What Educated Non-Muslims Don't Like About Islam in a Nutshell


The Quran is Islam's most holy book. Fifty-one percent of the Quran is about non-Muslims. Writings about what Muslims should do is religious. Writings about what non-Muslims should do or how Muslims should deal with non-Muslims is political. Therefore, based on Islam's most holy book, Islam is more political (51%) than religious (49%).

There are 245 verses in the Quran that could be considered "positive verses" about non-Muslims. Every single one of those verses have been abrogated (nullified, overridden) by later, negative verses about non-Muslims. Not one positive verse about non-Muslims is left.

In contrast, there are 527 verses of intolerance toward non-Muslims, and 109 verses specifically advocating violence towards non-Muslims. Not one of these verses has been abrogated.

My conclusion: Non-Muslims who like Islam don't know much about it.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here


Islam's Historical Influence on the West


Muslims conquered the Eastern Roman Empire, Syria, Palestine, Eastern Anatolia, Armenia, Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt and North Africa between 634-644 A.D. Muslim pirates blockaded trade across the Mediterranean. This caused a catastrophic drop in products shipped from the East to the West, including papyrus reeds from the Nile delta which were used for paper in Europe. The paper shortage resulted in literacy declining and fewer books being written which, together with other factors, led to the Dark Ages.

When the Ottoman Muslims sacked Constantinople in 1453, it ended the land trade routes from Europe to India and China which led Columbus to look for a sea route, beginning the Age of Discovery.

When Ottoman Muslims invaded Greece, there was a flood of Greek treasures, art and literature hurriedly carried to Florence, Italy. This led Europe to a re-interest in Greek culture called the Renaissance.

As the wealth of Greek Byzantine Empire flowed to Florence, Italy, many were made rich, most notably the families of Medici and Borgia, who financed artists Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci.

The above was excerpted from the article, Muslim War With Americans Began Around 640 A.D. by Bill Federer.

Read more historical events influenced by Islam:


Should We Feel Anger at Those Still Unacquainted With Islam?


In correspondence with a reader, I wrote: "Over the years, we've had discussions on various things on Citizen Warrior, trying to figure out how to speak about the problem of Islam. One of the things we've talked about is what to call non-Muslims who think Islam is a religion of peace. We had a lively discussion about it here." Here is his response:

What to call Non-Muslims who think Islam is a Religion of Peace...we could call them: Aloof. Here's an example: "the Aloofs were back at it again. They were talking about how we can all just get along and as I stood there listening to them I realized that these people are just Aloof. They have no desire to save themselves or to fight back, so we must do it for them. The Aloofs venture loudly into the world, sharing their propaganda with the other Non-Muslims who are quite aware what Islam is all about. But the Aloof's persist that Islam is good...


I would just call those people "Islamic Sympathizers". To be honest we are facing the prelude to the massive extermination of Non-Muslims. So if some of the Non-Muslims want to be willingly ignorant and believe that Islam is "Peaceful" it really comes down to responsibility and we need to make them aware of that.

Example: If I was given the chance to warn people about Nazi Germany and tell them how horrific it was going to be I would call everyone who supported Hitler (supporting Hitler by being ignorant) a Sympathizer.

I conclude then that we need to not mock these "Aloofs", but lay the burden of mature responsibility on them, meaning that being "Aloof" about the most bigoted religion on earth is no longer an option for excuse.

I responded to him with this: Your point of view is fairly common in the counterjihad community and I'm glad you said it because I want to articulate something that has been crystallizing in my mind for quite some time.

Both the words "Aloof" and "Sympathizer" make the person wrong. But many people have benign reasons for believing Islam is not dangerous. Many of the non-Muslims unacquainted with Islam are good people — smart people who care about the world and love their country. Their hearts are in the right place. Not all of them, of course, but certainly many of them. Probably most of the ones we talk to.

They have simply made some assumptions about Islam (and about religions and about human beings) that might normally be reasonable, but they're incorrect when it comes to Islam. They assume because it is a religion with a huge number of adherents, it couldn't possibly be the evil Nazi-like ideology the counterjihadists portray it to be. It COULDN'T be! Right?

And of course, any given person you're talking to probably knows several Muslims who are "nice people." From their point of view, it seems reasonable to conclude that the terrorism going on in the world is caused by a few crazy extremists giving Islam a bad name.

Most people unacquainted with Islam don't know the immense scale and global scope of "terrorist attacks." Most people hear about only a very small percentage of the attacks that happen every day in the name of Islam. And besides, "other religions also have bad things in their holy books," and so on. You've heard it all before. Most people would think this naturally (that it must be just a few extremists), as a result of plain old human decency and an acquaintance with other religions like Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity. And then the media and politicians and Islamic "experts" all confirm what we all wish was true. PBS, one of the most trusted media sources in the U.S., has reinforced this misleading portrait of Islam (read more about that here).

Probably none of our non-Muslim friends and family are terrorist sympathizers. And if they thought they were really in danger, they might, in fact, have the desire to fight back and save themselves. But they have been persuaded to believe (and they really want to believe) that we are not in danger from Islam. I don't think most of them are "willingly ignorant." They have an enormous amount of mainstream, seemingly authoritative evidence from most major information sources to confirm what they hope is true.

The article I mentioned above and ensuing discussion eventually concluded that the best word for non-Muslims who think Islam is a religion of peace is "unacquainted." Your portrayal of those unacquainted with Islam is negatively judgmental, which is completely understandable because you've obviously tried doing what all of us should be doing: talking with people and telling them what you've learned. And you have no doubt experienced the particular distaste of listening to someone sarcastically or condescendingly tell you how wrong you are — knowing that this person actually knows nothing about Islam — while talking to you, who knows quite a lot about it. It is frustrating. Infuriating! I get it. I've been there. And so have most of the people in the counterjihad movement.

But I think it would be helpful to our cause if we considered it as much our failure as theirs. If we truly understood their point of view, and if we had some acquirable skill in influencing people, that same conversation might well have ended with a new ally for our cause. Instead, we have entrenched that person more firmly in their position. We have failed. That point right there is where we will win or lose this whole, centuries-long conflict with Islam — right there in those "minor" personal conversations where people are either won over or shoved deeper into their self-righteous point of view (which unwittingly aids and abets the enemy).

Any of us can get better at those conversations. We can become more influential. And if we don't, it is we who have been negligent and irresponsible. We should consider ourselves lucky that we have been raised in a way or exposed to information in a way that we've been able to know the truth about the problem of Islam. We shouldn't consider them to be willfully ignorant. There, but for the luck of the draw, is what you or I would be. And for many of us in the counterjihad, that is exactly what we were at one point.

I was totally ignorant of Islam until after 9/11. I didn't know anything about it, and never even wondered about it, even though jihad has been going on my entire life. With the Israel/Palestine conflict. With the oil crisis. With the Iranian hostages. With all the hijacked airplanes, attacks on embassies, etc. I never put it together. I never would have guessed that a religion could teach something that would motivate people to do these things. I would have scoffed at the idea if anyone had told me. Not because I was a "sympathizer." Not because I was "willingly" ignorant, although I guess you could call me that, but it seems an unfair indictment. And I would fight back to save myself. I just didn't know there was anything to save myself from.

And I think when we talk to someone who is unacquainted with Islam, we would be more effective reaching them and successfully opening their eyes to this horrifying reality (Islamic doctrine) if we didn't think of them as bad people, as irresponsible people, as traitors or sympathizers with enemies, or anything derogatory. I think we'd have more luck reaching them if we loved them. Or at least understood their point of view, and understood how they came to those conclusions.

I urge everyone to read The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. It will help us all understand their point of view. It will help us get through. Here are some summaries and reviews of the book:

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here.


It's Okay to Have (and Express) a Political Opinion. Duh.


When you say something negative about Islamic doctrine, many people assume you hate Muslims and then you are dismissed as a "hater." If this ever comes up in a conversation, try turning it around. Say something like, "I don't hate Muslim people. I dislike a political ideology. Isn't there a political ideology you dislike?"

Stay with that question until they give you the name of a political ideology they don't like (there must be at least one). Then ask them, "Okay, do you hate everybody who subscribes to that ideology? Do you hate everyone who lives in a country ruled by that political doctrine?" Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

Make this distinction clear in their minds. You can have an opinion about a political doctrine without hating members who believe in that doctrine or are subject to it. It's not a problem. Those two are quite distinct.

Now, if the person you're talking to doesn't realize Islam is a political doctrine, share this little fact:

Fifty-one percent of the Koran is about non-Muslims. Writings about what Muslims should do is religious. Writings about what non-Muslims should do or how Muslims should deal with non-Muslims is political. Therefore, based on the written content of Islam's most holy book, Islam is more political (51%) than religious (49%).

