THE DEAD HAND OF ISLAM
(By Colin Maine)
has been a resurgence of Islam recently. This has plunged the countries where
this has happened into the dark ages. They have been set back a thousand years.
In THE SYDNEY MORNING
HERALD dated 13.2.79 it was reported that Pakistan is going to bring back
stoning. Moslems caught drinking alcohol will be given 80 lashes, and thieves
will have either their foot or hand cut off.
In Iran men are sent to
the firing squads on charges of "warring against God and his
emissaries". Courts have frozen pending divorces by women.
secondary schools were closed after being raided by Khomeini's supporters, and
unveiled women were being attacked in the streets...Women who were protesting
about Khomeini's speech telling women in the government to wear clothes covering
hair, neck, arms and feet, were threatened with shouts of 'get dressed or get
Also in Iran, Moslem
demonstrators shouting "purification by fire", set alight the red
light district in Tehran. Prostitutes were attacked, brothels, bars and
An Abadan cinema was set
alight and 377 people were burnt alive. Those who set fire to it closed the exit
doors from the outside, and systematically set it ablaze at its four corners.
NEWSWEEK, September 4, 1978 reported that there had been 30 cinema fires in Iran
in the previous month.
It was reported on
February 6, 1978 that the 23-year-old Princess Misha was executed in Jiddah
either for marrying a commoner or adultery.
In Malaysia Moslem
fanatics have been invading Hindu temples and smashing their images and gods.
This could start a religious war. There are some Moslems who are demanding that
the Islamic punishment of stoning and whipping be imposed.
On the Australian
Broadcasting Commission radio news on May 9, 1979 it was reported that in Iran
militant Moslems announced that they intended to convert the world to Islam, and
that their first task was to "root out deviations."
These events are not as
Moslems apologists assert, aberrations but an inevitable outcome of the basic
teachings of Islam. All can be justified either by the KORAN or by the HADITHS--the
traditions concerning the acts and sayings of Mohammed. Both are considered a
guide as to how life should be ordered in an Islamic society.
The KORAN was written down
20 years after Mohammed's death, and the first HADITH 220 years after his death.
Many HADITHS were invented in the intervening years to support a particular
course of action.
According to both HADITH
and KORAN, Islam must be the world's most oppressive religion. It is
undemocratic; it is puritanical; it is barbarously punitive; it oppresses women;
its laws are cruel to animals; it is intolerant towards other religions; it is
anti-intellectual; it places restrictions upon art.
CRUCIFIXION. This is
permitted by the KORAN for "Making war against Allah and his
FLOGGING. 100 lashes is
given for adultery or fornication. 80 lashes is given for bearing false witness.
(Here this is only mentioned in reference to charges against chaste women).
Flogging is also given for
drinking alcohol. No punishment is prescribed in the KORAN for this. It merely
states that it is a sin and an abomination. In practice in many Moslem
countries, 80 lashes is the penalty for merely drinking a glass of wine.
Yet there is no mention
whatever in the KORAN about drugs, and in countries like Iran where alcohol is
strictly forbidden, there are estimated to be 2 million drug addicts; heroin and
hashish are openly sold in the streets, and ''addicts huddle by an open drain
with rags over their heads inhaling amid a stench of stale urine."
MUTILATION. "As to
the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands." So not just one hand
is to be cut off but both of them.
WOMEN TO BE IMMURED.
"If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four
reliable witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine
them to their houses until Death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some
other way." So for some vague sexual trifle women can be locked up for
their entire life.
PENALTY FOR MURDER. The
KORAN seems to regard sexual misdemeanours as being more reprehensible than
murder. For killing another human being, one has only to make a compensation to
the relatives of the person killed. These are the only references I could find
in the KORAN to punishment, so for most crimes we have to rely on the HADITH.
STONING. Though there is
no mention in the KORAN about stoning for adultery, Mohammed did use the
punishment according to a HADITH. One account says that a man who had become a
Moslem confessed to fornication. Mohammed ordered him to be stoned at the
Musalla (Mosque outside Medina). When the stones struck him he ran away, but he
was caught and stoned until he was dead. Then Mohammed spoke well of him and
prayed over him.
