Friday, 7 July 2017

The Battle only we can win: Aggressive Jihad or Religion of Peace?

I now put it to you that Islam is a more than a religion that can be followed privately in a multicultural society, on equal terms with Christianity or Hinduism.  In essence, Islam is as follows:
  • a totalitarian system of government
  • it has its own legal system called Sharia
  • Under Sharia Law, it is possible for men to marry up to four wives, a woman’s testimony is worth a half of that of men,
  • it either kills or subjugates followers of other faiths
  • it kills members of its own faith that are either seen as hypocrites or heretical or who leave Islam
  • it is not open to debate and it outlaws all criticism or mockery of its beliefs
  • it seeks to forcefully convert or kill all unbelievers and take over the whole world.
  • In particular, Muslims have stated that they plan to take over Europe, including Great Britain
The popular narrative presented by the media would claim that the above is only an extremist ideology, a perversion of true Islam.  I would put it to you that the above description is, in essence, mainstream Islam.  I explain why I think so, not by looking at the human rights records and treatment of Christians in of Muslim Majority countries, the incidence of warfare involving Muslim majority countries, current scholarship among respected Islamic scholars (though I could).

I will call four witnesses, as follows:

  • The Quran
  • The life of Muhammad
  • History
  • The current profile of mosques in the UK

The Qur’an
Here are some quotes from an English translation of the Qur’an:

"Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and hypocrites and deal rigorously with them." (9:73)

"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme." (8:39)

"Fight against such of those ... who ... do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (9:29)

Whilst it would be true to say there are some verses in the Quran (far fewer in number) that suggest that Muslims should be peaceful, my point would simply be that there is abundant material in the Quran (which is regarded as the unchangeable, inerrant word of Allah) to justify violence in the name of Islam.

The life of Muhammad
It would be helpful if it could be said that the founder of Islam, to Muslims the greatest of the prophets, was a peaceful, holy man.  However, a brief summary of some of the things he said and did would strengthen the argument that Islam is an aggressive religion.

According to the most reliable sources within Islam, the founder of Islam:
  • Supported his religion by robbing people (Ibn Ishaq 281-289)
  • Started a war with Mecca when he had a chance to live in peace in Medina (Ibn Ishaq 289-321)
  • Had people assassinated for criticising his religion (Ibn Ishaq 675-676)
  • Beheaded hundreds of Jews for trying to defend themselves (Ibn Ishaq 464)
  • Ordered his followers to execute anyone who leaves his religion (Bukhari 6878)
  • Tortured people for money ((Ibn Ishaq 515)
  • Bought, sold, owned and traded black African slaves (Bukhari 6161)
  • Had sex with a nine year old girl (Bukhari 3895, 5133)
  • Married the wife of his own adopted son after causing the divorce (Qur’an 33:37)
  • Had sex with his slave girls (Qur’an 33:50)
  • Allowed his followers to rape their female captives (Qur’an 4:24)
  • Told his followers they could beat their wives into submission (Qur’an 4:34)

It is not in dispute that after the death of Muhammad, the Muslims gradually conquered Iraq, Syria (635), Palestine (637), Egypt (642), Persia (Iran), parts of India and Southern Europe (up to 750AD). The process of converting the populations to Islam would then gradually follow.  In essence, Islam, throughout its history, has been a religion of military conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims through either death or domination.

Profile of Mosques in the UK
It is not disputed that there are types of Islam which focus on spirituality, are peaceful and do not want to kill or violently subjugate non-Muslims.  So what is the current profile in the UK – how many of our mosques promote an aggressive form of Islam?
About 45% of our mosques are known as Deobandi.  The Deobandi sect of Islam originated in India and spawned the Taliban in Afghanistan.  They believe that women should cover their heads and faces, Muslims should separate as much as possible from mainstream society.  They are the most active group in terms of training Muslim leaders and running Islamic schools for children.  80% of new Islamic leaders are trained by this group.  Their links with and support for numerous terrorist groups and sympathisers is beyond dispute.
Anyone who wants to look into this a little further may want to listen to the two BBC Radio analysis programmes focusing on this group.
Another 6% are Salafi (what we would call Wahabi) mosques linked to Saudi Arabia, another very radical group.  We’re above 50% already.

There is plenty of material on, for example YouTube, discussing these issues.  As a small taster, I will leave you with the thoughts of a young man who converted to Islam, studied the religion, travelled extensively in Islamic countries before leaving Islam and becoming a Christian.