Over at Frontpage Mag (via RaymondIbrahim.com), I discuss the growing trend of trying to portray the most outlandish stories emanating from the Islamic world as “hoaxes.” The article is really two parts, the first explaining the situation, the second offering suggestions as to how to determine if an account is a hoax or not. A portion of the second part follows:
[…] So what should the objective Western reader do””who is stuck in the middle, does not read Arabic, and cannot independently verify anything””when confronted with absurd news emanating from the Islamic world?
Along with evaluating the evidence as best they can, I suggest they learn to connect-the-dots. The fact is, there is no end of bizarre anecdotes emanating from the Islamic world. Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic authority until he died in 1999, Sheikh Bin Baz””hardly someone to be dismissed as being “far, far out on the nutty fringe–”insisted that the earth was flat and that all scientific evidence otherwise is a Western conspiracy.
In 2007, Egypt’s second highest Islamic authority, Sheikh Ali Gomaa””the same “moderate” Grand Mufti who deems all Christians “infidels–”decreed that drinking the urine of Muhammad was a great blessing. Likewise, a few weeks ago in Egypt it was revealed that there is now a clinic “healing” people by giving themcamel urine to drink””because Muhammad once advised it.
Then there are the notorious breastfeeding fatwas: Several Islamic clerics””including Dr. Izzat Atiya, of Egypt’s Al Azhar University””advised Muslim female workers to “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to be in each other’s company (more “moderate” clerics say it is not necessary for the man to drink the milk directly from the teat but may use a cup).
The list goes on and on: Several Muslims, including prominent ones, are calling for the reinstitution of sex-slavery, whereby “infidel” women can be bought and sold in markets. One female Kuwaiti politician even recommends that Russian women seized during the Chechnya jihad be sold as sex-slaves on Muslim markets.
Other prominent clerics insist that Islam allows men to get “married” to baby girls still in the cradle, having sex with them once these children are “capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.”
How does one explain these absurd and vile teachings””teachings advocated, not from radicals nor clerics “far, far out on the nutty fringe–”but often from its highest authorities? Simple: Islamic jurisprudence, which is responsible for defining what is right and wrong in Islam, is fundamentally based on the words of a 7thcentury Arab whom Muslims venerate as a prophet. And this man said and did many things that defy modern day sensibilities.
Indeed, he said and did many things that defied the sensibilities of his contemporaries””such as stripping naked and lying with a dead woman to the surprise of her gravediggers (which, incidentally, is cited by the necrophilia fatwas). And it was the prophet who first ordered a woman to “breastfeed” a man in order to be in his company. Though she expressed shock at the very idea, she went through with it anyway.
Here, then, is the rule of thumb: When it comes to determining whether a story from the Muslim world is a hoax or not, first determine whether it is it Islamic or not””whether it has doctrinal or historic support; whether it has some backing in the Quran and/or the hadith…