by Dennis Prager
President Obama declared in his recent address to the nation that “ISIL is not Islamic.”
But how does he know? On what basis did the president of the United States declare the a group of Muslims that calls itself “Islamic State” “not Islamic”?
Has he studied Islam and Islamic history and concluded that ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group that slaughtered 166 people in Mumbai, most especially guests at the Taj Hotel,and which tortured to death a rabbi and his wife), the various Palestinian terrorist groups (all of which have been Muslim, even though there are many Christian Palestinians), and the Muslim terror groups in Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere are also all “not Islamic”?
Has he concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood, which won Egypt’s most open election ever, is “not Islamic?”
And what about Saudi Arabia? Is that country “not Islamic,” too?
Oh, and what about Iran? Also “not Islamic”?
Isn’t that a lot of Muslims, Muslim groups, and even nations — all of whom claim Islam as their religion — to dismiss as “not Islamic”?
To be fair, these baseless generalizations about what is and what is not Islamic started with his predecessor, President George W. Bush, who regularly announced that “Islam is a religion of peace.” And it is equally unlikely that his assertion came from a study of Islam and Islamic history.
The fact is that a study of Islamic history could not lead any fair-minded individual to conclude that all these Muslims and Islamic groups are “not Islamic.” Neither Islamic history, which, from its origins, offered vast numbers of people a choice between Islam and death, nor Islam as reflected in its greatest works, would lead one to draw that conclusion.
Killing “unbelievers” has been part of — of course not all of — Islam since its inception. Within 10 years of Muhammad’s death Muslims had conquered and violently converted whole peoples from Iran to Egypt and from Yemen to Syria. Muslims have offered conquered people death or conversion since that time.
The Hindu Kush, the vast, 500-mile long, 150-mile wide mountain range stretching from Afghanistan to Pakistan, was populated by Hindus until the Muslim invasions beginning around the year 1000. The Persian name Hindu Kush was proudly given by Muslims. It means “Hindu-killer.” At least 60 million Hindus were killed by Muslims during the thousand years of Muslim rule. Though virtually unknown, it may be the greatest mass murder in history next to Mao’s….
…As the courageous Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born woman who leads a worldwide effort on behalf of Muslim women and for reforming Islam, asked in a speech at Yale University this month: If Islam is a religion of peace, why is there a sword on the Saudi flag?
If the president feels he has to obfuscate for the sake of gaining Muslim allies, so be it. But the rest of us don’t have to make believe what he said is true.