PJ Media, by Hugh Fitzgerald, May 19, 2017:
Have you visited a mosque lately?
“Meet Your Muslim Neighbors,” “Ask A Muslim,” “Coffee, Cake, and Islam.” These are some of the welcoming names for these events you may have seen advertised recently, events at which local imams and other Muslims promise to tell visitors “the truth about our faith.”
These events are highly scripted — and highly predictable. What they actually deliver: a well-practiced lecture that sanitizes Islam, confirming the rose-colored, politically correct concept of the religion that dominates the political Left.
The event ordinarily begins with a fulsome welcome. The Muslim hosts mention being thrilled that so many have come out to “meet your Muslim neighbors” because “so many of you, I know, want to learn more about our faith.” Most importantly, “you are probably confused by all the stories in the media, so we thought we’d try to set the record straight. For there can be no better way to learn about Islam than by meeting Muslims themselves to tell you what it’s all about.” Then a short lecture is given, with a Q and A afterwards. And — an important part of the charm offensive — generally some amazing Middle Eastern food is laid out to end the evening, leaving everyone sated and content.
The lecture generally begins with the declaration by the hosts that “Islam means peace,” and this is flatly false. Any Arabic speaker would know that Islam means “submission.”
But who would be impolite enough to take issue with a welcoming Muslim telling you that he believes Islam means peace? Probably, some guests may think there’s room for doubt in translation, but in any case, why would they cause a fuss already when they are all trying to get along?
Then it’s on to the Five Pillars of Islam, which are always given pride of place: the Shahada (profession of faith); Salat (the five canonical prayers); Zakat (the required charitable giving); Sawm (the fasting at Ramadan); and Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca that a believer should make, if he can afford it, at least once in his life).
The list is winningly exotic, great fun for the guests to take notes on — oh, but there’s no need, they’ve been given a sheet that lists all five and their supposedly authoritative definitions — and memorize. The Five Pillars may seem comforting, too, because they do sound familiar to Judeo-Christian guests: a profession of faith, prayers, fasting, charitable giving, pilgrimage.
Yet these presentations never inform the audience that the Five Pillars are not shared elements of the Abrahamic religions, but in fact radical departures.
For example: Salat, the five daily prayers, include the repeated recitation — 17 times a day — of a phrase condemning Jews and Christians from the Fatiha, the first sura of the Qur’an. The last two verses of the Fatiha ask Allah:
Show us the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favoured; not the (path) of those who earn thine anger nor of those who go astray.
According to virtually all Muslim Qur’anic commentary, including that deemed most authoritative both today and throughout Islamic history, those who “earn thine anger” are the Jews, and those who “go astray” are the Christians. These descriptions of the Jews and Christians appear elsewhere throughout the Qur’an, removing any doubt. In both cases they are to be avoided by Muslims; they are cursed people.
But what Muslim host will admit “we curse the infidels 17 times a day”? And what infidel guest who attends such an event will know enough about the Fatiha to ask about the matter?
Similarly, Zakat is described as the charitable giving required of Muslims, and this certainly puts Muslims in a good light. But what will not be explained is that charity is to be given only to fellow Muslims. These may include recent converts to Islam who may be wavering, and need a kind of bribe, in the form of zakat, to guarantee their continued allegiance. The infidel guests at these events will not be told any of this, and again, likely would not know to ask.
Then it’s on to the Qu’ran. The hosts will explain that “Muslims believe the Qur’an is the immutable word of God.” The “suras,” these are “our chapters,” and some of the titles of the 114 suras will be given — “The Cow,” “The Bee, “The Ornaments of Gold,” “The Small Kindness” — to amuse the infidel guests. It’s all so new and exotic! The Muslim hosts may mention that “just as you have Bible competitions, we have Qur’an competitions to see who has memorized all of the Qur’an; we call such a person a hafiz. We have contests to see who can recite the Qur’an most beautifully.” Continuing in this insubstantial vein, they may explain why Muslims treat the physical Qur’an with such respect. And why Muslims should ideally read the Qur’an in Arabic; how beautiful it sounds to those who know the language.
