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The Radical Islamic Mind (lengthy exposé from Christian perspective)
Spiritual Counterfeits Project ^ | Sept 2002 | Aleesha Khan

Posted on 10/21/2002 6:04:46 AM PDT by spycatcher

The Radical Islamic Mind

--This is a large excerpt from the full article--


By Aleesha Khan

We think of them as primitive believers in the moon god.1 They call us pagan polytheists and infidels because we believe in God as three Persons. We claim they envy our freedoms. They claim we need more discipline. We think they treat their women badly. They think our lifestyle denies the dignity of women. We think all Muslims are the same. They think all Christians are the same. We don't speak the same languages.

Our cultures couldn't be more different. Our history is a long war. They invaded and conquered much of Europe; many of their countries were once colonies of European powers. Both sides seem to agree that war is inevitable and permanent in some way--not only a 'shooting war', but cultural and religious conflict as well.


Until the Iranian revolution in 1979, who of us knew there was more than one kind of Muslim? In the wake of September 11, we are reminded that Islam is fractured. The people who flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon claimed to be true martyrs for the cause of Islam, yet their actions were condemned by Muslim religious leaders all over the world. Muslims divide the world into two parts: Dar al Islam, the 'abode of the faithful' and Dar Al Haarb, the world of the infidel and the 'abode of war'.2 Their attitude toward Dar Al Haarb depends on several factors, mostly to do with their perceptions of their own strength, and ranges from relatively peaceful coexistence as minorities in some countries (like the USA) to violent attempts to impose their way of life on all citizens in countries where they are the majority (as in Nigeria).

Pressure is being applied from all sides. The politically correct line is that the terrorists who devastated our sense of security do not represent all Muslims. We are told there is a major difference between these Al Quaeda terrorists and the vast majority of moderate Muslims. Some claim the Al Quaeda and their colleagues including the Taliban are not Muslims at all.3 The media criticizes attacks against mosques, Islamic schools and individual Muslims, while the US State Department scrambles support for continuing the war against terror that started with the invasion of Muslim Afghanistan and possibly won't end in our lifetimes.


I was one of the first Western women to marry an international exchange student and return with him to Bangladesh after he finished his Doctoral studies. When I met Hashim I was politically naïve. He was smart, articulate, well travelled and fascinating. He was popular among undergraduates and could often be seen in the University refectory holding forth on world affairs to large groups of students.

Hashim would say, after our discussions about world affairs, that one day we would be on opposite sides of the political fence. He expected the Third World to rise up and overthrow the oppression of Western hegemony leaving developed nations with a ruined civilization. He referred to himself as an atheist Marxist. Hashim and his comrades back in Bangladesh saw themselves as revolutionaries; they had a distinct political agenda, based on certain perceptions of the way the world, dominated by the West, works.

I was welcomed into a traditional Muslim family in Bangladesh without any question because I had married their youngest son. They expected nothing from me. I didn't have to earn their approval or convert to Islam. They accepted me as a 'Person of the Book'.4 We even prayed together. As I continue this discussion of the rise of terrorist Islamism, I will include vignettes from my life, because my experience of welcome and acceptance directly contradicts many of the claims by certain Christian commentators who tar all Muslims with the same brush.



The Jews of Jesus' day expected Jesus, if he was the Messiah according to their expectations, to be a temporal king, to throw out the Romans and establish His kingdom. Many of his followers have believed that the earthly kingdom prophesied in their Scriptures would be established at some time in the future. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." (Jn 18:36) Christianity has struggled ever since with the issue of temporal power, its history peppered with attempts to claim and rule territories or empires in the name of the church. The history of Islam is similar.5 The main difference is that many Christians tend to be embarrassed about linking church with politics and Muslims cannot see any separation between them.


What is Islam to those who practice it? It is an all-encompassing belief system that provides regulations for every aspect of Seventh Century nomadic desert life. The term 'Muslim' defines a believer's lifestyle and behavior far more specifically than the term 'Christian' describes us.

My Bangladeshi relatives believed, as I did at the time, that Allah was the same as Jehovah. They prayed toward Mecca five times each day, reminded to do so by the 'Call to Prayer' broadcast from loudspeakers on every mosque, and over radio and television. The men went to the mosque on Fridays. Accepted as a 'Person of the Book', I joined the women, who were forbidden to enter mosques but stayed at home and prayed. Everyone fasted during the holy month of Ramadan.


When disaster struck--and in Bangladesh floods, famines, illness, political upheavals, were regular occurrences--everyone prayed, especially the women. Their prayer was a lament, a long complaint to Allah. But they did not expect Allah to answer. They seemed, to me, to have a fatalistic approach to their God. If they really wanted divine intervention they paid the white-robed holy men called Pirs, to conduct rituals with water and greenery, mandalas, bells and chanting. In an Aunt's home where we stayed for some months, a young man wearing the white robes of a Pir would appear at dawn to recite prayers for the failing health of an uncle. The prayers were followed by rituals involving branches and water.

