Mar 29, 2006 9:34 am


Proposition 1: As bad as the Danish cartoons were for interfaith relations, they dwarf the Rahman case.

Proposition 2: As late as 1998, Iran could get away with killing apostates without arousing even a murmur in the Christian world. No longer. Rahman is going to live only because the veil has finally been lifted and the picture of the aged Dorian Grey is visible to all. Hence, people are asking some serious questions.

Religion of Peace?

What better time for CAIR and other Muslim leaders to step up, cut through the politically correct fog and provide factual answers to the questions that give so many non-Muslims pause?

Generally speaking, those questions focus on whether the Quran does indeed promote violence against non-Muslims, and how many of the terrorists' ideas — about the violent jihad, the self-immolation, the kidnappings, even the beheadings — come right out of the text? But even more specifically:

Is Islam the only religion with a doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers?

Is it true that 26 chapters of the Quran deal with jihad, a fight able-bodied believers are obligated to join (Surah 2:216), and that the text orders Muslims to"instill terror into the hearts of the unbeliever" and to"smite above their necks" (8:12)?

Is the"test" of loyalty to Allah not good acts or faith in general, but martyrdom that results from fighting unbelievers (47:4) — the only assurance of salvation in Islam (4:74; 9:111)?

Are the sins of any Muslim who becomes a martyr forgiven by the very act of being slain while slaying the unbelievers (4:96)?

And is it really true that martyrs are rewarded with virgins, among other carnal delights, in Paradise (38:51, 55:56; 55:76; 56:22)?

Are those unable to do jihad — such as women or the elderly — required to give"asylum and aid" to those who do fight unbelievers in the cause of Allah (8:74)?

Does Islam advocate expansion by force? And is the final command of jihad, as revealed to Muhammad in the Quran, to conquer the world in the name of Islam (9:29)?

Is Islam the only religion that does not teach the Golden Rule (48:29)? Does the Quran instead teach violence and hatred against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians (5:50)?

Andrew McCarthy adds his own questions:

Here’s a riddle: What begins with words “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” a formal Islamic salutation also commonly used by militants in their warnings, fatwas, and claims of responsibility regarding terrorist acts?

What extols the virtues of “rightful jehad” (also known as jihad) in its very first sentence?

What in its first article declares its sovereignty to be an “Islamic Republic,” and in its second installs Islam as the official “religion of the state”?

What, in its third article announces to the world that, within the territory it governs, “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam”?

What sets the national calendar by Mohammed’s historic journeys, requires the promotion of religious education, and even mandates that its national anthem must contain the battle cry “Allahu Akbar” (God is great!), most familiar to Westerners in recent times as the triumphant invocation of terrorists doing their dirty work?

What requires that same battle cry to be grafted onto its national flag, along with “the sacred phrase of ‘There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet’”?

What, in the formation of families and upbringing of children, requires the “elimination of traditions contrary to the principles of [the] sacred religion of Islam”?

What requires the nation’s president to be a Muslim, and to swear to Allah, at the beginning of the oath of office, “to obey and safeguard the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam”? What requires the same oath of all public ministers?

What permits its judges to be schooled in Islamic jurisprudence (in lieu of any civil legal training) and requires that, upon assuming their offices, those judges take an oath “to support justice and righteousness in accord with the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam”?

What permits its highest court, even if predominantly comprised of judges trained in Islamic law, to interpret for all departments of government the meaning of any law or treaty?

What requires, when no other law directly applies to a question, that the courts decide it “in accord with the Hanafi jurisprudence” (Hanafi being one of the four major schools of Sunni Islamic law), with the lone exception that Shia Islamic principles can be applied in legal cases exclusively involving Shiite Muslims?

What permits any of its terms to be altered with the sole exception that: “The provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended”?

Richard Cohen draws conclusions about Muslim silence:

What strikes me about the threat to execute Abdul Rahman, the Afghan who converted to Christianity, is not that Afghanistan remains deeply medieval and not even remotely the democracy that George W. Bush would like it to be, but that with the exception of the (largely) Christian West, the rest of the world has been mostly silent. The Americans have protested, the Brits have protested, the Vatican has protested and so (I assume) have some others. But if there has been a holler of protest from anywhere in the Muslim world, it has not reached my ears. That is appalling.

The groupthink of the Muslim world is frightening. I know there are exceptions -- many exceptions. But still it seems that a man could be killed for his religious beliefs and no one would say anything in protest. It is also frightening to confront how differently we in the West think about such matters and why the word" culture" is not always a mask for bigotry, but an honest statement of how things are. It is sometimes a bridge too far -- the leap that cannot be made. I can embrace an Afghan for his children, his work, even his piety -- all he shares with much of humanity. But when he insists that a convert must die, I am stunned into disbelief: Is this my fellow man?

Nor does my fellow HNN blogger, Irfan Khawaja, has little sympathy for Academic Apologists for Shariah.

All in all, I think we are finally confronting the reality we tried so hard to avoid. The cure may involve painful and bloody surgery but we will survive and prosper.

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Daniel - 3/29/2006

The main problem with Islam is that the Koran lacks four words:

"Thou shalt not kill!"