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How to respond to the "Times were different" defense
vitor_palmer
Particularly when pressing issues like Mohammed's rape of nine year old Aisha, Muslims often respond by saying, "But times were different back then; most females married at a young age". 

That is a reasonable response, but unfortunately, it's one we can't accept in Mohammed's case. 

If that defense is presented, this is a good approach:

EW:  Yes, times were very different back in the 7th century.  However, let's take a look at what the Quran has to say about Mohammed:

Quran 33:21:  "You have in (Muhammad) the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one to follow."

And as we've already established, the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word.  That means that in the year 2010, the words of the Quran are every bit as relevant and applicable as they were in the 7th century.

That means that in the year 2010, "You have in (Muhammad) the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one to follow."

Again, the hadith collections of Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari clearly state that Mohammed consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was nine years old.  So as far as I can tell, we have two options:

Option A:  Agree with the Quran that Mohammed's example is "a beautiful pattern of conduct", and say that in the year 2010 it's morally acceptable for a grown man to marry and have sex with a nine year old child.

or

Option B:  Say that in the 7th century it was morally acceptable for a grown man to marry and have sex with a nine year old child.  However, in the year 2010 it's immoral.  Therefore, by today's standards, Mohammed was an immoral person.

So which option do you choose?  In the year 2010, is it morally acceptable for a grown man to marry and have sex with a nine year old child, or is Mohammed's example no longer "a beautiful pattern of conduct"?

*Perhaps there's a third option I'm missing, but no Muslim I've debated has yet to come up with one.  Obviously, they can't say Mohammed's behavior was immoral, and admitting that child rape is A-OK wouldn't be a good choice either.  So this should be an excellent response to the "times were different" defense.

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