Links to Some Facts about
Muslims & Islam
by John Spritzler
February 19, 2016
The URL of this article for sharing it is https://www.pdrboston.org/facts-re-muslims-and-islam
[also related: What About the Mass Muslim Immigration of Refugees?]
[Watch this video of Mehdi Hasan, a Muslim intellectual, giving s speech in a debate at the Oxford Union titled "Islam Is A Peaceful Religion" and think what you would say if you were on the other side of the debate.]
Before you decide how to treat a Muslim person based only on the fact that he/she is a Muslim person, you might want to click on the links to videos and articles below, just as a reality check. Keep in mind that the mass media and politicians that are telling us about Muslims do not exactly have a reputation for being the most honest and trustworthy sources of information, do they?
First, a Basic Fact about Religion in General
Reza Aslan explains that atheists such as Sam Harris don't understand religion: "There is a fundamental misunderstanding among these critics of religion in that they believe, first and foremost, that people get their values, their morals from their scripture, when in reality the exact opposite is true. You bring your morals and your values to the scriptures; you don’t extract them from them. You learn that on day one of the study of religion — day one, that’s the first thing that you learn!"
Is Islam a Religion of War?
My copy of an English translation of the Quran reads (60:8): "As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, god does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. God loves the equitable."
My copy of the King James Bible reads (Exodus 22:20): "He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed."
A refutation of the "Islam is a religion of war" claim, by Mehdi Hasan in a debate at Oxford University.
70,000 Indian Muslim clerics issue fatwa against ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other terror groups. Clerics said the terror groups were 'not Islamic organisations' and said they were a threat to humanity.
New poll claims 89% of Arabs disapprove of Daesh
50 Million Muslims Start Peace Campaign and Openly Denounce ISIS
Muslims Are Standing Up To Extremism Far More Than Western Powers Have
Are All Terrorists Muslims? It’s Not Even Close
A Media Microscope on Islam-Linked Violence: Selective reporting misrepresents Muslims as prone to killing.
46 examples of Muslim outrage about Paris shooting that Fox News can’t seem to find, by Katie Halper
Muslims Around the World Rally Against Extremist Antics of Islamic State
Extremism Widely Rejected
Muslims around the world strongly reject violence in the name of Islam. Asked specifically about suicide bombing, clear majorities in most countries say such acts are rarely or never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies. In most countries where the question was asked, roughly three-quarters or more Muslims reject suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians. And in most countries, the prevailing view is that such acts are never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies. Yet there are some countries in which substantial minorities think violence against civilians is at least sometimes justified. This view is particularly widespread among Muslims in the Palestinian territories (40%), Afghanistan (39%), Egypt (29%) and Bangladesh (26%).
Who Should Be Blamed for Muslim Terrorism?
"Killing of innocent people has no place in Islam"
"Should We Blame Islam for Terrorism?" by David Shariatmadari
Does Islam Tell Muslims to Kill Christians?
Muslims hailed for protecting Christians during terror attack on Kenyan bus. Passengers donated headscarves to help prevent non-Muslims being targeted after al-Shabaab militants stormed a packed vehicle.
Pakistani Muslims build church for Christian neighbors
Does Islam Tell Muslims to Kill Jews?
The Muslim Nation that Saved Jews
Meet the Muslims who sacrificed themselves to save Jews and fight Nazis in World War II
JEWS get jumped and beaten, Muslim Saves Them
A prominent Muslim group just offered a reward to catch people targeting Jewish centers
What about Islam and Women?
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
(video, you need to wait for the ad to end) Reza Aslan discusses the relation between Islam and women: female genital mutilation and voting in particular.
This is an independent assessment of whether the claims made by Reza Aslan in the above video are true.
According to this source the prevalence of FGM in Eritrea is 94.5% and according to this source the population of Eritrea is 50% Christian and 48% Muslim. This implies that many non-Muslims are practicing FGM, i.e., that something other than Islam causes FGM even if something in Islam also provides support for it. "The prevalence [of FGM] varies with woman's religion, as well as by their ethnic group; FGM is prevalent in 99% of Muslim women, 89% of Catholics and 85% of Protestants. Eritrea outlawed all forms of female genital mutilation with Proclamation 158/2007 in March 2007. The law envisions a fine and imprisonment for anyone conducting or commissioning FGM."
In Niger, where the population is more than 94% Muslim, this source reports: "Advocacy and social mobilization interventions related to the fight against FGM/C [I think the C stands for "cutting" here] have led to:
The passing of a law banning FGM/C (2003). The law has been translated into all of Niger's local languages for wider distribution, and judges and police officers have received training.
The involvement of traditional and religious leaders--through their effective participation alongside technical staff in awareness-raising campaigns and in television and radio debates where they present Islam's position on the subject--as well as the involvement of young people, judges and social workers."
Due presumably to such efforts "the prevalence of FGM/C has fallen noticeably: from 5% in 1998 to 2.2% in 2006 among women aged 15-49." [same source as above]
Another source reports: "Female genital mutilation is present in Niger. According to 2006 survey, about 2% of Niger women have undergone FGM/C. In 1998, Niger reported a 4.5% prevalence rate. This survey data is potentially incorrect because, adjusted for age group, the women who claimed to have experienced FGM at the previous survey still are, albeit in a different age group. However, the 2006 survey implies more women had never experienced FGM than previously reported. The DHS surveyors claim the adoption of criminal legislation and fear of prosecution may explain why Niger women did not want to report having ever been circumcised. A WHO report estimates the prevalence rate of FGM in Niger to be 20%. Other sources, including a UNICEF 2009 report, claim FGM rates are high in Niger. A law banning FGM was passed in 2003 by the Niger government."
Note that the prevalence of FGM in Niger is, by any measure, very low, even though the population is more than 94% Muslim, which implies that the great majority of Muslim families were NOT practicing FGM, i.e., the great majority of Muslim families were refusing to act according to whatever words in the Koran may tell them to engage in FGM. Furthermore, if an overwhelmingly Muslim nation like Niger can pass a law in 2003 banning FGM, and if Muslims can engage there in helping to make the ban on FGM more effective by discussing the relation between Islam and FGM, it indicates that Islam, per se, is not the obstacle to eliminating FGM.
The fact that some Muslim nations, such as Indonesia, do have a very high prevalence of FGM certainly shows that being a Muslim nation does not prevent FGM, but--contrary to the "logic" of people like Bill Maher--it does not show that Islam is a cause (never mind the only cause) of FGM.
The fact that in Eritrea 89% of Catholics and 85% of Protestants practice FGM, whereas in Niger (94% Muslim) 80% (more according to some surveys) of the people do NOT practice FGM shows clearly that it is not at all true, as people such as Bill Maher assert, that the key to eliminating FGM is to persuade people to reject Islam as their religion.
History Has Been Made. Female Genital Mutilation Banned In Nigeria (also reported at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/29/outlawing-fgm-nigeria-hugely-important-precedent-say-campaigners )
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/02/fgm-happened-to-me-in-white-midwest-america?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other "'FGM happened to me in white, midwest America' A Christian doctor removed my clitoris when I was three years old as a ‘cure’ for masturbation, writes Renee Bergstrom"
Some facts about women and the vote in Muslim nations:
Women can vote in Iran, which is a Muslim theocracy.
Women can vote in Indonesia, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
Women vote in Palestine (Gaza and West Bank).
Women vote in Iraq.
Pakistan had a female prime minister, and women are legally allowed to vote (although powerful conservative Muslim men try to make it hard for them to do so.)
Women in Switzerland could not vote in federal elections until 1971.
Yes, there are Muslims who rape. But Islam is not the reason.
Muslims leaders want Muslim gang rapists prosecuted. "Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, condemned the crimes and called for the issue to be addressed without prejudice. 'No community or faith ever sanctions these evil crimes and to suggest that this is somehow ingrained in the community is deeply offensive.'"
Islamic Scholars Issue Fatwa Against 'Honour' Killings in Pakistan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIh_JfoaN9I These Muslim men are fighting domestic violence by building a safe house for women
Do Muslims Oppose Free Speech for Those Who Insult Muhammed?
Muslims are no more opposed to free speech than non-Muslims in the West. Most Muslims are fine with free speech for even enemies of Islam, as the actual response to the Danish cartoons insulting Muhammed demonstrates. Yes, everybody of course knows that the Supreme Leader of Iran issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, i.e., a call for a Muslim to kill Rushdie, after Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses. But as Reem Saied points out, "The book was on sale in Muslim countries for weeks and no one cared until a dying Ayatollah declared a 'fatwa' on Salman Rushdie for 'blasphemy'. The TRUTH was the Iranian Revolution was battered after the failed Iraq War, and the Islamic Govt of Iran needed a scapegoat to distract attention & "rally the faithful".
It's not as if freedom of speech has been honored all that much by the non-Muslim West. There are people in prison in Europe for the crime of merely expressing a disagreement with some aspect of the official Holocaust story. And in the United States one cannot pass out a leaflet critical of Zionism on the campus of Harvard University unless one gets prior permission beforehand, and this permission is typically denied unless the University discovers that it will be publicly shamed if it doesn't back down, as I discovered in 2004 and report here.
What about Islam and Sharia Law?
First, there Is No Such Thing as "Sharia Law" Any More Than There is Such a Thing as "Christian Law" or "Atheist Law." To the extent that "Sharia law" or "Islamic law" has any specific meaning at all, Muslims have widely varying views about it.
"Overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law (sharia) to be the official law of the land, according to a worldwide survey by the Pew Research Center. But many supporters of sharia say it should apply only to their country’s Muslim population. Moreover, Muslims are not equally comfortable with all aspects of sharia: While most favor using religious law in family and property disputes, fewer support the application of severe punishments – such as whippings or cutting off hands – in criminal cases. The survey also shows that Muslims differ widely in how they interpret certain aspects of sharia, including whether divorce and family planning are morally acceptable."
To put this in perspective, consider that the law in the United States is based on Biblical Law, specifically the Ten Commandments. Look at the place that the Ten Commandments has in the laws of the United States: The State of Texas erected a monument to the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds and the Supreme Court ruled it was indeed constitutional. Go here and read about the central role of the Ten Commandments (i.e., "laws given to Moses on the Mount") in U.S. laws; for example:
"The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days." - Harry S Truman, Feb. 15, 1950, Attorney General's Conference.
Now compare the role of the Ten Commandments in the United States with the role of Sharia in Muslim nations (described here) and one will see there is very little difference.
Furthermore, as shown here, the Koran and the Bible are quite similar with respect to the Ten Commandments; some of the differences, however, are quite interesting, such as the fact that:
"the Bible punishes to death anyone who (1) Profanes the Holy and Divine Name of GOD Almighty; (2) who breaks the Sabbath; (3) Who curses his any of his parents:
"And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:16)"
"Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Exodus 31:14)"
"And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:17)"
While Islam doesn't have Punishments of execution for the violations above, but the Noble Quran does make it quite clear that these violations, and many others, are grave sins, with the exception of the Sabbath, because we don't really have a Sabbath."
All of this suggests that the hysterical fear of Sharia by some people is quite unfounded unless they are equally hysterically afraid of the Ten Commandments.
What about Islam and Slavery?
Both the Bible's New Testament and the Koran have passages that endorse slavery. For example, in the Bible's New Testament, Ephesians 6-5 uses the word "bondservant" to mean "slave" (according to Biblia.com here) and says,
"Bondservants,1 obey your earthly masters2 with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, xas you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as ypeople-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 zknowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, awhether he is a bondservant3 or is free. 9"
According to this source, the Koran contains the following:
"And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing" Quran 24:32 (The Light) 
Very few Muslims or Christians today defend slavery, no matter what words appear in their scripture.
Is All "Muslim Terrorism" Actually Committed by Muslims?
Donald Trump recently accused G.W. Bush of having refused to take the warnings of an imminent 9/11 attack by Bin Laden seriously. The question is, why did he and his close circle refuse to take the warnings seriously? I think the answer can be gleaned from the behavior of Bush's Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, immediately after he whispered into G.W. Bush's ear that a second building had been struck by an airliner (this is on the famous video tape at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0rO3F6mZUaE starting at time point 1:07.)
Note that immediately after whispering the message, Card turns around and walks away, without waiting to hear what Bush would say to him. Think about this! The Chief of Staff of the nation's Commander in Chief has just told the Commander in Chief that the nation is under attack, and the Chief of Staff does not wait to hear what instructions the Commander in Chief gives him to respond! And the Chief of Staff is the #1 person who communicates from the President to others in the Executive chain of command, such as the Secretary of Defense. What could possibly explain this strange behavior of Andrew Card?
The most obvious explanation is that the message Card whispered into G.W. Bush's ear was that things are going according to plan. If this were the message there would be no need for Card to wait to hear from Bush what he (Card) should do. Can you think of a better explanation?
Likewise, if some of the 19 Muslims who are now accused of doing 9/11 (without, by the way, a single shred of evidence that would hold up in a court of law, as explained at http://www.newdemocracyworld.org/old/ Noevidence.pdf ) were being orchestrated by Bush et al as patsies to be blamed for 9/11, then Bush et al would not want these Muslims to be blocked or interfered with by zealous anti-terrorism employees of the government who were not "in the know," would they?
San Bernardino Shooting Story Shot Full of Holes, False Flag?
Third Eyewitness To San Bernardino Shooting Says It Wasn’t ‘Terror Couple’ Who Carried Out Attack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWrSdY0NWgg&feature=player_embedded San Bernardino eyewitness account: Chris Nwadike
This newspaper article reports the conflict between what eyewitnesses saw ("three white men" did the killing) and what the police assert (a Muslim couple did the killing), and then tries to dismiss the eyewitness accounts on the grounds that sometimes eyewitnesses get it wrong. The comments to this article below it are actually much better than the article itself!
Where are the eyewitnesses who saw what the police report--that the Muslim couple did the killing? These eyewitnesses--if they even exist--are not, as far as I can tell, in on-line media reportage.
San Bernardino victim's daughter exposes the false flag by mistake!
The U.S. Government Secretly Backs ISIS While Pretending to Fight It. Ordinary Muslims are ISIS's MAIN Victims & Making Americans Fear Muslims is the Main Purpose
In Just Under 4 Minutes, CBS News Anchor Explains How and Why the US Created ISIS
US ex-intelligence chief on ISIS rise: It was 'a willful Washington decision'
ISIS is a U.S. Intelligence tool designed to keep Americans fearful of Muslims
"ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies"--General Wesley Clark
"Exposed: French Military Caught Planning ISIS False Flag Attack"
"10 Signs that ISIS is a Scripted Psyop"
"Israel intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria"
"ISIS is a U.S.-Israeli Creation. Top Ten 'Indications'"
"ISIS’s Gruesome Muslim Death Toll: The group’s killing of Westerners gets attention. But ISIS has killed far more Muslims, and publicizing that fact would harm it more"
"Are most victims of terrorism Muslim?" (This reports the opinion of the Global Terrorism Database's Erin Miller: "So while she doubts that 95% of terrorism victims are Muslim, she thinks the truth might not be far off. 'It's not out of the realm of possibility, given the extreme concentration of attacks in majority-Muslim countries,' Miller says.")
"Muslims Hate ISIS Most of All: Before the Paris horror, ISIS was killing Muslims on a daily basis. We Muslims despise these crazy people more than anyone else does."
See Sibel Edmunds, in this video, give eyewitness testimony to the fact that the U.S. government is deliberately inserting ISIS individuals among the mainly innocent refugees (who are traumatized by these ISIS individuals) going into Europe via Greece, and also that the U.S. is deliberately making people go (as refugees) to Europe who would not otherwise do so.
What's the Best Way to Prevent Youths From Joining ISIS?
HOW TO PREVENT YOUTHS FROM JOINING ISIS (Hint: it's not by preaching "ISIS is bad; don't be a bad person.")
When Non-Muslims Commit Mass Murder Does it Ever Lead to Some Muslims Committing Mass Murder Too?
John Pilger describes, here, how Nixon's mass murder in Cambodia enabled Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to grow strong enough to commit mass murder, and how Bush and Obama's mass murder in Iraq has allowed ISIS to grow and commit its beheadings.
What about the Problem of Mass Muslim Migration Into Europe and America?
This article reports on the writing of Kelly Greenhill, an academic adviser to ruling class think tanks whose book, Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy, explains how the ruling class of one nation uses forced ("engineered") mass migration of refugees into another nation (the "host" nation) as a weapon to coerce the rulers of the host nation to do this or that. The coercion works best, Greenhill argues, when the population in the host nation is sharply divided into two opposed camps, one saying let the refugees in and the other saying keep them out. This division of the host population, according to Greenhill, creates a huge problem for the host nation leaders, especially if the host nation is a "liberal democracy" such as the United States in which the leaders must try to accommodate the desires of all the people in its population. To escape the dilemma of having to satisfy the two camps with opposing demands, the host rulers are inclined to accede to the demands of the rulers who have engineered the mass migration.
Greenhill's book is written for an elite ruling class audience, but it is also a book that can be read by anybody. For this reason some of the things Greenhill is communicating to her intended audience cannot be stated explicitly. A sharp example of this is the fact that Greenhill cannot "let the cat out of the bag," i.e., she cannot acknowledge the well-known fact ( also see here and here and here) that the United States is a dictatorship of the rich--an oligarchy or plutocracy to be precise. Instead she "plays the game" of pretending that the United States is a genuine democracy in which the rulers must do their best to accommodate the desires of all the people in the general population. It's as if she's winking to her elite readership.
Greenhill thus pretends that the only people who would ever want to create a sharp division of the population of a host nation, into a camp in favor and a camp opposed to the engineered mass migration, are the rulers of a different nation. She never so much as hints that the rulers of the host nation, itself, might want to divide-and-rule "their own" people. But surely Greenhill and her intended elite readers get the point, without her having to "spill the beans" to the other readers by making the point explicitly.
The ruling class of the United States uses divide-and-rule all the time, especially along racial lines, and it is not hard to see that it is using mass migration for the same purpose. Part of this strategy requires creating as much internal conflict as possible between those for and those opposed to allowing the immigrants (be they Mexicans or Muslims) to enter. The liberal "Let the Muslim refugees immigrate--its bigotry to keep them out" politicians and the ones like Donald "keep the Muslim refugees out" Trump are in cahoots; they are not real antagonists. The ruling class divide-and-rule strategy requires both a Donald Trump and a Hillary Clinton (and their equivalents in European nations) on opposite sides of the "ban all Muslims from entering" issue.
My Reply to Douglas Murray's Speech: "Europeans Have Been Let Down by Muslims & Islam"
In a speech given in Great Britain, Douglas Murray makes the following points:
#1. Muslims did 9/11, not Buddhists
#2. Muslims don't tolerate gays
#3. Muslims don't tolerate free speech
#4. Muslims call for a parallel legal system
#5. Muslims believe laws derive from revelation whereas the West believes laws derive from reason
#6. Muslims have no right not to be offended
#1 There is no evidence for this.
#2 This assertion does not distinguish Islam from Judaism and Christianity as far as their scriptures are concerned, nor does it distinguish Muslims from Jews and Christians, among all three groups of which there are people who don't tolerate gays and also people who do tolerate gays. Some Muslim nations such as "Albania, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone have signed a UN Declaration supporting LGBT rights. OIC member-states Mozambique and Albania provide LGBT rights protections in law in the form of non-discrimination laws, and discussions on legally recognizing same-sex marriage have been held in both countries. Kosovo as well as the (internationally not recognized) Muslim-majority Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also have anti-discrimination laws in place." [from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_in_Islam ].
#3. Some Muslims do tolerate, even advocate, free speech (read about some of them here) while many Europeans support the laws that ban speech that is critical of the official Holocaust story. France has made it illegal to demonstrate in support of Palestinians.
#4. Some Muslims do NOT call for a parallel system: American Muslims Don't Want Shariah, According To Study By University Of Windsor. On the other hand, some non-Muslims DO want a parallel legal system: Jews actually have a parallel legal system in places such as Brooklyn, New York. Jewish Beth Din courts have operated in this country [Great Britain] for centuries, used mainly by Orthodox Jews, and are recognised under the 1996 Act.
#5. Western laws derive from revelation (scripture) too: read about it here. (A U.S. Federal prison punishes prisoners with 30 days of solitary confinement if they masturbate when alone in their cell at night, and it is hard to see how this reflects reason and not revelation.) So-called "sharia law," by the way, is not a well-defined set of laws at all, as is evident from reading about it here, where it says, "Thus, it is difficult to speak of Sharia as a distinct or cohesive body of law" and where it shows that "sharia law" is often interpreted in extremely different ways to accommodate very different circumstances and concerns (just as the Ten Commandments are likewise interpreted in Western law in extremely different ways to accommodate very different circumstances and concerns.)
#6. See #3 above
The point is NOT that there are no bad things in Islam's Koran. (And nor is the point that there are no bad things in Christianity's Bible). The point is NOT that there are no bad Muslims. (And nor is the point that there are no bad Christians). The point is NOT that no Muslim is influenced by bad things in the Koran. (And nor is the point that there are no Christians influenced by bad things in the Bible.)
The point is that there are some good Muslims (many in fact) who are NOT so negatively influenced by the bad aspects of Islam as to be deserving of being called bad people, and who use the good aspects (such as the Golden Rule) of Islam to justify admirable behavior. For example, read about how Muslim leaders want Muslim gang rapists prosecuted. Likewise, there are some bad aspects of Christianity's Bible but there are good Christians (many in fact) who are NOT so negatively influenced by the bad aspects of Christianity's Bible as to be deserving of being called bad people, and who use the good aspects (such as the Golden Rule) of Christianity to justify admirable behavior.
It makes perfect sense to judge a person by his or her behavior. It does not, however, make sense to judge a person merely by his or her stated religion.