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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Geert Wilders Trial: Deceptive Commentary

One of my Google Alerts led me to a post at Islam In Europe which disclosed the existence of an open letter from a group of Islam experts to the court In Amsterdam which is persecuting Geert Wilders.

a letter to the court



De Volkskrant, the Dutch newspaper used by the prosecutors to document what Geert Wilders allegedly said in violation of Dutch hate speech law, published a letter from a group of six Islam experts. It appears that this is the first of four "fact sheets" they intend to issue on the subject.

Unfortunately, the experts have engaged in the Islamic art of al-taqeyya & kitman. This blog post exposes their lies.

Deen Research Center posted the original Dutch letter and an English translation on their blog . Their translation is easier to read than the Google translation.

  • Dr. Fred Leemhuis, Arabist, professor emeritus University of Groningen, vertaler De Koran, Unieboek 2007 The Koran translator, Union Book 2007
  • Dr. Jan Michiel Otto, Recht en bestuur 3e wereld, Sharia, Directeur van Vollenhove Instituut, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Leiden
  • Dr. Gerard Wiegers, hoogleraar Religiestudies aan de Faculteit der -Professor Gerard Wiegers, Professor of Religious Studies at the Faculty of Geesteswetenschappen van de Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) Humanities of the University of Amsterdam (UvA)
  • Dr. Pieter Sjoerd van Koningsveld, emeritus hoogleraar islamologie Univ.Leiden Pieter Sjoerd van Koningsveld, emeritus professor of Islamic studies Univ.Leiden
  • Dr. Ruud Peters, Arabische Taal en Cultuur, Sharia expert, UVA -Professor Dr. Mr. Ruud Peters, Arabic Language and Culture, Sharia expert, UVA
  • Dr. Marlies ter Borg, auteur Koran en Bijbel in Verhalen, Unieboek 2007, redacteur Marlies ter Borg, author Koran and Bible Stories, Book Union in 2007, editor

Islam is a violent religion.

Rebuttal:

Mr Wilders refers, in support of its truths, often to the Koran. Please bring our professional knowledge of the Koran, to review his statements and method of quoting. We rely on taking the authoritative view of Professor F. Leemhuis, (Union Book 2007, www.bijbelenkoran.nl).
  • Wilders said: "Islam means submission and conversion of non-Muslims." "A religion that seeks to eliminate others." Dv 14
    • But in the Qur'an: "No compulsion in religion." K. 2:256
The experts like Pickthall's translation, so I will quote it, with a link to a table of ten parallel translations.
2:256. There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
To discover the circumstances behind the revelation of this ayeh, read Ibn Kathir's Tafsir: No Compulsion in Religion. Some of the Ansar had sworn to raise their children as Jews. When those Ansar converted, Muhammad did not force them to convert their children. Despite this specificity, Ibn Kathir says that the ayeh has general applicability. Another ayeh bears directly on this issue.
10:99. And if thy Lord willed, all who are in the earth would have believed together. Wouldst thou (Muhammad) compel men until they are believers?
10:100. It is not for any soul to believe save by the permission of Allah. He hath set uncleanness upon those who have no sense.
Unfortunately for the experts, other ayat contradict those three cited above. At first glance, Surah Al-Imran 110 appears to be irrelevant. But there is a hadith which clearly explains the meaning of the clause I have highlighted.
3:110. Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 80:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Verse:--"You (true Muslims) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind." means, the best of peoples for the people, as you bring them with chains on their necks till they embrace Islam.

The wording varies slightly because Khan prefers his own translation of the Koran. It is obvious that bringing disbelievers to Islam in chains is not congruent with "no compulsion". It is also obvious that hadith which contradict the Koran can not be authentic. How then do you explain its inclusion in the most authentic of the six canonical collections? Is there something more? Of course there is.
8:39. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.
This ayeh answers two questions:
  1. Is Islam violent?
  2. Is Islam compulsive?
The verb is clear and obvious: fight. Al-Anfal 39 is in the form of a fight until loop, with a compound terminal condition.
  • persecution is no more
  • religion is all for Allah.
Persecution is a reference to the Meccan habit of hassling Muslims, who were viewed as a threat to their livelihood. The second part of the compound terminal condition is absolutely clear: only Allah is worshiped. Click through to the parallel translations and observe the wording of the other translations. The obvious meaning is confirmed by confirmed by Ibn Kathir's Tafsir: The Order to fight to eradicate Shirk and Kufr.

One hadith confirms the meaning of this ayeh with extreme clarity. I have added emphasis to make the critical sentence stand out.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 387:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, "O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?" He replied, "Whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have."
Besides several variants of that hadith, there are two others which remove all doubt. I will quote excerpts, linking them to the hadith at USC-MSA for those who wish to read the context.
...If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them...

...Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says:-- "Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master." ...
Reliance of the Traveller, the handbook of Islamic law, provides the ultimate confirmation. The clause I emphasized says it all.
O9.9

The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya) ) (n: though according to the Hanafi school, peoples of all other religions, even idol worshippers, are permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sole exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshippers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim (al-Hidaya sharh Bidaya al-mubtadi' (y21), 6.48-49) ).

The six eminent professors claimed to refute Wilders with a single ayeh. Is it possible that those scholars with doctoral degrees in the field are unaware of the conflicting ayat, hadith and Shari'ah, or were they practicing the art of kitman, lying by obfuscation?

  • Wilders says: "And the Qur'an is the Mein Kampf of a religion that seeks to eliminate others ..."
    • Mein Kampf (My struggle) calls for no more war. The Koran is sometimes called for violence, in other cases to peace and reconciliation, for example:
      • "You will not shed each other's blood." K.2: 84-
      • "God calls for the house of peace." K.10: 25
      • "Does God not an obstacle ... to ... peace among the people. "K.2: 224
      • "Think of God's mercy to you when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and by His grace you became brethren;" K.3: 103
It seems that Hitler was intent on imposing his racist system by force, invading much of Europe. History shows us that Muhammad and his rightly guided caliphs acted the same way in Arabia, Africa, Asia & Eastern Europe.

Take a good close look at the expert's citation to 2:84. What does it mean? Perhaps we should examine the full ayeh.
2:84. And when We made with you a covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your people nor turn (a party of) your people out of your dwellings. Then ye ratified (Our covenant) and ye were witnesses (thereto).
This ayeh is about infighting among the nation, it is not about attacking other nations. Lets give the next citation the same treatment.
10:25. And Allah summoneth to the abode of peace, and leadeth whom He will to a straight path.
This ayeh is explained in Ibn Kathir's Tafsir: Invitation to the Everlasting Gifts that do not vanish.
...(And Allah calls to the Abode of Peace) When Allah mentioned the swiftness of this world and its termination, He invited people to Paradise and encouraged them to seek it. He called it the Abode of Peace....
See how passive Islam is? Allah invites people to Paradise, the house of peace. Do the experts understand what a Muslim must do to gain admission to Paradise? He must fight in Allah's cause, participating in Jihad, killing and being killed to gain one of the best seats. See At-Taubah 111 & As-Saff 10-13 for the gritty details. Would they try to fool us again? Examine their next citation to find out.
2:224. And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
Ordinarily, I would quote the context to show you the egregious nature of the expert's deception, in this case I will not, because of the sexually explicit nature of the ayeh which proceeds 224. Instead, I will provide a link to three parallel translations hosted by USC-MSA, which you can easily scroll to view the context without clicking extra links. 2:223. Once again, Ibn Kathir's Tafsir gives us a vital clue to the meaning of the ayeh in question: The Prohibition of swearing to abandon a Good Deed.
...Allah commands, `You should not implement your vows in Allah's Name to refrain from pious acts and severing the relations with the relatives, if you swear to abandon such causes.'... (And make not Allah's (Name) an excuse in your oaths) means, "Do not vow to refrain from doing good works. (If you make such vow then) break it, pay the Kaffarah and do the good work.''...
Click the link to the tafsir, click the previous button, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the ayeh which is explained on the page I linked to. If you did not read the full context earlier, click the next button in the tafsir, scroll down to the bottom and read 2:226. It will then become clear to you that the experts misquoted an ayeh out of context for the purpose of deceiving the court by perverting the meaning of the verse. Lets check the next citation.
3:103. And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah's favour unto you: How ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that ye became as brothers by His grace; and (how) ye were upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and He did save you from it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you, that haply ye may be guided,
To discover the context, begin at 3:98 and keep reading through 3:198. Ibn Kathir explains this ayeh in his tafsir: The Necessity of Holding to the Path of Allah and the Community of the Believers. I have removed the Arabic script and emphasized the key part of this excerpt.

