As I’ve said many times, the politically correct media makes heroes out of people today not because what they say is true or good, but because they reflect the views they want people to adopt — even if the objects of their affection are utter mediocrities or worse. So it is in this case. Reza Aslan, who has repeatedly shown himself to be an immature, foul-mouthed creep, continues to be lionized in the mainstream media because his book Zealot (which I increasingly suspect was ghost-written, so obvious is Aslan’s abysmal ignorance of the subject matter and only dim awareness of how to write a grammatically correct sentence) confirms the societal desire to be rid of Christianity.
Here, he expresses the belief that Christianity teaches reincarnation. It doesn’t. He claims that Muhammad established a society in which “everyone was worth exactly the same.” He didn’t. In reality, according to Islamic tradition, Muhammad taught as divine revelation that non-Muslims should submit to Muslim rule and accept subjugation: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).
If the People of the Book are paying the jizya, a poll tax, with willing submission, and feeling themselves subdued, they are not equals of the Muslims, but are subservient to them. Muhammad himself taught the same thing, saying (according to a hadith):
Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim 4294)
If the “People of the Book” are submitting to the Muslims and paying a tax from which the Muslims are exempt, they are hardly “worth exactly the same” as the Muslims. Reza Aslan continues to embarrass himself; he is fortunate, however, to have all the Right Opinions, such that the mainstream media never notes his stupid statements.
“An Interview with Reza Aslan on Islam, Enemies of the State, and Pres. Obama,” by Sarah Harvard for DL Magazine, December 24:
…HARVARD: I have a few questions to ask you and a lot of it stems from my interactions with others on the topic of Islam. I was born Muslim. I grew up Muslim. However, all my life I have been questioning my faith. At one moment in my life I considered myself agnostic. Yet, there is this passion and a fire burning inside that has made me grow into a strong believer in Islam. I believe that this is precisely why I find you and your work so fascinating. Like me, you were born Muslim. However, you spent a great portion of your life as a convert to Christian Evangelism, but eventually became a born-again Muslim. I”m interested as to what led you to come back to Islam. Why did you decide to become a Muslim again?
ASLAN: It has to do with the symbolism and metaphors that Islam provides to think about God. All of that actually made more sense to me. When I think of God, I think about it in the terms of radical unity, which Islam talks about, and less in the terms of the trinity and the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about. That’s it. My faith hasn’t changed. The language in which I use my faith has changed.
HARVARD: The Qu”ran [sic] is open to interpretation and can provide justifiable reasons for many different actions based on those interpretations. I find this is a great challenge not only for the Qu”ran [sic], but for any holy scripture. This causes a great deal of strife for young Muslims who have some small doubts in their faith. My question to you is how can these individuals believe in Islam, or any religion for that matter, without any concrete, concise scripture?
ASLAN: Well I don’t think they should have faith in the book. I think they should have faith by using the book in the way it was intended: to help guide them; to give them a language; a means of making sense of their faith. They shouldn’t be slaves to their faith. Their faith should not be in the scripture, but in God. Secondly, this is a scripture that has been interpreted in thousands of different ways and there is nothing wrong with interpreting it in your own way.
HARVARD: Okay. Now, let’s talk about the “enemies of the state.” You have classified Jesus (pbuh) and Muhammad (pbuh) as enemies of the state in their time. I’ll be honest, I”m a libertarian. I”m for individual liberty and limited powers of authority. Personally, I see Prophet Muhammad as someone who had rebelled against the Quraish tribes; the authority.
ASLAN: Yeah I agree.
HARVARD: However, a lot of people see Muhammad as a tyrant too. They see him as someone who had implemented these doctrines, hadiths, rules, and regulations on how Muslims should live their life, as told to him by Allah through Angel Gabriel. To others, it simply doesn’t make any sense and is seen as authoritarian. In those regards, would you still consider Muhammad as someone who was an enemy of the state?
ASLAN: There is a big difference between the society that Muhammad revolted against and the society that he built; that he himself built, not what his followers did. What he himself built every night and day. The society that he revolted against was one in which the power was in the hands of a few individuals. There was a huge gap between the wealthy and poor. It was a society in which the weakest and the poorest of society were cast aside. However, the society in which he built was one in which power was equally divided. A society where everyone was worth exactly the same. A society in which the chief protection was for the ones who were poor and weak; those who could not take of themselves. I would say that alone indicates that the notion of him as a tyrant would be a misunderstanding, and he was neither a caliph or a king.
HARVARD: This brings me to my final question. We”ve been talking about the concept, or this idea, of “enemies of a state.” It is no doubt today that Muslims are often seen in that regard, but more unfavorably than how we would have viewed Muhammad and Jesus, as we have discussed. Today Muslim-Americans are affected by many policies implemented through both the Bush and Obama administration. On one hand we have domestic policies that infringe upon many civil liberties among Americans, whether that may be the NDAA or the PATRIOT Act. On the other hand, Muslim-Americans are also tackled with the ever expansive foreign policy of the United States through covert operations and the US drone warfare program. To close it off for tonight I’d like to hear your opinions, or thoughts, on President Obama’s current national security and foreign policy that has largely targeted and affected many Muslim-Americans.
ASLAN: I don’t think he can actually be held responsible for the national security of our state nor could he be held responsible for the illegal observation and intelligence gathering of American Muslims. That is sort of beyond his purview and it did start much, much earlier than his administration. However, he could be held responsible for every non-combatant killed by a drone, which is thousands of people”¦ And that’s a war crime– I mean there is no other way you can say it. When you break the international law, that’s a war crime. So he bears a lot of responsibility for the drone attacks, but I don’t think you can blame him on the fact that the FBI are spying on Muslims….