Projection

Projection the Enemy of Peace and Justice Part III

The following was sent to me by Dawoud Kringle, a genuinely spiritual Sufi/Muslim Imam in response to parts one and two. I met Dawoud at Alex Grey’s CoSM and was impressed by his presence and perspective.

© 2006 Dawoud Kringle and Jonathan Zap

(from Dawoud:)

Peace;

I read the blog you posted on your website. While there is a great deal in it that is beyond dispute (for which you have earned my respect), I must admonish you for your shortsightedness and limited vision in the matter of the religion of Islam. Frankly, I expect better of someone who is skilled in dream interpretation, and has had a glimpse of the Other Side.

Before I begin, I must make clear that what I am writing is from an Islamic perspective – but not the Islamic perspective you are accustomed to. I append this caveat because I am the embodiment of a great many human imperfections; yet I represent a large percentage of Muslims/Sufis that get no voice outside our community – and whose existence almost all non-Muslims are completely unaware. But it would be to your profit to attempt to see things from an alternative perspective – which I remember is precisely what you wanted (further evidence of your deserving of my respect). I pray I am able to live up to the task; and that you forgive me some occasionally harsh comments.

Your strong pro-Jewish stance is not lost on me. Is it possible to be pro-Islamic, and not against the Jewish people? Yes. You may be surprised to hear this. A friend of mine, a Jewish radio producer, told me that when he was in Israel, he hung out with some Palestinians. They told him “We hate the Israeli government, but we love the Jewish people”. In other words, the Palestinians he spoke to could separate the crimes against humanity that Israel commits regularly from the true essence of the Jewish people. I find, if I am to accept the evidence of my senses, the same conclusion. I know or know of Jews who are deeply religious / spiritual, generous, creative, courageous, and to whom many great contributions to the whole of humanity may be rightfully attributed. They are more Muslim than many Muslims!

I also know some Jews who are not fit to be called human. In fact, for this precise reason they are not fit to be called Jews; except in matters of descriptive convenience. I do not accept Zionism as being in any way a part of Judaism. It is secular and denies the essence of Judaism; while pretending to do the exact opposite. I do not recognize Israel as a legitimate nation. BTW; I read your blog. I find the evidence to support Israel unacceptable – and the opinions of those who disagree are to me irrelevant.

The following statement may confuse you: there is not at this time a single Islamic government anywhere on earth. Neither I nor a great number of Muslims accept the House of Saud, HAMAS, the Taliban, etc. as Islamic governments. The Saudis are part of a deviant sect called the Wahhabi. They were founded in the 17th century by Muhammad abdal Wahhab, a man whom many denounce as a deviant from authentic Islam. His successor (whose name escapes my memory at the moment) was the leader of a band of rebels. He was caught, tried, and sentenced to death. Some learned Sheikhs then questioned him about his beliefs; and found that he was not a true Believer after all; and was an apostate. He was executed without being allowed to make a prayer.

In other words, an early leader of Wahhbbism – the sect that dominates Arabia today – was found to be an infidel. Interesting, huh?

A equally deviant, yet opposing sect of Islam, the Salafiyyah (which claims that any progress in Islam is a deviation from the authentic Salafiyyah: who were those closest to the Prophet. Yet, their beliefs and methods bear little resemblance to those of the Prophet and the authentic Salafiyyah), are vying for dominance of Islam. In the prisons, they are especially troublesome (I know this because I am an Imam in the prisons myself). Osama bin Laden, and his Al-Qaeda network are all aficionados of the Salafi cult.

Both are not only vying for dominance but are being played against each other.

Lets address a currently controversial subject: the Prophet Muhammad’s alleged pedophilia.

Doubtless you are unaware of his biography (beyond the self-serving drivel anti-Islamic propagandists peddle as truth). His first (and most beloved) wife was Khadija. She was 15 years his senior. How can accusations of pedophilia explain this?

Lets look at the facts. First of all, everyone who is remotely informed knows Aisha (the one who was betrothed to Muhammad) was 12 when they married. That’s about the same time as some American girls and boys lose their virginity (I lost my virginity when I was 13). He married her. You must admit that this is more noble than what an actual pedophile would do. And he waited until she began menstruating before consummating the marriage; which means that biologically, she was a woman. Besides, in those times, people has a lower life expectancy rate. If one usually died at 35 or 40 (due to the lack of medicine and technological advances) marrying at about 12 is expected. Romeo and Juliet were about 14 when they drank that potion. And consider this: the father of Aisha, Abu Bakr Siddiq, was actually the one to give his daughter to Muhammed. He begged Muhammed to take her…he was a Prophet. Who wouldn’t want their daughter married to a messenger of God? Not to mention that Semitic and other ancient cultures used marriage to strengthen ties of tribes and families. It still happens today.

I was truly amused by your quote from the “Koran” (probably N. J. Dawood’s translation; published by Penguin Classics – which is useful only as an excellent addition to a fireplace or paper recycling plant) “Men are the masters of women because Allah made one to excel the other, and as to those whom you fear desertion or disobedience leave them alone in the bed and beat them.”

You misquoted the worst existing English translation. Pitiful. You should know better than that.

This is what the verse REALLY says”
4: 34-35. “Men are the “qawwaamuuna” (overseers / protectors: from the word “Wali” which means trusted protector who watches over and advises) of women, because Allah has given men more strength than the other, and because men are required to spend their wealth for the maintenance of women. Therefore, honorable women are devoutly obedient and guard their husband’s property and their own honor. As to those for whom you fear (rebellion, corrupt or immoral behavior, possible infidelity), first admonish them and refuse to share your bed., Then if necessary, ” alayhinna sabiila” (usually translated as “beat them: but implies a different type of beating, as in beating someone down with an argument or harsh statement – and not a physical beating). Then, if they amend their conduct, take no further action against them, and make no excuses to punish them.”

Quite different from what your version implied, isn’t it?

Furthermore, the Qur’an mandates that ANYONE who accuses ANYONE of such crimes, is required to produce four reliable eyewitnesses. If one of them is untrustworthy (i.e. a liar or slanderer), then he is to receive the same punishment that the accused would have received. This is in place to protect a woman’s honor.

What puzzles me is why the people who commit crimes of abuse against their women have the audacity to call themselves Muslims. The Qur’an and the uswatun hassanatun (beautiful example) of the Prophet (sas) makes it clear that women are not to be treated like this, but honored.

The denizens of the North African / Arab communities who believe that the oppression of women is part and parcel of Islam are clearly in a state of kuf (disbelief / infidelity / disconnectedness from God / incapable of decency). True Islam means nothing to them; it is only a thin decoration crudely pasted over their own lust for political power – a power they neither understand nor merit.

I also believe that the leaders of these communities in their indigenous and adapted lands are economically enslaved to the kuffar (one who practices / accepts / embodies kuf)Â banking elite in one way or another – by choice and consent. Examine the history of the last 250 years, and you will not find a single example of an oppressive “Muslim” nation or community that was itself not economic slaves to the international banking elite. The intolerable and subhuman attitude the have towards their own women is a clear symptom of this. The prevention of economic autonomy always causes a backlash of oppression towards a weaker group.

It is an act of nihilistic suicide: differing from suicide bombing only by the speed in which the senseless destruction takes place. It is little wonder that many of these communities are in a state of arrested development! How can they learn anything when their “first teachers” are not permitted to know anything or to evolve as is the right Allah granted them?

They should not be permitted to enjoy the same rights that Muslims are entitled to; until they change. It is a sad state of affairs that this is permitted to continue. I recall a Hadith where the Prophet (sas) said that the day would come when the Light of Islam would dim in the east and shine in the west. It’s evident that we here in the west are destined to inherit Islam; the east is losing it. The only way these blasphemers of Islamic rules regarding women could find my statements offensive is if they recognized themselves in what I said. Their “honor” is not damaged – because they have none to begin with.

You quoted 9:5 (When the sacred forbidden months for fighting are past, fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, beleaguer them, and lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.). You (or www.teawithterrorists.com ) very conveniently omitted the beginning of the chapter; which addresses Muhammad directly. Taken in the whole context, it is a direct instruction to the Prophet for a specific historical event: i.e. a truce in the war between the Muslims of Medina (the city where Muhammad and his followers were exiled following 10 years of persecution for which they took no acts of revenge – something no slanderer of Islam ever adequately explained); which afterwards, the war – which the Quaraesh Arabs and NOT the Muslims started – would resume. Furthermore, there is no implication in this verse to substantiate anyone’s insistence – Muslim or non-Muslim – that this is a “standing order”.

It may interest you to know that in my work as an Imam in the prisons, I bring in literature for the inmates. Not a single piece that I bring in is published in Saudi Arabia.

I’d write a comment about the article in the Saturday Guardian Review; but I’m laughing too hard to write. The writer is an idiot – his citing of N.J. Dawoood’s “celebrated” translation confirmed this. His kind quoting Hadith does not impress me or anyone else who knows Islam.

Jonathan, I could debunk every single one of the misquotes I found in the article, and website you linked to with ease, were it not to make undue demands upon my time and your patience.

Furthermore, I could easily offers an identical critique of your Torah and Talmund. I don’t; because it resolves nothing. But I am laughing at your whole image of Islam.

And I’m not apologizing for what some so-called Muslims have done. I and many others admonish them quite severely. Did you know that there are over three dozen fatwas issued by several Islamic authorities against Osama bin Laden, al Zaqawri, al-Qaeda, terrorism, and suicide bombing? And you will, if you are observant, notice that every single Western city that suffered a severe terrorist attack hosts an Islamic community that issued such fatwas. Yes; including New York City. You never heard of these fatwas because your only sources are biased against Islam; and they will never give us a fair voice in their publications. Never.

Do you remember when you read bin Laden’s fatwa announcing “Jihad” (a concept he doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand anymore than you do) against the West? I can’t imagine how you couldn’t. Anyway, he is, if you were to humor me and accept my interpretation of Qur’an and Hadith, guilty of the exact same misinterpretation of Islamic Scripture as any dyed-in-the-wool Zionist – except that it superficially supports his political agenda. What further escapes your notice is the clear facts that:
1. Jihad does not mean Holy War (holy war translated into Arabic is “Qataala al-Qudus: a contradiction in terms in classical Arabic – and not the “Arabonics” some people speak)
2. The declaration of offensive war by a body of Muslims must, according to Shari’ah (Islamic Law) follow strict guidelines – none of which bin Laden followed at any time of his life.
3. Terrorism does not in any way conform to the Shari’ah on the conduct of warfare.
4. Bin Laden does NOT, nor has he ever, had the authority to issue fatwas. Do you have the authority to edit and append additions to the Talmund?

Furthermore, suicide bombing is strictly forbidden in Islam – despite what ANYONE, Muslim or non-Muslim, says about martyrdom. Suicide bombers are not going to heaven. Most of the young boys that do this sort of thing are misinformed. They can’t go to school, since the Zionists put curfews and build walls around their cities. They think their families will be rewarded for their suicide deeds, but this is a lie. ANY suicide bomber or their leaders would, in a real Islamic court of law, be guilty without question. The only question that would need to be addressed would be if they were actual Muslims; and should be allowed to make a prayer before the death sentence is executed (like in the case of the early Wahabbi criminal).

Allow me to append my own views to the recent controversies about the cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad (sas). As a Muslim who refuses to resort to violence, I think an alternative opinion is in order.

The cartoon is blasphemous, no argument. Those who made and published it are guilty of blasphemy and an unforgivable insensitivity to Muslims. But, in the Qur’an, Allah said to us “Leave the kaffriun (plural of kuffar) to Me”. To be honest, I’m not worried about these things. Of course, I oppose the blasphemies of the kaffriun. But I’m not worried. I’ve heard worse things said about the Prophet (sas) than that cartoon; and I responded; but not with hysteria or violence. Allah said in His Qur’an, to respond with logic and gentle arguments.

Some cry “Freedom of Speech!”. But isn’t freedom a means to an end? What about the responsibilities that go with it? And I’ll tell you this: those who point their fingers at Muslims who speak out against this are blissfully ignorant of an important fact: while Muslims have made disrespectful and often uncalled for comments about some Jews, Christians, etc.: WE HAVE NEVER SLADERED YOUR PROPHETS. If you don’t understand the significance of this, you will never understand us.

As far as those Muslims who are howling and becoming violent, they only harm themselves (although I suppose an emotional catharsis of some kind is necessary). It solves nothing, and only offers a temporary victory to the Kaffriun (the only kind of victory the Kaffriun will ever enjoy). I make no apology for them; only an explanation. The nihilistic mindset that has contaminated Muslims for decades has damaged our spirit and prevented us from realizing our human potential. The world had changed into a soulless, global dictatorship that has sapped the strength and spirit out of everyone. It enslaves in a manner that hides the chains that bind us. Islam, for which I speak, was meant to be joyful, beautiful, heroic, romantic, and a means of enlightening and nearness to the Supreme Being. It has been contaminated; as has all life. We watch heroism on TV; but are not allowed to participate in it ourselves: and this slavery, this cage with invisible bars is called “World Peace”.

And those in power, who are trying to engulf the world in this “peace’ while consolidating all wealth and power to themselves, must feed parasitically off the rest of humanity. Those who find their backs against the wall react in what way they are able – even to their own destruction and the destruction of that which they believe they’re fighting for. This is because most have little or no understanding of the nature of the world.

The state of Kuf carries within it a self-destruct mechanism. They are destroying themselves – an at the same time spitting on the only people who can guide them out of their suicidal actions! History is full of people who slandered the Prophet (sas) and tried to destroy Islam. The passage of time proved them to be irrelevant; and Islam rose triumphant. Allah is best to know. Perhaps some of the Kuffar will change. In a week, or ten years. It can happen. It does happen. I refer my fellow Muslims to Surat-ul Asr.

In other words, hysteria will solve nothing; and will only exacerbate the problem. Worse; it will strengthen the means by which we are kept in a state of ignorance and slavery – a state few people are even aware of.

The military and the governments are not in power. They have no real power in and of themselves. Furthermore, the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Japan, France, Germany, Israel, Palestine, etc. etc ARE NOT NATIONS. They are postal divisions whose governments and military exist to administer local policies for the REAL nations of the earth. Who are they? They include but are not limited to the IMF, the WTO, The World Bank, the Bilderberger Group, the Club of Rome, the Paris Club, the Trilateral Commission, and the Federal Reserve. All governments and armies are absolutely powerless against them. It is important to understand this.

Furthermore, one must understand that their attitude toward us is not one of hate. In their view, we are not important enough to be hated. We are an expendable resource. Do you hate the chicken that you ate for dinner the other night?

Many of the controversies in the world are really symptom of greater problems. Many Muslims can’t see what’s really happening in the world and become worked up into a frenzy over near-meaningless controversies: while the Kaffriun become more and more powerful. I remember hearing a Bosnian Imam tell of how the women and children would be raped and murdered in the streets; while the men were in the mosques arguing about what the Shari’ah says about the proper length of their beards!

But what few really see is how Islam relates to the aforementioned “nations”, and the International Banking Elite. Their power is based upon a disingenuous form of usury. They create an ever increasing enslavement through debt for money that doesn’t exist. Paper money being a prime example: it has no intrinsic value in itself, and is worthless – not even backed by gold or silver anymore, but represents a debt. How can a people – ANY people – be expected to realize their human potential and be free of the kind of psychological and spiritual illnesses that plague us today if they are not economically free?

The SWIFT network is a private banking internet system that trades over 1.5 trillion dollars a day – but less than .0001% of this represents goods and services that exist in the real world. The rest is fiction; abstract, intangible. A lie! Ecological systems can become polluted. Human bodies can become polluted and carry disease. Machines accumulate dirt and require cleaning. Why do we not see that monetary systems also become polluted?

Islam is the only spiritual and political force that exists with the means to dismantle their power base – and at the same time set up an alternative economy that is holistic and useful to all humanity. No economic system based on usury can tolerate this. This is the REAL reason why Islam is “The Enemy”; but few people understand this. The Kaffriun (or at least their leaders) don’t really care what we believe or if we make five daily prayers or grow beards. Only that we are an economically and psychologically domesticated, docile and spiritless parody of Islam.

In the light of these facts, we see that racism and other ills of society are not only symptoms of a greater problem, but concentration on them to the exclusion of the real causes diverts our attention from the true nature of the problems facing us.

The Matrix has us. I took the red pill a long time ago. What pill do you chose?

From what I gather, you are in serious danger; despite your sincere intentions. You are very close to saying, in effect, “since I have no direct experience of “good” Muslims, and I have not permitted the development of the ability to extrapolate the possibility of their existence, they do not and cannot exist”. What follows is that since you would believe the “good” Muslim to be a fictitious creature that cannot exist within your carefully constructed reality, those Muslims who do exist are a clear and present danger; and it is irresponsible to continue to allow them to exist. The logic of your position demands it.

Adolph Hitler once said “The greatest strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it”. You are ripe to fulfill his prognostication. If you cannot overcome your “blind spot” you will degenerate into the very thing you hate.

I say this to everyone (myself included): if you want to find your true enemy, you have no need for maps of Afghanistan or Israel or the location of your neighborhood mosque, synagogue, deli, or halal cab stand. All you need is a mirror.

Do yourself a favor: stay away from websites that peddle hate propaganda (and that’s exactly what it is – an you should be ashamed of yourself for not seeing it), and don’t watch FOX or ABC or NBC or CBS or CNN. Insha Allah, you may develop an unbiased viewpoint.

Ma’a Salaam

Please don’t be offended by my blunt statements; no disrespect is intended. I eagerly anticipate specific questions from you and pray this email finds you well.

Response from Jonathan:

Thank you, thank you, I’m not the least bit offended, I’m gratified because this is exactly what I asked and hoped you would do, which is to be the severest possible critic of the point of view expressed in my essay.  I am a lifelong believer and practitioner of the Socratic dialogue and honor your ability to not take personal offense at what I wrote but to come back with the strongest possible arguments.  I will immediately post your dissenting point of view on my site at the end of the essay and advertise its presence on the main page of my site.  I’ll leave out your name unless you give me permission to use it.

An answer to your point of view seems to have emerged from the dreamtime. Last night, during the same general time period that your email was written, or at least sent, I had a dream that seems a response to it. I was standing just inside a Cathedral (which looked like Saint Patrick’s in New York, which I recently revisited) and was saying aloud or thinking aloud (no particular audience was apparent) that religionists needed to account for what was happening in the whole field of their religion, however deviant or twisted certain aspects were from what they consider to be the “true” religion. I emphasized that religions had a “field” existence and everything associated with them was part of that field. I pointed out that more religionists need to do what Jung was willing to do. Jung, who was the son of a Protestant minister, and continued to consider himself a Christian, had the courage to ask himself an essential question that few Christians have had the courage to ask: Why has more blood been spilled in the name of Christianity than anything else? (at the time he asked the question) In his book, Aion, he came up with core answers.  He found that there were essential flaws in the Christian mythos that originated not in Christ, but in how the mythos was constructed by the earliest church fathers.  I feel there are core flaws in the mythos of all the Abrahamic religions that are in need of deep reform.

I also feel that there are certain people who embody the spirit of a faith, sometimes even if they do not identify themselves with that faith. It is as if there are hidden undercurrents, a living and evolving spirit that originally gave rise to the religion, but which may retreat from the palaces of scar tissue, the pathologized patriarchial power structures that get built up in the name of the original spirit. When this happens, the original spirit may then be carried by a few marginalized persons who feel an inner compulsion to create new forms and new mythos. Where we encountered each other—-Alex Grey’s CoSM, happened to be the best place I know of on the planet to illustrate this.  The creative force that inspired Alex was religious (in the etymological sense of the word that means “ re-linking”) and in some of his images Alex recognizes the gnosis of all the great spiritual traditions. For example in his 1984 painting, “Praying,” a spiritually illuminated man is surrounded by an aura which includes concentric divine words and symbols from Hinduism, Chrisitanity, Judiasm, Islam, Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism. But no particular tradition was necessary for Alex’s inspiration. Actually, I feel that his unsurpassed inspiration needed, in this phase of human evolution, to work through someone who was not exclusively identified with a particular religious tradition.  Recently I had a trialouge with Ron Lampi and John Major Jenkins on where mythos is evolving that develops this point of view.

But those, like yourself, who continue to identify with a particular tradition, have a difficult task. I immediately told you about my essay and asked you to attempt to debunk it because I could see that you were a person who was imbued with the inner living spirit of some mystical branch and you identified yourself as Sufi/Muslim. I knew I had met somebody from the world on which (as I admitted in my essay) I am most prone to project the shadow, and who was capable of not responding mechanically and stereotypically with xenophobic tribal identification, but was capable of accessing the inner living core of this spiritual path. Strongly supportive of this intuitive evaluation is your statement that you are the “…embodiment of a great many human imperfections;” That you have the honesty and self-awareness to make such a statement is, for me, an enormous qualification, and tells me I am dealing with an authentically spiritual person, not a possessed self-righteous hypocrite, which is what you so often encounter as those who aggressively claim to be personifying a spiritual tradition.

The difficult task I am asking of you, as someone who embodies the living spirit of a faith, is that you not just disown all the pathology that occurs in the phenomenal and energic field of your religion, but that you take on what Jung did, and come to terms with the core of the problem—why is so much darkness happening in the name of Islam?  Whatever happened with Mohammed and his wives doesn’t concern me so much as what is happening to women right now in the name of Islam which is so wide spread and horrifying. Pedophilic abuse of females is widespread in many Islamic nations. People from the left and apologists for Islam would like to attribute a reactive causality—-sinister Western forces, world banks and so forth, (which are real and are major causal factors) as the source of pathology, but I sense that as largely rationalization as it neglects to find inner sources that, for example, cause the worst and most wide spread abuse of women on the planet to happen in the name of Islam.

In response to many of the particularities of your counter arguments, in most cases I am not the person with enough competence in Koran translation issues and intricacies of Middle Eastern politics and history to evaluate all of it, but will certainly include all of it for the reader to make their own evaluations.  Some of what you present suggests that your competence is also very partial.  For example, you state that some of the suicide bombers are ignorant because Israeli walls and curfews keep them from going to school.  But I read in an anti-Israeli publication that Palestinians are, on average, better educated with more years of schooling than other Arab groups.  You imply that many are brought up to hate Israelis and love Jews, but I have seen much evidence that many Palestinian children are taught that all Jews (not just Israelis) are descended from apes and pigs. No Israeli curfews or walls prevent education from happening in Saudi Arabia, and those people have more money than God, why are they the source of an ignorant form of Islam that you disown?  The 9/11 terrorists were largely Saudis from educated, wealthy families. This is an example of many cases where you fall into the fallacy of explaining the pathologies occurring in the field of Islam as reaction formations to Western oppression. If we are to allow that kind of rationalization, then we could explain away Israeli brutality by pointing out that they are six million surrounded by three hundred million largely hostile Islamists, or that they act out because of the holocaust and millennia of oppression by other groups including Muslims. That way of explanation takes us nowhere.

It has also become politically correct to state, as you imply, that the majority of Muslims are peaceful and that it is an extreme fringe that Western media exaggerate and that misrepresents the majority.  But I have heard from a number of sources that scientific polling of Islamic populations indicates that a large majority of Muslims support violent Jihad against the West. You also say that you find the evidence to support the existence of the state of Israel to be “unacceptable.” But I need to see counter evidence to support that. For many, facts are unacceptable because they interfere with irrational convictions. There has certainly been much bullshit from both sides about the origins of the state of Israel, and recently there have been revisionist histories, apparently written by Israeli academics that debunk many Israeli myths about the origin, and I need to read those. Many Jews can be swayed by well-researched specific evidence, and that may account for why there is such a substantial peace movement in Israel that is opposed to irrational Zionist policies, but we need more than sweeping dismissals that omit specific evidence.

You challenge English versions of the Koran and then say “This is what the verse REALLY says,”  Every religious person claims to know what the sacred text REALLY says, and they so often contradict each other. How can I, entirely ignorant of the source languages of an ancient text, be sure that your alternative translation is what it REALLY says?  When you translate into English from an ancient text can you ever claim with 100% veracity that you know what it REALLY says?  When it comes to the Hebrew Bible I don’t make any excuses for it, I openly and unapologetically reject a great deal of what it says, so does Reform Judaism, which I consider the mainstream of Judaism.  Maybe your version is more correct than what I quoted, but maybe denial of the shadow, which exists in your tradition, and all traditions, interferes with your objective scholarship. Your statement that you know what it “REALLY” says suggests that your admirable acknowledgement of your personal imperfections should probably be extended to acknowledge human imperfections as a native English speaking person understanding an ancient text written in archaic language.  Is there nothing in the Koran and Hadiths that you find objectionable?  My guess is that the Koran, like the Bible, is a mass of contradictions, that some verses will be inspired and speak to the most noble human intentions, and others will be oppressive patriarchal bullshit that needs to be openly repudiated. You also say that the cartoonists are “guilty of blasphemy.”  Maybe that statement would be true if they were Muslims, since they weren’t, they are at most guilty of poor judgment in their expression of freedom of expression. People who start killing and rioting because of cartoons are guilty of insane fundamentalism, one of the greatest sources of evil in human history.  If you want to kill because of a cartoon you are taking your religion much too seriously. No group has been the victim of more degrading cartoons and other representations than the Jews, but you don’t see similar violent protests about that. Instead of the apologetic, politically correct hand-wringing because a couple of people in the imperialist Zionist aggressor nation of Denmark might have expressed something offensive to Islam, sane Muslims like yourself should be criticizing those who use cartoons as an excuse for violence and hatred. You quote Allah as saying “Leave the Kaffriun to me.” To me that sounds like the ominous saying of a mafia godfather, “I’ll take care of them.” To my ear that sounds like another version of the male patriarchal godhead like we find in the Hebrew Bible that I reject. You don’t have anything to say about all the ubiquitous Muslim promotions of the notorious counterfeit The Protocols of Zion. I also find it troubling that even so moderate a Muslim as yourself finds the sins of Danish cartoonists to be “unforgivable.”  If they are permanently unforgiven I can only imagine what Israelis must be.  How can there be peace in the Middle East if even cartoonists cannot be forgiven?

You also state, “Islam is the only spiritual and political force that exists with the means to dismantle their power base – and at the same time set up an alternative economy that is holistic and useful to all humanity.”  Huh?   In what reality is that supposed to happen? Wouldn’t you have to convert or eliminate all the infidels first?  Would people who continue to identify themselves as Christians, Jews or secular willingly participate in that?  Sounds like a deluded fundamentalist utopian thought form that would only exacerbate violence and religious war. If you believe in such statements, I have to return your question and ask what color pills are you taking?

You tell me to avoid websites and major news networks.  Who should I trust for news?  Whom do you trust as your news source about what is happening in parts of the world where you do not presently live? And how do you know that those sources are free of propaganda?  You add, “Insha Allah, you may develop an unbiased viewpoint.”  I’m not sure exactly what that means, apparently a blessing that I “develop an unbiased viewpoint.”   How would I do that?  I state in the first part of my essay why I believe everyone’s viewpoint is biased, I seek to become aware of my biases and to compensate for them.  Have you arrived at an “unbiased viewpoint?”

I emphatically share your closing statement, “Please don’t be offended by my blunt statements; no disrespect is intended. I eagerly anticipate specific questions from you and pray this email finds you well.”  I greatly value the aggressive Socratic Dialogue and anyone with enough character to engage in it, we need the confrontational nonviolent exchange of differing viewpoints, that is the sort of Jihad this plane of existence needs,  and that’s why I will gladly publish on my site, and advertise, your opposing points of view and any further words or cartoons you wish to add.

I also agree with you that the place to locate the enemy is in the mirror.  That is my challenge to you, so far you still seem to be looking through the glass darkly, but I want you to look into the mirror at the whole field of Islam to find the inner enemy of the living spirit of it, which you personify.

Peace,

I’m deeply grateful and honored that you have published my letter. And thank you for the foresight of protecting my anonymity. I don’t mind having my name on there: if I didn’t want it read, I wouldn’t have written it – and I am responsible for what I write. I will, as time goes on, send some other writings of mine to you: you may do with them what you see fit.
May Allah bless and protect you.

Ma’a Salaam, your brother in Abrahamic Faith;
Dawoud

Jonathan Responds:

Thank you for allowing me to use your name, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to pursue this dialogue into whatever unexpected directions it may go.  The strange result of this gratitude will be, however, for me to continue my discourse in an even more aggressive and confrontational style. This has frequently gotten me into trouble with people because they take it personally or experience it as an attack.  What’s really going on is that if I accept someone as an equal in Socratic dialogue then my approach is aggressive and confrontational—-what’s happening is that I am now addressing them directly without the laborious chore of social niceties and instead I speak to them as I speak to myself in my own mind where I want to cut through illusions and get to the core of something, and I tend to do this by attacking some proposition to find out what’s left, what’s the core of truth that stands up to attack.  In the Jewish tradition it is considered quite acceptable to doubt and aggressively question God and his motives and methods, etc.  As one Rabbi put it, “God can take it.”  This is my instinctive approach, “The truth can take it.”  Terence McKenna pointed out something similar, when you approach the truth you shouldn’t have to avert your eyes and kneel before it keeping your distance as though it were some fragile edifice that might crumble if you sneezed at an inopportune moment. I was brought up in a skeptical/scientific/analytical/New York/ Jewish/intellectual setting where blunt confrontational Socratic dialogue was the norm—–though to many from other cultures it seems abrasive and insulting, but that is not the intent.

Also, the object of contemplation most likely to bring out that idol over-turning confrontational skeptic in me is a religious structure or thought form that makes all sorts of lofty claims, claims of supremacy over those not initiated into its mysteries, etc. and especially if at same time such claims are made, practitioners who identify themselves as part of this religion are out killing and maiming in its name.  Such an object of contemplation will focus my mind into a harsh penetrating light.  It will not suit me to respectfully avert my eyes and proceed on the assumption that the scholars and practitioners of this religion know more than me and I should humbly seek their illumination.

Having disclaimed this, I would like to respond to the article you sent me on sacred Islamic sexuality.  Here’s the link:

http://www.gaia-web.org/gaia-wicca/philosophy/sexuality/islam.html )

for those who would like to read what you sent first. My reaction is that this document reeks of a wounded, defensive, narcissistic attitude and unwillingness to confront what is really happening in the Muslim world. Yes, in all the great religions we can find hidden treasures, and the defensive religionist can always take out the coat of many colors and tell us about their superheroes from the past and their great shining moments—the golden oldies, but I want them to step out of the cloud of incense and nostalgic self-congratulation in the inner courtyard and look out the window at what is happening out on the street right now and confront how their religion is combusting with the buzzing, bustling madness of mass human actuality. Religions should be held to this standard because they mostly purport themselves to be spiritual paths that are like thousand lane highways, like the millions showing up to make pilgrimage to Mecca (but sometimes get crushed in stampedes)— they present themselves and proselytize themselves as structures that can accommodate great masses of people and provide a way for them to find some sort of spiritual paradise. But at the same time they don’t won’t to be held in any way accountable for actual results, where darkness erupts, that is the fault of the individual wretched sinner, or the deviant sect, these are not the true ones!  The religion’s structure can never be doubted or blamed, the fault lies always with the wretched humanity making use of it. Personally. I am what some would call an elitist (while I think of myself as someone who respects the hierarchies of nature), so I don’t expect great things from the mass of humanity, and I don’t regard any spiritual path as able to reliably ramp up the lowest common denominator factors into a transcendent experience for all but the few.  I believe it is the quality of the seeker that makes more difference than the path that is sought.  Also I come from (though may no longer be exactly within) the Jewish path that respects other spiritual paths as equally valid ways to know the divine and which does not encourage proselytizing which is so characteristic of Christianity and Islam.

So what I want you to confront and pierce with empathic vision as an insider is the gigantic, gigantic sexual pathology that is dominating the lives of great numbers of Muslims alive today. The linked document is a bit of confectionary escapism because it totally omits this subject. Fine, hidden away somewhere Islam had its share of tantric sex as spiritual alchemy which most religions have a version of, possibly excepting Christianity. The West is not projecting the shadow on Islam because it fears its sexual vitality. The writer would like to imagine that the shadow projection comes from uptight repressed Christians fearing Islam’s superior eros. Every twisted system wants to pretend that people hate them out of envy, like Bush saying, “They hate us because we are free.”  Maybe some people hated hippies because of their apparent sexual freedom, but this is not what people are reacting to in Islam, what they are reacting to is the gigantic oppression, torture and murder of women. I won’t give you the documentation here, go to womensassistance.com, go to rawa.org (RAWA—Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association—-courageous Afghani woman rebelling from Islamic Fundamentalism), and read Jan Goodwin’s The Price of Honor—Muslim Women lift the Veil of Secrecy in the Islamic World. Yeah, sure, in theory, all religions have gospels describing how their followers can be leading these divinely enlightened lives, but meanwhile here’s what’s actually going on….   As Gurdjieff said about another religion, “The problem with Christians is that they are supposed to love their enemies but most of them don’t even know how to love their friends.” Eastern religions, with more credibility, have all sorts of theories and rituals and techniques for sacred sexuality, but such things tend to work much better in theory, in exceptional cases, and especially in inflated lore with little evidence.  When these practicescombine with human actuality results are typically much messier.  All sorts of exalted Eastern sages came to this country ready to initiate Westerners into their transcendent sexual practices but usually these quickly degenerated into guru as Jabba the Hut with young, Caucasian hotties on leashes—- a kinky, pathologized sex cult with a deceptive patina of Eastern mysticism.

Most of what is spilling out onto the streets with Islam right now is virulent sexual pathology, the sexuality of fascism where sex is entirely metaphor/vessel for sadistic will to power and entirely unerotic. That is why pedophilia is so rampant in Muslim countries.  If you want to accomplish something spiritual help shed light on these gigantic horrors, and then in your odd moments you can wax nostalgic about what the superstars of Islam supposedly did in the past and so forth.  I’m more interested in what it is doing now, and most of what I see is pathology, not transcendence.  Sure there is sexual pathology everywhere, but the Islamic world is a huge hot spot right now. In the Middle Ages I would be ranting about the Christians burning untold numbers of women as witches.  Some religions, at some times, are the fertile ground for blood harvests, and others aren’t. You rarely hear about Taoists burning women and killing people over cartoons.  What accounts for these differences?  I want to pierce to the heart of the darkness, have my own theories, but I want to see your attention turned to this unpleasant object of contemplation because it is a moral imperative to do something about it. So that is my rant for today, the complete lack of diplomacy is a mark of my respect for you as a genuine seeker, since you are, I feel you can take it.

To find out more about my view of sexuality/eros see the Eros, Love and Sexuality section of my site: https://zaporacle.com/eros-love-and-sexuality/

Peace,

I read your “Abrasive” response” with a smile: not one of sarcasm or smugness; but one of gleeful anticipation of an enjoyable, profitable, and probably endless argument!

When my time permits, expect an email with the response your well constructed and thought out arguments merit.

Your brother in the Search for Truth:
Dawoud

Brief response from Sean Moffitt of womensassitance.com

I also had a chance to read the blog from Kamal S. The touching sex manual as spoken by the prophet is a compilation of recorded sayings from either the Hadiths or the Koran. The account fails to mention that Aisha was only six years old when she was married to Mohammed, and although that particular child marriage appears to be a happy one, most modern child marriages don’t start with the little girl saying to her husband “you are a perfect Muslim in every way.”

Response from Jonathan:

Dawoud,

I would like to get your thoughts on two documents on the following website http://www.howardbloom.net/ Islam’s War against the West and 1,300 Year Timeline of Militant Islam.  I take what Howard Bloom says with many grains of salt, but these two articles seem well documented and document Islam, from the days of the prophet, as a religion of war with violent Jihad against the infidel right at its core.  Global, undocumented dissmals, that this POV is beneath contempt, etc. will only support this thesis of militant Islam which needs to be contradicted by historic facts and evidence.

Note to readers: Join the dialogue!  Leave your comments in the guest book bellow.

The next entry was written by Sean Moffitt of the Womens Assistance Fund and is entitled Jihad Against the Feminine https://zaporacle.com/jihad-against-the-feminineand is a real eye-opener.

Dawoud responds:
Many of the points in that article that require refutation or clarification, I’d already addressed. The first that comes to mind are those “quotes” from the translation of Qur’an. The operative word in this sentence is “translation” – to be specific; N. J. Dawood’s pathetic attempt at translating the Qur’an into English, which I recognize in the article. Be forewarned!! Those English speaking people who would twist the Qur’an into something that serves their own vicious intentions (disguised with a facade of self righteousness) will almost invariably use N. J. Dawood’s blasphemous translation – which, like pork, I will not allow into my home.

I specifically remember addressing the mistranslation about men having a degree of “advantage” (N. J. Dawood’s rendering) over women. This is NOT what the Qur’an says. Defend Dawood’s translation all you like: it proves nothing, because you have no understanding of Qur’anic Arabic, nor of the subtleties of the language.

You want to know what makes me laugh? People who see “Muslim” and “Arab” as being the same thing. They are not. They never were. They never will be. Islam is not specific to, or defined by, any culture, nation, or race. This is especially true when dealing with cultural anomalies – like the oppression of women – that are antithetical to true Islam.

Re-read the last two words of the previous sentence, and meditate on what philosophical and mystical concept you think I might be trying to communicate; free of any preconceived ideas you already hold.

Frankly, I tire of endlessly repeating myself – and I learned to chose my arguments carefully. Most of my efforts in not only defining the true essence of Islam, but describing its practical application, I share with those who need it most: those misguided Muslims who never had acceptable education or leadership: or who are not really Muslims at all, but lunatics or idiots wearing a poor disguise of “Islam” who have nothing resembling Islam in their hearts (and who succeeds in making suckers out of non-Muslims who don’t know any better). I also share what I know with those non-Muslims who have open minds and can see beyond the surface – and most importantly, beyond the criminal actions of some who call themselves Muslims.

Isn’t it ridiculous that out of 1.3 billion Muslims, the non-Muslim media allows only those few thousand who propagate extremist opinions to speak for us and define our religion? The rest of us have to sit quietly and take it. If we speak out about it, our opinions are twisted out of context, and we are branded “terrorists: or at least “fundamentalists”.

The non-Muslims who refuse to entertain a view and input into philosophical discourse that threatens to shatter their carefully constructed opinions will not abandon this. Arguing or dialoguing with them is a waste of time.

I know that you will not be offended by this; because the only way you could be offended is if you recognize yourself in what I said. But I tell you again, stay away from those hatemonger websites I warned you about. You are in serious danger. They are contaminating you. You will become the very thing you hate; and think yourself to be the exact opposite. Your considerable spiritual gifts will be lost. This is the chink in your armor, the weak link in your chain that Shaitan will exploit. I have experience in spiritual diagnostics: take my warning seriously, and in the spirit of unconditional brotherly love in which I offer it.

(BTW, “Shaitan”, the Arabic name for Satan, comes from a root word describing the dividing and divisive ego)

I’ll make time soon to write more about this. Please forgive me; but I have things that require my immediate attention; and I want to give your questions the attention to detail they deserve. I pray all is well with you.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

Response from Jonathan:

One form of rhetorical defense if you have a weak position is to turn your opponent into a “straw man” a kind of insubstantial caricature of their position and then you can defeat the straw man instead of dealing with substantive arguments.  You would like to focus your attention and laugh at people who see Arab and Muslim as the same thing, but that is neither me, nor Sean.  You say the media is exaggerating a few thousand extremists but that is a defensive illusion.  Scientific polling shows that a majority of Muslims in various countries support jihad against the West.  What I have asked you to do is to join us in probing into why so many self-identified Muslims are acting out violent hatred against women, Jews, the West, non-Muslims, etc. You have excellent credentials and knowledge to contribute to that inquiry, but you are going to have to detach from defensive emotional reactions to confront the reality of what is going on now (in the name at least) of Islam.

Dawoud sent the following:

Peace;

The following is an excerpt from the account of the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey (wherein he had an “out of body experience” and went from Arabia to Jerusalem, then ascended to the Seven Heavens), and a commentary by Muhayyideen ibn Arabi (one of Islam’s greatest Saints). This is his experience at the Fifth Heaven.

THE FIFTH PARADISE: THE GARDEN OF BEAUTY AND FELICITY
Muhammad (pbuh) travelled for five hundred thousand light-years, after which he arrived at the fifth paradise which is called Jannat al Naeem: “the Garden of Beauty and Felicity.” Its door is made of mixed gold and silver from heaven. Jibraeel knocked at the door and a voice said: “Who is it?” “Jibraeel, bringing Muhammad (pbuh).” “Has he been sent for?” “Yes.” “Welcome, Beloved one, to the fifth paradise!” The door opened and Muhammad (pbuh) saw five beautiful ladies whose radiant light among their servants made them appear like diamonds surrounded by pearls. His heart was moved towards them. He asked Jibraeel: “Who are these ladies?” He answered: “This is Hawwa (Eve), the mother of human beings, this is the Virgin Maryam (Mary), the mother of Isa (Jesus), this is Musa’s (Moses’) mother Yukabid, and this is Assia, the wife of Pharaoh.” The fifth lady looked like a sun among stars. Her light shone over the rest of the inhabitants of that paradise like a gentle breeze passing through the tree-leaves. Jibraeel said: “This is an angel representing your daughter Fatima”

Muhammad (pbuh) asked: “Jibraeel, what is the secret of this paradise?” Jibraeel said: “Allah created this paradise to reflect the beauty and perfection of women. The light of this paradise is the source of the angelic lights of all women on earth. Women have been created to carry the secret of creation in themselves. Allah has honoured them greatly by making their wombs the repository of His word which represents the Spirit. He looks at the most sacred place and there descends His mercy and blessings. He perfected that place and covered it with three protective layers to shelter it from any damage. The first is a layer of light, the second a layer of love, and the third a layer of beauty. There he fashions and creates human beings after His likeness, as Muhammad (pbuh) said: ‘Allah created Adam after His likeness.’ He orders the angels of the womb to perfect His creation by giving the baby life, beauty, health, intelligence, and all kinds of perfect attributes that will make each one distinguished among human beings.”

“Women are not created weaker but more generous than men. They are created more beautiful and less fierce, as beauty hates to hurt and harm others. That is why they seem weak to people, but in reality they are not. Angels are the strongest of created beings, and women are closer to the angelic nature than men, as they are readier than men to carry angelic light. It is the good manners and ethics of spirituality which they carry which makes them less forceful than men. Even physically, however, they are extremely strong. They undergo great upheavals in their body without flinching for the sake of childbirth, and face the direst physical conditions more successfully than men because Allah has enabled them to insure the survival of generations.”

