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ZOOROB: Profiling is a reality for Muslims in the US - The Vanderbilt Hustler: Opinion

ZOOROB: Profiling is a reality for Muslims in the US

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Michael Zoorob is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at michael.j.zoorob@vanderbilt.edu

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 11:15 am | Updated: 10:32 pm, Tue Feb 3, 2015.

As we have all heard, Vanderbilt Professor Carol Swain disparaged Islam in The Tennessean, saying, “Islam … poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored better than it has been under the Obama administration …” And later: “If America is to be safe, it must remove the foxes from the henhouses and institute serious monitoring of Islamic organizations.”

Amazingly, in an article bemoaning dangers to “freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association,” Professor Swain calls in the same breath for government intrusion into the speech, assembly and association of American citizens precisely because they exercise their constitutional right to practice a faith different from hers.

The campus appropriately erupted against her callous words, but the actions Swain prescribed – chiefly, “serious monitoring of Islamic organizations” – are not just the daydreams of a strident Islamophobe. They are reality. For law enforcement and intelligence agencies, profiling is policy and, for Muslim Americans, harassment is routine.

This has been most infamously on display in New York. An investigation by The Associated Press reported: The NYPD has implemented “wide-ranging programs to monitor life in Muslim neighborhoods since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police officers have eavesdropped inside Muslim businesses, trained video cameras on mosques and collected license plates of worshippers. Informants who trawl the mosques — known informally as ‘mosque crawlers’ — tell police what the imam says at sermons and provide police lists of attendees, even when there's no evidence they committed a crime.”

The NYPD has placed undercover officers at local schools and monitored their Muslim student associations, and even monitored the websites of Muslim student associations in other states. One bizarre NYPD report leaked to the AP describes “an undercover officer … accompanying 18 Muslim students from the City College of New York on a whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York on April 21, 2008. The officer noted the names of attendees who were officers of the Muslim Student Association” and tallied how often members prayed.

According to the AP, “in more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony.” Though the infamous “Demographics Unit” has been disbanded, discrimination against Muslims continues, wrote the Brennan Center, an outfit of New York University’s School of Law.

What has the Obama administration done about these kinds of surveillance? Nothing. Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan has praised profiling by the NYPD, saying it has been “responsible for keeping the city safe over the past decade.” The Obama administration’s 2014 DOJ guidelines nationwide authorize racial profiling by the TSA and border security and “allow the FBI to ‘map’ minority communities to place informants,” according to the Council on American-Islamic relations.

Most Muslims have experienced a “stressful event related to their Muslim identity” such as special airport searches, according to a report by the American Psychological Association. These instances of discrimination cause real psychological harm: The APA report linked them to higher rates of depression and anxiety among Muslims in the United States.

Discriminatory profiling also makes us less safe, since Muslim Americans reaching out to the police have helped stop several terrorist plots, and cooperation requires trust. As Sahar Aziz, a law professor and former policy advisor to the Department of Homeland Security, asked: “Can we reasonably expect Americans who are themselves targets of surveillance and suspicion to trust the very agencies spying on them?”

Not even public intellectuals who have condemned terrorism are safe. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed that the FBI and NSA have tracked the emails of several prominent Muslim American professors, civil rights attorneys and even a Republican political operative and former Homeland Security official named Faisal Gill.

In an interview with The Intercept, Gill was baffled by revelations that his AOL and Yahoo accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates: “I just don’t know why … I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community — I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”

Gill’s only crime, like that of the overwhelming majority of Muslims who have been singled out, is to have practiced the wrong faith. To borrow Swain’s words, this reality is an insult to the freedoms that most of the world covets.

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16 comments:

  • Bob Roberts posted at 9:59 am on Tue, Feb 17, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    Allen, this is what you are doing either knowingly, or not.
    +++
    The Muslim Game:

    Bringing other religions down to the level of Islam is one of the most popular strategies of Muslim apologists when confronted with the spectacle of Islamic violence. Remember Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber? How about Anders Breivik, the Norwegian killer? Why pick on Islam if other religions have the same problems?

    The Truth:

    Because they don’t.

    Regardless of what his birth certificate may or may not have said, Timothy McVeigh was not a religious man (in fact, he stated explicitly that he was agnostic and that "science" was his religion). At no time did he credit his deeds to religion, quote Bible verses, or claim that he killed for Jesus. His motives are very well documented through interviews and research. God is never mentioned.

