UI – Part 96 – No Freedom for A Muslim
What epitomizes the lack of freedom for a Muslim? The answer – the punishment of death for Apostasy. (See Blog 95 – UI – Part 95 – The Punishment for Apostasy)
Throughout the blogs on the topic Understanding Islam the tenor of the Ideology of Islam (which is a much better characterization of Islam than Religion) is that a Muslim, born a Muslim or having converted to Islam, is under the spell of Allah and constrained to remain in that condition for the rest of their lives. If not – they may die at the hands of those calling for death to Apostates. There are those that will kill you in the name of Allah, shouting Allahu Akbar in the process, for leaving, even dissing this Ideology.
There is more. Inherent in the nature of this Ideology are means to repress freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom from thinking independently and clearly, freedom of speech. This Ideology exists as a religion to compel believers to believe, by fear, guilt or compulsion, and to follow required procedures to maintain the status of a Muslim. Required as an example is prayer. As noted by Ergun Caner, his book, Unveiling Islam, “The Five Pillars are non-negotiable. They are not to be questioned, but believed to the utmost. To criticize the five pillars is, in fact, paramount to treason, perceived as heresy and blasphemy, and punishable in many Muslim countries by imprisonment or worse.” (pg. 122)
The Prophet of Islam
Muhammad is the Prophet of the Ideology of Islam. Muhammad’s role, as a self-proclaimed prophet, was to establish the methods of mind and body control for a monotheistic way of thinking. But the one way, the mono-focus, was Allah, a god as defined quite closely in many ways with the Biblical God, but used by Muhammad and his Companions (followers) for his (their) purposes and objectives, and not the other way around. God uses people for His purposes and possibly the purpose of Muhammad (as used by God) to demonstrate the potential for the evil-ways man, employing god as a shield, can achieve man’s-ends and personal desires. ‘Control’ may be the operative term for Muhammad’s example. Control of the populace, control of women, control of the poor, control of speech, control of thought, and mind control.
Muhammad’s life and influences have been described in part in:
Understanding Islam – Part 10 – (A Story)
Understanding Islam – Part 16 – (Influences on Muhammad’s Thinking)
Understanding Islam – Part 65 – Ideology vs. Religion – 4
Understanding Islam – Part 68 – Abrogation
It is most interesting that prior to Muhammad, his tribe, the Quraish, had responsibility for the area in Mecca that encompassed the Kaaba. They maintained the Kaaba itself. Each year there was a pilgrimage to the area. The tribal culture represented a vast array of views towards god, ways of life – what was important and inspirational to each. The pilgrimage was welcomed as it brought trade to the area. A large bazaar was created each time to accompany many sellers of merchandise, including representative wares for each religion, idols or manifestations of desire the tribes housed collectively in the Kaaba. There was pluralism. If there were tribal differences they were to be set-aside at this period, peace to fill the air, to allow for a mix of cultures and interests to come together and enjoy each other and respect their religion (as it were). Polytheism existed. It was not tumultuous.
Muhammad, I sincerely believe, learned from his business in trading, and traveling from Arabia to Syria along routes that would have revealed Biblical history to him, the Bible. That education gave him insight into the monotheistic ideals of the Jews and the Christians. He understood God as the Creator. He sensed a desire to instill in his tribe and those that visited Mecca each year knowledge of One god. It is obvious he knew of and respected the prophet Jesus. He was clearly aware of the Virgin Mary as the mother of Jesus. He knew too God’s hand in the birth of Jesus. (See Blog: UI – Part 91 – Why A Virgin?). He was filled with the notion of one God and developed a strong opposition to his tribe and other Arab tribes that accepted other gods. He became an evangelist for what he learned and accepted.
Muhammad’s evangelism was for his Ideology, a want for a singular god focus, developed out of his own interpretation of the Bible and what he recalled. With resistance from the Quraish tribe, as his activities and proclamations were disrupting business, Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca (his revelations too), were altered when he left unwillingly and traveled to Medina. He became more strident in his approach, more intent on changing the thinking of the landscape and instilling by force, if possible and as necessary, his mono-god program. He gained strength in Medina and amassed a body of supporters with rewards from raiding caravans – labeling and justifying their activities as building a war chest to fight for all men to respect Muhammad’s god Allah and build a program for a mono-theistic religion. It may have been when the first shouts of Allahu Akbar were heard. His religion became an Ideology, a means necessary to subjugate others to his will (noted as the will of Allah). Volunteering for his Islam was not happening with any degree of success. Mecca became an objective.
It was Muhammad’s goal to cleanse the Kaaba of many gods for one God, and impose his Islam on everyone. At that time there was nothing written, no Quran, the religion/ideology of Islam was in Muhammad’s head, with Companions (close supporters) having, it is said, memorized Muhammad’s doctrines, his plan and religion. The material for the Quran was as recalled from the Bible and imbued with Muhammad’s desires that would enable him to accomplish one religion for everyone – by force, by fighting, by deceit, by what ever means required, and thus recorded accordingly. The Quran written post Muhammad reflected what was needed to make Islam possible. It incorporated Muhammad’s way of life as well. Restriction on freedom for Muslims began at this point also.