“Allah gave women five angelic qualities which men rarely have. They are the source of peace, as Allah said that He created them “so that you might find rest in them” (30:21). This is the attribute of the first paradise which is named “the Abode of Peace.” They are oasis of constancy in the midst of chaos and change. That is why they give birth as the mother nurtures and shelters the baby more reliably than the father. This is the attribute of the second paradise, which is named ‘the Abode of Constancy.’ They perpetuate generations. Through their offspring Allah creates angelic prophets and saints who establish His perpetual remembrance on earth as the angels establish it in heaven. This is the attribute of the third paradise which is named ‘the Abode of Eternity.’ They are generous and bountiful. They are described as ‘a fertile land’ in all Scriptures because they give without counting, including life. They sacrifice themselves for the sake of another creation, and this is the attribute of the fourth paradise which is named ‘the Sheltering Garden.’ Finally, they are the source of Beauty. Through their softness and subtlety, Allah has crowned the earth with the diadem of angelic grace. This is the attribute of the fifth paradise which is named “the Garden of Beauty.”

Jonathan, the observent person will doubtless draw a parallel between the Seven Heavens that the Prophet visited – and the Realm Beyond where he met Allah face to face (and the angels couldn’t follow), and the seven chakras, and their corrosponding places on the Tree of Life; the Realm Beyond (my phrase) corrosponds to the Ayn Soph. This is gaurded by the Lotus Tree. Gotama Buddha sat under the Lotus Tree and was enlightened. Muhammad went beyond it.

I hope this is helpful.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

BTW: this article came from the English language website of the Naqshabandi Sufis.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud
===========================

Zero Point Energy
By Sheikh. Ali Diallo

The Zero Point Energy is the lowest possible energy of a system. Spiritually speaking, it is indeed the door of Barhul Qudra. It is the lowest possible energy level Man has in his body when he is in a state of natural rest (coma, death, or extreme physical exhaustion). This state is witnessed through the behavior of the cells of the body at that moment. Since the zero point energy is the lowest possible energy of a system, it must be lower than the natural rest energy of the human body.

It is important to understand that the reality of the Zero Point Energy involves Water and Fire that are mixed in a unusual way, spiritually speaking (scientists see this as quantum fluctuations occurring in the zero point energy field).

At that level, the 0 (off) state gives birth to the 1 (on) energy state and the 1 (on) state gives birth to the 0 (off) state.

This process happens at the speed of the Prophetic Heart, which is beyond the highest of the 3 types of speeds: physical (velocity of Light C),  spiritual (speed of thoughts, imagination and of the Spirit) and Divine (speed of the Heart, which is known to us as “Presence”).

It is the Reality of “Abd Allah” because it is linked to the nature of the Nur of Allah {SWT} which appears everywhere simultaneously and which connects every creation through Barhul Hayat.

Water, a spiritual symbol of the Zero Point Energy, [Ocean of Creation Hidden Fire of Hydrogen lies dormant with in the h2o] is perfectly still. It symbolizes perfect submission, the zero point level.

Yet it carries the secret of the eternal Movement, which is the secret of the Living.
Out of the state of death and submission comes the reality of Life. Allah {SWT} put the reality of Life inside the reality of Death.

He {SWT} put what cannot be dead inside what cannot be alive. This is from His Greatness. Similar concept applies to physical life (planets, cosmos, stars) that come out of an empty and dead vacuum (space).

The Zero Point Energy is the State of the Heart that is at the station of the Hadith
“My earth and my heavens do not contained Me, but the heart of my believing Servant does contain ME.”

Man always has some level of natural tension in his body, even when he is in a natural resting state. It is because of this tension, which is always above the zero point energy level, that Man is maintained in his “humanity” and in dunya. This natural tension is the Nun , the Glue force that binds the soul to the physicality of the body and of dunya.

The key is to get rid of this natural tension, that is, to go below the level of natural tension in order to reach the level of Zero Point Energy. At that level, Man enters the reality of Submission (Islam) through all the cells of his body and at that moment, all the cells of his body are repenting and making Istighfar. The key to unlock the tremendous energy field that is contained in the zero point energy level is “Astaghfirullah/Repentance”.
Istighfar /Repentance is the Igniting of the Fire, Sins and Bad Action are the Fuel the ending result is Light. Because of that entrance of repentance, the appointed Sultan {QS} will make a Dua and through his Dua, the Sultan {QS} will release the Energy fields that are contained in the hadiths “My earth and my heavens do not contained Me, but the Heart of my believing Servant does contain ME”. This Energy is Nur, which has no limit and is infinite in power. This is why scientists believe that the zero point energy has an infinite level of energy associated with it.

To reach that state of zero point energy, Man must be in a state of extreme physical fatigue or extreme repentance or in a state of natural death. The physical body must indeed be completely wasted and exhausted in order to go below the natural state of tension that it knows. The physical exhaustion may represents the physical actions that come from devotional practices. In this sense, an extremely important number of devotional practices and worship may also lead to the state of zero point energy.

When the cells of the body reach that state of death either through natural death or through extreme physical fatigue (or coma), each one of them will recite “Forgive me”, and they will all be in a quantum state of permanent and quick fluctuation. At that level, the cells are boiling (in repentance) and through the perfect stillness of the zero point energy, they will be in perfect motion. Out of the state of death associated with the zero point energy will come out the state of Hayat, real Life through quantum fluctuation. This is the reality of the Ayat:
“Thou bringest the Living out of the dead, and Thou bringest the dead out of the Living;” (Surah 3, Verse 27).

When the energy associated with the zero point energy is released, it will burn every manifestation of dunya in the body. At that time, the secret of Fire will be unlock and the secret reality of the Cursed One will appear to release the fire of “hell” which will consume the body. The body will be a subtle void, with no traces of food left inside. The more food and enzymes present in the body, the more intense the Fire will be, which is the goal.
That fire is coming from the Ocean of Hayat through the blessings of the 7.
So the cells will be 0 and they will look up to ask forgiveness to the 7.
In that state of boiling soup of repentance, the cells will melt and be completely liquefied until there is only the 7 floating above an Ocean of Water.

This is the reality of the Ayat: “His Kingdom was over water at the Beginning”.
In that aspect, the zero energy level is the State of the Origin, of the Beginning.

This secret is linked to the Reality of Seydina Musa {as} and of Fire. Seydina Musa {as} is Kalimullah/Speaks to Allah, which means Allah {Swt)’s Ancient Words. His is swimming in the Ocean of the Divine Beginning and of the Divine History, which is the fire of the zero level state.

That state was also granted to Seydina Umar {RA}, who also has a fiery nature like Seydina Musa {as}. This is why the Cursed One could not face his Fire.

According to this ayat:
Tooliju al layla fee al nahaari wa tooliju al nahaara fee al layli
Wa tukhriju al hayya mina al mayiti wa tukhriu al mayita mina al hayyi
Wa tarzuqu man tasha’u bighayri hisabin.
“You bring the Living from the Dead
and You bring the Dead from the Living
And You give sustenance to whom You like without without measure.” 3:27

To move from the state of HAYY to the state of Mayiti and vice-verca, the creation needs the Meem of “mina”. So the Prophet {SAW} is the link and the door through whom the changing of states appears. More about this and the changing of states that took places in the cave of Sirr as Sirr later inch’Allah.

Allah {SWT} granted the secret of Hayat (Life) to Water which represents death or the zero point energy because of its perfect stillness and He {SWT} granted the secret of Death (destruction) to Fire which represents life because it is sustained through the Ocean of Hayat.

So He {SWT} brought the Living (Life) out of the dead (water) and He {SWT} the Dead (power of destruction) out of the Living (Nar or Fire).

As Allah {SWT} say in this Ayat: “You give the Kingdom (authority of life or death) to Whom You want. The statement “To Whom you want” is an indication that the Authority was granted to a controversial reality, such as the one of the Fire (which comes from Hayat). Angels did not understand this.

Through Prophet {SAW}, the Authority was granted, to a Servant to be born from fire in order to protect the innocence of Mankind, because it is not suitable for the Most Honorable Creature to be cursed. So one took the Curse of Mankind out of Love for Prophet {SAW}.
It is impossible to escape the Love for the Prophet {SAW}.

Iblis knew about Prophet {SAW} because he was constantly in prayer in the Past. He prayed in every place of the universe and prayer is ascension. So he was raised constantly, until he reached a station where he learned about the Beauty of Prophet { }. Because in fact, you cannot be raised in miraj and worship Allah {SWT} without coming to a point where you understand who is Allah {SWT}. For “La ilaha ill Allah” leads you to “Muhammadan Rasul Allah”.

Praising and witnessing this Reality was his goal, so he was told what he needed to do to witness this Reality. This is the spiritual path of all Sufis, those who burn everything for the sake of the One. So he was told the price to pay: “in order to reach Me, in order to witness this Reality, you have to go back to creation, to look after my human beings, and to carry their burdens and to be cursed by them.

This is the Price.” So he did what Love commands you to do. In this aspect, all real Sufi Saints are walking in the footsteps of Iblis and are taking his example as their references. Seydina Aba Yazid {QS} understood that reality, this is why he asked in that state “O Allah! make my body as wide as Hell so that none of your servants may be thrown in it”. He {QS} was learning from the Example of Iblis. And he {QS} was also thrown back to creation in a garbage place (manifestation of the reality of Hell and of Iblis, the Servant responsible for the reality of Garbage).

So externally, Iblis is jealous of the honor granted to Mankind and of the Prophet {SAW}. But internally, he is in love with Prophet {SAW} and manifest this Love by burning everything (that is, every divine or spiritual law) down. Hallaj {QS} learned from this reality of Iblis, this is why he {QS} acted as he {QS} did.

This strange reality of Iblis is explained in the incident of the Cave when he tried to enter that Reality. When he was outside of it, he was the Cursed One and he produced evil by eating the flesh of the foot of Seydina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq {RA}, that is, by eating away Sincerity from the heart of the believer. But as soon as he was granted permission to enter the Cave (the White Station of Sirr as-Sirr), he showed his real nature and revealed his Love for Prophet {SAW}. He also explained why he was granted life and was maintained alive (the secret of Love which keeps alive and youthful).

So at the Qalb and Sirr Station, Iblis can penetrate. It means that he is known in these station as Iblis the Cursed One. At the Sirr as Sirr Station, his reality changes and appears without veiled. This is why it is said that he cannot penetrate the Sirr as Sirr Station. In fact, it means that the negativity associated with his cursed reality cannot enter this station. But the real face of his reality is present in the Sirr as Sirr station, otherwise there would be no fire of Love in that station.

This is the station of Sincerity, so it means that in this station, the sincerity of the worship of Iblis can be revealed.

So the Siddiq Station is the place of Salvation of Iblis. Also, the Fire (iblis) must be present with the Water (Seydina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, QS) in that Station of opposite and fluctuating zero energy states. So in that station, Fire became Water and Water became Fire. And the Secret of one was given to the secret of the other, to the limit that the Prophet {SAW} set. That is why the changing of states appears through the Meem of “mina” in the Ayat:
Tooliju al layla fee al nahaari wa tooliju al nahaara fee al layli
Wa tukhriju al hayya mina al mayiti wa tukhriu al mayita mina al hayyi
Wa tarzuqu man tasha’u bighayri hisabin.

It is through that event that Water was granted the permission to carry the Fire (Nur) of Life and that Fire was granted the permission to carry the death and submission of Water.
Therefore, for the very first time, Water became the Fountain of Life and Fire became the Source of Destruction through the secret of the Sirr as-Sirr station.

Were it not for this Station, water would not be carrying the power of Life (which it borrowed from the reality of fire) and fire would not be carrying the power of death (which it borrowed from the reality of water). This is why this station is the Crossroad, the Naqsh. It is a tremendously Ancient station and this is why Seydina Musa {as}, Allah {SWT}’s Ancient Word, was so attracted to it.
—-
Tooliju al layla fee al nahaari wa tooliju al nahaara fee al layli
Wa tukhriju al hayya mina al mayiti wa tukhriu al mayita mina al hayyi
Wa tarzuqu man tasha’u bighayri hisabin.
This is why we recite these Ayat is Salatul Nejad/ Salvation]

This Ayat has the power to extinguish the Light of Iblis completely. However, Allah {SWT} put the Secret of his Life in the very same Ayat, so that the Sword that kills him is also the Mother that gives him life. His death and his life are intertwined together to the extent that killing him brings him back to life.

This is why it is said at the beginning of the message that at the zero energy level, water (life) and fire (death) are mixed together in a unusual way. This is from the Greatness of Allah {SWT}. It is through the last term hayyi that Iblis is brought back to life, and cannot die. Every time he is killed or harmed spiritually by a wali, he is reborn from the Ocean of this Hayyi. He is then maintained again in life through the remaining Verse which reveals his Granted Sustenance.

This nature of Fire and Water mixed together in Iblis are shown in the story of GrandShaykh Abd Allah {QS} Who asked him: “Do you want to repent?” Iblis said yes and when he was told what to do to repent, he became a greater rebel.

When GrandShaykh {QS} asked him: “do you want to repent?”, at one level, He {QS} meant: “do you want to have the fire of your nature extinguished?” That is, do you want Fana? As soon as he said “yes”, GrandShaykh {QS} killed him and finished him spiritually. At that moment of submission, when he was shown what to do, his fire was reborn instantly.
Since the time of the Crossroad (33:72 We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolishthe time of Al Amanat, Verse 72, Surah 33), when Iblis accepted to carry the burden and to be put on the cross at the place of the Honored Man and by wearing his image so that it would look as if the curse of creation (Angels and scholars, which are represented by the people cursing the image of Iblis appearing on the cross as Jesus Christ) is falling on mankind, since this time, the miraj of Iblis has been in the opposite direction. The more he rebels, the higher he is raised, the same way the more dunya the fire burns, the more purified Man becomes.

From this perspective, when GrandShaykh {QS} asked him: “Do you want to repent?”, He {QS} meant at that level “do you want to be raised higher by carrying even more burdens, by carrying a bigger cross?”. Iblis said yes because as a perfect abd, he only knows ascension.

So GrandShaykh {QS} showed him the way, i.e., give him the opportunity to rebel even more (that is, to be raised even higher). Iblis seized this chance and rebelled a second time for the same reason he did the first time. So he walked away with a higher station.

Good and bad behavior are only at the level of creation. At the level of the Divine, every opportunity is a way to be raised higher, regarding the outcome of the situation. So GrandShaykh {QS} raised him higher by allowing more curses to fall on him.

Responses from Sean:

I’m a little confused…I didn’t use Dawood’s translations from the Quran…Are there two Dawoods here? What attempt at translation is pathetic? Is he referring to “Jihad Against the Feminine”? This person speaking in the email seems vehement about his point of view, but I wonder if he is really talking to the right people? Shouldn’t he be speaking to the violent abusive populations of the Islamic world rather than trying to tell us they aren’t Islamic? Shouldn’t he be telling them they aren’t Islamic? I’m not assuming Arabic is synonymous with Islam. There were more people killed in Africa over the cartoon riots than anywhere else…writings about zero point energy are not going to penetrate the “poison” of women having their eyes gouged out in the name of Islam nor is it going to change the Sharia laws as they are currently written. I’m sorry, but he’s completely missing the point. Whatever else “true” Islam may be it certainly isn’t taking much of a stand against the burning of women.
Sean

Also from Sean:

Hey Jonathan,

I’m afraid Dawood probably didn’t actually read the article or the references cited because I don’t know of the other Dawood he is refering to. The translations I used, cited in the document under the quotes from the Quran are from respected Islamic scholar Abdulla Yusuf Ali and M.H Shakir. My site has nothing to do with hate mongering and everything to do with getting information out to the public, most of whom, including Muslims, are completely ignorant of the burnings. From the 1.3 billion Muslims, a large fraction of whom I’m aware are not Arab, there is a deafening silence about these burnings. I’m also aware that Quranic Arabic is so full of subtle nuances that virgins can also mean white grapes and beating can also mean touching with a feather but Mr Dawood is living in a dream world if he thinks that Islam has nothing to do with the abuse of women in these countries. But again, he should be talking to the people burning the women. Fundamentalism is pathetic regardless of which faith, not some specific translation of it.
… I’ll be working on a short document about Sharia laws here very soon, because the subtle Arabic used to interpret the actual laws seems to encourage and enable the abuse of women. Anyone that disagrees needs to take a closer look. According to Shanhaz at the Islamabad shelter only 4% of honor killings are prosecuted because the women are considered  “immoral.”
Sean

From Dawoud:

Peace;

In what remains of the Gospels, Jesus was quoted as saying “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness, and all else will be added”.

One of the problems people have (and I have it too: boy, do I have it!!) is that they put the cart before the horse. They will argue politics and the superficial elements of religion – which is, after the BS is stripped away, proven to be nothing more than an elaborate ego driven pissing contest. Most human beings have what Robert Anton Wilson called “Glorified Primate Behavior”. Instead of pissing to mark territories, the make elaborate markings with ink on paper. Instead of throwing excrement at each other, they throw bullets and bombs.

I have little interest in being a primate. That’s why I’m trying to discipline myself to emphasize the spiritual element. That firmly established, all else will fall into place. Everything that baffles most people will be known instinctively. We will be able to see beyond the surface; and more important, beyond our own biochemical / egomaniacal emotional violence and the limits of our linguistic constructs.

May Allah guide and protect us all.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

Response from Jonathan:

That a huge part of the morphic field of a religion is its immersion into the long skull shadows of history, oppression of women, death and suffering, are not superficial elements, they are core elements that need to be confronted. I have little interest in submitting to religions which are characterized by territorial primates making elaborate markings with ink on paper for which they claim divine status.  Accessing the spiritual does not require one of these bizarre systems that have millennia of scar tissue built up around it. Going to Islam, or any religion, to get in touch with the spiritual can be like going to Walmart to get in touch with nature—-yeah somewhere there might be strawberries in a plastic box for sale, but there is a hell of a lot of other stuff there that won’t further my purpose.

Response from Sean 3/20/06:

The Saudi printing presses crank out one hundred million Qurans per year, so if that’s being taught in the Madrassas that’s what Islam is. I think your friend Dawoud isn’t very well informed if he claims there isn’t one single Islamic government in the world today. One important part of having a problem is denying that you have it, and Dawoud is doing a wonderful job with that. It also annoys me how he says he could refute all of the “miss  quotes” in your writings with ease. Which, of course he has yet to do. In my opinion his interpretations are being smashed by day-to-day reality.

Response from Dawoud 3/20/2006:

Your friends are in manifest error. Not about the crimes, mind you! But about what motivates the crimes. I’ve been over this with you before and see no reason to repeat myself.

I visited your friend’s website; and found nothing but hate mongering hysteria. The fevered pitch in their “voices” screamed out from the pixilated light upon which their words were branded. Hate mongering: nothing more. Their “facts” would be ridiculous were they not so venomous and vitriolic. I have nothing to say to your friends. They’re not worth talking to.

Islam forbids the oppression and abuse of women. Whoever does so acts outside the paradigms of Islam. What “Muslim” oppressors say to justify their crimes is irrelevant – they are not Believers. Tell your friend to show me the verses in the Qur’an where Allah begins by saying ” Ya ayuhull Muslimeen ” They’ll never find it in a million years; and they cannot understand why its not there, nor the significance of its absence.

Perhaps your friends should find a way to use Qur’an and Hadith to prove the sinful nature of the “Muslim” criminals. That would be more effective: and I have experience in using this to stave off the criminality your friends rant about. Everything they need to do this is right in front of them and they don’t see it (unless they’re using N. J. Dawood’s abomination as reference material). They don’t want to: their hate is too intoxicating and flatters their egos and vanity too effectively.

I have publicly, in front of Muslim audiences of many nationalities, denounced the Taliban, al-Qaeda, etc. as being Kaffriuun (Infidels) or Zindiq (heretics). Why do you suppose no Muslim argued with me? But no!  If I said that to a Muslim, then the Muslim would, according to your friend’s logic, denounce me as an infidel, Zionist sympathizer, and apostate. It could never happen!

Go ahead and say it: I’m either insane or a liar.

Your glorified primate friends are identical to people they claim to hate – I see nothing that makes them any different from any terrorist sympathizer. The logic of their positions demand that they begin immediate acts of genocide against all Muslims. Starting with me, because I pose an intellectual threat to their dogma of hate – physical acts are of limited danger, but I plant seeds within hearts and minds that will be carried from generation to generation. I am more dangerous to them than any bomb wielding Arab: I threaten their whole world view and foundation of what they must develop into a power infrastructure that opposes Islam in any way, shape or form. This includes Sufism, because they must inevitably interpret Sufism as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. I have the ability to infiltrate many levels of Western society, and be accepted by them. Then, I will contaminate them and their children with Islam! The damage will be done and it will be too late! Civilization will be in ruins! You must tell them where to find me so they can stop me! Failure to do so would be terribly irresponsible of them! Action must be taken immediately! There’s no time to lose!!

Sound ridiculous, doesn’t it? May Allah protect us all from being ridiculous.

Jonathan, I wish you could see your website and writings from my eyes, if only for a moment. You enjoy pointing your finger at Islam too much. Its clouding your judgement to the point where any real facts that present a different perspective will soon become incomprehensible to you. If you truly enjoy the spiritual station you claim for yourself, you wouldn’t need me to refute the arguments on those websites. The reality would come to you without any assistance from me. You cannot do this because you are becoming intoxicated by the need to be “right” and make other “wrong”, and the need for an enemy to justify your position. Its as obvious to me as the sun in a cloudless sky at noon.

Do you remember our first conversation? I do. You said that you, in effect, couldn’t see anything but your own passionate view about Islam. You said that Islam was a”blind spot” for you Those were your words , Jonathan.

You are in terrible danger. I fear for your spiritual well being. I’m truly worried.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

Response from Jonathan:

Yes, Dawoud, I said something like that, I also told you that I have a prejudice toward

fundamentalists of all sorts—- Christian, Jewish and Islamic, and I wanted you to have a

chance to point out errors in my view of things Islamic that might be faulty due to my

projections. The problem is that your way of persuasion is undermining that and costing

you credibility, at least in my eyes. I am very swayed by documented facts, but that is not, for

the most part what you are providing, and you seem to be very much in the grip of projection

in your last email. I feel worried for you when you call the WAF website hysterical and hate-

mongering and do so in an hysterical tone! I’ve read that entire website and all I can tell

you is that as an English teacher and a writer I found the tone to be sober and factual with

almost every statement carefully documented by reputable sources. This is in dramatic

contrast to your tone and your undocumented assertions. I agree with Sean that you repeatedly

state how easily you could debunk his assertions and quotations, which begs the question: why don’t you? That’s what would sway me, but actually I have a better reality test challenge for you.

I don’t have any competence in sorting between claims and counter claims about alternate translations of ancient texts. I do, however, claim competence and have credentials

(a BA and MA in English, 14 years teaching English) in decoding English text, and I have read

the WAF website in its entirety a while ago. You have made a claim that it is hysterical and

hate-mongering. Please establish your credibiltiy by giving me some quotes from that

website to support that statement, maybe I missed something due to some prejudice. If so, open

my eyes to a tone of hysteria (which you described as “fever pitched”) and evidence of

hate-mongering on this site.

What seems especially absurd is your following up this criticism of hysteria and hate mongering with name calling: ” Your glorified primate friends…” Now if this isn’t pot-calling-the-kettle-black type circular projection I don’t know what is. Then you say “The logic of their positions demand that they begin immediate acts of genocide against all Muslims.” Huh? First of all you have a fictious “they.” From the hysteria of your tone I feel like I should look out my window and see a horde of primate friends dancing around a fire burning Islamic effigies and shouting slogans. There is no they, I know one person, Sean, who is working on this and he works with and for Islamic women. Next you go off into some really hysterical messianic grandiosity:

“Starting with me, because I pose an intellectual threat to their dogma of hate – physical acts are of limited danger, but I plant seeds within hearts and minds that will be carried from generation to generation. I am more dangerous to them than any bomb wielding Arab: I threaten their whole world view and foundation of what they must develop into a power infrastructure that opposes Islam in any way, shape or form.”

There is no dogma of hate, and as far as posing an intellectual threat, that’s what I have been trying to get you to do, the problem is that it is less and less intellectual and more and more irrational and hyperbolic. I wanted Socratic dialouge, I want an intellectual threat to what I believe, that’s how I learn. If you want to threaten our world view, please do so, both Sean and I are anti-fundamentalist, we have no religious agenda to want to crusade against Islam or something like that. Threaten our worldview with contrary documented evidence and well thought out reasoning. Right now I am doubting your ability to emotionally disengage enough to have the sober reality testing for a Socratic dialogue, I need you to support your statements about the WAF website because that is a modern English document and one of us must be very wrong in our ability to interpret text. How can I trust you on ancient document interpretation if you are so far off in what is the native language for both of us?  Then you cause me to doubt your reality testing even more with this statement, “If you truly enjoy the spiritual station you claim for yourself…” When did I ever claim a “spiritual station” for myself? You’re the guy that is supposed to be a Sufi Imam or something, where is this statement coming from? Far from feeling my world view being threatened, I’m starting to feel more like a fatigue factor creeping into dialogue with you and many of my friends on the left about what’s going on in the Middle East. I keep hoping for Socratic dialogue, keep hoping to get challenged and educated by divergent points of view, but instead seem to get mostly highly emotional projections, so I am starting to feel burned out on the subject, seems like no matter what anyone does in relationship to the Middle East, the outcome is always to be pulled into quagmire. Maybe that’s because the human species is a primate species, much as we glorify ourselves, and the monkey mind keeps taking over, so yes I do have glorified primate friends, and you are one of them, and there’s about six billion of us. I can see us sitting in

a twelve step group with six billion chairs in a circle. I’ll start off the round of introductions: “Hello, my name is Jonathan and I’m a glorified primate.” Now it’s your turn….

From Dawoud 3/22/06:

Subject:

What you asked for.

Peace;

Thank you for the last email, and its polite and well deserved admonishments. You got me – you got me good. I was being sarcastic. The “hysteria” you sensed in my last email was sarcasm – pure and simple. I stand corrected: my manners fell to the wayside, and I behaved inappropriately. I hope you will forgive me.

However, I did, in no uncertain terms, sense the hysteria in the tones of Sean’s writings; and denounce him as a hate monger. While his tone was mostly quiet, the insane fury smoldering behind his words are obvious to anyone – and I can’t understand how someone could not see this. I stand by this, and will not be swayed.

I wanted to try a different approach to argument: exposing you to the side of Islam that you clearly have no experience of; the mystical side, the spiritual element. And I wanted to apply this to not so much your intellect – which has limits (intellect itself: I did not imply that you lacked intelligence. Quite the antithesis!), but directly to your heart. I use this approach in the prisons; and it works. I will not abandon showing it to you. You mentioned that all religions have their “gems”, and you’re right. However, you seemingly ignored what I showed you (seemingly: I hope I’m wrong). You made little comment, or criticism of those emails wherein I shared some of the “gems” of Islam. I wonder what you truly make of the Gems of Sufism / Islam?

” I agree with Sean that you repeatedly state how easily you could debunk his assertions and quotations. which begs the question: why don’t you?” You got me again. I am a bit reluctant to offer tafsir (commentary) on Qur’an, along with an explanation because you have refused to believe that I can / would provide anything resembling an accurate explanation of what the original Arabic says. You rejected my corrections of N.J. Dawood’s translation – and then admitted you had no understanding of Arabic by which to make this determination, and shrugged it off with a flimsy claim that these things cannot be accurately determined – and then accepted without question the N.J. Dawood translation that the hate mongers find so useful. What am I to think?

You asked for refutation and commentary on the website. A few random examples:

[[[[[Note: Dawoud in the following remarks about what he thinks is Sean’s website is mistakenly referring to another website created by a fundamentalist Christian that has no connection to Sean who is neither Christian nor a fundamentalist of any sort. We point out this error later.—Jonathan]]]]

” The sole arbitrator on the subject, Muhammad, said in his Qur’an that a Muslim who does not leave his home to fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause ceases to be a Muslim. Allah calls them “hypocrites” in the 9th surah and orders good Jihadist Muslims to kill them in the 4th, so that he can personally attend to their torture in hell. As for reform, Islam’s lone prophet said, “Islam cannot change.” And in that regard, he was a prophet. The religion is just as deceitful, destructive, and deadly as it was when Muhammad was inventing it in a milieu of mass murders, piracy, rape, plunder and slavery. Reforming Islam is akin to thwarting Nazism by asking Hitler to edit the most deceitful, destructive, and deadly passages out of Mein Kampf.” .” Here’s what’s wrong with this paragraph:

– 1. Muhammad was not the author of the Qur’an.

– 2. the 9th sura, Surat-at-Taubah (Repentance) begins by addressing a specific historical event: a cease of hostilities during the war against the Muslims (which the Muslims did not start – and which was engaged after 10 years of persecution, including slaughter, confiscation of property, and exile; during which time the Muslims took no act of vengeance . What explanation does Sean have for this?). It makes clear the fact that fighting is permissible only in cases of aggression against the Muslims: and amnesty for the pagans who wish it. Verse 6 mandates that asylum should be given to any pagan who asks for it. And “pagan” is translated form the word “mushrik”: which is NOT the same as “Kuffaar”. Non-Muslims often erroneously use the words interchangeably and translate them both as “infidel”, for reasons I leave to your imagination.

