The Photographer’s Snapshots: Islam’s Rejection of Homophobia and Antisemitism? (Part 3)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Let’s remember Carlos Khalil Guzman’s claim that “Islam is against all types of oppression, literally all of it. It’s against racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, you name it.” We saw in a previous article how much bigger, and how much more deadly than the Atlantic Slave Trade was that of the Arabs in Africa. We also saw how deeply racist were the Muslim Arabs, offering by way of evidence a florilegium of quotes from the most respected of Arab historians and commentators.

Now we should examine Guzman’s claim that [Islam] is “against homophobia.” Really? Has he not paid attention to the practice of throwing homosexuals off of tall buildings, as the bezonians of the Islamic State have so enjoyed doing, of late, or hanging them from cranes, as is the means of punishment the Ayatollahs in Iran favor? Is he unaware that 2,000 “Palestinian” homosexuals have chosen to live in Israel, in order to be safe from their Muslim Arab brothers? Have these widely-publicized punishments escaped him? Is he aware of all the Muslim clerics who have ferociously denounced not just homosexuality, but homosexuals? Has he noticed that in 9 of the 10 nations that consider homosexuality a crime punishable by death the people are almost entirely Muslim (and the 10th, Nigeria, likely has a Muslim majority)? All of this makes a mockery of Guzman’s claim that “Islam is against homophobia.”

When, this past June, a one-room mosque opened in Berlin that permitted homosexuals and others in what is called the “LGBT community” to attend, and even officiate as imams, this became news all over the world, precisely because it was so unusual, for it went against the almost universal practice of Muslims by allowing open homosexuals to attend. The homosexual Imam Zahedi, from the only mosque in France that allows homosexuals, came to attend the opening of the Berlin mosque. We learned, too, that another such mosque was being ‘’planned” — i.e., does not yet exist — for the U.K. So in all of Europe, with 44 million Muslims (if we include European Russia), there will be perhaps three one-room mosques where homosexuals will be welcome. If we add in the number of such mosques believed to exist in the United States, Australia, and South Africa, the total comes to about ten mosques, for 1.5 billion Muslims. Or let’s double it: let’s say there are 20 such mosques, ten of which we know about. That’s still not very many for 1.5 billion worshippers. And like Seyran Ates, the lesbian imam of the Berlin mosque, who now receives round-the-clock protection because of the many credible death threats made against her, and when last heard from announced that she was getting “3,000 emails a day full of hate,” the imams of other mosques that permit homosexual worshippers have been similarly threatened, and presumably are receiving protection. All of which suggests that Islam is indeed homophobic, despite Guzman’s claim.

And where do we find the source of this homophobia? America’s first openly homosexual imam, one Daayiee Abdullah, likes to say that “nowhere in the Qur’an is homosexuality forbidden.” Apparently he has forgotten that the Qur’an contains numerous condemnations of homosexual activity, such as this: “And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’…And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.” (Qur’an 7:80-84). And in the Hadith, Muhammad specifies a punishment for the sin of the people of Lot (i.e., homosexuality): “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4462).

Will Carlos Khalil Guzman recognize these quotes from both the Qur’an and Hadith as the unambiguous denunciations of homosexuality that they are? Or will he continue to maintain, against all the evidence, that Islam is not “homophobic”? He might have said something else, after all. He might have claimed that “historically, like Christianity, Islam was homophobic but, thankfully, that is changing, with all sorts of LGBT-friendly mosques opening practically each week. So progress is being made.” It would still be false, but not quite to the degree as denying altogether that Islam is “homophobic.’

Guzman also claims that Islam “condemns…antisemitism.” Perhaps he hasn’t been studying the Qur’an as carefully as he might on this subject.

He could start with the evidence Robert Spencer has amassed of antisemitism, both in the Qur’an, with several dozen verses, and in telling quotes from Muslim theologians, both medieval and modern, who endorse that Qur’an-and-Hadith-based antisemitism.

Here is what the Qur’an has to say about the Jews:

“The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.”

To these excerpts from the Qur’an Spencer adds what the most respected Muslim scholars of the past have to say on the subject of the Jews:

The classic Qur’anic commentators do not mitigate the Qur’an’s words against Jews, but only add fuel to the fire. Ibn Kathir explained Qur’an 2:61 (“They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah”) this way: “This Ayah [verse] indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and that this will continue, meaning that it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly.” Another Middle Ages commentator of lingering influence, Abdallah ibn Umar al-Baidawi, explains the same verse this way: “The Jews are mostly humiliated and wretched either of their own accord, or out of coercion of the fear of having their jizya [punitive tax] doubled.”

Ibn Kathir notes Islamic traditions that predict that at the end of the world, “the Jews will support the Dajjal (False Messiah), and the Muslims, along with ‘Isa [Jesus], son of Mary, will kill the Jews.” The idea in Islam that the end times will be marked by Muslims killing Jews comes from the prophet Muhammad himself, who said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” This is, not unexpectedly, a favorite motif among contemporary jihadists.”

And contemporary Islamic scholars continue to hammer on the anti-Jewish theme:

Not just contemporary jihadists, but modern-day mainstream Islamic authorities take these passages seriously. The former Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” The late Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.”

Another Saudi sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: “The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam–which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.”

With this kind of overwhelming evidence, how can Guzman with a straight face make his claims for a “tolerant, charitable, compassionate” Islam that condemns “racism, homophobia, antisemitism”? Can it possibly be that he’s overlooked all this? Or is he merely engaging in Taqiyya? Whether he is truly this ignorant, or is being deliberately misleading, about Islam, he is not a guide whom anyone can sensibly trust.

Guzman’s own favorite verse from the Quran is about how Islam guides everyone to connect with their humanity.

“The line, taken from chapter 29, verse 2, reads, “Do the people think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried?”

?[The verse] is meaningful to me [Guzman] because it is a constant reminder that God never does anything to punish us, rather every experience good or bad is God’s way of keeping us and guiding us toward the right path, one of compassion, understanding, justice, knowledge and love,” Guzman told HuffPost. “Islam is a guide to help everyone connect with their humanity regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or political view.”

Let’s take these claims of Guzman in turn.

1. “God never does anything to punish us” — the Qur’an is full of commands that if we don’t fulfill, punishment of all kinds follow. Allah may choose to postpone some punishments for the afterlife, but that is his choice. Throughout the Qur’an, there is mention of Allah punishing his enemies not directly, but through humans fulfilling his commands. For example, one of the Jihad verses reads “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands” (9:14)

2. Allah is “keeping us and guiding us toward the right path, one of compassion, understanding, justice, knowledge and love.” There is precious little “compassion” toward Unbelievers in either the Qur’an or Hadith. Believers are commanded not to love, but to hate the Unbelievers, not to take them as friends, and to be guided by the principle of Al Wala Wal Bara — that is, “loving and disavowal” for the sake of Allah. One must love all that has to do with Allah, including those who share the deep, that is fellow Muslims and, at the same time, hate the Unbelievers for the sake of Allah. It would be fascinating to find out from Carlos Khalil Guzman what he thinks of this doctrine. As for this supposed right path of the Believer, “one of compassion, understanding, justice, knowledge, and love” — these are merely so much feel-good boilerplate, that have nothing do with the harsh reality of Islam, that uncompromisingly divides the world between Muslim and Infidel, and divides the terrestrial globe between Dar al-Islam, the lands where Islam dominates, and Dar al-Harb, the lands where non-Muslims still prevail. Between the two camps there must exist a state of permanent war, until Islam everywhere dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere.

Guzman’s hope is that the series will serve as an educational tool for people who have been fed false narratives about Islam. He hopes it also demonstrates how Muslims were an integral part of the United States’ history and culture ever since the first Muslims arrived in the Americas as African slaves.

“Fed false narratives?” Which false narratives are those? That Muslims are taught the duty, incumbent upon them, of waging jihad warfare against the Infidels, until Islam, dominates, and Muslims, rule everywhere? That Muslims have a right to demand of non-Muslims that they pay a tax, the Jizyah, if they want to continue to practice their religion? That Muslims must not abandon Islam for another religion, on pain of death? Or that mockery of Muhammad must be punished by death? Or that there are several Qur’anic verses telling Muslims to strike terror in the hearts of the Infidels, and that then expand upon the various ways this can be done? Or that Muslims are told not to take Christians and Jews as friends “for they are friends only with each other”(5:51)? Are those the “false narratives” that we are all being fed? We need Carlos Khalil Guzman to tell us just what he has in mind.

“There’s always been a Muslim presence in the country. The values that our Constitution upholds are part of Islam, if people only took the time to learn about Islam,” Guzman said. “Islam is all about justice.”

This nunc-pro-tunc backdating of a Muslim presence in America is a staple of Islamic propaganda. The most comical example of this was when a State Department spokesman asserted — repeating a bizarre Muslim claim–that Muslims accompanied Columbus on his first voyage. This story arose, apparently, from the fact that Columbus took with him, as navigator and potential interpreter (Columbus thought he might run into Hebrew-speaking peoples) Luis de Torres, a converso (a Jew who converted to Christianity) who also knew some Arabic. It was assumed, in the retelling by Muslims, that because of that, Torres must have been an Arab and a Muslim. As for this “Muslim presence that ‘has always been…in the country,” the fact that some slaves brought from Africa were Muslims means a lot less than Guzman seems to think. How many of the slaves were Muslims? Figures from 5% to 30% are invoked, but no one has yet provided convincing data for any of them; these figures seem plucked out of the ether. One thing is clear: none of the slaveowners seemed aware of Muslims among their slaves, nor did the non-Muslim slaves leave testimony about fellow slaves who were Muslim. If they attracted no comment, perhaps that is because there were very few of them. There undoubtedly were some Muslims, but how many? And how long did Islam last in those early days? Without any mosques or madrasas, above all without any Qur’ans, and certainly no copies of the Hadith or Sira, Islam could not have been passed on to a second generation. Wherever it might have been found, it would have quickly disappeared. And in an environment where slaves were encouraged to convert to Christianity, that would make clinging to Islam even more unlikely.

As for Guzman’s claim that “the values that our Constitution upholds are part of Islam, if people only took the time to learn about Islam,” he has it exactly backwards. For anyone who “takes the time” to learn about Islam will quickly understand how Islam flatly contradicts the “values” of our Constitution. In the first place, we have a government which owes its legitimacy to how well it expresses the will of the people, through representative democracy. In Islam, the government owes its legitimacy to how well it expresses the will of Allah, as set down in the Qur’an. A despot may rule, provided he is a good Muslim. Most Muslim states are run by despots; only a very few can claim, and that only intermittently, and for very short periods — usually ending with a bullet or a bomb — to be even semi-democracies. See the fates of Anwar Sadat in Egypt, and of, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his daughter Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan.

The most important part of our Constitution are the rights contained in the First Amendment. These include the right to free speech. In Islam, there is no free speech when it comes to Islam itself. Criticism or mockery of Muhammad can be, and in many Muslim countries is, punishable by death, just as they were in Muhammad’s time. See Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf. The mere charge against someone who, it is claimed, said something critical of Islam or of Muhammad, can lead not just to official punishment, but to a vigilante justice enforced by Muslims who are enraged at what they deem to be unacceptable blasphemy (often the slimmest rumor will set off Muslim mobs). Ordinarily, these vigilantes then go unpunished. A few years ago a raging mob of 1,000 Muslims tortured and then burned to death a young Christian couple, supposedly for desecrating a Qur’an. No one was punished. At the moment two Christians have been sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy. One, Asia Bibi, was convicted on the basis of the testimony of a Muslim woman with whom she had been collecting fruit; they had quarreled over something; the Muslim woman then claimed that the Christian girl had said something negative about the Prophet Muhammad, which Bibi denied. Given the prior quarrel with her accuser, and the fact that Bibi certainly knew the penalty for maligning the Prophet, how plausible is it that she is guilty as charged? The second case is even more absurd, for the Christian who is said to have forwarded some pejorative message about Muhammad he had received could not possibly have understood what he had done — if indeed he had done it — because, it turn outs, he is illiterate.

Muslims in the West, of course, have chosen to punish blasphemers with death as well. Think of the repeated attempts to kill the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, the riots by Muslims around the globe over the Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, the murder of Theo van Gogh for his movie about the mistreatment of women in Islam, Submission, and most horrible of all, the murder of the dozen members of the staff of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, for daring to mock Muhammad.

As for freedom of religion, which the First Amendment guarantees, that, too, is absent in Islamic societies. It does not exist for Muslims: apostasy from Islam can be punished by death. It does not exist for non-Muslims, either. They may, as dhimmis, be allowed to practice their own faiths, but according to the Sharia they are to be subject to various onerous duties, the most important of which is the required payment of a capitation tax, or Jizyah, to the Muslim state. In fact, calling it a tax is a misnomer; it is in truth “protection money’” paid to Muslims, a kind of extortion to ensure that Muslims do not attack those who pay. No wonder that over time many non-Muslims converted to Islam to avoid having to pay the Jizyah, and also having to endure, as despised Infidels, many other humiliations. They could not, for example, build or repair their houses of worship; they were forbidden to ride horses; they had to move aside for Muslims on pathways; in some places, both Christians and Jews had to wear identifying signs on their clothing and on their dwellings (the yellow star for Jews was first imposed in Baghdad). All of this made conversion to Islam more attractive.

Can it really be that Carlos Khalil Guzman is unaware of the limits on religious freedom in Muslim societies? He could have simply avoided the issue, not mentioned the Constitution at all. But something made him think he could get away with asserting, without more, that Islam and the Constitution of the United States uphold the same values. They do not. Guzman ought to be asked to supply a list of the “same values” upheld by Islam and the Constitution of the United States. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion? Where are either of these to be found guaranteed in Muslim lands? In what Muslim country can one speak pejoratively of Islam or of Muhammad without incurring severe punishment, including, in some cases, death? In what Muslim country are all religions, and their adherents, treated equally? As for equal protection of the laws, to be found guaranteed as against the states by the Fourteenth Amendment (and against the Federal government by the “due process” clause of the Fifth Amendment, which is held to incorporate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection), that is, the guarantee of non-discrimination, whether by sex, race, or religion, in what Muslim lands are such rights guaranteed? Where in Dar al-Islam are non-Muslims equal to Muslims, or women to men? How could non-Muslims be treated as equal to Muslims when they are described in the Qur’an as “the most vile of creatures” while Muslims are, according to that same Qur’an, the “best of peoples”? Does Carlos Guzman know those verses? Does Carlos Guzman even understand the rights guaranteed by the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and why they are not, and never can be, guaranteed under the Sharia, which legally enshrines Muslim supremacism? His resultant confusion should prove instructive. For our Constitution flatly contradicts, in both its general principles, and in its specific provisions concerning the equal rights of individuals, what Islam, in its Holy Law or Sharia, wishes always to defend.

First published in Jihad Watch.


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