Was Muhammad a Pedophile?

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This article is an essay/op-ed by R. Frank. Pen-icon2.png
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Introduction[edit]

Yes. Muhammad was undoubtedly a pedophile.

One of the most disturbing things about Islam is that it does not categorically condemn pedophilia. Indeed, it cannot, for to do so would draw attention to the pedophilia of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Muslims cannot categorically condemn pedophilia without denouncing him as a false prophet. In addition to Aisha, he had planned to marry a baby, but died as a result of a poisoning before he could do so.

Pedophilia is the sexual exploitation of children. The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders says that pedophilia is "an abnormal interest in children; a disorder that is characterized by recurrent intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies generally involving…children, or other non-consenting persons. Pedophilia is also a psycho-sexual disorder in which the fantasy or actual act of engaging in sexual activity with prepubertal children is the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification. Pedophilia is defined by mental health professionals as a mental disorder, but the American legal system defines acting on a pedophilic urge as a criminal act."

Please note the words: "the preferred means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification." From the age of 54 until 64, Muhammad preferred the very young Aisha to the rest of his large harem and sex slaves. He had fantasies about Aisha before asking for her hand. He passed these fantasies off as "revelations" from the Supreme Being.

The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders reveals that some researchers attribute pedophilia to arrested emotional development; that is, the pedophile is attracted to children because he or she has never matured psychologically. Some regard pedophilia as the result of a distorted need to dominate a sexual partner. Since children are smaller and usually weaker than adults, they may be regarded as non-threatening potential partners. This drive for domination is sometimes thought to explain why most pedophiles are males.

Muhammad's emphasis on controlling or dominating others and his use of savage, irresistible force to make them "submit" to his will is consistent with the narcissistic urges of a pedophile who enjoys the domination and submission of a small, vulnerable person.

James Hord, a psychologist in Panama City, Florida, who specializes in treating sexually abused children, agrees that pedophiles "need to feel they have power and control in a relationship, which is easy with children."

Pedophilia is an abuse of power[edit]

The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders: "Some pedophiles offer rationalizations or excuses that enable them to avoid assuming responsibility for their actions."

Muhammad rationalized and excused every urge to dominate and control others, even to commit the act of pedophilia, by using Allah as his alter ego, offering him a perfect justification for his other brutalities as well. The compliant source of his revelations gave Muhammad whatever justification he needed for unethical behavior.

The American Psychiatric Association says: "An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act that never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior."

Dutch psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg points out that "non-coerced" sex is a misnomer because there is always an element of coercion -- involving a misuse of adult authority, [my italics] and a misuse of the child's need for affection. If a researcher sees no harm, "it may be because he is using the wrong glasses...not because there is nothing to see."

Dr. David Finkelhor, a leading U.S. researcher in the field of child sexual abuse, describes some of the consequences of childhood seduction: confusion about sexual identity and sexual norms; inability to differentiate sex from love; confusion between care-getting and care-giving, with lowered respect for adult authority; guilt, shame, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, depression, vulnerability to drug and alcohol abuse, and impaired ability to judge the trustworthiness of others.

"Ultimately," says Dr. Finkelhor, "I do continue to believe that the prohibition on adult-child sexual contact is primarily a moral issue. While empirical findings have some relevance, they are not [to be] the final arbiter."

Fallacious Arguments from Islamists[edit]

Arguing that Muhammad reflected the practices of his time is to admit that Muhammad was not inspired by God and was a false prophet. He did not raise the bar of morality to adult monogamy, but behaved the same as pagans. Moreover, by making marriage alliances, he revealed his true motive was his personal political power, rather than the religious or moral betterment of society. Far from showing Muhammad as a moral leader, this argument shows the reverse: that Muhammad was morally a pagan and a scheming politician. True revelation would have categorically denounced pedophilia as evil.

Islamists further use the "Fallacy of the Circular Argument" or "Begging the Question" to answer this question. They begin by stating "Muhammad was a moral example given by God, so he could not be pedophile." They are merely "begging" us to believe that Muhammad's character was excellent in spite of evidence to the contrary. Since no moral person could be a pedophile, they conclude Muhammad was not a pedophile. This is the basic Islamic argument, but this reasoning is circular and fallacious. There were many people in Muhammad's day who considered him immoral. The Hadiths record that he had most of them exterminated. The use of violence to persuade others to "submit" is not a moral argument, but another logical fallacy. The Fallacy of the Appeal to Force in place of a reasoned argument is the most prevalent argument in the ahadith and Qur'an.

Conclusion[edit]

Obviously, we all cringe when we think of pedophilia and acknowledge that it is a shameful act of immorality, whether committed by Muhammad, his followers, or others. The main conclusions of this article are:

  1. Muhammad was a pedophile because he preferred his child bride to the others and planned to marry a baby
  2. not everyone at the time approved of his marriage to Aisha,
  3. Muhammad's pedophilia and multiple marriages caused huge scandals in his small community that required special revelations to restore confidence in him; these are recorded at length in the Qur'an,
  4. a true prophet would have been inspired by the Supreme Being to denounce the evil of pedophilia, rather than commit it,
  5. pedophilia is backward, uncivilized and barbaric and destroys the life of a woman,
  6. Muslims cannot condemn pedophilia even if they would like to, for they would have to abandon Islam. Muslims tacitly approve of pedophilia, even if they are embarrassed to say so. So mesmerized are Muslims by the example of Muhammad's pedophilia that they are unable to categorically denounce pedophilia or feel shame. It is prevalent in many Muslim countries disguised as child marriage. The UN is today trying to stop the evil of child marriage among the backward Islamic regions of Asia and Africa. The future of some 300 million young girls depends on it.
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