Monday, October 10, 2005

The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam

One of the most pernicious positions advanced by Muslims to justify their war on the West is that it is but a defensive reaction to the Christian Crusaders who attacked the Muslim world without provocation a thousand years ago. Osama Bin Laden and other Muslim terrorists invoke this argument by calling Americans "Crusaders." This Muslim position is unskeptically accepted by the politically correct. For example, Bill Clinton declared that the Crusader's sack of Jerusalem in 1099 AD was the ultimate cause of the Sep 11 attacks.

Robert Spencer rebuts this dishonest history by pointing out that long before the First Crusade launched, Muslims had conquered two thirds of the Christian world in a massive campaign of bloody religious imperialism. This and much more is laid out in his excellent book, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)."

After Mohammed died in 632 AD, the Muslims embarked upon a jihad to conquer the known world for Islam. The Mediterranean Sea at that time was surrounded by Christian nations. All five of Christendom's major cities came under attack by the Muslims, four of them conquered: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome. Only Rome barely escaped Muslim conquest after the Pope agreed to pay tribute in 846 AD.

The rules of engagement for Muslim invaders were simple, consisting of Mohammed's three part policy for dealing with unbelievers: 1) Convert to Islam; 2) Accept second-class status as a dhimmi and pay the jizya, the poll tax on non-Muslims; or 3) die.

Accepting dhimmi status meant that Muslims were the masters, non-Muslims the despised inferiors. Dhimmis must wear special clothes, give way to Muslims on the street, stand when Muslims enter a room, are forbidden to build new churches, can not bear arms, may not strike a Muslim, and their testimony has no weight in court. When a dhimmi pays his poll tax, the Muslim collector must humiliate him so that he feels subjugated, in accordance with the Koran. Typically, this means that the dhimmi must stand while the collector sits. When the dhimmi pays, the collector strikes him on the face to ensure he feels inferior. While Muslims claim they do not compel anyone to become Muslim, in practice being a dhimmi was so difficult that most converted to Islam to end the abuse.

The Muslims swept across Christian North Africa, annihilating villages who had no idea what a Muslim was until they swept into their homes and began beheading them, raping them, looting them, and enslaving them. They crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain in 711 AD, most of which they conquered by 715 AD. They pressed on to invade France but were stopped by Charles Martel at Tours in 732 AD. Two more unsuccessful invasions were attempted in 792 AD and 848 AD.

On the other end of the Mediterranean, the Muslims conquered the Christian city of Jerusalem in 638 AD. They swept north to Christian Syria and Armenia and then into Byzantine Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The Muslims laid seige to Constantinople, the capital of Christian Byzantium, in 668 AD and 717 AD unsuccessfully. The Muslim war went on for nearly three and a half centuries before they conquered all of Asia Minor. It took until 1453 for the Muslims to conquer Constantinople and rename it Istanbul.

The Muslims also attacked through southern Europe, raiding Cyprus, Rhodes, and Crete. They invaded Sicily in 827 and pressed on into Italy, reaching Rome in 846 AD. Rome paid tribute to the Muslims, thus avoiding becoming a Muslim city. Otherwise, the Vatican would be another mosque.

By the end of the eleventh century, the Byzantine empire had been whittled away by Muslim invaders until only Greece remained. The Byzantine emperor, Alexius I Comnenus, pressed by savage Muslim armies, called upon Pope Urban II for help in his defense. Pope Urban launched the First Crusade in 1095 AD to defend Greece against the Muslims.

By the time the First Crusade was launched, Muslims had savagely conquered Christian village after village, nation after nation, penetrating Europe on three fronts, in a jihad that was waged from the initial conquest of Jersulem in 638 AD for 457 years. Yet the Muslims ignore their four and half centuries of aggression to claim the Christians had initiated hostilities with Islam with the Crusades.

Therefore, the Muslim claim to be the innocent victim of unprovoked aggression by Christian Crusaders is simply a pack of lies, lies which have become Islamic doctrine.

The Muslim jihad against the West continued until 1683, when they became too weak to continue waging large scale war. The Muslim will to wage jihad remained and the doctrine of jihad remained in force. It wasn't until oil money reinvigorated the Middle East that Muslims were able to renew their jihad against the non-Muslim world.

The Muslim jihadis operate under the same rules of engagement. Before attacking, Islamic law mandates that the infidels be issued a call to Islam. For example, Osama Bin Laden opened his war with America by calling on it to convert to Islam in his November 2002 "letter to the American people": "What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you? 1) The first thing we are calling you to is Islam ...." When the infidels reject the call to Islam, Muslims are then free to make war on them.

The Muslim doctrine of taqqiya, "concealment," allows Muslims to lie among unbelievers, especially when living in infidel nations. It is permissible to deny parts of Islam to survive. For example, you can publicly object to terror in America while sending secret contributions to Al Qaeda.

Spencer makes other interesting points about the differences between Islam and Christianity. For example, Christians believe that there is an order to the universe, which is governed by laws. For them, the universe is like a giant clockwork made and set in motion by God. The Muslims, by contrast, reject this. Their universe is governed by Allah's arbitrary will, which can change at any time. The pieces of the world need not interact rationally. In short, the Western world holds reason to be the highest virtue, while the Muslim world holds faith to be supreme.

Muslims do not agree with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For example, they want capital punishment for infidel murderers of Muslims but forbid it for Muslim murderers of infidels, forthrightly explaining that non-Muslims are "on a lower level of belief and conviction" than Muslims, who possess a "loftier" faith. They also disagree with the right to change religions. Islamic law demands the death penalty for apostates.

The West believes in pluralistic governments which allow all faiths to flourish. Islam demands a theocracy where non-Muslims are second-class citizens. The West is committed to democracy. Islam is committed to authoritarian theocracy. Spencer bluntly states that Islam is a totalitarian, supremacist, expansionist ideology. The difference in values between the West and Islam leads to the current clash of civilizations. Spencer quite rightly states Western values and traditions are superior and worth fighting for. We deserve to win against Muslim terror, which represents an inferior set of values.

For anyone who wants a deeper understanding, without the fuzzy-wuzzy multicultural candy coating, of the Islamist enemy who is waging war on the West through terror, I Strongly Recommend This Book. It is very readable and provides you with all the talking points you need to defeat politically correct liberals in argument.

21 Comments:

Blogger Amina said...

The problem with books about islam these days is that they are written by nonmuslims. It doesn't tell the point of veiw of a muslim. How do u know Islam oppresses women. Only an muslim women would know if this statement is true. Also about this whole declaring jihad against the nonmuslim thing is not true. Our religion pohibits killing. Allah is the only one allowed to kill. Anyway the quran states that u can not kill his creations. What these muslim fundamentalists call jihad is not the same as what the prophet called jihad. Muslims r supposed to except everyone for who thay r. We believe everyone is responsable for his or her self. If he chooses to be something other than muslim its his own choice. They would have to deal with allah on the day of judgement. Thats why we say may allah guide u to the straight path. Anyway forcing someone to become islam even though they don't believe in allah is a great sin. Every muslim should know this.

Wed Oct 12, 04:00:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wed Oct 12, 04:01:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wed Oct 12, 04:01:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

sorry i clicked the publish botton too many times.

Wed Oct 12, 04:02:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amina,

The problem with books on Islam written by Muslims is they do not deal honestly with Islamic history and doctrine.

I didn't argue in my post that Islam oppresses women but it's an easy argument to make. If you are forbidden to drive, you lack the freedom Western women take for granted. Islamic inheritance and divorce laws also place women in an inferior position.

It's quite likely that many Muslim women do not consider themselves oppressed because they know no other life. You can not miss what you never had.

Any non-Muslim can determine a Muslim woman has been oppressed if they stumbled across her body after she's been the victim of an honor killing.

The Koran quite clearly declares war on non-Muslims. Some examples:

"Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate." Koran 9:73

"Fight those who believe not in Allah ...." Koran 9:29

Mohammed also tells Muslims to behead those who oppose them and personally ordered his enemies beheaded after the battle of Badr, among other times. He sent an assassin to kill a poet he didn't like. Mohammed is the model for all Muslims. Terrorists who butcher people around the world for Islam are simply following Mohammed's example.

Tantor

PS. I deleted your duplicate posts.

Thu Oct 13, 06:33:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Lyric Mezzo said...

Very interesting history presented here. Over the past few days, I've thought about the Crusades, and that it seems that the Muslims are now doing their own version of "conversion by the sword." Although I'm no slouch at history, I was surprised to find the accounts of jihads predating the Crusades. This definitely bears looking into...

It does sound like the book paints the West a little too perfectly. We don't have a lily white history and democracy does have its hitches (i.e. civil liberties vs. national security), but basically, I'm pretty damn grateful to live here.

A very informative review. Thanks for the heads up.

Tue Oct 18, 04:00:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lyric,

Spencer doesn't spare any sentiment for the Crusaders, who were admittedly brutal, but he does make the case for the Europeans, which has not been made.

My speculation is that the original Muslim jihads which led to the Crusades are not widely known mainly because the Middle Ages are not widely taught in history classes. The minor contributor to this is political correctness of two kinds. The first kind is the propagation of the belief that Western civilization is harmful and inferior to other civilizations. That leads to the second kind, which is the abandonment of our history and culture, neatly symbolized by Jesse Jackson's attack on classic education at Stanford with the chant, "Hey, hey, ho, ho; Western culture's gotto go!"
http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0223_Western_Civilization.html

Such political correctness performs a lobotomy on our culture and diminishes the ability to defend it.

Tantor

Tue Oct 18, 10:56:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Lyric Mezzo said...

Tantor,

The reason I was so surprised about this, is because I've spent quite a bit of time studying Medieval history, as it pertains to music history. The book MUSIC IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE (www.tinyurl.com/cukt6) was a source I consulted while studying for my doctoral comprehensive exams. It didn't sugar-coat the actions of the Christians, citing money as a prime motivator. It also discussed the great amount of destruction visited upon the Muslims. However, there was not even a hint that the Crusades might have possibly been in defense/retaliation for previous jihads. The book didn't generally seem to worry about political correctness, so I don't think that was necessarily the cause. Since I have never heard of this little bit of history anywhere, I'm going to assume that very few people have studied this. And certainly this was not covered in Ridley Scott's recent movie.

