Pentagon: Bible and U.S. Founding Documents Promote ‘Sexism’

By Raymond Ibrahim, April 14, 2015:

Here again we see why Western “elites,” including the highest echelons of the U.S. military, are clueless and incapable of acknowledging — much less responding to — Islam:

Modern sexism is rooted in the Bible, U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, according to a Pentagon-approved seminar.

In a presentation prepared by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), a Department of Defense joint services school based in Florida, the Bible, U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, along with Great Man theory, are to blame for “historical influences that allow sexism to continue,” The Daily Caller reported.

“Quotes from the Bible can be misinterpreted as having a sexist influence when brought out of context and not fully understood,” the course says. “In 1776, ‘We the people…’ only included white men: Slaves and women were not included until later in history.”

The course also cites the Declaration of Independence as a historical cause of sexism for referring to only “all men” being created equal.

[…]

“While there is no DoD Policy that requires persons to take these online courses,” the spokesman told The Daily Caller, 2,075 Department of Defense personnel have taken the “Sexism” course since 2011.

Meanwhile, to even hint that Islam’s core texts promote sexism — if not downright misogny — can get one fired.  Yet the Koran declares that women are inferior to men, that men have authority over them and are permitted to beat them, that polygamy is permissible — each man can have four wives — that females only inherit half of males’ inheritance, that female testimony in an Islamic court of law is equivalent to half a man’s.

And every day, in every Muslim country, every woman experiences these very real, “non-abstract” distinctions.

Islamic prophet Muhammad himself likened females to dogs and other animals — “for all are ridden” —  and said that women are deficient in intelligence and make up the majority of hell’s denizens.

Yet, it’s the Bible, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence that women need fear, says the Pentagon.

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 3, ‘The Family of Imran’

1379610730_Quran_cover(Read prior installments here: parts one, two, three, four, five, and six.)

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, April 13, 2015:

Are you a non-Muslim? Then Allah hates you (Qur’an 3:32).

Are you Jewish or Christian? In the Qur’an’s third chapter, Allah will tell you why you’re following a false religion.

The Qur’an’s third chapter is entitled “The Family of Imran” — that is, Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:20), who is mentioned in verses 33 and 35. Like most titles in the Qur’an, this title doesn’t denote the sura’s theme, but is just a word taken from within the chapter that is simply a means to distinguish it from other chapters.

According to Maududi, Sura 3, which is a Medinan sura, is “especially addressed” to Jews and Christians, as well as to Muslims.

It contains, he says, a “continuation of the invitation in Al-Baqarah [Sura 2], in which they have been admonished for their erroneous beliefs and evil morals and advised to accept, as a remedy, the Truth of the Quran.” Likewise Bulandshahri says that Sura 3 is a “talking proof” against the Jews, Christians, and idolaters, since it addresses them all. ”It invites them towards the truth and refutes their false beliefs, which includes the blasphemous ideologies concerning Sayyidina [Masters] Isa and Ibrahim [Jesus and Abraham].”

That concern is evident from the beginning of the chapter. Allah proclaims that the Qur’an now revealed to Muhammad confirms what was written in the Torah and the Gospel (v. 3). Ibn Kathir explains that “these Books testify to the truth of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an also testifies to the truth these Books contained, including the news and glad tidings of Muhammad’s prophethood and the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an.”

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Allah teaches that the Torah was originally Islamic, but was rewritten by the Jews.

This again explains why mainstream Islamic tradition regards the Jewish and Christian Scriptures as corrupted: they don’t, after all, confirm what is in the Qur’an, and so Jews and Christians must have dared to alter them — and now, Allah says, “they were deluded in their religion by what they were inventing” (v. 24).

Asad therefore emphasizes:

It is to be borne in mind that the Gospel frequently mentioned in the Qur’an is not identical with what is known today as the Four Gospels, but refers to an original, since lost, revelation bestowed upon Jesus and known to his contemporaries under its Greek name of Evangelion (‘Good Tiding’), on which the Arabicized form Injil is based. It was probably the source from which the Synoptic Gospels derived much of their material and some of the teachings attributed to Jesus. The fact of its having been lost and forgotten is alluded to in the Qur’an in 5:14.

In contrast to the Jews’ and Christians’ corrupted scriptures, Allah has now revealed the “Criterion” (Arabic فُرْقَانَ — furqan, v. 4), which is, as Ibn Kathir puts it, “the distinction between misguidance, falsehood and deviation on one hand, and guidance, truth and piety on the other hand.” According to Qatada and many other Islamic authorities, this “criterion” is the Qur’an itself, although others say it refers to all the revealed scriptures — in their uncorrupted form, of course.

The same verse also promises a “severe punishment” to those who “disbelieve in the verses of Allah.” The 20th century Indian Muslim scholar Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani sees this as proof that Jesus cannot be divine, for while “God is powerful to venge [sic] and punish whenever He deems fit,” Jesus “cannot be a sovereign like God because he could not overcome the miscreants who were chasing him to kill.”

After saying that he has revealed this great Criterion of what is right and wrong, Allah cautions believers against getting carried away, explaining that some verses in the Qur’an are clear and some aren’t, “such as,” says the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “the opening verses of some sūras,” including the opening verse of this sura.

These are not to be explored too deeply by the Muslims (although they have been): Allah warns that it is only “those in whose hearts is deviation” who “follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation. And no one knows its interpretation except Allah” (v. 7).

Why would Allah include material in his “clear” revelation of guidance to human beings that only he knows the meaning of? He doesn’t say.

Allah then exhorts the believers not to reject faith in him (vv. 8-27), and warns the unbelievers that grievous punishment awaits them in hell.

He refers to the Battle of Badr (v. 13), the first great victory for the Muslims, when a small force prevailed against a much larger army of pagan Arabs from Muhammad’s Quraysh tribe (they had rejected his prophetic claim). Maududi says that the first thirty-two verses of Sura 3 were “probably revealed soon after the Battle of Badr,” and this verse says that it was a “sign” when the two armies met; “one was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah.”

These armies “saw as twice their number,” which Ibn Kathir explains: “When the two camps saw each other, the Muslims thought that the idolaters were twice as many as they were, so that they would trust in Allah and seek His help. The idolaters thought that the believers were twice as many as they were, so that they would feel fear, horror, fright and despair.”

Allah, Maududi says, “gives victory to His believing servants in this life” — that is, the Muslims’ victory was due to their obedience to Allah. The reverse is also true: when Muslims suffer, all too often they ascribe their suffering to being insufficiently Islamic, and the remedy is always more Islam. There is no idea in Islam of the Biblical principle that the wicked may prosper because of the fallen nature of the world — in Islam, if the wicked prosper, it is because the Muslims aren’t Islamic enough.

Allah declares that “the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” (إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَم) (v. 19), and that the People of the Book reject it only “out of jealous animosity between themselves.” The Jews and Christians, says Bulandshahri, recognized Muhammad “to be the final Prophet but their obstinate nature prevented them from accepting.” Allah says that they will be saved if they submit to Allah (v. 20); Bulandshahri continues: “One cannot force these people to accept, but can merely advise them. Inviting them to accept Islam is the duty of the Muslim.”

After that, Allah warns of his judgment, and above all warns believers not to take unbelievers as “friends or helpers” (َأَوْلِيَا — a word that means more than casual friendship, but something more like an alliance), “except when taking precaution against them in prudence” (v. 28). This is a foundation of the idea that believers may legitimately deceive unbelievers when under pressure.

The word used for “guard” in the Arabic is tuqātan (تُقَاةً), the verbal noun from taqiyyatan — hence the increasingly familiar term taqiyya. Ibn Kathir says that the phrase “except when taking precaution against them in prudence” means that “believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers” may “show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, ‘We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’ Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, ‘The Tuqyah [taqiyya] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.’”

Read more

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 222-286

1A6A9599PJ Media, by Robert Spencer:

Do you want a guardian from Allah when you go to bed? Find out how below — but if you start any anal sex, the deal is off. This segment of the Qur’an’s second chapter says that right out.

My friend Jeff once told me that he had tried to read the Qur’an many times, but he “could never get through the damn ‘Cow.’” With this segment, we have.

One reason why it’s tough to get through is because “The Cow” is packed with legal regulations. Allah, according to Islamic theology the Qur’an’s sole speaker (although he refers to himself in the third person often enough), concerns himself in the latter part of “The Cow” primarily with various laws for marriage and divorce (vv. 222-242). He forbids intercourse during menstruation (v. 222).

In the next verse, he tells Muslims, “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish” (v. 223), which some Muslims understand as prohibiting anal sex — so says Ibn Kathir. According to a hadith recorded by the Imam Muslim, considered by Muslims to be the second most reliable collector of hadith (after Bukhari) and others, the Jews are behind the revelation of this verse. “The Jews used to say that when one comes to one’s wife through the vagina, but being on her back, and she becomes pregnant, the child has a squint” (Sahih Muslim 3363) — or, according to other sources, is cross-eyed.

To refute this, this verse was revealed: “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed [tilth] for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish” (v. 223). Sayyid Qutb says that the use of the word “tilth” (Arabic حَرْثٌ), with its “connotations of tillage and production, is most fitting, in a context of fertility and procreation” — or, as Maududi puts it, Allah’s “purpose in the creation of women is not merely to provide men with recreation.” It is also to provide them with children.

Allah’s regulations for divorce emphasize regarding women that “men have a degree over them” (v. 228). This may be why men can divorce their wives simply by saying, “Talaq” — I divorce you — but women may not do this. Such an easy procedure leads to divorces in a fit of pique, followed by reconciliation — and the Qur’an anticipates this and attempts to head it off by stipulating that a husband who divorces his wife three times cannot reconcile with her until she marries another man and is in turn divorced by him: “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until she marries a husband other than him” (v. 230). This has given rise to the phenomenon of “temporary husbands,” who marry and divorce thrice-divorced women at the behest of Islamic clerics even in our own day, so that these poor women can then return to their original husbands. This practice has, as one may imagine, given rise to abuses, and a hadith depicts Muhammad condemning it. Muslim clerics insist that the poor woman’s new marriage and divorce must be genuine before she can return to her original husband.

Allah then goes on to detail the arrangements men make for their wives in their wills (vv. 234, 240); those interested in the doctrine of abrogation will be interested in the fact that Ibn Kathir contends of v. 240 that “the majority of the scholars said that this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234).”

After that, it’s time to rake the Jews over the coals again. Allah in verses 243-260 refers to several Biblical stories, none in much detail. The Jews refuse to fight after having been commanded to do so (v. 246) and they rebel at the appointment of Saul as king (v. 247). If Allah had willed, the nations would have believed the prophets he sent to earth, but this was not his will, although his reasons are left unexplained (v. 253). It would have been interesting to know why he sent prophets while willing that they not be believed, but we’re not let in on the secret.

