The Question of Islamic Reform


islam_prayerislam_prayerPerhaps the major theological problem confronting the revisionist Muslim community today—i.e., those whom we call “moderates”  or “secular-oriented intellectuals”—is the canonical scriptures which define their faith and without which Islam would cease to exist. The dilemma for these “enlightened Muslims” is the Koran itself, with its ubiquitous summons to warfare, conquest, enslavement and social and economic persecution of vanquished peoples, which is why they are preoccupied, to the brink of obsession, with the twin concepts of re-interpretation and contextualization.

These meliorists are convinced that Islam is diametrically opposed to something called “Islamism,” that Islam is essentially a “religion of peace” rather than a bellicose imperial movement and that its founding texts therefore invite reinterpretation. This belief can be readily demolished by anyone with a cursory acquaintance with the Islamic literature and a modicum of common sense. For once the incendiary and violent passages are expurgated from the Koran and the Hadith, and the philosophical and political curriculum appropriately bowdlerized, there is far too little left over on which to base a credible and authoritative, world-historical faith. Indeed, as I have argued before, the result would resemble a version of Baha’i’ and could no longer legitimately be called Islam. Re-interpretation is effectively a dead end, a theological placebo swallowed by the naïve or the willfully ignorant who find the strong medicine of reality unpalatable or even abhorrent.

The notion of contextualization fares no better. Here the thesis is that one must adopt a historical or dialectical perspective on the progressive evolution of belief systems. The repugnant portions of the scriptures are understood to apply only to the times in which they were conceived and written. Of course, there is some truth to this contention. The Bible also contains offensive passages which have been despumated with the passing of time. But the difference between the Bible and the Koran is categorical. The former is largely narrative and parabolic in structure and the parts we would regard as objectionable are comparatively few. The Koran, on the contrary—especially the longer, Medinan section—is almost unrelentingly belligerent and exhortative, commanding the believer to slay, conquer, oppress and impose draconian taxes on those who have been subjugated.

To say, as did reformer Salim Mansur, an apostle of contextualization, that Jesus should not be held responsible for the actions of his followers and therefore, by implication, neither should Mohammed is to miss the point entirely. Jesus commanded the faithful to turn the other cheek, not to “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” (Koran 9:5). Jesus is in no need of contextualization. Judaism differs inasmuch as the messiah has not yet arrived and the fundamental commandments are both few and benign. In Christianity, as we have noted, Jesus is a harbinger of peace and love, and his exegetes, like Saint Paul, are fallible human beings whose utterances are seen to be open to debate. In Islam, however, the word of the Prophet, transmitted by Allah via the angel Gabriel, is set in theological stone; it cannot be reinterpreted or contextualized, only abrogated by Mohammed himself. Its directives are neither locally nor temporally specific. They are meant to be understood as having general and timeless application, constituting the default position of Islamic belief. Efforts to neuter such clearly unmistakable and bloody imperatives, which ramify throughout the Koran—as, for example, in the Muslim Access website which strenuously labors to sanitize the intractable—are embarrassingly disingenuous.

The abiding, if not insoluble, problem with the seductive hypothesis of contextualization is a kind of prolepsis, an anticipation of change before it happens—which in this case would then render the original event tolerable. Are we to assume, in other words, that the beheading of 600-900 Jewish males of the Banu Qurayza and the enslavement of their women and children at the Battle of the Trench is perfectly understandable because it occurred in 627? That the annihilation of 60-80 million Hindus during the conquest of India is historically unexceptionable because it occurred between the 11th and 16th centuries? Need we merely contextualize such atrocities—without apology—in order not to be unduly disturbed by them? Were Islamic warriors more primitive in the unenlightened past but are now well on the way toward civilized behavior and international standards of just conduct?

In that case, how are we to process the myriad commands and injunctions to kill, brutalize and devastate that remain “on the books,” are reckoned as mandatory, and are regarded as perennially valid by the majority of the world’s practicing Muslims. How are these rules and ukases to be contextualized in the present, let alone re-interpreted? How does one reinterpret and contextualize the manifold orders to slaughter, mutilate, enslave and exploit the infidel that are rife throughout what is considered a holy and eternal text coeval with the Creator? To agree that such recalibration is possible without expunging the Islamic faith from the ledger of the world’s major religions or turning it into something unrecognizable is a delusion that flies in the face of reality.

A corollary argument we often come across is that Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, only needs time in which to reform itself. I have contended that Islam cannot be reformed and yet perdure as Islam. But even were renovation possible, the issue is that, in a nuclear age in which terrorist organizations diligently seek the acquisition of WMDs and will, most likely, eventually get them, we no longer have the time to wait upon an Islamic “higher criticism” to disarm an aggressively militant faith—which is also a political ideology. Ayaan Hirsi Ali believes that Islam will undergo a positive transformation, a necessary “cultural change,” in another hundred years or so. Were this even remotely possible, the predicament would persist: we do not have another hundred years in which to exercise our patience. I doubt if we even have a decade before a widespread conflagration is ignited and casualties reach astronomic proportions, a consequence that follows in the wake of Islamic virulence.

Roger Kimball, parsing Charles Hill’s new book, Trial of a Thousand Years: World Oder and Islamism, suggests that “there are millions upon millions of Muslims outside the Mideast who have made their peace with modernity.” But such a metamorphosis strictly implies that these moderates are not really Muslims any longer, and certainly not Muslims in good standing. They are nominal Muslims, dissembling members of the faith, Stanislavsky Muslims engaged in a species of method acting, imagining themselves to be what they are not, for Islam as such is not amenable to assimilation into the Western, post-Westphalian world order. Re-interpretation is predicated on deliberate negligence just as contextualization is a sop to the intellectual conscience, and both are instances of theological fraud and the desire to retain a venerable designation or a cultural habitus (French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s term) to which they are neither logically nor honestly entitled.

“Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards,” wrote Samuel Huntington in The Clash of Civilizations, and events appear to have proven him right. But it is even worse than that. The blood has spilled copiously from the borders of Islam across the borders of the West and into the very nexus of our private and public lives. If Islam were reformable, I would be in the vanguard of those encouraging the anti-jihadist activists and the sparse handful of moderates who have attempted to establish a new synthesis. But it is not reformable. It cannot be re-interpreted, contextualized and transformed while still remaining the religion of Allah and his Prophet.

We need to know and name what we are dealing with and devise an appropriate strategy to contest and defeat a determined adversary if we intend to ensure our survival. It is as simple—and uncompromising—as that. Otherwise we will sink into the Spenglerian abyss as merely one more civilization that has grown weary of conflict and the requisites of perpetuation, and has wished itself, as Spengler wrote in The Decline of the West, into the featureless dark.

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  • objectivefactsmatter

    Islam is fundamentally a war on the Bible. It’s legitimacy comes from the Bible and its alleged supremacy to the Bible. Without that supremacy, they have to become Christians, Jews or atheists. Mohamed created a zero-sum game.

    Reform of Islam means destruction of Mohamed’s plagiarized ideology.

    • LolKatzen

      Very true.

    • Raymond_in_DC

      It would appear, therefore, that one critical course of action is to discredit the Quran as a sacred text using the tools of critical scholarship used for more than a century against Jewish and Christian texts. That means getting hold of those early Islamic texts allegedly secured in Yemen and Germany and exposing them to the light of day. If Mohammed – the “perfect man” Muslims are to emulate – is exposed as a historic construct, that too will work to weaken the faith.

      Yes, if Islam reformed itself into something like Baha’i this would be a more peaceful world. But as long as any reform or reinterpretation is deemed heresy, the fundamentalists will continue to define Islam.

      • defcon 4

        Which mosques or madrassas are practicing non-fundamental islam? I don’t remember seeing or reading about any reformed Shiite or Sunni mosques anywhere.

        • Raymond_in_DC

          You miss my point; we’re in essential agreement. It’s because fundamentalists define Islam that virtually every mosque has a fundamentalist character. A few groups like the Ahmadis will, in some places, promote a more peaceful Islam based on the teachings of a later “prophet”, but that very notion automatically brands them as heretics. And even in the US, they don’t challenge the fundamentalists.

          • defcon 4

            There is no non-fundamental islam.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Exactly. Islam itself must be destroyed as an ideology. Creating an alternative will just create targets for the fundamentalists to try to kill. Even the shia have to contend with constant war and violence, and the only reason they survive is because they too believe in the same kinds of violence. Promoting “peaceful Islam” as anything other than a deception strategy will attract all of the jihadis to kill them, and if the new “version” is peaceful, the followers will be dead very soon.

            The ideology must be destroyed. Then individuals who believe in the peaceful versions (the few who live in modern societies and are happy to live that way) will be free to perhaps start something that could eventually become a kind of replacement to the historical violent fundamental versions. But only after the fundamentalist (historical) Mohamed is exposed for what he truly was.

            I can’t say beyond that.

          • gray_man

            There is no “later prophet”, you are blubbering nonsense. Muhammad is the only “prophet” in islam.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “Yes, if Islam reformed itself into something like Baha’i this would be a more peaceful world. But as long as any reform or reinterpretation is deemed heresy, the fundamentalists will continue to define Islam.”

        It can’t be reformed because to rectify it you must remove Mohamed entirely. Mohamed must be exposed as a criminal. Then what do you have? An entirely new religion.

        Since most of them think they already believe in the Jewish prophets (albeit as “Islamic” prophets) the most logical path is to use the Bible. Otherwise you simply force them in to atheism. Using the Bible with them is not easy, but it is the only viable option unless the individual in question is already a virtual or crypto atheist.

        • DilloTank

          Indeed. The ‘reformers’ are the problem.

      • gray_man

        “using the tools of critical scholarship used for more than a century against Jewish and Christian texts.”

        what nonsense are you blabbering about?

        • OfficialPro

          Just because you’re ignorant doesn’t mean he’s blabbering “nonsense”.

          • gray_man

            Just because you can spell doesn’t mean you are not an idiot.
            He was blabbering nonsense, and the fact that you defend him shows just how ignorant you are.

  • dickthetruth

    This has huge foreign policy implications. Cleave to the reformist position and a Chamberlinesque policy of accommodation and appeasement makes sense – the current policy of the Obama administration. It fosters the idea that the Islamists can be won over with understanding and respect and will temper their anti-West aggression. Cleave to the unreformable position and Islam is an implacable enemy which must be given no quarter militarily or economically. It must be treated as a pseudo-religion and condemned as a fascist, repressive, anti-humanistic ideology of hate and bigotry which enforces the second class status of women and is opposed to music and the arts. It is a theo-fascist ideology which endorses, subterfuge, deceit, infiltration and terrorism to gain dominance.

    Solway is an incisive, brilliant analyst engaged in nothing less than saving Western civilization from choking on it’s own mindless, pathological idée fixe of tolerance as an uber-value.

  • ratonis

    I question if even B’hai is a “religion of peace.” It gets an easy pass because it has never had the responsibility of actually governing a state, defending it, etc. It also advocates a world-wide totalitarian state derivative of the United Nations with exclusive military powers (see “The B’hai Plan for World Peace.”) But for sure, Islam (B’hai’s parent) is not. After 9/11 I read the Qur’an and had the thought: “I don’t think Osama bin Laden has highjacked anything; it seems to me he is the real deal.”

    • OfficialPro

      Ba’hai is basically the Perfect Liberal Religion. It basically says All Faiths Get You Into Heaven.

      They’re also hippie pacifists, so they don’t fight back.
      Naturally, this pisses the Muslims off something fierce. Particularly in Persia where Bahai-ism started.

  • defcon 4

    I can’t imagine anyone even proposing islam needs reform in any islamic state, because to do so would be criminal and the punishment severe (head chopping anyone?). After all, admitting islam needs reform kinda conflicts w/the idea of it being the word of allah as related to muhammad by gabriel and thus immutable and perfect for all time (this despite the convenient concept of abrogation).

    • Drakken

      Islam and the west are headed for a very nasty conflict, frankly we must throw these PC shackles off and give them what they so richly deserve, no quarter and no mercy.

      • defcon 4

        We have plenty of traitors and collaborators who are carrying water for the islam0nazis and they’ll have to be dealt with as well.

        • Drakken

          As this tragedy unfolds, the traitors will be running for the hills to escape their fate.

  • http://historyscoper.com T.L. Winslow

    Islam isn’t just a war on the Bible, it’s a war on the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist. It’s entire raison d’etre is to deny Jews that right. Hence, instead of treating the problem of Israel and the problem of Islam as separate, they must be treated as one. To defeat Islam is to establish a giant state of Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates after the Muslim World is dissolved into a sea of ex-Muslims who chucked Allah, the Quran, Muhammad and his jihad, and look to Israel for guidance in rejoining the human race. All along Israel would welcome Arabs who give up the jihad and accept Israel’s right to exist, so that’s the happy ending that could be if if if.

    • defcon 4

      If only that were a realistic proposition.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        The only realistic proposition is as long as there are Muslims and as long as they are able to fight, they will fight jihad against Israel and also against all religions and all infidels, per the will of Allah in which they have all submitted totally, completely, and unconditionally to.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Islam isn’t just a war on the Bible, it’s a war on the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist.”

      “Hence, instead of treating the problem of Israel and the problem of Islam as separate, they must be treated as one. To defeat Islam is to establish a giant state of Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates after the Muslim World is dissolved into a sea of ex-Muslims who chucked Allah, the Quran, Muhammad and his jihad, and look to Israel for guidance in rejoining the human race. All along Israel would welcome Arabs who give up the jihad and accept Israel’s right to exist, so that’s the happy ending that could be if if if.”

      If they West had not been divided by Darwin, Marx and their disciples, that would be a plan we may have already followed. We would have done that immediately following WWI without hesitation.

      But the leftist morons were allowed to have their say.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Per the infamous sword verses of the Koran, which were issued by Muhammad shortly before his death and therefore abrogate and replace all earlier issued verses of the Koran they contradict and conflict with, the sole purpose of Islam is to subjugate into Islamic totalitarianism all religions and all infidels via the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Now take that reality and apply it to Israel and what do we get?

  • mollysdad

    If this article is correct, then it follows that either the Muslims survive or the rest of us do.

  • Jsjk

    I don’t think it’s Islam, per se, that is the problem…I think there are cultural components which put a brake on entering into modernity. A must read is “Culture and conflict in the Middle East” by Philip Carl Salzman. (He is an anthropologist who explains how they arrange their societies– based on tribal, group, kinship orientations — this precludes developing a “rule of law”, equality of individuals, civil rights, etc.) Another informative essay is by Daniel Pipes, titled “A democratic Islam?” published in 2008. A third text (which I found insightful, as to explaining why Arab culture is so barbarous and seventh century) is Dan Diner’s “Lost in the Sacred.”

    • Drakken

      Islam is what islam does period. You can parse words and play at semantics until your blue in the face. Islam is and always has been anti-civilization since that devil worshipping pedophile Mohamed crawled out of the desert and screwed his first nine year old, there is no changing it, it must be eradicated for us to survive and thrive, otherwise we will be dragged back to the dark ages.

  • Drakken

    There will no reformation of islam period ! It will have to be utterly and ruthlessly destroyed to ensure our western survival, anything less is wishful thinking and our defeat.

  • TienBing

    Islam started out as a cock and bull story concocted by a conniving madman, based on his nightmares, to enlist the aid of ignorant tribesmen in said madman’s quest for personal power and wealth. It was (is) composed of garbled Judaeo-Christian teachings grafted on to pagan Arab tribal superstitions and elaborated by the fantasies and nightmares of a troubled mind.

    It is as self contained as the delusions of the paranoid-schizophrenic that invented it. Thus by the rules of it’s own internal logic it cannot be changed. Allah is all powerful, Mohammad is his prophet, there will be no prophets after him – Mohammad is the last, you must submit to the will of Allah or die, it is the duty of all Muslims to convert all to Islam by force if necessary (to some preferably).

  • TienBing

    Allah is the only God, all must submit to his will, the Quran as related to Mohammad is his law, Mohammad is his prophet, there will be no prophets after him – Mohammad is the final word. According to the Quran it is the duty of all believers to convert, kill or subjugate all unbelievers. Who can change that? Why would you? It is the word.

  • Softly Bob

    Islam cannot be reformed. It is a tool of Satan. It can only be extinguished.

  • stone7

    We need to know and name what we are dealing with…

    This is the only sentence from this article that I find useful. Sorry.

    The first thing you need to understand is that the foundation of islam
    is brute force. There is no discussion in islam. Little boys are
    raped and little girls have their genitals cut out by their grandmothers.

    The koran is largely irrelevant after this has been done to a person.
    After this, you are either an angry brute or a submitting nonentity.
    Force becomes a way of life for both types.

    Brute force can only be dealt with by greater brute force.

    The religion called islam, is nothing more than systematic
    brute force, in one way or another. It doesn’t matter what the
    koran says. It doesn’t matter that they are unaware of a man’s
    rights. When brute force is the starting point, no further
    analysis is required. Only acknowledgement of this fact
    is required. And then knowing that the only solution possible
    is greater force. The entire religion, every word written, is nothing
    but a distraction to hide this foundation of brute force.

