NO man, speaks for Christianity. The randomly selected POPE of the Roman Catholic Church does not speak for Christianity any more than I do. The Holy Word of God in the Holy Bible teaches that there is no respecter of persons with God, “For there is no respect of persons with God,” Paul declared (Rom. 2: 11). There is NO favoritism. All men are equal before God. When the first Gentile was converted to Christianity, the apostle Peter perceived that “God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). Before the church was established and Gentiles began to be converted to Christ, many Jews supposed that God favored them over all other ethnic groups; some had the false notion that merely being Jewish was a sure sign that one was saved (Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8; 7:30).
When the religious barrier between Jews and Gentiles was broken down, Peter more fully understood one important aspect of God’s character: He does not favor—and never has favored—one person or group of people over others. Whether or not the Israelites always understood it, anyone who obeys God’s commands can be justified in His sight. Consider a sampling of the passages that emphasize God’s fairness toward all humans:
2 Chronicles 19:7: “Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”
Job 34:19: “Yet He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of His hands.”
Romans 2:10-11: “[B]ut glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
Galatians 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
1 Peter 1:17: “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.”
Exactly what does it mean that God is impartial? God offers salvation to every man, no matter what external circumstances, such as socioeconomic status or nationality, might apply to him. God does not offer salvation only to the Jew, just because he is a Jew, or only to the Gentile because he is a Gentile. The Greek word translated “respecter of persons” in the King James Version of Acts 10:34 (“God is no respecter of persons”) is prosopolemptes, a word that refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face instead of at the facts of the case, and makes a decision based on whether or not he likes the man (Lenski, 1961, p. 418). Under Roman law, for example, a defendant’s societal status was weighed heavily along with evidence. Any human judge might show undue favor to a plaintiff or a defendant because of private friendship, bribery, rank, power, or political affiliation, but God, the perfect Judge, cannot be tempted by any of the things that might tempt a human judge to show unfair partiality.
God’s impartiality does not keep Him from choosing people and nations of people to accomplish His specific purposes. He was free to use the Israelites as the seed line to bring about the Son of God in human form (the Israelites have never been the only group of people who had access to salvation—see Romans 1:18ff; Jackson, 2004); He was free to use the Babylonians to defeat the disobedient Israelites in battle and to take the spoils from them (2 Kings 25:1-21); He was free to use Peter and Paul to spread the Gospel to lost sinners. God can accomplish everything He needs to do without violating His commitment to allow all the opportunity to be saved.
Furthermore, God blesses people in different ways. God’s impartiality does not mean that everyone will have exactly the same amount of money, exactly the same amount of influence, exactly the same number of children, or exactly the same number of years upon the Earth. (At the very moment that Peter noted God’s impartiality, he was in the presence of a man who possessed more material wealth than Peter did.) Some do have more money than others, some have families who love them more, and some even have more opportunities to hear the Gospel preached. However, everyone can be saved, if he is willing to search for the truth. While some accountable adults may live their entire lives without hearing a single Gospel sermon, they all experience the marvelous works of the hand of God, showing every person that He exists. Paul wrote:
[W]hat may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:19-21).
God always has expected impartiality from His followers. We should not treat people differently because of their financial status or outward appearance. The Lord said: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty” (Leviticus 19:15). Deuteronomy 1:17 reads: “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great.” After describing a scenario in which a rich man was given a favored seat in the assembly, and a poor man was pushed to the side, James wrote: “But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:9). In stating that Christians should not show partiality because they believe in Christ, James, by inspiration, suggested that favoritism—treating certain people as if they are of more inherent worth—is inconsistent with faith in Christ, and causes one to violate God’s law of liberty (2:8,12).
We are grateful that God has not arbitrarily chosen some people to be saved and some to be lost. Imagine a basis upon which He might select which people should be saved. Would He choose the wealthy? The well known? The most intelligent? Members of a particular ethnic group or culture? Fortunately, each person can choose for himself whether or not to accept God’s saving grace (Joshua 24:15; Isaiah 7:16; Ezekiel 18:20; Matthew 23:37; Revelation 22:17). Each person is responsible for his or her own actions (Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 14
:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Because of God’s marvelous love for all humans, He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9; cf. 1 Timothy 2:4).
While the devout Muslim believes with all of his heart that the rituals and doctrines of Islam are entirely heavenly in origin and thus cannot have any earthly sources, Middle East scholars have demonstrated beyond all doubt that every ritual and belief in Islam can be traced back to pre-Islamic Arabian culture.
In other words Muhammad did not preach anything new. Everything he taught had been believed and practiced in Arabia long before he was ever born. Even the idea of “only one God” was borrowed from the Jews and the Christians.
|Jewish Sources||Many of the stories in the Quran come from the Jewish Talmud, the Midrash, and many apocryphal works.
This was pointed out by Abraham Geiger in 1833, and further documented by another Jewish scholar, Dr. Abraham Katsh, of New York University, in 1954 (The Concise Dictionary of Islam, p. 229; Jomier, The Bible and the Quran — Henry Regency Co., Chicago, 1959, 59ff; Sell, Studies, pp. 163ff.; Guillaume, Islam, p. 13).
|Heretical Christian Sources||One of the most documented and damaging facts about the Quran is that Muhammad used heretical “Christian” Gnostic gospels and their fables for material in the Quran.
This has been demonstrated many times by various scholars (Richard Bell, Introduction to the Quran, pp. 163ff. See also: Bell, The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment, pp. 110ff, 139ff; Sell, Studies, pp. 216ff. See also Tisdall and Pfander).
|Sabean Sources||Muhammad incorporated parts of the religion of the Sabeans into Islam (Encyclopedia off Islam (ed. Eliade), pp. 303ff.; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, pp. 1:219ff.).
He adopted such pagan rituals as:
|Eastern Religious Sources||Muhammad derived some of his ideas from Eastern religions such as Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. All of these things were in existence long before Muhammad was born.
The Quran records the following things which are ascribed to Muhammad but in reality were previously known stories now attributed to him for the first time (Sell, Studies, pp. 219ff.).
Some of the pre-Islamic Sources for material in the Quran
- Islam and Slavery (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- PLAGIARISM BY Mohammad in the Quran (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Proof the the Quran contains errors and that Mohammad was wrong – Facebook Discussion (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Today’s Quran in the light of its early manuscripts (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Iran Is a Rogue Nation (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Uncorrupted Bible Questions (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Multiple Arabic Language Koran Versions Explained (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- The Koran and Slavery (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
TriEmm Man Yin Fēi, Iran has a history of aggression against Muslims all over the world and it has very closed ties with the Jews. In 1987, Iran planned to attack on Kabbah and did it through it’s pilgrims. Iran supported Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against Talibans since 1998. Iran supports Hezbullah in Lebanon. Iran also supports many Shia militant groups who are killing Muslims. Apart from it, read about the character of Persian peopleright after the conquering Persia by Umar Ben El Khattab (RZ), you will find that Iran (previously Persia) never been like an Islamic Country and been involved in many activities which clearly showed that Iran is a real major threat for Muslims before other external enemies.
Yin Fēi TriEmm Man brother brother brother.don’t you think I don’t know that.I know that but all this thing which is told a Zionist conspiracy to make fitna between Sunnia and Shia.There are some worst Shia who cannot be called Muslim and there are some wonderful Shia who give everything for Islam.Don’t divide be united.Zionist want us to divide so that they can easily attack Iran and destroy that country.Believe it or not if any country in the world in today’s day have Islam in their governmental system that is Iran thought much less but at least they have it in their governmental body.And attack on Kabbah by Iranian is a propaganda and we must not believe in propaganda.
TriEmm Man Yin Fēi - Iran attacked on Kabbah is not a propaganda since it’s a reality and you may ask to anyone who knows the history that how Iranians attacked on Kabbah in 1987. As far as the Fitna is concern so I don’t think so, SHIAISM itself a Fitna since its inception. I have no soft corner for these SHIA nutz (descendants of Abdullah Ben Sabah a Jew). Btw as per unanimous Islamic believes Shias are Non Muslims and there is no question for division. These Shias are Zionist Agents. And Mark my worlds Jews will protect Iran in any case…19 hours ago · Like
Mark as SpamYin Fēi TriEmm Man again that wasn’t an attack that was a demonstration in the city of Mekkah.A group of Iranian done it and we cannot blame the whole Iran for that.In 1979 a Sunni group had also attacked and hostages Al-Masjid al-Haram that means whole Sunnis are bad for some of those idiots?Coming to the next point as I said not all Shia are Kafir.Some Shia do bring sovereignty of Ali to Allah but not all Shia.So,whole of Shiaism is a foolishness as their kaalima is perfect.Regarding to Jews protecting Iran.It not the whole of Iran.Jews will surely protect Isfahan as 70thousand of the Jews will come from their but not of whole Iran.Iran is currently their biggest enemy as they deny to agree with their oppression towards Palestine.19 hours ago · Like
TriEmm Man Yin Fēi - It wasn’t a demonstration – how can you think of DEMONSTRATION where the Iranian Pilgrims came with weapons with them and which Muslim come to perform Hajj with weapons??? What happen in 1979, there was not a SUNNI GROUP … for that I would like to share a link pl read it from beginning to end. For your views that not all Shias are Non Muslims … I strongly disagree, all Shias follow the same believe of cursing Companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), cursing wives of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), all shias prays to the shrine of LULU Feroz (May Allah curse on him) who attacked on Umar Ben El Khattab, Shias made changes in Quran, they deny the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), all shias believe that right after the sad demise of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) all companions turn to be Kafir except Ahal-e-Bait, and many more evil activities that are sufficient to call them Non Muslims.
