The Instigator
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
JonathanDJ
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Was Muhammed a pedophile?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 946 times Debate No: 42024
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

The previous debate with this title did not end well, due to Islam been shown false. So I would like to debate a person who accepts the validity of the various Hadith and the Koran.
http://www.debate.org...

This argument came up in a recent forum thread that Muhammad is not a pedophile according to the norms of the day. However Pedophilia is defined according to the standards we have today, so Muhammad does classify as a pedophile.

http://www.debate.org......

A similar correlation could be to say that Thomas Jefferson was not a slave owner, as when he was alive slavery was accepted. But the fact is according to today's standards he was a slave owner.

http://en.wikipedia.org......

My position is that Muhammad is a pedophile.

First round for acceptance.
JonathanDJ

Con

I accept the offer to debate this subject. I'm not a Muslim and find Islam to be one of the worlds most lethal ideologies. I think Muhammad was very much a man of his times. He was a seventh century warlord. His sexual behavior was unacceptable of that there is no doubt. But, we need to be more specific about what that behavior was and it's patterns.
Debate Round No. 1
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

I would like to extend my thanks to my opponent for accepting this revived debate. I have reposted my argument from my previous debate with some minor altercations here. I am of the opinion that this opening statement is a solid case for the debate in question.

I think it is important to define a pedophile according to today's standards. I think the following definition is appropriate, and I am sure my opponent would agree:"a pedophile is an individual who fantasizes about, is sexually aroused by, or experiences sexual urges toward prepubescent children (generally <13 years) for a period of at least 6 months." This statement comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. (1) This means that I have to only prove that Muhammad had sexual relations or sexual urges towards Aisha when she was prepubescent, below 13 years old. If he had sexual relations or urges towards her in these prepubescent years then we can conclude that Muhammad was a pedophile.

With this in mind where can we look for proof. The sources I will cite first as poof that Muhammad was a pedophile come from the hadiths which report on the sayings and life of the prophets.

The first question is to consider was Muhammad attracted to Aisha, as sexual attraction is also considered as pedophilia. In the Sahih al-Bukhari we can see accounts that are attributed to Aisha where she tells what age she was engaged to get married as well as married to Muhammad. From the following we can see that Muhammad was sexually attracted to Aisha at the early age of 6. I mean if he was not why would he get married to her and take her into his house as a wife.
In Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234:(2)
"The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years)."
In Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236:(3)
"He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age."
In Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:(4)
"that the Prophet married her when she was six years old"

Additionally in the Sahih Muslim the same age is getting attributed to Aisha when she was married and engaged to Muhammad. This is further evidence that he was a pedophile which can be confirmed by looking at the following references.
In Book 008, Number 3309:(5)
"A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine."
In Book 41,Number 4915:(6)
"The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) married me when I was seven or six."

Then lastly in the Sunan Abu Dawood we get information of when Muhammad started living with Aisha.
In Book 41, Number 4917:(7)
"When we came to Medina, the women came to me when I was playing on the swing, and my hair were up to my ears. They brought me, prepared me, and decorated me. Then they brought me to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and he took up cohabitation with me, when I was nine."

In my opinion these stories suggest that Muhammad was sexually attracted towards Aisha, as he was married to her at a very young age. Whether that age was 6,7,8 or 9 is irrelevant as she was prepubescent. This means that as she was prepubescent, we can say Muhammad was a pedophile according to the definition of pedophilia given in the beginning of this argument.

I hand the debate back to my opponent for his rebuttals.

(1) http://focus.psychiatryonline.org......
(2) http://www.usc.edu......
(3) http://www.usc.edu......
(4) http://www.usc.edu......
(5) http://www.usc.edu......
(6) http://www.usc.edu......
(7) http://www.usc.edu......
JonathanDJ

Con

OK, I'm a little annoyed with you right away. You did a hatchet job on the diagnostic criteria of pedophile. You left out 2/3rds of the terms. This is The DSM IV-TR diagnostic criteria for pedophilia:
Sections
Diagnostic criteria for 302.2 Pedophilia
Excerpt
Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).

The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.

Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old. (1*)

You left out some extremely important details that show that we can't possibly determine if Muhammad was a pedophile.
"sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty" This is one of them. We don't have any evidence that this ever happened.
In an article on the WebMD website Ray Blanchard, PhD, adjunct psychiatry professor at the University of Toronto states:
"A pedophile is a person who has a sustained sexual orientation toward children, generally aged 13 or younger," (2*)
We have no evidence that Muhammad had this kind of orientation at all. We only know that he sexually abused one particular little girl for as long as she was a little girl and then had sex with her as a women.
To sexually assault a child or to "Molest a child" does not make a person a pedophile. Nor does being a pedophile automatically mean a person has molested children. Pedophilia is more or less an orientation. Child molestation is an act.
For another thing if one is manic when one acts out it may not be pedophilia. It is not unreasonable to think that Muhammad had some mental health issues. As far as your tirade about the engagement you are flaunting your ignorance of the ancient and even today's third world marriage practices. Arranging a marriage, which could be called an engagement, can happen as early as when a girl is an infant in India and the boy is 10 years old. It's arranged by their families. There was nothing wrong with the engagement or even weird about it. What was evil was his betrayal of her trust and innocence by sexually abusing her and 9 years of age. That is called child molestation. But, we simply do not have sufficient data to conclude the Muhammad was a pedophile.

1. http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org...
2. http://www.webmd.com...
Debate Round No. 2
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for their quick response, I apologize that I could not do the same.

My opponent states that I did a hatchet job on the diagnosis of pedophilia. However, I do not believe I did as we know Muhammad was older than Aisha by at least 5 years so the point about age is irrelevant. The only point you added was that the person has to act on theses urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

So did Muhammad suffer distress you asked? The answer is obviously no, as his fantasies were met when he married and subsequently consummated his marriage with Aisha. This means he did not suffer distress, as this distress (if there was any) was relieved by his marriage and subsequent sexual acts. This point is then completely invalid in this argument as we know he married her and consummated the marriage according to what you have said, "There was nothing wrong with the engagement or even weird about it. What was evil was his betrayal of her trust and innocence by sexually abusing her and 9 years of age. That is called child molestation. But, we simply do not have sufficient data to conclude the Muhammad was a pedophile."

I am not sure why my opponent is saying that Muhammad was not a pedophile, because he only had sex with one little girl and then had sex with her as a women. Why does sex with one child make you not a pedophile, there is no limit on the number of children you have to have sexual relations with to classify as a pedophile. This is like saying you can only be heterosexual if you have had sex with more than one person, its an irrational argument. In fact like I said (and you agreed) according to the definition you only have to have over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges. You do not even need to have any type of sex with a child to be classified as a pedophile. This is said in the WebMD reference by the sexologist Ray Blanchard.(1) Also yes, Aisha was an adult, women but maybe we should also mention that she was 18 years old when Muhammad died, so she was barley an adult women. This age comes from the Sahih Muslim Hadith Book 008 Number 331 "'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 he 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."(2)

My opponent stated that, "To sexually assault a child or to "Molest a child" does not make a person a pedophile. Nor does being a pedophile automatically mean a person has molested children." I agree you do not need to be a pedophile to molest a child, however Mohammad had sexual fantasies/relations with Aisha for longer than 6 months and so he classifies as a pedophile.

"Pedophilia is more or less an orientation. Child molestation is an act." Again this is irrelevant to the conversation, as we are not talking about molestation, but pedophilia. Also even if pedophilia is an orientation, it is irrelevant as we are not debating whether it is an orientation.

"For another thing if one is manic when one acts out it may not be pedophilia. It is not unreasonable to think that Muhammad had some mental health issues." So if someone has health issues (i.e. they are manic), they cannot be classified as a pedophile. By definition pedophilia is a mental health issue. This is circular reasoning.

My opponent also stated that, "As far as your tirade about the engagement you are flaunting your ignorance of the ancient and even today's third world marriage practices. Arranging a marriage, which could be called an engagement, can happen as early as when a girl is an infant in India and the boy is 10 years old." I agree with my opponent, but that is why I said in my opening statement where I said we are going to be classifying pedophilia according to the standards of today. Additionally, yes children do get engaged in India and other countries today. There have even been cases where girls have died from internal haemorrhaging where old men force themselves onto these girls at young ages.(3, 4) However, this is not the topic we are discussing I was trying to establish that Muhammad had a sexual attraction towards Aisha by marrying her at a young age, and I believe I did that as you even agreed that he had sex with her at the age of nine.

In closing I think these arguments show that Muhammad was a pedophile, as he (a) fantasized about Aisha and (b) had sexual intercourse with Aisha.

I hand the debate back to my opponent.

