History dispels the lies about Islam

Category: Life & Society Views: 8336
8336

A well known technique in any propaganda war is the spreading of "disinformation" about your enemy. Disinformation is the new postmodern word for lies. 

If you repeat the same lies over and over again, listeners' critical thinking skills are numbed; and in the absence of any opposing argument, the lies eventually cannot be differentiated from truth. 

Islam has had many enemies over the centuries and still has. One of the most persistent lies repeated by its detractors is that Muslims spread their faith by the sword. 

Yet of all mainstream religions, none is more precisely documented as to its origin, revelation, message and teachings. Since its emergence through the Prophet Muhammad and his transmission of its holy book, the history of Islam has been well recorded. From the Prophet's time until today, the Quran has offered guidance and discipline for everyday life. As Islam spread, the lives and teachings of its messengers have also been documented. 

As with Judaism and Christianity, the most influential and revered figures are those from the time when the faith was newly revealed; in Islam, these were Muslims who lived in the age of Prophet Muhammad and who embodied the teachings of the Quran as examples to their fellow human beings. Many of their thoughts and deeds were recorded for the benefit of future generations. 

To return to the questions of whether the Quran encourages Muslims to spread their faith by force, or whether the Prophet himself set a violent example for Muslims to follow, one has only to consult the source. 

The Quran is crystal clear in stating, "There is no compulsion in religion." (Quran 2:256) The commandment is absolute; there are no exceptions. Coercion, compulsion, force -- whatever one chooses to call it -- is forbidden. No other holy book lays down such a clear directive to its adherents.

Believers in the world's largest Muslim country of today, Indonesia, have never in history encountered foreign Muslim soldiers on their soil. The same is true for today's Muslims in Malaysia, China, sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Turkey. All of these countries or regions were introduced to Islam through other Muslims, not by Muslim armies. 

Even in Egypt where the earliest Muslims were mostly Arab soldiers, Islam was diffused slowly throughout the country over more than 400 years. The Egyptians loved Islam because the values it embraced, such as justice, equality, modernity and freedom.

And in Egypt, as well as in Persia, Greater Syria, India, North Africa and Spain, converts freely accepted Islam because it offered comparatively more than other religions of the day. 

During those early centuries, people who felt oppressed or restricted by the rigidity of Christian and Jewish traditions, or excluded from the caste system of Hinduism, were attracted by the Islam's de-emphasis on hierarchy. They loved the Islamic teachings that God is One and the Lord of All, that humans can talk to God directly, and that there is no Original Sin - every human being is wholly accountable for his/her deeds.

So while it is true that Islam spread in some places with the speed of a bullet, no literal bullets have been involved. The whole concept of "convert or die" is utterly foreign and reprehensible to authentic Islamic beliefs and conduct. And the Quran itself further reinforces the sanctity of all human lives in saying that to kill another person is as evil as killing the entire human race. 

Muslims do not blame any religion for the atrocities committed by those claiming to be its adherents. 

Thus, Muslims do not blame Judaism itself for injustices committed by Jews against Palestinians. Nor do they blame Christianity per se for the crimes committed by Church-sanctioned medieval Crusades; for atrocities committed during the conquest of Spain by Christian armies and the subsequent persecution and expulsion of Muslims; nor for the horrors of the Inquisition, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, or any number of similar tragedies. All three faiths, rooted in Abrahamic tradition, teach similar values of non-violence, justice and equality. Those who take up the "cause" of any faith through violent means are in effect blasphemers of it. 

The earliest Muslims in Arabia were persecuted and subjected to torture. They fled for their lives from Mecca to Medina, but their pagan enemies followed, determined to annihilate them. Then and only then, did Muslims take up arms in self-defense. This was no a religious war, however, but rather a forced political conflict in which the rich and powerful of 6th-century AD Arabia perceived their status being challenged. The Muslims' aim was not to convert their pagan countrymen, but to defend themselves; similarly, the anti-Muslim pagans were not interested in suppressing Islam itself, but in subjugating its believers through political power. 

When the Prophet Muhammad and his followers returned peacefully to Mecca in triumph, he granted pardon to the same people who had persecuted and waged war against him and his fellow Muslims. 

This humane and generous behavior reflected the teaching of many Quranic verses which stress the importance of courtesy, politeness and civility, even where there has been severe conflict: "And the true servants of the God of Mercy are those who walk upon the earth humbly; and when the ignorant address them, reply 'Peace'; and they pass the night praying to their Lord, prostrating and standing." (Quran 25:63 - 64)

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo and national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress.


  Category: Life & Society
Views: 8336
 
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Older Comments:
ZAHIDA FROM CANADA said:
Dr. ElMasry writes on very topical issues and can be clearly understood by all. May Allah SWT grant him His protection and wisdom in keeping the wolves at bay.
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MUSTAFA SHUAIB FROM SUDAN (LIVING IN SAUDI ARABIA) said:
The west is fully developed, almost in every field, in comparison to the Orient, i.e. the mainland of Islam, why? Because of its impartial objectivity, in addressing any topic. But unfortunately, every rule has its exception: the West(the State, the Academia, and the Church-es), have never shown an iota of that towards Islam! all through history, and up to the date, but reluctantly.
The Church has considered Islam as its (holy) enemy, for more than One theousand years, and have kept trying to block presenting real Islam, to the west, except through its intentionally deformed and misinformed version. Its successor is nowadays biased sections of Media's, by blasphmous portrait of Islam and its prophet(there is still a painting in a northern Italian church, showing blasphmy againist him, in rememberance of Danti's faux pas and plagrization.
Is it reasonable that after almost 1500 years of Islam, nine out of Christians do not know, how Islam is revering Jesus and his Mother, peace be up on both of them!?
Islam is the first religion on earth to declare what Martin Lother had declared himself for, almost 1000 years before him: the direct link between the servant and his Creator without a mediator(A Pope or etc), individual responsibility; for there is no whatsoever Sin in Islam, work in itself is a kind of worship, and the stance againist pictures (icons).
The only difference, is that he preferd not to deitify the Mother, while Islam forbids deitfying any mortal, not just the 2.
Hegel have considered Islam as a corpse in wait of burying, and burying of Islam was the raison d'etre of Colonialism, after the advice of the Orientalists-cum-Missionaries, merchants-cum- spies & emisseries-cum-explorers, whom ranks used to interlap and interplay.
But now, after 250 years, Islam as an Issue, is fully Engulfing the World!!!? it rises up like Phoenix, and its only Sword: Arabic, is taking the West by storm.
Lies againist Islam are growing old, and Islam is fully gro
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J FROM CANADA said:
Why is it that when we want to illustrate proper Islamic behaviour and the beauty of Islamic civilization we're forced to go back into ancient history!? I understand Dr. Elmasry's point that the Quran itself stresses peace and humanity - but let's be realistic. There is a sizable portion of our community who care little for peace OR humanity. We respond to criticism of Islam by propounding upon virtues described in the Quran and taking cheap shots at other religions. The problem is that many Muslims don't actually live out the Quran. If modern Muslims strove to live out the virtues of Islam, NO ONE would be able to criticize us. But we don't, instead we criticize others and ignore the rot in our own community.

He is quite wrong when he says that Muslims do not hold other religions responsible for historical injustices. Any Islamic website or chat-room is full of comments about the crusades or the Jews who defied Muhammed (pbuh). ANY criticism of the Muslim world is almost always responded to with comments about historical injustices against Muslims! The modern Muslim psyche is shaped almost entirely by putting down others rather than by improving ourselves. We blame 'the West' for everything. We claim that 'Western civilization' stole knowledge that flowered during Islam's Golden Age, but then forget that Muslim mathematicians and philosophers built on the foundation that was laid by ancient Greek & Roman civilizations. Our community leaders fail us, because they waste time drumming up rage against the West instead of dealing with our problems.

Instead of pretending that we are virtuous and righteous we should confront reality. We need to stop looking elsewhere to lay blame for the sorry state of the Muslim world. It doesn't matter if Islam was brought to Indonesia without violence if the modern Muslim world is full of violence. Rather than using the Quran as a defence against legitimate criticisms of our community, we should be living it.
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PAUL FROM EUROPE said:
Between 649 AD to 1922 AD the following European countries invited Muslims into their countries for Coffee and Croissants:

Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Turkey, Serbia, Albania, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Moldova, Russia, Hungary & Austria.

Ignorance.
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E.M.EL-HAMMAMY FROM CHINA said:
Excellent.Rflects the lowdown of Islam in compliance with the word of THE ALMIGHTY.
GOD'S BLESSINGS unto all peace lovers.
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TARIQ A SHAIKH FROM USA said:
While the Quran says to not force religion on others,yet nations and people have done the exact things the Quran speaks against. Moghul emperor
Humayun was one example, today people throw bombs
in churches in Pakistan, Jews are considered enemies and are to be annihilated. These are actual words have heard from a great number of people. And these are not lies. If you cannot stop hating Shia's or Sunni's amongst you, how can you stop this hatred for non Muslims???
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ASMAHAN FROM USA said:
Jazza'ak ALLAH Khair.
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JAMES FROM USA said:
This is so true! Our war is to bring peace by our actions. We must push forward the truth through the words of the Prophet Muhammad
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ANGELA HARDING FROM ENGLAND said:
We all beleave in the ONE TRUE GOD we just take different paths to get to him we must learn to lisson to one another learn from one another if we all do not keep an open mind we are all lost
when someone says he has done this in the name of GOD do you think GOD would say think you for killing all the enosent people for me no I fell he would be must unhappy think about it
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PAUL FROM EUROPE said:
..
The author states "The same is true for today's Muslims in Malaysia, China, sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Turkey. All of these countries or regions were introduced to Islam through other Muslims, not by Muslim armies".

The above contains errors.

From 649 AD to 1922 AD the following European countries were invaded by Muslim armies sometime between these dates:

Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Malta, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Herzegovina, Hungary & Austria.

Peace.
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MICHAEL FROM USA said:
beautiful
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AISHATH FROM MALDIVES said:
Very true comments. I hope some will see clarity in this cloudy world of propaganda war ruled by the West.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
y.t.,behold your comment:"Janissaries, anyone? Crystal clear example of compulsion. You wont find a single Islamic outcry for them during their use, of course!"

y.t.,I urge you to document yourself and research what you are about to post. Just go to google.com or wikipedia.com, take care to choose impartial sites because if you access a neo-con website you will be fed with a carload of lies that would just add to your already confusion. Do you know who were the Janissaries? One little piece of info from wikipedia.com:

"By the early 18th century janissaries had such prestige and influence that they dominated the government. They could mutiny and dictate policy and hinder efforts to modernize the army structure. They could change Sultans as they wished through palace coups. They made themselves landholders and tradesmen."

The janissaries although fanatically clinging to Islam they were retaining the 'white' element of their origin in their greed for power,wealth and political influence that in the end brought about their abolition:

"Eventually Mahmud II had to get rid of the janissaries, perhaps because he had to pay the high salaries of 135,000 janissaries, many of whom were not actually serving soldiers. Indeed, many may have been already dead or retired soldiers that were kept on the payroll to allow the commander to claim the money with the pay tickets."

Thus,y.t.,you were talking about an unscrupulous and greedy breed of quasi-Muslims that wanted to rule the Devlet Osmaniye or the Ottoman Empire as you might know it. I would say that the Ottoman Muslims were the victims of the janissaries.

Knowledge is good. Educate yourself. I bid you peace,for now...until the rise of morn!
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HALIM AZIZ FROM MALAYSIA said:
TOO BAD THE AUTHOR FORGET TO MENTION HALF A MILLION MUSLIMS KILLED BY CHRISTIAN SERBS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, AND UNDER THE VERY EYES OF SUPER CHRISTIAN NATIONS SUCH AS USA, UK, DENMARK AND ALSO UN UNDER CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP !!!!!!
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HALIM AZIZ FROM MALAYSIA said:
Is the conversion to Islam in America today due to the swords?
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PAUL FROM EUROPE said:
OK, maybe I was insincere (?) in my last comment on this article. However the following extract is true, so that all can live in peace and happiness with our neighbour, our family and eventually ourselves....

...'The Quran is crystal clear in stating, "There is no compulsion in religion." (Quran 2:256) The commandment is absolute; there are no exceptions. Coercion, compulsion, force -- whatever one chooses to call it -- is forbidden.'

Peace.
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SALAHDIN FROM USA said:
Asalaam Alaikum:

Great article. Look at the earth and look at all the beautiful creation of GOD and How beautiful is HE (Swt). That is why God gave Humanity a gift and that was Rahamatalilalamin (Prophet Muhammad), The greatest and most noblest soul to ever live. The most modest, kindest, generous, beautiful Human to walk on earth.
Today and thru history, people have tried their best to corrupt religion.
JazakaAllah
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KARIN CHRISTA JAMES FROM U.S.A said:
I love articles like this, especially in these trying times while reading the world news is like a nightmare!
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MALCOLM FROM CANADA said:
well spoken, fellow person. bravely offered. my humble respects.
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SYED S. KHAN FROM USA said:
i hope hypocrats like Pat Robertson take lessons from your article. It would have been nice to add the reason why there is chaos and corruption in Muslim Lands even though our religion teaches tolerance, equality, justice and freedom.

Syed

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BELLO MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIAN said:
its a nice article that every ignorant ones need to read.
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Y.T. FROM U.S.A. said:
Janissaries, anyone? Crystal clear example of compulsion. You wont find a single Islamic outcry for them during their use, of course!
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AHMED ASGHER FROM BAHRAIN said:
God bless Dr. Elmasry. also verses 88.22-23 clearly remind the Prophet pbuh to only deliver the message and that he can not force others to believe in God. " Fathakkir innama anta muthakkirun. Lasta AAalayhim bimusaytirin" = just remind them (or deliver the message). you are not to be in-charge of them (or control them) ie force them to believe. Thus the whole Quran states that this is a guide from Allah for those who choose to follow it and thus find salvation. Only HE will be the judge of the rest and no one else. God does not force us to worship Him, otherwise He can not judge us. To worship is a choice freely made by the believer and it is a statement of surrendering our free-will to HIM. It must come from the heart,
just as a lover gives his heart to his beloved out of choice, except God's love is infinfately more than what we can imagine.
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