Qur'an 4:089: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
Critique of sermon by Osama Bin Laden
Muslim Sermons from Saudi Arabia
Muslim Sermon #1 (823) - The Jewish Threat to Islam!
Muslim Sermon #2 (411) - The Jews and their treachery!
Muslim Sermon #3 (1478) - The virtues of murder & martyrdom
Muslim Sermon #4 (2108) - The evil of western civilization
Muslim Sermon #5 (1651) - Destroying non-Muslim archeology
Muslim Sermon #6 (1381) - Don't celebrate the new year
Muslim Sermon #7 (184) - Don't imitate the Christians and Jews
Muslim Sermon #8 (2097) - The future belongs to Islam
Muslim Sermon #9 (2284) - Fight the united enemies of Islam
Muslim Sermon #10 (2229) - Return to the Qur'an and fight
Muslim Sermon #11 (253) - Singing and musical instruments are Satanic
Muslim Sermon #12 (1512) - Beware of joking to much
Muslim Sermon #13 (1631) - Pray for victory over the infidels
Muslim Sermon #14 (2314) - We must support the Palestinians with jihad
Muslim Sermon #15 (2513) - Much evil comes from summer vacations
Muslim Sermon #16 (2582) - The disease of late nights
Muslim Sermon #17 (2587) - A warning to women about improper dressing
Muslim Sermon #18 (9017) - Do not celebrate Christmas!
Muslim Sermon #19 - The evil consequences of sporting competitions
Muslim Sermon #20 (409) - The obligation of animal sacrifice
Muslim Sermon #21 (201) - Christian beliefs are deviant
Muslim Sermon #22 (2031) - Music is evil
Muslim Sermon #23 (2208) - Hellfire awaits Muslims who become westernized
Muslim Sermon #24 (1577) - Do not celebrate Christmas!
Muslim Sermon #25 (1247) - Do not show loyalty to the infidels!
Free Speech Concerns Ahead of Meeting With Muslim Nations on Religious Tolerance
By Judson Berger
Published November 11, 2011
A looming meeting with Islamic leaders hosted by the State Department has religious scholars and advocacy groups warning that the United States may "play into" the push by some Islamic nations to create new laws to stifle religious criticism and debate.
The meeting on religious tolerance, which is scheduled for mid-December, would involve representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation -- a coalition of 56 nations which more or less represents the Muslim world.
Critics describe the get-together -- the first in a series -- as a Trojan horse for the long-running OIC push for restrictions on speech. They note the track record of nations that want the dialogue, including Egypt, where recent military action against Coptic Christians raised grave concerns about intolerance against religious minorities.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton originally announced the meeting this past July in Turkey, where she co-chaired a talk on religious tolerance with the OIC. The event was billed as a way to foster "respect and empathy and tolerance" among nations. Delegates from up to 30 countries, as well as groups like the European Union, are also invited.
A State Department official told FoxNews.com this week that the meeting is meant to combat intolerance while being "fully consistent with freedom of expression."
A key worry is that the meeting could become a platform for Islamic governments to push for hate-speech laws which, in their most virulent and fundamentalist form, criminalize what they perceive as blasphemy.
While Clinton has drawn a line in the sand, saying nations should not "criminalize speech," the upcoming meeting is seen by some as a misstep on a very sensitive issue.
"It's just an astonishingly bad decision," said Nina Shea, who sits on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and serves as director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.
Shea, who joined a group of scholars specializing in religious defamation for an event last week on Capitol Hill hosted by The Federalist Society, warned that the United States is virtually alone among western nations in not having hate-speech laws. She said the Obama administration doesn’t need to delve deeper into religious speech issues with OIC nations, considering their history.
Shea said she doesn’t yet fear the possibility that hate-speech laws are coming to the U.S. any time soon, “but I am concerned the culture is changing on this.”
Jacob Mchangama, director of legal affairs for Denmark's Center for Political Studies, noted that the U.S. has resisted following Europe with hate-speech laws, but the Obama administration may be willing to "relax" its approach. He noted the administration co-sponsored a resolution with Egypt in 2009 that expressed concern about "negative racial and religious stereotyping," and said the upcoming December conference lends credibility to the OIC agenda.
The push by Islamic nations, especially Pakistan, for global religious sensitivity on its surface sounds innocuous. But the debate often pits their cause against free speech, and western officials have long complained the nations spearheading the push are keen on shielding Islam specifically from criticism.
In some countries, perceived protections against religious insult are used as license to threaten, bully and attack those who offend, intentionally or not. Most recently, the office of a French satirical newspaper was attacked after it published a Muhammad cartoon. That follows widespread 2006 protests over the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.
And in Pakistan, whose blasphemy laws are internationally renowned for their broadness and severity, the legal protections on religious insult are used most often to protect Islam. Being charged with a blasphemy offense -- or criticizing the laws themselves -- can open the door to intimidation, or worse. Earlier this year, two Pakistani officials who had been critical of the laws were assassinated.
The OIC, looking for international cooperation on the issue of religious tolerance, has pushed for so-called "defamation" resolutions before the United Nations for over a decade. Those resolutions were Islam-focused and called on governments to take action to stop religious defamation.
Though the OIC took a pass on the resolution this year, the U.N. Human Rights Council in March approved a watered-down version that expresses concerns about religious "intolerance, discrimination and related violence.” The adoption was generally seen as a successful move by the U.S. to replace the far-tougher resolutions the OIC has pushed over the past decade.
But the upcoming meeting has been hailed by some OIC officials as a way to craft a tougher approach to curbing religious criticism.
An August article from the International Islamic News Agency cited OIC "informed sources" saying the meetings were meant to develop a "legal basis" for the March resolution.
The State Department official noted that the Human Rights Council’s resolution does not call for limits on free speech or provide support for defamation or blasphemy laws.
"Instead, the text notes the positive role that the free exchange of ideas and interfaith dialogue can have in countering religious intolerance," the official said. "We believe that implementing the specific, appropriate steps called for in the resolution will help to undercut support for such restrictions on expression and religious freedom."
But Shea questioned why Clinton was moving to implement the non-binding measure.
"It validates the OIC on speech," she said. "It plays into their agenda."
The meeting has been set for Dec. 12-14, and is expected to be hosted by Suzan Johnson Cook, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. It's unclear whether Clinton will attend. The meeting was announced around the same time as the Norway terror attacks, carried out by an individual said to harbor anti-Muslim views.
December’s meeting is the first in a series -- focusing on engaging religious minorities and training officials on religious awareness, as well as "enforcing laws that protect against" religious discrimination, according to the State Department.
Lindsay Vessey, advocacy director with Open Doors USA, said her group is "cautiously optimistic" about the meetings. Vessey, whose organization advocates for persecuted Christians and has criticized the "defamation" resolutions in the past, said her organization remains hopeful the upcoming conference will turn out to be a "good thing."
The conservative Traditional Values Coalition last month sent a letter to Clinton asking that the group be included as part of the discussion. President Andrea Lafferty told FoxNews.com her organization is "very concerned" the administration is becoming "cozy" with the OIC, which she claimed wants to "silence" voices critical of Islam.
Islamic countries push a global 'blasphemy' law
As a new member of the UN Human Rights Council, the US must persuade other countries not to go along.
Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board
Remember the Danish "Muhammad cartoons" that set off riots by offended Muslims more than three years ago? The debate pitted freedom of press and speech against notions of freedom from insult of one's religion. It rages still – but now in a forum with international legal implications.
For years, Islamic nations have succeeded in passing "blasphemy" resolutions at the United Nations (in the General Assembly and in its human rights body). The measures call on states to limit religiously offensive language or speech. No one wants their beliefs ridiculed, but the freedom to disagree over faith is what allows for the free practice of religion. The resolutions are misguided, but also only symbolic, because they're nonbinding.
Symbolism no longer satisfies the sponsor of these resolutions – the Organization of the Islamic Council. Under the leadership of Pakistan, the 57-nation OIC wants to give the religious antidefamation idea legal teeth by making it part of an international convention, or legally binding treaty. Members of the UN Human Rights Council are passionately debating that idea in Geneva this week.
The United States under Barack Obama recently joined the UNHRC, maligned for years as the mouthpiece for countries that are themselves flagrant human rights abusers. A "new" council formed in 2006. President Obama's hope is that as an engaged member, the US can further reform – and its own interests. This case will test his theory.
Consider the wording put forth by Pakistan, written on behalf of the OIC. It proposes "legal prohibition of publication of material that negatively stereotypes, insults or uses offensive language" on matters regarded by religious followers as "sacred or inherent to their dignity as human beings."
This gives broad latitude to governments to decide what's offensive. Countries such as Pakistan already have national blasphemy laws, but a global treaty would give them international cover to suppress minority religious groups with the excuse that these groups offend mainstream beliefs.
And what about unpopular, even "insulting" dissenters within a majority religion – such as women who seek to interpret Islamic sharia law so that they may gain more rights?
Besides, international treaties are meant to protect the rights of people, not ideas. A legal defense of dignity – how a person is viewed – is not on par with a defense of a person's inherent identity and rights. And treaties already aim to protect individuals from discrimination and violence based on religion.
As a newcomer to the Human Rights Council, the US is vigorously arguing against the OIC's latest push, as are European countries. They may not get very far in changing minds in the governments of Egypt or Saudi Arabia. But human rights advocates such as Freedom House and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom say Latin American and sub-Saharan African countries could be persuaded to resist the OIC's push.
These largely non-Muslim countries have typically voted as a bloc on the nonbinding religious defamation resolutions. But the trend has shifted so that more of them are now either abstaining or voting against the resolutions. Chile, for instance, recently switched from abstain to "no" at the March Human Rights Council vote; Liberia switched from "yes" to "no" at the last General Assembly meeting.
These are democracies that understand that suppression of speech in the name of religion can come with a negative effect – suppression of people and theological fault lines that at some point will erupt. It is, conversely, open debate, interfaith dialogue, and righting of misconceptions that will allow religion to flourish – including Islam, whose many followers feel so maligned at the moment.
"Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called antidefamation policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. I strongly disagree," said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week.
She went on to argue that the best antidote to religious intolerance is enforcement of antidiscrimination laws, government "outreach" to minority religious groups, and "the vigorous defense of both freedom of religion and expression."
The US is now in a position to persuade along these lines from inside the Human Rights Council. It should proceed with the vigor that Ms. Clinton talked about.
Christians unwelcome here
The Muslim world is becoming more intolerant
The Washington Times
Sunday, May 17, 2009
As the West continues to reach out to the Muslim world with a message of tolerance, some Muslim communities are growing increasingly intolerant toward people of other faiths. A case in point is Iraq, where Christians are being chased out of their homeland.
New research reported by Associated Press indicates that the number of Christians in Iraq has fallen to between half and one-third of the estimated population of 1.4 million before the first Gulf War. Christians have been fleeing the country after being targeted in sectarian attacks, and most find the general climate increasingly less accommodating. After a series of particularly violent anti-Christian attacks in Mosul last October, leaders of the Catholic Chaldean church and other Christian denominations wrote a protest letter stating that "it seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims."
The Taliban last week threatened Pope Benedict XVI, whom they call "the most important personality in the Christian world," with violence over "stupid and irresponsible acts of proselytism" they contend are being conducted in Afghanistan by "crusader" missionaries. This followed edited footage aired on al-Jazeera that appeared to show the military's top chaplain in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, encouraging troops to "hunt people for Jesus." Unedited footage released later showed the chaplain discussing in detail what constituted impermissible proselytizing and cautioning the troops not to cross the line.
For the Taliban, the mere presence of Christians in their country - not to mention Jews, Hindus and others - is anathema. Under current Afghan law - which is under the regime the United States and other Western countries are expending blood and treasure to defend - converting to another religion from Islam is a capital offense. Afghan aid worker Abdul Rahman, who converted to Catholicism, was allowed to flee to Italy after his arrest in 2006 created an international outcry.
During his recent tour of the Middle East, the pope denounced the "ideological manipulation of religion" and called for reconciliation between the various faiths. However, as the West promises, promotes and pleads for diversity, as national leaders travel to the Middle East to offer apologies and seek conciliation and fair play, the region answers them with faith-based apartheid. This is an issue President Obama cannot afford to ignore in his June 4 address to the Muslim world.
Fearful erosion of liberties
February 5, 2009
by Andrew Shaw
Freedom of speech is a big deal here in America. Everyone bangs the drum of just how free we are to express ourselves whenever, and wherever we wish. There is a Free Press, and the levels of literacy are higher than in many other countries. We should be able to share open and honest discussions, across a wide range of subjects without a censor standing over our shoulder, reaching round to place a finger over out lips.
A very simple concept; ‘freedom of speech’ is as much a human right as the biological imperative to air. It is a concept so stinkingly obvious that it shouldn’t be a subject of debate. “Can I breathe?” “Yes you can.” “Can I say something?” “Yes you can.” See, not hard is it?
Well, it’s not that simple. There is always a possibility that someone may be offended by what we say. We may talk out of turn, express ideologies which anger them, distress them or threaten their way of thinking. We reside in a country where all people are free to argue. Anyone offended by another person has the absolute right to debate, argue, petition. They also have the option to pursue legal prosecution against slanderous speech. It’s a great system; we all get a go on the soap box. I love the cacophony of America.
It could be argued, in polite terms, that this is a country full of overly vocal amateur enthusiasts. It could be argued that America is ‘all noise’ A fair point. There is a confidence here, borne of the fact that there is unfettered speech. We may be ignored, laughed at, told to ‘go away’ but we are granted permission, simply by being on this soil, to speak freely.
Religious practises; those surreal ceremonies and peculiar observations, are all conducted with equal freedom. We are encouraged to respect the differences of faith, or in the least, by legislation in most States we are informed to tolerate one another.
But there is something that censors us – and it is not the State, as so many conspiracy theorists would assert. It is, in part, the advertisers who are fearful of offending large swathes of the purchasing public, but I’m not talking about them. I am talking of the self censorship that is practised due to fear. This is not a politely mannered fear of causing offence; it is a fear of being attacked or killed.
In 2005 when the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, printed cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Mohammad, there was more than a little violence across the globe. Rightly so, American print and broadcast media covered the story – the resulting embassy bombings, and the murders of people associated with the publication. This violence was requested by certain ‘protectors’ of Islamic faith, Mahmud az-Zahar and Ahmed Akkari (Spokesman of Danish Imams) among the names checked.
So how does this affect us? Well, dear reader, guess which American media outlets printed the cartoons? Which editor stuck his head above the parapet and committed to condemning the violence? Not one. Not one outlet offered a proper explanation of the content of the cartoons. Instead it was expressed that Islam had to be respected to the point of obeisance, and that ‘we should have expected to be punished for being so disrespectful’ how can this be so? Isn’t the situation just off the register?
Is it really true that I cannot draw or publish the face of a man, in which I have no faith or respect, without fear of death? I do not subscribe to his prophecies. I am not a member of his faith. I am prevented from entering his places of worship. In layman’s terms, I didn’t sign up. Yet murderous men refer to this mans teaching’s and condemn me to death for not following the rules of a club of which I’m not even a member.
Denmark is a free, secular state. Like America it has freedom of speech as a right of residency. It is not a Muslim state, and it is not governed by the Imams and thugs who readily offered $1 million for the head of the cartoonist, before seeing the artwork. Perhaps they should have utilized the country’s laws and attempted prosecution against the pictures which they considered offensive? That is an action with which we could argue and defend in a civilised, judicial manner. Instead they resort to murder and Mosque-based calls to violence against all Danes, and any group or individual that supported the cartoonist.
How did America and the rest of the world respond? In the main part, it responded with fear and a reluctant acceptance of thuggery, scared of the bully or afraid to appear racist.
Let’s take a moment for reflection; Islam is not a race. Islam is an ideology, which like every other living and dead ideology, should be open to debate, cross-examination and criticism. No ideology should have unquestioned qualifications, underpinned by the threat of violence. This is a state of affairs made impossible by the sycophants of their thin-skinned prophet, the illiterate rider of a flying horse, married to a nine year old. (Don’t worry, he apparently didn’t ‘touch’ her until she was about 14 and ‘ready’) Muslim apologists simpered that these men were distorting the Koran, but that the Danes were guilty. Commentators, for the main part, condemned the ‘disrespectful publication’ Some claimed that it was a bloody mess, in reality, it was bloody simple. Few people, hushed at the time, were given opportunity to point out, that those of us outside the Islamic faith should not have to follow, respect or fear it’s dogma.
As much as I expect my opinions to possibly offend some people, I expect the fair response of argument, and to perhaps be met with counter evidence and offered the opportunity to defend my stance. I do not expect my head to be severed from my body, or to be murdered on the streets, as were five members of the press throughout Holland and Denmark, as a result of the cartoons publication. (A further 139 people died as the results of riots in Mexico, and 100 similar deaths in North Africa, when reprints of the cartoon were made)
I expect to be treated in a sensible, civilised way. I expect my voice to be free and tolerated, even if despised. Just as I respect the Muslim’s right to believe in their whispy little tales, homophobia and misogyny, I would never dream of visiting pain on them, or offering money for their decapitation. However, it is my right to complain, stamp and make as much noise in the face of such barbarism, without recognising fear, or suffering a censor who would prefer to cower before murderers, both real and rhetorical.
Is the prophet really so insubstantial that he cannot be sketched in fun, or drawn into debate? Can he not withstand a little teasing? One can take from this the image of an angry magician, inflamed by audience members sat at the side of the stage – where they have better vantage to see the wires, smoke and mirrors. Like the majority of people quick to temper we can guess this magician is a coward and a bully with no real self-confidence.
Religious intolerance in Pakistan widespread
September 22, 2008
By Khalid Hasan
International Religious Freedom report says discrimination against minorities
* Says promotions for minorities limited
WASHINGTON: While Pakistan was credited with have taken ‘some steps’ to improve the treatment of religious minorities, the International Religious Freedom Report, released at the weekend, described the general situation on this front in pretty negative terms.
The report, covering 2007, said, “The government took some steps to improve its treatment of religious minorities during the period covered by this report, but serious problems remained. Law enforcement personnel abused religious minorities in custody. Security forces and other government agencies did not adequately prevent or address societal abuse against minorities. Discriminatory legislation and the government’s failure to take action against societal forces hostile to those who practice a different religious belief fostered religious intolerance, acts of violence, and intimidation against religious minorities.”
It said, “Specific laws that discriminate against religious minorities include anti-Ahmadi and blasphemy laws. The Ahmadiyya community continued to face governmental and societal discrimination and legal bars to the practice of its religious beliefs. Members of other Islamic sects also claimed governmental discrimination.”
The report said relations between religious communities remained tense and social discrimination against minorities was widespread, accompanied by violence. Terrorist and extremist groups and individuals continued to target religious congregations. The report pointed out that freedom of speech in Pakistan was subject to ‘reasonable’ restrictions in the interests of the ‘glory of Islam’. The consequences for contravening the country’s blasphemy laws are death.
There is life imprisonment for defiling, damaging, or desecrating the holy Quran and 10 years in jail for insulting another’s religious feelings. “These laws are often used to settle personal scores as well as to intimidate vulnerable Muslims, sectarian opponents, and religious minorities,” said the annual review of religious freedom around the world.
The report took note of the December 2006 Women’s Protection Bill for which it credited former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, which amended the Hudood Ordinance and moved cases of rape and adultery to secular rather than Shariah courts. Musharraf also ordered the release of all women imprisoned under the Hudood Ordinance, resulting in the release of 2,500 women.
According to the annual review, most senior levels continued to call for interfaith dialogue and sectarian harmony as part of its programme to promote enlightened moderation and during the year held three interfaith conferences, one each in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.
Promotions: Promotions for all minority groups appear limited within the civil service, particularly acute for Ahmadis, who contend that a ‘glass ceiling’ prevents them from being promoted to senior positions. The report also points out that there have been forced conversions to Islam, especially in Sindh where 15-20 Hindu families were forced to convert.
Sectarian violence is widespread. The report notes that as part of its overall public education reform programme, valued at $100 million, the US government provided substantial financial support to the government’s curriculum reform initiative, which included eliminating the teaching of religious intolerance.
Muslim intolerance marks Jerusalem Day
By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff
June 6th, 2005
marking the 38th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification under Israeli
sovereignty Monday were overshadowed by Muslim violence against Jews
visiting the capital's Temple Mount.
Intolerance and Islam
By Frank Mazzaglia / Local View Sunday, June 26, 2005
It is now common knowledge that real or perceived disrespect toward the Koran by Americans is destined to have severe repercussion in the streets of nations throughout the middle east.
Newsweek's now retracted story alleged that American troops flushed down a copy of the Koran ended in riots and the loss of life. What is far less known are the contemptible ways that Jews, Christians, and the Bible are treated in Muslim dominated nations. There is a legitimate place for outrage in the face of the facts.
In Israel, Islam is practiced without government interference. Beyond those borders, there is not a single Christian country in the entire world where Muslims are not reasonably free to follow the precepts of their faith. By contrast, Islamic nations practice blatant discrimination.
Consider our "friends" in Saudi Arabia where Jews are banned and Christians are forbidden to worship. The punishment for the distribution of Bibles can range from a public lashing to the amputation of a limb or even to beheading. Tourists who pray in the privacy of their homes run the risk of being discovered by the religious police. Even the discussion of any other religion can result in torture as a means of conversion to Islam.
What's significant about all of this is that these horrific practices are not always the actions of extreme radicals, but rather they are systemic persecutions authorized and sometimes carried out by Islamic governments themselves.
In Sudan, where more than two million Christians have been murdered, just uttering the word "Jesus" can lead to being sold into slavery. One 22-year-old Protestant woman was captured by soldiers and treated as a slave. Led into the jungle along with 22 other Christian slaves, the woman was regularly raped and beaten. Later, she was forced to practice Islam until she was bought by Christian Solidarity International Society and set free.
Our military "allies" in Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan hold horrific records of their own. When they overran Cyprus, the Turks expelled thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians from the island and then turned an ancient church into a mosque. The Egyptian government stood by while an extremist group set fire to an entire Christian neighborhood. In Pakistan, police aided local radicals in burning 13 churches and destroying the homes of some 800 Christians because they had somehow "insulted" Islam.
In Iraq, where Saddam Hussein had proclaimed himself to be the "Defender of the Islamic Faith," more than 150 Protestant and Catholic churches were demolished by government fiat.
Muslims, particularly those born in the United States, have never been exposed to the kind of brutality routinely experienced by Jews and Christians living in Islamic countries. What is troublesome is that history reflects an Islamic pattern that when a nation gains a sufficiently Muslim population, agitation begins for the imposition of Shariah, the system of Islamic civil law. Currently, there are just over six million Muslims in the United States, so there is a long way to go before any such threat becomes a reality here.
Meanwhile, what we see clearly is that the violence of today's extremists has no bounds. In Iraq, for example, Muslims are being targeted and victimized by other Muslims. Blatant prejudice against Jews, Christians, and the Bible continue in Muslim dominated societies.
The time has come when Jews and Christians need to stop feeling badly over the alleged disrespect for the Koran, or about unfounded allegations citing brutality toward interned Islamic terrorists. From time to time, we hear about great Islamic societies of the past which fostered an admirable level of justice and tolerance. Perhaps so, but that was then and this is now.
Respect, after all, is a two-way street.
(Question by Muslim) It it permissible
for a muslim to eat with non muslims people who drink wine on the same table?
(Answer by Muslim Cleric) Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible to sit with people who are drinking wine (alcohol), whether they are kaafirs or Muslims. Allaah says concerning the one who sits with those who are speaking of kufr and falsehood:
“then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that”
[al-Nisaa’ 4:140 – interpretation of the meaning]
al-Tabari said: this aayah clearly indicates that it is not allowed to sit with the people of falsehood of any kind, when they are indulging in their falsehood. “(but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them” [al-Nisaa’ 4:140 – interpretation of the meaning]. Ibn Katheer said: i.e., you would be like them in sinning.
According to a hadeeth narrated by Jaabir, the Prophet (pecace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him not sit at a table where wine is being served.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Adab, 2725; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2246). The commentator on the hadeeth said: even if he does not drink with them, it is as if he is approving of their evil action.
So it is not permissible to sit with them or to converse with them, even if one does not drink, because if he does that he is like a silent shaytaan (devil).
If you see them, then you have to denounce them for that, and if they do not respond then leave them and keep away from them. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
SCHUMER: SAUDI GOVERNMENT MUST ERADICATE HATE RHETORIC IN TEXTBOOKS
New American Jewish Committee study of the Saudi Arabian education system reveals textbooks promoting anti-Semitic, Anti-American, and Anti-Western Views
Schumer introduces new resolution calling on Saudi Arabian government to review its education curriculum, reform it, and promote tolerance
US Senator Charles Schumer today introduced a resolution calling on the Saudi Arabian government to review its education curriculum after recent studies by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Center for Monitoring The Impact of Peace found that Saudi Arabian textbooks promote anti-Semitic, anti-American, and anti-Western views.
"The Saudi government is suffering from Yasir Arafat Syndrome," Schumer said. "While the government continues to present itself as an ally in the war on terrorism, it teaches its young people to hate the West. The ideas in these textbooks help form the foundation of hatred that has helped so many innocent children grow into terrorists as adults. If we're going to root out terrorism, it is critical that the values taught in Saudi Arabia's schools promote tolerance not hatred."
The Saudi government controls and regulates all forms of education in public as well as in private schools and is responsible for all of the content in school textbooks. The religious curriculum is written, monitored, and taught by followers of the Wahhabi sect of Islam – the only religious doctrine Saudi Arabia allows to be taught and the same sect that spawned Al-Qaeda.
In addition, the Saudi textbooks are from the same mold as the extremist teachings of the madrassah schools that preach hatred throughout the Middle East and that are funded by the Saudi government. While Islam is a peaceful religion, the madrassahs distort this message by preaching hate, violence and intolerance toward the Judeo-Christian world. These teachings indoctrinate thousands of young Saudis with the idea that terrorism is an acceptable way to articulate their Islamic beliefs. Fifteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian nationals. Schumer pointed to several examples of hate rhetoric in Saudi textbooks:
• "There is no doubt that the Muslims' power irritates the infidels and spreads envy in the hearts of the enemies of Islam-Christians, Jews and others...a malicious Crusader-Jewish alliance [is] striving to eliminate Islam from all continents. (Geography of the Muslim World, Grade 8 (1994) pg 32)
• "The abundance of the suicide cases in Western societies is surely because of their [great] distance for the true divine source. (Islamic Jurisprudence, Grade 10, (2001) p.19)
• "Now it [Palestine] is occupied by the Jews, a people of treachery and betrayal, who have gathered there from every place: from Poland, Spain, America and elsewhere. Their end, by God's will, is perdition. (Dictation, Grade 8 pt 1 (2000) p. 24)
• "All Muslims stand together for the realization of their common goals, such as [the following ones]: Purification of Jerusalem from the filth of Zionism and the liberation of Palestine. (Geography of the Muslim World , Grade 8,  p. 37)
• Jihad in God's cause is the path to victory and to strength in this world, as well as to attaining Paradise in the hereafter. ([Qur'an ] Commentary, Grade 9 (2000) p. 90)
The Schumer resolution, co-sponsored by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), calls for the Saudi Arabian government to thoroughly review its education curriculum and to reform it in a manner that promotes tolerance of all
Salman Rushdie: Islam must open its windows
Salman Rushdie calls for a Muslim
Reformation to combat jihadi ideologues
WHEN Iqbal Sacranie, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, admitted that "our own children" had perpetrated the July 7 London bombings, it was the first time in my memory that a British Muslim had accepted his community's responsibility for outrages committed by its members.
Instead of blaming US foreign policy or "Islamophobia", Sir Iqbal described the bombings as a "profound challenge" for the Muslim community. However, this is the same man who, in 1989, said that "Death is perhaps too easy" for the author of The Satanic Verses.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to knight him and treat him as the acceptable face of "moderate", "traditional" Islam is either a sign of his Government's penchant for religious appeasement or a demonstration of how limited Mr Blair's options really are.
Sir Iqbal is a strong advocate of Mr Blair's much-criticised new religious hatred bill that will make it harder to criticise religion, and actually expects the new law to outlaw references to Islamic terrorism.
He said as recently as January 13: "There is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist. This is deeply offensive. Saying Muslims are terrorists would be covered (ie, banned) by this provision."
Two weeks later his organisation boycotted a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in London. If Sir Iqbal is the best Mr Blair can offer in the way of a good Muslim, we have a problem.
Sir Iqbal's case illustrates the weakness of the Government's strategy of relying on traditional, but essentially orthodox, Muslims to help eradicate Islamist radicalism. Traditional Islam is a broad church that includes millions of tolerant, civilised people, but also many whose views on women's rights are antediluvian, who think of homosexuality as ungodly, who have little time for real freedom of expression, who routinely express anti-Semitic views, and who, in the case of the Muslim diaspora, are -- it has to be said -- in many ways at odds with the (Christian, Hindu, non-believing or Jewish) cultures among which they live.
In Leeds, from which several of the London bombers came, many traditional Muslims lead lives apart, inward-turned lives of near-segregation from the wider population. From such defensive worlds some youngsters have stepped across a moral line and taken up their lethal rucksacks.
The deeper alienations that lead to terrorism may have their roots in these young men's objections to events in Iraq or elsewhere, but the closed communities of some traditional Western Muslims are places in which alienations can easily deepen. What is needed is a move beyond tradition -- nothing less than a reform movement to bring the core concepts of Islam into the modern age, a Muslim Reformation to combat not only the jihadi ideologues but also the dusty, stifling seminaries of the traditionalists, throwing open the windows of closed communities to let in much-needed fresh air.
Creating and sustaining such a reform movement will require, above all, a new educational impetus whose results may take a generation to be felt, a new scholarship to replace the literalist diktats and narrow dogmatisms that plague present-day Muslim thinking.
It is high time, for starters, that Muslims were able to study the revelation of their religion as an event inside history, not supernaturally above it.
It should be a matter of intense interest to all Muslims that Islam is the only religion whose birth was recorded historically, its origins uniquely grounded not in legend but in fact.
The Koran was revealed at a time of great change in the Arab world, the 7th-century shift from a matriarchal nomadic culture to an urban patriarchal system. Muhammad, as an orphan, personally suffered the difficulties of this transformation, and it is possible to read the Koran as a plea for the old matriarchal values in the new patriarchal world, a conservative plea that became revolutionary because of its appeal to all those whom the new system disenfranchised, the poor, the powerless, and, yes, the orphans.
Muhammad was also a merchant and heard, on his travels, the Nestorian Christians' desert versions of Bible stories which the Koran mirrors closely. It ought to be fascinating to Muslims everywhere to see how deeply their beloved book is a product of its place and time, and in how many ways it reflects the Prophet's own experiences.
However, few Muslims have been permitted to study their religious book in this way. The insistence within Islam that the Koranic text is the infallible, uncreated word of God renders analytical scholarly discourse all but impossible.
The traditionalists' refusal of history plays right into the hands of the literalist Islamofascists, allowing them to imprison Islam in their iron certainties and unchanging absolutes. If, however, the Koran were seen as a historical document, then it would be legitimate to reinterpret it to suit the new conditions of successive new ages. Laws made in the 7th century could finally give way to the needs of the 21st. The Islamic Reformation has to begin here, with an acceptance that all ideas, even sacred ones, must adapt to altered realities.
Broad-mindedness is related to tolerance; open-mindedness is the sibling of peace. This is how to take up the "profound challenge" of the bombers. Will Sir Iqbal and his ilk agree that Islam must be modernised? That would indeed make them part of the solution. Otherwise, they're just the "traditional" part of the problem.
Saudis Hypocritical On Tolerance By Michael Hubbard
Daily Campus - Commentary
Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, yet the world remains silent. The United States is globally criticized for every misstep, but virtually no one knows of Saudi Arabia's hypocritical injustices. In fact, perhaps America's greatest injustice and most appropriate criticism, is in its continued support for Saudi Arabia.
The alleged Koran desecrations at Guantanamo made headline news for weeks, evoking outrage and sparking massive demonstrations around the world. Saudi Arabia officially responded with "indignation" demanding immediate action by the United States to rectify and prevent the alleged incidents. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, it is standard procedure for visitors to have their Bibles, religious symbols and other non-Wahhabi religious texts confiscated and incinerated (Wahhabism is Saudi Arabia's official sect of Islam). Possessing a Bible within Saudi Arabia can result in arrest, deportation and even a death sentence. For example, Sadeq Mallallah, a young Shia Muslim, was beheaded in 1993 for owning a Bible.
America, on the other hand, not only gives their prisoners Korans, but they protect the texts from being disrespected. In fact, there were only five confirmed Koran desecration incidents at Guantanamo, and the only proven intentional one was a guard kicking a Koran. In light of such a fact, it is outrageous that the entire world, including Saudi Arabia, was in an uproar over a few minor mishandlings of the Koran in a prison. This is especially outrageous, as virtually all of the mishandlings were proven false or exaggerated, while Saudi Arabia, to this day, continues its tyrannical nationwide ban on all non-Muslim religious texts and symbols.
The Saudi hypocrisy does not end there. There are millions of non-Muslim guest workers who live and work in Saudi Arabia, forbidden from practicing their own religion. For example, this past April, 40 Pakistani Christians were arrested for, as one Saudi official put it, "trying to spread their poisonous religious beliefs." A few hours later, King Abdullah flew to the United States to have a meeting with President George W. Bush. During the meeting, it was established that, "Saudi Arabia reiterates its call on all those who teach and propagate the Islamic faith to adhere strictly to the Islamic message of peace, moderation and tolerance and reject that which deviates from those principles. Both countries agree that this message of peace, moderation and tolerance must extend to those of all faiths and practices."
Despite such a pledge, Americans in Saudi Arabia cannot openly celebrate Easter, Christmas or even Thanksgiving. Indeed, Saudi Arabia continues to espouse tolerance internationally, while domestically brutally suppressing all non-Wahhabi sects.
While Saudi Arabia prevents other religions from preaching within its borders, the Saudis certainly have no problem spending billions of dollars preaching abroad. After the war in Bosnia, Saudi Arabia willingly provided aid, but not without strings attached. Mosques built by Saudi funding could not be built in the rich cultural heritage of Bosnian Muslims. Instead, they needed to be built in the featureless Wahhabi style. Saudi Arabia leveraged their aid, trying to impose a strict Wahhabi doctrine on the culturally unique Bosnian Muslims.
Earlier this year, Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom released a report on the Saudi government's funding of publications of hate ideologies for American Mosques. Some publications stated that for a homosexual or someone who engaged in heterosexual activity outside of marriage "it would be lawful for Muslims to spill his blood and to take his money." There are also numerous statements against Sufi Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Christians, Jews, women and democracy. It is hypocritical that the Saudis are allowed to hate monger and preach abroad while there is no freedom of religion in their own country.
Saudi citizens are allowed to traverse the world, and each country allows them to freely practice their faith. Yet, Saudi Arabia is a nation where non-Muslims are not allowed to be citizens, and non-Muslims can't even enter the city of Mecca. There is no freedom of religion, and though the government claims to respect the right of non-Muslims to worship in private, this right has been repeatedly violated. In light of Saudi Arabia's hypocrisy and extreme intolerance, the United States needs to seriously reconsider its support of Saudi Arabia and the international news media needs to stop ignoring Saudi Arabia's hypocrisy.
Waging jihad against Piglet
Here in America, we look west to California to spot the latest trends. But to see the latest fashion in multicultural madness, we'd do better to look east toward Europe. There, a growing Muslim immigrant population is demanding that its new home countries change their infidel ways.
In France, Muslims are fighting a battle over whether a law banning the wearing of religious apparel in public schools could apply to the headscarves worn by Muslim girls. So far, this conflict has remained civil, fought as it should be in the courts.
Not so in the Netherlands, where Muslims opposed to long-standing Dutch liberalism have taken matters into their own hands. Filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was executed by a radical Muslim incensed by the director's depiction of violence against women in Islamic societies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament who has been critical of radical Islam, lives in hiding under a number of death threats — one of which was pinned with a knife to Van Gogh's body.
From England comes a collection of less serious but far more ridiculous examples of the fundamentalist Muslim's need to stamp out anything he deems offensive.
St. George's Cross, a red cross on a white field, has been England's national flag since the 1200s. But now guards at an English prison have been forbidden to wear it for fear it may cause offense. Guards had been wearing lapel pins depicting the flag in support of a cancer charity.
It seems the flag causes offense to Muslims who see it as a reminder of the Crusades. Chris Doyle, director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, told CNN the flag is an insensitive, racist symbol that must be replaced. "A lot of Muslims and Arabs view the Crusades as a bloody episode in our history," he said. "They see those campaigns as Christendom launching a brutal holy war against Islam."
From this point on, the sensitive English Muslim just gets silly.
A town council, following the complaint of a Muslim employee, has banned all representations of pigs and pig-related merchandise from its offices. Muslims believe pigs are unclean.
According to Mark Steyn, columnist for The Daily Telegraph, the ban extends even to a tissue box portraying images of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Apparently, even a stammering cartoon pig in a scarf is a threat to all that's holy.
Steyn also reports that Burger King restaurants in England have stopped selling ice cream because one Muslim complained the decorative swirl on the container looked like the Arabic word for "Allah."
"It doesn't, not really, not except that in the sense any twirly motif looks vaguely Arabic," Steyn wrote. "After all, Burger King isn't suicidal enough to launch Allah Ice Cream. But, after Mr. Akhtar urged Muslims to boycott the chain and claimed that 'this is my jihad,' Burger King yanked the ice cream and announced that, design-wise, it was going back to the old drawing-board."
What's shocking about this are not the demands but the willingness with which otherwise sensible English people concede to them. The same people who alone stood fast against German domination of Europe are now handing over their country without a squeak.
Imagine that I were to emigrate to a Muslim country. And there I demand the national flag be changed because its green color and crescent motif reminds me of the Muslim occupation of Spain or the siege of Vienna in 1683. Would it comply? Should I expect it to? What of my delicate sensitivities?
What if I demanded that national dietary practice change because my northern European heritage says nothing's better on a hot summer day than a cold beer and a ham sandwich? Would my needs be met?
What if, as a Christian, I were to demand simply the right to read my Bible and attend church? In Saudi Arabia, where the hardline Wahhabi sect of Islam rules, possession of a Bible is forbidden. I might wish to visit Mecca, the center of one of the world's three great monotheistic religions, but I cannot. Non-Muslims are forbidden to set foot in the city.
These trends are already established here in the United States.
We ought to welcome immigrants, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. They bring skills, ideas, labor and cultural practices that can enrich our nation. But at the same time we must insist that immigrants accept and adopt our ways, too. For Muslims, that means a recognition that not everyone believes as they do. Nor will we require non-Muslims to adopt Muslim ways.
Respect for other cultures is not a bad thing. But a fetish can be made of multiculturalism that rots a nation from within by destroying its sense of unity and shared identity. We are one nation, made up of many disparate parts. Hence our national motto, e pluribus unum — out of many, one.
But with our devotion to misguided ideals we have, in the words of historian Arthur Schlesinger, too much pluribus and not enough unum.
Islam’s Religious Intolerance
December 19, 2005
[The following statement by
Dr. Ehrenfeld was read by Alyssa Lappen at the meeting on "Protection of
Religious Sites and Prevention of the Use of Religion to Incite
Terrorism/Violence" which took place at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on
December 13th, 2005. Dr. Ehrenfeld was ill with pneumonia].
No churches or synagogues have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia since it was established in 1932 —because none are allowed. Those who want to establish churches "are, unfortunately, fanatics," according to the Saudi First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, in an interview with the Associated Press on March 13, 2003. He concluded: "There are no churches - not in the past, the present or future....”
There is no declared Muslim state, which offers full civil rights to members of other religions. Many Christians work in Saudi Arabia, but they are not allowed to practice their religion in public because there is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. The State Department's report on Religious Freedom points out that the Saudis do “not always respect this right in practice and do not define this right in law.”
Last April, 40 Pakistani Christians including men, women and children were arrested for holding prayers in a private home in Riyadh. Needless to say, their prayer-books were confiscated.
Moreover, in the 1990's, Christian religious services in the American Embassy were terminated at the Saudi government's request. And even websites devoted to other religions and to religious freedom and tolerance are blocked by the Saudi government.
And the Saudis not only oppress all other religions but actively promote an ideology of hate in their own country and abroad. Freedom House documented how the Saudi government is involved in propagating internationally a “religious ideology that explicitly promotes hate, intolerance, and other human rights violations, and in some cases violence, toward members of other religious groups, both Muslims and non-Muslims.”
In Iran, where the president has repeatedly said, "I want to stop Christianity in this country," last month, a Protestant pastor has been murdered because he himself converted from Islam. It is important to note that all five schools of Islamic law agree that the penalty for conversion - "apostasy" - is death.
In Indonesia, especially in the Moluccan islands, thousands of Christians were massacred and tens of thousands driven from their homes in the last decade alone by Islamist mobs.
In Egypt, Christians face persecution in the form of rapes, kidnappings and forced conversions as well as economic discrimination and restriction on their property and on what they can build.
Similar situations apply in most Gulf States, which were Islamized long ago. In Yemen, “the government forbids conversions, requires permission for the construction of new places of worship and prohibits non-Muslims from proselytizing.” The country has two churches in the city of Aden. One of the churches was bombed on January 1, 2001. And on December 30, 2002 - three Southern Baptist missionaries working in the Baptist Hospital at Jibla were killed.
In November 2005, Qatar allowed to construct the first church in 14 Centuries. However, no “freestanding cross” to identify the building as a church is allowed. Yet, this is seen as a big step towards reform.
However, radical Islamists adhere to medieval traditions and laws mandating the Jihad. According to the Dictionary of Islam: conquered by jihad, subjugated people are given three choices:
2) pay a head tax, or
Thirteenth Century jurist Ibn Taymiya, often quoted by Osama bin Laden, wrote that spoils of war “received the name of fay since Allah had taken them away from the infidels in order to restore them to the Muslims.... [The] infidels forfeit their persons and their belongings which they do not use in Allah's service to the faithful believers who serve Allah and unto whom Allah restitutes what is theirs....”
This creed dictated that in conquered regions, ancient religious sites be confiscated and infidels banned from using them. Thus, the Dome of the Rock was constructed on the ruins of the Temple Mount in 691 AD., Al-Aqsa Mosque over the Basilica of St. Mary in 712, AD, and the Grand Mosque of Damascus, was built over the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 715 AD.
In India, the Vikramasli temple was razed to the ground in the 13th Century, and its foundation- stones thrown into the Ganges. According to scholar K.S. Lal, thousands of Hindu temples were destroyed and their stones used to build mosques.
Muslim scribes recount the detestation on a church in Georgia in 1551 by Safavid Shah Tahmasp. “The Shah and his nobles went to see the church and slew twenty evil priests and broke the bell of 17 maunds...and destroyed the doors of iron and gold and sent them to the treasury.”
Only when infidels surrendered could they preserve religious buildings, and then only if a clause specifically allowed them, but in that case modifications and improvements were prohibited. Furthermore, 11th Century jurist Abu Al-Hasan Al Mawardi wrote that non-Muslim dhimmis “are not allowed to erect new synagogues or churches in the territory of Islam and any built are to be demolished without compensation.”
In countries with a Muslim majority, Islamists regularly target churches, synagogues and other non-Muslim holy sites for desecration and destruction. The list of old and new examples of Islamic edicts preaching intolerance of others and calling for their destruction as well as the destruction of their holy sites is long.
Unless those - still the majority of the world - who do not adhere to such dogma, take action to stop this aggression, our future is in jeopardy.
The history of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, headed by Yasser Arafat, is filled with religious violence. From 1975 to 1982, when the PLO operated in and from Lebanon, it terrorized Christian communities and ransacked their churches. Even after the newly established Palestinian Authority committed to religious tolerance in the Oslo Accord, its own police forcefully took over Abraham's Oak Russian "Holy Trinity" Monastery in Hebron, on July 5, 1997, wounding several monks and nuns.
Then, in January 2000, the PA evicted five White Russian monks from their 19th Century Jericho Monastery.
In September 1996, Palestinians destroyed the synagogue at Joseph's tomb in Nablus. Then, in October 2000, the reconstructed synagogue and yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb was sacked and burned by mobs, and Rabbi Hillel Lieberman, who went there hoping to save Torah scrolls and other holy objects, was murdered. The next day his bullet-ridden body was found in a cave. Today, the Jewish holy site is buried under the new mosque that was built over the ruins of Joseph Tomb.
The PA’s Tanzim terrorist group invasion and desecration of Bethlehem's Church of Nativity, in May 2002, was premeditated, according to their commander Abdullah Abu-Hadid. He stated on record: "The idea was to enter the church in order to create international pressure on Israel... We knew beforehand that there was two years worth of food for 50 monks. Oil, beans, rice, olives, good bathrooms and the largest wells in old Bethlehem."
The PA terrorists "stole gold objects from the monks, ate their scarce food, and urinated on the church floor."
Muslims have attacked the “infidels” and their houses of worship in order to take over their properties for centuries. In the September 1955 “Istanbul Pogrom,” Muslims sacked the homes, businesses and churches of tens of thousands of Greek Christians, Armenians and Jews in Istanbul. “Dozens of Greek men and women were raped, and a number of men were forcibly circumcised by the mob.” Today, of the 200,000 of the Greek community, only 1,500 live in Istanbul. And only 24,000 Jews remained of more than 100,000 at the beginning of the last Century. As for the Armenians, their massacre in 1915 has been well documented.
In the Balkans, since the Serbs were defeated in Kosovo in 1999, more than 100 ancient Orthodox holy places were destroyed, some dating back to the 13th through 15th centuries.
The destruction of the two fifth-century Buddha statues lining Bamiyan Valley's soaring cliffs, in March 2001, came after a fatwa ordered by the Taliban that all Afghan “idols” be destroyed as anti-Muslim.
Islamists scholars supported the destruction of the Buddha statutes. Among the supporters was American Muslim, Sheikh Ali al-Timimi, who in July this year was sentenced by a judge in Virginia to life in prison because he worked to get a group of young Americans Muslims to obtain terrorists training so that they could go to Afghanistan and fight with the Taliban against the “infidels.” He wrote that there is “overwhelming evidence from the Quran and the Sunna where we have been commanded to destroy all images and flatten all graves.”
Unfortunately, many other holy sites of other religions have been destroyed because of the intolerant Islamists – both Shiite and Sunni dogmas that teach disrespect for the rights of Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims. The most flagrant proponent of this hate lately is Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who not only denies the Holocaust as a historical event, but uses every opportunity to reiterate that Israel "must be wiped off the map."
Statements like this encourage not only the massacre of Jews and their holy sites, but also are responsible for the mass murder of Christians and the razing of churches worldwide—in Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan and Nigeria—which happens in in 83% of nations with Muslim majorities, according to Tom Barrett in American Daily.
To remedy the situation, the UN—as well as all other international organizations—should sanction all the countries that do not allow religious freedom and withdraw all membership privileges of all the countries that do not provide legal protection and equal rights to all their citizens.
February 7, 2006
Newspaper cartoonists are in the business of being provocative, as Age readers will know. Rarely, if ever, have they provoked such a response as have 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that were drawn at the invitation of Danish broadsheet Jyllands-Posten and first published on September 30. The sacrilegious images were calculated to offend Muslims - the paper was drawing attention to self-censorship under threat of extremist reprisals - and the outrage has now spread worldwide in a dispute that touches on everything from freedom of speech and religious tolerance to stereotyping and extremism. The Age has not published these cartoons as a matter of editorial judgement, a position supported by this newspaper's cartoonists. The Danish cartoons were neither insightful nor effective, just stereotypical smears. At the level of content, there was little justification to run them. Even given their curiosity value, such material carries a responsibility to consider whether the point of publication outweighs any likely offence. Having the freedom to publish does not mean we must publish to prove it.
Any newspaper ought to be offended, however, by the use of threats or violence to dictate what may be published; an intimidated media is no longer a free media. For this reason, media across Europe and eventually as far afield as New Zealand chose to reproduce the cartoons as an act of solidarity in the name of press freedom. Secular societies may be all but oblivious to the injunction against graven images - it is a Christian commandment, too - but Muslim outrage exploded. Embassies have been burned and citizens threatened. Economic boycotts are starting to bite. Iraq and Iran have threatened the cancellation of contracts, which include New Zealand sheep exports. These decisions to hold whole countries to account for their newspapers betray an entirely different view of the relationship between the state and the media. As a Danish Government spokesman said: "We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work."
Jyllands-Posten has now apologised. Editor Carsten Juste said he would not have printed the cartoons "had we known that it would lead to boycotts and Danish lives being endangered". Unfortunately, his original point about extreme reprisals has been confirmed by violence that has provided more images of the Islamic fanaticism of which many Muslims have come to despair. It is imperative that Muslim leaders reject the violent rule of the mob, just as non-Muslims need to avoid inflaming relations. As Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said: "One extreme triggers the other." The reaction to 12 obscure cartoons is evidence of a deeply damaged relationship between the West and Islam.
The Age also reported that an Australian Catholic University survey of year 10 students found more than half saw Muslims as terrorists (they also admitted knowing very little about Islam). Little wonder many Muslims see the "war on terror" as a war on them. Their community is besieged by hostility and suspicion, which helps explain why they want to make their hurt felt, as a New Zealand protest organiser said. In response to the survey, Islamic Council of Victoria board member Waleed Aly rightly said: "The only way you can combat this kind of prejudice is on a personal level." The chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Phong Nguyen, stressed the need to foster "a growing, mature understanding of the world and other people".
This cuts both ways; Muslims are not the only people to have been offended, nor is theirs the only community to harbour extremists, but few others have sought such fierce retribution. The antidote to extremism is dialogue and understanding between communities - whether their values are liberal secular or devoutly religious. The Age's handling of this issue reflects a long commitment to good intercommunal relationships, which is the bedrock of Victoria's multicultural success story. This is one of the great challenges created by globalisation, which must necessarily be met at community level. Media and individuals of goodwill can have no illusions about its importance.
The Vatican Confronts Islam
by Daniel Pipes
July 5, 2006
"Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It's our duty to protect ourselves." Thus spoke Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican's supreme court, referring to Muslims. Explaining his apparent rejection of Jesus' admonition to his followers to "turn the other cheek," De Paolis noted that "The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century … and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights."
De Paolis is hardly alone in his thinking; indeed, the Catholic Church is undergoing a dramatic shift from a decades-old policy to protect Catholics living under Muslim rule. The old methods of quiet diplomacy and muted appeasement have clearly failed. The estimated 40 million Christians in Dar al-Islam, notes the Barnabas Fund's Patrick Sookhdeo, increasingly find themselves an embattled minority facing economic decline, dwindling rights, and physical jeopardy. Most of them, he goes on, are despised and distrusted second-class citizens, facing discrimination in education, jobs, and the courts.
These harsh circumstances are causing Christians to flee their ancestral lands for the West's more hospitable environment. Consequently, Christian populations of the Muslim world are in a free-fall. Two small but evocative instances of this pattern: for the first time in nearly two millennia, Nazareth and Bethlehem no longer have Christian majorities.
This reality of oppression and decline stands in dramatic contrast to the surging Muslim minority of the West. Although numbering fewer than 20 million and made up mostly of immigrants and their offspring, it is an increasingly established and vocal minority, granted extensive rights and protections even as it wins new legal, cultural, and political prerogatives.
This widening disparity has caught the attention of the Church, which for the first time is pointing to radical Islam, rather than the actions of Israel, as the central problem facing Christians living with Muslims.
Rumblings of this could be heard already in John Paul II's time. For example, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican equivalent of foreign minister, noted in late 2003 that "There are too many majority Muslim countries where non-Muslims are second-class citizens." Tauran pushed for reciprocity: "Just as Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should be able to do so as well."
Catholic demands for reciprocity have grown, especially since the accession of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, for whom Islam is a central concern. In February, the pope emphasized the need to respect "the convictions and religious practices of others so that, in a reciprocal manner, the exercise of freely-chosen religion is truly assured to all." In May, he again stressed the need for reciprocity: Christians must love immigrants and Muslims must treat well the Christians among them.
Lower-ranking clerics, as usual, are more outspoken. "Islam's radicalization is the principal cause of the Christian exodus," asserts Monsignor Philippe Brizard, director general of Oeuvre d'Orient, a French organization focused on Middle Eastern Christians. Bishop Rino Fisichella, rector of the Lateran University in Rome, advises the Church to drop its "diplomatic silence" and instead "put pressure on international organizations to make the societies and states in majority Muslim countries face up to their responsibilities."
The Danish cartoons crisis offered a typical example of Catholic disillusionment. Church leaders initially criticized the publication of the Muhammad cartoons. But when Muslims responded by murdering Catholic priests in Turkey and Nigeria, not to speak of scores of Christians killed during five days of riots in Nigeria, the Church responded with warnings to Muslims. "If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us, " said Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State. "We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts," added Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, its foreign minister.
Obtaining the same rights for Christians in Islamdom that Muslims enjoy in Christendom has become the key to the Vatican's diplomacy toward Muslims. This balanced, serious approach marks a profound improvement in understanding that could have implications well beyond the Church, given how many lay politicians heed its leadership in inter-faith matters. Should Western states also promote the principle of reciprocity, the results should indeed be interesting.
This is a Saudi textbook.
(After the intolerance was removed.)
By Nina Shea
Sunday, May 21, 2006; B01
Saudi Arabia's public schools have long been cited for demonizing the West as well as Christians, Jews and other "unbelievers." But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis -- that was all supposed to change.
A 2004 Saudi royal study group recognized the need for reform after finding that the kingdom's religious studies curriculum "encourages violence toward others, and misguides the pupils into believing that in order to safeguard their own religion, they must violently repress and even physically eliminate the 'other.' " Since then, the Saudi government has claimed repeatedly that it has revised its educational texts.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, has worked aggressively to spread this message. "The kingdom has reviewed all of its education practices and materials, and has removed any element that is inconsistent with the needs of a modern education," he said on a recent speaking tour to several U.S. cities. "Not only have we eliminated what might be perceived as intolerance from old textbooks that were in our system, we have implemented a comprehensive internal revision and modernization plan." The Saudi government even took out a full-page ad in the New Republic last December to tout its success at "having modernized our school curricula to better prepare our children for the challenges of tomorrow." A year ago, an embassy spokesman declared: "We have reviewed our educational curriculums. We have removed materials that are inciteful or intolerant towards people of other faiths." The embassy is also distributing a 74-page review on curriculum reform to show that the textbooks have been moderated.
The problem is: These claims are not true.
A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year reveals that, despite the Saudi government's statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the "monotheists") and unbelievers (the "polytheists" and "infidels").
This indoctrination begins in a first-grade text and is reinforced and expanded each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text instructing students that their religious obligation includes waging jihad against the infidel to "spread the faith."
Freedom House knows this because Ali al-Ahmed, a Saudi dissident who runs the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs , gave us a dozen of the current, purportedly cleaned-up Saudi Ministry of Education religion textbooks. The copies he obtained were not provided by the government, but by teachers, administrators and families with children in Saudi schools, who slipped them out one by one.
Some of our sources are Shiites and Sunnis from non-Wahhabi traditions -- people condemned as "polytheistic" or "deviant" or "bad" in these texts -- others are simply frustrated that these books do so little to prepare young students for the modern world.
We then had the texts translated separately by two independent, fluent Arabic speakers.
Religion is the foundation of the Saudi state's political ideology; it is also a key area of Saudi education in which students are taught the interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism (a movement founded 250 years ago by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab) that is reflected in these textbooks.
Scholars estimate that within the Saudi public school curriculum, Islamic studies make up a quarter to a third of students' weekly classroom hours in lower and middle school, plus several hours each week in high school. Educators who question or dissent from the official interpretation of Islam can face severe reprisals. In November 2005, a Saudi teacher who made positive statements about Jews and the New Testament was fired and sentenced to 750 lashes and a prison term. (He was eventually pardoned after public and international protests.)
The Saudi public school system totals 25,000 schools, educating about 5 million students. In addition, Saudi Arabia runs academies in 19 world capitals, including one outside Washington in Fairfax County, that use some of these same religious texts.
Saudi Arabia also distributes its religion texts worldwide to numerous Islamic schools and madrassas that it does not directly operate. Undeterred by Wahhabism's historically fringe status, Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world's authoritative voice on Islam -- a sort of "Vatican" for Islam, as several Saudi officials have stated-- and these textbooks are integral to this effort. As the report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks observed, "Even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools" available.
Education is at the core of the debate over freedom in the Muslim world. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden understands this well; in a recent audiotape he railed against those who would "interfere with school curricula."
The passages below -- drawn from the same set of Saudi texts proudly cited in the new 74-page review of curriculum reform now being distributed by the Saudi Embassy -- are shaping the views of the next generation of Saudis and Muslims worldwide. Unchanged, they will only harden and deepen hatred, intolerance and violence toward other faiths and cultures. Is this what Riyadh calls reform?
" Every religion other than Islam is false."
"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."
"True belief means . . . that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."
"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives."
"It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."
"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion."
"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power."
"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."
"God told His Prophet, Muhammad, about the Jews, who learned from parts of God's book [the Torah and the Gospels] that God alone is worthy of worship. Despite this, they espouse falsehood through idol-worship, soothsaying, and sorcery. In doing so, they obey the devil. They prefer the people of falsehood to the people of the truth out of envy and hostility. This earns them condemnation and is a warning to us not to do as they did."
"They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied [with them]."
"Some of the people of the Sabbath were punished by being turned into apes and swine. Some of them were made to worship the devil, and not God, through consecration, sacrifice, prayer, appeals for help, and other types of worship. Some of the Jews worship the devil. Likewise, some members of this nation worship the devil, and not God."
"Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."
"The clash between this [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills."
"It is part of God's wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour [of judgment]."
"Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him."
The 10th-grade text on jurisprudence teaches that life for non-Muslims (as well as women, and, by implication, slaves) is worth a fraction of that of a "free Muslim male." Blood money is retribution paid to the victim or the victim's heirs for murder or injury:
"Blood money for a free infidel. [Its quantity] is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, whether or not he is 'of the book' or not 'of the book' (such as a pagan, Zoroastrian, etc.).
"Blood money for a woman: Half of the blood money for a man, in accordance with his religion. The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money for a male infidel."
"The greeting 'Peace be upon you' is specifically for believers. It cannot be said to others."
"If one comes to a place where there is a mixture of Muslims and infidels, one should offer a greeting intended for the Muslims."
"Do not yield to them [Christians and Jews] on a narrow road out of honor and respect."
"Jihad in the path of God -- which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it -- is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God."
Nina Shea is director of the Center for Religious Freedom at Freedom House.
Hamas Militiamen Beat Protesters in Gaza Tuesday August 14, 2007
By IBRAHIM BARZAK
Associated Press Writer
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Security men for Gaza's Hamas rulers clubbed and slammed rifle butts into opponents staging a rare protest Monday, seizing the cameras of journalists covering the event and raiding media offices to prevent news footage from getting out.
The Islamic militant group claims it is willing to tolerate dissent, but the crackdown was the latest in a series of moves to squash opposing voices, including breaking up private parties Friday and Monday where people were singing songs of the rival Fatah movement.
After Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip routed forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah in five days of fighting in June, the group declared an amnesty for former Fatah fighters.
Yet when Fatah and allied groups announced plans for Monday's rally, Hamas banned ``all demonstrations and public gatherings'' that do not have official permission.
Buses carrying protesters were halted by Hamas guards who beat passengers, driving them away and confiscating Fatah flags. However, about 300 people got past the militia cordon and demonstrated for 20 minutes, shouting ``We want freedom. We want to raise our voice!''
Security officers arrested several demonstrators and then confiscated equipment from news photographers and cameramen trying to cover the arrests, including an Associated Press still camera.
Hamas squads also raided the Gaza offices of media organizations, looking for material from the rally. Staffers at satellite broadcaster Al-Arabiya said the militiamen seized a camera and videotape at their office.
The Palestinian journalists union urged its members to observe a three-day boycott of any events organized by the Hamas militia, known as the Executive Force, to protest its treatment of the media.
Saleh Nasser, a member of the small, leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine who was at the rally, condemned Hamas' actions.
``Treating people in this way when they came to raise their voice in a peaceful demonstration is something that is condemned, rejected and cannot be accepted,'' he said. ``We are astonished by the decision to ban demonstrations.''
The Gaza fighting in June, during which about 100 people were killed and 500 wounded, deepened the already bitter political rivalry between Hamas and Fatah.
Following the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Abbas expelled Hamas from the Palestinian coalition government and formed a West Bank-based administration of moderates in its place.
Undeterred, deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh pledged to impose law and order in the formerly anarchic Gaza Strip. But his Executive Force is gaining a reputation for heavy-handedness, particularly when dealing with Fatah supporters.
On Friday, rifle-toting militiamen roared up to a bachelor party where revelers were dancing to Fatah songs. Video showed the Hamas men firing in the air to break up the celebration, clubbing guests, hurling chairs around and leaving one man lying unconscious.
The images were repeatedly broadcast on Fatah-affiliated Palestine TV. The cameraman who took the footage, from the local Gaza Ramattan news agency, was detained and questioned by Hamas for several hours.
On Monday, the Executive Force was in action again, breaking up the wedding of a Fatah activist and holing five guests for several hours.
One of those detained, Zaid Salem, said wedding participants were singing Fatah songs but did not break a Hamas ban on celebratory gunfire and were not charged with any wrongdoing.
``We were celebrating the wedding and we were astonished by this act,'' he said. ``We were released, but we have no explanation for what happened.''
Hamas did not comment directly on Monday's incidents.
But in a statement, it said the Executive Force is a nonpartisan enforcer of public order regulations, which require that demonstrations be authorized 48 hours in advance and that social events be low key - without shooting, fireworks, excessive noise or disruption of public streets.
``Anyone violating these orders will be subject to punishment,'' the statement said. ``Nobody is above the law.''
In other violence, a Hamas militant was killed and seven others were wounded early Tuesday by Israeli gunfire in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli army confirmed it carried out the strike, saying it was targeting militants in the area.
Author links Koran to intolerance of Jews and Christians
Andrew Bostom, author of "The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism" links the Koran and centuries of tradition to Muslim intolerance of both Jews and Christians in countries dominated by Islam.
Monday, July 21, 2008
By Martin Barillas
In an exclusive interview,
author and physician Andrew G. Bostom showed how familiar he is with
the Koran and subsequent commentary and
Islamic law but also with the history of relations between Islam and Judaism.
His newest book "The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism: from Sacred Texts to
Solemn History" (Prometheus Books) deserves to go on the reference shelf for
quick consultation by any journalist, researcher, or anyone else curious about
Islam and its centuries of relations with Christianity and Judaism. And anyone
who wishes to learn whether Islam is indeed a religion of peace will learn how
the Koran itself has inspired some Muslims to violence against
Jews (and Christians) ever since
Muhammad came out of the wastes of the Arabian peninsula 1200 years ago.
Asked whether it is possible for Christians and Jews to live unmolested while living in Muslim lands, given the centuries-old custom of imposing not only humiliations but a head-tax called “jizya” on them, Bostom answered "There is no sign of that yet." If indeed there were a rejection of such practices, asked Bostom, "then where is the outcry from Islamic scholars? Where is the outcry from the Al Azhar (the renowned center of Islamic learning in Cairo)? Where is the protest against the violence and extremism in Iraq?" Even in 2008, Coptic Christians in Egypt have had to contend with violence from Muslim extremists and onerous requirements for repairing or building churches. Likewise in areas controlled by Muslim extremists in Iraq beyond the normal scope of US forces, Christians are being subjected to kidnappings, murder, and exile.
Being a physician, Bostom referred to the various manifestations of Islamic intolerance or tolerance of "People of the Book" (al- Kitâb) - Jews and Christians - with a reference to medical terminology. "A forme fruste is medical term that refers to an incomplete manifestation of a disease entity", in reference to treatment meted out to Christians and Jews in Islamic countries. "I don't see signs that Muslim practice has relegated these teachings to the back burner."
In the first part of his book, Bostom probes in an essay "Islamic Antisemitism - Jew-Hatred in Islam" - noting that more than a thousand years ago Jews in the Middle East were so afflicted by hatred and depredations directed at them by Muslims that they had to invent a word to describe it. Jews, and Christians, were forced under Islamic law to wear distinctive clothing, show deference to Muslims, and pay the jizya. While the jizya or head-tax is not now generally imposed, it is now re-emerging in places like Iraq, said Bostom, where Christians are compelled to pay ransom and extortion money by Muslim gangs. Christians, like Jews, are forced to leave or face violence.
When asked whether he sees a possibility of change, Bostom said “I can’t give up hope”, even while “It is at most a remote possibility that the region is headed back towards some sort of individualism.” Nevertheless, said Bostom, there are courageous individuals within Islam such as Ibn Warraq and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who condemn Islam's intolerance of non-Muslims.
But the most scathing charge made by Bostom in his new book is that anti-Semitism is actually essential to Islam and has roots in the Koran itself. According to Bostom, Muslim tradition holds that it was a Jewish conspiracy that led to the poisoning death of Mohammed.
Bostom added "The with the creation of Israel, dhimmi Jews liberated from the sharia were an unbearable affront to the Islamic order and this has triggered, predictably, the widespread exploitation of these eschatological motifs calling for mass destruction of the Jews."
Bostom seeks to debunk in his latest book the notion that Muslim animosity towards Jews is confined entirely to the 20th century and that it has been sparked by the protracted Israeli-Arab conflict. He referred to multiple references cited by the various authors contributing to "The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism" that use Muslim texts from different time periods and locations to prove the point that Muslim animosity towards Jews as a people is pervasive. In the interview, Bostom cited Sheikh Ahmad al-Farooqi Sirhindi - an Indian Muslim of the 1500s - who is quoted "Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam." Some modern scholars ignore or obscure this legacy of Islam, said Bostom.
But in the first chapter of his book, Bostom notes the scholarship of S.D Goitein who reviewed literature of one thousand years ago and who could assert that a unique strain of Islamic Jew hatred was extant even then in Egypt. Jews had to coin a specific term to describe Islamic animosity while living as a barely tolerated people in such places as Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia. Law and custom dictated that Jews - and Christians - show deference to Muslims in all matters, wear prescribed clothing, and even dismount their beasts of burden in the presence of Muslims.
While acknowledging that history has been marked at times by anti-Semitism on the part of Christians, Bostom remarked that the Muslim version is "profoundly different and what disturbed me is the depth to which it appears in the Koran itself." He noted that Jews are likened to apes and swine and that in the Koran they are cursed by David, and Jesus "Mary's son." However, the Jesus of the Koran bears no resemblance to the Jesus known to Christians, said Bostom, while Islam is predicted to vanquish Christianity on the day of Resurrection while the Jews will go to hell in the Muslim eschatology.
Not only Israel, but the United States has had to contend with suicide missions of fanatics who detonate bombs that kill themselves and others, or immolate themselves in attacks as on September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington DC. Bostom averred that the Muslim concept of martyrdom varies significantly from the Judeo-Christian concept of "witness" the translation from the Greek of the root word for martyr. Bostom noted the work on suicide in Islam by Franz Rosenthal who contended in a work published in 1946 that suicide is neither sanctioned nor forbidden by Islam. Suicide, in the cause of Islam, then is extolled by Mohammed himself and seconded by imams and commentators of Islamic tradition ever since.
When asked specifically about Muslim inroads in Europe (especially Spain) where its influence is growing, Bostom said such efforts are "part of the Islamic idea of supremacy. They still believe Spain is theirs." The efforts of Muslim leaders, such as Spain's Mansur Escudero, are part of an effort to make that part of the world "permanently part of Dar al Islam” said Bostom, who added that petitions and gestures, such as Escudero's insistence that public Muslim prayer be allowed in a Catholic church that once was a mosque in Cordoba, are headed towards "reconquest." Southern Spain, or Andalucía, was long a part of the Muslim world or Dar al Islam. Thousands of Muslim immigrants from Morocco and elsewhere in the Muslim world are coming to Spain illegally but finding refuge there. As their presence grows, demands by the Muslim community in Spain are becoming more insistent as it is elsewhere in Europe.
Shifting from Europe to the Mideast, Bostom referred to the Arab/Israeli conflict. He quoted Abu Iyaad - a lieutenant of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and a founder of the Fatah terrorist organization - as saying "We cannot allow historical Palestine to become another Andalucía" as noted by author Bat Yeor. "This shows how deep-seated these beliefs are", added Bostom.
CHRISTIANITY TEACHES TOLERANCE
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
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