The Harem Legacy: Social Pathologies of Modern IslamAs we have seen the culture of the harem degrades women and by restricting the availability of sexual outlets leads to the frustration of large numbers of males. This system has been good at producing and motivating warriors for jihad; for only those successful at spreading Islam could have their frustrations relieved and that in quite an abundant way. However, the consequent pathologies produced by this system afflict Muslim society even today.
In pursuit of this sexual imperative Islamic societies have evolved a number of child rearing practices. One unfortunate consequence noted by all “those who have made first-hand observations of Arab family life” is “that the incidence and severity of corporal punishment administered to Arab children is much greater than is the case in the Western world.” Bloom observes that an Arab boy at puberty
…is expelled from the loving world of his mother and sisters into the realm of men. There, hand-holding between males is still allowed, but physical affection between men and women is frowned upon. A vengeful masculinity stands in its place. The result: violent adults.
Social psychologist Patai notes the effect of the cognitive dissonance created by the vast discrepancy in the treatment children receive in the two realms:
The harsh, disciplinarian father is thus counterbalanced by the compassionate loving mother. Accordingly, the budding personality of the boy develops a twofold aspect; one expressive of his self-image and his position inthe larger male world; and the other presented to him by the small world of the women…
The similarity of child rearing practices in “even two such widely separated cultures as those of Morocco and Iraq” show the power of Islamic Arab culture in impressing itself on originally quite diverse ethnicities. Moreover, the effects of such practices on the political life of the Muslim world are grave:
In much of Arab society, the unmerciful approach of fathers to their children continues, and public warmth between men and women is still considered an evil. Perhaps this is why a disproportionate number of Arab adults, stripped of intimacy and thrust into a world in which vulnerable emotion is a sin, have joined extremist movements dedicated to wreaking havoc on the world.
It is undoubtedly the case that Muslim sexual mores creates a greater obsession with sex than occurs in other cultures. It is the Muslim view that both men and women have little or no control over their sexual appetites, and will always copulate given even the slightest opportunity. According to Patai “intense and uncontrolled sexuality is the assumption that underlies the segregation of the sexes … and of the entire strict code and rigid Arab code of sexual conduct.” Furthermore, as another example of the bottling up of male sexual energy:
…the average Arab, unless he happens to live in a larger town … has no sexual experience with women until he marries. If we add the fact that the average Arab does not marry until his middle or even late twenties … we find that usually years pass between sexual maturation and the beginning of licit heterosexual activity.
Homosexuality, although condemned in Muslim law, is a frequent outcome of the Islamic sexual system. As shown above, historically it occurred during periods of raiding and conquest, but it is also common in times of peace. Moreover, in certain parts of the Muslim world, as in the Egyptian Siwa Oasis, it is quite openly practiced “with the shaykhs and the well-to-do men lending their sons to each other.” Reconciling behavior strongly condemned by religious stricture with a common social practice is accomplished by some deft rationalization on the part of many Muslims. Patai points out that among Arabs and Turks homosexuality is justified as an expression of power. The “active homosexual act is considered as an assertion of one’s aggressive masculine superiority, while the acceptance of the role of the passive homosexual is considered extremely degrading and shameful because it casts the man or youth into a submissive, feminine role.”
Glazov emphasizes the utilization of the homosexual act as an expression of the domination of the strong over the weak. Older and stronger unmarried males seek their sexual outlet in “victimizing younger males just the way they were victimized.”
Socially segregated from women, Arab men succumb to homosexual behavior. But, interestingly enough, there is no word for "homosexual" in their culture in the modern Western sense. That is because having sex with boys, or with effeminate men, is seen as a social norm. Males serve as available substitutes for unavailable women. The male who does the penetrating, meanwhile, is not emasculated any more than if he had sex with a wife. The male who is penetrated is emasculated. The boy, however, is not, since it is rationalized that he is not yet a man.
In this culture, males sexually penetrating males becomes a manifestation of male power, conferring a status of hyper-masculinity. It is considered to have nothing to do with homosexuality. An unmarried man who has sex with boys is simply doing what men do. As the scholar Bruce Dunne has demonstrated, sex in Islamic societies is not about mutuality between partners, but about the adult male's achievement of pleasure through violent domination.
This cycle of frustration, humiliation and rage has consequences for all members of society. It is an important factor in the abusive child rearing practices detailed above. It is also a cause of violence against, and humiliation of, Muslim women. Patai describes the underlying violence toward women which is always present just beneath the surface of Arab society:
Thus sex is both prohibited, and therefore feared, and desired, and therefore sought after. Both emotions are experienced with considerable intensity, which can be taken as an indication of the intensity of the childhood repression of the sexual interest. After adolescence this repression creates a strong sense of frustration. If, however, the social controls break down, or are eliminated, the repressed aggression engendered by the frustrated sex drive breaks through to the surface and seeks its expression in sexual as well as other aggression. … In an environment where he is unknown, the individual feels that the old taboos with their built-in threat of punishment can be infringed with impunity. A third type of occasion … is at an accidental encounter between a man … and a woman in a place where there are no witnesses. In such a situation, and especially if the woman is not a member of the ingroup, or is a member of a hostile group, her sexual abuse is quite likely to occur.
Glazov emphasizes the denial that surrounds the issue of violence against women and the resulting poisoning of the relations between the sexes:
There is silence around this issue. It is the silence that legitimizes sexual violence against women, such as honor crimes and female circumcision. It is also the silence that forces victimized Arab boys into invisibility. Even though the society does not see their sexual exploitation as being humiliating, the psychological and emotional scars that result from their subordination, powerlessness and humiliation is a given. Traumatized by the violation of their dignity and manliness, they spend the rest of their lives trying to get it back.
In all of these circumstances, the idea of love is removed from men's understanding of sexuality. Like the essence of Arab masculinity, it is reduced to hurting others by violence. A gigantic rupture develops between men and women, where no harmony, affection or equality is allowed to exist. In relationships between men, meanwhile, affection, solidarity and empathy are left out of the picture. They threaten the hyper-masculine order.
Another consequence of this syndrome is that women are required to devalue their own worth and deny their own sexuality. Women are viewed as instruments of the devil; lures placed to tempt and deceive Muslim men. Thus from an early age women are required to accept their moral and social inferiority. “Within a few months after weaning, the female infant is well on the way to internalizing the role she will play in life as a woman: a subordinate, a person of little importance, destined to remain most of her life in a servile position in relation to the menfolk who will dominate her life: her father, brothers, husband, sons.” She is also required to acknowledge that only males are allowed sexual privileges. She must accept polygamy and the ease of divorce, as her forbears were required to meekly accept sexual slavery. “Thus, a man does not have to invest in one woman. The concept of "the couple" is shattered; the individual woman is seen as useless and expendable.”
Glazov points to the prevalence of female circumcision in many parts of the Muslim world as being one additional probable consequence of the deep seated misogyny rooted in Islamic culture.
To add to this tragedy: whenever the genital mutilation holocaust is raised, the first chorus that comes from the Muslim community is that this genocide is not rooted in Islam and predates Islam.
Well then, why are Muslim girls this genocide's greatest victims? And why do so many Muslims spend more of their time and energy arguing that female genital mutilation is non-Islamic than campaigning to stop this “un-Islamic” barbaric practise from violating their women and defaming their religion? The answer is simple: female genital mutilation produces the oxygen that Islamic fundamentalism needs to breathe. It helps militant Islam keep intact the foundation on which its life depends: the subjugation and enslavement of women under a rigid system of gender apartheid.
Copied and pasted from "Islamic Expansion and Decline"