Saturday, August 27, 2011

Debate Transcript: Spencer/Zayed on "Muhammad Taught that Muslims Must Wage War against and Subjugate Unbelievers" Debate

Transcriber's note: As always, any help with corrections is welcome and appreciated.

Muhammad Taught that Muslims Must Wage War against and Subjugate Unbelievers
(Aired January 28, 2011 on

MODERATOR: The issue on whether Islam calls to subjugate non-Muslims is a matter being debated around the country today. Some scholars claim that Islam discriminates against non-Muslims and teaches that Muslims should fight against and subjugate non-believers; while other scholars say that Islam is a religion of peace and that violence against non-believers is not an accurate portrayal of the religion. So, which should we accept?

While we understand that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people, we do recognize that acts of terrorism carried out in the name of Islam exists still today.

Thank you for joining us on Debate Night this evening, Live, here on ABN at

My name is Chris Conway, your moderator this evening.

We have two experts debating this motion topic of tonight: "Muhammad taught that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate unbelievers"--that is, "Muhammad taught that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate unbelievers."

Our first debater: I'm honored to introduce Robert Spencer, who will argue in the affirmative of the motion. Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, an organization dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology play in the modern world and to correcting popular misconceptions about the role of jihad in religion in modern-day context. He is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades.

I'm also honored to introduce Imam Mustafa Zayed who will argue in the negative of the motion. Mustafa Zayed is a member of the Scientific Board of Qur'an and Sunnah Research of Cairo. He speaks widely in interfaith settings with devotion to bridging peace between major religions and communities. Zayed is the author of several books, including The Lies About Muhammad.

We will hear from each of the debaters an opening statement, rebuttals, crossfire, and closing statements. I'll notify each of the debaters when there are only 30 seconds left on the clock. We will then conclude the formal part of the debate and open the phone lines for you, the audience, to call in. The studio number here is 248.416.1300. We'll give you an opportunity towards the end of the program to call in. So if you're tuning in, we appreciate the fact that you're watching. Stay tuned and listen and prepare any questions you have.

We appreciate your support as you watch our shows here on We certainly appreciate your prayers. And if, well, if you know someone who would enjoy this program, which again is 90 minutes. It starts--I didn't say that before--but it's 90 minutes. It starts at 8 o'clock EST and goes 'til 9:30 tonight, so check that out. Call a friend, and let people know. We do appreciate your calls, your support, your prayers.

So again, the motion of tonight's debate is "Muhammad taught that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate unbelievers." At this time, I'd like to turn it over to you, Robert, for your opening statement. And just so you know--we haven't gotten into this in too much detail--but Robert you have six minutes; and then, Mustafa, you have six minutes as well to follow up with your opening statement.

So Robert, you've got six minutes. Please go ahead and start with your opening statement.

Chris, thank you.

The foundation of the idea that Muhammad taught that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate unbelievers is, of course, in the Qur'an--the holy book of Islam, which was revealed, according to Islamic theology through the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad and is the words of Allah himself. I have the Qur'an right here.

And in chapter 9:29, it tells Muslims to fight against those who do not believe in Allah nor on the Last Day nor forbid what has been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, even if they are among the People of the Book (which is the Qur'an's term for Jews and Christians, primarily) until they pay the jizya (which is a tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. And so our topic tonight is, did Muhammad tell his followers to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers--and this verse is telling Muslims to wage war against Jews and Christians and to subjugate them by making them pay this tax with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. That became the basis for an elaborate superstructure of laws in Islamic history and in the present-day, which mandate that in the Islamic state, the non-Muslim must live in a state of subordination, denied basic equality of rights with Muslims.

Now, to underscore the fact that these things are not something that I am saying or are some kind of a misinterpretation or taking out-of-context of the Qur'anic data, let me go, in the first place, to this translation of the Qur'an which contains commentary by Syed Abul A'ala Maududi, who was a Pakistani, internationally influential Islamic theologian and politician, who died in 1979. He wrote a multi-volume commentary on the Qur'an which is digested as commentary in this edition, and in his explanation of chapter 9:29 (which I read to you a moment ago), he says that "[t]he purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam; rather, its purpose is to put an end to this suzerainty (that is, the rule of the unbelievers), so that the latter are unable to rule over people." In other words, the rule in the state should only be by Muslims. And he goes on to say, "The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith. Unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in a state of subordination." Let me repeat that: "Unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in a state of subordination."

And so, Mr. Zayed, if he is actually arguing that Muhammad did not teach that Muslims should wage war against and subjugate unbelievers, he's putting himself in the position of saying that Maulana Maududi, who is one of the most influential--to this day--Islamic theologians and scholars in the world, is somebody who essentially misunderstood Islam, because he taught, as I just read to you, that non-Muslims must live in a state of subordination in the ideal Islamic state.

Also, he is putting himself against the Tafseer Al-Jalalayn, which is a very, very mainstream and influential commentary on the Qur'an, and it says that the Jews and Christians must pay the jizya in submission or directly [with their actual hands (7:30)] in a state of complete abasement, humble, and subject to the judgments of Islam.

And so here again, we see that, Mr. Zayed, if he is actually saying that Muhammad did not teach that non-Muslims must live in a state of subjugation and that Muslims must wage war against the non-Muslims and live in a state of subjugation, he is saying that the Tafseer Al-Jalalayn, which is a mainstream and very popular commentary on the Qur'an is wrong and has misunderstood Islam. And that Maududi is wrong and has misunderstood Islam.

There's another one, too. Here's the Tafseer Al-Qurtubi, which is yet another important and mainstream commentary on the Qur'an, and it says, "Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight you." And he quotes ibn Zayd and Al-Rabi, who are two other very important Islamic authorities, saying fight the idolaters totally, in which Mohammad was commanded to fight all the unbelievers; fight those who fight you, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

And so this is something... Here again, that we see it is commanded...and it is understood by Muslims to be commanded by Muhammad and by the Qur'an.

And so Mr. Zayed is probably going to say that I'm misunderstanding these things, misinterpreting these things, taking these things out of context. The difficulty that he runs into is that so many Islamic authorities take these things out of context, misunderstand them, get them all wrong. As we see in the world today, when we see jihad warfare being fought against Christians in Egypt with the bombing on New Year's eve, in Iraq with the bomb...the shoot out in the church in Baghdad, the shooting at the church right around Christmas time, the persecution in Pakistan, and so on and so on. These things are all being done by Muslims who understand that they are following Muhammad's command to wage war against unbelievers and make sure that they live in a state of subjugation.

And so, unfortunately for Mr. Zayed, if I am misunderstanding Islam by reporting on the reality of these teachings, the problem that he is has that is far greater is that a huge number of Muslims around the world are misunderstanding Islam in exactly the same way.

The trick that Mr. Zayed and people like him try to do is to claim that I am the originator and people like me are the originators of these teachings and that we are the ones who are claiming without foundation that the Qur'an teaches that Muslims must fight against Jews and Christians until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued as if that weren't really in the book as I just read to you in the book... [Mr. Spencer's allotted six minutes ends here]

Actually, Mr. Spencer claim that I misunderstood what these interpreters of the Qur'an had said. On the contrary, I think that Mr. Spencer himself misunderstood the title of the debate that we are doing right now. It is what Muhammad (PBUH) taught about dealing with non-Muslims. If anyone can remind me with one-time where Mr. Spencer quoted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself one single time in the entire six minutes or what about whatever that he said. He brought one verse from the Qur'an which I commented on before and everything else is commentary of interpreters--of course, out of context.

Let me give you an example of what he does. He claims that I think he's the originator. No, He originates fabrications and deception and omitting facts. I'll give you an example. He said that ibn Zayd said, So fight for the sake of Allah. That is the beginning of one verse. The verse is 4:84 in the Qur'an. It says, Fight for the sake of Allah those who fought you and do not transgress even though you have the license to fight and defend yourself. Do not transgress for Allah does not like the transgressors. This is how Mr. Spencer, you know, brought the statement: So fight for the sake of God, etcetera etcetera etcetera. So who attacked you, do not transgress, do not go to an extreme... that's etcetera in the language of Mr. Spencer.

So not one single quotation from the prophet in a debate about what the prophet taught, and he's bringing me interpretations from interpreters who could be right or who could be wrong. One of the fundamentals of Islamic Law that they scare people with is [Arabic (12:16)]. The comprehensions of men are not a revelation of God. For example, Abul A'ala Maududi, who is a great scholar, a lot of people do not know that half of his quotations are during, when Pakistan was a part of India before the partition. So, for example, when you ask him about democracy, he would be totally be against democracy because that would totally demolish the Pakistani population, because they were a minority at the time. Come the partition, now Pakistanis have the rulings, then he went back and started to talk about the consultation mandates of Muslims of Islamic Law.

The verse that Mr. Spencer spoke about, specifically (and I said it before) speak about those who evade paying taxes, non-Muslims in a Muslim state. And a matter of fact, that verse says specifically "People of the Scriptures" because they have an elevated status amongst all non-Muslims in a Muslim state. You can marry Christian and Jewish women. You are allowed to eat from their food. And they have a special treatment all the time. And they are specifically talked about in the Qur'an. And it says [Arabic (13:24)]: [Arabic] here, by the definition... If you say to any Muslim scholar, who is the scholar of Islam in the past 1400 years? They will tell you, Sheikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah. [Arabic] as per his definition [Arabic (13:37)]: That they [are] obliged to the rule of the law upon them, that they cannot live tax-free while the Muslims themselves [do]. If they don't pay taxes, they are to be fought exactly like they are to be fought.

The jizya tax, as I said, one dinar which is equivalent to a hundred dollars per year per only the-able-to-fight person. And the maximum amount that we ever heard of at the time of Umar Al-Khatab for very rich people in very rich areas, was four dinars. In Yemen, for example, it's only one dinar. The jizya, the tax that you pay as an equivalent for the tax that the Muslim pays, is applied [to]--in Arabic [Arabic (14:18)]--the one who's healthy and employed. If you're rich, and you're not working, you're not to pay. If you are someone who has a debt, then you pay your debt first, and then you pay the jizya. If you cannot pay both, then your personal debt supersedes paying the jizya. The jizya is not paid in cash. Whatever that you can afford. If what you have is [threads (14:40)], if what you have is fruits, if what you have is any kind of material, can be taken from you, even if you have liquors and pigs. Muslims allow you if you deal with that amongst your religion because your religion approves it, even though it's not approved in the overall role of Islam, then you're allowed to do that, but you have to sell them and give Muslims the price.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Talking now about the rules of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He said [Arabic (15:08)]. Whoever would hurt a dhimmi or one in the dhimma of the Muslims and all Muslims living in a Muslim country, I am his opponent on Judgment Day. Sheikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, I go back to him. He is one of the major scholars of Islam or when you say "the scholars of Islam", you're talking about him. At the time when the Mongolians swept Muslim lands, they took a lot of hostages from the [ --- (15:34)] area, and of course some of them were Christians and some of them were Muslims. So the ruler of the Mongolians wanted to play a divide-and-conquer game like what they play now in the Middle East. So he told him, You know what, I will release all the Muslims and I would keep all the Christian hostages. Sheikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said, [Arabic (15:55)]. The People of the Scripture (Christians and Jews) to be released to me before you release to me one single Muslim. That is the definition of People of the Dhimma (a non-Muslim in a Muslim land). [One is in according to the integrity of, trusted of the Muslims (16:08)].

I end it with another quotation from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): [Arabic (16:16)]. Fear the supplication of oppression from a non-Muslim for there is no veil between it and Allah.

Let me remind Mr. Spencer again, this debate is about what Muhammad (PBUH) have said.

It's of course unfortunate but not in the least surprising that Mr. Zayed, in his opening statement, immediately goes to his tried and true tactics of personal attacks as well as fact-free, completely baseless and false assertions.

In the first place, obviously, if something is in the Qur'an, it was something that is taught by Muhammad, something that is affirmed by Muhammad. And so to try...for him to try to make some spurious distinction between what the Qur'an says and what Muhammad says is patently ridiculous on the face of it.

But he wants Muhammad saying that Christians ought to be...that Jews and Christians ought to be subjugated under the rule of Islamic Law, I happen to have that right here. This is Sahih Muslim, which is a hadith collection that is considered reliable my Muslims. And Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, says, Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah, and when you meet your enemies who are polytheists (and of course, because of the trinity, the Christians are considered to be in that group), invite them to three courses of action. Invite them to accept Islam, and then if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting them; if they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya (which is this tax far greater than 100 dinar). This is a ridiculous charge that he's saying that it's a hundred dinars. As a matter of fact, some of the historical records from the conquest of Egypt show the Egyptian Christians in the Middle Ages, having to sell their children to raise money for the tax. And there are several instances in Islamic history of the caliphs actually forbidding conversion to Islam (which would, of course, free the Jews and Christians from the obligation of paying the jizya) because it would destroy the tax base.

And there is a hadith in which Muhammad... Here again, Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, who Zayed is so intent on making sure this is all about, and of course, it is. Muhammad said, Be sure to collect the jizya because it is the source of livelihood for you and your descendants. So it's not in the least some sort of a symbolic tax or some sort of a light tax. It was a very heavy and severe tax and remains so in theory in Islamic Law--the Islamic Law that Islamic supremacists want to institute around the world today. Something that is a very severe tax that was the basis for the economic growth, the economic well-being of the Islamic states in the past. And so it was a far greater tax burden than the Muslims paid.

Mr. Zayed also confuses the distinction between defensive and offensive jihad, claiming falsely (yet again of course) that I was [ --- (19:26)] over the elements of Surah 4 in the Qur'an about defensive jihad. Obviously, there is defensive jihad in many verses. He left out chapter 2:190 and 191, which also say, Fight against those who fight against you but do not transgress limits. He also conveniently left out chapter 4:89, which says, And slay them wherever you find them, as 2:191 also says.

There is defensive jihad, but the offensive jihad that is mandated by the verse that I quoted and others in Surah 9, has no such "do not transgress limits" caveat. And it is in Islamic theology... Here again, you notice that he criticized me for quoting Islamic theologians, but then he quotes Ibn Taymiyya. And so you see, he is completely dishonest and inconsistent in this regard. In reality, I quoted the Islamic theologians, because obviously, they are the ones who understand Islam. They are the ones who are teaching the...what Islam is understood to be--to Muslims.

And so in Islamic theology, you have offensive jihad, being the third stage of the Qur'anic development on jihad. This is something that goes back to Ibn Ishaq, the first biographer of Muhammad, and something that is affirmed by many others: Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Kathir and many others--that there is first tolerance taught in the Qur'an, and then defensive jihad (which Zayed is trying to mislead us into thinking that this is the final stage), and then offensive jihad in order to establish the hegemony of Islamic Law.

Now the hegemony of Islamic Law mandates, as we come back to it, the subjugation of the non-Muslims as inferiors under the Islamic State. Mr. Zayed can never adduce, if he were honest, he could never adduce a single instance in Islamic history or in the present day a geo-political situation in which a majority Muslim polity offer absolute and full equality of rights [to non-Muslims (21:20)] in its state. That has never been the case. Non-Muslims have never enjoyed and do not enjoy today equality of rights with Muslims in any majority Muslim polity. And this is because Muhammad taught warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers as I explained from Sahih Muslim. There are many other instances in which he says the same thing. Zayed also conveniently left out that I did quote earlier that Muhammad said, I've been commanded to fight against people until they confess that there is no god but Allah, and I'm his messenger. And so, this is something that comes straight from Muhammad.

Alright. Mr. Spencer just said that I forgot that he said that Muhammad said that 'I was ordered to fight 'til people say, La ilaha illa Allah'. I want people who's gonna watch this in the Internet recording later on to go back and discover that he never said that in the first [incident (22:21)].

First of all, find me one Islamic jurisprudence book that shows that any non-Muslim, no matter how wealthy he was, paid more than 48 dirhams or about five dinars or 4 and change dinars ever in the history of applying the law--ever--as jizya. This is the challenge from me to Mr. Spencer. And on my blog,, I'll put every proof for every word that I said there, and I challenge him to do the same.