    The so-called “members of other faiths” alluded to by Muslims are nearly always just nominal members who have no active involvement. They are neither inspired by, nor do they credit religion as Muslim terrorists do - and this is what makes it a very different matter.

    Islam is associated with Islamic terrorism because that is the association that the terrorists themselves choose to make.

    Muslims who compare crime committed by people who happen to be nominal members of other religions to religious terror committed explicitly in the name of Islam are comparing apples to oranges.

    Yes, some of the abortion clinic bombers were religious (as Muslims enjoy pointing out), but consider the scope of the problem. There have been six deadly attacks over a 36 year period in the U.S. Eight people died. This is an average of one death every 4.5 years.

    By contrast, Islamic terrorists staged nearly ten thousand deadly attacks in just the six years following September 11th, 2001. If one goes back to 1971, when Muslim armies in Bangladesh began the mass slaughter of Hindus, through the years of Jihad in the Sudan, Kashmir and Algeria, and the present-day Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, the number of innocents killed in the name of Islam probably exceeds five million over this same period.

    Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 innocents in a lone rampage on July 22nd, 2011, was originally misidentified as a "Christian fundamentalist" by the police. In fact, the killings were later determined to be politically motivated. He also left behind a detailed 1500 page manifesto in which he stated that he is not religious, does not know if God exists, and prefers a secular state to a theocracy. Needless to say, he does not quote any Bible verses in support of his killing spree, nor did he shout "praise the Lord" as he picked people off.

    In the last ten years, there have been perhaps a dozen or so religiously-inspired killings by people of all other faiths combined. No other religion produces the killing sprees that Islam does nearly every day of the year. Neither do they have verses in their holy texts that arguably support it. Nor do they have large groups across the globe dedicated to the mass murder of people who worship a different god, as the broader community of believers struggles with ambivalence and tolerance for a radical clergy that supports the terror.

    Muslims may like to pretend that other religions are just as subject to "misinterpretation" as is their “perfect” one, but the reality speaks of something far worse.

     
  • Allen Walker posted at 10:33 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2015.

    Allen Walker Posts: 10

    Bob,
    Just to clarify, everything you've said about the history of Islam could be said about the history of every major religion. You can try to apologize for crimes committed in the name of Christianity by hiding behind "historical context", but that fails to take into account the fact that there are Christians now who use their beliefs to justify acts of violence or simply flouting the law.

     
  • Allen Walker posted at 7:57 am on Tue, Feb 10, 2015.

    Allen Walker Posts: 10

    Bob,
    I'm glad you're now offering a more nuanced view of Islam. Maybe you should keep your three most recent comments in mind before you start falsely accusing anyone who disagrees with you of "collusion". However when you say that "religious minorities suffer brutal persecution with little resistance" that's not a problem that's limited to Islam, or to the Middle East. It happens anywhere there are religious minorities. It just so happens that over the last half of the 20th Century US and Western policies helped to foster violence in the Middle East by, among other things, installing and propping up "friendly" dictators.

    You're saying "bad ideology" is the cause of terrorism committed by Muslims. If you look at history I think you'll find it's more complicated than that.

    I take your silence regarding the examples I provided of religious violence as an admission that I'm right that religious violence is a broad-spectrum problem. Hopefully in the future you'll base your arguments on facts.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 4:49 am on Tue, Feb 10, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115


    Additional Notes:
    Other than the fact that Muslims haven't killed every non-Muslim under their domain, there is very little else that they can point to as proof that theirs is a peaceful, tolerant religion. Where Islam is dominant (as in the Middle East and Pakistan) religious minorities suffer brutal persecution with little resistance. Where Islam is in the minority (as in Thailand, the Philippines and Europe) there is the threat of violence if Muslim demands are not met. Either situation seems to provide a justification for religious terrorism, which is persistent and endemic to Islamic fundamentalism.

    The reasons are obvious and begin with the Quran. Few verses of Islam's most sacred text can be construed to fit the contemporary virtues of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood. Those that do are earlier "Meccan" verses which are obviously abrogated by later ones. The example of Muhammad is that Islam is a religion of peace when Muslims do not have the power and numbers on their side. Once they do, then things change.

    Many Muslims are peaceful and do not want to believe what the Quran plainly says. They reach subjectively for textual context across different suras to try and mitigate the harsher passages. Even though the Quran itself claims to be clear and complete, Muslim apologists speak of the "risks" of trying to interpret the verses without their "assistance." Like many religious people, they want the text to fit their pre-established moral framework.

    Far from being mere history or theological construct, the violent verses of the Quran have played a key role in very real massacre and genocide. This includes the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni's bloody conquest. Both he and the later Tamerlane (Islam's Genghis Khan) slaughtered an untold number merely for defending their temples from destruction. Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian subcontinent. Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more slowly) in areas conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe, including today's Turkey. Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of a proud Persian people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

    So ingrained is violence in the religion that Islam has never really stopped being at war, either with other religions or with itself.

    Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns, massacring the men, raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking the property of others as his own. On several occasions he rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and even butchered captives. He actually inspired his followers to battle when they did not feel it was right to fight, promising them slaves and booty if they did and threatening them with Hell if they did not. Muhammad allowed his men to rape traumatized women captured in battle, usually on the very day their husbands and family members were slaughtered.

    It is important to emphasize that, for the most part, Muslim armies waged aggressive campaigns, and the religion's most dramatic military conquests were made by the actual companions of Muhammad in the decades following his death. The early Islamic principle of warfare was that the civilian population of a town was to be destroyed (ie. men executed, women and children taken as slaves) if they defended themselves. Although modern apologists often claim that Muslims are only supposed to attack in self-defense, this is an oxymoron that is flatly contradicted by the accounts of Islamic historians and others that go back to the time of Muhammad.

    Consider the example of the Qurayza Jews, who were completely obliterated only five years after Muhammad arrived in Medina. Their leader opted to stay neutral when their town was besieged by a Meccan army that was sent to take revenge for Muhammad's deadly caravan raids. The tribe killed no one from either side and even surrendered peacefully to Muhammad after the Meccans had been turned back. Yet the prophet of Islam had every male member of the Qurayza beheaded, and every woman and child enslaved, even raping one of the captives himself (what Muslim apologists might refer to as "same day marriage").

    One of Islam's most revered modern scholars, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, openly sanctions offensive Jihad: "In the Jihad which you are seeking, you look for the enemy and invade him. This type of Jihad takes place only when the Islamic state is invading other [countries] in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove obstacles standing in its way." Elsewhere, he notes: "Islam has the right to take the initiative…this is God’s religion and it is for the whole world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions … it attacks institutions and traditions to release human beings from their poisonous influences, which distort human nature and curtail human freedom. Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the 'homeland of Islam' diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life."

    The widely respected Dictionary of Islam defines Jihad as "A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Qur'an and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims…[Quoting from the Hanafi school, Hedaya, 2:140, 141.], "The destruction of the sword is incurred by infidels, although they be not the first aggressors, as appears from various passages in the traditions which are generally received to this effect."

    Dr. Salah al-Sawy, the chief member of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America, stated in 2009 that "the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time," tacitly affirming the legitimacy of violence for the cause of Islamic rule - bound only by the capacity for success. (source)

    Muhammad's failure to leave a clear line of succession resulted in perpetual internal war following his death. Those who knew him best first fought to keep remote tribes from leaving Islam and reverting to their preferred religion (the Ridda or 'Apostasy wars'). Then, within the closer community, early Meccan converts battled later ones. Hostility developed between those immigrants who had traveled with Muhammad to Mecca and the Ansar at Medina who had helped them settle in. Finally there was a violent struggle within Muhammad's own family between his favorite wife and favorite daughter - a jagged schism that has left Shias and Sunnis at each others' throats to this day.

    The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about Islam is that it is a Religion of Peace. If every standard by which the West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, misogyny, sexual repression, warfare...) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be devastating. Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion, culture, language or life. Neither does it make apologies or any real effort at moral progress. It is the least open to dialogue and the most self-absorbed. It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns self-examination and represses criticism.

    This is what makes the Quran's verses of violence so dangerous. They are given the weight of divine command. While Muslim terrorists take them as literally as anything else in their holy book, and understand that Islam is incomplete without Jihad, moderates offer little to contradict them - outside of opinion. Indeed, what do they have? Speaking of peace and love may win over the ignorant, but when every twelfth verse of Islam's holiest book either speaks to Allah's hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death, forced conversion, or subjugation, it's little wonder that sympathy for terrorism runs as deeply as it does in the broader community - even if most Muslims personally prefer not to interpret their religion in this way.

