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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


November 9th, 2011

Issue 29

Issue 29 [@ 23:05]: Robert Spencer – Author, Islam Unveiled – “Islam and Islamic civilization are unique in their stand towards non-believers and that Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers. That, there are peaceful Muslims, there are Muslims around the world that are moderate, who live in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors, and have no intention in waging war against them in any way. But, the fact is that they have very slim justification for their own peacefulness within their Islamic source themselves and they are only at peace with their neighbors in so far as they are either of what Islam teaches about how Muslims should behave towards unbelievers or they have explicitly rejected or consciously rejected those elements of Islam. There are in short, peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful and moderate Islam. The idea that Islam is a religion of peace however, is paradoxically held even by most violent and radical of Muslims – Sayyid Qutb [slide of his photo wearing a suit and a tie, 1906 - 1966], the Egyptian Muslim theorist, whose writings are revered by radical Muslims today, by terrorists today. He wrote and insisted that Islam is a religion of peace. When you study his writing, he meant [slide projected of a book cover “ISLAM and UNIVERSAL PEACE”] that Islam is dedicated in establishing the hegemony of Islamic Law over the world. When that hegemony is established, peace will rein in the world. Therefore, Islam is religion of peace.”

Rebuttal 29: Spencer’s long venom laced rhetoric attempts to inculcate a jaded view of Islam in his audience. Even though he does not cite any Quranic sources for the distortions for Islam, the Quran will rebut his allegations. His accusations beget a breakdown as follows.
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Issue 29a: “Islam and Islamic civilization are unique in their stand towards non-believers and that Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers…”

Rebuttal 29a: For a brief moment if we replace Islam with Christianity in the above statement of Spencer, then the history will be speaking for itself – “Christianity and Christian civilization are unique in their stand towards non-believers and that Christianity is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers.” See Rebuttal 28.

Spencer is not able to quote any significant examples to support his malicious statement. On the other hand, history can testify to what Christianity meant to the world over the centuries. In its aftermath it has left millions of victims and exploitations of Crusades, Inquisition, more than eighty thousand “witches” of Europe, scientists of Renaissance, Incas, Mayas, Aztecs, Native Americans, Aborigines of Pacific and Australia, Slaves from Africa, apartheid in South Africa and Palestine, and so on.

Spencer flippantly asserts in conclusory language and without an iota of support from Quran, the fountain head of Islam, that Islam’s “doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers.” Nothing can be farther from the truth. The fact is clear to any person who has read the entire Quran in context- Quran prohibits violence and aggression. Various Rebuttals 23, 25, 26, 27 earlier refute false, peripheral allegations against Quran.
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Issue 29b: Spencer continues – “…That, there are peaceful Muslims, there are Muslims around the world that are moderate, who live in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors, and have no intention in waging war against them in any way. But, the fact is that they have very slim justification for their own peacefulness within their Islamic source themselves and they are only at peace with their neighbors in so far as they are either of what Islam teaches about how Muslims should behave towards unbelievers or they have explicitly rejected or consciously rejected those elements of Islam. There are in short, peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful and moderate Islam…”

Rebuttal 29b: This generalized, vague statement is negligently stated and is simply inaccurate. First of all, Muslim is not a race. Muslims are natives of all continents, including Europe and North America. They belong to all races, including Caucasians. They belong to every socioeconomic strata. Some are born into Muslim families and others converted to Islam. Spencer has absurdly stereotyped all Muslims by painting them as one picture with one broad stroke of the brush. In other words, the movie fails to differentiate between a Ph.D professor at Harvard, an engineer in Silicon Valley, an investor in Wall Street and a Congressman of the United States. Each Muslim on this Earth has his or her own reason to be a Muslim. The one common factor however for all these peaceful Muslims is the Quran and its influence.

The movie survives off cheap punchlines and sensational sound bites, with no substance, like – “There are in short, peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful and moderate Islam.” This is an effort to score points in a childish way by an ignorant, bent upon smearing, even though the facts are to the contrary. The most logical explanation for Spencer’s peaceful Muslim neighbors is that they are so because of the Book they follow and not because of its rejection. Muslims are mandated to live and let live in peace by Islamic doctrine of “God Consciousness”. The doctrine of peacefulness is part of their faith, which is imbibed in them by Quran and Muhammad, who teaches them not only by words but also by his deeds and actions, commonly known as Sunnah.

For example, this is what Muhammad had to say to the administrators that he dispatched from Medina to Yemen – “Your administration should have a benevolent complexion which should please them [Jews and Christians]. On no account should it alienate their minds. The ruler’s job in not to rob the subjects and swallow their possessions…Do not deal with the non-Muslims cruelly, because the victim’s cry of anguish caused by the ruler will go straight to the heavens, as there is no barrier between it and God” [The Holy Prophet on International Peace and Justice, Sadr-ud-din, p.11]. On an another occasion, Muhammad heard the case and passed judgment against a fellow Muslim, Taumah Ansari, and the actual accused, a Jewish suspect, was let go absolved in concordance with Quranic injunction – “Let not the enmity of a people incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely. Allah is aware of what you do” (5 : 9).[The Holy Prophet on International Peace and Justice, Sadr-ud-din, p 7-8].

Muhammad is on record for having faced relentless persecution for thirteen straight years, then an imposed state of war for the next ten. He signed and respected every peace treaty that came his way, no matter how humiliating, be it with his persecutors from Makkah or his deceivers in Medina. All treaty breaches were by his opponents and when the time came, he did not back down either when he had to defend himself and his followers from any aggression. An aggression whose only purpose was annihilation of a doctrine that was solely based upon human rights, equality and dignity of man. The values which were actually put to practice in individual and collective living fourteen hundred years ago, which even the modern societies have yet to match. Those values were just not a lip service of a sermon from the mount with no practical example from its preacher or the preached.

“God Consciousness” is mandated for a Muslim at any given time. There is no right of superiority in a Muslim over any other race for the mere fact that – “And (all) people are but a single nation…” (10:19). No Muslim can ridicule anyone, be it a non-Muslim because – “O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they…(49:11). Quran even goes further, it forbids aggression based upon hate – “And do not let hatred of a people … incite you to transgress. And help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression, and keep your duty to Allah. Surely Allah is Severe in retribution.” (5:2).

Difference in faiths is not a basis for aggression because for a Muslim the same Allah is source spring of all religions, books and prophets – “The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. They all believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His messengers. We make no distinction between any of His messengers…”(2:285). No wonder, there are no caricatures of Moses and Jesus nor Torah or Bible burnings in Muslims communities.

Even idols are to be respected – “And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, in case, exceeding the limits, they abuse Allah through ignorance.”(6:108) To cap it all, a Muslim does not monopolize the concept of God for his own faith because for him Allah is – “…the Lord of mankind, the King of mankind, the God of mankind” (114:1-3).

Quran thus brings the whole humanity under one God and leaves no room for anyone to be children of a lesser God. Quran thus identifies the sources of hate, which are race, religion, Books, prophets, deities and obliterates the instigating tendencies, one by one, and eliminates them altogether by inculcating God Consciousness in Muslims – “Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him.” (49:13 – Asad)

Muhammad said – “Help and not fight, assimilation and not destruction, harmony and peace and not dissension.” In his final Hajj sermon he left for the world the magna charta of world peace “”Remember you are all brothers. All men are equal in the eye of God, and your honours, your lives and your properties are all sacred and in no case should you attack each other’s life and property. Today I trample under my feet all distinctions of caste, colour and nationality. All men are sons of Adam and Adam was of dust.” [Islam's Contribution to Peace of the World, by S.A. Haq, p.52, p.20]

A Muslim becomes a better citizen by following the Quran and Mohammad and not otherwise as ignorantly asserted by Spencer.
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Issue 29c: Robert Spencer – “…The idea that Islam is a religion of peace however, is paradoxically held even by most violent and radical of Muslims – Sayyid Qutb [slide of his photo wearing a suit and a tie, 1906 - 1966], the Egyptian Muslim theorist, whose writings are revered by radical Muslims today, by terrorists today. He wrote and insisted that Islam is a religion of peace. When you study his writing, he meant [slide projected of a book cover “ISLAM and UNIVERSAL PEACE”] that Islam is dedicated in establishing the hegemony of Islamic Law over the world. When that hegemony is established, peace will rein in the world. Therefore, Islam is religion of peace.”

Rebuttal 29c: What Sayyid Qutub theorized is for him or his followers to rebut. Spencer paints Sayyid Qutab in his own image. He himself is revered by extremists on his website, JihadWatch.org, where the posts by his blind followers reek of venomous hate. A hate that they have not learned, but from Spencer himself, including the Norwegian killer. Essentially, Spencer is giving a pulpit where bigots congregate and get reenforced to spew ignorant rants against Quran, Islam and Muhammad. In summary, Robert Spencer traffics nothing but hate.

References:

The Holy Prophet on International Peace and Justice – Sadr-ud-din.
Islam’s Contribution to Peace of the World – S.A. Haq
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz, all verses quoted above except where indicated.

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