Here we go again: smooth deceptions retailed to the ignorant, unsuspecting and well-intentioned. "Many here misunderstand Islam's teaching on violence, women, member says," by Karen Owen-Phelps for the Evansville Courier & Press, January 22:
It's easy to tar an entire group because of the actions of a few -- but it also is unfair and inaccurate, says Dr. Muhammad Hussain, a local Muslim.
Many Americans still don't have much real information about Islam, Hussain said.
"It's hard sometimes for people to sort out and separate the acts of a few people from a whole group of people."
A Jew walked into a gay bar in Israel in August and killed two people and wounded several others.
"You can't assume that all Jews are like that and hate gay people and will kill them," Hussain said.
Gosh, no, Hussein! But may I ask you a few questions? Do any Jewish organizations around the world tell their adherents today to kill homosexuals? Can you point to any unanimity of doctrine among the various forms of Judaism to the effect that gay people ought to be killed?
Can you, in contrast, find any unanimity among the sects and schools of Islam about the necessity for Muslims to wage war against and subjugate Infidels? Why, yes, yes you can. Can you find texts and teachings from mainstream Islamic authorities that mandate such warfare? Why, yes, yes you can!
Basque terrorists in Spain were blamed for a series of bombings in Spanish territories in 2009.
"That doesn't mean everyone in that part of Spain is a terrorist," he said. "Terrorism is not new to Islam, just like it is not new to any other religion."
Terrorism is as old as warfare, but that really sidesteps the question of the existence of the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism, doesn't it?
People of all religions misquote, misuse and take scripture out of context, Hussain said. In Pakistan or Spain, "the problem is these people may not even represent a fraction of 1 percent of the Muslims or the Basques."
So we are to believe that the Islamic jihadists "misquote, misuse and take scripture out of context." All right. But then why is it that an internationally renowned scholar of Islam like Majid Khadduri, an Iraqi scholar of Islamic law of international renown, likewise misunderstands Islam? In his book War and Peace in the Law of Islam, which was published in 1955 and remains one of the most lucid and illuminating works on the subject, Khadduri says this about jihad:
The state which is regarded as the instrument for universalizing a certain religion must perforce be an ever expanding state. The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God's law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world....The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state. (P. 51)
Khadduri isn't alone, either. Another strange case of a professor of Islam misunderstanding the religion he teaches is Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari'ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad. In his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, he quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: "Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book...is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah." Nyazee concludes: "This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation" of non-Muslims.
Misunderstanding Islam also is a Shafi'i manual of Islamic law endorsed by the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo? It says that the leader of the Muslims "makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax," and cites Koran 9:29 in support of this idea: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled." ('Umdat al-Salik o9.8)
And the violence is often against other Muslims -- those that certain groups don't consider true Muslims -- not outsiders, Hussain said.
Uh huh. And so? Isn't a Muslim's life worth just as much as an Infidel's? Shouldn't Hussain be just as concerned if the Islamic jihadists kill Muslims than if they kill non-Muslims?
Islam "doesn't really condone any acts of terrorism," he said. "The sanctity of life is very important" in his religion, Hussain asserted.
"If you take one life, it is like killing the whole community. If you save one life, it's like saving the whole of humanity."
That would be an extrapolation from Qur'an 5:32: "On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land."
Note the caveats. And what happens to someone who is "spreading mischief in the land"? Read on to Qur'an 5:33: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter."
"The sanctity of life is very important" -- unless you're spreading "mischief through the land" -- a term that covers a multitude of Sharia offenses.
Christians in the past burned people at the stake, he said.
"There were waves and waves of immigrants who came to this country because they were being persecuted for the Christian faith by other Christians."
Uh huh. And so? Even if Christianity were the most evil thing on earth, what would that tell us about the Islamic jihad that is being waged around the world today?
Americans also have misconceptions about Islam's treatment of women, Hussain said. Oppression, female circumcision and families who murder or mutilate female relatives they believe have dishonored them are all cultural trappings, Hussain said. These customs are not part of Islam.
Muslim couples sign a marriage contract, similar to a prenuptial agreement, when they marry, Hussain said. The bride can choose to have conditions added to the contract.
"Islam says the woman has no obligation to work, cook, clean. She doesn't have to provide for the family," Hussain said. "He (the husband) has to."
Hussain adds he doesn't know of any culture in the world where women don't face censure if they fail to cook, clean or care for their children.
Islam itself, though, "says the woman is independent. She can do that if she pleases, but she doesn't have to do that."
But if she doesn't? "Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them." -- Qur'an 4:34
Women are dominated by men in many non-Muslim countries as well, Hussain points out.
"Women here (in the United States) still continue to fight for their rights.
"So whatever happens in the Muslim world is no different than what happened in the rest of the world," Hussain said. "Societies are paternalistic."
No other culture gives divine sanction to wife-beating. An honest Islamic spokesman would acknowledge that and offer some ways that Muslim women could be protected.