Planning a summer trip to London? So was I! But the British Home Office had other ideas, explaining in a kind letter to me that admitting me into the country would be “not conducive to the public good.”
So let’s say that the kids are nagging you to book that trip to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but you just don’t have the money or the time, and are looking for that golden letter from British Home Secretary Theresa May, closing the door to perfidious Albion to you forever. It’s easy. All you have to do is do what I did: read a few books.
The Home Office’s letter to me explained that I was banned because I said that Islam “is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society,” and that “because media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism these things remain largely unknown.”
These horrifying quotes were apparently taken from a documentary I appeared in about ten years ago, Islam: What the West Needs to Know. I said these things because I had read a few books; if you dare to read them as well, you, too, might end up banned from Britain yourself.
1. Towards Understanding the Qur’an (The Islamic Foundation, 2008).
This is a one-volume translation of the Qur’an by Zafar Ishaq Ansari, plus commentary by Sayyid Abul A‘la Mawdudi (also spelled Maududi). Mawdudi was a twentieth-century Islamic scholar and political leader in Pakistan. His influence is mainstream and international; he wrote a multivolume commentary on the Qur’an and numerous other works that can be found readily in Islamic bookstores in the U.S. and all over the West.
In this book he writes: “The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not, as one might to think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather, its purpose is to put an end to the suzerainty of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over people. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the True Faith; unbelievers who do not follow this True Faith should live in a state of subordination. Anybody who becomes convinced of the Truth of Islam may accept the faith of his/her own volition. The unbelievers are required to pay jizyah (poll tax) in return for the security provided to them as the dhimmis (‘Protected People’) of an Islamic state. Jizyah symbolizes the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam.”
You could almost get the idea that Mawdudi thought that Islam was a religion and a belief system that “mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society,” as it would relegate non-Muslims to a second-class state of submission to the Muslims, paying a special tax and accepting other discriminatory regulations. Mawdudi had no trouble getting into Britain, but then again, he was a Muslim, and as I explained last week, you can talk about jihad violence in Britain, as long as you’re for it. So if you’re not a Muslim, get this book, and watch your mailbox for your ban letter.
2. The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam by Bat Ye’or (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996).
Find out what Mawdudi meant by that “submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam,” and the payment of the jizyah. Bat Ye’or is the pioneering historian of that “state of subordination,” dhimmitude, and in this book she reproduces a large number of contemporary documents that illustrate with harrowing vividness just what the “suzerainty of the Islam” meant to non-Muslims.
One ancient account of Muslim conquest and occupation of Egypt in the seventh century recounts how in one town, the Christians “came to the point of offering their children in exchange for the enormous sums that they had to pay each month, finding no one to help them because God had abandoned them and had delivered the Christians into the hands of their enemies.” These were the “Protected People.”
3. Sahih Muslim (translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, Kitab Bhavan, 2000).
This is a collection of hadith, accounts of the words and deeds of Muhammad that Muslim scholars generally consider authentic and that are hence normative for Islamic law. In it, Muhammad affirms Mawdudi’s words about fighting unbelievers: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (4294)
So while Mawdudi, despite his mainstream popularity, could conceivably be one of the tiny minority of extremists who have hijacked the religion of peace, it is harder to make the case that Muhammad himself was among that tiny minority. That ban letter is looming ever closer.
4. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law (translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana Publications, 1999).
This is a manual of Islamic law endorsed as “conforming to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community” by the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo. It says that the leader of the Muslims “makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax,” and cites Qur’an 9:29 in support of this idea: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled.” (o9.8)
In October 2001, right after 9/11, the New York Times called al-Azhar “the revered mosque, the distinguished university, the leading voice of the Sunni Muslim establishment.” It quoted a Muslim cleric: “Al Azhar is the only institution in the world that has learned the moderate Islam and taught it in a moderate way without fanaticism, and without abiding by the teachings of a school that promotes rigidity or violence.”
In June 2009 at al-Azhar, Barack Obama said: “For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement.”
Yet this beacon of Islamic learning and moderate Islam also confirms my hateful and “Islamophobic” contention that “Islam mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society.” How confusing! Have “Islamophobes” taken control of “the revered mosque, the distinguished university, the leading voice of the Sunni Muslim establishment”?
5. 1984 by George Orwell.
This one will get you banned in Britain for sure. The current regime there doesn’t want you to catch on to their secrets.