TriEmm Man http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_Seizure
en.wikipedia.orgThe Grand Mosque Seizure on November 20, 1979, was an armed attack and takeover by Islamist dissidents of the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest place in Islam. The insurgents declared that the Mahdi, or redeemer of Islam, had arrived in the form of one of the insurgent leaders, …
Yin Fēi TriEmm Man I didn’t find it any where that these people where non-Muslim who did the attack in your article.However,again that totally foolishness to call all Shia as kafir.As I told you before you are categorical few Shia with all of the Shia.I have some Shia friend whose both tawheed is perfect, infarct more perfect then some of our Sunnis.However it neither you nor me to decide if they are kafir or not.They will be judge in akhi raat and then their decision will be made.
TriEmm Man Well, as per Islamic Believes Shias are Non Muslims you may better consult with any Islamic Scholar. On the basis of some shia friends, no one call them as nice Islamic Shia. I have also many colleagues who are Shia, but again they are non Muslims. May be their TAWEED would be perfect but their rest of the believes are not perfect as I mentioned above.
Mark as SpamYin Fēi Roshan Mansoor well said brother.And opening hand while is also found in one of the majab or sect in Sunnis too.If I am not mistaken Hambalis probably open their hand when they pray.And we cannot just call anyone kafir like that.Remember that Hadith if you call one of the brother kafir and he is not a kafir then one of them between you and he became kafir.2 hours ago · Like
Mark as SpamRoshan Mansoor Yin Fēi…In total what I mean is that giving Fatwa with out knowledge is forbidden. I know most of the shias have different beliefs rather than Islamic….but some of them dont have. I can see so many Mushriks among Sunni groups specially in Afghanistan, pakistan and India….They worship graves. the follow poets and peers instead of the prophet and his companions….etc..
Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post-9/11 Arabic Discussion Boards
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 1063–1081, April 2007
This study analyzed the contents of three of the most popular Arabic-language online message boards regarding the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. Although terrorists claimed that the attacks were committed in the name of Islam, those who posted messages on all three forums rejected this claim. More than 43% of the messages condemned the attacks as a criminal act of terrorism that contradicts the core teachings of Islam. Some 30% saw some justification behind the attacks, even if they felt sorry for the victims and their families. However, those participants viewed the attacks as a political, rather than a religious, issue.
Islam is the youngest, fastest growing, and perhaps most controversial of the three monotheistic religions. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States (henceforth, 9/11), Islam and Muslims started to come to the forefront of the Western media, albeit not for very positive reasons. Because Osama Bin Laden cited religious motives for his criminal attacks, a debate started brewing in the Western media over the true nature of Islam and whether or not it justified or even encouraged violence, particularly against non-Muslims. Many media outlets referred to the 9/11 terrorists simply as “Muslims,” which fueled stereotyping of Islam and did nothing to help stop the verbal and physical attacks taking place against Muslims in the U.S. at the time.
In an attempt to study how Muslims viewed the attacks from a religious point of view, this article examines the online message exchange on three major discussion boards in the Arab and Muslim world. Through a descriptive content analysis of these messages, the different viewpoints reiterated through Internet conversations are examined. This is an important medium in this part of the world (the Middle East), since most of the media are government-owned and controlled. The Internet, however, provides a relatively free expression forum for Middle Eastern audiences. It therefore has the potential to reveal Muslim points of view without governmental slanting of ideas in any particular political or religious manner.
Arabs and Muslims in the Western Media
At the outset, there is a need to differentiate between the terms “Arab” and “Muslim,” which tend to be used interchangeably in the Western media. Arabs are members of an ethnic group of people who reside in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Muslims are those who choose Islam as their religion. Most Arabs (more than 90%) are Muslims. However, the majority of Muslims are not Arabs. The majority of Muslims come from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, all of which are non-Arab countries (Abdulla, 2007).
Long before the attacks of 9/11, Arabs had voiced their concerns about their image in the Western media. In 1980, journalist Djelloul Marbrouk noted that the Arab in American television stands for “terrorism, hijack, intractability, sullenous, perverseness, cruelty, oil, sand, embargo, boycott, greed, bungling, comedic disunity, primitive torture, family feuds, and white slavery” (Shaheen, 1980, n.p.). Shaheen quotes Newsweek regarding the image of an Arab on television, “He is swarthy and bearded, rich and filthy, dabbling in dope smuggling and white slavery; swaddled in white robes, he carries a curved knife, rides a camel and abuses young boys. He knows a thousand vile curses such as ‘May the fleas of a diseased camel infect the hair of your first born’” (n.p.). Shaheen provides examples of many programs that portrayed Arabs in a negative light in the late 1970s, from Hollywood pictures and productions such as Vegas, Fantasy Island, andCharlie’s Angels to comic strips such as Brenda Starr and Dennis the Menace. He also provides examples of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim coverage from reputed news shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20, in addition to regular news bulletins that associated Arabs and Muslims with terrorism.
A few years later, Shaheen (1984) noted that “the stereotype [of Arabs] remains omnipresent, appearing in new programs and dated reruns” (p. 113). Shaheen reports on an interview with a CBS Vice President who confirmed the notion, saying he “had never seen a ‘good Arab’ on TV,” and that Arabs are rather usually portrayed as “warmongers and/or covetous desert rulers” (p. 114). Indeed, Slade (1981)analyzed a poll of American attitudes and perceptions towards Arabs and found that Americans have little knowledge of Arab culture, history, or contributions to the world. She reported that Americans commonly think of Arabs as “anti-American,”“anti-Christian,”“unfriendly,” and “warlike.”
Christensen (2006a, b) argues that the spread of Islamophobia in the West is at least in part the responsibility of distorted and imbalanced media coverage. He argues that news programs are perceived usually as “serious” and “truthful” because journalism is associated in the public mind with objectivity and fairness. Western news stories, he says, tend to show a mosque, a minaret, or a veiled woman regardless of the nature of the story, even when the story is about terrorism. “The combination of stereotypical images adds up to a whole that is, in many ways, greater than the sum of its parts” (Christensen, 2006b, p. 30).
Said (1997) argues that the image of Islam in the U.S. media has always been influenced by a framework of politics and hidden interests and is therefore laden with “not only patent inaccuracy but also expressions of unrestrained ethnocentrism, cultural and even racial hatred, deep yet paradoxically free-floating hostility” (p. ii). He characterizes the image as involving “highly exaggerated stereotyping and belligerent hostility” (p. xi). Said, himself an American Christian scholar, states, “Malicious generalizations about Islam have become the last acceptable form of denigration of foreign culture in the West; what is said about the Muslim mind, or character, or religion, or culture as a whole cannot now be said in mainstream discussion about Africans, Jews, other Orientals, or Asians” (p. xii).
If this was the image before 9/11, things took a turn for the worse after the criminal attacks. Despite the fact that all Arab countries condemned the attacks, for the most part, voices communicated through the mass media still failed to differentiate between Arabs and Muslims, on one hand, and terrorists, on the other. Pintak (2006) reports on Eric Rouleau of Le Monde, who criticized the tendency to portray images of “Muslims praying, mosques or women in chadors to illustrate stories about extremism and terror” (p. 33-34). Pintak adds that after the events of 9/11, “the U.S. media immediately fell back on the prevailing—and stereotyped—narrative about Arabs and Muslims and reverted to its historic tendency to present the world, in Henry Kissinger’s words, as ‘a morality play between good and evil’” (p. 39).
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR, 2001) noted that “many media pundits focused on one theme: retaliation. For some, it did not matter who bears the brunt of an American attack” (n.p.). For example, on September 12, 2001, Steve Dunleavy wrote in the New York Post: “The response to this unimaginable 21st-century Pearl Harbor should be as simple as it is swift—kill the bastards. A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have to. As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts.” On September 11, former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger commented on CNN, “There is only one way to begin to deal with people like this, and that is you have to kill some of them even if they are not immediately directly involved in this thing” (FAIR, 2001, n.p.).
On September 13, Bill O’Reilly, on his popular The O’Reilly Factor show on the Fox News Channel, said it “doesn’t make any difference” who you kill in the process of retaliation against the attacks (FAIR, 2001, n.p.). On the same day, syndicated columnist Ann Coulter wrote:
This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack…. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war. (FAIR, 2001, n.p.)
At a meeting of the Global Policy Forum, Hans Giessmann of the University of Hamburg’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy criticized the Western media for how it “fully attributed blame for the September attacks on ‘Muslim terrorists’ and stopped there” (Inbaraj, 2002, n.p.). He added that “the media accepted the side effects of a stigmatization of religion, cultures, states, people and minorities and this paved the way for prejudices” (n.p.). Journalists at the meeting agreed that the media failed to provide context for their pictures and stories. That, they said, would have “allowed readers, viewers and listeners to gain a clear understanding of the background issues and of the clash on interpretations in a war where the lines were blurred between reporting and propaganda in a controlled atmosphere” (Inbaraj, 2002, n.p.).
Perhaps most offensive to Muslims was Reverend Jerry Falwell’s statement on 60 Minutes: “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war” (CBS news, 2002, n.p.).
