Reading the Koran, a Guest Op Ed

an_abridged_koran-400x533-334x450Political Islam, October 3, 2016:

This is a guest post on Bill Warner’s site by a first-time reader of the Qur’an who comes from a Buddhist/Hindu background & writes how shocked he was by the aggressive hatred toward all that is not Muslim. H/T Clare Lopez

I have never read the Koran before despite having travelled extensively in Muslim countries and read on many Eastern religions.

It took me two days to read the ‘Abridged Koran’ of Dr. Warner, which as the author himself writes is more of a study guide before beginning to read the real Koran. Now I have the context of history and other Muslim scriptures in order make sense of the Koran.

The Abridged Koran is an easy read but a disturbing read. You have heard of Christian and Hindu monks take a bath before reading their scriptures? I had to take a shower *after* reading the Koran because I felt spiritually unclean. It was like sitting through a non-stop horror movie with no breaks. I kept waiting for the good parts, the positive sections to begin. They never did. I found a minority of moral teachings scattered here and there, and just a few poetic descriptions in a very hateful book. About 3/4 of the way through it became as if a blur of hurtfulness and arrogance. The task felt like counting the flies on a corpse, it was so grotesque. I kept wondering ‘how could any rational and kind person, any normal human being actually accept this book as scripture?’ and ‘If they do and can, do we want such people in our country?’ After I completed my read, all I could think of was: ‘We must take steps to see this religion far away from us, and if possible destroyed permanently, erased from the planet except in history. I don’t care if people become Bahai’s, atheists, agnostics, Baptists or worship trees and dance around the Maypole naked. *Anything* but Islam will be a vast improvement’ in individual and group consciousness.

I learned why Muslims do things, why some get very upset and even violent when certain things happen. There are scriptural precedents. For example, ‘preventing’ Muslims from going to pray. Abu Jahl is criticized in the Koran for holding back a Muslim, his servant, who wants to pray. Perhaps employers at companies that do not eagerly pay for and permit pray times are likewise considered evil. Why ISIL Muslims degrade and abuse their enemies by placing a foot on the head and then turn the heads backwards after decapitating. Again Koranic precedent.

I made notes by colour-coding five tabs and writing succinct words according to my needs…

Priority 1, essential: red – fascinating fact or dangerous alert Priority 2, very important: orange – very interesting, a warning or something unique about Islam Priority 3, not so important: yellow – curiosity, something I didn’t know, a lead to something else, or an unanswered yet question Priority 4, useful to know: green – Islamic trilogy facts (Koran, Hadith, Sira) Priority 5, extra: blue – detail about the method or structure of Warner’s book

I ended up with 86 red, 129 orange, 143 yellow, 16 green and 15 blue. I find this curious because when I use a similar system reading other books, concerning the top three priorities, the ratio is usually much more bottom heavy versus top heavy. For example reading the encyclopedic Siva Purana of medieval Hinduism, or the mixed mythic and philosophical Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, the ratio is closer to 20/120/400. Even the brutally caste-ridden Laws of Manu of Brahminism has some nobility. The war-themed Mahabharata of the epic period of Hinduism is replete with universal teachings. By comparison, Buddhist and Christian texts have much more humanistic themes than the Koran. The only thing I felt inspired to do after reading the entire Abridged Koran, was to get out in the fresh air and sunshine. So, be prepared with some drinking water and a place to take a break, otherwise you might feel sad and negative. Reading the Abridged Koran was a pivotal experience for me, unfortunately verifying my worst fears.

With The Abridged Koran, the tag ratio from my reading was skewed to the most alarming, a lot of ‘read this and weep.’ I made almost no notes of interest regarding Dr. Warner’s book itself, further reading or even the Trilogy of Islam. The content rests squarely on the malicious, envious and otherwise anti-civil society things that the Koran itself has to say.

While a considerable amount of Abridged Koran is contextual (i.e. explanation from author but more so information from other trilogy sources such as Hadith and Sira) herein I offer only Koranic verses. So, this is an assessment of the Koran itself not Dr. Warner’s study guide to it. My next step will be to read the Koran as it commonly presented, ordered according to length not chronological (real) history, and translated by a mainstream Islamic source which presumably has no anti-Islamic ‘axe to grind’. I am giving Islam the benefit of the doubt, even though it looks like an exercise in futility.

My list is not complete, it is just what I made notes on, and a conclusion based on the gist of it. For brevity, I have reduced my own tagged quotes to a fraction or what caught my attention. I suspect that the verse numbers I quote are inaccurate as I sometimes quote the entire group of verses and Dr. Warner does not itemize them but instead writes full thoughts. All of these assessments of categories I made after reading the Koran. Although I have read and heard of others repeat some of them as part of their arguments against the atrocity and obscenity of Islam these are taken directly from my reading, not from third party sources such as websites or other books. And if I made a tag on one section of verses I didn’t necessarily add other tags if another group of verses following saying similar followed. So, in other words, these are the *minimums*, there are more than I count herein.

The following list is based on my own assessment, disregarding everybody else’s read (including the author’s), whether they agree with my own assessment or not.

Top seven themes of the Koran

1. All non-Muslims are bad just by virtue of not being Muslim. And for other reasons too 2. Non-Muslims deserve to be killed, taxed and forced to submit, simply because they are non-Muslim 3. Non-Muslims are going to hell 4. Christians are bad, Jews are really bad, Idolaters are the worst 5. Good Muslims finance holy war and if possible engage in it themselves 6. Heaven is a comfy and scenic banquet hall with beautiful women and boys, tasty drinks and lots of fountains.
7. Hell is fire with torture, and it goes on forever.

The Koran spends a lot of text space criticizing other religions and in particular the *followers* of other religions, especially Jews and Christians. The Koran doesn’t observe the nicety of distinguishing between Jews and Judaism, for example. Coming from a background of Hinduism and having a fascination for the many streams of Buddhist traditions all over the world, I find the Koran bizarre and appalling. This ‘our way or the highway’ (the ditch actually) is contrary to any Indian-origin Dharmic religion or Indian-influenced religions, which generally have a compassionate and accepting attitude to other religions, accommodating them even into their own systems (for example the historical Buddha being considered as the ninth incarnation of Vishnu). The Koran is the antithesis of Indian Islam – with its the saint worship, festivals and music . I have spent considerable time upcountry and in the cities of India (as well as lived in Buddhist regions of Southeast Asia) and pure Islam, not tempered by the modifications of Java and Cambodia etc is like something from another planet. I find Koranic Islam’s stated objections to other religions so severe as to be anti-religion. They make the Catholic Church’s ‘we know best’ perspective seem downright cosmopolitan. Bishops might disagree with my critique of their Church, even vociferously. But they are not going kill me. Probably not even mock me. Maybe ignore me. Basically, Islam as presented in its primary scripture, the Koran, is completely incompatible with diversity and human rights. After reading the Abridged Koran I do not see Islam as a religion at all.

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God vs. the Sociologists: the Role of Religion in Terrorism


The civil war that is happening within Islam across the globe has much more to do with fault-lines within the religion than it does with economic or sociological factors.

Those fault lines originated with the death of Mohammed, and they come down to two key questions: Who is the successor to Mohammed, and what are the sources of authority in Islam?

Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, by Katharine Cornell Gorka, September 23, 2016:

Two of the predominant ways of looking at the problem of ISIS are either as a sociological problem or as a theological problem.  The Obama administration takes the first view; its critics take the second.

From the beginning of his presidency, President Obama has deflected blame for terrorism away from the religion of Islam. For him and his administration, the fault lies not with the religion but in ‘upstream factors’: economic, political, and sociological causes.

