Date: 20 Mar 2010


160 Understanding Muhammad Raising funds for jihad is one of the main objectives of all Muslims. Today this is done through what are known as Islamic “charities”. However, during the time of Muhammad, and throughout the course of Islam, raising money for jihad was done principally by looting. Islam’s main goal is to establish itself as the pre-eminent earthly power. 13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities. Muslims’ main preoccupation is Islam. They are required to regularly go to the mosque, attend obligatory prayers five times a day, listen to the sermons, etc. So enwrapped do they become in their thinking about how to perform their religious duties, what to wear, what to eat, how to perform their prayers, etc. that they are left with very little time for thinking anything else. In fact they are even told what to think and what not to think. 14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members. Muslims are taught to shun kafirs and are encouraged to socialize only with fellow Muslims. The Qur’an prohibits taking friends from among disbelievers (Q.3:28), calls them najis (filthy, impure) (Q.9:28) and orders to be harsh against them (Q.9:123). According to Muhammad, the disbelievers are the vilest animals in the sight of God. (Q.8:55) 15. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group. The thought of leaving Islam is something so unbearable for the true Muslims that they can’t even entertain it. Despite the fact that millions of Muslims have left Islam in recent years, still hardcore Muslims remain adamant in believing that nobody ever really leaves Islam, and that such claims are all fabrications and part of the conspiracy to shake the faith of the believers. Emails that I have received from Muslims share one common theme. They all warn me Muhammad and his Cult 161 of hellfire in the afterlife. Between the fear of hell and fear of reprisal, Muslims are trapped in a web of terror of their own making Islam was not created to teach humans spirituality, nor make them enlightened. The spiritual message in Islam is secondary or virtually nonexistent. Piety in Islam means emulating Muhammad, a man who was far from pious. Rituals like prayers and fasting are mere window dressings to lure the believer inside, to give Islam the appearance of sacredness and spirituality. The Harder the Better Muslims often ask: If Muhammad was such a liar, why would he create a religion that is so hard with so many restrictions? In fact Islam is one of the hardest religions to practice. It is very demanding. It has too many prohibitions, too many rituals and obligations. Isn’t the difficulty to follow a religion a deterrent? A basic axiom of faith is one that it also contains a paradox, which can be stated as follows: The more difficult a doctrine is to follow, the more inherently appealing it becomes. It is part of our psyche that we appreciate things for which we strive harder. On the other hand, we value less and give less importance to things that we obtain easily or freely. Cults praise hardship and disdain the easy life. It is precisely their hardship that makes them attractive. All cults are by nature difficult to follow. The followers of Warren Jeffs, the Mormon polygamist cult, known as Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, FLDS, worked for him for free or handed over to him all their earnings. He made in excess of two million dollars per month, while his followers depended on welfare for their sustenance. Jeffs had absolute control over his followers. He prohibited them from watching TV, listening to radio or any music, except his own songs. He assigned them houses to live in and told them not to intermingle with non-believers. He chose for them their spouses and if he was unhappy with someone he would order that person’s wives to leave him, and they would obey. Cults demand total submission and with that, great sacrifice. Look at other cults, like the cults of Jim Jones, Shoko Asahara, the Moonies or the Heaven’s Gate. These were not easy cults to practice. Members were often asked to hand over their worldly possessions to the leader, and to leave their jobs, friends and relatives behind in order to follow him. They were forced to live austere lives and sometimes were told to abstain from sex. 162 Understanding Muhammad Meanwhile the cult leader had everything he desired. David Koresh told his followers that women belong to God and since he was the Messiah, they belonged to him. He slept with the wives and teenager daughters of his followers, but prescribed celibacy for them. Shoko Asahara, Jim Jones and generally all cult leaders punished severely those who disobeyed them. Despite these abuses and hardships, for the followers, the biggest punishment was excommunication. Some cultists commit suicide after being excommunicated. Cult leaders ostracize members who seem to be unruly. People want to belong. They will succumb if they are excommunicated and left isolated. This was how Muslims forced into conversion the non-Muslim minorities among them. Cults demand sacrifices. Through sacrifices the believers prove their faith and loyalty. The cultist is led to believe that one can gain the pleasure of God or the guru by sacrificing everything including one’s life. The rationale is that the more you sacrifice for something the more you value it. No sacrifice is too much when your salvation is at stake. Muhammad offered eternal life in Paradise, a bevy of celestial houris and the sexual strength of 80 men to those who believe in him and sacrifice for his cause. As the reward is