Saturday, February 25, 2012

Islam Did Not Abolish Slavery

In Fact, Mohammad was a Slave Owner

By Sarah A

This is a sensitive subject for Muslims because many of them really believe that Islam abolished slavery. That’s what I thought when I was a Muslim, because that is what we were told in school. The sad truth is that Islam absolutely condoned slavery and Mohammad was actually a slave owner and a slave trader. There are many verses from the Quran and the Hadith (Mohammad’s Teachings) that are dedicated to telling people how to deal with the slaves. This includes the many women that were captured by the Muslims at war and used as sex slaves, or as they would call them… “those whom your right hands possess”.

There might have been a couple times where Muslims were told to treat their slaves nicely, or promised a great reward in heaven if they choose to free a slave. But there is NOT A SINGLE VERSE in the Quran or Hadith that abolishes slavery! In fact, the only times that Muslims were required to free ONE slave (with no payment) is as a punishment for a sin they have committed! That is NOT abolishing slavery! That is saying that if you are good, you can keep your slaves. A slave might be allowed to BUY his freedom only if his master agrees to some kind of payment. That should be a crime! You should not have to BUY your freedom.

I always knew that slavery was condoned in the bible, but I never for a second thought that Islam allowed it until I did my own research. You know why? Because they are not going to teach you that in schools. They are not going to admit that the Quran and Hadith are flawed. That would be a real embarrassment for Muslims.

Slavery in the Quran and Hadith

I read many verses in the Quran and the Hadith that discussed slavery, and this is just asummary of what I have learned:

A slave and his master are NOT equal
Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah. But most of them understand not. (Quran 16:75) (See also Quran 2:178)

Slaves were definitely property and they can be used to pay off debt.
Narrated Jabir: A man manumitted (freed) a slave and he had no other property than that, so the Prophet cancelled the manumission (and sold the slave for him). No’aim bin Al-Nahham bought the slave from him.
(Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 41, Number 598)

Men are allowed to use women as sex slaves if they were prisoners of war
O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee (Quran 33:50) (See also Quran 23:5-6, 70:29-30, 4:24, 8:69) (See also Sahih Bukhari 62:137, 34:432)

Mohammad was a slave trader and owner
Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man)
(Sahih Muslim 10:3901)
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: A man amongst us declared that his slave would be freed after his death. The Prophet called for that slave and sold him. The slave died the same year.
(Sahih Bukhari 3:46:711) (See also Sahih Bukhari 34:351, 72:734, and Sahih Muslim 4112)

In fact, Mohammad said that it is better to give away a slave to a relative, rather than to free one
Narrated Kurib: the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, that Maimuna bint Al-Harith told him that she manumitted (freed) a slave-girl without taking the permission of the Prophet. On the day when it was her turn to be with the Prophet, she said, “Do you know, O Allah’s Apostle, that I have manumitted my slave-girl?” He said, “Have you really?” She replied in the affirmative. He said, “You would have got more reward if you had given her (i.e. the slave-girl) to one of your maternal uncles.”
(Sahih Bukhari 3:47:765)

Slaves are not allowed to marry anyone without the permission of their master
“Ibn Umar reported the prophet as saying: “If a slave marries without the permission of his master, his marriage is null and void.”
(Abu Dawud, Vol. 2, Ch. 597, No. 2074)

It is OK to beat your slave
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Zam’a: The Prophet said, “None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day.”
(Sahih Bukhari 7:62:132) (See also Abu Dawud 1814)

You are allowed to rape female prisoners of war even if they are married (because their captivity is equivalent to divorce).
Sa’id al-Khudri reported that at the Battle of Hunain Allah’s Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that:” And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (Quran 4:. 24)” (i. e. they were lawful for them when their ‘Idda period came to an end).
(Sahih Muslim 8:3432)
“And all married women (are forbidden unto you) except those (captives) whom your right hands possess (because their captivity is equivalent to divorce).” (Qur’an 4:24)
These are only a SOME of the verses in the Quran and Hadith about slavery. It’s just really sad and SICK! I can’t believe Muslims even try to come up with excuses and reasons why slavery was allowed. They come up with whatever they can to defend Islam. One of the excuses that I heard was that “times were different” back then and it was the norm during Mohammad’s time…. but isn’t Islam supposed to work for all generations? If there was something that violated human rights, “god” should have forbidden it, right? Another excuse I heard was that god could not just abolish slavery right away because it was a common practice. It had to be gradual… Just like drinking. If “god” just banned it, no one would want to convert to Islam. The difference is, drinking alcohol was eventually forbidden but slavery was never abolished!!

So what does Islam Teach Us?
Islam seems to forbid many little harmless things but ignores the bigger issues. Let’s see now…

You are NOT allowed to:

But you ARE allowed to:

What kind of nonsense is this? It seems to me like “god” really got it backwards! You cannot enjoy life or think for yourself, but you can take away the basic human rights of someone. That is one sick god!!

If you would like to suggest a topic, you can do it here

Sunni or Shia?

Which Poses a Greater Threat?

By Mumin Salih

Choosing between Sunni or Shia is like choosing between the idiot and the fool; both sects come from the same cult, called Islam.

There are many other sects in Islam but these two are the major ones. They both came to existence in the seventh century after the assassination of Ali, the forth of the ‘rightly guided Caliphs’. Ali was elected when the Islamic state was in turmoil following the brutal and merciless assassination of Uthman, the third Caliph. Muslims endured a civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. In fact, they still pay with their lives as a result of that divide.

The Shia Muslims were the ones who sided by Caliph, Ali, against the rebels. The Sunni Muslims’ position was, and still, a more interesting one and is in line with their position regarding other Islamic absurdities; in one word: confusing. They believe that Ali was right and did the right thing for the service of Islam. The history of the events, as it reached us, is in support of Ali. In addition, Ali was one of those ten Muslims who were guaranteed places in paradise, according to Mohammed, therefore Allah would protect him from committing sins. However, they refuse to condemn Ali’s opponents, the rebels. Therefore, the Sunnis believe who ever was on the right side and whoever was opposing those who were on the right side were both on the right side!! May look mind boggling, but this is Islam.

Sunni Muslims refuse to discuss this issue on the basis that it is for Allah, not for humans, to judge that situation. The Sunni muslims developed some phobia towards that part of history; they do not like to discuss it, read about it or know about it!

Of course there is a reason behind this phobia. Both fighting groups were no ordinary Muslims but highly revered companions of Mohammed, known as ‘sahaba’. Those men were trusted with the Quran and Islam and considered exemplary to other Muslims. Those ‘sahaba’ were ‘nearly perfect’ people because complete perfection is only for Allah. Muslims believe that the Quran, indeed the entire religion, reached us unaltered because of the ‘near perfection’ of those men. Any blemishes on their integrity would cast serious doubts about the integrity of Islam. Unfortunately, the events of the war expose some barbaric conducts that only fit criminals. Therefore it is better not to know about it!

Just before jumping to early conclusions the reader can be assured that the Sunni foolishness and religious absurdities is more than matched by the Shia, but this is outside the scope of this article.

The 1980s- the Shia extremism

The Iranians had high expectations after the 1979 Islamic revolution but soon they were disappointed. In the turmoil that followed the revolution, the Mullahs had no idea how to steer the country and Iran was shifting from one conflict to another, usually with the West. In the 1980s, the Shia had a bad image in the West and were associated with extremism and religious fanaticism while the Sunnis were considered to be more moderate. Blinded by their inherent bias, It did not occur to the Westerners that the Sunnis were also engaged in another religious war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. That religious war was considered permissible and justified as long as it was against the Soviet Union! After 1979, America sided against Iran in all subsequent conflicts like the Iraq /Iran war. On the other hand it created a strong alliance with fanatic Sunnis like Osama Bin Laden. The Sunni fighters were called mujahideen (from jihad), a word that will cost the West dearly in later years.

The Mulla’s regime may not have changed since the Islamic revolution but the Iranian people have changed. Iran is a radical state, but its radicalism is associated with its ruling regime; if the regime goes, the radicalism also goes. The Iranians learned the hard way, after 40 years of the Mullas rule, that radical Islam is not the way forward.

This is not the case in Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and .. to the end of the list. These countries are radical to the core; if the governments go, more radical regimes may emerge.

The situation in Iran is the exact opposite to the situation in the Arab world. Until the ‘Arab spring’, the Arabs were largely radical people ruled by relatively secular governments. Iran, on the other hand, is largely a secular nation that is ruled by a radical government. The Arab nations, like in Egypt, forced their governments to pursue more religious policies. On the other hand, the Iranian Islamic government failed to completely radicalize its people.

Iran and America; the war of the fools

Iran seems to be is in a collision course with the America and Israel. The prospect of such unnecessary but fearsome war is a nightmare, not only to those directly involved, but to the entire Middle East. Sadly, it is the Iranian people who would be the main casualty if such a war breaks out.

The Mullas in Iran are more fools than radicals. Their fierce antagonism to Israel is completely unnecessary. Israel doesn't pose any threat to Iran. Geographically, Iran is too far from Israel and it doesn't make sense to think that Israel would consider attacking Iran, unless threatened. Israel is not short of enemies and is not interested in making new ones.

