3.5 Warnings of a Crusade
Gerry: Why Medina, why not stay closer to God in Mecca?
Uzza: Medina, being an oasis, was much more hospitable than dusty Mecca. Also, it was further north, closer to Muhammad's ultimate objective, the Byzantine Empire and Dabiq.
Bob: I would like to visit Medina sometime.
Uzza: You can't. It and Mecca are sacred cities, in what is called the Hejaz, the Western Province. If you get caught trying to sneak in, it is convert or be beheaded on the spot.
Gerry: Is that what Hejaz means, the Western Province?
Uzza: No. Hejaz means Barrier. Islamists like bin Laden consider the entire Hejaz sacred and off limits to unbelievers. One of his stated reason for the 9/11 attacks on the United States was that American troops where stationed in the Hejaz to thwart any attempt by Sadam Husain to invade Saudi Arabia.
Archie: So, for saving the Muslim Holy Land from being overrun by Iraqi troops, bin Laden slaughtered thousands of Americans.
Uzza: Worse, and one reason why the West finds itself on the brink of being overrun by Islamic ideas, if not Islamic fanatics is the US government, not only spiriting the Saudi princes out of the country to avoid them becoming the targets of an understandably enraged population and perhaps even the Justice Department, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens, but deflected any blame by attacking a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, Iraq.
Gerry: That would be like the United States declaring war on, I don't know, the country next door to Japan instead of Japan, after Pearl Harbour..
Bob: When you say "spread the good news", what is that all about?
Uzza: Islamists believe that if all countries allowed the unimpeded preaching of the Koran, the good news, to its citizens they would willingly embrace Islam without the believers having to toppled their governments by whatever means at their disposal to deliver the good news.
Archie: Good news only if you bought into the message and your neighbour didn't, then you improve your lifestyle and standing in your newfound god's eye at the expense of the neighbour; or, if all converted and you couldn't pilfer your neighbour's property you joined the mob on a profitable crusade.
Bob: Christians did Crusades, not Muslims?
Archie: Crusades are simply an armed mob on the march grabbing somebody's property in the name of some god, usually after depriving the legitimate owner of his life.
Gerry: That would mean the Muslims, with their concept of a Holy War, actually invented the Crusade?
Bob: That would also mean that there is no difference between a Jihad and a Crusade.
Uzza: There is a difference, a BIG difference. You may know nothing about Islam, but Muslims know everything about Christianity. Since it came after the Bible, the story of Jesus is part of the Koran, if only to lower his prestige and raise that of God's new favourite. The Koran says that Jesus got it wrong when he said to love everyone unconditionally. The actual message Allah wanted him to deliver was to love only those who believed in Him and to hate those who didn't, to death if necessary. That is why he sent Muhammad who could be counted upon not to muddle the message.
Gerry: But you don't hate us, do you?
Uzza: Allah may have been right when He warned us not to associate with Christians less they corrupt you. This may be what has happened to me.
Gerry: You're not about to say that you believe in Jesus?
Uzza: That he is the Son of God? Of course not! But, his message, that of a wise and kind person, that we should all love each other no matter what, is the message I prefer to live by with one but. Must be my Muslim upbringing.
Bob: What do you mean? Were not talking about deviant sex here are we?
Uzza: Don't be silly. The Koran has no universal declaration like those contained in the Ten Commandments. There is always a "but". I would add to Jesus' universal declaration to love everyone unconditionally; to love everyone who loves you back no matter what.
Gerry: As if we were all family.
Uzza: But we are all family, a concept that is somewhat alien to Islam. The Western humanitarian idea that we are all brothers and sisters, and that brothers and sisters love each other no matter what. That is what being a normal family is all about.
Gerry: Uzza, I can't believe you just said that about Muslims not having our appreciation of what it means to be a family.
Uzza: Not Muslims, believers! There is difference you know.
Gerry: I am sorry but you don't sound like any Muslim I've ever met.
Uzza: I'm not unique. Trust me.
Gerry: I trust you. So why do believers have a different understanding of what is family then you and me?
