Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

I Am Lucky to Have a Syrian Passport

IMAGE: Public domain by Pixabay.

Image: Pixabay

This post is part of a special series of articles by blogger and activist Marcell Shehwaro, describing the realities of life in Syria during the ongoing armed conflict between forces loyal to the current regime, and those seeking to oust it.

Dear Officer,

I am lucky to have a Syrian passport. You see, if it weren’t for this passport, random selection wouldn’t have chosen me, randomly and coincidentally, for investigation in all airports I’ve ever been through.

If it weren’t for my Syrian passport I would have passed through like all the rest, or, to be accurate, like most of them. I would have passed through failing to notice the unfortunate ones singled out for investigation. I would have had the privilege of reaching my destination on a schedule known beforehand.

Imagine that happening! It would be as if my time actually mattered. If that were the case I would definitely have failed to notice those coming from countries that are worth less under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If it weren’t for my Syrian passport I would never have heard that extremely polite phrase: “Would you please wait on the side by the wall, Miss?”, and I would not have remembered my childhood school punishments.

What is this world punishing us for? Don’t you think that all borders should be opened specifically for us, Syrians, with a word of apology?

“I wouldn’t have noticed how we, the suspects, are led with extreme politeness to defend our innocence and to denounce terrorism; we, who have been more targeted by terrorism than any of those investigating us about it.”

If it weren’t for my Syrian passport I wouldn’t have noticed how we, the suspects, are led with extreme politeness to defend our innocence and to denounce terrorism; we, who have been more targeted by terrorism than any of those investigating us about it.

The real terrorism flies to you in private jets, and into private airports, after killing us silently, and occupies the pages of your newspapers and gets your media to discuss the elegance of his wife—the “Desert Rose”.

Your politeness, Sir, kills me more than your discrimination. “Would you please….” “We’re sorry to keep you…” “We’re sorry you have to go through this….” They sound like the clichés a man offers a woman he doesn’t love. “It’s not you, it’s me…” An over-politeness to sugarcoat a bitter truth. To make one feel good about oneself. You send us to be investigated on no charge but our identities, but you do it with extreme politeness.

It was a pure coincidence that half of those waiting in the investigation hall raised their hands when the investigator called for “Mohammed”. It was a pure coincidence, among so many other similar coincidences.

Please excuse me: I am obsessed with identifying patterns. If it weren’t for my Syrian passport I probably wouldn’t have noticed the recurring pattern—a purely coincidental recurring pattern, of course.

I sit there and wait with the rest. I take out an Arabic book by Ibrahim Nasrallah, a Palestinian writer who talks about resistance and love. I remember when I was an activist fighting for freedom and democracy, going out on protests and running for shelter, and writing. I look at the book in my hand. Now my biggest act of resistance is holding an Arabic book in an airport.

Excuse me, Sir, if I made reference to how problematic your interrogations of Syrians are. You see, some of us have experienced the unimaginable during interrogations, so we aren’t intimidated by something this polite. Others are so afraid of anyone in uniform that they confess to things they don’t even know. So what “truth” is it that you are trying to get out of us?

I also ask your pardon, for I didn’t mean to say “No” with such pride when you asked me to unlock my mobile. You see, this request echoes deeply in our collective conscience as Syrians. This request takes me back to the checkpoints in my country, where saying no to such a request could simply get you killed. I said “No” with pride because I wanted to inhale some of your democracy.

Do you understand the meaning of half a million of my own people dying in search of a democracy? What it means to be able to say no without getting killed?

“I will try to look cheerful and happy in the airport, but allow me to give you a small tip: if you see a cheerful and happy Syrian in an airport, it’s then you should really be suspicious.”

You ask me about my purpose for being in your country? I don’t know. I came to talk about death. They tell me I’m so good at talking about death that some of you even applaud me when I finish. I have seen so many human remains in Aleppo and it seems I am good in marketing that in English.

That’s what I came here to do. To look for allies I can convince that we deserve less death, and that maybe, just maybe, bombing a school is a shame for all humanity.

Do I look angry to you? I apologize! I haven’t yet mastered your manners. Appearing angry makes one suspicious, I know, and you know how emotional we are. You see, we haven’t yet learnt how to be less angry while all the planes in the world are helping our government bomb us day and night. I will try to look cheerful and happy in the airport, but allow me to give you a small tip: if you see a cheerful and happy Syrian in an airport, it’s then you should really be suspicious.

Do I appear fidgety to you? Maybe it is because I don’t understand how someone would ever answer “Yes” to the question: “Are you a member of a secret banned organization?”

No! No! All the secret peaceful groups I have ever been a member of were destroyed by our regime, their members displaced and their youth killed under torture. Have I ever used guns? I once suggested to a guy I liked to go shooting to release some anger, but he advised that we better avoid that, because it wouldn’t look good on our official papers as Syrians. But I only suggested that because I really liked the guy, and you know how love makes us do foolish things. But I have no intention of going near a weapon in my life. No Sir, I don’t use weapons, I hate weapons, even water guns will not find their way into my house.

Despite all that, I am lucky to have a Syrian passport, as thousands are deprived a passport by virtue of a political decision. Millions of others, who are not as good in marketing death as we are, or whose stories are less exciting to the audience, don’t get visas to travel, so they come to you by sea. Some of them die just to cross to you, so what’s four hours in the waiting area compared to that?

I am lucky to have my Syrian passport. Imagine—after all that I have been through, I still have nightmares where I lose my passport and wake up terrified.

I have an OCD habit of checking my passport every five minutes when I’m travelling. As if I lose it, I don’t know if any of those concerned international entities would help me get another travel document, in the event that the teenager Bashar Al-Asaad refused to consider us citizens and punish us for escaping the leash by denying us passports.

Nor do I want to add to the refugee crisis in your countries, God forbid.

I am lucky to have my passport. Could you please return it to me?

Thank you.

24 comments

  • Michael Lederman

    Islamic law actually forbids formal Muslim charity (in the form of the zakat payment) from being used to meet the needs of non-believers.

    Allah intends for Muslims to triumph over unbelievers:
    And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way to triumph over believers [Pickthall – “any way of success”] (4:141)
    The only acceptable position of non-Muslims to Muslims is subjugation under Islamic rule:
    Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (9:29 Jizya is the money that non-Muslims must pay to their Muslim overlords in a pure Islamic state.)
    A common criticism of many Muslims is that they often behave arrogantly toward others. Now you know why.

    The Quran Dehumanizes Non-Muslims
    and Says that They are Vile Animals

    The Ayatollah Khomeini, who dedicated his entire life to studying Islam, said that non-Muslims rank somewhere between “feces” and the “sweat of a camel that has consumed impure food.” Small wonder. The Quran dehumanizes non-Muslims, describing them as “animals” and beasts:
    Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures. (98:6)
    Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. (8:55)
    Verse 7:176 compares unbelievers to “panting dogs” with regard to their idiocy and worthlessness.

    Verse 7:179 says they are like “cattle” only worse.

    Verse 9:28 says the unbelievers are unclean.

    Verse 6:111 says they are ignorant.

    Verse 23:55 says they are helpers of the devil.

    Verse 5:60 even says that Allah transformed Jews of the past into apes and pigs. This is echoed by verses 7:166 and 2:65.

    A hadith (Bukhari 54:524) says that Muhammad believed rats to be “mutated Jews” (also confirmed by Sahih Muslim 7135 and 7136).

    Verses 46:29-35 even say that unbelieving men are worse than the demons who believe in Muhammad.

    According to Islamic law, non-Muslims may be owned as property by Muslims, but – in keeping with Islam’s supremacist message – a fellow Muslim should never be (unless they convert to Islam under enslavement). Even Christians and Jews are not considered fully human in that the penalty for killing one of them is limited to one-third of the compensation due for unintentionally killing a Muslim.

    The Quran Says that Allah does NOT Love Unbelievers

    Christianity teaches that God loves all people, but hates sin. The Quran never says this. Instead it explicitly declares that Allah does not love those who do not believe in him:
    He does not love the unbelievers (30:45)
    Allah only loves those who obey Muhammad (at least according to Muhammad, who provided the “narration”):
    Say: “Obey Allah and His Messenger”: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith. (3:32)
    Instead of a god that loves the sinner, even while hating the sin, the wrath of Allah is placed squarely on the individual:
    Surely Allah does not love any one who is unfaithful, ungrateful. (22:38)
    Verses 11:118-199 say that Allah does not bestow mercy on everyone. For this reason, he chooses not to guide some people:
    And Allah’s is the direction of the way, and some (roads) go not straight. And had He willed He would have led you all aright. (16:9)
    In fact, he tells Satan to lead the unbelievers to destruction:
    And lead to destruction those whom you can with your (seductive) voice (17:64)
    For those whom Allah does not love, there will be the most terrible of eternal torments, including eternal roasting:
    Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise. (4:56)
    “Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers” (2:98) and, as we shall see, he hates them so much that he even leads them into sinning and actively prevents them from believing in him, thus ensuring their fate.

    The Quran Says that Non-Muslims are
    Destined for Eternal Torture in Hell

    Although nowhere does the Quran say that Allah loves those who don’t believe Muhammad, there are over 400 verses that describe the torment that he has prepared for people of other religions (or no religion):
    And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers (3:85)
    The relative worth of non-Muslims is that they are but fuel for the fire of Hell:
    (As for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah, and these it is who are the fuel of the fire (3:10 Shakir: “firewood of hell”)
    As they are fueling the fire, unbelievers will be tormented by Allah’s angels on his command:
    “O ye who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire whereof the fuel is men and stones, over which are set angels strong, severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commandeth them, but do that which they are commanded.” (66:6)
    It doesn’t matter how many good deeds an unbeliever does, because they count for nothing with Allah:
    The parable of those who reject their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a tempestuous day: No power have they over aught that they have earned (14:18)
    Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works? They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight. That is their reward, Hell, because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. (18:103-106)
    Muhammad told his people that anyone who rejects his claim to be a prophet will go to Hell:
    Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in others’, and desire to take a course between (this and) that. These it is that are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement. And those who believe in Allah and His messengers and do not make a distinction between any of them– Allah will grant them their rewards (4:150-152)
    In Christianity, punishment in the hereafter is directly tied to sin and ‘wickedness.’ There is relatively little said about Hell, but the emphasis is on personal suffering for selfish or cruel deeds. In Islam, Hell is a punishment for merely not believing Muhammad’s personal claims about himself. In contrast to the Bible, every 12th verse of the Quran speaks of Hell and vividly describes Allah’s wrath on unbelievers:
    But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads, Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning. (22:19-22)
    No one could torture a person in this way without hating them intensely. Neither can Allah’s intense loathing for unbelievers help but affect the Muslim attitude toward those outside the faith.

    The personal superiority of Muslims is confirmed by the contrasting picture painted in so many places in the Quran in which they are rewarded with the greatest of earthly comforts in heaven, while the unbelievers concurrently suffer horrible torment (see Sura 56:12 for just one example).

    Allah Himself Prevents Non-Muslims from Understanding

    It would make no sense if Allah gave the people that he hates an opportunity to avoid his wrath. The Quran says that Allah deliberately puts obstacles in the way of unbelievers to keep them from accepting the truth:

    If Allah wished, he could provide guidance to every soul:
    If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance (32:13)
    But, instead he sets a veil over the hearts and coverings over their ears:
    Verily We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this, and over their ears, deafness, if thou callest them to guidance, even then will they never accept guidance. (18:57) – See also 17:46 & 45:23
    Allah even uses chains and barriers to prevent unbelievers from believing:
    Certainly the word has proved true of most of them, so they do not believe. Surely We have placed chains on their necks, and these reach up to their chins, so they have their heads raised aloft. And We have made before them a barrier and a barrier behind them, then We have covered them over so that they do not see. And it is alike to them whether you warn them or warn them not: they do not believe. (36:7-10)
    For the same purpose, Allah also fills the hearts of unbelievers with doubt:
    No soul can believe, except by the will of Allah, and He will place doubt (or obscurity) on those who will not understand (10:100)

    Allah Actually Causes Non-Muslims to Sin

    Not content with merely preventing unbelievers from knowing the truth (which is enough to condemn them to Hell) the Quran says that a hateful Allah also causes unbelievers to commit the very sin that he will later punish them for:
    And if Allah please He would certainly make you a single nation, but He causes to err whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases; and most certainly you will be questioned as to what you did (16:93)
    Although Satan tempts Muslims, it is Allah himself who causes unbelievers to err.
    …and whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall not find a way for him. (4:143, see also 4:88 and 74:31)
    Allah intentionally sends the people that he hates astray:
    …and Allah sendeth him astray purposely, and sealeth up his hearing and his heart, and setteth on his sight a covering? Then who will lead him after Allah (hath condemned him)? Will ye not then heed? (45:23)
    Allah even sends demons to inspire unbelievers to commit further bad deeds (that he can later hold against them):
    See thou not that We have set the Evil Ones on against the unbelievers, to incite them with fury? (19:83)
    According to verse 3:54, Allah plots and schemes against unbelievers using deceit (the literal meaning of makara, the word used). Elsewhere, the Quran explains that Allah tricks unbelievers into thinking that they are doing good deeds, when, in fact, they are merely deepening their own eternal punishment with bad deeds:
    As to those who do not believe in the hereafter, We have surely made their deeds fair-seeming to them, but they blindly wander on. (27:4) See also 39:23, 6:39, 35:8, 13:27 & 14:4)
    Allah recruits Satan to join Him into fooling unbelievers into thinking that they are doing good:
    On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them. (6:43)
    The joke is on non-Muslims, of course, who will protest on Judgment Day that they did everything they thought was right – but are sent to Hell anyway:
    Then would they offer submission (with the pretence), “We did no evil (knowingly).” (The angels will reply), “Nay, but verily Allah knows all that ye did; “So enter the gates of Hell, to dwell therein. (16:28-29)

  • Michael Lederman

    The Quran Says that Non-Muslims Should Not be Taken as Friends

    Given that Allah hates non-Muslims to the extent that he would prevent them from knowing the truth, cause them to err and then condemn them to eternal torture for their unbelief and misdeeds, it would make little sense if he intended Muslims to treat unbelievers by the same standards that they treat each other here on earth.

    The Quran says that no true Muslim would ever love anyone who resists Islam, even if it is a family member:
    Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. (58:22)
    There are at least nine places in the Quran where believers are warned not to befriend non-Muslims:
    O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves? (4:144)
    In fact, anyone who does take a non-Muslim as a friend could be accused of being an unbeliever as well:
    O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (5:51)
    Note that Christians, according to the Quran, are included in the ranks of “unbelievers”:
    They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary (5:17)
    Muhammad said that unbelievers have it out for Muslims. They may appear harmless or friendly, but, in reality, they harbor corruption and evil intentions:
    O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse (3:118)

    For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies (4:101)

    As for them, they are but plotting a scheme (86:15)
    Those outside of Islam are really helpers of evil against Allah:
    The Misbeliever is a helper (of Evil), against his own Lord! (25:55)
    The Quran says that “hostility and hate” will exist between Muslims and infidels “for ever” until the latter “believe in Allah alone.” (60:4)

    Instead of befriending non-Muslims, the Quran encourages hostility. Muslims are ordered to fight unbelievers:
    O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty. (9:123)
    The Quran tells Muslims that they will spend eternity laughing at unbelievers (83:34) and mocking their suffering as they are tortured in Hell:
    And the dwellers of the garden will call out to the inmates of the fire: Surely we have found what our Lord promised us to be true; have you too found what your Lord promised to be true? They will say: Yes. Then a crier will cry out among them that the curse of Allah is on the unjust. (7:44) – Muhammad got an early start on this by personally mocking his dead enemies following the Battle of Badr (Ibn Ishaq 454)
    One does not befriend those over whose suffering they will later rejoice, nor does it make any sense that Muslims would befriend those whom the Quran labels “enemies of Allah” by virtue of their unbelief.

    The Quran Says that Other Religions are Cursed by Allah

    Buddhists in Thailand, Jews in Israel, Christians in Indonesia, Hindus in India… Why is Islam at war with every major world religion, when none of these religions are at war with each other? Part of the reason is that the Quran is specific about the inferiority of other faiths (see 48:28) and the hatred that Allah harbors for their people.

    Although religious Muslims typically become upset when someone “insults” their religion, here is what the Quran says about Jews and Christians:
    The Jews call Ezra a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (9:30) (See also Bukhari 8:427), one of the last things Muhammad ever said on his deathbed was “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians.”)
    The Quran specifically addresses Christians, Jews, Polytheists (Hindus) and atheists:

    Christians are disbelievers (98:5-6) and blasphemers (5:17, 5:73) who have invented a lie about Allah (10:68-69) by ascribing partners to Allah (ie. the Trinity). Inventing a lie about Allah is the worst of sins (7:37, 29:68) and for this reason Christians are condemned to Hell (10:70). Although one (early Medinan) verse seems to say that righteous Christians will go to heaven, this is abrogated by later verses that make it very clear that Christians must cease being Christian (ie. reject the Trinity) or suffer eternal torment for their beliefs (5:72-73).

    Jews are also cursed by Allah (5:13), in one of his final ‘pronouncements’. The Quran goes on to assure Muslims that Jews are wicked (4:160-162) – so wicked, in fact, that they have somehow managed to do the impossible (18:27) and alter the word of Allah (2:75). Jews are “fond of lies” and “devour the forbidden” (5:42); they are the worst enemies of Muslims (5:82)

    The Quran assures believers that Jews and Christians have “diseased hearts” (5:52). Allah even takes credit for the enmity between them (5:14). Only Jews and Christians who submit to Islamic subjugation and pay the Jizya are protected in this world (9:29 & Ibn Ishaq 956).

    Hindus are polytheists. Although Muhammad didn’t know any Hindus (and neither did Allah, apparently) the Quran still manages to lay the groundwork for the 1000-year ethnic cleansing campaign against the Hindu people that is estimated to have taken tens of millions of innocent lives. In Islam, polytheists are worse than all other religion. Those who join idols (11:14) to Allah also invent a lie about Him (29:17) and will burn in Hell. Even believing in other divine entities along with Allah is an unforgivable crime (4:48, 40:12).

    Atheists believe in no god, which is even worse than believing in the wrong one (Muhammad and his successors had atheists put to death – Bukhari 84:57). Merely questioning the existence of Allah is a testament to one’s impiety (25:21), even as Muslim narcissism is encouraged in the Quran. Muhammad always answered probing questions merely by telling the inquiring party that they would go to Hell if they didn’t believe in him (36:49-64). The Quran discourages Muslims from intellectual inquiry (5:101-102).

    Any Muslim who gives up his religion is a “perverted transgressor” (3:82). Perverted as well is anyone who denies Allah (40:63) or does not believe Muhammad (2:99). Freedom of conscience does not exist in Islam. Muhammad clearly prescribed the death penalty for apostates (Bukhari 52:260).

    While contemporary Muslim apologists often speak of “dialogue” (meaning a unilateral arrangement in which they tell you about Islam while you listen) the Quran speaks of Jihad instead:
    Listen not to the unbelievers, but strive (Jihad) against them with the utmost strenuousness. (25:52)
    What would be the point in hearing anything a non-Muslim has to say… or even talking with them for that matter? Allah has already sealed their hearts and condemned them to Hell:
    As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom (2:6)
    For those wondering why Allah would even make infidels if their ultimate destination is Hell, Muhammad said that the purpose of some (Jews and Christians, at least) was to take the place of Muslims, so that they would not suffer there (Sahih Muslim 6666).

    The Quran Says that People of Other Religions are to be Violently Punished in This World

    Allah himself fights against the unbelievers (9:30), so why should Muslims not fight in his cause rather than in the cause of evil (4:76)? )? About 19% of the Quran is devoted to the violent conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims:
    Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies and others besides, whom ye may not know (8:60)
    Strive hard (Jihad) against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed. (66:9, See also 9:73)
    Muslims are to expect a reward in this life as well as the next (4:134), so it makes sense that unbelievers should be punished in this life as well:
    …He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide. For them is a penalty in the life of this world, but harder, truly, is the penalty of the Hereafter… (13:33-34)
    There are at least two places in the Quran where the violent death of non-Muslims is referred to as Allah’s reward for unbelief (2:191, 9:26), as in “such is the reward for unbelievers.” Verse 3:56, bluntly states that “those who reject faith” will be “punished with terrible agony in this world” (a vow that Muhammad and his companions personally took it upon themselves to fulfill).

    The Quran tells Muslims thate Quran tells Muslims that Allah uses them to violently punish others:
    Fight them, them by your hands and bring them to disgrace… (9:14)
    Verse 4:102 says Allah has prepared a humiliating torment for the disbelievers. Narrations from Muhammad’s life show little distinction between punishment from Allah violence from at the hands of faithful Muslims.

    Allah could slay unbelievers himself, but he makes it a test for Muslims to prove their faith:
    “If it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, by means of others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost” 47:4)
    One of the most violent chapters in the Quran charters Muhammad and his followers with making Islam “superior over all religions” (9:33).

    As noted, verse 8:55 compares unbelievers to animals. In keeping with this theme, the passage goes on to encourage Muslims to gain “mastery” over them and severely punish those who disobey, so as to intimidate the rest:
    So if you gain the mastery over them in war, punish them severely in order to disperse those who are behind them, so that they may learn a lesson ” (8:57).
    In the end, All beings on heaven and earth will be forced to bow down to Allah, either willingly or by force:
    And unto Allah falleth prostrate whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly (13:15)
    Muslims are told that Allah “loves those who fight in his way” to make Islam “victorious over all other religions, even though the disbelievers resist” (61:4-11). Those who do resist Islam will be humiliated:
    Those who resist Allah and His Messenger will be among those most humiliated. (58:20 – The context for this verse is the eviction of the Jewish tribes of Medina and the confiscation of their wealth, land, and children by Muhammad).
    Non-Muslims are to be fought until religion is only for Allah:
    And fight them until there is no more ftna (unbelief, worshipping others beside Allah), and religion is all for Allah… (8:39 – Some translate the word “fitna” as “persecution”, but in this context it means resistance to Islam – defined in the prior verse as an unwillingness to believe (see verse 38). This passage was “revealed” following a battle that Muhammad deliberately provoked. Verse 2:193 essentially says the same thing and was also “revealed” at a time when the Muslims were not under physical attack).
    Those with “diseased hearts” – which include Christians and Jews according to 5:52 – are to be “seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter” (33:60-62) al) along with “hypocrites” (Muslims who are judged not to be true believers by their associations with unbelievers or their unwillingness to engage in Jihad).

    Non-Muslims are to be encroached on, pressured and punished by the Muslims:
    See that we gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? (13:41 – See also 21:44)

    We shall punish them gradually from directions they perceive not. (68:44)

    And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things. (33:27, See also Bukhari 53:392)
    Allah will grant Muslims authority and power over all other people:
    Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion… (24:55)
    (Muhammad’s companions continued to self-fulfill this prophecy with an aggressive and senseless military expansion that left a trail of bodies from Spain to India).

    Allah provides instructions to Muslims for dealing with unbelievers who are unwilling to accept Islamic rule:
    Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment. (8:12-13)
    Defeating non-Muslims should be easy for true believers because they are superior in intelligence and understanding:
    O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred (steadfast) they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence (8:65)
    Other verses of violence may be found here.

    Remember that the Quran says that not all men are equal according to Islam. This even applies to Muslims with regard to their aggressiveness toward unbelievers. Those who kill or are killed on behalf of Islam are more pleasing to Allah:
    Not equal are those of the believers who sit at home… and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and lives” (4:95)

    Conclusion

    The pattern of violence and aggressive disregard for human suffering that is persistent in Muslim history and contemporary attitude toward non-believers reflects the message of the Quran, which is one of personal superiority and arrogance.

    In today’s world, Muslim dominance is characterized by the oppression and discrimination of non-Muslims, while Muslim minorities within larger societies are distinguished by varying degrees of petulant demand, discord and armed rebellion. Few Muslims are uncomfortable with this blatant double standard, in which Islam either plays the victim or unapologetically victimizes others, depending on its position of power – and the reason is obvious.

    Islam is a supremacist ideology in which the role of non-believers is subordinate to the position of Muslims. Those who resist Islamic rule are to be fought until they are either killed or fully humiliated and forced to acknowledge their inferior status by converting to Islam or by paying a poll-tax and otherwise accepting the subjugation of their own religion.

    There is simply no other religion on earth that draws such sharp distinction between its own members and others, or devotes as much of its holiest text toward condemning and dehumanizing those who merely ch

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site