As far as the abandonment of our history and culture, I'd have to wholeheartedly agree. Whenever I hear about parents complaining that religious history is being taught, I grind my teeth. As a music teacher, this concerns me, because the history of the church IS the history of music! The day a choir director is not allowed to use religious (i.e. Christian) music and a music teacher is not allowed to discuss Christian history, is the day that music is completely deleted from our schools. And it's well on its way.

I shudder to think of the day when our children can no longer learn the complete history of the world. For history ignored is history repeated - for good or ill.

As a final note - did Michael Moore ever read Fahrenheit 451? I mean, the book deals with censorship - censorship derived from political correctness gone awry. Basically Ray Bradbury envisioned the lobotomized future you speak of. And it wasn't a pretty place...

Thu Oct 20, 11:14:00 AM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would guess that money was a big motivator for medieval European troops in any war. Upward mobility was unlikely in their heavily stratified society. The one way you could strike it rich from the bottom rung of society was to go to war and capture booty or, even better, ransom prisoners.

That aside, the strategic reason for the Crusades was to reopen the route to the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims, a route closed by Muslim conquest of Christian lands. The Crusader kingdoms established in the Holy Land served that desire.

Ridley Scott's Crusade movie, "Kingdom of Heaven," has been criticized by historians for a politically correct version of history. The Muslims forced the lands they conquered to turn Muslim, which is why Christians are a minority now in the Middle East and north Africa. By contrast, the Crusader kingdoms did not force Muslims to convert, which is why they remained majority Muslim. In general, Scott portrayed the Crusaders as the bad guys, the Muslims as the good guys, a very politically correct view. And false. Unfortunately, movies these days are confused with history rather than seen as indoctrination.

If Moore did read Fahrenheit 451, he learned the wrong lessons from it and has joined the wrong side.

Tantor

Thu Oct 20, 12:57:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

you know what i hate it when people say things about my religion that isn't true. The sayings from the quran u qoated do indeed exisist. But these words are like motivational words Allah told the prophet to tell his followers before the battle. The other day in school (i live in the US) We were watching The Patriot in our AP History class. The main character in the movie told his sons to kill all the redcoats after they killed his son and took his other son. These are the kind of words u quoted from the Quran.

when qoated these words u were doing what the terrorist were doing just before they bombed the twin towers. The Used part of the Quran to explain what they did. But what they did was not lawful.

" The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self"Holy Quran

The Quran tells us to respect everyone. "When the bier of anyone passes by you whether JEW, CRISTAIN, or MUSLIM, rise to your feet."

About the things u said about the prophet Muhammad(PBUH)i never heard about those things. i looked in the Quran Hadith and other sourses and didn't find anything that said he ordered an assasin to kill a poet he didn't like. i would like to know where u got this information.

islam does not prohibit women to drive. My mom drives and i'm planing on driving too. The only thing allah prohibits is driving to sinful places like bars, clubs ex cetra. Islam does give women rights. The prophet's first wife was a business women. Allah say "Women are the twin-halves of men"

Islam prohibits the mistreating of women. The quran clearly states " O you who believe! you are forbidden to inherit women against their will; and YOU SHOULD NOT TREAT THEM WITH HARSHINESS.......4:19"
Many so called muslim men seem to egnore this. They think that they r supperior then women. this is a great sin. Allah says if u kill his creation the person's burden comes to u.

and about divorce.the Quran states " The thing which is LAWFUL, but DISLIKED by God(Allah), is divorce." So we are allowed to divorce in Islam.

I hope this would change ur mind about hating muslims all muslims are not like those u hear about.

Fri Oct 21, 09:37:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Mike said...

While they are verses that do promote tolerance, they are just as many, if not more that claim otherwise. Sura Anfal:12ff and Sura Muhammad:3ff command the beheading of unbelievers; Sura al-Nisa’:34ff allows for beating of one’s wives and in verses 74ff and 94ff, promises great reward for those who die fighting for Allah; Sura al-Ma’idah:51 says “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” Of course there are the violent sections in the Bible as well, or at least in the Old Testament Joshua and David were military leaders as much as religious ones. Many arguments can be made against such verses (they must be contextualized, they are applicable only to that time, they are metaphorical, etc.) but one cannot say they do not exist.

and as you live in the US you are fortuante to live under Secular law. However in a more Religous state as like saudi arabia you get this:

http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD101205

"Imagine you're a woman. When your brother is born, people say: 'It's a boy, how wonderful,' and when you are born they say: 'How wonderful, it's a little girl' – using the diminutive form.(2) Your arrival is welcome if [you are] the first or second girl, but it's best if there are no more than two, so that nothing undesirable happens to the mother. On the other hand, your brothers' arrivals are welcomed – the more the merrier.

"Imagine you're a woman. You always need your guardian's approval, not only regarding your first marriage, as maintained by the Islamic legal scholars, but regarding each and every matter. You cannot study without your guardian's approval, even if you reach a doctorate level. You cannot get a job and earn a living without your guardian's approval. Moreover, there are people who are not ashamed to say that a woman must have permission to work even in the private sector.

"Imagine you're a woman, and the guardian who must accompany you wherever [you go] is your 15-year-old son or your brother, who scratches his chin before giving his approval, saying: 'What do you think, guys, should I give her my permission?' Sometimes he asks for... a bribe [in return], heaven forbid! [But] your brother avoids taking such a bribe in 'cash' because his self-respect prevents him from touching a woman's money. So he prefers the bribe to be a car, a fridge, or an assurance of money that you will pay in installments [for him], until Allah gets him out of his financial straits...

"Imagine you're a woman, and you are subject to assault, beatings, or murder. When the press publishes your photo [together with] the photo of the criminals and [descriptions] of their brutality, there are people who ask: 'Was the victim covered [by a veil] or not?' If she was covered up, [the question arises:] 'Who let her go out of the house at such an hour?' In the event that your husband is the one who broke your ribs, [people will say] that no doubt there was good reason for it.

"Imagine you're a woman whose husband breaks her nose, arm, or leg, and you go to the Qadi to lodge a complaint. When the Qadi asks you about your complaint, and you say, 'He beat me,' he responds reproachfully 'That's all?!' In other words, [for the Qadi], beating is a technical situation that exists among all couples and lovers, [as the saying goes]: 'Beating the beloved is like eating raisins.'

"Imagine you're a woman, and in order to manage your affairs you must ride in a 'limousine' with an Indian or Sri Lankan driver... or that you [must] wait for a younger brother to take you to work, or that you [must] bring a man who will learn to drive in your car, and will practice at your expense... because you yourself are not permitted to drive.

"Imagine you're a woman in the 21st century, and you see fatwas [issued] by some contemporary experts in Islamic law dealing with the rules regarding taking the women of the enemy prisoner and having sexual intercourse with them. Moreover, you find someone issuing a fatwa about the rules of taking the women of the enemy prisoner even in times of peace, and you don't know to which enemy women it refers.

"Imagine you're a woman who writes in a newspaper, and every time you write about your [women's] concerns, problems, poverty, unemployment, and legal status, they say about you: 'Never mind her, it's all women's talk.'

Finally on the word "Jihad"
Early on in Islamic history, jihad came to mean fighting against unbelievers in order to expand the territory under Muslim rule. al-Bukhari lived in the 9th century CE and was the most authoritative compiler of sayings attributed to the prophet Muhammad; he mentions jihad many times as meaning “holy war.” Jihad as “Muslim piety” is mainly the province of the Sufis, the mystics of Islam, and has become a minority view today

Mon Oct 24, 09:48:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

What does Jihad mean?

The word Jihad represents a concept which is much misunderstood in the West. The concept is explained nicely by the Christian scholar Ira 6. Zepp, Jr. in his book entitled A Muslim Primer on pages 133-135. We adapt from his answer the following:

The essential meaning of Jihad is the spiritual, psychological, and physical effort we exert to be close to God and thus achieve a just and harmonious society. Jihad literally means "striving" or "struggle" and is shorthand for Jihad fi Sabeel Allah (struggle for God's cause). In a sense, every Muslim is a Mujahid, one who strives for God and justice.

Al-Ghazali captured the essence of Jihad when he said: "The real Jihad is the warfare against (one's own) passions. Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Rabi calls Jihad "the execution of effort against evil in the self and every manifestation of evil in society." In a way, Jihad is the Muslim's purest sacrifice: a struggle to live a perfect life and completely submit to God.

Another form of Jihad is the striving to translate the Word of God into action. If one has experienced God and received guidance from the Qur'an, one struggles to apply that guidance in daily life. So the larger, more prevalent meaning of Jihad is the spiritual struggle of the soul. In this case, Jihad is always present for the believer whether there is an external enemy or not. We should never reduce Jihad to violence.

A third level of Jihad is popularly known as "holy war." The classic passage is found in the Qur'an:
Fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you, but transgress not the limits. Truly Allah likes not the transgressors (Qur'an 2:190).

It is crucial to note here that what is condoned is defensive warfare; Islam cannot justify aggressive war. Muhammad and the Tradition are also against killing non-combatants, torturing of prisoners, the destruction of crops, animals and homes. Adapted from Ira 6. Zepp, Jr., A Muslim Primer (1992, Wakefield Editions, US) pp.133-135.

Robert Ellwood of the University of Southern California has the following to say about the Muslim concept of Jihad:
Out of the community ideal of Islam comes the concept of jihad, or holy war, which is designed to defend Islam and allow its social practice, though not to force individual conversions, which is forbidden. Since Islam in principle is a community as well as a religion, presumably only an absolute pacifist would be able to reject the theory of jihad out of hand, since other communities also fight to defend or expand their ways of life. (Many Peoples, Many Faiths by Robert S. Ellwood, 4th edition, Simon & Schuster, US, 1982, p.346).

