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More than a Mosque

Published by Steven Masood - April 6th 2012
More than a Mosque

The news of building a mosque near ground zero prompted several friends to enquire about our response and so here it is.

Is a mosque  just a place for worship?

In Islam a mosque (masjid) serves as a place where Muslims come together for prayer; an Imam leads the prayer five times a day and delivers a sermon on Friday afternoon prayer. This gives most Americans an assumption that the mosque is simply a place where Muslims go to worship, but this is a wrong assumption. To understand the role of the mosque in a Muslim’s life, one has to check on Islam as faith, its history and how Muhammad lived his life and used the mosque for his purpose.

Islam is a works based religion and is seen by its faithful followers not only as a religion but also government thus the phrase: Al-Islam ad-din wa dawla – Islam is a religion and government. For them Islam deals with every sphere of their lives religious, social, political, and even judicial. Thus a mosque is used not only as an educational center but also as a court using Shari’a (Islamic law) to sort out matters of disputes. 

Throughout history, to Muslims, a mosque has always been a symbol overpowering the community around it. After invading the lands, Muslims converted many churches and synagogues into mosques and erected new ones as worship centers but also to made them as land marks to symbolize their conquest over the invaded.

Mosques in the West

In Europe and America, the most rapid growth in the number of mosques has occurred within the past century as more Muslims have migrated to that continent. Major European cities, such as Rome, London, and Munich, are home to mosques that feature traditional domes and minarets. These large mosques in urban centers are supposed to serve as community and social centers for a large group of Muslims that occupy the region. In many cities Muslim organizations buy church properties and proudly covert them to mosques. See examples on YouTube for some churches in the United Kingdom here and here

How many mosques are there in the USA? Mosques first appeared in the United States in the early twentieth century, the likely first being one in Maine built by Albanian immigrants in 1915. According to several Islamic organizations, like CAIR, ISNA and the Council for mosques, the number of American mosques is increasing faster than ever before. Whereas only two percent of the country's mosques appeared in the United States before 1950, eighty-seven percent of American mosques were founded after 1970 and fifty percent of American mosques founded after 1980. Since 9/11 the number of mosques in the USA has doubled.

Like the number of Muslims living in the USA, the number of mosques varies. The number goes from 4,000 to 40,000 to 50,000 mosques. There are incomplete lists on the internet. For example one may be found herehere and here. A Muslim connected to the ground zero mosque stated in response to those oppose the plan to build a mosque near ground zero: ‘There are 200 mosques in New York, and yet another one is not a big deal’. One of the reason for not knowing the exact number of mosques in the USA is that in many towns large private houses, compounds and warehouses are used for worship and related activities without being registered.

Mosque: A Command and Control center

 

For Muslims the Qur’an is the first hand authority but to fully adopt Islam as their way of life, they follow Muhammad’s examples (Sunnah), recorded in another body of literature known as theHadith. These writings record what Muhammad said, lived and taught and are used to interpret the Qur’an and the Islamic ideology.

As Muhammad used the mosque for religious ritual worship, Muslims too use it for such purpose but for Muhammad, worship is also about implementing Allah’s law, known as Shari’ah. Thus as Muhammad himself the leader of the community used his mosque for all kinds of operations, Muslim leaders follow suit.

Muhammad made legislative rulings, issued decrees and developed Islamic law and used the mosque like a judge for all his decisions, thus it became like a Supreme Court and the seat of legislative government. He used the mosque for teaching and so for Muslims it is the educational seminary. He conducted the affairs of the Islamic state, entertained heads of state, and appointed judges there. It is the seat of executive power. Muhammad issued social decrees from the mosque, superiority of men over women and thus it is the social center of the community. It was in the mosque that he proclaimed the superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims, issued death sentences against those who opposed him, and dispatched the executioners to carry out their duties. It is the place and symbol of Islamic rule. It is where he issued marching orders, proclaimed jihad, and recognized his warriors. It is a military base.

Thus following Muhammad’s example, we see today that Muslims use mosques to disseminate not only their religious views but also political views and plans. They use Friday prayers as vehicles to call for calm and peace or for civil disobedience or even widespread violence. Even in Islamic countries, mosques are found to be breeding grounds for violence and conspiracies against communities and governments.

Hijra (Migration), Taqiyyah (Disguise), Kitman (concealment) and the role of the mosque

The Islamic calendar known also as the Hijra calendar began in the year A.D. 621/622, when Muhammad migrated with his followers from the city of Mecca to the city of Medina on the Arabian Peninsula. It was from here that Muhammad gained power. The Quran speaks highly of those who migrated to Medina for the cause of Islam (Sura 2:218, 3:195, and 4:100). Thus along other aspects Hijra is seen as as a turning point to victory and today is used by Muslims to spread Islam. It is seen as preparatory to other forms of jihad for the victory of Islam and Muslims in other countries. To spread Islam Muslims have to migrate. Migration precedes jihad and both are inextricably linked. It is not possible to consolidate the Islamic religion without migration. When migration takes place, it is followed by erecting mosques for worship and also to use for the purpose of bringing a witness to non-Muslims that Islam is superior. In fact nowadays several Islamic organizations encourage Muslims to migrate to non-Muslim areas, establish themselves and build mosques and centers so to use them for propagation as well as for other purposes.

