That slavery and non-consensual sex can be okay is not a sentiment you expect to hear from someone employed in politically correct academia — but it obviously is acceptable when a politically correct kind of person says it. This appears the case with Georgetown Islamic Studies professor Jonathan Brown, who stated in a recent talk that it’s “not immoral for one human to own another human.”
A 39-year-old convert to Islam, Brown reportedly expressed the above beliefs in a Feb. 7 lecture at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Virginia. Titled “Islam and the Problem of Slavery,” the professor apparently believes there’s only a problem with slavery when it’s not governed by Islam.
According to Student Voices’ Umar Lee, who attended the lecture (video below) and asked Brown questions, the professor spent the majority of the 90-minute talk not addressing Islamic slavery — which still exists — but on slavery in the United States, Britain, and China. Lee writes, “When discussing slavery in these societies[,] Brown painted slavery as brutal and violent (which it certainly was). When the conversation would briefly flip to historic slavery in the Arab and Turkish World[,] slavery was described by Brown in glowing terms. Indeed, according to Brown, slaves in the Muslim World lived a pretty good life.”
Lee continued, “I thought the Muslim community was done with this dishonest North Korean style of propaganda. Obviously not.”
It does appear, however, that Brown is done with this propaganda — at least for now. Having come under criticism, he’s running for cover, having released the following tweet:
Yet as Jihad Watch points out, this not only contradicts what he stated in his February 7 speech, but also what he expressed in a 2015 Facebook discussion. He wrote, in part, “As far as I understand it there is no such thing as non-consensual sex with a concubine" and “Slave women do not have agency over their sexual access, so their owner can have sex with them."
He also stated, "It's not possible to say that slavery is inherently, absolutely, categorically immoral in all times and places, since it was allowed by the Quran and the Prophet [Mohamed].”
Unsurprisingly, yesterday evening Brown announced that he’d deactivated his Facebook account; he claims he didn’t want the other professors involved in the discussions to be targeted. However, Jihad Watch has a screenshot of the damning Facebook post here.
Returning to the professor’s February 7 pre-duck-and-cover pronouncements, Heatstreet wrote that “Brown also decried the use of prison labor in the United States and highlighted other [supposed] problems inherent in Western society, but refused to address the abuse of foreign laborers in the Gulf or the ghastly treatment of prisoners in the Middle East. It was a one-sided lecture that glorified his religion while demonizing Western society.”
“The Islamic Studies professor said that in Muslim societies, ‘slavery wasn’t racialized,’ unlike the United States. Lee points out that this is untrue, given that in the Arab world, black people are referred to as ‘abeed,’ the Arab word for ‘slave,’” Heatstreet continued.
It should also be mentioned that with the above, Brown was attempting to exploit the Western obsession with race. But would the knowledge that you weren’t in bondage because of your race make you feel any better about being enslaved? Moreover, it’s hard to find slaves, anywhere and anytime, who weren’t dehumanized — it’s generally how slaveholders justify themselves.
The reality, however, is that Muslim slavery always does target a specific group — “nonbelievers” — in accordance with Islamic doctrine. As PJ Media reported in 2015:
According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says:
O Prophet! We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have paid their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses of those whom Allah has given you as spoils of war (33:50).
Even more significantly since values are caught more than they’re taught, Muslims have the example of Mohamed, whom they consider “the Perfect Man” — he owned and traded in slaves himself.
The result? According to Ohio State University history professor Robert Davis, “[B]etween 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly 1 million and quite possibly as many as 1.25 million white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast,” wrote Ohio State Research News.
Transitioning to the qualitative, Lee states that Brown described slavery in the Muslim World “as kinder and gentler,” ignoring the reality of it, which involves “kidnappings, harems, armies of eunuchs, and other atrocities.”
An example of this is how North African Muslims would sometimes kidnap young African and European boys, castrate them, and sell them into bondage. Unsurprisingly, not all these victims survived their “preparatory” ordeal.
Of course, given that slavery is one of the world’s oldest institutions, having been practiced since time immemorial, Muslims certainly didn’t invent it (Islam wasn’t born till 622 A.D.). Nonetheless, Muslim slavery does predate the U.S. variety Brown bemoans. Moreover, he ignores a simple and striking historical fact: Christians weren’t the first to practice slavery.
But they were the first to end it.
In contrast, Islamic slavery, once again, continues to this day.
Yet more shocking than Brown’s assessments of various periods of slavery was his assessment of the institution itself: “It’s not immoral for one human to own another human,” Lee reports him as proclaiming.
The professor’s reasoning is that it happens all the time, anyway, with employees “enslaved” to their bosses and Brown — who elsewhere said he has a “Shariah marriage contract” with his wife — enslaved to her because, supposedly, she holds rights over him.
Lee also reports Brown as saying “Consent isn’t necessary for lawful sex,” after a woman asked him if it was permissible to have relations with slaves. “Brown emphatically stated consent is a modern Western concept and only recently had come to be seen as necessary (perhaps around the time feminism began to take root and women decided they wanted autonomy over their bodies),” wrote Lee.
The professor further explained that “the morality of sex is dependent on the lawfulness of the sex-partner and not consent,” Lee revealed. What the professor didn’t say is that some Muslims believe in so-called “pleasure marriages,” which can last just a few hours and allow for “lawful” sexual relations.
Moreover, consider the following conception of lawfulness, related by the New York Times in 2015:
In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.
He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.
When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.
“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God.”
Professor Brown no doubt won’t join the Islamic State, but he’s not drawing young people closer to God, either. Yet while a Christian academic who expressed views such as his would make front-page news twice — the second time for being fired — Brown is barely noticed and allowed to teach at an American university.
Clearly, it’s not only the political swamp that needs draining.