Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The Islamic worldview—even concerning things such as disease (e.g., coronavirus)—is fundamentally based on a dichotomy: anything and everything non-Islamic is evil, dirty, to be shunned, hated, and struggled (“jihad”) against; anything Islamic is good, clean, to be embraced, loved, and struggled on behalf.
A Christian youth recently found this out the hard way. Saleem Masih, 22, was tortured and killed for using water from his Muslim employer’s well in Pakistan. Outraged, the Muslim accused him of being a “filthy Christian” who “had polluted the water.” A number of equally outraged Muslims gathered and “vow[ing] to teach him a lesson,” they “dragged him to their cattle farm, where they tied his hands, chained his feet and continued to torture him with sticks and iron rods.” Before he died from his severe wounds, Saleem told his family that he had been “tortured just for being a Christian.” As for the Muslim employer, he insisted that he committed no crime; it was, after all, the murdered Christian who had, he said, “committed a crime by dirtying” their water, and therefore his punishment—torture and death—was “justified.”
Violent and murderous outbursts by Muslims whenever “filthy” Christians drink or use the former’s water is not uncommon. In Pakistan alone, Javed Anjum, another young Christian, was killed, after being trapped and tortured for five full days, because he too had the temerity to drink water from a madrassa. And then of course there is the most notorious case of Christian persecution in Pakistan, that of Asia Bibi: she was attacked, beat, falsely accused with blasphemy, and accordingly imprisoned for a decade—all because she too, then a farm laborer, had drunk from Muslim water.
Nor is this a Pakistani but rather an Islamic phenomenon. Dr. Abdullah Badr—an Egyptian Muslim scholar, Al Azhar graduate, and onetime professor of Islamic exegesis—once explained during a videotaped conference how he is so “disgusted” by Christians, to the point that, if a Christian were to touch his cup, he would not drink from it: “Disgust, I get grossed out, man, I cannot stand their smell or … I don’t like them, it’s my choice. And they gross me out; their smell, their look, everything. I feel disgusted, disgusted!”
Badr added that he once entered a store in Egypt to buy food, but when he saw the crosses and Christian icons on the wall, and understood that the owner was Christian, he immediately gave the food away on the street.
Contrast such behavior with Muslim behavior towards their coreligionists; then, nothing is too “disgusting,” since apparently a Muslim can never pollute anything. Indeed, Muslims are currently encouraging other Muslims to come into contact with each other despite global fears of contracting COVID-19. “Sharing food eaten by another Muslim leads to Shifa [healing] and not corona,” one Muslim man recently declared on social media. “Islam teaches us that shaking hands spread love not coronavirus,” said another. (Keep in mind that handshaking should be limited to fellow Muslims; according to a well-known hadith, Muhammad decreed that Muslims should not offer the salaam greeting to Jews and Christians, but rather push them into the narrow sideways.)
Elsewhere around the Islamic world, Muslims are protesting the idea of temporarily closing mosques, since clearly nothing associated with Islam and especially Islamic worship can get them sick. Thus, “Radical Shiite clerics in Iran have escalated their pressure on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to keep the nation’s largest holy shrines open – where kissing and touching the shrines is common – putting the Islamic regime in a precarious situation after one of its most prominent doctors warned on Tuesday that millions could die of Chinese coronavirus infection.”
A separate Breitbart report notes that “online videos emerged showing the faithful licking and kissing shrines to show they have no fear of infection during the Islamic republic’s escalating coronavirus outbreak.” According to Hussein Ravazadah, whose title is, “expert on Iranian-Islamic medicine”: “We have come to Qom, at the mosques and at private gatherings, we will kiss everybody. We will meet with everybody.” Breitbart continues: “Iran’s shrines draw Shiites from all over the Mideast for pilgrimages, likely contributing to the spread of the virus across the region.”
If this is how convicted the Muslims of Iran are that nothing about their faith or the faithful can ever spread disease, it should come as no surprise that Muslims in virtually every nation the authorities of which have temporarily closed mosque gatherings are also protesting. In Bangladesh, “Tens of thousands of Muslim faithful sparked an outcry … as they defied authorities to hold a mass public prayer gathering just as the South Asian nation reported its first death from the global pandemic.” Pictures of these vast numbers show crowded Muslims virtually atop one another.
In Egypt, the iconic Salafi sheikh, Mustafa al-‘Adawi, told Muslims: “Don’t let the politicians rule over you in such a manner, the authorities are secularists who do not love the religion [Islam] anyway and are using this as a pretext. Go pray anywhere with the people in the streets, even in the soil, for “The earth is a mosque [literally, a masjid, place of kneeling] and its soil pure,” he quoted Muhammad in a hadith.
All of this—both the irrational aversion for “infidels” and the irrational acceptance of fellow Muslims even at a time of endemic disease—is reflective of that one doctrine whence all divisiveness emerges, al-wala’ w’al bara’, which is variously translated as “loyalty and enmity,” or “love and hate”: anything and everything Islamic is to be loved, hoped for, aided, and certainly never feared; anything and everything non-Islamic is to be hated, despised, rejected, and worked against. As should be evident by now, though the most physical and obvious manifestation of this doctrine is jihad, virtually everything in the Muslim worldview is colored by this doctrine, is good or bad exclusively based on its affinity or lack thereof to Islam.
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