Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Islam for Journalists: Errors and Omissions

By Silas

Washington State’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication published “Islam for Journalists  A Primer on Covering Muslim Communities in America” edited by Lawrence Pintak and Stephen Franklin.  You can find their work here:  Islam for Journalists

Throughout this article I’ll refer to it as the “booklet.”  It is a collection of short articles written by various people associated with covering or writing about Islam.  Each article focuses upon a specific theme and presents advice and lessons-learned for journalists.

Pintak’s goal was to prepare and educate journalists covering Islam-related topics:

It is meant to be a “how-to, what is” primer by journalists for journalists — and anyone else who wants a clear, straightforward briefing on this important topic. We have no axe to grind, other than a desire to see accurate, balanced reporting of this topic, which has such broad impact on American society today. (Page 7)

As I read the booklet I realized that Pintak’s sense of accuracy and balance is quite different than mine.  He was pre-determined to present an “Islam is moderate and benign” point of view and nowhere in the booklet are there criticisms of Islam.  Doctrinally-justified Islamic aggression is behind much of the violence and terrorism in the world today and this theme is omitted completely from the booklet.  Shouldn’t the link between a Muslim’s violent actions and his religious motivation be established?  Muslim terrorists draw their strength and base their actions on the teachings of Islam’s source materials and Muhammad’s example, therefore a balanced reporting or discussion on this topic would have covered this.  Aside from the violence the booklet touches on other Islamic-related themes which are also addressed inadequately.  To that end I’ve compiled about a dozen or so of the booklet’s errors, omissions, or one-sided views, and on the other hand I’ve highlighted some points that I believe are sound, beneficial, and balanced.




Most of the material in the booklet is general and acceptable.  Pintak could have copied basic information from Wikipedia and coupled it with journalist’s experiences and advice.  I won’t quibble about minor points and nuance since even among those who are critical of Islam there are disagreements.  Instead I am going to focus on the booklet’s major errors.

My criticisms may be sharp but I don’t want to come off as strident.  As a Christian this subject is important to me and I’ve devoted much of my life to this ministry focusing upon educating the church and polemical outreach to Muslims.  Accuracy and balance, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder.  I hope to bring you the other side of the story for balance and contrast.

Bear with me when I generalize and say things like, “Islam rejects …”.  Just as you find a wide range of Christians you will find all types of Muslims in the world today.  Muslims can be found as liberal to conservative, homosexual to having plural wives, violent to peaceful, etc. When I state, “Islam rejects” I am referring to the central doctrines of Islam, established by the major Sunni theological schools.  The Shia Ja’fari school parallels the Sunni in the main doctrines and points I am talking about.  These schools anchor their tenets in Islam’s source materials:  the Quran, the hadith (anecdotal stories revolving around Muhammad which illustrate theological points), and the sira (biographical / historical writings about Muhammad).  I will provide Islamic references supporting my statements position.

Chapter One:  “Islam 101” by Lawrence Pintak

Error 1)  On page 15, a “fact” of Islam is:

Fact #5: Muslims recognize the teachings of Christianity and Judaism.

This is false.  Muslims don’t recognize the teachings of Christianity.  Let this sink in:  Islam and Christianity are miles apart on 85% of the key doctrines of their faith.  Islam denies most of the primary teachings of Christianity and even Wikipedia’s articles on Islamic topics related to them state as much.  Also on page 15 Pintak states that Muslims regards the Bible as corrupted.  How would Muslims then recognize the teachings of a corrupted book?  No knowledgeable and clear-thinking person would say “I believe that the teachings of Christianity and Judaism are true but that their books are  corrupted.”  Without the Christian tenets listed below Christianity is not Christianity.  (Quranic references that reject those tenets are noted). 

     Islam rejects Christ’s divinity  (Sura 3:59, 5:72)

     Islam rejects Jesus as the Son of God (this is mentioned in the booklet). (9:30, 19:35)

     Islam rejects the trinity (4:171)

     Islam rejects Christ’s atonement (17:15)

     Islam rejects Christ’s death and resurrection (4:157)

Islam rejects Christ’s commands to love your neighbor and instead command’s violence to spread its domination over non-Muslims (9:5, 9:29)  (There are 1400 years’ worth of examples that prove this).

While there are similarities and differences between the two faiths, (for example the virgin birth and believing Jesus was a prophet), those differences above put the faiths miles apart. They cannot be reconciled.  At times various groups from both faiths have sought ways to set aside the differences and come together as people of faith.  Peaceful, respectful, dialog is beneficial.  But there is no bridge across that theological chasm:  those points above are either ignored or politely discussed but have never been, and can never be, reconciled.

A shallow analysis of Islam and Christianity will point out that they both believe in only one God.  Somehow, magically, some people believe that this common tenet mysteriously binds the faiths together and obviates their glaring differences.  Yet the New Testament mocks a simple belief in one God:  You believe that there is one God. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:19).  While James’ point is that faith without works is useless he is also saying that merely believing in one God is insufficient because even the demons believe in one God yet fear Him.  Clearly, Islam does not recognize the teachings of Christianity.


Error 2)  Pintak fails to note the contradiction that exists between the Quran’s confirmation of the New Testament’s integrity and Muslim claims that it has been corrupted.

This is a detailed error that is not obvious to the casual reader.  Also, it is linked to the first error.  Regarding previous Scriptures the booklet states on page 15:

This is important. the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad, Muslims believe, because those previous messages from God were, Muslims believe, corrupted in their retelling through the centuries.

Pintak is wrong when he suggests that Muhammad and the early Muslims believed that the earlier Scriptures was corrupted.  Muhammad did not believe the Torah or New Testament were corrupted.  There are sira and hadith that prove this.  Here is the quote from Ibn Ishaq’s  sira:

"Rafi b. Haritha and Sallam b. Mishkam and Malik b. al-Sayf and Rafi b. Huraymila came to him [Muhammad] and said:  "Do you not allege that you follow the religion of Abraham and believe in the Torah which we have and testify that it is the truth from God?"  He replied, "Certainly, ...”[1]

When Muhammad was challenged to answer if the Torah that those Jews held in their hand was the word of God.  He affirmed that it was.  If he believed it was corrupted but affirmed it was the truth from God he would then be a liar.  If he took his mission seriously and believed that that Torah was corrupted wouldn’t he be betraying his mission and prophethood?  Instead Muhammad testified to the Torah’s integrity.  Later in Islam’s history Muslims were forced to claim that the Bible was corrupted to explain away the Quran’s internal contradictions. 

Here the booklet touches inadvertently upon a gaping logical flaw in the Quran.  This is due to Muhammad’s ignorance of the previous Scriptures.  This flaw is significant because many Muslims, in their studies of their faith, have discovered this error and left Islam.  They cannot reconcile these contradictions honestly.  I want to repeat this:  this is a weighty contradiction and logical and rational Muslims have struggled with it.

The flaw highlighted:  the Quran confirms the integrity of the previous Scriptures over and over and over: 3:48-50, 5:46, 47, 61:6, 29:46, 12:111 etc.  Correspondingly, the New Testament that we have today was established hundreds of years before Muhammad was born (570AD).  When Muhammad spoke those Quranic verses he confirmed the Scriptures that were in the hands of the Jews and Christians he encountered in the Hijaz and elsewhere.  (That is one reason why the Quran refers to the Jews and Christians as “People of the Book”).  Muhammad, via his Quran, confirmed the integrity of the Torah and New Testament yet elsewhere in the Quran he contradicted Christianity’s primary theological points!  Only a person ignorant of what he was talking about would say the things Muhammad said.

If you want to examine this topic for yourself, see the following book and articles:  (Some of these are very detailed but worth the effort if you want to know what you are talking about).

The Quran and the Bible in the Light of Science and History by Dr. William Campbell, published by MER
The Integrity of the Bible according to the Qur'an and Hadith by Dr. Ernest Hahn
The Quran Confirms the Bible by Sam Shamoun
Muhammad and the Bible by Silas


Error 3)  Pintak’s omits the facts of Muhammad’s first “revelation” experience.

Pintak mentions Muhammad’s first encounter with the spirit that spoke the Quran to him:

At first, Muhammad didn’t know what to make of it. It might just be his imagination or, if it was some kind of spirit talking to him, how could he be sure it could be trusted? Remember, the desert tribesmen in those days believed in a whole array of jinns, or desert spirits, some of which were good and others bad. (page 19)

Here the booklet omits the details of Muhammad’s terrifying experience.  This experience laid a foundation for much of Muhammad’s subsequent theology and violence.  This experience left him suicidal and depressed for some two and a half years.  It was far worse than his “imagination” and not “knowing what to make of it.” 

Here are four excerpts from Islamic source materials that quote Muhammad’s initial thoughts: he had either gone insane or become demon possessed.  As a result he tried to commit suicide by jumping off a mountain cliff.

a.    So I read it, and he departed from me.  And I awoke from my sleep, and it was though these words were written on my heart.  (Tabari:  Now none of God's creatures was more hateful to me than an (ecstatic) poet or a man possessed:  I could not even look at them.  I thought, Woe is me poet or possessed - Never shall Quraysh say this of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest. So I went forth to do so and then) when I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying "O Muhammad! thou are the apostle of God and I am Gabriel."2

b.    Khadija, I see light and hear sounds and I fear I am mad.3

c.    The inspiration ceased to come to the messenger of God for a while, and he was deeply grieved.  He began to go to the tops of mountain crags, in order to fling himself from them; but every time he reached the summit of a mountain, Gabriel appeared to him and said to him, "You are the Prophet of God."  Thereupon his anxiety would subside and he would come back to himself.4

d.    But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth" whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before.5 

If you are a journalist who believes in spiritual experiences then consider how frightful and damaging this dark experience was for Muhammad.  He was traumatized and terrorized.  Something horrifying happened to him, something that pushed him into attempting suicide.  This is not a normal spiritual experience and there is no corroboration of this type of experience in either the Torah or New Testament.  Devout men and women throughout the Bible had experiences with God and not a single one of them were terrorized, traumatized, and suicidal.  Muhammad experienced a living nightmare, a nightmare so terrible that it pushed him to try to take his own life.  Don’t tell me that an experience that drives a man into attempting suicide and into depression is a case of simple academic confusion.

If you wish to look into this topic deeper see the following articles:

Why Did Muhammad attempt Suicide? by David Wood
Satan's Influence over Muhammad by Sam Shamoun
Muhammad's Suicide Attempts by Silas


Error 4)  Pintak omits that most of the tribes of Arabia were coerced or subjected to become Muslim.

On pages 24 and 25 Pintak makes a series of errors by conflating and confusing events during Muhammad’s last 10 years.  I will not address each one of those errors.  However he omits the details of the “conversions” of many of the non-Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula to Islam:

Within a decade, almost all the tribes of Arabia had converted to Islam. Within a century, the Islamic empire was larger than that of Rome at its height, encompassing the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain in West, and India and Central Asia in East.  (page 25)

This is a significant omission because it ignores Muhammad’s sanctioned use of violence to force people to accept Islam.  Pintak neglects to mention that Muhammad’s and the subsequent Caliph’s armies attacked and conquered non-Muslim lands.  Many of these “conversions” were coerced.  The Muslims ruled over these peoples and either forced them to convert or laid down oppressive “dhimmi” laws which coerced people to convert to Islam.   Ibn Sa’d records that when Muhammad conquered Mecca the people there converted to Islam “willingly or unwillingly” (“Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir” volume 2, part 1, page 168.)   They knew that they would be killed if they did not convert.

Islam is both a spiritual and a physical geo-political religion.  You cannot separate the spiritual from the political.  Ownership of land under Islamic rule counts.  Domination of land is a symbol of Islam’s power.  That is why even today there are Muslims urging the re-conquest of Andalusia.  Starting in 711AD those lands were attacked and conquered by Muslims and it took the Spaniards some 800 years to retake their land fully.  Some Muslims want it back. That is also one of the primary reasons why Muslims the world over hate Israel and the Jews.  Israel’s existence represents a defeat to Islam.  Their existence is an “in your face” symbol Islam’s failure.

Let me ask the reader to take Muhammad at his word.  Muhammad said:

"I have been ordered to fight against people until they say that "there is no god but Allah", that "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah", they pray, and pay religious taxes. If they do that, their lives and property are safe."6 

Muhammad intended to spread Islam by the sword.  Pintak notes that within 100 years Muslim armies conquered and carved out one of the largest empires in the world’s history.  That conquest was effected primarily by the sword not peaceful conversion.

It’s also important to note that immediately after Muhammad died tens of thousands of Arabs who had earlier been coerced to embrace Islam, left Islam.  The man who took over for Muhammad, Abu Bakr, (Muhammad’s best friend and father of his 9 year old bride Aisha) fought wars against these people who wanted freedom instead of Islam’s subjection.  These brave people did not want to be forced to be Muslim and they took a stand against Islam’s brutality.  Tens of thousands died while these wars were fought and Muslims sought to re-subject those that had left Islam (as apostates).  In fact these wars are known as the Ridda Wars, i.e. the “Wars of Apostasy.”  Tragically, those that left Islam were either killed or again forced to become Muslim.  (About half of Tabari’s History, volume 11, focuses on these wars against Muslim apostates).

Muhammad commanded that apostates be put to death.  Many of the tribes that left Islam did not seek to threaten the Muslims, rather they wanted to live in peace according to their conscience or previous faiths.  The Muslims would have none of it.

The Law of Apostasy by Samuel Zwemer 
Why Islam Shuts Down Freedom of Religion by Dr. James Arlanson 
The Punishment for Apostasy from Islam by Silas


Chapter Two:  “The Many Faces of Islam” by Robert W. Hefner

Error 5)  Hefner omits Allah’s command for men to beat their disobedient wives.

Hefner is to be given credit for stating that the position of women in Islam is inferior to men:

Most troubling for Muslim proponents of modern citizenship, classical jurisprudence stipulates that in both domestic and public affairs women are not to exercise authority over men. Citing verse 4:34 of the Qur’an, traditionalist rulings assign men guardianship (qawama) over women. Conservative commentators go further, severely limiting the rights of women to appear in public or anywhere where they might risk associating with men. (page 40)

But Hefner would have been truer to his audience if he had informed them of Allah’s sanctioned beating of women.  He even cites the verse that commands the wife-beating but fails to highlight it.  Here is the verse in question:

Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme. (4:34 Dawood)7

Islam is a man’s religion and caters to men’s desires.  In Islam, women are inferior to men both physically and spiritually.  Wives are subjected to their husbands and are to obey them.  Here is a sahih Hadith on the status of women on Islam:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)."  They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."8

In Islam, women are positioned between child and adult, between slave and free.  In Islam, women are consigned as unable to fully control themselves and their emotions.  In hell, women are the majority.  In heaven, women are the minority.  Therefore, because of a women’s inferior status, men are superior over women and are to manage them.

If you want to read more about the position of women in Islam see:

The Place of Women in Pure Islam by Rafiqul-Haqq and Newton 
Women in Islam by Sam Shamoun 
Wife Beating In Islam by Silas


Chapter Three:  “Ten Questions about Islamic Civilization,” by Carl Ernst

Error 6)  Carl Ernst is wrong about genital mutilation having little to do with Islamic law:

Likewise, the practice of female genital mutilation (FMG) has little to do with Islamic law. (page 54)

Earlier Ernst mentioned the four schools of Sunni Law (page 53).  One of those schools is the Shafi’i school.  A manual of Shafi’i law, “The Reliance of the Traveler,” instructs genital mutilation for women.  See this article for details: Islamic Law for Female Circumcision

These articles highlights this continuing abuse of women:
Islam and the Suffering of Women by Dallas M. Roark, PhD 

Here is a quote from the 2nd article:

Circumcision of the female consists of the removal of a part of the clitoris, which is situated above the opening of the urethra. The Sunnah is not to remove all of it, but only a part. (al-Mawsu‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah 19/28).

Female genital mutilation is related to Islamic law.  Ernst’s writing here is an example of ignorance where knowledge is expected.  Instead of doing his homework he coughs up what he thinks the audience wishes to hear.  Islam should be castigated for what is done, in its name, to children.  Ernst carries water for this barbaric practice.


Error 7)  Ernst is wrong when he says the aim of the caliphate was not to spread Islam by the sword:

Contrary to popular myth, the aim of the empire of the caliphate was not to spread Islam by the sword; it was really just another empire seeking wealth and, as Muslims paid less tax, converts to Islam meant lost tax revenue. (page 55)

This is one of the more inaccurate statements in the booklet.  Any simple reading of the Hadith which have entire chapters on jihad, coupled with Tabari’s History (volumes 9 through 14) which detail the motives and methods of the Caliph’s wars, and of the sira’s historical accounts of Muhammad’s instructions to the armies he sent out to conquer, shows that Muhammad and the Caliphs intended the world to be subjected to Islam, not for wealth but per God’s command.  Again, take Muhammad at his word:

"I have been ordered to fight against people until they say that "there is no god but Allah", that "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah", they pray, and pay religious taxes. If they do that, their lives and property are safe."9

This was Allah’s direct order to Muhammad.  It was not an option for Muhammad to disobey.  Muhammad was on a mission from Allah and he carried it out.

From a few years before Muhammad died to the sending out of armies following his death, time, and time, and time again, the leaders of the Muslim armies would tell their opponents initially, “Accept Islam and you will be safe.”  They were usually given about three days to think it over before they were attacked by the Muslims.  These wars were more about spreading Islam’s rule than about greed. 

Of course the Muslims wanted wealth, but that was a secondary goal of the Muslims.  As noted by Ernst if the people converted then the Muslims could not attack them and rob them.  If greed was the primary goal then Muhammad and the Muslims would not have given the non-Muslims ample opportunity to convert before they were attacked.  While there are examples of later Muslim rulers preferring greed to conversion the primary thrust of Muhammad and the early Caliphs was to bring the world under Islam’s rule.  Muhammad’s vision was for Islam to rule the world.

The end of Muhammad’s raid at Tabuk highlights this.  Following that raid some Muslims thought mistakenly that jihad was over and they began to sell their weapons.  Muhammad learned of this and forbid them from selling them, and said, “A group from my community will continue to strive for the truth until Dajjal arrives.”  (“The Life of Muhammad” Al-Waqidi’s Kitab al-Maghazi, pp517, 518).  Muhammad intended violent jihad to continue until the world was subjected to Islam’s rule.  Next time you see a Muslim holding a sign that says, “Islam will rule the world” you’ll understand why he is proclaiming that.  Those Muslims are obeying Muhammad, obeying Allah.

If you want to read something more in-depth on jihad and violence as sanctioned by Islam see:

Jihad by Rev. Richard P. Bailey 
Legal Jihad in the Qur'an and Early Islam by Dr. James M. Arlanson 
The Verse of the Sword: Sura 9:5 and Jihad by Silas


Error 8)  Ernst whitewashes the harsh treatment that non-Muslims were subjected to when conquered by the Muslims

It is also important to point out that non-Muslims had a legally protected status under Islamic law, safeguarding their life, property, and religion, though in a somewhat second-class status because of additional taxes.  (page 55)

Theirs was not a “somewhat” second-class status, it was fully 2nd class.  It was also more than additional taxes.  You can trace how religious minorities are treated in the Islamic world today all the way back to Muhammad’s commands.  Let’s start with Muhammad’s words found in the Quran, 9:29, 30

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!10  (Shakir)

These verses command the Muslims to make war on Christians and Jews and kill them if they do not convert to Islam or pay an extortion tax – jizyah.  Further they have Allah (or is that Muhammad?) condemning Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and wanting them killed “may Allah destroy them”.

How does Ernst miss something that basic?  This is not an obscure or hidden fact about Islamic rule.

On the other hand, here is what one real Islamic scholar, Ibn Kathir, says about these verses. 

Page 404:

The Order to fight People of the Scriptures until they give the Jizyah.

Page 405

This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the Pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination….

Paying Jizyah is a Sign of Kufr (Unbeliever) and Disgrace.

Allah said, until they pay the Jizyah, if they do not choose to embrace Islam, with willing submission, in defeat and subservience, and feel themselves subdued, disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.11

Per Muhammad’s command Jews and Christians suffered humiliation and oppression under Islam’s rule.  Ernst’s work in the chapter is shallow and  unreliable.


Chapter Four:  “Reporter’s Notebook:  Covering the Anti-Islam Movement”
by Bob Smietana

Error 9)  The bias and blindness of many journalists is exemplified by Bob Smietana.

Smietana’s crusade, to investigate the “anti-Islam movement,” illustrates the bias and blindness of journalists today.  This is not an error or omission but his few pages highlight part of what is weak and laughable about much of today’s journalism.  (Pintak’s choice to include Smietana’s work illumes his own bias).   Smietana wonders why more and more people are anti-Islam and wants to know their motivations.  After wrestling with the subject for a while he is able to move beyond the cowardly and brain-dead approach of calling them “Islamophobes” and the best faux summary he comes up with is:

It turned out that a mix of factors — the economic downturn, a rapid rise in immigration, fear among evangelical Christians that they are losing home field advantage in America, the rise of Christian Zionism, concerns over homegrown terrorism, and the maturation of the Muslim community in Tennessee, so that Muslims were beginning take a more active role in local politics and culture — had created fertile ground for the anti-Islam movement.

I doubt the economic downturn, a rise in immigration, and fear of losing home field advantage are real factors.  There are millions of Hindus living in America and I’ve never seen an anti-Hindu movement.  Likewise Buddhists flourish here and no organized opposition to them exists.  While there is no strong anti-Hindu or anti-Buddhism movement, I know that there are groups comprised of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists that have worked together to criticize Islam!  They all know there is a cruel and inherent violence in Islam that is established by the Quran, hadith, and sira.  They know that Muhammad’s violent actions coupled with his teachings, establish a foundation for violence to further Islam’s domain.

Mr. Smietana may not realize it but homegrown and foreign Islamic terrorism continue to be real threats. He could read the booklet’s chapter six by Bryan Denson.  It starts off with a Somali Muslim wanting to detonate a bomb during a Christmas tree lighting in Portland Oregon.  In comparison to the FBI stopping the Somali Muslim, the people in Nigeria were not so lucky.  Is it too difficult for Smietana to take a look at the pictures and then imagine the same thing happening in Nashville?  71 killed in massive explosion

How many died in 9/11 due to Muslims flying planes into the WTC?  How many children in Beslan were killed due to their Muslim captors?  How many Buddhist monks have been beheaded by Muslims in Thailand?  Didn’t Muslims commit bombings in England, Spain, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, etc.? 

Mr. Smietana does not understand or does not care why people don’t want to have their children blown up or kidnapped.  But aside from Smietana I think it is understandable that people oppose a violent ideology.  Isn’t it reasonable, logical, and responsible to oppose the spread of that type of theology?

If Mr. Smietana were capable journalist he would be investigating Islam’s culture in America that produces violence like this:

Texas man indicted for 2012 murder of Iranian activist 
US citizen  carries out suicide bombing in Syria

That is where real journalists are needed. 

I know Muhammad and Islam.  The Muslims who flew the planes during 9/11 had ground support from Muslim communities here in America.  Groups like Al-Qaeda will continue to sprout, grow, and spread destruction.  Nuclear explosions in America are certainly one of their goals.  It’s great that some Muslim majority nations are now turning against Al-Qaeda but how much blood needed to spill before they figured it out?  How many more Americans need to die at the hands of Muslim terrorists before mediocre men like Smietana figure it out?


Chapter Five:  “Islam’s Hard Edge Fundamentalism and Jihad” by Charles Kurzman

Something praiseworthy

I appreciate what Mr. Kurzman wrote about taking sides or bring bias to reporting:

In reporting on these debates — as in reporting on all religious matters — do not claim or imply that one side is more authentic than another. To do so would be akin to serving as an arbiter of Islamic jurisprudence.  (page 83)

I wish more journalists followed this advice.  While I have my opinions and bias’ I expect journalists to report issues fairly and accurately.

Another thing Kurzman gets right

Kurzman notes that the Muslim terrorists see the entire world as a battlefield.  Al-Qaeda correctly identified America as the chief threat to Islam because as the world’s superpower it has the ability to inflict its power on those that challenge it.  America has supported Israel when it was attacked by its Muslim neighbors.  America has supported other nations, like the Philippines, in their wars against Muslim insurgents. 

But more significant was the sense of a global mission beyond the national borders that Islamic revolutionaries had previously worked within. this global vision survived past the withdrawal of Soviet troops, forming the founding ideology of al-Qaeda and its associated movements. Instead of Soviet targets, al-Qaeda now aimed at the United States as the chief threat to Islam. Al-Qaeda’s most famous statement, issued in 1998, made no distinction between military and civilian targets: “the ruling to kill the Americans and their allies —civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.” the attacks of September 11, 2001, grew out of this strategy. (Page 84)

These Muslims see the world in one light:  land ruled by Islam vs. land ruled by non-Islam.  America is the most powerful nation not ruled by Islam and as such is the strongest threat they face.  Once America is weakened it will be easier to defeat their other foes.


Chapter Six:  Reporter’s Notebook: “Covering Domestic Terrorism” by Bryan Denson

Mr. Denson recommends reading John Esposito’s work.

Also, do a little reading. An excellent primer is John L. Esposito’s What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam (Oxford University Press, 2011).  (page 130)

I have to disagree strongly with Denson.  Esposito’s work is shallow and weak.  It’s of of little value.  I would recommend even introductory Wikipedia articles over Esposito.

Better introductory books would be

1)    “Islam” by A. Guillaume
2)    “Islam: Muhammad and His Religion” by Arthur Jeffery
3)    “Muhammad and the Religion of Islam” by John Gilchrist

1)    “The Life of Muhammad” by A. Guillaume (translation of Ibn Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasulallah.”
2)    “23 Years:  A Study in the Prophetic Career of Mohammad” by Ali Dashti
3)    “Muhammad at Mecca” and “Muhammad at Medina” by W. M. Watt.

1)    “Introduction to the Qur’an” by W.M. Watt and Richard Bell
2)    “The Qur’an and the Bible in the Light of Science and History” by Dr. William Campbell
3)    “What Every Christian needs to know about the Qur’an” by James R. White

Of course there are many more books on Muhammad, Islam, and the Quran out there.  Many will be more accurate and more detailed than Esposito’s works.


Chapter Seven:  “The Politics of the “Islam Beat”” by Jonathan Lyons

Error 10)  Lyons, argues that Islam’s Allah and Christianity’s Allah are one in the same.

Historically, theologically, and culturally, this God is one and the same for all three, …(page 142).

Islam’s Allah, Islam’s God, is a far different person than Christianity’s Allah, Christianity’s God.  When these beings are compared it can only be concluded that Christians and Muslims DO NOT worship the same God.  A person cannot be both a Christian and Muslim.  (For a review of whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God see: Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

As I noted previously, they are not the same God.  You’re not going to find many strong pro-same arguments out there.  They logically cannot be the same God.  By the way, it’s not only Evangelicals who state that Christians and Muslims do NOT worship the same God.  There are Catholics and Orthodox who have rejected the “same God” belief for hundreds of years.  Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant proclaim and worship Jesus Christ as God.  Muslims reject that belief completely, with no allowance whatsoever for Christ’s deity.

Some Christians have written the Islam refers to the same God, (Schwöbel in Volf’s “Do we worship the Same God?”) but it is understood that by each faith’s definition they cannot be the same God.  Islam’s conception of God has similarities with Christianity’s, (omnipotent, eternal, all-knowing, etc.) but it also has significant differences.  In light of those differences, some Christians believe that while Islam refers to the same God, it has an inaccurate or incomplete view of that God.  However, when defined by each faith, Islam’s definition and understanding of God is different fundamentally than Christianity’s.   How could any clear thinking person proclaim they are the same God?

Lyon’s shallow and sloppy work here is indicative of the bias and spin that so many journalists bring to their work today.  Study for yourself.  Get a copy of the Quran, or Bukhari’s Hadith, or Ibn Ishaq’s sira and read about Muhammad and Islam.  Learn about abrogation, of how the rules of the game were changed when Muhammad’s circumstances changed.  Read about Muhammad raiding non-Muslim Arab tribes and taking the women as slaves that could be exploited sexually (Bukhari volume 3, #432, #718).  Read about Muhammad torturing Kinana, read about Muhammad command to put slave girls to death just for making fun of him.  The historical facts, written by devout Muslims, support my position. 


Error 11)  Omission – who is speaking for Islam. 

On pages 152 and 153, Lyon urges that journalists educate themselves on the basics of Islam and consult a wide variety of religious leaders to learn about Islam.  I agree, I agree strongly.   What Lyons misses here, and it is missed throughout the entire booklet, is the consistent use of, and appeal to, the Islamic source materials, the Quran, hadith, and sira.   With such a broad array of topics covered in the booklet, only on rare occasion have they been referenced.  That is a significant failing of the booklet.

I agree with Lyons and encourage you to study the Islamic source materials for yourself.  Don’t let men like Lyons, or me, do your thinking.  Study Islam’s source materials.  Think for yourself, cut through the rhetorical fluff, take account of the details, and produce work more accurate and detailed than the current herd.

Lyon’s chapter is the weakest and most shallow in the booklet.


Chapter 8: “Covering Islam Over There from Over Here” by Stephen Franklin

Franklin gives good advice on page 158.

Should you ignore experts who clearly have a bias or a stake in the story you are reporting on? I wouldn’t. You want to hear from everyone. But you definitely do not want to pass along views that are stereotyping, or inflammatory or incomplete. And you absolutely don’t want to provide quotes from only one side of the story. 

Let me echo Franklin’s instruction.  Please present the other side of the story.  Franklin did good work.  I liked his chapter best.


Chapter 9:  “Women and Islam” by Shereen el Feki

Ms. el-Feki details her frustration with the stereotypes of Muslim women in the Western press and this is beneficial towards understanding Muslims in America.  A counterpoint is that Western females have been stereotyped in Islamic press and culture as little more than cheap whores.  The stereotypes cut both ways.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons so many Muslim men felt at liberty to rape Western female journalists during the “Arab Spring” in Cairo.  But el-Feki is correct in pointing out that there is a great amount of diversity in how female Muslims live in America and no one-size-fits-all approach works.  I appreciate Mr. Pintak giving voice to Ms. el-Feki.

One of the more consistent topics covered by the press is the position of women in comparison with men in Islam and Ms. el-Feki is keen to show that in Islam men and women are equal:

Keep in mind, the Qur’an provides clear-cut evidence that women are on an equal footing with men in the sight of God. The Qur’an states: “Their Lord has answered them: ‘I will not allow the deeds of any one of you to be lost, whether you are male or female, each is like the other [in rewards]’ ” (Qur’an 3:195, see also 4:124). (page 183)

Perhaps they are equal in God’s eyes with respect to judgment and rewards in the afterlife.  However, the Quran, and the hadith, also state that in God’s eyes women are inferior to men in this life.  Again, here is verse 4:34

Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them…12 (Dawood).

The Quran also states that a women’s testimony is only worth one-half of a man’s:

… and call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other; …  (2:282).13  (Shakir)

Couple that verse with a hadith from Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?"  The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."14

The Islamic source materials are filled with statements from Muhammad and Allah that women are 2nd class in comparison to men.  Try as hard as she would it is inescapable that according to Muhammad she is inferior to her husband.  As Muhammad said in his farewell address:

Treat women well, for they are domestic animals with you and do not possess anything for themselves.15

Other versions of the farewell address read:

You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and beat them but not with severity. If they refrain from these things they have the right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons.16

If you wish to see a Muslim leader speak honestly about Islam and women see:


Error 12)  Ms. el-Feki casts doubt about the authenticity of hadith related to women:

The Qur’an is not the only source of guidance for Muslims, who also turn to famous collections of hadith, or accounts of the sayings and actions of the Prophet. Some hadith — particularly those relating to women — are of questionable authenticity. Others are quoted out of context.

The hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim are the most highly revered in Sunni Islam and as shown previously both collections contain many disparaging hadith on women.  You’ll find very few knowledgeable and truthful Muslims, cast doubt upon the hadith.  I’ve encountered two types of Muslims who denigrate the hadith:  those who sincerely doubt the entire collections (usually very liberal Muslims who pursue a “Quran only” tact), or those Muslims who wish to win arguments and modify Islam to make it more palatable for a Western audience.  I would think Ms. el-Feki falls into the 2nd category.

The hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim are taken very seriously as Islamic source materials by Sunni Muslims.  I doubt you would find any major work in Sunni Islam that does not reference those two collections.  They are just too important, too primary, to the Islamic faith, to let them be castigated or disrespected.

These hadith are Muhammad’s words and instructions for his community.  Ms. el-Feki is free to tell the Muslim community that Bukhari’s and Muslim’s hadith collections are unreliable and cannot be trusted, but by and large the Sunni Muslim world accepts these hadith collections as reliable and valid.   These hadith collections may be available for free in English on the internet.


Error 13)  Ms. el-Feki is incorrect when she states that the Quran does not endorse child-marriage.

Child marriage is one of the stronger criticisms leveled against Islam and rightfully so!  In fact, this is one of the biggest failures of Western journalism in addressing Islam:  its allowance of child marriages.

Ms. el-Feki is honest when she mentions that in the Islamic world marriages take place with children (before puberty):

Marriage is a cornerstone of Islamic life, and there is plenty in the Qur’an and hadith which encourages both male and female believers to marry as soon as they as they are ready. (In some parts of the Islamic world that is interpreted as just before or after puberty, especially in the case of girls; however, such child-marriage is not endorsed in Qur’an.)  (page 191)

But she is incorrect when she says that Quran does not endorse it.  In fact, not only does the Quran endorse it, Muhammad actually married a nine year old child, Aisha, and consummated the marriage before she had reached maturity, i.e. had her first period, i.e. before she reached puberty!

Here is the Quranic verse which allows marriage and intercourse with a prepubescent child:

65:4 If you are in doubt concerning those of your wives who have ceased menstruating, know that their waiting period shall be three months. The same shall apply to those who have not menstruated. As for pregnant women, their term shall end with their confinement. God will ease the hardship of the man who fears him.17 (Dawood)

Here is one hadith out of many that show that Aisha was 9 when Muhammad consummated his marriage with her:

"Narrated Aisha: The prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six. We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Harith Kharzraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's messenger came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age."18

A worthwhile issue for a journalist to investigate would be to find out how many child marriages occur in America involving Muslim children.  Not too long ago a teenage Muslim boy married an 11 year old girl in Nebraska.  Maybe another reason why Americans are anti-Islam is because they don’t want to see children exposed to what’s allowed under Islamic rule.

If you wish to read more in-depth articles see:

Marriage to Minors by Jochen Katz
What is so Bad about Child Brides? by Dallas M. Roark, PhD
An Examination of Muhammad's Marriage to a Prepubescent Girl by Sam Shamoun
Muhammad, Aisha, Islam, and Child Brides by Silas


Chapter 10:  “South Asian Islam Conflict and Change” by Syed Javed Nazir

Mr. Nazir describes Islam in south Asia and touches upon various countries history and implementation of Islam.  His work is good.

Error 14)  Blaming “Wahhabism” for Islamic fundamentalism.

One point he brings up is “Wahhabism” and credits it for the fires of Islamic revival:

What is the role of the puritanical Wahhabism strand of Sunni Islam?

There is little doubt that the puritanical Wahhabi sect of Islam, a vintage Saudi import in South Asian societies, has stoked the fire of revivalism. Wahhabism is an 18th-century movement that emphasizes a strict interpretation of the sacred text and a rigid practice of religion. It presents a stark contrast to the traditional mystical approach to Islam in South Asia.  (page 206)

Dan Pipes and a few others have blamed Qutb, Wahhabis, Salafis, etc. for the fundamentalist viewpoints of the radicals.  I challenge this and argue that this thinking stops short of arriving at the root cause of what present day writers call “radical” Islam.  The radicals, the fundamentalists, the jihadis, etc. are doing what Muhammad did.  If you are going to investigate something drive to its roots, its source, its essence.  Why do the jihadi’s commit acts of violence against non-Muslims?  Because Muhammad did it.  Why do the radicals want to spread Islam by force?  Because Muhammad did it.  Why do Muslims murder apostates?  Because Muhammad commanded it, the Islamic source materials command it, and the subsequent Caliphs did it.

You’re thinking is off-target or incomplete if you stop at Qutb or Ibn Taymiyyah.  You have to go all the way back to Muhammad.  Base your analysis upon Muhammad.  Wouldn’t you agree that if anyone should be called a “real” Muslim it would be Muhammad?  Wouldn’t you agree that if anything should be called, “real Islam” it would be Muhammad’s Islam?  Actually, the Quran commands Muslims to imitate Muhammad’s lifestyle:

33:21 There is a good example in God’s Apostle for those of you who look to God and the last day and remember God always.19 (Dawood)

Accordingly, the teachings, structures, and practices implemented by Muhammad, i.e. real Islam, are some of the exact things the “radicals, jihadists, Wahhabis,” etc., wish to implement.   They want to follow in Muhammad’s footsteps, they want to imitate him, they want to be Muhammad-like in their lifestyle.  They ask themselves, “What would Muhammad do?”  The Islamists today are more like Muhammad than “moderate” Muslims.




Here are several articles that illustrate my position that today’s journalism is weak, biased, and shallow.

1)  In late March 2014 President Obama said he was very concerned about the possibility of a nuclear bomb going off in New York:

“Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the No. 1 national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan,” … Obama's Top Fear Is Manhattan Getting Nuked

President Obama is right to be worried.  The most powerful man in the world,  leading the most powerful country in the world, is worried about a nuclear attack.  Two questions:  1) Why is he worried? and, 2) Who is committed enough to carry out such a horrible event?

The linked article does not address those two questions.  Why?  Why is no mention made whatsoever of the who and why that has the American President worried?

A responsible American would want to know the who and why.  What would drive a group of people to carry out the destruction of millions?  I looked through about half a dozen related articles from various news sources and no mention was made concerning these people’s identity or motive.

Of course we know that President Obama was referring to Muslims.  Call them Islamic terrorists, jihadists, or radical Muslims, or fundamentalist Muslims, or Islamists, etc. but any way you slice it, they are Muslims.

I hope that stating that basic fact is not too offensive for you.  Some people today have a hard time admitting that the 9/11 hijackers were Muslim.  Everybody knows who President Obama referred to but no journalist was willing to state it. Ignoring or pretending he was not referring to Muslims is a weakness and it only makes the situation worse.

While most Americans know that President Obama was referring to Muslims, what is not well known or understood by the American public is the “why” behind their  actions.  Journalists have not covered the “why” in much or frequent detail.  If you intend to defeat an enemy, it helps to know their motivations, their reasoning, the basis of their strength in sacrificing themselves in conflict against you.

2)  Video Shows Large Al-Qaeda Meeting in Yemen

There is not a single word of these men being Muslims.  Not a single reference to Islam.  CNN does a shallow job here in presenting these brave and dedicated Muslims.  Have any journalists tried figuring out what motivates these men who are willing to risk being drone-bombed in order to motivate their brothers in the faith?  It needs to be stated loudly and clearly that these men are devout Muslims willing to engage in the type of jihad that Muhammad engaged in.  Here CNN plays the journalist-coward.

3)  This third case deals with the Muslim Boston Marathon bombers and deals with the last message Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote before he was captured.  You can see an image of it here: Image Shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Last Message Before Arrest 

The first line of his message is Islam’s shahada, “There is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger.”

Why did he write the shahada as his first sentence?  A journalist familiar with Islam would understand.  Second, why didn’t the story mention it?  That first sentence tells you much about the writer’s story and his commitment to Islam.  But since the journalists didn’t understand or ignored it the reader misses Dzhokhar’s devotion to Islam.  At least they showed that portion of the photo.  I doubt American journalists understand the motive or strength of the Muslims who are dedicated to breaking America.

4)  Former Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke on the subject of “radical” Islam: Tony Blair: West must take sides against the growing threat of radical Islam

"But what is absolutely necessary is that we first liberate ourselves from our own attitude. We have to take sides. We have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time. We have to have an approach to the region that is coherent and sees it as a whole. And above all, have to commit. We have to engage"

Blair warned: "The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is destabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively." 

Couple President Obama’s fear statement with Blair’s speech.  Blair was brave and honest enough to speak candidly about real Islam.  Read the whole article if you want details behind Blair’s concern. 

The elements of these articles make my case.  Fundamentalist Islam is a living and breathing threat that is killing people daily yet our journalists are cowed, and apprehensive about identifying both the faith and its followers as part of the threat. Journalists are willing to quote just about anyone, but it seems that most journalists are unable to perform any investigative analysis on this particular subject.  Many journalists are willing to function as simple parrots.

Know then, that those who would detonate a nuclear bomb in New York, or any large city in America, are devout, committed, Muslims.  They are willing to die for their faith.  They are also willing to kill for their faith.

This is not true of all Muslims, thank God.  Many Muslims in Canada and America are decent people who oppose the violence of their fellow Muslims.  Many have fled their homelands due to the brutal violence they’ve encountered.  While overall a minority of Muslims support Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism, in some Muslim, and non-Muslim countries, it is a sizeable minority.  Devout Muslims are found on both sides of the conflict.  Yet the doctrines of Islam only support one side of their argument.

One true journalist known for his wit, rhetoric, and willingness to speak truth to power, had this to say about Islam:

The Islamist threat itself may be crude, but this is an intricate cultural and political challenge that will absorb all of our energies for the rest of our lives: we are all responsible for doing our utmost as citizens as well as for demanding more imagination from our leaders.  Facing the Islamic Menace by Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens, a harsh critic of all religion, was intelligent, informed, and honest enough to speak accurately about Islam.  Why didn’t Pintak ensure that at least one similar viewpoint was presented in his booklet?





The problem is not that all journalists do shallow and meager work.  That is not the case and many journalists have benefited and strengthened America.  The problem is that only a few are willing to go the second mile when reporting about Islam.  When journalism’s leaders, like Pintak, preach and teach a milquetoast approach to journalism, then the audience is cheated, if not deceived.  This booklet is a mixture of good and bad points but its overall tone and scope is shallow.

In the Afterword written by Pintak journalists are encouraged to address the challenge of fairness and balance:

the challenge is to ensure these are dueling opinions; that we are not just hearing one side; not just inserting quotes into a preconceived narrative. And that we make sure our audiences are given the information they need to adequately weigh the credibility of the “experts.”
It is — obviously — our job to present all viewpoints, whether those represented by individuals and groups who warn of a Muslim threat inside the U.S. or what some have labeled Muslim “apologists” and/or “radicals” at the other end of the spectrum.

Mr. Pintak failed to follow his advice.  His booklet fails because it does not present differing points of view.  He says one thing but does another.  He presents only liberal or moderate opinions on Islam.  There are no contra or Islam-critical statements in the booklet.  Pintak serves a thin, bland, white sauce on old bread and calls it gourmet.  Worthwhile journalists would produce something more accurate, more in-depth, and more balanced.

Pintak says journalism is to inform, but Pintak fails to inform, or he only informs that which he wants others to believe.  Early in his booklet he boasts about being the dean of the Murrow College of Communication and that “A commitment to press freedom is in my blood.”  Pintak is anemic. 

Pintak offers two suggestions to journalists:

● turn to academics for guidance. Most (though certainly not all) scholars at leading universities at least try to take a balanced approach to the topic;

●  Provide background when quoting non-academic “experts.”

First of all, don’t turn to academics like Ernst and Pintak for guidance.  My goodness, look how badly they botched such a simple booklet.  You’re better off reading Wikipedia.

Let me add a third suggestion for journalists who are serious in reporting about Islam:  study the Islamic source materials for yourself.  It’s not rocket science! You can get input from the college professor crowd, (and there are many knowledgeable experts there), but don’t count on their willingness to criticize Islam publically.  Look at how Brandeis university just cowed and denied Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she was critical of Islam.  Brandeis Cancels Plan to Give Honorary Degree to AyaanHirsi Ali, a Critic of Islam

Hirsi Ali is a very brave woman speaking out against the abuses of Islam and Brandeis’ knees buckled under a gentle breeze.  What magnificent cowards!  Just a few short weeks later dedicated Muslims in Nigeria kidnapped and enslaved hundreds of schoolgirls.  They are doing what is Islamically legal.  Muhammad did the same thing when he raided non-Muslim tribes.  Hirsi Ali has taken a stand against those type of practices.  The feeble Brandeis, not so much.  College leadership is too weak to brook criticism of Islam.

Pintak’s concluding word in the booklet highlights the real problem inadvertently: there is one big difference between this story and many others: In the post-9/11 world, Islam is a potentially inflammatory subject; the last thing we as reporters should do is needlessly pour fuel on the fire because we haven’t done our homework.

Pintak is correct here:  he hasn’t done his homework.  Islam is the problem, real Islam, Muhammad’s Islam.  Real Islam is the Islam that Muhammad practiced.  Muhammad was as violent and harsh as the “radical” Muslims are today.  How can I say that?  Because the texts that Ms. Yaqub urges you to study support my position. 

If Muhammad were alive today real journalists would be all over him just as they have been over the vile child abuse that occurred in the Catholic church.  Instead many journalists sleep in whitewashed platitudes and blissful ignorance preferring to not know about the real Muhammad.

Are journalists too dense to draw the correlation between the violence Muslims commit and the life and teachings of Muhammad, of Islam?  Is it too hard to comprehend that violence is integral to Islam?

There is a need for real journalism today.  If the leaders and teachers of the next generation of journalists are men like Pintak then the downward spiral of journalism will continue.  Hopefully some of the newer journalists will break from the herd, take their craft seriously, and present balanced views on Islam.

The Muslims who obey Allah and Muhammad intend to spread Islam’s domain by force.  They no longer need to set up cells in Hamburg and come to America furtively for they are already here.  If they are willing to kill family members who betray Islam then your infidel life has no value to them.  They will exterminate millions of people, like an exterminator kill bugs, to spread Islam’s power.  Is that statement over the top?  Then why is the President worried?

In the end, Muslims will probably succeed in detonating a nuclear bomb or bombs in the States:  New York, Washington DC, or some other large coastal city.  They are too dedicated, too focused, too committed to quit, while America lulls itself back to arrogant sleep choosing to ignore the heart of real Islam.  Pintak offers you sleeping pills.





1. Guillaume, A., "The Life of Muhammad", a translation of Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah", Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, p. 268.

2. ibid p.106.

3. Ibn Sa'd, (d. 852 A.D.), "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", (Book of the Major Classes), translated by S. Moinul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society, p.225

4. al-Tabari, "The History of al-Tabari", (Ta'rikh al-rusul wa'l-muluk), State University of New York Press  1993, volume 6 page 76.

5. Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, volume 9, number 111.

6. Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi, volume 1, number 387.

7. Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995

8. Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, volume 1, number 301.

9. Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi, volume 1, number 387.

10. Shakir, M. H., “The Quran”, Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc., Elmhurst, NY, 1993

11. Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Darussalam, New York, NY, 2000, pp. 404, 405

12. Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995

13. Shakir, M. H., “The Quran”, Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc., Elmhurst, NY, 1993

14. Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, volume 3, number 826.

15. al-Tabari, "The History of al-Tabari", (Ta'rikh al-rusul wa'l-muluk), State University of New York Press  1993, volume 9 page 113.

16. Guillaume, A., "The Life of Muhammad", a translation of Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah", Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, p.651.

17. Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995

18. Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, volume 5, number 234.

19. Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995



[First published: 9 June 2014]
[Last updated: 9 June 2014]