Jesus the tax reformer. Muhammad the tax collector

Money Jihad, December 24, 2009

This Christmas, Money Jihad examines the striking contrast between the attitudes of Jesus Christ and Muhammad toward taxation.

The Christmas story begins in a manger in Bethlehem.  Why Bethlehem?  Because of the Roman census and taxes.  Joseph’s lineage traced to Bethlehem, so that is where his family was due to be counted in the census of Judea (Luke 2:4).  In antiquity, a primary purpose of a census was to establish the tax amount due to the state, in this case to Rome.

Rome depended heavily on tribute—taxes paid by the subjects of conquered provinces—to fund its imperial growth.  The Romans could not collect all taxes personally, and outsourced the collection process to local publicani, or tax farmers, who would bid for the collection rights, pay the Romans upfront, and then collect enough from their own countrymen not only to cover their expenses but to line their bulging pockets.

The tax farmers of the Roman provinces became stinking rich in the process.  They were subject to little regulation or control by any civil authority.  This was the context of tax collection at the time of Jesus.

Matthew, also known as Levi and traditionally considered to be the author of the Gospel of Matthew, was a tax collector.  We do not know how personally corrupt Matthew was, but his reputation seemed to be no different from most tax farmers at that time.  That all changed one day when Jesus found Matthew, and Matthew found Jesus (Matthew 9:9).  Many depictions of Jesus summoning Matthew show the tax collector working at a desk, focused on his tax rolls with gold coins on the table:

The Calling of St. Matthew

The Calling of St. Matthew

This painting by Hendrick ter Brugghen is especially helpful in showing the utter confusion of Matthew at being selected by Jesus.  His perplexed expression and head-scratching gesture say, “You mean, me?  A tax collector?”  It was a surprising choice in an era when tax collection was frequently equated with harlotry and sin.

When the Pharisees asked why Jesus would eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners, he answered, “Those that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).

In other words, Matthew was not selected because his profession was “righteous,” but to bring him to repentance and salvation.  Neither was Matthew selected for his abilities to collect revenues for a new Christian state, because Jesus would never impose any taxes.

Later, when the Pharisees tried to ensnare Jesus by asking him if it were lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus answered, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”  (Mark 12:17).  Thus Jesus acknowledged the civil authority of the state.  At the same time, Jesus rejected profiting from the house of God, as when he famously drove the money-changers out of the temple in Jerusalem.

Metzger & Coogan’s entry on the publicani in the Oxford Companion to the Bible says, “Most of the time we hear of the humble and despised publicans, whom Jesus made a point of treating, as he did other outcasts, like human beings who could be saved.”  If Jesus had any message for the tax collectors, it wasn’t “how much can you rake in?” it was “go and sin no more.”

In addition to saving mankind, Jesus ushered in a new way of looking at taxes:  he acknowledged the power of the state to collect it, but he worked to reform individual tax collectors by abandoning their sins, and Jesus never profited from taxes himself.

Muhammad, on the other hand…eschewed any separation between secular government and religious authority.  Unlike the largely spiritual ministry of Jesus, Muhammad engaged in secular pursuits of business, warfare, and governance.  The objectives of Muhammad and of Islam would soon necessitate the development of the Bayt al-Mal, or house of money, to serve as the treasury of the new Islamic state.

It was Muhammad who announced tax levies in the Koran including the zakat (9:60) and the jizya (9:29).

Muhammad also established tax rates.  He declared rates of 2½ percent on goods and money (Sahih Bukhari 2.24.534), 10 percent on agricultural yields (Sahih Muslim 5.2143), and 20 percent on ghanima (Koran 8:42).  He also established minimum taxable amounts (Sahih Bukhari 2. 24.487).

Read more

Iranians: Geneva is ‘Treaty of Hudaybiyyah’

20131006_obama_rouhani_iranLARGEby CLARE M. LOPEZ:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the deal brokered in late November 2013 in Geneva between the P5+1 allows Iran to “continue its [nuclear] enrichment” activities. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that the deal does not recognize a “right to enrich.” (Here’s the text of the so-called “Joint Plan of Action -http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/other/IranP5plus1jointplanofaction131124en.pdf - the Iranians are right.)

President Obama hailed the Geneva agreement as the most “significant and tangible” progress to date toward ensuring that Iran “cannot build a nuclear weapon.” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Marzieh Afkham said “There is no treaty and no pact.” (It’s a “letter of intent,” say the Iranians.) For his part, the Iranian negotiator, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, exulted that the document explicitly recognized the inclusion of an Iranian enrichment program in the final deal (it does).

There’s at least one major point of agreement, however, for both Americans and Iranians (although it’s doubtful the U.S. negotiating team actually understands what it means). That single point of agreement is about the temporary nature of the pact/letter/Joint Plan of Action: first it was going to be for six months, then it would be for six months after a few more details were worked out, then the technical discussions in Vienna collapsed on 11 December, then Secretary Kerry said the talks would continue in a few days. And then Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini, formerly a political advisor to Iranian President Khatami and now a TV commentator, clarified everything.

This is the Treaty of Hudaybiyya in Geneva,” he said, speaking on Syrian News TV on 11 December 2013. Although it is doubtful that any of Kerry’s advisers is even remotely familiar with this key episode in the accounts about Muhammad and the early Muslims, the Center for Security Policy explained the story in its 2010 book, “Shariah: The Threat to America.” The context is about situations in which Muslim forces might lawfully enter into a treaty or truce with the enemy. With troubling ramifications for current day negotiations, those situations demonstrate the centrality and importance of deceit in any agreement between Muslims and infidels. As it is recounted, in the year 628 CE, Muhammad (whose forces already controlled Medina) agreed to a 10-year truce with the pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca, primarily because he realized that his forces were not strong enough to take the city at the time. Islamic doctrine in fact forbids Muslims from entering into a jihad or battle without the reasonable certainty of being able to prevail. In such cases, as with Muhammad, Muslims are permitted to enter into a temporary ceasefire or hudna, with the proviso that no such truce may exceed 10 years (because that’s the length of the agreement Muhammad signed). And so, Muhammad agreed to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. But just two years later, in 630 CE, now with some 10,000 fighters under his command, Muhammad broke the treaty and marched into Mecca.  

The authoritative ahadith of Bukhari provide context for Muhammad’s actions: “War is deceit,” is a saying Bukhari attributes to Muhammad (52:269). Another says “By Allah, and Allah willing, if I take an oath and later find something else better than that, then I do what is better and expiate my oath.” (Bukhari: V7B67N427)  Yasser Arafat, head of the jihadist Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), provided one of the clearest examples in modern times for how this works. He understood his Islamic obligations well, as demonstrated by his repeated public references to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. And while Western political leaders missed the significance entirely, Arafat’s Arabic-speaking audiences understood perfectly that his Camp David agreement meant nothing more than a temporary hudna or ceasefire that would give the PLO the time it needed to build up its forces to renew the jihad against Israel…which is exactly what happened.

The shariah (Islamic Law) in general discourages Muslim forces from making a truce, citing Qur’anic verse 47:35, which says, “So do not be fainthearted and call for peace, when it is you who are the uppermost.” The main reason Islamic forces are to avoid ceasefires, treaties and the like is that “it entails the nonperformance of jihad, whether globally or in a given locality…” Of course, the Iranians know all of this doctrine and history very well. The country’s constitution, in fact, dedicates its armed forces (the Army and the IRGC-Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) to “the ideological mission of jihad in the way of Allah…” So, when a senior political commentator such as Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini, who lives and works in Tehran, appears on an international TV broadcast interview and refers to the agreement (however tentative) reached by the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva as a “Treaty of Hudaybiyya,” we may be sure that he has chosen his words carefully. We also may be fairly certain that the Iranian regime and its sly and smiling Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, at least tacitly agree with Al-Hosseini’s characterization.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Islam: The Religion of Discrimination and Sexual Perversion

Prophet Muhammad and his six year-old child bride, Aisha. Source: http://www.hr.nielsen.dk/mohammed/jyllands-posten_cartoons/

Prophet Muhammad and his six year-old child bride, Aisha. Source: http://www.hr.nielsen.dk/mohammed/jyllands-posten_cartoons/

By Paul Wilkinson:

Muslims attempt to claim superiority over non-Muslims in every aspect, even in sexual morality. Whereas many Westerners are generally not too worried about people over the age of consent having sex though their own free-will, they do however have legitimate concerns about how sections of the Muslim community behave.

