Thursday, August 28, 2008

THE ANTI-CALIPH - Heresy in Islam

. . . from:


Ibn 'Arabi, Inner Wisdom, and the Heretic Tradition

by Peter Lamborn Wilson


The Shariah bestows many privileges on the adult heterosexual male, but few on anyone else. Homosexuality for example is strictly forbidden. The devotees of Witness Play in theory remained chaste, arguing that desire for a boy was permitted even if sexual union were forbidden. Certain hadith seem to support this point of view; for instance it is said that those who love but remain chaste and die as a result of frustration, must be considered holy martyrs. Iraqi and Kermani believed also in the yogic or alchemical efficacy of chastity - but clearly from a psychological perspective their path must indeed have seemed a sort of martyrdom... and their poetry does contain elements of repression and melancholy.

Such poetry, however, often attains the opacity of code; moreover, many heretical texts have vanished. Did any mystic ever hit upon the idea of combining the Witness Game with the Qiyamat, the abrogation of the Shariah? Some dervishes boasted of enjoying far more than `glances', or even kisses. Why should they not have enjoyed a philosophy - a spiritual hermeneutics of sex - with which to understand their practice and construct their apologia?

Such a philosophy might of course interest all believers in sexual freedom, not merely a few mystical boy-lovers. If we combine Ibn 'Arabi's 'tantrik' teachings with the actual practice of the Witness Game (the yoga of music, poetry, dance, wine and love) under the sign of the Qiyamat, we arrive at a new valuation of all and every variety of sexuality - both as 'permissible voluptuousness' and as spiritual practice.

This valuation uproots all orthodox morality - but even from the usual modern `Sexual Liberation' standpoint it appears highly radical as well. Religious morality condemns non-ordinary sex as sinful and criminal, but vulgar materialism condemns sexuality itself to joyless commodification, the fetishization of desire, the proliferation of a pornography of violence and advertising. Without a `spiritual dimension', the sexual revolution can only betray itself into libertinage and other distortions.

The Anti-Caliph dares to assert that its new valuation of sexuality transcends both religious morality and vulgar materialism. It affirms the reality and centrality of physical love, and at the same time identifies this love with the highest form of spiritual experience. It frees every amorous individual from the myriad varieties of repression, whether chains of the Law or numbness of alienation. Its touchstone is joy, and the agreement of two sovereign monarchs to share it. Body and soul are one - the erotic constitutes the essence of spirituality.
the Anti-Caliph

Also see
and at tail-end of post

the Anti-Caliph

Monday, August 18, 2008

What was the the most effective response to political Islam in Ancient India?

Sikhism was the most effective response to political Islam because it created a group of neo-kshatriyas (those who bear arms) in order to protect the sanathan dharma!!*

*In Sanathan Dharma (Hinduism), the belief is Monotheism where there is one Supreme God who pervades everywhere in all the universes. He is worshipped by different names and different forms. Hinduism is the dominant religion of India, where over 85% of the population follow it. This religion is eternal and currently we are in our last era called Kaliyuga. This era continues for 432,000 years where we are approximately 5,500 years into. In whole there are 4 eras which total a lifetime of our universe, at the end of this the universe ends and the process of creating a new universe begins by Lord Swaminarayan himself. While everything ends the religions still lives on hence why it is called Sanathan Dharma meaning eternal religion. In Hinduism, there is only one Supreme God and within our Swaminarayan Sampraday (faith) we believe Lord Shri Swaminarayan is the Supreme Lord and He is the source of all the creations in this universe and other millions of universes.

. . . it was the vanquishing of the weakened group of kshatriyas that actually was responsible for the destruction of hindu civilization at the hands of momeen hordes. I must also add, that the sikh gurus realized this weakend link in hindu civilization and came up with a solution to end the weakened warrior castes ended with the sikh gurus asking every dwija** to become a kshatriya (one who bears arms) to fight the momeen*** hordes. In my view one of the most important K i.e. the Kirpan****, that the kshatriyas were supposed to carry was now to be worn by every dwija on becoming a sikh.
**Dwija, literally means one who is born twice in Sanskrit. It is the name given to the Kshatriya, Brahmin and Vaishya castes among the Hindus in India. One born in these castes is assumed to be born another time at the time of Upanayanam, when he is taught the secret of life through Brahmopadesam (Preaching/Advising in the matter of the nature of Brahma - the ultimate reality)

***momeen - defined by usage (quoted as follows)
Muhammad the [censored] said the sun sets in muddy pond under the throne of allah, so we shall all the momeen scums believe in the qrap, and will await the allah [censored]' s permission. Islam is evil, momeens are scums.There is no point in any discussion with qraps. When you step on shit, one has to carry on. I unintentionally stepped on shit here ( momeen scums ), I intend to carry on and not take more of the crap on me. Momeens are scums.

****Kirpan The ceremonial dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs.
Ceremonial steel dagger symbolizing determination to defend the truth. One of the Five Ks of the Khalsa.

Obey the Koran and Leave the Jews Alone

Dr. David A. Yeagley

(, August 3, 2001)

WHAT AUTHORIZATION does the official Palestine Authority have to broadcast orders for Palestinians to “butcher and kill” Jews? Not by order of the Koran.

The Koran, Islam’s Holy Bible, consists of the writings of Mohammad (ca.570-632 A.D.) He’s considered inspired by Allah – Almighty God. Yet the Koran doesn’t condemn any state of Israel in Palestine.

In its brief recounting of Israel’s original invasion of Palestine in 1300 B.C., the Koran says, “O my people! Enter the holy land which God hath assigned unto you,” (Sürah 5:21). Then, “We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling place, and provided for them sustenance of the best,” (10:93). And, “Dwell securely in the land of promise,” (17:104). (Trans. A.Y.Ali).
Israel’s possession of Palestine was ordained.

But, for 3,500 years, non-Jewish people have resented Jews being in Palestine. It began when the Canaanites resisted the invasion of Moses and the Israelites.

Canaan, also called Palestine (pelesheth, also translated “Philistine”), was an establishment of civilized Semitic cultures and their fertile land was highly cultivated. The Israelite invasion was raw aggression. The Canaanites were slaughtered and eradicated.

Fast-forward to recent history. In 1948, some 500,000 Arabs living in Palestine were identified as “refugees” when modern Israel declared itself a state, but they were not driven out of Palestine, or forced to become Jewish. By contrast, in 1951, over 600,000 Jewish refugees were expelled from Arab countries and settled in Israel.

Who knows when Jews became the majority in Palestine? The boundaries of “Israel” changed, as did the definition of a “Palestinian refugee.” By 1978, the total population in “Israel” was estimated at 3,760,000 – nearly 80 percent Jewish.

So why do Islamic leaders condemn the modern state of Israel?

When I visited Astan Quds Razavi University, the Shiite Islamic theological seminar in Masshad, eastern Iran, I asked the chairman of the English Department, Prof. Khazee Ali.

“We have no objection to Jews in Palestine. The ruling state of Israel is what’s unjust and immoral,” Ali said. “You can’t just move great numbers of one people into one spot, driving everyone else out, and then claim you are the rightfully ruling majority.”

Oh really? Tell that to the White European invaders who inundated American land until they literally displaced the Indians. We moved, or faced violence and death. It was a flagrant violation of our “human rights.” By this reasoning, there shouldn’t be any United States.

But, in fact, we Comanches were guilty of the same violations against other Indians. When we bolted down out of the southern Rockies onto the southwest plains, we drove off other Indians by violence. By the same reasoning, there should’ve been no Comanche nation.

Comanches and Jews share a common bond. Like the Jews, our power was in secret, superior warrior skills. But we Comanches, like modern Jews, never sought to annihilate anyone else’s culture.

Modern Israel’s establishment involved no invasion, and Israel doesn’t force a culture on Palestinians. Yet Islamic leaders madly condemn Israel – without religious authority. There’s none in the Koran, or in historical facts.

Renowned British journalist Joan Peters said those claiming to be Palestinian Arabs haven’t lived in Palestine “from time immemorial,” but immigrated this century (From Time Immemorial, Harper & Row, 1984.) The U.N. Relief and Work Agency defined a Palestinian as an Arab who had lived in Palestine a minimum of only two years before 1948. Palestinian rights to the land aren’t substantial, but there’s been a Jewish population in Palestine since Moses.

Neighboring Arab countries refused to absorb Palestinian refugees. In 1958, director of the UNRWA Ralph Calloway declared, “The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die.”
How does one judge the wrongs of Israel against Palestinians?

Summing it up perfectly is Islamic Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, who was quoted in the July 2 Washington Times: “A good Muslim must be a Zionist. A comparative analysis of Koranic and Torah sources reveals an agreement on the point that the link existing between Children of Israel and Land of Canaan depends directly on God Almighty's will, toward which we are asked to submit. Allah constituted the offspring of Jacob . . . as heirs of the Promised Land. This is described in the glorious Koran.”

If I believed in the Koran, I’d leave modern Israel alone.

Dr. David A. Yeagley will begin teaching humanities at the College of Liberal Studies, University of Oklahoma in the fall. His opinions are independent. He holds degrees from Yale, Emory, Oberlin, University of Arizona and University of Hartford. He is a member of the Comanche Tribe, Lawton, OK. For more information on Dr. Yeagley's initiative to teach patriotism in the schools, click here. E-mail him at

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The assassinations of satirical poets in early Islam

reprinted from

Muhammad’s Dead Poets Society
The assassinations of satirical poets in early Islam
James M. Arlandson

From the mainstream press, scholars, and Muslim spokespersons who have access to the media, we have heard that Islam is the religion of peace. They point out that the three-letter root s-l-m is found both in Islam, which means surrender or submission (to Allah), and salam, which means peace, soundness, and safety. This etymology may be accurate, but it also serves merely as a positive advanced press release that covers up some problems. For more information on the incongruity of the Arabic root s-l-m and Islam being the religion of peace, see this short article.

Upon reading the original source documents of Islam—the Quran, hadith, biographies, and histories—one is struck by the casual and matter-of-fact way that Muhammad and his Muslims traffic in violence and bloodshed.

Today, radical Muslims, reading these source documents, take up the call to violence that is found in the life and times of their prophet. For example, in 1989 they issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel’s role in inspiring the Quran. Now the extremists in the highest levels in Iran have renewed the fatwa.

An article by David Harsanyi in reports on deadly fatwas against Salman Rushdie, other authors, and even against Muslim clerics. For example, Taslima Nasrin, a poet and novelist, whose works confront sharia and the role of women in society, particularly in Bangladesh, has had a fatwa on her head since 1993. She was met with violent protests for a scheduled speech in November 2002 at Concordia University in Canada, where Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister of Israel, also encountered violent protests.

Harsanyi cites another case. "A Dutch Muslim woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, had to flee the Netherlands because she said that Muslim men traditionally oppressed Muslim women. A death fatwa quickly followed."

In November 2004, Theo Van Gogh was assassinated by a Muslim because the descendant of the brother of the famous artist had made a film that depicted a Muslim woman who was forced into an arranged marriage, abused by her husband, and raped by her uncle.

Where do the violent radicals get the idea to put bounties on the heads of poets and authors? Out of thin air? One direction that the violence in earliest Islam took is the assassination of pagan men and women, many of whom were poets and storytellers, and at least one innocent bystander whose crime was being Jewish. The poets wrote satirical poems about Muhammad and his claim to prophethood and about his followers, so the prophet ordered their death. To borrow the title of a popular movie, Muhammad violently created a dead poets society of his own.

To explain how this kind of violence sits at the core of Islam at its founding, this article is divided into four parts. First, the evidence for these assassinations is presented from Islamic early sources. Second, after these facts are sketched out, we critique point by point the explanations and defense from Muslims for this violence. Third, we examine five passages in the Quran that portend death in this life and damnation in the next for mockers. Both the early Muslim sources and the Quran are used by violent fanatics to justify their assassinations. Finally, we reach some conclusions about how violent early Islam is.

Islam is not the religion of peace.

Before laying out the evidence, the larger historical context of these assassinations must be taken into account. First, in seventh-century Arabia, poetry was taken seriously; even poetry contests were held, with declared winners. It was a powerful way to communicate a message. Second, in March 624, in the Battle of Badr, Muhammad, living in Medina, won a surprising victory against a much-larger Meccan army of polytheists (c. 320 Muslims v. 1000 Meccans). Muhammad’s standing in Medina was insecure before the battle, but afterwards his position became strong, and he used his new strength to eliminate some enemies.

The Evidence

Though more assassinations are carried out than the ten analyzed in this article (omitted because they involve leaders raising armies against or attempting assassinations of Muhammad), here follow the stories of assassinations or near-assassinations of lesser victims.

1. March 624: Al-Nadr bin al-Harith

Before Muhammad’s Hijrah (Emigration from Mecca to Medina in 622), he used to sit in the assembly and invite the Meccans to Allah, citing the Quran and warning them of God’s punishment for mocking his prophets. Al-Nadr would then follow him and speak about heroes and kings of Persia, saying, "By God, Muhammad cannot tell a better story than I, and his talk is only of old fables which he has copied as I have." Al-Nadr is referring to legends and opaque histories about Arabs of long ago and possibly to Bible stories about such figures as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, which Muhammad told, but according to his own inaccurate versions. On other days al-Nadr would interrupt Muhammad until the prophet silenced him. In reply to al-Nadir’s harassment, it is possible (scholars sometimes have difficulties matching up Quranic verses with historical events) that Allah sent down these verses to Muhammad concerning him or certainly other mockers in Mecca, according to the account of Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin, who is considered a reliable transmitter of traditions:
25:6 Say [Prophet], "It was sent down by Him who knows the secrets of the heavens and earth. He is all forgiving and merciful." (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004)

83:13 ... [W]hen Our revelations are recited to him, he says, "Ancient fables!" 14 No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done. 15 No indeed! On that day they will be screened off from their Lord, 16 they will burn in Hell, 17 and they will be told, "This is what you call a lie." (Haleem)

Muhammad did not take revenge on him—not yet—even though the verses in Sura 83 promise a dismal eternal future for mockers. Muhammad’s revenge was not long coming. It was al-Nadir’s bad fortune to join Mecca’s army, riding north to protect their caravan, which Muhammad attacked at the Battle of Badr in AD 624. The story-telling polytheist was captured, and on Muhammad’s return journey back to Medina, Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, at Muhammad’s order, beheaded him, instead of getting some possible ransom money. He was one of two prisoners who were executed and not allowed to be ransomed by their clans—all because they wrote poems and told stories critiquing Muhammad.
Source: Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. A. Guillaume, (Oxford UP, 1955, 2004), pp. 136 (Arabic pages 191-92); 163 / 236; 181 / 262; 308 / 458. Reputable historians today consider Ibn Ishaq to be a good source of early Islam, though they may disagree on his chronology and miraculous elements.

2. March 624: Uqba bin Abu Muayt
A similar story as that of al-Nadir can be told about Uqba. He too harassed and mocked Muhammad in Mecca and wrote derogatory verses about him. He too was captured during the Battle of Badr, and Muhammad ordered him to be executed. "But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?" Uqba cried with anguish. "Hell," retorted the prophet coldly. Then the sword of one of his followers cut through Uqba’s neck.
Source: Bukhari, vol. 4, no. 2934; Muslim, vol. 3, nos. 4422, 4424; Ibn Ishaq, p. 308 / 458. Bukhari and Muslim are reliable collectors and editors of the hadith (words and deeds of Muhammad outside of the Quran). These three passages from the hadith depict Muhammad calling on Allah for revenge on this poet.

3. March 624: Asma bint Marwan
Asma was a poetess who belonged to a tribe of Medinan pagans, and whose husband was named Yazid b. Zayd. She composed a poem blaming the Medinan pagans for obeying a stranger (Muhammad) and for not taking the initiative to attack him by surprise. When the Allah-inspired prophet heard what she had said, he asked, "Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?" A member of her husband’s tribe volunteered and crept into her house that night. She had five children, and the youngest was sleeping at her breast. The assassin gently removed the child, drew his sword, and plunged it into her, killing her in her sleep.

The following morning, the assassin defied anyone to take revenge. No one took him up on his challenge, not even her husband. In fact, Islam became powerful among his tribe. Previously, some members who had kept their conversion secret now became Muslims openly, "because they saw the power of Islam," conjectures Ibn Ishaq.
Source: Ibn Ishaq, pp. 675-76 / 995-96.

4. April 624: Abu Afak
Abu Afak, an centenarian elder of Medina, belonging to a group of clans who were associated with the god Manat (though another account has him as a Jew), wrote a derogatory poem about Muhammad, extolling the ancestors of his tribe who were strong enough to overthrow mountains and to resist submitting to an outsider (Muhammad) who divides two large Medinan tribes with religious commands like "permitted" and "forbidden." That is, the poet is referring to Muhammad’s legal decrees about things that are forbidden (e.g. pork and alcohol) and permitted (e.g. other meats like beef and camel). Before the Battle of Badr, Muhammad let him live.

After the battle, the prophet queried, "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" That night, Salim b. Umayr "went forth and killed him." One of the Muslims wrote a poem in reply: "A hanif [monotheist or Muslim] gave you a thrust in the night saying / ‘Take that Abu Afak in spite of your age!’" Muhammad eliminated him, which shows religious violence. Islam is not the religion of peace.
Source: Ibn Ishaq p. 675 / 995.

5. September 624: Kab bin al-Ashraf
Kab b. al-Ashraf had a mixed ancestry. His father came from a nomadic Arab, but his mother was a Jewess from the powerful al-Nadr tribe in Medina. He lived as a member of his mother’s tribe. He heard about the Muslim victory at the battle of Badr, and he was disgusted, for he thought Muhammad the newcomer to Medina was a trouble-maker and divisive. Kab had the gift of poetry, and after the Battle of Badr he traveled down to Mecca, apparently stopping by Badr, since it was near a major trade route to Mecca, witnessing the aftermath. Arriving in Mecca, he wrote a widely circulated poem, a hostile lament, over the dead of Mecca. It is important to include most of the political lament to show whether the poem is a serious offence, meriting assassination, as Muslim apologists (defenders of Islam) argue.

... At events like Badr you should weep and cry.The best of its people were slain round cisterns,Don’t think it strange that the princes were left lying.How many noble handsome men,The refuge of the homeless were slain.
Some people whose anger pleases me say,"Kab b. al-Ashraf is utterly dejected."They are right. O that the earth when they were killedHad split asunder and engulfed its people,That he who spread the report had been thrust throughOr lived cowering blind and deaf.
I was told that al-Harith ibn Hisham [a Meccan]Is doing well and gathering troopsTo visit Yathrib [pre-Islamic name of Medina] with armies,For only the noble, handsome man protects the loftiest reputation.(Translated by Guillaume, p. 365)
To us today this poem does not seem excessive, and other Arab poetry was worse, such as the poem celebrating the assassination of Abu Afak, cited above (no. 4). It seems to be a genuine lament that invokes the Arab concept of revenge. Also, the last four lines is not an explicit plea for the Meccans to exact vengeance because that was a foregone conclusion. Arab custom demanded a riposte against the humiliation of defeat. Rather, the lines seem to reflect reality. A Meccan leader is said to be gathering an army; Kab is not ordering him to do so.

Pro-Muslim poets answered Kab’s poem with ones of their own, and that was enough for his hosts in Mecca to turn him out. He returned to Medina, writing some amatory verses about Muslim women, a mistake compounded on a mistake, given the tense climate in Medina and Muhammad’s victory at Badr. For example, right after the battle Muhammad assembled a Jewish tribe, the Qaynuqa, and warned them as follows: "O Jews, beware lest God bring upon you the vengeance that He brought upon Quraysh [large Meccan tribe at Badr], and become Muslims." ... In late spring (April-June) Muhammad then expelled the Jewish tribe.

