Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


By Silas

ISIS’s successes and brutalities has motivated many Muslim academics and religious leaders to again make PR rounds and again proclaim that Islam is peace, and again tell us that Islam is good.  And again they assert that ISIS, or any of the other numerous Muslim terror organizations, are distorting Islam.

On cue one of the most prominent Muslim religious leaders, Shawki Allam, Egypt’s Grand Mufti of Egypt, has had religious articles posted on various sites making the snake-oil pitch that ISIS does not represent real Islam.

Recently the Wall Street Journal facilitated this man’s insidious deception and published one of his articles:   How Islamist Extremists Warp the Fatwa

This is one of the weaker con jobs that Muslim academics have pulled and I’m surprised that he didn’t make a better argument.  On the other hand many in the West, (thankfully fewer now than before) have been gulping down the Islamic koolaid for years.  Bigoted marks are easy sells; Allam knew he was preaching to a crowd of ignorant city-bumpkins:  “Why go to the trouble, some of the Huffington Post buffoons will repeat my arguments as fact.”

By the way, before you let the title of “Grand Mufti” impress you, be aware that Allam is a Sufi.  There have been, there are, and there shall continue to be, numerous Sunni opponents of Sufism, and many of the more devout Sunni reject Allam’s authority.  Muslims have told me that Al-Azhar teaches a distorted version of Islam and that dedicated Sunni Muslims ignore its pronouncements.  Sunnis have killed Sufis because they believe Sufism is a distortion of real Islam.  (By the way, the historical record shows Sufis have been as violent as Sunnis and Shia).

I going to examine three of Allam’s points and show how he deceives his readership concerning real Islam.  I define real Islam as Muhammad’s Islam: his life, teachings, and actions, part of which make up Islam and are recorded in the Quran, the Traditions (hadith), and biographical literature (sira).  Don’t miss this point: real Islam is what Muhammad did and taught.

Here are the three points I’ll challenge:

1)  Islam’s treatment of religious minorities
2)  Islam’s treatment of women
3)  Islamic violence

1)  Let’s start with how Islam treat’s religious minorities.  Allam argues that Muhammad / Islam treated religious minorities fairly:

He (Muhammad) also established a safe environment for religious minorities and laid out principles for equality and citizenship.

These bogus fatwas have included expelling religious minorities from their homes,

Islam in its true form is also adamant about finding balance with religious minorities. People of differing faiths are not to be treated as second-class citizens, and their right of religious freedom and worship is to be respected.

Now let’s see what Islam teaches about treatment of religious minorities.  We must start with the Quran of course.  Here is a quote from Chapter 9 which is one of the last chapters of Muhammad’s Quran and contain some of his final commands.  I am presenting two different versions of 9:29, 30 and highlighting key words so you can see its brutal position easily:

Quran:  9:29, 30:


Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they![1]


Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God, or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled.

The Jews say, ‘Ezra (Ozair) is a son of God’, and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is a son of God’  Such the sayings in their mouths!  They resemble the saying of the Infidels of old!  God do battle with them!  How are they misguided![2]

These are Allah’s (Muhammad’s) statements and commands against Christians and Jews.  Allah commands the Muslims to make war on and kill the Jews and Christians unless they convert to Islam or pay an extortion called “jizyah.”  If they pay the extortion they are to do it in a state of humiliation and debasement.

Did you notice that in verse 30, Muhammad asks Allah, to kill Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and states that these Christians are perverse?  There is a lot of hatred taught in the Quran and that is why devout Muslims worldwide are murdering non-Muslims or those who they consider to be false Muslims.  Of course in the light of the Quran ISIS is only doing what Allah commands:  they are killing Christians who are not paying the jizyah.

In Islam non-Muslims who live under Islamic rule are labeled as “dhimmies.”  You can do your own study to see how they were treated through the ages.  It was often cruel and brutal and best case they were 2nd class citizens.  If you want to go deeper than a simple Wiki article then read Bat Ye’or’s “Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide.”  Muslims always subject non-Muslims once they have power over them.

