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Jewish World Review
Feb. 21, 2005
/ 12 Adar I, 5765
Five Misconceptions about Islam that could kill Democracy
I was shocked after September 11th when I heard government officials say Islam is a "religion of peace". Nothing could be farther from the truth! Our President was even considering not conducting any military activities out of respect for Ramadan! I spoke with my congressman, Nick Lampson of Texas, and strenuously objected, sharing my experience and what I had learned about Islam. I explained how Islam is the greatest threat the Democracies of our world face in the 21st Century, and demonstrated how the international polity of Islam is the equivalent of the German Nazis in the 20th century. I further pointed out that Osama Ben laden is the equal to Adolph Hitler in our generation.
As result, Congressman Lampson asked me to submit to him a factual report that he could present to the Foreign Relations Committee, Congress, and the President. Some of this article is based on that report.
It must be understood that we define Moslem, as one who follows the Quran, the life of Mohammed, and the traditions of the community. There are sects called Moslems that do not necessarily abide by these rules. They can be called "cultural Moslems," some of these are Ismailis, Druze, and Sufis. Secular Moslems like many Turks have a Moslem culture but because of Turkey's history and geography have been secularized. Fundamentalists, those that accept the Quran literally, and pattern their lives after Mohammed, as well as follow the traditions of those who have historically lived this way, are a growing threat to all mankind and all democracies of the world.
Now here are some very critical misconceptions regarding Islam:
1. Islam is a religion of peace, and is not anti-Jewish.
Islam has been a violent and military movement from its beginning. The current attitude of Arab and Islamic countries towards Jews dates back to the life of Mohammed, who conducted 74 military campaigns, 24 of them personally. He unified the Arab tribes with war and assassinated or exiled Jews, therefore setting precedent for the militant and anti-Jewish practices of Islam.
The reason Mohammed was so violently anti-Jewish was because he originally saw himself as a prophet to the Jews, Christians, and pagans of Arabia. In his early reign he instructed his followers to bow down and pray to Jerusalem! The Jews of Arabia rejected him as a Hebrew prophet and he was almost killed in battle with them. He then changed the direction of prayer to Mecca.
I journeyed across Syria from Damascus to Aleppo to the Euphrates River and back to Damascus in 1999. I learned that it was a practice in Syria for Moslem fathers to make their son's swear, "I will kill a Jew before I die." In 1947 Arab mobs in Aleppo devastated the 2,500-year-old Jewish community. Many Jews were killed and thousands of Jews illegally fled Syria to go to Israel. Today there are less than 150 Jews in the entire nation.
2. Islam is just a religion.
Islam has never been just a religion in the traditional sense, in as much as the members of Democracies understand; it has always been a polity; a political organization.
Mohammed's intention was the unification of the Arab tribes and their international expansion. The state and religion are not seen as separate nor can an individual dissent from the Quran. The very word Islam means submission.
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Islam is seen as a political organization, which has no boundaries. This was the intent of Mohammed in the establishment of the Umma, the community or brotherhood. Western culture perceives this to be their statement of equality for mankind, but it must be remembered; if you are not Moslem you are not equal.
In Islamic societies where Jews and Christians are allowed to exist they do not have the same rights as a Moslem, and they are required to pay a special tax.
3. Mosques are only a sacred place of worship
The Mosque has always been the center of the Islamic polity. The rulers of Islam have always used the Mosque as a place of political and military activity.
Not all mosques are of course but many are the sources of terror activities. They are places where strategies for violence are formulated and carried out. When American troops invaded Iraq they were hesitant to attack a mosque because of the Western mindset concerning a house of worship. Finally after taking so many casualties from weaponry fired from mosques they began to assault them using Iraqi's as vanguard troops.
4. Jihad is not a practice of Islam but only of a few radicals.
Every Islamic nation in the Middle East and Northern Africa is a result of military invasion. The standard of mores in Islam is the Quran, the Hadith, and the Sunnah. The Hadith is the biographical collection of Mohammed's life. The Sunnah is the traditions of the elders of the community. Mohammed practiced Jihad in warfare, and every reader of the Quran and Hadith know this is so, and every adherent knows that his life is his or her example. In Islam the only sure way to obtain paradise is to die in Jihad. This horrible doctrine is the reason so many young Moslems are blowing themselves up to kill others. Murder of innocents and critics by suicide bombers have occurred in the USA, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Holland, Iraq, China, and many other countries. Suicide bombings are epidemic in the Arab world and they will only increase.
Some Islamic rationalists say Jihad in their writings is meant to be allegorical, a spiritual struggle. If that is so, why didn't their founder exemplify this principle? The fact is that he was a man of war.
"Jihad is ordained for you though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.'-- Quran Surah 2:16
5. Islam and Democracy are compatible.
Democracy and Islam are contradictory terms. The goal of Islam is Sharia law, the implementation of the Quran as the law of the land. What you see in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan is the Moslem global vision. The idea we express in a democracy, "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it" is not understood in Islam. There is no right to dissent. There are 16 Moslem nations in the Middle East; not one of them is Democracy.
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© 2005 Larry Garza