Today’s question comes from Ahmed. ‘My name is Ahmed. I am heart broken by Ravi Zacharias scandal. Why do Christians abuse women? We don’t have this problem in Islam. Can you explain why Muslims are better than Christians in controlling abuse?’
Thank you Ahmed for this question. I do not agree with you that there is no abuse in Islamic nations. In fact I would argue that it is more rampant in Islamic societies than in Christian societies. Let me give you three reasons for this phenomenon.
Absence of a Good Example: First, the absence of Example: In Christiany, our model of human behavior is Lord Jesus Christ. In Islam, your model of human behavior is Muhammad. Our blessed Savior Jesus said, I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart’.(Matthew 5:28). In this verse, Jesus said, ‘Don’t look at a woman lustfully’. In other words, ‘don’t abuse a woman even in your thoughts’. Jesus lived a pristinely pure life and he expected purity from his followers. Your prophet Muhammad picked up women wherever he travelled. Contrast that with the life of Jesus. Christians have a better model of purity in Jesus than Muslims have in Muhammad.
Absence of Freedom of Press:
Tariq Ramadan is a famous Muslim leader from Switzerland. He was a professor at Oxford University. He was charged with raping 5 different women. When the police arrested him, many Muslims cried ‘Islamophobia’. After questioning Tariq Ramadan admitted to having five extramarital affairs. While teaching the Quran to the world in the front office, he was seeing 5 different women in his back office.
Nouman Ali Khan is another famous Muslim speaker. Living in Texas, he became a very famous Islamic teacher gaining millions of followers. He gave lectures condemning Justin Bieber and Christian leaders. On one hand, he would say ‘if you are not married, don’t even shake the hand of a person of opposite sex’. On the other hand, he was sending shirtless selfies to his female followers with sexually suggestive text messages. He would groom his female fans, marry them in ‘secret sham marriages’ and force them into relationships. If anyone opens her mouth, he would buy their silence or threaten them to keep quiet.
Tariq Ramadan and Nouman Ali Khan…the Western Press went after them without fear. They are caught while living in the West. The situation in the East is much worse. Women are bullied, threatened and even killed.
Sexual abuse is rampant among Muslim clerics. Just a few days, ago, Muslim cleric Aziz-ur-Rehman was arrested in Pakistan for abusing a student in his Islamic school. Many students in these Islamic schools had gone into hiding because they had received death threats. If you report on a Christian leader, no one threatens you. If you report on a Muslim or Hindu leader, your life will be in danger. Some Muslim women started MosqueToo campaign after Metoo and ChurchToo campaigns were started.
The absence of freedom of press in the Muslim nations is a big concern. Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian journalist working for The Washington Post. His sin was to criticize Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He was brutally murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. That reflects the state of freedom of press in Islamic nations. If a foreign journalist is threatened, what about native journalists? Not many journalists would dare to criticize Muslim leaders in Muslim nations. We don’t get to hear much about the clerical abuse in Muslim nations because of this lack of freedom of press.
Absence of separation of mosque and state: Thirdly, the absence of separation of mosque and state. In Iran, a lot of abuse goes on in Islamic schools. But no one is charged, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned, because there is no separation of the mosque and the state. Ali Khamenei is the supreme leader of Iran and he is also the supreme leader of the mosque. If your boss is supreme, what is there to fear? It’s like the Vatican. The Pope is the supreme leader of the Vatican and also the head of the Catholic Church. You don’t hear about sexual abuse that happens inside the Vatican. It’s like in India. The Hindu leaders control the state and also the religion. so, we don’t see any Hindu leader convicted of sex crimes. They are all friends.
Jesus Christ our Lord famously said, ‘render unto Cesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s’. He separated the church and the state. We can see his great wisdom in those words. Separation of powers provides ‘checks and balances’ between church and the state. There will be less corruption and more accountability. Islam does not believe in the separation of church and state and it resulted in less accountability, more corruption and more abuse of women.
So, the absence of example, the absence of freedom of press and the absence of the separation of church and state are the reasons for rampant abuse of women in Islamic nations.