Islam: What the West Needs to Know Reviews
A religion of peace? This documentary, using Islamic scripture, historical reference and former Jihadists, disputes this claim of Western leaders. Mainly using Islam's own sources, the film argues that fundamental Islam is an imperialistic and geo-political ideology that gives to weight to the American ideas of religious tolerance and basic human rights, and that a "peaceful Muslim" is either a person ignorant of Islam's basic teachings or one who chooses to ignore these tenets of the religion.
Approximately four thousand years ago Abraham, the first prophet, was said to have rejected worshipping the common idols of his age and began the first monotheistic theology: Judaism. Two thousand years later, Jesus of Nazareth, believed by many to be the son and incarnate of the Judaic God, was crucified by the Romans. Paul, who was Christ's most adamant critic, reformed his views and spread the word of Jesus, spawning a new faith: Christianity. Finally, in the 6th Century a third installment, Islam, was brought into the Judeo-Christian ideology by Mohammed, the last prophet according to Muslims. The religion was spread by the sword; forced conversions were implemented under penalty of death, Mohammed's followers and Mohammed himself murdered thousands in the name of the new-found "true religion." The atrocities were documented and praised as holy deeds in the most sacred of Islamic texts, the Qur'an and the Hadith. For the next fifteen centuries, continuing to this day, Mohammed's followers practiced this violence, openly citing their inspiration from the prophet and their holy books which are mass produced in the billions and readily available to the public. Yet, in the 21st century, after countless murders in the name of Islam and growing tension between the Islamic world and the Western world, most Americans and Europeans still believe Islam is a misunderstood religion of peace, perverted by political violence, and slandered by so-called "extremists." What the general public fails to deduce from the continuity of these attacks, which are relayed to them through the filter of politically correct news mediums, is that Islam not only inspires its followers to commit such atrocities, it demands it.
To thoroughly comprehend Islam and its instruction one must first delve into the life and deeds of Mohammed. Mohammed is the model example for the Muslim community, according to Islamic teachings he is the optimal paradigm for conduct and etiquette. Historians who have closely examined the life of the prophet split his life into two periods: the Meccan period and the Medinan period. One such analyst, Ibn Warraq, states "... during the first period, in Mecca, Muhammad was a religiously motivated, sincere seeker of truth; but in the second period, Muhammad the man shows his feet of clay and is consumed by power and worldly ambition." (Warraq 87). English scholar Sir William Muir (1819-1905) asserted "Mahomet [Mohammed] then [Meccan period] was nothing more than he professed to be, 'a simple Preacher and Warner...' but the scene changes at Medina, there temporal power... and self-gratification mingles rapidly with the grand object of the prophet's life... messages from heaven were freely brought down to justify political conduct." (qtd in Warraq 87). Mohammed is believed by Muslims to have been visited by the angel Gabriel who revealed the word of God, or Allah, to him. During the Meccan period of his life Mohammed was a modest preacher, he professed peace and tolerance of other cultural institutions and belief systems. It was in Medina when Mohammed gained political sway and military power that he began to preach hate and bigotry of Jews, Christians, polytheists and any non-Muslim, or "unbeliever." Interestingly enough, Islam, the religion of violence and malevolence does not have a calendar which begins with the birth of Mohammed, nor the time of the first revelation from the angel Gabriel; the Islamic calendar begins with the time Mohammed became the leader of the military.
The goal of Islam, since then, has been world domination, leaving the unbelievers three options: conversion, execution, or second class status (known as the Dhimmi who must pay the Jizya, a special tax for "protection" which must be paid under penalty of death as instructed in the Qur'an, Sura 9:29). This policy was implemented in the decimation of the Jewish Bani Qurayza tribe. Mohammad had started robbing caravans for supplies and gold after his rise to power. One of these incidents (battle of Badr), sparked a full-scale war. Ibn Ishaq, a follower of Mohammed stated "Then they [Qurayza tribe] surrendered and the apostle confined them in Medina... and dug trenches... then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. There were 600 or 700 in all, although some put the figure as high as 800 or 900." (Ishaq 463-4). Such incidences were of commonplace for the prophet, who in volume 8 book 52 Hadith 795 gladly severed the hands and feet of the men of the Uraina tribe and "did not cauterize (their bleeding limbs) until they died." History would define, Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, as a terrorist. In addition to these atrocities he murdered adulterers despite committing adultery himself, ordered assassinations of several political opponents, and married a six year old girl, Aisha, whom he raped when she was nine; at the time the prophet was 53. "He set examples for us to live by," says Tasweer Syed, president of The Islamic Center of Old Bridge, "everything that he did, every deed was recorded," (Syed). Journalist Sherry Jones wrote about Aisha in a book titled The Jewel of Medina (Hari). "'The Jewel of Medina' was bought by Random House and primed as a best seller before a University of Texas teacher saw it and declared it a 'national security issue,'" says journalist Johann Hari. "[Now] It's gone... You cannot read this story today - except in the Koran and the Hadith." (Hari).
