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ELSA, TRUTH SLEUTH:
MY JOURNEY INTO ISLAM

It could be about, how I came to find the wonder of Islam.

The words that come into my mind: The Heart of Darkness, the title of a novel by Joseph Conrad.

What I mean is that I found so many things I did not expect, so many things I could not admire. I would have loved to find a religion of peace. I did not. I feel as if I slowly stepped into a cave, slowly found lights, and had to recoil from what I found.

In one corner, the corpses of 600-900 dead Jews, murdered by Mohammed. The story isn't one I found in early versions of his story that I came across. But it's right there, hinted at in the Qu'ran, and spelled out in detail in the Sira and Hadiths (very revered Islamic religious texts). The story is right there.

But I didn't find the story until late in my exploration, when I already had a good idea of what kinds of things I'd be coming across.

The early explorations were much more tentative.

After all, I was told Islam was a religion of peace. But something did not make sense.

It was a bit like being a detective - Nancy Drew, say - young and innocent and very Western. Why was there this feeling of danger when I was tiptoeing into finding out about a religion of peace? The cave felt damp, and at the same time dusty. It felt that much lurked, that did not want me tiptoeing around, just wanting to look and see. But why should this be, if this was truly a religion of peace? After all, all I wanted was to see. Why the sense of menace?

Was it an over-active imagination?

Or was it from knowing that there were fatwas out against others - and that others had been murdered because of these fatwas? Was it from knowing that one of the richest nations in the world supported rigid Islamic rules, including a prohibition on women driving, and that it funded very traditional pro-jihad schools in many countries, including in the West?

Ok. So it wasn't only an over-active imagination.

**

And now, years later, sitting here writing, I feel like David facing Goliath - only the size difference is way greater. There's one of me - and there are over a billion Muslims. David had a rock. I have the truth - so many small and large pieces of truth. David had a slingshot. I have the internet. But David had control of his slingshot. I do not control the internet - though I have some knowledge of its workings.

The question: will the truth be able to reach Goliath? It does not need to reach all of Goliath. David hit only one small but very vulnerable spot. And Goliath fell dead. His pebble hit right in the middle of the forehead - knocked out the brain, knocked out someone huge.

Where is my aim?

It also aims for the head - facts and figures.

I am also aiming for the heart - for the part of people that loves, cares, has empathy - that cannot accept rape as good, cannot accept beating women as good, cannot accept slavery as good, cannot accept the slaughter of innocents as good.

So I am also different from David.

I care.

I want, rather than to kill, to awaken, to reach the heart, to touch the heart - which would break the spell of the false sense of superiority.

And now the image comes back to me. It isn't David versus Goliath. There are others with me. And it isn't Goliath that we're aiming at. The aim is at something small. A book. The contents are there for all to see.

The goal isn't book burning. The goal is showing the content, airing it out for all to see.

Look, this is here.

Harder, in many ways, than killing one nasty Goliath.

"There is none so blind
as him who will not see"

And that then is the question:

How to make visible what is so clearly visible?

That is the challenge.

Maybe others feel as I did - that to dare to explore is to enter a dusty, musty, unwelcoming cave.

Well, I say, if Frodo dared to do it in Lord of the Rings, why shouldn't we all?


And that brings me to another side of me - I've always cared to make sense of the world - so much has puzzled me. I've always also cared to share my understandings.

That's at least as much a part of my quest - to find a way of being heard, widely heard. Cassandra was not heard - Troy was destroyed. Paul Revere was heard - the British were routed.

How to be a Paul Revere? My journey has taken many twists. And this isn't the first time I've been faced with this difficulty.

Among other things, this time I've tried rap:

My Name, Paul Revere -
My Message, The Qu'ran is Coming

This interview series is one more try.

If you don't succeed the first time, try try again.

That's something I've heard.

But I've also heard, only half-jokingly, that the definition of a neurotic is someone who tries the same thing, and expects a different outcome.

That's why I'm trying something different.

We shall see.


I remember that, in the province where I grew up, the Catholic church seemed indomitable. WIthin a few years, it had largely crumbled. Priests and nuns left in droves. The "faithful" turned out not to be so faithful. But the religious fervor did not just evaporate. Next there was a lot of political fervor - seeing, not non-Catholics as the enemy, but non French-Canadians. A complex story.

Anyway, once more I feel within a complex situation. This time I'm not a child. Much knowledge. Much exploration.

This time, if at all possible, I will be much more than an astonished observer.

Elsa

I will end with more than one signature. I will give my formal signature, with my academic credentials. I'm proud of those credentials - lots of hard work, researching, thinking creatively, putting things together. Then I'll give my fun credentials, which you can find on The Idea Emporium.


Elsa, PhD
Psychology, Sociology, Literary Studies


a.k.a.
Dr Zee,
for good thinking from A to Z



Good thinkers of the world unite!
We have nothing to lose but our frustration





**


For those of you who want references regarding the slaughter of Jews by Mohammed and his forces, here they are.

Koran 33:26-27 (or Qu'ran 33:26-27- spell it any way you like, the content is the same). According to many Muslims, this passage refers to the beheading of 600-900 unarmed Jewish males:

"And He drove down those of the people of the Book who backed them from their fortresses, and He cast awe into their hearts: some you killed and you took captive another part (of them). And He made you inherit their land and their dwellings and their properties, and (to) a land which ye have not yet trodden, and God has power over all things."

For a lot more detail, here are passages from the Sira by ibn Ishaq (pages 450 through 483). There are also references in a number of hadiths.

Ishaq:464
"The Jews were made to come down, and Allah's Messenger imprisoned them. Then the Prophet went out into the marketplace of Medina (it is still its marketplace today), and he had trenches dug in it. He sent for the Jewish men and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in batches. They numbered 800 to 900 boys and men. As they were being taken in small groups to the Prophet, they said to one another, 'What do you think will be done to us?' Someone said, 'Do you not understand. On each occasion do you not see that the summoner never stops? He does not discharge anyone. And that those who are taken away do not come back. By God, it is death!' The affair continued until the Messenger of Allah had finished with them all."

Hadith reference - Tabari VIII:38
"The Messenger of Allah commanded that all of the Jewish men and boys who had reached puberty should be beheaded. Then the Prophet divided the wealth, wives, and children of the Qurayza Jews among the Muslims."



This story of the genocide of the Jewish tribe of Medina is the bloodiest episode connected to the founding of Islam. It's about the full-scale genocide of a Jewish tribe. After the massacre the tribe ceased to exist.


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Truth Seeker, Truth Sleuth
searching for truth
about Islam and the West,
Muslim Beliefs, Islam Beliefs,
History of Muslim Religion,
the Qu'ran, Koran, Hadiths.



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