‘There is no compulsion in religion”- right?
By Hugh FitzgeraldÂ
The former hostages said they thought they would be killedÂ
A group of South Koreans held hostage by Taleban militants in Afghanistan have said they were beaten and ordered at gunpoint to convert to Islam.
At a news conference in Seoul, the former captives also said they were made to work “like slaves” during their six-week ordeal.
Twenty-one members of the group were freed last month following an agreement between South Korea and the captors.
Two of the hostages – all Christian aid workers – had already been killed.
Beaten and kicked
The former hostages said they feared for their lives at times when their captors turned violent.
“We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around. Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion,” said Jae Chang-hee.
Another of the group, Yu Jung-hwa, described how she thought she was going to die.
“The most difficult moment, when I had a big fear of death, was when the Taleban shot [a] video.
“All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taleban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me.
“They said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras,” she said.
Qur’an 2.256: “There is no compulsion in religion.”
Discuss Passages #1 and #2. You may bring in any additional knowledge you may have from your other reading on the 1350-year history of Islam. For this you may touch on:
1) Recent scholarship on the origins of Islam — John Wansbrough, Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, Yehuda Nevo, Gerd Puin, Christoph Luxenburg et al.
2) The definiition of dar al-Islam and of dar al-Harb, and the relationship that is to be established between the two.
3) The basis for all Muslim jurisprudence pertaining to treaties and agreements with Infidels — that is, the Treaty of al-Hudaibiyya.
4) The concept of Muhammad as a “perfect man” and the behavior of Muhammad in his 78 military campaigns, including the stated reason for the campaign against the Jews of the Khaybar oasis, and the execution of the Jews of the Bani Qurayza taken prisoner.
5) Sura 9:29 of the Qur’an.
6) The doctrine of naskh, or abrogation.
7) What the word “Sunnah” comprises, and the contents of some of the best-known hadith (stories about the acts and sayings of Muhammad) that express the correct Muslim attitude toward Infidels.
8) The Qur’anic verses pertaining to women. The most relevant hadith pertaining to women. The women in Muhammad’s life, including the story of his last, and favorite, wife — young Aisha, whom he married when she was 6, but demurely waited to consummate the marriage when she was 9 years old. The significance, or lack of it, of this part of Muhammad’s life for Muslims today.
9) The atittude toward the Christian belief in the divinity of Christ. The relevant passages in the Qur’an about believers in “shirk.”
10) The concept of the kuffar. What is the Bilad al-Kufr? Why is it now permissible, as it once was not, for Muslims to migrate to the Bilad al-Kufr and live there? What do the Muslim websites explain?
11) What does the phrase “umma al-islamiyya” mean? Do whom, or to what, must Muslims owe their allegiance? Are they permitted to owe their allegiance or loyalty to anything else? Could they ever possibly fight on the side of Infidel fellow-citizens against Muslims from another country?
12) What is the concept of “taqiyya”? Does it differ from “kitman”? People of all religions lie, but is there another religion that formally sanctions lying in order to protect that religion or its Believers?
13) How are Jesus and Moses viewed in Islam?
14) What are the “djinn” in the Qur’an and where to they come from?
15) When was the Qur’an written? Over what period of time? And who wrote it down, if Muhammad was “unlettered”? And who dictated it? Why are there so many elements of both the Old and the New Testament to be found in the Qur’an? Which came first?
16) Why did the original Arab conquerors have such astounding success in subduing large swaths of territory? Did the belief-system they brought with them help or hinder that success, in the light of what you now know about Islam?
17) Can the hadith that are regarded as “authentic” be changed? That is, can one simply get rid of those hadith that say unkind things about Infidels?
18) Why are those who are Muslims not allowed to change their religion without the threat of severe punishment, including death?
19) Why do Muslims call Infidels who become Muslims “reverts” rather than “converts”?
20) What does the word “dhimmi” mean? What are the ahl al-dhimma? What is the “pact” that was made between the Muslims and the “People of the Book” who were allowed to live, and even practice their religion, under certain conditions? What requirements were laid upon the dhimmis in order that they might be treated as such? What does it mean to be a “protected people” — “protected” from what, exactly?
21) Was Islamic Spain a paradise of interfaith harmony, that it would be advisable to try to reproduce today, if only we could?
22) What are the vast benefits that either “interfaith dialogue” or a “dialogue of civilisations” can bring to us?
Oh, this is just a start. Come to think of it, this little quiz is useful not only in Tulsa, but in New York and Washington.
Here is what I propose. Everybody, anybody, who wishes to utter a word about Islam, or about the relation of the tenets of Islam to how Muslims actually treat non-Muslims, and have done so for 1350 years, will have to take this test.
Time allotted: as much as you want.
If you want to go to the bathroom, the proctors will escort you.
Please write on only one side of the blue book.