Announcing Haram Month 2017

It’s that time of year again, and as far as I can see the West has suffered further assault from Islamic terrorism while the attitude of society towards the subject has changed very little. In fact we in the UK had a general election where a candidate was booed simply for saying the word “jihadis”.

So I think it’s time to announce the beginning of Haram Month 2017, starting tomorrow.

It will go the same way as last year: for the next month, from tomorrow until September 1st, every post I write will be related to the subject of Islam and Islamic terrorism in some way, with the goal of deconstructing Islam as a belief system as a protest against our society’s tendency to treat Islam with kid gloves, despite being demonstrably the most barbaric religion on Earth.

Like last year, any other blogger who wants to do a Haram Month of their own on their blog can do so if they wish.

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Haram Month #16 – The golden age of Islam?

I find it hard to believe there was ever a time when Islam made a civilization great. If anything, the history of the 20th century suggests to me that it made countries in the Middle East worse. Iran, for instance, went from a secular pro-Western nation to an Islamic theocracy during the late 1970’s, and we all know what Iran is like nowadays. Yet there are those who believe that, at one point in time, there was an Islamic “golden age”, where science, knowledge and social progress flourish while Christian Europe languished in the dark ages.

It’s funny to think how people can claim that all that makes the modern world was predated by Islamic (they actually mean Arab) civilization, while the Islamic faith and its teachings (contained in the Quran and the Hadiths) are by and large at odds with and diametrically opposed to these things. Science is seen as subservient to the teachings of Islam, because it is seen as the work of Man, and any scientific findings that contradict this are seen as blasphemous. That at least is the case in the Middle East, where one might find clerics who deny that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The idea that a woman is equal to a man is contrary to Sharia law, which considers the testimony of a woman to worth half that of a man – which also means that the Western concept of human rights finds no support in the teachings of Islam. And where would the progressive narrative be without tolerance? Well let’s just say the Jews didn’t exactly feel any of that tolerance. You can also forget the idea that Islamic civilization was somehow better than “Western colonialism and imperialism” considering that Muhammad, the man from whom the teachings of Islam are ultimately derived, established Islam through the conquest of pagan Mecca.

Oh and let’s not forget the Arab slave trade, which had gone on for centuries and very often targeted Africans, and the fact that slavery was permitted by the Quran and the Hadiths.

Allah presents an example: a slave [who is] owned and unable to do a thing and he to whom We have provided from Us good provision, so he spends from it secretly and publicly. Can he be equal? Praise be to Allah! But most of them do not know.” Surah An-Nahl 16:75

And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.” – Quran An-Nisa 4:24

A man decided that a slave of his would be manumitted after his death and later on he was in need of money, so the Prophet took the slave and said, “Who will buy this slave from me?” Nu’aim bin ‘Abdullah bought him for such and such price and the Prophet gave him the slave.” – Bukhari Volume 3, Book

For one year I wanted to ask ‘Umar about the two women who helped each other against the Prophet but I was afraid of him. One day he dismounted his riding animal and went among the trees of Arak to answer the call of nature, and when he returned, I asked him and he said, “(They were) ‘Aisha and Hafsa.” Then he added, “We never used to give significance to ladies in the days of the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance, but when Islam came and Allah mentioned their rights, we used to give them their rights but did not allow them to interfere in our affairs. Once there was some dispute between me and my wife and she answered me back in a loud voice. I said to her, ‘Strange! You can retort in this way?’ She said, ‘Yes. Do you say this to me while your daughter troubles Allah’s Apostle?’ So I went to Hafsa and said to her, ‘I warn you not to disobey Allah and His Apostle.’ I first went to Hafsa and then to Um Salama and told her the same. She said to me, ‘O ‘Umar! It surprises me that you interfere in our affairs so much that you would poke your nose even into the affairs of Allah’s Apostle and his wives.’ So she rejected my advice. There was an Ansari man; whenever he was absent from Allah’s Apostle and I was present there, I used to convey to him what had happened (on that day), and when I was absent and he was present there, he used to convey to me what had happened as regards news from Allah’s Apostle . During that time all the rulers of the nearby lands had surrendered to Allah’s Apostle except the king of Ghassan in Sham, and we were afraid that he might attack us. All of a sudden the Ansari came and said, ‘A great event has happened!’ I asked him, ‘What is it? Has the Ghassani (king) come?’ He said, ‘Greater than that! Allah’s Apostle has divorced his wives! I went to them and found all of them weeping in their dwellings, and the Prophet had ascended to an upper room of his. At the door of the room there was a slave to whom I went and said, “Ask the permission for me to enter.” He admitted me and I entered to see the Prophet lying on a mat that had left its imprint on his side. Under his head there was a leather pillow stuffed with palm fires. Behold! There were some hides hanging there and some grass for tanning. Then I mentioned what I had said to Hafsa and Um Salama and what reply Um Salama had given me. Allah’s Apostle smiled and stayed there for twenty nine days and then came down.” – Bukhari 7, Book 72 Number 734

So yes, I find the idea that Islam brought about some kind of golden age of civilization hard to believe.

And with that, this year’s Haram Month is concluded. There will probably be another Haram Month on this blog, assuming our society continues its dishonesty on the subject of Islam.

Haram Month #15 – The rise of the prison terror cult

According to the Telegraph, a disturbing new report reveals that there is a culture of cultural sensitivity towards Muslim prisoners in British prisons, which is leading to a rise in extremism in those prisons. In other words, the police are looking the other way when people are doing something wrong because they happen to be Muslims.

This is exactly how the Rotherham grooming gangs were allowed to continue abusing children for 16 years. This is the kind of thing Tommy Robinson talks about and has warned people about.

And since Anjem Choudary is in prison I have no doubt that, unless he spends his time in solitary confinement, he may yet be one of the self-styled emirs that act like basically cult leaders. Imagine it: a man like Choudary, with a proven history of radicalizing and indoctrinating people in order to get them to commit terrorist acts, prison staff not being able to stop them because of religious sensitivity and then one day the terrorists he radicalizes get released from jail only to commit atrocities guided by the influence of their self-styled emir.

Unless the culture of police being bound to the irrational fear of being labelled a racist simply for exercising their duty changes, we may look forward to significant loss of innocent life. One of these days, we will be unable to escape the price we pay for political correctness.

Haram Month #14 – Honor killings and Islam

Honor killing is a phenomenon that is widely known in the UK associated with Middle Eastern and South Asian communities. In fact, about 11,000 “honor-based” crimes were recorded by British police between 2010-2014. The issue was brought to the cultural fore early this year when the drama Murdered By My Father was released by BBC Three, of all channels, which tells the story of a young woman who is killed by her father for bringing shame upon her family by engaging in a secret relationship with a young man with whom she was not arranged to be married, which is also apparently based on a real-life account.

Last month a Pakistani celebrity named Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her brother, apparently for “dishonoring her family name”. She was apparently known for posting raunchy photos, videos and comments on social media and facing constant backlash from the highly socially conservative community in Pakistan. And how was her death treated by the people of Pakistan? With celebration, of course. Many people in Pakistan seemed to view her death as a righteous death, for she had supposedly dishonored her family with her raunchy celebrity persona.

So what does any of this have to do with Islam, you might wonder?

Generally it is believed that honor-based violence is prohibited by Islamic law. The following Quranic verse is usually cited:

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him” – Surah  An-Nis 4:93

However, there is also parable found in the Quran concerning Moses (or Musa as he is known to Muslims), who is regarded as one of the most important and prominent prophets besides Muhammad himself, and a man named Khidr (or al-Khidr), who is described as a servant of Allah.

Then they found one of Our slaves, unto whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.

Musa (Moses) said to him (Khidr) ‘May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allah)?’

He (Khidr) said: “Verily! You will not be able to have patience with me!

And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?”

Musa (Moses) said: ‘If Allah will, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.’

He (Khidr) said: ‘Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.’

So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa (Moses) said: ‘Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing ‘Imra’ (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).’

He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”

Musa (Moses) said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”

Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: ‘Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!’

(Khidr) said: ‘Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?’

Musa (Moses) said: ‘If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.’

Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”

(Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.” – Surah Al-Kahf 18:65-81

In the parable, Khidr explains to Moses that he kills a child because he was rebellious and transgressive, or feared to be rebellious and transgressive. While this verse is by no means an explicit commandment telling Muslims to kill people who bring shame upon their families, I think parables like this can be used to justify similar actions. Let’s remember: this the word of Allah we’re talking about, or rather a servant of his. It’s like how in Islamic countries, child marriage is justified on the grounds that Muhammad, whose example Muslims are expected to follow, married a 6-year old girl and consummated the marriage when she was 9-years old.

There are also Hadiths where vigilantism against sinners is condoned or even commanded:

Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah’s Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.” – Bukhari Volume 9 Book 84 Number 64

A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) was informed about it. He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up. He sat before the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her. Thereupon the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.” – Abu Dawud, Book 36 Number 4348

A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood” – Abu Dawud, Book 36 Number 4349

There is also a Hadith where “legal” punishment carried out against relatives is deemed permissible.

It was narrated from `Ubadah bin Samit that the Messenger of Allah said: Carry out the legal punishments on relatives and strangers, and do not let the fear of blame stop you from carrying out the command of Allah (SWT)” – Ibn Majah 3:20:2540

Not to mention, there’s a Hadith condemning women who arrange their own marriages as adulteresses – adultery, by the way, is traditionally punished in the Islamic world by stoning if you’re a woman – and thus a woman arranging her own marriage is forbidden.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: the Messenger of Allah said: No woman should arrange the marriage of another woman, and no woman should arrange her own marriage. The adulteress is the one who arranges her own marriage.” – Ibn Maja 3:9:1882

It is naive to assume that honor-based violence isn’t derived from the teachings of Islam, when in fact such a thing is approved by the Hadiths, which would also mean they are approved by Sharia law -itself based on the Hadiths as well as the word of the Quran.

It’s also worth noting that Jordan, Syria and Palestine have relaxed laws on honor-based violence, and Pakistan is only recently introducing a law fully banning honor killing in light of Qandeel Baloch’s murder. And is it any coincidence that 91% percent of honor killings worldwide have been recorded as being committed by Muslims?

I doubt that honor killing is a phenomenon exclusively associated with Islam, as I am aware that honor-based killings have also been committed by Hindus in India – not to mention the Khap Panchayats dispensing their own brand of “justice”. However, I am convinced that, in the Muslim world, honor-based violence is something that can be justified based on the Hadiths, which means that Islam might make up a signification portion of the “cultural reasons” one might attribute as the cause of honor killings. At any rate, it is inescapable that honor killing in the Muslim world is in some way tied to Islam.

Haram Month #13 – The burkini ban

Recently, France has imposed a law banning the wearing of something called the burkini, which is essentially a full-body swimsuit designed to fulfill the requirement of modesty for women practicing the Islamic faith. Naturally, this ban caused a lot of controversy, and there are apparently reports of Muslim women being stopped by authorities in order to get them to remove the burkini in compliance with the law. On the other side, though, it’s also reported that burkini sales are through the roof despite the ban, which already goes to show just how effective the law is.

Here’s my opinion though. I actually think that banning the burkini is a bad idea, for the same reason I feel banning the burqa is a bad idea. It is an infringement on freedom of choice, and it amounts to a really lazy solution to the problem of the rise of Islamism. I mean really: this is how France is going to stem the tide of Islamist terrorism is it? By banning a piece of swimwear? It’s pathetic. It does not address the fundamental ideological current that is fueling it. It will not stop the clash of cultures, or civilizations, that is occurring in the West. It will not force Islam out of the molly-coddling that it is being treated with by the establishment. All it will do is make for a pretty illiberal policy, and a farcical one at that.

And it makes me wonder: is this what France wants to do other than actually challenge Islam?

Haram Month #12 – Denying reality

Don’t you just love it when delusional ideologues defend Sharia law as progressive and vilifying their critics? Over the last weekend Sally Kohn from CNN spent a lot of time defending Islam and sharia law from criticism. Much hay has been made over such claims as “All practicing Muslims believe in sharia. It doesn’t mean what you’ve been told.” and “there are gay feminist Muslims who believe in Sharia!”. She has also been accused of equating Sharia law (an aspect of Islam) with Islam as a whole, when talking about gay Muslims celebrating Pride Month. The irony that seems to be lost on her is that as someone who is both lesbian and Jewish she would be heavily victimized by the implementation of Sharia law. If she actually lived in many of those countries, she’d probably be either locked or killed for her homosexuality, or probably killed for being a non-believer. Apart from that, I’m a tad worried what just the average person in these Islamic countries might think to do to her simply upon the revelation that she is Jewish. Her ignorance on the subject of Islam and Sharia law has been so widely skewered on Twitter that there is actually a petition on Change calling for her to spend in a week country where Sharia is the law of the land, without bodyguards of course, in order to prove that Sharia really is as progressive, or compatible with progressivism, as she thinks.

Also making hay on Twitter was rapper Talib Kweli Greene who actually believes that the only way to criticize Islam without bigotry is to become a Muslim, which is essentially the same thing as saying that fascism can only be criticized objectively by Mussolini. He has gone so far as to call Sam Harris a white supremacist, and labels his supporters as bigots. He even refers to Maajid Nawaz as a white supremacist apologist, and he even implicitly refers to him as a “coon” – a racial slur that seems to have been adopted by African-Americans to refer to black people who they want to denounce as race traitors on the basis of political disagreement.

Both of them are public figures who got into arguments with a lot of people who took the piss out of their public displays of ignorance, and both are very vocal apologists. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, gays no doubt still get executed for being gay, women are still treated as worth less than a man to the point that rape victims are punished (as is the case in Qatar) and they can’t do anything without the approval of a man (as is the case in Saudi Arabia)  and Iran this year graduating college students were flogged for dancing in jubilation. Sharia is the law of the land across the Middle East, and it produces brutally oppressive theocracies, and it is not hard for anyone to find this out. And in the UK, not only are there parallel legal courts that enforce sharia law, but there are even “sharia patrols”. These patrols consist of gangs of Muslim men who go out and enforce Islamic law on innocent bystanders. They harass people for things like drinking alcohol, wearing too little clothing (which, let’s be honest, means anything that doesn’t cover your entire body) and being gay. They go out of their way to cover up advertisements for clothes stores like H&M with black paint because they deem it sinful. All to enforce the will of Allah and Islamic morality. And the UK isn’t alone. There are reports of Sharia patrols and their activities in Germany, Austria, and Denmark.

And the icing on the cake? It is still taboo to criticize Islam or Sharia law! I’m not joking. Anything that is anti-Islamic – not anti-Muslim, not racism directed at Arabs, just anti-Islamic, the religion/ideology! – is deemed as abuse, as part of the wretched cult that is the myth of Islamophobia. Criticism of Islam and sharia law is considered abusive and venturing into racism and bigotry, and make no mistake, that “abuse” is being tracked. And I don’t have a doubt in my mind that the government is going to get increasingly authoritarian in order to combat what it, or the duped people, think is “a rise in Islamophobia”. And given the way the police have started treating people who criticize them over the Internet, it is going to get ugly.

This is the reality that delusional ideologues like Sally Kohn and Talib Kweli Greene, well, frankly have the luxury of denying. That the political class frankly has the luxury of denying.

Haram Month #11 – Islam and Buddhism are NOT alike

This post is a response to an article that was posted yesterday on the news site Independent Australia. The article was written by a Year 12 student named Jessica Robinson, who is claiming that Islam and Buddhism are more alike than most people think. But before we begin, let’s address the image used at the top because, in my mind, the textual content within just lays out the kind of post we’re dealing with.

So right off the bat, the image chosen as the header image is nonsense. “Buddha was not a Buddhist”. So? “Jesus was not a Christian”. Yeah, he was Jewish. “Muhammad was not a Muslim”. So? And it’s really rich that the claim is that they all taught “love”. How did Muhammad teach love? By conquering Mecca and ordering killings and the desecration of the religion that was previously practiced, and towards his death he said “let there not be two religions in Arabia”. If you think this teaches love, then I must say you are fucking foul. Gautama never did this. Jesus never did this. Muhammad did. And the premise of that statement is that they’re all the same because they taught “love”. What the fuck is love to these people?

Anyways, let’s get on with the actual written content of the post.

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have attempted to answer the most complex and perplexing questions of the universe through religious beliefs. Questions such as why are we here? How did we come to be?

Religions worldwide set out a set of moral and ethical guidelines on how one should live and interact with the world. This leads to a vast number of teachings on peace and conflict, how to behave when at war and how to avoid it all together.

In today’s world, Islam is seen as one of the most violent and war-like religions. However, this is not the case. Many of their ancient scriptures and teachings from the Quran and from their prophet Muhammad talk of avoiding violence at all costs.

Do you know that there’s an entire Wikipedia page for Muhammad’s military career? Yes, the prophet who supposedly talks of avoiding violence at all costs had a military career. And it’s said that about 1,000 people have been killed in the battles fought by Muhammad. That is really, really bad for you if you claim to be all about peace. He and his forces killed people for not recognizing his religion and even slaughtered Jewish tribes living in Medina. That alone should be enough to convince you that Muhammad was not a pacifist in any stretch. In addition to this, Islam as a religion simply inspires more violence than any others. Put into perspective, the Inquistions carried out by the Catholic Church killed up to 3,000 people over the course of 350 years, while Islamic terrorists killed 5,000 people in the month of November 2014 alone. Just look at how many Islamist terror attacks carried out last year alone. In fact, there are verses in the Quran which instruct or endorse violence against non-believers.

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.” – Surah Al-Baqarah 2:193

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” – Surah At-Tawbah 9:5

O Prophet, fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination.” – Surah At-Tawbah 9:73

And as for those who disbelieved, I will punish them with a severe punishment in this world and the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.” – Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:56

Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you do not.” – Surah Al-Baqarah 2:216

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” – Surah At Tawbah 9:29

So already, my dear, this is a claim that loses its foundation once you look at the facts of the matter. It’s not looking good for you and we’ve only just begun.

On the other side of the coin, Buddhism is seen as one of the most peaceful religions in the world. By all accounts it is. The Buddha preached love and kindness and the ending of all suffering. However, due to political and religious turmoil, many Buddhists have turned to violence and hate. Buddhist monks are now persecuting Muslims in Burma.

Yes, non-violence is a central tenet in the Buddhist faith, unlike in Islam where both Allah and his prophet condone and in fact encourage violence. So why do Buddhist monks clash with Muslims in Burma? Honestly I’m not sure, but I think it might have something to do with an insurgency on the part of the Rohingya Muslim community in Burma that has apparently been going on since 1947. The monks might also be doing this for political reasons, given that the Rohingya are viewed as illegal immigrants. Whatever the reason is, I doubt that this is done specifically to disseminate the teachings of Buddhism. But to be honest, I think comparing Islam – a religion that was founded in violent conquest, has verses instructing or condoning violence and continues to inspire scores of violence – to Buddhism based on what some monks are doing in Burma seems ineffectual.

With Buddhism, there is an emphasis on peace and peaceful living but this comes from a focus on suffering and the ending of all suffering. The Four Nobel Truths are the centre of Buddhism. These truths centre around suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering and how one can end suffering. Within Buddhism, there is a large focus on inner peace or “enlightenment”. Once one reaches enlightenment, you no longer suffer and your aim is to ease the suffering of others by aiding them in their path to enlightenment. The very basis of Buddhist teachings is one of peace.

If you wish to end suffering, the most obvious way to do that is to be peaceful.

Way to misspell the world noble. But anyways, the thing you have to remember is that Islam and Buddhism have different aims. In Islam, the goal is to get into heaven (or Jannah) by worshipping Allah and following his teachings and those of Muhammad, and of course to disseminate the teachings of Islam wherever people. The goals of Buddhism, as you’ve pointed out are slightly different and they don’t depend on the same means. Sure, spreading the teachings of Buddhism in order to bring about enlightenment is a part of those goals, but apart from that. Not to mention, as I will keep pointing out, one faith is inherently more militant or likely to inspire violence than the other.

To learn how Islam strives for peace, you must look to see when it was established and in what political and religious climate. The prophet Muhammad was born into an extremely violent tribal culture. In his thirties, Muhammad experienced “divine revelations” from God which led to the writing of the Quran. In these teachings, Muhammad said that God, or Allah, wished for peace for his people. These teachings also preached patience and kindness. These teachings were alien to pre-Islamic Arabia.

If Allah and Muhammad both strive for peace, why did Muhammad conquer Mecca through military force and desecrate, I repeat, desecrate the artefacts and temples of the former religion of Arabia. He sent generals to attack the shrines of pre-Islamic pagan deities and kill the people who tended to those shrines. One of his generals even killed a woman Muhammad assured him was one of the false goddesses. No one who strives for peace above all else would condone this or participate in this, even if you’re the type who espouses peace by superior arms. I don’t care how violent his culture was. If he really believed in peace and despised violence, he would be above that. But history, the Quran and the Hadiths show otherwise. Not to mention, why does the Quran tell believers to kill non-believers, keeping in mind that the Quran is considered the perfect, unchangeable word of Allah? This is still weak apologia.

Muhammad advocated a policy of non-violent resistance and like Buddhism, Islamic teachings, at their core, call for peace and patience. The Holy Quran 49:10 states ‘Humanity is but a single brotherhood; so make peace with your brethren.’ The word ‘Islam’ even comes from the world ‘Salam’ meaning ‘peace’.

The same lie about Muhammad’s advocacy of non-violent resistance is repeated here, and if we’re honest I think we know already that Islamic teachings don’t call for peace and patience, except with other believers (and even then, only the real believers – not “hypocrites”). Also, this is what 49:10 says:

The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” – Surah Al-Hujurat 49:10

Key words: the believers. Not all of humanity. The rest are to be converted. Not to mention, in Islamic the world is divided into two categories: Dar al-Islam (the territory of Islam) and Dar al-Harb (the territory of strife, strife that is necessitated by a lack of belief in Allah). The word Islam does not strictly mean peace. It means “submission” or “surrender” as in surrender to the will of Allah. It comes from the word aslama which means “submit” or “surrender”.

Today, members and leaders of the Islamic faith actively condemn acts of violence. They speak out against injustices and work together with other Abrahamic faiths in interfaith dialogues to aid the spread of understanding and peace. Muslim communities in Australia are working with the federal and state governments to combat the radicalisation of Muslim youths.

Well they’re trying, but it’s mostly #NotAll so-and-so and “Islam dindu nuffin”. You hear very little addressing of the ideological prerogatives of Islam or Islamism compared to the apologia coming from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, yourself included. And that’s in the West. In the Middle East, meanwhile…

And have you seen Arab Twitter’s response to the Orlando Pulse massacre?

Also, Australia’s government is more concerned about cracking down on “vilifying” religions than fighting terrorism.

Obviously, the glaring contradiction is terrorist organisations such as Islamic State and Boko Haram. However, these organisations do not work in the name of Allah, or in any way embody the teachings of Muhammad. These contradictions result from a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Islamic text. With all religious text, one must continually re-interpret it as society evolves.

That’s an outright lie. Islamic State (or ISIL) are an Islamic organization, specifically they are Wahhabi Muslims, and the thing about Wahhabists is they believe in propagating the strictest, purest form of Islam possible. They commit violence against non-believers because it is written in the Quran. They implement Sharia law based on the Quran and the Hadiths. They kill other Muslims because they deem them to be hypocrites, who the Quran also commands violence against. They kill gay people because the Quran tells them to. Even slavery, including sexual slavery, is something that they justify using the Quran. If it is Allah’s will, then they follow it without question. It’s not a misunderstanding, only a strict interpretation and broad application of the teachings of the Quran, unmoderated and untempered by the values of the Enlightenment and the modern secular liberal values that spring from it. They are also Islamists which means they wish for society in general to structured around Islam. Boko Haram have the same ideology. All of this is religious motivated and tied to Islam. It’s worth noting that the leader of ISIL, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has a PhD in Islamic Studies, which would suggest he is very educated on the subject.

In reality, the Quran is no more violent than the Christian bible, it just so happens that there are groups of people who insist on taking portions of the Quran out of context to fit their radical agenda.

The problem is that you have significantly more Muslims who strictly adhere to the Quran and more radical Islamists who kill people in the name of Allah than Christians doing the same thing in the name of Jesus, and the former is currently killing more people than the latter are. In fact, there have been 29,055 Islam-inspired attacks committed since 9/11, and that number is bound to rise further. Also Christianity is more tempered by modern secular values than Islam is, and we in the West are coddling the Islamic faith and preventing any kind of reform which might lead to Islam being as reformed and tempered as Christianity is now. This is what needs to be addressed.

In the modern world, Buddhism works with many people and religions in an effort towards peace. Organisations such as The Soka Gakkai International is a global movement of people who are connected through Buddhism. They attempt to bring a “revolution of peace” to the world. This organisation has roots leading back to the Cold War where they rallied against the use of nuclear arms. The then president of the organisation, Josei Toda, called for the complete prohibition of all nuclear weapons.

The Soka Gakkai organisation has always said that open dialogue among the various faiths and cultures is the key to peace. They published dialogues with the former soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, Indonesian Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid, and Chinese writer Jin Yong.

It’s a shame the Islamic world isn’t doing much of that lately.

Also, how many Nichiren Buddhists commit religiously motivated murders? Just out of interest.

Like Islam, there is still the radical sect of Buddhism who insist on interpreting the sacred texts to suit their own agenda. This is never more obvious than with the persecution of Muslims in Burma at the hands of Buddhist monks. The origin of this violence is vague at best and there are disputing claims as to why and when these persecutions began. The persecution included boycotting Muslim business and attacking and killing Muslims.”

Ashin Wirathu is the monk who is seen as the leader of the anti-Islamic movement in Burma and he is a Theravada Buddhist. Is Theravada Buddhism the radical sect you’re talking about? If so, I’m not convinced because Theravada is very much a mainstream school of Buddhism. Otherwise, name those sects. His opposition to Islam appears to be less based on his own religious beliefs and more on a concern for the increasing influence of Islam and fears of violence from Islamic communities. In that sense, he is more like the Burmese Buddhist equivalent of Tommy Robinson to some extent. At any rate, I’m no expert but, from what I’ve read, it’s not like the Rohingya Muslims are entirely blameless, since they’ve attacked people and damaged property themselves. In addition to this, there is also a militant Rohingya Islamist movement called the Rohingya Solidarity Organization. Why don’t you look them up?

Some claim that the Buddhists of Burma became angry at the influx of Muslim migrants to the country. Others say that the Buddhist monks became angry at the accumulated wealth of the Muslims, effectively blaming them for the poverty of their own people. Whatever the origin, these events show that no religion is immune from violent extremism. But these episodes of violence should in no way over-shadow the good done by other Buddhists and Buddhist organisations.

What you’ve just said doesn’t simply prove that no religion is immune from violent extremism, although no one can deny that this is the case. You’ve just said that there are political reasons underlying the sectarian conflict. Although tied to religion, it’s not solely religiously motivated. Whereas in the case of Islamic terrorism, religion is either the sole motivation or the primary or dominant motivation. And again, Islamic violence is more rampant worldwide than Buddhist violence.

It is safe to say, that the goal for every religion is to reach a state of peace, whether it’s inner peace, or world peace. The radical sects of some religions do not speak for these religions as a whole, and the majority of adherents of these religions are appalled at the things done in the name of, say, Allah and Buddha.

The two main goals of every religion are to propagate themselves and to come up with answers to complex questions concerning the “meaning of life”. That’s it. You yourself pointed out the latter. The main difference is that Islam is still propagated by force and its teachings, if implemented as the basis of a society, create brutal totalitarian societies. One need only look at the Middle East to see that this is the case, and I don’t think they disavow the puristic adherents of Islam (except in the case of ISIL, and I really think they condemn them just to save face).

Also, a quarter of British Muslims sympathized with the Charlie Hebdo attackers. 20% of British Muslims sympathize with the 7/7 bombers while 1 in 4 say they were justified. 32% of Palestinians supported the slaughter of Jewish families. And 45% of British believe that anti-Western Islamic clerics are part of mainstream Islam. I know, not all Muslims believe this! But it’s a significant number, larger than I think it should be.

“Through the teachings of Muhammad, Muslims are instructed to be patient, to be kind to those of differing faiths.

I’m not going to repeat myself about Muhammad.

Buddhists have a similar view. They must not cause suffering and should shy away from violence. Much like Muhammad, they preach non-violent resistance.

Buddhists don’t have a similar view, mainly because Siddhartha Gautama never encouraged killing people of different faiths, including people who leave the faith! Also I really don’t think resistance, let alone non-violent, is that strong a theme in Buddhism compared to the theme of letting go of attachments and delusions (or rather what Buddhism views as attachments and delusions). And again, I’ve already established that Muhammad advocating non-violent resistance is a lie so I’m not repeating myself again.

Many people would be shocked to think of Islam and Buddhism being comparable in any way and yet if you look closely at their teachings, and their efforts towards peace, they are more similar than one may suspect.

Yeah! Yeah I imagine many people would be shocked! And I highly doubt that looking at the teachings and the texts would change people’s minds too much. This is a pointless exercise of the lie that all religions are the same, and all to shield Islam from much-needed criticism and reform. If Siddartha Gautama were to read the Quran, I think he would be aghast at what it condones or instructs.

This article has proven to be nothing more than a weak and dishonest piece of apologia, not to mention a pathetic exercise in comparative religion. I can only hope that the author’s ignorance is simply a mark of her naivety, but even then I am still concerned that people like her are the next generation. I am deeply worried about how blind the human species is becoming, and how our inability to look at the reality of the situation is only increasing with time. And sadly, people like her are part of the problem – not least because the apologia she offers us is printed by the media numerous times and propped as a voice of reason.

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Link to the original article: https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/islam-and-buddhism-are-more-alike-than-you-think,9377