Karen Armstrong: Islam came to spread compassion among the nations of the world

Let’s have a look at one example of how Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, spread compassion among the nations. As I explain in my book The Truth About Muhammad, Muhammad led a Muslim force against the Khaybar oasis, which was inhabited by Jews — many of whom he had previously exiled from Medina. When he did so, he was not responding to any provocation; he encountered the men of Khaybar going out to work their farms, with no idea that they were about to be attacked. One of the Muslims later remembered: “When the apostle raided a people he waited until the morning. If he heard a call to prayer he held back; if he did not hear it he attacked. We came to Khaybar by night, and the apostle passed the night there; and when morning came he did not hear the call to prayer, so he rode and we rode with him….We met the workers of Khaybar coming out in the morning with their spades and baskets. When they saw the apostle and the army they cried, ‘Muhammad with his force,’ and turned tail and fled. The apostle said, ‘Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we arrive in a people’s square it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.'”

The Muslim advance was inexorable. “The apostle,” according to Muhammad’s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, “seized the property piece by piece and conquered the forts one by one as he came to them.” Another biographer of Muhammad, Ibn Sa’d, reports that the battle was fierce: the “polytheists…killed a large number of [Muhammad’s] Companions and he also put to death a very large number of them….He killed ninety-three men of the Jews…” Muhammad and his men offered the fajr prayer, the Islamic dawn prayer, before it was light, and then entered Khaybar itself. The Muslims immediately set out to locate the inhabitants’ wealth. A Jewish leader of Khaybar, Kinana bin al-Rabi, was brought before Muhammad; Kinana was supposed to have been entrusted with the treasure of the Jewish tribes of Arabia, the Banu Nadir. Kinana denied knowing where this treasure was, but Muhammad pressed him: “Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?” Kinana said yes, that he did know that.

Some of the treasure was found. To find the rest, Muhammad gave orders concerning Kinana: “Torture him until you extract what he has.” One of the Muslims built a fire on Kinana’s chest, but Kinana would not give up his secret. When he was at the point of death, one of the Muslims beheaded him. Kinana’s wife was taken as a war prize; Muhammad claimed her for himself and hastily arranged a wedding ceremony that night. He halted the Muslims’ caravan out of Khaybar later that night in order to consummate the marriage.

Muhammad agreed to let the people of Khaybar to go into exile, allowing them to keep as much of their property as they could carry. The Prophet of Islam, however, commanded them to leave behind all their gold and silver. He had intended to expel all of them, but some, who were farmers, begged him to allow them to let them stay if they gave him half their yield annually. Muhammad agreed: “I will allow you to continue here, so long as we would desire.” He warned them: “If we wish to expel you we will expel you.” They no longer had any rights that did not depend upon the good will and sufferance of Muhammad and the Muslims. And indeed, when the Muslims discovered some treasure that some of the Khaybar Jews had hidden, he ordered the women of the tribe enslaved and seized the perpetrators’ land. A hadith notes that “the Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives.”

Compassion!

“Armstrong: Islam came to spread compassion among the nations of the world,” by Siddeek Tawfeek for Islam Online, March 17 (thanks to Jan):

As part of its cultural events, Georgetown University”s CIRS (Centre for International and Regional Studies), School of Foreign Services in Qatar, invited professor Karen Armstrong to deliver a lecture titled, The Core of Our Religious Traditions on 13th March 2011.

Professor Armstrong started her lecture by saying that religion has a main role in that it can provide a major contribution to build a global community where people can live in peace and harmony. She said that some believe that religion is the cause of violence and wars throughout history, refuting this concept by saying that wars and violence are motivated by greed and power. Each religion has its own particular and exclusive insights, but all religions have a thing in common, and that is the belief in the Supreme Being who is God. Words stop and fail when we begin to define God. Professor Armstrong summed up the situation by quoting in Arabic: “Allahu Akbar” (God is greater).

She pointed out that religion teaches us mainly to worship Allah and to do good, and the Qur’an calls for good actions. She quoted the Arabic word: (al-salihat) which includes doing whatever good to help people, be it kindness to orphans, and giving alms to the poor. In other words, The Qur’an calls for compassion, and compassion is the core of the Golden Rule which says: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This is the bond of suffering. Professor Armstrong quoted the hadith (prophetic saying) of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), where he says: “None of you will be a true believer until he desires for others what he desires for himself.”

Professor Armstrong said that after the September 11th event, the Muslim communities in the West have been exposed to a lot of suffering inflicted upon them. Such a treatment is too far from the Golden Rule of compassion. As a reaction to this injustice toward Muslims, cities in different parts of the world have developed campaigns to promote community compassion among its residents, where Muslim youths are significantly participating in these campaigns, especially in Amsterdam, Holland. The city of Seattle in north-western United States, leads the list of compassionate cities. On the other hand, Professor Armstrong cited Afghanistan and Iraq as examples of venues where compassion is non-existent.

It is doubtful that Professor Armstrong mentioned such inconveniently non-compassionate post-9/11 (and indeed, quite recent) Muslims as Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; or Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; or Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; or Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood jihad mass-murderer; or Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; or Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; or Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber. Mentioning them might have interfered with her narrative of Muslim persecution in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

“Just like a mother has compassion for her child, Allah has compassion for man. There was a time when Allah’s revelation to the Prophet (PBUH) stopped and the Prophet (PBUH) felt desolate, abandoned, and depressed” she added. Later, revelation returned and the Prophet (PBUH), feeling that the grace of the Lord was proclaimed, he went public in his message. The first Sura (chapter) that was revealed to him from Allah was “Al Duha”, whose opening Ayas (verses), Professor Armstrong quoted from memory: “By the morning hours, and the night when it falls. Your Lord has neither forgotten nor forsaken you. And the hereafter is better for you than present life. And verily, your Lord will give you so that you will be pleased.”

Furthermore, Islam came to spread compassion among the tribes, and consequently among the nations of the world. Compassion is very well testified when Allah ordered the Prophet (PBUH) prayers five times a day and not fifty times. This also indicates another aspect of compassion and that is to be moderate in order to be tolerant. The Qur’an preaches compassion by avoiding the infliction of pain upon others; compassion makes us closely akin to God….

Professor Armstrong is well versed in The Qur’an and has intimate knowledge of Islamic discourse and the life of the Prophet. Whenever she mentioned his name, she followed it by the phrase: Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)….

That’s interesting. Has Karen Armstrong finally converted to Islam? Does she believe Muhammad was a prophet?

In an interview with Bill Moyers published on March 2009 at Public Broadcasting Service site, Armstrong states that “Islam is a religion of success.”¦ Mohammed was not an apparent failure. He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength.” Armstrong argued that “until the 20th century, Islam was a far more tolerant and peaceful faith than Christianity. The Qur’an strictly forbids any coercion in religion and regards all rightly guided religions as coming from God; and despite the Western belief to the contrary, Muslims did not impose their faith by the sword”.

Armstrong is referring to the dhimma, which was so much more tolerant and peaceful than anything Christianity offered that at the dawn of the twentieth century, there were sixteen to seventeen million Jews in Christian Europe, and one million Jews in Islamic lands. And yes, Islam did not spread by the sword; non-Muslims were subjugated as dhimmis, and made subject to so many deprivations and legalized hardships that they freely converted to Islam just to have a chance at a better life. But no, no one forced them!

In another interview, Armstrong states that “Muslims should try to use the media; they have got to have a Muslim lobby. This is a jihad, an effort, a struggle, that is very important. If you want to change the media, then you have got to make people see that Islam is a force to be reckoned with politically and culturally.”

They’re doing that quite well already.

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Comments

  1. says

    “Professor Armstrong said that after the September 11th event, the Muslim communities in the West have been exposed to a lot of suffering inflicted upon them…As a reaction to this injustice toward Muslims, cities in different parts of the world have developed campaigns to promote community compassion among its residents, where Muslim youths are significantly participating in these campaigns, especially in Amsterdam, Holland.”

    Yes, community compassion. It’s also known as jihad and a lot of people who don’t appreciate Islam’s particular form of “compassion” have died from it.

  2. says

    Islamic propagandist, plain and simple.

    Once you know the Islamic definition of words, such as tolerance and peace, then your understanding falls into place when you hear them talk about such terms.

    As long as one thinks they have the same definition, as you do in the free west, to such words as tolerance etc, then you stay confused.

    Robert, a dictionary describing what these terms mean to Muslims would be a great addition to your work.

  3. says

    Quoting TS:

    “Robert, a dictionary describing what these terms mean to Muslims would be a great addition to your work.”

    I completely agree. It would be nice to have such a reference online as well.

  4. says

    I just finished reading Karen Armstrong’s bowdlerized “Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time” a few months ago. Even considering the ludicrous whitewashing she gives “the Prophet”, he still emerges as an absolutely appalling figure.

    From above:

    Each religion has its own particular and exclusive insights, but all religions have a thing in common, and that is the belief in the Supreme Being who is God. Words stop and fail when we begin to define God. Professor Armstrong summed up the situation by quoting in Arabic: “Allahu Akbar” (God is greater).
    ………………………

    No mention that “Allahu Akbar” is the war cry Muslims use to “strike fear” in the hearts of Infidels while they are rioting, attacking, stoning, and beheading their victims.

    More:

    She pointed out that religion teaches us mainly to worship Allah and to do good, and the Qur’an calls for good actions.
    ………………………

    And if those actions”such as murdering Kaffirs”are only considered “good” in Islamic terms? What then?

    More:

    Professor Armstrong said that after the September 11th event, the Muslim communities in the West have been exposed to a lot of suffering inflicted upon them…
    ………………………

    No mention of the suffering the *victims* of 9/11 had inflicted on them by the “compassionate” followers of Islam. Reading this, one would have *no idea* what 9/11 was at all.

    Also, the idea that people of the West suddenly became “Islamophobic” and began attacking Muslims is total b*llsh*t, in any case.

