25 December 2014

Valerie Tarico attacking the rapey religions or what is haram and what is not?

Why rape is so intrinsic to religion, says the header of the Salon article by Valerie Tarico*, "a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington and the founder of Wisdom Commons". Apparently she writes for AlterNet and Truth Out as well - but it's high holidays time and we shouldn't hold it against her - or against anyone else for that matter. The first sentence of the article is quite combative:
Powerful gods and demi-gods impregnating human women—it’s a common theme in the history of religion, and it’s more than a little rapey.
And every religion gets its fair share of blame: the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Christians (early and otherwise), the Jews, the Hindus, the Zoroastrians, the Buddhists, the... let me see, I have a feeling that someone was unfairly overlooked in this list. Let's start again: the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, the... nope, still someone is missing.

I am sure that by now you have already guessed the name of that missing religion - Islam, the Religion of Peace. The whole first part of the article, where the basis for its conclusion is built, avoids mentioning this most exalted (or is it excited?) of the world religions.

Oh well, as an avowed atheist I am not into defense of any specific religion or all religions. However, that omission goes a long way to show how far have the modern feminists gone in their mortal fear of offending Islam. Not mentioning the peculiar habit of Islam's main prophet - to marry and defile little girls - seems to be a glaring black hole in the article on the subject of rape and religion.

And the first reference to Islam by Ms Tarico comes in this peculiar sentence:
The men at the top owned concubines and harams, and virgin females were counted among the spoils of war.
(Emphasis mine).

To be frank, the reference to "harams" threw me for a while. Of course, the author meant "harems"... but the mistake is kinda symbolic, because "haram" means "Forbidden or unlawful according to Islam".

Interestingly, marrying and raping underage girls is not haram in the tenets of RoP...and no mention of this peculiarity in a feminist article? Beats me.

Oh well, eventually Islam gets a direct mention:
Two thousand years after Hebrew and Aramaic texts were assembled into the modern Jewish Bible, 1600 years after a Roman Catholic committee voted books in and out of the Christian Bible, 1400 years after Muhammad wrote the Koran (which draws heavily on the moral framework of the Judeo-Christian tradition), we still struggle with the question of female consent.
Even this mention goes only so far as to blame the "Judeo-Christian tradition" - the real culprit in Islamic ill-treatment of women.

The most valiant attempt at criticism eventually comes in this sentence:
The most extreme example may be a document published by the Islamic State, outlining rules for the treatment of sexual slaves, rules drawn from the Koran.
And even here, Ms Tarico kinda softens the blow, blaming the IS barbarians, which is a fashionable and PC thing to do anyway.

The article, in short, is an excellent example of what is really haram for certain progressive thinkers nowadays.   They know it, we know it, but how to make them to confess it and to change it?

Beats me.

(*) The person in the picture starting this post is not Valerie Tarico, to make sure.


EliseRonan said...

Some people are really not Ok in the head. And honestly I have found that most of them practice in the psychiatric field in one form or the other.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I guess the general craziness rubs off on them ;-)

Duke of URL said...

I will admit I've forgotten most of what I read in the torah, but I do not recall anything about raping girls/women. So I don't get why she included "Two thousand years after Hebrew and Aramaic texts were assembled into
the modern Jewish Bible".
"1400 years after Muhammad
wrote the Koran (which draws heavily on the moral framework of the
Judeo-Christian tradition)" seems to sidestep Islam's established basis in rape, blaming those blasted Jooz and Christers instead.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

A good question that. Hopefully Ms Tarico will produce an answer one of these days.

peterthehungarian said...

Ms Tarico left out the Jainists as well...

Dick Stanley said...

First they came for the Christians...

She is a high priestess of the PC Cult and therefore half-worthless at the get-go. Guess she missed the part of the Koran that orders a husband to beat his wife regularly to keep her in line. Nothing at all about that in Judeo-Christian texts she presumes to know.

Dick Stanley said...

I'm of a mixed mind on the mayuh. The cops ought to be ashamed of having killed Garner, an unarmed man they could have subdued in a dozen ways other than murder. There are racist police, in New York and everywhere. Get over it.

Dick Stanley said...

The "haram" misspelling could be a Freudian slip. She wanted so bad to criticise the goat lovers but the cult won't allow it.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

She seems to miss a lot of things, and the question is was it because of ignorance or on purpose.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

She will get there, give her time. Jainists are know for their cruelty. And there unbridled patriarchal rule.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Well, I tend to agree with you on that. There is too much enmity in the air around the latest cases.

David Sigeti said...

The Torah includes the "law of the beautiful captive". It allows a soldier to sleep with (read rape) a "beautiful captive" for one night. After that, he must free her or marry her (as a legitimate wife, which also frees her, from slavery at least), but he cannot keep her as a concubine (read sex slave).

The law is an interesting half-way measure to try to limit rape in war. Like many of the laws of the Torah, it takes for granted that certain evils of the contemporary society could not be eliminated completely, but attempts to substantially limit them. Nowadays, of course, we expect that armies will punish rape by soldiers at war just as it is punished in peacetime and that rape in war can be drastically reduced by such criminalization. Frankly, I think that whoever it was that came up with the compromise of the law of the beautiful captive would be pleased, although maybe very surprised.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Thanks for clarification, David. I expect you know the story of IDF non-rapists being blamed for non-raping as a racist behavior...

Valerie Tarico said...

Apart from my poor spelling--which is a lifelong bane--I'm afraid I have to disappoint your readers who are convinced that anyone critiquing Christianity must be blind to the faults of Islam. I do write more about the former than the latter because it is the religion I was raised and schooled in. But to the extent that my knowledge permits, I try to be an equal opportunity critic of the Abrahamic religions. http://valerietarico.com/2014/10/24/bible-vs-quran-test-your-knowledge-of-who-deserves-death-in-which-religion/

Valerie Tarico said...

The Torah regularly endorses nonconsensual sex of various kinds and in no place is it stated that a woman's consent is needed or desired before sex. Where it does address rape, it treats rape as a property crime--a violation against the man who has rights to a woman's reproductive capacity. http://valerietarico.com/2012/11/04/the-bible-says-yes-to-legitimate-rape-and-rape-babies/

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Dear Valerie (or Ms Tarico, if you prefer): thanks for taking time and care to address this post and this blogger.

Your response, while it is constructed logically and sounds reasonable, still looks like an attempt to deflect, instead of a direct and straight answer. To start with, the title of your article is "Why rape is so intrinsic to religion" - notice "religion" and not "gods". So, when as a simple reader I look at the lineup of the guilty religions, the absence of RoP is rather outstanding.

Since in Islam the prophet's status is almost god-like and his following is not subject to questioning, the reason for non-inclusion sounds very flimsy. If anything, Islam should be the first in the line-up: not only because of the teaching but because of the modern practices.

Notice that there is no attempt on my part to argue with other conclusions of your article, where rape - which is definitely one of the ugliest and oldest crimes in human history - is concerned. While not sure about your conclusion re sexual manipulation and coercion perpetrated by males on university campuses - I mean the link to religions and not the severity of the crime, of course - I don't see your reasoning as faulty.

As for spelling ("haram" vs "harem") - nah, we are not spelling Nazis here. It is simply that this typo happened to be helpful in the context.