Read more about that fact here: Statistics and the Meaning of Islam.

We should all be freely talking about Islam. It's okay to have a political opinion. Liberals freely and harshly criticize conservative doctrine. And conservatives freely and harshly criticize liberal doctrine. Sharing a political opinion is a freedom we all rightfully enjoy in a free society. Non-Muslims should feel just as free to criticize Islamic doctrine.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here.


Informed and Determined

I'm re-reading the book, Terrorist Hunter by Rita Katz, a Jewish woman who grew up in Iraq (and speaks fluent Arabic) and became a researcher for The Investigative Project, dressing like a Muslim woman to infiltrate orthodox Islamic groups operating in America. You can read more about her fascinating story here.

A passage from the book illustrates both the blatant boldness of Islamic groups in the West and the pathetic ignorance of Western media about basic Islamic principles and history. Katz was participating in a rally (dressed as a Muslim) in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC. Two thousand protesters showed up. Journalists showed up too, of course.

Katz listened to hate speeches and "exhortations to violence against Jews." Not Israelis, mind you. Jews. One of the speakers at the rally was Dr. Ayman Sirajuldeen, a member of the Muslim American Society, who led the crowd in chanting, "Death to Jews!" and "Khaibar, Khaibar!"

"Did the journalists gathered here know how chilling this was?" asks Katz in her book. "Obviously not," she answers. "In the next day's papers it got written up as a 'peaceful pro-Palestinian rally.'"

"Kaibar, Khaibar" was chanted at that rally and "many others," writes Katz. "It echoed all over the country, as Israeli flags burned in the background, from Florida to Texas, New York to California, and back to Washington, DC. To an outsider, this chant, 'Khaibar, Khaibar, Ya Yahud, Jaish Muhammad Safayood,' sounded perhaps like a cheerful freedom song. Many journalists told me that this was what they thought they were hearing. But its meaning is somewhat different: 'Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad is coming for you.' This song originates in a tale from the days of the Prophet Muhammad. As part of his campaign to conquer the Arabian peninsula, Muhammad laid siege to the city of Khaibar, which was inhabited by Jews. After losing several battles to the city's powerful army, Muhammad decided to try a new tactic. He sent emissaries to Khaibar's leaders with a message of peace. As soon as a peace treaty was signed and the gates of the city were opened, Jaish Muhammad, Muhammad's army, stormed the city and butchered every last one of its inhabitants. 'Khaibar, Khaibar' means, 'Let's trick the Jews into making peace with us, and when they accept our offer, let's go ahead and kill them all.'"

Do the journalists know this bit of Islamic history? Do they know that it says 91 times in the Koran that Muslims are required to follow Muhammad's example in every particular? I doubt if one in a thousand knows even that much.

Those of us who have been awakened to the terrifying brilliance of Islam need to step up our game. Our educational campaign needs to be effective and unrelenting. We're in a race against time. Orthodox Muslims are infiltrating and multiplying. The only thing that can put a stop to them is an informed and determined population of non-Muslims. And the only way our fellow non-Muslims are going to be informed is by hearing it from those who already know. That's us. They're not going to hear it at school, in the media, or from politicians. It's just us.

But we've got to be smart about this, not simply passionate. We have to think in terms of small bits and long campaigns. We have to gain and maintain rapport. And we should use the effective tools we have at our disposal. If we do this, we can win.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here.


An Important Difference Between You and Your Friends


Sometimes when you talk to people about Islam, you are flabbergasted at the depth of their ignorance. But even after they know something about Islam and accept it, sometimes you are appalled at their seeming apathy about it. Why don't they jump in and want to do something about it? Are they stupid? Are they uncaring? What is wrong with these people!?

I believe we have discovered an important difference between those of us in the counterislamization movement and those who have not joined the fight: We are seeking two different kinds of happiness.

One kind of happiness is temporary and, from our point of view, superficial: Pleasure and comfort. To pursue this kind of happiness, you pay a lot of attention to how you feel, what you want, how nice your clothes are, how tasty your food is, how comfortable your car is to drive (or how it makes you feel to own it), etc. When you overhear conversations among these people, don't you sometimes want to say, "What's the matter with you people? Don't you know there's a war on! Right now innocent people are being beheaded! Who cares about a new restaurant!?"

