Originally published by Political Grind
by Roger W. Gardner
Is Islam a religion of peace or an imminent fascist threat? This may very well be one of the most crucial questions of our era.
Is there actually a definitive, clear-cut answer to this monumental question?
Yes, there is, but unfortunately it is buried in a miasma of misinformation and religious apologetics. Also, unfortunately for some, there is no shortcut to understanding the true nature of Islam, just as there is no shortcut to understanding the true nature of Christianity. You will not get your answers by reading your local newspaper or by listening to the evening news. Knowledge, like any other worthwhile goal, must be earned, you must work for it. In the case of Islam, the answers lie in the Qur’an and in the accompanying expository texts. The answers lie in that abundance of Islamic literature, and in the pronouncements of its leaders and in their actions. The answers are there for all to see. They are clearly stated and unequivocal. But you must take the time to read them and to listen.
However, given the reality of our hectic lives, few of us have the space, or even the inclination to devote precious hours of our free time to this laborious and relatively abstruse quest. For most of us, this means that we have to rely on others to help us form our opinions. Generally, we tend to gravitate toward those opinions which fit most neatly into our own personal worldview. Or, put another way, into the rhetoric of our particular political persuasions. Thus, we rely for the exposition of truth on those purported experts who, whether overtly or covertly, have a personal agenda of their own.
What, you might ask, is my personal agenda?
Did I suddenly wake up one morning and decide to devote the rest of my life to denigrating one of the world’s major religions?
Did I suddenly wake up one morning to find that our country had just been attacked and thousands killed by a group of young Middle Eastern hijackers who just happened to all be Muslim?
And I have devoted a major portion of my life since then trying to better understand the true nature of this religion and of this threat.
Opinions, unlike principles, are not sacred possessions to be protected, locked away and defended from all intruders. Rather, they are, or should be, living and evolving attitudes, constantly subjected to rigorous revision and adjustment — or, when neccessary, quickly abandoned for some more plausible or cojent truth.
Is there perhaps a better way to understand this debate, without having to rely on the questionable opinions of others, while avoiding that impracticable investment of time and energy?I believe that there is. I believe that all it requires of us is the acceptance of the following simple and straight-forward premise: It is possible to understand the fundamental nature of a religion by judging the character of its founder. If one accepts the fairness of this premise, then our task becomes a little easier.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of literary evidence devoted to the lives of both Jesus Christ and Mohammed. The problem for us is that, while almost all of us have a comfortable familiarity with the narrative of the life of Christ, few of us could relate the life of Mohammed with the same confidence.
Therefore, when we are told that Islam is a religion of peace, we tend to accept this statement at face value; all that we can equate it to are those religions with which we are familiar, which, for most Christians is Christianity, which in its present form is basically peaceful.
The contrast between the lives of these two monumental figures could not be more striking or more enlightening. The basic facts of their lives are well-documented and attested.
There are, to the best of our knowledge, no surviving texts which document Christ either injuring or killing any living creature, let alone another human being.
Mohammed slaughtered dozens of his unfortunate enemies, personally decapitating his rival Abu Jahl.
Again, to the best of our knowledge, Jesus Christ never participated in any acts of piracy, rape, plunder, kidnapping or thievery.
It has never been substantiated that Jesus Christ had ever had any physical relationship with any contemporary female or participated in any form of pedophilia.
Mohammad had eleven wives, whom he sometimes enjoyed all at once — including nine year old Aisha. When Mohammed took the child Aisha to bed he was fifty-three years old. He also took the wife of his adopted son to bed for his amusement. Conveniently, for justification of these abomidable acts he invariably claimed to have recieved some form of special divine encouragement or dispensation in the form of a vision from Allah.
Since its inception, two thousand years ago, Christianity has evolved and refined itself through a whole series of reformations and readjustments. The episodic violence of its early years has given way to a generally peaceful coexistence with secular authority.Islam has never changed — except for the negative effects of Wahhabism, which only succeeded in turning Islam further in on itself and away from the world of progress and enlightment.
Christianity has brought the world the message of kindness and charity. If the world has at times chosen to ignore this message, that is not the fault of Christianity but, rather, a testament to the weakness of human beings. Over the years, Christianity has unquestionably inspired untold numbers of artists, sculptors, writers and musicians to produce some of the most marvelous creations the world has ever known.
Islam has brought the world polygamy, forced female genital mutilation (an estimated 135 million to date, with 2 million young girls presently at risk), forced marriages, pedophilia, officially-sanctioned rape (804 documented cases in the year 2000 in Pakistan alone), along with those wonderful family values, such as honor killings and the total brutal subjagation of all of its second-class females, and has infected the world with it’s most virulent form of anti-Semitism.And let us not forget those unquestionable benefits of global terrorism (between the years 1960 and 2000, 95% of all terrorist attacks were the result of Islam).Here, my friends, is the holy voice of Allah: “I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.” (Qur’an 8:12)
In the immortal words of Edward Gibbon, from his monumental “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, long before this cowardly age of Political Correctness: “His [Mohammed’s] voice invited the Arabs to freedom and victory, to arms and rapine, to the indulgence of their darling passions in this world and the other…”
Perhaps the most illustrative example of the character of Mohammed in our current age would be a cross between Pol Pot and John Gotti — although, to his credit, John Gotti never had any incestuous or pedophilic relationships that I am aware of. The deadly Fatwas issued in Mohammed’s name, or in the name of one of his mullahs, are morally identical to a mob-sanctioned contract, and should be treated with the same contempt.
If my characterization of this “peaceful religion” appears to some as harsh and brutal, it is because this terrible “religion” is harsh and brutal. However, everything that has been stated above can be readily substantiated with their own writings and in their own words.
But what, then, of those “Moderate Muslims”? What of those decent Muslims who claim that they are fighting back against those particularly violent precepts of Islam?To these valiant apostates I can only answer, if you are truly willing to disassociate yourselves completely from the divinely perfect words of the Prophet, if you are truly willing to turn your backs on the entire force of the argument of his criminal life, if you are truly willing to accept without qualification the natural equality of women, and the right to the existence of a viable Jewish state, then I welcome your rebellion and bow to your courage.
And, might I suggest, that we honor this great internal theological jihad of yours by allowing those munificent Saudis to erect a Grand Mosque in New York City, as they still plan to do in London. I propose that the construction of this Great Monument to Islam coincide with the ground-breaking ceremony for that first great synogogue in Riyadh or with the innauguration of that first magnificent Roman Catholic Cathedral in Cairo.
Further, I support the opening of innumerable Islamic Madrasses throughout the United States, immediately after our own Pastor Ed is allowed to conduct his first Christian History classes in Damascus.
I also believe that it is only fair and right that we provide those Muslims in our midst with their religious footbaths in our universities and our airports, right after that first Christian Science Reading Room opens its doors in Yemen.
And, to be completely fair, we should allow full native Muslim dress in all of our schools and universities, just as soon as those Iranian women are allowed to wear short skirts and uncovered hair to the University of Tehran.
Lastly, to the question of whether Islam is or is not a fascistic threat, consider this: according to my dictionary’s definition, fascism is “a governmental system (remember, there exists no distinction in Islam between religion and government) led by a dictator (Mohammed or his imams) having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism.”
Could there be any more precise description of our current threat?
I rest my case and patiently await those inevitable cries of prejudice and racism.
And perhaps a stray fatwa.