Examining Islam's Expansionist History; By Abdullah al-ArabyMuslims often claim that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion. This boast empowers them with increased fervor as they race down the road for conquest of the
Undisputedly, Islam is growing rather rapidly, but there is no scientific evidence for the claim that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion. The purpose of this article is not to dispute the fact that Islam is growing, but to demonstrate that the reasons for Islam's growth can be attributed to factors that have very little to do with Islam's merits. To accomplish this we will explore the reasons and implications behind the phenomenon of the spread of Islam during historical and contemporary times.
First, we will acquaint you with some of the Islamic principles that serve as the force behind Islam's expansionist mentality.
Islam's ultimate goal is to rule the world. Islamic theology provides two methods for this to be accomplished. The first is spiritual, as people are lured into conversion. The second is coercive; it is the political/physical conquest of nations. For Muslims, there are no gray areas. They see the world in black and white. To them the world is divided into two big camps: the House of Islam and the House of War. The House of Islam are the Muslims, and the House of war are the non-Muslims. Muslims (the House of Islam) are in a constant state of spiritual/political/physical warfare with Non-Muslims (the House of War) until they subjugate them into Islam.
Islam always employs a carrot and stick policy. The carrot and stick that is perpetually set before Muslims is the expectation of generous rewards in this life and in eternity for those who fight for Islam. On the other hand, those who falter are warned of severe temporal and eternal punishments.
Apostasy from Islam is not an option. Once-a-Muslim-always-a-Muslim, the only official alternative is death. There is no room for changing one's mind. The door is wide open to join Islam, but there is no backdoor for those that would like to leave it.
The Early Stages of Islam
Mohammed started espousing his new Islamic religion at age 40. Initially, his methods for spreading the message were gentle and peaceful. The motto was, "No compulsion in religion". His first convert was his loyal wife, Khadija. During the next three years, Mohammed privately persuaded seven men to join him, one of whom was his slave Zaid. The other six were: Abu Bakr, Uthman ibn Affan, Zubair ibnel Awam, Abdel Rahman ibn Auf, Saad ibn abi Wakkaas, and Talha. With this limited success, Mohamed decided to begin preaching the message of Islam in public. During this period he was under the protection of an influential uncle named, Abu-Talib. There is no evidence, however, that his uncle ever converted to Islam. After five years of hard work, the Muslim band had grown in numbers to a total of a mere sixteen. Some of Mohammed's followers migrated to a Christianized area that is present day
To appease and appeal to the pagan Arabs, Mohammed incorporated some of their idolatrous rituals into Islam. The Islamic practices of making Hajj, circling the Kaaba, and kissing the black stone are all pagan rituals that predate Islam. During one of his meetings with the chiefs of the Quraish tribe of
The days of being a peaceful, tolerant prophet were over. At this juncture Mohammed began to proclaim that Allah was instructing all Muslims to use swords, not just words, to fight for the cause. They were to adopt the sword of Jihad as the primary means of subduing the masses to the will of Allah. From that point on, Mohammed's directives and the actions of his Muslim band signaled to non-Muslim Arabs that all his old pacts with them and former promises to them were null and void. Soon, significant numbers of Arabs flocked to join Mohammed. Their motivations for doing so were twofold. They feared his ruthlessness, and they hoped for shares of the booty derived from the Muslims' plundering of caravans and villages. Muslims conducted a series of 27 raids on other Arabian tribes and caravans in which they killed opponents and captured goods, slaves and gained new territories. Mohammed personally observed 26 of these raids, and participated by fighting in 9 of them. His peaceful efforts prior to the migration to
During the subsequent years, and up until his death, tens of thousands were added to the ranks of Islam through his new policy of coercive violence. Eight years after arriving in Medina, Mohammed was able to organize an army of 10,000 to attack Mecca. For the most part, this army consisted of men that were far more motivated by personal greed for material gains than they were by spiritual zeal for Allah's call. Conversely, the Meccans that surrendered to Islam after Mohammed's victory were motivated more by fear of death than they were by sincere belief in Allah and his Apostle. Mohammed was successful in subduing all of
However, events that transpired over the next few years proved that the conversions of many were a matter of coercion rather than conviction. Those that perceived opportunities to forsake Islam did so with greater rapidity than their original conversions. After Mohammed's death, the various factions within
The successors of Mohammed were called Caliphs. The first one, Caliph Abu Bakr, had to recall the Muslim army from the anticipated conquest of
Muslim activists constantly boast that, "Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance," They assert that the wars of Islam were only "defensive" actions in response to the aggressions of others. Historical facts belie their assertions. The nations that the Muslims conquered did not pose any threat to Arabia. The countries that the Muslims invaded, had not initiated attacks. The Muslims attacked them with the motive of prospective plunder and the desire to force Islam on the rest of the world. Allah's orders were clear,
"When the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." Surah 9:5
In dealing with "People of the Book" (Christians and Jews), the Qur’an was a bit more generous. The Qur’an did not call for their deaths, but commanded Muslims to,
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Surah 9:29
It was no surprise that the invading Muslims were not satisfied to merely subjugate the conquered countries to Islamic Law. In addition, each nation underwent the process of Arabization. This was accomplished as the invaders systematically attempted to erase the identities of people groups by abolishing their native cultures and languages replacing them with Arab culture and language. Christians and Jews that did not accept Islam lost the status of full-citizenship in their respective nations. They were reduced to the status of "Dhimmitude" or the "protectees" or wards of the Muslims. In return for this protection they were expected to pay the Jizya" (poll tax). Christians and Jews were also subjected to a long list of humiliating and degrading rules included in what is known as "the Pact of Omar." They were forced to sign a document, authored by Omar, agreeing to the following regulations and prohibitions.
- We shall not build new monasteries, churches, convents or monks' cells in our cities or in Muslim neighborhoods. Should any of theses fall into ruins or disrepair, we shall not repair, by day or night, those in our own neighborhoods or those situated in the quarters of the Muslims.
- We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. All Muslims that pass our way are to be given board and lodging for as many as three days. We shall not hide any spy from the Muslims or give them sanctuary in our churches or shelter them in our homes.
- We shall not proclaim our religion publicly nor attempt to convert anyone to it. We shall not forbid any of our kin from entering Islam if they desire to do so.
- We shall show respect toward Muslims. If they wish to sit, we shall rise from our seats.
- We shall not seek to resemble Muslims by imitating any of their garments, turbans, footwear or parting of the hair. We shall not imitate their way of speech.
- We shall not mount on saddles, gird ourselves with swords, bear any kind of arms, or conceal weapons on our bodies.
- We shall not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.
- We shall not sell fermented drinks.
- We identify ourselves as non-Muslims by clipping the fronts of our heads.
- We shall always dress in the same manner wherever we go and we shall bind the zunar, identifying us as non-Muslims, around our waists
- We shall not display our crosses or our books on the roads or in the markets of the Muslims. We shall use only clappers very softly in our churches. We shall not raise our voices in mourning when following our dead. We shall not shine lights on any of the roads of the Muslims or in their markets. We shall not bury our dead near the Muslims.
- We shall not take slaves who have been allotted to Muslims.
- We shall not build houses of taller elevation than the houses of Muslims.
- We accept these conditions for ourselves and for the people of our community, and in return we shall receive safe-conduct.
- If we in any way violate these regulations, for which we ourselves stand surety, we forfeit our covenant [dhimma] status and shall become liable to the penalties for contumacy and sedition."
Islam in Modern History
Nine hundred years after the first wave of Islamization, a second powerful wave took place, in the seventeenth Century. The
Oil has become a strong weapon to advance the global influence of the Islamic oil-producing nations. With it, they can make stronger nations, that depend of them for oil, tremble in fear. Suddenly it became politically incorrect to criticize Islam or Muslims. Most importantly, with this new sword in hand, Muslims now have the means to finance their call to convert the world to Islam. Now in the 21rst Century Muslim advocates sense that they have the upper hand and therefore are becoming increasingly more aggressive in the West. They boast about being able to convert some 6-8 million in the
In reality, the number of Muslims in the
1990 Est. Adult Population
2001 Est. Adult Population
% Of Ch’ange 1990 - 2001
It is undeniable; however, that Islam is seriously advancing in the West. This is mainly attributed to Islam's capacity to wield influence through its new sword of oil. The newly acquired wealth is currently being used in Western democracies in a manner that gives Islam a distinct economic advantage over Christianity. Christians must depend on the sacrificial donations of their members to build and maintain churches, pay salaries and finance evangelism and benevolent outreaches. As a result many Christian churches and organization have to shut down and sell their buildings. Muslims that are using Petro-Dollars from the oil rich Gulf and Saudi governments often purchase these defunct Christian properties. Muslim clerics, on the other hand, don't need to depend on donations to build mosques, pay their salaries, and purchase airtime in the various broadcast Media. The financial aid that they get from Islamic states enables them also to give generous assistance to needy people that are potential converts to Islam. More seriously, large sums of oil monies are covertly slipped into the hands of Muslim extremists' organizations.
Without any qualms of conscience they finance terrorist attacks, against non-Muslims and against moderate Muslims alike, around the globe. With these factors in mind, it should be no surprise that Islam is growing in the West. In addition, unquestionably the Muslim activists of modern times are smarter and are using more sophisticated tactics than those of ancient times. The days of the primitive methods that were used to conquer the known world, between the 7th - 17th centuries, are over. Islam now applies carefully studied and sophisticatedly executed methods. They define their targets, and decide on the best strategies to reach them. Young women are reached through love and marriage. With our African-American citizens the race card is used. They are deceived into believing that Mohammed was black and that Islam was birthed on the African continent. To the needy, they use money. For most people, they polish Islam and present it in an attractively revised westernized form.
The violent Qur’anic verses that were revealed in
Make no mistake about it; Islam is well on the road to becoming a major spiritual/political influence in the