Jun 05, 2003
None of us will live to see it, but before this millennium is over, Islam is likely to have joined the myths of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome as a religion that was tested and failed.
The violence being visited upon the world by al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalists cannot survive a "holy war" against America and the West. Jihad's chosen instrument---terror---did not save Communism from its failure in the last century's police state of the Soviet Union and it will not save Islam in the Middle East and elsewhere.
If anything, the Jihad is the ultimate expression of the failure of Islam, a religion conjured up by Muhammad in the seventh century of Christendom. The year ascribed to its birth is 622 AD. There are an estimated 1.2 billion Muslims around the world, mostly in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, but there are more than 31 million in Europe, over a million and a half in South America, and at least 2.9 million in America.
The religion is divided between its Sunni and Shiite branches, but there is a deep divide as well in the hearts of an unknown number of Muslims, many of whom have concluded it ill-serves humanity in general and their own lives in particular. Some believe that Islam and democracy can be compatible. I doubt this because its history is one of monarchy and autocracy.
Edited by Ibn Warraq, "Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out" is an impressive collection of views by former Muslims, many of whom must still remain anonymous because Islam prescribes death to any apostate. "Why I Am Not A Muslim" ($l9.00, Prometheus Books, softcover) is Warraq's scholarly examination of Islam that reveals that it is little more than a barbarous cult based on the life of Muhammad. Both are worth reading.
As noted, rejecting Islam to accept another faith or even to become an atheist brings with it the threat of death. It is the mark of a religion that believes any deviation from its dogma gives it the right to kill in order to justify itself. Until the Reformation transformed Christianity, it too meted out death to apostates and unbelievers. But this is the year 2003 AD and in free societies, one's religion is not a concern of the state. Under Islam, the religion is the state. In Muslim nations, the Koran and sharia law derived from it is the only law.
While Islam has permitted "dhimmis", non-Muslims, to live in Islamic nations, in practice their "protection" has been non-existent. It was and is dangerous to be anything other than a Muslim in such places. Islam, by its very nature seeks to dominate all who come under its control and deeply resents those who will not convert.
Brief excerpts from Warraq's books provide instant insight why Islam stands on shifting sands. Written between February 2001 and April 2002, here are some posts from the Internet site Warraq maintains (www.secularislam.org). There is considerable irony in the way those who choose to reject Islam did so, as often as not, because they read its holy book, the Koran.
"The biggest flaw of the Koran is what is not in it. There are many crimes a person can commit; yet the Koran mentions only the punishments for a mere three or four. I was astonished at the fact that the Koran mentions nothing about punishment for rape. The word 'rape' is not even mentioned once in the Koran, as if it were not worth bringing up."
Muhammad took many wives, but many Muslims are appalled by the story of Aisha, a child whose age is debated within Islam as being as young as six but no more than nine years of age. "How can a man of more than fifty years have sexual feelings for a girl of only six?" asked a Pakistani who went on to ask, "Why is it that a woman is lower than a man? Is my mother lower than me? Why is it that a Muslim man can have four wives? And why did Muhammad have more than four wives?" He concluded, "Islam is just the ramblings of some dillusioned Arab madman."
Yet another says, "I could not remain a Muslim because Islam hates women. Islam says that women are inferior in every way. What sort of religion forces fathers to make their daughters suffer? Islam has no joy. Islam is a cult of tears and death."
While Warraq's book is literally filled with such personal revelations by those either raised as Muslims or converts to it, I will conclude with a view expressed by a former Muslim who, upon reading the Koran, said, "I became very worried by the amount of violence in it. Subsequent late-night sessions with the Koran convinced me that I was reading a guide to war."
The Koran is a guide to war. Thievery was the way Muhammad supported himself as the self-proclaimed prophet and conquest was the way Muhammad and his followers initially spread Islam. The United States, a target and a victim in this Jihad, is waging war to end the Islamic dream of domination. In this it has been joined by many nations, including those that are Islamic. This should be seen as a hopeful sign.
I believe this century will be remembered as the one in which Islam began its long march to extinction. It will be defeated in its terror war and it will be defeated because many will abandoned a "religion" that is repelled by modernity, denies human rights, and revels in the blood of its victims, calling their killers martyrs.
Alan Caruba is the author of "Warning Signs", a new book published by Merril Press. His weekly column is posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center (www.anxietycenter.com). The Center offers "A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam."
Copyright, Alan Caruba, 2003
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