Then comes the Throne Verse (Ayat al-Kursi), v. 255. According to Islamic scholar Mahmoud Ayoub, this verse is “regarded by Muslims as one of the most excellent verses of the Qur’an. It has therefore played a very important role in Muslim piety.” The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, is said to have agreed with a claim that this verse is so powerful that “whenever you go to your bed, recite the Verse of ‘Al-Kursi’ (2.255) for then a guardian from Allah will be guarding you, and Satan will not approach you till dawn” and with another about its being the “greatest verse in the Book of Allah.”

Qurtubi reports that “when the Throne Verse was revealed, every idol and king in the world fell prostrate and the crowns of kings fell off their heads,” and recounts a saying by Muhammad in which Allah tells Moses of the many blessings that people will receive if they recite the Throne Verse — another manifestation of the assumption that the People of the Book had at least some of the contents of the Qur’an, but perversely effaced them from their own Scriptures.

Immediately following that verse comes the Qur’an’s famous statement that “there is no compulsion in religion” (v. 256).

Muslim spokesmen in the West frequently quote that phrase to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. However, according to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against and subjugate the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that the “no compulsion” verse was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29). No compulsion indeed.

Many see the “no compulsion” verse as contradicting the Islamic imperative to wage jihad against unbelievers, but actually there is no contradiction because the aim of jihad is not the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but their subjugation within the Islamic social order. Says Asad: “All Islamic jurists (fuqahd’), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of conversion or the sword.” Quite so: the choice, as laid out (according to a hadith) by Muhammad himself, is conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or the sword: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Sahih Muslim 4294)

Qutb accordingly denies that the “no compulsion” verse contradicts the imperative to fight until “religion is for Allah” (v. 193), saying that “Islam has not used force to impose its beliefs.” Rather, jihad’s “main objective has been the establishment of a stable society in which all citizens, including followers of other religious creeds, may live in peace and security” — although not with equality of rights before the law, as 9:29 emphasizes. For Qutb, that “stable society” is the “Islamic social order,” the establishment of which is a chief objective of jihad.

In this light, verses 256 and 193 go together without any trouble. Muslims must fight until “religion is for Allah,” but they don’t force anyone to accept Allah’s religion. They enforce subservience upon those who refuse to convert, such that many of them subsequently convert to Islam so as to escape the humiliating and discriminatory regulations of dhimmitude — but when they convert, they do so freely. Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world, abolishing Christianity and thus the need for the jizya that is paid by the dhimmis. Muhammad is depicted in a hadith as saying: “‘By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts.’” (Bukhari 3.34.425) Then religion will be “for Allah,” and there will be no further need for jihad.

After all that, Allah exhorts the believers to charitable giving, and condemns usury (vv. 275-281) — which is the foundation of the Islamic abhorrence of interest-based banking. He then stipulates, veering from subject to subject, that two women are equivalent to one man in giving testimony (v. 282). Muhammad is depicted as explaining, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” (Sahih Bukhari 3.48.826)

So much for “The Cow.”

The Mind of Muhammad

Prophet_MUHAMMAD_by_SoulFlamer-CopyBy F. W. Burleigh:

For insight into the workings of Muhammad’s mind, consider Chapter 33 of his Koran, entitled “The Confederates.”  This is one of the chapters Muhammad composed in Yathrib (later called Medina) where he fled after his Meccan compatriots determined they needed to kill him to preserve their way of life.

The chapter is like a wild theme park ride that races in and out of numerous topics.  In the 73 verses that make up the chapter, Muhammad covers the following, using the God-voice he adopted for the Koran: He recaps a recent battle with the Meccans and excoriates people who were afraid to fight and die for him; he gloats about his extermination of the men and boys of one of the Jewish tribes of Yathrib, the confiscation of their property, and the enslavement of their women and children; he authorizes himself to take as many wives as he likes, permits himself to marry the wife of his adopted son, forbids himself from taking any more wives after he has taken as many as he likes, but allows himself sex slaves.

As the verses of this “revelation” continue, Muhammad imposes full body and face cover for women when outside the home, threatens people with humiliating punishment in the afterlife for annoying him, threatens to murder his critics, prohibits the practice of adoption, and dishes up images of sadistic torture in Hell awaiting people who don’t believe in him.  He also praises himself as a “lamp spreading light,” and holds his behavior as a “beautiful pattern” for people to follow if they want to score well with Allah.

Among the verses is a celestial advisory that he must be obeyed:

“It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”  (Koran 33:36)  [All of the Koran quotes in this article are taken from the Yusuf Ali translation.]

Despite their tediousness, it is worth exploring some of these verses because, in addition to providing evidence of his strange mentality, they also show that his Koran was like a blog in which he commented on the happenings of the moment.  The happenings of the moment recorded in Chapter 33 had to do with war, sex, and Muhammad’s betrayal of his adopted son.

In the war part of these verses, Muhammad covers the Meccan assault on Yathrib that came to be known as the Battle of the Trench, so named because of a three-mile defensive trench he dug around vulnerable parts of the valley to fend off the attackers.  By the time of this battle, he had been waging war on the Meccans for almost five years.  The two major battles of Badr and Uhud had already  been fought.[1]

The Battle of the Trench was the third major fight, which took place in A.D. 627.  The Meccans attacked with an army of 12,000 warriors, drawn from numerous tribes who were itching for payback for all the harm Muhammad had caused them.  But they were unable to get beyond the trench and finally gave up after a fierce windstorm leveled their encampments.

Verses 9 to 25 recap the action, but most are Muhammad’s diatribe against cowardly or fake believers who he was certain would have betrayed him had been given the opportunity.  But he declares that Allah did not provide them with the opportunity because he sent the windstorm that disheartened the invaders and sent them packing.  The battle was a test of faith of the believers who held firm, and Allah knows how to reward those who hold firm in their faith.

And rewarded they were: After the invaders left, Muhammad attacked the only remaining Jewish tribe of Yathrib and ended up distributing their wealth to the faithful.  When he arrived in the valley, half of its 20,000 population was Jewish, divided among three major tribes.  By the time of the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad had forced out two of the Jewish tribes.  Hoping to escape the same fate, the remaining tribe at first insisted on not taking sides during the Meccan attack, then agreed to aid the invaders, but then backed out of it.  Muhammad used this as an excuse to behead all of the men and boys.

Read more at American Thinker

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 211-221

islamic doctrinePJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 20, 2015:

When is it permissible to break moral laws?

That is the impact of the small, easily overlooked phrase “fitnah is worse than killing,” or “persecution is worse than slaughter,” which appears in Qur’an 2:191 (and 2:217).

Allah devotes a large section of “The Cow” (vv. 189-242) to answering various questions that the Muslims had ostensibly asked Muhammad. Allah begins his answers to Muhammad with “They ask you” (vv. 189, 215, 217, 219, 220, 222).One of these questions was whether or not fighting was permissible during the sacred month, which Allah takes up in v. 217.

Muhammad’s first biographer, an eighth-century Muslim named Ibn Ishaq, gives the background of this verse. After the Hijrah, Muhammad’s move from Mecca to Medina, the Muslims began raiding caravans of the pagan Quryash — Muhammad’s own tribe, which had rejected him.

Muhammad himself led many of these raids.

These raids served a key economic purpose: keeping the Muslim movement solvent. At one point Muhammad sent one of his most trusted lieutenants, Abdullah bin Jahsh, along with eight other Muslims out with orders to watch for a Quraysh caravan at Nakhla, a settlement not far from Mecca, and to “find out what they are doing.”

Abdullah and his band took this as an order to raid the Quraysh caravan, which soon came along, carrying leather and raisins. But it was the last day of the sacred month of Rajab, during which — by longstanding Arab custom — fighting was forbidden. This presented them with a dilemma: if they waited until the sacred month was over, the caravan would get away, but if they attacked, they would sin by killing people during the sacred month.

They finally decided, according to Ibn Ishaq, to “kill as many as they could of them and take what they had.”

On the way home to Medina, Abdullah set aside a fifth of the booty for Muhammad (as per Qur’an 8:41). But when they returned to the Muslim camp, Muhammad refused to share in the loot or to have anything to do with them, saying only: “I did not order you to fight in the sacred month.”

But then Allah revealed v. 217, explaining that the Quraysh’s opposition to Muhammad and supposed persecution of the Muslims was more offensive in his eyes than the Muslims’ violation of the sacred month.

The raid was therefore justified: “for persecution is worse than slaughter.”

Whatever sin the Nakhla raiders had committed in violating the sacred month was nothing compared to the Quraysh’s sins.

Ibn Ishaq explained this verse:

They have kept you back from the way of God with their unbelief in Him, and from the sacred mosque, and have driven you from it when you were with its people. This is a more serious matter with God than the killing of those whom you have slain.

Once he received this revelation, Muhammad took Abdullah’s booty and prisoners. Abdullah was considerably relieved, and asked: “Can we hope that it will count as a raid for which we shall be given the reward of combatants?”

Here again Allah answered in a revelation, saying:

Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah — those expect the mercy of Allah (v. 218).

“Fought” here is jahadu (جَاهَدُو), which is a form of jihad, and “jihad for the sake of Allah” or “jihad in the way of Allah” (جَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ) in Islamic theology always refers to jihad warfare, not to more spiritualized understandings of jihad.

Ibn Kathir, following Ibn Ishaq, also recounts this incident, which was a momentous one: good became identified with anything that was to the benefit of Muslims, and evil with anything that harmed them, without reference to any larger moral standard.

Moral absolutes were swept aside in favor of the overarching principle of expediency.

Sayyid Qutb explains that “Islam is a practical and realistic way of life which is not based on rigid idealistic dogma.” Islam “maintains its own high moral principles,” but only when “justice is established and wrongdoing is contained” — i.e., only when Islamic law rules a society — can “sanctities be protected and preserved.”

So evidently they need not be or cannot be protected before that point.

Like a rejected suitor, Allah then returns to the Jews, again reminding them of all of his spurned favors toward them (v. 211). He notes how the unbelievers scoff at the Muslims (v. 212) and then reveals in capsule form the Islamic view of salvation history:

Mankind was one religion; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it — after the clear proofs came to them — out of jealous animosity among themselves (v. 213).

The people who were given the Scripture are the Jews and the Christians.

And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path (v. 213).

That is, Allah guided the Muslims to the truth about the things the People of the Book disagreed about. Ibn Kathir explains that they disagreed about the “day of Congregation”:

The Jews made it Saturday while the Christians chose Sunday. Allah guided the Ummah [community] of Muhammad to Friday.

They also disagreed about the direction to face when praying (qiblah), postures of prayer, fasting, and the true religion of Abraham: “The Jews said, `He was a Jew,” while the Christians considered him Christian. Allah has made him a Haniyfan Musliman” — that is, a pre-Islamic monotheist.

