Blaming the Rape Victim in Dubai

Marte-Deborah-Dalelv-jpgDubai, not willing to take the international heat, has pardoned Marte Deborah Dalelv, a Norwegian woman who had been sentenced to sixteen months in prison for making the mistake of reporting that she had been a victim of rape.

The UK’s Daily Mail reported that “under UAE law, rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if four adult Muslim males witness the crime.” This isn’t just Emirati law; it is pure Sharia, based on Qur’an 24:4 and 24:13. Those verses, in turn, are according to Islamic tradition, the result of Muhammad’s exoneration of his favorite wife, Aisha, who was suspected of adultery.

Allah gave Muhammad a revelation requiring four male witnesses to establish such a crime: “And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony, they indeed are evil-doers” (Qur’an 24:4). The problem with this is that women who accuse men of rape but cannot produce four male witnesses are often accused themselves of zina — unlawful sexual intercourse — and jailed as a result.

This is not limited just to Dubai or the UAE. According to Sisters In Islam, a Muslim reform group, there is evidence that most — up to 75% — of the women imprisoned in Pakistan are there because of rape.

And it is all because of a tradition about Muhammad, recounting that soon after the Islamic prophet had ordered the veiling of women, the Muslims went in caravan to battle. Muhammad’s child bride, Aisha, accompanied him, carried in a curtained howdah on the back of a camel. Aisha tells the story:

(We camped) as we approached near the city of Medina. Then he announced for departure at night. I got up when they announced the departure, and went away from the army camps, and after finishing from the call of nature, I came back to my riding animal. I touched my chest to find that my necklace which was made of Zifar beads (i.e. Yemenite beads partly black and partly white) was missing. So I returned to look for my necklace and my search for it detained me. (In the meanwhile) the people who used to carry me on my camel, came and took my Hawdaj and put it on the back of my camel on which I used to ride, as they considered that I was in it. In those days women were light in weight for they did not get fat, and flesh did not cover their bodies in abundance as they used to eat only a little food. So, those people did not feel the difference in the heaviness of the Hawdaj while lifting it, and they put it near the camel. At that time I was still a young lady. They made the camel rise and all of them left (along with it). I found my necklace after the army had gone.

Since the order for veiling meant that no one could look at her or speak to her, and her weight didn’t make any significant difference, the people loading Aisha’s howdah onto her camel had no way of telling she wasn’t there. And so Muhammad’s favorite wife was stranded.

While I was sitting in my resting place, I was overwhelmed by sleep and slept. Safwan bin Al-Muattal As-Sulami Adh-Dhakwani was behind the army. When he reached my place in the morning, he saw the figure of a sleeping person and he recognized me on seeing me as he had seen me before the order of compulsory veiling (was prescribed). So I woke up when he recited Istirja’ (i.e. “Inna lillahi wa inna llaihi raji’un” [“Truly to Allah we belong and truly to him we shall return”]) as soon as he recognized me. I veiled my face with my head cover at once, and by Allah, we did not speak a single word, and I did not hear him saying any word besides his Istirja’. He dismounted from his camel and made it kneel down, putting his leg on its front legs and then I got up and rode on it. Then he set out leading the camel that was carrying me till we overtook the army in the extreme heat of midday while they were at a halt (taking a rest).

Aisha had been alone with a man who was not her husband. For some, that was enough to begin circulating ugly rumors about her: “(Because of the event) some people brought destruction upon themselves,” Aisha said, “and the one who spread the Ifk (i.e. slander) more, was ‘Abdullah bin Ubai Ibn Salul’”—along with three others (including another man named Mistah bin Uthatha and the sister of Zaynab bint Jahsh), along with some secondary figures. The rumors flew, and even Muhammad was affected by them, drawing back from Aisha, who explains:

