Translating Words, Interpreting Events

Christians ‘Crucified Again’ for Refusing Islam

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To the awe of its readership, a recent Daily Mail article reports that the “jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIL],” which is currently entrenched in Raqqa, Syria, “publicly crucified two Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria in revenge for a grenade attack on members of their group.”

A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including crucified Christian girls.

While the Daily Mail is to be commended for exposing these barbaric acts—along with posting photos of the crucified—it nonetheless minimized their significance, in two important ways: 1) by repeatedly saying things like “even al-Qaeda is distancing itself from ISIL,” and so implying that the act of crucifixion is some wild aberration that even the poster-child of jihadi terror, al-Qaeda, wants nothing to do with it; and 2) ignoring the much “sexier” story that Christians in Syria are also being crucified simply for refusing to embrace Islam (as opposed to the rather mundane but politically more correct story of jihadis crucifying each other in the context of vendetta killings).

Consider the atrocities earlier committed in Ma‘loula, Syria, an ancient Christian village where the inhabitants still spoke Aramaic, the language of Christ.

According to recent Arabic news media, “a Syrian nun testified to the Vatican news agency that some Christians in Ma‘loula were crucified for refusing to convert to Islam or pay jizya” (tribute subjugated Christians are required to pay to their Islamic conquerors in order to exist as Christians, per Koran 9:29).

Incidentally, they were crucified by the al-Qaeda linked Nasra Front (so much for Daily Mail’s portrayal of al-Qaeda “distancing” itself from the apparently “extra-extremist” ISIL for crucifying its victims).

Sister Raghad, the former head of the Patriarchate School in Damascus who currently resides in France, told Vatican Radio how she personally witnessed jihadi rebels terrorize Ma‘loula, including by pressuring Christians to proclaim the shehada—Islam’s credo that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger—which, when uttered before Muslim witnesses transforms the speaker into a Muslim, with the death penalty for apostasy should the convert later “renege” by returning to Christianity.

According to the nun, those Christians who refused to embrace Islam were

killed in atrocious and violent ways that cannot be described.  If you want examples, they crucified two youths in Ma‘loula for refusing to proclaim Islam’s credo, saying to them: “Perhaps you want to die like your teacher [Christ] whom you believe in?  You have two choices: either proclaim the shehada or else be crucified.”  One of them was crucified before his father, whom they also killed.

In fact, according to earlier media reports from October 2013, soon after Ma‘loula fell to the jihadis, one “shaky voiced” elderly Christian man had reported that he heard the invading jihadis shouting, “Convert to Islam, or you will be crucified like Jesus.”

It is, of course, a documented fact that some Christians in Ma‘loula were put to death for refusing to convert to Islam, such as Minas, an Armenian man, while other families succumbed to pressure and converted to Islam.

But it is not clear whether the two crucified Christians mentioned by the nun are among the three men in Ma‘loula who, according to Asia News, “refused to repudiate their religion” and thus “were summarily executed in public”—so many and varied were the barbaric acts, including beheadings, rape, and infanticide during the rebel occupation, not to mention the other massacres in other Christian regions the mainstream media failed to report on.

These three were declared martyrs by the Syrian Greek-Catholic Church, or as Patriarch Gregorios III explained to Pope Francis in a meeting: “Holy Father, they are true martyrs. Ordered to give up their faith, they proudly refused. Three others however gave in and were forced to declare themselves Muslim, but later returned to the faith of their ancestors.”

For his part, and according to a May 3rd Arabic report, Pope Francis recently said, “I wept when I saw reports saying that Christians were being crucified in some non-Christian countries.”

The fact is, crucifixion is a prescribed form of punishment in the Koran (5:33) and occurs throughout the Islamic world with much greater frequency than suggested by the Daily Mail.  For example:

  • Iraq, June 2008: A Canadian parliamentary committee heard about how “militant Muslims” were crucifying Christian children in order to terrorize Christians into fleeing Iraq: “Since the war began in 2003, about 12 children, many as young as 10, have been kidnapped and killed, then nailed to makeshift crosses near their homes to terrify and torment their parents.”
  • Ivory Coast, May 2011: Two Christian peasant brothers were “brutally crucified” on “the example of Christ” by Muslim forces accusing them of being supportive of the ousted Christian president.  One died, while the other survived: “The pair were badly beaten and tortured before being crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet with steel spikes.”
  • Egypt, August 2012: Multiple media agencies reported that during one uprisal against Islamist president Muhammad Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood operatives crucified some protesters on trees.   Earlier, a Salafi MP in Egypt called for the penal codification of crucifixion.
  • Yemen, August 2012: A video of a man crucified on the accusation of spying for the U.S. appeared.  A sign placed above his head quotes Koran 5:33:  “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.”