Muslims tell non-Muslims that ‘Islam is perfect’ and in the instances of when irrefutable evidence is offered, the ‘Islam is perfect, Muslims are not’, excuse is often made. We even see apologists like Iftikhar
Ahmad
 blaming non-Muslims for Muslims’ sexual depravity. For example:

“Sexual grooming is nothing to do with Masajid, Imams and Muslim schools. Muslim youths involved in sexual grooming (and terrorism) are the product of the western education system which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt. They find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage, literature and poetry. They suffer from identity crises and I blame British schooling.”

That’s a bold statement! However Dr. Mark Currie outlines in his ‘Understanding the Ideological Foundation of Sexual Abuse in Islam’ talk at the Australian ‘Q Society’, that there is clear grounding within the Qur’an, other Islamic texts and also with the example of Prophet Muhammad, that demean both non-Muslims and women in general, and this also leads to a culture of sexual deviancy by Muslims.

Islamic View on Infidels and Sex

There are far too many examples of verses from Islamic texts to discuss here, but the Qur’an’s earlier, more peaceful verses that are often used by apologists, are superseded by later chronological verses purporting to be Muhammad’s last commands from his death bed. These verses concern fighting disbelievers and using any means available to make Islam victorious.

Here are just a few examples.

Muslims are also told that Prophet Muhammad was the perfect example of humanity and are instructed to emulate him, for example Qur’an 33:21: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” Or Qur’an 68:4: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.”

Besides robbing caravans in the Arabian Peninsula and being a brutal warlord who ordered many people to be killedMuhammad’s marriages and sex life leave much to be desired. For example:

There are deep and concerning roots of paedophilia within Islam as described in this article from ‘Islam Watch’ here.

Muhammad is hardly a great role model, is he? Amongst many things, the Qur’an permits the keeping of sex slaves (and slavery in general); Muhammad approved of his fighters raping captive women (or suggested they masturbate if they could not control their urges); the Qur’an justifies wife-beating; makes it virtually impossible for a woman to prove rape; allows polygamy, giving men the right to have up to four wives; makes it easy for men to divorce their wives; and calls for the stoning of adulterers and killing of homosexuals – which exists in some Islamic countries to this day.

However the Qur’an is believed by Muslims to be the unalterable word of Allah, so this gives way to an Islamic culture that believes non-Muslims are of an inferior status. Shia Islam even states non-Muslims are ‘Najis’ and due to their ‘impurity’, puts infidels in the same bracket as blood, excrement, pigs, urine and semen. Shia Islam allows prostitution via temporary marriages known as ‘Nikah mut’ah’. (The night before suicide missions Muslim terrorists are often known to drink alcohol and frequent prostitutes.)

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

The Doctrine of Abrogation

1-1-quranarabic1by :

In the comments on Geert Wilders’ open letter to Pope Francis, a reader named MH indicated that he was unfamiliar with — or was pretending to be unfamiliar with — the Islamic doctrine of abrogation as it applies to contradictory verses within the Koran.

In a nutshell, any earlier verse of the Koran is considered “abrogated” if a later verse contradicts it. The chronology of the suras of the Koran has been well-established by a consensus of Islamic scholars, so an observant Muslim can be in no doubt as to whether any particular verse of the Koran is binding upon him under Islamic law.

Retired U.S. Army Major Stephen Coughlin is one of the foremost experts on Islamic law in the Western world. Several years ago I had the privilege of helping with the editing of material that Steve was putting together, including the following section on the Koranic basis for the doctrine of abrogation. The text below is reproduced with his permission.

The Doctrine of Abrogation
By Maj. Stephen Coughlin

At the very pinnacle of Islamic law is the Koran, which is the uncreated word of God as revealed through his Prophet.

So what is abrogation?

This is what Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee has to say about abrogation in Islamic Jurisprudence:[1]

The law was laid down in the period of the Prophet (peace be unto him) gradually and in stages. The aim was to bring a society steeped in immorality to observe the highest standards of morality. This could not be done abruptly. It was done in stages, and doing so necessitated repeal and abrogation of certain laws.

As you can see, Nyazee acknowledges that the Koran contradicts itself. Upon discovering this fact, someone who knows little about Islam might say, “The Koran contradicts itself. Doesn’t this mean it’s broken?” But anyone who takes the time to look into the scholarship will learn that is well understood in Islam that the Koran contradicts itself. This fact is explained, and taken into account. There are methods for dealing with it.

This becomes significant when non-Muslims approach a Muslim cultural expert or “moderate” to ask about certain verses of the Koran that are cited by radicals to justify their violent jihad. The cultural expert or “moderate” will respond with something like this: “You (infidel) must read from the entire body of the Koran to understand the true meaning. Those radicals cherry-pick from the back of the Koran.”

With this reply the cultural expert gives the impression that he does not agree with the radicals, but he never actually says that what they cherry-pick is wrong.

So what is the Koranic basis for the doctrine of abrogation?

It is a Qur’an which We have divided into parts from time to time, in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have Revealed it by stages. (Qur’an 17:106)

Concerning this verse, the Qur’an commentator Yusuf Ali says:[2]

The marvel is that these parts, revealed at different times and in different circumstances, should fit together so closely and consistently as they do. All revelation is progressive. The previous revelations were also progressive. Each of them marked a stage in the world’s spiritual history. Man’s mind does not take in more than his spiritual state will have prepared him for. Allah’s revelation comes as a light to illuminate our difficulties and show us the way in actual situations that arise.

I sometimes run into very committed Christians who say, “We have progressive revelation in Christianity, too.” And my answer is: “There’s a pillar, go run your head into it!” When talking about Islamic concepts of progressive revelation, it is totally unprofessional to refer to Christian notions of progressive revelation.

Read more at Gates of Vienna

 

See also:

 

 

 

Reminder: Jihad Makes Islam’s Borders, and Innards, Bloody

20130924_islamicjihadby ANDREW G. BOSTOM:

As of Sunday December 8, 2013, there were at least 22,023 documented fatal terror attacks committed by Muslims since the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11/2001. This is by nature a gross underestimate given the horrific level of jihad violence across the globe, which has gone underreported. [ref 1]

Dr. Tina Magaard-a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual anal­ysis-published detailed research findings in 2005 [ref 1a] (summarized in 2007) [ref 2] com­paring the foundational texts of ten major religions. Magaard con­cluded from her hard data-driven analyses:

The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree [emphasis added]. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with. [ref 3]

For example, in her 2007 essay “Fjendebilleder og voldsforestillinger i islamiske grundtekster” ["Images of enemies and conceptions of violence in Islamic core scriptures"], Magaard observed,

There are 36 references in the Koran to expressions derived from the root qa-ta-la, which indicates fighting, killing or being killed. The expressions derived from the root ja-ha-da, which the word jihad stems from, are more ambiguous since they mean “to struggle” or “to make an effort” rather than killing. Yet almost all of the references derived from this root are found in stories that leave no room for doubt regarding the violent nature of this struggle. Only a single ja-ha-da reference (29:6) explicitly presents the struggle as an inner, spiritual phenomenon, not as an outwardly (usually military) phenomenon. But this sole reference does not carry much weight against the more than 50 references to actual armed struggle in the Koran, and even more in the Hadith. [ref 4]

My own copiously documented The Legacy of Jihad describes the doctrinal rationale for Islam’s sacralized jihad violence, and its historical manifestations, across an uninterrupted continuum from the seventh-century advent of the Muslim creed through the present. Consistent with Magaard’s textual analysis, I cite the independent study of Australian linguist and renowned Arabic to English translator Paul Stenhouse, who maintained the root of the word jihad appears forty times in the Koran. With four exceptions, all the other thirty-six usages in the Koran and in subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries-the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam-and to ordinary people meant and means, as described by the seminal Arabic lexicographer E. W. Lane: “He fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like.” [ref 5]

