The Two Faces
"The Governments of the world should know that Islam cannot be defeated. Islam will be victorious in all countries of the world and Islam and the teachings of the Qur'an will prevail all over the world." (Ayatollah Khomeini)
Statements such as this make it hard for Muslims living in Dar-al-Harb ("Territory of War", enemy countries, nations with non-Muslim rulers) for they must try to present Islam favorably replete with tolerance and sweetness, peace and light, faith and charity, equality and brotherhood. The "misunderstood Muslims" must tell themselves that jihad, "striving for Allah", can encompass teaching and proselytizing, bringing up sons (to fight for Allah) or even donating money for Zakat (especially if it goes to buy weapons). Their spokespersons quote the less belligerent verses of the Qur'an e.g. "Dispute with them (the Jews) in the kindest manner" (16:126, translator Rodwell) and "Let there be no compulsion in religion." (2:256) knowing full well that there are other verses in the Qur'an which apply in times of Harb (warfare). Examples abound such as: "Wage war on the people of the Book, who ... do not accept the religion of Islam." (9:29) "Fight against them (the Jews and Christians)! Allah shall punish them, at your hands." (9:14)
New York 26/5/94
Four defendants, Mahommed Salamah, Mahmoud Abouhalima, Nidal Ayyad and Ahmad Ajaj were found guilty of bombing the New York World Trade Centre on 26/2/93 as a protest against US aid to Israel. Six people and an unborn child were killed and thousands injured. The death-toll could have been a hundred thousand if the sodium cyanide placed in the bomb had been sucked into the air conditioning system.
The gentle Muslim spokesperson tries to deny that Islam gains power "by the sword". Military force was certainly used throughout the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent but I must admit that maritime South East Asia was an exception, due to logistics, moving troops such a distance - that the Malays (including those in what is now Indonesia, Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines) were converted peacefully. There Muslim merchants and Sufi missionaries targeted the rulers who could then vend Islam to their subjects. (Imagine that King Charles III was an absolute monarch who converted to Islam for good commercial reasons or because he wanted to say "talaq, talaq, talaq.")
Non-Muslims would have no quarrel with Islam if it contented itself with believing in its Five Pillars: (1) Kalima-e-Shahadah, the belief in one God and the finality of the Prophet Muhammad, (2) Salat - prayers five times a day, (3) Zakat - spending a fraction of one's wealth on poor Muslims, (4) Ramadan - a month of fasting from dawn to sunset and (5) Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in one 5 lifetime. As Maududi points out1 many non-Muslims and even some Muslims mistakenly ''consider Islam to be a religion in the conventional sense'' of the word.
The other face of Islam is power: "Religion and politics are two sides of the same coin in Islam." (G.H.Jansen, a Muslim, in "Militant Islam"). Similarly Siddiqi notes "that Christianity in its early history did not aim at setting up a state, whereas Islam, from the very beginning was a politico-religious institution."2 For example, while human life is sacred, execution in Dar-al-Islam and assassination in Dar-al-Harb may be necessary to protect the interests of Allah for as the Qur'an says, "Mischief is more grievous than homicide."3 The nawwam (sleeper) in Dar-al-Harb who has been kept for such a special task for 5 or even 20 years will unwrap his gun and carry out his long-awaited orders.
United Nations 13/6/94
Saudi diplomat, Mohammed A. Khilewi defects with about 13,000 documents proving Saudi Arabian connections with terrorist groups, Hamas in particular. Finance had been provided and information on making bombs. Saudi Arabia had helped Saddam Hussein's nuclear agenda to the tune of $US 5 billion as part of a secret 20 year old program to acquire its own nuclear weapons.
Other documents provided proof of Saudi corruption and human rights violations. Khilewi, his wife and three children are in hiding just out of New York.
Hasan al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, called Jihad the sixth pillar of Islam. Its invitation is "to join a movement of social revolution to enforce its own program of reform which it deems best for the well-being of mankind." 4 (Beware of an elite which thinks it knows best the needs of a class, a nation or mankind.) This movement which, the Qur'an calls "Hizb Allah", the Party of God, is left with no other choice except to capture State Authority. Thus Jihad will include Qital (fighting). But "war in Islam is not a casual phenomenon of violence; it is one of the phases of man's striving (Jihad) against all that is evil ... The raising of the sword is only one aspect of the all-round struggle to establish Islam in the world."2 "Wage war for the sake of Allah. Kill whoever denies Him." (Muhammad)5 "Jihad has been made obligatory (against pagans and people of the Book) on every Muslim by ....... and in His eyes avoidance of Jihad is the greatest sin."6
Each Muslim should have an ambition for martyrdom, be a lover of death. (Every martyr shall have seventy deer-eyed houris as his consorts. 7) "Jihad shall continue until the Day of Judgment." (Muhammad)
Former nurses in the Dili Military Hospital have revealed that over one hundred wounded East Timorese students had been taken away by Indonesian soldiers at about 3a.m. on 13th November 1991 and never seen again. They are presumed to have been killed.
"Amnesty International Australia", September 1994 reports a similar occurrence in West Timor. Twenty-one year-old Jery Manafe was kidnapped from the emergency ward of a hospital in Kupang and beaten to death by 10 Indonesian police officers on 20/4/94. Foam was coming out of his mouth and nose and he had been kicked or punched so severely that his intestines had been forced out of his anus.
"Jihad has another meaning... the struggle for saving money... with which we can provide the Muslim fighters with arms, ammunition, provisions, food and medicine."8 "There would be built up inside Dar-al-Islam armament plants, so that Muslims might be in no need of importing them from enemy countries..."9 "Jihad has been decreed to repel aggression and to remove obstructions impeding the propagation of Islam in non-Islamic countries." 10 As Lt.Col. M.M. Qureshi points out in his "Landmarks of Jihad", "only a war which has an ultimate religious purpose can be termed as jihad." Thus the invasions of India by Pakistan have been jihads whereas Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait was not. "Holy War (Jihad) means the conquest of non-Muslim territories. It will then be incumbent upon every adult able-bodied man to volunteer for this war of conquest, whose final goal is the domination of Koranic law from one end of the earth to the other." (11)
Maududi, the well-known Muslim author, proudly proclaimed that "Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam. Islam requires the earth - not just a portion, but the whole planet." 12 that God's Law (Shariah) should be enforced in the world" 13"by force of arms." 14 Truth cannot be confined within geographical borders. "The allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his, but on the faith to which he belongs ... wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country." 15
Islam divides the whole of humanity into two parties, the Hizbe Allah (Muslims) and the Hizbul Satan (non-Muslims). The former should feel a hatred, a revulsion, an abhorrence of everything un-Islamic. To quote the Ayatollah Khomeini again, "Eleven things are unclean: urine, excrement, sperm, blood, a dog, a pig, bones, a non-Muslim man and woman, wine, beer, and the perspiration of a camel that eats filth." 16
Buenos Aires 18/7/94
"Ansarullah" (Helpers of Allah) has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Argentine Israeli Association headquarters. Ninety six bodies have been dug from the rubble and ten people are missing. It is thought that the explosion may have been caused by a car bomb similar to the one that destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992 killing 28 people. The Islamic terrorists are hoping to sabotage the peace process in Palestine.
When Islam captures state power in each country it will enforce Shariah in business and finance; it will ban drinking and gambling; non-Muslim women will not be allowed to display their beauty as in the days of Jahiliyya (ignorance); the cinema, television and the press will be censored; non-Muslims will not be permitted to own weapons; certain organizations will have to be banned for the sake of the general welfare; non-Muslims will be replaced as expeditiously as possible in the public service and all instrumentalities.
"The vile and ignorant dhimmis (non-Muslims in an Islamic country) must be humiliated, belittled and rendered abominable and able to be distinguished by their appearance." For example, "different colored shoes, one white the other black"; for males badges such as an "ape for a Jew and a pig for a Christian: for women yellow veils." 17The distinctive dress shows the Muslim that the dhimmi is to be treated as an inferior - not to stand up for her or shake his hand, not to give them Muslim charity. He is to expect respect and deference from the dhimmi who shall not join a group of Muslims or raise his voice in their presence. The non-Muslim is to stand aside if the pathway is narrow. It is haram (unlawful) for him to slaughter animals; reserved for him is the cleaning of lavatories and sewers, and carrying away rubbish and refuse. His house should be painted a dull color and be no larger than that of a Muslim neighbor.
"Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo"
A recent ABC TV documentary showed that Islam had almost withered away in Bosnia prior to 1990. Women did not wear head scarves. Muslim girls bathed in bikinis. An 11 year-old Muslim boy admitted that he had never been inside a mosque. Mixed marriages were common. Romeo was a Serbian boy and Juliet was a Muslim girl. Later they lived together breaking the Islamic taboo of zina. Many of the people thought of themselves as Yugoslavs rather than Serbs, Croats or Muslims.Into this idyllic situation and beautiful city some fundamentalists agitated for a return to Shariah. (Islamic Law) Alija Izetbegovic, President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, produced "A Program for the Islamization of Muslims." (Sarajevo, 1990) "The Islamic movement should start to take power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough to overturn the existing non-Islamic government." The Bosnian Serbs reacted by rallying the Orthodox Christians under the 500 year-old banner to the perceived threat of a return to Muslim rule. "Ethnic cleansing" eliminated an estimated 200,000 Muslims. The Muslims responded and again religion had become a divisive force in history.
Romeo was ordered to report to Muslim HQ and so they decided to escape from Sarajevo. Our young couple were shot down trying to cross "no-man's land", by which side is unknown. Once more the world would have been a happier place without monotheism.
Another Mixed Conjugation
This true story took place in 1984 but I think that it proves something.
Anne Mary Murphy, a 32 year-old Irishwoman was deeply in love with 34 year-old, Jordanian-born Nezar Hindawi. She was noticeably pregnant to him but they planned to marry in Israel. She was to take Flight 016 from Heathrow, London on 17 April: the El Al airliner had 375 passengers and crew flying to Tel Aviv. Nezar was a journalist and had to follow by a more circuitous route in the course of his duties.
At gate 23 she was stopped and taken into an office by security guards. So thorough was El Al security that they suspected Anne because she had an Arab lover. In the bottom of her hold-all they found a false bottom and three pounds of Semtex - enough to destroy the 747. A calculator which Nezar was "giving to a friend" had a timer and a wired-in detonator - it had passed X-Ray inspection without suspicion. The explosive had arrived in Syrian diplomatic bags and Nezar was found to be connected with the Abu Nidal group.
Nezar Hindawi was sentenced to 45 years jail for his "cynical and callous acts". He was prepared to sacrifice his fiancee and unborn child but was loathe to become a martyr himself. "Human Bomb", Anne Murphy and her daughter are not waiting for him.
Human Rights Violations
Amnesty International is non-sectarian and does not state the religion of the offending country in its publications. However, while Islam makes up only 22% of the world's population, human rights abuses in Muslim countries take proportionately more room in their magazine. The following are some of the stories from August and September, 1994.
Iran is now murdering Christian leaders. The Reverend Mehdi Dibaj had converted from Islam to Christianity 45 years ago. On 21/12/93 he was sentenced to death on charges of apostasy. Released on appeal his body was found on 5 July 1994. The Reverend Haik Mehr, Superintendent of the Church of the Assemblies of God, who had campaigned against Dibaj's death sentence was found dead on 20/1/94. On 2 July 1994 the body of the Reverend Tatavous Michaelian, Chairman of the Council of Protestant Ministers in Iran was found with several gun shots to the head.
Turkey: Every week people are imprisoned for writing books, articles or speeches. "Death squad killings" occur almost daily and at least 24 activists have "disappeared" to June this year.
Syria: Salah Jadid a former prisoner of conscience died in custody after almost 23 years in detention without charge or trial. Eleven men who attended his funeral have been held in detention without charge or trial for the past 12 months.
Egypt: An Egyptian lawyer, 'Abd al-Harith Mohammed Madani, who had defended Islamic political prisoners was tortured and murdered on 26/4/94. The resulting peaceful protest in Cairo was subjected to tear gas, rubber bullets and mass arrests.
Bangladesh: Fundamentalists rule at a grass roots level. Whippings, burnings and stonings have been taking place with no legal authority. Local village councils or salish have ordered and supervised these punishments under Islamic laws which are not on Bangladesh's statute book.
Most victims have been women. For example Shefali, aged 14, became pregnant after a landlord allegedly raped her. Because she could not produce four male witnesses, she was sentenced by a salish to 100 lashes for admitting fornication. Her mother also received 100 lashes for accusing the landlord of rape.
Noorjahan Begum, aged 21, obtained permission from village clergy for a second marriage because her first husband had left her. A salish found the marriage illegal in January, 1993. They were buried up to their chests and publicly stoned. Noorjahan died as a result. Amnesty raised this and other concerns with the Bangladesh Government and in February 1994, a Bangladeshi court sentenced nine men each to seven years' imprisonment for the stoning of Noorjahan and her husband.
Egypt: Libyan Human Rights activist, Mansur Kikhiya "disappeared" on 10 December 1993.
Sudan: A number of journalists have been arrested and a newspaper critical of the Islamic government has been closed down.
Iraq: Several members of the prohibited Iraqi Communist Party have been sentenced to death because of their political belief. More than 200 people "disappeared" in Iraq in 1993.
Indonesia: In May 1994, Nuku Soleiman was jailed for five years for criticizlng President Suharto's human rights record. Twenty-one other young people have been charged with similar offences. Hundreds of political prisoners are suffering torture and ill-treatment in Indonesia.
Saudi Arabia: A number of supporters of the banned human rights organization, the Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights (CDLR) were arrested in late April 1994 and held incommunicado.
Admittedly no mullahs or ayatollahs were involved in most of the above cases, but all of those responsible were Muslims making us doubt that Islam engenders human rights.
The two faces of Islam are shown in Muslim newspapers circulating in this corner of Dar-al-Harb. They aim to be multicultural and acceptable to Australian society and yet, tacitly at least, support Teheran and Khartoum.
Rarely do they give a straight answer. For example when asked, "Would you kill Salman Rushdie if he visited Darwin?", no direct reply was made nor was there any criticism of Khomeini placing a price on Rushdie's head. Indeed they appeared to condone the fatwa by denying Rushdie freedom of expression and labelling the "Satanic Verses" as "vile, blasphemous and defamatory" and likening Rushdie to a "frightened mouse
If the Sunnah are criticized, Muslim apologists try to explain that it all happened 1400 years ago. For example, razzia (raids on caravans -Muhammad organized 82 of these, leading 26 himself) were an old Arabian custom from the days of Jahiliyya. This may have been so but Muhammad is supposed to be, not a man of the seventh century, but the "seal" (last) of the prophets, perfect for all time to come.
An article on "The Question of Female Circumcision" 18 tried to deny that it was practised by some traditional Muslim groups. The figures have been given that every year 1.5 million girls and women are still being mutilated and that many (if not most) of them are Muslim, even though the custom is not Qur'anic. It went on to say that clitoridectomy was practised by the Coptic Christians in Egypt (but 85% of Egyptian women have been mutilated, according to a woman doctor who wrote against the practice while 80% of the population are Muslim!) The paper then went on to say that Khifad (reduction) was not a strongly authenticated tradition of Muhammad (Abu Dawud Vol 3, 5251) and the partial amputation of the enlarged clitoris may have been the "only known way of managing clitoral hypertrophy." You may think it strange that the men do not want sexy wives. The point is that the Qur'an expects a wife to obey her husband as often or as little as he wishes, provided that he "does not leave her in the air" for longer than four months at a time.
The Egyptian government plans to submit a draft law to parliament banning female "circumcision", Population Minister Maher Mahran said.
In an article (21 Jan '94) supporting the Islamic military regime of Khartoum the paper intimates that Khartoum was correct in expelling the British ambassador following a visit by Archbishop Carey to the southern "Christian rebels." The West has become hostile to Sudan because its "Government has accepted that Islamic Law should be the law of the country." Further "it was Britain who sold Palestine to the Zionists and Britain and France which handed a disarmed Bosnia over to the Christian rapists and murderers."
"The Realization of a Dream" (AMUST, 27/5/94) would upset those who believe in secular education. The dream is the establishment of an Islamic school in Perth. The paper admits proudly that "the Islamic element takes precedence over all else ... our timetable offers 13 lessons (about 10 hours) per week of religious instruction including areas of Qur'an Recitation, Islamic studies and Arabic." "The full W.A. Ministry of Education Curriculum is implemented but is carefully edited to elirninate any un-Islamic material."
Muslim - Christian Dialogue?
"A Call for Better Understanding Between Christians and Muslims in Australia" (Australian .Muslim Times, 4 Feb '94) must surely be welcomed? However the fine print reveals that Islam is not prepared to lose one member in the process. A Muslim man may marry a Christian woman but the converse is not true. The paper is equally hardline that a Muslim may not convert to Christianity. On reading further the whole point of the "better understanding" becomes clear - so that "non-Muslims can learn about Islam and decide to become Muslims (sic)."
Islam has defined both Jews and Christians as Ahl-al-Kitab (People of the Book) and Muslims use the common monotheistic background to justify co-existence and friendly cohabitation. Many Christians have the same perception. However, recently Islam has seen fit to mount an offensive against Christianity. For example, Hamas planted a bomb outside the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem in December 1993. Christmas Day 1993 saw coordinated ? attacks on churches in various parts of the world e.g. Jordan, Egypt, Algeria and Pakistan. In Somalia, Christian charities were accused of missionary work and a grenade was thrown into one of their homes at Baidoa. Also an Islamic terrorist group, the Abu Sayyaf, threw grenades into the San Pedro Cathedral in Mindinao, Southern Philippines during Christmas Mass killing seven and wounding 130 worshippers.
