This is a refutation of Arsalan Iftikhar’s CNN Article “Murder has no religion” available here.
Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer and former National Legal Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (the organization named by U.S. Federal prosecutors in 2007 as an un-indicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding case involving the Holy Land Foundation). He is a contributing author of an award-winning book and is well-known for his interviews, commentaries and analyses which have regularly appeared in virtually every major media outlet in the world.
In this article we will analyse a piece he had written for CNN, titled “Murder has no religion”. It was written in response to the Fort Hood massacre, in which the “Allahu Akbar” screaming U.S. Army major, Nidal Malik Hasan, murdered 13 people and wounded 30 others at a US military installation.
Most of the world’s 1.57 billion Muslims know that the Holy Quran states quite clearly that, “Anyone who kills a human being … it shall be as though he has killed all of mankind. … If anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he has saved the lives of all of mankind.”
No, it is not clear at all. It is unfortunate that even his opening sentence is a mistruth. There is no such verse in the Qur’an. What Iftikhar has presented us with is a butchered and out-of-context paraphrasing of Qur’an 5:32 meant to mislead those who have little knowledge of Islamic scripture.
This verse is examined in detail here. In summary; it is written in past tense, and clearly does not apply to Muslims but to “the Children of Israel” i.e. the Jews. When the clause (omitted from the verse by Iftikhar) which allows killing is reinserted and we read it in context with the next two verses, it is in actual fact a chilling warning to non-believers who cause “mischief” in the land.
Accordingly, it should come as little surprise to any reasonable observer that when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan recently committed his shocking acts of mass murder at Fort Hood, Texas, America’s Muslim community of over 7 million felt an added sense of horror and sadness at this senseless attack against the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces.
Another mistruth. Contrary to the bloated figures provided by CAIR, and accepted by many apologists, media outlets, and even the President of the United States, and in spite of the massive influx of Muslim refugees, a Pew survey carried-out in October, 2009 found there are only 2.454 million Muslims in the U.S. Percentage-wise, Islam represents a minuscule 0.8 percent of the United States religious make-up.
Quite possibly the message he was trying to convey to us was that there are many Muslims in America yet there are so few terrorist attacks on American soil. Unfortunately this is not the case. There have been several terror attacks in the U.S. since 9/11 and countless foiled attempts.
Furthermore, the relative silence among America’s Muslim community and the worlds Muslim population in general suggests a passive acceptance of violence perpetuated in the name of Islam. There is no way he could possibly know how America’s Muslims felt in regards to the senseless deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of this Muslim terrorist, and his empty words are meant to pull at America’s heart strings.
True to form, many conservative media pundits wasted little time in pointing to reports that Hasan had said “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) at the start of his murderous rampage. News coverage continuously showed the looping convenience store black-and-white videotape footage of Hasan wearing traditional white Islamic garb.
Another mistruth. The Arabic word kebir means “great,” while akbar means “greater”. These two words are not interchangeable. For evidence of this, we need only look to Qur’an 2:219 which uses both words. The word for “God” in Arabic is “Ilah” not “Allah“, as evidenced in the Shahada.
Therefore we can rightly conclude that “Allahu akbar” does not mean “God is great”, but “Allah is greater“. This is the traditional war cry of Jihadists and was used by Muhammad himself before he launched his attack on the Jews of Khaibar.
And there is no reason why the media should be criticized for reporting the words of a terrorist before his murderous rampage, and there is no reason why video footage of the terrorist in question should be suppressed.
Does Arsalan Iftikhar wish to inhibit reporting on certain criminals based on their own choice to overtly parade their religious affiliation?
Muslims who label themselves as “moderate” need to become assertive against their co-religionists which they refer to as “extremists,” rather than attempt to hide religious extremism from the eyes of non-Muslims by sweeping matters under the carpet.