A lot of time is being used up, and the guests are under the illusion they are learning something of substance. They are not.
On to the Qur’an itself: Whatever other verses the Muslim hosts may choose to discuss, two that are almost certain to be mentioned are 2:256 and 5:32. Qur’an 2:256 states:
There is no compulsion in religion.
This seems unambiguous. But if we know just a little about Islam, which our Muslim hosts hope we do not, we may be aware that the penalty for apostasy in Islam is death. Could there be a more severe kind of “compulsion in religion”?
If we also know about the treatment of the dhimmi — a word that will never be brought up by the Muslim hosts — we will have a still more skeptical view of 2:256. An unbeliever has only three choices in a Muslim state, according to the Qur’an: to convert to Islam, to be killed, or to endure life as a dhimmi by paying a heavy tax called the jizyah and submitting to many other humiliations. This is, of course, as severe as “compulsion” gets. But most infidels would simply take Qur’an 2:256 at face value during these events.
The second verse that is certain to be quoted is 5:32:
[W]hoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.
Well, that sounds like proof the “real,” peaceful Islam we’ve all been hearing about. But the Muslim hosts never get around to reading the very next sentence, 5:33, because all of this hinges on the word “innocent”:
The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.
Who “makes war upon Allah and His messenger”? Why, the infidels, of course. But who among the guests at these Meet-Your-Muslim-Neighbor nights will know enough to question this deceptive matter of quoting 5:32 without 5:33?
Just as there are a handful of verses sure to be quoted, there will be others left carefully alone. No Muslim at these Meet-Your-Muslim-Neighbor affairs wants you to know about Qur’an 9:29:
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (the Jews), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Nor will they want you to know about Qur’an 9:5:
Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
There are more than 100 other Jihad verses, similarly blood-curdling, including several that command believers to “strike terror” into the hearts of non-believers, which will also be left carefully unremarked.
And that’s not all that will be left out. What about Muhammad, the Perfect Man? What Muslim at these affairs will willingly discuss little Aisha, whom Muhammad married (and consummated the marriage) when she was nine and he was in his 50s? What Muslim will talk about how Muhammad had certain people who had mocked him assassinated (Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf)? What Muslim will want to talk about Muhammad as a slave-owner?
What Muslim will discuss Muhammad’s ordering and participating in the slaughter of 600-900 prisoners of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe?
What Muslim will talk about Muhammad’s raid on the Khaybar oasis, where he seized Safiyya after having killed her husband, father, and other relatives, and “married” her?
What Muslim will want to discuss Kinana, a Jewish man from Khaybar, tortured gruesomely on Muhammad’s express orders just to extract information about hidden treasure?
What Muslim would want to explain, given all that, that Muslims consider Muhammad to be “the Perfect Man” (al-insan al-kamil) and the “Model of Conduct” (uswa hasana)?
By all means, go to these events. Shunning them simply leaves the floor wide open for Muslim apologists and propagandists. You have a duty to inform your fellow infidels about all these misrepresentations and evasions.
Go prepared: learn about the Fatiha’s kuffar-cursing, about zakat, about the two Qur’anic verses you will definitely be force-fed, and about the “Jihad” verses that will be deliberately kept from you. Bring a dozen of the most disturbing verses on notecards, ready to be rattled off. Know the more piquant details of Muhammad’s life, beginning with little Aisha, that suggest Muhammad was not a “Model of Conduct.” Ask your host to comment on Aisha, or Asma bint Marwan, or the Banu Qurayza. Ask, as innocently as you can, why Qur’an 98:6 describes infidels as ‘the vilest of creatures.”
You can help undermine the meretricious farce of these Meet-Your-Muslim affairs. Even a little learning about the Qur’an and Muhammad can be, if you are rightly guided, a dangerous thing for your hosts and a service for your community.