Statements like this coincided with and may have contributed to an increasing anti-Muslim sentiment. CNN reported that the anti-Islamic sentiment following 9/11 was spreading around the world. Several mosques in Europe and Australia were petrol-bombed by individuals who believed they were “doing the U.S. a favor.” In South Shields, Northern England, graffiti on a wall near a mosque read in red paint, “Avenge U.S.A. Kill a Muslim now” (Jones, 2001, n.p.).
Such trends in the American media coverage of the post 9/11 attacks were documented in several studies. Pintak (2006) reports on a content analysis of CBS newscasts carried out by the Center for Media and Public Affairs. The study found that in covering the war on Iraq, the network was “most supportive” of U.S. government policies (p. 44). Those who displayed an anti-war message or attitude were found to constitute fewer than 10% of interviewees on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. The study concluded that CBS coverage was even more conservative than Fox News, which is seen as “the headquarters for patriotic fervor” (p. 44). Pintak further reports on another study by the U.S. Department of Defense, which analyzed U.S., European, and Middle Eastern newspapers. The study concluded that the American media “primed its audience to support the war,” while silencing opposition voices (p. 43).
Fadel (2002) conducted a content analysis of an Egyptian daily newspaper (Al Ahram) and an American daily newspaper (USA Today) in the three months following 9/11. The study showed that the top two subjects mentioned in relation to Arab countries in both newspapers were terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. However, while Al Ahram stressed the Arab world’s condemnation of the attacks and of fundamentalism, USA Today linked Arabs to Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism, and extremism all over the world. The study also reported that the American newspaper “adopted a clear line of linking violence and terrorism with resisting Israeli occupation in parts of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories” (p. 451).
Gomaa (2002) conducted a content analysis of the image of Islam and Muslims in the American, French, and German press. She analyzed the International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, and Frankfurter Allgemeine during the 50 days following 9/11. She reported that although the Herald focused on Osama Bin Laden as the party responsible for the attacks (even before any evidence had surfaced), the newspaper tackled the issue in light of Huntington’s (1993)“clash of civilizations” thesis and portrayed it as a start for a Crusade between Islam and the West. The Herald claimed that the Arab and Muslim countries have become a safe haven for terrorism and are breeding a “culture of violence” (p. 239). The study contrasted this with Le Monde’s coverage, which stressed the dangers of terrorism as a global issue that is not restricted to the Muslim world, and clarified the nature of Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace. The French newspaper focused its analysis on the importance of understanding the other and acquainting oneself with foreign civilizations. It stressed that the issue is not one of a clash of civilizations, but rather a clash between extremists and moderates within each civilization and across ethnicities and religions worldwide. In this light, the newspaper argued, France should support the U.S. not in a war against Islam but in a war against the terrorists who carried out these attacks on humanity. Still, the study reported that Le Monde reported negatively on the Arab and Muslim worlds in about 65% of its total coverage. This figure was up to 78% in the Herald, and 86.5% inFrankfurter Allgemeine. In its coverage of the sources of terrorism worldwide, the Herald linked terrorism with the Arab and Muslim world 96% of the time.
Chomsky (2001) asserted that the mainstream media in the U.S. constituted “well-run propaganda systems” whose capacity “to drive people to irrational, murderous, and suicidal behavior” should not be underestimated. He urged citizens to resist the notion of responding to terrorist crimes with more terror directed against civilian Muslims abroad but said the “hysterical” attitude of the media in such circumstances was not surprising (p. 69).
Pintak (2006) contended that the bias in American media after 9/11 constituted what could be called “jihad journalism” (pp. 42-44). He added that such slanted coverage was “the hallmark of the post-9/11 era” (p. 44). Fruit (2001) called it “a result of racist jingoism,” adding, “This is shocking but not surprising in the face of the Anti-Islamic, xenophobic hysteria in the media and from our ‘world-leaders’” (n.p.).
In light of the above literature, this study examines discussions about Islam in the Arabic-language postings of Arabs and Muslims after 9/11. It discusses whether those who posted messages thought Islamic teachings were the reason behind the attacks, and whether the attacks are considered acts of terrorism or acts of Islamic jihad.
The Arab World, 9/11, and the Internet
The latest estimates assess world Internet users in January 2007 at more than 1.1 billion (Internet World Stats, 2007). Out of this enormous number, the estimated number of users in the Arab world is about 18 million. However, with major developments in the Internet technology markets of Arab countries, the growth rate for users in the Arab world is exploding by a factor of 500% in some countries (Abdulla, 2007).
Arabic portals have started growing on the Internet. Several websites now offer Arabs the full service of a Web portal, including email services, search engines, news, culture, sports, art, music, discussion forums, and blogs. Islamic portals also offer information about the religion, recitations and interpretations of the Quran, and religious teachings, as well as sections for Muslims to communicate with Islamic scholars through posting questions whose answers appear on the websites. Arabs and Muslims have taken to discussion boards on the Internet, since they provide an alternative to the otherwise primarily government-owned and government-controlled media systems. These discussion boards cover a variety of topics, including politics, sports, culture, religion, and civic society.
Some scholars believe that discussion forums and bulletin boards can help people get through difficult times in an almost therapeutic manner (James, Wotring, & Forrest, 1995; Rosson, 1999). After the attacks of 9/11, a variety of online bulletin boards were dedicated to discussing the event and sharing sentiments of grief and anger. In addition, most online news outlets had a discussion board dedicated to 9/11. These included, for example, The New York Times, CNN, and USA Today.
Arab and Islamic portals also had discussion boards for Arab Internet users to voice their opinions concerning the attacks. Since these forums are uncensored and are outside the realm of government supervision, they provided a good opportunity for Arabs and Muslims to voice their honest opinions, even if those opinions contradicted those of the governments, whose official stance was to condemn the attacks. This study may therefore help us gauge the true feelings of Arabs and Muslims regarding 9/11.
A descriptive content analysis was conducted of message boards on three of the most popular Arab portals: Masrawy (http://www.masrawy.com), Islam Online (http://islamonline.net), and Arabia (http://www.arabia.com).1 Masrawy is the first and one of the most popular Arabic-language portals on the Internet. The word “Masrawy” is colloquial Arabic for “Egyptian.” The site offers its users free Internet connectivity, free email, and domain name registration, in addition to all the regular services offered by major portals such as news, directories, classified ads, search options, health, sports, stock market information, entertainment, shopping, auctions, instant chat, and message boards.
Islam Online is one of the most popular and most comprehensive Islamic portals on the Internet. The site is supported and maintained by a large group of Muslim scholars headed by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, one of the top authorities in the Muslim world today. The portal, offered in both Arabic and English, is run by a staff of over 200 people from different backgrounds. In addition to all of the usual Islamic information, the site features large sections on science and medicine, psychology and cyber-counseling, political news and current affairs, women’s rights, parenting, the Internet and IT technologies, arts and culture, and live discussions. Each of these sections is handled by professionals, many of them Ph.D. holders in their respective fields. According to El-Kashef (2005), in the aftermath of 9/11, the site witnessed a dramatic increase in visitor numbers, with page views increasing from an average of 24 million to 150 million per year.
Arabia was a major portal that offered its users the option to access it in Arabic or in English. Owned and operated by Arabia Online, which is based in Dubai’s Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, the site offered a wide array of services, including a search engine, free email, free greeting cards, news, games, entertainment, business, sports, Arab and international media outlets, horoscopes, an instant messenger service, cartoons, travel and shopping information, as well as chat and discussion boards. Rossant (2002) reported estimates of 1.5 million visitors per month to Arabia, making it one of the most popular portals in the Arab world.
Because of the difficulty of selecting a random sample on the Internet (December, 1996; McMillan, 2000; Stempel & Stewart, 2000), I decided to examine the population of messages on the three chosen portals regarding the events of 9/11. Still, the sampling process was not easy. Discussion boards on different websites organize messages in different ways. Some offer more structure than others: In this study, the Masrawy discussion board was found to be more organized than the Arabia board, and the Islam Online board was the least organized. Masrawy offered fewer overall topics for discussion, and the topics were posted by the message board moderator. To start a new thread, participants sent a message to the moderator suggesting the new topic, after which the moderator posted the suggested topic under a new title and a new thread. While participants could reply to a particular message by entering that message number, their reply was posted as a new message under the same main thread, rather than as a sub-thread. It followed that the postings to a particular topic were easier to access, scan (by title), and quantify.
The Arabia message board allowed its users to post new topics as they pleased. The board also allowed for sub-threading of messages, meaning that each message within the same topic could have several replies accessible only through that message. The resulting structure is more problematic for the content analysis researcher (or even for a keen user) to grasp. There is no easy way of knowing how many messages are posted on a particular topic, since the topic could be fragmented under as many messages as users choose. Each message within a particular topic could be posted as a separate topic, and each message could have an unlimited number of replies in its thread. While the number of replies is posted, the only way of knowing how many messages relate to a particular topic is to scan every message title on the board, determine which ones relate to the topic of interest, and add up the replies to those messages, hoping that all replies actually relate to the topic. This process is time-consuming and frustrating, since the site hosted an average of about 50 pages of questions (or topics) at any given time.
The Islam Online website was the most problematic of the three. The site offered seven main areas of discussion (politics, religion, sports, culture, society, creativity, and Internet). Within each area were seven to ten main discussion topics, and within each topic was a structure similar to the Arabia website. The problem resided in the fact that there was an undefined number of questions or topics to go through, without a clear indication of where discussion on a particular topic started. For example, one could not assume that 9/11 would be discussed under politics alone, since it could also be discussed under religion or society.
