By William J. Federer
In addition to the Qur’an, Muslims respect the “Hadith” - sayings of Mohammed recounted by his wives, relatives and warriors. Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari states:
No Muslim should be killed for killing a kafir (a disbeliever). (Volume 1, Book 3, No. 111)
BIOGRAPHY OF MOHAMMED
The Qur’an and the Hadith are complimented by the Biography of Mohammed, written by Ibn Ishaq, who was “the first to collect the accounts of the expeditions of the
Messenger of Allah and record them.” Ibn Ishaq, whose name means “son of Issac,” died in 768 AD. His Biography of Mohammed was edited by Ibn Hisham (died 834 AD), and contains the story of Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali:
Ali Ibn Abi Talib encountered a man called Umru and told him, “I indeed invite you to Islam.”
Umru said, “I do not need that.” Ali said, “Then I call you to fight.” Umru answered him, “What for my nephew? By God, I do not like to kill you.” Ali said, “But, by God, I love to kill you.” (The Biography of the Prophet, part 3, p. 113; see also al-Road al-Anf part 3, p. 263.)
AMERICA’S KNOWLEDGE OF ISLAM
America’s lack of knowledge of Islam is understandable, as Newsweek Magazine (Sept. 2005) reported Americans identify themselves as: 85 percent Christian, consisting of: 58 percent Protestant; 22 percent Catholic; 5 percent other Christian; 2 percent Jewish; 1 percent Atheist; 0.5 percent Buddhist; 0.5 percent Hindu; 10 percent other/non-reporting; and only 1 percent Muslim.
Most Americans know of Islam from news stories of: suicide bombings; terrorist attacks; women wearing burkas; men’s faces covered with scarves; militants with machine guns; shouting in Arabic; death penalty for leaving Islam; video tapes of hostages beheaded; riots over Dutch cartoons; burning cars in Paris; threats on the Pope; wanting to destroy Israel; cheering when Twin Towers fell on 9/11.
Americans are in disbelief that some Muslim sects practice honor-killing of daughters who “dishonor” their family by dating non-Muslims, men having four wives, stoning of adulteresses, court-ordered gang rapes, cutting off hands of thieves, female circumcision and impalements.
RELIGION OF PEACE
The word “Islam” means submission to the will of Allah. A “Muslim” is someone who has submitted. A “dhimmi” is a non-Muslim forced to submit. Mohammed divided the world into two parts: those who have submitted and those yet to submit. He called these the House of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the House of War (dar al-harb). Whereas “world peace” to a Westerner means peaceful coexistence, “world peace” to a faithful Muslim means the world submitting to the will of Allah.
MUSLIMS: MODERATE VS VIOLENT
Moderate Muslims think the world will submit to Allah figuratively or in the distant future, maybe at the Hour of Judgment. Therefore, since it is so far off, it is acceptable to get along with non-Muslims in the present. Fundamental violent Muslims think the world is submitting to Allah now and feel they are fulfilling Islam’s “manifest destiny” by making it happen. They would just as soon fight moderate Muslims, considering them backslidden from obeying the commands of Mohammed.
Moderate Muslims hesitate to speak out against fundamental violent Muslims, as occasionally one does and they are threatened, intimidated, change their names for protection, have fatwas put on them and even killed. So there could, in a sense, be three groups of Muslims: a minority of fundamental violent ones, a majority of moderate ones who are afraid of the fundamental violent ones, and the courageous dead ones who were not afraid of the fundamental violent ones.
Stanely Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in his article “Tribes of Terror” (Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2007/2008, p. 41): A given theologian’s “true” Islam is one thing; “actual existing” Islam on the ground is another.
COURAGEOUS MODERATE MUSLIMS
Moderate Muslims receive death threats from fundamental violent Muslims and are criticized by CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, a front group whose leaders are connected with supporting terrorism (Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer indicted for training terrorists on American soil, June 27, 2003; Bassem K. Khafagi arrested for funneling money to terrorists, January, 2003; Siraj Wahhaj alleged co-conspirator to blow up New York City monuments in the 1990s). Moderate Muslims attended the Secular Islam Summit in St. Petersburg, Florida, and released “The St. Petersburg Declaration, “ March 5, 2007:
We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.
We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience.
We believe in the equality of all human persons.
We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.
We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.
We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called “Islamaphobia” in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.
We call on the governments of the world to reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostacy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights; eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women; protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence; reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims; and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed without coercion or intimidation.
We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power hungry men and the rigid strictures of orthodoxy.
We enjoin academics and thinkers everywhere to embark on a fearless examination of the origins and sources of Islam, and to promulgate the ideals of free scientific and spiritual inquiry through cross-cultural translation, publishing, and the mass media.
We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine; to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha’is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens; and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent.
Before any of us is a membe, in Sura 19:30-35, of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must choose for themselves.