It must be noted that Islam is unambiguous about the duty of violence and its application. Sura 2:105 of the Qur'an is a key component for comprehending Islam, "Whatever verses we cancel or cause you to forget, we bring a better or its like." This is the verse which removes any question or doubt of the message of Islam, its basic message is that if any verse contradicts another, the later verse is the accepted one and the earlier verse is abrogated as a result. In chapter 49, verse 13 of the Qur'an it states "O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you should know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed, the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous." This particular verse (of the Meccan period) is one of patience; however, chapter 9 verse 5 of the Qur'an states "Slay the idolaters [non-Muslims] wherever you find them." You may have realized a logical inconsistency in my assessment due to the illusion that the peaceful verse in chapter 49 would seem to void the violent verse in chapter 9. This is false on the grounds that the Qur'an was not assorted in chronological order, it is arranged from the longest story to the shortest, in actuality the ninth chapter of the Qur'an is the last in chronology and ironically enough the only chapter which does not begin with the phrase "In the name of God most gracious, most merciful." Author and Islamic scholar Robert Spencer commented on this removal: "...that's because there's no compassion or mercy in this particular chapter and that it is the Qur'an's last word on jihad and in particular on how Muslims should behave toward non-believers. In it is the celebrated 'Verse of the Sword,'" (Islam: What the West Needs to Know). In fact, most of the ninth chapter is dedicated to instructing all Muslims to murder any unbelievers they come across. Muir believes that over 200 verses of peace were abrogated by the ninth chapter. Tasweer Syed explained, "...instruction... given in the past was superseded later on but they were done in openness... they were deliberately changed." (Syed).
In the West many people believe in a religion, but in more of a buffet fashion. We pick the parts we like, and dismiss the parts we don't. We believe religion is individualistic and private, and a fair amount of people who would affiliate themselves with one religion or another believe their own holy book is for the most part a collection of metaphors. What Westerners fail to realize is that since Mohammed was visited by the angel Gabriel, who speaks to God directly, every word of the Qur'an is meant to be literal, without question or reform (Syed). "A reformed faith that should question the divine authority on which they rest or attempt by rationalistic selection or abatement to affect a change, would be Islam no longer." (Muir, qtd in Warraq 187). In addition, Islam is far from personal faith; in fact it's not limited to being a religion. Islam is a political institution as well, with harsh restrictions and strict guidelines - Sharia Law; drinking alcohol, women going outside without being escorted by a man, women not covering their bodies (with exception of eyes), abstaining from prayer, apostasy, adultery, and many other victimless "crimes" are punishable by death. "While European law is human and changing, the Sharia is divine and immutable. It depends on the inscrutable will of Allah, which cannot be grasped by human intelligence - it must be accepted without doubt and questions." (Warraq 169).
Public educators and media personnel alike constantly assert the notion that jihad simply means struggle, desperately trying to disaffiliate the word yelled during virtually every terrorist act with terrorism. As it so happens, jihad does mean struggle, however, what the media keeps well hidden is the fact that the original use of the word found in the Hadith refers strictly to militaristic efforts. Mohammad uses this word exclusively for battle in nearly every one of the hundred-plus books of the Hadith. Mohammed struggles to spread his ideas, he struggles to force his beliefs on others, and he struggles to continue persecuting political rivals as well as religious rivals, mainly the Jews. Walid Shoebat, a former Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist and Christian convert believes jihad means struggle, however that it is in precisely the same fashion that Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf ("My Struggle") does, (Shoebat). As Volume 4 Book 52 Hadith 50 states, "Jihad is your duty under any ruler, be he godly or wicked. A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah's cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it. A day and night fighting on the frontier is better than a month of fasting and prayer. Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in the Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it, except the martyr, who on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah's cause). He who dies without taking part in a campaign dies in a kind of unbelief. Paradise is in the shadow of swords." Many Muslims and Muslim sympathizers claim with great elitism that passages of the Qur'an and the Hadith are taken out of context and can only be read in Arabic, and that translations of such texts are inaccurate. This is a ludicrous claim - that ideas cannot be relayed adequately through language. Furthermore, author and scholar Arthur Jeffrey studied the Qur'an and found 275 words which can be considered foreign, words from Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, Ethiopic, Persian, and Greek, (Warraq). "The word 'Koran' itself comes from the Syriac, and Muhammad evidently got it from Christian sources." (Warraq 108).
As in many faiths, Muslims believe in an afterlife. Islam adopts this concept from its Judeo-Christian predecessors. In Judaism and Christianity a good Jew or a good Christian would surely attain salvation. Islam takes this one step further demanding a specific death in order to be accepted into paradise. Author and former Muslim Abdullah Al-Araby stated, "There is no assurance... of salvation... however there are certain things that can help. For instance, if a Muslim dies while practicing jihad, he is supposed to go to paradise," (Islam: What the West Needs to Know). In Islam the afterlife is reserved for martyrs and martyrs only, and according to Islamic teachings the only path to martyrdom is to die in the process of killing non-Muslims; "this is the calculus behind modern suicide bombing," (Spencer). Despicably enough the reward of murder consists mainly of sexual favors. It is said that 72 virgins await defloration by the martyr who keeps them for all eternity. In fact, after a member of an Arab community martyrs himself it is commonplace for a party to be held in the local Mosque to celebrate the marriage of the martyr to the virgins.
Still, despite all of this evidence politicians constantly reassure the world that the west is not at war with Islam. This is dangerous for several reasons. Firstly, we are at war with Islam just as were at war with Nazism in the 1940's. The difference is that Islam has way more followers (1.7 billion) and poses more of a threat to the world than the Nazis ever did. The western democracies were able to defeat Nazism because there was no question as to whom the enemy was, anything affiliated with Nazism was seen as evil, offensive, and a threat to freedom and liberty. When it comes to Islam, however, the west is divided, we can't decide whether or not it's good or evil, and unfortunately we tend to gravitate toward the former. Politicians fear that openly criticizing Islam would not only jeopardize their own lives, but would cause havoc as a result. The ugly truth is that their efforts are in vein for the havoc they seek to avoid is brewing regardless of whether or not they acknowledge the source. As we speak there are multiple plans for attacks in our train stations, our skyscrapers, our schools, our restaurants, our parks, our airplanes and anywhere Sharia law and Islamic values are not enforced. Many people also believe there are good Muslims. Indeed there are just people of Muslim descent who label themselves as Muslim, but they are simply ignorant of their faith. Labeling themselves as such in an attempt to become an example for "true" Islam does nothing more than feed the confusion of Westerners. Not every member of the Nazi party killed Jews, but that didn't make the Nazi's policies any less conspicuous. In addition some Muslims living in predominantly non-Muslims areas who are perceived as good may simply be using a tool of deception known as Al-Takeyya.
The concept of Al-Takeyya permits a Muslim to do things which are not permitted by Islam in order to keep his/her thoughts and feelings secret from the community. A Muslim is allowed to consume alcohol, abstain from prayer, and violate any rule of law as long as he truly believes in his heart that he is a Muslim and he must do so out of necessity. "Unfortunately, when dealing with Muslims, one must keep in mind that Muslims can communicate something with apparent sincerity, when in reality they may have just the opposite agenda in their hearts. Bluntly stated, Islam permits Muslims to lie anytime that they perceive that their own well-being, or that of Islam, is threatened," (Al-Araby). This is a tactic that Muslims use to slowly take over areas. Syria and Lebanon were originally Christian nations and recently we've seen Europeans growing more and more cautious of the "Islamification" of their continent. The Netherlands, in particular, had a Muslim population of 1,399 in 1960. Thirty years later, that population had grown to 458,000. Fourteen years after that, in 2004, the Muslim population of the Netherlands had ballooned to a staggering 944,000 and is now beginning to experience tension between the communities (Fitna). In fact in France law enforcement officers are no longer allowed in certain Islamic districts as per the Muslims' demands. The religion of Islam is so openly shameless that not fighting is not permitted. This idea of Al-Takeyya ties into the idea of a Hudna. In Islam the only acceptable reason for not fighting the infidels is that the Muslims are the weaker party and are unable to overpower the opponent. In this case a Hudna is enacted, a cease-fire for a period of time which cannot exceed ten years; the sole purpose of this - so the Muslims can gain enough strength to resume battle (Islam: What the West Needs to Know).
