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The West’s New Inquisition Against Islam

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    The West s New Inquisition Against Islam Jahangir Mohammed - c-m-a@fsmail.net In this article, Jahangir Mohammed traces the spirit and tradition of The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25 1:57 PM
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      The West's New Inquisition Against Islam
      Jahangir Mohammed - c-m-a@...


      In this article, Jahangir Mohammed traces the spirit
      and tradition of The Inquisition, a peculiarly
      European and Christian form of intolerance, which it
      is argued has been revived today. Islam is once again
      the target of the politics and policies of this new
      Inquisition launched by the West, aided by Muslim
      puppet regimes.

      Western commentators and intellectuals like to boast
      of Europe's tradition of tolerance, freedom of
      _expression and religion. One wonders which history
      books these enlightened individuals, read to enable
      them to come such a conclusion. The accusations of
      violence levelled against Islam, also tend to blind
      the Judeo-Christian West to their own legacy of
      violence around the world. Of course, those in power
      usually tend to write their own history and create
      their own image. That should not preclude Muslims
      from investigating the historical validity of such
      statements.

      It is a fact however, that in Europe nowhere have
      large communities of people who have held differing
      faiths and beliefs to those accepted as Christian or
      the Established faith, survived without pogroms to
      wipe them out. [1] And whilst western civilization
      declares itself to be Judeo-Christian, even the Jews
      were subject to waves of persecution in the West, so
      much so that they felt that they could never be
      accepted in Europe, and needed their own State, a view
      that Western politicians endorsed.

      Compare this with Muslim rule in the past, where large
      communities of Christians, Jews, Hindus, and those of
      other faiths not only co-existed but also flourished.
      Nor was there any widespread attempt to eliminate,
      assimilate, control, persecute, impose leadership, or
      otherwise interfere with the practice of other faiths.
      Under the Islamic system of Dhimma, other communities
      were allowed to retain their own leadership and
      religious structures. When Jews and Christians were
      persecuted in Europe, they found refuge in Islamic
      lands and when non-establishment communities of
      Christians were being persecuted as in Spain, they
      called on Muslims to come to their aid.

      Contrast this, with the widespread history of Crusade
      and Inquisition in the West. Today, the West is once
      again in the grip of its historical Crusader zeal,
      with openly declared aims and strategies of reforming
      Islam. In light of today's global policies targeting
      Muslims, which have been developed primarily by white
      European Christians and Jews, it is fitting for us to
      examine Europe's historical record of intolerance.
      When we do so, we find that one of the worst brands of
      European intolerance - the Inquisition, has returned
      to haunt Muslims.

      The institution of Inquisition was and is particularly
      Christian, and European. When Inquisition is
      mentioned, most people tend recall the persecution and
      forced conversion of Muslims and Jews in Spain.
      However, there have been a number of Inquisitions and
      most of the early ones were not aimed at Muslims. So
      we need to understand the history and tradition of
      Inquisition, within Christian Europe to grasp its
      contemporary significance. In order to do this, some
      background to the original development of Christianity
      is necessary.

      The tradition of Inquisition in Europe, has both Roman
      and Christian roots, i.e. an alliance between secular
      and religious authorities. In the early history, of
      Christianity there was no uniform set of beliefs or
      practices. There were many competing sects all
      professing to be followers of Jesus offering differing
      interpretations of his life and personality. Most
      schools of thought did not accept that Jesus had been
      crucified, died, was resurrected, or God taking a
      human form (they were Unitarians rather than
      Trinitarians). Although these sects had all kinds of
      beliefs that would be alien to Islam, on the
      personality of Jesus their views were similar to the
      teachings of the Quran.

      Some of the more influential of these sects, had at
      the core of their beliefs amongst other things that:-

      * Jesus was an emissary of God.
      * The New Testament was not a real source of God's
      knowledge.
      * They possessed the real knowledge of God (Gnosis
      means knowledge)
      * Jesus did not die on the cross, but had created
      an illusion that he was killed (in some Gnostic
      traditions Jesus is replaced Simon of Cyrene)
      * They rejected the idea of "apostolic succession"
      which led to the creation of the Institutions of
      Church and Papacy.
      * Revelation from God does not require a central
      authority or priesthood for a relationship between man
      and his creator.

      These many schools of thought were present at the time
      the Holy Quran was revealed, and continued well into
      the Middle Ages. A combination of the above beliefs
      was central to most, including the Cathars and
      Bogomils. [2] Hence they are all generally classed as
      Gnostics and were declared Heretics.[3]

      One early view, developed primarily from the teachings
      of Saint Paul, the only person declared an Apostle but
      who never had any contact with Jesus. It was largely
      the opinions and teachings of St. Paul that led to the
      creation of what we call Christianity today.

      For Paul, everything centred on Jesus being Son of
      God, and not his sayings and doings. Paul's views
      deviated from almost everything Jesus taught and also
      from his own Jewish origins. Jewish scriptures based
      on the Old Testament were monotheistic and the
      acceptance of God becoming Man was considered a
      blasphemy. It appears, that Paul's ideas were shaped
      more by Greek mythology, which represented the
      dominant religious ideas of the time and had been
      adopted by the ruling Roman Empire. In these ideas
      Gods often took a human form (Gods often fought each
      other and died – deicide, and were resurrected). Paul
      went further, and declared that the laws and rules of
      the Old Testament, that were particularly unpalatable
      to the secular Romans, were suspended, since salvation
      and judgement was no longer based on ones individual
      actions, but through the grace of God, through his Son
      Jesus Christ. This license for complete freedom is at
      the heart of Western religious, social and political
      thought today.

      It is likely that Paul's innovations were introduced
      in an attempt to make Christianity more acceptable to
      the Roman's, since the initial spread of Christianity
      was confined to Jews, and the Romans particularly
      detested Jewish rules and regulations. In this
      attempt to widen the appeal of his ideas outside
      Jewish circles Paul was successful, and his view of
      Christianity spread within the Empire. However, there
      still persisted many Christian schools of thought.

      As the number of Christians of all sects began to grow
      within Rome, and as many were against emperor worship
      and rule, they came to be perceived as a threat to
      Roman rule, and were persecuted. This strategy of
      suppression did not work, and numbers of Christians in
      the ranks of officials of the empire also grew.
      Eventually, after much reflection, the Emperor
      Constantine decided to adopt a new strategy; to co-opt
      the Christians into the system rather than attempt to
      wipe them out. Paul's Christianity was declared the
      official State religion.[4] Thus was born the Roman
      Catholic (universal) Church. For the Church this
      relationship with State was also beneficial as it
      meant that on the back of State power its version of
      Christianity prevailed and flourished. This marriage
      of Church with Secular State, meant that the State now
      became defender of the official faith and the Church
      became upholder of man made laws and rulers (Emperors
      and Kings and later man made ideologies and systems).
      [5]

      Despite this, differences within Christianity remained
      and the State intervened. The State in collusion with
      the Roman Catholic Church called the Council of Nicaea
      in 325 AD and adopted the Nicene Creed (the views of
      Paul on Jesus) as the only acceptable view of
      Christianity (Constantine is said to have embraced
      Christianity).

      After Niceaea, all other interpretations of Jesus and
      his teachings, were declared illegitimate - a Heresy.
      Only the Church's views were considered legitimate and
      orthodox. From that moment began attempts to eliminate
      Heretics and burn all other books and writings that
      contradicted the official view. This included the
      destruction of gospels that were more accurate in
      their account of the life of Jesus than those adopted
      by the Official Church (which were not eyewitness).
      This tradition of eliminating all other the beliefs
      (Christian and later non-Christian) first occurred
      through unorganised effort, but eventually through
      organised violence or forced conversion, via the
      institutions of Inquisition and Crusade. It also
      involved eradicating any evidence of alternative
      interpretations, views and knowledge through book
      burning, a particularly Christian and European policy.
      The blame for the Crusades and Inquisition is often
      labelled at the door of the Church, and therefore
      religion, by western commentators (and why Islam
      should have to carry the can for behaviour of the
      Church, is something I fail to comprehend). However
      in reality, both the Established Faith in league with
      rulers and the Sate were complicit.

      There were a number of organised Inquisitions against
      Heretics by the Established Church. The first of these
      was the Medieval Inquisition against the Cathars in
      South France, established in 1184. By the end of the
      13th Century the Inquisition operated in nearly all
      lands under the Pope's remit. Although officially
      only Christians could be Heretics, the Inquisition
      found ways of dealing with atheists, blasphemers,
      witches and Jews and Muslims too. The Spanish
      Inquisition was by far the most intense and
      comprehensive in eliminating Muslims, Jews and other
      Christians. It started in 1478 and lasted for some 300
      years. The Roman Inquisition was a third variation;
      from 1542 it targeted the growth of Protestantism and
      the ideas of the Reformation. Although the
      determination of Heretics was carried out by the
      Church's office of Inquisition, the State was required
      to carry out the sentence. After the growth of
      Protestantism, the intolerance of Official
      Christianity led to Catholics and Protestants
      persecuting and killing each other in States where
      each was dominant. The Inquisition successfully
      eliminated all those other Christian groups that did
      not believe in Jesus as God, and many other beliefs.

      Western historians also tend to portray the 14th and
      15th century Renaissance and the Reformation as a
      period that marked the decline of religion, the rise
      of secularism and hence the end of religious
      persecution, and forced conversion of those with other
      views and faiths. However, western secularism and
      almost all western persecuting and exploitative
      ideologies (capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism,
      nationalism, colonialism, apartheid, Zionism,
      secularism) have emanated from the Judeo Christian
      political tradition highlighted above, i.e. a mutually
      convenient fusion of religion with secular state.
      Hence we find that such traditions in reality
      continued in both Europe and those nations that were
      colonised. These traditions of censorship, and
      elimination of alternative culture or competing views
      to the dominant ruling ideology and its officially
      recognised faith, continued post renaissance.

      So for example when Columbus and the Europeans went to
      the New World, the tradition of Inquisition was
      exported with the occupiers, and indigenous beliefs
      systems and cultures were all but eliminated. When the
      occupiers went to the Americas and Australia, they
      eliminated alternative beliefs and cultures. African
      slavery to the West arrived at the same time as the
      Renaissance and continued long after. African slaves
      were totally stripped of their religious beliefs and
      forced to accept Christianity. When the Europeans went
      to colonise the rest of the world, they purposely set
      out to eliminate the beliefs systems of others. The
      supposedly secular French, went to the extent of
      forcing an alien language and dress codes upon another
      people with the sole aim of detaching a people from
      their religious heritage, in places like Algeria.[6]
      The British adopted a more sophisticated approach but
      with the same aim. Wherever these European invaders
      went, they did so in partnership with their Official
      religion, Catholicism or Protestantism.[7] So we find
      for example where the British ruled in Sudan and
      Nigeria, the Anglican Church was built and converted
      people on the back of State power. Where Catholic
      Europeans colonised others, Catholicism was forced
      upon the natives in league with the State power.

      This tradition of intolerance continued, and has been
      a permanent feature of the post renaissance period.
      The rallying calls of western humanism "Liberty,
      Fraternity, Brotherhood" and the Rights of Man were
      seldom applied to people of other beliefs or skin
      colour. With the rise of secular fascism and communism
      the Nazis proceeded to burn Jews, gypsies, and others
      via the holocaust and earlier traditions such as
      burning books, continued. The Communists, although
      declaring all religion to be "the opium of the
      people", marked out Muslims for particular, attention.
      They proved very adept at censoring all alternative
      ideas and beliefs. Even those that subscribed to
      communist views in Western Europe were subject to the
      McCarthyism and witch-hunts.

      In the 1990's in Bosnia we saw the rise of intolerance
      targeting Muslims again, secular Serbian and Russian
      nationalists allied to Christianity once more. The
      Russians today continue with the policy of forcing
      their values on Muslims in Muslim lands, under Russian
      occupation.

      Today, the spirit of Crusade and Inquisition has been
      revived in the West, and there are many similarities
      with the methods and policies of past inquisitions.
      Once again Islam is the target.

      In the past, Paulician Christianity and European
      imperialism were established through violence. Today
      also the West has started a new Crusade to convert the
      Muslim world by force to a set of man made doctrines-
      democracy and secularism. As in the past, a deviant
      group of Christians and Jews (Zionist Christians and
      Jews) have teamed up with a secular empire (the US) in
      an attempt to eliminate those that do not share their
      view or submit to the rule of a worldly power. Just as
      Constantine "converted " to Paul's brand of
      Christianity, so too Bush and Blair have "converted"
      to the beliefs of Zionist Jews and Zionist Christians.
      The new empire and faith have declared the heretics
      to be anyone who does not share their world-view and
      stands in opposition to it. First Muslims and then
      will come the time for all others who resist. The
      spirit of Crusade and Inquisition pervades the Empire,
      with even the Liberals and those on the left,
      declaring that Islam and Muslims are in need of reform
      and declaring the Extremists as heretics, mainly
      without even hearing their views.

      Similar attempts are now being made to co-opt Muslim
      groups that have embraced some of the ideas of the
      secular state (such as democracy, power sharing, a
      Fiqh for minorities, political integration). States
      throughout Europe (France, Belgium, Holland, Germany,
      Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are now creating
      Establishment Muslim bodies, to shape a deviant Islam
      in the image of the West.

      Once blessed by the State, those Muslims go on to
      declare the official view of Islam, and both pronounce
      everyone else as Heretics. In today's language the
      Establishment Islam is known as Moderate Islam, and
      the Heretics are called extremists, fringe groups,
      terrorists, unrepresentative of Islam etc. The latter
      tend to be those Muslims that see Islam as a
      comprehensive ideology rather than a religion.

      With the help of the State and the media, the
      "Heretics" are identified and singled out. As in
      previous Inquisitions, they are presented as a threat
      to society and dismissed as not representing the true
      Islam of the Moderates. The State, Official Muslims
      and the Media, collude to ridicule, dismiss and
      distort the opinions, views and personalities of the
      Heretics. In today's environment, the threat must
      represent a real danger rather than a set of beliefs,
      so the bogey of terrorism is manufactured and
      maintained with ludicrous James Bond style plots.

      Prior to the launch of the Spanish Inquisition, and to
      force Muslims to convert to Christianity, their
      freedoms and rights were restricted and diminished so
      it was impossible to live as Muslims. They had to
      convert and practice secretly or leave for North
      Africa. Today, restrictive laws are beginning to have
      the same effect. Those that can't take the heat, are
      leaving, albeit it at a small scale. Others are
      changing their Muslims names so they can get jobs. Yet
      others are changing the names of their businesses and
      organisations so that they are not a target of the
      State. Others still, refuse to display any outward
      sign of their religiosity in order to survive the hate
      and hostility that now afflicts the West.

      One of the earliest Inquisition restrictions was to
      make Muslims and Jews wear distinctive garments, so
      they were easily recognisable. Today, the British
      Government seeks to introduce ID cards, ostensibly to
      protect people from terrorists, but the underlying
      purpose is to be able to identify Muslims, especially
      the ones they suspect of being extremists.

      The Spanish authorities could seize the property and
      person of a Muslim and restrict their trade. Today,
      property and wealth of Muslim charities,
      organisations, individuals and businesses are
      confiscated under the excuse of funding terrorism.

      Eventually, huge walled compounds, with only one
      entrance were built to surround Muslim and Jewish
      areas. This was to restrict their access to
      Christians. These were called Judeirar's and
      Moreriar's. Today the Jewish State operates a similar
      policy of the Wall against Palestinians.

      Once the Muslims and Jews were forced to convert and
      practice their religion in secret, the Inquisition was
      formally launched (by Pope Sixtus IV in 1478). Since
      they were now officially Christians, Muslims could be
      declared heretics and eliminated. The same happens to
      day. Once Muslims have converted to the official
      faith, Moderate Islam, the Establishment searches for
      any evidence that they are really Heretics. This was
      wonderfully illustrated by the Media Trial of the
      Moderate Sheikh Yusuf-Al-Qardawi, despite the
      protestations of his followers, that he was the
      genuine article and not like those real heretical
      extremists.

      In 1481, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand appointed
      the infamous Thomas De Torquemada to oversee the
      investigation and punishment of Jews and Muslims who
      claimed to have converted. Torquemada, produced his 28
      Articles on how to identify a Heresy and what to do,
      for fellow Inquisitors. In subsequent years he would
      add new Articles. Today, there are many Torquemada's
      with their equivalent Articles on how to determine
      Heretics. US High Priest John Ashcroft with his
      Patriot Act asking Americans to spy on their fellow
      Muslims, and report any suspicious behaviour, and
      restricting rights and freedoms. There is British ex
      Lay Preacher David Blunkett with his Terrorism Laws,
      which he extends with religious fervour almost every
      year, so the circle of those considered Heretics can
      be widened. He plans to extend these laws to include
      "those on the fringes" of, or committing acts
      "preparatory to terrorism". He even plans to outlaw
      those Heretics who "incite religious hatred" and curb
      freedom of association for them, and ban their
      organisations as has already happened in Denmark and
      Germany. In France, there is the head of the
      fanatical Christian sect known as Secularists,
      Nicholas Sarkozy. He has advanced plans to totally
      eliminate non-official Islam. In France wearing the
      Hijab is considered one of the most serious Heresies,
      even though the image of a Hijab clad Mary, whom the
      Christian French consider to be mother of God, adorns
      many of their homes and institutions.

      Throughout the West, the spirit of Inquisition and the
      search for Heretics is gaining momentum. The
      Inquisitors placed people in Muslim areas to inform
      them what was going on. Today, throughout the West,
      Muslims are being watched. Mosques are under
      surveillance, students at Universities observed,
      phones, internet and emails monitored, bank
      transactions checked, The tradition of eliminating any
      alternative voices or opinion has returned. Where
      once books were confiscated and burned, today
      literature, websites, video, books can all be used as
      evidence of Extremism and reason for prosecution, or
      banning. The authors of these works, either Imams or
      scholars or organisations, are prosecuted, locked up,
      deported or removed from their mosques. The State is
      actively seeking to control Mosques and install Imams
      of the Official Faith.

      Today, just like under the Inquisition, suspicion was
      considered sufficient evidence of guilt. [8] The
      accused were taken away and denied any access to and
      lawyers. The family would not be told what was
      happening and were denied access. Those arrested could
      disappear for week's months and years, without trial.
      The evidence was gathered secretly and through
      torture, as today. The accused were not told what the
      evidence was against them, nor could they call or
      question accusers or witnesses. The accused were
      forced through torture to repent, and even when they
      did were not believed, leading often to a sentence of
      death at the stake. We find such conditions in
      American run concentration camps around the world
      today, for example, Guantanamo, and in Belmarsh in
      Britain. Thousands were arrested in the United States
      itself after 911, and held without charge.

      A key feature of the Inquisition was something called
      self-denunciation and reporting of others that were
      suspected of being Heretics. The accused was asked
      not only to denounce himself as a heretic, but also to
      denounce and report others. Since the identity of the
      denouncer was withheld, nobody could defend
      themselves. Soon everyone was denouncing and
      reporting each other, including family members. Today,
      Muslims are habitually asked to denounce the
      extremists, disassociate themselves from them and even
      report those they suspect of being involved in
      extremist/terrorist activities. Any media report must
      contain the mandatory denunciation and disassociation
      from the Extremists by a Moderate - "their views do
      not represent the Muslims" or "they are a fringe
      group". The Inquisitors would go to a Muslim area and
      ask people to report suspected heretics. Today
      Official Muslim groups send out letters to all mosques
      asking Muslims to report suspected terrorists. These
      groups of Muslims aligned with the authorities existed
      under the Inquisition too, they were known as
      Muddajjin by the Muslims (domesticated, tamed, in
      total darkness). Such Muslims foolishly believed that
      by collaborating with the State they could save
      themselves. Today, they issue booklets called "rights
      and responsibilities", such groups and Muslims thought
      that they had rights under the Spanish authorities
      too. Not a single treaty was honoured. Nor has the
      West honoured the vast majority of treaties with
      indigenous people wherever they went.

      Anyone seeing those terrible pictures of the
      humiliation and torture of Muslims in Abu Ghraib
      prison would rightly be shocked. Those images, mirror
      drawings and paintings of prisoners being interrogated
      by the Inquisition. Prisoners were almost always
      stripped naked, tied, humiliated and tortured until
      they confessed to being a heretic. Extra-ordinary
      forms of torture ranging from hanging, stretching and
      suspending captives on pyramids through various bodily
      orifices, were used. One wonders if those that forced
      Iraqi prisoners to form a naked human pyramid knew
      that they were enacting scenes from the Inquisition?
      What was evident then and now, from the torture of
      Muslims in Guantanamo, Bagram, Iraq and elsewhere, is
      the intense hatred of Islam of those carrying out the
      interrogations.

      Once those interrogated had confessed, some were
      issued with the edicts of grace and a public
      procession was held, Auto De Fae. This was a
      procession to show of those that had been saved and
      accepted the error of their ways. In today's world,
      the Media parades those that have adopted Moderate
      Islam as a message to others as if to say "you see
      these people they have adopted our beliefs and
      values".

      Today's Crusade and Inquisition, have the same
      objectives as in the past, the desire to eliminate any
      views that seek to preserve even the semblance of
      God's revelation to man. Such views are considered
      inimical to the interests of secular powers and those
      religious authorities (Jewish, Christian and Muslim)
      that have a vested interest in preserving their power
      base, privileges and deviant version of Gods real
      message. Just as St. Paul wanted to develop a
      relationship with the Empire and Secular State, so too
      today, there are Muslims that want have a formal
      relationship between Islam and Secular State, to
      further their version of Islam, power base and
      authority. What is interesting is that Secular States
      that talk of separation of religion from State have
      developed that relationship, in France, Britain, the
      US and elsewhere. It suits their purpose to create an
      Islam that is not based one what God wants, but what
      the Empire needs. What is different today, is that
      the rulers of Muslim lands are also engaged in that
      Inquisition.

      The lesson for us is that those who have deviated from
      God's truth, will adopt the methods of the Inquisition
      to preserve themselves, because falsehood fears
      freedom of religion and tolerance of other beliefs.
      Truth on the other hand has no fear of falsehood and
      embraces freedom of religion, knowledge and tolerance
      towards others. Islam never feared the knowledge,
      beliefs or presence of others in its midst, and its
      confidence lifted Europeans from the Dark Ages of
      suppression and oppression. It is high time Muslims
      developed the confidence to play that historical role
      once more, before the West steeps once again into the
      Dark Ages. That role can only be played if we are
      independent of the Secular Empire and not a branch of
      it, and in that role we will find many allies amongst
      those of other beliefs.

      Jahangir Mohammed, is Director for the Centre for
      Muslim Affairs, an independent think tank on Muslim
      Affairs.

      This is the fourth in a series of articles intended to
      provide an understanding of Democracy from an
      independent Islamic perspective, and stimulate debate
      and free thinking..

      c-m-a @ fsmail.net

      www.prisonersofwest.com is a website dedicated to
      exposing the persecution of Muslims and the withering
      away of their rights and freedoms.

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