Of course, if one delves into Islamic history, one learns that crucifixions were extremely common.  For example, Witnesses For Christ: Orthodox Christian Neomartyrs of the Ottoman Period 1437-1860 lists crucifixion as one of the many forms thousands of Christians were executed by the Muslim Turks.

And in her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described how in the early twentieth century in the city of Malatia, she saw 16 girls crucified, vultures eating their corpses: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands,” wrote the Armenian survivor. “Only their hair blown by the wind covered their bodies.”

Prescribed in the Koran itself, crucifixions are as old as Islam and, with the global revival of the latter, are returning with increased frequency.  And, although it is more politically correct to report on jihadis crucifying other jihadis—other terrorists or “spies”—the fact is, many more innocent Christians are being crucified again, including simply for refusing to embrace Islam and thus renounce Christ.

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  • Ranchman

    Thanks, Raymond, for continuing to bring the atrocities of islam to light. One can’t help but wonder what they can do to help stop and expose this barbarism, especially the brutal murdering of innocent children.

  • profsportster

    Tragic. There’s a price to pay for our lazy indifference as the faithful are murdered by barbarians.

  • Kimo

    Facts are, smith and Wesson, Remington, colt, and a host of other talented companies build a perfect tool to work with murderers and madmen. I believe if a man kills, {excluding self defense} his life is forfeit, if someone is dog ass crazy, and its killing people, its fair to say, “there is the problem”, and you eliminate it. I know im speaking for a majority when I say Americans are past fed up and definitely had enough of crazy azz individuals who seek to murder, fueled by hate, who have no respect for life, most of us respect life and and feel those who don’t should be dispatched promptly Life can be good, safe, sane, when the evil wolves are thinned and eliminated from our streets.
    Myself, like many, have studied islam deeply, we clearly see its a one way proposition from islam, unlike all other religions that respect differences, make condescension, follow rule of law, mind their own business, and some f in nut whose brain is squirm like a toad, pulls a detonator line, blows himself, kids and women up, to that guy I say, “you are being hunted down, and the allies will catch or kill you, its a matter of time, people don’t like living on the same planet with rabid dogs, we get rid of the dis-ease. No problem. These evil murderous men who inhabit shadows, we die as they lived, by the sword. evil IS NOT going to win,
    So simple, if a wild animal or human is trying to kill me, and helpless women and kids, its ON, then and there. Most of America is in agreement with that. One thing myself and many also have in common, we have “radar” and millions are awake and aware of the tactics they use, terrorists are a hunted group, with a short life expediencies , And America is fast changing, with tolerance of extremism almost gone, the cops, and the people have had enough, and if the chips fall, the world will see Americans pull together. And YES if you reside in the USA, our law is the constitution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diversintl.redsea Red Sea Diversintl

    ISIS is in fact not disowned by Al Qaeda, only marginalized until they obey orders, and Zawahiri, refers to ISIS and Al Nasra as ‘jihadist brothers’ and highly praises the emir of ISIS. Just for reference: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/05/al_nusrah_front_issu.php

  • http://onfollowingchrist.wordpress.com Paul B.

    I believe the first target we need to look at is the media that buries what Islam is doing to Christians worldwide. There is a conspiracy of silence to protect Islam. Yet let a Christian merely say something politically incorrect and it is a major story. The recent scandal over Sterling’s racial comments is but one example, though I’m not saying he’s a Christian. The media has an agenda that is fundamentally anti-Christian.

  • Churchill4President

    Islam is incompatible with humanity and must be destroyed. It is not a religion, it is a demonic, barbaric ideology of violence, murder and enslavement. If it weren’t for Christianity the entire world would be enslaved to these psychotic madmen.

    • mollysdad

      I agree with this. The more I study the scriptures, the more it makes sense to me that the curse of destruction remains in force in respect of Amalek and all who are similar to him in their commitment to genocide against the people of God.

  • dia61

    Yes, history is repeating itself. It’s been allowed to repeat itself because the West has allowed the lid to be ripped off of Pandora’s Box.

