Khomeini’s Disgusting Defenses of Pedophilia

Discussing the atrocity of young Iranian girls being forced into marriage, Maryam Namazie quotes Ayatollah Khomeini approving of some of the most depraved sexual practices you will ever read anyone endorse:

A member of the Islamic Assembly (Majlis) and its ‘Judicial Commission’, Nayereh Akhavan (here’s a photo of her), has said that there can be no ban on child marriages because there are ten year olds who have reached ‘sexual and intellectual puberty’ and because it would ‘contradict sharia’. We know Islam’s prophet consummated his ‘marriage’ with Aisha when she was 9. And of course there is Ayatollah Khomeini ‘s book of sayings: ‘Tahrir al Wasilah’, where he says that a man can even have sex with a baby.

He says: ‘A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate vaginally, but sodomising the child is acceptable. If a man does penetrate and damage the child then, he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl will not count as one of his four permanent wives and the man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister… It is better for a girl to marry at such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband’s house, rather than her father’s home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven.’

There’s more on sex with animals and placing penises between the thighs of weaning babes if you have the stomach to read on.

The book in English is very inappropriately called Ruhollah Khomeini, Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini: Political, Philosophical, Social, & Religious (“The Little Green Book”) [Bantam Books, September 1985, New York/London. ISBN 0553140329] by the moral relativist brigade.

In a follow up to skeptics, Maryam has posted a video discussing the practice and a link to Khomeini’s book in Persian.

Your Thoughts?

JULY 21, 2014 UPDATE: In response to the surge of interest in this post following a recent tweet by Richard Dawkins, Kaveh Mousavi has written a follow up post with more details about the veracity and the context of these incendiary remarks. I’ve blogged about Mousavi’s post here.

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • laurentweppe

    We know Islam’s prophet consummated his ‘marriage’ with Aisha when she was 9

    There is one very big problem which such a claim: we do not know about that. There are competting accounts of Aisha’s age, some of them putting her birth date five or even ten years before the usually retained date. Doesn’t mean she wasn’t nine for her first intercourse, but this is not an ascertained fact.
    Now, one may ask why I would give so much importance to competing accounts, and there are several reasons:
    First reason: any claim about Aisha age comes from tradition: oral accounts transmitted, sometimes deformed before they were eventually put down in a written form: so someone claiming that they “know” that Aisha was nine are merely telling us which traditional tale they prefer, and quite frankly, it’s starting to piss me off to see people describing themselves as “rationalist” deciding to treat specific variations of traditional tales as perfectly accurate every time it fits their agenda.
    Second reason, while Aisha’s age is not certain, the fact that Khomeini, like virtually every muslim fundies, adhered to the tradition claiming that Aisha was only nine (and This is an ascertained fact) is very revealing of both Khomeini’s and muslim fundies’ opinion of women and sexual freedom (which they view ostensibly as a privilege for themselves), as they also decided to treat a specific variation of a traditional tales as perfectly accurate because it fit their agenda.
    Third reason, one of the hypothesis about Aisha’s age conundrum is that she was retconned as a kid in order to emphasis her “purity” (read: virginity), because at the time period, not only were child marriage legal pretty much everywhere, but having a virgin bride for a political leader was seen as a sign of virility and therefore of legitimacy, and between having married two old widows and later entered a bunch of political marriage with adult women, Muhammad’s reputation as a strong and manly leader was not in good shape. I confess that I am very partial to this hypothesis, not only because I have always thought doubtful that a child molester in a position of power would not take advantage of such a position to rape more than one kid (take Marcial Maciel of Paul Schäfer of the infamous Colonia Dignidad as exemple of child molesters in a position of power whose lives have been thoroughly documented), but also because I can easily picture a scene with the Caliph’s councillors saying “We’ve just beaten both the Persian AND the Byzantine Empires on three different fronts at the same time with less than 40.000 soldiers, but because our Beloved Prophet was too much into MILFs, no one is taking us seriously: something has to be done!” and laugh at such possibility and finally because this hypothesis reminds us that what is accepted and even encouraged today may be seen as abominable in the future, and that trying to change historical accounts for political expediency can dramatically backfire down the road.

  • Physicalist

    But, but, without religion there’d be no basis for morality.

    Slightly more seriously, it leads me to wonder whether there’s anything in the Bible (or the Talmud) that rules out pedophilia. Nothing comes immediately to mind, but (given that it’s my mind) that doesn’t mean much.

  • JetClarke

    “The book in English is very inappropriately called Ruhollah Khomeini, Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini: Political, Philosophical, Social, & Religious”

    Why is that ‘inapropriate’, exactly?

  • laurentweppe

    Oh, one thing I forgot: Khomeini was an admirer of Plato: another wicked bastard who admired Plato, color me unsurprised.