“How I am I supposed to feel when I hear this?”
That was what a young Muslim girl asked me at the conclusion of a speech I gave for the Richmond Justice Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was objecting to the fact that I pointed out that Islamic extremists are some of the worst offenders when it comes modern day slavery.
I told the story of the young lady I met in the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia almost three years ago. Joy and her husband were both working in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is supposedly one of the freer Islamic cities. I guess that is the case if you are a western businessman. But for two black Africans it can be different. They were woken in the middle of the night by non-uniformed police and arrested. Despite being married Jeff was charged with rape and Joy was charged with prostitution. They were both sentenced to six years in prison.
Only when they agreed to convert to Islam were they given the chance of freedom. Even this took three years. Joy’s ability to memorize large passages of the Koran made her a valuable asset that Imams were fighting over. She was paraded before crowds, where she would joylessly recite the Koran even though she did not understand Arabic. Once released, she was told she must go back to Uganda and work for the cause of Islam.
When she found out that she would be reciting the Koran in the presence of Muammar Gaddafi (and the Imam asked her to lie to Gaddafi and say she was his daughter), she fled Uganda, under the threat of death, seeking refuge in Singapore. She was denied and had to return to Uganda and that is when I ran into a terrified young lady who knew she could be returning to her death. I was able to pray with her a pray of salvation and connect her with believers in Uganda. But to this day, she lives in fear.
I also shared how in Sudan, Arab Muslims persecute the dark skinned Dinkas with disfigurement, rape, slavery and death. I also spoke about how so called Christians once persecuted Jews with the threat of expulsion and death. 30,000 Jewish converts to Catholicism were burned at the stake by the church for the ‘purification of their souls’ during the Inquisitions. I made the point that largely white audience’s ancestors likely owned slaves.
However the young lady didn’t hear that. She simply wanted to condemn me for mentioning that Muslims own slaves, as if I was saying all Muslims own slaves.
I knew this would happen. While I was preparing I could feel the spirit of intimidation try and come upon me. Despite the fact that Islamic suicide bombers kill fellow Muslims by the hundreds, not to mention the attacks on non-Muslims, there is so much pressure put on the West not to say anything negative out of fear of offending non-violent Muslims. (Or fear of offending violent ones!)
I knew I was speaking on a college campus where young minds are typically manipulated by naïve left-leaning professors. I chose not to care. I chose to speak the truth.
This is how I responded to the young lady after the meeting: Why is it whenever moderate Muslims speak out it is rarely against Islamic extremism and nearly always about being stereotyped? If there were more moderate Muslims speaking out against extremism, slavery, sexual abuse and domestic abuse, then she would not be stereotyped, but applauded.
It is possible that she came to that meeting with the intention of bringing up this issue. It is not the first time a well-spoken Muslim college student showed up an event where I was speaking. Whether she was sent by an organization or not, I don’t know, but this is standard practice. The goal is to portray the Muslim American community as persecuted.
Portrait of soon to be wed Faiz Mohammed, 40, and Ghulam Haider, 11, at her home in a rural village of Damarda in Ghor province.
Let me tell you who is persecuted:
- The Muslim pre-teen who is sold by her father to be the bride of someone much older.
- The 12-year old child bride who was raped and forced to use drugs.[i]
- Teenaged Afghan boys who become sex-toys for older Muslim men (even the raping of young boys is sanctioned among many Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s largest tribe). [ii]
It is not moderate Muslims in America that are persecuted, who yell racist and islamaphobe when Americans protest a mosque next to Ground Zero, and say virtually nothing about their own people who are being tortured and raped or sold as a teenaged brides.
This young Muslim lady told me how sad it was that Americans jumped to the conclusion that it was a Muslim who bombed Oklahoma City. I told her it was a reasonable hypothesis based on the fact that most of the people blowing up people and buildings in the world are doing it in the name of Islam. It turned out we were wrong, but based on the prior acts of Islamic extremists it was a reasonable assumption. She had no response.
A student came up to me afterward to try and explain why we shouldn’t share such things or seek different ways to communicate it or…to be honest, I don’t what she was trying to say, but it was clear that she felt bad for the Muslim girl. I felt for this student. She is a victim of a politically correct culture that has no problem attacking believers in Jesus, but tiptoe around issues surrounding the most violent, abusive people on earth.
Joy Behar can use filthy language on-air to describe another female running for the Senate, but walks out on Bill O’Reily for a comment about Islam. What is wrong with us?
I told this young lady about Rauda—an Israeli Arab who helped Elana clean our apartment a few years back. Rauda would regularly show up with black eyes from her abusive husband—and he’s not even what we would call extremist, he is just the product of a culture that allow men to beat their wives. He is a moderate! You can actually find Muslims on YouTube teaching—get ready for this…—the proper way to beat your wife![iii]
Where are the women’s groups? Where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation?
I asked the student who was concerned for the Muslim girl, “Who should I defend? The young lady who enjoys every freedom in America and yet is offended or Rauda whose husband punches her in the face?” These idealistic young students have no idea what it is like to grow up in Afghanistan, where if you are not part of right tribe, you are treated like garbage. While their fathers are paying their college tuition, fathers in other nations are selling their daughters as child-brides—often to someone who already has one or two wives. While they weep for the poor offended American moderate Muslims—who are also ignorant to these truths—who weeps for the child brides, rape victims and those enslaved by Muslims?
If moderate Muslims do not want to be stereotyped then they must become the most vocal critics against extremism. Instead of building mosques at Ground Zero, they should be doing everything they can to combat radicalism. Instead, they spend most of their energy making sensitive Americans feel guilty for even mentioning the fact that Islamic extremism is a problem. Instead of condemning the West for bringing up the issue, and they must join with us in condemning terror and extremism.
How vogue it is to lift your voice today against the injustices of the world, but just don’t mention the fact Islam is behind much of them. And sadly, not all Muslims who owns a slave in Afghanistan or rapes a young lady (or young man) in Darfur or beats their wife in Syria are extremists. Some of them are simply the end result of a culture that places a low value on human life.
We have no idea how amazing it is to live in a culture where it is generally believed that “all men are created equal.” Are there any more powerful words in any American document?
To be clear, there are heroic Muslim Arabs in Sudan who have risked their lives to rescue black-skinned Dinkas from slavery, by purchasing them from other Arabs. These are called slave redemptions. Sadly these heroes are few and far between—a needle in a haystack.
We must refuse to submit to political correctness that demands that we say nothing about negative Islam and the worldwide injustices against women and children. We must call on the so-called moderate Muslim community to join the fight in combating these abuses. Yes, you will make enemies. Yes, it is dangerous—but only then will non-Muslim Americans believe you are sincere, and furthermore you will gain our respect.
This is what I privately challenged the young Arab-American student to do as we continued to talk after the symposium. Our conversation ended quite pleasant, with her wishing me success in my ministry. But she is not my only concern. As Americans we must not be afraid to speak the truth. America was built of freedom of speech and this young lady wasn’t afraid to use hers. Will you?