by Silas

Gary Leupp wrote "Challenging Ignorance on Islam: A Ten-Point Primer for Americans"[1] under the pretense of educating Americans about Islam. The primer does contain some Islamic content, but in much of it he just vents his social and political views.

How much does Leupp know about Islam? Having read his primer I conclude that he knows very little. I’d guess that Leupp’s research consisted of a short encyclopedia entry on Islam, a short general book, or a few Web articles. Will a reader learn much about Islam after reading his primer? No. It is not a "primer" in the true sense of the word.

My intention is to comment on the primer’s sloppy Islamic content. The reader will find Leupp’s statements in blue font and my comments in black font. Sources are given in green font. Words in brackets [ ] are mine. I ignore Leupp’s political commentary and only examine his comments on Islam.

A few paragraphs into the article Leupp states his focus:

"So I have prepared this little primer on Islam for Americans (suitable for ages 13 and above, so appropriate for high school use), dealing not with its theology so much as its general character as an important force in the world, presently encountering unprecedented, unprincipled attack from various quarters."


Leupp's approach is flawed. Let me ask the reader: "If you want to understand a religion, how are you going to know anything of substance without understanding its theology? How will you be able to accurately describe its "general character"? Leupp’s position is similar to attempting to understanding chemistry without understanding the relationship between the elements and how atoms interact. You can mix two chemicals together and observe their reaction, but never understand why the reaction occurred.

A case in point: Mideast Muslims claim to have Quranic support for terrorism but Muslims in the West say the Quran does not support terrorism. One or the other is wrong. In the light of 9/11, and the continuing acts of terror committed by Muslims throughout the world, investigation into Islamic theology is appropriate. We need to understand the theological stimulus that causes devout Muslims to murder thousands.

Let's take a look at Leupp's "primer," and evaluate its actual "Islamic" content.

Leupp wrote that Islam was ...

... spreading rapidly throughout Southwest Asia and North Africa soon thereafter, it was not designed as an anti-U.S. movement!


Leupp is correct – Islam preceded the creation of our country. What Leupp omits is that Islam spread primarily through the sword. It spread by the sword because Muhammad taught that it should. Tabari’s History records the spread of Islam from Muhammad’s time through the next several hundred years. Muslim armies conquered most of Arabia. Various tribes were coerced into submitting to Islam under threat of war. Following Muhammad’s death Muslim armies attacked and conquered Persia, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and so on. They went west and conquered North Africa, Spain and southern France. They pushed east and conquered the lands of present Pakistan, Afghanistan, and much of the Indian subcontinent. They even penetrated into China. There are some lands that did peacefully convert to Islam, such as Indonesia and Malaysia. However, they are the exception.

Muhammad never taught that there would come a day when his followers should lay down their weapons. A "general character" of Islam is that it is an aggressive, domineering faith. Muhammad’s followers were not poetic Sufis. They were motivated warriors spreading Islam through jihad.

In Islamic theology the entire world, including the United States, belongs to Allah and His prophet. This is the basis for Muhammad to command his followers to conquer the world by jihad and to extend Islam's domination to the ends of the earth. Consider the following hadith from Muslim's collection, Book 041, Number 6904:

Thauban reported that Allah's Messenger said: Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Unimah would reach those ends which have been drawn near me and I have been granted the red and the white treasure and I begged my Lord for my Ummah that it should not be destroyed because of famine, nor be dominated by an enemy who is not amongst them to take their lives and destroy them root and branch ...

Leupp lists the "five pillars" of Islam and concludes his paragraph with:

Whatever you may think of this package, it's not terribly threatening to the non-Muslim.


There is much more to Islam besides the five pillars. Islam is a complex religion filled with concepts, rules, and rituals. Some are very threatening to non-Muslims. For example Muhammad taught offensive warfare in the Quran.

Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given [Christians and Jews] as believe not in God, or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand and they be humbled. Quran 9:29

Muhammad made war upon Christians and Jews. After Muhammad’s death, his followers continued to do so.

Leupp wrote:

Islam's teachings are contained in a fairly compact book, the Qur'an, which Muslims believe was dictated to the Prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel.


