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Will mainstream media speak for the voiceless?

By Amaar Ahmad:

The last counsel by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) right before his passing away was for Muslims to guard against violating the rights of women and the slaves. In the Islam Republic of Pakistan today, that should have automatically meant that the rights of vulnerable and weak are safeguarded zealously. Instead, a declaration of war seems to have been made against the dispossessed and the powerless – especially the women and religious minorities of this country.

The last few years have witnessed a horrific increase in incidents against vulnerable people. To add insult to injury this is often justified in the name of religion one way or another. When it comes to the treatment of women we know that domestic abuse, acid attacks and honour killings have become an utterly ugly but inseparable feature of our society. The few legislative measures that have been taken have not proved sufficient to curb violence against women. This is partly due to the outrageously hypocritical opposition by conservative groups against legal protection for women from domestic abuse. Somehow these groups have always managed to construct religious justifications to block the passing of any legal measures. Their characteristic hypocrisy is especially noticeable in cases of women like Mukhtaran mai or Fakhara Younis. If only the abusers of these women were other than influential Pakistani “Muslim” males, one might have witnessed a complete reversal on their misogynistic position.

The list of the voiceless also includes Pakistan’s religious minorities who seemed to have caught the evil eye of the same religious fanatics. The state apparatus seems hellbent on letting minorities be annihilated in any way possible; it acts with utter indifference when the murderous rampage against the Hazara community is launched and it only becomes an active participant against the Ahmadis (e.g. the murder of Master Qadoos due to police brutality).

The fundamental problem is that a large segment of society has absolutely no awareness about human rights issues and the law enforcement personnel are recruited from this same pool which is unlettered in civic values. The average person is thus untrained, unconcerned and uninformed to even understand the gravity of the humanitarian problem in Pakistan. The other and presumably educated functionaries of the state are are too afraid of political repercussions to get their hands dirty.

Thus in a dysfunctional society as ours, the responsibility to raise awareness and to educate the public about values and ethics rests squarely on the shoulders of media now. State functionaries only fear negative publicity and respond only when the media pummels them. Likewise, given the pathetic quality of public education and widespread illiteracy, again it is the electronic media which exercises real influence on public awareness.

In the void created by a disinterested state is the mainstream electronic media interested in educating the public and becoming a voice of the voiceless?

Unfortunately, at the moment, it seems to be mostly absorbed in a select number of populist topics and mostly avoids taboo issues which deal with women or minorities. Take daily talk shows for example. Show after show only involve silly politicians and senseless “analysts” who confuse more and inform less. You could change the date of a talk show and it will be practically the same as a month ago. The so-called Memogate issue is a classic example of wasted airtime due to misplaced priorities. How does discussing such an issue ad nauseum affect the
cause of the downtrodden?

What is needed is a healthy balance between discussing the regular political topics and the taboo issues. The past few years have shown that constant media pressure can succeed in reversing the inequality between the powerful and the powerless. The media indulges in lip service to women’s and minorities’s issues from time to time. This won’t work anymore. A persistent discussion of human rights issues affecting the voiceless is desperately needed because the future of Pakistan – and by consequence of the electronic media itself – depends on it.

Let us not consider this a western agenda.The mainstream media is dominated by self-styled champions of religion and patriotism. If there is any service to Islam or to Pakistan they could ever do then this would be it.

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200 Responses to "Will mainstream media speak for the voiceless?"