After we returned to Medina, I became ill for a month. The people were propagating the forged statements of the slanderers while I was unaware of anything of all that, but I felt that in my present ailment, I was not receiving the usual kindness from Allah’s Messenger which I used to receive when I got sick. (But now) Allah’s Messenger would only come, greet me and say, ‘How is that (lady)?’ and leave.  That roused my doubts, but I did not discover the evil (i.e. slander) till I recovered from my ailment and I went out with Umm Mistah [that is, Mistah’s mother] to Al-Manasi’ where we used to answer the call of nature…

Umm Mistah ultimately tells Aisha about the rumors, which of course made an already ailing Aisha feel even worse:

So my ailment was aggravated, and when I reached my home, Allah’s Messenger came to me, and after greeting me, said, ‘How is that (lady)?’ I said, ‘Will you allow me to go to my parents?’ as I wanted to be sure about the news through them. Allah’s Messenger allowed me (and I went to my parents) and asked my mother, ‘O mother! What are the people talking about?’ She said, ‘O my daughter! Don’t worry, for scarcely is there a charming woman who is loved by her husband and whose husband has other wives besides herself that they (i.e. women) would find faults with her.’ I said, ‘Subhan Allah! [Glory be to Allah!] Are the people really talking in this way?’ I kept on weeping that night till dawn, I could neither stop weeping nor sleep, then in the morning again, I kept on weeping.

And she had good reason to weep: Muhammad evidently believed the rumors, although Aisha had defenders:

(When the Divine Revelation was delayed), Allah’s Messenger called ‘Ali bin Abi Talib and Usama bin Zaid to ask and consult them about divorcing me. Usama bin Zaid said what he knew of my innocence, and the respect he had for me. Usama said, ‘(O Allah’s Messenger!) She is your wife, and we do not know anything except good about her.’

Rather ungallantly, ‘Ali, who later became the great saint and hero of the Shi’ite Muslims, reminds Muhammad that there are “plenty of women”  available to the Prophet (Aisha never forgot this, and later disputed Ali’s claim that Muhammad had appointed him as his successor: “When did he appoint him by will? Verily when he died he was resting against my chest and he asked for a wash-basin and then collapsed while in that state, and I could not even perceive that he had died, so when did he appoint him by will?”). Aisha’s account continues:

‘Ali bin Abi Talib said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Allah does not put you in difficulty, and there are plenty of women other than she, yet, ask the maid-servant (Aishah’s slave-girl) who will tell you the truth.’ On that Allah’s Messenger called Barira (i.e. the maid-servant) and said, ‘O Barira! Did you ever see anything which aroused your suspicion?’ Barira said to him, ‘By Him Who has sent you with the Truth. I have never seen anything in her (i.e., Aishah) which I would conceal, except that she is a young girl who sleeps leaving the dough of her family exposed so that the domestic goats come and eat it.’

Muhammad was satisfied with this, and turned on Aisha’s accusers. Aisha recounts:

So, on that day, Allah’s Messenger got up on the pulpit and complained about ‘Abdullah bin Ubai (bin Salul) before his Companions, saying, ‘O you Muslims! Who will relieve me from that man who has hurt me with his evil statement about my family? By Allah, I know nothing except good about my family and they have blamed a man about whom I know nothing except good and he used never to enter my home except in my company’…. All that day I kept on weeping with my tears never ceasing, and I could never sleep.

In the morning my parents were with me and I wept for two nights and a day, neither my tears ceased nor could I sleep till I thought that my liver would burst from weeping. While my parents were sitting with me and I was weeping, an Ansari woman asked me to grant her admittance, and I allowed her to come in. She came in, and sat down and started weeping with me. While we were in this state, Allah’s Messenger came, greeted us and sat down. He had never sat with me since that day of the slander. A month had elapsed and no Divine Revelation came to him about my case. Allah’s Messenger then recited Tashahhud (i.e., La ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger) and then said, ‘Amma Ba’du [Now to the point], O ‘Aishah! I have been informed such-and-such about you; if you are innocent, then soon Allah will reveal your innocence, and if you have committed a sin, then repent to Allah and ask Him for forgiveness, for when a person confesses his sins and asks Allah for forgiveness, Allah accepts his repentance.’

