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Archive for August, 2011

How Pakistan was created?

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


Historian Jafar Hasan Zaidi authored new book in Urdu ‘How Pakistan was created?’ (Pakistan Kasay Banna?).

Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement members know very well that idea of Pakistan was conceived in the drawing room of Woking Muslim Mission (started by Khawaja Kamal ud Din sahib) in England. During the discussion Chaudhry Rehmat Ali sahib came up with idea and wrote a pamphlet.
Read article available on LAM official website:

Woking Muslim Mission’s Role in the Creation of Pakistan:
by Khwaja Salahuddin Ahmad (son of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din)
Ch. Rehmat Ali got his spark of inspiration in the Drawing Room of the Mission House, Woking
The Light, 16th January 1966 / Reprinted in The Light & Islamic Review: Vol.74, No. 4, July-August 1997, pages 5-8

See also articles under: http://www.ahmadiyya.org/pakistan/intro.htm

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s history has been distorted ever since its creation, more so during the administration of military dictator General Zia ul Haq. History is distorted to make point that it was Sir Dr. Muhammad Iqbal who saw “dream of Pakistan”.

Jafar Hasan Zaidi has given interview to BBC online. At time 5 minutes he tells that it is a lie that Dr. Muhammad Iqbal conceived the idea of Pakistan. Rather he was against it. And it was Chaudhry Rehmat Ali who conceived idea of Pakistan.

Link to BBC on line interview of Jafar Hasan Zaidi:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/multimedia/2011/08/110813_hassan_jaffer_a.shtml

Issue 7

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Issue 7 [@ 7:13]  Walid Shoebat, Author – Why I left Jihad, alleges: “Muhammad, the prophet of Islam wiped out all of Jews of Saudi Arabia. There were three tribes, Banu-Nadir [also pronounced as Banu-Nazir], Banu-Qainqah, Banu-Quriaza. We were probably studying this in school Muhammad the prophet of Islam ordered the beheading of the Jews of Banu-Quraiza and the women being taken as concubines. As soon a child had pubic hair, he was beheaded. So the Jewish population was either extradited or beheaded. The story of Rabia Kanina is a well known documented story in Islam. Rabia Kanina was tortured by the order of the prophet of Islam himself. His eyes were put out. He was burned in order to confess where the Jewish tribes were hiding their goods, their gold and silver all those kind of things. And this is right from the Hadith [But which Hadith? no authority presented]. This inspired us the Palestinians, inspired us in fighting Jihad against the Jews in Palestine.”

 Slide show: “Authoritative Islamic History – The Life of Muhammad / Sirat Rasul Allah. By Muhammad bin Ishaq (d 773 AD). Edited by Abdul Malik bin Hisham (d 840 AD). Translated by Prof Alfred Guillaume (1955). — “Then they [Quraizah tribe] surrendered and the Apostle confined them in Medina…Then the Apostle went out to the market of Medina and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches…There were 600 or 700 hundred in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.

Rebuttal 7:
Any child can read a text, but one needs a scholar to read it critically and if found ambiguous or contradicting, then such a scholar should ethically reject it. But these bigots lack scholarship to begin with. Their only merit is hate-mongering and deceit. Please read Background to fully understand this blatant distortion before reading further.

Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat begets a fundamental correction. His manuscript was lost. Ibn Hisham then wrote it again on hearsay about fifty years later. Essentially, what these bigots are quoting is a misquote to begin with i.e. they quote Ibn Hisham while calling it Ibn Ishaq’s work to give it credibility, but for the sake of this rebuttal we give them this room.

The “odd tales” of Banu Qurayzah’s “massacre” at the hands of Muslims for their sedition in the Battle of Trench is dealt with by Barakat Ahmad in his book “Muhammad and the Jews: A Re-Examination” which is excerpted below.

Besides, the three main Jewish tribes of Banu Qainqah, Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayzah who were exiled by then, there were other Jewish groups in Medina that are identified in Sahifa i.e. compact of Medina namely – Jews of Bani Al-Najjar, Bani Al Harith, Bani Saeeda, Bani Jusham, Bani Al Aws, Thaalba, and the Jaffna, (a clan of the Bani Thaalba) and the Bani Al Shutayba. [Constitution of Medina]. This compact essentially was the basis of ummah which included all monotheists of Medina and was updated after the expulsion of Banu Qurayza from the city.

By estimates of Barakat Ahmad the sum total of all the above Jewish tribes and groups was about 36,000 to 42,000 Jews in Medina at the time of arrival of Muhammad [Muhammad and the Jews – pg 36]. Even if half were sent into exile we are still left with about twenty thousands who would have witnessed the event under discussion. Besides Medina, there was a whole city of Jews namely Khaibar [also written as Khaybar] just ninety-five miles north of Medina which just by its proximity could not had escaped the news of the time.