Don’t like the idea of waging war for Allah? Tough.

Allah exhorts the believers to fight, even though they “dislike it” (v. 216).

Maulana Bulandshahri explains the traditional view:

While the Muslims were in Makkah, they were weak and few in number, never possessing the capability nor the divine permission for Jihad (religious war). After migrating to Madinah, they received the order to fight their enemies in defense, as a verse of Surah Hajj [chapter 22 of the Qur’an] proclaims: “Permission (to fight) has been granted to those being attacked because they are oppressed” [22:39]. Later on the order came to fight the Infidels (kuffar) even though they do not initiate the aggression.

Bulandshahri was a modern-day theologian, but this view of the three stages of development of the Qur’an’s teaching on warfare is found in Ibn Ishaq’s Eighth Century work, and in the writings of mainstream Islamic theologians throughout the ages, including Ibn Kathir, Ibn Qayyim, Ibn Juzayy, As-Suyuti, and many others.

Besides essentially destroying the idea of moral absolutes, v. 217 is also important for those who leave Islam, or wish they could:

And whoever of you reverts from his religion and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally (Qur’an 2:217).

The Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and mainstream exegesis of the Qur’an, explains:

Scholars disagree about whether or not apostates are asked to repent. One group says that they are asked to repent and, if they do not, they are killed. Some say they are given an hour and others a month. Others say that they are asked to repent three times, and that is the view of Malik. Al-Hasan said they are asked a hundred times. It is also said that they are killed without being asked to repent.

After that, Allah also forbids alcoholic drinks and gambling (v. 219). Several early authorities — Ibn `Umar, Ash-Sha`bi, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and `Abdur-Rahman bin Aslam — say it was the first of three verses to be revealed on this subject, and that would mean that the other two would take precedence over it. Here Allah says that there is “some benefit” in alcohol, but in 5:90 he says that it is “Satan’s handiwork,” which would rule out the ol’ demon rum as being beneficial at all.

Then Allah forbids Muslims to marry “unbelieving women” (v. 221). Ibn Kathir records a large amount of disagreement among Islamic authorities over whether this prohibition applies to Jewish and Christian women, or just to polytheists. However, he notes that there is Ijma — consensus — among Islamic jurists that such marriages are allowed, although of course Muslim women are not allowed by any school of Islamic law to marry Jewish or Christian men.

In a culture that requires women to be utterly subservient to men, these unequal laws ensure that non-Muslim communities remain subjugated, not enjoying equality of rights or equality of dignity with Muslims.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 141-210

Reading the Qur’an to understand why Obama keeps failing with the world’s Muslim states. (Read the prior post here.)

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 18, 2015:

How much is your life worth?

In Islamic law, a Muslim woman is worth half of a man, and a Jew or Christian is worth one-third of what a Muslim is worth.

Skeptical? Read on.

muslims-praying-to-the-direction-of-mecca

Continuing our tour through “The Cow,” the second and longest sura of the Qur’an, we encounter in verses 141-150 a discussion of the qibla, the direction for prayer. Allah tells the Muslims to face the sacred mosque in Mecca when they pray (v. 150), when previously they had joined the Jews in facing Jerusalem. According to Islamic tradition, this came at the end of Muhammad’s attempts to convince the Jews that he was a prophet in the line of the Jewish prophets.

Allah tells Muhammad that only “the foolish among the people” (v. 142) will protest the change. And who are they? You guessed it: the Jews. On that identification the relatively moderate commentator Muhammad Asad and the comparative hardliner Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Ilahi Bulandshahri agree.

Asad says: “This ‘abandonment’ of Jerusalem obviously displeased the Jews of Medina, who must have felt gratified when they saw the Muslims praying towards their holy city; and it is to them that the opening sentence of this passage refers.”

Allah further criticizes the Jews and Christians for following “their desires” even though they knew Muhammad’s qibla is from Allah (vv. 144-6).

We already saw that Allah’s announcement that when he abrogated a verse, he would replace it with a better one (v. 106), and that some Muslims believe that refers to things in the Qur’an, and others think it applies only to the Bible’s having been superseded by the Qur’an. The change in the qibla has some bearing on this.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and an important early Islamic authority, says that “the first abrogated part in the Qur’an was about the Qiblah.” However, there is nothing in the Qur’an directing Muslims to pray facing Jerusalem, so this is an abrogation of an extra-Qur’anic regulation. Abrogation, as we shall see, is far more important in other contexts.

The qibla change is also the first time that we encounter a running theme in the Qur’an: Allah’s solicitude for Muhammad. An attentive reader of the Qur’an will come away thinking that in the eyes of the Supreme Being, Muhammad is the most important person who ever lived — or the authors of the book wanted to make sure that readers thought so.

Allah presents the new qibla as if it is a gift especially for Muhammad, who “will be pleased” by the new direction for prayer (v. 144). Several other passages in the Qur’an show Allah’s special concern for Muhammad; another is Allah’s gently rebuking him for initially declining to marry his former daughter-in-law (a legendary beauty) when Allah wanted him to do so (33:37).

Such passages have led unbelievers to think that Muhammad was enjoying the personal perks of prophethood, but for Muslims they only underscore Muhammad’s special status: the details of his life, and even his desires — in longing to pray facing the Ka’ba — are vehicles through which Allah reveals eternal truths and divine laws. And his example is normative.

Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy explains:

No religious leader has as much influence on his followers as does Muhammad (Peace be upon him) the last Prophet of Islam. … So much so that the words, deeds and silences (that which he saw and did not forbid) of Muhammad became an independent source of Islamic law. Muslims, as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life. Thus Muhammad is the medium as well as a source of the divine law.

Allah then encourages the believers to be steadfast (vv. 151-157) and approves of a pre-Islamic practice during the Hajj (v. 158), the pilgrimage to Mecca, before returning to one of favorite themes: the perversity of the unbelievers (vv. 159-177). Those who reject Islam will incur the curses of Allah, the angels, and all mankind (v. 161), and will dwell in hell (v. 162).

Meanwhile, the burden of the believers is not heavy. They only need abstain from certain foods, including pork (v. 173). There are among the unbelievers those who stubbornly conceal what they know Allah has revealed (v. 174).

Those who argue about what Allah has revealed in the Qur’an are in “open schism” (v. 176). The Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that these are — yet again — the Jews.

After that, Allah legislates on various matters: zakat (almsgiving), the Ramadan fast, the Hajj, and jihad (vv. 178-203). He establishes the law of retaliation (qisas) for murder (v. 178): equal recompense must be given for the life of the victim, which can take the form of blood money (diyah): a payment to compensate for the loss suffered. In Islamic law (Sharia) the amount of compensation varies depending on the religion of the victim: non-Muslim lives simply aren’t worth as much as Muslim lives.

Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), a Sharia manual that Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar University certifies as conforming to the “practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” says that the payment for killing a woman is half of that to be paid for a man and for killing a Jew or Christian one-third that paid for killing a male Muslim (o4.9).

For an explanation of this, see the Sufi Sheikh Sultanhussein Tabandeh’s statement here.

The following are among the Qur’an’s most important words about jihad warfare (vv. 190-193).

“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress” (v. 190) is often invoked today to show that jihad can only be defensive. Asad says that “this and the following verses lay down unequivocally that only self-defence (in the widest sense of the word) makes war permissible for Muslims.”

However, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that this verse was abrogated by 9:1, which voids every treaty between the Muslims and nonbelievers. On the other hand, Ibn Kathir rejects the idea that the verse was abrogated.

What constitutes a defensive conflict? A clue to that comes in v. 193: “Fight them until there is no fitnah and worship is for Allah.” Fitnah is persecution or unrest. Ibn Ishaq explains that this means that Muslims must fight against unbelievers “until God alone is worshipped.”

Says Bulandshahri: “The worst of sins are Infidelity (Kufr) and Polytheism (shirk) which constitute rebellion against Allah, The Creator. To eradicate these, Muslims are required to wage war until there exists none of it in the world, and the only religion is that of Allah.”

That amounts to a declaration of perpetual war against all non-Muslim religions.

declaration of war

Nonetheless, this conflict would be essentially defensive, against the aggressions of unbelief: if Muslims must fight until unbelief does not exist, the mere presence of unbelief constitutes sufficient aggression to allow for the beginning of hostilities.

This is one of the foundations for the supremacist notion that Muslims must wage war against unbelievers until those unbelievers are either converted to Islam or subjugated under the rule of Islamic law, as Qur’an 9:29 states explicitly.

As the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, puts it in a hadith:

“I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.” (Sahih Muslim 31)

Thus one may reasonably assume that if one does not accept him as a prophet, one’s blood and riches are not safe from those who read these words as the words of a messenger from the one true God.

In keeping with the theme of war, Allah then warns believers not to doubt, backslide, or follow Islam half-heartedly (vv. 204-210):

“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (v. 208).

This kind of statement makes reform difficult, for the reformer is always vulnerable to the charge that he is not entering Islam completely.

The Jihad Triangle

Published on Mar 14, 2015 by Acts17Apologetics

http://www.answeringmuslims.com
Many people are confused by jihad. If Islam is a religion of peace, why is there a persistent problem of radicalism in the Muslim world? If Islam is the problem, why are there so many peaceful Muslims? In this video, David Wood explains that jihad isn’t the product of a single factor, but of three factors: belief, knowledge, and obedience. These three factors come together in what we’ll call “The Jihad Triangle.”

ISIS is the Syndrome, Sharia the Real Malignancy

20150301_shariawilldominatetheworldsignFamily Security Matters, by Alex Alexiev, March 11, 2015

As the US-led kinetic war against ISIS continues with indifferent success and less than certain prospects to date, answering the obvious question of what motivates that murderous organization becomes more pressing by the day. Remarkably, there have been no visible efforts in that direction by either the White House or the Defense Department. Indeed, the much touted Obama Administration-sponsored conference on “countering violent extremism” further obfuscated the issue by its oxymoronic definition of terrorism as “acts of violence” committed “against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths.” Neither did the “Team America” high-level Pentagon-sponsored recent meeting in Kuwait help much with its lapidary conclusion that the US strategy against ISIS is correct.

Against that meager analytical background, a much discussed and praised effort to decipher ISIS ideology by journalist Graeme Wood in the March issue of the Atlantic Magazine deserves close scrutiny, because it is a good example of just how muddled and unrealistic our understanding of radical Islam with respect to ISIS has become.

