Islam: The Green Threat, or Green Saviour?
History of Hatred
The negative attitudes of the West have been deeply embedded into the Western psyche as a result of centuries of misunderstanding, propaganda and fear. These negative perceptions of Islam have been expressed through every possible medium available, whether through lit, folklore, education, printed material, sound and visual media, and domestic and foreign policies.
From the 12th Century onwards, the Church succeeded in portraying the Prophet as a deranged individual with only lust and power on his mind, and the Muslims as bloodthirsty Arab despots with women-laden harems. These images were deliberately propagated through their own distorted translations of the Qur'an, their sermons, and even through the writings of distinguished European poets and writers such as Dante, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Byron and Shelley, and Christian scholars like Ricoldus of Montecroce. It's no wonder, with such a gourmet of anti-Islamic cramming, that Islam was for many centuries viewed in such a distasteful way.
Within a century of the Prophets death, Islam had eliminated more than half of Christendom. This was a hard defeat to swallow, and successive attempts at quelling the Islamic tide have been tried for centuries. It wasn't until the eventual capture of the Ottoman empire, and the defragmentation of the Islamic Empire into disorganised, secular and dictatorial countries, that the West's appetite for harnessing Islam was satiated. Then the West, for a while in a history of 1400 years, turned its attention elsewhere, to the Red Threat. But now the spotlight is back on Islam, and in a big way. And here's the proof.
The most powerful tool in the hands of the West, the media, has been ruthless in its depiction of Islam.
Within the first couple of days after the Oklahoma bombing, the media was quick to indirectly point its finger at Muslim involvement, even without circumstantial evidence. This was not an isolated incident. The same fingers pointed at the same people after the TWA flight crash. Even with petty issues, the media is quick to point out the religious background of any Muslim accused of charges.
Hollywood too has taken to Islam-bashing. Their latest slander on Islam, "Tactical Combat", victimises the American troops stationed in the Gulf, ignoring the plight of the Iraqi Muslims. "Executive Decision," another recent addition to Hollywood's collection, portrays Chechen Muslims screaming "Allahu Akbar" whilst hijacking a plane. There is no mention of the Russian soldiers who gang-raped young Chechen girls. These movies are only the latest in a line of many, which includes "True Lies" (an Arnold Schwarzenegger flop), and "Delta Force."
Any Muslim attempt to counter such blatant Islamic phobias seems to be drowned out. Every documentary on Islam and its glorious past is matched with weeks of movies showing Muslims to be evil, selfish, and ready to do what it takes for some cash. A brief episode on the victims of the Serbian massacres, is matched by hundreds of episodes on 'Muslim' killings of innocent children in Algeria.
The classic way to distort the message of Islam is to change or distort its sources. Translations of the Qur'an made by non-Muslims still abound, with ridiculous meanings and footnotes attached. The first translation of the Qur'an into a Western language was done by Robert of Ketton in 1142. This work was commissioned by Peter the Venerable, a Christian abbot, who was often quoted as saying "I approach you [the Muslims] not with arms but with words; not with force but with reason; not in hatred but in love."1 Interestingly enough, he also released his work called "The Abominable Heresy or Sect of the Saracens."
Other translations included George Sale in 1734, followed by Rodwell in 1861, Palmer in 1880 and Wherry in 1882. Terms used by Western scholars such as Mohammedan only serve to further instill the wrong notions of the canons of Islam. Books of history studied in Universities are written by non-Muslim orientalists biased by their own religious persuasion. Even lecturers in Islamic studies are usually themselves non-Muslims with warped understandings of Islam, and contradictory to the beliefs of the majority of Muslims. A great number of universities in Australia, for example, are known to teach outrageous concepts that the Hijab is not compulsory but a cultural phenomena, interest is acceptable in transactions if it is variable, and many of the laws in Islam concerning women are cultural, or the result of Umar bin Khattab's (r.a.a) persuasion upon the Prophet (s.a.w). Using heavily biased authors in the curriculum who Muslim Scholars strongly disagree with and have refuted, such as Fatima Mernisi, is a sad reflection on the motives or ignorant qualities of academics in these institutions.
Even books written attempting to highlight the so-called contradictions of the Qur'an are deceptive and ridden with lies and quotes taken out of context. In his book "The Islamic Invasion: confronting the World's fastest growing religion2," Robert Morey extracts various verses from the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w) , then misquotes them to support his own crude motives. A Muslim reading such works would laugh at its unacademic merits and blatant deception. For a non-Muslim however, he could easily be ensnared by the arguments. Here are some of his 'proofs' against Islam, and the clear negation of his arguments:
He claims that the Prophet (s.a.w) was racist by calling black people 'raisin heads.' (p. 182). The Hadith however gives a totally different meaning! "Listen and obey (your chief) even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin were made your chief." [Bukhari]
He worshipped the Black Stone in the Ka'bah (p. 189), although the Prophet (s.a.w) has never mentioned the worship of anything other then Allah.
He ridicules the Prophet's (s.a.w) cleanliness, stating that he was so paranoid that he would wash himself after going to the toilet. Any civilised person would laugh at such an accusation!
He claims the Prophet (s.a.w) tried to commit suicide (p. 77). He doesn't give us any reference for this unknown event. It is only another of his forged attempts to ridicule Islam.
He tries to discredit the Qur'an by using the Bible as his source. How he can use the Bible which itself is riddled with contradictions is beyond me.
The US military machine, along with its European cronies, has never backed out of an opportunity to quell any Islamic resurgence, or even their right to defend their honour, land and religion. The classic example is the Bosnian war, where Muslims were not only barred from any form of international military assistance, but even totally restricted from arming and defending themselves. Any country which appears to be on the verge of representing the interest of Muslims and adopting the Qur'an as its law, is converged upon from all sides. When it was no longer in the interests of the Western Nations to support the Afghan Mujahideen, internal turmoil was instigated to spoil any hope Muslims had for an Islamic State, and stop any financial support, and Muslims on their return to their countries were arrested, tortured, imprisoned and even killed. The Pakistani government has been a willing agent in this vile role, passing along names and men to the respective Arab nations where they are instantly captured. Even a country like Saudi Arabia, which actively supported the Afghan Cause, is now in the stage of arresting anyone who had any connection with the Mujahideen. The US government is meanwhile doing its own dirty work of tainting the images of Muslims by providing logistical support to these countries, and setting-up Muslim leaders to disgrace the Muslim population. The imprisonment of Dr. Omar Abdul Rahman is a case in point, a blind cleric leader who was accused of the World Trade Centre bombing.
Causes for Alarm
What pushes The Washington Post to print articles stating that "Islamic Fundamentalism is an aggressive revolutionary movement as militant and violent as the Bolshevik, Fascist and Nazi movements of the past."3 What makes popular columnists scream out that there is an "urge to identify Islam as an inherently anti-democratic force that is America's new global enemy now that the cold war is over"4? Or cause Australian politician Graeme Campbell to declare that "I don't want the Islamic people in my country, and certainly not fund. If that makes me a racist, then I am a racist.5"
Apart from the incessant brainwashing that has gone on for centuries, the answer is more sinister than that. The US agenda is centered around the new Green Peril. US congress has already conducted several hearings on the global threat of Islamic fundamentalism6. Turkey has become a counter-surveilling force in Central Asia, US commitments have expanded in Saudi Arabia, Sudan has already been on the sanction list, and the socialist military dictatorship of Algeria was shored up.
Regional Powers : Need for US Support
Just as the Third World countries exploited the US's obsession with the Red Menace during the Cold War, the same behaviour is now being repeated by any country who could profit from the perceived Green Peril. The Gulf War gave countries like Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and India the opportunity to take advantage of the West's fear of Islamic Fundamentalism. Israel was able to draw away more US funds for its military apparatus, justify its attack on Iraq's nuclear installations, and whinge about its victimisation through continued live screenings of scuds landing on Tel Aviv. Turkey was quick to choke the flow of petroleum from the Iraqi pipelines, and gave full access to the US military aircraft from its Incirlik air base. In return, Turkey was seeking its dream of integrating with the European Community. Egypt was in need of US financial, military and intelligence support to keep its unpopular regime propped-up. It had $7 billion of its debt to the US wiped out and promises of playing a greater role in the security of the region. The Saudis were keen to keep their alliance with the US for its own internal security. India was interested in orienting itself with the West in the post Cold War era, and present itself as a countervailing force to the 'Islamic menace' in Asia and Pakistan.7
Muslim societies are finding themselves the targets of Western domination because of the world's most sacred reserve: oil. The control of oil and its supply route has been a central theme in most of today's wars, and one of the underlying reasons for the US interests in the Gulf. Any efforts by a country with a Muslim populace to secure their own oil resources has been faced with stern action by the West, in both military and propaganda form. This has been the case with Libya and Iraq. The sad result is that it's not the tyrant governments that are punished, but the general populace, who are branded as radicals, a 'threat to peace and stability,' and bombarded with trade sanctions or bombs and bullets.