If you can relate to that unspoken sentiment, you probably care more about the other kind of happiness — a kind of happiness that is long-lasting and profound: Meaning. Most of us in the counterislamization movement gain happiness by working for a cause outside of our own skin. Helping other people. Living a life of meaning and purpose. Doing something that matters. The happiness this gives is a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction. Not comfort. Not pleasure.

Here's why this distinction is important for our purposes: When you talk to people about Islam — people who are not meaning-oriented — what you are presenting is discomfort. They want to turn away. It does not make them happy. And learning more about it will make them even less happy.

I think that's why I've had so much success educating people in personal conversations about Islam lately: A while back I switched from trying to recruit them into the cause and started focusing on just informing them, but doing it in way that "entertains" them (or at least interests them and preferably surprises and fascinates them). People with a pleasure-comfort orientation don't mind being entertained and interested and fascinated. And the information still sinks in. And when it comes time to vote or choose or decide, they will be more informed and will make saner choices.

I don't think we need to try to recruit people. I think we only need to inform people. And those who are like us — people who care about meaning and purpose, people who want to be profoundly happy and fulfilled by serving a cause — will come forward on their own. They will seek out more information. They will feel called to action.

Think about this as you talk to people. The person you're talking to might derive their happiness primarily from pleasure and comfort. Talking to them angrily about a frightening reality might not get through to them. Trying to wake them up by showing them a video of mass beheadings will make them not ever want to talk to you again.

For these people, and they are the majority, a different approach is needed. With an entertaining or interesting or even fascinating approach, they won't shut you out and solid information has a chance to sink in.

We have tools here to help you change the nature of your conversations. And you can read some of the conversations I've had here to see some of the things I've tried. And if you have stories of your own, I encourage you to share them with all of us at Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here.


Going Clear and the Truth About Islam


We just watched the movie, Going Clear, a documentary on Scientology, and we were again struck by some of the similarities between Scientology and Islam. For example, if someone leaves Scientology, they are considered an enemy of the religion and in Scientology's written doctrine, they are labeled "fair game," which means they can be "deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued, lied to, or destroyed." Read more about it here.

Certainly this is a far cry from burning apostates alive or beheading them, but it is still an unusually aggressive response against apostates.

Another similarity is that Scientology, like Islam, tends to paint itself as the underdog, an effective way to simultaneously unite believers together and disarm unbelievers. Scientology and Islam both attack those who criticize their religion and try to suppress negative information, and they do it in similar ways. Scientology tried to smear the filmmakers, for example, in an effort to discredit the film (read more about that here). And they tried to prevent the film from being shown (read about it here).

The documentary is based on a book by Pulitzer Prize Winner Lawrence Wright, who also wrote an exposé on Al-Qaeda entitled, The Looming Tower. Going Clear is driven largely by interviews with people who were in Scientology for a long time and sometimes held high rankings within the organization, but who have left the religion. It was very well done and interesting throughout. Wouldn't it be great to have a similar documentary about Islam, just as well done and just as straightforward?

A point we've made repeatedly is that a useful strategy, when talking to others about Islam, is to switch to talking about Scientology when you meet resistance. People have no problem listening to criticisms of Scientology. You can then follow up with similar comments about Islam, and you can often avoid resistance because why shouldn't you be able to criticize any religion as freely as you can criticize Scientology?

Recently I've talked to people about Going Clear, and then as an aside, when I mentioned something about Scientology's policy toward apostates, for example, I point out that it is a similar but milder version of Islam's policy. It is an easy way to slip some solid information into someone's mind without much resistance. Whenever you criticize Scientology, you never hear any objections like, "But isn't that just a small minority of extremists?" or, "What you're saying is racist," or, "Are you a Scientolophobe?" People are completely at ease with even harsh criticism of Scientology. We can use that to our advantage. Learn more about this approach here: Scientology and Islam.

In the last scene of the film, one of the interviewees was asked why she was speaking up about Scientology (and potentially exposing herself to harassment and danger). She said simply, "I just want the truth to be known." That's how we feel about exposing Islam for what it is.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here


The Facts of Islam Alone Can Open Someone's Eyes


Damon Whitsell, the creator of The Religion of Conquest, published an interesting article about his own experiences trying to convince a friend's son that Islam is not a religion of peace. Whitsell admits he didn't do a very good persuasion job, and when you read their exchange, you have to agree with him. He's hard on the kid and too self-righteous, among other things.

However, he gets in some good points, gets a few facts to penetrate, and after the kid stopped talking to Whitsell for eight months, he came back after he looked into Islam on his own, and had to admit Whitsell was right. It's a triumph of the facts.

And it illustrates the point that you don't really have to convince someone Islam is a dangerous ideology. You only have to convince someone to look into it. The true nature of Islamic doctrine speaks for itself without any emphasis or embellishment on your part. This is good news. It means your mission is easier than you thought.

Read the blow-by-blow transcript of Whitsell's interaction with his friend's son here: With Facts I Helped Open Someone's Eyes to the Dangers of Islam (You Can Too).


If You Can Be So Bold


A while back, I told you about Michael, a man who uses a business card with a QR code on it to educate his fellow citizens about Islam. Read about it here (he added some good ideas about using the cards in the comments of the article). Michael does something else creative and bold: He wrote this on the back window of his car:

You can click on the image to see it larger. He wrote this: On my days off work, I can be found driving up and down very busy streets and Interstates in the Kansas City area, purposely driving just a smidgen slower than traffic, so vehicles read my back window, pass, then more vehicles have a chance to get a look at the back window of my vehicle. I haven't been called bashful for a long time.

We created InquiryIntoIslam.com as a website citizen warriors could use to share with people who really know nothing about Islam. It's a beginner's website. This is a great use of that resource.

I asked Michael if I could publish his picture, and he wrote back with this:

I would be honored if you would publish the picture of my back window on your website. That would be great if others would be willing to do the same, to get the word out. I am only guessing, but would estimate that hundreds, perhaps 500-1000 vehicles (cars, trucks, 18-wheelers) passed by that back window in just a matter of a few hours of driving during rush hour traffic this past Monday. This next time I will make the handwriting look cleaner, more presentable.

No doubt others may wonder "Hmm... where can I get the non-permanent, large, white paint markers to use for the writing?" Well, they are not that easy to find, let me tell you. I spent a bit of time searching the web for something that I felt would work and ended up purchasing these on amazon.com (link below), but the quality isn't the greatest, which I noted in the reviews section.  They are imported, and while they look nice, both markers in the 2-pack began to fail before I got full life out of them. So, there's that.

But there are other options out there, large white wax crayons (I found some at a lumber store), even ordering custom decals for those people who are able to spend more for a better look and are able to keep the message on their automobiles 7 days a week.  Some decals are a "peel and stick," for remove and reapply.

There are some thoughts there for others, that I had to go through for myself.

Oh! Also, you may wish to make sure you mention, or provide a link for them that they can click on, that will use your Amazon link, so you get that money that helps to support your ministry, when they buy the markers from Amazon. Every little bit helps, right? Just a thought, you can even suggest they Bookmark the Amazon link (like I did) and save it to the top of their browser so it is easy to find next time they buy something/anything from Amazon. My bookmarked icon/link automatically uses your link to Amazon.

Thank you!


For non-permanent White Paint Markers, here's the link: Uni Posca Paint Marker PC-17K White.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here.


The History of Islamic Violence, Enslavement, and Ransom is Important for People to Know About


Yesterday I was talking with some of my fellow co-workers on a break and we were talking about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. One of them said, "The French brought this on themselves, you know."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

He said, "Algiers used to be a French colony, so of course, a lot of the Muslims there could speak French, and since it was a colony, the French said anybody from Algiers could move to France. So now they have a huge Muslim population."

I thought this was a good opportunity to add some history. I think Islam's contact with the West down through history is important for people to know because many people still think of Islamic "extremism" as a modern phenomenon. Whenever someone brings up a recent news story involving Islamic violence, I try to think of some way to add a little historical context. So I asked, "Do you know why Algiers became a French colony? It's an interesting story."

Everyone likes an interesting story. I was talking to three people. I had their attention. "Have you ever heard of the Barbary Coast Pirates?" I was surprised when everybody said no. "They were Muslim countries along the Mediterranean coast of north Africa — Tunisia, Algiers, Morocco, and Tripoli (now known as Libya) — that captured ships doing business in the Mediterranean and took the ship, stole the cargo on board, and sold the crew into slavery. They did this for hundreds of years. And when a country complained, they said, 'If you pay us a yearly tribute, we will not attack ships from your country.' Many countries paid this tribute. It was cheaper than war. And paying the tribute effectively allowed them to harass their fellow European countries (their economic competitors) without being blamed for it. The United States didn't have a navy to protect their merchant ships, so they paid the tribute too.

