by Dr. Hubertus Hoffman
January 19, 2011
A CALL FOR JIHAD AGAINST MUSLIM EXTREMISTS
LONDON -- When Al Qaeda or other radicals attack and kill Christians in Muslim countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq or Indonesia "in the name of Allah and the Koran," they offend the Holy Book of more than one billion Muslims, they offend the Prophet and they offend Allah in the worst way possible.
Killing civilians because they follow the religions of Abraham is blasphemy against Islam, and even during jihad is never allowed under Islamic law, according to the Prophet and many of those who have interpreted his words in the Holy Koran.
These severe sins are even more punishable than burning the Koran.
The Prophet and Islamic scholars teach that whoever kills Christians and Jews because they follow their own Holy Books contaminates the Koran in the worst way. Through these awful deeds the perpetrator makes of himself a disbeliever and excludes himself from the Islamic community, the Ummah.
If the Prophet were alive today, he would be outraged both by such sins themselves but also by the passive inaction of most religious and political leaders in the Muslim world. He who stays silent offends the Prophet too.
Thus, all those promoting violence against Christians, and the assassins themselves in Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq or Indonesia must be punished according to Sharia law. This should be done now, as a clear message of what the true teachings of Islam mean.
The main task of Islamic religious leaders in the Muslim world now must be to stop the Koran being misused to justify killing civilians. Maybe one-hundred times more poor men and women of Islamic belief rather than Christians or Jews have been killed by bombs in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq, even in holy mosques.
Who is defending the Prophet? Too few.
Who defends the Koran against the sinners? Not many do.
Who defends Allah against misuse of hate-propaganda? Only a handful of true believers.
Who is defending the innocent people against killers?
Too little; too late; too hesitatant; is this the reality in the Muslim world? Have most of more than one billion Muslims forgotten to defend the Prophet against these sinners? Even though it is their religious obligation?
Not for the first time in history, nations have lost their spirit, soul, honor and dignity: while Adolf Hitler's Nazi propaganda infiltrated the proud cultural nation of Germany, the dominating elites in politics, the military, churches, unions, culture and industry did too little and hesitated to stop this madman with his insane ideology - until it was too late. Instead, appeasement prevailed throughout Germany and also in Britain. Will this inaction when faced with mad ideology be repeated in Muslim countries?
When faced with the choice, let alone the obligation, of defending true Islam against the preachers of hate, too many Islamic leaders and powerful politicians stay passive. Some even follow the sinful path of appeasement. Too few protest against the madness of killing civilians in the name of Allah strongly and in the public or take action against it.
Any good and true Muslim must defend the people of the books - Jews and Christians - out of religious duty. This is what the Prophet demanded from his followers and taught repeatedly, because the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet share much with the Bible and the Torah like the common fundamentals of Abraham. The Koran is based on the older books like a skyscraper on a strong fundament. When you destroy the fundament you attack the Koran.
Mohammad the Prophet taught tolerance and respect towards Christians and Jews all his life.
The Holy Koran teaches respect towards Christians and Jews "in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful" and saw both these Abrahamic religions as the basis of Islam:
Islamic scholar Muhammad Asad, in The Message of the Quran, wrote about the importance of Sura 2,256 in Islam: "All Islamic jurists (fugahd'), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of "conversion or the sword."
In an Open Letter to Pope Benedict XVI, several prominent Islamic scholars argued:
"The notion that Muslims are commanded to spread their faith 'by the sword' or that Islam in fact was largely spread 'by the sword' does not hold up to scrutiny. Indeed, as a political entity Islam spread partly as a result of conquest, but the greater part of its expansion came as a result of preaching and missionary activity. Islamic teaching did not prescribe that the conquered populations be forced or coerced into converting. Indeed, many of the first areas conquered by the Muslims remained predominantly non-Muslim for centuries. Had Muslims desired to convert all others by force, there would not be a single church or synagogue left anywhere in the Islamic world. The command 'There is no compulsion in religion' means now what it meant then. The mere fact of a person being non-Muslim has never been a legitimate casus belli in Islamic law or belief. As with the rules of war, history shows that some Muslims have violated Islamic tenets concerning forced conversion and the treatment of other religious communities, but history also shows that these are by far the exception which proves the rule. We emphatically agree that forcing others to believe - if such a thing be truly possible at all - is not pleasing to God and that God is not pleased by blood."
Truly Islamic teaching and forbids any attack on Christians and Jews simply because of their religion. This is not a choice but a binding obligation on all Muslims worldwide.
Mohammed told his followers: "No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself."(Joseph Runzo, Global Philosophy of Religions: A Short Introduction, Oxford: One World, 2001 S. 187-188, zit. In: Arvind Sharma: Hinduism and Human Rights. A Conceptual Approach, Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2003 S.5-6)
3,84True Muslims do not reject the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity; they consider them also as messages from God:
2,62The Qur'an presents religious diversity as the result of God's will and recommends all communities not to argue over details among each other, but rather in favor of good deeds and such:
Did the Prophet kill Christians or Jews because they were unbelievers?
Just the opposite.
Muhammad himself showed tolerance and goodwill towards the Christians of his time. The Prophet was a living example of tolerance and respect to the older religions of Judaism and Christianity, contrary to anti-Islamic hate propaganda and the perception in some Western media. s importance, have documented the sayings and good deeds of the Prophet Muhammad. Here are but a few examples:
When the Abyssinian Christian delegation arrived in Medina, the Prophet provided them with lodging even in his own Mosque, and he himself attended to their hosting and service saying: "They have honoured our people, so I like to honour them myself."
When the Christians of Najran came to Medina, the Prophet lodged them too in the Mosque and permitted them to hold their prayers on one side of the Mosque with Muslims on the other side. In this Mosque, dialogues between Christians and Muslims were conducted with freedom, respect and tolerance.
Holiness in Islam was inclusive rather than exclusive. If they wished, Jews and Christians could worship in the new mosque of the Prophet finished in April 623 in Medina, because they too were part of God's family with Abraham as the common father, and Jesus and others as prophets before Muhammad.
In 628 C.E., the Prophet Muhammad granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai. It contained several clauses covering all aspects of human rights, including such topics as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war:
"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far: we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day."
This charter of privileges has been honored and applied faithfully by Muslims throughout the centuries in all lands they ruled.
Seventeen of the Jewish tribes in Medina lived with the new Muslim community in peace for many years. Even the exiled, hostile Jewish tribe of Nadir asked for peace with the victorious Muhammad. To seal the agreement, he took the daughter Safiyyah of his old enemy Huyay, chief of Nadir, as his wife telling her "Your father is Aaron and your uncle is Moses." Later, Jews enjoyed full religious liberty in the Islamic empires until the Palestine-Israel conflict started only 60 years ago.
The main aim of the respected Prophet Muhammad more than 1,300 years ago was to bring peace to the different tribes in Mecca and the Arab Peninsula, to create a better society of din and hilm and to reduce the negative forces of jahiliyyah and revenge.
The Muslim world must follow him in a real jihad for tolerance.
The silent majority must forget its cowardice and confront the forces of evil in the name of both the Holy Koran and Allah.
Needed is a new jihad to defend the true teaching of the Prophet and to contain and roll-back the sinners of hate and murder of too many Muslims, Christians and Jews now. We need a global promotion of The Human Codes of Tolerance and Respect (see www.codesoftolerance.com).
Dr. Hubertus Hoffman heads the World Security Network Foundation, based in London, and is an avid proponent of the The Human Codes of Tolerance and Respect.