Everything I Know about Islam

Reading time: 5450 words, 12 to 20 minutes

Originally sent as an email to friends, family and colleagues June 23, 2007.

This is a message about Islam and how it and recent events will affect our lives in both the near and distant future. Be warned, this is not a pleasant message (nor brief; it’s about a dozen printed pages). My intention it to provide more background than you will get from the ass media which is devoted largely to entertainment and advertising. Topics covered include:

1) The little I know about Islam, its history and how it has recently changed especially in regards to jihad (holy war)
2) Why we Westerners fail to understand Islam
3) Why Islam and the West will never be reconciled
4) Why Islam will succeed and the West seems doomed to failure
5) What will happen when the U.S. abandons Iraq

Having studied a bit of the history of Islamic and the Ottoman Empire, I admit that I have a negative impression of Islam. Founded in the seventh century by the prophet Mohammed, his followers spread his religion of peace and love at sword-point across Arabia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, northern Africa, Spain, Eastern Europe and Indonesia. Today, there are about one billion Muslim adherents worldwide and Islam is spreading faster than ever before in history.

Fourteen centuries ago, the Arab city of Mecca had become a thriving mercantile center by trading with surrounding countries. However, in this stampede to wealth, some of the old tribal traditions were being lost such as prayer, fasting and giving alms to the poor. Judaism and Christianity, with their one God, became more sophisticated and advanced than the polytheistic (multiple god) paganism of the Arabs which lacked a prophet and scripture of their own. As well, in a murderous cycle of vendetta and counter-vendetta, Arabian tribes constantly fought each other and the Arab tribes seemed to be lost.

Although the prophet Mohammed introduced Islam, he taught no new doctrines nor did he found a new religion. Instead, he re-introduced the old faith in One God (Allah) who demanded that humans behave to one another with justice, equity and compassion. Islam means “surrender” and a Muslim is a person who submits their entire being to Allah.

To understand something it often helps to compare it to something else. To understand Islam, one needs to compare it to other religions and traditions. For instance, in Hindu tradition, history is insubstantial and unimportant. Greek philosophers were concerned with the eternal laws underlying events but daily events were unimportant. Jesus explained that his kingdom was not of this world but within the believer. In the West, the Enlightenment advocated the separation of church and state both to free religion from the corruption of the state and to allow freedom to flourish unhindered by religious dogma.

However, Islam is different. Muslims have looked for God in history. The Qur’an’s (Koran) historical mission is the creation of a just community so it’s members would live according to God’s will. The writer, Karen Armstrong, put it succinctly; “A Muslim had to redeem history and that meant that state affairs were not a distraction from spirituality but the stuff of religion itself.” Politics became an Islamic “sacrament,” current affairs the essence of Islamic vision and social justice a crucial virtue. Thus, any misfortune or humiliation of their community affected Muslims more profoundly than would be felt by any other religion or Western tradition. Islam is more than a religion; it is a complete way of life.

History shows Muslims very capable at making war, not adept at keeping the peace and very inept at governing themselves. Islamic culture produced people whose first loyalty was to their families, secondly to their clan and lastly to their tribe. Muslim government administrators robbed their government for the benefit of their family first, then their clan and lastly for their tribe. Islamic national loyalty is non-existent because they see themselves as Muslims rather than as members of a particular nation.

Nations are a recent invention. It is only in the last several centuries that small kingdoms and states were united into Western nations. However, it is less than a century since the Muslim Ottoman Empire was dismantled in 1918 and Muslim nations created. We, in the West, have had more time to embrace nationhood. Today we take nations for granted. However, this has not occurred with Islam.

Often, Islam and the Ottoman Empire relied on Westerners to form their elite national guard and, with training and merit, they were promoted to high government positions. From the 14th to the 19th Century, Western boys captured in battle or recruited as a tax levied on non-Muslim countries or purchased from impoverished Western families (life was brutal and worth little in days of yore) were known as Janissaries and helped administer the Ottoman Empire (Mamluks in Egypt).

People are sometimes surprised to learn that Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was not an Egyptian. She was of the Macedonian house of Ptolemy. In the 3rd Century BCE, Alexander the Great of Macedonia, having conquered the known world, installed his generals to rule each of his conquered peoples. General Ptolemy and his ancestors, including Cleopatra, ruled Egypt for many centuries. Egypt flourished under foreign rule. Even today, the most successful Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia rely on Westerners to operate their countries.

In theory, Islam is a beautiful religion. Then too, the old constitution of the former Soviet Union was also a thing of beauty but we know what a murderous dictatorship hid behind that document. Recent events such as 9/11 and the bombings in Bali, London and Madrid have demonstrated how a beautiful religion can be undermined and turned into a murderous machine.

Religions change over time. For instance, Christianity has changed so much since its inception that it has been said there was only one Christian and he died on the cross. The same can be said about Islam. Mohammed gave the world a religion of peace and love and yet some of his followers have turned it into a killing machine.

Since I have a negative impression of Islam, I was pleased when the local university Muslim Student Association announced a free public lecture on Islam by a renowned Imam (Islamic religious leader.) I felt that perhaps our Western culture and our view of history shaped my negative attitude and, in fairness, I should hear the Islamic side.

I went to the lecture 20 minutes early. Upon entering the lecture hall I passed a man who was talking to some young, swarthy fellows who I assumed were Muslim students. He was berating them about the announced time. Yesterday’s newspaper announced the lecture at 7:00 P.M. but the radio today said 7:15 and today’s newspaper said 7:30. As no one else had arrived yet (I was, in fact, 50 minutes early not 20) I had my choice of seats.

With nothing better to do than wait, I watched a group of Muslim students hang a large “Muslim Student Association” banner behind the lectern. No sooner had they finished then someone from the back of the lecture hall began to argue with them in a foreign language, march down the aisle and continue to argue with much hand waving until one of them threw his hands up in defeat and left. No sooner had they re-hung one end of the banner, then someone else from the back of the lecture hall began to argue with them in a foreign language, march down the aisle and continue to argue with much hand waving until another one of them threw his hands up in defeat and left. This was repeated and the banner, which looked perfectly fine to me, was re-hung more than half a dozen times.

During this display of camaraderie, peace and love, another young swarthy fellow entered the lecture hall and proceeded to set up a video camera on a tripod in the middle of the aisle to record the lecture. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize this was a bad location because someone would trip over the tripod and knock over the camera. He was soon surrounded by other young Muslims who began to argue with much waving of hands until the cameraman threw his hands up in defeat and left. The remaining Muslim students struggled to erect the camera and tripod.

Finally the lecture started. I found it very interesting because the Imam explained aspects of the Qur’an (Koran) that I had not known. I had always been puzzled why the first half of the Qur’an was so much different from the last half. The first part is the theory and philosophy of Islam written while Mohammed was living in Mecca. Mohammed wrote the second part after he fled to Medina to escape his enemies from Mecca. As such, the second part is the “practical” aspects of Islam. For instance, it is acceptable to kill your enemies if they threaten your life. I now understood why Muslim extremists find support for their actions in the Qur’an because it is easy to stretch the definition of the word “threat” i.e. Western civilization is a threat to Islam.

One side of the banner fell down two thirds through the lecture. Three quarters through the lecture, someone tripped over the tripod and the camera crashed to the floor. Towards the end of the lecture, the lights went off until one of the students found the light switch beside the lectern. The lights kept going off because they were on a timer. Being unable to operate the timer, the student hauled a chair up beside the light switch and switched on the lights whenever they went off.

After the lecture, there was a question and answer period. Because of 9/11, I expected the questions would be pointed and direct but, instead the questions were mild and politically correct and the Imam took them in stride. Finally, I raised my hand and asked, “Why, after 9/11, did not one Imam worldwide denounce the violence?” Actually, several did but they were a tiny minority.

There was a loud intake of breath from the audience and the Imam paused to collect his thoughts. He replied that Islam is a religion of peace and love and, after sidestepping my question, he asked for other questions. As I have a low threshold for bullshit and little patience for mindless political correctness, I left.

My negative impression of Islam was not dispelled. If anything, it was reinforced. They are inept, argumentative, self-deluded and misguided in looking to their past for answers to modern problems. Innovation, questioning and criticism are actively discouraged and the result is a hive-mind mentality that allows their leaders to avoid responsibility for their situation and blame the West for all their self-induced problems. From a Western perspective, they are losers.

I mention all this because after 14 centuries we have not bridged the gulf between Islam and the West. The chasm has widened. Recent activity makes me feel the crisis is coming to a head. George Bush might have done right by “liberating” Iraq from the butcher Saddam Hussein (I admit, it is debatable) but he did it the wrong way.

We tend to view Islam and other cultures through Western eyes. We project our own values and perspectives onto other cultures and, Islam being so alien to us, it is no wonder we have lost the war in Iraq. We are trying to force on them a democracy they never requested, never had, don’t understand nor appreciate and don’t know how to operate.

The American public does not have the patience for a protracted war especially one that has been waged to one degree or another for 14 centuries. Americans have now elected Democrats to both houses of government signifying they want an end to the war in Iraq. Islamic jihadists see this as a victory for Islam.

More significant, Bush showed Islam the limits of American power. So did Israel in declaring war against Hezbollah, invading and then retreating from Lebanon this past summer. So did Russia with its endless wars in Chechnya. None of these nations understood, that in the Art of War, a threat is psychologically more powerful than action especially a losing action.

Now that Islam understands the limits of Western power, they are more emboldened. It is not surprising that the Taliban are making a comeback in Afghanistan. Muslim Pakistan has nuclear weapons and soon Iran will too. This is worrisome and sends international relations in directions for which we have no experience.

Of great concern are the changes Islam has undergone during this last century and especially during the last several decades. In the past, Islam had a more honorable record of warfare and killing than did Christendom. Traditional Islam developed basic ground rules about jihad (holy war.) Muslims were prohibited from killing women and children. Some Muslim scholars extended the ban to include the elderly, the infirm, male peasants who, as a rule, were non-combatants and fellow Muslims living among the enemy.

These principles were generally accepted for more than a thousand years. Some exceptions were made as warfare developed. The invention of the catapult made the killing of innocent civilians unavoidable. Fellow Muslims could be killed if an enemy used them as human shields but these exceptions were highly restricted.

This began to change in the 20th century. The first recorded, systematic violation of the ban on killing women and children was the WWI (Christian) Armenian genocide by the (Islamic) Ottoman Turks in 1915. Somewhere between 650 thousand and 1.5 million Armenians died during forceful “deportation.” The exact culpability of the Turks is still hotly disputed. It says much about Turkey’s inability to face its Islamic past that any admission of this genocide is subject to persecution. The Economist magazine ironically calls Turkey “a modern republic that passionately defends, on pain of prosecution, the imperial regime which the republic’s founders overthrew.”

More recently, we saw Saddam Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds and the genocidal killings in Darfur. In fairness, Islam still has a better record than Westerners do during the bloody 20th century’s mass exterminations in Europe, Africa, Russia and Asia.

Of greater concern, the concept of jihad began to change even more during the last several decades particularly with the justification of suicide bombing. Although suicide bombing has no traditional basis in Islam, it became a terrorist tool after Shiite militants blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983. Since then, suicide bombing has rapidly penetrated Islamic cultural consciousness. It is so commonplace now it has even become part of the gallows’ humor of the West; “The young, they blow up so fast, don’t they?”

The concept of jihad continues to change. The killing of Israeli women is justified on the grounds that they must serve in the military so that now makes all Israelis combatants. Bin Laden stretched this loophole to include new victims. Americans occupy the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia (that they were invited is ignored) and since Americans elect their government and are free to ignore U.S. government policy, attacks on American civilians and their allies are now justified. The catapult exception for non-specific killing now makes all civilians fair game. The Muslim human shield exception is now stretched to allow the most recent trend: Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

Particularly worrisome is the distinct threat of terrorist’s future accessibility to nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Until now, nuclear weapons were the domain of nations with a fixed address. Nuclear warfare had been limited by the threat of retaliation which is no longer a threat for terrorists of no-fixed-address. As well, suicide bombing removes the threat of deterrence because, in the warped mind of a suicide-bomber, innocent victims are seen as achieving an involuntary martyrdom.

The West is beginning to show its exasperation with Muslim immigrant’s inability to integrate with Western culture. France passed a law outlawing the wearing of the Hijab (head covering) in public. British former foreign secretary Jack Straw reflects Britain’s increasing discomfort with the Niqab (full body covering) and he has Prime Minister Blair’s support. This is significant because Britain has been fairly comfortable with multiculturalism. Pope Benedict’s statements caused much anguish among Muslims worldwide.

The Pope and other well-meaning Westerners are calling for a greater dialogue with Islam. However, 14 centuries of history prove it is not going to happen. There are many reasons for this. One reason is that Islam fears Western secularism. Christians are reconciled to the primacy of reason after several centuries of science and rational thought since the Age of Enlightenment.

However, Islam’s Allah is absolutely transcendent; he is unbounded by our Western idea of rationality. One of the principles of Western political organizations is the separation of church and state whereas, in Islam, religion, faith and politics are inseparable. Islam is more than a religion; it is an integral part of life and a faithful Muslim will allow no separation between his religion, his life, his faith or his politics. Westerners find this difficult to comprehend. For Muslims to join us in dialogue would threaten to destroy their faith.

Another reason that dialogue between the West and Islam is impossible is the lack of common ground between the two cultures. We are alien to each other. I know a former British soldier who was stationed in Yemen years ago. His batboy (butler/servant) kept stealing from him despite numerous talks. An experienced officer finally told the young soldier he was doing it all wrong. Each morning he should put on his boots, call in the batboy, tell him to turn around, bend over and then kick him in the ass. “You can’t reason with these people. You have to show them who’s the boss.” He did. The stealing stopped. We in the West cannot comprehend a mind that reacts thusly to a boot in the butt. If we show mercy, we consider it civilized behaviour; to an Arab it is a sign of weakness.

We keep projecting our culture to an alien Muslim culture that has few, if any, parallels to our own and we are surprised when our overtures are mistaken or rejected. Saudi money funds the building of new mosques in Europe but they refuse to allow the building of Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. Non-Muslims in Muslim countries must conform to local customs; they cannot eat pork, drink alcohol or wear non-Muslim religious symbols, women must be modestly clothed or covered and men cannot wear shorts. Yet, Muslims in Western countries expect us to accommodate them.

To us it is unfair; to them it is quite acceptable. A Westerner who adopts another faith is hardly cause for concern but for a Muslim to adopt another faith is a death sentence. Christians have learned from centuries of bloodshed that it is unacceptable to kill a heretic (non-Christian) but the Qur’an advocates the killing of infidels (non-Muslims.) Their goal, simply put, is Muslim domination. There are NO grounds for dialogue.

Our Western culture cannot understand Muslim behaviour. The Pope questions Muslim evil and murder and we cannot fathom why Muslims react by shooting a nun and fire-bombing a Christian church and thus proving the Pope’s point.

The “youth” riots in France serve no purpose except to further alienate young Muslims from the mainstream and make it more difficult for Muslim youths to reduce their unemployment which was one of the reasons for rioting in the first place. Only one in four Sunni Muslim sects, the Hanbli of Saudi Arabia, actually require the full-body covering Niqab yet, British-born, female Muslims from the prevalent Hanifi Muslim sect of South Asia (which do not require the Niqab) are starting to wear it in defiance of their parents’ wishes and as a political statement (like wearing a “Free Palistine” T-shirt) and to differentiate themselves from other Westerners. Moreover, they then wonder why they aren’t accepted by the mainstream. If anyone can understand this self-sabotage please explain it to me. There is NO basis for dialogue.

Canada’s Macleans magazine carried an article titled “The Future Belongs to Islam.” The article is based on demography, the study of human population dynamics. Demography is capable of powerful predictions by demonstrating how populations change over time due to births, deaths, migration and ageing. According to the article, Western civilization is doomed because of three factors: 1) demographic decline, 2) the social democratic state cannot be sustained and 3) exhaustion of Western civilization. The last two are a result of the first factor: demographic decline.

Demographic decline is most evident in Europe, Japan, Russia and Canada. For instance, Spain has a fertility rate of 1.1 children per couple, in Italy it is 1.2 and 1.3 in Greece. We aren’t making enough babies to replace ourselves. Societies with a rate of 1.3 or less have never recovered. There are already 50 million Muslims in Europe and they have a fertility rate of 3.6. Do the math.

In France, a police lieutenant was promoted to police chief after spending 12 of the last 18 years on paternity leave. This is both comic and tragic. Such generous paternity benefits still fail to alleviate a barren European population which has an overall fertility rate of only 1.4. Canada’s is not much better and Japan’s population has already begun to decline. Granted that historically Muslims are inept and too incompetent to operate a lemonade stand, how could they possibly take over? The answer is by sheer numbers and we Westerners will once again become their educated slaves running their world for them.

There was a time when high fertility immigrants would have fewer children as they assimilated into Western civilization and entered the middle class. However, Muslims resist assimilation. Instead, they demand that we accommodate them and we do.

As mentioned previously, Islam never accepted nationalism. A Muslim is a Muslim first. Instead, Islam leapfrogged over nationalism and became global. Islam’s global pathologies have overcome our old-school nationalism.

In the Middle-East, the median age in the Gaza strip is 15.8. How much influence do you think a “moderate” Palestinian leader has with a nation of unemployed, poorly educated, teenage boys trained in a death cult?

The second reason we are doomed is that our social democratic states cannot sustain themselves. 20th century progressive welfare democracy is bankrupt. Aging baby-boomers will put a tremendous strain on a healthcare system that is already dangerously overstretched. Again, demographically, we lack the kids and grandkids to pay enough taxes to fund the government deficits. The problem of pensions is worse in the U.S. than in Canada but that is little comfort. The bankruptcies of the Enrons and Worldcoms have destroyed their employees’ private pensions and the airlines and large corporations have abandoned their employees’ defined benefit pension plans.

However, the biggest problem will be the mass of baby boomers that are just starting to retire after a lifetime of being tax slaves who will demand pensions from a government burdened with unfunded pension liabilities. The U.S. cupboard is bare. The Canada Pension Plan is in better shape but that is small comfort for two reasons: 1) lack of kids and grandkids to continue funding it since there will be more retirees than tax payers and 2) the U.S. is our largest trading partner with 80% of our exports and whither goes their economy goes, so goes ours.

The third factor in our doom is the exhaustion of Western civilization. We bear an uncanny resemblance to the decline of Rome. An historian said that Rome did not fall so much as it was a series of announcements like: “the messenger service doesn’t stop here on Saturdays anymore.” Some of you may be old enough to remember Saturday mail delivery in Canada. It wasn’t that the barbarians over-ran the borders of Rome but that the Romans opened their borders and let them in. The Romans trained barbarians as Roman soldiers because decadent Romans felt it was beneath their dignity to defend their own empire.

Like the Romans, we have opened our borders to the barbarians. We need immigrants to sustain our dwindling population and to become tax payers. Our modern immigration policies discourage Westerners and we then bury our heads in the sand of our failed multicultural experiment.

Muslims do not want to assimilate. They do not want multiculturalism. They want their culture to dominate. Period. They are out-breeding us and given time, they will outnumber us and their culture will dominate. Period.

In Linz, Austria, Muslims demand that all female teachers whether Muslim or infidel wear head scarves in class. In Seville, Spain, King Ferdinand III who, centuries ago, gained Spanish independence by expelling the Muslim Moors is no longer patron saint because it is deemed to be insensitive to Muslims. Politically correct prigs force British nursery children to sing “Baa, Baa, Rainbow Sheep.”

This is not just Europe’s problem; it is ours too. Only America has a healthy 2.4 fertility rate (still lower than Muslims’ 3.6) but America cannot go it alone. The UN and other international organizations already show little support for the U.S. so imagine how much less support the Americans will have when more of the world is ‘Islamified’.

India, with a population of over one billion, has its own Islamic problems. Economically, the U.S. empire is beginning to crumble. It cannot forever remain the policeman of the West. The 20th century was America’s but the 21st century will be China’s and, with a population of 1.6 billion, China is sitting on the sidelines watching the West and Islam duke it out. Islam is duking; the West is ducking.

We in the West have allowed Big Government to annex all our adult responsibilities – health care, child care, welfare, education and care for the elderly. We have lost our self-reliance, we have lost our survival instinct and we have lost our self-confidence. Big Government flopped both in preventing and responding to 9/11. Big Government drowned New Orleans and there is still a big hole at ground zero in New York.

Big Government allowed the destruction of the cod on the Canadian East coast and is now doing the same for salmon on the West coast. Do not expect our government or elected leaders to solve our problems because they are the problem. Our politicians will sell their souls for a dollar and they don’t care who elects them; Muslim or infidel.

Like the Romans, there are few in the West willing to fight for our way of life. Most of us are either complacent or politically correct. Oriana Fallaci, the feisty Italian journalist and fighter died in September, 2006. In her obituary, the Economist magazine expressed her views; “Moderate Islam…did not exist…All Muslims were bent on invading Europe and turning it into a ‘Eurabia’ of veiled women and sharia law. Assimilation was a delusion; they did not want it… She mourned the slow death of Western civilization, its lack of pride and self-esteem, its cowardice before the Muslim ‘hordes’.” In other words, if we aren’t prepared to fight and die for our way of life, then we don’t deserve it.

Is it all doom and gloom? It’s difficult to argue against demography but many things can happen in the next few decades. As one wag said; “it’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” Remember, 30 years ago we were told that in the future we would have meals in pill form and flying cars, neither of which came to pass. Moreover, many inventions were not predicted; fax, cell phones, laptops, iPods, etc. However, that is technology, not demography.

