If Islam Was Explained to Me in a Pub
The Enemy Within
Uzza: Could I have an adult drink now, please. They are not coming back tonight. If anything, they are waiting somewhere to teach me a lesson. Archie, do you mind? (extends her empty glass of apple juice.)
Archie: When you came in you said you wanted a beer. How about a nice glass of white wine? On the house.
Uzza: Just like in heaven.
Archie: What do you mean?
Uzza: In Paradise there are rivers of wine in which the believers can dip their cups and toast Allah − and, for the privileged class, special wines aged in some kind of container sealed with musk.
Archie: Why would Allah outlaw wines here but allow them in heaven?
Uzza: There was a time when Allah bragged about wine being one of the signs of His Beneficence. Then wine became a sin in which there was some benefit. Then no benefits at all; wine became an abomination, something the devil concocted.
Archie: You haven’t answered my question.
Uzza: A drunk and disorderly believer could have embarrassed Muhammad without intending to and could not be trusted to carry out his orders without fail. Reason enough, I think, for Allah to make sure that didn’t happen.
Archie: Then, why all the pussyfooting?
Uzza: Allah does not pussyfoot, if that is even a word. He may have wanted to wait until Muhammad was strong enough to enforce His decree before making wine an abomination. I do not know. And, can I give you back this damn veil? It only empowers women to do what men want them to do. Where is the fun in that?
Archie: No, but you can take it off and keep it close by. And you must promise to put it back on if you see someone come up the stairs.
Uzza: I promise.
Gerry: And don't worry, I will walk you home or to your car, if you want.
Uzza: Thank you, but my being seen with a man other than a husband or close relative will only make it worse.
Gerry, Johnny, Bob: [raising their glasses] Cheers!
Uzza: [does not raise her glass, nor does she take a sip, but stares straight ahead.]
Johnny: Anything wrong?
Uzza: You let in them in.
Bob: I thought Archie let them in.
Archie: You're not talking about those people, are you?
Uzza: Not just them, all of them. People like that should never have been allowed in our country.
Archie: But, they are your people?
Uzza: No, they are not. They are from another century.
Archie: And what century would that be?
Uzza: The 7th century. They consider Western civilization a mistake that must be rectified by a return to what they consider the good old days when Muhammad and what he said was the Will of God was the law, the only law, the Sharia. You let in those for whom the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, reason itself is a blasphemy.
Archie: That explains a lot; the craziness, I mean.
Uzza: You let in those who did not come seeking our way of life but to change it thinking you would change them, and Muslims who came here to escape the shackles of the Sharia are paying the price of your arrogance, a price you will all have to pay sooner rather than later.
Archie: I’m paying right now.
Uzza: You welcomed this Islamic population into my grandfather's adopted country, you fed them, you housed them, you gave them benefits that others had worked for, you bent over backwards to appease them, you forced everyone to tolerate them, and you encouraged their religion to thrive.
Archie: We did that, alright. Maybe we’re the crazy ones.
Uzza: You gave them economics opportunities not available to more upstanding citizens which allowed them to fund what my father warned was a hidden agenda. They lied to you, they told you they were peaceful and wanted nothing else but to be fine, upstanding citizens and abide by your laws. They accepted your food, your housing, your benefits, your kindness but they never accepted your culture which they viewed as weak and immoral, nor your beliefs which they equated as being anti-Islam. They now secretly hide and protect the bombers and beheaders within their communities, the so-called Islamic Municipalities into which the authorities dare not venture. They grew strong on your misplaced generosity and tolerance. One day in the not-too-distant future they will receive the call, in Arabic, from the Muslim hate preachers of the mosques you have so generously allowed them to build so they can preach their Islamic bile and rise up and finish what you started when you let them in.
Gerry: Isn’t that what spurred the Far Right’s attack on mosques, these type of accusations, that, and the proliferation of mosques which gave the paranoid reason to believe that their civilization was vulnerable from within.
Uzza: Until Québec and Christchurch, it was attacks by Sunnis on Shia and Sufis mosques that were all the rage. “All the rage,” that is the wrong expression.
Archie: No it isn’t. Rage and madmen go together like religion and massacres, and people who do this are usually mad for some god or some other twisted thing or another.
Uzza: Believers’ deplorable attacks on each other’s place of worship became so commonplace that they were no longer front page news.
Archie: Then a few non-Muslims started doing to Muslims what they had been doing to each other since I don’t know when and they became front page news, as if they started it all.
Gerry: It doesn’t matter who started it.
Uzza: No, it does not. But with Western civilization’s propensity to blame itself for everything bad that happens, with the help of self-serving, clueless politicians and a press that should have known better, you did it to yourself. You became, what do you say, a pushover. As French philosopher Jean-François Revel foresaw, “A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”
Bob: Are you saying that we should not feel guilty, that the believers were just reaping what they sowed?
Uzza: Sorrow at the loss of innocent lives at the hands of extremists, not guilt. And, what the believers reaped was what the Islamists among them have sought from the outset: retaliatory killings that would prove the Koran right about the unbelievers hating them. That it is us against them. We kill them or they kill us. This is the message that both Muslims and non-Muslims should have tried to dispel after mosques were attacked by non-Muslims. Instead, they did the work of the Islamists, one by taking too much responsibility for what happened, the other not enough or none at all.
Bob: What’s with all the mosques anyway?
Uzza: The obvious reason is because they are needed to cater to the spiritual needs of an explosion of believers. Another is to make it easier for every believer, wherever possible, to get the maximum reward points for their prayers, and that is a mosque close to where they live and work, a mosque close enough that the Call to Prayer can be heard. Two other non-trivial reasons for all the minarets has to do with Muhammad telling the believers that Allah will build a mosque in Paradise for anyone who builds one here and Allah telling the wealthy that spending money in His Cause buys them access to Paradise.
Bob: How does a mosque increase one’s reward points?
Uzza: When you see people rushing into the street to perform the obligatory prayers, it is not only because of the consequences of not praying at the decreed times and in the manner prescribed, but also for the increased reward points that come with praying with a crowd of worshippers. A mosque provides the perfect venue to do that without causing too much inconvenience. Before countries like France lifted their restrictions on mosque construction, parts of the city of Paris, for example, experienced serious traffic jams when the Friday Call to Prayer came with no mosque in the vicinity to run to.
Bob: This reward point system sounds a lot like what many stores offer.
Uzza: That is because it is not dissimilar.
Bob: How do you redeem your reward points?
Uzza: You will redeem your points on Judgment Day when they will be weighed against your points for bad behaviour. If your reward points outweigh your bad behaviour points then, you are in.
Bob: That would explain all the praying. You never know if you have accumulated enough points to get in.
Uzza: That, and the fact that not praying when you are supposed to is a sin. But the most important thing is that God’s point system, like the modern reward point system, but even more so, creates brand loyalty and brand awareness.
Archie: When a god, if you believe it was a god, with a religion to sell chose a salesman to get it done, He obviously knew what He was doing.
Uzza: Muhammad was not a salesman; he was a merchant!
Archie: Same diff!
Uzza: It was this inspired choice of a person who knew how to take advantage of humanity’s cupidity and fears that ensured Islam would be the success that it is today. Muhammad, before he discovered that he had been chosen to speak on God’s behalf and implement His agenda, was a merchant, a very successful merchant. He and his Mentor understood advertising before advertising as we know it was understood. They understood how you create brand loyalty and how you get your brand out there; from using women as billboards to houses of worship as imposing monuments to the awesomeness of your brand, visible from almost anywhere.
Bob: By billboards, you mean by the way they dress?
Archie: They even allowed these billboards in schools. Teachers are role models. My daughter the other day came home from school and asked if she could wear a mask like one of her teachers because good girls cover their face and hair in public.
Bob: NO THEY DON’T!
Archie: All this Islam in your face everywhere all of the time obviously drove some people nuts. It made them crazy enough to think that by shooting up people they would get the same response that the Islamic State got from flooding the internet with beheading videos: more recruits to the cause.
Uzza: If Western governments had been less accommodating of Islam, people might have been more accommodating of Islam, and terrorist attacks by Islamists would have remained our only worry.
Gerry: How’s that?
Uzza: Some people believe in the separation of Church and State as deeply as Islamists believe there should be no such distinction. Allowing Islam to blur this line by allowing it to market its ideology everywhere made people uneasy, and rightly so. If governments had held the line against a militant Islam which recognises no man-made boundaries to its expansion and jealously guarded the fragile exception that is Western civilization instead of caving in to bullies, there might have been fewer reasons for people to fear Islam.
Gerry: So you agree that Islamophobia is real.
Uzza: A fear of Islam is real, and it is not a phobia, as Islamists and their patsies would have you believe.
Gerry: By patsies, you mean politicians?
Uzza: And many well-meaning people who did not know any better. A fear of Islam is a legitimate fear. Fear is what non-believers who get close and personal with the Koran and Allah’s unrestrained visceral hatred and cruelty for their kind will experience, for that is the intent. It is a fear nourished and amplified by the Author’s demands of believers when it comes to dealing with those for whom He has nothing but absolute contempt: from avoiding them, to enslaving them, to killing them. Fear is what terrorism in the name of Allah is all about.
Archie: And all this time I thought it was love.
Uzza: Very funny. Instead of dealing with this fear in a forthright manner, Western governments preferred spreading the Islamic slander that a fear of Islam is an irrational fear, that of Islamophobia, or worse, racism, as if Islam was a race and not a religion.
Archie: They’re not crazy, you are!
Gerry: When you say the preachers who use the mosques as a cover will rise up, many having already done so, to encourage the believers to step up their attacks on unbelievers, at least you will be okay.
Uzza: NO, I WILL NOT BE OKAY! I, and those like me, like my father, will be the first to be butchered, for in the eyes of the Islamists we are heretics.
Gerry: I’m sorry to hear that.
Uzza: The appeasers and apologists who have helped them will be next to be put to the sword for Islamists will not trust people who have betrayed their own Christian culture.
Archie: Serves them right!
Uzza: Islamists cherish death more than life itself, especially in the pursuit of their aim to make the world one barbaric Islamic caliphate. Like they did during the Islamic State, they will make the SS look like the Salvation Army. Their alien, violent, intolerant 7th century cult will utterly destroy us because your stupidity knows no bounds. May your children and children's children forgive your utter suicidal folly.
Gerry: [breaking the silence that is the men's response to Uzza's cri de coeur] So that is what you meant when you said we let it happen.
Bob: [thinking that a joke that Uzza might appreciate might be in order] I got a joke for you. "What is the difference between a log and an unbeliever?"
Uzza: That is a variation of an old NAZI joke about Jews told by Islamists, which I do not care to hear.
Bob: [oblivious] A log does not scream and moan when you put it in the fire.
Archie: That’s nasty. What is the NAZI version?
Bob: You’ll have to ask Uzza.
Uzza: If you insist. The Islamist variation seem to have been inspired by a revelation by Allah where He brags about piling unbelievers like logs before casting them into Hell. Where the NAZIs got their inspiration I do not know, but in their version, Jews are compared to pies. The question asked is, "What is the difference between a Jew and a pie?"
Archie: Let me guess; a pie does not scream and moan when you put it in the oven. That is even nastier.
Gerry: Uzza, are you comparing Islamists to NAZIs?
Uzza: There are parallels between Islamists and NAZIs. They both have a book which proclaims a segment of humankind to be superior to the rest. In Mein Kampf it is the superior race; in the Koran it is the superior believers.
Bob: Which is worse?
Uzza: Both books offer similar recommendations as to what is to be done with inferiors; that they are to be killed or enslaved. The Koran, however, unlike Hitler’s book, offers a path to superiority and life. And, if not superiority, life for unbelievers whom it considers close in beliefs, the so-called People of the Book; Jews, Christians and an obscure sect call the Sabians. They have the option of not converting and not being murdered for their insolence if they pay the right-to-continue-breathing tax and do so humbly. Everyone else, it is convert or die!
