Islam – The Religion of Peace and Tolerance ???

Islam – The Religion of Peace and Tolerance ???

© David Burton 2020

The Religion of Peace

     In the three monotheistic religions that originated in the biblical land of Israel – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – there have been and, today, there are three types of adherents: 1. the followers who are not devout and who are what is termed “secular”; 2. those who are moderate in the practice of the religion and shun the more extreme aspects of the religion; and, 3. those followers who are extremists in their practice of the religion.

     Martyrdom in Judaism and Christianity has always been in defense of the lives and practices of the respective religions. Martyrdom in the Muslim faith, particularly today, has a wholly different meaning for the Islamic extremists – Muslim extremists consider suicide acceptable and even glorify it when it is committed in the act of murdering non-adherents of their form of Islam. Murdering of innocent civilians, forced conversions, enslavement, rape and forced marriages of women and even of female children are abhorrent to Christians and Jews alike – even to the extremists in their faiths. Martyrdom to conduct such acts is not martyrdom but muder - plain and simple! It is totally unacceptable to Christian and Jew alike!

     Judaism today has its ultra-Orthodox sects - “Haredim” or "those who tremble". The Haredi extremists mostly commit acts of intolerance and violence against other Jews because they do not follow the Haredi interpretation of the tenets of Judaism. Occasionally there are violent acts committed by Jewish extremists against non-Jews, primarily in modern Israel against “Palestinians” in retribution for terrorist acts against Israelis. Orthodox Jews, non-religious Jews and even most ultra-Orthodox Jews vehemently condemn the actions of these Jewish extremists.

     To a large extent, Christian extremism has gone by the wayside. Forced conversions were once acceptable – no longer. Acts of murder, rape and pillage are no longer tolerated. Still, violent acts in the name of Christianity continue to be committed and tolerated by some, mostly in the form anti-Semitism. Witness the acts of anti-Semitism occurring today in in Europe. Christian violence against Muslims also occurs – In 2014, in the Central African Republic, “Tens of thousands of Muslims {fled} to neighboring countries by plane and truck as Christian militias stage{d} brutal attacks, shattering the social fabric of this war-ravaged nation.
     “In towns and villages as well as . . . in the capital, Christian vigilantes wielding machetes . . . killed scores of Muslims, who are a minority . . . and burned and looted their houses and mosques . . . Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled their homes.” (Ref. 1)

     On the other hand, Muslim extremism today remains a violent scourge that plagues Africa, the Middle-East and the rest of the world. As practiced by its radical adherents, it is the one religion where all the atrocities and obscenities alluded to above are not only tolerated but encouraged. Muslim extremists carry out their vicious acts not only against non-adherents to their religion but even against their co-religionists, e.g. Sunni vs. Shia vs. Alawite, etc.

     Islam is often called the religion of peace and tolerance. Unfortunately, many adherents of the religion behave in a fashion that is inimical to this concept. Also unfortunate is the failure of more moderate and liberal Muslims to come forward to rescue their religion from the fanatics that have co-opted their religion and given Islam such a bad name in the non-Muslim world. Until more moderate and liberal Muslims come forward to gain control of their religion, we in the non-Muslim world cannot trust Islam or put any faith in their claims that Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance – especially when these disingenuous words come from the lips of the extreme elements in Islam.

     In what follows, we examine the so-called myths of Islam. What we are in fact doing is exposing the extremist views of the radical and fundamentalist Muslim zealots who are mired in their concepts of the Islamic religion as it was when it originated in 610 AD. Hopefully, these are not the views of the great majority of modern Muslims. The views of these Islamic fundamentalists are no different than the views of many ultra-orthodox religious extremists in other religions – these extremists see themselves as God’s holy messengers; they, and only they, know God’s message; it is their divine mission to impose their view of God’s laws on every other human being on this planet; these laws were delivered at the inception of their religion to their prophet and are rigid, unchangeable, and they are intolerant of any other interpretation other than theirs; the only choices available to the “non-believer” are “submission or death!”

     The moderate or modern members of the Islamic faith have progressed, as have the more moderate and liberal members of nearly all other faiths, to embrace a more humanistic and tolerant interpretation of the underpinnings and objectives of their religion. The internal struggle within the Muslim religion, as it has been and, to a certain degree, still is within most other religions, is to liberalize and modernize the religion and bring it into agreement with the norms of the modern-day world without abandoning the basic tenets of the religion.

