Statement by Ibn Warraq on the World Trade Center Atrocity
Republished: August 26, 2007
is the author of "Why I Am Not A Muslim"
stupefying enormity of the acts of barbarism of 11 September,
moral outrage is appropriate and justified, as are demands for
punishment. But a civilized society cannot permit blind attacks
on all those perceived as "Muslims" or Arabs. Not all
Muslims or all Arabs are terrorists. Nor are they implicated in
the horrendous events of Tuesday. Police protection for individual
Muslims, mosques and other institutions must be increased.
to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with Terrorist Tuesday
is to willfully ignore the obvious and to forever misinterpret
events. Without Islam the long-term strategy and individual acts
of violence by Osama bin Laden and his followers make little sense.
The West needs to understand them in order to be able to deal
with them and avoid past mistakes. We are confronted with Islamic
terrorists and must take seriously the Islamic component. Westerners
in general, and Americans in particular, do not understand the
passionate, religious, and anti-western convictions of Islamic
terrorists. These God-intoxicated fanatics blindly throw away
their lives in return for the Paradise of Seventy Two Virgins
offered Muslim martyrs killed in the Holy War against all infidels.
"a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission
of the Prophet Muhammad [the Prophet]. It is an incumbent religious
duty, established in the Qur'an and in the Traditions as a divine
institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing
Islam and repelling evil from Muslims".
is divided into two spheres, Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. The
latter, the Land of Warfare, is a country belonging to infidels,
which has not been subdued by Islam. Dar al-Harb becomes the Dar-al
Islam, the Land of Islam, upon the promulgation of the edicts
of Islam. Thus the totalitarian nature of Islam is nowhere more
apparent than in the concept Jihad, the Holy War, whose ultimate
aim is to conquer the entire world and submit it to the one true
faith, to the law of Allah. To Islam alone has been granted the
truth: there is no possibility of salvation outside it. Muslims
must fight and kill in the name of Allah.
We read (IX.
5-6):"Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you
may find them";
who believe fight in the cause of God";
"Say to the Infidels: if they desist from their unbelief,
what is now past shall be forgiven; but if they return to it,
they have already before them the doom of the ancients! Fight
then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be
all of it God's."
die fighting for the only true religion, Islam, will be amply
rewarded in the life to come:
those who fight in the cause of God who barter the life of this
world for that which is to come; for whoever fights on God's path,
whether he is killed or triumphs, We will give him a handsome
we make with these further unfortunate verses from the Qur'an:
to Non-believers-> IV.56
* Only Islam Acceptable-> III.85
* No friends from outsiders-> III.118
* No friends with Jews, christians-> V. 51
* No friends with non believers-> IV.144, III.28
* No friends with parents/siblings if not believers-> IX.23
* Fight non-believers-> IX.123
* Kill non-believers-> IV.89
* Anti Jewish verses-> V.82
* God a "plotter"-> VIII.30
* Killing Idolators-> IX.5
* Idolators are unclean just because they are idolator-> IX.28
* Forcing non-believers to pay tax-> IX.29
* The Torment of Hell-> XLIV.43-58
* All except Muslims/Jews/Christians/Sabeans will go to hell->
* Cast terror in the hearts, smite the neck and cut fingertips
of unbelievers-> VIII.12
* Smite the neck of unbelievers-> XLVII.4
* Severe Punishment for atheists-> X.4 ; V.10 ; V.86
* Severe Punishment for non-believers-> XXII.19-22 ; LXXII.23,
* Punishing non-believers of Hereafter-> XVII.10
* Punishing for rejecting faith-> III.91
* Non believers go to hell-> IV.140 ; VII.36
* Partial Believers go to hell too-> IV.150-1
* Sadistic punishments-> LVI.42-43
* Punishment for apostates-> XVI.106 ; III.86-88 ; III.90 ;
* Threat of punishement for not going to war-> IX.38-39, XLVIII.16
* God making someone more sinful so he can be punished more->
* Intentionally preventing unbelievers from knowing the truth->
VI.25 ; VI.110
* Intentionally preventing unbelievers from Understanding Quran->
* It is God who causes people to err and He punishes them for
* God could guide, if he chose to, but did not-> VI.35
* Intentionally misguiding those whom he pleases to-> XIV.4
* Willfully misguiding some-> XVI.93
* God causes human to err-> IV.143 ; VII.178
* God deceiving humans-> IV.142
It is surely
time for us who live in the West and enjoy freedom of expression
to examine unflinchingly and unapologetically the tenets of these
fanatics, including the Qur'an which divinely sanctions violence.
We should unapologetically examine the life of the Prophet, who
was not above political assassinations, and who was responsible
for the massacre of the Jews.
but you are confusing Islam with Islamic fundamentalism. The Real
Islam has nothing to do with violence," apologists of Islam
be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate. There is
no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism: at most
there is a difference of degree but not of kind. All the tenets
of Islamic fundamentalism are derived from the Qur'an, Sunna,
and the Hadith - Islamic fundamentalism is a totalitarian construct
derived by Muslim jurists from the fundamental and defining texts
of Islam. The fundamentalists, with greater logic and coherence
than so-called moderate or liberal Muslims, have made Islam the
basis of a radical utopian ideology that aims to replace capitalism
and democracy as the reigning world system. Islamism accounts
for the anti-American hatred to be found in places far from the
Arab-Israeli conflict, like Nigeria and Afghanistan, demonstrating
that the Middle East conflict cannot legitimately be used to explain
this phenomenon called Islamism. A Palestinian involved in the
WTC bombings would be seen as a martyr to the Palestinian cause,
but even more as a martyr to Islam.
Ah, but Islamic
fundamentalism is like any other kind of fundamentalism, one must
not demonize it. It is the result of political, social grievances.
It must be explained in terms of economics and not religion,"
continue the apologists of Islam.
enormous differences between Islamic fundamentalism and any other
kind of modern fundamentalism. It is true that Hindu, Jewish,
and Christian fundamentalists have been responsible for acts of
violence, but these have been confined to particular countries
and regions. Islamic fundamentalism has global aspirations: the
submission of the entire world to the all-embracing Shari'a, Islamic
Law, a fascist system of dictates designed to control every single
act of all individuals. Nor do Hindus or Jews seek to convert
the world to their religion. Christians do indulge in proselytism
but no longer use acts of violence or international terrorism
to achieve their aims.
treats non-believers as inferior beings who are expendable in
the drive to world hegemony. Islam justifies any means to achieve
the end of establishing an Islamic world.
recruit among Muslim populations, they appeal to Islamic religious
symbols, and they motivate their recruits with Islamic doctrine
derived from the Qur'an. Economic poverty alone cannot explain
the phenomenon of Islamism. Poverty in Brazil or Mexico has not
resulted in Christian fundamentalist acts of international terror.
Islamists are against what they see as western materialism itself.
Their choice is clear: Islam or jahiliyya. The latter term is
redefined to mean modern-style jahiliyya of modern, democratic,
industrialized societies of Europe and America, where man is under
the dominion of man rather than Allah. They totally reject the
values of the West, which they feel are poisoning Islamic culture.
So, it is not just a question of economics, but of an entirely
different worldview, which they wish to impose on the whole world.
Sayyid Qutb, the very influential Egyptian Muslim thinker, said
that "dominion should be reverted to Allah alone, namely
to Islam, that holistic system He conferred upon men. An all-out
offensive, a jihad, should be waged against modernity so that
this moral rearmament could take place. The ultimate objective
is to re-establish the Kingdom of Allah upon earth..."
It is surely
time for moderate Muslims to stand up and be counted. I should
like to see them do three things:
moderate Muslims should unequivocally denounce this barbarism,
should condemn it for what it is: the butchery of innocent people,
moderate Muslim citizens of the United States should proclaim
their Americanness, their patriotism, and their solidarity with
the families of the victims. They should show their pride in their
country by giving blood and other aid to victims and their families.
