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UNDERSTANDING ISLAM 
In light of the Attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon

The horrific terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC have caused every American to ask why did it happen? Who did it? And why do they hate us?

The investigation of the CIA and FBI has concluded that the attackers were Muslims. Does that mean that every Muslim is a terrorist? By no means. There are many decent Muslims.

But while many news commentators and politicians are proclaiming that Islam is a peace-loving religion, others are warning of Islamic Jihad, or Holy War. These conflicting descriptions of Islam can be explained by examining different types of Muslims and how they interpret their holy book, the Koran.

TYPES OF MUSLIMS

SECULARISTS are nominal Muslims with a minimal knowledge of the Koran.

MODERATES know the Koran but seek to make their faith relevant to modern life. For example, they may try to reconcile the contradicting verses in the Koran in such a way that Muslims may tolerate Jews and Christians living among them. They emphasize the verses that came to the Prophet Muhammad when he was weak militarily and in need of the support of Jews and Christians. These verses which are kind to Jews and Christians are found in Surat Yunus 10:94, Surat 5:82 and Surat Al-Baqarah 2:62.

These same verses can be used to paint a glowing picture of Islam as a religion of peace and brotherhood. But, there are other contradictory and more extreme verses in the Koran which paint a very different picture. We will quote from an article by Barnabas Fund.

"It is tre that many individual Muslims are peace loving and law-abiding. But,it is not true that peace is the main characteristic of the faith of Islam."

FUNDAMENTALISTS are those who want to apply the more extreme verses of the Koran to the letter. These verses came to Muhammad after he was strong militarily and after he realized that the Christian and Jews were not becoming followers of his new religion. According to Muslim scholars these extreme verses abrogate the earlier verses. Herein lies the root of anger and evil.

(1) The Prophet Muhammad urges Muslims to fight in the Cause of Allah

"O prophet Muhammad urge the believers (Muslims) to fight" (Surat Al-Anfal 8:65)

"Jihad (holy fighting in Allah's cause) is ordained for you" (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:216).

(2) The Koran commands Muslims not to befriend Jews or Christians
"O ye who believe (Muslims) take not the Jews or the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them (Surat Al-Maidah 5:51).
(3) The Koran command Muslims to fight Jews and Christians
"Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Surah At-Taubah 9:29).

Jizyah is a special high tax to be paid only by Jews or Christians who do not want to renounce their religion and convert to Islam.

(4) The Koran commands Muslims to fight non-Muslims until they exterminate all other religions and Islam would be the only religion in the world.
"And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (along)..." (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:193).

Fundamentalists divide the world into two camps, Dar Al-Harb (Camp of war) where Jews and Christians live, and Dar Al-Sallam (Camp of peace where Muslims live. They believe that Holy War against those who live in the camp of war should continue until they are exterminated. Fundamentalists dream of a global Islamic empire and they believe that if they destroy America and the western countries, that they will achieve this dream.

(5) The Koran declares that Muslims who fight and die in battle are promised forgiveness and a sensual luxurious life in Paradise.
"And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass (of worldly wealth)" (Surat Al-Imran 3:157).

"Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him" (Surat At-Taubah 9:111).

What can martyrs expect in paradise? The Koran describes life in paradise in the following words:
"Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to do. They will recline (with ease) on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes. And We shall provide them with fruit and meat such as they desire" (Surat At-Tur 52:17-20,22).

"Water flowing constantly and fruit in plenty whose supply is not cut off and reclining on couches raised high, verily we have created them (women) of special creation and made them virgins of equal age" (Surat Al-Waqiah 56:31-37).

"Gardens and vineyards and young full-breasted virgins of equal age and a full cup of wine" (Surat An-Naba 78:32-34).

A martyr is guaranteed total forgiveness of his sins and eternal life in paradise where he can drink wine and will be married to a great number of beautiful sensual virgins.

(6) The Koran commands Muslims to terrorize and torture and kill anyone who disobeys Allah and the Prophet Muhammad:

"...I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks and smite over all their fingers and toes. This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad). And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, them verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. This is (the torment), so taste it; and surely, for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire" (Surat Al-Anfal 8:12-14).

"The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter" (Surat Al-Maidah 5:33).

(7) The Koran declares that Allah loves those who fight in his cause.
"Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in rows as if they were solid structures" (Surat As-Saff 61:4).
(8) The Koran commands Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam by force.
"Kill the Mushrikun (polytheists, Christian and non-Muslims), wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But, if they repent and perform As-salat (public prayer with Muslims) and give Zakat (Islamic alms), then leave their way free. Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful" (Sarat At-Taubah 9:5).

FREEDOM OF THOUGHT IN ISLAM

Islam is a prison with no way out. Once a person enters that prison, he cannot leave it alive.

"But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Aouliya (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them" (Surat An-Nisa 4:89).

This verse means that if a person says the Islamic Shahada (creed): "I testify that there is no God but Allah, I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah," he cannot change his mind. If he does change his mind, he will be executed or beheaded as has happened many times in Islamic countries.

Islam is a religion of intellectual censorship. In Islam the democratic right to free thought and individual decision concerning religious matters is totally denied. We have more than one example of this intellectual censorship. In the cases of Salman Rushdie, Dr. Farag Foda, Professor Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid and Naguib Mahfouz, just to name a few, each of these authors have been either attacked, or a Muslim cleric has called for their death, and one was even killed for their writings. Islamic Society
Societies based on fundamentalist Islam require women to be completely covered in public and forbid them from driving a car or working. Christians are banned from holding worship services and cannot build churches. In Sudan, more than one million Christians were killed by the Islamic government.

Today we hear many people saying that Islam means peace. But the word Islam means "submissioin" and a Muslim is one who is in submission to Allah. Their goal as stated in the Koran is to bring the entire world into submission to Allah and the Koran and have a global Islamic empire.

Written by Dr. Labib Mikhail

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