The Myth of Islam’s Universal Brotherhood

Modern Muslim apologists thrill their audiences with claims of Islam as a uniting force. They wax eloquently about Islam being a universal brotherhood which rejects caste, race, colour and gender discrimination. This drivel works well on the naive and the marginalised and it lures in the foolhardy. In this piece, however, I will be demonstrating the contrary, that Islam is a religion that profoundly divides mankind and fosters social inequality.

1. Gender discrimination

In a recent news report, the paucity of women in the political sphere of Northern Nigeria (a Muslim-dominated region) was highlighted. It stated that “no woman has been elected to any State House of Assembly in the North West, which comprises Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara.” Tagwai Aji, a Muslim woman from the region who once contested said, “I faced a lot of challenges during the campaigns. They said a Muslim woman was not supposed to lead,” she recalled. “Many Islamic leaders preached against me. There were also threats of physical attack. They tore up my campaign posters, saying they did not want a woman.”

Naja’atu Muhammad, the first Muslim woman elected to the Kano State House of Assembly had her husband brutally murdered by a rival faction. “I have been threatened. I have escaped death by a whisker on few occasions,” she said. “I have been beaten up at the conference centre [where] they tore my dress and left me with only my underwear. I have escaped assassinations on many occasions. I have undergone six surgeries because I was poisoned” (Sunday Punch August, 13, 2016),

Muslim apple polishers quickly respond by saying “true” Islam exalts and respects women – an irony that is obviously self-refuting. Muhammad said: “If I were to order anybody to make prostration to anybody, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate herself before her husband (Miskhat 1:210). This is a master-slave relationship in which wives are viewed as property owned by the husbands not as coequal partners. This is why a Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, publicly declared his wives as part of his assets! It’s a reflection of the Islamic view of women as objects.

Muhammad said “The woman is a toy, whoever takes her let him care for her (or do not lose her)” (Dar ak-kitab al-Lubnani, 180). Muhammad’s companion, Umar ibn Khattab, told his wife “You are a toy, if you are needed we will call you” (Al-Musanaf, 1:2:263). Another caliph, Amru al-Aas, said “women are toys so choose.” (Kanz el-Ummal 21:919) This is why Muslim women who try to ascend the ladder of education or politics are quickly labelled as prostitutes or infidels. After all, who wants a home toy as a leader?

Most Sharia courts consider a woman’s witness to be unreliable. In some, women can’t testify at all since Muhammad has said women are “deficient in intelligence and religion.” Ibn Kathir commenting on Sura 4:34 says: “‘Because Allah has made one of them excel the other’ this is because men are better than women, and a man is better than a women. Therefore, prophethood and great kingship were confined to men.”

Under Sharia, men can freely travel but women must be accompanied by a male escort (mahram). Men have the rights to divorce but women don’t. Men can marry from outside Islam, but women are not permitted to cross that line. Muhammad says women are “wards” or “prisoners” who are unable to control their emotions, thus men are given authority over them, one of which involves beating (which was recently legalised in Pakistan).

He told the men, “none of you must flog his wife as a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day” (Mishkat, 688). Of course, this is not prohibiting domestic violence, but saying it should be well calculated. Aisha narrated when Muhammad sneaked out one night to pray at a graveyard and she quietly followed him from a distance. When he learnt of this, she said, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain” (Muslim 2:2127). Sexism in Islam is as clear as the sun.

2. Racial Discrimination

The low view Muhammad and his fellow Arabs had of blacks was hardly hidden. The narrators of the hadith went out of their way to emphasize that Muhammad was white-skinned. In fact, Ahmad ibn Sulayman said: “Anyone who says that the Prophet was black should be killed.” (Qadi Iyad, Muhammad, 375)

Muhammad said: “I saw (in a dream) a black woman with unkempt hair going out of Medina and settling at Mahai’a. I interpret that as (a symbol of) the epidemic of Medina being transferred to Mahai’a, namely, Al-Juhfa.” (Bukhari 9:162) In case you dreamt of a black woman approaching your city, pack your bags folks, an epidemic is close!

