New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and Matters — See Title Page and List of Contents
— latest, 17 August 2014: Opening Thought: Reason – A Requisite
Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam
9:88. But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive hard with their property and their persons. And these it is for whom are the good things and these it is who are successful.
9:89. Allah has prepared for them Gardens in which rivers flow, to abide therein. That is the mighty achievement.[Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz]
41:42. Falsehood cannot approach it (- the Qur'ân) neither from the front nor from behind. (It is) a revelation that proceeds portion by portion from One All-Wise, the Most Praiseworthy (God). [Nooruddin]
48:2. The result of this [-peace treaty of Hudaibiyah]is that Allâh will protect you [Muhammad] from (the ill consequences of) the fault attributed to you in the past and those to follow, and that He will make His favour perfect upon you and will lead you to the goal of the exact right path;
48:3. And that Allâh will grant you His mighty help.
48:4. It is He Who gave to the believers [-in this case the writers of this rebuttal] Sakinah (tranquillity and peace of mind) so that they might grow all the more in faith over and above the faith they (already) possessed. Indeed all the hosts of the heavens and of the earth belong to Allâh. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise. [Nooruddin]
Read here the Background to this project.
PART III – THE STRUGGLE
29. Robert Spencer – “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.
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. This 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.
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.
“God Consciousness” is mandated for a Muslim at any given time. There is no right of superiority for 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 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.
30. Walid Shoebat – “But, the problem is that the peaceful Muslims don’t understand the edits that comes out of jurisprudence of Islam. If you look at interpretation of these verses in Al-Azhar University, in Islamic Shariah Schools in Jerusalem, in Jordan, in Syria, in Damascus, all throughout the Middle East, the jurisprudence of Islam clearly states emphatically that verse of the sword is made null and void all the peaceful verses. And, what does the verse of the sword say, [slide projected with voice – THE NOBLE KORAN, 9:5, Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (- “the unbelievers” - note this is not projected in the slide but the voice adds to the slide) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) (-”the Islamic prayers” - note this is not projected but the voice adds to the slide), and give Zakat (- “alms” - added by the voice), then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful]
There are NO violent verses in Quran. No verse in Quran incites violence. No verse of Quran has ever been or will be abrogated. The only verses that Quran abrogates are the previous Scriptures, including Old and New Testaments, the words of Allah which had decayed at human hands. That verse 9:5 or for that matter any verse makes other verses null and void in Quran is heresy and sacrilegious. The baseless allegations of abrogation of Quranic verses has been fully addressed and refuted in Rebuttals 9c and 21 before.
Islam does not come out of any center in Middle East, Near East, Far East, Down Under or Far Flung, Neither Hither, neither Thither. In Islam there are no Vaticans or Popes. There is no central authority. Quran is for the people, not institutions. Quran is to be read and understood by an individual and not ritualistically sung by a choir. Islam has a bottom-up approach of reform for each individual. This reformation then naturally flows into a better society and enlightened institutions. This is direct opposite of other religions that needed a conversion at the top. From the kings’ courts the religions were enforced on the masses, without inculcating lasting reformation. Christianity needed Constantine, Buddhism needed Ashoka and Zoroastrianism needed Cyrus. Else, these religions had no chance of getting a foothold for the mere fact that these religions are based upon Gospels [-accounts] and have no utilitarian doctrine for wholesome uplift of humanity. Muslims are as diverse as an Inuit in Alaska to a Hispanic in Chile. The only thread that binds them is the Quran and not any center.
– kill them when you see them, wherever you find them. This is not an allegoric kill, it’s a literal kill. It’s the the killing of Zaraqawi right in front of the camera. It’s the lynching you see in Ramallah. It’s the killing of over a million Sudanese.”
Extra judicial killings or punishments by anyone, an individual or a government, be they in Iraq, Sudan or elsewhere, they are all abominable acts that must be condemned.
In Sudan cutting the hands and feet from opposite sides. Here is the dilemma. The peaceful verse, even if the peaceful verse when it is quoted even by Bush, the verse goes as follows – who ever kills a life without just cause for doing mischief in the land then as he killed the entire earth – then you find the same verse in Judea-Biblical tradition. But most westerns never skip after that verse which makes very clear – those who do mischief in the land then cut their hands and the feet from the opposite sides and crucify them literally – and that’s what you see happened in Afghanistan, that’s what you see happened in Sudan. Huge amounts of crucifixions and beheading, and amputations and public assassinations. They really want to revive Islam as it used to be. This is why they call it Islamic Fundamentalism.”
Shoebat, glosses over the so-called “peaceful” verse that he attributes to President Bush. For the sake of the readers, said verse is fully cited as follows from the translation by Muhammad Asad with its footnotes:
5:32. Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth – it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind. And, indeed, there came unto them Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold,notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.
These are the moral standards for sanctity of life in Quran. Any “violence” that Shoebat or any of the documentary “experts” dig out of Quran has to be read in light of the above verse. The verse does not condone any reprisal against peaceful and non-aggressive “unbelievers.” Further, it should be clear to the reader that in Quran when “Allah and His Messenger” are mentioned, it means the governmental system of Islam. In verse 5:33, “those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger [i.e. government of Medina]” refers to the anti-government insurgents or criminals who undermine the Divine system of governance that Muhammad established. It would be absurd to even imagine that anyone can wage war against God.
[slide projected with voice – THE NOBLE KORAN, 5:33 - “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.]
Before one reads verse 5:33, it would be necessary to understand its metaphorical connotation which is none better than Bible:
Matthew 5:27-30 “27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell ”
When plainly read, v 5:33, unlike Bible, uses the plural i.e. ‘hands’, ‘feet’, which by in itself is clearly indicative of a metaphor which in Arabic means “destroying one’s power”.
[slide projected with voice – SAHIH AL-BUKHARI, vol 8, Bk 82, Hadith 795 – The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died.]
Above is again a classical out of context use of a narration. These men were hosted as guests at a grazing ground about six miles from Medina where state camels were kept and they we allowed to recoup from their illness and provided free milk of the same camels. When they gained health, they stole the same camels. One of the state employees, Yassar pursued and caught up with the thieves. Then, the thieves chopped off the hands and feet of the herder and also stabbed his tongue and eyes with thorns, and killed him. The killers were then recompensed according to local tribal code. Thereafter, the v. 5:33 was revealed. [Ref: English rendering of the footnote of Hadith no. 233 in ‘Fazl-Bari’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali,]
31. Abdullah Al-Araby, Directory, The Pen vs. Sword Publications – “There is no assurance of what is known in Christianity as salvation and insurance of being saved and guaranteeing going to heaven. However, there are certain things that can help. So, if a Muslim, for instance, died while he was practicing Jihad, he is supposed to go to paradise.”
In Islam there are no false hopes of unearned and undeserved salvation myths of Christianity, yet there are assurances of salvation from within one’s deeds. The ground rules of reward in Islam are based upon the secular principles outlined in the verses below that run congruent to reason. These rules are independent of one’s religion or creed and are solely incumbent on individual responsibility. In Islam there is no salvation on the shoulders of others:
53:38. — that no bearer of burden bears another’s burden,
53:39. and that man can have nothing but what he strives for,
53:40. and that his striving will soon be seen,
53:41. then he will be rewarded for it with the fullest reward,
Salvation in Islam is sampled by the deserving in this world before they move on to hereafter:
2:25. And give good tidings to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that there await them gardens from beneath which the streams flow. Every time they are given any kind of fruit from them (– the gardens) to eat, they will say, `This is the same we were given before.’ They will be given it (– the fruit) in perfect semblance (to their deeds). They shall have therein companions purified (spiritually and physically), and will abide therein for ever.
Similarly, those not on a salvation path can sample the impending disappointment in this very world by their spiritual and moral blindness:
17:72. And whoever is blind in this (world) he will be blind in the Hereafter, and further away from the path.
Quran does not let any religion have monopoly on salvation. Instead, Islam cuts through to the core of salvation, which is solely based upon individual righteousness:
2:110. And keep up prayer and give the due charity. And whatever good you send on ahead for yourselves, you will find it with Allah. Surely Allah is Seer of what you do.
2:111. And they say: None shall enter the Garden except he who is a Jew, or the Christians. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
2:112. No, whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others), he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such nor shall they grieve.
2:62. Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
5:69. Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians — whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good — they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
Mr. Al-Araby myopically states – “So, if a Muslim, for instance, died while he was practicing Jihad, he is supposed to go to paradise.” Meanings and significance of Jihad have been fully dealt with in Issue 27 before. The above verses set the standards of salvation which includes does good and doer of good (to others) by action, which is the true spirit of Jihad. Thus a Jihad for a Muslim could be fighting cancer in the research laboratory or poverty on the street.
The rebuttal of the current Issue is factually the rebuttal of Atonement. This subject was quite succinctly dealt by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his book – “The Four Questions Answered”.
32. Walid Shoebat continues – “In Islamist thinking, the assurance of your salvation is dying as a martyr. In accordance to the verse in the Quran – Do not think that the ones who died in the cause of Allah, in Jihad, are dead but are living – So, this assures salvation.”
Once again, Mr. Shoebat contextomizes Quran. He quoted verse 2:154 totally out of context and slipped in the word “Jihad” in its translation. This is sheer dishonesty. Even so, Jihad is a non-violent word whose meaning and implications were fully explained in Issue 27 before. He misconstrues the implications of the verse and tries to implant in the reader the notion that the verse has to do with fighting.
2:153. O you who believe, seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient
2:154. And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Rather, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive. [Note: The words rendered literally as in Allah’s way or in the cause of Allah, frequently occurring in the Holy Quran, signify the cause of Truth and to carry the message of God at the point of the sword is no more than a myth]
2:155. And We shall certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits. And give good news to the patient,
2:156. who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah’s, and to Him we shall return.
2:157. Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord; and those are the followers of the right course.
Just like Mr. Al-Araby in Issue 31, Shoebat too made the same mistake when he claims about Islam “So, this assures salvation.” Their mistake is that of bringing up the topic of Salvation. Christianity unravels on this single word alone, the infamous myth – Salvation by inaction through “Atonement,” a concept repugnant to reason, that is fully refuted in Issue 31 before.
33. Robert Spencer – “This is the calculus behind modern suicide bombing. Many people will say, modern Muslim advocates will say that Islam forbids suicide. And this is plainly dishonest because all the advocates, all the defenders of suicide bombing in the Islamic world, start out by saying – ‘This is not suicide, the intention of the person is not to kill himself, the intention of the person is to kill others. And that is sanctioned because this is Islamic Jihad. And if in the process are killed themselves, that is an unavoidable consequence of their action. And they will be rewarded with the reward of martyrs in Paradise’”
Suicide, no matter what its objective, is plainly not allowed in Islam. There is no room for any discussion to justify it, be it by a misguided zealot or the so called expert of this documentary who tries to find justification for such a zealot. Factually, in Quran, the argument is directly opposite that of a suicide i.e. it emphasizes self-preservation. Dr. Zahid Aziz in his book “Islam, Peace and Tolerance” [p. 52-4] writes the following:
Suicide is a sin in Islam, and self-preservation is a duty. The committing of suicide is a very serious sin according to the clear teachings of Islam. The Holy Quran instructs:
“Do not cast yourselves to destruction by your own hands.” — 2:195
“Do not kill yourselves.” — 4:29
In Hadith reports, committing suicide is strongly condemned by the Prophet Muhammad who said:
“… whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the hell-fire.” (3 Bukhari, book: ‘Oaths and vows’. In Muhsin Khan translation see 8:78:647.)
Nowhere Quran allows the suicide or killing of the innocent and non-combatants. It “is plainly dishonest” to ensnare Quran in such a nonsensical argument and that too while trying to find justification out of Quran for a carnage either by the perpetrator or the insinuators like Spencer himself. Self immolation if at all is only found in Bible that Spencer himself follows. Killing of self and mayhem on others for Atonement is none but Biblical. Exodus 32 – King James Version states:
25. And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies)
26. Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
27. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
28. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
29. For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
30. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
34. Serge Trifkovic – Rockford Institute for International Affairs – “Quran is quite clear about the heavenly rewards for a jihadist who falls fighting in the path of Allah. He will be granted instant access to the Paradise. And a Muslim Paradise is an extremely sensual one. It is full of ‘houris’, black eyed beauties, that will await the martyr and the gratification that follows is eminently not suitable for family audience.”
Trifkovic sensationalizes certain topics in the name of Islam – martyrdom, reward for martyrdom, houris, implied matters of flesh and the “sensual” Paradise – but all with wrong meanings, out of context usage and for all the wrong reasons that reflect his conceited “expertise.” Each of these topic is fully dealt with in the Rebuttal 34. Martyrdom and Houris are excerpted below:
What is martyrdom in Islam? – “Islam, Peace and Tolerance” [p. 50-2] by Dr. Zahid Aziz
The word for ‘martyr’ in Islamic literature is shaheed. This word in fact means ‘witness’ and is used commonly in the Holy Quran as meaning a witness to something. God is repeatedly called a shaheed, as in “Allah is witness of what you do” (3:98) and “Allah is sufficient as a witness between us and you” (10:29). The Holy Prophet Muhammad is called a “witness” upon his followers, and Muslims are called “witnesses” or bearers of witness to all mankind (2:143), i.e. bearers of truth. Every prophet, including Jesus, is referred to as a witness over his followers (4:41, 5:117). The same word is used for witnesses in contracts and civil matters (2:282, 4:135).
Similarly, the word for martyrdom is shahada, but it is used in the Quran only as meaning testimony of any kind or something that is obvious and seen, as in “do not conceal testimony” (2:283), “our testimony is truer than the testimony of these two” (5:107), and the statement which occurs several times about God that “He is the knower of the unseen and the seen (shahada)” (6:73). This word as meaning testimony is also famously applied to the act of testifying to become a Muslim, and even in English one hears the expression “making the shahada” when referring to this act. These words are applied to martyrs and martyrdom because the life and death of a martyr is a testimony to the truth of Islam. But who is a martyr? Just as jihad is not synonymous with war, a Muslim can be a shaheed without being killed in any connection with a battle.
What is a Houri? – Islamic Review [May 1930, p 79-80
The word “houri” is the mutilated form of the Arabic word “hur,” which is the common plural form of both the masculine and singular Ahwar and feminine singular Haurã. The word “hur” applies to both men and women as also to qualities and actions.
The Holy Quran does not speak of any conjugal relations being maintained in a physical sense in the life to come. Besides, wherever the various blessings of paradise or the torments of hell are spoken of, they are but physical manifestations of spiritual blessings which the doers of good enjoy in this life as well as in the next. There are gardens, trees, rivers, milk, and numerous blessings spoken of by the Quran as being found in paradise, but that all these are not things of this life can be easily understood from a tradition of the Holy Prophet, who says:
“Allah says I have prepared for my servants what no eye has seen and no ear has heard and what the heart of man has not conceived of.”
The Holy Quran speaks in the same strain when it says: No soul knows what is hidden for it.”
For this reason the “hur” or pure ones are not the things of this life – decidedly not the beautiful women of this life. “Hur” are a heavenly blessing which the righteous women shall have along with the righteous men.
The late Al-Hajj Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, the founder of above monthly, once had the opportunity to deliver a lecture on the philosophy of heaven and hell to an atheist gathering in England. At the conclusion of the address, someone objected to the presence of beautiful women (houris) in paradise. To this, he replied: “Is there any society in the world that is complete without women? Indeed, man’s rough edges, his wildness and barbarity can never be removed unless woman is present. So, if the presence of women is compulsory in this life for the nurturing of a society’s civilization and culture, then will they not be needed in heaven which is a place for the advancement and perfection of every aspect of civilization and culture?”
Heavenly View in Islam – anything but sensual
It is quite clear from Quran that the heavenly abode cannot be perceived in terms of human physicality as “No soul knows what refreshment of the eyes is hidden for them: a reward for what they did.” — 32:17. Still, Quran gives a simile of reward for the righteousness. This similitude closely approximates a joyous festival of blissful magnificence and tranquility of princes and princesses in a King’s courtyard. King in this instance is God himself:
56:7. And (at that time) you shall be (sorted out into) three distinct categories,
56:8. (First) those that are blessed. How (lucky) the blessed will be!
56:9. And (then) those that are wretched, how (miserable) the condition of the wretched will be!
56:10. And (third) those that are foremost (in faith). They are by all means the foremost (in the Hereafter).
56:11. It is they who have (really) achieved nearness (to their Lord).
56:12. (They shall abide) in Gardens of bliss.
56:13. A large party of them (will hail) from the early (believers [- the early companions of Muhammad PBUH, who faced most trials and tribulation and gave the most sacrifices in cause of Truth]);
56:14. While a few (of them will hail) from the later ones [i.e. door of salvation and reward are open for coming generations].
56:15. (They will be in the Garden seated) on couches inlaid (with gold and precious jewels).
56:16. (They will be) reclining thereupon (and sitting) face to face.
56:17. (Their) young sons will go round about them, who will remain as young as ever [Side note for this rebuttal – there is no physicality or frame of passing time or moral decay in heaven, hence there is no growing old and the inhabitants there – who will remain as young as ever. Christian reader in this verse might see a hint of cherubs or putti surrounding the main character depicted in Vatican paintings as – young sons [who] will go round about them],
56:18. Carrying goblets and (shining) beakers and cups (full) of pure and clean drink
56:19. They will get no headache (or giddiness) from their (drinks), nor will they be inebriated and talk nonsense [Side note for this rebuttal – the clarification in this verse removes any hint of an intoxicant drink].
56:20. And (carrying) such fruits as they choose,
56:21. And (with) flesh of birds exactly to their taste.
56:22. And (there will be present) fair houris with lovely large eyes.
56:23. (Chaste) like pearls, well-guarded and well preserved.
56:24. (Such shall be) the reward of their (good) deeds.
56:25. There they shall hear no idle-talk, no sinful speech [Side note for this rebuttal – This verse expunges any sense of “sin and sensuality” as there will be no idle-talk, no sinful speech from/by/about fair houris with lovely large eyes].
56:26. But (all that they hear on all sides will be) good and pure words (of salutation) – `Peace be, peace be.’ [- Peace, that's what Islam means, seeks and provides]
56:27. Those that are blessed – how (lucky) the blessed will be!
56:28. They shall abide amidst (the land of thornless) Sidrah (- Lote tree, a symbol of bliss);
56:29. And (in the Garden of) clustered bananas;
56:30. And (in) extended shades;
56:31. And (near) water falling from heights;
56:32. And (amidst) abundant fruit;
56:33. (The season of) which is not limited, and (they are) never forbidden.
56:34. And (they will have) noble spouses [Side note for this rebuttal – noble spouse is one of the greatest bliss that any human can seek, at least in this world].
56:35. Verily, We have made them (women) excellent and have raised them into a special new creation;
56:36. And have made them virgins, pure and undefiled.
56:37. They are the loving ones (of their husbands), suiting to their ages and matching them in every respect.
56:38. (They are meant) for the blessed ones.
After the preview above of Surah Al-Waqiah – The Event, reader may want to read its detailed commentary by Dr. Basharat Ahmad as translated by Kalamazad Mohammed where the author in one place further distinguishes the heaven in Quran from that of Bible – The paradise of the Holy Qur’an is also completely dissimilar to the Jewish and Christian heaven into which, as they allege, Satan, disguised as a snake, had slipped and had deceived Adam and Eve causing them to commit a sin and so bringing about their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Contrary to this, the heaven that the Holy Qur’an describes is a heaven from which Satan is totally excluded and it is a place where not only sin can never be committed but not even any talk of sin can be heard. Thus the account we find in the Bible is nothing but a story. It is for this reason that the Holy Qur’an in plainly stating I am going to place a successor in the earth (2:30), has corrected that erroneous belief of the Jews and the Christians by openly disclosing that Prophet Adam (as) was made a ruler on earth and not in heaven. In addition, it is clear that the heaven which he was given to inhabit as a gift from the Almighty was a verdant, fruit-bearing tract of land. Or, it may refer to that condition of bliss, peace and ecstasy that man enjoys prior to his commission of sin and which was described by Allah, Most High, as paradise.
35. Robert Spencer – “The Quran contains no guarantee of paradise except for those who slay or slain in the cause of Allah.”
Slide projected with voice – The Noble Koran – 9:111 Verily, Allah has purchased of the the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.
Spencer and others almost always quote verses out of context, but in current issue he is intellectually dishonest. He not only uses the verse 9:111 out of context, but has actually put the verse on chopping block and removed the references to Torah and Gospel from within the verse, which are highlighted in bold below. He is quite “savvy” and obsequious, because if he quoted the whole verse, he would then be forced to smear Torah and Bible too in the same breath by the very distortions that he uses against Quran. To set the record straight, the same verse 9:111 and its context in subsequent verse in excerpted from the translation and commentary by Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz:
9:111. Surely Allah has bought from the believers their persons and their property — theirs (in return) is the Garden. They fight in Allah’s way, so they kill and are killed. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran.
[Footnote – The promise binding on Allah is that Allah will grant the believers His blessings, if they exert themselves with their persons and their property in His way. The Gospels give the same promise: “If you want to be perfect”, said Jesus to a wealthy man, “go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew, 19:21). To Peter he said: “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew, 19:29). Moses’ teaching contains similar promises. For instance, the promise of “a land flowing with milk and honey” is made conditional on “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy, 6:3–5), which is the same as exerting oneself to the utmost in the way of God with one’s person and property.
It should be borne in mind that the words, they fight in Allah’s way, so they kill and are killed, are not a part of the promise, but are expressive of the condition of the Companions, and show that they were true to their promise.
The promise to spend one’s person and property may be carried out in various ways under different circumstances, and the Companions of the Holy Prophet were as true to this promise during the thirteen years at Makkah as during the ten years at Madinah.]
Rober Spencer – “In other words the guarantee of Paradise is for the people who are killed while they are killing to establish the hegemony of Allah or Islamic Law in the world.”
Spencer so casually tries to smear Islam with words such as “hegemony of Allah,” but rest assured that Quran is not dogmatic like Bible. There is no hegemony of Allah in Quran. Instead of Allah’s hegemony, Quran assures the survival of Christian faith:
Firstly, Christianity will survive till the last day, though with a caveat of their mutual hatred:
5:14. And with those who say, We are Christians, We made a covenant, but they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of, so We stirred up enmity and hatred among them to the day of Resurrection.
Secondly, Christians will always dominate Jews:
3:55. When Allah said: O Jesus, I will cause you to die and exalt you in My presence and clear you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of Resurrection.
The above verses are yet another proof that as a matter of doctrine Islam can co-exist with other religions.
Spencer’s also declared – “The Quran contains no guarantee of paradise except for those who slay or slain in the cause of Allah.” This is a plain wrong statement. Many counter arguments can be unloaded from Quran, but suffice for him and his co-experts are the following verses re-posted from Rebuttal 31c. These verses should be an eye opener alike to both the preacher and the preached of the documentary. Spencer comes across immature, infantile and selfish in light of these verses whereas Quran stands out as fair, mature and word of God:
2:62. Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
5:69. Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians — whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good — they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
3:113-114. They (– the people of the Scripture) are not all alike. Among these people of the Scripture there are some upright people. They rehearse the Message of Allâh in the hours of the night and they prostrate themselves (in His worship). They believe in Allâh and the Last Day and enjoin good and forbid evil, and they vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. And it is these who are of the truly righteous.
36. Abdullah Al-Araby – “Jihad in Islam can be spiritual or physical. The spiritual Jihad is striving to be a better Muslim. But also there is a physical part of Jihad that you cannot take it away from Islam.”
Even though the above statement will be later used by the documentary to build up a case against Islam, but if taken at its face value, Al-Araby is correct in his statement to a certain extent. Just like – idea and action, noun and verb, body and soul, brain and mind, wood and fire, physical hygiene and spiritual growth, healthy food and healthy mind – where each is an inherent property of another and are inseparable – similarly, Jihad has its own components i.e. physical and spiritual. But the interesting point is that since Jihad is sum total of physical and non-physical effort, hence its rewards are both physical and non-physical. Simplistically, a student has to physically and mentally strive in his or her studies before the spiritual and material benefits come forth as rewards e.g. a doctoral degree with is material reward of salary and spiritual rewards of a social status and benefit to humanity. It is because of these secular principles, unlike Christianity, monasticism and asceticism has no room in Islam, because these apparently high moral offices in Christianity are all talk but no action. Factually, Jihad in Islam is inseparable from life of a Muslim, because the ultimate goal of a Muslim is to assume Allah’s colors which in words of Al-Abraby are “striving to be a better Muslim,” and that is a dictate of Quran:
2:138. (Assume) the attributes of Allâh! and who is fairer than Allâh in attributes? We are His worshippers ever.
By being worshippers ever of Allah, Muslims are constantly toiling on towards their Lord:
84:6. O Mankind! verily you are (by nature) toiling on towards your Lord a laborious toiling, then (through arduous service to Him) you shall surely meet Him.
Such is the goal of life in Quran which directs every man to walk with God by treading along with a message of peace – Islam.
The matter of Jihad has been explained and clarified by various authors in previous issues, namely Muhammad Ali (Issue 27), Pickthall (Issue 27) and Zahid Aziz (Issue 33). The following is another discourse about Jihad which is taken (and referenced verses inserted) from the introductory comments in Translation of Quran by Nooruddin – “JIHÂD -HOLY WAR- A MISCONCEPTION”[p. 37A-38A]
And strive your hardest to win the pleasure of Allâh, as hard a striving as is possible and as it behoves you. He has chosen you and has imposed no hardship upon you in the matter of your faith, (so follow) the creed of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims (both) before this and (again) in this (Qur’ân) (22:78).
A great misconception prevails, particularly among the Christians, propagated by their zealous missionaries, with regard to the duty of JIHÂD in Islam. Even the greatest research scholars of West have not taken pains to consult any dictionary on Arabic, or to refer to the Qur’ân to find out the meaning of the word. The word Jihâd according to the Arabic-English Lexicon of E. W. Lane and the great scholar of Islam Râghîb means: The use of or exerting of one’s utmost powers, efforts, endeavours or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation, and this is of three kinds, namely; a visible enemy, the devil and against one’s own self. All these meanings are used in the Qur’ân when a reference of JIHÂD is made. The duty of JIHÂD is far from being synonymous with that of war, and the meaning of JIHÂD, ‘the Holy war’ as supposed by the western writers is unknown equally to Arabic and the fundamental teachings of the Holy Qur’ân. Even in the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadîth), this word was never synonymous with ‘the Holy war’. The Prophet of Islam called the greater Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) as JIHÂD (Bukhârî 25:4).
22:40. Those who have been driven out of their homes without any just cause. Their only fault was that they said, ‘Our Lord is Allâh.’ If Allâh had not repelled some peoples by means of others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques wherein the name of Allâh is mentioned very frequently, would have been razed to the ground in large numbers. And Allâh will surely help one who helps His cause. Allâh is, indeed, All-Powerful, All-Mighty.
The permission to fight (22:40) under certain circumstances has no connection with the preaching of the religion by force and at no time did Islam permit the use of force for the purpose of preaching.
9:41. Go forth (all whether) light (- being ill-equipped) or heavy (- being well-equipped) and strive hard with your possessions and your persons in the cause of Allâh. That is better for you, if only you knew (your own gain or loss).
Again the Qur’ân says: ‘Strive hard with your possessions and your persons in the cause of Allâh’ (9:41) and:
25:52. So do not follow the disbelievers, and strive hard against them with the help of this (Qur’ân), a mighty striving.
‘Strive hard against them (the enemies of Islam, the nonbelievers) with the help of this (Qur’ân, which is full of arguments and reasoning) a mighty striving’ (25:52). God expects from us a JIHÂD against our souls, against our NAFS AMMÂRAH, our commanding self which is continuously inciting us towards evil.
2:114. And who can be more unjust than those who prohibit the name of Allâh from being extolled in (any of His) houses of worship and strive to ruin them. It was not proper for such, ever to enter these (places) except in fear and awe. For them is disgrace in this world, and there awaits them a severe punishment in the Hereafter.
God has not given us any permission to use any kind of force to prohibit people from going to places of worship – Churches, Synagogues and Temples – ‘where the names of God are being glorified’ (2:114).
The way this documentary distorts the meaning of Jihad is analogous to Health as to how much weights can a person lift. Whereas, the word Health has a wide spectrum of connotations with it. Health is not just physical health but it also includes mental health, spiritual health, economic health, social health and so on for a person. Thus, when one discusses health or gives advice about health, one has to take into consideration all these aspects under the rubric of health. Given this spectrum of implications of health, if some health buff only equates health to how much weights can one lift in a gym, it would be a sign of pure ignorance. Such a person will rightfully earn the title of health fanatic. To such a tunnel vision of health, a child or an older person cannot be healthy as they will not be able to lift any significant pounds. But still, a weight lifter can be accepted as healthy as long as he stays within the moral and ethical boundaries of not doping, else such a person is no more than a drug addict who presents to the world his muscles as false representation of health.
Similarly, as mentioned before by Nooruddin, Muhammad Ali, Pickthall, Zahid Aziz and others, in light of Quran, the word Jihad has implications of – The use of or exerting of one’s utmost powers, efforts, endeavours or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation, and this is of three kinds, namely; a visible enemy, the devil and against one’s own self. Similar to example of a healthy weightlifter, a war against a visible enemy is a sub-component of Jihad as long as it is in self-defense, else an aggressive war might outwardly be sold as Jihad, but it is no different than that of a weightlifter who apparently is healthy, but for all intent and purposes is a doper. The “experts” of this documentary only present to the world the doped-up Jihad as actual Jihad, which is wrong and willfully dishonest. The audience who cheer these “experts” are no more than the audience who cheer the prime-time mock fights of dopers on steroids who sell wrestling as athletics to the ignorant.
37. Walid Shoebat – “Jihad in Islam means struggle. That’s what the literal meaning of the word, struggle.
The documentary experts keep on bringing the distortions of the word – Jihad, and we will keep on providing the facts of Jihad. In earlier rebuttals Muhammad Ali (Issue 27), Pickthall (Issue 27) , Zahid Aziz (Issue 33) and Nooruddin (Issue 36) explained Jihad. Now, an article – Misconceptions about the Islamic concept of Jihad (pub. 1886) – by Dr. G.W. Leitner, a British orientalist and a linguist, updated for its use of archaic words by Dr. Zahid Aziz is excerpted below:
Meanings of the word jihad
The subject of jihad is so thoroughly misunderstood both by Western scholars and by the bulk of Muslims themselves that it will be well to point out what really constitutes jihad. In order to do so, it is necessary to analyse the word and to show when and how it was first used.
Etymologically the root is jahd, “he exerted himself”, and the infinitive that is formed from it means “utmost exertion”. Its first use amongst Arabic authors refers to that particular exertion which takes place under great difficulties, and, when applied to religious matters, it means an exertion under religious difficulties on behalf of the true religion.
It will be seen at once how a word of this kind would be subject to interpretations according to circumstances. Taking into consideration the surrounding life of an Arab, if he forces his camel or horse to take a desperate ride through the night so as to surprise the violators of his peace before the early morn, it is jihad; if he appeals to his kinsmen to shake off their lethargy and to rally round the tribal standard or to spread the opinions of the true faith, it is jihad; and if he abstains alike from worldly cares and amusements in order to find that peace which meditation alone can give in spite of an obdurate heart, it is jihad. Nor can the student‟s jihad in poring over his books, the merchant‟s jihad in amassing money, the ploughman’s jihad in winning food from an obstinate soil, be forgotten.
So that when people say that jihad means the duty of the Muslims to wage war against a non-Muslim government or country and call this jihad (although it is possible that under certain circumstances this use of the word might be legitimate), they really talk nonsense, and cast an undeserved libel on a religion with which they are not acquainted.
But what the West doesn’t understand is that the hadith, the compilation of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad of Islam is almost 100 hadiths regarding Jihad. And if you look at every single one of them, every single one of them have the sword, war or a military effort. And in the end of the expedition, Jihad expedition, he [Muhammad] said – Now I resort to the jihad within, the jihad that is within the self-struggle.
What does Shoebat expect of Muhammad when the latter spoke about a defensive war? Should Muhammad had given lectures on how to best offer oneself for crucifixion when faced with a defensive war? Any unbiased audience who lives in a real world can read very clearly even in Shoebat’s own words the preference of Muhammad to struggle within the person over the struggle of an imposed defensive war. Obviously, the struggle of person with his/her inner demons is intellectually and morally much higher struggle than an outward war in self defense. What is wrong and immoral with such a teaching? Burden is on Shoebat to explain his preaching, not on Muhammad, not on Quran and not on Hadiths in light of Quran. The partial Hadith that he refers to is addressed are requited from Leitner’s article [– Misconceptions about the Islamic concept of Jihad]:
“Your true jihad is in endeavouring to serve your parents.”
“We have returned from the small jihad” (the war with the aggressors on the Muslim faith) “to the great jihad” (the war with sin).
And as a matter of fact, I had this dialog with an Islamist one time, he says – ‘Walid, come-on, tell the West that Jihad means struggle.’ I said, ‘Yes, it does mean self-struggle, you’re right. Jihad does mean self-struggle, but so does Mein Kamph.’ Mein Kampf means My Struggle. In the same fashion, the Islamists look at Jihad.”
Shoebat, obviously you have not read “Mein Kampf” which is clear from the way you tried to rhyme in a distortion by using Hitler’s autobiography and his political ideology. This is similar to Issue 28 where you falsely score points by stating – “What part of kill don’t you [the West] understand?”
The documentary tries to inculcate in the audience a totally wrong perception of Jihad, which is far from its dictionary meanings, far removed from its implied meanings in Quran and has no example from life of Prophet Muhammad. All one can say to these pseudo-experts of the documentary is that Jihad is one of the strongest aspect of Islam. There are no apologies in rebutting and explaining the meanings, implications and purpose of Jihad as taught by Quran and practiced by Muhammad.
38. Mr. Serge Trifkovic – “It is a very dangerous element of Islamic teaching because this instant gratification through martyrdom is an attractive concept. And by the way, when the so called martyr operation is carried out by Hammas, what is announced from the minarets of mosques is not the death of so and so who carried out the attack, but the wedding of so and so to the hooris. In other words, they immediately make the implication that far from having to cry over his disappearance over the end of his physical life, his parents should be happy and celebrate and throw a party because their son is now being not only transported into heaven but greeted there with these voluptuous beauties.”
Trifkovic gives a totally wrong perception of martyrdom in Islam when he states – “It is a very dangerous element of Islamic teaching because this instant gratification from martyrdom is an attractive concept.” His argument hinges on the assumption that humans can confer the status of martyr on someone. In Islam, humans can only pray for someone to be granted the status of a martyr after his death. According to Quran this prerogative is only with God. Various aspects of martyrdom and the distortion of hooris, which are “voluptuous beauties” to Trifkovic were fully dealt with in Rebuttals 34 and 35 before. Besides possibly Trifkovic, it is doubted if anyone has actually seen a heavenly hoori to give the description of “voluptuous beauty?” Muhammad had this to say about an apparent martyr:
“The first of men (whose case) will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr. He shall be brought (before the Judgment Seat). Allah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them. Then will Allah say: What did you do? He will say: I fought for You until I died as a martyr. Allah will say: You have told a lie. You fought that you might be called a brave warrior. And you were called so. (Then) orders will be passed against him and he will be dragged with his face downward and cast into hell.” (Sahih Muslim, book: ‘Government’; in A.H. Siddiqui translation book 20, ch. 43, number 4688.) [Islam, Peace and Tolerance, p 51]
Suicide has no support in Quran. On the reverse, self-preservation is a duty (See Rebuttal 33). Christianity has to be credited, if not blamed for infusing non-sense in other cultures and religious thought. Christianity influenced other peoples in such a manner that the neo-cultural values and myths adopted by latter found expression as rituals and canons in the name of the prevalent religion. In the Issues discussed so far we seen such examples of stoning to death for blasphemy (Rebuttal 21, Leviticus 24:10-23), the infamous verse of sword in Bible (Rebuttal 28 – Matthews 10:34), the aggression of Holy wars – Crusades, stoning to death for adultery and now killing oneself with a reward in heaven can be attributed to none but the Bible.