(1) http://www.webmd.com...
(2) http://www.searchtruth.com...
(3) http://www.theguardian.com...
(4) http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
JonathanDJ

Con

My counterpoint has made some excellent arguments so far. Essentially what he's said is "Stupid is as stupid does". Good point! My concern is that one can be a child molester and not a pedophile. (1*) Pedophilia is a psychiatric condition. The only sources we have for Muhammad are two hundred years after his life. They don't include much information about his state of his mind, desires, or fantasies. We don't know how much contact he had with Aisha. Given his access to little girls he could have supplied him self with a harem. But we never hear about such a thing. One would imagine a pedophile would do that. His predominant interest was clearly in women. This is not true with pedophiles generally. Again, we just don't know enough to make a diagnosis like this. I'm concerned about this for larger reasons than just this debate. Many people are in the habit of throwing this label around. They accuse people who are attracted to teen girls of this. That is not the case. The problem with people throwing this label around is that there are other people out there who think they have the right to harm anyone whose been labeled a pedophile. We must be very careful with this word.

(1) Not all pedophiles are child molesters (or vice versa). "Child molesters are defined by their acts; pedophiles are defined by their desires," Blanchard says. "Some pedophiles refrain from sexually approaching any child for their entire lives." But it's not clear how common that is. http://www.webmd.com...
Debate Round No. 3
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for a stimulating debate.

I agree with my opponent that not every child molester is a pedophile. This is a very important distinction to be made, as the social repercussions are dire for someone labelled as a pedophile. I will also say that anyone who believes they can take the law into their own hands need to consider if they want to be part of civilised society or live in a jail cell, but these are all topics for another debate.

Getting back to the debate topic. I agree with my opponent that Muhammad could have had a harem of prepubescent girls, but he did not even have a harem of women. This does not however mean he was not a pedophile, it just means he did not have a harem. Again I want to reiterate my point form the previous round and that is that you do not need to have sexual interest towards more than one person to qualify as a pedophile. I think this agree well with your quote cited from Sexologist Ray Blanchard who said " "Some pedophiles refrain from sexually approaching any child for their entire lives." But it's not clear how common that is."(1)

My opponent has suggested that Muhammad's primary interest was women and not girls which is not normal for pedophiles. "His predominant interest was clearly in women. This is not true with pedophiles generally." However, this is I do not believe is fully true. Some doctors suggest most pedophiles are married. (2,3) However, I have not seen conclusive statistics for this either and as such am not willing to draw any conclusion. I think however that a pedophile could or could not be married, as the attraction towards a prepubescent does not have to result in sexual acts. Additionally, even if there are sexual acts it does not exclude or include marriage.

In closing I would like to say, I think the histories in the Hadith and other historical documents from the time show that Muhhamad got married and had sexual relations with Aisha while she was prepubescent. This relationship carried on for a long enough time to classify Muhammad as a pedophile. I also use the word relationship here, as he was married to Aisha, so he clearly had an interest and desire towards her beyond sexual acts. These acts and relationship fit the definition of pedophilia outlines in round 1 of this argument. For this reason I feel that to say Muhammad was a pedophile is a safe assumption to make.

I hand the debate over to my opponent for his closing remarks and again I thank my opponent for an interesting debate.

(1) http://www.webmd.com...
(2) http://www.psychologytoday.com...
(3) http://www.salon.com...
JonathanDJ

Con

Well, I'd say that my counterpart and I have said as much as can be said about this subject. The counterpart's arguments have been very good. I have only one reservation; the fact that we are so distant from the person we are discussing. Making a psychiatric diagnosis is often very difficult and that's with the person present and working with the doctors. Here we are dealing with a person 1400 years later. I still think it's strange that we didn't here of Muhammad having more child brides if he was a pedophile. Sex with children wasn't considered a big deal at that time and in that culture. There is no reason for them not to record it. To diagnose pedophilia we need access to the persons thought life. We don't have that with Muhammad. I mean, theoretically Muhammad could have been doing things with Aisha because he thought it would keep him from dying. I don't have any evidence of that but imagine if we were to discover such evidence. I'm afraid the results of our examination are inconclusive.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JonathanDJ 2 years ago
JonathanDJ
Sagey, I'll let your filthy disrespect slide this once. I don't suppose you'd mind providing a source for your information about the historical source of the hijab. I happen to know that Muhammad's behavior toward Aisha wasn't an embarrassment at the time. I happen to know that at that time in the Middle East and long after, sex with young boys, pederasty, was a common practice among men. The real embarrassment at the time was Muhammad taken his adopted sons wife. The reason I know about why they wear what they wear in the desert is because I've lived in a desert. Burqas are quite separate. They completely cover everything on a woman. She can only see through a mesh screen. This is an article dealing with the clothing being black and how that harmonizes with the heat of the sun: http://www.nature.com...
It also states that they wear long robes. If you check this link : http://www.bedawi.com...
You'll notice that men's clothing looks allot like Muslim women's clothing.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Entirely Wrong: JonathanDJ, you have been misled by false information and likely Islamic indoctrinated BS.
Muhammad only instituted the Burqa after some of those near him started questioning his choice of taking a child bride, it was not even mentioned prior to that.
My comment is the correct reason for the hijab.
There was no reason that women would suffocate in a sandstorm any more than men would, thus no reason that women should be forced to wear them and men not.
Your comment borders on sheer Irrational Stupidity! And I'm being kind to you there!
Posted by JonathanDJ 2 years ago
JonathanDJ
We most certainly can compare then to now. We are the same human beings that we were then. We have the same basic needs and desires. Our basic psychology is the same. The only difference is in some of the ways we go about getting these needs met. However, there are clear moral limitations that are obvious by the very circumstances. Aisha's body for instance wasn't suited for sex at her age.
Posted by SeekTruth 2 years ago
SeekTruth
I am proposing an open debate and challenge to Pro and Con they have no knowlege of the way of life of the most trustworthy, honest, and merciful Prophet of God to ever walk this earth with his blessed feet.
Posted by SeekTruth 2 years ago
SeekTruth
Verily in Muhammad pbuh is an excellent example to follow for whoever is looking forward to meeting God and the Last Day . You cannot compare culture then to now .
Posted by zrg4848 2 years ago
zrg4848
@JohnathonDj
I just mean that they will have to prove everything they say with sources. Where I would believe them if they were Islamic, I will not if they don't provide a source. It's the equivalent to me of some crazy guy on the subway yelling about the islam menace. I am going to need proof for everything they say whether it be an article or a research paper.
Posted by JonathanDJ 2 years ago
JonathanDJ
Muhammad is guilty of allot of perversion but your analysis of veil wearing is quite wrong. The original purpose of a veil has nothing to do with Muhammad. It was invented to keep sand storms from ripping your face off and to keep you from suffocating. Men had similar devices. The burqas you've seen in Afghanistan, I believe, are a later invention. Child brides weren't shameful then or even now in many places. It's wrong but many cultures do not see it that way.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Well for starters, if it was not considered morally wrong at the time, there would be no need for Muhammad to hide the age of his young bride behind a veil. Thus the reason for the hijab/burqa.
Yes, it was to hide the age of his young bride from onlookers, because it would detract from any moral standing he had and put him in public shame.
Funny how religious leaders make stuff up to hide their lust and depravity and the rest of their followers have to put up with following these ridiculous self serving rules of his for centuries afterwards.
Such as many of the rules of Islam, including the wearing of the burqa.
Posted by neptune1bond 2 years ago
neptune1bond
ZRG, I stated this on another debate of this same subject that is in relation to your comment:
This might be obvious, but I thought that i should mention something (not that it is relevant to the debate in particular). What I wanted to point out was accountability. Thomas Jefferson may indeed have been a slave owner, but (as was pointed out already) since the times had different standards , expectations, and general conduct, it might be unrealistic and unfair to expect him to act any differently than the accepted norms. Also, it is worthy to note that he did indeed want to end slavery and even made attempts to bring such a thing about although he did not necessarily believe in current slave owners releasing their own slaves (as stated in the link provided by pro in the first round of debate).

On the other hand, Muhammad claimed to be, and is believed by many to be, a prophet of God. Being a representative of God gives a whole different level of accountability to a person that they might not otherwise have. It is perfectly reasonable for a person to say,"Is it really acceptable for a person who is God's voice and representative to be committing acts that are so morally reprehensible at any time, especially if these acts are recorded in a holy book that we are expected to take as the word of God? Shouldn't we expect prophets to be held to an ultimate standard of righteousness and uprightness before God that transcends social norms, trends, and practices if we are expected to follow them and devote our ultimate faith and trust in them?" I think that these questions are perfectly valid and it is part of the reason that I do not believe in the Bible or the Quran and I also do not believe in prophets (although I still am a theist). I do not believe any person or small group of people to be the sole mouthpiece(s) for God (past or present) and only think that some people were very inspired about a number of things (like anyone might have the potential to be).
Posted by JonathanDJ 2 years ago
JonathanDJ
ZRG, don't mean to be rude but the last part of your argument is bullsh!t. The facts about any given subject including Muhammad are open to examination by anyone. That persons analysis stands or falls on it's own merits.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
iamanatheistandthisiswhyJonathanDJTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, Spelling, and Sources were generally equal throughout the debate. However, Pro gets arguments because, at the end of the day, according to the only sources of information we have about Muhammad's life (Koran and Hadiths), Muhammad WAS technically a pedophile.