The Two Faces of Islam?
20 Nov, 2005
- President Bush reiterated that Islam is a religion of peace. Some writers agree. Stephen Schwartz, in his book titled “The Two Faces of Islam” says that Islam is essentially a tolerant religion. He maintains that Islamic thought and culture have long fostered religious tolerance of Christians and Jews. Schwartz argues that the present friction between the Muslims and the Jews is only 100 years old. He blames the rise of Islamic fundamentalism on Wahabism, a puritan Islamic sect that controls the House of Saud.
Before analyzing Schwartz’s statement on Islam, it is important to remind the readers that Stephen Schwartz is actually a Muslim convert. His Islamic name is Suleyman Ahmad. He acknowledges that being a new convert; he does not know much about Islam and cannot comment on matters of doctrine. In a speech delivered to Bosnian Muslims, entitled “My Coming to Islam” He explained the reasons for embracing Islam and they are all subjective. He never gave a single logical proof that Islam is a true religion. The following is one of the reasons he gave for converting to Islam:
“Regarding my Jewish background: I read in our generous Quran the beautiful, beautiful surah 28, about the life of Musa. I cry when I read the Quran's description of Musa's life, because although the account in Torah, in Jewish scripture, is very beautiful and moving -- it also makes me cry -- Quran has something extra: that when Musa had killed the Egyptian oppressor, and was then forgiven by Allah swt, that he said to Allah swt. "Oh my Lord! For that thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!" That is, as Muslims, we must never aid oppressors; we are, as Muslims, the children of freedom.”
Another reason for his conversion is: “I went to masjid and felt, more than any other time in my life, that I was in the presence of God. I saw that Islam is the closest way to God's love.”
Naturally we can’t expect objectivity from a person who embraces a religion, of which he admittedly knows little, so subjectively, guided by his feelings. Is feeling a reliable guide? Don't the followers of all cults and irrational beliefs act on their feelings?
To a certain degree Schwartz is right. Although he is wrong in saying Islam has two faces, it is true that not every Muslim is a terrorist. A group of Muslims are extremists while others are peaceful and moderate. However, these two groups are not separated from each other. The line of demarcation between them is blurred. Actually there is no such line dividing the extremists from the moderates. They are all Muslims. The difference is in degrees and the strength of their faith. The extremists and the terrorists are those with stronger faith and the moderates are those with weaker faith. So there are no two faces of Islam as Schwartz put it. Muslims come in all hues and shades. The stronger is their faith, the more extremists they become.
Instead of thinking of Muslims as two separate groups, moderates and extremists, think of them as one group gathered around a fire. Those who are farthest from the fire are the nominal Muslims. The nominal Muslims are the average Muslims whom we are most familiar with. They could be our coworkers, our business associates or our neighbors. They dress like us and live like us, their children play with our children and they are working hard to put food on the table, pay their mortgage and live a normal life. They believe in the five pillars of the Islamic faith, some perform prayers, and some don’t. They may fast during the month of Ramadan and if they can afford, they go to pilgrimage in Mecca at least once in their lifetime but most don’t, even when they can afford it.
As you move closer to the fire you find Muslims becoming more attached to Islam, they meticulously perform their religious obligations, they read the Quran, regularly, go to the mosque, pay zakat, eat only halal food, dress Islamicly, believe in conspiracy theories about the Jews running the world, hate America, have not read Noam Chomsky but recommend his books, see the world divided in Muslim/kafir dichotomy, rationalize suicide bombings as legitimate fight against “oppression”, etc.
As you approach closer, you find the fanaticswho are consumed by their zealotry and become terrorists and Jihadis. These people are all Muslims. The only difference between them is in degree of their adherence to Islam. There is no guarantee that a moderate nominal Muslim will remain moderate always. He can become attracted to the fire of zealotry and become a terrorist overnight. All it takes for nominal Muslims to become terrorists, is that they face a crisis. And if they are young, there is a chance that they become extremists and even terrorists. As long as Muslims look at Islam as the ultimate source of guidance, there is a risk that anyone of them become a terrorist in a heartbeat.
Stephen Schwartz is not a youth and hence the chances of him becoming a terrorist are low. But when one is so enamored with Islam and the “beautiful, beautiful” Quran, how can he refuse Muhammad’s call when he says:
“O ye who believe! take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.” 9:23,
O you who believe! Verily, the Mushrikûn (unbeleivers) are Najasun (impure). 9:28
Schwartz is a new believer but as his faith in Islam grows, his hatred of the non-Muslims and especially the Jews will increase and he will start hating his own people with the same intensity that other Muslims do. How can he read the following "beautiful, beautiful" verse and not hate the Jews?
"Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans" 5:82
Even now he is completely in denial of the Muslim atrocities against the Jews and Christians. I wonder whether Mr. Schwartz who is such as great crier, cried or laughed when he read in the "generous" Quran that Allah transformed his ancestors into apes and swine? 2.65 5.60 7.166
Schwartz wants to blame it all on Wahhabism as if Wahhabism is a splinter of Islam that has gone awry; something like the cult of David Koresh in Christianity. But that is not the case at all. While it is true that Wahhabism is responsible for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, it is not true that non-Wahhabi Islam is tolerant. For instance, the Hezbullah brand of Islam that came to power in Iran in 1979 and now is also active in Lebanon, has nothing to do with Wahhabism. In fact, these two sects are antagonistic toward each other. However, the Hezbollahis are no less virulent than the Wahhabis. On its Dec 4, 2002 edition, the Washington Times reported: “The leader of the Lebanese Muslim group Hezbollah is urging a global suicide bombing campaign.”
Ali Shariati is considered to be one of the most influential philosophical leaders of pre-revolutionary Iran. In a book that he entitled “Martyrdom: Arise and Bear Witness” wrote:
“The story of martyrdom and that which martyrdom challenges is so sensitive, so belovedly exciting that it pulls the spirit towards the fire. It paralyzes logic. It weakens speech. It even makes thinking difficult. Martyrdom is a mixture of a refined love and a deep, complex wisdom. One cannot express these two at the same time and so, as a result, one cannot do them justice.”
Shariati is by no means considered a hardliner. On the contrary, he is hailed mostly by the Islamists who oppose the regime of the hardliner Mullahs. So clearly, Wahhabism is not the only problem of Islam.
Even Sufism, the brand of Islam that Mr. Schwartz has embraced, is not immune to intolerance and violence. Indian scholar K. S. Lal wrote:
"The Muslim Mushaikh [Sufi spiritual leaders] were as keen on conversions as the Ulama, and contrary to general belief, in place of being kind to the Hindus as saints would, they too wished the Hindus to be accorded a second class citizenship if they were not converted. Only one instance that of Shaikh Abdul Quddus Gangoh, need be cited because he belonged to the Chishtia Silsila considered to be the most tolerant of all Sufi groups. He wrote letters to the Sultan Sikandar Lodi, Babur, and Humayun to re-invigorate the Shariat [Sharia] and reduce the Hindus to payers of land tax and jizya. To Babur he wrote, "Extend utmost patronage and protection to theologians and mystics... that they should be maintained and subsidized by the state... No non-Muslim should be given any office or employment in the Diwan of Islam... Furthermore, in conformity with the principles of the Shariat they should be subjected to all types of indignities and humiliations. They should be made to pay the jizya...They should be disallowed from donning the dress of the Muslims and should be forced to keep their Kufr [infidelity] concealed and not to perform the ceremonies of their Kufr openly and freely… They should not be allowed to consider themselves the equal to the Muslims. [The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India , p. 237]
Al Ghazali, perhaps the greatest Muslim scholar and a Sufi wrote:
“One must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year...one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them...If a person of the Ahl al-Kitab [People of The Book – primarily Jews and Christians] is enslaved, his marriage is [automatically] revoked…One may cut down their trees...One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide...they may steal as much food as they need...
The dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]…on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protuberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle [-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue"…. [From the Wagjiz, written in 1101 A.D.]
The Chechens who converted to Islam (from the late 1500s to mid-1800s), and have demonstrated their ruthlessness by their consecutive acts of terrorism, not sparing even children, belong to the Naqshbandi Order of Sufism, the same order that Schwartz claims to be peaceful.
Sufi saint Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624) who was the head of the Naqshbandi wrote:
"The honor of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects the kafirs dishonors the Muslims... The real purpose of levying jiziya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam.--" [letter #163]
It was under the instigation of Sirhindi that the tyrant Jehangir tortured the Sikh Guru Arjun Dev to death, (1605) because he refused to convert to Islam.
Husain Hilmi Effendi, the founder of Sufi Order Ihlas Foundation in his book "Endless Bliss" 1956 Chapter-11 writes:
“11- Attaining happiness in both worlds depends only, and only upon following Hadrat (his holiness) Muhammad ('alaihi's-salam), who is the master of this and the next world. In order to follow him, it is necessary to have iman (faith) and to learn and to carry out the rules of Islam. The symbol of true iman's existence in the heart is to bear hostility against disbelievers and to annihilate the things that are peculiar to them and that are the symptoms of disbelief. For Islam and kufr are opposites, antonyms of each other. Where one of them exists, the other cannot stay and goes away. These two opposite things cannot stay in the same place together. To esteem one of them means to insult, to blame the other. Allahu ta'ala commands Hadrat Muhammad, His beloved Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam), who has the attribute khulk-i azim and who is very merciful, to perform jihad, to wage war against disbelievers and to treat them severely. This means to say that it is khulk-i azim to behave severely towards disbelievers. The dignity and honor of Islam is in insulting disbelief and disbelievers. He who glorifies and respects disbelievers insults and dishonors the Muslims.”
“It is a must to abhor and believe as wrong and harmful the disbelievers and disbelief and everything outside of Islam, no matter what theory or ideology it is. Allahu ta'ala has commanded us to take jizya from disbelievers; that is, they must pay taxes. The purpose of this is to insult them. This type of insulting is so effective that they cannot wear valuable suits, nor can they adorn themselves out of the fear of having to pay more jizya. They lead a despicable and miserable life. The purpose of jizya is to offend and disgrace disbelievers. The jizya shows the glory and honor of Islam. If the zimmi converted to Islam, he would no longer have to pay jizya. [ibid]
In Chapter 20 of the same book we read:
20 - "Disbelievers have adopted various methods against Islam and parted into branches; yet they are summed up in two groups. Those in the first group do their worldly affairs and their worships and do not attack Muslims. Realizing their inferiority against Islam's strength and greatness, they have accepted to give the jizya, thus accepting asylum in Islam's domination and justice. These disbelievers are called Ahl-i zimmat or Zimmi. It is necessary to dislike disbelievers of this kind and to view them as enemies. ["Endless Bliss" is available on the Web in the Sufi site islam786.org/articles3.htm]
Schwartz is of the opinion that Saudi Royals have been backing Osama Bin Laden because he is a Wahhabi. The fact is that Bin Laden enjoys the support of millions of Muslims across the board, from America, Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan and into to Indonesia and the Philippines. Even those Muslim intellectuals who only reluctantly condemned Bin Laden have likewise managed to find America guilty and therefore deserving of the terrorist attacks that have been perpetrated against her. If it’s all the fault of Wahhabism, with Islamic terrorism so widespread and justified by the vast majority of Muslims, where is the “real Islam”?
The Real Islam
Is the real Islam, as Schwartz suggests, a tolerant religion? He asserts that in the ancient history of Jews and Muslims their relationship was harmonious and stresses that for most of Islamic history, when Jews faced Christian persecution, they fled to Islamic communities in the Middle East, where they prospered. He in turn reminds his readers of the last century’s holocaust in Auschwitz and Dachau, affirming that Islamic countries have never demonstrated such a magnitude of intolerance.
When one looks at the facts as given by the history of Islam, it becomes evident that the animosity between the Muslims and the Jews did not begin 100 years ago as Schwartz thinks but rather dates back to Muhammad’s days. From the history of Islam written by early Muslim historians, we learn that when Muhammad entered, Medina that city was a prosperous and vibrant community of Jews, and six years later, there was not a single Jew left in that town. They were either banished or massacred.
Kitab al-Aghani, [a book of songs, an important source for information on medieval Islamic society] traces back the first settlement of the Jews in Medina to the time of Moses. They were merchants, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, artisans, and farmers. Al-Baladhuri, in Futuh al-Buldan (the conquest of the towns) says that a second Jewish immigration, according to the Jews, took place in 587 BC, when Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon, destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews throughout the world.
The Arabs in Medina were relatively newcomers. In 450 or 451 A.D., a great flood in Yemen, forced various tribes of the people of Saba to migrate to other parts of Arabia. Among them the Bani Aus and the Bani Khazraj settled in Yathrib (later named Medinatul Nabi (Prophet’s Town, now abbreviated to Medina). The Arabs were unskilled people. Jews used to hire them for menial works such as peasantry and domestic services or as helpers in their shops. Muslim historians admit that Arab Jews were living in Yathrib for centuries. In language, dress, civilization and way of life, and even names, they had completely adopted Arabism. They inter-married with the Arabs and therefore genetically were the same people. In fact, nothing distinguished the Jews from the Arabs except their religion. The Jews have been living in Yathrib for 2,000 years. The Arabs were refugees who settled there only a couple of hundred yeas before the arrival of Muhammad.
Arabs can hardly be called peaceful people, nevertheless, in Arabia, prior to the advent of Islam; religiously-motivated hostilities were inexistent. Being polytheists, Arabs were tolerant of differing religious beliefs. Pagans, with their 360 idols, Sabeans, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, lived side by side, practiced their religions and preached them openly in marketplaces. Religious intolerance in Arabia was introduced by Muhammad.
When Muhammad migrated to Medina and found the Jews unwilling to accept his new religion, he turned against them. There were three Jewish tribes in Medina: the Bani Qainuqa, the Bani Nadir and the Bani Quraiza. He banished the first two tribes after confiscating their wealth and properties and massacred the men of the third tribe taking their wives and children as slaves. Shortly afterwards he raided the Jews of Bani Mostaliq and then Kheibar, another Jewish city where the rest of the Bani Nadir had found refuge and after committing widespread slaughter of the able men, and taking the young women as sex slaves he ordered the elderly and the unwanted to cultivate their own lands that he confiscated and demanded the payment of half of the proceeds as Jizyah. It is important to note that in none of these wars of genocide, the Jews fought back. These were not wars but sudden ambushes. Jews sought refuge in their quarters. Muhammad cut the supply of the water to them. Their infants died until finally they had to surrender and submit to his harsh judgment, which comprised banishment, enslavement and massacre.
At his deathbed, Muhammad’s last wish was to cleanse Arabia from all the Jews and the Christians"No two religions are allowed in Arabia" he willed and Omar carried out his will a few years later.
Therefore, one of the biggest holocausts of the Jews actually took place in Arabia, at the hands of the Prophet of Islam. Of course, Muhammad did not kill six million Jews, but he killed or banished all of them until none were left. Schwarz; being a new Muslim is certainly unaware of these details that are hardly advertised by Muslims. Instead of going to a mosque and being overwhelmed by the silence of its walls, he should have read the biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq or Tabari, both books translated into English.
After the battle of Khandaq, Muhammad falsely accused the Bani Quraiza, the last Jewish tribe of Medina, of treason and breaching their treaty. He laid siege on their quarter and cut the supply of water to them until they surrendered. Then he ordered all the men including boys who had reached puberty to be slain and took their wives and children as slaves.
“Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:
I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.” Sunan Abu-Dawud 38, 4390
What Schwartz has to say about this? Apart from the fact that Muhammad lies and it was he who breached his treaties and not the Jews, did all the men including boys with pubes deserve to be killed? Did the women and children deserve to be enslaved?
Muhammad claimed that Gabriel came and said to him “You have laid down your arms? By Allah, we angels have not laid them down yet. So set out for them." The Prophet said, "Where to go?" Gabriel said, "Towards this side," pointing towards Banu Quraiza. So the Prophet went out towards them.” Bukhari 5.59.443
Can any sane person believe that an angel of God goes to his prophet and says kill some of God’s people? Couldn’t God kill his “enemies” without the help of his prophet and his moronic followers? Aren't these examples set by Muhammad the inspiration behind the Islamic terrorism today?
After these helpless Jews surrendered, this cunning self proclaimed "the best example to follow" decided to wash his hand from the heinous crime that he was about to commit and took away all blame from himself. He called upon a ruffian called Sa’d who was his bodyguard and who was wounded and in pain, to pass judgment on the prisoners.
“When the tribe of Bani Quraiza was ready to accept Sad's judgment, Allah's Apostle sent for Sad who was near to him. Sad came, riding a donkey and when he came near, Allah's Apostle said (to the Ansar), "Stand up for your leader." Then Sad came and sat beside Allah's Apostle who said to him. "These people are ready to accept your judgment." Sad said, "I give the judgment that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as prisoners." The Prophet then remarked, "O Sad! You have judged amongst them with (or similar to) the judgment of the King Allah." [Bukhari 4,52,280]
Does Mr. Schwartz know about these stories? After reading the "generous " Quran and crying for that "beautiful, beautiful" book, is there any tears left in his eyes to shed for the victims of Muhammad's holocaust?
Jews and Christians are called dhimmis (protected people). They are called so, because Islamic law protects their lives, on the condition that they pay a protection fee, called Jizyah, with “willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). When a dhimmi used to take his jizyah to the Islamic authority, he had to be submissive, and despite this, the Mullah slapped him, insulted him and kicked him, even though symbolically, in order to humiliate him and comply with the spirit of the law.
The Myth of Tolerant Islam
The historian Bat Ye’or, whose pioneering research on the history of the dhimmi and dhimmitude has exposed a long-suppressed and little known history of the Islamic world, quotes Sir Henry Bulwer: “who spoke of the administration of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He stated that from 1463 to 1850 the Bosniac Muslims enjoyed all the privileges of feudalism: ‘During a period of nearly 300 years Christians were subjected, to much oppression and cruelty. For them no other law but the caprice of their masters existed.’"
Bat Ye’or speaks of the devshirme system, which “existed for about 300 years. It consisted of a regular levy of Christian children from the Christian population of the Balkans. These youngsters, aged from fourteen to twenty, were Islamized and enslaved for military purposes. The periodic levies, which took place in contingents of a thousand, subsequently became annual. To discourage runaways, children were transferred to remote provinces and entrusted to Muslim masters, soldiers who treated them harshly, as slaves. Another parallel recruitment system operated: It provided for the levy of Christian children aged six to ten (ichoghlani), reserved for the sultan's palace. Entrusted to eunuchs, they underwent a tyrannical training for fourteen years. In Africa , a system of enslaving Black Christian and Animist children, similar to the devshirme existed, as is shown from documents to be published in my book.” [Origin Of A Myth a Dinner Address delivered on 31 August 1995 by BatYe’or]
In present-day Sudan, the saga of this very genocide and enslavement is replayed. There, the remaining women and children, whose husbands and fathers have been slain, are sold as slaves to northern Sudanese Muslims and to the eastern emirates.
So, where does this myth of a tolerant Islam come from? Bat Ye’or explains, “This theory was advanced by European politicians in order to safeguard the balance of power in Europe, and in order to block the Russian advance towards the Mediterranean . To justify the maintenance of the Turkish yoke on the Slavs, this yoke had to be presented to the public opinion as a just government. The Ottoman Empire was painted by Turkophiles as a model for a multi-ethnical, multi-religious empire. Of course, the reality was totally different! First the Ottoman Empire was created by centuries of jihad against Christian populations; consequently the rules of jihad, elaborated by Arab-Muslim theologians from the 8th to the 10th centuries, applied to the subjected Christian and Jewish populations of the Turkish-Islamic dominions. Those regulations are integrated into the Islamic legislation concerning the non-Muslim vanquished peoples and therefore they present a certain homogeneity throughout the Arab and Turkish empires - and, apparently, in Muslim Asia too.” [ibid]
The history of Islam is a history of intolerance, violence and discrimination. There is no such thing as “tolerant Islam”. The real Islam is the radical Islam. What is known as the tolerant Islam is "less-Islam". Islamic societies are tolerant to the degree that they are un-Islamic. The more they practice the Quran, the more intolerant they become.
Muhammad promised rewards for those who become martyr “in the way of Allah” and forgiveness of their sins.
"Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of Allah, and from His presence is the best of rewards." 3:195 (See also Quran 3:169; 4:74-77 &100; 22:58, etc.)
How can we discount the impact of these verses on the psyche of the Muslim youth who is ready to sacrifice his life in the hope of pleasing his god and receiving those rewards? As long as Islam dominates the minds and the hearts of Muslims, terrorism, assassinations, beheadings, human right violations, tortures, and all other atrocities that are now the hallmark of Islam will not end. The problem with Islam is not caused because Muslims do not practice their religion, but because some do.
In April 2001, in an article entitled “Islam Isthe Real Source of Violence” I warned the West that they should take Islam seriously. I wrote: “The West is not immune to Islamic terrorism. With the growth of the Muslim population in Europe and America, the citizens of these two continents should expect to see more terrorism, and on bigger scales.” This was five months before the 9/11 tragedy.
It is sad to see that my prediction came to pass. But now I have an even more ominous prediction. If things don’t change, if we continue with our mindless PC definition of Islam, we are going to face the greatest calamity humanity has ever faced and this could happen within the coming 20 years. Billions of people may die and hundreds of cities may become wastelands. I say it once again. The Islam’s threat should not be taken lightly. This is madness. The entire world is in danger. No one is immune. All the free countries of the world must unite to combat this evil.
But the future is in our own hands. If we make the right choices we can avoid this calamity. Unfortunately the route we that have taken, is leading us to our doom. We must de-route. We must rethink our strategies. We must adopt a new course of action.
We spend billions to counter terrorism. Yet terrorism is not the problem. Terrorism is only a symptom. The problem is Islam. To eliminate Islamic terrorism we have no other option but to eliminate Islam.
Despite its bluster and violence, Islam is a fragile creed and extremely vulnerable. The intolerance of Muslims towards criticism is the indication of its vulnerability. Islam cannot stand criticism. It will implode. Most Muslims do not know their religion, have not read the Quran and are not aware of its inhumane teachings. They have not been told the truth about Muhammad and are not familiar with his biography and crimes. Most of them will leave Islam once they learn the truth.
Ignorance is not bliss. People like Stephen Schwartz, cannot be excused. By converting to Islam, they validate this cult and by validating it they legitimize it in its entirety, including its terrorism. Islam is terrorism. There is no other Islam. Whether people like Mr. Schwartz know it of not is irrelevant. Their ignorance of Islam does not change the nature of Islam. But once they recognize the Quran as a divine book, they unwittingly approve of all the terror and violence that this book teaches. Once they acknowledge that Muhammad was a prophet of God, they unconsciously sanction Islamic terrorism. People like Schwartz are guilty not just because they are ignorant but because they are unwilling to learn the truth and to find the facts. Someone forwarded one of Mr. Schwartz emails to me in which he said, “I am not interested to read what Ali Sina scribbles”. Why not? Have the charges that I have brought against Muhammad been refuted? Or is it irrelevant that Muhammad was a pedophile, a looter, an assassin, a mass murderer and a rapist to his claim of prophet hood? Schwartz would do much better if he stopped being so emotional and start being a bit more rational.
The PC malady
But that is not all. What is truly painful is that people like Schwartz receive support from the mainstream media to spread their ignorance of Islam while those that tell the truth are often denied to speak out for not being politically correct. The conservative Internet site frontpagemag.com has been providing platform for Mr. Stephen Schwartz for years so he can soft-sell his distorted version of Islam and lull the readers into believing that Islam has a peaceful side. Not surprisingly, like all Muslims, Schwartz believes Islam Doesn't Need a Reformation. Of course in a free society people must be able to express their views, but in the interest of fairness the same media must also allow opposing views. Frontpagemag.com has repeatedly refused to publish my articles. After being turned down numerous times I wrote to my friend Mr. Jamie Glazov, the editor of the site and asked whether he is rejecting my articles because they are not PC. Mr. Glazov categorically denied the charge and said:
“Ali, my friend, if you read our magazine, we are far from PC. We are just looking for new material. We have published lots of criticism of Islam. We are just looking for new material that also makes good points without necessarily beating up on Islam unnecessarily on themes we are already familiar with”
“New material”? …“Good points”?...
I pointed out to the latest Schwartz’s article that frontpagemag.com had published and asked what part of that is new material or good point. Do we have a more worn out argument than “Islam is good, Muslims are bad” cliché that Mr. Schwartz is parroting? The gentleman admits that he does not know Islam and his love for this cult is purely impressionist and subjective, yet he writes a book to say Islam is a tolerant religion. I asked what part of Schwartz’s article is new or has good point? Mr. Glazov did not respond. This is difficult to understand. Is frontpagemag promoting the softer version of Islam? Has frontpagemag.com become the podium for Islamic apologists?
The translation of what Mr. Glazov wrote is: We won't publish material that are critical of Islam. In his view the criticism of Islam (beating up on Islam) is unnecessary but rehashing "Islam is peace" is okay.
There are many sites that are willing to publish apologetic materials on Islam but will not publish any criticism of it. Take the example of religioustolerance.org. In one of their pages they erroneously claim that Islam, like all other religions, adheres to the concept of the Golden Rule. This is clearly not true. I wrote an article in which I showed why Islam is completely divorced from the Golden Rule and I even quoted a Muslim "intellectual" who admitted to this fact and denounced the Golden Rule. I sent them a copy of that article, asking them to either correct the misinformation in their site, publish my article or make a link to it. I wrote them twice and they did not even acknowledge the receipt of my emails.
Unfortunately the PCism is a common disease of the Western Media and it is a dangerous disease. Those who are infected by it deny it categorically but they can't get rid of it.
Despite the lack of support, and our fewness of number, the truth is spreading fast. It is spreading, thanks to people who want to hear the truth and who are tired of the run of the mill PC regurgitation.
We are waging a war. Our enemies are not just the terrorists, but also the apologists of the terrorists, the apologists of the ideology of the terrorists and the supporters of the apologists of the ideology of the terrorists. We can't do much with the terrorists and their apologists. But we can expose the apologists of their ideology and those who unwittingly have become instruments for spreading their misinformation. Islam is the ideology of the terrorists and Mr. Schwartz is the apologist of that ideology. His ignorance of Islam does not change the nature of Islam. And then we have the PC media who provide ample platform for likes of Mr. Schwartz but not for those who criticize Islam. Mr. Schwartz may be beyond hope. We can't expect much from a man who embraces a "religion" whose founder was a terrorist, simply because he goes to a big building and gets goose bumps by its magnificent architecture. Children get goose bumps from the dark. This does not mean there is something real and sinister in the dark. Obviously Mr. Schwartz is an impressionable person. his emotions are real but they are subjective and cannot be constituted as the bases of the truth. In my early youth, I had similar experience. Now I realize they were self induced. It is the expectation of experiencing something holy that makes one experience something holy. But we must reach those who allow the likes of Mr. Schwartz to spread their ignorance while shun opposing views for the fear of being branded "Islamophobes". I don't think we have pounded enough on Islam - at least not enough for Mr. Glazov and the mainstream media to see the danger that humanity is facing and the part that they, innocently are playing in strengthening the position of Islamic terrorism. On the contrary I think we heard enough the "Islam means peace" mantra ad nauseam.
This PC malady is basically the sickness of all our mainstream Media. They won't change unless we make them change. Today our biggest enemy is PC. We must protest against this sick ethos. It is up to us readers to demand accountably from the Media.
This truth is so big that few people can handle it. It is much safer to sing the old lullaby and don’t rock the boat than shout the truth, which may wake up some people and ruffle some feathers.
This is an important cause. Many lives, millions, and even billions, depend on it. If we succeed, humanity will succeed. If we fail humanity will fail.
This is a war against falsehood and against ignorance. Just like any war, it required courage and not being afraid of being politically incorrect. In this war only truth will bring us victory. Telling the truth, in a world dominated by the hypocrite tyrannical practitioners of the PC cult is the most daring thing to do.
Ali Sina is the editor of Faithfreedom.org. He is has contributed in 'Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside Islam'. His latest book is Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet.