Prominent terrorism expert and Islamic scholar, Raymond Ibrahim, ruffled politically correct feathers today with the publication of his latest column on the world renowned Islamic Cleric, Yusuf Qaradawi. In his article, Ibrahim discussed the Imam’s rejection of other religions and his call for total obedience to Allah, even unto murder. Ibrahim focused on the direct links to Islamic doctrine and theology in Qaradawi’s speeches and pointed out that everything Dr. Qaradawi teaches is directly from the verses of Islam’s holy book, the Qur’an, and the Sunnah.
Ibrahim focused on a speech made by Dr. Qaradawi on al-Jazeera to an estimated 60 million viewers. He appeared on the popular Arab language program, Al-Sharia wa Al-Haya (“Sharia and Life”), to discuss the Islamic faith. According to Ibrahim:
“Towards the end of the show, the host asked Qaradawi what he thought about the fact that Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun, the grand mufti of Syria, had earlier said to an American delegation: “If [Muslim prophet] Muhammad asked me to reject Christianity or Judaism, I would have rejected him.””
“Visibly agitated, Qaradawi erupted as follows:”
“No scholar of Islam or even average Muslim would ever say such words. If you believe that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, then you must obey him—for he does not command except that which is good. So, even if he tells you to kill, you must— … The story about our prophet Musa [Moses], when al-Khidr killed the boy and Musa said “you killed and you did!” But then he [Khidr] revealed why he killed the boy, and why he punctured the boat. So we cannot distort the facts in order to please the people. Let the people be satisfied with the Truth [Sharia teachings], not the false.”
Mr. Ibrahim also raised the issue of deception by Islamic authorities when they deal with the West. He cited the duplicity of Qaradawi and Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun as a prime example. After Qaradawi’s rejection of Christianity and Judaism in his al-Jazeera appearance, Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun claimed to completely accept Christianity in another speech:
“If Christianity is about believing in one God, so I believe in one God; if Christianity is about believing in Jesus, so I believe in Jesus; if Christianity is about believing in the New Testament, so I believe in the New Testament; if Christianity is about believing in the Old Testament, so I believe in the Old Testament; if Christianity is about believing that Mary was a pure virgin, so I believe she was a pure virgin, untouched by man; and if Christianity is about believing in the resurrection, so I believe in the resurrection—so what is the difference between me and Christians?”
The differences, while often subtle, are substantial and important. Ibrahim has devoted his life to the study of Islamic doctrine and history in the original Arabic and he spoke about the real differences between the major Abrahamic faiths:
“Qaradawi offered correct Muslim doctrine in response to this otherwise egalitarian talk, confirming that, yes, Islam believes all these things—but according to its own narratives, not the ones recorded in the Bible, which, as the Quran teaches, have been distorted. Hence, if Muslims believe all those things that the Syrian grand mufti mentioned, they do not believe in the fundamentals of Christianity—including the Trinity, Christ’s divinity or resurrection, and atonement of sins—hence they reject Christianity, as understood and practiced by over a billion Christians.”
Dr. Qaradawi is not an evil man and he is not dishonest. He is expressing his sincerely held beliefs based on his study of the Qur’an and Islam’s other holy books. He bases his thinking on the words of Mohammad who Qaradawi believes spoke directly to God. While many in the West may find his rejection of other religions offensive, we need to remove the blinders and take him seriously. He is expressing the true doctrine of his faith and ignoring his words will not accomplish anything except to empower the extremists on both sides.
The blind political correctness of Western leaders has not led to an understanding between Islam and the non-Muslim world. Ignoring the truth about Islam and the words of the religion’s most important leaders, when they speak to their followers in their own language, simply motivates the terrorists, inspires the bigots and it is insulting to peaceful Muslims.
It is time for all of us to make the effort to learn the truth about the serious dispute between Islam and the world’s other religions instead of pretending everything is fine and no conflict exists. To ignore the truth is to invite disaster.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He recently conducted a one on one interview with The Inquisitr’s Wolff Bachner.