Is Falwell To Be Blamed For Calling Muhammad Terrorist?
By: Ali Sina
The Executive Board of the (U.S.) National
Council of Churches voted unanimously to "condemn and
repudiate" the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s statements on CBS-TV’s
"60 Minutes" about Islam and its founder Muhammad, saying
Falwell’s statements endangered the lives of Christians around the
world. The Board said:
''His statements about Islam and the Prophet Muhammed are not only
factually untrue and offensive, but are dangerous to the national security
of every nation where Christians and Muslims are seeking a peaceful
The irony of this declaration is self-evident. Why a statement made by
a preacher anywhere should endanger the lives of Christians around the
world? Let us assume that Rev. Falwell’s statements about the Prophet
Muhammad are “not factual untrue and offensive”, should this be the
ground for endangering the lives of the Christians around the world?
When the National Endowment of Arts exhibited, Serrano’s
sacrilegious, so-called art, showing Jesus in a bottle of urine, in New
York City, the Christians were offended, but they never endangered
anyone’s life. People are allowed to criticize Jesus and say whatever
they want to say about him, or for that matter, about the founders of any
religion. Why is it that only when someone says something against Muhammad
or Islam lives should be endangered?
What Falwell said was not factually untrue. Muhammad did things that by
today’s standard would be seen as acts of terrorism. He raided towns
without any previous warning, killed unarmed men who had gone to the
fields and markets after their daily business, captured their wives and
children and distributed the younger women among his soldiers while always
keeping the prettiest ones for himself and having sex with them in the
same day he murdered their fathers, husbands and loved ones. These are not
fables but historic facts recorded and preserved by Muslims themselves.
See for example the capture of Kheibar.
It is obvious that Falwell’s comments, calling Muhammad a terrorist
are inflammatory and will put at risk the lives of thousands of Christian
missionaries and humanitarian aid workers, as well as their Christian
partners abroad. Yet they are not “shockingly uninformed” as NCC
claims. These are facts readily available to anyone who cares to read the
Quran and the Hadith, the main sacred writings of Islam.
Many freethinkers in Islamic countries have known these facts for
centuries yet they never dared to denounce Islam publicly because they
knew it would have meant their assured death. Those who were less cautious
paid the price of calling a spade a spade with their lives. The question
is whether we should perpetuate this lie and allow a terrorist ideology
flourish and breed more terrorists because they intimidate us. If today we
dare not tell the truth because we fear retribution, what would we do
tomorrow when the number of Muslims grows through excessive breeding and
by converting our youth through their deceitful and aggressive
proselytism? By protecting
Islam are we not sacrificing the truth? By safeguarding the “Muslim
sensibilities” aren’t we endangering freedom of speech? Which one is
the greatest evil of all?
“A Christian leader from the Christian Conference of Asia - among
guests at the NCC Executive Board meeting -reported that in retaliation
for Falwell's words, a militant Islamic group attacked a Christian
hospital in Pakistan overnight. And the Associated Press reported this
afternoon that thousands of Muslims in India's Jammu-Kashmir state
demonstrated in the streets today to protest Falwell's remarks.”
Reported Boston.com. Also the state radio of Islamic Republic of Iran
quoted Ayatollah Hossein Nuri-Hamedani calling on Muslims "not to
stay silently seated in the face of such insults and propaganda".
This is tantamount to a fatwa, a religious ruling binding upon Muslim to
rise for Jihad or kill someone as in the case of Ayatollah Khomeini’s
fatwa to assassinate Salman Rushdie in 1989.
But we should not forget that such calls to make Jihad against the
Kafirs, and orders to assassinate those who sacrilege Islam are not new
phenomena. This has been the way Muslims have dealt with those who oppose
their views since the time of the Prophet himself. There is virtually not
a single day that somewhere in the planet someone does not become a victim
of Islamic terrorism.
Sooner or later the world must face the bitter truth that behind
Islamic terrorism is the Islamic ideology. That Islam and terrorism are
inseparable as are Nazism and violence. The assumption that by
appeasement, the Muslims can be won over and they would eventually change
their values to accept the Western values of tolerance is a foolhardy