For the purposes of this study, a total of 752 messages was analyzed on the three portals. The Masrawy website had 517 messages on 104 pages, posted between September 11th and 20th.2 All messages were in response to the question posted by the moderator, “Do you support the September 11 attacks on the United States?” From the Islam Online website, I analyzed 175 messages posted under different headings, although most were commenting on three themes: whether the participants thought Bin Laden was a terrorist or a hero; whether they thought these attacks would help or hurt Muslims; and whether they agreed that the attacks were an inhumane act. The messages were posted between September 11th and October 19th. From the Arabia website, I analyzed a total of 73 messages posted under numerous threads. Those messages were posted from September 11th to October 5th.
Some messages were eliminated because they were deemed irrelevant, although they were posted under a relevant title or message heading. This problem was particularly evident with the Arabia website. In some cases, some participants began sending personal messages to each other on the site. Others tried to solicit interest in a different discussion topic by posting their views about the other topic under 9/11, since that was the hot issue of the day. The total number of relevant messages analyzed for quantification in this study came to 265 messages on Masrawy, 161 on Islam Online, and 47 messages on Arabia, for a total of 473 messages. The message was the unit of analysis for this study.
Variables and Operationalization
Each message was coded for: (a) message identification number; (b) source message board (Masrawy, Islam Online, or Arabia); (c) date of message submission; (d) user member type (only provided for Masrawy users, categories defined below); (e) gender (male, female, unidentified); (f) attitude toward the 9/11 attacks (agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, or attitude not mentioned; categories defined below); (g) sympathy toward victims (mentioned, not mentioned); and (h) Islam (mentioned as probable reason, mentioned as not a probable reason, not mentioned).
An attempt was made to identify the gender of message posters where possible, based on the name or signature if provided and/or on the text of the message, since many Arabic words and pronouns require different masculine or feminine endings.
Attitude towards the 9/11 attacks was coded as: “agree” for messages showing support for any possible justification, rationalization, or excuses for the attacks (even if the message poster feels sorry for the victims); “disagree” for messages showing disagreement with the attacks in terms of denouncing them, condemning them, disapproving of the act, classifying the attacks as a crime or an act of terrorism, offering condolences for the victims and/or their families (without showing any signs of support or justification for the attacks); or “neither agree nor disagree” if the message posters admitted to not being able to make up their minds or adopt a viewpoint regarding the attacks. Messages that only raised questions or offered comments or possible answers to issues raised in other messages without taking sides were coded as “attitude not mentioned.”
Intercoder reliability was determined by having another Arabic native speaker, who is also fluent in English and has a master’s degree in communication, recode a random sample of 10% of the valid messages (n = 48; 27 messages from Masrawy, 16 from Islam Online, and 5 messages from Arabia). The reliability rate was calculated after excluding the variables of message identification number, source message board, date of message submission, and user member type to avoid falsely inflating reliability. Using the Holsti (1969) formula, intercoder reliability was determined to be 0.936. The author had the final say in cases of disagreement and also recoded the selected sample, which produced an intracoder reliability score of 0.962.
All Arabic entries were translated into English for the purposes of this study by the author. Efforts were made to remain faithful to the tone, structure, and punctuation of the original entries.
Relevant Methodological Issues
Lindlof and Shatzer (1998) pointed out the problems of participation and identity verification on an Internet discussion forum. In this study, although message posters logged in with a name, almost no one logged in with his or her real name. The name used was usually a self-chosen nickname. Sometimes, however, participants signed the actual message with their real name, which was different from the name they used to log in.
The domination of a thread by a single or a few message posters is another issue frequently encountered in content analysis of discussion boards (Miller & Gergen, 1998; Perlman, 1999). In this study, several login names at times dominated the discussions.
The geographic location where a message originated is another issue. Even on Masrawy, which means “Egyptian,” it cannot be assumed that all messages were posted by Egyptians. Although most messages were written in colloquial Egyptian Arabic,3 this is a dialect widely spoken in the Arab world; hence, any Arab (or anyone who speaks Arabic) could have posted the message. There were also some English-language messages, which could have been by non-Arabs or by Arabs whose Web browsers do not support Arabic characters or who simply chose to post their messages in English. The Arabia site featured more messages in English than did the other two sites, some of which were clearly self-marked as posted by Americans.
External validity is another concern in Internet research (Miller & Gergen, 1998; Stempel & Stewart, 2000). While this study is limited to Internet users, who constitute only a small percentage of the Arab population, it nonetheless draws on one of the few uncensored media channels in the Middle East, and represents the basic sentiments voiced in the Arab world regarding the events of 9/11 and the religious arguments made in connection with them.
Message posters on Masrawy were classified on the site by member type: junior members were those under 21 years of age, and senior members were those above 21. Theoretically, a user can enter a fake age, although there is little reason to do this, since both user types have the same rights and responsibilities on the website.
Out of the message posters on Masrawy, 63.4% (n = 168) were junior members, and 21.9% (n = 58) were senior members. The remaining percentage was listed as “member,” probably because posters did not list their age upon registration. Of the messages on all three discussion boards, 53.1% (n = 251) were from males (judging by either the names they signed or the pronouns they used in the syntax of their message), 16.7% (n = 79) were from females, and 30.2% (n = 143) had no indication of gender.
Of all messages on the three websites, 43.1% (n = 204) condemned the 9/11 attacks as an act of terrorism with no justification, political or otherwise. However, 30.2% (n = 143) offered some justification for the attacks, even if they acknowledged feeling sorry for the victims and their families. The rest of the message posters (26.7%, n = 126) were either undecided, showing feelings of pure shock for the most part, or they offered political analysis without taking sides. Justification messages tended to be shorter and were mostly posted during the first four days following the attacks. For example, on September 11, several messages on Masrawy just said, “Yes, I agree with the attacks.” In contrast, condemnation messages were longer and continued to be posted throughout the time period analyzed.
Almost all justification messages on the three websites cited as their reason American foreign policy regarding the Middle East. Message posters who saw justification for the attacks viewed the issue as political, rather than religious or social. The political issues identified mainly focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. Other messages cited American foreign policy in several other parts of the world, including Japan, Vietnam, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iran, Lebanon, and Pakistan.
For example, a female junior member wrote on Masrawy on September 11, “Americans have to feel what the Palestinians feel, the destruction, terror, and all the homeless people. And they have to know that their foreign policy and their support for Israel will hurt their country and their interests in the Middle East.”
On the other hand, many condemnation messages cited the killing of innocent civilians as barbaric and inhumane. One male junior member wrote on Masrawy on September 12:
Any human being with a heart rejects the killing of children, men, women, elderly people, and all innocent people. There will be victims from all nationalities. We are against killing Palestinians, and also killing Jews. Any religion forbids killing. What did the men and women and children who were killed do? It could’ve been your brother or your son or your father or your mother or your wife. This is not permissible under any religion.
Another male wrote on Arabia on September 13 (in English): “I feel bad for all our Middle Eastern families being killed, but two wrongs don‘t make a right here. All innocent people have a right to live a happy life, both Middle Eastern and Americans.”
One member wrote on Masrawy on September 12:
I or any Arab or Muslim cannot support barbaric, vengeful revenge like I saw yesterday. No, a thousand no to such naïve, idiotic, barbarian operations. If it were in my hands, it would kill every terrorist that had to do with this. My hearty condolences to the victims’ families.
Could Islam be a Justification for the Attacks?
Although the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks claimed that they committed their crime in the name of Islam, the participants in this study clearly believed otherwise. Only 11% (n = 52) of all messages posted on the three websites mentioned Islam as a probable justification for the attacks. In comparison, 30% (n = 142) stressed that such attacks are against the core teachings of Islam. The remaining 59% (n = 279) did not mention Islam at all in their discussions of why the attacks could have happened, which indicates that religion was not a factor in their view of the events.
A male poster on Islam Online posted his message together with a copy of the fatwa (Islamic ruling) of Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Parts of the fatwa read:
We are extremely sorry for the attacks on the World Trade Center and other entities in the United States of America. This is in spite of our objection to the political policy of the U.S. that is pro-Israel on all fronts, military, political, and economic.
This is because our religion respects the human soul and protects it, and prohibits any such attacks on humanity, and denotes it as a huge crime. The Quran says, “If anyone slew a person—unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land—it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”… Islam does not permit the random killing of people, innocent and un-innocent alike, for no soul shall carry the burdens of another…. These killings are therefore a major crime in the eyes of Islam.
However, there were still some who argued that the killings are justified in light of what the U.S. is doing with its foreign policies in the Middle East. For example, one male on Islam Online wrote, “Those who are saying what happened in the U.S. was terrorism, what do you call what happens in Palestine every day?” Another wrote, “America has chosen to wage war against God. Henry Kissinger, their former Jewish Secretary of State, said publicly, ‘Islam is not our religion,’ so what does that mean? Don’t they deserve what happened? They deserve more.”