– 3. 9:39 says that those who do not engage in “Tanfiru” will be punished. “Tanfiru describes the act of moving forward against suffering for the purpose of spiritual and moral progress.The word also shares grammatical roots with “Aghstafir”: forgiveness, which puts a different spin on things.

– 4. The Arabic word for Hypocrite, “Munafikuun” occurs six times in the 9th sura: not a single time does it directly refer to people who refuse to fight. The word hypocrisy is mentioned in reference to the acts of the munaffikuun, and also to the Bedoin Arabs; about whom ironically, the Qur’an has little good to say.

– 5. Nowhere in Sura 4 “Surat an-Nisaa” (Women) does the command to kill hypocrites appear.

– 6. Sean’s term ” Good Jihadist Muslim ” does not exist in the Arabic language, and does not appear in the Qur’an.

– 7. ” Islam’s lone prophet “. Yet another error. Islam has many Prophets: these include but are not limited to Noah, Moses, Abraham, Issac, Ishmael, John the Baptist, and Jesus. Some unknown prophets are alluded to in cryptic language (and some Islamic scholars believe these may include Krishna, Buddha, Lao Szu, etc.) All of them, without exception, are spoken of in reverential tones in the Qur’an.

– 8. ” Deceitful”, “destructive”, “deadly”, “mass murders”, “piracy”, “rape”, “plunder”,”slavery “. More propagandist rhetoric. More hysteria.

You will note that I will not attempt to disprove any of the crimes committed by the Zindiq (heretics) among the Muslims. Nor will I apologize for them, or make light of them. I ask only that you consider the refutation of their association with Islam.

” The overwhelming majority of the Islamic literature printed by the Saudi government and distributed in American mosques and Islamic schools is uncivilized, hateful, violent, and treasonous. But then they claimed, without evidence or reason, that such materials were reflective of Wahhabi extremism, and were therefore a corruption of Islam.”. Without evidence or reason??? Permit me to reiterate with words that I wrote, and made public to Muslim readers, and which I got from studying Islamic history sources:

“,,, the founders of the Wahabbi sect of Islam, which dominates Arabia, as well as the founder of the Saudi clan. They and their leader, Ahmed Aziz Saud, were, around 200 years ago, not only found guilty of sedition and treason against the Khalifite, but were found to be themselves Zindiq (extreme heretics) by the Hanifi scholars of the time. Unfortunately, they succeeded in assuming power: without abandoning their hearses – which are easily provable by anyone with elementary knowledge of Islam.”

.” My writings, and the sources I used to arrive at this conclusion, are well known in many circles in the Islamic community – and almost completely unknown outside of it. Granted: the Wahabbis don’t want this widely circulated; and a great number of Muslims are, in fact, contaminated by Wahabbism. But they are facts.

Sean mentions .” Ibn Ishaq ‘s “Sirat Rasull Allah” (the correct title of the book). Sean is correct that it is among the earliest biographies, and was written less than 150 years after Muhammad’s death. It survives in the later editions of Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari . Several siras predate Ibn Ishaq’s work, including: al-Waqidi Zubayr ibn al-Awwam (d.712 c.e). and whom Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi, and at-Tabari are all said to have used as a source, Uthman ibn Affan (d. 725 AH) and Wahb ibn Munabbih (d. 730 AH). There are some differences between these versions; and Sean did not mention which version he used – nor what translation (I need not point out that some translations are, shall we say, questionable). And even with these different versions, some of the accounts are of questionable authenticity. The means by which this is determined is called “Isnad”: and is still being argued about to this day – the details of which would take hours for me to write. Against the background of Islamic scholarship, Sean lacks the capacity and objectivity to make these determinations, and his views of the Prophet’s biography are unacceptable and irrelevant. Sean quoted the Qur’an 5:33 thus:

” The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and perpetrate mischief [reject Islam or oppose its goals] in the land, is to murder them, to hang them, to mutilate them, or banish them. Such is their disgrace. They will not escape the fire, suffering constantly.””

The actual verse is rendered into English like this:

” The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption through the land is death or crucifixion, or the cutting off of their hands and feet on opposite sides, or exile from the land, based upon the severity of their offense. This will be their humiliation in this world, and in the hereafter they will have a grievous punishment ”

Verse 34 continues,,, ” except those who repent before you apprehend them; in this case, know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful ”

You’ll notice the following facts:

– 1. “Corruption” is translated from “fasaadan”; which describes a category of all manner of violent crime, such as murder, robbery, rape, arson, etc. The phrase ” reject Islam or oppose its goals” is a flimsy attempt to append words to the Qur’an that are not there.

– 2. The word “fasaadan” is also applicable to sedition or treason: and it is not uncommon for the nations on earth to punish sedition and treason with death. Like it or not, the Muslims were at the time a nation.

– 3. The Arabic word for “hanging”, “qal’aai” does not appear in the verse.

– 4. The specific Arabic word for “murder” (as opposed to murder as part of a category which we find in firasaadan), “Lataq”, does not appear in this verse.

– 5. The Arabic word for “mutilate”, “Tratab” does not appear in this verse.

(In other words, the clearly altered translation Sean sites does not in any way resemble the original verse.)

– 6. The ” cutting off of their hands and feet on opposite sides ” was a common punishment in ancient Egypt. The Romans were known for crucifixion (remember: the Qur’an was revealed while the Roman Empire was still in power). Are the modern nations any better with hanging, firing squads, lethal injection, gas chambers, etc.?

– 7.If you will kindly indulge those who wish to establish a theocracy for a moment, the offense of “firasaadan” is against BOTH the laws of man and the Laws of Allah / God. This is not an inconceivable idea born of savagery, but attempts to establish a code of conduct that balances human imagination and intellect, and Divine Revelation; which is beyond the capacity for human beings to equal.

– 8. Verse 34 offers a way out for those who sincerely wish to amend their conduct – this, even in the case of severe crimes. It is an act of mercy and forgiveness mandated by Allah.

” What kind of people would conceive and perpetrate a scheme that would lead to the burning, mutilation and death of 350 young children as was done in the school this week in Russia? What dogma was responsible for motivating Islamic women earlier this week to strap bombs to their bodies and board two Russian aircraft filled with passengers for the purpose of blowing them up and killing everyone? ”

You will notice that the propaganda of any totalitarian state often begins by asking questions that leave little room for any answer than the one that will be inevitably provided. It is a pattern that you doubtless noticed in your studies of the English language, and translations from propaganda from other sources like Communists, Nazis, Neoconservatives, Zionists, etc. And the website almost never mentioned “Muslim” crimes: always “Islamic”. The emphasis on Islam itself as opposed to erroneous and blasphemous interpretations by humans (motivated by non-religious agendas such as politics) is deliberate in its attempt to associate these horrors with Islam itself. Admittedly, the people who did this are monsters – but they can never be Muslims and do not represent Islam. I reject them, and refuse association with them; as do 1.3 billion of my fellow Muslims.

By the way, did you look at “Yada Yahwah”? http://yadayahweh.com/chapter.aspx?g=5106&i=51608 Sean seems to have his own religious agenda. But I digress,,,

” For two days, the world witnessed the face of terror. The Images on this page defy description; images of actions that can only be defined as sub-human. Yet we remain unwilling to acknowledge its cause. No political dogma or personality cult in all of human history has been sadistic enough to cause men to celebrate murder and mutilation. Only one thing can do that–Islam.”

” Face of terror “, ” sub-human “, ” Yet we remain unwilling to acknowledge, ,,”, ” sadistic “. My mind’s eye easily envisions a fevered tone of voice, hands making clawing motions in the air, a demented gleam in the eyes – and I cannot imagine these words spoken without them, no matter how subtle these gestures and tones may be.

Note also the lie about ” no political or personality cult, etc .” when you and I know that there are countless examples of at least the same ugly celebrations of murder and mutilation in non-Muslim religious fanatics, personality cult, and politics. A good example would be Adolph Hitler’s use of words like “Krach”, “Zerstörung”, and “Vernichtung”.

Allow me to respond to your disapproval about my (admittedly sarcastic) statement: ” The logic of their positions demand that they begin immediate acts of genocide against all Muslims .

Sean wrote: ” Islam is the most vile, intolerant, sadistic, destructive, and violent fraud ever perpetrated on human kind. It turns many into monsters. Islam must be exterminated or it will exterminate freedom, choice, truth, prosperity, liberty, life, and salvation .”

(Bold type is mine). Again, the emphasis on Islam itself; an obviously dehumanizing turn of phrase, while by default points the finger at Muslims. Note also his parroting of words like freedom, choice, truth, prosperity, liberty, life, and salvation” like other despots who rally people to their cause with these same words, only to establish a dictatorship. Consider; you cannot exterminate an idea; you can only exterminate living creatures. There is no escaping the fact that Sean deliberately called for extermination. It is an interesting syllogism to note that the German word for “extermination” is ” Vernichtung ” (see the previous paragraph).

I rest my case.

Jonathan, do you still believe that this man’s work is ” sober and factual with almost every statement carefully documented by reputable sources .”? I still say I could go on; but do I really need to? Must I dissect the whole website word for word? Or have you seen enough?

Perhaps if you approached me with different questions you’d find the answers you seek.

Oh, about the “spiritual station” comment, I meant no disrespect. You do use the word “Oracle” (zaporacle.com) in association with yourself, and you interpret dreams. Did I misunderstand you?

As I said, I was wrong to indulge in sarcasm. Passionate argument – and humor! – is one thing. And I do get passionate; sometimes more than I should. That is my nature. But bad manners are another thing. And I was remiss in not providing detailed arguments: which I remember is exactly what you asked for. This was wrong of me.

I often have difficulty finding time to write these things with the attention to detail that they deserve. I work two jobs; and have to find time to prepare for my work as an Imam as well. I have to speak to my own community. As you know, many terrorist groups recruit new members in prisons; I do almost all of my work as an Imam in prisons, and use Qur’an and Hadith to prove that Islam forbids terrorism, and to divert Muslims – especially vulnerable new converts – from extremism. I am on record with the New York City Department of Corrections and several mosques in the NYC area (including the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, Masjid al-Farah, and Imam Ali Masjid) for doing this, and have been for the past nine years. I have been blessed with many successes in this; despite the “evidence” that Sean would present that would make this an impossibility. I say this only to show that I stand by what I believe, and I have seen that what I believe works.

It may interest you to know that I was “drafted” for the job as Imam, I never asked for it; and I don’t get paid. Its all voluntary.

I hope you’ll forgive my defects of character.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud the Muslim Primate

Response from Sean 3-22-06:

Jonathan,

Dawood is confusing my website with Craig Winn’s site. Everything he is talking about is from Winn’s site. Not mine. I don’t have any links to Winn’s site. YadaYaweh is Winn’s site. I don’t have a religious agenda. I appreciate him taking the time to work through the translations. It’s very interesting to get his perspective but he’s on the wrong site and his responses don’t apply to me. This is the 6th time he has mentioned N.J. Dawood when I’ve said before I’m not using that translation. I have yet to open a Quran translated by Dawood and on his recommendation I never will.
I’ve never said “Good jihadist Muslim” as he claims in point number 6. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Craig Winn did. I didn’t mention Ibn Shaq. Craig did. Dawood is on the wrong website. I Never said Islam should be exterminated. He is critiquing the wrongs site, although I should say he did a very good job and again I find the translations very, very interesting. My ever loving point on my website, which I’m not sure he has even visited yet, has more to do with women burned, butchered and abused. www.womensassistance.com. I look forward to hearing thoughts on my site if he’d like to take the time. He can email me through the site directly.

Response from Jonathan,

Sean’s response speaks for itself, but I do want to add that you are correct in criticizing those statements from Winn’s site. Craig Winn is a Christian Fundamentalist and I find most fundamentalists to be hate-mongering. You may have been confused because at some point I sent you a link to his site in another context. Although I gave a link to his site, I only skimmed it and do find the parts you objected to extremely offensive.

As far as my ignoring the spiritual gems of Islam, you are probably right, but I didn’t set out to look for spiritual gems which can be found in all sorts of traditions, I set out to discover why so many women are being maimed and killed, and so many other bad things are happening in the name of Islam. Similarly, if this were the Middle Ages, I would want to know why Christians were burning so many women at the stake. If a Christian responded by showing me many of the beautiful, pro-feminine statements by Jesus, I would respond, “Fine, so Jesus isn’t the problem, but what is the problem, where is this coming from?” When I look into the sacred texts of most religions, I find a mixture of wonderful, exalted stuff and completely inconsistent hate-mongering stuff. This doesn’t surprise me because the human authors of these texts were sometimes inspired, sometimes in states of hate-filled projection. I am not against any religion, because a truly spiritually attuned person will sift through and find the gems. I am against fundamentalists of all religions because of their dangerous and naive use of texts to promote hate and violence. Again, and again I am seeking to turn my attention to a worthy object of contemplation, which is not your spiritual state or mine, but the extreme violence happening in the name of Islam. If there is any light that we can shed on this subject, we have a moral imperative to do so. I would like to see us working on the same side as opponents to this violence, and I see you as having tremendous assets to bring to this inquiry with your background and your willingness to confront Muslim fundamentalists who distort the religion.

The inquiry that I am interested in, and that Sean and I are both interested in and actually on a daily basis doing things about (raising money for Muslim women who have been the victims of honor burnings, etc. and are asking for help) is about the violence happening today. There are a number of avenues of inquiry into this subject. One, which we have been pursuing together, relates to sorting through the historic and textual origins of this. This is a very tricky area because it requires real scholarship. You are better qualified to speak on these texts, but so far your posture has been understandably defensive. But here is how I would like to redirect that avenue of inquiry: are there parts of Islamic texts that really do, even if inadvertently, support mistreatment of women and violence toward the infidel? I would be extremely surprised if there are none, if they are all mistranslations. In reforming a religion that has largely turned into a pathological fundamentalism there are a number of steps. One is to find out any passages that are being willfully mistranslated or interpreted to support violence and exposing that. Another step is to admit any passages that really are objectionable, not to sanitize these with creative translation or interpretation, but to openly repudiate them as regressive artifacts of earlier times that a living faith (and living means changing) can throw off. Besides the textual analysis, there are other key avenues of inquiry into unraveling the source of such virulent hatred and violence. Many on the left emphasize political and economic causal factors, which are very real, but which tend to get over emphasized so that the perpetrators of the violence are condescendingly viewed as innocent and merely reactive to oppression from Western forces. There is some validity to this, but it is taken too far, because other peoples have been even more oppressed, say the Native Americans, and didn’t take it out on their women. These same people on the left would not similarly excuse Hitler and the Nazis by pointing out that the Treaty of Versailles after WWI humiliated Germany and punished it economically and therefore Nazism was a completely understandable response. The avenue of inquiry I feel most qualified to participate in is a psychological inquiry into what is motivating the present violence, much of which seems to be a gigantic sexual pathology. There is much more I could say on that subject, but I first want to inquire about your willingness to follow this redirect of our attention which I sincerely believe will give greater moral purpose to our trialouge.