Disguise and Concealment

On the one hand, the Qur’an in numerous places condemns falsehood, but on the other not only do Allah and Muhammad practice lying, but Muhammad also taught his followers how to lie and deceive. We learn that for Muhammad it was his common practice to say one thing and do exactly the opposite if something appealed to him otherwise. He sent men to kill people unaware in their homes and also gave them permission to tell lies in order to deceive the people being killed (Bukhari, vol. 4, Hadith No. 143; Also Ibn Ishaq (d.767 or 761), Sirat Rasul Allah, (tr. Guillaume: The Life of Muhammad, pp. 232, 367-369, 515, 674-676). There are injunctions in the Quran that enable the Islamic community to disguise, play down, and when necessary, deny both the intensity and the validity of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian teachings of its religious system and also play down the intention of taking over. This particular injunction is Taqiyya (Some may spell it as: Takiyah, Tuqiyah, Taqqiyya etc). 

Some Muslims will argue that this is only practiced in Shi’a Islam, but that is not the case. Sunni Muslims too use this doctrine. Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), a highly regarded Sunni scholar stands for Taqiyya and quotes for example others gone before him:, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them." (Fath Al-B?ri, 10:544, quoted in Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, vol. 2, p. 141-143). He also argues that Muslims can even deny that they are Muslims and deny Islam, the Qur’an and Muhammad, in the interest of self preservation. They can lie to promote a social ‘good’ i.e. promote Islam. Ismail Al-Bukhari (d.870) said that Al-Hasan said, "The Taqiyya is allowed until the Day of Resurrection." (Read Tafsir on line here)

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (d. 1111), the acclaimed theologian and highly regarded Muslim scholar of all times, states that lying is obligatory when the goal is obligatory and it cannot be reached by telling the truth [Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, (1368), Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (1994)], r.8.2, p. 745). Daw'a (Islamic evangelism) is obligatory; if Islam cannot be spread with the truth, they are obliged to lie. Elsewhere, according to Ghazali, Muhammad taught people to retract truthful confessions of sins so they could avoid punishment; lying is also permissible if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging than the damage by lying (ibid., p. 746).

All the above brings us to conclude that the ultimate purpose of Taqiyya is to confuse and split the enemy, so that they can be conquered for Allah. A perfect example of this is when Sura 2:256 is quoted by Muslims in the USA, ‘there is no compulsion in religion,’ but they fail to cite Sura 9:5, 29, (and others) which abrogate 2:256. Today, unbelievers only have the choice of converting, paying protection money or facing humiliation by Muslims or death.

Wake up America!

Even in the USA several Muslims who were seen as moderate Muslims were found later to be really supporting terrorists and their organizations in disguise (see the documentary film The Third Jihad). Such proponents were and are following the doctrine of Taqiyya, also known as Kitman (Concealment).

Here in the United States, we not only encourage the building of mosques, we actually help facilitate their construction in the name of tolerance and freedom of religion.We must realize that we are, in effect, helping build the enemy’s command and control centers within our own country. Our political leaders don’t seem to understand the problem we are facing in this regard—or they are simply unwilling to intervene. 

This is why it is critical for Americans to learn about the true nature of Islam and understand that it is not just another religion. We need to educate ourselves and pass on the knowledge. “Jesus to Muslims” is here to educate.

Some excuses

Let them build mosques. We must be tolerant. We can’t discriminate against them. Seeing so many mosques, Muslims will not bomb us. There is freedom of religion in the USA. These are lame examples to the utmost. History tells us that through sectarian violence in fact Muslims do destroy each other’s mosques and even slaughter people right in the mosques.

Some claim that not all Muslims use mosques for terrorist activities. Well, how do you know? In the USA, several cases were found to be connected to mosques. Even in Muslim populated countries, governments find mosques and attached Islamic centers to be breeding grounds for terrorism. So what stops them using such facilities here in the USA?

The Real Solution

It is the ideology that is causing a problem. The long history of lying has caused many Muslims to believe their own lies. (Irshad Manji, The Trouble with Islam, Random House, Sydney, 2003, p.3). A Muslim deep down in his heart wants to serve God in full. Once he realizes that the ideology he is following is a false one, it will be the death of Islamic terrorism. Let us share with them that they do not have to kill themselves and others to gain eternal life in the paradise of God. He has already sent his own to die for you and me so that now by believing in Jesus we may have peace and eternal life here and beyond.

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