  1. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Syed,
    Thank you for your reference. I will take that up later on. I am comparatively free the next few days and I will come back on that topic. The issue is not that straightforward.
    .
    Coming back to the main topic, to answer your question, I have never said that it was wrong to imprison the enemy combatants. Where is the dispute on that? The point I have made again and again is that there is a difference between imprisonment and enslavement. I am not going to attempt again explaining that difference to you or others who are willfully acting obtuse. I have asked you that question and am awaiting an answer that if it was so much as a semantic difference, then why did the prophet devote 4-5 surahs condemning it? On another level, I am amazed that in order to justify a clearly indefensible aspect of the prophet you and others have gone on to not only subvert logic but also history in equal measure. You say the prison was unknown in the prophet’s time. Really? The prophet lived in towns that were on major trade routes. How on earth could he not have known about prisons in Jerusalem or other towns? Even if we accept that he had a temporary blackout, how were the slaves traded? There must have been a market for them. Before bringing them in market for auction, where were they kept? It’s inconceivable that right after finishing fighting, they went promptly to the slave market to buy and sell slaves. My point in writing this stuff is to detail the dehumanizing aspect of slavery. Now, here are my few questions:
    .
    Do you agree that there were slave markets during the prophet’s time?
    .
    Did he abolish the slave markets?
    .
    Did he forbid putting a price on a slave?
    .
    Did he forbid auction of the slaves?
    .
    Do you agree that in those enslaved enemy combatants, there must have been some, nay a lot more, that were not as diabolical as you say they were? If they were, it’s rather hard to believe that they turned a completely new page the moment they became Muslims. That just doesn’t make sense.
    .
    If some of the enemy combatants were not as guilty was it not a crime to punish them on an equal measure?
    .
    The fundamental fact is that the prophet had a chance to abolish this hateful practice and he himself recognized how bad the whole system was. He did nothing to root it out. In fact, by invoking god’s commands for his actions he made sure that that system would be perpetuated till eternity, which is what happened, and which a lot of commentators have argued. As an intelligent man, it’s hard to imagine how he could have missed that when, on the other hand, he took stringent measure to root out idol worship.

  2. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “Like you, and perhaps more than you, I am against enslavement of a free people who have harmed no one and are living in peace. ”
    .
    It’s not about enslavement of free or non-free people. Slavery is bad. Period. It has been an eye opener for me to engage in this discussion. It’s said that religion makes human out of us. I think the opposite is true. Otherwise, why would a group of fundamentally decent and well spoken for people just go on glibly defending such a base and horrendous practice. The shocking part is that you do it, living in a land where you cannot go through a week without hearing this stuff discussed about.
    .
    “But there are some, like militants in Afghanistan or Somalia who do enslave people on religious grounds for ransom and then do torture. If you were to enslave these criminals – on an eye for an eye principle – I would have no objection to this. ”
    .
    That is exactly the point I have been trying to make. I will have grave objection to that kind of thing. That is why human rights group raise such a furore about wrongful detention. That is the fundamental tenet of a modern just society. The eye for an eye principle that you are talking about is the trait of a primitive barbaric society.

  3. Sachbol United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Syed

    Avoiding to answer the straight forward question is the typical trait of islamic taqqiya.let me ask again, is the sexual exploitation of slave grils and women by the slave owners permitted by Islam/Its Prophet, Godhood etc or not?
    While condeming or not the exploitation of welfare system , simple fact is Indics look down on such hand out and will never ask and wont spread their hand . No one has accused Indics of not hard working , they have been suucessful in every adopted country and do not entitle themselves asking for changes in laws and local customs. We cant say this for Paki, BDs and others like them heavy on religion, low on morals, prinicples and removal of truthful living.

  4. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Bade Miyan

    “Do you agree that there were slave markets during the prophet’s time?
    Did he abolish the slave markets? Did he forbid putting a price on a slave? Did he forbid auction of the slaves?”

    The onus is on you to prove that this happened. I not aware of or have read about any markets or auctioning of slaves in Madina. The chronicles only record that the prisoners of war were distributed among the Muslims under a proper authority. So there were certainly no slave markets as in Americas or in Zanzibar. It is possible that two owners of these prisoners could privately exchange them for a price agreed between them – possible but I have’nt found about this. Some prisoners of war were released against payments from their relatives or -if they were lettered- after teaching a certain number of Muslims on how to read and write.

    “If some of the enemy combatants were not as guilty was it not a crime to punish them on an equal measure?”

    We are going round in circles. Like I have said, these men and women were captured in battles that were imposed on Muslims. Each prisoner was released from bondage on different terms; some by their relatives in Mecca by paying ransom or elsewhere while others by earning their way out of it.

    I ask you a very very very simple question: Name a single captive or slave who was caught by Muslims outside of a military conflict?

    I would agree with your assertion if you can name people who did not participate in planning, aiding or abetting in the wars launched by Arab tribes against Madina.

  5. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    “Slavery is bad. Period.”

    You seem to always visualize hordes of poor men and women captured from their homes, being auctioned in slave markets and then treated as dirt.

    My contention throughout has been that this is a false and untrue representation of events. Firstly, they were captured from battlefields or skirmishes. Secondly, they were no public auctions.
    Thirdly, Islamic Chronicles record that Muslims treated them far better than even themselves in many cases.

    In that sense, the slavery which you keep visualizing did not exist. I again ask you to name a slave who was caught by Muslims outside of any military conflict?

    “I will have grave objection to that kind of thing. That is why human rights group raise such a furore about wrongful detention.”

    How should you deal with Somali pirates and Taliban outlaws? This is why I fundamentally disagree with the idea of dealing softly with criminals whose crimes and guilt has been openly proven or when they have openly admitted to their misdeeds.

    The notion of harsh punishment changes across era. In colonial America, jailing criminals was deemed inhumane. Corporal punishment was the order of the day. Today, corporal punishment is deemed inhumane but prison sentences are not.

    Finally, on the issue of creating prisons in Madina. It was not that Muslims did not know of prisons but that it was impossible to create them given the limited financial resources at disposal in the city. You should read more about the terrible suffering which Muslims had to endure even in Madina before passing any judgement.

  6. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Syed,

    “Name a single captive or slave who was caught by Muslims outside of a military conflict? ”
    .
    Are you talking of Muslims of the prophet’s time? If so, I have accepted your point that he only took slaves in a military conflict. My point is that it was still ignoble.
    .
    “I would agree with your assertion if you can name people who did not participate in planning, aiding or abetting in the wars launched by Arab tribes against Madina.”
    .
    That is a stupendous argument! A perfect example of guilt by association. Ahmedis are persecuted in Pakistan and say it happens that a Pakistani army contingent is sent to quell a rebellion of Ahmedis in one of the villages. I mean, from the point of view of Pakistanis, that is a rebellion. Would you, therefore, support the enslavement of the entire Pakistani contingent? Some of them may be just doing their job as professional soldiers. How can you just prescribe a blanket punishment.

  7. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Syed,
    “You seem to always visualize hordes of poor men and women captured from their homes, being auctioned in slave markets and then treated as dirt.

    My contention throughout has been that this is a false and untrue representation of events. ”
    .
    No, my dear friend. It’s you who has made that picture of slave market possible. Just a few posts before, you argued that slavery was not abolished by the stroke of a pen because of the impact it would have caused on the society. You told us to imagine thousands(yes thousands) of free slaves roaming around and creating all sorts of troubles. Are you trying to tell me that that sort of numbers can be handled on an individual basis without some sort of market for them?? I cannot believe this sort of reasoning!!! Medina and Mecca were not some hole in the wall sort of towns. They were on well known trading routes. Please sort out things before putting them on paper. I already had a proof of your knowledge of Quran. You are not doing yourself any favors here.

  8. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “How should you deal with Somali pirates and Taliban outlaws? This is why I fundamentally disagree with the idea of dealing softly with criminals whose crimes and guilt has been openly proven or when they have openly admitted to their misdeeds.”
    .
    I think we have a fundamental disconnect here. I guess, by your logic, it would be ok for some US citizens to have some of the captured taliban and somali pirates work as slaves on their lawns. Try talking to your neighbor about it and let me know what he thinks about it.

  9. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    “A perfect example of guilt by association.”

    No. Prisoners captured in battles or skirmishes. I assume that you agree that Muslims did not make any other slaves.

    “You told us to imagine thousands(yes thousands) of free slaves roaming around and creating all sorts of troubles. Are you trying to tell me that that sort of numbers can be handled on an individual basis without some sort of market for them?? ”

    I see. So you cannot produce evidence of slave markets for auctioning slaves and instead make arbitrary assumptions. Like I have said the onus is on you to prove this. Based on what we know for sure the prisoners were distributed among individuals – but certainly not in slave markets.

    “I guess, by your logic, it would be ok for some US citizens to have some of the captured taliban and somali pirates work as slaves on their lawns. ”

    Why object to this? But the US govt. already has the capacity to handle such prisoners. In fact, they also captured German/Japanese PoWs and made them do a lot of “lawns” in labor camps.