Muhammad himself waged a series of bloody, proto-jihad campaigns to subdue the Jews, Christians, and pagans of Arabia. Numerous modern-day pro­nouncements by leading Muslim theologians confirm (see for example, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model” [ref 6]) that Muhammad has been the major inspiration for jihadism, past and present. Jihad was pursued century after century because it embodied an ideology and a jurisdiction. Both were formally conceived by Muslim jurisconsults and theologians from the eighth to ninth centuries onward, based on their interpretation of Koranic verses and long chapters in the canonical hadith, or acts and sayings of Muhammad. My own research also confirmed Magaard’s observation that the canonical hadith, whose significance to both Islam’s foundational jurists, and individual Muslims, as a permanent guide to pious behavior remains equivalent to the Koran, [ref 7] contains extensive, detailed discussions rationalizing jihad war, with a particular emphasis on jihad martyrdom. [ref 8]

Read more: Family Security Matters

How to Speak to the Politically Correct Bigots

By Ali Sina:

2005/10/21

I’ve been a fan of your work for a while Mr. Sina.  So tell me how can I put forward the mental will to deal with an extremely politically correct class on Islam?  

pcThis extremely and in fact fanatical political correct class on Islam is our main problem. We must defeat them at any cost. Their stupidity could bring the world to destruction. The best way to handle them is to expose their ignorance right from the start. Show them the facts. Facts are:

Muhammad had sex with a 9 year old child. Ask them what they think about it. Are they willing to at least condemn his pedophilia? They will bring all lame excuses and  moral relativistic arguments to dodge the question. Ask them if Muhammad claimed to be a prophet of God why he followed the bad examples of the people of his time? Furthermore, is there any evidence that in those days 50 year old men married 6 year old children? This is not even natural. Normal men do not get sexually attracted to children. Only a pedophile can become sexually aroused by a child. One friend wrote: “even in the animal kingdom where animals respond to their animalistic instincts, pre-puberty animals and birds are spared and not desired by the male animals in heat.  I would think that it is a biological reaction that is ingrained in all of us not to lust after or desire or be turned on by any child immaterial of what kind of perverts we may be.” Having sexual feelings for children is unnatural and it is a sickness of mind. It has nothing to do with morality. Any adult who lusts after a child is not normal. Muhammad was sick in the head.

Tell them about the Bani Quraiza, the Jewish tribe that resided near Medinafor 2000 years. Muhammad massacred all their men and enslaved their women and children. To separate boys from men, he inspected their genitals. If they had grown pubic hair he decided they are men and kill them. Ask these politically correct bigots to justify that. Are they willing to condemn at least his genocides? The only guilt of the Bani Quraiza was their unwillingness to accept Muhammad as their prophet. But suppose they were guilty of something terrible. Was every single person of them including the children guilty?  Is having pubic hair evidence of guilt?

Tell them about Asma Bint Marwan, the mother of five small children and Abu Afak, a 120 year old man, who were assassinated in the middle of the night at the order of Muhammad for composing poems that he found insulting. Isn’t this bigot politically correct class willing to condemn even Muhammad’s assassinations?

They will tell you that there are gory stories in the Bible as well. Tell them the Bible is a book of fables. No one knows which parts of those tales of battles are true and which parts are the boastful bragging of its writers to boost the morale of a defeated people in captivity. But even if these stories were true, would one wrong justify another?

There are hundreds of stories of assassinations, genocide, torture, raids, rapes, lootings, and all sorts of crimes of Muhammad that are recorded in the authentic Islamic annals. Present those evidences to them in their gory details and demand explanation. Be brave! Don’t let them overpower you with their bigoted condescending look. Political correctness is a cult, and the politically correct people can be just as vicious as any cultist. Stand firm and tell them they are ignorant. Don’t let any one bully you. They will back off once they see you know things they don’t. They are the bigots not you. Don’t be afraid to speak out. Tell them that during the 1930s there were idiots who wanted to be nice to the Nazis and were just as politically correct about that ideology of hate as they are about Islam. Ignorance and cowardice go hand in hand. Behind every ignorant bully there is a coward. Expose their ignorance and you’ll see they run for cover like one whose nakedness is exposed. Don’t speak about generalities, hand them one of the episodes of the savagery of Muhammad and demand explanation. Don’t let them tell you “we must respect people beliefs”. Ask them whether they respect the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan and the skinheads? Who said beliefs have to be respected? This is the most absurd statement that is often pushed by those whose beliefs cannot stand scrutiny. Stunt them with your knowledge of Islam and ask them what they know about Islam. Of course they know nothing! Then tell them shouldn’t they learn something before opening their mouths?  They back off only when they see strength in you, otherwise they take your silence as sign of defeat and start lecturing you the virtues of being idiot and respecting the cults of hate and the beliefs of people who think it is their God given duty to kill you.

The politically correct people are the “useful idiots”. They must be put to shame for siding with evil and defending terrorism. Islam is terrorism. If they don’t know it they better learn it. Ignorance is not an excuse. They know nothing about Islam and speak out of ignorance. Give them the URL of faithfreedom.org. Tell them come and listen to the apostates of Islam. Are we also Islamophobes? Is our aversion to Islam based on ignorance and misconceptions? That charge does not stick to us, does it? I have challenged every Muslim in the world to come and prove us wrong. Where are these soldiers of Allah when it comes to logics? Why these jihadis who are so brave when it comes to blowing up innocent civilians are so chicken when it comes to prove the truth of their creed with logics?

Dr. Ali Sina is a former Muslim from Iran who is atheist and currently residing in Canada. He is the author of Understanding Muhammad, and is the founder of Faith Freedom International. Visit his personal website.

An Interview with Ibn Warraq on his book “Why the West is Best”

With all that has been written recently on the progressive/Islamist assault on Western Civilization I thought it would be good to re-post this.

ibn_warraq (1)By Jamie Glazov On December 16, 2011:

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ibn Warraq, an Islamic scholar and a leading figure in Qur’anic criticism. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Westminster Institute, VA. He has addressed distinguished governing bodies all over the world, including the United Nations in Geneva, and Members of the Dutch Parliament, at The Hague.

In 2007, Mr. Warraq completed a critical study of the thought of Edward Said, Defending the West. Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism, described the book as “a glorious work of scholarship, and it is going to contribute mightily to modernizing the way we think about Western civilization and the rest of the world”.

Mr. Warraq was goaded into writing his first book, Why I am Not a Muslim (1995), when he felt personally threatened by the infamous fatwa pronounced on Salman Rushdie for his book that satirized Islam, its founder Muhammad, and his family. He felt that only a ferocious polemic against Islam as a totalitarian system would wake up Western intellectuals to the dangers that the Iranian theocratic regime posed to our own freedoms in the West. Since this passionate attack on Islam, Mr. Warraq has edited, with long introductions, a series of more scholarly works on the origins of the Koran, and the rise of Islam, works such as The Origins of the Koran, 1998,  The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, 2000, What the Koran Really Says, 2002, and the recent Which Koran?,2011.

images-39Ibn Warraq’s new book, Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy (Encounter Books, December 2011) carries on the defense of the West started in Defending the West. He defines, describes, and defends Western values, strengths and freedoms far too often taken for granted. This book also tackles the taboo subjects of racism in Asian culture, Arab slavery, and Islamic Imperialism. It begins with a homage to New York City, as a metaphor for all we hold dear in Western culture — pluralism, individualism, freedom of expression and thought, the complete freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness unhampered by totalitarian regimes, and theocratic doctrines.

FP: Ibn Warraq, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s start with this question:

What does this book do that is unprecedented?

Warraq: First, thank you for inviting me to Front Page; it has been a while since we talked.

