Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Islam Caused Islamic World's Decline

Islam So Dominates Islamic Culture That It Had To Play A Role In Its Decline

The cause of the Islamic world's decline is, like most issues related to Islam, controversial, but worthy of consideration given Islam's increasing impact on Western culture. Bernard Lewis, a highly respected Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University who has written extensively about the history of Islam, wrote a well-received January 2002 Atlantic Monthly article and subsequent book entitled "What Went Wrong" wherein he set forth many sound reasons that help to explain why the Islamic world declined from its once dominant cultural, economic, and military status to its current state of abject inferiority.

However, Prof. Lewis' analysis implausibly exonerated Islam as a factor in the Islamic world's decline. He opined that "to blame Islam as such is usually hazardous and not often attempted." He further argued that it was not plausible to blame Islam because during most of the Middle Ages it was the world of Islam that contained the major centers of civilization and progress.

While Prof. Lewis' is correct that Islam once contained the major centers of civilization and progress during the Middle Ages, there is nonetheless a plethora of evidence that overwhelmingly establishes that Islam was a substantial factor in the decline of Islamic civilization.

We refer to the Islamic world using its majority religion to identify the culture for a compelling reason: Islam is more than just a religion. In its original form, Islam is a complete social, political, and religious way of life that absolutely dominates the lives and thoughts of fundamentalist Muslims. As a matter of simple logic and common sense, one is left to wonder how it could possibly be that the religion that so overwhelmingly drives and dominates Islamic culture could somehow have managed to not play a role in its decline? Quite the opposite is true: It would be hard to overestimate Islam's role in the decline of Islamic civilization.

When I discuss Islam, except where otherwise noted, I am referring to the Islam Muhammad preached and practiced which I often refer to as "fundamentalist Islam" or "Muhammadanism." On the other end of the spectrum of Islamic faith, I refer to Muslims that are largely influenced by non-Islamic factors, but who maintain some connection with Islam because they were born into an Islamic culture, as "cultural Muslims." The Islamic world also contains Muslims that fall within many points between the two poles of cultural Islam and fundamentalist Islam and many Muslims that fall outside of the two poles (i.e., Twelver Shiite Islam) such that any analysis of Islam's impact on the Islamic world can be quite challenging. But we should not be overly distracted by the diversity of Islamic belief nor should that diversity be allowed to preclude recognition of the impact of fundamentalist Islam on Islamic culture.

Real Islam is the religion founded in the seventh century by Muhammad Ibn Abdullah and which is based on the Quran, hadiths, and Sira (biography of Muhammad). A fundamentalist Muslim attempts to practice Islam just as the first three generations of Muslims did as set forth in the Quran, hadiths, and Sira.

Islam is a revealed religion with a distinct set of unchanging rules and guidelines to follow. It is not a religion that is supposed to "come from within" like some new age religion. It seems quite incongruous to claim that one believes that Muhammad was Allah's prophet and therefore profess to be a Muslim and then reject clear Islamic doctrine as established by Muhammad when the Qur'an demands that Muslims obey Muhammad and follow his "perfect" example. The religion is named Islam, meaning submission, because its founder, Muhammad, claimed that is the word Allah said to him in several alleged revelations. (Fn 1) Otherwise, the religion would surely have been known as Muhammadanism or something similar thereto.

I applaud on moral grounds any Muslim that rejects the violent and hateful aspects of Islamic doctrine, but it seems that at a certain level of modification from the Islam Muhammad preached and practiced, one ceases to be a Muslim. We would all be better served if adherents to evolved or reformed versions of Islam would more accurately self-identify under some other designation.

Instead, we see Ahmadiyya Muslims, many Sufi Muslims, and Bahai Muslims all believing they are "Muslims" when they have deviated so far from the religion Muhammad preached and practiced that Muhammad would hardly consider them Muslims. Muhammad once ordered a mosque, whose members were practicing a heretical form of Islam, burned and his followers burned it to the ground with the heretical Muslims inside thereby establishing in Islamic doctrine that schisms were not only not to be tolerated, but should be violently suppressed. (Fn 2)

Sikhs should be praised for admitting that they are adherents of a new religion that combines aspects of Islam and Hinduism. Many Muslim sects should follow the Sikh's example as it would help alleviate much of the confusion that arises whenever Islam is analyzed and it would limit fundamentalist Islam's ability to hide its true nature.

Because so many Muslims do not practice fundamentalist Islam, the religion often masks its true nature very effectively. Any religion, no mater how clear its doctrines, varies in practice depending upon the nature of the culture where it is practiced. This principle is especially true for Islam. Islam is a syncretic religion that incorporates beliefs from other religions, particularly Arabian Paganism, Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. Because it is already a syncretic religion, Islam has historically readily absorbed increased influence from the other religions previously practiced by new Muslim converts in specific regions. The most well known being the Islam practiced by many Shiite Muslims. Over time, Islam often shed the increased influence in some regions as the old religions in various locales faded from memory, but in some regions, such as Iran, the influence of the prior culture and religion leaves a permanent mark that can greatly alter Islam—not always for the better as exemplified by Iran's Islamic government.

Sometimes, however, the foregoing process does improve Islam with the unfortunate result that fundamentalist Islam, with the help of religiously sanctioned deception known as taquiya, often evades full blame for its extremely violent and hateful doctrines. As will be shown below, real or fundamentalist Islam started as an extremely aggressive, warrior religion and its beginnings set the stage for the Islamic world's eventual decline.

Understanding what went wrong in the Islamic world is, perhaps, best addressed by first recognizing what went right because the initial success of Islam and its early rise to economic, political, and military power is also a primary cause of what ultimately went wrong.

When Muhammad and his early followers arrived in Medina, it is clear that they were in a less than secure economic state. They had cut themselves off from the protection and support of their tribe - an act that was considered tantamount to a death sentence at the time. Moreover, this severance from their tribe's support and protection occurred in a hostile environment. The Arabian Peninsula consists mainly of desert that, under normal circumstances, can only support a low-density population. Whether Muhammad felt that he had no other alternatives or whether he felt he had other options is something we will probably never know with certainty, but there is no question that Muhammad chose to create a society that sustained itself and advanced its interests by preying upon non-Muslims.

Mohammed said: "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, and whoever says, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, his life and property will be saved by me." (Fn 3) "Allah made the Jews leave their homes by terrorizing them so that you killed some and made many captives. And He made you inherit their lands, their homes, and their wealth. . . ." (Fn 4) Clearly, Muhammad viewed non-Muslim's land and property as fair game and his conduct established that he practiced what he preached.

Given the foregoing Islamic doctrine, it should not come as a surprise that Islamic history reveals that about eighteen months after arriving in Medina, Muhammad and his followers started raiding caravans owned by their former tribe in Mecca. These raids resulted in the murder of some of the caravan merchants and brought booty to the early Muslims such as raisins, tanned hides, and other various goods that allowed the early Muslims to flourish. (Fn. 5). Not only were valuable goods obtained directly from these raids, but captives from subsequent raids were either ransomed back to their families in Mecca or sold as slaves resulting in additional revenue. Financial success attracted more believers to the developing Islamic faith.

These caravan raids resulted in the early Islamic community developing the resources needed to later attack entire Jewish tribes. The subsequent attacks on Jewish tribes resulted in the destruction of the Jewish tribes on the Arabian Peninsula by some combination of slaughter, slavery, and expulsion. The attacks also transferred land and great wealth to the Muslim community that allowed it to then dominate the entire Arabian Peninsula.

Muhammad's goal of gaining wealth via robbery and warfare is undeniable. It is also undeniable that extremely reprehensible means were utilized. The earliest history of Muhammad originating from a devout Muslim, Ibn Ishaq, reveals the brutal means by which Muhammad conquered non-Muslims and stole their wealth:

"Kinana, the husband of Safiya, had been guardian of the tribe's treasures, and he was brought before the apostle [Muhammad], who asked where they were hidden. But Kinana refused to disclose the place. Then a Jew came who said, 'I have seen Kinana walk around a certain ruin every morning.' The apostle asked Kinana, 'Art thou prepared to die if we find thou knewest where the treasure was?' And he replied, 'Yes.' So the apostle ordered the ruin to be dug up, and some of the treasure was found. After that Kinana was asked again about the remainder, but he still refused to tell. The apostle of Allah handed him over to al-Zubayr, saying, 'Torture him until he tells what he knows', and al-Zubayr kindled a fire on his chest so that he almost expired; then the apostle gave him to Muhammad b. Maslama, who struck off his head." (Fn 6)

The hadith also reveal Muhammad's methods. Muhammad said "I have been made victorious with terror. The treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." (Fn 7)

The early behavioral example of Muhammad is of paramount importance to Muslims and set the stage for much of what is wrong in the Islamic world. The Qur'an expressly advises Muslims that in Muhammad they have "a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one. . . ." (Fn 8) In addition, the Qur'an repeatedly commands Muslims to not only obey Allah, but to obey Muhammad. (Fn 9)

It cannot be emphasized enough that the beginning of wisdom with respect to an understanding of Islam and its impact on Islamic civilization is the realization that Muhammad did not just bring a type of monotheism to the Arabian Peninsula by eliminating worship of all of the other pagan gods. Of far more significance is the fact that Muhammad also brought the belief that Muhammad was the Prophet, Apostle and Messenger of Allah, that Muhammad had to be obeyed as commanded by Allah, and that Muhammad's life was the perfect example for living. This aspect of Islamic belief that Allah allegedly commanded that Muhammad must be obeyed and, further, that his life is a perfect example for Muslims to follow, has overwhelming ramifications when trying to gain an understanding of Islam and any Islamic civilization.

It follows that Muhammad's early example has had a tremendous impact on Islamic culture. The example, as can be seen above, was indisputably not a favorable one. It is little wonder that Dante's Divine Comedy depicts Muhammad in Hell being tortured for eternity by devils. Even if one ignores the immoral aspects of Muhammad's example, once the opportunity for booty and ill-gotten gain played itself out, what was left for the Islamic world? It seems to me that not much was left other than to wait for the rest of the world to develop an economy that made the oil under the sand extremely valuable and that appears to be exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, Muhammad did not set forth a good example illustrating that his followers should work hard and develop industry, trade and agriculture. Muhammad had clearly set up a system predicated upon military expansion and an economy that thrived based on the fruits of conquest. Such an economy is doomed to failure when the source of booty not only runs out, but military losses drain the economy. Consider the example of the Ottoman Empire - the last great Islamic Empire.

In 1683, the Ottoman Turks tried to advance farther into Europe by besieging Vienna. The Turks had planned and prepared elaborately for the battle but nonetheless lost. It was a major turning point in history. The Turks not only lost the battle and failed to gain any war booty, but the fleeing Turks left behind a great bounty for the European victors. Polish King Jan Sobieski purportedly described the windfall in a letter to his wife as follows:

"Ours are treasures unheard of ... tents, sheep, cattle and no small number of camels ... it is victory as nobody ever knew of, the enemy now completely ruined, everything lost for them. They must run for their sheer lives . . ." (Fn 10)

Of course, it can be argued that decline from other causes led to military defeat, but my main point remains valid regardless - a civilization built upon conquest is doomed to failure. The historical record conclusively establishes that no empire has ever succeeded in maintaining its hegemony forever.

