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The Religion of Peace

(02/19/2006) Once again, non Islamic Muslims have distorted the word of the Prophet Mohammad. Once again, Islam has failed to act. How long will Islam keep silent and allow non Islamic Muslims to drive wedges between Islam and the Western World?

Prompted by the outrageous carnage and destruction brought forth on this earth by a few innocent cartoons, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) prefaced their concerns over the controversy, on CNN, by stating that the Western world needed to better understand the Muslim world. CAIR is to be commended for their tough stance against "Islamic Terrorism", perhaps more accurately described as "Muslim Terrorism" (see their website).

If I may, perhaps, offer a a suggestion. Is it possible that Western cultures are not all that different from Islam? Perhaps if non-Islamic Muslims understood the similarities, they would be encouraged to join Islam.

Focus on spreading that message to those Muslims whom have yet to embrace true Islam as defined in the Qur'an and Sunnah.

"The Qur'an and Sunnah are the only two mediums by which Allah has directly taught us about Islam. This leads us to the following simple but critical principle:

If any man or woman engages in a belief or action which clearly contradicts the Qur'an or Sunnah, then that belief or action cannot be thought of as `Islamic'.

This rule applies whether the man or woman is Muslim or non-Muslim. Hence, we cannot equate Islam and the Muslims. Islam is the way of life; Muslims are people who claim to follow that way of life. A Muslim may claim to follow Islam, but be wrong.1"

There is a social policy divide between our societies which is explicitly defined in our U.S. Constitution, that of the separation of church and state. While this declaration is non-binding in our relationships with other countries and their cultures, it is a fundamental premise in which our society is built. We have found that for us, this is the best way to promote religious tolerance.

"Islam is the name of a way of life which the Creator wants us to follow. We avoid the word religion because in many non-Islamic societies, there is a separation of "religion and state." This separation is not recognized at all in Islam: the Creator is very much concerned with all that we do, including the political, social, economic, and other aspects of our society. Hence, Islam is a complete way of life.1"

If we were to ignore this apparent conflict between our two societies and focus on the results of our two societies, then we may be forced to conclude that there is little, if any difference in our desires to live without racism or prejudice. This world has seen no greater tolerance of others, than that found within the United States, since that reported by some during the later part of Mohammad's life.

Miss. Sarojini Naidu speaking about this aspect of Islam says, "It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for in the mosque, when the minaret is sounded and the worshipers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and the king kneel side by side and proclaim, God alone is great."

The great poetess of India continues, "I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes a man instinctively a brother. When you meet an Egyptian, an Algerian and Indian and a Turk in London, it matters not that Egypt is the motherland of one and India is the motherland of another.1"

So it would seem that democracy is not foreign to Islam, Mohammad understood and supported basic democratic premises. It is also clear that Mohammad understood that neither a pure democratic nor a pure capitalist society served Islam.

"The Creator also states in the Qur'an (translated):

[42:36-38] So whatever thing you are given, that is only a provision of this world's life, and what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and rely on their Lord, and those who shun the great sins and indecencies, and whenever they are angry they forgive, and those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and their rule is to take counsel among themselves, and who spend out of what We have given them.

Allah orders us in this verse to conduct our matters by taking counsel among ourselves, or by consulting each other. This is the methodology of the Islamic state, to consult one another, but to always keep the Qur'an and Sunnah paramount. Any law which contradicts the Qur'an or Sunnah is unlawful. This broad principle of consultation is certainly wide enough to encompass a form of government where all are heard - in fact, encouraged to be heard. The early Islamic states were of this form. The petty governments of many `Muslim countries' today do not apply this principle and in fact commit many crimes against the people.1"

So I, and many others in the western world, have a great deal of difficultly understanding why some Muslims continue to kill and destroy in the name of Islam. Could it be that the solution to the end of violence does not rest with the the better understanding of Islam by the Western world, but lies in the better understanding of Islam by the Muslim world?

"From the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Al-Awsat by Al-Tabarani, we find regarding those non-Muslims living in the Islamic state,

The Messenger of Allah (saas) said, "One who kills a non-Muslim person under protection (Arabic: dhimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise."

Also from the Sunnah, specifically in a report from Al-Khatib, we find that the Messenger of Allah (saas) also said:

Whoever hurts a non-Muslim person under protection, I am his adversary, and I shall be an adversary to him on the Day of Resurrection. In short, Islam is intolerant of false ideas, however it is tolerant of the people who hold to those ideas.1"

The Mohammad Cartoons

While it is common to hear reports of non-Islamic Muslims killing their fellow Muslims and non-Muslims, it came as quite a shock that more killing and destruction was prompted by a few cartoons. In fact, it was a children's book teaching of the Prophet Mohammad that required illustration that is the stated cause of the Muslim violation of the teachings of Islam.

Muslim threats to kill, based on "idol worship", prohibition in the Qur'an, had caused many illustrators to shy away from helping spread the true word of Islam. (It's been a little over a year since Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered by an Islamist (Muslim) gunman over his movie criticizing violence against women in Islamic (Muslim) societies2). Islam is very clear in its view toward equality of men and women.

Idol Worship? To a cartoon?

To be clear, Islam does not prohibit freedom of speech. Mohammad stated that even the devil has a right to be heard. Certainly freedom of speech is a pre-requisite to the edict that Islam must consult over the matters of state. Freedom of speech is common to both Islam and Western societies. Perhaps Muslims will join us in the knowledge that all our cultures have matured from our past experiences during mutual barbaric (medieval times).

So once again, the western world wonders why Islam allows non Islamic Muslims to speak for the Prophet Mohammad and act against his teachings. Mohammad was very clear on the circumstances defining when killing another human was acceptable. In fact, Mohammad might agree with Western societies when they acted to stop Saddam Hussein for his many crimes against the people, people protected by Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. It is the duty of all the people of Islam, to act in the face of crimes against the people. Islam has a partner in Western societies, non-Islamic Muslims do not.

"...the Prophet of Islam taught self-control and discipline to the extent of praying even on the battlefield. In an aged of barbarism, the Battlefield itself was humanized and strict instructions were issued not to cheat, not to break trust, not to mutilate, not to kill a child or woman or an old man, not to hew down date palm nor burn it, not to cut a fruit tree, not to molest any person engaged in worship.1"  - Azmat N. Khan

"The great success of Mohammad's life had been effected by sheer moral force, without a stroke of sword.1" - Azmat N. Khan

References : (1) USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts, (2) Human Events Online

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Last modified: November 16, 2006
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