...................By FrontPage Magazine
..........FrontPageMagazine.com | October 18, 2004
Below, Ibn Warraq, the author of Why I am Not a Muslim, argues that Islam is a totalitarian ideology. *
............Islam. A Totalitarian Ideology
......................By Ibn Warraq
Islam is a totalitarian ideology that aims to control the religious, social and political life of mankind in all its aspects -- the life of its followers without qualification, and the life of those who follow the so-called tolerated religions to a degree that prevents their activities from getting in the way of Islam in any manner. And I mean Islam. I do not accept some spurious distinction between Islam and “Islamic fundamentalism” or “Islamic terrorism.”
The terrorists who planted bombs in Madrid on March 11, 2004, and those responsible for the death of approximately 3000 people on September 11, 2001 in New York, and the Ayatollahs of Iran, were and are all acting canonically. Their actions reflect the teachings of Islam, whether found in the Koran, in the acts and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, or in Islamic Law that is based upon them.
Islamic Law, the Sharia, is the total collection of theoretical laws that apply in an ideal Muslim community that has surrendered to the will of God. According to Muslims, it is based on divine authority that must be accepted without criticism, doubts and questions. As an all-embracing system of duties to God, Sharia controls the entire life of the believer and the Islamic community. An individual living under Islamic Law is not free to think for himself.
Given the totalitarian nature of Islamic law, Islam does not value the individual, who has to be sacrificed for the sake of the Islamic community. Collectivism has a special sanctity under Islam. Under these conditions, minorities are not tolerated in Islam. Freedom of opinion and the freedom to change one’s religion, the act of apostasy, are punishable by death. Under Muslim law, the male apostate must be put to death, as long as he is an adult, and in full possession of his faculties. If a pubescent boy apostatizes, he is imprisoned until he comes of age, when if he persists in rejecting Islam he must be put to death.
Drunkards and the mentally disturbed are not held responsible for their apostasy. If a person has acted under compulsion he is not considered an apostate, his wife is not divorced and his lands are not forfeited. According to Hanafis and Shia, a woman is imprisoned until she repents and adopts Islam once more, but according to the influential Ibn Hanbal, and the Malikis and Shafiites, she is also put to death. In general, execution must be by the sword, though there are examples of apostates tortured to death, or strangled, burnt, drowned, impaled or flayed. The caliph Umar used to tie them to a post and had lances thrust into their hearts, and the Sultan Baybars II (1308-09) made torture legal.
The absence of any mention of apostasy in the penal codes of some contemporary Islamic countries in no way implies that a Muslim is free to leave his religion. In reality, the lacunae in the penal codes are filled by Islamic Law, as in the case of Muhammad Taha, executed for apostasy in the Sudan in 1985, and hundreds of others have been executed for apostasy in Iran in recent years. In 1998 Ruhollah Rowhani, 52, was hanged for converting to the Baha'i faith in Iran.
All Islamic human rights schemes such as the 1981 Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights; the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (circa 1990), etc., severely restrict and qualify the rights of individuals, particularly women, and minorities such as non-Muslims and those such as apostates, unbelievers, and heretics who do not accept Islamic religious orthodoxy.
As for religious minorities, the relations of Muslims and non-Muslims were set in a context of a war: jihad. The totalitarian nature of Islam is nowhere more apparent than in the concept of Jihad, the Holy War, whose ultimate aim is to conquer the entire world and submit it to the one true faith, to the law of Allah. To Islam alone has been granted the truth -- there is no possibility of salvation outside it. It is the sacred duty -- an incumbent religious duty established in the Koran and the Traditions -- of all Muslims to bring it to all humanity. Jihad is a divine institution, enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam. Muslims must strive, fight and kill in the name of God:
IX .5-6: "Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them."
IX. 29: "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."
IV.76: "Those who believe fight in the cause of God..."
VIII.12: "I will instil terror into the hearts of the Infidels, strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every fingertip."
Mankind is divided into two groups - Muslims and non-Muslims. The Muslims are members of the Islamic community, the umma, who possess territories in the Dar ul Islam, the Land of Islam, where the edicts of Islam are fully promulgated. The non-Muslims are the Harbi, people of the Dar ul Harb, the Land of Warfare, any country belonging to the infidels that has not been subdued by Islam but which, nonetheless, is destined to pass into Islamic jurisdiction either by conversion or by war (Harb).
All acts of war are permitted in the Dar ul Harb. Once the Dar ul Harb has been subjugated, the Harbi become prisoners of war. The imam can do what he likes to them according to the circumstances. Usually they are sold into slavery, exiled or treated as dhimmis, who are tolerated as second class subjects, as long as they pay the kharaj, a kind of land tax, and the jizya, the poll-tax, which had to be paid individually at a humiliating public ceremony to remind the non-Muslim minorities that they were inferior to the believers, the Muslims.
In all litigation between a Muslim and a dhimmi, the validity of the oath or testimony of the dhimmi is not recognized. In other words, since a dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence against a Muslim, his Muslim opponent is always exonerated. No Muslim could be executed for having committed any crime against a dhimmi. Accusations of blasphemy against dhimmis were quite frequent and the penalty was capital punishment. A non-Muslim man may not marry a Muslim woman. I should emphasize that all these principles are not merely of historical interest but are indeed still applied against non-Muslims in modern Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few countries.
Muslims are certain that Islam is not only the whole of God’s truth, but it is its final expression. Hence Muslims fear and persecute such post-Islamic religious movements as the Baha’is and the Ahmadis. Here is Amnesty International on the plight of the Ahmadis [ASA :33/15.91]: "Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslims but they are regarded by orthodox Muslims as heretical because they call the founder of their movement al-Masih [the Messiah]: this is taken to imply that Muhammad is not the final seal of the prophets as orthodox Islam holds, i.e., the Prophet who carried the final message from God to humanity … As a result of these divergences, Ahmadis have been subjected to discrimination and persecution in some Islamic countries. In the mid-1970s, the Saudi Arabia-based World Muslim League called on Muslim governments worldwide to take action against Ahmadis. Ahmadis are since then banned in Saudi Arabia."
But what of putative Islamic tolerance? Those apologists who continue to perpetuate the myth of Islamic tolerance should contemplate the following cursory tabulation of jihad depredations: the massacre and extermination (totalling tens of millions, combined) of the Zoroastrians in Iran, and the Buddhists and Hindus in India; of the more than 6000 Jews in Fez, Morocco in 1033, the entire Jewish community of 4000 in Granada in 1066, of the Jews in Marrakesh in 1232, of the Jews of Tetuan, Morocco in 1790, and of the Jews of Baghdad in 1828; the jihad genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the jihad genocide of 2 million South Sudanese Christians and Animists at close of the 20th Century, and so on, ad nauseam