So, this meme is making the rounds again.
There is definitely a problem with these men, but not the one never-Muslims memers made up. A better caption would be “They think that a man who ‘allows’ his wife or sister to exist in public, where someone might see her and get turned on, is a cuck who won’t go to heaven.”
The Caption Is Incredibly Misleading
Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the appeal of the meme. I love the idea of turning people’s awful beliefs back onto them. I take every chance I get to show people their own hypocrisies. These men represent exactly the type of Muslim man who has made my life and existence demonstrably harder and more dangerous. I want to fight back, too.
This isn’t one of those situations where turnabout is actually happening, though. Interpreting what these men have to say as “you go to hell if you make videos and people masturbate to you” ignores the primary driver of their opinions, which is, surprise surprise, gender. They’re expressing misogynistic and patriarchal beliefs, not gender-neutral anti-sex ones. Erasing their disgusting views on women isn’t exactly helping to combat those very views.
To figure out what they’re actually saying, I had to find the video. While I wasn’t able to find the original comment shown in the meme, I was able to find the likely source, which is a reposted video clip on the Atheist Republic Facebook page.
The comments range from endless variations on the one in the screenshot (lol I fapped!), to generic “religion bad” comments, to unsubstantiated accusations of all kinds of crimes, to straight-up plain old-fashioned racism (like allusions to violating livestock). Can’t say I expected any better from Atheist Republic, where moderation exists even less than God does. I theoretically align with most of the mission statement and beliefs behind Atheist Republic, but the comments. Oh, the comments.
What the Video Literally Says
That the message people got from this video is “female YouTubers go to hell because men masturbate over [sic] them” is, ahem, interesting, given that the video said no such thing. Not even close. There’s a reference to a man confessing that he has masturbated to a hijaabi Youtuber, and there’s a reference to cucks not being able to smell let alone go to heaven, but that’s about it.
I contend that most commenters are reacting to the caption, not the video. Come to think of it, I’m not sure the person who wrote the caption has actually watched the video, either. As proof, I offer this rough transcript, courtesy of me, because Atheist Republic certainly didn’t bother. I watched and re-watched this video at half speed about a million times so none of you have to. You’re welcome.
Notes on the transcript
- I may have missed some things they said or gotten some words wrong because their strong British accents combined with their use of religious/Arabic terminology makes it hard for me to parse them at times. I’m used to hearing these terms in an American, Pakistani, Indian, or Arab (specifically Egyptian, Lebanese, or Jordanian) accent.
- “(SAWS)” is a standard Muslim initialism representing “salla Allah alaihi wa sallam”, which translates to “peace and blessings of Allah be upon him”, a phrase Muslims are supposed to say after referring to Muhammad.
- Some of the repetition was clearly done for emphasis, so I made sure to include it. I left out some exact and sequential repetition that sounded to me like it wasn’t done deliberately.
- For ease of reference, I’m going to call them #1, #2, and #3, numbered from left to right. So #1 is the one on the left in the black kufi, #2 is the one in the middle and directly behind the microphone, and #3 is the one on the right who speaks first. I do know who one of them is, but that’s information that isn’t in this version of the video, so you’ll just have to wait to find out.
- Re the hadith on not being a cuck that was cited by #3, I found it in Sahih al-Bukhari, but it’s about Sa’d bin Ubadah, not Sa’d ibn Muadh. As these Dawah bros love to say when you call them on their inaccuracies, “wallahu a’alum”, or Allah knows best. Full offense intended.
If your wife is coming out in front of people, showing herself, embarrassing herself, being all hysterical and laughing. And all of this in front of people that are just, maybe they’re laughing at her, maybe they’re, some people are perverted, they’re just, lusted by her or something, they’re in love with her—
I actually knew a guy, one hijaabi YouTuber, he actually masturbated over her.
*disappointed, disgusted noises*
Wallahi [I swear on Allah’s name], yeah
Audhu billah [I seek Allah’s refuge, or may Allah protect us from such things]
Your wives are putting themselves out there in that way, and you got guys who are perving over them—
Imran gets these emails. I can’t deal with those kind of emails. That’s nasty, man. Imran gets that kind of stuff. How do you deal with that, man?
Well, honest, look. If you as a husband, you know that this is happening, and you let them—this is going to be a bit harsh—and you let your wife do that. And the Prophet (SAWS) said that the dayyuth [basically “cuck”, further defined below] will not enter the jannah [heaven]. If you [who allows that] are not a dayyuth, I dunno what a dayyuth is, honestly.
[If] this person is not a dayyuth, then what [is]? A dayyuth is a person who doesn’t have any jealousy to their female relatives. If this person is not a dayyuth—
He lets his wife go out, how she dress, lets men look at her—
The punishment for that is that they won’t enter the jannah nor will they even smell the smell of jannah. And the Prophet (SAWS) said in a hadith that we mentioned before in Sahih Al-Bukhari.
Sa’d ibn Muadh, he said that if I saw someone with my wife, I would kill him. The Prophet (SAWS) laughed and—not saying that you [are] allowed to kill him—but he laughed and said you are shocked about the, amazed about the, ghira [sense of patriarchal possessive “honor” over wives/female relatives], the jealousy, protective jealousy of Sa’d. And in praising this type of jealousy, he said wallahi, I have more ghira, this protective jealousy, than Sa’d. So it’s a praise, because the Prophet (SAWS) had it, and he said wallahi, Allah has more ghira than me. So it’s a praiseworthy attribute.
*laughing* It doesn’t mean you can kill someone.
It doesn’t mean you kill someone.
The point is that feeling of like, this guy’s like watching my wife!
It’s a praiseworthy—
He’s looking at my wife!
It’s a praiseworthy thing. You know, in some countries, just speaking about someone else’s sister, something like, just speaking about her, like how’s your sister, ask something, you can’t do that.
In my culture, I’m not gonna lie, yeah? Like, um, it’s a bit weird to ask “How is your wife?” Like bruv. The guy never seen my wife, man never seen your wife, but just, he’s being nice. Bruv, don’t talk about—
In Saudi Arabia, in Saudi Arabia—
Talking about my wife!
In This Context, Women Aren’t People
To start, the video is addressed to men, not women. This is extra misogynistic in a very classically Islamic fashion. So much of the Quran and hadith tells Muslim men to tell “their women” about religious teachings. Much less of it is addressed to women directly, even when it comes to laws that are solely for and about women. It’s assumed that men are the ones to enforce these rules. To them, of course a woman disobeying Islamic modesty rules is wrong, but whatever man they believe is responsible for her is worse. He’s a cuck who has either lost control of her or worse, is indifferent to or encouraging of her immodest behavior.
In gleefully insinuating that they have beaten it to these men, the commenters have missed an even more disturbing message: Women aren’t people, or at least aren’t as much of people as men are, and are the wards of men rather than have autonomy.
It’s Our Old Friends Toxic Masculinity And Patriarchy
In Islam, there is the concept of a girl or woman’s wali. Wali is sometimes translated as guardian or chaperone, but there’s no English equivalent (old-fashioned “ward”, maybe?). It’s a term built on a thoroughly patriarchal foundation. What it specifically means to call a man the wali of a woman or girl is to say that this man is responsible for this woman in every way and has more authority over her than she does over herself.
These men are saying that if a wali fails to control a woman, he’s a cuck, a figure of disgust and pity, a failure of a man. The message of this video is not ultimately for or about women. It uses women to talk about what men ought to be, and predicates the value of a man on his ability to force the women and girls in his life to do his will. Like anything related to patriarchy and toxic masculinity, it’s really about men, not women. To them, women aren’t worth their consideration.
This isn’t out of line with a lot of beliefs, implicit if not so explicit anymore, among never-Muslims. When I was seen as a woman by the world, nothing I wore, said, or did had any relevance to how much harassment I got. Instead, my one guarantee against street harassment was the presence of someone the world saw as a man, no matter how young, short, skinny, or otherwise physically unintimidating he was. Under a man’s perceived dominion, I was no longer an object, but a real person’s possession and therefore worthy of respect.
The men in this video are saying the quiet part out loud.
Inb4 “No one actually thinks these men believe thAt”
Yes, they fucking do. The commenters are reacting as though they do believe that the caption is an accurate representation of the beliefs presented in the video. Further, I can assure you with 100% certainty that never-Muslims will believe almost anything you have to say about Islam or Muslims as long as what you say aligns with their stereotypes.
I should know. I spent 18 years as a Muslim, a decade of that in hijab, and 17 years after that as a public-facing ex-Muslim, mostly around never-Muslims. Well-meaning bleeding-hearts will argue with me about my negative lived experiences of Islam, while right-wing xenophobes insist to me that I couldn’t have been a real Muslim because I wasn’t a terrorist. If you think I’m exaggerating or referring to outlier examples here, I genuinely envy your charmed life.
It’s to the point where I have to be extraordinarily careful whenever I joke or exaggerate because people will accept it as truth about Islam. In freshman PE, I once joked that “grass stains are against my religion” and was treated to an aggressive interrogation by a classmate who asked me why Islam was against health and fitness. Saying that something you disliked was against your religion was a common verbal meme at my school; that phrasing always indicated that the speaker was joking. It turns out that wearing hijab meant I couldn’t joke like my peers did.
why I care
It’s not that I’m a pedant, it’s the xenophobia. Well, I am a pedant, but that’s not why I am bothering to write and post this. It’s because this kind of inaccuracy serves the widespread narrative of a dichotomy between Islam vs. “The West”. Specifically, if you make Islamic beliefs sound bizarre enough, people won’t understand that they’re neatly aligned with Western patriarchy.
Never-Muslims really want to believe that those scary brown bearded Muzlamics have beliefs that are incomprehensible to them. In reality, these men’s beliefs are pretty mainstream all over the world, including in Western countries. Trim those beards, replace the kufis with beanies, have them use toothpaste instead of miswak, and translate the words from Arabic jargon into manosphere terminology, and this is literally just Andrew Tate.
Speaking of whom, Andrew Tate has a dedicated Muslim fanbase and even claimed to have converted to Islam at some point. This is not a coincidence. Neither is the fact that the manosphere loves to call men “cucks” and “simps”, and these men use the Islamic/Arabic version of that term.
Masturbating to Memri: Bacon Bullets, But Make It Faux-Feminist
Man #1, addressed as Imran by #3, is Imran Ibn Mansur, aka “Dawah Man”. Even though he’s never said the exact thing the caption claims he did, he certainly has said a lot of choice things about women existing in public, even and especially about women who cover themselves up. Here’s some of it, by way of Memri.
I see this meme as the more allegedly liberal version of the ammosexual “bacon bullets send Muslims to hell” thing. In both cases, some never-Muslim unfamiliar with Islam misinterpreted an Islamic belief, and then made up some way to “pwn” the Muslims they believe hold those views. Also in both cases, the level of ignorance would be astounding if I weren’t long-accustomed to it.
I find this meme more harmful and annoying than the bacon bullets because it glosses over actually-harmful beliefs. Killing someone with a bacon-greased bullet doesn’t harm them any more than if you’d used any other kind of bullet. Making masturbating the point erases the misogyny, which harms the very women with whom the masturbators are claiming to have solidarity.
The Disgust Is Directed at Men, Not Women
#3 says that he heard from a man about masturbating to a hijaabi YouTuber. I buy it. It’s pretty clear to me that Unnamed Masturbator was experiencing guilt about it and, in his attempt to shift the guilt onto whatever man “let” that woman exist online, reached out to someone he believed could help.
If this video were directed at women, I’m sure these men would express disgust at women daring to exist in public. However, here, their disgust is for men who masturbate with, ahem, inspiration from women who aren’t sexually permitted to them in Islam. It doesn’t occur to them to admonish those women because women aren’t full people to them. They expect those women’s fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands, or even sons to keep them in line with their Islamic beliefs.
What These Men Actually Think of Your Faps
If they saw your comments, they would be disgusted with you, not convinced they’re going to hell.
Muslim men aren’t obligated in Islam to cover themselves up lest they invoke lust. They are not responsible for evoking lust in women the way women are responsible in Islam for the lust they evoke in men. A woman masturbating to this video would strike the men in it as a sign that the woman has gotten out of line and needs a male relative or husband to control her better. As for men, that’s definitely gay, and to them, homosexuality is a grave sin. In their beliefs, they are not culpable for the sins of a wayward horny woman or degenerate gay man.
Fap to them all you want if you want, but they really don’t care.