Raden Adjeng Kartini: Debasing Her Memory
Having just read the Prologue (available here, not without irony, at a website whose name ends with “..Trashy Books”) to Sherry Jones “The Jewel of Medina,” one hopes (against hope) that perhaps the whole “fatwa” imbroglio has been manufactured by Random House to jettison this idiotic “novel.”
There are so many layers of irony and tragedy to this story, epitomized most of all by the feckless Ms. Jones who not only romanticizes pedophilia (as observed aptly by Diana West), and polygamy, but seems utterly unaware that she is doing so having adopted in her own warped fashion—albeit, not “deferentially” enough—an apologetic narrative for Islam’s foundational (and living) debasement of women. Thus her “narrative” dramatization has Ali (who became the fourth “Rightly Guided Caliph, revered by Shi’a) utter to a “nervous and faint” Muhammad, “Wives are easily acquired. You will find another child-bride.”
For the hadith sources of this sacralized pedophilia, see the following:
Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3311:
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and she was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151:
Narrated ‘Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, wo had not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)
Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 5981:
‘A’isha reported that she used to play with dolls in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and when her playmates came to her they left (the house) because they felt shy of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), whereas Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent them to her
The ugly living legacy of such pedophilia persists in Islamic communities across the globe from Yemen, to Afghanistan—to Britain. Here is a description of the “tender, romantic, and deeply spiritual experience”—notwithstanding Jones’ invented, hagiographic “biography” of Aisha—from a contemporary female Muslim child “bride” in London:
“I told them I was terrified and desperate, that I was just a child and far too young to get married. I pleaded with them to help me escape, but no one saw anything wrong in what was happening. I begged my husband not to marry me, but he told me I had no choice.”Despite being two years below the British age of consent, Ayse was moved into her cousin’s family home, where she lived openly as his wife in the local Kurdish Turkish community. “I was all alone in a foreign country, unable to speak the language,” she said. “I was trapped. Until I escaped, I didn’t even realize that marrying at 14 wasn’t legal in Britain: everyone I knew in London regarded it as normal.” In the two years before she reached 16, the sex Ayse was coerced into having with her cousin was statutory rape. “It was disgusting, awful,” she said. “I used to scream and cry all night. I was too young, too tender. It killed me inside. Life became meaningless.”
Finally, Sherry Jones would do well to read the advocate of Indonesian women’s rights Raden Adjeng Kartini’s “Letters of a Javanese Princess,” (New York, A. A. Knopf, 1920,) to understand the ramifications of the “sacralized” polygamy (“sister wives,” Jones calls them!) also glorified in her drivelous “The Jewel of Medina.” Here are Kartini’s poignant observations (from pp. 41-42)—still sadly relevant in our own era—ignored, and debased by Jones’ egregious novel:
“How can I respect one who is married and a father, and who when he has had enough of the mother of his children, brings another woman into his house, and is, according to the Moslem law, legally married to her? And who does not do this? And why not? It is no sin, and still less a scandal….The Moslem law allows a man to have four wives at the same time. And though it be a thousand times over no sin according to the Moslem law and doctrine, I shall forever call it a sin…And can you imagine what hell-pain a woman must suffer when her husband comes home with another—a rival—whom she must recognize as his legal wife? He can torture her to death, mistreat her as he will; if he does not choose to give her back her freedom, then she can whistle to the moon for her rights. Everything for the man, and nothing for the woman is our law…”