Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My answer on the question of whether Islam is a religion of peace

I know I have been bad about updating this site, but I thought you all would appreciate this reply I left on John Rohan's site on the question of whether Islam is a religion of peace. (as a side note, please check out that site, as he is the very articulate writer of the earlier email concerning the war in Iraq) My next post (when I write it) will be about my experience at the Israeli Day Parade in NYC. My new direction for this blog is to try and write it as a citizen journalist as much as possible. There are many events constantly going on in NYC, and I attend many of them; I feel that discussing these experiences is more important than my regurgitation of news items. (that said, I am really quite pleased Sarkozy won in France. I celebrated with a French friend of mine, woohoo!) ------------------- Islam spread by conquest and is not a religion of peace, but there are Muslims who honestly do believe Islam is a religion of peace, as they are fed a false portrait of their religion. And CAIR is a terror front group, the lobbying group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course it will say Islam is a religion of peace, but they remind me of my friend Sphinx. "Islam is a religion of peace! Sure, I go to a Muslim Brotherhood mosque, but you are too quick to judge that it is terror-suporting. Islamaphobe!" "I support Hizballah and Hamas and believe them justified in their butchering of Israelis, and Islam is a religion of peace!" You get the idea. Not very peaceful, as far as I can tell. Now that said, madrassas to not spit out Islamic scholars. Rather, they stress memorization, rather than any sort of deep thinking. It's a sad state of affairs that there really are very few true Islamic scholars (in the way I would characterize a scholar) that are in the world today. The real scholars also often have to fear for their lives, as critical thinking is considered haram as far as jihadists are concerned. In short, Islam is a religion that is in the Middle Ages. It has an unequivocably violent past, and has yet to move past this past, as Judaism and Christianity has. Pretending otherwise only encourages more violence, as it leads to ignoring the violent truth of reality. That said, the reality also is that while humanity may be prone to war on a macro level, human beings on a micro level can get along, and the vast majority of Muslims absolutely do simply want to live their lives in peace. (even as the vast majority are also indoctrinated to hate, especially Jews, from age 0 onwards) It's a shame that they have to justify their lives according to a Medevil mindset, and my hope for moderate Muslims (real ones, not phony CAIR ones) is that they will take back their religion from the butchers, and prove Islam is a religion of peace. So to sum up... Is Islam a religion of peace? According to the Koran, no. Historically, no. At present, no. And terror front group proclamations otherwise do not change reality. However, the future is something different. No one would have called Christianity a 'peaceful' religion during the Spanish Inquisition. And yet look at the world today. People change, and religions evolve and change. My concern is that Iran will get the nuke prior to any massive reformation in Islam.

15 comments:

jbd said...

I think my article "fits" in a discussion of whether Islam is a religion of peace. I recently posted the article on an Islamic forum site, but the moderator immediately deleted it! He explained the deletion to me by saying that Muslims do not accept the validity of the Hebrew Scriptures we read today, because Muslims believe the Scriptures were altered long ago, especially the prophecy Moses delivered, which I quote in the article. Of course, I’m not convinced he speaks for “all Muslims,” but his words took me by surprise. I really had no idea that any Muslims reject Moses’ words as they’ve been preserved in the Hebrew Scriptures (and verified by the Dead Sea Scrolls), nor am I sure that “all Muslims” do reject them! In any case, I decided to offer the article here.

If Muslims Believed Muhammad,
They Could Transform the World

In the Koran, Muhammad tells Muslims to "Say: We believe in God and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, to Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets. We discriminate against none of them" (The Family of Imran 3:84).

Another time, Muhammad warns Muslims against drawing “…a line between God and His apostles, saying: 'We believe in some but deny others....’" (Women 4:150).

About 3,400 years ago, before the Hebrews had even entered the "Promised Land," Moses warned his people of a future day, when they would be "…driven out [of the Land] to the farthest parts under heaven….” But Moses also assured the Israelites that God "...will have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you" (Deut. 30:3,4).

