Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Aisha: The Mother of all Stockholm Syndrome "Victims"

From the most authoritative collection of the sayings (hadiths) of Mohammed, collected by Bukhari, which along with the Koran form the basis for all Islamic law:

Narrated Aisha, the mother of the faithful believers: I requested the Prophet permit me to participate in Jihad, but he said, Your Jihad is the performance of Hajj .
(Book 4, Volume 52: Hadith 127)

I've noticed many in the still inchoate Anti-Islam Movement (hopefully someday to become the leaner and meaner A.I.M.) continue to harbor notions of sentimentalism about Muslim women, as though all of them (or most of them) are the hapless victims of the Muslim men, and are therefore not part of the problem of Islam which in various ways is threatening the world. Indeed, the logic of this sentimentalism would be that not only are they passive victims and not actors -- but as such, we ought somehow to save them from their oppression.

Along with this sentimentalism, I have also noticed among others a healthy awareness of the phenomenon of "Stockholm Syndrome" and how this complicates the simplistic Victim/Oppressor model -- effectively transforming the victim in that context into an enabler of their own oppressor. And if that oppressor is endangering society, then that victim may well become part of the danger from which society must protect itself.

Add to this the complication that Stockholm Syndrome manifests itself in varying degrees -- not simply according to one inflexible mold. Thus, one victim's enablement of their oppressor may be purely passive; another's may be more active; and another's may become quite enthusiastically participatory. Not only from the above hadith, but also from others in the same collection, as well as Muslim histories (Siras), it is part of Islamic lore that Aisha actually participated in military jihads, and perhaps led at least one of them (the so-called "Battle of the Camel" that is supposedly the first violent rift among Muslims creating the Sunni-Shia split).

At any rate, the fact that Mohammed effectively raped her when she was a child of 9 (and likely molested her for the three years prior to that, after he had married her at age 6), and that he thus abused her physically and emotionally, thus overpowering her and perverting her own sense of self and ability to develop a personal will on her own as every child should -- all this certainly is a tragedy, multiplied by the billions throughout the history of Islam and throughout the families and societies of Muslims in Muslim lands today; but it should not cause us to lower our guard against Muslims who may seem to be merely victims but who more likely are also enablers of the very same danger which continues to endanger our societies.

I.e., if Aisha were alive today, she would be defending Islam, and stoking the fire of hatred against all non-Muslims, a hatred perfectly mainstream in Islam and solidly based in its holy texts which directly and massively inform its laws by which Muslims are to organize their own societies and by which they are enculturated to regard non-Muslim societies around them as "filthy" and as their perennial "enemies".

Orthographic Note:

The Bukhari hadith I quoted at the top is, of course, an English translation from the Arabic. It is typical that it contains sloppy orthography. When I quoted it up top, I had cleaned it up for clarity. The original translation reads like this:

Narrated 'Aisha:
The mother of the faithful believers, I requested the Prophet permit me to participate in Jihad, but he said, "Your Jihad is the performance of Hajj."

The reader can immediately spot the problem. The colon after "Aisha" signifies that what follows are the words of Aisha, what she "narrated"; however, it's clear that the phrase that follows, "the mother of the faithful believers" is not part of her own words, but is her title (indeed, a title by which she is known in Islamic tradition, from the Arabic Umm al-Muminin). Thus, the colon should come after the word "believers", while after "Aisha" there should be a comma, and "The" should not be capitalized. Furthermore, there should be quotation marks beginning what she said (her "narration"), beginning at "I requested..." and ending with the internal quote she is reproducing from Mohammed -- which, being an internal quote, itself should be enclosed in single quotation marks. All this cleaning up I had to do myself because of the orthographical sloppiness that seems to characterize Islamic translations (and many Third World texts in general from their various cultural heritages). This is not quibbling: such sloppiness can easily multiply, and result in semantic mistranslations and mistakes.


I first saw the above Bukhari hadith quoted in a Jihad Watch article about the recent Muslim who was prepared to mass-murder New Yorkers, had the F.B.I. not stopped him in time. Apparently, that Muslim (a Dominican-American once named Jose Pimentel, before he found the Absolute Truth and changed his name to "Muhammad Yusuf") had several hadiths he had put up on his own blog, for his "spiritual inspiration" no doubt. After all, according to an ABC news report, he “spent much of his time on the Internet… and maintained a radical website called TrueIslam1.” Perhaps he had acquired his hadiths from the website of the University of South California, The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (a disingenuous change -- as Robert Spencer perceptively noted back in 2008 -- from its former name, the USC-MSA (Muslim Student Association) Compendium of Muslim Texts, which provides translations of several hadith collections.

