Arch Idiot

The Arch Bishop of Canterbury  published his response to A Common Word Between Us and You July 14,2008.  It is titled: A Common Word for the Common Good. It is in the form of a 17 page, 124KB pdf file.

The preface offers a clue to the Arch Bishop’s attitude. [Emphasis added.]

We recognise that your letter brings together Muslim leaders from many traditions of Islam to
address Christian leaders representative of the diverse traditions within Christianity. We find in it a
hospitable and friendly spirit, expressed in its focus on love of God and love of neighbour – a focus which draws together the languages of Christianity and Islam, and of Judaism also.

Many words with little real meaning, too abstract to communicate anything but attitude, that of an ignorant fool.    Islam’s neighborhood, the neighbors whom it loves, consists of Dar ul-Islam; Dar ul-Harb is excluded. Lets see how Islam loves its ‘neighbors’.

Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth! [9:33] Allah the Exalted encourages the believers to fight the polytheists, disbelieving Jews and Christians, who uttered this terrible statement and utter lies against Allah, the Exalted.[Ibn Kathir]

Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the Al-Muttaqûn [9:123]  Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest. This is why the Messenger of Allah started fighting the idolators in the Arabian Peninsula. When he finished with them and Allah gave him control over Makkah, Al-Madinah, At-Ta’if, Yemen, Yamamah, Hajr, Khaybar, Hadramawt and other Arab provinces, and the various Arab tribes entered Islam in large crowds, he then started fighting the People of the Scriptures. He began preparations to fight the Romans who were the closest in area to the Arabian Peninsula, and as such, had the most right to be called to Islam, especially since they were from the People of the Scriptures.[Ibn Kathir]

Your letter could hardly be more timely, given the growing awareness that peace throughout the world is deeply entwined with the ability of all people of faith everywhere to live in peace, justice, mutual respect and love.

What ability?  Muslims are commanded by their demon to attack us, as documented above.  Here is a relevant example of Islam’s ‘mutual respect’ .

“I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah.“[Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 387]

Your blood & property are not sacred to Muslims until you become one of them, that’s their ‘mutual respect and love’.

In your invitation to “come to a common word” we find a helpful generosity of intention.

What  is the meaning of “a common word”?  Perhaps Allah will clue us in.

“O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”

For a full comprehension of the concept, you need to read the subsequent context, down to and including 3:81.

And (remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: “Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allah, etc.), and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Muhammad ) confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.” Allah said: “Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this).” [3:81]

Allah requires us, as part of the “common word” to believe in and obey Muhammad.   Follow the context to 3:85,

3:85. And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.

The “common word” does not include tolerance for Judiasm & Christianity.  Lets consider carefully the final sentence in 3:64. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”  “If they turn away” first occurs in the second Surah.

but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. [2:137] So Allah will suffice you against them) meaning, Allah will aid the believers against them [Ibn Kathir]

To believe in an absolute religious truth is to believe that the object of our belief is not vulnerable to the contingencies of human history: God’s mind and character cannot be changed by what happens here in the world. Thus an apparent defeat in the world for our belief cannot be definitive; God does not fail just because we fail to persuade others or because our communities fail to win some kind of power. If we were to believe that our failure is a failure or defeat for God, then the temptation will be to seek for any means possible to avoid such an outcome. But that way lies terrorism and religious war and persecution. The idea that any action, however extreme or disruptive or even murderous, is justified if it averts failure or defeat for a particular belief or a particular religious group is not really consistent with the conviction that our failure does not mean God’s failure. Indeed, it reveals a fundamental lack of conviction in the eternity and sufficiency of the object of faith.

War? Persecution? Terrorism? Where in Hell do they originate?  And why leave out genocide?

In the end, the Arch Bishop hopes for dialogue  and understanding. He says the two faiths need to learn about each other.

First, there is an urgent need in both our traditions for education about one another. We are all
influenced by prejudices and misunderstandings inherited from the past — and often renewed
in the present through the power of media stereotyping. Teaching and learning about the
reality and diversity of Islam as Muslims practise their faith should be a priority as important
to Christians as understanding of actual Christianity should be to Muslims.

Perhaps he could begin by reading Islam’s canon of scripture & tradition to learn Allah’s nature, his commandments and how Muhammad exemplified their execution.

Christianity and Islam share monotheism and prophets. Big deal. Christianity preceded Islam by 600 years. Muhammad plagiarized Christian and Hebrew apocrypha. He twisted nomenclature and chronology. Islam declares itself superior and final. Islam denies central tenets of Christianity and curses us. Islam declared war upon us. Islam declared open season on our blood and property.  Islam demands that we abandon our beliefs and adopt its beliefs & practices.  Anyone who thinks with his brain, not his anal sphincter need only read the Islamic texts cited above to understand these fatal facts.

How do you compromise with literalism, supremacism & triumphalism?  How do you find common ground with a sworn enemy who demands your conversion or death?


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5 Responses to “Arch Idiot”

  1. akhter Says:

    Question: Aren’t there some verses of the Qur’an that condone “killing the infidel”?

    Answer: The Qur’an commands Muslims to stick up for themselves in a defensive battle — i.e. if an enemy army attacks, then Muslims are to fight against that army until they stop their aggression. All of the verses that speak about fighting/war in the Qur’an are in this context.

    There are some specific verses that are very often “snipped” out of context, either by those trying to malign the faith, or by misguided Muslims themselves who wish to justify their aggressive tactics.

    For example, one verse (in its snipped version) reads: “slay them wherever you catch them” (Qur’an 2:191). But who is this referring to? Who are “they” that this verse discusses? The preceding and following verses give the correct context:

    “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression” (2:190-193).

    It is clear from the context that these verses are discussing a defensive war, when a Muslim community is attacked without reason, oppressed and prevented from practicing their faith. In these circumstances, permission is given to fight back — but even then Muslims are instructed not to transgress limits, and to cease fighting as soon as the attacker gives up. Even in these circumstances, Muslim are only to fight directly against those who are attacking them, not innocent bystanders or non-combatants.

    Another similar verse can be found in chapter 9, verse 5 — which in its snipped, out of context version could read: “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).” Again, the preceding and following verses give the context.

    This verse was revealed during a historical period when the small Muslim community had entered into treaties with neighboring tribes (Jewish, Christian, and pagan). Several of the pagan tribes had violated the terms of their treaty, secretly aiding an enemy attack against the Muslim community. The verse directly before this one instructs the Muslims to continue to honor treaties with anyone who has not since betrayed them, because fulfilling agreements is considered a righteous action. Then the verse continues, that those who have violated the terms of the treaty have declared war, so fight them… (as quoted above).

    Directly after this permission to fight, the same verse continues, “but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them… for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” The subsequent verses instruct the Muslims to grant asylum to any member of the pagan tribe/army who asks for it, and again reminds that “as long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for God loves the righteous.”

    Any verse that is quoted out of context misses the whole point of the message of the Qur’an. Nowhere in the Qur’an can be found support for indiscriminate slaughter, the killing of non-combatants, or murder of innocent persons in ‘payback’ for another people’s alleged crimes.

    The Islamic teachings on this subject can be summed up in the following verses (Qur’an 60:7-8):

    “It may be that God will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For God has power (over all things), and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    God does not forbid you, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just.”

  2. akhter Says:

    Question: What does the Qur’an say about terrorism?

    Muslims claim that their faith promotes justice, peace, and freedom. Critics of the faith (and some Muslims themselves) cite verses from the Qur’an that seem to promote violent, armed warfare. How can these different images be reconciled?

    Answer: The entire Qur’an, taken as a complete text, gives a message of hope, faith, and peace to a faith community of one billion people. The overwhelming message is that peace is to be found through faith in God, and justice among fellow human beings.

    At the time the Qur’an was revealed (7th century A.D.), there was no United Nations or Amnesty International to keep the peace or expose injustice. Inter-tribal violence and vengeance was commonplace. As a matter of survival, one must have been willing to defend against aggression from all sides. Nevertheless, the Qur’an repeatedly urges forgiveness and restraint, and warns believers not to “transgress” or become “oppressors.” Some examples:

    If anyone slays a person
    – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land –
    it would be as if he slew all people.
    And if anyone saves a life,
    it would be as if he saved the life of all people.
    Qur’an 5:32

    Invite all to the way of your Lord
    with wisdom and beautiful preaching.
    And argue with them
    in ways that are best and most gracious…
    And if you punish,
    let your punishment be proportional
    to the wrong that has been done to you.
    But if you show patience, that is indeed the best course.
    Be patient, for your patience is from God.
    And do not grieve over them,
    or distress yourself because of their plots.
    For God is with those who restrain themselves,
    and those who do good.
    Qur’an 16:125-128

    Oh you who believe!
    Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God,
    even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin,
    and whether it be against rich or poor,
    for God can best protect both.
    Follow not the cravings of your hearts, lest you swerve,
    and if you distort justice or decline to do justice,
    verily God is well acquainted with all that you do.
    Qur’an 4:135

    The recompense for an injury
    is an injury equal thereto (in degree),
    but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation,
    his reward is due from God,
    for God loves not those who do wrong.
    But indeed, if any do help and defend themselves
    after a wrong done to them,
    against such there is no cause of blame.
    The blame is only against those who oppress men
    with wrongdoing and insolently transgress
    beyond bounds through the land,
    defying right and justice.
    For such there will be a penalty grievous (in the Hereafter).
    But indeed, if any show patience and forgive,
    that would truly be an affair of great resolution.
    Qur’an 42:40-43

    Goodness and evil are not equal.
    Repel evil with what is better.
    Then that person with whom there was hatred,
    may become your intimate friend!
    And no one will be granted such goodness
    except those who exercise patience and self-restraint,
    none but people of the greatest good fortune.
    Qur’an 41:34-35

    But what about those passages of the Qur’an that seem to promote wanton violence? For a full discussion of such verses, please visit the FAQ page: Are there verses of the Qur’an that condone “killing the infidel?”

  3. akhter Says:

    Plagiarized material deleted.

  4. dajjal Says:

    Akhter’s first screed is refuted in a new post:

  5. dajjal Says:

    akhter’s second screed is shredded here:
    Now that I know that akhter committed plagiarism, I am deleting his third comment.

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