Islam Undressed: Islam, Non-Muslims and Apostates
The Qur’an on Relations with Non-Muslims
The Qur’an’s View toward Christians and Jews:
Muhammad’s actions against the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa, the Banu Nadir Jews, the Qurayza Jews, and several individuals identified as Jewish in the Qur’an have been previously chronicled and will not be repeated here.
An important principal in the Qur’an holds that humanity is divided according to a strict hierarchy of worth. The "People of the Book" (Jews and Christians) come in behind all other Muslims, including Women and slaves, but they do come in slightly ahead of Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, atheists and others who are regarded as worthless and having no soul. In fact Muslims are forbidden to even have Jewish or Christian friends, which will be further studied in the chapter "The Psychology of Jihad".
58:19 Shaitan (Satan) has overtaken them (the Jews). So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah. They are the party of Shaitan (Satan). Verily, it is the party of Shaitan (Satan) that will be the losers!
4:76 Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (Satan, etc.). So fight you against the friends of Shaitan (Satan); Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaitan (Satan).
With quotes referencing Christians and Jews from the Qur’an like: – "Worst of Creatures, Perverse, and Friends of Satan", it seems impossible to characterize Islam as tolerant and harmless. By one widely accepted definition of a ‘Religion’ ("An organization dedicated to raising the spiritual awareness, the moral standards, the civil conduct and actions of its members, and in improving peaceful relationships with all others"), Islam seems to fall well short of qualifying. Clearly early Islam was neither harmless nor tolerant of non-believers. Intolerance seems the cruel norm in Islamic societies throughout history, while tolerance, charity and kindness towards different cultures and religions is glaringly absent. The fruits of orthodox Islam are bitter indeed, and it is by their fruits that they can and should be judged.
Christians and Jews then and now hold a special place in Islamic theology. In the end, they were regarded with contempt by Muhammad, and were presented in a hateful manner in the Qur’an and in modern Islamic theology today. The final direction appears to be this; When Muslims have the upper hand, they are not to seek peace, instead they are expected to be ruthless in the continued destruction of all their enemies.
47:35 So be not weak and ask not for peace (from the enemies of Islam), while you are having the upper hand. Allah is with you, and will never decrease the reward of your good deeds.
48:29 Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe (or ruthless, vehement) against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.
The final words reported from the mouth of the dying Muhammad were a curse on the favored ‘People of the Book’. From Ibn Sa'd page 322: When the last moment of the prophet was near, he used to draw a sheet over his face; but when he felt uneasy, he removed it from his face and said:
His appetite to do violence to non-Muslims remained unquenchable his whole life, the final words coming from his mouth a curse on those he had spent his life destroying. Despite his victories and the multitudes he had murdered, he left this world bitter he could not have done more, with instructions to his followers to carry on in that effort. The bitterness of this final utterance from their beloved prophet, as he died a painful death at the hands of a Jewish girl, obviously still weighs heavy on the minds and hearts of all of Islam. With revenge a glorified mandate for Muslims, it seems unlikely they will ever collectively ‘get over it’.
In its attitudes toward Jews today, the Muslim world resembles Germany in the 1930s. That was a time when state-sponsored insults, cartoons, conspiracy theories, revisionist history, and sporadic violence prepared Germans for the wholesale mass murder that was to follow. Outside Israel, violence against Jews is also persistent: Jewish buildings blown up in Argentina, France, and elsewhere, Daniel Pearl's murder in Pakistan and other Jews targeted for stabbings worldwide. The essential training of their young to vilify Jews and Westerners continues to serve as the psychological preparation for this kind of murder and mayhem against Jews, and now against Americans, and tomorrow against Japanese, Chinese, Australians, New Zealanders, Vietnamese, etc etc etc, …and on and on, …until the vision of the whole world as Islamic is achieved. To decide if Islam promotes bigotry and racism, the rules governing killing of non-Muslims should always be compared to the following Islamic rule governing the killing of brothers enshrined in the Qur’an:
And whosoever killeth a believer intentionally, his recompense shall be Hell, he shal abide therein and God's wrath shall be on him and His curse, and (there) is prepared for him a great torment (4:93)
The Qur’an on Relations with Non-Muslim Family Members:
Earlier it was pointed out that Muslims broke ties of allegiance and friendship with allied tribes and near family members. The Qur’an takes this a step further. Sura 58:22 shows that family blood ties are broken. Islam has an anti-family element, causing Muslims to fight and kill relatives if they reject Muhammad’s rule. The principals (and purpose) governing Muslim conduct with non-believing relatives will be further studied in the chapter "The Psychology of Jihad".
Muslims who Leave Islam
Just as Christians organizing against the core belief in Jesus Christ are no longer considered Christians, Muslims who actively oppose Muhammad’s declarations and example of jihad would have ceased to be Muslims. But Islam goes well beyond that concept of losing fellowship. Sharia (Islamic law) is based on the Qur’an, the example of Muhammad (sunna) and the consensus (idjmaa). Under this law, anyone falling away from faith in Islam commits an "unforgivable sin". Such "apostates" must be taken into custody by force, and called on to repent. Anyone so confronted and who does not immediately repent and turn back to Islam has forfeited his life, and is to be put to death by the state. While this is not carried out on a regular basis in the many Islamic lands practicing Sharia, the threat is ever present. Sudan, and Mauritania address the issue of apostasy in their penal codes. In the Sudanese Penal Code of 1991, article 126. 2, we read: "Whoever is guilty of apostasy is invited to repent over a period to be determined by the tribunal. If he persists in his apostasy and was not recently converted to Islam, he will be put to death." The Penal Code of Mauritania of 1984, article 306 reads: "…All Muslims guilty of apostasy, either spoken or by overt action will be asked to repent during a period of three days. If he does not repent during this period, he is condemned to death as an apostate, and his belongings confiscated by the State Treasury".
In the Hadith there are many references demanding the death penalty for apostasy. According to Ibn Abbas the Prophet said, "Kill him who changes his religion", or "behead him". The only serious argument is as to the method and timing of death penalty implementation. There is a logical reason why Muhammad dictated that apostasy rank so high an offence as to be worthy of the death penalty. Muhammad’s Islam was largely a military movement in the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries, so he saw apostasy as a defection to the enemy. Traitors in military campaigns were always executed by military organizations of that region and others, and Islam was and is a warrior’s faith designed to support military campaigns. One of Islam’s most respected theologians and prolific writers in the last century, Pakistani Abu’l Ala Mawdudi, insists that both Qur’an and Hadith demand an apostate’s execution. He quotes the Qur’an (9:11-12) and the canonized Hadith: "Any person, i.e. Muslim, who has changed his religion, kill him" (Al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, bk. 84, no. 57 p. 45). The Islamic scholar, Majid Khadduri, agrees that Qur’anic commentaries say a believer who turns back from his religion must be killed if he persists in disbelief (p. 150).
The act of leaving Islam is called ridda, and one who abandons Islam is called a murtad. The vast majority of Muslims judge and treat murtads as traitors ...or worse. The Qur'an teaches (see Sura 9:74) that the life of an apostate is worthless. In accordance to these clear teachings, the Egyptian Supreme Court ruled that a Moslem apostate is legally dead. The 'dead' apostate naturally loses all rights and powers, including property, money, inheritance, and the right to marry. Any person who kills such a non-entity is guilty of no crime; you cannot murder someone who is already legally dead. A murtad is offered neither sympathy nor shelter from their closest relatives to every member of the worldwide Ummah. The fear of such dire social consequences, if not a violent and painful death, is why countless apostates keep their true thoughts to themselves. There are many intelligent apostates who keep silent to avoid an unfriendly halal knife, or a tight noose. Because Islam teaches that all virgins will automatically go to heaven, young women in particular know that violent rape will likely precede a horrid death.
Muhammad was not content to conquer by force, or kill those that merely opposed him physically or verbally; he also dictated that Muslims who leave the Islamic faith are to be murdered. Tolerance of either apostates or competing religions was simply not allowed. Muslims worldwide are painfully aware of the Muhammad's famous dictum just cited in Bukhari, ‘baddala deenahu, faqtuhulu’ (If anyone changes his religion, kill him). Here are some more quotes from Bukhari's collection of Hadith. Remember, Bukhari's Hadith is the second most important writing in Islam, following the Qur’an.
Not only are devout Muslims directed to murder those who leave Islam, "wherever you find them", he further taught that a Muslim who commits this type of murder of their fellows would be doing God's service and will be rewarded. It is in this spirit that so many ‘honor killings’ continue to occur in Muslim communities. The following is a news release of one such killing that just happened to be recorded, whereas thousands of other incidents have occurred with no record (there are many such dark secrets to for Islam to hide).
November 1989 - St. Louis, Missouri - The FBI inadvertently tape-recorded the entire episode of a teenage girl being killed by her Palestinian father and Brazilian mother (the Feds were looking for evidence of terrorism, which they also found). Apparently their daughter had not lived according to their view of Islam. In a ghastly eight-minute sequence, Zein Isa stabbed his daughter Palestina thirteen times with a butcher's knife as his wife held the girl down and responded to Palestina's pleas for help with a brutal "Shut up!" The killing ends with Zein screaming; "Die! Die quickly! Die quickly! … Quiet, little one! … Die, my daughter, die!" By this time, she is dead. The 1989 killing in St. Louis was captured on a court-approved FBI telephone tap of a Palestinian, Zein Isa, who was suspected of supporting terrorist causes. Agents were not listening as the killing took place. The FBI ultimately handed over the tape to prosecutors, which was used to help convict the couple of murder. An egregious example of a family honor killing, permitted in some Islamic cultures, the murderous couple killed their daughter to insure she did not expose their terrorist plans and affiliations.
Some claim that such teachings are not still in force today, but such claims are pure taquiyya. In September 1993 one Sadeq Mallallah (23) was publicly beheaded in Qateef, Saudi Arabia. Sadeq's crime: being a Muslim in possession of a Bible. No word of if he read, understood, or accepted the words therein. In many Islamic lands simply having a bible on your person or in your apartment is proof enough of apostasy guarantying the requisite death sentence by shrira law. Religious tolerance towards former Muslims has never been a part of Islam, and never will be. Religious tolerance of other religions is sometimes barely allowed, but only in the context of a completely subdued people current in their Jizya payments to their Muslim masters.
The problem of any form of expressed dissent towards Islamic leaders is that a person making a complaint runs the risk of being labeled un-Islamic, subject to all the risks just articulated. Anyone attempting any real political reform in Muslim lands or with Muslim law must first find fault with the ‘perfect’ Islamic government and judicial system. This usually leads to charges of blasphemy, which quickly puts the ‘quash’ on dissenters and their supporters. To document this dilemma, we look to our partner in the War on Terror. Those accused of blasphemy under Article 295/C of the Pakistan Penal Code may not obtain bail and are held until trial. If pronounced guilty, they face a mandatory death sentence. For those acquitted, the temptation to kill them anyway (and obtain the promised reward promised by Muhammad) seems too great for the ‘innocent’ to safely remain in the country, so survival dictates they escape to Europe. Many victims of the Pakistani blasphemy laws have failed to even survive prison, and even a number of those tried and then acquitted have been murdered following their release. As recently as July 2002, Mohammed Yousaf was shot dead inside the Central Gaol in Lahore while awaiting his appeal. On 7th February 2003, Mushtaq Zafar, a 55 year-old accused of blasphemy was shot dead on his way home from the High Court. And in June 2003, Naseem Bibi, a victim of a gang rape by police, was charged with blasphemy and murdered in prison before her trial could begin. Fundamentalists have also intimidated defense lawyers, and even a High Court judge was murdered after acquitting an accused man. In the city of Multan in Pakistan, Ayub Masih (Christian), who had previously been accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad under the "Blasphemy Law", is being held in solitary confinement in a 4x6 foot cell. He also faces the death penalty with well over 100 others similarly accused as of this writing. Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws are widely abused with devastating effectiveness to make false accusations against Christians and Ahmadis, as well as business rivals and political opponents. And Pakistan is a US ally with a relatively moderate government; one can only imagine the abuses that are occurring in more fundamentalist lands.
The Associated Press - Nov. 7, 2002 TEHRAN, Iran- A prominent reformist scholar has been sentenced to death on charges of insulting Islam's prophet and questioning the hard-line clergy's interpretation of Islam. A court in Hamedan in western Iran sentenced university professor Hashem Aghajari to death, Saleh Nikbakht told The Associated Press. Aghajari was detained in August after a closed hearing in Hamedan where he made a speech in June questioning the hard-line interpretations of the ruling clerics. Nikbakht said Aghajari, a top member of the reformist political party, Islamic Revolution Mujahedeen Organization, was also sentenced to 74 lashes, banned from teaching for 10 years and exiled to three remote Iranian cities for eight years. Iranian courts often impose such multiple sentences in cases where it wants to make an example of the accused. In cases where the death sentence is imposed, the others are not carried out. Nikbakht insisted his client had not said anything that insulted the Prophet Muhammad, as the charges alleged. "There has never been a word insulting the prophet in Aghajari's speech. This verdict is nothing but a rule against Iran's national interests," Nikbakht said. In his speech, Aghajari had said clerics' teachings on Islam were considered sacred simply because they were part of history, and he questioned why clerics were the only ones authorized to interpret Islam. Later, he was charged with insulting Islamic sanctities and the court described his speech as blasphemous.
The Herald - Jan 20, 2005 UK -Hezbollah threatens UK suicide attacks - HEZBOLLAH, the hard-line religious group, yesterday threatened to carry out suicide attacks in London in an attempt to kill a UK-based Iranian exile television presenter said to have made insulting comments about Islam. Manouchehr Fouladvand, on the US-based Farsi language MA-TV, has been accused of mocking Mohammed and the Koran. There have been demands in Iran for the broadcaster's death. Mojtaba Bigdeli, spokesman for Iran's Hezbollah group, warned the British government must ban the satellite channel, run by Iranian exiles, within 30 days or face the consequences. "After one month, our commandos will carry out suicide attacks in London against the shameless presenter of the channel. He has crossed our red lines by insulting our prophet and Islamic values." Mr Bigdeli said Hezbollah had the approval of leading clerics to kill him. The case echoes the Iranian fatwa against the author, Salman Rushdie. www.theherald.co.uk/news/31855.html
This should help explain the realities faced by good Muslims wanting reforms, justice, democracy, and other freedoms we take for granted. It should also help us understand that, although there are no real reform movements in staunchly Islamic lands, this does not mean that the people are content with their system of governance, or even with their Religion (which is the same thing). The lack of visible opposition is a reflection of the simple fact that the totalitarian control system in play is very very effective.
The Associated Press - April 23 2002 HEBRON, West Bank- Palestinian militiamen killed three suspected collaborators in Hebron Tuesday ... A mob strung up two of the battered, bullet-punctured bodies, and some brought their children to see the gruesome act of revenge. Hooded vigilantes shot the three alleged informers and dumped their bound and gagged bodies on the same spot where a missile from an Israel helicopter gunship killed Marwan Zalloum, a commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militia, in a targeted attack just hours before. The militia is linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. "The fate of all collaborators will be like this," one of the masked men told reporters as he and the others sped away in a car. A similar action occurred in Ramallah on Monday, the public shooting of three alleged collaborators on the main square of Ramallah, while a large crowd watched as they lay on the ground, withering in pain. Bystanders tried to block approaching ambulances, but the three were eventually taken to a city hospital where one later died. … several dozen alleged informers have been killed by fellow Palestinians in the past 19 months of fighting with Israel. In Hebron, a large crowd quickly gathered around the corpses lying in Salam Street. One of the bodies was strung up by one leg from an electricity pylon and stripped by the crowd down to his green underwear, his blood-soaked shirt pulled over his head to reveal deep cuts and bruises. Another body was strung up from a lamppost. People stuffed burning cigarettes in the bullet holes in the torso. Some kicked, spat and threw rocks at the corpses.
The three men suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the head and body, with their hands tied behind their backs. Their limbs also appeared broken, though it was not clear whether the injuries were inflicted before or after they died. Seven men in a car, all wearing woolen hoods or keffiyehs wrapped around their faces, claimed responsibility. The driver of the car, wearing a headband of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, told a reporter that the killings were in revenge for Zalloum's death (Zalloum and his bodyguard were killed in an Israeli missile attack). Thousands of people paraded past the bodies until a white municipal pickup truck came to take them away 3 hours later. As each body was thrown into the back of the truck, the crowd clapped, cheered, whistled, and chanted "Allahu Akbar," or God is great. Some men lifted small children in the air for a better look. Others climbed up the stairs of a nearby mosque or onto rooftops for an unobstructed view. No one in the crowd objected to the violence. Many were smiling. Men whistled their approval on the street and women yelled from rooftops. Young children wandered past the sticky pool of blood on the ground and stared. "No problem," said a 16-year-old boy standing nearby. "They deserved it. They talked to Israel." But a 20-year-old woman who walked quickly past the crowd disapproved. "What will the world think when they see this?" she asked.
The Associated Press - Aug 7, 2003 'West Bank, Israel'-Palestinian militants executed a suspected collaborator with Israeli intelligence in the central square of the West Bank town of Ramallah. The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, carried out the summary execution not far from Arafat's office. Witnesses said three gunmen pulled the man into a car and drove to the center of town. Then one of the gunmen pulled the man from the car and shouted, "In the name of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, we carry out the sentence of death," and shot him. He was identified as Samer Sharour, in his early 20s. Doctors said he was hit by six bullets in the head and chest. During the past decade, Palestinian militants have executed dozens of suspected collaborators, sometimes hanging their bodies in public squares, drawing criticism from human rights groups. The Palestinian Authority also has publicly executed several such suspects after quick trials.
Reuters – Aug 7, 2003 - Srinagar, India-Muslim separatist guerrillas in Indian Kashmir beheaded two people, one of them a teacher, in the latest violence in the disputed Himalayan region, police said. The teacher was abducted in the Anantnag district, south of Kashmir's main city Srinagar, and later beheaded because the rebels suspected he was an informer for the security forces. "Militants abducted and later beheaded Abdul Ahad Sheikh and his son," a police official said. The killings took place in Baramulla district in northern Kashmir. Militants also beheaded a villager in a neighboring district, also because he was suspected of being an informer, he said.
The Associated Press - Jul 12, 2004 Sringar, India-(Muslim) Militants Mutilate a Girl in Kashmir; Guerrillas chopped off the ears, nose and tongue of a teenage girl they suspected of helping police Monday, while other violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir left at least eight people dead, authorities said. The girl was held captive for eight days before the rebels abandoned her in a field outside the village of Manoh, about 200 miles southwest of Srinagar, the capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state, a police statement said.
Reuters - Jul 26, 2004 Jammu, India-Separatist (Muslim) rebels decapitated a 55-year-old man and his two children in Indian Kashmir because they suspected them of being informers for security forces, police said on Monday. A group of nine militants barged into the home of Mohammed Shafi in a remote village in Rajouri district and beheaded him, a police officer said. They also killed his 22-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, the officer said. "The militants thought he worked for security forces in the area," he said. The village, in the rugged mountains of southern Jammu and Kashmir, is a five hour trek from the nearest road. Militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir have in the past killed men and women they believe to be working for the Indian army, along with their families, to deter others. In another incident, separatists aimed a grenade at soldiers visiting a hospital in northern Kashmir, wounding 26 civilians and two soldiers. "Militants lobbed a grenade near the outpatient department of a government hospital in Baramulla, where some Border Security Force personnel had come for treatment," a police officer said.
The Islamic exploitation of even believers has is well demonstrated by an incident in Pakistan
the middle of April 1994 Hafiz Sajjad Tariq of Gujranwala in Pakistan accidentally dropped a copy of the Qur’an in a fireplace. As it caught fire, people of the locality became aflame with rage. Not caring that Sajjad was a pious Muslim devoted to exalt holiness of the Scripture (Qur’an), they alleged that he had desecrated the Word of God. As mullahs of the area heard of it, they instantly issued Fatwas of apostasy against Sajjad. Like hawks, the fundamentalists swooped down on him, each hoping that his blow would dispatch the victim to hell assuring him (the assailant) a seat in paradise. As they were hitting him, someone shouted that he was being dished out an un-Islamic punishment because he must be stoned to death. By then, they had broken his ribs and he was not able to walk. A gallant police officer intervened and locked him up with a view to saving him from mob-violence. As the news spread, a large crowd of frenzied Muslims appeared before the local police- station demanding his immediate release. The Police Inspector, instead of enforcing the law, fell for the temptation of establishing himself as the champion of Islam and handed Sajjad to the attackers. They started stoning him mercilessly and thereafter set his body on fire. If this were not enough, they tied his corpse to a powerful motorcycle and dragged it through the streets for two hours! After this pious show of Islamic morality, they felt that they had done enough to avenge the honor of the Prophet to whom the Qur’an had been revealed.