Leupp made a significant error here. Islam’s teachings are found in the Quran, Traditions (Hadith), and biographical literature (Sira). The largest of the Muslim groups, the Sunni, draw from among tens of thousands of Hadith, and a handful of biographical documents. Among the collections of Hadith, there are six that are recognized as primary. They are considered the six canonical collections of hadith. Out of these six two are recognized as foremost: the collections of Bukhari and Muslim. These collections number some several thousand Hadith each. They can be found online.

The Quran in and of itself is somewhat worthless when it comes to in-depth understanding of Islamic theological concepts. The Hadith and Sira are used to fill in the details.

Below are some quotes from various Hadith.

Bukhari 1.427: Muhammad said, "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of the prophets." [Muhammad had been poisoned years earlier and the poison had slowly worked its effect. He said this while dying in the arms of his wife Aisha]. Bukhari, Vol. 1, #427.

Bukhari 8.794: Narrated Anas: Some people from the tribe of 'Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the Prophet ordered them to go to the (herd of milch) camels of charity and to drink, their milk and urine (as a medicine). They did so, and after they had recovered from their ailment (became healthy) they turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away. The Prophet sent (some people) in their pursuit and so they were (caught and) brought, and the Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and that their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they die.

Bukhari 4.537: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said "If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease."

There are hundreds of questionable Hadith. Let the reader judge their fidelity for himself.

Leupp wrote:

(The U.S. Muslim population is estimated between 5 and 8 million).


Actually, three of the most recent, independent surveys indicate that the actual Muslim population in America is around 2 million. I am aware of the other statistics. Four years ago, I had one Muslim "expert" tell me that there were actually 16 million Muslims living in America!

Leupp wrote:

Muslim scripture counsels respect for these communities. [The communities of the Christians and Jews].


Let me ask the reader: If I praise you on Monday, and curse you on Tuesday, am I "counseling respect for you"? Of course not. Some of Muhammad’s very last words were words of bitterness and hatred, (curses) for Jews and Christians. In the end, Muslim scripture demands the subjugation and domination of Christians, Jews, and all non-Muslims. Here is verse 9:30 from the Quran, (bold font is mine):

The Jews say Ezra is the son of God while the Christians say the Messiah is the son of God. Such are their assertions by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are!

This Quranic passage was one of the last passages spoken by Muhammad. It calls Jews and Christians "perverse". Christians and Jews do not consider being called "perverse" a sign of respect!

The Quran says many things. It is necessary to know the scope, context, and applicability of the passages. What was acceptable on Monday in Muhammad's history and spoken as the Quran was not necessarily acceptable on Tuesday. That is because there are verses that were "abrogated" (canceled) by other Quranic verses.

Leupp wrote:

In the history of Islam, within Islamic societies Jews and Christians have fared FAR better than non-Christians in Christendom.


There is some truth to this, but it is certainly not true in all cases. One only has to read about how Muhammad treated the Jews in Medina to see that they did not fare well. After Muhammad’s death many were eventually ran off their lands by the second Muslim Caliph, Umar.

Historically there have been times of severe persecution and oppression of Jews and Christians throughout the Islamic lands. Bat Ye'or, and other scholars, document how the "dhimmies" were oppressed. At times the oppression was negligible, and at times entire groups of people were massacred. The point is that you can’t generalize periods of hundreds of years with blanket statements.

Leupp continues:

Muslims ruled all or part of Spain from around 800 to the late 15th century, when Columbus' great patrons, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella "drove the Moors (Muslims) out of Spain, ... Under Muslim rule, Christian and Jewish communities generally flourished from Spain to Iraq.


Here is another generalization covering some 700 years. Muslims from North Africa attacked and conquered Spain starting in 711. There was rarely one big happy Muslim family ruling over Spain. The Muslims there were often divided and fought wars amongst themselves. Additionally, Islamic Spain was often at odds with other Islamic domains. Twice in history North African Muslim groups attacked or subjected the Spanish Muslims and re-conquered Spain. These were the Almoravids, (see and Almohads (see, for some general information. Massacres of Jews and oppression of Christians did occur in Muslim Spain.

Further, there is much more to Islamic history besides their rule over Spain. Why neglect the rest? In early Islamic times in Iraq, Christians who briefly accepted Islam were murdered for leaving Islam. Below is one of many accounts in Tabari’s History.

Among them were many Christians who had accepted Islam, but when dissension had developed in Islam had said, "By God, our religion from which we have departed is better and more correct than that which these people follow. Their religion does not stop them from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties." And they returned to their former religion. Al-Khirrit met them and said to them, "Woe unto you! Do you know the precept of Ali regarding any Christian who accepts Islam and then reverts to Christianity? By God he will not hear anything they say, he will not consider any excuse, he will not accept any repentance, and he will not summon them to it. His precept regarding them is immediate cutting off of the head when he gets hold of them." (Tabari, volume 17, pages 187, 188).

Not long after Ali, (who was Muhammad’s son-in-law, and the fourth Caliph), killed these Christians, Muslims murdered Ali! (Muslims also murdered the Caliph before Ali, Uthman). After Ali’s death the Muslim civil wars continued. Muhammad’s own grandson was also killed by the troops of a later Caliph – Yazid. Yazid was the grandson of the chief of Muhammad’s enemies -- Abu Sufyan, (who was forced to convert to Islam or die). At one point the Muslims fought in Mecca and the Kaba was damaged and burned! It is difficult to tell the difference between the actions of Muhammad’s "Companions" above and the Muslim terrorists of today. Does the above look like a flourishing society?


5. The Qu'ran does NOT call upon Muslims to KILL all non-Muslims. It calls for the destruction of "infidels," meaning principally Arabs who, during the time of Muhammad, practiced idolatry and polytheism.


Here more half-truths presented as the whole story. Previously I quoted 9:29. Here is 9:5

Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform prayer and give required alms, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

9:5 teaches that Muslims are to fight and kill polytheists unless they accept Islam, and 9:29 teaches Muslims to fight and kill Jews and Christians, unless they accept Islam, or submit in humiliation and to pay the religious extortion tax "jizya". In later times some rulers allowed polytheists to pay jizya to save their lives.

Below is an example of how Muhammad treated Christians not long before his death. Muhammad heard the Romans were going to attack him. He marshaled his troops and went north to do battle. Upon arriving they found that no one and no threat existed. Muhammad then took advantage of this opportunity to exploit others and sent a detachment to Ayla. Below is Muhammad’s message:

"To John ibn Rabah and the Chiefs of Aylah. Peace be on you! I praise God for you, beside whom there is no Lord. I will not fight against you until I have written thus unto you. Believe, or else pay tribute. And be obedient unto the Lord and his Prophet, and the messengers of his Prophet. Honor them and clothe them with excellent vestments, not with inferior raiment. Specially clothe Zeid with excellent garments. As long as my messengers are pleased, so likewise am I. Ye know the tribute. If ye desire to have security by sea and by land, obey the Lord and his Apostle, and he will defend you from every claim, whether by Arab or foreigner, saving the claim of the Lord and his Apostle. But if ye oppose and displease them, I will not accept from you a single thing, until I have fought against you and taken captive your little ones and slain the elder.

Muhammad terrorized non-Muslim peoples. The only difference between what the Catholics in Spain did in 1492, and what Muhammad did was that Muhammad allowed Christians and Jews to pay money to remain true to their faith. If you study Spain’s history you’ll learn that the Christians allowed the Muslims in Grenada to do that as well, until around 1492. What would Muhammad do to those who refused to pay the extortion? Read the last sentence again.

Muhammad intended that his armies conquer far and wide. Sahih Muslim, Book 007, Number 3200 states:

Sufyan b. Abd Zuhair reported Allah's Messenger as saying: Syria will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels. And Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Yemen will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Iraq will be conquered and some people will go out of it along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it.

There are many similar Hadith. Muhammad was telling his followers that they would continue violent, aggressive jihad after his death.

Leupp wrote:

Islam emerged very quickly, and within decades united under its banner-the banner of monotheism---the various tribes of Arabia.


Here is another omission. Many of the Arab tribes in Arabia were already monotheists! There were pagan tribes in the Hijaz, where Muhammad lived, but to the north, south, and east of the Hijaz there were significant numbers of Christians, and some Jews. There was plenty of monotheism to go around. And monotheism in and of itself is of no real value. As the New Testament says, "You believe there is one God? You do well. The demons believe and tremble" James 2:19. What is important are the religious tenants and actions behind the monotheism.

Leupp also fails to note that the point of a sword did much of the "uniting". Immediately after Muhammad died many Muslims stopped paying the religious taxes. The first Caliph, Abu Bakr, made war upon them until they surrendered and started paying the taxes again. That does not sound like real unity to me.