Angered by the poems and now able to strike back after Badr and the exile, Muhammad had had enough. He asked, "Who would rid me of [Kab]?" Five Muslims volunteered, one of whom was Kab’s foster-brother named Abu Naila. They informed him, "O apostle of God [Muhammad], we shall have to tell lies." He answered, "Say what you like, for you are free in the matter." They set upon a clever plan.

Abu Naila and another conspirator visited Kab, and they cited poetry together, the three appreciating the art, and chatted leisurely, so the two would not raise suspicions of their conspiracy. Then, after a long time, Abu-Naila lied just as he said he would. He said he was tired of Muhammad because "he was a very great trial for us." Muhammad provoked the hostility of the Arabs, and they were all in league against the Medinans. Abu Naila complained that the roads had become impassable and trade was hampered, so that their families were in want, privation, and great distress. Kab, in effect, said to his foster brother, "I told you so."

Then the foster-brother asked him for a loan of a camel load or two of food. Kab agreed, but only on the collateral of Abu-Naila’s sons. The foster-brother refused, and Kab asked for his women, but he again refused. Finally, Abu Naila offered his and his conspirators’ weapons. That arrangement provided the cover they needed to carry weapons right into Kab’s presence without alarm. Kab agreed, "Weapons are a good pledge."

The two visitors departed, stopped by the other three, and told them of the plan. Not long afterwards, gathering their weapons, they went to Muhammad, who sent them off with this wish: "Go in God’s name; O God, help them." They set out under a moonlit night until they made it to a fortress, one of several that the Jewish tribe had built in the rough environment of Arabia. In fact, the ruin of the fortress where Kab resided can be seen even today near Medina. They called out to him.

Kab had recently married, and his wife, hearing their yells, said, "You are at war, and those who are at war do not go out at this hour ... I hear evil [or blood] in his voice." But the custom of hospitality in the Arab world was strong. Her husband told her that they were only his foster-brother and his foster-brother’s partners, adding that "a generous man should respond to a call at night, even if invited to be killed." Kab came down and greeted them. Abu Naila suggested they go for a walk. The signal to kill was as follows: Abu Naila would run his hand through Kab’s hair, complimenting him on his perfume, three times. This he did, yelling, "Smite the enemy of God!" Kab mounted a strong defense, so their swords were ineffective. Finally, one of the conspirators remembered his dagger, stabbed Kab in the belly, and then bore it down until it reached Kab’s genitals, killing him.

They made it back to Muhammad, but only after difficulty, since in the dark they had wounded one of their own. They saluted the prophet as he stood praying, and he came out to them. They told him that the mission was accomplished. He spat on their comrade’s wound, and they returned to their families. Their attack on Kab sent shock waves into the Jewish community, so that "there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life," reports Ibn Ishaq.

Muslim historian Tabari reports that the five Muslim thugs severed Kab’s head and brought it to Muhammad. How can the terrorists who are also thrilled to sever heads not be inspired by early Islam?

Sources: Bukhari vol. 5, no. 4037; Muslim vol. 3, no. 4436; Ibn Ishaq 364-69 / 548-53; Tabari, The History of al-Tabari, Vol. VII, trans. W. Montgomery Watt (SUNYP, 1987), pp. 94-98 / 1368-73. Reputable historians today consider Tabari to be a good source of data on early Islam, though they may not agree on his chronology or miraculous elements.

6. September (?) 624: Ibn Sunayna
It is on the heels of this assassination that Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant, was assassinated. With the success of the five conspirators, Muhammad said, "Kill any Jew that falls into your power." Shortly afterwards, Muhayyisa b. Masud leapt upon and killed Ibn Sunayna, with whom Muhayyisa had some social and business relations. However, Muhayyisa’s elder brother, not a Muslim at the time, beat the assassin, the younger brother, saying, "You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?" Muhayyisa retorted that if Muhammad had ordered even the elder brother’s assassination, he would have carried it out. The elder was impressed: "By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvelous!" And he became a Muslim. That is, the elder brother implies that Muhammad must be a great leader and worthy of devotion if he commands such lethal reverence and deadly obedience from his followers.

Then Muhayyisa wrote a poem that celebrates such obedience. "I would smite his [the elder brother’s] neck with a sharp sword, / A blade as white as salt from polishing. / My downward stroke never misses its mark." Advancing religious violence, these lines in the poem show how deadly poetry could be, and they match the Muslim’s poem against Abu Afak (no. 4, above): "a hanif gave you a thrust in the night." Kab’s poem, it should be recalled, was far milder. These poems that a Westerner reads in the early Islamic source are jarring. It seems the early Muslim authors of the documents relish inserting them into their books.
Source: Ibn Ishaq p. 369 / 534.

7. July-August 625: A One-eyed Bedouin
In revenge for an ambush on some Muslim missionaries, Muhammad sent Amr bin Umayya and a companion to assassinate Abu Sufyan, a leader of the Meccans. This shows that the prophet could get caught up in the cycle of violence that went on endlessly in seventh-century Arab culture. Umayyah failed in his attempt, and he had to flee under pursuit, hiding in a cave, murdering a man named Ibn Malik along the way. As the pursuit was dying down, a tall, one-eyed, unnamed Bedouin entered the cave, driving some sheep. Umayyah and the Bedouin introduced each other. After they settled down, the shepherd sang a simple two-line song in defiance of Muslims and Islam:
I will not be a Muslim as long as I live,And will not believe in the faith of the Muslims. (Watt)

Another translation reads:
I won’t be a Muslim as long as I live,Nor heed to their religion give. (Guillaume)
Unfortunately for this Bedouin, he was in the cave with a radical Muslim, who said: "You will soon see!" The Bedouin fell asleep, snoring. Umayyah recounts what he did: ... "I went to him and killed him in the most dreadful way that anybody has ever been killed. I leaned over him, stuck the end of my bow into his good eye, and thrust it down until it came out of the back of his neck." He fled back to Muhammad, who said, "Well done!" The account ends: The prophet "prayed for me [Umayyah] to be blessed."

This poor shepherd’s only sin was to compose a little two-line ditty against Islam. Therefore, he was assassinated, with the blessing of Muhammad—the prophet did not arrest the assassin or even scold him for killing a man who had nothing to do with the ambush.
Source: Tabari, vol. 7, pp. 149-50 / 1440-41; A later editor incorporated some of Tabari’s account into Ibn Ishaq’s biography, pp. 674-75.

8. After January 630: close call for Abdullah bin Sad
Before 10,000 Muslim warriors entered Mecca in January 630, Muhammad ordered that they should kill only those who resisted, except a small number who should be hunted down even if they hid under the curtain of the Kabah stone. One of them was Abdullah, an original Emigrant with the prophet in 622. He had the high privilege of writing down some verses of the Quran, after Muhammad received them by revelation. Doubting, Abdullah on occasion would change the words around to see if Muhammad had noticed the changes, but he did not. W. Montgomery Watt provides an example: "When Muhammad dictated a phrase of the Quran such as sami‘ ‘alim, ‘Hearing, Knowing’ (with reference to God), he had written, for example, ‘alim hakim ‘Knowing, Wise,’ and Muhammad had not noticed the change" ... (Muhammad at Medina, Oxford UP, 1956, p. 68). Abdullah therefore disbelieved Muhammad’s inspiration and apostatized (left Islam) and returned to Mecca a polytheist.

However, his foster-brother was Uthman b. Affan, one of Muhammad’s Companions, who hid Abdullah until calm settled on conquered Mecca and who interceded for Abdullah, in the presence of Muhammad. The prophet waited a long time before he granted the repentant apostate immunity. After Uthman left, Muhammad said to those sitting around him: "I kept silent so that one of you might get up and strike off his head!" One of them asked why Muhammad did not give them a signal. He answered that a prophet does not kill by pointing.

Though Abdullah escaped with his life, this story is included because it reveals Muhammad’s attitude toward apostates, because of the doubt of one of Muhammad’s followers—a literate scholar who was involved in writing down the revelations, and because Muhammad’s anger could be assuaged under the right conditions.
Source: Ibn Ishaq, p. 550 / 818.

9. After January 630: One of Abdullah bin Katal’s two singing-girls
On the list of those excluded from amnesty after the conquest of Mecca was not only Abdullah b. Katal, collector of legal alms, who had killed his slave for incompetence, apostatized, and took the money back to Mecca, but also his two singing-girls who sang satirical verses about Muhammad, which Abdullah had composed. He was killed, even though he was clinging to the curtain of the Kabah shrine. And one of the girls was also killed, but the other ran away until she asked for pardon from Muhammad, who forgave her.
Source: Bukhari vol. 4, 3044; Ibn Ishaq, pp. 550-51 / 819.

10. After February 630: close call for Kab bin Zuhayr
Confident with the victory over Mecca, Muhammad returned to Medina a hero and firmly in charge of the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula. In this context we come to another poet who satirized Muhammad and the Muslims, Kab bin Zuhayr (called Zuhayr to distinguish him from Kab bin al-Ashraf, above, no. 5). Zuhayr’s brother wrote him that Muhammad had killed a number of satirical poets during his conquest of Mecca, but that the prophet would forgive a poet who came to him in repentance, which really means becoming a Muslim. His brother told him that the poets who were left had fled in all directions. "If you have any use for your life, then come to the apostle [Muhammad] quickly, for he does not kill anyone who comes to him in repentance," wrote the brother, continuing: "if you do not do that, then get to a safe place."

However, Zuhayr responded with a poem that says their fathers and father had never held Islam dear, so why should he change? His brother replied with a poem of warning of his own; if he would not repent, then Zuhayr will be guilty on Judgment Day. Poetry penetrated deeply in Arab culture, and, receiving the letter, Zuhayr was distressed until finally he gave in. Finding no way out, he wrote a letter extolling Muhammad. Soon afterwards, he traveled up to Medina to ask for security as a Muslim. Muhammad was saying his morning prayers, and a friend took Zuhayr into Muhammad’s presence. "Would you accept him as such if he came to you?" his friend asked. The prophet said he would.

One of the Ansars (or helpers: native Medinans who offered help to Muhammad after his Hijrah) leaped upon Zuhayr and asked the prophet if he could behead the enemy of God, for some of Zuhayr’s verses mocked the Ansars, too. The apostle said to leave him alone, for Zuhayr was breaking free from his past. The implication is clear: if Muhammad had caught Zuhayr before his repentance, Muhammad would have allowed him to be beheaded. Either he converts or he dies—for writing derogatory poetry. What is remarkable about the anecdote is how the morning prayer provides the setting for a Muslim leaping on a poet and threatening to cut his head off, as if this is an ordinary day and act.
Source: Ibn Ishaq, pp. 597-602 / 887-93.

Defense and Challenges

From all of these stories it should be clear that the accounts about assassinations are jarring to the reader expecting to find the religion of peace. It is a matter of course that Muslims and some Western scholars or Islamophiles would be anxious to explain these circumstances in a favorable light. Their defense usually takes six lines of argument. Our analysis follows each defense.

First, reputable scholars remind us of the brutality of Arab culture. When a stranger or enemy in this culture was left unprotected outside of a tribe, he or she was vulnerable to attack and murder. Who could take revenge? Blood feud was never ignited. Thus, the only check on violence in this culture is revenge or more violence, when adequate law courts and law enforcement did not exist, as they did, say, in the Roman Empire. Muhammad was therefore only following Arab culture (Watt, Muhammad: Prophet and Statesmen, (Oxford UP, 1961), pp. 128-30).

On the surface, this seems to be a reasonable explanation. Muhammad was a man of his own times and region. However, at bottom, it is disappointing that a Gabriel-inspired prophet would not or could not rise above his culture, especially above the questionable custom of assassination. Most importantly, it seems that many Muslims today look to his example, and this lands Islam in interpretative difficulties as seen in the fatwas against various authors today. How are Muslims today, especially those with a radical bent, supposed to interpret Muhammad’s willingness to eliminate opponents and slanderers? Again, one would hope that a prophet would rise above the dubious customs like blood feuds, rife in his own culture. But he did not, and one of his dubious qualities was his deft handling of blood feuds and sizing up opponents based on their strength or weakness. That is why the assassinations did not take place before the Battle of Badr in 624 when his stance in Medina was less secure, but after the battle, when he was strong, and after the conquest of Mecca in 630, along with Battles at Hunayn and Ta’if, a little later. It is true that the victims listed in this article belonged to tribes that should have taken revenge, but evidently they were too weak to do so. Muhammad was wise in his calculations.
For information on Muhammad’s various other questionable actions, visit this online booklet from an older generation Christian. He has a section on assassinations as well.

Second, Muslim apologists (defenders of Islam) take seriously the assassination of Kab bin al-Ashraf (no. 5, above) because reliable hadith treat of him at length. Maulana Muhammad Ali, though a member of the Ahmadiyyah sect, which is considered a heresy, is mentioned here because he defends his prophet thoroughly, pointing out that Kab was a combatant and an enemy leader of the Jews (Muhammad the Prophet, 7th ed., 1993, pp. 202-06). Also, another Muslim scholar says that since Kab was willing to take his foster-brother’s sons and women as collateral, he had a wicked heart and deserved his death (Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, trans. of Sahih Muslim, 3:990, note 2269).

Neither was he willing to commit his crime openly, but secretly, so he had to be assassinated secretly. But secret assassination is an exception in Islam, says Sayyid Abul A’La Maududi (referenced in Siddiqi, 3:991, note 2272). Still another commentator says that he led a large contingency of horsemen (forty? two to three hundred? The estimates vary) to Mecca (so much for the secrecy), presumably to provoke the Meccans to avenge their loss at Badr, as if they needed this one man and his posse to do that (Razi, referenced in Maulana Ali’s commentary on Sura 59:2).
In reply, however, the magnification of Kab’s crime is questionable. But even if it is admitted that Kab was an unsavory character who used bad judgment with his insulting poetry, and even though he was living in the hostile environment of Medina, he was not a formal combatant in a battle. His wife’s observation that the tribes were at war reflects the tension between the Jews and the growing Muslim community. Instead, he seems to have lived in a "gray" area between his mother’s Jewish tribe and his father’s distant nomadic tribe, and Muhammad correctly judged he was weak enough to be assassinated. As to Kab’s wicked heart and his secret crimes, Muhammad could have expelled him for wickedness (see Sura 5:33). And his poetry was circulated widely; it was not a secret. His living in a fortress near Medina was not so secret that the five assassins could not find him. Finally, did he openly, not secretly, lead a band of forty or hundreds of horsemen in an age when horses were costly, thereby indicating Kab’s power and leadership of a Jewish tribe? Answer: neither Bukhari nor Muslim reports this. Succinctly put, despite all of these unusual and conflicting explanations, it just seems more likely that Muhammad was simply following Arab culture and eliminated an opponent who was vulnerable after the Battle of Badr, simply for writing derogatory poetry. Ockham’s razor cuts out needless explanations.

Third, one scholar says that the Muslim community in Medina, even after Badr, was still weak, so Muhammad was forced to take a hard line against mockers and enemies (as he perceived them), just to survive. This scholar uses language like "oppression" and "persecution" and "conspiracy," which came from both the Jewish and pagan communities in Medina.

However, Muhammad did not see himself as so weak that he would not carry out the assassinations. It should be recalled that Asma bint Marwan (no. 3), Abu Afak (no. 4), and Kab (no. 5) belonged to tribes, but they could not carry out the required custom of blood feud: revenge. Therefore, Muhammad correctly discerned their weakness and his strength and followed the Arab custom of assassination. Most importantly, Muslim apologists (defenders of Islam) must step back and look at the big picture. It was Muhammad who attacked the Meccan caravans six times without provocation and without self-defense in the first year and a half or so after moving to Medina. (For more information, go to this article and scroll down to reason no. four). It is the Allah-inspired prophet who went west seventy to eighty miles (a two to three day journey) to the wells of Badr in order to attack the Meccan caravan coming from the north, wanting only the unarmed band, that is, the large caravan loaded with goods (Sura 8:7). To judge from the big picture, it was Muhammad who settled in Medina and stirred up trouble. If Muhammad had stayed within Medina and expanded his message by preaching alone, then no military or political trouble would have erupted. True, people would have resisted his message, but if it had something to offer people, it could have still grown. True, people may have attempted to assassinate him, but he had a bodyguard.

We see this growth by proclamation alone in the message of Jesus, who drew big crowds when he preached and healed and worked miracles—and eventually purposing to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He did not assassinate people, even though he met with resistance from religious leaders (see more on this below). The growth of the true kingdom of God by peaceful means implies that God was backing this message. In contrast, the growth of Muhammad’s message with an army always lurking in the background implies that God was not backing this message and that Islam was unattractive and unacceptable to many listeners, as seen, for example, in the revolt of the Arab tribes after Muhammad died of a fever in AD 632. Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s successor, took two years to suppress these revolts militarily and to force the tribes to re-join Islam.

Fourth, one Muslim scholar argues in regards to Kab (and the same could apply to the other poets) that Kab insulted the Head of an Islamic State (Muhammad) and the State itself. The Head could not allow immoral poetry, which drags the honor of Arab women "into the mire," and the Head could not allow political poetry that insults the Head and instigates the enemies of the State (Siddiqi 3:991, note 2269). In other words, Kab (and the others) deserved what he (and they) got. The tact of this scholar goes in the opposite direction from the third explanation. Early Islam was not fragile, but strong. It was not a community growing in power in a city with competing tribes and interests.

However, this analysis is questionable, for at this stage in early Islam Muhammad was still feeling his way. But even if this explanation were true, the question still remains: did the Head of State have to assassinate, regardless of how seriously Arab culture took poetry? He had banishment at his disposal (Sura 5:33), which he applied to the Jewish Qaynuqa tribe. After all, Muhammad employed poets to counter his enemies, but apparently his enemies did not have the power to assassinate or to banish Muhammad or his poets. Moreover, Muhammad’s policy, if coming from a strong State, only gives permission to the extremists in Islam today to attack weak dissidents and satirists. If Muhammad did it, why cannot the extremists follow his example? Those who issue deadly fatwas are doing just that.

Fifth, Muslim apologists generally recount the atrocities perpetrated in and by the Western world, sometimes committed in the name of Christianity, so who are Christians or Westerners (the two are not identical) to complain?

But this comparison is uneven and unfair. A better comparison is made between the earliest stage of Islam, during the life of Muhammad, and the earliest stage of Christianity, during the life of Christ. And then the similarities break down completely. At no time did Jesus behead or assassinate or even wish for the beheading or assassination of his opponents, many of whom mocked or challenged him face-to-face. Maybe this is why Christianity turned the world upside down for the first three centuries without warfare—Constantine comes around in the fourth century and does not set the genetic code for Christianity, nor do the Medieval Crusades, especially not.

The sixth and final line of defense questions the reliability of the early traditions that narrate these anecdotes. As noted, only the narrative about Kab in our article is discussed at length in the most reliable hadith, that of Bukhari and Muslim. Therefore, one Muslim scholar dismisses every tradition except Kab’s (Maulana Muhammad Ali, pp. 202-06), whereas one conservative biographer accepts other narratives, such as the assassinations of Asma (no. 3) and Abu Afak (no. 4) (Muhammad Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, 8th ed., trans. Ismail Raji al-Faruqi, 1935, 2002, p. 243). In Maulana Ali’s case, along with this dismissal comes the presupposition that since Islam is the religion of peace, a prophet like Muhammad would never assassinate poets, singing-girls and an innocent Jewish bystander. Ali then quotes passages from the Quran or the hadith that says old men and women should not be killed. This kind of reasoning is shaky because it has a holy book determining historical events. This attitude can be expressed simply in an if-then argument:
If A, then B. If early Islam were the religion of peace, then Muhammad would never order the assassination of poets, poetesses, singing-girls, and an innocent Jewish bystander.
A obtains. Islam was the religion of peace (The Quran and hadith say so).
So does B. Therefore, he would never order their assassinations (and never did).

This unspoken logic lurks behind the desire to find extraordinary crimes in Kab’s behavior (see the second defense, above). Surely this is how Muslims today must eliminate the violence that jars any reasonable Muslim. But does the evidence support this logic? This article demonstrates that the evidence does not support this dubious reasoning.

However, though it is difficult to believe that all of these stories coming from pro-Muslim sources are fabrications, let us assume only for the sake of argument that all of these stories, even Kab’s, are fictitious and should be dismissed. Even if they are all fictions and regardless of the motives behind the logic of the Muslim apologists, this question still needs to be asked about the earliest stage of Islam, during Muhammad’s life:

What is it about Islam at that time that would produce such stories of assassinations for the crime of composing insulting poetry and of being Jewish?
The authors of such "fictions" seem eager to write them up.

After all, fictions were invented about Jesus, but they do not involve assassinations that are situated in non-miraculous social contexts which therefore aim at giving the assassinations a ring of historical accuracy or plausibility—all of which are true in Muhammad’s case. Rather, the fictions are usually outlandish miracles, such as Jesus as a baby in a cradle, speaking like an adult, or Jesus as a young boy making birds out of clay, breathing into them, and causing them to fly away (two fictions that Muhammad incorporated into the inerrant Quran; see 19:29-34 and 3:49). It is true that the anti-Semitic Infancy Gospel of Thomas (where, incidentally, is found the clay birds episode) has the child Jesus cursing a Jewish teacher who then died. Yet, the social context of this myth is supernatural and concerns Jesus’ childhood, on which canonical and historical accounts are mostly silent. On the other hand, Muhammad’s assassinations are set in non-miraculous social contexts and not during his childhood, about which the early Islamic records are largely silent. Moreover, they are attested in Bukhari’s reliable hadith.

In contrast to these legends about Jesus, the culture of first-century Israel saw the assassinations of politicians and other harsh punishments like crucifixion. But the real Jesus handled an angry crowd who threatened to throw him off a cliff by simply walking out of trouble confidently and going on his way (Luke 4:28-29). Thus, Jesus did not promote or use violence to fulfill his own political agenda. Nor did he endorse, for example, the amputation of hands or feet or stoning for any sin whatsoever, and Paul suggests that a thief should work with his hands, not get his hands cut off (Ephesians 4:28); in fact Jesus stopped the imminent stoning of an adulteress (John 8:1-11). Thus, the known message and life of Jesus did not include assassinations and other punishments, so an inventor of such extreme legends would have been laughed out of court.

In Muhammad’s own life and times, beheadings and assassinations of weak opponents, as noted in the first defense, above, were part of the social environment. More important, reliable hadith show beyond all doubt that Muhammad practiced amputations for theft, enshrined in the Quran (Sura 5:38), stoning for adultery in the hadith, which also reliably reports Kab’s and a Jewish leader’s assassinations, not mentioned in this article. Thus, we see a coinciding of the facts of Muhammad’s harsh culture and his known harsh practices, unlike the situation with Jesus, who did not have harsh practices, though he lived in a harsh culture. The life and message of the two Founders differ widely, so the legends about them differ widely—though in Muhammad’s case these legends are not fictitious.

It is clear, then, that Jesus rose above his violent culture, whereas Muhammad did not. Jesus trusted in God, but Muhammad took matters into his own hand and killed his enemies and opponents stealthily.

Indeed, reputable historians accept the historicity of most of the assassinations cited in this article. That is, in all probability Muhammad did in fact assassinate enemies of Islam, even for the crime of composing insulting poetry. After all, the numerous stories come from pro-Muslim early sources that seem eager to portray Muhammad as ordering assassinations. More importantly, this debate is academic. Should we doubt whether the violent radicals today accept the early assassinations as historical? What does the prophet’s example communicate to these radicals who feel holy as they apply seventh-century Arabian customs to the twenty-first century world? It seems the terrorists and assassins are terrorized by this logic:
If A, then B. If early Islam were the religion of peace, then Muhammad would never order the assassination of poets, poetesses, singing-girls, and an innocent Jewish bystander.
Not-B. But Muhammad did order their assassinations. (Historical reality says so.)

Therefore, not-A. Therefore, early Islam was not the religion of peace.
To counter this logic and the jarring aspect of early Islamic violence, terrorist-assassins must remain with (1)-(3), above, regardless of the evidence and the cost that truth must pay. Allah had to have guided Muhammad perfectly, so, to be obedient, they now have to follow or are permitted to follow in Muhammad’s footsteps and carry out assassinations of authors and filmmakers (see below) today for the sin of blasphemy. Early Islam inspires them. Allah wills it. It never occurs to them that Allah did not guide Muhammad perfectly and that Islam is not the religion of peace (4)-(6); that would be too jarring. The violent radicals, instead, appeal to a higher source than the hadith—the Quran itself.

Dark Inspiration from the Quran

Does the Quran assert that insulters and mockers should not be touched, killed, or condemned to hell? We analyze five passages in chronological order, not textual order.

After the Battle of Uhud in March 625, which the Muslims lost, Muhammad was stung. He and his Muslim community suffered a loss of prestige, though the community did not crumble, but quickly recovered and grew, so the loss was not material. In this verse about undergoing insults from the People of the Book (Jews, mostly, in Medina at this time), Muhammad has to take the path of humility.

3:186 You [Muhammad] are sure to be tested through your possessions and persons; you are sure to hear much that is hurtful [aa-dh-aa] from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with God [polytheists]. If you are steadfast and mindful of God, that is the best course. (Haleem)
The word "hurtful" is the same Arabic word (three-letter root is aa-dh-aa) that has been translated, below, as "annoy" and "insult." It has the semantic range of hurt, suffer, damage, injure, or harm. "The word ... signifies a slight evil ... or anything causing a slight harm" (Abdul Mannan Omar, ed., Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an, Noor Foundation, 2003, p. 19). Fakhry translates the key word in this verse as "abuse" (An Interpretation of the Qur’an, NYUP, 2000, 2004). Allah tells his prophet that he has to take the insults, not retaliate. Historically, Muhammad was momentarily too weak to retaliate against insults after the Battle of Uhud. But Allah reveals that if he is patient, then he will find a great strength. Indeed, he exiled the Jewish tribe of an-Nadir in August of that year and the Jewish tribe Qurayza after the Battle of the Trench in AD 627.

After the Battle of the Trench in 627, Muhammad’s power, though always growing, increases exponentially in Medina, even more so than after the Battle of Badr in 624; therefore Allah sends down Sura 33 in the context of the Trench. In fact, we find in this sura that Muhammad is so powerful that he lays seize to the Jewish strongholds in Medina, captures them, decapitates 600 male Jews of the Qurayzah tribe, enslaves its women and children, though he keeps a beautiful Jewess for himself, and confiscates all of their property, which is considerable (33:26-27).

After this great victory and confiscation, Muhammad is wealthier than ever. So Aisha and Hafsa and Muhammad’s other wives approach their husband to ask for more money. Miffed, Muhammad gives all of them the option to depart or to remain with him and be content with their allowance. He separates himself from them for twenty-nine days, and afterwards they decide to remain with him (33:33-28). Next, he issues an edict that gives him special permission to marry Zainab, the wife of his adopted son Zaid.

Arab culture forbad men from marrying the wives of their sons, but Muhammad claimed that Zaid was merely his adopted son; besides, Allah told him his desire was legitimate (33:35-40). Thus, it is in the context of Muhammad’s rising power and wealth, atrocity against the Jews, and new laws about marriage and the behavior of women that these verses were received in Surah 33:

33:57 Those who insult [aa-dh-aa] God and His Messenger will be rejected by God in this world and the next—He has prepared a humiliating punishment for them— 58 and those who undeservedly insult [aa-dh-aa] believing men and women will bear the guilt of slander and obvious sin. (Haleem)

Muslim scholars agree that the Arabic word includes false reports. So Muhammad was advocating eternal damnation for merely annoying the prophet and his Muslims, the "believing men and women," and for lying insults.

Then the sura continues with commands to Muhammad’s wives to wear veils so that the insults will stop. But he also promises the insulting liars conquest and death (v. 61), which seems to echo the atrocity committed against the Jewish Qurayzah tribe.
33:59 Prophet, tell your wives your daughters, and women believers to make their outer garment hang low over them, so as to be recognized and not insulted [aa-dh-aa]: God is most forgiving, most merciful. 60 If the hypocrites, the sick of heart, and those who spread lies in the city {Medina] do not desist, We shall arouse you [Prophet] against them, and then they will only be your neighbors in this city for a short while. 61 They will be rejected wherever they are found, and then seized and killed. (Haleem)

This passage is stark. We find Muhammad laying down the law for all the Muslim women so that no false rumors can grow—they must wear veils. The phrase "sick of heart" is understood by Muslim commentators like Maulana Ali and Hilali and Khan as those who have excessive sexual desire, so the women must cover up. Regardless, the class of rumor-mongers, "those who spread lies," is subjected to the harshest warning. If they do not desist, they will not only be exiled, but also find no rest wherever they go. Then they will be "seized and killed," as the Qurayza tribe was. These verses, though received in 627, predict nicely what will happen to the satirical poets during the conquest of Mecca in 630, for they spread lies and insult the honor of Muslim women and Muhammad himself.

David Harsanyi, in the article for referenced in the introduction to this article, reports on a Muslim riot provoked by an observation made by fashion journalist Isioma Daniel in the Nigerian newspaper This Day, in November 2002, in defense of the Miss World pageant held in Nigeria. She observed that perhaps Muhammad would have chosen one of the beautiful contestants for one of his wives. "A direct result of what was at worst a thoughtless remark in a fashion column has directly led to the deaths of 200 people with another 500 injured in Nigeria during four days of rioting and mob violence," writes Harsanyi.
Harsanyi’s article continues. Do the violent radicals use the Quran to justify their actions? They did against Ms. Daniel:
What we are saying is that the Holy Koran has clearly stated that whoever insults the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, should be killed," said Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Umar Dangaladima Magaji. The New Nigerian newspaper said the fatwa had been issued by Zamfara’s Deputy Governor Mamuda Aliyu Dallatun Shinkafi, who compared Daniel to Rushdie: "Like Salman Rushdie, the blood of Isioma Daniel can be shed."

Thus, the State Commissioner for Information, not an anonymous killer who can hide in the shadows, asserts that the Quran supports the actions of the Muslims, and the Deputy Governor published the fatwa in the newspaper and over the radio so that a Muslim mob could take matters into its own hand and kill anyone who looks like a Christian, as the BBC reported, according to Harsanyi.

Finally, in Sura 9, Muhammad’s power is complete, especially in the last two-thirds of the sura, which deals with the expedition to Tabuk (in the far north of Saudi Arabia today) in late 630. The hypocrites in Islam are the lukewarm Muslims who circle just outside of Islam, watching the fortunes of the community, whether they rise and stay prosperous. They do not follow the prophet when he cracks the whip; indeed, they backed away from following him to Tabuk because of the expense, the harvest season, and the heat (Sura 9:81-83). Muhammad could not tolerate such wishy-washy behavior, since he planned to expand northward even after Tabuk. Watt is reasonable when he observes: "... if the Islamic community was to engage in expeditions into Syria [the far north in the Byzantine Empire] which would involve the absence of most of the fighting men for long periods, it could not allow a body of dissidents to ensconce themselves in the suburbs of Medina" (Muhammad at Medina, p. 190). So it is in this context that Muhammad receives these verses about insults and mockery and jokes from hypocrites.

9:61 There are others who insult[aa-dh-aa] the Prophet by saying, "He will listen to anything." [Muhammad,] Say, "He listens for your own good" ... An agonizing torment awaits those who insult [aa-dh-aa] God’s Messenger ... 63 Do they not know that whoever opposes God and His Messenger will go to the Fire of Hell and stay there?" That is the supreme disgrace. (Haleem)

Thus, the hypocrites accuse Muhammad of listening to anything and everything, so he lacks wisdom and inspiration from Allah. But Allah gets the last laugh, for they will be thrown into the fires of hell. According to Sura 9:73 and 123, Muhammad wages a physical and violent war on them. So Watt’s explanation is misguided if he excuses Muhammad’s violence.

Muhammad continues his denunciation of the hypocrites with their jokes:
9:64 The hypocrites fear that a sura will be revealed exposing what is in their hearts—say, "Carry on with your jokes: God will bring about what you fear!"— 65 yet if you were to question them, they would be sure to say, "We were just chatting, just amusing ourselves." Say, "Were you making jokes about God, His Revelation [the Quran], and His Messenger? 66 Do not try to justify yourselves; you have gone from belief to disbelief." (Haleem)

Muhammad goes on to assert that the hypocrites are misleading a number of people, and in the eyes of the violent radicals today, this could easily be applied to Muslims who go from "belief to disbelief" as they criticize Islam and Muhammad. They have become hypocrites worthy of the fires of hell (v. 68); and taking verse 33:61 (see above) seriously, which promises besiegement and death, the radicals today help the hypocrites reach hell more quickly, by assassinating them rather than waiting for natural causes. The hypocrites of Muhammad’ time and of today cannot hide behind "chatting and amusing themselves" because God, the Quran, and the Messenger cannot be trifled with. Indeed, the Ayatollah Khomeini (d. 1989) in 1980, shortly after he gained power in Iran and who issued the first fatwa against Rushdie, said: "There is no room for play in Islam .... It is deadly serious about everything."

The following hadiths from Sunan Abu Dawud, a reputable source, support the verses in the Quran and the deceased Supreme Leader. This passage is narrated by Ibn Abbas, who was Muhammad’s cousin and considered a highly reliable transmitter of early traditions.

The blind husband of a woman who used to verbally abuse Muhammad kept telling her to stop, but she would not. Eventually, he took a dagger and stabbed her to death. Muhammad heard about it and gathered his followers together to find out who did it. Trembling, the man leaped up and told Muhammad that he did it, whereupon, the prophet said: "Oh, be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood" (vol. 3, no. 4348). The translator of Sunan Abu Dawud, Ahmad Hasan, says that later jurists or legal scholars are unanimous that a Muslim who abuses or insults the prophet should be killed (note 3799). Muhammad did not arrest the murderous thug, but let him go free, and the jurists use this passage (and others) to apply this punishment to the world outside of Medina. It is breathtaking to watch Islam in action.

Finally, Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, narrated the following murder of a Jewish woman for insulting Muhammad: "A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah [Muhammad] declared that no recompense was payable for her blood" (vol. 3, no. 4349). The translator informs us that all Jews or any non-Muslims who insults the prophet should also be killed (note 3800). Again, the example of Muhammad serves to guide later Islam. Allah was guiding this religion, but the true God was not.
These hadith passages, though not dealing directly with insult poetry, demonstrate that early Islam is violent. All in all, the sources of early Islam—the Quran, the hadith, biographies, and histories—converge together and agree on this violence, painting a dark picture of this religion.

Islam is not the religion of peace.


So the deadly fatwas and assassinations continue. Radical Muslims are concerned not only for their prophet, but also for another "prophet," Jesus, who comes behind Muhammad in importance, though revered nonetheless. David Harsanyi reports that in 1999, a London-based group called Muhajiroun (named after Muhammad’s fellow-emigrants from Mecca to Medina in AD 622), describing itself as Defenders of the Messenger Jesus, put a bounty on the playwright Terrence McNally for his play Corpus Christi, when it reached London. The play, set in modern Texas, shows Jesus dying not as the King of Kings, but as the King of Queers, after his gay lover Judas betrays him. This play is especially offensive to Christians, and some may protest it, but no Christian can ever cite support from the New Testament or from the example of Christ to assassinate McNally. The Muhajiroun, however, have ample testimony from the example of Muhammad and the Quran to eliminate the playwright.
As noted in the introduction, Theo van Gogh, 47, descendant of the brother of the famous nineteenth-century painter Vincent, was assassinated for his film Submission, which depicts violence against women in Muslim society. One woman is forced into an arranged marriage and beaten by her husband. Van Gogh was assassinated while cycling by a man dressed in a traditional Moroccan jallaba. The Dutch artist, pleading for mercy, had his throat sliced after his killer fired six shots into him. It should be noted that van Gogh called Jesus "the rotten fish of Nazareth," apparently referring to the Christian symbol of a fish, but no Christian—not even the most zealous fundamentalist—attempted to or actually assassinated him. And if anyone did, then Christian leaders around the world would have roundly condemned him, as they have condemned a few killers of abortion doctors and bombers of abortion clinics over the last two or so decades. The silence of Muslim leaders about van Gogh’s death speaks loudly about the state of Islam. For more information, go to these articles [1], [2], [3], [4].
Radical Muslims do not hesitate to riot if the Quran is desecrated. In honor of their holy book, they kill innocent people. Though their deaths are not assassinations as such, they demonstrate how far radicals will go in responding to insults of their religion. This article analyzes why Islam is disrespected. It is one of the few major religions to erupt in violence when a desecration may occur (or not).

We began this article with the three-letter root of Islam (s-l-m), which means peace. However, Webster’s Dictionary says that the word "assassin" comes from another Arabic word: "hashshashin," (plural of hashshash). This comes from "one who smokes or chews hashish," which also names "a secret order of Muslims that at the time of the Crusades terrorized Christians and other enemies by secret murder committed under the influence of hashish." It has been shown that the terrorists in Iraq use drugs as they terrorize their fellow Iraqis and the infidels.

Worse still, the religious and Muhammad-sanctioned violence in the earliest source documents—the Quran, the hadith, the biographies, and the histories—acts as a kind of drug on the conscience of violent radicals. They read these sources and reasonably conclude that Allah endorses violence. So why would they feel guilty for violence if they have their conscience soothed by Muhammad’s example?

The anaesthetizing seeds of assassination have been planted in the earliest soil of Islam, and now they have grown up into the assassinations of artists and writers and filmmakers. Early Islam inspires such terrorist-assassins.

Jesus did not assassinate anyone, nor did he endorse assassinations to promote the true kingdom of God.

Jesus saves. Muhammad assassinated.

Supplementary material:
This article surveys the rise of violence in Bangladesh. The political parties listed in the box on the right, particularly Islami Chhatra Shibir, has been implicated in religiously motivated assassinations, not to mention the political ones. This article also deals with the rise of violence in Bangladesh.
This analysis discusses the similarities between assassinations in early Islam and the ones today. It is written in honor of Professor Humayon Azad who was assassinated for writing books lampooning or criticizing fundamentalist Islam in Bangladesh.
This analysis examines the many causes of assassinations of journalists and intellectuals in several Islamic countries, notably Algeria, but the analysis fails to go back to the ultimate source: Muhammad himself.
This ironical article gives five "reverse" pillars of Islam. The third one includes assassinations.
These two articles analyze the assassination of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in light of the assassinations in early Islam: [1], [2].
American journalist Daniel Pearl was assassinated apparently for the crime of being Jewish (so says the recruitment video title, noted in this analysis) and being American (read: an infidel). This article has a scathing rebuke of Islamic societies that either encourage gruesome murders or remain silent about them.
Copyright by James Malcolm Arlandson. Originally published at, this article was edited and expanded for Answering Islam.
Articles by James ArlandsonAnswering Islam Home Page







The Zoroastrian-Persians established the first known international empire. The Hakkamanishiya (Achaemenian) empire founded by Cyrus (Kurush) the Great stretched from Greece to Egypt and from Central Asia to India. There were many illustrious kings in this dynasty like Kambastha (Cambyses), Ksharaya (Xerses) and Darayavayush (Darius). This dynasty ruled from the year 550 B.C.E. up to 330 B.C.E. The second Zoroastrian dynasty was that of the Sassanians which was founded by Artakshira (Ardeshir or Artaxerses). The illustrious rulers of this line were Firuz, Noshirvan and Kushro Parvez.The Sassanians ruled from 211 C.E. up to 634 C.E. till the Arab conquest of Iran


When a leading proponent of the death cult--Islam--launches a renewed, vigorous attack against the United states and Israel. The end goal, as stated by the founder of this cult: world domination. When someone tells you that he is giving you a chance to convert or he will kill you, believe him!