All moderate Muslims should take this opportunity to examine the
tenets of their faith; should look at the Qur'an, recognize its
role in the instigation of religious violence, and see it for
what it is, a problematical human document reflecting 7th or perhaps
8th Century values which the West has largely outgrown.
should not be too difficult for moderate Muslims to accept the
need to denounce the violence of Terrorist Tuesday, I am not at
all optimistic about their courage or willingness to proclaim
their love for their chosen country, the USA, or examine the Qur'an
Muslims are taught from an early age that their first allegiance
is to Islam. They are exhorted in sermons in mosques, and in books
by such Muslim intellectuals as Dr Siddiqui of the Muslim Institute
in London, that if the laws of the land conflict with any of the
tenets of Islam, then they must break the laws of the infidels,
and only follow the Law of God, the Shari'a, Islamic Law.
It is a remarkable
fact that at the time of the Gulf War, a high proportion of Muslims
living in the West supported Saddam Hussein. In the aftermath
of the WTC terror, it is now clear from reports in the media that
many Muslims, even those living in the West, see these acts of
barbarism as acts of heroism; they give their unequivocal support
to their hero, Osama bin Laden.
have shown themselves capable of scrutinizing their sacred text
rationally. Indeed any criticism of their religious tenets is
taken as an insult to their faith, for which so many Muslims seem
ready to kill (as in the Rushdie affair or the Taslima Nasreen
affair). Muslims seem to be unaware that the research of western
scholars concerning the existence of figures such as Abraham,
Isaac and Joseph or the authorship of the Pentateuch applies directly
to their belief system. Furthermore, it is surely totally irrational
to continue to believe that the Qur'an is the word of God when
the slightest amount of rational thought will reveal that the
Qur'an contains words and passages addressed to God (e.g. VI.104;
VI.114; XVII.1; XXVII.91; LXXXI.15-29; lxxxiv.16-19; etc.); or
that it is full of historical errors and inconsistencies.
other cultures, for other values than our own, is a hallmark of
a civilized society. But Multiculturalism is based on some fundamental
misconceptions. First, there is the erroneous and sentimental
belief that all cultures, deep down, have the same values; or,
at least, if different, are equally worthy of respect. But the
truth is that not all cultures have the same values, and not all
values are worthy of respect. There is nothing sacrosanct about
customs or cultural traditions: they can change under criticism.
After all, the secularist values of the West are not much more
than two hundred years old.
other values are destructive of our own cherished values, are
we not justified in fighting them both by intellectual means,
that is by reason and argument, and criticism, and by legal means,
by making sure the laws and constitution of the country are respected
by all? It becomes a duty to defend those values that we would
live by. But here western intellectuals have sadly failed in defending
western values, such as rationalism, social pluralism, human rights,
the rule of law, representative government, individualism (in
the sense that every individual counts, and no individual should
be sacrificed for some utopian future collective end), freedom
of expression, freedom of and from religion, the rights of minorities,
and so on..
the so-called experts on Islam in western universities, in the
media, in the churches and even in government bureaus have become
apologists for Islam. They bear some responsibility for creating
an atmosphere little short of intellectual terrorism where any
criticism of Islam is denounced as fascism, racism, or "orientalism."
They bear some responsibility for lulling the public into thinking
that "The Islamic Threat " is a myth. It is our duty
to fight this intellectual terrorism. It is our duty to defend
the values of liberal democracy.
that the U.S. government will not now act in such a way that more
innocent lives are lost, albeit on the other side of the globe.
One hopes that even now there is a legal way out in international
courts of law. The situation is far more delicate and complex
than a simple battle between good and evil, the solution is not
to beat hell out of all Arabs and Muslims but neither is it to
pretend that Islam had nothing to do with it, for that would be
to bury one's head in the Sands of Araby.