Islam: The Eighth Wonder of the World?
"It is the only nation that believes it is in the right – in every way – while all others are wrong."
Translation and Postface by Raymond Ibrahim
As we know, the wonders of the world are seven; but there is an eighth "wonder -of-wonders" not counted among the seven: this is the "Muslim nation [umma]." I specifically did not say the "Islamic nation," for within this Muslim nation are wondrous matters not witnessed by any other nation since Allah Almighty created Adam. Here are some of these wonders:
1. It is the only nation that believes it is in the right—in every way—while all others are wrong;
2. The only nation that exonerates or lightens the punishment of an indicted criminal if he is Muslim and has learned some Quranic verses;
3. The only nation where a cleric evades indictment for inciting murder if he describes one of his adversaries as "an apostate";
4. The only nation that does not penalize a murderer if he killed "an apostate";
5. The only nation that shows leniency and assuages punishments for the "honor killing" of a sister or a wife;
6. The only nation whose holy book [Quran] starts with the word "read" [iqra'] and yet it is among the least nations that reads books, if any at all;
7. The only nation that still uses the word "infidel" [kafir] against those who oppose its clerics or religious groups;
8. The only nation where the ruling of a fatwa [religious edict] upstages the ruling of the law—and yet it brags about being a nation that upholds the "rule of law";
9. The only nation that does not contribute to the modern era—not even by producing a tooth brush—and yet brags about its extinct civilization.
10. The only nation that insults and condemns the West—yet lives as a parasite relying on the West in every way.
11. The only nation that incarcerates intellectuals for practicing freedom of expression.
12. The only nation that claims to be religious and guards its piety on both the official and the public level—yet there is nothing righteous about it.
13. The only nation that grants its students a PhD in religion;
14. The only nation still governed by the writings of those who died a thousand years ago;
15. The only nation where clerics serve as sycophantic toadies to the rulers, remaining silent about their transgressions, even when they go against Sharia;
16. The only nation that does not acknowledge the International Human Rights Declaration;
17. The only nation that forbids all human arts except calligraphy;
18. The only nation that believes in one religion—yet its various religious groups cannot agree on the exegeses and directives of that one religion;
19. The only nation where clerics blabber endlessly, only to conclude by saying, "Allah only knows," as if people were not already aware;
20. The only nation that believes in exorcizing Jinn from humans—even if by killing the person;
21. The only nation that has an army—and yet is occupied and fears combat;
22. The only nation wherein the Almighty Creator's description applies—"thou wouldst think they were united, but their hearts are divided: that is because they are a people devoid of wisdom" [Quran 59:14];
23. The only nation still inquiring about religious matters and looking for satisfactory answers for over a thousand years;
24. The only nation that asks more about sex than about worship during its one month of fasting every year;
25. The only nation that believes anything and everything its clerics say without questioning or verification.
This nation—with all these unique traits—does it not deserve to be described as the "Wonder-of-Wonders"?
Postface: Provided they can be objective, members of a civilization are often best placed to critique that civilization. Accordingly, this article, which recently made the rounds on various Arabic websites, can be seen as a piece of honest criticism of the Islamic world, by one of its own. Written by the late Dr. Ahmad al-Baghdadi (died 2010)—one of Kuwait's best known liberal activists and scholars (he held a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic thought and taught political science)—it recounts how Islamic civilization is the eighth, and greatest, wonder of the world. We quickly discover this is not a compliment: the article highlights some singularly troubling aspects of the Islamic world, from a liberal point of view. For what it is worth, Ahmad al-Baghdadi is not the first Muslim to portray Islamic civilization as a fantastic anachronism that has outstayed its welcome; the prophet of Islam himself, Muhammad, made a similar prophesy in a canonical hadith: "Verily, Islam started as something strange, and it will again revert to being strange just as it started, and it will recede between the two mosques [Mecca and Medina] just as the serpent slithers back into its hole."
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by Burak Bekdil
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It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.