Islam once made Islamic cultures stronger as it produced fearless soldiers that believed they would receive an earthly award (booty and women) if they lived and a heavenly award if they died. Qur'an chapter 4, verse 74 promises: "Let those fight in the cause of God Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of God, - whether he is slain or gets victory - Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value)." Mohammed said: "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed). " (Fn 11) The Qur'an guarantees instant Paradise to those who fight for Allah. (Fn 12) Dying for Allah is presented as preferable to living: "And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of God, forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they could amass." (Fn 13) Martyrs are promised a secure, sensual (sensual is expanded to erotic in the hadiths) and luxurious life in paradise with beautiful women. (Fn 14)

When wars were fought hand to hand with swords and other such weapons, Islam had an advantage in that many Islamic warriors were absolutely fearless and not only unafraid to die, but sometimes eager to obtain their virgins in Paradise. As technology advanced, while it still takes courage to fight in any war, it is a little easier to fire a weapon from some distance as opposed to slashing and hacking in close combat amidst severed limbs, rivers of blood and the smell of sweat, blood, and human waste. In the modern age, the advantage is to the better educated and better familiarized with advanced technology and religious zeal with its associated fearlessness is no longer a significant advantage.

Not having left an example other than military conquest as a means to sustain Muslim society, Muhammad sowed the seeds of its eventual decline. While some might argue that Muhammad was once a caravan merchant himself thereby setting an example of entrepreneurship, that profession preceded the early Muslim community's Hijra or migration to Medina. The Islamic world gives overwhelming emphasis to Muhammad's example after the Hijra to such an extent that even the Islamic calendar is not based on Muhammad's birth, the date of his first alleged revelation, or the date of his first convert. Instead, the Islamic calendar starts with the Hijra which speaks volumes. It emphasizes that what is important is not when Islam was in its infancy without military or economic power, but that what is important is political and military power. Such a view is well warranted by the statements attributed to Muhammad. Mohammed once was asked: what was the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and His Apostle? His answer was: "To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause." (Fn 15)

Based on the foregoing, it is undeniable that Islam's origins are inextricably entwined with conquest and a drive for booty. As such, the origin of Islam has been a hindrance to an Islamic culture that holds Muhammad up as a perfect example for all time that Muslims are commanded to emulate. Winston Churchill reached the same conclusion:

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! [Votaries means a devout adherent of a cult or religion] Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome." (Fn 16)

Another result of the religious dominance of Islamic culture is that even when education is undertaken in Islamic culture, the emphasis is too often centered on Islamic studies. The Islamic world devotes such a disproportionate amount of its education resources on the teaching of Islam that it acts like an anchor that impedes forward progress. Not only does the emphasis on religious study take away from the study of knowledge that might help advance the culture, but it has the additional pernicious effect of cementing Islam's grip on the culture. Muslim youth are inculcated into a relatively unshakable Islamic belief system that perpetuates itself into perpetuity. Many Muslims spend much of their time memorizing the Qur'an. Memorizing such Qur'anic verses as "slay the pagans wherever you find them" hardly prepares Muslims for an increasingly technical world.

The Islamic world was actually undermined when the technology advanced that made the spread of the Qur'an and hadith to larger numbers of the faithful possible. Increased knowledge of and access to the actual tenets of the religion actually caused more Islamic orthodoxy. The Internet is exacerbating the problem.

Islamic civilization was actually better off when Muslims were dependent on religious leaders and hearsay for an understanding of their faith during the periods when a more moderate form of Islam developed.

Islamic doctrine regarding women also impedes progress. Imagine what would happen to the world's premiere economy, the United State's economy, if women were forced to comply with Sharia law? The United States would lose a significant percentage of its work force and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would suffer. Islamic doctrine directly leads to the restrictions on and prejudices against women in Islamic culture that impedes advancement. It is beyond credible dispute that Islam is an inherently misogynist religion that has resulted in untold discrimination against women.

Muhammad taught that captured women were lawfully subject to slavery and rape by their male captors. (Fn 17) Note that in the Quran the references to "those whom your right hands possess" is a euphemism for captives and slaves. Modernly, it is applied to non-Muslim women working for Muslims in Islamic countries. It is common to hear reports of workers in Islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia, being raped by their male employers. (Fn 18)

Islamic doctrine is no more enlightened with respect to Muslim women. Muhammad declared that women are intellectually inferior to men and that they comprise the majority of Hell's occupants. (Fn 19) One hadith records Muhammad as stating: "Women are naturally, morally and religiously defective." (Fn 20)

The Qur'an describes men as being above their wives, demands women's obedience to their husbands, demands that women cover themselves, and states that their husbands may beat them. (Fn 21) Muslim women are given less of an inheritance than men. (Fn 22)

Modernly, probably the most terrible aspect of Islamic discrimination against women is that their testimony in court is considered to be worth only half that of a man's testimony. (Fn 23) This law, in addition to other aspects of Sharia Law, yields the terrible result that if a woman wants to prove that she was raped, then she must have solid evidence beyond her own testimony as the male rapist's testimony is deemed to outweigh her testimony as a matter of law. Muslim women that are rape victims sometimes find themselves jailed or stoned to death for reporting rape given that since it cannot be proven, they have effectively admitted to adultery. (Fn 24)

Based on the foregoing, it seems obvious that Islam has directly resulted in women being unable to make a full contribution to Islamic society. Any religion that prevents approximately half its population from full participation in the economy patently acts as a hindrance to advancement and economic growth. Bernard Lewis seems in accord on this point. He accurately summed up the plight of women in the Islamic world as follows:

"According to Islamic law and tradition, there were three groups of people who did not benefit from the general Muslim principle of legal and religious equality - unbelievers, slaves, and women. The women was obviously in one significant respect the worst-placed of the three. The slave could be freed by his master; the unbeliever could at any time become a believer by his own choice, and thus end his inferiority. Only the women was doomed forever to remain what she was - or so it seemed at the time." (Fn 25)

Given the Islamic world's treatment of women and focus on religious studies, is it any wonder that the Islamic world declined? To understand just how poorly the Islamic world performs on the World stage, consider the following. Muslims comprise approximately twenty percent of the world's population and they have collectively won less than ten Nobel Prizes. Jews comprise .02 percent of the world's population but have collectively won more than 180 Nobel Prizes. (Fn 26)

Many, including Bernard Lewis, have opined that Islam is not incompatible with democracy. That is an arguable point, but what is not subject to legitimate argument is that Islam is hardly conducive to democracy. Muhammad set a clear example of combining religious and political authority. Islam also naturally fosters the belief that man cannot by popular vote set aside "Allah's laws." A religion that does not even give protection to someone for being unable to believe that Muhammad was God's prophet (Quran chapter 9, verses 5, 29), can hardly be expected to produce the type of enlightened belief in pluralism that is necessary in any healthy democracy.

Can a culture that focuses its educational resources teaching that the Qur'an is literally God's word really expect its citizens to accept anything other than a society controlled by the Qur'an given the express commands to the contrary? Of course not. Consider what the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had to say on the subject:

"Divine governments . . . set themselves the task of making man into what he should be. To juxtapose "democratic" and "Islamic" is an insult to Islam. Because . . . Islam is, in fact, superior to all forms of democracy." (Fn 27)

Democracy has been repeatedly proven by example to result in the most dynamic economies in the world. Islam, by making Islamic culture naturally resistant to democracy, has, therefore, impeded the Islamic world's advancement. Statistics tell the story quite well. Turkey's Islamic culture has been held in check by a strong secular government and military that imposes as a matter of law sever restrictions on Islamic practice. According to the CIA World Factbook, Turkey has a $12,999 per capita GDP. Conversely, Iran, an Islamic Republic, has a per capita GDP of $10,600 despite vast oil revenue and a very educated population. But the foregoing figures do not tell the whole story. On the matter of per capita GDP and income, Hassan Hakimian and Massoud Karshenas, in their article "Dilemmas and Prospects of Economic Reform and Reconstruction in Iran," observed:

"During the two decades before 1975 per capita income in Iran grew faster than in Turkey and kept pace with Korea. By 1975 the level of per capita GDP in Iran was more than double those attended in Korea and Turkey. However, since the late 1970s income per head in Iran has witnessed a rapid decline. . . By 1990, GDP per capita in Iran had declined by half, almost down to the levels prevalent in the early 1960s and falling behind Turkey and Korea." (Fn 28)

A can be seen, the reintroduction of Islamic rule in Iran caused Iran to go from having a per capita income of more than double Turkey's per capita income to a per capita GDP less than Turkey's per capita GDP. Over time, Iran will continue to lose ground in comparison to non-Islamic countries and more secularized Islamic countries unless and until it can escape the grip of Islamic fundamentalists. The Islamic regime has driven away the country's best and brightest and will continue to do so until its grip on Iranian society can be broken.

Because most people in the West are secular, it is often difficult for Westerners to appreciate how deeply religious belief can impact individuals and society. The impact of devout religious belief is magnified in the Islamic world because of the duel nature of Islam as a religious and political system that permeates nearly all aspects of life in most Islamic countries and the belief that the Qur'an is literally the word of God revealed to Muhammad via an angel. Try to understand how the Qur'anic verses set forth in this essay would affect you if you truly believed they were literally the word of God and you lived in a society wherein Islam dominated your religious, political, business and social pursuits. When the Qur'an says slay the pagans if they will not convert to Islam and that non-Muslim's property and even their women and children are fair bounty for Muslims to take, sell into slavery or even to utilize as sex partners whether the women consent or not, it is not hard to fathom that many adherents will do just that and that such conduct still exists, for example, in Sudan in the twenty-first century should hardly come as a surprise.

Despite Islam's obvious drain upon and hindrance to Islamic culture, Islam has inherent properties that make change extremely difficult. For example, Islamic doctrine demands that apostates, those that leave the faith or try to modify it, be killed. That command is vaguely set forth in the Qur'an, chapter 9, verse 12, but clearly set forth in the hadith. (Fn 29) It is, therefore, difficult for cultural Muslims in some Islamic states to make headway against Islamic orthodoxy as any attempt to do so might result in being declared an apostate with severe consequences. Similarly, any criticism of Islam that targets Muhammad and his example is likewise dangerous. Many Muslims can and do act quite violently to any criticism of Muhammad. Such violence is sanctioned by Islam given that Muhammad himself ordered critics and rivals assassinated.

In "What Went Wrong," Bernard Lewis exonerates Islam as a factor in the Islamic world's decline by noting that for most of the Middle Ages Islam contained the centers of civilization and progress. But Prof. Lewis' conclusion is hardly compelled by his premise. When the reasons underlying the Islamic world's dominance during the Middle Ages are examined, the better conclusion is that the Islamic world experienced a Golden Age despite Islam and not because of it. The only benefit Islam played in the Islamic world's Golden Age is that it drove Islamic conquest, but that quality of Islam, as shown above, paved the way for its eventual decline.

The fact is that the Islamic world simply benefited from the decline of other cultures during the Middle Ages and from the industry and effort of its conquered dhimmi population. (Fn 30)

The previously dominate Western culture, Roman culture, declined dramatically during the Middle Ages. The Islamic world simply filled a void created by the weakened Byzantine Empire (last of the Romans), weakened Persian Empire, and the collapsed Western Roman Empire. Germanic invasions, disease, civil war, and other causes simply caused Western civilization to steeply decline. In addition, the Byzantine Empire and Persian Empires had exhausted themselves fighting each other and both were thereafter drained by periodic Islamic aggression that surely sapped much of their vigor. Europe was also hemmed in by a hostile Islamic world thereby limiting trade until sea routes were established bypassing the Middle East. By comparison to declining Western Civilization, the Islamic world seemed robust and vibrant and in a way it was. But it was a culture that benefited from conquest and the absorption of the host cultures.

Over time, however, as discrimination and persecution resulted in fewer and fewer non-Muslims and the influence of Islam increased as the percentage of Muslims in the society increased, the Islamic world declined. As common sense would suggest, as the Islamic world expanded dramatically it brought into its fold many other religions and philosophies that exerted significant influence on the culture. With the passage of time, these influences waned in many places because, not only did the dhimmi population shrink, but these influences had no doctrinal support within the Qur'an and life and sayings of Muhammad. Even where we see these influences preserved to some degree such as in Iran, the non-Islamic influences have sometimes failed to mitigate the harsher aspects of fundamentalist Islam and, in fact, in Iran has produced an even more virulent strain of Islam called Twelver Islam.

We can see a modern example of how a culture can decline when it loses an industrious minority population by observing what happened in Uganda. When Idi Amin took power in Uganda in 1971, he eventually forcibly removed the entrepreneurial Indian minority from Uganda with the result that the economy declined dramatically. The same principle caused decline within Islamic culture. Over the centuries, the dhimmi population declined as a result of significant persecution. The dhimmi population strengthened Islamic culture and as it diminished Islamic culture suffered.

In addition, the tales of an Islamic Golden Age of scientific progress are greatly exaggerated and, to the extent it existed, it occurred despite Islam - not because of it. I have read the Qur'an and hadith and there is nothing of any significance in either body of work that would remotely cause a Golden Age. I am not alone in reaching such a conclusion. One writer observed that:

"[t]he success of the Muslims as successful scientists, thinkers, writers and medicine men had little to do with their religious piety. If you look at the lives of the greatest philosophers and scientists of the time, you will realize that a great number of them were agnostics if not completely atheists. Avicenna, Razi, and Omar Khayam were not orthodox believers." (Fn 31)

I greatly suspect that some day people will argue that present day Qatar is an example of a successful Islamic culture experiencing a "Golden Age." The country is 77.5 % Muslim and it is thriving economically and making great strides forward culturally. Qatar boasts one of the highest per capita GDP's in the world at a whopping $80,900 a year. Qatar is also undergoing some spectacular real estate development. There is no question that Qatar is doing well, but the success has nothing to do with Islam. It is simply an example of an Islamic state whose ruler is more inclined to follow Western economic models as opposed to traditional Islamic culture.

Qatar certainly establishes that with vast oil and natural gas revenues and sound leadership that Muslims can achieve success, but it is such a tiny country and its success is so driven by the unusual circumstance of having vast per capita oil and natural gas revenue, military protection from the United States, and a relatively liberal leadership that has even allowed women to vote, that it is a poor model with respect to legitimizing fundamentalist Islam. Quite the opposite is true. Qatar proves that an Islamic culture can thrive when fundamentalist Islam is held in check by what appear to be leadership that draws more inspiration from non-Islamic influences than Islam. Qatar's progress simply proves that as an Islamic culture moves along the spectrum of belief that is modern Islam away from fundamentalist Islam and toward cultural Islam that the pernicious effects of Islam will at some point surrender its grip on the culture and give way to advancement. The same principle operated in pre-Islamic Revolution Iran and the same principle, in reverse, operated in post-Islamic Revolution Iran to drag the country backwards and caused decline quite similar to what was observed in the Islamic world following Islam's Golden Age.

It seems to me to be no coincidence that ibn Taymiyyah, a fourteenth century reformer of Islam, sought to return Islam to its roots and return the religion to one based on the Qur'an and life of Muhammad; in other words, return Islam to the religion preached and practiced by Muhammad. Ibn Taymiyyah's reform agenda arose at a time when most historians believe Islam's Golden Age was coming to an end. Could it be that ibn Taymiyyah's movement helped bring to an end the very age that occurred, at last in part, due to the relaxed degree of Islam to which he so strongly objected? Regardless as to the answer, the fact that he saw such a strong need for reform reveals that Islam's so-called Golden Age may well have been golden, but it had strayed from the Islam Muhammad preached and practiced.

Even the Mongol invasions that so devastated Islamic culture cannot serve to mitigate the evidence against Islam as a factor in the Islamic world's decline. While the Mongols laid waste to much of the Islamic world and certainly helped end its Golden Age, the devastation did not have to occur. The Mongols had already satiated themselves with victory and booty from other cultures, including Chinese culture, and Genghis Kahn - who was nearly in his sixties by 1219 - appeared to simply want to live out the rest of his life in peace. Accordingly, he initially sent conciliatory messages and gift laden envoys to the Islamic world seeking sincere peace and trade relations, but those overtures were not only rebuffed, but met with the slaying of the Mongol envoys that resulted in infuriating Genghis Kahn. (Fn 32)

Could it be that the extremely hateful way that Islamic doctrine refers to non-Muslims and allows for the murder and robbery of non-Muslims caused the Muslims to act so savagely toward the Mongol overtures and thereby bring down upon themselves such utter destruction? It is not hard to imagine given what Muhammad alleged God had to say about non-Muslims. We have already seen above how the Qur'an and haith allow the killing and robbery of non-Muslims. To such religiously sanctioned murder and robbery, the Qur'an refers to non-Muslims in numerous derogatory ways and clearly teaches that non-Muslims are fair game for almost every type of indignity and violence.

The Qur'an states that non-Muslims are: not to be taken as a friend (3:28), confused (6:25), to be Terrorized- " I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."(8:12), to be made war on (9:5 & 29), to be considered unclean (9:28), considered evil and a helper of evil against God (23:97 & 25:55), to be punished (25:77), humiliated (37:18), hated (40:35), to be beheaded (47:4), to be laughed at (83:34), and assumed to be plotting against Muslims (86:15). Finally, as if there could be any doubt based on the foregoing, the earliest biography of Muhammad originating from Ibn Ishaq flatly quotes Muhammad as stating: ""Muhammad is the apostle of Allah! Those with him are violent against Unbelievers but merciful to one another. . . . " The Qur'an is in accord: "Muhammad is the apostle of God; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. . . " (Fn 33)

Based on the foregoing, is it then any surprise that when the first Mongol envoy arrived with tremendous wealth that it was seized and all of the Mongols killed? Does it not appear to be very similar to Muhammad's treatment of the Meccan caravans and are Muslims not admonished to follow Muhammad's example? When Genghis Kahn sought redress for the first destruction of his envoy, all of the members of his second envoy were also killed or mutilated. Genghis Kahn was infuriated and understandably so. He was no longer content to live out his days in peace. The resulting Mongol invasion of the Islamic world is legendary for the level of destruction and brutality. Genghis Kahn and the Mongols had learned that it was best to utterly destroy a civilization and kill its upper class in order to make sure that the civilization would never rise up again and that is what happened to much of the Islamic world. (Fn 34)

While it is true that the Great Ottoman Turk Empire arose after the Mongol devastation and that some other parts of the Islamic world did well after the Mongol invasions, there is no denying that the Mongol invasions had a terrible overall impact on Islamic culture and it all happened because Muslims viewed the Mongol envoys as fair game to be killed and robbed just as Islamic doctrine teaches.

Modernly, we see the exact same type of Islam inspired hatred toward non-Muslims once again setting the stage for further decline in the Islamic world. The Iranian government has repeatedly made bellicose statements indicating that it intends to eventually attack Israel. The evidence also overwhelmingly suggests that Iran's pursuit of nuclear power is intended for military purposes and that Iran may well undertake a nuclear first strike against Israel. While a full discussion and proof of this issue is beyond the scope of this essay, it is relevant to note that the Iranian Government's conduct toward Israel is eerily analogous to the violence and bellicosity that brought the Mongol wrath down upon the Islamic world. Iran would very much like to provoke a confrontation with Israel. The Iranian Government periodically announces a stated intent to destroy Israel. The Israelis are understandably deeply concerned. The last time the Jews ignored a tyrant's stated desire to destroy Jews they experienced the Holocaust. The Israelis are determined to not make the same mistake and are openly practicing long-range military strikes that are obviously geared at preparing the Israeli air force to take out Iran's nuclear facilities.

I believe that eventually the Iranians will get the war they seem so eager to provoke and I also suspect that the country, like its Middle Age Islamic counterpart, will be devastated by the conflict. The Israelis, like the Mongols in the Middle Ages, are simply better at war than the Iranians and the Israelis may well end up dropping nuclear bombs on Iran if the Iranians succeed, as the Iranians fully intend, in causing enough damage in Israel so as to make the Israelis feel that they have no choice.

If war comes, it will cause an even further decline in Iran's already sad state of affairs. That decline will be directly attributable to Islam. Not only do the Qur'anic verses set forth above about non-believers fuel Iran's intransigence and bellicosity, but the Qur'an has several verses that disparage Jews in the worst of terms and overall Islamic doctrine and history drives Islamic hatred of Jews and Israel. (Fn 35) That Iran's bellicosity toward Israel is driven by Islam is also evidenced by the fact that, prior to its Islamic Revolution, Iran had good relations with Israel.

As a direct result of religiously generated hatred of Jews, the modern age will see a repeat of what happened in the Middle Ages - Islam will cause a decline in Islamic culture. Not only will Iran decline, but the decline may well extend to other Islamic countries should they attempt to assist Iran in its attempt to annihilate Israel.

Prof. Lewis further observes that Islamic "governments and societies achieved a freedom of thought and expression that led persecuted Jews and even dissident Christians to flee Christendom for refuge in Islam." Here again, it is simply by comparison with an equally corrupt and oppressive Western culture during the Middle Ages that Islamic culture in the Middle Ages looks relatively palatable, but even at that tales of Islam's alleged tolerance of Jews and Christians are greatly exaggerated. While at certain times and places there may have been some tolerance, a non-Muslim never knew when some event might cause terrible persecution and Jews and Christians lived under formal discriminatory rules such as the Pact of Umar that were far from anything that would, under modern belief, be considered tolerant. (See Fn 30)

While the discrimination may have seemed better by comparison during the Middle Ages and during times and places when Islamic culture deviated from its roots as a warrior culture that destroyed Jewish tribes, Islam has largely locked much of the Islamic world in a state of religiously mandated discrimination against non-Muslims. By subscribing his thoughts and views as the word of God to be followed for all time, Muhammad has made it difficult for Islamic culture to keep pace with other cultures' advances with respect to the treatment of minority populations. That is why most Jews now live outside the Islamic world.