    More:

    Such a treatment is too far from the Golden Rule of compassion. As a reaction to this injustice toward Muslims, cities in different parts of the world have developed campaigns to promote community compassion among its residents…The city of Seattle in north-western United States, leads the list of compassionate cities.
    ………………………

    A major component of this “compassion”, it must be noted, were the death threats to gentle Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris, who was finally warned by the FBI that they could not protect her life from the threats of “compassionate” Muslims, and that she should change her identity and flee town. Oh, well”I guess she’s not part of the “compassionate” scene in Seattle anymore, at any rate…

    More:

    On the other hand, Professor Armstrong cited Afghanistan and Iraq as examples of venues where compassion is non-existent.
    ………………………

    Would that be because of Muslims engaged in sectarian bloodshed and setting IEDs, and the continuing depredations of the Taliban? No, I’m sure we’re supposed to chalk up this “non-existent compassion” to the presence of Infidel troops…you know, the same ones who are there building schools and hospitals…

    More:

    Just like a mother has compassion for her child, Allah has compassion for man.
    ………………………

    Actually, generally what follows the intoning of “Allah, the compassionate, the merciful” in the Qu’ran is some sort of religious atrocity. I have come to believe that this incantation has more to do with ritually *warding off* the wrath of Allah than it does actually proclaiming that savage deity’s “compassion”.

    More:

    Furthermore, Islam came to spread compassion among the tribes, and consequently among the nations of the world. Compassion is very well testified when Allah ordered the Prophet (PBUH) prayers five times a day and not fifty times.
    ………………………

    And Allah didn’t force his followers to cut off their own hands! How “compassionate”! sarc/off What kind of reductive madness is this sort of “reasoning”?

    More:

    Armstrong states that “Islam is a religion of success.… Mohammed was not an apparent failure. He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength.”
    ………………………

    Well, by these lights, Attila the Hun was “a dazzling success” as well. Armstrong spends a lot of time sneering at “unsuccessful” Christians and Jews in her nasty book. Of course, “the Prophet” Muhammed was”except for his earliest days as an employee of his soon-to-be wife, the merchant Kadija”only successful as a warlord and slaver.

    More:

    Armstrong argued that “until the 20th century, Islam was a far more tolerant and peaceful faith than Christianity.
    ………………………

    What can one even say in the face of such deliberate idiocy? The 18th and 19th century saw the abolition of slavery and the spread of all sorts of social reforms in the West. *Nothing* similar happened in the Muslim world during this period, nor has it until this day.

    More:

    The Qur’an strictly forbids any coercion in religion and regards all rightly guided religions as coming from God; and despite the Western belief to the contrary, Muslims did not impose their faith by the sword”.
    ………………………

    The only “rightly guided” religion recognized by Islam is”well”Islam.

    As for Islam “being spread by the sword”, this was the case from the very beginning, with the bellicose “Prophet” of Islam.

    Would Armstrong herself enjoy living as a dhimmi? Perhaps so’she’s got the grotesque deference to Islam part down pat already…

  5. says

    The Qur’an calls for compassion, and compassion is the core of the Golden Rule which says: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This is the bond of suffering.

    In other religions perhaps, the Golden Rule applies. But how does one equate the Koran’s call to subjugate the unbelievers? (Q 9:29) Or how does ‘fighting is ordained for you’ (Q 2:216), or violently ‘force them’ into submission to Islam (Q 2:191), or ‘take care of your own’ but ‘kill the other’ (Q 47:4 & 48:29 etc) square with ideas of “compassion”? The common bond Islam has with other religions, if one can call it a bond, is that of “suffering”. But where humanity tries to alleviate suffering in their world belief systems, Ms. Armstrong’s socially maladjusted ‘religion’, by all evidence of 1400 years of jihad history of the Muslim world, worships suffering. In fact, they want to bring this ‘worshipped suffering’ to the rest of humanity, and make us all equally miserable in the eyes of their 7th century Arab pagan moon-god Allah. When ‘coercion and suffering’ for Allah become compassion, according to Islam, the world will know peace? … Sick!!!

    Furthermore, Islam came to spread compassion among the tribes, and consequently among the nations of the world. Compassion is very well testified when Allah ordered the Prophet (PBUH) prayers five times a day and not fifty times.

    Childish reasoning. Funny how when you stop banging your head on the floor the headaches go away. Compassion! Allah’s wisdom? We should all be so luck?… Sick….

  6. says

    One of the Muslims built a fire on Kinana’s chest, but Kinana would not give up his secret.

    I would submit that building a camp fire on a man’s chest to steal money is not compassionate. If a troop of Boy Scouts had done this, they’d be doing life without parole.

    So then the question is: how does Armstrong account for this towering discrpancy, this yawing gap’s cognitive dissonance between her putative Moslem compassion and the undisputed actions of Mohammed? Is her head vibrating with such great frequency that she can’t connect the dots?

    *** 33:21 ***

    There used to be a time when she woulda be forced to account for the discrepancy or face expulsion from academe as a crackpot. But instead she receives awards for her counter-intuitive insight.

    There used to be a time you could only stretch the truth so far without being publicly shamed, and fired.

    But Professor Armstrong has tenure.

  7. says

    Here it’s anyother good one from islamonline.com:

    ‘Our mosque was severely damaged by fire, and we needed to collect money to rebuild it. Many people have donated. The problem is that some substantial donations were received from people who are known to be drug dealers. Now, what should we do with that money?’

    http://www.islamonline.net/cs/ContentServer?packedargs=locale%3Den&c=IOLCounsel_C&childpagename=IslamOnline%2FIslamOnlineLayout&p=News&pagename=IslamOnlineWrapper&cid=1278407300308

    The answer is YES! Islam permits to build mosque with money from drug dealers… btw… WHY DO DRUG DEALERS GIVE MONEY TO BUILD MOSQUE? WHO ARE THEY? MUZZIES!

  8. says

    In another interview, Armstrong states that “Muslims should try to use the media; they have got to have a Muslim lobby. This is a jihad, an effort, a struggle, that is very important. If you want to change the media, then you have got to make people see that Islam is a force to be reckoned with politically and culturally.”

    Armstrong (more like Weakleg) really said “this is a Jihad” and “Muslims should try to use the media”? She’s lost it, before we could just pass her nonsense off as toothless naivety, but now we can see she has clearly downloaded her soul to the Islamist camp. From a silly pre-pubescent teeny-bopper she has turned into one of those women who fall in love with murderers on death-row.

  9. says

    Oh boy… Next thing you know, Armstrong will write a Hitler biography, focusing on the scumbag’s “benevolence” (which she, one way or another, will find loads of in her imagination and in interviews with nazi survivors and converts to mahoundianism like those given sanctuary in Egypt) and “political success”, and go around giving lectures on how nazism came to spread tolerance, compassion and peace all over the Earth.

  10. says

    Miriam: Karen Armstrong is a religious historian. She has written about Buddhism and other religions. She has several books out, and has appeared in a bunch of documentaries.

  11. says

    “In other words, The Qur’an calls for compassion, and compassion is the core of the Golden Rule which says: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.””

    Nonsense. There is no Golden Rule in Islam. The Golden Rule of Christianity, summarized essentially from the 10 Commandments, are to be applied universally to all persons, whereas the “good deeds” of the Qur’an are intended for adult Muslim males in their associations with other adult Muslim males only.

  12. says

    Com-pas-sion:
    –noun
    1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

    There are numerous historical accounts of devout Muslims deriving pleasure, satisfaction, joy, and schadenfreude from the suffering they have deliberately inflicted on non-Muslims because of the “unbelief” in allah and/or Muhammad.

    Here is relevant quote, for example, of Muslim treatment of Hindus:

    THE HISTORY OF INDIA, AS TOLD BY ITS OWN HISTORIANS:
    THE MUHAMMADAN PERIOD
    The Posthumous Papers of the Late Sir H.M. Elliot,
    Edited and Continued by Professor John Dowson

    VOLUME 1 from 1867
    Original Preface
    xxi – “The few glimpses we have … of Hindus slain for disputing with Muhammadans, of general prohibitions against processions, worship, and ablutions, and of other intolerant measures, of idols mutilated, of temples razed, of forcible conversions and marriages, and of the sensuality and drunkenness of the tyrants who enjoined them, show us that this picture is not overcharged, and it is much to be regretted that we are left to draw it for ourselves from out of the mass of ordinary occurrences, recorded by writers who seem to sympathize with no virtues, and to abhor no vices. Other nations exhibit the same atrocities, but they are at least spoken of, by some, with indignation and disgust.”

    I’ll take Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and, indeed, any other form of “human” compassion to the Muslim varieties any day.

  13. says

    MEMO TO: Karen Armstrong
    SUBJECT: Compassion

    Dear Ms. Armstrong:

    Do you mean compassion, as in: it takes real ‘compassion’ to sever a human head from a living human body, and swing it about in the air in all it’s blood-gushing glory, while shouting praise be to allah…….?

    Yeah. That’s real compassion all right.

  14. says

    Armstrong is the most witless, clueless sap I have ever come across when it comes to Islam. All the things that she sees as admirable are what makes Islam loathsome to all sane people. She is doolally.

  15. says

    “…Prophet (PBUH) felt desolate, abandoned, and depressed”
    =========================================================
    A NOT INFREQUENT (BUT NOT NECESSARILY UBIQUITOUS) SIGN
    OF PARANOIA, DELUSIONAL BEHAVIOUR AND ANTI-SOCIAL
    PSYCHOPATHY…

  16. says

    How can this woman be a professor? What are the requirements for becoming a professor these days?
    ===================================================
    1. Don’t shave (whatever your gender).
    2. Write a thesis with as many BS words
    that you can scarfe from your thesis advisor;
    the more obscure the wording the better.
    3. Never ever tell anyone you had a Bar
    or Bat Mitzvah or Christening/Confirmation
    15 years ago.
    4. Make sure your office is well-stocked
    with books by…Karen Armstrong, Edward Said,
    Noam Chomsky (you would think even he would
    be passe by now)….Gore Vidal (if you
    are a literate upper Manhattan graduate
    student or professor)….
    5. Pretend that White Male TAs from rural
    Tennessee don’t exist (they don’t actually
    because Leftwing professors won’t employ them).
    6. Wear a Kaffiyeh and Galabiyah to “Israel Apartheid
    Week” and a black Donna Karan dress (gender optional)
    to the Met where they are showing the latest
    postmodern Opera.

    I could go on……………

  17. says

    WOW! I need some of her Kool-Aid…then everything is wonderful and no evil exists in the world to hate or harm America! People like Karen Armstrong are worse than idiots…they’re deluded idiots!

  18. says

    If I’m not mistaken Karen Armstrong is a spinster, but presumably she gave up her vows of celibacy upon leaving the sisterhood. She should seriously consider hooking up with someone like Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi or equivalent, a “real” Muslim who could introduce her to the true meaning of Islamic compassion as opposed to the abstract comic book version she seems to have picked up somewhere.