    It’s so unnerving to think that our children are being fed lies regarding the history of this hateful dogma. Recently, my 7th grader spent 5 days learning about the wonders of Islam in her Social Studies class. Her text book sung it praises. The same textbook spent one day on Justinian. Is it any wonder why so many people are confused?

    Thanks to Raymond and honest Oriental historians, such as Bernard Lewis, the truth is there for anyone to read. People need to be lead to the truth with accurate history to support it ( after all, there are only 1400 years of history to back it up).

    It’s a daunting task, but not an impossible one.

  • james

    I SAY;”WHO IS LIKE THE BEAST AND WHO CAN FIGHT AGAINST IT ?’ALLAH IS A COWARD WHO CANNOT FIGHT HIS OWN BATTLES;PERHAPS HE SHOULD MEET US AT A PRE- ARRANGED LOCATION TO DO BATTLE;I VALUR COCKROACHES MUCH MORE THAN THESE MONKEY MEN.THEY ARE ALL DUST.

  • Cathy L Clark

    It is their agenda to take over the United States, and do that here as well. And Our government leaders are bringing them in here by the plane fulls and setting them up in housing, and welfare subsidies every single day. Now they’re even trying to get their sharia law started here and ignore our constitution. zit’s coming here people. They intend to do it.

  • Martin Grimes

    We Christains are killed in the east shuned in the west. I truly believe it is not going to get better, hatred for the Jews and Christians will grow.

    • goldenrog

      Christ told us “You will be hated for my namesake” I am prepared

  • denis

    I’m waiting for the pope and other Christian clerics to say, “Christians, and all faiths it is OK to defend your selves. your family, your neighbors and cities and towns against Islamic terrorists.” “Do not turn the other cheek”. BUT “do unto others as they do unto you.” Someone might say, if you do that we are like them. Well them (Islamists) only understand power. This RELIGION OF HATE (Islam) lacks humanity. It is time for all other religions to draw a line in the sand that Islamists understand.

    • mollysdad

      You don’t need a pronouncement from the Pope. God Himself wages eternal war against Amalek (Exodus 17; Deuteronomy 25). Anyone committed to the annihilation of the Jews or the Christians is Amalek, and it is a mitzvah for the Jews and their allies to wage a war of extermination.

  • Cuetis

    I believe there were be a war between good and evil, light and darkness and light will always win over darkness. As when you enter a dark room, and you switch on the light, darkness disappears. Only through prayers, can the forces of darkness be defeated.

  • ezekiel33

    Also, Keep in mind that Buddhists/Shintos crucified Christians including two boys in Nagasaki in 1497 before their full-fledged pogrom around Japan and Christian soldiers were crucified by pro-Buddhist Asians in the Bhutan death march.

    • Wins Rajan

      Islam’s bullshit and the worst religion ever

  • Adrian

    These Isis dogs of the hellfire are not Muslims but impostors. Muslims do not believe that Jesus peace upon him was crucified but saved from the actions of the Romans. Nothing in Islam promotes torture or mutilation. The prophet Muhammad pbuh promoted freedom of religion and even allowed Muslims to apostate if that’s what was in their hearts. It was the Christians of Abyssinia who gave the first muslims asylum from the persecution of the pagan Arabs of Arabia. Western medicine, architecture and even basic hygiene came from the seeds of Islam. Inform yourself of our worlds history. Guard yourself from hateful rhetoric, euro centrism. And orientalist ideologies. Peace upon you all.

    • Chris Colvin

      Adrian. I don’t know what Quran you read but you’re completely 100% wrong. Where did you get these ideas?

      • Adrian

        Chris,
        These are not ideas but are in the truth of the revelation and the historical events. I would suggest stop looking at orientalist sources for information an if you wanted to know the other side of things talk to a real Sunni Muslim that follows the traditional schools of thought. These wahabbis and salafis are technically not sunni because they have changed many things and do not follow the sunna of the prophet Muhammad pbuh.

        Did you know the Christian Abbysinian King granted asylum to muslims being persecuted in the gulf by the pagan Arabs because he knew of their good character?? Did you know that Christianity and Judiasm existed in the Middle East and Africa long before it entered Europe? These are historical FACTS.

