Sometimes it’s just too easy. This started coming into the office in emails yesterday: “Incensed by Rampant Islamophobia, Muslim American Scholar Strikes Back.”
Of course! The real problem Muslims have is not rampant jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism, but “Islamophobia”! Pay no attention to all the jihad attacks committed in the name of Islam around the world, and the triumphalist actions and declarations of imminent Islamic conquest — the real problem is not with them, but with people like me who report on them and show their root causes in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example (both copiously invoked by those same jihadists and Islamic supremacists)!
And so now to counter my bestselling 2006 book The Truth About Muhammad comes Moustafa Zayed’s The Lies About Muhammad — and I’m sure that that’s exactly what his book is full of. I haven’t read it yet (yes, Zayed, I’ve ordered it — you’re welcome — and I expect to have a great deal of fun with it), but the press release announcing its publication contains one choice lie as a preview:
Zayed comments, “Today’s Islamophobia is not a misunderstanding, or a difference in beliefs or opinions, but a deliberate fabrication and misinformation of clear facts perpetrated upon the American people.” Zayed gave an example: In his book, Mr. Spencer brought a verse from the Quran, claiming that it proves that Islamic law mandates male witnesses of “sexual immortality” [sic!] in order to support the male criminal! It appears that Mr. Spencer has intentionally omitted the first sentence of the verse that shows it is only related to recording debts!
Unfortunately for Zayed, we can actually go to the Qur’an and evaluate the truth of his claim. There are several verses in the Qur’an that mandate four witnesses to establish a crime of zina, or sexual immorality. Let’s look at each:
1. “As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation).” — Qur’an 4:15.
That’s the whole verse. Does the immediately preceding verse, 4:14, have anything to do with “recording debts”? No. It says this: “And whoso disobeyeth Allah and His messenger and transgresseth His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where he will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom.”
2. “And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony. They indeed are evil-doers.” — Qur’an 24:4.
Again, that’s the whole verse. Anything in 24:3 about “recording debts”? Here it is: “The adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress none shall marry save an adulterer or an idolater. All that is forbidden unto believers.”
3. “Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars!” — Qur’an 24:13.
Whole verse, yes. Anything in 24:12 about recording debt? Strike three: “Why did not the believers — men and women — when ye heard of the affair, put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, ‘This (charge) is an obvious lie’?”
That last one is referring to the accusation of adultery against Aisha, Muhammad’s child bride and favorite wife. Muhammad exonerated her after receiving these revelations that four witnesses were required to establish the crime, and her accusers did not have four witnesses. I invoke 24:13 in discussing this and its implications for Islamic law on page 67 of The Truth About Muhammad. Do I leave out part of the verse? No, actually I don’t quote it at all, just refer to it by the number. Zayed is…lying.
And as for Islamic law: “When a person (who has reached puberty and is sane) voluntarily…accuses another person of adultery…then the accuser is subject to the penalty for accusing a person of adultery without four witnesses…” (‘Umdat al-Salik O13.1).
The Lies About Muhammad. That’s a good title, Mr. Zayed, because clearly your book is full of them.