4.3 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 considered 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 were stationed in the Hejaz to thwart any attempt by Sadam Husain to invade Saudi Arabia.
Archie: For saving the Muslim Holy Land from being overrun by Iraqi troops, bin Laden slaughtered thousands of Americans.
Uzza: Before saving the Saudi Princes, the United States should have demanded they stop promoting their hate-filled supremacist, anti-semitic Wahhabi theology spending billions of dollars a year on mosques and madrassas around the world that must closely adhere to Wahhabi teachings.
Gerry: Unless they need them to defend them, the House of Saud, and its 4,000 plus princes are not welcoming to Christians, unlike in Iraq where 250,000 found a home until that ill-fated invasion.
Bob: What is Wahhabism?
Uzza: “Wahhabi theology sees the world in white and black categories—Muslim and non-Muslim, belief and unbelief, the realm of Islam and that of warfare.” They even regard Muslims who do not agree with them as unbelievers who must be eradicated. Wahhabi theology demands a non-stop active campaign to make Islam triumphant everywhere.
Bob: What you’re saying is that Saudi Arabia is at war with us.
Uzza: The United States had a great opportunity to take the fight to an intractable enemy of Western Civilization with much of the world cheering it on after 9/11 when it was revealed that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Citizens raised on Wahhabi hate. Instead, not only did they spirit the Saudi princes who were in the country at time out of the United States on private jets to avoid them becoming the targets of an understandably enraged population and perhaps even the Justice Department 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, Korea, instead of Japan, after Pearl Harbour.
Uzza: They had an oilman as a President with little appreciation of the perfidy of the Saudis. That may have had something to do with it. He allowed them to continue spreading the good news even if that good news was responsible for the horrible death of thousand of American men, women and children.
Bob: What is this "good news" you keep referring to?
Uzza: The Koran. Today, that is the Saudi sponsored translation which a respected scholar of the Book wrote “reads more like a supremacist Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian polemic”. The Saudi Koran concludes with evocatively capitalised denunciations squarely aimed at recruiting Christians in Allah's Cause, such as FINALITY OF PROOF ON THE FABRICATION OF THE STORY OF THE CROSS and BIBLICAL EVIDENCE OF JESUS BEING A SERVANT OF GOD AND HAVING NO SHARE IN DIVINITY. Imagine if every bible contained a gratuitous denunciation of Muhammad’s Prophethood, the hell that would result.
Bob: Why can they do that?
Archie: You mean calling Jesus a fraud to our face and we can’t stop them; or return the favour and accuse Muhammad of being a con man.
Bob: I guess, that’s what I mean.
Archie: Because Islam is a religion whose folllowers will kill you if you do.
Uzza: There is some truth to that I hate to admit, but first, I'll say it again, you would need to read the bloody book to understand what has been written about Judeo-Christian scriptures before raising the fuss that, yes, could get you killed.
Archie: What you said about the Saudi Koran being like, Muslims are the greatest you’re all scum; isn’t that what you said about Wahhabism.
Uzza: That is not quite what I said. Oh, what’s the point! To answer your question about Wahhabism, Wahhabism is a reflection of a literal interpretation of the Koran.
Archie: Is there any other?
Uzza: Not for dedicated Sunnis or Shias. The Saudi translation of the good news is available to anyone free of charge and is the book that Saudi-subsidized mosques and madrassas worldwide are expected to use, making it the most widely read and quoted Koran on the planet.
Gerry: Are you saying the Koran used at the mosque next door is a Saudi Koran?
Uzza: If it’s a Sunni mosque, probably.
Gerry: That would explain the correlation between the establishment of a mosque and the rise of extremism within its vicinity.
Uzza: That correlation has never been proven.
Gerry: How can there not be a correlation when both the preacher and the congregation are a captive of the Book.
Uzza: The Iman leading a congregation in prayer must confine himself to verses from the Koran; but, in his sermon, he is free to quote Muhammad or anyone else for that matter.
Archie: Sure, quote the guy who said he owed his success to terrorism, that won’t give people ideas.
Uzza: Muhammad said other things.
Bob: Good news and Koran in the same sentence; that doesn’t sound right.
Uzza: It does to Islamists. They 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 topple their governments to deliver the good news.
Archie: Good news, only if you bought into the message and your neighbour didn't, then you improved 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.
Gerry: That would mean the Muslims, with their concept of a Holy War, actually invented the Crusade?
Bob: That would also mean 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, 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 am 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 is 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 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.
Archie: And you kill the other guy to get at his wives and daughters and whatever. Got it.
Gerry: What does any of this have to do with "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 with Islam is the continuation of an old war.
Uzza: Yes, and 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, to submit or else.
Gerry: Do we have a copy of such a momentous letter?
Uzza: 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: 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: Did it work, the threat and the promise of riches that is?
Uzza: No. The intimidating letters did not have the desired effect and Muhammad and his successors made good on the threat they contained. Within twenty short years after the Muhammad’s death, Muslim armies, during the period known as the Rashidun, the reign of the first four successors to Muhammad known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs, imposed Muslim rule on Persia − including modern day Iraq − Syria, Armenia, Egypt and most of North Africa.
Archie: 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, 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: 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: 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 in Hebrew and in Aramaic, the language associated with Jesus. 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 unthinking 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 him 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 henchman.
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: 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.