Conservative comedian Steven Crowder is likely to incite rage from Muslim groups over his new video, "Jesus vs. Muhammad." In it, he makes comparisons between the founder of the Christian faith and the central prophet of Islam. Characterizing of Muhammad as a violent figure who preyed upon a 9-year-old girl, Crowder juxtaposes Muhammad against Christ. TheBlaze interviewed the comedian earlier today about his contentious video.
In the clip, Crowder starts by comparing Muhammad's and Jesus' personal decisions pertaining to marriage. While the latter never wedded, the former had numerous wives. Among them, Crowder notes, was Aisha, who was, according to early Islamic sources, 9-years-old when the marriage was consummated.
To make the point, the comedian, who called himself "Not Muhammad" while acting out actions associated with the prophet (it is considered offensive to portray Muhammad), staged a scene in which he used a lollipop to try and entice a young girl (coincidentally, a 9-year-old) to get into a car with him.
Following this scene, he framed Jesus as "raising young, adolescent girls from the dead" and Muhammad with having an unhealthy romantic interest in at least one young girl.
Photo Credit: YouTube
Crowder also said that Muhammad commanded the killing of women and committed domestic violence against Aisha, among other grievances. In comparison, he said that Jesus never owned a servant, nor did he kill or abuse anyone. The teachings of the Koran, in his view, focus upon "punishment over compassion."
In an interview with TheBlaze, Crowder shared his motivation for creating "Jesus vs. Muhammad," a follow-up to a previous video he made about the Koran back in 2009.
"It was inspired obviously by the Benghazi incident and then the terrorist attacks -- the Boston bombings," the comedian said of his latest project. "I did the Koran Challenge a long time ago and experienced the wrath."
This time, he said he wanted to get to the root of terrorism by comparing the "model citizens" of both faiths. While it's certain that many Islamic adherents will be offended by his assertions, Crowder said that isn't his intent. Calling Muhammad's relationship with Aisha "very wrong and twisted," he wanted to visually convey the same message to viewers.
"It's designed to shock," he continued. "I wanted to show people an actual 9-year-old and what that would look like ... all I'm doing is showing an actual 9-year-old with a full-grown adult. It creates a visceral reaction that is disturbing -- and it was."
Watch the video, below:
Naturally, considering that videos which are perceived as being anti-Islam have sparked furor in the past, TheBlaze asked Crowder about safety concerns. While he said he does his best to keep himself and his family safe, he didn't seem overtly concerned.
"If God calls it my time to punch out, it's my time to punch out," he said.
So, how will Muslims actually respond? It's too soon to tell, although Crowder's video is spawning a variety of YouTube comments. Below, see just a few:
Screen shot from YouTube
After watching the video, Tarek Fatah, a well-known Canadian activist and a Muslim, chuckled during an interview with TheBlaze. While he didn't necessarily agree with the statements presented within the video, he did claim that Islamic adherents need to learn to laugh at themselves.
"I thought it was very funny and my feeling is, in studying the Muslim psyche, that the way Muslims view such a video and laugh it off -- that's the day they have arrived in the 20th century," said Fatah, whom TheBlaze profiled last year.
Fatah also delved into the tricky views surrounding Aisha's age. He said that there is some cognitive dissonance on behalf of Muslims who maintain that she was a young child when her marriage was consummated (while her age is not in the Koran, it is in "Sirat Rasul Allah," biographical documents that purport to tell about Muhammad's early years), but who get offended when others label this as pedophilia.
"What I find funny is that it is Muslims who insist she was 6 years old," he said. "The evidence doesn't show [that], but you cannot have it both ways -- you can't say that the text says she is 6-years-old [then get upset when people criticize such a stance]."
Fatah also noted that belief in Aisha's age has given license to pedophiles in Arab caliphates who believe, based on the disputed account of Muhammad's life, that it is permissible to marry children.
Photo Credit: Tarek Fatah
While Fatah laughed-off Crowder's comedy, he did say that the comparisons between Jesus and Muhammad are not fair, as the two lived in different locations and during very different times. Plus, he noted that the former was known for peaceful living; as for the latter, he was a political and a religious leader who has a divergent life story.
And views on Muhammad vary, he said, depending on the type of Muslim one asks.
"The Arab view of Muhammad is that he is one of their leaders. The non-Arab view of Muhammad is of their favorite uncle," Fatah said. "They, as children, fall in love with the man."
The Muslim activist didn't include Crowder's comedy in his claim, but he did note that reckless lambasting of the Islamic faith does little good. In fact, he said that it actually spawns more hatred on behalf of radical Islamists, emboldening them to commit additional crimes.
"I think we are at war with Islamofascism and reckless attacks on Prophet Muhammad or calling him a pedophile not only are not accurate, but serve no purpose," he said.