You may have seen my post from yesterday on sexual misconduct. There were a lot of heated reactions to that and clearly there are a lot of complex issues involved. And the last thing on my mind was to hurt any feelings or to cause anyone any pain. Trust me, that is never my intention with any post. But apparently some people were quite upset with me. So in light of those feelings let me take this opportunity to…
…double down on my message.
I encourage you to read yesterday’s post and to read the comments and the reaction because apparently many activists involved with the kind of Muslim “sexual health” programs the post critiques decided to chime in. You can see exactly what these Muslims believe regarding “sexual health” and how we should be educating our children and young Muslims in general about sex and sexual ethics.
Let me quote passages from some of their official educational material so you can see exactly what my post refers to as “a completely un-Islamic, secular, liberal perspective on sex.”
Decide for yourself what this kind of “education” is all about and where it will inevitably lead and if this is what we want for our children and our community.
This is just one example of the many ways you can explain sex to your child, with concepts building off each other as your child gets older.
WHAT IS SEX?
Age 12 and under: Sex is an act between two consenting people. Consent means that both people have agreed to what is happening and can stop at any time they want. In Islam, most believe that sex is only permissable when those two people are married and it is considered an act of worship. Of course, there are many peopleMuslim or notwho choose not to wait until marriage because the decision to have sex is different for everyone and requires both parties to think about what factors need to be present to move forward. While sex can and should bring much pleasure, sex is also an act of great responsibility. People choose to have sex for many reasons: to express their love and desire for someone, to fulfill a physical need, or to have children. It is an act that makes you responsible for yourself and your partner.
Age 12 and older: Because it is a responsibility, you must be be prepared for sex. Preparing for sex often involves educating yourself on birth control and contraception options, knowing how to use them, engaging in open communication with your partner, and reflecting and exploring your values, ideas and desires before the heat of the moment. If you are not prepared, it may have an effect that you did not plan for. Physical consequences such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Getting pregnant as a teen can make graduating high school and college more difficult. Whenever you decide to have sex, it is your right to have sex with contraception. No one should pressure you to have sex without it. Sex may also have social consequences such as tension in your relationship or friendships. Or it may have spiritual consequences such as guilt you may feel if your family doesnt believe in sex before marriage.
Remember you also have a responsibility to always honor and respect your own boundaries as well as your partners. If you are not comfortable with a particular sexual act, or your partner is not comfortable with a particular sexual act , those feelings should be respected and honored. No means no, and it is your right to not have sex or engage in any other sexual activity if you do not want to.
I hope that you wait until you are [married, 21, an adult, in a committed relationship, enter expectation, if at any, here]. I know that there will be many times you will feel like not waiting, because romantic and sexual desires are natural and sex feels good and we live in a world where the pressure to have sex is overwhelming at times. So, I hope that you will wait too, but I also know you are a very thoughtful girl/boy who will make the best decision for you and your body.
This dialogue was written for parents who want to promote abstinence. However, the final paragraph in our family we wait until can be changed to reflect whichever value you want to uphold. For example In our family we wait until we are in love (or we are 25, or etc.). We also acknowledge that this may sound exclusive, particularly to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community. The Muslim LGBTQ community is growing, and it is imperative to address the concerns in a safe and inclusive way. As such, this document cannot do justice to addressing all of the complex issues pertaining to sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and Islam. Much research, consultation, and long-term thinking are required to address this issue in a way that considers the nuances and complexities. We recommend bringing together key members of the LGBTQ community, Muslim scholars, and healthcare professionals to discuss this important issue at length.
Isn’t it incredible that this is coming from what’s supposed to be a Muslim Parent’s guide to teaching children about sex, a guide that was created by Muslims for Muslims?
As you can see from these passages, there is zero Islamic content in it. No mention of God. No mention of what Allah wants, what matters for the soul, what matters for the akhirah. Absolutely nothing on gender mixing, the appropriate way to interact with the opposite sex, the importance and necessity of marriage, etc. Beyond ignoring everything Islam says about sex, the “guide” also advocates plenty that is fundamentally contrary to very basic, core Islamic, shar`i values. More than “un-Islamic,” this stuff is anti-Islamic.
This is the vision that some Muslims have for Islam: a completely secularized gutting of religion that they can then stuff with their liberal fluff in order to create Taxidermy Islam. You know what Taxidermy Islam is? It is all the external appearances of cultural Islam with absolutely nothing but garbage inside that you can then display on your mantel place or sell for a pretty profit.
Why is this important? Because this is what is being pushed on our masajid. These advocacy groups aim to reach hundreds of thousands of Muslim youth and all masajid around the US. That’s their stated mission. And they have had no shortage of government funding and support, funding and support which only stands to increase under a Hillary presidency.
But there has been an alarming lack of community wide discussion on any of this, which is exactly what these groups want because they know that if the average Muslim knew about the things they are advocating, they would want nothing to do with them.
So let’s just have a discussion about their content. Read it and share it.
And this is not just a US issue, by the way. These same programs exist in all Western countries and are exported to the Muslim world through “Women’s Advocacy” NGOs that I have written about before. Their explicitly stated mission is to change Muslim attitudes towards sex and family. In other words, they aim to annihilate Islamic sexual ethics and replace it with a version they deem more civilized and more aligned with Western global-imperial-commercial interests.
Time for us to shed the complacency and naivety.
Also a note about the comments on yesterday’s post and the inevitable comments on this one.
Notice how the activists continually want to make the discussion about victims of sexual misconduct, to imply that insisting on Islamic sexual ethics means one does not care about sexual misconduct or even is antagonistic toward victims of it.
Don’t fall for this cheap maneuver. The whole point of the post was that, if anything, Islamic sexual ethics does more to prevent sexual misconduct and help victims than the secular liberal drivel these groups advocate. I cited one clear example of this: the importance of khalwa. No where did I say that khalwa is the end-all, be-all solution to sexual misconduct. I only cited it as a part of a more comprehensive solution that Islamic ethics provides and their liberal program ignores and even erodes.
But of course, having nothing substantive to say to this, these activists resorted to attacking me, claiming that I care more about rapists than victims, calling me “shameful,” stupid, ill-informed, violent, etc., etc. In essence, by raising concerns about the deeply anti-Islamic nature of their programs, I have supposedly done violence to these poor, defenseless, well-connected, government-funded, government-backed activists who are the victims of big, bad, “self-righteous” religious fanatics like me.
This is how they bully people into silence: by conflating their problematic anti-Islamic agenda with actual victims of sexual violence so that they can claim that any criticism of that agenda is akin to abusing rape victims. How low can you go?