There was three categories: the poor paid one dinar, the middle income paid two dinars, and the rich would pay four dinars. Basic and simple. One dinar equals--in today's dollars--about a hundred dollars. That's it. That is the jizya tax. That's number one.

So the fact, if Mr. Spencer--and look at the logic here--if Mr. Spencer claims that that was a gigantic source of income and that is a part of the income of a non-Muslim in a Muslim land, why didn't the Muslims then kill all the Christians and Jews--every non-Muslim in the country, like everyone around them used to do--and actually take all their money and properties, like everyone around them used to do? Why didn't the Muslims do that? Why even the Muslims would not just let them just, you know, become...give dawa to them and ask them to convert to Islam and lose that great income as per Mr. Spencer statistics.

Mr. Spencer convert a famous story in Islamic history when Hayyan, the employee of [Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (23:48)] (the last guided khalifa) told him that so many people are accepting Islam and the revenues from the jizya went down. And then he said to him (this is [[Umar Abd al-Aziz] talking about Prophet Muhammad), [Arabic (24:02)]. God has sent Muhammad as one who invite to God, not as a tax collector. That is history, but Mr. Spencer would twist it completely other way around.

Mr. Spencer speak about Ibn Ishaq as he is the first biographer of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Well, if we have a [discontinuity in (24:22)] the history of Prophet Muhammad, then the earliest biographers would be the most truthful, but that is not the case. [The] Qur'an, the quotations of the Prophet (PBUH), were always memorized verbatim by every Muslim that lived. We have no discontinuity whatsoever. The least credible source of the quotations of the Prophet is Ibn Ishaq hmself--and no wonder, he is the number one source that Mr. Spencer quotes in his books, because it's filled will corrupted stories that he'd like to twist and fabricate and mutilate facts about Islam.

Mr. Spencer would tell you about Al-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi, and Ibn Kathir, and the matter of fact in his book, The Truth about Muhammad, he said that Ibn Kathir is a mainstream, top-notch interpreter of the Qur'an, yet in his book, he quoted him only one time. Two hundred pages [and] he quoted him one time and is actually a twisted time. And his logic about it was absolutely wrong. So if they're that great, why don't you quote them or why are you quoting Ishaq all the time.

Another thing is, Mr. Spencer, went again and made a very big, I would say, deceptive claim about the language of the Qur'an. The Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never, ever called the People of the Scriptures al-mushrikin. Nowhere in the language of the Qur'an that the People of the Scriptures, or the Christians and Jews, are called al-musrikin or the non-believers. And a matter of fact, people who committed...or became infidels among the People of the Scriptures themselves... Infidels, by God, in the word of the Qur'an, [Arabic (25:53)]. So people who committed infidelity or became infidels among the People of the Scriptures and the people who are non-believers--they're always two distinct groups. So when he says, Go fight the non-believers, then he's not talking about Christians and Jews.

And when you go to fight in Islam, there are specific rules. If you go to Surat Al-Mumtahina, 60:8 and 9, very clear, solid fundamental about Islam: God does not forbid you to fight those who never fought you for your religion and never took you out of your homes. That those people who didn't do any else towards you, that you be righteous and you be just to them. Only the people who did that to you that you do not take them as allies but you be just and righteous. The cardinal rule in Islam, verse 5 number 8: Do not use the unjustice of people as an excuse to be unjust yourself. Be just--that is closer to worshiping God.

Fundamental, cardinal rules in Islam: No compulsion in religion. You cannot force anyone to accept Islam. [Arabic (26:58)]. Guidance of people is not up to the Prophet, it is up to God himself. [So the fact that someone is not Muslim, or non-Muslim is not something to... (27:10)] [Mr. Zayed's allotted 5 minutes ends]

In the first place, there is actually, oddly enough, one truthful thing in what Mr. Zayed said in his last segment, and that is that I had actually not stated that Muhammad said, I have been committed to fight against people until they say that there is no God but Allah and I'm his messenger. I actually had that in my notes but I had neglected to say it, and so he's quite right about that. But it would've been better, instead of playing Gotcha, to have dealt with the substance of the fact that he did say it, which of course Mr. Zayed did not do. Since the subject of this debate is Muhammad taught that Muslims should wage war against and subjugate unbelievers, [I would say that (32:50)] that's clear evidence that he did teach exactly that. Mr. Zayed instead decided to play games with whether I had said or not said it, which is just characteristic unfortunately.

He is also completely lying unfortunately about the jizya. He challenged me to produce a text of Islamic jurisprudence that would say that the poll tax was more than one dinar, which is actually 4.235 grams of gold and not a hundred bucks at all. But in any case, this is Umdat Al-Salik, author of the Reliance of the Traveler, which is certified by Al-Azhar in Cairo as being a reliable guide to Sunni orthdoxy. And it says the minimum non-Muslim poll tax or jizya is one dinar per person. The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon, and of course if the Muslims have all the authority in the state and the non-Muslims are in a state of subordination, they're going to agree on whatever they're forced to agree upon. And so there, his challenge is taken up and accepted, and he is shown to be speaking falsely yet again.

And he is also lying about Ibn Ishaq which I have right here somewhere. Here we go. Ibn Ishaq, he said of course, is completely unreliable. He needs to say that because there's so many embarrassing stories about Muhammad, including many in which he is fighting against and subjugating unbelievers in Ibn Ishaq. But unfortunately for Mr. Zayed, according to very many early Islamic authorities, for example, this is Al-Zuhri saying, The best informed man about... I'm sorry. This is [Shuba (34:32)] saying that Ibn Ishaq is truthful in tradition and the emir of traditionalists because of his memory. Sufyan Ibn Uyaynah said that, I sat with Ibn Ishaq for some seventy years and none of the Medinans suspected him or spoke disparagingly of him. Abu [Zurha (34:50] said older scholars drew from him (that is Ibn Ishaq) and professional traditionalists tested him and found him truthful. I could go on and on but, obviously, his reliability was something that is taken for granted and certified by many of the early Muslims.

Mr. Zayed falsely claims that I do not refer to Ibn Kathir and he seems to want me to... He actually challenged me to refer to Ibn Kathir, and so I will do so in the context of the topic of this debate. Ibn Kathir says this: Allah commanded his messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) on the 9th year of Hijra, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and call the people to jihad, announcing his intent and destination. That of course is referring to the Battle of Tabuk, which was the last great battle or actually the attempt at a battle that Muhammad fought during his career. It was against the Byzantine garrison at Tabuk in northern Arabia. The Byzantines did not engage him. Whether they knew he was coming or not, they left. So in any case, Ibn Kathir here reaffirms Muhammad in saying that he was telling the Muslims that they had to wage war against non-Muslims (Jews and Christians primarily) and to subjugate them, and Muhammad did that in his example in the Battle of Tabuk to which Ibn Kathir refers.

Mr. Zayed also lies about the Qur'an saying that the Jews and Christians are not unbelievers. In 5:17 and 5:72--that's 5:17 and 5:72--it says, Unbelievers or kafara [kufar (36:27)] are those who say that Allah is the messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary. And so of course any Christian who believes in the traditional Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ is, by the Qur'an's testimony, an unbeliever and thus must be fought against.

And so Mr. Zayed then finally brings in a complete red herring about "no compulsion in religion". Nobody is saying that Muslims force non-Muslims to convert but they subjugate them. That's what the whole topic is about: the subjugation of non-Muslims. Obviously, that they are subjugated, they are not becoming Muslims. And so the no-compulsion-in-religion business, it sounds good but it's just more deceptions, detours, obfuscations, falsehoods, and outright lies from Mr. Zayed.

Well, it's very hard to answer that myriad of nonsense in just five minutes, but I'll do my best.

Number one, the dean of Sunni Muslims is Imam Abu Hanifa, not Al-Imam Al-Shafi'i which...[ --- (37:41)] which is not even the book of Al-Imam Al-Shafi'i. It's one of the people that follow his jurisprudence. Again, I challenge you, find me one jurisprudence book that says that it's more or applied more than four dinars. [ --- (38:00)] Al-Imam Al-Shafi'i, (and I'll post it on my blog tomorrow) one dinar, two dinars, and four dinars, and nothing more. There was another tax that applied to Muslims and non-Muslims. The Muslims is [Arabic (38:11)] which is one-tenth of the yield of land, and the equivalent for non-Muslims is [kharaj (38:15)] which is the same thing, if they had a truce with the Muslims. So maybe you have a mistake as far as considering that a poll tax. But as far as jizya, find me one book that says a mandate that a non-Muslim paid more than four dinars. And four dinar, at that time, would buy a sheep; a sheep today is a hundred dollars. You know, gold comparison...I have no idea about that. But again, compared to the taxes people paid in Egypt, it's almost nonsense. People in Egypt paid to the Roman empire about 14 different kind of taxes and subjugation was the least that they would suffer if they paid less, nevermind evaded totally paying taxes, that the verse is talking about.

Another thing is the hadith that you said mentioned I didn't mention. Well, the famous hadiths I answered in my book, The Lies about Muhammad. 'I was ordered to fight people 'til they say, We believe as Muslims, or they become Muslims 'til they have the rights of Muslims, like, you know, their monies or their [bloods (39:20)] are forbidden for Muslims. The people that, in the Arabic language, does not mean everyone in the world. When the professor say, The students are here, he does not mean every student in the world. It's the students that the listener and the talker are talking about.

There are specific rules of whom to fight in Islam: you fight who would fight you. There's no such a thing as defensive jihad, offensive jihad. There's one kind of jihad which is to protect yourself from whoever is about to attack you. [Arabic (39:49)]. In the verse that we quoted earlier, God does not like the transgressor. God does not like you to start a war or to go out there and attack people for no reason. When even when the Muslims fought, they would give two options of peace and the third option is to fight, not to kill. Every battle the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went through was outnumbered. The army, the Muslim army, in the first battle was outnumbered, 1:3. In Khaibar, they were outnumbered 1:7. Not one battle that the Prophet Muhammad went through that he actually outnumbered his enemies, and the [ --- of Mecca (40:21)] was not a battle, one sword was not even raised.

The major Battle of Tabuk--you call it the Great Battle of Tabuk--and then you retract that later on and you claim that it was the Muslims that were attacking People of the Scriptures. The Roman army, the Byzantine army, came to the frontiers of the Muslim territory. So what do you want the Muslims to do? You know, turn around and play dead? They have to go and defend their land. When they do that, they're not attacking because the Christians or Jews or from outer space... They're defending are their land and when they went there, they left. And on the 9th year of Hijra, that's the year when the verse of jizya was mandated upon the Muslims and that's the first time the jizya was applied.

Now let me bring the debate back where it's was supposed to be. What Prophet Muhammad said specifically about the Christians. The Christians of Najran, he [brought them (41:08)] into his church, he let them perform their rituals. And they believed in the Trinity. So they believed. They're supposed to be infidels according to the measurements of Mr. Spencer. And not only that, [ --- (41:20)] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his agreements, [Arabic (41:23)]: No church would be demolished for them. [Arabic (41:26)]. No [priest (40:29)] would be brought out. [Arabic (41:31)]. And they're not to be pushed away or pressed to leave their religion, [Arabic (41:38)] unless they break the treaty, [Arabic (41:41)] or they start to deal in usury, which is forbidden in the Bible before it's forbidden in Islam.

Mr. Spencer asked me about if I can bring him one incident from Islamic history. Ali, the leader of the Muslim, the great khalifa. A Jewish man stole his shield. Ali saw him. He said, That's my shield. The Jewish man said, It's not. Here's the subjugation: Ali put himself in a court of law equal to the man and asked the judge, who happened to be African Judge Shuraih, to rule between them, and Judge Shuraih ruled for the shield to the Jewish man, because the Jewish man had possessions, and Ali accepted. And the man accepted Islam after that because of the treatment that is unprecedented in the history of mankind. I have so many history. I have so many incidents. If I have time I'll mention to the viewers. But Mr. Spencer is usual. [Mr. Zayed's alloted 5 minutes ends]

Once again, Mr. Zayed is evading the truth. He is denying that I brought him a book of Islamic jurisprudence just as he asked me to. And then he said, No, no, no, that's not good enough. Well, it was good enough for Al-Azhar, which affirmed that Reliance of the Traveler conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community, so I guess Mr. Zayed doesn't.

And he mentioned the kharaj. That's a very important tax to remember because there was no limit on that. And so even if he finds 20 books that say that the jizya was restricted (which was false in any case), the kharaj was not, and that was also levied on non-Muslims.

He's completely lying when he says that in Islamic theology, there's no defensive or offensive jihad. There are many Islamic authorities who refer to it. I named two before: Ibn Qayyim, Ibn Kathir, also Ibn Ishaq, and many 20th century theorists, including Maududi and Qutb.

Then he goes into to complete irrelevancy about Muslims being outnumbered. So what? And he's lying also about Tabuk. The Roman army was not coming into Muslim territory. The Byzantine sent a garrison at Tabuk; it was their territory that Muhammad was trying to invade.

The Christians of Najran were not pressed to leave their religion. Of course, he keeps shifting the topic here. The question is, "Were the non-Muslims subjugated--by the command of Muhammad and Allah--under the rule of Islamic law?" not "Were they forced to convert?" They were not forced to convert, not pressed to leave their religion. But they were subjugated.

And in trying to refute that they [lived in full (44:32)] equality of rights, he brings up some story about a Jewish man. That's not a society. That's not a society that has a system of laws in which non-Muslims enjoy full equality of rights with Muslims. There is no such now and never has been. And he cannot show a single example to the contrary.

Alright. I mean I don't know what to say about the absurdity. I brought him an example of the most powerful Muslim in the land, where the Jewish minority man, who stole his shield. So you cannot have a broader, more telling example. In a court of law that is led by an African man (Judge Shuraih), and it was ruled against the most powerful man in the nation, and he accepted the law. What more equality of rights that do you want? That's number one.

Number two: the issue of the Christians of Najran. Here's the People of the Scripture, totally under the thumb of Muslim power. Prophet Muhammad, according to the norm everywhere around him, he could've killed them. He could've seized their properties. He could've done anything to them that he wanted. He received them in his church. Let them perform their rituals in his church. Said that, I would even...if your church will start to fall apart, I will fix it from the Muslim treasury. No one would even come near you with anything unjust. That is totally against the teaching of God. And he's telling me to give me an example from society. That's Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). That's the example that we're talking about. That's the debate.

So far, you bring me books from outer space and bring me out of text quotations, and he cannot bring me one quotation from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that says, you know, subjugate them, treat them as not equal, denying their rights. And a matter of fact, it's totally the opposite: Beware of anyone who you [are] unjust to because for his supplication, his complain, there’s no veil between it and God.

The second thing, I'll give you another example. In Europe, Christians in Christian Europe used to flock to where the Ottoman Empire was, then the East, so they can have some equality of rights and can practice their religion freely. Check the Calvinists. Check the Unitarians. Christians in Christians' lands used to flock to Muslim countries. I have a quote in my book, the patriarch of [--- (46:47)] in Turkey, which Mr. Spencer can have reference of that, who's thanking God for the rule of the Turks. They have less taxes. They have freedom or religion versus what other Christians used to treat them. And again, out of fairness, Christians is something and the teachings of Jesus (PBUH) is something else [like that of Islam (47:05)].

It's interesting that he says “books from outer space “. I quoted the Qur'an. I quoted Bukhari. I quoted Muslim. These are canonical hadith. I quoted Ibn Kathir, who he earlier criticized me for quoting, and now it's a book from outer space. I don't know, you know. It would seem like... I think some of his Muslim friends might take issue with some of the things that Mr. Zayed is saying tonight. If he's gonna cast all these books that I've been quoting into the realms of outer space and say that they have no authority for Muslims, some Muslims might take issue with that.

Also, he's just repeating himself about Ali and this Jewish man. The point is, did any society, any Islamic state ever allow full equality of rights, or did they restrict the non-Muslims in their rights in some way? And obviously, he keeps not answering the question because he cannot, because he knows what I'm saying is true. There has never been a majority Muslim country or an Islamic state that has ever accorded non-Muslims full equality of rights with Muslims. It's never happened.

And this story about Muhammad being nice to the Christians of Najrans is completely irrelevant in the same way, because it does not contradict the fact that they were subjugated. They were allowed to to practice their religion. That's the whole idea of the dhimma is--that the non-Muslims are allowed to practice their religions but they have to accept this subjugated status and know their place. And there are all sorts of ways in Islamic law in which this is enforced. Even the basic ways, not only the tax. But the fact that Muslims are forbidden in Islamic law to greet the non-Muslims with "Peace be upon you" as you would greet a fellow-Muslim, but [ --- (48:46)] peace be upon those who are rightly guided.

And he says... Then he starts talking about Christianity, completely off the point. Very common debating tactic for cornered Islamic supremacists and liars. But completely off the topic. This is not about Christianity. This is about whether Muhammad taught that non-Muslims should be subjugated. And so this is completely irrelevant, but it’s also absurd to say that Calvinists and Unitarians fled to the Ottoman Empire. At the dawn of the 20th century, the Calvinists and Unitarians were all in Europe.

Well, again, I, you know, I'm sorry to do this but I would have to remind Mr. Spencer again: Bring me the quotes that you claim the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said denying their rights, be unjust to them, be unfair to them, treat them as second class citizens... I showed you, not just a quote that he said but his behavior towards Christians in a way that is unprecedented in the history of mankind. And when you say at the middle of the 7th century, he just let them practice their religions. He did not force them to convert. He did not, you know, take out a priest or whatever they said which is what the prophet did. Compare that to every place in the world around them. And I'll give you another 600 years 'til you reach the dark ages. Unprecedented in the history of mankind by words and by actions.

I'll give you another example. So I'm actually talking to the viewers now, because, Mr. Spencer, whatever you say just, you know, you’re talking to a different dimension here. He has these labels of evasive, you know, know, whatever stealth expressions that he have and he just print it whenever he goes without any reference to the truth. And I remind the people, he did not quote the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

[Arabic name (50:42)], the leader of Egypt, had a son. He had a race with a Christian kid. The Christian kid won the race, so he slapped him in the face [and] said, I am son of the nobles. What happened? His father knows Islamic law. He communicated and went to Umar Al-Khatab, the leader of all Muslims. He brought the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) [--- (50:57)] Egypt, and his son, and actually had the Christian kid slap the son in front of his father. And offered him to slap the companion of Prophet Muhammad. And he told him, When did you enslave people when they were born free to their mothers?, which is a legendary statement that is used today. That's real equality in the middle of 7th century, Mr. Spencer, not in your Dark Ages, not the liberty that the Calvinists and Unitarians and people in Europe did not have--when people like you said, you know, "This is a witch. This is a devil-worshiper. Let's put them in the stake and burn them" just because they still not worshipers of God, like what you're doing to Muslims nowadays. And I might add--for a living.

Mr. Zayed is really getting desperate. Now I'm burning witches and burning Muslims. This kind of thing, you know, this kind of vicious ad hominem attacks shows the intellectual bankruptcy and the complete dishonesty that underlies his position, and it’s unfortunate but understandable, because in Islam actually, there is no idea that somebody could reject Islam in good faith. And so he has to believe that people who speak the truth about Islam--the truth that he doesn't want known--are evil. But it just shows the emptiness of his positions.

Actually, I have quoted Muhammad. He doesn't want you to remember that. But I've quoted him saying, I've been commanded to fight against people until they confess that there is no God but Allah, and that I am his messenger. And if they do (this is the rest of this quotation), their lives and property will be safe. In other words, your life and property will NOT be safe if you don't submit. And he also tells them, in the other place that I quoted from Sahih Muslim, to fight against the polytheists until they pay then invite them to accept the jizya. And the jizya is something that is collected from non-Muslims but not from Muslims, and so it is a denial of the equality of rights.

He of course frames the question in a way that’s impossible, because he says, Find me something where Muhammad says be unjust, be unfair--but of course, in the Islamic scheme of things, it's not unfair, it's not unjust to subjugate the non-Muslims. It is the law of God. It’s something that is taught by the Qur'an and by Muhammad, and so it's not considered unjust or unfair. And so you're not gonna find Muhammad saying, Be unjust or unfair. That's absurd, but it's also a complete misrepresentation of what this topic is all about in our debate. The topic is, Muhammad taught Muslims to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. When the Muslims did that in obedience to Muhammad, when he told them to invite them to accept Islam or invite them to pay the jizya and if they don’t do either one, then fight them. They understood what they were doing is an act of justice.

He also told his followers to expel all the Jews and Christians from Arabia, which is hardly the act of a tolerant or pluralistic multiculturalist. He also said on his deathbed that Jews and Christians were accursed, because they prayed at the graves of their ancestors and their saints. And this is something that is hardly consistent with the picture of Muhammad that Mr. Zayed is painting.

And so the question before us once again is, Did Muhammad teach that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate unbelievers? And the reality is that this book of Islamic jurisprudence that's considered a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University (the leading institution among Sunni Muslims), it says that Muslims must wage war against unbelievers in this exactly this way. It says that the Islamic community...the jihad is obligatory upon the Islamic community, and it means to wage war against and subjugate non-Muslims. It quotes the hadith about [ how they’re commanded (55:00)] to fight against people until they confess that there's no God but Allah. And it also says details concerning jihad are found in the accounts of the military expeditions of the prophet, which of course Mr. Zayed has not told you anything about because he doesn't want you to know that there are any military expeditions of the prophet or that jihad warfare against unbelievers is an obligation. But this is what the book says. The caliph, the leader of the Islamic community--and this is what the Islamic jihadists are fighting around the world today to do is to restore the caliphate so that this can be done. The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax. And of course the payment of the non-Muslim poll tax is their subjugation.

And so, if he wants to argue that Muhammad did not teach this, then he's putting himself in a position of saying that the leading authority in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University, has endorsed this book on Islamic orthodoxy even though it gets Islam and Muhammad all wrong. Now that's ridiculous. What Mr. Zayed is saying is ridiculous. He is asking you to believe that all the authorities that I have quoted tonight--all the Islamic authorities--the Qur'an itself, the hadith, the statements of Muhammad, the statements of the tafseer (the commentaries on the Qur'an), the Tafseer Al-Jalalayn, Tafseer Al-Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir--all pious Muslims and Islamic scholars who dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching Islam have gotten Islam all wrong and that the leading authority in the world today on Islam has gotten Islam all wrong, but Mustafa Zayed has gotten it right. And that to speak honestly about these things is somehow to victimize innocent Muslims in the world. This kind of shallow and vicious ad hominem attack, once again, show the bankruptcy of his position, the fact that he is not being truthful, and the fact that he doesn't really want you to know the truth about Muhammad and Islam.

First of all, again for the tenth time, I want you to tell us how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught about the subjugation of Christians and Jews specifically. I discussed that quotation that you have brought. And a matter of fact, you almost surprised us and we’re about to the second third of the debate, that there's a military guidelines from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he said in his military expeditions that to go and subjugate people and do things. And still, you did not quote a single quote that book that [ --- (57:43)].

First of all, when you say that the Al-Azhar University endorsed that jurisprudence book of [ --- (57:51)] Al-Shafi'i that is--I'm sorry Mr. Spencer--compounded ignorance. Al-Azhar University does not endorse a book. It started in the Al-Azhar University because it represents a school of thought in the jurisprudence, science, or scholarship. There's million books that contradicts themselves inside Al-Azhar University and that is the beauty of Islamic Law. The beauty of Islamic Law allow you come with ijtihad and bring new laws according to verses in the Qur'an and the quotation of the Prophet in a changing environment that changes from a scholar to a scholar from time to time. So the fact that you say it's endorsed by the Al-Azhar University that means that, yes, the University endorsed one man’s thinking and everything that he says there is absolutely correct and we should follow. And the other three major scholars of Islam might disagree with him on half of what he says. So that's another act of ignorance.

When you say there is no equality because the jizya tax is not applied to Muslims, I've explained many times that Muslims pay zakat--2.5% of their unspent assets--and the non-Muslim pay jizya. And for the non-Muslims, it is different because non-Muslims are not to participate in the Muslim army, and that is actually a very good treatment for non-Muslims. If you go to any other country--and I know the excuse they usually say is, Why are you comparing that with Christianity, Why you compare us with that--because each time, and each way you turn, whether their time or any other time (in the future or the past), Islamic Law is the law of mercy, is the law of God, is the law of equality--in the middle of 7th century. Which planet you want us to compare Islam to, Mr. Spencer, I would like to know for once.

The other thing is that you said that jihad is obligatory. Jihad, by definition, is to defense yourself against attack. [Arabic (59:39)] You [ --- 59:42) fight for the sake of God those who fight you. In another verse, in 4:84, God says [Arabic (59:47)]. Talking to the prophet: Fight for the sake of God. [Arabic (59:52)] You're only task, persuade the unbelievers. (There is the purpose that you never tell your viewers and your innocent victims of readers.) [Arabic (1:00:00)] So your fighting would defeat the evil, the oppression of the infidels. So it is against terrorism. It is against oppression on earth. It is the against oppression that people apply to Muslims. And that's why you fight. In that form, it is obligatory for every Muslim man to go and fight oppression only for the sake of God.

I wanna bring the viewers and the readers who might be interested in reading for you, that Prophet Muhammad's prophethood was throughout 23 years. The 23 years, 13 years out of them were total persecution. Him and his companions, everyone who followed him--they were starved; they were tortured; they were killed; they were boycotted. Prophet Muhammad left Mecca, minutes away from them, slaughtering him in his own bed. Not one single word about that in your books. So it looks like Muslim, when God allowed them to defend themselves, as if they're waging jihad, and they're jihad terrorist, and so on and so forth.

The examples of the Muslims and the equal treatments of the book...the People of the Book on numerous... But I'll go to the ultimate source, so I can save myself [ --- (1:01:11)] of the compounded ignorance. I'll quote you 3:113 from the Qur'an: [Arabic (1:01:14)]... They're not all the same. Some of the People of the Scriptures are a standing nation. They go stand at night continuously reciting the verses of God while they're prostrating. Another verse, 3:199: They're from the People of the Scripture, those who believe in God and whatever that was revealed to them from God and whatever that was given to them by the prophet of God. They only humble themselves to God and they never sell the verses of God for any little price.

Even in the Qur'an, God says in 5:68, Oh People of the Scripture, you have nothing unless you uphold your Torah and your Gospels and whatever that was [later (1:01:53)] revealed to you from God. What you don't tell your readers is the only religion that believes in all the Scriptures and all the prophets of God, all of them--the 25 mentioned in the Qur'an--is the Muslim faith. And if you don't believe in the Torah, if you don't believe in the original Gospels, if you don't believe in all the prophets all the way from Adam 'til Jesus (PBUH), you're not a Muslim.


No comments:

Post a Comment