Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Muslims, Moses and the Raids of Muhammad

I've often noted that one of the reasons it is difficult to talk with Muslims about Muhammad and Islam is that Muhammad and Islam are the last things they want to talk about. Ask a Muslim a question about Muhammad, and he'll ask you a question about Moses!

True to form, Loonwatch introduced an announced series on Jihad by talking about - guess who - Moses. Following a detailed analysis of his wars, Loonwatch said they would continue with a discussion of the wars of Muhammad. I'm looking forward to that, and wonder which approach they will take.

Will it be the classic "Stages of Jihad" approach taught by Muslim scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi? He states that Jihad was revealed to Muhammad in three stages. When Muslims first faced opposition in Mecca, Allah's instructions were to be patient, pray, and not retaliate (Quran 4: 77). After the first Muslims migrated to Medina, permission to fight was given to "those who were fought against" (Quran 22:39). In the final stage, Muhammad was ordered to fight the unbelievers until there was no more Fitnah (Quran 2:193), defined by Qaradawi as persecution or oppression of the believers, and until Allah alone was worshipped (Quran 8:39). If Loonwatch takes that approach, it will be interesting to read their explanation of how Usama bin Ladin is wrong for believing that same war is continuing today.

Or will Loonwatch choose the rose-tinted glasses approach of Reza Aslan, who in No god but God describes Muhammad's practice of robbing trade caravans as follows, "Just to make sure the Quraysh got Muhammad's message challenging Mecca's religious and economic hegemony over the Peninsula, he sent his followers out into the desert to take part in the time-honored Arab tradition of caravan raiding. In pre-Islamic Arabia, caravan raiding was a legitimate means for small clans to benefit from the wealth of larger ones. It was in no way considered stealing, and as long as no violence occurred and no blood was shed, there was no need for retribution. The raiding party would quickly descend on a caravan - usually at its rear - and carry off whatever they could get their hands on before being discovered. These periodic raids were certainly a nuisance for the caravan leaders, but in general they were considered part of the innate hazards of transporting large amounts of goods through a vast and unprotected desert."

So robbing caravans carrying the foodstuffs entire Arab tribes depended upon for survival was just a matter of boys will be boys, like university students on spring break in Daytona? Tell that to Amr bin al-Hadrami. He was leading a trade caravan carrying dry raisins, leather, and other goods when Muhammad's marauders decided to attack. Historian Ibn Ishaq records that the Muslims determined to kill as many caravan personnel as possible before making off with the booty. Amr was killed with an arrow, the others were taken prisoner and later released for ransom, and Muhammad was given one-fifth of all the stolen merchandise.

Perhaps Loonwatch will adopt the argument of Tariq Ramadan, who justifies the raids in his book The Footsteps of the Prophet by saying they were to take back the equivalent of the properties in Mecca that were expropriated from the Muslims who migrated to Medina with Muhammad. I like this! So if someone from Philadelphia steals my car, I can just go to Philadelphia and steal someone's car in retaliation? I wonder how far that would get me in court! But even more serious is the fact that Tariq's claim is without any historical documentation. It is important to understand that there are only a few extant writings of the early history of Islam. Their well-known authors include Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Al-Wakidi, Ibn Sa'd, and al-Tabari. Apart from that, there is nothing. If what Tariq said was true, it would have been recorded by these early historians, but there is nothing there. It is easy for Tariq to claim to unknowing and gullible Westerners that the properties and belongings of the immigrants were stolen after their departure, but it is only his speculation, his attempt to justify Muhammad's raids.

Perhaps Loonwatch will take the even more fanciful approach of author Muhammad Haykal in his book The Life of Muhammad. Haykal argues that the raids were really intended to make peace with the Quraysh and other enemies of Muhammad. The Muslims had to show themselves strong, according to Haykal, to entice the other tribes to seek peace with them.

Behind all these justifications is the claim that Muhammad's raids were somehow a form of self-defense. It is impossible to read them in the original Islamic source documents - not the apologies written by Aslan and Ramadan and others 14 centuries later - and conclude they were in any way undertaken in self-defense. Page after page of the original biographies read like this, "And after three months in Medina, the Prophet sent out his army against this or that tribe." These raids were aggressive acts of war to gain wealth and power.

The camel caravans were the economic life-line for the Arab tribes in Muhammad's day. The goods that were bought and sold in destinations such as Damascus provided the foodstuffs and supplies that enabled the Arabs to live. When Muhammad moved to Medina, he could have developed his own caravans, but found it easier to simply rob the caravans of others. It will be interesting to see how Loonwatch handles that.

54 comments:

Steffen said...

Islamic apology has perhaps developed along the following lines until we reach the fanciful flights of fantasy entertained by Tariq Ramadan or Karen Armstrong:

1) "The Muslim prophet did so-and-so", in time becomes
2) "No doubt the Muslim prophet was thinking so-and-so", and this finally becomes
3) "Always in the prophet's mind was that ...", etc etc.

It IS mere guesswork though.

Shades of Gray said...

Interesting argument going on in the loonwatch thread about the site posting a picture of Moses.  Apparently the author (Danios) is not Muslim and is receiving backlash from some of the Muslim readership.  It reminds me of a "discouraging thought" I read once - "You know your pet cat that you feed, nurture, and protect in return for its affection?  If it were 300lbs bigger it would kill and eat you." 

"Moderate" Islam is loonwatch's domestic cat.  Nice enough at this size, and it's fulfilling to think your its protector and caregiver. Sure, it will nip at you sometimes but what harm can it do? But make it 100x bigger and give it free roam of your house - and you are the one who will need protecting.  Why?  Because that's its nature.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Yes, I saw that thread where some apparently hard-line, highly superstitious Muslim came in to the comment thread and demanded that that image of "Moses" (actually a preposterous-looking picture of Charleton Heston hamming it up as Moses!) be removed, on the belief that Islam forbids such images. And then Danios, lacking integrity, spine, and honesty, went along with it and bowed with a full submission to Islam and removed the picture and replaced it with a picture of a Bible. (How long before that too is considered offensive/haram at Loonwatch?).

Susanne said...

I remember being shocked when I read Aslan's book and he dismissed stealing from caravans as no big deal. Since Muh claims he was one of the line of prophets - oh, shall we mention Moses here? - then what part of "thou shalt not steal" did God cancel out?

Another good one was I think Karen Armstrong who said Muhammad cared about his people and wanted to get their attention so he could tell them about Islam.So he raided their caravans. Because we all know stealing from someone is the BEST way to share the good news of God!

FAIL!

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Testing. Problems posting.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Danios' caving in, and changing the picture of Moses, due to complaints from some Muslim readers, due to mere superstitions about images (superstitions that not all Muslims have), is interesting. It shows an interesting set of priorities and values on his part. Contrast that example of Danios' eagerness to please the most hard-core Muslims at Loonwatch with his apparent obliviousness to two other major problems about which he received complaints:

1. His posting of a false picture of, and fabricated headline and caption quotes falsely attributed to, Al Mutarjim.

He refused to remove the picture, even though some commenters objected, and even though at least one commenter (apparently a Muslim fundamentalist of some sort) had written an angry response directed at Al Mutarjim, in which the writer assumed Al Mutarjim was the man in the picture. (And we don't even know who the man in the picture is, nor does Danios explain any of this). Danios' response, that the man in the picture is not Al Mutarjim, is buried way down in the comment section. If you blinked while scrolling down through the comment section you might miss it.

Despite these complaints about something no normal ethical person would have done in the first place, Danios has made no effort to retract his fabricated quotes, and has not removed the deceptive picture.

2. Danios' posting of an extremely misleading (I would say brazenly deceptive) article about Al Mutarjim. In it Danios and Dawood allege that Al Mutarjim misrepresented a fatwa by falsely translating the word nikah and failing to quote important material. Danios and Dawood received critical feedback about this; however, they refused to retract their demonstrably false allegations. Their deceptive article remains up at Loonwatch, with no revisions, no updates, no retractions.

In other words, Danios will create and maintain falsehoods, even in the face of complaints and evidence against those falsehoods, in order to attack "Islamophobes."

Yet, with willing compliance (though clearly upset that anyone would have any negative feedback whatsoever about his article!), Danios changed a picture (of a late Hollywood actor Charlton Heston playing Moses) just because a few Muslim fundamentalists complained.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

It's interesting that Danios caved in to complaints and removed the image of Moses (played by actor Charlton Heston), and yet maintains other articles that contain falsehoods and deception.

In one article, Danios posted a false picture of Al Mutarjim, and fabricated two quotes (one a headline and the other a caption to the fraudulent picture) and falsely attributed them to Al Mutarjim. Despite complaints, those items remain up; there is no revision or correction or retraction in the article.

In another article, Danios and Dawood made false allegations against Al Mutarjim in relation to a translation he had done. They lied and withheld information from their readers about the meaning of the Arabic word "nikah." They also withheld important parts of the fatwa that was translated, thus knowingly misleading readers as to its contents, all the while accusing Al Mutarjim of the same offense. And yet Dawood's and Danios' fraudulent, deceptive article remains on the Loonwatch site. There is no update, retraction, or correction.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous 3)

“It's interesting that Danios caved in to complaints and removed the image of Moses (played by actor Charlton Heston), and yet maintains other articles that contain falsehoods and deception.”

It’s interesting that: (1) Most Muslims in the thread believed that the picture should stay and that the “superstitious” Muslims was overreacting. (2) Most were far more sensitive to Christian and Jewish sensibilities than Islamophobes. (3) And how pathetic STAV’s case is against Loonwatch.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous 3)

Can someone please tell me what Muhammad’s raids have to do with the article on the Bible’s representation of Moses? It seems palpable that the author is a bit butthurt that Loonwatch brutally pwned him. Perhaps he will be man enough and admit that violence perpetrated by the ancient Israelites far outstripped anything perpetrated by Muhammad and the early Muslims, as was the point of Loonwatch’s article. Of course, Muslims will continue to be maligned for the martial actions of Muhammad while Christians and Jews will remain mostly free of any similar criticism. Alas, hypocrisy and double standards are the modus operandi of the anti-Muslim blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous 3)

In one article, Danios posted a false picture of Al Mutarjim, and fabricated two quotes (one a headline and the other a caption to the fraudulent picture)

Actually, Danios explicitly says that picture is not of “The Translated” in the comments section. The picture, title and caption were simply in keeping with Loonwatch’s satirical style, appropriately mocking morons who think their doing God a favor by demonizing an entire religion. Using your faulty logic, we should malign Robert Spencer for his fabricated captions.

They lied and withheld information from their readers about the meaning of the Arabic word "nikah."

Wrong again. Here’s a comment from Dawood regarding this claim forwarded by the loons:

Jack: Their not allowing my comments on their site severely limits any response to their inane assertions. The irony being that ‘Quotable Quotes’ proclaimed that he did not delete/edit any comments, yet the one clearly posted under my own name and linking Loonwatch did not get through the filter (I have a screen grab).

“Nikah” means sexual intercourse only if using Google translate as your Arabic “source”… which again shows their standard of Arabic ability. No reliable authority (emphasis on reliable) in the language connects “nikah” to sexual intercourse. I have consulted Lane’s Arabic Lexicon (the de-facto standard in Classical Arabic, pub. circa 1865-95 in 8 volumes), Hava’s Arabic-English Dictionary (pub. circa 1899), Hans Wehr (de-facto standard for Modern Standard Arabic, Al-Mu’jam al-Wasit (a well-respected Arabic-Arabic dictionary) and other resources, and all connect anything from the trilateral root n k h to marriage only. Lane is especially clear on the fact that it doesn’t refer to sexual intercourse – even in the pre-Islamic period. There is absolutely no mention of sexual intercourse whatsoever in any of them. I will post screen-shots if required, and if I can figure out how to attach them to comments.

The only recourse they may have is that the verb “nakaha” (نكح) (not “nikah” (نكاح) – for those who don’t speak Arabic, please look – there is another letter added which entirely shifts the meaning; it is no longer a verb) might be used colloquially in some dialects to mean sex with one’s spouse. Although personally, I have never heard it once.

Regardless of this, Al-Mutarajjam was translating a fatwa. A fatwa is an Islamic legal opinion, and fatwas are always written in formal (in this case Islamic) ‘legalese’, as most legal pronouncements are in all

*The only quibble I have with the above is that Google translate renders "nikah" as marriage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikah

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but I attempted to post a rebuttal to Anonymous 2's claims but my comment isn't going through.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3 wrote:

"It’s interesting that: (1) Most Muslims in the thread believed that the picture should stay and that the “superstitious” Muslims was overreacting.

That has nothing to do with the point I was making, namely, that Danios caved in over a silly photo, due to a completely irrational baseless complaint, yet in other cases he perpetrated and maintains false, fraudulent, deceptive articles on the site.

"(2) Most were far more sensitive to Christian and Jewish sensibilities than Islamophobes."

If a criticism is fair, I'm not sure why sensitivity seems to be a priority over truth and fairness. If Danios thinks the OT is more violent than the Quran, let him try to prove his case. But I don't see how any of these claims about the OT absolve the violence and hatred promoted in the Quran.

"(3) And how pathetic STAV’s case is against Loonwatch."

"Case" with respect to what? I'm not sure that SATV wants to get into a debate per se. I think SATV views a lot of this as pretty childish and petty, particularly when there are serious issues at hand and Loonwatchers are looking to pounce on spelling mistakes and the like. But that's just my impression; I don't want to presume to speak for SATV.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3 wrote:
"Can someone please tell me what Muhammad’s raids have to do with the article on the Bible’s representation of Moses?"

That's quite funny. Loonwatch is doing a series on Jihad, and they introduced an irrelevancy about Moses. SATV's article is in part about Loonwatch's attempt to shift attention off of Muhammad while they introduce their series on Jihad. And then you ask, essentially, "what does this have to with Moses?"

"It seems palpable that the author is a bit butthurt that Loonwatch brutally pwned him."

Are you the same poster who was talking about sensitivity? Now you are using a metaphor implying that a Loonwatch author sexually assaulted SATV, and you think this is a good thing?

"Perhaps he will be man enough and admit that violence perpetrated by the ancient Israelites far outstripped anything perpetrated by Muhammad and the early Muslims, as was the point of Loonwatch’s article."

What evidence do you have that the Israelites in question actually did any of the things suggested in the old stories from the Torah? It's disturbing, to be sure. But with Muhammad's followers, who succeeded him after his death, we have evidence that they actually expanded through violent military conquest.

"Of course, Muslims will continue to be maligned for the martial actions of Muhammad while Christians and Jews will remain mostly free of any similar criticism."

I doubt that many non-Muslims would be interested in this stuff today if there were not significant numbers of Muslims today either involved one way or another with militant jihadists groups, or otherwise supporting harsh laws of sharia.

"Alas, hypocrisy and double standards are the modus operandi of the anti-Muslim blogosphere."

You consider SATV "anti-Muslim"? He doesn't seem anti-Muslim to me. (Though I have a hunch that you may consider any criticism of Islam to be "anti-Muslim). He even tried to extend an olive branch to Loonwatch, but Dawood reacted like a juvenile and tried to claim some sort of victory.

Again, I have no problem if Loonwatch wants to criticize the Bible. I just don't think that constitutes an adequate or appropriate defense of Jihad in Islam. It looks like distraction and deflection.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

I had another post that didn't get through. My hypothesis now is that there is some sort of time delay requirement, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

...and perhaps combined with a post length limit...

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3 wrote:
"Can someone please tell me what Muhammad’s raids have to do with the article on the Bible’s representation of Moses?"

That's quite funny. Loonwatch is doing a series on Jihad, and they introduced an irrelevancy about Moses. SATV's article is in part about Loonwatch's attempt to shift attention off of Muhammad while they introduce their series on Jihad. And then you ask, essentially, "what does this have to with Moses?"

"It seems palpable that the author is a bit butthurt that Loonwatch brutally pwned him."

Are you the same poster who was talking about sensitivity? Now you are using a metaphor implying that a Loonwatch author sexually assaulted SATV, and you think this is a good thing?

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3 wrote:
"Perhaps he will be man enough and admit that violence perpetrated by the ancient Israelites far outstripped anything perpetrated by Muhammad and the early Muslims, as was the point of Loonwatch’s article."

What evidence do you have that the Israelites in question actually did any of the things suggested in the old stories from the Torah? It's disturbing, to be sure. But with Muhammad's followers, who succeeded him after his death, we have evidence that they actually expanded through violent military conquest.

"Of course, Muslims will continue to be maligned for the martial actions of Muhammad while Christians and Jews will remain mostly free of any similar criticism."

I doubt that many non-Muslims would be interested in this stuff today if there were not significant numbers of Muslims today either involved one way or another with militant jihadists groups, or otherwise supporting harsh laws of sharia.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3 wrote:
"Perhaps he will be man enough and admit that violence perpetrated by the ancient Israelites far outstripped anything perpetrated by Muhammad and the early Muslims, as was the point of Loonwatch’s article."

What evidence do you have that the Israelites in question actually did any of the things suggested in the old stories from the Torah? It's disturbing, to be sure. But with Muhammad's followers, who succeeded him after his death, we have evidence that they actually expanded through violent military conquest. And you seem to imply that Muhammad "perpetrated" something. Would you like to tell me what all you think Muhammad perpetrated?

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3 wrote:
"Of course, Muslims will continue to be maligned for the martial actions of Muhammad while Christians and Jews will remain mostly free of any similar criticism."

I doubt that many non-Muslims would be interested in this stuff today if there were not significant numbers of Muslims today either involved one way or another with militant jihadists groups, or otherwise supporting harsh laws of sharia.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Anonymous3
"Alas, hypocrisy and double standards are the modus operandi of the anti-Muslim blogosphere."

You consider SATV "anti-Muslim"? He doesn't seem anti-Muslim to me. (Though I have a hunch that you may consider any criticism of Islam to be "anti-Muslim”. Thus you believe that it's okay to criticize all kinds of things, and people, but not Islam, and not Muslims, right?). He even tried to extend an olive branch to Loonwatch, but Dawood reacted like a juvenile and tried to claim some sort of victory.

Again, I have no problem if Loonwatch wants to criticize the Bible. I just don't think that constitutes an adequate or appropriate defense of Jihad in Islam. It looks like distraction and deflection.

Anonymous said...

“…yet in other cases he perpetrated and maintains false, fraudulent, deceptive articles on the site.”

Sorry, but Loonwatch’s case against “The Translated” is airtight. He originally translated only about 1/5 of the fatwa and still claims that word “nikah” in the fatwa refers to sexual intercourse. See the following.

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/02/translating-jihads-completely-fraudulent-translations/#comment-60863

He also claims that Loonwatch claimed that the word “nikah” only means marriage when in actuality Loonwatch claimed very specifically that the word “nikah” in the fatwa meant marriage. Again, he displays his duplicity by cutting out key words (in this case the word “here,” which refers to the fatwa).

The Translated says:

That being said, Loonwatch is being dishonest when they say that the Arabic word nikah, which they translated as ‘marriage/betrothal’, “does not mean sexual intercourse at all.”


Loonwatch says:

The word nikah here does not mean “sexual intercourse” at all.

What’s more is his new translation contradicts what he originally claimed, that the Mufti said “It is Permissible to Have Sexual Intercourse with a Prepubescent Girl.” The Mufti advised the exact opposite!

Wow. You people are dense.

Anonymous said...

“If a criticism is fair, I'm not sure why sensitivity seems to be a priority over truth and fairness. If Danios thinks the OT is more violent than the Quran, let him try to prove his case. But I don't see how any of these claims about the OT absolve the violence and hatred promoted in the Quran.”

Prof. Philip Jenkins explained the above phenomenon perfectly when he explained that Jews and Christians become self-righteous against Muslims by ignoring what’s written in their own scriptures. Even in your response, you display your double standards. Apparently people “claim” that there is violence in the Old Testament and thus such as accusation is debatable, but the Qur’an—to you at least—promotes “violence and hatred.” The fact of the matter is that Christians in have used the Bible to justify killing and warfare.

“I'm not sure that SATV wants to get into a debate per se. I think SATV views a lot of this as pretty childish and petty…”

Yet Loonwatch is being mentioned in most of SATV’s latest articles, even when they have nothing to do with Translating-Jihad’s duplicity.

As for Loonwatch’s series on Jihad, the next article will be on Muhammad—and will refute claims made in Robert Spencer “Pathetically Incorrect Guide to Islam.” Perhaps you should take a look at what happened when Spencer tired to tackle Loonwatch (clue: he failed miserably and his evens wanted him to stop engaging the site, claiming that it was "below" him).

Anonymous said...

“…yet in other cases he perpetrated and maintains false, fraudulent, deceptive articles on the site.”

Sorry, but Loonwatch’s case against “The Translated” is airtight. He originally translated only about 1/5 of the fatwa, and he still claims that word “nikah” in the fatwa refers to sexual intercourse.

He also claims Loonwatch claimed that the word “nikah” only means marriage when in actuality Loonwatch claimed very specifically that the word “nikah” in the fatwa meant marriage. Again, he displays his duplicity by cutting out key words (in this case the word “here,” which refers to the fatwa).

The Translated says:

That being said, Loonwatch is being dishonest when they say that the Arabic word nikah, which they translated as ‘marriage/betrothal’, “does not mean sexual intercourse at all.”


Loonwatch says:

The word nikah here does not mean “sexual intercourse” at all.

What’s more is his new translation contradicts what he originally claimed, that the Mufti said “It is Permissible to Have Sexual Intercourse with a Prepubescent Girl.” The Mufti advised the exact opposite!

Nadir said...

Anonomous 3: "Butthurt"? "Pwned"? Go play kiddo, the adults are having a conversation. You certainly embody the spirit of loonwatch.

Greenforest said...

The basic Loonwatch formula is this:

1. Criticism of Islam is bigotry and racism.

2. People who have anything critical to say about Islam are bigots and racists.

3. Any apparent problems in Islam don't really exist or are due to misinterpretation.

4. Any problems that Islam apparently has do really occur in other religions, where the problems are as bad as, or worse than, the apparent problems in Islam.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to thank you for your well written post.

One of the aspects of Muhammad's military career that is often overlooked are his raids and attacks against the Christian and pagan tribes in Southern Arabia.

If you have Ishaq and Waqidi and Tabari, it might be a good idea to use these works to chronicle Muhammad's unprovoked raids against these tribes.

Here's one quote from M. Watt (Muhammad at Medina, p120) that should suffice in the type of tactics Muhammad used against these tribes to unify Arabia under an Islamic state:

Sometimes Muhammad encouraged energetic men to use force against their neighbours. One was Surad b. ‘Abdallah of the tribe of Azd Shanu’ah, who came to Muhammad with a dozen or so men; Muhammad put him in charge of these men and of any others of his tribe whom he could persuade to become Muslims, and gave them carte blanche to fight in the name of Islam against any non-Muslims in the region. Surad chose to attack a fortified place called Jurash; after a month’s siege he pretended to retire; the besiegers sallied out, hoping to take the withdrawing force at a disadvantage, but instead they found Surad prepared for them and with some loss. Eventually the men of Jurash came to make their peace with Muhammad and to accept Islam.

This is just one of several examples of Muhammad's policy to bring tribes under the dominion of the Islamic state. Tribes that refused were attacked until they were either conquered or relented to Muhammad's persuasive foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

This is absurd: Loonwatch has now posted an article in its Jihad series consisting of largely paste-up quotes about Joshua. Will they ever get around to talking about Muhammad and Islam? Are they not aware that Muhammad also permitted killing of women and children of the polytheists under some conditions? Are they not aware that any women and children survivors would be raped or enslaved, according to the rules of Muhammad?

Loonwatch's tu quoque here directed at Christians and Jews suffers from a fatal flaw: The Quran confirms numerous annihilations of whole populations who didn't obey Allah and his prophets, and some of these stories make (albeit vague) reference to Biblical stories.

The more immediate problem is that there are not significant numbers of Christian or Jewish leaders in the West (or in the world) today who take Moses or Joshua as examples to follow militarily. In contrast, there is a seemingly endless number of Muslims today who follow, or want to follow, Muhammad's example in conducting jihad and establishing harsh sharia.

When jihadists today target and kill non-Muslim women and children, quite a lot of Muslims cheer these killers on and demand more such killings (e.g., see Translating Jihad's recent account). And many of us remember how so many Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks; and many still do.

What Loonwatch quotes as legends from the Old Testament are easily matched (or surpassed) by the total depravity and evil of the Taliban, which targets and kills civilians, girls in their schools, etc., or the total depravity and evil of Muslim fanatics in Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, etc.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

And for every Old Testament example Loonwatch can come up with, we can find a Muslim leader who demands total annihilation of a non-Muslim group, e.g., Qaradawi's demand that all Israeli Jews be slaughtered. Qaradawi, unlike Joshua, Moses, etc., is real, is alive today, and is followed and taken seriously by tens of millions of Muslims.

I understand that Qaradawi is quite popular among some Loonwatch writers and commenters.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Clarification [in brackets] to my above statement:
"The more immediate problem [for Loonwatch's argument] is that there are not significant numbers of Christian or Jewish leaders in the West (or in the world) today who take Moses or Joshua as examples to follow militarily."

Al Mutarjim said...

"The more immediate problem [for Loonwatch's argument] is that there are not significant numbers of Christian or Jewish leaders in the West (or in the world) today who take Moses or Joshua as examples to follow militarily."

True, but I think Loonwatch's argument has an even bigger problem than that. The commandments given to Moses and Joshua to fight and kill were never meant as open-ended commandments. They were for specific times and specific peoples. The basic law in the Bible is "Thou shalt not kill," and there are only limited exceptions to that.

In Islam, however, the basic law is to make war against the infidels in order to spread the religion of Islam, and there are only limited exceptions to that. So it's the exact opposite.

In Reliance of the Traveller it is explained that "The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians" after giving them the three options which we all know and I won't repeat here, and "The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim..."

That's the basic rule. The exceptions to this are limited: "Truces are permissible, not obligatory. [...] There must be some interest served in making a truce other than mere preservation of the status quo. [...] Interests that justify making a truce are such things as Muslim weakness because of lack of numbers or materiel, or the hope of an enemy becoming Muslim..."

Loonwatch's deceptive argument will only work on those who 1) don't understand the Bible, and 2) don't understand Islam. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the West who fit into both of those categories.

Source: Al-Misri, Ahmad ibn Naqib. Reliance of the Traveller, pp. 602-605.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Indeed, Al Mutarjim, the open-endedness of the Quran's calls for warfare against polytheists and People of the Book is another major problem which Danios and co. are likely to overlook or fail to address. The Quran's calls for Muslims to wage war are not limited by geography or time; they apply everywhere until the Last Day.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Danish linguist Tina Magaard (PhD) analyzed the founding texts of 10 religions and found that Islam's texts promote terror and violence to a greater extent than any of the other religions.

Here is a Google translation of part of a news article about her work:

"Islam is the most bellicose religion

By Orla Borg

Published at 10.09.2005. 22:30

A Danish linguist has over three years analyzed 10 religions basic texts and concludes that the texts of Islam stands out by encouraging terror and violence to a greater extent than other religions [...]"

"Islam's text invites a much greater extent than other religions' basic texts for terror and warfare, concludes Tina Magaard, who graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris as a PhD in text analysis and intercultural communication, and as a three-year research project has compared 10 religions basic texts [...]"

http://jp.dk/indland/article223091.ece

(I found this link thanks to an article by Andrew Bostom, see his article "All Islamic Things Not Considered at NPR" for more information)

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

Danish linguist Tina Magaard (PhD) analyzed the founding texts of 10 religions and found that Islam's texts promote terror and violence to a greater extent than any of the other religions.

Here is a Google translation of part of a news article about her work:

"Islam is the most bellicose religion

By Orla Borg

Published at 10.09.2005. 22:30

A Danish linguist has over three years analyzed 10 religions basic texts and concludes that the texts of Islam stands out by encouraging terror and violence to a greater extent than other religions [...]"

"Islam's text invites a much greater extent than other religions' basic texts for terror and warfare, concludes Tina Magaard, who graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris as a PhD in text analysis and intercultural communication, and as a three-year research project has compared 10 religions basic texts [...]"

http://jp.dk/indland/article223091.ece

(I found this link thanks to an article by Andrew Bostom, see his "All Islamic Things Not Considered at NPR" for more information)

Anonymous said...

All arguments fail when put forward against mo.
He embodies all that is wrong with a leader, a prophet, a man..
Looked at thru moral, ethical, political, theological, humanistic or even atheist goggles, he seriously fails to meet minimum standards.
That is why 'submission' will only sway the weak minded.
To uphold that as the prime example of a man is a disservice to males the world over.
The sooner ALL countries make secular law, based upon the judeo-christian mold practiced by fully democratic countries, the better.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, the OT's numerous calls to destroy anything that breathes is not open-ended, but Muhammad's strict prohibition of killing non-combatants is? I understand you're an Evangelical and all, but that is just ridiculous Mutarajjam.

Also, I notice the common strawman of 'you call anyone that criticizes Islam a bigot' being employed here. Can you tell me how translating 1/5th of a fatwa by an obscure online 'mufti' and presenting it as representative of Islam and Muslims, is genuine criticism of Islam? Let's not even get into the utter deception, and distortion of the fatwa in question. And that is just one relatively minor example. Forget about the multitude of other bigots exposed on LW. That is a bullshit tactic, for if what you are saying is true Bernard Lewis would be the number one look featured on that site for his extensive critique of Islam.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

To the Anonumous immediately above at March 17:

You write:

"So let me get this straight, the OT's numerous calls to destroy anything that breathes is not open-ended, but Muhammad's strict prohibition of killing non-combatants is?"

1. I'm not sure if this question is directly only to Al Mutarjim, but I will answer. Here "open-ended" is meant in the sense that the Qur'an's calls to fight the unbelievers were used (along with the hadiths) in developing the institution of jihad against unbelievers, for the cause of spreading Islam and establishing Islamic rule, with no geographic restriction, and no temporal restriction (prior to the supposed Hour of Judgement, etc.), on that endeavor.

"Kill anything that moves" is of course an abhorrent command, but that's not open-ended in the sense of telling believers how they ought to deal with unbelievers everywhere on earth 'til the end of time. It is a specific command confined to a specific time and place, with regard to specific people. Again, that's no defense of it, as far as I'm concerned. But you seem to not understand the sense of "open-ended" being discussed here. If Christians, or Jews, had a permanent institution of warfare against unbelievers, based on Joshua or Moses, you might have a relevant point.

2. Muhammad didn't have a "strict" prohibition on killing "non-combatants" as we would understand it today. Muhammad allowed the killing of women and children of the polytheists in jihad when this was unavoidable. In addition, Muhammad ordered the assassinations of women, children, and non-combatants, who spoke against him. As for those women and children who survived Muhammad's jihad attacks, they would be raped and enslaved.

I understand you're an Evangelical and all, but that is just ridiculous Mutarajjam.

Also, I notice the common strawman of 'you call anyone that criticizes Islam a bigot' being employed here. Can you tell me how translating 1/5th of a fatwa by an obscure online 'mufti' and presenting it as representative of Islam and Muslims, is genuine criticism of Islam? Let's not even get into the utter deception, and distortion of the fatwa in question. And that is just one relatively minor example. Forget about the multitude of other bigots exposed on LW. That is a bullshit tactic, for if what you are saying is true Bernard Lewis would be the number one look featured on that site for his extensive critique of Islam.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continuing the above response. Note that the last paragraph and the sentence immediately above it were accidentally pasted at the end of my previous post. They are the words of Anonymous at March 17)

You wrote:
"Also, I notice the common strawman of 'you call anyone that criticizes Islam a bigot' being employed here."

Don't you? That's certainly Loonwatch's policy. There is no critic, and no criticism, of Islam, approved by Loonwatch.

"Can you tell me how translating 1/5th of a fatwa by an obscure online 'mufti' and presenting it as representative of Islam and Muslims, is genuine criticism of Islam?"

He didn't say it was representative of all of Islam or all Muslims. IslamOnline is a very popular, not obscure, site. You present no evidence that the mufti in question was obscure. Even if he was obscure, the fact remains that he was/is featured on a prominent site.

The issue of the excluded material has already been addressed by Al Mutarjim. In contrast, Danios and Dawood have committed sins of both commission and omission far more serious than any they had alleged against Al Mutarjim. I've already addressed this in threads here at SATV.

Anonymous said...

(Anonymous2)

(continuing the reply)

"Let's not even get into the utter deception, and distortion of the fatwa in question."

Again, this has already been addressed in threads here and at Translating Jihad. There was no deception on Al Mutarjim's part. In contrast, Danios and Dawood maintain their deceptions and false allegations on their site, with no retraction or revision.

"And that is just one relatively minor example. Forget about the multitude of other bigots exposed on LW. That is a bullshit tactic, for if what you are saying is true Bernard Lewis would be the number one look featured on that site for his extensive critique of Islam."

Bernard Lewis tends to be much softer and more equivocal than others like Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Andrew Bostom, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others who have been featured as "loons" on the site.

That said, I have seen Loonwatch writers and commenters write unfavorable things about Bernard Lewis. So perhaps you regard him as a second-tier loon instead of a first-tier loon.

But hey, if you think Bernard Lewis is a critic of Islam, and that he has made valid criticisms of Islam (e.g., of the Quran or of Muhammad), then please do cite some examples. Then pass them on to Loonwatch, and see what they do with them.

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