Islam’s practice and growth affects us all, whether we subscribe to the religion or not. Islam is becoming more and more prevalent in our society and we are constantly being asked to accommodate it at the expense of our values, principles, institutions and way of life. Many far-sighted, well-informed people think our culture is doomed and our country will be turned into an Islamic state if it is left unchecked.
That having been said, the vast majority of us know nothing about Islam and as such cannot make informed decisions about it or fully appreciate the threat it poses, even in the face of unspeakable events like the 9/11 attacks which were carried out in its name. This primer will hopefully fill the gap in our knowledge and understanding. At the very least the information herein should make us less susceptible to being manipulated into thinking Islam is tolerant, peaceful and benign and not the unforgiving, destructive and evil phenomenon it really is.
One brief caveat before we begin. This primer is about Islam. It is not about Muslims. Muslims are individuals and should be dealt with solely on their merits, the same way we deal with everyone else. No Muslim should be maligned, stereotyped, rejected or harmed because of anything contained in this primer.
Islam means “submision to the will of God”, or Allah as he is referred to by believers. The Koran is Islam’s holy book and is considered to be the literal word of God (Allah) as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad 1,400 odd years ago. Since Allah is seen as perfect his words are seen as perfect too and cannot be questioned or challenged because doing so would be viewed as questioning or challenging Allah himself. Besides, Allah and his words are perfection personified and perfection cannot be improved upon. Indeed, not one of the Koran’s 114 suras (chapters) has been changed over the centuries. Islam requires believers to unconditionally accept and obey Allah’s words as given in the Koran, even if that brings them into conflict with the wider society they live in. There are terrible consequences for those who don’t.
Islam teaches that it is the one true religion and that all other religions and belief systems are false and not accepted by Allah. Believers are seen as inherently superior to unbelievers. There is no respect or tolerance for people of other faiths or beliefs in Islam, who are thought of as contemptible, unworthy, enemies of Allah and less than human. Islam teaches that it is a sacred duty of believers to convert, subjugate or kill all unbelievers in order to purify the earth, which belongs to Allah alone. It justifies any act which leads to their conversion, subjugation or death. There is no mention of Allah’s love or regard for unbelievers in the Koran. Allah’s hatred for them and cruelty towards them are mentioned over 500 times however.
Islam’s purpose is to have everyone on earth live under Islamic rule and Islamic law, Sharia. The fact that this means destroying all non-Islamic societies and shedding vast amounts of blood is irrelevant. The command comes straight from Allah through Muhammad to the Koran and is non-negotiable, like everything else in the book. All other forms of government are seen as a sin and an insult to Allah and striving to institute Sharia worldwide is an Islamic imperative. Jihad is the individual and communal effort to expand the territory ruled by believers, to spread the rule of Islam and Islamic law throughout the world by whatever means are necessary. Believers have conducted jihad against unbelievers from Islam’s beginning to the present time. Indeed, every single day that goes by is full of examples of believers conducting jihad against unbelievers and carrying out horrific acts in the name of Islam, up to and including mutilation, torture, homicide and mass murder.
Islam permits lying by believers to unbelievers and is in fact the only major religion with a well-developed canon sanctioning this. Lying to unbelievers takes one of two forms in Islam, taqiyya or kitman. Taqiyya is lying or deceiving by saying something which isn’t true and kitman is lying and deceiving by omission, by telling only part of the truth and withholding the rest. Both come from Allah and the Koran and may be used in a wide variety of circumstances, one of them being to gain the trust of unbelievers to make them weaker and more vulnerable prior to defeating them, another being to comply with any of Islam’s myriad imperatives. Taqiyya and kitman have been used extensively throughout Islam’s history to deceive unbelievers and to gloss over Islam’s true nature and intentions and spread the rule of Islam and Islamic law. Our time is no exception. Believers are constantly lying to unbelievers to bring them under Islam’s yoke.