At that point Aisha began to fight back against her accusers, even quoting the Qur’an in her own defense:

When Allah’s Messenger finished his speech, my tears ceased flowing completely and there remained not even a single drop of it. I said to my father, ‘Reply to Allah’s Messenger on my behalf concerning what he has said.’ My father said, ‘By Allah, I do not know what to say to Allah’s Messenger.’ Then I said to my mother, ‘Reply to Allah’s Messenger on my behalf concerning what he has said.’ She said, ‘By Allah, I do not know what to say to Allah’s Messenger.’ In spite of the fact that I was a young girl and had a little knowledge of the Qur’an, I said, ‘By Allah, no doubt I know that you heard this (slanderous) speech so that it has got fixed up in your minds and you have taken it as a truth. Now, if I tell you that I am innocent, you will not believe me, and if confess to you falsely that I am guilty, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you will surely believe me. [Qur’an 12:18]…. Then I turned to the other side of my bed; hoping that Allah would prove my innocence.

Allah does:

By Allah, Allah’s Messenger had not got up and nobody had left the house before the Divine Revelation came to Allah’s Messenger. So, there overtook him the same state which used to overtake him, (when he used to be inspired Divinely). The sweat was dropping from his body like pearls, though it was a (cold) wintry day and that was because of the weighty statement which was being revealed to him. When that state of Allah’s Messenger was over, he got up smiling, and the first word he said was, ‘O ‘Aishah! Allah has declared your innocence!’ (V. 24.11-21).

Here is the full passage of the Qur’an declaring Aisha’s innocence, scolding the Muslims for ever believing the accusations, and setting a standard for evidence in crimes of sexual impurity that remains part of Islamic law to this day:

Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce not witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah. Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you in the world and the Hereafter an awful doom had overtaken you for that whereof ye murmured. When ye welcomed it with your tongues, and uttered with your mouths that whereof ye had no knowledge, ye counted it a trifle. In the sight of Allah it is very great. Wherefore, when ye heard it, said ye not: It is not for us to speak of this. Glory be to Thee (O Allah)! This is awful calumny. (Qur’an 24:11-16)

The story establishes that Muhammad loved Aisha, and was clearly relieved when the revelation of her innocence came to him from Allah. But as so often in Islamic tradition, it seems as if Allah’s solicitude for his Prophet takes the Qur’an, which is supposed to be a universal message applicable to all people in all times and places, into some rather surprisingly localized areas. Even Aisha herself was amazed: “But by Allah, I did not think that Allah, (to confirm my innocence), would reveal Divine Revelation which would be recited, for I consider myself too unimportant to be talked about by Allah through Divine Revelation revealed for recitation, but I hoped that Allah’s Messenger might have a dream in which Allah would reveal my innocence.”

Indeed, many others have marveled at this over the centuries. And women continue to suffer for the odd stipulation that four male Muslim witnesses must be produced in order to establish a crime of adultery, including rape.

Marte Dalelv was just the latest. She will by no means be the last.

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  • Samuel

    You purposely distorted the two Koranic verses. 24:4 is a clear prohibition against accusing chaste women of adultery without the testimony of four witnesses, not about women accusing men of rape. You claim to be a scholar, but it’s no surprise that no respectable academic institution is interested in giving you a position.

    • OfficialPro

      Care to explain why all the Sharia-based Jurisdictions use this basis to charge women who have been raped with zina? Are they using bad scholarship, or are you just ignorant?

      • gray_man

        He’s just ignorant, or he’s a muslim trying to justify the filthy sharia law.

    • Sharps Rifle

      Explain how a pre-pubescent girl is a woman. As I recall, Moe “married” Aisha when she was SIX and RAPED her when she was eight or nine! Why are you defending that which is indefensible?

    • Chez

      In Islamic law, the same standard is applied for convicting women of adultery and men of rape. Four male witnesses are needed. This law has been used through the ages to persecute Muslim rape victims. If Spencer is wrong, please cite any Quranic passage or authoritative Hadith that differentiates the evidence needed for a rape conviction from an adultery conviction….but you won’t because none exists.

