Saudi Arabia preventing marriage before the age of 18.

Poor Tim Marshall scoured the net in an attempt to let the Islamophobes know that they had gotten it wrong but what was the result?

I spent a few hours visiting websites and leaving comments where I could. To little avail. Instead I received a steady stream of vitriol. The best response was on a site run by a Debbie Schlussel . The guy who posted it said he wasn’t interested in the detail. The detail being the fact that the girls weren’t the brides.

It showed how much some people want to believe nonsense like this, as it re-inforces their prejudices, always a comfortably fun thing to do. But Hamas, and the jihadists do enough terrible things without having to make things up about them. Most of the stuff I read was outright, unthinking, gleeful, Islamophobia from people who clearly knew nothing about Arab popular culture. It’s as is they really beleive that because there are examples of child brides, it means all weddings are with child brides.

Debbie Schlussel is not new to LoonWatch readers, her doozy looniness is par for the course, so Tim shouldn’t worry, but he hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “It showed how much some people want to believe nonsense like this, as it re-inforces their prejudices, always a comfortably fun thing to do.” This is exactly the case — loaded with a bagful of prejudice and preconceived notions the Islamophobes took the wedding to be an affirmation of their pre-set conjectures.

When they were presented with the fact that they had stupendously erred some corrected themselves  while others went into denial. It almost reminds you of some Biblical literalists who believe the world is 6,000 years old, you can present them with all the overwhelming evidence that point to the fact that the world is many millions of times older but they will stubbornly hold on to their literal interepretation of the Bible. This is not much different, and serves as a sweeping manifestation of the kind of irrationality that ignorance coupled with hate can produce.

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  • Khushboo

    Kristurd, you insult our religion and our beloved prophet and then play victim when you’re insulted?! BOOFUC*INHOO

    Dr. M is right! When you talk like a Nazi, you’ll be called a “Nazi”! Don’t expect us to play nice if you throw your sh*t at us!

  • Superpowerarsenal

    >Muhammed was a pedophile, normaly I would not give it a second thought
    since he lived 1500 years ago and mores was different then…

    So you understand it was acceptable back then to marry younger for various logical reasons and you STILL use that tired argument that Muhammad (pbuh) was a pedophile? What are you trying to accomplish?

  • Mosizzle

    Krister Andersson,

    http://www.defendtheprophet.com/was-prophet-muhammad-a-pedophile
    He was not a pedophile. He had no exclusive interest in sexual relations with children. Using the modern understanding of pedophilia to describe the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is incorrect. Take a look at the link.

    Although I suspect you might not need to because you, unlike many other people, understand that the mores of society 1400 years ago were different. However, him being the “perfect human being” does not need us to copy all of his exact actions. Scholars have learnt what the Sunna is and that is those things that we should follow to become better human beings, that the Prophet did. Marrying young wives is not Sunna, if it was then you would see a billion Muslims in such relationships. Instead, most Muslim countries have a high age of consent, some even higher than Western countries.

    Furthermore, the Muslim leader and founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was instrumental in the passing of the Child Marriage Restraint act of 1929 in India that banned child marriage, proving that Muhammad’s marriage did not make it compulsory for Muslims to seek younger wives. It was another action that was not necessary to follow that the Prophet did. It is only you who is implying that Muslims have to take his actions literally all the time. Muslims don’t. Which is why not all 1.5 billion Muslims ride camels, wear Arab clothes, eat Arab foods or live in Medina.

    His actions do not lead to Pedophilia. The fact that you imply this is interesting — what about the thousands of pedophiles in Europe? What is their excuse?

  • Krister Andersson

    Muhammed was a pedophile, normaly I would not give it a second thought
    since he lived 1500 years ago and mores was different then, however a lot
    of people today regards him as the perfect human being hence the criticism
    as for catholic priests they are a bunch of sick bastards and so is the
    pope because he tried to cover it up, as for you religious people out there
    I do not respect your beliefs and I do not care if you get offended!
    as the cognent saying in my language: du kan dra dit pepparn växer!

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  • S. Bergson

    False Story Claims 450 Gaza Grooms Wed Girls Under Ten in Mass
    Muslim Marriage
    http://www.hoax-slayer.com/mass-muslim-marriage.shtml

  • Islamophobia at one of its worst manifestations, that’s for sure.

  • luddite

    After having researched this on the Net pretty thoroughly, I gotta say that there is no definitive answer. I’ve seen plenty of quotes (including in the above article) attributed to Tim Marshall that he never wrote. Or at least he claims he never wrote. Everyone who calls it a hoax has an obvious agenda, and so does everyone who calls it the truth. It is odd that there are no of age brides anywhere to be found, and certainly some members of Islam support what is considered pedophilia by Western standards. There seems to be plenty of “evidence” in both directions. Not that it matters. Those who are pro Hamas will never believe it (no matter the proof); those who are anti Hamas will never disbelieve it (no matter the proof). And on it goes…

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  • James

    Who cares about these murderous thugs. Hamas needs to be exterminated and that’s all there is to it. The cousins and nieces need to go too since they are able to deliver offspring of more murderous thugs. Praise to allah. Get them before they get us.

  • Nick

    DrM.

    To say I am glad youa re not my fmaily Dr., is to put it mildly. No Dr I know of would ever descend into the kind of gutter talk name calling you seem to delight in. If this is your level of professionalism, and it seems to be, perhaps a career change is in order? Maybe working in a Pork meat packing plant as a janitor would suit you better. It might even improve your bedside manner.

  • Ustadh

    Garibaldi,

    There are people who still believe this crap. Can you believe it? Just the other day I was browsing the internet and saw something relating to it, the nice thing is that I have also seen this piece used as a rebuttal to a lot of the misinformation out there about this story. Great job, again!

  • DrM

    @Krister Anderson,

    You don’t seem to to have any reservations when disparaging others and you dare complain about being “called names”? What a hypocritical clown.
    As for your lame and racist remarks about Jamaica, you made those b/c of you thought I was a Jamaican. You had nothing else to work with. Talk about pathetic(not as pathetic as your belief in judeofascist propaganda BS about Palestinians though).
    FYI, Jamaica’s economy is based on agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and tourism. Last time I checked there was no shortage of narcotics in your civilized little corner Europe. Guess little Adolfs need their high…

  • Krister Andersson

    The individual attacked me personally, calling me all sorts of names
    so why should not I do the same? Besides I do think the music from
    Jamaica are lousy and they are known for their narcotics, hence it is
    not an attack. I am just stating facts.

  • DrM

    @Maturin
    Save the theatrics for someone who cares. You have no interest in any sort of human rights, nor do you believe in freedom of speech. If you did either, you would not be agitating against this site in the first place. Free speech does not merely consist of the ability to voice you view, it is to have an EQUAL PLATFORM TO BE HEARD! Once again, you verbally prattle, speaking in quips and easy slogans, but substantively know little. Don’t project and waste my time with your childish insecurities and judeofascist propaganda, you spineless hypocrite.

    @elric66
    In response to your comment, but you ARE a Nazi. The reason you’ve been called that it b/c you’re an paranoid anti-Muslim fanatic with your little crusader fantasies. And really, you want an “exchange of ideas?” What, posting BNP crap on Muslim and non-Muslim sites and then crying wolf? Is that why you ran off from Stefania Harris’ blog when I corrected you for your erroneous statements? You weren’t even man enough to admit you were wrong and took the cowards way out. That’s your M.O. Typical of the failed breed.

    @Krister Andersson.
    I’m not from Jamaica but nice job attacking the entire country anyway. Kinda proves my point that you’re an idiot and pathetic racist. Neurotic lil duffer aren’t you?

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  • FazUK

    If you keep making false accusations about a religon constantly, then expect to be labelled a nazi/racist/fascist!

    If you don’t know the facts and go off what some racist/islamphobic has to say…do your own research and I don’t mean by going to some sites where people like gellar etc write their co called facts…try doing some PROPER research..

    Also, if you think an arab/afghan/iragi etc man marries a child is religion IT’S NOT…it’s CULTURE…get it right!!!!

  • Krister Andersson

    Thanks for your support but I am used to it by now, they always
    call me nazi, racist, facist and so on, i do not care anymore.
    As for “Dr”M he is a joke, he is from Jamaica a country known
    for two things, narcotics and lousy music.

  • Garibaldi

    MDZFL,

    Thank you for the good words, they are very important and I hope people act in such an ethical way.

  • MDFZL

    There seems to be a long debate among the Pro-Islamic & Anti-Islamic individuals.

    Let’s look at religion from a neutral perspective. I believe that religion is a guided path to GOD, a path where it is encouraged to do good deeds to all fellow man and all living things.

    Just because of the minority that mix religion with other man-made factors (E.g. Politics, Money, Prowess and etc) the whole world views the “RELIGION” as a bad one.

    Let us be open-minded in every perspective. When someone comes and criticizes your religion, it would be unwise to do the same to them. That would make us no different from them. Patience is the key element here.

    We should engage in healthy discussions and not be quick to throw out slanderous remarks. Respect should be given if you expect respect to be given to you as well.

    A final note. Religion is something that you would embrace willing fully. Set a good example by being a role model in the face of society. Let this culture be passed on from generations to generations

  • Maturin

    Just read Dr M.I have read and received comments like his before.In all probability he is a Muslim who has been indoctrinated.You read similar statements from Muslims in other forums.Maybe he is not a Muslim,but there is a high probability he is.

    First,yes,the West has commited great crimes.I admit,but so have other cultures.You do agree to that,no,Dr.M?

    The fact is that the Muslim organizations want to stop FREEDOM of SPEECH by saying honest criticism of Mohammed and the Koran is a crime.It is not.But they invented a EUPHEMISM for it and called it “ISLAMOPHOBIA” hoping others would not notice.And most have not and never will,that is reality.Dr M,can yu please tell us if you agree with:

    1.The 100% HUMAN RIGHT of Muslims to leave their religion ANYWHERE in the world,even MUSLIM countries,and not be persecuted or discriminated,much less killed?

    2.The 100%HUMAN RIGHT of us to critique Mohamed and the Koran,saying what we feel is wrong and negative ANYWHERE,even in Muslim countries,and not be persecuted or killed?

    I hope you say yes,that you are truly for HUMAN RIGHTS.

  • Elric66

    “Lets gets something clear, no one is forcing to live under a “religious theocracy,” you paranoid Nazi reject.”

    Hmmmm….seems like if you dont tow the line here, you are automatically referred to as a Nazi. And if you ask a simple question like “Is the term “Brit” racist, its not allowed through. But name calling it seems is par for course here but thats no surprised. All pro-islam sites seem to be the same. No real debate and free exchange of ideas.

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