The Truth is No Defense: Michael Smith's Career in Jeopardy Over Muhammad's Pedophilia

Michael Smith, a former policeman and managing director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra is a radio presenter on Sydney’s 2UE.

Smith is being investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for having stated in an interview with a Muslim activist that the Muslim prophet Muhammad ‘’married a nine-year-old and consummated it when she was 11’’.

Smith was wrong:

The profit of Islam consummated his “marriage” with Aisha when she was nine:

 “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). ”

Andrew Bolt: 

Using what’s left of my free speech to defend Michael Smith’s

We are facing new class of totalitarians, who create laws that licence the intolerant, who can now force others to shut up even when they speak fair.

SOMEHOW, 20 or 30 years ago, we managed to get by without lots of laws telling us not to say anything that might upset someone.

Somehow, we managed to act more or less decently without them.

I don’t remember race riots, for instance, or migrants so upset by the unbridled rudeness of the unleashed masses that they wrote in tears to their relatives warning them never to come to this vicious place.

But one of two things has since changed. Either we’ve turned the country into a barrel of gunpowder, so tense with new or imported tensions that the slightest flame, a single hard word, could blow us all to hell.

Some professional authoritarians have managed to impose on us a whole lot of needless and offensive laws to bully us out of saying what they find inconvenient.

The truth may be a bit of both, since it’s only in the past decade, for example, that we started having to jail people for terrorism offences—every one of them adherents of a faith that’s only lately grown to any significant numbers.

But I suspect the bigger problem is the rise of a new class of totalitarians, creating laws that licence the intolerant, who can now force others to shut up even when they speak fair.

The very latest example of the kind of person caught in such snares is Michael Smith, a former policeman and managing director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra who now is a radio presenter on Sydney’s 2UE.

Smith is being investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for having stated in an interview with a Muslim activist that the Muslim prophet Muhammad ‘’married a nine-year-old and consummated it when she was 11’’.

His guest at the time was Diaa Mohammed, founder of MyPeace, which had erected a big billboard in Sydney declaring ‘’Jesus: a prophet of Islam’’.

That billboard certainly offended many Christians, but this is a free country, right?

Well, yes and no.

The billboard was fine. But an Adem Cetinay, a Muslim from Bossley Park, complained that Smith was inciting hatred against Muslims with that line about Muhammad.

‘’By making this remark he is asserting that God’s messenger is a paedophile. This is racist, it’s stupid and it is not needed on air,’’ he wrote to the station’s program director, Peter Brennan.

Cetinay also took his complaint to ACMA, which has launched an investigation it says could take ‘’several months’’.

Already, of course, Smith is the loser. He is made to seem a racist, and must be extra careful not to say anything that might make a modern witchhunter even more suspicious of him.

His radio station has to go to expense and effort to defend him, and for months there will now be this anxiety hanging over his head.

But here is the bizarre thing.
Yes, Smith was wrong about the age of Muhammad’s bride. But the truth may be even harsher than the already outraged Cetinay finds acceptable.

One of the most highly regarded sources in Islam on Muhammad’s life are the Sahih al-Bukhari and the Sahih Muslim, texts almost as sacred as the Koran itself.

And here is how the Sahih al-Bukhari itself describes Muhammad’s wife, in the translation used by the University of Southern California’s Centre for Jewish-Muslim Engagement:

“Narrated ‘Ursa:

“The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). ”

So Cetinay, it seems to me, either does not know all of his faith’s own teachings or thinks it’s racist for a radio host to draw attention to them.

Now you might think that such an absurd and illiberal complaint would get nowhere, yet ACMA has not only launched an investigation into Smith, but launched one that will take “months”.

Even more extraordinary is that increasingly we’re getting discrimination and vilification laws in which truth is no longer a defence.

Just look at how two Christian pastors in Victoria were accused of breaching the state’s new laws on religious vilification for quoting Koranic passages on jihad at a seminar for their flock.

The Catch the Fire pastors were initially found guilty of vilifying Muslims even though one pastor, Daniel Scot, had said only one thing that was factually wrong.

The judge said Scot had given the wrong birthrate for Muslims here and had also failed to quote a verse that showed Allah was merciful.

The judge said the real problem with the seminar was that it was not “balanced”, and neither Scot nor fellow pastor Danny Nalliah had said clearly enough that the hard-line Islam they were talking about was, in the judge’s opinion, not followed by most Muslims here.

Scot and Nalliah were convicted of stirring up hatred – of being “hostile, demeaning and derogatory of all Muslim people” – even though they’d repeatedly told their congregation to love Muslims, however wrong their faith.

What’s more, there was no evidence that those listening to them posed a danger to any Muslim. The worst the judge could say of them was they’d responded “at various times in the form of laughter”.

We need laws against bad laughter?

Luckily, the Court of Appeal judges overturned the verdict against the pastors, with one of the appeal judges reminding us “it is essential to keep the distinction between the hatred of beliefs and the hatred of their adherents steadily in view”.

Justice was done, you might say. But would you like to have a “win” like that, involving huge bills, months of worry and vilification by the “elite” media?

That’s the real danger of such laws. They chill speech – even honest and true speech, about people’s beliefs – without necessarily fixing any great problem.

Indeed, just months before the Victorian Labor Government passed its vilification laws, the then chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission conceded: “I am not aware of any conclusive evidence that suggests that discrimination is increasing.”

Even the discussion paper the Government put out admitted “documenting (racism’s) extent is difficult”.

And the examples the Uniting Church gave in a booklet “demonstrating why criminal sanctions are necessary”, included the ludicrously trivial one of some five-year-olds teasing a poor Chinese boy at kindergarten by calling him “ching-chong”.

Jail those tots! Pass those laws! Kill that speech!

Don’t you think we might all get along much better and easier if we stopped freaking at free speech, even rude speech, and let the truth muddle its inevitable way through to the surface?

It worked for us once. I kind of suspect it will do so again.