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New York - Islam Should Prove It's a Religion of Peace

Published on: March 9, 2009 09:28 AM
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New York - The film “Fitna” by Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders has created an uproar around the world because it links violence committed by Islamists to Islam.

Many commentators and politicians—including the British government, which denied him entry to the country last month—reflexively accused Mr. Wilders of inciting hatred. The question, however, is whether the blame is with Mr. Wilders, who simply exposed Islamic radicalism, or with those who promote and engage in this religious extremism. In other words, shall we fault Mr. Wilders for raising issues like the stoning of women, or shall we fault those who actually promote and practice this crime?

Many Muslims seem to believe that it is acceptable to teach hatred and violence in the name of their religion—while at the same time expecting the world to respect Islam as a religion of peace, love and harmony.

Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic institutes and universities continue to teach things like Jews are “pigs and monkeys,” that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn’t, then, Mr. Wilders’s criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.

While many religious texts preach violence, the interpretation, modern usage and implementation of these teachings make all the difference. For example, the stoning of women exists in both the Old Testament and in the Islamic tradition, or “Sunna”—the recorded deeds and manners of the prophet Muhammad. The difference, though, is that leading Jewish scholars agreed to discontinue these practices centuries ago, while Muslim scholars have yet to do so. Hence we do not see the stoning of women practiced or promoted in Israel, the “Jewish” state, but we see it practiced and promoted in Iran and Saudi Arabia, the “Islamic” states.

When the British government banned Geert Wilders from entering the country to present his film in the House of Lords, it made two egregious errors. The first was to suppress free speech, a canon of the civilized Western world. The second mistake was to blame the messenger—punishing, so to speak, the witness who exposed the crime instead of punishing the criminal. Mr. Wilders did not produce the content of the violent Islamic message he showed in his film—the Islamic world did that. Until the Islamic clerical establishment takes concrete steps to reject violence in the name of their religion, Mr. Wilders’s criticism is not only permissible as “controversial” free speech but justified.

So, Islamic scholars and clerics, it is up to you to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, that declaring war to spread Islam is unacceptable, and that killing apostates is a crime. Such a book would prove that Islam is a religion of peace.

Mr. Hamid, a former member of an Egyptian Islamist terrorist group, is an Islamic reformer and senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.


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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 09, 2009 at 08:46 AM Abe Says:

Just a little apikorses there. Jews didn't agree to stop stoning adulterers, we just don't have a sanhedrin now. Lathough we don't chop off people's hands for stealing.

2

 Mar 09, 2009 at 08:44 AM Sruly Says:

Look, I truly believe that for the majority of its followers Islam is a religion of peace. Every group has its nuts and wackos. We have ours as well!! And unfortunatly those are the individuals that represent the loudest. Just becaue you quote some verses of the Koran out of context to sound all violent and ruthless doesn't mean that's what their religion is all about!! Raboiysay, have you ever looked at verses of the Talmud out of context????!!? Groups like Stormfront and the KKK love to quote the Talmud out of context to show what awful people we are. So please, let's all use a little seichel.

3

 Mar 09, 2009 at 08:43 AM Conservative One Says:

It is amazing how this corrupt world will accept Muslims calling all non-beleivers in their religion as infidels who need to be killed. No other religion in the world espouses to such radicalism yet everyone, including the United States, bends over backward to defend these creeps. It is about time that everyone realizes who and what these Muslims are, simply put MURDERERS.

4

 Mar 09, 2009 at 08:56 AM Charles Hall Says:

On a fast day we should be introspective and look at our own faults. One that comes to mind after reading this essay is that there are frum Jews who express things that are just as hateful towards non-Jews as the words by Muslims quoted here.

5

 Mar 09, 2009 at 08:54 AM Anonymous Says:

reply to #2) Hey Srully, How exactly do you know that the Koran quotes are out of context???!

6

 Mar 09, 2009 at 09:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Yiddim have the same obligation to cleanse our beliefs and practices that lead to disrepect and physical harm to our fellow yiddim. We should start with the way we treat women that has recently resulted in violence against women who don't agree with the laws of T'znius. From there, we can move on to other forms of intolerance.

7

 Mar 09, 2009 at 09:20 AM Sruly Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Yiddim have the same obligation to cleanse our beliefs and practices that lead to disrepect and physical harm to our fellow yiddim. We should start with the way we treat women that has recently resulted in violence against women who don't agree with the laws of T'znius. From there, we can move on to other forms of intolerance.