    Although scholars like Ibn Khaldun, one of Islam's most respected philosophers, understood that "the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force", many other Muslims are either unaware or willfully ignorant of the Quran's near absence of verses that preach universal non-violence. Their understanding of Islam comes from what they are taught by others. In the West, it is typical for believers to think that their religion must be like Christianity - preaching the New Testament virtues of peace, love, and tolerance - because Muslims are taught that Islam is supposed to be superior in every way. They are somewhat surprised and embarrassed to learn that the evidence of the Quran and the bloody history of Islam are very much in contradiction to this.

    Others simply accept the violence. In 1991, a Palestinian couple in America was convicted of stabbing their daughter to death for being too Westernized. A family friend came to their defense, excoriating the jury for not understanding the "culture", claiming that the father was merely following "the religion" and saying that the couple had to "discipline their daughter or lose respect." (source). In 2011, unrepentant Palestinian terrorists, responsible for the brutal murders of civilians, women and children explicitly in the name of Allah were treated to a luxurious "holy pilgrimage" to Mecca by the Saudi king - without a single Muslim voice raised in protest.

    For their part, Western liberals would do well not to sacrifice critical thinking to the god of political correctness, or look for reasons to bring other religion down to the level of Islam merely to avoid the existential truth that this it is both different and dangerous.

    There are just too many Muslims who take the Quran literally... and too many others who couldn't care less about the violence done in the name of Islam.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 4:33 am on Tue, Feb 10, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115


    Bukhari (52:177) - Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."

    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 (52:65) - The Prophet said, 'He who fights that Allah's Word, Islam, should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause. Muhammad's words are the basis for offensive Jihad - spreading Islam by force. This is how it was understood by his companions, and by the terrorists of today.

    Bukhari (52:220) - Allah's Apostle said... 'I have been made victorious with terror'

    Abu Dawud (14:2526) - The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, "There is no god but Allah" and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist)

    Abu Dawud (14:2527) - The Prophet said: Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious

    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 Allah

    Bukhari (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'. And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally."

    Muslim (1:30) - "The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah."

    Bukhari (52:73) - "Allah's Apostle said, 'Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords'."

    Bukhari (11:626) - [Muhammad said:] "I decided to order a man to lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes."

    Muslim (1:149) - "Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause..."

    Muslim (20:4645) - "...He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa'id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!"

    Muslim (20:4696) - "the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: 'One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.'"

    Muslim (19:4321-4323) - Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: "They are of them (meaning the enemy)."

    Muslim (19:4294) - "When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him... He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war... When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them... If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them."

    Bukhari 1:35 "The person who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him 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)."

    Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, "Kill any Jew who falls under your power." Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad's men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

    Tabari 9:69 "Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us" The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

    Tabari 17:187 "'By God, our religion (din) from which we have departed is better and more correct than that which these people follow. Their religion does not stop them from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties.' And they returned to their former religion." The words of a group of Christians who had converted to Islam, but realized their error after being shocked by the violence and looting committed in the name of Allah. The price of their decision to return to a religion of peace was that the men were beheaded and the woman and children enslaved by the caliph Ali.

    Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484: - “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

    Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 990: - Lest anyone think that cutting off someone's head while screaming 'Allah Akbar!' is a modern creation, here is an account of that very practice under Muhammad, who seems to approve.

    Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: - "Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah." Muhammad's instructions to his men prior to a military raid.

    Saifur Rahman, The Sealed Nectar p.227-228 - "Embrace Islam... If you two accept Islam, you will remain in command of your country; but if your refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember that all of your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship." One of several letters from Muhammad to rulers of other countries. The significance is that the recipients were not making war or threatening Muslims. Their subsequent defeat and subjugation by Muhammad's armies was justified merely on the basis of their unbelief.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 4:32 am on Tue, Feb 10, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

    Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.

    The context of violent passages is more ambiguous than might be expected of a perfect book from a loving God, however this can work both ways. Most of today's Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book's call to arms according to their own moral preconceptions about justifiable violence. Apologists cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.

    Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad's own martial legacy - and that of his companions - along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.


    The Quran:
    Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing...
    but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)" (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word "persecution" by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution - "idtihad" - and oppression - a variation of "z-l-m" - do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from "fitna" which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until "religion is for Allah" - ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

    Quran (2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things."

    Quran (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." Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

    Quran (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."

    Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority". This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be 'joining companions to Allah').

    Quran (4:74) - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, who were led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. This is the theological basis for today's suicide bombers.

