Delegitimizing Judeo-Christian Civilization (GateStone Institute) by Lawrence A. Franklin 10/08/13)
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The Koran and the Hadith both testify to the supposed deceit of the
Jewish leaders, who allegedly hid the truth about Islam from their
followers. According to the claim, if it were not for the ambition
and disingenuous nature of these leaders, Islam would have been
accepted by the mass of the Christian and Jewish faithful.
To many Muslims, we are lesser beings. To many Muslims, we have fewer
rights; we are benighted, ignorant of the truth; we live willfully in
the dark and therefore the light must be forced upon us. If we
object, we will be moved aside, supplanted, replaced. Whether we
resist or submit, many say that the inevitable will happen: the
planet will be Islamicized.
Many Muslims seem to be certain this will be so; they say this is
Allah´s will. A lack of resolve and fear of death are not among their
weaknesses. They are true believers.
It is from this perspective that we, who are not Muslims, must
educate our fellow citizens about what appears to be a serious
challenge to our civilization.
The motive in the theology of our would-be successors resides in the
very first Sura [chapter] of the Koran. This brief chapter is called
Fatihah [The Opening]. Many non-Muslims interested in religious
harmony only quote certain lines of the Sura, while unwittingly or
disingenuously ignoring others.
(You are) the Only Owner (Judge) of the Day of Resurrection
You (alone) we worship and
You (alone) we ask for help
Guide us on the Straight Path
Some non-Muslim commentators on the Koran suggest that these verses
are indicative of Islam´s support for religious pluralism; that they
underscore the monotheistic commonality of Islam with Christianity
and Judaism. These apologists of a supposedly well-intentioned Koran
often speak of the three-fold blossoming of the Abrahamic tree. From
this common root, they insist, a framework for peaceful coexistence
can be built.
The intent of Fatihah, however, appears quite the opposite. Many
casual readers of the Koran are seduced by the initial approach to
the Divinity in Fatihah. Nevertheless, the final few lines -- "You
[Allah] alone" -- are exclusionary, presumptive of God´s displeasure
with both Christians and Jews.
Unfortunately, the truth sometimes demands more intellectual rigor
than many theologians seem willing to apply; they often fail to grasp
the relentless commitment of those who would supplant us.
The very next verse demonstrates the superficial nature of the
assumption that Islam is a religion of peace:
The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace
(not the way) of those who have earned Your Anger
Nor of those who went astray.
Al-Bukhari, the most respected of all gatherers of the "Hadith" [the
words and acts of Muhammad] asserts that in one verse, when Adi bin
Hatim, one of the Siddiqun, asked a question of the Messenger
[Muhammad] -- To whom was Allah referring "by those who earned Your
Anger"? -- Muhammad replied, "They are the Jews." Bin Hatim then
asked, "[What] of those who went astray"? Muhammad replied, "The
Christians are the ones who went astray."
Jihadists and their extremist ideological allies are challenging the
legitimacy of Western civilization in a multi-vectored assault. The
theological basis of this attack, on Jew and Christian alike, is that
both rejected the revelations of Allah. The Koran, and revered Muslim
collectors of Hadith, contend that turning away from the seal of
prophecy, the final revelation from Allah, is a grave offense. But
because both Jews and Christians are "People of the Book," they are
permitted to exist in an Islamic world -- but doomed to second-class
citizenship, a tolerated dhimmi status.
Muslim scholars assert that the Hebrews, once Allah´s "Chosen
People," squandered that privilege: Allah in the Koran accuses the
Jews of having becoming a people "failing in righteous deeds" – a
theme often elaborated upon by Muslim imams. These clerics argue that
the Jews "maintained the letter of the revelatory doctrine but
emptied their faith of its spirit." This accusation indicts the Jews
for having hypocritically maintained meticulous adherence to the
outward appearances of religion while leading "immoral" inner lives.
For instance, the Jews would assiduously adhere to dietary laws while
leading a life of debauchery -- as if many people from every religion
do not also do just that.
Muslim religious scholars have pilloried Christians, for having
committed the unforgivable sin of "shirk" [ascribing partners to God:
the sin of polytheism], By elevating the prophet Jesus to the Godhead
and by claiming Christ´s Son-ship with the Father, they believe that
Christians have diluted the monotheistic essence of their faith.
At least one prominent Muslim jurisprudent blames St. Paul for
introducing the unpardonable sin of shirk into Christianity.
According to this strand of criticism, Paul ultimately seems to have
decided that, as the Jews were not willing to accept Christ as the
Messiah, to introduce the concept of the Son-ship of Jesus to the
Father, to make Christianity more appealing at least to the pagans of
Asia Minor, who worshipped many gods.
Moreover, Muslims also contrast their belief in "Tawhid" [the
absolute unity of the Godhead], to Christianity´s doctrine of the
To many Muslims, Christians are collectively guilty of "ash-shirk al-
akbar," the most severe form of shirk, for placing a false god
[Jesus] as equal to Allah.
Additionally, Christians are criticized for offering prayer
invocations to Saints and the mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin
Maryam. This also is the greatest shirk, in that it attributes to
others a divinity which only Allah can possess.
Another Islamist plane of attack upon Western civilization is that it
has become bereft of faith. Churches -- Catholic and Protestant -- in
Western Europe, have, since the conclusion of World War II, suffered
a sorry decline in weekly service attendance. In contrast, sizeable
mosques are being built in many of Europe´s larger cities; mosque
minarets compete with Church steeples in metropolitan skylines, and
the muezzin´s call for prayer seems to be heard more often than
cathedral bells. Moreover, many Muslims view the European Union´s
embrace of an atheistic, materialist lifestyle as indicative of moral
depravity. They cite post-Christian Europe´s celebration of liberty
as perverse pleasures; and its indifference to marital infidelity,
homosexuality, and abortion – as well as its negative population
growth -- as a sign that the star of Judeo-Christian civilization has
It is Islamic doctrine that Allah´s revelations to Muhammad are the
last of Allah´s [God´s] revelations to mankind. It logically follows,
therefore, that the "People of the Book," who also received
revelation from the Godhead, should align with the Koran: in the
Muslim mindset, all beliefs have been superseded by Allah´s most
recent and final revelation: the Koran as given to Muhammad.
This triumphal theme of theological supersession is present virtually
everywhere in Muslim discourse, and is the bedrock of Islam´s claim
that Judeo-Christian civilization is a historical anachronism. The
very first chapter of the Koran, "The Opening," is explicit that as
far as Allah is concerned, Judaism and Christianity are spent forces.
 For many Muslims, Judeo-Christian culture is in irretrievable
decline, awaiting a stiff wind to blow it off the historical stage.
Moreover, many of today´s radical Islamists and their terrorist
bedfellows quote medieval Muslim theologians to underscore their
belief in the moral bankruptcy of Western civilization. They often
employ the term "Westoxification" to describe the poisonous nature of
a terminally ill society´s potential negative impact upon Muslim
Islam´s Delegitimizing of Judaism
The denial of Judaism´s strength had its origins in Islam´s infancy.
The Koran and Hadith are rife with disdain for the Hebrew people. The
Koran is replete with denunciations of Jewish perfidy, betrayal,
hypocrisy, and intransigence. The high volume of anti-Jewish
invective is most likely the product of most Arabian Peninsula-based
Hebrew clans´ refusal to accept the Islamic faith. This embitterment
was punctuated by the "betrayal" of some Medina-based Jews, who, in
Mecca, aligned themselves with the enemies of Muhammad.
Several Jewish clans of Yathrib [Medina] had welcomed Muhammad and
his al-Mujahirun [emigrants] when they fled Mecca in 622 A.D. Some
Jews even converted to Islam.
Muhammad, however, appears to have become incensed when some of these
Jews reverted to Judaism. As this reversion was led by his former
confidant, Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, Muhammad may have taken
personally what might have looked to him like an act of betrayal.
