Why is it Necessary to Compile a Book Entitled, "The Trouble With Teaching the Truth About Islam?"

Sunday

The following was written by Barry Koplen, an instructor at Danville Community College in Danville, Virginia, and published here with his permission.

Barry Koplen
Every Fall semester at our college, I began my Humanities class in Controversial Issues by asking my students why 9/11 occurred. Although years had passed since the 9/11 tragedy, I rarely had an answer unless there was a veteran in the class. Even their answers were, at best, marginally accurate.

To my surprise, at first only a handful of students wanted to know about those causes. Because of that, I had to devise lectures with titles they couldn't ignore. One lecture challenged their religious mindsets directly. Its title, “Be Careful About Which God You Choose,” always prompted lively discussions and more than passing interest in the concept that not all Gods are the same.

That topic led to another, “Why Don't They Believe What I Believe?” and others that chiseled away at their apathy and their belief that Islam was too complicated and too foreign for them to have to be concerned about its teachings.

Indeed, as jihad attacks and honor killings attracted more media attention, my students needed less coaxing. Unfortunately, few of their teachers were schooled in aspects of political Islam or what many refer to as radical Islam to answer my students' questions. Too many educators saw their mission as being to provide a bridge to understanding the three religions Abraham had spawned.

I saw that as a smokescreen that hid many educators' unwillingness to do necessary — and timely — research. To drive home that point, I made it clear that my lectures were open to the public, teachers included. Although only a few attended, most were shocked when they heard my “Numbers” lecture.

Relying on opinions and data gathered by experts in the field, I gradually explained how a seemingly small percentage of Muslims who purported to be followers closest to Mohammad's example were more than willing to die for the sake of Allah while killing infidels. To many in my classes, that seemed to be old news until I presented them with two concerns.

The first was the very clear justification for the above in the Koran (Surah 9: 111) that stated such suicidal behavior gained the jihadist instant entry into paradise.

What startled them after that was the number I wrote on the board. “Although 80-85% of Muslims would never consider such acts, the remaining 15-20% represent more than 200,000,000 who would!” That incredible number shocked all of them.

Where were these people, these mujahideen? What do they want? Why do they hate us? How do we defend ourselves? Those were just some of the questions I fielded.

“It has to do with the ummah, the Islamic community,” I responded. That led to an introduction to the comparison of our democracy to the ummah's theocracy. To help them sense a world controlled by a religious ideology, I played a song that allowed them to consider a world that was just as non-national but one that had no religion.

The song I played was “Imagine” and they listened as if hearing it for the first time.

“Even non-violent Muslims are taught that their Koran is meant to provide the guidelines for a world that becomes perfect when completely ruled by Islam after jihad has converted or dealt with all non-believers. Then there will be, in their eyes, a perfect democracy because everyone will be equal to everyone else. The need for boundaries will dissolve,” I explain.

Immediately, I was asked whether that can really happen.

To answer, I told them about Stealth Jihad and I read statistics Mark Steyn has compiled about Islam's encroachment and projected takeover of Europe as a direct result of Muslim live births outnumbering Europe's inadequate numbers; Muslims will be in the majority by default.

By this time, they were spellbound. They wanted to know more. However, despite having created a pathway of interest, I had to move on to other issues. In other words, I had to bid adieu to extending their study of Islam.

Some asked for books to read. I suggested Robert Spencer's and Bat Ye'or's among others.

Barely touched were important topics such as shariah law, Islamic slavery, child brides, and death for apostates and gays. But those topics need to be taught in an interesting, informative, and well-researched manner. Indeed, if presented as a comprehensible guidebook, The Trouble With Teaching The Truth About Islam will do just that.

To that end, I am soliciting articles that aim to educate and inform, articles that beg to be challenged to promote genuine dialog as well as honest answers to questions about why followers of one religion, Islam, continue to be responsible or guilty of promoting so many brutal acts of unrest against innocent populations. Please send your articles to me here: Barry Koplan.

This one book can serve as a platform that connects many minds, both pro and con, in a much needed debate about how to address the most egregious aspects of Islam and those who advocate the necessity of their strict adherence. Although correcting or deleting those inhumane and, therefore, defective parts of Islam's most holy texts is a lofty goal, by creating an understanding of their far-reaching impact, it becomes a topic reasonable men and women will want to address.

What follows is a list of categories and issues for which I am soliciting articles and essays. Should you have additional categories or issues to suggest, please do.

Following my list is an article all of us should read. Posted in 2008, it expresses opposition to books like this. It may alarm you. But it may also spur you to participate.

In advance, I thank you for consideration.

Questions for contributors to The Trouble With Teaching the Truth About Islam:

What is a Muslim?

  • What is required to become a Muslim?
  • Is the conversion permanent?
  • What is a revert?
  • What is the ummah and what is its role? The Shahada?
  • What makes a Muslim different from a Christian?
  • What types of Muslims are there?
  • Is it more important for a Muslim to be a certain nationality? Why or why not?
  • How is their calendar different from a Jewish or a Christian calendar?
  • What is shariah law?

Purpose of Islam:

  • Is it clearly stated, and, if so, where (in what text)?
  • Is Islam meant to be only a religion or a theocracy that also happens to be a religion?
  • What are the populations of Muslim in Muslim dominated countries?
  • How has that changed over the past six or seven decades?
  • If there has been a noticeable shift in demographics, why is that?
  • Why were almost 900,000 Jews expelled or forced to flee from Jewish lands?

Sacred Texts: which books are recognized as authoritative?

  • What was the first sacred text and who wrote it? When?
  • In what order were other sacred texts written?
  • When was the last written?
  • Will there be more sacred texts?
  • What is a fatwa?

Requirements of the faithful:

  • The five duties of all Muslims
  • What must they not do?
  • What are some of their crimes and punishments?
  • How are Muslims supposed to regard members of other religions, known as dhimmi or non-believers or infidels if they live in a Muslim dominated country?
  • Is the Islamic religion is in the minority, how must Muslims behave?

Is jihad required of every Muslim?

  • What does jihad mean?
  • Why has it been important since Mohammad's time?
  • How is jihad justified?
  • Explain different types of jihad.
  • Who are its targets?

What methods may be used to carry out jihad?

  • Explain taqiyyah. Why is it important?
  • Discuss what must be done to deal with the conditions of fitna and jahiliyyah.
  • Defining the world as Dar al Harb or Dar al Islam is essential. Why is that conducive
  • to the supremacist attitude of Islam?
  • What options must be given to non-Muslims (also known as infidels or dhimmis) prior to jihad?
  • What about after a successful jihad?
  • Explain what happens when a successful jihad is later defeated. What is a waqf?
  • Explain hudna. Why is it important to know it as a tactic rather than a treaty of peace?
  • Why is Surah 9:111 important with regard to jihad?
  • What happens to women and children captured during jihad?
  • What is supposed to be done with material possessions that are captured?
  • Is slavery related to jihad? If so, how?

How does one identify a non-Muslim?

  • Are there specific rules about how to treat dhimmis?
  • What books provide such instructions?
  • What is jizya?

Understanding the Koran:

  • How is the Koran organized?
  • How is its structure different from the Bible?
  • Does the Koran intend to be seen as the completion of the two imperfect texts that came before it, i.e., the Old Testament and the New Testament?
  • How does the Koran portray Jesus? Jews?
  • Is Jerusalem important in the Koran?
  • Is there a Ten Commandments in the Koran?
  • Why is it important to know where Mohammad's visions began and where they ended?
  • Why is the term 'Abrogation' so relevant to the Koran?
  • Why are some people known as Hafiz?
  • Will the Koran ever be changed?
  • What does the Koran say about the status of women, prostitution, and polygamy?
  • If a Constitution required that no laws can contradict the Koran, is that country a theocracy?

Please send your articles to me here: Barry Koplan.

The story I mentioned can be found here:
Bat Ye'or: Anti-Muslim Loon with a Crazy Conspiracy Theory ...
Meet Bat Ye'or, a veritable and discredited loon that Islamophobes rely on as a resource in their work. Bat Ye'or believes in a host of outlandish conspiracy...

You have the my permission to republish this article freely.

7 comments:

Anonymous 7:38 PM  

wonderful resource article. thank you

Bob Smith 8:15 PM  

This is pretty good, but like many he has been contaminated by Islamic imperative. To with, he says "understanding the three religions Abraham had spawned". This is BS. There is nothing about Islam that follows from the teachings of Abraham. This is pure Islamic supremacy embodied in the appropriation of Christian and Jewish symbols for Islamic political ends i.e. deeming the Christian and Jewish faiths as illegitimate and therefore worthy of destruction.

Kay Ohana 11:32 AM  

Agree completely with Bob Smith.

Walter Sieruk 12:01 PM  

As for the dangerous and deadly jihad engaged in the the militant Muslims. Be they ISIS, Al Qaeda or some members of some other like-minded Islamic terror group. They all in the violent and vicious actions and commit many hideous acts of brutal malicious and heartless actions of heinous evil that is totality unconscionable not only wrong but awful. One of the reasons that these jihad minded Muslim are of malice-filled mindset in their jihad is answered in the Bible. This is because the Bible teaches that there are some people who are of such low and terrible character because they have had "their conscience seared with a hot iron." First Timothy 4:2. [K.J.V.] The hot iron in this case is Islam.

Zackery Martel 2:06 PM  

A man named David emailed this comment:

It is necessary to compile such a book to educate those who know nothing about Islam, those who think they know something about Islam, and to help those of us who need as much information as possible to speak to those around us.

Xanthippa 12:58 PM  

@Bob Smith

When I took an Arab history course in University during the 80's, I was taught that when Muhammad had been kicked out from his father's tribe (and before his uncle took him in), he had been taken in by a community of Christians and converted to Christianity: of the early Gnostic variety which did not believe in the divinity of Christ or that he died on the cross.

When the Christians kicked him out, he joined a Jewish group and converted to Judaism. Then they also excommunicated him.

It was at this point that Muhammad's uncle took pity on him and adopted him: the only way the Meccans would permit him to re-enter the city.

When Khadija realized Muhammad was a prophet (and she'd know, as Muhammad was not the first person she 'recognized' as a 'prophet' - when se had been infatuated with a cousin of hers, she knew he, too was prophet...until he rejected her, that is....), he used what he had learned from the Jews and Christians and truly believed himself to be a prophet in their religious tradition.

So, while he did not actually get a lot of the teachings at all and at best understood only half-the-meaning of others, he did indeed base Islam on Abraham and his descendants, but through the slave girl and not Sarrah. (It is clear Muhammad did not understand well what was being taught because at one latter point, he showed a surprise that Christians and Jews did not have identical theologies.)

Teaching this today would simply not be possible as it shows Muhammad was rejected for something (we don't know what) by almost every community of his era, but it does seem at least a plausible version of the events.

Bob Smith 3:05 PM  

@Xanthippa What you say may be so, but that's not really how modern Muslims use the word "Abrahamic". Like many words they utter, such as "innocent", "Abrahamic" is used as a code word or term of art rather than for its literal meaning in order to deceive and obfuscate. They use it to accomplish several aims in my opinion:

1) Mislead the gullible into believing there is a theological kinship where there really isn't one
2) Given that Islam teaches that Christianity and Judaism antedate and are corruptions of Islam, deem them both to be illegitimate
3) Appropriate Christian and Jewish personages and symbols (Isa, Miriam, etc) as their own
4) Mislead listeners into believing that the Muslim versions (Isa vs Jesus) are the same, when they are not
5) Mislead listeners into believing they "revere" all the "prophets", when in fact only Muhammed is
6) Get non-Muslims into the habit of referring to Islamic personages as Muslims do e.g. calling Muhammad a "prophet" when Christians should do no such thing

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