    But seriously, that woman is disgraceful. I’m embarrassed to admit that the very first book I read about “Islam” was her short work by the same name. (In my defense, the book now has numerous dents in it from being repeatedly thrown against the wall, although still more penance is probably due for having read that dreadful book. The most that can be said in its favor is that, as far as I can tell, she got the names and dates right.)

  19. says

    We can only conclude that the once Bride of Christ nun has become the whore to the father of lies, for she is full of them.

    I’m sorry to say this and I hope Jesus will forgive me for having such polar opposite terms on the same line.

  20. says

    Passing through the Constantinople, er, Instanbul airport two months ago, I ducked into a book store out of curiosity.

    And what did I find? Shelves and shelves full of this cow’s books. Instant disgust overwhelmed me!

  21. says

    Ms. Armstrong would have us believe that Islam is a yeast that causes the rise of women and civilization and almost anything else you care to mention, when it is, in truth, an anti-yeast. The paper that Muslims quote is far from the practice except for its evil parts. It has already been strongly suggested that Western concepts take on an opposite or anti-meaning when viewed through the prism of Islam. This we all know.
    The first stanza from a poem within a screenplay:
    “Between the heads is the heart,
    but the child is heart alone,
    a variable terra rasa sown with
    seeds of fortune and misfortune.”

    One could as easily say, “seeds of good and evil”.

    Ms Armstrong is intelligent as evidenced by her writing of books—there is a head there. We would like to believe that intelligence leads to goodness but we are perhaps naive, blinded by our romanticism. Ms Armstrong’s heart is black. As for the lower head, it is immaterial to me, but very material to the average muslim man,
    Mr Moe Sex-sack. But I digress.
    Nicolas Berdyaev, the thinker and religious philosopher, and ardent advocate for freedom, truth, and creativity, dwelt for some time in an honest manner on the contradictions that exist within a single human being and included himself, for example, the will to good and the will to evil. He accepted this as a part of human nature. Of course, it is the degree to which of these contradictions predominates that makes the person and the civilization. In the case of the person of Ms Armstrong, JW has rendered its verdict. In the case of Islam as a civilization, JW has rendered its verdict. Now we must bell the cat.(Thanks to tanstaafl and gravenimage).

  22. says

    No mention of that Islamic ‘compassion’ as defined by murdering 300 million infidels. What she’s got is nothing that a housebrick landing on top of her head from 100 feet up wouldn’t cure.

  23. says

    If even a single word of what she said was true then there wouldn’t be any opposition to islam anywhere in the world.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t exactly held in the highest regard here in America,they believe things and have practices that Christians don’t agree with at all but there is no global opposition to them because they don’t murder people and leave them in a pool of blood with a Watchtower magazine stuffed in their mouth.

  24. says

    Just a little something which might help explain where Karen Armstrong is coming from: From the official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, 2006 version, Article 9, Par. 3, part III: The Church is catholic: item 841. The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s Judge on the last day.” [ http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/ ]

    Some of the comments offered so far as diagnosis of Karen Armstrong’s mental condition could also apply to whomever was responsible for including that estimate of Islam in the official RCC Catechism. Catholics are usually pretty smart and well educated people, so it’s strange how this could have gotten into the Catechism. There’s probably a reason for it.

  25. says

    I seriously wonder if Karen Armstrong is mentally ill in some way. Her version of Islam is pure fantasy. One wonders if she ever read any of the core Islamic texts first hand at all.

  26. says

    What is wrong with this woman?

    How can one considered so “intellectual” be so idiotic?

    Oh wait!

    Western Idiocracy hasn’t just emerged, it’s full blown.

    Bill Moyers and the elitists on NPR consider themselves “intellectuals”.

    They whine about and label dissenters of their upside down, inside out views as “anti-intellectuals”.

    Sadly, it appears this grotesque and abhorrent (yet accepted, seemingly!) inversion of a common sense approach to anything and everything is becoming a majority-held viewpoint.

    How does one break out of this bizarre, Twilight-Zonic state of ecstatic torpor?

    My jaw drops daily reading this sh*t.

  27. says

    “Love your neighbor as you love yourself, do unto him as you would have him do unto you” is also known as the Second Great Commandment. The First Great Commandment is “love God”. This twofold analysis was already common and standard among the Jews when Jesus was preaching. It wasn’t invented by the sage Hillel. It didn’t make its first appearance in the Talmud. In fact, Ole Hartling (in a comment above) quotes from the N.T. Jesus saying it is the concise summation of the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament). It was well known as such at that time. Nor was it invented by Confucius, but in Confucianism they have what they call “the Golden Rule” which is the ethical teachings of the Chinese sage for the Chinese people. Among Christians nowadays the “Two Great Commandments” is a commonly expressed concept.

  28. says

    “None of you will be a true believer until he desires for others what he desires for himself”

    Does this hadith apply to muslims and non-muslims?
    Did Mohammed desire for non-believers what he desired for himself?
    Did Mohammed have compassion for people who disagreed with him?

  29. says

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    It parodies itself.

    “She said that some believe that religion is the cause of violence and wars throughout history, refuting this concept by saying that **wars and violence are motivated by greed and power.**”.

    Now, let’s hop across to another thread, the story about the Pakistani Muslim woman in the UK who deceived and abused a Tanzanian black woman (who, judging from her name, is not Muslim) and kept her in her house in the UK as a **slave**, treating her with great cruelty.

    QUOTE – ‘Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said Khan had told “a pack of lies” during the trial.
    “Your behaviour was callous and greedy,” the Guardian quoted him as saying.’

    Callous (i.e. cruel) and greedy.

    That is how a Muslim woman behaved toward another woman, a non-Muslim woman, whom she had deceived, over whom she had almost total power, power she used to abuse and humiliate.

    Power (displayed in the enslavement of another human being), and greed…the fruits of Mohammedanism, the fruits of the example of the cruel and greedy Mohammed who lusted for – and got – worldly power by the use of deception and violence, and got a fifth of all the booty, and the prettiest girl captives.

  30. says

    karen has shot her foot off.

    i’m an athiest/ex catholic. what better example than Jesus Christ? you don’t even have to go digging for a few examples.. its the whole book. self sacrifice, empathy. humanity. Judeo-Christian societies ARE the most compassionate. weve had this advantage for centuries, over all.

    incedenatally, if youre all allah’s “children”, that explains the mentality and behaviour of your men.

    karen armstrong, whats your story? whats in this for you?
    i assume youre a women? shame on you. educated? shame on you. earn good money? shame on you. have an influence on society by your very words? shame on you. not from the asian dersert? (a DEFINATE advantage in islam) shame on you. any reason for a good moslem man to despise, so you are, in essence, a terrible moslem women. disgusting.

    so after getting caught up in the PC revoltion of the 1990’s, after all these years, you believe your own BS.

    you did all that work. its gotta mean something.. right?

    karen armstrong, why the hell should anyone listen to you on either side?

  31. says

    Pardon my French, but Armstrong yet again shows how far she has placed her head up her posterior. She never misses a beat to be the ueber-apologist for Islam, even to the extent of distorting facts and presenting a very one-sided view to the argument. She has lost all credibility with her ‘Kumbayah’ New Age approach to religion. You must not take her seriously as a religious scholar, since she is exceedingly superficial in her knowledge about most faiths. Still the PC/MC press love it whenever she makes a statement on such issues.

  32. says

    Ali Sina pointed out what would happen if Islam consistently taught the Golden Rule. In that case, Muslims should be perfectly comfortable if non-Muslims altered Islam’s texts by switching “Muslim” with “non-Muslim.” What would happen, for example, if we made Muslim and non-Muslim switch places in two hadiths I often post here at Jihad Watch? First, the unaltered hadiths:

    In core Islamic texts, Muhammad says your life and property are not safe from him unless you become a Muslim

    In Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the two most canonical hadith collections:

    Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25:

    Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

    Allah’s Apostle said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform all that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.”

    Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 5917:

    …Ali went a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice: Allah’s Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people? Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger, and when they do that then their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands but what is justified by law and their reckoning is with Allah.

    Now, following the Golden Rule, which the foolish Karen Armstrong claims Islamic doctrine supports, Muslims should not mind if we switch Muslim for non-Muslim in the above hadiths, like this:

    The non-Muslim Messenger says your “lives and property” are not safe from him unless you give up Islam

    In Sahih Non-Bukhari and Sahih Non-Muslim, the two most canonical non-Muslim hadith collections:

    Non-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25:

    Narrated Spanky Andourgang:

    The Non-Muslim Messenger said: “I have been ordered to fight against the Muslims until they testify that none has the right to be Muslim nor claim that Muhammad is God’s Apostle, nor pray as Muslims do, nor give Zakat (which often ends up in jihadist hands), so if they stop all that, then they save their lives and property from me except for non-Muslim laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by the non-Muslim courts.”

    Sahih Non-Muslim, Book 031, Number 5917:

    …Alfalfa went a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice: Non-Muslim Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people? Thereupon he (the Non-Muslim Prophet) said: Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that Muhammad is not God’s Messenger, and when they do that then their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands but what is justified by law and their reckoning is under non-Muslim laws.

    The reality is that according to Islamic doctrine, Muslims are supposed to apply the Golden Rule only among each other. Non-Muslims are to be treated as inferiors. Obviously some Muslims disobey that aspect of Islamic doctrine, are unaware of it, or are otherwise innocent of it.

    Here is an article by Ali Sina on Islam and the Golden Rule.

  33. says

    Here’s another example of applying the Golden Rule to Islamic texts. First the unaltered version:

    On page 222 (326 in the Arabic) of the earliest Muslim biography of Muhammad, he affirms that those who do not follow him will be slaughtered.

    Abu jahl said to them: “Muhammad alleges that if you follow him you will be kings of the Arabs and the Persians. Then after death you will be raised to gardens like those of the Jordan. But if you do not follow him you will be slaughtered, and when you are raised from the dead you will be burned in the fire of hell.” The apostle [Muhammad] came out to them with a handful of dust saying: “I do say that.”

    Now, applying the Golden Rule to the above, we get:

    On page 222 (no Arabic translation yet) of the earliest biography of the Non-Muslim Messenger, he affirms that those who follow Muhammad will be slaughtered.

    Buckwheat said to them: “The Non-Muslim Messenger alleges that if you Muslims heed him and give up Islam, you won’t have to live in backward nations anymore. Then after death you will not have to join Muhammad in the Ninth Circle of Perdition. But if you Muslims do not heed the Non-Muslim Messenger, you will be slaughtered, and when you are raised from the dead you will be burned in the fire of hell.” The Non-Muslim Apostle came out to them with a handful of dust saying: “Yep. That’s what I say alright.”

