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Islamic Rage: Why a Cartoon in Bangladesh Leads to Killing of Christians in Nigeria

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Recently, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi Muslim cartoonist sketched a cartoon that appeared in a Bangla newspaper. It was intended to caricature the local culture where everyone tends to add “Muhammad” before their name. In the cartoon, when an elderly Muslim priest asks a little boy carrying a cat, what was its name; the boy answers, ‘Muhammad Cat.’ This created outrage among Bangladeshi Muslims. The leader of Khelafot Andolon (Caliphate Movement) Maulana Ashraf stated that: “the cartoon indicates disgrace of the Muslim prophet by naming a cat ‘Muhammad'. Similar to the Danish Cartoon incident prophet Muhammad has been defamed in Muslim majority Bangladesh.” The head cleric of Bangladesh’s National Mosque, said: "This is a grievous offense, this is dangerous."

It led to violent protests in Bangladeshi capital, despite a ban on public demonstrations, under the current military rule. The newspaper offered immediate apology; so did the cartoonist. Not enough, the country’s entire press community later sought forgiveness of the people. Still unsatisfied, the protesters demanded closure of the popular daily, and death of the cartoonist. Obviously, to save the young cartoonist’s life from mob justice, authorities arrested him and put him in jail on groundless charge of “hurting people’s religious sentiments” One should be little surprised by this outrage of Bangladeshi Muslims, as well as those surrounding Muhammad’s caricatures in Danish and Swedish papers, since Prophet Muhammad himself was ruthless with his critics, especially the poets and singers, who ridiculed his creed.

Repercussions in Nigeria

Can this Bangladesh cartoon have anything to do with Nigerian Christians, thousands of miles away in a different continent? According to a Nigerian news report, it led to slaughter of nine Christians by Muslim mobs in Nigeria. There was also widespread vandalism of Christian businesses, homes and properties, and raging down of churches. The General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mr Samuel Salifu, said:“…they (Muslims) saw a cartoon on the internet and they discovered that this cartoon was drawn by a 20-year-old Muslim boy from Bangladesh and they decided to visit their anger on innocent Christians and their churches.” Salifu Continued: "They cannot control their anger, they take knives and slaughter. When you tell them what they are doing is wrong, they will turn round and start to kill.”

The question is: how could a cartoon, allegedly offensive to Muslims, drawn in a far-off land―that too, by a Muslim―anger Muslims of Nigeria to such an extent that they go on killing any non-Muslim come within their reach? A similar savagery by Muslims took place in India in 1921 CE. When the Ottoman caliphate was facing the prospect of collapse, the Muslims of India, then under British rule, started the Khilafat Andolon (Caliphate Movement). Its aim was not only to protect the integrity of the Ottoman caliphate, but also to integrate India into that caliphate, after ousting the British rulers. And unsurprisingly, our Mahatma Gandhi happily joined this movement.

However, as the Ottoman caliphate faced a definite collapse, it hurt and angered Indian Muslims so much that the Mopla Muslims of Malabar (Kerala) vented their anger upon their Hindu neighbors. They went on a barbaric spree of killing, rapes and pillage leading to thousands of deaths and rapes of the Hindus. This episode became known as the Mopla rebellion. Gandhiji, out of compassion for his Khilafat movement brethren, quickly forgave the murderers and even embraced the leader of killers as his brother. But the British rulers caught the mastermind, and disappointing Gandhi, put him to justice.

It will not be difficult, however, to grasp why Muslims vent their anger on innocent bystanders and neighbors in such cases, if one understands the fundamental principles of Islam. Neither are such incidences anything new. In Islam, just by being a Muslim, one is obligated to attack and kill non-Muslims without any provocation, or a hurtful cartoon. Muslims must, by default, attack and kill the idolaters (Hindus, Buddhists etc.) unless they accept Islam, as commanded in the Quran:

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them…" [Quran 9.5; Yusuf Ali]

If the Christians and Jews don’t accept Islam, Muslims must by-default fight, kill and enslave them. But for belonging to the so-called ‘people of the book’ category, they are allowed to retain their faith if they accept a subjugated and humiliated status to Muslims and willingly pay Jizya (poll-tax) to Muslims:

"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." [Quran 9.5; Yusuf Ali]

Muslims’ religious obligation is concisely defined by Imam Al-Ghazzali (d. 1111 CE), the greatest Islamic Sufi mystic and considered second-greatest Muslim after Muhammad, as follows (Kitab al-Wagiz Fi Fiqh Madhab al-Imam al-Shafi, Beirut, 1979):

“one must go on Jihad at least once a year… One may use a catapult against them when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire on them and /or drown them… One may cut down their trees… One must destroy their useful book (Bible and Torah etc.)."

Although Muslims do not carry out those religious obligations today, under Muhammad, they used to put every command of the Quran to practical application, whereby all idolaters were annihilated from Arabia before Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, while the Hejaz (Southern Arabia) was denuded of Jews and Christians by the time of second caliph, Omar (634-644). In order to grasp the depth of Islamic fanaticism, we have to consider the history of Muhammad’s struggle against the idolaters of Mecca. He, with ~150 converts, relocated to Medina from his ancestral city of Mecca in 622 CE, because his mission had become stagnant there. After arrival in Medina, he soon launched an unceasing war against Mecca, initially by attacking Meccan trade-caravans one after another leading to a number of bloodletting battles, causing death of more than a hundred Mecca citizens. The struggle culminated in prophet’s capture of Mecca in 630 CE. He effaced the vestiges of idolatry from Mecca by revealing verse 9:5 (cited above) in 631 CE.

Here we must consider that the citizens of Mecca were the fathers, brothers and kinsmen of Muhammad and his Meccan converts, who emigrated with him. Once they joined the creed of Islam, they broke all kindred relations, bonds and affection; and eagerly and aggressively attacked their own kinsfolk causing bloodbaths. Such is the blood-thirsty rage that Islam can create among its followers. Unprovoked attack on and slaughter of the infidels remained a dominant feature of Muslim societies until the pre-colonial era. Oppression of non-Muslims continues in post-colonial days in repressed forms in all Islam-dominated societies.

Let us consider two more examples. One such example was the case of Abdullah Ibn Obayi, a powerful leader of Medina, who had converted to Islam, but consistently opposed Muhammad’s excessive cruelty. He had successfully prevented Muhammad from slaughtering the Jewish tribe of Banu Qainuqa in 624, while his similar intervention in the attack of the Banu Quraiza Jews was ignored by Muhammad in 627, when Abdullah had become too weak. Muhammad slaughtered 800-900 surrendered Jews en masse. Because of his opposition to Muhammad’s cruelty, i.e. dubious loyalty to Muhammad, he is repeatedly called ‘hypocrite’ in the Quran. Abdullah’s son had become a devoted follower of Muhammad and was so enraged by his father’s faltering loyalty to Muhammad that he sought Muhammad’s permission to kill his own father. But Abdullah was a powerful leader and Muhammad, always judicious in such matters, resisted the temptation.