Uzza: Pay close attention when you listen to a preacher or read about Islam as a social group. It's rarely about the family. It's almost always about the community, the so-called ummah. Us against them, that is the theme. Family is secondary to the ummah. A member of your family will not believe, you must get them to believe or disown them, if not kill them. That is what the ummah expects you to do, and you do it if you want to maintain or even improve your standing within the community.
Gerry: But the Torah makes the same demands of observant Jews?
Uzza: The Koran is often a reflection of the worst the Torah has to offer.
Archie: What about all this stuff about dishonouring your family by not wearing a scarf or by dating a boy not of your religion. That is family stuff.
Uzza: No it isn't! Haven't you been listening? It's not what the family thinks that matters, it's what the community thinks. You kill your daughter for being disobedient to maintain your standing in the community as an upholder of Allah's morality.
Bob: And you kill the other guy to get at his wives and daughters and whatever. Got that. Getting back to the Crusades. What is "the big difference" between a Muslim Crusade and a Christian Crusade and what does Jesus have to do with it?
Uzza: The Christian Crusade was a relatively short-lived phenomenon, while the believers' Crusade has been ongoing for almost 1,400 years. In fact, the Christian version may have been in response to believers' incursions into Europe which took on a new urgency. The Christians rulers, if not their subject, had to be aware of Muhammad's ultimatum after his return to Medina that all nations had to submit to the will of Allah or expect to be invaded.
Gerry: Are you saying that the Prophet actually declared war on the world. That our conflict is actually the continuation of an old war for world domination
Uzza: Absolutely. It will not end until all nations have agreed to the terms Muhammad set out in a letter he sent to the nations that bordered the Peninsula: submit or else.
Gerry: Do we have a copy of such a momentous letter?
Uzza: Actually we do. You may still be able to find it in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace, which is now a museum. The more than a thousand-year-old shrunken piece of parchment contains both a promise of extravagant wealth and a threat.
Gerry: The old carrot and stick.
Uzza: Whatever. It is addressed to the governor of Egypt, a fellow by the name of Muqawqis. Become believers willingly and you will grow rich Muhammad promises, refuse and expect the worse. He ends his ultimatum with an ominous warning that believers do not make idle threats.
Bob: WOW and WOW again.
Archie: So when the preachers say that Islam is not at war with us they are lying?
Uzza: Some, obviously.
Bob: But the Crusades, the Christian Crusades were not about stopping a Muslim invasion of Europe but about taking the Holy Land back from the infidels?
Uzza: It probably was easier to rally a divided Europe to fight the type of fight that had made the believers so successful on the battlefield, and that was a Crusade of their own; the fight would be all about pleasing God by returning the Holy Land to its rightful owners. A not insignificant benefit of controlling the coastline of the Holy Land was that it would severely hamper the operations of slave-trading believers who trolled the Mediterranean preying on unsuspecting Europeans merchant ships.
Gerry: You realize that your reasonable explanation is not what most of us have been taught.
Uzza: You were taught wrong. It is not only things like the art that defines Western Civilization which will be obliterated by an Islamist victory but it's history.
Bob: Enough of that. You still have not explained what Jesus had to with it.
Uzza: With what? I forget.
Bob: You said that Jesus was the big difference between the never-ending Muslim Crusade and the short-lived Christian Crusades.
Uzza: In response to the believers constantly using the Crusades to justify horrible acts committed by members of their community, an editorial in the Figaro explained that the Catholic Church was not without its faults. Its history being filled with dark pages it regrets, the writer wrote. However, he said, what differentiates Christianity from Islam is that Christians can always return to the values in the Gospels and to the gentle person of Jesus and ignore a Church which has lost its way.
Bob: And Muslims can't do that?
Uzza: Again, Muslims can do whatever they want, believers however cannot. As the Figaro explained, believers can only return to a book filled with violence and hatred and the example of a man for whom violence was a means to an end. The Catholic Church has put its violent past behind, thanks in large part to the example and sayings of Jesus. For the believers that is impossible, the Koran and the example of Muhammad will not allow them to do that.
Gerry: Uzza, you read French?
Bob: There you go changing the subject again.
Uzza: I learned Arabic because I had no choice. I learned English because it would allow me to meet interesting people; and I learned to speak and read French because I love the language.
Gerry: So you can read the Koran in the original?
Uzza: That is total crock [as Uzza gets more inebriated her language becomes more familiar].
Uzza: If I gave you a 1,400 year old English text could you even begin to make sense of it?
Gerry: Probably not.
Uzza: And that goes for a 1,400 year old Arabic text, to a lesser extent. What you call the original Koran was written in classical Arabic, when punctuation was almost nonexistent and no vowels. To make matters worse, research indicates that the original Koran contained verses writhen in Aramaic, the language associated with Jesus and Hebrew. The Koran has probably gone through more editing to make it understandable than any other so-called Holy Book.
Bob: Then, why do preachers say that unless you understand Arabic you will not be able to understand the Koran?
Uzza: Because that is what they want you to believe. They want to discourage you from reading the damn book.
Gerry: The “damn book!”
Uzza: You know what I mean. Any good translation will do. I recommend the one by Majid Fakhry, the first mainstream translation by a native Arab speaker. Any good translation will be able to accurately communicate Allah's Message and it's the message we should be concerned with.
Bob: Then why the emphasis on learning Arabic?
Uzza: It is a way of maintaining cohesion and a sense of purpose for the struggle ahead; to give you a greater appreciation that you belong to a community of like-minded people and not that other one which does not care to live according to the Book. If they did they too would learn “glorious Arabic”.
Gerry: “Glorious Arabic”?
Uzza: That is how Allah refers to his favourite language in the Koran.
Bob: And all this time I thought it was Hebrew.
Uzza: Having everyone learn Arabic is a tremendous advantage for an international force bent on the destruction of a foe who must depend on interpreters to gage what is happening.
Gerry: If Arabic offers a strategic advantage and is a way for Muslims, I mean believers, to set themselves apart from the greater population, why did countries like Canada introduce Arabic immersion in schools with the objective under its multicultural policy, to quote some Minister ”to facilitate the integration of children from Muslin countries”.
Uzza: Because they are stupid, stupid, stupid and so is multiculturalism, which, by the way is probably responsible for an uptick in what Western jurisprudence considers a crime and some religions don't.
Archie: You mean one religion, don't you?
Uzza: Do not put words in my mouth. Steven Weinberg said that religion makes good people do bad things. It may have to do with the Koran replacing moral imperatives in Judeo-Christian teaching with relativistic ones, not only removing the sin aspect, but actually encouraging stealing, lying and generally treating someone with contempt if that someone happens to be an unbeliever.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with a country seeking to accommodate the innocuous traditions and customs of different cultures within a national identity. What is wrong is not differentiating between the benign and the malignant thereby allowing champions of irreconcilable value systems to compete Darwinian-like for supremacy where the most ruthless usually wins. A concept Muhammad and those who follow his example understood only too well.
Bob: The carrot or the stick, which one did the trick, or did the Prophet have to go on a crusade to make Muq see the light?
Uzza: Muqawqis, we are told, knew of Muhammad and held him in high regard. Proof of this admiration is the tribute he sent to Muhammad of a beautiful black stallion, gold and silver and two teenaged sisters, Maria and Sirin, to do with as he pleased.
Archie: Muq obviously knew the type of man he was dealing with.
Uzza: Not really. Upon receipt of Muqawqis' tribute, Muhammad said to a confident that he could not be that easily be bought off, and Muqawqis' reign would shortly be coming to an end.
Bob: What happened to the sisters?
Uzza: Muhammad took Maria as his twelfth wife and gave Sirin to a henchmen.
Gerry: And Muqawqis?
Uzza: Egypt would be conquered by an army of believers on route to Palestine and Dabiq to complete Muhammad's mission.
Gerry: Muhammad did not make it to Dabiq?
Uzza: But he came close, depending on who you believe, and he did during the time he had left attempt to engage the Byzantines at a place call Tabuk on the route to Dabiq.