    Quran (4:76) - "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…"

    Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

    Quran (4:95) - "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-" This passage criticizes "peaceful" Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah's eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that "Jihad" doesn't mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man's protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

    Quran (4:104) - "And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain..." Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

    Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

    Quran (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" No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

    Quran (8:15) - "O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end."

    Quran (8:39) - "And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah" Some translations interpret "fitna" as "persecution", but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported by the historical context (See notes for 2:193). The Meccans were simply refusing Muhammad access to their city during Haj. Other Muslims were allowed to travel there - just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction. The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad's intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did). Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until "religion is only for Allah", meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the opposition. According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that "Allah must have no rivals."

    Quran (8:57) - "If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember."

    Quran (8:67) - "It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land..."

    Quran (8:59-60) - "And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah's Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy."

    Quran (8:65) - "O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight..."

    Quran (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive 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." According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam (prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion's Five Pillars). This popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack. Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months). The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by Muhammad and posed no threat. Once the Muslims had power, they violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

    Quran (9:14) - "Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people." Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even "healing" the hearts of Muslims.

    Quran (9:20) - "Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah's way are of much greater worth in Allah's sight. These are they who are triumphant." The Arabic word interpreted as "striving" in this verse is the same root as "Jihad". The context is obviously holy war.

    Quran (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." "People of the Book" refers to Christians and Jews. According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status. This was one of the final "revelations" from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad's companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

    Quran (9:30) - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

    Quran (9:38-39) - "O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place." This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

    Quran (9:41) - "Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew." See also the verse that follows (9:42) - "If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them" This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).

    Quran (9:73) - "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination." Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that unbelievers are merely firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter. It also explains why today's devout Muslims have little regard for those outside the faith.

    Quran (9:88) - "But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper."

    Quran (9:111) - "Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme." How does the Quran define a true believer?

    Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

    Quran (17:16) - "And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction." Note that the crime is moral transgression, and the punishment is "utter destruction." (Before ordering the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden first issued Americans an invitation to Islam).

    Quran (18:65-81) - This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion. The story (which is not found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with "special knowledge" who does things which don't seem to make sense on the surface, but are then justified according to later explanation. One such action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74). However, the wise man later explains that it was feared that the boy would "grieve" his parents by "disobedience and ingratitude." He was killed so that Allah could provide them a 'better' son. (Note: This is one reason why honor killing is sanctioned by Sharia. Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills their offspring (o.1.1-2).)

    Quran (21:44) - "We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?"

    Quran (25:52) - "Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness..." "Strive against" is Jihad - obviously not in the personal context. It's also significant to point out that this is a Meccan verse.

    Quran (33:60-62) - "If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter." This passage sanctions the slaughter (rendered "merciless" and "horrible murder" in other translations) against three groups: Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to "fight in the way of Allah" (3:167) and hence don't act as Muslims should), those with "diseased hearts" (which include Jews and Christians 5:51-52), and "alarmists" or "agitators who include those who merely speak out against Islam, according to Muhammad's biographers. It is worth noting that the victims are to be sought out by Muslims, which is what today's terrorists do. If this passage is meant merely to apply to the city of Medina, then it is unclear why it is included in Allah's eternal word to Muslim generations.

    Quran (47:3-4) - "Those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord... So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah's Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives)... If it had been Allah's Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost." Those who reject Allah are to be killed in Jihad. The wounded are to be held captive for ransom. The only reason Allah doesn't do the dirty work himself is to to test the faithfulness of Muslims. Those who kill pass the test.

    Quran (47:35) - "Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost (Shakir: "have the upper hand") for Allah is with you,"

    Quran (48:17) - "There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom." Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means 'spiritual struggle.' Is so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted? This verse also says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

    Quran (48:29) - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves" Islam is not about treating everyone equally. There are two very distinct standards that are applied based on religious status. Also the word used for 'hard' or 'ruthless' in this verse shares the same root as the word translated as 'painful' or severe' in verse 16.

    Quran (61:4) - "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way" Religion of Peace, indeed! The verse explicitly refers to "battle array" meaning that it is speaking of physical conflict. This is followed by (61:9): "He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist." (See next verse, below). Infidels who resist Islamic rule are to be fought.

    Quran (61:10-12) - "O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of 'Adn - Eternity ['Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success." This verse refers to physical battle in order to make Islam victorious over other religions (see above). It uses the Arabic word, Jihad.

    Quran (66:9) - "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end." The root word of "Jihad" is used again here. The context is clearly holy war, and the scope of violence is broadened to include "hypocrites" - those who call themselves Muslims but do not act as such.

     
  • Allen Walker posted at 8:39 am on Mon, Feb 9, 2015.

    Allen Walker Posts: 10

    Bob,

    You're missing the point. People may commit violence in the name of religion even if their religion doesn't specifically condone violence. Different people interpret their beliefs in different ways. Regardless of what Jesus (the actual historical figure, about whom we know very little since the Bible isn't a reliable historical document) may have said there are Christians who, when they commit acts of violence or advocate violence, believe they are acting in the name of Christ. Many of those justify their acts by quoting Matthew 10:34: " "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." There are also Buddhists who commit acts of violence, and Hindus as well, and who use religion to justify these acts. One need only look to the decades of terrorism and violence in Sri Lanka following the British withdrawal. There are Jews who commit acts of violence in the name of their beliefs. How many more examples do you want me to cite to prove my point that violence in the name of religion isn't limited to any one religion?

    Please cite some of your sources for your claim that "Mohammed taught murder in the name of Islam". Even if that's the case, though, you yourself have said in previous comments that not all Muslims post a threat to the United States, only those of certain sects. You're continually contradicting yourself. Do you believe all Muslims pose a threat or not?

    As for the alleged "fascistic ways" of Islam the same could be said of Christianity. After all some Christians in this country seek to impose their beliefs on others, even on Christians of different sects with whom they disagree.

    Finally criticism of violence committed by people of faiths other than Islam isn't "collusion". I'm critical of violence committed in the name of any religion. You're exclusively targeting Muslims and acting as an apologist for others.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 11:55 am on Sat, Feb 7, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    Allen writes, "You do know that there are Christians out there saying hateful things and advocating violence, don't you Bob? If you were truly honest you'd acknowledge that violence in the name of religion is a broad-spectrum problem."

    +++

    Allen, could you clarify what you mean by this? Are there Buddhists killing in the name of Buddha? And, if so, are they being true to the example Buddha set and to his teachings?

    Are their Christians killing in the name of Jesus? And, if so, are they being true to the example Jesus set and to his teachings?

    +++

    In contrast to Buddha, Jesus and all other prophets you could name, Islam's prophet Mohammed taught murder in the name of Islam, he taught supremacism and violence in the name of spreading Islam to all corners of the world.

    +++

    Your attempts to obfuscate the core tenets of Islam with those of any other religion either shows your lack of knowledge and/or your willful collusion with Islam and its fascistic ways.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 9:38 am on Sat, Feb 7, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    Allen, are you insinuating that McVeigh killed in the name of Christ? If you are you are contradicting all the evidence.

    Meanwhile every single day Muslims kill, torture, gang-rape and destroy all in the name of Allah. They quote chapter and verse from the Qur'an and Hadiths before beheading and burning people alive.

    Are you suggesting McVeigh was motivated by a similar religious furor?

     
  • Allen Walker posted at 7:28 am on Sat, Feb 7, 2015.

    Allen Walker Posts: 10

    Bob,
    In an earlier comment you shared an entire article titled "The Muslim Game", although as I pointed out in that thread you didn't provide any attribution so its source is unclear. The article claimed, among other things, that Timothy McVeigh was an agnostic. This is false, as proven by his own statements made while interviewed in prison.

    You may refer to this in case you missed my earlier comment:
    http://www.vanderbilthustler.com/opinion/columns/article_76798394-a355-11e4-97b5-8be6b4a3e701.html#comment-7270f35a-a890-11e4-9a5e-10604b9ffede

    I'll just conclude by saying that criticizing US policy, or the way police officers conduct themselves isn't "glossing over" acts of terrorism. Nor can you fairly accuse someone who has served in the US military who is a critic of some actions of the US of being "part of the problem". You're spreading responsibility far beyond its logical boundaries. It's not "PC" to say that this country should not operate on the principle of "guilty until proven innocent".

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 4:59 pm on Fri, Feb 6, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    Allen,

    What specific information are you referring to?

    Thx.

     
  • Allen Walker posted at 2:57 pm on Fri, Feb 6, 2015.

    Allen Walker Posts: 10

    Bob,
    I'm really enjoying the inconsistencies of your statements. Perhaps you could provide some citations to sources for your information, although in the past you've demonstrated a penchant for failing to provide any attribution for articles you claim to be quoting in whole. Perhaps that's just as well since, as we've seen, at least one of those articles contained false information.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 2:46 pm on Fri, Feb 6, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    One unanswered question is whether Islam is a religion of peace. First, the Arabic word Islam does not mean "peace" but an act of subjugation to God (Allah) and His will. Second, the basis and teaching of Islam is understood universally to consider non-Muslims as infidels. Third, infidels have to be wiped out. There is no gainsaying the word of Allah in the Koran, the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad and the shari'a. Thus, Muslims by birth or conversion, regardless of whether they are ultraconservative, moderates or secularists, are trapped in this vise-grip of enforcing the will of Allah on everyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, if they veer away from the straight and narrow.

     
  • Allen Walker posted at 2:27 pm on Fri, Feb 6, 2015.

    Allen Walker Posts: 10

    Bob,
    I, for one, would be thrilled if you'd consider that Muslims are people and individuals. You claim to only want monitoring of "certain Muslims and Muslim organizations", but then you criticize " Muslim imams calling for the destruction of the west" without making the distinction that not all imams share these views.

    After all we could easily point to Christians who, right now, are calling for or even committing acts of violence in the name of their religion, but to claim that they represent all Christians would be false and irresponsible.

    You do know that there are Christians out there saying hateful things and advocating violence, don't you Bob? If you were truly honest you'd acknowledge that violence in the name of religion is a broad-spectrum problem.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 8:30 am on Fri, Feb 6, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    Michael,

    I, for one, am thrilled our government agencies are monitoring certain Muslims and Muslim organizations. To do otherwise would be irresponsible. Their job is to protect us from those who would do us harm. It is not to be PC.

    There is not a day that goes by where one does not read about Muslims either being arrested for planning attacks against western interests, or of Muslims accomplishing attacks against western interests.

    One would need be delusional to not understand the endless speeches by Muslim imams calling for the destruction of the west and to pretend these religious hate-mongers do not mean what they say..

    For you to gloss over these realities as if they were not serious threats. For you to gloss over the World Trade Center horrors, the London bus bombings, the Spanish subway bombings, the endless incidents in France, Sweden, and most everywhere else in the world is remarkable. This tells us more about you than it does about most anything else.

    Michael, you are an example of why many westerners are becoming increasingly suspicious of Muslims. While your brothers and sisters burn people alive, behead international aid workers, blow up schools, kidnap pre-pubescent girls; people like you whine and moan about racial profiling. If you were truly honest with yourself and with us as readers, you would acknowledge that it IS the fault of Muslims that profiling is not unjust but is simply prudent and necessary.

     
  • Bob Roberts posted at 8:19 am on Fri, Feb 6, 2015.

    Arafat Posts: 115

    Michael writes, "As we have all heard, Vanderbilt Professor Carol Swain disparaged Islam in The Tennessean, saying, “Islam … poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored better than it has been under the Obama administration …” And later: “If America is to be safe, it must remove the foxes from the henhouses and institute serious monitoring of Islamic organizations.”

    +++

    It should be noted Ms. Swain is not alone. In fact her views are no different than those of the following people. And this suggests there is much more than a kernel of truth in her views.
    ++
    John Quincy Adams on Islam

    "The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force."
    ++
    Patriarch Cyrus of Alexandria on Islam

    "I am afraid that God has sent these men to lay waste the world".
    ++
    Gregory Palamus of Thessalonica on Islam

    "For these impious people, hated by God and infamous, boast of having got the better of the Romans by their love of God...they live by the bow, the sword and debauchery, finding pleasure in taking slaves, devoting themselves to murder, pillage, spoil and not only do they commit these crimes, but even - what an aberration - they believe that God approves of them. This is what I think of them, now that I know precisely about their way of life."
    ++
    Vernon Richards on Islam

    "The true Islamic concept of peace goes something like this:'Peace comes through submission to Muhammad and his concept of Allah'(i.e. Islam). As such the Islamic concept of peace, meaning making the whole world Muslim, is actually a mandate for war. It was inevitable and unavoidable that the conflict would eventually reach our borders, and so it has."
    ++
    Andre Servier on Islam

    "Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was - and it remains - incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society."
    ++
    Alexis de Tocqueville on Islam

    "I studied the Koran a great deal...I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world, and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion infinitely more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself."