Islam, ISIS, and the Forced Conversion of Yazidis

By David Wood at Answering Muslims:

The Islamic State (ISIS) recently released a video of dozens of Yazidis converting to Islam in order to avoid execution. Our leaders and the media continue to assure us that the actions of ISIS have nothing to do with Islam. Yet when we open the Muslim sources, we find Muhammad commanding his followers to fight people until they convert to Islam. How can obeying Muhammad’s commands have nothing to do with Islam?

Obama’s Escape from Planet Reality

By David Wood at Answering Muslims:

Just minutes after defending Islam in a speech about the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State (ISIS), President Barack Obama was back on the golf course. There’s something quite significant and symbolic about the President rushing to the golf course to avoid the horrors of a beheading. It’s analogous to the mental running our leaders have to do in order to avoid the truth about Islam.

 

Also see:

 

The Islamic Terror Orchestra

377919105 (1)Center For Security Policy, By Nonie Darwish:

It has been 13 years since 9/11 and the West is still reluctant to link the non-ending parade of jihad groups with Islam. The West is also in denial about the similarities all radical Islamic groups share. It is important for the West to realize that there is a natural division of labor between the different terror groups. Some groups specialize in terror against non-Muslims and Western governments while others specialize in terrorizing Arab governments that refused to follow Sharia. But the truly sophisticated groups are those who reside in the West, calling themselves ‘moderate’ while at the same time defending and controlling the direction of Islamist goals through advocacy, diplomacy, negotiation and PR.

All of the above types of Islamist groups work together in perfect harmony like an orchestra that sings to the tune of “Allahu Akbar.” And when Islamic terrorism and beheadings anger the world and turn public opinion against Islam, that orchestra starts playing a different tune to confuse and prevent the world from uncovering their coordinated handy work. While one group proudly takes credit for the terror, another publicly denounces it. But most groups, while enjoying the power and attention the terrorists have bestowed on them, stand by with a look of victimhood saying: “I am a victim too because you condemn me and my peaceful religion when I did not do anything. That is not Islam and you are an Islamophobe.”

Not only is there division of labor amongst Islamist groups, but these groups also often change roles, tactics and appearances — after birthing other more radical terror groups to do the dirty work of terror. Because the West and some Arab governments refuse to deal with terror organizations, these organizations play a game of presenting a face of rehabilitation and moderation, while delegating the terror and assassinations to newer groups. Old guard terror groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Fatah were able to change color and they assumed a new, but only cosmetic, appearance of moderation, but not before birthing the more violent Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

The West was told the MB and Fatah were now the moderate and humanitarian face of Islam that could be counted on and that could run Islamic government. Islam will present itself as working with the rest of the world only for the sake of establishing the Kalifate. The West has been only too happy to welcome the new face of the old terror groups to the camp of moderation. But the new face of evil after the MB became Al-Qaeda.

When the MB won the Egyptian elections, Islamists believed the Kalifate could be achieved through elections, avoiding the usual violent jihad. But when Egyptians realized they had made a mistake by electing the MB and 35,000,000 Egyptians revolted against Islamist rule, the dreams of a Kalifate through peaceful elections were defeated. The only solution for Muslims to achieve their Kalifate is the old fashioned way of 7th century Islam: pure violence, savagery and terror; thus the rise of the newest Islamist terror group, ISIS, while the MB takes a back seat.

When Al-Qaeda’s reputation tanked after 9/11, even inside the Middle East, the terror jihadists were forced into working under a new name — same goals, but with a more ferocious appetite for terror and torture. After the defeat of the budding Islamist State through elections in Egypt in 2013, the restrained beast of public beheadings hidden in the Islamic genie bottle finally exploded for the world to see in the form of ISIS; an organization that declared itself as the true long-awaited Islamic State. Force became the only choice. Coincidentally, this follows the example of Mohammed who tried to peacefully Islamize Mecca for 13 years but failed and could only Islamize Arabia by force, terror and the sword when he became a warrior in Medina.

ISIS rushed to declare itself as the Islamic State even before finishing the job of conquering all of Iraq and Syria. It was flaunting its savagery to the world in the hope of giving the message to reluctant Arab countries that they will be next. The plan is very similar to what Mohammed and his followers did in the 7th century: conquer Arabia quickly by force so they could move to more important goals of taking over the outside world, now the West and Israel. By doing that they are confirming to Muslims around the world that terror works and that their prophet Mohammed was correct when he said: “I have been victorious through terror.”

Bottom line: What legitimate Islamic organizations must adhere to is obeying Islamic commandments to conquer the world for Islam, defeat and humiliate non-Muslim nations and establish the Kalifate — to be ruled by sharia. That is the plan. It is not the opinion of the writer of this article, but it is the basic objective of Islamic law books, scriptures and preaching, which explicitly define jihad as a war with non-Muslims to establish the religion of Islam. To facilitate this mission, Islamic law freed Muslims from any restrictions on their behavior; they can wage offensive wars, kill, terrorize, behead, lie, deceive, humiliate, slander, use corporal punishment on women and children, and sacrifice the well being of the family, all for the purpose of the empowerment of Islam.

But instead of properly facing the 21 Century Islamic challenge, the West has chosen denial. Obama is being criticized for resorting to golf in a time of trouble, but that is perhaps his only outlet when he feels paralyzed, because what he believed and advocated Islam to be and what it is turned out to be polar opposites.

Also, instead of facing the incompetence and many obvious weaknesses of Islamic terror groups, the West has chosen to appease an enemy that only respects power. Thus, the Obama administration decided to be more concerned with appearances and saying instead of doing the right thing. For example, Obama likes to correct Americans on the proper pronunciation of Arabic names and expressions such as Pakistan and ISIL instead of ISIS, etc. But when the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was declared the West was too embarrassed to call it what it called itself, the Islamic State, and found the English abbreviation ISIS more appropriate than the Arabic name that linked the new terrorist state to Islam.

I was recently asked by visitors from Egypt, “What is ISIS?” My answer was, it is the preferred name the US administration and media use to refer to the newly declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Their response was, “Why? In Arabic they call themselves ‘The Islamic State?’” I told them it is a long story, but the West does not want to offend Muslims who believe that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, tyranny and hatred.

Obama insists on presenting himself as more of an expert on Islam than the founders of ISIS when he stated, “ISIL speaks for no religion.” It is not appropriate for the US government or media to define what is or what is not Islam to Muslims who are reading from their books statements that command them to kill infidels. All we should do is take them for their word.