Another HADITH relates
that a Jew and Jewess were brought before Mohammed for fornication. Omar
"They were stoned on
the level ground and I saw the man leaning over the woman to shield her from the
I find this story rather
far fetched, as it relates that the Jew was brought a BIBLE, and was told to
read from it. He is supposed to have tried to cover the words about stoning with
his hand. He would have been extremely stupid to have tried to do this in full
view of a group of Moslems, as this would only draw attention to the words.
Women will be happy to
know that it is considered laudable to spare their modesty should they be
stoned. A hole dug, and she is buried up to her waist before she is killed by
having rocks thrown at her.
The DICTIONARY OF ISLAM
says that stoning "has become almost obsolete in modern times." So
this religion is becoming more repressive, not less. The victims will be happy
to know that they will get the full funeral rites.
THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN
Islam is very harsh on
women, particularly in sexual matters. The KORAN says: "Your wives are as
filth unto you. So approach your filth when or how ye will." The word
'filth' comes from till--to work by plowing, sowing, and raising crops from.
So a man can have sex with
one of his wives at any time, and in any way that he wants. The woman does not
have similar rights. As punishment, the KORAN says that if women are disloyal
their husbands should refuse to sleep with them. Sexuality in women seems to be
considered undesirable. The KORAN ways that slaves girls should be "chaste,
not lustful." In the Moslem heaven men will be given dark-eyed virgins who
are perpetually young. There is no mention of women being provided with virile
young men, so they had better take their knitting with them as there will be
little else to do. The only pleasures described in the KORAN are sitting on
thrones, walking through gardens eating fruits, and drinking heavily wine (which
does not even intoxicate).
As Ramon Lull said of it:
What will their paradise be but a tavern of unwearied gorging, and a brothel of
ISLAM HYPOCRITICAL ON
The Moslem religion is
completely hypocritical on sexual matters and it is all in favor of the men. The
mere performance of ceremony permits a man to have sex with any of his four
wives in any manner and at any time.
Also the KORAN permits men
to use women captured in war for their sexual amusement. They can also be
bought. Mohammed himself received two slave girls as a present from the governor
of Egypt. One he gave to a man called Hassan, and the other he kept for himself,
and she subsequently had a son by him. The KORAN allows a Moslem to have as many
concubines as he wants.
The SOCIAL LAWS OF THE
KORAN says: "...he is permitted to cohabit with his female slave. In this
case nothing is said as to number; they are allowed to him without any
Yet Islam punishes women
more severely than men for sexual offenses. In a Moslem country this year a man
and a woman were flogged for adultery. The man got 25 lashes and the woman 100
On June 19, 1979 it was
reported in THE AUSTRALIAN that an Iranian woman was executed for having illicit
sexual relations. The man involved got a lighter sentence. The report said that
the woman was put to death by her mother, father and a brother.
Though he placed such
severe restrictions on women, Mohammed himself had as much sex as he wanted. His
wife Ayesha who he married when she was 10, and he was 53 said of Mohammed:
"He loved three things, women, perfume and food, and of the first two he
had his heart's desire.
Mohammed had 11 wives, as
well as concubines, even though he restricted his followers to four wives. A
'special revelation' from Allah permitted him to have as many wives as he liked.
Oddly enough his revelations always seemed to tell him the sort of things that
he wanted to know.
We have already seen that
women can be punished for lewdness with life imprisonment. Yet the following
verse of the KORAN says: "If two men among you are guilty of lewdness,
punish them both. If they repent and amend let them both alone."
As two men are mentioned
this must only refer to homosexuality. One translation says "punish them
When he tires of one of
his wives a Moslem can get rid of her by a mere verbal formula. The SOCIAL LAWS
OF THE KORAN says "The ceremony of divorce among Muhammedans is very
simple, the husband merely saying 'Thou art divorced' or 'I herewith dismiss
thee'." The KORAN does not give a woman the right to a divorce for any
Women are also
oppressed in other ways, and are regarded as being very much inferior beings.
