Category Archives: Islam

History Erasers in the Middle East

Rachel Neuwirth writes of matters having to do with a new documentary, The Exodus Conspiracy.

Filmmaker Tim Mahoney’s The Exodus Conspiracy, due to be released within a few months, seeks to demonstrate the historical accuracy of the Biblical narrative of the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt on the basis of recent archaeological discoveries and geographic explorations. A secondary thesis of the film is that the “Red Sea” crossed by the Israelites was the Gulf of Aquaba (called the Gulf of Eilat by modern-day Israelis), rather than “Sea of Reeds” in Egypt, as most Biblical scholars have always assumed, and that the true “Mount Sinai” or “Mount Horeb” of the Exodus narrative is in northern Saudi Arabia, and is not the Mt. Sinai shown to pilgrims and tourists over the centuries in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

At the same time, the film also documents the efforts of Arab governments, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to suppress, or at least to seriously impede, the discovery and publication of archaeological data that would confirm the historicity of the Biblical narrative.

The Jihad against the Jews and Christians has many facets, including the rewriting of history and anthropology. As they say, read it all.

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Reach for the Star and you might just reach the Moon

This is a comment I made on the Spyglass, in response to a post about witnessing to and proselytizing to Muslims that focused on Father Zakaria Botros and Pope Benedict XVI.

As Skarbutts points out in Faith Against Faith, there is no belief system that lacks faith.

A belief system based solely upon the science of reason is more limited than a system based upon faith in a Creator, in that, man as the exclusive source of knowledge is limited. Since a materialistic system of thought seeks to exclude things that cannot be verified, gaps in knowledge are created which must be bridged in order to be logical. This creates a paradox, for to fill these gaps in knowledge, the materialist must resort to faith. The faith of the materialist, however, is an antifaith. His thought process is not in the spiritual but the in the physical. He is, therefore, forced to manufacture knowledge based on circumstantial evidence, or create and rely upon theories and assumptions in order to connect pieces of knowledge and arrive at any explanations. These explanations often tend to create even more questions which in turn demand an even greater faith from the materialist. Thus, in many cases, the materialist is no less believing, no less devoted, no less fanatical, nor any less evangelical than his religious counterpart. When an idea gains enough traction in intellectual circles it becomes widely accepted as a reality; therefore, many things that are treated as fact are unknown to man.

In other words, there is no practical reason to choose the secular outreach over the religious one. A religious belief system is complete where a secular one is not (as Skarbutts proves), and the fundamentalist Islamic belief system is nothing if not complete. You cannot replace a complete belief system with an incomplete one. The incomplete belief system will not hold if challenged.

To add to the previous paragraph, a secular belief system ends up being as complete as a religious one because faith becomes incorporated in it. However, the nature of that faith can change based on circumstance. So the real danger of a secular belief system is that it is unstable, and therefore it might not last. The faith basis of a religious belief system comes from the core beliefs and moral structure of religion and is not susceptible to casual changes. Therefore it is stable. Stability increases happiness and satisfaction. Instability leads to flailing for answers and to a change in beliefs.

If we make our strategy one of conversion or moral neutralization, and our target either all Muslims or only the Idolaters of Jihad, there is no good reason to choose either the lesser target or strategy. Failed neutralization does not reduce the number of Jihad-worshippers in the world. But a failed conversion might still neutralize. Likewise, reaching out to all Muslims will necessarily include Jihad-worshippers as well as those who do not idolize Jihad, and will reduce the human ocean in which the Jihad terrorists travel.

Imagine the winking five-pointed star perched above the crescent moon. Reach for the star and even if you fail you might reach the moon.

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A Billion Cheers for Father Zakaria Botros

I am a great fan and supporter of ex-Muslims. In order for there to be ever greater numbers of ex-Muslims someone must reveal to future ex-Muslims the truth about Islam and Christianity that has been deliberately obscured by the ulema. Raymond Ibrahim writes about Father Zakaria Botros (alternate spelling, Boutros), who is doing what needs to be done.

Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest Zakaria Botros — named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid — has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries — mostly Muslim converts — he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., “Life TV”). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance — free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros’s excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East. Botros is an unusual figure onscreen: robed, with a huge cross around his neck, he sits with both the Koran and the Bible in easy reach. Egypt’s Copts — members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East — have in many respects come to personify the demeaning Islamic institution of “dhimmitude” (which demands submissiveness from non-Muslims, in accordance with Koran 9:29). But the fiery Botros does not submit, and minces no words. He has famously made of Islam “ten demands,” whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam’s own radical demands on non-Muslims.

Boutros speaks to Muslims on satellite and Internet television stations in Arabic. The reader may recall a few months back an embarrassing breastfeeding appeared in the media.

Botros spent three years bringing to broad public attention a scandalous — and authentic — hadith stating that women should “breastfeed” strange men with whom they must spend any amount of time. A leading hadith scholar, Abd al-Muhdi, was confronted with this issue on the live talk show of popular Arabic host Hala Sirhan. Opting to be truthful, al-Muhdi confirmed that going through the motions of breastfeeding adult males is, according to sharia, a legitimate way of making married women “forbidden” to the men with whom they are forced into contact — the logic being that, by being “breastfed,” the men become like “sons” to the women and therefore can no longer have sexual designs on them.

For that alone I salute Father Botros. Can you think without laughing about the situation of a man being breastfed by a woman in order for him to become less sexually attracted to her? I cannot.

In related news, Magdi Allam, who converted from Islam to Catholicism this week on Easter Sunday, and was baptized on television by Pope Benedict XVI, writes about it in Italian on FreeCopts.com. English translation (by freecopts.com) follows.

To acquire the gift of the Christian faith during the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection by the hand of the Holy Father is, for a believer, an incomparable and inestimable privilege. At almost 56 […], it is a historical, exceptional and unforgettable event, which marks a radical and definitive turn with respect to the past. The miracle of Christ’s resurrection reverberated through my soul, liberating it from the darkness in which the preaching of hatred and intolerance in the face of the “different,” uncritically condemned as “enemy,” were privileged over love and respect of “neighbor,” who is always, an in every case, “person”; thus, as my mind was freed from the obscurantism of an ideology that legitimates lies and deception, violent death that leads to murder and suicide, the blind submission to tyranny, I was able to adhere to the authentic religion of truth, of life and of freedom. On my first Easter as a Christian I not only discovered Jesus, I discovered for the first time the face of the true and only God, who is the God of faith and reason.

Read the rest!

Nonie Darwish wrote about a threat against Father Botros’ life back in February 2006. Some background in the comments here. CWN also profiles Father Botros. YOUvideos has disabled a video by Father Botros. Islameyat is mining the same vein as Father Botros. Father Zakaria Botros has a website here (Arabic)

So let us all cheer a billion times, once for just about every Muslim in the world who isn’t already a secret Christian, for Father Zakaria Botros and all those who help him do the work he does.

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Vatican talking with Saudis about churches in Arabia

Unbelievable.

No, I mean really unbelievable. There is some kind of trickery going on here. The Saudis will never allow Christian churches on their territory!

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Turkish theologians are updating the ahadith and their commentaries

Updated. See below.

Robert Pigott writes in BBC News about the Turkish project to update the Ahadith (the collected and, to some degree or other, vetted deeds and words of Mohammed as distinct from the words of the Koran):

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia.

But the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam.

It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted. […]

Commentators say the very theology of Islam is being reinterpreted in order to effect a radical renewal of the religion.

Its supporters say the spirit of logic and reason inherent in Islam at its foundation 1,400 years ago are being rediscovered. Some believe it could represent the beginning of a reformation in the religion.

Whether it works out this time or not, it is a necessary piece of progress. Some day it will work out. Say a little prayer for the reformers’ success.

Update: As John C. K. Daly writes for the Jamestown Report, the relationship between Turkey and the US has become dreadfully bad since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The cause appears not to be the overthrow of Saddam, but the continuous refrain from Americans that Turkey’s moderate Islamism was a model for the rest of the Muslim world. However, Turks don’t see it that way. Ataturk forced Islam out of public life in Turkey to the point where he banned the burkah and headscarves and fitted his soldiers with billed caps that prevented them from bowing to Mecca while in uniform. And the Islamists in government certainly don’t see themselves as Moderate. This American refrain is such a gross misunderstanding of the Turkish way that it serves as an equal opportunity mortal insult to both secular and Islamist Turks. And so America has reaped what it sowed, with vile movies like Valley of the Wolves, the refusal to allow American passage through Turkey to northern Iraq, and a Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan in search of PKK terrorists.

However distasteful the result, it is probably good that Turkey not be seen as too friendly with the US while it undertakes the heroic task of updating the ahadith and commentaries.

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Demographic Jihad in Saudi Arabia

The Demographic Jihad is not only a plan to settle the civilized countries of the world with Muslims in order to transform them into totalitarian Islamic states ruled by Sharia, but also is used by Muslims against the “wrong type” of Muslims.

Andrew Hammond writes:

The Ismaili Shi’ites of Najran, bordering Yemen, say they had successfully petitioned King Abdullah two years ago to halt settlement of up to 10,000 Yemeni tribesmen in housing projects built for them on large tracts of land surrounding Najran city.

But a protest letter sent last month to the governor of Najran province, Prince Mishaal bin Saud, complains of marginalisation and says plans to settle another Yemeni tribe must stop.

“The king and a number of decision-makers promised the citizens of Najran that settlement would stop … it appears that settlement is a deliberate and extensive project,” it says, referring to thousands of Najranis it says have long been overlooked when seeking similar state largesse.

Backup of story here. The story gives Saud a fellow named Said the last word.

“It’s a form of racial discrimination. We don’t have services,” said Said, 30, pointing to a map on the wall of a deserted office outlining plans for new housing units.

“There are families here who cannot get a new house or a legal deed to the land they live on. Even the children of the newcomers are given pieces of land.”

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The Role of Christianity in Abolishing Slavery of Blacks and of Islam in Perpetuating it

Robert Spencer enlightens his readers just in time for National Black History Month:

Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history, as it was, of course, in the West as well up until relatively recent times. Yet while the European and American slave trade get lavish attention from historians […], the Islamic slave trade actually lasted longer and brought suffering to a larger number of people. It is exceedingly ironic that Islam has been presented to American blacks as the egalitarian alternative to the “white man’s slave religion” of Christianity, since Islamic slavery operated on a larger scale than did the Western slave trade, and lasted longer. While historians estimate that the transatlantic slave trade, which operated between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, involved around 10.5 million people, the Islamic slave trade in the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean areas began in the seventh century and lasted into the nineteenth, and involved 17 million people. […]Slavery is still practiced openly today in two Muslim countries, Sudan and Mauritania. In line with historical practice, Muslim slavers in the Sudan primarily enslave non-Muslims, and chiefly Christians. According to the Coalition Against Slavery in Mauritania and Sudan (CASMAS), a human rights and abolitionist movement founded in 1995, “The current Khartoum government wants to bring the non-Muslim Black South in line with Sharia law, laid down and interpreted by conservative Muslim clergy. The Black animist and Christian South remembers many years of slave raids by Arabs from the north and east and resists Muslim religious rule and the perceived economic, cultural, and religious expansion behind it.”

One modern-day Sudanese Christian slave, James Pareng Alier, was kidnapped and enslaved when he was twelve years old. Religion was a major element of his ordeal: “I was forced to learn the Koran and re-baptised Ahmed. They told me that Christianity was a bad religion. After a time we were given military training and they told us we would be sent to fight.” Alier has no idea of his family’s whereabouts. The BBC reported in March 2007 that slave raids “were a common feature of Sudan’s 21-year north-south war, which ended in 2005. . . . According to a study by the Kenya-based Rift Valley Institute, some 11,000 young boys and girls were seized and taken across the internal border—many to the states of South Darfur and West Kordofan. . . . Most were forcibly converted to Islam, given Muslim names and told not to speak their mother tongue.” Yet even today, while non-Muslims were enslaved and often forcibly converted to Islam, their conversion does not lead to their freedom. Mauritanian anti-slavery campaigner Boubacar Messaoud explains that “it’s like having sheep or goats. If a woman is a slave, her descendants are slaves.”

Anti-slavery crusaders like Messaoud have great difficulty working against this attitude, because it is rooted in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example. Particularly when the slaves are non-Muslims, there is no verse of the Qur’an corresponding to Lincoln’s favored Bible verse, Genesis 3:19, that anti-slavery Muslims can invoke against those who continue to approve of and even to practice slavery.

Read the rest.

For more on the state of Liberty around the world, see here.

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