  34. says

    “.. and despite the Western belief to the contrary, Muslims did not impose their faith by the sword”.- Karen Armstrong.

    Surely she cannot be unaware of the “Life of Muhammad” by A.Guillaume and in this passage “Abu jahl said to them: “Muhammad alleges that if you follow him you will be kings of the Arabs and the Persians. Then after death you will be raised to gardens like those of the Jordan. But if you do not follow him you will be slaughtered, and when you are raised from the dead you will be burned in the fire of hell.” The apostle [Muhammad]came out to them with a handful of dust saying: “I do say that.”
    Karen Armstrong is an outright liar.

  35. says

    Karen Armstrong did write about Dalai Lama. But that does not mean she understands Buddhism. In Tibet, people pratice
    Tantrism or Esoteric Buddhism which is different from
    Mahayana Buddhism. Tantrism calls for self-delivery while the Mahayana (meaning–Big Vehicle)advocates delivery of
    the multitude–all sentient beings !

  36. says

    “Professor Armstrong quoted the hadith (prophetic saying) of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), where he says: “None of you will be a true believer until he desires for others what he desires for himself.””

    Not quite. Here’s the quote:

    (1) Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #2, Hadith #12)

    The Quran says this:
    49:15 “The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.”

    Armstrong: “Each religion has its own particular and exclusive insights, but all religions have a thing in common, and that is the belief in the Supreme Being who is God.”

    No they don’t. Some religions have multiple gods, and others have no gods as such.

    “She quoted the Arabic word: (al-salihat) which includes doing whatever good to help people, be it kindness to orphans, and giving alms to the poor.”

    Islam’s policy of jihad against the non-Muslims, based on verses such as 9:5, 9:29, 9:123, etc., created orphans. Then the Muslim males could “marry” from the female orphans. A portion of the “alms” or zakat went to funding more jihad.

    “In other words, The Qur’an calls for compassion,”

    Oh, that’s putting it in other words, alright.

    “…and compassion is the core of the Golden Rule which says: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.””

    But the Quran doesn’t advocate treating non-Muslims as equal to Muslims.

    5:54 “O ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion, (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which He giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.”

    48:29 “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves […]”

    “Armstrong: Islam came to spread compassion among the nations of the world”

    If you consider spreading death and destruction, cultural annihilation, sharia law, slavery, sex slavery, dhimmitude, and forced conversions to be compassionate, then, yes, it is “compassionate” in that sense of the word as it is frequently used in an alternative universe, and in the mind of Karen Armstrong.

  37. says

    Karen Armstrong is a reknown Muslim apologist and a great scholar. However, anyone who has read her books will be familiar with her somewhat Muslim-tinted glasses when she makes conclusions. For example she’ll say that Muhammad showed his great clemency in his treatment of the Banu Quaryza when he only massacred the men and spared the women and children (for a glorious and enjoyable future as slaves no less).

    Armstrong’s general appraoch is that anything bad Muhammad did is justifyable by his time and culture and anything good stands him out as a great leader. She seems to portray the pre-Muslim Arabs as a group of savage blood-thirsty demons and that only Muhammad had the sense and spiritual guidance to drag them out of the mire.

    That’s clearly false but she has a point in explaining that Muhammad was a product of his time. Killing then, as we often see now, was not treated with the same disdain as we are used to in the west. It is also wrong to accuse Muhammad of being an evil person. There is nothing unusual in his behaviour and if you look at the behaviour of any great leader (Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Saladin) they have all been free and easy in executing their opponents and enemies. Muhammad was simply a strong leader who gained great success.

    Where Artmstrong and indeed a billion Muslims are wrong is in believing that this man was a prophet. It’s disingenious to suggest that a prophet could be behave in such a way or that he was doing so for God. Muhammad was nothing more than a leader who fought for his own selfish interests, as have all others. Genghis believed it was his divine right to rule the world, but he still did so for his own glory, not to bring his wonderful, fair and just rule to the needy world. Muhammad wanted to rule Mecca and along the way he first took Yathrib. Drunk by his success he set his sights further afield and thereafter, just as Genghis’s successors did, so too did Muhammad’s followers.

    It is in my opinion unscholarly and unhelpful to try to depict Muhammad as a bad man but rather one should argue against Islam by depicting him fairly as what he was, an oportunistic leader who strived for his own power and influence, and succeeded in spectacular fashion. Calling him a paedophile or a mass-murderer adds nothing to the debate. But it is totally justified to argue by demonstrating his behaviour and it’s similarity with every other megalomaniac leader, that Muhammad was not and cannot be viewed as a prophet. To this end a comparison with Jesus and Buddha is very useful as they were genuine men of peace.

  38. says

    Miriam Rove, to add a little mustard to Armstrong’s resume, she started out as a Catholic nun but quit. Now she calls herself a “secular humanist”. BTW, no Catholic has ever put out a hit contract on this apostate.

  39. says

    I don’t think Karen Armstrong is a fool. I think she knows what she’s doing and does it well. I see her as another of the many professionals in the lucrative industry of telling people, too lazy or intellectually incapable to research for themselves (many of these), falsehoods & distortions that they would like to believe.

    Telling the ugly truth and surviving financially is pretty dicey and more likely to cause one trouble. Pretty falsehoods and fantasies have always been where the money and status are. It’s how Karen Armstrong became professional historian at the UN and awarded the $100,000 TED Prize in February 2008. Fame and fortune for her, many death threats for the likes of Robert Spencer who attempt to expound on the sordid truth people don’t want to hear or believe. It’s that simple and K A represents the kind of fame most authors about religion would like to achieve.

  40. says

    Use lies and deceit to fool the enemy…such is the way of life for Moslems. Also, democracy will never ever work…they just go along with it to apease liberals and the un-knowing everywhere.

    Educate yourself before it’s too late. Read these two books on the subject:

    1-WHY WE WANT TO KILL YOU by WALID SHOEBAT (Ex-terrorsit turned Christian and US Citizen) &
    2-THE LOOMING TOWER – ROAD TO 9/11 by LAWRENCE WRIGHT

    Surely then you will realize the grave predicament we are in. Western civilization is doomed. 100% doomed. It may take hundreds if not 1000 years, but they will win in the end, unless you smarten up – RIGHT NOW!

  41. says

    “Make your fold with the sheep; flee from the wolves: depart not from the Church,” Cyril admonished catechumens surrounded by heresy. These were prophetic words for Cyril was to be hounded by enemies and heretics for most of his life, and although they could exile him from his diocese he never left his beloved Church.
    St. Cyril of Jerusalem

  42. says

    Two things:

    1) For non-believers, PBUH stands for Punishment and Beheadings for Unbelievers and Hypocrites.

    2) Muslims and their apologists, like Armstrong, often quote De Lacy O’Leary. Here is what else he says,
    As formulated by the second Khalif ‘Umar the
    revised position was that the Muslim Arabs were
    to rule as overlords the lands they had conquered,
    living on the tribute paid them by cultivators…
    If any of the conquered population embraced Islam
    they came forthwith free from payment of tribute but
    liable to military service and acquired the right to
    share in the distribution of the spoils of war…

    For more…
    http://willbselling.com/book-reviews_277.html

  43. says

    http://www.averroespress.com/AverroesPress/Jihad.html

    Here is a recent video of Tarek Fatah who went up against the Pro-jihadists during a TVO debate on Jihad.
    As for Armstrong taking about Spread peace via islam, just watch this video but go to the 12:10 minute point to hear the pro-Shariah Law Imam that justifies war on the unbelievers when a Nation does not allow a Muslim to enter and do Dawah to spread the Peace.
    This is the same Imam hindy that supports the Terrorist family the Khadr’s,Hindy was also on TV to admit that he coaches Muslim youth in canada to wage Jihad in canada rather than go to Afghanistan to kill our troops over there. Hindy also said to Michael Coren that he want females to be hung in Public like saddam did to teach females a lesson for no obeying Shariah law or if they are adulters. Hindy made it clear he wants a Caliphate for canada that is ruled under Shariah Law.

    The irony is that these types of nutbar/misogynists have the free-speech rights to spew their garbage in public which shows everyone how dangerous they are. But not one Muslim has come forwrd to denouce him and his Al-Qaeda friendly Mosque where he teaches about murdering the unbelievers for Allah’s cause.

    http://www.averroespress.com/AverroesPress/Jihad.html

    I think that Justin Trudeau from the Liberal party in Canada would like Imam Hindy and his public hangings of females which Justin may not describe as barbaric.
    Amamzing how quickly a Liberal will toss females under the Shariah Law bus just to get votes from the islamofascists in canada, maybe now the Feminist in canada can look at the Gamil Gharabi slaughter of 14 female students for Allah as the JIHAD is was and give up on the blame-game to make all Males responsible for what 1 Muslim did in 1989.

  44. says

    Hello brothers and sisters, you should all actually read the the Koran. It is simply a corrected version of the bible. I feel you guys are being ignorant towards an entire faith that conforms and is more transcendent to Christianity than any other religion. The Koran can teach people a message of love and unity. I am Muslim and I have no right to judge anyone on this site, nor any human being for we are all brothers and sisters. I wish people could realize this about my religion and make the distinct separation between my religious beliefs (Sunni, Follow the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) and those beliefs of radical sects of Islam, such as the Shiites of the radicalized nation of Iran, and of other radical groups (I.e Al Qaeda). However, how do any of us have the jurisdiction to even judge these groups based on their beliefs. Can’t we all agree that our Lord and Creator has the final say, and ultimately the true responsibility in judging humanity. I ask you not to be so eager to judge people based on their beliefs, we all believe in the same God, and we all wish to seek salvation. Maybe through small differences in our practices. However cant one respect the pursuit of salvation and True Happiness (that being eternal happiness?) “Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none other than the one god) … as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?” -The Messenger (SAW) After all Muslim is just the Arabic word for believer.

  45. says

    “Professor Armstrong said that after the September 11th event, the Muslim communities in the West have been exposed to a lot of suffering inflicted upon them.”
    Like what?!!
    Like the London bombings and 17,000 similar anti-Islam attacks against innocent muslims?
    Aah no! These attacks were all perpetrated BY muslims.
    Armstrong (Weakhead) why do you defend the aggressor and attack the innocent?

  46. says

    I wouldn’t know where to begin in reply to Zayd.
    A book would be needed. And would it do any good?
    “I feel you guys are being ignorant towards an entire faith that conforms and is more transcendent to Christianity than any other religion.”
    Scream!
    Maybe braver souls will venture a reply. I have run out of energy for today.
    Might look in again later.
    Yeesh!

  47. says

    KAREN ARMSTRONG

    There she goes again confusing her Sufism with conventional, normative, five pillar Islam; idealizing a mass murdering, sadistic, torturing, intolerant terrorist thug into a prophet of compassion and love. If, as Armstrong says in The History of God, that living by the words and deeds of Mohammed can exalt the soul into a state of Divine Union or “God consciousness” then why does she need Sufism? Why does Imam Rauf and Qaradawi need Sufism?

    Click my name and blogsite and read my “Sufism, Islam and the Ground Zero Mosque” for the answer.

  48. says

    RECITE! Visited by an angel, Muhammad was told to recite. Years latter Muhammad turned his back on Jerusalem and prayed 2 Mecca. Ms. Armstrong quoted in her biography of Muhammad/, this ACT, in and of itself, is one of the greatest religious ACTS in the history of religion. Turning from Jeruslem 2 Mecca.
    Ms. Armstrong, by her own free will, yes enjoying the freedoms of S E P A R A T I O N,turned from catholicism to Islam, I have no problem with her choice, I myself am catholic, so what.
    What to me is interesting, IS, observing the fruits of those who KNOW what Jeruslam represents and what Mecca represents. 4 1500years IAM tasted the fruits of Islam.
    4 3000years IAM tasted the fruits of Judiasm and Christianity. IAM will never turn 2 Mecca! IAM
    IAMthatIAM.
    These aint my words Karen/. Whose words found Hira?
    Muslims pray to Mecca, no problem. BUT, what if Muhammad is not the Advocate/ Apostle/ Paraclate? UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUsurp anyone?
    He was starving for his own religion, WHY? This is one of the most relevent questions I have ever asked myself, or what if Ahmad was not 2 tranSCRIBE in2 Muhammad?
    Muhammad was found in the mountains about Hira, he was given shelter, he was given guidance upon Hira, yet, he turned away from Jerusalem WHY?
    You will KNOW them by their fruits.
    michael

  49. says

    Ok ill try again RE Anushirvan 9.29.am
    I know you guys editing this will allow me one simple question? has < ANUSHIRVAN > ever sucked Bill Mahers weeny. I mean who cares about Karen Armstrong, I’d rather do battle with you jihad boys.

  50. says

    Ok ill try again RE Anushirvan 9.29.am
    I know you guys editing this will allow me one simple question? has Anushirvan ever sucked Bill Mahers w–ny.
    Is that ok? waiting?

  51. says

    4 you atheists reading here
    Jerusalem/ Philadelphia are but biblical thoughts/letters into words/into thoughts likened these!/
    i write you cause i hate you / will you write mee please!/
    cause im here lonely/ cause jesus is asleep/
    write mee soon butdont use big words/ like b===p b===p b===p
    myGODllah when you atheists correspond Im alive/
    that I 4get about muslims/ and their soul sucking jive/

    may God be with you ?
    no I mean a damn! a/ peace
    a/ yeah thats it peace/ you believe in peace? right?

  52. says

    About a millennium before Confucius, here’s an example of the Golden Rule.
    (circa 1400 BC):

    Leviticus 19:34

    The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

  53. says

    I understand your concerns, and I have no intention of arguing the fact that there are radicals out there. But if someone is willing to strap a bomb to their chest and walk into a public arena and kill innocent people then truly they are not Muslim regardless of their claims. People are mislead regardless of what religious/political/ socio economic sects they belong to. The truth is that we are flawed as humans and unfortunately people with evil intentions strive to exploit that in their brothers. I just wanted to have my say in this discussion because I believe and along with many other people of faith and those without that the teachings of the Koran and the Hadiths have purpose. That purpose is to live every moment of your life in preparation for the day of judgement, or in the non-believers case to live a life an honest life. We cannot deny that society has taken the laws of god and implemented them within their social structures. Even a non-believer can admit that there is a natural law of absolutes in the universe when it comes to morals, good and evil. We cannot make broad generalization’s, for that would be fallacy and illogical. and when using the term Islam/ Muslim in the regards to terrorism you are making false statements. A terrorist is not Muslim, he is either misguided or of some evil nature that does not fall under the definitive explanation to what it means to be a Muslim. And as for your statement that since we are humans and we have the right to judge eachother, and that is of course true. However, is it right? We as humans are flawed by nature to invent divisions between us. These imaginary divisions can be called borders, race, religion, culture/tradition. These things are inventions that are only of an earthly nature. They exist only here on Earth. Whereas god made us all in his image. We are humans regardless of the ideas/inventions we invent to distinguish and judge between each other. Weather you are a Jew, Christian, Muslim or whatever it may be we still no that we all have the same biological traits behind our skin and our beliefs. We all can realize this. It is the sad truth that some people of find it okay to make these judgement calls on us as American’s and justify killing us in the name of their god. I know none of you have made such judgement calls and acted on them to the same degree but we are all guilty drawing these lines between each other. It is God who make the final call on the final day, he will have the final say. We have no jurisdiction to do so in the meantime for we are flawed and do so out of irrational intent. We should all ponder on this and ask ourselves if we are solving any of the worlds problems by continuing to make generalizations and judgement onto people based on our inventions.

    P.s I am sorry for my poorly written statements, I am kind of in a hurry to write this but i hope you can get the general gist of my argument. Thank you and may Peace be upon you all.

  54. says

    Zayd,

    You’re going to get rightfilly buried here at this site, with your non-sensical, unsupported rambling, bordering on outright lies.

    You do know that, don’t you?

    Of course you do.

  55. says

    A short comment about the Golden Rule:

    There seem to be two “versions” of this that are confusedly considered to be roughly equivalent.

    1. Do unto others that which you would have done to you.
    2. Don’t do unto others that which you would not want done to you.

    These are not equivalent statements, as can easily be seen by setting up a simple Venn diagram. The first concerns what you should “do” and actions of a positive nature, using one’s self as a reference for defining what is positive. The second concerns what you should “not do” and refraining from actions of a negative nature, again using one’s self for defining what is negative.

    From the perspective of encapsulating the essence of morality, neither version by itself is complete.

    In fact, both are needed.

  56. says

    The apostle said, ‘Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we arrive in a people’s square it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.'” The West has also been so “warned” by many imams and global jihad leaders. Of course, a lot of Christians in the West interpret passages in the Bible to mean they will be “raptured” away to heaven before they have to suffer, so they do not even consider the prospect. (The Bible also says the wise man sees danger and prepares, while the foolish man does not even look . . . )

    “The apostle,” according to Muhammad’s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, “seized the property piece by piece and conquered the forts one by one as he came to them.” And so, the Muslim countries controlling the oil prices cripple economies and buy up their property cheap. Even Muslim charities can ONLY benefit Muslims and Muslim causes (i.e., jihad) and are being used to buy up the U.S. and the West. The U.S. needs to confiscate all property bought by jihad money. A close scrutiny of Obama’s “redistribution” of wealth in the U.S. needs to be conducted also, to see where that redistribution is accumulating.

  57. says

    And FYI i’m in all favor to Democracy, the peoples voice needs to be heard and thank Allah that is starting to become a demand in the middle east. However you must understand why there are such extreme punishments in Sharia law. Take for example in Saudi Arabia. Five times a day almost the entire population goes to pray and during those prayer times owners and employees of shops and other business must leave their stations to attend to their prayers. During this time you will find every store there empty of any shoppers or employees and the door will always be unlocked. And anyone can feel free to empty out the place, however, no one does because the punishment for theft is the loss of a hand. And because of this no one does steal. These laws are in place for a reason, they keep people from committing crimes because no one is brave enough to face the possible consequences, so you cannot say there are not good things that come with Islamic law. And for murder the punishment is death, however if the family of the victim chooses to forgive you (which a true pious man following the hadiths would) you are free to go with a few recompensation fees to family. The reason for this is if the pious man chooses to forgive the one that murdered their family member they are doing this with the intention of giving them the opportunity to live out their life and feel sorrow for what the did and hopefully repent. However you are correct democracy is the way to go in regards to the fact that the peoples voices are heard.

  58. says

    A good rebuttal, Gravenimage.

    Yet again we have a Islamapologist here who ends up advocating for harsh penalties for Islamic Shari’a law, like the vast majority of Islamiapologists here who try to tell us that Islam isn’t so bad and we’re just haters and misunderstanders.

    I suspect if Zayd was brave enough to remain we’d see hatred of Isreal/Jews (in the guise of “liberation” for the “Palestinians”), praising of terrorist orginizations such as HAMAS and advocating of Mysogany as is also major indicating factor of Islamipologists here (for example our old friend Adbullah Mikey had all of these)

    Actually, Zayd if you are still here, please answer me this: What do you think about Isreal? Do you believe Isreal has a right to exist where it is? What do you think about HAMAS? Good? bad?

  59. says

    ‘Karen Armstrong is the definition of a fool.’

    To me that more or less translates to ‘Karen Armstrong is the definition of an ex-nun.’

    In my mind, that just about amounts to the same, these days. For what it’s worth, I rather believe she is a typical proponent of the ‘all religions are equal’ scam, which is not at all a surprise, seeing as she has been spoonfed with the traditionally institutionalized Roman-Catholic core tenet which states that ‘there can be no morality without religion.’, to which other religions also subscribe. So therefore it’s quite self-explanatory to me that she should dedicate her efforts to cook up PC/MC apologetics with regards to Islam. She is the same type of religious zealot that would rather discredit adherents of religious faiths, who regard their personal beliefs as a private matter, and secular humanists alike, who both concentrate their efforts on establishing the real issue at hand: respect for human rights in general, irrespective of creed.

    Makes me think of people like Peter Kreeft, who would probably think the same way. The essence of such a thing would be:

    Christianity = religion
    Islam = religion
    therefore both Christianity and Islam = moral

    That’s basically the simplistic, juvenile line of reasoning such people adhere to. And therefore it would be normal to side with Islam. Whereas many people on JW, Christian or otherwise, know exactly what the real issue amounts to: defending human values and countering those that want to trample on human rights by claiming their religion justifies it !

  60. says

    Pretty strange to think that anyone with a generally reasonable attitude should waste his time by reading books Karen Armstrong has written. Just looking for quotes or interviews of her on the Net would suffice to draw the conclusion that absolutely nothing she has to say would constitute anything logical, reasonable, intelligent or realistic on such matters.

    I suppose that’s what you get when you decide to leave the alienating confines of a convent, only to find that your profoundly indoctrinated pea brain gets confronted with the cognitive dissonance of reality that makes you decide to turn around 180 degrees in favor of even more wishy washy stupidity.

    If Karen Armstrong has any authority on any subject matter on which she could write a book, then it would be ‘How to make a living out of being a really stupid, alienated ex-nun’.

  61. says

    Anushirvan said:

    The essence of such a thing would be:

    Christianity = religion
    Islam = religion
    therefore both Christianity and Islam = moral
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    There is one missing:

    Christianity = religion
    Islam = religion
    Christianity is moral
    therefore Islam = moral

    which by the way could be:

    Christianity = religion
    Human Sacrifices = religion
    Christianity is moral
    therefore Human Sacrifices = moral

    or

    Christianity = religion
    David Koresh/Jim Jones = religion
    Christianity is moral
    therefore David Koresh/Jim Jones = moral

    or

    Christianity = religion
    The dream i had last night where angel Gabriel told me to steal my neighbor’s goods = religion
    Christianity is moral
    therefore “The dream i had last night where angel Gabriel told me to steal my neighbor’s goods” = moral

  62. says

    Ex-nun, ex-catholic, ex-christian and now muslim.
    What’s the link?
    Going over to the other side.
    Islam is anti-christ.
    Islam denies central christian doctrines eg divinity of Jesus.
    Islam’s prime targets are Judaeism and Christianity.
    These are now also KA’s prime targets.
    I won’t be too surprised if next I hear KA saying that Lucifer has been misunderstood..

  63. says

    Seriously confusing, dude. :-)

    The first premise in my deduction would have been: “there can be no morality without religion”, as outlined in a previous paragraph.

  64. says

    Karen Armstrong is a complete fool!
    Or, in my best Farsi:یک احمق کامل Karen Armstrong

    Have a nice day, Miriam :))

  65. says

    There used to be a time when she woulda be forced to account for the discrepancy or face expulsion from academe as a crackpot. But instead she receives awards for her counter-intuitive insight.

    Instead, as you say, ApF, she is being lauded with awards. This is the new post-modernism counter-revolution of the ‘counterintuitive’ relativistic-moralism cultism that has hijacked legitimate academia with crackpot pseudo-intelligencia. Or as the new ‘newspeak’ dictionary of the counter-intuitive-cult would have it:

    up = down
    red = blue
    good = bad
    equality = exclusiveness
    submission = freedom
    Jihad = helpfulness
    Islam = compassion … etc

    So why not having Ms. Armstrong equate the coercions of Islam with ‘compassion’, and its acromegalic, megalomaniac, delusional, warlord founder of his 7th century cult worshipping the Moon-god ‘Allah’ as the monotheistic ‘One’ god, as the consummate compassionate man on the planet? It’s all the counter-intuitive sickness of it all. It’s all S-I-C-K !!

  66. says

    ‘Karen Armstrong is a religious historian. She has written about Buddhism and other religions. She has several books out, and has appeared in a bunch of documentaries.’

    Which means what, exactly ? That one can be an intellectual nitwit when it comes to the history of Islam on the one hand, but such stupidity can’t possibly interfere with one also being totally accurate and concise with regards to the history of Buddhism at the same time ?

    Are you serious ? Don’t make me laugh ! An expert is someone that knows what he/she is talking about and sticks to the main subject of his/her expertise. Now, assuming Karen Armstrong would have expert knowledge on Buddhism would be fine if only she limited her expertise to this subject alone. Alas, her expertise on just about anything can be challenged by every Tom, Dick and Harry, simply because she also chooses to call herself an expert on Islam, a subject on which she also deliberately chose to disperse as many falsehoods, naive assumptions and incognizant gobbledygook as is humanely possible. Which leaves her credibility on anything seriously battered and bruised, as far as I am concerned.

    Which makes:

    Robert Spencer = expert on Islam
    Karen Armstrong = expert in BS

    I wouldn’t credit her with any authority on anything. And that’s her own stupid fault.

  67. says

    submission = freedom

    Rebecca Bynum’s Allah is Dead – Why Islam isn’t a Religion quotes Egyptian Hitler Said Qutb’s Milestones as stating exactly that… That mahoundianism promotes “freedom through sharia”, by liberating humans from the “slavery” of man-made legal systems. You know, the slavery of gender equality, universal suffrage, the secular legislative process, gay rights, etc.

    Qutb also says that there can be no place for truth and falsehood on this planet… If only black-cube worshippers had the slightest curiosity, or the most slightly blasphemous thoughts, to question whether or not the Earth is flat as a carpet, or the blood-clot nonsense, or all of what they see as “scientific content” in Mein Qurampf, they might be able to see the following about how things are in their little cult:

    falsehood = truth

  68. says

    Lokar3791 was merely answering a question from mirian rove about who KA was. His intention was not to praise her in any way.

  69. says

    Nothing ‘Abrahamic’ in Islam.

    If you take a closer look, only their claims remain.

    Just like Mohammedan science, the invention of Zero, the ‘golden age’, the discovery of America & Australia, etc etc…..

    Just like the Muslim Jesus, ‘Isa’, which is a completely different, blood curdling Mohammedan nightmare altogether.

  70. says

    “Nonsense. There is no Golden Rule in Islam. The Golden Rule of Christianity, summarized essentially from the 10 Commandments, are to be applied universally to all persons, whereas the “good deeds” of the Qur’an are intended for adult Muslim males in their associations with other adult Muslim males only.”

    You are right about the absence of the Golden Rule in Islam. This universal ethical principle would eliminate any supremacy and notion of “a chosen people” or “the best of people”. For short: It is incompatible with Islam.

    But you are wrong to relate the Golden Rule to the Decalogue.
    The origin of the Golden Rule is Confucian secular philosophy formulated about 2,500 years ago.

    It seems that the Golden Rule was adapted into Judaism and Christianity about 2,000 years ago. The Sage Hillel formulated a negative form of the golden rule. When asked to sum up the entire Torah concisely, he answered:

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

    (Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the “Great Principle”)

    In the New Testament Jesus Christ is quoted for a positive version of the Golden Rule:

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
    (Matthew 7:12).

    The Golden Rule is also contained in the second part of what Jesus Christ calls the greatest command:

    “And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31).

    The universality of the command to love they neighbor as yourself is made clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan:

    “One day an expert on Moses’ laws came to test Jesus’ orthodoxy by asking him this question: “Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?” Jesus replied, “What does Moses’ law say about it?” “It says,” he replied, “that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. And you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself.”

    “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you shall live!” The man wanted to justify (his lack of love for some kinds of people), so he asked, “Which neighbors?”

    Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, and beat him up and left him lying half dead beside the road. “By chance a Jewish priest came along; and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Jewish Temple-assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on. “But a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw him, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his donkey and walked along beside him till they came to an inn, where he nursed him through the night. The next day he handed the innkeeper two twenty-dollar bills and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the bandits’ victim?” The man replied, “The one who showed him some pity.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” (Luke 10:25-37).

    Just to clarify.

  71. says

    Clarification : “The Law” (in the context of Judaism and Christianity) can also refer to the Oral Law. But the early rabbis considered the Oral Law to be equally ancient alongside the written Scripture — which is what’s pertinent to whether “Hillel” (whoever that was) invented the rule of “do unto others …” But it’s really ridiculous to suggest “Hillel” borrowed it from the Chinese. I think Ole Hartling’s real point, however, is that Confucionism is an ethical system, non-theistic, and it teaches an excellent morality without benefit of supernatural revelation. I concur. Basic morality is a natural fact of human nature (although it needs to be frequently augmented and reaffirmed because a propensity to immorality is also a fact of human nature).

  72. says

    Ole Hartling, the Golden Rule in Judaism goes back way before Hillel. That’s why both Hillel and Jesus could say that the Golden Rule practically sums up the Torah. You can find the Golden Rule in Leviticus 19:34, presumably from around 1400 BC, almost a millennium before Confucius:

    The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

    Your idea of “chosen” probably does not take in the whole of the possible meaning.

  73. says

    Ole hartling wrote:
    “But you are wrong to relate the Golden Rule to the Decalogue.
    The origin of the Golden Rule is Confucian secular philosophy formulated about 2,500 years ago.”

    “It seems that the Golden Rule was adapted into Judaism and Christianity about 2,000 years ago.”

    Well, if that were the case, you could conterargue that the “Golden Rule” of Christianity coincides, or aleast, followed shortly after the birth of Christianity. It does not however, chronologically support the penning of the Old Testament. I claimed the “Golden Rule” was summarized from, specifically the Ten Commandments. That was more than 2000 years ago.

    That said, I appreciate and welcome your substantiating biblical comments, and I wholly agree about the non-deistic message of mutual peace of Confucianism, but I question your assertion of the true source of the concept of the “Golden Rule”. Sure it exists in the moral code of Confucianism, but no one correlates the “Golden Rule” with anyone but Christ.

  74. says

    Gerald, in one of my comments above I quoted the same passage you just quoted from the earliest Muslim biography of Muhammad. Despite that, there is a certain truth — call it a half-truth — in the Armstrong statement you quote. It’s true that Islamic law more or less forbids imposing Islamic faith by the sword. However Islam does permit using the sword to impose Islamic law on non-Muslims. Robert Spencer has pointed to that distinction many times. Islamic law then tends to be sufficiently oppressive to non-Muslims that they gradually convert to the Islamic faith in order to escape Islamic law’s discrimination against non-Muslims. That’s a major reason why non-Muslim populations are so tiny in many Muslim nations. So Armstrong’s statement has an element of truth, a half-truth.

  75. says

    Traeh,

    Many of the peoples of Arabia were indeed forced to convert by Muhammad and his men, according to the primary sources.

    I agree that dhimmis normally were not directly forced to convert, in the sense of having the blade put to their throat and being ordered to declare conversion to Islam. But let’s go back one step. Remember that under the classic offensive jihad scenario, when a Muslim ruler “invited” a neighboring population to embrace Islam, there were three “options,” namely, fight, or accept the terms of the pact of surrender (dhimma), or convert to Islam. Declaring conversion to Islam might well be the least dangerous route, given that death was one of the other possibilities. These conversions would rightly be viewed as forced. And as you suggest, even if the dhimma option was accepted, once under the oppressive conditions of the dhimma, people may have converted to Islam, and that too would be considered (by us as outsiders) as a form of forced conversion.

    Whether or not conversions are viewed as forced, or the degree to which they are forced, seems to depend on how powerful the Muslim population is compared to the non-Muslim population. When Muslims are weak and in the minority, there is proselytizing but not physical force. When Muslims are strong, you have sharia being enforced and the prospect of jihad against neighboring populations.

    There are forced conversions in Islam in other senses as well. Classically, Muslim children were required to be Muslims when they reached physical maturity; the penalty for apostasy was death. As you know, several countries today still have the death penalty for apostasy, and elsewhere where the laws are not in place, there is still very strong pressure from within Muslim families communities against apostasy. When an apostate does go public, he/she is required to return to Islam within a specified period of time or else be put to death or put in jail.

    We also hear stories about how Muslim militants may kidnap and threaten to kill non-Muslim captives. Under this scenario, the rule that Muslims should not kill someone they know to be a Muslim is something that can compel such non-Muslims to declare conversion to Islam. Here again the old principle of “embrace Islam and you will be safe” is at work. This principle itself is evidence that forced conversion is a central feature of Islam when Muslims have the upper hand.

  76. says

    K.Bond, perhaps you are right. But don’t forget, they, the Islamic leaders, are afraid of us too.

    Democratic nations, and especially Israel, may have the advantage in the long run, even.

    In TIME now there is the article about Ray Kurzweils “The singularity is near”. In 2045 mankind will reach immortality. Although that sounds megalomaniac and absurd, the crux of the article is that the pace of the increasing capacity AND intelligence of computers of robots is turning into a gallop.

    And it may well be Muslims who are running out of time. It is Muslims who may well fear that either computers and robots may take over mankind. Or that mankind will be so powerful and strong and well educated and democracy and freedom may well have such an appeal as to dwarf the appeal of Islam to any significant number of people in the 21st century.

    Could not the ideal of democratic people be very strong and intelligent technology, very high level of education for all mankind, especially women, who get much less children, and much more autonomy?

    That process is under way and Islam, even in Israel-Palestine, may well be up against an irresistable tide and under dire time-pressure.

  77. says

    Kinana, you are right.

    After I responded to Gerald, I began to think more about the qualifications I could have made in my response. I frequently quote canonical hadiths and passages from the earliest biography in which Muhammad supports use of the sword to force conversion. The truth seems to be that the question of conversion by the sword is a mixed issue. Your comment rightly tries to untangle the mix. If I had more time right now, I’d explore that direction further. But whatever the qualifications — and it would be useful to bring them all into the light — the fact remains that there are, as you also acknowledge, many situations in which Islamic doctrine forbids using the sword to directly force conversion to Islam. As you pointed out (and I pointed out also), the condition of dhimmitude does not use the sword, but does use various kinds of abuse, discrimination, and violence to pressure dhimmis to convert to Islam. You mention the death sentence for apostasy laws as forcing conversion. If that is the right way to look at it, then one could say that Islam permits the use of the sword to force certain kinds of conversion — namely that kind that apostates from Islam can be forced to undergo in returning to Islam. You spell out some other exceptions to the rule of not converting people to Islam by the sword. But the question is, once one has tallied up all the exceptions to the rule, can it still really be considered the “rule”? Dhimmitude does not immediately kill those who do not convert to Islam. But dhimmitude is violent to those who do not convert to Islam. Dhimmitude does not immediately kill, but it does torture, shall we say, over the long term. Forced conversion on the installment plan?

    I have to go to work. Until later, Kinana.

  78. says

    “What are the requirements for becoming a professor these days?”
    Hate Jews. Hate Christians. Hate Marriage and family. Hate democracy. Hate America and Israel. Hate white people. Hate reason. Hate integrity. Hate backbone. Hate men. Hate conservatism. Hate Western culture. Hate the tried and tested. Hate wisdom. Hate beauty. Hate love.

  79. says

    Traeh,

    Just to clarify–I don’t think dhimmitude is an exception to the policy of forced conversion. There is direct and quick forced conversion, such as with polytheists, and an indirect and slow forced conversion of the People of the Book through their subjection to the precarious, dangerous conditions of dhimmitude, the expense of the jizya and the land tax (kharaj), and the numerous restrictions and rules of sharia that tend to reward Muslims and punish non-Muslims.

    The only exceptions to this that come to mind are historical, e.g., cases where the Muslim rulers considered the dhimma to be so lucrative they rationalized ways to keep it in place and to not allow non-Muslims to convert to Islam.

    And this leads me to mention a broader principle: Whatever is most beneficial to the goals of Islam is what is best.

  80. says

    Zayd (Z),

    Z: “Hello brothers and sisters, you should all actually read the the Koran.”

    You presume too much. I’ve read it multiple times. Many others here have read it.

    Z:”It is simply a corrected version of the bible.”

    Not quite, though it does attempt to “correct” some things, like the idea that Jesus was the son of God (which the Quran denies), that he really was crucified (which the Quran denies), that the prophets were all Muslims (not Jews), and so on. But the Quran is in many places quite a vague and jumbled book, combining bits and pieces of distorted Judaism and Christianity, plus Arabic polytheistic elements, plus Muhammad’s own whims and desires.

    Z: “I feel you guys are being ignorant towards an entire faith that conforms and is more transcendent to Christianity than any other religion.”

    I think you don’t like the fact that we’re criticizing Islam and Muhammad. If we are ignorant as you say, this implies you saw something from us that you think is incorrect. Feel free to correct us.

    Z: “The Koran can teach people a message of love and unity. I am Muslim and I have no right to judge anyone on this site, nor any human being for we are all brothers and sisters. I wish people could realize this about my religion and make the distinct separation between my religious beliefs (Sunni, Follow the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) and those beliefs of radical sects of Islam, such as the Shiites of the radicalized nation of Iran, and of other radical groups (I.e Al Qaeda).”

    What about the 84% of Egyptian Muslims who want apostates to be put to death?

    Z: “However, how do any of us have the jurisdiction to even judge these groups based on their beliefs.”

    Easy. We’re humans and every human has the right to judge someone else.

    Z: “Can’t we all agree that our Lord and Creator has the final say, and ultimately the true responsibility in judging humanity. I ask you not to be so eager to judge people based on their beliefs, we all believe in the same God, and we all wish to seek salvation. Maybe through small differences in our practices.”

    We can in theory get along without having to agree on religious matters. The problem is that some Muslims insist that religious matters must be dealt with through various kinds of force, from outright violence, to more subtle applications of social pressures. But this is a question best addressed to those who believe that proselytizing by non-Muslim directed toward Muslims should be illegal and should be punished.

    Z: “However cant one respect the pursuit of salvation and True Happiness (that being eternal happiness?)”

    As long as you don’t try to force someone to follow your religious rules.

    Z: “”Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none other than the one god) … as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?” -The Messenger (SAW)”

    So non-Muslims are defective? Wonderful analogy you have there Zayd!

    Z: “After all Muslim is just the Arabic word for believer.”

    Well, Muslim (one who submits) does mean a believer in Islam, but more specific is mu’min. The Quran makes a distinction, e.g.:

    49:14-15 “The wandering Arabs say: “We believe.” Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Ye believe not, but rather say “We submit,” for the faith hath not yet entered into your hearts. Yet, if ye obey Allah and His messenger, He will not withhold from you aught of (the reward of) your deeds. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.”

    It’s that “striving with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah” part, and what goes with it, that tends to worry non-Muslims.

  81. says

    “Hello brothers and sisters, you should all actually read the the Koran. It is simply a corrected version of the bible…”

    “Corrected version of the Bible?”

    Ha! That’s a good one. Got another joke to share with us?

    Actually, quite a few posters on this site have read the Koran (and ahadith, and sira, as well as ‘Umdat al-Salik and other texts and commentaries) and I would venture to guess many of them have a better knowledge of Islamic texts, and the context in which they are appear, than you assume. And some, I would further venture, probably know them better than you, Zayd. So please spare us your condescention. We’ve heard it all before by Muslim and/or Liberal drive-by commenters such as yourself and find your remarks to be juvenile and puerile.

    If you have something of substance to add to the conversation, then of course you’re always welcome. But until then it would be better for you to spend a little time becoming familiar with the site before jumping in with your hasty and ill-considered remarks.

  82. says

    My compliments for the (for me and I suppose many) gratifying responses of Kinana and awake to Zayd.

    Zayd, I and others differ from you in that we do not believe in the God and afterlife that you do, but instead in mankind and in evolution and progress. I like to see myself as Darwinist. And mankind, with or without God’s help, is indeed very flawed and faulty, but also capable of great feats and progress, in the past and in future.

    The politicial system that affords mankind the best chance on progress seems to me the democratic political system, with all its essences. Now, with that the Islamic political system competes, even fights, that is what the Islamic political system blocks in Islamic countries.

    And we humans have the right to choose. And after choosing then we have the right to judge, in order to choose better.

    That is my context. And I ask you, if you really do understand all core Democratic principles? Like freedom of speech, autonomy of the individual, separation of church and state, submission to manmade constitution and laws? Not just fair elections which some Muslims seem to think.

    Can you come to grips with the great curiosity of many citizens to learn all they can about Islam? And with the countless ex-Muslims and critical Islam Experts out there in the world. Who have explained to countless readers, who have absorbed much of this, what Islam is all about?

    Islam-I; all holy texts, from A to Z, Islam-II, all sayings of influential Islamic clerics, leaders. And then Islam-III, how Islam is interpreted and practiced. Which varies endlessly.

    But this means that you, Zayd, are arrogant to assume that Jihad Watchers do not know the true Islam and you do. NO! If they do not yet fully know, many Jihad Watchers are bound to be as knowledgeable or more than you and the vast majority of Muslims about Islam-I and Islam-II. These cannot be changed and not denied and so they can be studied from A to Z and they are! By Non-Muslims! Sooner or later you have to deal with that.

    Your interpretation of Islam almost certainly is only what your teachers and you cherrypicked from Islam-I and -II. Your teacher and you almost certainly conveniently skipped-ignored much of Holy texts and sayings of professional Islam-clerics, that you did not like.