Titled “What Does ISIS Really Want,” the article’s main contribution is its common sense proposition that ISIS is Islamic, indeed, “very Islamic.” Unfortunately, the rest of it is a largely failed effort to explain what drives ISIS to do what it does with a confused exegesis of its Islamic beliefs and interviews with several sympathizers. Key emphasis is given to its ostensible eschatological predilections as a “key agent of the coming apocalypse” and a “headline player in the imminent end of the world” when the messiah Mahdi will show up on Judgment Day. Mr. Wood also makes much of ISIS’s reported faithfulness to something called the “prophetic methodology of the caliphate” and implies strongly that what they practice is a “distinctive variety” and a “coherent and even learned interpretation of Islam,” which aims “returning civilization to a seventh century legal environment.”

Much of this makes little sense to anybody who’s familiar with the foundational texts of Islam. It is true that the Quran does deal with Judgment Day in Sura 75 (Yawm al-Qiyamah), but much of what it says appears to be borrowed from the Bible and Mahdi, an essentially Shia concept, is not mentioned at all. ‘Prophetic methodology’ is a propaganda term used by ISIS and means nothing, especially in connection with the caliphate, which is not mentioned in either the Quran or the traditions (Sunna) of Muhammad. As far as the “seventh century legal environment” is concerned, it’s worth noting that during Muhammad’s life time and that of his immediate successors, there was no Islamic corpus juris in existence and to the extent that a legal system existed at all, it was mostly the old Arab customary law (urf) and arbitration that were practiced. In fact, the codification of sharia as Islamic law did not begin until the middle of the 8th century and was not completed until the end of the 9th century, or 2nd and 3rd century of Islam.

If ISIS ideology thus has little to do with “prophetic methodology” and eschatological propaganda, it has everything to do with sharia.  And the reason for that is very simple, for sharia is the most radical possible interpretation of Islam and a real source of legitimacy for those practicing it among the millions of Islamist sympathizers.

So what exactly is sharia? To radical Islamists, salafis and jihadists of all kinds, sharia is ‘God’s sacred law’ to be obeyed to the letter if a Muslim were to end up in heaven. More than that, it is also the constitution of the Islamic state and the guarantee of the perfect synergy between religion and the state (din wa dawla). To reform-minded Muslims and most non-Muslims it is nothing of the kind. Rather it is a post-Quranic, man-made doctrine designed to legitimate the imperialist policies of the hereditary Muslim empires that followed Muhammad and his successors and the open discrimination against non-Muslims and women widely practiced by them. Moreover, sharia was based for the most part not on the Quran, but on secondary and often unreliable sources such as the hadith (Muhammad’s sayings).

To the extent that sharia is based on the Quran, the cornerstone of its interpretation is the doctrine of abrogation (naskh), which invalidates most of the peaceful and tolerant verses of the earlier Meccan period and replaces them with the later violence-preaching Medinese verses.  As a result, sharia is not only radical and intolerant, but is also in direct conflict with many Quranic injunctions. Thus, the punishment for apostasy is death in sharia, but 100 lashes in the Quran. The former makes the establishment of the caliphate and sharia a religious obligation for Muslims, while the latter does not mention either one of them at all. In the Quran, Muslims are enjoined to fight in self-defense, sharia makes offensive jihad for the spread of Islam mandatory among many other examples.  If one were to characterize sharia today, which Muslims have been obligated to follow blindly (taqlid) since the 10th century, what comes readily to mind is the Catholic faith at the time of the inquisition.

The discriminatory and violent nature of sharia’s injunctions made it impractical as a law early on in Muslim states that were multi-national and multi-confessional, as most of them were, and though it was regularly paid lip service to, it was seldom practiced, except occasionally as family law. In the early Muslim empires, for instance, justice was administered mostly by courts of grievance (mazalim), police courts (shurta) or market judges (sahib al souk), rather than sharia, while in the historically greatest Muslim state of all, the Ottoman empire, the law of the land was kanun osmanly, an essentially secular law.

In fact, sharia’s political fortunes did not change for the better until the patron saints of contemporary radical Islam, Abul ala Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb, elevated the imposition of sharia as the sole criterion of whether or not a state is Muslim or apostate in middle of the 20th century. Since then, with the help of huge amounts of Saudi money and the spread of Muslim Brotherhood networks, sharia has become the sine qua non of the radical Islamist idiom that currently dominates the Muslim establishment worldwide. It is simply a fact that from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on down to countless mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim organizations, no rule, regulation or bylaw is viewed as legitimate if it contradicts sharia.

What the widespread support for sharia among Muslims means is that President Obama’s repeatedly expressed belief that there is no radical Islam, but just individual terrorists, is widely off the mark. In just a couple of examples relevant to ISIS, a recent open letter signed by 126 prominent Muslims from around the world, including many US Islamists, denouncing ISIS’ tactics, nonetheless endorses sharia. In another example, a radical Wahhabi preacher and passionate sharia supporter named Mohamed al-Arefe, approved of raping kidnapped Yazidi women in a tweet to his 10 million followers, while the prominent Islamist and member of the influential “senior council  of clerics” in Saudi Arabia, Saleh al-Fawzan, issued a fatwa arguing that whoever denies the legitimacy of slavery in sharia becomes an infidel.

For jihadist organizations like ISIS, being sharia-compliant in a self-proclaimed caliphate bestows them huge legitimacy in the eyes of the devout. What we view as barbaric practices, including raping and enslaving “infidel” women, crucifixions, killing homosexuals and Muslim apostates, are fully justified in sharia. Undoubtedly, the ISIS cutthroats believe that some of their more recent gruesome innovations, such as chopping off women’s hands for using cell phones or beheading smokers, are also legitimate under sharia.

Muslims are also obligated by sharia to emigrate to the caliphate, which helps explain the huge number of volunteer jihadists who continue to flock to ISIS. The ISIS’ self-anointed  “Caliph Ibrahim” enjoys yet another political benefit under sharia, which orders Muslims to obey him even if he is “unjust,” because  “a rebellion against a caliph is one of the greatest enormities.”

What is beyond doubt is sharia’s absolute incompatibility with basic human rights, democratic norms and the law of nations and its highly seditious nature in calling for violence against non-Muslims and non-conforming Muslims both. Until the community of nations and the Muslims themselves come to terms with this malignant doctrine and act to delegitimize it, its poisonous offshoots like ISIS will continue to thrive.

Alex Alexiev is IASC’s Senior Fellow for Eurasia Affairs.  He has more than 35 years of analytical experience in U.S. national security as a senior analyst and project director with the Rand Corp’s National Security Division, and several think tanks in Washington D.C.  He has directed numerous research projects for the Department of Defense, Office of Net Assessment, U.S. Army Intelligence, USAF intelligence, DIA, CIA, and other U.S. Government agencies, and has testified before Congress numerous times. He is the author of several books and myriad monographs and articles on national security issues.

Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 1-39

Read the entire Qur’an and its commentaries with us, then challenge the Obama admin and the media to do the same. (Read about the first Sura here.)

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 11, 2015:

Smell that? It’s Satan passing gas — the Qur’an’s second chapter must be being recited!

When you see the title of the Qur’an’s second chapter, Al-Baqara (“The Cow”), you might be tempted to think that it’s about . . . a cow. You’d be wrong. The chapters of the Qur’an generally take their titles from something recounted within them, even if it’s an insignificant detail. In this case, the chapter name comes from the story of Moses relaying Allah’s command to the Israelites that they sacrifice a cow (2:67-73), one of the Qur’an’s many stories from the Bible and Jewish tradition, altered and retold.

This is the longest chapter (sura) of the Qur’an — 286 verses. It begins the Qur’an’s general (but not absolute) pattern of being organized not chronologically or thematically, but simply running from the longest to the shortest chapters, with the exception of the Fatiha (sura 1), which has pride of place as the first sura because of its centrality in Islam.

This means that you should not take “The Cow” as the original, first, or primary message of Islam, simply because of its position. According to Islamic tradition, it actually dates from the latter part of Muhammad’s career, as it was revealed to Muhammad at Medina — to which he is supposed to have fled from Mecca in the year 622. In Medina for the first time, Muhammad became a political and military leader.

Islamic theologians generally regard Medinan suras as taking precedence over Meccan ones wherever there is a disagreement, in accord with verse 106 of this chapter of the Qur’an, in which Allah speaks about abrogating verses and replacing them with better ones. (This interpretation of verse 106, however, is not universally accepted. Some say it refers to the abrogation of nothing in the Qur’an, but only of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. More on that later.)

“The Cow” contains a great deal of important material for Muslims, and is held in high regard. The medieval Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir (whose commentary is still read and respected by Muslims) says that recitation of “The Cow” distresses Satan: he says that one of Muhammad’s early followers, Ibn Mas’ud, remarked that Satan “departs the house where Surat Al-Baqarah is being recited, and as he leaves, he passes gas.” Without Ibn Mas’ud’s poor taste, Muhammad himself says: “Satan runs away from the house in which Surah Baqara is recited.”

What Is Included in the Second Sura of the Qur’an?

“The Cow” begins with three Arabic letters: alif, lam, and mim. Many chapters of the Qur’an begin with three Arabic letters in this way, which has given rise to a considerable amount of mystical speculation as to what they might mean. But the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, another classic Qur’anic commentary, succinctly sums up the prevailing view: “God knows best what He means by these [letters].”

The verse immediately following those letters contains a key Islamic doctrine: “This is the Book about which there is no doubt.”

The Qur’an is not to be questioned or judged by any standard outside itself; rather, it is the standard by which all other things are to be judged.

The Qur’an Is Never To Be Doubted

That, of course, is not significantly different from the way many other religions regard their Holy Writ. But there has been no development in Islam of the historical and textual criticism that have transformed the ways Jews and Christians understand their scriptures today.

God-and-Gay-Christian1

(No books like this are allowed, for example.)

The Qur’an is a book never to be doubted, never to be questioned: when one Islamic scholar, Suliman Bashear, taught his students at An-Najah National University in Nablus that the Qur’an and Islam were the products of historical development rather than being delivered in perfect form to Muhammad, his students threw him out of the window of his classroom.

The Condemnation of Nonbelievers

“The Cow” then gets going with something we find again and again and again in the Qur’an: an extended disquisition on the perversity of those who reject belief in Allah. This one sounds several themes that will recur many, many times. The Qur’an, we’re told, is guidance to those who believe in what was revealed to Muhammad as well as in “what was revealed before” him (v. 4).

This refers to the Qur’an’s oft-stated assumption that it is the confirmation of the Torah and the Gospel, which teach the same message Muhammad is receiving in the Qur’anic revelations (see 5:44-48). When the Torah and Gospel were found not to agree with the Qur’an, the charge arose that Jews and Christians had corrupted their Scriptures — which is mainstream Islamic belief today.

The moderate Muslim Qur’an translator and commentator Muhammad Asad, a convert from Judaism, states it positively:

The religion of the Qur’an can be properly understood only against the background of the great monotheistic faiths which preceded it, and which, according to Muslim belief, culminate and achieve their final formulation in the faith of Islam.