Sean writes 3-22-06

Hey Jonathan
This is right off the WAF website on the Purpose page. I’m not spreading hate, I’m pointing to issues of abuse that in my opinion are not being given enough global consideration.

Our desire at the Women’s Asssistance Fund is not to spread hate or fear about Islam, Muslims or any religion. Our desire and conviction is to provide a safe haven for women who are being physically abused, tortured, and deprived of life and the basic rights of human life, for whatever reason. We are not experts on the Koran or Islam, though our exploration of these subjects is ongoing. We do not make any allegations about what the true meaning of the Koran is, or what true Muslims believe. What we study and what we cry out against is the abuse of human life, specifically the abuse of those who have been rendered powerless by the legal and social structures of the societies in which they live. In our informational texts, we quote from the Koran to show how it has been and is being used as a basis to deprive women of rights. We quote religious figures who, by their own declaration, do not believe that women are equal to men and do not believe that they should be granted equal rights, and who base those beliefs in Islam. We do not do this to malign any religion; we do so to educate those who might make a difference with the reality of the horrible abuses that take place, and of the depth of belief that fosters such abuses.

Of course, we recognize that (probably) all religions have some followers who are truly compassionate towards others. We recognize that there are Muslim men who would never dream of abusing a woman, and that there is a wide range of freedoms experienced by women in different segments of Middle Eastern, Muslim society, depending on a woman’s family, location, background, education, affluence, etc.

Unfortunately, religion has been used throughout history as a pretext for myriad atrocities. Specifically, Islam has been used to justify the abuse, repression and murder of women for thousands of years, just as Christianity was used to justify the Crusades and the burning of witches hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, Muslim societies today are, without question, the most repressive of women’s rights worldwide, so it is there that we focus our energies, and it is from those cultures that the most horrible stories of abuse arise. We share this information to educate those who are fortunate to live in free societies of what we can do to help stop human rights abuses. That is our only goal.

Peace;

Dawoud responds, and also to an article we sent him by a Muslim woman seeking reform, Isrhad Manji:

The general consensus about Irshad Manji is that she is a fool. A bitter woman who has in effect declared that Islam as a thing in itself is wrong and by Allah, it better change! She’ll give us one more chance, then she’ll walk out and take her friends with her.

I hope you’ll allow me to indulge in a little bit of sarcasm!

Mind you, she does bring up valid points about the abuse of women, etc. But her error, and it is a monumental error, is to believe that these problems are something that is built in to Islam. This is not the case. Her scholarship and attempts to validate her beliefs with evidence from Qur’an and Hadith are quite pathetic.

I’m glad you brought this us. It affords me the chance to share some ideas I didn’t have time (or space: AOL is imposing a “rate limit” on my outgoing emails that never happened before. If it continues, I will go to one of their competitors) before.

I trust that I need no reiterate for you the evidence I gave in a previous email about that verse in the Qur’an that people ask about regarding “beating”.

In several verses in the Qur’an men and women are referred to as equals. For example, 5:8;
“Oh you who Believe, stand firmly for Allah as witnesses for justice and fairness, and do not let the hatred of outers cause you to act unjustly. Act with equity; for that is nearest to piety, and be careful of your duty to Allah, for Allah is aware of what you do” in this; “Oh you who Believe” is not gender specific; a rarity in the Arabic language.

There are other verses that contain the phrase ” Ya ayuhul aminu, nass, wa aminu nisaa ” Oh you who are Believing men and believing women. In this context, the two genders are treated equally. The verse that tells women to “lower their gaze and guard their modesty” tells men the same thing.

In 4:1, Surat-ul Nissa (Women) Allah says ” Oh Humanity!  fear your Lord (Rabb) who created you from a single Nafs (soul / self / individual will / individual ego); created from it his mate, and from them twain scattered like seeds countless men and women. Fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights, and reverence the wombs that bore you; for Allah is ever watchful ” Note the phrase “mutual rights” which implies that both male and female have right to be fulfilled. Yet after this, we are commanded to reverence our mothers.

The Prophet Muhammad, whose life and example we follow, showed the following in his life:
1. He never beat, neglected, abused, or even yelled at any of his wives. And you must admit that his life was meticulously recorded. If spousal abuse were mandated by Islam, and Muhammad’s life is part of the source of Islamic Law, then by default, spousal abuse is a violation of Islamic Law.
2. His wives (9 total) owned and inherited their own property and ran their own businesses. Some became scholars, teachers and historians. A few were warriors! (during one battle, when the Quaraish broke through defenses, and four of them surrounded the Prophet, a woman, whose name I don’t know, picked up a sword, and fought alongside him. In another battle, a woman came up to the Prophet and complained that her sword broke. The Prophet told one of the men “give her a sword”)
3. One of his wives was Jewish; and she never converted to Islam. The Prophet never insisted that she do so.
4. The Prophet once said “The women are our first teachers, and Paradise lay at the feet of the mothers”
5. The Prophet said that ” The pursuit of knowledge is an obligation laid upon every Muslim man and every Muslim woman “. This is in Sahih Bukhari: and thus is Law. When the Taliban prevent women from receiving education, they forfeit their claim to Islam; and by choice and consent claim the status of Infidel and Apostate.
6. All of the Prophet’s wives could read and write; as did the women on their community. In fact, when the Muslims started engaging in warfare, the POWs were given a deal: for every ten Muslims they taught to read and write, they would be granted their freedom
7. The Prophet specifically forbad the practice of female circumcision.

There are many other examples I could give, but I believe you get the idea.

So! Where does the abuse of women come from? Tribal /cultural customs. The exact same psychological dementia that causes a man to abuse his wife; except that in some places it is extended to social structure. Religion is a mask they wear; and just like that scene in Star Wars 6, if you remove Darth Vader’s mask; you see an incomplete and malformed weakling under it – one that bears no resemblance to a true Muslim. or a true Believer (and make no mistake: these are not the same thing at all). Or a true Jedi for that matter!

Now, there are some marked psychological differences between men and women (I will not insult your intelligence by listing the physical ones! HA! HA! HA!). In general, men work their wills in the world externally, and process thoughts and feelings internally. Women do the opposite. Men have qualities that, when properly developed and tempered, embody those of a king, a warrior, a magi, and a lover. Note the emphasis on properly developed and tempered. This is the kicker: if any of these are out of balance, then all manner of defects arise: cowardice, bullying, manipulation, greed, abuse of the weak, etc. will arise. And in our society, we no longer have the means of assisting young people in the transition between childhood and adulthood. Many people are not adults; they’re children in adult bodies. They, in turn, sire more such creatures. The result is a nation of children.

If women were our first teachers and paradise lay at the feet of the mothers, what kind of man could oppress them? The Taliban and others like them are in such a condition because they violate Islam. How can they know anything when their “first teachers” know nothing? Men MUST lead; and women MUST guide and inspire. They need each other or the whole structure becomes unstable. Both Muhammad and Jimi Hendrix said that a woman is the other half of a man.

Ms. Manji is part of a shattered landscape that is crawling about desperately trying to make sense of senselessness and pleading for love and recognition. But her logic is backwards. In the end, she and her followers will arrive at an intellectual and spiritual cul de sac.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud
Peace;

I cannot overemphasize the sorrow I feel for the mistake I made and the slandering of Sean’s character! I’m almost overcome with shame for having done this – albeit mistakenly – to one who I now see, in retrospect, to be a man with a good heart and honorable intentions.

In a response I made to the “Muslim woman speaks about the wall” article; I attempted to show a few examples of how Islam actually forbids the mistreatment of women. I also touched upon how these things are actually manifestations of, at best, human weaknesses, and at worst, human evils. I will look any man in the eye and say that the Qura’n is Allah’s Words and not the product of human imagination. However, Allah is compassionate and merciful; and we should embody these qualities ourselves. To twist them into horrors like “honor killing” or suicide bombing is nothing short of a blasphemy and a crime in the eyes of God and man.

We all have to understand that the “Left” and “Right” have claim only to a part of the solutions needed. It is sometimes necessary to “step outside” the dialectic of current political bodies, and see them all from a perspective that allows no alliances to either.

I wish to be clear about something. The verses in the Qur’an that talk about fighting, were revealed when the fledgling Muslim community was under attack – and this after enduring ten years of persecution. And it is also important to note the specific circumstances that they were revealed in. When the Qur’an speaks in seemingly disparaging tones about Jews, there are two basic contexts here. One is in direct reference to those specific times when the Bani Israel broke their covenant with YHVH, and in reference to two Jewish tribes in Arabia at the time whose practices of the Mosaic Law were so corrupted that other Jews refused to recognize them, and the fact, recorded in Muslim and non-Muslim histories, that they broke peace treaties with the Muslims.

While Islamic Law is clear about taking up arms only to defend yourself, starting war for the sake of war is forbidden. I doubt anyone will argue this. But I ask anyone: if we are attacked, oppressed, or treated with injustice; do you really expect us to simply lay down and take it? Do you think that it’s inconceivable that we may have legitimate claims to justice? Is our blood cheaper than that of other’s.

And even in the case of some of the places where terrorism and war happen, we must admit that each case must be taken individually; and not broad statements that will overshadow the truth. A truth that gets more complex as time goes on, and more difficult to see beyond the confines of our own individual perspectives – and egos. For that is the road that leads to hysteria, hate mongering, war mongering, and hell. All human beings must pay heed to this warning.

There are no blanket answers to this. Everyone had blood on their hands and no group is innocent. But among them are innocent people in dire circumstances that they may not always make the right choice about. I know of Israeli solders who refused to participate in the persecution of Palestinians. I met Palestinians who have no ill will toward Jews or Christians, and simply wish to be left alone. I know Jews who reject Zionism. I know Christians who help Muslims. I know neo-pagans whose ideas in many ways resemble the basic spirit of the Abrahamic Faiths.

I also know Jews who looked me in the eye and told me that God wants them to have that land and to exterminate the Palestinians. I know Christians whom it is impossible to have a conversation with before they start howling about JEEEEZUSS! I know Muslims who say the most unbelievably stupid things about their religion (some entertaining examples: “The most important thing about Islam is that your wife is covered!” “It is haram (forbidden) to chew bubble gum!” “All Jews are the scourge of the earth!” “Your wife must wear a garment that covers every part of her body except one eye!”. I met one Muslim man who reprimanded a young woman for using a camera, saying that photographs are haram; and then worked into his tirade an obscure Hadith where the Prophet was quoted as saying “If you allow a dog to lick from your plate, you must wash it seven times before using it again” – apropos of nothing).

About seven years ago, a Bosnian Imam gave a sermon, and he said that in parts of Bosnia; women and children were being murdered and raped in the streets; and the men were in the mosques arguing about the proper length of a man’s beard! In light of the problems that face humanity, it is perhaps best to leave the theological hairsplitting for another day. On Star Trek, the Klingons used to say “Only a fool fights in a burning house”. However, the Qur’an, Hadith and Tassawuff (Sufism / spiritual and mystical science of Islam) are my weapons in this spiritual struggle. I will share what teachings and evidence to refute the crimes of the infidels (who are undoubtedly real: but not who most people think they are!) as well as the psudo-Muslims who wish to turn Islam into a dictatorship with no god but their own egos.

Please let Sean know how badly I feel about the horrible mistake I made. I pray that this email finds you all well.

Ma’a Salaam,

Dawoud

Peace;

I’m not usually wrong, but when I screw up, I do it big time !

My most profuse apologies to you and Sean. While I stand by everything I said in critique of the WAF website, I was under the mistaken impression that it was Sean’s website. In this, I stand corrected, offer no defense, and ask one and all, especially Sean, for forgiveness.

I feel as great a fool as I ever did; and would never willingly assault the character of an innocent man; least of all one who is engaged in unselfish work to help the defenseless.

I just made a brief visit to Sean’s website; and I must say I am impressed! From my brief perusal, I will say that Sean’s work is not only necessary, but noble and inspiring.

Know that I repent my association of Sean with the WAF, and will try to amend my bad conduct. Please post this apology on your site ASAP: all must read it.

Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

Dawoud

Peace;

Part V Projection the Enemy of Peace

Thanks for those thoughtful messages; traffic to the site has been increasing dramatically so your thoughts should be getting out there.  I want to give Sean a chance to respond on the issue of whether there is any text that is supporting violence and mistreatment of women, frankly I’d be surprised if there isn’t, because such things can be found in most religions.  My expectation is of an inconsistent mix—-some egalitarian passages, other misogynist ones.  We might as well sort this out first and I want Sean to supply any egregious passages you have not explained, but would also ask you to be evaluative rather than defensive about the text—–are you telling me there is nothing in Islamic scripture that demeans women or promotes violence toward the infidel?  In the Hebrew Bible there are lots of objectionable things, and in the reform Judaism I was  brought up in these were acknowledged and openly rejected, and all references to God as having a male gender removed from prayers and hymns, etc. customs changed to allow for female Rabbis and Bat Mitzvah of girls, etc.  Does Islam allow for their to be female prophets, female imams, etc.?

Hey Jonathan
I’m glad Dawoud finally made it to my website…there is still some confusion in his mind about which site is which. The women’s assistance fund website is WAF. The critique he stands by is of the prophet of doom website. I’m sure he will find some things he disagrees with on my site too, but I’m glad he can see there isn’t a hateful tone to the site. I’m convinced that the violence toward women in the Islamic world comes, at least in part, from the use of the words in Quran 4:34 “…as for those whom you fear desertion… beat them.” Every interpretation I’ve seen includes those words somewhere in the verse even if some of the translations include “not too severely”. Any fear, suspicion, hearsay or rumor of misbehavior in many cases is a legally and culturally acceptable reason for a man to kill a woman. The burnings are also happening because Sharia law, as it’s written and interpreted today in many countries, doesn’t view violence toward women as a particularly important issue.