New ideas and innovations might help us. Instead of a higher birthrate, an increase in longevity could help to maintain our population. Living longer and healthier, working past 65 or working part-time and paying taxes instead of drawing on government assistance may be a solution. We could foster healthier lifestyles, more exercise, ban cigarettes, eliminate trans-fats, tax fast food – the list is endless and inexpensive.

Changing our approach to cancer may be an opportunity. It has been said that if you live long enough and nothing else kills you then cancer probably will. Instead of continuing to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on cancer research as we have for the past half century, perhaps it is time to admit there is no cure. Instead, we might devote our resources to prevention, earlier detection and better treatment rather than the crude “slash and burn” (surgery, chemo and radiation) treatments that haven’t changed in more than half a century.

On the other hand, Islam is not monolithic. There is no Islamic “Pope” who can guide them and adjudicate disputes. We hear about the animosity between the Shia and Sunni Muslims but there are also smaller sects within each of those. It’s possible Islam can have its own civil war.

Iraq will probably disintegrate into civil war but that is only one nation with artificial borders; borders that a civil war will change. In addition, Islam is global, not national. With Iran soon to have nuclear weapons, its greatest rival, Saudi Arabia, may be unwilling to rely on the U.S. nuclear umbrella will want nuclear weapons also. Then Egypt will need nuclear weapons to keep it from becoming irrelevant to the regional balance of power.

The more Middle East nations that have nuclear weapons the greater the likelihood some of those weapons will fall into the hands of Islamic jihadists. Perhaps the Middle East will one day be covered in radioactive glass. Chances are it will take smoldering Western cities before that happens. One can hope that age and guile beat youth and a bad haircut, but it will take more than wishful thinking to preserve our way of life.

American failure in Iraq will have far greater ramifications than the media has been telling us. In most Islamic nations, the majority of Muslims are Sunnis. However in Iran and Iraq, the Shiites are the majority. Iran is Persian, not Arab. Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are long and bitter rivals as were Sunni-controlled Iraq and Shiite Iran (if this sounds complicated, welcome to the morass of the Middle East.)

Saddam Hussein (a Sunni) kept the minority Sunnis in power in Iraq, which together with Saudi Arabia, kept Iran “contained.” Once the Americans withdraw from Iraq (“Oops, never mind” as the last helicopters leave Saigon, I mean Baghdad) Iraq will disintegrate and Iran will do everything in its power to assist and unite with Iraqi Shiites in order to create a “Greater Persia” which will then confront the Sunni nations of the Middle East. Add to this volatile mix Iran’s nuclear aspirations and its vow to eliminate nuclear-weaponed Israel, and the situation looks very grim. We will have George W. Bush to thank for the creation of Greater Persia which means he is either:

A) a complete moron for dragging the U.S. into a region where for 5,000 years bloodshed has been the norm and trying to give democracy to a people who never asked for it, or

B) he is the Anti-Christ determined to create the conditions necessary for the biblical Armageddon of Revelations and drag us all into it.

Let us hope the answer is A) moron, because B) is unthinkable.

Dan Amoss writing for the Daily Reckoning, Nov 8, 2006 states “….what a great job the Bush administration has done of greasing the “Axis of Evil” so it can roll on to wherever it is going. North Korea has managed to get a nuclear bomb, under the watchful gaze of the United States, while the American military has actually helped Iran achieve all of its most important foreign policy objectives. It removed Iran’s biggest rival in the region – Saddam Hussein – and neutralized its biggest enemy – Iraq. In destabilizing Iraq, the United States also helped to extend the Shia revolution and expand Islamic fundamentalism.

Mission Accomplished! The mullahs must be high-fiving each other.”

So, there you have it folks. Either Islam will take over by out-breeding us or the world’s nations get caught up in a modern day Armageddon with China sitting on the side-lines waiting to pick up the pieces.

Neither future looks promising unless you are Muslim or Chinese. Allah akbar!

I wish I had better news.

Gerold

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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9 Responses to Everything I Know about Islam

  1. Bob Mullins says:

    “Mohammed gave the world a religion of peace and love and yet some of his followers have turned it into a killing machine”.

    Really? Where precisely do you get this bizarre, unsubstantiated idea from? Critically speaking, the historical Mohammed appears to have had no problem with bloodshed and his more extreme followers are simply following his teachings to the letter. Mohammed might well have started with “peace and love” when he and his 40-or-so followers were outnumbered in Mecca; but by the time we get to the parts of the the Qur’an which advocate violence the prophet was in a much more secure position. Mohammed’s offensive caravan raids are enough to dispel this idea of him as a glorified hippie.

    How about this for a correction – “Mohammed forced on the world a religion of ‘peace and love’ (to those who agreed with him); but economic persecution and death to those who did not.” The historical Mohammed was intensely pragmatic – when it suited him he advocated peace, but had no problem slaughtering his opponents, organizing assassinations, selling women into slavery, stoning homosexuals, beating wives etc. when his group was in the majority. You even admit yourself that “the Qur’an advocates the killing of infidels (non-Muslims) “. How the hell is this “giving the world a religion of peace and love”?! Have you read the more critically reliable Hadith or have you just been flicking through the Qur’an and listening to liberal, westernized Imam? Do you really seriously believe that the historical Mohammed would have accepted with “love and peace” atheists like you or agnostics like me? Ridiculous.

    5:33 “The only reward for those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom…”

    By the way, I am not branding Mohammed “evil” or any such things, I mean the man – having been an orphan himself – showed great compassion to orphans and (at least according to the Muslim record anyway) forgave his Meccan enemies on his triumphant return to Mecca (after destroying their inclusive polytheistic culture). I’m simply saying that the impression you give, one of Mohammed as a kind of latter day Buddha, is absolute nonsense. If you found a religion (which he did) based on warfare, and economically persecuting those who disagree with you when you gain power, you should not be surprised when your followers pick that idea up and take it across the African continent and into Europe on the end of a sword.

    On one final, trivial note, your understanding of the historical Yeshua bar Yusef appears to be rather stunted. You say that “Jesus explained that his kingdom was not of this world but within the believer”. Yeshua was, if anything, an apocalyptic prophet who was announcing the coming Kingdom of God and the physical resurrection of Israel’s righteous dead. No “the kingdom is inside you!” nonsense, but rather preparing Israel for the immanent arrival of God’s reign on earth through his Messiah. The “not of this world” passages you allude to are best understood in the context of early Christianity’s rationalization of why Jesus went to the cross and was brutally killed. Hence the reason why you find that passage in the theologically-laden Gospel of “John”.

    For feck’s sake Gerold, please do some more research on these areas. The only way you can drag “peace and love” from the historical Mohammed is by denying half the Qur’an, selectively choosing quotes from early in his career, or going all postmodern on me.

    • gerold says:

      Thank you, Bob for a well-reasoned comment.

      You’ve provided depth that an essay could only skim over.

      – Gerold

    • Trey says:

      Neal Pirolo2008/10/06From: Dwight Logan Subject: Wake up AmericaIslam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fuleslt form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components. Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges. When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well. Here’s how it works.As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:United States Muslim 0.6%Australia Muslim 1.5%Canada Muslim 1.9%China Muslim 1.8%Italy Muslim 1.5%Norway Muslim 1.8%At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:Denmark Muslim 2%Germany Muslim 3.7%United Kingdom Muslim 2.7%Spain Muslim 4%Thailand Muslim 4.6%>From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves – along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:France Muslim 8%Philippines Muslim 5%Sweden Muslim 5%Switzerland Muslim 4.3%The Netherlands Muslim 5.5%Trinidad & Tobago Muslim 5.8%At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. Theultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world. When Muslims approach 10% of the population , they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam,and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:Guyana Muslim 10%India Muslim 13.4%Israel Muslim 16%Kenya Muslim 10%Russia Muslim 15%After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:Ethiopia Muslim 32.8%At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in: Bosnia Muslim 40%Chad Muslim 53.1%Lebanon Muslim 59.7%From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleans ing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:Albania Muslim 70%Malaysia Muslim 60.4%Qatar Muslim 77.5%Sudan Muslim 70%After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:Bangladesh Muslim 83%Egypt Muslim 90%Gaza Muslim 98.7%Indonesia Muslim 86.1%Iran Muslim 98%Iraq Muslim 97%Jordan Muslim 92%Morocco Muslim 98.7%Pakistan Muslim 97%Palestine Muslim 99%Syria Muslim 90%Tajikistan Muslim 90%Turkey Muslim 99.8%United Arab Emirates Muslim 96%100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ the Islamic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in: Afghanistan Muslim 100%Saudi Arabia Muslim 100%Somalia Muslim 100%Yemen Muslim 100%Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust bykilling less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons. Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel. Leon Uris, ‘The Haj’It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live inghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts, nor schools, nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas ofcertain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate. Today’s 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world’s population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world’s population by the end of this century.Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat Here is some serious reading for serious thinkers. Now that you know, what we will do with this knowledge? We have one running for the highest office in this country. Know who you are voting for in the Nov. election. Edited by Tikkabuck (Today at 01:44 AM) ‘A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.’ Thomas Jefferson