  10. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Bade Miyan

    Can two governments exchange prisoners of war for financial compensation/ any other economic barter? Secondly, the idea behind paying bail and obtaining freedom from prison is a well accepted practice. Is posting a bail a pricing of a human or of pricing of the alleged crime?

    The bottom line is that Muslims under the Prophet captured prisoners of war. Many were released by paying random and when they were no longer deemed a threat to society. I keep saying this that “slaves” of that era were practically no different from the modern conditions which apply to prisoners of war.

  11. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    The “slaves” of the Prophet who excite your sympathy and humanity so much were the scum of earth; a large number among them were themselves slave owners, used to openly commit honor killings, and banditry was their second nature. All of them had participated in battles to annihilate the Muslims simply because of their new faith.

  12. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Syed,
    If you have ever read about the methods of historical reconstruction, you would know that it is not a straightforward task. Chronicles are only one of the sources. They can be incredibly biased. Quite sometime ago, I had argued that the presence of so many idols in Mecca was a proof that, in general, the people there accommodated different sects. For this, I was lampooned by another very ‘wise’ commentator. Sure enough, someone came out with a proof that such a thing was possible.
    Now with respect to slave trade, I admit, I have based my assertion/conjecture on only what you have stated. You have to explain to me an economy that can handle thousands of slaves without an organized market for them. As it is chronicled by your own Muslim historians, Muhammad bought and freed slaves from time to time. Either he was fighting a lot of wars or there had to be a place from where he bought those slaves. Some sources even claim that he freed more than 20 thousand slaves. If we take 5 slaves per household, we are talking about dealing with at least 4000 households. Are you telling me that he traded in those slaves on an individual basis? I remember reading about the slave market of Makkah somewhere. I don’t have the book with me now. It also had the story about one of the famous slave rebellion in Iraq or somewhere.
    .
    I know why you are shying away from accepting that there may have been a slave market in Mecca. That is because, like you said, your own sensibilities about slaves is shaped by the modern experience. If you leave that aside, as you advised me, it’s not at all hard to imagine existence of such a market.
    .
    “In fact, they also captured German/Japanese PoWs and made them do a lot of “lawns” in labor camps.”
    .
    And, if you followed the full story, they were widely castigated for their act and there has even been a public apology for such labor camps.

  13. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Bade Miyan

    You cannot understand slavery better than a slave himself. Zaid bin Harris, Salman Farsi, Bilal bin Riba, Suhaib Rumi, Ammar bin Yasir and may other one-time slaves could not have joined the banner of the Prophet if Islam was promoting slavery itself. These men had endured incredible hardships from their (non-Muslim) oppressor owners. It just does not make any sense that slaves would join the ranks of a slave-maker themselves!!

  14. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “The “slaves” of the Prophet who excite your sympathy and humanity so much were the scum of earth; a large number among them were themselves slave owners, used to openly commit honor killings, and banditry was their second nature.”
    .
    Hmm..no. I am just saying things as an impartial observer. As I said, nothing justifies slavery. If the prophet was using their heinous acts as a justification for their treatment, it reflects very poorly on him.
    At another level, I am not even sure if they were that bad. It was common for the Muslim chroniclers to paint their adversaries in the worst light possible. I can give you numerous examples. Raja Dahir? I mean, you should know. Don’t we hear the periodical hai-tauba about Islamophobia?
    .
    Christians, similarly, make a huge tamasha over the crucifixion of Christ. Hello! That was a common mode of punishment in those days.

  15. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “I had argued that the presence of so many idols in Mecca was a proof that, in general, the people there accommodated different sects. ”

    Their “accomodation” ended the day when Muhammad (pbuh) declared his messengership for one God. Are you saying that converts to the new faith were happily tolerated for 13 years during the Prophet’s mission in Mecca?

  16. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “It just does not make any sense that slaves would join the ranks of a slave-maker themselves!!”
    .
    That is one of the quirks of human nature. Once again, I urge you to read the history of civil war. There was a contingent of slaves that fought for the confederate army. It’s also called Stockholm syndrome. Plus, you have to see it from the slaves’ point of view. They were serving a person whose star was on the rise and who was the most important person in that society, at least among his followers. Who better to serve that the prophet! I think that was quite smart. Such phenomenon is not at all uncommon in a feudal setup. You would have heard numerous stories about the family retainers.
    Plus, I have never said that the prophet was not a kind man. I have told numerous times that he seems to be a kind and sensitive man. He should have just abolished slavery (and the 4 wives thing). That’s all.

