Your article lost credibility when you stated, “Abu Eesa never made any jokes about rape, or FGM, or domestic violence. Anyone who thinks otherwise, after reading the entire conversation, either does not speak English as a mother language, or is blinded by rage.”
In fact, he did joke about these things. I saw his comment on his own page, with my own eyes. He wrote:
“You’re right, I apologize. I don’t understand women and tell the guys not to bother either, and we make jokes about them too. The aforementioned two crimes power my thirst and desire to rape women, beat them black and blue, harass them, abuse them, lock them in the boiler room at home and in the Masjid, belittle their hijab and niqab and tell everyone to mutilate their girls’ private parts and then marry them off whilst they’re still at Nursery. Right. Got it. Lads, feel free to do all of the above. I give you the fatwa to do it dammit!”
Perhaps you are not aware that Abu Easa made this comment, or you believe that someone else hacked his account and wrote it in his name. However, that’s unlikely.
AE says he was being sarcastic. What is sarcasm but a form of contemptuous or ironical joking? And you know what, no matter how you take his comment, it’s still sick. What kind of mind says such things, even in sarcasm? English is my native language – I am a writer – and I’m not filled with rage, yet I find it offensive.
I don’t know the brother. I have nothing invested. I am going only by his own words, and on that level I find it shocking that he is in a position to influence young Muslim minds. I know that many people think and behave like this, but they do not normally teach at respected Islamic institutions, at least not in the West.
What about that last line? “Lads, feel free to do all of the above. I give you the fatwa to do it dammit!”
You don’t think there are any impressionable or foolish young men who will take that as a license to do exactly as AE says?
People keep saying he apologized three times. I saw not one sincere, unequivocal apology on his page. In fact, on March 11th he wrote:
“For my final comment on IWD-gate (we’re going to be running out of -gates soon on this page), I apologised and *only* apologised for the #IWD jokes if any of our good sisters had been upset by them. Yet let me make it clear: I don’t accept that I did anything wrong, or made a mistake, and neither do I retract any of those jokes. There was nothing haram or makruh done. Sensitive, edgy, perhaps. But my ego isn’t that big that I can’t apologise to those who genuinely want one because they felt insulted somehow.”
That’s an apology?
It’s disappointing to see intelligent Muslim scholars lining up to defend this behavior. Anyone who defends these comments is someone who does not “get” the reality of violence against women.
I admire the fact that you stand by your friend, ma-sha-Allah. I do not suggest that he should be ostracized, or that you should denounce him as a human being. But he does not belong in a teaching position. Compare AE’s words and behavior to that of Shaykh Ali Al-Timimi:
“In the early 1990′s, Al-Timimi heard in the news about the coming UN 4th World Conference on Women to be held in Beijing, China. He quickly contacted the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), and was able to convince them to participate in the conference to represent the Islamic point of view. IANA assigned a delegation led by Al-Timimi. His visionary abilities were used to the fullest. Al-Timimi contacted Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahman ‘Abdul-Khaliq, who wrote a book about women in Islam. Al-Timimi translated that book into English and secured translators for German, French, Swahili, and Chinese translations. In Beijing with a small staff of five persons, Al-Timimi was able to direct the focus on the Muslim participation to his own group. They used to fax press releases daily in Arabic and English from Beijing to the IANA office in the US. The press group in the US would then fax it to over 500 masajid, leading personalities, and the Arabic press.”