I do not think there are many books on the market that are unashamedly pro-Western, defending, without apologies, Western values, and talk without reserve of the superiority of Western Civilization, and which take on such taboo subjects as Asian racism, Arab anti-Semitism, Islamic Imperialism, the role of Islam and the Arabs in the Slave Trade, the complicity of Black Africans in the enslavement, and later selling of fellow Africans to Arabs, Persians, Indians and Europeans. There also cannot be any books on the market that defend Western Civilization that begin with a walk down Tin Pan Alley in New York City.

FP: What qualities of Western societies make them superior to those societies that have not adopted Western values?

Warraq: The self-evident superiority of the West stems from certain principles inherited, and further developed and refined over two millennia, from Athens, Rome and Jerusalem. We can, perhaps, subsume these principles under the abstract terms rationalism, universalism, and self-criticism, and then unfurl them in the following more substantial manner. Under rationalism, one would include the notions of truth, objective knowledge, and intellectual curiosity. Under universalism, I would include the idea of the unity of mankind, openness to “the Other” (an unfortunate phrase borrowed from recent anti-Western polemics), other ideas, other customs, other people; and finally under self-criticism the willingness to submit all of the West’s traditions to rational scrutiny. Under curiosity, I include all those examples of disinterested study. Other great ideas of the West which further help define its character and explain its success are: the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, human rights — in short, liberty and individual dignity which must never be sacrificed for some spurious collective, totalitarian goal.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: this triptych succinctly defines the attractiveness and superiority of Western civilization. In the West we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live as we choose. Liberty is codified in human rights, a magnificent Western creation but also, I believe, a universal good. Human rights transcend local or ethnocentric values, conferring equal dignity and value on all humanity regardless of sex, ethnicity, sexual preference, or religion. At the same time, it is in the West that human rights are most respected. It is the West that has liberated women, racial minorities, religious minorities, and gays and lesbians, recognizing and defending their rights. The notions of freedom and human rights were present at the dawn of Western civilization, as ideals at least, but have gradually come to fruition through supreme acts of self-criticism. Because of its exceptional capacity for self-criticism, the West took the initiative in abolishing slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in black Africa, where rival African tribes took black prisoners to be sold as slaves in the West.

Today, many non-Western cultures follow customs and practices that are clear violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). In many countries, especially Islamic ones, you are not free to read what you want. Under Sharia, or Islamic law, women are not free to marry whom they wish, and their rights of inheritance are circumscribed. Sharia, derived from the Koran and the practice and sayings of Muhammad, prescribes barbaric punishments such as stoning to death for adultery. It calls for homosexuals and apostates to be executed. In Saudi Arabia, among other countries, Muslims are not free to convert to Christianity, and Christians are not free to practice their faith. The Koran is not a rights-respecting document.

FP: What in your mind are the greatest achievements of the West?

Warraq: Not only is the West so successful economically, but it leads the world scientifically, and culturally (one only has to look at the list of Nobel Prize winners in science, and literature to gauge the overwhelming triumph of the West in these domains; or at the influence of the Western arts on the rest of the world- both High Culture and Popular entertainment, from Classical music to cinema).

The great ideas of the West—rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience, thought, and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy- quite an achievement, surely, for any civilization-—remain the best, and perhaps the only, means for all people, no matter of what race or creed, to reach their full potential and live in freedom.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: defines succinctly the attractiveness and superiority of Western civilization. We are free, in the West, to choose; we have real choice to pursue our own desires; we are free to set the goals and contents of our own lives; the West is made up of individuals who are free to decide what meaning to give to their lives-in short the glory of the West is that life is an open book,[1] while under Islam, life is a closed book, everything has been decided for you: God and the Holy Law set limits on the possible agenda of your life. In many non-Western countries especially Islamic ones, we are not free to read what we want; in Saudi Arabia, Muslims are not free to convert to Christianity, and Christians are not free to practice their faith — all clear violations of article 18 of the Universal Declaration.

This desire for knowledge, no matter where it leads, inherited from the Greeks, has led to another institution that is unequalled-or very rarely equaled- outside the West: the University. Here the outside world recognizes this superiority; it comes to the West to learn not only about the sciences developed in the West in the last five hundred years — in all departments of Physics, Biology and Chemistry — but also of their own culture. They come to the West to learn of the Eastern civilizations and languages. Easterners come to Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard and Yale, the Sorbonne or Heidelberg to receive their doctorates, because they confer prestige unrivalled by similar doctorates from Third World countries.

A culture that gave the world the spiritual creations of the Classical Music of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Schubert, the paintings of Michelangelo, and Raphael, Da Vinci and Rembrandt, does not need lessons from societies whose idea of spirituality is a heaven peopled with female virgins for the use of men, whose idea of heaven resembles a cosmic brothel. The West has given the world the symphony, and the novel.

To paraphrase Alan Kors[2], instead of the rigid, inhuman caste system of India, we have unparalleled social mobility in the West. Western society is a society of ever richer, more varied, more productive, more self-defined, and more satisfying lives; it is a society of boundless private charity; it is a society that broke, on behalf of merit, the seemingly eternal chains of station by birth. The West has given us the liberal miracle of individual rights, individual responsibility, merit, and human satisfaction.

FP: How do you define the West in your book?

Warraq: I define the West through its values of liberty, and rationalism, and then look at their historical origins. The origins of the modern West are often seen in the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, but the roots of the Enlightenment can be found in habits of mind cultivated in Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem, and the institutions that grew from them. The Greeks gave us the city and the notion of citizenship, the ideals of democracy and liberty, rationalism and science, philosophy and history. The Romans systematized the law, defined private property, and emphasized individual responsibility. Judeo-Christianity added a sense of conscience and charity, tempering justice with forgiveness, and the concept of linear rather than cyclical time, which allowed the possibility of progress. The Middle Ages brought a deeper synthesis of Athens and Rome with Jerusalem, laying the foundations for the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, the Enlightenment, and pluralistic liberal democracy.

FP: How is New York City a metaphor for the greatness of the West?

Warraq: In New York, I show the principles of the United States Constitution being applied in a real, vibrant place. I give the term “Western civilization” a physical context in the very concrete of the city. The details of New York’s streets and structures create a believable, breathing image of Western civilization, just as Dickens created believable, breathing characters. See this building, I say—it’s an example of beautiful architecture, one of the glories of New York, and as integral to Western civilization as the works of Shakespeare. See that building—it’s the New York Public Library. Inside the Beaux Arts masterpiece is an institution that embodies key aspects of Western civilization: philanthropy, education, the love of knowledge, the preservation of all the best that has been written and published. Each time you admire the façade of the New York Public Library, you are paying homage to Western civilization. Each time you consult a book in the magnificent Main Reading Room, you are participating in the maintenance of Western civilization. By working and living in New York, you are breathing Western civilization, continuously reminded of its benefits and its values.

Describing a New York street that became known as Tin Pan Alley and the area known as Broadway led me into the Great American Songbook, created by composers and lyricists who were born and lived and worked in that great city. Discussions of Western civilization are too often confined to works of high art that reflect a relatively narrow element of public taste and experience. I maintain that Western popular culture at its best is worthy of respect and should be cherished as much as the operas of Wagner. The work of composers like George Gershwin, born and bred in New York, embodies Western ideals over and above the aesthetic principles of the music itself. I could have written at length about various artists associated with the metropolis—Fred Astaire, P. G. Wodehouse, George Kaufman, the Marx Brothers (born in the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side)—and their contributions to Western popular culture, with creations that are witty, graceful, inspired, and at times touched with genius.

New York, like life, is its own excuse. Nonetheless, no other city in the West—or indeed, in the world—so well exemplifies the inexhaustible possibilities of a modern metropolis, where the inven­tive and enterprising put into practice the many freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The implausible, well-nigh-miraculous functioning anarchy that we know as New York is adorned with every excellence of Western art. It is a city of manifold suggestions, which ministers to every ambition, engenders a thousand talents, nurtures ingenuity and experimentation.

FP: What changed within Western societies that allowed them to so dramatically outperform other societies over the past 500 years, when that wasn’t the case beforehand?

