The Schizophrenic Muslim Mind

Muslims are torn by two competing realities. The first is the illusion of supremacy upon which they have been suckled all their lives by the Mother of all books (the Qur’an). The second is the real world in which they have to live. See the source image

Talk with an average Muslim and sooner rather than later you will hear him/her boast — theirs is the best religion (“Today I have perfected for you your religion” — Quran 5.3); they have the best prophet (Muhammad is the seal of the prophets, i.e., the final prophet with Allah’s most complete revelation for mankind); they have the best book (the Qur’an is the literal, inimitable, unchangeable words of Allah); the best people (“You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind” — 3.110); theirs is the best language (the language of Arabic is the language of heaven, and certainly the language of revelation); they have the best law (Shari’a is divine law, and all the world should be governed by it); they have the best “blood” (i.e., according to divine law the shedding of a Muslim’s blood is a capital crime, while the shedding of the blood of a kafir is halal (permitted), in some cases requiring a payment of restitution to the victim’s family, in other cases stirring promises of heavenly rewards for dispatching a disbeliever properly to hellfire.

Indoctrinated to believe in Islam’s paramountcy, and therefore in their supremacy over everything non-Islamic, Muslims mindlessly roar “Allahu akbar” in unison whenever the imperative “takbir” is shouted.  See the source imageOften wrongly translated in the West as “Allah is great,” what this means more precisely is “Allah is greater!” It is a claim to superiority, to the supremacy of Allah’s name over any rival which the non-Muslim world might offer in competition.

As Allah’s followers, Muslims believe it is mandatory that they rule over non-Muslims. Slaves are permitted, because infidels lack the dignity and valoiue of Muslims. Islamic law forbids that non-Muslims ever hold positions of authority over Muslims, especially in government. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights (the Islamic world’s 1990 response to the 1948 United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Muslim governments refused to acknowledge) openly states:

“The right to hold public office can only be exercised in accordance with the Shari’a, which forbids Muslims to submit to the rule of non-Muslims.”

Moreover, Muslims who rule can only do so in accordance with Islamic law — they are not permitted to innovate. Because Islam is perfect and supreme, according to its leaders, critical inquiry is not allowed. Any thinking which might question the received faith is initially discouraged, and if pursued, finally punished. According to the Quran (33:36):

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

The most chilling extension of this suppression is, of course, the penalty of apostasy, which all the schools of Shari’a (both Sunni and Shi’ite) label a capital crime, with execution typically by beheading.

So Muslims are raised to believe in the supremacy of Islam over all else, and they toe the line well under the shadow of the sword of judgment. But here is where real life begins to interfere with fantasy.

If Islam indeed is the best religion, why does it need a law to compel people to remain within its confines?

If it is the perfection of revealed truth, why is critical inquiry not encouraged? After all, an honest search for truth should lead toward what is ultimately true, and not away from it. Truth stands up under scrutiny. So, why not encourage scholars to study the early manuscript evidence of the Qur’an and reveal to their lay audiences the facts that there is no original text of the Qur’an in existence, and that the various early manuscripts which do exist contain discrepancies from one another.

If the Qur’an is only truly the revealed words of Allah when read and understood in classical Arabic, why did Allah not cause all humanity to speak Arabic, so that the world could truly grasp his revelation? Why today does less than one quarter of the world’s Muslim population speak or read Arabic, and even fewer among that elite group understand the ancient and complex classical Arabic of the Qur’an? Why do Muslim scholars not openly admit that due to the mists of history and evolution of language, roughly one out of every five sentences in the Qur’an is unintelligible, and we are left with the best guesses of linguists?

Why is the eternal, perfect revelation of Allah concerned about squabbles in Muhammad’s harem, or with whether he can marry the divorced wife of his adopted son? Why should the timeless word give detailed instructions about caravan raids and battles with neighbors? Would not one hope that God’s best revelation to the human race should contain things more lofty than the prosaic concerns of a desert warrior?

Wouldn’t we hope for a restatement or clarification of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount from the Mother of All Books? And yet we find in the Qur’an no clear teaching of a universal morality woven into the fabric of creation by its Monarch. Indeed, if the Qur’an and Shari’a are any indication, what is “moral” or “righteous” before Allah is that which advances the cause of Islam (whatever it takes), and what is “wrong” is whatever impedes that advance:

O believers, whosoever of you turns from his religion, God will assuredly bring a people He loves, and who love Him, humble towards the believers, disdainful towards the unbelievers, men who struggle in the path of God, not fearing the reproach of any reproacher. That is God’s bounty; He gives it unto whom He will; and God is All-embracing, All-knowing (5:54).

 Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan (4:76).

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves (48.29).

This is what leads to the summary doctrine of Islam known as al-Walaa’ w’al-Baraa’ (Loyalty and Disavowal).  A Muslim is to devote himself to everything that pleases Allah and to oppose whatever displeases Allah. Morality is defined by what pleases Allah (what advances his supremacy within creation), and immorality becomes whatever stands between Allah and recognition of his supremacy. Oppression, murder, slavery, rape, deception, hatred of the infidel, all become sanctified tools of Allah if they serve to extend his kingdom on earth (i.e., the Muslim conquest of non-Muslims).

Muslims who are troubled by such partisan morality cast their eyes around the world to other cultures and see more elevated, even universal, versions of moral order. They see in the West the stand for universal rights and freedoms, and the aspiration that all human beings should be treated equally. Then they look back at the 57 Muslim-majority nations in the world, and note the number of dictatorships, the endemic nepotism within their leadership, and the rank corruption of their political and religious leaders.

They see that according to international studies, Muslim countries steadily rank at or near the bottom when it comes to personal freedoms, economic opportunities, standard of living, education, and equal rights. They see that human slavery has been eradicated over most of the non-Muslim world, but that it continues to thrive in the heart of the Islamic ummah.

They recognize that all of the blockbuster scientific discoveries and mind-bending technological breakthroughs, all the impetus for invention and innovation, come from the non-Muslim world. Not least among these achievements are the continuous military upgrades which make the West far superior in might than even the best equipped Muslim coalition could conceivably muster.

These realities are what lead to the schizophrenic Muslim mind. While yelling “Allahu akbar,” active Muslim supremacists are forced to scatter for cover whenever US drones are overhead. Knowing they are militarily inferior to infidel forces, jihadis are compelled to use the tactics of asymmetrical warfare: hit and run thrusts, lone wolf suicide bombers, terror attacks against soft targets. They turn as well to non-military tactics, making use of immigration and refugee policies in the West which allow them to infiltrate in large numbers, live as parasite on government welfare, and out-reproduce the native populations so as to increase their size and influence in the decades to come.

Just a few years ago, the Islamic State (ISIS), inebriated with its success in Iraq and Syria, boasted that soon the black flag of Muhammad and his followers would fly over the White House. They boasted ad nauseum that nothing could stop their advance, Allah willing.See the source image Apparently, Allah was not willing, because when the Trump administration took charge in the White House and decided to act decisively against ISIS in Syria, it was expunged in short order. The roars of Allahu akbar receded into the silence of impotence.

All these tactics and setbacks are an implicit admission that Islam is not superior to the non-Muslim, Western world — even with all our moral weaknesses, the West still outshines the Islamic world in terms of human rights and privileges; our quest for truth in the scientific and technological realms dwarfs that of the Muslim nations; our military strength leads to their saber-rattling and shaky knees, but no offensive engagements.

How can it be that the subjects of Islam, to whom Allah has promised supremacy over all the world, should find themselves inferior to the non-Muslim societies of the West and East? How can it be that there is no Caliphate since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 which sits as King of the hill, forcing infidel lands into submission before Allah? Why has Allah allowed disbelievers to effectively overrule the Muslim agenda and advance their own instead?

These are questions that the Islamic world is loath to address, because they expose the weaknesses of a religious community indoctrinated to believe it has no weaknesses and must always triumph in the cause of Allah. The Muslim Brotherhood, and other fanatical groups, to their credit have faced these questions. Their answer is that the Muslim world has lost to the West because it has not been committed enough to the cause of Allah and his prophet. If Muslims en masse offer their full devotion to Islam, Allah will make them once again victorious over the infidel world.

But for most other Muslims, this is not a palatable option. Thus, they are content to live a schizophrenic existence, closing their eyes and reciting that they are the best of all peoples with the best of all religions, all the while sensing, deep within their psyches, that it is a lie.

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Curing Homosexuals — Islam Contains All You Need to Know…

Have you ever wondered why Muslim-majority countries consistently trail the rest of the civilized world in producing scientific advances, technological achievements, educational insights and new fields of study? The answer is fairly simple — Islam.

Muslims believe, as doctrine of the first order, that the Qur’an contains all the truth needed for human felicity, and that Allah sent Muhammad into the world in part to be the perfect exemplar for all human beings to emulate. Therefore, a Muslim’s time is best spent memorizing and reciting the Qur’an in Arabic — even if one does not understand the Arabic language the hope is that somehow its “truth” will penetrate the believer’s heart and the reciter will please Allah, perhaps meriting divine rewards — and poring over the authoritative Hadith literature to learn how to imitate the Arabian prophet in all matters, from how to defecate correctly to what to do when a fly lands in your tea. All other studies pale in comparison to Allah’s revelation. One anecdotal, perhaps apocryphal, story drives home the mindset inculcated by Islamic orthodoxy. fSee the source imageFirst recorded in print by the Muslim historian al-Qifti (lived 1172-1248) in his book Ta’rikh al-hukama’ (History of Learned Men), the account details the destruction of the famed Alexandrian Library of Egypt after the conquest of that city in 641 by the invading Arab Muslim army. When its general, ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas  (my purported ancestor), learned of the trove of knowledge preserved in scrolls and books, and was asked by an Alexandrian named Yahya (John) to transfer them to non-Muslim control, al-‘Aas responded, “I cannot make any order without first asking the permission of the Prince of the Believers [i.e., Caliph] ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb.”

So he wrote off to his Master for instructions, and in time received this reply from the Caliph, according to historian al-Qifti:

“As for the books you mention, if there is in it what complies with the Book of God [Qur’an], then it is already there and is not needed and if what is in these books contradict the Book of God there is no need for it. And you can then proceed in destroying them.”

Not one to let resources go to waste, al-‘Aas ordered that the vast collection of books be parceled out among the public bathhouses and burned in the furnaces used to heat their water.  Al-Qifti concludes with this note:

 “…it is said that they had enough heating for six months.”

So, here’s the axiom for Islamic learning: If the Muslim revelatory sources already contain some truth, one need not search for it elsewhere; if they don’t contain it, it is irrelevant or worse, and should be disposed of. As a result, Muslim academics are always playing catch-up with the rest of the world, but with both hands tied behind their backs. They can’t acknowledge the truths of the scientific and epistemological disciplines unless they first comb through their religious tomes to find some obscure statement which they can ingeniously twist to accommodate the realities of modern-day life.

Here is a sadly illuminating example from a March 25th interview on Kuwaiti Scope TV featuring Dr. Mariam al-Sohel, a “human development advisor” with an honorary doctorate in “Sex Management” from the International Union of Universities in Turkey (which itself is not a university and was founded, as far as I can tell, in 2016).

Sohel claims that based on “the prophetic medicine” of Muhammad, meaning his recorded statements or actions having anything to do with health matters (such as drinking a mixture of camel’s milk and urine, or making sure to immerse a fly fully in one’s drink if it lands there since one wing contains disease and the other its cure), she has discovered the cure for homosexuality and has developed suppositories (exactly the same for both genders but color-coded so as not to mix them up, for some reason) which will stem these faulty sexual urges.

Her medical wisdom is based on a supposed Hadith text (which I have not been able to locate in the ancient sources) dealing with an anal condition troubling ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, Muhammad’s close companion who would later become Islam’s second Caliph. Muhammad is said to have counseled Umar that his condition needed to be treated with sperm. Apparently the reason for this is that he had contracted anal worms which feed on human sperm. It’s possible that Sohel learned this through a fellow Kuwaiti, the firebrand Shi’ite imam Yasser al-Habib who never shies from showing disdain for the “rightly-guided caliphs” of Sunni Islam and all their spiritual descendants. Al-Habib declares:

It is told [in the hadith] that Omar Ibn Al-Khattab had an anal disease, which could be cured only by semen. One should know that this is a well-known medical condition, which is also mentioned in sacred texts. Someone who, God forbid, has been penetrated in the anus – a worm grows within him, due to the semen discharged in him… A disease develops in his anus, and as a result, he cannot calm down, unless… That’s right, it becomes like an addiction, and he cannot calm down unless he is penetrated again and again.

Based on this “prophetic Arab medicine”, Sohel has developed suppositories meant to  kill the anal worms in both homosexuals and lesbians (though she never explains how the worms would first have entered females interested solely in same-sex encounters. Since these worms, ever hungry for sperm, control human desires for anal sex, their eradication will as a result cure any human being from same-sex urges. It’s as simple as that — and we have the prophet of Islam to thank for showing us the way to rid the world of homosexuality. No more need to bind up gay men and throw them off tall buildings — just plant some suppositories in their backsides and watch them become normal heterosexuals! Muhammad must indeed be “a mercy to all the worlds” (Q 21:107).

You can hear her for yourself in this clip, courtesy of

The purpose of pointing this out is not to make fun of Islam but to warn Western society that the greater the place we give to Islam in our educational institutions and in the determination of the moral fiber of our culture, the more we can expect a pull backwards to a 7th century pre-scientific and anti-Judeo-Christian worldview. For orthodox Muslim adherents, there can be no questioning of the assertions of the Qur’an and Sunnah traditions. As Islam gains ascendancy, Western curricula will increasingly feature memorization of the Qur’an, study of its contents, degrees in Hadith “science” and the casting away of Western arts and sciences as well as the academic freedom to pursue truths wherever they lead. Such pursuits are after all just so much flotsam and jetsam from the days of jahiliyya — the times of ignorance before the dawning of Islam and the reframing of the world.

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God Created Humans on the Sixth Day. Why?

In the history of Christian thought, pursuit of the knowledge of God has always held the position of highest honor. There are two ways by which objective knowledge of God can be acquired: the study of His revelatory works, i.e., the Bible (known as special revelation), and the study of His creation, under the assumption that what is made reflects truths about its Maker (this is known as general or natural revelation).

Since special revelation gives us much more detailed information about the mind and heart of God, it takes precedence over general revelation and acts as a corrective to our conclusions about God based only on observation of the natural world around us. Nevertheless, it is the revealed Word of God that impels us to want to know as much about the God who created, loves and redeems us for an eternity of love in relationship to Himself. This theological thirst for knowledge of God is what led Western Judeo-Christian civilization to begin detailed study of the natural order, leading to the development of what we know today as “the sciences,” and is why theology itself became known as “the queen of the sciences.”

With that preamble, I must confess that two days ago an observation of the natural order led me to a theological conclusion that I have never seen in the Bible before. It answers the question, “Why did God create humans on the sixth day as His final act?” as taught in Genesis 1:26-27.

The traditional answer has always been that God saved the best for last, so to speak, creating Man as male and female in His image and likeness both to honor human beings and to crown His creative efforts with His most glorious masterpiece.

I have nothing against this view — in fact, I quite agree with its high view of human dignity and our place in God’s purposes. However, my new insight adds some rich texture to the answer, not found in most theological commentaries. Since I owe much of the credit for this truth to my yellow labrador retriever, I have named this insight “Haley’s Hypothesis.” Here’s how it came about.

Two days ago, in the late afternoon, I prepared the backyard for its first mowing of the season — weeding, discarding dead branches, raking dead spots and clearing any obstacles so I could bring order out of the chaos engendered by winter. As I fired up the mower and started on one side of the yard, Haley laid down on the other side to watch me. At the end of the first row, I turned the mower around to come back, and looked at the fresh-cut swath I had just finished — it looked good! Each successive row added to the beauty. When I got about halfway through the yard, I compared the cut section to what was left and felt a rush of delight. But there was still work to do before the sun went down, so I turned my attention to the grass ahead of me and pushed on. This is where Haley enters the picture in a more active way. She wanders about twenty feet ahead of me, directly in my path, and squats nonchalantly, leaving a pile of skubala (for non-Greek students, that’s excrement) right where the mower is headed.

Frustrated, I turn off the mower, grab a shovel, and remove this blemish on my masterpiece-in-process. The thought crosses my mind that I should have left Haley inside until all the yard was finished and I could gaze on it with satisfaction, and murmur, “Behold, it is very good.”

That’s when it dawned on me. Perhaps the reason God waited until the end to create Man was because He knew of the human penchant to befoul our surroundings (which of course didn’t take long — see Genesis 3) and He wanted the undisturbed joy of unfolding His beautiful works without having to stop to clean up untimely messes produced by the apple of His eye.

So, perhaps the real reason humans were created on the last day after everything else was in place was so that God could hum with undisturbed joy in getting everything just right before letting Adam and Eve out onto the perfectly mowed backyard….

That’s Haley’s Hypothesis in a nutshell. But keep in mind, it might be a total load of skubala.

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What Makes a Jihadi?

Secular Western analysts of Islamic militancy typically miss the boat when seeking the root causes spurring Muslims to engage in violent jihad. Since the analysts themselves have no galvanizing religious faith upon which they build their lives, they can’t imagine that religious faith could be a serious motivator for anyone else — they are blinded by their own bias.

Hence, we often hear in the mainstream media that what really motivates new recruits joining ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, etc. is not religious conviction but rather a desire to flee poverty and disenfranchisement (as John Kerry argued in 2014), JohnKerry.jpgto topple politically corrupt regimes, to escape the dreariness of a meaningless future, or to combat other social injustices. Only motivations as powerful as these could compel a terrorist to face death willingly. Religious motivations, as everybody knows (in the world of secularism), are silly and groundless, so they cannot provide an adequate foundation to explain the terrorist’s mindset. Their dismissal amounts to this: “Since I cannot conceive of the possibility that religious faith might be of ultimate importance, to the point of sacrificing my life in its pursuit, it must not be possible for anyone else” (except, of course, for those who are mentally unbalanced).

As a result, we find that though militant Muslims ascribe their actions to their religion (quoting copiously from the Qur’an, reciting authoritative martial accounts of their peerless prophet, slavering over the sensual delights of paradise promised to those who kill and are killed for Allah (Qur’an 9:111), our elite analysts know better. “Islam,” they say, “has nothing to do with terrorism and militancy and conquest. It is a religion of peace. These militants have hijacked Islam and perverted it — they don’t really believe it, but are using it as a front for their real agendas — economic advancement, destruction of political enemies, and so on.

However, when one gets a chance to listen to militants who describe how they were originally recruited, it becomes clear that our secular analysts haven’t got a clue. Time and again, seasoned jihadis recount that clear teachings from the Qur’an and Sunna (authoritative accounts of the actions and declarations of Muhammad) convinced them that jihad for the sake of Allah was the only acceptable path for one seeking to be a true Muslim.

One such recruit, 38 year-old “Alex” ( a pseudonym used for his protection now that he has been captured by government forces), belonged to the Maute Group, a local terrorist group on Mindanao Island in the Philippines that gave its allegiance to ISIS and carried out a five month siege of Marawi City, effectively leveling the city center and killing over a thousand residents in the process. Part of a bullet-riddled mosque is seen in the city of Marawi, southern Philippines, in 2018 after the end of a bloody siege by Isis affiliate the Maute Group.Alex said of his recruiters, “They said ‘they’re the ones fighting for the true jihad. We’re going to fight to the death to defend our religion and we will reap our rewards in the afterlife,”  Most influential in his decision to join the Maute Group along with his 13 year-old son (who died in battle) was the terrorist group’s charismatic leader Abu Dar. Alex recalls that “Abu Dar was a great speaker, even better than Omar Maute [one of the founders of the terror group]. He was very knowledgeable about the Qur’an. You will really believe him.” 

Still fresh in our minds today are the suicide bomb attacks Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, carried out by nine local Muslims (with the support of some 60 other Sri Lankans now under arrest and the apparent help of a larger Islamic terror network, perhaps ISIS). Authorities are now reporting concerning the nine suicide bombers that they were all “well-heeled” and “well-educated,” from middle- to upper-middle-class families, once again putting the lie to the claims of John Kerry and expert Western analysts that terrorists are made primarily by poverty and social victimization. ISIS have released an image of the suspected suicide bombers as Sri Lanka said one of them studied in the UK. Pictured centre is ringleader Moulvi Zahran Hashim

Sadly, the culprit turns out to be the religion of Muhammad as taught in the Qur’an, Hadith literature and the early histories of Islam, all revered Muslim documents. Historical Islam is inherently jihadi, and the more seriously a Muslim entertains patterning his/her life after that of Muhammad, the more he/she is drawn to totalitarian violence against all who resist submission to Islam. Its capacity to woo willing pawns eager to kill and be killed for the sake of Allah so that they may earn a ticket to paradise must not be underestimated.

Religious convictions can be the most powerful human motivators toward the advancement of good or the fomenting of evil. Until Western, secular leaders wake up to this fact and decide to face squarely the threat of Islam to Western civilization, we will continue to take body blows to our cherished freedoms and Judeo-Christian values. If we will not define the enemy clearly and precisely, fear and paralysis will lead us to capitulate to those ever willing to tyrannize us until Islamic law reigns supreme.

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Qanta Ahmed, Death Cap Mushrooms and Islam

Qanta Ahmed, a naturalized American, accomplished doctor and liberal Muslim, is at it again. Claiming to represent true Islam, she has launched another diatribe against Ilhan Omar over her recent, infamous CAIR speech in which the Minnesota Democrat congresswoman described the 9/11 terrorist attacks as “some people did something.”

Ahmed quite rightly calls Omar “…a disgrace for me and other American Muslims with her outrageous, ignorant, anti-Semitic and now anti-American comments.” But then she misleads her readers by claiming falsely that Omar “…repeatedly projects a distorted and patently Islamist interpretation of Islam – a religion that in reality stands for the values of justice, peace and ethical conduct.”

Ahmed sets up a false dichotomy, painting Islam as a rosy religion of peace and harmony, and Islamism as a perversion of Islam, focused inexplicably on violence, bloodshed, hatred and terror.Image result for qanta ahmed She never explains how Muslim “radicals” could ever come up with their worldview and attribute it to Islam, or how Muslims from disparate realms and cultures could come to the same conclusion — that they are compelled to violent jihad against the non-Muslim world — with nothing in common except the Qur’an, the traditions of Muhammad, and fourteen hundred years of bloody Islamic history.

All evidence to the contrary, Ahmed vainly tries to separate Islamism from Islam. Were Muhammad alive today, he would thrash her for hypocrisy — attempting to portray his
“revealed religion” as something less than it is. Amanita phalloides 1.JPGShe is like a chef touting the wonders of the death cap mushroom, deadly poisonous as its name implies, by claiming the mushroom itself is beautiful and healthy, and that the poison dwelling in every aspect of the mushroom has nothing to do with the mushroom itself. Yet the two are impossible to separate.

Ahmed skillfully pillories Omar’s vile 9/11 dismissal by drawing attention not only to the initial murder and carnage perpetrated by the Muslim attackers but also to the ongoing fallout over the almost 18 years since — deaths due to disaster-related diseases contracted by rescuers, chronic mental health issues among survivors and family members of those lost in the massacre, and the fear and animus generated in the non-Muslim world toward Muslims as a result of this (and 34,800+ Muslim terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11).

She remarks that on that fateful day of the attack, while working as a physician in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, she turned on the TV at 4 pm to witness live the World Trade Towers being hit by hijacked jetliners.

“Living at the time in the Saudi Kingdom – the epicenter of Islam – as the world learned the identity of the 9/11 terrorists, I wondered how my religion had been hijacked by suicidal killers who claimed they had a religious duty to kill innocents.

And I knew from that moment that these murderers would now become the face of Islam for many non-Muslims who know little about a religion with more the 1.6 billion followers around the globe.”

One wonders about the reaction of the many Muslims around her in the streets of Riyadh at the first news of the jihadi attacks on the USA. Were they as horrified as she, or was there dancing, horn-honking and the sharing of sweets at this blow struck against the Great Satan, as America is labeled from the pulpits of mosques across the Islamic world? Perhaps Qanta Ahmed will share her recollections with us someday.

Nevertheless, Ahmed herself is desperate to show that the Islamism of the hijackers is a poison that has nothing to do with the death cap mushroom of true Islam.

“Radical Islam – also known as Islamism – is a deviant, fictional and extreme distortion of true Islam, perpetrated by Islamist Muslims who use it to justify hatred and lethal violence that in reality have nothing to do with Islam.”

So, from where do these deviant radicals get their non-Islamic ideas that they associate with Islam? Could it be from any of the 109 verses addressing jihad that are found in the Qur’an, or the numerous Qur’anic decrees painting disbelievers and hypocrites (vacillating Muslims) as the enemies of Allah whom true believers as instruments of Allah’s wrath are called to punish? Could it be from “holy texts” that promise those who kill and are killed in the way of Allah that they will find eternal sensual pleasures beyond imagining as a reward for their brutal conquests on earth?

Might their penchant for terror find its roots in the example of their prophet, whom the Qur’an presents as the “beautiful pattern” (33:21) for all human beings to emulate? It is Muhammad, according to the most reliable of Hadith sources, who declared, “I have been made victorious through terror” (Sahih Bukhari, 4.52.220).

Where could Islamists have developed their enmity toward Jews? Certainly not from the dozens of Qur’anic texts which paint the Jews as evil, untrustworthy, greedy, treacherous, cursed by Allah, stubborn, lying disobedient, scheming, dirty/unclean? Or from the Hadith traditions? One of the most famous of these (even ensconced in the Hamas Charter) and repeated often, prophesies:

“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdullah [servant of Allah], there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ Only the Gharqad tree, (the Boxthorn tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, 41:6985); see also Sahih Muslim, 41:6981, 6982, 6983, 6984; Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:56:791; 4:52:177.)

Why does Qanta Ahmed not acknowledge these seminal, authoritative Islamic texts? Only she knows. Instead, she peddles her own fictional Islam, though making very little effort to defend her version from Muslim sources. Islam, she protests is “…a religion that in reality stands for the values of justice, peace and ethical conduct.” To support this, she quotes one verse from the Qur’an, prefacing it with a sentence meant to impress readers with the Qur’an’s commitment to justice:

In fact, the holy texts of Islam emphasize that one’s greatest allegiance should be to justice – even if doing so demands superseding family and coreligionist ties.

“Be strict in observing justice, and be witness for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against your parents or kindred,” the Koran says in Chapter 4, Verse 36.

One evidence that the Qur’an is not really very important to Qanta Ahmed’s understanding of Islam is the fact that she misattributes this text to Sura 4, v. 36. As a matter of fact, the text she quotes is found in Sura 4, v. 135 — only 99 verses later….

And there are two points to make with regard to this boilerplate teaching on justice: first, every religion worth its salt claims that justice is a virtue that shows no partiality, for partiality whether to parents or kindred or self is obviously a denial of justice. Islam is not to be lauded for promoting something so obvious, and found in all major religions. Second, justice in Islam is defined by the decrees of Allah, which are weighted in favor of believers and against disbelievers. This is why Islam enshrines jihad warfare, slavery, sexual abuse against non-Muslim girls and women, and dhimmitude status on recalcitrant Christians and Jews. Such treatment is just, because Allah declares it so. In Allah’s kingdom, non-Muslims do not share the “justice” that Muslims are meant to enjoy.

Yet even if Islam championed true justice, as the other religions do, that is not the issue. What sets Islam apart is not where it agrees with the other religions of the world, but where it differs — and on this front Qanta Ahmed wills herself to be blind. Islam is the only religion whose god demands his followers to pick up the sword to advance his kingdom until all the world is conquered; whose god tells his subjects they are the best of all peoples, and non-Muslims are the vilest of all created beings; whose law threatens doubting adherents with beheading should they recant their allegiance.

Ahmed has created a fantasy Islam in her own mind, one which ignores the vast evidence of Islamic texts and history, and from this castle in the sky she launches attacks against Ilhan Omar, whose Islam sadly is much closer to the Muslim Brotherhood and that of the 7th C. desert prophet himself.

One could wish that Ahmed’s version of Islam were true, but to act as if that were the case would be like sauteing a large batch of death cap mushrooms on the advice of a foolhardy chef and serving them to friends and family — deadly.


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Muslims Are in Need of Love and Truth

While on a four-day trip to our nation’s capital for meetings last week, I had the good fortune of meeting three different Muslim men. The first was my hotel shuttle driver, the second an Uber driver, and the third a shift manager of the hotel where I stayed. With all three I enjoyed separate conversations dealing with their lives as Muslims and their understanding of Jesus. In the process, I was struck once again by how little most Muslims know about their own faith. Most non-Muslims are shocked to hear this, as they typically assume that Muslims are well-schooled in Islam since they are so often portrayed in the media as praying, fasting and memorizing the Qur’an.

However, Islam prizes obedience to religious requirements far above understanding of doctrine. As a result, many Muslims follow ritual requirements as best they can, but spend little time studying their sacred texts. In fact, since Islam’s supreme religious text is the Qur’an, revealed in ancient Arabic, and since some 75% of the Muslim world cannot speak or read modern Arabic, much less the ancient Quraishi Arabic of the Qur’an, most Muslims do not spend much time reading their holy book for understanding. Instead, they get their information from imams, mullahs or sheikhs, whose training is of varying quality. As a result, the majority of Muslims are relatively ignorant of the core beliefs found in the Qur’an. Instead, they are much more familiar with the Sunna (the traditions concerning Muhammad’s personal practices and teachings), which typically are available to read in their own native tongues. As anecdotal evidence of this, I present snippets of conversations with my three new Muslim friends.

Umayr was my shuttle driver. Over three short trips with him I learned that this shy 28 year-old Pakistani has been in the USA for five years (most of his nuclear family is here as well, though his dad passed away while they still lived in Karachi). Last year, Umayr got married — to a 24 year-old Pakistani woman whom he had never met in person before he flew back to Pakistan for the wedding. “But,” he said to me, “I did see a photo of her.” His mom, here in the US, through family contacts had found a “suitable mate” and made the appropriate arrangements. Umayr spent one week with her before having to fly back to America alone. It will be another year or two before all the paperwork is approved for her to come join him. “Is she excited about coming here?” I asked. “Oh, yes, she loves the West, though she has never visited. She has a Master’s degree in English literature!” “Wow,” I replied, ” so what does she plan to do — will she teach here?” Umayr hesitated, and I understood. “Oh, you want to start a family right away.” He smiled shyly and nodded. We moved on.

“Do you go to the mosque regularly,” I asked. “Oh, yes, of course.” Which mosque do you attend in the area?” “Oh, the one here in town.” I hadn’t realized there was one in this particular suburb. “In what language is the khutbah (equivalent of a sermon) spoken — English, Arabic or Urdu (the primary language of Pakistan)?” I probed. “It is in English,” he said proudly, and added, “Back home, the khutbah was always in Arabic.” A bit confused, I asked him hopefully, “So, Umayr, you know Arabic?” “No,” he said, “I can’t understand it.” “So how did you understand the khutbah? Was there someone to translate into Urdu for the listeners” “No,” “So what would you do while the imam was speaking?” I asked, a bit staggered. “We would sit quietly and wait until it was over.”

This vignette undergirds the conviction that growth in understanding of the faith is not a high priority for many in Islam. What counts the most is obedience to the mandatory and supererogatory practices commanded or commended by Islamic tradition. Understanding the teaching at the mosque is not essential, but showing up for the mandatory Friday noon prayers that accompany the khutbah is.

My second encounter was with an Afghani Uber driver named Sayed. Climbing into the back of his Toyota, I inquired, “Sayed?” “Yes,” he replied, and then rather incredulously he asked, “You are Mateen?” “Yes.” Looking me over, he continued, “I have friends in Afghanistan named Mateen. You don’t look like a Mateen.” We laughed, and so began our friendly conversation. “Are you a Muslim?” he asked me. “No, I’m a Christian. How about you — you’re Muslim?” “No, I’m nothing now. I was Muslim but saw so much evil being done by other Muslims in Kabul that I do not believe God is with them.” Sayed worked as an interpreter in Kabul for the US military, and came to America three years ago. He and his wife have three children, two boys and a girl, all in their teens. I kidded him about , having his hands full as a father, and he nodded. During a lull in the conversation, I asked him, “So, tell me what you know about ‘Isa (the name for Jesus in the Qur’an). “Yes, Jesus. He’s mentioned often in the Qur’an — more than Muhammad,” he offered. “Have you ever read the Injil (Arabic word for “gospel” but most often used as shorthand for the New Testament)? You can learn much more about Jesus there than in the Qur’an.” “No,” he said, “but I know that he was born of his mother Mariam (Mary) without a man involved.” “Yes,” I encouraged him, “the Bible also teaches that he was conceived miraculously, without an earthly father.” See the source image“I know,” Sayed said, “the Qur’an teaches that an angel came to Mariam with a fruit from Paradise, and when she ate it, she became pregnant.” That brought me up short. “Wait, where did you learn that? That’s not in the Qur’an. It says that the Holy Spirit breathed into her garments [literally into her private parts], and that’s how she conceived Jesus.” “Really,” he said, “we were taught that it’s in the Qur’an. Oh, well, I don’t know, I can’t read the book for myself.” By now, we were pulling up to my hotel, so I thanked him for his new friendship and the interesting conversation. “Sayed, I won’t forget you. May God bless you.” “How can I forget an American Mateen?” he answered. “I am happy to meet you.”

My third conversation took place over fifteen minutes during the shuttle ride from hotel to airport. Aman, the hotel’s night shift manager, with whom I’d been chatting while waiting for the first shuttle of the morning, decided to come with Umayr and me so that he could be dropped off near his home. As we continued talking on the bus, I mentioned to him my conversation with Sayed from the day before and his comment about how Mary got pregnant by eating a fruit brought from Paradise by an angel. “That’s just a folktale,” Aman said dismissively, and began to school me on the truth, launching into a soliloquy on paradise, Adam and Eve, the serpent and the peacock, the angels and Satan, mixing together some material from the Qur’an with a heavy dose of traditional material from the Hadith traditions. The climax of his lecture was the statement that Allah planned all that happened for the benefit of Adam and Eve (and all their descendants) because, “As the Qur’an tells us, Allah loves every person 70 times more than his own mother does.”

“Aman,” I interrupted, “that’s not in the Qur’an.” “Yes, it must be. That’s what we were taught.” “No,” I said, “the Qur’an never says that Allah loves every human being. In fact, it is quite clear that Allah loves only the obedient, and that those who disobey him bear his wrath both now and when they die. “Really?” he asked. “We were told this is in the Qur’an.”

Image result for Allah does not loveI’d never heard this specific teaching before, so when I got home I did some research and discovered that this statement about Allah’s love cannot be found even in any of the six major hadith collections (and that’s saying something, because one typically can find something in the Hadiths to support one’s particular claims on almost any topic). The statement that “Allah loves the individual 70 times more than his/her own mother” falls squarely in the category of folktales.

My point in all this is that many self-professing Muslims do not have a solid grasp on their faith, and are open to discovering truth when they realize that their beliefs are on shaky ground. Many become open to hearing a Christian witness to the unique Lordship of Jesus, and of His substitutionary self-sacrifice for sinners, bearing the brunt of divine wrath for the sins we have committed.

One problem, however, is that many self-professing Christians are as ignorant of the Bible as Muslims are of the Qur’an. When you ask them their favorite verse, they might respond with, “God helps those who help themselves,” or “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” or “This, too, shall pass,” or “Charity begins at home,” or “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Christians are supposed to believe that the Bible is the written repository of divine truth. If so, the study of it should be a high priority, and rightly handling the truth in our conversations with others should be essential. As we internalize God’s Word, the treasury of divine wisdom in sanctified hearts and minds should bring light and encouragement to those with whom we engage.

None of us, naturally, has ingested once for all the totality of God’s Truth. There is always more to learn and make our own. But all disciples of Jesus should be further ahead than we were a month ago, and, as Paul says:

Let you speech always be grace-filled, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one. — Colossians 4:6.

There are many wandering far from the light and life of Jesus, for whom a word of wisdom from a Christian friend could be the signpost pointing them away from futility and turning them toward their true home in the One who loves them and gave His life for them. Of those many wanderers, God has given me a special passion for Muslims. For you it may be some other people group.

But whoever it is, may God grant you a hunger to grow in Truth through His Scriptures, and a fervency to speak that Truth in love to those for whom your heart beats with compassion.


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Where Is the Call for Justice from Jussie and His Attorneys???

Astonishing legal news was announced this morning from Illinois — the Cook County office of the State Attorney revealed that all charges filed against Jussie Smollett have been dropped and the evidentiary record has been sealed, meaning that nobody will have access to whatever evidence police investigators uncovered that originally led to the grand jury indictments and criminal charges.

Not surprisingly, the police and city administration are livid, after spending a voluminous number of hours and signficant dollars in the effort to track down Smollett’s alleged attackers, only to find two brothers, friends of Smollett’s who confessed to being part of a hoax cooked up by Smollett himself, according to their testimony.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a rare show of opposition to the State Attorney’s office, held a press conference denouncing this decision as a “whitewash of justice.”

Even odder was the statement made to reporters by First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats that he still believed Smollett filed a false police report. He said prosecutors “stand behind the investigation and the facts,” adding, “this was not an exoneration.”

However, Smollett and his attorneys took the news as just that — an exoneration. In his first public statement about the dropping of charges, the actor claimed, “I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one.”

Jussie SmollettWe may never know what really happened with the Jussie Smollett “incident.” But something definitely does not smell right in this slurry of contradictions. Most revealing is the fact that neither Smollett nor his attorneys nor the State Attorney’s office has called for the reopening of the investigation to track down the white, racist Trump-supporters that allegedly perpetrated the crime in question. The police apparently have no intention of further investigation, unless forced by their superiors, for they are convinced they discovered the truth.

Jussie Smollett seems relieved and content to be off the hook. His courthouse statement lacked any mention of bringing his alleged attackers to justice, only his gratitude for not being under the microscope any longer. That doesn’t ring true to my way of thinking.

Even O.J. Simpson, when acquitted of the charges that he murdered Nicole Simpson, declared that he would spend as much of his life and resources for as long as it took to track down the real killer(s).

“My first obligation is to my young children, who will be raised the way that Nicole and I had always planned. … But when things have settled a bit, I will pursue as my primary goal in life the killer or killers who slaughtered Nicole and Mr. Goldman. They are out there somewhere. Whatever it takes to identify them and bring them in, I will provide somehow.” (Simpson’s post-verdict statement, according to the AP)

Of course, he didn’t do either, but his statement at least counted for a sympathy vote in the minds of those people who thought he was innocent.

Jussie Smollett didn’t even think to attempt this tactic. He is just soothed by the incomprehensible legal maneuver of the Illinois State Attorney’s office to wipe the slate clean and seal all records. Perhaps his lawyers or friends will advise him to declare his intention to track down his attackers and bring them to justice. That would, at least, play well in media circles, even if he doesn’t mean it.

Will justice be done? Smollett apparently hopes not — it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie.

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