The second incidence was the killing of Jewish merchant, ibn Sunayna. After arriving in Medina, Muhammad sought to draw the Jews to Islam and wanted they accept him as their prophet. The Jews not only rejected his exhortations, but also became a nuisance to his mission through their criticism and ridicule of many of the inconsistencies of Muhammad’s creed. Exasperated, Muhammad gave following open order (July 624): “Kill any Jew that falls into your power” [Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, Karachi, p369]. Muhayyisa was a Jewish convert to Islam from ibn Sunayna’s own tribe and his family depended on the merchant for sustenance. After this order of Muhammad, Sunayna happened to fall on the way of Muhayyisa. The latter, ignoring tribal bonds and material help of the merchant, fell upon Sunayna and killed him.

The assassin’s elder brother Huwayyisa, angered by such brutal murder of someone on whom their family depended for livelihood, confronted the killer saying, “You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?” Muhayyisa answered, “Had the one (i.e. Muhammad), who ordered me to kill him, ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off” [Ibn Ishaq, p369]. This brutal rage of the younger brother impressed Huwayyisa so much that he said, “By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvelous” and immediately, converted to Islam.

These stories tells us what kind of appeals attracted early Muslims and what kind of murderous rage the Islamic creed can incite among it followers even against their nearest kinsmen. When no offense on the part of ibn Sunayna or just the rejection of Muhammad’s creed by Mecca citizens could incite Muhammad’s followers to raise swords and soak them with the blood of their kinsmen, one should be little surprised by what has taken place in Nigeria.

Muslims are definitely frustrated by international treaties and obligations which prevent them from unleashing ― what is divinely required of them ― on the world’s five billion infidels. When further anger is added by offensive cartoons like this to their perennial pent-up frustration, what do they do? Muslims are supposed to follow the ideals of Muhammad to live a perfect life and to book a seat in Islamic paradise. They have definitely civilized themselves a lot from the Muhammad’s age and time. They do those things now only rarely and at least with the excuse of one provocation or another.

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About Muhammad Hussain

  • tarikur

    The whole thing is pure lies and propaganda. Anybody who is in 3rd grade can figure it out.

    The verse that you mention about Quran is useless because Quran is very different from other books and works very different ways. The Quran is not organized at all. Therefore, you have to translate the Quranic in cyclic translation. The beauty of the Quran is that it explains itself or adds on that could be 2 chapter away or in other side of the Quran. The best example is stories of Prophets are not told in piece like in the bible; they are told all over the Quran, when one connect all the verses that person gets the complete stories. Same thing, when one connect all the verses about fighting and killing non-muslims; they can conclude that fighting is only for defensive and peaceful purposes. Quran says killing a man is like killing the whole mankind. That’s how bad it is.

    The killing of Jews was done because they broke the peace treaty with the Muslims and sided with Meccan on the war. The judge that decided the punishment for breaking the agreement was a formal Jewish leader and thought he was going to go light on the punishment. He said the punishment of killing adult males only is from the Jews law and many of the jews wanted that punishment.

    Muhammed only fought the Meccans for survival and defence since Meccan was far greater in strengh than the Muslims. Meccan continuously attacked the Muslims to wipe them out. Muhammed never attacked or conquered Mecca that is false; he went to Mecca by the peace agreement. He never forced anyone to convert, they converted from their own will and through agreement with the leaders. The evidence is that after converting many of them joined Muslims in spreading Islam.

  • CDog

    Quote
    Same thing, when one connect all the verses about fighting and killing non-Muslims; they can conclude that fighting is only for defensive and peaceful purposes.
    /Quote

    They can also conclude that fighting is the will of Allah and they must convert or kill everyone not of their religion. That’s the thing with most philosophies, they can be interpreted as needed.

    As for calling it “Pure Lies”, I seriously doubt that. Are you saying that Muslims did not call for the death of people because they created a Comic that offended them? That would be a Pure Lie. That’s seems to be how Islam works, offend us, and we call for your death. And if we can’t kill you, then we will just kill Random non-Muslims instead.

    Religion of Peace…

    LOL

  • Franco

    #1 — tarikur

    All you are addressing is debatable history, history that is even debatable among the Muslims. You’re making no headway here.

    How about addressing the present killings by Muslims as outlined in the article. Can you handle that?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Can this Bangladesh cartoon have anything to do with Nigerian Christians, thousands of miles away in a different continent? According to a Nigerian news report, it led to slaughter of nine Christians by Muslim mobs in Nigeria. There was also widespread vandalism of Christian businesses, homes and properties, and raging down of churches. The General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mr Samuel Salifu, said:“…they (Muslims) saw a cartoon on the internet and they discovered that this cartoon was drawn by a 20-year-old Muslim boy from Bangladesh and they decided to visit their anger on innocent Christians and their churches.” Salifu Continued: “They cannot control their anger, they take knives and slaughter. When you tell them what they are doing is wrong, they will turn round and start to kill.”

    Ah, the “bloody borders” of Islam. The “religion of peace” goes rioting over cartoons again. Fun stuff.

    I wonder why no Presidential candidate has promised to end all Muslim immigration into this country. It would seem to be a winning issue. S/he’d certainly have my vote.

  • Irene Wagner

    The prospect of fundamentalist Muslim cell groups forming all over the US is a frightening prospect. They’re already here though. It’s too late to prevent immigration. It seems more wise to eliminate their motivation to do anything drastic.

    And besides, would you’ve denied asylum to the Muslim cartoonist (who inadvertently started the brouhaha) if he had sought it in the US?

    What about other Muslims who are creative and peaceloving, like those living in the tradition of the Muslim mystic Rumi , happy to live harmoniously with non-Muslims? What about Muslims who are only “cultural” Muslims, like Roman Catholics who haven’t been to Mass in years, or Jews who don’t believe in God?

    Denying entrance to all Muslims makes as much sense as denying entrance to Mexican immigrants merely because they are Catholics and Catholics made up the violent Irish Republican Army.

    The US must (as an EMERGENT matter of national security, to say nothing of commitment to taking the moral high road) take an honest look at what America might be doing to become the target of radical Islam, then back off.

    What Treaty, Tarikur?

    What treaty are you talking about which the Jews broke? The famous treaty, known as the Constitution of Medina, was never signed by any of the Jewish tribes. Only pagan tribes of Medina were the cosignatory. Look at the terms set in the treaty given that Muhammad was a refugee there. I have discussed about this treaty in another essay.

    Moreover, the accusation of Quraiza Jews siding with the Meccan party is only allegations. No proof. No Jews raised weapons against Muslims in that battle of the Ditch. Muhammad’s biographers only suggest that Meccans urged the Quraiza Jews to be on their side. But the latter never took arms and fight. Yet, everything is accusation by Muslims that we know from history books today.

    Even then, it does not warrant slaughering all males, having grown pubic hair, of the tribe and enslaving the women and children — especially when they had surrendered and wanted to go exile. That’s barbarity; so more when committed by the most peaceful prophet of God.

  • Irene Wagner

    As far as the threat of radical Islam to the rest of the world goes, if the superpowers backed off, and brought their Kalishnikovs and CIA training grounds with them, the Middle East would become a more peaceful place, prosperity would return, and there’d be fewer breeding grounds for the desperados who become suicide bombers.

