The inconsistency of Hamza Tzortzis

This is an interesting clip of Tzortzis first rebuking Lawrence Krauss for his lack of an objective morality in admitting that there are certain conditions under which he could not condemn incest, and then, in a different debate, Tzortzis defending sex with children and rationalizing the lack of a taboo in the Qu’ran against it.

It’s so hypocritical, and so lacking in a rational morality. Krauss’s argument has a clear foundation in mutual consent and a lack of harm; we should not prohibit private actions of consenting adults that do not cause harm to others.

Tzortzis tries to claim that the Qu’ran uses similar principles in accommodating sex with children, by claiming that it should only be done when the child is physically and emotionally ready. But he ignores the concept of consent, and in fact flouts it when one of his points in favor of some cases of child marriage is that the father was willing to give away the child. And of course he doesn’t bother to mention the disturbing fact that he’s not discussing cases of kids exploring their sexuality together (I suspect he’d be dead set against that), but of grasping old men taking ownership of little girls and using them as sex toys.


  1. aziraphale says

    Let us not forget that if, as the Qu’ran says, we are all descended from Adam and Eve, the human race would have died out without several acts of incest.

  2. John Kruger says

    Hmm, which is worse? A sexual relationship that can result in a slightly higher chance of genetic disease (less than that of people >40 years old having children, by the way) or a sexual relationship where informed consent is impossible? This guy’s morality is warped beyond any decency.

  3. mnb0 says

    OK, I bite. What is the rationality of mutual consent and a lack of harm? Don’t be mistaken, I accept them as well, am even a bit more demanding: indifference is also a lack of harm and I prefer increasing happiness. I only think they are emotional points, not rational ones. In fact I will go so far to say that any moral system that excludes emotionality sucks by definition.
    So Tzortzis, as so many apologists, doesn’t lack rationality. He lacks empathy. And imo that’s even worse.

  4. says

    I really wish there was a ray gun we could use to turn these monsters into women, just reverse the polarity of each gender. Can you imagine the horror, all those males suddenly becoming practically worthless for anything but the carnal whims of the formerly oppressed and now very large and in charge women. It’s an amusing fantasy that makes me smile as I fall asleep at night.

  5. teejaykay says

    At the risk of being too snarky, doesn’t that mean Hamza’s idea is consent between the husband and father?

  6. maudell says

    I’m not a fan of ultra edited videos… I’ll try to find the second one, I’m curious.

    The incest question was disingenuous, Tzortsis’s organization only wanted to use it for shock value in their promotion. They forgot to include Krauss’s actual argument that followed.

  7. Zigbot says

    This Tzortzis guy is definitely disgusting and all, but hold up a second. Isn’t this the same Lawrence Krauss who defended his billionaire friend who payed for “sex” from almost certainly trafficked thirteen and fourteen year old children? And said he shouldn’t have been punished for it with a ridiculously short sentence because “probably everyone was a victim” and the girls “knew what they were doing, and were not swayed to do anything with Jeffrey that they were not already doing”? Yeah, to me that sounds basically identical to the arguments summarized in PZ’s last paragraph, just minus the Quran stuff, so I’m thinking it’s not just Hamza Tzortzis who’s a hypocrite in this regard. Yuck.

  8. praestans says

    I remember asking him about islam allowing child marriage a few years ago in oxford, he was incenst – that such a thing was possible. and now he knows better. credit where credt’s due.

    perhaps he can now defend slavery and concubinage in the same way – sex is only allowed in Islam via mariage contract or thru a slave-master relationship:

    Naf’i narrates from Ibn Umar that he whenever he (Ibn Umar) bought a slave girl, he exposed her legs and put his hand between her breasts and her bottom/hips and when he did that, he did it from behind the clothes

    Albany says Saheh

    أخرجه البيهقي ( 5 / 329 ) من طريق عبيد الله بن عمر عن نافع عن ابن عمر : ” أنه كان إذا اشترى جارية كشف عن ساقها ووضع يده بين ثدييها وعلى عجزها ” . وفي آخره زيادة : ” وكأنه كان يضعها عليها من وراء الثياب ” . ولعلها من البيهقي أو من بعض رواته . والسند صحيح .

    And in the understanding of the share’ah

    When a woman marriages, she sells a part of her person. In the market one buys merchandise, in marriage the husband buys the genital arvum mulieris (pasture of the woman BuD’ in Arabic )”. The most prominent Shi’a jurist of the time, Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, wrote that marriage “is a contract whose object is that of dominion over the vagina, without the right of its possession”. Al-Shafi’i said in Al-Umm: “It is among her rights due from him that he support her, and among his rights to derive pleasure from her [istimata’a minha]”.


  9. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Mike @ #4: That’s… sort of really creepy. Do you assume that women, given bodies coded male (whether they’d ID as such is another kind of really transphobic kettle of fish) would immediately turn to rape and abuse? Do you think being coded female means that one cannot commit such things either? Or that maleness inherently requires such behaviour?

    I know you were going for the idea that they’d learn empathy by walking in women’s shoes, but the way it came off has some really disturbing implications and rubbed me the wrong way.

  10. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Zigbot @ #9: Yeah, I’m seeing more than a bit of irony there myself.

  11. rinn says

    I would add that Muslims are on thin ice when it comes to incest. Prophet Muhammad married off his daughter, Fatima, to his cousin, Ali.

    Also, the practice of marrying first cousins (Muhammad himself married his first cousin) has led to so high rates of genetic disorders, that all Gulf states now have mandatory genetic screening for all prospective couples.

  12. ragarth says

    @11, the way I read it had nothing to do with masculine and feminine genders being inherently dominant and submissive, but rather that the (new)girls would have to confront their social construct that submission and female are fundamentally linked, and that the (new) guys would be able to take out their anger on their aggressors.

    I’m not one for violence, and I think actual vengeance is useless, but payback fantasies can still be cathartic just the same.

  13. brianpansky says


    i read that post as similar to how 14 said it. the ray gun switch would force the bigots confront what their own bigotry actually means.

  14. Anoia says

    He asks if the girl is physically fit, AFTER having heard Q 65:4 just before, where it says it specifies that the girl has not menstruated yet, so obviously not physically fit. Does he think people are too dumb to notice what was said a minute ago?

    Btw, the verse that is needed to get the full meaning of 65:4 (waiting period after divorce for menopausal women, pregnant females and prebubescent girs) is 33:49, where it says that no waiting period is needed when there was no sex involved. Notice how 65:4 just mentions prepubescence and makes no age limits at all. Not to forget that the uswa hasana and al-insan al-kamil raped a prepubescent 9 year old, which is why fundie islamic countries have a hard time to increase the age of consent. When Khomeini came to power he lowered the age of consent and the age of full age to 9 for females (age of full age for males is 15), that also means they can be tried as adults before courts from that age on iirc.

    Yeah, there might have been some pedos in the past in non-islamic countries too, but at least we don’t claim they were the perfect human beings whose example is to be followed.

  15. rinn says

    @17 Citations: Qatar starts premarital genetic screening for all (Dec 18, 2009):

    Notable passages in the article:
    Qatar has started mandatory premarital screenings this week

    Qatar is the last Gulf nation to institute premarital screenings

    Also, mandatory premarital screening is discussed here: Bener A, Hussain R., Consanguineous unions and child health in the State of Qatar,

  16. beardymcviking says

    @18 Wow (and thanks for citation).

    The only other place I’d heard of that sort of thing was Iceland, where due to the low population and isolation, the government now pays for (voluntary) DNA screenings for couples.

    Seemed sensible, I’m not sure how I feel about the prospect of mandatory screenings though.