Muslims to not comment and act on this is akin to criminal negligence of our beliefs!

So, I’m browsing the net at lunch and what do I read:

Santorum says Islam ‘not just something you do on Sunday’

Muslims, I have to be frank. We have got to confront the racists, ignorant, and bigots who support this satanic crap “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” on truth. I think it goes without saying who makes up the majority of their supporters, but if we just ignore these radical fanatics, we do more harm than good. How can we sit back and let lies like:

“While Christianity presents a humble, meek message emphasizing love, he said, Islam stemmed from the strong rule of the prophet Mohammed. “Every aspect of life was ruled.”

“Islam, unlike Christianity, is an all-encompassing ideology,” said Santorum, a Penn State alumnus. “It is not just something you do on Sunday…. We (as Americans) don’t get that.”

Come on now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sure as hell didn’t pick up a Bible yesterday and many African American Muslims grew up in the church. Jesus (pbuh) did teach humility, meekness, and PEACE. But Christians which Jesus (pbuh) was not, since they took Rome in the first centuries until today, overwhelming have killed, destroyed, colonized, and enslaved more people, nations, religions, etc. then any other hands down! The Dark Ages in of itself came as a result of strong rule! Give me a break. Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) didn’t strongly rule anybody! For the majority of his prophethood, he and the Muslims were attacked, killed, etc. When they finally won, not a drop of blood was spilled in Mecca. During those last years of his life, Islam flourished through trade and peace with others, including Jews and Christians who prayed at the Prophet’s mosque in Medina and were allowed in Mecca. Not to mention trade, give me a break.

Theologically speaking, Islam unlike Christianity is the ONLY all encompassing ideology between the two! Find me one verse in the Bible that remotely suggests that which the Quran does about other religions! Islam is the Only religion that recognizes the truth of other religions and their Prophets and goes as far as saying that Jews and Christians will go to heaven along with Muslims as long as they are pious.

I was a Christian and I know full well as Christians do, that their mantra is not all encompassing, but specifically, says that if you don’t accept their teachings you will go to hell.

Compare:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:16

-and-

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9 – 10

These are two “bedrock” verses upon which Christians establish their faith. They are not inclusive, but quite the opposite and display the truth, that many Christians believe doctrinally, that unless you believe in God the way they do, you will go to hell (although it’s not popular to say it that way these days in the public).

Now compare that with:

VERILY, those who have attained to faith in this divine writ (Muslims), as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians ALL who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. (Quran 2:62)

-and-

But as for those from among them who are deeply rooted in knowledge, and the believers who believe in that which has been bestowed upon thee from on high (Muslims) as well as that which was bestowed from on high before thee, (Christians, Jews, etc.) and those who are es­pecially constant in prayer, and spend in charity, and all who believe in God and the Last Day these it is unto whom We shall grant a mighty reward. (Quran 4:162)

-and-

True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance however much he himself may cherish it upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and truly pious are they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God. (Quran 2:177)

It is quite obvious from these verses in the Quran that it is Islam not Christianity that doctrinally (not to be confused with what actual people do) is all inclusive, as Islam teaches that many people will go to heaven and will be rewarded by God, not just Muslims, as God sets the criterion that one must believe in Him and live righteously. Islam doesn’t teach that one has to believe in a particular religion, prophet (pbut), nor any particular religious rite, etc.

Mission:

What needs to be done is we have to confront liars such as Rick Santorum who have an audience and call them on their blantant lies against Muslims and Islam. Let them back up their claims with scriptural and historical evidence. Truth stands clear from Falsehood.

Muslims we cannot allow this to continue. We don’t have to be violent or even be quick to anger, but we must be forthright with the truth in the face of falsehood and vie with one another in good deeds. The good deed of the moment: Send out press statements to counter their every claim, using reason, peace, scripture, and history. They made the statement, the burden of proof is on them. Once they are publically caught up in their lies then we have truly done something. Jihad of the pen is the only way!

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8 Comments

  1. Dear Robert,

    If your above post is anything like the press statements you’re suggesting to send out, I can assure you: it will not only not work, it will backfire.

    In many of your posts you criticize the attitude that you describe with the phrase: “if you read verse….in the Quran…it is easy to see why Muslims…” That’s all very logical and reasonable, I might even be inclined to call it ‘true’, but it doesn’t work, not even for me, who basically agrees with you.

    I was raised a Catholic. As you may know, Catholics are a small majority among Christians. When I read your: “I know full well as Christians do, that their mantra is not all encompassing, but specifically, says that if you don’t accept their teachings you will go to hell. Compare: (…) These are two “bedrock” verses upon which Christians establish their faith.” I can only laugh. If I were still a catholic, I’d believe in the truth of two religions: Judaism and christianity (three actually if you include Samaritans) and I would not only hold the view that pious muslims and Jews can go to heaven but everyone, even atheïsts. Catholics being what they are (orthodox too by the way) would not be very impressed by any loose bible verse, and I do know a few protestant ministers that are able to give you a fine quote proving the contrary.
    The way you treat and read the bible makes it quite obvious that you were raised in a protestant environment of a rather ‘litteral’ persuasion; the kind that gives some verses preferential treatment (‘bedrock verses’) over others. The kind that takes a bible and says: “if you read verse….in the Bible…it is easy to see why (we) Christians…”.

    That’s fine by me, I won’t argue with you: if that’s the way you want to write the bible, go ahead. Hell, you might even be right! There’s just this point: a fair majority of christians (catholics, orthodox and more ‘liberal’ protestants) will not be impressed by your bible quoting. Christians know full well what their religion entails, they don’t need a muslim (ex-christian or not) to tell them what they ‘actually’ believe or what their religion ‘really’ is. At best, this will be perceived as arrogance.

    Another thing will be perceived as hypocrisy: “When they finally won, not a drop of blood was spilled in Mecca.” Really? Would you bet your life on that?
    In my country Karen Armstrong –who has made this view popular in the west- was accused of being an outright liar. Because in fact ten people were on the death-list and five of those were actually executed. This is not a story brought into the world by biased media. It’s not something orientalists just blurted out. It’s not the view of any ignorant, hypocritical and wilfully ignoring the facts ‘Average American’. It was written down centuries ago in the oldest biography we have about Muhammad: ibn Hisham’s reworking of the biography by ibn Ishaq. They were both muslims.
    In class I regularly meet people who have done their research as you advocate. Contrary to what you seem to expect, their views on islam tend to be more negative the more research they do. That does not mirror your experience, which ultimately led to your conversion, but not all people are the same as you, nor do they think the same. I believe there’s actually a verse in the quran that presents this as a blessing.
    The point is: there’s an increasing number of people around that know more about islam than you think and that have integrated that knowledge into an informed opinion on it. That group of people is on the increase because muslims keep insisting on doing research into their religion before forming an opinion on it. My impression is that muslims expect this research will almost automatically lead to a more favourable view on islam. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opinions people hold after they’ve tried to inform themselves about islam differ widely. My impression is that the majority of these opinions is negative on islam and fairly neutral on muslims.
    Claiming ‘not a drop of blood was spilled’ when there’s just enough people around to accuse you of either lying or misrepresenting the facts is not doing a service to islam, especially when the oldest scources we have on the subject are on their side and were written by muslims.

    Press statements. I do think it’s a good idea, really. But please don’t do it as long as you haven’t learned to love thine enemy.

    Reply

  2. I just wanted to say “hi”. I found your website while doing a blog search on Muslims and Islam. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve linked to your site off my blog as it offers some insight into Islam and American Muslims. Why? Well, I’m in a course that is discussing English Travellers in the Middle East and thought it might be nice to balance the historical and modern day English Traveller accounts with a modern-day Muslim outlook. If you’d like me to remove the link, please let me know.

    Also, on the subject of your post, I would like to say I agree with you on many points. Wars have been fought over religion since the dawn of time. Although, I do think zealous followers of Christianity and Islam have perhaps been the most destructive.

    How can you think of Christianity as a religion of love and peace when Christians had Crusades that resulted in the death of thousands? Everytime somone brings up the threat of Islamic terrorist, this thought runs through my head. Mind you, I need to do a little research here for accurate numbers and data…the point is I know Christians have killed in the name of their religion, just as Muslims have in theirs.

    The problem is today’s focus on Muslims is not on the majority but the radical few. Stereotypes are built on media images and information. I think your argument here is to fight against broad statements that negatively represent a great majority. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Reply

  3. Thank you, and you can freely link to me. What my regular readers and those who know me can tell is that I truly have no negative feelings against Judaism or Christianity nor their adherents. Especially considering I was a staunch and dedicated adherent of latter at one point.

    My social critism and hap-hazzard sarcastic ramblings at times are done merely to illustrate the hypocrisy of those who don’t use an equal measuring stick in their judgement and analysis of others.

    If you will use one set of logic to define Islam as a religion, then the same set should be equally applied to another religion, less the logic is flawed.

    Reply

  4. What is your problem with “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”? You don’t like the speakers who make a clear distinction between Islam and Islamofascism? Would you rather non-Muslims thought of Islam as a monolith and blamed all Muslims for Islamofascist atrocities?

    Reply

  5. Dear Richard I do enjoy your comments on my blog, but there are some points that need to be clarified:

    “Dear Robert,

    If your above post is anything like the press statements you’re suggesting to send out, I can assure you: it will not only not work, it will backfire.”

    God forbid. My point was to illustrate the insanity of it all.

    “In many of your posts you criticize the attitude that you describe with the phrase: “if you read verse….in the Quran…it is easy to see why Muslims…” That’s all very logical and reasonable, I might even be inclined to call it ‘true’, but it doesn’t work, not even for me, who basically agrees with you.

    I was raised a Catholic. As you may know, Catholics are a small majority among Christians. When I read your: “I know full well as Christians do, that their mantra is not all encompassing, but specifically, says that if you don’t accept their teachings you will go to hell. Compare: (…) These are two “bedrock” verses upon which Christians establish their faith.” I can only laugh. If I were still a catholic, I’d believe in the truth of two religions: Judaism and christianity (three actually if you include Samaritans) and I would not only hold the view that pious muslims and Jews can go to heaven but everyone, even atheïsts. Catholics being what they are (orthodox too by the way) would not be very impressed by any loose bible verse, and I do know a few protestant ministers that are able to give you a fine quote proving the contrary.”

    Well I know that and your right, in fact I link to various Vatican/Papal statements about Islam that are very fair and balanced, which is why many Muslims the world over truly liked Pope John Paul II. I was primarily engaging those who utilize the Bible as I described, not every Christian, but coming from a Protestant tradition (which was obvious) I have found that many Christians on some level or another and especially those at this conference believe that unless you accept Jesus (pbuh) as Lord and Savior, yours is the dominion of the hellfire, no matter who you are. Therefore, I found it very comical that those of the mind set would define themselves as “all encompasing” when the texts they use to formulate their mindset is not only adverse to that statement, but compared to those of the religion (Islam) in which they are saying is not, is truly laughable. Obviously in a technical sense, biblically we would have to look at exegesis or Islamically Tafsir, to determine theological opinions, but on a cursory look of the surface as it relates to those of a particular mindset, if one was to use their “logic” and applied it across the board, we could see that scripturally they are in gross error as it relates to Islam.

    “The way you treat and read the bible makes it quite obvious that you were raised in a protestant environment of a rather ‘litteral’ persuasion; the kind that gives some verses preferential treatment (‘bedrock verses’) over others. The kind that takes a bible and says: “if you read verse….in the Bible…it is easy to see why (we) Christians…”.”

    Actually I wasn’t, my Grandfather has a doctorate in Theology and we were taught to examine and be critical, which is why I probably love religious studies so much. But as I learned and many know, not all Christians are raised as such nor can define terms such as synoptic, apocripha, exegete, etc. It is those people I am addressing, those at the conference and those of like mind. I know there are Christians out there that have sense and are believers, but these guys in my opinion are not cut from the same cloth. Even the Quran speaks of the true believers in Christianity who will be rewarded with Paradise alongside the believing Jews, Muslims, Sabians, and many others. Which is why I mock such a statement, because it is truly rare today to hear a Christian say Muslims and Jews will go to heaven, even if they don’t accept Jesus (pbuh) as Lord and Savior.

    “That’s fine by me, I won’t argue with you: if that’s the way you want to write the bible, go ahead. Hell, you might even be right! There’s just this point: a fair majority of christians (catholics, orthodox and more ‘liberal’ protestants) will not be impressed by your bible quoting. Christians know full well what their religion entails, they don’t need a muslim (ex-christian or not) to tell them what they ‘actually’ believe or what their religion ‘really’ is. At best, this will be perceived as arrogance.”

    Of course.

    “Another thing will be perceived as hypocrisy: “When they finally won, not a drop of blood was spilled in Mecca.” Really? Would you bet your life on that?

    In my country Karen Armstrong –who has made this view popular in the west- was accused of being an outright liar. Because in fact ten people were on the death-list and five of those were actually executed. This is not a story brought into the world by biased media. It’s not something orientalists just blurted out. It’s not the view of any ignorant, hypocritical and wilfully ignoring the facts ‘Average American’. It was written down centuries ago in the oldest biography we have about Muhammad: ibn Hisham’s reworking of the biography by ibn Ishaq. They were both muslims.

    In class I regularly meet people who have done their research as you advocate. Contrary to what you seem to expect, their views on islam tend to be more negative the more research they do. That does not mirror your experience, which ultimately led to your conversion, but not all people are the same as you, nor do they think the same. I believe there’s actually a verse in the quran that presents this as a blessing.”

    I would bet my life on it. I have yet to read any biography that is universally accepted that states this information. Please provide your sources if available it’s intriguing. Either way, I don’t believe my context is lost, even if 5 people died, which I doubt, it doesn’t make Muhammad (saw) the person they claim he was.

    “The point is: there’s an increasing number of people around that know more about islam than you think and that have integrated that knowledge into an informed opinion on it. That group of people is on the increase because muslims keep insisting on doing research into their religion before forming an opinion on it. My impression is that muslims expect this research will almost automatically lead to a more favourable view on islam. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opinions people hold after they’ve tried to inform themselves about islam differ widely. My impression is that the majority of these opinions is negative on islam and fairly neutral on muslims.
    Claiming ‘not a drop of blood was spilled’ when there’s just enough people around to accuse you of either lying or misrepresenting the facts is not doing a service to islam, especially when the oldest scources we have on the subject are on their side and were written by muslims.”

    I beg to differ. Unless one is atheist or unbalanced in their study of comparative religion, there I find it very difficult to find something so starkly repulsive or “negative” about Islam that is not found in other religions. But that’s where difference of opinion comes in and I would rather debate with one who dissents based on fact (s) than based on conjecture. I would rather debate why I disagree with this or that Tasfir or this or that scholar or historian and on what points, then to debate what Islam generally teaches when one has never even picked up the book!

    “Press statements. I do think it’s a good idea, really. But please don’t do it as long as you haven’t learned to love thine enemy.”

    My keywords were “in peace and reason”. Not to mention the Quran specifically says that we are not to let our dislike of a people cause us to act unjustly.

    Reply

  6. Nice try.

    Muslims Against Sharia Says:

    October 25, 2007 at 1:46 pm e

    What is your problem with “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”? You don’t like the speakers who make a clear distinction between Islam and Islamofascism? Would you rather non-Muslims thought of Islam as a monolith and blamed all Muslims for Islamofascist atrocities?

    My problem is that what you say and what is done is two different things. I personally don’t like the term “Islamofascism” but heh, it is what it is. If they truly wanted to distinguish between Muslims and terrorists, they would show how terrorists misuse the Quran and teach the truth about Islam as it is. But as Rick Santorum spoke it’s quite obvious what he and others think. His attack was against all of Islam and our Prophet (saw). He never said some Muslims believe this….but Islam teaches this…. I truly can’t see how your a Muslim and are not offended by one defaming Muhammad (saw) and Islam.

    Furthermore, “Muslims against Sharia?” So I guess now Allah’s (swt) guidance is irrelevant too? So you support an “awareness” week that defames the Prophet (saw), Lies against Islam, and your group believes God’s law(s) are irrelevant. How does that make you a Muslim?

    Reply

  7. “Which is why I mock such a statement, because it is truly rare today to hear a Christian say Muslims and Jews will go to heaven, even if they don’t accept Jesus (pbuh) as Lord and Savior.”
    I now realise that my comments are the comments of a European. Here it’s difficult to find a christian who’ll say muslims and Jews won’t go to heaven, for the sole reason of not believing Jesus is their Saviour or for any other reason. Those who do, are universally considered ‘somewhat’ to ‘seriously weird’.
    “Another thing will be perceived as hypocrisy: “When they finally won, not a drop of blood was spilled in Mecca.”
    – Really? Would you bet your life on that?
    “I would bet my life on it. I have yet to read any biography that is universally accepted that states this information. Please provide your sources if available it’s intriguing. Either way, I don’t believe my context is lost, even if 5 people died, which I doubt, it doesn’t make Muhammad (saw) the person they claim he was.”
    First point: In courses I tell my pupils that the contention ‘no drop of blood was spilled’ is factually false, but that those who say this, still do have a point. I tell them about the traditional three days of rape and plunder following the capture of a city. That this was a perfectly normal thing to happen and that the inhabitants of a captured city knew this. I tell them that this served a purpose in giving soldiers an extra scource of income (and stress-relief). I tell them that abstaining from plunder used to be subject to negociations on the conditions for surrender. I explain that blood may have been shed at the capture of Mecca, but that this was a very mild case compared to what Meccans what usually happened. My pupils will understand the capture of Mecca was relatively very peaceful. But that’s at a course, when they’re sitting down for an hour and listen because they’re curious. But we were talking press releases. I agree you’ve not lost your context, but you have lost your sole chance at making a good first impression. And that is what you need with a press release!
    Second point: There has never been a universally accepted bio and chances of that ever happening are growing slimmer by the day (hmm, oxymoron there…). I don’t think a bio needs to be universally accepted, why would it? The point is: it’s mentioned in the oldest texts we have, and that is a strong argument. It may not be decisive: there are good reasons for considering these texts unreliable and I’ve seen muslims use this argument in other cases (notably the last Jewish tribe in Medina). But I’m still talking press releases here. ‘No drop of blood was shed’ is a good soundbite, but it’s false and it will backfire. If you ask me, you’ll need something that takes into account two things: some blood was shed, but the capture of Mecca was relatively very peaceful; and that you shouldn’t believe the scources in this instance and why. That’s difficult as it is, even more in soundbite form.
    Third point: I’ll have to look this up in my library. I know I’ve read about the full list of ten people –and how they fared- in a book that is written in Dutch. The book is based on ibn Ishaq (ibn Hisham’s version). I might be able to find a reference to ibn Ishaq. Otherwise I’ll have to check a rather extended bio in English. I’ll get back to you on this.
    “I beg to differ. Unless one is atheist or unbalanced in their study of comparative religion, there I find it very difficult to find something so starkly repulsive or “negative” about Islam that is not found in other religions.”
    And again I realise my comment came from a European viewpoint. I get the impression that in America, the controversies are about islam vs. christianity, in that context your comments might work. In Europe (or at least the part that I come from: the north-west), this point would utterly fail, because the conflict is between religions in general and agnostics/atheists. It is not uncommon to find people here that hold religion in general to be the worst thing that happened to mankind. To make things difficult: even people that do have a religion often defend an atheist position in this regard.
    As to finding something starkly repulsive in islam that cannot be found in other religions: I can usually get my pupils to agree that religions as groups have been and are equally ‘good and bad’. But when it comes to founders, it’s different. Unless they’re muslims, people will make a distinction between Muhammad on the one side –assuming his biography as represented by the majority of muslims is more or less correct- and for example Buddha or Jesus –assuming the same- on the other. The only way I can make them reconsider that point is by seriously putting the reliability of our scources in doubt.
    “My keywords were “in peace and reason”. Not to mention the Quran specifically says that we are not to let our dislike of a people cause us to act unjustly.”
    I agree, but I also believe that’s not enough. I think if you want to successfully fight these people, you have to understand their motives and ways of thinking better than they themselves do. By that I don’t mean the way a psychologist understands them, that’s far too antagonistic, but the way an actor understands them: you have to be able to ‘become them’, without losing the ability to remain yourself. You have to be able to desire with their desires and long with their longings, so to say. That is the only workable definition of ‘love’ I’ve ever come across.

    Reply

  8. Ok, I promised I would get back to you.

    Unfortunately I do not own an English translation of ibn Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasul Allah” (only a Dutch one), so the next best English book that I can refer you to is Salahi, A. 1995, “Muhammad, man and prophet”, Shaftesbury (ISBN 1 86204 290 X). Of interest are the pages 578-583.

    Salahi is a former BBC journalist of Arab descent and a muslim. I recommend this biography to my pupils, but not because it’s good. It is a horrendous read, more of a hagiography than a biography and Salahi is openly anti-Semitic on occasion. But it has one advantage over all other biographies that I know: Salahi does not know how to limit himself in his use of hadith –sometimes he even quotes parts of the isnad- so every little detail can be found in his book. He gets his facts right and he’s got loads of them. A D- for composition, but an A+ for completeness.

    I have no doubt you can lay your hands on an English copy of ibn Ishaq and look up the chapters on the capture of Mecca. That would be best.

    As to the capture of Mecca I had some numbers wrong.

    Assuming muslim tradition has all the facts right, this would be what happened: muslims troops approached Mecca in four divisions from four different directions. One of these divisions encountered resistance, apparently by Meccans who disagreed with the (terms of) surrender negotiated by abu Sufyan. In the fighting some 20 Meccans died and two muslims.

    After the capture 10 people were on a list for execution. Five of these were pardoned (one by accident due to miscommunication) and the other five were supposed to be killed. Four of those were indeed killed but one managed to escape and we don’t hear about her ever again. I had forgotten about this last one and counted her among the dead.

    Reply

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