Patrick Sookhdeo Describes Muslim TV And Persecution Of Christians
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican priest, is director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity which one web site describes as "a Christian research institute specialising in the status of Christian minorities in the Muslim world". One article calls it the educational arm of the Barnabus Fund. Sookhdeo has written an article in The Spectator of the UK describing the role that Muslim television channels are playing in promoting militant Islam among British Muslims. (same article here)
I myself flicked through the channels on the rather antiquated television set in my room at the Baghdad Sheraton and found broadcasts from Abu Dhabi and from Iran. I watched footage of ayatollahs in southern Iraq and images of the Palestinians suffering at the hands of the Israelis. I sat there captivated by the repeated, stylised pictures: a boy throwing stones at an Israeli tank; the Israelis moving in and shooting; the bulldozing of Palestinian homes. Then there was the Arabic-language news from the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera and from its new Dubai-based rival, Al-Arabiya. If Hezbollah’s channel is not yet bringing Iraqis its regular shots of black-clad marching soldiers of Allah, it cannot be long.
The national television station of Pakistan plays an important role in creating opinion among Asian Muslims in Britain. Launched in 1964 with the motive of enabling the government to communicate with the largely illiterate masses, it is still very much controlled by the Pakistani government. News and other programmes from Pakistan television are broadcast on the satellite channels Prime TV and ARY, which are watched by many British Asians. This programming deliberately creates and nurtures an image of ‘the enemy’, which is communicated to viewers every day, as described by I.A. Rehman, director of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, in his 2001 paper ‘Enemy Images on Pakistan Television’.
It is becoming increasingly possible to use advances in media technology to help create a cultural and religious environment in an immigrant community that is at odds with the larger society they live in and more like the environment that the community originated from. This culture can be successfully passed along and be a stronger force in the minds of children of immigrants than the dominant culture of the nation which the immigrants live in. This is a particular problem with immigrant communities which hold cultural and religious beliefs that are strongly in conflict with the beliefs of the larger society.
The ability to propagate the beliefs of an immigrant family's country of origin even to offspring born and raised in a country with a different dominant culture and religion has been demonstrated by a recent pair of British Muslims who went to Israel to be suicide bombers. One was born in Britain and the other came to Britain from Pakistan at the age of 6. This event has occasioned quite a few essays in the British press about the problem. Though few are as willing as Sookhdeo to blame Islam itself for the willingness of British Muslims to go fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan or become suicide bombers in Israel.
When Samuel P. Huntington first published his The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order he received a lot of criticism from a number of quarters. Among those critics were many Muslim intellectuals who thought his argument would encourage hostility in the West toward the Muslim countries. However, the tone of official Pakistani television programming and that of other Muslim countries are a strong indication that deep down the elite decision makers in those societies want their populaces to really believe that there is an on-going Clash of Civilizations between the West and Islam. Some in the West argue that this hostile message in the press of Muslim countries is intended to distract their populaces from the failures of their own societies. This explanation is becoming less persuasive to me with time. The scale of the propaganda aimed at portraying Muslims as always the victims and non-Muslims as always the committers of evil acts seems too great for that explanation to work. The hostility in the Muslim press seems more a product of basic Muslim views. It seems like a tool to block the spread of any ideas that will undermine the power and influence of Islam.
It is interesting to note that one of the British Muslim suicide bombers, Asif Mohammed Hanif, had been an active participant in the 'LightStudy' Sufi group which is strongly opposed to the use of terrorism. In spite of this background he eventually decided that he should kill himself in order to kill Israeli Jews. Perhaps like one of his British Muslim admirers he might have seen his act as martyrdom in the clash of civilizations.
One young Islamist, who refused to give his name, had travelled from Hertfordshire to attend Friday prayers. He told The Observer that martyrdom was a Muslim duty: 'Any Muslim who denies it has left Islam. Palestine, Kashmir, Chechyna, these are all struggles where it is justified to become a "shaheed". This is a clash of civilisations.'
The Clash of Civilizations is getting harder on Christians in Muslim majority countries. Sookhdeo says the position of Christians in Muslim countries has been steadily decaying for the last 20 years. Sookhdeo says a half million Christians in Indonesia have been forced to become refugees and 30,000 killed as a result of attacks by increasingly radicalized Muslims. Is this true? Most of the reports do not break out the death and refugee totals by religion. However, the total numbers of refugees reported by other sources make Sookhdeo's numbers plausible at least. Sookhdeo has met resistance from some Christian church leaders in Britain who do not want him speaking about the discrimination that Christians face in Muslim countries. The church leaders are opposed to Sookhdeo's view that the attacks on Christians by Muslims are motivated by beliefs that are core to Islam and derived directly from the Koran.
I agree with Dr Patrick Sookhdeo that attacks on non-Muslims are due to the teachings of Islam itself. His claims of attacks on non-Muslims is supported by a report available on the internet 'Religious Freedom in the Majority Muslim Countries 1998' which examined the treatment of non-Muslims in 46 countries where Islam was the major religion - in 5 countries no other religion was allowed while in the others non-Muslims were violently and severely persecuted in virtually every way possible - there certainly was no freedom of religion even in 15 countries which claimed it in their constitution. In each country non-Muslims (Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus,Zoroastrians, Mandeans etc) claimed that hostility was increasing. While non-Muslims could convert to Islam (every effort was made to force such conversions)in many countries it was against the law for Muslims to leave Islam - they faced execution, jail/torture and even where it was not formerly against the law, Muslims who left Islam could be murdered, loose their house/job/children/inheritance and face every form of persecution..Every effort was made to destroy non-Muslim religions. This attitude to others is clearly encouraged in the Koran and hadiths - I have sent some explanation and text from maily the Koran as there is a vast number of hadiths that threaten non-Muslims but the text in the Koran is enough !!! Remember the text in chapters 4, 5, 8, 9, 22, 47 is the Medina text which over-rides all earlier (occasionally more tolerant text) as this text was written last (the Koran is not in chronological order) -this is the law of abrogation to cope with conflicting text!!
Islamic text is responsible for Killing Infidels/terrorism: The Koran is taken as absolute unchallengable truth by Muslims. Islamic text (Koran and Hadiths) and laws encourage the murder of non-Muslims and offer rewards on earth as killers of infidels could take the infidel's possessions, wife, children, country plus rewards in paradise (very young virgins untouched by humans or jinns and bearing wine -suras 2.25; 37.48-49; 38.49-53; 44.51-55; 45.70-74; 46.10-22; 52.12-20;55.54-58; 56.35-38; 78.31-33 or young boys with wine 52.24, 56.17, 76.19). When Mohammad's forces were weak he said 'There is no compulsion in religion' (sura 2.256) but when he conquered Medina, his tolerance vanished. Such killing had nothing to do with self-defense but was a divine requirement so the entire world would be made Islamic.
The Medina text in the Koran –Suras (chapters) 4, 5, 8, 9, 22, 47 is particularly terrifying with special emphasis on Jews and Christians and this text, written last over-rides all earlier (sometimes more tolerant) text –The Law of Abrogation to cope with conflicting text (Koran 2.105 Whatever verses we cancel or cause you to forget, we bring a better or its like.)
Muslim theologians admit there was no religious tolerance shown to idolators at the time of Mohammad - it was death or Islam. (Dictionary of Islam)
The sheik of the Sacred Mosque of Mecca confirmed in an introduction to the Sahih al-Bukhari collection of Hadith -'So at first the fighting was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory a) against those who start the fighting against you (Muslims) b) and against all those who worship others along with Allah.
The Ayatollah Khomeini, quoting the Koran said -Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country of the world. But those who study Islamic holy war will know why Islam wants to conquer the whole world…. those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam councils against war. Those (who say this) are witless. Islam says kill the unbelievers … Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter (their armies)…. Islam says whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except by the sword! The sword is the key to paradise which can be opened only for holy warriors!
Mankind is divided into 2 groups -Muslims and non-Muslims. Muslims are members of the Islamic community (umma) and live in Dar al-Islam. Non-Muslims are Harbi, people of Dar al-Harb -the land of warfare ie -any country belonging to the infidels that has not been subdued by Islam but is nonetheless, destined to pass into Islamic jurisdiction, either by conversion or war. All acts of war are permitted in the Dar al-Harb. Once subjugated the harbi become prisoners of war…
The conquest of unbelievers was thus seen as a fundamentally good thing in terms of political survival, tribal tradition and religious obligation. Patricia Crone, historian of early Islam, "Muhammed had to conquer, his followers liked to conquer and his deity told him to conquer".