Both the US government and media have decided, long before Obama, that it would be the wise thing to do to keep US citizens uninformed about the true goals of Islam. The goal of this policy was partially to convince Islamic terror groups to leave the West alone and perhaps in the long run Islam will reform on its own one day. But unfortunately history was not on the side of this theory. Appeasement did not work for Coptic Christians in Egypt nor for Zoroastrians in Persia when in the 7th century the two ancient civilizations fell to the Arab Islamic invasion in the same year. Both Egypt and Persia tried to appease but failed to win hearts and minds of the Muslim invaders who used the most barbaric forms of terror and tyranny to Islamize and Arabize both civilizations. Both Egypt and Persia never saw their glory days again and today they are incapable of ruling themselves without the usual Sharia-enforced oppression and tyranny.

What everyone misses here is the right of the American people to know the full truth about their new enemy directly and honestly from their politicians and media. By caring about the feelings of Muslims more than American citizens’ right to the truth, and without naming Islam by name, the US government and media will usher America into a dark phase marking the beginning of tyranny and the end of liberty.

 

 

This is What a Politically Correct Mental Breakdown Over ISIS Looks Like

basil-fawlty-dont-mention-the-war-the-germans-450x230Front Page, By Daniel Greenfield:

I had to keep reading this to the end to be sure it wasn’t a parody. But this is what happens when someone in denial digs a deeper hole to deny in and then a deeper one under that.

It probably won’t surprise you too much to learn that the woman who wrote this came out of Berkeley. It may surprise you though that this appeared in The Telegraph.

We are not engaged in a religious war. This is not a confrontation between Islam and the West. To start from that premise is to place Isil (which should not be called by its presumptive title “Islamic State”) on precisely the ground it wishes to occupy.

If we acknowledge reality then the terrorists (who have nothing to do with Islam) will have won.

I remember how Churchill won WW2 by pretending that Hitler wasn’t running Germany, but was still painting ugly postcards.  And who can forget his stirring words. “We will deny that they are on the beaches. We will deny that they are in the cities. We will deny that there is a Nazi Germany.”

As the voices of what the media calls “moderate Muslims” – who should actually just be described as “Muslims” – say repeatedly, the activities of these terrorist criminals hacking their way through northern Iraq have nothing to do with the Islamic faith.

Problem solved. No need to address reality. We’ll just pretend that ISIS isn’t what it is and that will make us feel better. What about all the hundreds of British Muslim settlers flocking to ISIS? Let’s pretend that they don’t exist.

So now that we’re insisting that it’s not a religious war because ISIS says it is… what is it then?

So it is more important than ever to say that this is not a struggle between “our values” and those of medieval fundamentalism, or Islamist extremism. The contest is not modern liberal democracy versus the Dark Ages. This is to impose meaning on what is, in truth, meaningless.

Ah it’s meaningless.

Just thousands and thousands of armed fighters who for no reason are conquering parts of the Middle East and then ruling it. There’s no meaning to it whatsoever.

Sure we could listen to their explanation as to what they’re doing… but that would be imposing meaning on the meaningless actions of a well organized army creating a meaningless new system that it insists on calling a Caliphate for some meaningless reason.

What a bunch of crazy nuts.

Indeed, it may be worse than counterproductive to deal with Isil as if it were a rational force with established roots and a comprehensible set of demands capable of political solution. Just as this is not about religion, it is also not about politics,

Great. So now it’s not about religion or politics. ISIS is like Seinfeld. It’s about nothing. It’s completely incomprehensible if we choose to pretend that it is.

Question for Janet Daley, does ISIS even exist? Maybe we should start pretending that we imagined all the beheadings.

There is not even anything particularly Middle Eastern in the Isil mode of operation.

Aside from the location, the tactics, the symbolism and the religion… not a thing.

In fact, the gratuitous violence and promiscuous mayhem of its onslaught resembles nothing so much as 19th-century European anarchism

Whew. I knew it was Europe’s fault somehow. ISIS isn’t Muslim. It’s a bunch of European 19th century anarchists. That explains everything.

The next obvious question: how do you fight a dream that is without identifiable substance or consistent objectives?

I guess you could stop pretending that it’s a unidentifiable dream without an objective.  That would make it easier to deal with. The same advice goes for the rest of the media.

Or we can just pretend that it’s all a dream.

 

Nothing to Do with Islam, Part 2

image_update_imgBy Bruce Thornton:

To read Part I, click here.

In his comments on the jihad being waged by the Islamic State in northern Iraq (ISIL), President Obama recycled yet again the shopworn false knowledge about Islam that continues to compromise our response to Muslim violence: “So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”

Over at the New York Post, a columnist rightly took the president to task by saying, “You can’t divorce the Islamic State from religion.” Unfortunately, the column is full of numerous misstatements that perpetuate the illusion that there is some peaceful, tolerant version of Islam that has been distorted and twisted by “extremists” or “fundamentalists.”

According to the writer, adherents of any faith can misread sacred texts literally in order to justify violence: “The problem isn’t just literalist interpretations of the Koran: The New Testament, the Jewish Torah and many other religious books contain explicit calls for disproportionate punishments and killing of nonbelievers.” Forget the false assumption that we are supposed to read all sacred texts allegorically rather than literally. I’d like to see the verses from the New Testament that explicitly instruct Christians to kill non-believers rather than try to convert them. On the contrary, Jesus preached, “Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5.38), and “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5.43).

Concerning other interactions with non-believers, Jesus instructed his disciples, “And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town” (Matthew 10.14).  Because there are no explicit commands to kill non-believers in the New Testament, over the ages Christians who have justified violence with scripture have had to engage in tortuous interpretations and misreadings that over time have not been able to gain traction among all the faithful. That’s why despite widespread persecution across the world today, there is no major Christian terrorist movement.

Compare, in contrast, the Koran’s explicit calls to violence against non-believers, such as Koran 4.76: “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan.” This is consistent with the famous command in 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah.” If someone wants to argue that “fight” is intended metaphorically in these verses, and has been “twisted” by a “literal” reading to serve some fringe interpretation, consider 4.74: “Let those fight in the cause of Allah Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of Allah––whether he is slain or gets victory––Soon shall we give him a reward.” Obviously in this verse and numerous others “fight” means physical battle in which people are “slain.” Contrary to Christian scripture, in traditional Islamic doctrine non-believers who are invited to convert and refuse the call are not left alone, but killed or, if they are Jews or Christians, sometimes allowed to live in humiliating submission under a treaty that Muslims can break at any time for any reason.

As for the Torah, the list of verses allegedly commanding death for non-believers that crop up on anti-Biblical and atheist websites has nothing to do with gentiles. A favorite is Deuteronomy 17, which commands death for those who “transgressing his covenant” have “gone and served other gods and worshipped them.” But this is clearly a reference not to gentiles, but to Hebrews who have betrayed the covenant between God and the Jewish people by violating the first Commandment. So too with numerous other verses produced to prove that the Hebrew God ordered the Hebrews to kill gentiles. On the contrary, all these verses describe capital punishment for crimes committed by Jews, such as apostasy, witchcraft, adultery, fornication, and the like. Nowhere is there a verse commanding, like Koran 9.29, wholesale warfare against all gentiles who refuse to become Jews.

As for the orders given to Hebrew kings in the Old Testament to destroy another town or tribe, these are specific to that particular time, place, and people, and reflect the brutal warfare universal at that time. They are history, not theology. We may find such draconian punishments or collective violence distasteful, but they certainly do not comprise the sort of theology of violence against all non-believers that is found throughout the Koran and Islamic doctrine.

Read more at Front Page

ISIS: Guided by the Koran

antiisiswien-6Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey, August 24, 2014:

Two weeks ago we posted about the march in Vienna in support of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Below is a subtitled video of a speech given by Christian Zeitz on that occasion, concerning the Koranic basis for the actions of ISIS and the nature of Islamic law. In addition to his translation of the video, Rembrandt Clancy has provided us with an explanatory introduction.

Introduction
by Rembrandt Clancy

Below is a video of a demonstration against the “Islamic State” which took place in Vienna on 10 August 2014. The speaker is Christian Zeitz, Scientific Director of the Institute for Applied Political Economy in Austria. According to Internet portal unzensuriert.at, where he has published guest commentaries, Mr. Zeitz studies the theory of democracy, monetary theory, Islamology and the sociology of religion.

Mr. Zeitz raises two subjects in the video for which it is perhaps worthwhile to provide some background: the Ridda wars and the Austrian Islam Act of 1912.

The Ridda Wars

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current IS leader and self-proclaimed Caliph, takes his name from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, who according to tradition was an early friend of Mohammed’s. Upon the prophet’s death in 632, Abu Bakr became the prophet’s “rightly-guided” successor and the first Caliph. It was he who sponsored the Ridda or Apostasy Wars until his death in 634. The aim of the wars was to re-establish Muslim hegemony over Bedouin tribes on the Arabian Peninsula after they had fallen away from the faith. Raymond Ibrahim describes these first jihads this way:

Many Arab tribes were still willing to remain Muslim, but had second thoughts about paying zakat money to the first caliph, Abu Bakr. That was enough to declare jihad on them as apostates; tens of thousands of Arabs were burned, beheaded, dismembered, or crucified, according to Islamic history.

Indeed, Qaradawi himself, while discussing the importance of killing any Muslim who apostatizes from Islam on a live Al Jazeera program, correctly declared that “If the penalty for apostasy was ignored, there would not be an Islam today; Islam would have ended on the death of the prophet.”

The Austrian Islam Act of 1912

Christian Zeitz also refers briefly to the Islam Act (Islamgesetz) of 1912 (English, French and German versions), which the Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) promulgated for the purpose of integrating Bosnia-Herzegovina into the Habsburg Monarchy. In a recent articlefor Gates of Vienna Mr. Zeitz details the background to the Act and outlines what is at stake:

Austria will soon have to decide whether it wants to establish in orderly fashion the primacy of the secular state versus the aspirations for an Islamic divine state, or intends to allow a further embedding of radical variants of Islam.

The Gatestone Institute has an article “Austria: Muslim Brotherhood’s New European Headquarters” (4 June 2014) which analyses why Austria’s Islam Act of 1912 provides attractive, external legal conditions for the Muslim Brotherhood that do not exist in any other European country.

Video Credits

Henrik Ræder Clausen did the technical work on the original footage. Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff supplied the German transcript, without which this project could not have gone ahead. She was also responsible for taking the video footage of the demonstration. Translation and subtitling are by Rembrandt Clancy.

 

Video Transcript

 

 

Clare Lopez: The Islamic State is Following the Example of Muhammad

844173151Center for Security Policy:

The Center’s Clare Lopez debates Mike Ghouse on Sean Hannity’s radio show on the Islamic State (IS), Islam, doctrinal basis for IS atrocities.

A Timely Reminder: Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner

This entire presentation is well worth watching. Bill Warner’s famous animated map of 1200 years of Islamic conquest in 70 seconds begins at about 11 min. into the video.

Published on Aug 31, 2012 by Tin Ship Productions

Nothing to Do With Islam

QuranRifle3by Bruce Thornton:

The war against jihadism has been chronically misunderstood because of our failure to acknowledge the religious motives of Muslim jihadists. This failure began in 1979 with the Iranian revolution. Trapped in our Western secularist paradigms, we interpreted the uprising against the Shah as an anti-colonial revolt against a “brutal” autocrat propped up by the West for its own exploitative economic and geostrategic purposes. The aim of the revolution, the argument went, was to create a government more sympathetic to national sovereignty and Western pluralistic government. However, it soon became clear with the political triumph of the Ayatollah Khomeini that the revolution was in the main a religious one, inspired in part by anger at the Shah’s secularization, modernization, and liberalization policies. As Khomeini said in 1962, the Shah’s regime was “fundamentally opposed to Islam itself and the existence of a religious class.”

Despite that lesson, the rise of al Qaeda in the 90s was also explained as anything and everything other than what it was and still is–– a movement with deep religious roots. Under administrations of both parties, the mantra of our leaders has been “nothing to do with Islam.” We created various euphemisms like “Islamism,” “Radical Islam,” “Islamic extremists,” or “Islamofascism,” to explain an ideology that is firmly rooted in traditional Islamic theology and historical practice. We were anxiously assured that Islam was a “religion of peace,” its adherents tolerant and ecumenical. Popular figures like Osama bin Laden were “heretics” who had “highjacked” this wonderful faith, distorting its doctrines to serve their evil lust for power. We looked upon them as “beards from the fringe,” malignant cranks like Jim Jones, Charles Manson, or David Koresh.

This fundamental error continues today, as Muslim violence and anti-Semitism are explained by every factor instead of the essential one––the theology, jurisprudence, and history of Islam.

When one asks for evidence for this detachment of Muslim violence from the tenets of Islam, the best most apologists can do is produce a Westernized nominal Muslim, a propagandist like Tariq Ramadan, or a left-wing academic who reflexively considers any enemy of the colonialist, imperialist, capitalist West to be a friend of the left. Jihad is not, they assure us, the theological imperative to “fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah,” as Mohammed himself commanded. Jihad is merely a form of self-improvement and community service. “Allahu Akbar” is not the traditional Muslim battle cry, but merely a way of saying “Thank God.” Revered Muslim scholars like the Ayatollah Khomeini––educated in Qom, the “Oxford and Harvard of Iranian Shi’ism,” as Barry Rubin put it, and honored as a “grand sign of Allah” for his theological knowledge––was simply wrong when he said, “Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you,” and “Islam is a religion of blood for the infidels.”

Despite being consistent with such statements, dismissed as racist ignorance are the centuries of Western observation and bloody experience showing that, as Tocqueville wrote in 1838, “Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers. … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … These doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.” Likewise Samuel Huntington’s phrase “Islam’s bloody borders” is called a racist lie, used to justify neo-colonial incursions into Muslim lands. Meanwhile, of the 7 global conflicts costing more than a 1000 lives a year, 6 involve Islam.

As for “moderate” Muslims, those ordinary millions who we are constantly told abhor the jihadists as violators of the true Islam are, with some rare exceptions like M. Zudhi Jasser, curiously silent in the face of horrific jihadist violence against non-Muslims, the beheadings, torture, crucifixions, rape, kidnappings, and indiscriminate slaughter of women and children justified by supposedly slanderous distortions of their faith. After every jihadist atrocity, we never see global mass protests against this malicious degradation of Islam. But after 9/11, we did see thousands of Muslims worldwide cheering the attack in a “tremendous wave of joy,” as a London-based Saudi cleric wrote to President Bush in a Muslim newspaper.

Read more at Front Page

Christians are ‘asking’ to pay jizya: reflections on the Islamic State

the-islamic-state-full-length-1408013927By Mark Durie, AUGUST 14, 2014:

An important documentary by VICE News has been published which uses extensive footage gained by a journalist embedded with Islamic State forces.  The youtube video linked here is set to start at 29m 58s, just before a section in which it is declared that Christians had asked for a dhimma pact,requesting to pay jizya.

 

There are many noteworthy things about this documentary.

Theology Rules

One is the intensely theological content of the IS fighters and leaders.  Their speech is littered with references to the Qur’an, the Hadiths (traditions of Muhammad) and the Sira (biography of Muhammad).  This shows that the jihadis’ worldview is profoundly shaped by Islam’s scriptures. Islam is their driving motivation, determining – at least in their eyes – the boundaries of their behavior, their goals, and their morality. Whatever else Muslims find in Islam’s scriptures – including words of peace or reconciliation – it is abundantly clear that the Qur’an and Sunna are more than adequate to sustain the ideological base which drives the IS actors.  This conforms to the pattern of other jihad wars throughout the history of Islam.

Euphoria

Another notable feature of this documentary is joy;  the joy of the jihadis; the joy of local Muslims about the caliphate; the joy of young boys who are being recruited to become jihadis for the Islamic State.  The Islamic State is being established on a wave of the pious, exuberant joy of its supporters.  Islamic State soldiers do not suffer from morale-sapping doubts about what they are doing. They believe they are making great sacrifices to what they consider to be the noblest of causes.  If morale were enough to guarantee victory, these men would sweep all before them.

Grooming Young Boys

Another thing that struck me about the documentary is the reality that the Islamic State is intentionally gathering young boys, grooming them, and placing them in training camps to become a  jihad generation.  Some of the youth who appeared in the documentary were full of excitement and anticipation about this.  The current Islamic State fighters have been drawn from all over the Muslim world, including from Western states, and are bound together by their creed.  Now that they are establishing themselves in Iraq and Syria, they are raising up a jihad generation from the sons of the local people.  Judging from the pattern established by Muhammad’s example, these boys will include young Christians who have been converted to Islam by the jihadis and are even now being trained for war.  This is consistent with the practice of jihad campaigns down through history.

Fear

Another thing that struck me was the undercurrent of fear.  On jihadi declared that weapons are the best way to establish Islam.  The Islamic State jihadis consider it perfectly righteous to impose Islam by force, which means through fear.  This is, in their view, Allah’s way.  I was reminded of the words of the Qur’an:  “I will strike fear in the hearts of the unbelievers” (Sura 8:12); “If you come upon them in war, deal with them so as to strike fear in the hearts of those who are behind them” (Sura 8:57); “Soon we shall strike fear into the hearts of the unbelievers” (Sura 3:151); and Muhammad’s own words “I have been victorious through terror” (Sahih Bukhari).  Fear was etched onto the smiling faces of men, interviewed in prison, who were awaiting sentence by an IS sharia court.  As they eagerly praised the Islamic State, and confessed their gratitude for being brought to a correct understanding of Islam, their own fear was standing in the background, monitoring everything they said.

‘Willingly’ the Christians pay Jizya

An IS leader made the memorable claim that Iraqi Christians have asked to pay the jiyza. They have asked, he said,  for a dhimma pact – the alternatives were to convert to Islam or be slaughtered.

The idea that the dhimmi status is willingly accepted by Christians and other non-Muslims living under Islamic rule – that they want and choose to be dhimmis – is reflected in the statements of many jurists and Islamic commentators from the past.

Here is what I wrote about the ‘willing’ submission of dhimmis in The Third Choice (pp. 140-141), in a discussion of the annual Islamic jizya payment ritual, in which non-Muslim men of past generations received a ritual blow on the neck to symbolize their escape from beheading through paying the non-Muslim tax.
“The 18th century Moroccan commentator Ibn ‘Ajibah said that [paying jiyza] represented the death of the ‘soul’, through the dhimmi’s execution of their own humanity:
[The dhimmi] is commanded to put his soul, good fortune and desires to death. Above all he should kill the love of life, leadership and honor. … [He] is to invert the longings of his soul, he is to load it down more heavily than it can bear until it is completely submissive. Thereafter nothing will be unbearable for him. He will be indifferent to subjugation or might. Poverty and wealth will be the same to him; praise and insult will be the same; preventing and yielding will be the same; lost and found will be the same. Then, when all things are the same, it [the soul] will be submissive and yield willingly what it should give. [Tafsir al-Bahr al-Madid fi Tafsir al-Quran al-Magid. Commentary on Sura 9:29 ]The intended result of the jizya ritual is for the dhimmi to lose all sense of his own personhood. In return for this loss, the dhimmi was supposed to feel humility and gratitude towards his Muslim masters. Al-Mawardi said that the jizya head tax was either a sign of contempt, because of the
dhimmis’ unbelief, or a sign of the mildness of Muslims, who granted them quarter (instead of killing or enslaving them): so humble gratitude was the intended response:

The jizya, or poll tax, which is to be levied on the head of each subject, is derived from the verb jaza, either because it is a remuneration due by reason of their unbelief, for it is exacted from them with contempt, or because it amounts to a remuneration because we granted them quarter, for it is exacted from them with mildness. This origin of this impost is the divine text: ‘Fight those who believe not in God …’ [Q9:29] [Al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyya]Although some today falsely claim that the jizya tax was simply a tax like any other tax, or merely a payment to exempt dhimmis from ‘military service’, the remarks of al-Mawardi and Ibn ‘Ajibah make clear that its true meaning is to be found in psychological attitudes of inferiority and indebtedness imposed upon non-Muslims living under Islam, as they willingly and gratefully handed over the jizya in service to the Muslim community.”Many have claimed that Islam’s historical record has been maligned by ‘Orientalist’ western historians.  To understand the dynamics of jihad across the generations, and the meaning in Islam of  Al-Futuh ‘conquest’ (literally:  ‘the opening’ of a nation to Islam) one only need look at what the Islamic State is doing in Iraq.

What about the future?

Finally, let us consider the future.  I venture to make a few predictions.  The lack of air power of the Islamic State means that it cannot sweep all before it.  Nevertheless it is here to stay.  The movement will continue to excite the Muslim world and draw recruits to its cause, as well as funding.  It will also continue to destabilize surrounding states.

The utopian promises the Islamic State has made to Sunni Muslims under its rule will prove in the end to be a profound disappointment to almost everyone.  Prosperity, morality and justice will not flourish under the rule of the caliphate.  The application of unfettered power, together with abuses of that power under strict Islamic conditions will corrupt the utopian rule, and will turn the current euphoria into a symphony of pain, including for Sunni Muslims.  Force can win power, but it cannot make people good, despite what the jihadis believe.  As in Iran, revivalist fervor will eventually give place to cynicism and despair about Islam itself, so the on-going crisis within Islam, namely the failure of revivalist movements to deliver on their utopian promises, will continue to unroll.

The most vehement rejectors of Islamic utopianism will eventually be the Muslims who have had the misfortune to live under the regimes it has created.  We are already seeing the outworking of this process in Egypt and Iran.  At the same time, it will be in the West that Islamic utopian sentiment, with all its dangers, will continue to thrive, for this will be the place where revivalist Muslims do not have to actually live under the conditions created by their ideal of a strict Islamic state.  For this reason it will be in the West that many will persist in remaining true believers in the coming Islamic world order, despite what is happening before their eyes across the Middle East.

The tragedy for the areas now occupied by the Islamic State is that the loss of the dream will take years, and in the meantime the rising jihad generation will kill and be killed in large numbers.

What is also certain is that the refugees will continue to come.  For now the ones fleeing the Islamic State are Christians and others for whom radical Sunni rule is an existential threat.  In time however the disillusioned Sunnis of northern Iraq and Syria will make their own exodus.  Just as post-revolutionary Iranian Shi’ites are now fleeing Iran’s failed sharia utopia, so also will the Iraqi Sunnis.  They will want a better life than the Islamic State can offer.

Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

GLOSSARY

dhimma – covenant or pact of surrender, by which a conquered non-Muslim community have agreed to live under Islamic rule, and by virtue of which this community is protected from jihad

dhimmi – a non-Muslim living under Islamic rule, who is considered to be subject to the conditions of a dhimma pact

hadith – traditions, first spoken and later written, which record things which Muhammad is believed to have said or done, as well as things said and done by his companions

jizya – tribute paid to Muslims to prevent jihad attack; for dhimmis this is payable as an annual ‘head tax’ by adult dhimmi males

Qur’an – Allah’s revelation to Muhammad, believed to be dictated to him by the angel Jibril (Gabriel); also spelled Quran or Koran

Sunna the example and teaching of Muhammad, recorded in hadith and sira literature; the word sunna also means religiously recommended

sira – biography (of Muhammad)

Defensive or offensive Jihad: History, exegesis vs. contemporary propagation

ShowImage (8)Jerusalem Post, Feb. 13, 2014, By David Bukay: (h/t Bill Warner)

Part one: the religious aspect.

The issue at stake is the deep gap between the horrific acts of terrorism coming from the World Jihad groups, and, at the same time, the propagation emanating from Islamists, Muslims and Westerners; firstly, that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, hijacked by extremists; secondly, that there is only one Jihād, the spiritual, that means to worship Allah; and thirdly that the Muslims are ordered to fight their enemies only defensively.

The stunned Free World witnesses atrocious acts of terror, such as slaughters and beheadings, yet is simultaneously being told that this is only a retaliation towards the Western colonialism and neo-imperialism, or, that these groups are outliers, a small minority; that the threats of demolishing modernity and bringing it back to the 7th century are only because World Jihad wished to defend its land, its lives and its honor against Western aggression.

Hence, the question that arises here is whether Jihād is defensive or offensive? The answer to this will become apparent through analyzing Islamic sources and Muslim exegetes in comparison to contemporary Islamists propagators of the West.

The Arab-Islamic terrorist organization’s strategy against the Free World is comprised of two parallel but coordinated arms: Jihād – a holy war against the infidels, and Da`wah – the persuasive methods used to convince people to join Islam. Both arms are intended to achieve the same objectives, yet both are used at the same time by different activists and are aimed against different targets. However, between both, Da`wah is more dangerous to the Free World. Jihād appears 41 times in 18 Suwar (plural of Sûrah) in the Qur’ān, mostly coupled with fi-Sabīlillah (in the way of Allah; for the sake of Allah), which transforms it into a religious sanction. Da’wah is the Islamic concept of missionary activity, aimed at persuading all human beings to believe in Allâh. Da`wah is the moderate and graceful opening address used to approach non-believers and convince them to submit to Islam, and if it fails, it is the duty of Jihād to achieve the Islamic goals.

According to a Muslim exegete, there are seven major features of the superiority of Arab-Muslims over others, based on the Qur’ān. Firstly, they are the best Ummah ever brought forth to men, bidding good (Ma’rûf) and forbidding evil (Munkar). Secondly, the Muslims are the last of all nations in history and the first on the day of resurrection. Thirdly, their Scriptures are in their breasts (they know it by heart). Furthermore, they take their own alms, yet are rewarded as if they give them away. In addition to this, they have the privilege of intercession (Shafā’ah), which is a pillar of the superiority of the Islamic community over all other communities. Moreover, they answer and are answered, which means that they are distinguished from other communities in their obedience to Allah, as well as in having invocation answered by Allah. Lastly, they will wage war on the people of error and the Anti-Christ.

As the Muslims see it, Islam is for everyone within the human race and should be expanded as a leading religion, until all human beings proclaim that “there is no God but Allâh and Muhammad is his messenger.”Jihād is universally understood as war on behalf of Islam, and its merits are described copiously in many well-respected Islamic religious works. It is called “the neglected duty” or “the forgotten obligation,” and regarded as the sixth pillar of Islam. Professor Bernard Lewis finds that an “overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists and traditionalists… understood the obligation of Jihād in a military sense.”

All four Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence and most of Islamic exegetes agree that the aims of Jihad are to remove the infidel’s oppression and injustice, to eliminate the barriers to the spread of Allah’s truth, and, to establish Islamic justice universally. There are four different ways in which the believer may fulfill his obligations: a) by his heart; b) by his tongue; c) by his hands; d) by the sword. This demonstrates the close connection between Jihād and Da’wah, as well as the fact that they are aimed at establishing Allah’s rule on earth, until either the non-believers embrace Islam (as a result of Da’wah), or submit to Islamic rule and agree to pay the tax poll, the Jizyah; or be killed in the battleground (as a result of Jihad war).

From the Islamic viewpoint, all wars in Islam are religious; the concept of “secular war” does not exist; and Jihād is the only just war known. So, even according to Islamic Jurisdiction, one can wage the most aggressive war using atrocious evil deeds and still see it as a defensive war. The Muslim legal theory states that Islam cannot exist in conjunction with idolatry. This is Shirk, meaning association of other gods and idols with Allah. According to a Hadīth related to Muhammad, he declared: “I am ordered to fight polytheists until they say there is no God but Allah.” Muslims are under the Qur’ān Commandments’ obligation to slay the idolaters. Hence, terrorizing Islamic enemies is Allah’s commandment.

There are four Qur’ān “sword verses” relating to different types of people against whom the believers are obliged to fight: a) Sûrah 9 (verse 5): Fighting the Idolaters; b) Sûrah 9 (verse 29): Fighting the People of the Book, Ahl al-Kitāb; c) Sûrah 9 (verse 73): Fighting the Hypocrites and the infidels; and d) Surah 47 (verse 4): Fighting the Enemies of Islam whoever they are and whenever they can be found. Of these, Sûrah 9 (verse 5) is considered to be the most important. Most Islamic exegetes claim that this verse abrogates 114 or 124 other non-militant verses from Mecca.

The Shahīd is one who is killed and has achieved martyrdom in the battle of Jihād. Islamic exegetes claim that the Shahīd is granted seven glorious gifts: a) He is forgiven at the first drop of his blood; b) He is dressed in the clothes of Imām and sees his status in paradise; c) He is protected from the punishment of the grave; d) He will be safe from the great fear of the Day of Judgment; e) A crown of glory will be placed on his head; f) He will intercede on behalf of 70 members of his family; g) He will be married to 72 Houris. Islamic exegetes take the Qur’ān statements that the Shuhadā’ are alive living beside Allah and enjoying all his grace.

According to Majid Khadduri, Muslims view peace as a tactical means for achieving their strategic objective, by defeating the enemy. Peace constitutes a temporary break in the ongoing war against the enemy, until Islam controls the whole world. They might come to terms with the enemy, provided that they resume the Jihād after the expiration of the treaty. Defeated Muslims maintained that their battle with the enemy would resume, however long they had to wait for the second round. By their very nature, treaties must be of temporary duration, for the normal relations between Muslim and non-Muslim territories are not peaceful, but war-like.

Khadduri states that Muhammad has set the classic example by concluding the Khudaybiyah Treaty, in 628 with the Meccans: a peace treaty with the enemy is a valid instrument. That is, if it serves Muslim interests. Muhammad and his successors always reserved their right to repudiate any treaty or arrangement which they considered as harmful to Islam. Muslim authorities might have come to terms with the enemy, provided it was only for a temporary period. In practice, however, Jihād underwent certain changes in its meaning to suit the changing circumstances of life. This change, did not imply an abandonment of the Jihād duty; it only meant the entry of the obligation into a period of suspension – it assumed a dormant status, from which the leader may revive it at any time he deems necessary.

Also see:

ISIL’s Ottoman “Caliphate” Forbears Brutally Slaughtered 250,000 Assyrian-Chaldean, and Orthodox Christians A Century Ago

 

 “ISIS” executing reportedly some 1,500 civilians.

“ISIS” executing reportedly some 1,500 civilians.

Andrew Bostom:

Albeit belated, and ever grudgingly, the non-Muslim world has been compelled to acknowledge ISIL’s ghastly, murderous jihad rampages against both the Christian and Yazidi religious minorities of northern Iraq.

Even now, however, no U.S. television network has been willing to air the explicit testimonies of both Yazidi and Christian refugees from these jihad depredations about the following salient issue: how local Sunni Muslims, their erstwhile “neighbors,” not only aided and abetted ISIL, but were more responsible for killings, other atrocities, and expulsions than the “foreign” invading jihadists. For example, Sabah Hajji Hassan, a 68-year-old Yazidi, lamented,

The (non-Iraqi) jihadists were Afghans, Bosnians, Arabs and even Americans and British fighters. But the worst killings came from the people living among us, our (Sunni) Muslim neighbors. The Metwet, Khawata and Kejala tribes—they were all our neighbors. But they joined the IS [Islamic State; ISIL], took heavy weapons from them, and informed on who was Yazidi and who was not. Our neighbors made the IS takeover possible.

The Yazidi Hassan’s observations independently validated this prior,concordant assessment (video here) by Christian refugee from Mosul:

[Unnamed Christian refugee]: We left Mosul because ISIL came to the city. The [Sunni] people of Mosul embraced ISIS and drove the Christians out of the city. When ISIS entered Mosul, the people hailed them and drove out the Christians. Why did they expel just the Christians from Mosul? There are many sects in Mosul. Why just the Christians? This is nothing new. Even before, the Christians could not go anywhere. The Christians have faced threats of murder, kidnapping, jizya [deliberately humiliating “poll-tax,” per Koran 9:29, imposed upon non-Muslim Jews/Christians/Zoroastrians, vanquished by jihad, along with a slew of other “sacralized” debasing regulations] This is nothing new. [...] I was told to leave Mosul. They said that this was a Muslim country, not a Christian one. I am being very honest. They said that this land belongs to Islam and that Christians should not live there.

[Interviewer]: Who told you that?

[Christian refugee]: The people who embraced ISIS, the people who lived there with us…

[Interviewer]: Your neighbors?

[Christian refugee]: Yes, my neighbors. Our neighbors and other people threatened us.

There is another more significant, yet equally verboten truth about ISIL’s jihad. The carnage presently wrought by these avatars of a revitalized Caliphate, simply mirrors, in all its gory, and seemingly depraved detail, the actions of their Ottoman Caliphate “prototype” forbears—also abetted by local Muslims—vis-à-vis the region’s indigenous, pre-Islamic Yazidis, and Christians.

Riveting upon the Assyrian, Chaldean, and Syrian Orthodox Christian populations of northern Iraq (then Mesopotamia), and eastern Anatolia, historian David Gaunt’s pioneering 2006 study described their horrific plight under the Ottomans in 1915. Gaunt noted that “an intense extermination of the Christians was completed in a short period between June and September 1915”—killings on a grisly scale of magnitude far beyond ISIL’s exploits. Most of the 250,000 eventually slaughtered during the years between 1914 and 1919 were killed in this compressed 4-month time frame.

After describing the “concrete details” of what he characterized as the “Ottoman ethnic and religious wars and the full scale of religiously-inspired massacres,” Gaunt concluded with this summary assessment which conveyed the sheer horror and depravity of these jihad ravages:

The degree of extermination and the brutality of the massacres indicate extreme pent-up hatred on the popular level. Christians, the so-called gawur [also giaour or ghiaour] infidels, were killed in almost all sorts of situations. They were collected at the local town hall, walking in the streets, fleeing on the roads, at harvest, in the villages, in the caves and tunnels, in the caravanserais [an inn with a central courtyard], in the prisons, under torture, on the river rafts, on road repair gangs, on the way to be put on trial. There was no specific and technological way of carrying out the murders like the Nazis’ extermination camps. A common feature was those killed were unarmed, tied up, or otherwise defenseless. All possible methods of killing were used: shooting, stabbing, stoning, crushing, throat cutting, throwing off of roofs, drowning, decapitation. Witnesses talk of seeing collections of ears and noses and of brigands boasting of their collections of female body parts. The perpetrators not only killed but humiliated the victimsIn several instances, decapitated heads of well-known Christians, such as Hanne Safar of Midyat and Ibrahim the Syriac priest of Sa’irt were used as footballsIn Derike, the Syriac Catholic priest Ibrahim Qrom had his beard torn off and was then forced to crawl on all fours with a tormentor on his back, while others kicked him, stabbed him, and finally cut him to pieces.

Virtually every deportation caravan and village massacre was accompanied by serial mass rape of the women. Young girls were abducted as sex slaves and children as household servants. Even when they were not killed outright, the women were often stripped of their clothes. The homes of Christians were broken into, plundered, furniture smashed, windows, and doors removed, set on fire. Sometimes a survivor had little to return home to.

The number of perpetrators of the local massacres was staggering. Apparently the local officials….or the local politicians…had no difficulty in motivating the populace for extermination. The officials established death squads from middle-aged Muslim men. National Assembly deputies…agitated among the Kurdish tribes and even managed to get notorious outlaws…to cooperate in return for loot, adventure, and a promise of amnesty. On a few occasions, Muslim women were present, for instance…at the public humiliation of Christian dignitaries, but mostly the perpetrators were males. There were literally thousands of perpetrators, most of them locals.

How tragic that a century later, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The question remains: how much longer will U.S. policymaking elites across the political spectrum persist in their denial about how such jihad carnage is a recurring, grass roots, traditionalist Islamic phenomenon?

 

Also see:

Graphic Video: Islamic Terrorists Executing Civilians (raymondibrahim.com)

The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights

 

We can learn a lot about the Islamic world view by knowing what Islam thinks human rights are. Warning: it is not a good world for the Kafir.

By Bill Warner:

The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights was a document put together in 1990 after the United Nations had come out with its Universal Human Rights. The Muslims looked at it and said: “We don’t like universal human rights. We will put together an Islamic document about human rights.”

We can learn something very interesting about Islam and about us as Kafirs from this document. It is a 2 to 3 page document that is based on the Sharia. It has some lofty language, which at first seems to be wonderful, until you look at it really closely. For instance, it starts off by saying that all human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah. What? Human beings are those who submit to Allah and that’s our first insight into the true nature of this doctrine. What about those who do not submit to Allah?

It goes ahead to say all men are equal in terms of basic human dignity. Well, not really because in the Sharia, there are Kafirs and believers and Kafirs are not treated equally under the Sharia.

The Cairo Declaration states that the right to life is guaranteed to every human being. It is forbidden to take away a life except for a Sharia prescribed reason. What might those be? Well there’s the usual ones, such as the penalty for murder. But then there are other reasons to take a life, which I personally don’t like. For instance, it’s allowed to take the life of a Kafir, if it is in jihad. That is wrong and doesn’t really give me a lot of rights. Another reason that you can kill somebody is, buried deep in the back of the Sharia text, is that both parents and grandparents shall not be considered guilty if they kill one of their children. So in other words, honor killings are built into the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights.

