Monday, August 25, 2008

A Common Deception

Early in Mohammed's career as Allah's prophet, when he had few converts and no political or military strength, he worked to persuade Jews and Christians of the authenticity of his revelations. It was in these times that he spoke of cooperation and tolerance.

His heresy was largely rejected by those he hoped would receive him as authentic.

Later, as Mohammed's power grew, the attitude toward non-Muslims expressed in his revelations took a turn toward tyranny and bloodlust.

At first, defensive warfare was allowed for Muslims. Then, it was required. And just before Mohammed died -- too late for nearly fourteen centuries of non-Muslims since -- the revelations he transmitted to the faithful demanded offensive warfare against those who refuse to convert to Islam or submit to Allah's rule.

Though slaughter grabs headlines ("If it bleeds, it leads"), violence is not the only means by which Muslims are to impose Islamic law over all mankind. Other, non-violent instruments are also appropriate. One of these is deceit:
"War is deceit" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 268).

"Allah's Apostle said, 'Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?' Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, 'O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?' The Prophet said, 'Yes,' Muhammad bin Maslama said, 'Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).' The Prophet said, 'You may say it' (Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369).

"Let not the believers take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah" (Qur'an 3:28).
President Bush's "War on Terror" is suicidally-misnamed. We are engaged rather in a War of Self-Defense Against the Tyranny of Allah.

Following are some comments on one of the latest and most attractively-packaged attempts at Muslim subterfuge called "A Common Word," first from the official website and then from its scholars' letter to Pope Benedict.
On October 13th 2006, one month to the day after Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address of September 13th 2006, 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding. In their Open Letter to the Pope (see english.pdf), for the first time in recent history, Muslim scholars from every branch of Islam spoke with one voice about the true teachings of Islam.
But I thought Islam was not monolithic? I thought it was impossible to talk about "all Muslims" believing or doing anything?

Various estimates I've read put the world's Muslims at 85% to 95% Sunni (consisting of four major schools of jurisprudence). They've been at war for thirteen centuries with Shia Muslims, the second largest denomination in Islam.

Though they disagree murderously on certain topics (for example, the legitimate successor to Mohammed), there's one on which they share a common word: The necessity to convert, subjugate and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims to make the world Islam. That's the "mutual understanding" Allah commands them to impose upon non-Muslims.
Now, exactly one year after that letter, Muslims have expanded their message. In A Common Word Between Us and You, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet [. . .] to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. Like the Open Letter, the signatories to this message come from every denomination and school of thought in Islam. Every major Islamic country or region in the world is represented in this message, which is addressed to the leaders of all the world’s churches, and indeed to all Christians everywhere.
What common ground can there be between "Before Abraham was, I AM!" (John 8:58) and, ""In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary" (Qur'an 5:17)?

Christ confessed plainly that He is God Incarnate, but Mohammed calls Christ a blasphemer.

Indeed, the only common ground Islam seeks is that soil on which the non-Muslim genuflects to his Muslim overlords.

Stinging Islamic irony coming in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
The final form of the letter was presented at a conference in September 2007 held under the theme of “Love in the Quran” . . . . Indeed, the most fundamental common ground between Islam and Christianity, and the best basis for future dialogue and understanding, is the love of God [sic; read: "Allah" here and following] and the love of the neighbor.
When a devout Muslim speaks of the "love of God," they do not mean what a Christian means. Christ died to defeat sin, death, and the devil, but Allah's paramour is death: "It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land . . ." (Qur'an 8:67).
Never before have Muslims delivered this kind of definitive consensus statement on Christianity. Rather than engage in polemic, the signatories have adopted the traditional and mainstream Islamic position of respecting the Christian scripture and calling Christians to be more, not less, faithful to it.
To someone unfamiliar with the command of Allah and the example of Mohammed, this sounds reassuring. It must be those Islamophobic, bigoted Christians causing all the conflict.

Unfortunately, it is not true.

Islam has before delivered "definitive consensus statements" on all other religions, including Christianity. They come from Allah and his apostle. Characterizing them as "polemic" would be so generous as to be a lie.

Consider for example Qur'an 9:29, the command to war against Jews and Christians "until they feel themselves subdued" and pay the jizya. Consider the Pact of Umar, based on this verse.

If only they had limited themselves to words, which is one of Pope Benedict's essential arguments.

And these Muslims are not calling Christians to "be more faithful" to the Bible, they're calling Christians to be more faithful to what Muslims say was the original Biblical texts, which -- according to them -- taught Mohammed's heresies but were corrupted later by Jews and Christians.

Here are more lies advanced commonly by Islam's apologists:
. . . the most solid theological ground possible: the teachings of the Qu’ran and the Prophet [. . .], and the commandments described by Jesus Christ [. . .] in the Bible. Thus despite their differences, Islam and Christianity not only share the same Divine Origin and the same Abrahamic heritage, but the same two greatest commandments.
This is an attempt to deceive Christians and other non-Muslims into believing that the two religions share anything in common.

In fact, the two greatest commandments from the Old Testament as affirmed by Christ are: "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

It is impossible for a Muslim to obey either command.

First, he worships Allah, not YHWH (the "LORD"), Who has revealed Himself as one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To deny Christ as God Incarnate is to blaspheme the Living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for Christ stated that all must honor Him as they honor His Father.

Second, how can a Muslim love his neighbor as himself when his god either commands (or encourages) slavery, rape, pedophilia, murder, religious coersion, polygyny, extortion, and genocide.

And don't forget the abolition of free thought and speech. Muslims can't hear a non-Muslim quote Mohammed without their heads exploding. There's a reason that Islamic civilization is nothing but rubble apart from the contributions of its Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and other non-Muslim slaves and business partners.

Here are some reflections on excerpts from The Lying Letter:
You mention that “according to the experts” the verse which begins, There is no compulsion in religion (al-Baqarah 2:256) . . . Muslims are also guided by such verses as Say: The truth is from your Lord; so whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. (al-Kahf 18:29); and Say: O disbelievers! I worship not that which ye worship; Nor worship ye that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which ye worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion (al-Kafirun: 109:1-6).
Whether one describes the time around the flight to Medina as one of "weakness and insecurity" or "ascendance" for Mohammed and Muslims, these verses are intended here to create in the minds of those unfamiliar with Qur'an and Sunnah the impression that Islam is tolerant of other faiths.

In fact, some Muslims argue that 2:256 was abrogated later by revelations commanding offensive warfare against those who neither convert nor submit. Others claim that though inner belief cannot be compelled, outward behavior can; this is evident in the dhimmi laws segregating, oppressing, humiliating, and violating non-Muslims who surrender to that "protected" status.

Whether or not one wants claim that they are forcing no one in matters of religion, what would be the effect in the mind of a non-Muslim who knows that if they only converted, they would be spared the suffering in this life required by Allah:
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

I [Mohammed] said to him, ‘Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of God before you lose your head,’ so he did so" (Ishaq, 547).
More deceit:
. . . much more important to Muslims are figures such as al-Ghazali [. . .] and many others who are far more influential and more representative of Islamic belief than Ibn Hazm.
Even al-Ghazali endorsed the importance of waging jihad regularly against non-Muslims.
You quote an argument that because the emperor is “shaped by Greek philosophy” the idea that “God is not pleased by blood” is “self-evident” to him, to which the Muslim teaching on God’s Transcendence is put forward as a counterexample. To say that for Muslims “God’s Will is not bound up in any of our categories” is also a simplification which may lead to a misunderstanding.
Or not.
God has many Names in Islam, including the Merciful, the Just, the Seeing, the Hearing, the Knowing, the Loving, and the Gentle.
And, "the Abaser," "The Bringer of Death, the Destroyer," "The Avenger," "The Distresser, the Harmer."
to conclude that Muslims believe in a capricious God who might or might not command us to evil is to forget that God says in the Quran, Lo! God enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness.
But butchering Indidels is neither an abomination nor wickedness: "fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

The letter continues:
Equally, it is to forget that God says in the Qur’an that He has prescribed for Himself mercy [. . .]
Like this?
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter . . . " (Qur'an 5:33).
Or this?
'Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: "Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master."
More from the lying "scholars":
and that God says in the Qur’an, My Mercy encompasses everything [. . .]. The word for mercy, rahmah, can also be translated as love, kindness, and compassion. From this word rahmah comes the sacred formula Muslims use daily, In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Is it not self-evident that spilling innocent blood goes against mercy and compassion?
But to Mohammed, no non-Muslim is innocent:
"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

"The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256).
The lies continue:
We would like to point out that “holy war” is a term that does not exist in Islamic languages. Jihad, it must be emphasized, means struggle, and specifically struggle in the way of God.
At least they didn't pull the "inner, spiritual struggle is the greater jihad" nonsense (based on one questionable hadith).

"Struggle in the way of Allah" meant primarily for Mohammed violence against non-Muslims :
"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).
The letter goes on:
This struggle may take many forms, including the use of force. Though a jihad may be sacred in the sense of being directed towards a sacred ideal, it is not necessarily a “war”.

Moreover, it is noteworthy that Manuel II Paleologus says that “violence” goes against God’s nature, since Christ himself used violence against the money-changers in the temple, and said “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword …” When God drowned Pharaoh, was He going against His own Nature?
A good example of Muslim Sleight-of-Phrase (and outright blasphemy).

Of course, the Emperor was referring to offensive violence in the name of religion. Christ's chasing out the money-changers is not at all comparable to Mohammed's slaughters, and His statement about bringing not peace but a "sword" was referring to the conflict that results inevitably between those who tell the truth and those who do not.

The fundamental difference between Christ and Allah is that violence in judgment belongs to Christ alone, not bloodthirsty rapacious monsters.
Perhaps the emperor meant to say that cruelty, brutality, and aggression are against God’s Will, in which case the classical and traditional law of jihad in Islam would bear him out completely.
Really? What about:
"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly" (Qur'an 8:60).

“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror’” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).
The deceit continues:
Non-combatants are not permitted or legitimate targets. This was emphasized explicitly time and again by the Prophet, his Companions, and by the learned tradition since then.
Really? What about this?
"The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256).
And this?
"The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree) [justifying the murder of innocents]: but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong" (Qur'an 42:40).
And this?
It is permissible for Muslims to kill inviolable infidels if they are aiding the fighting in deed, word, opinion, or any other way. This is because of the Prophet's order to kill Duraid ibn Al-Simma, who was 120 years old and went with the Hawazin tribe [to fight against the Muslims] to give them counsel. Ibn Qudama notes that the Prophet ordered him killed in the Battle of Hunein because he knew military stratagems. See Al-Tamhid 16:142.
The truth is, anyone aiding resistance against jihad in any way is a "combatant," for they are "from them," as Mohammed declared.

Another third-truth:
Religious belief alone does not make anyone the object of attack.
That is technically true (you always have to read the fineprint with Allah!).

The non-Muslim also has to refuse conversion and slavery in order to be attacked. (Ungrateful!)

A hint of truth here:
The original Muslim community was fighting against pagans who had also expelled them from their homes, persecuted, tortured, and murdered them. Thereafter, the Islamic conquests were political in nature.

Muslims are just as bound to obey these rules as they are to refrain from theft and adultery.
Here's another hateful lie:
we must state that the murder [. . .] of an innocent Catholic nun in Somalia—and any other similar acts of wanton individual violence—‘in reaction to’ your lecture at the University of Regensburg, is completely un-Islamic, and we totally condemn such acts.
Here is the truth:
"When the apostle heard what she had said he said, 'Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?' Umayr bin Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he [Muhammad] said, "You have helped Allah and His apostle, O Umayr!" When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, 'Two goats won't butt their heads about her,' so Umayr went back to his people.

Now there was a great commotion among Banu Khatma that day about the affair of bint [daughter of] Marwan. She had five sons, and when Umayr went to them from the apostle he said, 'I have killed bint Marwan, o sons of Khatma. Withstand me if you can; don't keep me waiting.' That was the first day Islam became powerful among Banu Khatma; before that those who were Muslims concealed the fact . . .The day after Bint Marwan was killed the men of Banu Khatma became Muslims because they feared for their lives" (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah).
The most pernicious lie of all:
The notion that Muslims are commanded to spread their faith “by the sword” or that Islam in fact was largely spread “by the sword” does not hold up to scrutiny. Indeed, as a political entity Islam spread partly as a result of conquest, but the greater part of its expansion came as a result of preaching and missionary activity. Islamic teaching did not prescribe that the conquered populations be forced or coerced into converting.
But the false prophet commanded:
"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).
Here comes a straw man:
Indeed, many of the first areas conquered by the Muslims remained predominantly non-Muslim for centuries. Had Muslims desired to convert all others by force, there would not be a single church or synagogue left anywhere in the Islamic world.
Muslims had to preserve a population from which to extract tribute (jizya), slaves, services, and little girls and boys.
The command There is no compulsion in religion means now what it meant then. The mere fact of a person being non-Muslim has never been a legitimate casus belli in Islamic law or belief.
Again, per Mohammed's command, if the non-Muslim refuses the "invitation" to Islam and slavery, then it's war.

Next, these "scholars" misuse a verse warning Jews against violence:
Muslims have always believed, that Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, it shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether . . . .
Here's an Islamic inside joke:
You mention the emperor’s assertion that “anything new” brought by the Prophet was “evil and inhuman, such as his alleged command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” What the emperor failed to realize—aside from the fact (as mentioned above) that no such command has ever existed in Islam—is that the Prophet never claimed to be bringing anything fundamentally new.
Nothing new.

But a sword? You bet!

Jesus said, "Love your enemies." Anyone who's read the Bible knows the following is a lie:
God says in the Holy Qur’an, Naught is said to thee (Muhammad) but
what already was said to the Messengers before thee [. . .] and, Say (Muhammad): I am no new thing among the messengers (of God), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that what is Revealed to me [. . . .]
Here's where these Muslims try -- as Mohammed did -- to deceive Jews and Christians into accepting that Mohammed preached the same YHWH. The key words here are "true" and "truth":
According to Islamic belief, all the true prophets preached the same truth to different peoples at different times. The laws may be different, but the truth is unchanging.
Truths like: "Before Abraham was born, I AM"?

The letter concludes a veiled threat:
We hope that we will all avoid the mistakes of the past and live together in the future in peace, mutual acceptance and respect.
Which means, "Get in line, dhimmi."

It should be clear from the Islamic texts provided that in "A Common Word" we have good Muslims dutifully deceiving ignorant and gullible Infidels.

Be neither.