One morning when I came downstairs earlier than expected I found them waving branches over the floors, which were painted with mandalas (circular patterns with spiritual meaning derived from Hinduism) and muttering some sort of prayer. They immediately stopped what they were doing. I retreated, embarrassed. The Aunt, who was also interested in Astrology and Palmistry, regularly expressed concern about the incompatibility of astrological signs between my husband and me.

None of these essentially Hindu rituals were part of the public expression of their faith--my husband often said Hinduism had compromised Islam in Bangladesh. But, just as Christianity has been affected by existing customs in many countries, so has Islam. Efforts to prevent this include insisting believers recite the Koran in Arabic, but for the average believer in the average Third World country, what difference does this make? Allah is still capricious, difficult, occasionally violent and not normally listening when you pray.6 Faced with a deity who doesn't answer prayers, people in hopeless situations are left with few options. They can pray, but this becomes either a ritual or a way of placating an angry deity. Or they can resort to other customs based on superstition, animism and witchcraft.7 My relatives were common examples of people who did both.



There are six Articles of Faith common to all Muslims and five Pillars, or actions, expected of all Muslims.8 The Articles of Faith the Muslims follow are belief in:

1. No God except Allah, who is the only God. (Later we will examine whether Allah and Jehovah are the same God);
2. angels and Jinn or spirit beings9;
3. God's Holy Books which, according to the Koran, include the Torah, Psalms, Gospels and the Koran. Discrepancies between texts are claimed to be corruption of the Biblical texts by Jewish scholars. The Koran takes precedence over all other 'holy books', including the Bible. Where Koranic verses contradict each other, the chronologically later one is considered more reliable. The verses in the Koran are not arranged in chronological order but in order of topic and relative length of passages among other concerns. Therefore verses appearing quite late in the book may have actually been received earlier.

4. God's prophets, including Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham and Jesus;
5. the absolute predestinating will of Allah. In the Koran, everything that happens, good and evil, is the direct result of Allah's will, nothing else. This partly explains the fatalism inherent in the faith;
6. belief in the resurrection and judgement at the end of history. In Islam an individual's good and bad deeds will be weighed on a scale and if the good outweighs the bad, the person will enter paradise. The Koran contains many verses supporting 'works-based' entry to Paradise. One of these is: "Prophet, say to your wives: '...if you seek God and His apostle and the abode of the hereafter, know that God has prepared a rich recompense for those of you who do good works.'" (Surah 33:29)10


These are the Pillars (actions) required of every Muslim who is able to carry them out:

1. Recitation of the creed: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet." If you recite this creed in the presence of two witnesses you are considered a Muslim.

2. Regular practice of prayers. Sunni Muslims pray specific prayers five times each day. Shi'a Muslims pray three times a day. Specific movements to be performed along with these prayers include, when praying, to face toward Mecca. All able-bodied men must attend Friday prayers at their local mosque. Women are prohibited from entering mosques in some countries.
3. Almsgiving. The Koran expects believers to give 2.5 percent of their income to the poor or to the spread of Islam.

4. Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. This is the month during which Muhammad received his first revelations from the angel Gabriel, and during which he and his followers made the historic trek from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. All Muslims in good health are to forego all food and drink during daylight hours. Mullahs announce sunrise and sunset over loudspeakers.
5. Pilgrimage to Mecca: the Hajj. This takes place during the last month of the Muslim year. It is meant to promote unity among Muslims, from whatever country or origin. Some activities of the Hajj, for example, throwing stones at the devil, are carry-overs from earlier pagan practices. 11 The Ka'aba, the central shrine in Mecca around which believers walk, is historically the place where ancient deities of the Arab tribes were kept.12

Some Muslim sects add a sixth duty to this list: jihad or holy war. This term has a range of meanings, for example, the notion of a struggle against temptation or the effort to live a righteous life. Jihad also means 'shooting wars'. There is no doubt the Koran encourages military conquest or that Islam was spread by the sword, particularly in its first 100 years.
As extreme political movements based on rigid puritanical interpretations of Islam gain prominence in previously 'moderate' countries, calls for jihad as permanent war against the West become more strident. Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, now serving time for the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, addressed a rally in Detroit in 1991 as follows: "The obligation of Allah is upon us to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah. It is one of the obligations that we must undoubtedly fulfill. And we conquer the lands of the infidels, and we spread Islam by calling the infidels to Allah. And if they stand in our way, we wage Jihad for the sake of Allah."13
Infidels, by the way, means us. The Koran teaches Muslims to wage jihad when they are strong and to compromise with the prevailing society when they are weak. This is a reflection of Muhammad's own fortunes. When he fled Mecca to Medina, he told Christians: "We believe in what has been sent down to us (the Koran) and sent down to you (the Bible). Our God is the same as your God." (Surah 29:46) But later in Medina when Muhammad was strong, Allah told him: "Fight people of the Book who do not accept the religion of the truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior." (Surah 9:29)14