Warraq: What has made the West successful economically while so many countries in other parts of the world fail to provide adequate food and shelter for their citizens?  The short answer is the Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century, and the Industrial Revolution of the Eighteenth Century, both depended on European Culture, Economic and Political Freedom, that is the institutions and habits of mind developed over two millennia.

Thus we can no longer defend the notion that Western prosperity is founded on the exploitation of poor people in the Third World. The rich countries are rich because of their practices at home, and because of their readiness to adopt and adapt new things, such as Chinese inventions or New World crops. Jared Diamond concluded that the “proximate factors” in Europe’s ascendance were “its development of a merchant class, capitalism, and patent protec­tion for inventions, its failure to develop absolute despots and crushing taxation, and its Greco-Judeo-Christian tradition of empirical inquiry.” Ironically, given Diamond’s otherwise anti-Western animus, some readers disparaged this view as ethnocentric, or as “utterly conventional Eurocentric history,” in James M. Blaut’s words. But Diamond, in fact, was pointing to some key ingredients of Western success; and behind those proximate factors were culture, ideas, and attitudes.

********

Sharia is totally incompatible with Western liberal democracy and with human rights in general, because it is a totalitarian con­struct designed to control every aspect of the life of Muslims and even non-Muslims. It discriminates against women in many ways: their testimony in court is worth half of a man’s testimony (Surah II.282); they inherit half what men do (IV.11); they may be beaten by men (IV.34); they may not marry non-Muslims (II.221). Sharia pre­scribes amputation of hands for theft (V.38), crucifixion for spreading disorder (V.33), stoning to death for adultery (Reliance of the Traveler, p. 610), execution of homosexuals and apostates (XXVI.165–66; Reliance, pp. 109 and 665). In other words, Muslims want to rein­troduce practices that we in the West long ago deemed barbaric.

Moreover, Islamic law is considered infallible and immutable. In contrast to the fixed edicts of Sharia, Western law is bound up with the realities of human life and conflict. It allows the flexibility of making new law to accommodate changing circumstances, within a framework of fundamental principles. The Western constitutions and systems of law are magnificent creations; are we really prepared to jettison them in the name of multiculturalism and globalization?

Most troubling are the efforts to enforce Islamic laws against “blasphemy” throughout the world. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is taking steps toward outlawing “defamation of reli­gion” (i.e. Islam) worldwide, and these efforts have, in effect, been abetted by Western governments under the guise of suppressing “hate speech.” As Islamic countries consolidate their hold on the UN Human Rights Council and demand national laws to suppress criticism of Islam, how long will it be before Western legislation for­bids research into the origins of the Koran or early Islamic history?

FP: Why does the Left in the West not stand up against Sharia? And why do you think the West has lost all self-confidence in its own values and is unable and unwilling to defend its own civilization?

Warraq: I think these two questions, and their answers, are related. One of the reasons why Westerners feel so shy about defending Western civilization was well-described by James Burnham, “When the Western liberal’s feeing of guilt and his associated feeling of moral vulnerability before the sorrows and demands of the wretched become obsessive, he often develops a generalized hatred of Western civilization and his own country as a part of the West….The guilt of the liberal is insatiable. He deserves, by his own judgment, to be kicked, slapped and spat on for his infinite crimes”

First there has been the influence of intellectuals and academics who have undermined the confidence of the West in its own values and strengths. For more than sixty years schools and universities in the West have inculcated three generations of the young with moral relativism leaving them incapable of passing moral or cross-cultural judgments, and unwilling to defend those values. Post-modernism and multiculturalism have completed the destruction of the West’s self-assurance.

Another reason was the intellectual terrorism of left-wing ideologues such as Edward Said, and his highly influential book, Orientalism, that bludgeoned Western intellectuals into silence. Post–World War II Western intellectuals and leftists were consumed by guilt for the West’s colonial past and continuing colonialist present, and they wholeheartedly embraced any theory or ideology that voiced or at least seemed to voice the putatively thwarted aspirations of the peoples of the third world. Orientalism came at the precise time when anti-Western rhetoric was at its most shrill and was already being taught at Western universities, and when third-worldism was at its most popular. Jean-Paul Sartre preached that all white men were complicit in the exploitation of the third world, and that violence against Westerners was a legitimate means for colonized men to re-acquire their manhood. Said went further: “It is therefore correct that every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was consequently a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric” (p. 204). Not only, for Said, is every European a racist, but he must necessarily be so.

As I have argued, Western civilization has been more willing to criticize itself than any other major culture. These self-administered admonishments are a far cry from Said’s savage strictures, and yet they found a new generation ready to take them to heart. Berating and blaming the West, a fashionable game in the 1960s and 1970s that impressionable youth took seriously, had the results we now see when the same generation appears unwilling to defend the West against the greatest threat that it has faced since the Nazis.

When shown that Said is indeed a fraud, his friends and supporters in academia sidestep the criticisms and evidence, and pretend, as did several reviewers of Robert Irwin’s book on Said, that Said may indeed have got the “footling details” wrong but he was, nonetheless, onto a higher truth. Said’s influence, thus, was a result of a conjunction of several intellectual and political trends: post-French Algeria and post-Vietnam tiers mondisme (third-worldism); the politicization of increasingly postmodernist English departments that had argued away the very idea of truth, objective truth; and the influence of Foucault. In effect Said played on each of these confidence tricks to create a master fraud that bound American academics and Middle East tyrants in unstated bonds of anti- American complicity.

FP: This is a toxic combination with Islam’s supreme confidence and agenda to exploit the West’s moral weakness and cultural confusion. Your comment?

Warraq: The West must wake up to the nature of the enemy. Islam is supremely confident in its values, and, of course, convinced that these values are blessed by God, and it is the God-given duty of every Muslim to spread Islam, until it covers the entire world. This is not right-wing paranoia of Western extremists but self-confessed principles everywhere openly proclaimed by the Muslims themselves. Only the Left refuses to recognize it, and is scandalously complicit in helping Islam take over the Western world. It is no less than civilizational suicide. It is perhaps already too late as, on December 13, 2011, the White House invited the OIC within its doors to plan how best to destroy the West from within.

Read more at Front Page

 

“From Pakistan to the Streets of Oxford – Understanding the Ideological Foundation of Sexual Abuse in Islam”

_67497087_vxpc19itby SHEIKYERMAMI on OCTOBER 14, 2013
A presentation sponsored by the Q-Society, Australia
.
Sexual Abuse in Islam
by Baron Bodissey/Gates of Vienna:

Muslim spokesmen in the West and their apologists among our politicians and in our media would have us believe that the “Asian” sex-slavery gangs in Britain are an anomaly, a misinterpretation of Islam, and “have nothing to do with Islam”. However, if one studies Islamic theology and culture, it becomes easy to understand why the rape of infidel women is in fact an intrinsic part of Islam.

Mark Durie is an Australian theologian and Anglican pastor. In the presentation below, Dr. Durie gives a talk and a slide show introducing his audience to the historical, cultural, and theological background for sexual abuse in Islam.

The presentation, entitled “From Pakistan to the Streets of Oxford – Understanding the Ideological Foundation of Sexual Abuse in Islam”, was given at the Q Society of Australia in Melbourne on July 18, 2013:

 

Excellent point made at 17:46 :

Screen Cap:
THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE

* Theology impacts culture through language:
Tamaskan tatamakan = “Show a victim’s face, and you will take over”. The theological roots of this saying are complex the cultural habit clear and simple.

Dr. Durie:

 Just to give you an example, there’s a phrase in Arabic, “tamaskan tatamakan” = Show a victim’s face, and you will take over”. Do you understand what that means? Act the victim, and then after a while, you’ll take over the other person. So we are interacting. I pretend that I’m in a bad situation and I’m suffering. You have pity on me and when the money comes, I destroy you. Ok? That’s part of Arab culture. It’s an Arab phrase. It has a number of different variants. It’s well known in Arabic. It’s just what you learn when you learn Arabic. I an explain how that’s based in Islam. That’s what Muhammad did and it’s part of Islamic theology. It’s very well grounded. It has complex theological background to it. But you don’t have to study Islam to be shaped by ideas, just learn to speak Arabic. It’s impossible to translate that easily into English. It’s not an English concept. It’s almost repugnant to us that it is part of Arabic culture because the religion has colonized the culture and has determined the shape of the culture.

