While claiming, in a recent interview on the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, that Islam forbids the production and use of nuclear weapons, Duke Professor Omid Safi offered this whopper:
"What the Koran has, and what the Islamic tradition has had over the last 1,400 years is a clear emphasis on what it calls the sanctity and the dignity of human life."
Pull my other leg, Omid.
The Egyptian reformist Islam Behery was more honest when he said this on June 6th on Al-Hurra TV:
"The caliphates throughout the ages, starting with Yazid Ibn Mu'awiya – let's not get into an argument about all those who preceded him – and all the way to the end of the Ottoman state, had been terrorist caliphates. Terrorist states ruled the people and perpetrated all the same things ISIS does. ISIS burns people, and this happened in the past. ISIS rapes women who are considered slave-girls, and this happened in the past. ISIS wants to establish a state that will spread all over the world, by means of swords, bombs, and fire... All of this has happened in the past. ISIS accuses all the people on Earth of heresy. This has happened in the past. What would you call the massacre of the Armenians by the Ottoman state? These were ages of a terrorist caliphate. The terrorism was organized by the establishment."
He is quite right, as is illustrated abundantly from Islamic sources in The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS.
Yet, as Safi's nonsense illustrates, there persists in the U.S. and Europe the prevailing notion that regardless of whatever the Qur'an says and Muhammad is said to have done, in practice the rule of Islam has been benign, magnanimous and tolerant.
There was in reality no period since the beginning of Islam that was characterized by large-scale peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. There was no time when mainstream and dominant Islamic authorities taught the equality of non-Muslims with Muslims, nor the obsolescence of jihad warfare.
There was no Era of Good Feeling, no Golden Age of Tolerance, no Paradise of Proto-Multiculturalism. There has always been, with virtually no interruption, jihad, everywhere Muslims and non-Muslims have lived in close proximity with one another.
Islam "has had over the last 1,400 years is a clear emphasis on what it calls the sanctity and the dignity of human life"?
Sure, as long as you weren't a non-Muslim (particularly a Jew), or a woman (particularly an infidel pressed into service as a sex slave), or a member of any of the other groups for which Islamic law prescribes institutionalized discrimination.
These truths, however, are forbidden to be spoken nowadays. For those who dare to enunciate unwelcome facts about Islam, Pakistan has its blasphemy laws; the United States, meanwhile, has deplatforming, vilification, and the branding of the truth-teller as a "hate group leader."
Meanwhile, smooth liars like Omid Safi are given plum positions at universities and are feted and celebrated everywhere for doing the political and media elites the grand favor of telling them what they want to hear, no matter how fantastical.
What Safi can't deliver, however, is an Islam that actually does have a "clear emphasis on what it calls the sanctity and the dignity of human life." That means that the elites who shower honors on him and his deceptive and disingenuous ilk will someday discover to their dismay that all the comforting half-truths and detours he has been feeding them about Islam were just that, lies.
By then it will be far too late for them to correct their error and reverse course. The jihad violence and Sharia oppression that Safi assured them didn't exist will have advanced too far.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.