Tuesday, 7 March 2017
by Hugh Fitzgerald
One of the ways to avoid thinking about the ideology of Islam – what its texts contain, how those texts explain the attitudes toward non-Muslims, and the behavior of Muslims over the past 1400 years – is to focus on the Feelgood. By Feelgood I mean those heartwarming stories in which non-Muslims and Muslims feel each other’s pain, help each other out, come to each other’s rescue, express solidarity and fellow-feeling, give the world an inspiring example of why-can’t-we-all-get-along-we’re-all-brothers-under the-skin-we-have-to-stand-togetherness against the naysayers, the right-wingers, the preachers of hate, the Islamophobes who want to keep us apart rather than bring us together. For if the bigots and the backbiters and the bannons were to prevail, and manage to divide non-Muslim from Muslim, then “the terrorists will have won.” It’s a crazed variant on Christian Bomfoggery – Brotherhood Of Man, Fatherhood Of God. It’s sentimentalism on stilts. And it’s now part of the atmosphere.
In Victoria, Texas, a mosque burned down on January 28. By January 31, just three days later, one million dollars in donations had poured in:
News stories focused on the local Jewish community, which did not just declare the Muslims welcome to hold their services in the synagogue, but actually did something even more dramatic:
Why should anyone be anything but heartened by this act of human solidarity? Possibly because the massive coverage of it, as a Feelgood story of the kind that the media loves, obscures important truths, diverting attention away from the real nature of Islam. It reinforces the idea that we are all brothers under the skin, and that if we treat Muslims with great kindness, as these Jews in Victoria, Texas did, Muslims will be suitably impressed and grateful and – this is most important – will somehow manage to permanently ignore what Islam teaches them to believe about Jews. And what exactly is it that they are taught about Jews?
Perhaps we can best begin with the useful compendium of Qur’anic verses concerning the Jews that Robert Spencer has assembled here (and which can handily be cut-and-pasted into every Internet discussion of the matter).
And there are similar, though not quite as numerous or as vehement, verses in the Qur’an against Christians.
During the many months it will take to rebuild the mosque in Victoria, one wonders what Muslim prayers will be said, what Muslim sermons delivered, in the synagogue or in the churches where Muslims will be holding their services. Will those grateful Muslims still curse the Infidels seventeen times a day in their prayers? If they do so (and those prayers don’t change), will they begin to have any doubts as to whether they should be cursing the kuffar at all? Will any Muslims dare to discuss this among themselves, any Muslims begin to think that just possibly what they learn in the Qur’an and Hadith about Infidels, and especially about Jews, does not correspond to reality?
And does Robert Loeb, or do any of his coreligionists in Victoria, Texas have any idea of what is written in the Qur’an and Hadith about Jews? Would they be interested in finding out what is contained in those texts? If they now were to discover what is written about Jews, would they deem it improper or unhelpful or undiplomatic ever to raise the matter with the Muslims who had been offered the use of, and likely are using, the synagogue? Why shouldn’t they feel free to discuss this? Why shouldn’t there be an uninhibited discussion about these matters, among all these new friends who presumably can talk straight, without benefit of embarrassed circumlocution on one side or taqiyya on the other? Why shouldn’t Jews and Christians who have offered help also want to find out exactly what their new, grateful Muslim friends are taught about Jews and Christians, and what they claim to believe as compared to what they are taught to believe? Why should the local Muslims, the recipients of genuine and spontaneous kindnesses from the Kuffar, be reluctant to enlighten them? Or if the local Muslims do try to mislead about what the Qur’an and Hadith say about Jews, what should the Jews of Victoria, Texas make of that? Anything? Nothing?
Omar Rachid, who attended the Victoria mosque, and is in charge of fundraising for its repair, is full of gratitude:
This sounds sincere. Omar Rachid is effusively grateful, as of right now. But one would also like to learn a bit more, to ask him what he thinks, at this point, of what is written in the Qur’an about Jews and Christians. Would he attempt to convince Infidels that all those Qur’anic quotes about Jews (see above) are limited in time and space, that is, to a particular context, and have no relevance to what Muslims believe today? Does he believe that himself? Is he willing to concede that those quotes are valid for all time, and that they are not to be “contextualized”?
If he is unwilling to recognize what is so lethal about those quotes, should we still judge his gratitude to be sincere? Might he admit that the Islamic texts do not correspond to what his personal experience of Jews and Christians has been, and that he has had a change of mind and heart, and hopes to convince other Muslims to undergo the same? Was he surprised at how Christians and Jews so quickly offered their houses of worship to local Muslims, and offered, as well, all those “outpourings of love, kind words, hugs, helping hands” and financial contributions?
And one final question: does he know of, can he even conceive of, anywhere in the world, Muslims offering Christians and Jews the use of their mosques in case of need? If so, it would be good to hear about it, and not just from Omar Rachid. But even if we believe that Omar Rachid is sincerely grateful, and sincere in his belief that “contextualization” of Qur’anic verses is permissible, we must not make the mistake of thinking that this – his — understanding of the Qur’an is held by many others. For almost all Muslims, and certainly for all the clerics and Qur’anic commentators, what is in the Qur’an means today just what it meant 1,400 years ago, and with as much ferocity in Victoria, Texas now as it did in Arabia then. And while effusions of gratitude can eventually subside, the words of the Qur’an remain fixed in amber. Verba volant, scripta manent.
Posted on 03/07/2017 9:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
7 Mar 2017
No amount of feel-good benevolence in the US will change the religiously based obligation of Sharia-compliant Muslims to destroy Israel and kill as many Jewish citizens as possible. Just today there was a news item that the PLO named a youth camp after a terrorist who murdered 37 Israelis. Until there is clear evidence that those hateful and deadly Islamic shibboleths are being abandoned, I would have nothing to do with a mosque. Turning the other cheek and loving one's enemies are not Jewish values.
8 Mar 2017
A few black swans.
8 Mar 2017
These black swans are not keyboard warriors.