A reader asked this question:
A rabbi who was in a forum in Indonesia with an imam was impressed by some fascinating articles on the “LibForAll Foundation” website. It preaches a very tolerant and humanistic form of Islam. Do you think that a Hindu-influenced “indigenous” Islam of Indonesia is a kinder, gentler Islam than the venomous Whahabist fanatical-hate version currently being spread throughout South Asia and Indonesia by Saudi petro-dollars?
Let’s start at the beginning. The rabbi is going to a Muslim website to learn about Islam, the real Islam. Why is the rabbi, a scholar, not going to the actual doctrine found in the Trilogy of Koran, Sira (life of Mohammed) and Hadith (traditions of Mohammed)? He has very real reasons for not doing this. He has never been taught anything about the doctrine of Islam. Rabbinical training does not include the doctrine or history of Islam. Rabbis know nothing about the story of Mohammed and the Jews. They know about Mien Kampf, but not about the Sira.
At this point of the story, we can put a Christian minister, a Buddhist priest or an atheist humanist in place of the rabbi-same story. This is a manifestation of being a dhimmi (a kafir who serves Islam). A dhimmi submits to Islam and agrees to be ignorant about it. This means learning about Islam only from Islamically-approved sources. Andrew Bostom has written the definitive book on Islamic persecution of the Jews over 1400 years, Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism. Many synagogues will not let him speak unless they have a Muslim on the stage with him to refute any errors by Andy, who is a Jew. So naturally this rabbi went to an Islamic website, instead of the Trilogy.
But to the point-the website promises a kinder and gentler Islam, not like that terrible extremist Islam. This is the ultimate dream of all non-Muslims. The dream is that moderate Muslims will forge a reformation. This dream ignores the simple fact that both the Wahabbis and the Taliban are reform movements. They do not dilute the doctrine found in the Trilogy.
So why is the Wahabbi the good Islam and the kinder/gentler Islam not possible? Islam means submit. Muslim means one who has submitted. Islam is the cause; Muslims are the effect. Islam makes Muslims; Muslims do not make Islam. What any Muslim says about Islam is immaterial. If what he says contradicts Mohammed, he is wrong. If what he says is confirmed by Mohammed, then he is right. Why not skip the Muslim and go directly to Mohammed?
The kinder/gentler Islam is based upon the Islam preached in Mecca for 13 years. Mohammed portrayed himself as a member of the lineage of Jewish prophets. The Koran in Mecca is heavily derived from the Jewish scriptures. Noah, Abraham, David and the others all appear in the Koran. Islam was portrayed as the real Judaism, while the Jews had corrupted the original teachings of their prophets. Mohammed was the super Jew; he was more Jewish than they were.
Then he went to Medina, where he became a politician and jihadist. The Jews of Medina (there were none in Mecca) said he was not a prophet. In short order he exiled the first two of the three Jewish tribes in Medina and took all of their wealth. The third tribe was crushed, its women and children enslaved, and the 800 men beheaded as Mohammed watched.
He then went 100 miles away to crush the Jews of Khaybar and made them dhimmis (semi-slaves). On his deathbed he exiled the Jews from Arabia.
Two different Mohammeds, two different Islams. So the answer to a reformation is to use the Meccan Koran and Meccan Islam. This is so easy. All of that nasty Jew hatred stuff is in Medina, so just drop it. No one wants to know about it anyway. It is the part that the rabbi refuses to acknowledge. His moral ground is ignorance. Not only is he refusing to look at Medinan Islam, he also refuses to know the history of 1400 years of dhimmitude under Islam. So drop the ugly truth and maintain the beautiful lie.
But there is a problem. Islam is a process; it is not static. Mecca is the beginning part of the process-you can’t just throw it out. Then there is the matter of the Koran clearly stating that the later Islam is the stronger, better Islam. The Medinan Islam is the completion of Islam-you can’t throw it out. Besides, it is the jihad of Medinan Islam that gave Mohammed his triumph. His 13-year stint of being a peaceful religious teacher in Mecca failed. He only garnered a 150 Muslims. When he went to Medina and became a politician and jihadist he converted 100% of Arabia to Islam in 10 years, annihilating the Jews in the process. Why would Islam throw out the winning strategy?
There is another dreadful problem. The Koran is perfect. The Sunna (Mohammed’s pattern of the perfect life) is sacred. How can you reject what is perfect? That would mean labeling Medina as bad and evil. Rejecting Medina would also mean rejecting the code that the Sharia is based upon.
Islam is dualistic and has two natures in one body. It is like an Oreo cookie. It has the nice creamy white filling and the crisp dark outer chocolate wafers. Sure, you can just scrape out the white filling, but you can’t call it an Oreo. The Oreo is the entire cookie. Islam is the same way; you can’t have only one part. There is no Islam without Medina, just like there is no Oreo without the dark wafer.
Our rabbi (read preacher, priest, professor, pundit…) must get off his pathetic ground of ignorance about the doctrine and history of Islam and turn to knowledge of the entirety of Islamic doctrine which is no longer hard to do. The entire corpus of Koran, Sira and Hadith can be held in one hand and has been made easy to read. It is immoral to be so ignorant. Turn to Mohammed, not some imam. Then you will get the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
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