Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Islam Means by “Slander”

From the point of view of Muslims, one of Geert Wilders’ many crimes has been to slander Islam.

But what does Islam mean by “slander”? The word does not carry the same connotations to a Muslim that it does to a European or an American.

One of the most widely respected manuals of Islamic jurisprudence is Reliance of the Traveller, or ‘Umdat al-Salik, by Ahmad ibn Naqib Al-Misri. It represents the Shafiite school — one of the four major schools of Islamic law — and was written in the 14th century.

Here’s what al-Misri has to say about slander (quoting the al-Azhar approved official English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller):

r2.0 Slander (Ghiba)

r2.1 (Nawawi:) Slander and talebearing are two of the ugliest and most frequently met with qualities among men, few people being safe from them. I have begun with them because of the widespread need to warn people of them.


r2.2 Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike…

So “slander” does not have to be untrue, or damaging, or financially harmful. It simply has to be disliked by the person on the receiving end.

In other words, it offends the person it refers to.

Sound familiar?

r2.3 As for talebearing (namima), it consists of quoting someone’s words to another in a way that worsens relations between them.

The Evidence That Slander and Talebearing Are Unlawful

r2.4 The above define slander and talebearing. As for the ruling on them, it is that they are unlawful, by the consensus (def:b7) of Muslims…


r2.6 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

(1) “The talebearer will not enter paradise.”

You’re on notice, all you slanderers and talebearers: you’re going to Hell!

But… what if the “slander” simply states the truth? What if the offended person is exactly as described?
- - - - - - - - -
(2) “Do you know what slander is?” They answered, “Allah and His messenger know best.” He said, “It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.” Someone asked, “what if he is as I say?” And he replied, “If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not, you have calumniated him.” [emphasis added]

So if Abdul doesn’t like what you say, but it’s true, then it’s still slander. If it’s false, then it’s calumny.

In either case, you have violated Islamic law and therefore will not enter Paradise.

In other words: the truth is no defense.

So, as you can see, Geert Wilders is actually being tried under Islamic law.

Sharia is already the law of the land in the Netherlands.


Unknown said...

that would be in Jewish law as well. "Lashon hara (or Loshon hora) (Hebrew לשון הרע; "evil language/tongue") is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising. By contrast, Motzi Shem Ra ("spreading a bad name") consists of untrue remarks, and is akin to slander or defamation."

Motzei Shem Rah means "slander and untrue remarks"

though I'm certain that in interpretation that both are slander

even in English people are fussy about the nuances of defamation. Defamation of character is written or spoken injury to a person or organization's reputation. Libel is the written act of defamation, vs. slander, the oral act of defamation.

does Libel include electronic blogs? who know? who cares. In the end if someone is a pain in the ass then they aren't worth dealing with.

ɱØяñιηg$ʇðя ©™ said...

"So, as you can see, Geert Wilders is actually being tried under Islamic law.

Sharia is already the law of the land in the Netherlands."

So we should expect him to be stoned then?

Zenster said...

r2.2 Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike

Boy howdy, does that ever cast that old, "spinach snagged on the tooth" dilemma in a whole new light.

But… what if the “slander” simply states the truth? What if the offended person is exactly as described?

… In other words: the truth is no defense

Your read my mind. That was my immediate reaction, too.

How curious that the EU has magically reached the same conclusion that Islam-most-barbarous has as well. This sort of obscene concordance has become as disturbingly predictable as it is repugnant.

There is something beyond childish about how Muslims are so ready to take offense. It is as if they intentionally wish all things to be interpreted in the worst possible manner, solely for the occasion of igniting violence or creating an opportunity to seek some sort of undeserved compensation.

Islam's shari'a law would seem to be the progenitor of our modern day lawfare as waged by Politically Correct Multiculturalists and taken so deeply to heart by Muslims as well.

It is also yet one more proof that Muslims, in general, are immune to any sense of being ridiculous, humorless and utterly incapable of accepting criticism, be it constructive or negative in content.

All of this only serves to cement my own observation that:


Robin Shadowes: So we should expect him to be stoned then?.

With all of this going on in Amsterdam, it's a pretty safe assumption.

Dymphna said...

@NoahDavidSimon --

The differences are great. In Jewish (and in Christian) law, intention is central. In Islam, all that counts is the act, not the intent of the actor.

And the penalties for breaking these laws are quite different in Islam vs. Judaism.

But you knew that...


Robin Shadowes--

The penalty codes aren't in place yet. That will take longer. There is first the law, and then the punishment for breaking the law.

Two very different arenas.

Afonso Henriques said...

Well, taking off the last two provocative paragraphs I find this post to be one of the ones for which Gates of Vienna is most trasured in matters concerning islam.

I didn't knew that. Many people would not venture to look at it in such a non anachronical (anacivilisational?) and non ethnocentric way.

This explanation of "slander" really opens one's eyes and makes one understand not only how different Islam and Europe are but how muslims feel and think, what is their "scale" of vallues.

Thank you Gates of Vienna for once more instructing me so nicely. Because it really makes sense when one deals with muslims and when one tries to understand them and intrepret them weather historically or presently.

For instance, the muslim reaction to the author of "Satanic Verses" is now to my eyes not "islamism or extremism" or whatever but is simply a normal consequence under this system of vallues.


Unknown said...

Quote: "r2.6 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

(1) “The talebearer will not enter paradise.”"

By his own invented 'divine' decree, the greatest talebearer of all time, the revered muslim prophet did not enter paradise after all - - and all the subsequent swt's & pbuh's following his identities cannot begin to cushion such a fall.

Anonymous said...

It is the same in French law, and, I believe, a certain number of other Western jurisdictions.

Slander occurs when one reports a fact about a person or an institution which is damaging to their honor. Whether the fact is true or not is irrelevant.

Of course, if the legislation was followed to the letter, approximately 100 % of the population would be liable to conviction.

It has therefore been admitted that in some cases, under some strict conditions, you might be able to argue that you were reporting the truth, and the court might take this into consideration not to punish you. If they please.

But basically, French slander law means it is up to the allegedly offended party, and to the judges, to decide whether someone deserves to be punished for saying unpleasant truths. The law is no guide.

If I write : Mr So and so has been convicted by the courts because he raped a child then cut him up in little pieces (provided it were true, of course), would you say that this does not damage his honor ? Of course it does.

Nobody has been convicted yet for such a reason as far as I know, because people still feel that it would be obviously unfair. But that's precisely the point : judicial punishment should not depend on how people and judges feel, but on what the law says.

Notice that, compared to the "antiquated", "barbaric" custom of duel, the present situation is much more arbitrary and unfair.

In the good old days, it was entirely up to the offended party to decide, unilaterally, that they were gravely insulted. But that's exactly what prevails today with slander laws. The only difference is that, in the past, a natural and strong incitement to restraint was built into the system.

If you did declare yourself offended and provoked your adversary into a duel, you put your own life onto the line, regardless of the validity of your claim. There's no such disincentive to frivolous lawsuits in today's legal system.

Granted, the old system gave an unfair advantage to men with a good command of weapons. But the present one gives an unfair advantage to powerful and rich men, who can afford lawyers and influence courts. Which one is the less unfair ? I would say the former.

I'm no law historian, but I believe those contemporary rules have nothing to do whatsoever with Islamic influence or heritage.

However, it's noteworthy that they work the same way Islam does.

Proud Infidel said...

If the truth is no defense, as it appears to be the case when it comes to Wilders, then freedom of speech is dead in Europe for all intents and purposes. Europe, welcome to The New Dark Ages. Bow to your Islamic masters.

1389 said...

It's a numbers game. Remember, they can't shut ALL of us up.

Dr.D said...

It is absurd that Western nations would allows muzlims to redefine the words of OUR LANGUAGES. These are OUR WORDS, not theirs. Slander means what we say it means, not what they say it means. They have no authority to change the meaning of a word in the English (or French or Spanish, or Italian, etc) language. They are free to say that in arabic, their law says that a person may not offend another person (tough!), but they are not free to call that slander. It is long past time that we told them where to get off!

PK Ramos said...

Well, by all means take them at their word!

If offering a comment or opinion someone dislikes constitutes slander, and is penalized with eternal damnation, then, I would propose that most Muslims, certainly all radical ones are going to hell, because they ALL have opinions about western society that we don't like!!

So, even by their sharias, we win.