Islamic ‘Racism’: Muslim Blood Superior to Infidel Blood

123by Raymond Ibrahim:

Arguing that Muslim blood is more precious than infidel blood, Muslim clerics in and out of Sudan are outraged because a Sudanese court has condemned a Muslim man to death—simply because he murdered a non-Muslim, the American diplomat John Granville on January 1, 2008.

A 2009 report offers context:

The court had sentenced the men [originally four] to death in June for killing Granville and his driver in January 2008, but the sentence was cancelled in August after [his Muslim driver] Abbas’s father forgave the men.

Under Islamic law, the victim’s family has the right to forgive the murderer, ask for compensation (fedia) or demand execution.

Granville’s mother, Jane Granville, at the time had asked for the men’s execution, but her letter was rejected because it was not notarized.

The judge said the sentence was confirmed because Granville’s family, from Buffalo, in northern New York State, had requested it.

Then, in 2010, the four men convicted of murder, in the words of the U.S. State Department, “escaped from a maximum security prison” in Khartoum. One of the men, Abdul Ra’uf Abu Zaid Muhammad Hamza, was recaptured and is currently in prison awaiting execution.

Finding the punishment unjust, several international Islamic organizations, most recently, the London-based Islamic Media Observatory, have been trying to commute the death sentence, mostly by arguing for Abdul Ra’uf’s “human rights.”

However, the Legitimate League of Scholars and Preachers in Sudan (an influential body of Muslim clerics) issued a statement last month titled “Let no Muslim be killed because of an infidel”—a verbatim quote, in fact, from Islam’s prophet Muhammad—revealing the true reason why so many Muslims are trying to overturn the death sentence.

John Granville and his murderers.

John Granville and his murderers.

The Arabic language statement begins by asserting that “Allah has honored human beings over creation and multiplied the Muslim’s honor over the infidel’s, because Islam elevates and nothing is elevated above it. The value of the blood of Muslims is equal, or should be, but not so the value of the blood of others.”  (The Koran itself, e.g., 2:221, confirms this idea that even the lowliest Muslim is superior to any non-Muslim.)

Next, the statement quotes the clear words of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, as recorded in a canonical hadith: “Let no Muslim be killed because of an infidel.”  It then elaborates on the meaning of this statement by quoting from “the consensus of Islamic scholars,” or ijma‘, a legitimate source of Islamic jurisprudence.

The Legitimate League of Scholars and Preachers then elaborate on the prophet’s injunction as meaning that, when judging between Muslims and non-Muslims, under no circumstances are Muslim rulers ever permitted to execute Muslims—even if they murder non-Muslims in cold blood, including those groups that are nominally “protected” by Islamic law, such as dhimmis(subjugated, tribute-paying non-Muslims) and foreign non-Muslims granted aman, or a pledge of security to enter Muslim lands.

Abdul Ra’uf triumphantly holds a Koran while in prison for murdering an “infidel.”

Abdul Ra’uf triumphantly holds a Koran while in prison for murdering an “infidel.”

Finally, after chastising the offending judge of North Khartoum’s felony court, Sayed Ahmed al-Badri, the statement concludes by warning all Muslim rulers and judges “to fear Allah, to apply Allah’s law in every matter, whether big or small, to seek justice according to the consensus of Islamic scholars, not to seek to please the infidels, not to rush the verdict, and to know that Allah prefers the annihilation of the entire earth over the spilling of the blood of one innocent Muslim” (emphasis added).

When American soldiers desecrated copies of the Koran—a book—media maelstroms occurred and grandstanding politicians condemned.  But when the scholars of Islam, quoting the words and teachings of their prophet, openly assert that the blood of non-Muslims is cheaper than the blood of Muslims—and hence the murder of an American “infidel” by a Muslim cannot be punished blood-for-blood—such hate-filled supremacy and racist-like contempt is not even deemed worth reporting by Western media or condemned by Western politicians.

 

 

Will the Real Muslim ‘Moderates’ Please Stand Up?

Abu Hamza, an honest Muslim

Abu Hamza, an honest Muslim

By Paul Wilkinson:

Britain has numerous so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims aka self-righteous ‘media-whores’, who carve a living from shamelessly denying all the nasty things clearly written in the Qur’an. They publically espouse equal rights and state how they are against any form of discrimination, yet on the other hand are all religious zealots who follow the Qur’an to the letter and worship the Prophet Muhammad and his teachings.

Many Brits do not have a great knowledge of Islam; certainly the overwhelming majority have not read the Qur’an and rely on the media for ‘enlightenment’. Qur’an inspired violence, terrorism and civil wars are on the news daily, but self-appointed spokesmen will feed off the public’s ignorance and tell the largely gullible audience this is all a contradiction to the real, ‘true Islam’.

At the other end of the spectrum are ‘hate preachers’ who are really being honest like Anjem Choudary, Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, who at times may be portrayed as ‘pantomime villains’, but the media does not tell us that they are simply obeying the Qur’an’s commands which do incite hatred and violence.

Hence the reason why Robert Spencer and Pam Geller were banned from entering Britain, because they would have challenged these ‘moderates’ and told the uncomfortable truth about what the Qur’an actually says. This is not what the multiculturalists in the media want you to hear… Not to mention the fact that Muslims would have been violent- remember, “Islam is peace”!

There is no Islamic caliphate anymore (thankfully), but having no ‘Pope-like’ leader gives rise to all these ‘spokesmen’ who claim they speak for 99% of Muslims. However they are ‘stealth jihadists’ who want to spread undiluted Islam, but their tactics are tailored differently and so do not publically admit to this. The only ‘moderate’ trait is by not personally partaking in or publically condemning violence, and misleading people by making Islam not appear extreme.

Other than in the public sphere many of these moderates are all essentially ‘nobodies’ and only have value due to the exposure they get from the media, like the BBC putting them on television most Sunday mornings. They effectively have carte blanche as they are totally unchallenged by the politically correct media and certainly never have Islamic scripture quoted at them. Their modus operandi is the ‘non-violent form of Jihad’, as Jon MC explains:

“Jihad by the tongue (jihad bil lisan) and/or jihad by the pen (jihad bil qallam). This might sound like simple proslytisation, but in essence Islam recognises any method including lying or dissimulation (Taqiyya/Muda’rat, Kitman, Tawriya and Tayseer) to ‘spread Islam’ to win converts, or gain acceptance for Islam within a host society, or disguising elements of Islam (hence the ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ statement). It also includes attempting to silence criticism by labelling critics as ‘racists’, ‘fascists’ or ‘Islamophobes’ or any verbal/written means to promote/defend Islam and/or silence opposition and critics.”

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

 

Early non-Muslim Sources Concerning the Advent of Islam

The Saracen [Muslims] Joust in Via Larga, Florence, 1555

The Saracen [Muslims] Joust in Via Larga, Florence, 1555

By Jon MC at Islam Watch:

Preface: This article, whilst a separate piece in it’s own right, forms part of my series on Jihad which comprises the articles: Jihad – the four forms and the West“Greater Jihad”, “Lesser Jihad” and “Jihad in the Way of Allah”The Pact of Umar and Allah’s war covenant with the Muslims, pt.1pt.2 and pt.3.

As such this article demonstrates that the attitudes inherent in, and the aims of, Jihad as set out in the previous articles were put into practice from the earliest post-Muhammad period of Islam, which thus provides historical validation of the previous articles.

Introduction

Whilst Muslims (reasonably enough) use their own sources as to the behaviour of early Islam in the attempt to show that it was either peaceful or only “fighting defensively against the multitude of enemies, hell-bent on Islam’s annihilation, that surrounded it”, what is less well known is that there are a number of non-Muslim sources that view the advent of Islam from an external perspective.

