The Malicious Indictment Of Islam
By Mir Adnan Aziz
At the Vatican, May 14, 1999, Pope John Paul II bowed as a sign of respect toward a copy of the Holy Quran presented to him as a gift. When the Quran was officially presented to him, he kissed the same. This gesture, magnanimous and understanding as it was, earned him the respect and admiration of Muslims the world over.
In Germany on September 22, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave a lecture to 1500 University professors and students at the University of Regensburg. Citing a dialogue between a medieval emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, and a Persian regarding Islam he said: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only 'evil and inhuman', such as his command to spread by the 'sword' the faith he preached." The words created a furor and caused anguish to Muslims the world over.
In his September 19, 2006 address to the United Nations President Bush said: "My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false, and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terrorism..... We respect Islam". In the same speech he went on to say: "Every nation that travels the road to freedom moves at a different pace, and the democracies they build will reflect their own culture and traditions".
In this august gathering 'rulers' of the Muslim world listened in over-awed pin-drop silence. Not one of them had the courage to point out the ever-widening chasm between his words and deeds followed at large by leaders, politicians, clergymen, media personnel and intellectuals throughout the Western world. None could stand up and negate his assertion about respecting Islam or the freedom of democracies. None could quote from the President's many recorded words like: Islamic radicalism, Islamic fascism, Islamic extremism or Islamic terrorism, nor could anyone remind him of the millions that had perished in the wake of his forced 'democratization' of Afghanistan and Iraq.
These sad and tragic times are a wake-up call for the Muslim world. It has seen the West, seizing the September 11 attacks as a pretext to further its own agenda - that of controlling the global energy resource - oil. Afghanistan was supposed to serve as a conduit to the Central Asian reserves, whereas Iraq with its own oil reserves, a bonus, would have been the vigil base controlling the Persian Gulf. To attain these objectives something more than 9/11 was required - the indictment of Islam itself - and that is how it began in all earnest with vehemence.
Quoted are a few of the countless statements mocking and vilifying Islam and its adherents. They are all the more repulsive and shocking coming from members of the intelligentsia of the developed world. They have helped foster an image of fear and hatred against Islam throughout the West. It is tragic that these luminaries of their own given fields have used their influence not to heal but in festering these terrible wounds.
columnist Debbie Schlussel asking: "Should Barack Hussein Obama
be president when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam"?
Member of the Dutch parliament Geert Wilders of the right-wing Freedom
Party in his letter, published under the headline 'Enough is enough'
wrote: "Ban the Koran". He called the Holy Quran a "fascist"
text that has no place in our constitutional state'. He said some
verses instruct Muslims "to oppress, persecute or kill Christians,
Jews, dissidents and non-believers, to beat and rape women and to
establish an Islamic state by force. The Koran, like Adolf Hitler's
Mein Kampf, should be banned in Holland," he further said.
In keeping with his belief in a Judeo-Christian partnership in the face of "the threat of Islam," Wilders has also come up with a 15-minute film titled "Fitna" - Arabic for strife. In the film Muslim clerics are shown calling for Jews to be beheaded. It also shows photos of demonstrators promising another holocaust and praising Adolf Hitler.
James George Jatras, U.S. Senate foreign policy consultant for the Republicans said a number of things about Islam but his most quoted line is: 'In short, Islam is a self-evident outgrowth not of the Old and New Covenants but of the darkness of heathen Araby'. Televangelist Rod Parsley, a key John McCain ally in Ohio, has called for eradicating the "false religion". Parsley has written several books outlining his fundamentalist religious outlook, including the 2005 "Silent No More". In this book there is a whole chapter titled "Islam: The Deception of Allah."
Rep. Jim Welker, a Republican from Colorado, sent e-mail to his constituents titled: "Beware of Islam in America." Part of the text read: "Can a devout Muslim be an American patriot and loyal citizen? Politically no because he must submit to the mullah, who teaches annihilation of Israel and destruction of the great Satan, America". Winston Churchill III, author, journalist, former Member of Parliament and grandson of the former British prime minister while speaking at an American university condemned "Radical Islam" seeing it as a threat to Western civilization similar to that of the Nazis and the Soviets.
Sean Hannity is host of the second highest rated radio talk show in the US and Hannity's America on Fox News Channel. He is also the author of two New York Times best-selling books. He said in response to Muslim Rep Keith Ellison using the Quran to be sworn into his Congressional seat: "It will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones". He also suggested that using the Quran for a swearing-in is comparable to using "Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible."
Columnist Ann Coulter says thus about the Muslim world: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity". Totally ignorant about the religion but obviously relishing the media attention, she says in a column: "But apparently the Koran is like the Constitution. It's a living document, capable of sprouting all-new provisions at will. Muslims ought to start claiming the Koran also prohibits indoor plumbing, to explain their lack of it".
Not to be left behind we have Gen Tommy Franks, the general leading 'operation enduring freedom' and 'operation Iraqi freedom' replying to a suggestion at a press conference that an Al-Jazeera reporter be allowed to field the first question as a sign of respect to the Arab World. "Sure, right after I cut off his head and take a shit down his throat."
In late November Britain's Daily Mirror reported that during an April 2004 White House meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, George W. Bush floated the idea of bombing Al Jazeera's international headquarters in Qatar. The United States had already bombed its offices in Afghanistan in 2001and in April 2003 shelled the Basra hotel where Al Jazeera journalists were the only guests. In Baghdad, a few days later, they killed Iraq correspondent Tareq Ayoub and imprisoned several Al Jazeera reporters. Some were even sent to Guantanamo Bay. These imprisoned reporters say they were tortured. In addition to the military attacks, the US-backed Iraqi government banned the network from reporting in Iraq. Al Jazeera's real transgression, as seen by America, was being an Arabic channel relaying worldwide the gruesome images of the Afghanistan and Iraq war.
John Deady, a co-chairman of New Hampshire Veterans for Rudy Giuliani, said in an interview with The Guardian: "We need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat or chase them back to their caves or in other words get rid of them." Reportedly he also said in another interview: "I don't subscribe to the principle that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims, they are all Muslims." On Oct. 2, 1985, the Christian evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, whose television show appears on hundreds of stations across North America, attacked the Holy Qur'an saying it contained "absurdities, contradictions and outright foolishness".
Rush Limbaugh, hosts The Rush Limbaugh Show reaching more than 13.5 million listeners each week. This makes it the largest talk radio audience in America. He is considered to have played a great part in the Republican Party's Congressional victories of 1994. On reports about a British prison changing the direction of its toilets to accommodate Muslim inmates, he said on his show: "We're going to reorient the direction of a toilet because Islamic code prohibits Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the direction of prayer when they use the bathroom? Meaning, I guess, they have to turn…..they can't turn their back or face to Mecca when they use the bathroom. What do they do on an airplane? Go to the cockpit and say, I got some box cutters, and if you do not turn this airplane 45 degrees for the next two minutes I am going to hijack you"? These remarks were also carried by the largely followed British tabloid The Sun and Fox News website.
On the November 28 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show The Savage Nation, host Michael Savage said: "Keith Ellison won't swear to uphold the oath of office on the Bible, but on the Quran instead. This is unbelievable to me. So what's next? A witch gets elected, and she says she's gonna only be sworn in with her hand over a pentagram? Where does this end? Tell me when this ends, the tyranny of the psycho, whacked-out minority. Tell me when it ends'. In another show he said: "To save the United States lawmakers should institute outright ban on Muslim immigration and on the construction of mosques". On the September 12 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck said that "The Middle East is being overrun by 10th-century barbarians, if they take over ... we're going to have to nuke the whole place."
In the October 16 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, talk show host Neal Boortz said: "Islam is a virus. It is a deadly virus that is spreading throughout Europe and the Western world", adding "we're going to wait far too long to develop a vaccine to find a way to fight this". He also characterized Islam as "not a very pleasant religion" and "a creeping mold infestation". In the July 19 edition of his radio program he stated that Islam is "a religion of vicious, violent and bloodthirsty cretins." In the same show he made an extremely derogatory remark about the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
President Bush met off-the-record with only five people at the Oval Office. They were radio talk show hosts Mike Gallagher, Neal Boorz, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Michael Medved. Reportedly these five reach a weekly American audience of over 30 million. How they influence these weekly millions can be well assessed from their vitriolic statements about Islam.
Referring to this Oval Office meeting Medved said: "All right. Is there anyone out there who denies the proposition that Islam is especially prone to violence? Isn't it obvious that Islam has a special violence problem? This is a crucial issue because it goes to the subject of my conversation with the President of the United States on Friday, when I had the privilege of sitting with him in the Oval Office for 90 minutes. The question is: Is the violence, bloodshed, horror, misery and the disgusting behavior throughout the Muslim world -- is that based upon some problems within Islam itself? ….. I am saying there are problems with Islam, as a faith, as a culture, as a vision of civilization, or actually a vision of barbarism in the world, there are problems with Islam that go very, very deep".
Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy asserted: "This is the pope's first visit to a predominantly Muslim country. Now, keep in mind, it was just a couple of months ago that the pope had some comments about Islam and violence. Next thing you know, Islam turned violent and essentially proved the pope's point'. Pat Robertson, host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club said following a report on a summit between Pope Benedict and Muslim envoys to address tensions over the pope's remarks: "It's amazing how the Muslims deal with history and the truth with violence. They don't understand what reasoned dialogue is".
Member of Congress and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo had a despicably audacious suggestion: "The radical Islamists have to be scared of a nuclear attack on U.S. soil. If it were me, we will announce that an attack on the homeland would entail this kind of an assault on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina".
After last week's Easter vigil service the Pope baptized Magdi Allam, a Muslim-born convert, and a fierce critic of Islam. The Vatican said "Conversion is a private matter, a personal thing and we hope that the baptism will not be interpreted negatively by Islam". Allam's highly public baptism by the pope, making headlines the world over, made it anything but a private matter and personal thing. Will not this single baptism of someone so openly hostile to Islam give credence to the now seemingly prophetic statement "Pope helping in a new crusade against Islam"? Would the Magdi Allams, Salman Rushdies, Hirsi Alis and Tasleema Nasreens of today be glorified thus, had they not been so critical of Islam?
Writing in this Sunday's edition of the leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, of which he is a deputy director, Allam wrote: "... the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual'. Another convert and noted Islamic scholar Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall thought otherwise when he said: 'The tolerance within the body of Islam was, and is, something without parallel in history; class and race and color ceasing altogether to be barriers'.
This is the prevalent western mindset pertaining to Islam. There are thousands of other world leaders, senior clergymen, politicians, reporters, columnists, pundits and talk show hosts across the world engaged in insulting, irrational, misinformed, hostile diatribes towards Islam and the entire Muslim world.
In these last years we have seen a vitriolic campaign by the West to vilify Islam. These are not 'raving and ranting un-educated crazy mullahs' engaged in hate speech from the pulpit nor the isolated message of a fugitive from a 'cave'. They are 'enlightened' leaders of all schools of thought from the 'free' world speaking their heart out before whirring cameras and popping flashguns. To demonize Islam itself they misquote, translate to suit and misinterpret Quranic verses. With its immense commercial media propaganda machine they mislead and misguide global opinion while the war machine pounds Muslims and their countries to oblivion.
It is a simple thing if only it could be understood that there is no greater sacrilege for a Muslim than the vilification of Allah, His prophet (pbuh) and the Holy Quran. It is time the Muslims give up, once for all, that apologetic servile attitude that has become a forced norm after September 11. For seven horrendous years a religion has been demonized, it's over one billion followers held globally hostage for the actions of a few.
Sagacity demands that the western world desist from this demonic witch-hunt, which is the malicious indictment of Islam. This in itself is a malignant form of terrorism - ostracizing a religion and its followers. Those who indulge in it, bask in glory that is the prevalent Western mindset. In doing, they get their rave reviews but also willingly agitate the ominously on but oft rejected, willfully imposed, clash of civilizations.
Nowhere in the Muslim world, do we see such a collective, concerted denunciation of a religion or culture. We hold all Prophets (pbut) and their Holy Books in high esteem, as Islam bids us to do so. Muslims globally have been accused of spreading hate; some have even been sentenced for years to prison. We have not seen a single person sentenced for saying hateful things about Islam. The Muslim world sees the champions of justice, yet again, wanting in terms of fair play.
11, it took just nineteen young men; secure in the belief that their
religion and people had been wronged to change the course of our lives
and history. Those demagogues who brand more than a billion in the
same vein should ponder what if they are playing an active part in
making them so. If they are, where will the catastrophe end?