    All muslims have implicitly accepted brute force as a way of
    life. This is why large colonies of muslims in western countries
    are such dangerous places.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      The first thing you need to understand is that the foundation of islam
      is brute force.

      No that’s incorrect. The foundation of Islam and indeed Islam’s highest pillar is jihad, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment of Islam via the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Moreover, jihad is not terrorism, as so many in the West have been brainwashed to believe, because jihad, unlike terrorism, which is always only violent, is both violent and non-violent but nonetheless astronomically far more non-violent relative to violent. Indeed, a specific example of violent jihad would be the infamous 9/11 jihad attacks, and a specific example of non-violent jihad is mass Muslim immigration to the West for the surreptitious purpose of stealth demographic conquest. Indeed, because jihad today is almost always conflated as being terrorism and because terrorism is always only violent, the many forms of non-violent jihad are able to manifests totally unopposed throughout the West.

  • mikegiles

    By it’s very nature Islam gives enormous power, to the interpreters of the Koran. Because not only are the majority of the faithful unable to read Arabic – or read at all – but the Koran is so convoluted, that it requires an “expert” to make sense of it. These “Holy Men” are not going to give up their power and position. The religious leaders of Islam do not want it to become modern. As a matter of fact, good Muslims are supposed to base their lives on a 7th century thief, murderer, rapist, and pedophile – who very well might have been insane.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Britain/100003802091841 Geoffrey Britain

    The author struggles to squeeze a camel through the eye of a needle. It’s not that he’s wrong about Islam’s inability to reform, it’s that his limited theological understanding of Islam restricts him to verbosity, when a simple explanation of why Islam can’t reform is contained in Mohammad’s most fundamental claim.

    The author’s limited theological understanding is confirmed when he states, “In Islam, however, the word of the Prophet, transmitted by Allah via the angel Gabriel, is set in theological stone; it cannot be reinterpreted or contextualized, only abrogated by Mohammed himself.”

    This is a profound mis-statement of what Mohammad claimed and it greatly matters. Firstly, the author is referring to the Qur’an which is what Mohammad claimed was dictated to him by Allah through the agency of the Archangel Gabriel. The Qur’an is thus NOT “the word of the Prophet”. According to Mohammad, the Qur’an ARE THE WORDS OF ALLAH, spoken through Gabriel to Mohammad, who merely took dictation. Gabriel made sure Mohammad got it exactly right, down to the very last comma.

    Two points; 1) Archangels are incapable of making mistakes, they’re perfect, without original sin. 2) Allah’s words can’t be changed for to revise them is to set man’s ‘interpretation’ above God’s. That no man may do.

    Nor can Mohammad abrogate the Qur’an, (though he did, an inconvenient truth that he got away with by Islamic ‘scholars’ ignoring contradiction and adopting the view that the later violent passages ‘supersede’ the earlier more peaceful passages) as according to Mohammad, the Qur’an isn’t his words but Allah’s and even a prophet may not put words in God’s mouth.

    The Qur’an IS set in theological stone but NOT by Mohammad, it is set in theological stone by Mohammad’s claim that the Qur’an is ALLAH’S DIRECT TESTIMONY and THAT is WHY it cannot be ‘reinterpreted’ or ‘contextualized’.

    To reform Islam thus requires rejection of Mohammad’s most fundamental claim, which would make him either deluded or a liar and, if he got something as basic as the authorship of the ‘holy’ Qur’an wrong, it begs the question; what else did he get wrong? And Islam’s entire theological infrastructure collapses.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Here, here!

      • Charlie97

        It’s actually, “Hear, hear”, you imbecile.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          You’re right. Thanks!

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Islam has already undergone a reformation of sorts. Initially, Islam started out as being a peaceful religion, albeit a very bastardized religion, as Muhammad borrowed heavily from various religions to create his new religion, but a religion nonetheless. However, subsequent to the Hijra in 622 AD, which was Muhammad and his early followers forced migration to Medina after being cast out of Mecca by the Meccans, Muhammad became very obsessed with revenge and turned to politics and jihad and in the processed reformed Islam into what it is today, which is a very aggressive and destructive totalitarian cult that has as its sole purpose the subjugation into Islamic totalitarianism all religions and all infidels via the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law.

    In Islam, the principle of abrogation is a very important principle that is universally accepted by all sects and divisions throughout Islam and it states unequivocally that when two verses of the Koran come into conflict, the latter issued verses of the Koran, i.e., those issued by Muhammad later on in his career, abrogate and replace the earlier issued verses of the Koran they conflict with. This means that the latter issued infamous sword verses of the Koran that were issued by Muhammad just prior to his death and which command all Muslims to wage jihad in the cause of Allah against all religions and all infidels until they have all been rendered into Islamic totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia, abrogates and replaces all earlier issued verses of the Koran they come in conflict with.

    Therefore, Islam has already undergone its reformation from initially starting out as being a peaceful religion very similar to other religions, to subsequent to the Hijra being transformed into a very aggressive and destructive totalitarian cult by Muhammad after he became extremely obsessed with revenge and turned to politics and jihad. In fact, it was through politics and jihad that Muhammad eventually became a very rich and very powerful warlord.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    today—i.e., those whom we call “moderates” or “secular-oriented intellectuals”—is the canonical scriptures which define their faith and without which Islam would cease to exist.

    Uhm…I hate to rain on your parade, but the existence of so-called “moderates,” just like the existence of so-called “radicals,” only exist in the minds of those that have been effectively blinded by political correctness. Indeed, the first and foremost requirement of Islam is the total, complete, and unconditional submission to will of Allah under the pain of death for blasphemy and apostasy. By the way, what is the will of Allah that Muslims submit to under the pain of death for blasphemy and apostasy? In essence it is Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law.

