ambiguity

March 11, 2010

What Peace?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 12:08 pm

I watched Bill Maher’s documentary-film “Religulous” last year, and one of the scenes that really stuck with me was the one where Bill Maher interviews a Muslim Cleric by the name of Mohamed Junas Gaffar. Halfway through, his cellphone rings and the ringtone is Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. But that’s not why i remember it. I remember it because this particular Cleric makes the outrageous claim that Islam is a religion of peace, and that all the violence is caused not by Islam itself, but by the politicizing of Islam.

Yesterday, leading Swedish newspapers republished Lars Vilk’s controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog after seven people were arrested in Ireland for conspiracy to murder. Sweden’s paper of reference Dagens Nyheter released a statement saying “A threat against him(Vilks) is, in the end, a threat against all Swedish people.”

In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published an editorial of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The one Muslims took the most offense to was the portrait of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, along with a shahadah written on it. They claim that it depicts Islam, Muslims and Muhammad as terrorists, interested only in bringing about the deaths of those they call infidels. Personally, I thought that one in the 9 o clock position was brilliant. “Stop, stop, we have run out of virgins!” Outstanding stuff.

The reason for the outrage that followed was that the Qur’an condemns idolatry, and having pictures of their prophet published in print apparently meant a risk of idol worship.

I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them. It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah.( Surah 8:12,17)

Many who argue that Islam is a religion of peace often use the same point: That the Qur’an was interpreted differently. They argue that fundamentalists have it in their heads that this is what allah had in store for them, and that there are many muslims who refuse to subscribe to similar mentalities. Therefore, it should be said that only fundamentalists are at fault, yes? Absolutely wrong.

The fact is it simply does not matter how one interprets the book. And I’m going to explain why.

Islam is a dangerous religion, and I say this as someone with complete disregard for religion in general. It is a dangerous religion because of the constant and almost casual use, or misuse of 5 particular letters. “Final”. The Qur’an claims to be the “final” testament, the “final” revelation. It is believed to be faultless and genuine. Muhammad is proclaimed to be the last and final messenger of god. Therefore, it should not be questioned. And anything that follows or precedes the Qur’an should be disregarded. The use of the word “final” effectively destroys all other alternatives, ensuring that the only words worth reading and believing in are from the Qur’an.

Fight those who do not believe in Allah…And the Jews say Ezra is the son of God; and the Christians say Christ is the son of God; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; Allah’s curse be on them; how they are turned away!” (Surah 9:29-30)

Once such a thought permeates the skull and fuses itself with the cerebrum of a believer, there is almost zero disbelief of what’s written in the Qur’an. A believer who reads a verse like “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them(Surah 9:5)” is obliged to believe in it wholeheartedly. Now, this is where the issue of interpretations comes in. The very simple truth is that anyone, ANYONE who believes, is given the moral authority to kill. Anyone who believes is entitled to the right to slay and proclaim that it was alright because the victim was not a believer. This essentially means that even if someone does not subscribe to fundamentalist Islam, he is still, according to the Qur’an, absolved of any future murders he may commit in the name of allah.

That is why I emphasize, with no hesitation, the dangers of Islam. Add up the factors and this is what you get: A religion with a book that claims itself to be the final word, and bestows authority upon anyone to commit murder in the name of god. And nobody should challenge that authority precisely because it claims to be the final word.

Where, Mohamed Junas Gaffar, where is this peace you speak of? How can you say, with such conviction, that Islam is a religion of peace, when all around the world, calls for the cartoonists’ deaths are rampant. Bounties have been placed on their heads. Panic rooms have been installed in their homes. Security systems have been installed. Men are afraid to walk the streets. How can you look in the mirror and convince yourself even, that this is not a violent and dangerous religion that seeks to eliminate anyone of alternative faith?

If you are indeed sick of the stereotypes, then why not take a stand? Why not stand up and denounce those who call for death to the infidels? Why not embrace those who criticise? Why not rid yourselves of that primitive mindset and start calling for true peace? Why not set yourself as an example and a role model?

If there’s one verse in the Qur’an you must believe in, why not let it be this one?

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error,” (Surah 2:256)

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1 Comment »

  1. [Quran 10:99] “And if your Sustainer had pleased, surely all those who
    are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force
    men till they become believers?”

    Comment by Alpha-Omega — March 15, 2010 @ 11:54 am


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