Any impartial observer can distinguish between crass insults, and scholarly criticisms of Islam. Insults are usually self-evident, conveyed using pejorative terms that are intended to denigrate and mock. Such crude language is inappropriate for the mainstream media and the government, as they have the burden of keeping their mask of civilisation from slipping. So, they disseminate the same crass insults using refined language, present it as scholarly opinions by citing selected academics. However, even a cursory investigation reveals that these so-called scholarly ‘opinions’ are primarily based on the works of other hostile critics of Islam, whilst opinions of the proponents, or even those who are relatively neutral, are not given any serious consideration.
These hostile critics use specific examples to construct: subjective judgments and simultaneously ignore how those judgments contradict other cases. For example, they describe the Prophet (SAW) of Islam as violent by citing cases where retribution was applied, concurrently ignoring the numerous occasions when He forgave the offenders. Also, how can anyone claim retribution is an act of violence, as it is a form of compensation for the victim, and a deterrence for the criminals.Retribution is central to the notion of justice.
Likewise, they claim that the Prophet (SAW) was driven by lust for having many wives, but overlook that fact that many of his wives were old and not the most beautiful. More pertinently, the Prophet (SAW) did not seek the prettiest women in the prime of his youth; nor did he seek them when He became the most powerful ruler of Arabia , when such desires could easily have been satisfied. In fact, the pagan Arabs offered Him the most beautiful women as a form of bribe, in return for His silence, but the Prophet (SAW) unequivocally refused.
If having many wives is evidence of lust, then surely these types of charges can be levied better against the Biblical Prophets; Solomon (AS) for example had 700 hundred wives and numerous concubines. Conversely, someone remaining celibate can be accused of having unnatural desires. Thus, using this type of superficial reasoning, one can make serious allegations against Prophet Jesus (AS).
Similarly, they slander Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as a ‘pedophile’, because of the sole example of His marriage to young Ayesha (RA), the only virgin wife of the Prophet. They argue that Ayesha (RA) was a child by contemporary standards and the age difference between Prophet Muhammad (aged 54) and Ayesha (age 9) is inappropriate. Simultaneously, they fail to account why all of His other wives were much older and some actually exceeded the Prophet (SAW) in age. The pertinent question is: if the Prophet (SAW) really had a strong desire for young women, then why did He not seek wives of a similar age to Ayesha (RA), when He subsequently married numerous times?
The hostile critics can be classed into two categories, the secular fundamentalists and the fanatical Christian-Zionists. In order to answer the nasty allegation made against the Prophet (SAW), we pose the following questions:
a) Was Ayesha a pre-pubescent child?
b) Was the marriage immoral due to the age gap?
c) What constitutes a valid marriage?
d) Who really condones and/or practices pedophilia?
Was Ayesha (RA) a pre-pubescent child?
The conventional definition of a Pedophile is: someone who REPEATEDLY engages in sexual act with prepubescent children. All the reports state that Ayesha (RA) went to live with the Prophet (SAW) as His wife, after she had reached puberty. She and her parents fully consented to the marriage. There was no criticism issued at that time and subsequently, by Muslims and non-Muslims. Hence, this was in accordance to the prevailing custom, and the age old tradition of girls marrying at puberty.
However, the allegation persists, because they argue that Ayesha (RA) was still a child regardless of her attaining puberty. In that case, what is the universally accepted definition that distinguishes a child from an adult for all periods of time? Surely it cannot be something as arbitrary as 18 or 16, as is the case in many Western countries, and such distinction is meaningless when you consider that most people below those ages are sexually active. Are we under any obligation to accept their assertions in blind-faith that Ayesha was a child? Note, by those same standards, having sex with an underage female is not described as pedophiliac, but underage sex, or statutory rape!
It should also be noted that even today the age of consent in many parts of the world is around 12-14. Age of consent in the USA was 10 hardly 100 years ago and 11 in the UK . Mary the mother of Jesus according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Bible was pregnant at the age of 12 and married of to Joseph between the ages of 7 and 9. The Christian Byzantine emperors and nobilities also had bride as young as 8 years old. The gay communities in secular societies are constantly trying to lowering the age of consent. From the definition of Islam, Ayesha was a woman. Islam makes puberty (physical capacity) and mental capacity the distinguishing factor between a responsible adult and a child.
Was the marriage immoral due to the age gap?
By whose standards the marriage was immoral? Burden of proof is on the one who makes the allegations. Hence, they must state their definition of morality/immorality and its basis. More pertinently why their definition of morality is universal and absolute - thus has legitimacy to judge all societies. The reality is: morality like laws is relative, it differs from nation to nation; and for most nations it is relative within as it changes with the lapse of time. For example once marriage was sacred but now it is outdated, homosexuality was once immoral but now it is a fad, and so on.
Some argue that certain values like lying, murder, and theft are universal, if that was so then the laws and values regarding these issues would be identical. Consider capital punishment, this is viewed as murder by some, while others consider it as a form of retribution. When foreigners kill their citizens it is deemed as murder, however when they kill foreigners it is collateral damages for building democracy! Similarly when you examine the details of what constitutes lies and theft you see the sharp differences.
The Christian-Zionist are in no position to lecture about the age gap, given that there are numerous references  in the Bible illustrating marriage between young girls with older men. Even a child as young as 3 can be taken as a bride  this is elaborated in the section below: who really condones and/or practices pedophilia. They have a further problem in lecturing the Muslims about morality as there are stories  alleging adultery, incest, indiscriminate murder of women and children, committed by the Prophets of God under divine guidance.
For the secular critics, to claim that the marriage was immoral is irrational and hypocritical, as secular societies do not recognise marriage as a sacred institution in the first place. It is viewed as an ancient tradition, thus people are increasingly cohabiting. Also, how their scale of so-called morality works? They say it is wrong for a man to have married a much younger woman, but there is no problem if the individual is engaged in homosexual activity or other kinds of sexual practices like incest, bestiality that are considered by most people as deviant from the norm. At least a heterosexual relationship conforms to nature and fulfills the role of reproduction. Is it morally consistent to criticise the marriage of Ayesha (RA), while permitting such activities?
Of course, the secular critics scream sexual freedom is the reason for allowing such activities. Then surely, by that freedom, there should be no objection if two individuals willingly enter into a marital contract, regardless of their age differences! Would it be perceived in the same light, if a sexually active 12 year old male wanted to marry a 60 year old woman willingly, exercising their freedoms? Many of the secular anti-Islamic monkeys have been trained to foul mouth Islam, and unable to elaborate and justify their alternative moral paradise. Naturally, if you criticise something, you must have an alternative. That leads to the next question.
What constitutes a valid (moral) marriage?
Since Aisha (RA) was much younger than the Prophet (SAW), the anti-Islamic critics make a lot of noise, as if they have been offended due to their high level of ‘morals’. That is like the devil lecturing others about sin, and a response of laughter is natural and most appropriate. They criticise the age gap, but fail to state what that gap should be and why? Indeed, they should clarify their overall position of what constitutes a legitimate (moral) form of marriage, giving details of all the relevant factors like age, gender and eligibility.
So, looking at gender, what about homosexual marriages where the gender boundaries are crossed; this is now viewed as legitimate by most secular societies, and increasingly by many of the Christian churches. Many countries have made it legal and in many places it has become a fad. We regard homosexual marriages to be unlawful and disgusting; it goes against human nature of procreation. Is it morally consistent to permit such activities, while condemning a normal heterosexual marriage for having an age gap?
In terms of eligibility, what about those who cross the traditional boundaries of marriage that is considered sacred, and commit incest by engaging in sexual acts/or marrying within the family? Is this moral? If not, then are you going to imposing your views on them and defile your sacred notion of freedom. However, this is not the end of the story, some freedom loving secularist are experimenting with beasts to eating each other (cannibalism). Of course we know the masses in general do not engage in this, but the point is secular freedom permits such things. While permitting such things, do the secular critics have any right to lecture the Muslims on marital issues?
The secular critics always avoid this pertinent point of elucidating the conditions of a legitimate marital relationship. Because, they want to criticise others - whilst avoiding their own position being subjected to the same criticisms. Indeed, we know how easy it is to call others ugly wearing a mask! It is a real irony that these secular foul mouths are constantly demanding proof from Muslims, yet when they are asked to justify their own position, they expect you to follow them with blind faith. These are the real ignorant fanatics and extremists of our time.
Who really condones and/or practices pedophilia?
Ironically, the foul mouth Christian preachers, with venom and hate slander the Prophet of Islam, while waving the flag of ‘love’. Often they are supported by the Zionists behind the scene, who have good reasons to remain relatively silent on this issue, as the evidences below demonstrate. If sexual relationship with a pre-pubescent child is that abhorrent, surely the condemnation should start by calling for the Bible to be banned. Consider the following verse, and there are numerous other verses like this:
“Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”(Numbers 31:17-18)
The verse orders the killing of all males including children of any age and that is pretty gruesome. It is not the Quran but the Bible that is suitable as a manual for terrorists, serial killers and mass murderers, may give a plausible explanation for the existence of violent societies like the Zionist-Israel, Christian-US and medieval Europe. As for “kill every woman who has slept with a man” according to the scholars of the Jewish Talmud , this resulted in killing of every girl 3 years upward, ordered directly by Prophet Moses himself. The verse applied to women who were not virgins as well as those who the capacity for committing sexual intercourse. The Rabbis elaborate this is 3 years upwards, as they explicitly state  numerous times in the Talmud:"A girl three years old may be betrothed through an act of sexual intercourse".
Therefore, this is clear evidence of pedophilia activity legitimized by the Bible – advocated and followed by the Jews, while Christians are not obliged to follow the commandments of the old Testament but they considers it to be part of God’s revelation. If they condemn Pedophilia then logically they have to condemn their God, who permitted such activities once upon a time. Yet the Christians and the Jews have the audacity to slander Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and the Western world happily promotes such slander without looking into their backyard. They should really follow their own advice from the New Testament on this issue: "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."(John 8:7).
As for the secular critics, if they were genuinely against pedophiles, then why they are silent towards the real pedophiles around them? There are organised pedophile groups trying to legitimize such activities in the US and Europe . Yet no words of condemnation issued against them, and the secular critics should deal with such groups first, getting their house in order, before pointing the fingers at others. Like serial killers, Pedophiles exists in abundance in the West, and not in the Islamic world. Even a cursory search on the web will reveal a growing number of such sites are hosted by Western secular countries. Indeed, all the evidences suggest that these critics actually condone pedophilia, and their hypocritical silence corroborates that. No doubt, their blind and fanatical adherence to the notion of freedom has also contributed to shaping their perverse mindset!
These secular critics, particularly the western ones, have a problem of criticising Muslims by using their own demons. So, they say we are fascists when they have invented and practiced it. We are supposed to be violent but who has caused the largest wars, and have the largest war machinery. They call us terrorists, and yet they are the ones who have invented bombing civilians en masse. Likewise, the Prophet (SAW) has allegedly acted immorally for marrying Ayesha, while they issue moral ‘certificates’ for every form of sexual acts. More likely, they are accusing the Prophet (SAW) of such things, to deal relieve their guilt of having so much pedophilia activity around them.
The above mentioned examples demonstrate whether one is a refined critic with academic credentials, or a foul mouthed anti-Islamic zealot, they have the same objective of character assassinating the Prophet (SAW), while turning a blind eye to their sea of hypocrisy. It is a pity that scientifically advanced nations cannot apply the same principle in dealing with Islam. Instead they are behaving like some medieval state, thus they are disseminating insults in various ways.