Tue Oct 25, 06:29:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tue Oct 25, 06:29:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

What are some of the rights given to women in Islam?

The Qur'an places men and women on a similar relationship before God, and promises both the final goal of paradise for those who believe and do right (see Qur'an 3:195; 4:124; 16:19; 40:40). The Qur'an also speaks of similarity in terms of creation. God tells us that He created a single soul and from it its mate, then He made countless men and women from those two (see Qur'an 4:1) The Qur'an does not contain the belief that the man alone is created in the image of God. Because of this fundamental similarity between men and women, the Qur'an declares that women have rights similar to the rights against them according to what is equitable (see Qur'an 2:228).

In a time when women were devalued and female infants were buried alive, the Qur'an raised the value of women and prohibited female infanticide. Due to the Qur'an, this practice was abolished, but in recent times advances in the science of genetic selection has encouraged some unbelievers to practice a modern form of female infanticide.

The Qur'an also abolished the practice whereby inheritance went to only the oldest male heir. Instead, a woman can inherit from her father, her husband, and her childless brother (see Qur'an 4:7, 32, 176).

In Islam when a woman gets married she does not surrender her maiden name, but maintains her distinct identity. Some Muslim women have adopted the surnames of their husbands, but this is due to cultural influence, not Islam.

In a Muslim marriage the groom gives a dowry to the bride, not to her father. This becomes her private property to keep or spend, and is not subject to the dictates of her male relatives. Any money she earns or receives is similarly her very own.

Under Islamic Law a woman cannot be married without her consent. She has final approval on a marriage partner and she can repudiate a marriage arranged without her consent. She also has the right to initiate a separation from marriage if her rights under marriage are not being granted. Widows have the right to remarry, and they are in fact encouraged to do so.

The Qur'an places on men the responsibility of protecting and maintaining their female relatives. This relieves women of the need to earn their own living. It also means that a man must provide for his wife even if she has money of her own. She is not obligated to spend her money in the maintenance of her family. Incidentally, a woman is also not required to cook for her family, although she may do so out of love and compassion. The example of our noble prophet, on whom be peace, is that although he was such a great leader, he assisted in the housecleaning and mended his own clothes.

In return for the added responsibility, the Qur'an gives men the degree of leadership (see Qur'an 2:228; 4:34). This does not mean that men should dominate women, but rather that they should deal with them in kindness, mercy, and love (see Qur'an 4:19; 30:21).

Tue Oct 25, 06:32:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

Isn't it true that Islam was spread by the sword?

No. This is not true. However, this is a common misconception in the minds of many people. The Qur'an declares:

There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error (Qur'an 2:256).

This Qur'anic verse shows that God has made truth and falsehood distinct from each other and people are therefore free to choose one or the other. No one can be forced to believe in a religion since belief is something very personal. One who follows the Qur'an will not try to force another person to believe.

Even the prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, could not force another person to become a Muslim. God revealed to him the following words:

"And if your Lord willed, all who are in the earth would have believed together. Would you then compel people until they become believers? It is not for any soul to believe except by the permission of Allah" (Qur'an 10:99-100).

This instruction from God makes it clear that anyone is mistaken who thinks that he or she can compel others to believe. If God wanted, He could make everyone believers, but rather has given them free choice. Even so, no one can believe upon being forced. It is the grace of God on a person that will result in belief. Is there a teaching more beautiful than this? How could any true follower of the Qur'an turn around and force his faith on others? On the contrary, the Qur'an instructs its followers on how to call people to true faith as follows:
Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way (Qur'an 16:125).

Where does the Qur'an tell anyone to call people at the point of a sword? It does not. God instructed his messenger, on whom be peace, as follows:

"Say: This is my Way: I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me" (Qur'an 12:108).

Here again, the call is to be made with sure knowledge, with clear evidence. Putting these instructions together, a Muslim understands that he or she must present Islam with clear evidence (i.e. sure knowledge) and use wisdom and fair exhortation to reason with people to accept the evidence for faith. Where is there any mention of sword in all of this?

The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada says: Islam is the fastest-growing religion worldwide (The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada, Hurtig Publishers, Canada, 1990, Vol.2. p.396).

What explains this phenomenon? Who is forcing anyone today to become Muslims? Muslims are not even engaged in active preaching in any noticeable degree. People are voluntarily coming into Islam because they find that Islam makes sense.

Huston Smith discusses in his book entitled The World's Religions, on page 256, how the prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, granted freedom of religion to the Jews and Christians under Muslim rule. The prophet had a document drawn up in which he stipulated that Jews and Christians shall be "protected from all insults and vexations; they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices," and furthermore, that they shall "practice their religion as freely as the Muslims" (Quoted in The World's Religions by Huston Smith, Harper Collins, 1991, p.256). Smith points out that Muslims regard that document as "the first charter of freedom of conscience in human history and the authoritative model for those of every subsequent Muslim state" (p.256).

So, was Islam spread by the sword? The following short answer comes from Ira Zepp Jr., a non-Muslim, in his book entitled A Muslim Primer: It is unfortunate that Islam has been stereotyped as the 'religion of the sword' or that Islam was 'spread by the sword.' The historical reality is that the expansion of Islam was usually by persuasion and not by military power. In any case, Islam cannot be forced on anyone; if profession of the shahadah [i.e. the declaration of Islam] is forced on someone, it is not true Islam (A Muslim Primer by Ira Zepp, Jr., 1992, Wakefield Editions, US, p.134).

Tue Oct 25, 06:37:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Mike said...

You know what, I am not going to try to pout any holes in your arguement. You are a Follower, and you have found your truths, I don't agree with your shortsighteness, as you here in the USA enjoy the good life without the shira law. But your truths is your own.

Wed Oct 26, 12:12:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Amina said...

Ur right i am a follower. But i am not short sighted. i see whats going on in these other worlds. But i don't blame islam for it. When Hitler was killing all the Jews did the World blame his religion. NO. But if someone claiming to be muslim did the some thing It would me Islam's fault. i don't want u to convert to Islam but i just want u to stop blaming islam for things that go wrong in this world. Its not islam's fault its human beeings.

I respect ur religion respect mine. i have many Christain Friends and they tell me about Christianity. i listen to them and try to understand instead of trying to prove them wrong. U know what one of my closes friend is Catholic. She's from Ukarain. We get along just fine.

Wed Oct 26, 09:07:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amina: "Isn't it true that Islam was spread by the sword? No. This is not true. However, this is a common misconception in the minds of many people.

Unfortunately, Amina, it is all too true. The first thousand years of Islam was spent by Muslims conquering non-Muslim countries and forcing them, directly and indirectly, to convert to Islam.

For example, Islam conquered two thirds of the Christian world before the First Crusade was launched to conquer it. This is a historical fact. The choices Muslims gave the Christians was to convert to Islam, stay a Christian and become a second class subject, or die. Ultimately, the Muslims treated the non-Muslim dhimmis so bad that the majority of them converted.

Now that oil money has restored their fortunes, the Muslims have set forth on a new bloody campaign of conquest to conquer the world for Islam.

amina: "The Qur'an declares: There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error (Qur'an 2:256). This Qur'anic verse shows that God has made truth and falsehood distinct from each other and people are therefore free to choose one or the other. No one can be forced to believe in a religion since belief is something very personal. One who follows the Qur'an will not try to force another person to believe."

Yet, Muslims traditionally have called upon non-Muslims whom they were about to attack to convert to Islam. This is compulsion to Islam under threat of murder. Also, life under Muslim rule was so harsh for non-Muslim dhimmis that they eventually converted to Islam. That also is compulsion. That is one of the reasons why I don't respect Islam: it does not practice what it preaches.

amina: "Here again, the call is to be made with sure knowledge, with clear evidence. Putting these instructions together, a Muslim understands that he or she must present Islam with clear evidence (i.e. sure knowledge) and use wisdom and fair exhortation to reason with people to accept the evidence for faith. Where is there any mention of sword in all of this?

Yet, the Muslim world is presently bombing the non-Muslim world from New York to Bali in order to force it to Islam. This bombing campaign against infidels is very popular with Muslims and endorsed by mosques around the world. Islam is quite clearly devoted to violence. All these terror plots begin in mosques.

amina: "The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada says: Islam is the fastest-growing religion worldwide (The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada, Hurtig Publishers, Canada, 1990, Vol.2. p.396). What explains this phenomenon? Who is forcing anyone today to become Muslims? Muslims are not even engaged in active preaching in any noticeable degree. People are voluntarily coming into Islam because they find that Islam makes sense."

Islam is growing at about a 2.9% rate per year because Muslims have bigger families than most of the world's population, which grows at a 2.3% rate. New Muslims are born into Muslim families, not converted as a rule. That's why so many Muslim nations are poor. They have too many children for their means.

In the modern world, Islam doesn't make sense because it seeks to dominate everyone else, rather than tolerate them. Islam has a history of rejecting knowledge from other cultures, which is why Muslim nations lag far behind in technology and living standards. And Islam seeks to spread itself with violence, which does not endear itself to modern people.

amina: "Huston Smith discusses in his book entitled The World's Religions, on page 256, how the prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, granted freedom of religion to the Jews and Christians under Muslim rule. The prophet had a document drawn up in which he stipulated that Jews and Christians shall be "protected from all insults and vexations; they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices," and furthermore, that they shall "practice their religion as freely as the Muslims" (Quoted in The World's Religions by Huston Smith, Harper Collins, 1991, p.256). Smith points out that Muslims regard that document as "the first charter of freedom of conscience in human history and the authoritative model for those of every subsequent Muslim state" (p.256).

Amina, you have been taught a sugar-coated history of Islam. In truth, non-Muslims were second class citizens called dhimmis. They had to wear special clothes to mark them as dhimmis. They could not use the Muslim greeting of Salam Alaykum. They had to step aside when Muslims passed on the street. They had to rise when a Muslim entered the room.