    The US needs to get out of the Empire building business. Electing Ron Paul for president is a good first step. Yes, it sounds like a dream, but that’s how change starts–with a dream. Does the civilized world REALLY want to be at war with radical Islam for generations to come?

  • Alamgir Hussain

    Irene,

    That sounds pretty simple solution. But reading of Islam 14 century’s of history does not support such a theory. Islam started attack on Europe in 712 CE and never gave up. We saw them arriving at the gates of Vienna in 1683 for the second time.

    U.S. is bulding empire everywhere if you want to say so. More imposingly in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, stationing tens of thousands of troops. It did not breed suicide bombers there.

  • tarikur

    To #4

    what you have said is pure non-sense because all of the sources regarding the killings of the Jews males adult comes from Muslim’s Sources only and all sources say that the Jews broke the treaty and sided with the Meccans to fight the Muslims. There is no other source at all other than the Muslim one. There is no record that such Jews tribe even existed. The hadiths were 200-300 years later from the actual event. Therefore, lot of historians question it’s historical validity.

  • Franco

    #4 — Irene Wagner

    “The prospect of fundamentalist Muslim cell groups forming all over the US is a frightening prospect. They’re already here though. It’s too late to prevent immigration. It seems more wise to eliminate their motivation to do anything drastic.”

    I am sorry you are fearful Irene, I know it is no joking matter. Yet what I am surprised at is your not understanding what radical Islam has already told you.

    They want you to surrender to Islam (take up the faith) or die. So when you say, “it seems more wise to eliminate their motivation to do anything drastic” you have a choice to make. Will you surrender or will you fight.

    Hey, your free to choose Islam as a faith if you want. But shouldn’t that be by your own free will and not by force? Shouldn’t that be your right? I think so.

    The US Bill of Rights fully gives you those rights, and the Bill of Rights also states that it is the government’s job is to protect your rights. The US Bill of Rights makes the radical Islamic groups hate us. They see our individual rights as satanic. Hence we are called the Great Satin. Surly you must have heard that before.

    So when you say…..“The US must take an honest look at what America might be doing to become the target of radical Islam, then back off.”…your are in essence saying lets give up some of our rights.

    I say we should never give up any of our rights!

    #6 —Irene Wagner

    “Does the civilized world REALLY want to be at war with radical Islam for generations to come?”

    This statement is formed from a position of weakness.

    Here again is your voice of dread and fear. And as I said before I am sorry it is effecting you so much. But IMO, the better question is:

    Does the radical Islamic world REALLY want to be a war with the civilized world for years to come?

  • Franco

    #8 — tarikur

    All you are addressing is debatable history, history that is even debatable among the Muslims. You’re making no headway here.

    How about addressing the present killings by Muslims as outlined in the article. Can you handle that?

  • Doug Hunter

    “Does the radical Islamic world REALLY want to be a war with the civilized world for years to come?”

    Only if the civilized world won’t convert. Freedom, democracy, multiculturalism, are all relatively new concepts to ‘civilized’ society. Perhaps Islam is a threat that cannot be adequately addressed within the context of these news ideas, perhaps not. I’m not scared of the US being overtaken or threaten in mine or my children’s lifetime but I feel for some countries that are growing dangerously close to Muslim majorities.

  • alessandro

    To suggest that the United States leave with its bat and ball would lead to a peaceful Middle-East completely ignores the reality and history of the region.

    It was already spiraling downwards well before the arrival of the United States. The region seems to be fixated on the past to the point of absurdity.

    No. There’s something more profound at work.

  • Irene Wagner

    Franco and Alagmir: Yes, I know the history of violent conquest by Muslims, and I know it’s naive to believe it can’t or won’t happen again. Hopefully one or two things about diplomacy have been learned in the ensuing centuries, however.

    You say I am acting out of fear, an unwillingness to fight? To consign millions of peace-loving Muslims (not to mention the Jews and Christians in their neighborhoods) to their deaths because others of their radical countrymen frighten us–THAT’S acting out of fear, maybe even cowardice.

    I would contend that extending the olive branch to a threatening country (instead of wiping the floor with its president when he comes to speak at a US university, which happened recently), admitting that there has been injustice and cruelty committed on all sides, that people of all faiths are suffering in the Middle East–trying to work out solutions peacefully—THAT approach takes humility and courage.

    I realize it’s not simple. There are powerful forces at work, not just in the US, but throughout the world, which BENEFIT from nations being at war (e.g. the military-industrial complex), but I WON’T be cowed into hating generically people who mean me no harm. I don’t know what other honorable thing there is to do but to encourage leadership that will make a start toward making real peace–minus the chest-beating and Empirical manipulations, greedy conniving for oil, the use of the Middle East as a playing field by Superpowers in opposition and their allies.
    .
    But allesandro, what do you think that more profound thing is?

  • Franco

    #14 — Irene Wagner

    Woo girl, hold up a minute. I never suggested we should “consign millions of peace-loving Muslims to their deaths because others of their radical countrymen frighten us”

    I do not know anyone on this blog or within the US or EU government who is suggesting that. I do not know where you come up with that idea but it is faults.

    The very fact that western civilization is willing to put its own non-Muslim citizens lives at risk (including your life) to protect “peace-loving Muslims” from Radical Islam is being proved both at home and abroad everyday. The very fact that we are willing to do it puts all our lives at risk.

    Irene, I respect your contention that we should extend the olive branch first. You are 110% correct and it should always be or first course of action. The one who came to tell us to do that also said to not cast pearls before swine, as they will turn and attract you.

    Now apparently you are talking about Iran in post #14.

    Help me understand how we do that with radical Islamists, of which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proven himself to be.

    Please keep in mind the following in your response.

    1. Radical Islam is a do or die mission from God.

    2. Radical Islam is killing more Muslims (including peace-loving Muslims) in the world today then all western powers combined.

    3. Radical Islam by its very nature at its very core forbids making any peace with you, an infidel. You either surrender to Islam or die.

    4. Radical Islam believes that pilling up the body counts of back sliding Muslims, and Infidels, is glorifying God, who will reward them gloriously for it.

    5. Radical Islam is desperately seeking WMD to use them for the glory of their God.

    The Olive Branch – can it be extended, or is it casing pearls before those that would turn and attack us?

  • Irene Wagner

    Franco, I know you haven’t proposed what to do about Islamic terrorism. #14 was a reaction to demands to “nuke their desert countries until the turn to glass.”

    The world is a body shot through with the cancer of radical Islam. You can get rid of the cancer by cutting off every limb and removing every organ where this cancer is growing, or you can target the cancer cells specifically, leaving the rest of the affected organ or limb whole and healthy. Of course terrorists should expect to be handled with the same violence they’ve doled out to their victims. They should be rooted out and tried in the courts of whatever countr(ies) their offenses occurred. NO extraditions.

    You’ve asked me to “help you understand” how we are to respond to radical Islam. Let’s face it Franco. Though I can try to elect leaders who are honest, thoughtful, humane, and realistic about national security and self-defense needs, and I can get people thinking about why the world’s principle sources of energy (oil and nuclear) are ones whose access requires war, or which can themselves be used as weapons, and why alternatives are not being pursued more aggressively, I don’t really have that much control over how my country responds to radical Islam. I have even less control over how those who benefit monetarily from the sale of weapons and conflicts over access to oil may actually be stirring up violence in Muslim countries, while at the same time encouraging other nations to fight terrorism. But I, who was a bit of a swine myself before someone cast a pearl before me, DO have complete control over how I respond to radical Islam spiritually. So do you.