  17. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    “As I said, nothing justifies slavery. If the prophet was using their heinous acts as a justification for their treatment, it reflects very poorly on him.”

    By your own admission, there is no need to imprison and confine criminals and outlaws as nothing justifies taking away of the freedom of a human.

    “At another level, I am not even sure if they were that bad. It was common for the Muslim chroniclers to paint their adversaries in the worst light possible.”

    Any proof for this grand claim? You have already judged Muslim chroniclers as liars. That says much for your claim “I am just saying things as an impartial observer.”

  18. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    “I have never said that the prophet was not a kind man. I have told numerous times that he seems to be a kind and sensitive man. He should have just abolished slavery (and the 4 wives thing). That’s all.”

    “There was a contingent of slaves that fought for the confederate army. It’s also called Stockholm syndrome”

    Bad comparison. Arguably Confederate slaves were being forced: How could they refuse orders from their masters? Here we are talking of Muslim slaves who are in non-Muslim captivity but are desiring to join a persecuted man himself – and at great peril to their own lives and comfort.

  19. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “Are you saying that converts to the new faith were happily tolerated for 13 years during the Prophet’s mission in Mecca?”
    .
    For now, we will address this one. Thank you for reminding me. The other thing we will address in due course.
    .
    Ok, so I have heard from you and BI like a million times how Muhammad and his followers suffered the “worst possible treatment” etc. etc. That is a pretty high benchmark for those unforgiving times. Now, can you just give me a sample of that “worst possible treatment”? You say it went on for 13 years. Either the prophet and his companions had an incredibly strong constitution or his tormentors were incomparably inept. 13 years of torture is a long long time.

  20. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “I have never said that the prophet was not a kind man. I have told numerous times that he seems to be a kind and sensitive man. He should have just abolished slavery (and the 4 wives thing). That’s all.”

    Perhaps the Prophet saw something then which you are not seeing now?

  21. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “By your own admission, there is no need to imprison and confine criminals and outlaws”
    .
    No you person-with-a-thick-head. I am saying there was no need to trade them as slaves.
    .
    “You have already judged Muslim chroniclers as liars.”
    .
    Not liars but prone to exaggeration. In fact, in their quest to paint a grand picture of their benefactors, they frequently showed them in bad light. The examples are too numerous to list. That is not restricted to Muslim chroniclers.

  22. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “Bad comparison. Arguably Confederate slaves were being forced: How could they refuse orders from their masters?”
    .
    You should read some accounts. Not stories, just facts.
    .
    “Here we are talking of Muslim slaves who are in non-Muslim captivity but are desiring to join a persecuted man himself – and at great peril to their own lives and comfort.”
    .
    Thank you. That is exactly what Stockholm syndrome is.

  23. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “Perhaps the Prophet saw something then which you are not seeing now?”
    .
    Absolutely. I agree with you. But that question should be put to millions who suffered slavery as a (indirect) result of such wonderful piety.

  24. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    “Now, can you just give me a sample of that “worst possible treatment”?

    1. The Prophet being choked and physically assaulted by goons. He was also pelted with stones on many occasions.
    2. Bilal bin Riba being put on burning stones by his owner and thrashed.
    3. Ammar bin Yasir being beaten while being bound by Meccan feudals.
    4. Samiyya – a woman- being murdered by Abu Jahil through piercing a lance in her private parts.
    5. Usman bin Affan being suffocated through smoke by his uncle.
    6. Abu Jandal being tortured in shackles by his own father.

    Their crime: Acceptance of Islam.

    Obviously, this did not happen each day but it was enough for nearly 70 Muslims from among 200 odd to emigrate to Abbysinia to escape persecution. The remaining left for Madina over time.

  25. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “Thank you. That is exactly what Stockholm syndrome is.”