What we are seeing on a worldwide scale, i.e. the return to real Islam, i.e. Muhammad's Islam, are the growing dark clouds of a brutal storm. Already its bolts have struck our nation. The storm has not passed. Muslims will strike us again.


Leupp knows that Islam has faults. He, however, is unwilling to address those faults. Isn’t that strange? Just as he earlier avoided the real issue (theology), now he shuns criticizing Islam. He wrote:

Some (including non-religious people in or from Muslim countries) criticize Islam (appropriately, in my view) for what they consider backward and reactionary features. This is not the place to deal with such criticisms, nor am I the right person to do it.

QUESTIONS FOR LEUPP: You say your primer is not the place to entertain criticism of Islam. Why then is your article, "A 10 Point Primer on Islam", the place to entertain criticism of Christians, Republicans, conservative columnists, American foreign policy, etc? If so, shouldn't your primer be renamed, perhaps something like, "Why you should dislike all the people I dislike, and Islam isn’t so bad after all."?

Leupp wrote:

Christendom underwent the Enlightenment - an evolution towards secularism, rationalism, and scientific thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries-which the Islamic world, in general, has not yet experienced.


I share Leupp’s sentiments. I hope Islam will reform itself, but I doubt it will. The Islamic texts will not allow for an "enlightenment" to be long-lived. In Islam's history, sporadic movement towards enlightenment has occurred and temporarily succeeded in some regions. However, even the best successes were relatively short lived. Pervez Hoodbhoy in, "Islam and Science" documents that some of the greatest Islamic scientists were persecuted and brutalized by the fundamentalist regimes in power. When liberal Muslims rule, fundamentalist Muslims rise up and challenge them. At one point in history Muslims were world leaders in the sciences. Those days came and went. Today, while many third world nations progress, the Islamic world stands near the bottom with respect to education, science, and culture. In many cases conditions are worsening. There’s a reason for that. As real Islam grows, society and culture stagnate and then decline. The Persians and Afghans were better off before the fundamentalists took control.

Leupp wrote:

The American people are, I submit, far more threatened by Christian fundamentalism than its Islamic counterpart.


This is a case of Leupp using his "Islam" primer to vent his dislike of Christians instead of actually addressing his chosen topic: Islam. Perhaps he can show us in Christian doctrine, i.e. the New Testament, where we're commanded to force people to submit to our rule, under penalty of death as Muhammad taught. Perhaps he can show us where Jesus said anything like,

"I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah,"

as Muhammad said.

Also, where does the New Testament state: "Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them", as the Quran states? The least Leupp could do is be honest and forthright with his readership and acknowledge that Christian doctrine does not parallel Islam’s doctrine with respect to violence.

I’d like to point out what Bat Ye’or feels about professors like Leupp:

In Bat Ye'or's view, universities and naive Jewish and Christian religious leaders are carrying water for Islamists, as is the political Left ("The leftists were educated with hate of America and rejection of Judeo-Christian values," she said, and this perversely leads them to view Islamofascism uncritically). "We have to understand the cultural war we're in," Bat Ye'or said. "The war is not only a terrorist war, but a cultural war on our values and on our integrity."

[The above quote can be found here:]

I am not saying that Leupp is the Islamic fundamentalist’s waterboy intentionally. I am saying that because of his particular hatreds, he is unwilling to examine Islam truthfully. Leupp should understand that "secular humanists" are unbelievers in Islam’s eyes. Today, Muslims may seek Leupp’s fellowship and whisper sweet nothings in his ear, tomorrow they will devour him.

Leupp wrote:

7. Islamic fundamentalism (or what some, including CNN Moneyline's Lou Dobbs calls "Islamism," meaning a specifically political Islam) has NOT, historically, posed a great threat to Western interests (by which I mean corporate, oil, and geopolitical interests) but rather been exploited to SERVE those interests.


Leupp only considers the Islamic threat to the West in modern times. So, Leupp’s "historically" does not go back very far. This probably is because Leupp is not versed in Islam’s fourteen hundred year history regarding the jihad and wars that conquered an empire that stretched from Spain to India, into Romania and Ukraine. The truth is that Islamic fundamentalists pose a severe threat to all non-fundamentalists, including moderate Muslims. No person in the world can consider himself safe if Islamic fundamentalists get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. The discussion of the threat should not be limited to only the effects on corporations and politics.