Muhammad said: “Whoever wants to see Satan let him take a look at Nabtal b. al Harith! He was a sturdy black man with long flowing hair, inflamed eyes and dark ruddy cheeks.” (Sirat Rasulallah, 243) Nabtal had mocked Muhammad’s gullibility to which he responded with Sura 9:61: “those who annoy the apostle of God for them is a painful punishment.” But that’s not all, Nabtal’s dark skin had something to do with Satan. In fact, Allah doesn’t want blacks in his paradise:

“The holy prophet said: Allah created Adam. Then He stroke his right shoulder and took out a white race as if they were seeds, and He stroke his left shoulder and took out a black race as if they were coals. Then He said to those on his right said: Towards paradise and I don’t care. He said to those who were on his left shoulder: Towards hell and I don’t care.” (Mishkat 3:117)

This is quite striking considering how black Muslims are willing to kill and die for this racist. He says: “You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.” (Bukhari 1:662) To Muhammad, blacks are not only devils reserved for hell, they are also very low in the pecking order because of their heads. Do you know what raisins look like? They are wrinkled, dark and squishy. This is what Muhammad likened the brain of Africans to. What else do you think empowered Arab Muslims to enslave blacks for centuries? Muhammad himself had black slaves:

Muhammad “bought him [an Arab slave] for two black slaves” (Muslim 10:3901). “Rifaa ibn Zayd presented a black slave boy to the Messenger of Allah.” (Muwatta 21:13.25) Umar narrated: “I came and behold, Allah’s Apostle was staying on a Mashroba (attic room) and a black slave of Allah’s Apostle was at the top of its stairs.” (Bukhari 9:91:368) Aisha said: “Once the Prophet was screening me and I was watching the display of black slaves in the Mosque and (Umar) scolded them.” (2:15:103) Even today, many Arabs still call blacks “Abd” meaning “slave.” In Saudi Arabia, black men are not allowed to hold many government positions.

One Muslim tried to dismiss this blot by quoting: “He is not one of us who calls to tribalism. He is not one of us who fights for the sake of tribalism.” (Abu Dawud, 5102) This doesn’t even leave the floor. Muhammad espoused racial bigotry and tribalism. He said elsewhere: “Among all the people of the world, God chose the Arabs; from among the Arabs, he chose Kinana; from Kinana, he chose Quraish; from the Quraish, he chose Bani Hashim and from Bani Hashim, he chose me.” (Tabaqat 1:2)

In other words, a Bangladeshi, Egyptian or Iranian Muslim is still inferior to an Arab Muslim. Even if you are an Arab, if you are not from the Quraish tribe you are not there yet. In the farm of Islam, some animals are more equal than others.

3. Anti-Semitism

Hate against Jews permeates Islamic teachings to such an extent that loving Jews in a rare trait among Muslims. While some early Quranic verses reflect well on Jews, the later ones hold them in utter contempt. In Sura 4:47 Allah threatens Jews (and Christians) to believe the Quran “before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the sabbath breakers…”

The Quran says sabbath-breaking Jews were turned into apes and swines by Allah (2:65; 7:166). The Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies says Jews “are people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned to swine to punish them. As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews… while the swine are Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus.” Speaking of the Jews: “And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah.” (Q 2:61)

Sura 98:6 says Jews and Christians are “the worst of creatures.” The hadith says that the path of “those who earn your anger” in Sura fatiha Muslims recite daily, refers to Jews while “the path of those who go astray” refers to Christians (Bukhari 1:12:749). Sura 5:64 says: “The Jews say: Allah’s hand is tied up. ‘Be their hands be tied up and be accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter … Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment.”

Muhammad said: “The last hour will not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or tree and a stone or tree would say: Muslim…there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him…” (Muslim 41:6985)

Sayyid Qutb says the Jews “were the main culprits in the conflict that took place between ‘Ali and Mu’awiyah. They led the way in the fabrication of false statements attributed to the Prophet, historical reports and baseless interpretations of Qur’anic statements…[They] have been behind every calamity that has befallen the Muslim communities everywhere.” (In the Shade of the Quran 8; Sura 9)

Yusuf Qaradawi concludes: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler … This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be in the hands of the believers [i.e Muslims]” (MEMRI, Feb. 3, 2009)

This rhetoric, with slight variations, is mouthed by Muslims all around the world. It has been documented that Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the anti-semitic work, Protocols of the Elders of Zion are best sellers among Muslims – the same folks who rush to the streets to slash throats over a movie that attacks Muhammad.

4. Religious bigotry

Admittedly, Muslims and non-Muslims are not regarded as equal. Sura 3:110 says Muslims are “the best of peoples, evolved from mankind” while most non-Muslims “are perverted transgressors.” “The vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve.” (Q 8:55) “Verily the unbelievers are najis [filthy]. So let them not come near al-masjid al-Haram [at Mecca] after this year…” (Q 9:28)

Muhammad Majilesi in his Lightning Bolts against Jews says Jews “should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public bath … It would be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure.” Muhammad said: “A Muslim is not entitled to inherit from a non-Muslim and a non-Muslim is not entitled to inherit from a Muslim.” (Muslim, 1614)

In Islam, when there is a murder, blood money (Diyyah) is often paid to the victim’s family. The list below shows that of Saudi Arabia:

Muslim man (intentional murder) – SR 400,000

Muslim man (unintentional) – SR 300,000

Muslim woman – SR 150,000

Christian/Jewish man – SR 150,000

Christian woman – SR 75,000

Hindu man – SR 20,000

Hindu woman – SR 10,000

(Source: Steve Jobs, Life in Saudi Arabia, Nov. 16, 2014)

You can see that in Saudi Arabia – the cradle of Islam – your religion and gender determine your worth. The life of a Muslim man is valued 40 times that of a Hindu woman. A Fatwa (No. 92261), says “a Muslim should not be killed for killing a belligerent non-Muslim according to the consensus of the scholars.” The witness of a non-Muslim is also regarded as unreliable in the Sharia court since infidels are “inherently dishonest.” When a Muslim drags a Christian to a Sharia court, he will certainly win that case.

Muslims build mosques all over Western nations but they can’t accept church buildings in their own land. Under sharia, its legal for a Muslim to convert a non-Muslim to Islam, but a serious crime for a Muslim to be converted from Islam. These spring from the Islamic frame of mind that non-Muslims are just animals to be used or killed at will.

5. Dhimmitude

In an Islamic state, Christians and Jews who refuse to convert to Islam have to pay the jizya tax and accept the status of a Dhimmi (humiliation or subjugation). This is hinted at in Sura 9:29 “Fight [them]… until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Ibn Kathir explains that “Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.”

Muhammad said: “Do not greet the Jews and Christians before they greet you and when you meet any of them on the roads, force him to go to the narrowest part of it.” (Muslim 41:6985). The Pact of Umar with the Christians in Arabia mandated:
“We will wear our customary clothes wherever we are…refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating our books in public, in Muslim fairways and markets.” This is dhimmitude.

As a Dhimmi, you become a second class citizen while Muslims become the master race. They regulate your clothing, employment, trade, housing and conduct. This is what many Christians and Jews in Sharia-controlled regions are enduring. Failure to pay the Jizya is a crime that can also be punished with death because jizya is the source of livelihood for Muslims. Thus, non-Muslims literally work themselves to death for Muslims. Isn’t this reminiscent of the apartheid in South Africa?

Islam is a cauldron of hate, bigotry and inequality, whereas the New Testament puts male, female, slave, free, Greek or Jew as “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28)

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Our Final Authority – the Bible or the Church?

The question of final authority is a major difference between Bible Christianity and Catholicism. The former adheres to sola scriptura while the latter to what we call “sola ecclesia” (Church alone). Sola scriptura teaches that the Bible alone is the final and infallible rule of faith for the church and all other authorities – traditions, church, creeds – are neither equal nor superior to it. This is because the Bible is “God-breathed” and thus carries the highest authority (2 Tim. 2:16). Consequently, teachings, practices or revelations contradicting the Bible are rejected.

“Sola ecclesia” on the other hand, is the belief that the Church, specifically the Magisterium (headed by the Pope), is the final and infallible authority, thus the Catholic Church is the supreme authority on what Scripture and Tradition is and what they say. The Catholic catechism (1:2:85) says:
“The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone.”

1. Logically, there can only be one final authority just as there is one captain in a ship. We can’t serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). But Catholicism has a “3-legged stool” of authority – Bible, Traditions and the Church. So what happens when these 3 final authorities contradict themselves? Many Catholics often resort to their Church and discard the other two.

2. By choosing their Church as final authority, Catholics embrace a fallacious assumption that Rome alone can define the extent and meaning of both the Bible and traditions. But its impossible for the Catholic church to be subservient to two authorities that she alone defines and interprets. This results in a cultic loyalty to a religious system for truth and morals.

3. This blind loyalty makes Catholics attack the infallible authority of the Bible. They try to prove sola ecclesia by attacking sola scriptura. This is often done by twisting Bible texts to “prove” that we are to follow the Church (their leaders) and not the Bible alone. This is a fallacy of circular reasoning because they are appealing to the authority of the Bible as a basis of rejecting its authority. Every Catholic is caught in this trap. He blindly assumes that Rome is right so he either twists the Bible to conform to it or attacks its inerrancy.

4. The prophets of old, the Lord Jesus and His disciples appealed to the Scriptures as their final authority (Jos. 1:8; Ps. 119:15; Mt. 4:10; 15:2-9; Acts 15:15-18; 17:11-12, 1 Cor. 4:6). They didn’t appeal to an institution. Apostle John said “But these things were WRITTEN that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn. 20:31) All that is needed for Christians to know God’s truth and receive eternal life is written in the Bible. Not partly preserved in Scripture, partly in traditions and majorly in the Magisterium. We are glad God didn’t preserve even elephants that way, leaving us to find their tusks with John, dig up their tails with Tertullian or bring in their bodies from a little town in Italy.

5. Some Catholics claim that the church is the final authority because it is “the pillar and foundation of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15) One must have a preconceived notion of sola ecclesia to cite this verse. The text differentiates between the church and truth. Just as pillars and foundations support and uphold a thing, the church preaches and upholds the truth, but it doesn’t learn the truth from herself, but from the voice of God speaking in Scripture.

6. Since God has the ultimate authority over all things and has revealed His mind and will in Scripture, only the Bible has the highest authority. This chops off the “3-headed” Cerebus of Rome. Only the Bible is God-breathed, not traditions or the Magisterium.

7. Catholics insist they need their “Spirit-led” church to explain the Bible to them. But Catholic scholar, Raymond Brown, contends: “Roman Catholics who appeal explicitly to Spirit-guided church are often unaware that their church has seldom if ever definitely pronounced on the literal meaning of a passage of Scripture i.e what an author meant when he wrote it.” (Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday Dell Pub., 1997, 31)

For all the maximal authority and “institutional certainty” that Rome brandish, she rarely interprets the Bible. This is like a psychic claiming to have superior foresight while being strangely vague about names, dates and places. The Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible has been given to every believer to understand it. One doesn’t need a blind submission to a religious system to understand the Bible (1 Cor. 2:12).

8. Catholic apologists argue: “If the ‘Bible alone view’ is the final authority, why are there doctrinal disunity and different Bible interpretations among Protestants?” To be sure, the Bible is not the cause of this disunity. There will always be differences in people’s understanding and interpretations of an infallible source. Catholic apologist, Robert Sungenis surprisingly agrees:

“First, Jesus himself, the infallible, incarnate word of God, did not create unanimous theological ‘unity’ among his hearer. In fact, Jesus was disheartened that so many people argued with him and rejected his message of truth. At many points, his message divided more than it unified. Paul encountered the same opposition, among both Jews and Gentile converts. Hence, it is very short-sighted to suggest that infallibility is the criterion of unity.” (Not by Scripture Alone, Queenship Pub., 1997, 285-286)

There are schisms and conflicting views among Catholics – both clergy and laity – on several issues. Universalism and inclusivism have made many of them smoothly embrace Eastern/New Age spirituality. If Rome’s Magisterium has failed to unite Catholics, its hypocritical for her apologists to fault sola scriptura because of “disunity” among Protestants.

9. History shows that Catholicism is a highly dubious religious system. Many popes (and councils) have erred and contradicted one another. The Magisterium has reversed its stance on critical issues and made up doctrines out of the whole cloth (e.g Mary’s assumption). Catholicism fits Jesus’ description of the sinking sand which truth-seeking Christians must not put their trust in (Mt. 7:24-27). There is absolutely no meeting point between Bible Christianity and Roman Catholicism on this issue. Every Catholic will have to make a choice: either to follow the inspired Word of God or the words of men.