The Prophet seemed to grow even more suspicious of the Jews after
entire clans apparently had second thoughts, and after a few of the
more prominent of Medina´s Jewish clans deserted him during the
Battle of Uhud, one of the many conflicts the Muslims fought
against the Qureshi family, the ruling class of Mecca.
After Muhammad´s followers lost at Uhud, the Muslims vowed vengeance.
In time, they made good on this vow, especially on the Jewish clans
of Bani Qainuga, Bani Qurayza, and Bani al-Nadir. After a Muslim
victory over Mecca´s forces two years later, in May 627 A.D. at al-
Khandaq [The Trench], Muhammad had the opportunity for revenge
against the Jews. He offered the Banu Qainuga and al-Nadir conversion
or exile. Those who chose exile were dispatched to a place called
Khaybar, about 60 miles north of Medina (Yathrib). However, he was
not so generous towards Bani Qurayza, who openly fought against the
Muslims from Mecca. After the Muslim triumph at al-Khandaq, the
Prophet ordered the execution of all of the clan´s male members, then
sold all the women and children into slavery, except one. He took a
beautiful Jewish woman named Safiyyah for his wife.
When, however, the Jews of Khaybar were successful in their
agricultural enterprise amidst the richly-soiled oasis of Khaybar,
Muhammad withdrew his benevolence. He first demanded a periodic
tribute of the Khaybar harvest, but later, in 629 A.D., he
successfully laid siege to Jewish fortresses there. A subsequent
Caliph, Umar (634-644 A.D.), drove all the Jews from Arabia into
exile; they were dispersed, along with the remaining Christians of
Arabia, throughout the Levant and Mesopotamia.
Although this event took place over 1,500 years ago, Muslim youths,
demonstrating against Israeli policy in the Gaza in Dearborn,
Michigan, in December 2008, were chanting, "Kaibar, Kaibar ya Yahud,
jaish Muhammad saya´ud" ["O Jews, remember Khaybar, Muhammad´s army
Egyptian TV, as well, in July, 2013, sponsored a "historical" series
What must have seemed a mass act of apostasy by the Jews --
abandoning what Mohammed may have hoped would be their new religion --
is the subject of an entire Sura of the Koran, Al-Munafiqun [The
Awareness of the distant past and its impact on the present attitudes
of Islamist activists has often been a key ingredient in formulating
Muslim moral judgments. Again and again, the theme of theological
betrayal and apostasy is brought home. In Sura al-Imran, the Koran
speaks of special punishments that will be meted out for those who
once believed, then subsequently violated their oath to Allah by
having deserted the Islamic faith.
How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief
And after they bore witness that the Messenger (Muhammad) is true
And after clear ayat [proof] had been accepted by them.
The Koranic passage that apparently highlights the essence of the
theological divide between Judaism and Islam is the supposed
recounting of a conversation between Allah and the Jewish race
through the "Islamic" prophet Abraham. In it, Allah relates all the
wondrous deeds and ayats [signs] that he has bestowed upon the Jews,
only to be rejected by them.
After gathering from the Koran and the Hadith a plethora of anti-
Jewish passages -- old stereotypes, accusing the Jews of usury,
treason, treachery, covetousness and a collective superiority complex
in juxtaposition to all other peoples -- he emoted from the Koran:
These Jews believe as part of their religion that other peoples (are
destined to become) their slaves.
Muhammad had, roughly 1400 years ago, responded to perceived
Jewish "perfidy" with two other gestures of contempt: that Muslims
would no longer turn toward Jerusalem in prayer, but instead, the
Qibla; the direction of prayer, would henceforth be toward Mecca. The
eminent Muslim collector of Hadith, al-Bukhari, writes that the
Prophet changed the direction of prayer at a mosque in Kuba. A
conflicting commentary asserts that Muhammad switched the direction
away from Jerusalem at a service before the Arab "Banu Salima" clan.
Allegedly, the Prophet began his opening prayer facing Jerusalem and
finished it facing Mecca. From that point on, this mosque was
called "Masjid al-Qiblataya," the Mosque of the Two Qibla." The Koran
also addresses the Qibla issue:
The fools (Jews and Pagans) will say: What has turned them from their
Qibla? -- to which they were used to face in prayer -- Say to them
Muhammad that to Allah belongs both east and west. And He guides whom
He wills to a straight path. We shall turn you to a Qibla that
pleases you. So turn your face towards the direction of Masjid al-
Haram (in Mecca).
Muhammad issued a final condemnatory move against the Jewish nation
shortly before he died, when he supposedly dreamed of an Arabia free
of Jews -- "an infidel-free zone" on the peninsula -- a wish
extending to Christians as well. To this day, there are neither
synagogues nor churches in Saudi Arabia. While it is unlikely that
any Jews live in the al-Saud kingdom, there are millions of
Christians, almost all of whom live as guest workers, performing
menial duties for the native Arab population.
Islamic Deconstruction of Christianity
Although the Christians are spared much of the demonization that the
Koran, Hadith, and Islamic scholars have heaped upon the Jews, they
can take no comfort, however, as they also are collectively assigned
to obliteration in history for their unforgivable trespass against
Allah in raising Jesus to the Godhead and for rejecting the absolute
unity [tawhid] of Allah. After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, the
conquerors carved into copper plates attached to the east and south
gates of the Dome of the Rock:
The unity of God and the prophecy of Muhammad are true and the Son-
Ship of Jesus and the Trinity are false.
Caliph Abd al-Malik further underscored the message with:
The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is indeed a Messenger…but…
Stop talking about a Trinity. It is not fitting that God should beget
or father a child.
Muslims, based on Koranic passages, deny that Jesus was crucified,
and could not, therefore, have arisen from the dead. The Koran
claims another was substituted for Jesus; it was he who was
crucified. Koran scholars suggest that Allah would not have permitted
a great prophet such as Jesus to die in such an ignominious fashion.
Islamic commentary posits that Jesus did not want to die anyway, as
He had asked the Father "to let this cup pass." Moreover, they
attest, Jesus would never have challenged Allah by crying out from
the cross, "Why have you abandoned me?" Muslim believers, while
accepting that Jesus was a great prophet, insist that Christ himself
often acknowledged the Supremacy of Allah, by publicly and privately
praying to Him.
That assertion by Muslim scholars is based on Christ´s cry from the
Cross, "Eli, Eli Lama Sabachthani," Aramaic for "My God, My God Why
Have You Abandoned Me?"
Muslim theologians, however, have missed the meaning here of Christ´s
apparent expression of despair. Christ was quoting from the 22nd
Psalm, which opens with this phrase, but finishes with a
reaffirmation of faith and praise of God. Muslim commentators on the
life of Jesus also mistakenly, or willfully, misinterpret Christ´s
prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was here, when Christ, knowing
the pain that He is about to endure, prays: "Father if it be Your
will, let this cup pass from Me". But He adds, "Not My will but Thine
Thus, with the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Christ being
discredited, the essence of Christianity is emptied of its principal
and unique doctrine, and "the foundation (of Christianity) is
According to Muslim theologians, the theological dispute between
Christians and Muslims was settled in the first years of Islam´s
emergence. Reportedly, a delegation of Arab Christians journeyed from
Najran [Arabia] to the Prophet´s mosque in Medina. There they
remonstrated for several days with Muhammad over the divinity or
mortality of Jesus. The results were inconclusive, but the discussion
is offered as early proof of Islam´s providential protection in the
face of fierce opposition by the established order.
Further, the Koran and the Hadith both testify to the supposed deceit
of Jewish and Christian leaders who allegedly hid the truth about
Islam from their followers. According to the claim, if it were not
for the ambition and the disingenuous nature of these leaders, Islam
would have been accepted by the mass of the Christian and Jewish
The rabbis of Judaism and the monks/priests of Christianity are
condemned for leading their flocks astray and thus are responsible
for their followers acting like incontinent apes.
Consequently, the Koran, according to Islam, serves a "warning:" it
counsels both Jew and Christian that they are mistaken to put their
trust in their religious leaders to intercede for them in the hope of
assuaging Allah´s judgment on the day of Resurrection.