        What you are seeing right now is a modernized revision of islam that was created by Muhammad Abdul Al Wahhab. This was during the Napoleonic era and the campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa. If you want specific Ayat (verses/-literal translation signs) I can provide them that praise Mary,peace upon her and Jesus, peace upon him. Gaurd yourself from using absolute language like 100% wrong because you talking to a muslim convert that still has close ties to the church of England.

        It is a fact that the first world map was created by a Morrocan Mariner and muslim.

        Chris I’m not trying to beef you, just explaining my religion and you are obviously an adult and entitled to your beliefs. I can’t blame you for havin your perception of islam not just because of media portrayls but also because how much these phony shaykh’s and imams have led my people astray.

        Many crimes where committed in the name of religion. The issue isn’t the religions, it’s the ego of men.

        • Chris Colvin

          The Qur’an:

          Qur’an (5:51) - ”O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

          Qur’an (5:80) - “You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.”  Those Muslims who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell.
          This is the Quran, is it not?

          • Adrian

            That’s the whole issue with putting a microscope on a couple verses without understanding the context in which it was revealed:

            http://www.imranhosein.org/articles/understanding-islam/73-neither-friends-nor-allies.html

            -I will add if islam was such a horrible religion then why have so many things recently discovered by science have been in the Quran for 1400+ years?

            -Child tax benefit for nursing mothers was something adopted and created by the companion and Caliph Umar.

            -up until world war 2, women in the middle east have had more rights than anywhere else in the world. They are the most educated in the gulf and own majority of the land today as well.

            I’m not going to front and act like there isn’t oppression, but my point is separate the historical culture of Arabs from ISLAM. The sexism that exists in Saudi is not islamic but much more Qurayshi (pagan arab enimies of Islam). Etc

          • Chris Colvin

            Roflmao! Now tell me about Islam’s role in the Discovery Of America and I will know.

          • Chris Colvin

            We’re back to 100%

          • Chris Colvin

            Muslims often claim that their religion fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, “paving the way” for modern advances in technology and medicine.  On this topic, they usually refer to the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, when Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages” and the Muslim world was acquiring new populations and culture through violent conquest.

            The Truth: 

            Although there is no arguing that the Muslim world was relatively more advanced during this Middle Age period than the “Christian” world, the reasons for this have absolutely nothing to do with the Islamic religion (other than its mandate for military expansion).  In fact, the religion tends to discourages knowledge outside of itself (Quran 5:101-102), which is why the most prolific Muslim scholars are usually students of religion rather than science.

            [Note that the country of Spain alone translates more learning material and literature into Spanish each year than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the 9th century.  As the Saudi Grand Mufti bluntly put it in 2010, "The Quran with its stories and knowledge are sufficient for us... we don't need the Torah, or Gospels, or any other book].

            The many fundamentalists and other devotees who dress as Muhammad did and adopt 7th century lifestyles to some degree or another underscore the importance of tradition in Islam.  The religion is highly conservative and resistant to change, which is viewed with suspicion.  As scholar Bernard Lewis points out, in Islam an innovation is presumed to be bad unless it can be proven to be good.

            Beyond this, there are four basic reasons why Islam has little true claim to scientific achievement:

            First, the Muslim world benefited greatly from the Greek sciences, which were translated for them by dhimmi Christians and Jews.  To their credit, Muslims did a better job of preserving Greek text than did the Europeans of the time, and this became the foundation for their own knowledge.  (One large reason for this, however, was that access by Christians to this part of their world was cut off by Muslim slave ships and coastal raids that dominated the Mediterranean during this period).

            Secondly, many of the scientific advances credited to Islam were actually “borrowed” from other cultures conquered by the Muslims.  The algebraic concept of “zero”, for example, is erroneously attributed to Islam when, in fact, it was a Hindu discovery that was merely introduced to the West by Muslims. 

            In truth, conquered populations contributed greatly to the history of “Muslim science” until gradually being decimated by conversion to Islam (under the pressures of dhimmitude).  The Muslim concentration within a population is proportional to the decline of scientific achievement.  It is no accident that the Muslim world has had little to show for itself in the last 800 years or so, since running out of new civilizations to cannibalize.

            Third, even accomplished Muslim scientists and cultural icons were often considered heretics in their day, sometimes with good reason.  One of the greatest achievers to come out of the Muslim world was the Persian scientist and philosopher, al-Razi.  His impressive works are often held up today as “proof” of Muslim accomplishment.  But what the apologists often leave out is that al-Razi was denounced as a blasphemer, since he followed his own religious beliefs – which were in obvious contradiction to traditional Islam.

