by Hugh Fitzgerald
Jennifer Williams is a great enthusiast not just for Christmas, but for the Muslim Jesus, about whom she is sure you have never heard, and she’s here to enlighten you:
Christmas, as everyone knows, commemorates the birth of Jesus and is a major religious celebration for Christians around the world.
But what many people don’t know is that Jesus is an important figure in Islam, too, even though most Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas (though some, especially some American Muslims, do).
Actually, by now many Infidels all over the Western world do know perfectly well that Jesus is a figure of significance in Islam. They know this because it is a staple of Muslim propaganda. Just look here or here or here.
We are told again and again about Jesus in the Qur’an (just google “Jesus in the Qur’an”), of how revered he is, of the fact that he is mentioned 27 times by name, of how much attention, too, is given to his mother Mary, who has a sura named after her. And these exercises in taqiyya proceed in the same fashion: to exaggerate the significance of the Muslim Jesus, so as to make it seem as if he is more than just a prophet, and the reverence in which he and Mary are held, so as to divert attention of Christians from the basic ineluctable fact, which is that while Muslims respect Jesus, as a prophet, they deny him any divinity, and are commanded in the Qur’an to view those — the Christians –who believe He is the Son of God, with scorn, hostility, even murderous hatred.
One of the efforts this year to convince Christians of the important role of Jesus (and Mary) in Islam was by Vox’s Williams, who was so fond of what she posted last Christmas on the subject that she reprinted it, without change, this year. Its brisk and cheerful mendacity is worth a look.
Here is Jennifer Williams, and all she thinks you need to know about the Muslim version of Jesus:
In honor of the holiday, here are six things you may not know about the role of Jesus — and his mother, Mary — in Islam:
Jesus, Mary, and the angel Gabriel are all in the Quran (as are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and a bunch of other Bible characters).
Muslims believe that Jesus (called “Isa” in Arabic) was a prophet of God, was born to a virgin (Mary), and will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”), also known as the Antichrist. All of which may sound pretty familiar to many Christians.
Mary (called “Maryam” in Arabic) has an entire chapter in the Quran named for her — the only chapter in the Quran named for a female figure. In fact, Mary is the only woman to be mentioned by name in the entire Quran: As noted in the Study Quran, “other female figures are identified only by their relation to others, such as the wife of Adam and the mother of Moses, or by their title, such as the Queen of Sheba.” Mary is mentioned more times in the Quran than in the entire New Testament.
Just as with all the other prophets, including Mohammed, Muslims recite, “Peace be upon him” every time they refer to Jesus.
The name “Jesus, son of Mary” written in Arabic calligraphy, followed by “peace be upon him.” ???? ??????
Muslims believe that Jesus performed miracles: The Quran discusses several of Jesus’s miracles, including giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, raising the dead, and breathing life into clay birds.
So we learn that one of the 114 suras of the Qur’an is named after Mary and that she is mentioned “more times in the Qur’an than in the New Testament.” To which one wants to reply: So what? If a sura is named after her, and if she is mentioned “more times in the Qur’an than in the New Testament,” that hardly means she is more important in Islam than in Christianity. For Christians, she is the Mother of the Son of God; for Muslims, she is only the mother of Jesus, a man and not a divinity, one of the 25 prophets mentioned by name in the Qur’an (there are tens of thousands of prophets in Islam). If she is mentioned, as Mary, “more times” in the Qur’an than in the New Testament, that is because in the Christian Bible there are other ways she is referred to, not just as “Mary,” but also as the “Mother of God” or “Mother of Jesus.’”
It is absurd to draw any conclusion about the relative importance of various figures in Islam based on the number of times they are named in the Qur’an.. Muhammad, for example, is mentioned exactly four times by name. Moses (Musa) is mentioned 136 times in the Qur’an. Jesus is mentioned 25 times. Does that mean that Moses is 5.44 times as important as Jesus and 34 times as important as Muhammad? Or that Jesus is 6 times as important as the Prophet Muhammad? Of course not.
Ms. Williams says that Muslims believe that Jesus performed miracles. Again, so what? Islam has borrowed — appropriated — many figures and stories from the two prior-in-time monotheisms. Islam borrowed Jesus, stripped him of his divinity, refashioned him into an islamized Jesus, a Jesus who is a Muslim. (Moses, too, is a Muslim). Having appropriated him, it is hardly surprising that some aspects of his Biblical being would be retained. And so we find Jesus described in the Qur’an as performing some of the same miracles as he is described as performing in the New Testament: “The Quran discusses several of Jesus’s miracles, including giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, raising the dead, and breathing life into clay birds.” Isn’t this an attempt to suggest that while Muslims do not accept Jesus as the Son of God, they are certainly most impressed with the miracles — forsooth! — he can perform. Jesus is a miracle-worker. At least give Muslims credit, you begrudging Christians, for recognizing that.
Finally, the story of Jesus’s birth as told in the Qur’an is given in great detail, of how Mary “withdrew from her family” and gave birth though, as she declares, “no man has touched me,” and of the miracle of Jesus speaking as an infant in the cradle who “declared himself to be a prophet of God.” Again there is an attempt to make much of the similarities in the birth scenes in Islam and Christianity, and again we have to remind ourselves that in one case Jesus is the Son of God, and in the other, he is a mortal, one among the 25 prophets named in the Qur’an. And that has made all the difference.
Let’s consider what Christians need to know about Islam’s view of their faith. Not how many times Mary is mentioned in the Qur’an, not that a sura is named after her, not that Jesus (like Moses, Adam, Noah), is one of the figures appropriated by Islam and viewed as a prophet, and in Jesus’ case capable of working miracles. No, what we most need to know is how Muslims are taught to regard Christians and Christianity, which is something Jennifer Williams won’t tell you.
Here are some of the Qur’anic verses about Christians:
The Christians are told that Jesus is only a messenger of Allah, not his Son:
“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, ‘Three’; desist — it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” — Qur’an 4:171
Allah did not have a son; he had no need of one; by himself he could accomplish anything and needed no others beside him:
“It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35
Christians are wrong — Jesus was not crucified:
“And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger — they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157
Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are “disbelievers”:
“They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary.” — Qur’an 5:17
Christians “forgot a good part” of the divine revelations they received:
“From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them [the Christians], with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14
Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed:
“The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ” — Qur’an 9:30
Christians who do not become Muslims “are the most vile of created beings”:
“Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of created beings.” — Qur’an 98:6
It’s not enough to despise them. Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians :
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29
Propagandists for Islam are out in force this Christmas season, telling us, like Ms. Williams, that Muslims have so much in common with Christians: they revere Mary, they revere Jesus as an important prophet, they share the Christian belief that Jesus could perform miracles and, indeed, the Muslim Jesus performs some of the same miracles that the Christian Jesus does.
But the Qur’an says other, disturbing things, about Christians and Christianity. Jesus was only a messenger, not the Son of God. God (Allah) had no need of a son. Jesus was not crucified.
Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are not only disbelievers, but have Allah’s curse upon them. Christians who do not become Muslims “are the most vile of created beings.” Muslims must fight and subjugate all Christians, and then offer them the choice, to be killed, to convert to Islam, or to accept the status of dhimmi, with all its onerous conditions.
That is the uncompromising Islamic doctrine concerning Christians: hostility (“take them not as friends”), contempt and hatred (they are “the most vile of creatures”), and jihad (“fight those who believe not in Allah,” “strike terror” in their hearts). Of course there is not the slightest hint of any of this in Jennifer Williams’s Christian-friendly version of Islam.
But perhaps we are being unfair. Perhaps, in practice if not in doctrine, Muslims have shown how profoundly they respect those others who revere Jesus and Mary? What happened in the Middle East and North Africa, in lands once peopled almost entirely by Christians which were conquered by Muslims? How many millions of Christians were killed in those lands? How many Christians were kidnapped from Europe over the centuries by Muslim marauders who arrived by sea? How many of those Christians, both those whose lands were conquered, and those who were seized from coastal villages in Europe, and brought back to Dar al-Islam, subsequently converted to Islam, only in order to escape the status of dhimmi which many found unendurable?
We need not go back that far. Even if we limit ourselves to recent decades, what have we observed of Muslim behavior toward Christians — Copts, Catholics, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Orthodox — in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Syria, in Egypt, in Pakistan, in Nigeria, in the Sudan, in Somalia, in Bangladesh? Is there any Muslim-majority country where Christians have not been subject to attack and murder? Muslims “revere” Jesus, all right, but only as a prophet, and are told by their Qur’an that those who revere him as the Son of God are Unbelievers who should be killed.
In just the last few weeks, in Pakistan, Muslim terrorists attacked a church in Quetta, killing nine worshipers, one of many attacks on Christians in that country. A Muslim plot to blow up a cathedral in St. Petersburg was narrowly averted by the Russians, thanks to American intelligence. Christian families have this month been executed in Nigeria, and whole villages have been destroyed by Boko Haram. Christians have been murdered this fall by the hundreds in Iraq and in Syria, and not only by members of ISIS. In Egypt, ever since the fall of Morsi, attacks on the Copts have increased, with 65 churches, convents, Christian bookshops and schools attacked. Coptic pilgrims have been murdered on buses, worshipers murdered in church, individual Copts — storekeepers, pedestrians — attacked in shops or on the streets, Coptic priests hacked to death, and Copts are now living in such fear that the government has felt it necessary to mobilize tens of thousands of security personnel, including the army, to protect them during their Christmas observance that begins in January. In the last few years, 200,000 Copts have fled the country.
During the Sudanese civil war, hundreds of thousands of Christian black Africans in the south were slaughtered by Muslim Arabs from the north. In Iraq, with the removal of the secular dictator Saddam Hussein (who had his own reasons for protecting the Christians), the Christian population has since 2003 plummeted from 1.4 million to 250,000. It has been the same in Syria, where in 2011 there were 1.25 million Christians and now there are 450,000. The murderous attacks on Christians by ISIS — and by other Muslims, too — account for part of that drop; the rest is due to Christians leaving for safe havens in the West.
And with tens of millions of Muslims now in Europe, a transformation in that continent is also taking place. Just look, for one example, at the Christmas season as it is now celebrated. Muslims began targeting Christmas markets even before 9/11. The first (aborted) attempt was in December 2000, when four Al-Qaeda operatives plotted to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market, held right in front of the cathedral. Ever since then, security for these Christmas celebrations has been ratcheted up. Last year Muslim terrorists killed twelve people at the main Christmas market in Berlin. And this year, the effects of that Berlin attack have been everywhere evident. In France, fear of attacks by Muslims has led to the cancellation of the most famous Christmas market, that held on the Champs-Elysees, in Paris. The Christmas market in Lyons has similarly been called off due to the cost of security. In Germany, two of the country’s famed Christmas markets have also been cancelled. Even where the markets are still being held, crowds of Muslim young men disrupt the celebrations, change the holiday atmosphere to one of fear. In Bad Doberan, despite having been deliberately disrupted by “Palestinian” protesters playing loud Arabic music, the market has so far not been closed. In Italy, a town removed its Christmas tree in order not to offend local Muslims. In the U.K., a plot to blow up a major Christmas Market was narrowly averted. So was an attack on a cathedral in St. Petersburg. What was once a festive occasion for Europe’s Christians has become, in many places, a fearful one, because of Muslim threats that in turn require a large and expensive security presence. Because of the use of cars and trucks in terrorist attacks, many of the markets have erected bollards to provide “hostile vehicle mitigation.” Police and military armed with machine guns patrol the Christmas markets in France and the U.K.and Germany — a sight which reminds people of the omnipresent terrorist threat from Muslims, and is hardly conducive to the Christmas spirit.
When Muslims are commanded, in the Qur’an, “not to take Jews and Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other,” when they are told to “kill them [the Unbelievers] wherever you find them,” when they are told to “smite at their [the Unbelievers’] necks,” when they are told that Unbelievers are “the most vile of creatures,” and to “strike terror” in the Infidels’ hearts, when a hundred other verses tell Muslims to engage in violent Jihad, we can safely assume — the historical record offers plenty of evidence — that many Muslims take these verses to heart and when they can act on them, they do.
The frequency of the name “Mary” in the Qur’an, the fact that the Muslim Jesus performs some of the same miracles (but not, of course, the water into wine at the wedding in Cana) that he does in the New Testament, and that he is a “revered prophet” for Muslims, does not change one whit those commands in the Qur’an for Believers to strike at the necks of Infidels, to kill them, to strike terror in their hearts, nor does that reverence for Jesus as a prophet in any way lessen the deep hostility Muslims have demonstrated for Christians over the past 1400 years of Muslim-Christian encounters. That grim history supports the melancholy conclusion that observant Muslims do not mean non-Muslims well. If there is ever to be any chance of Muslim reformation (for now a very doubtful proposition), it will have to start with an honest assessment of the texts and teachings of the faith, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Jennifer Williams and many others have tried to convince us that, in its view of Jesus and Mary, Islam teaches a deep respect for Christianity. It does not. Islam teaches respect only for a Muslim version of Jesus as prophet, and contempt, and far worse than contempt, for those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God.
First published in Jihad Watch.
The "miracles" cited in the Quran are evidence of the religious milieu in which Mohammed wrote his book - breathing life into clay birds, and speaking from the manger at His birth are gleaned from non-canonical books like the Gospel of Thomas, writings that include some pretty far-out material which makes them ineligible for inclusion as scripture. One more evidence that Mohammed had no clue what he was doing.