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mufa'khathat (updated Jan 16, 2008)

by edwin Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 10:24:25 PM EST


Looking at this diary it may be seen as criticising bruno-ken. That would be unfair. I can not claim to have come through the Internet without being fooled in similar ways. Part of the lesson of the Internet is that there are people out there who deliberately lie, and the Internet is an excellent medium for lying. It has at times been a hard lesson for me to learn. It would be wrong to assume that others should do better than me.


It seems that the allegation that he began a sexual relationship with Aisha when she was 9 years old is correct.

i just googled this, and i am stunned.  i had thought he had married Aisha as a formality because she was an orphan or something.  but the consensus does seem that she was indeed nine when the marriage was consummated.

even more disturbing to me is this practice of mufa'khathat --


"literally translated means "placing between the thighs" which means placing the male member between the thighs of a child)"

-- which was apparently explicitly condoned by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in his Tahrir-ol-vasyleh:


Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, The Supreme Leader of Iran, the Shia Grand Ayatollah, 1979-89 said in his official statements:

    "A man can quench his sexual lusts with a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate. Sodomizing the baby is halal (allowed by sharia). If the man penetrates and damages the child, then he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl, however, does not count as one of his four permanent wives. The man will not be eligible to marry the girl's sister. It is better for a girl to marry when her menstruation starts, and at her husband's house rather than her father's home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven."

    Khomeini, "Tahrirolvasyleh" fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom, Iran, 1990

    (Yahoo! Answers: Muslims, what is mufa'khathat? I heard it translated to "thighing"? I wanted to be sure?)

This seems too outrageous to be true.  And coming from Yahoo! Answers, I am withholding judgement.  Can anyone shed some light here?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by bruno-ken (brunoken at gmail punkt com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 07:36:30 AM EDT
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

European Tribune

Not only does it sound too outrageious to be true, it sounds like something made up, or more precisely hate speech. Some quick searching shows that it appears to be new. I.e. made up.

Wikipedia: There is no page titled "Mufa'khathat".

There is a comment in wikipedia comments where someone had tried to insert it into an article.

fringe minority view from publication that apparently doesn't cite its original source

firstly, there's no need to play coy - the intent and purpose of the quote is polemical and to draw ridicule.

this 1985 publication from Bantam Books seems to be out of print, its reputation on Islamic topics is unknown, the compiler's competence in Islam is unknown, the "quotes" themselves come from unknown/uncited sources according to an owner.[16]

the focus is also tangental, hardly related to the topic of the section (when the age of marriage/intercourse is), and offers undue weight towards a minority Shi'ite view (one quote from Khomeini about the age of marriage is sufficient coverage), and is clearly tailored to serve an agenda. let's be sensible, and not make the bias so overt. ITAQALLAH 19:58, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

from the edit pages of wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Islam_and_children#Child_enslavement

Looking through some more places where one would expect it to be found if it were legitimate:

Britannica online: Sorry, we were unable to find results for your search.

Beliefnet search: Your search - Mufa'khathat - did not match any documents.

Religioustolerance.org: Your search - Mufa'khathat - did not match any documents.

google Mufa'khathat Results 1 - 10 of about 740 for Mufa'khathat.

If Mufa'khathat were real one would expect hits significantly higher than 740. It is after all people like Hitchen's (Defending Islamofascism) idea of a wet dream.

Here is an example of how mufa'khathat is used.

PEDOPHILIA LAWS FROM ISLAMIC-FATWA.NET - `It has become widespread these days, and especially during weddings, the habit of mufa'khathat of the children.

So Muslim men on their wedding days rape children. Note that almost 1/2 of the sites are quoting this statement. "Mufa'khathat" is feeding on people's hate and racism.

google "habit of mufa'khathat of the children." Results 1 - 10 of about 333 for "habit of mufa'khathat of the children."

Compare with another forgery - the Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion

To what extent the whole existence of this people is based on a continuous lie is shown incomparably by the Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion, so infinitely hated by the Jews. They are based on a forgery, the Frankfurter Zeitung moans and screams once every week: the best proof that they are authentic. [...] the important thing is that with positively terrifying certainty they reveal the nature and activity of the Jewish people and expose their inner contexts as well as their ultimate final aims

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf: Chapter XI: Nation and Race, Vol I, pp. 307-308.


And mufa'khathat reveals the nature and activity of the Muslim people and exposes their inner contexts as well as their ultimate final aims. Or more precisely, it displays the same racism and hatred that allowed Hitler to come to power in the first place.

I regret posting as I did about mufa'khathat.  I exercised very poor judgement.  I apologize for any offense it may have caused.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 12:35:38 AM EST
I did not create this because of your post. Your post - by posing a question provided an extremely easy place for me to create my diary. I am sorry for embarrassing you.

In part your question feeds off of gullibility. When it comes to that, I am just as gullible as you are.

I am quite concerned over the continued vilification of all Muslims - throughout the western world, but especially the US. I believe that this may be a precursor of worse things to come.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
anyone can get fooled by an outrageous urban legend -- even a deliberately planted one.

first off, urban legends are carefully crafted brainworms -- ideas so irritating or intriguing or salacious that they tend to fascinate us, juicy gossip tidbits that cry out for repetition, that make a good shock-value anecdote.

second, human behaviour over the millennia is in many instances so bizarre,  often so outrageously abusive, so absurd, so unfair, often grotesquely sadistic and violent, that it's hard at first glance to dismiss any nasty allegation about cultural vagaries or religious dogma as prima facie ridiculous.  who would give credence to the nastiness of (to pick just one ghastly example) FGM if it were not well-attested and documented?  or (historical) footbinding?  or the trade in prostituted children, including the "Asian sex tourism" so popular among highly respectable affluent Amero/Euro corporate drones?

so it's not prima facie absurd that some patriarchal religion or other could have a fine-print commandment that certain kinds of sex with children are OK for adult males, but others are not.   in fact it's pretty believable in the long historical context of male sexual entitlement and the lowly status of women and children.

but right now, in the islamophobic atmosphere of US propaganda, it's a bit of meme-warfare masquerading as "human wickedness as usual".

antisemites used to accuse European Jewry of killing and eating Christian babies...  the Blood Libel as a concept never dies, the ascription to the loathed Other of the full depth of human nastiness that each society wants to pretend could never occur w/in its own ranks...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:07:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
btw, I say this with some egg on my own face -- I think I was fooled not so many months ago by the allegedly venerable tradition of "bukkake" in Japanese rural areas, which turned out to be wholly an invention of Anglo pornographers iirc...?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for checking this out, edwin. I had my doubts, but had no time to look into it.

I did take a look at Muhammad's marriage with Aisha. Google showed me pages of controversy one way or the other. Apparently "Western™" scholars accept the marriage was consummated when she was 9 (according to Wikipedia, Muhammad and links from that page). The basis for it seems to be several hadith, where the translation into English gives variously "consummated", "cohabited with", "took into his house", depending on the hadith. The source is therefore oral tradition.

There is no evidence that this marriage was considered abnormal or wrong in the culture of the Semitic peoples of the time, yet it serves as an talking point (Muhammad the paedophile) for Islam-bashers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 08:56:56 AM EST
Whether the marriage was consummated is really a minor point in my opinion.

I am not sure how people manage to justify ignoring the present and long for the "good old days".

Many fundamentalist Muslims, Christians, and Jews are heavily into it - each seeking to create a past that never existed.

The US is into it. I wonder if Regan was the desire to re-live the 1950's? The current doctrine "Century for a New America" seems to me to recycle "Manifest Destiny" - even as the US undergoes economic decline. (Are those some violins I hear?)

Whether it be nationalism or religion, this desire to re-live the imaginary past seems to be a very bloody fantasy.

yet it serves as an talking point (Muhammad the paedophile) for Islam-bashers

And the racists feed off of those who seek to relive the past, if they are not actually the same people.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, edwin, thanks for checking this out.  I missed the original posts on this, and quite honestly had never heard of this subject before, not that I'm like an expert or anything.

Islam does deal very frankly with issues of (intramarital, heterosexual) sexuality, and so it is not at all unusual for people to seek and receive fatawa regarding specific sex acts.  But this one is clearly an Islamophobic invention.

Regarding Aisha, she's actually a fascinating character, and my anecdotal impression from conversations with (Sunni) friends about her is that there is considerable modern discomfort about the age issue.  Some would just rather not think about it, but other responses range from "STFU you Eurocentric bastards, it was normal behavior at the time" to "actually she was probably older than 9, no matter what the Qur'an says."

I will note that early marriage is not unusual in tribal and pre-industrial societies (including historically in Europe), and we can see artifacts of that even in modern laws in some places.  This indicates that girls as young as 13 can get married in New Hampshire with parental consent; it's 12 for girls in "traditional" marriages in South Africa; it's 14 in Paraguay and Venezuela, 15 in Thailand.... and 9 in Yemen.  Actually, there is a fair amount of inconsistency in the Islamic countries -- in Morroco it's 18, Algeria it's 21 for men and 18 for women, in Egypt (as in much of the so-called "West") it's 18 for men and 16 for women, while in other places the ages go down to 9 or 13.  In Jordan, a court must consent to any marriage of a girl under 18 to a man more than 20 years older than she is. (!!)  In Iran, a girl of 13 doesn't need her parents' consent, nor does a girl of 14 in Madagascar.  Apparently in Spain, you can marry at 16 with parental consent, but (this surprised me) the "age of consent" for sexual activity is 13.

But I digress.  There is some very interesting context regarding Aisha and Muhammad's other wives in Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks.  I was surprised to find the chapter reproduced in full online, although that version oddly renders Abu Bakr's name as "Abu Bake."  (Spellcheckers gone wild?)  Interesting reading.

Note that the Shia are not particular fans of Aisha; the tension between her and Muhammad's daughter Fatima (who married his cousin Ali) are related to the roots of the Sunni-Shia schism.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 05:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Related, I figure this characther would be viewed differently, had not the age of the protagonists been adapted to modern times:

Juliet Capulet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shakespeare's Juliet was very young; her father states that she "hath not seen the change of fourteen years" (1.2.9). In many cultures and time periods, women did and do marry and bear children at such a young age. But in Shakespeare's England, most women were at least 21 before they did so. Romeo and Juliet is a play about Italian families. The average English playgoer in Shakespeare's audience had never met an Italian person, and it was commonly thought that they were quite exotic, the Italian male passionate and emotional, and the Italian female precocious and quite ready to become a mother by thirteen. Lady Capulet had given birth to Juliet by the time she had reached Juliet's age: "I was your mother much upon these years that you are now a maid" (1.3.74-75). The play celebrates youth while pointing out its impulsiveness, passion, and idealism, qualities which contribute to the tragedy. The adolescent infatuation of the lovers become elevated to the status of sacred love.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jan 19th, 2008 at 04:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be honest, I didn't know the age of consent in Spain. However, after a quick check of the Spanish Criminal Code I find that the code is very vague, talking about "crimes against sexual freedom" or "attacks on the sexual freedom of a person" without really defining what sexual freedom is or what constitutes an "attack on sexual freedom" (though penetration is mentioned as an aggrevating circumstance throughout). If there is violence, the fact that the age of the victim is under 13 is an aggravating circumstance. If there is no violence or intimidation but there is no consent, one is in the category of "abuse", and if the victim is under 13 it is understood that there is no consent. This is in article 181.2 of the Criminal Code. If there is deception and the victim is between 13 and 16, that is also an aggravating circumstance.

Apparently it wasn't until 1989 that the protection of "honour" was replaced with "sexual freedom" in the Spanish Criminal Code.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 05:18:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried several online translation programs and none of them translated it into english, is it/are they even real words in Arabic? If not it looks to my dyslexic eyes like an attempt to slip something close to motherf****r  (With slight anagramatisation) into the language.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:57:25 PM EST
I should have thought to try that!

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 10:55:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, I pulled out my trusty Hans Wehr Arabic-to-English dictionary, and the word is not in it (no suprise, even if it were real).  But there is a word فخذ  (fakidh), meaning "thigh; leg (of mutton, etc.)" that would likely be the root of such a term.

There are several clear signs that the term is a fraud -- the letter ذ or dh is often rendered into a z sound in various colloquial dialects of Arabic, or sometimes into a th, and is difficult to pronounce for English speakers anyway.  The proper transliteration should be "mufakhadha," (no t at the end, that's another giveaway that this is being written about by people who don't really speak or read Arabic) but a Google search for that spelling yields zero results.  There are several other possible (colloquial) transliterations, but those are even less common in Google than the given one, with most yielding zero results and only one returning less than 300 hits, most of which are the same.

The use of an apostrophe is just bizarre and is an even clearer sign that this is BS.  An apostrophe is used in some methods of transliterating Arabic to substitute for specific letters, but none of them are in this word.  It just doesn't belong there.  Full stop.

Finally, as I mentioned, the "t" at the end of the word is another sign.  It's a little too complicated to explain here, but there's a letter ة called ta marbouta that often ends nouns of feminine gender.  Its pronunciation changes from a soft a to at depending on context.  On its own, normally it would be transliterated as an a, not at.

So the transliteration "mufa'khathat" is just plain illiterate and incoherent.  Clearly the term is being used almost entirely by people who don't know Arabic at all, because even a rank beginner wouldn't have transliterated it that way.

I did Google the term in Arabic, though, and got a whopping 497 results, most of them repetitive and similar to this one, a fatwa calling the practice "illegal" and imported from "pornographic films sent by the infidels and the enemies of Islam."  FWIW.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 06:25:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, typo, the root word فخذ is fakhidh with kh not k.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 06:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Muhammad's marriage to Aisha is particularly controversial, mainly because of her age during the marriage. D. A. Spellberg states that in Ibn Sa'd, the age of Aisha at marriage varies between six and seven.[18] She stayed in her parents' home till she had reached puberty at nine (or maybe ten according to Ibn Hisham) and then her marriage with Muhammad was consummated.[18][19] Spellberg states that "all these references to the Aisha's age reinforce Aisha's [premenstral] status, and, implicitly her virginity."[18]

The age of Aisha is of particular concern to some non-Muslims, who denounce Muhammad for having sexual relations with a girl so young. American Baptist reverend Jerry Vines called him a "demon-possessed pedophile".[20][21] Jewish leaders and mainstream Protestant groups joined Muslims in denouncing the comments made by the reverend. Abraham Foxman from the Anti-Defamation League described Vines' comments as "deplorable", adding that they were "not surprising coming from the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has a track record of denigrating and delegitimizing other religions."[21] Colin Turner, a professor of Persian language and Islamic history, states that Muhammad's marriage in its context was not in the least improper. Such marriages between an older man and a young girl were customary among Bedouins as they still are in many societies across the world. Coulin further writes that Arabs in the seventh century tended to reach adulthood at an earlier age than Westerners today.[22]


So it seems that Muhammad was indeed a pedophile, and that this wasn't very unusual at the time.

It only increases the retardation of building your life around absurd ancient texts compiled by primitive desert tribes, especially as muslims are supposed to imitate the life of Muhammad.

There's no reason to say you are sorry for criticising horrible stuff in "holy" books, if these things are indeed in them.

If anyone can find the relevant passages in the Quoran this issue shouldn't be hard to settle.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 01:04:51 AM EST
So it seems that Muhammad was indeed a pedophile

Sigh... Is that what you understood from what you read there?

You should have seen enough from the exchange of hostilities in your quoted passage to understand that the issue will not be easy to "settle". Since Islam-bashers use it as an inflammatory meme, there are inflammatory replies from the other side.

And what makes you refer to the Qur'an? As I noted above, the oral tradition legends about Aisha and her marriage are set down in the hadith.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 03:30:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it seems it's from the hadiths. And it seems the shia and the sunni cannot really agree either.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 04:07:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Religious texts need to be understood as at least partially propaganda. When looking at the bible what was once positive propaganda has within today's moral understandings become negative propaganda. The same is true with national myths.

For example, Santiago (St. James) was believed to have come forth from Clavijo on his white charger, and to have slain 40,000? moors. Well, this was long after his death, and now days we call what he is credited with a war crime. (The difficulty of finding numbers on the Internet testify to the changing morality as well.)

While religious texts may be useful from a historical or sociological perspective - they should not be assumed to be neutral, let alone error free.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 10:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Supposedly dictated by god.

I guess what you said qualifies as heresy... ;p

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for looking into it and writing it, edwin.  It is so painful that I wanted to forget it as soon as I read it the other day, but it didn't cross my mind that it could be so false in Wikipedia.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:14:22 AM EST
but it didn't cross my mind that it could be so false in Wikipedia.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's already been changed. And the page is full of warning badges. As with every other medium, you have to know the rules it operates on.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 05:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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