Turkish Writer Receiving Death Threats After She Took Her Veil Off

rabia-kazanThe activist, Rabia Kazan, a columnist for 5 years in Ortadogu Gazetesi, which is a nationalist Turkish newspaper, and the author of a book titled “Tahran Melekleri” (Angels of Tehran) in which she reviewed temporary marriage in Iran, (a sort of legal prostitution) has been receiving serious death threats from the Fanatic Islamic Community after making her decision to not wear a headscarf, which she was forced to wear by her mother in her childhood. Having gone to the Turkish Police Department, Rabia Kazan declared.

“The headscarf was a decision of my mother and when I uncovered my head, I felt freedom for the first time in my life.”

Arguing that there is no verse for wearing headscarves in the Quran, Kazan has faced heavy criticism also in her country due to her thoughts. Her own father attacked her house with stones. Kazan who worked voluntarily at WFUNA, a human rights association of United Nations, claims that headscarves were used due to geographical conditions before Islam by both Arabic women and men as a custom. Conducting studies on Women Rights in Islam, Kazan explained why she uncovered her head and what has changed in her life since then.


If a person has gotten used to seeing life through a single window, and worse, was stuck with the idea that no other windows exist, then they live through rigidity, blindness, dogma or whatever you call it, through a “pitiful” persistence. My philosophical struggle was quite difficult due to conditions beyond my power… Due to the divorce of my parents, ultraconservative views of my mother’s family and conditions that cannot be overcome by a small child; I was a believer of truths I wasn’t allowed to choose. I was forcefully introduced to the head scarf at a very early age by my mother.

Living with a headscarf required devotion. But of course that choice didn’t belong to me! But believe me it was a much harder, much more uphill struggle for me to decide not to have it in my life; to eventually give up constantly struggling against my reasoning, my mind and my conscience, and to choose to take up the challenge of facing the consequences of this decision.

During the first years of wearing a headscarf, I used to feel like my head was stuck up inside a nylon bag, and I heard humming. I had those fearful moments when the needles came loose, wondering if the needle would prick my throat. So I would at times take off the headscarf secretly when my mother was not watching. But one day when I got caught by my mother she subjected me to an unforgettably painful beating.

30 years later, when I decided to uncover my head, another battle started. It was very difficult. Radical Islamists got very furious when a covered and well-known writer decided to uncover her head. I harsh insults and received death threats.

Change was painful in this respect. But when I came to America, first of all I started to swim to my heart’s content… It was such regret for me not to have done it for so long that I didn’t want to get out of the swimming pool before I swam for two hours every night…

I suffered from vitamin D deficiency since my skin didn’t get enough sunlight by then and this normally causes serious illnesses, weakness and mental fatigue. I sunbathed a lot. Then I tied my hair in a pony-tail and played tennis under the blue sky with my white tennis clothes on. I cannot tell you how good it felt. Then I fulfilled my dream of growing nails and putting on red nail polish, which was a personal remembrance to me. I had met a woman in my trip to Iran who was forced to put her hands into a bag full of insects just because she had put on red nail polish… Whenever I put on red nail polish, I still remember that woman with sadness…

Now I am free and believe that God has no problem with the hair on my head, He will not burn me in his Hell for this reason, He holds us with much more mercy and kindness than we think, and that being “a good person” is much more important than wearing a dark veil.

I have understood that destroying our lives like a criminal in pain and tears just because we express our feelings of thankfulness clearly cannot be something He desires. And I have chosen to accept everyone He created, without conditions, prejudices and with love like He does. This new movement which saves Muslim women from the primitive image of Arabic nomadic life should rather be encouraged than being criticized. Women should be the sole decision makers on what they wear.

3 thoughts on “Turkish Writer Receiving Death Threats After She Took Her Veil Off


    Islam is a brutal, tribal warrior cult that glorifies jihad and martyrdom. The Quran is replete with acts of murder, terrorism, and genocide.
    Let us look at some explicit provisions of the Quran:
    * Islam is misogynist. Men are superior to women. Women are to obey men and are to be beaten when they disobey or misbehave.

    * Islam is racist. The Quran stipulates that the Arabs are superior to all others, and it clearly condones slavery. It explicitly stipulates discriminatory laws for slaves.

    * Islam denounces other belief systems and marginally recognizes the validity of only two religions: Judaism and Christianity.

    * Islam is violent. It not only condones jihad; it recommends it and promises great reward for the jihadist.
    * Islam is already splintered in a number of major sects and innumerable numbers of secondary sects that harbor huge disagreement with and animosity toward one another as well as toward all infidels.
    Nearly a billion and a half of the human species — a species supposedly endowed with the greatest of intelligence — swallows Islam whole and even dispenses it to others by any and all means possible. It is one of those great mysteries of life that defies any and all logic.
    Many animals come with already in-place programs that automatically run much of their lives. Birds’ migration, mating courtship, and thousands of other complex behaviors are instances of this type of specific programming. A catchword for this type of behavior is “instinct.” As a general rule, the higher the organism, the less is its rigid pre-programs and the greater its latitude to exercise choices.
    As humans, our two legs move us along, but it is our minds that tell us which path to take in life and what to do. As the mind commands, so goes the person. Yet for humans, the mind does not arrive in this world with a set program of instructions. Contrary to many beliefs, we are born neither as demons nor as angels. Within each one of us is the potential for a demon or an angel. Many evolve into a mix of the two, a few fortunate mature into truly angelic people, and some become personifications of evil. It is the mind’s programming that plays the critical role in making us what we are.
    Every one of us arrives in this world as a helpless infant at the mercy of others — not only to be fed, cleaned and protected, but also to be informed about the bewildering life we face. Others can teach the new arrivals only what they know and believe. And much of what adults know and believe is a hodgepodge, handed down to them by the adults that raised them.
    Islam, from its inception, discovered the crucial secret of getting to the young mind early by adhering to the dictum: instruction in early childhood is akin to carving in the rock. In the same vein goes the Jesuit saying, “Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man,” derived from the philosophy and theology of Saint Augustine. The immense importance of getting early to the young mind is also emphasized by non-religious doctrines as diverse as the Freudian psychoanalytic theory and Watsonian Behaviorist psychology.
    It is thus that millions of infants annually end up in the care of people who themselves are imbued with a pathological Islamist belief system rooted in the mores and practices of the primitives of the Arabian Peninsula from 1,300 years ago.
    From very early on, the young child is indoctrinated in the belief that there is an omniscient, ever-vigilant Allah who observes everything a person does and even everything he contemplates. Nothing whatsoever escapes this omnipresent, all-knowing being. Allah keeps tabs, and he bestows incredibly desirous rewards if one behaves as told, while dispensing unimaginably tortuous punishment if one strays.
    The very young human faces, beginning with the minute he can make some sense of the world, a bewildering array of mysteries, challenges, and enticements. There are questions at every step — fears and hopes entangled with the need to survive and possibly thrive.
    Who am I? What is this world all about? What’s the purpose? What am I supposed to do and how? Where am I headed? People die. Where do they go? And on and on and on. The information booths available to a man in the fairground of life provide him with answers that may help relieve his innate existentialistic anxiety. And it is here that religion plays its critical role and holds great appeal. Religion provides a surefire answer to those who are willing to take it on faith.
    And Islam is a powerful magnet for the masses who are unable to deal with the uncertainties of life and death on their own. It is from this population, many already thoroughly indoctrinated from birth that the majority of die-hard jihadists emerge.
    It is the bargain the jihadist makes. He surrenders totally to the religion of surrender in exchange for blanket security. Islam gives him all the answers he really seeks for dealing with this world and promises him a most lush and eternal paradise of Allah once he leaves it. And leaving this world in perfect submission as the foot soldier of the paradise’s creator gives the faithful unimaginably glorious sensual eternal reward in his next life. It’s a bargain that some buy in whole, while some buy it in part, and some refuse and seek other means of dealing with their questions and the unrelenting existentialistic anxiety.
    It is foolish to underestimate the dangers of Islamic mental manipulation. All Muslims share an Islamic cognitive repertoire, with considerable variations. As is the case with any population distribution, a great majority forms the middle while minorities populate the extremes. Islamic apologists and many Muslims point to the middle as true Islam, thereby disassociating themselves from the two extremes and may even denounce them as not being Muslims.
    At one extreme are the Nominal Muslims. These Muslims adhere loosely to the Islamic precepts and practices, ordinarily pose little threat to non-Muslims, and may even reject some aspects of the religion.
    At the other extreme are the die-hard fanatical jihadists, who present severe threats not only to non-Muslims, but also to the so-called Moderate Muslims as well as the Nominal Muslims.
    To this extremist group, nothing is out of bounds in furthering the cause. Dissimulation, deception, and all manner of violence are their Quran-sanctioned tools. As part of their scheme, this malevolent group has adopted highly effective strategies for subjugating the West, its people, and its culture. In keeping with their supremacist racist cult, their god, Allah, is proclaimed as the greatest god — Allah-o-Akbar. Yet, in English, one hears only the deceptive translation — God is great, and not the actual Arabic: Allah is the greatest.
    History documents the pivotal role of small groups, even individuals, in precipitating monumentally important events. It is the energized militant minority that often sparks movements and directs the course of human events. And it is the minority of Muslims, militant and highly motivated soldiers of Allah, who are on the march to defeat the non-believing by any and all means and establish “Caliphatism,” the Islamic Kingdom.
    Jihad in Islam:
    Is Islam Peaceful or Militant?
    An Initial Christian Response
    In the past months and years, how often you may have read or heard that:

    Islam means peace.
    Islam is a religion of tolerance.
    It rejects violence and promotes religious and racial harmony.
    The word “jihad” does not mean holy war.
    Our enemy is fanaticism, not Islam.

    Or how often you may have heard or read that

    Islam is intolerant, militant, supports terrorism.

    The claims differ greatly. Our intention here is to consider these claims, especially on the basis of Islam’s sources, and to provide an initial Christian response to them.

    Jihad literally means “to strive”, “to struggle”.

    Muslims have recognized the following kinds of jihad:

    1. The greater jihad: the struggle of the self with evil; the struggle to control the body’s members.

    2. The lesser jihad: physical struggle, often associated with fighting and killing. It occurs in the Qur’an most frequently with the meaning of “warfare”, often coupled with “fi sabil Allah” (in the way of Allah).[1]Technically, it is war against non-Muslims only, since Muslims are forbidden to fight Muslims.

    This statement seeks to focus on jihad as warfare in Islam and, at least, to touch on its significance for the Muslim community throughout the history of Islam. To accomplish this, we turn to Islam’s source materials (which virtually the total Muslim community has recognized as foundational for any serious formulation and understanding of Islam, its beliefs and its practices, including jihad): the Qur’an (God’s eternal and inspired Word revealed through Muhammad), the Hadith (Muslim Canonical Tradition, the Way of the Prophet Muhammad, who is the recipient of the Qur’an and its primary interpreter) and the Shari‘ah[2] (Islamic Law as shaped especially by the Qur’an and the Hadith). Jihad as warfare is a pivotal concern for the Qur’an, the Hadith and the Shari‘ah. All Islamic legal schools deal with it.

    But before we turn to Islam’s source materials, let us grasp two fundamental assumptions with which traditional Islam has operated throughout its history and which will provide us with an Islamic context for a clearer understanding of jihad’s significance:

    1. Islam is a total way of life. It knows no separation of church and state, of sacred and secular.

    2. Islam condemns all polytheism and idolatry, affirming that God alone is God. It is the culmination of all God’s previous revelations (Judaism and Christianity included), it supersedes them and virtually renders them obsolete. Islam is now God’s sole revelation and religion for all humanity, Muhammad is God’s final prophet and the Qur’an is God’s final book. World sovereignty is the sole prerogative of Islam.

    Jihad in the Qur’an

    Bearing in mind these fundamental assumptions of Islam, we move on to the Qur’an’s presentation of jihad as warfare, particularly as it is portrayed in the ministry of Muhammad.

    Muhammad’s Ministry in Mecca

    Generally Muslims have recognized that Muhammad began his ministry among his own people (the Arabs) in and around Mecca in A.D. 610. For thirteen years he faithfully proclaimed that God alone is God. Yet his followers were few and mostly of lower status. With Muhammad they endured opposition, ridicule and even persecution. Still, throughout this period he responded with restraint. In fact, the Qur’an itself documents how he was to respond to rejection and abuse. The following are a few examples:

    I (Muhammad) am but a plain warner. (67:2; passim)[3]

    We have not sent thee (Muhammad) as a warden over them. (17:54)

    So proclaim that which thou art commanded, and withdraw from the idolaters. (15:94; cf. 15:94-99)

    And bear with patience what they utter, and part from them with a fair leave taking. (73:10)

    … And to be of those who believe and exhort one another to perseverance and exhort one another to pity! (90:17)

    Call unto the way of the Lord… and reason with them in a better way…. Grieve not for them and be not in distress because of that which they devise. (16:125-127)

    Repel evil with that which is better. (23:96)

    All of the above passages are Meccan passages, i.e., passages Muhammad received while he proclaimed Islam in Mecca. As long as he remained in Mecca, he responded to his enemies peacefully and with restraint. He never responded militantly. What a fine resource of Quranic references to demonstrate that Islam is peaceful, non-violent!

    Muhammad’s Ministry in Medina

    In A.D. 622 Muhammad moved from his home in Mecca to Medina, where Arab tribes had invited him to reside and where they became members of the new Islamic movement. So important is this event in Islamic history – it is called the hijrah (“emigration”) – that it actually marks the beginning of the Islamic era.[4]

    In Medina Muhammad quickly assumed both religious and political leadership over the whole Medinan community. Soon after he arrived in Medina, he received the first of many Quranic passages (called Medinan passages) which directed him and the Muslim community to fight in the cause of Allah against their enemies. The Qur’an alludes to Muhammad’s conflicts with the Arab polytheists throughout Arabia, with the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and with the hypocrites (Arab polytheists who feigned conversion to Islam: cf. 49:14). The earliest extant Muslim biographies of Muhammad detail Muhammad’s military struggles.[5] It is these conflicts which serve as the seeds for the traditional Islamic divisions of society into

    1. The House of Islam and the House of War and

    2. The Muslim Community; the People of the Book (Jews and Christians, cf. 9:29,30); the Polytheists (who could become Muslim or accept death or slavery).

    The following are a few of the Medinan passages which refer to jihad as military struggle in the Qur’an:

    Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged… (22:39; cf. 22:39-41)[6]

    The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere. (49:15; 22:78; 25:52)

    Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.

    And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
    But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
    And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers.
    The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil).
    Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah…. (2:190-195; cf. 2:216-218; 2:244; 8:38-40; 8:65,66; 4:84; 5:33-35; 61:4)

    Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free…. (9:5)

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
    And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! (9:29,30)

    O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end. (9:73)

    O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him). (9:123)

    As for Jihad’s motivation and benefits:

    O ye who believe! Shall I show you a commerce that will save you from a painful doom?
    You should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if ye did but know.
    He will forgive you your sins and bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eden. That is the supreme triumph.
    And (He will give you) another blessing which ye love: help from Allah and present victory. Give good tidings (O Muhammad) to believers. (61:10-13; cf. 9:19-22; 9:111; 2:154; 2:243-245; 47:4-6; 3:195)

    … Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than those who sit (at home). (4:95)

    From the above Meccan and Medinan verses Muslims have understood that there is a chronological progression in Muhammad’s ministry from peaceful proclamation only in Mecca to peaceful proclamation supported, if needed, by the sword in Medina. This was not to suggest that God had changed His mind and that peaceful proclamation of Islam had ceased. It simply meant that when Muhammad entered Medina, initially he was allowed to defend himself against his enemies with the same weapons they used to attack him and eventually was ordered even to fight all idolaters.

    The well known Egyptian scholar, Sayyid Qutb, notes four stages in the development of jihad:

    1. While the earliest Muslims remained in Mecca before fleeing to Medina, God did not allow them to fight;

    2. Permission is given to Muslims to fight against their oppressors;

    3. God commands Muslims to fight those fighting them;

    4. God commands the Muslims to fight against all polytheists. He views each stage to be replaced by the next stage in this order, the fourth stage to remain permanent.[7]

    To justify the universal and permanent dimensions of jihad he cites the following passages:

    They ought to fight in the way of God who have sold the life of this world for the life of the Hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of God and is killed or becomes victorious, to him shall We (God) give a great reward…. (4:74-76)

    … and fight them until there is no oppression and the religion is wholly for God…. (8:38-40)

    Fight against those among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) who do not believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, until they are subdued and payjizyah (tax on non-Muslims) … (9:29-32)

    But, as we sometimes hear, does not Islam teach that jihad as physical warfare is solely defensive? True, a few voices in earlier Islamic history and even more voices from the nineteenth century onwards have held this opinion. No doubt, today also many Muslims in the West espouse this opinion, though one might wonder how familiar some of them are with the source materials and history of Islam. Sayyid Qutb, however, pours scorn upon those who view jihad as solely defensive:

    … They are ignorant of the nature of Islam and of its function, and that it has a right to take the initiative for human freedom.

    Thus wherever an Islamic community exists which is a concrete example of the Divinely-ordained system of life, it has a God-given right to step forward and take control of the political authority so that it may establish the Divine system on earth, while it leaves the matter of belief to individual conscience.[8]

    He then cites, during the early advance of Islam, the Muslim response to the Persian general, Rustum, after Rustum enquired why the Muslim leaders had come to Persia with their army:

    God has sent us to bring anyone who wishes from servitude to men into the service of God alone, from the narrowness of this world into the vastness of this world and the Hereafter, and from the tyranny of religions into the justice of Islam. God raised a Messenger for this purpose to teach His creatures His way. If anyone accepts this way of life, we turn back and give his country back to him, and we fight with those who rebel until we are martyred or become victorious.[9]

    Likewise the popular Pakistani Muslim revivalist Abu’l Ala Mawdudi rejects any distinction between offensive and defensive jihad. So also the distinguished contemporary Pakistani scholar, Fazlur Rahman, while recognizing the extensive presence of jihad in the Qur’an, rejects the stand of those modern Muslim apologists who have tried to explain the jihad of the early (Muslim) Community in purely defensive terms.[10]

    According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “the fight is obligatory even when the unbelievers have not started it.”[11] In the words of Rudolph Peters the “ultimate aim of jihad is ‘the subjection of the unbelievers’ and ‘the extirpation of unbelief’”.[12] All of these authorities simply echo Islam’s fundamental assumption that world sovereignty must be in the hands of Muslims.

    Still, others may ask, is there not a possible conflict in the Qur’an between its peaceful and militant passages? Or, at least, cannot Muslims choose, between the two, which to follow? In fact, the Qur’an itself addresses the problem of change or conflict in general:

    Such of Our revelations as We (Allah) abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? (2:106)

    And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, – and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth – they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not. (16:101)

    On the basis of these verses there arose within the Muslim community the principle of Quranic interpretation, called naskh (“abrogation”) which stipulated that earlier peaceful verses could be abrogated by later militant verses, i.e., in the case of jihad the Meccan verses were abrogated by the Medinan verses. It is well known that many Muslim scholars in the early history of Islam contended that Qur’an 9:5, sometimes called “the verse of the sword”, abrogated a host of peaceful passages in earlier portions of the Qur’an. The nineteenth century Indian Muslim leader, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, and a few others have rejected this contention.

    Finally we should note here also that at the time of Muhammad’s death most of Arabia had submitted to Islamic sovereignty. With logical consistency his earliest successors dutifully carried on Islam’s expansion beyond the borders of Arabia. Within a century following Muhammad’s death Islam had moved westward across North Africa into Europe and eastward as far as present day Pakistan, a military accomplishment that perhaps remains unparalleled up to that time in history. The enterprise itself was in accordance with the Qur’an’s direction, implemented by Muhammad in Arabia, initiated beyond Arabia by his faithful caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, and continued by their successors.[7] Here is a portion of a poem in praise of Muhammad, his army and jihad, composed by Ka’b b. Malik prior to the siege at Ta’if (in Arabia), about two years prior to Muhammad’s death:

    Our leader (Muhammad) the prophet, firm,
    Pure of heart, steadfast, continent,
    Straightforward, full of wisdom, knowledge, and clemency;
    Not frivolous nor light minded.
    We obey our prophet and we obey a Lord
    Who is the Compassionate, most kind to us.
    If you offer peace we will accept it
    And make you partners in peace and war.
    If you refuse we will fight you doggedly,
    ‘Twill be no weak faltering affair.
    We shall fight as long as we live
    Till you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge.
    We will fight not caring whom we meet
    Whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains.
    How many tribes assembled against us
    Their finest stock and allies!
    They came at us thinking they had no equal
    And we cut off their noses and ears
    With our fine polished Indian swords,
    Driving them violently before us
    To the command of God and Islam,
    Until religion is established, just and straight, and
    Al-Lat and al-‘Uzza and Wudd are forgotten[14]
    And we plunder them of their necklaces and earrings.
    For they had become established and confident,
    And he who cannot protect himself must suffer disgrace.[15]

    Jihad in the Hadith

    Islam’s Hadith collections too, the second important source of Islam, devote considerable space to jihad. Almost one-third of the fourth of nine volumes of Bukhari, Islam’s principal collector of Hadith, focus on jihad as physical war. The following are a few examples:

    Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform all that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws, and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.”[16]

    Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad).” The questioner then asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause….”[17]

    Abu ‘Abs reported God’s messenger as saying, “No man whose feet become dusty in God’s path will be touched by hell.” Bukhari transmitted it.[18]

    Al-Miqdam b. Madikarib reported God’s messenger as saying, “The martyr receives six good things from God: he is forgiven at the first shedding of his blood, he is shown his abode in paradise, he is preserved from the punishment in the grave, he is kept safe from the greatest terror, he has placed on his head the crown of honour a ruby which is better than the world and what it contains, he is married to seventy-two wives of the maidens with large dark eyes, and is made intercessor for seventy of his relatives.” Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it.[19]

    Jabir b. Samura reported God’s messenger as saying, “This religion will not cease to endure with a company of the Muslims fighting on its behalf till the last hour comes.” Muslim transmitted it.[20]

    Worth noting here also is the fact that 66 page Introduction to the nine volumes of the widely distributed The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari contains a 19 page essay “The Call to Jihad (Fighting for Allah’s Cause) in the Holy Qur’an” by Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Hamid, Sacred Mosque of Mecca. The author writes in his concluding appeal to his readers:

    So it is incumbent upon us (Muslims) to follow the path which Allah’s Messenger (Muhammad) adopted to avoid polytheism and heresy in all its shapes and to take the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Traditions as torches in front of us to guide us. We have to teach our brethren and convey the Message to non-Muslims all over the world as much as possible in order to save them from the Hell-fire. We have to prepare ourselves to stand in the face of our enemy and to possess the means of power and to participate in the progress of useful industries in order to protect our religion and be powerful enough to face our enemy, as Allah, the Elevated says in Surat al-Anfal (8:60):
    And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, places, missiles and other weapons, etc.) to strike terror into the (hearts of) the Enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside, whom you may not know, but whom Allah does know. Whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah, shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.[21]

    How many terrorists would appeal to this verse “to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy”?
    Jihad in the Shari‘ah

    From the Qur’an and the Hadith we move to the Shari‘ah. The Shari‘ah is God’s Law, distinct from all human codes of law. It is God’s indispensable link between Himself and His people (ummah), the manifestation of His divine will for Muslims and for those non-Muslim minorities (or majorities) under the domination of the Muslim community. All Muslim schools of Shari‘ah acknowledge the presence and importance of jihad as warfare. Since, however, the Shari‘ah essentially reflects what its principal sources (Qur’an and Hadith) have pronounced, we limit our quotations from the Shari‘ah to the following:

    The sacred injunction concerning war is sufficiently observed when it is carried on by any one party or tribe of Mussulmans; and it is then no longer of any force with respect to the rest. It is established as a divine ordinance, by the word of God, who has said, in the Koran, “slay the infidels”, and also by a saying of the prophet, “war is permanently established until the day of judgement,” (meaning the ordinance respecting war)….
    The destruction of the sword is incurred by infidels, although they be not the first aggressors, as appears from various passages in the sacred writings which are generally received to this effect.[22]

    When the Mussulmans enter the enemy’s country, and besiege the cities or strongholds of the infidels, it is necessary to invite them to embrace the faith, because Ibn Abbas relates of the prophet that “he never destroyed any without previously inviting them to embrace the faith.” If, therefore, they embrace the faith, it is unnecessary to war with them, because that which was the design of the war is then obtained without war. The prophet, moreover, has said, “we are directed to make war upon man until such time as they shall confess THERE IS NO GOD BUT ONE GOD; but when they repeat this creed, their persons and properties are in protection.” – If they do not accept the call to the faith, they must then be called upon to pay Jizyat , or capitation-tax; because the prophet directed the commander of his armies so to do; and also, because by submitting to this tax, war is forbidden and terminated, upon the authority of the Koran. (This call to pay capitation tax, however, respects only those from whom the capitation tax is acceptable; for as to apostates and the idolaters of Arabia, to call upon them to pay the tax is useless, since nothing is accepted from them but embracing the faith, as it is thus commanded in the Koran.)[23]


    Numerous Meccan passages from the Qur’an uniformly indicate that while Muhammad resided in Mecca, he preached Islam patiently and peacefully, avoiding physical warfare with his enemy. Probably few would challenge this fact. Given this fact, then, it becomes understandable that some Muslims, claiming that Islam means peace and avoids violence, are able to substantiate their claims with Meccan passages from the Qur’an. So let all, Muslims and non-Muslims, recognize this thirteen year period of peace which endured until the Hijrah.

    It is just as clear, however, as Muslims generally have understood, that after the Hijrah Muhammad resorted to the sword in support of his ministry, at first by the permission and later by the command of God. True, a few Muslims in the past, and more at present, have described this warfare as defensive only. On the other hand, all the recognized source materials for jihad have led their traditional Muslim expositors to acknowledge a development of jihad by stages during the ministry of Muhammad, a jihad which is both defensive and offensive, a jihad which the Muslim community is to pursue until the end of time. What it has signified in the past and signifies at present for masses of Muslims is well summarized in a statement by the world renowned Ibn Khaldun (A.D. 1332-1406), Islam’s great historian, sociologist and philosopher:

    In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. Therefore, caliphate and royal authority are united in (Islam), so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them at the same.[24]

    It is also reflected in the Muslim salutation at the tomb of Muhammad:

    Peace be upon thee, O Apostle. We witness that thou hast truly delivered the message, that thou hast striven in the way of God until God glorified His religion and perfected it.[25]

    Herein lies the Islamic priority of the peaceful proclamation of God’s unity and sovereignty and, if circumstances demand it, the enforcement of the peaceful proclamation through “striving in the way of Allah” upon those who resist the peaceful proclamation.

    Is this, then, to say that Islam is intrinsically violent and supportive of violence?[26] Is one to attribute the New York Trade Centre catastrophe directly to Islam? Surely there are masses of Muslims who, consciously or unconsciously, reject terrorism and even the military face of Islam associated with jihad in Islam.[27] And surely even if they recognize the historical reality of jihad in traditional Islam, it is still theirs to reject its present validity because, they feel, jihad ought to have been a temporarily imposed duty only and is now obsolete and in need of reinterpretation.[28] In any case, it is ultimately God’s prerogative to judge the terrorist and his act, as well as his intention and source of inspiration.

    Yet, at the same time, if jihad is a concern for society (Muslim and non-Muslim), it is imperative that society examine Islam’s source materials and the understanding of the great expositors on the subject. The majority of the Qur’an’s texts themselves clearly identify jihad as physical warfare in Islam and, Islamically, God’s way of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. They hardly require to be interpreted metaphorically. Likewise, from the Hadith and the earliest biographies of Muhammad it is just as evident that the early Muslim community understood these Quranic texts to be taken literally. Historically, therefore, from the time of Muhammad onwards, jihad as physical warfare in support of the message of Islam has been a reality for the Muslim community. Hence it comes as no surprise when even terrorists easily appeal to these source materials to justify their actions, not to speak of their teachers who teach the theory and the art of terrorism.

    Nor, it may be added, should it cause surprise that many other Muslims today seriously oppose its violent implications and seek out new interpretations. For this we may be grateful.

    Then, what about the Muslim claims that Islam means peace, that it is in harmony with other religions, that it rejects violence? No doubt, for Muslims Islam may mean peace in its traditional Muslim sense, i.e., in so far as they have submitted to the conditions Islam imposes upon them. However, Islamically speaking, Islam has never meant peace for idolaters unless the idolaters abandon idolatry and embrace Islam. Nor, Islamically, has Islam meant peace for the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), unless the People of the Book submit to Islamic political rule and the dhimmi conditions which the Shari‘ah imposes upon them as the People of the Book. Thus, Muslims must clarify the nature of Islam’s peace, for whom and under what conditions Islam means peace, and how Islam promotes racial and religious harmony with other races and religions. Likewise, if jihad does not mean holy war, let Muslims explain why not and what it does mean. Surely, if by Islamic definition the primary purpose of jihad is the extension and defence of Islamic dominion, it also includes, under the shadow of war, the invitation to the enemy to submit to Islamic rule, perhaps even to embrace Islam itself, or to fight. Islamically, the invitation is compulsory and naturally precedes any battle. Truly, both word and sword are integral to jihad, yoked equally and working in harmony.
    A detailed response to Yusuf Eades
    Mark Durie

    February 2002

    In the last issue of the Melbourne Anglican (February 2002) Yusuf Eades, an Australian convert to Islam and former student of mine at Melbourne University, took issue with certain comments I made on the Qu’ran. Yusuf, in responding to my questions, affirmed the tolerance of the Qur’an, but gave no explanation for the violence or its supersessionist teachings about Christianity and Judaism.
    I have prepared a summary response to Yusuf, which has been submitted to the Melbourne Anglican as a letter. This is a more detailed response.
    Jihad in the Qur’an and the Sunna
    It is a matter of fact that there are in the Qur’an repeated calls to violence against unbelievers. The question is how to interpret these, and specifically, how has Islam interpreted them.
    Here it is necessary to realize that the verses of the Qur’an are linked to events in Muhammad’s lifetime: this is crucial in interpreting them correctly, because verses revealed later can contradict or modify earlier verses. This principle is known in Islamic theology as ‘abrogation’. Specifically the revelation of jihad must be understood in the context of Muhammad’s whole life. In his early Meccan period Muhammad followed a path of non-violent testimony: fighting was forbidden. Subsequently Muhammad migrated to Medina to avoid persecution. After the migration jihad was revealed. Later, after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad is recorded as saying “There is no migration after the conquest, but jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called forth for fighting, go forth immediately.”
    Yusuf Eades regards the famous verse ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (2:256) as ‘central to the Islamic world view’. Yet, according to a tradition of Mujahid “This was before the Messenger of God was commanded to fight against the People of the Book. God’s saying ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ was abrogated and he was commanded to fight against the People of the Book in the Sura Repentance.”
    This reference is to verse 9:29, which reads “Fight those who believe not in Allah, nor in the last Day, nor forbid that which Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, nor follow the Religion of Truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the poll-tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.” Thus Tabiri (d. 923 AD) wrote ‘The People of the Book are not to be compelled to enter Islam if they submit to paying [tribute].’ That is, ‘no compulsion’ is something which is granted only to those who surrender to Islamic rule, under the terms of a treaty.
    This is the classical Islamic doctrine of jihad as applied to Christians and Jews: it is an obligation to fight Christians and Jews (‘People of the Book’) until they convert to Islam, or until they surrender, agreeing to pay a headtax and to live under the political dominion of Islam. When Yusuf rejects defining jihad as fighting to spread Islam, his argument is not with me, but with numerous Islamic authorities.
    My understanding of this difficult topic has been enlightened by a significant theological essay on the Quranic foundations of jihad. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Hamid, Sheikh of the Sacred Mosque of Mecca published his essay, entitled The call to Jihad (fighting for Allah’s cause) in the Holy Qur’an, in the introduction to the 9-volume published English-language edition of the Sahih Bukhari. The Sahih Bukhari is the most authoritative Sunna collection, and the most revered book in Islam after the Qur’an. This call to Muslims to engaged in jihad can be found reproduced on countless Muslim websites around the world.
    In his essay Abdullah bin Muhammad makes it very clear that jihad means fighting:
    “And the verses of the Book (Qur’an) and Sunna (The Prophet’s Tradition) have exhorted greatly for Jihad and have made quite clear its rewards, and praised greatly those who perform Jihad (the Muslim Holy War-fare) and explained to them the news of various kinds of honours which they will receive from their Lord (Allah). This is because they (Mujahideen) are Allah’s troops.” (p. xxv) [Material in brackets is in the original.]
    The Sheikh of Mecca further describes the progressive revelation concerning jihad, which progressed from an initial prohibition of fighting in the Meccan period, to a permission to fight, to an obligation to fight:
    “So at first ‘the fighting’ was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory .” (p xxiv)
    “So they (Muslims) were not permitted to abandon ‘the fighting’ against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are strong and have the possibility of fighting against them.” (p. xxiv) [Material in brackets is in the original.]
    The Sheikh later compares Islam’s doctrine of warfare with other ideologies, making the point that Islam’s doctrine of warfare is more comprehensive and self-fulfilling than all other ideologies:
    “And you will not find any organization past or present, religious or nonreligious as regards (Jihad and military) (ordering) the whole nation to march forth and mobilize all of them into active military service as a single row for Jihad in Allah’s cause so as to make superior the word of Allah (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), as you will find in the Islamic Religion and its teachings.” (p. xxix) [Material in brackets is in the original.]
    The Sheikh of Mecca is not alone in his opinion. Ibn Kaldun, the most famous Muslim historian, who was also a jurist and judge, wrote the following in his ‘Introduction to History’ (Al Muqaddimah):
    “In the Muslim community, holy war [jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. Therefore caliphate and royal authority are united, so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them [religion and politics] at the same time. The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war [jihad] was not a religious duty to them, save only for purposes of defence. …” [After a discussion of Christian beliefs he continues:] “We do not think that we should blacken the pages of this book with discussion of their dogmas of unbelief. In general, they are well known. All of them are unbelief. This is clearly stated in the noble Qur’an. [To] discuss or argue those things with them is not up to us. It is [for them to choose between] conversion to Islam, payment of the poll-tax, or death.” [I, 480]
    Muhammad spoke of the divine call to jihad as a distinctive of his prophethood. He understood this in terms of his victory through a campaign of terror and his rights to the spoils of war (Muhammad’s share was the quint – 20% of the total taken):
    “I have been given five things which were not given to any one else [i.e. any other prophet] before me. 1. Allah made me triumphant by terror for a period of a month. 2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum (purification without water), therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due. 3. Booty has been made lawful for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. 4. I have been given the right of intercession. 5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.”
    All the Sunna collections include a substantial book or chapter headed ‘Jihad’, each of which is concerned with fighting and warfare. In the Sunna, ‘fighting non-believers’ is a commonplace interpretation of the word jihad. A typical example is the story of a man once came to Muhammad and asked him: ‘Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad’. Muhammad replied that there was no greater deed, and the Muslim fighter is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse.
    The Qur’an itself contains many Suras which deal with fighting (as the Sheikh of Medina explains). Several are named after battles or aspects of warfare (‘fighting’, ‘trenches’, ‘victory’, ‘rows’, and ‘booty’). In the first thousand years after Muhammad many renowned scholars of Islam wrote treatises on ‘Jihad’. All are about warfare. The website of Al-Muhajiroun, a London-based association of Muslims, whose representatives have appeared regularly on British television, defines jihad as ‘using military force, where diplomacy fails, to remove the obstacles the Islamic State faces in carrying its ideology to mankind’. In Let us be Muslims, a book recommended by the Office of the Islamic Council of Victoria, the author Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi has a concluding chapter which is entitled ‘Central Importance of Jihad’ and which speaks of toppling Western governments. The final sentence of this chapter is: “Let us not be like those who claim to believe in Allah, but give neither time, money, nor lives for the sake of His Din (religion, sovereignty). Let us come forward and fight in Allah’s cause with whatever we possess.”
    Ibn Warraq and Bat Ye’or
    Ibn Warraq is a secular humanist of Indian Muslim background. I do not agree with all his positions on Islam, nor do I always agree with the tone in which they are put, but they are informed and worthy of consideration. His arguments, like Bertrand Russell’s arguments against Christianity, deserve careful consideration. The fact that Ibn Warraq opposes classical Islamic doctrine does not mean that his views should be dismissed or ignored. The historian Bat Ye’or (a pseudonym meaning ‘daughter of the Nile’) is originally from Egypt and is now a British citizen. She is a descendant of the ancient Egyptian Jewish community, which now has all but disappeared after more than 2,500 years. As a former Egyptian Jew, the Daughter of the Nile has every right to examine the history of Islam’s treatment of the People of the Book, because this is her history too. Her carefully researched historical works, like the writings of Ibn Warraq, deserve our consideration.
    The Acehnese struggle against the Dutch
    Yusuf objected to my use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with Acehnese resistance to Dutch colonialism. My use of this word was not meant as a moral judgement of the Acehnese cause, nor did I attribute their battle for freedom to religious intolerance. My point was about the theological category of their resistance.
    Certainly the Acehnese were entitled to resist the Dutch invaders and they fought bravely. This included, right up until WWII, sporadic and unpredictable attacks against Dutch civilians. This phenomenon is well-documented in both Dutch and Acehnese sources, and it was conducted according to the doctrine of jihad.
    Does Islam respect Christian history?
    Yusuf objected to my suggestion that Islam denies Christianity its history. The most telling example of what I mean by this is Islam’s rejection of the death of Jesus (Sura 4:157-158). This rejection is consistent with the view that it would be unthinkable for God to permit his prophet to be crucified. As God has power over all things, he would not let one of his prophets be treated as a ‘loser’ (a Qur’anic term for disbelievers). The one thing that ancient pagan, Jewish and Christian sources agree on concerning Jesus is that he died. The whole edifice of Christian belief is built upon the historical fact of Jesus’ death. The gospel narratives revolve around this event. The Islamic claim that Jesus never died is the most profound rejection of Christian history that one could imagine.
    Does Islam respect Christianity?
    Yusuf also overestimates Islam’s respect for Christianity. Certainly the Qur’an has much to say about Jesus, a figure whom Muhammad admired greatly, and compared himself to. However, when the Qur’an speaks of those who ‘[truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel’ (5:68) one must remember that Moses and Jesus are understood to be Muslim prophets, and the ‘Torah’ and ‘Gospel’ to be revelations of Islam – like the Qur’an – which are now lost in their original form. Historic Christianity and Judaism are regarded as corrupted forms of Islam. What Islam affirms in these religions is nothing more nor less than what it discerns as the somewhat obscured image of Islam itself. In contrast, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is called shirk ‘association’, one of the most blasphemous of all sins. Muhammad repeatedly commanded that all who change their religion away from Islam should be put to death, e.g. “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” Apostasy is one of only three crimes for which it was permissible to put a Muslim to death. This penalty remains the law of the land in half a dozen Muslim countries today. Respect for Christianity is logically incompatible with a command to put converts to Christianity to death. It is also logically incompatible with the ideology of perpetual obligatory jihad.
    The Muslim writer Shamim A. Siddiqi of Flushing, New York put the classical position of Islam towards Christianity very clearly in a recent letter to Daniel Pipes, New York Post columnist:
    “Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad were all prophets of Islam. Islam is the common heritage of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America, and establishing the Kingdom of God is the joint responsibility of all three Abrahamic faiths. Islam was the din (faith, way of life) of both Jews and Christians, who later lost it through human innovations. Now the Muslims want to remind their Jewish and Christian brothers and sisters of their original din. These are the facts of history.”
    This strategy – of appearing to affirm Christianity and Judaism – is a cornerstone of Muslim apologetics amongst Christians. What is being affirmed is in fact neither historical Christianity nor Judaism, but Jesus as a prophet of Islam, Moses as a Muslim etc. This is strategy is intended to lead to ‘reversion’ of Christians and Jews to Islam, which is what Sidiqqi is referring to when he speaks of ‘the joint responsibility’ of Jews and Christians to establish ‘the Kingdom of God’, which is a kind of code for shari’ah law and the rule of Islam.
    The Qur’an teaches that the Christian and Jewish scriptures were deliberately corrupted by their followers. However this is contradicted by the facts of history. When during the Renaissance Western Christians rediscovered the Hebrew scriptures, they found them to agree remarkably closely with their Greek and Latin translations which had been copied and recopied over a thousand years. There were copying errors, and some minor additions, but no significant fabrications of the stupendous scale which would be required in order to concoct the story of Jesus’ death. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, they included Hebrew Biblical manuscripts dating from before the time of Jesus. These too were found to agree remarkably closely with the Hebrew Masoretic texts of a thousand years later. Again, no fabrications, but evidence of remarkably faithful copying.
    In the manuscript evidence for its canon, Christianity compares most favourably with Islam. The Islamic canon consists of Qur’an and the Hadith. Certainly the New Testament contains no text functionally equivalent to the Qur’an, which is regarded in Islam as a direct transcription of divine speech. There is no evidence that Jesus received a ‘book’ such as this. The equivalent of the Christian gospels are the Hadith (or Sunna) –traditions of Muhammad’s words and example, which the Qur’an states are binding for the Muslim community. These traditions determine a great deal of Islamic observance. They are organized, not in narrative sequence like the gospels, but in collections according to thematic headings. The gospels are attested by thousands of primary manuscripts, more than any other ancient text. The earliest papyrus manuscripts date from the first hundred years after their originals were composed, and the originals were put down within living memory of Jesus. In contrast the Hadith were only codified in written form in the third century after Muhammad. This is a longer time gap than has passed since Captain Cook first landed on the shores of Australia.
    Christianity in Islamic Eschatology
    In all the three great monotheistic religions, eschatology – the doctrine of the last things – is of fundamental importance. The last things represent the final longed-for consummation of these religion’s hopes and aspirations. The traditions of the Sunna describe the end-times destiny of Christianity and Judaism in vivid terms. Muhammad said of the last days “You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone would say: ‘Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew (hiding behind me); kill him.” Of the future return of Christ, Muhammad said: “The Son of Mary will shortly descend amongst you (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the cross and kill the pig and abolish the poll-tax. Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts.” Tha’alibi interpreted this saying as follows: Jesus ‘É will make war on behalf of Islam, until in his time he destroys all religions save that of Islam …” Of course the cross is a symbol of Christianity. The poll-tax symbolizes the protection of the lives and property of conquered ‘people of the Book’ (see discussion of Sura 9:29 above). Its abolition implies their death or conversion to Islam. The resulting abundance of money refers to the booty that will result from this conquest.
    The Constitution of Medina and its aftermath
    Yusuf refers to the Constitution of Medina as a model of tolerance and religious harmony. This was a declaration by Muhammad inviting the Jews of Medina to submit to his rule in Medina as the Messenger of God, but allowing them to retain their religion.
    As an experiment in religious tolerance the Constitution of Medina had a tragic outcome. The history of Muhammad’s life and the Sunna record Muhammad’s annoyance with the Jews of Medina who disputed his claims about the Hebrew scriptures and also his claim to be a prophet of God. After a time two Jewish tribes, the Banu Qaynuqa’ and the Banu al-Nadir, were expelled from Medina, leaving their lands and homes to the Muslims. One of these tribes was first invited to convert to Islam, and only expelled after they had declined this invitation.
    Later when the pagan Meccans came to attack Medina, the Meccan forces withdrew unexpectedly. Then Muhammad turned his troops against the remaining Jewish tribe of Medina, the Banu Qurayza, who had stayed neutral during the aborted siege by the Meccans. The Qurayza surrendered hoping that they might at least at least have their lives spared, as had happened with the other two Jewish tribes. Instead Muhammad had all the men beheaded in batches in the Medina marketplace, 600 to 900 of them, and the women and children distributed amongst the Muslims as slaves. One of the Qurayza women became a wife for Muhammad. Some time later Muhammad besieged the Jews of Khaybar Oasis, to the north of Medina, and took many captives, including a new wife for himself, Safiyya. To a man who asked Muhammad, perhaps with some doubt about this enterprise, ‘On what issue should I fight the people [the Jews of Khaybar Oasis]?’, Muhammad replied ‘Fight until they [become Muslims] and when they do that, then their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands.’ However Muhammad did allow some Jews to remain at Khaybar and to continue farming their lands on condition of paying a 50% tax to the Muslims. Eventually these too were expelled, and Muhammad’s death bed wish was for no other religion but Islam to exist in Arabia. These episodes provided normative precedents for Islamic case law relating to the jihad, which regulating the taking of booty and the rights of the conquered peoples. These are also among the foundational stories of the origins of Islam, which have helped shape its attitude to peoples of other faiths.
    Concluding remarks
    I have no desire to condemn a billion Muslims to perpetual jihad against unbelievers. There are enough Islamic authorities already preaching this message without me adding my voice to them. It would also be a terrible mistake to believe that most Muslims around the world believe in this jihad.
    However what I do insist upon is that Christians have a right and a duty to examine Islam in the light of its foundational authorities – the Qur’an and the Sunna.
    We have a right to read and understand the theological claims of intelligent Muslims, like Maududi, an intellectual father of the worldwide Islamist revival, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Hamid, incumbent of the pulpit in the most sacred mosque in the Muslim world. We have a right to say ‘This is what some significant Muslims teach, and let’s look at the evidence in the Qur’an for their beliefs.’ In the light of the Islamic canon their claims deserve careful consideration and do not appear to be not historical aberrations or mad fabrications. Indeed, of all the Muslim writers that I have read on the subject of jihad, it is those who believe in jihad as perpetual, obligatory warfare against unbelievers who make the most comprehensive and convincing use of Qur’an and Sunna sources in their arguments.
    I am not saying that all Muslims believe these things. It is objectionable that Muslim dawa (proclamation) to Westerners, as found in countless tracts, widely viewed television documentaries, and many books, has the effect of concealing the classical doctrine of jihad as warfare. At the same time these very teachings are fundamental for understanding widespread official and unofficial discrimination against Christians in Muslim countries, as well as what is happening in the diverse zones of jihad fighting such as Kashmir, Israel-Palestine, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Chechenya and now the USA as well. The twin claims that Islam is the epitome of tolerance, and that jihad is essentially non-violent, serve to conceal the sufferings of millions, both today and throughout history. This motivates my interest in this topic. Finally I must emphasize that Christendom has had its own appalling history. My reflections above are not intended to minimize this. Nor am I saying that Christians are better people than Muslims. ‘All have sinned’, as the Bible puts it. My concern in these reflections is primarily with the theological foundations of Islamic faith, the need to understand how some Muslims have made use of these foundations in constructing their theological understandings, and the effects of these theologies in history.
    A comparative study might explore the life of Jesus, whose non-violent example offers a very different model of the Kingdom of God from that of Muhammad. But that is another story …


    Status of Women in Qur’an

    Preface and Comparison with the Bible
    The general perception is that Muslim men treat women as if they are inferior. Is this behavior a cultural problem or is it based squarely on the teaching of the verses Mohammed recited, which are recorded in the Qur’an? The twenty-nine verses gathered in this chapter make it obvious that Islam teaches that men are not only superior, and thus have authority over women, but they are even commanded to beat them if they are rebellious.
    There are many instances of women being mistreated by men in countries that have a Christian heritage as well. The difference is that the Bible primarily promotes the dignity of each individual regardless of their gender. History shows that where the gospel is embraced, human rights gradually improve. There are significant reasons for this trend.
    Christians believe their lives should be modeled after that of the Lord Jesus who spent time teaching women, which broke with the customs of his day (Luke 10:38-42). His respect was demonstrated even toward sinful women who turned to him for compassion (Luke 7:36-39). He crossed racial and cultural barriers to reveal his true identity to a Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42). After his resurrection, Jesus honored the female disciples by appearing to them first (Matthew 28:8-10).
    Many Christians interpret various Biblical passages to mean that men and women have different roles to play in the home and church, even so, Christians agree that the Bible clearly teaches the equality of the sexes. In the beginning of the Bible it reveals that God created “man” and created “him” as both “male and female.” They were both created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). In God’s eyes a husband and wife become one person in marriage (Genesis 2:24). In the New Testament, it is written that, as Christians, there is equality among all believers. It reveals that, in the church, there is no longer male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free but they are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
    The Qur’an Says …
    Inferiority of Women Men have authority over women because they were made to be superior and because men spend their resources to take care of women (4:34). Men have a higher status or are considered a degree above women, so in matters of divorce, the man has more rights (2:228).
    Possessions The things men are tempted to covet are women, sons, gold and silver, horses, cattle and fields. These are the possessions of this world but the most important thing is a righteous life (3:14).
    Superiority of Men and Wife Beating Men are in charge of women because they have been created superior to them and because they support them. Good women are obedient. Women who are suspected of disobedience must be scolded, made to sleep alone and beaten. When they return to obedience, no further punishment should be administered (4:34).
    Fields to Plow Women are fields for men to own and plow whenever and however they wish (2:223).
    Enemies Wives and children are enemies of believers. Beware of them. If the believer forgives their offenses then Allah will also. Wealth and children are a temptation. One’s first obligation is to pay attention to Allah, obey him and give generously to charity (64:14-17).
    Value and Nature of Women Having sons is of greater value than having daughters since women grow up wearing cheap jewelry and are unable to speak logically in an argument. Those that think that the angels are female will have to answer for this belief. Those who believe that Allah has daughters who are goddesses are wrong and unfair. He does not! Why would Allah have daughters when sons are preferable (17:40, 43:16-19, 53:19-22)?
    Trustworthiness of Women Two men are required to witness a loan agreement. If two men can not be found, then one man and two women will suffice. The women are to be chosen carefully. Two are required so that if one of them makes a mistake or forgets something the other may remind her (2:282).
    Inequity In Financial Matters Males are to inherit twice as much as females. If only two or more daughters survive, they may split two-thirds of the estate. If only one daughter survives, she may only inherit half of the estate (4:11). If a woman dies, her husband will inherit half of her estate if there are no children. On the other hand, a widow will inherit only one fourth of their husbands estate (if there are no children) (4:12). If a man dies childless and he has a sister, she may inherit half of his estate. If a woman dies childless, her brother may inherit all of her estate. If a man dies childless and he has both brothers and sisters, the share of each male will be that of two females (4:176).
    Covering The wives of Mohammed and Muslim women are to cover themselves with their cloak when away from home in such a way that they may be recognized but not harmed (33:59).
    Potential Slaves Muslims are those who abstain from sexual relations beyond their wives and slave girls they have captured in battle. Such relationships are blameless (23:5-6). Slaves do not share equally the riches Allah gives their owners. Their owners do not fear their slaves as they do their fellow Muslims (30:28).
    Sons are a Blessing Wives, sons and grandsons are rewards for believers (16:72).
    Women Confined for Indecency If a woman is accused by four witnesses of indecency and she confesses to it, confine her to her home until she dies or until Allah finds another way. If two men are convicted for the same thing they should both be punished but if they repent leave them alone (4:15,16).
    Adulterers 100 Lashes Both the male and female who are guilty of adultery or premarital sex are to be flogged with one hundred lashes. Absolutely no mercy is to be given. It is to be witnessed by a group of Muslims. They can only marry a person who has been found guilty of the same crime or an unbeliever in Islam (24:2).


      Your own thoughts? As always~~ Reflect yourself please.

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