increased, the sacrifice must be proportionately bigger. To encourage his followers to do more he said: Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allâh with their goods and their persons. Allâh has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) has Allâh promised good, but those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward. (Q. 4:95) In other words, if you believe, you will be rewarded, but your reward will not be equal to the reward of those who wage jihad, who sacrifice their wealth and very lives, in becoming martyrs to the cause. The more dangerous a cult, the more difficult are its requirements. Some cults won't even accept you as a full member until you prove your loyalty by making huge sacrifices. Muhammad made his followers believe that these sacrifices were necessary and part of faith. Spending for the cult or handing over your wealth to its leader, are regarded as the signs of your faith and commitment. Cult leaders are psychopath narcissists and master manipulators. They love to see people do strenuous tasks for them so they can feel the power and Muhammad and his Cult 163 savor their own omnipotence. They get their narcissistic supply by observing the servitude and the sacrifices of their followers. Their befogged believers will do anything, including wage war, assassinate and give their lives to gain their approval. This servile attitude feeds the narcissist craving of the leader for domination and control. They enjoy the power and their followers mistake their intransigence with the truth of their cause. Why the majority of prophets are men? It is because narcissism is predominantly a male disorder. Although women can become also narcissist, there are more narcissist men than women. As the result there are more male prophets, cult leaders and dictators than women. Cults typically apply rigorous rituals. By observing these rituals meticulously, followers are led to believe that they will attain salvation. They become obsessed with rituals and consider failing to observe them to be a sin. These senseless rituals must be performed, supposedly to please God or to become “enlightened”. However, the true intent of the rituals is to keep the followers hooked and on their leash. The shorter the leash the more the leader can control his followers. In reality none of these rituals has anything to do with God. They are to give the narcissist maximum power over his followers. The Islamic rituals of obligatory prayers and fasting, serve as desensitizers of thoughts and emotions. Muslims are asked to abstain from certain foods, from listening to music and from socializing with the opposite sex. If they are women they must cover themselves in layers of veiled, baggy clothing even in the scorching heat of the summer, and they must sever all ties with their non-Muslim family and friends. These are all hardships and sacrifices that make the believer think that he or she is going to gain a reward in exchange. The believer becomes obsessed with rituals and sacrifices. While he suffers, he counts his blessings and rewards in the other world and thus is filled with euphoria and bliss. Paradoxically, more pain gives the believers more joy and contentment. It is not uncommon for believers to voluntarily perform selfflagellation in order to elicit God’s pleasure. We humans tend to believe in the maxim “no pain no gain”. Our primitive ancestors used to offer sacrifices to appease their gods. For grater rewards they made bigger sacrifices. This belief was so entrenched that in some cultures people sacrificed humans and even their own children. The hardship in practicing Islam (as well as other cults) and the intense sacrifices that Muslims must make to be observant and “pious” believers is in fact the main appeal of Islam. The harder a cult is to follow, the truer it appears. 164 Understanding Muhammad Those who do not sacrifice enough are filled with guilt. This guilt is often more painful than the sacrifice itself. A Few Famous Narcissist Cult Leaders The personality of Muhammad is an enigma to many scholars. Even those who do not accept his claim admit that he had an impressive and charismatic personality. He could mesmerize those around him to the extent that they would believe in him and became so inspired that they would kill anyone at his bidding or sacrifice their own lives upon his command. How could he summon up so much determination, aspire so high, think so grandiose, and become so powerful in such a short time? What was his secret? What drove Muhammad to such great success was his need to be loved. This is the secret behind history’s great narcissists. This is what drives them so incessantly and tirelessly. There is no shortage of people who proclaim to be messengers of God or messiahs. Likewise, there is no dearth of fools who would follow them to the extent that they would willingly kill or die in order to demonstrate their loyalty. Respect, admiration and power are what drive the narcissists. Narcissists are con artists. They have great need for recognition. They are stubborn, manipulative and determined. They are also smart, cunning and resourceful. Some famous narcissists are: Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Mao, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Shoko Asahara and Charles Manson. Narcissists are emotionally disturbed people. They only see their validation in power, and to achieve that, will stop at nothing. They lie convincingly. They inspire confidence and appear self-assured. All that, however, is a facade to hide their insecurity and inner fears. Let us take a closer look at a few narcissists and compare them to Muhammad. This comparison will possibly explain the behavior of Muslims and their blind devotion to Islam. Jim Jones convinced normal decent people that he was the Messiah (of socialism of all things). He persuaded them to leave their families and follow him to his “Medina” in the middle of the jungle. He charmed the Government of Guyana to give him 300 acres of land for free. He convinced his followers that they should let him sleep with their wives. He encouraged his men to carry guns and to kill anyone who dissented. These men became so blinded by their faith in him that they shot and killed a senator and his bodyguards. Then Jim Jones Muhammad and his Cult 165 persuaded, without any resistance, his followers to drink a cyanide potion and commit mass suicide. Nine hundred and eleven people willingly did what he told them to do and died. They even made their children drink the poison. We will talk more about him in the next chapter. David Koresh gathered his followers in a compound named after himself outside of Waco, Texas. He told them he was the Son of God and they believed him. His first announcement was made to the Seventh Day Adventists Church in southern California, which read in part: “I have seven eyes and seven horns. My Name is the Word of God...Prepare to Meet Thy God.” Marc Breault, a former member of Koresh’s cult wrote that Vernon (the real name of David Koresh) confided to him early in his ministry: “I’ll have women begging me to make love to ‘em. Just imagine; virgins without number.” A couple of years later he would be attended by at least twenty young women, including two that were just 14 years old, and one who was age 12. Like Allâh, who was attentive to his apostle’s sexual needs, David’s god was just as concerned about his carnal needs. Starting as a preacher, he soon rose to the position of the Son of God and began demanding sex from the wives of his followers – women who he believed had married these other men without his permission and who belonged to him. “All you men are just fuckers. That’s all you are,” David told his followers. “You married without getting God’s permission. Even worse, you married my wives. God gave them to me first. So now I’m taking them back.” According to Marc Breault, everybody was shocked by these statements, but they did not react, while Koresh kept saying things like: “So Scott; how does it feel to know you’re not married anymore?” According to Breault, in 1989 David “began having sex with the other men’s wives... and directed the women to inform him when they had reached the fertile part of their cycle to maximize the chance of pregnancy.” As per the men, he informed them that it was their job to “defend King Solomon’s bed.” He not only had sex with and impregnated their wives—fathering over 20 children— but began having sex with their children as well. “Children were spanked for any reason; crying during a sixteen-hour Bible study, refusing to sit on David’s lap, or daring to defy the prophet’s wishes…Some women thought the best way to please their Son of God lover was to be especially severe when dishing out discipline. But sometimes it wasn’t easy for the adults to spank the children. They couldn’t find a spot on the child’s buttocks that wasn’t black and blue or bleeding” The women were sometimes subjected to the same treatment. One 29-year old woman who announced that she was hearing voices was imprisoned in one of 166 Understanding Muhammad the small cottages on their property. She was beaten, and repeatedly raped by her guards.” 235 Like Muhammad, Koresh was also a prophet of doom. His followers armed themselves. When raided, by police, they shot and killed four ATF agents and booby-trapped the compound, blowing it apart, causing their own deaths and the deaths of their families, rather than surrender. Ninety people died as the resiult. This story is beyond belief. How can anyone let himself to be fooled to this extent? Albert Einstein was not joking when he said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” Order of the Solar Temple: This apocalyptic cult claimed 74 victims in three bizarre mass suicide rituals. Most of the members of the sect were highly educated and well-to-do individuals, much more intelligent than Abu Bakr, Omar and Ali, and other companions of Muhammad. The cult gave great importance to the Sun. Their fiery ritual murdersuicides were meant to take members of the sect to a new world on the star “Sirius”. To assist with the trip, several of the victims, including some children, were shot in the head, asphyxiated with black plastic bags and/or poisoned. The two known leaders of the group were Luc Jouret, a Belgian homeopathic doctor, and Joseph di Mambro, a wealthy businessman. They were Muhammad and Abu Bakr of this cult. However, they believed in their own insanity so much that along with their followers they too committed suicide. This is something Muhammad was not willing to do. Muhammad never put his life in the way of harm. He surrounded himself with bodyguards at all times and never confronted the enemy in person. In a letter delivered after their deaths, Jouret and di Mambro wrote that they were "leaving this earth to find a new dimension of truth and absolution, far from the hypocrisies of this world." Cults have an infatuation with death. This sounds eerily familiar to what Muhammad used to preach, except that Muhammad was more attached to this world and its lustful pleasures and so had no intention of leaving it. He praised martyrdom, but that was for others. He did not advocate suicide. Instead, he goaded his followers to wage jihad, kill and readily die. He told them to love death more than life, to loot and to bring booty, women and slaves for “Allâh and his messenger”. He was much more pragmatic than other cult leaders and therefore less sincere. 235 Inside the Cult: A Member's Chilling, Exclusive Account of Madness and Depra4vity in David Koresh's Compound Breault & King, 1993 Muhammad and his Cult 167 Heaven's Gate: On March 26, 1997, 39 members of the cult known as “Heaven's Gate” decided to 'shed their containers” and get on a companion craft “hiding in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet”. The Heaven’s Gaters died in three shifts over a three-day period after celebrating their last meal on earth. As one set of cultists ingested the poison, a lethal dose of phenobarbital mixed in with pudding and/or applesauce and chased with a shot of vodka, they would lie down while other cultists would use a plastic bag on their head to speed up the death. Then the cultists would clean up after each round of killing. Before the last two killed themselves, they took out the trash leaving the rented mansion in perfect order. Wanting to be helpful even after death, all bodies had some sort of identification. Strangely, though, they also had five-dollar bills and change in their pockets and small suitcases neatly tucked under their cots and beds. Like Muslim suicide bombers who shave their bodies and some even wrap their penis in aluminum foil, supposedly to keep it intact from the blast of the bomb, in preparation for their nuptial encounter with the celestial whores, the Heaven’s Gaters must have thought that they will take their bodies and their suitcases along in their celestial voyage. Charles Manson: This infamous psychopath of the late sixties at one point had nearly 100 young men and women among his followers (roughly the same number of followers Muhammad had gathered in Mecca and somewhat of the same caliber), known as the “Family”. He was seen as their Messiah. He had made these rebel kids believe that the civilization was about to end in a racial war in which the blacks will fight the whites and would win, but since they don’t know how to run the world, they would come to him for help and, he and his followers will rule the world. He was so convinced of his delusions that his followers did not question his sanity. They did everything he told them to do, including engage in prostitution, theft, and murder. This is not unlike what Muhammad urged his followers to do. He encouraged them to raid, loot and rape, and they did. When the promised racial war did not happen, in 1969, Manson thought he should kickstart it himself. He ordered his followers to enter the houses of rich people randomly, kill them and make it look as if it has been done by blacks. These young people did exactly what Manson ordered them. They were eager to please him and in fact vied with each other to obey his orders. They had come to believe that Manson had special divine powers and was endowed with hidden knowledge. 168 Understanding Muhammad The influence of Manson on his followers was such that in 1975, Lynette Fromme, one of his “girls” known as "Squeaky", attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford and was sentenced to life in prison. “She's very bright, an intelligent, pleasant woman,” Fromme’s attorney said of her. “She's anything but crazy. When you talk with her, everything is fine until you mention Manson.” This can be said of all cultists. They are normal, intelligent people, until you mention their cult leader. Muslims are generally affable people until the name of Muhammad is slighted. Then suddenly, blood rushes to their heads, insanity overtakes many of them and some of them become murderers and savages. Cultists are all alike. They derive their insanity from a psychopath narcissist leader. Another of Manson’s girls, Sandra Good, was convicted for sending death threats through mail in 1976 and served ten years in jail. Following her release, she moved to an area close to Corcoran prison, where Manson is held, and tended his website until 2001. That is the power of brainwashing. Sandra Good was interviewed by CBC radio about a week after Fromme’s attempted assassination. She said, “People all over the world are due to be assassinated. This is just the beginning. This is just the beginning of many assassinations that are about to take place”. When asked, how could she talk about the trees that she wants to protect when she does not care about men? Good responded: “Men that kill life, that kill harp seals, that kill trees, that poison oceans, rivers and life are killing all of us.” 236 Cultists justify their terrorist deeds. This is the same apologetic given by Muslims to justify Islamic terrorism. They first build a straw-man of the West accusing it of killing Muslim children and then based on that lie they justify all their heinous crimes against civilians and children. How many times have we heard “respectable” and prominent Muslims appear on TV to say, “We condemn terrorism BUT (yes there is always a but) this is a reaction to what Israel, America, the West, etc. are doing to Muslims?” Manson still receives a large amount of mail, more than any other prisoner in the United States prison system, much of it from young people who want to join the “Family”. Can this possibly explain why the cult of Islam is still thriving? Evil people will always gravitate towards evil doctrines. Like all cults, Manson’s also had a cause. The cause of his cult was preservation of Air, Trees, Water, Animals (ATWA) He made his cause look so important that it justified murder. After spending more than three decades in 236 http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-68-368-2086/arts_entertainment/frum/ Muhammad and his Cult 169 prison, Fromme is still faithful to Manson: “Manson told me he could give me a natural world”, said Fromme in an interview. “Almost forty years ago he told me that money should work as hard for people as people work for money. He was talking about air and water, land and life. I don't know how it can be done so I'm just waiting. I would work hard for and invest in a world like that because it would support not just me but the continuum of generations to come.” The poor woman is still a believer. This is an eloquent testimony to the power of brainwashing. That is why Muslims are not leaving Islam; despite the fact that they know Muhammad led a despicable and shameful life. Belief is a potent drug that destroys the thinking ability of the believer. The American philosopher Elbert Hubbard said, “Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.” In one of their killing raids, Manson, peeping through the window of the house of his victims, saw pictures of children on the wall. At first he thought this house should be spared, but then changed his mind and said, the cause is so important that children should not come in the way. Joseph Cohen, a Jewish man who converted to Islam and who changed his name to Yusuf Khattab, in an interview available on Youtube.com said the same thing about Israeli children. He believes every Israeli is a legitimate target and should be killed. When asked about children, he said that their killing would be a blessing to them because they will die before having the chance to commit sin and therefore will go to heaven. Joseph Kony is a mad man who claims to be a “spirit medium.” He founded the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group that was until 2006 engaged in a violent campaign to establish a theocratic government in Uganda, allegedly based on the Ten Commandments. He abducted an estimated 20,000 children since 1987 and turned them into killing machines. The unfortunate children were then forcefully indoctrinated, much like Muslim children in madrassas. Savage beatings were meted out to all nonbelievers. Like Muhammad, Kony was also a polygamist. He prayed to the God of the Christians on Sundays reciting the Rosary and quoting the Bible; but on Fridays he performed the Islamic Al-Jummah prayer. He celebrated Christmas, but he also fasted for 30 days during Ramadan and prohibited the consumption of pork. Joseph Kony had convinced his young warriors that with faith and recitation of the proper prayers, the Holy Spirit would shield them in battle. He promised the fighters that a magical power will render them victorious and made 170 Understanding Muhammad them believe that bullets fired at them would turn around in mid air to hit the soldiers who were firing them. Muhammad told his followers that angles will come to their help and that twenty believers can vanquish two hundred and a hundred can vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers. (Q.8:65). Knoy gave a bottle of water to his boys for protection against the Ugandan army. He told them that if they empty the bottle’s contents, a river will be created that would drown the enemy soldiers. Muhammad used to throw a handful of sand in the direction of his enemy and curse them. Both Kony and Muhammad stayed safely in the rear while encouraging their followers to be courageous and not fear death. Another similarity of Kony and Muhammad is their common belief in evil spirits. In 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony for crimes against humanity. The charges against him included murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement and rape, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing attacks against civilian populations, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlisting of children into the rebel ranks. These are the very charges that Muhammad should have been indicted for. Like Muhammad, Kony had very little tolerance for dissent. Anyone who resisted LRA indoctrination, or who attempted to escape was executed – often savagely beaten to death by those newly abducted into Kony's “Spirit Army.” Muhammad’s success is due to the fact that he came in a place where there was no central government to stop him. He raided, looted and conquered unchecked, starting as a robber and making his way up to eventually become an emperor. He combined the seductiveness of a cult leader with the ruthlessness of a conqueror. Narcissists often succeed because they have a tremendous drive and a dogged determination. They seek to satiate their feelings of loneliness and lack of love with power and domination. The Power of the Big Lie Adolf Hitler, in his Mein Kampf, (1925) wrote: “The broad mass of a nation will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one”. If anyone should have known the power of the big lie and that the bigger the lie the more believable it sounds, it was Hitler. Another good statement is that of George Orwell, author of Politics and the English Language. He wrote: “Political Muhammad and his Cult 171 language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”237 Why big lies are so convincing? It’s because an ordinary person generally does not dare to tell a big lie. He fears that it would not be believed and that he would be derided. And, since everyone has heard or has said a few white lies, most people generally recognize them when they hear