When someone comes to kill you, kill him first.


Zoroastrianism - 1000 BCE

Zoroastrianism was founded by Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) in Persia which followed an aboriginal polytheistic religion at the time. He preached what may have been the first monotheism with a single supreme god, Ahura Mazda. Zoroastrians belief in the dualism of good and evil as either a cosmic one between Ahura Mazda and an evil spirit of violence and death, Angra Mainyu, or as an ethical dualism within the human consciousness. The Zoroastrian holy book is called the Avesta which includes the teachings of Zarathushtra written in a series of five hymns called the Gathas. They are abstract sacred poetry directed towards the worship of the One God, understanding of righteousness and cosmic order, promotion of social justice, and individual choice between good and evil. The rest of the Avesta was written at a later date and deals with rituals, practice of worship, and other traditions of the faith.

Zoroastrians worship through prayers and symbolic ceremonies that are conducted before a sacred fire which symbolizes their God. They dedicate their lives to a three-fold path represented by their motto: "Good thoughts, good words, good deeds." The faith does not generally accept converts but this is disputed by some members.




Comments: On the name Cyrus

by: Nic


We are doing an event on Persia. We've decided to name the event 'Cyrus'. As so many conflicts are present globally at this date, we've decided to honour and celebrate the great. The 'great' being all human rights practiced and respected. We've chosen the theme 'Cyrus' (Persian night) as Cyrus the great declared the first Charter of Human Rights known to mankind, which is written on a clay cylinder.

The event will feature many entertainments such as dancing, drums and faqir (fire eater). I was wondering if in fact Persian dancing was performed as an entainment or something else. We did some research on it but could not confirmed the tradition.
Someone please help?

by: Rouzbeh(sorena)

Thank you kourosh for your weblog.
I Live in Perisa(Iran) and am so happy and glad that you have make this
blog for represent peopels.
I have someting to say for Hari:
I am persian, I know Avesta The holly book off Zartosht, I am Zoroastrian...
but it will take time until the people here to understand who they were, what they had and what they have lost. We where not conquered by alexander the pig! thats what they say. But WE had do it to our selfs.. WE had lost our self..WE had BETRAYAL our self
like Besus or Mazeh or Sati Barzan or Razant.
Persia will come back and breath again but more powerful than ever.

by: milad


by: Cyrus Farivar

Kourosh is modern and ancient Persian, yes.

by: Hari

Kourosh is modern persian . Ancient persian is Kurush like the ancient Kuru dynasty of India.
It would be great if persians called Cyrus Kurush and darius Dārayawušh and Zoroaster Zarathushtra!! I think it would be even greater if Persians read the Avesta and found its closeness to the Indian Vedas. There is far too much in common both the religions and languages. Persians always say they are proud of their culture but no one knows anything about the Avesta!!!

by: Cyrus Farivar

Yes, the Persian word for daughter is usually spelled "dokhtar".

And yes, Dan, I find Firefox has better Unicode support than Safari.

by: Dan

Weird—for some reason, Safari doesn't connect the letters when you write your name in Farsi at the top of your front page, but Firefox (and Camino) does. I don't know Farsi, but I studied Arabic for a little while, so it confused me. Oh well, guess it'll make a good MacUser post. :)

by: Philippe Azimzadeh

I knew it!
I've been reading your posts at Macuser and have always suspected that you were Persian. I myself am half Persian and half French, since my father is Persian but I was born in France...So I pronounce my first name the French way and my last name the Persian way and it really confuses people.

And antipanti, you're right, daughter is almost pronounced almost the same way in Persian (it's like : "Dortal" or "Doghtal")

What's weird is that "son" is not (it's "Pesal" or "Peghsal")

If you want to know, my last name's pronouced kind of like "aah-zim-zah-deh"
But this is about Cyrus, so..

by: antipanti

Beautiful and fascinating, thank you. I studied ancient Greek at high school (in Italy) and I remember lots of stories from the old historic literature we had to translate, and Cyrus was always there. Didn't know his name was actually Ky-roosh, with this "sh" sound :) But I know now, from a friend of mine that studied Persian, that Farsi or Persian has many elements from a indo-european basis. He told me once that "daughter" in Persian sound pretty much like, ehm, "daughter"! Dotar, something like that. You only write using tha arab system, I know :)

by: cfarivar

Nah, I studied political economy. :-)

by: Carli

wow and to think some people cared that much

by: JJ

Gee, I doubt that anyone is gonna be able to correct you...
What did you study @ Berkeley? It wasnt perhaps Persian History and Culture was it? ;)


"The imperialists do not allow the establishment
of a single leader in Iran’s secular and
Islamic Universities because they fear the ideas
of Iranian men. The singular person who opposes
them ideologically is the threat to their existence

"As long as the Muslim Umma is tied with
these secular institutions and continues to compare
secular and divine law, they will not see the
face of tranquility and freedom…they (the Iranian
regime) wish to distance us from the freedoms
present in the Quran (12)."


The Zoroastrian-Persians established the first known international empire. The Hakkamanishiya (Achaemenian) empire founded by Cyrus (Kurush) the Great stretched from Greece to Egypt and from Central Asia to India. There were many illustrious kings in this dynasty like Kambastha (Cambyses), Ksharaya (Xerses) and Darayavayush (Darius). This dynasty ruled from the year 550 B.C.E. up to 330 B.C.E. The second Zoroastrian dynasty was that of the Sassanians which was founded by Artakshira (Ardeshir or Artaxerses). The illustrious rulers of this line were Firuz, Noshirvan and Kushro Parvez.The Sassanians ruled from 211 C.E. up to 634 C.E. till the Arab conquest of Iran.


All our calamities and all our problems are
from America and all our calamities and all our
problems are from Israel. Those particular nuwab
(parliamentarians), ministers are from
(agents of) America, all hired to oppress this poor
nation further. Iran’s economy is in the hands of
America and Israel. Iranian markets are outside
the hands of Muslim merchants
"Outside powers must not interfere with the resources
of this nation;
it is vital that the Umma elect the nuwab of parliament;
The people and men of faith need to be instigators
of matters involving Iranian nationalism;
Should preserve freedom of the press.
"Islamic government is the government of
Shariah (Islamic law), none rules, the Shariah
rules. The Shariah are divine laws that govern
mankind and Islamic governments, it is taken
from the principles of Muhammad (PBUH), the
Caliphs and certain known (just) personages
"The reason for the revelation of the
Shariah is to constitute a government, not in the
image of an empire (15)."


Persian Excusion--Cyrus the Great

. . . It’s time to take a look at Iran. When Iraq and Iran are placed against each culturally and historically, they are as different as night and day even though they are neighboring countries. Speculation about the future of these two countries I’ll leave up to you.

Cyrus the Great (590 BC-529 BC)

Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Archaemenian dynasty and the Persian Empire. Cyrus' military victories eventually put him in possession of the largest empire in the world at that time. No doubt he was a remarkably humane ruler for his time. Certainly he has achieved his greatness not by words but by hard and difficult choices, actions, and sacrifice. Without any doubt all the above selected criteria in regard to Cyrus the Great is true. Even the Greeks, who for a long time considered the Persian Empire to be the chief threat to their own independence, never ceased to regard Cyrus as a thoroughly admirable ruler. His policy towards the people of his empire was one of tolerance and understanding, as reflected in his authorization of the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple in 538 BC. Cyrus the Great died in battle in 530 BC. He was succeeded by his son Cambyses. Cyrus the Great achieves highest rank among all world leaders throughout the human history because of the following reasons:

• High moral and ethical values.

• Created Persian Empire based on ethics.

• Expanded the Ethical Empire to include all men who wish to join it.

• In the Bible (e.g., Ezra 1:1-4), Cyrus is famous for freeing the Jewish captives in Babylonia and allowing them to return to their homeland. His name occurs twenty two times in the Bible.

• Establishment of a constitution and Judicial system based on high moral and ethical values.

• Freedoms of religion, job, and place of residency; being advocate of freedom of choice 2500 years ago is very admirable. On the contrary Constantine the Great 800 years later did not have religious toleration (persecuted the Jews) and introduced laws that made certain occupations (e.g., butchers, bakers) hereditary.

• Were it not for Cyrus, therefore, it seems at least possible that the Jewish people would have died out as a separate group in the fifth century BC

• Created Gold and Silver coins for trading.

• Ordered all Governors to treat the people as their own children, and no one could be executed for a first time crime.

• Slavery was not allowed. The Old Persian culture did not accept the concept of slavery. This is a good indication of a great ethical culture; we can admire this especially when we see some 250 years later Aristotle's ideas of slavery as natural law. This idea of Aristotle was used in the Roman Empire and after that in the British Empire as natural law.

• Despite the fact that Cyrus the Great was a genius he would consult with other leaders from different ethnic background to come up with a better solution for their problems.

• Cyrus was clearly a leader of immense military ability, and an outstanding statesman.

• Cyrus the Great had a Major influence on the thinking of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire form of government.

• He was exceptionally tolerant of local religions and local customs.

• He was moderate and respectful toward his defeated opponents, and if they were popular leaders among their people let them continue with their positions.

Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Persian Empire, the first ethical empire throughout human history. He overthrew three great empires (Medes, Lydians, and Babylonians), and united most of the ancient Middle East into a single state stretching from India to the Mediterranean Sea. Cyrus (Kurush in the original Persian) was born about 590 BC, in the province of Persis (now Fars), in southwest Iran. Cyrus was the grandson of Astyages, king of the Medes. Before Cyrus's birth, Astyages had a dream that his grandson would someday overthrow him. The king ordered that the infant be killed promptly after his birth. However, the official entrusted with the job of killing the infant had no heart for such a bloody deed, and instead handed him over to a shepherd and his wife with instructions that they put the child to death. But they, too, were unwilling to kill the boy, and instead reared him as their own. Ultimately, when the child grew up, he indeed caused the king's downfall.

Cyrus was clearly a leader of immense military ability. But that was only one facet of the man. More distinctive, perhaps, was the benign character of his rule. He was exceptionally tolerant of local religions and local customs, and he was disinclined to the extreme brutality and cruelty, which characterized so many other conquerors. The Babylonians, for instance, and even more notably the Assyrians, had massacred many thousands and had exiled whole peoples whose rebellion they feared. For example, when the Babylonians had conquered Judea in 586 BC, they had deported much of the population to Babylon. But fifty years later, after Cyrus had conquered Babylonia, he gave the Jews permission to return to their homeland. Were it not for Cyrus, therefore, it seems at least possible that the Jewish people would have died out as a separate group in the fifth century BC On the contrary, Constantine the Great emperor of Rome (c. 280-337) did not have religious toleration and can be said to mark the beginning of the official persecution of the Jews that was to persist in Europe for so many centuries.

To understand the greatness of Cyrus relative to his time (2500 years ago) we should compare him with Alexander The Great whom he came to power 250 years after Cyrus. Alexander had been brought up to believe that Greek culture represented the only true civilization, and that all of the non-Greek peoples were barbarians. Such, of course, was the prevailing view throughout the Greek world, and even Aristotle had shared it. When Alexander conquered the Persian capital Persepolis; he destroyed Persepolis (the ruin exists today). You can see the difference of these two leaders -- one conquers and allows freedom, the other conquers and destroys.

Another important point is that while Aristotle (250 years after Cyrus the Great) who was perhaps the greatest philosopher and scientist of the ancient world, he supported slavery. Aristotle originated the study of formal logic, enriched almost every branch of philosophy, and made numerous contributions to science, he supported slavery as being in accord with natural law, and he believed in the natural inferiority of women. Despite these last two extremely reactionary ideas, some of Aristotle's views were progressive e.g., "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime," "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind are convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." the belief that it is worthwhile for human beings to conduct a systematic inquiry into every aspect of the natural world; and the conviction that we should utilize both empirical observations and logical reasoning in forming our conclusions.

Despite Aristotle's ideas of slavery as natural law, Cyrus the Great did not believe in slavery never took any slaves and hated brutality and injustice. This is another indication of an old rich Persian culture, which was based on ethics. Even today many forms of slavery exist in this globe, which is a disgrace to all humanity. For example in Time Magazine, June 21, 93 page 46 we read the following:

" A 1991 conference of Southeast Asian women's organizations estimated that 30 million women had been sold worldwide since the mid-1970s. Such figures are at best guesses and at worst only the tip of the iceberg."

Even if we compare Cyrus the Great with political leaders of our time he still achieves highest rank. One of the key attributes of Cyrus the Great was his fight against cruel rulers while not becoming a blind expansionist.

We would admire Cyrus the Great more when we see domination of Machiaavelli philosophy in our time around this globe. The Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) is notorious for his blunt advice that a ruler interested in maintaining and increasing his power should make use of deceitfulness, cunning, and lies, combined with a ruthless use of force. Machiavelli principal fame rests upon his book "The Prince"(a handbook for dictators). The Prince may be considered a primer of practical advice for a head of state. The basic point of view of the book is that in order to succeed; a prince should ignore moral considerations entirely and depend upon strength and cunning. Machiavelli discussed history and politics in purely human terms, and simply ignored moral consideration. Unfortunately Machiavelli is considered to be one of the principal founders of modern political thought. In chapter 17 of The Prince, Machiavelli discusses whether it is better for a prince to be loved or feared: "The reply is that one ought to be both feared and loved, is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanting ...for love is held by a chain of obligation which, men being selfish, is broken whenever it serves their purposes, but fear is maintained by a dread of punishment which never fails." Often, the most denunciation came from those who practiced what Machiavelli preached- a hypocrisy of which Machiavelli might approve, in principle! Therefore we should not judge politicians by their words but by their hard and difficult choices, actions, and great sacrifices.

Because of all the above reasons and high moral and ethical values Cyrus the Great scored the highest rank among all the greatest world's leaders both in ancient and modern times. Therefore Cyrus the Great may be said to be among the greatest political leaders of all time throughout human history.

The study of Cyrus the Great and establishment of his ethical Persian empire some 2500 years ago is a good indication that in our time the concept of world order based on ethics, ethical state, peace and harmony among nations are not an impossible goal and illusion. In this century the most fundamental and essential ingredients of an evolution towards these goals are democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of religion, cultural toleration, human rights, political feedback mechanism, open trade policy, and open communications among people in this globe. The ethics of life are the pursuit of awareness for ourselves and others. The ultimate goal is total awareness. Ethical Government is a means of achieving that goal by raising man to a higher state of total awareness. Ethical leaders can lead men toward Ethical Government and Society, which can lead man to total awareness. To increase man's power is always ethical. However, only men who use power to expand awareness are ethical. Men who use power to diminish awareness are unethical.

Masoud Marvasti 1993


"Our Muslim leader is a person who is in
the mosque, issues rulings and cultivates the
moral of the army. If a stranger entered the
Mosque of Muhammad, the prophet was indistinguishable
from the other Muslims (there in

Khomeini wrote an entire book on the subject
of Islamic government, a concept that is alien
and difficult to quantify among Islamic thinkers
since the Prophet Muhammad left no clear guidance
on how Muslims should govern themselves.
Khomeini paints an image of how the fourth Caliph
Ali ruled, writing:

"The Commander of the Faithful Ali governed an
region of such vastness, encompassing Iran,
Egypt and the Hejaz (the Red Sea Coast of Arabia),
he had agents in Kurman, Ahvaz, Khurasan
and Basra, he lived a meager existence that a
poor student today could not exist on… and if the
Islamic government remained as it was then, the
oppression, transgression, and lust for the forbidden
would not have come to pass, all this originates
first from the leaders, they are the ones
that cross into the dens of degradation, lust and
corruption (17)."

He does not tie how early Muslims govern, and
when forced in his thesis to elaborate on the
structure of an Islamic government, he writes in
terms that may be familiar to a liberal democrat,
such as preserving security and justice for all.

Khomeini adds an Islamist spin, emphasizing,
"we must form a government that preserves the
security of people, one that has the trust of the
people, one which they can trust to surrender
their concerns…
…the goal in Islam is the formation
of a strong government based on the Shariah
(Islamic Law), and the supremacy of the Shariah,
even if this umma (community) lives on wheat
bread in the shadow of a just government is better
than living in palaces and entertainment while
losing freedom and security (18)."

It is also useful that the concept of freedom in the Middle East
tends to be associated with justice, not liberty (as
it is in western democracies), a psychology
Khomeini understood and exploited.
"The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him
(PBUH) says that (the title) King of Kings otherwise
known as Shah-in-Shah (a title used by
Reza Shah) is the most hateful titles to God
Most High. Islam is not compatible to the regime
of the Shah-in-Shah and all those aware
and observe the regime know that Islam came
to tear down all palaces of the oppressive
Shah-in-Shah, and the Shah-in-Shah is the biggest
regime that is hateful and regressive. (1)"
Khomeini’s Writings and Speeches:
The Ideological Foundation of the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
By LCDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, USN

The Beliefs of Khomeni the Leader of the Iranian Revolution

  • Nuri Tibiris, one of the most renowned Shi'ite scholars and mujtahids, wrote a book against the present Quran. The book is entitled: 'Faslul Khitab Fi Tahreefi-Kitabi Rabbil Arbaab' (The Final Verdict on the Distortion of the Book of the Lord of Lords).

  • Khomeini mentions this scholar with great respect in his own book 'A1Hukumatul Islamiyah" (The Islamic State). In fact, Khomeini has actually used Nuri Tibiris's work entitled "Mustadrakul Wasail" to complete his theory of Wilayatul Faqih.

[Wilayatul Faqih is the Islamic jurist's right to overrule a ruling that contradicts Islamic law.]

  • Khomeini writes about Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar (R.A.):

"Those people who, in their envy to rule, attached themselves to the Deen of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and formed their own cliques could not possibly refrain from their actions on the bases of Quranic advice. They had to materialise their aims at any cost." (Kashful Asraar: 114)

  • He also writes:

'Those who had no affiliation with the Quran and Islam except through their desire for the world and power. They had made the Qurun a vehicle to promote their agenda. (Ibid)

  • In his book Kashful Asraar, Khomeni has dedicated a whole chapter to Hazrat Abu Bakr's opposition to the Quran and another chapter to the Omar's opposition. (Ibid: 114 & 117)

He has then continued to write a chapter on how to answer the critiques of the Ahlus Sunnah W'al Jama'ah with the heading: "An eye on the answers of the foolish." (Ibid: 120)

  • Khomeni writes about Hazrat Uthman (R.A.):

"We worship and recognise only that God Whose actions are based on concrete rationalism and Who does not rule against that rationalism. We do not worship a god who creates a building for Divine worship and justice and then strives to destroy that very building himself by giving authority to rascals like Yazid, Mu'awiyah and Uthman". (Ibid: 107)

These are but a few selected views of Majlisi, Maqbool Dehlavi, Noori and Allamah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution. These have been presented to you without any critique or commentary. The reader should.judge for himself how much he can accept these beliefs. The reader should also ask himself if the rise of Khomeini in Iran was a political revolution or whether he had an agenda to propagate the Shi'ite beliefs. Or whether it was a challenge to all of the Muslim world, or a threat to the bonafides of the beliefs of Sunnis.

[MORE TO COME? Maybe, if I find something else pertinent. lw]


Khomeini's Writings and Speeches:
The Ideological Foundation of the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
By LCDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, USN