If all religions are equal then why is one praying for the torture and punishment of others?
By Raymond Ibrahim
Someone recently sent me an Arabic video that juxtaposes snippets of sermons delivered by Christian and Muslim leaders in the Middle East. [Note: Two days after this article first appeard on PJ Media, YouTube removed the video.] The Christian preachers offer up universal supplications that include phrases like "O lord, lover of all mankind and savior of all the world"; they quote biblical passages such as "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt 5: 44); they pray that God may "heal all people around the world of their diseases."
While such prayers are familiar, taken for granted even, the supplications of the Muslim preachers may surprise some. Popular Egyptian preacher, Sheikh Muhammad al-Zoghbi, was taped invoking his god thusly:
May Allah cut your tongue out! May he freeze the blood in your veins! May he inflict you with cancer and allow you no reprieve… Allah, strike them with all sorts of disease, afflictions and pain! Allah, strike them with cancer! Allah, let your prophet overpower them! Allah destroy them! Allah destroy them! Allah destroy them! Allah destroy the criminals who challenge the noble prophet! [Then, very serenely addressing his Muslim viewers:] And peace upon you, and Allah's mercy and blessings.
Likewise, Sheikh Abdullah Nihari supplicated Allah with outstretched arms accordingly:
Lord, Lord, we condemn them before you!! Freeze the blood in their veins!! Strike them with evil, or at the very least freeze the blood in their veins—until they pray for death, but do not receive it!! O lord! O lord! O lord!...
One need not understand Arabic to appreciate the intensity of Nihari's hate: watch the 45 seconds starting at minute 2:15, and see the gesticulating cleric issue his curse—while striking the floor with a stick, hurling a picture, and pounding on the wall.
Also shown was a snippet of formal prayers at Mecca, Islam's holiest city. As Muslims circumambulated around the Ka'ba, the following supplications were blasted on a megaphone, chanted to by Islam's devotees:
O Allah vanquish the unjust Christians and the criminal Jews, the unjust traitors; strike them with your wrath; make their lives hostage to misery; drape them with endless despair, unrelenting pain and unremitting ailment; fill their lives with sorrow and pain and end their lives in humiliation and oppression; inflict your tortures and punishments upon the unjust Christians and criminal Jews. This is our supplication, Allah; grant us our request!
What to make of this immense contrast between Christian and Muslim prayers to the deity? Of course, in former times, these contradicting approaches would simply have been interpreted as natural reflections of the divine and the diabolical.
Today, however, when moral relativism portrays all religions equally—that is, all are equally meaningless with no tangible impact on their devotees' lives—many may conclude that the Christian prayers, calm and grateful, evince Christian contentment under Islam, whereas the Muslim prayers, irate if not insane, evince sincere grievance.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If prayers and supplications were mere reflections of one's level of contentment or discontentment with this world, then surely the Christians of the Muslim world—where churches and Bibles are burned, Christian girls are abducted and forced to convert, blasphemy and apostasy laws kill, and even the state massacres Christians—would be praying for fire and pestilence to descend upon their persecutors.
Conversely, Muslim leaders are quick to point to anything to rationalize their prayers of hate. Thus when Professor Abd al-Latif was asked if Sharia law permits Muslims to pray for the "annihilation" of Jews and Christians, he said yes, since Jews are unjust to Palestinians and Christians are responsible for Abu Ghraib, adding that "the prophet himself used to invoke curses."
Indeed, Muhammad—who counseled cursing Islam's enemies by, among other things, telling them to bite their father's penis—condemned and called violence against Christians and Jews, beginning in his Quran's opening prayer, the Fatiha, which Muhammad uttered some thirteen centuries before the creation of the modern state of Israel and the events of Abu Ghraib—that is, before any "grievances."
The lesson? Prayers do not reflect one's contentment with the world; they reflect the teachings of one's faith.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -