Despite being unable to defend his remarks about Islam when challenged to do so at the America’s Truth Forum, Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has repeated and expanded his false charges about me:
However the Muslim allies of the West, like General Pervaiz Musharraf, are very unlucky. On one side, their friends like George W. Bush have always praised their efforts in the war against terror, but on the other side Western writers like Robert Spencer are creating an impression that the real problem is not radical Islamism: but Islam as such. Robert Spencer claimed that Islam is a violent religion, which orders Muslims to kill all the Jews and Christians, he is also alleging that the Holy Quran allows Muslims to lie and so Muslims should change the Quran. Robert Spencer is wrong. Islam allows Muslim men to marry Jewish and Christian women, without changing their religion. What does it mean? Islam is a tolerant religion. Robert Spencer cannot deny the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself struck a peace-deal with Jews of Medina, if our Prophet could have a peace-deal with Jews, we can also have a peace deal with Jews and Christians.
I don’t understand why some Western writers are trying to impose a radical form of Islam on all the Muslims.I am not a Muslim scholar, but — for me – Islam is very simple, and according to my understanding, Islam is not violent, it is peaceful. Islam says that the blood of an innocent non-Muslim is equal to the blood of a Muslim. The Quran speaks for truth, there is no permission in the Quran for lying. Robert Spencer cannot malign Islam with wrong facts and figures. He cannot mix-up real Islam with extremism.
I believe it is a peculiar species of dishonor for someone to repeat claims after already having declined to defend them, and to expand upon them with falsehoods. But for the record, here are Mir’s assertions and my replies:
Robert Spencer claimed that Islam is a violent religion, which orders Muslims to kill all the Jews and Christians…
I have never said this — not at the America’s Truth Forum symposium in Las Vegas where I met Hamid Mir, or anywhere else. I challenge Hamid Mir to produce a quotation by me to substantiate his claim, or else to retract it.
…he is also alleging that the Holy Quran allows Muslims to lie and so Muslims should change the Quran.
As I told Hamid Mir in Las Vegas, this is in Qur’an 3:28 and 16:106. Don’t believe me — take it from Ibn Kathir, who is a mainstream Qur’an commentator. In his commentary on 3:28, Ibn Kathir says that it means that when Muslims “in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers,” they may “show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda said, ‘We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’ Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, ‘The Tuqyah [taqiyyah] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.'”
Let Hamid Mir challenge such teachings from Ibn Kathir. I didn’t make them up.
Robert Spencer is wrong. Islam allows Muslim men to marry Jewish and Christian women, without changing their religion. What does it mean? Islam is a tolerant religion. Robert Spencer cannot deny the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself struck a peace-deal with Jews of Medina, if our Prophet could have a peace-deal with Jews, we can also have a peace deal with Jews and Christians.
Actually, the fact that Muslim men can marry Jewish and Christian women, but Jewish and Christian men cannot marry Muslim women, shows just the opposite: traditional Islamic law is anything but tolerant. And as for Muhammad’s peace treaty with the Jews, by the end of his life he had killed or exiled all the Jews of Arabia. It would be nice if that treaty could be the basis for hope, but the fact that Muhammad himself broke it doesn’t bode well for its utility as a model.
I don’t understand why some Western writers are trying to impose a radical form of Islam on all the Muslims.
This is, of course, a charge that Dean Esmay and others have made: that by speaking of the way jihadists use the Qur’an and Islamic theology, I am only encouraging them. But whether coming from Mir or Esmay or anyone else, this charge is false, and hides an unwillingness by self-proclaimed moderate Muslims to do what they must do: confront and combat the jihad ideology. I am not trying to impose radical Islam on all the Muslims. I am trying to get self-proclaimed moderates like Hamid Mir to confront the elements of Islam that need reforming instead of simply denying that those elements exist. For if they don’t confront the jihadists, the jihadists will continue using those Islamic teachings to recruit and motivate terrorists. But it looks as if Hamid Mir, like so many others, would rather confront me.
Islam says that the blood of an innocent non-Muslim is equal to the blood of a Muslim.
Then why did the Sufi Sheikh Sultanhussein Tabandeh in his book A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, say this: “Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim”¦then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain”? Did I tell him that?
Since Hamid Mir is again making assertions about Islam and then denying that he actually knows anything about Islam, I doubt he will agree to a debate or dialogue with me, but in any case I nevertheless hereby issue the invitation to him to do so.