    Do you have knees?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Almagir,

    Another home-run belted out of the park by someone who knows his faith, even if he doesn’t like its beliefs.

    I could see attacking the center of the Wahhabi monarchy with nukes – the Wahhabi pay for the madrassas world wide that teach a philosophy of hate. Destroying that branch of the tree should eliminate the poison, IMHO. If this murderousness is endemic to all of Islam, I guess what this infidel needs to know is what you suggest doing about it?

    While you are considering that question, do bear in mind that non-Moslems in India, for example, might not recognize you as the person who bears strong protest against Moslem violence. Your name, Hussein, marks you as a Moslem to non-Moslems, no matter what you happen to believe, just like Goldberg marks the owners name as Jewish, no matter what he happens to believe….

    This is experience talking.

  • Franco

    #16 — Irene Wagner

    Thank you Irene, excellent response.

    This perspective of the issue on “radical Islam” opens up startling connections to scriptures and the promise of hope.

    But here is one word of comfort, that for the elect’s sake these days shall be made shorter than their enemies designed, who would have cut all off, if God, who used these foes to serve his own purpose, had not set bounds to their wrath.

    Depending upon which of Abraham’s two sons you believe is the promise of the sacrifice determines entirely how you view that preceding paragraph.

    Muslims see this in complete reverse. They see us (people of the book) as their enemies in this exact same context.

    The entirety of the conflict between the Islamic world & Western civilization rests with Abraham’s two sons. This is purly a religios war, I has nothing to do with oil.

    Oil is all the world can see when dismissing Ishmael and Isaac

    The Muslims confirm it here Isaac and Ishmael in Islam and Christianity

  • Irene Wagner

    Franco–Discussions about God among Christians, Jews, atheists, Muslims, or indeed anyone can get pretty heated, and I don’t deny there are spiritual forces at work when those dialogues end in martyrdom for participants of ANY faith.

    In order for those discussions to escalate into full-on religious wars, however, powerful leaders (manipulating or even conscripting the faithful to do their bidding) usually need to stand to gain some kind of EARTHLY booty, like oil, gold, land or power. Biblical prophecy is continually being fulfilled by people who don’t even believe in God, no matter how much they may use His Name to rally the troops and political support. An example is how Bush and the Neoconservatives
    rode the wave of Christian Zionism to get into power.
    (The author is not a relative.)

  • alessandro

    Irene, Franco: good discussion.

    Irene is right. The U.S. in theory should take the spiritual higher road and extend an olive branch. For the most part, America does try to maintain a relationship with the Arab world. The problem is that the radical elements there prevent it. Terrorists act as spoilers. They do not adhere or accept our notions of diplomacy and other conventions of politics we use.

    That’s a problem. And here we enter the world of realpolitik. It’s like trying to fit a triangle into a circle. Or like Franco explains it, they see things in reverse to us. They do write their poetic prose from right to left after all! Which would be great for me since I am left handed.

    A middle road has to be found. Unfortunately, the evolution of terrorist organizations are probably past that point and force may be the only option.

    But how that force is employed is the crucial question. One concern I have about Irene’s suggestion that we focus on cells is that while it is correct you still have to convince the country who gives them life to cooperate. In Europe and other countries who face these problems this is an easy sell. But what to do with the more extreme countries like Syria and Iran? As you can see, the problem easily slides in and out between nation-states and para-military organizations with politco-religious agendas. Very messy.

    Irene, by profound I mean a thousand years of Arab history that holds many answers to the problems we see now.

    On that note…the Vaudeville cane comes out.

  • Alamgir Hussain

    Tarikur,

    Could you show us, which authentic sources in Islam say, the Banu Quraiza Jews picked up weapons against the Muslims in the battle of the ditch?

    Instead, Islamic historians tell us that Banu Quraiza Jews gave Muhammad their shovels and spades for digging the ditch, which saved the Muslims from Meccan attack.

    This must be taken in the context that Muhammad had earlier attacked and exiled two other Jewish tribes of Medina, Banu Qainuqa and Nadir on flimsy accusations.

  • Irene Wagner

    I thank you, too, Franco and Allesandro, et al. for the good discussion. It is VERY messy, a complicated brew of spiritual and physical war. No WONDER it defies being solved with easy answers.

    * vaudeville cane comes out, prayer shawl goes on *

  • Gabriel

    “A middle road has to be found. Unfortunately, the evolution of terrorist organizations are probably past that point and force may be the only option”

    I like that idea, but shedding innocent blood (even of non-violent muslims) is the most ungodly thing that could ever cross the mind of any normal human being. Unfortunately, why these killings would continue for generations (definitely not forever!) is that it is fundamental to a religion which is the second largest in the world. In the Christian religion, there were also killings. Even the God of the Christians sometimes approved of killing of the infidels before Christ came and ended it all. Definitely, what differentiate Jehovah from other Gods is His willingness to save only those who are willing, always remembering that while making humans, He has given them the willingness to choose what to believe. Jehovah, seems to also be in touch with the changing world than the other Gods. That’s why science and technology are not really in conflict with Christianity.

    Religion is a terrible thing! Once it gets into people’s head, they can do anything in defence of it. What I see happening in any (hopefully not distant) generation, is the muslims trying to embrace a form of religion that’s compatible with the present age. I also hope that, somewhere in the heart of the radical ones, they would find a place for fellow human beings. Any religion devoid of love and respect for human life is not from the Supreme God

  • alessandro

    Gabriel, and you’re touching on another issue. The West is secularized; Islam isn’t. Islam incorporates culture, religion, history, politics etc. into one whereas we’ve separated it. Of course, some may dispute this with the power of the evangelicals and fundamentalists but secular we are nonetheless.

  • Franco

    #19 — Irene Wagner

    spiritual forces at work –powerful leaders (manipulating or even conscripting the faithful to do their bidding) stand to gain EARTHLY booty in, oil, gold, power – Biblical prophecy being fulfilled by people who don’t even believe in God

    …earmarks of a best seller.

    I liked your post and the link that was in it and I agree. You might like some of the in depth studies on this exact Israel Issues by Steve Wohlberg

    I have been commenting to you from the perspective as alessandro has more clearly put it,

    “A middle road has to be found. Unfortunately, the evolution of terrorist organizations are probably past that point and force may be the only option.

    But how that force is employed is the crucial question. One concern I have about Irene’s suggestion that we focus on cells is that while it is correct you still have to convince the country who gives them life to cooperate. In Europe and other countries who face these problems this is an easy sell. But what to do with the more extreme countries like Syria and Iran? As you can see, the problem easily slides in and out between nation-states and para-military organizations with politco-religious agendas. Very messy.

    It was from with in this context that I was asking you how we extend the olive branch to this radical mess when their very faith forbids them from excepting it from us.

    The answer you gave me in the form of a question at the end of post #16 was the very best of all.