The suicide bombing in Middle East stems from the Biblical tradition of Jesus that has seeped into that culture through Christianity. Jesus while predicting his own death said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:23-26
In the light of above Bible quote, Trifkovic failed to ask the fundamental question from the to be suicide bombers about their living situation under occupation, generation after generation, in Palestine as to – do they hate their life in this world? Chances are that Trifkovic will be “surprised” to get “Yes” as an answer. To such a suicide bomber, Bible gives solace – that the bomber “will keep it [-his reward] for eternal life.” after his suicide.
When a Mullah glorifies the death of a suicide bomber, he is factually glorifying words of Bible – “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:11-12
39. Walid Shoebat – “Shaheed, the word Shaheed, means witness, to witness to testify, to testify there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. And you die as a Shaheed for that cause, you are a witness, you are considered a witness and martyr, and a martyr becomes glorified. Your family will glorify you after you die.”
One of the many tactics employed by this documentary is to keep repeating an allegation, no matter how false. Sooner or later it will psychologically stick with the audience as the truth. Shaheed interpreted as a martyr is one such construct that this documentary keeps repeating and wrongly attributes it to acts of terrorism. This wrong perception of Martyrdom attributed to Islam was clarified in detail in the Issue 34 under the heading ‘Martyrdom’ based upon excerpted section from the book “Islam, Peace and Tolerance” [p. 50-2] by Dr. Zahid Aziz.
Footnote – Shoebat himself acknowledges that Shaheed means witness. Thus, it would be totally ridiculous to substitute the word ‘martyr’ for ‘witness’ in Quran e.g.
“Allah is witness of what you do” (3:98)
“Allah is sufficient as a witness between us and you” (10:29).
Walid Shoebat – “To a Muslim fundamentalist living in the Middle East I had to be initiated. I had to basically either kill my first Jew or destroy my first Zionist infrastructure. I had to prove beyond shadow of a doubt that I was worthy. And there are ample amount of students, teenagers, men, who are willing to die a suicide martyrs. Willing to put explosives. The martyr application is filled. There are many applicants. There are not enough bombs to fulfill the applicants. And to get in one of those missions indeed you must have been chosen. You must have been really good. You must have been violent enough. You must have been going out on every demonstration in the streets of Jerusalem or Bethlehem or our village. You must have shown yourself worthy of a greater operation. So when I explained what I have done and people have seen me in the community and I was worthy, [pause] I ended up in prison, I was of course recruited. And I remember Mr. Mahmud Al-Mughrabi. He was a proud, he was proud to have planted fifteen bombs. Killed many Israelis. He was being bailed out by a Jewish-Israeli lawyer. He back right in the street. So you find your bomb maker and you apply. You say, ‘look, I want to join, I want to do my first martyr operation, planting a bomb, whatever’ and you need connection. I found my connection. I rendezvous with this guy in Jerusalem in [unclear location] and he built this explosive charge with a timer in a loaf of bread and I had to smuggle it from the Temple Mount under the auspices of Al-Waqf department. Al-Waqf police is the Islamic police appointed by the government to watch over the holy sites. Them knowingly that I have explosive charges, smuggle me so that I can escape from the check points. There I carried my explosive charge from Jerusalem to Bank Leumi in Bethlehem. I was supposed to place the explosive charge at 6 pm exactly. I was supposed to have this explosive charge in my hand at 6 pm exactly. Five to six [o,clock] I saw some Arab children running around and I did not want to kill any Arabs. So, I decided to place this explosive charge on the roof, I tossed it on the roof. At 6 pm it went off and there was this big explosion. I looked behind me. I see a thick black smoke coming out of the building. And I started running. That’s the moment I first got a glimpse of the reality of killing. I thought people have died. And, I remember, I didn’t sleep for three days, constantly worried that I have killed somebody. Even terrorists have reality check that you kill or about to die. You can sense it. This is why in Israel, the way the nature of finding out a suicide bomber is to look at their eyes. They will have these glossy eyes. They are sweating profusely. They are not paying attention because in their mind they are about to go. And its, you weight the reality that now you are gonna die. Many times I have been in this situation or I had thought I was going to get killed shooting back and forth as we stone at the Israelis and they shoot back at us and things like that. I was face to face with death. When you think in your minds that you are going to die, you struggle between the requirements of your Islamic upbringing and between the reality that you value your life. And, at some point one has to outweigh the other. And, for a Muslim fundamentalist we always chose death. We always chose the suicide. My cousin died on his way to Ben-Yahuda street and he got killed. He died. I had people and relatives die fighting the Israelis. And as I look at now, I think what a waste. What a waste of life!”
Shoebat once again fabricates facts and logic for a scripted tearjerker account of his past. He cunningly chooses his words. To insinuate the audience he tacitly mentions the Temple Mount i.e. Al-Aqsa Mosque where allegedly his bomb was made. Then he makes sure that Al-Waqf police is mentioned as his accomplice in the terror plot. Like the plot of DaVinci Code, he touches every landmark in the holy land. Whom is Shoebat trying to fool or please? Equivalent of his lies in Christian world would be a Vatican staff member who manufactures a bomb for a terrorist in Sistine Chapel and then the Pontifical Swiss Guards of the Vatican slip the terrorist and his bomb into some populated part of Rome, e.g. St. Peter’s Square. His synthesized facts are laughable. Probably, of many reasons, it was this fantastic account that caught the attention of CNN. His self-awakening to Christianity based upon his past of being a “terrorist” is rubbished by the CNN investigative journalism (see Part – 1 of “Ex Terrorist Rakes’ in homeland security bucks”).
CNN was not able to locate any incidence or police report of bombing of the bank that Shoebat takes “credit” for. The video clip clearly shows that the bank is housed in a tall building. It is just impossible for someone to lob up a bomb from street level to its roof, unless it is Shoebat throwing it in his fantasies of Marvel Comics characters the Fantastic Four. There are no police records of Shoebat’s self-alleged arrests and imprisonment in Israel. Even his family members mock his fabricated “terrorist” activities. Obviously, Shoebat is more of a wannabe terrorist or a terrorist of a make belief for the gullible Western audience.
Shoebat not only unravels himself by his lies, he factually throws the whole documentary into a pseudo-intellectual gutter. Looking back at the previous issues, all his arguments similarly appear hollow and fabricated to please certain audience and pocketbooks.
PART II – THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER
5. “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”
This is the core declaration by a Muslim which unburdens one from all the external and internal Gods, both material and non-material, while only bowing to THE GOD, Allah. Prophet is no more than a Messenger, though a perfect exemplar. This declaration prevents the attribution of a super human status to the Prophet, which unfortunately was ascribed to those before him, to the extent that some were and to this day accepted as Gods, rather than mere human Messengers that they were.
6. In Islamic theology the prophet Muhammad is considered Al-Insan-al-Kamil which is the perfect man.
7: 157. `Those who follow this perfect Messenger, the Arab Prophet whom they find described in the Torah and the Evangel which are with them, who enjoins upon them that which is right and forbids them that which is wrong, and who makes lawful for them all the pure and good things, and makes unlawful all the impure and bad things, and who relieves them of their heavy burden and shackles that weigh them down. Indeed those who believe in him and honour him and serve him and follow the light that has been sent down with him, it is these who will attain their goal.'
“had it not been for Muhammad we would not have been able to appreciate the Divine institution of Prophethood.” – The Ideal Prophet – Khwaja Kamaluddin.
7. Muhammad wiped out Jewish tribes of Medina, Banu-Nadir, Banu-Qainqah, Banu-Quraiza.
Only these three tribes for their treachery were exiled out of Medina by the local government. They were allowed to leave with all their moveable property while the immoveable property they were allowed to sell. Besides these three, there were other peaceful 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]; in total about 36,000 to 42,000.
Up to 900 Quraizites were beheaded.
While the siege of in Medina by Makkans was thwarted by dug trenches (~627 CE), concurrently Banu-Quraiza of Medina, broke the treaty with Muslims and supported the besieging Makkans. After the siege of Medina ended in failure, no more than 16 mutinous Quraizaites were killed on the orders of a judge of their own choosing who belonged to their friendly clan, and not on the orders of Muhammad. The “odd tales” of 900 Banu Quraizah beheadings is transposition of history from that of Jewish Masada at the hands of Romans. Isn’t it strange that Jewish chronicles which cover every infliction in history do not mention the so called 900 killed during early Islam? Answer is simple, it never happened.
8. Imaginative parallels of beheadings during Iraq War-II as with Banu Quraizah based upon Sirat, a book by Ibn-Ishaq.
Sirat is not a book of history but of tales especially based upon Jewish legends of Banu Quraizah.
9. Unlike other Books, Quran is unalterable word of God, thus contains the Divine Wisdom, the Umal-Kitab, the mother of the book.
16:102. Say, `The Spirit of Holiness [– Angel Gabriel] has brought this (Qur'ân) down from your Lord to suit the requirement of truth and wisdom, (Allâh has revealed it) so that He may strengthen those who believe in their faith and so that (this may serve as) a guidance and good tidings for Muslims.”
43:4. And it (- the Qur’ân) lies (safe) with Us in the Mother of the Book (which is the source of all knowledge), and (it is) indeed eminently sublime and full of wisdom.
Qur’ân expounds its message with proofs based upon logic, reason, history, physical phenomenon, science and sociology, when it discusses monotheism, human nature, equality and fraternity of man, the sinless soul, and the physical and moral states of man. On the same principles it describes the purpose of the man and the universe he lives in. It declares nature as being subservient to man. It outlines virtues and sins, paths of salvation, emphasis on action rather than homilies, the state of life after death, and the concept of hell and heaven. Qur’ân launders the previous prophet from all of the historical smears and offers this as a doable example of Qur’ân. It brings morality, spirituality, physicality and science into a mutually complementary logic. Qur’ân declares the divine guarding of its own everlasting purity, free from adulteration and contradiction and with an open challenge to any to bring even a chapter matching that of Qur’ân. It identifies the divine origin of all monotheistic faiths and the completion of religion with Islam. “The Light of the Quran & Tabloid on Criterion for Religions” by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, “The Divine Origin of the Holy Quran” by Muhammad Ali and “Introduction to the Study of Holy Quran” by Khwaja Kamaluddin.
Some verses of Quran abrogate [Nasikh] others. There is conflict of literal and figurative aspects of Quran.
There is no abrogation in Quran, while it abrogates previous Laws. “And Allâh knows very well the need of what He reveals, yet when We replace a revelation with another revelation they say (to you), `You are only a fabricator (of lies).' The truth is, however, that most of them know nothing – 16:101”. This verse clearly points to the objections and anxieties of the Jews of Medina that the Prophet is allegedly ‘fabricating’ something that is abrogating and ‘replacing’ their older Scriptures. Of note is that the polytheist Arabs had no book that could have been abrogated by the Quran.
Quran settles the debate of literal and figurative aspects which form the basis of its lasting Message – 3:7. He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive — they are the basis of the Book — and others are allegorical. Then those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead, and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation…
10. 98:6. Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikoon will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures. – The Noble Quran, Translated with parenthetical note by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan
Above is one of the oft repeated out of context quotations of verses which tears away the Message and purpose of Quran. The full context of the said verse is brought to light in adjoining verses:
98:1-8. Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and (from among) those who associate gods with God, would not be rid of their bigotry and rejection of Faith until there should come to them the manifest proof – A great Messenger (- Muhammad) from Allâh reciting (to them) written leaves of the Book, free from all impurities, Consisting of eternal laws and commandments. Those to whom the Scripture was given became divided only after the manifest proof had come to them. (They have done it) though (in Islam) they were enjoined nothing more than to serve Allâh, bearing true faith in Him, (and) being upright, and to observe Prayer and to keep on presenting the Zakât. That is the true and firm conduct of faith. Verily, those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and (from among) those who associate gods with God shall be consigned to the Fire of Gehenna. Therein they shall abide. It is they who are the worst of all creatures. Verily, those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, it is they who are the noblest of all creatures Their reward is with their Lord – Gardens of Eternity served with running streams (to keep them green and flourishing), they shall abide therein, for ever and ever. Allâh is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him (in their state of highest bliss). Such is (the reward) for a person who stands in awe of his Lord.
The above verses in full context bring out the purpose of Islam – to believe in monotheism, righteous actions, prayers and alms giving.
11. Quran is simply set of direct commandments or else narratives, descriptions, something much distorted descriptions of Judaism and Christianity.
Quran itself answers the above doubts and allegations, which none of the previous scriptures in their current form can match:
12:2. Surely We have revealed it — an Arabic Quran — that you may understand.
41:44. Had We made it a Qur'ân in indistinct and inexpressive language, these (faultfinders) would have surely said, `Why has not (the subject matter of) its verses been made clear in exposition?' What! can indistinct and inexpressive language and an eloquently clear language (be one and the same thing). Say, `It is a wonderful guidance and healing to those who believe.'
17:89. And certainly We have made clear for people in this Quran every kind of description…
41:3. (It is) a Book, the verses of which are detailed and clear in exposition. It is beautifully inter linked, (and it is in a language that) makes the meanings eloquently clear. It is very useful for a people who have knowledge.
10:37. And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of what is before it and a clear explanation of the Book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds.
2:2. This Book, in which there is no doubt…
4:82. Will they not then meditate on the Quran? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.
12. Hadiths are absolutely necessary to make any sense of the Quran because Allah addresses Muhammad in the Quran and they talk of incidence in Muhammad’s life but they don’t fill in the narrative details. So, you have to go to the Hadith; the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad in order to understand what is being said in the Quran and why.
Hadiths are human efforts to preserve the life, actions and sayings attributed to Prophet. All for a good reason:
33:21. Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.
Maulana Muhammad Ali explains in his commentary the rationale for above verse in its footnote:
“This verse states that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the best exemplar and the highest model of virtue for the faithful under all circumstances. He was a general, soldier, lawmaker, judge, husband and father. He punished tyrants for wrongs they had inflicted on innocent persons, forgave his persecuting enemies after overcoming them, and overlooked the faults of his followers. Hence he was an excellent exemplar and a perfect model in all walks of life, and he not only gave practical rules of guidance, but gave by his life a practical illustration of all those rules.”
Hadiths do have a role to explain Quran, provided they are not in conflict with the message of Quran. In the latter case, one can make a simple argument that either a given hadith is not the saying of the Prophet Muhammad or its collection is not fully contextualized to when and why it was uttered. This general rule applies not only to Hadith, but to any commentary of Quran by anyone whether in history or even in our own times. This standard to reject a Hadith is simply based upon the guidelines of Quran, according to which the actual sayings and actions of Muhammad are in congruence with the Message of the Quran:
6:50. I do not say to you, I have with me the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel; I follow only what is revealed to me. Say: Are the blind and the seeing alike? Do you not then reflect?
7:203. And when you do not bring them a sign, they say: Why do you not demand it? Say: I follow only what is revealed to me from my Lord. These are clear proofs from your Lord and a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.
46:9. Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you. I follow only what is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.
The topic of Hadith is fully dealt by Muhammad Ali in his book “Religion of Islam” [p. 44-71]
13. Sahih Al-Bukhari – Vol. 4, Bk. 52, Hadith 53 – The Prophet said, “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it…except the martyr, who on seeing on the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah’s cause).”
As a rule, each Hadith has to be read in the light of Quran. If its content and message supports Quran, then it could be a commentary on the latter, else it has to be rejected. The message of the above Hadith can be teased out as follows:
i) “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it”
The keywords in this excerpt are anyone who “dies and finds good from Allah (in Hereafter)”. Essentially, only those dear departed are addressed who acted in this world in congruence to Allah’s guidance whether out of their inborn virtue or finding the right path through the Quran. Then, under Law of Recompense that is mentioned throughout the Quran, such blessed people in the Hereafter will be rewarded to such a great magnitude for their good deeds that hypothetically if given a choice “Nobody … would wish to come back to this world even if he were give the whole world and whatever is in it.” The world should have a problem only if the expectations of hereafter are less than the whole world and whatever is in it.
ii) “…except the martyr, who on seeing on the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah’s cause).”
The fundamental question is – What is Allah’s cause that for sure does not include empty homilies, empty gesticulations, and empty sacraments? In Quran the martyrs in Allah’s cause are those who gave up their lives in service of humanity to rid it of the crutches of dogmas, racism, slavery and apartheid. Many verses could be quoted from Quran that define martyrdom, but suffice to state for these martyrs:
2:154. And do not count as dead those who are killed in the cause of Allâh. Rather (they are) living, only you perceive not (their life).
Quran further elaborates on some of the moral causes that might result in martyrdom, for example:
4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh [The Lord of Mankind 114:1] and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.’
The Prophet said , “A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it.”
In Islam, fighting is allowed only in self-defense or against persecution of any religion or lawlessness:
2:190. And fight in the cause of Allâh those who fight and persecute you, but commit no aggression. Surely, Allâh does not love the aggressors.
2:191. And slay them (the aggressors against whom fighting is made incumbent) when and where you get the better of them, in disciplinary way, and turn them out whence they have turned you out. (Killing is bad but) lawlessness is even worse than carnage. But do not fight them in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah) unless they fight you therein. Should they attack you (there) then slay them. This indeed is the recompense of such disbelievers.
2:192. But if they desist (from aggression) then, behold, Allâh is indeed Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
2:193. And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh [ – the God of Mankind – 114:1]. But if they desist (from hostilities) then (remember) there is no punishment except against the unjust (who still persist in persecution).
History has always recognized its heroes who died while protecting the weak and standing up to tyrants. It is this kind of “endeavor (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon” that “is better than all the world and whatever is in it.”
14. Since there is no sense of natural morality in Islam, you have to go into either the Quran or Hadith to find out what is allowed and what is not allowed.
The natural morality in Islam is the innate nature of the faith, which can be stated simply by one verse alone:
30:30. So pay your whole-hearted attention to (the cause of) faith as one devoted (to pure faith), turning away from all that is false. (And follow) the Faith of Allâh (-Islam) to suit the requirements of which He has made the nature of mankind. There can be no change in the nature (of creation) which Allâh has made. That is the right and most perfect Faith, yet most people do not know (it).
For example, Quran quite succinctly draws attention to current state of world that has blurred the boundaries of morality vs. wealth, freedom of speech vs. slander and defamation:
104:1. Woe to every slanderer, defamer,
104:2. who amasses wealth and counts it
104:3. he thinks that his wealth will make him abide forever.
104:4. No indeed! He will certainly be hurled into the crushing disaster;
104:5. and what will make you realize what the crushing disaster is?
104:6. It is the Fire kindled by Allah [–a consequence of greed],
104:7. which rises over the hearts.
104:8. Surely it is closed in on them,
104:9. in extended columns.
15. There are very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield and to invite them either to accept Islam or second-class Dhimmi status in the Islamic state and if they refuse both of those then to wage war against them.
Muslims can meet their enemies in a battlefield under a few conditions only – self-defense, prevention of tyranny and lawlessness or for the sake of religious freedom for all. In doing so, there could be a strategic preemptive maneuver if a prevailing state of war exists – refer to Issues 1, 8 and 13 which outline excerpts from Quran to validate these claims.
In Islam there is no room for racial, gender or religious discrimination and none of these factors can contribute to any war:
4:1. O you people! take as a shield your Lord Who created you from a single being. The same stock from which He created the man He created his spouse, and through them both He caused to spread a large number of men and women. O people! regard Allâh with reverence in Whose name you appeal to one another, and (be regardful to) the ties of relationship (particularly from the female side). Verily, Allâh ever keeps watch over you.
10:19. And mankind were but a single nation, then they fell into variance…
25:54. And it is He Who created human being from water and has given him relations by descent and (kindred) by marriage (and thus sought to establish a civilization and social life based on oneness of humanity under oneness of God). And your Lord is All-Powerful.
30:22. The creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours are (also some) of His signs. Behold there are sure signs for the learned people in this (unity of mankind and Oneness of the Creator).
49:13. O mankind! We have created you out of a male and a female, and We have made you tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognise (and do good to) one another. Surely the most honourable of you in the sight of Allâh is he who guards against evil the most. Verily, Allâh is All- knowing, All-Aware.
21:92. (Mankind!) surely, this your religion is the one single religion (of all the Prophets), and I am your Lord, so worship Me.
The actions of Prophet Muhammad and the heads of state in Islamic history enforcing equality of all, especially the extra accommodation of non-Muslims under Muslim rule are evidenced in secular history by the contractual obligation he undertook – CHARTER TO CHRISTIANS by Muhammad ( Jihad in Islam, by M.Y.K., The Muslim Revival, p. 143-146, June 1936), by his companions – STATE LETTERS OF CALIPH UMAR (Islamic Review, p. 10, October 1956) and the Muslim Kings – THE DECREE OF AURANGZEB of India (Islamic Review, p. 124-125, April-May, 1925).
16. 9:29 – Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and fight against those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah [- the Poll Tax] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. – The Noble Koran
Reading of the said verse out of context is equivalent of reading penal code of a country without its constitution, the actual source of the laws.
9:29. Fight against such of the people who despite having been given the Scripture [and the Law and the morality that emanates from it – as recorded in secular history,] do not (really) believe in Allâh and the Last Day, [and had no sense of accountability – which can be independently verified in history] and who do not hold unlawful what Allâh and His Messenger have declared to be unlawful, and do not subscribe to the true faith, [and trample the very moral basis of the law]…
The keyword in above verse is unlawful. These clauses are only valid and enforceable in context of a sitting government and its set of written laws including taxation. No government can be functional without law enforcement and tax collection. The law enforcement was warranted then as is now in “civilized” societies of the world. Some of the unlawful and forbidden activities requiring full force of the law are sampled from Quran elsewhere e.g. Money Matters and Loan Sharking 2:275-79, 4:161; Bankruptcy Protection 2:280. Mob Justice 17:33, 4:29-30; Health and Safety Code 16:115, 2:173; Incest 4:23-24.Human trafficking – Sex Trade 7:33, 24:3, 25:68; Human Dignity and Defamation 49:11; Anti-State conspiracy and Sleeper Cells 58:8-10 etc.
9:29….until they pay the Jizyah (- the commutation tax), provided they can afford it, and they are content with their state of subjection (having become incorporated in the Islamic government) [as payment of tax is the first step towards citizenship and the rights that it confers. Conforming to tax laws is in letter and spirit an “Oath of Allegiance” to the state, else Internal Revenue Service has no option but to act against such a person, legally and if needed by police action].
The Jizyah was a sliding tax rate; up to a maximum of 12 dirhams annually for non-Muslims (see Issue 15 – Muhammad’s Charter to Christians) and that too provided they can afford it, while it also exempted them from compulsory military service. On the other hand, the Muslims had a fixed 2.5% wealth tax aka Zakat, annually and was also mandatory for them to serve in the military. By pure numbers and responsibilities, factually it was the Muslims who were ‘discriminated’ against as compared to non-Muslims citizens that are called Dhimmis. This is the minimum undertaking of Dhimma by the Muslims, the extra responsibility, accommodation, care and protection of non-Muslims under their rule – see Issue 15.
17. The Quran is broken down into two sections. One is called Makiyyah, which means what was inspired to the Prophet of Islam, in Makkah. One is called Madaniyyah – what was inspired to Prophet of Islam in Medina or Yathrib…
There are no fault lines of Makkiyyah or Madaniyyah verses in Quran. A chapter (-surah) may be termed by some historically curious as Makkiyyah if it’s opening verse (-ayah) was revealed in Makkah. There is no hard and fast rule that some or all of the verses of the same chapter too were revealed in Makkah. Even if the rest of the verses of the chapter were revealed in Makkah, they might have been revealed years apart. Same holds true for Madaniyya. This documentary tries to force a re-structure of Quran into chronological order which it is not. Quran is a preexisting full body of knowledge from the first cause, generally called as God, and specifically in Islam – Allah, though it was revealed in portions and arranged by the Prophet in the Book, the Quran under Divine guidance. The preexistence of this whole body of logic is metaphorically referred to as:
85:21. This is also the truth that it is a glorious Qur’ân,
85:22. (Inscribed) in a Tablet well-guarded (against corruption, distortion and destruction).[Note: this is not the last verse revealed, but Quran is referring to itself as a whole preexisting Book]
Prophet Muhammad never differentiated the verses and the message of Quran along Makkiyyah or Madaniyyah lines. In general, purely on historical basis, Makkiayah verses are more centered on the fundamentals of faith, prophecies and relationship of man with God; whereas the Madaniyyah verses deal with putting faith into action, fulfillment of prophecies and social dealings of an individual in a governed society – see also “Religion of Islam” [p. 38-39] by Muhammad Ali.
Whether a verse was revealed in Makkah or Medina has more of historical value and has no bearing on the fundamental truths of the message and there are no contradictions therein. Quran has already answered any such doubts beforehand:
25:32. And those who disbelieve say, `Why has not (the whole of) the Qur’ân been revealed to him all at once? (But We have revealed it) in this manner (- piece by piece out of necessity). And (in spite of the fact that it has not been revealed all at once,) We have arranged it in an excellent (form and order of) arrangement (and free of all contradictions) so that We may thereby lend strength to your heart.
25:33. They bring you no parable (by way of an objection) but We have provided you with the true fact and perfect interpretation (of it, in answer to the objection beforehand).
..In Makkah you find much of the peaceful verses…
In Medina too, essentially throughout Quran there are peaceful verses and no violent message, not only in letter but in spirit as well, because it is the very definition of Islam i.e. peace and free of anxieties. This topic will progress further in the documentary and any specific allegations shall be dealt with thence.
…Even the Muslims used to worship in direction of prayer towards Jerusalem. They saw many elements of the unity between Jewish and Christians and Muslim faith.
It is an article of faith for Muslims to believe in the same God, the Prophets and the revealed original Books of the Jews and Christians and just not offer a politically correct conciliatory lip service. Many verses can be quoted to validate this statement, but following sample should suffice:
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.
29:46. (Believers!) observe all the propriety when you argue with the people of the Scripture; but those who are bent upon behaving unjustly among them do not agree to these principles (so deal with them accordingly). And say (to them), `We believe in all that is revealed to us and in that which has been revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we stand resigned.
In the beginning Muslims, on their own volition used to pray in the direction of Jerusalem, the home of Abrahamic chain of Prophets, till the time they were redirected in the direction of the House built by Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael (-Ismail), which incidentally too was a wish and prayer of the Prophet Muhammad:
2:142. The weak-minded among the people will say, `What has made these (Muslims) turn from their (first) Qiblah (- the direction they were facing in their Prayer, the holy place of worship at Jerusalem) to which they conformed (so far)?’ Say, `To Allâh belongs the east and the west, He guides him who wishes (to be guided) to the right path.’
2:144. Verily, We have seen the turning of your attention (O Prophet!) repeatedly towards heaven, We will certainly give you possession of the Qiblah of your liking. So turn your attention in the direction of Masjid al-Harâm (- the Holy Mosque at Makkah) and wherever you (O Muslims!) be, turn your attentions in the direction of it. And surely those (scholars) who have been given the Scripture know for certain that this (change of Qiblah) is a true commandment proceeding from their Lord. And (as for the disbelievers,) Allâh is not at all unmindful as to what they do.
18. The peaceful verses in Quran almost invariably date back to beginnings of Muhammad’s prophetic career in his native city of Makkah where he was powerless, where he was only beginning to attract followers.
Yes, Muhammad was seemingly “powerless” but not alone or despaired:
8:26. And (recall the time) when you were only a few and were looked upon as weak in the land, you were afraid lest the people should take you by storm, but He provided you refuge (in Madînah) and strengthened you with His help and provided you with good and pure things so that you might give thanks.
History was on the side of Muhammad, just as it was for the Israelites under Pharoah:
28:3. We recount to you (a portion) of the true account of Moses and Pharaoh with all accuracy for the benefit of the people who would believe.
28:5. And We chose to confer favour upon those who had been rendered weak in the land and to make them leaders and to bestow a kingdom upon them, thus make them inheritors (of Our blessings).
When the persecution reaches its extreme, Prophets and their followers are provided refuge away from their home base that we see in example of Moses and Jesus before:
23: 50. And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, (and a model of virtue), and We gave them both refuge upon a worth-living lofty plateau abounding in (green and fruitful) valleys and springs of running water.
For Moses the refuge was in Palestine, for Jesus it was Kashmir and for Muhammad it was Medina.
The same Divine plan for Muhammad did not stop at providing refuge to him and his followers who were only a few and were looked upon as weak in the land and powerless, but it went on to provide a complete moral and material victory to the same powerless:
110:1. The help of Allâh and the victory (over the Makkans) has indeed come (in fulfillment of the prophecies),
110:2. And you see people thronging in to the fold of the Faith of Allâh.
For Prophets Moses and Jesus there was no returning, whereas Muhammad returned peacefully to his home town with complete victory over minds and hearts of his tormentors by his Message and his personal example.
19: Only a few relatives and friends accepted the religions when Prophet was in Makkah. He had many foes so the revelations of that time were very peaceful.
In the first three years of Islam, but for “only a few relatives and friends accepted religion at that time”, rest either ignored or opposed him. Despite the ever increasing physical torture and persecution, Islam had forty converts by the third year that grew to about fifty in the fifth year, but they were definitely more that twelve apostles. Some of them were actually bodily dismembered by pulling of camels in opposite directions; others molested and killed in front of family members. Not one of them recanted. Not one of them sold Muhammad for thirty pieces of silver. Not one of them spat on Muhammad’s face. There was something in his Message that made his followers endure it all.
By the fifth year of the call, the number of Muslims had grown to fifty, who in the face of incessant persecution were forced to migrate to Ethiopia:
16:41. We will certainly provide a goodly abode in this world for those who emigrated (from their homes) in the cause of Allâh after they were dealt with unjustly. And truly the reward (that they shall have) in the Hereafter is greater still. If the disbelievers but knew (it would have been much better for them).
16:42. These are those (emigrants) who patiently persevered and put their trust in their Lord (alone).
The following is the speech delivered by Jafar, an early companion of the Prophet, in the court of King of Negus (Ethiopia). He was one of the above immigrants who were on the verge of being extradited back on the instigation of the emissary from Makkah:
“O King! we were an ignorant people, given to idolatry. We used to eat corpses even of dead animals, and to do all kinds of disgraceful things. We did not make good our obligations to our relations, and ill-treated our neighbours. The strong among us would thrive at the expense of the weak, till, at last, God sent a prophet for our reformation. His descent, his righteousness, his integrity and his piety are well-known to us. He called us to the worship of God, and exhorted us to give up idolatry and stone worship. He enjoined us to speak truth, to make good our trusts, to respect ties of kinship, and to do good to our neighbours. He taught us to shun everything foul and to avoid bloodshed. He forbade all manner of indecent things telling lies, misappropriating orphans’ belongings, and bringing false accusations against the chastity of women. So we believed in him, followed him, and acted upon his teachings. Thereupon our people began to wrong us, to subject us to tortures, thinking that we might thus abjure our faith and revert to idolatry. When, however, their cruelties exceeded all bounds. we came out to seek an asylum in your country, where we hope we shall come to no harm.” [Muhammad The Prophet, by Maulana Muhammad Ali – p. 53]
20: Well it all changes with the establishment of Muhammad’s theocratic statelet in the city of Medina. He becomes a warlord. He becomes the head of the totalitarian state. He becomes very rich. Very powerful and very intolerant. And then many of these early verses in fact get abrogated.
Never has it been possible in history, for one to be a warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant yet declared by secular history to be the most successful man ever on the basis of him being – Active as a social reformer, diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, military leader, humanitarian, philanthropist – which is how Muhammad is ranked #1 in The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. There are many good reasons why Michael H. Hart describes Muhammad as – “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms, which this documentary apparently fails to perceive.
After the years of incessant persecution proved futile, the Makkans had made the offer to Muhammad of great riches, totalitarian and theocratic powers, women, heaps of gold and silver which he rejected when he was “powerless” (Trifkovic’s own word – Issue 18). All this was offered to him by the delegation of Makkans sometime before his immigration to Medina in the following words:
IIf your ambition is to possess wealth, we will amass for you as much of it as you wish; if you aspire to win honour and power, we are prepared to swear allegiance to you as our overlord and king; if you have a fancy for beauty, you shall have the hand of the finest maiden of your own choice.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
To all these temptations Muhammad replied:
“I want neither pelf nor power. I have been commissioned by Allah as Warner to mankind. I deliver His message to you. Should you accept it, you shall have felicity in this life as well as in the life to come; should you reject the word of Allah, surely Allah will decide between you and me.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
It is to this that the Holy Quran refers in the following verse:
17:74. And if We had not made thee firm, thou mightest have indeed inclined to them a little.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
It totally makes no sense for Muhammad to endure decades of incessant persecution for himself, his family, his friends, his peers, and his followers just to get to Medina to become in words of Serge Trifkovic – “a warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant” which was offered to him on a platter in Makkah in the first place.
It is a well recorded fact of history that the alleged “warlord” left his family with meager provisions upon his death. By public announcement he had paid off all his debts before his death which amounted to no more than a few dirhams (dollars). He was buried in his own home and not on some public land that would incur favor from taxpayer. His home was small and made of mortar and was bare of any furnishings as he used to sleep on palm leaves mat laid on the floor. Some warlord!
21: In surah 2, verse 106 of Quran, it says, or Allahs says, I should say, that if we abrogate it, We being Allah, abrogate a verse, then we will give you one that’s better.
The Noble Quran, 2:106, Whatever a verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?
This is the basis, the foundation of the Quranic doctrine of Nasikh, which is abrogation and it is the idea that when there are verses that are contradictory or appear to be contradictory in the Quran, the one that is revealed later chronologically is better as Allah has promised and cancels the earlier one.
The above quoted verse is put forth as another wrongful argument to validate abrogation in Quran:
2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will.
The above verse continues the subject matter of its preceding verse 2:105, which is only and only about people of the Scripture i.e. Jews and Christians and the subsequent verse 2:106 is only and only about their Books, the Torah and Evangel. Any mention of Quran in context of verses 2:105 and 2:106 is sign of sheer illiteracy or plain malicious distortion.
Even though the verse 2:106 cannot be quoted singularly, still it expounds the philosophy of when a previous Divine Message is abrogated then in its stead – We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it. So, the natural question then arises as to which is that – Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it? That answer is crystal clear in the preceding verse:
2:105. Neither those from among the people of the Scripture who disbelieved, nor the polytheists like that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But Allâh singles out for His mercy whomsoever He wishes [be it a non-Jewish Prophet] (to receive His mercy), and Allâh is of abounding bounty.
