Georgetown University Islamic Professor Asserts Slavery, Rape Is Not Always ‘Morally Evil’

WASHINGTON — Concerns are being expressed after audio has surfaced of a Muslim Georgetown University professor outlining that slavery and sex without consent is not always wrong as defined in Islamic culture.

Professor Jonathan Brown recently lectured at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, where he delivered a message on “Islam and the Problem of Slavery.” The lecture, which included a Q & A period, can be heard in full here. Q & A begins at approximately 51:00.

Brown stated in the discussion that what some might call slavery in Islam differs from what is recognized in the historical American context, because it was “rarely racialized” and “slaves had a huge regime of rights.” He said that some “slaves in numerous circumstances became the actual rulers or were used as the administrative elite.”

“I think if you took the Sharia understanding of slavery and even the general practice of slavery in Islamic civilization, I don’t think it’s comparable at all to plantation chattel slavery in the Americas. It’s just not comparable at all,” he asserted.

“In general, you don’t find the brutality that you see in American slavery. As far as I can tell, generally it is simply not very common. Slaves in Islamic civilization were mostly investments,” Brown later stated. “It was like buying a rental property. So, you would say, ‘Okay, slave. You’re a good carpenter. Go out and do work as a carpenter and every day you give me, like, 30 percent of your pay.'”

Brown explained to those gathered that he believes people should focus more on the conditions of the workers rather than nitpicking over whether someone is technically defined as a slave or not.

“If you’re Muslim, the prophet of God had slaves. He had slaves. There’s no denying that. Was he—are you more morally mature than the prophet of God? No, you’re not,” he said to one attendee who had asked a question about the matter.

  • Connect with Christian News

“I think sometimes we sort of fettishize the word slavery—we morally fettishize it—when we should actually be looking at the conditions of people,” Brown contended.

“Slavery cannot just be treated as a moral evil in and of itself because slavery doesn’t mean anything,” he also outlined. “The moral evil is extreme forms of deprivation of rights and extreme forms of control and extreme forms of exploitation. I don’t think it’s morally evil to own somebody because we own lots of people all around us, and we’re owned by people.”

Later in the session, an attendee asked a question about the concept of having sexual relations with concubines, and Brown replied that while consent is considered to be the legal standard in American culture, it was not so throughout much of world history.

“It’s very hard to have this discussion because we think of, let’s say in the modern United States, the sine qua non of morally correct sex is consent. We think of people as autonomous agents. Everybody’s an autonomous agent and it’s the consent of that autonomous agent that makes a sexual action acceptable. Correct?” he stated.

“[But] for most of human history, human beings have not thought of consent as the essential feature of morally correct sexual activity,” he said. “And second, we fettishize the idea of automomy to the extent that we forget, again, who is really free? Are we really autonomous people? What does autonomy mean?”

Brown then provided an example to outline his point, contrasting the plight of a woman captured as a slave and a woman whose family has expectations about the life she marries into.

“What’s the difference between someone who is captured in a raid in the steppes of Central Asia, brought to Istanbul’s slave market, sold to an owner—who, by the way, might treat her badly; might treat her incredibly well,” he outlined. “She’s going to bear him children. She’s going to be a free woman. She’s going to be the mother of his children. If he’s high status, she’s going to be high status. If he dies, she might be a very desirable wife.”

“What’s the difference between that and some woman who’s a poor baker’s daughter who gets married to some baker’s son without any choice because no one expects her to have any choice?” Brown asked. “And that baker’s son might treat her well; he might treat her horribly.”

“The difference between these two people is not that big. We see it as enormous because we’re obsessed with the idea of autonomy and consent, would be my first response,” he asserted. “It’s not a solution to the problem. I think it does help frame it.”

Some are now expressing deep concern over Brown’s comments, including Ian Miles Cheong of HeatStreet, who opined, “Had Prof. Brown’s words been spoken by a practicing member of any other religion, they would’ve lost their jobs and [have been] shunned out of the academic world.”


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly
  • Grace Kim Kwon

    De-Chritianization = barbarism. The West needs Judeo-Christian values to stay civilized. These criminals will justify pedophilia and incest and cannibalism and whatever else in no time. Mankind’s crisis brought by Sodomic USA after Nazi Germany and atheistic Soviets.