    As for the world leaders who are operating from strictly a worldly perspective, and or from the Christian Zionist perceptive, your right, booty is in their planning in one form or other.

    Western booty in oil and the hope of a Middle East transformation out of the Middle Ages and towards democracy, and or the protection of Israel for the misguided Christian Zionists biblical prophecy proponents.

    Eastern booty, surprisingly the more I studied it, the words “pride and respect” for being the worlds only true religion comes to mind as there most important booty.

    How and when western force is used, if it is used, to deal with the eastern forces of Iran and Syria and the terrorests networks thy both train, supply and finance in quest of their booty, while Iraq swinging in the balance, would apear to be by far the biggest question of our time, and the decisions made today, will surly mark the remaining course for radical Islam in this century for better or worse.

    As you have pointed out, God uses people with and without faith as He chooses, and we have been told that His ways are not our ways.

    You’re sharp Irene, Thank you for you’re insights, and for providing tho only true answer of all.

  • alessandro

    I often like to say – sorta playfully – that world history was on a collision course with Iraq anyway. One way or another in some form, Iraq (as it always seemed to be) was going to be the center (hub if you will) of where all the dynamics and players came to meet in one possible final embrace. Next stop? Democracy? Oblivion? Status quo? Who knows?

  • Irene Wagner

    Franco, I’m not so much sharp as older and a little bit wiser than I was, and still not wise enough to know what that middle way should be.

    Yes, keep at it, for enemies, for brothers in chains, for “all in authority” — even for Hillary or anyone else who isn’t Ron Paul :( should that come to pass…

    God bless you.

  • sam

    Mohammed’s Sword

    By URI AVNERY

    Since the days when Roman Emperors threw Christians to the lions, the relations between the emperors and the heads of the church have undergone many changes.

    Constantine the Great, who became Emperor in the year 306–exactly 1700 years ago–encouraged the practice of Christianity in the empire, which included Palestine. Centuries later, the church split into an Eastern (Orthodox) and a Western (Catholic) part. In the West, the Bishop of Rome, who acquired the title of Pope, demanded that the Emperor accept his superiority.

    The struggle between the Emperors and the Popes played a central role in European history and divided the peoples. It knew ups and downs. Some Emperors dismissed or expelled a Pope, some Popes dismissed or excommunicated an Emperor. One of the Emperors, Henry IV, “walked to Canossa”, standing for three days barefoot in the snow in front of the Pope’s castle, until the Pope deigned to annul his excommunication.

    But there were times when Emperors and Popes lived in peace with each other. We are witnessing such a period today. Between the present Pope, Benedict XVI, and the present Emperor, George Bush II, there exists a wonderful harmony. Last week’s speech by the Pope, which aroused a world-wide storm, went well with Bush’s crusade against “Islamofascism”, in the context of the “Clash of Civilizations”.

    * * *

    IN HIS lecture at a German university, the 265th Pope described what he sees as a huge difference between Christianity and Islam: while Christianity is based on reason, Islam denies it. While Christians see the logic of God’s actions, Muslims deny that there is any such logic in the actions of Allah.

    As a Jewish atheist, I do not intend to enter the fray of this debate. It is much beyond my humble abilities to understand the logic of the Pope. But I cannot overlook one passage, which concerns me too, as an Israeli living near the fault-line of this “war of civilizations”.

    In order to prove the lack of reason in Islam, the Pope asserts that the prophet Muhammad ordered his followers to spread their religion by the sword. According to the Pope, that is unreasonable, because faith is born of the soul, not of the body. How can the sword influence the soul?

    To support his case, the Pope quoted–of all people–a Byzantine Emperor, who belonged, of course, to the competing Eastern Church. At the end of the 14th century, the Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus told of a debate he had–or so he said (its occurrence is in doubt)–with an unnamed Persian Muslim scholar. In the heat of the argument, the Emperor (according to himself) flung the following words at his adversary:

    “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.

    These words give rise to three questions:

    (a) Why did the Emperor say them?

    (b) Are they true?

    (c) Why did the present Pope quote them?

    * * *

    WHEN MANUEL II wrote his treatise, he was the head of a dying empire. He assumed power in 1391, when only a few provinces of the once illustrious empire remained. These, too, were already under Turkish threat.

    At that point in time, the Ottoman Turks had reached the banks of the Danube. They had conquered Bulgaria and the north of Greece, and had twice defeated relieving armies sent by Europe to save the Eastern Empire. In 1453, only a few years after Manuel’s death, his capital, Constantinople (the present Istanbul) fell to the Turks, putting an end to the Empire that had lasted for more than a thousand years.

    During his reign, Manuel made the rounds of the capitals of Europe in an attempt to drum up support. He promised to reunite the church. There is no doubt that he wrote his religious treatise in order to incite the Christian countries against the Turks and convince them to start a new crusade. The aim was practical, theology was serving politics.

    In this sense, the quote serves exactly the requirements of the present Emperor, George Bush II. He, too, wants to unite the Christian world against the mainly Muslim “Axis of Evil”. Moreover, the Turks are again knocking on the doors of Europe, this time peacefully. It is well known that the Pope supports the forces that object to the entry of Turkey into the European Union.

    * * *

    IS THERE any truth in Manuel’s argument?

    The pope himself threw in a word of caution. As a serious and renowned theologian, he could not afford to falsify written texts. Therefore, he admitted that the Qur’an specifically forbade the spreading of the faith by force. He quoted the second Sura, verse 256 (strangely fallible, for a pope, he meant verse 257) which says: “There must be no coercion in matters of faith”.

    How can one ignore such an unequivocal statement? The Pope simply argues that this commandment was laid down by the prophet when he was at the beginning of his career, still weak and powerless, but that later on he ordered the use of the sword in the service of the faith. Such an order does not exist in the Qur’an. True, Muhammad called for the use of the sword in his war against opposing tribes–Christian, Jewish and others–in Arabia, when he was building his state. But that was a political act, not a religious one; basically a fight for territory, not for the spreading of the faith.

    Jesus said: “You will recognize them by their fruits.” The treatment of other religions by Islam must be judged by a simple test: How did the Muslim rulers behave for more than a thousand years, when they had the power to “spread the faith by the sword”?

    Well, they just did not.

    For many centuries, the Muslims ruled Greece. Did the Greeks become Muslims? Did anyone even try to Islamize them? On the contrary, Christian Greeks held the highest positions in the Ottoman administration. The Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians and other European nations lived at one time or another under Ottoman rule and clung to their Christian faith. Nobody compelled them to become Muslims and all of them remained devoutly Christian.

    True, the Albanians did convert to Islam, and so did the Bosniaks. But nobody argues that they did this under duress. They adopted Islam in order to become favorites of the government and enjoy the fruits.

    In 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and massacred its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants indiscriminately, in the name of the gentle Jesus. At that time, 400 years into the occupation of Palestine by the Muslims, Christians were still the majority in the country. Throughout this long period, no effort was made to impose Islam on them. Only after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the country, did the majority of the inhabitants start to adopt the Arabic language and the Muslim faith–and they were the forefathers of most of today’s Palestinians.