Responding to these messages were many others that strongly opposed the view that the attacks could be backed by religion. One male junior member on Masrawy wrote on September 12:
I’m an Egyptian Muslim, but before anything else I’m a human being, and what happened is not permissible under any religion. I pray for mercy for those who died innocently for no reason, whether they were Muslims, Christians, or Jews. They have their religion and I have mine.4
A male who signed, “A Muslim who loves his religion,” wrote on Islam Online on September 12:
The most criminal act in the eyes of God is killing an innocent soul as stated by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi in his fatwa (Islamic ruling) about the attacks in the U.S. Even if they do kill innocent Muslims, this does not justify killing innocent Americans. This is not an Islamic principle.
One female senior member wrote on Masrawy on September 14:
This is against all religions. God did not say to kill innocent people…. It is totally against our Islamic religion to terrorize innocent people…. Terrorizing innocent people is not acceptable in Islam, it is totally against the religion.
Some posters had harsh words for those who use Islam as a backup for terrorism. One male wrote on Masrawy on September 14 (in English):
I don’t see how people can use our wonderful religion to justify such horrible acts. I am a Muslim who loves his religion, but I want to say something here. If this is Islam, then I don‘t want to be a Muslim. What I know about my religion is that it is about peace, mercy, and compassion. Anything else is not Islamic.
On Islam Online, this member wrote, “I condemn these acts because they are not legitimate, whoever did them. Killing innocent people was never a way of confronting an enemy in Islam.”
Another male wrote on Arabia, “Islam is a peaceful religion. These terrorists aren’t true Muslims. In the Quran it is forbidden to kill innocent people. My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy. I feel that my religion is being raped by these terrorists. I wish they would just leave Islam out of it.”
Some message posters took it upon themselves to explain the true meaning of some Islamic concepts that might be used to justify the attacks. On September 14, a female senior member posted a lengthy explanation on Masrawy of why the attacks can not be attributed to, or justified by, Islam. She referenced the concept of kassas (retribution) in Islam:
Kassas as dictated by Islam is murdering a murderer, and only the murderer. This serves the ultimate good of the human life, because then you decrease the percentage of murder crimes. But this kassas as portrayed by the terrorists or the American media is what was prevalent in pre-Islamic times, and it led to much fighting and wars between tribes and hurt many innocent people. And actually you cannot call this kassas at all, this is pure murder. Our Prophet (peace and prayers be upon him) laid the foundations for these basic rules in Islam. Islam has regulated all this, and put strict rules even for times of war, and it clearly prohibits killing innocent lives. Even if we were at war with America, this would not be permissible in Islam. And since we’re at peace, these are definitely not the regulations dictated by Islam.
Another male junior member took to Masrawy to explain the concept of jihad. He wrote, “This is not jihad, this is nonsense. According to our Prophet Mohammad (peace and prayers be upon him), jihad is struggle 1) against oneself to achieve a higher level of purity, and 2) against enemies in times of war. This is not jihad.”
Some messages discussed whether the attacks, justified or not, would help or hurt Arab and Muslim interests. Most seemed to believe that the attacks would have negative effects on the Arab and Muslim world. These posters were especially concerned about the West not differentiating between such criminal attacks on one hand and efforts to fight Israeli occupation on the other. This female wrote on Masrawy:
Whoever did this cannot be Arabs or Muslims. This is an inside operation. But whoever did it, it caused us a greeeeeeeeeeeat deal of harm:
Now Israel will do whatever it pleases to Palestinians and no one will ever care. They will use this opportunity to its full potential.
Arabs and Muslims in the States and Europe are already facing a lot of hassles and being treated as terrorists.
America will now support Israel even more to face what they call “Palestinian terrorism.”
One female junior member wrote on September 14 on Masrawy:
I’m against American policies in the Middle East, but the innocent civilians had nothing to do with politics. This is forbidden in Islam, whether the victims are Iraqis, Americans, or Palestinians. And do you think Arabs will benefit from these attacks? Not at all. We will suffer as a result (although I’m sure whoever did this are American extremists). But look at what’s happening. The world is so concerned about the United States, and in the meantime yesterday Israel went into Jenin and Ariha. They killed 11 Palestinians yesterday, and four today. No one cares of course.
One female on Islam Online thought the attacks would be both of benefit and cost to Muslims. In her words:
This is not an easy question. I think these attacks both hurt us and benefited us. The hurt will be that anti-Islamists will seize the opportunity to paint a negative image of Islam in the West and make the West hate us. The good part is that Muslims who face American terrorist acts in Palestine and Iraq will get a sense of hope that this undefeated giant has been defeated, and it might also make American citizens pay attention to their government’s policies that are so unfair to Muslims. But I think the cost is so much more than the benefit. We need huge political and media efforts to make up for the damage to the image of Islam.
Another female on Arabia wrote:
This will only make life harder for Arabs, here (in the Arab world) and in the States. An advisory was issued to Arabs in the States to stop talking to each other in Arabic on the streets, and Muslims are facing a lot of hassles already. I’m sure this was not done by Arabs or Muslims, but it will only cause more mistreatment to Arabs.
A male wrote on Islam Online:
What’s happening to Muslims now is the best evidence that Bin Laden is a dangerous man. What he did is not heroic, what he did is a crazy act of terror. Dangerous and important things have started happening to Muslims worldwide as a result, he has only done a great favor for anti-Islamists by his acts. For example, in India, they put the Islamic Liberation Front on the list of terrorist organizations. And in China they detained a lot of Muslims and killed some, and also in the Philippines and elsewhere. Many will use this against Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism. And now we have to prove to the West that Muslims are not terrorists.
Several messages on Islam Online tackled the same issue of whether Bin Laden was a hero or a terrorist. Although the majority of respondents stated that the attacks were an act of terrorism, some still thought Bin Laden committed a heroic act, and some did not believe Bin Laden was the person behind the attacks.
The few who saw Bin Laden as a hero were taken by the ability of this one man to terrorize a nation as powerful as the U.S. Others believed that he must be a true believer since he abandoned a millionaire’s life of luxury and instead took to his form of jihad. One female wrote on Islam Online, “I think Bin Laden is a hero. Don’t you see how this one person managed to terrorize the United States and cause it to be insecure and worried? He has done what the whole Arab world and Arab governments could not do.”
A male poster wrote, “Osama Bin Laden is a true fighter for Islam. He has given up on a life of plenty in this life for the hope of a better afterlife. He is the only millionaire in the world who gave himself and his money to Islam and Muslims. God be with him.”
Other posters had their reasons for not believing that Bin Laden could do such an act. This male poster wrote, “I do believe Bin Laden is a hero. I do not think he had anything to do with these attacks in New York though.” Several messages agreed with this line of thinking. Another male replied to this message, saying, “I totally agree with you. I do not think Bin Laden did it, not because he can’t, but because he is a man of high morals and standards, and he could not be involved in such criminal acts.” Another poster said, “I don’t believe Bin Laden did these attacks. The U.S. still does not have any proof.” This female wrote:
Thank God we are Muslims for our religion is great. I can’t believe you’re asking whether Bin Laden is a terrorist or not. The answer lies in the teachings of Islam. If Osama is a true Muslim, he will not have had anything to do with these attacks because a true believer cannot do these horrible acts…. Our religion is not a religion of killings or terrorism, these acts are by no means a victory. If our enemies have resorted to terrorism, this is not an excuse for us to do the same.
To the same effect, one poster wrote, “To know if Bin Laden is a terrorist or a hero, look at his way of jihad and compare it to the merciful nature of Islam.” Another message came from a male poster: “By God Bin Laden is the worst terrorist. He is using our great religion to kill people in its name. He is taking people backwards to pre-Islamic times.” Finally, the following message, posted in English on Masrawy, tended to reflect several others:
The one thing we should protect the most is our humanity, our religion that urges us to rise above greed and anger and malice represented in the American and Israeli forces of darkness. They should never succeed in robbing our Islamic identity and our morality. Islam is the religion of forgiveness not revenge. We don’t kill the innocent no matter how hard it is to target the guilty.
Discussion and Conclusions
This study analyzed the contents of three of the most popular Arabic-language online message boards regarding the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The findings documented that more than 43% of the messages condemned the attacks as a pure criminal act of terrorism. However, some 30% of the message posters still saw some justification behind these attacks, even if they felt sorry for the victims and their families. It is worth noting that most of the justification messages were posted in the few days immediately after the attacks, and were short and abrupt, suggesting a hasty and impulsive reaction. Justification messages tended to become fewer over time. In contrast, condemnation messages were longer, tended to contain well-structured analysis, and continued to be posted throughout the time period included in this study. These findings were consistent across the three message boards, with no apparent ideological differences between them. The main theme that kept appearing throughout was an overall frustration with American foreign policies in the Middle East region.
Posters condemning the 9/11 attacks felt that the massive killing of innocent civilians in such a random manner was barbaric, inhumane, and contradicted the core teachings of Islam. Many posters wrote that they felt that their religion was being raped by criminals who use it to carry out their own hidden agendas. On the other hand, those justifying or supporting the attacks tended to cite American foreign policy in the Middle East. This was particularly true with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. It should be noted that these messages were posted before the launch of the current American intervention in Iraq.
More than 81% of the messages mentioned some aspect of frustration and/or dissatisfaction with American politics in the Middle East. This is an interesting finding, given that fewer than 30% justified the attacks. This means that another 51%, who mostly posted messages supporting the victims and condemning the attacks, still felt dissatisfied with American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Although the attacks of 9/11 were justified by the terrorists who committed them as having been carried out in the name of Islam, those who posted messages on all three forums—Masrawy, Islam Online, and Arabia—rejected this claim. On all three websites, only 11% of those who posted messages mentioned that Islam was a probable justification for the attacks. In contrast, more than 30% stressed in their messages that such atrocities were against the core spirit and teachings of Islam. The remaining 59% of the message posters did not mention Islam at all in their discussions, which suggests that the religion was not on their minds as a possible reason for why the attacks took place. These posters seemed to view the attacks as a political, rather than a religious, issue.