            Fourth, even the contributions that are attributed to Islam (often inaccurately) are not terribly dramatic.  There is the ‘invention’ of certain words, such as alchemy and elixir (and assassin, by the way), but not much else that survives in modern technology which is of practical significance.  Neither is there any reason to believe that such discoveries would not have easily been made by the West following the cultural awakening triggered by the Reformation.

            As an example, consider that Muslims claim credit for coffee – in the sense that they popularized existing knowledge of Africans who were caught up in the Arab slave trade.  However, it is also true that the red dye used in many food products, from cranberry juice to candy, comes from the abdomen of a particular female beetle found in South America.  It is extremely unlikely that the West would not have stumbled across coffee by now.

            In fact, the litany of “Muslim” achievement often takes the form of rhapsody, in which the true origins of these discoveries are omitted – along with their comparative significance to Western achievement.  One often doesn’t hear about the dismal fate of original accomplishments either.  Those who brag about the great observatory of Taqi al-Din in [freshly conquered] Istanbul, for example, often neglect to mention that it was quickly destroyed by the caliphate.

            At the end of the day, the record of scientific, medical and technological accomplishment is not something over which Muslim apologists want to get into a contest with the Christian world.  Today’s Islamic innovators are primarily known for turning Western technology, such as cell phones and airplanes, into instruments of mass murder.

            To sum up, although the Islamic religion is not entirely hostile to science, neither should it be confused as a facilitator.  The great achievements that are said to have come out of the Islamic world were made either by non-Muslims who happened to be under Islamic rule, or by heretics who usually had little interest in Islam.  Scientific discovery tapers off dramatically as Islam asserts dominance, until it eventually peters out altogether. 

             

            Islam is Opposed to Slavery

            The Myth:

            Islam is intolerant of enslaving human beings.  The religion eradicated the institution of slavery thanks to the principles set in motion by Muhammad, who was an abolitionist.

            The Truth:

            There is not the least bit of intolerance for slavery anywhere in the Quran.  In fact, the “holy” book of Islam explicitly gives slave-owners the freedom to sexually exploit their slaves – not just in one place, but in at least four separate Suras.  Islamic law is littered with rules concerning the treatment of slaves, some of which are relatively humane, but none that prohibit the actual practice by any stretch.

            The very presence of these rules condones and legitimizes the institution of slavery.  Adding to this is the fact that Muhammad was an avid slave trader.  After providing ample evidence of his activities according to the most reliable Muslim biographers, the Center of the Study of Political Islam summarizes its findings as such:

            Muhammad captured slaves, sold slaves, bought slaves as gifts of pleasure, received slaves as gifts, and used slaves for work.  The Sira is exquisitely clear on the issue of slavery.(Muhammad and the Unbelievers: a Political Life)

            Even the very pulpit from which Muhammad preached Islam was built by slave labor on his command!

            The Quran tells Muslims to emulate the example of Muhammad, who has the most “exalted character”.  As such, the deeply dehumanizing horror of slavery has been a ubiquitous tradition of Islam for 14 centuries, including the modern plight of non-Muslim slaves in the Sudan, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and other parts of the Muslim world.

            There has never been an abolitionary movement within Islam (just as the religion produces no organized resistance to present-day enslavement).  The abolition of slavery was imposed on the Islamic world by European countries, along with other political pressures that were entirely unrelated to Islamic law.

            Although horrible abuses of slaves in the Muslim world were recorded, there has been little inclination toward the documentation and earnest contrition that one finds in the West.  The absence of a guilty Muslim conscience often leads to the mistaken impression that slavery was not as bad under Islam – when it is actually indicative of the explicit tolerance the religion has for the practice

            So narcissistic is the effect of Islam on the devoted, that to this day many Muslims believe in their hearts that the women and children carried off in battle, along with their surviving men folk, were actually done a favor by the Muslim warriors who plucked them from their fields and homes and relegated them to lives of demeaning servitude. 

            Shame and apology, no matter how appropriate, are almost never to be found in Dar al-Islam.  Caliphs, the religious equivalent of popes, maintained harems of hundreds, sometimes thousands of young girls and women captured from lands as far away as Europe and consigned to sexual slavery.  Hungarians were hunted like animals by the Turks, who carried 3 million into slavery over a 150 year period in the 1500-1600′s.  In India, 200,000 Hindus were captured and transported to Iranian slave markets in just a two year span (1619-1620) by one of thekinder Muslim rulers.

            African slaves were often castrated by their Muslim masters.  Few survived to reproduce, which is why there are not many people of African descent living in the Middle East, even though more slaves were taken out of Africa in the 1300 years of Arab slave trading than in the 300 years of European slavery.  The 400,000 slaves brought to America, for example, have now become a community of 30 million, with a much higher standard of living than their African peers.

            There is no William Wilberforce or Bartoleme de las Casas in Islamic history as there is in Christianity.  When asked to produce the name of a Muslim abolitionist, apologists sometimes meekly suggest Muhammad himself.  But, if a slave owner and trader, who commanded the capture and sexual exploitation of slaves, and left a 13-century legacy of divinely-sanctioned slavery, is the best that Islam can offer in the way of an abolitionist, then no amount of sophistry will be enough to convince any but the most ignorant.

            Further Reading:

            Slavery in Islam (TROP)
            Slavery in Islam (Answering Islam site)

             

            Islam is Incompatible with Terrorism

            The Myth:

            Islam is completely incompatible with acts of terrorism.  It is against Islam to kill innocent people.

            The Truth: 

            Islam does prohibit killing innocent people.  Unfortunately, you don’t qualify.

            Even though many Muslims earnestly believe that their religion prohibits the killing of innocent people by acts of terrorism, the truth is certainly more complicated.  This is why Muslims on both sides of the terror debate accuse the other of hijacking Islam while insisting that they are the true believers.  It is also why organizations that commit horrible atrocities in the name of Allah, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, receive a significant amount of moral and financial support from the mainstream.

            In fact, the definition of “terrorism” in Islam is ambiguous at best. And the definition of an “innocent person” in Islam isn’t something that Muslim apologists advertise when they say that such persons aren’t to be harmed.  The reason for this is that anyone who rejects Islam by refusing to convert is not considered to be innocent according to Islamic teaching. 

            Consider that a great deal of the Quran is devoted to describing the horrible punishment that awaits those who refuse to believe Muhammad.  How then can Muslims say that the subjects of divine wrath are innocent people?

            The most protected and respected of all non-Muslims are the dhimma, the “people of the book.”  Specifically , these would be Jews and Christians who agree to Islamic rule and pay the jizya (tribute to Muslims).  Yet, the word “dhimmi” is derived from an Arabic root that means “guilt” or “blame.”  ["...the dhimmi parent and sister words mean both 'to blame' as well as safeguards that can be extended to protect the blameworthy" Amitav Ghosh, "In an Antique Land"].

            So, if even the dhimma have a measure of guilt attached to their status (by virtue of having rejected Allah’s full truth), how can non-Muslims who oppose Islamic rule or refuse to pay the jizya be considered “innocent?”

            Even within the Islamic community there is a category of Muslims who are also said to bear guilt – greater, even, than the average non-believer.  These are the hypocrites, or “Munafiqin,” whom Muhammad referred to in the most derogatory terms.  A hypocrite is considered to be a Muslim in name only.  They are distinguished from true Muslims, according to the 9th Sura, by an unwillingness to wage (v.81, 86) or fund (v.121) holy war.  True believers fight and are harsh to unbelievers (v.123).

            The Muslim terrorists who frequently kill “other Muslims” in the name of Allah do so believing that their victims are Munafiqin or kafir (unbelievers).  This is a part of Sharia known as takfir, in which a Muslim can be declared an apostate and then executed for their role in hindering the expansion of Islamic authority.  (A true Muslim would go to paradise anyway, in which case he or she could hardly be expected to nurse a grudge amidst the orgy of sex and wine).

            In addition to the murky definition of innocence, there is also the problem of distinguishing terrorism from holy war.  Islamic terrorists rarely refer to themselves as terrorists, but usually say that they are holy warriors (Mujahideen, Shahid, or Fedayeen).  They consider their acts to be a form of Jihad.

            Holy war is commanded in the Quran and Hadith.  In Sura 9:29, Muhammad establishes the principle that unbelievers should be fought until they either convert to Islam or accept a state of humiliation under Islamic subjugation.  This is confirmed in the Hadith by both Sahih Muslim and Bukhari.

            In many places, the prophet of Islam says that Jihad is the ideal pathfor a Muslim, and that believers should “fight in the way of Allah.”  There are dozens of open-ended passages in the Quran that exhort killing and fighting – far more than there are of peace and tolerance.  It is somewhat naïve to think that their inclusion in this “eternal discourse between God and Man” was of historical value only and not intended to be relevant to present-day believers, particularly when there is little to nothing within the text to distinguish them in such fashion.

            Combine the Quran’s exhortation to holy war with the ambiguity of innocence and a monumental problem develops that cannot be patched over by mere semantics.  Not only is there a deep tolerance for violence in Islam, but also a sharp disagreement and lack of clarity over the conditions that justify this violence – and just whom the targets may be.

            Even many of those Muslims who claim to be against terrorism still support the “insurgency” in Iraq, for example, and often entertain the allegation that there is a broader “war against Islam.”  Although American troops in Iraq were trying to protect innocent life and help the country rebuild, Muslims around the world and in the West believe that it was legitimate for true believers to try and kill them.

            Enjoying the sanction of holy war, the Mujahid thus reasoned that it is permissible to attack fellow Iraqis – the ones helping the Americans – even if they are part of a democratically-elected Iraqi government.  These non-combatants and combatants alike are believed to be the “Munafiqin” or “Takfir” assisting the enemy “Crusaders.”

            Although we use Iraq as an example here, this is the same rationale that is ultimately behind all Islamic terror, from the Philippines to Thailand.  Wherever the Muslim religion is a minority, there are always radicals who believe that violence is justified in bringing Islam to dominance – just as Muhammad taught and set by example in Mecca and other places, such as the land of al-Harith.

            And what of the so-called “innocents” who suffer from the bombings and shootings?  Even in Muhammad’s time they were unavoidable.  The much-touted hadith in which Muhammad forbade the killing of women, for example, also indicates that there were such casualties in his attacks on other tribes.

            If there is any doubt that he believed that the forbidden is sometimes necessary, it should be put to rest by an incident in which Muhammad’s men warned him that a planned night raid against an enemy camp would mean that women and children would be killed.  He merely replied “they are of them,” meaning the men.

            This is the slippery slope opened by the sanction of holy war.  What starts out as the perception of a noble cause of self-defense against a supposed threat gradually devolves into a “let Allah sort them out” campaign through a series of logical steps that are ultimately justified by the sublime goal of Islamic rule.

            Islam is not intended to co-exist as an equal with other religions.  It is to be the dominant religion with Sharia as the supreme law.  Islamic rule is to be extended to the ends of the earth and resistance is to be dealt with by any means necessary. 

            Apologists in the West often shrug off the Quran’s many verses of violence by saying that they are relevant only in a “time of war.”

            To this, Islamic terrorists would agree.  They are at war.

             

            Islam is a Democracy

            The Myth:

            Islam is compatible with democratic principles.  The religion itself is a democracy.

            The Truth:

            A democracy is a system in which all people are judged as equals before the law, regardless of race, religion or gender.  The vote of every individual counts as much as the vote of any other.  The collective will of the people then determines the rules of society.

            Under Islamic law, only Muslim males are entitled to full rights.  The standing of a woman is often half that of a man’s – sometimes even less.  Non-Muslims have no standing with a Muslim.  In fact, a Muslim can never be put to death for killing an unbeliever.

            The Islamic state is guided by Islamic law, derived from the Quran and Sunnah.  A body of clerics interprets the law and applies it to all circumstances social, cultural and political.  The people are never to be placed above the Quran and Sunnah any more than man should be above Allah.

            It is somewhat debatable as to whether there are any states in the Muslim world that qualify as actual democracies.  There is no denying, however, that the tiny handful that are often held up as democratic nations are ones in which deep tension exists between the government and religious leaders, as the latter often complain that democracy is an idolatrous system imposed on them.

            Islam does not facilitate democracy.

            Further Reading:

            Democracy and Islam
            Loyalty to a Non-Muslim Government
             

            The Quran is the Muslim Counterpart to the Bible

            The Myth:

            The Quran is to Muslims what the Bible is to Christians (and the Torah to Jews).

            The Truth:

            The Quran only contains what is presented as the literal words of Allah – as relayed by Muhammad.  It can be compared to a manufactured text that includes only the words of Jesus (the so-called “red-letter” verses) extracted from their New Testament historical context and then randomly mixed together (the chapters of the Quran are arranged by size and themes are rarely consistent even within each chapter).

            By contrast, the Bible contains history and biographical detail.  For example, there is nothing in the Quran that details Muhammad’s life, whereas the Bible contains four books that present all that is known about the biography of Jesus.  Another distinction is that when the Bible commands violence – as it does in a handful of Old Testament verses – the intended target is explicitly defined within the passage, leaving little doubt that it is a recounting of history and not an open-ended command for anyone else to do the same.

            Despite the rhapsody with which Muslims sing the Quran’s praises, there is an obvious reason why only a minority have actually bothered to delve deeper than an occasional sporadic perusal through its pages.  The random arrangement of verses and near absence of context makes it difficult to understand.  For this reason the Quran is rarely printed without the incorporation of voluminous commentary (that usually expresses the personal preferences of the translator).

            In fact, the Muslim counterpart to the Bible is the Quran, Hadith and Sira combined.

            The Hadith is a collection of anecdotes and historical snippets of Muhammad’s life based on the relayed narrations of those who lived with him. Unfortunately, authenticity varies.  But the most dependable compilers are agreed by Muslims scholars to be Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, followed by Abu Dawud. It is on the Hadith that Islamic law (Sharia) is based.

            The Sira is the biography of Muhammad’s life. Again, there are reliability issues which would appear somewhat bewildering to Christians, given that the gospels were well in place within the first few decades following the crucifixion – which preceded Muslim history by over 600 years.  Still, the most reliable biography of Muhammad was compiled by Ibn Ishaq, who wrote about 150 years after his death.  His original work survives only in what was “edited” by a later translator (Ibn Hisham, who admitted that he filtered out several accounts that were of a distasteful nature).

            A failure to recognize that the Bible is only comparable to the Quran, Hadith and Sira together often leads to faulty accusation and misplaced analysis.

          • Adrian

            Ok now you are Quoting Saudi Grand muftis when I already laid the landscape that most of the scholars preach a perversion of Islam.

            I want you to tell me who discovered the Americas? Of course you will say Columbus when Pygmys , aboriginals , and Vikings where here long before. You continue to refer to orientalist sources that paint Europeans as patron saints. Smh bro, I’m done taking to this wall. All will come out in the wash.

            Funny how non semetic people hijack Judaism and Christianity and seem to think they have a better understanding of them than the native speakers of Hebrew, Aramaic, and arabic.

            May your superiority complex not lead you astray.

            Peace,

          • Chris Colvin

            TheReligionofPeace.com Presents:

            Islam’s Most Sacred History Refutes Popular Misconceptions about the Prophet of Islam

            Muslims often complain of the “misconceptions” about their religion in the West, yet very few seem to know all that much about the true history of Islam and its founder, Muhammad.  As a result, the biggest misconceptions about Islam are often those originating from (and sincerely believed by) Muslims themselves.

            As a service to Muslims and infidels alike, we hope to refute the contemporary mythology of Muhammad (popular in the West) by referring to the earliest and most reliable Muslim historians, who based their writings on the narrations of those who actually knew their revered prophet.  The historical compilations of Ibn Ishaq (compiled by Ibn Hisham), al-Tabari, Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are greatly respected in the Muslim academic community as a priceless source of biographical information and the details of Islam’s origin and rise to power.  These writings also provide the context for the Qur’an.

            Understand that it is the Hadith (traditions), Sira (biography of Muhammad) and the Qur’an together that provide the true Islamic counterpart to the Christian Bible and Jewish Torah.  The Qur’an is simply the purported words of Allah arranged in no particular order.  It makes little sense outside of the context provided by the other two sources.

            Articles posted here will occasionally be revised and improved, and new ones added.  Readers not familiar with the life of Muhammad may want to consider approaching these myths through our brief article on the history of his life: The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth.  It has been updated to include most of the same links found below, and it will help place these debunked myths into historical context – even though it is written from the Muslim point of view.

          • Chris Colvin

            Is the earth flat? I know you retreated, but I have to ask.

          • Adrian

            The prophet Muhammad peace and blessing upon him was the most documented person in history PERIOD. Look into how the books of hadith was compiled and the chain of transmission.

            Now would be a good time to ask yourself why the ROMAN Catholic Church calls Longinus a saint??? Keep blaming the attempted crucifixion on the Jewish – guilt or just ignorance?