Maryam Jameelah an American woman who converted to Islam and now lives in Pakistan writes in her 1989 book "Islam versus Ahl-al-Kitab" that their differences appear to be irreconcilable. "Every other Muslim country is being increasingly contaminated by the most noxious dirt from Europe and America... Jewry and Christendom have joined hands to destroy us and all we cherish... The only viable option is a bold surge of Islam against its foes... We must crush the conspiracies of Zionism, free-masonry and foreign missions both with the pen and sword... We cannot afford peace and reconciliation with the Ahl-al-Kitab until we can humble them and gain the upper hand." 19
We can only re-iterate that Islam is a political movement and that, for every friendly verse in the Qur'an there are many hostile ones. On one count "there are 29 passages from the Qur'an that incite violence against unbelievers, 15 which promote enmity and 26 which insult other religions. 20
"Enmity and hatred will reign between us until ye believe in Allah alone." (60:4)
"Those who follow Muhammad are merciless for the unbelievers but kind to each other." (48:29)
"Make war on them until idolatry does not exist any longer and Allah's religion reigns universally." (8:39) (2:193)
"The Jews and Christians and the Pagans will burn forever in the fire of hell. They are the vilest of all creatures." (98:51)
"Fight the unbelievers in your surroundings, and let them find harshness in you." (9:123)
"Kill the unbelievers wherever ye find them, capture and besiege them and prepare for them every kind of ambush." (9:5)
"When the Christians in Syria in the first century of Islam were forced to submit, they had to sign a long list of promises... including "not to teach our children the Qur'an."... The contradictions and unethical injunctions in the Qur'an [would have provided ammunition for] future anti-Islamic polemicists." 21
The "distinction between religious conflict as an accident or aberration [something temporary, a misunderstanding perhaps] and religious conflict as the direct outcome of fanatical doctrines inherent in a religion, is fundamental to an understanding of the problem."22 In the first case, acts of fanaticism may be in spite of the religion, in the second case they are because of the ideology, and are bound to happen. For example, the persecution of the Copts in Egypt, the Bahai in Iran and of the Hindus in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) were religiously motivated and inspired by verses in the Qur'an.
The genocide of the Armenians, the invasion of Cyprus and the invasion of East Timor may still have happened if the perpetrators had not been Muslim, but I believe that Islam's ideology and lack of respect for human life played a major role. Even the Japanese invaders in World War II did not kill 200,000 East Timorese23 : the point must surely have been made that Islam does not have a "civilizing role". "No amount of goodwill [on our part] is capable of changing Islamic theology and its inherent political ambition of world conquest."24
1. P3 S.A.A. Maududi "Jihad in Islam", Lahore, 1991
2. P2 A.H. Siddiqi "Jihad in Islam", Lahore, 1991
3. P15 ibid
4. P17 Maududi
5. P 52 S.A. Qureshi, "Selected Writings of Hasan al Banna Shaheed", Karachi, 1983
6. P31 ibid
7. P40 ibid
8. P394 "The Dhimmi", Bat Ye'or, NJ, 1985 Quoting Shayk Hassan Klialid, Mufti of the Republic of Lebanon.
9. P395 ibid quoting Shayk Abdul-Hamil Attiya Al-Dibiani Dibani, Rector of the Islamic University of Libya.
10. loc cit. quoting Shayk Muhammad Abu Zahra, Egyptian member of the Academy of Islamic Research.
11. P396 ibid quoting Ayatollah Khomeini
12. P6 Maududi
13. Pl0 ibid
14. P18 ibid
15. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a non-Muslim, quoted in "Understanding Political Islam" P7, P.S.Yog, Lucknow.
16. P396 "The Dhimmi" quoting Ayatollah Khomeini.
17. various medieval Muslim documents, "The Dhrnimi", Bat Ye'or, NJ
18. "Australasian Muslim Times" 4Feb'94
19. P8 "Outpost", March 1984
20. P72 K. Elst, "Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam", New Delhi, 1993
21. P74 ibid
22. P85 ibid
23. East Timor assisted Australian commandoes during World War II. Some 40,000 East Timorese died under Japanese occupation and in the subsequent guerilla war. "East Timor: Freedom Now!" Resistance, Broadway, NSW, 1994.
24. P 108/109 K. Elst