Thank you!
My thoughts exactly.

8

 Mar 09, 2009 at 09:19 AM Sruly Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

reply to #2) Hey Srully, How exactly do you know that the Koran quotes are out of context???!

Because I have studied numerous books and documentaries that iterate this point.

9

 Mar 09, 2009 at 09:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Abe Says:

Just a little apikorses there. Jews didn't agree to stop stoning adulterers, we just don't have a sanhedrin now. Lathough we don't chop off people's hands for stealing.

Exactly - it's not so simple. They have problems, for sure, but this article's approach is a bit simplistic.

10

 Mar 09, 2009 at 11:01 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Sruly Says:

Look, I truly believe that for the majority of its followers Islam is a religion of peace. Every group has its nuts and wackos. We have ours as well!! And unfortunatly those are the individuals that represent the loudest. Just becaue you quote some verses of the Koran out of context to sound all violent and ruthless doesn't mean that's what their religion is all about!! Raboiysay, have you ever looked at verses of the Talmud out of context????!!? Groups like Stormfront and the KKK love to quote the Talmud out of context to show what awful people we are. So please, let's all use a little seichel.

Have you gone INSANE?! Their religion clearly states that those who do not convert to Islam shall be killed! They plan on ruling the world & have a Global Islamic Alliance. Even your so called "moderate" muslims cheer & dance after a BLOODY terror attack. They preach violence to children & encourage them to die for Allah. Besides for a couple of incidents throughout this Century, Jews have not gone on Terror sprees nor strapped on a Suicide Belt to blow away thousands of Arabs. They havent be-headed anyone nor stoned anyone to death. Our "nuts & wackos" that you refer to, hang out in Shuls & cause minor trouble. They don't kill nor preach violence! As much as you want to refer to the Talmud being taken out of context by other groups, we dont actually follow through this day in age on stoning, choking, burning, lashes etc. They do! Geert Wilders is Showing the world that by being Politically Correct & not facing the problem head-on they will continue on with their Violence. Europe has allowed them to continue with their crazy Ideology & America is well on its way. Take your head out of the ground & face facts; Isalm is a religion of Blood, Terror & Extreme Violence, & as far away from Peace as possible.

11

 Mar 09, 2009 at 11:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Although Judaism does have its way of inflicting punishment, in now way can you equate the 2 religions. We require warnings, two witnesses. Everything we do has a basis in Gdliness. and we know that if Bes Din killed once in 70 years some held it was a murderous Bes Din.
Additionally, Jewish people respect dina demalchusa, and as such are not at odds with deomcracies and can live within them. Islam cannot coexist with a democracy, that is Mr Wilders point.

12

 Mar 09, 2009 at 12:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Sruly Says:

Look, I truly believe that for the majority of its followers Islam is a religion of peace. Every group has its nuts and wackos. We have ours as well!! And unfortunatly those are the individuals that represent the loudest. Just becaue you quote some verses of the Koran out of context to sound all violent and ruthless doesn't mean that's what their religion is all about!! Raboiysay, have you ever looked at verses of the Talmud out of context????!!? Groups like Stormfront and the KKK love to quote the Talmud out of context to show what awful people we are. So please, let's all use a little seichel.

idiotic commentary...inzere kanoiym dont go blowing up buses, only theirs do

13

 Mar 09, 2009 at 02:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Abe Says:

Just a little apikorses there. Jews didn't agree to stop stoning adulterers, we just don't have a sanhedrin now. Lathough we don't chop off people's hands for stealing.

But do you know that the Gmura says that a Bes Din that killed once in 70 years is a Bes Din RIOTZIACH I think even in amarica they give capital punishment a copule of thousend times more percentige wise

14

 Mar 09, 2009 at 03:27 PM Sruly Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Have you gone INSANE?! Their religion clearly states that those who do not convert to Islam shall be killed! They plan on ruling the world & have a Global Islamic Alliance. Even your so called "moderate" muslims cheer & dance after a BLOODY terror attack. They preach violence to children & encourage them to die for Allah. Besides for a couple of incidents throughout this Century, Jews have not gone on Terror sprees nor strapped on a Suicide Belt to blow away thousands of Arabs. They havent be-headed anyone nor stoned anyone to death. Our "nuts & wackos" that you refer to, hang out in Shuls & cause minor trouble. They don't kill nor preach violence! As much as you want to refer to the Talmud being taken out of context by other groups, we dont actually follow through this day in age on stoning, choking, burning, lashes etc. They do! Geert Wilders is Showing the world that by being Politically Correct & not facing the problem head-on they will continue on with their Violence. Europe has allowed them to continue with their crazy Ideology & America is well on its way. Take your head out of the ground & face facts; Isalm is a religion of Blood, Terror & Extreme Violence, & as far away from Peace as possible.

It doesn't clearly state this at all!!!! You're just pushing more of your yeshivish propoganda!!!

15

 Mar 09, 2009 at 03:50 PM esther Says:

Reply to #2  
Sruly Says:

Look, I truly believe that for the majority of its followers Islam is a religion of peace. Every group has its nuts and wackos. We have ours as well!! And unfortunatly those are the individuals that represent the loudest. Just becaue you quote some verses of the Koran out of context to sound all violent and ruthless doesn't mean that's what their religion is all about!! Raboiysay, have you ever looked at verses of the Talmud out of context????!!? Groups like Stormfront and the KKK love to quote the Talmud out of context to show what awful people we are. So please, let's all use a little seichel.

srulikel,you're very naive.there is absolutely no moral equavalence between islam & judaism.we have a few wackos who beat people up;they have thousands who learn in their medrasas and on state sponsored tv to BLOW people up.world wide,goverments toil to protect their citezenry from ISLAMIC ,not jewish terroism and where are all these peaceful muslims???why don't we hear any public statements from their leaders?CAIR was supposedly against all violence and look how that turned out.

16

 Mar 09, 2009 at 04:27 PM berl Says:

to me the 2 religions judaism and islam are tottaly the opposites in judaism you have tottal nonviolence and as everyone can see islam is extreemly violant this has been like this for thousands of years and the writer hit the nail on its head this violence continues becase the immams dont oppose it look at iran their mullahs are the ones behind all the oppresion and terroristic acts in argentina lebanon gaza irans is the biggest terrorist country in this world even north korea is nonvilent compared to iran and they are led by their mullah what a tragedy that their religious leaders are leading them to their destruction

17

 Mar 09, 2009 at 06:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Charles Hall Says:

On a fast day we should be introspective and look at our own faults. One that comes to mind after reading this essay is that there are frum Jews who express things that are just as hateful towards non-Jews as the words by Muslims quoted here.

when frum jews go around beheading innocent people and blowing up school buses full of muslim children and dancing in joy after hearing about the massacre than you can compare frum jews to muslims until then your comparison is disgraceful

18

 Mar 10, 2009 at 01:18 AM Gefilte Fish Says:

Reply to #2  
Sruly Says:

Look, I truly believe that for the majority of its followers Islam is a religion of peace. Every group has its nuts and wackos. We have ours as well!! And unfortunatly those are the individuals that represent the loudest. Just becaue you quote some verses of the Koran out of context to sound all violent and ruthless doesn't mean that's what their religion is all about!! Raboiysay, have you ever looked at verses of the Talmud out of context????!!? Groups like Stormfront and the KKK love to quote the Talmud out of context to show what awful people we are. So please, let's all use a little seichel.

Oh please! it's self hating jews like you that give us all a bad name, in the name of which religion is most of the violence done today's days?
Can't you see? are you so blinded by the main stream media and the arab-muslim PR machines? When was the last time you heard of a jew killing in the name of Judaism? And how long did it pass since the last time you heard a muslim killing in the name of "Allah"? oops... just missed one...

Stop hating your own religion so much, and see the beauty in it, it will be hard for you in the beginning, but you will come out of it, eventually.

Simchas purim.

p.s. how cruel of the jews back in esters day's to kill 75,000 (yes, 75 thousand) people in one day! Oy, what heartless jews!

19

 Mar 10, 2009 at 01:11 AM Gefilte Fish Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Yiddim have the same obligation to cleanse our beliefs and practices that lead to disrepect and physical harm to our fellow yiddim. We should start with the way we treat women that has recently resulted in violence against women who don't agree with the laws of T'znius. From there, we can move on to other forms of intolerance.

First go through your conversion process, then you can talk for us "Yiddim"

20

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