     Muslims often complain of popular "misconceptions" about their religion in the West.

     Taking a hard look, however, we find that the most prevalent myths of Islam are the ones held by Muslims and Western apologists. The only glaring exception to this is the misconception that all Muslims are alike - they aren't, of course! But even Muslims often believe this as well, as evidenced by the various contrary factions insisting that they are the true Muslims. Those who disagree with them are either infidels, hijackers, or hypocrites. Don't be fooled! Hear the myths, but know the truth. So what are some of the myths about Islam and what are the truths? Is Islam the religion of peace and tolerance?

Islam Means Peace

The Myth: Lesser educated Muslims sometimes claim that the root word of Islam is ‘al-Salaam,’ which is “peace” in Arabic.

The Truth: An Arabic word only has one root. The root word for Islam is ‘al-Silm,’ which means ‘submission’ or ‘surrender.’ There is no disagreement about this among Islamic scholars. al-Silm (submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word.

     “Submission and peace can be very different concepts, even if a form of peace is often brought about through forcing others into submission. As the modern-day Islamic scholar, Ibrahim Sulaiman, puts it, ‘Jihad is not inhumane, despite its necessary violence and bloodshed, its ultimate desire is peace which is protected and enhanced by the rule of law.’
     “In truth, the Quran not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule. [Emphasis mine] This has inspired the aggressive history of Islam and its success in conquering other cultures.

"Islam Respects Women as Equals

The Myth: The Quran places men and women on equal foundation before Allah. Each person is judged according to his or her own deeds. Women have equal rights under Islamic law.

The Truth: Merely stating that individuals will be judged as such by Allah does not mean that they have equal rights and roles, or that they are judged by the same standards.

     “There is no ambiguity in the Quran, the life of Muhammad, or Islamic law as to the inferiority of women to men despite the efforts of modern-day apologists to salvage Western-style feminism from scraps and fragments of verses that have historically held no such progressive interpretation.
     “After military conquests, Muhammad would dole out captured women as war prizes to his men. In at least one case, he advocated that they be raped in front of their husbands. Captured women were made into sex slaves by the very men who killed their husbands and brothers. There are four Quranic verses in which ‘Allah’ makes clear that a Muslim master has full sexual access to his female slaves, yet there is not one that prohibits rape.
     “The Quran gives Muslim men permission to beat their wives for disobedience. . . It plainly says that husbands are ‘a degree above’ wives. The Hadith says that women are intellectually inferior, and that they comprise the majority of Hell’s occupants.
     “Muslim women are not free to marry whom they please, as are Muslim men. Their husband may also bring other wives (and slaves) into the marriage bed. And she must be sexually available to him at any time (as a field ready to be tilled, according to the holy book of Islam).
     “Muslim women do not inherit property in equal portion to males. This is somewhat ironic given that Islam owes its existence to the wealth of Muhammad's first wife, which would not otherwise have been inherited by her given that she had two brothers and her first husband had three sons.
     “A woman's testimony in court is considered to be worth only half that of a man’s, according to the Quran.
     “If a woman wants to prove that she was raped, then there must be four male witnesses to corroborate her account. Otherwise she can be jailed or stoned to death for confessing to ‘adultery.’ {Emphasis mine]
     “Given all of this, it is quite a stretch to say that men and women have ‘equality under Islam’ based on obscure theological analogies or comparisons. This is an entirely new ploy that is designed for modern tastes and disagrees sharply with the reality of Islamic law and history.

Jihad Means 'Inner Struggle'

The Myth: Islam’s Western apologists sometimes claim that since the Arabic word, Jihad, literally means ‘fight’ or ‘struggle’, it refers to an ‘inner struggle’ rather than holy war.

The Truth: In Arabic, ‘jihad’ means struggle. In Islam, it means holy war.

     “The Quran specifically exempts the disabled and elderly from Jihad (4:95), which would make no sense if the word is being used merely within the context of spiritual struggle. It is also unclear why Muhammad and his Quran would use graphic language, such as smiting fingers and heads from the hands and necks of unbelievers if he were speaking merely of character development.
     “With this in mind, Muslim apologists generally admit that there are two meanings to the word, but insist that ‘inner struggle’ is the ‘greater Jihad,’ whereas ‘holy war’ is the ‘lesser.’ In fact, this misconception is based only on a single hadith that Islamic scholars generally agreed was fabricated.
     “By contrast, the most reliable of all Hadith collections is that of Bukhari. Jihad is mentioned over 200 times in reference to the words of Muhammad and each one carries a clear connotation to holy war, with only a handful of possible exceptions . . .

