Friday, September 22, 2006

 

Dr. Aziz' responses to a few points on last night's show

I'll be putting together some thoughts on the show over the weekend. As those who listened heard, there were a few callers upset that Andy S. was even allowed to speak on KMUD - as if the station should have some litmus test of moral and political purity before being allowed to express opinions over its airwaves. Even the American left has its authoritarian streaks I'm afraid.

But Dr. Aziz wishes to make a few points, as follows:


1. I wish Mr. Stunich will give me the addresses of the various anti-Muslim web sites to which he wants me to respond. Downloading a whole lot of material and then uploading it muddies the discussion. The readers get lost and I am overwhelmed. Since he is attacking Islam for its doctrines and they are based upon the Quran (Hadith was collected more than a hundred years after Prophet's death, thus if a Hadith contradicts the Quran then it is a false Hadith) I request him to refer to one or two verses of the Quran which in his opinion are the reason for his claim. I shall provide him with my response. A short description of question answer sessions would be appreciated by the readers as well.

2. The reason I asked Mr. Stunich to let me know his belief system is that it will make him visible. I shall know the standard to which he can be held to. If he is a Christian I could hold him to the OT and the NT as standards of violence-related doctrines. If a Jew the standard could be the OT only and if a Hindu then Gita. Without having any standard one becomes the judge, the jury and the executioner. An invisible person wants to have an advantage- attack, attack and attack. He knows that he does not have to defend any thing. This is not considered an ethical strategy in any discussion. Still I respect his decision.

3. There is only one version of the Quran. It is unlike KJV, NRV, RV, and Catholic versions of Bible. Translations of the Quran are at least linguistically considered equivalent. The differences do occur in interpretations by various translators or sects. Therefore whether one follows the translation by Yusuf Ali or Khawja Farid it makes no difference. Interpretations do differ. It is just the same with the Jews and Christians. Protestants have discarded six books of OT found in the Catholic version because according to their interpretations they are not spiritually strong enough.

4. There is nothing wrong with mixing Meccan and Medinite chapters. They are words of God and hence must stand the truth of applicability given a certain situation. In Meccan chapters the emphasis is on the identification and worship of one God. Instructions regarding war are found mostly in Medinite chapters. There were armed encounters when the Prophet migrated to Medina but none in Mecca.

5. The idea that some of the verses of the Quran have been abrogated is a misinterpretation by many Muslim scholars. This idea according to some was the result of mass conversion of Christians to Islam in the early period.

Among Christians the concept of 'abrogation of some Biblical verses' existed. For example, first Jesus strictly prohibited his disciples from preaching his teachings to non-Jews but latter abrogated it and told the disciples to preach the Gospels to everybody including the non-Jews. (I do not believe this abrogation personally but it is not for me to interpret).

However, regarding the Quran I do not believe that any verse of the Quran was abrogated. All commandments that are context-constrained stand as applicable today as when revealed. What the verses 2:106 and 16:101 say is that God replaces the 'verses'. The word 'verses' refers to verses of the previous scriptures that were given to prior prophets. When the commands given in the earlier scriptures became inapplicable then God revealed new verses in the new scriptures. For example, the verse 'tooth for a tooth' in the OT was replaced by 'turn the other cheek' in the NT. Similar when turning the other cheek became inapplicable God revealed in the Quran that 'proportionate revenge was permissible' but 'better to forgive'.

6. Mrs Armstrong's saying that the word 'Jihad' means simply spiritual Jihad is literally correct. However, metaphorically the word has been applied to fighting a religious war. Since at this time there is no place on earth where Muslims are killed for simply practicing their religion, Jihad as a religious war is suspended at this time. If the situation changes and Muslims are attacked and killed simply for their religion then Jihad as a religious war becomes applicable again. For more information on Jihad please visit www.alislam.org.

7. The idea that the Meccan verses were mild and subdued as compared with the Medinite verses is not correct. Muhammad preached against the idolatry from day one of his ministry. This was the biggest affront to the Meccan idolaters. Anti-idolatry verses form the core of the earliest verses of the Quran. There are verses revealed during the last year of the Prophet's life that exhort Muslims to treat non-believer with justice, in spit of their enmity in the past.

8. I leave Mr. Stunich's claim that Chapters 8 and 9 of the Quran have nothing to do with war to the readers. They can read these chapters and decide.

9. Respect and good wishes, Mr. Stunich.


Some thoughts from Mr. Stunich about Dr. Aziz' comments and the radio show:

I wish to comment regarding some listeners’ responses to my presentation on Eric Kirk’s show. We should first realize that we all essentially agree on many key points. I believe we all agree that some Islamic fanatics are committing terrible atrocities in the name of Islam, but that most Muslims want peace and are not terrorists. The only point wherein I and some of my critics depart is that conventional wisdom teaches that the terrorists are twisting Islamic Doctrine to justify their conduct and I have determined that, while some of their conduct does twist Islamic doctrine (i.e., women jihadists, men under age of puberty participating in Jihad, babies on suicide flights, taking out Muslims in random attacks), that much of their conduct is well supported by core Islamic Doctrine as practiced by Muhammad and the early Muslim community. Given the multitude of undeniably violent passages from the Koran, violence advocated in sayings by Muhammad recorded in the hadiths, and early Islamic history wherein the early Muslim community undertook many conquests in the name of Allah, it seems inherently incredible to me that my views seem to be so far out on a limb to some people.

To be candid, the bigger mystery is how it is that so many can be so deceived by the obvious truth. The first successor to Muhammad, Abu Bakr, initiated unprovoked warfare to spread Islam by force. Do the Dr. Aziz’s of the world really contend that Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s closest friend with whom he hid in a cave during the Hijrah, did not understand Islam? I assure you that after hundreds of hours of study and analysis that he understood it perfectly well and that it is Dr. Aziz that preaches a new and improved version of Islam designed to better reach people with values that have changed since the seventh century.

In short, my position and the conventional wisdom of the listeners that reject my view are not that far apart and there is a plethora of objective support for my view all of which derives from early Islamic sources. Even further, given that I have repeatedly said that I am discussing core Islamic Doctrine and not Muslims as individuals, for some listeners to suggest that my views are immoral is nothing more than disguised attempts to stifle an opposing viewpoint.

It is also important to make sure that everyone knows what I am talking about when I say core Islamic Doctrine. The following primary sources contain all that is known about Muhammad and Islam. These sources constitute fundamental Islam: The Koran, which can only be understood by reading the following additional primary sources: Ibn Ishaq's biographical account of Muhammad, Tabari's history of Muhammad and his formation of Islam, the Hadith of Sahih al Bukhari and another hadith collector named Sahih Muslim. Anything else is an interpretation or a reformation of Islam.

I believe it is important to understand the true, deep-seated motivation of the Islamic terrorists as whether they are inspired by true Islamic Doctrine or simply false teachings has tremendous implications. False teachers have the impact of Jim Jones (People’s Temple) and, while horrific, his impact was limited. Conversely, Osama bin Laden has a devoted worldwide following and massive worldwide financial support that seems to defy even the overwhelming military power of the West. Conduct supported by the tenets of one of the world’s largest religion is more likely to defy resistence, endure, and spread - exactly what we are experiencing.

The stakes are also high. A Pakistani reporter alleges that Al Qaeda asserts it already has nuclear weapons within the U.S. borders. It may be a bluff and I hope it is with every ounce of my being. However, regardless of whether it is true, we know that is exactly what Al Qaeda wants. Every military leader from Napoleon to Sun Tsu has said that it is crucial to know one’s enemy.

I will now address Dr. Aziz’ comments.

Dr. Aziz states: “I wish Mr. Stunich will give me the addresses of the various anti-Muslim web sites to which he wants me to respond.”

I do not know what he is talking about here. I neither want nor expect him to address whatever web sites he is referring to. As I have said before, secondary opinions and sources will not help us narrow the debate. Islam is what it is based upon its core doctrines as revealed in primary sources and that is what we should debate.

Dr. Aziz states: “Downloading a whole lot of material and then uploading it muddies the discussion. The readers get lost and I am overwhelmed.”

I assume that Dr. Aziz is referring to the portions of history of Ibn Ishaq and William Muir that I injected into the debate. Since we were debating a historical event, the slaughter of the male Qurayza tribe, there is no better way to support one’s views than to quote the earliest and most trusted history of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq that has been accepted by Muslims and westerners alike for 1,400 years. Dr. Aziz has no rationalization for rejecting the history that Muslims have accepted for 1,400 years other than his realization that the history relates a great deal of material that will not appeal to prospective western converts to Islam and those following the debate.

With respect to my quote from William Muir, Dr. Aziz suggested him as an alternative to Ibn Ishaq, then when he realized that the history definitively disproved his position he tried to back away from his earlier support of William Muir’s work. Such embarrassing vacillations by Dr. Aziz help prove my case and discredit Dr. Aziz’ position. They reveal what should be obvious. He supports his position by faith based arguments. I support my position by actually educating people as to what constitutes core Islamic doctrine and how it came about. Dr. Aziz quotes a few of the lonely, peaceful sounding verses of the Koran and claims that they define Islam for all time, but offers no support from the Koran or hadiths to support his view. Conversely, I have carefully explained the seemingly contradictory nature of the Koran with facts that are beyond reasonable dispute.

Dr. Aziz next states: “Since he is attacking Islam for its doctrines and they are based upon the Quran (Hadith was collected more than a hundred years after Prophet's death, thus if a Hadith contradicts the Quran then it is a false Hadith) I request him to refer to one or two verses of the Quran which in his opinion are the reason for his claim.”

I am not attacking Islam. I am simply telling people what Islam is just as Muhammad did. True Muslims will neither fault me nor be ashamed because if they do not like or believe in true Islam, they should abandon it and not, in my view, attempt to reform an inherently flawed religion. As ironic and bizarre as it may seem, I am certain that Muhammad would reject Dr. Aziz’ version of Islam and order his followers to burn his church to the ground as heretical for altering Islam. I know this because of the hadiths authenticated by Bukhari.

Bukhari:V4B52N220 "Allah's Apostle said, `I have been made victorious with terror. The treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.'"


Bukhari:V9B88N174 "I heard the Prophet saying, `Islam cannot change!'"

Bukhari:V4B52N260 "The Prophet said, `If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.'"

Even the most horrific hadiths are well supported by the Koran. Compare Bukhari V8B82N795: “The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of 'Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died,” to Koran 5:33: "The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter."

If this is a religion of peace to you, then you simply have different values than I do.

In Muhammad’s view, Dr. Aziz has abandoned Islam by preaching a heretical interpretation of Islam and accepting new revelations and new messiahs when Muhammad said his revelation was the final revelation. Muhammad viewed such conduct as setting up rivals to Allah and here is what he said about such acts: Bukhari V8B82N802: “I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which is the biggest sin?" He said, "To set up rivals to Allah by worshipping others though He alone has created you." Muhammad also said: Bukhari:V9B88N174 "I heard the Prophet saying, `Islam cannot change!'" In Ibn Ishaq’s history of Muhammad, he records what Muhammad told his followers to do to a mosque that deviated from true Islam. He said burn it down and his followers did just that with the heretical Muslims inside. That is why fundamentalist Muslims have viciously persecuted Amhadis such as Dr. Aziz.

None of the hadiths that have been accepted by Islamic scholars contradict the Koran. One of the standards in accepting or rejecting hadiths was whether they support or contradict the Koran. The hadiths I cite do just that. They contradict Dr. Aziz’ version of Islam because he preaches a new and improved Islam, not real Islam. The top terrorists are very, very well educated and they know what real Islam is and those terrorists would laugh at Dr. Aziz’ version of Islam and, if they understood American culture well enough, they would call it Disneyland Islam for naive Americans.

The University of California’s Islamic website explains: “The Muslims are agreed that the Sunnah (hadiths record the Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the second of the two revealed fundamental sources of Islam, after the Glorious Qur'an. The authentic Sunnah is contained within the vast body of Hadith literature.” Since core Islamic Doctrine is not limited to a few verses from the Koran, Dr. Aziz’ request that “I request him (Andy) to refer to one or two verses of the Quran which in his opinion are the reason for his claim” is impossible for me to do. The basis for my opinion is core Islamic Doctrine which is not limited to a few verses. That Dr. Aziz errantly believes such a thing is possible explains why he errors.

In addition, Dr. Aziz once again wants to know my religion and once again I repeat that this is not about me. My religion is irrelevant as to what constitutes real Islam.

Dr. Aziz states that there is only one version of the Quran . . . whether one follows the translation by Yusuf Ali or Khawja Farid it makes no difference.”

I beg to differ. A translation sets forth the message originally written in Classical Arabic or it does not. To the extent that Khawja Farid alleges a different Koranic message from Yusuf Ali, whose interpretation is accepted and endorsed by CAIR, it is yet another new version of Islam and not the Islam Muhammad preached and practiced.

Dr. Aziz says: “There is nothing wrong with mixing Meccan and Medinite chapters. They are words of God and hence must stand the truth of applicability given a certain situation. In Meccan chapters the emphasis is on the identification and worship of one God. Instructions regarding war are found mostly in Medinite chapters. There were armed encounters when the Prophet migrated to Medina but none in Mecca.”

Here again, Dr. Aziz contradicts what has been accepted, traditional Islam for 1,400 years and the commands of the Koran itself that state: "When We substitute one revelation for another, - and God knows best what He reveals (in stages), - they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not." (Koran, chapter 16, verse 101) "None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that God Hath power over all things?" (Koran, chapter 2, verse 106)

Dr. Aziz is only correct to the extent that he seems to acknowledge that what face Islam shows the world depends on the circumstances in which the Islamic community finds itself.

Dr Aziz states: “The idea that some of the verses of the Quran have been abrogated is a misinterpretation by many Muslim scholars. This idea according to some was the result of mass conversion of Christians to Islam in the early period.”

If Dr. Aziz means that the Meccan verses remain to reveal how Islam is to be presented when Islam is not in a position of power, he is correct. If he means that the Meccan verses counteract the Medinan verses to spread Islam by force, he is plainly wrong as evidenced by the language of the Koran ("When We substitute one revelation for another . . .[Koran, chapter 16, verse 101]), the hadiths, and the history of early Islam.

Dr Aziz states: “Since at this time there is no place on earth where Muslims are killed for simply practicing their religion, Jihad as a religious war is suspended at this time.”

The Koran and hadiths contradict this interpretation in innumerable places as I have cited throughout this debate. Conversely, Dr. Aziz cites no verses, no hadiths, and no early Islamic history to support his view.

What part of the following portions of Islam does Dr. Aziz find ambiguous:

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.” (2:216)

Mohammed said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, and whoever says, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, his life and property will be saved by me." (Al Bukhari Vol. 4:196)

Mohammed's last words at his deathbed purportedly were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims as that was the practical application) out of the Arabian Peninsula." (Al Bukhari, Vol. 5:716)

Mohammed said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed). " (Al Bukhari, Vol. 1:35)

Mohammed once was asked: what was the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and His Apostle? His answer was: "To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause." (Al Bukhari Vol. 1: 25)

“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans [Idolaters or polytheists] wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Koran chapter 9, verse 5)

“Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle [Muhammad], nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Koran chapter 9, verse 29)

Followers of this debate should ask Dr. Aziz to cite the verses or hadiths that limit the foregoing commands to situations wherein Muslims are killed for their religion as he suggests.

Dr. Aziz states: “The idea that the Meccan verses were mild and subdued as compared with the Medinite verses is not correct. Muhammad preached against the idolatry from day one of his ministry. This was the biggest affront to the Meccan idolaters. Anti-idolatry verses form the core of the earliest verses of the Quran.”

I agree that Muhammad remained firm against idolatry, other than the Satanic verses incident, but that hardly explains the shift from “let there be no compulsion in religion” to “slay the pagans wherever you find them.”

Dr. Aziz states: “There are verses revealed during the last year of the Prophet's life that exhort Muslims to treat non-believer with justice, in spite of their enmity in the past.”

Dr. Aziz, please cite the verses for analysis. With no authority for your opinion, it hardly helps advance your case. It is undisputed that chapter nine was some of the last verses cited by Muhammad and it is very violent. Most important, Mohammed's last words at his deathbed purportedly were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims as that was the practical application) out of the Arabian Peninsula." (Al Bukhari, Vol. 5:716)

Is it justice to drive people out of their ancestral homeland because they chose to remain with their religion rather than accept Muhammad’s claim that he was God’s prophet? Most Americans reject that claim as well. Shall we be driven from our homes or forced to submit to Islam as Muhammad preached?

Dr. Aziz states: “I leave Mr. Stunich's claim that Chapters 8 and 9 of the Quran have nothing to do with war to the readers. They can read these chapters and decide.”

I say they have everything to do with war, but war was commanded to the Islamic faithful until the whole world submits to Islam. That is why the religion’s name means submission. Muslims believe that everyone must submit to Islam which they believe to be God’s will. There is no authority within real Islam to support Dr. Aziz’ opinion that the Sword Verses and supporting verses and hadith are limited to situations “where Muslims are killed for simply practicing their religion” as Dr. Aziz contends. The Koran and hadiths plainly show this opinion to be false.


Dr. Aziz responds:

1. Mr. Stunich, you are welcome to call in during my presentation.

2. Mr. Stunich, in one of his previous postings mentions specific verses of the Quran that are against human values (my interpretation). I shall answer three of those below and then continue later.

Stunich: There is no separation between church and state (2:193)

Response: Verse 2:193 explains that Muslims must continue to fight against aggressors until there is no persecution. Apparently the reference is incorrect. However, Islam does not say that the church and state must be amalgamated. Please tell me the correct reference and I shall respond.

Stunich: Fighting is prescribed for Muslims (2:216)

Response: In this verse Muslims are told that 'even though you do not like fighting but Allah prescribes it'. Now please go to the next verse 2:217 to find out as to who are those people against whom fighting is prescribed. Verse 2:217 lists them as: those who hinder men from reaching the Allah's mosque, who turn people out from there and also will not cease fighting until they turn back Muslims from their faith. (What would you do Andy?)

Stunich: Wives are fields to be used by their husbands as they desire (2:223).

Response: The complete verses is translated as follows: "Your wives are a (sort of) tilth for you; so approach your tilth when and as you like to send ahead (some good) for yourselves; and fear Allah and know that you shall meet Him; and bear good tidings to those who believe". (bracketed words added by the translator). This verse emphasizes that our women are blessed with the attribute of providing us progeny. A man ought to be a wise husbandman and select
the best seed (not be a druggy or an alcoholic), and choose the best time and manner for sowing it (have children at proper intervals).

It forces men to think of a caring treatment a woman needs during her pregnancy for the safety and well being of the mother and the fetus (metaphorically the land and the crop). Also the verse warns men to be mindful of their meeting with God where they would have to explain their treatment of their wives. (What could be a better way of describing the husband-wife relationship along with man's responsibilities?)

Dr. Aziz responds:

1. Mr. Stunich, you are welcome to call in during my presentation.

2. Mr. Stunich, in one of his previous postings mentions specific verses of the Quran that are against human values (my interpretation). I shall answer three of those below and then continue later.

Stunich: There is no separation between church and state (2:193)

Response: Verse 2:193 explains that Muslims must continue to fight against aggressors until there is no persecution. Apparently the reference is incorrect. However, Islam does not say that the church and state must be amalgamated. Please tell me the correct reference and I shall respond.

Stunich: Fighting is prescribed for Muslims (2:216)

Response: In this verse Muslims are told that 'even though you do not like fighting but Allah prescribes it'. Now please go to the next verse 2:217 to find out as to who are those people against whom fighting is prescribed. Verse 2:217 lists them as: those who hinder men from reaching the Allah's mosque, who turn people out from there and also will not cease fighting until they turn back Muslims from their faith. (What would you do Andy?)

Stunich: Wives are fields to be used by their husbands as they desire (2:223).

Response: The complete verses is translated as follows: "Your wives are a (sort of) tilth for you; so approach your tilth when and as you like to send ahead (some good) for yourselves; and fear Allah and know that you shall meet Him; and bear good tidings to those who believe". (bracketed words added by the translator). This verse emphasizes that our women are blessed with the attribute of providing us progeny. A man ought to be a wise husbandman and select
the best seed (not be a druggy or an alcoholic), and choose the best time and manner for sowing it (have children at proper intervals).

It forces men to think of a caring treatment a woman needs during her pregnancy for the safety and well being of the mother and the fetus (metaphorically the land and the crop). Also the verse warns men to be mindful of their meeting with God where they would have to explain their treatment of their wives. (What could be a better way of describing the husband-wife relationship along with man's responsibilities?)

Mr. Stunich comments - not necessarily in response to the immediate above. They crossed in the online ether.


Eric, this debate seems to be drawing to a close. I have one last submission for your readers. I wanted to explain how I view Muhammad and Islam. The two are inextricably intertwined in my view. I thought of spending hours writing and summarizing my view for the few followers who may have followed this debate to the end. However, I realized that both Dr. Aziz and I have said that we hold William Muir's work in high regard. Since the copyright on his work expired long ago, I offer his conclusion as my conclusion because, while I could modernize the language, I could never equal his objectivity and depth of understanding. It is not so long of a passage as to frighten away the interested and the passage is virtually Islam and Muhammad in a nutshell. I have deleted some of the less interesting portions, such as Muhammad's appearance, for brevity.
For those who continue to believe in Islam, I beg you, for the sake of all mankind, to emulate the Prophet of Mecca and not the Prince of Medina. In that distinction of Muhammad's character, we see most amply the pitfall of joining religious and political authority. Even Christianity, with Jesus' perfect example of unbridled peace toward others, fell into grievous error when political and religious power were combined.

THE BIOGRAPHY OF MAHOMET, AND RISE OF ISLAM.
CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVENTH.

The Person and Character of Mahomet. General review of Mahomet's character

IT may be expected that before bringing this work to a close, I should gather into one review the chief character traits in the character of Mahomet, which at different stages of his life, and from various points of view, have in the course of the history been presented to the reader, This I will now briefly attempt.

. . .

Simplicity of his life

A patriarchal simplicity pervaded his life. custom was to do every thing for himself. If he gave an alms he would place it with his own hand in that of the petitioner. He aided his wives in their household duties; he mended his own clothes; he tied up the goats; he even cobbled his sandals. His ordinary dress consisted of plain white cotton stuff; but on high and festive occasions, he wore garments of fine linen, striped or dyed in red. He never reclined at meals. He ate with his fingers; and when he had finished, he would lick them before he wiped his hands. The indulgences to which he was most addicted were "Women, scents, and food." In the first two of these, Ayesha tells us, he had his heart's desire; but when she adds that he was straitened in the third, we can only attribute the saying to the vivid contrast between the frugal habits prevalent at the rise of Islam, and the luxurious living which rapidly followed in the wake of conquest and prosperity. Mahomet, with his wives, lived in a row of low and homely cottages built of unbaked bricks; the apartments were separated by walls of palm branches rudely daubed with mud; curtains of leather, or of black hair-cloth, supplied the place of doors and windows. His abode was to all easy of access,- "even as the river's bank to him that draweth water therefrom." Yet we have seen that he maintained the state and dignity of real power. No approach was suffered to familiarity of action or of speech. The Prophet must be addressed in subdued accents and in a reverential style. His word was absolute. His bidding was law.

Urbanity and kindness of disposition

A remarkable feature was the urbanity and consideration with which Mahomet treated even the most insignificant of his followers. Modesty and kindness, patience, self-denial, and generosity, pervaded his conduct, and rivetted the affections of all around him. He disliked to say No; if unable to reply to a petitioner in the affirmative, he preferred to remain silent. "He was more bashful," says Ayesha, "than a veiled virgin; and if anything displeased him, it was rather from his face, than by his words, that we discovered it; he never smote any one but in the service of the Lord, not even a woman or a servant." He was not known ever to refuse an invitation to the house even of the meanest, nor to decline a proffered present however small. When seated by a friend, "he did not haughtily advance his knees towards him." He possessed the rare faculty of making each individual in a company think that he was the most favoured guest. When he met any one rejoicing. he would seize him eagerly and cordially by the hand. With the bereaved and afflicted he sympathized tenderly. Gentle and unbending towards little children, he would not disdain to accost a group of them at play with the salutation of peace. He shared his food, even in times of scarcity, with others; and was sedulously solicitous for the personal comfort of every one about him. A kindly and benevolent disposition pervades all these illustrations of his character.

Friendship

Mahomet was also a faithful friend. He loved Abu Bakr with the romantic affection of a brother; Ali, with the fond partiality of a father. Zeid, the the Christian slave of Khadija, was so strongly attached by the kindness of Mahomet, who adopted him, that he preferred to remain at Mecca rather than return to his home with his own father: "I will not leave thee;' said he, clinging to his patron "for thou hast been a father and a mother to me." The friendship of Mahomet survived the death of Zeid, whose son, Osama, was treated by him with distinguished favour for his father's sake. Othman and Omar were also the objects of a special attachment; and the enthusiasm with which the Prophet, at Hodeibia, entered into "the Pledge or the Tree" and swore that he would defend his beleaguered son-in-law with his last breath, was a signal proof of faithful friendship. Numerous other instances of Mahomet's ardent and unwavering regard might be adduced. And his affections were in no instance misplaced; they were ever reciprocated by a warm and self sacrificing love.

Moderation and magnanimity

In the exercise at home of a power absolutely dictatorial, Mahomet was just and temperate. Nor was he wanting in moderation towards his enemies, when once they had cheerfully submitted to his claims. The long and obstinate struggle against his pretensions maintained by the inhabitants of his native city, might have induced a haughty tyrant to mark his indignation in indelible traces of fire and blood. But Mahomet, excepting a few criminals, granted an universal pardon ; and, nobly casting into oblivion the memory of the past, with all its mockings, its affronts, and persecutions, he treated even the foremost of his opponents with a gracious and even friendly consideration. Not less marked was the forbearance shewn to Abdallah and the disaffected party at Medina, who for so many years persistently thwarted his schemes and resisted his authority; nor the clemency with which he received the submissive advances of the most hostile tribes; even in the hour of victory.


Cruelty towards his enemies

But the darker shades of character, as well as the brighter, must be depicted by a faithful historian. Magnanimity or moderation are nowhere discernible as features in the conduct of Mahomet towards such of his enemies as failed to tender a timely allegiance. Over the bodies of the Coreish who fell at Badr, he exulted with savage satisfaction; and several prisoners,-accused of no crime but that of scepticism and political opposition,-were deliberately executed at his command. The Prince of Kheibar, after being subjected to inhuman torture for the purpose of discovering the treasures of his tribe, was, with his cousin, put to death on the pretext of having treacherously concealed them: and his wife was led away captive to the tent of the conqueror. Sentence of exile was enforced by Mahomet with rigorous severity on two whole Jewish tribes at Medina; and of a third, likewise his neighbours, the women and children were sold into distant captivity, while the men, amounting to several hundreds, were butchered in cold blood before his eyes.

Craftiness and perfidy

In his youth Mahomet earned amongst his fellows the honourable title of "the Faithful." But in later years however much sincerity and good faith may have guided his conduct in respect of his friends, craft and deception were certainly not wanting towards his foes. The perfidious attack at Nakhla, where the first blood in the internecine war with the Coreish was shed, although at first disavowed by Mahomet for its scandalous breach of the sacred usages of Arabia, was eventually justified by a pretended revelation. Abu Basir, the freebooter, was countenanced by the prophet in a manner scarcely consistent with the letter, and certainly opposed to the spirit, of the truce of Hodeibia. The surprise which secured the easy conquest of Mecca, was designed with craftiness if not with duplicity. The pretext on which the Bani Nadhir were besieged and expatiated (namely, that Gabriel had revealed their design against the Prophet's life,) was feeble aud unworthy of an honest cause. When Medina was beleagured by the confederate army, Mahomet sought the services of Nueim, a traitor, and employed him to sow distrust among the enemy by false and treacherous reports; "for," said he, "what else is War but a game at deception?" In his prophetical career, political and personal ends were frequently compassed by the flagrant pretence of Divine revelations, which a candid examination would have shewn him to be nothing more than the counterpart of his own wishes. The Jewish and Christian systems, at first adopted honestly as the basis of his own religion, had no sooner served the purpose of establishing a firm authority, than they were ignored if not disowned. And what is perhaps worst of all, the dastardly assassination of political and religious opponents, countenanced and frequently directed as they were in all their cruel and perfidious details by Mahomet himself leaves a dark and indelible blot upon his character.

Domestic life; polygamy

In domestic life the conduct of Mahomet, with one grave exception, was exemplary. As a husband his fondness and devotion were entire, bordering, however, at times, upon jealousy. As a father he was loving and tender. In his youth he is said to have lived a virtuous life. At the age of twenty five he married a widow forty years old: and for five-and-twenty years he was a faithful husband to her alone. Yet it is remarkable that during this period were composed most of those passages of the Coran in which the black-eyed Houris, reserved for believers in Paradise, are depicted in such glowing colours. Shortly after the death of Khadija, the Prophet married again; but it was not till the mature age of fifty-four that he made the dangerous trial of polygamy, by taking Ayesha, yet a child, as the rival of Sauda. Once the natural limits of restraint were overpassed, Mahomet fell an easy prey to his strong passion for the sex. In his fifty- sixth year he married Haphsa; and the following year, in two succeeding months, Zeinab bint Khozeima, and Omm Salma. But his desires were not to be satisfied by the range of a harem already greater than was permitted to any of his followers; rather, as age advanced, they were stimulated to seek for new and varied indulgence. A few months after his nuptials with Zeinab and Omm Salma, the charms of a second Zeinab were by accident discovered too fully before the Prophet's admiring gaze. She was the wife of Zeid, his adopted son and bosom friend; but he was unable to smother the flame she had kindled in his breast; and, by divine command she was taken to his bed. In the same year he married a seventh wife, and also a concubine. And at last, when he was full threescore years of age, no fewer than three new wives, besides Mary the Coptic slave, were within the space of seven months added to his already well filled harem. The bare recital of these facts may justify the saying of Ibn Abba,- "Verily the chiefest among the Moslems (meaning Mahomet) was the foremost of them in his passion for women;"a fatal example imitated too readily by his followers, who adopt the Prince of Medina, rather than the Prophet of Mecca, for their pattern.

Thus the social and domestic life of Mahomet, fairly and impartially viewed, is seen to be chequered by light and shade. While there is much to form the subject of nearly unqualified praise, there is likewise much which cannot be spoken of but in terms of severe reprobation.

Conviction of a special providence

Proceeding now to consider the religious and prophetical character of Mahomet, the first point which strikes the biographer, is his constant and vivid sense of an all pervading special providence. This conviction moulded his thoughts and designs, from the minutest actions in private and social life to the grand conception that he was destined to be the Reformer of his people and of the whole world. He never entered a company "but he sat down and rose up with the mention of the Lord." When the first fruits of the season were brought to him, he would kiss them, place them upon his eyes and say, - "Lord as thou hast shown us the first, show unto us likewise the last." In trouble and affliction, as well as in joy and prosperity, he ever saw and humbly acknowledged the hand of God. A fixed persuasion that every incident, small and great, was ordered by the divine will, led to the strong expressions of predestination which abound in the Coran. It was the Lord who turned the hearts of mankind: and alike faith in the believer, and unbelief belief in the infidel, were the result of the Divine fiat. The hour and place of every man's death, as all other events in his life, were established by the same decree; and the timid believer might in vain seek to avert the stroke by shunning the field of battle. But this persuasion was far removed from the belief in a blind and inexorable fate; for Mahomet held the progress of events in the divine hand to be amenable to the influence of prayer. He was not slow to attribute the conversion of a scoffer like Omar, or the removal of an impending misfortune, as when Medina "was delivered from the confederated hosts, to the effect of his own earnest petitions to the Lord. On the other hand Mahomet was not altogether devoid of superstition. He feared to sit down in a dark place until a lamp had been lighted; and his apprehensions were sometimes raised by the wind and clouds. He would fetch prognostications from the manner in which a sword was drawn from its scabbard.1 A special virtue was attributed to being cupped an even number of times, and on a certain day of the week and month. He was also guided by omens drawn from dreams: but these perhaps were regarded by him as intimations of the divine will.

Mahomet's conflict at Mecca: his unwavering stedfastness.

The growth in the mind of Mahomet of the conviction that he was appointed to be a Prophet and a Reformer, was intimately connected with his belief in a special providence, embracing as well as the spiritual the material world: and simultaneously with that conviction there arose an implicit confidence that the Almighty would crown his mission with success. The questionings and aspirations of his inner soul were regarded by him as proceeding directly from God; the light which gradually illuminated his mind with a knowledge of the divine unity and perfections, and of the duties and destiny of man,---- light amidst gross darkness,---- must have emanated from the same source; and he who in his own good pleasure had thus begun the work would surely carry it to an end. What was, Mahomet himself but a simple instrument in the hand of the great Worker? It was this belief which strengthened him, alone and unsupported, to brave for many weary years the taunts and persecutions of a whole people. In estimating the signal moral courage thus displayed by him, it must not be overlooked that for what is ordinarily termed physical courage Mahomet was not remarkable. It may be doubted whether he ever engaged personally in active conflict on the battle field: though he accompanied his forces, he never himself led them into action, or exposed his person to unavoidable danger. And there were occasions on which (as when challenged by Abdallah to spare the Bani Cainucaa, alarmed by the altercation at the wells of Moraisi, or pressed by the mob at Jierrana,) he showed symptoms of a faint heart.1 Yet even if this be admitted, it only brings out in higher relief the singular display of moral daring. Let us for a moment look back to the period when a ban was proclaimed at Mecca against all the citizens, whether professed converts or not, who espoused his cause; when they were shut up in the Sheb or quarter of Abu Talib, and there, for three years without prospect of relief, endured want and hardship. Those must have been stedfast and mighty motives which enabled him, amidst all this opposition and apparent hopelessness of success, to maintain his principles unshaken. No sooner was, he released from confinement, than, despairing of his native city, he went forth to Tayif and summoned its rulers and inhabitants to repentance; he was solitary and unaided, but he had a message, he said, from his Lord. On the third day he was driven out of the town with ignominy, blood trickling from the wounds inflicted on him by the populace. He retired to a little distance, and there poured forth his complaint to God: then he returned to Mecca, there to carry on the same outwardly hopeless cause, with the same high confidence in its ultimate success. We search in vain through the pages of profane history for a parallel to the struggle in which for thirteen years the Prophet of Arabia, in the face of discouragement and threats, rejection and persecution, retained his faith unwavering, preached repentance, and denounced God's wrath against his godless fellow citizens. Surrounded by a little band of faithful men and women, he met insults, menace, danger, with a high and patient trust in the future. And when at last the promise of safety came from a distant quarter, he calmly waited until his followers had all departed, and then disappeared from amongst his ungrateful and rebellious people.

And at Medina

Not less marked was the firm front and unchanging faith in eventual victory, which at Medina bore him through seven years of mortal conflict with his native city; and enabled him while his influence and authority were yet very limited and precarious even in the city of his adoption, to speak and to act in the constant and undoubted expectation of entire success.

Denunciation of polytheism and idolatry

From the earliest period of his religious convictions, the idea of ONE great Being who guides with almighty power and wisdom the whole creation, while yet remaining infinitely above it, gained a thorough possession of his mind. Polytheism and idolatry, being utterly at variance with this first principle of his belief, were condemned with abhorrence as levelling the Creator with the creature. On one occasion alone did Mahomet ever swerve from this position,- when he admitted that the goddesses of Mecca might be adored as a medium of approach to God. But the inconsistency of the admission was soon perceived; and Mahomet at once retraced his steps. Never before nor afterwards did the Prophet deviate from the stein denunciation of idolatry.

Earnestness and honesty of Mahomet at Mecca

As he was himself the subject of convictions so deep and powerful, it will readily be conceived that the exhortations of Mahomet were distinguished by a corresponding strength and urgency. Being also a master in eloquence, his language was cast in the purest and most persuasive style of Arabian oratory. His fine poetical genius exhausted the imagery of nature in the illustration of spiritual truths; and a vivid imagination enabled him to bring before his auditory the Resurrection and the Day of Judgment, the joys of believers in Paradise, and the agonies of lost spirits in hell, as close and impending realities. In ordinary address, his speech was slow, distinct, and emphatic; but when he preached, "his eye would redden, his voice rise high and loud, and his whole frame become agitated with passion, even as if he were warning the people of an enemy about to fall on them the next morning or that very night." In this thorough earnestness lay the secret of his success. And if these stirring appeals had been given forth as nothing more than what they really were,- the outgoings of a warm and active conviction, they would have afforded no ground for cavil; or, if you will, let him have represented his appeals as the teaching of a soul guided by natural inspiration, or even enlightened by divine influence, - such a course would still have been nothing more than that trodden by many a sincere, though it may be erring, philanthropist in other ages and in other lands. But in the development of his system, the claims of Mahomet to inspiration far transcended any one of these assumptions. His inspiration was essentially oracular. His mind and his lips were no more than a passive organ which received and transmitted the heavenly message. His revelations were not the fruit of a subjective process in which a soul, burning with divine life and truth, seeks to impress the stamp of its own convictions on all those around; the process, on the contrary, was one which Mahomet professed to be entirely external to himself, and independent of his own reasoning and will. The words of inspiration, whether purporting to be a portion of the Coran, or a message for general guidance, were produced as a real and objective intimation, conveyed in a distinct form by the Almighty, or through the angel Gabriel, his messenger. Such was the position assumed by Mahomet. How far it was fostered by epileptic and apparently supernatural paroxysms (which do not however come prominently to view at least in the later stages of his career) or by similar physiological phenomena, it is impossible to determine. We may readily admit, that at the first Mahomet did believe, or persuaded himself to believe, that his revelations were dictated by a divine agency. In the Meccan period of his life there certainly can be traced no personal ends or unworthy motives to belie this conclusion. The Prophet was there, what he professed to be, "a simple Preacher and a Warner;" ne was the despised and rejected teacher of a gainsaying people; and he had apparently no ulterior object but their reformation. Mahomet may have mistaken the right means for effecting this end, but there is no sufficient reason for doubting that he used those means in good faith and with an honest purpose.

