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January 02nd 2015 print

Peter Smith

Allah-cadabra! Islam’s Hate Vanishes

Like a kiddies' party conjurer, Maria Bhatti uttered some magic words and pulled a peace-loving, tolerant, community-building Muhammad out of her rhetorical hat. Enough to impress the children who now edit The Age and SMH, adults won't have missed the bloody dagger being palmed from view

rabbit in hatMaria Bhatti, an Australian-Muslim lawyer, writes in The Age: “There are countless sayings of Muhammad (hadith) encouraging people to build community ties, and promoting love service, kindness, humility and other virtuous traits for a more meaningful life. In his last sermon, Muhammad left the following message for humankind: ‘An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.’”

Given the carnage, persecution and intolerance perpetrated by Muslims, under the claimed guidance of Muhammad and Allah, just how much of this soft-soap (however innocently and naively conjured) is it possible to swallow without throwing up? I must admit to having just returned from the bathroom. My limit had been reached and breached. Allah said:

Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by his Messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low. (Koran, 9:29, Pickthall version)

Now call me a paranoid unbeliever if you like but I don’t get the sense of universal fraternity here. True, it matters not whether I am black or white, which is some comfort for us lily-whites, but as a Christian, I am to be fought against, finding acceptance only by paying the tribute and being brought low. Was Allah mistaken in saying this? Did He really mean it? Muhammad’s last message seems so inclusive. It was probably an oversight that he didn’t mention people of different faiths or no faith. Or, men and women? Back to Allah:

Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other… good women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded…those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them…(4:34)

I don’t want to go on with this quoting from the Koran. There is a lot of intolerance to be found. Alexis de Tocqueville claimed to have studied the Koran. “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,” he wrote. Messages of peace and goodwill dripping from the lips of moderate Muslims don’t do it for me; particularly when I see the intolerance in the Koran being preached and acted out pretty well wherever Muslims form large numbers.

Of course, most Muslims are not radicals. However, it seems to me that only radical Muslims have any knowledge of Islamic scripture. So, never the twain meets. The moderates mouth platitudes based on their own imaginings while the radicals accurately follow their scripture.

There is no middle ground. Why is that? The answer is straightforward: there is no middle ground of consequence to be had. It is empty. It is no-man’s land. That’s why we never see, and will never see, meaningful Islamic scriptural debate. Allah’s words are Allah’s words. I have quoted some of them above. They can’t be gainsaid.

People like Ms Bhatti are genuine enough. It is wonderful that she gets comfort from her faith. I get comfort from mine. However, I have taken the trouble to understand my faith. But I tell you what; if Christ had advocated intolerance and I saw it being widely preached and acted out I would have long since found another faith. I wouldn’t be carefully picking and choosing among His words to find some beguiling quotes.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [3]

  1. IainC of The Ponds says:

    I have read the Koran from cover to cover twice (through N J Dawood’s translation issued by Penguin, 1993 reprint) and I strongly advise everyone to do so. It explained so much about Islamism and, incidentally, why it is such a perfect fit ideologically with Leftist thought processes.
    Ignoring for the moment bits and pieces snatched at random from the text (which, like the Bible, can be used to support mutually exclusive propositions), what is the overall FEEL of the Koran? Peace and love? Be kind to your neighbour? Forgive your enemies? No, the overall ambience of the Koran is vengeance and punishment. Vengeance by Allah upon those who disobey Him, and eternal punishment therefrom and thereafter. I used to play a game where I would open the Koran at random and see whether blood-curdling warnings or gentle, forgiving images were presented on that particular page. I can say that a rarely came across the latter.
    Of course, historical scholars will say that all this is in complete accord with the nature of Middle Eastern society at the time, a collection of fierce, warrior tribes with complex networks of allegiances, blood feuds, and historical revenge motifs. For modern societies like ours, not so relevant, but for angry young men spoiling for glory and booty and angry old men keen to resurrect the glory and booty of the old Caliphate, the Koran is a perfect text book. Its power over Men is not in the particular threads, but in the tapestry as a whole.

  2. Jody says:

    And the Catholic faith has a female as an icon (Mary) almost as significant as Christ himself. Ergo, equality between the sexes. It is the Protestant faiths which removed Mary from the statute books – these same people who claim women should have equality and are entitled to be priests, bishops etc. Does anybody else detect the irony here? At least the Catholic church recognized the status of women as child-bearers and nurturers right from the beginning.

    As for Ms Bhatti and her ilk; these bogus refulgences bore me rigid and I radically eschew the “polyanna” group-think which has become a symbol of our PC age. Saying it, Ms. Bhatti, doesn’t make it so.

    We can show more genuine empathy and kindness to others by understanding the real world and (metaphorically) putting our money where our mouths are. But that requires individuality and bravery – two strengths and virtues sadly lacking in this day and age.

  3. [email protected] says:

    Please excuse the pun, but thank God I’m an atheist.
    It is not Islam per se that must be fought but its totalitarianism. Totalitarianism can be secular, as seen in extreme leftist political entities such the Nazis and Communists, or it can be religious as in the theological totalitarianism of Islam. Secular totalitarians killed 100 million people last century. The theological totalitarians have killed far less in comparison, mainly due to incompetence and lack of means rather than lack of desire.
    To my mind Christianity has never been totalitarian in its basic philosophy or in its social/political goals even though Joseph Ratzinger [retired Pope Benedict] supposedly once said ‘the best antidote for political totalitarianism is ecclesiastical totalitarianism’. However being aware of Blaise Pascal’s dictum that ‘Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.’ I am not sure if I would trust any sort of totalitarianism, but most certainly not that of Islam.