Middle East studies in the News
The Rape and Slavery That No Campus Will Condemn [on Jonathan Brown]
"I don't think it's morally evil to own somebody."
"A male owner of a female slave has the right to sexual access to her."
These views don't come from an ISIS underground bunker, but out of the brilliantly lit halls of Georgetown University where rape and slavery are defended by an Islamic studies professor.
Georgetown had changed the names of Mulledy Hall and McSherry Hall because Mulledy and McSherry had once been involved in selling some slaves back in the early 19th century. When Christina Hoff Sommers spoke at Georgetown, feminists demanded trigger warnings and a university official threatened College Republicans. But defending actual slavery and rape is still okay at Georgetown.
So long as it's committed by Muslims under the license of the Koran.
"I don't think it's morally evil to own somebody," Jonathan Brown explained to attendees at his lecture. "Slavery cannot just be treated as a moral evil in and of itself."
The Georgetown Islamic Studies professor had expelled a critic before the lecture even began. He thought that he was among "brothers" at the International Institute of Islamic Thought. But sitting in the audience was Umar Lee, another convert, but one who unlike Brown had struggled with the morality of his new religion. Some in the audience had questions and Brown had horrifying Islamist answers.
To a man who argued that slavery was wrong, Brown retorted, "How can you say, if you're Muslim, the Prophet of God had slaves. He had slaves. There's no denying that. Was he—are you more morally mature than the Prophet of God? No you're not."
Slavery can't be wrong. Not if Mohammed, the prophet of Allah and founder of Islam, had slaves. The Koran is the touchstone of Brown's personal morality, as it is of every Muslim.
Mohammed was the perfect man and a role model for all Muslims. Therefore rape and child abuse can't be wrong either. Not when the founder of Islam was both a rapist and a pedophile.
When Brown had been asked in the past about the women and girls sold and raped by ISIS based on Islamic law, he defended the Islamic practice of sex slavery, "There is no doubt that the Quran and Sunna permit this."
So too when defending Mohammed's sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl, Brown insisted, "You cannot say from a Sharia perspective that what the prophet did was wrong because the prophet can't commit sins."
How can Mohammed's slavery and rape be whitewashed? All you have to do is deny the existence of freedom and the right of human beings not to be enslaved and raped.
"It's very hard to have this discussion because we think of, let's say in the modern United States, the sine qua non of morally correct sex is consent," Brown lectured wearily.
"If you take away the consent element, then everyone starts flipping out. Right? At that but you get, rape you get sexual acts done by people who are too young we perceive to consent. And these are sort of the great moral wrongs of our society."
We focus on consent, Brown explained, because we "fetishize the idea of autonomy", but "most of human history human beings have not thought of consent as the essential feature of morally correct sexual activity".
Islam certainly does not. In Islamic morality, consent has as much to do with moral sexual activity as ice cream cones have to do with airplanes. Islam does not offer universal rights, but hierarchies of privilege in return for allegiance to Muslim leaders. It eliminates individual autonomy: whether it's that of non-Muslim women being raped by Muslim conquerors or non-Muslim slaves reduced to property.
"A male owner of a female slave has the right to sexual access to her... her 'consent' would be meaningless since she is his slave," Brown had also explained in the past.
"Slave women do not have agency over their sexual access, so their owner can have sex with them," he appears to have written on Facebook.
America is based on equality of rights. Islam is a supremacist system based on inequality.
"We fetishize the idea of autonomy to the extent that we forget, again who's really free? Are we really autonomous people?" Brown wonders.
This deconstruction of a crime against a woman into philosophizing about the nature of free will isn't just academic wordplay; it's the essence of Islam. Islam denies that human beings can be free. Muslims are slaves of Allah. They serve the Caliph. In return, they may force everyone else to serve them.
Is anyone really free? We're all slaves.
That is the essential idea of Islam. It's the radical notion of every totalitarian revolutionary movement. If everyone is already enslaved, then enslaving them under the correct way of thinking is really liberation.
No one is free. Therefore those who are more free, because they worship Allah or recognize the evils of capitalism, are doing them a favor by enslaving them.
And the rest is word games.
Jonathan Brown is a Georgetown boy. He got his degree there and these days he holds the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization and directs the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding. The $20 million gift from the Saudi prince brought real rape culture to Georgetown.
Don't look for Georgetown's Working Group on Slavery or President DeGioia, who decided to rename two buildings because their namesakes had once sold slaves, to get involved. The Saudis still practice their own form of slavery. They only abolished slavery, on an official basis, under pressure from JFK.
These days, the Saudis actually fund people like Brown who defend slavery in the United States.
Brown is valued by his masters for his word games. He deconstructs slavery and rape until they become meaningless. No one is ever free. And as the holder of a chair funded by a slave kingdom, he ought to know.
After the scandal broke, Brown declared on Twitter, "Islam as a faith and I as a person condemn slavery, rape and concubinage."
In the past, Brown had written, "As for concubinage, there is no doubt that the Quran and Sunna permit this." At the lecture, he had declared, "If you're Muslim, the Prophet of God had slaves. He had slaves. There's no denying that. Was he—are you more morally mature than the Prophet of God?"
But it's all in how you define slavery, rape or terrorism.
Behind all the words games is a fundamental clash of values and civilizations. American values and Islamic values are not compatible. Islam does not believe in consent, freedom and autonomy. It also doesn't believe in truth. A dialogue with a totalitarian ideology is meaningless. It consists of deceitful word games used to justify its abuses. Those word games are all that Jonathan Brown has to offer.
It's all that the left has to offer. That's why it will protect and defend Brown and his horrifying views.
The modern campus and its obsession with punishing slavery and eradicating rape culture are a sham. Georgetown will lash out at a dead 19th century Jesuit priest, but it will never stand up to the Saudi royals or Jonathan Brown. It will investigate rape culture everywhere except in the speeches and writings of one of its professors who is merely quoting the horrifying body of Islamic jurisprudence.
ISIS atrocities shocked the world. But it's a shorter distance from ISIS to the modern world than we like to think. You don't need to travel to Iraq or Syria to listen to it being defended as a way of life.
Just stop by Georgetown instead.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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