Monday, June 28, 2004

Islamophobia--Probably a good time to understand it

Here's an interesting exchange from John Ray at http://ofint2.blogspot.com/


Islamophobia

(This is an email circulated by Iftikhar Ahmad of the London School of Islamics: www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk. A reply by R.C. follows Mr Ahmad's disquisition:)

Islamophobia and Arabophobia has been part of western culture since the Crusades, with Saddam and Osama only the latest in a long line of Arab bogeymen. The real reason for the current spate of Islamophobia is the fact that Islam has been the fastest growing religion in the world and as such poses a threat to the West. This is happening inspite of widespread misconceptions and negative media portrayed of Islam.

Prejudice against Islam in the West developed due to historic rivalry of Christianity against Islam. The defeat of Christians by the Muslims in Crusades was a big shock for the Christian world. These deep wounds are still so fresh in the Christian world today that the parents, media, politicians and teachers feel it a duty to nurture the feelings of prejudice against Islam in the hearts and minds of their young generations. According to Runnymede Trust, Britain has become "an institutionally Islamophobic" society in which Muslims are demonised. Hostility towards Muslims is still a major problem and is not being taken seriously enough by race relations bodies. According to Dr. Richard Stone, there is now renewed talk of a clash of civilizations, a new global cold war, and mounting concern that the already fragile foothold gained by Muslim communities in Britain is threatened by ignorance and intolerance. According to John Gieve of the Home office, Islamic extremism might be a "symptom of disaffection". The same disaffection previously surfaced during the riots that shook Oldham and Bradford in 2001.

Jews and Christian scholars, the so called Western Orientals have always tried to mispresent Islam in their writings. They have always tried to spread baseless lies against Islam in a very authentic and scholarly style, hiding their deep rooted hatred against Islam. They have called all efforts to restore pure Islam in Muslim countries as "fundamentalist movements" against modern-day material progress and economic development. Lacy O'Leary in the book "Islam at the cross road": "history makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated." Even Gandhi refuted the false propaganda, otherwise, one could not find even a single Hindu or non-Muslim in the Indian sub-continent and on top of that Sikhism could not dare to emerge as a religion. India would be the largest Muslim country in the world. In the 20th century new images emerged, the fanatical terrorist, the stone-thrower and the suicide bomber. According to Lord Carey, there was a deep-rooted Islamophobia in Britain. There is a worrying ignorance of Muslim people and suspicion of their presence in the United Kingdom. It is assumed by many that Muslims wish to take over 'our country and if we allow them to enter Britain in significant numbers they will in time make the country Islamic'.

Mr. Denis MacShane, the Minister for Europe urged British Muslims to adopt the "British norms" and not the way of the "terrorists", in other words "Islamic way". He provoked Muslims to choose between the "British way" and the way of terrorism." Monica Ali's, who was mis-educated and de-educated by the British education system, portrays Bangladeshi Muslims in Brick Lane as backward, uneducated and unsophisticated. This is the main reason why her book was selected for Guardian First Book Award. The content of the book is a despicable insult to Bengali Muslims at home and abroad. The book can be compared to Salman Rushdie's Stanic Verses. The combined forces of racial discrimination and Islamophobia have been awesome in the marginalisation and alienation of the Muslim community. Muslims made to feel like an enemy within by Islamophobic attitudes. Hardening prejudice against Islam is creating a dis-affected underclass of young Muslims "time-bombs" likely to explode into violence, according to a recent report. Life for Britain 1.6 million Muslims has never been easy. For decades they have struggled in the face of discrimination in all walks of life. West is not based on Judio-Christian civilisation. This term should be abandoned to be replaced by Judio-Christian-Islamic civilisation. The new language should be used in all venues starting with media, academic statements by politicians, church leaders and Imams of Masajid. These are the words that define how we are related to each other's.

Through out the modern history, Muslims have contributed for the Renaissance of Western culture and society. Islamic values are not only compatible with the western values they are almost identical. Islamic ideas helped shape the European West that produced the values cherished by the constitution's framers. Western culture is infact based on Muslim culture. The aim of education is to give the highest possible standard in order to advance spiritually, emotionally, technologically and economically. The early Muslim knew this and they were instrumental in giving the west much of the scientific knowledge that has once helped it to thrive.

Bernard Shaw once said that the future religion of the West would be Islam and only Islam. Islamophobia is guiding Westerners towards that end. They study with open mind the Holy Quran and Islamic literature and poetry. Islam is a force fighting Imperialism. Read the greatest book of revolution: The Holy Quran. Meet the greatest revolutionary of all times: Muhammad (peace be upon him). In America a great number of universities, colleges and schools are offering Islamic Studies courses. There is a possibility that in the near future half of native population would revert to Islam. In fact Islamophobia is a blessing in disguise.

Iftikhar Ahmad

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To Mr Ahmad, London School of Islamics

Dear Mr Ahmad,

Thank you for sending me your thoughts about "Islamophobia", which I note you did not define the meaning of in any way. You make some /very/ remarkable claims which you really should clarify about.

Firstly you say that "Islamic values are not only compatible with the western values they are almost identical." In that case, please tell me Mr Ahmad which are these specific values which are compatible or identical. I can certainly tell you which ones are fundamentally incompatible and contrasting, for instance the following.

1) Christ (with characteristic genius) said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone", six centuries before the Mohammed era.. By contrast stoning is a standard official practice in Islamic regimes, and all the millions of people who go on the ridiculous Hajj every year, every one of them has to throw at least three stones "at the devil" as they put it. I can assure you that almost the entirety of people throughout the world except for Islamists are utterly REVOLTED by this brutal "value" of stoning.

2) We have a value of equal rights and respect for women, manifested in many ways for instance the right to vote. By contrast Surah 4/34 states that "men are in charge of women .... good women are obedient .... if they disobey, admonish them and scourge them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great." Dear Mr Ahmad, I can assure you that outside of the institutionalised thuggery that is Islam, you will find virtually nothing but total REVULSION at the nastiness and bigotry there expressed.

3) In other places in the Koran and in Mohammed's life and in constant Islamic practice, is revealed a "value" of persecuting, intimidating and indeed killing people for their expressing disagreement with the half-baked failed system of ideas that is Islam. In total contrast to this, Christ said "Father forgive them for what they do", and "Peter put away your sword for those who live by the sword shall die by the sword", and there is a corresponding general value in the West of respecting of difference of opinion (which is why we allow you to send such rubbish to us and even to live in our country while doing so -- tell me just how much tolerance of criticism of Islam (or endorsement of Christianity) there is in Pakistan, Arabia, Egypt, a "Karachi School of Christianity" sending out emails etc).

4) Again, our fundamental value of democracy and reasoned discussion stands in utter incompatibility with the Islamists' demand for "rule by God" (a ridiculous concept anyway, because who are you to tell me that your opinion (or Mohammed's opinion) of the correct god-given rule is more valid than mine?). In reality, so-called rule by God just turns out to be rule by the most powerful thug-dictators.

5) And then the Islamic notion that women should conceal their faces is utterly incompatible with the western values in which the only people who cover their faces are criminals. And likewise the Western value according to which people should choose their marriage partners on the basis of getting to know one another first, in total contrast to the Islamic ideology and practice.

You further state that "In the 20th century new images emerged, the fanatical terrorist, the stone-thrower and the suicide bomber. " Mr Ahmad, these are not "images". The terrorists, stone-throwers and suicide bombers are very real and they are ///VERY/// Islamic. In stark contrast, there will never be any Christian terrorists, stoners or bombers, because Christianity is totally non-violent. "Turn the other cheek"; "Love your enemies"; "Thou shalt not kill (with no exceptions (unless you are pseudo-Christian Blair or Bush of course))".

Have you heard of "Holocaust denial"? Well you have done something far far worse than that, namely Jihad denial. You say that: "history makes it clear that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated."

Well I have some sad news for you Mr Ahmad. I have here "The meaning of the Glorious Quran, an explanatory translation by Mohammed M Pickthall, Albirr Foundation UK" It describes in, ahem, glorious, ahem, detail how Mohammed "found it necessary" to defend his ideology by military force. How his army ransacked whole cities because there was opposition to Islam within them, and how finally after he had thuggishly defeated all his critics without any resort to pure reasoning, only then did he decide that Allah was going to be so so gloriously "merciful" at least to those who pretended to be impressed by this intellectual baboonery.

In line with this behaviour, the Allah of the Koran has a peculiarly high level of preoccupation with sex and with military victory over enemies. Remarkable preoccupations for a supposedly metaphysical being to have. It couldn't of course be because the Koran was written not by God but by a very human brutal intolerant sex-maniac could it? This stands in total contrast to the genuine religions which are preoccupied with higher values of kindness and understanding.

Mr Ahmad, what history does make clear is that after Mohammed had arrived at his "merciful" stage, and then died, shortly after his death Islamic armies invaded and conquered the whole area that is characterised by desert, the areas in which nomadic tribe/gang culture prevailed (and which was the source of Islamic "values").

You further state: "Even Gandhi refuted the false propaganda, otherwise, one could not find even a single Hindu or non-Muslim in the Indian sub-continent and on top of that Sikhism could not dare to emerge as a religion. India would be the largest Muslim country in the world." and "The defeat of Christians by the Muslims in Crusades was a big shock for the Christian world.

Mr Ahmad, the fact is that the Islamic Jihad failed in its 1000-year-long attempt to conquer Europe, which ended shortly after their blowing up the 2000-year old Parthenon in Athens, the greatest building in history. How about we come and nuke your Medina Mosque, for which we certainly have the technology? (one Muslim explained that this could not succeed as per the account of swarms of birds with, ahem, stones, thwarting such an attack -- strangely these holy birds do not stop mosques being burnt down in many countries nowadays.)

Likewise the Jihad came to a halt in India because the thuggery that is Islam can only gain a firm foothold in or near its native gangster-land terrain of the desert. (It should be noted that many of the immigrants from Pakistan seem mindlessly determined to recreate that desert on their own properties here - great if they are happy to live on a diet of stones for ever more).

In total contrast to the murderous Mohammed and his Jihad, Christianity was from the beginning totally non-violent. Christianity was spread by peaceful missionaries courageously going unarmed to talk with people, as for instance St Patrick going to Ireland, and earlier the travels of St Paul et al as described in the Acts of the Apostles. Quite where in Islam is there anything even remotely resembling the historical sequence indicated in the Acts of the Apostles?

You also assert that: "Throughout the modern history, Muslims have contributed for the Renaissance of Western culture and society. " But that is untrue. Muslims have been responsible for the invention of virtually nothing. Even the preservation of Hellenic culture was largely the work of the Christian Assyrian diaspora living under Islamic occupation. In this UK city I constantly see Muslims/"Muslims" whose lives are totally dominated by their embrace of western inventions - cars, planes, TV, cinema, all sorts of electrical and mechanical things etc, etc. Quite how many inventions of Muslims does anyone use? Even the bicycles in Kabul were invented by Brits (along with their tyres and bearings).

Muslims can't even manage a year that is actually a year long, something the West introduced 600 years before Mohammed in the reign of Julius Caesar. If the British had set their seasons by the Islamic calendar they would have starved to extinction centuries ago. It continues to be the case that Islam's tenth-rate ideology cannot cope with criticism, and has to resort to lies, censorship and childish playground bullying as happened in the Kilroy-Silk case. "I'm stronger than you, therefore I am cleverer".

In conclusion, Islam is not really a religion but rather is institutionalised brutality. People rightly view it with contempt and are rightly hostile to such an evil and nasty phenomenon. Till this century it has been able to shelter behind its military/tribal defences. But now with the information revolution its hollow shell of pretentiousness and cowed conformity will begin to collapse and die under pressure of the truth and discussion with which it cannot cope. I'm sorry if this was not the message you wanted to hear, but for better or worse it is the truth that I have to tell you.

Sincerely,
R. C.



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