one. The big lies are so outlandish that they often startle the listener. Most people are not equipped to process them adequately. When the lie is colossal, the average person is left to wonder how anyone can have the audacity, the impudence to say such a thing. You are left with the difficult decision between two extremes: The person, who is saying this, must be either insane, a charlatan or he must be telling the truth. Now, what if for any reason, such as your reverence for this person, his charisma, or your commitment to him, you can’t bear the thought of repudiating him and accept the fact that maybe he’s indeed be insane, a quack? Then you force yourself to believe in whatever he tells you even if what he says makes no sense at all. The big lie offsets the scale of our commonsense. This is not unlike like loading a scale that is made to weigh kilos with tons. It stops showing the correct weight. The indicator may even stop at zero. Hence, Hitler was right. The big lie is often believed more than a small lie. When Muhammad recounted his tale of ascending to the seventh heaven, Abu Bakr was at first taken aback. He did not know what to make of this. This sounded utterly mad. He had two choices: either to admit that his trusted friend, whom he respected so much and by following him had endured ridicules is a crackpot, or believe in his fantastical tales and whatever else he might say. There was no middle ground for him. Ibn Ishaq says when Muhammad made his vision known, “many Muslims gave up their faiths. Some people went to Abu Bakr and said, ‘What do you think of your friend? He alleges that he went to Jerusalem last night and prayed there, and came back to Mecca!’ He replied that they were lying about the apostle, but they said that he was in the mosque at that very moment, telling people about it. Abu Bakr said, ‘If he says so, then it is true. And what is so surprising in that? He tells me that communication from Allâh, from heaven to earth, comes to him in an hour of a day or night, and I believe him. That is more extraordinary than that at which you boggle!’”238 237 Politics and the English Language 1946 http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html 238 Sira Ibn Ishaq:P 183 172 Understanding Muhammad The logic is flawless. Basically what Abu Bakr was saying is that once you give up your rational faculty and believe in an absurdity, you might as well believe in anything. Once you let yourself to be fooled, then you should be prepared to be fooled ad infinitum because there is no end to foolishness. How many people would let a 54 year old man sleep with their nine year old daughter? Abu Bakr did. This requires extreme foolishness. This much foolishness is only possible through blind faith. We must also remember that Abu Bakr, by now had spent most of his wealth for Muhammad and his cause. This man had a lot at stake. At this stage, he had no other choice but to go along with whatever Muhammad told him. Admitting that he had been conned was too painful a thought to bear. How could he explain this to his wife? What could he say to the wise men of Mecca who had laughed at him and told him he is a fool? The doors of going back for Abu Bakr were shut. He had to protect his pride and that meant he could not admit to have been a fool. All he could do was to dig in deeper and blindly follow Muhammad to wherever he took him. He had to silence his conscience and believe in anything his prophet fancied. When you put your entire faith on someone and sacrifice so much for him, you give up your independence and become putty in his hand. This is what cult leaders want from their devotees. Only this kind of devotion satiates their narcissistic craving. Abu Bakr had a hard time believing in Muhammad’s tale of ascension to heaven and yet in the end he had no choice but to believe because renouncing him meant admitting that he has been a fool and that was a painful admission. Denouncing the person, whom you have come to accept as the messenger of God and believe in, is not an easy task. It is indeed a heroic decision, one well beyond the range of any feebleminded believer. The more you have given up your freedom, and the more you have sacrificed for this person and his cause, the more difficult it is to leave him. Hitler, Stalin and many other history's despotic leaders were also insane. Yet few suspected their insanity. Those who did could not whisper it to others. The superior wisdom of the despotic leader is the invisible cloak of the emperor. Everyone sees it and praises it. Those who are not in the immediate circle, become convinced by the conviction of others. Thus the big lie is perpetuated and no criticism of it is tolerated. Muhammad and his Cult 173 Use of Violence Apart from being utterly convinced, the psychopath liar is ready to use violence to defend his lies. Appealing to force in order to support a claim is a logical fallacy that has often been successfully applied by dictators. This fallacy is called Argumentum ad baculum. It happens when someone resorts to force, or the threat of force, to push others to accept a conclusion. Argumentum ad baculum can be defined as “might is right.” This threat could be direct like: • Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. (Q. 9:5) • I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. (Q. 8:12) Or indirect such as: • And as for those who disbelieve and reject Our Signs, they are the people of Hell (Q.5:11) • For him [the disbeliever] there is disgrace in this life, and on the Day of Judgment We shall make him taste the Penalty of burning (Fire). (Q. 