"Islam is a Religion of Peace

The Myth: Muhammad was a peaceful man who taught his followers to be the same. Muslims lived peacefully for centuries, fighting only in self-defense - and when it was necessary. True Muslims would never act aggressively.

The Truth: Muhammad organized 65 military campaigns in the last ten years of his life and personally led 27 of them. The more power that he attained, the smaller the excuse needed to go to battle, until finally he began attacking tribes merely because they were not yet part of his growing empire.

     “After Muhammad’s death, his successor immediately went to war with former allied tribes which wanted to go their own way. . .
     “Islam's most faithful followers and even his own family soon turned on each other. There were four caliphs (leaders) in the first twenty-five years, each of which was a trusted companion of the Prophet. Three of these four were murdered. The third caliph was murdered by those allied with the son of the first caliph. The fourth caliph was murdered in the midst of a conflict with the fifth caliph, who began a 100-year dynasty of excess and debauchery that was brought to an end in a gruesome, widespread bloodbath by descendants of Muhammad’s uncle . . .
     “Muhammad’s own daughter, Fatima, and his son-in-law, Ali, who both survived the pagan hardship during the Meccan years safe and sound, did not survive Islam after the death of Muhammad. Fatima died of stress from persecution within three months, and Ali was later assassinated by Muslim rivals. Their son (Muhammad’s grandson) was killed in battle with the faction that became today’s Sunnis. His people became Shias. The relatives and personal friends of Muhammad were mixed into both warring groups, which then fractured further into hostile sub-divisions as Islam expanded.
     “Muslim apologists, who like to say that is impossible for today's terrorists to be Muslim when they kill fellow Muslims, would have a very tough time explaining the war between Fatima's followers and Aisha to a knowledgeable audience. Muhammad explicitly held up both his favorite daughter and his favorite wife as model Muslim women, yet they were invoked respectively by each side in the violent civil war that followed his death.
     “Muhammad left his men with instructions to take the {war to} Christians, Persians, Jews and polytheists (which came to include millions of unfortunate Hindus). For the next four centuries, Muslim armies steamrolled over unsuspecting neighbors, plundering them of loot and slaves, and forcing the survivors to either convert or pay tribute at the point of a sword.
     “Companions of Muhammad lived to see Islam declare war on every major religion in the world in just the first few decades following his death - pressing the Jihad against Hindus, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Buddhists.
     “By the time of the Crusades, Muslims had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world by sword, from Syria to Spain, and across North Africa. Millions of Christians were enslaved by Muslims, {as were} tens of millions of Africans. . . To this day, the Muslim world has never apologized for the victims of Jihad and slavery.
     “There is not another religion in the world that consistently produces terrorism in the name of God as does Islam. [Emphasis mine] The most dangerous Muslims are nearly always . . . the fundamentalists or purists of the faith, {who} believe in Muhammad’s mandate to spread Islamic rule by the sword, putting to death those who will not submit. In the absence of true infidels, they will even turn on each other.
     “The holy texts of Islam are saturated with verses of violence and hatred toward those outside the faith, as well as the ‘hypocrites’ (Muslims who don't act like Muslims). In sharp contrast to the Bible, which generally moves from relatively violent episodes to far more peaceful mandates, the Quran travels the exact opposite path (violence is first forbidden, then permitted, then mandatory). The handful of earlier verses that speak of tolerance are overwhelmed by an avalanche of later ones that carry a much different message. While Old Testament verses of blood and guts are generally bound by historical context within the text itself, Quranic imperatives to violence usually appear open-ended and subject to personal interpretation.
     “From the history of the faith to its most sacred writings, those who want to believe in ‘peaceful Islam’ have a lot more to ignore than do the terrorists. By any objective measure, the ‘Religion of Peace’ has been the harshest, bloodiest religion the world has ever known. [Emphasis mine] In Islam there is no peace unless Muslims have power - and even then...

"Islam is Tolerant of Other Religions

The Myth: Religious minorities have flourished under Islam. Muslims are commanded to protect Jews and Christians (the People of the Book) and do them no harm. The Quran says in Sura 109, ‘To you, your religion. To me, mine.’