It is the Mullas who threatened to wipe off Israel from the map. But Israel is not an easy target to destroy; attacking Israel means destroying Iran. Even if Iran can destroy Israel it doesn't gain anything from it other than getting destroyed itself.

Iran wouldn't gain anything from destroying Israel. The Palestinians and the Arabs wouldn't even say thank you to the Iranians because of their hatred towards the Shia. In the 1980s, it was the Arabs, not Israel, who rallied to destroy Iran during the Iraq/Iran war which claimed a million lives. The Arabs never rallied with such enthusiasm even against Israel. A conflict with Israel, if ever necessary, is a Palestinian concern; even the Arab countries are trying to distance themselves from the Israel/ Palestinian conflict. Other than foolishness, why should Iran fight somebody else's war?

Iran, which is the largest country with Shia majority, could have used its influence to boost the position of other oppressed Shia communities, in particular the Arab Shia. The Shia in the Arab world are politically oppressed and often denied their political rights. They never had a fair deal even in countries where they are the majority like Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain. The Sunnis have been taking most of the key positions for decades. The oil fields of the Gulf actually exist in Shia areas. In theory they should be the richest people on earth. All the oil of Saudi Arabia comes from the eastern province, where the Shia live in some of the least developed cities in the country. The Shia in Saudi Arabia are treated as third class citizens and not allowed to take key positions in the government or the army. Iran’s real enemy is Saudi Arabia, not Israel.

The American’s foolishness more than matches that of the Mullas in Iran. The Obama administration failed to offer any serious support to the Iranians’ revolution a couple of years ago. That ‘Iranian spring’ would have made all the difference in the current dilemma of how to deal with a ‘nuclear Iran’. The Americans’ feeble stand regarding the ‘Iranian spring’ contrasts sharply with the firm and unequivocal support they demonstrated towards the ‘Arab spring‘, which was set to replace the existing, relatively secular regimes, with radical ones.

In their ill-considered support to the Arab spring, the Americans made two ill-considered exceptions. The first one was the failure to provide any form of support to the uprising of the oppressed Shia population in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The second is the failure to support the oppressed Shia in Bahrain. Regime change in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, where all the oil comes from, would make remarkable difference to world peace.

For some mysterious reasons, America cannot come to terms with the fact that Saudi Arabia is the root of all evil in the Middle East, if not the world. Directly or indirectly, that desert Kingdom is the power source behind all the radical organizations around the world. Thanks to the American silence and its appeasing policy, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in the radicalization of Muslims not only in the Arab world but also all over the world.

The Sunni extremism

America was the main strategic ally to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. The war against the Soviet Union and the idea of setting up the Mujahideen and the propaganda campaign that followed were all for American desires. However, the honey moon between America and the Sunni radicals didn't last long; in the 1990s the Sunnis turned against their previous allies with vengeance.

The ball of the Sunni radicalization started rolling in the 1970s, well before the Iranian revolution. I am afraid that sinister ball was created by American desire and was kept rolling also by American desire. That ball of radicalization is still rolling fast; the Sunni Muslims are getting more radicalized by the day.

The idea of this article is not to defend one sect of Islam or the other because they are all vicious. However, in our time it is the Sunni sect that tends to be more vile and violent, probably because they are the majority. It is well known that Muslims behave well when they are a minority. The Sunnis are arrogant because they feel the strength, while their Wahhabi indoctrination makes them least tolerant. They do not accept the other sects of Islam and have no tolerance to any practices except their own. The ultimate Sunni Islam is represented by Wahhabism, which is being embraced by an increasing number of Muslims everyday. In parallel with this trend there is an increasing number of Sunnis who started to hate the other sects of Islam in a similar way they hate the Jews and refer to them as infidels and make no secret of it. They consider other Islamic sects as the Jews from within who are set to destroy all the principles of Islam one by one.

Saudi Arabia dominates dozens of countries that constitute the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which is the largest voting block in the United Nations. Add to this its special relations with America and you get a backward country that has become a world power to be reckoned with.

The Americans may succeed in one way or the other in preventing a nuclear Iran, but they already failed in preventing a nuclear Pakistan. Although a non Arab country, Pakistan can be considered as the military wing of Saudi Arabia. The country survives on Saudi money and it was Saudi money which financed its nuclear program while America looked the other way. It is inconceivable that America still provides Pakistan with generous financial help and classifies the country as an ally.

Like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is a country that is radicalized to the core. In both countries there are radical Islamic governments that are just not radical enough in the eyes of the people.

I am afraid that while the world is focusing on Iran, the real threat may lie further to the East, in Pakistan. I am afraid it is only a matter of time when Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal falls in the hands of terrorists.

Who’s More Dangerous: Sunni or Shia Islamists?

By Barry Rubin

There is a passionate, but somewhat academic debate, over the following issue: Which is the greater threat, the Sunni Muslim Islamists (Egypt, Tunisia, Gaza Strip, and perhaps soon to be Syria) or the Shia Muslim Islamists (Iran, Lebanon, at the moment still Syria)?

I would say the answer would be the Iran-led Shia bloc. But two reservations: the margin isn’t that big and it also depends on the specific place and situation.

To begin with, Iran is still the greatest strategic threat in the region. It is moving as fast as it can toward nuclear weapons and it is still the main sponsor of terrorism. At the moment, it is still, too, the most likely state that would initiate an anti-Western war, though that possibility is smaller than often believed. It has lots of money.

What has gone largely unnoticed is that it is almost the middle of 2013 and the Obama Administration has barely begun negotiations with Iran that will probably drag on without success for a year or more. In addition, after Iran’s June elections, which will presumably pick a radical who is less obviously extremist than current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the U.S. government and mass media will probably proclaim a new era of Iranian moderation.

Iran is also the main backer of Islamist revolution in Bahrain (where it has failed); Lebanon (where its Hizballah clients are the strongest force); and Syria (where its regime ally is in serious trouble).

One final point is that Tehran is having some success in drawing the Iraqi (Shia) government into its orbit. Baghdad is certainly cooperating with Iran on defending the Syrian regime, though one should not exaggerate how much Iraq is in Iran’s pocket. At any rate, nobody would want the Iraqi regime to be overthrown by the al-Qaida terrorist opposition.

So a strong case can be made that Iran is the greatest threat in the region.

On the other hand, however, a Great Wall of Sunnism has been built to prevent the extension of Iranian influence except for Lebanon. The Sunni bloc contains few Shia Muslims. The Muslim Brotherhood, the even more radical Salafists, and other Sunni Muslims (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, for example) have said that the Shias are a worse threat than Israel.

Perhaps the fear of Iran provides some common cause with the West. But this is also a scary proposition since the Obama Administration’s promotion of Sunni Islamism (Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and even Turkey) could use this point as an excuse. Perhaps America could be said to be building a united front against Iran but at what price? Turning over much of the Arab world to repressive, anti-American, and antisemitic Sunni Islamism as Christians flee?

There is also another weakness of Sunni Islamism, however, that also makes it seem relatively less threatening. In contrast to Iran, the Sunni Islamists do not have a wealthy patron comparable to Iran. They can depend on money from Qatar and to some extent from Libya but they have fewer resources. Sometimes the Saudis will help Sunni Islamists but only if they tone down their warlike and anti-Western actions. There is no big banker for Sunni Islamist destabilization of the Middle East.

Equally, they do not have a reliable source of arms, in contrast to the Shia who have Iran and also at times Russia. True, in Syria the Sunni rebels have U.S. backing to get weaponry and arms from Libya and elsewhere paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Yet Syria is an exceptional case. The Saudis are not going to finance the Muslim Brotherhood and its ambitions. Bahrain has declared Shia Hizballah to be a terrorist group even while the European Union refuses to do so.

So arguably one could say that the Shia Islamists and Iran are a bigger danger. But a second danger is a U.S. or Western policy to promote Sunni Islamism as a way to counter the Shia, a strategy that has intensified regional dangers and the suffering of Arab peoples. Then, too, there’s the fact that al-Qaida is a Sunni Islamist organization, and the al-Qaida forces are getting stronger in Syria.

One would have to be very foolish to want to see Sunni Islamism make further gains, to overthrow the monarchies in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, or Bahrain, as well as the Algerian regime. One would also have to be foolish--but here the Obama Administration is so--to want to see Muslim Brotherhood regimes succeed in Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, and Syria.

What we are seeing, however, is that Islamism is becoming entangled at present with the power it has gained, especially in Egypt. The country is innately in economic difficulties and these are being intensified by Muslim Brotherhood misrule. Rather than raise their countries to the peak of military-economic efficiency, the Islamist regimes are wrecking them.

But there are some very significant wild cards in the deck:

--If Sunni Islamist regimes in Egypt and Syria face significant problems with instability and economics, they might adopt the time-honored, traditional tactic of Arab dictatorships by stirring up foreign quarrels and promoting anti-Americanism. This could unleash future Arab-Israeli wars.

--Sunni Islamist regimes in Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and probably Syria would give extremely radical Salafist forces a free hand in attacking Christians, moderates, women’s rights, foreign embassies, and possibly Israel. Human rights in these countries—if anybody in the West cares about that—are going to suffer severe hits.

--Hamas will probably attack Israel in future, perhaps with at least some Egyptian backing though the Egyptian regime is now trying to restrain Hamas in order to consolidate rule at home and get Western money.

