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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


August 6th, 2011

Issue 3

Issue 3 [@ 5:10] Bat Ye’or, Author of The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam asserts: “The origins are, of course, in the Muslim desire to impose all over the world the only religion – the only just religion – which is Islam. And the suppression of all other religions in order to establish the rule of Allah over the whole earth. This is a religious duty, which binds the whole community, and which the Muslim community is obliged to impose because they are obliged to obey the order of Allah and this is the desire of Allah as expressed in the Koranic revelation.”

Rebuttal 3: Bat Ye’or in her baseless statement gives the impression that Muslims have a well defined plan (eerily similar to Zionists conspiracies) to dominate the world and the implied undercurrent is that Muslims have a God, Allah, apart from the rest of the world’s monotheist religions and in whose name they will use suppression, coercions and forced conversions to satisfy their desire for world dominance over other religions. She further alleges that such is the desire of Allah as revealed in Quran.

First of all, lets see what Quran has to say about exclusivity of Allah for Muslims to begin with:

2:139. Say, `Do you dispute with us with regard to Allâh, while He is our Lord and your Lord (as well). We shall be judged by our deeds, and you by your deeds, and to Him alone are we sincerely devoted.[Nooruddin]

Allah in Quran is God of all religions which are based upon Divine Messengers namely Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and possibly includes Zarathustra, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, Confucius as well. For a Muslim all places of worships are ultimately for the same God i.e. Allah:

22:40… cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques wherein the name of Allâh is mentioned very frequently…. [Noourddin]

As far as the human starting points of religions are concerned, it is just not a politically correct “tolerance” by Muslims towards them, but it is an article of faith to believe in all the prophets:

6:83. That was Our argument with which We equipped Abraham against his people. We raise, in degrees of rank, whom We will. Verily, your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.[Noourddin]

6:84. And We granted him Isaac and Jacob, each one We guided aright, and Noah did We guide before. And of his descendants, We guided David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron. In this way do We reward the performers of good to others.[Noourddin]

6:85. And (We guided) Zachariah, John, Jesus and Elias, every one (of them) was of the righteous.

6:86. And (We also guided) Ismâîl and Elisha and Jonah and Lot – and every one did We exalt above their people.[Noourddin]

6:87. And (We exalted men) from among their fathers and their descendants and their brethren. We chose them and We guided them along the exact right path.[Noourddin]

40:78. And indeed We have already sent (Our) Messengers before you. There are some of them whom We have mentioned to you and of them there are some whom We have not mentioned to you…[most likely Zarathustra, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Tao, Confucius, Socrates, to name a few – Peace be upon them][Noourddin]

Islam in the Quran traces its roots back to Noah and also refers to previous scriptures which have prophecies about it:

35:31. And the perfect Book which We have revealed to you is the lasting truth (itself and contains all that is required). It confirms the truth (of the prophecies about the advent of Islam contained in the revelations) that preceded it. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of His servants and a keen Observer (of them).

42:13. He has ordained for you the same course of faith as He enjoined on Noah (to adopt), and which We have revealed to you, and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it. (He ordains you) to establish obedience (to Allâh) and not to be divided (in sects) therein…

Thus, the above verses confirm the distinctly unifying principles of Islam for all the faiths in the world. No wonder one does not find Bible or Torah burning ceremonies in Islamic societies. Dr. Zahid Aziz in his book Islam, Peace and tolerance takes these ordinances further in the chapter “Freedom of Religion in Islam” which is excerpted below:

No Compulsion in Religion
The Holy Quran altogether excludes compulsion from the sphere of religion. It lays down in the clearest words:

There is no compulsion in religion — the right way is indeed clearly distinct from error.”— 2:256

In fact, the Holy Quran is full of statements showing that belief in this or that religion is a person’s own concern, and that he is given the choice of adopting one way or another. If he accepts the truth, it is for his own good, and that, if he sticks to error, it is to his own detriment. Some quotations to this effect are given below:

1. “The Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe and let him who please disbelieve.” — 18:29

2. “We have truly shown him (man) the way; he may be thankful or unthankful.” — 76:3

3. “Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord: so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever is blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a keeper over you.” — 6:104

4. “If you do good, you do good for your own souls. And if you do evil, it is for them.” — 17:7

The duty of the Messenger of Allah, and, following him, the duty of every Muslim, is only to deliver the message of truth and no more. This is indicated in the Holy Quran in passages such as the following:

1. “If they accept Islam, then indeed they follow the right way; and if they turn back, your duty (O Prophet) is only to deliver the message.” — 3:20

2. “And obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away, the duty of Our Messenger is only to deliver the message clearly.” — 64:12; see also 5:92

3. “Say (to people): Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away, he is responsible for the duty imposed on him, and you are responsible for the duty imposed on you. And if you obey him, you go aright. And the Messenger’s duty is only to deliver (the message) plainly.” — 24:54

4. “O people, the truth has indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever goes aright, goes aright only for the good of his own soul; and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And I am not a custodian over you.” — 10:108

5. “Surely We have revealed to you (O Prophet) the Book with truth for people. So whoever goes aright, it is for the good of his own soul, and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And you are not a custodian over them.” — 39:41

6. “We have not appointed you (O Prophet) a keeper over them, and you are not placed in charge of them.” — 6:107

7. “Your duty (O Prophet) is only the delivery of the message, and Ours (God’s) is to call (people) to account.” — 13:40

8. “And your people (O Prophet) call it (the message) a lie while it is the truth. Say (to them): I am not put in charge of you.” — 6:66

9. “And those who keep their duty (i.e., Muslims) are not accountable for them (i.e., the unbelievers) in any way,
but their duty is only to remind; perhaps they (the unbelievers) may become devout.” — 6:69

10. “And you (O Prophet) are not one to compel them. So remind by means of the Quran him who fears My warning.” — 50:45

The Quran tells us that it is in the natural order of things that while some people believe, others do not, and no human being can or should apply compulsion to others in this regard. The Holy Prophet Muhammad is told:

And if your Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Will you then force people till they are believers?” — 10:99

The above verse refers to the deep anxiety felt by the Holy Prophet that people should embrace the message brought by him. Elsewhere his feelings of pain are expressed as follows:

Then perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this message.” — 18:6

As the Holy Prophet was grieving and sorrowing over the fallen state of his deniers and their rejection of his message, and pleading day and night before God that the Almighty may bring them to the right guidance, he could not even conceive of resorting to coercion to compel them to accept him. A passage which recognizes that different people follow different religions is as below. It tells the whole of mankind:

“… for everyone of you We appointed a law and a way. And if Allah had pleased He would have made you one religious community, but He wishes to try you in what He has given you. So vie with one another in virtuous deeds. To Allah you will all return, and He will then tell you about your differences.” — 5:48

[Note to the reader – all verses in this section are from translation of Quran by Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz]

In the light of non-existence of dogmas in Islam in the matters of faith, one draws the logical conclusion that Bat Ye’or & Co. is more scared of deficiencies in their own faiths rather than the secular and moral strengths of Islam. So the problem is in their own ideologies which fears the arrival of a faith on their shores which inherently appeals to commonsense and it has the possibility of displacing their ancestral dogmas. In order to deflect the inevitable inter-faith dialogue and debate, they try to distract by political scare tactics as is obvious in the issue at hand.

The statement of Bat Ye’or which consists of unsubstantiated empty and generic words is reflective of her background that influences her allegations. According to Wikipedia, she was a Jewish citizen of Egypt, who along with her family was forced into exile after the Israel’s Suez invasion of 1956 against Egypt. She describes her experiences as:

“I had witnessed the destruction, in a few short years, of a vibrant Jewish community living in Egypt for over 2,600 years and which had existed from the time of Jeremiah the Prophet. I saw the disintegration and flight of families, dispossessed and humiliated, the destruction of their synagogues, the bombing of the Jewish quarters and the terrorizing of a peaceful population. I have personally experienced the hardships of exile, the misery of statelessness − and I wanted to get to the root cause of all this. I wanted to understand why the Jews from Arab countries, nearly a million, had shared my experience.”

Lets try to understand her experience. She has all praise above for Egyptians till 1956. But what happened after 1956? Of course, Israel invaded Egypt. What does she expect? Egypt did what Israel did to its native Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims. Anyone of them can describe their experiences in the words of Bat Ye’or:

“I had witnessed the destruction, in a few short years, of a vibrant Christian and Muslim community living in Israel for over 1,400 years and which had existed from the time of Muhammad the Prophet. I saw the disintegration and flight of families, dispossessed and humiliated, the destruction of their mosques, churches, the bombing of the Muslim and Christian quarters and the terrorizing of a peaceful population. I have personally experienced the hardships of exile, the misery of statelessness − and I wanted to get to the root cause of all this. I wanted to understand why the Christians and Muslims from Israel, many millions, had shared my experience.”

Wikipedia further brings to light her anti-Islam bias which is the core basis of her work that attracts the likes of Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes to her corner. In her works she totally glosses over the persecution of Jews in Europe and in the process tries to invent degrading Dhimmitude under Islam. She also coins the word Euroabia in which she cannot hide the racial dislike of Arabs and such coinage is nothing but to draw a wedge between natural inclinations of two worlds towards each other and she finds support from the above mentioned cohorts. Her Euroabia view is selective with blinders:

“Her most recent book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis explored the history of the relationship from the 1970s onwards between the European Union (previously the European Economic Community) and the Arab states, tracing what she saw as connections between radical Arabs and Muslims, on the one hand, and fascists, socialists and Nazis, on the other, in what she identified as a growing influence of Islam over European culture and politics.” [Wikipedia]

Interestingly, after the recent carnage of Christian terrorist in Norway, Der Spiegel draws exactly opposite conclusions from her:

“Islamophobic parties in Europe have established a tight network, stretching from Italy to Finland. But recently, they have extended their feelers to Israeli conservatives, enjoying a warm reception from members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition. Some in Israel believe that the populists are Europe’s future.”

Der Spiegel further explains the Islamophobes as:

“It is a document which has led many to question Breivik’s sanity. But it has also, due to its myriad citations and significant borrowing from several anti-immigration, Islamophobic blogs, highlighted the deeply entwined network of right-wing populist groups and parties across Europe — from the Front National in France to Vlaams Belang in Belgium to the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).”[Europe’s Right-Wing Populists Find Allies in Israel] These are the parties of Nazis and Fascists.

Clearly her theses has a political and racial agenda and her conspiratorial scholarship falls on its face in the light of facts on ground. No wonder she is one of the participants of the documentary under discussion.
With the above background out of the way, her statement about Islam in the issue at hand if looked at from agenda of American Enterprise Institute (AEI) whose goal was democratization of Middle East solely to protect Israeli interests can be rephrased again in the words of Bat Ye’or:

“The origins are, of course, in the AEI and Israel desire is to impose all over the world the only ideology – the only just ideology – which is western pro-Israeli democracy. And the suppression of all other systems in order to establish the rule of West over the whole earth. This is a religious duty, which binds the whole community, and which the anti-Islamic community is obliged to impose because they are obliged to obey the order of Israel and this is the desire of Israel as expressed in the Zionist revelation.”

It would be injustice to the very institution of knowledge to give her and her cohorts any status of a scholar.

When Bat Ye’or rants of a Muslim desire to impose Islam over the whole world, she naturally provokes a thought in a critical audience i.e. how does she know? She, in her own words, was forced exiled from a Muslim country at a young age. According to Wikipedia and other web sources, she was “stateless.” Then what Muslim institutions or societies is she privy to that no one else knows of? But on the reverse, the financial institutions, weapon manufacturers, currency and stock markets, news and print media do have the power to dominate regions and the world. Now the question to her is who owns such institutions and where are those institutions located? Who trades in them and what races and religions own them? If she has a question, then that’s where the answer is. Her blatant accusations are nothing but conspiracy theories that serve certain interests who historically have wronged the Muslims globally and regionally.

When she talks of global domination of Islam, at least she cannot allege domination by a particular race or region, as Islam, in its very identity, is independent of such factors. The factors that she cannot claim such freedom from for herself. On the contrary, her fears are factually found in Christian history where Christianity was lead by military boots on the ground of European powers in North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Ironically, in the world history, no religion other than Christianity was spread by sword. Yet this historical fact has been openly denied and intentionally suppressed. At the same time, it is an interesting fact that only in Spain there were forced conversions of monotheist religions i.e. Islam and Judaism to another “monotheist” religion i.e. Christianity. Another interesting fact to note is that despite colonization of the world, Christianity was not able to take a foot hold in Muslim lands or minds. Why? Obviously, it had nothing better to offer despite its material appeal. But in present West and its natural rejection of its dogmas of the past, Islam appears quite appealing to its mind. And that is scary for populists like Bat Ye’or, whose empty allegations against Islam are clear proofs of either their having not read Quran or their deliberate distortions of Quran. Their insecurity stems from the fact that their scriptures stand no chance against the logic and principles of Quran. It is no surprise that they cannot cite their scriptures in support of their arguments. Instead they try to deflect the argument by focusing on that Muslim behavior which is in direct contradiction of Quran to degrade Islam. There are many positive things which are exclusive domain of Muslim world e.g. stable family structure, less prevalence of HIV and alcoholism etc. To them, war and not peace is a natural state of the world.

If she is scared of Islam, then that’s where she is absolutely wrong. Islam is not a racially or regionally segregated dogma and unlike the biblical religions it is neither rigidly stuck in time, rituals, mythologies or hierarchy. Islam and Quran will never shy away from a fair debate for its natural appeal to any seeker of morality and spirituality based upon reason and practicality. If she ever approaches Islam minus her ancestral bias, she might find Islam not too unappealing. Now that is scary. Is it so?

References:

Bat Ye’or – Wikipedia
Islam, Peace and Tolerance – Dr. Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
The Likud Connection – Europe’s Right-Wing Populists Find Allies in Israel – Der Spiegel
What is a neo-conservative anyway? – Asia Times

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