Here are some related articles:
The Myth of Islamic Tolerance
Rights of Non-Muslims

Let’s examine the traditions (hadith) on Muhammad’s view of religious minorities and how were treated.  Below are quotes from the most authentic and respected Sunni hadith.

It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.[3]

Narrated Said bin Jubair:

… They said, "Allah's Apostle is seriously sick.' The Prophet said, "Let me alone, as the state in which I am now, is better than what you are calling me for." The Prophet on his death-bed, gave three orders saying, "Expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula, respect and give gifts to the foreign delegates as you have seen me dealing with them."  I forgot the third (order)" (Ya'qub bin Muhammad said, "I asked Al-Mughira bin 'Abdur-Rahman about the Arabian Peninsula and he said, 'It comprises Mecca, Medina, Al-Yama-ma and Yemen." Ya'qub added, "And Al-Arj, the beginning of Tihama.")[4]

Obviously Muhammad intended to denigrate these religious minorities. 

Finally, we have the biographical material showing Muhammad’s bigotry.  The most authentic biography of Muhammad today, Ibn Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasul Allah” translated by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad,” tells the story of a Jewish shopkeeper who had been a friend and helper of Muslims:

The apostle said, 'Kill any Jew that falls into your power.' Thereupon Muhayyisa b. Mas`ud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, 'You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?' Muhayyisa answered, 'Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.' He said that this was the beginning of Huwayyisa's acceptance of Islam. The other replied, 'By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?' He said, 'Yes, by God, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.' He exclaimed, 'By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvelous!' and he became a Muslim.[5]

Does Muhammad’s statement:  “kill any Jew that falls into your power” qualify as fair and humane treatment of a religious minority?  I don’t think so, do you?  What if the tables were reversed?  What would your reaction be if President Obama ordered people to, “Kill any Muslim that falls under your power”?  What would your reaction be if Netanyahu commanded Jewish people to, “Kill any Muslim that falls under your power”? 

When you think about it in the reverse context it is a horrible, bigoted, and evil command.  Of course the good people of the world would be horrified and condemn such a command.  Yet Muslims hold Muhammad as the highest moral example.  I’d say that he was pretty damn ugly. 

Muhammad’s bigoted use of collective punishment and murder is the opposite of “balance” and “a safe environment.”  Allam is very comfortable in his pampered lifestyle and he does not understand what is means to be abused and treated like a second class citizen.  Allam can mouth all the platitudes he wishes but if he were to attempt to be a bit more human he would try to imagine, try to put himself in the shoes of millions of non-Muslims, and see things from the another perspective. 

Also, when Muslims attacked and conquered non-Muslim tribes the women were given as slaves to the Muslim soldiers as the spoils of war.  Muslim men were allowed to rape their slaves:  Muhammad and the Female Captives

Allam has misrepresented Muhammad’s treatment of non-Muslims and Islam’s law sanctioning the abuse and subjection of non-Muslims.

If Muhammad abused and oppressed religious minorities and taught his followers to do likewise then why is it wrong for Muslims to do it today?



The second point is Islam’s treatment of women.  On the abuse of women Allam states: 

These bogus fatwas have included … subjugating women and treating them as sex slaves, …

The extremists know nothing of true Islamic teachings—for instance, the ill treatment of women is forbidden, and women are allowed to engage in the public field and hold high political posts.

Does Islam require that women be subject to men and allow them to be mistreated?    Again we’ll start with the Quran to address the question.


Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God has gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God has of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness you have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great![6]


Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.[7]

Notice here that men are superior and have authority over women.  Further, if a wife persists in disobedience to her husband he is commanded to beat her.  Some Muslims argue that the beating is only to be light.  The word “light” is not found in the Quran or Hadith.  It’s a word Muslims have added to make it appear to be less harsh.  Besides, when’s the last time you were given a light beating?  I would laugh in the face of a Muslim who said that.

