Who else? Murad Ali Baig knows that the Jews are, according to the Qur'an, the worst enemies of the Muslims (cf. 5:82). Of course, the Jews might have put that passage in as well. You never know what those Zionist black arts can accomplish!
"The burden of history," by Murad Ali Baig in the Hindustan Times, October 21 (thanks to all who sent this in):
On October 9, Malala Yusufzai, 14, was shot by the Taliban for promoting education among girls. On September 9, the US ambassador to Libya was killed by extremists protesting against a film that allegedly insulted the Prophet. Such acts of crime are not allowed in the Koran or Hadis, the most-sacred sources of Islamic law. Both say little on blasphemy, heresy or sacrilege, issues that seem to upset Muslims today. Naturally, very few dare to question the scriptural authority when Muslim clerics themselves pronounce the death sentences. But such actions are against the wishes of the Prophet who said: "… anyone who sets another… even an ant… on fire commits the greatest sin and is destined to the fires of Hell".
The Koran does not contain a legal code and most of the legal injunctions were to regularise pre-Islamic tribal customs. After the death of Muhammad in 632 CE, the Islamic polity changed fundamentally: the civil and religious order expanded beyond Arabia to create a huge Arab-Islamic imperial caliphate.
As Islam became an urban movement, it became difficult for the caliphs to administer their complex, multi-cultural realms without mosques, centres of learning, bureaucracies and other institutions essential for governance. Islamic law had to evolve continuously with changing social and economic pressures during the period of the Ummayids, Abbasids, the Caliphs of Cordoba, the Seljuks and Turks and finally during the years of decline after the rise of the European nations.
The main source of Islamic authority was the Koran and Hadis but many new laws were derived from the Jewish Torah, which was later included in the 104 holy books of Islam. One of its five books is the Book of Leviticus that covers Jewish law.
This book, belonging to an era when small bands of Jews were oppressed, lists all 'The Lord's' laws that are harsh and has many prohibitions concerning circumcision, food, suppression of women and lists draconian punishments like death by stoning, burning, strangulation and beheading for a long list of offences, including adultery, worshipping other gods, blasphemy, witchcraft, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.
By contrast to Yahweh, the angry god of the Jews, the Allah of Muhammad was a merciful god. Some scholars believe that many Jews who had converted to the triumphant Islam were probably responsible for fusing Jewish laws into the evolving Islamic tradition after the 10th century.
If this were remotely true and not just churned out to throw sand in the eyes of the kuffar, then there would be a movement within Islam to jettison the death penalty for adultery, apostasy, etc. But there isn't.
This may explain why the laws of the Prophet and the laws of the later Islamic clerics are different. Muhammad had, for instance, prescribed 100 lashes for a woman who committed adultery, which was much milder than stoning her to death as was the later practice.
Actually, numerous hadiths depict Muhammad enjoining stoning. Here are a few. The caliph Umar, according to Islamic tradition one of Muhammad's closest companions, even maintained that it was originally in the Qur'an:
'Umar said, "I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, "We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book," and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession." Sufyan added, "I have memorized this narration in this way." 'Umar added, "Surely Allah's Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him." (Bukhari, vol. 8, bk. 82, no. 816)
"Allah's Apostle" is, of course, Muhammad, who did indeed carry out stonings. Here is the hadith in which he challenges the rabbis about stoning, and in which there is amidst the barbarism and brutality a final act of love and compassion:
The Jews came to Allah's Apostle and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah's Apostle said to them, "What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?" They replied, (But) we announce their crime and lash them." Abdullah bin Salam said, "You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm." They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, "Lift your hand." When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, "Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. ('Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones." (Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 56, no. 829)
Even the monkeys practiced stoning, according to another hadith:
During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them. (Bukhari, vol. 5, bk. 58, no. 188)
Muhammad's example is, of course, normative for Islamic behavior, since "verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much" (Qur'an 33:21).
The article goes on:
Similarly, the Jewish laws of that time regarding blasphemy, heresy and apostasy, not found in the Koran, are now pronounced even by small town clerics. The bigoted mullahs do not also seem to understand that these ancient laws can be misused by the enemies of Islam to cause death and disturbance.
These are not Jewish laws. They are Islamic laws rooted in hadiths that Muslim scholars consider authentic.
It is now necessary to educate the Muslims, who memorise the Koran in Arabic (a language they do not understand) making them vulnerable to bigots who give their own distorted interpretations. For peace, leading Islamic scholars must use the media to explain the words of the Prophet and not the draconian injunctions of a repressive outdated law.