Recently, England’s 190-year-old Oxford Union - the world’s most prestigious debating society - debated a topic many today consider taboo. President Barack Obama would assure us debate is unnecessary as he knows the answer.
The topic: Is Islam a peaceful religion? Obama repeatedly assures us it is.
A Muslim protester holds a placard reading 'Islam, Peace, Islam' during a demonstration outside Atocha Station against the recent Paris terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
Many non-Muslims accept this neologistic perception because most religions are peaceful. But the consequence of this is any intellectual debate centered specifically on Islam has been numbed while all other religions remain fair game. Political correctness boundaries, only extended to Islam, silence rational debate about its driving ideology.
It is Islam, among the family of religions, that is the irate member, suffering a psychosis that leaves others walking on eggshells for fear of triggering the anger. But doing so only contributes to an atmosphere conducive to Islam attacking others unwilling to initiate a pre-emptive defense.
In the Oxford Union debate, activist Anne Marie Waters argued Islam is not peaceful. She noted its supporters have so effectively played off of this peace perception, they are never required substantively to prove it.
In the U.S. criminal system, we recognize one as “presumed innocent” until proven guilty. This presumption puts the burden on the accuser - the prosecutor - affirmatively to prove the accused committed a criminal act. Guilt is to be established by a “preponderance of evidence.”
Waters made her case, introducing a preponderance of evidence to support Islam’s dark side. She blamed “the actions of Islam itself” such as:
- Death calls for “crimes” against it such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality
- Mandate for gender segregation and discrimination
- Heavy preference in legal proceedings for a man’s testimony over a woman’s
- Acceptance of child and polygamous marriages as well as marriages without the bride’s consent
- Judicial call for brutal punishments such as amputations, beheadings and butchery of those who dare insult the religion
- Imprisonment of female victims of rape
- Promotion of anti-semitism
Waters went on to explain Islam’s call to violence knows no boundaries - evidenced by the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., the London Underground bombings, Madrid, Mumbai, Mali, Bali, Northern Nigeria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Belgium, etc.
Defense attorneys, in a U.S. court of law, might argue, as to Waters’ evidence, such violence may be typical of Islamic extremists but not of Islamic moderates.
Waters need only cite Muslim leaders who tell us otherwise.
Several years ago, when asked to differentiate between moderate and extremist Muslims, Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured us, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion."
"There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it,” he added.
Erdogan makes no differentiation because all Muslims take their marching orders from three religious texts - the Quran, Sira (Prophet Muhammad’s biography) and the Hadith (a collection of Muhammad’s sayings). The motivation for every act Waters cited as evidence above is found within them.
Another Muslim leader recognizing Islam’s innate penchant for violence and, accordingly, calling for a 21st century adjustment is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He acknowledges Islam’s entrenchment, for hundreds of years, in violent interpretations that are destructive, pitting Islam against the rest of the world.
Waters’ argument would have been supported by American physics and math professor Bill Warner, who took a scientific approach toward obtaining a better understand of Islam’s impact on “kafirs” (non-Muslims).
Conducting an independent analysis of the complexities laden within the three aforementioned Islamic texts, Warner’s Trilogy Project approach “was based upon scientific principles and objective methods, so that any independent person could achieve the same results if they used the same methods.”
Explaining his focus going through the texts, Warner noted:
“My only concern is how Islam treats me and my people, the kafirs. How Islam views and deals with the kafir is political Islam…The Koran says that the kafir may be murdered, tortured, plotted against, enslaved, robbed, insulted, beheaded, demeaned, mocked and so forth. The Hadith and Sira agree…”
The measuring stick Warner applied throughout the texts was one easily understood in Western society - the Golden Rule - i.e., treating others as you would have them treat you. He rationalized that "The Golden Rule removes the brutality, insults and prejudice directed at the kafir. The constant attacks would disappear.”
In taking this approach, Warner found:
“What is amazing is how much the Golden Rule removes from the Trilogy. About 61% of the Koran vanishes, 75% of the Sira and 20% of the Hadith also go away. As I said, I only care about how Islam treats the kafir, but the Golden Rule also removes all of the dualistic rules about women. So the reductions will be even greater when the material about the treatment of women is removed.”
Warner’s research led to his warning: “The worst error in thinking about Islam is that it is a religion…religion is the smallest part of Islam.”
Islam, in other words, is mostly a political - not a religious - ideology. Yet we give it the full weight of a religion.
Whenever Islam is criticized, its supporters raise the “Islamophobia” flag. They put the cart before the horse in doing so. Since a preponderance of evidence clearly shows Islam is not peaceful, the burden is on them to now prove otherwise.
Interestingly, in his 2015 National Prayer Breakfast speech, Obama noted the “one law that we can all be most certain of that seems to bind people of all faiths…(is the) Golden Rule.” He blindly ignores the science in applying that same rule to Islam.
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