22:9) • (As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire; so oft as their skins are thoroughly burned, We will change them for other skins, that they may taste the chastisement; surely Allâh is Mighty, Wise. (Q. 4:56) The threat gives the big lie a dramatic sense of urgency. The impact is so intense that one can't remain indifferent. “How can one be so certain that God would punish those who disbelieve in him?” or “How can one kill so many people for mere fact that they disbelieve in him?” You wonder and become more prone to believe than if there were no such threats. Argumentum ad baculum works. Extreme violence is extremely convincing. The North Koreans literally worship their mad leader, Kim Jung Il. This certainty comes to them through the dictator’s extreme violence and his zero tolerance of dissent. When your life depends on believing, you will believe in anything. When the followers of Shoko Asahara, were ordered to release sarin gas in the subways of Tokyo and murder many innocent people, they did not question the abhorrence of this order. They silenced their conscience and accepted it as the sign of the greater wisdom of their guru. They were faced with 174 Understanding Muhammad two choices. They had to, either accept that he is insane, that they have been fooled, and admit that all their sacrifices have been in vain, or convince themselves that this man’s wisdom is so great that they can’t fathom its depth and therefore should not question him. These people had given up everything to be with Asahara. They had broken all the bridges with their previous lives. They had nothing left to fall back on and nowhere to go if they decided to leave him. Since questioning Asahara or dissenting would not have been tolerated, they had no choice but to believe that whatever he said was right. They dismissed any doubt and forced themselves to have faith. Dr. Ikuo Hayashi was a renowned doctor who had become one of Asahara’s zealous followers. He was one of the five persons who were ordered to plant the toxic sarin gas in the subways of Tokyo. Hayashi was a trained physician and had taken the Hippocratic Oath to save lives. At one point, before puncturing the packages containing the deadly liquid, he looked at the woman sitting in front of him and for a moment had misgivings. He knew that he was about to cause that woman's death. But he immediately silenced his conscience convincing himself that Asahara knew best, and that it would not be right for him to question his master’s wisdom. Omeir was a 16 years old lad who accompanied Muhammad in one of his battles. Muhammad spoke so glowingly of martyrdom that this boy was kindled with zealotry. Throwing away a handful of dates, which he was eating, he exclaimed “Is it these that hold me back from Paradise? Verily, I will taste no more of them, until I meet my Lord!” With such words, he drew his sword, and casting himself upon enemy's ranks, soon obtained the fate he coveted. Once you become a believer you dismiss the thought that your beloved prophet may be lying. Psychopaths don't have a conscience. They can lie and they are capable of killing millions of people without any compunction. They feel entitled to do so. Hitler was convinced that he was doing the work of God. Indeed, one of his most revealing statements makes this quite clear. He wrote: Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.239 239 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York: Mariner Books, 1999, p. 65. Muhammad and his Cult 175 Ayatollah Montazeri, the man who was supposed to succeed Khomeini, until he fell from grace because of his disagreements with him, in his memoir wrote that when Khomeini ordered the massacre of more than 3,000 dissident boys and girls, he objected. Khomeini said that he would respond to God for that and that Montazeri should mind his own business. Narcissist psychopaths are utterly convinced of their evil acts and are the first to believe in their own lies. Hitler attracted the support of many Germans merely by making them feel good with his big lies. He was a spellbinding speaker. When he spoke, he became louder and louder, as he vented his rage at the perceived enemies of Germany. He aroused the patriotism of Germans. His belief, that the bigger the lie the more believable it becomes, proved true. Millions of Germans believed in his lies. They loved him and were moved to tears by his fiery speeches. Ibn Sa’d reports a hadith that reveals more similarities between Muhammad and Hitler. He wrote, “During the sermons, the eyes of the Prophet would turn red as he would raise his voice and spoke angrily as if he was the commander of an army warning his men ‘the resurrection and I are like these two fingers (referring to his index and middle finger). He would say ‘the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad and the worst thing is innovation and any innovation will result in perdition.”240 In the same place Ibn Sa’d says: “During his sermons, the Prophet used to wield a stick.” (Perhaps to symbolize his dominance!) The art of manipulating others so brazenly is not an ability that you or I can learn and easily master. Our biggest “handicap” is our conscience. Such ability comes naturally to psychopathic narcissists who have no conscience. Narcissists like Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin and Muhammad were bereft of conscience. Why Did Everyone Praise Muhammad? A question that boggles Muslims is why, if Muhammad was so evil, did his companions praise him so much? Why no one spoke opprobriously of him, even after his death? The answer is that in a society that is based on a personality cult, speaking your mind is not always safe. Telling the truth could bring you ostracism or worse, it could cost your life. The majority of the people has sheep 240 Ibn Sa’d Tabaqat, page 362 176 Understanding Muhammad mentality and goes with the flow. Those who may think differently know enough to keep their mouths shut and their heads on their shoulders. Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh, who was one of Muhammad’s scribes, had to escape from Medina and only in the safety of Mecca he revealed that there were no revelations and that Muhammad was making the Qur’an up. However, when Muhammad conquered Mecca, he immediately sought Abi Sarh and ordered his execution, even though he had promised to not kill anyone should the city surrender with no fight. Abi Sarh’s life was spared thanks to the intercession of Uthman who happened to be his foster brother. Where critics are silenced, sycophants and bootlickers will try to endear themselves by eulogizing the leader with flattery and exaggerated adulation. Saddam was hated by most of the Iraqis, and yet all you could hear about him in Iraq, while he was still in power, were his praises. The narcissist is so cut off from reality that he believes in those praises and in a sense becomes a victim of his own deception. Because Muhammad was believed to be a prophet, his reign of terror did not end with his death. Those who truly had fallen for his big lie perpetuated that terror and silenced any voice of opposition just as they do today. Once those who knew Muhammad up close were dead, the later generations had no way to know the truth and believed in what everyone else believed and the lie passed from one generation to another. After Muhammad’s death, the sycophants continued fawning over him, praising him to the skies, even attributing miracles to him, thinking that this would add to their prestige and make them look pious. There are many miracles attributed to Muhammad even though he confessed in the Qur’an that he could not perform any.241 Fourteen hundred years later, millions of Muslims behave in the same way they used to at the time of Muhammad in Medina. Those who dissent are afraid to talk, and if they do, they are silenced swiftly, while the lackey fawners are honored for extolling the Prophet and his “virtues”. How can truth triumph in such a repressive atmosphere so fraught with hypocrisy and sycophancy? There are several stories about Muhammad ordering the assassination of those who criticized him and about Omar, as Muhammad’s right hand man, who was ever ready to draw his sword and threaten to slit the throat of anyone who dared to question his master’s authority. Muhammad encouraged sycophantism and punished independent thinking and criticism. 241 The unbelievers repeated asked Muhammad to bring a miracle so they can believe (Quram 17: 90) and Muhammad kept telling them "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?" (Qur’an 17: 93) Muhammad and his Cult 177 People trapped in such an oppressive atmosphere, eventually come to believe in the superhuman qualities of the leader and their faith in them becomes genuine and real. Recently, a team of eye surgeons went to North Korea to help people with cataracts. Thousands of young and old lined up and after they recovered their sights, the doctors were stupefied to see that the first thing these people did was to go to the large portrait of the dictator Kim Jung Il, hanging on the wall, to prostrate and thank him – not the doctors who helped them, but the tyrant that had kept them blind for so many years. Muhammad’s mission flourished partly because he had appeared in a time and place where he was amongst an ignorant, superstitious, largely chauvinistic people. The qualities that he needed to bolster his marauding religion were already present in his early followers. Chauvinism, bigotry, haughtiness, arrogance, megalomania, stupidity, boastfulness, greed, lust for sex, disdain for life and other ignoble character traits that are the hallmarks of Islam were already present as the materia prima in Arabia, where he launched his prophetic enterprise. These attributes were later imposed on other nations who became preys of Islam. Those who already had these base attributes found in Islam a common ground to regroup and a “divine” validation for their deviant, criminal penchant. Chapter Six When Sane People Follow Insane People ne way to understand Islam and the fanaticism that characterizes its followers is to compare it to other cults. Islam has roughly 1.2 billion believers. If you are not a Muslim yourself, you must know a few and may see nothing abhorrent in them. They may be like most people, working and raising their families. They are good employees, colleagues, bosses, neighbors and citizens. They are friendly, no better or worse that other people. There may be nothing particular about them that would lead one to believe they are part of a cult. However, let not the appearances fool you. Islam is a cult and Muslims have very cultic mentality. The dictionary definition of fanaticism is excessive enthusiasm, unreasoning zeal, or wild and extravagant notions, on any subject, especially religion. People do not embrace religions to become murderers and terrorists. This seems to be the antithesis of what religions are about. So what makes some to become so fanatical that they would disregard commonsense, engage in despicable acts of barbarity, murder and even readily give up their lives in the name or religion? Is the fervor of the believers indication of the truth of their 000000000