It is not possible to understand Israel’s demonisation immediately after its people (men, women, children and babies) were savagely butchered, without understanding Islam. It is not possible to understand why the hateful spewing of imams is not roundly condemned by “moderate Muslims’ without understanding Islam. It is not possible to understand the equivocation of many in the media without understanding that they simply don’t understand Islam. Maybe, as atheists, they bucket Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other faiths into the same equally misguided bucket. Islam is not the same.
Israel is in the front line of defence against Islam. Christendom, or the West if you like, lives behind the skirts of Israelis. We better make sure Israel survives and thrives. It’s threatening enough as it is. Take note of the character of the demonstrations in Sydney and Melbourne, and in European and American cities. Take note of the pro-Muslim vote-buying of those on the political left and of the outright pro-Islamic antisemitism of the Greens.
Things aren’t as they were. Without permission, our betters have let millions of Muslims into the West. It’s intellectually lazy to say most are ‘moderate’. Of course they are. So were Persians under the Shah and Turks under Kemal Ataturk. The creed is not moderate. And creeds are powerful moulders of behaviour in the hands of zealots.
You will not have heard the phrase ‘moderate Christians’ to describe Christians who don’t go around threatening others. I wonder why? You will have heard the phrase ‘moderate Muslims’. You will have heard that radical Islam, aka political Islam, aka Islamism, doesn’t represent Islam proper. You will have heard about the Religion of Peace. George W. Bush was quite fond of the expression. I read somewhere that Osama Bin Laden found it ironic that President Bush and other Western leaders characterised Islam as peaceful only after the Twin Towers were brought down. And you most definitely will have heard of ‘Islamophobia’. Which, to interpret, means not appropriately deferring to Muslims or Islam.
A definition of terms is called for. Moderate, in context, means having a tolerant disposition; a live-and-let-live attitude. A Muslim is a follower of Islam. Critically such a follower believes in Allah and that Mohammed was his final and defining prophet; and that the Koran is a compilation of the very (verbatim) words of Allah as told to Mohammed by the Archangel Gabriel.
Like so-called “Christians” who don’t believe in the Trinity, in the crucifixion and in physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, some “Muslims” are not followers of Islam. They are Muslims in name only. And they may, on the whole, be moderate in their outlook on life. Equally, Christians in name only may, on the whole, be moderate in their outlook on life. At this juncture there is no apparent schism. A schism appears when we get to the genuine articles; to actual Muslims and actual Christians. Henceforth, simply Muslims and Christians.
A Christian following the precepts of the Bible cannot be other than moderate. It would be wrong to say that a Muslim cannot be moderate. But the Koran makes it hard. Among moderates are many Muslims who, if they ponder their faith at all, pick the good bits from the Koran and wish away the bad. Others would like to do away with the bad bits. Among the latter are those who believe that Islam is in want of a reformation, apropos 16th century Christianity. Three leading lights of this misconception that come to my mind: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a lapsed Muslim; Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. None of them appear to understand that the Koran is not reducible. The immutable words of Allah are not the playthings of would-be reformers. Their misconception is compounded by their failure to understand the Protestant Reformation.
The Reformation changed not one word of the Bible, nor did it question the essential elements of the faith: the Trinity, the redemptive crucifixion, the resurrection and its promise. In fact, it doubled down on the Bible. Indulgences, a lucrative money-earner for the church and its pardoners when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door, was subtext for achieving redemption by works. Saint Paul makes it abundantly clear that redemption can’t be earned but is gifted, and directly, through faith in Jesus Christ. An important distinction to be sure, but it should not be overstated. Roman Catholicism goes on with its confessionals and the intermediation of saints without disturbance to the essential shared elements of the Christian faith across different denominations.
On the other hand, large swathes of the Koran (and the Sunna – Mohammed’s life, words and actions) would need to be excised, if the creed were to become benign. I covered this fairly comprehensively in a Quadrant article in December 2017, where I wrote: “Islam without Islamism is an unwritten book. If it were ever written – which it won’t be – it would be very short and extremely nondescript.”
Short of an heretical excision of Allah’s very words, what are you to possibly do with passages like these, a small sample (Pickthall translation):
♦ So, choose not friends from among them [disbelievers] … if they turn back to enmity [apostates] then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them (Verse 4:89)
♦ Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them (9.5)
♦ Mohammed is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves (48:29)
♦ I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite their necks and smite of them each finger (8:12)
♦ Fight against those who have been given the scripture as believe not … until they pay the tribute [jizya] readily, being brought low [read dhimmitude] (9:29)
Andrew Bolt, the other evening, showed a video of an Islamic preacher in Sydney referring to Jews as the progeny of apes and pigs. Surely that would bring condemnation of a vast horde of Imams? Hardly. And why? The words of Allah can’t be gainsaid, that’s why. According to the Jewish virtual Library, the “divine punishment of Jews” is included in three Koranic verses:
♦ They are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made some as apes and swine (5:60)
♦ You have surely known the end of those from amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath, in consequence of which we condemned them: Be ye like apes, despised (2:65)
♦ [And] when, instead of amending, they became more persistent in the pursuit of that which they were forbidden, we condemned them: Be ye as apes, despised (7:166).
Decent people might be puzzled as to why so much hateful speech from the Islamic pulpit goes unchallenged in the Muslim world. It’s not a mystery. If it isn’t in the Koran, it’s in a canonical hadith. As is article 7 of the original Hamas (1988) charter, since sanitized:
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews. (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
Compare this, if you will, with the Sermon on the Mount:
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:44)
As I recorded in the article to which I referred above, Mark Durie in his book Islam, Human rights and Public Policy refers to a poll taken in Indonesia in 2006 which found that 58 per cent of respondents in this apparently moderate Muslim nation believed that adulterers should be stoned to death. In 2010, Pew Research found that 84 percent of Egyptians, 86 per cent of Jordanians and 76 per cent of Pakistanis favoured death for apostasy.
We have a problem. It’s growing among us, and there is no excuse for not knowing about it. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written about it; as, among others, have Mark Steyn, Douglas Murray, Irshad Manji, Robert Spencer, Oriana Fallaci, Mark Durie, Michel Houellebecq.
At question is how many Australians of the Muslim faith think of themselves primarily as part of the Umma rather than primarily as Australians.