    Hence, for someone of Islamic persuasion to be a true “moderate” in the correct sense of the word, he or she would necessarily have to disavow Sharia, which would not only make them blasphemous apostates, it would also earn them a death sentence according to the texts and tenets of Islam. Moreover, such a person would also cease being a Muslim the instant they disavowed Sharia in violation of their total, complete, and unconditional submission to the will of Allah under the pain of death for blasphemy and apostasy.

  • gray_man

    “Does the “Religion of Peace” have within it the capacity to be brought into modernity?”

    Nope.

  • Charlie97

    It is very interesting and revealing reading the comments. I thought that the article itself lacks nuance, and is basically an extension of the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ thesis expounded by Huntington. The logical conclusion from the vast majority of the comments is that the only solution is a war with/on Islam. Given that there is no Islamic Caliphate, that would mean war with Muslim-majority countries. Also, there are a number of Muslims in the West, and so I am not sure how Drakken, OFM, defcon 4 et al propose that the West deal with us Muslims.

    An example: Drakken writes, “Islam and the west are headed for a very nasty conflict, frankly we must throw these PC shackles off and give them what they so richly deserve, no quarter and no mercy”. What does this entail exactly? Are the people on this message board really advocating mass violence against Muslims, the overwhelming majority of which are peaceful?

    Mollysdad writes, “If this article is correct, then it follows that either the Muslims survive or the rest of us do.” His comments has 7 likes (so far). I have reached the same conclusion regarding this article as he has.

    I ask you, in all sincerity, what the difference is between your feelings towards Muslims and that which you advocate, and the likes of Al-Qaeda, who would similarly want the destruction of the West/Western values? In my opinion, there is no difference. There have always been haters in the world, of every hue, colour and religion, and the comment boards of frontpagemag.com attracts more than its fair share.

    Another example: Stone7 writes, “The first thing you need to understand is that the foundation of islam is brute force. There is no discussion in islam. Little boys are raped and little girls have their genitals cut out by their grandmothers.”

    Completely untrue, yet no-one has bothered to correct him (I’m assuming that this lunatic is male). Just because you dislike Islam, does not mean that you have to stoop to the level of lying in order to justify your hatred. If you stand for truth and justice, then your arguments can stand on their own merits without the need for lies.

    • TienBing

      All comments are revealing. What do yours reveal?

      “What is the difference … want its destruction? In my opinion, there is no difference.” Some epiphany.

      When you attack, don’t be surprised if you get a response in kind. When attacked from 9 o’clock people tend to respond from 3 o’clock.

      The overwhelming majority of the suicide bombers today were peaceful Muslims yesterday. Peaceful Muslims – meaning Muslims who haven’t murdered any infidels yet, are Muslims who aren’t following the dictums of their religion – yet.

      “…the foundation of Islam is brute force.” Very true. Islam means submission. It is every Muslim’s duty to convert, subjugate, or kill all non-believers. It is in the Koran. Read it for yourself.

      When the truth is painful to their delicate sensibilities, or unacceptable to their pre-indoctrination, some would rather cloak themselves in sanctimony than face the obvious. Islam is a dangerous, hateful belief system that has periodically rampaged with deadly religious fervor since it’s initial success as a conqueror’s creed. Sometimes it was successful e.g. most of the Balkans, (largely because of factional infighting and or confusion on the part of those being conquered). Sometimes it was stopped or even repressed, e.g. Spain, France, Austria, most of Asia, most of Africa. In those cases it was confronted for what it was, and forcibly repelled. No one ever had to fight all of the Muslim world at once.

      Apparently some can’t wait for their official dhimmitude status

      • Charlie97

        The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people. Greater than 99% of the world’s Muslims are not suicide-bombers, or engaged in violence. Most Muslims do not follow the interpretation of Islam that you (and the likes of Spencer etc) describe i.e. “It is every Muslim’s duty to convert, subjugate, or kill all non-believers. It is in the Koran. Read it for yourself.” It really is the strangest thing, but the only type of Muslim that agrees with your exegesis of Islam is the Bin Ladens of this world.

        When you read the qur’an, you read it with the intention of finding fault – you are biased (as am I, when I read it, except I believe in it). I know that ordinary Muslims are not allowed to interpret the text without training (both spiritual and material). If even as little as 10% of the entire Muslim population of 1.6 billion were as you describe (i.e.160,000,000 crazed people hell-bent on establishing Islam and subjugating non-Muslims by any means possible), the world would have ended long ago.

        My feeling is that there are Muslims looking for an end-of-times scrap with the infidels. Similarly, there are Christians looking for an end-of-time scrap with their enemy – the Muslims – seeking the re-appearance of Christ, and are united with the Jewish people (for now) who want their Messiah to appear. It’s just one big mess.

        • TienBing

          I read the Koran to understand what it says. The “faults” are there; no one has to read it with intent to find fault. Only fools get “trained” to ignore what is written, or to believe deceivers. The Koran relates in detail throughout it’s suras how the faithful are obliged to deal with unbelievers. Lazy apostate Muslims, like half hearted “believers” of any religion don’t count. What counts are the tenets of the religion and the actions those tenets demand of the true believers – the ones that actually follow the script as related to Mohammad, Allah’s last true prophet, by Allah. Or so said Mohammad.
          Neither I nor the vast majority of the people throughout history who have had to confront the evil of Islam asked for the fight. It has been thrust upon us. Some of us are willing to stand up to it. Others would rather submit.
          Muslim apologists and dhimmies pretend that Islam is a religion of peace. It is not. It is a religion of submission – voluntary or forced, that preaches subjugation and dominance of all.

          • Charlie97

            You’re foolish if you think that the >99% of Muslims are “lazy apostates” not fulfilling their Qur’anic duty, and that the <1% violent thugs represent the 'real Islam'. What you (and many others on these boards) want, whether you admit it or not, is a fight with Muslims. Neither I, or the many Muslims that I know, want confrontation or to force anyone to be Muslim. Forcing people to believe, renders their belief worthless, and any Muslim worth his or her salt knows this.

          • OfficialPro

            nobody on this side wanted a fight. It got brought to us by the “fundamentalist” Muslims who think theirs is the only true form of Islam and who would slaughter YOU in a heartbeat.

          • Charlie97

            Yes, those that you term fundamentalists would probably slaughter me and you without too much thought – they have no humanity as far as I am concerned. I have to take issue with some of what you say, i.e. nobody on this side wanted a fight. I don’t believe that is true for one second. We certainly see that there are some nutters amongst Muslims, and it would be nonsensical to suggest that the same did not apply across the board. American forays into Iraq, predicated on the lie that WMDs existed, suggests otherwise.

            If you do not believe that there are a few people looking for some type of Armageddon-inducing fight from amongst Christians (and perhaps Jews also), then unlike me, you are unable to acknowledge simple home truths.

          • TienBing

            If I were you I wouldn’t be accusing others of being “unable to acknowledge simple home truths.”

            The foray into Iraq had nothing to do with attacking Muslims. Ill advised or not, it was directed at Saddam Hussain and the Bathists. The US just fought for Muslims in Kuwait, and foolishly fought for Muslims in Bosnia against Christian Serbs. They did not go to Iraq, or Afghanistan to fight Muslims because they were Muslims.

            The “nutters” are those who believe that pretending will make it so, or listen to wormtongues rather than paying attention to what has been, what really is, and what will be.

          • Charlie97

            Why should I close my mouth and not say that you are unable to acknowledge simple home truths? You term every single act performed by a Muslim as, “having been done ‘in the name of Islam’. Read the Qur’an, it’s in there!”.

            Osama Bin Laden may have said that he performed his acts in the name of Islam, granted. But what about the Palestinians? Or the Chechens? Are they acting in the name of Islam? Or do they, perhaps, have some territorial or political gripe with their enemy? This is sheer intellectual laziness on your part, and others on this board.

            Therefore, in s similarly lazy manner, I shall label every single thing performed by a Christian, “in the name of Christianity”. The U.S.A. did not go into Iraq to simply topple Saddam Hussein and his party, but to control the resources of the country in order to further Christian control in an Islamic region of the world.

          • TienBing

            “So, what about my claim…?” The key word is few.

            There may be some, (most likely Serbs who have been persecuted by Muslims for a1000 years), who would love to bring Armageddon to Islam. I’m sure there are many more who would relish turning the tables on their Muslim persecutors, but most non-Muslims would just like them to go away and leave them alone.

            Osama Bin Laden was only following in the steps of Mohammad – the first and model terrorist. The Palestinians hate Jews foremost among all non-believers. Territory once claimed by Islam cannot be surrendered. Plus – hating Jews is in the Koran. Chechens, like most Muslims, when there are more than a few in one place, attempt to force Islam and sharia down everyones throat. The Chechens want an independent Islamic state. That the Russians are just as brutal as the Chechens in their tactics and determination not to submit – as the Chechens are to forge an independent Islamic Republic in Russian territory, means that is going to be a long bloody fight.

            Your assumption that no one would spot your distortions and misrepresentations of history, or they would be swayed by your claims of authority, or would be too cowed by politically correct think to challenge your false narrative reflects your lazy arrogance. Not only the Koran, but history gives the lie to your assertions about “peaceful” Islam. If you are sincerely as indoctrinated, or as naive about history and Islam as you seem to be – reread the Koran and take another look at Islam’s historic record. But I suspect you are not. Your talking points are too pat.

          • Charlie97

            No-one likes to surrender territory. Especially if you and your ancestors have lived there for a long time. Palestinians are no different to you or me in this regard. The Chechens have been brutalised by the Russians and are entitled to force them from their land, in as much as the Russians feel that it is their right to retain some kind of claim to that land.

            However, you continue to insist that the Chechens struggling to free themselves from the yoke of Russian oppression is some type of Islamist struggle, whereas it is clear to me and many others that it is nothing of the sort. It is an oppressed people, fighting back against aggressors. However, you hate Muslims and will bend the facts to suit your narrative.

            And you did not address my question. I mentioned Armageddon, and you twisted the question to say that, “many…would love to bring Armageddon to Islam”. I was referring to the Biblical event of Armageddon.

          • Hamza Hashem

            I rarely foray into the waters of this arena but I thought I would also point out Charlie97 that you are also talking to a person who earlier referred to “and foolishly fought for Muslims in Bosnia against Christian Serbs.”

            Hence a person whom condones and supported the “ethnic cleansing” (bordering on genocide as seen by court filings) and mass rapes, of Muslims in Bosnia – As Serbia is internationally recognized as the aggressor this can not be seen as retaliatory.

          • TienBing

            No worse than the ethnic cleansing of Christian Serbs by the Muslim Serbs – that ethnic cleansing by the Muslims continues.
            It was extremely foolish for the US or NATO to get involved or take sides. It is a fight that has roots 1000 years ago. Both sides have been aggressors or victims at various times. (The original aggressors however, were the Muslims. It must be a surprise to the Muslim apologists to hear that others besides Muslims have a long memory, and a belief that once territory is theirs, it is theirs forever – and are equally justified in their belief.)
            All we did was throw the advantage to the Muslims who have since violated every agreement not to molest the non-Muslims who remain in Bosnia. Christian Serbs who have lived in areas that have always been non-Muslim, are being forced out by the Muslims. The beat goes on.

            Rape let alone mass rape is a shame and a disgrace to civilized people, particularly to Christians, unlike Muslims. Muslims use the shame that civilized people feel when a crime like that is reported or claimed, to embarrass them and manipulate their guilt. Islam on the other hand encourages rape, and torture as legitimate means of oppressing and exploiting non-believers. It is hilarious for a Muslim to feign shock over rape. It is also evidence of the poster’s insincerity.

            “Serbia is internationally recognized as the aggressor this can not be seen as retaliatory.” Say what? Right. The world recognizes that Obama is worthy of the Nobel prize and the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than a benign service organization.

          • TienBing

            And the Muslim Chechens have brutalized their own as well as non-Muslims just as long. How far are you willing to go back to find out who was the original oppressor? The issue IS Islam. The Muslims saw their chance after the soviet breakup to create a Muslim state. Not all Chechens are Muslim nor were Chechens always Muslim. Non-Muslim Chechens that survived the Muslim cleansing that followed the breakup of the USSR do not want Russia to abandon them to the “mercy” of the Muslim majority.
            You project your own feelings of hate unto others. Nothing was twisted but your attempt to dodge my argument. Armageddon is used generically to mean a grande final battle that settles the issue definitively one way or an other with the complete destruction of the unworthy. Biblically (Revelations), it refers to the final destructive battle between good and evil that occurs before the return of the Messiah. False prophets will be exposed and banished.

          • OfficialPro

            it is good that you recognize that forced conversion is worthless. Now go impress that fact upon the Muslims who read that very thing in Koran: killing infidels who do not bow to Allah.

          • Charlie97

            Like you, I do not have access to the minds of 1.6 billion (or so) Muslims around the world. All I can say is that in my sphere of influence, neither I nor any of the many Muslims I know believe forced conversion to be fruitful or justified. The qur’anic text specifically forbids compulsion in religion (2:256).

          • seewithyourowneyes

            You are practicing Taqiyya, Charlie97. When Mohammed, a formerly poor young man now married to a wealthy woman 15 years his senior, tried to start a new religion in Mecca, he found the Meccans hostile and unreceptive to his presumption. It was only during this period that Mohammed advocated for tolerance – during the period that his own religion was weak and required tolerance. After he’d fled Mecca and gained followers in Medina, Mohammed began his bloody campaign of conversion by the sword, invading numerous neighboring villages, beheading the men who refused to convert, looting their possessions, and enslaving their women and children. How does that square with “no compulsion in religion?” You know very well the doctrine of abrogation -that, being the “perfect man,” Mohammed could only grow more perfect over time, never less. You know that the earlier “no compulsion” verse was therefore abrogated by Mohammed’s later words and deeds.

          • TienBing

            I don’t know where you got that >99% statistic, but if you look at the results of polls in the Middle East you will note that there are far more than 1% who support the actions of what dhimmies and fools euphemistically call “fundamentalists” and “radicals”. A significant number claim to be willing to act as jihadis. Apparently there are a lot more people than you would like to believe – or would like me to believe, that are willing to follow the actual word of the Koran. Trying to blow off reality by asserting that anyone who acknowledges the truth is spoiling for a fight with poor peaceful Muslims is disingenuous to say the least.

            The Muslims that you refer to as peaceful Muslims, regardless of the actual percentage, are by the teachings of the Koran apostates if they are called on to act or come across the opportunity to act – and do not. It’s in the Koran – read it. It is the duty of all Muslims to convert, kill, or subjugate all non-believers. It’s in the Koran – read it.
            The history of Islam is rife with extended periods of aggressive, brutal expansion at non-believer’s expense. No has to pick on them or “spoil for a fight”. Muslims will attack whenever they feel they have the edge.

            No has ever had to fight the entire Muslim world all at one time. Muslims have murdered and subjugated millions of people over the last 1300 + years; they have also had their butts handed to them often. The claim that Islam cannot be called out or confronted for what it is out of fear of fighting 1.6 billion people is muzzy/dhimmy propaganda.

          • Charlie97

            I made two simple points:

            a) 1% of 1.6 billion is 16,000,000. There have not been 16 million terrorist acts, or suicide bombers etc. Thus, less than 1%. As I have written somewhere else on this board, the qur’anic text specifically forbids compulsion in religion (2:256). [note: I am not saying that Islam is a pacifistic religion. If someone attacks you, then you are allowed to defend yourself. And I have studied the Qur'an.]

            b) You fail to acknowledge that some people on the Christian Right (and perhaps some amongst the Jewish Right also) are actively seeking a fight with Islam. You point to an ‘aggressive, brutal expansion’ (which I dispute anyhow, but that’s another question) in the history of Islam, yet fail to acknowledge in any way that similar claims can easily be made of Christianity. I’m assuming that you are a citizen of the U.S.A. If so, you belong to a country that has attacked more countries in the past 100 years than any other country in the world. Yes, I am conflating Christianity with America, but I am no more guilty of this than you, who conflate Islam with every single act perpetrated by a Muslim.

            Many people have read the qur’an, and have not drawn the conclusions that either you, or the radical Islamists have. You need to accept that the majority of Muslims are not rabid war-mongerers looking to convert every Jill and Jonny.

          • TienBing

            “Many people…radical Islamist…”

            Really? How many versions of the Koran are there? I was lead to believe that the koran is the word of Allah; Mohammad was the last true prophet; there would be no more to follow – per Allah; Allah’s word is law; Mohammad is the perfect man. It’s good to know all of that is untrue. However, taqqiya is a better explanation for your duplicitous arguments.

            True, there haven’t been16 million WTC atrocities – but only because there aren’t 16 million WTCs, but there have been far more than 16 million terrorist acts just this century – probably in the last decade. Muslims are terrorizing, murdering – or both, thousands of Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists, in the Middle East, South Asia, and Indonesia every day – not to mention women and children anywhere Islam has sway. Africa is another shining example of Islamic goodwill to non-believers. Check out Nigeria to learn about Muslim’s peaceful intent toward those who don’t want to be happy Moslems.