With the rising influence of violent heretical teachings in the heartlands of Islam, the term 'jihad' has come to include a call to murder other Muslims who do not adhere to one's particular heresy. The combination of puritanical religious zeal with political rhetoric is called 'Islamism'. Its adherents are known as 'Islamists'. It is more an ambitious political movement than a quest for religious purity and has threatened political stability in the Middle East for decades. As we saw on September 11, it now threatens the whole world. Indeed, some Islamists have come to believe that they are strong enough to destroy our civilization. This is a sobering truth and we, as Christians and citizens of democracies, must prayerfully consider the implications of this personally and politically, individually and collectively.


I certainly used to believe, along with my Muslim relatives, that we worshiped the same God, whose name was Allah for them and Jehovah for Christians. This idea was reinforced by political and religious leaders in the wake of September 11. Let's compare Allah as revealed in the Koran, associated Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) and other teachings, with Jehovah as revealed in the Bible.

There has been a great deal of controversy over the claim, made by Robert Morey in his book The Islamic Invasion, that Allah (or Al'Ilah) was the name of the chief deity, representing the moon god, kept in the Ka'aba in Mecca and worshiped by pre Islamic pagans.15 Muhammad was raised in the pagan tradition, which worshiped the moon as the greatest of the deities. When he started receiving revelations from the angel Gabriel and started teaching monotheism, he simply chose the chief pagan god to represent God. The term Al'lah means literally, 'The God'. 16 Thus, Muhammad was telling Arabs that the deity they had previously thought of as the chief god was in fact the only god.17

But Muslims dispute Morey's theory, claiming that Allah was a name for God that came from other languages in the region--some even claiming that Jehovah in some of these languages was rendered as Allah.18 Most Muslims would dispute claims that Allah is the moon god on the grounds that to worship the moon is a form of idolatry specifically prohibited in the Koran. They add that since Jews and Christians were significant minorities in the Arabian Peninsula during Muhammad's lifetime, the concept of one God, Creator of everything, was not unique.

Rather than contribute to the argument about who Allah is and where he came from, I would like to compare some of the claims made about Allah with some of the claims made about the God of the Bible to show that they are very different from each other.



How can we know which god/God is which? The Bible gives us the tools:


This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. (1 Jn 4:2­3).
This tells us that any spirit attempting to alter the facts about Jesus Christ, for example, by making out He was only a prophet, that He did not die on the Cross, that He did not make atonement for all mankind's sin, or that denies His divinity, is by definition not from the God of the Bible.


The Koran makes many claims about Jesus Christ. Muslims accept Jesus as a prophet, and they claim to respect the Christian tradition as their own. But what did the 'angel Gabriel', speaking on behalf of Allah, say about Jesus? A few samples: "They denied the truth and uttered a monstrous falsehood against Mary. They declared: 'We have put to death the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of God.' They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did...Those that disagreed about him were in doubt concerning him; they knew nothing about him that was not sheer conjecture; they did not slay him for certain. God lifted him up to him...there is none among the People of the Book but will believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection he will bear witness against them." (Surah 4:157-158)19 "Unbelievers are those who say: 'God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.' For the Messiah himself said: 'Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord.' He that worships other deities besides God, God will deny him Paradise, and the Fire shall be his home. None shall help the evil-doers." (Surah 5:72)20 "Unbelievers are those who say: 'God is one of three.' There is but one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those of them that disbelieve shall be sternly punished." (Surah 5:73)21

The spirit behind Allah's revelations to Muhammad made many contradictory claims about Jesus Christ, calling Him Messiah, as in Surah 5 above, but denying He is the Son of God. While some of the Koran's teachings about Jesus might be correct, many are wrong. According to the Biblical standard, it is the spirit we must judge, not each individual claim. Allah, the spirit behind the Koran is, by this test, antichrist.

Testing the fruit:

Jesus says: "...every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." (Mt 7:17­20, NKJV). "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Gal 5:22­23)

Let's look at some of the fruit of Islam. In some countries with Islamist governments (Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan) there is overt persecution of Christians, Jews and some other faiths. All religious observance apart from Islam is banned. Women are generally forbidden access to education or work, subjected to strict dress and behavior codes and punished in humiliating ways for infractions of these. The press is strictly controlled by the regime and in general the country is isolated from the rest of the world.22 The Sudan, which once harbored Osama bin Laden, routinely subjects Christian and Animist citizens to slavery.23
In less extreme Muslim states, such as Saddam Hussein's secular government of Iraq, for example, or in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, governments tread a very thin line between modernization and tradition. Saddam Hussein is infamous for using weapons of mass destruction against ethnic minorities in his own country. In Pakistan, even though a woman, Benazzir Bhutto, was once Prime Minister, thousands of women languish in prison, put there by husbands who want to avoid the inconvenience of divorcing them. Women can be committed to mental institutions for life on the say of their husbands. There are strong reasons for women to be compliant even in countries where they are permitted to work or go to school. In the Far East, in Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, gangs of Muslim youth terrorize Christian settlements with impunity.24 The death toll is in the thousands in Indonesia, where the government's armed forces are thought to assist the Muslims and do not protect the Christians.