Bob: The right-to-continue-breathing-tax. What the hell is that?
Uzza: I am being silly, it is called the Jizya. Most say it is the Verse of the Sword which was most responsible for Islam's quick conquest of much of the Middle East and North Africa following Muhammad's death. But, I say it is the Jizya verse. The Verse of the Sword with its call to be merciless with those who refuse to submit to the Will of Allah will lead to Islam's ultimate victory, but it is this revelation imposing a poll-tax on non-Muslims which will make it all possible.
Bob: That means, if it's in the Koran, it's a tax imposed by God. Why would God need money?
Uzza: That is funny, because that is what the Jews of Medina, who would be the first to have to pay the tax, told Muhammad when informed of this part of Allah's plan.
Bob: Wait a minute here. The Prophet lived among the Jews and he wanted to tax them for the benefit of the Muslims?
Uzza: It is a long story.
Johnny: I would love to hear it, but I have therapy early in the morning. I have to go. It was a pleasure meeting you, Uzza. Maybe we will get together again soon.
Uzza: I would like that.
Johnny: [heads for the exit] Goodbye all. See you tomorrow, Archie.
Archie: See ya, Johnny.
47:15 The likeness of the Garden which the God-fearing have been promised is this: rivers of water not stagnant, rivers of milk whose taste has not changed, rivers of wine delighting its drinkers and rivers of distilled honey. Therein they have every variety of fruit and forgiveness from their Lord too…
83:25 They are given to drink from a sealed wine; 83:26 Whose seal is musk…
16:67 And from the fruits of palms and vines, you get wine and fair provision. Surely, there is in that a sign to a people who understand.
2:219 They ask you about wine and gambling, say: “In both there is great sin and some benefit for people. But the sin is greater than the benefit.” And they ask you about what they should spend, say: “What you can spare.” Thus Allah makes clear to you His Revelations so that you may reflect.
5:90 O believers, wine, gambling, idols and divining arrows are an abomination of the Devil’s doing; so avoid them that perchance you may prosper! 5:91 The Devil only wishes to stir up enmity and hatred among you, through wine and gambling, and keep you away from remembering Allah and from prayer. Will you not desist, then?
 Muhammad extended Allah's prohibition of alcoholic beverages to the containers in which it was served, but had second thoughts about prohibiting jars altogether, except perhaps green jars.
Narrated Abdullah bin 'Amr:
When the Prophet forbade the use of certain containers (that were used for preparing alcoholic drinks), somebody said to the Prophet. "But not all the people can find skins." So he allowed them to use clay jars not covered with pitch.
I heard Abdullah bin Abi Aufa saying, "The Prophet forbade the use of green jars."
I said, "Shall we drink out of white jars?"
He said, "No."
Johnny: What about the Enlightenment, the philosophical movement of the 18th century that emphasized the use of reason to question accepted doctrines and traditions?
Muhammad: You call enlightened a movement that promoted so many misguided, so-called humanitarian reforms. This wicked Enlightenment philosophy was an invitation to question dogma, something the Prophet Muhammad, the peace and blessings of God be upon him, would have considered blasphemy, an affront to Allah The Lord Of Majesty and Bounty. This shallow philosophical movement, like others that came before and others that would follow, advanced notions that were not that much different than those put forward by these same second-rate Greek philosophers and their wrong-headed notion of human rights.
Johnny: Surely the Renaissance, which marked the end of the Catholic Church’s dominance in Europe, allowing for a flowering, a renaissance of the arts and sciences was a good thing?
Muhammad: The Renaissance, what a foolish mistake. Islam forbids all realistic representations of people or animals. The Prophet, the peace and blessings of God be upon him, said that on the day of Judgment, God will command people to put life into what they have fashioned. They won’t be able to do so and God will have a good laugh before condemning them to an eternity in His Hell for disobeying Him. The Renaissance encouraged all those painters and sculptors to create those graven images expressly forbidden by Allah, The Preventer. They even invented perspective to make those images stand out; adding insult to blasphemy. Need I say more?
Bernard Payeur, The Fractured Nation Interviews, 2010
 Dialogue beginning with "You welcome this Islamic population" adapted from a response by an individual who goes by the pseudonym Haïm Ittah to an Ottawa Citizen story about the Nice truck attack which killed 84 people including 10 children.
 "When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the government for our actions ... [they] did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology." Hassan Butt, The Observer, My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror, July 1, 2007
3:118 O believers, do not take as close friends other than your own people (other than your co-religionists); they will spare no effort to corrupt you and wish to see you suffer. Hatred has already been manifest in what they utter, but what their hearts conceal is greater still. We have made clear Our Signs to you if only you understand.
 You can do your own Adhan (Call to Prayer) if necessary, and don’t be afraid of annoying whoever or whatever may be in the vicinity by raising your voice, for you will need a witness on Judgment Day to testify that he, she or it heard you recite the Call to Prayer if you want to claim additional reward points.
Narrated Abdul Rahman:
Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri told my father, "I see you liking sheep and the wilderness. So whenever you are with your sheep or in the wilderness and you want to pronounce Adhan for the prayer raise your voice in doing so, for whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human being, a jinn or any other creature, will be a witness for you on the Day of Resurrection."
Abu Said added, "I heard it (this narration) from Allah's Apostle."
 Narrated Ubdaidullah Al-Khaulani:
I heard Uthman bin Affan saying, when people argued too much about his intention to reconstruct the mosque of Allah's Apostle, "You have talked too much. I heard the Prophet saying, 'Whoever built a mosque... Allah would build for him a similar place in Paradise.'"
 Wealth, who has it and what they do with it is very much a pre-occupation, almost an obsession of Allah and His Messenger. Wealth, like children, is a temptation: it’s better in the Hereafter.
8:28 And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation, and with Allah is a great reward.
Just being rich is reason enough for Allah to cause your complete destruction and to take it all away.
28:58 And how many a city We have destroyed that had grown prodigal in its living. There are its dwellings, left uninhabited after they were gone, except for a few. We became the inheritors.
Having the means to fund an extravagant lifestyle does not automatically make you a candidate for “a very painful punishment” if you use some of your good fortune to further Allah’s plan for world domination by, for example, funding mosques and madrassas around the world as the Saudis and Qatarians have done. Do that, and not only will He forgive all your sins and admit you into Paradise but also provide you with a fine dwelling therein, perhaps to go along with Muhammad’s promised mosque in the sky.
61:10 O believers, shall I show you a trade which will deliver you from a very painful punishment?
61:11 Believe in Allah and His Messenger and struggle in the Cause of Allah with your possessions (wealth) and yourselves. That is far better for you, if only you knew.
61:12 He will then forgive your sins and admit you into the Gardens, beneath which rivers flow, and into fine dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. That is the great triumph.
In any event, your wealth and your life were Allah’s all along because of a bargain He made with you, as He explains in a verse called the Salvific Covenant, i.e., do this for me and I will do this for you, save you, give you Paradise.
9:111 Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth in return for Paradise; they fight in the Way of Allah, kill and get killed. That is a true promise from Him in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an; and who fulfills his promise better than Allah? Rejoice then at the bargain you have made with Him; for that is the great triumph.
The promise of Paradise may not have been enough to get some of the wealthier contributors to freely finance Allah’s war against the unbelievers, compelling the Almighty to make, on five separate occasions, a request for money in the form of a loan that ostensibly will be repaid many times over during the lifetime of the lender − from war booty, one has to assume. And, as a bonus, the lender’s sin will be forgiven, meaning Paradise will be within reach.
2:244 Fight for the Cause of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
2:245 Who is it that will lend Allah a generous loan, so that He might multiply it for him manifold? Allah provides sparingly and generously, and to Him you shall be returned.