The Concept of Jihad: 'Holy war' whose ultimate aim is to conquer the entire world and submit it to the one true faith, to the law of Allah. It is the sacred duty - an incumbent religious duty established in the Koran and traditions (hadith) - of all Muslims. Jihad is a divine institution. Muslims must strive, fight and kill in the name of god. Muslims who shirk the battle against unbelievers will roast in hell.
'God says…My righteous servants shall inherit the earth': Now this is your inheritance and what your lord has promised you. If you hold out…then [your enemy's] property, their women, their children and their country will be yours.
Sahih Muslim collection of hadiths: - One who has killed an enemy and can bring evidence to prove it, will get his belongings.
Former prime minister of Sudan told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ' the traditional concept of jihad does allow slavery as a by-product.
Eg Koran, sura 23.1 happy now the believers, humble in their prayers, shunning vain conversation, paying the poor-due, and who restrain their appetites except with their wives or their slaves whom their right hand possess: for in that case they shall be free from blame. (also 4.3, 4.28 etc!!)
Koranic text ensures there is no equality between Muslims and infidels:
4.141 Allah will not give the disbelievers triumph over the believers.
63.8 Force and power belong to god and to his prophet and to believers.
Some Koranic text telling Muslims to kill infidels:(this is by no means all!!)
2.61 Wretchedness and baseness were stamped upon them (Jews) and they drew on themselves the wrath of god. This was because they disbelieved the signs of god and slew the prophets unjustly and because they rebelled and transgressed.
2.191 Kill the disbelievers wherever you find them.
2.217 They will ask you concerning the sacred months, whether they may war therein. Waring therein is grievous ; but to obstruct the way of god and to deny him, to hinder men from the holy temple, and to expel his people thence, that is more grievous than slaughter.' (Mohammad attacked Meccan caravans but in this case he was not leading his men who attacked during the sacred month, killing a Meccan and capturing others –Mohammad as usual took 1/5th of the booty and a ransom of 40 ounces of silver for each prisoner)
3.12-13 Say to those who disbelieve -you will be defeated and gathered into hell; and what an evil resting place is that!. (Expulsion of Jews from Medina –Mohammad took their property - later murdered – see also sura 59)
4.74 let those who fight in the cause of god who barter the life of this world for that which is to come; for whoever fights on gods path, whether he is killed or triumphs, we will give him a handsome reward.
4.76 Those who believe fight in the cause of god.
4.95 God hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at Home).
4.160, 161 Because of the wickedness of certain Jews, and because they turn many from the way of god we have forbidden them good and wholesome foods which were formerly allowed them; and because they have taken to usury, though they were forbidden it; and have cheated others of their possessions, we have prepared a grievous punishment for the infidels amongst them.
5.33 The punishment of those who wage war against god and his apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.
5.51 Believers do not take Jews or Christians as friends. They are but one another's friends. If anyone of you takes them for his friends then he is surely one of them. God will not guide evil doers.
5.56-64 O believers do not take as your friends the infidels or those who received the scriptures before you (Jews and Christians) and who scoff and jest at your religion, but fear god if you are believers……say, people of the book ; isn't it true that you hate us simply because we believe in god, and in what he has sent down to us, and in what he has revealed to others before; and because most of you are evil doers? Why don't their rabbis and doctors of law forbid them from uttering sinful words and eating unlawful food? Evil indeed are their works. The hand of god is chained up cry the Jews. Their own hands shall be chained up and they shall be cursed for saying such a thing.
5.75 They surely are infidels who say god is the third of three; for there is but one god; and if they do not refrain from what they say, a severe punishment shall light on those who are unbelievers.
According to the Koran, Jews have an intense hatred of all true Muslims and for their sins some of the Jews had, in the past, been changed into apes and swine (5.63) and others will have their hands tied to their necks and be cast into the fire on judgement day.
8.12 I will instil terror into the hearts of the infidels, strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every fingertip.