    • johndoe

      Nobody except pedophiles are trying to justify pedophilia. Cannibalism?? Really?? Reality isn’t your strong point.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Homosexuality is closely linked to pedophilia as the immorality looks at anyone or anything with sexual lust. The news confirm the secular West’s mental illness each passing day. The same-sex members are for friendship and loyalty and brotherhood and sisterhood and nothing else and definitely not for romance or sexual intimacy.

        Nowadays too many secularists and young people are into zombie stuff. Fellow humans are not for appetite, but this professor’s denial of the basic components of human beings may bring whatever unthinkable barbarisms, claiming that some people desire to be eaten or something. You never know. It’s easy to defend barbarism and evil doings this century; the Westerners need Christianity to stay civilized.

        • johndoe

          There is absolutely no link between being attracted to the same sex and being a pedophile. That’s been disproven over and over. Seems to be one of those christian talking points. You need some reality in your life.

          • Vince

            No difference at all. We watch the news. Most gay men prey on children. they get arrested, their names are on the news. Deny it if you want to.

          • johndoe

            Source and citation please. The overwhelming majority of pedophiles are straight, white men. Try again

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Watch the backnumber-news at this site. Those who sleep with the same-sex members sleep with anyone or anything. God destroys every Sodom. Read Jude chapter 1.

          • Vince

            They will not allow us to post links here. There are literally thousands of news stories proving that gay men ARE pedophiles. Deny it if you want to.

            Type any of these word strings into a search engine. These stories are heart-breaking.

            Frank Lombard Duke adopted son sex

            George Harasz Douglas Wirth adopted sons

            Peter Truong Mark Newton adopted son

            Ian Wathey Craig Faunch abuse children

            Carl Herold Charles Dunnavant son sex

            Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu foster boys

            David Cannon John Scarfe son sex

            Christian Jessica Deanda Eraca Dawn Craig torture

            Rachel Stevens Kayla Jones son abuse

            Pauline Moreno Debra Lobel son

            Aric Babbitt Matthew Deyo

            You can’t deny these stories. Gay men prey on boys. Fact.

          • johndoe

            Not all gay men mr wizard. The majority of pedophiles are straight white men. Gay men do not prey on boys. Gay pedophiles do just like straight pedophiles.

          • Chris

            If all gay men must prey on boys because some do then all Christian men must prey on children because some do. Prepared to argue that are you?

  • Benschachar

    This guy is a muslim so as much as I’d like to I can’t call him a lib cuckhold selling out his country and tribeto virtue signal to his fellow libs I can’t.

    I can, however, call him a liar and/or idiot.

    “Brown stated in the discussion that what some might call
    slavery in Islam differs from what is recognized in the historical
    American context, because it was “rarely racialized” and “slaves had a
    huge regime of rights.” He said that some “slaves in numerous
    circumstances became the actual rulers or were used as the
    administrative elite.”

    Mohammed called blacks “raisin heads” and claimed that Shaytan was black. The word for black is “abeed”. “Abeed” is also the word for “slave” so denying a racial element is just flat out idiotic.

    “In general, you don’t find the brutality that you see in American slavery. As far as I can tell, generally it is simply not very common. Slaves in Islamic civilization were mostly investments,” Brown later stated. “It was like buying a rental property. So, you would say, ‘Okay, slave. You’re a good carpenter. Go out and do work as a carpenter and every day you give me, like, 30 percent of your pay.’”

    Investments who were either castrated if male or raped repeatedly if female (and any kids by black concubines were murdered). Considering the average lifespan of a slave and the conditions he’s correct: they are not comparable. The South had a few million slaves whose populations grew while the Arabs were practically genocidal in their slavery. Muslims killed over a hundred million blacks and enslaved twice as many but a black is a rare sight in those muslim countries.

    ““The difference between these two people is not that big. We see it as
    enormous because we’re obsessed with the idea of autonomy and consent,
    would be my first response,” he asserted. “It’s not a solution to the
    problem. I think it does help frame it.”

    The wife is actually treated with respect, the concubine is treated as a tool and the wife’s parents at least love and know her enough to make a good match. Also, there’s the fact that the wife isn’t suffering through the humiliation of fornicating against her will with a man whose tribe murdered her family.

  • William of Glynn

    The “unintelligible” is “practice.”

  • bowie1

    Perhaps the professor should put himself in that position and see if that way of life is all so desirable or not. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

  • Vince

    The left will always cuddle up to the side that it expects to win. They did it with Communism, now they do it with Islam. They are cowards.

  • Anony Mouse

    People should listen up because he betrays the mindset of a religious Muslim. People have been so zealous to defend Islam as a harmless, peaceful religion. But this professor is unwittingly demonstrating how very far Islam is from being harmless or peaceful. Just because some Muslims don’t understand their own religion very well, in much the same way as many Christians do not, doesn’t make it an inocuous religion or mindset. Muslim values are based on their religion first, not on the US Constitution, nor on Common Law, nor the rule of law of any other country. This is why Islam, without enforced laws in place to restrain its adherents from establishing sharia, is a threat to the entire world.

  • Balerion

    Of course slavery and rape are both sanctioned by the bible, so let’s see some people here try to weasel out of this.

    There is of course a simple answer to this: let him be enslaved or raped, and see how he likes it.

    • Amos Moses

      “Of course slavery and rape are both sanctioned by the bible, so let’s see some people here try to weasel out of this.”

      No …. they are not “sanctioned by the bible” ….. they are mentioned in the OT as an example of how bad man is at making rules for things ….. and that law is many times in error ……… and there is no salvation in it ……….. FAIL ………

      • Balerion

        It’s right in the OT (which last I checked is part of the bible) – rules regarding the keeping of slaves.

        As for rape, the “punishment” in the OT is the rapist having to marry his victims. Which due to the role of women in society at the time was to make sure that the woman was provided for after her marriage prospects had been all but destroyed. Fortunately society has progressed beyond such backwards ways, but there are still more than a few yokels around who believe that the laws of ancient Israel ought to apply today.

        • Amos Moses

          “It’s right in the OT (which last I checked is part of the bible) – rules regarding the keeping of slaves.”

          and i said that ….. and that does not make it “sanctioned” by God …….. FAIL ………

        • Amos Moses

          There are more slaves today than at any time in human history, reported Benjamin Skinner, a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. An estimated 27 million people in the world are forced to work, held through fraud, under threat of violence, for no pay beyond subsistence, in forced marriages, in sex-trafficking and prostitution.

          Though mostly illegal and called by different names, slavery nevertheless exists today in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Southeast Asia, Romania, Sudan, Haiti, Brazil, Latin America, and even in the United States.

          It was reported in Time magazine, Jan. 18, 2010: “Despite more than a dozen international conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history.”

  • William of Glynn

    I don’t even get credit for deciphering the “unintelligible”? Not very Christian.

  • Sharon E. Pemberton

    Wow, I guess with a little effort anything can be rationalized.

    • code4blue

      Only for the mentally deranged!!!

  • HpO

    Fellow believers, apropos this article, let’s have an Old Testament study of the practices of rape. Any takers, please?

    Here are the study references:

    Exodus 21:7-11
    Deuteronomy 20:10-14
    Deuteronomy 21:10-14
    Deuteronomy 22:23-24, 28-29
    Numbers 31:7-18
    Judges 5:30
    Judges 21:10-24
    2 Samuel 12:11-14
    Zechariah 14:1-2

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      God decreed all rapist criminals to get capital punishment. Humanists let them live and that complicated the matter.

      • Trilemma

        If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NIV

        So, life in marriage without the possibility of divorce is a form of capital punishment?

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          The closer translation has the word “seize” along with “discovered”; that’s why all decent virgins were utmost careful not to be seized by unwanted men. The situation has a room for mutual consent even if he ends up overpowering her. The third party cannot tell. If the crime was true, the rapist must have gotten justice other than marrying her. The command is not exclusive. Read from the beginning to the end.

          • Trilemma

            When a man seizes a woman and violates her it’s called rape. You said, “God decreed all rapist criminals to get capital punishment.” For the rapist in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 that is not the case.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            There is mercy for the criminals, too. If they are marriable, the man does not have to die especially if the virgin gave wrong signs in the first place. Decent wise women do not show skin or drink with a man and say, “I didn’t mean that,” after the rape crime. (This does not apply to any pedophiles. God decreed death to all pedophiles without exception.) This law protects both men and women. The message is this; don’t sleep together if you are not going to marry. Period.

          • Trilemma

            If they weren’t marriageable then it would have been adultery which does get the death penalty. Where in the Bible did God decree that all rapists get death? And where in the Bible did God decree death to all pedophiles without exception?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            In this case, the woman is someone who does not belong to any man. They can marry especially if the woman gave a false idea to the man and the rape incident happened. Your quoted verses declare death for all rapists. Exodus 21 and Deutronomy 24 order death to all pedophiles with no exception.

          • Trilemma

            Actually, in this case the woman belongs to her father. That’s why the rapist had to pay her father money. There is no commandment against raping a non-virgin non-betrothed woman in the Old Testament. The verses I quoted, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, do not declare death for all rapists. Exodus 21 and Deuteronomy 24 don’t say anything about pedophiles. Help me out here Grace. Please quote the verse where God declares death for all rapists and the verse that orders death for all pedophiles with no exception.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The money is used to support the family. Family members could always take the revenge justice and execute the rapists and murderers. Mankind barely survived unlike today’s well-fed moderners who just enjoy the fruits of hard working frameworks of the the white Christian British pioneers. God commanded execution of all kidnappers (pedophiles). Read the Holy Bible carefully. Read Leviticus and Deuteronomy again.

          • Trilemma

            The money was paid to the father to compensate him for the loss of money from not being able to sell his daughter as a virgin. Where in the Bible does it say the family of the woman can execute the rapist as revenge justice? God only commanded the death penalty when an Isrlaelite was kidnapped. The Israelites had God’s permission to kidnap people from their neighbors. There was no commandment against pedophiles. There was no commandment against a man buying a young girl as a wife and having sex with her.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No, it was largely for life sustenance. Peasants always lacked food and money. Vengeance was done by the family members because the ancient world lacked courts. Israel had laws to treat slaves humanely unlike other worlds. It was better for Israel’s slaves than other nations’ children. Read the records of Israel’s kings.

            Kidnappers are pedophiles. Israelites married to have children, not to be pervs. Besides, Israel’s young women were virgins, so men did not have to run after children like modern pervs do. You should stop thinking all men are like American pervs of today. Normal men have/had a sense of honor, too; they don’t touch children if there are virgin women except for some sick pagans and some Western Sodomites.

          • Trilemma

            Ancient Israel did have courts. The elders of a city served as judges and the Sanhedrin served as a high court. Where in the Bible does it say the family of the woman can execute the rapist as revenge justice? Israel’s laws to treat slaves humanely only applied to Israelite slaves or debt slaves and not to the chattel slaves.

            Not all kidnappers are pedophiles. Some are rapists of adults. Some kidnap for ransom money. Some kidnap for human trafficking. Where in the Bible did God decree that all kidnappers get the death penalty? God gave the Israelites permission to kidnap women and children.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Yes, but people actually took the matter into their own hands often. Incidents like Genesis 34 and the ending chapters of the Book of Judges must have been more common for rapists and murderers in smaller scales than we think. You never forgive the wrongs done to your family members or you are the guaranteed next victim; forgiveness is a unique virtue of Christians. Americans spoiled in the Christian babbles don’t know much about raw Earthlings. Vengeance has been the never-ending valuable virtue and justice until Jesus taught Christians otherwise under His new covenant.

            Israel had to treat all slaves humanely; God did not differenciate Israelites and foreigners regarding that. You are wrong; kidnappers are pedophiles. Read the two chapters I had given you previously; don’t pretend you have read anything. READ THE TEXT. You need comprehensive understanding of the Holy Bible to understand things accurately. Read the Holy Bible many times. Verses interpret other verses or clarify/deepen the meanings.

            For the longest time for mankind, neighboring tribes are threats to a tribe; it’s life or death matter. Mankind never had such safety which modern Americans have enjoyed from the start; that’s why today’s Christless secular men hurt their own women and children by being insane because they face no threats from neighboring tribes. Israel had to finish conquering the barbarians. Those who got captured by Israelites were fortunate people because Israel was the light among the nations. Israel disobeyed the Lord and failed, but God sent us His Saviour through Israel.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Brown essentially and foundationally denies the existence of freedom and equality and free will, the basis of all human rights, and that’s the only logical conculsion necessary to support something like sharia. Human rights, equality, and freedom do not exist in paganisms. On the other hand, Western hedonism makes people slaves to self’s uncontrollable sinful inclinations and all kinds of depravity. Paganisms are a slavery to sinful humans and secularism is a slavery to sins; that’s why Judeo-Christian value is vital necessary for all humans to obtain human rights and equality and freedom. People get saved by trusting in Jesus Christ, and He alone gives salvation and true freedom.

  • John

    Humans possess the capacity to ignore the real danger and fear a fictional one. I’ve noticed that homosexuals rant constantly about their fear of Christians and ignore the threat of Muslims. Over on another threat, some gay guy made a pro-Muslim remark, and several people pointed out the obvious: Muslims kill Christians – NOW, in 2017. The gay guy replied, “Well, the Christians are responsible for the Crusades.” Aside from the fact that the Crusades had nothing to do with homosexuals, his remark was also ridiculous because it showed how determined he was to make Christians the bad guys. Muslims keep on committing heinous acts of terror, and we go right on shuffling through the airports while holding our shoes, and everyone KNOWS Muslims are out to kill us, yet the Politically Correct types insist “You shouldn’t be Islamophobic!” There is no irrational fear of Muslims. The fear of Muslims is VERY rational.

    • Chris

      What’s the percentage of Christians in your country compared to Muslims?

  • balloonknot9

    Is there a Muslim version of an “uncle Tom”? This guy is trying to rationalize through religion the anti-God beliefs that subjugation and rape and good. Frankly, all he does is put another nail in the coffin of why people do not like/trust Muslims/Islam. If he believes so much in the “righteousness” of these actions, then live in a society/country where they believe that as well. Here, in the west, we do not believe in those crimes being good at all, and are considered to be going against God.

  • RWH

    I’m listening to the lecture as I write this. Brown is attempting to define a concept. To explain and define something objectively does not constitute approval.

  • Trilemma

    Asserting that slavery and rape are not always morally evil is consistent with the morality of the Old Testament. God gave His people permission to own chattel slaves. God also gave His people permission to take wives by force against the women’s wills which is rape.

    • mark

      The Bible is honest about what people did, even God’s people but that doesn’t mean that He gave them permission to do it.

      • Trilemma

        This is where God gives the Israelites permission to own chattel slaves.

        “ ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life – Leviticus 25:44-46 NIV

        This is where God gave the Israelites permission to take wives by force, i.e. kidnap and rape.

        When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. –Deuteronomy 21:10-11 NIV

  • Robert

    Of course the Muslim professor would. He’s Muslim
    I’m sure he thinks beheading Christian people is just jolly old fun thing for a Muslim to do also. NOTHING NEW TO LEARN HERE..

  • Frank Atkisson

    This guy just ran the full hundred yards of playing full-on islam apologist.

    People with this mentality aren’t worth the consequences of firing the .22 bullet it’d take to appropriately answer them.

  • George Varughese

    Darkness masquerading as light ! Deluded pseudo-intellectuals trying to justify perversions/evils like slavery, rape, and homosexuality, subverting the truth, and suppressing the genocide of Christians ! Not at all surprising, considering Georgetown University’s sponsorship by Saudis, and affiliations to CAIR & MB !

  • Paramananda Devasahayam

    check him the Islamic professor may be an isis of of its idealogy or even a promotor of isis

  • Floyd Brown

    This POS professor is one ass wipe that needs to be fired from GEORGETOWN, to never hold a teaching job in this country ever again.. That is just starters.. Then the SOB can leave this country and live in some shit hole country that believes 14th century culture is good.. We in the USA live in the 21st century and have no desire to ENSLAVE or RAPE ANYONE.. Those that do these acts need to be put in jail for life.. It is morally wrong ass hole.. You can never justify rape and or enslavement…

  • joshzzz

    This is the insanity that the Obama and the radical Democratic Party is pushing on America and yet there are a large number of foolish people that buy into this nonsense. They would unknowingly give up their freedoms because the left tells you to do so. Try living in Saudi Arabia.

  • code4blue

    It would be real interesting to see what he had to say after been violently raped by some of those so called ‘peaceful mudscums!’ The guy is an idiot!!

  • torir

    I am interested in his opinion after he gets raped and sold into slavery like Muslims do to whomever they decide “deserves” it.

  • IzTheBiz

    A bit of slavery, a bit of a whack for a rebellious wife, a bit of a clip for a sexually active female. Hey! at least he is honest. I will give him that!

  • Justanaveragejoeinmd

    Needs to be removed from the Georgetown University faculty. This is a Catholic institution. Why is the church not shutting this creep down?

  • Sick of Libs

    He could’ve saved a lot of time by just saying, “I’m a muslim and I can believe in slavery, abuse of women and sex with children if I want to”!