64:17 If you lend Allah a fair loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. Allah is All-Grateful, All-Clement;
Skeptics might argue that Allah’s revelations about the evil of interest on borrowed money may have had something to do with Muhammad wanting to renege on a promise made in haste when funds to finance a war he was waging on Allah’s behalf were in short supply. A modern variation on an old campaign:
I am writing to you on behalf of Canberra Islamic Centre (CIC) Executive Committee in the holy month of Ramadan to seek your financial support and prayer for ongoing Islamic project in our National Capital … Your donation is an investment in the path of Islam that will benefit to the Muslim generations in Canberra/Australia.
As mentioned in the Holy Qur'an (64.17) ‘If you lend Allah a fair loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. Allah is All Grateful, All Clement.’
 Narrated 'Abdullah bin Umar:
Allah's Apostle said, "The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone."
Medina and Mecca attract millions of believers every year, not only for the mandatory once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca, but to get the biggest reward of all for saying your prayer in a crowd of like-minded souls.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "One prayer in my Mosque (Medina) is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque excepting Al-Masjid-AI-Haram (the Grand Mosque of Mecca)."
In 2012, the Saudis began work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, where the Prophet Muhammad is buried. When completed it will not only be the largest mosque in the world, but the largest building, capable of accommodating 1.6 million ultimate-reward seekers.
 A number of options were considered to announce to the believers that it was again time to pray, before settling on the Adhan, i.e., the Call to Prayer.
Narrated Ibn Umar:
When the Muslims arrived at Medina, they used to assemble for the prayer, and used to guess the time for it. During those days, the practice of Adhan for the prayers had not been introduced yet. Once they discussed this problem regarding the call for prayer. Some people suggested the use of a bell like the Christians, others proposed a trumpet like the horn used by the Jews, but Umar was the first to suggest that a man should call (the people) for the prayer; so Allah's Apostle ordered Bilal to get up and pronounce the Adhan for prayers.
 Islamic scholar Tarek Ramadan understood this only too well when he exhorted believing women to invade the public space dressed in traditional Islamic garbs as a part of a campaign to swamp the West with advertising for the Islamic way of life. It was Tariq Ramadan's mother, Wafa al-Banna, the daughter of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who instructed her son in the Salafist theology which guides the actions of Islamic State, and which her son would see propagated worldwide, assisted by the non-threatening example of females on parade to conceal the encroachment on the secular of an intolerant brutal ideology.
 "After centuries of strife, the West has learned to separate religion and politics – to establish the legitimacy of its leaders without referring to divine command. There is little reason to expect the rest of the world – the Islamic world in particular – will follow. We in the West find it incomprehensible that theological ideas still inflame the minds of men, stirring up messianic passions that can leave societies in ruin. We had assumed that this was no longer possible, that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones, that political theology died in 16th-century Europe. We were wrong. It's we who are the fragile exception." The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West (2007), Mark Lilla, professor of the humanities at Columbia University
 Dialogue beginning with "The appeasers and apologists" also adapted from a response by an individual who goes by the pseudonym Haïm Ittah to an Ottawa Citizen story about the Nice truck attack which killed 84 people including 10 children.
8:37 So that Allah might separate the foul from the fair and place the foul, one upon the other, piling them up all together and casting them into Hell. Those are truly the losers.
2:62 The believers (Muslims), the Jews, the Christians and the Sabians – whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does what is good, shall receive their reward from their Lord. They shall have nothing to fear and they shall not grieve.
Revelation 2:62 is said to be abrogated by 3:85:
3:85 Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.
9:29 Fight those among the People of the Book who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day, do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden and do not profess the true religion, till they pay the poll-tax out of hand and submissively.
 The “Verse of the Sword”, verse 9:5 is said to supersede all other verses on the subject of war and peace.
9:5 Then, when the Sacred Months (these are the four months during which war was prohibited in pre-Islamic times) are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, take them [as captives], besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every point of observation. If they repent afterwards, perform the prayer and pay the alms then release them. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Merciful.
As David Cook, author of Understanding Jihad explains: “while its immediate subject (verse 9:5) is the Pagan Arabs—a narrow application sustained by early commentators—later Muslim jurists would use the verse to proclaim a universal jihad against all non-Muslims.”