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Debating Islam ( 16 Jan 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Is Islam a Violent Faith? Violence, Hatred and Discrimination in the Koran

By Dr. Sami Alrabaa, January 16, 2009

 

If you say that Islam is a violent faith, you are accused of being anti-Islam and you are propagating “Islamophobia.” 

There are more than one billion Muslims around the world, and I’m one of them. We are told that the Koran is the “word of God.” When you read the Koran, however – which over 90% of all Muslims have never read, according to a survey by Bielefeld University in Germany, and if they ever do, either they do not understand its archaic language or they do not ponder on what it says – you find out that it is full of passages that incite hatred, killing, and discrimination against women. 

 

Below are some quotations from the Koran. We begin with what the “holy book” of Muslims says about people of other religions.

 

According to the Koran and many Muslims, Christians and Jews have left the true path of their religion. Therefore, they are infidels (unbelievers) like Buddhists and Hindus, for example. In other words, according to the Koran, only Muslims, i.e. 19% of the world population, are true believers. The rest are “unbelievers” and “infidels.”

 

Literally, the Koran says the following about the Jews, Christians, and other “unbelievers:”

 

“O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” (Sura 5, verse 51).

 

“And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah DESTROY them; how they are turned away!” (Sura 9, verse 30).

 

“And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.” (Sura 2, verse 120).

 

“And KILL them (the unbelievers) wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.” (Sura 2, verse 191).

 

“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.” (Sura 3, verse 28).

 

“And guard yourselves against the fire which has been prepared for the unbelievers.” (Sura 3, verse 131)

 

“And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress, surely the unbelievers are your open ENEMY.” (Sura 4, verse 101).

 

“O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).” (Sura 9, verse 123).

 

“Surely we have prepared for the unbelievers chains and shackles and a burning fire.” (Sura 76, verse 4).

 

“O you who believe! if you obey a party from among those who have been given the Book (The Jews and Christians), they will turn you back as unbelievers after you have believed.” (Sura 3, verse 100).

 

“And their taking usury (interests on money) though indeed they were forbidden it and their devouring the property of people falsely, and We have prepared for the unbelievers from among them a painful chastisement.” (Sura 4. verse 161).

 

“Surely Allah has cursed the unbelievers (Jews, Christians and followers of other faiths) and has prepared for them a burning fire.” (Sura 33, verse 64).

 

“And whoever does not believe in Allah and His Apostle, and then surely we have prepared burning fire for the unbelievers.” (Sura 48, verse 13).

 

Does Allah discriminate? The Koran says:

 

“You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.” (Sura 3, verse 110).

 

Therefore, what does the Koran say about those who turn their back to Islam and commit apostasy?

 

“They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them (the unbelievers) friends until they flee (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and KILL them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.” (Sura 4, verse 89).

 

Now, what does the Koran say about women? Here are some quotations:

 

“Men are superior to women because Allah has made so. Therefore good women are obedient, and (as to) those (women) on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and BEAT them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” (Sura 4, verse 34).

 

“And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them, four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them.” (Sura 4, verse 15).

 

According to the Koran, a woman’s testimony is worth half of that of a man.

 

“O you who believe! when you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time then call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other.” (Sura 2, verse 282).

 

As far as sex is concerned, women are sex objects, according to the Koran. They must be ready for intercourse any time the husband wishes so.

 

“Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.” (Sura 2, verse 223).

 

During menstruation, however, men should keep away from women; they are filthy. The Koran says:

 

“It (menstruation) is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.” (Sura 2, verse 222).

 

Women, according to the Koran, are, in general, unclean creature. After a Muslim has washed and prepared himself for prayer, he should not touch a woman. Therefore, “pious” Muslims never shake hands with women.

 

“O you who believe! do not go near prayer until you have washed yourselves; and if you have touched women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.” (Sura 4, verse 43).

 

In case of inheritance, a woman inherits half of the portion a man inherits:

 

“They ask you for a decision of the law. Say: Allah gives you a decision concerning the person who has neither parents nor offspring; if a man dies (and) he has no son and he has a sister, she shall have half of what he leaves, and he shall be her heir she has no son; but if there be two (sisters), they shall have two-thirds of what he leaves; and if there are brethren, men and women, then the male shall have the like of the portion of two females; Allah makes clear to you, lest you err; and Allah knows all things.” (Sura 4, verse 176).

 

And what kind of punishment does a thief get, according to the Koran, regardless how much they steal?

 

“And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (Sura 5, verse 38).

 

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that uses the Koran as its day-to-day law for all kinds of disputes and crimes. It is the Shari’a (Islamic law). For Islamists and conservative Muslims, Shari’a is the constitution and law that must prevail everywhere. They argue, what is better than the law of Allah which He, via the Engle Gabriel revealed to the Prophet Mohammed 1400 years ago?

 

King Abdullah, the absolute monarch of Saudi Arabia, said on a televised speech August 27, 2008, “We do not need democracy, we do not need political parties, we do not need Western human rights, we do not need their freedom of speech. What we need is the Koran. It regulates our life perfectly. It is the best legislation in the history of mankind, it is the word of Allah. There is nothing better than Allah’s law.”

 

The “Hadeeth,” a collection of statements and comments which Prophet Mohammed allegedly made during his lifetime, is also full of atrocities. Here is a sample:

 

“A woman came to the Prophet and admitted that she had committed adultery and thereafter became pregnant. The Prophet summoned her husband and all people of Median (in Saudi Arabia). He said, ‘This woman committed adultery. Therefore, after she delivers her innocent baby, all of you are going to stone her to death. This is Allah’s verdict.’ After she delivered her baby she was stoned to death in the center of the town.” (Narrated by Muslim, (a close contemporary follower of Mohammed), cited by Khoury, The Koran, p. 550)

 

Stoning women and flogging men for adultery are widely practiced in Saudi Arabia and Iran. 

 

Hester on the scaffold in puritan Massachusetts, America of the 17th century, in the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, must have felt happy that she was not born among the “believers” in the Arabian Peninsula.

 

The Koran is filled with contradictions. While in sura 2, verse 256, it says “There is no compulsion in religion,” it urges Muslims to kill those Muslims who convert to other religions.

 

Both the Koran and the Hadeeth were collected after the death of Prophet Mohammed in 632. The second Caliph, Othman ordered collecting the Koran and the Hadeeth which had been written no where. They were memorized by Mohammed’s followers. Then Mohammed and his followers were illiterate. He disseminated Islam by the word of mouth. A committee was formed in Mecca and followers of the new faith queued up to deliver what they could remember from the Koran and Hadeeth. This campaign lasted for over 70 years.

 

That the vast majority of Muslims have not read or digested the Koran has two major implications. First, if rational, modern-thinking Muslims read the Koran thoroughly, they would desert Islam. They would argue that God cannot incite to hatred and violence. The Koran cannot be the “word of God.” Second, if simple-minded Muslims read the Koran and digested it, they would stick to the above “commandments” and we would have more radical and extremist Muslims around the world.

 

Certainly the Torah, the Bible, and other holy books have their own atrocious passages, especially those discriminatory ones against women, though with one difference: Muslim fundamentalists adhere to the above cited passages – in belief they are commanded directly by Allah – and implement them to the letter. Think of those suicide bombers in the Middle East and elsewhere and of the violent demonstrations against the “Mohammed cartoon” in some Muslim cities. But it is also true that the majority of Muslims simply ignore these dreadful passages like many Jews and Christians ignore their own.

 

After he received and read this piece, Henrik Clausen from Europe News asked me if I was not afraid of being declared apostate. I said, “No.” I’m fighting for a human and modern Islam. Besides, the truth must be told at all costs. I also told him, it is not my personal opinion that the Koran incites to hatred, violence, and discrimination, etc., as we have seen above – it is our “holy” book that is preaching all this. The cited passages prove that beyond any shred of doubt. I’m just citing what the Koran commands.

 

Further, the above quotations are intended to help critics of Islam present tangible evidence for their arguments. It is not enough to say, “I think, I believe, etc.” It is also not enough to say “I’m exerting my right of freedom of speech.”

 

There is no room for theological interpretations unless you handle the Koran in its own historical perspective. The religious establishment rejects any interpretation anyway. The slightest attempt to do so is rejected and its authors are persecuted as heretics. Think of the Egyptian theologian Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, who is now living in hiding in the Netherlands. Besides, for conservative Muslims and fundamentalists, the Koran, as it is, is valid for all times and for everywhere. It is the “word of God.” He is not fallible and moody like we humans are.  

 

Reformers of Islam, and I consider myself one of them, argue that the Koran and the Hadeeth should be looked at in a historical perspective. Muslims 1,400 years ago were fighting Christians and Jews. Therefore, they hated them. The Muslims wanted to prevail at all costs, therefore these passages in the Koran. Women were discriminated against because this was natural in the Arab culture at the time, and is to some extent today. Apropos, the situation in Medieval Europe was not better.

 

In addition, it is one of two things: Either the Koran was concocted by the Muslim leader, Mohammed, or at least partly, or it was made up by his zealous followers after his death. Remember that hundreds or thousands of Muslims at the time contributed to compiling this work. They were promised Paradise for their contributions like suicide bombers are nowadays promised it plus 60 virgin girls.

 

Note: The verse numbers may vary from one Koran translation to another.

 

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Sami Alrabaa, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. Before moving to Germany he taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He is the author of “Karin in Saudi Arabia a real story of a German woman, who lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and fell in love with a Saudi. Later, this love turned into a devastating nightmare. The Saudi "Morality Police", notorious for their bestial brutality, raped Karin and threw her in prison. Her crime was, she was driven alone downtown by a taxi-driver. Her German-Saudi baby son was taken away and she was deported to Cyprus without passport and money. Muna, a young Moroccan woman was luckier. She managed to smuggle herself and baby after one-night marriage with Sultan, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamDebate_1.aspx?ArticleID=1125

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IN MY VIEW

Passages from Saudi school textbooks

Published Date: July 01, 2007           

By Dr. Sami Alrabaa, Staff writer

 

Ahmed Al-Sarraf cited in Al-Qabas (June 2) some passages from a Kuwaiti school textbook taught at the first secondary grade. Here is an English translation of passages from the book, "Jurisprudence", page 38:

Who is, or who is not punished in a Muslim society:

* A Muslim who kills an apostate or someone who commits adultery is not punished.

* If a Muslim kills an infidel or a slave, he is not punished.

* If a Muslim man, father, or grandfather kills someone from his offspring, he is not punished.

 

I went through school textbooks taught in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Here is an English translation of some passages from these books.

A fourth grade textbook on Monotheism and Religion instructs students:

"Any other religion other than Islam is invalid (false)." (P. 29 )

"Hate (yakrah) the polytheists and the infidels" as a requirement of "true faith." (P. 86)

 

5th Grade. Book: Monotheism  and Religion

*"Every religion other than Islam is invalid." (P. 33)

*"It is not permitted to be a loyal to non-Muslims, and to those who oppose God and His Prophet."  (P. 14)

*"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot be loyal to those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives." (P. 71)

*"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion." (P. 73)

*"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavour to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power." (P. 75)

*"Jews are the people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned into swine to punish them." "As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the keepers of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus." (P. 83)

*"The clash between our [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills. In this hadith, Muhammad gives us an example of the battle between the Muslims and the Jews." (P. 113)

*"Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said, The hour [of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. [It will not come] until the Jew hides behind rocks and trees. [It will not come] until the rocks or the trees say, 'O Muslim! O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.'." (P. 114)

*"Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him." (P. 117)

"A woman who shows in public any part of her body except that of her eyes will be punished by hellfire by almighty Allah." (P. 194)

"The infidels have established Christian hospitals and clinics and send medics all over the world. As one of the Christianizers said, 'Where you find people, you find pain. And where there's pain, there's a need for a doctor. And where there's a need for a doctor, there's an appropriate opportunity for missionary activity [Christianization].'" (P. 163)

"The infidels have founded many schools and universities in the Muslim world at various educational levels. These include: the American Universities of Beirut and Cairo, the Jesuit University, Robert College in Istanbul, Gordon [Memorial] College in Khartoum, and others too numerous to mention. (P. 186)

Teacher's Manual:

Grade 5:

Teach that after their death, non-Muslims will be sent to hell. (P. 30) (See attached picture # 4)

Quiz: Is it permissible to love the Jews and Christians? Explain why. (P. 15) (See picture # 7).

Grade 8:

*Command Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews, polytheists and other "unbelievers," including non-devout Muslims." (P. 14)

*Teach that the Crusades never ended, and identify the American Universities in Beirut and in Cairo, other Western and Christian social service providers, media outlets, centres for academic studies of Orientalism, and campaigns for women's rights as part of the modern phase of the Crusades. (P. 15)

*Teach that "the Jews and the Christians are enemies of the [Muslim] believers"  (P. 16) and that "the clash between the two realms "continues until the Day of Resurrection." (P. 18)

*Instruct students not to "greet," "befriend," "imitate," "show loyalty to," "be courteous to", or "respect" non-believers. (P. 24)

Grade 9:

*Define jihad to include "wrestling with the infidels by calling them to the faith and battling against them,," (P. 25) and assert that the spread of Islam through jihad is a "religious obligation." (P. 26) [the word qital, translated here as "battle," is derived from the verb qatala, "to kill," and is virtually never used metaphorically.]

*Instruct that "the struggle between Muslims and Jews" will continue "until the hour [of judgment]" and that "Muslims will triumph because they are right" and "he who is right is always victorious." (P. 27)

Grade 10:

*Cite a selective teaching of violence against Jews, while in the same lesson, ignoring the passages of the Quran and hadeeths [narratives of the life of the Prophet (PBUH)] that counsel tolerance. (P. 28)

*Teach the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as historical fact and relate modern events to it. (P. 29)

*Discuss Jews in violent terms, blaming them for virtually all the "subversion" and wars of the modern world. (P. 30)

*"Give examples of false religions, like Judaism, Christianity, paganism, etc." (P. 66)

*"Explain that when someone dies outside of Islam, hellfire is his fate." (P. 67)

By the way, over 20 Saudi schools, each chaired by the local ambassador from Saudi Arabia, are located throughout the world, in Bonn, Berlin, Washington, Algiers, Ankara, Beijing, Djibouti, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Rabat, Rome, and Tunis.

In fact, you can find some of the above stuff in many school textbooks in all the Arab Gulf countries, Egypt, and Jordan. Fourteen-year old boys' and girls' brains are stuffed with intolerance, animosity towards other religions and their followers.

Al Sarraf wonders, what is the point in devoting KD 50 million of Kuwaiti money to spend on disseminating tolerance and moderation in society when the foundation of society, the youth, are taught religious fanaticism and religio-centricism? Islam is a tolerant and moderate religion, but some zealous Muslims have hijacked it and are determined to interpret it their own way. Email me at drsami@kuwaittimes.net

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Editorial Reviews of Sami Alrabaa's book "Karin in Saudi Arabia"

Product Description

"Karin" is a real story of a German woman, who lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and fell in love with a Saudi. Later, this love turned into a devastating nightmare. The Saudi "Morality Police", notorious for their bestial brutality, raped Karin and threw her in prison. Her crime was, she was driven alone downtown by a taxi-driver. Her German-Saudi baby son was taken away and she was deported to Cyprus without passport and money. Muna, a young Moroccan woman was luckier. She managed to smuggle herself and baby after one-night marriage with Sultan, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

 

In Saudi Arabia, you can marry and divorce a woman in her absence. All you need is a religious man and two male witnesses. This is exactly what happened to Karin; she was married in her absence. Muna never saw any marriage or divorce papers.

 

Mimi and Najat were brutally stoned to death. Najat, a deaf-dumb was caught by the "Morality Police", suspected of being a prostitute. In reality she was waiting for her brother to pick her up in front of shop window.

 

The Morality Police Chief quickly passed sentence on Najat. He wrote, among other things: "Najat was working as a prostitute and was caught in the very act of picking up a client. We advise that she be stoned to death..." Two muttawas (Marality Police) delivered the document to Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh. He jotted down a verdict to match the suggestion, then signed it. Najat was to be publicly stoned to death the following Friday.

 

Mimi, a house-maid from the Philippines, was denounced by the wife of Karin's lover. She was picked up by the "Morality Police" and also stoned to death. These stories happen very often, and people are defenseless towards them. There are no courts in Saudi Arabia, and the princes there possess absolute power.

 

Nisrin, a Bangladeshi woman, who married a Saudi, was deported and the marriage was annulled. Before that she was raped by one of those "Morality Police". A Saudi who belongs to an important tribe, cannot just marry anyone.

 

Mohammed, a Syrian truck-driver had both hands amputated for allegedly stealing the truck he was driving.

 

Very few atrocities like the ones I'm reporting reach the international media. In March, 2002, the Saudi Morality Police prevented school girls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. As a result 15 girls were burned alive." My stories are a pattern that happen day in day out.

 

When you study Islam; the Quran and Shari'a, and live in Saudi Arabia for a while, you find out that the Saudis are in fact applying the Islamic law. "The woman who commits adultery must be stoned to death."(Quran, 36:18). "And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise." (Quran 5:38). For more details, check out http://europenews.dk/en/node/13862 and "Understanding Muhammad" by Ali Sina.

 

The book also shows that not only the Saudi regime and its religious fanatic establishment are oppressive, but also other groups in society: Saudi men oppress and ill-treat women, and Saudi men and women oppress abuse foreigners.

 

When I delivered the manuscript of this book to friends outside of Saudi Arabia, asking them to read it over, their response was uniform: they shook their heads in disbelief. Nobody in the civilized world seemed able to fathom the extent of the arbitrariness and atrocities to which victims in Saudi Arabia are subjected. To them, it was incredible. Some remarked that I was telling stories about the actions of monsters from another planet. They could not believe that any human could act as a Saudi corrupted by power does.

 

Product Details

Paperback: 228 pages

Publisher: Felibri.com (February 1, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0980994845

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Source: familysecuritymatters.org

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/debating-islam/is-islam-a-violent-faith?-violence,-hatred-and-discrimination-in-the-koran-/d/1125

 

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