The Truth: Religious minorities have not ‘flourished’ under Islam. In fact, they have dwindled to mere shadows after centuries of persecution and discrimination. Some were converted from their native religion by brute force, others under the agonizing strain of dhimmitude.

     “What Muslims call ‘tolerance,’ others correctly identify as institutionalized discrimination. The consignment of Jews and Christians to dhimmis under Islamic rule means that they are not allowed the same religious rights and freedoms as Muslims. They cannot share their faith, for example, or build houses of worship without permission.
     “Historically, dhimmis have often had to wear distinguishing clothing or cut their hair in a particular manner that indicates their position of inferiority and humiliation. They do not share the same legal rights as Muslims, and must even pay a poll tax (the jizya). They are to be killed or have their children taken from them if they cannot satisfy the tax collector’s requirements.
     “For hundreds of years, the Christian population in occupied Europe had their sons taken away and forcibly converted into Muslim warriors (known as Jannisaries) by the Ottoman Turks.
     “It is under this burden of discrimination and third-class status that so many religious minorities converted to Islam over the centuries. Those who didn’t often faced economic and social hardships that persist to this day and are appalling by Western standards of true religious tolerance and pluralism.
     “For those who are not ‘the People of the Book,’ such as Hindus and atheists, there is very little tolerance to be found once Islam establishes political superiority. The Quran tells Muslims to ‘fight in the way of Allah’ until ‘religion is only for Allah.’ The conquered populations face death if they do not establish regular prayer and charity in the Islamic tradition . . .
     “Tamerlane and other Muslim warriors slaughtered tens of millions of Hindus and Buddhists, and displaced or forcibly converted millions more over the last thousand years. Islamists in Somalia behead Christians. In Iran, they are jailed.
     “There are about 500 verses in the Quran that speak of Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims and the punishment that he has prepared for their unbelief. There is also a tiny handful that says otherwise, but these are mostly earlier verses that many scholars consider to be abrogated by the later, more violent ones.
     “As for Sura 109, any true Quran scholar will point out that the purpose of the verse was to distinguish Islam from the gods of the Quraysh (one of which was named ‘Allah’) rather than to advocate religious tolerance for non-Muslims. At the time that he narrated this very early verse, Muhammad did not have any power, and thus no choice but to be ‘tolerant’ of others. By contrast, there was no true tolerance shown when he returned to Mecca with power many years later and demanded the eviction or death of anyone who would not convert to Islam. In fact, he physically destroyed the cherished idols of the people to whom he had previously addressed in Sura 109.
     “If tolerance simply means discouraging the mass slaughter of those of a different faith, then today's Islam generally meets this standard more often than not. But, if tolerance means allowing people of other faiths the same religious liberties that Muslims enjoy, then Islam is fundamentally the most intolerant religion under the sun. [Emphasis mine]
     “In the dusty alleyways of Lahore in Pakistan or in the choked streets of northern Nigeria’s cities, Christians lead a fragile, endangered existence, never quite certain that their next visit to church isn’t going to end in the carnage of a bomb, never quite confident that their homes won’t be targeted by baying, angry mobs as night falls.
     “. . . the sheer variety of countries where expressing Christian faith can be, literally, life-threatening {is astonishing}. These include Turkey, which is commonly, if erroneously, regarded as a Western-style democracy, . . . and Muslim countries such as Egypt and Iran. Islamists {and} ultra-nationals . . . have declared themselves enemies of the Christ religion.
     “. . . Christians can no longer {if ever} expect to lead peaceful lives under Islamic rule. . . .
     “In Pakistan, the Christian inhabitants of the Joseph Colony neighborhood in Lahore experienced what can only be described as a pogrom. . . . In Iran, Muslim converts to Christianity are being incarcerated, and could very likely face execution. In Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and Iraq, Christian communities that are thousands of years old are slowly being extinguished because of Islamist fanaticism.” (Ref. 3) {Judaism is now essentially extinct in Muslim countries because of extremist Islamic intolerance.}

"Islam is Opposed to Slavery

The Myth: Islam is intolerant of enslaving human beings. The religion eradicated the institution of slavery thanks to the principles set in motion by Muhammad, who was an abolitionist.