Obviously in the above verse none of the people who disbelieved were willing to accept that any good should be sent down to you [–Muhammad and/or Muslims] from your Lord. Next question is that what was that sent down to you from your Lord? Of course, it was none but Quran. Clearly there was a turf war between Jews and Muslims. By accepting Quran as a revealed book, the Jews naturally had to give up Torah as abrogated. This tussle between Jews rejecting Muhammad and Quran instead of Torah is further brought to light by next verses:
2:108. Rather you (Jews!) like to question your Messenger (unduly) as Moses was questioned before? And he who adopts disbelief instead of belief, had undoubtedly strayed from the straight direction of the path.
2:109. Many of the people of the Scripture would love to turn you back after your having believed, into disbelievers, out of selfish envy, and after the truth (of this Qur'ân) has become apparent to them. But pardon (them) and overlook, until Allâh shall make manifest His will, indeed Allâh is Possessor of every power to do all He will.
Purely, as an example of abrogation of older scriptures, reader might like to read Leviticus 24:10-12. Not too surprisingly it is not only that Quran abrogates it (assuming the Leviticus is still in its original form), even Christians and Jews themselves abrogate it despite having full control of laws in Christian countries and Israel.
22: Now the violence started. Now you have to weigh between peaceful verses and non-peaceful verses. So the edict was that these were made null and void.
Yes, the incessant violence was started against the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from the beginnings of Islam by the Makkans, who latter were joined in by their allies of Arabia which also included the people of the Scripture.
23: It is indeed a very curious concept for a non-Muslim to accept the notion that God may change his mind about a topic and issue one injunction in AD 614 [Slide projected– The Noble Koran – 2:256 There is no compulsion (i.e. coercion) in religion.] And then a very different one in AD 627. [Slide projected – The Noble Koran – 9:5 Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them...But if they repent and accept Islam...then leave their way free.] But this is indeed what happened in Islam.
Verse 2:256 is cornerstone of Islam. Verse 9:5 as construed above is a totally out of context and a malicious distortion of the message of Quran. There is no contradiction between the two verses as they speak of totally different subjects. Rather, the subject matter of the context of 9:5 happens to protect what verse 2:256 stands for, both for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Reader is simply advised to read the said verse in its full context, as reproduced below:
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.
24: It is very important to understand the Quran is not arranged chronologically but arranged on simply on the basis of longest chapter to the shortest.
Earlier, in Issue 17 an effort was made in the documentary to dismember Quran into geographical location of its revelation i.e. Makiyyah and Madinyyah Surahs. Now another tack is tried by citing length of Surahs. In next Issue 25, another angle to discredit Quran is made to divide Quran along peaceful and non-peaceful verses. Fact of the matter is that Quran fully stands intact despite these amateurish distortions. Each of its verses is complementary to any other, whether revealed across geography or time.
Following is a listing of number of verses in each of the Surah (chapter) in Quran. The table below represents the verse count horizontally from top-left to bottom-right e.g. Surah #1 has 7 verses, Surah #2 has 286 verses….the last Surah #114 has 6 verses:
7 286 200 176 120 165 206 75 129 109 123 111 43 52 99 128 111 110 98 135 112 78 118 64 77 227 93 88 69 60 34 30 73 54 45 83 182 88 75 85 54 53 89 59 37 35 38 29 18 45 60 49 62 55 78 96 29 22 24 13 14 11 11 18 12 12 30 52 52 44 28 28 20 56 40 31 50 40 46 42 29 19 36 25 22 17 19 26 30 20 15 21 11 8 8 19 5 8 8 11 11 8 3 9 5 4 7 3 6 3 5 4 5 6
The main body of Quran in terms of number of verses per Surah is skewed towards right in distribution, but so what? If that is the Divine Design, then so be it. Message of Quran is across the board pristine, relevant and for uplift of humanity.
25: “So you will find in the book itself some of these more tolerant verses at a later point in the book…”
[Quran projected with studio voice– 4.And I shall not worship That which you are Worshiping. 5.Nor will you worship That which I worship. 6.To you be your religion, And to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism).]
“…then the very intolerant ones advocating violence and subjugation of the infidels. But that does not mean that it came into being later on. Quite to the contrary, if there is ever a contradiction between two injunctions, the ones that came…”
[Quran projected with studio voice – 39. And fight them Until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshiping others besides Allah) And the religion (worship) Will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole world). But if they cease (worshiping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah Is All-Seer of what they do]
“…later on in Medina are the ones that retain their validity and the early ones from Makkah have been abrogated.”
Even though there are no violent verses in Quran, still for the sake of argument at least the documentary agrees that there are “peaceful” verses in Quran, some of which are reproduced below:
“There is no compulsion in religion.” — 2:256
“The Truth is from your Lord; so whoever wishes, let him believe, and whoever wishes, let him disbelieve.” — 18:29
“Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for the good of his own soul; and whoever is blind, it is to its harm. And I am not a keeper over you.” — 6:104
The so called “intolerant” verses identified by the documentary are reproduced below:
8:38. [After Makkans returned discomfited from their defeat at Badr – which is 120 miles from Makkah and 60 miles from Medina, 1000 strong against 313 Muslim, to them –] Say to those who disbelieve, if they cease (fighting), what is past will be forgiven them; and if they return (to it), then the example of those of old has already gone.
8:39. And fight with them until there is no more persecution, and all religions [note the plural – religions, i.e. Islam and all other religions] are for Allah [– the God]. But if they cease, then surely Allah is Seer of what they do.
8:40. And if they turn back, then know that Allah is your Patron. Most excellent the Patron and most excellent the Helper!
Reader is compelled to ask – are not the so called “intolerant” verses above factually protecting the tolerance in the “tolerant” verses? Fact of the matter is that instead of abrogating, the alleged “intolerant” verses are enforcing the “tolerant” verses.
26: The peaceful verses became Mansukah, means made – null and void, with verses like ‘verse of the sword’.
So-called “Verse of the Sword” – Notwithstanding that ch.9 [of Quran], as shown above [in the original book and rebuttal 23], does not go beyond what is contained in the earliest revelations on the subject of war, the fifth verse of that chapter is called by some people “the verse of the sword”, as if it inculcated the indiscriminate massacre of all idolaters or unbelievers. The misconception is due to the fact that the words are taken out of their context, and a significance is forced on them which the context cannot bear. The following words occur in the 5th verse: “So when the sacred months have passed away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them” (9:5). But similar words occur also in the earliest revelation on the subject: “And kill them wherever you find them” (2:191). In both places it is the context which makes it clear as to the identity of the persons regarding whom the order is given. In both cases those against whom the order is given are the people who have taken up the sword and attacked the Muslims first. It has already been shown that the injunction to fight against the idolaters, as contained in the opening verses of the 9th chapter, relates only to such idolatrous tribes as had made agreements with the Muslims and then broken them and had attacked the Muslims, and not to all idolatrous people, wherever they may be found in the world. If only we read the verse that precedes the fifth verse, not the shadow of a doubt will remain that all idolaters are not spoken of here. For the fourth verse, as quoted already, states that those idolaters were not within the purview of the order who had remained faithful to their agreements. The order was therefore directed against specified idolatrous tribes, the tribes that had made agreements with the Muslims and broken them repeatedly, as expressly stated in (8:56). It is a mistake to regard the order as including all idolatrous people living anywhere in the world or even in Arabia. And if the verse preceding the so-called “verse of the sword” makes a clear exception in case of all friendly idolatrous tribes, that following it immediately makes a clear exception in favour of such members of idolatrous hostile tribes as ask the protection of the Muslims (see v. 6, quoted in the preceding paragraph). And then continuing the subject, it is further laid down that the order relates only to people “who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the prophet and they attacked you first” (9:13). With such a clear explanation of the fifth verse contained in the preceding and following verses, no sane person would interpret it as meaning the killing of all idolaters or the carrying on of unprovoked war against all idolatrous tribes. [“Religion of Islam” under the chapter “Jihad”, by Maulana Muhammad Ali]
27: Traditional Islamic theology has it that the 9th Chapter of the Quran, Surah 9 is the last revealed in the career of the Prophet. And it is the only one that does not begin with Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem – in the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful. Some have said that is because there is no compassion or mercy in this particular chapter and that it is the Quran’s last word on Jihad and in particular on how Muslims should behave toward unbelievers. In it is the celebrated verse of sword.
The documentary equates Jihad with war and that too of an offensive nature. This is farthest from meaning and purpose of Jihad in Quran and as found in the life of the Prophet and his companions.
“Jihad, inf. n. of jahada, properly signifies the using or exerting of one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavours or ability, in contending with an object of disapprobation; and this is of three kinds, namely a visible enemy, the devil, and one’s self; all of which are included in the term as used in the Kur. xxii. 77” (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon.) Jihad is therefore far from being synonymous with war, while the meaning of “war undertaken for the propagation of Islam”, which is supposed by European writers to be the significance of jihad, is unknown equally to the Arabic language and the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. [“Religion of Islam” under the chapter “Jihad”, by Maulana Muhammad Ali]
“The error with regard to the common view regarding Islam arises from misapprehension of the meaning of the word ‘Jihad’, a word which in the hands of the C.I.D. [- U.K. equivalent of FBI in U.S.A.] reporters has caused much groundless fear to the British in India. In English ‘Jihad’ is commonly translated ‘holy war’, with a meaning like crusade. It properly denotes the whole effort, individual and collective, of the true believer against evil, beginning with the conquest of a man’s own passions and ending possibly, but not necessarily, in persecution and exile or upon the battlefield. Every prophet made Jihad in his own way. That of Moses took the form of emigration to escape from evil. That of Jesus was of a non-violent and passive kind. That of Muhammad shows three stages: first a non-violent endurance of hostility and persecution while fulfilling his own mission, like that of Jesus; second, when the persecution threatened to exterminate his people, emigration, the Jihad of Moses; and third, when he and his followers formed an independent State, however small and weak, and when the persecutors still persisted in attacking them, then and not till then he was enjoined to fight. The term ‘Jihad’ applies to all those stages, but in the minds of Europeans it is restricted to the third. That is the reason for the whole mistake. The sort of Jihad prescribed for peoples in a subject state differs from that prescribed for the same people in a state of independence. And the Jihad for subject peoples who are persecuted is the Jihad of Jesus, which was followed by Muhammad during thirteen years at Mecca.” — Loyal Enemy by Anne Fremantle, published by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London 1938, pages 323, 324.
Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem is inserted before each new chapter in the Quran. Chapter 9 is factually a continuation of the subject matter of its preceding Chapter 8 – Al-Anfal or Voluntary Gifts, which naturally precludes the optional use of the phrase Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem.
28: What does the verse of the sword say? It is very clear. When the forbidden months are over, kill the people of the book wherever you find them. Lay siege for them. Lay wait for them. Lay ambush for them. Kill them wherever you find them. In fact I [–Walid Shoebat] converted to Christianity. Muhammad clearly stated that in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith. Kill them when you see them whenever you find them. So this is the question that the West needs to understand – What part of kill don’t you understand?
Is it not interesting to note that Walid Shoebat’s conversion in itself proves the truth of the prophecy Prophet Muhammad, if it is true, at least in the words of Shoebat himself – ‘in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith’? Clearly, Shoebat has distanced himself from the ‘truth’ by his ‘defection’ from Islam.
Even if by a long stretch of imagination and gross falsification verse 9:5 is mislabeled as the ‘verse of the sword’, nowhere does it mention ‘people of the book’ as alleged by the documentary.
It is a fact that there is no ‘verse of the sword’ in Quran [see 26]. However, the frequent use of this phrase begets to search the actual ‘verse of the sword’, which not too unsurprisingly is found nowhere but in Bible, the book of Shoebat:
MATTHEW 10:34 – Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Further, it is an act of comedy for Walid Shoebat to teach the West what it knows very well i.e. – What part of kill don’t you understand. Why go far back in the historical accounts. All one has to do is to open the daily newspapers of the last century alone and ask which faith, region and race really knows how best to occupy, kill and maim in millions, both by its materials and policy?
SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND THEIR CORRESPONDING REBUTTALS
PART I – INTRODUCTION
Issue 1. Islam is non-peaceful right from its inception. It was spread by sword.
Islam is peaceful and it “spread in spite of enemy’s sword” – Muhammad The Prophet, by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Islam only allows self-defense and Prophet’s life proves it.
After the start of his ministry, the Prophet and his followers were incessantly persecuted and tortured for 13 years. Thrice Muslims were forced into exile empty handed, twice to Ethiopia and once permanently to Medina. Peace still evaded Muslims and Medina was then attacked thrice by Makkans and repulsed. Thrice the Jewish tribes were evicted from within Medina for sedition along with their properties. A peace treaty was signed with Makkans on terms that were unfavorable to Muslims, which was then later violated by Makkans themselves. City of Khaibar was overpowered by Muslims to prevent further scheming by Jews that had resulted in siege of Medina by armies from all over Arabia only the year before. Despite being conquered, the Jews of Khaibar were allowed to keep their city and businesses. A peace treaty was signed with them by the conquering Muslims. Makkah was taken over after the Makkans violated the peace treaty, without bloodshed (except a minor skirmish), the aggressors, tormentors, killers and persecutors of 21 years were forgiven once and for all, and even were allowed to keep the property that they had usurped from the Muslims, whom that they had evicted earlier. While still in Makkah after its conquest, Muhmmad was forced to confront the en-massed forces of Hawazin tribe and their allies at Hunain, who when confronted fled leaving behind six thousand prisoners of war, to their fortification in the city of Taif, which was besieged but later let go. All the prisoners of war were released without any trial or compensations. On intelligence reports of possible Byzantine attack on Medina, the Prophet led a 30 thousand strong contingent to the border town of Tabuk. While there, Jordan was for him to take, but he turned back once the reports turned out to be incorrect.
The Prophet faced the military attacks from within Arabia. After his death, his successors had to fight the entire Arabia (except Makkah and Medina) when it revolted against the government and refused to pay the taxes. Soon thereafter, they were pulled into wars by Persian and Roman empires. These empires were the ones to instigate the aggression and their generals had taken oath to eliminate the winds of change emanating from the desert, once and for all. The Muslims fought back in self-defense and took the wars to their natural conclusion. Ironically, it was the Byzantines and Persians who were eliminated as empires. Twice Jerusalem was captured by Muslims, once during Umar’s reign and second time by Saladin, without shedding blood. This peaceful take over stands in stark contrast to the Crusader mayhem and knee deep blood and bodies at the temple of Solomon, mostly of their fellow Jews and Christian residents of the city.
Not once in history a Muslim military expedition has been tied to proselytizing.
Issue 2. Islamic doctrine (Quran, Hadith, Shariah) mandates violence against unbelievers.
Islam stands for peace – “Islam, Peace and Tolerance” by Dr. Zahid Aziz, with evidence, arguments and conclusions based upon Quran, Hadith, Shariah.
Issue 3. It is a religious duty of Muslims to impose Islam globally.
Success of Islam is in its merits not in an alleged coercion. “There is no compulsion in religion — the right way is indeed clearly distinct from error.”— 2:256.
Issue 4. Muslim terrorists apply the true Islam practiced by Muhammad.
Terrorism is bane of humanity which started from before Joshua’s siege of Jericho, confronted and eliminated by Muhammad and Muslim history, though it is still continued by state and non-state actors, big and small, Western and Eastern, rich and poor, modern and medieval. Quran and Sunnah are the single most effective bulwarks against terrorism.
“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.
Final Issue 89 [@1:35:20]: Serge Trifkovic – “The peculiarity of Islam has to be faced and it has to be faced frankly and openly. Unlike others, and I am again saying this in the full knowledge that it will offend some Western ears. Unlike the Hindus, unlike the Confucians, unlike the enemies of sub-Saharan Africa, the Muslims have inherent tendencies to expand and to convert rest of the world, not only to their religion but to their outlook and to their legal and moral system. They will not state this openly while they are in minority in the countries to which they immigrate, but we have seen this time and over again throughout history, once they reach the numbers necessary to impose their will, they will do so.”
Rebuttal 89: Islam is not an organized religion like Christianity. There is no central authority for it be propagated. On the contrary, while incessantly fear mongering against Islam, Trifkovic forgot or is completely ignorant of simple facts about Christianity and its Evangelism. According to Christian missionary sources the world is divided into three categories i.e. A – Un-Evangelized World, B- Evangelized World and C – The Christian World [pdf download]. Various missionary statistics can be previewed on the website: Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, some of which are gleaned by another website: Frontier Harvest Ministries and are reproduced below.
A. THE UNEVANGELIZED WORLD
Present cost of Christian foreign missions: $250 million a year
26 restricted-access (closed) countries
10,200 foreign missionaries (2.4%)
No citywide evangelistic campaigns
20,500 full-time Christian workers
50,000 lay Christians residing abroad in closed countries
0.1% of all Christian literature
0.1% of all Christian radio/TV
B. THE EVANGELIZED NON-CHRISTIAN WORLD
Per capita income of non-Christians: $3,380 p.a.
Present cost of Christian foreign missions: $1,750 million a year
103,000 foreign missionaries (24.5%), 5,000 being in
31 restricted-access countries
300 cities per year have citywide evangelistic campaigns
1.31 million full-time Christian workers, 330,000 being in 31 restricted-access countries
8.9% of all Christian literature
3.9% of all Christian radio/TV
C. THE CHRISTIAN WORLD
Present cost of home Christianity: $163 billion a year
Foreign missions to other Christian lands: $13 billion a year
306,000 foreign missionaries to other Christian lands (73.1%), 4,000 being in 29 restricted-access countries
1,300 cities per year have citywide evangelistic campaigns
4.19 million full-time Christian workers (95%) work in
World C, including 480,000 in 29 restricted-access countries
500 million lay Christians live in 29 restricted-access heavily-Christian countries
91% of all Christian literature is consumed by World C
96% of all Christian radio/TV output is directed at World C
The above numbers speak for themselves of the colossal human and monetary investment that goes into propagating Christianity globally. Can the documentary counter any such figures for Islam? These statistics once for all remove any doubts that any one might harbor about the bigotry of Trifkovic and the documentary. We rest our case.
Using the same statistical resources [pdf download], by 2050 the growth rate of Muslims according to current trends will outstrip Christianity, not necessarily by formal conversion of Christians into Muslims, but more than likely it will be the Christians giving up their own religion for another or Atheism. To a certain extent, once any dogma is shed, that person by nature becomes a Muslim:
30:30. So pay your whole-hearted attention to (the cause of) faith as one devoted (to pure faith), turning away from all that is false. (And follow) the Faith of Allâh (-Islam) to suit the requirements of which He has made the nature of mankind. There can be no change in the nature (of creation) which Allâh has made. That is the right and most perfect Faith, yet most people do not know (it).
Trifkovic in his unique style is trying to appease certain religions and races only to make a case against Islam. Earlier his cohorts in the documentary tried to create a scare of the racial conversion of Europeans into non-European, if there is such a thing Eurabia to begin with. Now Trifkovic is trying to affright the West of its conversion into Islam. Since he is forcing a comparative discussion of faiths, suffice is to reproduce the following short article in the matter of how Islam is different and natural in the simple basics of unity, equality and dignity of mankind. This in turn makes a decisive burden on the faiths of documentary experts to prove that theirs are not pagan when compared to standards of Islam:
Unity of the Human Race:
by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din [d. 1932]
Never has there been an obstacle to human progress so great as the idea of the inequality of mankind – an idea glaringly opposed to all the best tendencies of general civilisation and culture. It was man for whom God created His numerous blessings. To all men, again, He gave the same capacities wherewith to utilise His gifts. But a large section of the human race is still deprived of those blessings on account of this very same inequality. If religion came from God, its first duty should have been to remove this inequality and establish a feeling of perfect unity among men. But the fact remains that it was the religions themselves – all those religions that came before Islam – that helped to create this trouble of inequality and disunion. The ancient religion of Persia – that is to say, the cult of the Parsis – was responsible for the caste system that obtains in India. It was after them (the Parsis) that the people of India were divided into four sections. It is religion that has deprived millions of human beings of their ordinary rights as men. Today there are more than 60,000,000 "untouchables" in India. The higher classes hate the very shadow of these despised beings, on purely religious grounds. Further than this, these unfortunate people have not the right to enter any house of God, nor are they allowed to hear His Words (i.e., the Vedas). For thousands of years they have been rotting in the same miserable avocations of life which they happened to enter upon at one time, – when forced thereto by the sheer necessity of earning a livelihood. We have seen in the West sons of cobblers rising to the Premiership, but the chamar (cobbler) in India is a chamar, through tens of thousands of years right up to the present day. Of course, it is open to this chamar to embrace the faith of Islam, and thus become a dealer in hides in the second generation, and a general merchant in the third. In social status also, he may rise higher and higher until, in course of time, he becomes a member of the aristocracy. But these possibilities are closed against him so long as he sticks to his ancestral religion. Similarly, from the point of view of Transmigration, persons who are in an abject condition in this life are in that condition on account of the vices and sins of their previous lives! It is no wonder, then, that the "untouchables" and such low-class people (as they are called) should be looked down upon with hatred by other Hindus. If these people were vicious and sinful in their previous lives (as is supposed), it is perhaps reasonable that we should keep aloof from them. Logically the conclusion is right. Thus this theory of Transmigration, which is one of the fundamental doctrines in Hinduism, has created a serious division in the human race; but the same crime has also been committed by Christianity, although in a different way. According to the Christian faith he alone who is baptised at the time of his birth is entitled to a life in Heaven; and all not so fortunate are doomed to a life in hell; so that even if a child born of Christian parents dies before it is baptised, it is not buried in consecrated ground; and in Russia, a few centuries back, such children were burnt instead of being buried at all. If, from the point of view of the Christians, the whole of the non-Christian world are destined for hell from their very birth and are incapable of realising the truth, it is no wonder that they should hate the thought of them. The conduct of the present-day Christians should not be adduced as belying this fact, seeing that this changed mentality is the result of modern culture and education and the broadness of mind resulting therefrom. What is essential in this connection is to get the right idea of the condition of the Christian mind some centuries back, and of the words that they utter even now in churches. If, again, we open the book of Common Prayer, the edition that was current before its present revised form (which is a thing of three or four years' growth and never likely to be generally accepted), it will be clearly seen, in what is known as the Athanasian Creed, that any man who fails to have faith in Jesus is doomed to everlasting hell-fire. Moreover, the curses that come from the lips of the worshippers in the churches are in part understood to be meant for the Turks, who, some two generations back, were regarded as synonymous with Muslims [These lines were written, it must be noted, in the early 1930s -- Publishers.]. Now, what should be the attitude of a good Christian when he comes out of church after joining in these prayers and curses? What a blessing, then, has Islam proved to the human race in this respect! The Prophet of Islam made it quite clear that every human being is born free from any taint of sin, and accordingly a heavenly thing so far as his birth is concerned. The teachings of all other religions have the same trend as that which we find in Hinduism and Christianity. With each of the religions the rest of mankind counts for nothing, seeing that, according to them, no other creed is fit for receiving the Divine dispensation.
Political laws come next to religion in creating fundamental cultural inequalities in the human race. The Greeks and the Romans (in a lesser degree) were not concerned with any revealed religion; but they too treated their subject nations very badly. They kept these conquered people as bond-slaves and tortured them whenever they thought fit. Even a lawgiver like Justinian divided the people of Rome into two sharply divided groups, one of which was in the position of master while the other was worse than a slave. To whichever nation we turn in the pre-Islamic days the same spectacle meets our eyes. Everywhere we find a large section of humanity deprived of any and every chance of progress and happiness. But this is ancient history. Even today, the nations of the West are, more or less, perpetrating the same wrongs. The original inhabitants of Africa are treated as slaves, and the conquered people are deprived of the rights that are the privilege of the ruling class. Before the Great War there were separate penal laws in Dar-es-Salaam (Africa), one for the rulers and another for the subjects. Even today, people only partially realised the essence of religion. As a matter of fact, the principal work of a religion should be to provide for the comforts of humanity, and to free it from the shackles forged by tradition and custom. What greater calamity can befall the human race than those which have been discussed above? Examine the civilisation of any nation before the advent of Islam, and you will find that not one was able to free mankind from these types of bondage, whereas if there was any special work for religion or revelation, it was only this – the work for freedom. As I have already remarked, the Holy Prophet Muhammad is surely entitled to be called the Greatest of the Prophets, if once we take into consideration the rules that the Quran has framed to ensure the freedom of man proceeding out of religious faith. I cannot emphasise this fact too strongly. If Moses, Jesus, Krishna, and Ramchandra (all being prophets) failed to deliver mankind from the distress that was caused by the absence of unity and equality in the race itself, then, from this point of view, the Prophet Muhammad has a far higher right to this prophetical post than any of his predecessors.
First of all, the Quran in its very opening describes God as Rabb-ul-‘Alamin – meaning that He has created and nurtured every member of the human race in the same way. Next, as if to remove the curse of distinction that has cropped up in the West, it speaks of God as the "Lord of the East as well as the West," which means that the people of the East and the West have equally come under His care of "Rabubiyyat." Again, the Quran gives the name of "Rahman" to God, which is the same as saying that in the distribution of His blessings He makes no distinction of nation, religion, race, or family. The door of His mercy is equally open to all. From the social stand-point it is declared again that all men are members of one and the same family, and that they have always been given the same religion, but that people disagreed about it. Again, to establish a universal brotherhood, it taught that those who accept good principles and practise them are brothers to each other. It was the racial, national, and religious distinctions that created dissension among mankind. To remove these the Holy Quran made virtue the standard of honour, which is a thing attainable alike by black and white, by high and low. The Book says, for example, that Mughal, Shaikh or Pathan, Brahmin or Kshatriya, British or French are so called only to be identified, but these appellations have nothing to do with the worth and honour of a man. Mankind, as a whole, has been declared by God to be both honourable and excellent ["And surely, We have dignified the children of Adam" (The Holy Quran, 17:70)]. But no one is entitled to this honour by virtue of birth or nationality; rather has it to be acquired by piety; and piety consists in good actions. To eradicate the distinctions of birth, the Book speaks of the Jews, saying that if they prided themselves on having descended from Abraham they should at the same time remember that even when the Lord Abraham had prayed to God that his descendants might be blessed, God replied by saying that no doubt his descendants would be blessed, but that the evil-doers from among them would not be benefited by that blessing ["He said; Surely I will make you a leader of men. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He" (The Holy Quran, 2:124).]. Similar is the pronouncement upon the unwarrantable assertion of every religious community, not excepting some present-day Muslims, that as they belong to such-and-such a religion all others are useless; and it is only they that have any right to spiritual life. On this point, by way of illustration, the Holy Quran takes the cases of the Jews and the Christians, and declares that these absurd claims, are mere verbiage ["And they say: None shall enter the garden (of Paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires" (The Holy Quran, 2:111).]. The reality of religion consists in a person resolving to bring all his faculties under the Will of God, and then acting upon this determination. Those who succeed in doing this are, in the words of the Holy Book, the only persons who come under the Rabubiyyat [the attribute of God being the "Nourisher unto Perfection"] of God – that is to say, who attain a perfect condition of life.
The true religion in man is actually a distinguishing feature; but unfortunately, nowadays, the mere association with any religion is considered respectable, and, what is worse, others are looked down upon on the basis of this sense of false distinction. To eradicate such a pernicious notion the Holy Book announces that he alone is successful in the eyes of God who, besides believing in God and the Day of judgement, does good deeds, no matter whatever religion he belongs to ["Surely those who believe, and those who are, Jews and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve" (The Holy Quran, 2:62). The Holy Quran is thus the only Book in religious literature that has been able to deal an effective blow to all sorts of false distinctions and intolerances, and to give a charter of unity and liberty to all mankind. If, in the light of the verse just quoted, we make good actions the only criterion of honour and distinction, in a moment all these national, linguistic, colour, and territorial disturbances that have proved to be the veritable curses for humanity, will disappear. So radical does this verse appear in its attitude that it has caused misgivings in some minds with regard to its real sense. These have gone so far as to hold that according to it, even a belief in the prophethood does not seem indispensable.]. If we look in the matter a bit more closely we shall find that even the purpose of believing in God and the Day of Resurrection is to produce good actions, because these two beliefs are the sources from which good actions spring and the power that keeps a man from vice. In brief, if there is anything that can rightly form the basis of distinction it is good actions; so much so that, on one occasion the Holy Book chastises the Jews and Christians by the remark that it is strange that they should look down upon others simply because they descended from Abraham and Jacob, whereas Abraham and Jacob were themselves not free from the responsibility of their actions, and had to account for what they had done. Yet again, to remove this hollow sense of distinction, it declares that God is the One God for all; all are, therefore, equal in His eyes, the whole affair rests on good deeds; why do people, then, quarrel among themselves?
Thus to teach, on the one hand, that there is only One God for all and that His mercy and blessings as Rabb ["Nourisher unto Perfection"] are equally meant for all, and to announce, on the other, that all men are members of the same family, that there are no such divisions in humanity as exist between the West and the East; and further, to level all distinctions of nation, race, colour, and community by upholding rectitude of action as the only mark of real distinction; and lastly, to class all virtuous men as brothers to one another – are the four glorious achievements of Islam, the parallels of which are nowhere to be seen in the history of mankind. To recount the benefits of these teachings is only arguing an admitted fact. It is Islam alone that besides inculcating these teachings, has given them a practical shape. So, as I have said, it will be just and fair to call Muhammad a Prophet on the ground of these sublime teachings even without having regard to any other.
Issue 89b [@1:37:29] Serge Trifkovic – “Miracles do happen. I do not know if it is another, maybe even a deadlier terrorist attack that will act as a catalyst, or it will be a geopolitical confrontation in the Middle East itself with Israel perhaps [inaudible], that a jolt will bring back into the minds and hearts of Westerners the awareness of the need to stand up and be counted.”
Rebuttal 89b: These are the last gasps of the documentary in its arguments where it is essentially calling to arms for another Crusade. Compare the utterance of Trifkovic in 2006 with that of Pope Urban II who instigated crusades with his speech at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The similarities are all too obvious of fabricating the 'truth', distorting the facts, inventing European identity and religious fervor, insinuating hate and anger, while instilling false purpose for all rank and file that resulted in centuries of bloodshed. Little did Pope Urban II know the outcome of Crusades which permanently widened the divides in the Eastern and Western Christendom, the pogroms against Jews only became more frequent, while it firmly united Muslims in their ranks. Like Trifkovic now, Pope Urban II thus spoke before of which there are 5 versions of his speech, one of which is reproduced below:
[adapted from Thatcher] Here is the one by the chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. Note how the traditions of the peace and truce of God – aimed at bringing about peace in Christendom – ties in directly with the call for a Crusade. Does this amount to the export of violence?
"Although, O sons of God, you have promised more firmly than ever to keep the peace among yourselves and to preserve the rights of the church, there remains still an important work for you to do. Freshly quickened by the divine correction, you must apply the strength of your righteousness to another matter which concerns you as well as God. For your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for a while with impurity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.
"All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested. O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if you do not aid those who, with us, profess the Christian religion! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor. Behold! on this side will be the sorrowful and poor, on that, the rich; on this side, the enemies of the Lord, on that, his friends. Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their lands and collect money for their expenses; and as soon as winter is over and spring comes, let him eagerly set out on the way with God as their guide."
[Ref: version of a chronicler – 'Fulcher of Chartres', Medieval Sourcebook]
[@1:38:00] Title of the documentary displayed –
ISLAM: WHAT THE WEST NEEDS TO KNOW
Produced and Directed by
Gregory M. Davis and Bryan Daly
Footage Courtesy of
Produced and Distributed by
QUIXOTIC MEDIA, LLC
USA © 2006
[@1:38:30] [Insignia displayed] – QM-Quixotic Media
[@1:38:40] [End of documentary]
Closing comment – In sum total, the sorcery and deception of the documentary against Islam has parallels in the mission of Moses that Quran draws attention to in which machinations of mischief makers against Islam failed then and so will now:
10:80. Now when the sorcerers came, Moses said to them, `Present whatever you have to present.'
10:81. Then, when they had presented (what they would present), Moses said, `What you have brought is a mere deception. Allâh will soon render it void (because) Allâh does not at all allow the machination of the mischief-makers to thrive.
10:82. `And Allâh will establish the truth by dint of His decrees even though the guilty may find (it) hard.'
The documentary has tried to malign and slander Quran, Muhammad (PBUH), Hadith, Sunnah, history and Islam. The rebuttal for all its issues 1 – 89 are based upon the simple guidelines of the following verses which come out true, which when read in the context of the documentary, its experts, its producers and its cheering crowds:
68:1. The ink – stand and the pen and all that they (the owners of the pen – the scholars) write, bear witness (to the fact that),
68:2. By the grace of your Lord you are not a mad man at all [–refers to one of allegation against Prophet Muhammad by his opponents].
68:3. (And) most surely, there awaits you a reward never to be cut off.
68:4. And you possess outstandingly high standard of moral (excellence) [as testified by history even before his prophethood].
68:5. And you shall soon know and so will these (- the disbelievers),
68:6. As to which of you is afflicted with madness.
68:7. Surely, your Lord knows best those who go astray from His path and He (also) knows best those who follow the right guidance.
68:8. So do not listen to those who cry lies to (the Truth).
68:9. They wish you to be (dishonestly) pliant (and not condemn their evil deeds in strong language) so they (too) would (in return) adopt a conciliatory attitude.
68:10. Do not listen to any wretched swearer,
68:11. Who is backbiter, one who goes about with slander and evil talk,
68:12. Any hinderer of people from doing good, transgressor, a sinful (person).
68:13. (Nor listen to any) hard-hearted ruffian who is, above all this, utterly useless and known for mischief making,
68:14. Only because he owns wealth and (numerous) sons (and influence).
68:15. When Our Messages are recited to him he says, `(These are mere) stories of the ancients (so outdated rubbish).'
68:16. We will soon brand him on the snout (and stigmatize him with indelible disgrace).
Center for Global Christianity – Resources – Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Unity of the Human Race – by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din
Holy Quran – Nooruddin, note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted verses]
Issue 88 [@ 1:34:18]: Video clip in two parts with – Title: Friday Sermon, Abd Al-Qader Al-Kilani Mosque, Baghdad, Iraq, February 14, 2003
English sub-titles of a speech in Arabic from the pulpit by an unidentified speaker – “I advise you, oh America, Britain, and those whom Allah said about you: Allah’s wrath upon you, the Jews, oh the son of apes and pigs – there is no strife on the face of the earth that you have not sparked – Whenever they start the fire of strife, Allah extinguishes it. May Allah extinguish your light and your fires. But we, we are the men whom Allah has chosen, and wanted, and made us strong, so as to pluck your heads, ripe for the picking, that rose and acted in tyranny and in arrogance. We will be the ones to pluck them, if Allah wills it.”
[@1:36:10] above video clip is resumed – “They will know – and I don’t want to mention their names from this pulpit. The Americans and their president and the British and their allies and the Zionists, the spoiled offspring of this entity. Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the greatest). If Allah permits us, Oh Nation of Muhammad, even the stone will say, Oh Muslim, A Jew is hiding behind me, come and cut off his head
[at this point the preacher lifts a scabbard in his hands and draws a sword from it]
and we shall cut off his head. By Allah, we shall cut it off!
[preacher brandishes the sword with an emotional and forceful voice]
Oh Jews, Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
[the audience starts to resonate with their voices, camera starts to zoom out from the preacher]
Jihad for the sake of Allah! Jihad for the sake of Allah!
[camera switches to the audience and pans, a packed mosque congregation of about 200, sitting on the rugs in rows with various individuals showing fists in the air, waving arms, rising, screaming]
Jihad for the sake of Allah! Allahu Akbar! The believers (Muslims) will triumph! Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the greatest), Allahu Akbar! The believers (Muslims) will triumph!”
