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The Sexualization of Islam

Updated: May 29


By Order of the Sultan, Antonio Fabrés, c. 1900. Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City



Following is a sample chapter from my forthcoming nonfiction work. Enquiries from beta-readers, agents, and publishers are welcome. Please use the contact page on my website or leave a comment on this post. Thank you.




Prologue As Disclaimer

“Sex and Islam” is seldom uttered in the same breath as, say, “Sex and the French.”


While the French are noteworthy for placing the fair sex on a pedestal and worshipping her, for their sensuality and joie de vivre, for “amour,” Islam is more often associated with objectification, control, repression, and callous violation of women.

This assertion is broadly supported by scriptural references and historical data from both Western and Eastern sources. The wholesale kidnapping of non-Muslim (kuffar) women to sell into sexual slavery has remained central to the agenda of radical Islamists and jihadis from the seventh century to the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) in the contemporary Middle East. [1] In a long chain of authority beginning with the Prophet Muhammed, Muslim clerics, ideologues, and militants continue to justify their assault on non-Muslims for the purpose of slave-taking.


The reappearance of slave markets in post-Gaddafi Libya, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere, augmented by online people trafficking, has triggered a revival of Western interest in the aesthetics of sexual slavery and harem life. [2] For kinksters, cosplayers, and consenting adults who yearn to role play, a smorgasbord of internet websites is bringing the like-minded together in mutually satisfying master-slave relationships. [3][4]


Slavery is trending.



For the less adventurous, plus cultivée individual, where better to find inspiration than the Orientalist Movement in Western art?



On the politico-religious plane, the delightfully erotic slave market and voluptuous harem scenes depicted in Orientalist painting align with contemporary aspirations for thousands of sexually frustrated young males across the globe.


The dubious promise of unfettered access to women’s bodies both now and in the Hereafter quite neatly explains why so many marginalized young Muslims, lacking outlets for their repressed sexual energy, suddenly “find their faith.” Whether challenging the medieval Crusader for Jerusalem or flying jumbo jets into New York City skyscrapers, the promise of limitless sexual gratification has been irresistible.


What is every suicide bomber’s personal objective? To die a martyr and thereby claim his 72-houri reward.


“The Prophet said: ‘The houri is a most beautiful young woman with a transparent body. The marrow of her bones is visible like the interior lines of pearls and rubies. She looks like red wine in a white glass. She is of white color, and free from the routine physical disabilities of an ordinary woman such as menstruation, menopause, urinal and offal discharge, childbearing and the related pollution. A houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round (pointed), and not inclined to dangle. Houris dwell in palaces of splendid surroundings.” (At-Tirmizi, volume 2, pages 35-40) [5]



Like every ointment, however, this one has its fly.


One thing that sends a chill up the spine of any ISIS disciple or jihad aficionado is the thought of being killed in battle by a female. Instead of flying straight into the welcoming embrace of those 72 willing virgins (i.e., 144 bejewelled arms, 288 henna-ed hands, 1,152 ringed fingers, 576 stubby thumbs), his soul goes, well, who knows where it goes? Jahannam, the “evil terminus,” maybe?



A 21-year-old female commander of an all-female Kurdish fighting unit told CNN: “They think they’re fighting in the name of Islam. They believe if someone from Daesh (ISIS) is killed by a girl, a Kurdish girl, they won’t go to heaven. They’re afraid of girls.” [6]


I can’t wait for Netflix to come out with the miniseries. But hey, we’re rushing ahead.


This treatise relies on the fine arts – mainly painting and photography – to explain both the historical and contemporary conflict involving two diametrically opposed value systems with respect to sexuality and the role of women in society, although it makes no claims on saving the world. Nonetheless, art does not exist in a vacuum. If the vast body of artistic endeavour throughout recorded history is to be believed, there hasn’t been a lot of peace and harmony in the world. Art works and their creators have often been victims of mindless vandalism and politico-religious persecution. Art and politics are, therefore, inseparable.


Auschwitz-Birkenau was the ultimate in performance art foisted on humankind by a frustrated painter. Contrary to wartime villainization by the Allies, Adolph Hitler was very well read and well spoken, a disciplined, studious individual, sexually “neither fish nor fowl.” He had absorbed the nihilism of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Marx, and understood where modern art was headed in the 20th century, that is, everything was negative and worthy of destruction. God was dead. Humankind was an apex predator. Only the fittest deserved to survive.


