Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the nature and significance of Muhammad's most controversial marriage:
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
I quote Bukhari directly because one of the tactics in Muslim apologetics is to deny Aisha's age -- to insist disingenuously that "it isn't clear how old she was" or "some sources say she was 18 or 19." This is nonsense, and the speaker knows it is nonsense when he utters it to the credulous Infidels at Mosque Outreach gatherings and Muslim-Christian or Muslim-Jewish "Dialogues." All too often, of course, these “dialogues” become Muslim monologues, delivered so sweetly, with furrowed brows and expressions of sincerity.
Aisha was 6 when betrothed, nine when she had sexual intercourse with Muhammad. Muslims like to insist that he was not a "pedophile" because, you see, "pedophiles" do not marry older women, and most of Muhammad's 9 or 11 (but who's counting?) wives were not pre-adolescent. Robert Spencer and others have noted that his behavior was not unusual for the place and time in which he lived. But they have also noted that as uswa hasana, a model for all time, whatever Muhammad does is what Muslims must do, throughout time and space. There is no better pattern for life than the example of Muhammad, al-insan al-kamil, the Best of Men, to be emulated by all Muslims. Apologists for Islam today, Muslim and non-Muslim, try to explain away what he did as "of the period" and then, in the next breath, the same soothing spokesmen insist that his business with Aisha, or the way he treated prisoners, or had others treat them, is valid and worth emulating for all time. Which is it?
The most important modern example of this influence of the manners and morals of someone believed (by Believers) to have lived in 7th century Arabia, was the Ayatollah Khomeini. On coming to power that learned Shi'a theologian promptly reduced the marriageable age of girls to nine. If you didn't know before why he did this, you know why now.
This was not a dynastic marriage, that of Muhammad and Aisha. He had his eye on her since she was six, and when she picked up her toys and moved to his house, the intent was clear. Read the Hadith and the Sira. They make no bones about it. But even if such child-brides were not uncommon at the time because, for example European brides of 12 and 13 sometimes were betrothed to seal royal or aristocratic alliances, there is a big difference between a 9 year old (first spotted at age 6) and a girl aged 12 or 13.
And there is more than just Aisha. There were raiding parties, looting, seizing of women, killing of captives -- simply consult the Muslim versions of the Sira. They don't hide it. They are perfectly content with it. What they do not like is Infidels reading the same thing and coming to quite different conclusions. So they wish to hide as much of this from us as they can. Yet that concealment is an increasingly tough act, considering that it is all merely a click away, and eventually a lot of clicking will be going on as Infidels engage in the largest act of collective auto-didacticism in human history. Not because they want to, but because the actions of Muslims, in Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, are making it unavoidable. What else can we Infidels be expected to do -- keep repeating, despite all the evidence, that Islam is a religion of "peace" and "tolerance" and leave it at that? While Muslim fanatics have said they will kill any woman, Muslim or non-Muslim, who appears without a burqa and veil anywhere in Bangladesh?
How much of this stuff are we expected to permanently ignore?
One has witnessed, in mosques, the damage a single well-informed Infidel can do to a whole evening of propagandistic nonsense -- simply by referring to Aisha, or Khaybar, or the Bani Qurayza, or mentioning the hadith (usually the hadith are never mentioned, nor the sira -- the dumb Infidels are kept from learning about those).
All one has to do is properly inform oneself. And that goes not only for individuals, but for F.B.I. agents, local police, journalists, and others. There is no justification, none, for not learning what is in Qur'an and hadith and sira -- and learning not from apologists, but from the very best sources of all -- including, most obviously, scholars such as Bat Ye'or, and ex-Muslims such as Ibn Warraq and Ali Sina.
You know the reason why: the civilization you save could be your own.