One additional proof of the Prophet´s attempt to convince Christian
leaders to accept Islam is Muhammad´s note to Heraclitus, the King of
Byzantium Sham. The Prophet urges Byzantium to accept the seal of
prophecy. He requests that the Orthodox Christians accept the truth
of Islam as the next natural revelation of the biblical God. Muslim
theologians even employ the Gospel of John to claim that Jesus
himself foretold the coming of Muhammad:
If you love Me keep My commandments.
And I will pray the Father and he shall give
You another Comforter that He may abide
With you forever.
The Holy Spirit´s coming, foretold by Jesus, therefore becomes not a
third personage of a triune God but the Prophet of Islam.
Islam´s moral condemnation of Judaism and Christianity seems to be
unequivocal and unchangeable, and the Muslim claim to theological
supersession of the other two branches of the "Abrahamic Tree" an
inextricable article of Islamic doctrine.
The withering away of the old religions is said to have been
preordained by Allah: yes, there can be temporary co-existence -- but
no lasting peace.
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin is a former Iran Desk Officer in the Office
of the Secretary of Defense and USAF Reserve Colonel Military Attaché
to the U.S. Embassy in Israel
 Koran, Sura 1 Al-Fatihah, Verse 4-6.
 Koran, Sura 1, Al-Fatihah, Verse 7.
 Siddiqun: those followers of the Prophet who were among the first
to accept Islam. (Sura 4/Verse 69 An-Nisa/the Women)
 Hadith, al-Jami of Abu Isa Muhammad ibn Isa Tirmidhi, aka Sahih
al-Tirmidhi, #44. Tirmidhi was one of Islam´s six gatherers of the
words and acts of the Prophet that are canonically approved by almost
all Islamic theologians.
 Chapter One of the Koran, (Sura al-Fatihah) "The Opening,"
implores Allah "to guide us [Muslims] along the straight path, the
way of those on whom you have bestowed your grace, not the way of
those who have earned your anger [the Jews] nor of those who went
astray [the Christians].
 The concept of "Westoxification" was popularized by mid-twentieth
century Iranian political philosopher and devout Shia Muslim, Jalal
al-e-Ahmed. The term in Persian, "gharbzadegi,"literally means "west-
struck," as in afflicted with a disease from the West.
 The Battle of Uhud was fought in 625 A.D. in a low mountainous
area west of Yathrib/Medina. Although the clash was inconclusive, it
was a psychological defeat for the Muslims: they sustained several
score of casualties, and Muhammad was wounded.
 Khaybar MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute): Khaybar
Television Mini-Series, March 14-May 13, 2013; "Actors Spewing
Hatred" Film Clip.
 Al-Munafiqun/The Hypocrites, Sura 63, Verse 8.
 Koran, Sura Al-Imran/The Family of Imran, Verse 86.
 Ibid. p. 190.
 Koran, Sura 2, al-Baqarah, "The Cow", Verse 145
 Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari, #390
 Interpretations of the Meaning of The Noble Koran Dr. Mohammad
Taqi-ud-Din and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Darussalam Publishers &
Distributors, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996, p.1261.
 Interpretations of the Meaning of The Noble Koran Dr. Mohammad
Taqi-ud-Din and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Darussalam Publishers &
Distributors, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996, p.1264.
 Koran, Sura 2, Verse 65, Al-Baqarah, "the Cow". See also: Koran,
Sura 7, al-A´raf (The Heights/Elevated Places), Verse 165-166. See
also: Koran, Sura 5, al-Ma´idah (The Table Spread/The Food), Verse
60. This last reference can apply also to Christian transgressors
who, when presented with the truth of Islam, still reject Allah and
his Koran. However, the largest share of the vitriol is reserved for
 Sham (Bilad el-Sham) was that territory in its most expansive
meaning includes the entirety of the Levant (today´s Syria, Lebanon,
Jordan, Israel and Palestine. More commonly, Sham refers to "Greater
 Gospel of John 14:15-16, The New Testament.
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