8.15,16 Believers when you meet the unbelievers preparing for battle do not turn your backs on them. (Anyone who does) shall incur the wrath of god and hell shall be his home; an evil dwelling indeed.
8.17 Ye [Muslims] slew them not but Allah slew them. And thou [Muhammad] threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw. (Battle of Badr)
8.39-42 say to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before them the doom of the ancients! Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it gods. (Islam)
8.68- It has not been for any prophet to take captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. (legitimated assassinations of any who rejected or questioned Mohammad or Islam – poets, Jews etc killed in Medina)
9.5-6 Kill those who join other gods with god wherever you may find them (also kill the idolators wherever you find them)
Jews are often accused in the Koran of perverting the scriptures and holding doctrines they never held -
9.29 Declare war on those to whom the scriptures were revealed but believe neither in god nor in the last day, and who do not forbid that which god and his apostles have forbidden, and who refuse to acknowledge the true religion (Islam) until they pay the poll tax without reservation and are totally subjugated.
(9.29 'fight those who believe not in god…until they pay the jizya [a penalty tax for non-Muslims under Islamic rule] with willing submission. - another version)
9.30 The Jews claim that Ezra is the son of god, and the Christians say the Messiah is the son of god. Those are their claims which do indeed resemble the sayings of the infidels of old. May god do battle with them! How they are deluded.
9.39 If you do not fight, he will punish you severely, and put others in your place.
22.9 As for the unbelievers, for them garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skins shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods.
33.25 'And he caused to descend from their strongholds the Jews that assisted them. And he struck terror into their hearts. Some you slaughtered and some you took prisoner. ' (execution of 700-800 Jewish males who surrendered to Mohammad in Medina –Mohammad took a Jewish woman whose family/tribe had had just destroyed and enjoyed her 'charms' ie raped Rihana who remained his slave until she died - she refused to follow Islam and remained Jewish. The other women, children were enslaved. Mohammad's share of their goods made him financially independent!).
47.4 when you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives.
Koran, Hadith (-) constantly vilify Jews. Sahih al-Bukhari hadith -Mohammed tells Muslims- you will fight with the Jews until some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, O, Abdullah! there is a Jew hiding behind me ; so kill him. (Quoted by Hamas in its charter as justification for killing Jews).
There is heaps of Hadith telling Muslims to kill non-Muslims!
Mohammad's behaviour towards Jews, Meccans, rivals or anyone who turned from Islam etc showed cruelty, not forgiveness!
'Some of the people of the tribe of Uki came to the prophet and embraced Islam; but the air of Medina did not agree with them, and they wanted to leave the place. And the prophet ordered them to go where the camels given in alms were assembled, and to drink their milk, which they did and recovered from their sickness. But after this they became apostates, and renounced Islam, and stole the camels. (Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith) 'The prophet sent (some people) in their pursuit and so they were brought, and the prophet ordered that their hands and legs(feet) should be cut off and that their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterised, till they die.' (also in Bukhari -quoted in dictionary of Islam pp 63, 64).
Sahih al-Bukhari hadith -'the prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and women taken as captives - this records the infamous slaughter of 700-800 captives of a Jewish tribe who had surrendered to him. He then went to enjoy the charms of Rihana, a Jewess, whose family he had just massacred -RAPE!
Other atrocities are reported by impeccable Muslim authorities eg Ibn Ishaq (wrote the first biography of Mohammad from stories –died 768), Al-Tabari (revered commentator on the Koran died 923)
Hence from Muhammad on, killing non-Muslims has been encouraged, practised and rewarded to this day. Those taught the text of Islam know that it is their duty to kill non-Muslims. These ideas of martyrdom and rewards in paradise can provide a powerful motivation in the true believer.
Islam has never been 'tolerant' of other religions. Terrorists are only following the true text of Islam.
Intolerance for other religions is clearly expressed –Muslims cannot even change their religion.
Mohammad said "Two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia"
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith - Mohammed said 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him'
'Whosoever turns back from his belief, openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever you find him, like any other infidel. Separate yourself from him altogether. Do not accept intercession in his regard.'
The Taliban took it seriously, also Pakistani courts have sentenced Christian converts to death.
Islam intends to destroy all other religions - it has never been tolerant or peaceful!