QUESTION: Who is the biggest killer of Muslims today?

ANSWER: Other Muslims.

Here are current events that should be considered. During the last 15 years or so, the civil war between the Islamic fundamentalists and Algerian government has cost some 120,000 lives. In the US, we lament the loss of 3000 lives. Consider however that devout Muslims have killed tens of thousands of their fellow Algerian Muslims.

In Egypt, the fundamentalists have murdered tourists, Christians, and moderate / liberal Muslims. Even the Nobel Prize winning writer, Naguib Mahfouz, a nearly blind, moderate Muslim, was knifed during his daily walk in the streets of Cairo. Iranian fundamentalist Muslims have murdered thousands of their "less than Muslim" Muslims, along with Bahai and Christians.

The unjust Jewish oppression of the Palestinians, (both Muslim and Christian), pales in comparison with the enormity that has occurred in Sudan, Iraq, Iran, and Algeria.

Leupp wrote concerning the term "jihad":

The U.S. encouraged them to view their war as a jihad (in the sense of a "Holy War," a meaning the term usually does NOT carry),


This is Leupp’s biggest error. Muslim fundamentalists need no encouraging by the "kuffar" to strive in jihad. Their holy literature is filled with encouragement to violent jihad. There are entire "books" within the Sahih Hadith collections on jihad. Jihad is primarily warfare carried out to further Islam. The word literally means, "striving," but in application it most often means warfare to spread Islam. Below is a quote from an Islamic book of jurisprudence:


"Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word "mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the great jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self, (nafs), which is why the Prophet said as he was returning from jihad.

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:
1) Fighting is prescribed for you (2:216)
2) Slay them wherever you find them (4:89)
3) Fight the idolaters utterly (9:36)

and such Hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet said:

"I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah."

Below is a quote from the Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, page 89

DJIHAD, holy war. The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. It narrowly escaped being a sixth "rukn", or fundamental duty, and is indeed still so regarded by the descendants of the Kharidjis. The position was reached gradually but quickly. In the Meccan Suras of the Kur’an patience under attack is taught; no other attitude was possible. But at Madina the right to repel attack appears, and gradually it became a prescribed duty to fight against and subdue the hostile Meccans. Whether Muhammad himself recognized that his position implied steady and unprovoked war against the unbelieving world until it was subdued to Islam may be in doubt. Traditions are explicit on the point; but the Kuranic passages speak always of the unbelievers who are to be subdued as dangerous or faithless. Still, the story of his writing to the powers around him shows that such a universal position was implicit in his mind, and it certainly developed immediately after his death, when the Muslim armies advanced out of Arabia. It is now a "fard ‘ala ‘l-kifaya, a duty in general on all male, free, adult Muslims, sane in mind and body and having means enough to reach the Muslim army, yet not a duty necessarily incumbent on every individual but sufficiently performed when done by a certain number. So it must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam."


8. Muslims of the world have many thoroughly LEGITIMATE reasons to resent U.S. policy. Nearly absolute support for the settler state of Israel in its relationship with the indigenous Palestinian people


Leupp’s point has merit. I do not believe that we should give the Israelis a blank check to do all that they please. But on the other hand, other people in the world have legitimate reasons to resent U.S. policy. These people don’t fly planes into our cities!

And, if Muslims are looking for someone to resent, why aren’t the Muslims taking action against Saddam Hussein? How many Sunni Muslim Kurds has he murdered? How many southern Shiite Muslims has he eliminated? How many of his own people has Saddam butchered? So, let me ask you, when was the last time you heard of Muslims in Cairo, Amman, or Algiers, or even in America protesting what Saddam has done? Instead they rally to support him! Why are Muslims supporting the biggest killer of Muslims alive in the world today? That is a point Leupp should be making.

Further, perhaps Leupp can answer how resenting US policy causes Muslims in Pakistan to throw grenades into Pakistani Christian hospitals, causes them murder Pakistani charity workers, or causes them to murder 11 French scientists? Can Leupp explain how resenting US policy causes Indonesian Muslims to destroy some 1000 churches over the last 10 years? Why does resentment of US policy cause Muslims in Nigeria to issue death sentences against journalists? Perhaps Leupp can tell us why resentment of US policy is just cause for Muslims to murder a Christian nurse in Lebanon, and the three Christian doctors, providing much free medical care for the Yemeni people? The real motivation for these Muslim’s violent actions is Islam. The Yemeni murderer said he killed the doctors to be "closer to Allah".


