Independent Uses Hollywood Sex Scandals to Promote Islam
by Virginia Hale, 16 October 2017
Alleging U.S. “rape culture” caused the Hollywood sex abuse scandal, UK news site the Independent has claimed that only Islam can provide the answer to preventing violence against women.
“Harvey Weinstein is just another case of a powerful man abusing women because we live in a society that lets him get away with it, but we can change that,” writes U.S-based civil rights lawyer Qasim Rashid in a piece for the former newspaper, now a website, the independence of which has been called into question after a key stake was bought by Saudi investor Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel.
Describing anyone who is shocked by allegations against the liberal Hollywood executive as “dangerously ignorant to reality”, the Muslim activist declares that “the cancer of sexual abuse against women that we see in Christian majority America is just as prevalent in Muslim majority Pakistan.”
“Every level of society – social norms, media, and Government – is complicit in promoting the rape culture that perpetuates sexual abuse,” Rashid writes, going on to slam America’s criminal justice system as ineffective in countering sexual violence.
In order to prevent gender-based violence against women, according to Rashid, countries must adopt a “proven Islamic model that will stop this madness, and re-invoke gender equity today in America, and the world”.
Warning that attempts to legislate against sex attacks are doomed to fail, “because state laws only punish the actor once the act is completed, they don’t prevent the act in the first place”, the attorney argues that Islamic teachings “provide a solution that no state truly can”.
According to Rashid, the Quran “establishes men and women as equal beings”, while verses of the Muslim holy book instruct adherents of Islam to behave in such a way that women are never harmed or abused.
Pointing to the Islamic headscarf, he writes: “It is men who are first commanded to never gawk at women, and instead guard their private parts and chastity, regardless of how women choose to dress – pre-empting sexual abuse.
“The Quran further obliges men to provide for a woman’s every financial need, while holding that anything a woman earns is hers alone – preempting financial abuse,” reads another example.
Published on Sunday, the article has been met with some controversy, including a takedown by Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer, who dissembled what he called “deceptive” quoting of the Quran, accusing Rashid of trying to “hoodwink people into ignorance and complacency regarding the sexual abuse that is rampant and taken for granted in Muslim countries”.
On social media, a tweet by the Independent promoting the article, which was entitled “How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse scandals”, attracted significant backlash.
The post gathered more than two thousand replies, the majority of which attacked the premise of Rashid’s article, with users pointing to rampant violence against women in the Islamic world, migrant sex attacks in Europe, and the UK grooming scandals, which saw gangs of predominantly Muslim men rape, abuse, and traffick underage white girls.
On Reddit, the piece was also poorly received, with users on the site’s forum for ex-Muslims pointing out that Rashid belongs to the heavily persecuted Ahmadiyya sect.
“I hate how Qasim Rashid always pretends he represents all Muslims while being an Ahmadi aka rejected by 99% of Muslims and his entire ‘sect’ touted as completely unislamic by the vast majority of Muslims,” one post reads.
Breitbart London has previously reported how Ahmadis — a moderate sect frequently behind initiatives promoting interfaith peace and tolerance — are promoted as representative of the wider Muslim community in the UK media, which usually fails to mention their violent persecution at the hands of other Muslims, who consider members of the sect to be “apostates”.