    Sorry wrong definition again. This when “hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them”

    These slaves – Bilal, Salman Farsi etc.-should have remained with their masters and not joined the ranks of the Prophet as per definition. It was not the Prophet who was enslaving them but their non-Muslim slave-owners. Why did they abandom their masters for Muhammad (pbuh)?

  26. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Apart from #4, they don’t seem extraordinary for those times, mate. In that too, you failed to mention that that act was not deliberate.
    .
    I am not saying that those were not heinous acts but you have to see things from their perspective too. Imagine if someone walked into Mecca today and said that the prophet’s religion was false and that the black stone was really a Shivling (there are a lot of people who say that). I would imagine he would get a rough treatment, kicks, blows, etc. Some of us would say that the person didn’t deserve such a punishment but then it would be muted because we would be flooded with calls from Muslims who would ask us why that person was being deliberately provocative. I don’t think you would take very kindly to our pleas that he was merely exercising his right to freedom of religion.

  27. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Syed,
    “Sorry wrong definition again.”
    .
    But that is just a case of semantics, no? Ok. I’ll accept your point. It’s a country cousin of Stockholm syndrome. Fine?

  28. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Bade Miyan:

    “If the prophet was using their heinous acts as a justification for their treatment, it reflects very poorly on him.”

    So are you saying that the heinous acts should be rewarded?

    “But that question should be put to millions who suffered slavery as a (indirect) result of such wonderful piety.”

    A long stretch and tenuous linkage at best. How is the Prophet responsible for slavery when he himself condemned slavery in the strongest possible words (see my earlier comments)?

    If some Muslims twisted religion and indulged in historical revisionism of Islam’s early period to justify slavery then they need to be blamed for this. But if you are saying that the Prophet did not squeeze slavery hard then this is obviously wrong.

  29. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention, in the case of civil war, it was the South that felt itself as persecuted.

  30. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “Apart from #4, they don’t seem extraordinary for those times, mate. In that too, you failed to mention that that act was not deliberate.”

    I enumerated a few sample incidents. But there is more to it. The fact that Muslims sought refuge outside Mecca first is one indicator of what was happening. The fact that Meccans then tried to chase them down in Madina in three large battles repeatedly is another indicator. Putting a 10000 strong contingent around Madina and laying siege to it was the final act of aggression. What were the Meccans after?

  31. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “I forgot to mention, in the case of civil war, it was the South that felt itself as persecuted”

    Just as Meccans felt persecuted themselves when they laid siege to starve and kill the Muslims inside!

  32. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Another incident: An Arab tribe invited 70 Muslims for religious instruction after seeking the Prophet’s approval but then had them murdered in cold blood. This is about 4-5 years after the Prophet moved to Madina. This at least shows that treachery and rebellion were the norm by the Arabs; the Muslims were its victims.

  33. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    ..that treachery and rebellion was the norm of the Arabs..

  34. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “So are you saying that the heinous acts should be rewarded?”
    .
    No but that they shouldn’t have been enslaved.
    .
    “How is the Prophet responsible for slavery when he himself condemned slavery in the strongest possible words (see my earlier comments)?”
    .
    By not abolishing it completely. As I said, all he needed to say was: you are not a muslim if you trade in slaves or have them.
    .
    “If some Muslims twisted religion and indulged in historical revisionism of Islam’s early period ”
    .
    Some? That is the understatement of the century!
    .
    “The fact that Meccans then tried to chase them down in Madina in three large battles repeatedly is another indicator. Putting a 10000 strong contingent around Madina and laying siege to it was the final act of aggression.”
    .
    If you look at it from another point of view, why would a section of population that is not very different from another go to such lengths. Fielding 10k men in battle is not a mean feat, logistically or economically, especially in an area that was dependent on trade, which suffers the most in case of wars. There must have been some provocation or mishandling from the prophet side too.

  35. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bade Miyan:

    “No but that they shouldn’t have been enslaved.”

    Ok. So what punishment would you have given?

    “By not abolishing it completely. As I said, all he needed to say was: you are not a muslim if you trade in slaves or have them.”

    So even from your perspective, he deserves partial -if not full- credit for curbing slavery?

    “There must have been some provocation or mishandling from the prophet side too.”

    I want to hear about it.