With these thousands of remaining Jews in Medina besides others in its vicinity brings up the fundamental questions as to why Jewish history is silent about the alleged massacre? Why Ibn Ishaq was only able to take the accounts from the descendants of Banu Qurayzah alone? Why does he not quote chain of authorities? Barakat Ahmad sums up his analysis as follows:

Of all historical ‘facts’, stories of massacres and mass executions and murders are most susceptible to doubt and the most likely to prove either pure fabrications or high exaggerations. lbn Ishaq and to a lesser degree, al-Waqidi and Ibn Sa’d and their predecessors or al-Zuhri and Musa bin Uqbah remembered, noted and reproduced what they considered to be significant facts. Events and details which are significant from our point of view were probably not of any consequence to them. They were not of any importance to the Jews either. [Were] There were no Jewish historians and writers, no correspondents, no travelers who carried the tales of the misfortunes of the Jews of the Hijaz when these tragic events were taking place.[?] It is improbable and difficult, however, to believe that in the second and third centuries of Islam when Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa’d were collecting their material, the learned rabbis of the Gaonate and the Exilarchate of Babylon were unable to obtain the Jewish version of the events which had a profound influence on the life of the Jewish community of the Hijaz at the time of the Apostle. It is not normal with the Jews not to record their misfortunes. The Jews of Khaybar reported to be expelled by Umar were settled in Kufa, which was not very far from the Gaonate. They were the descendants of the B. al-Nadir and the children of the B. Qurayzah; Jewish scholars could gather their material from them. Samuel Usque’s book A Consolation for the Tribulations of Israel – Third Dialogue is a sixteenth-century classic of Jewish martyrology. This “deft painter of Jewish suffering”, who “caused the long procession of Jewish history to file past the tearful eyes of his contemporaries, in all its sublime glory and abysmal tragedy” [ibid – translated by Gershon I. Gelbart, New York, 1964 – pg 16] reports neither the expulsion of the B. Qaynuqa and the B. al-Nadir nor the execution of the B. Qurayzah. Jewish history up to Geiger’s time (1833) seems to be free of these stories. [Muhammad and the Jews – pg 24]

As far as the validity of Ibn Ishaq reporting is concerned, suffice is to pay close attention to analysis of Barakat Ahmad:

Ibn Ishaq had no direct knowledge of the events and in view of the self-contradictory nature of the accounts one would have expected that he would either qualify his statements or absolve himself of the responsibility of reporting something of which he either had no direct knowledge or which he thought was of a doubtful nature. In all other doubtful cases he normally uses phrases such as “in what has reached” or “it was mentioned to me” or he would simply finish a story by adding that God knows best what happened. lbn Ishaq does not show this caution and scrupulousness in his account of the B. Qurayzah” [Muhammad and the Jews – pg 16]

Barakat Ahmad further gives the reverse view of the event by its absence from other contemporary scrupulous sources of Islam:

It is significant that neither aI-Bukhari nor Muslim reported any Tradition on the actual execution of Sa’d’s judgment. Since they did not report how Sa’d’s judgment was carried out they also did not report on the number of people killed or taken prisoner. [Muhammad and the Jews – pg 88]

Besides the event itself, Barakat Ahmad also draws attention to the property of Banu Qurayzah in that its distribution and taxation which would had formed the basis of future jurisprudence is absent from the works of Imam Shafi, Abu Yusuf and Yahya b. Adam, whose own works are based upon authentic traditions and well-established precedents as they “did not consider either Ibn Ishaq’s account or the current qass material reliable” [Muhammad and the Jews, pg 89]

The ridiculousness of Ibn Ishaq’s account is quite evident in the following excerpts:

The first part of Ibn Ishaq’s story gives us a picture of demoralized people trying to avoid fighting at any cost; the second part paints for us a picture of heroes ready to die for their faith. Walking in a flowered robe in which he had made holes so that no one might take it as spoil, Huyayy b. Akhtab addressed the Apostle:

“By God, I do not blame myself for opposing you, but he who forsakes God will be forsaken.”

The discrepancies in Ibn Ishaq’s account do not end here. The B. Qurayzah lived at a six to seven hours walking distance from Medina [According to Ibn Ishaq, the Muslims left Medina at noontime and reached the B. Qurayzah after the last evening prayers. Ibn Hisham. p. 685.] On surrender they were brought to Medina and kept in a house. The next morning trenches were dug in the market place to bury the executed people. It is surprising that a general of the Apostle’s astute knowledge of strategy and logistics would have brought nearly five thousand captives nine hundred of them to be slain all the way to Medina and bury them right in the middle of the town. It would have been far better, safer and more efficient to make short shrift of them outside their forts, and then to take only the women and children to Medina. The problem of the security of prisoners, and of sanitation in Medina, would have been solved. If they had to he marched to Medina then there was a ready-made trench which was dug outside Medina only a month back [i.e. many miles long trench in the battle of Trench]. It was not far.

Since the captives included women, children, and old and sick people they must have walked to Medina at a much slower pace ten to eleven hours. Neither during this march nor during their captivity in the house of Binth aI-Harith did any incident take place. No one tried to escape except Amr b. Sauda al-Qurazi, and no one accepted Islam to save his life except Rifaa b. Samaw’al al-Qurazi. It was both a tame and a brave crowd. If the story is true the martyrs who fell under Bar Kochba (A.D. 132) against overwhelming odds were nothing in comparison to the martyrs of the B. Qurayah.

The disposal of nine hundred bodies did not seem to have posed any problems. The trenches neatly dug were filled by the same night.