    * * *

    THERE IS no evidence whatsoever of any attempt to impose Islam on the Jews. As is well known, under Muslim rule the Jews of Spain enjoyed a bloom the like of which the Jews did not enjoy anywhere else until almost our time. Poets like Yehuda Halevy wrote in Arabic, as did the great Maimonides. In Muslim Spain, Jews were ministers, poets, scientists. In Muslim Toledo, Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars worked together and translated the ancient Greek philosophical and scientific texts. That was, indeed, the Golden Age. How would this have been possible, had the Prophet decreed the “spreading of the faith by the sword”?

    What happened afterwards is even more telling. When the Catholics re-conquered Spain from the Muslims, they instituted a reign of religious terror. The Jews and the Muslims were presented with a cruel choice: to become Christians, to be massacred or to leave. And where did the hundreds of thousand of Jews, who refused to abandon their faith, escape? Almost all of them were received with open arms in the Muslim countries. The Sephardi (“Spanish”) Jews settled all over the Muslim world, from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, from Bulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire) in the north to Sudan in the south. Nowhere were they persecuted. They knew nothing like the tortures of the Inquisition, the flames of the auto-da-fe, the pogroms, the terrible mass-expulsions that took place in almost all Christian countries, up to the Holocaust.

    WHY? Because Islam expressly prohibited any persecution of the “peoples of the book”. In Islamic society, a special place was reserved for Jews and Christians. They did not enjoy completely equal rights, but almost. They had to pay a special poll-tax, but were exempted from military service–a trade-off that was quite welcome to many Jews. It has been said that Muslim rulers frowned upon any attempt to convert Jews to Islam even by gentle persuasion–because it entailed the loss of taxes.

    Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times “by the sword” to get them to abandon their faith.

    * * *

    THE STORY about “spreading the faith by the sword” is an evil legend, one of the myths that grew up in Europe during the great wars against the Muslims–the reconquista of Spain by the Christians, the Crusades and the repulsion of the Turks, who almost conquered Vienna. I suspect that the German Pope, too, honestly believes in these fables. That means that the leader of the Catholic world, who is a Christian theologian in his own right, did not make the effort to study the history of other religions.

    Why did he utter these words in public? And why now?

    There is no escape from viewing them against the background of the new Crusade of Bush and his evangelist supporters, with his slogans of “Islamofascism” and the “Global War on Terrorism”–when “terrorism” has become a synonym for Muslims. For Bush’s handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world’s oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religious robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests; not for the first time, a robbers’ expedition becomes a Crusade.

    The speech of the Pope blends into this effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?

    Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is one of the writers featured in The Other Israel: Voices of Dissent and Refusal. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch’s hot new book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

  • Franco

    #28 — sam

    Interesting reading sam.

    But I have studied much on this subject matter, and the more I study the more questions that come up.

    But one thing never changes no matter what is best posed to you in a question.

    If what you say is true, then way dose the Quarn say to find them and kill them. And way, if one is once a Muslim, they have to be killed if they convert to Christianity?

  • sam

    Concept of Jihad
    in the Qur’an
    by Abdul Rehman
    [Originally, I wrote this article as a ‘comment’ on a Islamophobia spreading forum viz. Jihad Watch of Robert Spencer… it has become a very good article for understanding the doctrine of Jihad as well as to remove Islamophobia from the hearts of non-muslims.]
    Before interpreting the Qur’an, you need to know the Rules of Interpretation of the Qur’an.

    Usul-e-Tafseer
    There is a science of Interpretation of the Holy Qur’an, known as Usul-e-Tafseer. Usul means principles and Tafseer is derived from the root word `Fussaira’ meaning to explain. Thus Usul-e-Tafseer means the rules of interpretation of the Holy Qur’an.

    The most important things which one should know before interpreting the Qur’an are the following sayings of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) :-

    Abdullah ibn Abbas (R.A.A.) reported that Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said: “Whoever says something in interpreting the Qur’an based on his own opinion should find his place in the Fire.” (Tirmidhi)

    Jundub, May Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: “Anyone who speaks on the Qur’an by his own opinion and is right is still wrong.” (Abu Dawud)

    The knowledge of Tafseer was given to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and it was described by him:-

    “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad P.B.U.H.) the reminder and the advice (the Qur’an), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.” [Surah An-Nahl 16:44]

    This verse tells us two things:-
    (i) The correct interpretation of the Qur’an was described by the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) himself
    (ii) Giving one’s own thoughts on the Qur’an is after the description of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) This means that the meaning of a particular verse cannot be circumscribed by one’s own thoughts; it should be in the light of the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H.) sayings.
    So, to understand a verse, we should first take into account all the verses related to that matter. Then, we must search the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H.) traditions/sayings/actions (henceforth, Hadith [plural: Ahadith]) Then, the Companions (R.A.A.) and the Successors (R.A.) were the experts and their sayings must be taken into account. After searching all these, we still do not find anything, we can interpret an ayah (verse) according to the principles of the Arabic language and after that one can use deliberation & deduction. All these constitute what are known as “The Sources of Tafseer.”

    Sources of Tafseer
    These are 6 in total and are enumerated below:-
    (1) The Qur’an itself
    (2) The Ahadith
    (3) The Sayings of the Companions (R.A.A.)
    (4) The Sayings of the Successors (R.A.)
    (5) The Arabic language
    (6) Deliberation & deduction

    Types of Tafseer
    Thus tafseer can be divided into two main types:-

    (1) Tafseer bil Riwayah i.e. tafseer based on authentic reports.

    (2) Tafseer bil Ra`y i.e. tafseer on one’s own thoughts and opinions; this is concerned Haram (forbidden.)

    Differences in Tafseer
    One may raise a question here: `Why are there differences in the interpretation of Qur’an between the scholars?’ The reasons are:-
    – Disregard for isnad (chain of transmission of a tradition)
    – Genuine mistake in comprehension
    – Interpretation based on unconscious preconceived notion
    – Multiplicity of meanings in the revelation from Allah
    – Difference in the rules regarding the reports (Ahadith)

    One may also raise another question here: “Isn’t it possible for someone to do an interpretation, from the six sources, which completely distorts the meaning of the Qur’an?” The answer is to base tafseer upon previous Tafaseer (plural of Tafseer.) Whenever someone coins a new interpretation for any verse, which has not been mentioned by any previous scholar, it is a sign of going astray from the correct meaning!

    Important Note: The above rules of interpretation are specifically for Aayat-e-Ahkamaat i.e. verses dealing with commandments. The rules for interpreting other verses, for example, verses dealing with worldly knowledge, is not the same as for the verses dealing with commandments of Shari’ah.

    One can read the following article regarding more knowledge of Usul-e-Tafseer

    This was only the Prologue for my interpretation of the verses regarding Jihad; if you haven’t understood it or did not read it completely/carefully, then I request you to go back and do it now!

    Concept of Jihad
    Now, we come to the real task of interpreting the verses related to Jihad. We first enumerate the conditions under which Jihad is prohibited (Haram.)

    Conditions under which Jihad is prohibited
    (i) We find in Surah al-Anfaal, the following verse:-

    “But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Anfaal 8:61]

    This verse shows that you cannot attack a nation if it “inclines to peace.” This means that launching Jihad against someone is prohibited if a Muslim nation has signed a peace treaty with it.