Islam is not the only religion with a legacy of bloodshed, nor are secular Muslim or totalitarian Islamist states the only ones that can target their own citizens for extermination and slavery. But this sort of atrocity is tolerated in Muslim societies whereas it should never be tolerated in truly Christian societies.25 There are indeed abuses in Christian societies. There are also fairly successful democracies in some Muslim countries--Bangladesh has made great strides toward this in the past twenty years. In general, however, the fruits of Islam don't include love, joy or peace or any of the other six fruits listed by St Paul.

According to the tests from the Bible, then, Allah is not of God and Islam does not produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit. There are more tangible differences between Allah and Jehovah. The most important one is that Allah is essentially alien and unknowable, whereas Jehovah deeply desires to be known and to be in relationship with us. He created us in His own image.

The Bible is the record of God's personal intervention in human history. A major feature of this intervention is that God wants to be known (Jn 17:3), He wants to be in close relationship with His people. In fact, He likens His relationship with His people to the marriage relationship between humans. He revealed Himself directly through the Incarnation (Jn 10:14). In Old Testament Judaism, God provided means for the Jews to make atonement for their sins and thus avoid punishment. This was the basis of many of their ritual sacrifices and feasts. His plan for salvation was fulfilled in the New Testament in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, the full and final sacrifice for sin. Heaven is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works. God promises He will hear our prayers and provide all our needs before we even ask for them. God is love. (1 Jn:16)

Of the 99 names for Allah, not one of them is love. Allah only approves of those who earn his favor by doing his will. To quote George Houssney: "We humans can never know Allah, because he is so far from and so different from us. The only knowledge Muslims may admit to is knowledge about Allah, not a personal, experiential knowledge of him. People cannot know Allah and should not even try to know him. Allah is not involved in the affairs of humans...The Christian claim that humans can have a relationship with God is considered by Muslims to be a metaphysical impossibility. To Muslims, Allah has not revealed himself, but rather he has revealed his mashi'at (desires and wishes ­ ie his will). His will, according to Islamic teaching, is limited to Islamic law. A person performs the will of Allah when he follows the dictates of the Islamic legal system."26 Muslims must carry out ritual sacrifices once a year to settle accounts with God, however the Koran and Hadith also provide a series of severe and permanent punishments for sin, including amputation of a hand for theft and stoning for adultery. Sacrifices do not remove the punishment. Grace does not play a part in this essentially legal, judgmental system.

Interestingly, the refusal to believe a relationship with Allah is possible exists alongside an entrenched belief in spirits, Jinn, both good and bad, which are expected to intervene in human lives. Some Christians do not know Jesus Christ; they know about Him. It is easy for them and others persuaded, for one reason or another, that judgement is more important than grace, to believe that Allah and Jehovah are the same. But once we come into a relationship with Christ, once the Holy Spirit reveals Scriptures to us, once we understand that God wants us to know Him intimately, deal with our sin through Christ's death on the cross, and share in eternal life with us, we start to realize that God is not at all like Allah. Regardless of whether Allah was originally the moon deity in the Ka'aba, or the Arabic name for the idea of a transcendent Creator God, he and our God have very little in common.

It is the unknowable, legalistic, wilful nature of Allah that causes Muslims to be so fatalistic. It also can lead to the maintenance of pre-Islamic spiritistic or animistic customs for those who want real spiritual power. I encountered this in Bangladesh. Whatever and whoever Allah is, his followers do not expect him to answer their prayers or to intervene in their lives except in rage or with punishment. Humans are totally powerless; everything has been pre-ordained by Allah and is not negotiable. Muslims cannot argue with Allah in the way that Moses argued with God. Many Christians think of God in similar terms, but if we only check our Scriptures and seek God with all our hearts, the One we find is not like that at all.


Islam, like Christianity, has split into many factions. The first division in Islam occurred shortly after the Prophet's death in 632AD. Muhammad had no sons. One of his followers, Abu Bakr, the father of the Prophet's wife 'A'isha, was chosen as the Prophet's Khalifa, or successor, to fill a leadership role in the community. 27 Abu Bakr became known as the first Caliph and ruled from 632 to 634. His successor, Omar (634­44) oversaw much of the Muslim conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Dissent began after the murder of the third Caliph, Othman, in 656, and the faithful divided into two parties. The first party, the Shiat Ali or 'Party of Ali' believed a living leader or Imam should be descended from the family of Muhammad through Ali. They became known as the Shi'a and currently represent about ten percent of Muslims, concentrated mostly in Iran and Iraq.28

The second party believed that the community's elders should elect the Caliph and that sufficient guidance was already available to believers in the form of the Sunna, or three-fold path of Koran, Hadith29 and Ijma (the example set by Muhammad and the early Islamic community). They are known as Sunni Muslims. A third party of mystics, known as Sufi, arose within both the Shi'a and Sunni camps and grew in popularity after initial Muslim contact with Christian mystics in Europe.30 Sufis have generally been an oppressed minority in Muslim communities, concentrated in remote mountainous areas and not generally involved in the political machinations of other groups.

Within the main groups of Sunni and Shi'a, there are many sects with differing interpretations of Islamic history, traditions and law. The two movements of greatest interest to us since September 11 are Deobandism and Wahabbism. Both emerged from the Sunni division of Islam.


After the Sepoy Mutiny in British Colonial India in 1857, Muslims were banned from access to colonial privileges, such as education. Deobandism arose as an anti-colonialist movement with the purpose of educating Muslim youth in their faith and helping them apply Muslim principles when they were unable to live in their own communities and were a minority in overwhelmingly Hindu pre-Partition India. They opposed all forms of shrine worship, banned all images of the human form, and took a restrictive view of the role of women. Many of their ideas arose as a reaction against India's Hindu pantheon of gods, ubiquitous shrines and overt idolatry.31 Schools established by Deobandi scholars around mosques were called madrasahs. 32 The largest of these was located in the Indian town of Deoband.

When India was partitioned in 1947, the principal teacher of Deoband, Maulana Abdul Haq, left to start a madrasah in the new country of Pakistan. This school, named Haqqania, eventually became a major training ground for members of the Taliban leadership who have taken Deobandism to an extreme. By 1999, at least eight Taliban ministers in Kabul were graduates of the Pakistani school, and dozens more served as Taliban governors, military commanders, judges and bureaucrats. In 1997, Haqqania closed for a short period when the entire student body was ordered to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban.33


After Partition, the Deobandis continued to be active in local politics. As we shall see, politics is one of the most important pastimes in the subcontinent. Most political discussions eventually deteriorate into churlish name-calling contests and allegations of gross impropriety on the part of various leaders. This is true not only of the Muslims in India: as recent events show us, communal violence is a feature of India born of the consistent merger between religion and politics--whether the protagonists be Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or anything else.

In Pakistan, Deobandis have their own political party, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). The party promotes the enforcement of Sunni law under the guidance of the righteous ulama, or religious scholars. Deoband leaders regularly issue religious decrees against Shi'a Muslims, and vice versa. The sectarian party Sipah e Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) is an offshoot of JUI.34 Their supporters claim they are one of the most orthodox branches of Sunni Islam; their critics regularly issue Fatwas against them, calling them apostates. Here is a small example of the kind of name-calling that continues:

"Fatwa of three hundred Ulama against Deobandis
The Deobandis, because of their contempt and insult, in their acts of worship, towards all saints, prophets, and even the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the very Person of God Himself, are definitely murtadd and kafir. Their apostasy and heresy is of the worst kind, so that anyone who doubts their apostasy and heresy even slightly is himself a murtadd and kafir. Muslims should be very cautious of them, and stay away from them. Let alone praying behind them, one should not let them pray behind one, or allow them into mosques, or eat the animal slaughtered by them, or join them on happy or sad occasions, or let them come near one, or visit them in illness, or attend their funerals, or give them space in Muslim grave-yards. To sum up, one must stay away from them completely."35


So many Fatwas have been issued about various Sunni sects, an Islamic Institute in Lahore regularly collects them in its journal, Tulu-I-Islam. The most comprehensive collection, which includes the above example, was published in August 1969.

Since Partition, the curriculum at madrasahs has changed considerably. The Deobandist interpretation of Islamic law has also been strongly affected by local Pashtun tribal customs.36 What has arisen, especially from the frontiers between Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a particularly strict interpretation of Islamic law and a legal system based on revenge more than on the teachings of the Prophet. Of most concern to Westerners is the shameful treatment of women. But there is more to the Deoband education system than the attitude toward women.



Madrasahs are a lot like monasteries. They provide free food, board and education to the poorest of the poor. Families send their sons to these schools for a chance at a better life. From the time the student enters the madrasah he has no further contact with his family. Many of these sons end up on the front lines in Afghanistan or in Osama bin Laden's training camps learning how to fight for Al Quaeda. The curriculum has been simplified since the earliest days of Deobandism.

These days students memorize the Koran, in Arabic. For eight hours a day, in a process that can take up to three years, they sit cross-legged on the floor while their teachers read to them and they repeat everything they hear. They do not understand Arabic--their language is the local Pashto dialect37--but by the end of their time at the madrasah they can recite the Koran in Arabic. They do not learn anything but Islamic subjects, such as Islamic law and lifestyle.38

They live a cloistered life without contact with the outside world or women. The largest of these schools boast student populations approaching 3000, with ages ranging from eight or nine to 35. Ideologies and curriculum aside, the madrasahs bear all the hallmarks of cultic centers of mind control. In his classic book, Combatting Cultic Mind Control, Steve Hassan lists four components of mind control. They are control of behavior, thoughts, emotions, and information.39


Behavior Control

This means control (normally restriction) of the individual's environment and activities. In the madrasahs, for example, students wear standard Salwar Kamis. They are restricted to campus, the younger kept locked in their own dormitories. During the first half of 2000, New York Times journalist Jeffrey Goldberg spent some weeks at one of Pakistan's most influential madrasahs. Here is his description of what he found: "There were no TV's, no radios that I could see. The students woke up before dawn, to pray in the madrasah's mosque. The dormitories were threadbare and filthy, and there was no cafeteria, per se: students lined up at the kitchen with their plates and spoons and were fed rice and curries and nan, the flat Afghan bread. Suffice it to say, the students at the madrasah almost never see women. There were no female teachers, no female cafeteria workers, no female presence whatsoever at the madrasah. There is no such thing as parents' day, or family day, when mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers come to visit. To be sure, I did see, on occasion, a facsimile of what we in the West call student life: like all Pakistanis, the young students are cricket fanatics, and in the late afternoon, they would play on a dirt field across the road from the school. There was a dusty patch and a net for volleyball too. But most of the day was devoted to Islam."40


The separation of young boys from their mothers is a customary feature of Indian and Pakistani society--sons are very close to their mothers for the first five years of life, then suddenly access to their mother is curtailed and they are forced out into the world of men. Fathers take over and impose rigid discipline on sons until their schooling is completed. In normal Pakistani society outside the madrasahs, separation of women and men is standard. This separation does not apply only to Muslims in the Sub continent: among Hindus separation between the sexes, especially in religious contexts, is strict.

The absence of women from the madrasah schools is merely an extension of the Islamic custom of purdah. But it leads to a particularly virulent form of misogyny in which women are declared profane and subjected to all sorts of abuse, as we saw in Taliban controlled Afghanistan. This attitude toward women may be linked to another institution they don't like to talk about much, homosexuality. Listen to Goldberg again: "I had...been asked for sex, as had Laurent Van Der Stockt, the photographer with me. Sometimes the propositions were intimated; sometimes they were unusually blunt, especially given the Taliban's official position on homosexuals, which is that they should be killed. Those few students who knew a bit of English seemed most interested in talking about sex. Many of them were convinced that all Americans are bisexual, and that Westerners engage in sex with anything, anywhere, all the time. I was asked to describe the dominant masturbation style of Americans, and whether American men were allowed by law to keep boyfriends and girlfriends at the same time."41

It appears that homosexuality is another Pashtun tribal custom, not an Islamic one. In fact the Taliban tried, unsuccessfully it seems, to ban it: "Now that Taliban rule is over in Mullah Omar's former southern stronghold, it is not only televisions, kites and razors which have begun to emerge. Visible again, too, are men with their ashna, or beloveds: young boys they have groomed for sex.
"Kandahar's Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naive young boys. Before the Taliban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship.


"It is called the homosexual capital of south Asia. Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy--locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior--that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Mullah Omar mobilizing the Taliban."42

Many of the Taliban excesses, which moderate Muslims deplore, come from Pashtun tribal customs rather than from the Koran and Hadith. But they are reinforced in the madrasahs on the Afghan/Pakistan border. That's where their ideas about women, justice and jihad are formed, through the mental, sensory and physical deprivations and mind control already described. US government support for these institutions during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan encouraged students to become Mujahideen and fight the Russians. Now that the Russians are gone, the tradition of war mongering remains. After all, Pashtuns, historically, always seem to be at war, if not against other nations such as Russia and Britain, then among themselves. The Russians left, the new government based on an alliance of normally warring tribes was easily fragmented, the Taliban took over, the Northern Alliance fought back, the madrasah students graduated to Bin Laden's training camps and eventually to the front line in this endless war. Only now the front line has moved from Mazar­e­Sharif to Manhattan.

Students still spend many hours each day repeating verses from the Koran. In news footage of these classes, time and time again, students are seen sitting on their haunches, hands in front of their faces, rocking back and forth as they recite. They don't necessarily understand what they are reciting: my husband learned large portions of the Koran without understanding the meaning. Jesus' opinion of this kind of repetitive prayer is clear. Listen. "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." (Mt 6:7­9)


End of excerpt......


In Part 2 we will examine the politics of the Third World and see how their view of history, particularly their sense of having been victimized by the West, dovetails with the Wahhabi form of Islam to create a compelling ideology for the dispossessed youth of the Third World. We will examine the ambitions of leaders like Osama bin Laden and trace links between local political grievances and global terrorist action. We will also hold a mirror to ourselves, examining the ways in which our failure to behave righteously toward other cultures has contributed to the violence now being unleashed against us.

Aleesha Khan, of the British Commonwealth, having lived as a Muslim for several years, became a Christian after her marriage broke up. For reasons regarding her safety, she does not want to be contacted for any reason whatsoever.



1 See Morey, Dr Robert, The Islamic Invasion, Harvest House 1992, Appendix C; pp 47 ­ 57; Hoyland, Robert G, Arabia and the Arabs, Routledge, London and New York, 2001, Chapter 6.
A direct quote from Morey's Appendix: "When the popularity of the moon god waned elsewhere, the Arabs remained true to their conviction that the moon god was the greatest of all gods. While they worshipped 360 gods at the Kabah in Mecca, the moon god was the chief deity. Mecca was in fact built as a shrine for the moon god. This is what made it the most sacred site of Arabian paganism.

In 1944, G. Caton Thompson revealed in her book The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidha that she had uncovered a temple of the moon god in southern Arabia. The symbols of the crescent moon and no less than 21 inscriptions with the name Sin were found in this temple...According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the moon god was Sin, his title was Al-ilah, "the deity", meaning that he was the chief or high god among the gods...The moon god was called Al-ilah, the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave their children. For example, both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names." See also Abdullah Al Araby, "Islam, the façade and the facts," HYPERLINK ""
2 Abdullah Al Araby, "Islam Unveiled," HYPERLINK ""

3 See Daniel Pipes, "Islamists ­ not who they say they are," The Jerusalem Post May 9, 2001; also, "Louis Farrakhan is not a Muslim," in The Washington Post, July 2, 1984 available at HYPERLINK "" for examples of arguments that terrorists are not true Muslims.
4 This is in accordance with the Koran. Surah 29:46 says, "Be courteous when you argue with the People of the book, except with those among them who do evil. Say, 'we believe in that which has been revealed to us and which was revealed to you. Our God and your God is one. To Him we submit.'" In The Koran, translated with notes by N. J. Dawood, Penguin Books London, 1956; 1999 page 282.

5 Humphreys, R. Stephen, Islamic History, I.B. Tauris publishers, London, New York, 1991, 1999; Hourani, Albert, A History of the Arab Peoples, Faber and Faber, 1991; Hoyland, Robert G., Arabia and the Arabs, Routledge, London, 2001.
6 See Morey, Robert, Op Cit, Chapter 5; George Houssney, "What is Allah like?" in Reach Out, Vol 6, nos 3 and 4, 1993; John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts on Islam, Harvest House 2001 pp 23 ­ 25.
7 Paul Bowman, "Diversity in Islam for absolute beginners," from Against War and Terrorism, HYPERLINK "" ; see also Hoyland, Robert G,. Op Cit, ch 6.

8 Information for this section comes from Rick Rood, What is Islam? HYPERLINK ""; Ankerberg, J and Weldon J, Fast Facts on Islam, Harvest House Oregon 2001, and a range of other references previously cited.
9 Hoyland, Robert G, Op Cit, makes strong links between ancient pagan Arab belief in Jinn or spirits which may be good or evil, and their inclusion in Islam.
10 In The Koran, translated with notes by N. J. Dawood, Penguin Books London, 1956; 1999 page296.

11 Hoyland, Robert G, Op Cit, pp 157 ­ 166
12 Hourani, A, A History of the Arab Peoples, Faber and Faber, London 1991 page 15
13 Mordecai, V, Op Cit page 73.

14 Abdullah Al Araby, "Nothing in common" HYPERLINK ""
15 Dawood, N.J., Op Cit page 1
16 Hoyland, G, Op Cit page 201

17 Morey, R, Op Cit p217.
19 Dawood, N. J Op Cit page 76-77

20 Dawood, N. J. Op Cit page 87
21 ibid
22 Mordecai, Victor, Op Cit chapter 17

23 ibid
24 Art Moore, "Christians Terrorized in Muslim Indonesia," WorldNetDaily, December 8, 2001, HYPERLINK ""
25 For more details on the bloody impact of Islam see Mordecai, Victor, Op Cit, chapters 8 to 19, which list a wide range of human rights abuses by Islamic states and details the failure of Western states to deal with the real threats to their security.

26 Quoted in Ankerberg and Weldon, Op Cit, page 25
27 Hourani, A, Op Cit page 22.
28 Rood, Rick, What is Islam? HYPERLINK "" { ; Needham, Dr Nick, "Islam and the Church" via email 28 September 2001.

30 Rood, Rick, "What is Islam?" HYPERLINK ""

32 Rashid, Ahmed, "From Deobandism to Batken: adventures of an Islamic Heritage" - lecture given at CACI April 13, 2000; HYPERLINK ""


36 Rashid, Ahmed, Op Cit
37 Goldberg, Jeffrey, "The Education of a Holy Warrior," The New York Times Magazine June 25, 2000

38 Al-Islaah Publications, "Some questions about traditional Madrasahs" HYPERLINK ""
39 Hassan, Steve, Combatting Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press Rochester Vermont, 1990 page 59.
40 Goldberg, J, Op Cit.

41 Ibid
42 From the London Times SATURDAY JANUARY 12 2002
FROM TIM REID IN KANDAHAR HYPERLINK ",,3-2002019668,00.html",,3-2002019668,00.html

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: islam; jihad; muslim
Spiritual Counterfeits Project is an important Christian ministry that has an award-winning journal and newsletter with top-notch scholarship behind all their articles. Check out the website and sign up for a subscription since few articles are posted online. More funds may help them put more into their online presence as well. I've been a subscriber for 10 years or so and still look forward to every issue knowing it will be great. You can also order back issues of the journals and read some other excerpted articles. They've done an amazing job over the years exposing the assaults on Christ and Christianity from within the church as the New Age culture creeps in.
1 posted on 10/21/2002 6:04:46 AM PDT by spycatcher
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To: spycatcher
The spirit behind Allah's revelations to Muhammad made many contradictory claims about Jesus Christ, calling Him Messiah, as in Surah 5 above, but denying He is the Son of God. While some of the Koran's teachings about Jesus might be correct, many are wrong. According to the Biblical standard, it is the spirit we must judge, not each individual claim. Allah, the spirit behind the Koran is, by this test, antichrist.

Oops looks like somebody backed the wrong horse... When spirits whisper in your ear and you think you are being harrased by a demon never listen to one of your wives who says that you are really hearing from God....

2 posted on 10/21/2002 6:48:43 AM PDT by joesnuffy
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To: joesnuffy
"I was one of the first Western women to marry an international exchange student and return with him to Bangladesh after he finished his Doctoral studies. When I met Hashim I was politically naïve."

And apparently spiritually naive as well as one of the absolute commands of the Christian New Testament is "thou shalt not marry outside of the faith." I always get a little amused when those who've run around intentionally violating the teachings of Christianity then presume to speak on its behalf.
3 posted on 10/21/2002 11:51:18 AM PDT by applemac_g4
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To: applemac_g4
I've always thought that evangelical efforts should focus on the young women and teen girls of any target country. Then instruct them in the principle of marrying within the faith.

It doesn't take long before the boys start noticing that if they want a wife, they need to be Christian. Of course, in Islam, they don't have wives - only fields for sowing.
4 posted on 10/21/2002 2:06:53 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: applemac_g4
You're joking right? In case you're posting from another planet, people on earth tend to sin from time to time, especially in their youth. They then do something called repenting, and live their lives as renewed Christians. Sometimes even then they sin, since they're still human. On earth we have a Bible that lays this out clearly. And in America, they're still allowed to study and speak, even if they're a woman!

In your attempt to throw stones you ironically exposed yourself as spiritually naive and arrogant to an extent that I'm actually embarassed for you.
5 posted on 10/21/2002 2:27:55 PM PDT by spycatcher
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To: joesnuffy
I've always thought that Allah and Mohammed were deliberate 1 for 1 replacements for God and Jesus. What they couldn't hide was the character and spirit of each replacement, so those that seek out the truth will find it.
6 posted on 10/21/2002 2:41:18 PM PDT by spycatcher
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To: spycatcher
"In your attempt to throw stones you ironically exposed yourself as spiritually naive and arrogant to an extent that I'm actually embarassed for you."

Unfortunately, you totally missed my point. Furthermore, I a. didn't write the book and b. didn't invent the religion.
7 posted on 10/21/2002 3:49:00 PM PDT by applemac_g4
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To: applemac_g4
Oh, I got your point alright, it's just that it made no sense because the author says she wasn't even a Christian at the time she was married anyhow. She converted to Christianity later.

Just try sticking to the facts of the article instead of jumping to ad hominem attacks on the messenger and you won't appear so foolish next time. And if you want to be less spiritually naive try studying Romans (yes the author Paul was guilty of many sins early in his life and still fell short of perfection after converting to Christianity).
8 posted on 10/21/2002 4:36:36 PM PDT by spycatcher
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To: spycatcher
Bump for an interesting article.
9 posted on 10/23/2002 12:17:22 PM PDT by NathanR
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