"Of course all this tribute money made the Barbary Pirates more powerful. But when Jefferson became president, the U.S. built a navy and defeated Tripoli. It was the beginning of the end of the whole Barbary racket. Eventually the British, the Dutch and the French brought their own navies to bear on the Barbary coast, and the pirate raiding by these Muslim countries slowed down. Algiers was the last one still doing it, so France completely conquered Algiers and made it into a colony."

Sometimes I get on a roll, and while I had them all in rapt attention, something else occurred to me. "Do you know why Jefferson was so decisive about this? That's another interesting story."

None of them knew the answer and they all looked like they wanted to know, so I said, "Back before he was President, he was an ambassador to France and he found an opportunity to speak with the ambassador from Tripoli, and he asked him, 'Why does your country attack our ships? We have no hostility with your nation.'

"The Tripoli ambassador was honest. He said, 'It is written in our Koran that we must attack and enslave any country that doesn't acknowledge the sanctity of our Prophet.'

"After that conversation, Jefferson bought a Koran and read it. And he realized that there is no bargaining with these people. There is no such thing as peaceful coexistence or mutually beneficial commerce unless you come to them from a position of power. So when he became president, he put a stop to the tribute for good by force."

At this point, we had to get back to work, so the conversation ended.

Telling interesting historical facts like this, without being too heavy-handed with the Islamic doctrine, allows people to slowly come to realize the truth about Islam, without me ever getting into an argument with them about it. They come to their own conclusions. Historical tidbits like these make the task a whole lot easier.


Muslims Captured and Enslaved Hundreds of Americans

The following passages are excerpted from the excellent book, The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805, by Richard Zacks:

In 1801, just after the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, Tripoli had become the first country ever to declare war on the United States. The ruler, Yussef Karamanli, had ordered his Janissaries to chop down the flagpole at the U.S. consulate to signal his grave displeasure with the slow trickle of gifts from America. Jefferson, when he learned the news, had responded by sending a small fleet to confront Tripoli and try to overawe it into a peace treaty.

For more than two centuries, the Barbary countries of Morocco, Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli (now called Libya) had been harassing Christian ships, seizing cargo and capturing citizens. Algiers once boasted more than 30,000 Christian slaves, including one Miguel Cervantes, before he wrote Don Quixote. European powers in the 1500s and 1600s fought ferocious battles against Muslim pirates like Barbarosa. However, over time, a cynical system of appeasement had developed. The nations of Europe paid tribute — in money, jewels, and naval supplies — to remain at peace. England and France — in endless wars — found it cheaper to bribe the Barbary pirates than to devote a squadron to perpetually trawling the sea off Africa. At its core, expediency outweighed national honor.

When the thirteen American colonies split off from mother England, they lost British protection. The United States found itself lumped in the pile of potential Barbary victims, alongside the likes of Sardinia and Sicily. (From 1785 to 1815, more than six hundred American citizens would be captured and enslaved. This nuisance would prove to be no mere foreign trade issue but rather a near-constant hostage crisis.)

In colonial days, preacher Cotton Mather had described Barbary slaves as living for years in dug-out pits with a crosshatch of bars above... Galley slaves also lived to tell of being chained naked to an oar, forced to row ten hours at a stretch. Slaves, facing forward, pushed the forty-foot-long oars by rocking back to near horizontal, as though in a grotesque limbo contest, and then lurching with full strength, again and again. During hard chases, they were sustained by a wine-soaked rag shoved in their mouths...

Rituals varied, but in one account (of a North African slave auction) an American stated that after being purchased: "I was forced to lie down in the street and take the foot of my new master and place it upon my neck." Another described being forced to lick the dust along a thirty-foot path to the throne of the [king] of Algiers (now called Algeria).

John Foss survived captivity in Algiers, and his popular account ran in several American newspapers in the late 1790s, fleshing out the nightmare. He wrote of prisoners (Americans who had been captured on American ships and enslaved) routinely shackled with forty-pound chains, forced to perform sunrise-to-sunset labor ranging from digging out sewers to hauling enormous rocks for the harbor jetty. He matter-of-factly described the most common Barbary punishment for light infractions: bastinado of 150 strokes: "The person is laid upon his face, with his hands in irons behind him and his legs lashed together with a rope. One taskmaster holds down his head and another his legs, while two others inflict the punishment upon his breech (his buttocks) with sticks, somewhat larger than an ox goad. After he has received one half in this manner, they lash his ankles to a pole, and two Turks (Muslims) lift the pole up, and hold it in such a manner, as he brings the soles of his feet upward, and the remainder of his punishment, he receives upon the soles of his feet."