That these sources are mostly Christian should not be a surprise given that by 600 A.D. the whole of the Mediterranean basin was part of Christian lands that stretched from Ireland to China and from Axum (Ethopia) and Nubia in the South to Scotland in the North{1}.

A second, much rarer source of such evidence comes from Jewish writers.

Robert G. Hoyland in 1997 published an important book entitled Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam. This is a comprehensive source.

Peter Kirby wrote this summary (2003): http://www.christianorigins.com/islamrefs.html in which he abstracted the references themselves. His article, though well worth a read, is over 20,000 words long.

Thus I thought it worthwhile to condense this further and summarise what the various sources said.

To place this work into its historical context I have included a limited Islamic time-line below which shows the main Theological developments within Islam across this period.

Islamic Time-line

Death of Muhammad: 632 A.D.

Uthman’s Koran:    ~650 A.D. (compiled during Uthman’s Caliphate. It is probably the textus receptus.)

First Islamic Civil War:    656–661 A.D.{2}. Fought between Ali and Muawiyah.

Caliph Muawiyah:    661 A.D.  Crowned as caliph in Jerusalem. First Ummayid Caliph.

Earliest Sharia “school”:    ~750 A.D. Hanifi school of jurisprudence.

First extant Sharia work:    ~820 A.D. The Risaala of al-Shaafi’i

Earliest Biography:    ~830 A.D. This is that of ibn Hisham and is a recension of the earlier (no  longer extant) work of Ibn Ishaq. It is known under both names.

Major Sunni Hadiths:    ~850 A.D. The “two Sahihs”, Bukhari and Muslim.

First Tafseer:    ~900 A.D. Al-Tabari. The partial Tafseer of Tustari dates to ~890 A.D.

*************

(go to the article at Islam Watch to see the survey of excerpted writings by non-Muslims about their encounters with early Islam)

****************

Conclusion

At the time of the advent of Islam the Christian Church was thoroughly established throughout the fertile crescent of the Mediterranean basin and thus we must take due account of its natural dislike for, and resistance to, the upsetting of the status quo. We can see a marked difference between those Christians who suffered the first contacts between an aggressively expanding Islamic hegemony and those who were accustomed to living life as Dhimmis under Muslim subjugation.

These later accounts show that once the Muslim “Muhajirs” (immigrants) were settled in subjugated lands and were sufficiently remote from Islam’s borders as to be freed from the need for continual sword-jihad that courteous and inquiring dialogue between the Dhimmi Christians and their Muslim overlords took place. Some, such as John of Damascus, are quite courageous though careful to avoid any “insult” in their challenges, which can only be a reflection of the confidence that they felt in their “protected” status as Dhimmis and probably the decreasing religious fervour of the later generations of Muslims themselves.

As such this reflects one aspect of the non-Muslim experience of being under Islamic domination.

But those who suffered the first contacts recount a different aspect of Islam.

There can be little doubt that the first contacts between nascent Islam and the Christian world were one-sidedly violent and bloody and that they brought much suffering on the populations of the Christian Countries attacked.

These accounts show that offensive sword-jihad was the modus vivendi of the early Muslims and that sack, pillage, the taking of (sex-)slaves and the ravaging of the land were commonplace{16}.

The sources also show that the Muslim sense of a “god-given” entitlement to Judea-Samaria, and thus modern Israel, goes back to the foundations of Islam itself.

There is evidence of the establishment of Dhimmitude and payment of Jizya{8,9} and other taxes{10} that destroyed the wealth of the non-Muslims.

The explanations for much of this can be found within the Koran, Biographic and Hadith literature.{17,18}.

Some Modern Muslims are inclined to say that the Hadith and Biographies are “inaccurate” or that they “reflect the views of the Muslims of the times [a century or more after Muhammad] rather than the truth about Islam”. What the above demonstrates is that the “views” expressed in the Ahadith and Biographies reach back to, if not the time of Muhammad himself, then to within a year or two of his death.

Given that the early records date to before the time of the textus receptus of the Koran and thus pre-date by centuries other Muslim sources and further that they reflect the actions of the Sahaba{19}, we can be quite certain that the attitudes in the later Muslim sources which reflect these earlier sources are genuine in that they are accurately accounting the beliefs of the Sahaba.

What this means is that the violence towards non-Muslims that we find in the Islamic Canon{20}is not, as some Muslims would have us believe, any later accretion as a result of the wider world’s violence towards Islam, but rather a true reflection of the militant attitudes and beliefs of the first Muslims as reflected in their violence towards the wider world.

 

Islam is a Belief of Blood

number-3By Amil Imani:

From Peshawar Pakistan to Nairobi Kenya, from Damascus Syria to Benghazi Libya, Muslims are on a killing rampage. The civilized world is shocked and distressed. Some mutation seems to take place in the humanness of the person the minute he announces his subservience to Islam by reciting the Shahada: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” The individual becomes intolerant, violent and the shedding of blood becomes central to his life.

The Greek had their gods, so did the idolater Arabs before Muhammad appeared on the scene. Muhammad chose a minor idol as god and the only god and elected the name of Allah for him. According to Muhammad, Allah is not only the god; he is the all-everything god, embodying all imaginable attributes that were previously monopolies of different gods of the polytheists.

What in fact stands out as Allah’s dominating attribute, is his intolerant and violent nature. He is nothing like the all-merciful the Quran claims. But he certainly is the most wrathful. Since commissioning Muhammad as his emissary and giving him the manual of mayhem called the Quran, the world has never seen a day of peace. Apparently that’s just the way Allah likes it.

“The religion of peace,” is in fact the religion of blood.

Distressed by the Muslims’ trouble-making and killing sprees, civilized nations are bending over backward in the hope of placating them and helping them join the family of humanity by admitting hordes of immigrants and affording them all manner of hospitality and assistance. All seems to no avail. Many of the new arrivals, deeply infected by the Islamic ethos, find it impossible to assimilate in the host countries. Instead, they strive to impose their defunct order that is the cause of their backwardness and inhumanity on the host people.

The non-Muslim world is at the end of its wits. No accommodation or kindness seems to stem the tide of Islamic violence. Countless numbers of proposals have been advanced in dealing with Islamic mayhem. Some feel that, in general, Muslims are law-abiding citizens of their adopted countries and it is a minority that is responsible for acts of atrocities. Thinking along these lines has prompted people to say that the solution to Islamic violence rests with Islamic leaders. That is, Islamic leaders should speak up and condemn jihad and jihadists.

To begin with, renouncing jihad violates the repeated commands of the Quran and the Hadith. No Islamic leader would dare to attempt that abrogation.

Read more at Islam Watch

 

Many Things Rotten in Denmark

Firoozeh_Bazrafkan-450x300Front Page, November 13, 2013, By :

A Danish appeals court recently upheld the conviction under a Danish hate speech law of an Iranian-Danish woman for her remarks condemnatory of Islam.  Coming amidst the controversial statements by another Dane of Muslim background, this conviction raises troubling questions about who may say what about Islam.

The artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan ran afoul of Danish authorities with a blog entry printed in a December 2011 issue of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper of 2005 Danish Muhammad caricature notoriety.  Bazrafkan expressed being “very convinced that Muslim men around the world rape, abuse and kill their daughters.”  Such abuse resulted “according to my understanding as a Danish-Iranian” from a “defective and inhumane culture—if you can even call it a culture at all.”  Bazrafkan deemed Islam a “defective and inhumane religion whose textbook, the Koran, is more immoral, deplorable and crazy than manuals of the two other global religions combined.”

As explained in an interview, Bazrafkan had appropriated the text with light personal editing from the free speech activist Lars Kragh Andersen.   Bazrafkan acted in solidarity with Andersen after his conviction under Section 266b of the Danish Penal Code (in Danish here) for the same posting at the news website 180Grader.  As one English translation reads, Section 266b punishes any public “pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.”

