I make no secret of the fact that I am no fan of Islam. I’m no fan of any religion for that matter, but since Islam is used to justify a great deal of current violence, the oppression of 800 million women worldwide, the opposition of free speech, the stoning of rape victims, the murdering of homosexuals and apostates and the indoctrination of children to become shahada (martyrs) who strap explosives to themselves and run off to play with Jewish children, Islam receives most of my attention right now when it comes to criticising religion. I’m also no fan of the extremist, violent groups that take refuge and inspiration from the Islamic ideology such as al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbollah.
Because of this I get involved in discussion from time to time on other peoples blogs and these discussion usually involve a Muslim or leftist apologists defending the stance of terrorists and blaming everything on the US and Israel and me responding with additional information to demonstrate the rather unrealistic spin my opponent has attempted to use to gloss over the facts. This is tiring, largely pointless and time consuming, but I do keep in mind that by adding additional information and speaking out against these misguided spin merchants that I perhaps help someone else out there to have some doubts and decide to research the topic in more detail. That would be a very good thing.
Now, there is one absolute constant whenever these debates take place. Without exception I will always be labelled as a racist very early on in the discussion as will anyone else that agrees with anything I have said or says something themselves which adds some depth to the conversation. This is a common strategy to attempt to discredit anyone supporting a different position and I’d like to debunk the racist myth, not least because I am well aware of how effective it can be in influencing the thinking of new readers on the topic.
First of all, when I am called a racist by these people they have absolutely no idea of my ethnicity. For all they know I share ethnicity with them, but do not share their opinion. The racist attack is therefore a shot in the dark right from the start.
Secondly, Islam is not a race. Islam is an ideology. One cannot be racist against an ideology.
Third, I have lived in several countries and I have integrated in all of them, regardless of the predominant skin colour. My best friend as a child did not share my skin colour or my nationality and 90% of my romances have been with women who do not share my original nationality or ethnic background. I have friends, including Muslims, from every part of the world, including Muslim friends in Kashmir, and not one of my friends has ever called me racist.
But these reasons are not my main reason to criticise the racist attack. There is a better reason which I would like to share which is less personal and so more generally useful.
Who’s the racist?
The Islamists and islamofascist apologists are racist. They are extremely racist against the Jews and it is worth mentioning that racism is a very common theme in the Arab and Muslim world. Please, don’t take my word for it - let the people speak for themselves.
Let’s start with allowing Hamas to tell you in their own words. The following is an article from the Hamas covenant, written in 1988, and which is still in force today:
Article 7: ... the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of God's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, God bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O slaves of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
This is not the only article in the Hamas covenant which is strongly anti-Jewish, but it is quite adequate to make the point. The entire Hamas covenant can be found here: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/hamas.htm
But racism is far more prevalent than just within Hamas and it is a socially recognised phenomena. Take a look at this popular blog by an Egyptian who goes by the name of Sand Monkey and read the comments on that people have left:
As you can see, racism would not be the unique domain of the anti-Islamofascists even if they, and myself, were racist at all.
It is worthy of note, although not strictly racism as two of these groups are ideologies and not a race, that the Qur’an differentiates between the value of a Muslim mans life, a Muslim woman’s life, a Christian males life, a Christian woman’s life, a Jewish mans life and a Jewish woman’s. The Muslim male life is the highest of value; the Jewish woman’s life is lowest.
Islamic apologists make great use of Quranic verses that appear to speak out against racism such as 2:62, 2:213, 2:256, 3:84, 30:22, and 49:13 and this seems to be a very valid point, but it isn’t. Before I demonstrate why let’s see those verses.
"Verily, those who believe (in the Quran) and those who follow the Jewish( scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians, any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
"And mankind is naught but a single nation."
"Let there be no compulsion in matters of Religion"
"Say: We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed by Abraham, Isma'il(Ishmael); Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them and to God do we bow our will( in Islam)."
"And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours; verily in that are Signs for those who know."
"O Mankind! Most certainly, it is We( God almighty) who have created you all from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and it is We who have made you into nations and tribes, that ye may recognise each other, verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you."
(This one is interesting as it is used to show Islam’s acceptance of others, yet the most righteous are by definition of the rest of the Qur’an the Muslims. Thus it is actually saying Muslims are better than everyone else.)
It all seems like good stuff, right? Well, more or less. However, this neglects that the principle of abrogation, which is a vital concept of Islam, means that revelations of Muhammad’s later life take precedence over those that came earlier. The Qur’an is not ordered chronologically and the verses stated above are chronologically earlier quotes. Later, and thus more important extracts include the following, and whilst most focus on differences in faith which cannot definitively be called racism, one can clearly see the attitude that prevails:
And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”
(This is claiming that Jews are apes.)
And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
(Note: “oppression” is refusing to submit to Islam or refusing Islamic domination)
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 Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost.
They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks
(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are sons of Allah, and his beloved." Say: "Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men,- of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)"
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, 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;
Note: Waging war also means failure to submit to Islam.
O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.
Say: “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!”
(This is claiming that Jews and Christians are apes and pigs)
When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”
(More Jewish apes.)
Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."
This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.
Thus (will it be said): "Taste ye then of the (punishment): for those who resist Allah, is the penalty of the Fire."
O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them.
If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!
And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
9:73O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed.
O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.
Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur'an).
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.
Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity.
As we can see from these few verses there isn’t a lot of equality espoused in the Qur’an that hasn’t been abrogated by historically later and thus more significant verses. And this is just the Qur’an. The ahadith, which describe the life of Muhammad and his sayings are even worse. Racism against the Jews is an important and undeniable theme in Islam. In Saudi Arabia children’s school text books teach that Christians and Jews are apes and pigs and are to be hated. Intolerance of all other faiths and their oppression into dhimmitude, second class citizens, is a corner stone of Islamic belief where it is right to fight until total world domination is secured.
Islam divides the people of this planet into two houses. Dar al-Islam is the house of peace, submission to Islam. Dar al-Harb is the house of war, those that have not accepted Islam (non-Muslims and those that have not submitted to dhimmitude). The simple truth is that if you are not a Muslim or someone that has accepted near slave status within an Islamic state then you are open game and if you are Jewish then you are an ape or a pig.
For me, I know Islam to be an ideology and not a race. I know that there are very many Muslims who despite the Qur’an are not racist and even though we disagree very strongly on some matters I recognise that they are decent people and some of them I count as friends.
So who is the racist - someone prepared to question Islam or someone that refuses to question Islam and will defend it by supporting the murder of non-Muslims?
I leave the decision unto you.
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