The overweeningly arrogant and narcissistic Ahmadiyya Muslim apologist Qasim Rashid labors assiduously to proselytize for his tiny sect, which most Muslims deem heretical and outside the pale of Islamic orthodoxy, and mainstream media outlets routinely give him a platform to do so — a platform they would never give to Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Buddhist apologists. This is even worse because Rashid has an ever-lengthening history of dishonesty: previously he has whitewashed Muhammad’s support for torture and the reality of jihad violence and Sharia oppression; dissembled about the Qur’an’s sanction of deception of unbelievers; lied about the presence of violent passages in the Qur’an; lied about the Qur’an’s sanction of beating disobedient women; lied about the nature of Sharia; and called for limitations on the freedom of speech and expression to outlaw behavior and speech some Muslims may find offensive. When challenged about the “facts” he has presented, he (like virtually all other Islamic supremacists) responds with furious ad hominem contempt, but no substance.
Today in the Huffington Post, he is lying about Muhammad’s stance toward the persecution of Christians. Why does the media, even the far-Left media such as the HuffPo, continue to give this proven serial liar a platform? Because he tells them what they so desperately want to hear: that Islam is benign, that the real problem is “right-wing Islamophobes,” etc.
“ISIS Violates The Consensus Of Mainstream Islam By Persecuting Christians,” by Qasim Rashid, Huffington Post, August 27, 2015:
In central Syria, Daesh (“ISIS”) recently destroyed an ancient monastery and a church. This, after abducting several Christians, in what has become the group’s long scourge on humanity. While global Muslim leaders have categorically condemned Daesh, Daesh continues to insist their acts are permitted — even commanded — by Islam.
But if, as Daesh claims, Islam obliges Muslims to raze monasteries, kidnap Christians and rape women, then several questions arise.
For example, how then did an ancient Christian monastery survive this long? Built in 432, or roughly 180 years before Islam’s advent, this monastery withstood nearly 1,500 years of Muslim rule in peace.
Likewise, how did Syria’s 2.3 million Christians, or 10 percent of the Syrian population, survive all these centuries? For centuries, Muhammad and Muslims have practiced a religion foreign to the one Daesh practices.
The answer to this is very simple, and it isn’t the one that Rashid proffers, that “Muhammad and Muslims have practiced a religion foreign to the one Daesh practices.” The real answer is that Islamic law doesn’t command Muslims simply to kill Christians indiscriminately, but to offer them three choices: conversion to Islam; subjugation as dhimmis, denied basic rights under the rule of Islamic authorities; or death. Syria’s Christians and the monks of the monastery lived as dhimmis for centuries, until the Ottoman Empire, under Western pressure, abolished the dhimma in the 1850s. After that Christians in the Ottoman domains, and the former Ottoman domains after the fall of the empire, enjoyed almost equal rights with the Muslims — until the advent of the Islamic State, which attempted to reassert Islamic law over them.
Even the Islamic State didn’t just murder Christians outright, but first ordered them to pay the jizya, the tax specified for the subjugated dhimmis is Qur’an 9:29, and return to dhimmi status. When the Christians refused, they were then considered to be kuffar harbi, infidels at war with Islam — an established category in Islamic law — and killed. In every step of this progression, the Islamic State acted in accord with Islamic law, the Qur’an, and Muhammad’s example — as illustrated by the words attributed to Muhammad in this hadith: “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) That’s exactly what the Islamic State did, as you can see here.
Contrary to Daesh’s ignorance and propaganda, Prophet Muhammad sought to protect the rights of Christians.
To begin with, the Qur’an 3:114 praises Christians and refers to them as “the People of the Book,” afforded immense respect.
How much respect? Enough to be conquered and subjugated. Here is a Qur’an verse Rashid (unsurprisingly) leaves out of his soothing little farrago of misdirection: “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.” (9:29)
The Qur’an 2:63 additionally acknowledges that Christians can and will attain divine reward.
Here’s another Qur’an verse that Rashid doesn’t quote: “And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” (Qur’an 3:85) How, then, to explain that Qur’an 2:63 seems to say that Christians will enter Paradise, if only those who profess Islam will avoid being “losers” in the “Hereafter”? The Qur’an also says this about those “respected” People of the Book: “Indeed, the disbelievers among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of creatures.” (Qur’an 98:6) The “disbelievers among the People of the Book” are the Jews and Christians who don’t become Muslims; 2:63’s promise of Paradise to the Christians only refers to those Christians who accept Islam.
Think this is just the tendentious reading of a greasy Islamophobe? Fine. Don’t take my word for it. Consult the mainstream Muslim translators of the Qur’an, Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, as well as Mohammed Asad, who all felt it necessary to add parenthetical glosses to 2:63 to make it clear that the verse means that Jews and Christians (as well as Sabians, whose identity is disputed) will be saved only if they become Muslims. Qur’an.com adds “before Prophet Muhammad” in brackets after “Jews or Christians or Sabeans,” making it clear that those three could only be saved as such before the advent of Islam, but now they must convert to Islam to be saved. And according to Ibn Abbas, this verse was abrogated by 3:85. And a saying attributed to Muhammad by Tabari has the Prophet of Islam saying that only those Christians who died before his coming will be saved, but those who have heard of him and yet rejected his prophetic claim will not be.
Moreover, the Qur’an 22:40-41 explicitly forbids destroying any house of worship, including churches.
“For, if Allah had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques — in which Allah’s name is abundantly extolled would surely have been destroyed” (22:39–22:40). This passage would indeed seem to be a blanket prohibition against the destruction of churches; proof that jihadists who commit that act do so in defiance of their religion. Unfortunately, though, this is not all that the Quran says. The Quran many times reaffirms that its message is the same as that of the Torah and the Gospels, and calls on Jews and Christians to note that and accept it as divine revelation. Allah tells Muhammad: “And We have revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it” (5:48), after affirming that in the Gospel was “guidance and light, confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous” (5:46). Those who do not accept the new revelation are castigated and threatened with punishment, as we have just seen: “Indeed, the disbelievers among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of creatures” (98:6).
Remember, the passage that Rashid invokes forbids destruction of any house of worship in which “Allah’s name is abundantly extolled.” While Allah’s name may indeed be abundantly extolled in the churches and synagogues of those who acknowledge Muhammad and the Quran, the same cannot be said of the churches and synagogues of “they who disbelieved among the People of the Book.” This is how the Islamic State, in destroying churches and other houses of worship in Iraq and Syria, can justify its actions on solid Islamic grounds. But Rashid does not address this— thereby rendering his piece powerless to refute the actions of the Islamic State, however comforting his arguments may sound to uninformed non-Muslims.
Irrespective of what religion people follow, the Qur’an 60:9 commands Muslims to be kind and equitable to all those who do not persecute them and drive them out of their homes on account of their faith. Likewise, the Qur’an 8:61-63 forbids fighting anyone, regardless of faith, who “inclines towards peace.”
Rashid here omits all mention of Qur’anic passages mandating offensive jihad against unbelievers: 9:29, quoted above, which commands Muslims to fight the People of the Book for no reason other than that they are People of the Book, and others such as this one: “And fight them until there is no fitnah and the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Qur’an 8:39). If Muslims have to fight unbelievers until religion is all for Allah, it can hardly be said that they should only fight in a defensive context, or should lay down their arms when they’re not being persecuted.
In a 2012 letter to Emeritus Pope Benedict, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said, “If any Church or other place of worship stands in need of protection, they will find us standing shoulder to shoulder with them.”
Yet three years after this, in 2015, Muslims in Niger torched 70 churches in a twisted bid for “revenge” for cartoons of Muhammad, with which the Christians in Niger had absolutely no involvement. No Ahmadi Muslims were seen “standing shoulder to shoulder” with the Christians of Niger.
Prophet Muhammad exemplified the Qur’an’s commandment to protect the rights of Christians. Over a thousand years before America’s founding fathers guaranteed religious freedom for all Americans, Muhammad penned a groundbreaking “covenant to those who adopt Christianity near and far.”
We are with [Christians]! Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God, I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Around 628 AD and after gaining power, Prophet Muhammad placed his seal on this letter and sent it to the Christians of St. Catherine’s Monastery at Sinai. The letter survives to this day, as does the monastery.
While Daesh attacks Christians under the guise of religious authority, Muhammad’s letter guaranteed Christians protection from all attacks. He ensured Christians had complete freedom of religion and expression. While Daesh destroys monastery after monastery, Muhammad’s letter explicitly ordered, “No one is to destroy a house of their religion, [or] to damage it,” as doing so would, “spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet.” And while Daesh rapes women, Muhammad guaranteed Christian women autonomy in marriage and in worship.
This ancient document, known as the Achtiname, is indeed supposed to have been written by Muhammad around 628 to the monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. Unfortunately, it is of even more doubtful authenticity than everything else about Muhammad’s life. Muhammad is supposed to have died in 632; the Muslims conquered Egypt between 639 and 641. The document says of the Christians, “No one shall bear arms against them.” So were the conquerors transgressing against Muhammad’s command issued just over a decade before their invasion of Egypt?
There is no mention of this document in any remotely contemporary Islamic sources. Among other anomalies, it bears a drawing of a mosque with a minaret, although minarets weren’t put on mosques until long after the time Muhammad is supposed to have lived, which is why Muslim hardliners consider them unacceptable innovation (bid’a).
The document exempts the monks of St. Catherine’s monastery from paying the jizya. While it is conceivable that Muhammad, believing he bore the authority of Allah, would exempt them from an obligation specified by Allah himself in the Qur’an (9:29), the Achtiname specifies that Christians of Egypt are to pay a jizya only of twelve drachmas. Yet according to the seventh-century Coptic bishop John of Nikiou, who had firsthand knowledge of what happened when the Arabs invaded Egypt, Christians in Egypt “came to the point of offering their children in exchange for the enormous sums that they had to pay each month.”
The Achtiname, in short, bears all the earmarks of being an early medieval Christian forgery, perhaps developed by the monks themselves in order to protect the monastery and Egyptian Christians from the depredations of zealous Muslims. Modern scholars doubt its authenticity, and the prevailing opinion among Muslims is likewise dubious.
Muhammad advanced this teaching from the Qur’an 4:20 which declares, “It is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will.” Thus, the Qur’an resoundingly rejected any permission to rape — let alone commandment.
The seizure of Infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6)
The rape of captive women is also sanctioned in Islamic tradition: “Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa’id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): 0 Abu Sa’id, did you hear Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-’azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.” (Muslim 3371)
It is also in Islamic law: “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.” (Umdat al-Salik O9.13)
Narrated ‘Aisha and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas: When the last moment of the life of Allah’s Apostle came he started putting his ‘Khamisa’ on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” The Prophet was warning (Muslims) of what those had done. (Bukhari 1.8.427)
It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim. (Muslim 4366)
Anyway, Rashid concludes with some nonsense about a golden age of Islam, and this final flourish:
We can revive that golden age for people of all faiths and no faith by adhering to the true Islam that Prophet Muhammad established — one of universal religious freedom and equality for all humanity.
“We can revive that golden age for people of all faiths and no faith by adhering to the true Islam that Prophet Muhammad established…” Would the Huffington Post ever publish an article that declared that “we” could revive a golden age — any golden age — for all people by adhering to true Judaism or true Christianity? What do you think?