Rebuttal 88: These are the angry voices and faces of soon to be occupied people in Iraq on whom a war was imminent for no fault of theirs. Their attackers and occupiers were to be none but the enlightened West where the documentary under discussion was made to begin with. Iraqis were then proudly subjected to “shock and awe” to which the whole world is a witness. Voluminous books have been written and will be written on decimation of a nation, the atrocious occupation of Iraqi people and the aftermath of the decade long bloodshed. One such book is “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Klein. Its pages 416-420 are reproduced below:
When the idea of invading an Arab country and turning it into a model state first gained currency after September 11, the names of several possible countries were floated—Iraq, Syria, Egypt and, Michael Ledeen’s preference, Iran. Iraq had a great deal to recommend it, however. In addition to its vast oil reserves, it also made a good central location for military bases now that Saudi Arabia looked less dependable, and Saddam’s use of chemical weapons on his own people made him easy to hate. Another factor, often overlooked, was that Iraq had the advantage of familiarity.
The 1991 Gulf War had been the U.S.’s last major ground offensive involving hundreds of thousands of troops, and in the twelve years since, the Pentagon had been using the battle as a template in workshops, training and elaborate war games. One example of this postgame theory was a paper that had captured the imagination of Donald Rumsfeld called Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance. Written by a group of maverick strategists at the National Defense University in 1996, the paper positions itself as an all-purpose military doctrine, but it is really about refighting the Gulf War. Its lead author, the retired navy commander Harlan Tillman, explained that the project began when General Chuck Homer, the commander of the air war in the 1991 invasion, was asked about his greatest frustration in fighting Saddam Hussein. He replied that he did not know where to “stick the needle” to make the Iraqi army collapse. “Shock and Awe,” writes Ullman (who coined the phrase) “was intended to address this question: If Desert Storm could be refought, how could we win in half the time or less and with far fewer forces? … The key to its success is finding the entry points for Horner’s needles—the spots that, when targeted, get an enemy to collapse immediately.” The authors were convinced that if the U.S. military ever got the chance to fight Saddam again, it would now be in a far better position to find those “entry points,” thanks to new satellite technologies and breakthroughs in precision weaponry that would allow it to insert the “needles” with unprecedented accuracy.
Iraq had another advantage. While the U.S. military was busy fantasizing about refighting Desert Storm with a technological upgrade equivalent to “the difference between Atari and PlayStation,” as one commentator put it, Iraq’s military capacity had been hurtling backward, eroded by sanctions and virtually disassembled by the United Nations administered weapons inspection program. That meant that, compared with Iran or Syria, Iraq seemed the site for the most winnable war.
Thomas Friedman was forthright about what it meant for Iraq to be selected as the model. “We are not doing nation-building in Iraq. We are doing nation-creating,” he wrote—as if shopping around for a large, oil-rich Arab nation to create from scratch was a natural, even “noble” thing to do in the twenty-first century. Friedman is among many of the onetime war advocates who has since claimed that he did not foresee the carnage that would follow from the invasion. It’s hard to see how he could have missed that detail. Iraq was not an empty space on a map; it was and remains a culture as old as civilization, with fierce anti-imperialist pride, strong Arab nationalism, deeply held faiths and a majority of the adult male population with military training. If “nation creating” was going to happen in Iraq, what exactly was supposed to become of the nation that was already there? The unspoken assumption from the beginning was that much of it would have to disappear, to clear the ground for the grand experiment—an idea that contained, at its core, the certainty of extraordinary colonial violence.
Thirty years earlier, when the Chicago School counterrevolution took its first leap from the textbook to the real world, it also sought to erase nations and create new ones in their place. Like Iraq in 2003, Chile in 1973 was meant to serve as a model for the entire rebellious continent, and for many years it did. The brutal regimes that implemented Chicago School ideas in the seventies understood that, for their idealized new nations to be born in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, whole categories of people and their cultures would need to be pulled up “from the root.”
In the countries that suffered the political cleansings, there have been collective efforts to come to terms with this violent history—truth commissions, excavations of unmarked graves and the beginnings of war crimes trials for the perpetrators. But the Latin American juntas did not act alone: they were propped up before and after their coups by Washington, as has been amply documented. For instance, in 1976, the year of Argentina’s coup, when thousands of young activists were snatched from their homes, the junta had full financial support from Washington. (“If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly,” Kissinger had said.) That year, Gerald Ford was president, Dick Cheney as his chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld was his secretary of defense, and Kissinger’s executive assistant was an ambitious young man named Paul Bremer. These men faced no truth-and-justice process for their roles in supporting the juntas and went on to enjoy long and prosperous careers. So long, in fact, that they would he around three decades later to implement a strikingly similar— if far more violent experiment— in Iraq.
In his 2005 inaugural address, George W. Bush described the era between the end of the Cold War amid the start of the War on Terror as “years of repose, years of sabbatical—and then there came a day of fire.” The Iraq invasion marked the ferocious return to the early techniques of the free-market crusade—the use of ultimate shock to forcibly wipe out and erase all obstacles to the construction of model corporatist states free from all interference.
Ewen Cameron, the CIA-funded psychiatrist who had tried to “de-pattern” his patients by regressing them to infantile states, had believed that if a little shock was good for this purpose, more was better. He blasted brains with everything he could think of—electricity, hallucinogens, sensory deprivation, sensory overload —anything that would wipe out what was and give him a blank slate on which to imprint new thoughts, new patterns. With a far larger canvas, that was the invasion and occupation strategy for Iraq. The architects of the war surveyed the global arsenal of shock tactics and decided to go with all of them—blitzkrieg military bombardment supplemented with elaborate psychological operations, followed up with the fastest and most sweeping political and economic shock therapy program attempted anywhere, backed up, if there was any resistance, by rounding up those who resisted and subjecting them to “gloves-off” abuse. Often, in the analyses of the war in Iraq, the conclusion is that the invasion was a “success” but the occupation was a failure. What this assessment overlooks is that the invasion and occupation were two parts of a unified strategy—the initial bombardment as designed to erase the canvas on which the model nation could be built.
War as Mass Torture – For the strategists of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the answer to the question of “where to stick the needles” appears to have been: everywhere. During the 1991 Gulf War, roughly three hundred Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired over the course of five weeks. In 2003, more than three hundred and eighty were launched in a single day. Between March 20 and May 2, the weeks of “major combat: the U.S dropped more than thirty thousand bombs on Iraq, as well as twenty thousand precision-guided cruise missiles – 67 percent of the total number ever made.
“I am so scared,” Yasmine Musa, a Baghdad mother of three said during the bombings. “Not a single minute passes by without hearing and feeling a drop of a bomb somewhere. I don’t think that a single meter in the whole of Iraq is safe.” That meant Shock and Awe was doing its job. In open defiance of the laws of war barring collective punishment, Shock and Awe is a military doctrine that prides itself on not merely targeting the enemy’s military forces but, as its authors stress, the “society writ large”— mass fear is a key part of the strategy.
Another element that distinguishes Shock and Awe is its acute consciousness of war as a cable news spectacle, one playing to several audiences at once: the enemy, Americans at home and anyone else thinking of making trouble. “When the video results of these attacks are broadcast in real time worldwide on CNN, the positive impact on coalition support and negative impact on potential threat support can be decisive, the Shock and Awe manual states. From the start, the invasion was conceived as a message from Washington to the World, one spoken in the language of fireballs, deafening explosions and city-shattering quakes. In The One Percent Doctrine, Ron Suskind explains that for Rumsfeld and Cheney, “the primary impetus for invading Iraq” was the desire “to create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States.” Less than a war strategy, it was a “global experiment in behaviorism.”
Maybe, Trifkovic can justify it all with another documentary “West: What the West Needs to Know”. The manufactured lies to start the Iraq and the human costs that it subsequently entailed were addressed in Issue 84 under the heading Iraq War-II that reader may refer to.
The documentary seems blind to the inflicted injury and the wounded groans of the subjugated population and picks up a video clip of the resultant anger to malign Islam. Emotions aside, the preacher above refers to certain topics that are the focus of this documentary makers and will be discussed below:
* Behavior of a section of Jews in history addressed metaphorically as “apes and swine”
* Jews and Christians kindling fires of war that God extinguishes
* Prophecy by the Prophet of a time when Jews will be confronted for their machinations
BEHAVIOR OF A SECTION OF JEWS IN HISTORY ADDRESSED METAPHORICALLY AS “APES AND SWINE”:
This topic is spread across a spectrum of historical events intertwined with moral decay of individuals, distortion of scriptures, blind fellowship, self-righteous and arrogant behaviors, and the consequent doom of spiritually devoid societies.
Quran on three occasions refers to conduct of a certain section of Jews as apes and once as swine:
2:65. And indeed you have come to know (the end of) those of you who transgressed regarding the Sabbath. Thereupon We said to them, `Be you (as) apes, despised.‘
5:60. Say, `Shall I inform you of those who shall receive from Allâh a recompense worse than that of those (who try to find fault with Us)? They are those whom Allâh has deprived of His blessings and upon whom He brought His displeasure and indignation and of whom He has made (as) apes and swine and who serve the transgressor (- the devil). It is these who are indeed worse-placed and farther astray from the right path.’
7:166. So when they insolently refused to keep away from that which they were forbidden, We condemned them to be (as) apes despised.
However, this does not mean that all Jewish people are degraded or ridiculed, because:
3:113. They (- the people of the Scripture) are not all alike. Among these people of the Scripture there are some upright people. They rehearse the Message of Allâh in the hours of the night and they prostrate themselves (in His worship).
3:114. They believe in Allâh and the Last Day and enjoin good and forbid evil, and they vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. And it is these who are of the truly righteous.
Sabbath and Red Sea
To admonish the societies against the moral precipices of their own makings, Quran frequently draws from examples in history:
7:176. … So narrate to them the account (of the people of old) that they may reflect.
The above verses are not blanket assertions against all Jewish people indiscriminately, rather they are a reflection on the Israelites living on the Red Sea, who insolently refused to keep away from that which they were forbidden – 7:166 while violating the Sabbath and indulging in their economic activity of fishing. Why was Sabbath so important for those people?
The Jews that Prophet Moses rescued were in a state of moral depravity. They had lost the concept of God and all the virtues that flow from it, for having lived under centuries of servitude in Egypt:
4:153. The people of the Scripture ask you [–Muhammad] to bring down upon them a Book from the heaven. They made a (more wicked and) greater demand than that from Moses, when they said, `Show us Allâh openly (face to face);’ then a destructive punishment overtook them for their wrongdoing. Then they took the calf (for worship) after clear commandments had come to them, but We pardoned (them) even that. And We gave Moses an undisputed authority.
Sabbath was ordained for the spiritual revival of these people and to lift them from the nadir of a spiritual void after they had escaped out of Egypt and were in Sinai, but before entering the land of Canaan:
4:154. And We raised the Mount above them while taking their covenant (at the foot of the Mount), and We said to them, `Enter the gate (of the town) submissively,’ and We said to them, `Do not violate the (law of) Sabbath.’ And We took from them a solemn covenant [of not only observing the ritual but also following the purifying purpose of Sabbath].
Similar account is also found in Old Testament:
Exodus 16:35 – And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
Sabbath was ordained after Exodus from Egypt: Exodus 16:26 – Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Exodus 16:27 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that there went out some of the people to gather, and they found none.
Exodus 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?
Using Jewish people as an example, Quran admonishes that those who do not follow the spiritual path, such as Sabbath, and who not only reject the Messengers and their Messages, but also show antagonism and arrogance towards Messengers are destined to be left in a spiritual desert:
4:155. Then because of their breaking their covenant [of preserving the Sabbath – 4:154] and their denial of the Messages of Allâh and their antagonising the Prophets without a just cause and their saying, `Our hearts are uncircumcised (and so cannot hear).’ Nay, (the truth however is) Allâh has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief so that they believe but a little.
Parallels between Fasting in Islam and the Jewish Sabbath
For the Red Sea denizens, just like other Jews, Sabbath was a mandated spiritual exercise. To understand Sabbath through lens of Quran one has to understand fasting for Muslims first, because there are parallels.
In Quran, a believer is put through certain tests of daily living with the purpose of taming the innate ‘animal self’, which once controlled then in turn naturally puts the individual on a spiritual path towards a ‘soul at rest’. Restricting food, conjugal relationships while intensifying spiritual activities of prayers, charity and studying Quran during certain days of the year, commonly known as fasting is one such spiritual exercise (ref: 2:183 – 185). The next verse shows that as a natural consequence of fasting man gets proximate to God:
2:186. And when My servants ask you concerning Me (tell them), I am nearby indeed, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me, so they should respond to My call, and believe in Me (that I possess all these attributes) so that they may proceed in the right way.
Similar to fasting, formal daily prayers (Salat) independently and in unison with fasting also keep the evil tendencies of a person at bay:
29:45. Recite (preach, follow and meditate on) that which has been revealed to you of the Book (–the Qur’ân) and observe Prayer. Verily, Prayer restrains (the observer) from indecency and abominable things and loathsome deeds and from all that runs counter to reason and moral sense. Yet of all, the greatest thing is that Allâh will remember you and help you rise to eminence. And Allâh knows all that you do.
The above verses set in stone the moral outcome of fasting and all its obligatory spiritual, moral and sacrificial requirements i.e. Thus does Allâh explains His commandments for people that they may become secure against evil (2:187), else the spiritual void thus created from lack of spiritual hygiene lets the natural law of moral decay seep in for the individual and collectively for the society which is outlined in Quran:
7:175. And relate to them the news of him to whom We gave Our commandments but he withdrew himself therefrom, the satan followed him with the result that he became one of those led astray (and became a pervert).
Elsewhere to emphasize the spiritual cleansing effect of fasting Quran gives numerous examples where fasting can be a penance for one’s mistakes e.g. killing of a believer – 4:92, breaking of an oath – 5:89, vengeful abstinence from relationship with wife – 58:2-4.
Of note above is that in fasting only certain activities are to be restrained in certain days only and that too only in certain hours of the day and not the whole day. Similarly, if Sabbath was observed for all its obligatory spiritual, moral and sacrificial requirements by Israelites living on Red Sea, they would not have time left to pursue their economic activities, primarily the fishing. Thus, when Quran mentions that the said people violated the Sabbath by fishing on a certain day of the week, it clearly implies that their society was not pursuing the spiritual paths that were given to them in their Scriptures.
Fasting and Sabbath not to Displace Daily Living
In terms of proportions, Muslims on the average for the year fast 1 in 12 days, whereas the said Israelites ‘fasted’ from their economic activity of fishing for 1 in 7 days. In sum total, fasting is temporary restriction of certain lawful allowances coupled with spiritual exercises for moral elevation of a person. Fasting does not mean banning of allowed food and just activities when one is not fasting. Same is implied for Sabbath for Israelites in history when certain routine gainful activities were restricted for only a day in the week, while fully allowed on other days:
5:87. O You who believe! do not forbid yourselves good and pure things which Allâh has made lawful for you, and do not transgress. Verily, Allâh does not like the transgressors..
5:88. And eat of what Allâh has provided you of (things) lawful, good and pure. And take Allâh as a shield, in whom you repose your faith.
Specifically, with regards to fishing and sea trade, Quran fully encourages it:
16:14. And He it is Who has made subservient (to you) the sea that you may eat of its fresh flesh (of fish), and may bring forth out of it (precious and beautiful things of) ornaments for your wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it. (They do so that you may journey with ease) and that you may seek of His bounty (in other ways) and that you may render thanks (to Him).
Sabbath Breakers and Their Distortions, During Prophet’s Life
As a prelude to the full relevance of mentioning the moral context of the said Sabbath and the attributes of the Sabbath breakers, Quran gives the following narrative of Jews during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
4:44. Have you not considered (the case of) those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They prefer to go astray and desire that you too should go astray from the right path.
4:45. And Allâh knows your enemies full well. And Allâh suffices as a Patron, and Allâh suffices as a Helper.
4:46. (These enemies of yours are) of those who are judaised. They tear the words from their context and say, `We hear and we disobey,’ and (say), `Lend us an ear, O you to whom no one would lend an ear!’ and (say,) `Râ`inâ’, giving a slight twist to their tongues (while pronouncing the word and thereby) slandering the true meanings (and thus making a play with the word) and seeking to injure the Faith. It would have been better and more upright on their part to have said, `We hear and we obey;’ and `Lend us an ear;’ and `Unzurnâ’ (we beg your attention)’. Allâh has disapproved of them because of their disbelief so that they will not believe, excepting a few (of them).
The distortion and mockery of the Message that Jews tried during life of Prophet Muhammad had historical underpinnings that Quran points out:
7:161. And (recall the time) when it was said to them, ‘Dwell in this township (-Yathrib) and eat therefrom when you will and pray, “Relieve us of the burden of our sins,” and enter its gate submissively. (If you do so) We will protect you against (the consequences of) your sins. We shall multiply the reward of the doers of excellent deeds.’
7:162. But those amongst them who were unjust changed the word to something different from that which they were told. So We sent down upon them unavoidable punishment from heaven because they had always been wrongdoers.
7:163. AND ask them as to (what happened to the people of) the township (- Eila) which was on the seashore (of the Red Sea) when they profaned the Sabbath. On the day of their Sabbath their fish appeared to them in shoals upon shoals on the surface (of the water), but on the day when they did not observe the Sabbath (and fishing was open), it did not appear to them [because they harvested them all]. Thus did We go on making a distinction between the good [–those pursuing spiritual path on a Sabbath] and the evil ones of them by means of their acts of disobedience [–with a greedy path on a Sabbath].
The fine point in above verse is that when the whole population was fishing on weekdays, all the fish were harvested and hence the schools of fish were visibly reduced i.e. on the day when they did not observe the Sabbath (and fishing was open), it did not appear to them. But on the Sabbath, since the number of fishermen was reduced, hence due to lack of competition those who did not observe the Sabbath and were fishing, for them On the day of their Sabbath their fish appeared to them in shoals upon shoals on the surface (of the water). Further, only fishermen out on the sea could see the shoals and not the Sabbath observers in their homes.
There is clear indication above that the Sabbath breakers indulged in distorting the Scriptures to their fancy to justify their lifestyle had a common trait i.e. They tear the words from their context and say, `We hear and we disobey and those amongst them who were unjust changed the word to something different from that which they were told about the norms and spirit of Sabbath, thus they profaned the Sabbath.Naturally, when the Book of Moral Laws i.e. Scriptures and their meanings are distorted, then a consequent unbridled human behavior sets in that is devoid of moral guidance. This in turn naturally sets in a moral decay in such peoples, which outwardly seems as a simple historical act of fishing during Sabbath, but spiritually it resulted by breaking away from the actual meaning and purpose of the guidance in the Scriptures. The non-adherence to spiritual exercises of their times, namely refraining from otherwise lawful and gainful activities which included fishing, is similar to not eating an otherwise lawful and nutritious food and lawful conjugal relations during fasting in Islam.
Attributes of Sabbath Breakers
Quran gives another insight into the minds of the said Sabbath breakers:
16:124. The (punishment for profaning the) Sabbath was made to recoil on those only who were at odds over it, and your Lord will surely judge between them concerning all their differences on the Day of Resurrection.
As to what was it that the Sabbath breakers were at odds over it, Quran gives the context in the immediate previous verses:
16:120-23. The truth of the matter is that Abraham was a paragon of virtue; obedient to Allâh, upright, and he was not of the polytheists, Highly thankful for His favours. He chose him and guided him on to the exact right path. And We granted him great success (and all comforts) of this life, and in the Hereafter he is most surely among the righteous. Again, (Prophet! to complete Our favours on Abraham) We have revealed to you (saying), `Follow the creed of Abraham (who was an) upright, (devotee of God) and was not of the polytheists.‘
Thus, the Sabbath breakers were at odds over the very meaning and purpose of creed of Abraham by their arrogance and polytheism. But, to onlookers, they were merely catching fish on Saturdays, whereas inwardly they were a soulless society that claimed their lineage to Abraham but had no spiritual connection to the example and beliefs of Abraham.
History stands witness that spiritual decline with its corresponding emergence of hedonism leads to destruction of many civilizations. Quran similarly testifies to a section of Israelites in particular who turned polytheistic when they forged lies to the Scriptures and were making tall claims of their fanciful self-righteousness whereas they were blindly following nonsense and the transgressors:
4:47. O you who have been given the Scripture! believe in (the Qur’ân) which We have now revealed fulfilling such (prophecies) as you have, before We make extinct and destroy some of your leaders and deprive them of their glory or We condemn them as We condemned the people of the Sabbath (breakers); and (remember) the decree of Allâh is bound to be executed.
4:48. Surely, Allâh does not forgive (unless the sinner turns to Him with repentance) that a partner be associated with Him but He forgives everything short of it to whomsoever He will. And whoso associates a partner with Allâh has indeed committed a very great sin.
4:49. Have you not considered those who assert themselves to be pure? Nay, only Allâh purifies whom He will; and they shall not be treated unjustly, not even a whit.
4:50. Behold! how they forge lies [when they 'They tear the words from their context' 4:46; 'those amongst them who were unjust changed the word to something different from that which they were told' 7:162] against Allâh, and sufficient is that as a very flagrant sin (to prove their sinfulness).
4:51. Have you not considered the case of those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in nonsense things devoid of good and follow those who transgress, and they say of those who disbelieve, `These are better guided in the (right) way than those who believe (in Islam).’
We are all too familiar with animal metaphors in various languages for example a lion is associated with bravery and fox for a cunning behavior of individuals.
An animal metaphor is a word, phrase, or sentence that expresses a resemblance or similarity between someone or something and a particular animal or animal class. True metaphors are single words, such as the noun tiger, the verb hog, and the adjective chicken. Phrasal metaphors combine true metaphors with other words, such as blind tiger, hog the road, and chicken colonel. Other animal metaphors take the form of similes, such as like rats leaving a sinking ship and prickly as a hedgehog. Still others take the form of proverbs, such as Don’t count your chickens before they hatch and Let sleeping dogs lie. The horse is the animal most frequently referred to in metaphors, followed closely by the dog. The Bible is the most prolific literary source of animal metaphors, followed closely by Shakespeare.[Speaking of Animals: A Dictionary of Animal Metaphors, by Robert Allen Palamatier]
Metaphors of Apes and Swine in Quran
The metaphor “Monkey see, monkey do” refers to a learning of a process without an understanding of why it works. Another definition implies the act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern of the consequences [Wikipedia] and forms the basis of children story “Caps for Sale”[Wikipedia]. Such senseless fellowship in the matters of faith is also addressed as a metaphor in Quran:
2:62. Surely, those who (profess to) believe (in Islam), and those who follow the Jewish faith, the Christians and the Sabians, whosoever (of these truly) believes in Allâh and the Last Day and acts righteously shall have their reward with their Lord, and shall have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.
2:63. And (recall, O Children of Israel!) when We took a covenant from you, (and it was the time when you were at the foot of Sinai), with (the summits of) the Mount towering above you (saying), `Hold fast to what We have given you [– commandments, Message, Torah], and bear in mind that which is in it, so that you may guard against evil.’
2:64. Then, (even) after that you went back (upon your covenant). Had it not been for the grace of Allâh and His mercy upon you, you would have certainly been of the losers.
2:65. And indeed you [– Jews] have come to know (the end of) those of you who transgressed regarding the Sabbath. Thereupon We said to them, `Be you (as) apes, despised.‘
2:66. Thus We made this (incident) an example to learn a lesson from, for those present at the time (of its occurrence) and (also) for those who came after it and an admonition to all those who guard against evil.
Thus, in verses above, Quran draws attention and expresses an admonition to blind fellowship of faith which is akin to human behavior of “Monkey see, monkey do” to avoid any nonsense in the matters of faith, which is a fundamental requirement for all those who guard against evil, else evil can be practiced and propagated in the name of a religion without any understanding of what the purpose of the faith was to begin with:
7:173. Or (lest) you should say, `It were only our forefathers who associated partners (with God) in the past and we only happened to be their children who came after them (to follow in their footsteps). Will You then destroy us for the vain doings of the perpetrators of falsehood?’
This moral decay in peoples is further exemplified in Quran with the examples of Jewish tribes in Medina during the life of the Prophet and has implications in our time:
5:50. Do they seek to enforce the law of (the days of) ignorance? [i.e.when might was right, there were no human rights, women were exploited, physical and economic slavery was rampant etc. before Islam]
5:52. Now you shall see those [weak at heart Muslims] in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) vying one with another towards them (- the Jews and Christians [who were powerful and influential in Medina] to take them for allies). They [i.e. early Muslims of Medina] say, `We are afraid lest a misfortune should befall us…[because of not siding with the powerful]
5:58. And when you call (the people) to Prayer, they [Jew and Christian communities of Medina] take it lightly [i.e. make mockery] and consider it [-Islam] worthless [like a sport i.e. not to be taken seriously and a religion not worth adopting]. They do so because they are a people who do not understand.
5:59. Say, `O People of the Scripture! do you find fault with us [Muslims] only because we believe in Allâh and in that which has been revealed to us, and in that which was revealed before (us [on you i.e. Torah, Evangel etc.])? Whereas most of you are disobedient (to God).’ [and flaunt His standards of fairness even in their own religions]
5:60. Say, `Shall I inform you of those who shall receive from Allâh a recompense worse than that of those (who try to find fault with Us)? They are those whom Allâh has deprived of His blessings and upon whom He brought His displeasure and indignation and of whom He has made (as) apes and swine [in their behavior who copy and imitate each other without thinking and have have no moral boundaries] and who serve the transgressor (- the devil) [as a natural consequence of their moral void, see v. 7:175]. It is these who are indeed worse-placed and farther astray from the right path.’
5:61. And when they [Jews and Christians of Medina] come to you they say, `We believe,’ while, infact, they enter without faith and go out without it [i.e. “Monkey see, monkey do”]. And Allâh knows best all they conceal.[i.e. they would strategically convert and revert in the then time of state of war with Makkans and were a source of dissent and treason]
5:62. And you will find many of them vying one with another in committing sin and transgression and being too much given to eat [i.e. consuming] things forbidden [in their daily living, including commerce, trade, food, social and political activities – the attribute of a swine who does not distinguish pure from the polluted food]. How evil is that which they practise!
5:63. Why do not the teachers of divine knowledge and those learned in the Law prohibit them from their blasphemic talk and deeds and their being too much given to eating things forbidden? Evil indeed is their machination.
Quran revisits with another example about all those who guard against evil and those who do not, the latter as apes despised:
7:164. And (ask them what happened to those people) when a section from amongst them said (to another section), `Why do you admonish a people whom Allâh is going to destroy completely, or whom He is going to punish with a severe punishment?’ They answered, `We do it so that it may serve as an excuse (to be absolved from blame) before your Lord and that they may become secure (against the punishment).’
7:165. But when they disregarded the warning that had been given them, We saved those who forbade evil and We seized those who did wrong, with a serious punishment of extreme destitution because they were exceeding the bounds of obedience.
7:166. So when they insolently refused to keep away from that which they were forbidden, We condemned them to be (as) apes despised [because such repetitive insolent behaviors ultimately ingrain into an indelible despised personality].
Metaphors of Donkey and Dog in Quran
If someone who reads the apes and swine in above verses for their literal meanings instead of metaphorical use, will have to justify the donkey for its literal use below:
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.
62:6. Say, `O you who stand on judaism! if you claim that you are the favourites of Allâh to the exclusion of all other peoples, then, if what you claim be true, express your wish (in prayer-contest) for death (either invoking it on yourselves if you are on falsehood or on me in case you think me an impostor).’
62:7. But they will never wish for it (- the death) because of (the sinful deeds) their hands have sent forward. And Allâh is fully Aware of the wrongdoers.
In another instance, metaphor of dog for a certain human behavior is also used:
7:175. And relate to them the news of him to whom We gave Our commandments but he withdrew himself therefrom, the satan followed him with the result that he became one of those led astray (and became a pervert).
7:176. Had We so willed We would have exalted him (in ranks) thereby (- by means of these Our commandments), but he remained inclined to (the material things of) this world and followed his low desires. His case therefore is like that of a dog, if you bear down upon it, it lolls its tongue out or if you leave it alone, it still lolls out its tongue. Such is the case with the people who cry lies to Our commandments; (they do not give up their evil ways whether you warn them or not). So narrate to them the account (of the people of old) that they may reflect.
7:177. Sad is the case of the people who cry lies to Our commandments and it is their own selves that they have wronged.
Present Day Sabbath
It is interesting to note that fishing is actually trapping of fish. Of the many prohibitions during Sabbath in Jewish canons, trapping is one such violation which is explained in Wikipedia:
Definition: Forcible confinement of any living creature.
The Mishna does not just write “trapping”; rather, the Mishna says “trapping deer”. According to at least one interpretation, this teaches that to violate the Torah’s prohibition of Trapping, two conditions must be met.
<DOUBLE INDENT BEGIN>
1. The animal being trapped must be a non-domesticated animal.
2. The “trapping” action must not legally confine the animal. For example, closing one’s front door, thereby confining insects in one’s house is not considered trapping as no difference to the insect’s ‘trappable’ status has occurred. I.e. it’s as easy or difficult to trap it now as it was when the door was open.
<DOUBLE INDENT END>
This creates questions in practical Halakha such as: “May one trap a fly under a cup on Shabbat?” The Meno Netziv says that an animal that is not normally trapped (e.g. a fly, a bee, or a lizard) is not covered under the Torah prohibition of trapping. It is however, a Rabbinic prohibition to do so, therefore one is not allowed to trap the animal. However, if one is afraid of the animal because of its venomous nature or that it might have rabies, one may trap it. If it poses a threat to life or limb, one may trap it and even kill it if absolutely necessary.
Animals which are considered too slow moving to be ‘free’ are not included in this category, as trapping them doesn’t change their legal status of being able to grab them in ‘one hand swoop’ (a term used by the Rambam to define this law). One is therefore allowed to confine a snail or tortoise, etc. as you can grab them just as easily whether they are in an enclosure or unhindered in the wild. For these purposes trapping them serves no change to their legal status regarding their ease of capture, and they are termed legally pre-trapped due to their nature. Trapping is therefore seen not as a ‘removal of liberty’, which caging even such a slow moving creature would be, but rather the confining of a creature to make it easier to capture in one’s hand.
Laying traps violates a Rabbinic prohibition regardless of what the trap is, as this is a normal method of trapping a creature.
See further: Mishneh Torah Shabbos 10:15; Shulkhan Arukh Orach Chayim 317; Chayei Adam Shabbos 30
Story of Sabbath Breakers is factually an Admonishment to Muslims
This example of Sabbath breaking on Saturday by bending the law e.g. laying fishing traps on Sabbath, only to retrieve them the next day on Sunday, or not refraining from an otherwise legal activity during a ‘fasting Sabbath’ is morally equivalent of stuffing bellies a tankful before and after the fast by which one can then lay claim that since no food was consumed during the fast, hence the sole obligation of fasting has been completed. To put it simply, by merely not eating during fasting or trapping but not hauling the fish during Sabbath are infantile efforts to trick God and please an angered deity, while Quran rubbishes such religious tricksters as apes despised:
14:8. Moses said, `If you turn ungrateful, you and everyone on this earth altogether (remember that) Allâh stands in need of no thanks. Verily, Allâh is Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy (in His Own right).
Such ‘trickery’ is against the basic sense and purpose of Sabbath or Fasting because a fast is not only avoiding a lawful food and sexual activity, but also increasing meditation by reading, comprehending, contemplating and reflecting on Quran in a study and in prayers, while intensifying charity and alms giving. The culmination of such spiritual endeavors in thought and practice is moral uplift of the individual and the society. It is this bending of rules of spirituality only to preserve the outward shell of a religion while killing its soul that Quran alludes to above i.e. They tear the words from their context and say, `We hear and we disobey,’ – 4:46, those amongst them who were unjust changed the word to something different from that which they were told – 7:162, They believe in nonsense things devoid of good and follow those who transgress – 4:51. It is such behaviors which is characteristic of those who are judaised – 4:46.This is where Quran admonishes Muslims against their own decay into Judaism.
Sabbath in Present Day Islam?
In Quran there is no Sabbath for Muslims, rather the ‘Sabbatical’ Friday prayers are a brief interruption of daily commerce:
62:9. O YOU who believe! When the call is made for (the Congregational) Prayer on Friday then hasten to extol the name of Allâh and leave off all business. That is best for you if you only knew.
62:10. And when the Prayer is finished, disperse in the land and seek Allâh’s grace and bounty (and restart your business), and go on remembering Allâh much that you may achieve an all-round success [both spiritual and material].
62:11. But (Prophet!) when some people see some merchandise or any form of amusement, they run for it and leave you standing (on the pulpit), say, ‘That (reward of worshipping Allâh) which Allâh has (for you) is far better than any amusement or merchandise, and Allâh is the Best of Providers.
The above verse 62:11 equally applies to the Sabbath breakers who preferred some merchandise or any form of amusement, they run for it while ignoring the spirit of Sabbath in which (reward of worshipping Allâh) which Allâh has (for you) is far better than any amusement or merchandise, and Allâh is the Best of Providers.
Abrogation of Sabbath in Islam
With the advent of Quran, the Islam that initially was Israelites specific under Moses (PBUH) transitioned into the Islam as a universal religion under Muhammad (PBUH) in which the weekly ‘fast’ of Sabbath gave way to monthly ‘fasts’ of Ramadan. With globalization, old spiritual methods of regions and races had to be given up for a Universal methodology. Earlier faith which had decayed like a fish from its head first, needed to be replaced with a refreshed ideology of Islam till end of the times based upon Quran, a Book that abrogated the previous Books, all of which had been tempered or lost:
2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will.
16:101. And Allâh knows very well the need of what He reveals, yet when We replace a revelation with another revelation they say (to you), `You are only a fabricator (of lies).’ The truth is, however, that most of them know nothing.
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS KINDLING FIRES OF WAR THAT GOD EXTINGUISHES:
Wars and disorders arise out of corruption of ideas which in turn manifest in greed of financial systems. It will be silly to imagine that Quran speaks of ordinary Christians and Jews who go about their lives. In modern context Quran is drawing attention to the global institutions that own the world resources and are in turn owned and run by the people of Judeo-Christian heritage whose teachings have dearth of morality that leaves them with no self-checks, which then naturally spreads corruption in the land:
5:62. And you will find many of them [Jews and Christians] vying one with another in committing sin and transgression and being too much given to eat things forbidden [of their unlawful gains]. How evil is that which they practise!
5:63. Why do not the teachers of divine knowledge and those learned in the Law prohibit them from their blasphemic talk and deeds and their being too much given to eating things forbidden? Evil indeed is their machination.
These are just not empty rants or a cliché of conspiracy theories. As the facts stand in United States alone, 5 banks own assets worth 8.5 trillion dollars which is 56% of its national economy. Such a Super-Capital runs a Super-Government across the continents in which a common citizen does not count and any war is only a matter of a few board meetings and a few phone calls. These institutions become ‘too big to fail’ and for whom the ‘fiscal bailouts’ are arranged by governments under their sway, while the fact of the matter is that this global corruption of power is ‘too big to jail’ for vying one with another in committing sin and transgression and being too much given to eat things forbidden. How evil is that which they practise! [Ref: The Global Banking ‘Super-Entity’ Drug Cartel: The “Free Market” of Finance Capital]. The only road block in history and in the present to this Super-Exploitation is Islam:
5:64. And the Jews said, `Allâh’s hand is fettered (from assisting the helpless Muslims).’ Fettered are their own hands (from assisting the enemies of Islam), and they are deprived of blessings of Allâh for what they said. Nay, (the truth of the matter is that) both His hands are wide open (and free). He spends as He pleases. And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will most surely increase many of them in inordinate rebellion and in disbelief. And We have kindled enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindle a fire for war, Allâh puts it out, but they strive to create disorder in the land, whereas Allâh does not like the creators of disorder.
5:65. And if the people of the Scripture had only believed and guarded against evil, We would surely have absolved them of their sins and We would surely make them enter Gardens of bliss.
5:66. If they had only observed the Torah and the Evangel and that which has been revealed to them (now) from their Lord, [because no Divine Book will endorse such behaviors as above] they would surely have eaten (of good things) from above them [i.e., spiritual gains] and from under their feet [i.e., material gains], (thus would have enjoyed the boons of the heaven and the earth). [Qur’ân does not measure all members of the opposing faiths with the same yardstick and acknowledges that]Though there is amongst them a community who is moderate (and of balanced mind), yet a large number of them are such that evil are their deeds[which are on record in the World history].
The single effective bulwark against this global Judeo-Christian corruption is the Message of the Quran which has been revealed to you from your Lord will most surely increase many of them in inordinate rebellion and in disbelief. It is only Islam that stands for a common man that we see in the life example of Prophet Muhammad who stood up to a massive military-economic force of his time, followed by his peers who routed the Persian and Roman empires in which 90% of masses were born to serve the 10% Super-Capitalists of their times. Islam has a built in moral force that alone can withstand a global exploitation:
5:67. O Messenger! convey (to the people the entire message) well that has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, you have not (at all) conveyed His message as it ought to have been. And Allâh will protect you from all (the onslaughts of) people (on your life). Verily, Allâh will not let the disbelieving people have their way.
Reader is encouraged to read “The New World Order” by Maulana Muhammad Ali, a landmark analysis as to why Islam is the only viable economic and social solution for mankind.
The Message of the Quran is validated by European history of its sectarian and internecine wars spanning hundreds of centuries that testifies to the following verse:
5:14. We took the covenant of those (also) who say, `We are Christians;’ but they have abandoned a good portion of what they were (reminded of and) exhorted with. So We have kindled enmity and hatred between (various sects of) them till the Day of Resurrection. And Allâh will soon inform them of all their machination.
PROPHECY BY THE PROPHET OF A TIME WHEN JEWS WILL BE CONFRONTED FOR THEIR MACHINATIONS
The prophecy of Muslims to face Jews is based upon following and similar Hadiths:
Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said, “You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O ‘Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’ ”
The above prophecy manifested and came to its conclusion during the life of the Prophet. The Jewish tribes of Medina, namely Banu-Qainqah, Banu-Nadir and Banu-Quraiza, for their oft repeat treachery were sent into exile after their respective sieges and the Jewish tribes of Khaibar were overcome in another siege and a battle by the Muslims of Medina. Thereafter, nowhere in Quran or Hadith is there any reference of Jews overcoming Muslim and Muslims confronting them [fn: Fazal Bari, Section 59, Hadith 2925, footnote 3, p. 1160, pdf p. 47; Urdu commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari by Maulana Muhammad Ali, pdf download]. Reader may be interested in similar discussion about Jews in Issue 67.
Even though the Christendom has historically persecuted other religions and races, it in particular has never lost its breath to target Jews with the full force of the Church – perpetua servitus iudaeorum – perpetual servitude of the Jews and the power of the Throne – servitus camerae imperialis, or servitude immediately subject to the Emperor’s authority (see Issue 74b). Quran foretold this persecution beforehand and the Christianity had a full choice for fourteen centuries to prove Quran wrong, but it could not:
7:167. And (imagine the time) when your Lord proclaimed (to the Children of Israel) that He would certainly continue to subject them, till the Day of Resurrection, to the people who would afflict them with the worst torment. Verily, your Lord is Quick to punish the evil but He is (all the same) Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
3:55. (Recall the time) when Allâh said, `O Jesus! I will cause you to die a natural death, and will exalt you to Myself and I will clear you of the unchaste accusations of those who disbelieve [-the Jews]. I am going to make your followers [-the Christians] prevail over the disbelievers [-the Jews] till the Day of Resurrection, then to Me (O people!) shall be your return, and I will judge all your differences. [-of note is that Muslim are also believers in Jesus as a prophet]
The above verses clearly allude to a perpetual persecution of Jews at the hands of the Christendom, the highlights of which were enumerated in Issue 74b before and A Short Review of Troubled History – by Fritz Voll and can be read separately. As to why the “Judeo-Christian” history has been so and what prevents its future recurrence is a question to be resolved between Christianity and Judaism alone:
2:113. The Jews say, `The Christians have no valid ground whatsoever (for their belief),’ while the Christians assert, `The Jews have no valid ground (at all for their belief),’ while they both read the same Scripture. Exactly such (ill-founded) things say those who have no knowledge. But Allâh shall judge between them on the Day of Resurrection with regard to all that about which they had been disagreeing.
Of note, in the verse 3:55 – I am going to make your followers [-the Christians] prevail over the disbelievers [-the Jews] till the Day of Resurrection is a clear indication that Christians will never be able to draw Jews into the fold of Christianity.
As far as Islam and Judaism are concerned, the latter only has to be thankful to former for its revival from oblivion into their Golden Age that was outlined in Issue 72d before.
Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources] Bold font is for added emphasis.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism – by Naomi Klein
Exodus – A Hebrew – English Bible, According to the Masoretic Text, the JPS 1917 Edition
Speaking of Animals: A Dictionary of Animal Metaphors – by Robert Allen Palamatier
Monkey see, monkey do – Wikipedia
Caps for Sale – Wikipedia
Activities prohibited on Shabbat – Wikipedia
The Global Banking ‘Super-Entity’ Drug Cartel: The “Free Market” of Finance Capital – by Andrew Gavin Marshall
The New World Order – by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Muhsin Khan
Fazal Bari – Urdu commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari by Maulana Muhammad Ali, pdf download
A Short Review of Troubled History – by Fritz Voll
The Global Banking ‘Super-Entity’ Drug Cartel: The “Free Market” of Finance Capital – by Andrew Gavin Marshall
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Issue 87 [@1:33:09]: Walid Shoebat – “What the West needs to understand about Islam is that Islam has the potential of replacing the dangers that we just kinda did away with, Nazism and Communism. Like Nazisms and like Communism, [in] Islamism, the end justifies the means. There is no respect for national borders and the whole ideology is to promote their way of thinking and to promote their way of life throughout the entire world. That’s what’s being taught in the Middle East, that’s what’s being coming out of Jurisprudence in Al-Azhar and Saudi Arabia and all throughout the Muslim world is that Islam will conquer and will continue to conquer until it triumphs, until everybody in the world say ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet’.”
Rebuttal 87: With discussions so far it is now too boring to rebut the incessant rants of this documentary which are repetitive.
This documentary has tacitly tried to transpose the repugnant feelings left by Nazism and Communism to Islam. This is distortion of facts and is farthest from reality. Did it ever occur to Shoebat as to why Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Colonialism, Slavery, Inquisition, Holocaust, World Wars or any other evil of a large scale never evolved out of Islam, but only out of Christian lands? By contrast, if and when such serpents raised their heads in the Islamic world, they were sooner or later isolated and quashed by Muslims themselves, whereas the aforementioned evils out of the West were aided and abetted by West itself. The reason is simply that Islam leaves no capacity for such evils to even emerge. Can Christianity make such a claim?
The current Issue touches upon four main areas to malign Islam, namely Nazism, Communism, the means employed by Islam to achieve its goals and the inevitable spread of Islam. Each of these will be addressed below.
Shoebat is one of the faces of the lies of this documentary which has not left a stone unturned to associate anything and everything evil that West has experienced in its own history and of its own making to Islam. Nazism is one such ideology. Shoebat needs to be educated about origins of Nazism for which one has to look no farther than an apparently innocuous news article in Jerusalem Post [September 29, 2010]:
‘Germany makes final payment for WWI reparations’ – Final $94 million payment coincides with 20th anniversary of German reunification, according to ‘Der Spiegel’ report.
While celebrating the 20th anniversary of German unification on Sunday, the country will make its final payment for reparations as outlined in the Treaty of Versailles that concluded World War I, Der Spiegel reported.
The payment will be the final installment of interest on foreign bonds Germany issued in the inter-war period to raise necessary funds to pay reparations to the Allies following its defeat 92 years ago.
The huge debt forced upon Germany after its World War I defeat has often been pointed to as a contributing factor to the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party, and the eventual breakout of World War II.
German historian Professor Gerd Krumeich spoke with Der Spiegel about the German people’s perception of the post-war debt as an injustice and its role in Hitler’s seizure of power. “The central factor behind Hitler’s seizure of power was his promise ‘I’ll win this war in the end, I will undo this injustice and tear up this treaty and restore Germany to its old greatness.’”
Of note is that Germany under Hitler emerged out of the ashes of the same manufactured and taunted ‘Judeo-Christian’ values that Bet Ye’or advocated for in Issue 85. After the end of World War I (July 1914 – November 11, 1918) a defeated Germany was further humiliated to accept Treaty of Versailles and pay war reparations to the Allies. It is important to understand the immorality of imposing such extreme penalties on peoples because the generation that is responsible for a war is usually ousted after the war and such penalties are inflicted as mass punishment for the future generations that had no say in the war to begin with. Fact of the matter is that in 2010 the newborns in Germany paid for a war almost a century ago. The scale of penalties imposed on Germany by the Allies was immeasureably high by any standards:
Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles assigned blame for the war to Germany; much of the rest of the Treaty set out the reparations that Germany would pay to the Allies.
The total sum of war reparations demanded from Germany—around 226 billion Marks (ℳ)—was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission. In 1921, it was reduced to ℳ 132 billion, at that time, $31.4 billion (US $442 billion in 2013), or £6.6 billion (UK £284 billion in 2013).
It could be seen that the Versailles reparation impositions were partly a reply to the reparations placed upon France by Germany through the 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt signed after the Franco-Prussian War; critics of the Treaty argued that France had been able to pay the reparations (5 billion francs) within three years while the Young Plan of 1929 estimated that German reparations would be paid for a further 59 years, until 1988. Indemnities of the Treaty of Frankfurt were in turn calculated, on the basis of population, as the precise equivalent of the indemnities imposed by Napoleon I on Prussia in 1807.
The Versailles Reparations came in a variety of forms, including coal, steel, intellectual property (e.g. the trademark for Aspirin) and agricultural products, in no small part because currency reparations of that order of magnitude would lead to hyperinflation, as actually occurred in post-war Germany, thus decreasing the benefits to France and Britain.
Reparations due in the form of coal played a big part in punishing Germany. The Treaty of Versailles declared that Germany was responsible for the destruction of coal mines in Northern France, parts of Belgium, and parts of Italy. Therefore, France was awarded full possession of Germany′s coal-bearing Saar basin for a period. Also, Germany was forced to provide France, Belgium, and Italy with millions of tons of coal for 10 years. However, under the control of Adolf Hitler, Germany stopped outstanding deliveries of coal within a few years, thus violating the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
Germany finally finished paying its reparations in 2010. [Wikipedia]
The aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles for its plunder of Germany was:
In Germany, there was a socialist revolution which led to the brief establishment of a number of communist political systems in (mainly urban) parts of the country, the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the creation of the Weimar Republic.
On 28 June 1919, Germany, which was not allowed representation, was not present to sign the Treaty of Versailles. The one sided treaty by the victors placed blame for the entire war upon Germany (a view never accepted by German nationalists but argued by, inter alia, German historian Fritz Fischer). Germany was forced to pay 132 billion marks ($31.5 billion, 6.6 billion pounds) in reparations (a very large amount for its day which was finally paid off in October 2010). It was followed by inflation in the Weimar Republic, a period of hyperinflation in Germany between 1921 and 1923. In this period the worth of fiat Papiermarks with respect to the earlier commodity Goldmarks was reduced to one trillionth (one million millionth) of its value. On December 1922 the Reparations Commission declared Germany in default, and on 11 January 1923 French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr until 1925.
The treaty required Germany to permanently reduce the size of its army to 100,000 men, renounce tanks and have no air force (her capital ships, moored in Scapa Flow, were scuttled by their crews).
Germany saw relatively small amounts of territory transferred to Denmark, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium, a larger amount to France and the greatest portion as part of re-established Poland. Germany’s overseas colonies were divided amongst a number of Allied countries. It was the loss of territory that now constituted part of Poland that caused by far the greatest resentment. Nazi propaganda would feed on a general German view that the treaty was unfair—many Germans never accepted the treaty as legitimate, and later gave their political support to Adolf Hitler, who was arguably the first national politician to both speak out and take action against the treaty’s conditions. [Wikipedia]
To put it simply, the hyperinflation faced by Germany as a consequence of Treaty of Versailles was of an unimaginable scale:
Germany went through its worst inflation in 1923. In 1922, the highest denomination was 50,000 Mark. By 1923, the highest denomination was 100,000,000,000,000 Mark. In December 1923 the exchange rate was 4,200,000,000,000 Marks to 1 US dollar. In 1923, the rate of inflation hit 3.25 × 106 percent per month (prices double every two days). Beginning on 20 November 1923, 1,000,000,000,000 old Marks were exchanged for 1 Rentenmark so that 4.2 Rentenmarks were worth 1 US dollar, exactly the same rate the Mark had in 1914.
Peak Month and Rate of Inflation: Jan. 1920, 56.9%
Peak Month and Rate of Inflation: Nov. 1923, 29,525% [Wikipedia]
The anti-Semitic evil of Nazism was fostered foremost by the leading industrialist icon of the West, none other than Henry Ford, the richest man of his time who wrote the book ‘The International Jew‘ [pdf download]. The influence of Ford on Hitler is outlined in the online article ‘Henry Ford: American anti-Semitism and the class struggle, by Nancy Russell, 8 April 2003‘ which is excerpted below:
Ford’s impact on Hitler was evidenced by a framed photograph of the industrialist that hung on Hitler’s office wall. Tens of thousands of copies of Ford’s anti-Semitic tracts were circulated in Germany in 1921-22, just as Hitler was gaining control of the Nazi Party. Mein Kampf contains sections that appear to be lifted from the Dearborn Independent.
Hitler refers to the industrialist, the only American mentioned in his biography, stating, “Every year makes them [the Jews] more and more the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of 120 million; only a single great man, Ford, to their fury still maintains full independence.”
Ford was delighted, on his seventy-fifth birthday, to receive a special honor from Hitler, the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle. The honor was bestowed on Ford on July 30, 1938—four months after the Anschluss and the mass terror against Viennese Jews—at a birthday dinner attended by more than 1,500 prominent Detroiters. This was the highest honor of the Reich that could be bestowed on a foreign national, and the German consul traveled to Detroit to personally drape the golden cross with swastikas over Ford’s chest.
Shoebat’s ‘enlightened’ West not only sowed the nationalistic pride in a defeated and punished German nation, it also provided her the inspiration for its future atrocities. Before Shoebat forgets, he needs to be reminded that it was across the board Christians within Germany as well who elected Hitler to power in the first place as noted in the article ‘Who Voted for the Nazis?, by Dick Geary, History Today, Volume: 48 Issue: 10 1998‘ [full article at this link], which is excerpted below:
Between 1928 and 1932, the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) became the most popular of Germany’s many political organisations. It had won no more than 2.6 per cent of votes cast in the Reichstag election of 1928 but just two years later registered massive gains, winning 18.3 per cent of the popular vote. The Reichstag election of July 1932 saw even more spectacular success: 13.7 million German electors, some 37.3 per cent of all votes cast, opted for the NSDAP, making it the largest party in the Reich.
This story of electoral success certainly forms the background to Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933. However, even at the peak of the NSDAP’s popularity before this moment, almost 63 per cent of the German electorate did not vote for the Nazis. What is more, in November 1932, the Nazi Party actually lost 2 million votes. This means that Hitler was not directly voted in to power; for in the Weimar system of absolute proportional representation, 37 per cent of the vote in July 1932 gave the Nazis nothing like a majority in the Reichstag.
Although Hitler’s political career began in Munich, in the elections of 1928 to November 1932 the NSDAP won a higher share of the vote in Protestant than in Catholic Germany. In the Catholic Rhineland and Bavaria (apart from Protestant Franconia) it polled disproportionately badly. In fact in July 1932 the Nazi share of the vote was almost twice as high in Protestant as in Catholic areas. The inability, of Nazis to attract the Catholic vote was demonstrated by the stable support for the Catholic Centre Party, which regularly gained between 11.8 and 12.5 per cent between 1928, and November 1932; and by that of its sister confessional party, the Bavarian People’s Party (BVP), which stayed firm at around 3 per cent in those same elections.
In some places, of course, the NSDAP mobilised Catholic voters on a significant scale, as happened in Breslau and Liegnitz (towns in Silesia where conflicts between Germans and Poles coloured political identity), in the Catholic rural areas of the Palatinate, and among some Catholics in the Black Forest; but these cases were atypical.
What this documentary and even the rest of the world might not know that the first voice raised against Hitler’s persecution of Jews was raised by Muslims:
“The West may rightly be described as a continent of “isms”. Capitalism, Socialism, Bolshevism, Facism, Communism — these are the so many manifestations of a restless soul seeking after some true solution of a social system. On top of them all now comes in Germany what may be called Hitlerism. Whether this new tide will take the German people back to the promised land flowing with milk and honey is yet to be seen. In the meantime it has launched a bitter campaign of hatred against the Jews who, as reports show, are subjected to severe persecutions all over Germany. This is deplorable, to say the least and no movement based on hatred can be expected to blow any good to humanity. Europe in quest of a social order has tried so many isms, each having landed it in deeper social bogs. Will it not give a trial to the one “ism” that sprang from the soil of Arabia and which combines all that is best and is free from all that is evil in all the “isms” it has so far tried, viz., Islamism?” [emphasis added] [‘Hitlerism’, The Light Lahore, April 8 1933, p. 5 (pdf p. 102) – a large size pdf download]
A further discussion on the above topic can be read at this link.
Contrary to Treaty of Versailles another incidence of our times is based upon tradition of Prophet Muhammad. When Nelson Mandela was elected to presidency of South Africa in 1994, he too forgave the atrocious Whites in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad who had forgiven his blood thirsty enemies when he overcame them, only fourteen centuries before (see Issue 51). When we compare the histories of the West and Islam, the contrast is too obvious. In West the defeated enemy is subjected to humiliation of Treaty of Versailles which in turn gives rise to likes of Nazism, Holocaust and World War II. Whereas, in Islamic tradition the subjugated are given freedom by Truth and Reconciliation Commission and after Conquest of Makkah, whence such tradition permanently reforms a society, restores human dignity and promotes model of righteousness and peace for future generations. Alas! These documentary makers are morally blind to dynamics of history.
10:25-27. And Allah invites to the abode of peace [i.e. Islam], and guides whom He pleases to the right path. For those who do good is good (reward) and more (than this). Neither darkness nor disgrace will cover their faces. These are the owners of the Garden; in it they will abide. And those who earn evil, the punishment of an evil is the like of it, and humiliation will cover them — they will have none to protect them from Allah — as if their faces had been covered with slices of the dense darkness of night. These are the companions of the Fire; in it they will abide.
Shoebat like Trifkovic before revisits the failed ideology of Communism. In Issue 83, which reader may refer to, it was brought to fore that Communism too was a child of the West. Communism kept on expanding despite cold war by the West. Its further expansion was not only halted but on the contrary, the Communism was dismembered once it challenged the Muslim world in Afghanistan, a favor to the West by Islam that this documentary is totally oblivious of.
Goal of Islam
Submission before a living God is at the core of Islam. This one external physical gesture coupled with internal humility of the supplicant is the first step to tame the innate haughty and selfish urges of mankind which if left unchecked impede its individual and collective progress:
22:77. O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourself, and worship your Lord and do good deeds so that you may attain your goal. [Nooruddin]
It is only after the bowing and prostration that leads to state of submission to God for all His laws, physical and moral, when beast within is mellowed and such a person enters Islam, the abode of peace for self and others:
22:78. And strive your hardest to win the pleasure of Allâh, so hard a striving as is possible and as it behoves you. He has chosen you and has imposed no hardship upon you in the matter of your faith, (so follow) the creed of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims (both) before this and (again) in this (Book the Qur’ân) [i.e. a Muslim by definition is at peace with man and with God], so that the Messenger may be a guardian over you and that you may be guardians [of peace] over people. Therefore, observe Prayer, keep on presenting the Zakât and hold fast to Allâh. He is your Patron, what a gracious Patron, and what a gracious Helper. [Nooruddin]
Means to achieve the goals in Islam:
Islam is an individual choice first before it can have collective impact. Edification and elevation of mankind is at the heart of Islam. To achieve one’s goals in life in any sphere of effort, a Muslim has to conduct oneself with certain ethical standards, the sampler of which is taken from the website aaiil.us and is reproduced below:
“O you who believe! keep your duty to Allah and speak straight, true words.” (Holy Quran 33:70)
“O you who believe, keep your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful people.” (9:119)
“Be maintainers of justice and bearers of true witness for Allah, even if it (the truth) goes against your own selves or parents or relatives or someone who is rich or poor.” (4:135)
“Serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience.” (39:2)
“It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say things which you do not do.” (61:3)
“Woe to those who pray but are unmindful of their prayers, who do good to be seen.” (107:4-6)
“You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend (in charity) out of those things which you love.” (3:91)
“They (the true believers) give food, out of love for Allah, to the poor, the orphan and the slave, saying: We feed you only for Allah’s pleasure – we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.” (76:8-9)
“Do no favour seeking gain.” (74:6)
“The servants of the Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility.” (25:63)
“Do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exultingly.” (31:18)
“Do not ascribe purity to yourselves. Allah knows best who is righteous.” (53:32)
“Allah loves those who are patient.” (3:145)
“Give good news to the patient, who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: We are Allah’s and to Him do we return.” (2:155-156)
“Pardon (people) and overlook (their faults). Don’t you love that Allah should forgive you.” (24:22)
“(The dutiful are) . . . those who restrain their anger and pardon people. Allah loves those who do good to others.” (3:134)
“Whenever they (true believers) are angry they forgive.” (42:37)
“The recompense of evil is punishment like it. But whoever forgives (an evil committed against himself) and amends (matters), his reward is with Allah. . . . Whoever is patient and forgives, that is a matter of great resolution.” (42:40, 43)
When the Holy Prophet Muhammad defeated his enemies in Makka and returned to that city as its conqueror, he forgave them in the following words:
“No reproof be against you this day; Allah may forgive you, and He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy.” (12:92)
Purity and cleanliness:
“He indeed is successful who purifies himself (in mind and body), and remembers the name of his Lord, then prays.” (87:14-15)
“Purify your garments and shun uncleanness.” (74:4-5)
“Don’t go near the property of an orphan, except in a goodly way, till he attains maturity. And fulfil the promise (you make) . . .. Give full measure when you measure out, and weigh with a true balance.” (17:34-35)
“Do not swallow up your property among yourselves by false means, nor offer it as a bribe to the officials so that you may swallow up other people’s property unlawfully while you know.” (2:188)
Goodness and kindness to others:
“Allah commands you to uphold justice and to do good to others and to give to the relatives.” (16:90)
Three degrees of doing good are mentioned here: “justice,” which means returning any good that someone has done you with equal good; “do good to others,” which means taking the initiative in doing good to others; and “give to the relatives,” which means doing good to people instinctively and naturally just as one does good to one’s close relatives.
“Do good to others, surely Allah loves those who do good to others.” (2:195)
Consideration and respect for others:
“O you who believe! do not enter houses other than your own until you have asked permission and greeted the inmates . . . and if it is said to you, ‘Go back’, then go back.” (24:27-28)
“O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion (against others), for surely suspicion in some cases is sin; and do not spy (into other people’s affairs), nor let some of you backbite others.” (49:12)
“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet with one better than it, or return it (in the same terms at least).” (4:86)
Speaking of a small number of Muslims facing a big and powerful enemy, the Quran relates:
“Those to whom men said: people have gathered against you, so fear them; but this increased their faith, and they said: Allah is sufficient for us and He is an excellent Guardian.” (3:173)
“Eat and drink, but do not be immoderate.” (7:31)
“Do not chain your hand to your neck (so that you are mean in spending), nor stretch it out to the utmost limit (so that you waste everything).” (17:29)
Regarding the performance of religious duties, the Holy Prophet has given the following advice:
“Religion is easy, but any one who exerts himself too much in religious devotions will get overcome by it; so you should just act rightly, and keep to the mean, and be of good cheer, and ask for Allah’s help morning, evening, and a part of the night.” (Bukhari.)
“Be of good cheer.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
“It is an act of charity to meet your fellow with a cheerful face.” (Holy Prophet in Mishkat.)
Finally, we give a verse of the Holy Quran mentioning a number of qualities a Muslim, man or woman, should try to acquire:
“The truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble men and the humble women, the charitable men and the charitable women, the fasting men and the fasting women, the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah much – for all these Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (33:35)
How does Islam require a Muslim to treat the people around him?
The Holy Quran and the Hadith mention various categories of people that one has to deal with, and give a great deal of guidance on how to behave towards them.
Parents and the elderly:
“Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and do good to parents. If one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘Fie’ to them, nor chide them, but speak to them a generous word . . . and say, My Lord, have mercy on them as they brought me up when I was little.” (17:23-24).
“The Holy Prophet said, It is one of the greatest sins that a man should curse his parents. Someone said, How can a man curse his own parents? He said, If a man abuses the father of another, that person will abuse his parents (in return).” (Report in Bukhari.)
Other Near Relatives:
“Do good to the near relatives.” (4:36)
“Give to the near relative his due, and also to the needy and to the traveller (in need of help). (17:26).
“Do not kill your children for fear of poverty – We (Allah) provide for them and for you.” (17:31)
“A man came to the Holy Prophet and said, `You kiss children but we do not kiss them’. The Holy Prophet said, `Do I have any control over you if Allah has taken away mercy from your heart’.” (Report in Bukhari.)
Orphans and destitute children:
“Maintain the orphans out of their property and clothe them and give them a good education. Test them when they reach the age of majority, and if you find them to be mature, hand over their property to them.” (4:5-6)
“I and the man who brings up an orphan will be in paradise like this,” said the Holy Prophet, putting together his forefinger and middle finger. (Report in Bukhari.)
Poor and needy:
“Righteous is he who . . . gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free.” (2:177)
“What will make you understand what the uphill road (to success) is? (It is) to free a slave, or feed at a time of hunger an orphan who is a relative or the poor man lying in the dust.” (90:11-16)
“Have you seen him who goes against religion? That is the one who is rough to the orphan and does not urge the feeding of the needy.” (107:1-3)
“(The true believers are those) in whose wealth there is a known right for the beggar and the destitute.” (70:24-25)
“The person who manages things for the widow and the poor is like the one who strives hard in the way of Allah.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
“Be good to . . . the neighbour belonging to your people and the alien neighbour.” (4:36)
“He is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour is hungry.” (Holy Prophet in Hadith.)
“The angel Gabriel continued to enjoin upon me good treatment of the neighbour, so much so that I thought he would make him heir to one’s property.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
“They (your wives) are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.” (2:187)
“Of His (Allah’s) signs is that He created spouses for you from yourselves so that you might find quiet of mind in them, and He put between you love and compassion.” (30:21)
“The best of you are those who are kindest to their wives.” (Holy Prophet in Tirmizi.)
A man related:
“I asked Aishah (Holy Prophet’s wife): What did the Prophet do when in his house? She said, `He served his wife’, meaning that he did work for his wife.” (Report in Bukhari.)
“(The true believers) are those who are keepers of their trusts and covenants.” (23:8)
“Trusts” include the duties and the other things with which an employee is entrusted by his employer; “covenants” include the contract by which both the employer and the employee are bound.
“Allah says: There are three persons whose opponents I shall be on the Day of Judgment . . . (the third is) the person who employs a servant and receives fully the labour due from him, but does not pay his wages.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
Ans, a companion of the Holy Prophet, related:
“I served the Holy Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me, `fie’, nor did he ever say `Why have you done this’, or `Why have you not done that’.” (Report in Bukhari.)
“There is no animal in the earth, nor a bird flying on its two wings, but they are communities like yourselves (O people).” (6:38)
Someone asked the Holy Prophet, “Is there a reward for us (from Allah) for doing good to beasts?” He replied:
“In every animal having a liver fresh with life there is a reward.” (Holy Prophet in Mishkat.)
“Be careful of your duty to Allah in the matter of dumb animals; ride them while they are in a fit condition, and eat them while they are in a fit condition.” (Holy Prophet in Abu Dawud.)
“Whoever tills a field, and birds and beasts eat from it, it is an act of charity.” (Holy Prophet in Musnad of Ahmad.)
Regarding electing and appointing people to positions of authority, the Quran says:
“Allah commands you to make over trusts (or positions of trust and authority) to those worthy of them.” (4:58)
Some other principles are as follows:
“Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything (with your authorities) refer it to Allah and the Messenger” (4:59), i.e. settle the disagreement by means of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet’s example.
“Obedience (of authority) is due only in good matters”, i.e., orders to do wrong must not be obeyed. (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
The first head of state of the Muslims after the Holy Prophet, the famous Hazrat Abu Bakr, said in a speech after his election:
“Help me if I am in the right. Correct me if I am in the wrong. Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger; in case I disobey Allah and His Messenger, I have no right to obedience from you.”
“The most excellent jihad is to speak the truth in the face of an unjust ruler.” (Holy Prophet in Mishkat.)
“Hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited. And remember Allah’s favour to you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so by His favour you became brethren.” (3:103)
“The believers are brethren, so make peace between your brethren . . . Do not find fault with your own people, nor call one another by (bad) nicknames.” (49:10-12)
“Help one another in good and righteous works, and do not help one another in sin and aggression.” (5:2)
“Do not hate one another and do not be jealous of one another and do not boycott one another, and be servants of Allah, as brothers; and it is not lawful for a Muslim to sever his relations with his brother for more than three days.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
“You will see the believers in their having mercy for one another, and in their love for one another, and in their kindness towards one another, like the human body: when one limb is ailing, the whole body feels it, one part calling out the other with sleeplessness and fever.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
“None of you has faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Holy Prophet in Bukhari.)
Those who abuse Muslims:
“Bear patiently what they (abusers) say.” (20:130)
“Disregard their annoying talk.” (33:48)
“When you hear Allah’s messages disbelieved in and mocked at, sit not with them until they enter into some other talk.” (4:140)
“And if you invite them to guidance, they hear not; and you see them looking towards you, yet they see not. Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn away from the ignorant.” (7:198-199)
“The Messenger of Allah and his Companions used to forgive the idolaters and the followers of the book (Jews and Christians), as Allah had commanded them, and they used to show patience on hearing hurtful words.” (Report in Bukhari.)
“Repel evil with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you there is enmity will be like a warm friend.” (41:34)
“Many of the people of the book wish that they could turn you back into disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from themselves. . .. But pardon and forgive.” (2:109)
“And you will always find treachery in them, except a few of them. So pardon them and forgive. Surely Allah loves those who do good to others.” (5:13)
“Allah does not forbid you concerning those people who do not fight you because of your religion, nor expel you from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly.. . . Allah forbids you only concerning those people who fight you for your religion, and drive you from your homes and help others to expel you, that you make friends of them.” (60: 8,9)
“Whatever good they (people of other religions) do, they will not be denied it (by Allah), and Allah knows who the righteous are.” (3:115)
“O you who believe, be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice; and do not let the hatred of a people incite you not to act with justice. Be just; that is nearer to observance of duty.” (5:8)
“Call (others) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner.” (16:125)
“Argue not with the people of the Book (Jews, Christians, and other people having scriptures) except by the best (means), save those of them who act unjustly. But say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we submit.” (29:46)
A companion of the Holy Prophet relates:
“A funeral procession passed by the Holy Prophet, and he stood up for it. People said to him: It was the funeral of a Jew. He said: Was it not a human life?” (Report in Bukhari.)
Mankind in general:
“Mankind is a single nation.” (2:213)
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and families so that you may know each other. The most honoured of you in Allah’s sight are those who best keep their duty.” (49:13)
“We (Allah) have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the nations.” (21:107)
“Speak good words to all people.” (2:83)
“Allah commands you that . . . when you judge between people (i.e., of any race, religion, family, class, etc.), you judge with justice.” (4:58)
The inevitable spread of Islam
If only Shoebat can open his eyes to the above sampled teachings of Islam, which are the means to achieve the goals in Islam, he will be constrained to see Islam as the only doctrine out there which has and will act as a global bulwark against the evils of Nazism, Communism, Fascism, Colonialism, exploitative Capitalism etc. in short all the evils that arose and will arise out of the front lawn of a morally deprived Christianity of the West. One such aspect of failure of Christianity, Judaism and the isms that arose in the West is their focus on Nationalism and the current documentary with its mouth pieces, namely Trifkovic and Bet Ye’or have only advocated it beyond any doubt. The universal historian, Arnold Toynbee commented on Nationalism as a contributing factor to the failure of Christianity and success of Islam. This is what Shoebat fears when he states – “…There is no respect for national borders and the whole ideology is to promote their ways of thinking and to promote their way of life throughout the entire world…”:
ISLAM – THE FUTURE WAVE OF THE WORLD
by Arnold Toynbee
(The Islamic Review, p. 3, March 1961 – pdf download)
A great majority of the human race at the present moment nominally adheres to one or other of four old religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islam. A large part of the minority adheres to other religions of the same age and kind: for instance, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Taoism. But mankind’s real religion today is none of these; it is Nationalism, and this means the collective self-worship of some fraction of the human race. For the time being, at any rate, Nationalism has supplanted the nominal religions in fact, though not avowedly. Only Communism has been able to stand up to Nationalism, and this only in non-Communist countries. In Russia and China, Communism has become Nationalism’s tool. Trotsky wanted to put Russia to work for international Communism, but Trotsky was defeated by Stalin – and the irony of Stalin’s victory was that Stalin was not a Russian by origin. Of course, Georgian Stalin was not the first foreigner to become the leader of a national movement. Corsican Napoleon anticipated him in France, and Austrian Hitler followed him in Germany.
Spectacle in Africa
If we want to see the long-drawn-out history of religion replayed at high speed, we can watch this spectacle in Africa. “Something new is always coming out of Africa,” said the Romans, but it is as true today as it was 1,800 years ago. A single century has seen religion in Africa pass through a succession of phases: from magic and nature-worship to Islam and Christianity from these to Nationalism; and, through back towards the pre-Islamic and pre-Christian dispensation.
Antidotes of Nationalism
Nationalism in Africa is determined to be “modern. But modern nationalism cherishes a nation’s national heritage from the past. The more peculiar the heritage the better. So long as this national heritage is distinctive it is to be treasured, whether intrinsically good or bad. Nationalist Africa seems inclined to treasure its pre-Christian and pre-Islamic past. It is not easy to make a national religion of Christianity or Islam. The appeal of these two missionary religions is not local but universal They address themselves to each individual human being that is born into the world. The objective of each of them is to convert the entire human race, and to make a reality of the brotherhood of man. Neither religion has achieved their identical ideal. Their destiny looks as it would be co-existence. But both their universalism and their individualism are genuine, and this puts them at loggerheads with Nationalism, since Nationalism is some particular fraction of the human race.
Wave of the future
For this reason, Nationalism in Africa tends to look back behind those two world religions to a specifically African past of its own. But which of the competing religions is “the wave of the future? ” It is possible that neither Nationalism nor a resuscitated African magic and nature-worship will prove satisfying to human hearts and minds These have the same spiritual needs in Africa as elsewhere. The weakness of Islam and Christianity is one that they share with the other “higher religions “. In their long journey through time and space they have picked up a mass of accessories that are not only irrelevant but are, in some cases, contradictory to their original messages. This is one of the reasons why they have been losing their hold in recent times. On the other hand they have a strong point that is lacking in all the post-Christian ideologies — Nationalism, Communism and the rest. The historic higher religions have help and comfort to give to the individual on his way through this life. The way is hard, so the help is precious and people who have once had it will not find it easy to do without it. They may be put off by the outer shell that each of the higher religions has acquired; but probably they will still yearn for the spiritual reality within. And, if they can break through the letter and recover the spirit they may yet return to the old religions in some new form.
If the higher religions do, in truth, have something in them that meets the human soul’s permanent spiritual needs, then their expectation of life will be longer than that of either the current ideologies or the primitive forms of religion and magic. In fact, we may expect to see the historic higher religions revive, and revive inwardly intact, however great may be the changes in their outer appearance. If Islam and Christianity were to revive in Africa, what would be their respective prospects.
One may perhaps guess that in Africa the winning religion will be one that has the spiritual power to over-come the divisions between nations and races and in this point Islam has an advantage which it has already profited. The sense of fraternity is strong enough in Islam to make Muslims of different races willing to inter-marry; and inter-marriage is the touchstone of genuine brotherhood. When Asian or North African Muslim missionaries convert Africans in the great region south of the Sahara, what emerges is a single Muslim community. When Western Christian missionaries convert Africans, what emerges is, all too often, a couple of separate communities, each Christian, but one white and the other black.
This is, unfortunately, the rule in Christendom, and the one outstanding exception to it proves its validity. The Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking Christian peoples seem to be as free from race-feeling as the Muslims are. In Mexico and in Brazil there are many races but a single nation, and it is probably no accident that the Spanish and Portuguese Christians should display this Muslim virtue. It looks as if it were a heritage from their Muslim past. Spain and Portugal were under Muslim rule for many centuries.
So long as this virtue is the monopoly of Islam in the greater part of Tropical Africa, Islam is going to increase there and Christianity is going to decrease. The moral for Christianity is that it should reform its practice to bring this into accord with its principles. For, in principle, Christianity, no less than Islam, is a religion for all mankind – a religion that makes no distinction either of persons or of races.
The future lies with whatever religion or religions can create the spiritual brotherhood that is mankind’s need today. Communism claims to be a sovereign unifier; Islam has been proving itself to be a unifier in Africa; Christianity could play the same role if it could bring itself to live up to its principles. Nationalism, however, stands for division, not for unity, so nationalism really has no future. It may destroy mankind and bury itself in the ruins, but it can do no more than that.
In the Atomic Age we have to choose between two extremes. If we are not to destroy ourselves we have to learn to live as a single united human family embracing all mankind without exception. In Africa we can see man-kind in epitome. Of all the continents Africa may be the first that will give us a clue to our destiny.
Shoebat has a habit of flinging allegation without any substantive proofs. He is only repeating his rant about Al-Azhar for which reader is directed to Issue 30.
Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
‘Germany makes final payment for WWI reparations’ – The Jerusalem Post
Treaty of Versailles – Wikipedia
Aftermath of World War 1 – Wikipedia
Hyperinflation – Wikipedia
‘The International Jew‘ [pdf download] – Henry Ford
‘Henry Ford: American anti-Semitism and the class struggle, by Nancy Russell, 8 April 2003‘ – World Socialist Web Site
‘Who Voted for the Nazis?’ by Dick Geary, History Today, Volume: 48 Issue: 10 1998 [full article at this link]
‘Hitlerism’, The Light Lahore, April 8 1933, p. 5 (pdf p. 102) – a large size pdf download
A challenge to Western Critics of Islam – Zahid Aziz
Muslim Code of Behavior – aaiil.us
ISLAM – THE FUTURE WAVE OF THE WORLD (pdf download), by Arnold Toynbee
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz [unless stated otherwise, all verses quoted above are from this translation]
Issue 86 [@ 1:32:09]: Serge Trifkovic – “In order to defend itself against the onslaught of global Jihad which is coming in the century ahead, I have no doubt of that, the West would need to redefine itself and to say what exactly is the geographic and cultural space to be defended and in the name of what? Defending it in the name of a tepid lukewarm ideology of multiculturalism is impossible. Multiculturalism and postmodern liberalism are not worthy dying for, they are not something that can inspire people to do what their ancestors had done at Poitiers and walls of Vienna in 1683. What global Jihad has in its sight is simple minded commitment of millions of peoples to not only spread a faith but also better themselves at the expense of the infidel in the first instance through immigration and later on if necessary by other means.”
Rebuttal 86: Trifkovic, while taking the baton of this hate relay from Spencer tries to drive home the peg of their invention of a ‘global Jihad’ in the mind of the audience. Their manufactured term ‘global Jihad’ was refuted in the Issue 84 before.
If the audiences pay close attention to the documentary they will eerily note that its arguments of a manufactured fear and hate are pages borrowed from Nazism, with the difference that before it was the Jews for Nazis, now Muslims for this documentary and its experts (see Rebuttal 77).
In his rancor Trifkovic feels threatened by non-Caucasians, so was Hitler by the Jews. The difference is that the latter just did not lament like the former – “Defending it in the name of a tepid lukewarm ideology of multiculturalism is impossible” and instead actually tried the ‘Final Solution‘ which Trifkovic can only dream of against Muslims.
Trifkovic further laments – “Multiculturalism and postmodern liberalism are not worthy dying for, they are not something that can inspire people to do what their ancestors had done at Poitiers and walls of Vienna in 1683”, while he forgets European experiment of Holocaust when his co-thinkers then went all out against the Jewish monetary control:
Prior to the beginning of World War II, during a speech given on January 30, 1939 (the sixth anniversary of his accession to power), Hitler foretold the coming Holocaust of European Jewry when he said: “Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” [Wikipedia]
Trifkovic in his hostility visibly sounds xenophobic and paranoid as if he is a spooky reincarnation reminiscent of Hitler himself. He and his cronies of the documentary want to undo what West achieved in human liberties and freedoms after centuries of trials and tribulations and is still struggling to find its soul.
The racist views of Trifkovic and this documentary can be found in its own disparaging usage of the word ‘Multiculturalism’, whereas it stands for:
While multiculturalism has been used as an umbrella term to characterize the moral and political claims of a wide range of disadvantaged groups, including African Americans, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, most theorists of multiculturalism tend to focus their arguments on immigrants who are ethnic and religious minorities (e.g. Latinos in the U.S., Muslims in Western Europe), minority nations (e.g. Catalans, Basque, Welsh, Québécois), and indigenous peoples (e.g. Native peoples in North America, Maori in New Zealand). [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Clearly Trifkovic’s xenophobic view about Multiculturalism can be summarized as follows:
The greatest challenge to multiculturalism may not be philosophical but political. At the start of the twenty-first century, there is talk of a retreat from multiculturalism as a normative ideal and as a set of policies in the West. There is little retreat from recognizing the rights of minority nations and indigenous peoples; the retreat is restricted to immigrant multiculturalism. Part of the backlash against immigrant multiculturalism is based on fear and anxiety about foreign “others” and nostalgia for an imagined past when everyone shared thick bonds of identity and solidarity. Nativism is as old as migration itself, but societies are especially vulnerable to it when economic conditions are especially bad or security is seen to be threatened. In the U.S. the cultural “others” are Latino immigrants, especially unauthorized migrants. Since September 11, Muslim minorities have also come under new scrutiny in the U.S., and concerns over security and terrorism have been invoked to justify tougher border control. The number of Muslim immigrants in North America remains relatively small in comparison to Western Europe, where Muslims have become central to scholarly and popular debates about multiculturalism. The concern is not only over security but also the failures of multiculturalism policies to integrate and offer real economic opportunities to foreigners and their descendants. [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Trifkovic laments that the human thought, social structure and the cultural values in the West are spread on a spectrum between Multiculturalism and Postmodern Liberalism, which in his view are too tolerant and too weak to confront his delusion of a ‘global Jihad’ and that the West is too liberal to answer his call to arms. Without defending Modernism, it is not too surprising that what Trifkovic laments about is the same which Stalin and Hitler opposed, at least in the artistic expression:
After the rise of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Communist government rejected modernism on the grounds of alleged elitism, although it had previously endorsed futurism and constructivism. The Nazi government of Germany deemed modernism narcissistic and nonsensical, as well as “Jewish” and “Negro”. The Nazis exhibited modernist paintings alongside works by the mentally ill in an exhibition entitled Degenerate Art. Accusations of “formalism” could lead to the end of a career, or worse. For this reason many modernists of the post-war generation felt that they were the most important bulwark against totalitarianism, the “canary in the coal mine”, whose repression by a government or other group with supposed authority represented a warning that individual liberties were being threatened. Louis A. Sass compared madness, specifically schizophrenia, and modernism in a less fascist manner by noting their shared disjunctive narratives, surreal images, and incoherence. [Wikipedia]
At least, Postmodernism that Trifkovic brings up is a an ism confused in itself:
Postmodernism – A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.
Postmodernism is “post” because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody – a characterisitic of the so-called “modern” mind. The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning. As the philospher Richard Tarnas states, postmodernism “cannot on its own principles ultimately justify itself any more than can the various metaphysical overviews against which the postmodern mind has defined itself.” [PBS.org]
Has Trifkovic ever paused to think as to who preached these and other isms in the West? They evolved naturally in the West when it rid itself of the shackles of its historically inhumane religious, social and governmental structure of the West itself, as found in the definition of ‘Liberalism‘ in Merriam Webster dictionary:
- a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity
- a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard
- a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)
Incidentally, Trifkovic picked only two of the isms, the Multiculturalism and Postmodern Liberalism, whereas West has, and is still grappling with hundreds of isms to understand the role, limits, purpose and differentiators of a human in a society (see this list of 234 isms – link). Ironically, the ‘West’ has still not discovered ‘the ism‘ that will provide it with a lasting model. The ever evading ism of the West is factually the ‘Islam – What the West Needs to Know’, not of this documentary but the Islam which is ingrained in human goodness, which is essentially a brief ism, sample of which was delivered as a farewell address by an ‘unlettered’ man about 14 centuries ago:
“Ye people! Hearken unto my words, for I know not whether in another year it will be vouchsafed to me to find myself amongst you in this place.”
“Your lives and properties are sacred and inviolable amongst one another, as this day and this month are sacred to all, until ye appear before your Lord. And (remember) ye shall indeed appear before your Lord, who shall demand from each of you an account of his actions.”
“Ye people ! Ye have rights over your wives and your wives have rights over you. Treat your wives with kindness and love; verily, ye are responsible for them to Allah.”
“Usury is forbidden. The debtor will return the principal, and a beginning will be made with the loans of my uncle Abbas, son of Abdul Muttalib.”
“The aristocracy of old time is trampled under my feet. The Arab has no superiority over him that is not an Arab, and he that is not Arab has no superiority over the Arab. All are children of Adam, and Adam was made of earth.”
“Ye people! Hearken to my words and understand them. Know that all Muslims are brothers, one of another. Ye are one brotherhood. Nothing which belongs to another can be lawfully possessed by any, unless freely given out of good will. Guard yourselves against committing injustice.”
“And your war-captives! See that ye feed them with such food as ye yourselves eat ; and clothe them with the stuff that ye yourselves wear; and if they commit a fault which ye are not minded to forgive, then part with them, for they are the servants of the Lord and are not to be harshly treated.”
“I am leaving to you two noble things; so long as ye cling to them ye shall not go astray: the Book of Allah and the Tradition of His Prophet.”
“Let him that is present tell it unto him that is absent : for it may be that he who shall be told may remember better than he who hath heard it here.”
“O ye that are assembled here! have I delivered my message and fulfilled my word ?” The assembled congregation cried out with one voice: “Yea, verily thou hast.” A sudden glow flashed upon the face of the Prophet, and with eyes filled with grateful tears he raised his trembling hands towards heaven and said thrice : “O Lord! I beseech Thee, bear Thou witness unto it.” [Farewell Pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet Muhammad]
The Battle of Poitiers that Trifkovic alludes to is the same as Battle of Tours fought in October 732 between the Frankish and Burgundian forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel, against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by ‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus. Calling this battle as turning point of Muslim advance is claiming glory in hind sight where there was factually none, but a raid by Spanish Muslims into France that was repulsed. France and its adjoining Gaul, England, Spain, Portugal were play grounds of intrigues, raids, conquests and defeats by fiefdoms throughout history and as recently as World War II. So was the Battle of Tours which was just another blip in the same history. See this link for ‘List of wars involving France’ which runs into hundreds, if not thousands. Trifkovic in the documentary has repeatedly tried to claim this battle as high water mark for Muslim tide into Europe, which is rebutted by modern historians. These counter views are outlined in Wikipedia and reproduced below:
Alessandro Barbero writes, “Today, historians tend to play down the significance of the battle of Poitiers, pointing out that the purpose of the Arab force defeated by Charles Martel was not to conquer the Frankish kingdom, but simply to pillage the wealthy monastery of St-Martin of Tours”.
Similarly, Tomaž Mastnak writes: “ Modern historians have constructed a myth presenting this victory as having saved Christian Europe from the Muslims. Edward Gibbon, for example, called Charles Martel the savior of Christendom and the battle near Poitiers an encounter that changed the history of the world… This myth has survived well into our own times… Contemporaries of the battle, however, did not overstate its significance. The continuators of Fredegar’s chronicle, who probably wrote in the mid-eighth century, pictured the battle as just one of many military encounters between Christians and Saracens – moreover, as only one in a series of wars fought by Frankish princes for booty and territory… One of Fredegar’s continuators presented the battle of Poitiers as what it really was: an episode in the struggle between Christian princes as the Carolingians strove to bring Aquitaine under their rule.”
The Christian Lebanese-American historian Philip Hitti believes that “In reality nothing was decided on the battlefield of Tours. The Moslem wave, already a thousand miles from its starting point in Gibraltar — to say nothing about its base in al-Qayrawan — had already spent itself and reached a natural limit.”
The view that the battle has no great significance is perhaps best summarized by Franco Cardini (it) says in Europe and Islam – “Although prudence needs to be exercised in minimizing or ‘demythologizing’ the significance of the event, it is no longer thought by anyone to have been crucial. The ‘myth’ of that particular military engagement survives today as a media cliché, than which nothing is harder to eradicate. It is well known how the propaganda put about by the Franks and the papacy glorified the victory that took place on the road between Tours and Poitiers…”
In their introduction to The Reader’s Companion to Military History Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker summarise this side of the modern view of the Battle of Tours by saying “The study of military history has undergone drastic changes in recent years. The old drums-and-bugles approach will no longer do. Factors such as economics, logistics, intelligence, and technology receive the attention once accorded solely to battles and campaigns and casualty counts. Words like “strategy” and “operations” have acquired meanings that might not have been recognizable a generation ago. Changing attitudes and new research have altered our views of what once seemed to matter most. For example, several of the battles that Edward Shepherd Creasy listed in his famous 1851 book The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World rate hardly a mention here, and the confrontation between Muslims and Christians at Poitiers-Tours in 732, once considered a watershed event, has been downgraded to a raid in force.”
Trifkovic now and Spencer before also portrayed Vienna in 1683 as another turning point for Islam against Christianity, which is far from the facts on the ground. Ottomans were essentially supporting their allies, the Transylvanians, and both were routed at the hands of Muslim Lipka Tartar cavalry from Poland that came to aid of Viennese. This was addressed in the earlier Issue 51.
‘Final Solution‘ – Wikipedia
Multiculturalism – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Modernism – Wikipedia
Postmodernism – Public Broadcasting Service.org
‘Liberalism‘ – Merriam Webster Dictionary
Philosophical Isms – The Phrontistery
Farewell Pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet Muhammad – by Professor Ebrahim Kahn, p.145-9, Islamic Review, May 1930
List of Wars involving France – Wikipedia
Battle of Tours – Wikipedia
Issue 85 [@ 1:31:10]: Bet Ye’or – Author – Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis: “The question now that we have to ask ourselves is do we want to preserve our Judea-Christian values and our own civilization or do we want, do we choose to go towards a dhimmitude, an enlarged dhimmitude in Europe which will engulf the whole of Europe, maybe not America? But, America will be isolated because it will have to deal in geopolitics with an Islamized dhimmi Europe. And these are problems that have to be taken into consideration by Europeans themselves in choosing their identity and their future, freedom or dhimmitude and by Americans also.”
Bet Ye’or continues with the built up by others before her of a delusional scare in the current segment of the documentary. She manufactures three main anxieties i.e. possibility of loss of Judea-Christian values of the West, if there was such thing to begin with; ‘dimmitude’ of Europe and the subsequent isolation of United States from a ‘dhimmified’ Europe. Each of these is a myth, a delusional paranoia full of fear to create a consequent hate in the Western audience towards both Arabs and Muslims. These myths of Bet Ye’or are addressed below:
This is an age in which news has been superseded by propaganda, and education by brain-washing and indoctrination. From the advertising used to sell poor quality goods, to the classes in schools designed to make children into conditioned robots of the State, the art of persuasion has displaced the simple virtue of truth.
Since the end of the Second World War we have been bombarded from all sides with references to the Western world’s “Judeo-Christian religion,” and “our Judeo-Christian heritage.” We are told by both church leaders and scholars that our society is based on a supposed “Judeo-Christian tradition”.
The notion of “Judeo-Christian religion” is an unquestioned – almost sacrosanct – part of both secular and church thinking. American Christian leader Prof. Franklin H. Littel, a vocal supporter of the Zionist state, frankly declared that “to be Christian is to be Jewish,” and that consequently it was the duty of a Christian to put support for the “land of Israel” above all else. Pat Boon, the North American singer and evangelist, said there are two kinds of Judaism, one Orthodox and the other Christian.
Yet such a decidedly Christian Zionist outlook is to say the least, wildly simplistic and profoundly ahistorical. As the astute Jewish writer, Joshua J. Adler, points out, “The differences between Christianity and Judaism are much more than merely believing in whether the messiah already appeared or is still expected, as some like to say.”
The comments of Jewish author Mr. S. Levin may well explain the Christian’s need for the Judeo-Christian myth. Writing in the Israeli journal Biblical Polemics, Levin concludes: “‘After all, we worship the same God’, the Christian always says to the Jew and the Jew never to the Christian. The Jew knows that he does not worship the Christ-God but the Christian orphan needs to worship the God of Israel and so, his standard gambit rolls easily and thoughtlessly from his lips. It is a strictly unilateral affirmation, limited to making a claim on the God of Israel but never invoked with reference to other gods. A Christian never confronts a Moslem or a Hindu with ‘After all, we worship the same God’.”
Back in 1992 both Newsweek magazine and the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper simultaneously printed extensive articles scrutinising the roots of the sacrosanct Judeo-Christian honeymoon!
The statement heading the Newsweek article read: “Politicians appeal to a Judeo-Christian tradition, but religious scholars say it no longer exists.” The Jerusalem Post article’s pull quote announced: “Antisemitism is a direct result of the Church’s teachings, which Christians perhaps need to re-examine.”
“For scholars of American religion,” Newsweek states, “the idea of a single Judeo-Christian tradition is a made-in-America myth that many of them no longer regard as valid.” It quotes eminent Talmudic scholar Jacob Neusner: “Theologically and historically, there is no such thing as the Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s a secular myth favoured by people who are not really believers themselves.”
Newsweek cites authorities who indicate that “the idea of a common Judeo-Christian tradition first surfaced at the end of the 19th century but did not gain popular support until the 1940s, as part of an American reaction to Nazism . . ,” and concludes that, “Since then, both Jewish and Christian scholars have come to recognize that — geopolitics apart — Judaism and Christianity are different, even rival religions.”
The Jerusalem Post accused the Christian Church of being responsible for the Holocaust. The French Jewish scholar Jules Isaac was quoted as saying: “Without centuries of Christian catechism, preaching, and vituperation, the Hitlerian teachings, propaganda and vituperation would not have been possible.”
“The problem,” concludes the Jerusalem Post, “is not, as some assert, that certain Christian leaders deviated from Christian teachings and behaved in an un-Christian manner; it is the teachings themselves that are bent.”
Joshua Jehouda, a prominent French Jewish leader, observed in the late 1950s: “The current expression ‘Judaeo-Christian’ is an error which has altered the course of universal history by the confusion it has sown in men’s minds, if by it one is meant to understand the Jewish origin of Christianity . . . If the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ does point to a common origin, there is no doubt that it is a most dangerous idea. It is based on a ‘contradictio in abjecto’ which has set the path of history on the wrong track. It links in one breath two ideas which are completely irreconcileable, it seeks to demonstrate that there is no difference between day and night or hot and cold or black and white, and thus introduces a fatal element of confusion to a basis on which some, nevertheless, are endeavouring to construct a civilisation.” (l’Antisemitisme Miroir du Monde pp. 135-6).
What is the Truth?
Is there then any truth in this term, “Judeo-Christian”? Is Christianity derived from Judaism? Does Christianity have anything in common with Judaism?
Reviewing the last two thousand years of Western Christian history there is really no evidence of a Judeo-Christian tradition and this has not escaped the attention of honest Christian and Jewish commentators.
The Jewish scholar Dr. Joseph Klausner in his book Jesus of Nazareth expressed the Judaic viewpoint that “there was something contrary to the world outlook of Israel” in Christ’s teachings, “a new teaching so irreconcilable with the spirit of Judaism, “ containing “within it the germs from which there could and must develop in course of time a non-Jewish and even anti-Jewish teaching.”
Dr. Klausner quotes the outstanding Christian theologian, Adolf Harnack, who in his last work rejected the hypothesis of the Jewish origin of Christ’s doctrine: “Virtually every word He taught is made to be of permanent and universal humanitarian interest. The Messianic features are abolished entirely, and virtually no importance is attached to Judaism in its capacity of Jesus’ environment.”
Gershon Mamlak, an award- winning Jewish Zionist intellectual, recently claimed that the “Jesus tradition” is essentially the ultimate extension of ancient Greek Hellenism and is in direct conflict to Judaism’s “role as the Chosen people”.
Dr. Mamlak, writing in the Theodor Herzl Foundation’s magazine of Jewish thought, Midstream, maintains that the prevailing theory that Christianity originated in the spiritual realm of Judaism “is anchored in a twofold misconception: 1) the uniqueness of Judaism is confined to its monotheistic God-concept; 2) the ‘parting of the ways’ between the Jesus coterie and Judaism is seen as the result of the former’s adaptation of the doctrines of Christology.”
The first misconception means: “When the affinity of the Jesus coterie with Judaism is evaluated by common faith in the One, severed from the believer’s duty to execute the Law of the One and to acknowledge the Chosen Nation of Israel as His instrument-faith in the One becomes anti-Judaism par excellence!”
In Gershon Mamlak’s view, “The conflict between Judaism and the Jesus tradition goes beyond the confines of theology. [The Jesus tradition] was the cosmopolitan renunciation of the national phenomenon in general and extreme hostility to Israel’s idea of a Chosen Nation as the divine instrument for the perfection of the world.”
Evidently the concept of a common Judeo-Christian tradition has more to do with post 1945 politics and a certain amount of ‘public relations’ than it does with historical and Biblical reality. Never the less a number of modern Christian polemicists have managed to rest certain New Testament verses in the drive to give a Scriptural basis to their argument.
Confusion over the origin of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity is the root of the Judeo-Christian myth.
Biblical scholars Robert and Mary Coote clearly show in their book Power, Politics and the Making of the Bible that neither is Christianity a patched up Judaism, nor is Rabbinic Judaism automatically synonymous with the religion of Moses and the old Hebrews.
The Cootes’ illustrate the religious climate in Judea two millennia ago: “The cults, practices, and scriptures of both groups, rabbis and bishops, differed from those of the temple; thus we reserve the terms Jew, Jewish, and Judaism for the rabbis and those under their rule and use Judean, contrary to custom, for the common source of Judaism and Christianity….”
“Despite the ostensible merging of Judean and Jew even in certain New Testament passages and by the rabbis who became rulers of Palestine in the third century and continued to use Hebrew and Aramaic more than Greek, the roots of Christianity were not Jewish. Christianity did not derive from the Judaism of the pharisees, but emerged like Judaism from the wider Judean milieu of the first century. Both Christians and Jews stemmed from pre-70 Judean-ism as heirs of groups that were to take on the role of primary guardians or interpreters of scripture as they developed on parallel tracks in relation to each other.” (Power, Politics, and the Making of the Bible).
The few New Testament ‘proof texts’ utilised by Christian Zionists and secular proponents of the modern Judeo-Christian myth are the product of poor translation. Messianic Jewish writer Malcolm Lowe in his paper “Who Are the Ioudaioi?” concludes, like Robert and Mary Coote, that the Greek word “Ioudaioi” in the New Testament should be translated as “Judeans”, rather than the more usual “Jews”. The Israeli scholar David Stern also came to the same conclusion when translating the Jewish New Testament.
Few Christians are aware that the translators of Scripture often mistranslated the word “Jew” from such words as “Ioudaioi” (meaning from, or being of: as a geographic area, Judean). The word Judean, mistranslated as “Jew” in the New Testament, never possessed a valid religious connotation, but was simply used to identify members of the native population of the geographic area known as Judea.
Also it is important to understand that in the Scriptures, the terms “Israel”, “Judah” and “Jew” are not synonymous, nor is the House of Israel synonymous with the House of Judah. The course of history is widely divergent for the peoples properly classified under each of these titles. Accordingly, the authoritative 1980 Jewish Almanac says, “Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a Jew or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”
A writer for The Dearborn Independent, published in Michigan back in 1922, summarised the problem thus: “The pulpit has also the mission of liberating the Church from the error that Judah and Israel are synonymous. The reading of the Scriptures which confuse the tribe of Judah with Israel, and which interpret every mention of Israel as signifying the Jews, is at the root of more than one-half the confusion and division traceable in Christian doctrinal statements.”
Jesus Christ and the Pharisees
The New Testament Gospels reveal an intense conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees, one of the two principal Judean religious sects (see Matthew chapter 3, verse 7; Matthew chapter 5, verse 20; Matthew chapter 23, verses 13-15, 23-29; Mark chapter 8, verse 15; Luke chapter 11, verse 39). Much of this controversy was centered on what was later to become the foundation and highest authority of Judaism, the Talmud. In the time of Jesus Christ, this bore the name of “The Tradition of the Elders” (see Matthew chapter 15, verses 1-9).
The Judean historian Josephus wrote: “What I would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses . . .”
While the Pharisees recognized the laws of Moses, they also claimed that there was a great body of oral tradition which was of at least equal authority with the written Law – and many claimed that the Tradition was of greater authority. By their tradition, they undertook to explain and elaborate upon the Law. This was the “Tradition of the Elders”, to which the name of Talmud was later given. It had its beginning in Babylon, during the Babylon captivity of the people of Judah, where it developed in the form of the commentaries of various rabbis, undertaking to explain and apply the Law. This was the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism.
This Judaism was very different from the religion of the ancient Israelites. The late Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, who was the Chief Rabbi of the United States, expressed this conclusively when he said: “The return from Babylon, and the adoption of the Babylonian Talmud, marks the end of Hebrewism, and the beginning of Judaism.” The Jewish Encyclopedia tells us that the Talmud is actually “the product of the Palestinian and Babylonian schools” and is generally referred to as “the Babylonian Talmud”.
Dr. Boaz Cohen in Everyman’s Talmud states the Talmud is the work of “numerous Jewish scholars over a period of some 700 years, roughly speaking, between 200 [B.C.] and 500 [A.D.].”
Rabbi Louis Finkelstein in Volume 1 of The Pharisees, the Sociological Background of their Faith says, “Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes of name, inevitable adaption of custom, and adjustment of Law, the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered.”
According to The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, (1942) p.474 : “The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a very great deal is still in existence. The Talmud is the largest and most important single member of that literature.”
Moshe Menuhim explains that the Babylonian Talmud embodied all the laws and legends, all the history and ‘science,’ all the theology and folklore, of all the past ages in Jewish life – a monumental work of consolidation. In the Talmud, Jewish scholarship and idealism found their exclusive outlet and preoccupation all through the ages, all the way up to the era of Enlightenment. It became the principal guide to life and object of study, and it gave Judaism unity, cohesion and resilience throughout the dark ages.
The Talmud, more than any other literature, so defined Judaism that Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser admitted, “Judaism is not the religion of the Bible.” (Judaism and the Christian Predicament, 1966, p.159) It is the Talmud that guides the life and spirit of the Jewish people.
“The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs, or ceremonies we [Jews] observe – whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists – we follow the Talmud. It is our common law.” (A History of the Jews, Solomon Grayzel).
Both Jewish and Christian scholars agree that it was Jesus Christ’s flagrant rejection of this “Tradition of the Elders” and his open confrontation with the powerful Pharisees that created the climate that led to his death. Historically, Christian thinkers argued that the Talmud was directly responsible for the rejection of Christ.
If, as we have seen, the Pharisees and the Talmud forever defined Judaism, then most certainly the writings of the post-Apostolic Christian church leaders help us in understanding the relationship of the early Christian faith to both paganism and Judaism.
Justin Martyr (c100-165 A.D.) was indeed the earliest and most significant of these post- Apostolic church apologists. Following in the theological footsteps of Paul, who taught that the Gospel was the fulfilment of Moses and the Prophets, Justin argued that the Gospel was in the mind of God from the beginning and it was given to Abraham and the righteous Patriarches long before Judaism existed. This is in keeping with the Gospel teaching that the Hebrew Scriptures find their ‘flowering’ in the life, purpose, and accomplishments of Jesus the Christ.
Hence, the Christian faithful have traditionally understood the Old Testament through the New Testament.
In his Dialogue with Trypho Justin seeks to persuade a Jew of the truth of Christianity. Unlike the other apologists, he focuses mainly on the nature and meaning of Christ. Christ was the Logos who inspired the Greek philosophers and is present in all men as the Logos spermatikos (seminal reason or word). Through Him, the best of the philosophers were able to produce significant works of theology and philosophy. Their ideas could serve as beacons of truth just as much as could the inspired writings of the Old Testament Hebrews. Those who lived according to the Logos, even before Christ, were Christians. In the Old Testament it was the Logos who was revealed as God, because the transcendent Heavenly Father could not thus speak to man.
Justin wrote in Apology:
“We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word [or reason] of whom all mankind partakes. Those who lived reasonably [with the Word] are Christians, even though they have been called atheists. For example: among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus and men like them; among the barbarians [non-Greeks], Abraham…and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious.”
Christianity, seen through Justin Martyr’s writings, takes on a ‘cosmic’ breadth:
“I both boast and strive with all my strength to be found a Christian…Whatever things were rightly said by any man, belong to us Christians. For next to God we worship and love the Word, who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, since He also became man for our sakes, that by sharing in our sufferings He might also bring us healing. For all those writers were able to see reality darkly, through the seed of the implanted Word within them.” (2 Apology).
Jesus Christ had come, argued Justin, to restore true religion and to denounce the hypocrisy of the religion of Judea. For that crime Jesus had been crucified. Consequently, Christianity is not a form of Judaism or simply Jewish prophecies fulfilled but ‘the true philosophy’.
Justin’s Christianity was eventually reducible to three major principles: (1) worship of God, mostly through private prayer and communication of being; (2) belief in an after-life with rewards and punishments for one’s actions in this world; and (3) the importance of leading a virtuous life in imitation of Christ and in obedience to His commandments.
The Romans killed Justin for his religion. He was ever known as Justin Martyr, and not as St. Justin. His works defined Christianity as a culminating religion and a “universal” faith incorporating the essential and perennial truth of the pre-Christian religious tradition. Christianity was the restatement of a very old doctrine encompassing the Old Testament and the grand verities of the ancients. Two centuries later Augustine again clarified the Christian faith in these terms when he wrote:
“That which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist from the planting of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity.”
Justin not only showed that Christ is the culmination and completion of all the partial knowledge of truth in Greek philosophy, He is also the culmination of the history of ancient Israel. According to Justin Jesus Christ is Israel and because of Him the church now bears the name of Israel.
This is to say, therefore, that the central message of the Old Testament has been fulfilled in the New Testament. It must be understood that this was the position of Christendom for at least 1900 years. It was the position, not only of Justin Martyr, but of such Stalwart saints as Irenaeus and Hippolytus; a position embraced by Martin Luther and John Calvin, the two towering figures of the Protestant Reformation.
Here we have not only a clear separation of Christianity and Judaism, but a direct challenge to Judaism’s core dogma of a Chosen Nation. A point which has not been lost by Jewish writers.
We read in Zionist author Uri Zimmer’s Torah-Judaism and the State of Israel: “The Jewish people, Rabbi Judah Halevy (the famous medieval poet and philosopher) explains in his ‘Kuzari’, constitutes a separate entity, a species unique in Creation, differing from nations in the same manner as man differs from the beast or the beast from the plant…although Jews are physically similar to all other men, yet they are endowed with a ‘second soul’ that renders them a separate species.”
Traditionally Jewish scholars, as we have shown, were highly critical of the Judeo-Christian myth. There are many others, under the influence of modernism and secular Zionism, who do see some advantage in it.
Rabbi Martin Siegel, reflecting a Messianic zeal, was quoted in the 18 January 1972 edition of New York Magazine as declaring: “I am devoting my lecture in this seminar to a discussion of the possibility that we are now entering a Jewish century, a time when the spirit of the community, the non-ideological blend of the emotional and rational and the resistance to categories and forms will emerge through the forces of anti-nationalism to provide us with a new kind of society. I call this process the Judaization of Christianity because Christianity will be the vehicle through which this society becomes Jewish.”
While historic Christianity has looked to the eventual triumph of the Kingdom of God throughout the earth, according to the Zionist leaders Talmudic Judaism is zealous in the “drive to perfect man’s earthly habitat” (Gershon Mamlak, Midstream, Jan., 1989, p.31).
Dr. Mamlak admits that “many Jews have filled the ranks of the various revolutionary movements” (op. cit., p.32) in order to satisfy this urge. [But who can agree on the terms of the social contract? Were the Zionist Irgun and Stern gangs who terrorised and massacred the Palestinian Arabs in the campaign to establish the Israeli state, shining role models for young Jews? What about the immorality of "the end justifies the means"?]
Rabbi Michael Higger, renowned Talmudic scholar, in his book The Jewish Utopia, discusses the reshaping of the world into a Jewish Eden. The victory of this Utopia is inexorably tied to the coming of the Jewish Messiah.
“And the Messianic Age,” argues the eloquent Jewish Zionist author Leon Simon, “means for the Jew not merely the establishment of peace on earth and good will to men, but the universal recognition of the Jew and his God. . . For Judaism has no message of salvation for the individual soul, as Christianity has; all its ideas are bound up with the existence of the Jewish nation.” (Studies in Jewish Nationalism).
Driven by political agendas compromising Jews and compromising Christians began, only in this century, to disseminate the theretofore unheard of doctrine that Christianity originated from Judaism and that the two share a common worldview.
Dr. Gordon Ginn, an American Christian scholar, made a very valid point when he noted: “It is most interesting, indeed, that rabbis as well as Jewish scholars such as Mamlak and White agree with orthodox, historical Christianity that ‘Judeo-Christian’ is a contradiction in terms, even though that truth is yet to be discovered by contemporary evangelical and fundamentalist Christians” (Smyrna, August, 1993).
Christianity and Judaism are two distinct religious inheritances, despite all the superficial attempts by modern scholars to manufacture a naive “Judeo-Christianity.” The very term “Judeo-Christian” is a mischievous misnomer without historical or Scriptural validity.
The religions of the world are the product of progressive revelation to a diverse humanity, separately expressing as they do the great metaphysical realities of life. Attempts to distort or eliminate these unique, ancient and divinely ordained patterns, through non-divine syncretism and politically- motivated concoctions, is both anti-traditional and truly diabolical.
Appeals to a nonexistent historical unity and calls for a banal, modernist theology do nothing for religious understanding and mutual respect. “Judeo-Christianity” should be seen for what it is – another secular twentieth century fraud, manufactured for narrow political ends, that is supremely disrespectful to all true believers.
Any fundamental unity that does exist between world religions cannot be appreciated by ignorant and secular scholarship, but only through knowledge of the great primordial and universal truths.
As Luc Benoist aptly wrote, “Our age is seeking a universal understanding which men of vision can already foresee and which is the longing of all great souls. There is ample evidence that the world’s economic problems can be solved without the different religions having to abandon their unique spiritual insights; after all, brotherly agreement does not prevent the individual growth of each member of the family, bodily separate, but united in heart and mind.” (The Esoteric Path).
Who are the Jews?
“Edom is in modern Jewry” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925 edition, Vol. 5, Page 41).
“The Edomites were conquered by John Hyrcanus who forcibly converted them to Judaism, and from then on they constituted a part of the Jewish people, Herod being one of their descendants” (The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966, p. 594; Also The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977, p. 589).
“From this time the Idumeans became an inseparable part of the Jewish people,” Encyclopedia Judaica Jerusalem, in Volume 8, p. 1147).
“When, years before, John Hyrcanus had forced Judaism on the Idumeans he evidently conjectured that the new, though unwilling, converts could learn to identify their own destiny with that of his people,” (The Jews, their History, Culture, and Religion, p. 121).
“Jews began in the 19th century to call themselves Hebrews and Israelites in 1860″ (Encyclopedia Judaica, 1971 Vol 10:23).
“. . . this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga; not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that GENETICALLY THEY ARE MORE RELATED TO THE HUN, UIGUR, AND MAGYAR TRIBES THAN TO THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB. . . ” (Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, (Random House, 1976, p. 17). judeochr.htm
Bat Ye’or has tried to make a living from her invention of ‘Eurabia’ that she elaborates as – ‘dimmitude’ of Europe – a myth which is factually more fantastic than ‘Area 51‘. She has concocted such fabrications for bigoted minds who view the world in terms of races rather than ideas. Before it was the likes of Nazis and Fascist, now it is the likes of Breiviks, Neo-Nazis and pseudo-intellectual conspirator Neo-Cons, whether in Europe or in the United States, whether they speak from the pulpit or their respective dungeons, it is these receptive minds that Bat Ye’or caters to.
Facts as found in ground statistics dispel the rumors of Bat Ye’or’s – ‘dimmitude’ of Europe. According to Pew Research Center ['MAPPING THE GLOBAL MUSLIM POPULATION', p. 21, pdf download] the Muslims population in Europe is as follows:
Europe (50 countries and territories)
Europe has about 38 million Muslims, constituting about 5% of its population. European Muslims make up slightly more than 2% of the world’s Muslim population.
Readers should bear in mind that estimates of the numbers of Muslims in Europe vary widely because of the difficulty of counting new immigrants. Nevertheless, it is clear that most European Muslims live in eastern and central Europe. The country with the largest Muslim population in Europe is Russia, with more than 16 million Muslims, meaning that more than four-in-ten European Muslims live in Russia. While most Muslims in western Europe are relatively recent immigrants (or children of immigrants) from Turkey, North Africa or South Asia, most of those in Russia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria belong to populations that are centuries old, meaning that more than six-in-ten European Muslims are indigenous. [Emphasis added]
Despite the limitations of the underlying data for Europe, it appears that Germany is home to more than 4 million Muslims – almost as many as North and South America combined. This means that Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon (between 2 million and 3 million) and more than any other country in western Europe. This also puts Germany among the top-10 countries with the largest number of Muslims living as a minority population. While France has a slightly higher percentage of Muslims than Germany, this study finds that it has slightly fewer Muslims overall. The United Kingdom is home to fewer than 2 million Muslims, about 3% of its total population.
The European countries with the highest concentration of Muslims are located in eastern
and central Europe: Kosovo (90%), Albania (80%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (40%) and Republic of Macedonia (33%). Greece is about 3% Muslim, while Spain is about 1% Muslim. Italy has one of the smallest populations of Muslims in Europe, with less than 1% of its population being Muslim.
At least the above numbers point to the fact that 60% of Muslims in Europe ‘belong to populations that are centuries old, meaning that more than six-in-ten European Muslims are indigenous‘, and are more European by blood than Bat Ye’or herself who is an immigrant from Egypt, married to a British, and is now speaking for Europe, that on the face of it is an outrageous case of her being more ‘whiter than white’. Her fabrication of Eurabia is racially disgusting and reeks of her racist mind. It is insulting to Arabs and Muslims alike, because not all Arabs are Muslims and neither are all Muslims as Arabs.
Still, only 40% of European Muslims are immigrants themselves or are first generation children of immigrants. The percentage of such newer arrivals only contributes to less than about 2% of European Muslim population. The myth of explosive Muslim fertility rate in Europe and their consequent – ‘dimmitude’ of Europe – is debunked by another study of Pew Research Center, which is summarized and commented by Reuters in an article as follows:
Will Pew Muslim birth rate study finally silence the “Eurabia” claim? [By Tom Heneghan January 27, 2011, Reuters]
One of the most wrong-headed arguments in the debate about Muslims in Europe is the shrill “Eurabia” claim that high birth rates and immigration will make Muslims the majority on the continent within a few decades. Based on sleight-of-hand statistics, this scaremongering (as The Economist called it back in 2006) paints a picture of a triumphant Islam dominating a Europe that has lost its Christian roots and is blind to its looming cultural demise.
The Egyptian-born British writer Bat Ye’or popularised the term with her 2005 book “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” and this argument has become the background music to much exaggerated talk about Muslims in Europe. Some examples from recent weeks can be found here, here and here.
A good example is the video “Muslim Demographics,” an anonymous diatribe on YouTube that has racked up 12,680,220 views since being posted in March 2009. Among its many dramatic but unsupported claims are that France would become an “Islamic republic” by 2048 since the average French woman had 1.8 children while French Muslim women had 8.1 children — a wildly exaggerated number that it made no serious effort to document. It also predicted that Germany would turn into a “Muslim state” by 2050 and that “in only 15 years” the Dutch population would be half Muslim. “Some studies show that, at Islam’s current rate of growth, in five to seven years, it will be the dominant religion of the world,” the video declares as it urges viewers to “share the Gospel message in a changing world.”
The BBC produced its own video entitled “Welcome to Eurabia?” that gave a point-by-point rebuttal of the video’s claims. Watching “Muslim Demographics” and “Welcome to Eurabia?” back-to-back provides a useful lesson in the dark art of twisting statistics. The image at left, shows a fictional flag of “Eurabia” created by Oren Neu Dag.
Articles defending the “Eurabia” claim have often been so shrill that they essentially discredited themselves as serious arguments. But it could be difficult to find a solid statistics that gave an overall view of what was actually happening. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has stepped up with an impressive study entitled “The Future of the Global Muslim Population” (here’s the press release, report and graphics here). As we summarised it in our report Muslim birth rate falls, slower population growth:
Falling birth rates will slow the world’s Muslim population growth over the next two decades, reducing it on average from 2.2 percent a year in 1990-2010 to 1.5 percent a year from now until 2030, a new study says.
Muslims will number 2.2 billion by 2030 compared to 1.6 billion in 2010, making up 26.4 percent of the world population compared to 23.4 percent now, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life…
“The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries,” it said, noting the birth rate is falling as more Muslim women are educated, living standards rise and rural people move to cities.
The proven demographic fact that birth rates have been falling among Muslim women, both in Muslim majority countries and western countries where Muslims have migrated, is not new. Nor are articles debunking the idea that Muslims will become the majority in Europe (see here and here and here). But my own experience in discussing this with non-Muslims in Europe and the United States says this message does not seem to be getting through. The fact that Muslim birth rates, while still higher than those for non-Muslims, are actually falling seems to surprise people who do not follow these issues closely.
There are many legitimate questions concerning Muslim minorities in western countries. Should Muslim women be allowed to cover their faces in public? Do state schools have to provide halal meals? Does sharia have any place in the western legal system? Should Muslims be allowed to pray in the streets? What does the decline of Christianity in Europe mean for the continent? These issues have to be debated openly –“The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom,” as Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at the Catholic university Georgetown in Washington put it at a conference at UNESCO in Paris two years ago. But while citizens have a right to have their own opinions, they can’t just make up their own “facts” and expect to be taken seriously. Twisting statistics only distorts the debate and risks leading to unfounded conclusions.
This study raises further questions that the Pew Forum cannot yet answer. The report’s preface asks “Is Islam the world’s fastest-growing religion? If Islam is growing in percentage terms, does that mean some of the world’s other major faiths are shrinking? Is secularism becoming more prevalent, or less?” It doesn’t yet have the data, but it plans to issue a similar report on the prospects for Christianity worldwide next year, followed up by others analysing the trends for “other major world faiths, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism. We will also look at the size and growth of the population that is not affiliated with any religious tradition.”
What do you think? Is this report a surprise? Which interesting trends could the other reports bring to light?
UPDATE: In a telephone conference with journalists later on Thursday, Pew Forum researchers commented on the study. I asked what the results said about the “Eurabia” claim.
Senior researcher Brian Grim said: “Across the next 20 years, we’re only seeing a 2 percent rise in the total share of Europe that is Muslim. We’re projecting that the growth rate is slowing. So this rise is very very modest. It’s a relatively small share of the overall population in Europe… There’s no real scenario that we’ve looked at that this ‘Eurabia’ scenario would come to be.”
Alan Cooperman, associate director for research, said the percentages of Muslims in some European populations would rise from 3 to 5 percent to between 6 and 10 percent by 2030. “Those are substantial increases but they are very far from the ‘Eurabia’ scenario of runaway growth,” he said. “We do not see either worldwide or in Europe runaway growth. The growth rates are slowing.”
Third myth of Bet Ye’or i.e. – isolation of United States from a ‘dhimmified’ Europe – finds no basis to exist or to be commented upon, because the history and statistics disprove the contingent myths of Judeo-Christian values and ‘dhimmified’ Europe to begin with. Thus, Bat Ye’or falls on her face when she claims that America will be isolated from a dimmmified Europe. Still, the likes of Spencer, Trifkovic, Bat Ye’or and others have been able to implant certain myths in the West mind against Islam, which are addressed and debunked in Huffington Post [9/10/12], where the author Doug Saunders writes:
10 Myths About Muslims in the West
In my new book The Myth of the Muslim Tide, I chronicle the widespread misunderstanding of Muslim immigration to the West. As with Jews and Catholics before, I discuss that Muslims are being seen as an impossible-to-integrate, fast reproducing invasion force who follow a religion that’s more an ideology of conquest than a faith. Using the latest facts and figures, I illustrate the far less alarming truth about these new arrivals.
Here are 10 common myths about Muslims in the West:
1. Muslims have a higher birth rate than other religions, and will take over the world by population
Two generations ago, it seemed as if Islamic countries were destined for out-of-control population growth. People spoke of an “Islamic fertility rate” – more than 5 children per family, on average – and predicted minaret spires foresting the Earth.
Today, it is readily apparent that Islam is not connected with population growth. Just look at Iran, the world’s only Islamic theocracy, where the average family had around 7 children in the 1980s – and has 1.7 today, a lower rate than France or Britain. Or look at the United Arab Emirates, with 1.9 children per family. Or Turkey, ruled by an elected party of devout Muslims for a decade, which now has 2.15 children per family. Or Lebanon, where, despite Hezbollah’s rise, has only 1.86 children per family (so that its population will be shrinking).
Around the world, the average Muslim family size has fallen from 4.3 children per family in 1995 to 2.9 in 2010, and is expected to fall below the population-growth rate, and converge with Western family sizes, by mid-century. This is a crucial sign that Muslim societies are undergoing a major modernizing, secularizing wave – even if they elect Islamist parties while doing so.
2. Immigrants from Muslim countries are going to swamp us
People look at the huge families of many new Muslim immigrants and imagine them multiplying at exponential rates. But this is a bit of an illusion – as are many of the figures suggesting that Muslim immigrants have fertility rates higher than in their homelands. This is because most new immigrants have most of their children in the years immediately after their arrival. The way we calculate Total Fertility Rate – the measure of average family size – is by taking the total number of births a woman has had and extrapolating it across her fertile life. As a result, immigrants appear to have more children than they really do.
In reality, the family sizes of Muslim immigrant groups are converging fast with those of average Westerners – faster, it seems, than either Jewish or Catholic immigrants did in their time. Muslims in France and Germany are now having only 2.2 children per family, barely above the national average. And while Pakistani immigrants in Britain have 3.5 children each, their British-born daughters have only 2.5. Across Europe, the difference between the Muslim and non-Muslim fertility rate has fallen from 0.7 to 0.4, and is headed toward a continent-wide convergence.
3. Muslims will become a majority in European countries
In fact, we now have several large-scale projections based on population-growth trends and immigration rates which show that the Muslim populations of Europe are growing increasingly slowly and that by the middle of this century – even if immigration rates are not reduced – the proportion of Muslims in Europe will probably peak somewhere short of 10% (it is currently around 7%). By that point, Muslims will have family sizes and age profiles not that different from Europe in general.
4. Muslims will become a dominant group of cultural outsiders in the United States
Despite the hysterical rhetoric coming from Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and their ilk, Muslims there are not only a very tiny group, but they are also one of the most integrated groups in the country – especially if you consider that 69% of American Muslims are first-generation immigrants, and 71% of those immigrants arrived after 1990.
There are only 2.6 million Muslims in the United States today. By 2030, that number is likely to rise to 6.2 million (because Muslims are young and fertile) – at which point Muslim will be 1.7% of the population, almost as numerous as Jews and Episcopalians.
Even though they’re new, American Muslims tend to be economically successful and highly educated. With 40% of them holding a college degree, they’re the second most educated group after Jews – and far more educated than Americans in general, only 29% of whom have a degree
5. Muslim immigrants in the West hold the same backward views that Muslims do in the Middle East and Pakistan
Actually, Muslims change their cultural views dramatically when they emigrate. For example, 62% of American Muslims say that “a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights of Palestinians are addressed” – a rate barely lower than that of average Americans (67%), and vastly ahead of the miniscule response among Middle Eastern Muslims – for whom between 20% and 40% agreed with that statement.
Similarly, 39% of American Muslims and 47% of German Muslims say they tolerate homosexuality, compared to single-figure responses in most Islamic countries – and those rates are rising with each immigrant generation. On these important questions, Muslim immigrants are converging with Western values fast.
6. Muslims in America are more loyal to their faith than their country
True, 49% of Americans from Muslim backgrounds say they consider themselves “Muslim first and American second” and 47% claim to attend a mosque on Friday. But you have to compare that to American Christians, 46% of whom say they identify themselves as “Christian first and American second” (that number rises to 70% among Evangelicals). And 45% of American Christians attend a church service every Sunday.
In other words, Muslims have adopted exactly the same rate of religious observance as the people around them in their host country. We see this just as strongly in France, where a fifth of Muslims are atheist and only 5% attend a mosque regularly – almost the same rate as French Christians.
7. Poor Muslims are flooding out of overpopulated countries into the West
In fact, the poorest most overpopulated Muslim countries are producing the least emigration – and very little of it is to the West. Immigration tends to come from the countries with the lowest population-growth rates, and it’s rarely to the closest countries.
Muslims are far from the largest immigrant group – even in countries that immediately adjoin the Islamic world. In Spain, which lies across a narrow state from poor Arab countries, only 13% of immigrants are Muslim: Most have come from Spanish-speaking countries across the Atlantic. In Britain, only 28% of immigrants are Muslim. And those numbers do not seem poised to increase.
8. Muslim immigrants are angry at the society around them
In fact, Muslim immigrants appear to be MORE satisfied with the world around them, and its secular institutions, than the general population. Muslim immigrants in the United States are more likely to say they are “satisfied with their lives” (84%) than average Americans are (75%) – and that number rises to 90% for American-born Muslims. Even among Muslims in neighourhoods where the community mosque has been vandalized – an increasingly frequent occurrence – fully 76% say that their community is an “excellent” or “good” place to live.
This usually extends into pride in national institutions. For example, 83% of British Muslims say they are “proud to be a British citizen,” versus only 79% of Britons in general – and only 31% of Muslims agree that “Britain’s best days are behind her,” versus 45% of Britons in general.
9. Muslims in the West cheer for terrorist violence
While it might seem chilling to learn that 8% of American Muslims feel that violence against civilian targets is “often or sometimes justified” if the cause is right, you have to compare that to the response given by non-Muslim Americans, 24% of whom said that such attacks are “often or sometimes justified.”
This is reflected in most major surveys. When a large-scale survey asked if “attacks on civilians are morally justified,” 1% of the French public, 1% of the German public and 3% of the British public answered yes; among Muslims, the responses were 2%, 0.5%, and 2%. Asked if it is “justifiable to use violence for a noble cause,” 7% of the French public agreed, along with 8% of French Muslims; 10% of the German public and fewer than 2% of German Muslims; 10% of the British public and 8% of British Muslims. This may well be because 85% of the victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims.
10. Muslims have become so populous that the most common baby name in Britain is now Mohammed.
This is true – but it means far less than you’d think. In 2010, if you combined all 12 spelling variants of the Islamic prophet’s name, “Mohammed” was more popular than any other name given to new babies.
But that’s more a consequence of naming trends than anything else. In a great many Muslim cultures, ALL male babies are given “Mohammed” as an official first name. But among many Westerners – especially white Anglo-Saxons and black Christians – there has been an explosion in unorthodox baby names – as of 2011, these groups are 50% more likely than they were a generation ago to give their children uncommon baby names.
As a result, Mohammed manages to reach the Number 1 spot without being all that common – when combined, babies named after the Islamic prophet made up only 1% of British newborns in 2010.
The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition – The Information Clearing House and The Bible Believers
Mapping the Global Muslim Population – pdf download – Pew Research Center
Will Pew Muslim birth rate study finally silence the “Eurabia” claim? – Tom Heneghan January 27, 2011, Reuters
10 Myths About Muslims in the West – Doug Saunders, Huffington Post
Issue 84 [@ 1:30:17]: Robert Spencer – “If we consider that if only we changed our policies toward Israel and if only we changed our policies toward Iraq or changed our policies towards something else, if only we hadn’t taken out the Mosaddeq regime in Iran in 1953 and other things people have said to me. These ideas are ridiculous. They are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the motives and goals of the Jihadists. This is not a conflict that was created with the creation of the state of Israel or a conflict that was created when American armies went into Iraq. The global Jihad has gone on without interruption, without any significant interruption since the 7th century. And it only declined in force and activity at periods when the Islamic world was too weak to prosecute it.”
Rebuttal 84: Once again the documentary tacitly makes a broad swipe totally disconnected from the contrary facts on ground, in history and even morality. It cleverly interjects Israel, Iraq and Mosaddeq, yet glosses over for what these words stands for in the world history or in the moral sense of humanity. The first two are occupations and the last is the overthrow of a democratically elected government and its leader in the Middle East, all by none but Spencer’s democratic ‘West’ and he has the moral cheek to justify these atrocities rather than apologize for infliction of permanent scars on the land and psyche of the indigenous peoples of those lands. To any counter reactions to the oppression of the ‘West’ from those lands and its peoples, he is quick to label it ‘Jihad’ in terms of its distorted meanings that this documentary has not wasted a breath in trying to create for its audience. He further unflinchingly inflates his distortion of the same term ‘Jihad’ into a perpetual ‘global Jihad’ in the past, present and future.
Since Spencer manufactured a new term ‘global Jihad’ or ‘global war’ by Muslims on non-Muslims, it begets to understand the anatomy of global Muslim body, before it is dissected to see if it is involved in a ‘global Jihad’.
The total population of Muslim World is 1.6 billion. Below is a reference table to determine percentages of the Muslim population.
1,600,000,000 = 100% of Muslims
160,000,000 = 10% of Muslims
16,000,000 = 1% of Muslims
1,600,000 = 0.1% of Muslims
160,000 = 0.01% of Muslims
16,000 = 0.001% of Muslims
1,600 = 0.0001% of Muslims
160 = 0.00001% of Muslims
16 = 0.000001% of Muslims
Further, the countries with major Muslim population are enumerated below:
Saudi Arabia 25,493,000
If Spencer’s alleged ‘global jihad’ is happening then his war needs able bodied men. If we stretch the age group for fighting in the range 15-44, then it makes 48.7% of the Muslim population that can actually fight. Of these, men make less than half, which can be rounded to 25 percent of population of a country. Thus no more than 1/4th population of a Muslim country can actually fight. [Ref: The Future of the Global Muslim Population. Pew Forum on Religion and Cultural Life]
Now, even if 1% i.e. 16 million Muslims of the world are fighting the alleged ‘global Jihad’, then it would need scores of countries above with all their men of ages 15-44 dedicated to a full time fight, while their whole country is on a war footings. Thus for a ‘global Jihad’ to manifest many Muslim countries must be at war with the West simultaneously. How much war noise the world is hearing of this so called Spencer’s ‘global Jihad’? Answer is factually a ‘global silence’, which only proves the hyperbole of the documentary and its audacious fear mongering of a fear that does not exist, neither now, nor in history. Realistically, most of the global silence that is broken is by the boots on the grounds of the West and Israel. It can thus be safely stated about Spencers of the documentary that they are ‘seeing’ things that do not exist, a definite sign of a psychotic state of mind individually and Folie à deux collectively of the said documentary experts, its screen writers, researchers and producers.
With the fiction of global Jihad out of the way, let’s focus on the myth of ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’, Israel, only if the Americans knew.
On the website of “Council for the National Interest” various American diplomats, congressmen, journalists, legal experts are interviewed in a Youtube video. It is interesting to note that these experts cut to the bottom of it all when they answer the fundamental question asked:
Sara Powell, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs @ 0:37 – “…The big question you ask today is why do they hate us? Well that is a damn good question to be asking.”
In the same video above, firstly, the Palestinians rebut the premise of the said natural question:
Hanan Ashrawi, A Palestinian Leader for Democracy @ 1:00 – “Nobody hates the Americans. People certainly resent American policy.”
Various Americans appear on the video to answer the above question. The following are excerpts of the the video:
Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law @ 3:38 – “I spoke with head military lawyer of IDF Joel Zinger and I said ‘I spent two week here [in Israel], it is clear you people are inflicting Nuremberg crimes on the Palestinians, exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews. What’s you explanation?’ He said ‘Military necessity’. Notice he did not disagree with me. I said ‘that argument was rejected at Nuremberg when the lawyers for the Nazis made it’. So, then he said ‘Well, we have public relations people in the United States and they handle these matters for us.’”
Andrew Killgore, Former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar @4:18, nails it on the head when he states – “Arabs and Muslims have to be made look bad in America and America has to be made look bad to them.”
What Ambassador Killgore said is the factual answer to the current Issue 84, when he stated as to what was the purpose of this documentary by Spencers et al. is and why its experts of hate are paid for what they do, which is – “Arabs and Muslims have to be made look bad in America and America has to be made look bad to them.”
Mr. Spencer, at least smile when you are on camera – see this link. The same link also exposes the the network of Islamophobes and “misinformation experts”:
…Among those who support Spencer’s endeavors are Pamela Geller of Stop the Islamization of America, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, and David Horwitz of the David Horwitz Center. The web of connections between the aforementioned names and organizations is striking. Geller and Spencer are in fact co-founders of Stop the Islamization of America, as well as co-founders of a lesser known organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. According to Fear, Inc., donations made to Stop the Islamization of America are received by Spencer’s own organization, Jihad Watch’s PayPal account, implying that the two organizations are more closely linked than one might expect. Additionally, Spencer has spoken out in support of David Yerushalmi’s campaign against the supposed risk of the implementation of Sharia Law here in the United States. Yerushalmi, of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), is also Geller’s personal attorney. Spencer has also spoken at Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum, and in turn Pipes has praised Spencer’s book, Stealth Jihad, calling it a “pioneering survey of the stealth jihad whose ambition and subtlety threaten the continuity of Western civilization,” a striking claim. Spencer has also served as a contributing writer to Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism. In 2010, Spencer spoke on many panels with Gaffney, such as a panel entitled “Terror from Within,” and has openly supported Gaffney’s claim that Obama has an Islamist agenda…
The website – http://ifamericansknew.org/, by an American journalist and diplomats succinctly elucidate the historical amorality on map of the world aka Israel, with assertions based upon facts which to Spencer might be a reverse fiction:
A Synopsis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict [pdf - download]
FOR CENTURIES there was no such conflict. In the 19th century the land of Palestine was inhabited by a multicultural population – approximately 86 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian, and 4 percent Jewish – living in peace.
IN THE LATE 1800s a group in Europe decided to colonize this land. Known as Zionists, they represented an extremist minority of the Jewish population. Their goal was to create a Jewish
homeland, and they considered locations in Africa and the Americas, before settling on
At first, this immigration created no problems. However, as more and more Zionists immigrated to Palestine – many with the express wish of taking over the land for a Jewish state – the indigenous population became increasingly alarmed. Eventually, fighting broke out, with escalating waves of violence. Hitler’s rise to power, combined with Zionist activities to sabotage efforts to place Jewish refugees in western countries, led to increased Jewish immigration to Palestine, and conflict grew.
UN Partition Plan
FINALLY, in 1947 the United Nations decided to intervene. However, rather than adhering to the principle of “self-determination of peoples,” in which the people themselves create their own state and system of government, the UN chose to revert to the medieval strategy whereby an outside power divides up other people’s land.
Under considerable Zionist pressure, the UN recommended giving away 55% of Palestine to a Jewish state – despite the fact that this group represented only about 30% of the total population, and owned under 7% of the land.
WHILE IT IS WIDELY reported that the resulting war eventually included five Arab armies, less well known is the fact that throughout this war Zionist forces outnumbered all Arab and Palestinian combatants combined – often by a factor of two to three. Moreover, Arab armies did not invade Israel – virtually all battles were fought on land that was to have been the Palestinian state.
Finally, it is significant to note that Arab armies entered the conflict only after Zionist forces had committed 16 massacres, including the grisly massacre of over 100 men, women, and children at Deir Yassin. Future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, head of one of the Jewish terrorist groups, described this as “splendid,” and stated: “As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.” Zionist forces committed 33 massacres altogether.
By the end of the war, Israel had conquered 78 percent of Palestine; three-quarters of a million Palestinians had been made refugees; over 500 towns and villages had been obliterated; and a new map was drawn up, in which every city, river and hillock received a new, Hebrew name, as all vestiges of the Palestinian culture were to be erased. For decades Israel denied the existence of this population, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once saying: “There is no such thing as a Palestinian.”
1967 War & USS Liberty
IN 1967, Israel conquered still more land. Following the Six Day War, in which Israeli forces launched a highly successful surprise attack on Egypt, Israel occupied the final 22% of Palestine that had eluded it in 1948 – the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since, according to international law it is inadmissible to acquire territory by war, these are occupied territories and do not belong to Israel. It also occupied parts of Egypt (since returned) and Syria (which remain under occupation).
Also during the Six Day War, Israel attacked a US Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing and injuring over 200 American servicemen. President Lyndon Johnson recalled rescue flights, saying that he did not want to “embarrass an ally.” (In 2004 a high-level commission chaired by Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, found this attack to be “an act of war against the United States,” a fact few news media have reported.)
THERE ARE TWO primary issues at the core of this continuing conflict. First, there is the inevitably destabilizing effect of trying to maintain an ethnically preferential state, particularly when it is largely of foreign origin. The original population of what is now Israel was 96 percent Muslim and Christian, yet, these refugees are prohibited from returning to their homes in the self-described Jewish state (and those within Israel are subjected to systematic discrimination).
Second, Israel’s continued military occupation and confiscation of privately owned land in the West Bank, and control over Gaza, are extremely oppressive, with Palestinians having minimal control over their lives. Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children are held in Israeli prisons. Few of them have had a legitimate trial; Physical abuse and torture are frequent. Palestinian borders (even internal ones) are controlled by Israeli forces. Periodically men, women, and children are strip searched; people
are beaten; women in labor are prevented from reaching hospitals (at times resulting in death); food and medicine are blocked from entering Gaza, producing an escalating humanitarian crisis. Israeli forces invade almost daily, injuring, kidnapping, and sometimes killing inhabitants.
According to the Oslo peace accords of 1993, these territories were supposed to finally become a Palestinian state. However, after years of Israel continuing to confiscate land and conditions steadily worsening, the Palestinian population rebelled. (The Barak offer, widely reputed to be generous, was anything but.) This uprising, called the “Intifada” (Arabic for “shaking off”) began at the end of September 2000.
LARGELY DUE to special-interest lobbying, U.S. taxpayers give Israel an average of $8 million per day, and since its creation have given more U.S. funds to Israel than to any other nation. As Americans learn about how Israel is using their tax money, many from across the political spectrum are calling for an end to this expenditure.
Toppling of Mosaddeq and his elected government on August 19, 1953 and replacing it with a despot monarch is one of morally repugnant fallacy of the power drunk West that has come to haunt it. This imposition of monarchy was not only reversed by the will of the Iranian people in 1979, but has removed the facade of what ‘Westernized’ democracy means when the same West gives legitimacy of veneer of ‘democracy’ to the de facto apartheid in Palestine. This is the question that common man on the Muslim streets asks. It is these questions which are being asked in more and more lands and with more and more depth by the people who are overthrowing throwing their own despot dictators that were imposed upon them by the same West. When these questions are asked aloud, then efforts are made by the same West to squash those voices under the military boots on ground. Apparently, Spencer is totally blind to all this, and why not, because he is singly funded and supported by the same ‘democratic apartheid’ forces. Below is a comprehensive historical review and analysis of significance of Mosaddeq and his legacy in the Middle East that strips naked any legitimacy of assertions by Robert Spencer:
Mosaddeq, Iranian Oil and the Coup of 1953
Professor Nazeer Ahmed
The coup that toppled the Iranian nationalist leader Mohammed Mosaddeq had all the ingredients of a James Bond movie: a charismatic but fallible democratically elected popular hero, international intrigue and spy agencies, turncoat mullahs, thugs, street gangs, patriots and a despotic but handsome young king with a scheming sister and a beautiful queen. There is a prize at the end of the movie, that is, the riches of Iranian oil. The difference is that in the deadly game of geopolitics, the events of 1953 determined the fate of a proud, ancient nation and fueled the pent up energies that erupted with volcanic convulsions in the Iranian revolution of 1979, followed by the deadly Iran-Iraq war (1979-87) and the ghastly events that led to the invasion and destruction of Iraq (1992-2010).
The primary players in this drama were the Anglo Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), the Iranian nationalists led by Mosaddeq, the religious establishment led by Kashani, the communist Tudeh party, and Shah Reza Pevlavi of Iran. There were clients and followers. The British government backed AIOC. The nationalist support base was the urban middle class in Tehran and the major cities. The mullahs had their base in the impoverished slums of the cities and in the countryside. The communists, supported by the Soviet Union, looked to the workers and the artisans for support. The Americans were reluctant entrants to the melee, but when they did intervene, they sealed the fate of Iran and launched it on a trajectory, which in historical hindsight, led to the Khomeini revolution of 1979. The democratically elected leader of Iran, Mosaddeq, was toppled, arrested, tried and sentenced, and the voice of the nationalists was silenced.
There were winners and losers in the fray. The Americans were the clear winners. In the post-coup oil grab, an oil consortium was formed to replace the Anglo Iranian Oil Company and divided up the riches. American oil companies took 40% shares in the consortium where they had no prior stake. Standard of New Jersey, Socony, Standard Oil of California, Texas Company and Gulf, each received 8%. The British retained a substantial interest with a 40% stake. The rest was divided up between Dutch and other international oil companies. The communist Tudeh party was decimated. The mullahs were suppressed. But the success came with a heavy price. Resentment built up in Iran over the American intervention, and when it did blow up in 1979, it was the far right religious establishment that was the beneficiary of the revolution. Unlike the nationalists who knew how to speak the language of compromise, the religious right was uncompromising in its relations with the west. American influence, hoisted on Iran on the back of the despotic Shah, disappeared after 1979.
History is a guide but it is only a guide. It does not repeat itself. Wisdom demands that individuals and nations learn from history and do not try to replicate it. The Will of God moves on the canvas of history with inexorable momentum, creating new facts, revealing the Divine hand in the affairs of man and nature alike. Men and women of intellect observe these Signs, learn from them and guide their destinies with equity and justice. Those who violate justice suffer, and ultimately perish. That is the law of history.
We take our point of departure the Constitutional Revolution of Persia in 1906. It was a momentous event which shaped the history of Iran in the 20th century. It was the first such revolution in the Middle East and it presaged the Young Turks Revolution in the Ottoman Empire in 1908. It awakened an entire nation to its existential possibilities. It touched all segments of Iranian society and made them politically aware. It established a majlis (parliament), elected by popular suffrage, and transformed a despotic, absolute kingship to a constitutional monarchy.
The constitutional reforms did not alter the intrigues of foreign powers or their schemes to dominate, control and subjugate Iran. The principal players were the British who were firmly entrenched in India and the Russians who, having consolidated their colonies around the Caspian Sea, were looking for an outlet to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Both powers preferred a weak Iran ruled by a pliant Shah than a resilient one energized by democratic institutions. Without consulting the majlis or the Shah, the two powers signed the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 in St. Petersburg, Russia, partitioning Iran between a Russian sphere of influence in the north and a British sphere of influence in the South. A small area around Tehran was left as a buffer state between the two zones. Russian Cossack troops moved in from the north and occupied Azerbaijan and Kurdistan while Anglo-Indian troops moved into Baluchistan and the districts around the Persian Gulf. Similar understandings were reached about Afghanistan and Tibet. The Convention replaced the Great Game between the British Empire and Imperial Russia for control of Central Asia and Afghanistan and forged a détente between the two imperial powers which allowed the two to focus on the challenge from the rising power of a unified Germany in continental Europe.
In 1908, the British geologist Reynolds struck oil in Masjed Soleiman, Iran, This was the first of the large oil finds that changed the history of the Middle East, and indeed the history of the world. The British were the first to exploit the discovery. The Burmah Oil Company formed the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (the precursor of British Petroleum) as a subsidiary. In 1913, the British Government bought a 50% stake in the company. APOC thus became a commercial venture of the British Government. The oil concession, granted under duress in 1901 by a weak Iranian government, was lopsided in favor of the British with Iran receiving 16 percent of the net profits, calculated using suspicious accounting practices. The Iranians had no way of knowing what these profits were because they did not have access to the books. APOC grew rich while Iran remained poor.
World War I broke out in 1914. Iran was wooed by Turkey, Germany, Russia and Britain as an ally but Iran wisely decided to remain neutral. This decision, however, did not protect it from the imperial chess game. Iranian territory was used as battleground. The War ended with the capitulation of Germany and the Ottomans. The stresses of the War exacerbated the tensions within Czarist Russia which exploded in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and pulled out of the War. The French and the British, heady in their triumph, imposed harsh terms on Germany and carved up the Ottoman territories. By the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1919, Britain took Palestine and Iraq while France helped itself to Syria and Lebanon. Arabia was captured by the Saudis. Britain tried to establish a protectorate over Iran. However, the majlis and Shah successfully resisted this attempt. In 1924-25, the Saudis, encouraged by Britain, moved in from the desert and captured the Hejaz which included the cities of Mecca and Madina. Thus was born the modern state of Saudi Arabia which was to play a pivotal role in the oil equations of the twentieth century.
Iran, weak, corrupt and bankrupt, was fertile ground for foreign intrigue. The Bolsheviks continued to meddle in Iran and tried to set up puppet communist governments in Rasht and Azerbaijan while the British firmed up their control of Iranian oil and maintained their military presence in the south. The last of the Khajar monarchs, Ahmed Shah was unable to contain the chaos. Iran was coming apart at the seams. Alarmed by the spreading anarchy, a young colonel Reza Khan, marched on Tehran in 1921 at the head of a Cossack brigade, and brought a semblance of stability to the capital. He gradually expanded his powers, first becoming the War Minister and then the Prime Minister. In 1923, the majlis deposed Ahmed Shah Khajar and appointed Reza Shah as the monarch. Thus was born the Pehlavi dynasty.
Reza Shah proved himself to be a far sighted monarch. He surrounded himself with capable administrators, brought corruption under control, built schools and industrial plants, introduced modern education, constructed roads, built the Trans-Iranian railroad, introduced universal health care, and spearheaded the Women’s Awakening Movement (1936-41). In 1934, he established the University of Teheran. It was he who changed the name of his country from Persia to Iran (1936) because the Persians were only one group in his composite nation which included Baluchis, Azeris, Arabs and Kurds.
On the legislative front he reaffirmed the constitution, reformed the marriage laws (1931) and removed the compulsory wearing of veils. Minorities, including the Sunnis, the Armenians, the Zoroastrians and the Jews were given equal rights. The emancipation of women was resented by the religious establishment but the Shah deftly contained their objections. For his reforms, many Iranians nationalists consider him to be the father of modern Iran.
On the international front, Reza Shah invited American economists to reform his tax collection and fiscal administration. Italians were hired to supply and train the Iranian navy. German engineers built a host of industrial plants and Lufthansa Airlines connected Tehran with Europe. In 1928 he abrogated the 19th century capitulations to the Europeans under which European offenders were judged by their own juries rather than the Iranian legal system. He transferred the printing of Iranian money from the British Imperial Bank to the National Bank of Iran. Well aware of the presence next door of the Soviet Empire and the British Indian Empire, he was careful to avoid dependence on any one foreign power so as not to invite military intervention by any of them.
Reza Shah was less successful on the oil front. The British juggernaut held Iranian oil tightly in its grip. Reza Shah sent his minister of court Teymourtash to London to negotiate a wide range of issues including a revision of the 1901 D’Arcy concession which had granted exclusive rights to the British to prospect for oil in all of Iran. Iran received only 16% of the profits from the Anglo Iranian Oil Company but there was no independent audit of the company books to ensure that the profits were calculated correctly. The Shah asked for 25% of the profits and a reduction in the area of concession but the long and arduous negotiations lasting over five years came to naught. Imperial Britain was unwilling to budge. However, in 1933 the Shah made an about-face and concluded a hasty agreement with APOC on slightly better payment terms and reducing the area of concession to 100,000 square miles but at the cost of extending the life of the D’Arcy concession by another 30 years.
World War II erupted in 1939 and Iran declared its neutrality, as it had done in WWI. However, in 1941, the Soviet Union and Great Britain, in a blitzkrieg, invaded and occupied Iran and forced the Shah into exile. His young son, Mohammed Reza was hoisted onto the peacock throne. Reza Shah was suspected of being too close to Hitler. The geopolitical reason was that the Allied Powers needed a supply corridor to the Soviets through Iran.
WWII demonstrated the critical importance of oil. The nation that controlled oil controlled the engines of war. Oil was no less important for peacetime economies. It was for this reason that the first act of President Roosevelt at the conclusion of the Yalta conference (1945) was a dash to Suez, Egypt where he met King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia and cemented a strategic relationship that remains a cornerstone of United States foreign policy.
It was this post-war world, dominated by oil, which saw the rise of Mohammed Mosaddeq of Iran, arguably one of the most colorful personalities of the post war era. Mohammed Mosaddeq was born into an aristocratic family in Tehran in 1882 and received his education at the University of Paris and the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland. He was elected to the first majlis after the Constitutional Revolution in 1906 and held important positions over the years as governor of Fars province, Finance Minister and Foreign Minister. In 1944 he formed the Jabhe Milli or National Front of Iran together with some of the leading political figures of the day. The goal of the Jabhe Milli was to end the foreign domination of Iran and to establish democracy. As oil was the principal reason for foreign domination, the goals of Jobhe Milli included nationalization of Iran’s oil resources.
Nationalization was a popular issue in Iran. Negotiations with the oil companies went nowhere. Not only were the foreigners draining Iranian resources while paying scant compensation to Iran, the presence of oil was an excuse for foreign intervention and direct or indirect occupation. Foreign domination fostered corruption. All the major factions in the Iranian body politic supported nationalization: the communists, the nationalists, the mullahs and the monarchists. The Shah vacillated.
Mosaddeq’s moment in the sun came in March 1951 when Prime Minister Haj-Ali Razmara was assassinated and the democratically elected majlis (national parliament) voted for full nationalization of oil. In April 1951, the majlis elected Mosaddeq as the prime minister. Mosaddeq was a consummate orator, a master of public theatrics, a cultivated diplomat and a deft politician. He was the man of the hour who could articulate the yearnings of Iranian society to shake off the foreign yoke.
Mosaddeq was unyielding in his stand on nationalization. Britain responded by pulling out its technicians from the oil refineries, blocking Iranian assets in foreign banks, boycotting Iranian oil and blockading Iranian ports. The loss of oil from Iranian oil wells was made up by increasing production in the oil wells of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Oil production fell from 240 million barrels in 1950 to 10 million barrels in 1951. Oil revenues plummeted. The Abadan refinery shut down. Mosaddeq’s plans for reconstruction and industrialization came to a grinding halt.
Greed, power, naiveté, obstinacy are as much characteristics of nations as they are of individuals. So many of the issues between nations can be resolved on the basis of equity and sound business principles. Half a loaf for me and a half for you. That is a win-win proposition. But no! Greed and power goad powerful nations to take the entire loaf—and more- and deny even a crumb to the weaker ones. Britain was obstinate in its refusal to concede a 50:50 formula and accept transparency in the company operations so that the profits of the oil company could be assessed correctly and independently. This was bad business. On the other hand, Mosaddeq was rigid in his stand on complete nationalization and was not willing to let the British in. This was bad politics. As a result, an entire nation suffered.
Nations, like individuals, are prisoners of their historical experience. It is like driving on the freeway with your eyes riveted on the rear view mirror and losing sight of an oncoming truck. Britain was looking at Iran through the imperial lens, even though it had lost India and the days of Pax Brittanica were gone. It was unyielding and lost out to the Americans. Mosaddeq lived in the heady post war years when newly independent nations sought a utopian world, losing sight of global power politics and the interests of global players. He demanded too much and got nothing.
There is a consistency and predictability to the response from the industrialized powers whenever their hegemony is challenged. Economic boycott, freezing of assets, trade embargoes, travel restrictions and massive propaganda are standard tools. When these fail, military force is an option, often as a group attacking a weak prey. In the aftermath, terms of capitulation are dictated which allow the victorious powers unlimited access to the natural resources of the vanquished land and control over its political and economic institutions. Alas! One would have hoped for a world in which the industrialized nations sat down across the table with non-industrialized nations and negotiated an equitable distribution of the benefits from the application of technology of the industrialized nations and the exploitation of natural and human resources of the host nations.
Faced with an acute economic crisis, Mosaddeq resigned and called for elections. According to some accounts, British intelligence was very active in influencing the elections, paying off influential businessmen, legislators, street gangs, newspaper editors and columnists to influence the elections. There were four principal players in the electoral melee: the nationalists who derived their support from the urban middle class; the mullahs who had their power base in the slums and the countryside; the communists who were supported by the workers, and the monarchists who were supported by the Shah. Into these complex equations was injected foreign intrigue and foreign money, creating a chaotic, unpredictable matrix.
The nationalists won the election and Mosaddeq became the democratically elected prime minister. To face the economic crisis, Mosaddeq asked for emergency powers from the majlis but the majlis refused. He also asked for the power to appoint the War Minister and the Army Chief of Staff as stipulated in the constitution but the Shah refused. Mosaddeq resigned and the Shah appointed a pragmatic, old time politician Ahmed Ghavam as the prime minister. Ghavam was disposed to negotiate with the British over oil but mass demonstrations forced his resignation and Mosaddeq was once again appointed the prime minister. This time, the majlis gave him emergency powers for six month.
Mosaddeq strengthened his political base by appointing a powerful cleric, Kashani as majlis speaker and forming an alliance with the Tudeh party. He limited the powers of the Shah to what the constitution had stipulated and strengthened the legislative powers of the majlis. He instituted land reforms, broke the feudal land structure, established village councils and gave the peasants a share in their crops. These reforms made him enormously popular at home but there was also resistance from the old guard. The resistance grew as the British boycott took its toll and British money did its work. Former allies turned against him. Kashani, who Mosaddeq had trusted as speaker of the parliament, denounced him.
Unable to dislodge him through their own efforts, the British turned to the United States for help in toppling Mosaddeq. But its approach to President Truman in November 1952 was rebuffed. However, when General Eisenhower became president in January 1953, Churchill, the prime minister of Britain, renewed his plea. The cold war was at its height and there was anti-communist hysteria in Washington. Churchill made the case that Mosaddeq was too close to the communist Tudeh party and would take Iran into the Soviet orbit. Iran was too strategic a prize to be ignored, for its oil, its location and its size. President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles signed on to a joint British-American plan to topple Mosaddeq.
This was the first known large scale foreign intervention by the United States to topple a democratically elected popular government. Pious professions to the contrary, the Americans toppled a democracy and hoisted a despot on an ancient, proud nation which was struggling for the same ideals articulated by Thomas Jefferson.
In May 1953 the Central Intelligence Agency sent Dr. Wilber to the Middle East to meet with his British counterpart Darbyshire and together coordinate the operations to topple Mosaddeq. General Fazlulla Zahedi was chosen as the point man within the armed forces to stage a coup. Provocateurs were paid to stage street demonstrations and create chaos. Newspaper editors were bought off to run inciting articles. CIA operatives pretending to be communists threatened the ulema that if they opposed Mosaddeq they would be harmed. This alienated the mullahs. The agencies worked through princess Ashraf, the half sister of the Shah, to gain his concurrence for the plot. Roosevelt, the grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt was appointed as the overall coordinator for the mission.
On August 13 the Shah issued two decrees, one firing Mosaddeq as the prime minister, and another appointing General Zahedi to replace him. Both decrees were in violation of the constitution which stipulated that only the majlis had that privilege. However, the initial uprising was a failure. Army units loyal to Mosaddeq and the constitution blocked the renegade units headed by Zahedi. The Shah fled the country, first to Baghdad and then to Rome. General Zahedi went into hiding. Forces loyal to Mosaddeq took over key installations and renegade soldiers either fled or were arrested. Roosevelt himself was advised to abandon the plot and return home.
However, on August 19, a new attempt was made; this time led by Iranian CIA operatives. The Shah made the announcement from Baghdad that he had indeed removed Mosaddeq from office and installed Zahedi as the prime minister. Street hirelings were back in action. Some of the army officers switched sides. A mob incited by provocateurs took over the telegraph office. Telegrams were sent to district headquarters that a coup had toppled the government. Soon the police headquarters fell. Army tanks surrounded Mosaddeq’s offices and arrested him. The radio station was captured in the evening. Zahidi was brought out from hiding and made the announcement of a successful coup.
The Shah returned to Iran, this time as a puppet of foreigners. Dissidents were hunted down, punished or executed. The communist Tudeh party was crushed. Several army officers who were sympathetic to the Tudeh party were tortured. The clerics were sidelined and persecuted. One of these clerics, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was first imprisoned and then exiled to Iraq and then to France. Twenty five years later it was the same Khomeini who triumphantly rode back into an Iran which had turned fiercely anti-American, had toppled the Shah, and had taken hostages at the American embassy in Tehran. The saga of American domination of Iran was over.
The American intervention of 1953 that toppled Mosaddeq was a historical blunder for the United States. There was initial jubilation in American official circles over the success of the coup. But the price was a destruction of the moral credibility of America in the eyes of the world. Many in the newly independent nations had looked to America as the champion of democracy, the land of Jefferson and Lincoln. The coup demonstrated that the United States would not shy away from toppling a democratically elected government when it suited her interests. It brought the United States down to the same level as Great Britain. The ease with which a successful coup was concluded encouraged similar ventures in Latin America and elsewhere, further eroding America’s moral credibility and stature.
The role of the American press during these events was a sad chapter in the annals of journalism. In their book, The U.S. Press and Iran, Dorman and Farhang make the following observation: “The American news media more often than not followed the cues of foreign policy-makers rather than exercising independent judgment in reporting the social, economic and political life of Iran under the Shah…..Throughout the association of the United States with the shah, the press tended to serve Washington’s short sighted policy goals by portraying political opposition to the regime in such a way as to suggest that the shah’s critics were nothing more than benighted reactionaries”.
The overthrow of Mosaddeq derailed Iran’s experiment with democracy and its evolution towards a representative government. The fruits of fifty years of a national struggle for democracy and representative government, dating back to the Constitutional Revolution of 1906, were destroyed. Instead, the United States and Britain hoisted a despot on the peacock throne. The frustrations and anger felt at this intervention erupted with uncontrolled fury in the revolution of 1979, but this time it was not the western trained nationalists who led the charge but right wing mullahs who wanted to purge Iranian society of all things western.
Iraq War II was inflicted on peoples under a tyrant who had already suffered crippling sanctions for a decade before. The premise of this war was pure fabrication of Iraqi WMD. In his speech President George W. Bush, the leader of the “Free World” made the following premise for his war, all of which was a lie and is excerpted below:
… thousands of tons of … mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas … growing fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles … to disperse chemical or biological weapons … exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States. … smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. —[Office of the Press Secretary, October 7, 2002, President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, Remarks by the President on Iraq, Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Ohio – White House archives]
The human costs as determined by public health experts of Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are as follows:
Death rates were 5.5/1,000/year pre-invasion, and overall, 13.2/1,000/year for the 40 months post-invasion.We estimate that through July 2006, there have been 654,965 “excess deaths”—fatalities above the pre-invasion death rate—in Iraq as a consequence of the war. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 were due to violent causes. Non-violent deaths rose above the pre-invasion level only in 2006. Since March 2003, an additional 2.5% of Iraq’s population have died above what would have occurred without conflict. [The Human Cost of the War in Iraq A Mortality Study, 2002-2006; Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland, School of Medicine; Al Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq; in cooperation with the Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts – pdf download]
The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq has spurred little new information on the scale of destruction in the 8 year, 8 month war [Iraq – The Human Cost, MIT University]:
* Population of Iraq: 30 million.
* Percentage of Iraqis who lived in slum conditions in 2000: 17
* Percentage of Iraqis who live in slum conditions in 2011: 50
* Number of the 30 million Iraqis living below the poverty line: 7 million.
* Number of Iraqis who died of violence 2003-2011: 150,000 to 400,000.
* Orphans in Iraq: 4.5 million.
* Orphans living in the streets: 600,000.
* Number of women, mainly widows, who are primary breadwinners in family: 2 million.
* Iraqi refugees displaced by the American war to Syria: 1 million
* Internally displaced persons in Iraq: 1.3 million
* Proportion of displaced persons who have returned home since 2008: 1/8
* Rank of Iraq on Corruption Index among 182 countries: 175
The club, that Robert Spencer belongs to, achieved the above tragedies for humanity on such a colossal scale that defy human intelligence and its innate morality. They achieved these goals in the past and are unrepentantly manufacturing newer lies for the future, by fabricating doubts be they against the governments, their peoples or their faiths. Such minds for lack of a better word are curse for humanity on a mega scale as they use the megaphones of pulpit, media, “democratic process” and “lobbies” that rubbish the facts on the ground, fabricate new lies and sell the concoctions of falsehood as truth in which the sole benefactor is Israel, while the whole world on the other hand is left to live and suffer with a gaping mouth for its notion of truth.
Muslim World – Wikipedia
Countries with the largest Muslim populations (2010) – Wikipedia
The Future of the Global Muslim Population – Pew Forum on Religion and Cultural Life
Folie à deux – Wikipedia
U.S. Experts comment on U.S. policy towards Israel – Council for the National Interest
A Synopsis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – IfAmericaKnew.org
Mosaddeq, Iranian Oil and the Coup of 1953 – Professor Nazeer Ahmed
President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat – White House
The Human Cost of the War in Iraq A Mortality Study, 2002-2006 [pdf download]– Johns Hopkins University
Iraq – The Human Cost – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Issue 83 [@1:28:53]: Serge Trifkovic – Author, Defeating Jihad – “In Islamic thinking the world is divided into the “House of Islam”, where Islamic politic has been established, where Allah rules supreme, and the “House of War” which is the rest of the world. This dichotomy is reminiscent of other totalitarian ideologies and most explicitly communism. Both Communism and Islam seek the end of history in this world. The end of history will come when either the whole of our planet will become “Dar-ul-Islam” or else the proletarian revolution brings the working class to power all over the world which will be the end of state, the end of money and the end of class oppression. In both cases it is possible to have a period of truce. It is possible to have what would we call in modern parlance peaceful existence but that peaceful co-existence is a tactical ploy and not a permanent solution.”
[@1:30:07]: Slide projected with voice: Sahih Al-Bukhari – Vol 4, Bk 52, Hadith 196
Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”
Rebuttal 83: Above is a repeat of earlier false assertions by the documentary (see Issue 35, 44 and 76). The added twist in current issue is that before in Issue 37b Shoebat tried to juxtapose Mein Kampf with Jihad, and now Trifkovic is cleverly trying to equate Islam and Communism. Of note is that West recently came out of almost a century long cold war with Communism and the documentary wants to revive the same fear which taught the West how to be fearful in the first place and then to react in the same manner and violently out of that fear. The documentary is obsequiously trying to replace West’s fear of Nazism and Communism that have passed and ingrain it with a newer fabricated fear of Islam. The above issue is broken down as below.
Issue 83a: Serge Trifkovic – Author, Defeating Jihad – “In Islamic thinking the world is divided into the “House of Islam”, where Islamic politic has been established, where Allah rules supreme, and the “House of War” which is the rest of the world…”
Rebuttal 83a: This is a totally absurd logic when checked against Quran, Sunnah, Hadith and history, which was addressed in the previous Issue 44a and is reproduced here. Muhammad Ali in his book Religion of Islam [p. 426, pub. 1951] clarifies rebuts and expunges the notions of Dar-ul-Islam and Dar-ul-Harb as follows:
Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam
With the new notion introduced into the word jihad, the jurists artificially divided the whole word into dar al-harb and dar al-Islam. Dar al-harb literally means the abode or seat of war, and dar al-Islam, the abode of Islam. These words are not used in the Holy Qur’an, nor are they traceable in any Hadith. Bukhari uses the word dar al-harb in the heading of one of his chapters: “When a people embrace Islam in dar al-harb” (Bu. 56:180). Two Hadith are mentioned under this heading, in neither of which do the words dar al-harb occur. The first speaks of Makkah, and its subject matter is that when, after the conquest of Makkah, the unbelieving Quraish accepted Islam; they were recognized as owners of property of which they had become masters, though it originally belonged to those Muslims who had fled to Madinah. The second speaks of Rabdhah, a place at a distance of about three day’s journey from Madinah, the lands near which were turned into pasture by ‘Umar and, on the owners’ protest, made over to them. Both Makkah and Rabdhah were at one time at war with the Muslims and on this account Bukhari speaks of them as dar al-harb. Dar al-Islam is evidently a place where the laws of Islam prevail and which is under a Muslim ruler. The use of dar al-harb in the sense of a place actually at war with the Muslims, is unobjectionable. But the jurists apply the word to all states and countries which are not dar al-Islam or under the Muslim rule, though they may not be at war with the Muslims, and thus look upon a Muslim state as being always in a state of war with the whole of the non-Muslim world. This position is not only inconsistent with the very basic principles of Islam but actually it has never been accepted by any Muslim state that has ever existed in the world. The difficulty has been met by some jurists by bringing a third class, called dar al-sulh or dar al-‘ahd, or a country which has an agreement with the Muslims. But even this does not exhaust the whole world. Many of the laws relating to war are based on this fictitious division of the world, for which there is not the least authority either in the Holy Qur’an or in Hadith.
Issue 83b: Serge Trifkovic – “…This dichotomy is reminiscent of other totalitarian ideologies and most explicitly communism. Both communism and Islam seek the end of history in this world. The end of history will come when either the whole of our planet will become “Dar-ul-Islam” or else the proletarian revolution brings the working class to power all over the world which will be the end of state, the end of money and the end of class oppression. In both cases it is possible to have a period of truce. It is possible to have what would we call in modern parlance peaceful existence but that peaceful co-existence is a tactical ploy and not a permanent solution.”
Rebuttal 83b: Once again above is another unsubstantiated rant by Trifkovic against Islam. His fear mongering of bringing ‘end of state, the end of money, and temporary truce as a tactical ploy’ might be acceptable for Communism but has nothing to do with Islam. While the ‘West’ i.e. Capitalism was scared of Communism resulting in the cold war costing mankind trillions of dollars, millions in human lives and decades of human suffering, Islam never felt threatened by Communism for the mere fact that Quran assures the failure of any unnatural doctrine. If the West were cognizant of Quran, it would had spared itself all the agony, because Communism right from its inception failed the fundamental test of a social order i.e. proportionate compensation for one’s efforts which in turn encouraged inaction over action by the individuals, that naturally resulted in its crumbling from within:
53:38. (The Scriptures say that) no soul that bears a burden shall bear the burden of another (soul).
53:39. And that a human being will have (to his account) what he strives for.
53:40. And that his strivings shall necessarily be seen (and evaluated),
53:41. Then will he be recompensed fully and fairly.
In order to implement its doctrine which was against the very basic fundamentals required for a social order, Communism had to adopt dictatorial means, which sometimes were in the form of individuals like Stalin, Chaushesku and Honecker, and at other times the all too familiar dictatorial state apparatus. Communism crumbled under its own incentive-less weight and from its spiritual apathy, the necessary ingredients for humanity in history and across geography. It was too dry to be swallowed by humanity.
Trifkovic is factually wrong when he further alleges that ultimate goal of Islam is for elimination of state and the natural classes therein. The rebuttal to him is from Quran itself e.g.:
3:164. Say, `Shall I seek a Lord other than Allâh whilst He is the Lord of all things?’ And no soul does anything (evil) but only against itself; no soul that bears a burden shall bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will fully inform you about that (truth) wherein you have been disagreeing.
3:165. And He it is Who has made you successors (of others and rulers) of the land, and He has exalted some of you over the others in degrees (of rank) so that He may try you by that which He has given you. Surely, your Lord is Quick at retribution; and He is all the same, Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
On the contrary, he is correct in one aspect in that under Islam class oppression and exploitation dissipates, which was the very basis for rise of Communism in the West to begin with:
4:1. O people [i.e. Jews, Christian, Muslims...whole of humanity], keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being [i.e. ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE BORN FREE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY AND RIGHTS. THEY ARE ENDOWED WITH REASON AND CONSCIENCE – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 of United Nations] and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two [i.e. married pairs] many men and women. And keep your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you.
30:22. And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours. Surely there are signs in this for the learned.
49:13. O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you [and not by mere association with certain RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, POLITICAL OR OTHER OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER STATUS – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 2 of United Nations]. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
3:103. And hold fast by the covenant of Allah [i.e. Quran] all together and do not be disunited. And remember Allah’s favour to you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren [WITHOUT DISTINCTION OF ANY KIND, SUCH AS RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, POLITICAL OR OTHER OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER STATUS – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 2 of United Nations ]. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire [of mutual hate, envy, enmity and wars], then He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes clear to you His messages that you may be guided.
49:11-12. O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people [i.e. mock, ridicule or DISCRIMINATE on basis of RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, POLITICAL OR OTHER OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER STATUS – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 2 of United Nations], perhaps they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perhaps they may be better than they. Neither find fault with one another, nor call one another by (offensive) nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoever does not repent, these it is that are the wrongdoers. O you who believe, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is sin; and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor it! And keep your duty to Allah, surely Allah is returning (to mercy) again and again, Merciful. [Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz]
Trifkoic names two systems, Communism and Islam without his any understanding for what they stand for. Communism evolved from a failed experience of the West with Christianity that was not only an impediment for human development but actually the cause for its decline. That is reflected in the following quotes from the fathers of Communism:
“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” [Karl Marx]
“And when this act has been accomplished, when society, by taking possession of all means of production and using them on a planned basis, has freed itself and all its members from the bondage in which they are now held by these means of production which they themselves have produced but which confront them as an irresistible alien force, when therefore man no longer merely proposes, but also disposes — only then will the last alien force which is still reflected in religion vanish; and with it will also vanish the religious reflection itself, for the simple reason that then there will be nothing left to reflect.” [Friedrich Engels]
“Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.” [Vladimir Lenin]
The above outlook then naturally transformed into a state, the Soviet Union where Lenin did not see the replacement of religion with atheism as an end to itself, but wrote that it needed to be accompanied by a materialist weltanschauung:
“Marxism is materialism. As such, it is as relentlessly hostile to religion as was the materialism of the eighteenth-century Encyclopaedists or the materialism of Feuerbach. This is beyond doubt. But the dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels goes further than the Encyclopaedists and Feuerbach, for it applies the materialist philosophy to the domain of history, to the domain of the social sciences. We must combat religion—that is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently of Marxism. But Marxism is not a materialism which has stopped at the ABC. Marxism goes further. It says: We must know how to combat religion, and in order to do so we must explain the source of faith and religion among the masses in a materialist way. The combating of religion cannot be confined to abstract ideological preaching, and it must not be reduced to such preaching. It must be linked up with the concrete practice of the class movement, which aims at eliminating the social roots of religion.” [Vladimir Lenin]
For a fuller discussion about the above quotes read – “Marxist‒Leninist atheism” [Wikipedia]
“Marxism is materialism”, pure and simple, and by implication everything thereafter viewed through Communistic prism including humans and their humanism are downstream constructs of materialism, inclusive of their physical, social and psychological evolutionary stages to their present day forms. This is diametrically opposite of Islam.
In Islam, human body and by implication the materialism itself is merely an instrument for its humanism, though a very important one. Concept of God and what He stands for is at core of all the mechanisms in Islam. It is from this God consciousness in Islam that every human and his humanism emerge and evolve. The extent of manifestation of this construct in an individual or the society is a direct reflection of the degree of its basic understanding and utilization of the concept of God. Matter and materialism is a subset for manifestation of God in our lives and our universe. What communism misses out on are the non-material aspects that drive the utility of matter, which like the invisible ‘dark matter’ are much larger in scope than the known ‘material’ universe. At least in our limited world the matter in other planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies at present is of limited use to be exploited by earthlings. Thus we are constrained to look at matter and how to use and distribute its benefits by different isms within the confines of the earth alone. The discussion of useful matter is immaterial beyond our lives on earth. To understand the interplay of material and non-material dimensions is the simple example of life. Materially there is hardly a difference of even an ounce between an alive and dead person. What separates the living from dead in Islam is:
28:88. … Everything is liable to perish but those (righteous deeds) by means of which you seek His attention…
It is this survival of the righteous deeds that the world history testifies to, are the objectives of Islam in one’s life. In a secular sense, through Islam one brings this historical experience of mankind of righteous deeds into realm of one’s existence and purpose of life, before the person himself becomes history. Each person is valued in Islam because each person contributes to history through individual goals, within his limited lifespan. Islam tries to make that individual contribution a positive one for oneself and for those with him and after him:
22:77. O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourself, and worship your Lord and do good deeds so that you may attain your goal.
3:114. They believe in Allâh and the Last Day and enjoin good and forbid evil, and they vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. And it is these who are of the truly righteous.
Material sciences are limited to measurable dimensions of matter and its cohort, the energy, and out of this finite space one discovers its laws. But, the non-material aspects that envelop our existence and give purpose in this world are driven by the laws, the search of which have eluded every material path that man tried for their discovery, irrespective of hoarding, distributing or expunging of the said ‘material’ in one’s life under a particular ism. That includes all the experiments of isms by man including the Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, Colonialism, Nazism, Fascism, Apartheid, Paganism, Spiritualism, Theism, Atheism, Materialism, and Asceticism. At the core of all these isms is to achieve good deeds for its votaries, though in all of them this objective is stratified differentially across different segments of its populace. In some it is capitalist over the working class, in another the worker over the capital, still in others it is one race over another, one language and culture over another, one region over another, one faith over another. All of these isms succeeded to a certain point in dimension of time and space, but they all fizzled out sooner or later in delivering good deeds the way those isms envisioned them initially. Why have they all failed? It is because of this failure of all the isms where Islam separates itself from them because it elucidates and guarantees the law of preservation of good deeds:
18:30. But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness (should know that) We surely do not suffer the reward of those who do good deeds to be lost.
11:114. … Surely, the good deeds wipe out the evil ones. That is a reminder for those who would remember.
11:115. And be you patiently persevering, for surely Allâh suffers not the reward of the doers of good to others to go waste.
3:114. They believe in Allâh and the Last Day and enjoin good and forbid evil, and they vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. And it is these who are of the truly righteous.
3:115. And whatever good they do, they shall not be denied its due recognition. And Allâh knows well those who guard against evil.
Islam lets each person’s individuality stand be it his race, region, culture, language, belief or material status. But, it demolishes the disharmonious barriers that have existed since eternity between unique identities of peoples, and that is why Islam claims the center stage for one world under God:
5:48. …And if Allâh had so willed He might have made you all one community (by force), but He wishes to show your perfection (the capacities and capabilities) that He has endowed you with. Therefore vie one with another in (doing) good deeds…
The non-material space of turmoil and peace – within the person, in interpersonal relationships, in social dynamics – are the prime determinants of one’s quest in life. It is these needs and the need to understand, predict and solve them that gave rise to social, psychological and political sciences, all of which combined have yet to achieve any substantial improvement of individuals’ distress, remove social discord or give any directions to the ever elusive utopia that every ism promises. In Islam the amalgam of material and non-material aspects of life are fully elucidated and their laws are already ‘discovered’, while the practical paths for their adoption identified:
5:48. …For each one of you did We prescribe a spiritual law and a well-defined way (–a code in secular matters). And if Allâh had so willed He might have made you all one community (by force), but He wishes to show your perfection (the capacities and capabilities) that He has endowed you with. Therefore vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. To Allâh is the return of you all, then He will inform you as to that wherein you were at variance.
Islam is not merely a lip service or a ritual of a ‘religion’, rather Islam is all about a code of action to achieve good deeds, individually and collectively:
6:158. Do they await only that the angels should come to them (with wars), or that (complete destruction from) your Lord should come (upon them), or that some of the signs of your Lord should visit them (with earthly calamities). The day when some of the signs of your Lord shall come, no soul, that did not believe earlier or accomplished some good deeds through (his) belief, will ever benefit by his faith. Say, `Wait, we too are waiting.’ [emphasis added]
When Quran states – Wait, we too are waiting, it essentially is declaring that Islam has and will stand the test of time for all its claims. This is an open challenge to all the isms out there of past, present and future:
3:83. Do they then seek a creed other than Allâh’s while all those that are in the heavens and on the earth submit to Him willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they shall be made to return?
29:6. And he who strives hard (in the way of Allâh) does it, infact, for his own good. Verily, Allâh is Independent of the worlds.
29:7. And those who believe and do deeds of righteousness We shall invariably rid them of their evils and We shall, of course, reward them according to the best of their deeds.
29:8. We have enjoined on a human being to be kind to his parents, but should they stress upon you to associate with Me things which you know to be nothing at all you shall not obey them. You shall all have to return to Me (after all). I shall tell you all that you have been doing (in your life).
29:9. And as to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness We will certainly admit them to (the fold of) the righteous.
Contrary to Trifkovic’s fear mongering of ‘end of history’ and by implication disappearance of every other ism but Islam, Quran prophesizes the survival of Christianity, though with a caveat of its mutual hatred, till the end of the times, a ‘moment’ which is recognized in the Bible as well:
5: 14. We took the covenant of those (also) who say, `We are Christians;’ but they have abandoned a good portion of what they were (reminded of and) exhorted with. So We have kindled enmity and hatred between (various sects of) them till the Day of Resurrection. And Allâh will soon inform them of all their machination.
3: 55. (Recall the time) when Allâh said, `O Jesus! I will cause you to die a natural death, and will exalt you to Myself and I will clear you of the unchaste accusations of those who disbelieve [-the Jews]. I am going to make your followers [-the Christians] prevail over the disbelievers [-the Jews] till the Day of Resurrection, then to Me (O people!) shall be your return, and I will judge all your differences. [-of note is that Muslim are also believers in Jesus as a prophet]
Trifkovic is thus proven false by Quran for his statement – ‘The end of history will come when either the whole of our planet will become “Dar-ul-Islam”’, by the mere fact that the above verses conclusively state that there will be survival of Christianity.
The sorry state of Trifkovic’s arguments can be judged by his allegations that are not based upon any facts on ground, in history or scriptures. In his rancor he conjures up hateful scenarios and smears them on Islam. He states – ‘Both Communism and Islam seek the end of history in this world.’ We will leave it to Carl Marx to rebut for the former, but for the latter the Quran speaks quite eloquently. Contrary to what Trifkovic alleges, instead of ‘end of history’, Islam is the very basis of ‘beginning of history’ for the mere fact that Islam is all about the everlasting concept of God:
57:3. He is (from) the very First (there was nothing before Him), and (He will exist to) the Last (there will be nothing after Him), and when nothing remains He will remain (He being an eternal Being). He is the Supreme Being (subordinate to no one). And (whereas He comprehends everything) He is Incomprehensible. He has full knowledge of everything.
19:40. It is We Who will remain after the earth and (all) who are inhabiting it have perished. To Us shall they all be returned.
Issue 83c [@1:30:07]: Slide projected with voice:
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Vol 4, Bk 52, Hadith 196
Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”
Rebuttal 83c: This Hadith and its context was addressed before which can be read at the link – Issue 76a, with a minor difference that the above Hadith is a subset of another Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24.
Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
Religion of Islam – Maulana Muhammad Ali
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – United Nations Organization
Marxist‒Leninist atheism – Wikipedia
Holy Quran – Nooruddin [unless stated otherwise, all verses quoted above are from this translation]
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz