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Silence of Moderates - A Rebuttal
Mike Ghouse, December 15, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali starts her article Silence of Moderates with a verse from Qur’aan. "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day." (Koran 24:2). Indeed, it is one of the thirteen authentic translations referenced below.

Ms. Ali has deliberately omitted a few verses that follow 24:2 making it impossible to mete that punishment. One is innocent until proven guilty.

Religion is not a divider for moderate Muslims. In practicing their faith they give room to some flexibility and rigidity. Like moderates anywhere they can also be called average Muslims and they seldom wear a glaring religious neon sign. Indeed their presence holds through the turbulent storms of the world.

The values of each family and a society differ on issues of premarital sex, adultery, rape, robbing, lying and cheating. They range from draconian to casual in how they deal with these issues. No single group can claim superiority over the other; they are different systems with their own fluid equilibriums.

Sex & Murder

Parts of Dutch society may not consider sex with a friend’s mate as a taboo. In America it is adultery! Hypocritically an adulterous wife might be brutally murdered if caught in the act. The Saudis and Iranians mete out 100 lashes for fornication or stone them to death for adultery.

The following statistics is baffling. Countries selected were top and the bottom of the list along with the US, UK and Netherlands.

Population in (000)
Actual Rapes
Rapes/ Million
South Africa
525, 943
United States
United Kingdom
Saudi Arabia
Sources: FBI, Nation Masters, Interpol and domestic violence.

Punishment may not be a deterrent. However, the figures suggest that a woman is safer from rape in Saudi Arabia than in South Africa. It is also possible that since the rapes are a rarity in Saudi Arabia, each one gets the headlines.

To save a life is like saving the whole humanity, and God loves those who forgive the most.

Qur’aan - 11:52 "Hence, O my people, ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance-[whereupon] He will shower upon you heavenly blessings abundant, and will add strength to your strength: only do not turn away [from me] as people lost in sin!"

How many societies approve adultery or premarital sex? Should the rapist be punished? Who should bear the responsibility for consequences of sex crimes or spread of STD’s?

A savage murderer gets the electric chair in Texas. Europeans may think us barbaric, but that does not shame us into changing our laws. The state continues capital punishment as the law of the land. I oppose that law and the punishment meted out to the Qatif girl. I condemn both the punishment and the Saudi Government for not mitigating it. Would Ms. Ali speak against American capital punishment? And to whom?

Ms. Ali concludes, “More compelling even than the order to flog adulterers is the command that the believer show no compassion. It is this order to choose Allah above his sense of conscience and compassion that imprisons the Muslim in a mindset that is archaic and extreme.”

It sounds archaic. However, Ms. Ali has omitted the verses that make it virtually impossible to mete that punishment out.

24:4 And as for those who accuse chaste women, and then are unable to produce four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes and ever after refuse to accept from them any testimony - since it is they, they that are truly depraved!

24:5 excepting [from this interdict] only those who afterwards repent and made amends: for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

24:6 And as for those who accuse their own wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let each of these [accusers] call God four times to witness that he is indeed telling the truth.

Americans are used to raising their right hand in front of a judge and affirming to tell nothing but the truth.

The functioning of a society runs amok when there is no punishment for crime. Most of the codes are designed to protect the innocent and to apply the laws uniformly.

God is compassionate and merciful.

Compassion is Islamic and must be applied. Our efforts ought to include the four nations in the 53 of the 57Muslim majority nations who follow compassion. Those who do not want to follow the law of their lands are not welcome to our shores either, although we are a compassionate and forgiving people.

We must understand how societies function and work towards a common goal. We should not divide societies as “western” or “eastern,” but follow what is human. We must focus on creating a just society, where every human enjoys the day and night without fear.

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