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See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

Read: Background to the Project

List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


July 29th, 2011

Issue 2

Issue 2 [@ 4:37] Robert Spencer alleges that Islam, Quran and its interpretations, Hadith, Islamic theology, Islamic Law and all its doctrines mandate violence against unbelievers.

Rebuttal 2:
First and foremost these false allegations emanate from the minds that have neither read nor understood the the source of Islamic doctrine i.e. Quran. Neither have they objectively studied the secular, spiritual and religious life of Muhammad nor do they give him the credit he deserves for the transformation that he wrought in the world by unshackling mankind from the clutches of medieval mythologies and moved it to its modern secular and moral freedoms.

Most likely these minds belong to or are influenced by the previous religions in which to this day they carry indisputable anger against Muhammad who despite their wishes did not offer himself for crucifixion nor like previous prophets was he killed by the ancestors of present day followers of those religions despite their ancestral scheming to do so. To their dismay, he was not only “the one who got away” but also became the singularly most successful man in human history. They also vent their anger against the Muslims en-mass who refuse to go back into colonization. To such minds all one can say is, “Sorry! you cannot undo the history” and its natural flow into the future. Their paranoia and hate of Islam is no more than the comedy of “Russians are Coming”. However, Islam offers no apologies when it challenges and appeals to human reason, which will be obvious from the rebuttal to the issue at hand.

The above broad swipes by Robert Spencer have been fully addressed in the book “Islam, Peace and Tolerance” by Dr. Zahid Aziz published in 2006, which coincidentally is the same year when the documentary under discussion was made. In fact this book it a rebuttal to not only Robert Spencer, but to the whole documentary. Each step of the way Dr Aziz makes a case based upon Quran, Sunnah or Hadith. It begets Robert Spencer and other participants in the documentary, on and off the screen, to read this book. Now the burden is on them of their own allegations. They are all invited to rebut Dr. Aziz when he quotes the principles from Quran and life of Muhammad.

This book is focused, easy to read and it grabs the attention of the seeker. It elucidates the pristine “Islamic Doctrine” that Robert Spencer is trying to smear. Its preface outlines the purpose of the book which reflects the ongoing debate about Islam. The preface is excerpted below:

This booklet has been compiled to refute the widely prevailing but misconceived notion that Islam is a violent, ferocious and intolerant religion, which calls upon its followers to wage unceasing war, called jihad, against those who do not accept it. It is alleged that Islam prohibits all freedom of religion, propagates its message by force, and coerces its followers by threat of the death penalty to remain within its fold. Another charge of the same kind is that Islam does not tolerate any criticism of its teachings and urges the faithful to kill anyone who speaks against it.

These misconceptions have aroused a great deal of hostility against Islam in the West, as well as alarm and fear, so much so that the Muslim religion is considered by many of its Western critics to be the gravest threat to civilisation which, they believe, they must counter and oppose by all available means. Unfortunately, some sections of Muslims, by their own intemperate words and actions, are reinforcing exactly this alarming image of Islam. The vast majority of Muslims do not, of course, accept these extreme doctrines but have generally not realised the urgent and vital necessity of making strong, sustained efforts to remove these grave slurs from the good name of Islam and its Prophet Muhammad.

This book clarifies the teachings of Islam on the main issues that are raised in this connection. Its arguments and conclusions are based, firstly, on the Holy Quran and, secondly, on the leading books of Hadith, these being collections of verified reports of statements and actions of the Prophet Muhammad by his contemporary followers. I have provided full references to the sources and have checked all the quotations given here directly in the original books. Existing translations of the quoted Arabic sources, when available, have been indispensable to me, but I have on occasion varied some of their wording for greater clarity or accuracy. Some material in this booklet has been revised from articles by myself that have been published during 2006.

I have attempted to confront, directly and honestly, the issues and objections involved, without trying to avoid any difficult questions or indulging in superficial propaganda.

In the light of the ongoing debate, the contents of the book are worth perusal by themselves:

1. Prophet Muhammad’s life — offering friendship and peace to the world

2. Freedom of religion in Islam

    No Compulsion in Religion
    Christians pray in Holy Prophet’s mosque
    Some passages of the Quran on how to preach Islam
    No punishment for apostasy
    Apostasy during war
    Apostasy in Hadith and classical Islamic jurisprudence

3. Islam’s teaching on response to abuse and mockery

    Quran teaches patience in response to verbal abuse
    More verses from the Quran
    Politely withdrawing from company of abusers
    Some incidents from the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s life

4. When is war allowed?

    War permitted in self-defence only
    Peace to be preferred
    Offering security to enemy who wishes to learn about Islam
    No change from tolerance in later revelations
    Relations of friendship with others

5. What is Jihad?

    Jihad to attain nearness to God
    Jihad of patience and endurance
    Jihad of propagating the message of Islam
    Jihad of war
    Conditions for a jihad by arms

6. Martyrdom

    What is martyrdom in Islam?
    Suicide is a sin in Islam, self-preservation is a duty
    Virgins in heaven as reward for martyrs?

7. Muslim anger

    Islam urges self-control of anger
    Justice above hatred
    Hadith on anger

8. The Bible and war

    God of war in the Bible
    Law of war in the Bible
    Instances of conduct of war in the Bible
    Jesus’ statements on peace
    Story of Samson and resemblance to 9/11

9. Muslims living with others

    Philosophical basis
    Legal basis
    Secular or non-Muslim rule
    Moral basis

10. Views of eminent scholars

    A. Yusuf Ali, M. Pickthall, M. Asad, T.B. Irving, Maulvi Chiragh Ali, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Justice Rahman, Dr G.W. Leitner, Sir T.W. Arnold

References:
Islam, Peace and Tolerance” – Dr. Zahid Aziz.
The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” – Michael H. Hart

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