This is another interesting finding, given that, as illustrated in the literature review, most American media coverage of the issue tended to portray it as a clash of civilizations, based in essence on a confrontation between Islam as a religion and the West as a culture. The findings of this study show that Arab Muslims did not view the issue in a religious light. Rather, Arabs saw the issue as primarily political. They were (and are) frustrated with the seemingly consistent support for Israel that the U.S. displays in its foreign policy towards the Middle East, particularly regarding the Palestinian conflict and Lebanon. They see the U.S. as a “monster” that is quick to judge and take one side in support of a single entity against all others in the region.
Arab message posters also expressed concern about the then-potential problem of framing Islam as a violent and terrorist religion, a concern that was shown in the literature review to have materialized in the days and months following 9/11. In the minds of these message posters, such media coverage of the nature of Islam is distorted and hurts the interests of Arabs and Muslims everywhere.
It is the concern of this researcher that such media coverage may also have increased anti-American sentiments in the Middle East over the past few years, since Arabs felt that the U.S. insisted on dealing with Islam as an enemy. As indicated in the findings of this and other studies (Fadel, 2002; Gomaa, 2002; Inbaraj, 2002; Pintak, 2006; Said, 1997; Shaheen, 1980, 1984), Arabs feel that the U.S. media are unduly focused on Islam as a breeding ground of violence and terrorism and that the media refuse to pay attention to moderate voices, which constitute the great majority of the more than 1.3 billion Muslims around the world. Of course, terrorist acts speak to the media much more loudly than non-terrorist acts. However, Arabs feel that the U.S. media ignore coverage of any non-violent aspect of Islam, as evidenced by the near non-existence of any content about the everyday lives or the scientific achievements or the rich cultures of Arabs and Muslims worldwide and throughout history. In the minds of most Arabs, terrorism is not related to Islam as a religion. Rather, it is born and bred out of a sense of frustration with seemingly endless unfair political policies, a point that is validated daily by the flagrant rise of violent acts in Iraq since the American intervention in 2003. This is another point that Arabs believe the American media refuse to acknowledge or even consider.
Arab messages posters discussed different aspects of the relation between Islam and the 9/11 attacks. They concluded that the attacks caused more harm than good to Islam and Muslims, both in the Arab world and in the West. Although a minority hailed Bin Laden as a hero for what they perceived to be his victorious confrontation with the U.S., the majority saw him as a terrorist who is taking advantage of Islam to serve his own agenda. Muslims took to the discussion boards to defend their religion, saying that they felt it was being “raped” by such terrorists. They posted messages trying to explain to the world the basic principles on which Islam was based as a religion of tolerance, mercy, and compassion.
The Internet provided a much needed public sphere for Arabs to express their views and speak their minds on an issue as important as this one. This is particularly valuable in a region of the world where the media are mostly government-owned and controlled. Access to public media in the Arab world is not easy, and if one is lucky enough to get through with a letter to the editor, chances are that the letter will be “edited,” sometimes heavily, before it appears in print. The Internet provides Arabs with a staggering alternative to traditional media. As is shown in this study, they have used it in the aftermath of 9/11 to denounce what they perceived as attacks on humanity and on their own religion, and to attempt to spread awareness and knowledge about the true nature and the core teachings of Islam to the world.
Some messages were posted twice, apparently due to a technical difficulty on the website. Those pairs of duplicate messages were analyzed and counted as one message.
The author is Egyptian. Arabic is her mother tongue.
“You have your religion, and I have mine” is a literal translation of a verse from the Quran, the Muslim holy book that dictates tolerance to people different from oneself. The verse is from a Sura (chapter) called “Al Kaferoon” (The Infidels), and it stresses tolerance not just of people of other religions but of any persons, even if they are infidels or have no religion. Another translation that captures the spirit of the verse is provided on IslamiCity.com: “To you be your way, and to me mine” (The Holy Quran, 109:6).
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- Said, E. (1997). Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World (Rev. ed.). New York: Vintage Books.
- Shaheen, J. (1980). The Arab stereotype on television. The Link , 13 (2). Retrieved March 14, 2007 fromhttp://www.ameu.org/summary1.asp?iid=107
- Shaheen, J. (1984). The TV Arab. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press.
- Slade, S. (1981). The image of the Arab in America: Analysis of a poll on American attitudes. The Middle East Journal, 35(2),143–162.
- Stempel, G. H., III, & Stewart, R. (2000). The Internet provides both opportunities and challenges for mass communication researchers. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(3), 541–48.
Rasha A. Abdulla is an Assistant Professor in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department of the American University in Cairo. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Miami (2003). Her research interests include the uses and effects of mass media, particularly new media and the Internet.
Address: Journalism & Mass Communication Department, The American University in Cairo, 113 Kasr Al Aini Street, P.O. Box 2511, Cairo 11511, Egypt
- CAIR Participated In A “Criminal Conspiracy” Led By Hamas: State Of Tennessee New Bill ~ Makes It A Felony To Knowingly help Terrorist Organization With Money, Advice Or Any Other Aid. (politicalvelcraft.org)
- Muslims complain about cartoon in NY Post Newspaper (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Obama Disarms FBI Counter Terror Training Programs, Purges Truth about Jihad (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- No jihad threat in the U.S.? Really? (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- FBI submits, removes 1,000+ documents on Islam; Islamists suggest overseeing future training (pauls2k.wordpress.com)
- Is Obama is Leading USA to Radical Islamic Interests? (oneway2day.wordpress.com)
- Canadian teens being exposed to Islamic extremism in high schools (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
The complaints lodged against this cartoon in the NY Post newspaper includes the false accusation of racism. Islam is NOT a race. That the characters are emulating the founder of islam, mohammad seems to be also offensive. Of course, mohammad did teach he was to be copied as the most perfect example of human behavior.
Fortunately, few follow this teaching or the world would be so much worse than it is. Exponentially increased violence, aggression, all sorts of sexual pervasion including rape and child molestation, crimes of person and property, murder, etc.
Does the cartoon generalize, well sure. The truth is that a terrorist can’t be identified by looks and can just as easily be “hidden amongst us”. But, who wants to see a cartoon of a terrorist that looks like anyone. It is the evil the dwells inside that provides the evil of terrorism, not any nationality or ethnic group or race. This evil is islam.
- SWEDEN: Savage Muslim Art students attack police and totally disrupt lecture on ‘Freedom of Speech’ with artist Lars Vilks (barenakedislam.wordpress.com)
- Radical Islam is Islam (oneway2day.wordpress.com)
- Kenya gets it: Deports Canadian Jihad Preacher on Arrival (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of MY FATHER which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. - John 5:30-32
And, these verses explained: There is another (That is, God. See John 5:36.) – God the Father, who, by his Spirit in your prophets, described my person, office, and miracles. You read these scriptures, and you cannot help seeing that they testify of me: – no person ever did answer the description there given, but myself; and I answer to that description in the fullest sense of the word. See John 5:39.
And I know – Instead of οιδα, I know, οιδατε, ye know, is the reading of the Codex Bezae, Armenian, and two of the Itala. Ye believe the Scriptures to be of God, and that he cannot lie; and yet ye will not believe in me, though these Scriptures have so clearly foretold and described me! It is not one of the least evils attending unbelief, that it acts not only in opposition to God, but it also acts inconsistently with itself. It receives the Scriptures in bulk, and acknowledges them to have come through Divine inspiration; and yet believes no part separately. With it the whole is true, but no part is true! The very unreasonableness of this conduct shows the principle to have come from beneath, were there no other evidences against it.
- The Bible Proves That Jesus The Christ (Messiah) Took The Kingdom Of God Away From Unbelieving Israel! (soulrefuge.org)
- Proofs the Holy Bible is uncorrupted (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
Proof Mohammad tried to claim divinity and Admits Christians and Jews go to Heaven without Conversion
- Islam says there is no god but allah and his creator mohammad (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Proof the the Quran contains errors and that Mohammad was wrong – Facebook Discussion (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Proof that Jesus is the Son of God (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Prophet Like Unto Moses (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Begotten Son of God (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Proofs the Holy Bible is uncorrupted (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Questions for Islam to Answer about Bible Corruption (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
The Koran and Slavery
While the European Atlantic slave trade was conducted over four centuries, the Arab African slave trade was conducted over 14 centuries, and has not finally ended even in the 21st century. Ending slavery in the Muslim world was primarily the work of the Christian abolition movement. It is no accidental that abolition movements never developed in the Islamic world. The simple truth is that slavery is clearly sanctioned in the Holy Koran. This is important. Slavery is mentioned as existing in the Bible, but not really sanctioned. In fact, the central story of the Old Testament is the Hebrew escape from Egyotian sklavery, seeking freedom and the Promised Land. The Koran is very different. Allah in the Koean clearly sanctions slavery. And many Arabs and othet Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal word of God which can not be questioned by our more enlightened modern humane attitudes on social values and human rights. There are many references to slavery in the Koran. Some authors desribe this as Mohammed’s attitude toward slavery, but this is not how many Muslims view it. Remember that Mohammed was a prophet–God’s messenger. More correctly, the Koranic verses to many Muslims provide a statement of God’s views on slavery. The clear conclusion from all these passages is that God saw slavery as a natural aspect of human relations. This explains why there was been no abolitionist movement within Islam and why it was the Brirish Royal Navy that ended the slave trade in the Indian Ocean. The many passages in the Koran mentioning slavery are rather ambigious, not unlike the Bible. Often the point of the passage is not clear. We can offer some suggestions as to the meaning. But we certainly do not pretend to be Islamic scholars. Reader comments are invited to help us better understand these various passages. One interesting aspect here is the number of references to which a Muslim might free a slave as the consequence for violating a Koranic injuction. This would make holding slaves a useful practice beyond the actual services they might render. It is notable the number of the 114 surah/sura (chapters) of the Koran that have refences to slavery.