It states that men and women have the right to marriage and no restrictions stemming from race color or nationality. What are we missing? Yes, religion! Because you see there are many prohibitions on Muslims. A Muslim woman is not supposed to marry a Kafir male, but a Kafir woman can marry an Islamic male, a Muslim male. Why? The children have to be raised as Muslims.

The Cairo Declaration says that a woman is equal to a man in human dignity. Right. But included in the Sharia are prescriptions on how a woman is to be beaten and the appropriate ways to do this. So much for equality.

It say that everyone shall have the right to enjoy their fruits of his scientific, literary, or artistic work. Well, not really. Because you see, any art which portrays Mohammed or Islam in a bad way is strictly forbidden.

Then we have one that sounds great. All individuals are equal before the law. But individuals are not equal under the Sharia. A Kafir cannot testify in a Sharia court against a Muslim. That’s the equality under the Sharia.

The Cairo declaration says that everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely. Try going to Pakistan and say something about Mohammed Muslims don’t like and you’ll see how much right you have to freely express your opinion. You’ll be dead.

The Cairo Declaration ends with a simple statement. All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this declaration are subject to the Sharia. It is a case where the little print takes away everything that the big print promises. Because there aren’t any rights and freedoms inside of the Sharia for the Kafir. Human rights are only for Muslims. Kafirs don’t have any rights because Kafirs are not humans. So much for the declaration of human rights under Islam.

Michael Coren – Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity

Published on Aug 11, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01

“The themes are perennial . . . what you’re seeing right now in Iraq and Syria is beyond our imaginations: mass beheadings including of children, crucifixions, rape, slaughter, sadism, burying people alive . . . civilization has to conquer barbarism.”

- Michael Coren

Thought Contagion and Islam

Thought ContagionCitizen Warrior:

I searched Google to find out if anyone had written about Islam as a meme (if you don’t know what a meme is, click here). I found several articles, but none were what I was looking for. Then I came across an excerpt from the book,Thought Contagion. It was exactly what I was looking for. But here’s the funny thing: I already owned the book and had even read it!

But when I read it, the World Trade Center was still standing and the information was only mildly interesting to me at the time. Things have changed. I read it again, and it felt like I was reading it for the first time.

The author, Aaron Lynch, looked at several institutions in his book — families, politics, and religion — and in the religion section, he looked at most of the major religions, including Islam. What can memetics (study of memes) tell us about Islam and the trouble in the Middle East?

Memetically, Islam is a very successful memeplex (group of memes). Several embedded memes help make it so. For example, if Muslims drift away from Mohammed’s teachings, Allah will end the world. That makes converting others and promoting Islam a matter of survival. It also motivates Muslims, as Lynch points out, “to dissuade each other from losing faith.”

It is also a requirement of Islamic faith to make a public prayer five times a day. The unusual posture attracts attention, and the prayers can be heard by nearby people. Under some circumstances, this might help Islam spread. And the fact that the Muslim is repeating his prayers five times a day makes it very easy for him to stay focused on Islam. It would be almost impossible for him to forget it.

Islam is different from other religions in at least one important way: It began at a time and in a place where no empire constrained its spread. In other words, if you start a religion within the Roman Empire, you’re going to have certain limitations. The Romans would see any new religion — especially a militant or political religion — as a threat to its power and would make sure it stayed peaceful. A religion that preached tolerance and goodwill toward others might survive, but a violent or militant or political new religion would be quashed immediately.

But Islam had no such restriction when it began, so it could incorporate “conversion by warfare” into its memeplex, and it did. As Lynch wrote, “The faith provides for a jihad or holy war, which historically led to Islamic rule over whole societies.” Once a country was conquered by war, pagans were often given a simple choice: convert to Islam or die. That is written into Islamic law. If any members of the newly acquired country were Christian or Jewish, they were required to pay a special tax and became a second-class citizen, unless they wanted to convert.

This information answered a question I had for a long time. Why are there “Muslim” countries? Do you see Buddhist countries? Hindu countries? Christian countries? I know there are countries where these religions are in the majority, but has the religion taken over the government? No. But the way Islam was created, taking over the government is what the faithful will do. Not the extremist. Not the crazy ones. The faithfulMuslims, if they follow the teachings of Muhammad, will take over the government, establish the religion as the national religion, and rule using the law of Allah.

MEMES FOR WAR

According to the Koran, if you die while fighting for Islam, you areguaranteed eternal paradise. This meme not only encourages bravery in battle, but it encourages continual warfare against non-Muslim nations. You cannot die fighting for Islam if there is no fighting going on. This answered another question I had for a long time: Why can’t the people in the Middle East just work out their differences and get on with their lives? That question assumes that warfare is not desirable. I was assuming war is a temporary break in an otherwise peaceful, productive life. But that is an assumption that was not shared by the writer of the Koran.

So continual warfare is part of the teachings of Islam. And another meme has been added to reduce the costs of war. When men die, the ratio of women to men changes, of course, leaving widows childless or unable to take care of the children they already have. But the Koran says each man can marry up to four wives. This makes the men more at ease with going to war, and makes sure warfare doesn’t reduce the numbers of the next generation of the faithful.

This is all very interesting in a detached, academic sort of way, but as you can easily surmise, this has profound implications. How then, should the rest of the world interact with Muslim countries? The religion has slowly spread and taken over countries. Should they be stopped? How can you stop such a thing?

In the heyday of Islam, Muslims were invading India, China, Europe, and Africa all at the same time, spreading rapidly, taking over countries, building an Islamic empire. They were fought back and contained, and had been contained for a long time. But they are inventing new methods to fight.

What can we do? The first thing is to know what we’re dealing with, and political leaders repeating “Islam is a religion of peace” doesn’t really help clarify the situation.

I have heard from several people saying they are Muslims and they have no desire to fight anyone. Obviously, it is possible to be moderate about anything. But Islam requires a lot from its followers and appears to inspire more commitment more often and with more militancy and governmental aspirations than any other religion.

If you’d like to know more about the memes in Islam, the best way is to read the Koran (you can do it online) and find out for yourself what it really says. This is the manual orthodox Muslims are using. Since you and I are their target, it seems like a good idea to know what they are basing their actions on and why. I think you’ll find it surprising.

Read more: The Terrifying Brilliance Of The Islamic Memeplex