Islam and violence cannot be separated. They are virtually one and the same and always have been. Violence is at the heart of the religion and violent men and acts are revered and venerated. There are at least 109 verses in the Koran espousing violence and it is required of all believers, especially against unbelievers. Since the verses are immutable and unchangeable because they are thought of as the literal word of Allah they are just as relevant, obligatory and in force today as they were when they were received. Violence and jihad are completely ingrained in Islam and the narrative and history of the religion from the beginning right up to the present time leave no doubt about this whatsoever. Violence is also commonly directed inward as well as outward and believers and their spouses, children, relatives and associates have always been brutally victimized too. Violence is simply part and parcel of Islam and Islamic law and the religion cannot be practiced without it because it is required by Allah.
Christians and Jews are held in particularly low regard in Islam. They are especially reviled because they are seen as fellow peoples of the book who refuse to accept the supremacy of Allah, Muhammad and the Koran. Peoples of the book refers to followers of a monotheistic religion with a revealed scripture e.g. primarily Christians and Jews in the Islamic context. Historically, they were allowed to live in Islamic lands but only as second class citizens and only to reinforce Islam’s supremacy. They had to pay a poll tax called the Jizya to afirm their inferior status and indigenous Christians and Jews had to pay a land tax called the Kharadj as well. They were also discriminated against in many other legal ways, all of which were designed to punish, humiliate and degrade them and keep them in their place. Even in the best of times their existence was extremely precarious and they could be forced to convert or killed for real or imagined transgressions on a moment’s notice. Hatred, revulsion and discrimination towards Christians and Jews has always been an intrinsic part of Islam and remains so to the present day. Christians and Jews continue to be vilified, discriminated against and victimized by Islam, often violently. Attacks of all sorts are very common throughout the world. This is all the will of Allah as expressed to Muhammad and is entrenched in the Koran.
Misogyny and maltreatment of women are fundamental precepts and defining characteristics of Islam. Under Islam women are treated as chattels, marginalized, dehumanized, objectified, mistreated, beaten, raped, disfigured, persecuted, dominated and killed as a matter of course. This is all perfectly legitimate and is sanctified by Allah’s revelations, the Koran, Muhammad’s behavior and Islamic law. It is endemic in Islamic societies now and has been since Islam first came into existence. Women have no real rights under Islam at all, including the most basic ones of all, the right to life and the right to personal safety and security. Among other things, Islam teaches that a woman is worth less than a man, women are required to cover themselves, women are not allowed to be alone with a man who is not a relative, husbands are allowed to beat their wives, the testimony of a woman in court is worth half of a man’s, women cannot travel by themselves, adulterers are to be put to death, a woman must have four male witnesses to prove rape and her testimony is not accepted and on and on in the same vein. In Islam women are under the charge of men and completely subservient to them, be they husbands, fathers, sons, relatives or others.
Islam commands that those who insult Allah, Muhammad or Islam itself should be killed. So should those who descrate the Koran or commit other acts of blasphemy. Mocking, satirizing, questioning or criticizing are all considered acts of blasphemy. Blasphemy applies to both believers and unbelievers. Blasphemy provisions in Islamic law are very broad and are used to stifle dissent and criticism and to incite retribution and violence against those who dare to ask questions, voice concerns, depart from the party line or detract from Allah, Muhammad, the Koran or Islam itself in any way, shape or form. The draconian blasphemy provisions in Islamic law make discussion and examination impossible because even the mildest comment or expression can be taken as insulting or blasphemous and result in the blasphemer’s death. They are a real threat to freedom of speech and freedom of expression because they intimidate critics, dissenters and other interested people into silence…they are all-encompassing and anyone who violates them or is accused of violating them could easily find themselves in very serious trouble.
Islam defines apostacy as unbelief which follows belief. An apostate is a believer who rejects Islam and leaves it for another religion, or no religion at all. Apostates not only reject Islam but by definition they reject Allah, Muhammad and the Koran as well. Islam takes apostacy very seriously and apostates are put to death under Islamic law. Believers are not free to leave Islam. Once a person becomes a believer they are forced to remain one for the rest of lives or be killed. Islam is the only religion in the world which compels its adherents to remain in the fold upon pain of death. The death sentence is in effect regardless of whether the apostacy took place in an Islamic state or not. Muhammad himself killed many apostates and whoever kills one today is simply following his lead and obeying Islamic law.
