MAB says Moore’s article was a “clear incitement to religious hatred and division”

CAIRO, December 13 (IslamOnline.net) – A Daily Telegraph’s “repulsive” article on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam gave Muslims in Britain quite a shock, calling it a telling example of ignorance and arrogance borne by “only the most zealous of racists.”

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), one of the leading Muslim organizations in Britain, said the article, written by Charles Moore, was a “clear incitement to religious hatred and division.”

“What he wishes to portray as freedom of speech, will undoubtedly be carried further by some throughout society who will see this as a green light to attack Muslims physically and discriminate against them in various walks of life,” MAB said in a press release sent to IslamOnline.net.

Staunchly opposing a religious hatred law being mulled by the government, Moore claimed in his December 11 article that “the natural consequence” of such a bill if passed will be “a rise in the hatred of religion…Particularly hatred of Islam.”

However, in the course of defending his argument the Daily Telegraph writer launched an outrageous tirade against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam.

Falsehood, Skewed Interpretations

The MAB said that Moore’s article was “full of falsehoods, lies, skewed interpretations and poisonous remarks.”

He said that during the era of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) “women were treated more as property and less as autonomous beings.”

Moore cited Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), claiming that she was only nine-year-old with an offending lead reading “Was the prophet Mohammed (sic) a pedophile?”

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, Garden Grove, California, told IslamOnline.net that the age of `A’ishah, when she got married to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was far from being confirmed.

“Historically, it is not confirmed that she was nine years old when she came in the household of the Prophet. There are various reports from age nine to age 24. Her maturity, knowledge, intelligence, and contributions during the life of the Prophet and afterwards all indicate that she was either an exceptional nine-year-old or must have been older than that.”

Professor Siddiqi further said that the Prophet (PBUH) was not the first suitor.

“According to many historians, Jubair ibn Mut`am proposed to her before the Prophet (PBUH). This gives an indication that `A’isha was mature enough for marriage at that age.”

“Whatever the case may be about her age, one thing is certain: she was a most compatible spouse of Prophet Muhammad. None of the contemporaries of the Prophet, his friends or foes, are reported to have been surprised by this marriage or made objections to it,” Professor Siddiqi added.

The Daily Telegraph writer also wrote that in Muslim countries Christians and Jews were being treated as “second-class citizens who must pay the jiyza (sic), a sort of poll tax, because of their beliefs” and that intolerance was the main hallmark of the Muslim faith.

However, one of the cornerstones of Islam is that “there is no compulsion in religion” as enshrined by the Noble Qur’an.

Non-Muslims under a Muslim state enjoy their full rights. A very clear example of how non-Muslim minorities were treated is that Caliph `Umar ibn Al-Khattab on his deathbed dictated a long will consisting of instructions for the next caliph.

Umar said: “I instruct you on behalf of the people who have been given protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet [i.e. the non-Muslim minorities within the Islamic state known as dhimmis]. Our covenant to them must be fulfilled, we must fight to protect them, and they must not be burdened beyond their capabilities.”

History books show that Islam protected Jews from Christians and Eastern Christians from Roman Catholics.

In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Caliphs, Christians and Jews enjoyed  freedom of religion that they did not allow each other or anyone else.

Imposing jizyah on non-Muslims was not a kind of religious-based discrimination against them and if the word jizyah is too offensive to non-Muslims, it can always be changed as when Al-Khattab levied the jizyah upon the Christians of Bani Taghlib and called it sadaqah (alms) out of consideration for their feelings.

The payment of jizyah is a financial obligation placed upon those who do not have to pay the Zakah.

As the ratio of these two taxes is the same, it is obvious that the jizyah is simply a technique used by Islamic governments to make sure that everyone pays his fair share.

The jizyah was also imposed on Muslim men who could afford to buy their way out of military service.

Since Christians joined the armies in Muslim countries they had no longer to pay jizyah.

As well as this Islam came to save humanity from ignorance and oppression. Islam is not a threat to any society. Islam calls for harmony and peaceful co-existence with other religions.

It does not permit aggression, violence, injustice, or oppression. At the same time, it calls  for morality, justice, tolerance, and peace.

It is in no way “a less a religion and more a magnet for psychopaths and a machine for conquest,” as alleged in Moore’s article.

Ignorance

“Charles Moore wishes to be seen as someone who understands a little bit about Islam,” said Tikriti 

Anas Altikriti, speaking on behalf of MAB, said Moore’s article demonstrated the fact that the writer knew nothing about this great religion and its  prophet, who was ranked the first in Michael H. Hart’s book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History.

“Charles Moore wishes to be seen as someone who understands a little bit about Islam, when in fact he peddles feeble lies, misinterpretations and incredible falsehoods,” he said.

Tikriti, a member of the nascent political party Respect, said that the Daily Telegraph and its editors should have known better about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) than to allow such “filth and drivel to adorn their pages.”

The MAB demanded, on behalf of all Muslims worldwide, the immediate dismissal of Moore from the British daily and a full retraction and apology from the paper’s editors “to not only Muslims, but to followers of all faiths, whom Moore believes should welcome attacks on them, their beliefs and their revered figures.”

Muslim campaigns to counter anti-Islam figures in Britain, paid off recently, thanks to the growing influence of the Muslim community and a government campaign against racial hatred.

Last month, Barclays, Britain’s third-largest bank which has a significant number of Muslim clients, has closed  the British National Party’s accounts for anti-Islam and racist remarks.

In January, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the BBC, urging robust disciplinary action against columnist and presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk.

Thanks to an immediate Muslim action, the BBC suspended the presenter’s morning show pending an investigation, while Kilroy-Silk offered an apology over describing Arabs as “suicide bombers, limb amputators, and women repressors.”