--Al-Qaida is gaining strength in Syria and for the first time its possible takeover cannot be ruled out, at least in alliance with other Salafist groups.

--The stronger the Sunni Islamists the more uncooperative the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be with attempts at a “peace process.” It is possible that the PA would face a considerable challenge from Hamas on the West Bank while forces within Fatah, the PA’s ruling party, might form alliances with Hamas. Israel should be able to keep the PA in power—a situation wrought with irony—but its stability could crumble.

In short, while one can make the case for Shia Islamism being the more dangerous—at least as long as Iran might get nuclear weapons—one must very carefully examine the implications of that judgment in every specific case. Promoting Sunni Islam is no panacea but rather substitutes longer-term for shorter-term threats.

Islam Detoxification

By Amil Imani

Detoxification is the physiological or psychological removal of toxic substances from a living organism. "Toxic Islam" is a type of dependence inducing "potion." In the same way that, let us say, alcohol is. Millions and perhaps billions of people imbibe alcohol. A great majority of these consumers qualify as moderate and social drinkers. Drinking alcohol may do them some psychological good but may also inflict some health problems and a monetary price. Yet, a vast number of human beings find enough "comfort" to put up with the monetary, health, relationships, and other costs of their drinking.

A certain number of these people are the heavy drinkers who are severely dependent and reliant on the drug. And there are those who are infrequent drinkers. They may have some wine at Christmas or on their birthday. And finally, there are those who are teetotalers. They never touch the stuff. So, you have what statisticians call a "bell curve" -- people distribute themselves along the drinking dimension as a bell-shaped function. Some are on one extreme, some on the other, with the great majority between the two extremes.

The same bell curve applies to Muslims. Islam is habit-forming. Just like alcohol. How strongly habit forming? It depends on the person and his circumstances. Is Islam "beneficial" to the person? For some it is. For others, toxic Islam is life itself, just like booze for the skid-row alcoholic.

Mind Invasion

Islam, from its inception, discovered the crucial secret of getting to the young mind early by adhering to the dictum: Instruction in early childhood is akin to carving in a rock. In the same vein goes the Jesuit saying, "Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man." The immense importance of getting to the young mind is also emphasized by non-religious doctrines as diverse as the Freudian psychoanalytic theory and Watsonian behaviorist psychology.

Total or major replacement of beliefs, particularly as one gets older, becomes less likely, yet it happens occasionally. Paul's sudden transformation from a rabid Christian-persecutor to a devoted believer of the faith of Christ is a familiar instance of such a dramatic change. Ideas, on the other hand, are much more amenable to change, replacement, or discard, as long as the ideas do not substantially undermine the integrity of the main framework -- the belief.

Short Answer

In the same way that people need to go through detoxification programs to free themselves from physical dependencies, they also must undergo detoxification programs to wean themselves from toxic Islam.

How to do that? The best way in my opinion is exactly what many concerned citizens, writers, bloggers, and experts are doing. Explain and expose toxic Islam and its harm. They also need to further expand the re-education effort by writing and translating in their native Muslim nations' languages. Radio and television programs are also vital. It is a long process. Yet, the bottom line is this blind dependency on toxic Islam that promises and provides easy answers for much of humanity's underclass.

Persian Enigma

I am very optimistic about the country of my birth. I believe Iran will be the first Islamic state to carry the torch of liberty. This is indeed the dawn of a new era in Persian history, a true renaissance for our world. Over 1400 years of darkness has reached its inevitable end. People on the mountaintops are clearly discerning the rays of the new sun that inevitably will chase away the gloom of darkness. It is time to celebrate the new day by enlisting all of us in the work of ushering in the light of freedom. I am calling upon all Iranians, whether at home or abroad, to join this natural movement in ushering in the new day and to contribute whatever you can to make it a truly magnificent change of fortune for the new Iran, as well as for the entire home of humanity, by weaning yourselves from toxic Islam.

It is going to be a slow process, much slower and much more difficult than we would like it to be. Toxic Islam is a long-term deep dependency with many attractions. It is going to take a great deal of work and perseverance to free Muslims from its grip.

Cultural Muslims

There are some 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, the overwhelming majority of which are "Cultural Muslims" who are generally called moderate Muslims.  Why moderate? Because they were simply born into Islam, where a great many of them never go through the process of deciding for themselves if they want to be Muslim. It is not a religion that they choose; it is a belief they inherit. For whatever reason, this great majority of these "Cultural Muslims" are Muslims of this type without fully toeing the line of Islam. "Toxic Muslims" are the jihadists, a small minority who live and die by the dictates of the Quran and the Sunna, the life examples of Muhammad.

Islam is a powerful magnet for the masses that are unable to deal with the uncertainties of life and death on their own. It is from this population that the majority of diehard jihadists emerge.

Humanity has matured considerably since the time of Muhammad. In order to continue its forward march, mankind must follow a roadmap appropriate for its age and state of development. It is foolish to insist that a book, which demands terrorism and was written over 1400 years ago, must serve as the one and only guide for humanity. I believe that "Cultural Muslims" hold the key. They hold the balance of power.


The great majority of jihadists emerge from the ranks of those born into the religion of Islam, simply because they are the ones who are most thoroughly indoctrinated and influenced by Islamic dogma in their receptive and formative early years. Yet, there are others who embrace Islam in adulthood, on their own, and enlist themselves as devoted jihadists for the same rewards that Islam offers.

Within this sea of surging humanity composed of some 1.5 billion Muslims, each individual believer -- a drop -- through a combination of choice and forces beyond his control, ends up in one of its many waves. It is the jihadist wave that is highly attractive to the deeply indoctrinated and poorly adjusted in dealing rationally and independently with life. Here, he finds the ironclad perfect solution to his anxieties and perplexities.

To a jihadist, death is nothing more than casting off a shell of the worthless earthly existence and donning an angelic suit to wing joyously to a life of bliss promised by Allah's beloved final emissary, Muhammad.

Eradication of jihadism is a daunting task, since "toxic Islam" is a persistent pandemic disease. Massive education efforts, combined with resolute confrontation of all sources and people that support and promote detoxification of the mind of this deadly philosophy, hold the best promise of dealing effectively with this affliction of humanity.

Final Note

The best, yet most difficult resolution of this conflict is to do what hundreds of thousands of former Muslims have already done. They have abandoned toxic Islam: they broke loose from the yoke of the exploitive clergy, renounced Islamofascisim, purged the discriminatory and bizarre teachings in the Quran and the Hadith, and left the suffocating tent of toxic Islam for the life-giving expanse of liberty.

Amil Imani is the author of Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and Operation Persian Gulf.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Islam's Viral Stasis

By Edward Cline

Two recent, contrasting analyses of Islam – or rather, of the Islamic “mindset” that governs the behavior of Muslims – help to identify the problem with the ideology. One is “Why Muslim cultures lag behind,” by “Anti-Jihadist” on Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. The second is by Daniel Greenfield on Sultan Knish, “Will Islam Destroy Itself?” Both articles discuss what can be described as Islam’s state of stasis, or moral, political, and cultural stagnation. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary best indicates the phenomenon:

Stasis: a: a state of static balance or equilibrium; stagnation b: a state or period of stability during which little or no evolutionary change in a lineage occurs.

That Islam fosters stagnation in its adherents’ cultures is an observable given. Islam has not changed in any fundamental respect since its founding in the 7th century. It has simply been refined in its details and interpreted to govern all human action, regardless of race, region, or nation. Christianity and Judaism underwent changes that made them tolerant of secular, exo-religious values, such as freedom of speech. Men who saw no value in stagnation, who wished to exercise their minds and be free to act, waged a long and bloody conflict with religious and political authority in the West, and won. If the Church claimed it ruled men to save their immortal souls, men replied that their souls were not the Church’s to save. 

Islam cannot cede such an argument. There are no doctrinaire loopholes in the system. It is all-encompassing, and allows no exceptions to its rule. To be “saved” by Islam is to submit to it without reason and in every particular. Your “soul” is Allah’s to save or to condemn. 

Jihad Watch’s article lists several attributes prevalent in technologically and economically advanced Western and Westernized nations (the latter including India and Japan), but which are largely absent in any given islamic culture: an absence of personal responsibility, of innovation, of “devotion” to any idea or organization beyond family, tribe or clan, of equality of women and men in terms of politics and economics, of skilled labor, and of a “meritocracy.” Included in the list are a belief in magic and an obsession with conspiracies (against tribes, against Islam, and so on), but these will not be discussed here. 

The Jihad Watch article is correct and well-intentioned, but woefully lacking itself in explaining why the West has surpassed Islam. Without establishing the broader context of why and how innovation, “devotion,” skilled labor and so on exist in the West but not in Muslim culture, the list seems wholly arbitrary. One could easily substitute “honesty,” “diet” or “education” for any of the others, or simply add them to the list. 

“Innovation,” for example, requires not only the freedom to create and invent, but the desire to think. Capitalism fosters and rewards the freedom and the desire. Islam suffocates and punishes them. The article makes this odd statement about “meritocracy,” which is likely a euphemism for capitalism.

The West has thrived not only because they have learned to hold people responsible for their actions, but also they have learned to give out rewards based on individual achievement. Hence higher–performing individuals tend to be eventually in charge and reap the most rewards (in prestige, rank, money, etc.).

Who are “they” who are “giving out rewards” to individuals? And who are the “high-performing Individuals” who will eventually take charge and reap the most rewards? This could just as well be a description of a communist or fascist society, of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. Prestige, rank, and (legally looted) money are paramount values in collectivist societies, even in Islamic ones. If the author of the article is pro-capitalism, his choice of words is ill-considered. 

Linked to the “meritocracy” issue, although the author treats it as a separate issue, is “personal responsibility,” which he attributes solely to political leaders.

Muslim leaders often lie to or deceive their own people, to subordinates, or to allies in order to advance their own personal agendas. Remember that most Muslim countries are a patchwork of tribes who barely tolerate one another in the best of times. Loyalty to one’s country as a whole is next to non-existent. So, the main objective of these leaders, whether at the top, middle or bottom, is to steal as much as they can, while they can, in order to enrich themselves and their families, clans or tribes—'national interest’ be damned.

But personal responsibility is also a private, non-political characteristic, as well. One can take responsibility for an accomplishment as well as for an error in thinking or a disaster. Western politicians, however, are as notorious for lying to and deceiving their constituents as are their Muslim counterparts (the modus operandi of the current occupant of the White House). They are indemnified against lawsuits no matter how disastrous and destructive their policies are, and insulated from their consequences with hefty salaries and generous packages of fringe benefits (all paid for by productive, responsible taxpayers). If their policies produce the opposite of what they intend, they will blame external forces beyond their control or anyone’s comprehension. They cultivate “patchworks” of special interests – lobbies, or “tribes, if you will – and will advocate and enact progressive laws, propose burdensome regulations, and append pork barrel programs to other bills that are in fundamental conflict with the “national interest,” regardless of their oaths of office to uphold and defend the Constitution. Barney Frank and Harry Reid are not shaking in their boots. There are never untoward repercussions for them – only for the electorate. They are no better than any Arab sheik, general, or dictator when it comes to venality and theft. 

Again, the author of the article chose a poor example to demonstrate why the West differs from Islamic cultures. This is the trouble with purported conservative advocates of freedom, and that article exemplifies it: theirs is a disintegrated moral and political philosophy, akin to the asteroid belt that never coalesced into a planet. It is an itinerary of concretes that refer to ideas that just float in the space of their minds. 

More to the point of how stuck in an insurmountable rut Islam is, Daniel Greenfield’s article more closely examines the issue.

Racial and religious doctrinal purity does not equal omnipotence. And Islamic expansionism is due to relearn the same lesson that World War II meted out to the aggressors. The Caliphate and Third Reich are the vision of maniacs and demagogues trying to turn back the clock to a mythical past. Building castles in the sand by a bloody shore.

The obsessive petrodollar construction projects of Dubai have something of Albert Speer about them. Huge tasteless buildings constructed to show the grandeur of a regime, even while revealing its lack of taste and creativity. And its underlying insecurity. The Nazis’, Communists’ and now Muslims’ obsession with constructing gargantuan inhuman structures reveal some of the insecurity behind the violence. Giant concrete and steel security blankets by vicious men terrified of their own mortality.

Built also to demonstrate an efficacy that is founded on the fallacy of force. Greenfield’s thesis is that Islam must expand or perish. It cannot be content to rule over mere dime-a-dozen believers. It must conquer, loot, plunder, rape and murder. Raymond Ibrahim of the Middle East Forum features a story about just how necessary force and conquest are to the Islamic mind. 

On the one hand, Islam causes Muslims to be incurious and indifferent to life-affirming values. How many Muslim critics have written approvingly about a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, a Rachmaninoff concerto, an engineering marvel, or about an advance in medicine or technology? On the other hand, and at the same time, Islam encourages Muslims to be hostile to those values, hostile from an intractable envy, and envy that can morph into a desire to eradicate them. 

Islam fosters cultural, political, and economic stagnation because individualism is an anathema to it. An absence of freedom of speech inculcates minds that lack any measure of intellectual vigor in any realm of human action, whether in politics, science, or art. If one fears to say what is on one’s mind, even to oneself, nothing will happen. One treads water in a brackish pond of the unassailable given. That is the condition of most Muslims, who are locked in a stasis of their own making. They are alive, but, for all practical purposes, they are dead. Their cognitive faculties have atrophied. They become interchangeable ciphers. (I always cite the analogy of The Borg from Star Trek.)

Their only assurance or guarantee that the universe is reliable and knowable is to submit to pointless rituals and to accept the word of their moral “superiors” (imams, mullahs). They become immune to reason. They are incapable of valuing anything beyond the concrete aspects of their creed; they develop a seething hostility and hatred for anyone or anything that contradicts their unchallenged, unquestioned assumptions. Woe to any Muslim who violates the arbitrary diktats of Mohammed. Thus the killings, stonings, hangings, and so on. They become super-sensitive to any criticism of their beliefs, because the criticism is not only a threat to them, but also because criticism implies a world-view that is possible beyond their warped metaphysics and epistemology. It is an existence they have surrendered. Muslims are not capable of starting anything like the American Revolution; the so-called “Arab Spring” is fundamentally a hankering for a friendlier despot. 

Islam would indeed expire should it ever achieve the global caliphate its advocates boast is their end. Islam would act like a cancer; once it had debilitated and enveloped the host, it would perish with the host. That is because Islam is essentially a nihilist ideology. One can point to any Middle Eastern nation dominated by Islam and see a preview of a world governed by Islam – except that the ensuing and necessary poverty and misery would be global in nature, and not just regional. If there are skyscrapers in Dubai and some economic life in Egypt, it is only because a West exists that created those values. Emulation is not creativity. Like Soviet communism, it can only copy the achievements of the West, and poorly at that. If Islam denies men the right to think, to move, to challenge, to innovate, to risk, to live their own lives free from fear of retribution, then the reduction of men to thinking only about the next minute or next day, is all that can be achieved – or, universal destruction and a new dark age. 

One of the virtues of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is that, while it was written as a “prophetic satire,” it contains such a plentitude of truisms and perceptive observations that it is taken as a blueprint for successful totalitarianism. The world of Winston Smith, however, is impossible in reality. That is one of the bones I have to pick with the novel. As a feasible political stasis, the totalitarian state described by Orwell would not survive. It would not be industrial, or productive, or self-sustaining. One doesn’t choke off men’s capacity to think and act and expect them to continue producing steel, or medicine, or art. 

But there is one particular feature of it that stands out and which would guarantee the short-lived existence of such a political establishment. 

Much is made of “Newspeak,” the program devised by the totalitarians to stunt men’s minds by reducing the number of approved and politically-correct concepts available to men in their vocabulary, and in particular to the ruling Inner and Outer Party members. Its purpose is to render impossible any hint of rebellion, betrayal, or resistance within the Party. Such is Orwell’s respect for language that he even devotes an afterward to the subject. But if such a state were actually attained – with Party members communicating with each other by means of a deliberately emaciated lexicon of operative terms, they would be rendered helpless against the first men to reinvent the concepts. If all memory of standard concepts that we take for granted today was eradicated – nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, articles – and replaced with a suffocating, mind-stunting written and spoken jargon, no communication would be possible between the rulers and the ruled. 

Likewise, Islam must adhere to the approved lexicon that appears in the Koran andHadith (the latter the alleged canonical “sayings” of Mohammad, much like Mao’s Little Red Book of quotations), or perish. It cannot adopt new terms without admitting a flood of concepts alien to its intent which would simply adulterate and dissolve the doctrine. It cannot even attempt to redefine its most belligerent and aggressive terms without reducing its already primitive doctrine to certifiable gibberish and “speaking in tongues.” 

Any new terms must be Western terms, introduced to amend or qualify the brutish, criminal ones that characterize Islamic literature. Islam’s purists – the sheiks, the imams, the mullahs – can be likened to the Orwell’s Inner Party, which wields more power over rank-and-file Outer Party Muslims than it does over the infidels and dhimmis. They are the gimlet-eyed guardians of the Islamic lexicon as well as of the faith, for the purity of the faith depends wholly on the purity of its words. “It is written” is not merely a hubristic assertion of predestination; in Islamic metaphysics, Mohammad’s words are as real and unalterable as a rock. That is another cause of Islam’s viral stasis. And another reason why Islam cannot be reformed without killing it.

I agree with Greenfield that Islam must at some point disintegrate and self-destruct. But that may not happen until it has made too many inroads in a Western culture that denies its own exceptionalism, a culture that once upheld reason, individualism, and freedom as its distinctive and empowering virtues. Islam must first succeed in corrupting the spirit of its enemies before it rots itself. Islam is a parasite; it can make progress only by grace of the timidity of its adversaries and the mindless, obedient plain song of its billion-plus collect. It derives its strength from the weakness and cowardice and compromise of its enemies. If Islam succeeds in conquering the West, it can only die with it. The most rabid of its advocates know this. They are death worshippers. A Dark Age is the only cultural environment they will feel comfortable in. 

Islam is otherwise impotent. Contributing Editor Edward Cline is the author of a number of novels, and his essays, books, reviewsand other nonfiction have appeared in a number of high-profile periodicals.
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