Yesterday I reported in Conservatives love to hate Islam that Newsmax (a conservative blog and website) had published an anti-Muslim article Muslim Marriage Guide OKs Wife Beating. I was skeptical of the story because I knew that Newsmax has a well-known neo-conservative bias. (Please see my earlier article Conservatives love to hate Islam for background.)
After researching the story further, I found out two significant things that greatly raise suspicions about the legitimacy of the Newsmax article.
First, I found that the Toronto Sun (which published the article Book tells Muslim men how to beat and control their wives that the Newsmax article references) is also well-known to have a conservative bias. According to Wikipedia, “Editorially, the paper frequently follows the positions of neo-conservatism in the United States on economic issues and traditional Canadian/British conservatism. Editorials promote individualism, self-reliance, the police, and a strong military and support for troops.” The article mentions a Toronto bookstore but does not give its name, making it hard to verify the claims.
The second thing I discovered is a further article Islamic bookstore sparks controversy with some revealing details:
The book was written by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, an Islamic scholar from the late 19th century who passed away in 1943.
“I didn’t read the book, I only bought because of the title,” Ahmad [the bookstore owner] said. “It’s a hundred-year-old book and I don’t know what was inside.”
Imam Shaykh Yusuf Badat of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto feels that the book, originally written in the South Asian language of Urdu, has been taken out of context.
“There’s a whole chapter just on kindness towards women,” he said.
The Toronto Sun article says the book is “sold out”, but does that just mean there are no copies left? In fact, according to the video of an interview with the store owner, he had only one copy of the book. And again it’s a 100 year old book (recently republished) — something not mentioned in the Toronto Sun or Newsmax articles.
In the video a (moderate) Muslim leader quotes a Bible verse which says, “you must then amputate her hand” (Deuteronomy 25:1-19). The full quote is “In case men struggle together with one another, and the wife of the one has come near to deliver her husband out of the hand of the one striking him, and she has thrust out her hand and grabbed hold of him by his privates, 12 you must then amputate her hand. Your eye must feel no sorrow”!
Neo-cons love to hate Islam, and on email lists and websites that I monitor they often publish anti-Muslim propaganda meant, no doubt, to lubricate public opinion for further wars.