If a Muslim struck a dhimmi, the dhimmi could not strike back. A dhimmis testimony had no weight in court. A dhimmi would be executed for killing a Muslim, but a Muslim got only a slap on the wrist for killing a dhimmi. Dhimmis could not carry weapons.

Dhimmis were not allowed to build new places of worship. They had to get permission to fix existing churches. No dhimmi house nor church could be taller than a Muslim house or mosque.

It was this kind of bad treatment by Muslims that gave them a bad name in the non-Muslim world. This same law exists today in Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent in other Muslim countries.

The effect of all this was to drive away people from other religions, because Muslims did not work and play well with them. That's why there are so few people of other religions in Muslim nations today. They left because Muslims treated them badly.

If what you said about good treatment of other religions was true, there would be large populations of those people remaining in Muslim countries, just as there are large populations of all religions in the US because they are tolerated. Yet, Muslim countries have exclusively Muslim populations with only a tiny number of other religions present. You should ask your teacher why all those other people of other religions left if Muslims treated them so well.

amina: "So, was Islam spread by the sword? The following short answer comes from Ira Zepp Jr., a non-Muslim, in his book entitled A Muslim Primer: It is unfortunate that Islam has been stereotyped as the 'religion of the sword' or that Islam was 'spread by the sword.' The historical reality is that the expansion of Islam was usually by persuasion and not by military power. In any case, Islam cannot be forced on anyone; if profession of the shahadah [i.e. the declaration of Islam] is forced on someone, it is not true Islam (A Muslim Primer by Ira Zepp, Jr., 1992, Wakefield Editions, US, p.134).

Amina, this is simply not true. Most Muslim nations were conquered by Muslims and the people converted to Islam by coercion. All the Middle Eastern and North African nations were converted by the sword. None of them converted peacefully. Indonesia may be the only Muslim nation converted peacefully. Even today, Muslims are terrorizing places like Thailand and the Philippines to create a Muslim super state.

amina: "Isn't it true that Islam was spread by the sword? No. This is not true. However, this is a common misconception in the minds of many people.

Unfortunately, Amina, it is all too true. The first thousand years of Islam was spent by Muslims conquering non-Muslim countries and forcing them, directly and indirectly, to convert to Islam.

For example, Islam conquered two thirds of the Christian world before the First Crusade was launched to conquer it. This is a historical fact. The choices Muslims gave the Christians was to convert to Islam, stay a Christian and become a second class subject, or die. Ultimately, the Muslims treated the non-Muslim dhimmis so bad that the majority of them converted.

Now that oil money has restored their fortunes, the Muslims have set forth on a new bloody campaign of conquest to conquer the world for Islam.

amina: "The Qur'an declares: There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error (Qur'an 2:256). This Qur'anic verse shows that God has made truth and falsehood distinct from each other and people are therefore free to choose one or the other. No one can be forced to believe in a religion since belief is something very personal. One who follows the Qur'an will not try to force another person to believe."

Yet, Muslims traditionally have called upon non-Muslims that they were about to attack to convert to Islam. This is compulsion to Islam under threat of murder. Also, life under Muslim rule was so harsh for non-Muslim dhimmis that they eventually converted to Islam. That also is compulsion. That is one of the reasons why I don't respect Islam: it does not practice what it preaches.

amina: "Here again, the call is to be made with sure knowledge, with clear evidence. Putting these instructions together, a Muslim understands that he or she must present Islam with clear evidence (i.e. sure knowledge) and use wisdom and fair exhortation to reason with people to accept the evidence for faith. Where is there any mention of sword in all of this?

Yet, the Muslim world is presently bombing the non-Muslim world from New York to Bali in order to force it to Islam. This bombing campaign against infidels is very popular with Muslims and endorsed by mosques around the world. Islam is quite clearly devoted to violence.

amina: "The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada says: Islam is the fastest-growing religion worldwide (The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada, Hurtig Publishers, Canada, 1990, Vol.2. p.396). What explains this phenomenon? Who is forcing anyone today to become Muslims? Muslims are not even engaged in active preaching in any noticeable degree. People are voluntarily coming into Islam because they find that Islam makes sense."

Islam is growing at about a 2.9% rate per year because Muslims have bigger families than most of the world's population, which grows at a 2.3% rate. New Muslims are born into Muslim families, not converted as a rule. That's why so many Muslim nations are poor. They have too many children for their means.

In the modern world, Islam doesn't make sense because it seeks to dominate everyone else, rather than tolerate them. Islam has a history of rejecting knowledge from other cultures, which is why Muslim nations lag far behind in technology and living standards. And Islam seeks to spread itself with violence, which does not endear itself to modern people.

amina: "Huston Smith discusses in his book entitled The World's Religions, on page 256, how the prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, granted freedom of religion to the Jews and Christians under Muslim rule. The prophet had a document drawn up in which he stipulated that Jews and Christians shall be "protected from all insults and vexations; they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices," and furthermore, that they shall "practice their religion as freely as the Muslims" (Quoted in The World's Religions by Huston Smith, Harper Collins, 1991, p.256). Smith points out that Muslims regard that document as "the first charter of freedom of conscience in human history and the authoritative model for those of every subsequent Muslim state" (p.256).

Amina, you have been taught a sugar-coated history of Islam. In truth, non-Muslims were second class citizens called dhimmis. They had to wear special clothes to mark them as dhimmis. They could not use the Muslim greeting of Salam Alaykum. They had to step aside when Muslims passed on the street. They had to rise when a Muslim entered the room.

If a Muslim struck a dhimmi, the dhimmi could not strike back. A dhimmis testimony had no weight in court. A dhimmi would be executed for killing a Muslim, but a Muslim got only a slap on the wrist for killing a dhimmi. Dhimmis could not carry weapons.

Dhimmis were not allowed to build new places of worship. They had to get permission to fix existing churches. No dhimmi house nor church could be taller than a Muslim house or mosque.

It was this kind of bad treatment by Muslims that gave them a bad name in the non-Muslim world. This same law exists today in Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent in other Muslim countries.

The effect of all this was to drive away people from other religions, because Muslims did not work and play well with them. That's why there are so few people of other religions in Muslim nations today. They left because Muslims treated them badly.

amina: "So, was Islam spread by the sword? The following short answer comes from Ira Zepp Jr., a non-Muslim, in his book entitled A Muslim Primer: It is unfortunate that Islam has been stereotyped as the 'religion of the sword' or that Islam was 'spread by the sword.' The historical reality is that the expansion of Islam was usually by persuasion and not by military power. In any case, Islam cannot be forced on anyone; if profession of the shahadah [i.e. the declaration of Islam] is forced on someone, it is not true Islam (A Muslim Primer by Ira Zepp, Jr., 1992, Wakefield Editions, US, p.134).

Amina, this is simply not true. Most Muslim nations were conquered by Muslims and the people converted to Islam. All the Middle Eastern and North African nations were converted by the sword. None of them converted peacefully. Indonesia may be the only Muslim nation converted peacefully. Even today, Muslims are terrorizing places like Thailand and the Philippines to create a Muslim super state.

amina: "Ur right i am a follower. But i am not short sighted. i see whats going on in these other worlds. But i don't blame islam for it. When Hitler was killing all the Jews did the World blame his religion. NO. But if someone claiming to be muslim did the some thing It would me Islam's fault. i don't want u to convert to Islam but i just want u to stop blaming islam for things that go wrong in this world. Its not islam's fault its human beeings.

Hitler did not have a religion. He was a pagan who tried to recall the ancient Norse gods as a kind of state religion.

Amina, the last two times Muslims made the pilgrimmage to Mecca, "Death To America" was written on the pillars at Mina. This is after the Muslim attack of Sep 11. That tells me that Muslims approve of those attacks and have incorporated that hatred of America into their holiest rituals.

Calls for attacks on America and celebration of the deaths of Americans on Sep 11 are heard in the sermons in the Great Mosque at Mecca, in mosques all over Saudi Arabia, and across the Muslim world.

I blame Islam for the terror attacks around the world because Muslims clerics openly call for them and endorse them.

amina: "I respect ur religion respect mine. i have many Christain Friends and they tell me about Christianity. i listen to them and try to understand instead of trying to prove them wrong. U know what one of my closes friend is Catholic. She's from Ukarain. We get along just fine."

I'm glad to hear that, Amina. We should all respect each other and be tolerant of each other's beliefs. However, most Muslims believe the whole world should be Muslim. When Muslims kill Americans by the thousands in the World Trade Center and Pentagon for their religion, it gives Islam the reputation of a killer religion.

Tantor

Thu Oct 27, 10:12:00 AM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a waste of time all this blogging is. Examples of this, quotes from that. One thing is for sure. "The West" is getting scared of Islam and "it's teachings." There is only one way to stop Islamic Terrorism and that's for the Muslims to put an end to it. They need to police there own communities. Trying to convince The West that Islam isn't violent is a waste of time, until you can convince your own people of the same.

Sun Dec 17, 10:24:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your sentiments blogger, but can you verify any of the so-called facts, without using a book that is clearly not intended to cause debate.

One notable thing I noticed about spencer is that he said that any muslim that says islam is different to what he says doesn't know his religion... so for 15 centuries muslim scholars have been teaching and learning the wrong things, and its left to a man who's arabic is barely tolerable to interpret their religion for them?

Surely muslims aren't that stupid?

Fri Jun 08, 02:26:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Tantor said...

Spencer scrupulously references his points to the original Islamic texts. If you disagree with him, you can check the original sources he cites and present any error you discover.

Spencer points out that many Muslims don't know much about Islam nor have they read the Koran. Many non-Arabic-speaking Muslims who have memorized the Koran in Arabic have no idea what it says. He argues pretty persuasively that many Muslims do not know their religion.

You make a scarecrow argument when you claim that Spencer says Muslim scholars don't know their religion. It is these scholars whom Spencer cites. It is the bulk of ordinary Muslims who are often ignorant of their religion.

What about Islam convinces you that Muslims are smart? Their poverty rate? Their illiteracy? Their backward culture? Their belligerency? Their jihad against the world?

Fri Jun 08, 02:50:00 PM 2007  

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