9. Muslims typically DO NOT hate the U.S. as an abstract concept, reject U.S. culture in toto, or seek the destruction of American civilization.


I agree, but this is another generalization. There are one billion Muslims and they have many viewpoints. Many Muslims do hate America, and our culture, and would love to see us obliterated. If you read the reports coming out of the Mideast, the hatred for all things American is growing, not subsiding. We should understand how real Islam relates to countries that are non-Islamic. We should not seek to excuse Muslim terrorists and their crimes merely because they "resent" us.


10. Muslims and Jews in Palestine/Israel have NOT always hated one another, and the current Middle East conflict does NOT go back many centuries. Rather, it began with the influx of foreign Jews into the region after World War I


Leupp presents a tailored argument. "Always hated each other" is a pretty long time. There was conflict between the Jews and Arabs long before WW1. Dennis Prager and J. Telushkin document in "Why the Jews" that Muslims oppressed the Jews throughout Islam’s rule over them even during the 19th century. In their conclusion they write:

"Only through an understanding of the deep theological roots of Muslim anti-Semitism and an awareness of the continuous history of Muslims anti-Semitism can present day Muslim hatred of Israel be understood. Only then does one recognize how false are the claims of Israel’s enemies that prior to Zionism Jews and Muslims lived in harmony and that neither nor Muslims have ever harbored Jew-hatred. The creation of the Jewish state in no way created Muslims Jew-hatred, it merely intensified it and gave it a new focus."

The authors cite Albert Memmi, a French Jewish novelist who grew up in North Africa. He wrote:

"Roughly speaking and in the best of cases, the Jew is protected like a dog which is part of man’s property, but if he raises his head or acts like a man, then he must be beaten so that he will always remember his status."

And, Memmi’s point parallels my position: Islam teaches humiliating subjection of Jews and Christians in the Quran.

Before the end of WW2, Muslims in Palestine were persecuting Jews. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem visited Hitler and spoke in Germany, offering to assist with the extermination of Jews in the Mideast. See this web page:

Leupp concludes:

Finally: In understanding Islam, Americans should give some thought to one of the pivotal episodes in world history, the Crusades,

Let me ask "why?" As Leupp notes, the crusades were some 1000 years ago, (Leupp may not believe it but Americans did NOT take part in the Crusades, J ). Isn’t it a bit long for Muslims to carry a grudge? And, is it really a grudge that the Muslims carry, or just a pretense used to justify hatred and criminal activity?

Instead of blaming America or Christianity for what the Muslim terrorists have done, Leupp should blame the terrorists. It is not a question of "What have we done to make them hate us?" Rather it is a question of, "what motivates Muslim hatred?" Leupp should hold the perpetrators of the crime responsible, not the victims. Leupp should expect some degree of rationality on the part of the Muslims.


Leupp’s statements regarding Islam are half-truths laced with significant omissions. Actual Islamic content is meager. He used a facade of "educating" Americans about Islam to criticize people and aspects of American society he detests. Educating people about Islam is not his real interest, but venting odium is his passion. By failing to examine Islamic teachings he trivialized the deaths of some 3000 Americans and the suffering of so many more who have experienced loss. Leupp laments the ignorance of American high school students, "I am painfully aware of this ignorance". Leupp’s Islamic work does nothing to alleviate that ignorance.

Islamic sources should be studied dispassionately and their context, scope, and application understood. Professors who teach on Islam should know what they are talking about. Remember, Muslim fundamentalists declare they have theological justification to murder Americans. Since they are the ones carrying out the violence, their Islamic perspectives must be presented and understood. Do not depend on Muslims living in the West to do the explaining. Muslim terrorists do not play to a Western audience to gain approval.

I believe that Leupp does want to see America do what is moral and right, and in his venting he makes points worthy of consideration. But Monday morning quarterbacks are in no short supply. Professors with integrity who are willing to present what the Islamic source materials actually teach are needed. If our country continues to ignore the very real threat of the real Islam, i.e. the Islam of Muhammad, then we will be struck more severely the next time.


1 Leupp's original article can be read at

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