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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Spencer takes the Qur'an out of context

To the Editor:

In his letter to the editor, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, declared that "Muslim[s] approv[e] of wife-beating" ("Charge of hate speech is false," Oct. 31). He draws out a single Qur'anic verse that has been the subject of Islamic jurisprudential debate for centuries, pretending to capture its breadth in a 500-word editorial. Moreover, Spencer chooses not to place this passage in the context of the thrust of the entire Qur'anic message, verses that talk about marital harmony and the prophetic example. This sort of anti-intellectualism undermines Spencer's assertions.

All Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the revealed word of God. By zeroing in on a Qur'anic verse, rather than the cruel actions or uniquely bigoted views of so-called "jihadists," Spencer attacks all Muslims. Though he claims to differentiate between so-called "jihadists" and "peaceful Muslims," he flagrantly and consistently conflates the two.

Ultimately his tactics otherize and demonize Muslims. Whatever his intentions, we as Muslim women resent that he depicts us as victims in order to bolster his cause.

It is imperative that the Dartmouth community sincerely seek knowledge and understanding as we collectively undertake this human project towards greater understanding and pluralism.