Bazrafkan’s motive was “to show Lars support because, as a Danish Iranian, I know what a big problem Islamic regimes are.”  “Islamic codes give men the rights to do whatever they want to women and children,” something called “disgusting” by Bazrafkan, and “also prevent people in Iran from discussing and saying what they want.”  Bazrafkan sought an “artistic manifesto to show that we cannot say what we want and we cannot criticize Islamic regimes.” Accordingly, Bazrafkan’s website includes a video showing a casually-clothed Bazrafkan jump roping on top of an Ayatollah Khomeini photo (other Bazrafkan criticisms of Islam and Iran are available here and here).

Denmark’s Western High Court on September 16, 2013, convicted her on prosecutorial appeal from successful district court defense.  From a panel of three judges and jurors each, five found Bazrafkan guilty of presenting “statements in which a group of people are mocked and degraded because of their belief.”  The reviewing court sentenced Bazrafkan to a 5,000 Kroner fine or five days in prison, a decision she intends to appeal to the Danish Supreme Court before going to prison in lieu of paying the fine.

Opposing the decision, Bazrafkan noted that she did not say that “ALL Muslim men committed horrible acts,” but merely offered a “critique of religion,” something Section 266b “shouldn’t be used to protect.” The Iranian-born former Muslim Bazrafkan had also previously criticized Judaism and Christianity, but was more concerned with her repressed relatives in Iran.  Bazrafkan claimed for people the right “to write whatever they want,” even “if it’s stupid or well formulated…so long as they don’t threaten other people.”  Police dismissed a person who threatened to dismember and feed to his dogs Bazrafkan, meanwhile, as unserious.

Bazrafkan’s intellectual arguments were unavailing in part because, as Jesper Langballe stated during his December 3, 2010, district court “confession,” Section 266b’s “sole criterion of culpability…is whether someone feels offended…not whether what I have said is true or false.”  Like Bazrafkan, the Danish parliamentarian Langballe suffered a conviction for condemning Islamic norms justifying abuses of women.  Indeed, Danish country reports to the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (see here and here) describe Section 266b as applicable to anyone who “makes a statement or imparts other information” with the stipulated offensive nature.  Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard, meanwhile, narrowly escaped a Section 266b conviction in 2012 after the Danish Supreme Court determined that he had no intention of publicly disseminating his condemnation of Muslim male treatment of females.

Concurrent with Bazrafkan’s legal difficulties, Yahya Hassan, an 18-year-old Palestinian-Danish poet, has attributed high criminality rates among Danish youths with migrant Muslim backgrounds to poor Muslim parenting.  Hassan, who entered an institution at age 13 after several years of juvenile delinquency, complained of watching “our fathers passively rot on the couch with the remote in their hands, living off state benefits, accompanied by a disillusioned mother who never put her foot down.”  Muslim youth “who became criminals and bums…weren’t let down by the system, but by our parents.”  Although Hassan has not faced any Section 266b prosecutions, numerous graphic death threats have appeared at the Facebook page of a television show in which he appeared.

With European societies becoming increasingly heterogeneous, Islamic beliefs and behaviors criticized by Bazrafkan and Hassan demand discussion in an open forum free from legal retribution.  Serious policy issues concerning Islam in free societies will simply not disappear due to a politically correct mandated silence.  Laws like Section 266b are accordingly not just a threat to liberty, but to security as well.

This article was sponsored by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

 

British Education System: The New Start of the Islamisation Process

16808382_458703c-300x199By Paul Wilkinson:

In 2007 the ‘Muslim Council of Britain’ (MCB) was empowered to produce a glossy 72-page brochure entitled ‘Towards Greater Understanding; Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools’. However this ‘guidance’ was really a set of demands to accommodate Islam within the state education system.

Through political correctness, Islam has unfortunately been successful in elbowing its way into British society. The entitlement has grown and is highlighted in this uninspiring MCB statement:

“Islam and Muslims are part of the mosaic that comprises modern Britain, 50% of the Muslim population being British born… The faith commitments encompass all aspects of everyday life and conduct, including daily life in school. It is important therefore, that educators and schools have good understanding of how they can respond positively to meeting the needs of Muslim pupils.”

The table has been fully turned by the stealth jihadists of the MCB because Islam does not affect non-Muslims’ lives in any way, shape or form, unless of course we pander to it. The MCB’s objective is a deliberate attempt at undermining our secular society based on Judeo-Christian values by differentiating Islam and calling for special status on an exponential scale.

Throwaway statements such as “Islam holds knowledge and learning as sacred and, therefore, central to the development of any civilisation”, are aplenty and just do not mesh with reality. In the Muslim world there has been a total lack of progression, scientific discoveries and almost continuous violence and war since the illiterate, caravan robbing Prophet Muhammad was told to read by Angel Gabriel in mountain cave near Mecca!

The MCB predictably makes a case for Islam’s ‘Golden Era’, where mostly existing concepts and ideas from Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian and Chinese civilisations were used.

Above and beyond this, Islam’s main ‘contributions’ to the world have seen an almost relentless 1,400 years of invading Africa, Europe, Persia and Asia, spreading Islam by the sword, enslavement and destroying civilisations and cultures. Approximately 270 million people were killed in the process. Now Qur’an inspired Islamic terrorism is a continual threat towards global peace.

news_alert_photo-300x225Even if the Islamic Golden Era were to be true, where has it all gone wrong? What has Islam achieved since the Dark Ages? Why has it not progressed? The answer is simple:Islam cannot progress due to the oppression of science that will factually refute the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. As Richard Dawkins highlighted: “All of the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge.” Or a quick look at previous Nobel Peace Prize winners will reveal very few Muslim recipients compared to Jewish awardees, despite Jews constituting approximately 0.23% of the world population with a 22% share of Nobel Prizes! Even Muslim medical students have boycotted lectures on evolution because it ‘clashes with the Qur’an’.

It is frightening that approximately 22% of the world’s population contribute so little, with Muslim countries generating <5% of global GDP. Western countries spend around 5% of their GDP on research, whereas the Muslim population spends <1%.

European civilisation was in the Dark Ages, but Christianity was reformed, and society progressed into the Age of Enlightenment. Separation between Church and State was a key element because scientific discoveries were allowed to be made, whereas Islamic societies have never done this. Even Muslim countries’ main source of revenue, oil, is reliant on Western innovation and technology. Oil just happens to be under their soil/sand. 

MCB neglects to mention any of these truths or even when Muslims emigrate to ‘better themselves’, children from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish and Somali backgrounds still under-perform on a supposed ‘level playing field’. Muslim adults fare no better becauseapproximately 76% of Muslim women and 53% of Muslim men are economically inactive in Britain. 

However MCB continue to rejoice unabated in nonsensical statements, such as: “Today, Muslims form a vibrant community that forms an integral part of British society.”

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

 

Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years

4by Nicolai Sennels:

While almost all other cultures changed from primitive and medieval to democratic and egalitarian societies, one culture managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values for 1,400 years until today. Still today, the majority of Muslims prefer to live by values that can be traced all the way back to the desert tribes in which the founder of their religion lived. Getting to know life in Muslim families and societies is like traveling back in time to the time of Muhammad. Here one finds shocking laws and traditions that are obviously criminal and inhumane — but for some reason accepted — in our otherwise humanistic culture.

While non-Muslim scientists invent new fantastic medicines and technologies daily, discover the most amazing things about the universe, its building blocks and inhabitants, and Western voters and politicians have created the most humane, rich and free societies in world history, most Islamic countries are still amputating limbs for theft, stoning women and homosexuals, heavily inbred, denying people free speech and democracy, and contributing absolutely nothing when it comes to science, human rights or peace.

What are the cultural psychological factors making Islam able to stay medieval for 1,400 years?

Religion

One main factor is that while all other religions allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death. The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into modern, humanistic civilisations.

The fact that Muslims deviating from the Quranic world view are to be punished has the direct consequence that scientific facts conflicting with the naive and childish world view held in pre-Enlightenment cultures are suppressed. Together with massive inbreeding — 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many generations) — this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners. Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.

Within Islam, faith and tradition is obviously valued far, far more than inventions and discoveries that would ease suffering and lead to a more reasonable understanding of the complexity of the universe and the potential of its inhabitants.

Read more at Jihad Watch