The fact that our leaders neglect the elephant in the room is nothing short of horrifying. If action was taken sooner Hitler may not have been able to have started World War II, but hesitant leaders reluctantly adopted a policy of appeasement thinking it would satisfy the enemy. The policy was a complete failure, as it is failing today. Someone could openly express hatred for Nazis and it would be deemed acceptable to the point where it's expected. However, if someone were to condemn Islam today they would be seen as prejudiced. This is because Islam has the luxury of being a religion, furthermore, a religion which targets westerners with an ashamed past of slavery and a phobia of the very thought of being seen as bigoted. After WWII, the United Nations drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was rejected by nearly every Islamic country. Many of those countries submitted their own versions as a response granting fewer rights to women, allowing only an Islamic education, permitting cruel and unusual punishment, declaring Islam as a superior religion and prohibiting freedom of speech. In 25 years of relentless hijacking of US commercial airlines Muslims have been the perpetrators 100% of the time. The wealth of information available about the religion of Islam makes it very evident as to why every terrorist just happens to be Muslim. When a people are to emulate a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, greedy, dishonest, pedophile and opportunist-hypocrite the events mentioned are to be expected. There is no gray area when it comes to Islam, and although some would like to argue otherwise, there is no question as to what true Muslims stand for, a huge part of Islam is devoted to making sure of that. Future generations will not forgive our ignorance and our cowardice. Islam (which means "submit to the will of Allah") has promised world domination making everyone a Muslim ("one who has submitted"). The Muslims were very powerful at one time, and they swear by God to regain that power, and they'll do it in a way that makes the biggest statement possible.
"Vienna, as we saw, was almost taken [by Muslims] and only saved by the king of Poland on a date that ought to be amongst the most famous in history September 11th, 1683," (Belloc).
Al-Araby, Abdullah. "Lying in Islam." Islam Review - Presented by The Pen vs. the Sword Featured Articles... Islam: the Fašade, the Facts The Rosy Picture Some Muslims Are Painting about Their Religion, and the Truth They Try to Hide. Web. 19 Dec. 2010. .
Belloc, Hillaire. The Great Heresies. New York: St. Benedict Press & TAN Books, 2009.
Fitna. Dir. Scarlet Pimpernel. Liveleak, 2008.
Hari, Johann. "Johann Hari: We Need to Stop Being Such Cowards About Islam -
Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent." The Independent News UK and Worldwide News Newspaper. 14 Aug. 2008. Web. 19 Dec. 2010. .
Islam: What the West Needs to Know. Dir. Gregory M. Davis, Bryan Daly. Perf. Adullah Al-Araby, Walid Shoebat, Robert Spencer, Serge Trifkovic, Bat Yeor. Quixotic Media, 2007.
The Qur'an. S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, ed. Elmhurst: Tarike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. 1995.
Warraq, Ibn. Why I Am Not a Muslim. Amherst: Prometheus Books, 1995.
I can and do believe that there are Muslims who DO want peace and want nothing to do with terrorism and imperialism, but these are not the majority!
What impressed (and disturbed) me the most out of this documentary are these two things: 1) There's not a lot of dramatic, multi-sensory tricks played on the viewer. No over abundance of ominous or moody background music, no gloomy or washed out color palette when depicting a villain, etc. The material is trusted to do the job of a documentary - educating and persuading. 2) The source material says it all and it's not as one-sided as you might expect. The contributors readily acknowledge that there are "peaceful" verses in the Quran and these verses are read aloud with the same voice-over as the violent verses. The rub comes in the way that orthodox Islam sees the seeming contradiction between peace and violence. It is a "seeming contradiction" because it is not really a contradiction at all to a Muslim. Readers here will pardon my forgetfulness of the exact term in arabic, but there is a clear precedent in reading Islamic texts wherein the verse that comes later chronologically is the authority if there is a conflict between verses. The violent verses (so-called verse of the sword, etc.)? They were written in the later stages of Muhammad's life. Those verses have authority over any verse you may read or be shown that portrays Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion. This by itself should be alarming enough for the entire "West" to take notice, but the rabbit hole goes deeper and instead of recapping the entire documentary, I'll just recommend that anyone interested in a serious look at Islam, it's roots, and it's relevance today, watch this. Don't accept the opinion of someone who's content to make fun of a single claim and utterly fail to deal with the rest of the information presented. Don't even take my word for it! Watch it and decide for yourself if it's just a bunch of biggoted hate-speech or if it has some real merit. Better yet, google this movie. Has it been effectively refuted? Are there a lot of articles out there taking on each claim of the documentarians and providing source material of their own to overturn or disprove them? OR, has this movie been swept under the rug, like any other movie that Hollywood doesn't like but can't find enough fault to publicly embarrass?