If, today, Muslims truly believed Muhammad, they would believe "what was given to Moses." And they would rejoice in the resurrection of Israel as Moses foretold. Instead, countless Muslims, "believe in some [prophets] but deny others," while they prepare to "wipe Israel off the map.”

In other words, if Muslims believed the Prophets that preceded Muhammad and drew no “line” between them, they would humbly admit to God and the world, "We have been wrong to fight against Israel." And an astonished world would behold Israel's deadliest enemies evidencing incredible faith, unmatched by Jews and Christians throughout their hate-ridden history!

If that “miracle” occurred, astounded Jews and Christians would be severely pressed to renounce their own ignorant dismissal of Muhammad as a “false prophet” and Islam as a “false religion.”

Then, Jews and Christians, following the Muslims’ unprecedented example, would be able to learn from Muhammad’s messages about “the Messiah Jesus,” who “…does not disdain to be a servant of God” (Women 4:171,172). They are the very messages that could create peace among Jews and Christians who have fought over Jesus from the beginning.

If Muslims believed Muhammad….

Red Tulips said...

jbd,

Thanks for posting, but in fact the sad truth is that Muslim do believe in Muhammad, the same one that called Jews and Christians "apes and pigs," and calls for war against "mushriks" (idol worshippers, aka Hindus), and kaffir (essentially Christians and Jews). He is also the same one who married a six year old and believed concubinage was cool.

In fact Muslims also say they believe in Moses, but please find a single verse in the Koran that actually contains ideas Moses or Jesus espoused? There is none.

Indeed, Muslims say that Christians and Jews were told scripture, but that the scripture was bastardized, and their entire religions are hence false texts. A believing Muslim hence does reject Moses's words and the Hebrew bible.

Who exactly would a believing Muslim say is a true "person of the book" who could be considered eligible for the jiyza ('protection fee'), and 1/4 weight of testimony against a Muslim? They would be someone who in fact submits willingly to the jiyza and second class citizenship to begin with. They would be those with dhimmi mentalities. As an example, Ahmedinejad will say that he loves Jews, why he is best friends with the Neterei Karta! (the infamous 'Jews' who were on Arafat's payroll and support annhilation of Israel)

So this means that the only Jews and Christians that are cool are the self haters and the kapos. No thanks!

Muhammad never said that Israel was meant for the Jews, rather, he said to respect past prophets. However, he also said that the record of the past prophecies in the Hebrew and Christian bibles was bastardized and wrong.

In conclusion, I see no logical connection between being a believing Muslim and a belief in Deuteronomy. Islam is not some sort of 'final revelation' that continues the tradition of Judaism and Christianity. No, this religion actually totally re-writes history and re-writes scripture, without bothering even cite what was being corrected. Muhammad's 'proof' of his prophecy was ultimately in his battle victories. (he said 'angels fought alongside him,' and yet curiously there is no record of anyone else seeing these alleged angels!)

By this line of reasoning, perhaps I should believe Julius Ceasar was the final prophet, or Alexander the Great?

The sad truth is that Muslim do believe in Muhammad. The world would be better off if that were not so.

BEAJ said...

Red Tulips, this is OT, but check out this site I recently started up.

Red Tulips said...

BEAJ:

Thanks for the link!

jbd said...

Red Tulips: It was refreshing to receive your reply to my "If Muslims believed Muhammad..." article because it was very knowledgeable. Through the months, I've received many replies from people who know nothing about the Koran! But Muhammad's original recitations were recorded by his followers on all manner of objects--including rocks! They were gathered many years later and finally recorded in the Book that became the Koran--which leaves the authenticity of much of the Book's contents open to reasonable dispute! Consequently, I am ONLY speaking of Muhammad's messages about the Lord God and the promised Messiah--which never contradict each other throughout the Koran. I am not interested in the "rules" for daily life delivered to specific societies through any of the Sacred Books.

We never hear Muslims sharing Muhammad's most vital messages correcting the Hebrew and Christian CLERGIES about "the Messiah Jesus" who “does not disdain to be a servant of God.” Those messages were the essence of Muhammad’s teachings, which Muslims have “religiously” ignored!

Red Tulips said...

jbd:

I am not sure what you are getting at with what you just said...

I agree that the Koran says Jesus was only a prophet, not a God, and that Christianity got that wrong. No dispute from me. But where in the Koran does it say to refer to the Jewish or Christian bible for revealed truth? If it in fact says this anywhere, that would be news to me. In fact, the only references that the Koran makes to the prior books is to basically say how wrong they are, or to give an example of how they prove the lack of holiness of Jews and Christians. (for instance, the Koran cites the golden calf story in the bible as proof that Jews had transgressed and were not holy, while claiming the bible got things wrong in other places!)

My problem with Islam is Muhammad. A man that married a six year old and led the slaughter of untold thousands of people should not be held out as the perfect man. It is true that Abraham nearly sacrificed his son at the alter, and that this would be considered psychotic by today's standards. However, Jews are not meant to emulate Abraham as the perfect man.

Now this all said, many (good) Muslims will say that Muhammad was justified in his actions as pacts were not followed. I believe the evidence holds the opposite way. But people who say this are arriving at their conclusions due to a desire to live in peace with the rest of the world. Who knows? Maybe peace is possible.

Anonymous said...

Aw not the inqusition again.

Look, in 350 years the Spanish Inquisition killed around 4000 people. For comparison, Islamists have killed almost half that number in the last month, just like most months in recent years.

So on average, muslims currently kill as many people every 8 weeks as the inquisition managed in three and a half centuries; in other words, the 'religion of peace' kills 2000 times more people a month than the Spanish Inquisition.

There really is no comparison: people who try to assert moral equivalence between islam and christianity. Just compare the bios of Jesus and Mo - you might as well compare heaven and hell.

Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

In short, Islam is a religion that is in the Middle Ages. It has an unequivocably violent past, and has yet to move past this past, as Judaism and Christianity has.

Well first for my own opinion...I think Islam is a religion of peace--not the religion of peace.

And now for the quote above. Both Judaism and Christianity have unequivocally violent pasts as well. But as you note "(Islam) has yet to move past this..." So my question to you is: Is Islam, as first perceived, a "violent" religion? I know it was and still is used to justify violence but the question is: Was it meant to be thus?

Red Tulips said...

Eitan:

Given Muhammad himself waged a jihad upon pagans and Jews, leading armies that slaughtered tens of thousands...

Yes, my opinion is that the roots of Islam are in violence. The roots of Judaism and Christianity are not in violence, even as ancient Israel/Judah did commit some acts of violence, and Christians committed violent acts. The founders of the religion preached peace and tolerance. For Muhammad, peace and tolerance was considered a "hudna" (temporary peace until troops are able to regroup and rearm), or was available as a second class dhimmi. No thanks.

Now that said, Islam does have peaceful aspects to it, and certainly Sufism focuses more on the meditative aspects of Islam, rather than the jihadist. But make no mistake about it - jihad is a central tenet of Islam. And I also want to go out on the record and say that most Muslims do not believe in violence, as they are people as any other. Even as they are taught antisemitism in their schools, most are not going to go out and kill a Jew. Most Muslims are people just like any other, but the ideology they are taught contains violence within it.

Who knows where the world will take us?

jbd said...

The essence of the never-ending argument among Jews, Christians and Muslims is concisely expressed in two of Muhammad’s teachings. First, Muhammad denounced the Jews for denying “the Messiah, Jesus.” Second, Muhammad severely warned the Christians: “Do not say three…God is but one God…The Messiah Jesus does not disdain to be a servant of God” (Women 4:171-172).

Jews and Christians have not only argued over the Messiah’s identity, they have despised each other because of their opposing beliefs about the “One God” or a “Trinity.” But both “families” became enraged by an “illiterate camel driver” who dared to correct their beliefs about Jesus. Forever after, both the Jews and the Christians, each for their own reasons, have imperiously dismissed Muhammad and his religion as “frauds.” And forever after, the Muslims have hated Jews and Christians.

Red Tulips said...

jbd:

Muhammad did not 'correct' any belief in Jesus, because Muhammad did not actually prove that his belief was correct. All he did was state an assertion that Jesus was a prophet and provided no proof or real reasoning behind this assertion. (other than the statement that an angel told him all this)

He proclaimed himself a prophet, and the last great prophet, but Judaism says prophecy ended 2500 years ago, and he directly challenged Christianity.

Fine, I don't care what Muslims believe. Just don't use the beliefs to justify murder!

jbd said...

To Red Tulips: Muhammad provided the beliefs that started what is now the second largest religion in the world, and still growing at a pace that could soon make it the largest. He provided knowledge of Abraham's God that captured the attention of people who had rejected Christianity--though the Christians were very present in Arabia. To dismiss him because he didn't provide "proof" is a "lame" argument--unless you are an atheist or an agnostic. And it would even be "lame" for them!! I am simply saying that if Muslims believed Muhammad when he told them to believe ALL the Prophets who preceded him, and he especially mentioned Moses, they would rejoice in Israel's resurrection--and set an unprecedented example for all believers in Abraham's God. But, Muslims are probably not going to believe all the Prophets any more than you will--and so we'll have our nuclear winter.
As for Muhammad attacking Jews--the Koran tells us he attacked particular Jewish settlements that had broken their peace treaties with him, while he was fighting the "pagans." He did not attack Jews for being "Jews."

Red Tulips said...

jbd:

I should accept that Muhammad was a prophet because he said he was a prophet? Is that what you are saying? Firstly, I am Jewish, and Judaism says that the final prophet will come from within the Jewish community. So yes, he best show PROOF of his prophecy. What was his proof? Victory in battle? Again - hardly proof. I might as well worship Julius Caesar or Napoleon.

As far as the Jewish communities he went to war with...they broke treaties because Muhammad and his armies were building a large trench ("Battle of the Trench") and in fact were very clearly going to kill the Jews. Not hard to see why 'the treaty was broken.' Moreover, here is a rather different account of this battle...Battle of the Trench I do agree that the Jews of Medina were not attacked for their Jewishness, but I also see the seeds of jihad planted within the very lifetime of Muhammad.

The bottom line is that Islamic history is replete with conquest of Christian lands (that's right, "people of the book.") Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Southern Europe, Spain, Palestine...it was all Christian, and all conquered by force.

What should one conclude? That Islamic history shows no particular animus towards Jews (until modern times, anyway), but that "people of the book" status has not stemmed the tide of conquest.

That said, on a relative scale, life may have been better for Jews under the Caliphate than in Medievil Europe...

But that is a very low bar to set, so that says almost nothing.

jbd said...

Through the Koran, Muhammad led Muslims to believe that someday the whole world will be "Islamic." That could simply mean that someday everyone will believe in Abraham's God--but "extremist" Muslims are convinced that it means everyone must practice Islam exactly as they do. Worse yet, they believe it is now time for them to cleanse the earth of "unbelievers," (infidels) which, to them, means all "non-comformists" to their ways, which even includes some Muslims! Unless we all learn about God and the promised Messiah from ALL the Prophets, the "extremists" will bring on the prophesied "gross darkness" that Isaiah warned would cover the earth, the precisely described "darkness" which we can now recognize as a nuclear winter. But Malachi told us we could avoid the darkness, if we will "turn our hearts to each other." The way to do that is for us to learn about God and the Messiah from ALL the Prophets, which would shake the convictions of the "extremists" who call us "unbelievers."

Red Tulips said...

jbd:

I agree with you that Muhammad's message, even if not peaceful, has been twisted out of recognition and made worse by jihadists.