    In consequence it is highly uncertain that your beliefs are what Muhammed exactly meant. And it stands to reason that what those terrorists, radicals, as well as many Jihad Watchers, understood from Islam-I and -II could well be more like what Muhammed exactly meant.

    Or more likely, the Holy Texts just are too faulty, incomplete, self-contradicting, vaque and ambiguous which would mean all sorts of interpretations of them are partly valid and partly non-valid. But nonetheless final and non-updatable, non-improvable. Only multi-interpretable.

    Realizing this should make you more modest and humble about your most cherished beliefs, as many JihadWatchers no doubt also are.

  83. says

    “Bill Moyers and the elitists on NPR consider themselves “intellectuals”.

    They whine about and label dissenters of their upside down, inside out views as “anti-intellectuals”.”

    Aiken,

    Bill Moyers appears on PBS, not NPR, except in guest appearances. I like NPR. I think they present a complete view of the news, and their bias, if any, is minimal and often they point out their inclinations themselves.

    Further, there are several PBS or NPR interviews where you can find out exactly who Karen Armstrong is…or rather, what she is. I heard an interview on NPR where she defended the beheading of 800 or 900 Jews of Bani Quaraysh by Muhammed, on the basis that they broke the treaty of peace between them and Muhammed. Of course, Robert Spencer has pointed out that the inhabitants of Bani Quaraysh had taken no action against Muhammed, but had simply remained neutral. But for that, Karen Armstrong strongly defends the murder of the whole tribe in the most gruesome manner…and in an NPR interview.

    I guess the most charitable thing that can be said about Karen Armstrong is that she should be ignored.

  84. says

    Lets say for a second Demsci that hypothetically that you are correct and there is no accountability and we can choose to do whatever we wish in this life and if our deeds are bad we just die and come back as a kiwi, then fine it’s whatever. However, if I am right and there is true accountability then you my friend are barbecue.
    But Allah knows best!
    Chipotle anyone?? :)

  85. says

    Zayd wrote:

    I understand your concerns, and I have no intention of arguing the fact that there are radicals out there. But if someone is willing to strap a bomb to their chest and walk into a public arena and kill innocent people then truly they are not Muslim regardless of their claims.
    ……………………………

    They are “killing and are killed in the path of Allah”. If you have a problem with this, you need to take it up with your savage coreligionists, and not with the decent Kaffirs here.

    More:

    I just wanted to have my say in this discussion because I believe and along with many other people of faith and those without that the teachings of the Koran and the Hadiths have purpose. That purpose is to live every moment of your life in preparation for the day of judgement…
    ……………………………

    And all too many Muslims believe that the best way to prepare for the day of judgment is to murder Infidels. What answer do you have for them?

    More:

    and when using the term Islam/ Muslim in the regards to terrorism you are making false statements. A terrorist is not Muslim, he is either misguided or of some evil nature that does not fall under the definitive explanation to what it means to be a Muslim.
    ……………………………

    They are emulating their vicious model, the “Prophet” Muhammed. How are they wrong? Do you yourself have any problems with emulating the appalling Muhammed?

    More:

    And as for your statement that since we are humans and we have the right to judge eachother, and that is of course true. However, is it right?
    ……………………………

    Well, yes. While I agree that humans should not judge each other harshly for ordinary peccadilloes and honest errors, I believe that when we see other humans committing outrageous evils”murdering apostates, “honor killing” women, kidnapping, raping, and forcing conversions, blowing up civilians in markets, stoning rape victims to death”that it is in fact *incumbent upon us as decent people to judge such actions*, and to *judge them evil*.

    Kinana of Khaybar and Eastview, thank you for your excellent comments, as well.

  86. says

    Okay well Even if they are claiming to get make their way into paradise by killing “infidels” it still doesn’t change the fact that they are mistaken or either misled. If I made the claim that I was a Christian and then in the name of Jesus (Peace be upon him) I and a hypothetical radical christain organization made the effort to coerce men to walk into random markets every so often and martyr themselves/myself in his name and took as many people with me, would that make me Christian? Would that make Jesus (Peace be upon him) a preacher of tyranny and oppression? I would have to say in that situation I would be incredibly misinformed and mistaken about my religion, and any other Christian would be perfectly correct in making the statements about myself as I have about the Radical Jihadist. However when people came out of the woodworks and started calling Christians terrorists and fear mongerals to make generalizations on an entire religion and a prophet, much like men and women have with our beloved messenger, those people would also be incredibly mistaken and wicked in their attempts. Jesus and Muhammad were two of the most god fearing and pious men in the history of time, and have been revered by many men. (please take 4 minutes of your time to watch this video about some very influential men in our world for Tolstoy to Ghandi and their thoughts on the subject http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ_r49c6CUQ )It is a shame to see their names tainted by the exploitation and misrepresentation of a few misguided men. We must ask ourselves what is a TRUE Muslim and no terrorist qualifies. Thank you.

  87. says

    No takers? But you should be able to claim da’wa credit for trying. Does your offer count as extending a call to convert? What’s the penalty for refusal?

  88. says

    Zayd wrote:

    Okay well Even if they are claiming to get make their way into paradise by killing “infidels” it still doesn’t change the fact that they are mistaken or either misled.
    ……………………..

    Maybe they got the idea from the Qu’ran itself:

    Sura 4:74: “Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of Allah”whether he is slain or gets victory”soon shall We give him a reward of great value.”

    Sura 3:157: And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all they could amass.

    Then there’s this Hadith:

    Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah guarantees him who strives in His Cause and whose motivation for going out is nothing but Jihad in His Cause and belief in His Word, that He will admit him into Paradise (if martyred) or bring him back to his dwelling place, whence he has come out, with what he gains of reward and booty.”
    Sahih Bukhari 4:53:353

    and this one:

    It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said (to him): Abu Sa’id, whoever cheerfully accepts Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Mubammad as his Apostle is necessarily entitled to enter Paradise. He (Abu Sa’id) wondered at it and said: Messenger of Allah, repeat it for me. He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!
    Sahih Muslim 20:4645

    and another:

    Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The example of a Mujahid in Allah’s Cause– and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause—-is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”
    Sahih Bukhari 4:52:46

    and yet another:

    It has been reported on the authority of Jabir that a man eating dates asked: Messenger of Allah, where shall I be if I am killed? He replied: In Paradise. The man threw away the dates he had in his hand and fought until he was killed.
    Sahih Muslim 20:4678

    Ubada bin Samit narrates, that the Prophet (sallallahu “alayhe wassallam) said, “The shaheed is granted seven gifts from Allah:

    1) He is forgiven at the first drop of his blood.
    2) He sees his status in Jannah.
    3) He is dressed in the clothes of Iman.
    4) He is safe from the punishment of the grave.
    5) He will be safe from the Great fear of the Day of Judgment.
    6) A crown of honor will be placed on his head.
    7) He will intercede on behalf of 70 members of his family.”
    Musnad Ahmed, Tabrani, at-Targheeb wa at-Tarheeb, p.443, vol.2

    Really, I could go on, but why bother?

    More from Zayd:

    If I made the claim that I was a Christian and then in the name of Jesus (Peace be upon him) I and a hypothetical radical christain organization made the effort to coerce men to walk into random markets every so often and martyr themselves/myself in his name and took as many people with me, would that make me Christian?
    ……………………..

    “Hypothetical”, indeed, since Christians never do this. Muslims, however, seem to have an alarming propensity for this sort of thing.

    Also, the “Jesus” you cite here is the Muslim prophet “Isa”, who has nothing in common with the gentle, healing Jesus of the Gospels. “Isa’s” purpose in the last days is to return to earth to *kill Christians*. Many readers here are all too familiar with the difference.

    More:

    (please take 4 minutes of your time to watch this video about some very influential men in our world for Tolstoy to Ghandi and their thoughts on the subject

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ_r49c6CUQ
    ……………………..

    Well, that’s four minutes of my life I’ll never get back. *Of course* Muhammed was an extremely “influential” figure’so were Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Stalin and Mao. I would never doubt the influence of such men; but I would never deem them “models of conduct” anymore than I would the baleful “Prophet” Muhammed.

    More:

    And FYI i’m in all favor to Democracy, the peoples voice needs to be heard and thank Allah that is starting to become a demand in the middle east.
    ……………………..

    “Democracy” without guarantees of rights for minorities and the individual is no more than *mob rule*. Mob rule is, in and of itself, nothing to celebrate.

    More:

    However you must understand why there are such extreme punishments in Sharia law. Take for example in Saudi Arabia. Five times a day almost the entire population goes to pray and during those prayer times owners and employees of shops and other business must leave their stations to attend to their prayers. During this time you will find every store there empty of any shoppers or employees and the door will always be unlocked. And anyone can feel free to empty out the place, however, no one does because the punishment for theft is the loss of a hand. And because of this no one does steal. These laws are in place for a reason, they keep people from committing crimes because no one is brave enough to face the possible consequences, so you cannot say there are not good things that come with Islamic law.
    ……………………..

    “An 8-year-old boy’s arm is crushed as punishment for stealing bread in Iran”

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index_files/Islamic_Justice_4.jpg

    What a “good thing” to come with Islamic law! We just can’t wait to see such spectacles here in the civilized West! sarc/off

    More:

    And for murder the punishment is death, however if the family of the victim chooses to forgive you (which a true pious man following the hadiths would) you are free to go with a few recompensation fees to family…
    ……………………..

    Don’t forget to mention that the life of a woman is worth less than that of a man, and that of a Christian is worth less than a Muslim, and a Jew’s is worth less than that, until you get to a Zoroastrian, whose life is worth 1/15th that of a Muslim. While a Muslim may be executed for killing another Muslim, he never would be for offing an Infidel. How just! sarc/off

    I wonder why you didn’t include cases of stoning rape and incest victims to death? Don’t forget, that represents an integral part of the “compassion” of Shari’ah, as well.

  89. says

    Such incoherent ranting could very well be professionally diagnosed as schizophrenic, given the opportunity. Or would at least be associated with any type of dissociative disorder.

    I suggest you take your pills on time…

  90. says

    Your comparison to Christanity is nonsensical. Christ said to “turn the other cheak”, “love one another”. Mohammad commanded to “kill and be killed”, lead raiding parties against unarmed villagers and preached forcefully “converting” people to his religion.

    Those who do evil in the name of Christ do so CONTRARY to Christ’s Teaching. Those who do evil in the name of Mohammad (quoting his very words) do so FOLLOWING his teaching.

    You are very ignorant of your own religion, or you are yet another liar. (See Rev 21:8)