It is very hard for Westerners--Christians and non-Christians alike--to understand that a “Clash of Ideologies” has been underway since the time of Muhammad. For the purpose of discussion we define ideology as a set of doctrines that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system. Islamism--as in part contextually defined below--is a political ideology that adherents would apply to contemporary governance and politics, and which they propagate through political and social activism. We are all aware that a war is being waged against militant Islam, but many are not aware of the ultimate goal of Islam is to create a “world without borders” under Islamic rule and to apply the Islamic law (the Sharia) globally. In terms of the United States, it would intend to replace the Constitution with the Qur’an. In this book we trace the history of this Clash of Ideologies through the centuries.
The Kingdom of God on Earth or in Heaven
Several years ago somebody asked me if I knew the difference between the North Pole and the South Pole. I knew they were both quite a distance apart, but other than that, I wasn’t sure where the question was going, so I bit and asked, “Okay, what is the difference between the North and the South Pole?” The answer: “All the difference in the world.”
Which brings me to the Holy Bible passage from John 15. Jesus is speaking to the disciples. He tells them and us:
The World Hates His Disciples
18If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: “No servant is greater than his master” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: “They hated me without reason.” The world hated Jesus. John 15:18-25
The world hates Christian believers. The reason for this is that Jesus and we are not “of the world.” That is, we march to the beat of a different drummer. Let us explore what that means. Both Jesus Christ and Muhammad asked their followers to follow them and their teaching. Jesus said he would establish a place in heaven for those who believed in him and accepted him as Lord and Savior. In Islamic tradition, Muhammad initiated the foundations of the first and the last “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.”
The relationship in the Holy Bible to the concern for the practice of human rights is founded in Genesis. The Bible implies that the correct answer to the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is “yes,” and that answer is meant to apply to all of God’s children.
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Genesis 4:8-12
In 2 Samuel 12:9 the prophet Nathan poses God’s question to King David: “Wherefore hast thou despised the word of the Lord, to do that which is evil in my sight?” (JPS) And Deuteronomy contains the admonition that if a king wants to prolong his days in office, he must not lift his heart up above his brethren and must abide by the law. This is most assuredly a far cry from the notion that the king can do no wrong.
About six hundred years of the history of the West passed before thinkers of the Western world reached back to precepts written down in other civilizations in earlier days. The Renaissance looked to the writings of the classical era, not only of ancient Rome, but also of ancient Greece. Athenian democracy was rediscovered. And not long thereafter, the Reformation placed renewed emphasis on the Bible of the ancient Hebrews, the Old Testament.
Indeed, there exist structural conflicts between the West and Islam. First among them is the Clash of Ideologies representing differing understanding of a series of values, such as religion, freedom, human rights, equality, nation-states, and justice. The behaviors of the peoples guided by these values are therefore also different. The question is to what extent does this clash contribute to mutual hostility? And from where do the ideologies arise?
The point I want to make is that we are, at present, not engaged in a clash of cultures, but in a clash of ideologies. The Enlightenment is for the third time under totalitarian attack. Each of the three attacking ideologies rejects the concept of the dignity of the individual. Each of them is an ideology that subordinates the individual to a collective, the first a collective based on ethnic origin, the second and third based on a common faith. Each of them strives toward a messianic goal: Hitler’s Germanic Thousand-Year Reich, Lenin’s Egalitarian Society, and Islam’s Reborn Caliphate.
As an ancient saying goes, “if you are not one among my people, you must think differently.” The root of this “differing thinking” lies in culture and ideologies. This ancient saying contains condensed historical experience, demonstrating that differences in ideologies inevitably create suspicion and insecurity, which, if stimulated under certain conditions, further develop into enmity, and cause confrontations.
In the summer of 1993, Samuel Huntington published an article entitled “The Clash of Civilizations?” in the journal Foreign Affairs. The article generated more controversy than any other article in the journal since the 1940s. And Huntington says it stirred up more debate than anything else he wrote during that time.
Three years later he published a book using a similar title. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order came on the market in 1996 and became a bestseller, once again stirring controversy.1
The view of Francis Fukuyama 2 sees world events culminating in what he calls “the end of history.” He believes that we may be witnessing the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the acceptance of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. Although first proposed at the end of the Cold War when a harmonious globalism seemed likely, there is little evidence that the war of ideas and ideologies is coming to an end, as the events clearly demonstrate. Muslims have traditionally divided the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, “the abode of peace and the abode of war.”
Samuel Huntington does provides a compelling worldview for understanding the future of global politics as well as understanding the philosophical and spiritual interaction and conflict between Christianity and Islam. However, in the case of Christianity, we are talking about a religion, whereas in the case of Islam, it is not just a religion. Given the global implications of this conflict, it is imperative that we understand the Islamic ideology--its origin and all encompassing nature. Islam challenges Western civilization itself, because it is a complete way of life--and its Sharia Law is not compatible with Western ideals and civilization.3
The 9/11 Commission, after spending 360 pages describing the intelligence failure, stepped back in their report to redefine the nature of our predicament. We are not in the middle of a war on terror, they noted. We are not facing an axis of evil. Instead, we are in the midst of an ideological conflict.
We are facing, the report notes, a loose confederation of people who believe in ideologies that are a part of Islam that stretches from Muhammad through the caliph s to Ibn Taimaya to Sayyid Qutb. Terrorism is just the means they use to win converts to their cause.
It seems like a small distinction--emphasizing ideology instead of terror--but it makes all the difference, because if we don’t define our problem correctly, we can’t contemplate a strategy for victory.4
When we realize that our enemies are primarily an intellectual movement, not a terrorist army, we see why they are in no hurry. With their extensive indoctrination infrastructure of madrassas and mosques, they are still building strength, laying the groundwork for decades of struggle. Their time horizon can be totally different from our own.
As an ideological movement rather than a national or military one, they can play by different rules. There is no territory they must protect. They never have to win a battle, but can instead profit in the realm of public opinion from the glorious martyrdom entailed in their defeats. We think the struggle is fought on the ground, but they know the struggle is really fought on satellite TV, the schools, and the political arena, and they are far more sophisticated than we are in using it.5
The 9/11 Commission report argues that we have to fight this war on two fronts. We must use intelligence, military, financial and diplomatic capacities to fight Al Qaeda. That is where most of the media attention is focused. But the bigger fight is with a hostile belief system that cannot be reasoned with, but can only be “destroyed or utterly isolated.”6
Regardless of reports in the press calling for the necessity to fight the war on two fronts in the Clash of Ideologies, this does not give Christians the right not to express our love for one another. Christians are commanded to follow the teaching of Jesus so elegantly expressed in the teaching of the Apostle John regarding love. Besides the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation, John wrote three epistles that were incorporated into the New Testament books as Ecumenical (i.e., universal epistles). The main thought in his epistles is that Christians must learn to love: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
...love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love; but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen? And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must love his brother. 1 John 4:17-21
Most of all, we need to see that the landscape of reality is altered. In the past, we have fought ideological movements that took control of states. Our foreign policy apparatus is geared toward relations with states: negotiating with states, confronting states. Now we are faced with a belief system that is inimical to the state system and aims at theological rule and the restoration of the caliphate. We need a new set of institutions to grapple with this reality and a new training method to understand people who are uninterested in national self-interest, traditionally defined.7
One of the most important features of any culture is its religion--its belief in a supernatural power or powers, its explanation of the origin of man and his purpose on earth, its interpretation of death and a possible afterlife, its set of ethical values, and the penalties for transgressions. Over mankind’s long history, religions and cultures were born, grew and developed, and eventually died. Religion is generally the most conservative element of a culture; it may change or even give birth to a new distinct religion, but only under cultural stress, upheaval or duress.
For instance, consider the occurrence of reforms in other religions. The stress of the fall and destruction of Samaria (722 BCE) and the momentous siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians some twenty years later were evidently a terrible national calamity. These events led to the first significant religious reform in Judaism, culminating in the establishment of the Deuteronomic Law by King Josiah. The destruction of Solomon’s Temple (586 BCE) was followed by another set of dramatic changes in Jewish religion, formulated and instituted by Ezra the Scribe in the early days of the Second Temple. The loss of Judean political independency to Rome raised apocalyptic messianic beliefs that culminated in the rise of Christianity following the destruction of the Second Temple. The same cataclysmic event made Rabbinic Judaism dominant, constituting the third major reformation of Judaism.
In Christianity, the socio-economic changes in Europe in the sixteenth century following the discovery of the “New World” and the rise of the bourgeoisie diminished the grip of the Roman Church on the Christian population. It resulted in Martin Luther’s Reformation, which was facilitated by the new technology of the printing press. Unlike Islam, both Catholicism and Protestantism have undergone many theological evolutionary changes. But although the Pope expresses occasionally political views and the Evangelic Protestants wield some power in U.S. internal politics, Christianity has given up territorial ambitions a long time ago.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism--militant Islam, which has become politically active in the last hundred years, is not a new variation of Islam. It is an expression of the classical theocratic Islam in reaction to the secularization of certain Muslim countries, such as Turkey, Kuwait, or Iraq. Classic Islam feels threatened by modernization and potential secularization. However, since 1.2 billion people practice Islam, it is unlikely to disappear or be displaced by secularism.
There has been lots of talk in American media about a difference between “moderate” and “fundamentalist” Muslims. People have been wondering, however, why the moderate Muslims have not denounced the Islamic fundamentalists and their violent deeds. The reason is that there is no theological or cultural distinction between the two. Built into Islam are the doctrines of the infallibility of Mohammed and the Qur’an, the superiority and supremacy of Muslims over all non-believers (infidels)--implying religious intolerance, the concept of the Umma --the Islamic universal nation, and the goal of having all of humanity become Muslim, or at least subjugated to Islam. “Moderate” or even “secular” Muslims feel uncomfortable to violate any of these doctrines publicly, even if they may privately disobey the dietary or other behavioral rules of Islam.
Patricia Crone´s God’s Rule8 is a fundamental reconstruction and analysis of Islamic political thought focusing on its intellectual development during the six centuries from the rise of Islam to the Mongol invasions. Based on a wide variety of primary sources--including some not previously considered from the point of view of political thought--hers is the first book to examine the medieval Muslim answers to questions crucial to any Western understanding of Middle Eastern politics today, such as why states are necessary, what functions they are meant to fulfill, and whether or why they must be based on religious law.
The character of Muslim political thought differs fundamentally from its counterpart in the West. The Christian West started with the conviction that truth (both cognitive and moral) and political power belonged to separate spheres. Ultimately, both power and truth originated with God, but they had distinct historical trajectories and regulated different aspects of life. The Muslims started with the opposite conviction: truth and power appeared at the same time in history and regulated the same aspects of life. In medieval Europe, the disagreement over the relationship between religious authority and political power took the form of a protracted controversy regarding the roles of Church and State. In the medieval Middle East, religious authority and political power were embedded in a single, divinely sanctioned Islamic community--a congregation and state made one. The disagreement, therefore, took the form of a protracted controversy over the nature and function of the leadership of Islam itself.
Ideology is, as you know, a philosophical term meaning the “Science of Ideas.” Again, “idea” is a subtle and very comprehensive term. For our present purpose, it is unnecessary to go into the details of the term. Suffice it to say that idea means a basic concept, and that the basic concepts on which any “system” is built constitutes its ideology. Since ideology presupposes the existence of a system, the question arises whether Islam is a “system.”
Yes, Islam is a system. Islam is not a “religion” in the ordinary sense of the word. Religion is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Qur’an. The Qur’an has, instead, used the word Addeen for Islam, which means a particular way of life.
Islam is an ideology that claims divine authority in all religious, economic, and political affairs of life. So naturally, it follows that Islam would be in direct conflict with democracy, capitalism, liberalism, socialism, and all the other non-Islamic systems of government, jurisprudence, and economics.
To quote Abraham Lincoln: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.”
The greatest threat to Islam is not Christianity, per se. Islam’s target is the entire Western world and its legal system. Those who live in Western societies do not understand why Islamic fundamentalists are so opposed to the West. Perhaps they have studied the five pillars of Islam and viewed a colorful video of the Hajj. This type of study would never give them an accurate picture of Islam’s global objectives. Westerners ought to realize that Islamic ideology is in direct conflict with the Western system of thought and ideals.
From an Islamic perspective, the very fact that Western nations have greater freedom, wealth, and military power increases their criticism of Western societies. Islamic fundamentalists go to great length to prove that Western societies are evil, decadent, immoral, corrupt, brutal, violent, and oppressive. While there is immoral behavior in Western societies, they feel obliged to prove that the West is the source of all the world’s evil. This virulent criticism of the West is motivated by the desire to make Islam appear virtuous while blaming its own faults upon Western alleged oppression. The West becomes a convenient excuse for their own poverty, nepotism, bribery, corruption, immorality, lack of social progress, tyrannical and corrupt leaders, and failed Islamic ideology. Their strident criticism is an important psychological tool to keep young Muslim thinkers from evaluating objectively the faults of Muhammad’s teachings and the resultant Islamic ideology. In its own right, Sharia law is a backward, oppressive, and discriminatory legal system.
Sharia law is the key to understanding Islamic ideology, government, economics, and social institutions. It is the basis for Islamic fundamentalism’s disagreement with Western thought, and it encapsulates the ideology of Islam that is found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.9 Sharia brings Islamic theology down to a person’s everyday life. The objective of Islamic ideology is to have everyone in the world governed by Sharia law. Muslims believe this law expresses the universal will of Allah for humankind. They think they have a holy obligation to impose it upon all the nations of the world.10
Most people in the West believe that Islam is a religion in the traditional sense of the word. However, this is a fateful misconception. Islam is not just a religion. It is much more than a religion. Muslims themselves describe their faith by saying that Islam is a complete way of life. This is certainly a more apt description, because Islam is a religious, social, economic, educational, health, political, and philosophic way of life. In fact, Islam is an all-embracing socio-politico-religious utopian ideology that encompasses every field of human endeavor.11
The Western view of religion is that a religion is a narrow aspect of life. It does not encompass all human affairs. Religion stands beside culture, economic, politics, and other human institutions. Westerners may differ on matters of religious faith, but they can work together in social, state, and economic affairs. The reason for this is that their respective religions do not claim divine authority over the institutions of governance and economics. Their faiths may differ regarding the salvation of the soul, life after death, and religious rituals, but they don’t claim to have divine insight into the institutions of human government and its particular laws. As good citizens, they strive to have a just and equitable society.
Islam is different from other religions in that it is not limited to the spiritual aspects of life. It engulfs all aspects of life from the cradle to the grave. Islam claims to have a divine mandate over everyone, and this includes non-Muslims, too. While non-Muslims may not be required to observe the religious rituals of Islam, they must recognize the supremacy of Islamic rule over them. As an ideology, Islam promises an economic, political, social, and religious utopia, when the world finally submits to Allah and the rule of Sharia law. The Islamic objective is to have all aspects of a nation’s culture and institutions undergo gradual “Islamization” to yield an Islamic state patterned after Sharia law.
From an Islamic legal perspective, there is no king but Allah, and he is the supreme ruler and legislator of the world. This is significant, because since Allah is king, no earthly ruler has sufficient authority to legislate law. The reason for this is that sovereign authority belongs to Allah and his laws, and those laws were revealed to Muhammad in the seventh century. Muslims believe that the Qur’an and Sunnah are Allah’s final legislation for the world. Hence, according to true Islam, Sharia law is the only law with divine approval and authority for the nations of the world.
The Qur’an itself states that Allah is the sovereign “King of Mankind.” Therefore exalted be Allah, the King, the Reality: there is no god but He, the Lord of the Throne of Honor! Qur’an 23:116 (Yusuf Ali’s Translation)
Under the kingship of Allah, a Muslim caliph or vicegerent enforces the law of Allah on the earth. The caliph is not like a king who has authority to create laws, because the laws of an Islamic state pre-exist in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. As a result, Islamic rulers are not at liberty to create any law that would conflict with the principles of the Qur’an or Sunnah. The subordinate role of the caliph (amir or viceroy) is to serve under the authority of Allah as revealed by Muhammad.
Thus, the provisional constitution for Iraq includes the provisions that no law shall conflict with Islamic beliefs.
There are two reasons to see the interim constitution as a signal victory for militant Islam.
First, the compromise suggests that while all of the Sharia may not be put into place, every law must conform to it. As one pro-Sharia source put it: “We got what we wanted, which is that there should be no laws that are against Islam.” The new Iraq may not be Saudi Arabia or Iran, but it will include substantial portions of Islamic law. Second, the interim constitution appears to be only a way station. Islamists will surely try to gut its liberal provisions, thereby making Sharia effectively “the source” of Iraqi law.
The Qur’an disposes of all jurisprudence outside the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The days of ignorance (jaahiliyyah) refer to the times before Muhammad. Some Muslims argued that the verse in the Qur’an 5:50 negates all laws that were legislated on the basis of non-Islamic principles. The result is that no one can appeal to judicial precedence outside of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. From a Muslim’s perspective, Allah revealed his divine law in the Qur’an and in the life of Muhammad. As a result of this divine revelation, the so-called human laws of the nations have been abrogated by Muhammad’s revelation. In fact, it is rebellion against Allah’s supremacy to submit to a human law after Allah has issued afresh the divine code of conduct for humankind.
Do they then seek after a judgment of (the days of) ignorance? But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah? Qur’an 5:50 (Yusuf Ali’s Translation)
In addition, the Qur’an asserts that those who say they believe in the revelations that came before Muhammad wish to resort to the judgments of the “Evil One,” Satan, who seeks to lead humankind astray. The important revelations that came before Muhammad were the Old and New Testaments, and those who believed in these revelations were the Jews and Christians. Now notice Muhammad ’s next move. Essentially, Muhammad said that religious hypocrites appeal to the Evil One when they seek the judgments of prior revelations.
Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? Their (real) wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan’s wish is to lead them astray far away (from the right). Qur’an 4:60 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
Hence, Muhammad abrogated all the prior prophets of Allah. And the Qur’an teaches that resorting to the judgments of prior revelations was resorting to Satan’s judgments and wishes. Muslims believe that the only divine message that is valid is that Muhammad gave centuries ago. Thus, they believe the choice is between the rule of Allah or the rule of Satan. And it is turning to Satan to appeal to revelations that came before the Qur’an. The Qur’an and Sunnah must be the exclusive foundation of law.
Islamic ideology asserts that Muslims are the most highly evolved specimens of humanity. Their advanced evolutionary state places them on a higher plane than everyone else, and it burdens them with the special duty of enjoining humanity to a attain a divine standard of morality.
In their task of enjoining Islam upon the world, the People [Jews and Christians] of the Book will be the people who make their task most difficult, because most Jews and Christians, according to the Qur’an, are perverted transgressors. So while Muslims seek to promote the right and forbid the wrong, Muhammad believed that the People of the Book would confront the Islamic message with perversions and falsehoods. He felt that Jews and Christians would be the ones who would prove to be the most opposed to an Islamic government with its Qur’anic constitution and Sharia legal system.
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. Qur’an 3:111 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
Essentially, Muslims believe that a democratic system of government is an evil legal system, because its fundamental principle is that man is sovereign over his affairs. This principle conflicts with the principle that Allah is sovereign King of the Worlds. Orthodox Muslims argue that only Islam recognizes Allah’s divine right to rule.
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good). Qur’an 3:85 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
In Matthew 24:3-8, we find Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives, where the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
Muhammad said, “I have been ordered to fight against people until they say that ‘there is no god but Allah.’ that ‘Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,’ they pray, and pay religious taxes. If they do that, their lives and property are safe.” Sahih Muslim, #0033, and Sahih Bukhari, volume 1, #387
You shall fight back against those (i.e., Christians and Jews) who do not believe in GOD, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what GOD and His messenger have prohibited, nor do they abide by the religion of truth--among those who received the scripture--until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly (until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled). The Jews said, “Ezra is the son of GOD,” while the Christians said, “Jesus is the son of GOD!” These are blasphemies uttered by their mouths. They thus match the blasphemies of those who have disbelieved in the past. GOD condemns them. They have surely deviated. Qur’an 9:29-3012
Thus, the Clash of Ideologies started with Muhammad and continues today. The clash did not begin with 9/11. Understanding the events of history is important to Muslims, Jews and Christians; this is why we spend so much time in this book on the historical setting. Jesus Christ knew the history and the setting for each of churches addressed in Revelation 1-3. He addressed this history in his warnings. So we also must study and know the history to evaluate the events of today. Your spiritual and personal attitude about events in history then matter, just as it does in Eastern religions, Islam, and materialism.
11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11,12
The Clash of Ideologies has existed already from the time of the Seven Churches and has resulted in the persecution of Christians and Jews throughout history. It has always been expensive to be a Christian.
The early church faced persecution from emperor worship and pagan ism. Today it is Islam and Paganism. The early church was weakened when Constantine made Christianity the state religion. The end of persecution caused the Church to let down its guard. When the Church and State became one, and some believers did not have a strong enough belief in the fundamentals of who Jesus was as defined by the Ecumenical Councils (Christology), or like the state actions, they gave themselves up to be joined to another “religion” because they thought they could get a better deal. Hence, the spread of Islam. There is a need to study the whole Bible, not just a few verses as a self-help solution for your current problem.
Similarly, Paganism is alive and well today. Hence, we include emphasis in the book on some of pagan religious and the rituals.
The Islamic law of apostasy is a symptom of a strong and pervasive traditional Muslim attitude, religious and political, toward non-Muslims and the non-Islamic world. Despite the legal pronouncement of Islam upon Salman Rushdie, the West has hardly recognized the law of apostasy in Islam. It is imperative that Westerners, especially with the intensifying orthodox Islamic revival throughout the world and the continued growth of Muslim presence in the West, become more familiar with this law also.13
Here I wish briefly to offer proof that will quiet the doubt in the hearts of those who, for lack of sources of information, may think that perhaps the punishment of death did not exist in Islam, but was added at a later time by the “mawlawis” (religious leaders) on their own.14
God Most High Declares in the Qur’an:
But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief--Lo! they have no binding oaths in order that they may desist. (Qur’an 9:11,12)15
The following is the occasion for the revelation of this verse: During the pilgrimage (hajj) in AH 9, God Most High ordered a proclamation of immunity. By virtue of this proclamation all those who, up to that time, were fighting against God and His Apostle and were attempting to obstruct the way of God’s religion through all kinds of excesses and false covenants, were granted from that time a maximum respite of four months. During this period, they were to ponder their own situation. If they wanted to accept Islam, they could accept it and they would be forgiven. If they wanted to leave the country, they could leave. Within this fixed period, nothing would hinder them from leaving. After that, those remaining who would neither accept Islam nor leave the country would be dealt with by the sword. In this connection, it was said: “If they repent and uphold the practice of prayer and almsgiving, then they are your brothers in religion. If after this, however, they break their covenant, then war should be waged against the leaders of kufr [infidelity].” Here “covenant breaking” in no way can be construed to mean “breaking of political covenants.” Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be “confessing Islam and then renouncing it.” Thereafter, the meaning of “fight the heads of disbelief” (9:11,12) can only mean that war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy. 16
1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshippers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
7Then I said, “Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.”
8First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made).
9Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16”This is the covenant I will make with them after that time,” says the Lord. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17Then he adds: ”Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. 19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:1-25
Adding Jesus Christ --his death and resurrection--to Islam does not make Islam Christian. Islam is more that a religion; it is an economic and political movement set up following the Hijra (Migration) form Mecca to Medina. Muhammad set up the Nation-State. Islam therefore establishes the principle of a Kingdom on Earth. This then requires an army to defend the state. The roles of a caliph are these: Spiritual leader of Muslims, the one who guides Muslims in new matters; Religious leader of the Muslims, the one who enforces Islamic law –Sharia; Political leader of Muslims, one who conducts relations with other states and administers government; and Military leader of Muslims, the one who orders and conducts military affairs, in particular those regarding the conflict between dar al-Islam (Land of Islam) and Dar al-Harb (Land of Infidels). We call this Nation-State the Ummah (Umma) (The Muslim “community” or ideal state worldwide) and Islamic world without borders.
al-Hijra - Meaning the “migration,” and from an Islamic sense, in Islamic religious history, the migration or emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE, which became Year 1 of the Muslim lunar calendar (AH). This was one of the great seminal events of Islamic history and paved the way for the conquest of Mecca by Muhammad and the final settlement of Islam in Arabia, from whence it would emerge to become a major world religion (ideologies).
Ummah - Community or nation is the body of the Muslims as one distinct and integrated community. The Ummah of Muhammad refers to every Inswal Jinn (mankind and Jinn) born after the final message was revealed through Muhammad who has embraced Islam. The Ummah of Muhammad lived in the past, those who are alive now, and those who will live in the future. It can be subdivided into two groups: 1) Ummat ad-Da’wa--the nation that was called upon to believe in Allah Ta’ala and the Last Day, 2) Ummat al-Isteajaba--the nation that responded to the call of Muhammad. Another name for this Ummah is “Al-Ummat al-Islamiah ” (the Islamic Nation). Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala commanded the Ummat al-Isteajaba to hold together and not to disagree. Last Day--this is where the apocalyptic teaching in Islam enters.
The aim of the Islamic movement is to bring about somewhere in the world a new society wholeheartedly committed to the teachings of Islam in their totality, and striving to abide by those teachings in its government, political, economic and social organizations, its relation with other states, its educational system and moral values, and all other aspects of its way of life.17
Christianity was spread by love of Christ versus Islam spread by the sword and conquering nations. Non-Muslims living under Islamic rule are called Dhimmi (Dhimma) (A non-Muslim living under the protection of Islamic rule). Islamic rule may occur by submission, capitulation, and political elections. In early Islamic movements as today, this may be “land for peace ” as proposed in Israel.
Dhimmi - This is an Arabic word referring to people whose lives were regulated according to an “agreement of protection” (dhimma). These people, collectively referred to as “People of (the agreement of) Protection” (Ahl al-Dhimma), were free non-Muslims living within Muslim countries and guaranteed freedom of worship, security, and harassment in return for payment of certain taxes and service in humiliation to Islamic rule. Restrictions varied over the ages. One example of an extreme application of this power was Fatimid’s caliph, al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah. He imposed many restrictions on Christians during his reign, including the wearing of black belts in public, Jews wearing yellow belts. It was followed by the yellow star under Hitler in Nazi Germany, wearing crosses as badges while bathing, and a prohibition on wine consumption even for religious purposes. Technically, the term dhimma was held to apply only to Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book), according to the Qur’an.
This aspiration is so remote and far-fetched to many non-Muslims; it elicits more guffaws than apprehension. Of course, that used to be the same reaction in Europe, and now it has become widely accepted that, in Bernard Lewis’ words, “Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century.”18
On September 19, 2004, Chicago Tribune staff reporters Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe, and Laurie Cohen in an article titled: A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America, reported on the Muslim Brotherhood in America.19
Over the last forty years, small groups of devout Muslim men have gathered in homes in U.S. cities to pray, memorize the Qur’an, and discuss events of the day. But they also addressed their ultimate goal, one so controversial that it is a key reason they have operated in secrecy: to create Muslim states overseas, and they hope, someday in America as well.
These men are part of an underground U.S. chapter of the international Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group and an organization with a violent past in the Middle East.20 But fearing persecution, they rarely identify themselves as Brotherhood members and have operated largely behind the scenes, unbeknownst even to many Muslims.
Still, the U.S. Brotherhood has had a significant and ongoing impact on Islam in America, helping establish mosques, Islamic schools, summer youth camps and prominent Muslim organizations. It is a major factor, Islamic scholars say, in why many Muslim institutions in the nation have become more conservative in recent decades. While separation of Church and State is a bedrock principle of American democracy, the international Brotherhood preaches that religion and politics may not be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic. The group also champions martyrdom and jihad, or holy war, as a means of self-defense. It has provided the philosophical underpinnings for Muslim militants worldwide.
The Brotherhood slogan became “Allah is our goal; the Messenger is our model; the Qur’an is our constitution; jihad is our means; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our aspiration.”
When Egypt imprisoned and executed some Muslim Brothers in the 1950s, many members fled the country and helped spread the philosophy throughout the Arab world. The group’s ideological voice became philosopher Sayyid Qutb (Milestones21), who abhorred Western values and believed the Qur’an justified violence to overthrow un-Islamic governments.
Without Qutb, present-day Islam ism as a noxious amalgam of fascist totalitarianism and extremes of Islamic fundamentalism would not exist. His principal “accomplishment” was to articulate the social and political practices of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1930s through the 1950s--including collaboration with fascist regimes and organizations, involvement in anti-colonial, anti-Western and anti-Israeli actions, and the struggle for state power in Egypt--in demagogically persuasive fashion, buttressed by tendentious references to Islamic law and scriptures to deceive the faithful. Qutb, a one-time literary critic, was not a religious fundamentalist, but a Goebbels-style propagandist for a new totalitarianism to stand side-by-side with fascism and communism.22
Over time, the Brotherhood gained notoriety for repeatedly attempting to overthrow the Egyptian and Syrian governments and for spawning violent groups, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian group Hamas. Today the Brotherhood remains based in Egypt, where it officially is banned but is tolerated. The group has renounced violence and now largely organizes political protests, runs professional unions, and operates charities, providing social services that the government does not. Brotherhood supporters hold 15 of the 445 seats in the Egyptian Parliament. And while
Brotherhood activities vary from country to country, and chapters are officially independent, international leaders in Egypt say that all chapters are united in their beliefs and that the Egyptian office gives them advice.
On December 13 and 14, 2003, activist delegates from the West and the Middle East joined at a conference in Cairo to exchange ideas and debate plans for actions. The Second Cairo Conference against Capitalist Globalization and U.S. Hegemony brought together anti-war activists from across the world. The conference discussed how best to support the Iraqi and Palestinian resistance movements, and how to challenge the United States’ drive for power.23
As the news of Saddam Hussein 's capture spread, delegates reaffirmed their support for the Iraqi resistance that will continue against the U.S. occupation. Hamdeen Sabahy, an Egyptian MP, said, “The resistance in Iraq is not based on Saddam Hussein. It will continue after Saddam Hussein. It is there because there is an occupation. As long as there is an American occupation there will be resistance.”
More than one hundred people attended the event, mainly from Egypt. This was much bigger than the 2002 conference, attended by four hundred people. Left-wing groups, Arab nationalist groups, and the Muslim Brotherhood organized the conference. It was supported by a number of trade unions.
In the opening session, John Rees from the Stop the War Coalition in Britain received loud applause when he said; “We stopped George Bush from launching his re-election campaign in London last month. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people poured onto the streets. People have come from Britain in solidarity with you. This is not merely because we sympathize with your struggle, and that of Iraq and Palestine. We come because your struggle is our struggle, your enemy, and our enemy. In the last year we have created an international mass movement. We will not let the rule of profit and arms destroy our world. Only ordinary people can stop the political elites.”
The chemistry between the conferences' left wing and Islamic currents was a revelation to many. Making a rare appearance in such a socialist-oriented gathering, Ma'moun El- Hodeibi, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, spoke at the opening session. Slamming the “authoritative imperialist and aggressive capitalist systems,” Hodeibi hailed the “new [anti-globalization] global movement.”
Stop the War's Yakoub described the anti-war movement as a “bridge between East and West. From Cairo to Birmingham, Muslim and Jew, we have more in common than we have differences, and it's unity that gives us the potential to be the other superpower.” Galloway called the conference itself a bridge between East and West. “Across the bridge, in two-way traffic, should come experience and support. We learn from here and here will learn from us.”
Sona' Allh Ibrahim, a famous Egyptian writer who turned down a major award recently in protest at the Egyptian government, also addressed the conference. Other speakers included former Labour MP Tony Benn, former United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Denis Halliday, Salma Yaqoob from Britain and Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney general.
The conference released the second Cairo declaration, calling for opposition to capitalist globalization and U.S. power. It also urged support for the Iraqi resistance and the Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation.
Ashraf El Bayoumi was one of the organizers. He is a campaigner based in Egypt who was arrested recently for joining an anti-war protest. He spoke to Socialist Workers about the importance of the event. The conference came from the belief that imperialist globalization has to be met with people's mobilization. The people who attended the conference in 2002, especially those who were invited to speak, gave an anti-imperialist flavor to the conference. There were some professors and academics who were irritated by the injustice in Iraq and Palestine, such as Thomas Nagy, a professor at George Washington University.
A United States chapter of the Brotherhood, documents and interviews show, was formed in the early 1960s, after hundreds of young Muslims came to the United States to study, particularly at large Midwestern universities, such as Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Some belonged to the Brotherhood in their homelands and wanted to spread its ideology here. But to protect themselves and their relatives back home from possible persecution, they publicly called themselves the Cultural Society and not the Brotherhood.
Not anyone could join the Brotherhood. The group had a carefully detailed strategy on how to find and evaluate potential members, according to a Brotherhood instructional booklet for recruiters. Leaders would scout mosques, Islamic classes, and Muslim organizations for those with orthodox religious beliefs consistent with Brotherhood views, the booklet says. The leaders then would invite them to join a small prayer group, or usra, Arabic for “family.” The prayer groups were a defining feature of the Brotherhood and one created by al-Banna in Egypt.
U.S. Brotherhood was influential from its beginning--in 1963 it helped establish the Muslim Students Association, one of the first national Islamic groups in the United States.
By 1990, U.S. Brotherhood members had made headway on that plan by helping establish many mosques and Islamic organizations. Some of those efforts were backed financially by the ultraconservative Saudi Arabia n government, which shared some of the Brotherhood’s fundamentalist goals.
Groups that the Brotherhood helped form printed Islamic books, many of which were distributed at mosques and on college campuses. They included Sayyid Qutb’s In the Shade of the Qur’an and Milestones, which urge jihad, martyrdom, and the creation of Islamic states. Scholars came to view his writings as manifestos for Islamic militants.
In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society (MAS), according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members. MAS describes itself as a “charitable, religious, social, cultural and educational not-for-profit organization.” It has headquarters in Alexandria, Va., and fifty-three chapters nationwide, including one in Bridgeview, across the street from the mosque there.
At a summer camp last year in Wisconsin run by the Chicago chapter of MAS, teens received a two-inch-thick packet of material that included a discussion of the Brotherhood’s philosophy and detailed instructions on how to win converts. Part of the Chicago chapter’s website is devoted to teens. It includes reading materials that say Muslims have a duty to help form Islamic governments worldwide and should be prepared to take up arms to do so.
One passage states “until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful.” Another one says that Western secularism and materialism are evil and that Muslims should “pursue this evil force to its own lands and invade its Western heartland.”
1928: The Muslim Brotherhood is formed in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna to promote a return to fundamental Islamic beliefs and practices and to fight Western colonialism in the Islamic world.
Late 1930s: The Brotherhood starts forming affiliated chapters in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria.
1948: The Brotherhood is implicated in the assassination of Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Nuqrashi, who had banned the group. Al-Banna denies involvement.
1949: The Egyptian government retaliates for Nuqrashi’s assassination by killing al-Banna.
1954: A Brotherhood member tries to assassinate Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and fails. Nasser executes several of the group’s leaders and incarcerates thousands of its followers.
1962: The Cultural Society is created as the first Brotherhood organization in the United States. Societies members help establish numerous Islamic organizations, mosques, and schools.
1966: Sayyid Qutb, a Brotherhood ideologue who urged Muslims to take up arms against non-Islamic governments, is executed by Nasser ‘s regime.
1982: In Hamah, Syria, at least ten thousand people are killed by government troop suppressing an uprising by the Brotherhood.
1993: The Muslim American Society initially based in Illinois and now in Virginia, is created to be a more public face of the Brotherhood in the United States.
2001: Youssef Nada was a valued World War II Nazi collaborator and current board chairman of al-Taqwa (“fear of God”)--Nada Management, the Lugano, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Bahamas-based financial services outfit accused by the U.S. Treasury Department of money-laundering for and financing of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. As a young man, he had joined the armed branch of the “secret apparatus” (al-jihaz al-sirri) of the Muslim Brotherhood and then was recruited by German military intelligence. When Grand Mufti of Jerusalem el-Husseini had to flee Germany in 1945 as the Nazi defeat loomed, Nada reportedly was instrumental in arranging the escape via Switzerland back to Egypt, and eventually Palestine, where el-Husseini resurfaced in 1946. On November 7, 2001, on the request of the U.S. government, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office froze the bank accounts of Nada Management and ordered a search and seizure raid on the firm’s offices.24 Nada denies any terrorist links.
2002: Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters fill the streets of Cairo during a funeral for group leader Mustafa Mashhour on November 15.
According to the Muslim American Society, 25 working for Islam means to reform oneself so that one’s life teaches others true belief and Islamic behavior. Working for Islam equally means to form a society that is committed to the Islamic way of thinking and Islamic way of life, which means to form a government that implements principles of justice embodied in the Sharia to guard the rights of every person and community, and establish truth and justice, and at the same time call others toward Islam--truth, peace, and justice.
These three responsibilities are obligatory, not merely for the entire Muslim community, but for every individual Muslim until they have established a system of governance adequate to the task. Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful. These sins of omission will not be forgiven until they take a quick action to carry out all their responsibilities and Islamic duties.
These responsibilities to change both oneself and the world are binding in principle, in law, in self-defense, in community and as a sacred obligation of jihad, as explained.26
MAS Mission: To build an integrated empowerment process for the American Muslim community through civic education, participation, community outreach, and coalition building; to forge positive relationships with other institutions outside our community that will ensure and facilitate the protection of civil rights and liberties for American Muslims and all Americans.
MAS Methodology: Masjid-based (Mosque-Based) grassroots education, local leadership training, youth training, coalition building and networking, and special events towards positively impacting mainstream America.
MAS Focus: Engagement of the following American institutions and organizations in order to build a broad-based coalition that will enhance the religious, political, and social viability of the American Muslim Community:
As you drive down the freeways in Southern California, you may notice signs with seven smiling people. The message on the billboard is “Even a smile is Charity”--a message from your Muslim neighbor. The California Chapter of the Council on Arab-American Relations (CAIR) sponsors the billboards. The campaign, initiated in Southern California, is planned to spread throughout the nation.27
The Council on Arab-American Relations is also sponsoring a program to place eighteen books promoting Islam in all seventeen thousand public libraries in the United States. This program is partially funded by Saudi sources.28 The Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud (Owner of the Kingdom Holding Company) gave CAIR $500,000 for its program to put books and tapes about Islam in American libraries. Alwaleed bin Talal is one of richest men in the world and a major shareholder in major U.S. corporations including Citicorp.29 Forbes Magazine named HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, the second most creative and successful businessperson in the world. He is a nephew of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and a grandson of King Abdulaziz.
In October 2004, the Muslim Council of Britain launched a similar program aimed at giving British schoolchildren the true image of Islam. The initiative, backed by the. former U.K. Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, will see Islamic books going into schools all over the world. Mr. Clarke said the initiative will help strengthen a multi-faith, multi-cultural society. The “Books for Schools” resource packs include books, videos, and CDs. Charles Clarke voiced his support for the scheme’s aims. “It is only through understanding that this country can move forward as a true multi-faith and multicultural society,” said Mr. Clarke.30
The program aims at establishing a debate between both teachers and students and is designed to fit into Key Stages 1 and 2 of religious education--primary schooling. Most of the pack focuses on group work, where students use the materials to know more about the basic pillars of Islam and the tenets of Muslim life. The project is supported by many educationalists in many areas, who had approached the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) offering to help with their teaching on Islam. Islam appears in the national curriculum as part of teaching on world religions.
In the United States, the Islam curriculum is being taught in the seventh grade of our public schools. The basis for this curriculum is the 2003 teacher’s edition of Across the Centuries by Houghton Mifflin. The Council in Islamic Education (CIE), working with the publisher, developed the program with close working relations with CAIR. In California this course has been in these books for eleven years. Since 9/11, this Islamic teaching has come to the forefront, catching the attention of parents and the media. It is a three-month extensive course (depending on the teacher) designed to educate young children about Islam. It is turned into a game by having the students pick a Muslim name, learn the Qur’an, and repeat the prayers, by visiting a mosque and dressing as little Muslims, some as little soldiers. Christianity is also mentioned in these textbooks, but only briefly and in a negative context. Islam is glorified and presented as a peaceful religion. This is blatant indoctrination, but anyone who opposes it is belittled and told he or she is intolerant of the views of others.
Islam has many faces, and it is impossible to absorb the Islamic worldview in a general way. Islam has been influenced by many cultures. In spite of continuing rhetoric about moderate and militant Islam, the Islamic goal is the complete and total conquest of Western civilization: choking out our ideals, traditions, sacred values and religions, and thus wiping out the culture of our American heritage. The differentiation between moderate