Some people don’t want to learn about Islam from someone who was not a Muslim, a professor or some other “approved” source of information. How can someone without a degree in Islam be an expert on it?
The question is who can we trust to tell the truth about Islam? The answer you will get by going by talking to Muslims has the advantage that if you choose the right country and the right Muslim, you will get the “right” answer. But if you ask the “wrong” Muslim (usually called an extremist or radical Muslim) you will get the answer you won’t like. Is Saudi Arabia or Turkey the right country to go to? Is a Wahabbi imam or a Islamist scholar of Islam the right person to ask? Subjective Islam is a polling problem. Who you ask determines the answer you get. Apologists for Islam ask the “expert” who gives them the answer they want—Islam is wonderful.
But there is one source of knowledge about Islam that is not subjective. If you talk to Muslims, you will find that there is one thing that they all agree on: There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger. This statement is the beginning of Islamic objective knowledge, since 100% of all Muslims believe it.
Allah is found in the Koran. When you read and understand the Koran, you find that there are 91 verses that command all Muslims to imitate Mohammed, the divine human prototype. We find out what Mohammed did and said in order to imitate him in two places – Mohammed’s biography, the Sira, and his Traditions, the Hadith. And that is all there is to know about Islamic doctrine:
Objective truth: if it is in the Koran, Sira and Hadith, it is Islam. Islam is Allah and Mohammed, no exceptions. So skip asking a Muslim, going to a Muslim country or asking a professor. For objective answers, ask Mohammed and Allah. In other words, read the Koran, Sira and Hadith. The problem is that no one reads them is because they used to be difficult. Today are available because simple scientific methods have produced versions that anybody can read. For one example, see the Trilogy Project.
Statistical methods reveal that there are two Korans, Mecca and Medina, and that there are two Mohammeds. In Mecca the Koran is religious, but only a 150 people became Muslims in 13 years time. Later in Medina, Mohammed became a politician and a jihadist, and the Koran becomes jihadic and political.
There are two Islams, two sets of facts – Mecca and Medina. Preaching the religion in Mecca was a failure. But, Mohammed averaged an event of jihad every 6 weeks for the last 9 years of his life, and by the time he died, every Arab was a Muslim. So if you want peaceful Islam go to Mecca. If you want politics and violence, go to Medina. Islam is a dualistic system where peace and jihad exist side by side. Dualism allows “experts” to get what they want, a peaceful Islam in Mecca. See, there it is in the Meccan Koran—peace. Just don’t ever mention Medina and the news is good.
However, the only trustworthy experts are Mohammed and Allah, found in Islam’s texts. They will tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So, here is the rule to grade your experts: listen to those who quote Mohammed and Allah. And ask the expert: What else does Islam teach about this? Get the whole truth, the whole story.
Better yet, since the Koran, Sira and Hadith have been made readable by the average person, read the texts and become an expert yourself by quoting Allah and Mohammed. You will bring objective Islam to your world.
Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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