President Barack Obama speaks at Cairo University in Cairo, Thursday, June 4, 2009. In his speech, President Obama called for a 'new beginning between the United States and Muslims', declaring that 'this cycle of suspicion and discord must end'.  Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

President Barack Obama speaks at Cairo University in Cairo, Thursday, June 4, 2009. In his speech, President Obama called for a ‘new beginning between the United States and Muslims’, declaring that ‘this cycle of suspicion and discord must end’.
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

In his seminal Cairo speech, delivered at Al-Azhar University in Egypt on June 4, 2009, President Obama identified three explanations for Muslim discontent and violence:

  • colonialism, by which the West denied rights and opportunities to Muslims;
  • the Cold War, which led the West to treat Muslims as proxies and to disregard their aspirations; and
  • modernization and globalization, which bred Western hostility toward Islam.

According to this view, Muslim extremism is driven by legitimate grievances and has nothing to do with factors that might lie within the religion itself. The policies that naturally follow from such a view gloss over the role of religion and focus instead on addressing those alleged grievances.

Thus has the administration proceeded. In numerous speeches President Obama has expressed his support for Islam and its importance to the United States. He provided verbal, financial and technical support for anti-government forces during the Arab Spring (which included support for both secular forces as well as Islamist parties). And he withdrew nearly all combat troops from Iraq in 2011 and from Afghanistan in 2014.

If U.S. “meddling” in the region as well as perceived Western hostility toward Islam were in fact the root causes of Islamist terrorism, then these new policies could reasonably have been expected to bring about the demise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, al Nusra Front, Boko Haram and other Islamist groups.

But they did not. Indeed, we have seen the very opposite.

When President Obama came into office, Osama bin Laden was in hiding and Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) had all but disappeared. Since that time,

  • AQI evolved into ISIS, declared the Caliphate, and took over a territory the size of Great Britain with fully functioning affiliates in 18 countries;
  • Syria erupted into a civil war that has now raged for more than 5 years, claiming the lives of more than 400,000 and setting off the largest refugee crisis the world has seen;
  • Osama bin Laden is dead, but Al Qaeda is resurgent under the leadership of Ayman al Zawahiri;
  • Libya is roiled by civil war and chaos;
  • Boko Haram continues its war against Christians and moderate Muslims in Nigeria;
  • the Taliban rules in much of Afghanistan; and
  • the jihadists have brought their violence to the West with deadly attacks throughout Europe and the United States.

There could be no clearer evidence that the current strategy against Islamist violence is failing.


Where does the solution lie? First, it requires a revised assessment of the threat. The sociological assessment of the threat is wrong. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that grievances are not the key cause of extremism. Jihadists, as a rule, are not undereducated or underprivileged.

While upstream factors might be exacerbating, ideology is a far more important motivator. The problem is that the ideology of jihad is inextricably rooted in religion and this notion makes most Americans profoundly uncomfortable.

From 4th grade civics classes onwards, Americans are schooled in the notion that others should not be judged for their religion. It is far easier and more comfortable to blame poverty or tyrants or even ourselves for Islamist terrorism. But we must get over this squeamishness when it comes to talking about religion, because religion is central to the conflicts in the Middle East.

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi (Aljazeera)

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi (Aljazeera)

When Abu Bakr al Baghdadi declared the establishment of the Caliphate on June 29, 2014, his concern was not poverty or modern nation states or democracy; it was Islam. A word-cloud analysis of his speech makes that incontestably clear:


All the evidence that has since emerged from the Islamic States only serves to reinforce that fact. Most recently, a defector from ISIS, Mohammed Imal Khweis, said, “Our daily life was prayer, eating and learning about the religion for 8 hours.”


The civil war that is happening within Islam across the globe has much more to do with fault-lines within the religion than it does with economic or sociological factors.

Those fault lines originated with the death of Mohammed, and they come down to two key questions: Who is the successor to Mohammed, and what are the sources of authority in Islam?

After Mohammed completed his last pilgrimage and shortly before he died, in 632 A.D., he is said to have preached for three hours in the blistering sun to more than 100,000 of his followers at Ghadir Khumm. There, he took the hand of Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, and said, “For whomever I am his Leader, Ali is his leader.”

Was Mohammad appointing Ali his successor, as the Shi’a believe? Or was he merely saying that Ali was deserving of esteem and affection, as the Sunni believe?

This lack of clarity over Mohammed’s successor led to the assassination of three of the first four caliphs and the eventual division of the Muslim community into Shi’a and Sunni.

Today, this debate over the rightful successor to Mohammed continues to fuel enmity between Sunni and Shi’a: it drives Turkey’s and Saudi Arabia’s support for Sunni Islamists in Syria against Iran’s support for the Shia in Syria and Iraq.

The second fault line within Islam today arises over the question of who has authority in Islam, particularly with regard to the law. During Muhammed’s lifetime, the putative revelations he received helped him to elaborate the faith. Some of the pre-Islamic tribal laws and practices remained in place, but in many instances Muhammad laid down new laws and new ways of conducting oneself.

Indeed a part of what makes this body of rules—Sharia, as it has come to be known—so distinctive from the Western concept of law is that it is not merely a set of laws but rather an all-encompassing way of life. Sharia includes laws on ownership, inheritance, divorce, and slavery, but it also includes guidelines on how to pray, how to wash, how to relate to others, even how to enter a room.

This was distinct from the Christian tradition. Jesus Christ had introduced a new set of rules for the spiritual life, to be practiced by his followers while living under Roman laws (the “Render unto Caesar” passage). Mohammad presented a comprehensive system which provided both spiritual guidelines as well as laws. Christians saw themselves as a subset that had to live within a broader society. Islam saw itself as the whole society.

Thus those Muslims who argue for theocracy have all the theological ammunition they need to justify it.

As long as Mohammad was alive, he was the arbiter of the law because he was both the leader of the community and the conduit to Allah. He delivered the word of Allah on what was right and wrong, allowed and forbidden. The Muslim community thus lost its direct access to divine revelation when Mohammed died.

Only a handful of crimes had been explicitly named in the Qu’ran: theft, fornication, false accusation, and the waging of war against Islam or “spreading disorder in the land.”

What happens when situations are encountered that had not been specifically addressed by Mohammad?


Since the Qu’ran was the word of Allah, as conveyed by Mohammad, was the Qu’ran the only legitimate source of law? Or since Muhammad was the chosen messenger of Allah, were his words and deeds outside of the Qu’ran also an authoritative source?

And what about the Rightly Guided Caliphs, those companions of Muhammad who had lived and worked alongside the Prophet and after his death had been so favored by Allah with victory in expanding the empire of Islam? Were not their elaborations of the law in those first decades after the death of Muhammad also an authoritative source? Similarly, were not the scholars and inhabitants of Medina a source of authority by virtue of having preserved the practices of Mohammad?

And finally, what about the role of human reason? Could man use reason to draw analogies between circumstances encountered by Muhammad and the present day?

These are the contours of the debate that ensued in the centuries following the death of Mohammad.

Four principal schools of law emerged, all of which agreed on the most important sacred sources, albeit with differences of emphasis among them:

  • the Qu’ran,
  • the words and actions of Muhammad (as preserved in the hadith and the sunna),
  • the example of the Companions of the Prophet, and
  • tradition.


But passionate and murderous debate ensued over the role of reason.

A group of scholars who came to be known as the Mu’tazalites emerged around the 8th century. They argued that there is an objective moral order that man can know through reason, and therefore human reason must be considered a legitimate source of authority in Islam. (This is an argument very similar to theories of Natural Law that had been developed from Greek philosophy and later Christian theologians, and to which the Mu’tazilites were exposed through translations.)

