Know Thy Neighbor

by Armen Saginian

Being exposed to Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, atheism, agnosticism, or any other some such "ism" may qualify one to consider oneself knowledgeable about religion or religions.  Be that as it may, if a person has not been born into a Muslim family, or has not lived among Muslims, it is difficult to truly understand the Islamic religion.

Here in Southern California we have a large community of Muslims--about one million of them.  Barring the young, most are Iranian born, and migrated to the U.S. after the fall of the Shah.  Though most have been raised Muslim, many do not practice their religion.  Most Americans would not miss a Shiite Muslim practicing his or her religion.  They are very vocal, visible and forceful when they go into the frenzy of their religious proceedings.

Islam is not a religion like any other religion.  Islam is a combination of monotheism, law, and government--all rolled into one distinct entity.  Islam is the essence and foundation of Arab nationalist movement, as well as the structure of Arab Imperialism.  How is it so, one may ask.   Let us look at the chronology of Islam. 

Mohammed was born in Mecca, in 572.  His father Abdullah (servant of Allah!) died before he was born, and his mother Amne, passed away when he was six years old.

In his teens, Mohammed was assigned to caravans traveling between Mecca, Syria and Ethiopia. At nights, when caravans rested for the night in Robots, he would stay awake and listen to the preachers' talk.  They were traveling Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian parsons.

Mohammed decided to become a preacher.  At forty years of age he declared himself prophet.  He tried very hard for thirteen years to teach his new religion as a prophet.  But his teachings were in conflict with the duties and responsibilities of his tribe, the Ghoraish.  Since he was married to a very rich widow, he did not need to work and earn a living.  Mohammed dreamt of grandeur that ordinary prophets had not had.

When his wife died, Mohammed lived on her wealth while his followers became highwaymen who robbed and plundered caravans.  He lived comfortably until her wealth ran out, then joined the gang and began looting caravans and plundering those who would not accept his Allah, and him as the messenger of Allah.  His very first victims were the Jews of Medina.  By the time he finished killing, there was not a single Jew left in the Arabic Peninsula.

From the loot taken, the best of the horses went to Mohammed, as did the best jewelry, and the most beautiful women.  Many men were put to death, and beautiful young women were taken as concubines or used as Keniz (women to act as servants daytime and as sex objects at night or day).  Young boys were used for sex or service, or sold as slaves.  Even now, Muslims can have up to four wives (although Mohammed had eleven) and as many concubines as they please.   Women are to be sold or given as gifts.

After birth the very first words newborns hear, in a whisper, is the profession to faith, "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is His Messenger."  All through their lives Muslims prostrate five times a day facing Mecca reciting the prayer in Arabic which most of them do not understand (by tf tech melissa).   Their profession of faith is repeated in each prayer.

When Muslims die, the same profession of faith is recited by those who attend the funeral.  They pay 20% to their leader for the privilege to plunder.  They go to Hajj (pilgrimage) at least once in a lifetime (if they can afford it), and pay homage to the Arabs for the privilege to be a Muslim.   They fast one month of every lunar year to be reminded who is the boss and what it means to be hungry when and if banished.

A Muslim can not abandon faith.  Should one dare to do so, he may be killed and his possessions plundered by the killer.   Some may not practice their faith, but will keep the appearance.

Your Muslim neighbors are bewildered people.   They live among infidels (you) whom they are supposed to kill and plunder.   Yet, here, among the infidels, is the only safe haven they can get from their oppressive and imposed-on faith.

Armen Saginian is the Executive Director of New Horizons.  New Horizons, which is based at the Center for Inquiry-West, aims to promote the support of democracy, human rights, and secular humanism among Californians of Iranian origin.