Let us see if the sloppy orthography matches, shall we? Okay, let's see... "Book 4, Volume 52: Hadith 127"... Immediately, the reader is confronted with another problem with Islamic (and Third World) sources: a bewildering organization system. At the site of
The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement under its Bukhari hadiths, we are led to a numbered list from 1 to 93. So, first thing I do is click on "4", assuming it means "Book 4". It takes me to Book 4 all right -- but not to Volume 52; rather to Volume 1. So how do I find Volume 52? I try going back to the first list, and clicking on "52". I get to "Book 52" in "Volume 4". Wow. There are only 93 on the list; I doubt they will get up to Volume 52, if at 52 I'm only at Volume 4. Sure enough, clicking on "93" only yields "Books" in Volume 9. And there are apparently no further things to click on after that.

So now we must pursue the possibility that the citation provided in the recent terrorist's hadith is incorrect. Let us glance over this list at the site of The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement to see if their titles might lead us to the right place. Nope. I'd have to read through all of them to find it, if it's there. I tried two or three that might be the right ones; but no luck. Oh well. Back to more important things -- like doing my small part in trying to wake my fellow Westerners up to the escalating problem of exploding Muslims.


A reader (see comments below) directed my attention to a website of Islamic sources, the Al Muhaddith Project. I went there, did a search for "jihad", and found the Bukhari hadith in question, but guess what: the numbering system is completely different: it cites the hadith as from "Volume 3" and then notes "3.84" which one would assume means "verse 84" of Volume 3.

The English translation is also slightly different from the one on the New York City Muslim's blog, but that's to be expected; for translations from one language to another often vary. This website to which my reader referred me originates from the Emirates, so my reader tells me, and so is authentically Islamic. Its translation of Aisha's hadith is even better, at least in terms of content, for the purpose of my essay, showing how eager Aisha was to roll up her burka-sleeves and get jihadist:

Narrated Aisha (mother of the faithful believers):
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shouldn't we participate in Holy battles and Jihad along with you?" He replied, "The best and the most superior Jihad (for women) is Hajj which is accepted by Allah." `Aisha added: Ever since I heard that from Allah's Apostle I have determined not to miss Hajj.

In orthographic terms, it is only slightly better. The "mother of all faithful believers" part, at least, is appropriately presented as not part of Aisha's words, but as her title. The problem with quotation marks, however, is still not ideally dealt with. The reader notices the little problem where it says "Aisha added..." That is obviously not Aisha's own words, even though it is presented in the same body of narrative text.

The only way to rectify that would be to go back and do the quotation marks correctly, using both single marks and double marks; or somehow visually show that the "Aisha added..." is the hadith collector again.



Narrated Aisha (mother of the faithful believers):
"I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Shouldn't we participate in Holy battles and Jihad along with you?' He replied, 'The best and the most superior Jihad (for women) is Hajj which is accepted by Allah.' "
Aisha added: "Ever since I heard that from Allah's Apostle I have determined not to miss Hajj."



Narrated Aisha (mother of the faithful believers):
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shouldn't we participate in Holy battles and Jihad along with you?" He replied, "The best and the most superior Jihad (for women) is Hajj which is accepted by Allah."
Aisha added:
"Ever since I heard that from Allah's Apostle I have determined not to miss Hajj."

Note that in the original, that annoying Arabic apostrophe is present the second time Aisha is mentioned (viz., Aisha), but not the first time. In my re-creations of correct orthography in #1 and #2, I have taken out that annoying Arabic apostrophe altogether, so it wouldn't distract.


Nobody said...

Somehow, I've never figured out the numbering of hadith, which is totally unlike quran verses. Nonetheless, there was an Islamic search engine that would let you do a search on a variety of Islamic texts, such as different quran translations, the hadiths, fiqh, usool et al. One can find it here, and do a search on what one needs.

This site is based in the Emirates, so the chances that it's some Islamophobes manufacturing stuff about Islam can be safely ruled out. But use its search fields to search any key words you have, and select your chosen books, and you'll find what you want. Despite everything you know about Islam, prepare to still be astounded by what you read in the results you find.

Hesperado said...

Thanks Nobody. I added an Update to the essay to descrobe what I found.

Good website to have at one's fingertips. I may put it in my blogroll.