Feature Article of 2014-05-19

Calm Down, You Aren't Fooling Anyone

: My Response to Husseini Yushau BabalWaiz
I read with utter amusement and disappointment Husseini Yushau BabalWaiz’s reply to my article, “On the Arrogance and Backwardness of Islam”. I was disappointed and amused on two counts : First that Husseini thought it prudent to attack my personhood, calling me “ignorant”, an “idiot”, “narrow-minded” and so on all the while not realizing that he was guilty of exactly what my writing sought to point out to Islamists like himself. He didn’t realize how arrogant he sounded calling on me to pull off my article. He didn’t realize that by so doing he was trying to curtail my freedom of expression – that same freedom which grants that such a tirade of bull as he wrote be published. I think myself too sober a man to counter his vile invectives in similar language, so I will not descend the cesspits with the defender of Islam. After all, sane and sober men don’t bark back at raging rabid dogs. Second, Husseini did the convenient thing of cherry-picking from the Qur’an and the history books. I’ll start by pointing out verses from the Qur’an which explicitly admonishes faithfuls to intolerance, bloodshed and savagery. While the list would be endless, I’ll cite a few. I will not dwell on the Prophet Mohammed’s documented history of war-lust, war-mongering, slave-ownership, pedophilia and brutal savagery – that is well-documented and anyone can dig that up by picking some good textbooks. So I’ll quote from the Qur’an – and if the holy book (which they regard as a history book as well), fails to exonerate Islam by any moral standards, we should then have put paid to the controversy. Looking at the Qur’an… According to some documentations, the Qur’an contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers/ mushrik/ kafirs for the sake of Islamic hegemony. Some are really detailed, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter. These verses of violence in the Qur’an are mostly open-ended that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, immutable word of Allah. The context of violent passages is largely ambiguous – you would expected better clarity of a perfect book from a loving Allah. Most Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret the Qur’an’s call to violence according to their own moral preconceptions of justifiable violence. Apologists, like Husseini Yushau BabalWaiz cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical facts. Those generally do not stand up to scrutiny. It’s Not the People, It’s The ideology! I need not emphasize that the problem is not bad people, but a bad and dangerous ideology. My contention is that Islam as an ideology is a huge inspiration to bloodlust mandated in the Qur’an by Allah. There are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad's own martial legacy - and that of his companions - along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history. As I write this, there are reports of a Sudanese woman who is facing death by hanging for apostasy! She is to die because she deserted Islam to marry a Christian. Accordingly to the reports, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is eight months pregnant, and she shall receive 100 hundred lashes for adultery, even though she doesn’t identify with Islam. Only humans, whose sense of objectivity, compassion and moral sympathies are not warped by religious dogma will deny this is preposterous, arrogant and backwards! "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death," the judge told the woman, AFP reports. Qur’an 2:191-193: "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing...but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)". Let’s not fool ourselves; the historical context for this is not defensive warfare – as apologists like Husseini and his ilk would have us believe. Fact is, these verses mandate offensive warfare. In total, the context is clear: violence is mandatory “until religion is for Allah” – that is, unbelievers desist/recant. Qur’an 2:244: “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah heareth and knoweth all things” Qur’an 2:216: “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”. In other words, fighting can be virtuous. This verse contradicts the myth that fighting is intended in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not in under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time Muhammad was actually trying to inspire his charges into raiding caravans for loot. Qur’an 3:56 Qur’an 3:151: “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which he had sent no authority”. Speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. What Muhammad believed to “joining companions with Allah”). Qur’an 4:74: “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him we shall bestow a vast reward.” Seen the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers? Qur’an 4:76: “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…” Qur’an 4:89: “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 you find them ; and (in any case) take no friends from their ranks”
Qur’an 4:95: “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who (sit at home). Unto all (in Faith) hath Allah promised good: but those who strive and fight hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward”. In other words, “peaceful” Muslims – those who will not partake in violence - are not so admired and cherished in Allah’s eyes. Qur’an 4:104: “And be not weak in pursuit of the enemy; if they suffer pain, they surely too suffer pain as you suffer pain…” Even when you have injured them ( your enemies ) and they retreat, do not leave them be. Pursue them, slay them! And that, is not self-dense, people. Qur’an 4: 33 / Qur’an 8:12 / Qur’an 8:15 / Qur’an 8:39 / Qur’an 8:57 / Qur’an 8:59-60/ Qur’an 8:65 / Qur’an 9:5 / Qur’an 9:14 / Qur’an 9:20 / Qur’an 9:29 / Qur’an 9;30 / Qur’an 9:38-39 / Qur’an 9:41 / Qur’an 9:73 / Qur’an 9:88/ Qur’an 9:111 / Qur’an 9:123 / Qur’an 9:123 / Qur’an 17:16 / Qur’an 18:65-81 / Qur’an 21:44/ Qur’an 25:52 / Qur’an 33:60-62 / Qur’an 47:3-4 / Qur’an 47:35 / Qur’an 48:17 / Qur’an 48:29 / Qur’an 61: 4 / Qur’an 61:9 / Qur’an 61:10-12 / Qur’an 66:9 From the Hadith: Bukhari 52:177 / Bukhari 52:256 / Bukhari 52:65 / Bukhari 52:220 / Abu Dawud 14:2526 / Abu Dawud 14:2527 / Muslim 1:33 / Bukhari 8:387 … The list could go on and on. Suffice to say that when I wrote that “The Qur’an provides the theological and ideological framework within which bigotry, brutality and bloodshed is not sanctified but demanded from the faithful “, and that “Islamic militancy is rooted in divinely mandated bloodlust!”, I wasn’t talking from my belly. I wrote those with the thoughtful deliberation of a man who knew what he was talking about. The earlier people like Husseini and their claque of obsequious flatterers accept that violence is ingrained in Islam, the better. Then we can resolve as a world to forge a dynamic and ethical society that will fit the contemporary virtues of humility (to admit that you do not know, cannot have and may never have all the answers), and universal brotherhood (of love and tolerance, however ‘offensive’ a view is, however brutal the truth).
A word on Muhammad… Muhammad was a brutal conqueror, marauding towns, and laying cities to waste, massacring men, enslaving their children and usurping their properties. He actually inspired his followers to battle when they felt it was not right to, promising them captured humans as commodities – slaves. And threatening them with Hell if they would not oblige. Muhammad allowed his men to rape women captured in battle, sometimes on the same day that their husbands were slain like wayward livestock. The early Islamic war principle was that the civilian population of a town was to be razed to waste ( slay the men, capture the women and children into slavery). Although, apologists like Husseini would have us believe that Muslims are supposed to attack in self-defense … we know too well to be fed such bullcrap! We cannot change that history, we may decide to let sleeping dogs lie, but humanity cannot progress with that legacy trying to gain global hegemony.
In conclusion… “We want to stand upon our feet and look fair and square at the world – its good facts, it’s bad facts, it’s beauties, and it’s ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. … We ought to make the best that we can of this world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all, it will still be better than what these others have made of it all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time towards a past that is dead, which we trust will be surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create” ~ Bertrand Russell
I rest my case….