            Equivocating the Christian right boogieman with Muslim terrorist is a specious argument meant to deflect attention from the reality that murder, oppression, and terrorism are inherent to Islam. Terrorism IS in the Koran. Murdering infidels is highly recommended IN the Koran. (2:256) is a rare injunction against forced conversion. Read the rest of the Koran. You will find many more Suras admonishing true believers to force non-believers to convert – or die. Also many detailing exactly how to oppress, murder, and or subjugate non-believers
            Dialogues with Mullahs are always enlightening.

        • OfficialPro

          the vast majority of Muslims do not know Arabic, have only memorized the Koran By Rote without understanding a word of it, and know nothing about Islam outside the basic five pillars and what the Imam preaches on Friday. And the ones that do not go to Mosque don’t even know that.

          The only Good Muslim is one that doesn’t know what their own Koran says.

          • Charlie97

            I believe that you are correct in what you say viz-a-viz your first paragraph. Your conclusion, however, is erroneous. A ‘good’ Muslim knows precisely what is said and meant by the Qur’anic text. It is well known that people such as Bin Laden/Zahawiri were not schooled in Islamic Law, yet they gave fatawa (legal rulings) allowing the killing of non-combatants. This is clearly not allowed, and there is no debate about that.

          • TienBing

            “It is well known…”
            Well known by whom and says who?
            The Koran is the basis for Islamic law. Who is the Pope of Islam who decides who is “schooled” and who isn’t? There is no debate? Says who? That magical Muslim Pope? Which Mullah do you listen to? They each have different interpretations depending on the day and issue. (Kinda like Muhammad and Allah) They can’t even agree with themselves let alone each other. They issue fatawas and counter fatawas regularly. One says women should suckle grown men, and another says that is disgusting. Some say it is okay to sodomize young boys and some say they must be over 12 years old. Some say any male sexual contact with another male is homosexual and forbidden on the threat of death. Others say sex between males is okay as long as they are not lovers. (?) So what is a good Muslim to do? I guess read the Koran – if they can read.
            No debate about that, is there?

    • OfficialPro

      do you deny that Female Genital Mutilation is carried out in a majority of Muslim run countries?

      • Charlie97

        I honestly do not know the answer to your question. I do know, however, that this heinous act is not sanctioned by the rules of Islam.

        • Hamza Hashem

          According to WHO – The practice is most common in the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, in some countries in Asia and the Middle East

          The causes of female genital mutilation include a mix of cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities.

          Above and beyond this, for all of those who are saying that this practice has anything to do with Islam, I simple ask, where is written? Where is the daleel for such opinions? And the answer has not come and never will, as you and I know that this practice is a social/cultural issue, and not a religious one.

          Just because one does an action and claims it as part of a religion, does not mean it actually is part of said religion.

          • TienBing

            Since Muslims deny what is actually said in their own guidebook, how do we know what the real story is? The Koran states very unequivocally how Muslims are supposed to deal with non-Muslims, yet Muslims tell us the Koran doesn’t say those things. Muslims say the true interpretations meanings of the Koran are to be found in the Haddiths and sira. Yet they are both internally inconsistent and contradictory their statements, quotes and meaning as well as between each other.

          • Hamza Hashem

            You claim to know what the true story is, yet you now complain you don’t because we are changing the story? Either you know it or you don’t. Your argument is silly, and addresses nothing I noted.

          • TienBing

            Not so. I stated that Muslims deny what their guidebook plainly says. I noted the contradictions and inconsistencies within and among claimed sources of Islamic authority. The point is that the teachings and the word of Muslims can not be trusted.

          • Charlie97

            Islamic/Muslim scholarship/legislature is highly sophisticated and one requires moral and intellectual rigour to interpret the texts in their ENTIRETY. You and your ilk share the same simplistic view of Islam as the Bin Ladens of this world, and you are both welcome to each other.

          • TienBing

            Moral and intellectual rigor? Please. I have neither seen nor read any evidence of either from any Muslim or Muslim apologist. What I have seen and read, are absurd statements and misrepresentations defended by risible claims of intellectual superiority.

            Your ilk share an arrogant confidence that you can dismiss challenges to your dishonesty with a sneer at the simplistic mind of those who aren’t buffaloed by your duplicity.
            How difficult is it to understand this:

            9:33. It is He {Allah} Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).

            Hmm… That is a very clear statement of moral principle.

            How about this:

            9:29. Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

            Does that require intellectual vigor to interpret? Obviously anyone who takes a Muslim for their word is a simpilton.

          • Charlie97

            Yes, moral and intellectual rigour. I could also play the game of picking verses out of the Bible that are, lets us say, less than flattering, but I am aware that ‘context’ is required in addition to simple ‘text’. Christians believe that their book is from God, no?

            An example: Numbers 31, King James “version” of the Bible (http://bit.ly/167yXE1)

            God to speaking to Moses.
            [17] Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
            [18] But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
            [19] And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day.

            The first 16 verses are no less violent. This is a command from God to Moses, who is the lawgiver to the Jewish people. This is in the Old Testament. The immutable word of God (Jesus?).

            We can all play the same game. I’m just not going to waste my time with you anymore.

          • TienBing

            Muhammad “borrowed” heavily from the Hebrew bible as well as Christian belief and local Arab pagan belief and superstition. I’m sure if someone read it to him he would have loved Numbers. Be that as it may, in neither example is God giving a commandment for all time that as a matter of principle Jews should kill everyone that transgresses or doesn’t become a Jew. Context is important. Also note that although the Old Testament is considered sacred, the New Testament is the canon for Christians.

            “Intellectual superiority” – read your post.

            I understand the very, very simple and obvious concepts that form the core of Islamic belief and regulate the relationship of Islam and Muslims towards all non-Muslims – those who have not or will not submit.

            Islam has no New Testament and cannot; Mohammad was the last prophet.

            Obviously the view from Dar al-Harb is different from the view from Dar al-Islam. Abu Hanifa’s division of the world may no longer be in vogue with the latest emissaries and promotors of Islamic conquest, but he was fairly accurate.

            It has been fun.