The KORAN says that men are a degree above them and that they should be obedient
to their husbands, and that for disloyalty they can be beaten.
It was Mohammed who
imposed the veil on women. Millions of women through large parts of the world in
the last 1200 years have never been able to go out without wearing the veil.
I have myself spent
1-1/2 years in Aden, not far south of the area where Mohammed spent his life. I
have seen women completely covered with veils that cover their entire faces in
humidity so high that as soon as one puts on a shirt it is soaking with sweat.
If they had appeard
unveiled they would probably have been killed. It is worth noting that the
Moslem religion mostly exists in countries that are near the Equator, so this
impost_ tion of the veil is not a trivial matter.
The Islamic law says of
circumcision and clitorectomy, "It is an obligation for men and women to do
it for themselves and their children, and if they neglect it, the Imam may force
them to it for it is right and necessary."
In THE SYDNEY MORNING
HERALD of January 16, 1979 there was an article on clitorectomy (female
circumcision) in Egypt. Nawal Alsa'adawi, the Egyptian gynaecologist and
psychiatrist, was reported to have said: "You can't separate sexual
oppression from political and religious oppression."
In an article on the
practice it was claimed that nearly all of the young girls in Egyptian villages,
where most of the people live, are circumcised. The article went on: "This
circumcision is, in effect, castration of women. For the women the pleasure of
sex is gone."
Some of the girls bleed to
death. Others develop abcesses. The article claimed that the religious
establishment found her view too threatening. Nawal defended Islam, and claimed
that it was not responsible for these circumcisions, and that Mohammed was
progressive in regard to women. I have shown in my section on this that this was
not the case. She could hardly do otherwise in a country as religious as Egypt.
She has enough of a problem trying to prevent these mutilations from taking
place, without challenging the very basis of the religion itself.
WOMEN BEFORE ISLAM
Women had a much higher
status in Arabia before Islam. There are accounts of women fighting in battles,
riding across the desert, visiting men alone, and taking part in public debates.
Each of these stories ends
with the words: "This was before the Apostle received the revelation about
veiling." The freedom women enjoyed before Islam is shown by the example of
Khadija, Mohammed's first wife. She was an heiress, and business woman, and she
proposed to him.
Women took a great part in
the apposition to Mohammed. One of his foremost opponents was Hind the wife of
Abu Sofian, the leader of the Meccans.
When Mohammed finally
marched on Mecca and captured it, Abu Sofian made a speech to the people telling
them that it was useless to oppose the Moslems. Hind jumped up beside him and
shouted: "Don't take any notice of this fat old fool. A fine protector of
his people he is."
A poetess called Asma who
lived in Medina wrote some satirical verses, making fun of her fellow citizens'
adoption of Mohammed as their religious leader. These were passed from mouth to
mouth, holding him up to ridicule. Moham med arranged for her to be
assassinated. She was stabbed in her tent, surrounded by her five children.
Islam is the only religion
in the world which teaches that converts can be won at the point of a sword. The
KORAN says that those who won't accept Islam are to be killed. "When ye
encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great
slaughter among them."
The KORAN says:
"Fight those who believe not in Allah" and that Moslems are to fight
against non-believers until "there prevail justice and faith in Allah
altogether and everywhere." We have already seen what kind of 'justice'
exists when Islam is established as the religion of a country.
The KORAN says:
"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike, but it is possible that ye
dislike a thing which is good for you." "If anyone desires a religion
other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of rim."
The KORAN continues: "How many populations have we destroyed."
A great deal is made of
the tolerance of Islam towards Christianity and Judaism. This is exaggerated.
Islam was more tolerant towards these two religions than it was towards
paganism, but that is not saying much.
Mohammed regarded the
Christian doctrine of the trinity as being the worship of three gods. Also that
the central teaching of Christianity--that Jesus is the son of God--is
blasphemous. The KORAN says that those who believe these two things will go to
hell. The KORAN says: "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the
Christians for your friends and protectors. They are friends and protectors to
It should be remembered
that the Moslems delivered an entirely unprovoked attack on many Christian
countries. When they took Christian Constantinople the streets ran with blood. A
great part of the Moslem empire consisted of countries that had formerly been
Just before Mohammed died,
he expressed the wish that there "not remain any faith but that of Islam
throughout the whole land of Arabia." In accordance with his wishes the
Jews and Christians were expelled from that country.
The pagans bore the brunt
of Islamic fury. Sir William Muir says of these: ". . .but for the rest the
sword is not to be sheathed till they be exterminated, or submit to the faith
which has become superior to every other religion."
The KORAN says:
"...fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them." Another
translation says: "Kill those who ascribe partners to God." Again, the
KORAN says that pagans are unclean. Other translations use the word 'polytheist'
instead of 'pagan' and one translates this verse as 'polytheists are filth'.
This is sometimes
considered to be justified as most people are ignorant of the nature of the
religion of Arabia before Islam. The image conjured up is of hideous idols, and
human sacrifices, and corrupt priesthood. This is not borne out by the facts.
There was no religious
prejudice or persecution before Mohammed and charities existed to look after
orphans; they also collected money to buy the freedom of slaves.
The Meccans did not turn
against him until he attacked their gods, and announced that their ancestors
were in hell.
Glubb says that the
attitude of the pagans towards their temples and images were similar to that of
the British to Westheimer Abbey, and other similar places in England
It is worth noting that
there was no priesthood in the paganism of Arabia of the time. Though Islam is
not supposed to have priests, the equivalent has developed in most Moslem
countries, and a religious establishment has arisen, which in many of them has
enormous power. So in this respect Islam was a retrograde step.
Also the god concept of
Islam can hardly be an improvement on paganism, as even though Allah is called
'the merciful, the beneficent', this is hardly borne out by his action in
torturing all non-believers in hell forever. A description of the Moslem hell
will give some idea of the nature of the sort of god they believe in.
THE MOSLEM HELL
In the Moslem hell one's
skin is constantly being renewed after being roasted through so the victim can
"taste the penalty." They will be wearing a garment of fire. They will
eat foul fruits and be made to drink boiling water. Over their heads will be
poured boiling water. The water is not just boiling but foetid and "in
gulps will he sip it, but never will he be near swallowing down his throat.
Death will come to him from every quarter, yet will he not die; and in front of
him will be a chastisement unrelenting." It will last forever, and it will
not be lightened and he will be in despair. They will beg for death but it will
be denied. As if that were not enough--"there will be maces of iron to
The intolerance of Islam
towards polytheism (the worship of more than one god) has drowned the world in
blood. This was particularly the case in India. In most parts of the world the
pagans found it easier to give in and become Moslems. But the Hindus were
prepared to fight.
When the Moslems got to
India they attacked the Hindus, killed them, and destroyed their temples and
images. In Kanauj alone 10,000 temples were destroyed, and 50,000 Hindus were
The Hindus Bet on with
each other quite well. There has been very little conflict between the various
sects of that religion. As far as they are concerned a man can worship anything
he wants or nothing at all. Hinduism is very tolerant in the matter of religion.
The religious strife
between Moslems and Hindus is still continuing. An eyewitness to the religious
fighting during the British Raj states:
"The moment the crowd
decided that one of the opposite religion had been killed, then everyone in one
form of dress would turn on the others... Thousands upon thousands an hour being
killed, and of course it was a most terrifying sight. They'd pick up any weapon
they could, they shouted, they smashed, they always tried to whittle out the
opposition so that they were heavily outnumbered... Or you could go across
Harrar Bridge, and you could see them being laid on their faces, with their
heads poking out over the bridge, and being beheaded into the river, and their
bodies being thrown in afterwards. Of course, at ter the riot the river was
practically choked with dead bodies ..."
In the years since Islam
was first established vast numbers of people must have died as a result of its
teachings. Glubb estimates that perhaps one or two people might have been killed
in a normal Bedoin raid. In the religious wars that took place when Mohammed
proclaimed Jihad (holy war) many millions have been killed.
When India was granted
independence over 1,000,000 were killed in the strife which broke out between
members of the two religions.
Even as I write these
words reports are coming in from all over the world--in India, Indonesia, Iran,
the Philippines, North Africa--of Moslems fighting each other, and the members
of other religions. One does not read of Buddhists, Jains, Parsees fighting
members of other religions. It's always the Moslems who are involved--apart from
Protestants and Catholics fighting each other in Northern Ireland.
One can only conclude that
there is something about this religion that causes this to happen. This is the
'holy' book of Islam, the KORAN, that incites its followers to attack and kill
those who belong to other faiths.
THE SUPPRESSION OF
One myth that is widely
believed is that Islam promoted knowledge, but this is not the case. In later
centuries a high civilization did develop in Moslem countries, but this was
despite Islam, not because of it.
Gibb says: "The
struggle to subordinate all intellectual life to the authority of religion went
on for many centuries in successive regions of the Muslim world."
In the first and second
centuries of Islam "a Moslem's duty was to practice Islam and not
medicine." The KORAN and the mosque remained the basis of Arab education
until the Abbasids initiated a great age of learning in the 9th century.
Arab civilization was
built on that of Greece, Persia, and Rome. Islam initially set these back. It is
said that the Moslems preserved the knowledge of the Greeks, but it was already
being kept by the Byzantines, and Moslems merely continued this process. All the
evidence indicates that Islam was a danger to Greek thought, and that it was
just a lucky accident that it survived at all under this religion.
In 744 the rationalist
Caliph Yazid 111 decreed that the doctrine of predestination should give way to
that of free will. Then in 762 the capital of Islam was moved to Baghdad, in
Persia, and civilization began again to flourish in the middle east. This owed
more to the ancient civilization of Persia, which had already been 1,000 years
old when Mohammad was born, than it did to Islam.
"... Persian songs,
as well as Persian ideas and thoughts, won the day...and paved the way for a new
era distinguished by the cultivation of science and scholarly pursuits."
The Islamic world has sunk
back into ignorance again, and even in such great universities as Al-Azhar at
Cairo--the largest Moslem university in the world--the KORAN is the basis of
education. In many schools the children learn nothing else. The KORAN remains
the basis of the law, and the foundation of the Moslem legal, judicial, and
political system, and the guide to every aspect of life.
Another myth about Islam
is that it promoted equality. In reality Islam permitted the ultimate
inequality--slavery. As Muir says of Mohammed: "He rivetted the
fetter." "There is no obligation whatever on a Moslem to release his
slaves.' Mohammed himself had slaves--17 men and 11 women.
One of the early Caliphs,
Omar "insisted on a medieval Apartheid with the Arabs as master race."
In subsequent years the
Arabs had one of the worst records as slavers, and this has continued right up
till the later years of the 20th century and may still be going on. Some of the
worst feudal regimes in history were based on Islam as is the present regime in
Mohammed himself set a
procedure for this by ruling Arabia as absolute dictator. Nutting says:
"Mohammed concentrated all power, temporal and spiritual in his own hands,
and had combined in himself the offices of lawgiver, chief judge, and commander,
head of state and head of church."
He never bothered (or
Allah never revealed to him) to convey the method by which he was to be
succeeded. After his death this led to the bloody wars between the Shitite and
DON'T PRAY FOR
On returning from a raid
against a tribe called the Banu Lahyan, Mohammed stopped at the grave of his
mother. The following 'revelation' prevented him from praying for her soul:
"It is not fitting for the Prohet and those who believe, that they should
pray for forgiveness for pagans, even though they be next of kin ... "
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
According to Moslem halal
rites, when any animal is slaughtered, the man who kills it must face towards
Mecca, and say a prayer when he cuts its throat. It is essential for the animal
to bleed to death, and it must be fully conscious, and cannot be tranquilized,
The very essence of Islam
is a supine acceptance of a grovelling acceptance of one's lot. The word tIslam'
itself means submission. That is the will of Allah. They believe that nothing
happens without His permission, so there is no point in trying to do anything
about improving this life.
The doctrine of
predestination is taught in the KORAN, 9.51 and in other passages.
ISLAM AND ART
Islam had a bad effect on
art, as Mohammed disliked painting, music and poetry. Luckily, the liking of the
Arabs for the last two of these was too great for his influence to have much
effect. It was on painting and sculpture that Islam had the worst influence, as
all representations of either human or animal forms were forbidden, so their art
was restricted to mindless patterns.
Mohammed said that those
who decorate their tombs and churches with paintings "were the worst part
of all creation."
The example of the life of
Mohammed is taken, with the KORAN, as a guide to how life should be lived. It is
therefore very important to consider his character, and acts. When I began
writing this pamphlet, I did not think that I would like Mohammed. But the more
I read about him the less attractive did I find him.
He was guilty of the worst
crimes any man can commit-murder. On one occasion he had the entire male
population of a Jewish tribe, the Bani Quraizah, massacred and then had the
women and children sold into slavery. Every book on Mohammed mentions this
incident, and the KORAN, 33.26 refers to it.
Mohammed had people killed
for the most trivial reasons. A man called Kinana ibn All al Huquiq, who was the
leader of a Jewish tribe whose fort was captured by the Moslems, tried to
conceal the fact that he had gold. When an informer told Mohammed of this he had
Kinana tortured by having hot coals put on his chest till he was nearly dead,
and then he was killed.
A man called Al Nadhr, who
was a teller of tales, used to say of Mohammed to his audiences: "Are not
my stories as good as his?" For this Mohammed orderd that his head be
struck off. After the battle of Badr a man called Uqba was taken prisoner. When
he was being taken away to be executed he said to Mohammed: "What will
become of my little children." Mohammed replied: Hellfire."
It might be thought that I
am quoting from books which are hostile to Mohammed. This is not so. Only Muir's
book is slightly hostile to him. All the others go out of their way to portray
him in a favourable light. We have enough evidence in the KORAN of Mohammed's
cruel nature, in the punishments he ordered, his descriptions of hell, and his
incitements to his followers to kill people.
Though he ordered the
horrible mutilation of the cutting off of hands for theft, he was himself one of
the biggest thieves in history. A 'revelation' from Allah permitted Mohammed to
keep one-fifth of the spoils captured from the towns his followers invaded, and
the caravans they raided.
He was incredibly prudish.
At Medina it was the practice to fertilise the female date palm tree by hand.
Mohammed was so disgusted by this that he forbade his followers to practice it.
The result was that hardly any of the trees bore fruit, so he had to rescind his
At the same time he was
extremely lecherous, as can be seen by the large number of wives he had. Karl
Brookelmann, in his book, HISTORY OF THE ISLAMIC PEOPLES, says that Mohammed's
death was brought on by "an excess of pleasuretaking in the harem."
The only thing that can be
said in his favour was that he did on occasion refrain from killing people. I
can't myself see that to be a particularly great virtue.
It might be wondered how a
man with this sort of character could become so admired, and could attain the
position he did. What is not realised is that many people of the time detested
After ten years of
preaching in Mecca he only had acquired 70 followers. When he secured a base at
Medina, he used the same methods as Hitler or the American gangster Al Capone to
establish his religion. All the accounts that tell us of him are biased in his
favour, as death or exile awaited anyone who criticised Mohammed or the KORAN
when Islam became the state religion of Arabia.
It might be said that
Mohammed was a man of his time. but we must judge him according to the standards
of today, not those of 1200 years ago. We should try to improve on the
ethics of the past.
Moslems claim that Islam is a religion for our time, and it is by the ideals of
this century that we should measure it, not by those of the 7th century.
According to these
standards Mohammed was a cruel barbarian, merciless and fanatical. He introduced
religious hatred into large parts of the world that before were tolerant on such
matters. He curtailed the freedom of women. He endorsed slavery. He broke up
families. He ordered cruel punishments. The world would have been a better place
if he had never been born.
From publication of the
Rationalist Association of N.S.W. 58 Regent Street, Chippendale, N.S.W. 2008,