    • nightspore

      Umm … How do you square what you just posted with the above news story? If what you say is true, then why was this woman jailed for reporting a rape? Was it just a whim of the local precinct police?

      Obviously, you’re just a provocateur, who after attempting to fog up the situation with an inanity, segues into a general slur on the credibility of the author. But your moves are still unskilled. I think you need to sit at the feet of Willi Muenzenberg a while longer; you’re not yet ready for Prime Time.

    • Boots

      The reason Mr Spencer would never get a position at a “respectable academic institution” is that they don’t have the guts to tackle controversial issues. I doubt that he’s even applied at any as he’s an advocate. I am no scholar on the subject but I’ve read enough of his stuff and the rebuttals to understand that liberals don’t really want academic discussion regarding Sharia. Liberals and Muslims answer to any discussion regarding Sharia is charging Islamophobia. I’ve worked in the Middle East and it is a cesspool. Women have a miserable existence… observed… and America’s left still seem to believe there is some sort of cultural relativism to a society proffering fewer rights to women than they do to cattle. If you’re a Muslim that is your choice but I won’t allow you to impose your legal system on my wife or daughters. I’m not going to read your referenced verse, but if a woman is accused then she by definition isn’t considered chaste… unless she has four male witnesses so she’s guilty until proven innocent. Good luck with the roll of that dice for any woman raped.

    • Paul Austin Murphy

      The four witnesses are for the benefit of the man or rapist, not the woman who has been raped. What’s the likelihood that four men will have witnessed a rape or even ‘adultery’? (Are the two being distinguished here?) That will very rarely be the case. Thus women will very rarely be able to prove their innocence.

      Samuel, you’ve got it the wrong way around.

      The four witnesses are required to prove that the woman has been raped. Four witnesses are not required to prove she hasn’t been raped.

      You should stop trying to make backward and misogynist Islamic laws seem up to date and politically correct. It just won’t wash.

  • NunayaBiddness

    Be smart and just stay out of Dubai, and lets spend our time, money and efforts where they are welcome…if they want to do business with the west they need to get out of the stone age.

    And Vacationing in Dubai is just a bad idea…Why go where one is not wanted? I have passed thru Dubai many times over the years and cannot understand why a western person would ever choose to vacation there with so many better, more friendly and accommodating destinations available. St. Lucia, Trinidad, Bermuda, Ecuador, Belize, Durban SA, Perth, Sidney, Phuket, Singapore, Tahiti, Auckland or Dunedin NZ, or a hundred other places are all better than Dubai.

    • Gee

      Stay out of all Muslim regimes – they are use Sharia in one form or another as the basis for their ‘laws’

      • NunayaBiddness

        I completely agree. Traveling on Business I have had to transit thru Dubai a half dozen times with layovers of a day or three. Why anyone would Vacation there is baffling. If from Europe you can afford a flight and holiday in Dubai, one could also afford a flight and nicer holiday to a hundred other locals where we are both welcome and safe from the hate and absurdity that is Sharia Law and Islam.

  • LindaRivera

    Rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if
    four adult Muslim males witness the crime.” it is pure Sharia, based on Qur’an 24:4 and 24:13. End of quote.

    This is why it is a huge crime against humanity to import many millions of Muslims into Britain and Europe (and other countries). A very large percentage of Muslims want barbaric sharia law imposed on their host countries.

    “up to 75% — of the women imprisoned in Pakistan are there because of rape.”

    Muslims PUNISH rape victims. A vicious act not just against rape victims, but an act AGAINST G-d. Every rape is a kidnapping.

    The victims have been seized, stolen, held against their will and cruelly and violently violated. G-d gave the DEATH sentence for kidnapping:

    Bible, Exodus 21:16 He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.

    Our Kind, Caring, Merciful G-d gave the death sentence to PREVENT more rapes and kidnapping. G-d will give the proper punishment kidnappers/rapists deserve on the Day of Judgment.

