Yes, Khomeini Has Really Endorsed Pedophilia

Content note: pedophilia, very very VERY disgusting pedophilia imagery.

Richard Dawkins tweeted this today:

Which has led people to search google and find this post by Dan Fincke, in which he quotes Maryam Namazie quoting Khomeini endorsing pedophilia.

I affirm that. It’s quite public knowledge among Iranians. The translation is accurate, although it misses some graphic details, I guess because the translator didn’t want to be arrested for child (infant) pornography. Yes, the translation actually waters down what Khomeini has said. But I’m inside Iran and outside the reach of FBI, so here’s the real quote in its full whatever the opposite of glory is:

Whoever has a wife under nine years old cannot penetrate her, whether she is his permanent wife or his temporary wife. But other forms of sexual pleasure are allowed, such as lustful touching, embracing, or rubbing the penis on the thigh of the girl, even if she is an infant still. And if the baby’s vagina is so badly damaged that the bladder and urethra “become the same”.he penetrates her before she is nine year old, and her hymen is not broken, he has only sinned, and if  he has only sinned, but if he has, then she will be forbidden to him forever, and [he has to pay for her her entire life (I summarized here)]. (Source in Persian)

In case you’re curious about the context:

1) Based on the Iranian law, any person of any age can marry, no one under 18 can marry based on their own decision but their parents’, girls under 13 and boys under 15 need a special court permit to be married, although the law has defined no punishment for making girls marry under the age of thirteen. Before the revolution, the laws were similar but marriage under 13 was definitely banned. In 2010, more than 43,000 marriages of girls under 15 were officially recorded. (Source in Persian).

This means that the problem is much worse than I thought before fact-checking for this post. However, I’m still fairly certain that this is not the case in big cities. Here pedophilia is really a huge taboo, and the age of marriage has gone up to 30s. So, it’s clear that parts of Iran have made huge strides while other parts are still backwards.

2) Khomeini was by no means a lone voice on this. Actually, these views are still quite dominant among the Shia clerics I know of. And I think by the time he wrote that book the average Iranian wasn’t that much against him – although I don’t know if they regarded infant too much or not. But I remember my father saying that during his time if a woman reached 20 they’d considered her too old for marriage. As I’ve said before on this blog, on many issues Khomeini was a progressive for his time, and the fact that he seems so ancient and fundamentalist now is a testament of the great progress of the mentality of certain parts of Iran.

I say this because I want to mention that this is really Islam, not Khomeini. He is supporting the dominant view. This matters because this blatant defense of pedophilia is strongly rooted in religious dogma, not a particular tyrant.

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About Kaveh Mousavi

Kaveh Mousavi is the pseudonym of an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran, subject to one of the world’s remaining theocracies. He is a student of English Literature, an aspiring novelist, and part-time English teacher. He is passionate about politics, video games, heavy metal music, and cinema. He was born at the tenth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He has ditched the Islamic part, but has kept some of the revolutionary spirit.

  • Menyambal

    That was ugly. But yay for progress.

    Thanks for the additional explanation and translation. What is a temporary wife?

    • Ahmed Kadret

      A temporary marriage is confined to Shiite jurisprudence, it allows two people to marry one another for sexual pleasure over a specified period of time, pedophilia is permissible in Shiite Islam only.

      • Kaveh Mousavi

        That is a lie.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    his temporary wife

    Do he favor fig-leaf prostitution of children, too?

  • wwwwww

    A better headline: “Yes Islam, and by extension islamic theocrats endorse pedophilia.”

  • Muhammad Syed

    @Menyambal In Islam one was allowed a short-term marriage contract with a sunset clause , referred to as Muta’

    This was later disallowed in Sunni variants of Islam but continued on in Shia variants

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-a-rizvi Ali A. Rizvi

    Hi Kaveh. I created this image last month and I’m happy to see it’s really getting around now. A lot of my Shia friends and family were up in arms about it, and it led to a search for the real source – which we found ON IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER KHAMENEI’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

    Here’s the link to the image and discussion, with the links to the sources in the description: http://on.fb.me/1mwpkFw

    The links to the original Arabic/Persian – you can cut paste it into a translator and it’ll make things pretty clear:

    The link to the source of the quote is available on none other than Ayatollah Khamenei’s official website: http://www.leader.ir/tree/index.php?catid=13

    Scroll down to “Kitab-un-Nikah” and the quote is in Maslaa 12.

    You’ll need to know Arabic, or have a friend who does. The word “takhfid” (thighing/intercrural sex) is clearly visible, and even Google translate’s wonky translation also identifies the important elements of the quote.

    The entire scanned book in Arabic is also downloadable here: http://ia600809.us.archive.org/2/items/6879879875/threr-alwselh2.pdf

    The quote in the photo is at the bottom of page 223 of 592 of the PDF.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Kaveh Mousavi

      Ali, I have the book in print, and I have its Persian edition, and my translation is completely accurate, I assure you. :)

      • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-a-rizvi Ali A. Rizvi

        Great – those links are just for those who want the book in digital form. It’s exactly the same thing as the print book. It’s also to show that Khamenei himself has the book and the quote on his own official website – meaning this is not something they’re trying to cover up. They stand by it.

  • sh3baproject

    because apparently its alright to have sex with babies according to the clergy, but having man on man sex is wrong. im pretty sure not all the clergy would argee with khomeini, but the majority? wow.

  • Fadail

    It isn’t just Khomeini, even Ayatullah Sistani, the most influential Shi’ite leader alive today, has the same fatwa in his book of Islamic laws:

    http://islamicvirtues.com/2013/12/28/deriving-sexual-pleasure-from-infants/

    (In that link, you can also see references to several other prominent jurists of the past who also gave this same fatwa.)

    Also, let’s not forget the blatant racism present in Shi’ite literature:

    http://islamicvirtues.com/2014/01/26/shiite-racism/

  • Kilian Hekhuis

    Kaveh, it seems the translation is missing something:

    “(…) “become the same”.he penetrates (…)”

    There seems to be something missing before “he”.


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