  36. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “Ok. So what punishment would you have given?”
    .
    I don’t know. Maybe force-feed them julab.
    .
    “So even from your perspective, he deserves partial -if not full- credit for curbing slavery?”
    .
    I agree. He certainly moderated the treatment of slaves. We have a term now, haramzada, that is due to that!

  37. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “I don’t know. Maybe force-feed them julab.”

    Would you have imprisoned them?

    “We have a term now, haramzada, that is due to that!”

    This term refers to people born out of wedlock – not to the children of slaves.

  38. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t have wanted things to come to such a pass where we would need a fight to settle ideological disputes. But then I am an unbeliever. Even if there was a war, you could just hold them and then release them after the war was over. I don’t see how enslaving them would solve the problem. If anything, it would poison the matters even further. You have already won the war. You have shown who is the boss. If it was a matter of showing whose faith was better, it would have been much better served by treating them nicely rather than enslaving them. The prophet should have known that very few people are innately evil.

  39. Bade Miyan United States Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I think I have spent too much time on this. I don’t have anything more to contribute on this subject. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of perspective.

  40. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Bade Miyan

    We both agree that there should not be any slavery – this is the verdict of history. There are historical perspectives which are lost over time – which can lead someone to question the motives of earlier peoples. As a final comment, I do think that “slavery” as mentioned in that era of Islam is simply no more than the mechanics of how to deal with prisoners of war – who range from the dangerous to the benign. Hence, a spectrum of punishments that range from the harsh to the mild.

  41. Sachbol United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Pow, slavery right of sexual molestaion, that too in the name of God. I must admit the moral standards are of the highest quality and divine too. When Godhood is so merciful to bunch of medieval charahcters that it advises about practicing AZL on female slaves etc then there is no doubt that it is the final voice of God. Thanks God, Indians are kaffirs using nature given brain.

  42. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Sachbol

    “is the sexual exploitation of slave grils and women by the slave owners permitted by Islam/Its Prophet, Godhood etc or not?”

    “When Godhood is so merciful to bunch of medieval charahcters that it advises about practicing AZL on female slaves etc then there is no doubt that it is the final voice of God.”

    Isn’t exploitation and ownership mutually exclusive. You can only exploit that which you do not own; so a contradiction in terms. But yes it was deemed permissible. Female slaves captured from the aggressors were deemed permitted in that era; having lost the right of any freedom including the right to marry without the master’s permission. Harsh but true.

  43. ahem Germany Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    to syed

    Stop living in the 7th century.

    Come to the 21st.

    Let the 7th century not dictate over the 21st.

    Finalism is (road to) fascism.

    If god would have wanted to give a (final and perfect) book to mankind then he would have done a better job than the so-called holy arabic book.

  44. Bin Ismail Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    Most respectfully, I would like to further elaborate for the benefit of my friends here:

    1: To begin with, when does “Qitaal” or “Jihad bil Saif” (Jihad by means of the sword) become permissible? It becomes permissible only when an armed aggression has taken place and only in response to an armed aggression. “…Permission to fight is given ONLY to those against whom war is waged, because they have been wronged…” [Quran 22:39]. Hence, to begin with, Qitaal or the Jihad of Combat is strictly “defensive”.
    2: When there is war, there is life loss on either side. Killing is not permissible in normal circumstances, but in war it is done. Taking prisoners too, in normal circumstances, is not permissible but this too has to be done during war. In normal circumstances, taking someone into custody would be termed “abduction”. In war-time situations, those confined are termed “Prisoners of War”. It is obvious that a “Prisoner of War” is by default deprived of some of his/her basic rights.
    3: The defender is as much rightful in holding the enemy personnel as Prisoners of War as the aggressor is in confining the defenders personnel as Prisoners of War. Both situations are the bitter fruits of war.
    4: If prison facilities and camps devised for the purpose of lodging Prisoners of War are available, these would naturally be the arrangement of choice for keeping the prisoners. However, should a situation arise, where prison facilities are not available, or non-existent to be precise, taking the Prisoners of War as domestically confined wards, inspite of being conditional, would be the most humane and rational alternative. Hence, in the presence of prison facilities and war detainees camps, the very concept of confining domestically becomes inapplicable.
    5: The taking of female captives, too, is not a permanent option. It exists only as a “deterrent” against a situation where the aggressor takes the defender’s women as captives. Hence, the option of taking female captives from the aggressor’s side is there only as a measure to quell the eventuality of the defender’s women being taken as captives by the aggressor.
    6: In the specific case of female Prisoners of War, it was the practice of the Holy Prophet and his Rightly Guided Successors, to send a message to the enemy to come and take their women Prisoners of War back. In most cases, claimants did come and had their prisoners released. It was only and only during the period that the aggressors had Muslim women in their captivity and no claimant from the aggressor’s side was prepared to come and make a claim for the release of a certain female detainee, that the woman was retained as a Prisoner of War, for which the term “Maa malakat aymaanukum” has been used. “Maa malakat aymaanukum” means “those whom your right hands possess” implying rightfully confined Prisoners of War and not wrongfully enslaved persons.
    7: All Prisoners of War were offered the option of what was called the “Mukaatabat”. By means of the “Mukaatabat”, a Prisoner of War was free to gain freedom through a declaration of paying a fine, as a deferred payment – a payment he/she could make later on.
    8: During their period as domestically held captives/prisoners of war, these wards, whether male or female, were provided lodging, food and clothing of the same standard that was enjoyed by their caretakers.
    9: The Holy Prophet is known to have intervened and ordered immediate freedom to any such prisoner who was even as much as struck once on the face.
    10: Even while Prisoners of War were indeed held, the fact that most orientalists love to ignore, is that the Holy Prophet continuously kept on admonishing Muslims to liberate their wards and win God’s favour.
    11: The Quran encouraged taking those female prisoners of war, who were not being claimed back by their own society, into marriage and thus absorbing them into Muslim society. We read: “…And whoso among you cannot afford to marry free believing women, should marry what your right hands possess – your believing handmaids…” [Quran 4:25].
    12: The Revealed Teaching is “not” to enslave, but to “emancipate”. We read, “…And what should make thee know what Spiritual Ascent is? It is the Emancipation of a slave…” [Quran 90:12-13]

    Regards
    Bin Ismail

  45. Bin Ismail Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    Finally, in response to Amaar Ahmad’s question – “Will mainstream media speak for the voiceless?” – I think we all know that the answer is “No”.

    Regards
    Bin Ismail

  46. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    the media is already speaking for the most noisy voiceless,,,,,but only a shrink can take them out of their phobias.
    .
    Bade mian, you are lucky not to be a slave and Prophet Muhammad condemned slavery but how could he abolish it without Allah’s will??
    You are just playing with Syed the neem hakeem khatra e jaan!

    .

    Slavery is a necessary evil….it has not ended but changed in form.
    The entire civilized world is tame , the uncivilized or under-civilized are still in the jungle….all are slaves of their ambitions and egoes, true or false.

    .
    Bn Ismail,,,,,you have your own media—propaganda channels,,,,,website,,,and you spare no stone unturned to malign Muslims and followeres of all other faiths. In discussion you shrink from quoting from your own faux prophet and try to put all the burden of proof on others, particularly the Prophet Muhammad. What is so mysterious about Mirza Ghullam that you cringe from quoting from his writings anything about anything,,,in this case the ghulaaams>>??
    we want you Qadiani’s to quote from your Mirza about slavery ,,,,does he cease to be your profet when it comes to any controversial topic pointed out by adherents of other religions??
    Be bold,,,,,drum quotes and sayings of you own profet if you think he is one

  47. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ahem
    If you think that Arabic Book is not the final word then try to rewrite its new version if you can. The Quran itself challenges all to try do that. Move you butt and start writing!!

  48. Kashif United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ AKB
    //…you have your own media—propaganda channels,,,,,website…//
    I believe, the question raised by Amaar Ahmad was : “Will mainstream media speak for the voiceless?” Ahmadi Muslim channels and websites are not “mainstream media”. Our channel “Muslim Television Ahmadiyya” and our website “Al Islam” are not what one could refer to as “mainstream media”. Regarding the “mainstream media”, I would agree with Bin Ismail that they are not likely to speak for the voiceless.

  49. Syed United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ AKB
    //..drum quotes and sayings of you own profet if you think he is one..//

    Muhammad the Messanger of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) is very much our own Prophet.

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