  2. reuilly12 says:

    Hi Gerold, I boil it down to the whole notion of propaganda. We in the West use as our propaganda that “we don’t have any.” This is extremely dangerous because it makes the other side mad as hell and justifiably so. What you say about mercy is interesting. White mercy is nothing but vanity and is really quite disgusting to look at, as well as experience. It’s not weakness, it’s passive aggression and other cultures know this. They don’t want to be shown “how to behave. ” The Merchant of Venice is all about White mercy. No one knows this except me and Shakespeare (joke) but Shakespeare was warning us to stop showcasing ourselves. It’s really stupid to sit back, think that you’re better looking and then proceed to look cute on top of it.
    I really think or hope that Islam is a religion or culture of peace. We have to stop picking on it because Muslims will argue. That’s what I personally love about them.

    • gerold says:

      submitted on 2013/03/06 at 6:13 pm | In reply to reuilly12.

      Western propaganda is so subtle, effective and all-encompassing that most people in the west refuse to believe we have propaganda. Soviet and Nazi propaganda was crude in comparison.

      Yes, westerners like to tell others how to behave. The British ingeniously called their colonialism the “white man’s burden”. However, I don’t think westerners have a monopoly in sticking their noses in other people’s business. That’s a characteristic common to many people.

      As an atheist, I won’t comment on whether Islam is better or worse than any other religion. Personally I have no use for any religion. I once asked a priest what the purpose of religion was. He said it gives people comfort. I said, so does heroin. He said yes, but organized crime has THAT monopoly.

      I have two criticisms of all religions. First they discourage moderates from criticising and prevents them from rooting out extremists. This allows extremists to hide behind the moderates regardless whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever.

      Second there is usually a big difference between what religions say and what they do. Most religions sound wonderful (peace and love) yet they are responsible for much bloodshed and suffering throughout history. If religions are as peaceful as they claim, why has the war between Christendom and Islam gone on for thirteen centuries?

      Political ideologies also sound wonderful and they too are responsible for bloodshed and suffering. What religions and ideologies have in common is they are based on belief. Therefore, it is belief that is responsible for much of the bloodshed and suffering throughout history.

      I can understand why so many people are believers. It’s the path of least resistance. We might like to go alone for a walk but we hate to stand alone in our opinions and beliefs.

      It is not easy being a skeptic and a doubter in a world full of gullible believers. It is difficult standing on one’s own feet, apart from the crowd. The journey is a lonely one but the view is bracing and fascinating

  3. reuilly12 says:

    I enjoyed reading your article and thank you for writing it. There is nothing as encouraging as an individual expressing him or herself. To be human is to express and to express is human. Use it or lose it. I think the single biggest threat to the West is its lack of people like you. Islam is replete with revolutionaries which of course, is a form of expression. If humans are to succeed they can breed as you say and sit there inert, or they can BE HUMAN and express themselves. It doesn’t matter who says what, and what they say, it’s the saying that counts. You (and I) have more in common with those of the Islam faith than not.

    • gerold says:

      Thanks for your comment. What you say is all too true. The danger isn’t Islam or any religion or ideologies. The biggest danger is people who blindly accept what they’re told without question. They are the ones who are “used” and manipulated by those with a dishonest agenda.

      We are raised to be gullible believers. Although sciences are taught in school, scientific thinking (skepticism) is NOT taught. The system does not want us to question. If we don’t learn to question and doubt, we will be manipulated to our disadvantage and we become dangerous to ourselves and others.

  4. Simran says:

    You have a passionate way of writing. However, your point, ” in Hindu tradition, history is insubstantial and unimportant” needs elaboration. Cheers!

    • gerold says:

      Thanks for your comment. I was paraphrasing Karen Armstrong. In “Islam; A Short History” she calls religion’s preoccupation with daily life, “an unworthy distraction from the life of the spirit, which is conducted far from the madding crowd” about religion in general and, in particular, ” In the Hindu tradition, history is dismissed as evanescent, unimportant and insubstantial.” Unfortunately she does not elaborate.

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