The Great Courses

Myths About Islam

Sep 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Another contribution from guest-blooger Meg on the issue of Islam.  Worth reading and sharing.  -Seth


I wanted to clear up a couple of wide-spread myths as well as share this video:

Only 0.8% of the US population is Muslim. European countries have much larger Muslim populations, however Muslims still constitute a tiny minority within the general populace. There are about 1.2 billion (with a "b") Muslims on this planet. The voices you hear from Muslims in Western nations represent only a tiny minority of the Muslims on the planet.

Personally, I took courses in Islam and Islamic History at University. But even I found the numbers that follow to be higher than I would have expected. Before I get into the statistics, however, I wanted to clarify a couple of other misconceptions. 

Islam is not just like other faiths. While it is considered an Abrahamic faith, in reality it is the Old Testament combined with Arab Paganism and run-of-the-mill, mind-control death cult. Muhammad's father was named Abdallah, or "Belonging to Allah". 

Allah was the Arab pagan moon god, and other Arab deities included the goddesses Al-Lat, whose name means simply "The Goddess", Al-Uzza or "The Mighty One", and Manat, goddess of Fate or Time. Muhammad had not yet created Islam, obviously, when his father was named Abdallah, and the "Satanic Verses" of the Qur'an permitted calling upon the three goddesses. The crescent moon now used to signify Islam was Allah's symbol, a further holdover from Muhammad's upbringing as an Arab pagan, as is use of the Kaaba in Mecca, which was constructed by Arab pagans and later overtaken by the new Muslims. 

Christianity tells people how to deal with spiritual issues, which the Jesus character of the Bible gave as one of his most important messages -- it's not going through the motions of Judaic ritual that count, but what is in a person's heart that matters. And Jesus also told Christians to, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Those concepts are utterly foreign in Islam. 

Islam, by contrast, dictates everything from politics and how to govern a country down to telling Muslims on which foot they must enter a room, how to wash your face, and how to clean yourself after defecating. Muslims generally believe the Qur'an tells them every, single thing a human being needs to know in order to live. Islam controls and dictates everything a Muslim does from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed.

The word "Islam" means submission in Arabic, not peace. According to Islam, peace is the result of submission. When everyone on the planet has submitted to Islam, which is the goal of the faith, then there will be peace. Until then, the Qur'an demands Muslims spread Islam by the sword. 

The only phrase I hear parroted more frequently than the false idea that Islam is just like other religions is the idea that it is only a tiny minority of Muslims who approve of violence. If people would actually take the time to learn about Islam and talk to Muslims instead of repeating catch phrases, they would quit repeating those lines (I hope) because they are utterly false.

The link to the following page provides a chart titled "Suicide Bombing in Defense of Islam". One thing to keep in mind while reading it is that more Muslims reside in Indonesia, a country in Southeast Asia, than in all of the Arab countries combined. One of the few things Islam does have in common with Christianity is that it is no more a race than Christianity is.

This survey was done in 2002, after 9/11. 27% of Indonesian Muslims approved of suicide attacks in what they deem defense of Islam. "Tiny minority" is a subjective phrase. However, over a quarter of the Muslims in the country with the largest Muslim population on the planet does not constitute a "tiny" minority of people who approve of violence in that land.

Lebanon - 73% said yes, it's justifiable to murder people for Islam.

Jordan - 43% agreed it's justifiable to kill innocent human beings to defend Islam.

Nigeria - 47% of the Muslims questioned said yes.

And the list goes on, but you can check it yourself. The numbers have shown a slight decrease in recent years, which is a positive development. Again, these numbers stem from studies done shortly after 9/11. 

Fortunately, not all Muslims *want* to kill other people. But they are moral in that respect despite Islam, not because of it.

More important, in my personal view as it involves an even higher number of people, is the fact that Muhammad "married" a girl when she was only 6 years old and he was in his 50s, and he had sex with her when she was only 9. Because Muslims are taught Muhammad was the perfect man and they should live as he did, this still goes on in Muslim-majority lands. 

The Qur'an also directs a man to beat his wife in Sura 4:34. According to studies done by the UN and human rights groups, the overwhelming majority of women in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan who are in prison are there for their own safety, to protect them from being beaten or murdered by their own families. 

Muhammad commanded that those who leave Islam be murdered. That is what our fellow nonbelievers who left Islam face, and they deserve and need our support, as do the innocent children being married off to old men to be raped. Organizations such as the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain do excellent work, both in helping those who have left Islam and fighting for recognition of the dangers faced by those who do not want to be Muslims.

Islam runs absolutely contrary to every human right. Islam is a dogma, a set of ideas, and it's a set of ideas that we need to oppose with all we've got as decent, moral human beings.



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