The Truth: There is not the least bit of intolerance for slavery anywhere in the Quran. In fact, the ‘holy’ book of Islam explicitly gives slave-owners the freedom to sexually exploit their slaves – not just in one place, but in at least four separate Suras. Islamic law is littered with rules concerning the treatment of slaves, some of which are relatively humane, but none that prohibit the actual practice by any stretch.

     “The very presence of these rules condones and legitimizes the institution of slavery. Adding to this is the fact that Muhammad was an avid slave trader. After providing ample evidence of his activities according to the most reliable Muslim biographers, the Center of the Study of Political Islam summarizes its findings as such:
     “Muhammad captured slaves, sold slaves, bought slaves as gifts of pleasure, received slaves as gifts, and used slaves for work. The Sira is exquisitely clear on the issue of slavery. (Muhammad and the Unbelievers: a Political Life)
     “Even the very pulpit from which Muhammad preached Islam was built by slave labor on his command!
     “91 verses in the Quran tell Muslims to emulate the example of Muhammad. As such, the deeply dehumanizing horror of slavery has been a ubiquitous tradition of Islam for 14 centuries, including the modern plight of non-Muslim slaves in the Sudan, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and other parts of the Muslim world. [Emphasis mine]
     “There has never been an abolitionary movement within Islam (just as the religion produces no organized resistance to present-day enslavement). The abolition of slavery was imposed on the Islamic world by European countries . . .
     “Although horrible abuses of slaves in the Muslim world were recorded, there has been little inclination toward the documentation and earnest contrition that one finds in the West. The absence of a guilty Muslim conscience often leads to the mistaken impression that slavery was not as bad under Islam - when it is actually indicative of the explicit tolerance the religion has for the practice.
     “So narcissistic is the effect of Islam on the devoted, that to this day many Muslims believe in their hearts that the women and children carried off in battle, along with their surviving men folk, were actually done a favor by the Muslim warriors who plucked them from their fields and homes and relegated them to lives of demeaning servitude.
     “Shame and apology, no matter how appropriate, are almost never to be found in Dar al-Islam. Caliphs, the religious equivalent of popes, maintained harems of hundreds, sometimes thousands of young girls and women captured from lands as far away as Europe and consigned to sexual slavery. Hungarians were hunted like animals by the Turks, who carried 3 million into slavery over a 150 year period in the 1500-1600's. In India, 200,000 Hindus were captured and transported to Iranian slave markets in just a two year span (1619-1620) by one of the kinder Muslim rulers.
     “African slaves were often castrated by their Muslim masters. Few survived to reproduce, which is why there are not many people of African descent living in the Middle East, even though more slaves were taken out of Africa in the 1300 years of Arab slave trading than in the 300 years of European slavery. The 400,000 slaves brought to America, for example, have now become a community of 30 million, with a much higher standard of living than their African peers.” (Ref. 2)

     “. . . in Sudan and Mauritania, racist Arab societies enslave blacks today. Most of the slaves are African Muslims. [Emphasis mine] . . .
      - - -
     “. . . Mauritania {is} the West African country with the largest population of black slaves in the world – estimates range from 100,000 to more than a half-million. . . . Slavery has existed in Mauritania since the 12th century, when Arab tribes from the Arabian Peninsula invaded and conquered North Africa. Raiders then stormed African villages to the south, pillaging, enslaving and converting the indigenous peoples to Islam. . . . {Today,} the Mauritanian regime is constantly working to cleanse the country of any non-Arab influence. . . . An ethnic cleansing campaign that began in 1989 led to the expulsion of an estimated 100,000 blacks from Mauritania.” (Ref. 3)

     Perversely, in December 2012, the morally bankrupt institution known as the United Nations Human Rights Council had the chutzpah to elect Mauritania as its vice President and the reporter of its activities.

     How can Islam be called a religion of tolerance in light of the atrocities which are described below? These are but a miniscule portion of the tens of thousands of cases that demonstrate the total lack of tolerance within the extreme segment of the Islamic religion.

     “A Pakistani couple accused of killing their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid on her carried out the attack because she sullied the family's honor by looking at a boy . . .
     “The girl's death underlines the problem of so-called ‘honor killings’ in Pakistan where women are often killed for marrying or having relationships not approved by their families or because they are perceived to have somehow dishonored their family.
     “The girl's parents . . . recounted . . . the incident from jail. The father said the girl had turned to look at a boy who drove by on a motorcycle, and he told her it was wrong.
     " ’She said `I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again.' By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way,’ . . .
      - - -
     “According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 943 women were killed in the name of honor last year {2011}. Only 20 of the women were reported to have been given medical care before they died . . . The real toll is believed to be higher because many of the crimes go unreported.” (Ref. 4)

     “The Pakistani Taliban aroused the ire {of civilized people} round the world with their latest horror, an attempted assassination on a teenage girl {in 2012} for {promoting the education of} girls. They recently beheaded a 7-year-old girl and nobody noticed.” (Ref. 5)

     “When, on 9/11/2001, President Bush was asked why these Islamists hate us, his answer was: ‘They hate us for our freedoms,’ which was greeted with derision by ‘intellectuals.’ . . .{But, it} was indeed those very freedoms that alarm Islamists. They obfuscate by going after the ‘sexual looseness’ of Western Women when the real target is western culture altogether.
     “Many assume that these fanatics are just misogynists . . . But this is only part of the story.
     “Women asserting themselves, after centuries of fierce suppression, is the threat to their entire system, religious and cultural. . . The attack on the Pakistani teen reflected the utter terror of Islamists that they could be overrun by the seductive Western culture of movies and television, individuality, gender equality, participatory government, and replacement of a medieval religion by science and education.
     “Apologists for Islam blame all this loathing of women on culture, not religion. This is not so. The nastiest of Muslim practices (honor killing, enforced marriages of underage girls, and the decapitation of apostates or enemies) can be justified somewhere in the traditional Muslim texts. If it were just Arab custom, why are these practices also in non-Arab Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia? Bad practices are contagious, and when supposedly ‘moderate’ Indonesian fanatics bomb a nightclub full of young Australians, they defend their actions in court as justified by Islam and Allah.
     “We were not ruthless enough (nor could we be) during our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to extirpate medieval Islam and replace it with modern culture. . . How does one deal with an enemy that car-bombs a marketplace and the next day bombs the funeral for the dead civilians? Even the Mafia sends wreaths to the funerals that they caused, but not Islamists.
      - - -
     “Most Muslim states are overpopulated, undereducated, corrupt, and make nothing to sell that anybody wants. They do hate us for the very freedoms they most need but reject. Their religion and culture are bringing about their demise." (Ref. 6)

     Islamists do not fight only against non-Muslims – they just as easily fight among themselves, and no less fiercely than against ‘infidels’. The major internal conflict arises between the Sunnis and Shias. While the internal war has significant ramifications for all of Islam, it also has important meaning for the West and all and for non-Muslims.

     “Once upon a time, Arab nationalism ruled the Middle East. Its doctrine saw Arab identity as the key to political success. Some regarded Islam as important; others were secular. Yet there was no doubt that national identity was in charge.
     “All Arabs should unite, said the radical nationalists who ruled in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, to destroy Israel, expel Western influence, and create a utopian single state in the region.
     “Instead, of course, the period was characterized by battles among the radical Arab states for leadership. The less extreme ones sought survival through a combination of giving lip service to radical slogans, paying off the stronger regimes, and getting Western help.
     “That era is over [Emphasis mine]. We are now in the era of Sunni Arab identity and especially of Sunni Arab Islamism [Emphasis mine]. With the liberals so weak . . . the three main choices are between the Muslim Brotherhood; the Salafists; and conservative-traditional forces (as in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) that will have some Islamic flavor but not seek to be destabilizing and aggressive in the region.
     “Sunni Arab Islamist identity’s primacy has important implications for both national and regional politics.
     “First,tolerance for other groups is low to zero [Emphasis mine]. The future of Christians in the Middle East is dim. Already, most have been driven out of Iraq and the Gaza Strip. If Christians in Syria and Egypt – comprising more than 10 percent of the population in each country – could find somewhere to go, it is quite possible that hundreds of thousands will be leaving in the coming years. . .
     “Second, the regional ambitions of Turkey’s Islamist regime will come to nothing. There is a deep resentment against Turks among many Arabs and especially the Islamists. . .
     “Third, this situation is a severe setback for Iran. A few years ago it was possible to believe that Tehran had a shot at achieving regional hegemony. But the Sunni Arab Islamists generally despise Shias, and the new Arab leaders don’t feel warmly inclined toward {the Shia} Persians, either. In Iraq, circumstances – including a military defeat and minority status – have forced the Sunnis to accept a Shia-dominated government. That won’t happen anywhere else.
      - - -
     “Within the Sunni Arab Islamist world, the groups that we call Salafist for convenience – smaller organizations that demand full revolution now – compete with the Muslim Brotherhood, but the two can also work together. Their goals are the same. . .
     “The Brotherhood leadership, in Egypt and potentially in Syria, will have an important decision to make. They will definitely not become moderate. There is no doubt that they will institute repressive regimes at home, harass Christians, and reduce the status of women. They will also daily trumpet their hatred of the United States and Israel.
      - - -
     “We are not just talking here about theological differences but a battle between individual leaders, organizations, and states for power and primacy. Of course, though, they will compete in proving that they are the true leaders in the anti-Israel struggle. And the same point applies regarding opposition to the United States.” (Ref. 6)

     Fundamental Islam is neither a religion of peace nor tolerance. It is an anachronism that remains mired in the brutal philosophy of its founder, Mohammed and in beliefs and attitudes of the 7th century AD. Mark Twain recognized these facts nearly 150 years ago in his book The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrim’s Progress. Paraphrasing his remarks to bring them into our 21st century context, we have: “These are a people by nature and training brutish, ignorant, unprogressive and superstitious. The Three Graces of the leaders of radical Islam are Tyranny, Rapacity, and Blood. As a result, the seventh century greets the twenty first! {In other words, they have not progressed beyond the seventh century.} These leaders of radical Islam are the geniuses of Ignorance, Bigotry, and indolence.” (Ref. 7:  pages 89-91)

     Even a century and a half ago, Twain noticed and railed against Muslim intolerance toward Christians and all other “non-believers”. Upon reaching Damascus which was at that time under the control of the Ottoman Turks, he wrote: “I never disliked a Chinaman as I do these degraded Turks and Arabs, and when Russia is ready to war with them again, I hope England and France will not find it good breeding or good judgment to interfere.” (Ref. 7:  page 353) Nothing has changed since Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote these words in the late 1860’s and, realistically, nothing has changed since the time of Mohammed around 600 AD.

     The so-called “religion of peace and tolerance” showed its true face in Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood took power under Mohamed Morsi who replaced ousted president, Hosni Mubarak. “After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like ‘prisoners of war’ before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.
     “. . . Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority. The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism.
     “Christians have long suffered from discrimination and violence in Muslim majority Egypt, where they make up 10 percent of the population of 90 million. Attacks increased after the Islamists rose to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power . . .
     “Nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged . . .
      - - -
     “{The} principal of the Franciscan school in Bani Suef . . . was having breakfast with two visiting nuns . . . In an ordeal that lasted about six hours, she, sisters Abeer and Demiana and a handful of school employees saw a mob break into the school . . . loot its contents, knock off the cross on the street gate and replace it with a black banner resembling the flag of al-Qaida.
      - - -
     “The incident at the Franciscan school was repeated at Minya where a Catholic school was razed to the ground by an arson attack and a Christian orphanage was also torched.
      - - -
     “In Fayoum, an oasis province southwest of Cairo, Islamists looted and torched five churches, according to . . . the local head of the Coptic Orthodox church, by far the largest of Egypt's Christian denominations. He said he had instructed Christians and clerics alike not to try to resist the mobs of Islamists, fearing any loss of life.” (Ref. 8)

     More recently, two Arab (“Palestinian”) terrorists murdered four rabbis and a Druze policeman at a Synagogue in Jerusalem while professing that their act was carried out in the name of Allah and their Islamic religion. In response, Arabs handed out candy in the streets of Gaza in celebration of the atrocity. Such “public celebration of murder is a medieval moment.”[9] Actually it is a moment that harks back to totally uncivilized times. “Behind these celebrations are decades of Jew-hatred that has marinated Palestinian society.” (Ref. 9) “So-called moderate leaders like Mahmoud Abbas routinely glorify murderers of Jews. So why should we be surprised when so many of his people rejoice at the atrocity of four rabbis being slaughtered while they were praying?” (Ref. 9) Is the religion in whose name these barbaric murders were carried out a religion of peace and tolerance? Is the religion which condones these barbaric murders by handing out candy to children on the streets of Gaza a religion of peace and tolerance?

     In November 2014, a Palestinian terrorist from Hebron murdered a 26-year old Israeli woman. Commenting upon the murder, Palestinian leaders said that it was “normal and natural to run over a young woman and then stab her to death.”(Ref. 10) Is the religion in whose name this murder was carried out a religion of peace and tolerance? Is the religion that says it is normal and natural to run over a young woman and then stab her to death a religion of peace and tolerance? “When Palestinian leaders call for their people to take a knife and find Jews to murder, and call it natural and normal, we have entered the realm of unadulterated evil.” (Ref. 10)

     Muslim fanatics in Sub-Saharan Africa murder and rape in the name of Islam, again giving the lie to the claim that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. “Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, attacked a bus in northern Kenya at dawn Saturday, singling out and killing 28 passengers who could not recite an Islamic creed and were assumed to be non-Muslims . . .
      - - -
     “Kenya has been hit by a series of gun and bomb attacks blamed on al-Shabab, who are linked to al-Qaida . . . Authorities say there have been at least 135 attacks by al-Shabab since then, including the assault on Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall in September 2013 in which 67 people were killed. Al-Shabab said it was responsible for other attacks on Kenya's coast earlier this year which killed at least 90 people.
      - - -
     “Kenya has been struggling to contain growing extremism in the country. Earlier this week the authorities shut down four mosques at the Kenyan coast after police alleged they found explosives and a gun when they raided the places of worship.” (Ref. 11)

     The killing and torture of Christians in Iraq drew the attention of Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, who wrote an article in mid-2014 about the atrocities. Radical Islamic terrorists, he said, were determined to kill all Christians and Jews in the world. But not enough has been done in response. Outraged, he asked: “So where is the outrage, America? Where are the voices of justice? This is genocide, and I’m afraid we will be judged harshly for our lack of political courage.” (Ref. 12)

     In March of 2015, “Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric called . . . for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula after legislators in the Gulf state of Kuwait moved to pass laws banning the construction of religious sites associated with Christianity.
     “. . . Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law [Emphasis mine] . . .
      - - -
     “Last month, Osama Al-Munawer, a Kuwaiti member of parliament, announced his plans to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country . . . Al-Munawer later clarified that the law would only apply to new churches, while old ones would be allowed to stay erect.” (Ref. 13)

     As the saying goes: The Beat Goes On! According to one source, “Islamic Terrorists have carried out more than 37,118 deadly terror attacks since 9/11”. (Ref. 14) The same source reported that in May of 2020 there were: 194 Islamic terrorist attacks, 904 killings, 734 injuries, and 6 suicide blasts in 24 different countries, all in the name of the the religion of peace and tolerance. If Islam is really to be the religion of peace and tolerance, then it’s time for Muslim moderates to stand up and make it so!

  1. Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic, Sudarsan Raghavan,
    The Washington Post, 7 February 2014.
  2. The Myths of Islam,, 2007-2011.
  3. Will Francis I become the persecuted church’s savior?, Ben Cohen, The Jewish Advocate, Page 6, 29 March 2013.
  4. Pakistan Parents Say They Murdered Daughter In 'Honor Killing' Because She Looked At A Boy,  AP,  Huff Post World; killed-d_0_n_2078365.html,
    6 November 2012.
  5. Why the Taliban Shot a Teenage Girl, Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman, Family Security Matters; taliban-shot-a-teenage-girl,
    6 November 2012.
  6. Sunni-Shia conflict: Major feature of ME politics, Barry Rubin, The Jerusalem Post, 4 November 2012.
  7. The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrim’s Progress, Mark Twain, Signet Classics; Penguin Books Ltd. ,
    April 2007.
  8. Egypt: Islamists Hit Coptic Christian Churches, Torch Franciscan School, Hamza Hendawi, Huffington Post,
    17 August 2013.
  9. Celebrating the Murder of Jews, David Suissa, The Jewish Journal MA, Page 7, 20 November 2014.
  10. What The Media Didn’t Tell Us About Dalia, Sherri Mandell, The Jewish Press, Page 6, 21 November 2014.
  11. Somalia's Al-Shabab Says It Killed 28 In Kenya, TOM ODULA, Huffington Post, 22 November 2014.
  12. Christians slaughtered, who cares?, Ray Flynn, Boston Herald, Page 5, 30 August 2014.
  13. Saudi Arabia's top cleric urges destruction of churches, i24news, 19 March 2015.
  14. What makes Islam so different?,, Accessed 21 June 2020.

  16 October 2020 {Article 442; Islam_40}    
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