The extremely liberal, taxpayer funded (yes, that means paid for by you) media from National Public Radio (NPR) just ran one of the most patently ridiculous stories of 2016.
In a story titled “Fighting Extremism with Knowledge: Learning the Lessons of Muhammad” author Tom Gjelten argues that the best method for combatting Islamic extremism is the life of Muhammad. Gjelten writes that “some Muslim leaders” seem to believe that if only the young people being influenced by terrorist groups only had a better understanding of the life of Muhammad, perhaps they wouldn’t get sucked into these radical groups.
They don't consider him divine, but they follow his teachings closely. Good Muslims are taught to emulate the prophet in all matters, personal, spiritual and worldly.
Perhaps no time in recent history has it been more important to do as the Prophet Muhammad did — and not as someone says he did.
With terror groups like ISIS now invoking his name, many Muslim leaders say radicals who cite the prophet to justify violence misrepresent his teachings.
Some Muslim leaders argue that young Muslims need a firmer grounding in their own faith and the prophetic tradition, both to equip them better to counter religious propagandists and also to bind them more closely to Islam.
Gjelten sites one Islamic scholar in particular, Sheikh Hassan Lachheb, from Knoxville, Tenessee, who believes that radical Muslims must not understand Muhammad.
Hassan argues that if Muslims had more knowledge of how the Prophet Muhammad actually lived and what he taught, they would be less vulnerable to extremist propaganda. Counterterrorism officials — who've focused largely on surveillance, sting operations and community policing — would have more success countering extremism, he says, if they supported efforts to deepen religious literacy among young Muslims.
He cites the abundance of examples from the Hadith that emphasize charity and respect for other faiths.
The tradition associated with the Prophet Muhammad, Hassan says, "has never been radicalized and has always produced beauty, always produced involvement in the community, always produced tolerance."
"If you're bypassing all of that to come with a political solution (to extremism)," Hassan says, "I don't think it's going to work."
Here’s the problem with Gjelten and Hassan’s conclusions. The examples they cite, of charity, respect and even care, are contradicted by both the Qu’ran and the life of Muhammad itself. Sure, the Qu’ran says that Muslims should respect “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians), but it also argues that killing these people is acceptable because they are subhuman, and not worth feeling remorse.
Over at JihadWatch, Robert Spencer explains just how ridiculous the idea that Muhammad’s life refutes extremism really is. Spencer proves, using the Qu’ran and Hadiths as evidence, that Muhammad’s life is rife with “extremism” and that the radical Muslims of today are simply carrying on with his example.
However, the best (short) explanation of just how farcical this NPR piece really is comes from Dr. Bill Warner who writes:
The easy way to understand Islam is to know Mohammed’s life story. It is an incredible story that changed the history of the world, and it is even more powerful today. Mohammed is pure Islam. Ninety-one verses in the Koran say that every Muslim is to imitate Mohammed in all things.
Is sex slavery Islamic? Look to Mohammed. He had sex slaves, so when Islamic state has sex slaves, it is Islamic. What are women’s rights in Islam? Look to Mohammed. He said that women could be beaten, had to always obey their husbands and could be part of a harem. He also said that slaves were to be treated well.
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