Beyond Islamo-Fascism

by Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz

As you, I live in a society predominately populated by Christians. My knowledge of Islam is minimal. Consequently, when I am told that Islamo-Fascists are perverting the Koran and Islam and that Islam is a peaceful and loving religion willing to co exist with all other religions, I am inclined to accept this as fact.

In an effort to learn more about Islam and its peaceful persona, I sought out a group that clearly claims the peaceful and accepting posture of Islam. I found it in the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement. They define themselves as follows (taken directly from their web site):

“The beliefs of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement are -The Holy Qur’an is the word of God which is to guide mankind forever, and the Holy Prophet Muhammad was the perfect model of Islamic teachings whose example shall forever be binding on every Muslim to follow. We believe that, as the principles and teachings of religion reached perfection and completion in the Holy Qur’an and the example displayed by the Holy Prophet, it follows that the Qur’an is the final Book of God, and Muhammad (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) is His Last Prophet, after whom no prophet can appear.

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement highlights certain features of the Islamic teaching which have been ignored over the course of time, but which are now crucial to the needs of the age. We summarize below the main aspects of Islam which the movement has thus brought to the fore.

We proclaim that Islam is:

1. International - God raised Prophets in all nations, not only among the Israelites (as already accepted by Muslims) but also in India, China, Persia etc. A Muslim must believe in and respect all these prophets and their scriptures. Islam restores the original purity of the eternal truths taught by them, and broadens the scope of their national teachings to provide a faith for all humanity. Goodness, good people and truth may be found in all nations. God is equally just to all human beings, irrespective of their race, nationality or religion.

2. Tolerant - It gives full freedom to everyone to hold, practice and adopt any belief and religion. Differences of belief and interpretation, with whomsoever these may occur, must be tolerated. Criticism against Islam must be answered only by word, and any offence felt must be borne with patience; responding by physical violence is alien to the teachings of Islam. The common image of Islam as an intolerant faith is completely false.

3. Peaceful - It condemns all use of force except in unavoidable self-defense. All battles of early Islam were purely defensive. Muslims must live peacefully under any rule which grants them freedom of religion. The impression that Islam urges its followers to wage war or rebellion to establish its rule is entirely wrong. The concept of Jihad is greatly misunderstood: it primarily signifies a spiritual, intellectual and moral struggle to reform oneself and others.

4. Non-sectarian - Any person professing the words “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” must be treated as one’s fellow Muslim. No inquisition is allowed into anyone’s beliefs or motives. Issuing so-called rulings, on some pretext, to expel from Islam those who profess the Kalima (a claim of prophecy, P.L.) is entirely against Islamic teachings.

5. Rational - It urges use of reason and knowledge in all matters, including religious affairs. Blind following and acceptance are disallowed, and independence of thought is granted. Blind, unthinking obedience to religious leaders is condemned.

6. Living - Acts of worship are not rituals to be performed without thought or feeling. They are meant to put the human soul in living contact with a Living God. We must know the purpose of prayer, fasting, etc. and carry them out in their true spirit. God listens to man’s supplications and answers his prayers. In every age there arise, among Muslims, saints who have closeness and communication with God. Their example shows others that there is a Living God Who speaks to man.

7. Supporter of women - A great deal of misunderstanding prevails on this point, mainly due to local customs being confused with the teachings of Islam. According to Islam, a woman is a full, responsible human being, just as a man is. She should have the same control over determining the course of her life (including matters of marriage and divorce) as a man has over his life.

8. Highly moral - It requires Muslims to develop the highest personal moral virtues, and display these qualities even at the cost of personal or national interest. An Islamic society is not created by imposing laws and regulations on people. It is only created by reforming the character of individuals through moral training and example, and this was what the Holy Prophet Muhammad did.

9. Heart-winning - It seeks to conquer hearts and minds by showing the logic, truth and beauty of its teachings, in a gentle, loving spirit. It condemns force or coercion to spread the faith or make people conform to it.

10. Complete - The Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet provide complete and perfect guidance for all mankind, for all time to come. The Holy Prophet is the perfect exemplar of the highest moral virtues. After him, no prophet or authority is to arise.”

The leader of this movement for many years was Maulana Mohammed Ali. Born in Punjab, he emigrated to England there to become an Attorney. He was drawn to this movement and, with the passing of its founder, became its spiritual leader. Ali took upon himself the task of translating the Koran into English (1917) with an explanatory commentary. Given the stated beliefs of Ahmadiyya lets look at a sampling of Ali’s translation and commentary on the Koran to determine if Islamo-Fascism is a perversion of Islamic belief.

3:10 Those who disbelieve, neither their wealth nor their children will avail naught against Allah. And they will be fuel for fire.

3:12 Say to those who disbelieve: You shall be vanquished, and driven together to hell; and evil is the resting place.

3:19 Surely the true religion with Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Book differed only after knowledge had come to them, out of envy among themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the message of Allah-Allah is quick at reckoning.

Ali on 19 - According to the Holy Qur’an, Islam was the religion of all the prophets. It is particularly mentioned as the religion of Abraham several times, and on one occasion the Israelite prophets who followed Moses are spoken of as the prophets who submitted themselves to Allah. Not only is Islam the religion of every Prophet, but, according to the Holy Qur’an, it is also the natural religion of man as in 30:30 it is described as being “the nature made by Allah in which he has created man.” “Every child is born in Islam, it is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian” (B. 23:179)

2:75 Do you then hope that they would believe in you, and a party from among them indeed used to hear the word of Allah, then altered it after they had understood it, and they know this.

Ali on 75 - That the Israelites did not preserve their sacred books in their purity is a constant charge laid by the Holy Qu’ran against the Jews, In fact the alteration and corruption of the various Books of the Bible is now proved beyond all doubt.

2:79 Woe! Then to those who write the Book with their hands then say: This is from Allah, so that they may take it for a small price. So woe! To them for what their hands write. Woe! To them for what they earn.

Ali on 79 - The alteration and corruption of the Bible, in the Old as well as the New Testaments spoken of in verse 75 and repeated here, is now an established fact. That the alteration spoken of in 75 was an alteration of the words of the text is manifest here These alterations they effected for their own selfish ends. I give below a few quotations from Rev. Dummelow, which prove the alteration of the Bible text beyond all doubt.

The Rev. John Roberts Dummelow of Cambridge University wrote a commentary on the Bible in 1908. He was an advocate of lower Bible criticism which attempts to show conflicts in text. Ali resorted to a Christian infidel, a practitioner of a false Faith as stated in the Koran, to repudiate the Torah. This is typical of the anti-Semite - For when it comes to attacking the Jew or Judaism “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

9:30 And the Jews say Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say The Messiah is the son of Allah. These are the words of their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before. Allah’s curse be on them! How they are turned away!

9:32 They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouth, and Allah will not allow nothing save the perfection of his light, though the disbelievers are adverse.

Ali on 32 - This is a prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in face of severe opposition from Jews and Christians. All opponents to truth whether based on force or propaganda are here compared to putting out the Divine light by blowing with the mouth to show that all such attempts would be futile. The Divine light will be made perfect, by which is meant the triumph of Islam throughout the world, as the next verse states clearly.

9:33 He it is Who has sent His messenger with the guidance and The Religion of Truth that he may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists are adverse.

As Fox News T.V. says “We report, you decide.”