Another theme in this part of “The Cow” is Allah’s absolute control over everything, even the choices of individual souls to believe in him or reject him:

“Indeed, those who disbelieve — it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.” (vv. 6-7).

Free Will Is Anathema

The Qadaris, a Muslim sect early in Islamic history, held that mankind had free will, and was thus capable of choosing to do good or evil. Their opponents maintained that Allah determined everything. While both sides had abundant Qur’anic citations to support their views, eventually Muslim authorities condemned Qadarism as a heresy, as it restricted Allah’s absolute sovereignty over all things. Thus those who reject faith do so because Allah wills them to reject faith, as per these verses, not because they have free choice. Says Ibn Kathir:

“These Ayat [verses] indicate that whomever Allah has written to be miserable, they shall never find anyone to guide them to happiness, and whomever Allah directs to misguidance, he shall never find anyone to guide him.” (A good, brief overview of the Qadari controversy can be found in the renowned Islamic scholar Ignaz Goldziher’s Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law.)

“The Cow” follows this up with a condemnation of hypocrites and false believers, who frequently bedeviled Muhammad during his career as a prophet (vv. 13-20). Then comes the assertion of the sublimity of the Qur’an, such that doubters are challenged to produce a sura like it if they refuse to believe its divine provenance (v. 23). This is a challenge many have taken up, but of course it is the kind of challenge that can never be successfully met in the eyes of those who issue it — “they could not produce the like of it” (17:88).

The Virgins in Paradise And the Story of Adam And Eve

2:25 introduces the famous gardens of Paradise, wherein the believers shall reside — you know the ones, with the virgins and all that. More on that later.

Then 2:30-39 tells the story of Adam and Eve, in a manner suggesting that the hearers of the recitation are already familiar with the story. Allah tells the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam (v. 34), a command that appears to depend upon the Biblical notion of mankind’s having been created in the image of God, although that idea does not appear here or anywhere else in the Qur’an or Islamic theology. According to Ibn Kathir, “Allah stated the virtue of Adam above the angels, because He taught Adam, rather than them, the names of everything.”

Satan refuses to prostrate himself, thereby becoming an unbeliever (v. 34), and tempts Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit. Allah promises revelations to guide mankind, warning them that those who ignore these revelations will be punished with hellfire.

We’ll be hearing that many, many more times as we go through the Qur’an.

THE WORLDWIDE MUST-READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 1, ‘The Opening’

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 5, 2015:

See Introduction here

The Fatiha (Opening) is the first sura (chapter) of the Qur’an, and most common prayer of Islam. If you’re a pious Muslim who prays the five requisite daily prayers of Islam, you will recite the Fatiha seventeen times in the course of those prayers.

According to an Islamic tradition, the Muslim prophet Muhammad said that the Fatiha surpassed anything revealed by Allah (“the God” in Arabic, and the word for God used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews, as well as Muslims) in the Torah, the Gospel, or the rest of the Qur’an. And indeed, it efficiently and eloquently encapsulates many of the principal themes of the Qur’an and Islam in general: Allah as the “Lord of the worlds,” who alone is to be worshiped and asked for help, the merciful judge of every soul on the Last Day.

In Islamic theology, Allah is the speaker of every word of the Qur’an. Some have found it strange that Allah would say something like “Praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds,” but Islamic tradition holds that Allah revealed this prayer to Muhammad early in his career as a prophet (which began in the year 610 AD, when he received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Gabriel — a revelation that is now contained in the Qur’an’s 96th chapter), so that the Muslims would know how to pray.

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It is for its last two verses that the Fatiha is of most concern to non-Muslims.

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A Shi’ite imam, Husham Al-Husainy, ignited controversy back in 2007 by paraphrasing this passage during a prayer at a Democratic National Committee winter meeting, giving the impression that he was praying that the assembled pols convert to Islam. Then Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque prayed the Fatiha at the Texas State Senate, giving rise to the same concerns [4].

The final two verses of the Fatiha ask Allah:

Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

The traditional Islamic understanding of this is that the “straight path” is Islam — cf. Islamic apologist John Esposito’s book Islam: The Straight Path — while the path “of those who have evoked Allah’s anger” are the Jews, and those who have gone “astray” are the Christians.

——————————

The classic Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir explains that “the two paths He described here are both misguided,” and that those “two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why ‘anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as ‘led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians.”

Ibn Kathir’s understanding of this passage is not a lone “extremist” interpretation. In fact, most Muslim commentators believe that the Jews are those who have earned Allah’s wrath and the Christians are those who have gone astray.

This is the view of Tabari, Zamakhshari, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn , the Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, and Ibn Arabi, as well as Ibn Kathir. One contrasting, but not majority view, is that of Nisaburi, who says that “those who have incurred Allah’s wrath are the people of negligence, and those who have gone astray are the people of immoderation.”

Wahhabis drew criticism a few years back for adding “such as the Jews” and “such as the Christians” into parenthetical glosses on this passage in Qur’ans printed in Saudi Arabia.

Some Western commentators imagined that the Saudis originated this interpretation, and indeed the whole idea of Qur’anic hostility toward Jews and Christians. They found it inconceivable that Muslims all over the world would learn as a matter of course that the central prayer of their faith anathematizes Jews and Christians.

But unfortunately, this interpretation is venerable and mainstream in Islamic theology. The printing of the interpretation in parenthetical glosses into a translation would be unlikely to affect Muslim attitudes, since the Arabic text is always and everywhere normative in any case, and since so many mainstream commentaries contain the idea that the Jews and Christians are being criticized here.

Seventeen times a day, by the pious.

Please note that I am not saying that the anti-Jewish and anti-Christian interpretation of the Fatiha is the “correct” one. While I don’t believe that religious texts are infinitely malleable and can be made to mean whatever the reader wants them to mean, as some apparently do, in this case Nisaburi’s reading has as much to commend it as the other: there is nothing in the text itself that absolutely compels one to believe that it is talking about Jews and Christians. And it is noteworthy that in his massive and evocatively named 30-volume commentary on the Qur’an, Fi Zilal al-Qur’an (In the Shade of the Qur’an), the twentieth-century jihad theorist Sayyid Qutb doesn’t mention Jews or Christians in connection with this passage.

At the same time, however, the idea in Islam that Jews have earned Allah’s anger and Christians have gone astray doesn’t depend on this passage alone. The Jews have earned Allah’s “wrath upon wrath” by rejecting Muhammad (2:87-90), and the Christians have gone astray by holding to the divinity of Christ: “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary’”(5:72).

The Hadith, the traditions of the words and deeds of Muhammad and the early Muslims, also contains material linking Jews to Allah’s anger and Christians to his curse, which resulting from their straying from the true path. (The Jews are accursed also, according to Qur’an 2:89, and both are accursed according to 9:30). One hadith recounts that an early Muslim, Zaid bin ‘Amr bin Nufail, in his travels met with Jewish and Christian scholars. The Jewish scholar told him, “You will not embrace our religion unless you receive your share of Allah’s Anger,” and the Christian said, “You will not embrace our religion unless you get a share of Allah’s Curse.” Zaid, needless to say, became a Muslim.

In light of these and similar passages it shouldn’t be surprising that many Muslim commentators have understood the Fatiha to be referring to Jews and Christians.

A Worldwide Must-Read: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an

Obama gambled the world’s fate on a belief that “real,” peaceful Islam can overtake the jihadists. Now — as Bibi exhorted — we’re out of time. We must read the Qur’an, every page, and understand how the world’s Muslims interpret and teach it.

PJ Media, By Robert Spencer On March 3, 2015:

Back in 2007 and 2008, I ran a weekly feature at my website Jihad Watch: “Blogging the Qur’an.” Now, with the Obama administration repeatedly reiterating the claim that Islam is fundamentally peaceful and that promoting its true and benign face will ultimately conquer the global jihad, it is time to revive it.

Here at PJ Media I’ll be presenting a new, revised version of the series.

Why Read the Qur’an

To understand the motives and goals of Islamic jihad terrorists, a good place to start is to explore what they themselves say about why they’re doing what they’re doing, and what they want. That leads directly to the Qur’an (or Koran), the Islamic holy book.

The jihadists quote the Qur’an frequently and portray themselves as those who are following “pure Islam,” the genuine article as it is taught in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition. Yet Islamic groups in the West — such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations — insist that the jihadis are misusing the Qur’an, and that non-Muslim analysts who trace the jihadis’ activity to the Qur’an are “cherry-picking” violent passages and quoting them “out of context.”

The Obama administration has crafted its entire Middle East foreign policy based on this claim.

Obama speaking at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 2009

Obama speaking at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 2009

From Nigeria to Iran, the administration believes that promoting the “in-context,” complete message of the Qur’an will bring about a peaceful, safer Middle East.

So we’re going to read the Qur’an. All of it. Nothing “cherry-picked” or “out of context.”

And we’re going to invite elected officials, journalists, and other newsmakers who have made public claims about the nature of Islam to debate and read along with us.

The inspiration for this, back in 2007, was David Plotz’s series on Slate, “Blogging the Bible.” But this series will be fundamentally different than that one: rather than just write about what I think or feel about a certain passage, as Plotz did regarding his own thoughts, I will refer to commentaries — all Muslim ones — on the Qur’an.

I’ll try to explain how mainstream Muslims who study the Qur’an will understand any given passage.

This is important, and is the only point in doing this: I will be posting on what the major translations and commentaries used by the world’s Muslims have to say about the Qur’an.

Not what I say, not what the Obama administration says, not what the terror-tied CAIR says, not what John Kerry says.

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Written by Allah vs. Written by Men

Here is a good Arabic/English text. In Islamic theology, the Qur’an is essentially and inherently an “Arabic Qur’an” (as the Qur’an describes itself repeatedly: see 12:2; 20:113; 39:28; 41:3; 41:44; 42:7; and 43:3). In Islamic belief, the Qur’an’s meaning can be rendered in other languages, but those translations are not the Qur’an, which when no longer in Arabic is no longer itself. Some Muslim scholars even claim that the Qur’an cannot be fully understood except in Arabic.

But the blizzard of translations made by Muslims for Muslims who don’t speak Arabic — who are the great majority around the world today — as well as to proselytize among non-Muslims belies that claim.

Two of the most popular and widely used English translations of the Qur’an were written by Muslims: Abdullah Yusuf Ali, and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. Those can be found here, along with four other translations by Muslims and four by non-Muslims.

What Is the Qur’an?

The Qur’an is, according to Islamic thought, a perfect copy of a book that has existed eternally with Allah, the one true God, in Paradise: “Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand. And indeed it is, in the Mother of the Book with Us, exalted and full of wisdom.” (43:3-4). According to Islamic tradition, the angel Gabriel revealed it in sections to Muhammad (570-632), an Arabian merchant. Like Jesus, Muhammad left the written recording of his messages to others.

Unlike Jesus, Muhammad did not originate his message, but only served as its conduit. The Qur’an is, for Muslims, the pure Word of Allah.

They point to its poetic character as proof that it did not originate with Muhammad, whom they say was illiterate, but with the Almighty, who dictated every word. The average Muslim believes that everything in the book is absolutely true and that its message is applicable in all times and places.

This is a stronger claim than Christians make for the Bible.

When Christians of whatever tradition say that the Bible is “God’s Word,” they don’t mean that God spoke it word-for-word and that it’s free of all human agency — instead, there is the idea of “inspiration,” that God breathed through human authors, working through their human knowledge to communicate what he wished to communicate.

But for Muslims, the Qur’an is more than inspired.

There is not and could not be a passage in the Qur’an like I Corinthians 1:14-17 in the New Testament, where Paul says: “I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.)”

Paul’s faulty memory demonstrates the human element of the New Testament, which for Christians does not negate, but exists alongside the texts’ inspired character. But in the Qur’an, Allah is the only speaker throughout (with a few notable exceptions).

Only Allah Speaks in the Qur’an

There is no human element. The book is the pure and unadulterated divine word.

Allah himself tells him this, in the Qur’an itself: “And indeed, it is a mighty Book. Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy.” (41:41-2). It is “an Arabic Qur’an, without any deviance that they might become righteous.” (39:28). In short, “it is the truth of certainty.” (69:51). Allah, speaking in a royal plural that does not, according to Muslim theologians, compromise his absolute unity, proclaims that “indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” (15:9).

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Understanding the Qur’an Requires Knowledge of Muslim Traditions

Yet even though the Qur’an says it includes “clarification for all things” (16:89), reading it is not always easy. Since so much of it consists of Allah speaking with Muhammad, it is often rather like listening in on a conversation between two people you don’t know, talking about events with which you were uninvolved. Even though a surprisingly large amount of what the Qur’an says is said more than once, still often the reader can’t figure out what’s being said, or why, without reference to Muslim tradition.

Also, it has no overarching narrative unity, although there are smaller narrative units within many chapters. With the exception of the brief first chapter (sura), its 114 chapters are arranged from the longest to the shortest.

In the longer chapters, stories are told, laws are given, and warnings to unbelievers are issued, but in them and throughout the book, there is no chronological or narrative continuity. The shorter suras, meanwhile, particularly those near the end of the book that run only a few lines, are poetic and arresting warnings of the impending divine judgment. The longer ones, by contrast, are often ponderous and repetitive — and filled also with similar warnings against unbelievers.

By the end of this journey, I believe we will see more clearly what makes the jihadists tick — and also perhaps understand what we can and must do to resist them.

In the original edition of this series I wrote: “I welcome feedback and criticism in the comments section, in e-mail correspondence, and on other blogs, and will answer questions and respond to the most thoughtful comments, criticism, and challenges.” Above all, I welcome criticism and feedback from Muslims who dispute the understandings of the Qur’an that I will report in this series.

Hamas-linked CAIR says that it’s committed to “dialogue.” Yet neither they nor their allies ever engage in honest dialogue and discussion with those whom they consider their foes.

I invite them here yet again to that discussion.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Can’t Sell Your New Quran? Just Call it a “Bible”

Faith Freedom, by Louis Palme, March 3, 2015:

Bible-QuranAn enterprising translator in the U.S., A.L. Bilal Muhammad, decided to boost the sales of his new Quran translation by calling it a “Bible.”

Why not? The best-selling book in the world is the Bible. The Guinness World Records website estimates that some 5 billion copies have been distributed – about one for every reading-age person on the globe today. The whole Bible has been translated into 349 languages, as compared with only 47 languages for the Quran. The “Bible-branding” of this Quran has to be pinnacle of Islamic deception. The pages of this Quran are in the two-column format used in most Bibles instead of the one-column format found in most Qurans. But Bilal can’t make up his mind if the source of this “Bible” is God or Allah. Here is his description of the book from the http://www.Amazon.com listing:

Bible with the name of Allah.

“God excludes and keeps what He pleases. With Him is the Mother of the Book.” 13:39 Imagine God released a Bible app around the time of Adam or Abraham and occasionally released updates. Then around the time of Christ Jesus, God released a major update to the app. Then again around the time of Muhammed the Prophet, God released another major update. I hear someone asking, “Why would God not simply create a perfect Bible that does not need updates?” Perhaps for the same reason God did not simply create a perfect world with perfect people. Or maybe God did create the Bible(s) perfect, and just like humanity and the world, humans and/or Satan messed it up. Either way, God allows us to decline the Bible updates if we wish. And God has left the previous Bible apps in the app store for a reason. One reason might be to remind humanity that God based the message revealed to Muhammed the Prophet on the Bible(s). And to remind humanity that our Bible(s) was updated.

Nowhere in this new translation is the word “Allah” used. Sometimes, as in Surah 2:17, the Jewish rendering “G-d” is used. Bilal still uses the expression “People of the Book,” meaning Jews and Christians – which draws a contrast between their Bible and his Bible/Quran. So was the Quran ever passed [based?]on their Book, as Bilal asserts?

Why are all these new Qurans coming out?

David Wood recently made the point that Allah must be the worst communicator ever. He wrote:

In the Quran, Allah claims to be perfectly clear in his commands (see 11:1; 16:89; 24:1, 57:9; 65:11; etc.). Yet when critics of Islam quote the Quran, many Muslims insist that Allah means something very different from what he says. This should cause us to wonder: Is Allah’s speech clear, or is it horribly unclear? Since Allah regularly says one thing but means nearly the opposite (according to his Westernized followers), should we regard him as the worst communicator ever?

 

Coupled with this confusion over its meanng is the fact that there are now 23 “generally accepted” English translations of the Quran and an additional 18 English translations that are considered ‘non-Muslim, new, controversial, depreciated, or undetermined.” See the complete text of the Quran in all of these versions at http://www.IslamAwakened.com.

One reason for all the different new versions of the Quran is that Muslims and non-Muslims alike have been shocked after reading older, literal translations. Did Allah really order Muslims to slit the throats of non-Muslims, chop off the hands of petty thieves, whip adulterers, and beat wives? Not only have these literal translations made it difficult to win new converts to Islam, but it is now estimated that 6 million Muslims leave Islam and convert to Christianity every year despite the risk of being killed for apostasy.

See:

 

So the surge of new Qurans are attempts to render the original 7th Century Arabic text into an English version that is not so shocking to 21st Century readers.

So what does this new Quran Bible Say?

Whenever a new translation of the Quran is published I buy it in hopes that, finally, someone has discovered that Islam’s sacred text was misinterpreted, that it is really about equality, justice, and peace. Of course, the true test of the word of God is not whether it called “Quran” or “Bible,” but rather whether it is worthy of the all-knowing Creator of the world and humanity. There is a simple test I have developed for assessing the humanitarian content of any translation of the Quran. It consists of ten topics which are now crimes under national and international laws. I have listed the 1955 “interpretations” of these verses by A. J. Arberry on the left, along with Bilal Mohammed’s new translation on the right. (Arberry’s Quran was the first English translation by a bona fide scholar of Arabic and Islam. The translation is without prejudice and is probably the best around. It has earned the admiration of intellectuals worldwide, and having been reprinted several times, remains the reference of choice for most academics, according to a 2005 Middle East Quarterly review of English Quran translations.)

Inequality of women: God charges you, concerning your children: to the male the like of the portion of two females. (Surah 4: 11)

And call in to witness two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witnesses as you approve of, that if one of the two women errs the other will remind her. (Surah 2:282)

Physical abuse of women: And those [women] you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. (Surah 4:34)

Protection of children: O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them when they have reached their period . . . As for your women who have despaired of further menstruating, if you are in doubt, their period shall be three months, and those who have not menstruated as yet. (Emphasis added.) (Surah 65:1 – 4)

Inequality of non-Muslims: Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden – such men as practice not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute [jizya] out of hand and have been humbled. (Surah 9:29)

Cruel and abusive punishment: And the thief, male and female: cut off the hands of both, as a recompense for what they have earned, and a punishment exemplary from God. (Surah 5:38)

Beheading captives: When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds (Surah 47:3)

God directs you regarding your children’s inheritance. To the male, a portion equal to that of two females. (Surah 4:11)

And get two witnesses from your men. If not two men, then a man and two women, of whom you agree to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, then one of the two can remind the other.. (Surah 2:282)

As for those [women] who you suspect disloyalty, advise them, refrain from sleeping with them, and separate from them. (Surah 4:34)

O Prophet, if you divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count accurately their prescribed periods. . . . . As for those who have no period, it is the same. (Surah 65:1 – 4)

Fight those who do not believe in God, nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which has been forbidden by God and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the way of truth, even if they are of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizyah with willingness, even though they are of modest means. (Surah 9:29)

As well as the male and female thief. So cut off their hands. A punishment by way of example from God, for what they acquired, and God is exalted in power. (Surah 5:38)

Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers in war, strike at their necks, then when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly.(Surah 47:3)

Taking of hostages and booty: It is not for any Prophet to have prisoners until he make wide slaughter in the land . . . Eat of what you have taken as booty, such as is lawful and good, and fear your God. (Surah 8:67-70)

Freedom of thought, including religion: [Hypocrites] wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them. (Surah 4: 89)

Intolerance of other religions: O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you, and let them find in you a harshness; and know that God is with the godfearing. (Surah 9:125)

Separation of religion and politics: That which you serve, apart from Him, is nothing but names yourselves have named, you and your fathers; God has sent down no authority touching them. Judgment belongs only to God. (Surah 12:40)

It is not fitting for a prophet to have prisoners of war until he has fought in the land. . . But enjoy what you took in war, permissible and good, but be conscious of God. . . (Surah 8:67-70)

[Hypocrites] only wish that you would not believe, like they do, so that you would be on the same level as them. But do not take friends from their ranks until they go the way of God. But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them…. (Surah 4:89)

O you who believe, fight the unbelievers who are close to you, and let them find resolve in you, and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him. (Surah 9:125)

If not Him, you worship nothing but names which you have named, you and your parents, for which God has sent down no authority. The command is for none but God. (Surah 12:40)

So this new translation brings no relief from the crimes and atrocities in earlier translations. One must conclude that it is really true, as stated in Surah 18:27, “None can change His words.” Regardless whether the book is called a Quran or a Bible, when one sees how hostile the text is to 21st Century concepts of equality, justice, and peace, this is truly unfortunate.

Obama’s Moral Equivalence Ignores Islamic Doctrine

isis-obama-shhhhhhPJ Media, By Andrew C. McCarthy On February 6, 2015

The insipid moral equivalence in President Obama’s apologia for Islam at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning has already been deconstructed by such commentators as Roger Simon, Victor David Hanson and Jonah Goldberg. I am bothered, though, by the president’s presumption of equivalence between doctrinal apples and oranges. If, as he maintains, we must engage in comparative religion with a focus on what believers do in the name of their varying faiths, then we should also analyze what their varying faiths tell them to do.

Sounding more like the executive director of CAIR, the president of the United States warned Christians and other non-Muslims to stay off “our high horse” regarding the sadistic murder of a Jordanian pilot, Lieutenant Mouath al-Kasaebeh, by Islamic State terrorists. We must have some humility, explained famously humble Mr. Obama. After all, over the last millennium, “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

In Islamic doctrine, Jesus (Isa) is considered not God but a prophet. He is deemed to anticipate the final prophet, Mohammed, and to preach a Gospel subsequently perfected by the revelations of the Koran.

From that perspective, then, an analogous answer to Obama’s assertion could be made y recounting the terrible things Muslims have done in the name of Mohammed — an answer that wouldn’t require mining a millennium since it has been just three weeks since Lt. al-Kasaebeh’s immolation and the scene of mass-murdering jihadists braying, “Allahu Akbar! The prophet has been avenged!” as they fled the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

I’m more interested, though, in the deeds of Mohammed himself. When Christians resort to the wrongs cataloged by Obama, they are blatantly deviating from the example of Christ. Can the same be said for Muslims and the example of Mohammed?

In 627 AD, the prophet orchestrated the mass-murder of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe after they had surrendered to the Muslims. He presided over the beheadings of somewhere between 600 and 900 members of the tribe – including all young boys who had reached puberty. The women and the remaining children were taken as concubines and slaves (with some of the women sold for horses and armor). All the tribe’s wealth was confiscated.

This is not speculation. The incident is explicitly recorded in Koran. (By the way, I use the Koran approved and published in various languages, side-by-side with the original Arabic, by the Saudi government’s Ministry of Hajj and Endowments. The Kingdom has widely disseminated this version throughout the world, particularly Islamic schools.)

As recounted in Sura 33:25-27:

Allah turned back the unbelievers for (all) their fury: No advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of strength, exalted in might.

And those of the people of the book [the Banu Qurayza] who aided them – Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) some ye slew, and some ye made captives.

And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things.

Mohammed’s first authoritative biographer, Mohammed ibn Ishaq (d. 768), elaborates with this account (reproduced at wikiislam.net):

Then [the Banu Qurayza] surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina[.]… Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.

As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, “Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!” This went on until the apostle made an end of them. Huyayy was brought out wearing a flowered robe in which he had made holes about the size of the finger-tips in every part so that it should not be taken from him as spoil, with his hands bound to his neck by a rope. When he saw the apostle he said, “By God, I do not blame myself for opposing you, but he who forsakes God will be forsaken.” Then he went to the men and said, “God’s command is right. A book and a decree, and massacre have been written against the Sons of Israel.” Then he sat down and his head was struck off.

Ibn Kathir, a revered fourteenth century scholar of sharia jurisprudence and biographer of Mohammed, adds:

Then the Messenger of Allah commanded that ditches should be dug, so they were dug in the earth, and they were brought tied by their shoulders, and were beheaded. There were between seven hundred and eight hundred of them. The children who had not yet reached adolescence and the women were taken prisoner, and their wealth was seized.

This was six centuries after the Gospel of the New Testament. Even if he did not turn the other cheek, the prophet could have shown compassion to his enemies. They had surrendered. Even if he had been determined to seize their territory and wealth, he could have allowed them to evacuate. Instead, he killed, enslaved, and sold them off.

Some background is necessary before we get to a second incident in the life of the prophet. Earlier this week, the Islamic State released a slick video showing Lt. al-Kasaebeh being burnt alive in a cage. The Obama administration spun into action … fresh off offending both the Egyptian government and most Americans by hosting some of its friends from the outlawed and virulently anti-American Muslim Brotherhood at the State Department. Echoing Islamists, administration officials assured us that, while this sort of barbarity was a staple of fifteenth century Christianity — it was against everything Islam stands for, and thus utterly slanderous for ISIS to rationalize it as Islamic warfare.

Inconveniently, the Koran proclaims that immolation is a punishment favored by Allah, so much so that the skin is constantly replaced to prolong the agony. It is imposed, moreover, not for anything particularly treacherous — just for refusing to accept Islam. Sura 4:56 explains:

Those who reject Our signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the chastisement: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.

Now, according to “Muslim clerics” far and wide, as reported by Reuters, immolation is “considered despicable by Islam, no matter what the context.” How can that be when the Koran tells us Allah Himself has prescribed immolation as a suitable punishment? Because, Islam’s defenders rationalize, the immolation promised in the Koran is for Allah alone to impose in the afterlife, not for men to presume to impose in this life. “Only God tortures by fire,” tweeted Salman al-Odah, a Saudi sheikh.

That’s not very persuasive. There are, after all, numerous cruel penalties that Islamic scripture has Allah directing Muslims to impose — scourging, stoning, beheading and so on. Indeed, while in one breath condemning the torching of the pilot as a “lowly terrorist act” by a “Satanic, terrorist” group, Reuters quoted Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar (the ancient seat of Sunni scholarship), as pronouncing in the next breath that the ISIS killers should be “killed, crucified of have their limbs amputated.”

As Robert Spencer points out, the grand sheikh clearly drew that sharia sentence straight out of the Koran. Specifically, according to Sura 5:33:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, crucifixion, or the cutting of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land[.]

The verse goes on to say that, for those condemned, these punishments are to be “their disgrace in this world”; then, after death, another “heavy punishment” awaits them — presumably, the eternal barbecue foretold by Sura 4:56.

So at best, fire is frowned upon, but death by crucifixion and amputation is recommended. Not terribly comforting.

But it gets worse. There is also an eye-for-an-eye dimension of Islamic jurisprudence. Back to Sura 5, this time verse 45: “We ordained therein for them, ‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” This is why, for example, in Saudi Arabia, where sharia is the law of the land, the government had a prisoner’s eye surgically removed after he was found guilty of an assault that damaged his victim’s eye.

Lt. al-Kasaebeh was captured while on a mission to firebomb Islamic State targets. The jihadists thus contend that setting him on fire was the reciprocal, scripturally prescribed punishment. That rationale is disturbing to us in the West, where — unless you’re frozen, Obama-like, in the fifteenth century — we do not criminalize honorable combatants who conduct legitimate attacks on enemy forces (and we don’t, in any event, do immolation).

Nevertheless, ISIS’s argument carries considerable weight in Islam. Even in the Reuters report that tries hard to depict universal Muslim condemnation of ISIS, a Jordanian cleric known as Abu Sayaf (a/k/a “Mohamed al-Shalabi) is quoted as grudgingly saying, “Even if the Islamic State says [the Jordanian pilot] had bombed and burnt and killed us and we punished him they way he did to us, we say, ‘OK, but why film the video in this shocking way?’” In other words, burning the pilot alive is justifiable; it’s the bad PR from recording it that is unacceptable.

Now, with all that as context, let’s consider another episode from the prophet’s life, which, as Mr. Spencer points out, is conveniently omitted by al-Azhar’s grand sheikh, his fellow sharia jurists, and Islam’s Western apologists in the White House and beyond. The incident is recorded in Ibn Ashaq’s biography of the prophet (italics mine):

Kinana b. al-Rabi`, who had the custody of the treasure of B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came … to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, “Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?” he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam, ‘Torture him until you extract what he has,’ so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.

So at Mohammed’s direction, a man’s chest was set on fire to extract information from him before he was beheaded. Well, at least he wasn’t waterboarded.

Robert adds a hadith from the authoritative Sahi Bukari collection (No. 626 in Book 1, Volume 11) (again, my italics):

Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama [the call to prayer] and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.

Relatedly, Raymond Ibrahim directs our attention to an incident involving the prophet, recorded in another Bukari hadith (No. 261 in Book 4, Volume 52). The story involves eight starving tribesmen who sought the prophet’s help. Mohammed directed them to a shepherd, who fed them until they recovered their health. But they turned on the shepherd, killing him, and renouncing Islam. When he was informed, Mohammed ordered that they be captured and – besides having their hands and feet cut off – that iron be heated by fire and passed over their eyes, blinding them.

President Obama says we need to approach comparisons of religion with humility. I’m all for that. In a 2011 NRO column, I traced the evolution of Christianity in America from the often harshly theocratic origins of the original colonial settlements to the tolerant pluralism of modern times. The president, however, misses the point of humility. It is to refrain from dismissing out of hand the hope that Islam, too, will eventually evolve. It is not license to remain willfully blind to the dangers posed to us by its doctrine, as widely understood and practiced by a mainstream faction of Islam for centuries, right up to the present day.

Courageous Muslim reformers are laboring to advance an evolution — and they risk death at the hands of radical Muslims who regard them as apostates, an offense Islam punishes by death. We can humbly encourage the reformers while rationally acknowledging that their labors are very uphill. To repeat what I wrote in the 2011 column:

Cultures are dynamic. They change drastically over time. [But] there are grounds for concern that Islam’s will have a harder time evolving — the blights on our history are rooted in human failure to apply Judeo-Christian doctrine, not in the doctrine itself. [By contrast,] Islam’s problems are more about Islam than about Muslims.

That remains true, Obama’s wayward moral equivalence notwithstanding. Islam regards the Koran as the immutable word of Allah. In Sura 33:21, Allah gives Muslims the following admonition regarding Mohammed, “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Final Day.” Muslims are commanded to imitate their prophet. It is undeniable that their prophet was, to put it mildly, an aggressive warrior.

With regard to that aspect of Mohammed’s legacy, there is nothing equivalent to it in Christianity.

It is not humility but delusion to pretend that modern Islam is just fine as is. It is not humility but cowardice to indulge the suicidal notion that our own past sins render us unfit to condemn today’s atrocities.

Islamic Ideology: Identifying the Enemy

Shariah-4-UKBreitbart, by  ADMIRAL JAMES A. “ACE” LYONS, Feb. 3, 2015:

While America continues to face an expanding national security threat, President Obama has great difficulty in identifying the enemy that has been at war with the United States for over 35 years.

Using terms such as “violent extremism” and “workplace violence” does an enormous injustice to our military forces, as well as to all law enforcement agencies that must be prepared to confront the Islamic jihadis on a daily basis.  For example, the Obama administration directed all of our training manuals, that accurately portrayed the Islamic threat, to be purged by removing anything that didn’t portray Islam as a religion of peace.

Probably, the worst six words President George W. Bush ever uttered were “Islam is a religion of peace.”  He most likely was urged to make such a statement by his Muslim Brotherhood advisors who had already penetrated our government agencies during the Clinton administration.  Regrettably, those words are repeated by a number of Western leaders under the guise of political correctness and should be discarded.  Furthermore, the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood must cease.  They must be removed from all government agencies and those front groups, e.g., CAIR and ISNA, shut down.

The leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, has been at war with the United States since the November 1979 takeover of our Tehran U.S. embassy.  Since then, Iran has directed numerous “acts of war” against us, either using proxies (Hezbollah), or their own forces – acts of war that every administration, Republican and Democrat, has failed to find the political courage to respond.  Consequently, the surge of Islamic Fundamentalism, as espoused by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s evil regime, has continued to expand.

Iran has encouraged Islamic supremacists, both Shi’ite and Sunni, to take ever bolder action– as evidenced by the atrocities being committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria today, the recent Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, Canada, and Australia as well as the incessant HAMAS and Hezbollah attacks against Israel.  While President Obama tries to make the case that these atrocities are not part of the Islamic religion, Chapter 2 verse 106 (on abrogation) of the Quran makes it very clear that the later, violent verses take precedence over the early, less violent verses.

The most dramatic action by the Islamic supremacists was the 9/11 hi-jacker terrorist attack, which was the most serious attack on the United States since the 7 December, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  It resulted in the loss of almost 3,000 innocent American lives who were doing nothing more than going to work.  It should never be forgotten that this attack could not have been successfully carried out without the material and training support of the evil Iranian regime that succeeded its founder Ayatollah Khomeini.

To understand the threat we face today, we must be clear in the terms we use.  It is not violent extremism or even radical Islam: it is Islam itself, which has remained unchanged for over 1,300 years.  The former Turkish Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated it best when he declared “Islam is Islam.  There are no modifiers,” e.g., Islamic Extremism.

Clearly, any thinking individual understands that Islam is a totalitarian ideology that is bent on world domination under one religion and ruled by the draconian Shariah.  It is totally incompatible with the Western world’s concept of freedom and democracy, and our Constitution.  Furthermore, until it is understood that Islam is a political movement (similar to communism) masquerading as a religion, we will not be successful in combating the enemy.

As the Dutch politician Geert Wilders stated, the more Islam penetrates your society, the less freedom you have.  Therefore, our current unregulated Muslim immigration and asylum policies make no sense.  They must be revised along with effective measures to secure our open borders.

The real question is, can Islam be reformed to co-exist peacefully in the 21st century?  The problem is how to modify Shariah, which has not been done in over 1,300 years.  Clearly, it would have to be done cautiously, and by Sunni clerics as well as Shi’a.  Recently, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a New Year’s Day speech to the leading Sunni clerics, challenged them to reform Islam.  The atrocities being committed in the cause of advancing Islam are, in his view, giving Islam a bad image.  More importantly, such an initiative would be consistent with Egyptians reclaiming their rich heritage by thinking of themselves first as being Egyptians.

We should encourage President al-Sisi to follow up his challenge to the leading Sunni clerics by proposing that they form an Islamic Forum of leading Sunni clerics to address the reformation of Islam for the 21st century.  Unless such an effort is made, the alternative will be a consistent state of war (Dar al-Harb) against the infidels as mandated in the Quran.

James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

Obama And Islam’s Non-Existent Golden Rule

obama1 (1)NER, by Hugh Fitzgerald, Feb. 6, 2015:

Barack Obama ended his talk at the National Prayer Breakfast with a quote from the Hadtih (Sahih Muslim):

“And, finally, let’s remember that if there is one law that we can all be most certain of that seems to bind people of all faiths, and people who are still finding their way towards faith but have a sense of ethics and morality in them — that one law, that Golden Rule that we should treat one another as we wish to be treated. The Torah says “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” In Islam, there is a Hadith that states: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” The Holy Bible tells us to “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Put on love….”

Quoting this Hadtih — incidentally, this is the first time that Obama has publicly used that word — from the Sahih Muslim is like quoting Quran 5.32 without its modifier 5.33, that vitiates the original verse lifted from the Mishnah, or 2.256 (“There is no compulsion in religion”) without understanding what that verse means, for clearly the three possibilities open to non-Muslims under Muslim rule — death, conversion, or life as a dhimmi, with a host of economic, political, and social disabilities that for many proved unendurable.

Ali Sina, the celebrated apostate who was born and raised in Islam, has written extensively, in a debate with Yamin Zakaria, about the non-eexistence of the Golden Rule in Islam. It can be found at his website, http://www.faithfreedom.org. He also wrote, a few years after the original article, a rebuttal to the objections raised by a Muslim defending the faith:

“The Quran is a book of double standards. Indeed there are exhortations to Muslims to be kind to the poor, the traveler, the orphan and the sick. This is to be expected. If you want to start a religion you must preach something good or you”d not find anyone to believe you. You cannot preach only evil. In order to attract followers you must teach things that people like and can easily identify as good. Once they accept you as a prophet, guru or their spiritual guide, then you can do whatever you want and get away with it.

The difference between a true spiritual teacher and a conman is in their consistency. There are several teachings of Muhammad that can be compared to those of Jesus, but the teachings of Jesus are consistent while those of Muhammad are not. Even a criminal can give you good advises, this does not mean this criminal is a good person.

When I was young there was a radio show in Iran called A City within Our City. Every week the producer interviewed a prison inmate on death roll and the criminal would tell the story of his life and what brought him to crime. At the end of the program the producer would ask, whether the criminal had any advice for young people. These criminals often had the best advices. They knew exactly the difference between right and wrong. I recall thinking, if only someone complied the advices of these criminals he could write the best book of guidance. Good words are dime a dozen. If they are not accompanied by good actions they are worthless. In fact the difference between a great man and a conman is in how much their word and deed differ. Demagogy is the domain of all charlatans and they are good at it.

We find similar good exhortations in the teachings of Jim Jones who actually based his religion on “social justice”. He even adopted children from many races to set the example.

The problem with the good teachings of Muhammad is that they are reserved for fellow Muslims. When the hadith says “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself,.” it is talking about the fellow Muslims. The brotherhood in Islam does not extend to everyone. The Quran (9:23) states that the believers should not take for friends and protectors (awlia) their fathers and brothers if they love Infidelity above Islam. In fact there are many verses that tell the Muslims to kill the unbelievers and be harsh to them. A clear example that Islam is not based on the Golden Rule is the verse (48:29): “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.”

There are many other verses that show the brotherhood in Islam is not universal. The non believers have no rights and should not be treated in the same way that Muslims are to be treated. The entire Quran is a breach of the Golden Rule. The Quran tells Muslims to slay the unbelievers wherever they find them (2:191), do not befriend them (3:28), fight them and show them harshness (9:123), smite their heads (47:4), etc. Are these verses compatible with the Golden Rule?

Islam is the only doctrine that calls upon its believers to do evil to others for the simple fact that they are not believers.

According to Muslims it is not the Golden Rule that defines the good and bad, it is Muhammad who does it. They believe that what is good for Islam is the highest virtue and what is bad for Islam is the ultimate evil. This is the definition of good and evil in Islam. This is the ethos of all cults. From Asahara’s “Aum Shinrikyo” to Jim Jones” “People’s Temple”; from Sun Myung Moon’s “Unification Chruch” to David Koresh’s “Davidian Branch”, the recurring theme is that the cult’s interests override the human understanding of right and wrong. In order to advance the interest of the cult, which is regarded as the ultimate good, everything, including lying, and even murder and assassination are permissible. The end is deemed to be so lofty that it justifies the means. This is the same idea of fascism where the glorification of the state and the total subordination of the individual to it are enforced.

None of the verse quoted above have anything to do with the Golden Rule.

Verse 13:22 tells the believers to be patient and generous with their money. This is what all cults demand from their followers. The more sacrifice the cultist makes the more he or she can be manipulated. Verse 23:96 asks Muslims to repel evil, whereas the definition of evil for Muhammad was contradicting him. Verse 41:34 is a Meccan verse where Muhammad and his followers were the underdogs and here he preached patience and said repel evil with good so your enemy becomes as friend. Could he have done anything else? These orders changed when Muhammad came to power. In Medina Muhammad banished and massacred entire populations just because he suspected that they may not be friendly to him. 28:54 is a repetition of 23:96 and 42:40 says whoever forgives and amends, he shall have his reward from Allah. However, Muhammad never forgave those who mocked him. As for Muhammad’s unforgiving nature it is enough to recall the fate of Oqba the man who when Muhammad was in Mecca used to mock him and when he was captured in the Battle of Badr, Muhammad ordered his decapitation. He ventured to expostulate, and demand why he should be treated more vigorously than the other captives who were kept for ransom. “˜Because of your enmity to God and to his Prophet,” replied Muhammad. “˜And my little girl!” cried Oqba, in the bitterness of his soul, “˜Who will take care of her?” — “˜Hellfire!” exclaimed the heartless conqueror; and on the instant his victim was hewn to the ground. “˜Wretch that he was!” continued Muhammad, “˜and persecutor! Unbeliever in God, in his Prophet, and in his Book! I give thanks unto the Lord that has slain you, and comforted mine eyes thereby.”

How do you reconcile the claim that Muhammad in his farewell sermon said, “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” With the fact that in his deathbed he said, “No two religions are allowed in Arabia” and ordered the forced conversion, expulsion or ethnic cleansing of the Jews and Christian and the murder of Pagans?

The sura 9, which is the last words of Muhammad, is a manifesto of discrimination and human rights abuses. This sura alone is proof that Islam is against the Golden Rule

The first requisite to feel the pain and suffering of others is to accept that they have feelings like us and they also feel hurt the way we do. If we deny such feelings on others we do not feel any remorse in abusing them. Muhammad claimed all those who disbelieve in Allah are the worst creatures. He even said that all non-believers will end up in hell where they will be tortured for eternity. How then Muslims can treat equally those whom they believe to be worst than beast and that deserve eternal punishment?

There is nothing in the Quran and Hadith that would make us believe that Islam is compatible with the Golden Rule.

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Obama, I suppose, has not had time — nor have his advisers and speech writers, including those who helped write that speech on Islam that Obama gave at Al-Azhar a few years ago — to read a bit more to understand what that line from a hadith that one of his advisers — Ben Rhodes? — means. It does not mean “love his brother” where “brother” stands for “fellow man.” It refers only to fellow Muslims. The Qur’an instructs Muslims not to take Christians and Jews as friends, and to make war on them if they do not convert, or submit, as dhimmis, to Islam. If Obama can quote a Hadith (that’s the first time he’s used that word in public) he can find out  what’s in the Qur’an.

When is Barack Obama going to look into Islam, and stop all this nonsense? He has a duty to instruct. And that begins with the task — possibly a little less watching of basketball games and suchlike on television is called for  of self-instruction.