Delusions of Caruba

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Islam, Prophet Jesus (Isa) Views: 5293
5293

I must confess that I was unaware of the existence of Alan Caruba before someone posted his diatribe against Islam in an internet website that I often browse. I made some inquiries and studied his essays. He is a journalist by profession and writes a weekly conservative column "Warning Signs" for an Internet site: www.anxietycenter.com. From the name of the website and the affiliated organization "National Anxiety Center", both of which he owns, one would have thought that these are geared towards removing anxiety from people's mind. But, not so with Caruba. He helps to foment anxiety among people through negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims. Here below I analyze some of these.

Myth of Superior Christian Ethics

In an October '03 issue "The Decline and Fall of Islam," he wrote, "Islam is estimated to have more than 1.2 billion adherents around the world, although most are largely located in the Middle East and Africa... It remains a distinctly "Arab" religion." 1 When 5 out of 6 Muslims are non-Arabs, such a categorization of Islam as a "distinctly" Arab religion shows that he is uninformed and has not done his homework. Charlatans often go to great lengths to prove their familiarity with the subject they write about, but at the end only prove their gross idiocy. Caruba follows the same trail to establish his familiarity with the Arabic language by translating the phrase 'world of the infidel' as 'Dar es Harb.'' How incredible!

In order to prove the violent side of Islam compared to Christianity, he writes, "Mohammed said, 'The sword is the key to Heaven and Hell.' By contrast, six hundred years earlier, Jesus said, 'He who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword.'" Again such remarks prove his ignorance about Prophetic traditions at best, prejudice against Islam and 'holier than thou' notion of arrogance at worst. Nowhere in the Qur'an or hadith literature does that statement exist.

When asked about the source of the statement that he had attributed to the Prophet of Islam, Caruba said, "The quote, "The sword is the key to heaven and hell" is one cited on page 22 of "Jihad in the West" by Paul Fregosi (Prometheus Books). I assume that Fregosi either got it from the Quran or from the Hadith. He does not cite the source, only the author, Muhammad." It is clear from his statement that he is only an eavesdropper, who has studied neither the Qur'an nor the hadith literature. His major source about Islam is Fregosi - a discredited, highly opinionated individual who manufactures lies to demonize Islam. Similarly, to prove the peaceful character of Christianity, he quotes an apposite statement that would epitomize the 'peaceful' characteristics of Jesus' message. Caruba quotes Fregosi, "It can be said that Moslems who kill are following the commands of Muhammad, but Christians who kill - and there are many - are ignoring the words of Christ. Therein perhaps lies one of the basic philosophical differences, as well as one of the basic ethical differences, between Islam and Christianity." 2 What an emotionally loaded cheap shot that undermines knowledge in either Islam or Christianity!

Fregosi and Caruba are unaware of the Qur'anic verse: 'was sulhu khair' (and peace is better), or that war is only the last resort in Islam [see, e.g., Qur'an 8:61 (But if the enemy incline toward peace, do you also incline towards peace and trust in Allah: for He is the One That hears and knows)], or that retaliation is discouraged in Islam [see, e.g., Qur'an 5:45 (We ordained for them {Jews}: "Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal." But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself)]. They are equally uninformed of Prophetic statements like -

"One who deprives you, give him. One who cuts off ties of relationship with you, join him. One who oppresses you, forgive him. When you will do so then Allah will admit you in paradise." - Muhammad [Al-Adabul Mufrid];

"Associate with one who shuns you. Forgive the one who oppresses you. Give to the person who gives you nothing." - Muhammad [Maktubat-i Sadi];

"Entertain no malice or envy nor indifference nor cut off relations. All the servants of Allah are brethren to each other." - Muhammad [Bukhari and Muslim]

Now that we established Fregosi and Caruba's lack of knowledge about Islam, the question is: are they equally ignorant about the Bible? Or are they disingenuous individuals who, while trying to blame Islam, try to shield the Bible from a comparable scrutiny? If they were sincere, they need not look beyond the Bible to find violent passages. It has plenty of it, more than any other scripture that have I studied.3 I provide below just a small sample of such verses.

Exodus15: 3: The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Psalms 144:1: Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.

Jeremiah 13:14: And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

Jeremiah 48:10: Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Weren't the medieval Christian Crusaders inspired by Leviticus 26:7 ["And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword"] to kill non-Christians?

Now let us now look at some of the sayings of Jesus (quoted from KJV) for a comparable assessment:

Matthew 10:34: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Does not this verse portray a very different picture about Jesus than what was quoted earlier from Caruba? [Note: Here I am not disputing about the 'peaceful' statement quoted earlier, but only trying to show that there are many other statements of Jesus that may be construed as violent.] How about the verses below from the Gospel according to Luke where he incites his disciples to equip themselves with sword?

Luke 22: 36-37

[36] Then said he [Jesus] unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

[37] For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

How about the following verses, which do not reflect his peaceful nature?

Luke 12: 49-51

[49] I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I if it be already kindled?

[50] But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

[51] Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.

In the following verses, Jesus even mentions that he will slay his enemies.

Luke 19: 26-27

[26] For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

[27] But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

[I have avoided quoting here from the Book of Revelation, where much more violent passages can be found on what to expect during Jesus' second coming.4 Nevertheless, the verses I have cited above are sufficient to portray a much different picture than what Caruba had portrayed earlier.] So, when someone shields these violent passages and selectively picks a non-violent verse from the Bible to compare against a statement, albeit a violent one - allegedly made by the Prophet of Islam, I cannot but question his honesty.

In the Rhineland alone, Christian Crusaders/Jihadists - the servants of Jesus, mobilized by Pope Urban, the titleholder of Christian faith - beheaded 8000 Jews in 1095. Another 1000 Jewish women committed suicide to avoid the murderous and rapist mob (Paul Johnson: A History of the Jews (1987)). On their way to Jerusalem, they killed tens of thousands. In Antioch, they massacred a hundred thousand Muslims in 1098. With the fall of Jerusalem in 1099, they killed another 70,000 Muslims there. Richard, the so-called Lion heart, killed 3000 Muslim Prisoners of War. (Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, v.5, 6)

So much claptrap about Christian ethics! Caruba's columns lack scholarship and give a bad name to journalism. Truly, Caruba is typical of some myopic and prejudiced individuals who do not see anything wrong with Christianity but are all agog in finding faults with Islam.5 Like an intense drug-edict who knows nothing but puff, he repeats the borrowed, mendacious mantra - 'the sword is the key to heaven and hell' - unaware that the credit goes to Christians (and not Muslims) for putting to practice this dictum.

Notes:

1. http://www.anxietycenter.com/islam/main.htm

2. Islam: The Endless Jihad by Alan Caruba, www.anxietycenter.com/islam/endlessjihad.htm

 3. [For instance, the word 'sword,' which he mentioned to show greatness of Christianity over Islam, is cited 73 times in the Bible.]

4.  See, e.g., And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength (Rev. 1:16); And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Rev. 19:15); And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Rev. 19:21).

5. See, e.g., his article Islam: The Endless Jihad, The National Anxiety Center.

 

Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at [email protected]


  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured
  Topics: Islam, Prophet Jesus (Isa)
Views: 5293

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Older Comments:
KIMBERLEY WAGNER AKA HANIFA AZIZ FROM USA said:
THIS IS A VERY EXCELLENT AND INFORMATIVE ARTICLE AND SHOULD BE POSTED WHERE MUSLIMS NEW AND OLD, AND ESPECIALLY NON-MUSLIMS CAN VIEW IT. ONCE READ,THERE IS NO WAY FOR IT NOT TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN IT'S ENTIRITY FOR EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. ALHAMDULILLAH FOR OUR SCHOLARLY BROTHERS IN ISLAM!
2004-11-06

RAFIA SULTANA FROM USA said:
Wow! Jesus(pbuh)said all those things!Dr.Siddiqui,if you had not given the precise sources in the New Testament-Matthew,Luke,with the verse numbers,I would never have beleived you!
We Muslims have been raised from childhood with nothing but great reverence for all the prophets of the Testaments-Old and New.The Quran tells us that they are all equal,one from the other.Countless Moslem children are named after Jesus(Esa),Moses(Musa),David(Dawood)and so on.We never ventured to critique them,but now people like Caruba,by their falsehoods, are forcing us to think the unthinkable and bring out the truth about the Biblical Prophets that we all revere so much!
I commend you for opening our eyes;however,I believe your posting of links to caruba and such hateful web-sites is a blunder,frankly.Some folks may not be able to resist clicking on them,and that will only serve to create resentments -a Salman Rushdie effect-that serves to make the job of the moderate Muslims that much harder.Remember it was Rushdie that started it all-let the genie out of the bottle- and now we all are having so much trouble putting it back in.
I will trust you on caruba and such others anytime,Br. Siddiqui.Salaam.
2004-08-22

JOE FROM USA said:
The misinformation being spread by Caruba is, unfortunately, taken as the truth by many people. I was raised a "Christian" and have, through study of both the Quran and the Bible, come to the conclusion that much of what "Christians" claim to be the failings in Islam are nothing more than the very inconsistencies which their "scripture" preaches.
As Dr. Siddiqui clearly points out, the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible portray God and Jesus in a variety of conflicting ways which should be investigated and corrected by "Christians" before they begin to cast stones and disparagement upon a religion which has unified over a billion people in a global community of love, support and submission to God. Also, as pointed out by Dr. Siddiqui, the acts of Christians through the ages have been as horrifying as any which anti-islamists claim to have been performed by Muslims.
The unfortunate trend in the global non-Muslim press is to take the most extreme acts performed by fringe members of terrorist organizations as treat them as examples of the daily lives and beliefs of the majority of Muslims. The only way to combat this type of slanderous propaganda is to provide positive examples within our various communities which reflect the truth and reality of Islam. I urge you to go out into your community and volunteer to work not only for muslim organisations but also multi-faith charities so that the giving, caring nature of Islam can be seen and felt by those people who have yet to study or understand it. We must educate those who oppose Islam in order for them to learn the truth.
2004-08-20

NURAINI FROM MALAYSIA said:
I had good science lecturers - I am now well taught to question/examine sources, evaluate accuracy, ignore value-imparting adjectives, be aware of data manipulation, and pay attention to context.

I find that this discipline of thinking is applicable with anything. Quoting out of context is one of the non-believer's favourite tactics to insult Islam. That said, we should not ourselves do the same.
2004-08-20

ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
From the three articles I read, clearly the hatred Caruba had for Islam is unimaginable. But he also has no respect for the Jewish faith he so "cherish" neither for Christianity. As he call the first commandment 'Hear O israel...'as that piece that shows 'singularity' of God, the centre piece of the Jewish faith(clearly showing his ignorance) and that christians should always turn the other cheek.. just like his ancestors the Khazars(the zionists), authors of 'the protocols', thinkers behind the so call 'world dorminion government' think of all religions. You can imagine his conclusions of 'Religions DO die'.

All their efforts now Caruba seems to be telling us is to rid the world of Islam!(the only way of life now in their way to achieving their obnoxcious policy.

Well I have a message for Mr Caruba.

IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN BUDDY, NOT IN YOUR LIFE TIME OR YOUR CHILDRENS', OR YOUR CHILDRENS' CHILDRENS. NEVER WILL IT HAPPEN. ISLAM IS HERE TO STAY! YES THE ONLY RECOGNISED RELIGION BY GOD. .. TIME WILL TELL THE PROMISE OF ALLAH SHALL COME TO PASS! THAT IS INEVITABLE!
YES,
ALLAHU AKBAR AND
LAILAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADAR-RASULULLAH!
2004-08-20

KHALIL ANSARI FROM HONG KONG said:
Very true. This is the main stream media, owned excusively by Muslims haters.

We need writers like your good self and a media that can reach the mis-informed general public of this wide world.

Best regards,

Khalil Ansari
2004-08-20

DYLAN GRIFFIN FROM UNITED STATES said:
Having recently reverted to Islam, I can say that
I am unfortunately all too familiar with views
such as Caruba's. From my own experience,
"Christians" (so called) are largely ignorant of
the tenets of Islam which, sadly, doesn't stop
them from either condemning it or making
judgements from a position of factual ignorance.
In the end, one needs to respond with prayer,
compassion, and patience in accordance with the
teachings of Allah. Nevertheless, this sort of
spiritual prejudice is a deeply troubling and
wide-spread reality. Chrisitans would do well to
rememeber the teachings of Jesus (PBUH) before
making statements of condemnation on matters they
know
2004-08-20

RAGHUNATH DAHAL FROM BHUTAN said:
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength (Rev. 1:16); And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Rev. 19:15); And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Rev. 19:21). Amen.

Although Caruba is accused of shielding the seemingly violent statements as above in the Bible, what he mentioned by faith is nonetheless correct. For this dispensation of grace, we are not supposed to use carnal sword to kill fellows differing with us in opinion. Those denying the only Lord who brought them forgiveness and redemption will face Him in person as a Judge on the last Day. Why should they not reap what they have sown? Everything has it's own time and season and bear fruit in the appointed season. For now we may continue to be the victims of the fleshly zeal of Mohammedans who are determined to drive away Jews and Christians from Zion. The coming of the Lord will settle all disputes and fulfillment of above quoted verse against our opposers now.

2004-08-20

NAZIM HAQQANI FROM USA said:
Excellently analyzed and critiqued Dr. Siddiqui. Well done, masha'Allah! May Allah give you just rewards for your efforts in defending his religion. Ameen.
2004-08-20

PETER FROM CANADA said:
I think the problem today is that most of the World percieves Muslims to be living under the influence of the seemingly pro violence chapters in the Qur'an while the Christians seem to be almost totaly ignoring the same type verses in the Bible.
In other words, we "think" Muslims are of the same mindset you say the Crusaders of Centuries ago were and todays Christians are horrified by the Crusaders actions too, in fact, and would not want a repeat and do everything to make sure that Christianity never leads them into a blood bath again, they repent the past. Now it looks to Christians as though Muslims are the same shoe (Crusaders)on the other foot. The World can't afford another bout of that, can it?

you see what I'm saying, who you call Christians are disarming their own Religion, seperating it from the State and military power and condemning the past actions as unGodly but it looks like Islam is picking up where Christianity left off. The problem is, we don't want ANY Religion leadind the charge against Any other and bloodying the hands and faces of man in the name of Good God any more...no more Killing for God.

there will always be killing and war, but give the credit where it's due, not to God and truth,

that's my two cents worth, peace from one poor human to another,

peter
2004-08-19