At Medina worldly motives mingle with his spiritual objects

But the scene altogether changes at Medina. There the acquisition of temporal power, aggrandisement, and self-glorification, mingled with the grand object of the Prophet's previous life; and they were sought after and attained by precisely the same instrumentality. Messages from heaven were freely brought forward to justify his political conduct, equally with his religious precepts. Battles were fought, wholesale executions inflicted, and territories annexed, under pretext of the Almighty's sanction. Nay, even baser actions were not only excused, but encouraged, by the pretended divine approval or command. A special license was produced, allowing Mahomet a double number of wives; the discreditable affair with Mary the Coptic slave was justified in a separate Sura; and the passion for the wife of his own adopted son and bosom friend, was the subject of an inspired message in which the Prophet's scruples were rebuked by God, a divorce permitted, and marriage with the object of his unhallowed desires enjoined! If we say that such revelations" were believed by Mahomet sincerely to bear the divine sanction, it can be but in it very modified and peculiar sense. He was not only responsible for that belief, but, in arriving at any such conviction, he must have done violence to his judgment and to the better principles of his nature.

Rapid moral declension: the natural consequences

As the necessary result of this moral obliquity, we trace from the period of Mahomet's arrival at Medina a marked and rapid declension in the system he inculcated. Intolerance quickly took the place of freedom; force, of persuasion. The spiritual weapons designed at first for higher objects were no sooner prostituted to the purposes of temporal authority, than temporal authority was employed to impart a fictitious weight and power to those spiritual weapons. The name of the Almighty, impiously borrowed, imparted a terrible strength to the sword of the State; and the sword of the State, in its turn, yielded a willing requital by destroying "the enemies of God," and sacrificing them at the shrine of a false religion. "Slay the unbelievers wheresoever ye find them;" was now the watchword of Islam "Fight in the ways of God until opposition be crushed and the Religion becometh the Lord's alone!" The warm and earnest devotion breathed by the Prophet and his followers at Mecca, soon became at Medina dull and vapid; it degenerated into a fierce fanaticism, or evaporated in a lifeless round of cold and formal ceremonies. The Jewish faith, whose pure fountains were freely accessible to Mahomet, as well as the less familiar system of Christianity, in spite of former protestations of faith and allegiance, were both cast aside without hesitation and without inquiry; for the course on which he had entered was too profitable and too enticing to permit the exercise of any such nice research or close questioning as (perhaps he unconsciously felt) might have opened his eyes to the truth, and forced him either to retrace his steps, or to unveil himself before his own conscience in the fearful form of an impostor. To what other conclusion can we come than that he was delivered over to the judicial blindness of a sell deceived heart; that, having voluntarily shut his eyes against the light, he was left miserably to grope in the darkness of his own choosing.

Benefits of Mahometanism

And what have been the effects of the system which, established by such instrumentality, Mahomet has left behind him? We may freely concede that it banished for ever many of the darker elements of superstition which had for ages shrouded the Peninsula. Idolatry vanished before the battle-cry of Islam; the doctrine of the unity and infinite perfections of God, and of a special all-pervading Providence, became a living principle in the hearts and lives of the followers of Mahomet, even as it had in his own. An absolute surrender and submission to the divine will (the very name of Islam) was demanded as the first requirement of the religion. Nor are social virtues wanting. Brotherly love is inculcated within the circle of the faith; orphans are to be protected, and slaves treated with consideration; intoxicating drinks are prohibited, and Mahometanism may boast of a degree of temperance unknown to any other creed.


Yet these benefits have been purchased at a costly price. Setting aside considerations of minor import, three radical evils flow from the faith, in all ages and in every country, and must continue to flow so long as the Coran in the standard of belief. FIRST: Polygamy, Divorce, and Slavery, are maintained and perpetuated ;- striking as they do at the root of public morals, poisoning domestic life, and disorganizing society. SECOND: freedom of judgment in religion is crushed and annihilated. The sword is the inevitable penalty for the denial of Islam. Toleration is unknown. THIRD: a barrier has been interposed against the reception of Christianity. They labour under a miserable delusion who suppose that Mahometanism paves the way for a purer faith. No system could have been devised with more consummate skill for shutting out the nations over which it has sway, from the light of truth. Idolatrous Arabia (judging from the analogy of other nations) might have been aroused to spiritual life, and to the adoption of the faith of Jesus; Mahometan Arabia is, to the human eye, sealed against the benign influences of the Gospel. Many a flourishing land in Africa and in Asia which once rejoiced in the light and liberty of Christianity, is now overspread by gross darkness and a stubborn barbarism. It is as if their day of grace had come and gone, and there remained to them "no more sacrifice for sins." That a brighter day will yet dawn on these countries we may not doubt; but the history of the past and the condition of the present is not the less true and sad. The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran, are the most fatal enemies of Civilization, Liberty, and Truth, which the world has yet known.

Inconsistencies run through the character of Mahomet

In conclusion, I would warn the reader against seeking to portray in his mind a character in all of Mahomet, its parts consistent with itself as the character of Mahomet. The truth is that the strangest inconsistencies blended together according to the wont of human nature) throughout the life of the Prophet. The student of the history will trace for himself how the pure and lofty aspirations of Mahomet were first tinged, and then gradually debased by a half unconscious self-deception; and how in this process truth merged into falsehood, sincerity into guile, - these opposite principles often co-existing even as active agencies in his conduct. The reader will observe that simultaneously with the anxious desire to extinguish idolatry, and to promote religion and virtue in the world, there was nurtured by the Prophet in his own heart, a licentious self-indulgence; till in the end, assuming to be the favourite of Heaven, he justified himself by "revelations" from God in the most flagrant breaches of morality. He will remark that while Mahomet cherished a kind and tender disposition, "weeping with them that wept," and binding to his person the hearts of his followers by the ready and self-denying offices of love and friendship, he could yet take pleasure in cruel and perfidious assassination, could gloat over the massacre of an entire tribe, and savagely consign the innocent babe to the fires of hell. Inconsistencies such as these continually present themselves from the period of Mahomet's arrival at Medina; and it is by the study of these inconsistencies that his character must be rightly comprehended. The key to many difficulties of this description may be found, I believe, in the chapter "on the belief of Mahomet in his own inspiration." when once he had dared to forge the name of the Most High God as the seal and authority of his own words and actions, the germ was laid from which the errors of his after life freely and fatally developed themselves.

I might have extended these remarks (had they not already exceeded the limits intended for them) to an examination of the doctrines and teaching of Mahomet as exhibited in the Coran. That volume, as I have before observed, does not contain any abstract or systematic code. It grew out of the incidents and objects of the day; and the best mode of ascertaining its purport and its bearing, is not to draw into one uniform system its various lessons and dogmas, liable as they were (excepting in one or two fundamental points) from time to time to differ;


Conclusion.

but to trace the development of its successive precepts and doctrines in connection with the several stages of the Prophet's life, and the motives from which he may be supposed at the moment to have acted. This with reference to some of its main doctrines and institutions, I have sought in the course of the foregoing pages to do.

MAHOMET and the CORAN, the author of Islam and the instrument by which he achieved its success, are themes worthy the earnest attention of mankind. If I have to any degree succeeded in contributing fresh materials towards the formation of a correct judgment of either, many hours of study, snatched not without difficulty from other engrossing avocations, will have secured an ample recompense.

Note: Dr. Aziz notes to me by e-mail that his message was truncated. When I get home tonight to access the e-mail I will post the remainder of the message. (EVK)


Dr. Aziz' comment re husbands and wives (left out of last night's comment accidently)

Stunich: Wives are fields to be used by their husbands as they desire
(2:223).
Response: The complete verses is translated as follows: "Your wives
are a (sort of) tilth for you; so approach your tilth when and as
you like to send ahead (some good) for yourselves; and fear Allah
and know that you shall meet Him; and bear good tidings to those who
believe". (bracketed words added by the translator). This verse
emphasizes that our women are blessed with the attribute of
providing us progeny. A man ought to be a wise husbandman and select
the best seed (not be a druggy or an alcoholic), and choose the best
time and manner for sowing it (have children at proper intervals).
It forces men to think of a caring treatment a woman needs during
her pregnancy for the safety and well being of the mother and the
fetus (metaphorically the land and the crop). Also the verse warns
men to be mindful of their meeting with God where they would have to
explain their treatment of their wives. (What could be a better way
of describing the husband-wife relationship along with man's
responsibilities?)

Comments:
I wish to comment regarding some listeners’ responses to my presentation on Eric Kirk’s show. We should first realize that we all essentially agree on many key points. I believe we all agree that some Islamic fanatics are committing terrible atrocities in the name of Islam, but that most Muslims want peace and are not terrorists. The only point wherein I and some of my critics depart is that conventional wisdom teaches that the terrorists are twisting Islamic Doctrine to justify their conduct and I have determined that, while some of their conduct does twist Islamic doctrine (i.e., women jihadists, men under age of puberty, babies on suicide flights, taking out Muslims in random attacks), that much of their conduct is well supported by core Islamic Doctrine as practiced by Muhammad and the early Muslim community. Given the multitude of undeniably violent passages from the Koran, violence advocated in sayings by Muhammad recorded in the hadiths, and early Islamic history wherein the early Muslim community undertook many conquests in the name of Allah, it seems inherently incredible to me that my views seem to be so far out on a limb to some people.

To be candid, the bigger mystery is how it is that so many can be so deceived by the obvious truth. The first successor to Muhammad, Abu Bakr, initiated unprovoked warfare to spread Islam by force. Do the Dr. Aziz’s of the world really contend that Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s closest friend with whom he hid in a cave during the Hijrah, did not understand Islam? I assure you that after hundreds of hours of study and analysis that he understood it perfectly well and that it is Dr. Aziz that preaches a new and improved version of Islam designed to better reach people with values that have changed since the seventh century.

In short, my position and the conventional wisdom of the listeners that reject my view are not that far apart and there is a plethora of objective support for my view all of which derives from early Islamic sources. Even further, given that I have repeatedly said that I am discussing core Islamic Doctrine and not Muslims as individuals, for some listeners to suggest that my views are immoral is nothing more than disguised attempts to stifle an opposing viewpoint. It is important to make sure that everyone knows what I am talking about when I say core Islamic Doctrine. The following primary sources contain all that is known about Muhammad and Islam. These sources constitute fundamental Islam: The Koran, which can only be understood by reading the following additional primary sources: Ibn Ishaq's biographical account of Muhammad, Tabari's history of Muhammad and his formation of Islam, the Hadith of Sahih al Bukhari and another hadith collector named Sahih Muslim. Anything else is an interpretation or a reformation of Islam.

I believe it is important to understand the true, deep-seated motivation of the Islamic terrorists as whether they are inspired by true Islamic Doctrine or simply false teachings has tremendous implications. False teachers have the impact of Jim Jones (People’s Temple) and while horrific, his impact was limited. Conversely, Osama bin Laden has a devoted worldwide following and massive worldwide financial support that seems to defy even the overwhelming military power of the West. Conduct supported by the tenets of one of the world’s largest religion is more likely to defy resistence, endure, and spread - exactly what we are experiencing. The stakes are also high. A Pakistani reporter alleges that Al Qaeda asserts it already has nuclear weapons within the U.S. borders. It may be a bluff and I hope it is with every ounce of my being. However, regardless of whether it is true, we know that is exactly what Al Qaeda wants. Every military leader from Napoleon to Sun Tsu has said that it is crucial to know one’s enemy.
I will now address Dr. Aziz’ comments.

Dr. Aziz states: “I wish Mr. Stunich will give me the addresses of the various anti-Muslim web sites to which he wants me to respond.” I do not know what he is talking about here. I neither want nor expect him to address whatever web sites he is referring to. As I have said before, secondary opinions and sources will not help us narrow the debate. Islam is what it is based upon its core doctrines as revealed in primary sources and that is what we should debate.

Dr. Aziz states: “Downloading a whole lot of material and then uploading it muddies the discussion. The readers get lost and I am overwhelmed.” I assume that Dr. Aziz is referring to the portions of history of Ibn Ishaq and William Muir that I injected into the debate. Since we were debating a historical event, the slaughter of the male Qurayza tribe, there is no better way to support one’s views than to quote the earliest and most trusted history of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq that has been accepted by Muslims and westerners alike for 1,400 years. Dr. Aziz has no rationalization for rejecting the history that Muslims have accepted for 1,400 years other than his realization that the history relates a great deal of material that will not appeal to prospective western converts to Islam and those following the debate.

With respect to my quote from William Muir, Dr. Aziz suggested him as an alternative to Ibn Ishaq, then when he realized that the history definitively disproved his position he tried to back away from his earlier support of William Muir’s work. Such embarrassing vacillations by Dr. Aziz help prove my case and discredit Dr. Aziz’ position. They reveal what should be obvious. He supports his position by faith based arguments. I support my position by actually educating people as to what constitutes core Islamic doctrine and how it came about. Dr. Aziz quotes a few of the lonely, peaceful sounding verses of the Koran and claims that they define Islam for all time, but offers no support from the Koran or hadiths to support his view. Conversely, I have carefully explained the seemingly contradictory nature of the Koran with facts that are beyond reasonable dispute.

Dr. Aziz next states: “Since he is attacking Islam for its doctrines and they are based upon the Quran (Hadith was collected more than a hundred years after Prophet's death, thus if a Hadith contradicts the Quran then it is a false Hadith) I request him to refer to one or two verses of the Quran which in his opinion are the reason for his claim.”

However, I am not attacking Islam. I am simply telling people what Islam is just as Muhammad did. True Muslims will neither fault me nor be ashamed because if they do not like or believe in true Islam, they should abandon it and not, in my view, attempt to reform an inherently flawed religion. As ironic and bizarre as it may seem, I am certain that Muhammad would reject Dr. Aziz’ version of Islam and order his followers to burn his church to the ground as heretical for altering Islam. I know this because of the hadiths authenticated by Bukhari.

Bukhari:V4B52N220 "Allah's Apostle said, `I have been made victorious with terror. The treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.'"


Bukhari:V9B88N174 "I heard the Prophet saying, `Islam cannot change!'"

Bukhari:V4B52N260 "The Prophet said, `If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.'"

Even the most horrific hadiths are well supported by the Koran. Compare V8B82N795: “The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of 'Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died,” to Koran 5:33 "The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter." If this is a religion of peace to you, then you simply have different values than I do.

In Muhammad’s view, Dr. Aziz has abandoned Islam by preaching a heretical interpretation of Islam and accepting new revelations and new messiahs when Muhammad said his revelation was the final revelation. Muhammad viewed such conduct as setting up rivals to Allah and here is what he said about such acts: V8B82N802: “I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which is the biggest sin?" He said, "To set up rivals to Allah by worshipping others though He alone has created you."
Muhammad also said: Bukhari:V9B88N174 "I heard the Prophet saying, `Islam cannot change!'"

In Ibn Ishaq’s history of Muhammad, he records what Muhammad told his followers to do to mosque’s that deviate from true Islam. He said burn it down and his followers did just that with the heretical Muslims inside. That is why fundamentalist Muslims have viciously persecuted Amhadis such as Dr. Aziz. None of the hadiths that have been accepted by Islamic scholars contradict the Koran. One of the standards in accepting or rejecting hadiths was whether they support or contradict the Koran. The hadiths I cite do just that. They contradict Dr. Aziz’ version of Islam because he preaches a new and improved Islam, not real Islam. The top terrorists are very, very well educated and they know what real Islam is and those terrorists would laugh at Dr. Aziz’ version of Islam and, if they understood American culture well enough, they would call it Disneyland Islam for naive Americans. The University of California’s Islamic website explains: “The Muslims are agreed that the Sunnah (hadiths record the Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the second of the two revealed fundamental sources of Islam, after the Glorious Qur'an. The authentic Sunnah is contained within the vast body of Hadith literature.”

Since core Islamic Doctrine is not limited to a few verses from the Koran, Dr. Aziz’ request that “I request him (Andy) to refer to one or two verses of the Quran which in his opinion are the reason for his claim” is impossible for me to do. The basis for my opinion is core Islamic Doctrine which is not limited to a few verses. That Dr. Aziz errantly believes such a thing is possible explains why he errors.

In addition, Dr. Aziz once again wants to know my religion and once again I repeat that this is not about me. My religion is irrelevant as to what constitutes real Islam.

Dr. Aziz states that there is only one version of the Quran . . . whether one follows the translation by Yusuf Ali or Khawja Farid it makes no difference.” I beg to differ. A translation sets forth the message originally written in Classical Arabic or it does not. To the extent that Khawja Farid alleges a different Koranic message from Yusuf Ali, whose interpretation is accepted and endorsed by CAIR, it is yet another new version of Islam and not the Islam Muhammad preached and practiced.

Dr. Aziz says: “There is nothing wrong with mixing Meccan and Medinite chapters. They are words of God and hence must stand the truth of applicability given a certain situation. In Meccan chapters the emphasis is on the identification and worship of one God. Instructions regarding war are found mostly in Medinite chapters. There were armed encounters when the Prophet migrated to Medina but none in Mecca.”

Here again, Dr. Aziz contradicts what has been accepted traditional Islam for 1,400 centuries and the commands of the Koran itself that state: "When We substitute one revelation for another, - and God knows best what He reveals (in stages), - they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not." (Koran, chapter 16, verse 101) "None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that God Hath power over all things?" (Koran, chapter 2, verse 106) Dr. Aziz is only correct to the extent that he seems to acknowledge that what face Islam shows the world depends on the circumstances in which the Islamic community finds itself.

Dr Aziz states: “The idea that some of the verses of the Quran have been abrogated is a misinterpretation by many Muslim scholars. This idea according to some was the result of mass conversion of Christians to Islam in the early period.”

If Dr. Aziz means that the Meccan verses remain to reveal how Islam is to be presented when Islam is not in a position of power, he is correct. If he means that the Meccan verses counteract the Medinan verses to spread Islam by force, he is plainly wrong as evidenced by the language of the Koran ("When We substitute one revelation for another . . .[Koran, chapter 16, verse 101]), the hadiths, and the history of early Islam.

Dr Aziz states: “Since at this time there is no place on earth where Muslims are killed for simply practicing their religion, Jihad as a religious war is suspended at this time.” The Koran and hadiths contradict this interpretation in innumerable places as I have cited throughout this debate. Conversely, Dr. Aziz cites no verses, no hadiths, and no early Islamic history to support his view.
What part of the following portions of Islam does Dr. Aziz find ambiguous:

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.” (2:216)

Mohammed said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, and whoever says, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, his life and property will be saved by me." (Al Bukhari Vol. 4:196)

Mohammed's last words at his deathbed purportedly were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims as that was the practical application) out of the Arabian Peninsula." (Al Bukhari, Vol. 5:716)

Mohammed said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed). " (Al Bukhari, Vol. 1:35)

Mohammed once was asked: what was the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and His Apostle? His answer was: "To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause." (Al Bukhari Vol. 1: 25)

“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans [Idolaters or polytheists] wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Koran chapter 9, verse 5)

“Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle [Muhammad], nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Koran chapter 9, verse 29)

Followers of this debate should ask Dr. Aziz to cite the verses or hadiths that limit the foregoing commands to situations wherein Muslims are killed for their religion.

Dr. Aziz states: “The idea that the Meccan verses were mild and subdued as compared with the Medinite verses is not correct. Muhammad preached against the idolatry from day one of his ministry. This was the biggest affront to the Meccan idolaters. Anti-idolatry verses form the core of the earliest verses of the Quran.”

I agree that Muhammad remained firm against idolatry, other than the Satanic verses incident, but that hardly explains the shift from “let there be no compulsion in religion” to “slay the pagans wherever you find them.”

Dr. Aziz states: “There are verses revealed during the last year of the Prophet's life that exhort Muslims to treat non-believer with justice, in spit of their enmity in the past.”

Dr. Aziz, please cite the verses for analysis. With no authority for your opinion, it hardly helps advance your case. It is undisputed that chapter nine was some of the last verses cited by Muhammad and it is very violent. Most important, Mohammed's last words at his deathbed purportedly were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims as that was the practical application) out of the Arabian Peninsula." (Al Bukhari, Vol. 5:716)

Is it justice to drive people out of their ancestral homeland because they chose to remain with their religion rather than accept Muhammad’s claim that he was God’s prophet? Most Americans reject that claim as well. Shall we be driven from our homes or forced to submit to Islam as Muhammad preached?

Dr. Aziz states: “I leave Mr. Stunich's claim that Chapters 8 and 9 of the Quran have nothing to do with war to the readers. They can read these chapters and decide.”

I say they have everything to do with war, but war was commanded to the Islamic faithful until the whole world submits to Islam. That is why the religion’s name means submission. Muslims believe that everyone must submit to Islam which they believe to ne God’s will. There is no authority within real Islam to support Dr. Aziz’ opinion that the Sword verses are limited to situations “where Muslims are killed for simply practicing their religion” as Dr. Aziz contends. The Koran and hadiths plainly show this opinion to be false.
 
Am I the only one who thought it was very poor taste for Dr. Aziz to call into the show when he was going to be on next week? Kinda ruins the whole point/counterpoint thing.

I'm starting to think that Dr. Aziz enjoys deeply the sound of his own voice and the words he puts down.
 
By attributing his own thoughts, philosophy, wants and desires to be the commandments of God, Muhammad has caused many Muslims to be forever mired in the seventh century. A seventh century morality and mentality and modern weaponry is a terribly frightening mix.
 
Muhammad only copied what "Moses" did for the Jews. Same intolerance in ancient Judaism that only got deflected by Christian teachings which gained the higher moral ground until the RCC joined European king and queens to spread Christianity by the sword.

My point is, in Muslims we are dealing with Abrahamic religionists who haven't gone through the historical process of major critical review--no Enlightenment period, no Islamic Reformation that may have cooled out Muhammad's intolerant Islam.

Andy, it is up to us to enlighten Muslims about their idolatry of this man Muhammad and his book. The dialogue here is good but I wish traditional Muslims could join in.

It's so ironic to me that because I know enough history of my religion and that of Abrahamic ones in general, it always surprises me in a way that every Muslim I've talked to has no idea that Islam actually means "submission to God as peace". It isn't just submission to God but to God defined as peace.

Jurusalem was the the first place on earth that God was worshipped as peace--Shalom, Salaam, the root word in Islam. And Shalom originally was one of those "partners with God" Muhammad couldn't stand--Shalom being the Evening Star-Venus as opposed to the Morning Star-Venus again but part of the Lucifer-challenger to the sun motif-who peters out at noon to become Shalom at dusk--rest and quiet-peace.

What we have to do is educate Muslims to the spiritual meaning of Islam that Muhammad himself never understood correctly because as we all know--it is impossible to fight violently for peace without oneself becoming entangled in moral contradictions that when acted out end up killing people in the name of God.
 
There are 120,000 Muslims in U.S. prisons, an unusally high percentage not reflected in the U.S. population. Most converted while in prison. Could it be that an inherently violent religion naturally attracts violent criminals? If someone has a better explanation, I would like to hear it.
 
My posting is not a response to Mr. Stunich's Thursday evening presentation. I sent it to Eric to post it earlier because I have not mastered transferring a file to the comments column. My comments were in response to Mr. Stunich's earlier posting. Sorry if it got posted as my response to Mr. Stunich's presentation. I look forward to answering Mr. Stunich's presentation and listeners'question on Thursday.
 
One more comment. I now realize that I should not have called in when Mr. Stunich made his presentation. To be honest this is my first experience with debate on a radio station. I promise not to do it again.
 
Dr. Aziz - As said before the show, I had no problem with you calling in so long as you were open to Mr. Stunich calling in on your show. Mr. Stunich was not opposed to your call and in fact welcomed it. I'm less concerned with the formalities of the rules of debate - whatever they may be - than the substance of the conversation.

My apologies however for the misunderstanding about this posting in particular. It seemed to be responding to points made during the show and I made the wrong assumption. However, I wanted to start a new thread anyway as the other post was getting pretty large.

Mr. Stunich is also responding to some comments that have been e-mailed to me following the radio show, and I'll post his response shortly - with some edits made by Mr. Stunich in the interests of good grammar.
 
My response to RIP:
I used to visit a maximum security prison sometime ago. More than 99% of the inmates who converted to Islam during their incarceration found solace and comfort in Islam. I also felt that many of them had some grievances against the society. Islam has attracted very learned people from the Western societies also. I don't think any generalization is possible.
 
Thank you, Eric, for explaining away my ignorance. However, I think Anon-R-mous has a point. I shall wait till after my presentation on Thursday to respond to Andy, Steve and Word of Wisdom.
 
Dr. Aziz, you did not error in calling in to the show. You notified Eric in advance and he asked me about it and I had no objections whatsoever so there is nothing to apologize for. I will not call in to the show while you are on, but I will be listening and I look forward to the show. Thank you again for debating me.
 
There is a very interesting, satircal video regarding Islam set to the tune of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. It is worth watching at http://savethesoldiers.com/j/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1695&Itemid=53
 
To see the video click on videos on the left side of the screen and scrool dowm to "What A Wonderful World of Islam"
 
Andy, why are you promoting anti-Muslim propaganda? That site you give is--SaveTheSoldiers.com "dedicated to supporting the men and women of the United States Military no matter where they are or what their mission is."

You aren't showing the many more Muslim kids who have died by IDF bullets and bombs delivered by F-16's in Gaza and the West Bank and the many, many more kids who have died as a result of the war we started in Iraq.

I'm going to start posting material than shows there are reasons why Muslims do what they do. Often, it is in response to Israeli acts of territorial aggression--how do you stop the biggest, most well-equipped army in the Middle East when you have no money and your religion tells you that if you fight for social justice for your people you are a hero and will be rewarded in heaven? This adds up to suicide bombers who wouldn't exist, wouldn't need to exist, if Israel wasn't there as a Jewish cancer in the heart of Arab Muslim Middle East.
 
Israeli children taught hatred of Arabs

One often hears the Jewish complaint that Arabs teach their children to hate Jews. Few know that Israelis themselves teach hatred of Arabs.

"Why we have a New Testament: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 1670

Moses may not have known about natural selection, but he transmitted his god's explicit commandment to kill and steal from out-group members as a recurrent major theme. Two distinct policies were put into effect. First, all members of nations located in the land that was to become Israel were to be killed outright. Subsequently, people in surrounding nations were to be killed unless they agreed to become subservient to Israel. Both policies are given in one passage of Deuteronomy (20:10-18; RSV), with instructions regarding people outside of Israel given first:
"When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if its answer to you is peace and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the LORD your God gives it into your hand you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the cattle, and every- thing else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourselves; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. "But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded; that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices which they have done in the service of their Gods, and so to sin against the LORD your God."
For prior occupants of the promised land, there can be no doubt that this meant genocide according to the word's modern definition (RSV): "They should be utterly destroyed, and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the LORD commanded Moses" (Joshua 11:20) . . . Utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling" (I Samuel 15:3). And, as if they had a sense of Hamilton's (1964) inclusive fitness: "You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath; and fire will consume them. You will destroy their offspring from the earth, and their children from among the sons of men" (Psalms 21:9-10).
There can be no doubt that this commandment was mandatory, as Maimonides explained (Judges 5:4, italics not added; cf Elba 1995, Lior 1994): "It is a positive commandment to destroy the seven nations, as it is said: Thou shalt utterly destroy them. If one does not put to death any of them that falls into one's power, one transgresses a negative commandment, as it is said: Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth."

The Israelites' campaign to carry out their god's commandment to commit genocide against the native inhabitants of Canaan-cum-Palestine took several generations. It began with Joshua's massacre at Jericho. Contrary to the Christian song "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho," according to scripture there was no battle at all. It was a siege, at the end of which all of the city's inhabitants were killed except Rahab the prostitute (she and her family were spared in exchange for helping Joshua plan his strategy, Joshua 6:16-17, 19, 21, 24, RSV): Joshua said to the people, "Shout; for the LORD has given you the city. And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction . . . But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are sacred to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD." . . . Then they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword . . . And they burned the city with fire, and all within it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. The half-life and penetrance of such cultural legacies are often under-appreciated.

Some 3,000 years after the fall of Jericho, Israeli psychologist George Tamarin (1966, 1973) measured the strength of residual in-group morality. He presented Joshua 6:20-21 to 1,066 school children, ages 8-14, in order to test "the effect of uncritical teaching of the Bible on the propensity for forming prejudices (particularly the notion of the 'chosen people,' the superiority of the monotheistic religion, and the study of acts of genocide by biblical heroes)." The children's answers to the question "Do you think Joshua and the Israelites acted rightly or not?," were categorized as follows: "'A' means total approval, 'B' means partial approval or disapproval, and 'C' means total disapproval."
Across a broad spectrum of Israeli social and economic classes, 66% of responses were "A," 8% "B," and 26% "C." The "A" answers tended to be as straightforward as they were numerous (Tamarin, 1966): In my opinion Joshua and the Sons of Israel acted well, and here are the reasons: God promised them this land, and gave them permission to conquer. If they would not have acted in this manner or killed anyone, then there would be the danger that the Sons of Israel would have assimilated among the "Goyim." In my opinion Joshua was right when he did it, one reason being that God commanded him to exterminate the people so that the tribes of Israel will not be able to assimilate amongst them and learn their bad ways. Joshua did good because the people who inhabited the land were of a different religion, and when Joshua killed them he wiped their religion from the earth. Tamarin (1973) noted that: "C" classification [total disapproval] was accorded to all answers formally rejecting genocide, either on ethical or utilitarian grounds. This does not mean that all "C" responses reveal non-discriminatory attitudes. For example, one girl criticized Joshua's act, stating that "the Sons of Israel learned many bad things from the Goyim." . . . Another extremely racist response is that of a 10 year old girl disapproving the act, stating, "I think it is not good, since the Arabs are impure and if one enters an impure land one will also become impure and share their curse." Other misgivings included (1966): I think Joshua did not act well, as they could have spared the animals for themselves. I think Joshua did not act well, as he should have left the property of Jericho; if he had not destroyed the property it would have belonged to the Israelites.
In contrast to the established difference between boys and girls in propensity toward violence and approval of violence in general, with regard to biblically commanded genocide Tamarin found that "Contrary to our expectation, there was no difference, concerning this most cruel form of prejudice, between male and female examinees" (1973). Less surprising, but more alarming, nearly half of the children who gave "total approval" to Joshua's behavior also gave "A" responses to the hypothetical question: "Suppose that the Israeli Army conquers an Arab village in battle. Do you think it would be good or bad to act towards the inhabitants as Joshua did towards the people of Jericho?" Tamarin (1966) received such responses as these: In my opinion this behavior was necessary, as the Arabs are our enemies always, and the Jews did not have a country, and it was necessary to behave like that towards the Arabs. It would have been good to treat the Arabs as Joshua and his soldiers did, as they are Arabs; they hate and retaliate against us all the time, and if we exterminate them as Joshua did, they won't be able to show themselves as greater heroes than we. I think it was good because we want our enemies to be conquered, and to widen our frontiers, and we should kill the Arabs as Joshua and the Israelites did. Some respondents disapproved of Joshua's campaign (answer "C"), but approved of similar acts if committed by Israeli soldiers. One girl disapproved of Joshua "because it is written in the Bible, 'don't kill'," but she approved of the conjectured Israeli Army action, stating "I think it would be good, as we want our enemies to fall into our hands, enlarge our frontiers, and kill the Arabs as Joshua did."
As a control group, Tamarin tested 168 children who were read Joshua 6:20-21 with "General Lin" substituted for Joshua and a "Chinese Kingdom 3000 years ago" substituted for Israel. General Lin got a 7% approval rating, with 18% giving partial approval or disapproval, and 75% disapproving totally.
© John Hartung Ph.D.
*    *    *
 
Anti-Gentilism, anti-Christianity verses found in the Talmud

"Blessed are You HaSHem our G~d, King of the universe who:
-Gave the heart understanding to distinquish between day and night.
-Did not make me a gentile.
-Did not make me a slave.
-Did not make me a woman.
-Gives sight to the blind.
-Clothes the naked.
-Releases the bound.
-Straightens the bent.
-Spreads out the earth upon the waters.
-Has provided for my needs.
-Establishes the footsteps of man. -Grids Israel with strength.
-Crowns Israel with splendor.
-Gives to the weary strength. Shema, Israel, our L~rd HaShem is One!"
From the Shema, Judaism's most sacred prayer

The Jewish people teach themselves to be ever-watchful of criticism of Judaism, Zionism, or modern Israel. They are quick to label anyone "anti-Semitic" who criticizes these things. What they never reveal though is the fact that of all three traditional Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, only one of these, Judaism, contains religious instructions that tell Jewish believers to hate another religion--Christianity, to hate the founder of that religion--Jesus Christ, and to value half the human race, women, as less than men as well as devaluing the vast majority of humanity, Gentiles, as less than Jews, actually less than human beings in their G-d's eyes.

Listed below is a sampling of some of the Talmud's anti-Gentile, anti-Christian instructions based on hatred.
(These are but a few of dozens found in Talmudic texts.)

If a gentile hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.-- The Babylonian Talmud, Judaism’s most holy book, Sanhedrin 58b

Souls of gentiles have unclean origins--Zohar (1, 46b, 47a)

Those who do good to Christians never rise from the dead.--Zohar (1, 25b)

Jews are called men but Christians are not called men--Iebhammoth (61a)

It is permitted to decieve Christians.--Babha Kama (113b)

Kill those who give Israelite' money to Christians.--Choschen Ham (388, 15)

Christians are to be destroyed as idolators.--Zohar (11, 19a)

Even the best of the Goyim should be killed.--Abhodah Zarah (26b)

If a Jew kills a Christian he commits no sin.--Sepher Or Israel (177b)

Extermination of Christians is a necessary sacrifice.--Zohar (11, 43a)

High place in heaven for those who kill idolators.--Zohar (L, 28b, 39a)

Make no agreements and show no mercy to Christians.--Hikhoth Akum (X, 1)

Marriages between Christians and Jews nullified.--Eben Haezar (44, 8)

These are the core beliefs found in Judaism's most sacred book, the Talmud.

Are we not dealing with ancient religious anti-humanitarian, anti-social fanatical allegiences with all three Abrahamic religions? All three are involved in religious warfare? You can't point the finger of guilt only at Muslims and Islam.
 
Let's get a discussion going about this on my forum, since yours is dead steve.

http://radicalnebraskan.com/forum/YaBB.pl

Yes all Abrahamic religions are false. We need Gnosticism, real gnosis and not the prepackaged crap you get off new agey websites.
 
Nick, you've blown it as far as I'm concerned. I had created a forum to discuss things intelligently and you came on boards with your idiot zinger put-downs just as you do all over other people's blog.

Who wants to have a discussion with you when you act like a school kid with a can of spray paint ready to deface anything that comes within range?

Grow up and then maybe someone will want to discuss Gnosticism intelligently with you.
 
Uh oh. Is the gnostic faith having a schism?
 
It's been hard for Gnosticism to have schisms because there's been no central Gnostic "Church" ever to divide. True Gnostics follow the Solitary path which means no two Gnostics need agree on common doctrines although common doctrines are of course there otherwise we couldn't distinguish a "Gnostic" religious position.

So every Gnostic is his or her own prophet, priest, pastor, and congregation all rolled into one. It is the common spiritual insights that define Gnosticism but even there there's plenty of room for differing beliefs, e.g., my own type of Gnostic beliefs do not share the classic Gnostic position that the material world sucks being made by an inferior god, Yahweh or Yaldaboath in Hebrew Gnostic terminology, and we'd all be better off ignoring it and him.
 
So was Baal really a goddess? One of my callers last week made that claim, but I thought Baal was a male god.
 
You are correct. Baal was a male god, a god of war, a storm god and "rider of the clouds" as was Yahweh, Baal's eternal enemy. Yahweh and Baal have been battling it out ever since they got into in ancient Canaan. One should consider that the word, "baal", means "Lord" and so everywhere the Lord is worshipped one can expect war at some point for the Lords, both of them, are war gods, Lord of Hosts, i.e., armies.
 
AL-TAQIYA...
By Professor Walid Phares

In the early years of the Tawheed (Islamic conquest of the Arabian peninsula) and in the Fatah (Arab-Islamic invasion and conquest of the upper Middle East and the outside world), a Muslim concept was devised to achieve success against the enemy, Al-Taqiya.

Al-Taqiya, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy.

According to Al-Taqiya, Muslims were granted the Shar'iya (legitimacy) to infiltrate the Dar el-Harb (war zone), infiltrate the enemy's cities and forums and plant the seeds of discord and sedition. These agents were acting on behalf of the Muslim authority at war, and therefore were not considered as lying or denouncing the tenants of Islam. THey were "legitimate" mujahedeen, whose mission was to undermine the enemy's resistance and level of mobilization. One of their major objectives was to cause a split among the enemy's camp. In many instances, they convinced their targeted audiences that Jihad is not aimed at them, that indigenous people are not targeted, only Bysantium power. They convinced many Jews that they will be protected from Christians, called pagans), and they convinced many Christians that Jews were the mortal enemies, because they killed Issa (Jesus). They convinced the Aramaics, Copts, and Hebrews that the enemy is Greece, and signed peace agreements with the Bysantines Greeks at the expense of Maronite Aramaics, etc.

This Jihadic agency of subversion was one of the most fascinating and efficient arms of the conquest. In less them four decades the Middle East fell to the Arab-Islamic rule, followed by north Africa and Central Asia. Al-Taqiya was a formidable weapon, used by the first dynasties and strategists. Today, scholars may identify it as deception. But the Jihadic deception was and still is more powerful than the James Bondian methods of Western classical intelligence tactics, for the simple reason that it has a civilizational, global dimension versus the narrow state interest of the regular Western subversive methods.

Al-Taqiya is still in use today but not necessarily state-organized. One can easily detect Taqiya in the two discourses used by Islamist strategists. On the one hand, one comprehensive Islamist theory is attempting to mobilize Middle East, and sometimes Western Christia leaders and intellectuals, against "evil Jews". We see considerable success on that level. And on the other hand, another Islamist comprehensive theory is attemting -with success also- to mobilize the Jews against "evil and pagan Christians". One can easily detect the sophisticated work of Taqiya, for the strategic objective of Islamists is to destroy the foundations of the Judeo-Christian civilization, as a prelude to the defeat of an isolated Israel.

Taqiya is not a unique phenomenon in History, many strategists from all backgrounds implemented subversion. But the uniqueness of today's Taqiya is its success within advanced and sophisticated societies. Taqiya is winning massively because of the immense lack of knowledge among Western elites, both Jewish and Christian.

For interesting examples of Taqiya methods, visit Christian discussion groups and forums and note the discourse of Islamist visitors, aimed at undermining the Christian perception of Jews, and visit Jewish discussion groups and forums and note the subtle anti-Christian discourse of Islamists visitors. It is really informative and fascinating.

Professor Walid Phares
Department of Religion
Florida International University
 
"The Governments of the world should know that Islam cannot be defeated. Islam will be victorious in all countries of the world and Islam and the teachings of the Qur'an will prevail all over the world". (Ayatollah Khomeini)

Statements such as this make it hard for Muslims living in Dar-al-Harb ("Territory of War", enemy countries, nations with non-Muslim rulers) for they must try to present Islam favorably replete with tolerance and sweetness, peace and light, faith and charity, equality and brotherhood. The "misunderstood Muslims" must tell themselves that jihad, "striving for Allah", can encompass teaching and proselytizing, bringing up sons (to fight for Allah) or even donating money for Zakat (especially if it goes to buy weapons). Their spokespersons quote the less belligerent verses of the Qur'an e.g. "Dispute with them (the Jews) in the kindest manner" (16:126, translator Rodwell) and "Let there be no compulsion in religion." (2:256) knowing full well that there are other verses in the Qur'an which apply in times of Harb (warfare). Examples abound such as: "Wage war on the people of the Book, who ... do not accept the religion of Islam". (9:29) "Fight against them (the Jews and Christians)! Allah shall punish them, at your hands." (9:14)
 
I still haven't gotten around to picking up a copy of the Quran to read for myself.
 
I caution people that what don't fall says is anti-Islamic propaganda. I've been debating with Muslims for years on religious talkboards and there's no deception being played on these talkboards. Muslims are proud of their religion, quick to make it known what's wrong with Pauline Christianity and Judaism, and ever defensive about Westerners seeing Islam as a religion of war.

If people here think Abdul Aziz is part of this Al Taqiya subtrifuge they don't know the man or the history of his sect.

And as for 5th column religious warfare being conducted secretly one only has to read the Talmud's instructions to Jews permitting them to lie their teeth out with Gentiles in order to defeat those who stand in the way of G-d's Chosen People. Now which religionists are conselors to U.S. presidents and which religionists are victims of those very same religionists running our foreign policy. Always pays to look at the real situation, who's really doing what to whom before swallowing religious or political propaganda.
 
Reformed Islam has just as often resulted in the worsening of Islam as to its betterment. Note that the following "pearls of perversity" from the Ayatollah do not derive, to my knowledge, from true Islmaic Doctrine, but the following does illustrate that not all reformations of Islam are good.

Sayings of Ayatollah Khomeini:

A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However he should not penetrate, sodomising the child is OK. If the man penetrates and damages the child then he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl, however does not count as one of his four permanent wives. The man will not be eligible to marry the girls sister.

From Khomeini's book, "Tahrirolvasyleh", fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom,Iran, 1990

It is better for a girl to marry in such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband's house rather than her father's home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven.

From Khomeini's book, "Tahrirolvasyleh", fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom, Iran, 1990

A man can have sex with animals such as sheep¹s, cows, camels and so on. However he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village, however selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.

From Khomeini's book, "Tahrirolvasyleh", fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom,Iran, 1990

"If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed and as quickly as possible and burned."

The little green book, Sayings of Ayatollah Khomeini, Political, Phylosophica, Social and Religious with a special introduction by Clive Irving, ISBN number 0-553-14032-9, page 47 from the Darabi Foundation
 
Another example of the religion of peace in action.

This little tidbit gives new meaning to the phrase "your fired" or is it "your terminated."

Muhammad killed a number of people who deserted Islam and so the punishment is Sunnah (actions and sayings of Muhammad) and hence Shariah, Islamic Law. One whose name has been left to posterity was Abdullah ibn Saud, one of Muhammad's scribes (Muhammad was probably illiterate). Abdullah had come to the conclusion that Muhammad himself, and not Allah, was the author of the Qur'an and left Islam so Muhammad "terminated" his employment.
 
Again, Andy, which religionists are directing US foreign policy--Jews or Muslims? With Zionists directing foreign policy are we better off or are we now targets like Israel paying for our territorial aggression against Middle East Muslims?

I guess it just isn't going to register with Andy that Islam is not the problem--we are.
 
When your side has long lost the moral high ground it becomes absurd to point the fingers of blame at others who wouldn't be in power save for our interfering in their governments.

Militant Islam rises in power precisely as we attack their nations for our own greedy benefit. Take away American greed for Middle East oil, take away Zionist greed for land belonging to other people and you will find a much more tolerant and peaceful Islam.

Not that Islam is not in need of major Reformation but from my non-Pauline Christian, non-Zionist Jewish perspective, all three Abrahamic faiths should be drastically overhauled and all three religions need their "satanic verses" tossed on the compost heap of history. But for one Abrahamic religionist to decry other Abrahamic religionists is folly. Only when all three recognize their shortcomings and recognize a new covenant is needed and has arrived will there ever be a true Religion of Peace.
 
Mr. Lewis, I will let the emminent historian Bernard Lewis address your allegations:

". . .But why the hostility in the first place? If we turn from the general to the specific, there is no lack of individual policies and actions, pursued and taken by individual Western governments, that have aroused the passionate anger of Middle Eastern and other Islamic peoples. Yet all too often, when these policies are abandoned and the problems resolved, there is only a local and temporary alleviation. The French have left Algeria, the British have left Egypt, the Western oil companies have left their oil wells, the westernizing Shah has left Iran -- yet the generalized resentment of the fundamentalists and other extremists against the West and its friends remains and grows and is not appeased.

The cause most frequently adduced for anti-American feeling among Muslims today is American support for Israel. This support is certainly a factor of importance, increasing with nearness and involvement. But here again there are some oddities, difficult to explain in terms of a single, simple cause. In the early days of the foundation of Israel, while the United States maintained a certain distance, the Soviet Union granted immediate de jure (express actual) recognition and support, and arms sent from a Soviet satellite, Czechoslovakia, saved the infant state of Israel from defeat and death in its first weeks of life. Yet there seems to have been no great ill will toward the Soviets for these policies, and no corresponding good will toward the United States. In 1956 it was the United States that intervened, forcefully and decisively, to secure the withdrawal of Israeli, British, and French forces from Egypt -- yet in the late fifties and sixties it was to the Soviets, not America, that the rulers of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and other states turned for arms; it was with the Soviet bloc that they formed bonds of solidarity at the United Nations and in the world generally. More recently, the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran have offered the most principled and uncompromising denunciation of Israel and Zionism. Yet even these leaders, before as well as after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, when they decided for reasons of their own to enter into a dialogue of sorts, found it easier to talk to Jerusalem than to Washington. At the same time, Western hostages in Lebanon, many of them devoted to Arab causes and some of them converts to Islam, are seen and treated by their captors as limbs of the Great Satan.

Another explanation, more often heard from Muslim dissidents, attributes anti-American feeling to American support for hated regimes, seen as reactionary by radicals, as impious by conservatives, as corrupt and tyrannical by both. This accusation has some plausibility, and could help to explain why an essentially inner-directed, often anti-nationalist movement should turn against a foreign power. But it does not suffice, especially since support for such regimes has been limited both in extent and -- as the Shah discovered -- in effectiveness.

Clearly, something deeper is involved than these specific grievances, numerous and important as they may be -- something deeper that turns every disagreement into a problem and makes every problem insoluble.

THIS revulsion against America, more generally against the West, is by no means limited to the Muslim world; nor have Muslims, with the exception of the Iranian mullahs and their disciples elsewhere, experienced and exhibited the more virulent forms of this feeling. The mood of disillusionment and hostility has affected many other parts of the world, and has even reached some elements in the United States. It is from these last, speaking for themselves and claiming to speak for the oppressed peoples of the Third World, that the most widely publicized explanations -- and justifications -- of this rejection of Western civilization and its values have of late been heard.

The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty -- not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet.

Is racism, then, the main grievance? Certainly the word figures prominently in publicity addressed to Western, Eastern European, and some Third World audiences. It figures less prominently in what is written and published for home consumption, and has become a generalized and meaningless term of abuse -- rather like "fascism," which is nowadays imputed to opponents even by spokesmen for one-party, nationalist dictatorships of various complexions and shirt colors.

Slavery is today universally denounced as an offense against humanity, but within living memory it has been practiced and even defended as a necessary institution, established and regulated by divine law. The peculiarity of the peculiar institution, as Americans once called it, lay not in its existence but in its abolition. Westerners were the first to break the consensus of acceptance and to outlaw slavery, first at home, then in the other territories they controlled, and finally wherever in the world they were able to exercise power or influence -- in a word, by means of imperialism.

Is imperialism, then, the grievance? Some Western powers, and in a sense Western civilization as a whole, have certainly been guilty of imperialism, but are we really to believe that in the expansion of Western Europe there was a quality of moral delinquency lacking in such earlier, relatively innocent expansions as those of the Arabs or the Mongols or the Ottomans, or in more recent expansions such as that which brought the rulers of Muscovy to the Baltic, the Black Sea, the Caspian, the Hindu Kush, and the Pacific Ocean? In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.

Of all these offenses the one that is most widely, frequently, and vehemently denounced is undoubtedly imperialism -- sometimes just Western, sometimes Eastern (that is, Soviet) and Western alike. But the way this term is used in the literature of Islamic fundamentalists often suggests that it may not carry quite the same meaning for them as for its Western critics. In many of these writings the term "imperialist" is given a distinctly religious significance, being used in association, and sometimes interchangeably, with "missionary," and denoting a form of attack that includes the Crusades as well as the modern colonial empires. One also sometimes gets the impression that the offense of imperialism is not -- as for Western critics -- the domination by one people over another but rather the allocation of roles in this relationship. What is truly evil and unacceptable is the domination of infidels over true believers. For true believers to rule misbelievers is proper and natural, since this provides for the maintenance of the holy law, and gives the misbelievers both the opportunity and the incentive to embrace the true faith. But for misbelievers to rule over true believers is blasphemous and unnatural, since it leads to the corruption of religion and morality in society, and to the flouting or even the abrogation of God's law. This may help us to understand the current troubles in such diverse places as Ethiopian Eritrea, Indian Kashmir, Chinese Sinkiang, and Yugoslav Kosovo, in all of which Muslim populations are ruled by non-Muslim governments. It may also explain why spokesmen for the new Muslim minorities in Western Europe demand for Islam a degree of legal protection which those countries no longer give to Christianity and have never given to Judaism. Nor, of course, did the governments of the countries of origin of these Muslim spokesmen ever accord such protection to religions other than their own. In their perception, there is no contradiction in these attitudes. The true faith, based on God's final revelation, must be protected from insult and abuse; other faiths, being either false or incomplete, have no right to any such protection.

THERE are other difficulties in the way of accepting imperialism as an explanation of Muslim hostility, even if we define imperialism narrowly and specifically, as the invasion and domination of Muslim countries by non-Muslims. If the hostility is directed against imperialism in that sense, why has it been so much stronger against Western Europe, which has relinquished all its Muslim possessions and dependencies, than against Russia, which still rules, with no light hand, over many millions of reluctant Muslim subjects and over ancient Muslim cities and countries? And why should it include the United States, which, apart from a brief interlude in the Muslim-minority area of the Philippines, has never ruled any Muslim population? The last surviving European empire with Muslim subjects, that of the Soviet Union, far from being the target of criticism and attack, has been almost exempt. Even the most recent repressions of Muslim revolts in the southern and central Asian republics of the USSR incurred no more than relatively mild words of expostulation, coupled with a disclaimer of any desire to interfere in what are quaintly called the "internal affairs" of the USSR and a request for the preservation of order and tranquility on the frontier.

One reason for this somewhat surprising restraint is to be found in the nature of events in Soviet Azerbaijan. Islam is obviously an important and potentially a growing element in the Azerbaijani sense of identity, but it is not at present a dominant element, and the Azerbaijani movement has more in common with the liberal patriotism of Europe than with Islamic fundamentalism. Such a movement would not arouse the sympathy of the rulers of the Islamic Republic. It might even alarm them, since a genuinely democratic national state run by the people of Soviet Azerbaijan would exercise a powerful attraction on their kinsmen immediately to the south, in Iranian Azerbaijan.

Another reason for this relative lack of concern for the 50 million or more Muslims under Soviet rule may be a calculation of risk and advantage. The Soviet Union is near, along the northern frontiers of Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan; America and even Western Europe are far away. More to the point, it has not hitherto been the practice of the Soviets to quell disturbances with water cannon and rubber bullets, with TV cameras in attendance, or to release arrested persons on bail and allow them access to domestic and foreign media. The Soviets do not interview their harshest critics on prime time, or tempt them with teaching, lecturing, and writing engagements. On the contrary, their ways of indicating displeasure with criticism can often be quite disagreeable.

But fear of reprisals, though no doubt important, is not the only or perhaps even the principal reason for the relatively minor place assigned to the Soviet Union, as compared with the West, in the demonology of fundamentalism. After all, the great social and intellectual and economic changes that have transformed most of the Islamic world, and given rise to such commonly denounced Western evils as consumerism and secularism, emerged from the West, not from the Soviet Union. No one could accuse the Soviets of consumerism; their materialism is philosophic -- to be precise, dialectical -- and has little or nothing to do in practice with providing the good things of life. Such provision represents another kind of materialism, often designated by its opponents as crass. It is associated with the capitalist West and not with the communist East, which has practiced, or at least imposed on its subjects, a degree of austerity that would impress a Sufi saint.

Nor were the Soviets, until very recently, vulnerable to charges of secularism, the other great fundamentalist accusation against the West. Though atheist, they were not godless, and had in fact created an elaborate state apparatus to impose the worship of their gods -- an apparatus with its own orthodoxy, a hierarchy to define and enforce it, and an armed inquisition to detect and extirpate heresy. The separation of religion from the state does not mean the establishment of irreligion by the state, still less the forcible imposition of an anti-religious philosophy. Soviet secularism, like Soviet consumerism, holds no temptation for the Muslim masses, and is losing what appeal it had for Muslim intellectuals. More than ever before it is Western capitalism and democracy that provide an authentic and attractive alternative to traditional ways of thought and life. Fundamentalist leaders are not mistaken in seeing in Western civilization the greatest challenge to the way of life that they wish to retain or restore for their people.

A Clash of Civilizations


THE origins of secularism in the west may be found in two circumstances -- in early Christian teachings and, still more, experience, which created two institutions, Church and State; and in later Christian conflicts, which drove the two apart. Muslims, too, had their religious disagreements, but there was nothing remotely approaching the ferocity of the Christian struggles between Protestants and Catholics, which devastated Christian Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and finally drove Christians in desperation to evolve a doctrine of the separation of religion from the state. Only by depriving religious institutions of coercive power, it seemed, could Christendom restrain the murderous intolerance and persecution that Christians had visited on followers of other religions and, most of all, on those who professed other forms of their own.

Muslims experienced no such need and evolved no such doctrine. There was no need for secularism in Islam, and even its pluralism was very different from that of the pagan Roman Empire, so vividly described by Edward Gibbon when he remarked that "the various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful." Islam was never prepared, either in theory or in practice, to accord full equality to those who held other beliefs and practiced other forms of worship. It did, however, accord to the holders of partial truth a degree of practical as well as theoretical tolerance rarely paralleled in the Christian world until the West adopted a measure of secularism in the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

At first the Muslim response to Western civilization was one of admiration and emulation -- an immense respect for the achievements of the West, and a desire to imitate and adopt them. This desire arose from a keen and growing awareness of the weakness, poverty, and backwardness of the Islamic world as compared with the advancing West. The disparity first became apparent on the battlefield but soon spread to other areas of human activity. Muslim writers observed and described the wealth and power of the West, its science and technology, its manufactures, and its forms of government. For a time the secret of Western success was seen to lie in two achievements: economic advancement and especially industry; political institutions and especially freedom. Several generations of reformers and modernizers tried to adapt these and introduce them to their own countries, in the hope that they would thereby be able to achieve equality with the West and perhaps restore their lost superiority.

In our own time this mood of admiration and emulation has, among many Muslims, given way to one of hostility and rejection. In part this mood is surely due to a feeling of humiliation -- a growing awareness, among the heirs of an old, proud, and long dominant civilization, of having been overtaken, overborne, and overwhelmed by those whom they regarded as their inferiors. In part this mood is due to events in the Western world itself. One factor of major importance was certainly the impact of two great suicidal wars, in which Western civilization tore itself apart, bringing untold destruction to its own and other peoples, and in which the belligerents conducted an immense propaganda effort, in the Islamic world and elsewhere, to discredit and undermine each other. The message they brought found many listeners, who were all the more ready to respond in that their own experience of Western ways was not happy. The introduction of Western commercial, financial, and industrial methods did indeed bring great wealth, but it accrued to transplanted Westerners and members of Westernized minorities, and to only a few among the mainstream Muslim population. In time these few became more numerous, but they remained isolated from the masses, differing from them even in their dress and style of life. Inevitably they were seen as agents of and collaborators with what was once again regarded as a hostile world. Even the political institutions that had come from the West were discredited, being judged not by their Western originals but by their local imitations, installed by enthusiastic Muslim reformers. These, operating in a situation beyond their control, using imported and inappropriate methods that they did not fully understand, were unable to cope with the rapidly developing crises and were one by one overthrown. For vast numbers of Middle Easterners, Western-style economic methods brought poverty, Western-style political institutions brought tyranny, even Western-style warfare brought defeat. It is hardly surprising that so many were willing to listen to voices telling them that the old Islamic ways were best and that their only salvation was to throw aside the pagan innovations of the reformers and return to the True Path that God had prescribed for his people.

ULTIMATELY, the struggle of the fundamentalists is against two enemies, secularism and modernism. The war against secularism is conscious and explicit, and there is by now a whole literature denouncing secularism as an evil neo-pagan force in the modern world and attributing it variously to the Jews, the West, and the United States. The war against modernity is for the most part neither conscious nor explicit, and is directed against the whole process of change that has taken place in the Islamic world in the past century or more and has transformed the political, economic, social, and even cultural structures of Muslim countries. Islamic fundamentalism has given an aim and a form to the otherwise aimless and formless resentment and anger of the Muslim masses at the forces that have devalued their traditional values and loyalties and, in the final analysis, robbed them of their beliefs, their aspirations, their dignity, and to an increasing extent even their livelihood.

There is something in the religious culture of Islam which inspired, in even the humblest peasant or peddler, a dignity and a courtesy toward others never exceeded and rarely equaled in other civilizations. And yet, in moments of upheaval and disruption, when the deeper passions are stirred, this dignity and courtesy toward others can give way to an explosive mixture of rage and hatred which impels even the government of an ancient and civilized country -- even the spokesman of a great spiritual and ethical religion -- to espouse kidnapping and assassination, and try to find, in the life of their Prophet, approval and indeed precedent for such actions.

The instinct of the masses is not false in locating the ultimate source of these cataclysmic changes in the West and in attributing the disruption of their old way of life to the impact of Western domination, Western influence, or Western precept and example. And since the United States is the legitimate heir of European civilization and the recognized and unchallenged leader of the West, the United States has inherited the resulting grievances and become the focus for the pent-up hate and anger. Two examples may suffice. In November of 1979 an angry mob attacked and burned the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. The stated cause of the crowd's anger was the seizure of the Great Mosque in Mecca by a group of Muslim dissidents -- an event in which there was no American involvement whatsoever. Almost ten years later, in February of 1989, again in Islamabad, the USIS center was attacked by angry crowds, this time to protest the publication of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses. Rushdie is a British citizen of Indian birth, and his book had been published five months previously in England. But what provoked the mob's anger, and also the Ayatollah Khomeini's subsequent pronouncement of a death sentence on the author, was the publication of the book in the United States.

It should by now be clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations -- the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.

Not all the ideas imported from the West by Western intruders or native Westernizers have been rejected. Some have been accepted by even the most radical Islamic fundamentalists, usually without acknowledgment of source, and suffering a sea change into something rarely rich but often strange. One such was political freedom, with the associated notions and practices of representation, election, and constitutional government. Even the Islamic Republic of Iran has a written constitution and an elected assembly, as well as a kind of episcopate, for none of which is there any prescription in Islamic teaching or any precedent in the Islamic past. All these institutions are clearly adapted from Western models. Muslim states have also retained many of the cultural and social customs of the West and the symbols that express them, such as the form and style of male (and to a much lesser extent female) clothing, notably in the military. The use of Western-invented guns and tanks and planes is a military necessity, but the continued use of fitted tunics and peaked caps is a cultural choice. From constitutions to Coca-Cola, from tanks and television to T-shirts, the symbols and artifacts, and through them the ideas, of the West have retained -- even strengthened -- their appeal.

THE movement nowadays called fundamentalism is not the only Islamic tradition. There are others, more tolerant, more open, that helped to inspire the great achievements of Islamic civilization in the past, and we may hope that these other traditions will in time prevail. But before this issue is decided there will be a hard struggle, in which we of the West can do little or nothing. Even the attempt might do harm, for these are issues that Muslims must decide among themselves. And in the meantime we must take great care on all sides to avoid the danger of a new era of religious wars, arising from the exacerbation of differences and the revival of ancient prejudices.

To this end we must strive to achieve a better appreciation of other religious and political cultures, through the study of their history, their literature, and their achievements. At the same time, we may hope that they will try to achieve a better understanding of ours, and especially that they will understand and respect, even if they do not choose to adopt for themselves, our Western perception of the proper relationship between religion and politics. To describe this perception I shall end as I began, with a quotation from an American President, this time not the justly celebrated Thomas Jefferson but the somewhat unjustly neglected John Tyler, who, in a letter dated July 10, 1843, gave eloquent and indeed prophetic expression to the principle of religious freedom:

The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent -- that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mahommedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions.... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid.... and the Aegis of the Government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.

The body may be oppressed and manacled and yet survive; but if the mind of man be fettered, its energies and faculties perish, and what remains is of the earth, earthly. Mind should be free as the light or as the air."

From Roots Of Muslim Rage by Bernard Lewis, Atlantic Monthly September 1990
 
These were Dr. Aziz' responses to Mr. Stunich's prior comments. We're probably falling out of order.


Dr. Aziz responds:

1. Mr. Stunich, you are welcome to call in during my presentation.

2. Mr. Stunich, in one of his previous postings mentions specific verses of the Quran that are against human values (my interpretation). I shall answer three of those below and then continue later.

Stunich: There is no separation between church and state (2:193)

Response: Verse 2:193 explains that Muslims must continue to fight against aggressors until there is no persecution. Apparently the reference is incorrect. However, Islam does not say that the church and state must be amalgamated. Please tell me the correct reference and I shall respond.

Stunich: Fighting is prescribed for Muslims (2:216)

Response: In this verse Muslims are told that 'even though you do not like fighting but Allah prescribes it'. Now please go to the next verse 2:217 to find out as to who are those people against whom fighting is prescribed. Verse 2:217 lists them as: those who hinder men from reaching the Allah's mosque, who turn people out from there and also will not cease fighting until they turn back Muslims from their faith. (What would you do Andy?)

Stunich: Wives are fields to be used by their husbands as they desire (2:223).

Response: The complete verses is translated as follows: "Your wives are a (sort of) tilth for you; so approach your tilth when and as you like to send ahead (some good) for yourselves; and fear Allah and know that you shall meet Him; and bear good tidings to those who believe". (bracketed words added by the translator). This verse emphasizes that our women are blessed with the attribute of providing us progeny. A man ought to be a wise husbandman and select
the best seed (not be a druggy or an alcoholic), and choose the best time and manner for sowing it (have children at proper intervals).

It forces men to think of a caring treatment a woman needs during her pregnancy for the safety and well being of the mother and the fetus (metaphorically the land and the crop). Also the verse warns men to be mindful of their meeting with God where they would have to explain their treatment of their wives. (What could be a better way of describing the husband-wife relationship along with man's responsibilities?)
 
Andy, what are your thoughts? I don't need to be snowed under with verbage from another source that you are using to continue your need to bash Muslims without recognizing the dialectic between Muslims and the West in terms of territorial aggression and violence. You want to take sides when the side you take is responsible for the mess we all are having deal with.

I'm not here to defend Islam and Muslims forever but to balance the scales of social justice we in America must rise above the finger-pointing at Islam and Muslims that Zionist racist anti-Arab influence on our culture for the past 60 years-just look at the movie stereotypes that you are taking as representing all Arabs, all Muslims in general.

Please, Andy, do us a favor and make friends with some local Arabs, some local Muslims before continuing this assault your are doing on them and their religion.

When I say that Islam is in need of reformation and you think its beyond that, well, remember to look closely at the Deuteromy and Leviticus mitzvot laws and the intolerant violent behavior of Moses, whom not only Jews but I believe, your type of Christian believer reveres. God will see to the Muslims.
 
I agree. God will see to the Muslims. Best to end on a note of agreement. I have said all that I can say and leave the debate to others. Many thanks to anyone who stayed to the end.
 
From Abdul Aziz:
Mr. Stunich asked me to provide a reference that shows that the verses revealed in Medina (When Muslims had become a dominant force in Arabia) exhorting Muslims to be non-aggressive (my rephrasing). Here is one of those verses:
(2:257) "There is no compulsion in religion. Surely the right way has become distinct from error; so whoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Hearing."
I shall provide more later.
(2). Mr. Stunich says that common Muslims persecute my Community (Ahmadiyya) and that the terrorists know better what Islam is. I agree. They do and claim. But it has nothing to do with the truth of Islam. The Jews persecuted Christ and his disciples. Caiphas and his associates thought they knew the teachings of the Bible better than Peter and Mattew. Were they right? Would you judge the teachings of Jesus through the eyes of the persecutors?
(3). Could we all agree not to have a shouting match and mud slinging. History of all the Abrahamic religions is full of atrocities committed by errant people. Let us discuss how to bring out the truth through exploration of the Holy scrptures than what the Ayatollah's say or what the the Popes did.
I shall continue to answer Mr. Stunich's criticism of the Quran but only by taking a few verses at a time. The readers need to reflect.
 
Verse 2:257 was revealed in Mecca years before the Sword verses were revealed and they were supplanted by the Sword Verses. Islam has so interpreted the Koran for 1,400 years. Nothing else explains Muhammad and his immediate successors' actions in spreading Islam by the sword. Muhammad's successors are so revered in Islam that they are known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs in Islam. Muslims educated in Islamic Doctrine have traditionally only preached verse 2:257 when in a minority position of no power just as Muhammad was in Mecca when he preached the verse. Conversely, Muslims have preached and applied the Sword Verses when in power or strong enough to challenge non- Muslims for power just as Muhammad did when he gained power in Mecca. I set forth Sir William Muir's summary of Muhammad for a reason, Muhammad was the personification of Islam and the Islamic World, by its own admission, tries to act just like him.
 
Idolization of Muhammad and his book is the problem with Islam. Ironically, it is Muslims who are the worst idolators in the world today. They've made an idol out of Muhammad and his book, an idol that can not be questioned because questioning it is questioning Allah. This very same device was used by Moses and Paul only several thousand years have past with events that have mellowed out the true believer syndrome in Jews and Christians. Or perhaps I should say have better disguised the original fanatical intolerances that often lead to extreme social violence.

So let's help our Muslim friends get past this point of religious intolerant fanaticism. That's our job now--to bring the Enlightenment we Christians and Jews received 300 years ago that mellowed out our religious fanaticisms somewhat, to Muslims so that they can join us in the needed critique and overhaul of all three Abrahamic religions that have brought the world so much unnecessary grief instead of joy of God and Creation.
 
'Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.'

Do you have any idea who said this?

It was Omar Ahmad, the chairman of the board of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR's spokesmen appear regularly in the media complaining about the treatment of Muslims and giving us the message that 'Muslims are part of the fabric of this great country and are working to build a better America.'

But when speaking to a Muslim audience, as Omar Ahmad was, the message is not so benign.
 
Do you want me to quote what Ariel Sharon said about controlling America? Do you want to see the political influence of CAIR vs. AIPAC on our nation and the thousands of lives lost, nations put in ruins for that lobby's Zionist causes?

It is not going to work- posting only the Muslim bad acts without reporting the bad acts we are doing to cause the Muslim responses.
 
Steve - not to contradict you again, especially since I don't know for certain. However, I've read that the Sharon quote is an urban legend.
 
From Abdul Aziz
Mr. Stunich, the verse 2:257 is a Medinite verse. It is included in the Medinite chapters in all the translations of Quran I have. Please check with your data base. Most probably somebody has provided you incorrect references.
Also please lower your level of anger. As a christian please reflect some Christ-like attributes. However, if you are a Jew then please compare the bloodletting by the Biblical prophets to Muhammad. Instead of delving into propaganda we can talk of peace. Best wishes.
 
To Mr. Anonymous:
Islam is a prosletyzing religion like Christianity. The mission of both the religions is to convert the whole world. There is no harm if Omar Ahmad speaks in this manner. As long as people convert to a religion happily and without compulsion there is no harm. However, you have a point if Mr. Omar wants to convert people by using force. I am sure he does not have any force needed.
 
From Abdul Aziz
Mr. Stunich, here are two more verses from Ch. 5 (Al-Maida). This is a Medinite chapter. I am sure your data base includes this chapter in Medinite verses.
(5:3). "O ye who believe! profane not the signs of Allah, nor the Sacred Month, nor the animals brought as an offering, nor the animals of sacrifice wearing collars nor those repairing to the Sacred House, seeking grace from their Lord and His pleasure. And when you put off your pilgrim's garb and are clear of the Sacred Territory, you may hunt. And not let the enmity of a people, that they hindred you from the Sacred Mosque, incite you to transgress. And help one another in righteousness and in piey; but not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah; surely Allah is severre in punishment.
(5:9). "O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people's enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just. This is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is aware of what you do".
I can assure you Mr. Stunich that the data base you are using is erroneuos. I shall continue to provide answers to your querries about some verses which you mentioned earlier. Best wishes.
Abdul Aziz
 
"Steve - not to contradict you again, especially since I don't know for certain. However, I've read that the Sharon quote is an urban legend."

Not to contradict me again..yeah, right..as if you had any control over your compulsion to argue. Have you thought about seeing someone for your OCD problem?

Meanwhile, back to playing mr. Gnow-it-all, here's the source of the quote that one finds all over the place on a Google search and no references to it being your "urban legend" wherever you drug that little fact diverter from to post a point for your side.

"During an argument between the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Peres said that Isralis' policies of continued violence might "turn the US against us".

To this Sharon retorted:

"EVERY TIME WE DO SOMETHING, YOU TELL ME AMERICANS WILL DO THIS AND WILL DO THAT. I WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING VERY CLEAR: DON'T WORRY ABOUT AMERICAN PRESSURE ON ISRAEL;
WE, THE JEWISH PEOPLE, CONTROL AMERICA. AND THE AMERICANS KNOW IT."
-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
October 3, 2001
(IAP News)
According the Israeli Hebrew radio Kol Yisrael

IAP News has won journalism awards according to their site. And all the website where Sharon is quoted name the Israeli radio station as the source.

Another urban legend dies--the legend very likely put out by Zionists seeking damage control that Sharon's quote was an urban legend.

Damage control...there's a lot of it going around here these days..
 
From Abdul Aziz
The next verse listed by Mr. Stunich as a criticism of Islam is 2:228. He writes ,"Men are superior to women". The complete translation of the verse is: "And the divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three courses, and it is not lawful for them that they conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day; and their husbands have a greater right to take themback during that period, provided they desire reconciliation. And they (the women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in equity; but men have a degree above them. And Allah is mighty and Wise."
The verse states clearly that as far as personal rights are concerned the husband and wife have equal rights. However, men as providers and protectors have a degree of advantage over women. Islam requires men to provide financial and physical protection to the household. Women, except of their own desire to work and provide for household, cannot be asked by men to work. Also a woman's earnings belong to her exclusively. Whereas a husband's earning is for the family.
Now let us see what the Bible says about the status of women vis-a-vis men. Comparison generally helps. "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" Genesis 3:16). Nor was man created for woman but woman for man (1 Corinthians 11:8-9). "And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. ( 1 Corinthians 14-34-35). Mr. Stunich, please tell me if this is how a woman should be treated or as Islam treats her as having rights at par with man. I know the actual practices of the followers of both the Quran and the Bible are not very desirable.
 
"Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clearly from error" (Sura 2.256).

Apologists for Islam often quote this verse, and most Westerners, unfamiliar with the Koran and imagining that it must obey the same theological logic as the Christian Bible, assume that Islamic scripture mandates religious toleration toward non-Muslims. That assumption is inaccurate.

The Koran includes many abrogated verses, called mansukh, and abrogating verses, nasikh; the latter cancel the former, rendering them invalid, though they nevertheless remain in the Koran and are deceptively quoted, for Western consumption, as though they still represented genuine Islamic beliefs. Nasikh and mansukh are legion: Of the Koran's 114 suras (chapters), only 43 are without abrogated or abrogating verses. That is naturally surprising, and so unexpected that few Westerners are aware that significant segments of the Koran have been theologically annulled. Mohammed's non-Muslim contemporaries were just as surprised.

How does one know, when two verses are contradictory, which is abrogated and which is abrogating? It is a question of date: Later texts abrogate earlier texts whenever there are inconsistencies between them. Many of the Koranic verses that teach tolerance and peace, in particular those that prohibit compulsion in religion, are in Sura 2, which is among the oldest chapters of the Koran and thus liable to abrogation, whenever Muhammad felt the inclination to revoke his alleged revelations. Although Islam, unlike Judaism and Christianity, received its revelation from a single person within a short period of time, roughly twenty years, Mohammed was nonetheless able to impose upon his followers the implausible belief that the inerrant Muslim God had routinely changed his mind.

The pacific, tolerant message of Sura 2.256 reflects the historical circumstances of its composition. Islam was still then decidedly a minority faith and Mohammed and his small band of followers, in Medina and surrounded by non-Muslim enemies, were threatened with destruction. The early Koran of necessity presented religious tolerance as a divine command because nascent Islam had not yet acquired the physical power to compel conversion: "The Apostle had not been given permission to fight or allowed to shed blood ... he had simply been ordered to call men to God, endure insult, and forgive the ignorant" (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah).

But when Islam became powerful, "Allah's eternal message" changed. Islam could now "call people by the sword" -- that is, compel conversion -- and accordingly "verses of the sword" were conveniently revealed to the Prophet, verses that sanction and indeed command conversion of the Infidel by armed violence, which historically would be Islam's preferred method. Sura 2.256 was thus abrogated by a later verse, composed after Mohammed had conquered Mecca and was preparing his new Muslim empire for Jihad against the non-Muslim world: "Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush" (Sura 9.5). This "verse of the sword" not only abrogates 2.256, but also abrogates well over a hundred earlier verses that formerly taught peace and tolerance toward non-believers.

Only the later, abrogating verse now represents authentic Muslim teaching.

Islam is not a "Religion of Peace" as the following verses make clear.

"Those that make war against Allah and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter." (Sura 5.33-34)

"Allah revealed His will to the angels, saying: 'I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers!' That was because they defied Allah and His apostle. He that defies Allah and his apostle shall be sternly punished by Allah." (Sura 8.12-13)

"In order that Allah may separate the pure from the impure, put all the impure ones [i.e. non-Muslims] one on top of another in a heap and cast them into hell. They will have been the ones to have lost." (Sura 8.37)

"Muster against them [i.e. non-Muslims] all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them who are unknown to you but known to Allah." (Sura 8.60)

"Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal harshly with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate." (Sura 9.73)

"When We resolve to raze a city, We first give warning to those of its people who live in comfort. If they persist in sin, judgement is irrevocably passed, and We destroy it utterly." (Sura 17.16-17)

"We have destroyed many a sinful nation and replaced them by other men. And when they felt Our Might they took to their heels and fled. They were told: 'Do not run away. Return to your comforts and to your dwellings. You shall be questioned all.' 'Woe betide us, we have done wrong' was their reply. And this they kept repeating until We mowed them down and put out their light." (Sura 21.11-15)

"When you meet the unbelievers in jihad, chop off their heads. And when you have brought them low, bind your prisoners rigorously. Then set them free or take ransom from them until the war is ended." (Sura 47.4)

"Mohammed is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Sura 48.29)
 
Dr. Aziz, "On Abrogation" is absolutely correct. The Sword Verses of chapter nine were some of the last verses "revealed" by Muhammad and they came years after the 2:256 "no compulsion in religion" verse which, by the way, is much less specific than: "Mohammed is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Koran chapter 48, verse 29) Why would a religion of peace that believes in no compulsion in religion be ruthless to unbelievers?

With respect to women, I let everyone's familiarity with the disparity between how women are treated in the Islamic World and the West speak for itself.

Finally, I am not angry. If I have said something that offends you or makes you believe I am angry, I apologize. With respect to showing some Judeo-Christian spirit as you suggest, I did that by letting Mr. Muir's summary be my summary. He was as charitable to Muhammad, and in my view to Islam, as honesty would permit. One of those Ten Commandments says not to lie so I must tell it like it is.

I note that you have still never attempted to explain why early Islamic history is so at odds with your allegation that Islam is a religion of peace. I also note that you offer no explanation for the type of verses quoted by "On Abrogation" and me throughout this debate. If Islam only allows Jihad when Muslims are attacked for their beliefs and is a religion of peace, then why does the Koran exhort the Muslim faithful to do the following to opponents who "shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides," (5:33-34)[why does a religion of peace advocate such torture] and that Allah will "cast terror into the hearts of the infidels." Why are Muslims exhorted to "Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers!' (8:12-13)

Why does the Koran say "Muster against them [i.e. non-Muslims] all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them who are unknown to you but known to Allah." (8:60)

Why does the Koran say: "Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal harshly with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate." (9:73)

How does the following fit into the religion of peace advertising? "When We resolve to raze a city, We first give warning to those of its people who live in comfort. If they persist in sin, judgement is irrevocably passed, and We destroy it utterly." (17:16-17)

And "We mowed them down and put out their light." (21:11-15)

Why would the Koran say "Mohammed is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (48:29)

If Islam were as you profess Dr. Aziz, it would simply say "You may defend yourselves from those who kill you for your beliefs" and Islam would not have roared out of the Arabian Peninsula like a plague and caused such death and destruction.
 
I also hate to have to say it, but I see a great paradox in Dr. Aziz' attempts to compare Islam to Christianity and argue that Islam is not violent because Judaism and Christianity have violence as well. In a March 18, 2006, Eureka Reporter article, he argued that the "Quran also declares that the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and all other prophets was Islam because they preached and practiced peace and submission to God." Yet, he repeatedly defended Islam by claiming Moses did various violent things or made intolerant statements. If the "Quran also declares that the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and all other prophets was Islam because they preached and practiced peace and submission to God" as Dr. Aziz alleges, then was he not condemning Islam? I see a great inconsistency here.
 
In a May 27, 2006, Eureka Reporter article Dr. Aziz said: "There is nothing in the Quran that could have caused the tragedy of 9/11. Not a single verse in the Quran leads to the killing of the innocent." Well what about all of the verses I have cited herein in this debate such as chapter nine, verse 5 that says 'slay the pagans wherever you find them" and "Mohammed is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (48:29)

There are too many verses for Dr. Aziz to explain away. His opinions as to the meanings of verses are just that, his opinion. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims worldwide do not accept his opinion and after reading the Koran and hadiths and reviewing the history of Muhammad, it is easy to see why.

I am done with this online debate. I have said all that I can say. I will let the daily violence done in the name of Allah reinforce my opinion that Islam is not a religion of peace. Now that you have heard the arguments, perhaps you will better understand why these terrorists are so motivated.
 
Re. Mr. Stunich's Comments:
1. Again I say the same thing. Mr. Stunich uses wrong data base. Ch. 2 is not the oldest. It was revealed in Medina. The Prophet lived only ten years in Medina before he died. Since his arrival in Medina he was accepted as the ruler of Medina both by the Muslims and the Jews. Thus the verse was revealed after he had complete control of the city.
2. Mr. Stunich has not given his opinion of verses in Ch. 5. This chapter is the latest in the Quran. The Prophet died after this chapter was revealed. Even these verses tell the Muslims to be just and not transgress.
3. Abrogatiion of verses of the Quran is accepted by some Muslim scholars because they failed to understand the verses. Abrogation means replacement of verses in the OT or Vedas etc. by the NT and the Quran. All verses of the Quran are as applicable today as they were when revealed, given the same situation obtains.
4. All the verses referred to by Mr. Stunich are stated out of context. Please read the context by going back one page and forward one page of the referenced verse. Let me give you one example from the NT. Jesus said, "I have not come to bring peace. I have come to bring sword'. If read without context then will it not prove that Jesus was not a peaceful person. Please reflect upon the importance of context.
4. When I say that the religion of all prophets has been Islam, I mean that the situation described in violent verses in the previous Scriptures dealt with extra-ordinarily violent societies. Thus God instructed the prophets to deal in exceptional manners. However, my reference to the treatment of women recommended by the NT is to show only that the people who criticize Islam must 'worry about the log in their own eye before pointing to mote in the brother's eye.
5. I do not defend the terrible things Muslims are doing or have done in the past. Mr. Stunich and all others have my support in this. All I say is that Islam does not teach Muslims to be violent. So Please don't call Islam bad names. If Islam is a bad religion because Muslims have acted violently then how come you don't say that Christianity and Judaism are bad religions because Christians and Jews have been at least as much violent in their history- even recently.
5. I wish there were some inter-faith meetings and we could explain to each other the beauties of all of our religions. A face to face conversation can remove doubts, given goodwill. Then we shall not tear apart each other. We need to live in peace now or wait for the armageddan- not a laughing matter for us and our children.
 
Re. Mr. Stunich's comments:
1. Repetition by Mr. Stunich that verse 9:5 of the Quran could have led to the 9/11 tragedy requires that I repeat my earlier answer. Please read this verse as a part of the passage (a few verses before and a few after). It would clarify that the verse applies to a situation of war where opponents break treaties and fight. It is a matter of defending oneself. Without reference to the context, it is just like someone saying, Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace; I came to bring sword".
 
Abdul is right. Face to face meetings at length would be good for all of us. We need to see the truth face to face--we'll never get along unless we shut up about what we believe in..

I am lucky in one sense here because my Gnostic Christian beliefs are not contingent on accepting ancient words of men as the only communication from God that is authentic and sanctioned for basing one's religious beliefs upon.

We Gnostics have only to point to the historical record to prove that the various Words of God are perhaps humankind's cruelest deceptions. The holy books are not holy. If they were Abrahamic societies would be at peace with each other and all the rest of the peoples of the world.

The Abrahamic holy books are manuals for religious territorial aggression and control. Each one is initiated by a prophet with a napoleonic complex who so believes one man can tell the world how to understand and worship God that he takes the monumentally egotistical a-spiritual, intellectually backward step of commanding people believe his words and his words alone or face eternal damnation. Thus your Moses, your Paul, your Muhammad.

I mean, can you imagine Einstein or Pasteur or Salk or Darwin demanding the world bow down to them because they and they alone have information every needs? No. And why is that? Because there is a horrible dichotomy in our acceptance of knowledge when it comes to spiritual knowledge.

Somehow, we've made spiritually knowledgeable people in our Abrahamic faiths into idols to be worshipped like idols are worshipped, unquestionably, those refusing to do so being condemned to various degrees depending on the level of social violence found in that society.

I am of the opinion which I am acting upon that it is past time for any sort of ecumenicalism or coming together in peace and harmony of believers in all the major religions. The religions are too different from one another and several at war with each other according to their basic tenets.

In order for peace and harmony to exist in mixed religious society, the Abrahamic believers must abandoned many of their core beliefs in order to "just get along". And it is a fact that the closer Abrahamic believers come to obeying the literal instructions in their holy books the worst those persons behaves towards their neighbors.

No Jew can practicve the 614 Mitzvot laws without risk of imprisonment for crimes against persons or crimes against humanity. Muslims trying to inflict Sharia law in various Muslim majority countries are running smack into this problem.

Liberal democratic societies won't stand for the kind of human rights violations one can find in all the holy books including the New Testament because Christians are taught to believe literally and hypocritically that not one letter of the law of Moses will ever pass away so here and there you get your Christian religious killer-apes beginning with Constantin, going through several thousands? and ending currently with Mr. Bush.

I'm sorry but for humanity's sake we need to seriously think about composting all the ancient religious traditions as they stand now, dangerous dinosaurs still capable of raging around and causing all kinds of needless violence and suffering.

Abdul, I'm not saying "burn the books" nor am I saying turn to atheism. What I'm saying is look at reality and history and have the guts to make a moral judgment call and say "enough is enough!"
These old religions create far more trouble than they're worth.
This is what a prophet of God would have to say to be truthful to the reality of our modern world and the history leading up to it. But let's talk about it.

Some old fashioned Greater Jihad is always a pleasure. And I promise not to bring the New Word of God to the discussion table.

This time..
 
Okay. I've been out of the loop on this discussion for a few days, but I'll catch up before tonight. I'll also post a reminder.
 
Jesus saying he came with a sword was an obvious metaphor. The Bible is full of parable and metaphor. Jesus, however, by his example made certain that no one would think that his metaphor was an admonition to his followers to use the sword to force Christianity on others. Some eventually did so, but I have never heard any claim anything Jesus said was the basis for their conduct. The Koran is quite different. It is devoid of parables and Islam alone amongst the World's religions commands the faithful to impose Islam as the dominant political and religious system.

Chapter 5 of the Koran may have been revealed after chapter nine. Certainly the two chapters are the last chapters to have been revealed, but I see nothing in chapter five that would seem to clearly mitigate the chapter nine verses. Moreover, because the Koran says to obey Muhammad and follow his allegedly perfect example, any ambiguities in the Koran with respect to imposing Islam by force were cleared up by what Muhammad said as recorded in Bukhari's hadiths.

Dr. Aziz brushes aside these clarifying hadiths by saying they are invalid because they contradict the Koran. However, Bukhari was one of the most widely accepted Islamic Scholars of all time in the Muslim world and one of his standards was consistency with the Koran. By ignoring Bukhari's certified hadiths, DR. Aziz is simply preaching a different version of Islam from that accepted for hundreds of years.

Dr. Aziz' analysis also offers no explanation as to why the early Muslim community that broke bread with Muhammad, fought with Muhammad, and directly listened to what he alleged were God's revelations, embarked on the forced conversion of the remaining Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula that were no threat to Islam and further embarked on Arab Imperialism attacking and subjugating North Africa, the Middle East and Persia. The imperialism was expressly done in the name of Islam and in reliance on chapter nine of the Koran. Now perhaps Dr. Aziz alleges that he understands Islam better than Muhammad's close friends and confidants, but that seems highly unlikely to me. It is also irrelevant.

Islam is a religion based upon faith that Muhammad was who he said he was and that he revealed the word of God. People of faith can try to make the religion fit modern values if they want, but are they then not lifting themselves up to be greater than the God and Prophet they profess to believe in? Most important, Islam is not a religion of peace because no matter how strained of an interpretation some followers give to Islamic doctrine and history to try to make it peaceful, it will always motivate a significant percentage of its adherents to commit the same type of atrocities that Muhammad committed. Hence, it is an inherently dangerous religion and by promoting it, one is promoting an inevitable amount of intolerance and terror by those convinced of the Muslim faith. That is why we see so much violence expressly undertaken by devout Muslims. Islam is confusing and has left much room for the Dr. Aziz's of the world to argue its merits because Muhammad definitely preached peace and justice amongst the Muslims and he even improved somewhat the lot of women in seventh century Arabia, but by attributing his own morals, philosophy and beliefs to be the word of God, he locked the Islamic world into a seventh century mentality that has greatly resisted the advancement of the human race and which has locked the Islamic world into a backward state.

Even with vast oil revenues, the Islamic world trails the western world in almost every measure of technological and economic advancement and enlightenment.

While Muhammad preached peace and justice amongst Muslims, his failure to clearly set forth the right of non-Muslims to their own religious beliefs without being oppressed or subservient to Islam, he locked the Islamic world into a seventh century state of no belief in real pluralism or the right of others to live as equals with the Islamic world and that flaw is haunting the modern world and threatens our very survival.

In a world with weapons of mass destruction and advancing technology that will eventually trickle down to the Islamic World, it seems dangerously reckless to me to preach the alleged beauty and peace of a religion that has such a tendency to cause so much violent intolerance in the modern age. I also believe that it is asking way too much to expect Americans to tolerate such an intolerant faith that would, if it could, at a minimum, replace our Constitutional guarantees with Sharia Law. At best, Dr. Aziz has established that Islam could be reinterpreted as peaceful. However, by doing so, has only, in my view, increased the danger of Islam as it tends to blind a large segment of our society to the full danger we face from the Islam preached and practiced by Muhammad. By reinterpreting Islam, Dr. Aziz has also increased the likelihood that he will gather new converts. Some of those converts will eventually experience a revival and reversion to fundamentalist Islam and, like Jihad Johnny Walker Lindh, make war against their own fellow Americans.
 
From Abdul Aziz
For Steve: I agree with you that religions have been the cause of much blood shed in the past. However, if we believe in God then we need guidance from him. With the passage of time we humans corrupt the revealed religions and create turmoil. God in His infinite wisdom then sends a new Messenger and people get on the path of peace. I shall try to provide you some more reasons for understanding my point of view.
To Mr. Stunich: I shall answer your comments in my presentation today. Thanks.
 
It looks like Mr. Stunich is correct:

Suicide bombers follow Quran,
concludes Pentagon briefing
Tasked with pinpointing motivation, analysts find
terrorists 'rational actors' following 'holy book'
Posted: September 27, 2006
10:17 p.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com


With suicide bombings spreading from Iraq to Afghanistan, the Pentagon has tasked intelligence analysts to pinpoint what's driving Muslim after Muslim to do the unthinkable.

Their preliminary finding is politically explosive: it's their "holy book" the Quran after all, according to intelligence briefings obtained by WND.

In public, the U.S. government has made an effort to avoid linking the terrorist threat to Islam and the Quran while dismissing suicide terrorists as crazed heretics who pervert Islamic teachings.

"The terrorists distort the idea of jihad into a call for violence and murder," the White House maintains in its recently released "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism" report.

(Story continues below)

But internal Pentagon briefings show intelligence analysts have reached a wholly different conclusion after studying Islamic scripture and the backgrounds of suicide terrorists. They've found that most Muslim suicide bombers are in fact students of the Quran who are motivated by its violent commands – making them, as strange as it sounds to the West, "rational actors" on the Islamic stage.


Palestinian child pretends he's a suicide bomber

In Islam, it is not how one lives one's life that guarantees spiritual salvation, but how one dies, according to the briefings. There are great advantages to becoming a martyr. Dying while fighting the infidels in the cause of Allah reserves a special place and honor in Paradise. And it earns special favor with Allah.

"Suicide in defense of Islam is permitted, and the Islamic suicide bomber is, in the main, a rational actor," concludes a recent Pentagon briefing paper titled, "Motivations of Muslim Suicide Bombers."

Suicide for Allah a 'win-win'

"His actions provide a win-win scenario for himself, his family, his faith and his God," the document explains. "The bomber secures salvation and the pleasures of Paradise. He earns a degree of financial security and a place for his family in Paradise. He defends his faith and takes his place in a long line of martyrs to be memorialized as a valorous fighter.

"And finally, because of the manner of his death, he is assured that he will find favor with Allah," the briefing adds. "Against these considerations, the selfless sacrifice by the individual Muslim to destroy Islam's enemies becomes a suitable, feasible and acceptable course of action."

The briefing – produced by a little-known Pentagon intelligence unit called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA – cites a number of passages from the Quran dealing with jihad, or "holy" warfare, martyrdom and Paradise, where "beautiful mansions" and "maidens" await martyr heroes. In preparation for attacks, suicide terrorists typically recite passages from six surahs, or chapters, of the Quran: Baqura (Surah 2), Al Imran (3), Anfal (8), Tawba (9), Rahman (55) and Asr (103).

CIFA staffs hundreds of investigators and analysts to help coordinate Pentagon security efforts at U.S. military installations at home and abroad.

The Pentagon unit is especially concerned about a new wave of suicide bombings hitting Afghanistan.

Suicide bombings have killed more than 200 people in Afghanistan this year, up from single digits two years ago. On Tuesday, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest and killed 18 outside an Afghan government compound. Last week, a suicide bomber riding a bike killed at least four NATO soldiers. And earlier this month, a suicide car bomber rammed into a U.S. military convoy near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, killing 16 people, including two American soldiers.

500 suicide bombers in reserve

The U.S. command in Afghanistan now warns that a suicide bombing cell is operating inside the Afghan capital. Meanwhile, the Taliban's top military commander told ABC News he has 500 suicide bombers at his disposal.

"We have so many of them that it is difficult to accommodate and arm and equip them," Mullah Dadullah Akhund said. "Some of them have been waiting for a year or more for their turn to be sent to the battlefield."

The emergence of a suicide cell in Kabul troubles military analysts because suicide attacks are the most effective weapon Muslim terrorists can use against the West. The Rand Corp. predicts they'll pose a serious and constant threat to the U.S. for years to come.

The U.S. intelligence community is growing increasingly worried, as well.

"Most jihadist groups will use suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement asymmetric warfare strategy," warns the just-declassified executive summary of the National Intelligence Estimate on the global terror threat. "Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics."

Many scholars and media pundits, however, insist Muslim suicide bombers are not driven by religion.

"Beneath the religious rhetoric with which [such terror] is perpetrated, it occurs largely in the service of secular aims," claims Professor Robert A. Pape of the University of Chicago. "Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism."

He says U.S. foreign policy is more a factor than faith.

"Though it speaks of Americans as infidels, al-Qaida is less concerned with converting us to Islam than removing us from Arab and Muslim lands," Pape said.

But what about the recent video by Adam Gadahn, the American al-Qaida, warning fellow Americans to convert to Islam before al-Qaida attacks again?

"He never mentions virgins or the benefits Islamic martyrs receive in Heaven," Pape asserted.

In fact, Gadahn notes 36 minutes into his speech that Allah reserves the highest rewards – "honors and delights" – for martyrs in Paradise.

"[He] promised the martyr in his path the reward over and above the reward of the believer," Gadahn said. "He has promised them honors and delights too numerous to go into here."

The 9/11 hijackers and the London bombers made martyrdom videos. In their last testaments, they recite the Quran while talking of their "love of death" and "sacrificing life for Allah." Seven martyrdom videotapes also were recovered by British authorities in the foiled transatlantic sky terror plot.

Before the 9/11 attacks, the hijackers shaved and doused themselves with flower water in preparation for their weddings with the beautiful virgins in Paradise. "Know that the women of Paradise are waiting, calling out 'Come hither, friend of Allah,'" according to a four-page letter circulated among them titled "THE LAST NIGHT." "They have dressed in their most beautiful clothing."

But are the virgins scriptural or apocryphal? French documentarian Pierre Rehov, who interviewed the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it, says it's not a myth or fantasy of heretics.

He says there's no doubt the Quran "promises virgins" to Muslim men who die while fighting infidels in jihad, and it's a key motivating factor behind suicide terrorism.

"It's obviously connected to religion," said Rehov, who features his interviews with Muslims in a recently released film, "Suicide Killers." "They really believe they are going to get the virgins."

He says would-be Muslim suicide bombers he's interviewed have shown him passages in the Quran "in which it's absolutely written that they're going to get the girls in the afterlife."

Muslim clerics do not disavow the virgins-for-martyrs reward as a perverted interpretation of the Quran.

And even Muslim leaders in the West condone suicide bombings. British scholar Azzam Tamimi recently told 8,000 Muslims in Manchester, England, that dying while fighting "George Bush and Tony Blair" is "just" and "the greatest act of martyrdom." Earlier, he said it's "the straight way to pleasing Allah."

And the founder of an allegedly mainstream Muslim group in Washington – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – also has given his blessing to suicide bombings.

Addressing a youth session at the 1999 Islamic Association for Palestine's annual convention in Chicago, CAIR founder Omar Ahmad praised suicide bombers who "kill themselves for Islam," according to a transcript provided by terror expert Steve Emerson's Investigative Project.

"Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide," Ahmad asserted. "They kill themselves for Islam."

Osama bin Laden has encouraged "Muslims brothers" to defeat the U.S. and U.K. with suicide attacks.

"I tell you to act upon the orders of Allah," he said in 2003, "be united against Bush and Blair and defeat them through suicide attacks so that you may be successful before Allah."
 
From Abdul Aziz. Re Mr. Stunich.
1. The next verse of the Quran that Mr. Stunich lists to criticize Islam is 4:3. He says that "a man may marry up to four wives at the same time". Here is the complete translation of the verse: "And if you fear that you will not be able to be just with the orphans then marry of other women as may be agreeable to you, two or three or four; and if you fear that you will not be able to do justice then marry only one or marry what your right hand possesses. Thus it is more likely that you will do justice".
This verse permits but does not require Muslim men to marry up to four women. Also emphassis is on doing justice to wives because in a marital relationship women can be vulnerable. Now coming to four wives. First before the Quran the the Law of Moses does not limit the number of wives a man can have. Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon had multiple wives. Some more than a hundred. Islam restricts the number to four. As a religion it provides guidance for all the time to come. It takes care of exceptional circumstances. In wars men always die in large numbers. Since the number of male and female children born is about equal, in the post-war situation the number of women becomes much greater than men. This is what happened in Europe after the World Wars. Many young women unable to find men of marriagable age strayed from morality to satisfy their biological urges. Many women, with children, having no job and no man were forced into prostitution to provide for their children. If the European countries had followed the Islamic permission for plural marriages immorality and sexually transmitted diseases would not have spread to the extent now everybody knows and deplores. There are other exceptional circumstances where this permission is appropriate. A woman may become sick and unable to maintain her intimate relationship with her husband. Without permission to marry another woman the husband will either divirce the woman or be celibate for the rest of his life. We know that celibacy is hard on men. Many priests are known to have engaged in impermissible practices ruining the life of many children. In case of divorce an already sick woman. Also if a woman does not accept her man marrying another woman she can always ask for a divorce. A reasonable person analyzing this verse would find in it a useful and humane principle of solving unexpected circumstances. Could anyone find a better solution?
 
I think the primary emphasis when reading scriptures or writings from mystical traditions should be on the usually easy to understand ethical teachings. On of my favorite quotes from the Koran is:

Read out aloud
from what has been
revealed
to thee as Scripture
and establish
(congregational) service;
verily, regular prayers
keep men away
from evil and indecency.

Besides, your foremost
duty is
to think of Allah constantly.
Allah knoweth how (by this)
ye are transformed.

And dispute not with those
who have been given
other Scriptures -
unless it be with utmost courtesy -
but (avoid argument)
with the aggressive
amongst them
and say to them:
"We do believe as much
in what has been
revealed to us
as in what
has been revealed to you.
Our Deity and yours
is one, the same,
to Him we do submit".
 
From Abdul Aziz Re. Mr. Stunich.
1. Mr. Stunich says that he finds nothing in Ch. 5 that would seem to mitigate Ch. 9 verses. Ch. 5 (revealed when Muslims had complete control of most of Arabia) says that Muslims must not let the enmity of their erstwhile persecutors incite them (Muslims) to do injustice to the old enemy. Also it says that they are not allowed to transgress. Ch. 9 says that if a war is imposed upon Muslims then Muslims must defend themselves employing good military strategies. Both the verses handle the situations as they are. If Mr. Stunich thinks that Ch. 5 verses do not abrogate the Ch 9 verses, then my answer is that no verse of the Quran is abrogated.
2. The relationship between the Quran and Hadith is very clear. The verses of the Quran are known with certainty. No change occurred in them. The Hadith was collected more than a hundred years after the Prophet's death. No written record of Hadith was allowed by the Prophet in his lifetime. He was concerned that Hadith and the Quran may get intermingled. Thus all Hadith were collected as stated by individuals who thought that they had heard them from old relatives or friends. Hence the accuracy of Hadith is not as certain as that of the Quran. However, the collectors of hadith aplied good research methodologies and thus the Hadith in general are good reference material. Also it is given in the Quran that Prophet Muhammad's life was according to the Quran.Thus if a hadith (the saying of the prophet) is against the Quran then it must be either interpretted or discarded as a weak Hadith. If it is according to the principles enunciated by the Quran then the Hadith must be accepted. This is commonly accepted by the Muslims and I follow it.
3. Mr. Stunich is concerned that by interpreting the Islam (the way I and my community do) Islam could get a few more converts like Lundh who would hurt fellow Americans. I undersatnd his conceren but I assure him and all other readers that my community now is 200 million strong. It has a history of 100 years. Not a single member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has ever participated or even been alleged to have participated by any Government in the world. We follow the Messiah's interpretation of the Quran and that is exactly in line with that of Preophet Muhammad. Even if a wicked person joins our Community the Messiah's touch of love, tolerance and humility converts him to a meek human. So please don't be concerned about the possible new converts to my Community. Also a study of history of the past movements, both violent and peaceful, would reveal that communities that preach and practice peace they attract converts who are interested in becoming peaceful. The communities whose members preach and practice hatred they attract new memebrs willing to commit violence. Nazis, Ku Ku Klux Clan and Al-Qaeda fall into this category. Thus I must request Stunich to watch out for the type of members he and his associates are going to attract. After all his postings are full of hatred for the Muslims. He never mentions, love, peace or tolerance. Unless his associates keep a sharp eye I am afraid we could have a terrible group amongst us here at home.
 
Dr. Aziz, I regret that you feel I have exhibited hatred. That is not my intent. I believe that there is a difference between alleged hatred and a desire to tell it like it is so that Americans may defend themselves.

Every great military leader has always said that one must understand an opponent. There is no question that many, many people wish to harm America and Americans based on Islamic teachings. I could reverse your allegations if I wanted to engage in reckless accusations. For example, you allege that you have found a way to interpret the message of Islam peacefully, but Muhammad did the exact same thing when he was In Mecca and in no position of power. The Koran says to emulate Muhammad and so any person knowledgeable about Islam would expect you to preach a tolerant version of Islam just as Muhammad did when faced with the same circumstances he faced. The cynical amongst us might ask: Should Dr. Aziz and his followers attain power such as Muhammad did, would he then start to do just as Muhammad did and alter his message and order assasinations for nothing more than satirical statements? Slaughter captives? Spread Islam by force? After all, did the man that you follow, Muhammad, not say "War is depection?" Have you not written editorials stating that Muhammad is the perfect example to live by?

However, I am not so cynical, nor do I believe it is reasonable, to assume a nefarious motive in others, absent strong evidence. Consequently, I think the foregoing approach is just as unreasonable as you believing I act out of hate. I assure you that I believe that you are worshiping God in the only way you know how and that you believe that you have found the right way to God and, therefore, want to share it with others. I only ask that you reciprocate and try to appreciate that thousands of my fellow Americans were burned alive by Islam and many had to jump to their deaths from high in the World Trade Center. The men who caused the horror did it in the name of Islam. The 9/11 hijackers, as well as the London bombers, made martyrdom videos. In their last testaments, they recite the Koran while talking of their "love of death" and "sacrificing life for Allah." Seven martyrdom videotapes also were recovered by British authorities in the foiled transatlantic sky terror plot.

Before the 9/11 attacks, the hijackers shaved and doused themselves with flower water in preparation for their weddings with the beautiful virgins in Paradise. "Know that the women of Paradise are waiting, calling out 'Come hither, friend of Allah,'" according to a four-page letter circulated among them titled "THE LAST NIGHT." "They have dressed in their most beautiful clothing."

You as much as anyone else know that the foregoing beliefs are well-rooted in Islamic doctrine. At best, it sure is easy to "misinterpret" Islam's alleged message of peace given that so many educated, devoted Muslims interpret it as I do. I am also right to be deeply concerned because the Islamic terrorists openly admit to wanting to set off WMD's in America. In my view, only an ignorant, naive and misguided "do gooder" would do anything less than try to undertsand Islam and explain to others why so much terror is committed in the name of Islam.

I believe and will always believe that Islam is a dangerous religion at best. It offers no improvement whatsoever over Jesus' teachings, but offers many, many teachings that can and have led to many horrors.

You have encouraged me many times to apply Christian teachings to this debate. Here, and I recognize that this will be upsetting to you, is what I believe is the most direct teaching the New Testament has about Islam:

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." -- Matthew 7:15

The foregoing passage does not apply anywhere more strongly than to Muhammad. The 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus put it best: "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."

Little has changed since the 14th century. Samuel Huntington, the author of "The Clash of Civilizations," pointed out that, out of 22 active conflicts in the world in 1993, 20 involved Muslims against Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims against Orthodox Muslims, or Muslims against Hindus.

In my view, it is not hate to point out the danger of Islam. Jesus said, in essence, love thy neighbor as thyself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Even the slightest modicum of concern one would have for others, including Muslims, would dictate that the truth be told about Islam. I note that the Islamic World is suffering under its yoke even more than the West.

I encourage you, Dr. Aziz, to read the accounts of Muslim apostates and women and how they have suffered terribly in Islamic lands. Look at the Iranians who have suffered horribly under the Islamic Revolution.

Do not get me wrong. I see some virtues in Islam. I understand, for example, very well the Islamic World's revulsion at some of the conduct shamelessly undertaken in the West. I am also ashamed of European Imperialism and recognize that it plays a part in Muslim rage against the West. I also understand the desire to recognize and worship God. I assure you that I am not a secular hater of religion. I see and hear the secularists rant and rave about the horror committed in the name of God seemingly oblivious that the horror of secular ideologies such as fascism and communism dwarfed by hundreds of millions the number of people falsely killed in the name of God.

Make no mistake about it. I say what I say only because I care for everyone, including Muslims. I just do not think that letting someone proceed in error, without trying to persuade them of their error, is an act of love or peace.

I also know that you will never synthesize or harmonize religious belief as you attempt to do. Christians see Christianity as diametrically opposed to Islam. Islam says Jesus was not crucified. In Christianity, that is its most central and important teaching. Insted, you should focus as I do on teaching that pluralism must harmonize the various faiths and yield peace. We must recognize that all have the right to their beliefs and that no religion should be imposed by force.

I realize that I tend to speak much more directly than most and that my plain speaking can be offensive to Muslims. For that I apologize, but I assure you that I have the best of intentions.

I look forward to a polite and respectful debate with you on Eric's show next month.
 
If I may, I would like to "harmonize" this debate. Mr. Stunich is, perhaps, telling us what Islam is because the spokesmen of official Islam will not tell us the full truth. Dr. Aziz is, perhaps, telling us only what he wants Islam to be.
 
From Abdul Aziz
Mr. Stunich: I do not disagree with you that Mulsims have behaved terribly. My point is that please do not call that a fault of Islam. What they do to women or to apostate is entirely against the teachings of Islam. Islam is what is in the Quran and the Ahmadiyya community is trying its best to make Muslims understand it and behve accordingly. However, our mission is also to help our Christian, Jewish, Hindu etc brothers and sisters to look into what Moses, Jesus, and Krishna preached and practised. The community founded by the Promised Messiah is making every type of sacrifice to achieve the objective.
We need a dialogue to understand each other.
To Mr. Anonymous: I want the Muslims to follow the Quran. That is what the official Islam is.
 
From Abdul Aziz
I have explained a number of times that Muhammad followed the Quran. Verses revealed in Mecca or Medina did not contradict each other. The objective of the Quran has been to bring peace to humanity. Peace can be achieved only through prudent action. Appeasing the Nazis by the British did not bring peace. Peace cannot be achieved by killing innocent people either. Muhammad fought defensive wars when war was the only means to achieve peace. He preached tolerance and acceptance in general. Muslims, Christians and Jews all have fought political wars and done terrible things in history. Why blame a religion for the misdeeds of errant people? Else start calling into question Christianity and Judaism also.
 
From Abdul Aziz.
Mr. Stunich, I also look forward to a civil and respectful debate. It is a fact that I am trying to harmonize Judaism, Christianity and Islam (even other revealed religions). I believe that this is what God wants. He did say that the lamb and the lion will drink water from the same hole when the Messiah returns. I understand it is an uphill task. Regarding the crucifixion of Christ and this belief being central to Christianity and not accepted by Islam, I must say that such a tragic event could not be different in the Divine Scriptures. The Quran does not deny that Jesus was put on the cross. However, it rejects his death on the cross. There are plenty of examples where humans put on the cross for a short-while (three hours in case of Jesus) survived after being taken down. If people read Bible, understanding the metaphoric nature of its verses carefully, they will realize that Bible does not support 'death of Jesus on the cross'. Instead of giving my arguments here I request you and other visitors to this site to please visit www.alislam.org and read the 'Life and Death of Jesus'. If Erik would agree then we could have a civil and respectful debate on this topic also at some later date.
 
Dr. Aziz, at least you are consistent. Your preaching regarding Christianity is as unorthodox as your interpretation of Islam.
 
From Abdul Aziz.
Look where orthodox Christians and Muslims have brought us: a nuclear hell staring in our face. Should we continue to follow them blindly?
 
I did not know that the Manhattan Project was staffed by Christians and run by a church. Does Dr. Aziz have some new, undisclosed history for us? Where does Jesus in any way promote war?

Coversely, how do you, Dr. Aziz, reconcile Muhammad's treatment of Uqba following the battle of Badr with your contention that Islam is a religion of peace and Muhammad a perfect example for all time? Note that the battle of Badr followed the Quraysh tribe's attempt to defend its caravan from Muhammad and his faithful Islamic warriors who had been raiding caravans for booty and mudering some of the caravaners. The Muslims won the battle of Badr and took one of the Quraysh leaders, Uqba, captive. Uqba plead for his life to Muhammad saying: "But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?" The religion of peace (TM) responded by and through its revered seventh century Prophet: "Hell." Muhammad then ordered Uqba killed.

In this debate, Dr. Aziz justified the slaughter of the Qurayza Jews as an approriate penalty for alleged "treason." Dr. Aziz, how do you reconcile the religion of peace mantra with the killing of a defenseless captive that plead for his life for his children's sake?

I suggest that we trade questions to one another to liven up the debate.
 
We should probably move this debate to a new thread. This has already slipped off the main page. Please post replies to the the new thread on the main page.
 
From Abdul Aziz
Mr. Stunich, I am nor referring to the Manhattan project. Neither I allege that Jesus promoted war. Also you are talking about history. There are people who would contest the facts as you state. After all the chronicleres were not present on the spot when all the dialogue you are referring to took place. You can continue blaming Muhammad for the alleged atrocities and I can continue to deny those. Thus it is just waste of time. I enterd into this dialogue to prove that Islam is a peaceful religion. To me only the Quran is unchanged. I hope you accept this also. I shall stand by what the Quran says because this is Islam. I did not justify the slaughter of th Banu Qurayza. I even did not accept that a slaughter of the tribe took place. Only the ring leaders were executed because of the treason that put the whole community at peril. In fact the anti-Islam web sites I have visited are full of false material against Prophet Muhammad. I can cite many historians who say that Muhammad was a great prophet but you can easily cite as many historians who say otherwise. There is no way to establish the accuracy of the historians statements. My suggestion is that you keep to the Quran whose accuracy is established and then we shall see if Islam is a peaceful religion. Also Jesus never brought any law. He followed the law of Moses. Further he never had political power. He never fought a war. Thus if you want to make a comparison then let us compare apples with apples.
 
Get your Mohammed bobble head doll at http://www.dashboardmohammed.com/store.html
and show your support for Islam. Let the bobble head Mohammad guide your debate! A great gift for your Muslim friends. See their true "tolerant" nature and manifestation of "Allah's mercy" when your Muslim friends, neighbors, and co-workers are given the gift that keeps on bobbling! Only $29.99.
 
Hey nice blog but I am looking for info on Student Loan Consolidation
 
Hello
Hot girls Adult only.
[url=http://hometown.aol.co.uk/westlandus/ADULTSEXSEARCH.html]ENTER[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/adultgirls/sexforadult.html]sex[/url] [url=http://www.blogigo.com/asoma/]soma[/url] [url=http://www.blogigo.com/anambien/]ambien[/url] [url=http://sexyhotgirls.bravehost.com]hotgirls[/url] [url=http://xanaxsale.bravehost.com]xanax[/url] [url=http://sexforadult.bravehost.com]sex[/url] [url=http://sexcam-.blogspot.com]sexcam[/url] [url=http://phentermineee.blogspot.com]phentermine+online[/url] [url=http://xanax-top.blogspot.com]xanax+online[/url] [url=http://phenterminesale.bravehost.com]phentermine[/url] [url=http://sexfinder-.blogspot.com]sex[/url] [url=http://hotbabeonline.blogspot.com]hotbabe[/url] [url=http://sexforadult.blogspot.com]sexforadult[/url] [url=http://hotbabys.blogspot.com]sex[/url] [url=http://sexygirlsfree.blogspot.com]sexygirlsfree[/url] [url=http://sexygirlsbest.blogspot.com]sexygirls[/url]
[url=http://sexfreenet.blogspot.com]sexfree[/url] [url=http://adultsexsearch.blogspot.com]adult[/url] [url=http://hotgirlsonline.blogspot.com]hotgirlsonline[/url] [url=http://freeadultsearch.blogspot.com]freeadult[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/adultgirls/sexfinder.html]sex finder[/url] [url=http:/ /sexvideo--.blogspot.com]sexvideo[/url] [url=http://www.mjblog.pl/viagra/]viagra[/url] [url=http://viagrabuy.bravehost.com/]viagra[/url] [url=http://valiumsale.bravehost.com]valium[/url] [url=http://meridia-sale.blogspot.com]meridia[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.co.uk/westlandus/adultsexsearch.html]adultsexsearch[/url] [url=http://ativan--buy.blogspot.com]ativan[/url] [url=http://xanax-sale.blogspot.com]xanax[/url] [url=http://buy--drug.com]drugs[/url] [url=http://valium--buy.blogspot.com]valium[/url] [url=http://phentermine-top.blogspot.com]phentermine+buy[/url] [url=http://buy777viagra-.blogspot.com]viagra[/url] [url=http://drugstore.bravehost.com]drug store[/url]
[url=http://withorderviagra-.blogspot.com]viagra[/url] [url=http://levitracheapest.bravehost.com]levitra[/url] [url=http://cialischeap.bravehost.com]cialis[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.co.uk/westlandus/freesexxxx.html/]sex[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.co.uk/westlandus/pornanallivefree/]porn anal[/url] Check prices of these pills:[url=http://tramadolonline-.blogspot.com]tramadol[/url] [url=http://total-finder-online.com]pharmacy search[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/cialis.html]cialis[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/soma.html]soma[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/ambien.html]ambien[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/meridia]meridia[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/ultram.html]ultram[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/tramadol.html]tramadol[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/carisoprodol.html]carisoprodol[/url] [url=http://hometown.aol.com/cheapdrugstore/viagra.html]viagra[/url]
Enjoy
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Website Counter
Free Web Site Counter

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.
Click for www.electoral-vote.com