The disparagement of Islam has been to a large extent the workings of Zionists. Its history stretches back to the time of the Prophet (s.a.w), the treaties they broke with him, the lies they issued concerning the character of the Prophet, and later even inventing their own Hadith. The turning point came about when, in 1901, a delegation of Jews offered the then Khalifah, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, money, weaponry and the payment of the State's debt in return for Palestine. His refusal set the Zionist ball rolling.
With the land of Palestine usurped, and its people thrown from their land, the Zionists have had to play dirty to win-over the hearts of the Western world. It's yearly monotonous mourning over the Holocaust is one of its ploys to turn the world's attention away from its own venomous history of massacres. Their infiltration into Hollywood, the Media and Congress has given the Zionist cause a vantage point from which to exploit its tactics of scare-mongering.
'Israel' continues to receive world sympathy, funding, and support at the expense of the blood, land and reputation of Muslims. With no scapegoat like Islam to justify its horrific record on human rights, the Zionists would be out on a limb. They need the Fundamentalism monster to build up on their nuclear arsenal, now that there is no Arab threat.
No matter how perverse this sounds, Islam sells. Spice up an explosion or hijacking with the hint that Muslim 'fundamentalists' are involved, and this becomes front cover news. Add a poor script and cheap effects with the notion that nuclear-brandishing Muslim radicals are out to establish world-wide harems, and you have a seller. Arm a political campaign with the slogan of fighting Islamic militancy, and you have a chance of being elected. The Bush administration used this ploy when they were experiencing the lowest presidency rating in the history of US politics, which soared after the Gulf War.
Salman Rushdie was able to sell a book which the critics themselves dumped. As Julian Samuel, a celebrated literary analyst puts it: "[ The Satanic Verses ] is a kind of refined and erudite compromise constructed for the soft folds of a safe and international literary aristocracy which sees at least one of its aims as the production of a literature heavy, dank and resonant with slickly manipulated surrealism, but with a great deal of it anchored in perfunctory riskless experimentation. Tragic." He continues, "The book is boring because the attempt to create diegetic density is fey and, often worse, unexperimental," and that "the book is lame, inconsequential; dramaturgically, it produces nothing memorable."8 In fact, Salman Rushdie had a line of dismally performing books. The only way the Satanic Verses sold was by enraging the Muslim communities sense of honour over their religion, which was only natural, and along with the media, turned his book from a weak story line laced with derogatory remarks on the honour of the Prophet and his wives, into a high-volume seller.
Nike was another company hoping to profit from Islam. Their issue in 1997 of Air Nike, with the Air written in a way resembling "Allah" in Arabic, was met with disgust and protests from the Muslim communities. In America they were eventually withdrawn, although in Australia they continue to be sold, and Nike Australia has ignored repeated pleas for the removal of this highly offensive product.
In America, Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser beer TV commercial in December 1994 featured a female actress with "Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim" written in Arabic across her chest on a revealing tank top outfit.
Islam has always served as a useful marketing instrument. It worked during the Crusades, to unify an extremely fragmented and fragile State and religious system. It allowed the Church to once again exert some control over its masses, and justified its exorbitant taxes.
The loss of the Islamic dignity has come about through the loss of the Khilafah, for it was the Khalifah who threatened to send an army of men whose length would reach between Baghdad and the doors of Rome if a single Muslim woman was not freed from the hands of the Roman army. Even during the last days of Sultan Abdul Hameed's reign, he did not waver in his defense of Islam. A play based on the writings of Voltaire was being staged in France and Britain titled "Mohammad or Fanaticism", deriding the character of the Prophet (s.a.w) through the Zayd/Zainab issue. When the Khalifah was informed of the play, his ambassador to France warned the government of the serious political repercussions which would follow if it was continued. France promptly stopped the play, so the group went to England. When the same warning was issued to England, the reply was that the tickets were sold out, and banning the play would be an infringement on the freedom of its citizens. So the following edict was issued by the Sultan, saying in no unclear terms:
"I will issue an edict to the Islamic Ummah declaring that Britain is attacking and insulting our Prophet. I will declare Jihad..."
Upon receiving this ultimatum, the claim for freedom of speech was forgotten, and the performance quickly stopped. This may be the only solution Muslims have ever had, with hindsight as testimony.
A Threat to Christianity and Western Lifestyle
Islam is now the fastest growing religion in the world. Its followers, unlike the media would like to portray them, are not converting out of poverty or force. Rather, they come from a variety of nations, status, financial sp, and educational attainments. And there is nothing, even after years and centuries of brainwashing, to suggest that this trend will stop or even decelerate. With more barren churches being sold off, and usually bought by Muslims to be converted into Mosques, the more hatred and fear becomes apparent. The evangelistic movements in Africa are being thwarted by the works of Muslim charity organisations and the appearance of Mujahideen groups. The flawed nature of Christian doctrines are now memorised by many Muslims (thanks to the likes of Ahmad Deedat), who are able to challenge any priest and leave him dumbfounded on the spot.
To protect their evangelical or lifestyle interests, the game has turned dirty. Several books, articles, videos, and conferences have been rolled out to try to discredit Islam, the character of the Prophet (s.a.w), Islamic history, or anything which identified itself with Islam. The sad part is all the deception and lies which has been attached to this.
On the other side of the same coin, Western nations are concerned over their current way of life. The governments enjoy their financial gains and positions of power. Large corporations which thrive on the misery of others would cease to exist if the population turned to Islam. Criminals fear Islam because of its punishment system. People involved in gambling, illicit sex, and alcohol hate Islam because Islam does not tolerate such vice in society. Politicians hate Islam because it would take away their power. The general population hate Islam because they've been only taught so.
That is why so many think-tanks have been set up. The Zionists for example have their "Freeman Centre for Strategic Studies", which rolls out numerous publications warning the general public about the Islamic menace.
That is why on January 26, 1995, Clinton issued an executive order asking Congress to approve wiretapping, expedite deportation, prohibit fund-raising, and allow sweeping conspiracy charges of suspected terrorists in the US.
The US House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, told a conference of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association that American military and intelligence officials must draft a strategy to fight the worldwide rise of Islam.
There is nothing to suggest that Islam, on a long-term basis, will be immune from the assaults of its enemies. The Muslims are still governed by tyrants, who act with injustice and in no way represent the tenants of Islam. Yet, the general mass still view these rulers as appropriate examples of Muslims, and the way Islam governs people.
Muslims are still copping abuse from everywhere. CBS's "Eye on America" report claimed that Chicago Muslims are drug dealers, insurance frauders, and gang-bangers. PBS's "Jihad in America", which was produced by Israeli agent Steven Emerson, claimed that all Islamic fundamentalists in America are potential terrorists. Reader's Digest, a well known and respected international periodical, slandered Islam and Muslims through a series of scandalous articles, including December 1993's "Terrorist Among Us," January 1994's "All in the Name of Islam", and January 1995's "Holy War Heads our Way."
During the Bosnian War, thousands of Muslim children were adopted by Christian families, who forced the children to adopt their religion. Even when the original family has tried to reclaim their children, the British courts have refused and assigned them to the permanent care of Western parents.
It is up to the Western nation to take a step towards understanding the religion of Islam in its entirety. As Hadar argues, Islamic Fundamentalism should not be considered "a disease that spreads willy-nilly to infect whole populations."9
A Green Saviour?
The media should reflect a more sincere approach in understanding what Islam stands for, the victimisation of the Muslim masses, and appreciate how Islam has played a pivotal role in the development of current civilisation. Instead of slandering the qualities of the Prophet (s.a.w), the West should realise the high moral standard he called for. They should realise that Islam ruled for 1400 years wherein Christians and Jews lived in safety and comfort. They weren't tortured for their beliefs as the Muslims were in Spain during the Spanish Inquisitions. They weren't thrown to the lions as happened in Rome with the Christians. They weren't thrown out of their houses and left in slums as happened in Palestine only 50 years ago. Even Christian Scholars cannot refute the fact that Christians and Jews were doing financially well and progressed in society, some even taking high-ranking administrative positions under Muslim rule.
The current Islamic resurgence is not a reaction to poverty as many would want you to believe, but an awakening to the reality that Islam offers the solution for today's afflictions. People are converting out of free will, and in droves. If Islam was a threat to the well-being of women, then you wouldn't have a conversion rate of 4 women to 1 man. If the Qur'an is truly full of contradictions, then at least one book would have been released with some solid evidence, without the need to resort to deceptive measures.
Islam has always been a solution to humanity, at the individual and group level. Islam guards the honour and rights of each sex. It solidly prohibits any factor which could harm anyone is society, and its laws don't change to accommodate any current trends, election prospects, or the whims of the leaders. Racial discrimination is something the West has only come to terms with in the late 60's, where in Australia, Aborigines were given the right to vote in 1967. Yet Islam gave all nationalities equal rights. Corruption, theft, deceit, fornication, sexual abuse, and disrespect to parents and elders are all not tolerated. Islam forbids discrimination in judging, and had a superior Justice system which the West is adopting progressively. No person is given favours, there are no concessions available from any leader, president, army official or police chief. Women have custody rights if it is considered preferable for the child. A person is considered innocent before proven guilty, and guilt needs to be firmly established.
The Economic and Administrative segment of Islam is also way ahead of Western standards. Whereas Islam has always prohibited anti-competitive behaviour in the market, it took 1300 years for the West to follow suit, with the Sherman Act in the US during the late 1800's, and the Trade Practices Act in Australia in the late 1970's. The current Welfare system in Australia was only introduced in the 1970's, and is continuously changing, usually in an adverse way for the recipients. Yet Umar bin Khattab, the second ruler after the Prophet (s.a.w), had introduced a more equal and supporting welfare system (when western societies were still grappling with the harsh serf system, a sort of slavery where only the land owner significantly profits). It reached a point where under Umar bin Abdul Aziz, there was no one who would accept money from the state due to their well-being. It's only a matter of time before the Islamic contracts begin to replace the current interest system, which has devastated numerous economies, most recently those of the Asian region.
Today's rulers are untouchables. They live in comfort, security, with pride, and do little for the people they are supposed to represent. Their wages exceed the minimum wage in Australia by at least 10 times, 50 if you include their perks. They live great distances from their people, and don't feel or experience their needs. With the best food, clothing, travel, and pension, they have it made. Yet the Prophet (s.a.w) would never fill his stomach, he would fast, eat just like others ate, if not worse, he traveled on a camel or horse, and would allow others to ride with him. His door was always open for anyone who needed help, and he felt shy to ask them to leave. If there was war, he fought along with his men. He didn't stand behind a desk and issue commands, and take credit for any victories. He did his own cooking, mending and shopping. He lived amongst the peo, to the extent that no one would recognise which person was the Prophet (s.a.w), and died amongst them. Even his successors took it upon themselves to imitate the characteristics of the Prophet (s.a.w). Abu Bakr died with so few possessions left behind, that his successor Umar bin Khattab said "you have left me with such a hard example to follow, O Abu Bakr." Umar bin Khattab would wander the streets at night in search of anyone in need, or who was being oppressed or was not given his or her rights under the Islamic State.
If the people are happy with the way things are, and fear a leader with the qualities as the Prophet (s.a.w) or his successors, then it is clear why Islam is a Peril for them. If they want a leader like the above, then it only baffles the mind as to why they fear Islam, and the adherents to its tenants.
As for Muslims, our task is a hard and uphill battle. On an individual level, we should always seek to maintain the highest caliber of character and morality. On a society level, we should continue to provide pure and easily accessible material on Islam, through any media channel available. If we see a wrong being committed, our duty is to correct that wrong, no matter the consequences. With the demise of the Khilafah, this role is now even harder. For non-Muslims, they cannot see Islam and its vibrant system in action on a large scale. They cannot compare its superiority with other models because it is not being implemented. Only the return of the Khilafah could put a significant dent into the anti-Islam movement, and raise awareness to the world community on what Islam stands for.
1 Moorish Spain, Richard Fletcher, 1992, pp 155-156.
[This article was published in the 24th issue of Nida'ul Islam magazine ( http://www.islam.org.au ), July - August 1998]