Islam’s Split Personality
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Jack Kinsella – Omega Letter Editor
Since September 11, there has been a concerted effort to present a new and improved Islam to the world. The moderate Muslim activists in the West avoid referring to teachings that may offend the Western citizen, such as the Islamic code of punishment.
They stress that they believe in Moses and Jesus. They refrain from calling Jews and Christians “infidels”, “Zionists” or “Crusaders”.
They use the term “Sunday School” in place of “Friday Class”, and they end their speeches with the Christian expression “may God bless you”.
Islam has two streams of theological thought; those based on Mohammed’s sayings in Mecca and those penned from Medina . Both eventually were brought together in the Koran, but reflect two entirely different worldviews.
The Meccan view is the ‘universalist’ view that holds that Islam, Christianity and Judaism all worship the same Deity and that we are all “People of the Book.”
The Medina view is the warlike, conquering Islam that is reflected in the Koran by verses such as, “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” [Sura 5.51]
Historians agree that there is a big difference between Mohammed’s religious teachings from Mecca and his teachings after his migration to Medina .
In Mecca Mohammed was weak, struggling to be accepted, often mocked at and ridiculed. He tried to appeal to the people of Mecca by being compassionate and loving. His teachings condemned violence, injustice, neglect of the poor.
However, after he moved to Medina and his followers grew in strength and number, he became a relentless warrior, intent on spreading his religion by the sword.
This change in Mohammed’s personality becomes apparent by comparing the Meccan and the Medinan suras.
The following are some additional examples:
In Sura 73:10 God tells Mohammed to be patient with his opponents “Be patient with what they say, and part from them courteously.”
In Sura 2:191 God orders him to kill his opponents “Kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from wherever they drove you out…”
In Sura 2:256 Allah tells Mohammed not to impose Islam by force “There is no compulsion in religion.”
In verse 193 God tells him to kill whoever rejects Islam “Fight (kill) them until there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s.”
In Sura 29:46 Allah tells Mohammed to speak nicely to people of the Book (Christians and Jews) “Argue with people of the Book, other then evil doers, only by means of what are better! and say, we believe in what has been sent down to us and sent down to you. Our God is the same as your God, and we are surrendered to him.”
Then in Sura 9:29 Allah tells him to fight the people of the Book, “Fight those who do not believe in God and the last day…and fight People of the Book, who do not accept the religion of truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior.”
To justify this sudden change in the Koran’s mood from peaceful to militant, conciliatory to confrontational, Mohammed claimed that it was Allah who told him so.
History demonstrates that what actually happened was that Mohammed grew strong in Medina — strong enough to move from being conciliatory in his religious approach to jihad.
Those who claim to be moderate followers of Islam are those who follow the Meccan Mohammed. The militants follow the Mohammed of Medina.
Islam teaches love, temperance and moderation. It’s easy enough to prove. Just read the Koran. However, since few ever will, the American face of moderate Islam will read it to you, as is evidently the case with the Bush administration.
But the same Koran teaches jihad, death and destruction out of the same pages, and while the American face of moderate Islam will never read those to you, the militant Islamist reads them every single day.
Verses like the following:
Men are superior to women (Sura 2:228).
Women have half the rights of men: in court witness (Sura 2:282) and in inheritance (Sura 4:11).
A man may punish his wife by beating her (Sura 4:34).
A man may marry up to four wives at the same time (Sura 4:3).
A wife is a sex object for her husband (Sura 2:223).
Muslims must fight until their opponents submit to Islam (Sura 9:29).
A Muslim must not take a Jew or a a Christian for a friend (Sura 5:51).
A Muslim apostate must be killed (Sura 9:12).
Stealing is punished by the amputation of the hands (Sura 5:38).
Adultery is punished by public flogging (Sura 24:2).
Resisting Islam is punished by death, crucifixion or the cutting off of the hands and feet (Sura 5:33).
Fate decides everyone’s eternal destination (Sura 17:13).
Every Muslim will pass through Hell (Sura 19:71).
Heaven in Islam is the place where a Muslim will be reclining, eating meats and delicious fruits, drinking exquisite wines, and engaging in sex with virgins (Sura 55:54- 56) & (Sura 52:17,19).
You might notice I didn’t include a lot of the ‘moderate’ verses ‘proving’ the Koran presents Islam as a religion of peace and love. That isn’t because they aren’t there. But they are rendered meaningless by the verses that teach the opposite.
Islamic apologists point to the warlike nature of the Old Testament and the seeming contradiction presented by the Prince of Peace in the New Testament.
But the Koran isn’t two separate religions based on two separate Dispensations of God, clearly divided by 400 years of silence followed by the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the life of Jesus Christ.
One has to be an Islamic scholar to separate the Meccan verses from the Medinan verses to know whether Allah wants them to be friends with Christians and Jews or to crucify them.
It is that split personality within Islam that separates the moderates from the militants. We are told that the moderates are in the majority, but all the evidence seems to indicate the exact opposite.
In any case, there are approaching two billion Muslims in the world — that is two thousand million, to put it more descriptively. If even ten percent of Islam follows the Mohammed of Medina, that’s 100 million militant Muslims.
That’s a lot, no matter how you interpret it.