BigPeace: ‘My Journey Toward Islamoawareness’
Like many others, on 9/11 I didn’t know anything about Islam except it was a Middle Eastern religion. I knew very little about its founder, Muhammad, or about the Quran.
Even after 9/11, I believed Islamic terrorists were a crazy minority who, no doubt in my mind, were taking peaceful teachings and manipulating them to fit their own agenda. It wasn’t until after the cartoon riots I really began to explore what it was about Islam that motivated such violence.
When I read this essay at BigPeace, it was almost as though it was about me, about my journey toward Islamoawareness.
I use the term “Islamoawareness” because people who are critical of Islamic doctrine are often smeared as “Islamophobes”. I reject this label because a “phobia” is an irrational fear of something, but to fear something that is, indeed, out to kill you is the height of rationality.I started this journey after 9/11, but not immediately after. As shocked as I was that nearly 3,000 lives were brutally snuffed out by Islamic terrorists, I bought the line that George Bush and Tony Blair parroted; namely, that Islam is a “religion of peace” that had been “hijacked” by extremists. So, I dismissed Osama bin Laden as nothing more than a homicidal extremist, and I really didn’t examine it any deeper.
But then I happened to see a billboard on Sunset Blvd. around May 2005. The billboard had some words on it I had never seen before, including “dhimmitude”, “Eurabia” and “Bat Y’eor”, and the address of a website, jihadwatch.org.
Naturally curious, I wanted to know what these new words meant, so that night I Googled “dhimmitude”, and my journey to Islamoawareness officially began. I visited the Jihadwatch website, found out about Robert Spencer, started to read his books, got a copy of the Qu’ran to verify the verses he was quoting, and read many other books besides.
While I continued my education, buses were bombed in London on 7/7/05. Then, the Muhammad cartoons were published later that year and outraged Muslims actually KILLED people over them. It seemed the Muslim protesters were saying, “Islam is a religion of peace; and if you say otherwise, we will kill you!” and that absurd irony made me seriously doubt that Islam really was a religion of peace, and made me dig further.
I learned about “The Verse of the Sword” (9:5) that says “slay infidels wherever you find them”, the verse condoning wife-beating (4:34), the hundreds of other violent, intolerant verses, and the all-important distinction between Meccan verses and the Medinan verses in the Qu’ran. (The more violent ones are considered “more true” to Islamic theologians.)
I learned about the countries where Islam rules, and saw that they almost always are places where freedoms are denied, economies stagnate, ideas are repressed and human rights violated.
I learned about the barbaric system known as Sharia law and its death penalty for homosexuality, adultery, and apostasy, and how it codifies second-class status for non-Muslim and all women. Iran actually executes gays routinely, simply because they are gay!