Applying Muhammad’s methods has been effective. The tortuous methods employed, the killing of moderates for centuries, have instilled in the mind of Muslims, once they realize the bind they are in, the Islamist’s way can succeed. Call it Religion by coercion – an Ideology with political implications. This success is not in the eyes of God, but in the eyes of man. And we all know that man is not God – even though there are some that think they are or would like to be. Anyone too soft, not willing to fight back, interprets the Quran in a modern day context, will be eliminated if their objectives in any form dilute embracing the harsh methods outlined in the Quran and the Hadith to achieve a world all for Allah. Within the Muslim world, the many tribes that adhere to Islam, the many Nations that as their religion are Islamic, those that have tempered their thinking, have been more tolerant, more pluralistic in attitude, have been eliminated. The conservative voice of a Muslim is subject to having their vocal cords cut.
MB and AQ
The Muslim Brotherhood is often the named leader of a movement to gradually, using less militant methods for the most part; instill Islam and Islamic Law where ever in the world possible. Quiet means, dawah, and operational plans that involve patience and systematic infiltration of business, communities, local government, national government, colleges and universities and even lower schools, the judicial system and more are employed.
Al Qaeda is the organization, splintered but directed via militant means, to also have the most fundamental interpretation of the Quran implemented as the way-of-life and judgment of all Muslims. Its approach seems rooted in the 7th Century methods employed by Muhammad himself, as the Example.
Each goal, each approach, utilize arguments to defend themselves and call for restrictions on objections, disagreements, negative opinions, commentary that discredits statements in the Quran, images of Muhammad, verbal attacks on Islam, questions about what is written or stated in the Quran, even raising doubts as to the veracity or credibility of Islam as a Religion and not strictly an Ideology, and going so far to call for fatwas against authors and cartoonists for expressing themselves. The goal – restrict speech that might mitigate, confuse, diffuse, or even contradict anything Islam. Rushdie only peripherally used Muhammad’s life and love for a child in a story that caused a ruckus among Islamists and led to the Ayatollah Khomeini putting a contract (fatwa) on his life. [see Blogs UI – Part 84 and Part 85 – Islamist’s Politics (1 and 2 of 2)] Authors today are, some, reluctant to criticize Muhammad or Allah for fear some Muslim nutcase might try to kill them, with an Imam somewhere declaring such a murderous act is what Islam desires and that they will find solace in Allah’s heaven if they serve Allah in such a vile way.
As I have said before “Thou shalt not kill” does not appear to be a Commandment for Muslims.
Moderates – Silent
There are many Muslims alive today (I’d suggest a majority) that do not attend the Mosque, even on Fridays. There are many Muslims today that have not read the Quran, or could understand it, even interpret it in the language in which it is written. They remain Muslims because of their culture, their heritage, and fear of leaving for another religion (even as an atheist) – not out of a love for Allah. They are closet ‘whatevers’ – that is atheist, simply secular, tolerant-moderate-peaceful-loving Muslims that cannot accept or even comprehend in today’s world the intolerance of the Islamists (yet fear them). There are Muslims with Christian leanings (liking what they know about the Trinity, the God that Loves, and the Saving Grace of His Son). As a group they are the silent majority. They remain with few voices to represent a New Islam, even a New Quran (which I would recommend).
Sharia, Islamic Law, is the knife that cuts the hands, the throat and the voice of those willing to consider a new path, a different way of life other than Islam, to include possibly a new religion. It is to be feared and adhered to if life is to continue.
Sura 3 discusses Jesus as the Messiah, mentions the ‘good news’ and accepts the Virgin Birth (see UI – Part 91 – Why A Virgin?), but does not understand it. It caused the greatest beneficial event in human history. God came to earth in the form of man to save us all from our polluted DNA and sinful nature, providing the passage to His eternal Kingdom, freeing us all from the Laws (even the Islamic Laws) to follow Him voluntarily and be sanctified in living our lives as an example of Jesus (God). Muhammad is no example for one who seeks Salvation.
The Cost of Freedom
There is no freedom for a Muslim in the Ideology of Islam, in the Quran, in the Hadith’s and so on. The only freedom they can enjoy is outside the Ideology and Sharia Law. To be free, however, is to fear for their lives. But that is the cost of freedom. To defend freedom we must cherish the rights of all humans and be willing to defend them, even for our neighbors, regardless of their persuasions, so we too can enjoy freedom. (See Understanding Islam – Part 42 – 100 Points of Freedom)
Our loyalty may be to God, but we must also be loyal, even Patriotic, towards the Country in which we choose to live. If that is not the culture, the ideals, the life we wish to have, then leaving is an option, certainly a preferable one for those that might be your neighbors that love their Country.
Grace and Peace
Note: FASTEST GROWING RELIGION ? Sheikh Ahmed al-Qataani on AL Jazeera : ”(In AFRICA alone) There are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity …”