The Religion of Peace

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TROP is a non-partisan, fact-based site which examines the ideological threat that Islam poses to human dignity and freedom.








Jihad Report
Dec 02, 2017 -
Dec 08, 2017

Attacks 29
Killed 327
Injured 190
Suicide Blasts 2
Countries 10

The Religion of Peace

Jihad Report
November, 2017

Attacks 133
Killed 2013
Injured 1123
Suicide Blasts 23
Countries 20
List of Attacks

It's far easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different.

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List of Attacks

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2001 (Post 9/11)

Ahlam
What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?




Games Muslims Play

 Only a Muslim
Can Teach Islam


The Game:

Only Islamic scholars are qualified to teach Islam.  How can you learn Islam from a non-Muslim?

The Truth:

The Quran, Hadith and Sira paint a picture of Islam and the life of Muhammad that is unsavory to modern-age tastes.  Because of this, apologists of Islam prefer that non-Muslims "learn" about the religion from people who agree with it and can make it sound appealing by dismissing the bad parts while exaggerating (or inventing) the good.  Of course, they can't come out and say this.  What they say instead is that Islam can only by taught by Muslims. 

Much like the debunked ploy that the Quran can only be understood in Arabic, this is really just a cheap defensive strategy with bad logic.  There are no secrets in Islam.  If it can be taught, then it can be learned.  If it can be learned, then it can be taught by anyone who has learned it. 

Any serious student of a subject doesn't rely on mystics and high priests for  'interpretation'.  They want sources that are both knowledgeable and objective.  While an Islamic scholar is knowledgeable, they are not necessarily objective.  The average Muslim is neither. 

Belief and knowledge are not the same thing.  Consider some of the e-mail exchanges our editor has had with Muslims who object to this website (TROP):
Muslim #1:  If you were a Muslim, then you would know that it is against Islam to kill anyone.

TROP:   Really?  Because it says in Quran verse 5:33 that "the punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides."  Does that not sound like killing to you?

(No reply)


Muslim #2:
  If you were a Muslim, then you would know that the Quran says not to kill women and children.

TROP:  Where does it say that?

(No reply)


Muslim #3:
  If you were a Muslim, then you would know Muhammad never killed a woman.

TROP: All of the Sahih hadith compilers and early biographers say that Muhammad had women stoned to death for adultery.  Doesn't that count?

(No reply)


Muslim #4:
  If you were a Muslim, then you would know that terrorists can't be Muslim because a Muslim would never kill another Muslim.

TROP: What religion were the women that Muhammad had stoned to death?

(No reply)
Imagine how conversations like this would go if, instead of a knowledgeable critic, the Muslim "teacher" was "explaining Islam" to someone who believes that simply being Muslim makes one knowledgeable about it.  Even if the Muslim "teacher" were sincere (and our feeling is that most are) the gullible "student" would come away horribly misinformed about very critical matters. 

Most people in any religion know only what they are told, and rarely care to question, examine or expand on it.  The Muslim who says that "Islam means peace," for example, probably doesn't know that it really means "submission" and that there is a separate Arabic word for peace (salaam).  More to the point, they probably don't care if they are wrong and may even get argumentative and stubborn when told the truth.

This belies the larger problem with learning Islam from Muslims: objectivity.  A company's salesperson may know the product well, but they are probably not the best source for truthful information, particularly as it relates to critical flaws and shortcomings. 

Even a knowledgeable Muslim wants others to believe the best about Islam as they do, and has an interest in presenting the religion in the most flattering light.  Along with basic beliefs (ie. the Five Pillars) they may furnish simple clichés about violence and peace that sound pleasant but don't stand up well to truth (accounting for the brevity of some of our editor's e-mail conversations). 

As an example, a popular website called "Muhammad Fact Check" prominently state that one should "Discover what True Islam is directly from Muslims."  Right next to this, however, they claim that "during his lifetime, Muhammad is not known to have murdered anyone."  By this, they apparently assume that  apostates, consenting adults, gays, Jews and critics don't count, since these were among the hundreds of people Muhammad ordered put to death, according to Islam's own historians.

Let's use a saying of Muhammad as another example of how it isn't always wise to trust Muslim sources for truthful information about Islam:

Throughout the Internet, one finds this quote attributed to Muhammad: "A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand others are safe."  (Sometimes the provider will say "from whom people are safe"). 

The quote sounds good, but, unfortunately, it does not appear this way in the Sahih (authentic) Hadith, where it is recounted several times in slightly different formats.  Each verse actually states that the target of decent Muslim treatment aren't "people" in general but fellow Muslims in particular:  "A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe." 

This is more than a subtle difference, because it implies that non-Muslims are entitled to a different sort of treatment; otherwise, why not expand the target group to include everyone?

Muslims who promote the edited (or weak) version may or may not know the truth.  Somewhere along the way, however, did, yet decided to make it appear as if Muhamad was speaking of universal brotherhood instead of his own identity group.  They wanted to make Islam sound appealing to non-Muslims and more in line with the Judeo-Christian ethic by shading the truth.

In fact, disingenuous tactics like these characterize most of the 'sayings of Muhammad' found in basic Islamic propaganda, such as billboards and ads on public transportation.  These are usually weak hadith verses that have been rejected by past scholarship as authentic, or fragments from the Quran that are incomplete or 'slightly reworded' to project a different meaning than what is found in the full reading and context.

Of course, this doesn't mean that critics of Islam are immune from disingenuous tactics of their own.  However, religious people are often vested in a way that others are not, making them more apt to believe without evidence or even dismiss evidence a priori that is contrary to preferred conclusions.  After all, faith is considered a virtue in Islam, and those who don't "believe" are threatened with eternal torture. 

A truly objective Muslim would see the difference between what they want Islam to be and what it really is.  Instead of holding their hand over the parts they don't like, or trying to manufacture what isn't there out of bits and pieces, they would abandon Islam for a worldview that doesn't require such games - or they would abandon themselves to it (a process often called "radicalization")

In most Muslim countries, skepticism and doubt are dealt with crudely (as Muhammad dictated).  If you criticize Islam or leave the faith, Islamic law calls for your death.  While Muslims do not yet have the numbers to impose Sharia in the West, deception works well as a stand-in.  If Islam is important enough to kill for, then it can certainly be lied for - particularly to those who would otherwise be killed for not believing.  

Muslim apologetics is a game of deception.  It is a constant effort to creatively obscure what is straightforward about Islam and the life of Muhammad with half-truth and deception.  Sometimes this involves playing the credential card against critics, implying that truth is determined by having a PhD or "knowing Arabic," rather than by what the Quran, Hadith and Sira say (or don't say).

But, depth of knowledge and relevancy are not necessarily the same thing.  A physicist can explain why you can't walk on water, for example, but you really don't need his or her expertise to know that you can't.  The Islam critic who points out that 11 of the first 32 caliphs were murdered by fellow Muslims is providing truthful information that is far more salient to the issue of violence than is the believing scholar who can better tell you their names but doesn't mention their fate.
 
A skeptic seeks knowledge, not faith.  They don't outsource critical thinking to apologists and high priests.  They know that ideology and fact aren't determined by an opinion poll or what someone else says.  They go straight to the source.  In Islam, the source is the Quran, Hadith and Sira., Hadith and Sira.

Further Reading

Jihad Watch: Islam 101

Games Muslims Play Index

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