Signs of the Times
Blair praises Islam in CFR journal.
Tony Blair has written an article entitled ‘A Battle for Global Values’ in the January – February edition of the journal ‘Foreign Affairs’ which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). As I pointed out last month the CFR is a secretive organisation in which world leaders come together in the cause of global government.
He began the article by stating that the war on terrorism is ‘a battle of values, and one that can only be won by the triumph of tolerance and liberty. Afghanistan and Iraq have been the necessary starting points of this battle. Success there, however, must be coupled with a bolder, more consistent, and more thorough application of global values, with Washington leading the way.’
He then went on to make an astonishing statement about Islam:
‘To me, the most remarkable thing about the Koran is how progressive it is. I write with great humility as a member of another faith. As an outsider, the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, much as reformers attempted to do with the Christian church centuries later. The Koran is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance.
Under its guidance, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands were breathtaking. Over centuries, Islam founded an empire and led the world in discovery, art, and culture. The standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones.’
The idea that the Koran was trying to reform Christianity and Judaism and return them to their origins could not be more wrong. Islam seeks to replace Christianity and Judaism and denies the central beliefs of Christians. According to the Koran anyone who believes that God is a triune unity and that Jesus is the Son of God will be tormented in hell (al-Maa’idah 5:73, Maryam 19.34-38 and 88-93), whereas the Bible teaches that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God will be saved for eternal life in heaven.
According to the Koran Jesus did not die on the cross (and therefore was not resurrected) but ‘it appeared so to them the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that man).’ al-Nisaa’ 4:157-158. The Bible teaches that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose again on the third day according to the scriptures. … And if Christ is not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain’. I Corinthians 15:3-4,14.
In comparison with the Roman Catholic Church which Tony Blair upholds as authentic Christianity, medieval Islam may have appeared more tolerant. But that is only a comparison of two dark houses neither of which have the light of the Gospel in them. In fact early Islam was only tolerant for the short time that Mohammed was preaching as a minority faith in Mecca and his opponents were stronger than he was. Once he had the upper hand Islam became fiercely intolerant of opposition as is testified by early accounts written by Muslims of the Islamic conquest of Arabia.
Muhammad taught his followers to oppress or kill non-Muslims. Generally, Jews and Christians were allowed to continue to practice their faiths, provided they paid a special tax. This tax is Jizya, a tax revenue given to the Muslims as a sign of their status as ‘dhimmis’ (protected people under Islam). If the Jews and Christians refused to pay this extortion tax they would have to convert to Islam or be killed. Idolaters or pagans had to convert to Islam or be killed. Generally they didn’t have the option of paying the tax. Here is the verse that teaches Muslims to oppress Jews and Christians:
‘Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, (which is Islam that abolishes all other religions) of the people of the Book, (meaning the Jews and the Christians) until they pay the Jizya (the tax imposed upon them) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. (with humiliation and submission to the government of Islam.) 9:29 .’ (Commentary in parenthesis is from the Tafsir Al-Jalalein. i.e., Al-Jalalein Interpretation of the Koran.)
Muhammad ordered his followers to fight those Christians and Jews to convert them or pay the Jizya, and if they don’t convert or pay, do you think that he told the followers to let them go in peace? It is very clear: convert... or pay with submission ... or die.
Here is the verse in the Quran that teaches Muslims to attack and kill pagans:
‘When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.’ Sura 9:5
Tony Blair aspires to be a mediator in the Middle East conflict. If this is the level of his understanding of a major component of that conflict it is yet another sign of the dangerous self delusion which is contributing to the weakness of the west in the face of the Islamic world.
For full text of article go to: http://www.foreignaffairs.org
Saudi Conference calls for lawsuits against those who abuse Islam.
The Muslim World League called for legal action against those who abuse Islam and its Prophet Muhammad and Islamic sanctities, at local and international courts of justice. The conference titled ‘In Defence of the Prophet’ called upon Islamic countries and governments to stand united to defend the Islamic faith and its Prophet. It denounced the smear campaigns to tarnish the image of the Prophet and urged Muslims to make all-out efforts to project the true picture of Islam and the great divine teachings of the Prophet. Its spokesman, Al-Turki called upon Western countries to protect human rights of Muslim communities and take action against those who create unnecessary fear about Islam by linking it with terrorism and violence.
If applied internationally this would make it illegal to criticise Islam or its prophet, thus denying freedom of speech world wide. It would appear that the application of this in Europe is not as improbable as we might think. A French teacher, Robert Redeker wrote an article ‘Face aux intimidations islamistes, que doit faire le monde libre ?’ (In the face of intimidations by the Islamists what should the free world do?). This was published in the leading newspaper, Le Figaro in September 2006. Since then he and his family have secreted away on advice of the French government to a safe house for fear of death by fatwa.
Having been posted online, the article was read all across France and in other countries as well, and was quickly translated into Arabic. Denunciations of Redeker’s ‘insult of the prophet’ spread across the Internet. Within a day after publication, the piece was being condemned on al Jazeera by the popular on-air preacher (and unofficial voice of Osama bin Laden) Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi. In Egypt and Tunisia, the offending issue of Le Figaro was banned.
As for Redeker himself, he soon received a large number of threats by letter and e-mail. On an Islamist website, he was sentenced to death in a posting that, in order to facilitate a potential assassin’s task, also provided his address and a photograph of his home. Fearful for himself and his family, Redeker sought protection from the local police, who transferred the case to the national counter-espionage authorities. On their advice, Redeker, his wife, and three children fled their home and took shelter in a secret location. Since then, they have moved from city to city, at their own expense, under police protection.
Even more disturbing than this incident has been the reaction of the media and educational establishment in France. France’s two largest teachers’ unions, both of them socialist, stressed that ‘they did not share Redeker’s convictions.’ The leading leftist human-rights organizations went much farther, denouncing his ‘irresponsible declarations’ and ‘putrid ideas.’ A fellow high-school philosophy teacher, Pierre Tévanian, declared (on a Muslim website) that Redeker was ‘a racist’ who should be severely punished by his school’s administration. Among members of the media, Redeker was scolded for articulating his ideas so incautiously. On the radio channel Europe 1, Jean-Pierre Elkabach invited the beleaguered teacher to express his ‘regret.’ The editorial board of Le Monde, France’s leading newspaper, characterized Redeker’s piece as ‘excessive, misleading, and insulting.’ It went so far as to call his remarks about Muhammad ‘a blasphemy,’ implying that the founder of Islam must be treated even by non-Muslims in a non-Muslim country as an object not of investigation but of veneration.
So much for ‘liberté, égalité and fraternité.’ How much longer do we have for freedom of speech here in Britain as well? Notice that there has been no reporting of this incident in our press or TV.