“Each of us was raped by between three and six men….One woman refused to have sex with them, so they split her head into pieces with an axe in front of us.”
This happened in Darfur, from which Sudanese military personnel actually airlifted women to Khartoum to serve as sex slaves.
Meanwhile, Indira Dzetskelova, the mother of one of the child hostages in Beslan, Russia, reports that “several 15-year-old girls were raped by terrorists.” Her daughter “heard their terrible cries and screams when those monsters took them away.”
This indicates that there are two things the massacre in Beslan have in common with the ongoing massacres in Darfur: both, no less than the 9/11 attacks, are examples of Islamic jihad terrorism, and both are characterized by rape.
The jihadist element has been made clear by the ringleaders of both atrocities. Sudanese General Mohamed Beshir Suleiman recently declared: “The door of the jihad is still open and if it has been closed in the south it will be opened in Darfur.” In southern Sudan, of course, the jihad was waged against Christians; in Darfur, the targets are black African Muslims whose Islamic bona fides don’t satisfy Khartoum. As for Beslan, the Chechen jihadist leader Shamil Besayev warned the Russian government last winter: “Praise Allah, we are dreaming of dying in jihad, we are dreaming of dying on the way of Allah, so that we could earn paradise and mercy of Allah.”
What does rape, then, have to do with these religious conflicts? Unfortunately, everything. The Islamic legal manual ‘Umdat al-Salik, which carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates: “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.” Why? So that they are free to become the concubines of their captors. The Qur’an permits Muslim men to have intercourse with their wives and their slave girls: “Forbidden to you are ... married women, except those whom you own as slaves” (Sura 4:23-24).
After one successful battle, Muhammad tells his men, “Go and take any slave girl.” He took one for himself also. After the notorious massacre of the Jewish Qurayzah tribe, he did it again. According to his earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad “went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of Banu Qurayza] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” After killing “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900,” the Prophet of Islam took one of the widows he had just made, Rayhana bint Amr, as another concubine.
Emerging victorious in another battle, according to a generally accepted Islamic tradition, Muhammad’s men present him with an ethical question: “We took women captives, and we wanted to do ‘azl [coitus interruptus] with them.” Muhammad told them: “It is better that you should not do it, for Allah has written whom He is going to create till the Day of Resurrection.’” When Muhammad says “it is better that you should not do it,” he’s referring to coitus interruptus, not to raping their captives. He takes that for granted.
With Muhammad revered throughout the Islamic world as al-insan al-kamil, the perfect man, the rapes of Darfur and Beslan are nothing surprising. What is surprising, or ought to be, is the silence from the Islamic world about the rapes in both cases. Where are the reformers who will dare to say that Muhammad’s example must not be followed in this case? Who will acknowledge that the world has developed principles of human rights that must supercede those forged in seventh-century Arabia? Where are the Western spokesmen who are not so in thrall to multiculturalism that they will condemn rape that is justified according to Islamic religious principles? The much-lionized “Muslim Martin Luther,” Tariq Ramadan, now banned from entering the U.S., can so far only bring himself to call for a moratorium, not a definitive ban, on stoning for adulterers. Rape of captives? His sentiments are not known. Where is the Muslim Solzhenitsyn, who will speak honestly about the aspects of Islam that so desperately need reform, and call for the overhaul that the system so obviously needs?The whole world is waiting. But for the girls and women of Darfur and Beslan, it is already too late.