Islam permits believers to steal from unbelievers but not from other believers. Unbelievers do not have a right to property and whatever property they do have may be taken from them by believers as they wish. Theft from unbelievers is permitted for three reasons. First, Allah promised believers that they would profit in the jihad against unbelievers, second, Allah promised believers that he would always sustain them and theft from unbelievers is a legitimate way of doing that and third, unbeliever’s property is not considered theirs because their lack of belief and resultant diminished status does not give them the right to own it in the first place. When believers steal from unbelievers it is viewed as returning property to a superior being and not as theft at all. In ancient times Muhammad frequently stole from unbelievers and believers have been following his example ever since. In modern times believers living on the dole is seen as stealing from unbelievers and part of the jihad against them. Conversely, the Koran states unequivocally that a believer who steals from another believer shall have his or hers hands cut off. Believers who balk at this are subject to punishment in turn because it is construed as rejecting their religion.
Believers consider lands which were once possessed by Islam to be Islamic forever, even if they were lost and regardless of how much time has gone by since the loss occurred. Whether the current occupants were on the land prior to Islam also doesn’t matter. Once an Islamic land always an Islamic land is the belief, no matter how long ago its status changed. Islam views lands which were once Islamic as holy and makes it imperative that they be re-conquered and restored to Islam’s rightful rule. That is Allah’s will and it must be followed. This is but one reason why the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and her Islamic neighbors is so intractable. Israel sits on land which was once Islamic and Islam mandates its return to the fold even though Jews were there long before Islam appeared. This guarantees a perpetual state of war in the region. For that matter, Spain and much of Europe, among other places, also sit on land that was once Islamic. In fact, anyplace a mosque existed, or exists, is considered by believers to be forever Islamic.
Islam’s apologists point to a few early verses in the Koran as proof that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, compassion and love. This is false however (taqiyya anyone?) because those few early verses are abrogated by later verses and are cancelled and rendered invalid as a result. Only abrogating verses carry the weight of Islamic law and compulsion. Abrogated verses in the Koran are called mansukh and abrogating verses are called nasikh. Nasikh were all revealed after mansukh and cancel and render invalid mansukh in every case. Apologists like to use Sura 2.256 (“let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clear from error”) to deceive unbelievers about the true nature of Islam. That was an early verse and was abrogated by Sura 9.5, a later verse commonly known as the verse of the sword, which reads “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush”. Every passage in the Koran with any sort of a positive message for unbelievers is abrogated by a later verse, every one, which means that there is nothing in the Koran that is positive for unbelievers, nothing at all. The few verses that speak of peace, tolerance, compassion and love are all replaced and supplanted by abrogating verses which command violence, war, intolerance, revulsion, disdain and hate, commands which come straight from Allah according to Islam.
That’s Islam in brief. So how does it manifest itself in today’s world? The answer is violently, viciously and totally uncompromisingly, the same way it has since its birth. Every day all over the world believers are murdering, maiming, torturing, beating, raping and otherwise horribly treating men, women and children of all ages in its name. Every day all over the world Islam is trying to force unbelievers to submit to its imperatives, to make everyone live under Islamic law. Every day all over the world Islam is attacking freedom, democracy, secularism and pluralism. Every day all over the world Islam is trying to wipe out freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and everything else that is requisite in free, non-Islamic societies. Every day all over the world Islam is committing terrorist acts, often including mass murder. Islam is a violent, destructive, intolerant, supremacist, expansionist religion and mindset and it proves the point wherever it is found, including wherever you happen to live. None of this is occurring, or has ever occurred for that matter, because anyone misinterprets or misunderstands it either. That is what Islam is and always has been, pure and simple.
There you have it-A primer on Islam on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Draw your own conclusions. Mine are that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with free, democratic, secular, pluralistic, modern societies, that no society can call itself civilized if it is governed in whole or in part by Islam, that the Western world and Western values, principles and institutions are under attack, that the Islamization of the Western world is well and truly underway, that Islamization must be stopped and reversed if the West is to survive, that the United States (my home country) and Israel are primary targets, that every Western country is seriously threatened, that it is incumbent upon freedom loving humanitarian people to fight and overcome the scourge that is Islam and that reality, history and Islam itself tell us exactly what will happen if they don’t.