If you care to look further you’ll find that Muhammad once struck his young wife Aisha in the chest and made her cry.  Worse yet, within his Muslim community he approved of Muslim men beating their wives.  It was so widespread that Aisha told Muhammad that the Pagans treated their wives better than the Muslims do!

Here is an article that examines the many hadith and sira references on the actual wife beating that occurred with Muhammad’s command and permission:  
Wife Beating in Islam

As mentioned in point one, female slaves were used for sex and were allowed to be raped.  But even Muslim women had demands upon them for sex.  Here are two hadith:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning."[8]

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger as saying: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in the heaven is displeased with her until he (her husband) is pleased with her.[9]

Word to all Muslim wives:  if you don’t give your husband sex on demand the angels will curse you and Allah will be angry with you.  Okay, that is not sexual slavery but I suspect that a Muslim woman would not have peace of mind if she knew the angels were cursing her and Allah was angry.

Muhammad said in his farewell address that women are “between slave and free,” i.e. that females were not equal to men, but were somewhere in-between a child and an adult male.  Similarly Muhammad said women were deficient in intelligence when compared to a man.  Muhammad classified women as mentally inferior to men and then logically relegated them to a socially inferior status.  That’s why they were to be managed by men, that’s why they could be beaten to obey.

Here again Allam has misrepresented Islam’s true teachings.  Women can be beaten and bruised by their husbands.  Female slaves can be used as sex slaves and Muslim wives are under strong obligation to obey their husband’s demands for sex.  Don’t tell me that women are equal in Islam, they’re not!

If Muhammad commanded wife beating and justified men that did so then why is it wrong for Muslims to continue to beat their wives today?


The third point is that Allam contends that ISIS’s brutality, torture, and murder are not in accordance with Islam’s teachings.  Allam states that ISIS is:

slaughtering in cold blood those whom they consider their enemies.

and that:

The violent extremists depend on the apparent meanings of the primary texts without understanding them. They seize on the Quranic verse that says “and kill the polytheists wherever you find them” (9:5), for example, while ignoring subsequent rules of legal extrapolation and scholarly opinions that keep scripture from being manipulated to evil ends.

I’m pleased that he referenced 9:5.  Most Muslims, and even non-Muslims who make arguments like Allam are afraid to reference 9:5.  Allam then argues that subsequent legal opinions from Muslim scholars prohibit that verse from being manipulated.  Allam should have named some of these “scholars.”

Further, what would Allam say about scholars like Ibn Kathir who argue strongly that 9:5 is in effect and it justifies worldwide jihad?  The Quranic context of 9:5 is found from verses 1 through 41 or so.  The sira of Ibn Ishaq goes into great detail to historical and cultural context of the time and reason for Muhammad to proclaim those verses.

Some dedicated Sunni Muslims need to ask Allam if Ibn Kathir got it wrong.  Interestingly enough is the fact that the previous Grand Mufti was a Sunni from the Shafi’i school of Islam.  I wonder what he thinks of Allam’s implicit criticism of Ibn Kathir.

Here is an article on 9:5, the Verse of the Sword, from which I’ll quote.
The Verse of the Sword

Muhammad was the aggressor (9:2, 3, 5)
Muhammad was a truce breaker (9:1)
Muhammad used compulsion to force people to convert to Islam: (9:5)
Muhammad commanded murder for Islam, (9:5, 6)

The Caliph makes war upon the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4) - which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself - while remaining in their ancestral religions (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High,

"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." 9:29

The Caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya)) …[10]

Below is the letter Muhammad wrote to the leaders containing his demands. 

"To John ibn Rabah and the Chiefs of Aylah. Peace be on you! I praise God for you, beside whom there is no Lord. I will not fight against you until I have written thus unto you. Believe, or else pay tribute. And be obedient unto the Lord and his Prophet, and the messengers of his Prophet. Honor them and clothe them with excellent vestments, not with inferior raiment. Specially clothe Zeid with excellent garments. As long as my messengers are pleased, so likewise am I. Ye know the tribute. If ye desire to have security by sea and by land, obey the Lord and his Apostle, and he will defend you from every claim, whether by Arab or foreigner, saving the claim of the Lord and his Apostle. But if ye oppose and displease them, I will not accept from you a single thing, until I have fought against you and taken captive your little ones and slain the elder.[11]

If you want to do a little study you could correlate Muhammad’s letter to the Christians of Aylah with Muhammad’s commands found in 9:29, 30.  This fishing village was no threat to Muhammad and they were in terror of what he would do to them.  Muhammad told them that if they did not convert to Islam or pay the extortion he would kill and enslave them.

Muhammad’s actions speak loudly here. Committed near the end of his life, they clearly portray what he wanted his followers to continue to do: attack and conquer non-Muslim people.

Again Allam has deceived his readership.  ISIS has more in common with Muhammad than Allam.  ISIS’s words and actions correlate more closely with Muhammad’s than what Allam says. 

Muhammad attacked and killed non-Muslims for rejecting Islam and commanded his followers to continue to do so, why is it wrong for Muslims to obey Muhammad and continue to do it today?



Finally I want to draw your attention to Allam’s ending:

Thus, it has been incumbent on Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta, an educational institute, to wage an intellectual war against the ill beliefs, warped understanding and sickening interpretations of scriptural texts,

Judging from the growing strength and success of Muslim terror groups I’d say that Al-Azhar has failed in their intellectual war.  But why?  Why is their intellectual firepower so feeble?  Why are they failing?  Because they cannot make the intellectual argument that Islam is peace.  When a person knows the Islamic doctrines there is only one honest conclusion that can be drawn:  violence and oppression against non-Muslims and subjection of women are integral to real Islam.  Muhammad is their example, Muhammad is Islam’s DNA.  He oppressed religious minorities and placed women in an inferior position to men.  The “radical” Muslims are the ones being true to their DNA; they are obeying Muhammad.




Allam is an insidious siren singing to his readers, “Islam is peace, Islam is peace” and those that are drawn to his deception will be wrecked.  There is evil in his voice.

Shame upon you Mufti Allam, shame upon you.  You know full well that what you’ve written is wrong.  You know better than most that Muhammad did subject and humiliate non-Muslims.  You know full well that Muhammad positioned women beneath men, regarded them as “between slave and free,” yet you persist in telling the ignorant Americans pernicious lies.

Allam is bringing innovation to Islam.  Surely there are some Sunni scholars who will challenge his effort to change Islam, to change Allah’s word?  Isn’t there a single Muslim left at Al-Azhar willing to tell the truth of Islam despite his errors? 

However, the real sadness, the real failing rests with the West.  Bigoted buffoon-journalists and professors continue to facilitate Allam’s proclamation of deception without challenge.  Your children’s blood will be on their hands as well.

Unfortunately, despite the current evidence of blood, the worldwide Islamic violence and the depth of commands to violence found in Islam’s source materials, some people in the West refuse to understand that real Islam is oppressive, sexist, and violent. 

Silas, August 23, 2015


[1] Pickthall, M., “The Meaning of the Glorious Koran”, Mentor, New York, 1953

[2] Rodwell, J. M.,  "The Koran", by, published by Everyman, London, England 1994

[3] Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi, #4366

[4] Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, volume 4, #288

[5] Ibn Ishaq, "Sirat Rasulallah", compiled by A. Guillaume as  "The Life of Muhammad", Oxford, London, 1955, page 369

[6] Rodwell, J. M.,  "The Koran", by, published by Everyman, London, England 1994

[7] Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995

[8] Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, volume 4, #460

[9] Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi, #3367

[10] al-Misri, Ahmad, “Reliance of the Traveler”, Amana, Beltsville, MD, 1994

[11]   Muir, William, "Life of Mahomet"

[First published: 20 October 2015]
[Last updated: 20 October 2015]