Had Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts not twice rejected young Adolph Hitler as a student in 1907, perhaps he would not have proceeded to embroider upon Christianity’s cherished praxis of anti-Semitism and race hatred that dragged humanity into the worst slaughter in recorded history. The staging and orchestration of the horrors of Auschwitz was a performance unheard of in the history of humankind. Hitler’s “Final Solution” was the progenitor of and accelerant for today’s seemingly unresolvable turmoil in Palestine and the Middle East, a reflexional point for Western liberals and inspiration for Islamic terrorist organizations bent on finishing what the Nazis failed to accomplish. Again, art is inextricable from the politics of both East and West.


This treatise is about the East and how its mysteries have been interpreted, and sometimes misinterpreted, by artists catering to the tastes of a Western audience. As political and social scientists on both sides of the debate have pointed out, Western attitudes vis-à-vis the Orient have been shaped, for better or worse, by genre art and literature which cannot be entirely dismissed as pure fantasy. For better, because Orientalist painters and sculptors delivered a huge body of work that celebrated the female form for the precious temple that it is. For worse, because they glamourized the exotic and erotic while ignoring the ugly backstory behind Arab and Ottoman slave markets and harems, elements that would have been repugnant to Western audiences.


Pointing to the Quran - described by non-Muslim critics as "a motherlode of bad ideas - as a wellfount of wisdom and the source of their authority, contemporary Muslim apologists dismiss the degradation of all women, endorse female genital mutilation, child marriage and honour killings, and worse (if there is worse), justify sexual assaults on non-Muslims as an inherent right sanctioned by their god.


For non-Muslims, at least, here is the moral conundrum.


While most Americans and Europeans would never dream of criminally abducting a woman, girl, or boy for sexual purposes, or legally purchasing one in a slave market, the Western imagination is nonetheless captivated by how this is accomplished in a culture wherein human beings in general, and women in particular, are relegated to the status of goods to be purchased and sold, used and abused, even killed.


While the Quran forbids the enslavement of other Muslims, the rest of humankind remains fair game.


“Oh, Prophet, carry out Jihád (struggle) against the disbelievers and hypocrites, and be strict with them. And their abode is Jahannam (Hell), and it is an evil terminus.” Quran 9:73


“Oh, you who believe, fight those disbelievers who are near you, and let them find severity in you. Know well that Allah is with the God-fearing.” Quran 9:123


“And all married women are forbidden unto you save those captives whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you.” Quran 4:24


"Culture” has always been too convenient an excuse for abuse.


Nowhere is this more apparent than in art. The Parisian courtesan and Ottoman harem inmate – both popular subjects for 19th century artists – may have been sisters under the skin, providing entertainment and sexual gratification to rich and powerful men; nonetheless, the former enjoyed a large measure of female autonomy while the latter represented the extreme opposite. That “gender apartheid” is still the operative term describing present-day Islam is undeniable.


In the Western lexicon, the terms “courtesan” and even “concubine” normally denote a measure of consent, that is, a modern sex trade worker indentured to a client for about as long as it takes to smoke a cigarette; however, this was hardly the fate of women kidnapped en masse by Muslim slave raiders from southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Greece, and around the Mediterranean), the Caucasus and Balkans, and as far north as Iceland.



The wholesale kidnapping of many thousands of European women for sexual purposes by Muslim slave raiders over the centuries engendered the term "white slavery," first uttered by Charles Sumner, an American lawyer and leading advocate for the abolition of Black slavery, in 1847. [7] White slavery initially referred to the European-born cariye (concubine or sex slave) found predominantly in Turkish harems but figuring in the slave trade throughout North Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East, and wherever Islam held sway. The international commerce in both Black and white slaves was owned and controlled at source almost exclusively by Arabs.


The term white slave was subsequently re-purposed by Chicago prosecutor Clifford G. Roe at the turn of the 20th century in a popular campaign against the evils of alcoholism and drug addiction that led to Prohibition in the USA.[8] Forced prostitution and sexual slavery of girls in Chicago’s brothels involved some 15,000 sex trade workers performing over 27 million sex acts annually. Roe’s book entitled “Horrors of the White Slave Trade,” quite neatly sums up the issue. Roe put the value of white slavery in Chicago (population 2 million) in 1911 at a cool $15 million ($484 million in 2023 dollars).[9] No wonder they called it “Sin City.”


European countries signed the International Agreement for the suppression of the White Slave Traffic in Paris in 1904, a largely ineffectual effort to curtail the trafficking of women and girls into prostitution and sexual slavery, reaffirmed in 1949.[10] Since 2000, the U.S. federal government has enacted no less than 22 pieces of legislationpertaining to people trafficking, along with nine executive orders. [11] The International community (United Nations, European Union, other bodies) has convened some 16 conventions and enacted a slew of legislation pertaining to people trafficking and forced labour. On the commercial side, Silicon Valley has produced an app, popular in Arab states, that facilitates the trafficking in sex slaves. [12]



The “cariye” was, in every sense of the term, a sex slave who had been kidnapped, held captive, sold either privately or in a public market, and sexually violated against her will. The players, costuming, and backdrop may have changed somewhat in the interim, but people trafficking for illicit purposes remains the second largest growth industry in today’s world, pegged by Forbes at some $150 billion annually, ahead of arms trafficking and only slightly behind drug trafficking in monetary value. [13]


The bulk of sex slave trafficking has historically occurred in Muslim countries; however, on the consumer side, the United States of America leads the world with the majority number of sex tourists, both domestically and abroad, and now takes the trophy for pedophilia, broadly defined as sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Sex tourism to countries offering organized access to children and youth generates $20 billion annually.

Pedophilia as defined in the West is enshrined in the Muslim holy books.


“It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah married her when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine.” Sunan an-Nasa’i 3255


Scripture mentions that 52-year-old Muhammed, the so-called Messenger of Allah and a minor deity in his own right, would often sit and watch little Aisha and her friends as they played with dolls and, on occasion, he would even join them. [14] Try that at your local elementary school playground and see how quickly the police arrive. Then recite the following passage:


Men are caretakers of women, since Allah has made some of them excel the others, and because of the wealth they have spent. So, the righteous women are obedient, (and) guard (the property and honor of their husbands) in (their) absence with the protection given by Allah. As for women of whom you fear rebellion, convince them, and leave them apart in beds, and beat them.” Quran 4:24

So much for the role of women and girls in Muslim society. Valued primarily as baby-making machines, drudges, and male masturbation aids, thousands of contemporary Muslim-born women struggle with the tenets of their faith, adding to the growing number of so-called ex-Muslims most of whom were born and reside outside Muslim-ruled countries.


Experts such as Dr. Leila Ahmed (b. 1940) insist that the oppression of women in Muslim-ruled countries is the result of patriarchal interpretations of Islam rather than anything found in the Quran. If a woman wants to be beaten, an experience that cosplaying sex slaves at the Folsom Street Fair seem to enjoy, then Quran 4:24 makes no qualms about a man’s right to administer said beatings. Ahmed nonetheless believes that a hierarchical power structure that developed within an androcentric, misogynist society dating back to pre-Islamic Abassid Iraq hijacked the Quran and silenced the voice of equality and justice. [15]


With such a gender-based hierarchical structure as the basis of relationships, can a pious Muslim male experience a meaningful relationship with any woman predicated on bonds of love and respect? Sure, they can, but their more militant, misogynist brothers, supported by a justice system frozen in the Middle Ages, set the overall agenda. Sex slaves aside, even legal wives fear the spectre of beatings and honour killings should they stand up to physical abuse or challenge the status quo. [16]


While East and West point accusing fingers at one another, both nonetheless envy what the other has: perceived sexual freedom on one side, male domination and control of women on the other, the patriarchy on steroids. Like the trade in Black Africans of past centuries, East and West once again come together in today’s multi-billion-dollar global sex trafficking networks.



The United Nations’ International Labour Organization estimates that 3.8 million adults and one million children became victims of forced sexual exploitation in 2016 globally, 99-percent of whom were woman and girls. [17]


Sexual slavery has been well documented from before Roman times to the present by chroniclers and artists who pointed up humankind’s propensity to exploit others for sexual satisfaction and economic gain. The ferocious appetites of American pedophiles aside, not to mention some 9,000 massage parlours across the continental USA valued at $4.5 billion annually and notorious for employing trafficked women and girls, sex slave trading has flourished as an economic driver in Muslim society since the seventh century. [18] It persists into the modern era despite, or perhaps thanks to, new-found wealth in petrodollars.

Despite its celebration in art and Americans’ enthusiastic participation in the Folsom Street Fair, the proliferation of interactive fetishism in social media, and the general acceptance of pornography as legitimate entertainment, the historic reality of sex slavery is quite dismal. The institution caters to humankind’s basest instincts, that is, the inseparable association of sex with power and money.



We live in an age of disclaimers.


A major fine art auction house that recently featured a large sale of Orientalist paintings, some depicting scenes of slave markets and harem life, offers a curious “Modern Slavery Statement” in its corporate profile. Such disclaimers are trending amongst corporate elite desperate to get onboard with woke culture but driven by commercial rather than moral or ethical motives.


The document winds on about employee relations and supply chain ethics, although the word “slavery” is mentioned only once in the three-page document. While the auction house has sold paintings depicting the capture and debasement of women when judged according to post-modern standards, it nonetheless distances itself from those themes. Call it prophylactic, a corporate ballistic vest to deflect potential terrorist attacks by religious fanatics and soup throwing extremists. [19




Paintings depicting naked sex slaves sold in bazaars and desert oases would be inadmissible as evidence in contemporary people trafficking trials; nonetheless, it isn’t inconceivable that inspired culture warriors and social crusaders would sue an auction house or gallery that traffics in art works they consider degrading to women or hint at Islamophobia, despite their centuries-old provenance and basis in historical fact. Corporate entities are bracing for such eventualities.


On the brighter side, better a lawsuit than a mass slaughter a-la Charlie Hebdo. [20]



Even photographs enjoy limited credibility. The huge body of Orientalist art cannot, therefore, be relied upon as a super-accurate, bullet-proof accounting of what occurred, and allegedly still occurs, behind the gates of Muslim palaces and households. Behaviour deemed criminal in the West is celebrated rather than condemned in the East where the guilty are often praised and rewarded while the innocent are punished. The major Islamic holy books (Quran, hadiths, safirs) spell out exploitation and abuse of women in big, bold letters. The rape of non-Muslim women, even within Western host countries, is encouraged by Islamic scripture from which Sharia, the Muslim justice system, draws its authority. [21]


Muslim apologists will rush to accuse the author of Islamophobia, of stereotyping and vilifying all Muslims, of blaspheming the Prophet, of racism and sexism, of taking art works out of context. Culture warriors and other champions of the politically correct will accuse him of promoting hatred and denying inclusivity, or worse, of advocating White Supremacy; nonetheless, a huge body of artworks supported by historical documentation generated over centuries and treating the same themes – maritime piracy and slave raiding, sex slavery, harem life – cannot be entirely inaccurate, a huge lie. To deny that Islam-inspired sex slavery is rampant in today’s world is a lie.


Perhaps after other targets have been exhausted, after artists and intellectuals and non-cisgender persons are all thrown from minarets and the observation decks of skyscrapers, they will come after the museums, auction houses, and art galleries that display and sell illustrations of the pious Muslim male’s fondest dream but whose depiction in art is nonetheless deemed displeasing to his god. Hence, the corporate disclaimers.


A pox on all their houses.


Art has always placed itself at the service of religious and political institutions while, in the ancient world, all political systems were predicated on a god. Much of what is considered repugnant about Islam finds its source in the Abrahamic tradition itself (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Muhammed is accused of having cut and pasted snippets from the Hebrew Bible to proclaim himself the latest and greatest, after Jesus, in a long chain of Judaic prophets.


Judaism itself constituted a once-upon-a-time revolutionary diversion from the more ancient, balanced pantheon of major and minor gods toward the concept of a single, all-powerful deity (the supreme patriarch) whose subjects are forever mired in guilt, pain, anger, and hatred. Sometime in the third millennia BCE, the so-called Circle of Life was relegated to the dust bin in favour of a more linear, politico-religious struggle terminating in reward or punishment of the individual soul in the Hereafter. That’s pretty much Muhammed’s entire platform: the promise of spoils for joining his army of conquest both now (all the sex slaves one can handle) and in the Hereafter (that annoying 72-virgin thing).


Muhammed (570-632 CE) was the troubled son of a widowed, controlling mother. His first marriage was to the equally controlling and ambitious Khadija bint Kuwaylid (554-619 CE), a woman old enough to have been his own mother. Like the prophets Abraham and Moses before him, Muhammed claimed to have formed a new covenant with the Hebrew deity and been appointed his mouthpiece. And just as Zippora, the shepherd girl wife of the Hebrew prophet Moses hacked off the foreskin of their son Gershom and smeared the terrified child’s blood over her husband’s genitals, the covenant that Muhammed forged with Moses’s god was also a blood pact.


Both Christianity (the West) and Islam (the East) are card carrying subscribers to this arcane belief system whose practitioners have exploited and bloodied humankind in astonishingly similar ways. If the Hebrew Bible and Muslim holy books are credited, the Almighty God of Abraham is a vengeful bully who despises his own badly conceived creation and longs for what religious extremists hope and pray for, that is, the mother of all holocausts. Scripture and video game developers call it “Armageddon.” It’s almost laughable unless one resides within striking range of an American, Russian, Pakistani, or North Korean nuclear launch site, which means practically all the world’s major cities.



Like Jesus, biographers of Muhammed and recorders of his message only emerge after his death; but, unlike those of Jesus, the Muslim holy books are all written by persons who did not know Muhammed personally. One Greek Christian polemic tract recorded between the 7th and 8th century describes the man as: “He is deceiving. For do prophets come with sword and chariot? You will discover nothing true from the said prophet but human bloodshed.” [22]


Followers of the Prophet set out to proselytize, terrorize, and enslave the entire known world as soon as they received a green light from their god.


But they didn’t act alone.


A salient feature of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism was the forced conversion of pagans (read: indigenous peoples) – who, by papal decree, were to be enslaved – into the Catholic religion, while working them to death in the mines of Bogotá or the cane fields of Hispaniola and Cuba. When the European nations, and eventually the Americas, outlawed chattel slavery and strived to eradicate it, the Catholic Church decried its abolition.


The “Recovering Catholic” movement is the largest and fastest growing protestant sect in Christianity today, comprised of former practicing Roman Catholics for whom their experience of religion resulted in grave psychological and emotional damage. [23] Many recovering Catholics consider themselves as genuine victims of crime. Thousands are survivors of violence and child sexual molestation at the hands of Catholic priests and nuns, while civil courts have levied hundreds of millions of dollars in sexual abuse lawsuit settlements against the Church, confirming its role as a world-class, organized crime syndicate. Like Islamic fundamentalist terror groups, the Church is well funded, the world’s biggest landlord and numero uno financial entity. That story is well documented, currently underway, and unlikely to finish anytime soon.



Like most modern corporations, the Catholic Church is structured on the Mafia model: authority runs from top to bottom, responsibility from bottom to top. The Mafia, Islam, and Catholicism are all cults-of-the-leader: the godfather (il padrino) and his lieutenants and soldiers (picciotti), the Pope with his bishops and priests, and the imans with their jihadis and mujaheddin. In all three arenas, women are sidelined and oppressed. There is little difference between the traditional garb of Catholic nuns and the walking tents (i.e., women in burka, niqab, and hijab) found in Muslim-ruled countries, refugee camps, and expatriot communities abroad, and their status vis-à-vis the two Abrahamic religions.


Unlike Islam, the Roman Catholic Church endeavours to distance itself from its inglorious past deeds. It has deleted (de-platformed, cancelled) the blood-soaked history of the Holy Inquisition from its history books. Catholic children will not find even a remotely accurate description, or the slightest mention, of this three-centuries-plus criminal enterprise in their school curriculum any more than children attending Islamic schools (madrassas) will be taught the nuts and bolts of the Black and white slave trade that enriched its practitioners while menacing the world for a much longer time than the Holy Inquisition. Transparency and accountability are not characteristics of any organized religion.



Meanwhile, the expanding ex-Muslim movement in the West is only beginning. Thousands of former as well as some still-pious Muslims are engaged in a life-or-death struggle with their coreligionists, endeavouring to move the faith from gender apartheid and a codified system of arcane punishments – as espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State (ISIS) extremists, Iranian revolutionaries, and other fundamentalist movements predicated on gangsterism – toward a more relevant alignment with advances in science, technology, and current thought. [24] They want, and indeed deserve, a return to the compassion and empathy that is embedded in the Quran, as well as integration with Western democratic systems of governance wherein the human and civil rights of both women and men are acknowledged and applied equally under the law. They argue that Islam was not always sexist. Until Islamists welcome Jean-Jacques Rousseau into their pantheon of prophets, however, East and West will remain forever at odds, if not at war. [25]


Okay, so here is my own disclaimer:


Nothing said herein implies approval of slavery or the exploitation of captive women for sexual purposes, neither in the context of the seventh century nor anytime. My purpose is to simply point out its timeless allure and pivotal role in art history.


This treatise is predicated on actual history and illustrated by images whose genesis is rooted, however firmly or loosely, in that history.

Muslim practitioners in North Africa, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East were key players in a story which has been central to the Orientalist theme in art, hence, The Sexualization of Islam.

 

A note to readers:


According to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, the word “white” remains lower case while the word “Black” is always capitalized when referring to race.


All images are copyright-free in the public domain unless noted otherwise.


Footnotes


Prologue as Disclaimer


1. Before the term “Islamic terrorism” was coined, “white slave trade” from the early 17th to mid-19th centuries referred to European women captured by Arab maritime pirates and coastal raiders in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and sold into North African, Middle Eastern, and Turkish slave markets. The “Barbary Wars” (1801-05 and 1815) were anti-piracy military campaigns carried out by a coalition of the United States, Sweden, and the Kingdom of Sicily, although most European governments had at some time dispatched warships to battle the North African pirates. By the early 1800s, the United States was paying 20% of its annual federal budget as extortive tribute to the Bey (ruler) of Tripoli to safeguard its maritime traffic in the Mediterranean but to no avail as depredations continued. Among the most prolific pirates was Hamidou ben Ali , known as Raïs Hamidou (Arabic: الرايس حميدو) who reportedly captured over 200 ships from 1770 to 1815, contributing to an estimated 1.25 million Europeans sold into slavery between the 17th and 19th centuries. The latest assault on Islamic terrorism comprised U.S. President George W. Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing” after the attacks of 9/11, although, as in the Barbary Wars, the so-called white slave trade has not diminished in the world but instead increased.

2. British Broadcasting System (BBC), BBC News Arabic/BBC Africa Eye, “Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market.” YouTube. https://youtu.be/2IdII_n28e0

4. Jillian Page, June 10, 2014, “BDSM: Master/slave relationships in the spotlight with Louisiana case?” The Montreal Gazette. https://montrealgazette.com/life/bdsm-masterslave-relationships-in-the-spotlight-with-louisiana-case

5. Internet Archive, Suna at-Turmidhi (Jami al-Tirmidhi), Volume 2. https://archive.org/details/SunanAlTirmidhijamiAlTirmidhiVol.2

7. Wikipedia, article, Charles Sumner, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Sumner

8. Wikipedia, article, Clifford G. Roe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifford_G._Roe

9. Internet Archive, Horrors of the white slave trade, the mighty crusade to protect the purity of our homes. Clifford G. Roe, 1911. https://archive.org/details/horrorsofwhitesl00clif

10. International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic. United Nations Treaty Collection. https://web.archive.org/web/20150908055815/http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=VII-8&chapter=7&lang=en

11. Anti-Human Trafficking Laws, 2023 Update. U.S. Chamber of Commerce. https://www.uschamber.com/assets/documents/USCC-human-trafficking-briefing-Final23.pdf

12. British Broadcasting System (BBC News), Slave Markets found on Instagram and other Apps, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50228549

13. Carmen Niethammer, Forbes, February 2, 2020, Cracking The $150 Billion Business of Human Trafficking. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carmenniethammer/2020/02/02/cracking-the-150-billion-business-of-human-trafficking/?sh=72b562664142

14. Sahih al-Bukhari 5134, Book 67, Hadith 70: “the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old.”

15. Leila Ahmed, “Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate.” Yale University Press, 1992.

16. The celebrated honour killing of Mona Heydari (2004-22) sparked outrage amongst Iranian women’s rights groups and reverberated through the Western media. Mona was married at age 12 to Sajjad Heydari and delivered a child before she was 14. She then fled to Turkey to escape domestic abuse but was urged by friends and family to reconcile with her husband. On her return to Iran, he tied her hands and hacked off her head before proudly strolling through the neighbourhood swinging her severed head and smirking. An Iranian court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment where he will likely be hailed a hero by other male prisoners. The defendant claimed adultery (unproven), dishonour, and his duty as a Muslim to kill her. Mona Heydari’s murder and similar honour killings are commonplace occurrences throughout the Muslim world. See:  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-64319487

17. International Labour Office, Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour And Forced Marriage, Geneva 2017. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575479.pdf

18. Will Yankowicz, “Inside the $4.5 Billion Erotic Massage Parlor Economy,” Forbes. April 4, 2021.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2021/04/04/inside-the-45-billion-erotic-massage-parlor-economy/

20. Charlie Hebdo is a French political satirical magazine first launched in 1970 then again in 1991. The publication's February 9, 2006 edition featured the title "Mahomet débordé par les intégristes" ("Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists"), its front page displaying a cartoon of a weeping Muhammad crying "C'est dur d'être aimé par des cons" ("It's hard being loved by jerks"). On February 11, 2009, the publication’s office was firebombed, and its website hacked after its cover, featuring a cartoon of Muhammad saying: "100 lashes of the whip if you don't die laughing." In 2012, the magazine published a series of cartoons depicting a nude Muhammed crawling on all fours with a star covering his anus and another cartoon of him bending over and begging to be admired. Another showed Muhammed with a bomb in his turban. Lampoonings of the Prophet were in response to events in the Muslim world or Islamist attacks on foreign embassies abroad. On January 7, 2015, two Islamist gunmen burst into the Paris headquarters of the publication and opened fire on those present, killing twelve and wounding 11 while shouting Allahu Akbar (God is great). The attacks were executed with military precision. Rejoicings and spinoff atrocities echoed across France and throughout the Muslim world with dozens of murders and church bombings. In 2020, two persons were critically injured in a stabbing attack by a would-be Muslim assassin outside the publication’s former headquarters. Charlie Hebdo was awarded the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award at the PEN American Center Literary Gala in New York City on May 5, 2015.

21. Debate centres on the Muslim definition of “captive.” Islamists argue that there is no such thing as slavery when it comes to women. Captive women who refuse to convert to Islam are automatically obliged to “marry” (i.e., have sexual relations with) Muslim soldiers. As Islam considers itself in continuous conflict with the non-Muslim world, all non-Muslim women are subject to kidnapping and sexual violation, even inside non-Muslim countries. According to Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English language magazine aimed at Muslims living in the Western democracies: “Enslaving the families of the kuffar [unbelievers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah [Islamic law] that if anyone were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an and the narrations of the Prophet.” See: https://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/08/middleeast/isis-rape-theology-soldiers-rape-women-to-make-them-muslim/index.html

22. Walter Emil Kaegi, Jr., Cambridge University Press, “Initial Bysantine Reactions to the Arab Conquest,” Church History, Volume 38, No. 2, p.141. Reference: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3162702?read-now=1&seq=4#page_scan_tab_contents

23. Wikipedia, article, Recovering Catholic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovering_Catholic

24. Wikipedia, article, List of ex-Muslim Organizations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ex-Muslim_organisations

25. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 1712-1778) was a French-Swiss philosopher, writer, and composer whose ideas influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe and inspired both the French and American revolutions. His writings led to the development of modern political, economic, and educational thought, advocating for the separation of church and state, gender and racial equality, freedom of speech, and basic human rights – the cornerstones of Western participatory democracies.


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Don't be discoraged, Dave. Red Deer Alberta wasn't built in a day. Or maybe it was.


Cheers,

Francesco

Gilla

I wondered where you had gone, but I see now you’ve been quite busy with this writing. Good luck with publication, Francesco!

Gilla
Svarar

Hi Cathy, I can email you a beta-reader draft of the entire book if you wish. PDF format. It's around 180 pages with the footnotes.

Gilla

Well, you have been busy by expanding your Medium article of a few years back. This is a "story" that needs to be made more known.


I'm still active on Medium. But, like most writers, there's not a lot of traction.


I am moving my Medium stuff to my own blog:


https://tiereddemocraticgovernance.org/tdg_blog.php


I am using Mastodon (a twitter clone) to promote these articles, but not much is happening. But my stuff is now on one place and easily accessible.


The world is not ready for my ideas.


Gilla
Svarar

Hi Dave, I visited your new TDG website. Good work; however, it isn't sexy enough to get people's engagement. Young people cannot focus on anything more demanding than a 5-second meme, therefore you need some visuals and, of course, audio. Everybody loves a good bedtime story. I see TDG as a long term remedy for the tyranny of woke culture.


Cheers,

Francesco


Gilla
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