Surah 2 (The Cow)
2.178: “O you who believe! retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain, the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female, but if any remission is made to any one by his (aggrieved) brother, then prosecution (for the bloodwit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner; this is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy; so whoever exceeds the limit after this he shall have a painful chastisement.”
This is one of many passages in the Koran which reflect prevailing pre-Islamic Arabian social and legal precepts. Several interprtations can follow from this. One that the Koran is Mohammed’s work and not that of God. Or conversely that God chose to speak to man in terms appropriate the the people and times. This of course would suggest that the Koran over time should be open to reinterpretation. This passage is also an instance of different legal treatment of men and women. The legal precept is that there should be different legal consequences if a person kills a freeman, woman and slave and this will depend on the status and gender of the person responsible for the killing. The passage clearly indicates that slavery is an established and acceptable legal institution and there is no hint of criticism for slavery. Note that the appropriate legal consequences are not detailed. For example if a free man kills another person’s slave, he would not face the death penalty. Rather Islamic legal codes eventually evolved to require that a slave of the killer would be killed. This would be the same as if a man killed the cow of another person. It is the loss to the owner which has to be readdressed.
Surah 4 (The Women)
The Koran permits a master to marry a slave.
4.92: “And it does not behoove a believer to kill a believer except by mistake, and whoever kills a believer by mistake, he should free a believing slave, and blood-money should be paid to his people unless they remit it as alms; but if he be from a tribe hostile to you and he is a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (suffices), and if he is from a tribe between whom and you there is a covenant, the blood-money should be paid to his people along with the freeing of a believing slave; but he who cannot find (a slave) should fast for two months successively:”
Some modern Islamic scholars claim that this passage promoted the freeing of slaves. This seemes a kind of strained interpretation. If freeing slaves was a goal, why would it be linked with manslaughter. A more coherent interpretation would seem that forceing a man who has inadvertedly killed another man to free a slave is a penalty or fine imposed upon him. Again an important additional point is that slavery is not only widespread, but completely acceptable by Islam. The option of an additional two months fast for non-slave owners provides an insight on the value of a slave.
Surah 5 (The Dinner Table)
5.89: “Allah does not call you to account for what is vain in your oaths, but He calls you to account for the making of deliberate oaths; so its expiation is the feeding of ten poor men out of the middling (food) you feed your families with, or their clothing, or the freeing of a neck; but whosoever cannot find (means) then fasting for three days; this is the expiation of your oaths when you swear; and guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His communications, that you may be Fateful.”
This is another passage used by modern Islamic scholars to show that the Koran urges slave-owners to free their slaves. Again this is a strained interpretation. If God meant to tell man to free slaves, why did he not come out and say so. Islamic scholars who argue otherwise are in effect saying that God was not capable of clearly expressing his ideas. It is not really clear that this is a reference to slavery. The term slave or slavery does not appear in the passage. The reference to “freeing if a neck” could refer to freeing a slave. It could also refer to freeing a condemned man. And again if the reference does refer to a slave, than it is yet another Koranic verse regognizing slavery as a legal and acceptable institutions.
Surah 12 (Yusuf)
12.29: “O Yusuf! turn aside from this; and (O my wife)! ask forgiveness for your fault, surely you are one of the wrong-doers.”
12.30: “And women in the city said: The chief’s wife seeks her slave to yield himself (to her), surely he has affected her deeply with (his) love; most surely we see her in manifest error.”
These verses are part of the account of the slave Yusuf (Joseph) who was bought by an Egyptian. Once encounced in the household, the Egyptian’s wife tried to have sexual relations with him. Joseph was tempted, but in the end resisted. The Egyptian minself concluded that the slave had asked the wife to apologize. This fascinating episode reflects not only Islamic attitudes toward slavery, but sharply different moral codes for men and women. Muslim men had the right to demand sexual relations with their female slaves. The women had no right to refuse. This was different for male slaves owned by women.
Surah 16 (The Bee)
16.71: “And Allah has made some of you excel others in the means of subsistence, so those who are made to excel do not give away their sustenance to those whom their right hands possess so that they should be equal therein; is it then the favor of Allah which they deny?”
Here the Koran requires that Muslims who are affluent to share their “subsistence” with their slaves. This is one of several Koranic passages that require a Muslim to treat his slaves humanely, but it isalso one of many passages which recognizes slavery as a acceptable practice and part of the normal structure of society. There is no hint of duisapproval for slave holding.
16.75: “Allah sets forth a parable: (consider) a slave, the property of another, (who) has no power over anything, and one whom We have granted from Ourselves a goodly sustenance so he spends from it secretly and openly; are the two alike? (All) praise is due to Allah!”
This is a particularly important passage because it addresses slavery in more than a passing manner. Many other Koranic references are indirect or deal with the humane treatment of slaves. This passage strikes at the essential inequality of man and essentially justifies both inequaliy and savery as aform of inequality. Here slavery is presented as a divine dispensation–essentially God in the Koran tells Muslims that slavery is not only acceptable but that he endorsed it. This is one of many parables in ghe Koran. It compares two individuals: 1) a slave who is owned and thus completely powerless and 2) a freeman who God has granted “a goodly sustenance” which he is free to spend. Since the vision of God expressed in the Koran is the granter or denier of all benefits. The freeman’s fortune and the slave’s misfortune are both the work of God. Then the Koran poses a rhetorical question “Are the two alike?” Muhammad in the Koran is clearly justifying inequality. It is seen as the natural order of society. Thus a Muslim need have no concerns about in employing and exploiting his slaves, subject only to the Koranic provisions concerning the treatment of slaves.
Surah 23 (The Believers)
23.1-6: “Successful indeed are the believers, Who are humble in their prayers, And who keep aloof from what is vain, And who are givers of poor-rate, And who guard their private parts, Except before their mates (spouses) or those whom their right hands possess, for they surely are not blameable.”
This is the Koranic verse that gives the slave owner the right of sexual favors over his female slaves. The term “guarding the private parts” is a polite way of expressing sexual intercourse. , and it is said that this is not blameable if indulges with wives and slaves. The passage seems to be gender neutral. (Perhaps gender is more apparent in the Arabic original.) Een so it has been interpreted by Koranic scholars as meaning males slave owners have a right for sexual favors from their female slaves, but nor from male slaves which is prohibited by the Koran nor do femle slave owneers have the right of sexual favors from male slaves. It is also a Koranic verse that clearly descriminates against women. The verse also affects how the humane treatment od slaves is defined in Islam. I do not believe that the Bible allows slave owners sexual privliges. Of course slave owners in America and Latin America commonly took advantage of their slaves. It was, however, something seen as distateful and not openly admitted. The Koran does not address the question of the status are responsibility of the children fathered by slave owners.
Surah 24 (The Light)
24.31: “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.”
This is a very important Koranic verse. It is the verse used to justify modest dress for women. The verse is a little vague and does not provide precise detail as to just how women should be covered. Muslim fundamentalists insist that the veil and even the burqa are required and that women who fail to comply should be arrested or beaten. More moderate Muslims maintains that it only requires modest dress and head scarves. As regards slavery there is an interesting passage. Included in the list of indiciduals before which women need nor be covered are the family slaves and here the reference in context is to male skaves. The Koran uses the phrase those that “the right hand possess”–a commonly used term in the Koran meaning slaves. I am not entirely sure why the Koran refers to slaves “not having need” (of women). This may be a reference to eunchs, but more likely it is just the assumtion that male slaves had no right to sexual relations outside of those sanctioned by his owner. It is not entirely clear why Mohammed included slaves on this list. Perhaps it was that slaves were so common in Arabia and important to the running of the household thst it was not practical. Or perhaps slaves were just taken dor granted. It woukd be interested to know just how Koranic scholars explain thrir inclusion on the list.
24.32: “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.”
Koranic scholars use this passage to justify the marriages of slaves with other slaves and slaves with free individuals, including their owners. Muslim slave masters did not normally marry their slaves. There were of course instances when this did occur resulting from particularly strong bonds of affection developing between an owner and a particular slave. It was, however, not the normal practice. It could cause problens with a man’s other wives. And as Islam gives a male (but not a female) skave owner to demand sexual favors from female slaves, men for the most part at no real incentive to marry a slave. Koranic scholars have also used this verse to give a slave owber the right to order a slave to marry and to decide who they should marry. He could also decide to prohibit a slave from marraying. There was, however, a financial incentive in permitting slave marriages. Under Islam, children born to slave couple are legally slaves. This verse essentially provides religious sanction for breeding slaves.
24.33: “And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those [slaves] whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world’s life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
This is a rather difficult passage to understand. It seems to say that a slave should be permitted to earn their living if they chose to do so and they could not be compeled to earn money for their master, except when an agreement was reached between the slave and the owner. And such work can not include prostitution. (Prostitution here does not include the owner demanding sexual favors which is authorized by the Koran.) In such cases part of the money earned should be use for eventual emancipation–mukatabah. Islamic tradition promotes, but does not require mukatabah. Mukatabah was normally not a simple matter, but often required a formal written agreement. The “writing” or agreement details the conditions required fir freedom. This usually included the payment of a stated sum of money. The question arises as to just where the slaves acquires the needed funds. Perhaps a relative would pay for his freedom. Or a slave promoses to repay his owner out of future earnings. He thus becomes an indentured servant as if he fails to pay the persc=scribed sum, he reverts to slavery.
Surah 33 (The Clans)
33.50: “O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those [slaves] whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her — specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
The Koran is writen to a large extent as poetry. The meaning of many verses seem very clear. Others verses are much more difficult to understand. Thus after the various verses here, we have attempted to assess just what point Mohammed or if you are a Muslim God was attempting to make. What the Koran says is of course fixed, although translarions from the original Arabic vary. Interpretations can, however, be highly variable. We have attempted to the bst of our ability assess the meaning of these veses. We incourage readrs to agree or disagree with out assessment or to provide insights of their own so we can beter understand just swhat the Korn says about slavery.
The subject of slavery and Islamic law is much more extensive than just the Koran. There are the Hadiths, a vast body of law and scholarly writing. What the Koran say about slavery, howver,is of centeal importance. To most Muslims, the Koran is the actual world of God and its teachings can not be questioned. Varying interpretations are possible, although in many Mulims countries, interpretations varying from the majority view can be dangerous. Given the centrality of the Koran to Muslims, Koranic verses overide all other scholarly sources such as the Hadiths. Thus any assessment of slavery in the Muslim wrld has to begin with an understanding of what the Koran says about the institution.
slavery is clearly scationed in the Koran and many Arabs and othet Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal word of God which can not be questioned by our more enlightened modern attitudes on social values and human rights. There are many references to slavery in the Koran. Some authors desribe this as Mohammed’s attitude toward slavery, but this is not how many Muslims view it. Remember that Mohammed was a prophet, God’s messenger. More correctly, the Koranic verses to many Muslims provide a statement of God’s views on slavery. The clear conclusion from all these passages is that God saw slavery as a natural aspect of human relations. This explains why there was been no abolitionist movement within Islam and why it was primarily the British Royal Navy that ended the Arab slave trade in the Indian Ocean. The many passages in the Koran mentioning slavery are rather ambigious, not unlike the Bible. Often the point of the passage is not clear. We can offer some suggestions as to the meaning. But we certainly do not pretend to be Islamic scholars. Reader comments are invited to help us better understand these various passages. One interesting aspect here is the number of references to which a Muslim might free a slave as the consequence for violating a Koranic injuction. This would make holding slaves a useful practice beyond the actual services they might render. It is notable the number of the 114 surah/sura (chapters) of the Koran that have refences to slavery. Sharia (Islamic) law based on the Koranic verses here regulateed all aspects of the slave’s status. Sharia detailed the obligations of masters and slaves and created a legal foundation for the the relations between them. Shaira encourages manumission, but does not require it. It is important to note that there is no Koranic distinction between types of slaves such as race, work assignments, or origins of the slaves. There is one exception here. There are detinctions associated with gender related to sexual relations. Despite the lack of Koranic justification, however, social strarification in the Muslim world based on race did emerge. White slaves were considered the most valuable and raked higest in social status. Among the black Africans, Ethiopian slaves were ranked highest. [Toledano, pp. 3-5.]
Toledano, Ehud R. The Ottoman Slave Trade and its Suppression, 1840-1890 (Princeton University Press, 1982), 307p..
- Islam and Slavery (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Multiple Arabic Language Koran Versions Explained (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- From US private school student to dead al-Qaida agent (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
- Ottoman sex-slave trade (disclose.tv)
- Koran Disproved!! (mackquigley.wordpress.com)
The phrase “only begotten Son” occurs in John 3:16, which reads in the King James Version as, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The phrase “only begotten” translates the Greek word monogenes. This word is variously translated into English as “only,” “one and only,” and “only begotten.”
It’s this last phrase (“only begotten” used in the KJV, NASB and the NKJV) that causes problems. False teachers have latched onto this phrase to try to prove their false teaching that Jesus Christ isn’t God; i.e., that Jesus isn’t equal in essence to God as the Second Person of the Trinity. They see the word “begotten” and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be “begotten.” What this fails to note is that “begotten” is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, not transfer English meanings into the text.
So what does monogenes mean? According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAGD, 3rd Edition), monogenes has two primary definitions. The first definition is “pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship.” This is the meaning attached to its use in Hebrews 11:17when the writer refers to Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son.” Abraham had more than one son, but Isaac was the only son he had by Sarah and the only son of the covenant.
The second definition is “pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind.” This is the meaning that is implied in John 3:16. In fact, John is the only New Testament writer who uses this word in reference to Jesus (see John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9). John was primarily concerned with demonstrating that Jesus was the Son of God (John 20:31), and he uses this word to highlight Jesus as uniquely God’s Son—sharing the same divine nature as God—as opposed to believers who are God’s sons and daughters through faith.
The bottom line is that terms such as “Father” and “Son,” that are descriptive of God and Jesus, are human terms used to help us understand the relationship between the different Persons of the Trinity. If you can understand the relationship between a human father and a human son, then you can understand, in part, the relationship between the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. The analogy breaks down if you try to take it too far and teach, as some Christian cults (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses), that Jesus was literally “begotten” as in “produced” or “created” by God the Father.
Muslims often claim that Islam is better religion for black people because Islam is against slavery. Unfortunately, this is a lie and brasen hypocrisy. Muhammad kept slaves and even had female sex slaves. Also, the Islamic god allah promises Muslims that they will have slaves for eternity, by the thousands, in the Jenna:
Qur’an (33:50) – “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee…”
Qur’an (23:5-6) “..who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess…”
Qur’an (4:24) – “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess…”
Qur’an (8:69) – “But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good…”
Qur’an (24:32) – “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves…”
Qur’an (2:178) – “O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.”
Qur’an (16:75) – “Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah.”
Bukhari (80:753) – “The Prophet said, ‘The freed slave belongs to the people who have freed him.’”
Bukhari (52:255) – The slave who accepts Islam and continues serving his Muslim master will receive a double reward in heaven.
Bukhari (41.598) – Slaves are property. They cannot be freed if an owner has outstanding debt, but can be used to pay off the debt.
Bukhari (62:137) – An account of women taken as slaves in battle by Muhammad’s men after their husbands and fathers were killed. The woman were raped with Muhammad’s approval.
Bukhari (34:432) – Another account of females taken captive and raped with Muhammad’s approval. In this case it is evident that the Muslims intend on selling the women after raping them because they are concerned about devaluing their price by impregnating them. Muhammad is asked about coitus interruptus.
Bukhari (47.765) – A woman is rebuked by Muhammad for freeing a slave girl. The prophet tells her that she would have gotten a greater heavenly reward by giving her to a relative (as a slave).
Bukhari (34:351) – Muhammad sells a slave for money. He was thus a slave trader.
Bukhari (72:734) – Some contemporary Muslims in the West, where slavery is believed to be a horrible crime, are reluctant to believe that Muhammad owned slaves. This is just one of many places in the Hadith where a reference is made to a human being owned by Muhammad. In this case, the slave is of African descent.
Muslim 3901 – Muhammad trades away two black slaves for one Muslim slave.
Muslim 4112 – A man freed six slaves on the event of his death, but Muhammad reversed the emancipation and kept four in slavery to himself. He cast lots to determine which two to free.
Bukhari (47:743) – Muhammad’s own pulpit – from which he preached Islam – was built with slave labor on his command.
Bukhari (59:637) – “The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, ‘Don’t you see this (i.e. Ali)?’ When we reached the Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, ‘O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumlus.’”
Abu Dawud (2150) – “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Qur’an 4:24) ‘And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.’” This is the background for verse 4:24 of the Qur’an. Not only does Allah grant permission for women to be captured and raped, but allows it to even be done in front of their husbands. (See also Muslim 3432)
Abu Dawud 1814 – “…[Abu Bakr] He then began to beat [his slave] him while the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) was smiling and saying: Look at this man who is in the sacred state (putting on ihram), what is he doing?” The future first caliph of Islam is beating his slave for losing a camel while Muhammad looks on in apparent amusement.
Ibn Ishaq (734) – A slave girl is given a “violent beating” by Ali in the presence of Muhammad, who does nothing about it.
Ibn Ishaq (693) – “Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu’l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.” Muhammad trades away women captured from the Banu Qurayza tribe to non-Muslim slave traders for property. (Their men had been executed after surrendering peacefully without a fight).
Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) (o9.13) – According to Sharia, when a child or woman is taken captive by Muslims, they become slaves by the mere fact of their capture. A captured woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.
- Islamic Slavery, Part 1 (usapartisan.com)
- Bill Warner: The Principles of Islam is Submission and Dualism Based on the Concepts of Slavery (americandefenseleague.wordpress.com)
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