For a brief time, the Mu’tazalites held sway, and those who argued that reason had no role to play were threatened, flogged, imprisoned, banished, even murdered—indeed this period is referred to as Islam’s Inquisition (Mihna). But then the tables turned and those who stood in favor of reason were themselves quashed.

One of the most contentious debates sparked by the Mu’tazalite movement concerned the nature of the Qu’ran.

Not dissimilar to debates in the early Church over the nature of Jesus Christ—is Christ human or is He divine?—for Muslims the question was whether the Qu’ran was uncreated, co-eternal with Allah, or created. According to the Mu’tazalites, logic dictated that the Qu’ran could not be co-eternal with Allah because Allah must have preceded his own speech.

Why does this seemingly obscure point matter so much today? Because if the Qu’ran was uncreated, co-eternal with Allah, then it must remain true for all time and its laws and proscriptions must be followed to the letter.

This is the foundation of the argument of groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS in establishing 7th century rules and punishments. If, on the other hand, the Qu’ran was created for a specific time and place, then it can be adapted and amended for a new time and place.

Here lies the greatest potential for Islam to adapt to the modern world, to live peacefully alongside other religions, to end Islamist violence. Unfortunately, the Mu’tazalites were thoroughly defeated by about the 10th century, and those who have tried to revive the Mu’tazalite argument have been equally plagued.

These are the very profound fault lines within Islam, of which ISIS and Al Qaeda are but one manifestation. Asserting that terrorism has nothing to do with religion, as President Obama has done, is to ignore the very real conflict within the Muslim world.

To think that the United States can have a constructive role in this process by merely taking out key leaders of terrorist groups with drone strikes is to miss the point entirely. This is not a conflict of our making, nor is it ours to solve, but without a doubt the United States has an important role to play. Understanding the religious dimension of the conflict is the starting point in ensuring that it is not an exacerbating one.

Katharine Cornell Gorka is the President of the Council on Global Security and co-editor of Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism. In her current position, Katharine focuses on the threat posed by Islamic terrorism and radical ideologies. She works closely with U.S. government agencies, law enforcement and the intelligence community. Katharine is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a master’s degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics.

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Obama’s Fantasy Eid al-Adha


Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Sept. 16, 2016:

Barack Obama’s fantasy Islam made a new appearance Monday, when he issued a statement congratulating and praising Muslims on the occasion of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha:

Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslims across our country and around the world who are celebrating Eid al-Adha. This special holiday is a time to honor the sacrifice, resolve, and commitment to God demonstrated by Abraham.

In speaking of Abraham, it is important to remember that there is no parallel in the Qur’an to Genesis 22:15-18, in which Abraham is rewarded for his faith and told he will become a blessing to the nations: “by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” The Muslim audiences Obama was addressing don’t read Genesis. They read the Qur’an.

In the Qur’an, Allah says that Abraham is an “excellent example” (uswa hasana, أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ, a term applied also to Muhammad in 33:21) for the believers when he tells his pagan family and people that “there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever, unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone” (60:4). The same verse goes on to say that Abraham is not an excellent example when he tells his father, “I will pray for forgiveness for you.” Hatred is held up as exemplary; forgiveness is explicitly declared to be not exemplary.

Obama was thus reinforcing a worldview that takes for granted the legitimacy of everlasting enmity and hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims — and was doing so precisely in the context of trying to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims.

…It is also a celebration of the ways faith can transcend any differences or boundaries and unite us under the banners of fellowship and love….

Yes, indeed. Just look at Fort Hood, and Boston, and Chattanooga, Garland, San Bernardino, Orlando, as well as Paris, Brussels, Nice, and all the rest united us under the banners of fellowship and love. Of course, Obama would insist that these had nothing to do with Islam: all the evidence that refutes his politically correct fantasies is waved away. The national conversation that needs to be had about how jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism is once again kicked down the road.

As we mark Eid al-Adha this year, we are reminded of the millions of refugees around the globe who are spending this sacred holiday separated from their families, unsure of their future, but still hoping for a brighter tomorrow. And as a Nation, we remain committed to welcoming the stranger with empathy and an open heart—from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life.

Ahmad al-Mohammed and one other of the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees.

In February 2015, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister said in September 2015 that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.

An Islamic State operative boasted in September 2015, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had already entered Europe. On May 10, 2016, Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, said that the Islamic State was using migrant routes through the Balkans to get jihadis into Europe.

But none of this information has been allowed to interfere with Barack Obama’s fantasies. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Islamic State celebrated Eid al-Adha by not only slaughtering animals, but by hanging men it had designated as U.S. spies upside down from meat hooks and slaughtering them “like sheep.”

It might have been illuminating for Obama to have taken a moment to explain how and why that was not a proper celebration of this feast of “fellowship and love,” and why Muslims must reject the understanding of Islam offered by the Islamic State. But while he has repeatedly asserted that the Islamic State is not Islamic, he has never bothered to explain exactly why it isn’t, or how this misunderstanding of Islam became so widespread. That’s how things work in fantasies: we don’t know how Mary Poppins can fly or Harry Potter can make things disappear with the wave of a wand – they just can. For Obama, Islam is a religion of peace. It just is. And no proliferation of infidels hanging from meat hooks will disturb his comforting fantasy.

On the Worthlessness of Islamic Studies Departments, Programs, & Scholars

Screen-Shot-2016-09-01-at-8.12.42-AMPolitichicks, by Alexis Jemima, Sept. 3, 2016:

I’m a graduate of one such program myself–[I did my doctorate in Near East Studies (classical Arabic and Persian languages; dissertation on the history of Mecca and early Islam) at the Near East Department at a major university]–and I’m dismayed when I see the proliferation of such programs in our universities and colleges. They add more to the darkness than they do to the light.

The reason is almost as simple as it is largely ignored. It’s the same reason Islam gets away with being the single greatest source of murder, terror, torture, oppression, mutilation, slavery, and destruction the world has ever seen, over the entire 1400 years of its existence–and still gets a free pass and an open door from the pinnacle of freedom-and-tolerance-loving, liberal, advanced civilizations, the 21st century West.

The matter hinges on the protective cover of the word “religion”. Maybe I should say, “deceptive cover”. It was a stroke of genius. And so easy, the wonder is that more power-and-wealth-hungry would-be world conquerers haven’t thought to use this trick.

Here’s how it was done:

When Muhammad began his preaching (around the year 610 AD), he didn’t need to come up with material out of thin air. Much of the contents of the Qur’an ‘revealed’ to him while he was at Mecca, which was during his first 12 years as a prophet, are borrowings straight out of the Bible, especially the Old Testament. He took all the important names: Abraham (rendered into Arabic as Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), Joseph (Yusuf), Ishmael (Ismail) etc. He took many of the customs, such as the weekly Sabbath day, the Holy Book or written Scripture, foreswearing of idolatry, and the concept of monotheism, from the Christians and Jews who at that time constituted a large proportion of the population of Arabia. He took stories from the Bible, in fractured form, in some places replacing Jewish characters with Arab ones (e.g., Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac, near Jerusalem, in the Qur’an becomes a near-sacrifice of Ismail, near Mecca). He lifted whole verses of the Psalms, translated into Arabic, verbatim–some even keeping their original Hebrew vocabulary.

By borrowing the name of Abraham and co-opting the story of his history with Isaac, Muhammad gave Islam its astounding designation as “one of the world’s 3 great Abrahamic faiths”. And the most useful part of that, as it turns out, is its designation as a ‘faith’.

He could not have anticipated the doors this term would open for his followers more than a thousand years later, throughout the modern western world. In 7th century Arabia, after Muhammad fled Mecca for Medina in 622 (which ‘flight’ or ’emigration’–“hijrah”–is the official starting moment of Islam), the nature of his ‘revelations’ changed from fractured liftings from the Bible to administrative rules and justifications for his own totalitarian authority and the waging of war.

The Qur’an revealed in Medina presented a world divided into ‘us’ and ‘them’–‘us’ being Muslims, those who ‘submitted’ (literal meaning of Muslim) to Allah and therefore, to Muhammad; and ‘them’ being infidels–everyone who does not submit–who are to be subjugated, converted by the sword, raped, tortured, enslaved, or killed.

The Islamic view of the earth to this day divides it into two: the Dar al-Islam (“the realm of Submission”, that is, Islamic lands ruled by a caliph under Shari’ah)–and all the rest of the earth: the Dar al-Harb–which means, “the realm of war”.

Once arrived at Medina, Muhammad began gathering armies of mainly illiterate Bedouin from the deserts of Arabia, and demanding their absolute loyalty to him; to kill and die for him and obey his commands without hesitation or question. The faith he invoked was a strong recruitment tool, with its promise that in killing “for Allah” you are pleasing the supreme being and bringing glory to his name and eternal reward to yourself.

This promise, added to Muhammad’s skills as a warlord and the earthly booty promised to fighters who survived (not only plundered loot, but captive women and children as sex slaves–all taken with the blessings of Allah) meant that a soldier joining his side couldn’t lose. Survive and you get plunder and captives to rape and enslave; die and you go to the highest rung of Paradise, with unimaginable luxury (spelled out in detail) plus an eternity of carnal satisfaction with 72 ever-renewing virgins of either sex and any age, shape, appearance that you want.

There was a strong disincentive to resisting recruitment, too: refuse to join Muhammad’s army–or opt to leave it–and you’ll suffer a gruesome death.

Within Muhammad’s lifetime the whole of Arabia was conquered.

So why are western scholars so confused?

If you look at the Qur’an, you’ll find verses revealed at Mecca (bits and pieces from Judeo/Christian lore and from the Bible); and verses from Medina (a manual for totalitarian control, subjugation, warfare, and world conquest). These are intermingled, as the Qur’an is not printed in chronological order but rather in order of longest-to-shortest chapters.

If all its verses are analyzed and quantified, however, you’ll find that the vast majority of the Qur’an’s contents (and even more of its companion books, the Hadith and the Sira, which clarify any ambiguities found in the Qur’an) are about totalitarian control and war.

And then, you’ll find something even more startling: the Bible-lifted, religion-sounding verses from the Meccan period have been replaced and cancelled–abrogated–by the intolerant, murderous ones from the Medinan period. This is explained in the Qur’an itself, which reports that Allah revealed to Muhammad that wherever two verses contradict each other, the later one abrogates the former. All the violent, Medinan verses came after the more peaceful ones, which were from Mecca.

So, if we look at Islam as a whole, what we find is essentially a totalitarian political system for war, subjugation of all others, and world conquest…disguised in a thin veneer of vaguely religious-sounding ornamentation. It must be said, that even the ‘do this for Allah’ verses are–quite unlike what we usually call ‘religion’–demands for blind obedience to Muhammad and justification for all manner of cruelty done with the aim of spreading Islam.

If I were to characterize Islam with one image, it would be of a huge, ferocious war elephant with bloodied tusks. This war elephant is covered, however, in a beautiful thin blanket richly embroidered.

The Islamic Studies programs, without exception in my experience, spend all their time and attention focused on the embroidery on that blanket.

Alexis Jemima did her doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, with a focus on Early Islam. She reads Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew (among other languages), and has lived and studied in Muslim countries as well as in Israel. Alexis loves animals of all kinds, and worked through graduate school as a Middle Eastern dancer

Totalitarian Islam

behead-those-who-insult-islam-600x290Political Islam, Aug 16 2016 | by Bill Warner

Totalitarianism is a political doctrine that seeks to control all aspects of a society, its economy, its laws and government, its culture.

Islam is a complete way of life, a total civilization, not just a religion. It is also a culture and a political system of Sharia laws which establish its supremacy. There is no aspect of personal and public life that is not included in the Sharia.

Not just Muslims but all people must submit to the Sharia. The very name, Islam, means to submit, submit to Mohammed and the Koran in all things: religious, political and cultural.

Mohammed practiced totalitarianism. All people around him had to submit to his demands. After Arabia submitted, Mohammed left Arabia and began his mission to have Sharia rule the world.

Both the Koran and Mohammed command the terror of jihad on non-Muslims or Kafirs until Islam dominates. After Mohammed died, the caliphs killed all apostates and conquered all the Middle East and northern Africa.

After Islam enters a society, over time, the society becomes totally Islamic. This is totalitarianism.

Huffington Post: All Islamic Violence Comes From Hadith, NOT Quran



The Huffington Post recently published an article titled “The Source of Muslim Extremism” authored by Mike Ghouse. He is described as “a speaker, thinker, and a writer” who “offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.”

Ghouse argues that all violence and intolerance committed under the banner of Islam is not due to the Quran:

[Islamic violence and intolerance is] coming from a single source; the secondary books. The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it. Until we reject those other books, we don’t have a prayer.

Among these “secondary books,” Ghouse identifies the Hadith. The Hadith contains the words and deeds of Muhammad:

As a first step towards fixing our problems, we need to rehabilitate the Hadith.

By “rehabilitate,” Ghouse wants to expunge … :

 … [any hadith not] compatible with the statements that God is just and the Prophet is a mercy to the mankind.

Concludes Ghouse:

Let’s stick to the Quran, we simply cannot go wrong.

What to make of this argument?

Unfortunately, its thesis is built on a faulty premise. Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need no clarification from supplemental literature.

First, it should be noted that Quranism is not original to Ghouse. This position belongs to a small sect of reformist/heretical (depending on who you ask) Muslims known as “Quranists.” Their movement, Quranism, traces back decades, with echoes even earlier. Quranism holds:

… the Qur’an to be the only authentic source of Islamic faith. Quranists generally reject, therefore, the religious authority and authenticity of hadith, Sunnah, and reject traditional Sharia Law, with the assertion that they are false attributes to the Islamic Prophet Muhammed. This is in contrast to the Sunni, Shia, and Ibadi doctrines, which consider hadith necessary for Islamic faith.

The benefits of rejecting all textual sources but the Quran should be obvious. The corpus of Hadith literature is immense, and seems to have something to say about every conceivable topic. Sahih Bukhari — the most authoritative collection of Hadith, which Sunni Muslims hold second to the Quran in legislative importance – consists of nine volumes of Muhammad’s words and deeds on countless minutiae.

(For example: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘When you drink (water), do not breathe in the vessel; and when you urinate, do not touch your penis with your right hand. And when you cleanse yourself after defecation, do not use your right hand.’”)

Many forms of appalling behavior — from drinking camel urine to “adult breastfeeding” — are justified by finding some reference in the Hadith.

Although the Quran suggests that only Allah may torture with fire, a Sahih Bukhari hadith documents Muhammad using fire as a form of torture. Accordingly, the Islamic State referenced this hadith in their fatwa to justify burning a Jordanian pilot alive.

While Quranism resonates with the Western mentality — it’s simply the Islamic version of Protestantism’s sola scriptura — it is heresy in the Muslim world. Mainstream Muslim scholars, including so-called “moderates,” regularly and often denounce Quranists as apostates from Islam. They point out that Quran 33:2 commands Muslims to follow Muhammad’s example. And his example — his sunna, which 90 percent of the world’s Muslims are named after — is derived from the Hadith.

Of course, this is precisely why many lackadaisical Muslims (quietly) favor the elimination of the Hadith. As one more fervent cleric put it:

[M]uch of Islam will remain mere abstract concepts without Hadith. We would never know how to pray, fast, pay zakah, or make pilgrimage without the illustration found in Hadith.

Surely then, Quranism is welcome news to lukewarm Muslims? Unsurprisingly, Quranists are regularly persecuted and killed for their position:

— Rashad Khalifa, an eccentric Quranist, was found stabbed to death in Tucson, Arizona in 1990.– India’s Chekannur Maulavi disappeared in 1993 under “mysterious circumstances” and is believed to be dead.

— Egypt’s Ahmed Subhy Mansour was denounced by and fired from Al Azhar University (The world’s most influential Islamic university), imprisoned, and finally exiled.

Of all strategies dedicated to creating a “moderate Islam” — most of which have no theological basis, and are simply built on Western projections of itself onto Islam — Quranism is commendable in that it is at least methodologically viable.

But it rests on an immediately negated claim about the Quran.

Well over one hundred verses within the Quran itself call for nonstop war, or jihad, on non-Muslims. If “infidels” are beaten and still refuse to convert to Islam, they must live as third class subjects and pay tribute “while feelingly humbled” (e.g., 9:29).

The Quran itself prescribes draconian measures — crucifixions, whippings, amputations, stonings, and beheadings — as punishments.

The Quran itself requires the absolute subjugation of women (e.g., 4:34), with particularly devastating results for non-Muslim women.

In short, the first premise of Quranism — that “The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it,” to quote Ghouse — may only ease the daily life of the Muslim.

But Quranism brings no solace at all to the “infidel.”

Bill Warner, PhD: No Sympathy for Kafirs

Published on Jun 28, 2016 by Political Islam

Brain physiology is such that we feel good when we help others. The Golden Rule, treating others as we would be treated, is hard wired into our physical makeup. However, Mohammed attacked each and every neighbor. Attacking your neighbors is not an expression of the Golden Rule. But, there is no Golden Rule in Islam.

A Kafir is worse than an animal and is hated by Allah. Twelve verses in the Koran say that a Muslim can be friendly to a Kafir, but should never be a true friend. Sympathy allows us to put ourselves in the place of others. This sympathy is outside of Islamic doctrine. In Islamic doctrine those Muslims who are true friends with a Kafir are not truly Islamic.

My personal opinion is that this lack of sympathy for Kafirs is the worst part of Islam. The Koran places barriers between Muslims and Kafir, which violates the idea of humanity being of one spirit.


Homeland Security Advisory Council: Covering for the Enemy Threat Doctrine

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton

America is at war and we continue to be prevented from identifying and understanding our enemies as a result of influence operations targeting our bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus.

The latest evidence of this long-standing and, unfortunately, very effective influence campaign comes from the revelation that the “Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee” of the Homeland Security Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a recommendation that urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as “jihad” and “shariah” in communications about the threats that we face….

This is nothing new. We have heard CIA director John Brennan reject the term “jihadist” and the State Department under Condoleezza Rice rejected the use of the term as well.

We have covered the damaging efforts by our enemies to prevent the actual correct use of the term “jihad” extensively here on Terror Trends Bulletin in the past…

But the effort to suppress even mere mention of the word “shariah” is actually much more damaging than the suppression of the word “jihad.” That’s because shariah is THE enemy threat doctrine.

To understand our enemies, their motivations, their intentions and their strategy, one must study shariah. Shariah is everything to the jihadists. It is the code that they follow and its full implementation is their goal.

Forbidding the use of the term shariah, much less suppressing study of shariah in the present conflict is the equivalent of forbidding intelligence agencies from studying Mein Kampf in World War II or the works and words of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao during the Cold War.

Anyone who would recommend that we avoid studying and talking about shariah simply must have a nefarious purpose.

By way of review, shariah is Islamic law. The terms shariah and Islamic law are completely interchangeable; they refer to exactly the same thing. Shariah is an immutable theo-political-legal-military code derived from the Islamic doctrinal trilogy, made up of the Quran, the Sirah (the biography of the prophet Mohammed) and the Hadith (traditions, sayings and stories compiled about the life of Mohammed).

Every single Jihadist terrorist group in the world–without exception–has as its stated goal the imposition of shariah: the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Lashkar e Taiba, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyah, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Al Shabaab–all of them.

So, while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be carefully avoiding the use of the term shariah, our enemies have been using it quite commonly, frequently and prominently, as if to illustrate the absurdity of the DHS recommendation.

What follows is a compilation of quotes from jihadi leaders and Al Qaeda and Islamic State documents that reveal the central importance of shariah to their movement. This is why Americans must familiarize themselves with shariah.


• The sharia has forbidden us from taking infidels as confidants, inducting them into our secrets.
• The sharia forbids us from appointing infidels to important posts.
• The sharia forbids us from adopting or praising the beliefs and views of the infidels.
• The sharia forbids us from assisting infidels against Muslims; even the one who is coerced has o excuse to fight under the banner of infidels.
• The sharia commands us to battle infidels—both original infidels and apostates, as well as hypocrites. As for waging jihad against the infidels who have usurped the lands of Islam, this is a duty considered second only to faith, by ulemaic consensus.
• The sharia does not accept the excuses made by hypocrites—that they befriend the infidels because they fear the vicissitudes of time.
• We are duty-bound by the sharia to help Muslims overcome the infidels.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

Osama bin Laden sits with his adviser and purported successor Ayman al-Zawahiri during an interview in Afghanistan, Barack Obama

Democracy is based on the principle of the power of creatures over other creatures, and rejects the principle of God’s absolute power over all creatures; it is also based on the idea the men’s desires, whatever they may be, replace God absolutely, and on the refusal to obey God’s law. In Islam, when there is a disagreement or a difference of opinion, one refers to God, his Prophet, and the commands of sharia.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

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The Basics of Islam 5: Robert Spencer on the Peaceful Verses in the Qur’an

Published on May 9, 2016 by JihadWatchVideo

In this fifth segment of his Basics of Islam series, Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer discusses the verses of the Qur’an that appear to teach peace and tolerance of non-Muslims.

Koran at a Glance

define-abrogation-islamCitizen Warrior, April 30, 2016:

A new online version of the Koran is available, with some unique and useful features:

  1. It is in chronological order.
  2. It gives a visual impression of how Mohammed’s message changed over time.
  3. Verses relating to different themes (Allah, Believers, Unbelievers, Jihad) are color-coded and highlighted.
  4. All abrogated verses are highlighted with popups of their abrogating verses.

Check it out: Koran at a Glance.

Mohammed, ISIS and Women. ((This is actually taught))

islam koran beat women
Published on Apr 15, 2016 by Hazem Farraj

In this video, we will search Islam’s past to conclude whether ISIS’ abuse of women and their slave-trade is warranted or not. The answer may surprise you. The ONLY valid opinion to believe is the source of authentic Islamic doctrines. Everything used within this video is considered authentic credible sources.

Ancient Qur’an Discovery Proves Islam Really Is A Religion of Peace

Mahdi Watch, by Dr. Timothy Furnish, April 1, 2016:

(AP) Last month, construction workers in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca demolishing a medieval mosque to make room for a new Ritz-Carlton aimed at high-end Muslim pilgrims uncovered fragments of an old Qur’an, the holy book of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.  Before it could be disposed of properly by Saudi clerics, several of the workers—apparently on orders from their employer, Bin Ladin Construction—smuggled the pages out of the Kingdom and delivered them (after, reportedly, huge bribes) to the newly-created  “Institute for the Study of the Noble and Peaceful Qur’an” at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

mosquee bombed

Islamic scholars and Qur’an experts studied the surviving pages round-the-clock for several weeks and were shocked to discover that this text—which had somehow survived the burning of “heretical” versions of the Qur’an under the reign of the third Caliph of Islam, Uthman, in 652 CE—apparently includes a heretofore-unknown 115th sura, or “chapter,” of the Qur’an.  Entitled Sura al-Mazzah, it’s one of the shortest chapters but based on intense textual study these experts have determined that it is almost certainly the last, chronologically, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad—thus making it binding under the exegetical doctrine of naskh in which the later revelations from Allah to Islam’s founder are the more authoritative ones.


However, it is what Sura al-Mazzah says which, if verified and accepted, could prove explosive for not just Muslims but the entire world. The key verse translates as “O Believers! Believe not that ye should kill the infidels but rather know that the Iblis [Satan] was whispering to God’s apostle for too long, telling him [Muhammad] falsely.  Know that indeed Islam is a religion of peace and all the verses before this one are wrong desires injected by Iblis.  Therefore heed not the lying admonitions to swords, but rather heed the Christians, whose Lord `Isa truly is….”  At this point the text breaks off.

The lead researcher on this project, Qur’an  expert Dr. Mahmud al-Hallaj, mysteriously and abruptly committed suicide last week.  Several other key members of the project have also disappeared.  The remaining experts, as well as the Qur’anic fragments themselves, are said to be under the protection of President al-Sisi’s personal bodyguard.   How the government of Egypt intends to proceed is unknown, but ISIS, al-Qaida, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood have all vowed to attack Egypt if this claim is not immediately retracted and the manuscript fragments burned in a fire “hotter than the blazes of hell and damnation itself.”

President Obama, when asked in a press conference about the findings, remarked that, if true, they showed  that “I was right all along” and that “Republicans were wrong” about Islam.  And that if Iblis had a modern incarnation, it would be as Donald Trump.

A Dozen Bad Ideas for the 21st Century


Written in 2011, timeless wisdom from Mark Durie:

By Mark Durie, Feb. 10, 2011:

Here is a list of false beliefs and modes of thought which make it hard for people in the West to come to terms with the challenge of Islam today.  If you are deeply attached to any of these ideas or ways of thinking, you will have difficulty accepting the truth about Islam’s teachings and their impact.

  1. The belief that all religions are the same. They are not.  Different faiths make different claims about what is true, and about what is right and wrong and produce radically different societies.  The same is true for different political ideologies: consider the different trajectories of North and South Korea.  Atheists have helped entrench this belief, because to acknowledge material differences between religions would undermine the atheist (and radical secularist) narrative.
  2. The belief that religion is irrelevant as a cause of anything.  According to this view, religion can be exploited or hijacked as an excuse or an instrument (e.g. of oppression – such as an ‘opiate of the masses’), but not an underlying cause of anything.  Marxist ideology has made a significant contribution to establishing this belief. In accordance with this assumption, security analysts all over the Western world presuppose that religion cannot be the cause of terrorism: so they and the politicians they advise must say that terrorists have ‘hijacked’ religion.
  3. The belief that we all worship the same God. We do not. Thousands of different gods are worshipped by people on this earth.  These gods manifest different characteristics, and make different demands.  The worship of them forms very different kinds of people and communities.
  4. The belief that one can justify anything from any sacred text. This is not true.  It is a postmodern fallacy that all meaning is in the eye of the beholder.  Certain texts lends themselves to supporting particular beliefs and practices much more than others.
  5. The belief that the Christian Reformation was a progressive movement. This is not true.  In fact the Christian Reformers aimed to go back to the example and teaching of Christ and the apostles.  Throughout the  whole medieval period reformatioalways meant renewing the foundations by going back to one’s origins.   Understanding ‘reformation’ in this way, Al Qa’ida is a product of an Islamic reformation, i.e. it is an attempt to go back to the example and teaching of Muhammad.
  6. The belief that dispelling ignorance will increase positive regard for the other. This was the message of Harper Lee’s powerfull novel To Kill a Mockingbird(pub. 1960). Although it is true that racial hatred can feed on and exploit ignorance, accurately dispelling ignorance sometimes rightly increases the likelihood of rejecting the beliefs or practices of another. It is illogical to assume that those opposed to a belief are the ones who are most ignorant about it.  Ignorance can breed positive regard for what is wrong just as easily as it can breed prejudice against what is good.
  7. The belief that everyone is good and decent, and if you just make a sincere effort to get to know another person, you will always come to respect them.This is not universally true.  Holding this view is a luxury.  Those who have experienced life under evil governments or in dysfunctional societies are shocked at the naivety of this assumption.
  8. The belief that putting something in context will always produce a more innocuous interpretation.This is not true.  Attending properly to context can make a text even more offensive than it would otherwise have been.  Conversely, if you take something out of context you may regard it more positively than you ought to.  In reality, radical interpretations of the Qur’an, such as are used to support terrorism, almost always involve an appeal to a rich understanding of the context in which the Qur’an was revealed, including the life of Muhammad.  On the other hand, many have taken peaceful verses of the Qur’an out of context, in order to prove that Islam is a peaceful religion.
  9. The belief that extremism is the problem, and moderation the solution. Warnings against taking things to extremes are as old as Aristotle.  More recently the idea was promoted by Eric Hoffer, in The True Believer(pub. 1951) that mass movements are interchangeable, and an extremist is just as likely to become a communist or a fascist.  He claimed that it was the tendency to extremism itself which is the problem.  This idea has become very unhelpful and generates a lot of confusion. ‘Moderation’ or ‘laxity’ in belief or practice can be destructive and even dangerous, e.g. in medical surgery or when piloting a plane.  Ideas that are good and true deserve strong, committed support, and the best response to bad ideas is rarely lukewarm moderation.
  10. The belief that the West is always guilty. This irrational and unhelpful idea is taught in many schools today and has become embedded in the world views of many.  It is essentially a silencing strategy, sabotaging critical thinking.
  11. Two wrongs make a right reasoning.E.g. Someone says that jihad is a bad part of Islam, to which a defender of Islam says ‘What about the crusades?’  Someone says the Qur’an incites violence, to which someone else replies ‘But there are violent verses in the Bible.’  This kind of reasoning is a logical fallacy. A specific sub-type of this fallacy is tu quoque reasoning:

    Tu quoque (‘you too’) reasoning: you can’t challenge someone else’s beliefs or actions if you (or your group) have personally ever done anything wrong or have objectionable characteristics. E.g. A Catholic says jihad is bad, but someone counters that popes supported the Crusades. This is a sub-type of the ‘two wrongs make a right’ reasoning: it too is a logical fallacy.

  12. Belief in progress: everything will always get better in the end. This is a false, though seductive bit of wishful thinking.  Bad ideas have bad consequences.  Good societies can easily become bad ones if they exchange good ideas for bad ones.  Bad situations can last for a very long time, and keep getting progressively worse.  Many countries have deteriorated for extended periods during the past 100 years.  It is not true that ideologies or religions will inevitably improve or become more ‘moderate’ as time passes, as if by some magical process of temporal transformation.  But things are not always going to get better.

Da’wah in the West: Islamic “Just War”

70eaefc5bc6bfbfdd6ffa7ba31cfa7c1_LModern Diplomacy, by David Bukay, March 8, 2016:

In a research under the title “The Qur’an and War: Observations on Islamic Just War,” from 2012, Dr. Joel Hayward says that his purpose is to analyze the holy text which underpins Islam and articulates its mandatory codes of conduct in order to determine what that text, the Qur’an, actually requires or permits Muslims to do in terms of military violence….

This article is intended to be useful — sufficient to dispel any assumptions that the Qur’an advocates the punishment, subjugation or even killing of “infidels” as well as to reveal its key concepts governing justice during wartime…

Even a cursory reading of the Qur’an will draw the reader’s eyes to hundreds of scriptures extolling tolerance, conciliation, inclusiveness and peace, but also to a few scriptures that seem to be more aggressive…

“my conclusion (and that of every authoritative Islamic scholar) that the Qur’an is unambiguous: Muslims are prohibited from aggressive violence and are compelled, should war prove unavoidable, always to act within a code of ethical behavior that is closely akin to, and compatible with, the western warrior code embedded within Just War.

Hayward chooses to confirm his above-written assertions by trying to analyze verses that are used as warmongering by the “enemies of Islam.” He claims that “many critics assert that verses 9:29 and 2:190-194 directs Muslims to wage war against any and all disbelievers anywhere who refuse to embrace Islam or at least to submit to Islamic rule.” However, he says “they do not mandate Muslims to wage aggressive war or to inflict disproportionate or indiscriminate brutality.”

Then surprisingly he turns to analyze the abrogation doctrine. He claims that “The Qur’an itself states in several Surah that Allâh’s words constitute a universally applicable message sent down for ‘all of mankind’ and that it was a ‘reminder’ (with both ‘glad tidings and warnings’) to ‘all’ of humanity (Surah 34:28, Surah 39:41 and Surah 81:27). But what is the connection between abrogation and Islamic just war?

Hayward tries to prove the abrogation doctrine is non-existent. How he does so? Very simple: he just dismisses all Islamic classical exegetes and totally relies on the fresh new Islamic propagators in the West. Here is the main problem: the disqualification of Islamic classic and most important exegetes. In his words: “certainly most Islamic authorities on the Qur’an and Muhammad today, as opposed to scholars from, say, the more ambiguous medieval period (author’s emphasis), are firm in their judgement that the most warlike verses in the Qur’an, even those revealed very late in Muhammad’s mission, do not cancel out the overwhelming number of verses (author’s emphasis) that extol tolerance, reconciliation, inclusiveness and peace.

Who are the exegetes that cancel these most important doctrine? Well, the oracles of Hayward are three, in fact four:

The British scholar Dr Zakaria Bashier (War and Peace), who claims that “all the beautiful verses throughout the Qur’an which instruct Muslims to be peaceful, tolerant and non-aggressive are No reason exists at all to think that they have been overruled.”

The “Prolific British scholar Louay Fatoohi (Jihad in the Qur’an: The Truth from the Source), arguing that “overwhelming number’ of Muslim scholars reject the abrogation thesis regarding war (author’s emphasis). Fatoohi highlights the fact that throughout history the Islamic world has never acted in accordance with this extreme view, that Muslims have co-existed very well with other faith communities and that the 1600 million peaceable Muslims in the world today clearly do not accept the view otherwise, if they did, they would be at war as we speak.”

Muhammad Abu Zahra (Concept of War in Islam), an important and influential Egyptian intellectual and expert on Islamic law, summed up the mainstream Islamic view by rejecting any abrogation thesis pertaining to conflict and stating that “War is not justified… to impose Islam as a religion on unbelievers or to support a particular social regime. The prophet Muhammad fought only to repulse aggression.”

Sohaib Nazeer Sultan (The Koran for Dummies) makes the same point that the martial verse and the sword and those like it do not abrogate the more numerous peaceful, tolerant and inclusive verses.

However, not only we do not have any corroboration for these claims, we just have to believe they know better than Ibn Salama, al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh; al-Nahhas, al-Nasikh Wal-Mansukh; al-Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta’wil; al-Zarkasi, al-Burhan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an; al-Suyuti, al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an; and Lubab an-Nuqul fi Asbab an-Nuzul; Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, al-Tafsir al-Kabir; Ibn Hazm, al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh; al-Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf; al-Tabari, Tafsir; al-Wahidi, Kitab Asbab Nuzul al-Qur’an; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir.

You see, all these esteemed exegetes, biographers of Muhammad, highly acclaimed interpreters of Qur’an in Islamic religious history are put aside and thrown away by the new scholars of the 21st century, who use Da’wah as a diplomacy of deceit to mislead the infidels. It is as if James Madison and Thomas Jefferson have not written the US constitution, or that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay have not written the “Federalist.” Even better say, it is as if these personalities have nothing to do with the US constitutional and political establishment, and they all must be null and void compare to new propagators claiming totally the opposite about the history of the US.

Then, Hayward turns “the so-called ‘verse of the sword of Surah 9:5.” He claims

“Bin Laden certainly did draw upon the verse of the sword and other seemingly militant Qur’anic scriptures in his August 1996 ‘Declaration of War against the Americans occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places’ as well as in his February 1998 fatwâ.”

However, Bin Laden “is not representative of Islamic belief or behaviour.” For Hayward

“It is quite true that, taken in isolation, Surah 9:5 seems an unusually violent pronouncement for a prophet who had for twenty years preached tolerance, peace and reconciliation (my emphasis). Yet it is equally true that, when read in the context of the verses above and below Surah 9:5, and when the circumstances of its pronouncement by Muhammad are considered, it is not difficult for readers without preconceptions and bias to understand it more fully… It is thus not as bloodthirsty as Robert Spencer and his colleagues portray it… it would only nowadays have any relevance and applicability if polytheists and idolaters ever tried to undertake and re-establish pagan practices in the Saudi Arabian cities devoted only to Allâh: Mecca and Medina. In other words, in today’s world it is not relevant or applicable (author’s emphasis and double emphasis).

Moreover, Hayward says Ibn Kathir said no such thing that the verse of the sword abrogates all peaceful verses ever previously uttered by the prophet, as Spencer claim: “Spencer mistakenly extrapolates this to claim, baselessly.”

Well, the reader in Arabic and in English who reads Ibn Kathir classical Tafsir, is sure Ibn Kathir said verse 9:5 abrogates all the so-called peaceful verses. If one wonders how Hayward misunderstands what Ibn Kathir said, well here is Hayward’s interpretation to another warmongering verse (4:89), which clearly claim to “seize and slay the infidels wherever you find them.” This verse, Hayward says,

“is surrounded by so many other explanatory and qualifying verses that its superficially violent meaning is immediately moderated by its context of tolerance and understanding. First, it threatened violence in self defence only … Secondly, it stated that, if those aggressors left the Muslims alone and free to practice their faith, and if they did not attack them, but offered them peaceful co-existence, then Allâh would not allow Muslims to harm them in any way… The verse not only offered peaceful co-existence to those who formally made peace with the Muslims, but also to anyone…”

Well, this is indeed an interesting interpretation, yet it has nothing to do with the reality. What ridicule the situation is Hayward own words: first, there is a war against the infidels, but it is only “self-defense.” Second, “if those aggressors left the Muslims alone and free to practice their faith, and if they did not attack them, but offered them peaceful co-existence, then Allâh would not allow Muslims to harm them in any way” (my emphases). In other words, if those “aggressors” yield to the Muslim demands, than peace prevails according to the Muslims’ terms. This “coexistence” has one meaning: a total defeat and surrender to Islam, as those aggressors must to live under Muslims’ terms. This is not exactly a peaceful coexistence.

Read more

Defensive or Offensive Jihad: Classical Islamic Exegetes Vs. Contemporary Islamist’s Propagation


Modern Diplomacy, by David Bukay, Jan. 24, 2016:

The main objective of Islam is to implement Allah’s divinely ordained religion on Universe in its entirety. It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its belief system on all the nations, not to be imposed upon religiously; and to extend its power to the entire planet, not to be governed by infidels.

To achieve its objectives, Islam justifies all means by the use of Jihad against the infidels. Claiming they do it for the defense of their religion, the Muslim lands, and the Muslims’ honor, Jihad is permitted and lawfully justified.

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

The stunned Free World witnesses the atrocious acts of terrorism, slaughtering and beheadings, and at the same time is being told that this is only retaliation to the Western colonialism and neo-imperialism, that these groups are only a small minority, weeds; that the threats of demolishing modernity and bringing it back to the 7th century are only because World Islamic Jihad wishes to defend its lands, its lives and honor against Western aggression. However, as Muslims see it, Islam is for everyone in the human race and should be expanded as a winning religion, until all human beings proclaim that “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”

Jihad appears 41 times in 18 Sûwar in the Qur’ān, mostly coupled with fi-Sabīlillāh (in the way of Allah), which gives it a religious sanctioning. There are 527 verses in the Qur’an that show deep intolerance towards the infidels, and 109 verses straitfully call to fight the infidels, with all kinds of slaughtering. Contemporary world statistics is very clear and horrifying: over 90% of world terrorism and over 70% of world violence is perpetrated by Muslims. As for 2015, the statistics is stunning and dramatic: 451 of 452 suicide terror attacks in 2015 were perpetrated by Muslims. The remaining one in Turkey was perpetrated by a Russian woman. It is now investigated that she was radicalized by Wahhabi ideology.

Jihad is universally understood as war on behalf of Islam, and its merits are described plentifully in the most-respected religious works. It is sometimes called “the neglected duty” or “the forgotten obligation,” and regard as the sixth pillar of Islam. Lewis finds that “overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists and traditionalists… understood the obligation of Jihad in a military sense.” The elevation of Allah’s word cannot be achieved without Jihad (al-Baqarah, 2:251; al-Nisā’, 4:75; al-Anfâl, 8:39; al-Hadīd, 57:25).

All four Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence (Madhāhib al-Fiqh) and most of Islamic exegetes agree that the aims of Jihad are at removing the infidel’s oppression and injustice; eliminating the barriers to the spread of Allah’s truth; and establishing Islamic justice universally. There are four different ways in which the believer may fulfill his obligations: a) by his heart; b) by his tongue; c) by his hands; d) by the sword. They are aimed at establishing Allah’s rule on earth, until either the infidels embrace Islam; or submit to Islamic rule and agree to pay the tax poll, the Jizyah; or be killed in the battleground by Jihad war.

From the Islamic vantage point, all wars in Islam are religious; there is no concept of secular war” and Jihad is the only just war known. So, even according to Islamic Jurisdiction, one can wage the most aggressive war using atrocious evil deeds and still see it as a defensive war. Muslim legal theory states that Islam cannot exist together with idolatry. This is Shirk, meaning association of other gods and idols with Allah (al-Nisā’, 4:48, 166; al-Qasas, 28:17; al-Luqmān, 31:13; Yā Sīn, 36:74; al-Sāfāt, 37:158). According to a Hadīth related to Muhammad, he declared: “I am ordered to fight polytheists until they say there is no god but Allah.” Muslims are under the Qur’an Commandments’ obligation to slay the idolaters (al-Baqarah, 2:193; al-Taubah, 9:5; al-‘Imrān, 3:167-168; al-Nisā’, 4:84, 88-89). Terrorizing Islamic enemies is Allah’s commandment (Bukhāri, 1:24, 6:19).

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

The Shahīd is one who is killed and has achieved martyrdom in the battle of Jihad, and he is granted seven glorious gifts. Islamic exegetes take the Qur’an statements that the Shuhadā’ are alive living beside Allah and enjoying all his grace (al-Baqarah, 2:154; al-‘Imrān, 3:169).

Muslims view peace as a tactical means for achieving their strategic objective, by defeating the enemy. Peace constitutes a temporary break in the ongoing war against the enemy, until Islam controls the whole world. They might come to terms with the enemy, provided that they should resume the Jihad after the expiration of the treaty. By their very nature, treaties must be of temporary duration, for the normal relations between Muslim and the infidels are not peaceful, but warlike.

In spite of the extensive agreement among Islamic classical exegetes based on the Sharī’ah, Islamists in the West emphasize the milder verses from the Qur’an, actually showing the abrogated `Meccan Islam’ in order to camouflage the living `Medina Islam’. They state that Islam is defensive and the fighting injunctions in the Qur’an are only in self-defense. They carefully hid the unconscionable and intolerable verses that litter from all the Medinan Sûwar by saying that ‘those verses were taken out of context’ and that they were not applicable to the infidels. Ali Cheragh brings verses from the Qur’an which he claims are limited or conditional, and “only two verses in the Qur’an containing an absolute or non-conditional injunction for making war against the un-believers.” however, for Cheragh it is very simple: wherever you find verses contradictory to his opinion about the interpretation of the Qur’an, it is ruled out as non-operative. Therefore, if Muslims summon their enemies to embrace Islam and they refuse to accept it, then all the Islamic wars are defensive by definition. All those who disagree with him are “wrong in history, chronology, as well as in understanding the general scope of the Qur’an and the tenor of the Sûwar.”

Mahmoud Shaltut comments are also indicative: “People would do well to learn the Qur’an rules with regard to fighting, its causes and its ends, and recognize the wisdom of the Qur’an. The role of the Qur’an is to summon humanity to submit to Allah, as the natural process. As about war verses, they all deal with the defense of the Islamic community, and are fully legitimate.

Jamal Badawi, a member of the Fiqh Council of North America, claims that Jihad is a struggle against inner desires and a fight against social injustices. Combative jihad is not only restricted in terms of what may or may not justify it, and also strictly regulated. War should not be resorted against peaceful and just but to stop aggression or oppression. There must be a declaration of war by a legitimate authority after due consultation; noncombatants should not be hurt; and Prisoners of war and the injured must be treated humanely.

The main of the Muslim propagators is to clearly lie and mislead the ignorant infidels of the meaning of Jihad, claiming it means the spiritual struggle of the believer to Allah. This is untrue. j-h-d, on the first Arabic conjugation, means indeed to make efforts, to strive. However, Jihad and Mujāhadah are the noun of the third conjugation, Jā-h-d, which means to fight, to make war against. Muslim propagators know Arabic and they just evade the truth. They also ignore the physical military aspect of Qitāl, as fighting and slaughtering to make Islam prevail over all other religions and governmental systems.

Indeed, these statements are pure fraud propagation. Of all the Islamic duties (A’māl), Jihad is considered the noblest, next to belief (Imān) and prayer (Salāh). The one who died without waging Jihad against the infidels, nor intended to fight Jihad in the way of Allah in his heart, he died like a hypocrite (Munāfiq). From its beginning, the Islamic movement had struggled aggressively to subdue religiously, to conquer politically, and to expand territorially other peoples and to bring the Islamic mission to all mankind. This was an offensive Jihad proper, and nobody recognized any other kind of Jihad.

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