There was apparently a complete absence of any sentiment among the Muslims who watched this execution. It must have been a shattering experience for many and an unforgettable event even for those who thought it to be fully justified. Several heart-rending incidents must have taken place during the day; some must have tried to struggle and run, others would have uttered words of dismay and repentance, and there must have been many who either did not die at the first blow, or died of fright even before the executioner’s sword struck. Swords must have blunted and broken. Ali and Zubayr, who were the executioners, must have faced several problems, and witnessed many facets of human nature on that day. But neither Ali nor Zubayr, in fact no one, ever later mentioned anything about his experience of this execution.

A detailed scrutiny indicates that the whole story of this massacre is of a very doubtful nature. As Ibn Khaldun has pointed out “the rule of distinguishing what is true from what is false in history is based on its possibility or impossibility” [R. A. Nicholson, A Literary History of Arabs (Repr. Cambridge, 1966, p. 438]. We have already pointed out that Medina in the Apostle’s time was not equipped to imprison four to five thousand people and execute 600 to 900 people in a day. Killing such a large number of people and disposing of the dead bodies created problems even for Nazi Germany, with hydrogen cyanide [Raul Hilberg, ed. Documents of Destruction: Germany and Jewry 1933-1945 (Chicago, 1971), p. 219.] as an efficient lethal agent. A massacre in the midst of a town where people live is very different from a massacre in a town which is being sacked by a conquering army marching onwards from town to town with dead bodies left to make it uninhabitable.

Under these conditions it is almost impossible that the people of Medina should have escaped typhoid, typhus, both epidemic and endemic, influenza, diarrhoea and above all cholera. As regards the dead bodies the infection would depend on the animals and birds having access to the remains. But even if there were only flies, and the people whose corpses were lying there had all been healthy, the proliferation of agents, especially bacterial agents, after death would have been a health hazard, since the healthy may be carriers of dangerous diseases such as meningococcus.

Discussing the mass execution of the B. Qurayzah under “the alleged moral failures” of the Apostle, Watt has remarked:

This may seem incredible to the Europeans, but that is in itself a measure of remoteness of the moral ideals of ancient Arabia from ours. [Watt, Muhammad at Medina, p. 327]

But the effects of such a mass execution on the spectators and executioners is not related to moral values – ancient or modern. The human psyche, as is well known to students of psychology may have nothing to do with a sense of duty, or political and religious obligations. Executioners, grave diggers, undertaker deal with death in the ordinary course of life as an honest and moral profession, nevertheless this continuous association with death creates suffering and tenor of blood guilt [Barbara Levy, Legacy of Death (Englewoods Cliffs, N.J., 1974)]. No one could come out of such a holocaust – 600 to 900 killed in void blood in one day—without damage to his personality. Ali’s and Zubayr’s holocaust legacy of massive deadness would not have left them in peace. Though Zubayr’s life is not fully known to us, we do know well enough about the life of the fourth Caliph of Islam. His sermons, letters, political discourses and sayings collected in Najm al-Balaghah do not reflect experience of such a mass execution. His scruples in “retaliation” among other aspects of his personality “cannot be disregarded for the understanding that it affords of his psychology” [L. Veccia Vaglieri, “Ali b. Abi Talib”, Encyclopaedia of Islam, (2) Vol. 1, p. 385]. After his ‘victory at the camel’, “he tried to relieve the distress of the vanquished by preventing the enslavement of their women and children, in face of the protests of a group of his partisans: when battles ended, he showed his grief, wept for the dead, and even prayed over his enemies” [ibid – L. Veccia Vaglieri]. Ali was a brave soldier, not a hardhearted executioner. Ali’s partner in the execution, al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam, was also renowned for gallantry and took part in all the great battles and campaigns of the Apostle’s lifetime. The very idea of such a massacre by persons who neither before nor after the killing showed any sign of a dehumanised personality is inadmissible from a psychological point of view. [Muhammad and the Jews, pg 84-87]

Barakat Ahmad further analyzes the self-contradictory exaggeration of Ibn Ishaq about the captives of Banu Qurayzah:

The story that the captive women and children of the B. Qurayzah were sent to the Najd to be sold For horses and weapons does not agree with the practice [Ibn Hisham, p. 693]. The Jews always bought their captives from Arabs after every skirmish [Ibn Hisham, p. 253]. The Jews of Khaybar, including the B. al-Nadir, Wãdi al-Qura, Taymã’, and even Medina itself were capable of buying these captives and, as al-Waqidi says, they bought them [Al-Waqidi, Vol II, pp. 522-24]. The Muslims, if interested in the money at all, were interested in it to buy weapons and horses. It made no difference to them if the captives were sold in the Najd or Khaybar. In fact it seemed to be far more convenient to sell them in the Hijaz than to travel with such a large number of captives to the Najd. [Muhammad and the Jews, pg 88-89]

After clearing the above dross around the event, Barakat Ahmad then lays out the actual event:

After their defeat they surrendered to the Apostle. A party (fariq) from among them who had fought but not taken a leading part was taken prisoner [33:26. And He brought down from their strongholds those of the people of the Scripture (- the Jews of Madînah, the perfidious Banû Quraizâh) who had backed them (-the invading enemies). He inspired awful terror into their hearts (so much so that) some of them you were able to slay and others you could take as captives.- Noouruddin]. The leaders of the B. Qurayzah were, however, left to the judgment of Sa’d b. Mu’adh. There are indications that the sentencing of these leaders was done right on the spot. As al-Samhudi has pointed out, S’ad was brought to the Qurayzah mosque and not to the mosque of Medina [Al-Samhudi, Vol III, p. 824. The place where the Apostle prayed during the siege was converted into a mosque.]. The Hadith in both al-Bukhari and Muslim suggests that Sa’d, who was mortally wounded in the battle, went to a mosque. His tent was so close to the Apostle’s mosque in Medina that in his grave condition it was not necessary to bring him there. Sa’d decreed that the combatants from among the leaders should be executed. Probably the main leaders included old men and ordained priests, who were not combatants, hence the word ‘combatants’. This party (fariq) was not brought to Medina but was beheaded [The Quran, Al-Ahzab, 26, “You slew a party”.] at the spot. The leaders, Huyayy b. Aktab, Ka’b b. Asad [Al-Waqidi, Vol. II p. 516.]. Nabbash b. Qays and Ghazzal b. Samawal were executed by Ali and Zubayr [Al-Waqidi, p. 513.]. In conformity with the policy adopted by the Apostle that executions should be carried out by a member of the tribe who is in alliance with the tribe of the guilty party minor leaders were handed over to the Aws. Two of the condemned were given to each of the clans or sub-clans of the Aws; (i) Abd al-Ashhal; (ii) Harithah; (iv) Zafar; (iv) Muawiyah; (v)Amar b. Awf; and (vi) Umayyah bin Zayd, so that all the clans were involved in the blood of the B. Qurayzah [Ibn Hisham, p. 554, Al-Waqidi, pp. 515-16.], The culpable leadership of it tribe of 600 to 900 men; especially when some of them have already been killed in the battle and one group has been taken captive would not normally exceed sixteen, or seventeen accounted for in the above analysis, The decision to help the Ahzab [the confederates] must have been taken by the leaders and the elders of the B. Qurayzah. The whole tribe could not be given the same punishment that was in store for their leaders. The Apostle himself was bound by the Quranic maxim of just retribution; “an eye for an eye and a life for a life’ [Al-Baqarah 2:178].This principle, as we have shown earlier [Supra, Chapter II], had been agreed upon both by the Muslims and the Jews, for we find it formalized in the Sahifah: “a person acquires guilt against himself” [Ibn Hisham, p. 344. also: Constitution of Medina]. [Muhammad and the Jews, pg 90-92]

With regards to what happened to the rest of the Banu Qurayzah minus the sixteen or seventeen, we are left with following information:

The Quran mentions only two groups which were punished: one was executed and the other was taken captive. Unfortunately Ibn Isbãq and other magazhi writers were not interested in those members of the B. Qurayzah who were not punished. Some of them might have stayed behind others (as Jabal b. Jawwal al-Thalabi said) might have migrated:

O Sa’d, Sa’d of B. Mu’adh
For What befell Qurayzah and al-Nadir
By thy life, Sa’d of B. Mu’adh
The day they departed was indeed steadfast.
[Ibn Hisham, p. 713, Guillaume’s translation]

[Muhammad and the Jews, pg 93]

As to the hypothesis of why an event, if true, disappeared after a blip in the narration of exaggerated history, Barakat Ahmad puts forth a plausible theory:

It is reasonable to conclude that is minor and unimportant incident in which probably Sa’d b. Mu’adh was involved in dealing with the B. Qurayzah was blown up out of proportion by pro-Umayyad Tradition collectors. In course of time while the tahkim [meaning – in the absence of both a regular guardian and of any regular Judge, a party agrees to empower someone with adequate knowledge of the the law to act for it] controversy became irrelevant due to the Abbasid revolution, the reason for investing this minor incident with the force of an important precedent was also forgotten. The incident of the B. Qurayzah [Ibn Hisham, pp. 423-27] occurred before the armistice of Hudaybiyah and the peace with Khaybar were achieved. It is impossible that the pagans and the munafiqun, would have remained muted. When Jahsh violated the sacred month and shed blood therein, when the palms of the B. al-Nadir were burnt, when the Apostle married the divorced wife of his adopted son, the people criticised and the Qur’án defended the Apostle [Ibn Hisham, pp. 654]. It is improbable that the Apostle’s critics would have paid less attention to the lives of the B. Qurayzah than to the palms of the B. al-Nadir. That the news of this “massacre” did not reach Syria, which included Jerusalem and Adhraat, with which the Medina Jews had contacts, and the Exilarchate in Iraq, which exercised religious authority over them, is highly unlikely. [Muhammad and the Jews, pg 93-94]

W. N. Arafat in his research paper draws up close parallels in the “odd tales” of Banu Qurayzah and that of Masada, which is excerpted below:

Important details of the two stories are remarkably similar, particularly the numbers of those killed. At Masada the number of those who died at the end was 960 [De bello Judaico, VII, 9, 1. ]. The hot-headed sicarii who were eventually also killed numbered 600 [De bello Judaico, VII, 10, 1.]. We also read that when they reached the point of despair they were addressed by their leader Eleazar (precisely as Ka’b b. Asad addressed the Banu Qurayza)[Sira, 685-6/II, 235-6.], who suggested to them the killing of their women and children. At the ultimate point of complete despair the plan of killing each other to the last man was proposed.

Clearly the similarity of details is most striking. Not only are the suggestions of mass suicide similar but even the numbers are almost the same. Even the same names occur in both accounts. There is Phineas, and Azar b. Azar [Sira, 352, 396/I, 514, 567.], just as Eleazar addressed the Jews besieged in Masada.

There is, indeed, more than a mere similarity. Here we have the prototype – indeed, I would suggest, the origin of the story of Banu Qurayza, preserved by descendants of the Jews who fled south to Arabia after the Jewish Wars, just as Josephus recorded the same story for the Classical world. A later generation of these descendants superimposed details of the siege of Masada on the story of the siege of Banu Qurayza, perhaps by confusing a tradition of their distant past with one from their less remote history. The mixture provided Ibn Ishaq’s story. When Muslim historians ignored it or transmitted it without comment or with cold lack of interest, they only expressed lack of enthusiasm for a strange tale, as Ibn Hajar called it.

One last point. Since the above was first written, I have seen reports [The Times, 18 August 1973; and The Guardian, 20 August 1973.] of a paper given in August 1973 at the World Congress of Jewish Studies by Dr. Trude Weiss-Rosmarin, in which she challenges Josephus’ assertion that 960 besieged Jews committed suicide at Masada. This is highly interesting since in the story of Qurayza the 960 or so Jews refused to commit suicide. Who knows, perhaps the Story of Banu Qurayza is an even more accurate form of the original version.

References:

Muhammad and the Jews: A Re-Examination – Barakat Ahmad
Constitution of Medina – Wikisource
New Light on the Story of Banū Qurayẓa and the Jews of Medina – W. N. Arafat
(From publisher, from others)

Note to Reader: The investigative reporting of CNN about Mr. Walid Shoebat might be of value to anyone interested – Part – 1, Part – 2

Issue 6

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Issue 6 [@ 6:43]: Robert Spencer gives a background to Muslim behavior – “In Islamic theology the prophet Muhammad is considered Al-Insan-al-Kamil which is the perfect man. He is the model par excellence to be imitated. He is the person that the more a Muslim is like him the better off he is. So the prophet Muhammad is revered today in the Islamic world as the primary model of human behavior.”

Comment 6: Even though Robert Spencer by above statement is setting a stage for his smear later in the movie, but factually he is correct. Many authors, Muslims and non-Muslims could be quoted who expounded this statement. For now we will read from Khwaja Kamaluddin.

Khwaja Kamaluddin in his book “The Ideal Prophet” [pub. 1925], in the chapter “Prophets of God as Ideals” outlines the philosophy of prophet-hood and the ideal therein, which is excerpted below:

A Muslim must believe in the Divine origin of every great religion. He must believe that Prophets were given to every nation and that all the Prophets of God were entitled to equal respect, and he must not make any distinctions between them. The position is logically tenable as well. We are composed of body and soul. Both should be equally nourished by our Creator. If in His physical dispensation to minister to our physical needs He has made no difference between man and man, shall He then be partial in His spiritual Providence? If His message through Jesus could not reach the four corners of the world – even now there are millions whom it has not reached – would the Sustainer of all the human race suffer those waiting multitudes to starve for lack of spiritual food? No. He sends His message to them through other Divine messengers; and this it is that explains the existence of so many religions in the world.

These Messengers from Above brought Divine lore and illuminated the world. They were the teachers, and the models for the practice of the tenets they inculcated in their people, under Divine guidance. But their contemporaries did not keep full records of the words and deeds of these masters. Whatever has come down has been merely hearsay, giving such ample occasion for adulteration that within the space of a century each religion had suffered in its purity. Coming generations were given a religion which was never taught by the Master, and in the case of Christianity, I may say, not even imagined by the Founder. This paucity of contemporary records of the various Teachers has led to a further difficulty. None of the old religions possess enough material to meet the needs of the day, and the world in general has been left to its own judgement on many vital matters of life.

Christianity is a case in point; if we leave aside the mystical side of the creed, the sermons and other utterances of Jesus do not come up to our demands. His teachings, as recorded, give a general outline of a religion of Love and Kindliness, and that again in an idealistic way, that hardly suits the practical side of life; and this is not all, as Arnold Bennett rightly says. The ideals of Jesus tend, rather more than less, to influence the individual towards the life of a recluse. They do not fit in with social or national life. They have no bearing on International relations.

There is, moreover, a sort of discrepancy between the various utterances of Jesus and his recorded actions which does not help us in understanding his precepts. They in a way are contrary to his own teachings. The root of all is that his disciples or other contemporaries did not leave us an adequate record of his life. Such has been the case with the other Prophets of God.

“Unlike all other Prophets, whose proper likeness is concealed from us in a mist of reverence, Muhammad is a clear historic character, the numberless details of whose conduct and demeanour are recorded for us by his own contemporaries.”[Marmaduke Pickthall]

Muhammad is the only Prophet who may be called historic in the true sense of the word. From his childhood to his death, most of his life – and especially the period of his ministry as a Prophet – is on record. I know more of him than I know of my own parents in many respects; and is it not a wonderful thing that, with all our knowledge of him, he commands our respect and admiration? I cannot say what would be our estimate of others had we known more of them. The lives of other Prophets are enshrouded in mystery and myth; we know very little of their daily life, they speak like oracles; and are tolerable only when considered as subjects of fiction; but Muhammad is more definitely historic than any personality in history. It is indeed wonderful how little his detractors find to use against him in all this mass of evidence.

Herein lies the superiority of the Holy Prophet, and for this, among many other things, we accept him as the Ideal Prophet. The record of his words and deeds is complete, and his precepts and examples stand in complementary relation to each other, as if every need of the human soul has been anticipated and every contingency of human existence provided for in the mirror of his life. As a Muslim I cannot say that other Prophets of God did not perfect their mission. I only say that we find very little in their record to help us. They must have done that for which they were sent; but their historians have not been faithful. In the matter of this dearth of record of the world’s Prophets, I am constrained to remark that had it not been for Muhammad we would not have been able to appreciate the Divine institution of Prophethood. If a Prophet comes only to read homilies on morality, while he himself in his life does nothing to raise humanity, but simply reiterates in a different accent the lesson taught by others before him, I fail to understand the necessity of his Divine Mission. We can learn the same from those who did not claim to have been raised up by God. [pg 25-28, emphasis added]

A few prayers and a few curses, or a few sermons and a few miracles, do not make up the whole furniture of a Prophet; much more than this is needed to make a Prophet of a man. A Prophet comes to resuscitate humanity when – death mental, moral and spiritual death – has overtaken it; he comes with high principles, acts upon them himself, and leads other to do likewise; he thus brings reanimation to his environment. In a word, he comes to evolve humanity, a problem of a very complex nature. Humanity has very many sides – physical, emotional, sentimental, social, moral, mental and spiritual. They all are mixed with each other; they are complementary to each other for their existence and growth; they serve each other reciprocally in performing their respective functions. We cannot neglect one for the benefit of another. For instance, we hear much said against our low passions. We are advised to crush them. But that would be unnatural. These passions are in their evolutionary state; they are the bedrock of high morality, and germinate spirituality. A Prophet must have regard to them all. He must evolve a system that may bring every human instinct into proper play, and control every faculty in a way that may raise humanity and enable man to reflect Divine morality, as I said in these pages elsewhere.

Elsewhere, I have summed up some of the special and exclusive achievements of the Prophet Muhammad, and the unique service he rendered to humanity in such a capacity. His achievements are the achievements of a Prophet. I do not find them in the life of other Prophets, probably on account of the two causes mentioned above. But if we Muslims accept Muhammad as the Ideal Prophet, it is in his representative character as well. Every Prophet of God was an Ideal, and came as a model, to be imitated by the people he was raised up among, and he would be the same ideal to all coming generations, if we were in possession of his full record and if he had the necessary opportunities for the display of various virtues which he undoubtedly possessed but was unable to put into practice for want of an opportunity. But as things stand, we look only to Muhammad as such a Prophet. In him we find every requisite of a Prophet. He assembles in him all that was individually possessed by the other Prophets. He collects in himself all that we want to see in a Prophet. Salawatu- ‘l-Lahi ‘alaihi wa ‘ala alihi – the blessings of God be upon him and his followers. [pg 31-32]

Khwaja Kamaluddin’s book “The Ideal Prophet” needs a review as it preempts and unhinges the rest of the movie for its allegations against Muhammad. The contents of the book by themselves make the case for the Ideal Prophet and are worth perusal below:

Foreword – by Lord Headley
Introduction
Pen Portrait of the Holy Prophet
Gods-Incarnate as Human Ideals
Sermon and Sacrament
The Prophets of God as Ideals
Before Muhammad
The Ideal Call
The Ideal Personality
The Ideal Character
The Ideal Success
The Ideal Teacher of Religion

Object of Religion
The Muslim Conception of Heaven
God Our Prototype
Morality A Reflection of Divine Attributes
Muslim Prayer
Muslim Formula of Life
Formula for Greeting
No Intermediary Between Man and God
Monotheism in its Purest Form
Object of Monotheism
God Not Impersonal
Human Capabilities and Sinlessness of Nature
The Problem of Good and Evil
Universal Brotherhood
Universalism
All Prophets Sinless
Complete Religious Tolerance
Right Use of the Sword
Equality of Man and Elevation of Womanhood
Marriage Ennobled
Polygamy
Slavery Abolished
Drink and Gambling
Respect for Learning and Logic
Universality of Teachings
A Liveable Religion

The Ideal Expounder
The Ideal Exemplar

Keeping of Promise
Doing Justice
Sacrificial Spirit
Fairness in Dealing
Disregard of Distinction
The Prophet Discouraged undue Reverence
Modesty, Leniency, Shyness and Humility
Praise Discouraged
Sublimity of Manner

The Assemblage of Virtues

Benevolence
Bravery
Forgiveness
Humility of Mind
The Prophet would do the work of others
Exchange of Presents
His Aversion for Beggary
Hospitality

References:
The Ideal Prophet – Khwaja Kamaluddin

Issue 5

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Issue 5 [@ 6:35]: Part 1 of 6 – A slide is shown with Kalima Shahada – “THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH AND MUHAMMAD IS PROPHET”

Comment 5: Please note this is not a rebuttal but an agreement with the above slide with the following elaboration:

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah
“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”

This declaration also known as Kalima Shahada is the fundamental oath of a Muslim. It identifies the source of belief (Allah) and the messenger (Muhammad).

By declaring Allah as one’s only God, one is barred from taking others as gods, including any person, entity or resource. Along the same lines, it prevents one from thinking or acting like a god towards others, yet, the very objective of Islam is to revive godly attributes in oneself. This declaration fundamentally makes one humble, unburdening one from the shackles of arrogance, myths and fears, thus unleashing human potentials.

By declaring Muhammad the Messenger, the oath assigns human status to Muhammad and prevents the Muslims from attributing super human qualities to him. In other religions, their followers, out of love for their respective messengers, coupled with their ancestral and inherent idolatrous traditions, over a period of time started attributing godliness to their messengers. The Muslim oath preserves the fundamental immaculate monotheistic nature of Islam.

Roots of Pakistani Christians

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


The British Empire after militarily conquering India and taking power from Muslims changed its tactics to rule her subjects, especially Muslims. In order to rule India perpetually in a peaceful manner they launched missionary efforts with aim to convert Muslims of India to Christianity. It was good luck of Indian Muslims that Allah SWT appointed his Mujaddid of 14th Islamic Hijra Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, who with power of his pen, and employing tactics introduced to India by missionaries i.e. debates, discussions, publications, announcements, seminars prevented Christians missionaries to have significant success in converting Muslims to Christians. Had it not been the case, today, a high proportion of Pakistani Muslims, especially in Punjab, would be Christians.
As Christian Missionaries failed in their mission they turned their focus on Hindus.

Dil Nawaz, a researcher on religion and minorities’ rights at the National University of Ireland writes in his article, published on Pak Tea House blog:
“Pakistan’s approximately 2.8 million Christians constitute about 2 percent of the country’s 180 million people and are most concentrated in the province of Punjab. Christians are split evenly between Catholics and Protestants. Almost all embraced Christianity in mass conversions from Hinduism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in an effort to escape their status as “untouchables” (now referred to as Dalits).”

I hope opponents of HMGA, who accuse him of failing in his mission of preventing Muslims conversion to Christianity, can learn truth from Mr. Dil Nawaz.

Link to Dil Nawaz article:
Pakistani Christians and the Myth of Clash of Civilizations
http://pakteahouse.net/2011/08/06/pakistani-christians-and-the-myth-of-clash-of-civilizations/

Issue 4

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Issue 4 [@ 6:13]: Abdullah Al-Araby, Director, The Pen vs. The Sword Publications insinuates – “I believe that those terrorists that want to do harm to others are applying the true Islam that was practiced by Muhammad and his followers in the early stage of Islam.”

Rebuttal 4: Al-Araby’s enlightened opinion can be read in two steps:

Step 1 – “ I believe that those terrorists that want to do harm to others” – The emphasis is on terrorists i.e. someone who terrorize the innocent. There are no two opinions about this scrooge of humanity that is recorded from early Jewish history of Joshua killing every man, woman, child, animal and tree in Jericho to Romans and their conspirators crucifying the prophet of God, to repeat attackers of Medina, to Crusaders eliminating city after city, to Spanish inquisition of monotheists, to the Genocide of Jews in Germany, to bombers of Dresden and London, to rape of Nanking, to nuclear bombing of cities, to napalm bombing of Vietnam, to massacre of Sabra and Shatila, to Rawandan Genocide, to Genocide of Srebrenica, to 9/11 of US, to 7/7 of UK, to shock and awe of Baghdad, to destruction and siege of Gaza, to 26/11 of Mumbai etc. etc. They are all morally debased killings of humanity en-mass and perpetrator could be either an individual, a group or a state. Ruthless killing, collective punishment or mass murders cannot be sugar coated in any shape or form. It is terrorism, pure and simple.

Step 2: “I believe that those terrorists that want to do harm to others are applying the true Islam that was practiced by Muhammad and his followers in the early stage of Islam.” If this is view of Al-Araby of history, then one cannot feel but sorry about the “Director” of ignorance who cannot only lie but believe in it too. With this statement he himself declares his pitiful knowledge of history. Scores of western and non-Muslim scholars could be quoted to rebut Al-Araby, but the followings words should suffice:

“I become more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme for life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his own mission. These and not the sword, carried everything before them and surmounted every trouble. The sayings of Muhammad are a treasure of wisdom not only for Muslims but for all mankind. — Mahatma Gandhi

Muhammad is singularly that person who ever was, about whom the more one knows, the more one admires him. This cannot be said about anyone else, including Al-Araby, who I dare say, will not be able to hold such opinion about his “father.” Look no far than the articles of Al-Araby, an Arab by name and language, to determine his unlettered mind who would possibly translate and believe in “Richard the Lion-Heart” as someone who had a human body and an actual lion’s heart, if only so that it can give him some scholarly limelight, no matter how pseudo. One has to hold one’s nose to his pathetic out-of-context references and quotes of Quran.

Take for example Al-Araby’s understanding of verses:

Surah 2:106, “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?” Also, in Surah 16:101 “When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.” [unknown translator]

He then quotes “”al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh” (The Abrogator and the Abrogated) by Abil-Kasim Hibat-Allah Ibn-Salama Abi-Nasr.” [Abil-Kasim who?] and gives the following example of abrogation:

An example of the abrogation: there are 124 versus [sic] that call for tolerance and patience which have been canceled and replaced by this one single verse: “Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)…..” Surah 9:5 [unknown translator]

What he fails to read himself or hide from the readers is the following full context:

9:1. (This is) a declaration of complete absolution on the part of Allâh and His Messenger (from all obligations) to those of the polytheists with whom you had entered into a treaty (but they broke it repeatedly).

9:2. So you may go about (freely O you breakers of the treaties!) in the land for four months (since the date of this declaration), and know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh, and (know) that Allâh will humiliate the disbelievers.

9:3. And this is a proclamation from Allâh and His Messenger to the people on the occasion of the Greater Pilgrimage (on the day of Sacrifice) that Allâh and His Messenger owe no obligation to these polytheists. If you (O polytheists!) turn to Him in repentance it is better for you. But if you turn away then know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh. And proclaim (O Prophet!) the news of a grievous punishment to these disbelievers;

9:4. Excepting those of the polytheists with whom you have entered into a treaty (and) who subsequently did not fail you in any manner, nor did they back up anyone against you. So abide by the treaty you had entered with them to the end of the term you have fixed with them. Allâh, surely loves those who keep their duty.

9:5. But when the prohibited (four) months (when no attack on the breakers of the treaties was permissible) have expired, slay such polytheists (who broke their treaties) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every place from which it is possible to perceive the enemy and watch their movements. But if they turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, leave their path free. Indeed, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

9:6. And if any of the polytheists seeks your protection, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allâh, then conduct him to a place where he feels himself safe and secure. That (treatment) is (to be meted out to them) because they are a people who have no knowledge (of Islam).

9:7. There can be no treaty (on the part) of these Polytheists (after their repeated violations of the same) in the sight of Allâh and His Messenger. This, however, does not apply to those with whom you entered into a treaty near the Holy Mosque (at Makkah). So long as they keep true to (the treaty for) you, you should also keep true (in maintaining the treaty) for them. Allâh, surely, loves those who become secure (against the breach of trusts).

9:8. How (can there be a treaty with deliberate violators of agreements) while, if they get the better of you they would respect no bond, nor words of honour in dealing with you. They would try to please you with (mere words of) their mouths whereas their hearts dissent (from what they say), and most of them are perfidious.

9:9. They have preferred paltry gains (- this world) to the revelations of Allâh and thus have turned (people) away from His path. Surely, evil is what they do!

9:10. They observe no bond nor any word of honour while dealing with one who trusts (them). It is these who are the transgressors.

9:11. But if (even) such (sworn antagonists) turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, they are your brethren in faith. And We explain the commandments in detail for a people who know.

9:12. If they break their oaths after (they have ratified) their pledge and revile and commit aggression against your Faith, then fight such leaders of disbelief that they may desist. Indeed, solemn (binding) oaths have no value with them.

9:13. Will you not fight a people who have broken their solemn oaths and proposed to turn out the Messenger and were the first to commence (the fight) against you. Are you afraid of them? Nay, Allâh is more worthy that you should stand in awe of Him if you be (true) believers.

9:14. Fight them, Allâh will punish them at your hands and humiliate them and will grant you victory over them, and He will heal (the agonies of) the minds of a believing people.

9:15. And He may take away the suppressed rage of their (- the disbeliever’s) hearts. And Allâh turns (with mercy) to him who wishes (Him to turn to him with grace). Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise. [Nooruddin]

With the above example, there is no telling that one day Al-Araby will state that Muslims do not believe in any God and for that he will quote half of the Kalima Shahada i.e.

There is no God [but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger]

Lets re-quote Al-Araby’s abrogation theory of Quran i.e.

Surah 2:106, “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?” Also, in Surah 16:101 “When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.” [unknown translator]

What Al-Araby failed to understand is that this abrogation in context of the treaty violation verses above is the abrogation of something following:

And when the Lord, thy God, hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword. But the woman and the little ones and the cattle and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take in to thy self and thou shalt eat the spoils of thy enemies which the Lord thy God has given thee” (Deut., 20:13, 14).”

Mr. Al-Araby, we understand that you are trying to serve God, but you are serving out of ignorance and arrogance. Please self reflect in the following verse:

62:5. The case of those who were charged to observe (the law of) Torah but did not carry out (its commandments in its true spirit), is like the case of a donkey that carries (a load of) volumes (of Books; he neither understands them nor gathers any advantage from them). Wretched is the case of the people who cry lies to the Message of Allâh. And Allâh guides no unjust people to success.[Nooruddin]

With this, Quran rests its case.

References:

Aerial Bombing of Cities – Wikipedia
What Unbiased Thinkers Say About Holy Prophet
What Unbiased Thinkers Say About Holy Prophet – Part I
The Abrogator and Abrogated – Al-Araby
Holy Quran – Nooruddin

Buyer Beware: the articles of Al-Araby, Bat Ye’or, and others are deceitfully posted on a web site “Islam Review” which is grammatically incorrect to begin with. This should not be confused with “Islamic Review” magazine started by Khawaja Kamaluddin from Woking, England in 1913.

Issue 3

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

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