In 1803, Tripoli captured the Philadelphia. The Americans onboard the beautiful 1,200-ton American frigate were captured too, most of them enslaved.

The loss of the Philadelphia and its 307 crewmen and officers on Kaliusa Reef in Tripoli harbor marked a national disaster for the young United States. The Bashaw (king of Tripoli), a wily and worthy adversary, would set his first ransom demand for the American slaves at $1,690,000, more than the entire military budget of the United States.

Navy officers like the fierce Captain John Rodgers would beg for the chance to attack Tripoli to avenge and free his comrades; diplomats such as Tobias Lear, a Harvard graduate, yearned for the glory of negotiating their release. But the man who would one day speed their freedom more than all others was a stubby disgraced former army officer...

Here's a quote by William Eaton (the stubby former army officer): "If the Congress do not consent that the government shall send a force into the Mediterranean to check the insolence of these scoundrels and to render the United States respectable, I hope they will resolve at their next session to wrest the quiver of arrows from the left talon of the American Eagle...and substitute a fiddle bow or a cigar in lieu."

Eaton also said, "Let my fellow-citizens be persuaded that there is no borne limit to the avarice of the Barbary princes; like the insatiable grave, they can never have enough. Consign them the revenues of the United States as the price of peace, they would still tax our labors for more veritable expressions of friendship. But it is a humiliating consideration to the industrious citizen, the sweat of whose brow supports him with bread, that a tithe from his hard earnings must go to the purchase of oil of roses to perfume the pirate's beard!

"It is true that Denmark and Sweden (and even the United States, following their example) gratuitously furnish almost all their materials for ship-building and munitions of war; besides the valuable jewels and large sums of money we are continually paying into their hands for their forbearance, and for the occasional ransom of captives...Without these resources they would soon sink under their own ignorance and want of means to become mischievous. Why this humiliation? Why furnish them the means to cut our own throats?"

After the crew of the Philadelphia was enslaved, the captives were hoping the U.S. government would pay their ransom and bring them home.

Everyone knew that ransom might take months or years, but they also knew that there existed a simple way for the men to become free immediately, and that was to convert to Islam. Less than three weeks into captivity, John Wilson, a quartermaster born in Sweden, decided to "turn Turk" (convert), as did Thomas Prince, a seventeen-year-old from Rhode Island. Three more Americans would follow them.

The officials of Tripoli, who encouraged and allowed the religious conversion, took the matter seriously. Since the Koran forbids Muslims from enslaving Muslims, a conversion meant freedom from slavery. As Ray put it, "Thomas Prince was metamorphosed from a Christian to a Turk." His choice word metamorphosed was quite apt. Not only did the ritual involve words of faith and promises to perform new rituals, but also a change of clothes and that inevitable loss of foreskin. While circumcision is not mentioned in the Koran (as it is in the Old Testament, Genesis 17:11), the rite became sanctified by Muslim theologians as far back as the seventh and eighth centuries.

The main story of the book is that William Eaton and seven U.S. Marines organized and led a group of thousands of enemies of the king of Tripoli and captured the second biggest city in the country, making the king willing to negotiate a treaty and return the captured Americans. A few years later, the American navy became powerful enough to put a permanent end to the Muslim capture of American ships in the Mediterranean.

The above (except what is in italics) was excerpted from the book, The Pirate Coast, by Richard Zack. Without ever saying it explicitly, these excerpts demonstrate that aggression toward Western nations in the name of Islam is not a modern phenomenon, and is not caused by recent grievances. Modern grievances used to justify violence are pretexts, used since Mohammad's time (read more about that here). The reason Thomas Jefferson knew this is because he read the Koran.  

If you would like to share the excerpts above, we've posted these same passages on Inquiry Into Islam (to make it easier to share). Use this link: Hundreds of Americans Were Captured and Enslaved


An Idea For Educating Your Fellow Citizens

A creative reader wrote in to show us what he's doing. It's a great idea. We encourage you to do something similar. This is what he said about it:

I was thinking to myself, how can I get the word out about the danger of political Islam to more people, especially when I am in a hurry running errands, etc., going about my day? There are times when I don't have time for discussions, but could leave something behind for someone to check out a website. The possibilities are nearly endless. In today's culture, just about everyone is online. I could probably pass out dozens, if not hundreds, each month in various areas around the city.

