The DVD has an impressive line-up of well-spoken experts in Islam. One of the experts is a former PLO member (and a former Islamic terrorist). What he had to say was sobering.
In contrast to what the experts were saying, the DVD shows clips of George Bush, Bill Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, and Tony Blair, all saying complimentary things about Islam, such as the old standby, "Islam is a religion of peace." Several times, while watching these speakers, you get the impression they have no clue what they're talking about. They've never read the Koran. They're really just guessing, but they're guessing wrong, or they're trying to be politically correct, but spreading misleading and potentially dangerous ideas.
The same kind of misleading statements are made in western universities and in western media.
Not all Muslims are violent fanatics, of course. Far from it. But it is important to understand some basic differences between Islam and religions we're more familiar with in the West (Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism). Islam is strikingly different from the other religions in at least five important ways.
1. First of all, Islam is more like a political ideology than a personal religious practice, and as such requires the laws of the land to be Islamic. It is the duty of each Muslim to help make their country an Islamic state if it isn't already. This would be only mildly interesting if you didn't know that: 1) Muslims are influencing laws in several European countries already, and 2) Islamic laws are religiously intolerant, completely against free speech, and turn women into property owned by men, etc.
From its beginning, Islam has been both a religion and a system of government. Or, as one of the experts in the film put it, Islam has always been a "geopolitical project." The purpose of the project is to make the whole world submit to Islamic law.
2. The Prophet Mohammad, the man who founded the religion, was a violent ruler. He killed or exiled the men of three tribes of Jews from Arabia, taking their women as concubines. Mohammad himself once personally beheaded 600 Jewish men.
Although this kind of behavior was not unusual for a brutal warlord in his time, it doesn't seem appropriate for what we normally think of as a spiritually enlightened person. Most westerners don't know about this information, and they simply assume the teachings of Islam are similar to the teachings of other religions.
Mohammad ordered the assassination of several of his political opponents. He cut off the hands and feet of men belonging to the tribe of Urania and did not cauterize their bleeding limbs until they died.
The ex-terrorist interviewee said when he was a boy in Palestine, they taught a famous story in school about how Mohammad ordered a Rabbi tortured to find out where the Jews had hidden their gold and silver. His eyes were put out, and he was burned. This was ordered by Mohammad.
Can you imagine the founders of other religions doing something like that? For gold? This is unlike any other religion.
But unfortunately, Islam is similar to other religions in one way: Muslims look to their founder as a model. This is important to understand because it means devout religious faith and violent action are not as contradictory in Islam as they are in other religions. Mohammad is the man to imitate.
3. Islam sanctions deceiving unbelievers. And here is where you realize how important it is to know something about Islam. They have no problem at all, no internal conflict, about lying to Westerners about anything and everything. Including saying things like, "Islam means peace" and "we do not sanction terrorism."
In Terrorists Among Us - Jihad in America, Steven Emerson discovered organizations right here in the U.S. raising money for refugees, or at least that's what the unwitting and generous Americans were told, but their contributions went to funding terrorist organizations.
An Islamic fundamentalist has no problem deceiving unbelievers. He will experience no pangs of conscience. The act is completely permissible in Islamic scripture. As a matter of fact, it is encouraged. Whatever needs to be done to win the war against unbelievers is perfectly all right. Not just all right, it is a religious duty to mislead unbelievers in order to gain political advantage.
4. According to Islam, the only guaranteed way of getting into heaven is to die while fighting for Islam.
5. Muslims everywhere in the world are united by religion, daily rituals, and language. Muslims everywhere in the world have to learn Arabic. You don't get into heaven unless you read the Koran in Arabic.
If I weren't the enemy of these people, and if I was looking at this from a purely memetic point of view, I would be astonished by the brilliance of the memeplex. It provides for its own defense, creates its own relentless spread, makes devout followers that are completely consumed by the memeplex, and provides for the establishment of governments to support the dominance of the memeplex.
In a war of memes, Islam is dangerously powerful.
You might think the experts in the film are all selected to be Islamophobes or Muslim-haters. But they are saying the same thing ex-Muslims say in Leaving Islam. And the same thing an ex-Muslim wrote to us. But maybe they all hate Islam and they're all horribly biased. Ultimately, the only way to find out is to read the Koran itself. I've got a copy and I've been reading it, and unfortunately, the experts in the film were telling the truth.
But although the Koran is the single most important book in Islam, there are other books that are also important: The Hadiths, which contain official supportive material to the Koran.
In the Koran, Mohammad has conversations with the angel Gabriel, sometimes about events in his life. The Hadiths explain these events so people will know what they're talking about. The Hadiths also include instructions and clarifications of what it says in the Koran.
Among other things, the Hadiths have very clear instructions for faithful Muslims: They are to meet the infidels on the battlefield and invite them to either become Muslims or accept Dhimmi status (a subordinate status in society). If they refuse either, then devout Muslims are to kill the infidels on the battlefield.
The Koran has many contradictory statements. For example, in one place (2:256), it says, "There is no compulsion (i.e. coercion) in religion."
Yet in another place (9:5) it says, "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them...but if they repent and accept Islam...then leave their way free."
What does a devout Muslim do with such contradictions? The answer is written in the Koran itself. It says the one written later (in Mohammad's life) overwrites the one written earlier. In the two passages above, the first one has been overridden by the second one. The second one, unfortunately, was the last revelation Mohammad ever wrote.
But Allah is all-wise, because now those earlier passages can help deceive the infidels. Militant Muslims are using the earlier, more peaceful and tolerant passages, to show us. "Islam is a religion of peace. Here, let me give you a quote right out of our holy book."
Oddly enough, the notion that Islam is a religion of peace is even believed by the most violent terrorists.
How can this be? They believe that when Islam rules the world — when all other religions are wiped off the face of the earth — peace will reign. Therefore, Islam is a religion of peace.
The DVD is packed with interesting, illuminating information. Here are three brief nuggets from the film I found particularly surprising:
1. The ex-PLO man said there were far more applicants for suicide missions than explosives for them to carry with them.
2. If you eliminate the conflicts in the world involving Muslims, the world is a pretty peaceful place.
3. Non-Muslims think of Islam the way the think about other religions, and that is a mistake.
One of the interviewees on the film, Robert Spencer, was very articulate. It was obvious he knew the subject inside and out. Among other things, he said,
"The most important thing the West needs to know about Islam today is that it has a political character, and that it is not simply a religion. But it is a religion or a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose of establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with western society.
"Americans need to know this. Western Europeans need to know this, because Muslims are coming into western countries while holding these beliefs and intending to act upon them. They are the motivations behind modern terrorist activity and they are the goals of millions of Muslims in the United States and around the world.
"We need to know this so we can protect ourselves. But unfortunately, because of political correctness, and because of the media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism, these things remain largely unknown."
Spencer also said,
"It's unfortunate, but there's no negotiating with the Jihadists. There is no striking a deal with them. Islamic law is very clear on that...Islamic law does not allow for treaties. It does not allow for negotiated settlements between Muslim states and non-Muslim states.
"All it allows for is a temporary period of up to ten years of 'hudna' or what is commonly translated as 'truce' to allow the Islamic forces to gather their strength. But that's not the same as peace as we know it. That's not the same as the absense of a state of war. That's only a temporary lull in a war that the Jihadists consider has gone on for 14 centuries, and are willing to fight for 14 more."
I urge you to get this DVD, watch it yourself (several times) and share it with people. You can order it at Amazon.com here:
Islam: What the West Needs to Know