Since this point in history, however, Akyol said the Islamic world has begun to fall behind in the development of human rights.
The implication here is that the Islamic world was at one time equal to, or perhaps even superior to, the West in its recognition of human rights. When was this ever the case?
Let’s start with the rights of women. The deep misogyny of Islam guaranteed that the treatment of women was always behind that of the West. A husband has Qur’anic sanction to “beat” his wife (4:34); the status of men is always above that of women (4:228). The Muslim male could practice polygyny, and go unto his wives who are as a tilth to him (4:223); he could divorce any of his wives merely by uttering the triple-talaq. In Islam, daughters inherit half that of sons. A woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man. Muhammad himself justified this rule in a hadith: “it is because of the deficiency in her intelligence.”
As to the treatment of minorities, was Islam, which offered those conquered the options of death, conversion to Islam, or the permanent status of dhimmi (burdened with a host of disabilities), really superior to the West at one time, as Akyol claims? It’s true that in Western Christendom there were those who attacked and murdered Jews, based mainly on the blood libel, that is, the charge of ritual murder of Christian children, whose blood was supposedly used to make matzohs for Passover. There was nothing that bad in the Islamic treatment of Jews, for they could remain alive and practice their religion, as long as they met the conditions imposed on them as dhimmis. But we should also remember that the Qur’an has several dozen antisemitic verses, and sudden murderous Muslim outbursts against Jews were not unknown. The most striking example of this was in Granada in 1066, where the appointment of a Jew, Joseph ibn Naghrela, to be vizier to the Berber king, led to the killing of almost all of the 4,000 Jews in the city. Both Jews and Christians were not to be taken as friends, it says in the Qur’an, for they “are friends only with each other.”