  • Article 97 and 98 of the Jordanian Penal Code ensures that a husband who is provoked will receive reduced sentences or exemption of penalties for murder of female members of his family. – Christian Science Monitor March 2, 2005/ Feminist.com
  • Article 548 of the Syrian Penal Code ensures exemption from penalty for a husband who murders a wife suspected of illegitimate sex.  -About.com
  • Article 375  – Mere beating and light injury shall not be penalized. – Libyan Penal Code
  • Article 420 Lesser penalties shall apply to crimes of wounding and beating without intent to kill even if death does result if committed by the head of the family. Moroccan Penal Code
  • Article 257 Whosoever commits a crime in an outburst of extreme anger resulting from a grave action shall be liable for lesser penalty. – Lebanese Penal Code
  • Article 17 – In crimes requiring the sympathy of the court (honor crimes) the Judge can reduce penalties. Algerian Penal Code
  • Article 409 A man who kills his wife for adultery will receive a sentence not to exceed three years. Iraqi Penal Code
  • Article 153 A man who kills his wife, daughter, mother or sister for adultery will receive a sentence not exceeding three years or a fine not to exceed 3000 dinars. Kuwaiti Penal Code
  • Article 188 A man who sees his wife in a state of disgraceful adultery will be exempt from liability of murder. Ottoman Penal Code.
  • The last seven entries of bulleted info comes from the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Laws and Inter-rights Honor Crimes Project

Thanks for the notes
Sean

Response from Jonathan:

Just spoke to Sean on the phone.  I want us to be able to move toward areas where there is greater agreement amongst the three of us, the very lamentable present laws and practices being done in the name of Islam, but I think we need a bit more of a resolution about the past and sacred documents. I can believe there are some mistranslations here and there, but if I were to believe your statements, Islam would be the only major religion not to contain misogynist elements. Your evaluations seem skewed by an understandable desire to put everything in these texts in the best possible light. For example, the terrible statements about Jews are dismissed as related only to a particular historical context, but this doesn’t seem to hold up because if this man is a prophet, and the Qur’an is written for all time, wouldn’t there be an expansive awareness of other contexts in which these statements would prove dangerous, as they, in fact, have?  Jesus lived in stressful times, but never promoted war or fighting particular groups (except, of course, for his apparent support of the U.S. going into Iraq for nonexistent WMD ).  I would like you to be more objectively evaluative of your own tradition rather than defensively explaining away every troubling passage. As a non-fundamentalist you have the right and the duty to scour your own traditional texts for parts that need to be reformed, and it strains credibility if you tell me you can’t find such things which are easy to locate in the Bible.

The following exchange between Jonathan and Dawoud began around April 1st when Jonathan sent everyone on his email list a link to a spoof website.  Dawoud sent back a comment that the site was run by a bunch of homosexuals lampooning Christian Fundamentalists.

Jonathan replied,
I can’t imagine anything more appropriate than homosexuals lampooning fundamentalists. Is there anything wrong with homosexuals?

Dawoud responds:
Peace;
That’s a loaded question. The only answer I can give would, no matter its actual value within the realm of Socratic Debate, be labeled as “politically incorrect” (an Orwellian term if there ever was one). My reasoning would almost inevitably be misinterpreted.
I wonder if there are any human beings left in the world who could comprehend the difference between the rational and reasonably thought out disapproval of the practice and propagation of homosexuality, and irrational knee-jerk homophobia? I believe they exist: but are rare.
Most people are – by choice and consent – incapable of understanding the difference.
(Present company excepted)
Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

Jonathan writes:

Give me the only answers you can give, because political correctness, as you probably realize by now, has no value in my mental universe except to influence me in the other direction. I am also really curious to hear what could be the “rational and reasonably thought out disapproval of homosexuality” since I’m not aware of any outside of those under the malignant spell of fundamentalist taboos. For one thing, a certain amount of homosexuality is the norm in every human culture and society and that is not only the case for humans but also for thousands of species including most mammals and many bird species. In fact, there are bird species where there are lifelong monogamous homosexual relationships. I’m hoping that rational and reasonable means something other than written in the Koran, but am curious to hear where you have come by such notions.

Peace;
Well, you know that being a Muslim I’m going to take the Islamic side. The Qur’an (correct transliteration: the “Q” is closer to the real sound of the Arabic letter “Qaf”) si clear about it, and the Hadiths on the subject paint an unambiguous picture that nonetheless is a bit different from the Judeo-Christian doctrine More on that later. However, you ask a valid question: and your “political incorrectness” is positively delightful.
I read “Homosexuality: A Freedom too Far” by Dr. Charles Socardies. He is a psychoanalyst who specializes in the treatment of homosexuality. He went into considerable detail about how homosexual organizations methodically changed the AMA’s and APA’s definition of homosexuality from being a psychological condition to being a “lifestyle”. He also described some other interesting facts. One that comes to mind is the work of Simon La Vey. In the 1970’s, La Vey published a paper claiming that he isolated a gene that predisposes homosexuality in humans. Dr. Socardies pointed out that:
1. La Vey found this gene in only 48% of the test cases.
2. His research methods did not conform to accepted scientific standards of experimentation to develop a theory.
3. Neither he nor anyone else was able to repeat the results of the experiment.
Assuming that this is true; then the theory of genetic predisposition of homosexuality that La Vey proposed has no basis in fact.
Dr. Socardies also went into considerable detail about how homosexuality as a psychological condition/phenomenon is almost always triggered early in life by some experience that alters the development of gender identity. He also went into the fact of homosexuals having a subconscious death with; and this manifesting in the form of refusal to propagate the species.
As far as Islam is concerned, there is a Hadith where (in modern colloquial terms) the Prophet and some of his companions were in a town where the people had accepted Islam. There was a man in the town who was “al Mukkhanaath” (a homosexual / effeminate / transvestite). He asked about the man, and the people there told him something to the effect that “he’s always been like that”. The Prophet told them to tell him to pack his things and leave town. His companions asked him “You want us to do him? You want him dead?” He said no. Leave him alone, but tell him to leave.
This leaves us with the conclusion that while it is forbidden in Islam to practice homosexuality, technically it is not forbidden to be one. This may seem paradoxical and has given rise to some legal ambiguity; but allows for the faults and weaknesses of human beings; and offers an avenue for the redemption of the person in question – if he / she desires it. It is simply the difference between blindly hating a person, and disapproving of something they do – a difference that is of supreme importance.
This is not far from Dr. Socardies’ conclusions; although his perspective is confined to the realm of psychiatric medicine.
I was speaking to some Rabbis once, and the subject of homosexuality came up. One of them told me something interesting. In Rabbinical Law, same gender sexual acts are forbidden to men, but not to women. He used the metaphor of “two empty vessels”. Which has a certain logic to it worthy of debate.
You said “a certain amount of homosexuality is the norm in every human culture”: and of course this is a perfectly admissible argument. Its there: as are a great number of other anomalies that would require discussion outside the scope of this email. But the epidemic proportions of homosexuality have, historically, preceded the downfall of society. Greece and Rome are good examples. The sex drive turning in upon itself has repercussions that echo throughout the society in which it manifests.
Your mentioning of birds, etc. was interesting: but we are of a different species. These same criterion do not apply. I’m more interested in being human.
I try not to see religion and science as being separate things. In fact, I don’t believe that at their core essences they are different. Emphasize science and you become cut off from the spiritual essence of yourself, and from Allah. Emphasize religion, and the danger of fanaticism is lurking around every corner. In fact, Imam Hanifah (the founder of one of the four main schools of Islamic jurisprudence) once said “Embrace Sufism and ignore Shari’ah (Islamic Law), and you will become a heretic. Embrace Shari’ah and ignore Sufism, and you will become a fanatic”.
Ma’a Salaam,
Dawoud

Jonathan Responds:

Hey Dawoud,

Sorry for the long delay, I had a hard time summoning enthusiasm to respond because rather than breaking new ground, I seem to have to debunk notions that are so archaic and thoroughly debunked that it seems like a tedious exercise for me.  You live in New York City with a substantial gay population; don’t you notice the same range of high to low qualities that you find in heterosexuals?  Do you really find homosexuals like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci to be spiritually or psychologically inferior and lacking in life drive? A hundred years ago even Freud debunked the notion that homosexuality precedes the fall of a civilization. Homosexuality was the norm in ancient Greece and Rome when they were at their very height. Socrates and Plato were gay as I’m sure you know.

You criticize some genetic research into homosexuality in the Seventies, but there have been all kinds of much more recent findings that point toward genetic correlations. Then you wheel out a wing nut like this Dr. Socardies’ who explains homosexuality as a “subconscious death wish.”  Please, if you can’t recognize that as pseudoscientific claptrap I don’t know what to tell you. I’ll post an article about Dr. Socardies at the end of this.

Really absurd were your final remarks where you quote some rabbi (Islam certainly has no monopoly on archaic inanities) who said that homosexuality was wrong between men, but not women. You wrote: He used the metaphor of “two empty vessels”. Which has a certain logic to it worthy of debate. Logic worthy of debate?  The idea of women as empty vessels has a long and notorious history. Well into the 19th century Western medicine thought that a man’s seed was what made a baby and a woman was merely a vessel that contained it.  The fact that a woman’s genitals are more in the interior of her body hardly makes her “an empty vessel.”  If I remember my biology right aren’t women the gender out of which entire human beings emerge?  Doesn’t that make males seem rather empty considering their bodies only contribute an often ill considered squirt of semen that only has half the chromosomes? I feel silly even debating this type of “logic.”

I have also found myself feeling burned out on writing about things Middle Eastern in general.  No matter what your intentions you end up in quagmire and the more you struggle the deeper into you sink. I’ve got so many other projects competing for my attention that seem more likely to bear fruit that enthusiasm for debating archaic and absurd propositions seems to be running down. I think I may need to retire from this field at least until some other projects are completed.

So please forgive me if I become less of a dialogue partner. I have confidence in your spiritual intensity and think that you’ll find your way out of some of these obsolescent  and illusory notions. Whatever you do, I wish you all the best.

The following was written by Mitchell Gore:

Charles Socarides, with Benjamin Kaufman, and  Joseph Nicolosi founded the North American Reparative Therapy (NARTH) organization in 1992 to combat what they claim to be the erosion of the scientific study of homosexuality. NARTH states that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by conscious and unconscious conflicts, is a “sign that deep emotional wounding has occurred,” and is the cause of intense suffering because it “distorts the natural bond of friendship” between members of the same sex and “works against . . . the all-important family unit.”
Socarides’ son, Richard Socarides, is one of the best-known gay activists in the country. He was a special assistant to President Clinton and senior adviser for public liaison; one of his principle jobs is White House liaison to the lesbian and gay community. Charles Socarides explains his theory that same-sex desire is a “neurotic adaptation” that can be traced to “smothering mothers and abdicating fathers.” Asked once by a reporter whether his “lousy parenting” caused his son to be gay, “Socarides neatly places the blame on ‘a combination of uncontrollable events,’ like the fact that he and Richard’s mother divorced when Richard was about 3 years old, the age at which the ‘neurotic mechanism’ of homosexuality can be implanted in a child. Socarides also says that Richard’s now-dead mother was ‘quite harsh towards my son’ after the divorce.”
It should be noted that Socrades has been married 4 times so the views put forward by a man was unable to maintain a steady relationship with a woman, should give one pause.
NARTH begins its work with the presumption that homosexuality is a developmental disorder or a mental illness, which it frequently compares to alcoholism. It claims that “powerful political pressures have done much to erode scientific exploration and study of this disorder.” It attempts to position its adherents as heroes swimming against the mighty tide of the brainwashed psychological community and the mainstream media.

Charles Socarides has also run into trouble with the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), of which he is a member. According to a letter from Dr. Ralph Roughton of the APsaA, Socarides misrepresented the position of the APsaA in a published paper and a court affidavit. Socarides attempted to make it appear that the APsaA agrees with his positions on homosexuality. He did this by quoting an APsaA document written in 1968, which supported his views and which he called the “official position” of the APsaA, while ignoring a 1990 revised statement that drastically contradicted his views. The Executive Committee of the APsaA instructed the organization’s attorney to write a letter to Socarides asking him to cease this misrepresentation and threatening legal action if he continued.

Additionally, the APsaA newsletter decided to stop printing advertisements for NARTH meetings because the organization does not adhere to APsaA’s policy of non-discrimination “and because their activities are demeaning to our members who are gay and lesbian,” according to Roughton…
Socarides, NARTH’s president, wrote in JAMA in 1970 that “homosexuality is a dread dysfunction, malignant in character, that has risen to epidemic proportions.” More recently, in 1995, he wrote that the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder from DSM was a “Trojan Horse which, once admitted into the gates of the heterosexual world, has led to a sexual and social dementia.” He asserted that homosexuality “is a freedom that cannot be given.”
NARTH’s presence in the psychotherapy profession is small but significant. NARTH members are licensed psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and medical professionals who, by virtue of their credentials, have some influence within certain psychotherapy and medical institutions. In addition, these credentials give their ideas the appearance of legitimacy when marketed to the public. Last year, Charles Socarides, Benjamin Kaufman, Joseph Nicolosi, Jeffrey Satinover, and Richard Fitzgibbons co-authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal advocating reparative therapy for gay men.
In response to the aggressive marketing of reparative and conversion therapy to both the public and the psychotherapy profession, the American Psychological Association, in August 1997, reiterated its long-standing official position that homosexuality and bisexuality are not mental disorders and therefore do not require treatment.
NARTH’s positions on homosexuality and reparative therapy, that it is a choice and should be “reversed” are universally rejected by every major medical and psychiatric organization. NARTH’s founding members appear on the boards of many far-right Christian hate groups. Socarides for instance is listed as a major contributor to “The Pink Swastika” and other hate-fear propaganda. In fact if you read the acknowledgments of that book you will find the same cadre of far-right religious lug nuts that ooze out of the wood-work over and over again such as Peter LaBarbera, Lon Mabon, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, etc.
“The Pink Swastika” is a piece of ideological [junk] which tries to equate the foundation of Nazism with homosexuality. Never mind that homosexuals were herded into the concentration camps bearing the infamous pink triangles sewn to their clothing, in the same fashion that (and at times used in conjunction with) the yellow Star of David used to identify and “sort” Jews.
The above is only a scratching of the surface of the “connection” of Socarides, NARTH and other anti-gay activists and “doctors”.

 

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