I had the idea and designed this on business card stock. I can get 500 for about $8.50 + shipping. Very affordable.

Please feel free to share this idea with others.

If I can reach hundreds in one city, and some of them can reach others, imagine how fast 20, 50, or 100 others that would be willing to do the same, could exponentially reach thousands where they live!

Here's what the front looks like:

And here's what the back of the card looks like:


Inflammatory Rhetoric


I was talking to a friend of mine about Islam. The latest attack was fresh on everyone's mind, and we were talking about it. He doesn't like it when I say negative things about Islam, although he doesn't really argue with me too much.

I told him to think about it this way: Jehovah's Witnesses go door to door to promote their religion. I know not all of them do this, but they are supposed to. It's part of their religious practice.

He said, "Yeah, I know."

"Well," I said, "jihad is part of Islam. Not all of them do it, but they are all supposed to. It's part of their religious practice."

He just looked at me with a face that said, "I can't listen to you say such things!"

"I don't like it when Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door," I said, "but I don't hate people who are Jehovah's Witnesses. In high school, one of my good friends was a Jehovah's Witness. So you can dislike a religious practice or dislike an ideology, and not have any hatred of any particular person who is a member of that religion or ideology."

"I know you're not a hateful person," he admitted, while still holding a facial expression that said, "I still don't like any of this."

"Schindler was a Nazi," I said.

He blurted out, "I know, I know, but I guess I'm just afraid of inflammatory rhetoric, not from you, but from other people who are on the same track, talking about the same topic."

Finally, we were getting somewhere. "But don't you see," I said, following my own advice, "that's exactly why we need to be talking about this now — before a Muslim sets off a nuclear bomb in the middle of New York City. Can you imagine the inflammatory rhetoric you'd get then? When most people are still ignorant of the real situation? People need to talk about this now, while everyone is relatively calm."

Then I had a thought. I said, "I've been learning about this topic for a long time, and I have rarely come across inflammatory rhetoric. Every once in awhile someone will say something hateful or crazy on a comment on a Facebook page or blog, but that's about it. But contrast that with the truly inflammatory rhetoric that is on Middle East television every day. Are you concerned about that? They have people on their national TV urging Muslims to stab Israelis to death!"

He said, "I read about that..."

"And they're doing it!" I said a little too loudly. "But that's just one example. They talk about destroying Israel and the United States. They talk about how we are the most evil people on earth and need to be annihilated. This is far beyond inflammatory rhetoric. Some of their people carry it out. And many of the rest support it. That is a very big difference from a comment on Facebook. Their comments are televised and broadcast and their message carries authority just by virtue of being broadcast."

It looked like this point sunk in, and I felt I should kind of wind it down, so I said, "I am also afraid of inflammatory rhetoric on our side. But you can err on the other side — not speaking about it enough. This is a very serious topic that affects all of us and we should all be talking about it and learning about it. Sensibly. Rationally, for sure. But we should talk about it. And see if something can be humanely done about our predicament."

I never try to get anyone to admit they were wrong. That would be foolish. It's enough to make a good point and move on, waiting for the next opportunity, and preparing in the meanwhile, gaining knowledge and skills. I feel he will come around. But I'm taking it slow. I could tell he really didn't like this whole thing. I made a good point using his own words, his own concern, and he couldn't rationally deny that if he's worried about the inflammatory rhetoric of counterjihadists, it would be logically inconsistent to be unconcerned about the inflammatory rhetoric of those who want to destroy us.

He said, "I just don't want..." and he hesitated, trying to find the right words.

But before he could finish his sentence, I finished it for him: "You don't want it to be true."

To which he immediately replied, nodding his head, "Yes, I really don't want it to be true."

"I know, man," I said sympathetically. "I don't either." And we left it at that. I'm going to give him a little time to let it all settle in his mind before I pull him further into this subject. It's a big, bitter pill to swallow, and when you really understand it, your life will never be the same. I think on some level, people recognize this, and that's one of the reasons they resist. They will throw every argument at you they can because, at the bottom of it all, they just don't want it to be true, and I can't blame them.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here


Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on CitizenWarrior.com is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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