There are multiple posts floating around Facebook about the Paris attacks. Some of these make two disturbing claims: Firstly, that the attacks had nothing to do with the fact that the perpetrators were Muslim. That, they claim, is beside the point. What matters is simply that they were scum. Secondly, that ordinary Westerners concerned for those affected by these attacks — those who are praying for them and for France, for peace, who express a desire to stand with the people of Paris — are somehow hypocritical because similar concern is not expressed about other terrorist attacks around the world. The two claims can be answered together.
There is no doubt that the perpetrators of these attacks were scum. You have to be scummy to be a cold-blooded murderer, torturer, rapist or pedophile. Muhammad was all of those things. He had his way with a nine-year-old girl, Aisha, when he was fifty-three. One of the many women captured in war whom he took and raped was a member of the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe living in Medina. At his command, Muhammad’s fighters checked the boys to see whether they had pubic hair. If they did not, they could be kept as slaves along with the girls and women. If they did, they were beheaded with the adult men –between 600 and 900 in a single afternoon – after they surrendered. This woman, Rayhana, who had just seen her husband and her sons brutally murdered, and was then taken and made a ‘wife’ by the messenger of Allah.
In another incident, a group of Bedouins killed a shepherd
“and drove away the camels, and they became unbelievers after they were Muslims. When the Prophet was informed, he sent some men in their pursuit, and before the sun rose high, they were brought, and he had their hands and feet cut off. Then he ordered for nails which were heated and passed over their eyes, and they were left in the Harra (i.e. rocky land in Medina). They asked for water, and nobody gave them water till they died.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 261)
Muhammad is the perfect man, the paragon, the moral exemplar for all time for all Muslims.
The attackers in Paris were scum, no doubt. Is the fact that they were Muslim irrelevant?
Even after the above, it might be irrelevant. Except for two things.
Firstly, that so many of those involved in terror attacks turn out to be Muslim. There have been over 27,000 terror attacks around the world since 9/11, in which, apparently by pure co-incidence, the attackers just turned out to be Muslims. The number of Methodists and Buddhists who blow themselves up in shopping centres, slice people’s heads off in the name of their God, or take schools hostage while raping and torturing the children is, by comparison, remarkably small. Non-existent, in fact.
Secondly, that it is the perpetrators of these attacks themselves who claim that they are acting in the name of Allah. The people who are doing these things say they are doing them precisely because they are Muslims, that they are acting as they do to please their god, that they are following the example of Muhammad, and that the Koran promises that if they are killed fighting the unbelievers, whom they are commanded to fight wherever they find them, they are guaranteed a place in paradise, a place of unending sex with perfect women. Allah’s messenger said:
Everyone who is admitted to paradise Allah, the Mighty and glorious will marry him with seventy-two wives, Every one of them will have a pleasant vagina and he (the man) will have a sexual organ that does not bend down during sexual intercourse. (Ibn Majah, 5:4337)
Yes, but anything besides their pleasant vaginas? The Prophet said:
A houri is a most beautiful young woman with a transparent body. The marrow of her bones is visible like the interior lines of pearls and rubies. She looks like red wine in a white glass. She is of white colour, and free from the routine physical disabilities of an ordinary woman such as menstruation, menopause, urinal and offal discharge, childbearing and the related pollution. A houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round (pointed), and not inclined to dangle. (Al-Tirmizi)
Everyone agrees the Haj is Islamic: Muhammad commanded his followers to make the pilgrimage. Everyone agrees prayer five times per day while facing Mecca is Islamic: Muhammad commanded his followers to do this. Everyone agrees fasting during Ramadan is Islamic, because it is something Muhammad commanded his followers to do.
Inflicting terror on the unbelievers, taking their women and children, chopping off the heads and fingertips of any who resist, Muhammad did these things and commanded his followers to do the same. So how is it that they are any less Islamic? At the heart of every religion are admonitions to follow the example and teaching of its founder. There is no Islam without Muhammad. There is no Muhammad without brutality, invasion, rape and murder.
Why are we in the West so much more distressed by attacks in Paris than attacks on Mindanao, or in Southern Thailand, or Kenya or Western China or Pakistan or Nigeria? Some journalists of the Guardian and Salon type have been busy telling us this is because we don’t really care for humanity at all, just for selected humans, namely the ones who look and talk like us.
This is pure hypocrisy on their part. The reason most ordinary people are not deeply concerned about terror attacks in non-Western countries is simply that they do not know about them. They do not know about them because Western media outlets do not report them. Given the constancy, number and scale of these attacks, it is hard to believe this is not a deliberate choice. Because if people were made aware of the extent of islamic terrorism, there could be no more pretending this was just random scum, no more pretending Islamic terrorism was just a minor irritation and no big deal.
To take the last month, October, as a random example, there were 194 terror attacks in the name of Allah and Muhammad, in 31 different countries. resulting in 1564 deaths and over 1700 serious injuries. These are people whose lives will never be the same again. Mutilation, loss of limbs or sight, family members tortured or murdered. That does not include figures from the conflict in Syria and Iraq, or “honour” killings, or plain ordinary murders, just attacks against civilian targets carried out in the name of Allah and his messenger.
More recently, in just a single week, there have been 47 attacks by Islamist terrorists – nearly seven every day – resulting in 392 deaths and over 900 serious injuries.
Moderate and careful Western leaders have a duty to recognise the problem, call it by name and develop a plan to deal with it. If they can’t or won’t, then ordinary people will eventually elect leaders who will. No problem can be solved until the problem is recognised. A hashtag and singing “Imagine” won’t do it.
ISIS, which planned and co-ordinated the Paris attacks, have said that Rome, London and Washington are next. There is a German proverb: Work as if no prayer would help, pray as if no work would help. Let us pray, and work, for a world in which attacks like those in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, Kenya, etc, etc, etc …. are just a distant memory.