(And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves.) It was said that, (to the Rope of Allah) refers to Allah's covenant, just as Allah said in the following Ayah, (Indignity is put over them wherever they may be, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah, and from men;) ﴿3:112﴾, in reference to pledges and peace treaties. ... (and remember Allah's favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brethren) ﴿3:103 ﴾.This was revealed about the Aws and Khazraj. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the Aws and Khazraj were at war and had great hatred, enmity and ill feelings towards each other, causing long conflicts and battles to occur between them. When Allah brought Islam, those among them who embraced it became brothers who loved each other by Allah's grace, having good ties for Allah's sake and helping each other in righteousness and piety.

This ayeh is about Muslims being united in warfare against disbelievers, not about making peace with disbelievers. Another ayeh, which Muslims will not quote to us, exposes the reality of Islam's attitude toward peace.

47:35.So do not falter and cry out for peace when ye (will be) the uppermost, and Allah is with you, and He will not grudge (the reward of) your actions.

The meaning should be obvious to you. If it is not, refer to Ibn Kathir's Tafsir: Nullifying the Disbelievers' Deeds and the Command to chase Them.

(So do not lose heart and beg for peace while you are superior.) meaning, in the condition of your superiority over your enemy. If, on the other hand, the disbelievers are considered more powerful and numerous than the Muslims, then the Imam (general commander) may decide to hold a treaty if he judges that it entails a benefit for the Muslims. This is like what Allah's Messenger did when the disbelievers obstructed him from entering Makkah and offered him treaty in which all fighting would stop between them for ten years. Consequently, he agreed to that.

Fitna

The experts advance to charges related to the short documentary created and published by Geert Wilders.
  • In the film Fitna quotes below were presented, together with "images of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York (11/9/2001), and the attacks by Muslim extremists in Madrid and London, accompanied by images of victims." DV7
  • Wilders cites a half sentence from Surah 47 verse 4
    "If you have an encounter with those who disbelieve than hew the necks of them and when ye have caused a bloodbath bind them in chains." (Translation unknown, Theo van Gogh in focus)

  • Wilders suggests that this called for a Muslim in peacetime 'infidels' to kill. This suggestion is reinforced by the images of bombings of civilians in peacetime. With this half quoting of the Quran verse, he in trouble: the enemy is apparently slain first and then be bound in irons. Why corpses seem to be put in chains is not clear.

    The same verse, is now complete:

    "And when you have those who disbelieve [in battle] meet, turn them dead, but if you then prevail over them have obtained fascinates them firmly,
    later as a favor to them or release them or to buy them separately, when the burden of the war are made. "Sura 47 verse 4 Leemhuis:

    The full quote shows:

    • that this is a war is to kill enemy troops on the battlefield, and not to attack civilians in peacetime,
    • according to the Koran quote must stop killing one soldier when once more prevails. There is no elimination of the enemy.
    • the enemy from that moment must be captured to him after the war to be released.

This is in line with modern international law on war prisoner of war.

Lets take a close look at the cited ayeh.

47:4. Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain.

Did the experts quote the full verse? Is the translation accurate? Several translators use different expressions:

  • when you have killed and wounded many of them
  • made wide slaughter among them
  • until ye have massacred them
  • till ye have made a great slaughter among them
  • until ye have made a great slaughter among them
http://www.openburhan.net/ displays a break down of the Arabic text: اثخنتموهم - you (p) exceeded in killing them/you weakened them; the dictionary they link to defines the Arabic word as subdued. Note the phrase I highlighted; how does it compare to the variant expressions in the other translations?

Ibn Kathir has something important to tell us about this ayeh. The Command to strike the Enemies' Necks, tighten Their Bonds, and then free Them either by an Act of Grace or for a Ransom
...It appears that this Ayah was revealed after the battle of Badr. At that time, Allah reproached the believers for sparing many of the enemy's soldiers, and holding too many captives in order to take ransom from them.... (It is not for a Prophet to have captives of war until he had made a great slaughter (among the enemies) in the land. You desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. Allah is Mighty and Wise. Were it not for a prior decree from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.) (8:67-68)...

The experts have played fast and loose with the facts. They cited page 7 of the indictment as linking the images of the devastation in London, Madrid & New York to 47:4. The Koran references on that page, associated with those images, are: 8:60 and 4:56, associated with the next frame.

47:4 is not displayed until three frames later. The learned expert professors took the Koran out of context, but were not satisfied with that trick, they also took the indictment out of context!

8:60, which is associated with the images of devastation, commands Muslims to accrue weapons and war horses to strike terror into the hearts of enemies, both known and unknown. 8:57, not cited in the documentary, commands Muslims to punish their victims severely to serve as an example for others they wish to threaten.
If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.
  • Wilders Sura 8 verse 60: "Make preparations against them with what you can to force people to take this horse and to terrorize, terrorize Allah's enemy and your enemy." Dv7
  • Surah 8: 60-61 Pickthall: "And to make them as good as you can and deployable armaments horses ready for God's enemy and your enemy so intimidating and apart from those others that you do not know, but God knows . And what you also helping to give God's way, you will be reimbursed and you will not be wronged. And if they are inclined to peace, make this tendency and also put your trust in God; "
  • The translation of Wilders appears without a source, wherein 'terrorize' ie "the systematic instill terror by violence, by terrifying violence and control." Leemhuis translates 'instill fear' "This is equal to scare away someone: a proven military strategy by means of war drums, production of weapons-without actually use - to persuade the enemy to refrain from violence. The deterrence strategy shown to prevent weapons of war. Compare the NATO strategy against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The slogan of the NATO armed to the teeth at the time was "Peace is our Profession". It worked.
Lets compare translations.
Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.[Pickthall]

  • to strike terror into . [Abdullah Yusuf Ali]
  • frighten thereby the enemy [Shakir]
  • terrify thereby [Arberry]
  • strike terror into [Rodwell]
  • strike a terror into [Sale]
Lets see what Muhammad had to say about terrorism.
1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey.
I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy),
What is the practical application of this tactic?
33:26. And He brought those of the People of the Scripture who supported them down from their strongholds, and cast panic into their hearts. Some ye slew, and ye made captive some.
  • "Destroy the infidels and polytheists, your (Allah's) enemies and the enemies of the religion. Allah, count them and kill them until the very end. And let no one about. "Dv 7

    This sentence, with no source, is contrary to the Koran above quotes in their entirety in that direction, rather than a controlled 'total war' pages, and contrary to the Koran quote "no compulsion in religion. 2:256
But it is not contrary to 8:39 & 9:29 nor is it contrary to the infamous genocide hadith. The quote is from a video of an Imam rousing the rabble to Jihad.

  • The comparisons between the texts as presented by Mr Wilders and the existing scientific knowledge of the contents of the Koran, we conclude first that the conclusion of Mr Wilders is not based on facts, but only on improperly constructed "facts".
Scientific knowledge? Being Muslim makes them scientists, no reference to tafsir, hadith or jurisprudence is required, just scientific expertise.

  • Second, a more general question arises about the statement of Mr Wilders that Islam is a violent religion. Could it actually be true that a religion is violent?
So Islam is peaceful, not violent? How then do you explain the title of the 8:th surah: "The Spoils" ? Why does the "religion of peace" need rules for allocation and division of spoils of war? Why does it need terms such as fei & ganimah to describe spoils of war? Why did Allah give Muhammad special dispensation to accrue spoils? Why did Allah say "Ye desire the lure of this world" to Muhammad in 8:67? Why did Allah promise "abundant spoils that you will capture". Why does Shari'ah say :"the caliph makes war on Jews and Christians" and "the caliph fights all other peoples"?

  • Religion is a set of values, norms, and writings. Religion is preached and adhered to by people. Violence is an action committed by people and groups of people, not a religion. Religion itself is not violent or peaceful.
How do you explain the existence of Surah Al-Anfal & At-Taubah, which are entirely dedicated and devoted to warmongering? How do you explain the existence of books of jihad or expedition in four of the six canonical hadith collections? How do you explain the communal obligation to attack disbelievers at least once in every year? Doubt this? Click the link above to Reliance of the Traveller, Search for Book O, Search for Chapter 9 and start reading.

  • Claiming a religion as violent is a suggestive way to accuse a group of people, some believers, as being violent.
How did Hindu Kush get its name? What does it mean? Why are Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Iran and Egypt Islamic? Was violence involved?

  • Scientific research indicates that in the Quran, as in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible, both incitements to violence and peace are to be found. This can be verified by anyone.
Show me the New Testament book, chapter and verse in which Jesus Christ issues open ended, outcome oriented commands to engage in conquest without geographic or temporal limits; the equivalent of 8:39 & 9:29. The ancient Hebraic conquest/genocide imperatives were limited to particular places and people, once they were completed, they expired. Islamic jihad continues from 610 to Judgment Day.

The lesson learned: Islam is not more violent than Christianity.

  • Christianization and Islamization have been globally accepted voluntary and partly by force, if .., because fair to say that much about that history is not known.
  • It is known that many more victims died in internal conflicts among Christians, than the relatively few wars between Christians and Muslims. Conflicts such as the Thirty Years War or the war between Turkey and Persia dragged on longer and cost more casualties than the war against the Turks eg culminating in the Battle of Vienna.
  • The time when it was generally accepted that one faith is spread by the sword has passed. This applies to both Islam and Christianity. Extremists are an exception to the general consensus.
Christianity was co-opted by the Roman Empire. Unlike Islam, it has no intrinsic war imperative. Islam has a 1400 year record of rapine, accruing an estimated total of 270*106 victims.

Those are not extremists, they are salafists, emulators of Muhammad. Muslims are commanded to obey Allah and his Messenger. "Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad ) you have a good example to follow" . What did he do?
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 285:

Narrated Abu Ishaq:

Once, while I was sitting beside Zaid bin Al-Arqam, he was asked, "How many Ghazwat did the Prophet undertake?" Zaid replied, "Nineteen." They said, "In how many Ghazwat did you join him?" He replied, "Seventeen." I asked, "Which of these was the first?" He replied, "Al-'Ashira or Al-'Ashiru."

Terrorism

  • Terrorists are not representative of Islam

    Radical Islamists committing attacks and now regularly seek to acquire state power in Muslim-majority countries. The latter, however, they very rarely succeed, what makes them resentful, and leads to new attacks. Most of the terrorist attacks by Islamists, have Muslim victims. Logically, the vast majority of Muslims disapproves of this violence.
Islam is not logical, it is a way of life imposed on people by force. 3:151 & 8:12 sanctify and mandate terrorism. 33:26 & 59:2 exemplify it. Islam's founder declared that he was made victorious by terror.

  • There are also peaceful sounds within Islamic circles.

    Every Muslim knows that the word "Islam" comes from the same root as the word 'salaam' (Hebrew: "Shalom"), in both languages it means 'peace'. With this knowledge, 138 (grown to 307) authoritative Muslims, political and spiritual leaders and intellectuals, have sent in 2007 an open letter to their Christian counterparts.

    "The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. The basis for peace and understanding already exists ... the love of God and neighbor in both religions and preached in both the Bible and the Koran can be found. "
Wikiislam has an etymology chart which makes the matter clear:
Word Arabic Meaning
Islam اسلام Submission
Salam سلام Well-being/Peace







The Ulema's missive "A Common Word between Us and You". is an obvious deception, it is an extortion letter cleverly disguised as an overture of peace. One blog: Go Burn With Muhammad is entirely devoted to pointing out the malignant malarkey in that missive.

Arabist Hans Jansen wrote a brief rebuttal, this is a Google translation. .
The letter of retired professors, Wilders on the process, about the peacefulness of Islam, a trifle late to be desired. There are no references to sermons in the mosque, to manuals of Sharia, or Koranic commentaries. Also, the letter was not by Muslim religious leaders meeondertekend. The most important Muslim theologian is Tofiq Dibi agrees. The letter is a dream: if only that Islam is like the letter writers make.

In sermons in the mosque, in the manuals of the sharia and the Koran commentaries calling for the harassment, murder and make war on dissent. It is very easy to control. The Koran itself can very easily be interpreted as an instruction to intimidation, assassination, murder, and war - but when the Amsterdam court says that the true meaning of the Qur'anic text is just very peaceful, then all the problems with Islam course solved in one stroke. It is inconceivable for Muslims the Koran as a license to kill would dare conceive as the Amsterdam court maintains that the Koran is not actually a license to kill is.