    God is HOLY. Who will dare to MASSIVELY break God’s Holy Laws?

    BARENAKEDISLAM: Traumatized 16-year-old British girl was brutally raped by 90 different Muslim men in one weekend…

    Muslim Gangs Drug & Rape Children All Over The UK – Britain Finally Starts To Wake Up

    In the video, despicable, apologist for Islam, Blackburn MP, Jack Straw, says of the savage, cruel Pakistani Muslims who violently gang rape, SEXUALLY ENSLAVE, and force thousands of terrorized British children into prostitution that, “They act like other young men, popping with testosterone; they want some outlet”, EVIL Straw declared.

    Muslim males are NOT like non-Muslim MEN! Non-Muslim men are REAL MEN
    who PROTECT women and children! It is part of our culture; part of who
    we are and it defines our Western civilization!

  • LindaRivera

    Permanently end Muslim immigration!

    THERE is NO ONE to HELP the CHILDREN! That is why in Britain, we desperately need Paul Weston’s new political party, Liberty GB!

    British Schoolgirl’s Testimony – Muslims Threaten Children With Violence & Rape Outside School Daily

  • Chez

    No one in the anti-Jihad is as effective as Robert in using Islamic sources to expose and repudiate the twisted ethos of the faith. This is a very powerful expose, with unambiguous linkage to Islamic law tradition.

    My only suggestion is that Robert might have finished with a little more comprehensive look at how Islamic law has corrupted the treatment of rape-victims in the Muslim realm over the years. Deborah Dalelv’s nightmare has been repeated countless times over, usually with much more tragic results.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    If ever in the history of mankind there was good reason and justification for total apartheid it is the theocracies which apply Sharia law. Don’t visit them, don’t deal with them, keep them out of our countries. Yes, and find a substitute for oil.

    • Deerknocker

      I agree DMWA. If ever there was a place and people deserving quarantine, it is the Middle East and Muslims. Would that we could build a very high fence around the entire area and allow no one in or out. Check back every two hundred years or so to see if the inhabitants of those dreadful lands have risen above their retrograde religion. No culture that jails a woman for being raped should be allowed to infect another culture.

      • bill reitzes

        Now you see the value of Israel’s wall separating the observant Pals from their prey.
        A moratorium on Muslim immigration to the West is necessary as our Governments subject its’ citizens to a very cruel game called Muslim Roulette.
        We must check each and Muslim who enters into our lands, just like Israel does. Any suspicion, NO ENTRY

  • 1tootall

    I think the math is amazing. You hate women, and if you want to rape them, you can do it any time you want as long as you do it in private where no more than 3 MEN will see you. And not only is there the humiliation of the rape for the women, but they can then do time for daring to be the recipient. Imagine the unspoken domination that must create for men in the Sharia law environment. That works out great for mysogynists…sucks for the women, though….

  • John Davidson

    There was a time industry thought preventive maintenance was a good idea. Don’t se many of those in the Federal Government thinking that way anymore. Crimes is rising very fast because too many excuses are empowering bad people.

  • onecornpone

    Ugh! I think I lost innumerable brain cells reading that pap…

    Which raises the question, WHY are we postponing the inevitable?

    Nuke the backward goat-herding bastards, already!

    • pinnie


  • joshuasweet

    Sharia laws soon to be in place here in the USA if Obama has his way.

  • Danny

    It would be nice if people took things like this article into consideration, when deciding whose side to be on, concerning the Muslims or Israel. Israel is an enlightened Western country, and is second to none in promoting Western values. Contrast that with the regressive and oppressive ideology of sharia law. Choosing to support Israel should be a no-brainer.

  • Billy Bingle

    What a living hell Islam makes of everything it touches! It truly is the religion of Satan.

  • suann

    Why are muslims so damned backward!

  • Hands off!

    Im a male and I feel unsafe around these places especially after what happened to the french male teenager who was raped by three Arabic men who were all repeated offenders and one of them having HIV and not only did he get raped but was force to say he was homosexual and sentences along with these predators.