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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What is Islam: Religion? Terror Ideology?

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Logan's Warning for alerting me to this opportunity to expose Islam.

CNN published an article by Jocelyne Cesari entitled  Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology. The writer asserts, without submitting proof, that Islam is a religion.

    Cesari  mentions the sensitivity issue in passing, pointing out opposition to Mosque construction projects at generic locations. She generalizes, attributing opposition  to: "growing unease toward Islam, fueled by security fears".  Is it possible that there is a growing interest in and knowledge of the doctrines & practices of Islam, fueled by the writings of Bostom, Pipes, Ibrahim, McCarthy, Gabriel & Spencer and other sources of information?

    She remarks on the similarity between American and European  anti-Islamic movements, identifying one common element: "...they increasingly justify their opposition by arguing that Islam is not a religion.".   Here is her defining example from Europe.


"For example, in his campaign preceding Holland's recent elections, extreme right-wing parliamentarian Geert Wilders repeatedly argued that Islam is a political ideology."

    I added emphasis to make one phrase stand out. Cesari appears to be attempting to discredit Wilders by attaching the "right-wing label.  But Wilders is not a Nazi, he is a supporter of democracy.  For the American side of the equation, she throws a spear at an American politician.

"Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, in his failed gubernatorial bid, suggested that the freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment might not apply to Muslims. "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, a cult," the Republican candidate told an audience in Murfreesboro."

I added emphasis to make one phrase stand out. Cesari appears to be attempting to discredit Ramsey by  reference to his loss in the primary election, employing the ad populum fallacy. Despite the grammatical error, Ramsey actually arrived at the truth: Islam is a way of life and a cult.   Here there are two common elements: the ad hominum argument and the lack of evidence to disprove the European and American positions. Cesari simply dismisses them without proof.

    The sewer sludge flows in the next paragraph.

"Disturbingly, these assertions are often embraced by people looking to justify their intolerance. Counterclaims and evidence from religious leaders, intellectuals, government officials and others have little impact on this misperception."

Note the  phrase to which I added emphasis.  "justify their intolerance" is used to label us as bigots and our realization that Islam is not a religion is dismissed as misperception.  No evidence  was supplied to support the dismissal.

    Next, Cesari propounds an important question, which should raise  a counter-question.

"Why is Islam no longer considered a religion?"

Why was Islam considered a religion?  Islam was considered a religion because it was self-identified.  In 5:3, Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Hilali-Khan, Shakir, Sher Ali, Khalifa,  Arberry, Palmer, Rodwell and Sale all use "religion"  in the declarations of perfection and imposition. But at http://www.openburhan.net/ , in the expanded display, Malik uses deen.  At http://www.islam-muslims.org/Quran/2/217/default.htm , Aisha Bewley & Shabbir Ahmed use deen. Free Minds' literal translation uses system.  M. Taqi Usmani spells it din and also uses religion.

    In the Arabic,  word #43 is  دينكم  dīnakum and word #50 is  دينكم  dīnan. A visit to Wikipedia turns up this:

"Thus, although secular Muslims would say that their practical interpretation of Dīn conforms to "religion" in the restricted sense of something that can be carried out in separation from other areas of life, both mainstream and reformist Muslim writers take the word to mean an all-encompassing way of life carried out under the auspices of God's divine purpose as expressed in the Qur'an and hadith. As one notably progressive Muslim writer puts it, far from being a discrete aspect of life carried out in the mosque, "Islam is Dīn, a complete way of life"[2]  "

    A great deal of searching turned up   Four Basic Quranic Terms  by Abu Ala Maududi.  Chapter 4 of that 60 page book discusses deen.  After citing several verses, Maududi summs it all up.

"In all these verses, the word Deen stands for the complete way of life, including man's beliefs, his moral principles, and his behaviour in all walks of life.
In the first two verses it is said that the right and proper way of life intended by God for man is that founded on obedience to Him and conformity to His Laws. Any other way of life, based on someone else's supposed right to ultimate authority and submission to it, has not the slightest place in Allah's scheme for man and is hence as wholly unacceptable to Him. And this is but natural. Man is God's creature and lives in His Domain and God is his Master and Sustainer. How then, can God be expected to consent that man may spend his life in obedience to someone else similarly His creature and dependant, and look to that someone for guidance?

    The third verse proclaims that Allah sent His Messenger (may peace be upon him) with the true Deen, the way of life meant by Him for man, which is known as Islam, and it was the primary purpose of the Prophet's mission that he should make this Deen prevail in their stead and triumph over all other ways of life.

    In the fourth, the believers have been ordered to fight all non-believers until mischief-that is, every system of thought, belief, and action which is not based on recognition of Allah as the Supreme Authority, and which therefore will perpetually remain the source of all strife and unrest-has been wiped out, and entire humanity adopts the approved way of life, Allah's Deen.

    The fifth verse was revealed when, after 23 years of prolonged struggle the Islamic Revolution had overcome all resistance in Arabia, when Islam had established itself and been universally accepted as a system of belief, thought, morality, culture, etc., in all its details and in all walks of life, and delegation after delegation from all parts of the country was arriving to pledge allegiance to it, and the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace) was thus witnessing the fulfillment of his mission."

Maududi does not use the term deen in his Tafsir, but he does use way of life in  4:125 & 5:48

    Islam is not a religion, neither is it an ideology.  Islam is a way of life, encompassing all of human activity.   Examine the table of contents for Sahih Bukhari, the most authentic of the canonical hadith collections. You will find "religious" matters such as prayer and ritual purity.  But you will also  find  temporal matters such as taxes, loans, mortgages, fighting and military expeditions.  Islam encompasses everything from conception to burial.

    Islam includes religion, but it is more than religion. It combines religion and government. It wages war. Its war against us began when we threw off England's tyranny and became independent. The Barbary Pirates sacked our shipping in the name of Allah.   When asked by what right they attacked us, they answered by Allah's law.

    What religion levies war on us because we are Christian?  That link opens Reliance of the Traveller, the handbook of Shari'ah, to the page containing o9.9.  Read it carefully.  What does the caliph do?  What is the scriptural basis for his action?  

    How is it possible that an institution which has declared and prosecuted war upon us can be  included under the  umbrella of protection offered to religions by the First Amendment's free exercise clause?   Attacking disbelievers, aggressive warfare, is a religious obligation, fard al-kifaya which must be carried out in in every year when possible.

    How is it possible that we should tolerate the propagation of a belief in a religious obligation to attack and subjugate us, a belief that our blood and property are not sacred to Muslims? How is it possible that we  should tolerate the propagation of the idea that we have no rights until we become Muslim?

   
  
  Bear in mind how  deen and religion are interchangeable terms while reading this hadith.

Sunan abu Dawud Book 23, Number 3455:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:
I heard the Apostle of Allah, (peace_be_upon_him) say: When you enter into the inah transaction, hold the tails of oxen, are pleased with agriculture, and give up conducting jihad (struggle in the way of Allah). Allah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your original religion.  [Emphasis added.]
    What are the two alternative ways of life named in that hadith? What is their original way of life?   What is jihad?  What will Allah do  to Muslims if they abandon it?

    Cesari  tries to isolate Islam from  one of its  intrinsic sacraments: jihad.

"No doubt, some political groups are at war with certain Muslim regimes like those in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Pakistan, and with the West."

    Al-Qaeda is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928.  Who was doing Jihad before Hassan Al-Banna was born?  Who conquered Arabia, North Africa,  Turkey, Syria, Southern Europe and half of Asia?   Were Muhammad and his four "rightly guided  caliphs"  extremists separate from the institution he founded?  

    Cesari  asserts that the threat of terrorism  is not Islamic.

"Westerners see the threat from terrorists who are driven by ideology and politics as a threat from a culture and religion."

    What was Muhammad driven by when he attacked the Byzantine Empire?  What was he driven by when he sent an extortion letter to the  emperor of Persia? What is the source of the ideology of terrorism?   Who said "I will cast terror"?  Who "cast terror"?  Who said "I have been made victorious with terror"  By what miracle of sophistry do you separate the statements of Allah and his Messenger from Islam?

    Cesari deftly weaves a web of code words with which to calumniate us as bigots and racists.

"Those people who were already suspicious of Islam can justify their hostility because, instead of a religion, Islam is considered an ideology emanating from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Turkey and the rest of the Muslim world to threaten the West."

We are brushed off as "already suspicious", obviously, our suspicions must be unfounded.  Where does Islam emanate from?  That's the ticket; must be racism!!! 

    Next,  she segues into the double standard.

"It's worth noting that we did not seek to explain the violence and terrorism of Northern Ireland through the lens of Catholicism and Protestantism only; nobody scoured the Bible for verses about violence and war. Observers, instead, cited political, economic and historic factors to explain the conflict"

Where in the New Testament did Jesus Christ command his disciples to wage war?  In what Book, Chapter & Verse did he exemplify terrorism for them to emulate?  Compare and contrast what Jesus said with what Allah &  Moe said.

    Are there any economic factors to explain Moe's battles?  To whom do the spoils belong?  What was Moe's motivation; what did he seek?  What did Allah promise him?  What did Allah deliver?  Why did Moe say "while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." ?  Why did he say  "Khosrau will be ruined, and there will be no Khosrau after him, and Caesar will surely be ruined and there will be no Caesar after him, and you will spend their treasures in Allah's Cause."