    (ii) In Surah at-Touba, we find the following verse:-

    “Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger; (2) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture: until they pay the Jezyah `Ayn Yaden Wa Hum Zaghiroon’ ” [Surah Touba 9:29]

    I have retained some words in Arabic, because, if I translated them literally, this may cause someone to misinterpret the ayah. Remember, you cannot interpret an ayah, according to the 5th source i.e. the Arabic language, until you have searched the first four sources.

    When we search the first four principles, we find that we cannot translate those words literally. Imam Shafi’i, who was of the successors (Taba’i Tab’ieen) and was a Mujtahid fi Shar’ah (highest rank of scholar), said regarding this ayah that in this ayah, `Yadeh’ is in the meaning of power/authority/sovereignty and `Ayn’ means “due to.” Furthermore, `Zaghiroon’ means that the non-muslims start obeying the common law (not any Personal law; they can follow their personal law.) This saying of Imam Shafi’i is also cited in Tafseer Ma`ariful Qur`an of the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan & president of Darul Uloom Deoband, Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani.

    Thus the ayat, if correctly explained, means that you cannot fight the citizens of a non-Muslim state (dhimmis) as long as they pay Jezyah (a low tax) and obey the General law of that Muslim country. In matters of personal law, they are free to follow their religion. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) allowed the non-Muslims to follow their personal laws; he (P.B.U.H) accepted their marriages as valid and allowed them to eat pork and drink wine. [Cf. Ma’ariful Qur’an – English Edition, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Vol.3, p.157]

    Thus we came to know that the citizens of a non-Muslim state (dhimmis) are 100% safe and protected, if they fulfill their obligations i.e. paying Jezyah and obeying the common law.

    Note: Those non-Muslims who did not fight personally against a Muslim army, in the battlefield, but, now their land has been conquered by the Muslims, THEY WILL BECOME DHIMMIS i.e. RESPECTFUL CITIZENS. They are NOT “Maal-e-Ghaneemat” (Booty of War) meaning that they do NOT become slaves or liable to death penalty. Those Spencer-type characters who spread such a misconception are themselves astray, because, they fail to distinguish b/w Maal-e-F`ay and Maal-e-Ghaneemat…

    (iii) Below is one of those ayahs which are most-often misinterpreted by non-Muslims:-

    “Then when the Sacred Months (The 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them [in Mecca and Medina], and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform Salah and give Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah at-Touba 9:5]

    This ayah which if taken literally and out of context may make an “ignorant” non-Muslim jump out of his seat, but, actually it is being detached from the very next ayah, which is:-

    “And if anyone of the polytheists seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear The Word of Allah (Qur’an), and then escort him to where he can be secure…” [Surah at-Touba 9:6]

    From this ayah, we came to know that if a non-Muslim comes to a Muslim state after taking permission, which now-a-days is in the form of VISA/Passport, then it is incumbent upon the Muslims to protect him/her, until he/she reaches his own state/country. Such a non-Muslim who has entered a Muslim state after taking permission is known as “Mustam’ain” in the Islamic Fiqh.

    I once read a review posted on Amazon by some non-Muslim; he wrote:-

    “To proceed to clarify some issues, let me use an example. The honorable late President John F. Kennedy during his Presidency and while the US was going to war with Vietnam said something to the effect, `Defend your country, show courage and galor, and fight all vietnamese whereever you see one.’ So do you still fight a vietnamese when you see one? No, this command was for that instance only. Hence, in the Quran, when Allah The AlMighty says: `fight the non-believers wherever you see one’ falls in the same category.”

    (iv) From many verses of the Qur’an and ahadith, it becomes clear that if someone accepts Islam by saying the “Kalima” then it is prohibited to launch Jihad against him/it.

    Types of Jihad
    These were the conditions under which Jihad is impermissible; thus only two types of Jihad is permissible:-
    (i) Defensive (Defa’i) Jihad
    (ii) Offensive (Iqdami) Jihad

    Defensive Jihad is self-explanatory i.e. if a non-Muslim state has attacked a Muslim state, they can do Jihad against them. When a non-Muslim state attacks a Muslim state, it is obligatory upon the Muslims of that country, as many as are required, to do Jihad; if that state alone does not posses enough power, the obligation of Jihad extends to neighbouring countries. If even they do not posses enough power, the obligation extends to their neighbours and this obligation can extend, if required, to the all the Muslim states.

    Offensive Jihad can be undertaken if the four conditions mentioned above are not fulfilled, for example, a non-Muslim state violates the peace treaty, etc. It can also be undertaken if a non-Muslim state is forcibly trying to convert Muslims to non-Muslims or stopping Muslims from preaching the teachings of Islam PEACEFULLY (Daw’ah.) According to some scholars, Offensive Jihad is impermissible in the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar too.

    Then, there are other conditions which must be observed during Jihad, the details of which can be found in the books of Islamic Fiqh, for example, it is impermissible to fight with or kill women, children, aged ones, disabled, etc. Furthermore, it is impermissible to destroy crops, cut trees, destroy someone’s house, property, cattle, do un-Islamic acts like raping women or burning people or torturing them in any way, etc. If you want to know more, I can refer you to some books regarding these issues.

    Spreading Islam at the edge of the sword
    Someone may ask here: Isn’t it obligatory upon the Muslims to compell non-Muslims to convert to Islam? The answer is a big NO!!! There are 100% clear and explicit verses to answer this question directly:-

    (1) “Let there be no compulsion in religion…” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:256]

    (2) “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.
    It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the wrong-doers.” [al-Mumtahinah 60:8-9]

    (3) “…And (O Muhammad P.B.U.H.) say to those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and to those who are illiterates: (Arab pagans) `Do you (also) submit yourselves (to Allah in Islam)?’ If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message…” [Aal-e-Imran 3:20]

    (Noteworthy is the fact that if they turn away, our duty is to convey plainly; our duty is NOT to force them!)

    (4) “Then if you turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger’s duty to convey (the Message) in the clearest way.” [Surah al-Maida 5:92]

    (5) “The Messenger’s [i.e. Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H.)] duty is but to convey (the Message.) And Allah knows all that you reveal and all that you conceal.” [Surah al-Maida 5:99]

    (6) “The Messengers said: `Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you,
    And our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).'” [Yaseen 36:16-17]

    (7) “And if you deny, then nations before you have denied (their Messengers.) And the duty of the Messenger is only to convey (the Message) plainly.” [Surah al-Ankaboot 29:18]

    (8) “…(O Muhammad! P.B.U.H.) Say: `The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner.'” [Surah al-Ankaboot 29:50]

    (9) “So remind them (O Muhammad P.B.U.H.), you are only a one who reminds.
    You are NOT a DICTATOR over them [i.e. polytheists of Mecca].” [al-Ghashiyyah 88:21-22]

    These are only some of the verses which answer off that objection. The Qur’an is filled with such verses! Despite this fact, some people for their ulterior motives & reaping political benefits, don’t hesitate to take their eyes from these verses, either deliberately or due to their less knowledge and thus spread Islamophobia and end up astray.

    Let me point out that this interpretation was not done by me. The above description was actually an English translation of a Bayan (lecture) given by The Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmaani (R.A.) at madrassa “Darul Uloom Karachi.”

    So, would you still prefer the opinion of a deviant, non-Muslim, false-scholar to the Grand Mufti of Pakistan? Do you ever prefer a quack to a doctor? If no, then why don’t you agree with the above given interpretation? Can you point out any defect or error?

    DIFFERENCE B/W MAAL-E-GHANEEMAT & MAAL-E-F`AY
    Maal-e-Ghaneemat refers to those swords, shields, tools, etc. which have been taken/picked up from the site of the battle.
    Maal-e-F`ay refers to the people, lands, etc. over which victory has been acheived.

    Thus only the swords, shields, etc. which were picked up at the site of the battle will be divided among the Mujahiddeen & become their private property and the fifth-part of this Maal-e-Ghaneemat will be given in charity.
    THE REST OF THE LAND WHICH HAS BEEN CONQUERED AFTER THE BATTLE IS MAAL-E-F`AY. IT IS NOT A PRIVATE PROPERTY OF THE MUJAHIDDEEN!!!!!

    Dhimmis
    THE PEOPLE OF THAT LAND WILL BECOME RESPECTFUL CITIZENS, WHO ONLY HAVE TO OBEY THE GENERAL LAW & PAY A SMALL TAX (JEZYAH), IN WHICH RELIEF IS GIVEN TO THE POVERTY STRICKEN. THIS JEZYAH IS TAKEN FOR THE PROTECTION OF THEIR LIFE, SHELTER, FOOD, ETC. WHICH IS PROVIDED TO THEM BY THE MUSLIM STATE. SUCH PEOPLE ARE CALLED DHIMMIS.

    Dhimmi–not an abuse
    YOU CONSIDER THE WORD `DHIMMI’ TO BE INSULTING ONLY BECAUSE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ARABIC AND ARE FOOLED BY OTHERS. DHIMMI LITERALLY MEANS A PERSON WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROTECTION HAS BEEN TAKEN BY SOMEONE ELSE. IN THIS CASE, A NON-MUSLIM IS A DHIMMI IN A MUSLIM COUNTRY, BECAUSE, THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROTECTION OF HIS FOOD, SHELTER, LIFE, ETC. IS ON THE MUSLIM STATE; FOR ANY HARM TO IT, THE MUSLIM STATE WILL BE RESPONSIBILE FOR PROVIDING JUSTICE!!!
    DHIMMI IS A RESPECTFUL WORD FOR NON-MUSLIMS AS IT SHOWS THAT THEIR RIGHTS CANNOT BE NEGLECTED! LOOK AT THIS HADITH:-

    Narrated `Amr bin Maimun: `Umar (after he was stabbed), instructed (his would-be-successor) saying, “I urge him (i.e. the new Caliph) to take care of those non-Muslims who are under the protection of Allah and His Apostle in that he should observe the convention agreed upon with them, and fight on their behalf (to secure their safety) and he should not over-tax them beyond their capability.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol.4, Bk.52]

    (Umar R.A.A. was breathing his last, but, he was not worried of who killed him; rather, he was worried about the dhimmis!!! One can easily approximate the amount of care which non-muslims are given in a TRUE muslim state!)

    ALAS! SOME PEOPLE, FOR REAPING PERSONAL BENEFITS, HAVE CREATED MISUNDERTSANDINGS! DHIMMIS COULD FOLLOW THEIR PERSONAL LAWS UNDER A ISLAMIC STATE, BUT, THEY MUST FOLLOW THE GENERAL LAW OF THE MUSLIM COUNTRY AND PAY JEZYAH.

    Taliban’s interpretation of Jihad
    It is pertinent to note here that the above interpretation of Jihad is the one done by the Deobandi sect–to be precise, by Mufti Muhammad Shafi (RA) who used to be the president of Darul Uloom Deoband. [Darul Uloom Deoband is the heart of Deobandi sect.]
    According to GlobalSecurity.ORG, Deobandi sect was involved in inspiring the ‘Taliban movement’. If this is true, then the poor lads will have to confess that the Taliban do follow the above interpretation of Jihad–which clearly excludes terrorism from Jihad.
    Furthermore, according to an edict issued by the Darul Iftaa (lit. doorway to answers) of Darul Uloom Deoband, “Jihad, in no way, means to convert non-Muslims forcibily to Islam.” [Edict No. 670, dated 5/8/1427 A.H., issued by Mehmood Hasan, Habib-ur-Rehman, Kafeel-ur-Rehman & Muhammad Zafeer-ud-din — Muftis of the Darul Iftaa]

    Another important edict
    Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani (RA), the current Grand Mufti of Pakistan, said in an interview with BBC:-

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right in Islam…
    If non-Muslim kill innocent citizens of a Muslim country, this does NOT give Muslims the right to kill innocent non-Muslims of that state.”

    Again, this is a very important thing to note. This practice was completely abolished by the Prophet (SAW) himself.
    In those times, when a person of one tribe was killed by a person of the other tribe, the people of the first tribe would kill anyone of the second tribe for revenge. This was declared as a practice of Jahaliyyah (ignorance) and was declared prohibited.

    A partial truth is worst than a complete lie
    This is a very important thing to note; the media uses this trick to fool people and spread Islamophobia. I give you an example…
    Mufti Ebrahim Desai wrote the following in a fatwa (lit. answer, pl. fataawa) that:-

    “Osama bin Laden is our Muslim brother and a practicing Muslim.

    Since, the edict was issued after 9/11, it is very easy to fool the Westerns that look, Muslims support Osama! This is a partial truth–it is more badder than a lie, because, you can verify a partial truth.
    What 99.99% people don’t get a chance to see is the following statement of the same Mufti:-

    “Whoever was responsible for the 9/11 tragedy is guilty of a great injustice – even if he was a Muslim.

    Did you see this?! The dirty trick used by most Islamophobia spreaders is to quote partially true things which are even dangerous than complete lies!
    Kafir–not an abuse
    Now-a-days, the word ‘kafir’ is considered to be an abuse by almost everyone. Is it really so? The answer is NO. The word ‘kafir’ is derived from the root word ‘kufr’ which means to deny; thus the word ‘kafir’ literally means a denier. Technically, it means a person who denies the Prophethood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) There are many Christian missionaries and evangelists who feel proud in denying the Prophethood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), but, the same people object as to why are they being called kafir. These people should be happy and feel proud to be called kafir!
    As ‘kafir’ means a person who denies the Prophethood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), there is nothing bad or wrong in calling non-Muslims as the kuffar (plural of kafir). Furthermore, if we don’t call them kafir (pl. kuffar) , what should we call them? Most importantly, what is wrong in calling them kafir?
    There is nothing bad in it… actually, the Islamophobia spreading media takes advantage of the ignorance of non-Muslims of the Arabic language and raise such misconceptions which have got nothing to do with the truth. Think out yourself as to how much absurd it is to object the word kafir!
    (Any questions should be mailed to the author.)

  • tahmineh

    Excellent piece. Thank you for sharing