Was Thomas Jefferson a racist?
This type of question can be broached at three different levels.
The most simplistic level, the one that has Progressives toppling historic statues across America is to apply today's standards to historical figures. The advantage of this approach for the simple-minded is that it requires no understanding of history. All that is required is that the "analyst" access their feelings in-the-moment to know what is 'right'.
The intermediate level is to either make a concerted effort to learn the context of the time or to reserve judgement. Learning is work. Reserving judgement is not much fun.
I accept as fact that Mohammad "married" a prepubescent child. I don't know when he started to have intimate relations with her, nor do I know what the generally accepted mores of the culture were. Therefore I reserve judgement in spite of the violent condemnation modern, Western mores demand.
The most entertaining level is to analyze the inconsistencies of the folks slugging it out and then sharing my conclusions.
For example: Those who defend Mohammad are apt to adopt the "mores of the time" argument. That implies a few different things.
- Mohammad was not Divine, a fact generally accepted by devout Muslims.
- That Mohammad was not infallible and every word he rendered to paper and every action he took was not infallible/divine.
- The nature of "sin" mutates over time, a belief that many will struggle with. For example: much of what was simple economics in 1818 is sexist in 2018 when electric motors and controls can negate many of the male/female strength differences.
Was Mohammad a pedophile? I won't say. I can't say.
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