D.L. Perry is a Gates of Vienna reader who lives in Britain. He sends the following account about the violent and seditious propaganda to be found in extremist mosques in the UK — mosques which turn out not to be that “extremist” after all.
“Hate” Literature in a Quarter of UK Mosques: But Not a ‘Hijacking of Islam’
D. L. Perry
Nov 2, 2007
This week, in The Telegraph, Toby Helm highlights a new survey conducted by think tank Policy Exchange that reveals a message of hatred for non-Muslims found in within a significant number of Britain’s mosques.
The Hijacking of Islam in Britain demonstrates that, within some 80 books and pamphlets found in a quarter of the 100 Mosques surveyed across the country, an ideology of Muslim separatism and intolerance of non-Muslims is going unchecked.
But what Helm and the author of the report, Denis MacEoin, both fail to mention is that the hatred is theologically sanctioned in the Qur’an and in the teachings of Muhammad as passed down by pious Muslim scholars deemed authoritative in all schools of Islam in the Hadith (‘traditions’ or the actions and sayings of Muhammad) and the Sira (biography of Muhammad). It is not ‘extremist’ nor ‘radical’ but fundamental to Islam, Sunni and Shia.
“Extremist literature that encourages hatred of gays, Christians and Jews,” Helms reports, “can be easily found at many of Britain’s mosques, according to a new survey.”
Except that it is not ‘extremist’ literature. As Robert Spencer points out at Jihad Watch, this is mainstream, traditional Islam: “Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, directed his followers to ‘kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him’ (p17.3 Umdat al-Salik, [a manual of Islamic jurisprudence])”. On Muhammad’s death-bed, according to Bukhari, the most authoritative Muslim compiler of Hadith, Muhammad said ‘Allah’s curse be on the Jews and the Christians’ (Bukhari 59:727).
Many of the publications call on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and for non-Muslims to be treated as second-class citizens. This is not a new phenomenon: the segregation of Muslims and non-Muslims is enshrined in the Qur’an and evident throughout Islamic history. According to Islamic theology the world is divided between the dar al Islam (House of Islam [submission]) and the dar al harb (House of War): until Islam reigns there will be a permanent state of conflict between believers and non-believers.
Verse 9:29 forms the basis of the system of dhimmitude prevalent in the Islamic empire, which institutionalised the second-class status of non-Muslims (specifically Christians and Jews) and forced them to pay tribute for ‘protection’:
“Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the people of the Book [Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [poll tax] with willing submission, feel themselves subdued.”
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According to MacEoin, the literature also contains calls for gays to be thrown from mountains and tall buildings and for women to be subjugated. Here there are clear echoes of the Channel 4 documentary Undercover Mosque aired earlier this year. But there is a deeper resonance with Islamic teaching found in the Qur’an. Verse 4:24 teaches that women are inferior to men, that they are to be treated as men’s possessions, and beaten for disobedience:
“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them.”
Verse 2:223 furthermore states that wives are to be sexually available to their husbands in all ways at all times: “Your wives are as a tilth [field] unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will.”
Homosexuality is explicitly outlawed in Islam: in Verses 7:80-84 — “…For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)”. The ‘shower’ has been interpreted by Muslim scholars over the centuries as punishment by stoning, but homosexuals have also been beheaded and hung in recent times in Saudi Arabia and Iran, where Islamic sharia law is applied most strictly. Other Muslim countries also have the death penalty on the books for homosexual acts.
Helm quotes Anthony Browne, the Director of Policy Exchange, as saying “It is clearly intolerable that hate literature is peddled at some British mosques. I am sure the majority of moderate Muslims will be as horrified as everyone else that pamphlets advocating jihad by force, hatred for insufficiently observant Muslims, Christians and Jews, and segregation have found their way into the UK’s mosques.”
Indeed, the majority of ‘moderate’ Muslims — those that may choose to ignore vast tracts of the Qur’an and the Hadith — may well be ‘horrified’, but what are they doing about it? In its policy recommendations the report rightly notes that mosques have to date escaped adequate scrutiny, and calls for better regulation of Islamic schools as well as ‘genuine interfaith activities’. But it fails to name a single ‘moderate’ Muslim organisation that can be entrusted to partner with the British government to take this agenda forward.
The release of The Hijacking of Islam in Britain report coincides with an announcement by the British Government of a £70 million program to combat ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ within the Muslim community. Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary who announced the program on October 31, says that “new tactics by extremists require a new, bolder response”. The money will fund schemes to promote “community leadership to withstand extremist tendencies” and include citizenship lessons in madrassas (mosque schools).
This would be a welcome step if it were based upon a correct understanding of the problem, although it is quite clear that the Government has failed to conduct any analysis at all of the nature of Islamic ‘extremism’. It is just assumed that the ideology of separatism and supremacism evident in the hate literature found in British mosques could not possibly have any theological grounding in the texts and tenets of Islam. From the website of the British Government’s Communities and Local Government Department, Blears reveals the astounding naïveté of the British Government’s approach to one of the most critical issues of our time:
Extremists distort the true nature of Islam in order to justify their hatred and violence. Study circles, citizenship teaching, seminars and workshops run by youth leaders and Islamic scholars will help young people to develop a firmer grounding in Islam and rebut the arguments of those who preach division and hatred.
Where is the evidence for this view? A ‘firmer grounding’ in Islam comes from understanding the message and teachings of Muhammad as documented in the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira. It is precisely from this Islamic ‘trinity’ that the distrust and intolerance of non-Muslims emanates. Can Blears provide us with an example of how “the arguments of those who preach division and hatred” can be rebutted with reference to the Qur’an Hadith and Sira?
Any Government initiative worth this much money ought to involve some initial research into the problem to be tackled, identifying what it is exactly that is to be addressed and how. If Blears seriously wants to “give communities the strength and skills to face down” what she thinks of as “a false and perverted ideology” then a more pragmatic approach would be to use some of this £70 million for a honest investigation into the fundamental teachings of Islam and its relationship with the values of a healthy liberal democracy. The assumption that Islam is being ‘hijacked’ is exactly what needs scrutiny. The results are evidently too politically sensitive to entertain for the Government, but why isn’t there an independent think tank that can do this work?
In Moderate Islam is a Prostration to the West, one of the treatises of bin Laden and Zawahiri translated and compiled by Raymond Ibrahim in the excellent The al Qaeda Reader, the theological foundation for the enmity between Muslims and non-Muslims is expounded with academic rigour. Directed at Muslims who espouse anything less than outright hatred for non-Muslims, they quote prolifically from the Qur’an and authoritative Islamic scholars.
A few samples will suffice here: Qur’an 60:4 — “Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us [i.e. Muslims and non-Muslims]— till you believe in Allah alone”; and Qur’an 9:73 — ”Wage war against the infidels and hypocrites and be ruthless. Their abode is hell — an evil fate!”. They go on to say that this is “the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred — directed from the Muslim to the infidel — is the foundation of our religion” (p.43, emphasis added).
Helm, in the Telegraph, doesn’t point out the Islamic doctrinal foundation for much of the hate literature found in the British mosques, nor the failure of MacEoin to do so in his report. But he does give space to Iqbal Sacranie, a former secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, to complain that the report is Islamophobic and irresponsible.
Sacranie is quoted as saying: “The majority of Muslims will totally dismiss this because it is written by the Policy Exchange, who have an agenda to denigrate the mainstream of Islam in this country … We cannot accept messages of hate — there is zero tolerance on that. But it is irresponsible to target religious texts and take them out of context.”
Not a shred of evidence is provided by Sacranie that the Policy Exchange is deliberately and wrongly representing Muslims, and Helm lets this go unmentioned. The claim that the report takes ‘out of context’ the messages of separatism and hate in the literature found is neither scrutinized. Such a claim is, sadly, typical from Muslim obfuscants and apologists. What Sacranie conveniently fails to mention is that the only context in which the hate literature makes sense is that which it is founded upon: the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Sira. Perhaps he might help us make sense of the numerous Qur’anic verses such as these, which are endorsed by Muslims the world over, in a way that helps render the 80 examples of hate literature null and void:
Qur’an 5:51 — “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
i.e. Muslims should not befriend Christians and Jews, and if you do you are no longer considered a Muslim.
Qur’an 9:23 — “O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers”.
i.e. Reject even your family if they do not believe in Allah and follow the teachings of Muhammad.
What kind of context might the Qur’an be twisted to fit, in order to paint a picture of Islam as at least tolerant of non-Muslims? For the Qur’an is accepted by Muslims as the literal and immutable word of Allah beyond time and space. There simply isn’t the option for re-interpreting it, modernizing it, however one likes. What was right for Muhammad is right for Muslims today.
That there has been no serious effort by ‘moderate’ Muslims to reform the Qur’an, as well as the Hadith and Sira, on relations with non-Muslims demonstrates the difficulties Islam faces for a thorough reformation. That would necessarily involve a re-write of most of the Qur’an, since more than half of it focuses on unbelievers, non-Muslims. Even to suggest this would amount to heresy which is punishable by death in Islamic law. Islam is truly stuck in the Middle Ages, stuck in a world of conflict without end. Until Islam reigns supreme or is utterly defeated as a fascist ideology.
Muhammad’s life, as documented by the authoritative Muslim biographer Ishaq and the esteemed scholar Bukhari, provides us with some historical context for the treatment of non-Muslims, Jews, and women. Here we ought to mention his sanctioning of the beheading of 600-800 men of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe, the unprovoked raids on Jewish caravans and towns, the seizure and enslavement of women, the marriage and sexual intercourse with nine year old Aisha, the ordering of the killing of his critics and opponents, and his progressively militant attitude to non-Muslims throughout his life.
Near the time of his death, Muhammad is recorded by Bukhari (8:387) as saying “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah”. Islam is at its core a segregationist, misogynist, supremacist religion.
The problem is far greater than a few hate books and pamphlets in a few mosques.
It is fundamentally one of a ‘religion’ which conceives of the world cleanly in two, between Muslim and infidel, that — until the end of the Islamic Caliphate in 1924 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire — has been historically inseparable from a political project.
It is one of a resurgence of interest in Islam’s fundamental teachings and political aspirations.
It is one of a clever propaganda assault on the Muslim world and the West by ‘Islamists’ and their fellow travellers: on one hand stoking up hatred for non-Muslims based on Islamic texts and tenets, and on the other hand generating a culture of victimology and ‘Islamophobia’, pandering to the post-colonial guilt complex of Western democratic nations.
It is one of mass myopia within British Governmental institutions on an unprecedented scale: that many of the mosques found with hate literature are among the best-funded of Britain’s 1,500 or so Islamic establishments is a testament to the complete lack of understanding of the British Government regarding the Islamofascist threat the country faces.
The problem is only exacerbated when such a brilliant opportunity to reveal the inherent supremacism in Islam is spun as a perversion by those we ought to be able to trust.