Such religiously mandated bigotry toward non-Muslims has also certainly had a chilling effect on some Muslims' ability to conduct business and trade with non-Muslims and surely hobbles economic development. If the Arabs living near Israel were to shift their focus from trying to annihilate the Jews to trying to engage in commerce with them, they might raise their paltry per capita GDP. In just sixty years as a nation the Israelis have managed to achieve one of the highest per capita GDP's in the world , $25,800, despite being saddled with a less than industrious and significantly hostile Arab community that comprises approximately 23 percent of Israel's population. By way of comparison, Syria has a per capita GDP of $4,500, Jordan $4,900, and Egypt $5,500. Lebanon, which has a large non-Muslim population, has a per capita GDP of $11,300. While Jordan and Egypt have supposedly made peace with Israel, it is a cold peace and it has not resulted in the type of true peace and economic cooperation that could and would help bolster their economies.

Muhammad's behavior and teachings may well have been within the range of normative behavior for the seventh century and he certainly advanced Arab culture to a level of success it may well have never otherwise known. If Muhammad had only been a general and political leader, we might well view him much as we view Alexander the Great. Unfortunately, however, Muhammad attributed his philosophy, wants, and desires to be the word of God and in doing so he has prevented the Islamic world from advancing as it should have. One hadith claims Muhammad said that "Islam cannot change." (Fn 36) If Islam cannot change, it should be no surprise that an Islamic culture that is so overwhelmingly influenced by Islam also has difficulty adapting and changing and, as such, its decline and continued difficulties are in large part directly attributable to Islam and the religion's inherent flaws.



Footnotes

Fn 1: Quran 2:132-135
Fn 2: See Sirat Rasoul Allah: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/Sira.htm#tabuk) See chapter 25 called Tabuk
Fn 3: Al Bukhari Vol. 4:196
Fn 4: Qur'an 33:26
Fn.5: See Sirat Rasoul Allah: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/Sira.htm#firstcaravan) See chapter 12 called "First Caravan"
Fn6: See Sirat Rasoul Allah: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/Sira.htm#khaybar; See chapter 20 called "Khaybar"
Fn 7: Al Bukhari: Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 220
Fn 8: Qur'an 33:21
Fn 9: Qur'an 3:32, 3:132, 4:59, 5:92, 8:1, 8:20, 24:47
Fn 10: See Wikipedia, Battle of Vienna: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna
Fn 11: Al Bukhari, Vol. 1:35
Fn 12: Qur'an 4:74; 9:111; and 47:5-6
Fn 13: Qur'an 3:157
Fn 14: Qur'an 44:51-56; 52:17-29
Fn 15: Al Bukhari Vol. 1: 25
Fn 16: Sir Winston Churchill, The River War, first edition, Vol. II, p248-250, London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899.
Fn 17: Qur'an 4:24 and 33:52
Fn 18: See e.g., http://hrw.org/reports/2004/saudi0704/7.htm#_ftn145
Fn 19: Al Bukhari 2:28 and 6:301
Fn 20: Al Bukhari 3:195
Fn 21: Qur'an 2:228, 4:34, and 24:31
Fn 22: Qur'an 4:11
Fn 23: Qur'an 2:282
Fn 24: http://www.hrw.org/reports/1992/pakistan/
Fn 25: What Went Wrong, (2002) Bernard Lewis, p67-69
Fn 26: See http://www.masada2000.org/nobel.html
Fn 27: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979, as quoted in The Iran Threat, 2007, Alireza Jafarzadeh, page 39
Fn 28: Source: Parvin Alizadeh (editor), The Economy of Iran, I.B. Tauris Publishers, London, 2000 as referenced online at http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/iran.htm#RECORD
Fn 29: Al Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 260: "The Prophet said, 'If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.'"
Fn 30: For those interested in further proof of my views regarding the treatment and effect of dhimmis in the Islamic world, I strongly recommend the work of Bat Ye'or, an historian specializing in the history of non-Muslims in the Middle East and author of the following books relevant to this subject: Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (2001), The Decline of Eastern Christianity: From Jihad to Dhimmitude (1996), and The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam (1985). I consider her to be the leading authority in her field.
Fn 31: Myths about the Golden Age of Islam, Yasser Latif Hamdani, January 2, 2005
Fn 32: Gengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, 2004, Jack Weatherford, p. 105-107
Fn 33: Qur'an 48:29
Fn 34: Gengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, p105-124.
Fn 35: See Arab-Israeli Conflict, parts one and two, by Andrew Stunich on the Islam-watch.org website.
Fn 36: Al Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 88, Number 174

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Comments Notes: Keep comments short. Our system cannot separate paragraphs. Comments must be relevant to the topic of the article. We did not regulate the comments but if irrelevant comments, materials, adds of other websites etc. are being uploaded, we will have to regulate the comments and even ban the IP addresses of such nuisance posters.


Name: Peter
Date: Sunday July 06, 2008
Time: 21:45:53 -0700

Comment

Mr. Andrew Stunich the ideas in your article which you have so eloquently and rationally stated have been accepted by me for quite some time now. You have expressed it so very well and in such a concise manner I am truly astounded. You obviously put in a lot of hard work and given so much evidence from islamic scripture that the strenghth of your argument is formidable. It is people like you who can make a difference in the battle to save humanity from the clutches of this destructive ideology called islam. Well done. I think you could expand this into a book on the same subject or you could write a book as a collection of essays such as the one you have just written. One of the best article I have seen so far on this web site on a subject which is not high lighted very much. The topic however is of tremendous importance.


Name: GDP-Figures of Arab countries much lower!
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 00:55:39 -0700

Comment

Sorry but all the numbers in the article for muslim countries are way too high though they are already much lower than in Israel. Perhaps the author used PPP-Data (Purchasing Power?). The per capita production in Israel is about 10 times higher than in its neighbour countries! Only Libanon, with christian population is better off.


Name: Consider Singapore
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 01:22:57 -0700

Comment

With it´s chinese majority it has a nearly ten times higher per capita GDP than it´s muslim neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia. Here you can see that the muslims excusions to blame the west for anti-islamic conspiracy does not work. Any country can make it provided there is no islam. Just consider the whole Far East with Japa, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. They are all atheists, agnostics or polytheists by islamic standards but way better off and higher developed than any muslim country!


Name: very good article
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 02:02:40 -0700

Comment

very good article.


Name: vbv
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 02:50:50 -0700

Comment

Take away oil, the middle -eastern arabs have to either go begging in abject poverty or take to plundering, looting, brigandry, slavetrade, and the like. What is their contribution to Humanity - just barbarity, savagery and destruction. Nothing creative or beneficial can come out of islam - just ignorance , superstition , backwardness, immorality, slavery and the most uncouth barbarianism . This is evident from the state of human condition in countries like Saudi Arabia , Iran, Iraq, Pakistan ,Bangladesh , Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Jordan, Palestine , Libya, Nigeria, Egypt, Chad, etc - all great examples of islamic "un-civilisation". Compare this with any non-islamic country like India, Japan, Korea, China,USA, UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, etc, these zombies are way behind economically , culturally, and scientifically. Therefore , it proves correctly that islam leads to fark ages - ignorance, superstition, backwardness, fear and stupidity! The author has digressed the malady called islam very correctly.


Name: Very necessary article
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 03:00:49 -0700

Comment

I would wish to have more about economics and Islam, about the relation between progress and Islam. Why, for instance, could Japan succeed in their modernisation almost 140 years ago while the arabs are still failing to do so? Europe is so close to the arab world but the arabs don´t learn anything from the west while the japanese did. Like the Sout Koreans, the Taiwanese and so on.


Name: antimod
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 04:10:00 -0700

Comment

Once a fox went astray and got lost from its tribe. While it was wandering it got its tail in a cleft and unable to free itself cut its tail. Only a small piece of til was all that was left. It kept on wandering finally joined its tribe. All it smate started laughing and mocking at it for its tail stump. The fox was clever it kept aon arguing that a cut tail makes one much handsomer than a full tail. Some gullible mates had their tails cul and this went on. Very few members of the tribe were left and were driven away by the others. The muslim is like that fox with a cut tail and he argues his looks (read religion ) are the best.


Name: Alf Janszoon
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 07:47:24 -0700

Comment

The so-called Golden age of Islam is just the spending of cultural capital accumulated by the conquered and subjugated societies. Islam is a vampire sucking the life blood of these societies. After a certain period these societies became Islamic i.e. petrified, backward, fatalistic, ridden with what Islam really is; superstition. Contrary to the West who accepted Greek rationality, the Muhammadans who had the same access to Greek philosophy and science as the West, turned back to eat their Muhammadan vomit. Instead of independent thinking they chose dogma and superstition, instead of Democritus and Aristotle they chose prophet Mo and his clone the obscurantist Al Ghazali.


Name: Peter
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 08:16:35 -0700

Comment

This is the most important article on the folly of islam. I think the ideas in this article should be one of the main arguments by non muslims against Islam. All who read this site both muslim and non muslim please note the importance of this article.


Name: Ananda
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 12:05:11 -0700

Comment

To ((( Alf Janszoon))) Your concise comments summarizes Islam, its impact on humans, and Muslims much better than this article. That is my honest opinion. Thanks.


Name: Muslim Strategies will Fail
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 13:01:02 -0700

Comment

Discrimination against women and infidels, to blame others, to believe in own superiority - all these islamic strategies fail to work. Muslims have to compete with the world in terms of education and technology. They are not better only because they are muslims! But this is what the quran teaches and it is wrong!


Name: Peter khan
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 14:06:07 -0700

Comment

Islam and Modernity The author argues that when we refer to Islam, we need to specify a concept that appears on a number of levels. Islam comprises building-blocks of creeds (‘aqā’id) and a monotheist religion, characterized by its comprehensiveness and completeness in its creation of an idealist spiritualism. In addition, Islam is a manifestation of the experiences and knowledge of people, societies and states at various stages of history, and in the ancient, medieval and modern eras. It is connected in time and space to secondary cultures that have had a unique influence, such as Islam in the Arab world, Iran, South Asia, the Far East and Africa. Therefore, when we discuss Islam, we should specify the period or era that is the focus of study, its stage of development as well as the field of research. Examples are Islam in the guided Caliphate or the first Islamic era of enlightenment, which was represented by a scientific renaissance, pragmatic philosophy and cultural prosperity in various countries, though particularly in Baghdad, or Islam in the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries ac. The author believes that the first Islamic renaissance, which took place between the third and seventh centuries ah (tenth and fourteenth centuries ac), was a compre­hensive project aimed at modernizing the intellectual, social, economic and cultural aspects of the Muslim world. The fathers of modernity, such as Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Ibn Bājjah, Ibn Miskawayh, al‑Hallāj and many others, accomplished a leap of quali­tative enlightenment, which opened new horizons far and wide, by posing critical questions on the social thinking and the critical philosophical approach of their con­tem­poraries. Nevertheless, the author agrees that this first revival in the Arab/Muslim world during the Middle Ages miscarried and did not last long. Unlike the European Renaissance, it was not supported by an open middle class that could provide the necessary long-term impetus to achieve enlightenment and scientific and technical progress. The author concludes that the fall of Baghdad in 1258 ac into the hands of the Mongols was a turning-point in the history of the Arab/Islamic Empire. It reflected the cracks that were appearing in the joints of the state, society and civilization as a result of the loss of the central power when the Empire was divided into satellite states and mamālīk. Not surprisingly, the decline, collapse and disintegration of the Empire and the rational and intellectual movement led to a stagnation in economic and cultural activity and an increase in conflict, chaos and disasters. Consequently, there was a gradual decrease in the impetus and means of production and its tools, leading the Arab/Muslim world into an era of darkness, from which it did emerge not until the cannons of Napoleon were bombarding the beaches of Egypt.


Name: Indeed ....
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 19:10:53 -0700

Comment

Mohammad was a very clever man. He used the basic needs of people, wealth and sex, to make his religion believed by them, even until now. The full-loving God of the Christian has been changed by Mohammad's Allah which was so cruel and likes to torture human. I think the picture of Allah, as claimed by Mohammad, are insults to the One True God. Mohammad was not a prophet of the One-True-God but the prophet of Lucifer, considering he brought so many agony to other people. If the Moslem said that Mohammad was a grace to the universe, I daresay that he is the devil, garbage of humankind.


Name: Ben
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 19:55:43 -0700

Comment

Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest Muslim countries in terms of population in the Asian continent. The ruler’s back then volunteered in submitting to present day religion from traders of the silk route and maritime route back then…… in the early 20th century the missionaries went and upseted the apple cart…This illegal conversion by fale propaganda of the religion of the land has created disharmony. Now the media is portraying only onside of the story which the western media always are famous for…. And after year 1948, May there are more wars then ever.Did you know how the Philippines were established???. Don’t tell me you didn’t know that... Let me tell you …… King Philip Killed all the Moros, who would not convert to his religion after he Occupied there territories (around the 16th Centaury). The remnant of them are still fighting for there freedom in the south …are called terrorist… some freedom fighters are still forgotten….now criminals and tugs have joined the party….. What religion did Emperor Asoka the Brute from Indo Land profess before he converted to Buddhism? … He was A Hindu and did he go on a killing spree after he embraced the new faith??? NO he was a good man after his conversion. Who is Alqidas Biggest Enemy …..? Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israel…. Israels great skill in manipulating media and public opinion cannot be underestimated. The propaganda offensive is so successful and financed by The US tax payers, Then we tend to wonder what the hell are the US troops, doing in Iraq and Afghanistan ….?? Come on… They just want you guys to portray that the Muslims are Very very bad people. So the Israelies could occupy more land from the stupid Palastinian olive pluckers… while the world is turning a blind eye… Israel boast of a great state but the world ignores all its atrocities it commits.. Very very bad…. World…. Very very bad…. Oooh I cant sleep I have to kill the next muslim I see soon as I get up.. Because I was thought that the muslims are Very very bad…. Very very bad…. Very very bad…. What was reason Hitler Killed the Jews ?? …. it is because, The Zionist put Jesus in the cross. As a leader he is authorized to do that in the name of his faith don’t u think so Israel…….,.. right then what the heck is Georgy the Bushi doing to the Afghans and the Iraqis? Is it just to teach Iran a lesson since Mosad adviced Bushy that the Iranians kicked the CIA in the US embassy in Iran Who did not want the oil revenue to go to the people.. poor guys Now the Iranian people are suffering Due to the Sanctions.. instead US wanted arms to be purchased from Israeli companies at that time…... So finaly how did these arms Companies get big profits?? EAASyy They got the STUPID Saudis to pay for it and got the Iraqis to fight in the early 80’s good plan good plan….So Mosad is repeating it once again now ….??? In the bible study its mentioned that Jesus will be here for his 2nd coming to kill the false Prophet who we consider antichrist. I hope I’m alive to witness Jesus kicking Antichrists ass…. NOO NOO Jesus will kill the bugger antichrist with his inspiration not with Bombs and Nuclear weapons…or kicking ASS ohh.. So then is Mohammed is he anti Christ???... Come onnn. …. Jesus still hasn’t rose from his sleeping place in the sky.. Mohammed is dead 1500 yrs ago … who the hell is anti Christ???... Come come hey are the Devil worshipers… OOoooh are the KKK also devil worshippors????? Yes yes they toooo are….. so should we avoid the devils temptations to kill innocent people then……Yes Yes Yes my lets do it do it … as we have sinned.. we should repent,,,,,, repent,,,,,, repent,,,,,, I said repent,,,,,, repent,,,,,, Ok Ok Ok… …..How did Europe gain knowledge and influence from science, algebra , Medicine …ettc.. From the f---ing muslin in Spain. …Then …..Should we Nuke Isreal for spreading false propaganda?????……. No no wait wait…come on I am trying to think I can’t….. Ok ok ok calmed down now..Please don’t the Iranians will do it on behalf of us that’s what they say in the media you don’t get involved ….. Then if that f---ing Muslim didn’t Show the Portuguese away to India through South Africa the world would have been better off then right???????…… yes…… yes…… yes…… yes…… yes…… yes the traders at that time were in to business they did not have any intension to Invade and steal like the Israeli are doing now in The African Continent in very professional way by instilling puppets and Tyrants and letting the people starve and also getting some to fight and kill each other…Look at the Robert Mugarbey the prick, instaleed by the Zions now they cant get him out..the zions are still benefiting …..But the Chinese too are there in Africa…Yes they mind there own business and are NOT trying also to control the world… but what about Indian presence in Africa… If India is in Africa, China has to think twice….then what about the Pakstan….. forget it Paki’s are screwed by Musharaf in style… China, India and Pakistan need all the professional help from Israel… so that the world will be quite… The world is not Quite Duuuddde…. Then then …then….Who supported Saddam Hussein the tyrant, and armed him with Chemical weapons and finally was hanged for reasons not divulge to his supporters. Then shouldn’t we investigate and put on trial these foreign supporter of the late Saddam…. ……Ladies and gentleman there were no Alqaida then there was Alqada only after the 1990’s that’s when the Communism collapsed in the USSR… So who is the next enemy….is it … MO_HAM_MUD. ISLAM?????… ok ok ok… I will then wage war with him…. And ISLAM… Long live the USSR >>>>>>>> Were there fighting like now in the Silk Road back then before the 16 th century in such a mass scale? NO NO NO NO you are pissing me off NO NO NO NO fighting like that then,,,,, Then please tell me..Who murdered the Tribal North Americans in the name of the Lord? Wasn’t me…. Then Was it Mohammad…???? Let’s tell them it was him please>>>> world please… it was Mohammad (bloody liars….) Who murdered the Tribal Ausies and stole there Children in the name of Christ? OOHH I’m Embarrassed. But it wasn’t me…I think it was Hitler--- wrong wrong >>>>>>>> ,,,, you don’t get it….You are just pissing me again and going out of context… Turkey was the only barrier for the Europeans that’s why they cannot stomach the Turks joining the EU. Even the Croats cannot believe that they lost and suffered in Euro 2008 football;;;;;;;. …Hail Hitler…Hail Hitler …Hail Hitler Hail Georgy Bushyy… hail the Zionist.. Why were puppet countries established in the middle east..??? So that the religion they profess are damned and oil could be exploited while the citizens suffer the puppets enjoy the benefits of the oil money…. in the name profiteering…a nd exploiting……… and no damn concern for humans…or living things… Please prove these stuff are wrong before I Die…….


Name: How true
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 20:16:57 -0700

Comment

"the Islamic world simply benefited from the decline of other cultures during the Middle Ages and from the industry and effort of its conquered dhimmi population. (Fn 30) " I can totally see this happenign in my country Malaysia. This country has touted itself as a model of progressive Islamic success when in fact it's economic strength is largely built on the backs of its non-Muslim population.


Name: How true
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 20:18:34 -0700

Comment

"Over time, however, as discrimination and persecution resulted in fewer and fewer non-Muslims and the influence of Islam increased as the percentage of Muslims in the society increased, the Islamic world declined" That's happening in my country too!


Name: Muslims need to be rationalised
Date: Monday July 07, 2008
Time: 22:31:16 -0700

Comment

Muslims need to be rationalised. Only then they will be freed from islam


Name: Nibal Lee
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 01:20:53 -0700

Comment

Dearest ben, how true, Muslims need to be rationalised . In my humble opinion this is the most absurd post and every answer will be confronted by an unanswerable why. To Illustrate by example, this is how it goes: Who started this all? Go back in recent history and come to modern day. You will find that the Muslim world has been under oppression by the western governments under the cover of modernization and secular states. If you observe the facts then you will soon discover that reactions from the oppressed peoples of the Islamic world. When you look at what "Israel" has done to the Muslims and Arab Christians you WILL change your thinking. "i didn't see a muslim killing 6 million Jews!" 1)It was 50years ago and this is the worst Europian Trauma, that's why we call it the holocaust. That was in the PAST and HAVE WE learned from it 2) Of all religion's TODAY, which one hates the Muslims so explicitly? If they could they would kill them all and that's more than 6million. 3)Luckely lots of muslim country's don't have the means ???????????????????,maybe WE shouldnt keep it that way! i didn't see muslims invading countries to get fuel! i didn't see muslims occupying some ones country in pretext for Heroin! but then again, hitler didnt kill jews in the name of christianity! he was mentally ill!! Then why not you apply the same rule for those "Muslim" terrorists who killed innocent people??? Hippocrates!!! What about the Imperialist American project that we are living today? If the Iraqis did this to Mike in the US then they would be bad, but what is he doing in their country? Can't you see that the issue is not Islam or Christianity or any other religion? What about the Iraqi and Afghan innocent lives being taken in the dozens everyday as a result of the American occupation. I hate Saddam but this did NOT happen on his watch! I urge you to go do some research on the subject. I urge you to stop shooting from the hip. Think that maybe you are not told the truth and start from there. I promise you will find the truth. I mean it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out who's occupying who! And that my friend is a reason to attempt to stop the oppressor by all the means you may have. sentiment instead of exploiting and worsening the friction between the communities because of the religious issues, Terrorism for political gain well there is no religion that speaks for violence and we must understand that all those religions created by God were aimed to protect people, help understand the code of life and to let people realize that God is one & he must be worshiped only. See all the holy books handed over to the messengers of the ages. Islam, Buddhism, vedhas & Christianity do not preach any thing wrong, Prophet Muhammad said: "Do not kill the women, children, aged or the ill." He also prohibited Muslims from harming monks in their monasteries or hermits in their caves. Cutting down trees, destroying livestock, wells, homes or land of the enemy is likewise forbidden. Upon seeing the corpse of a woman in a battlefield, Prophet Muhammad Islam makes a clear distinction between combatants and noncombatants, forbidding soldiers to harm defenseless civilian in any way. Islam never teaches to kill the nonmuslim. The only times in which believers are allowed to take up arms are when they are defending their own lives and the lives of their people, when they see the weak being oppressed in acts of tyranny, and when they are prohibited from practicing their religion. There is no excuse for any expedition or attack resulting in the killing of civilians, no one has the right to take innocent lives. Terrorism has to be wiped out, but not in this manner. Intelligence, espionage and surveillance have to be given prime importance to eradicate this menace. How are the terrorists obtaining arms and ammunition. These are not manufactured in their country, they are imported. The average businessman cannot import any item without opening a letter of credit through a bank and without obtaining Customs clearance. How do the terrorists get arms and ammunition worth millions. Where is the detection? What is their economic power, human power – they seem to have an unlimited supply of people. You have to engage a Spy network to find out who the high command is, and what they are planning.


Name: Challenge to all infidels from Akhter
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 11:54:49 -0700

Comment

Produce a sura like Quran (Quran 2.023). (You cannot because) Infidels are are deaf dumb and blind (Quran 2.171)


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 15:37:53 -0700

Comment

I remain unconvinced. Your argument is, at best, sheer sophistry. Let us be honest. We tend to believe what we want to to believe. I believe in Christianity because I like the message. It seems a vast improvement over people's natural tendencies. You believe in Islam because you apparently want to. What bothers me is that while my faith allows me to let you live in peace. Conversely, your faith would have you subjugate me until I fell my self subdued and willing to pay tribute (jizya). If you have convinced yourself that, no, Islam would allow you to allow me to live in peace then you delude yourself for you are not in fact a true Muhammadan.


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 17:16:13 -0700

Comment

The article is a complete nonsense. The author compares " poor" Saudi Arabia and Lybia with "prosperous" India & China. Hm...hm, let's examine the facts. GDP per capita: Algeria - $6,500; Tunisia - $7,500; Iran - $10,600; Lybia - $12,300; Malaysia - $13,300; Saudi Arabia - $23,200; Oman - $24,000; Bahrain - $32,100; Kuwait - $39,300; Brunei - $51,000; Qatar - $80,900. Compare with: China - $5,300; Philippines (a Christian country!) - $3,400, and, at last, India - $2,700(!). Mr. Stunich seems to be absolutely ignorant about these facts and refers only to Nigeria, Chad etc. Such a methodology is not surprising for a person who "undertook an intensive study of Islam after September 11, 2001".


Name: MA Khan
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 17:53:02 -0700

Comment

For Ahmed Kh, most well-off Muslim countries' prosperity come from the natural resources hidden underground, for which they neither worked hard, not have they used their brain-power. Muslim countries even could not extract those natural resources for the uplift of their lot. It is the brain and labour of foreigners that helped make the oil-rich Muslim countries rich. It's a shame that Muslims even brag about this. A decent person should not...

A fair comparison should be made between "Singapore- Taiwan-South Korea etc. and Pakistan-Bangladesh-Afghanistan etc...


Name: wi$eman
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 18:04:11 -0700

Comment

belly dancing is the one and only contribution arabs ever made 2 world civilization!!!!!!!


Name: Mike Deuerling
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 18:12:57 -0700

Comment

Thank you


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 18:44:30 -0700

Comment

I would like to respond to Ahmed Kh's critcism. My GDP comparisons were fair. I compared Turkey to Iran. Iran has vast oil revenue from oil exports and Turkey does not. I compared Israel's GDP to its neighbors, none of whom have the benefit of oil wealth - again a fair comparison. I also discussed Qatar and how well it is doing economically as representative of the oil rich Gulf states. Consequently, your criticism is illogical and unreasonable. You also make factual errors. I did not "compare 'poor' Saudi Arabia and Lybia with 'prosperous' India & China" as you allege in error. I did not "refer only to Nigeria, Chad" as you allege. In fact, I did not refer to them at all. As to your sarcastic criticism of my credentials, I studied and obtained a university degree in business and economics in the late 1980's so the economic aspect of my analysis did not begin after 9/11. I have also studied the Middle East since the early 1980's. It is only my study of Islam that began after 9/11, but I submit to you that it is not rocket science. Muhammad understood Islam quite well and he never attended Al Azhar University or any other Islamic studies program. Nevertheless, I will agree that my views should be accepted or rejected for reasons unrelated to any claim that I am some prestigious Islamic scholar. I readily concede that while I am certain of my accuracy, I have not obtained and will never obtain recognition as some great Islamic scholar nor do I desire such a designation. You need to learn to debate without making personal attacks. You have a good point. The Gulf states are doing very well economically and it is something that can be argued in Islam's favor, but your point is lost in your factual errors and personal attack. I also believe your point is negated by Ma Khan's arguments with which I concur. I fear that the Gulf states' prosperity may not last past the end of their windfall oil profits. Their population levels have risen beyond the capacity of their agricultural ability to feed themselves and I worry that tremendous suffering will result when the oil spigot runs dry. I suspect that they will blame the West and experience an Islamic revival and, once again, Islamic culture will decline dramatically.


Name:
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 19:25:32 -0700

Comment

For MA Khan, First, natural resources as such can't make anybody rich. A country has to have effective government to benefit from its natural resources. Why don't foreign workers make India rich? There's no shame that a country uses foreign labour and brain power -- many countries do. Second, the author states that Islamic countries are poorer than the other developing countries, and I've refuted him with facts which indicates that most Islamic countries exceed India in terms of GDP.


Name: To My Friend Andrew Stunich and the rest of the world
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 19:41:34 -0700

Comment

My friend Andrew Stunich <><><><><>

ALLAH has taught us in the Qur'an that all other `religions' and ways of life are unacceptable to Him if a person is aware of Islam. The Qur'an states (translation), [3:85] And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers. However, even though the ALLAH The Creator of the Worlds has clearly specified that no other way of life is acceptable to Him except Islam (i.e. submission to Him as embodied in the Qur'an and Sun’nah), He has also commanded the Muslims to be tolerant of people who espouse other creeds. From the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Al-Awsat by Al-Tabarani, we find regarding those non-Muslims living in the Islamic state, The Messenger of Allah (saas) said, "One who kills a non-Muslim person under protection will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise." Also from the Sunnah, specifically in a report from Al-Khatib, we find that the Messenger of Allah (saas) also said: Whoever hurts a non-Muslim person under protection, I am his adversary, and I shall be an adversary to him on the Day of Resurrection. In short, Islam is intolerant of false ideas, however it is tolerant of the people who hold to those ideas. One historical example of Muslims living up to the standard of Islam can be found from the time of the Spanish Inquisition. During that disaster sprung by misguided Catholics, some Spanish Jews fled to Muslim Turkey and to this day, there is a community of Spanish-speaking Jews in Turkey. Another example may be found during one of the Crusader invasions from Western Europe. Some of the the Catholic Western European knights were so likely to rape, murder, and pillage the Jews and Orthodox Christians, that when the Muslims won, they were treated as a liberating force by those non-Muslims. [2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 19:57:23 -0700

Comment

What you miss is what is meant by under protection. It means a dhimmi who has seen his culture conquered by Muslim invaders and who must live under discriminatory rules, feel subdued, and pay the Jizya. See Qur'an chapter nine, verse 29. See also the practical application of Islamic doctrine as set forth in the Pact of Umar. No way to live in my view.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Tuesday July 08, 2008
Time: 20:01:57 -0700

Comment

I concede that the Crusaders did not act like Christians and in fact committed great atrocities. But I have always believed that a religion is defined by its doctrines - not the behavior of those who claim to be its adherents. The Crusaders did what they did despite what Jesus said not because of it. Conversely, Islamic atrocities occur because of what islamic doctrine says and not despite it. Look at Muhammad's example. Did he not say "I am made victorious though terror?"


Name: vbv
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 02:34:37 -0700

Comment

To Ahmed khan: Saudi Arabia ,Iraq, Iran ,etc may have higher per catita income because of low population. Their GDP comes mostly from oil , especially Saudi Arabia. Without oil , these countries will be among the poorest in the world living off grazing camels, sheep or livestock. The per capita income of India gets diluted because of its huge population of 1.15 Billion, but in terms of the size of GDP it stands EIGHT the in the world after China , the USA,Germany, Japan, France,Italy and Brazil being the countries with the highest GDP. India has one of the largest pool of trained engineers , technocrats , scientists ,propbably the seven in the ranking. You cannot say the same for any islamic country , which lives of the topils of others - they cannot even develop technology to extract their main natural resource - that is OIL! They have a backward and obscurantist idealogy in islam , nothing more.


Name: Jonathan- Islam is all about violence against muslims
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 08:24:34 -0700

Comment

Sura 2:244 "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things." Sura (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." Sura (3:56) - "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help." These quotes show that fighting is not just for self defense but for the spread of islam by force. Jihad is a violent struggle for spread of islam by the sword. First to gain control of non muslim lands and cities. Then by a mixture of intimidation, terror, persecution, taxation to get the non muslims to convert. You muslims live by the sword and as Jesus said "those who live by the sword will die by the sword"


Name: MUHAMED THE ISLAMIC PROPHET IS A TERRORIST
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 11:03:46 -0700

Comment

The following is eveidence that muhamed is a terrorsit Bukhari (52:256) - The Prophet... was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy. This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings. Bukhari (52:220) - Allah's Apostle said... 'I have been made victorious with terror' Muhamed admits he is a terrorsit


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 11:29:17 -0700

Comment

Thank you. I forgot about Bukhari (52:256). It clearly does help further explain the Islamic origins of terrorism done in the name of Allah.


Name:
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 16:34:52 -0700

Comment

Expressions like "the bloody history of Islam" are what I've always been surprised at. Those who like to talk on this topic usually remember the conquest of Persia, Central Asia and Spain. I don't deny the fact that wars did took place in Islamic history but statements about "the bloody history of Islam" are, let us say... an exaggeration. It is still more funny that we hear it from those whose own history is really a history of constant violence & murder. It's quite enough to mention the religious wars in the 16th century, uncountable wars in the 18th & 19th centuries and the two world wars. Can you remember a single peaceful period in the history of Europe...except the last decades, of course? Some people like the notorious Robert Spencer justify the Crusades and seriously tend to characterize them as "defensive wars against Muslim agressors". I wonder if they regard the religious wars in Europe as defensive? Was it Muslims who annihilated the native inhabitants of North America and Australia? Burned the Jews in gas chambers? You should think with your own brains instead of retelling dubious writings.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 16:49:30 -0700

Comment

You make some good points, but the carnage of the twentieth century was caused by secular governments. Prior to the twentieth century, Islam was king with respect to causing harm. Since the advent of Islam in the seventh century, it has repeatedly proven that it is a violent and intolerant religion. This is not a revisionist history post 9/11. In a 1935 book entitled "The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage," author Will Durant wrote that the Islamic conquest of India from 800 AD to 1700 AD was "probably the bloodiest story in history." Muslims did in fact slaughter Hindus by the millions. They also forced conversions to Islam, sold Hindu women and children into slavery, and destroyed countless Hindu temples. The Muslim community from 800 AD to 1700 AD acted much like the first Muslim community and Muhammad did just as the Quran commands. In addition, Islam is not yet done. It continues to cause war and conflict. As Samuel Huntington noted: "Islam has bloody borders." It was a true statement. With rare exception, where Islam meets the non-Islamic world there is almost always conflict. What concerns all of us critics of Islam is that the conflict is generated by the actual doctrines of the religion leading to the very reasonable conclusion that Islam will continue to cause conflict into perpetuity if something is not done.


Name:
Date: Thursday July 10, 2008
Time: 21:06:16 -0700

Comment

"Prior to the 20th century Islam was king with respect to causing harm..." I'm sorry but it's just a nonsense! Let's examine historical facts. The wars waged by Charles the Great (which included forced conversions to Christianity), the Crusades, religious wars in the south of France, the hundred years' war, the religious wars in Europe in the 16th century, the thirty years' war, the annihilation of Indians, native Australians etc. So, who was king with respect to causing harm? As for your statement that Islam causes conflicts where it meets non-Muslim world is no more than a standart Islamophobic point. There are conflicts between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria and Indonesia but everyone knows it was colonial policy, not Islam, that generated these conflicts. Don't you know that colonial governments set different communities against each other? D'you really believe Afghanistan & Iraq declared war on the West?


Name: Andrew Sunich
Date: Friday July 11, 2008
Time: 05:40:45 -0700

Comment

Thank you for arguing your points whoever commented at 21:06, but did not leave a name. I am not sure of the exact point you are trying to make, but assume it is, in essence, something along the lines of "do not be so judgmental as to Islam because other religions and ideologies have caused terrible conflict as well." In some ways I agree with you. Many other ideologies and religions have caused terrible wars. But very few people defend, for example, Nazi ideology or aggressive communist ideology nor do they defend religious wars over doctrinal differences in Christianity, but Islam is different. Islam is still vigorously defended and it still incites violence. If an Islamic state like Iran obtained military supremacy, it would embark on a vigorous Jihad and engage in direct warfare as opposed to the cowardly terrorism it engages in presently. Jihadist doctrine is enshrined in Iran's constitution where the state obligates itself to spread the Islamic revolution. Moreover, what disturbs me about Islam is that I see no end to its direct link to violence given the nature of its doctrines. Chrsitians could at least point out to others that Jesus, as described in established Christian doctrine, did not condone the violence they engaged in and it helped end religiously fueled conflict between Christians. In Islam, it is those that attack non-Muslims that have the actual doctrines of the religion on their side so how does one appeal to them to stop the violence? One cannot successfully do so unless some other beliefs are active in their belief system that can counteract Islamic doctrine. You argued that "there are conflicts between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria and Indonesia but everyone knows it was colonial policy, not Islam, that generated these conflicts." I beg to differ. Everyone is an all-inclusve statement disproved when one person does not agree. Well I do not agree and your statement is, therfore, disproved. You need to learn to avoid such hyperbole in debate as it undermines your case. More importantly, to blame colonialism for resent conflicts is untenable. You also said: "Don't you know that colonial governments set different communities against each other?" Sometimes, yes they did, but that ended long ago and is not a cause of any present conflict. You also ask: "D'you really believe Afghanistan & Iraq declared war on the West?" Yes I do. The Taliban and Al Queda were cooperative with one another and both groups sought to implement Jihadist doctrine. The Taliban sheltered Osama bin Laden and his terrorists. With respect to the evnts of 9/11, I do not think that a clearer act of war could have been engaged in and the U.S attack that liberated Afghanistan was both morally and legally justified. It was also a net benefit to the people of Afghanistan as it liberated them from the Taliban. Iraq is a more complex situation, but I do believe that Sadaam Hussein's conduct amounted to acts of war. More importantly, I have trouble finding eror in the removal of such an evil man. As to the present confict in Iraq, it is a clear case of war fueled by Islamic doctrine. But for Islam, the nation would be much farther along on its post-Sadaam Hussein path to rehabilitation.


Name: susant
Date: Friday July 11, 2008
Time: 08:25:53 -0700

Comment

If this is what the Koran teaches any Christians can you confirm!!!


Name: Jean Wahl
Date: Friday July 11, 2008
Time: 09:41:27 -0700

Comment

Very astute and well written article. I am an "amateur" mid east buff. Thanks.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Friday July 11, 2008
Time: 13:08:31 -0700

Comment

Thank you.


Name: Islam encourages terrorism
Date: Saturday July 12, 2008
Time: 12:16:27 -0700

Comment

This is the evidence that muhamed justifies terrorism Sura (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" Sura (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them." Sura (9:14) - "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..." This is evidence that muhamed encourages terrorism


Name: Re:Islam encourages terrorism
Date: Sunday July 13, 2008
Time: 08:33:30 -0700

Comment

pls go through-Friday July 11, 2008 Time: 04:27:06 -0700 Islam does not encourages terrorism! If you cn not read the post -Friday July 11, 2008 Time: 04:27:06 -0700 the take a hike.... out of this forum


Name: No refutation given to evidence that quran encourages terrorism.
Date: Sunday July 13, 2008
Time: 13:17:12 -0700

Comment

You have not refuted a single statement given as evidence to prove that quran encourages terrorism. So the statement still stands. The verses from the quran you have stated actually prove my point that force and violence is to be used in the conversion of non muslims to islam. Thanks for making my work easier. Here are the verses you quoted. 9:123 O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the Al-Muttaqun (the pious). 9:124 :29 Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued 9:30 . Sura (48:29) - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves . You have proved that islam encourages violence and terrorism against non muslims and uses these methods to convert them to islam.


Name: Promachos
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 02:21:56 -0700

Comment

Assad Bey, in the 1929 book of the same name (only avalibale in French) said that "Islam is the Desert". If one looks at any so called "world religion" one quickly sees that they are merely reflections of the culture within which they originate. One does not need to have a PhD to figure this out only the ability to reason (something Muslims are incapable of). Mr. Stunich has come to the same conclusion as that of any other reasoning human being; that Islam is, indeed, a Desert. In other words wherever Islam goes that's what it leaves behind.


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 13:12:00 -0700

Comment


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 13:35:20 -0700

Comment

Re: Islam encourages terrorism First, you deliberately confuse warfare (which the verses you've quoted are about)with terrorism. Second, it was not the Muslims who started the conflict - it was after years of persecution that they began to fight the Meccan pagans. Why do the so-called "critics of Islam" pretend not to know about it?


Name:
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 14:06:41 -0700

Comment

Well Ahmed KH, I have read about the alleged persecution in Mecca. Note that we only have the Muslim's word for what happened. The Meccan point of view is nowhere to be found because it is the victors that write history. However, even accepting the Muslim version of events leads to severe criticism of Muhammad's methods. Revenge one and a half years later on a caravan with people that may have not even taken part in earlier "persecution" hardly seems like something that would be inspired by God. Also, the Jewish tribes that were destroyed played no part in whatever persecution occurred in Mecca. The Meccans seem to have been far more tolerant of Muhammad's religion that he was of non-Islamic religions. Also, note how Muhammad claimed to be made victorious through terror - not revenge.


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 14:06:47 -0700

Comment

For Promachos: You say the desert is what Islam leaves behind. How d'you explain the fact that the Islamic world was the centre of culture and science for centuries? You seem not to know that the desert Saudi Arabia produces wheat, fruits and vegetables. You state "any religion is a reflection of the culture within which they originate". Besides the statement being rather disputable, there is a serious point: the culture is an artificial environment, not a natural one. By your logic, the black Africans living in the propics should be the vanguard of civilization. By the way, didn't Judaism and Christianity come from the desert?


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 15:05:56 -0700

Comment

OK, we have only the Muslim's word for what happened. But the point is that since you talk about Islam it is the Muslim's version that should be your concern; thus, the phrase "alleged persecution" is irrelevant. Tha attacks on caravans were absolutely justified because they had been robbed by the Meccans and had nothing to live on. Your statement that the Meccans seem to have been far more tolerant of other religions than the Muslims is very strange because it was on account of their religion that the pagans persecuted and tortured Muslims.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 15:19:44 -0700

Comment

What the Meccans did to the Muslims paled in comparison to what the Muslims did to the Jews and surrounding people. What did the Khaybar Jews do to the Muslims? Nothing. Their crime was that in the morning Muhammad did not hear the call to prayer indicating they had not converted to Islam and were, therefore, fair game.


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 15:38:26 -0700

Comment

For Andrew Stunich: Andrew, don't distort the facts. The Prophet's expeditions were against those who had a pact with the Muslims and commited treachery by giving suppport to the Muslim's enemies and fighting on their side.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 16:00:10 -0700

Comment

My facts about the Khaybar Jews come straight from what remains of Ibn Ishaq's biography which has been considered genuine and believed to be accurate by Muslims for centuries. Do you deny the accuracy of his biography?


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 16:08:56 -0700

Comment

i found the segment below at the www.thereligionofpeace.com website. It asserts that claims of persecution were greatly exaggerated. "According to Muslim historians, the Meccans were actually quite tolerant of Muhammad preaching his new religion. Mecca was an open society where different religions were respected. Polytheists, Jews and Christians lived and worshiped side-by-side, especially during the holy months, when pagan pilgrims would travel long distances from beyond the city to perform their rituals at the Kaaba. Muhammad brought on the resentment of the local people by breaking with tradition and cursing other religions: When the apostle openly displayed Islam as Allah ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods. When he did that, they took great offense and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy. (Ibn Ishaq 167) Although asked to stop, Muhammad continued to stir up trouble by “condemning” the local religion, causing the Meccans great anxiety: [The Meccans] said they had never known anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow. He had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community and cursed their gods (Ibn Ishaq 183). Not only was this an insult to the people and their traditions, but it also threatened the local economy, which depended on the annual pilgrimage. Further proof that the Meccans did not have a problem with Islam existing side-by-side with their own religion is found in the episode known as the Satanic Verses. According to Muslim historians, Muhammad briefly agreed to their demand to cease disparaging the local gods and recognize the rights of others to their religion: When [the Meccans] heard that, they rejoiced. What he had said about their gods pleased and delighted them, and they gave ear to him… When he came to the prostration and finished the chapter, he prostrated and the Muslims followed their prophet in it, having faith in what he brought them and obeying his command. Those mushrikūn of Quraysh and others who were in the mosque also prostrated on account of what they had heard him say about their gods. In the whole mosque there was no believer or kāfir who did not prostrate. (al-Tabari, the Tarikh Vol. 1) The Meccans were clearly relieved that the unprecedented tension over religious beliefs was broken. They rejoiced by praying alongside the Muslims at the Kaaba. They accepted the Muslims once Muhammad accepted them. Unfortunately the period of peace and brotherhood was short-lived. Muhammad soon reneged on his words after his own people began to question the contradiction between his previous claims and his new-found tolerance for other faiths. This incident, particularly his about-face, had the effect of ratcheting up the tension and hostility all the more."


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 16:13:25 -0700

Comment

The following is from the abridged version of Ibn ishaq's biography located at the faithfreedom.org website: "The apostle of Allah would not attack the Khaybar until next morning; if he heard the call to prayers, he would not attack, but if he failed to hear them, he would attack. 'We halted at Khaybar for the night, and the apostle waited and heard no morning call to prayer, so he mounted his horse and we mounted ours. I [the prophet's servant, Anas] rode behind Abu Talha, so close that my foot touched that of the apostle of Allah. We met a few labourers going forth early to their work, bearing spades and baskets, and when they beheld the apostle with his army they cried out and fled. The apostle said "Allah Akbar! Khaybar will be destroyed." '" Note that there is no pretense of any "casus belli" (justification for war) other than the Khaybar Jews simply were not Muslims.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 16:17:28 -0700

Comment

I also note Ahmed KH that what you are arguing is that Muhammad had a right to revenge. I submit to you that concept of revenge is at the root of much of what is wrong in the Islamic world. The human race did not need religion to give God's stamp of approval to base human tendencies. what the human race need was someone like Jesus that preached against base human tendencies like revenge.


Name:
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 18:00:07 -0700

Comment

For Andrew Stunich: The Prophet didn't attack the Jews merely because they weren't Muslims, he attacked those who undertook hostile actions against the Muslims, and the same holds true for the Khaibar Jews. But if heard a call for prayer he, of course, couldn't attack the Muslims. What are you surprised at? These expeditions were not a revenge - they were defensive measures.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 18:17:25 -0700

Comment

there is no historical prrof for your claim. Can you cite somewhere in the Qur'an, hadith or Sira? If that is the case then why does the Qur'an read as it does instead of in a modified form in conformity with your arguments. You are either practicing taquiyya or you are relying on secondary sources that are practicing taquiyya.


Name:
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 18:26:42 -0700

Comment

How do you explain what Mohammed is recorded to have said in Al Bukhari Vol. 4:196: "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, and whoever says, None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, his life and property will be saved by me." Note how there is no mention of non-Muslims having done anything wrong or a need to find that they have done anything wrong.


Name: Ahmed Kh.
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 19:24:41 -0700

Comment

For Andrew Stunich: It's a pity that your last argument is accusing me of taqiyya. Don't use words the meaning of which you don't know. I don't rely on secondary sources but you seem to do, as far as I can judge by your references to R.Spencer, faithfreedom.org etc. Please, read Sira before saying that "there is no proof" for my claim that the Prophet's expeditions were against those who showed hostility against the Muslims. If you want a non-Muslim source you may read "The Life of Mahomet" by W. Irving.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Tuesday July 15, 2008
Time: 06:54:51 -0700

Comment

I am not interested in a secondary source. I want a cite to the Qur'an, hadith or Ibn Ishaq. Some secondary source writer opining that the Khaybar Jews must hace committed some transgression is meaningless to me unless there is a citation to a primary source that is accurate. I do not recall citing Robert Spencer in my debate with you but I do concede to having read some of his books. He is dead-on accurate in my opinion. As far as I have observed, he has Islam's number and is reaching a broad audience. I wish him both continued success. As for faithfreedom.org, I only recall citing it for purposes of a location where Ibn Ishaq'a biography of Muhammad can be found. You are practicing taqiyya and you know darn good and well that I know exactly what it means. You got caught trying to assign some reason for attacking the Khaybar Jews when none of the primary sources give a reason oher than the fact that they were not Muslims. I ask you once again for a citation to a primary source to support your view. I quoted from a primary source to prove my point. If you cannot do so, you must concede the point.


Name: PROOF THAT QURAN ENCOURAGES VIOLENCE AGAINST NON MUSLIMS TO SPREAD ISLAM
Date: Tuesday July 15, 2008
Time: 11:11:43 -0700

Comment

Mr. Ahmed Khan, I am giving evidence from the quran that violence is to be used against non muslims to convert them to islam. There is nothing in these quotes that say the violence is only to be used in self defense. I want you to answer a simple question. Do you agree with this and is it acceptable to you? Sura (2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things." Sura (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." Sura (4:76) - "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…"Sura (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"Sura (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."Sura (9:14) - "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..."Sura (9:29) - "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." Sura (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."Sura (48:29) - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves" Sura (61:4) - "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way" Muslim (1:33) - the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of AllahBukhari (8:387) - Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah


Name:
Date: Tuesday July 15, 2008
Time: 20:22:49 -0700

Comment

There is no Qur'an in its revealed form. It is just Muhammad's imagination. I am so sick of the line about non-Arabic Qur'ans being interpretations. The message comes accross loud and clear in any language and the message is hate and murder toward non_muslims.ing treated as tenants bound to cede half of their products to the conqueror .


Name: Muhamed the criminal
Date: Wednesday July 16, 2008
Time: 17:34:00 -0700

Comment

Muhamed conquerd arabia and gained followers by promising them looted wealth and slaves. He is worse than most conquerors. He is a thief and murderer who justified his actions using religion as an excuse. The whole religion of islam was created to justify criminal comduct.


Name: Re;Muhamed the criminal-July-16-2008
Date: Thursday July 17, 2008
Time: 22:01:53 -0700

Comment

Muhamed the criminal Date: Wednesday July 16, 2008 Time: 17:34:00 -0700 Comment Can u proove from the Quran that Muhamed conquerd arabia and gained followers by promising them looted wealth and slaves. That He is a thief and murderer who justified his actions using religion as an excuse. The whole religion of islam was created to NOT justify criminal comduct. Do you know what a criminal is?


Name: Yes I know what a criminal means
Date: Friday July 18, 2008
Time: 22:21:41 -0700

Comment

A person who murders, rapes, tortures, enslaves and encourages others to do the same is a criminal. Muhamed fits the description.


Name:
Date: Sunday July 20, 2008
Time: 19:57:51 -0700

Comment

Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting the following 1 Consuming or dealing with Alcohol 2 Engaging or supporting gambling 3 Consuming or dealing with drugs (such as heroin etc) 4 Consuming or dealing in tobacco 5 Engaging or supporting interest 6 Construction and dealing with mass weapons of destruction. 7 Rape And violence of women and children. But the Western media are so successful in silencing this stand in prohibiting the above, why?. Because the Muslim world are governed by Puppet regimes and are installed by Western states. Then the question arises as to why are the western media not highlighting the Muslim world oppression by western sponsored Puppet regimes is it because of the under the cover of modernization and secular states? Firstly, Who controls the media? The correct question is which Race controls the media? No one seems to even wonder why the puppet regimes dominated by Muslims consume Alcohol, Cigarettes, Interest from banking are widely in circulation, after all Islam does not even sanctioned them. I guess in the name of democracy this allowed. Must not forget, just because most of the western states, the religion and government are supposed to be apart. Although in Islamic states they go hand in hand. When the puppet governments bow down to the western preasure, the locals start to protest. Obviously anyone then organizing a protest in these countries are crushed with an iron fist. Most of the organizers are put and tortured in prison. Then the 2nd phase begins, Once the leader is in jail some unknown individual fights the government with violence unislamicly. The media make a big cry blaming them as terrorist and the world is enlightened that most Muslims are terrorist When so many anti government insurgencies take place, both the Governments and insurgents are in confrontation and the so called permanent representatives in the UN are able to sell their arms and ammunition to the Insurgents and there puppet governments while there own countries prosper in arms sale. How do terrorist get sophisticated weapons??


Name: To Andrew Stunich
Date: Thursday July 24, 2008
Time: 20:22:17 -0700

Comment

Dear Mr. Andrew Stunich, Its a very nicely written informative article. In the comments also, you have explained and answered all the questions very logically. Thanks a lot. Kind regards, Truthseeker


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Tuesday August 05, 2008
Time: 10:46:33 -0700

Comment

Susant, i missed your comment earlier but would like to address it now. You asked "If this is what the Koran teaches any Christians can you confirm!!!" I am a Christian and I can confirm. If you want to see an analysis of Islam from a fundamentalist Christian viewpoint, please read "Islam Unveiled" by the Caner brothers. They are converts to Christianity from Islam. In addition to being experts on Islam, they are Christian apologists and write from a Christian perspective. I read their book and was thoroughly impressed.


Name: Andrew Stunich
Date: Thursday August 07, 2008
Time: 13:06:36 -0700

Comment

Correction: Note that the Caner brother wrote "Unveiling Islam." Islam Unveiled was written by Robert Spencer. I have not read it but assume it is well worth reading.


Name: kmgy
Date: Tuesday September 09, 2008
Time: 04:17:18 -0700

Comment

Islam is like a hungry predator devouring its victim. In the absence of a victim it devours itself. It means that if it succeeded in its quest for world domination then it will self-destruct by in-fighting.


Name: To all hardcore Muslim fanatics i.e. true Muslims
Date: Wednesday September 10, 2008
Time: 23:57:33 -0700

Comment

Sept. 11 2008 is the 7th anniversary of that dastardly attack destroying the World Trade Center that claimed the lives of more than 3,000 innocent people. The relatives of those victims are mourning while you in the Muslim world are celebrating. Only the Most Evil Mind can plot and execute that terrible Slaughter. Your evil Koran provides the motivation for those blinded fanatics to kill, "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them!", There is no shame in killing!", "Killing is a small matter to us!" You recite these prayers five times a day drilling into your subconsciousness transforming you into Savages. What you get in return? An Imaginary Paradise, promised by an illiterate, sexual pervert, mass murderer, plunderer Mohammad, where big bosom virgins, handsome young boys, rivers of wine are waiting!!! A normal sane mind will call that Pure Nonsense!!!Your Koran is a copycat picking selected verses in the Bible to give credence to an otherwise false religion. When Lies is mixed with Truth many will be deceived! An example of a Bible verse plagiarized by Koran, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind of man can conceived what God has prepared for those who loved Him." Since your pervert Mohammad had already described in detail what's in store of his Imaginary Paradise for his faithfuls who died in the name of Allah (blow themselves to pieces), thereby violating what had been stated beforehand, therefore it proves that Koran is false!!! You hardcore Muslim fanatics i.e. true Muslims had sown the wind the Muslim world will soon reap the Whirlwind!!! America, whom you hate so much, will not be the one who will bring the Sword to your Land and finish Islam. Guess who? It will be the rising Superpower European Union that will devastate your Land and finish Islam!!! It will be the Final Chapter in the Holy Crusade started long ago! So those who want to escape this terrible Whirlwind that will sweep and devastate your Muslim land leave Islam now!!! Or better still overthrow your evil Islamic governments!!!


Name: monica
Date: Tuesday September 23, 2008
Time: 07:08:39 -0700

Comment

<a href=http://www.australiahistory.info>18th Century Historical Trekking</a> This blog, written by Keith H. Burgess, focuses on Historical trekking, living history, experimental archaeology, period living skills, primitive wilderness survival skills and much more, for the period 1680-1760.


 
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