|Muslim convert Jennifer Williams
Who would have guessed that jihadists are interested in blonde-haired American converts to Islam? Only anyone who knows anything about jihadists.
Williams, of course, is not interested in jihad, because, as is typical of Western converts, she knows far more about Islam than the jihadists who actually do what Islam commands. She's even read the Qur'an! Here's her story:
If you were to pass me on the street, you would never suspect I’m a Muslim: I don’t wear hijab. I have platinum blonde hair and blue eyes. And I am heavily tattooed. I grew up in Texas and was raised Southern Baptist. I use the word “y’all” a lot—and not ironically. But I am Muslim. I also speak Arabic and hold a Master’s degree in International Security with a focus on terrorism and the Middle East. Several years ago, I realized that although I had long studied, analyzed, and written about Islamic political theory and how jihadist ideologues like Osama bin Laden use the Qur’an to justify their heinous acts of violence, I had never actually read the Qur’an. So I read it—and what I found in its pages changed my life. I found answers to questions about faith and belief and morality that had been plaguing me since my youth. I found the connection to God I thought I had lost. And three years ago, I converted to Islam.Williams says she is a Muslim, and, by Western definitions (according to which anyone who says "I am an X" is therefore an X), she is undeniably correct. But is she a Muslim according to Islam? Though many readers assume that anyone who recites the Shahada is a Muslim, Allah has far more specific requirements.
Consider, for instance, what the Qur'an says about having Jewish or Christian friends:
Qur'an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.Notice what Allah says here. If you have Jewish and Christian friends, you're not a Muslim ("whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them"). But Williams, as a delightful Texas girl, has no shortage of Christian and Jewish friends. Apparently, she knows better than Allah.
As for the jihadists she condemns, consider the distinction Allah draws between Muslims who wage jihad and those who sit at home:
Qur'an 4:95—Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary.But here again, Williams knows better than Allah. After all, she read the whole Qur'an!
Williams goes on to explain what drew her to Islam:
Just to be clear: I detest the twisted interpretations of Islam espoused by the likes of Al Qaeda and ISIS just as much today as I did before I converted—in fact, probably more so, since now I see it not only as a sick bastardization of a beautiful religion, but a sick bastardization of my beautiful religion. When I read the Qur’an, I find a God who is beneficent, who is merciful, and who cherishes mankind. I find a religion that encourages independent thought, compassion for humanity, and social justice. The jihadis claim to love these same things about Islam, but have somehow decided that the best way to share God’s message of mercy and compassion with the world is to blow up mosques and behead humanitarian aid workers. Great plan, guys.Let's go through her claims about Islam one at a time.
(1) "I find a God who is beneficent, who is merciful, and who cherishes mankind."
The Qur'an certainly declares that Allah is beneficent and merciful, but not in the way a typical Westerner would interpret these words (more on this below). As for Allah cherishing mankind, I have no clue what Qur'an Williams is reading. Here's what the Qur'an says:
Qur'an 2:190—"Allah does not love those who exceed the limits."The Qur'an plainly declares that Allah has no love for most people (because most people fall into at least one of the above categories). To see what Allah's beneficence and mercy really amount to, let's take a closer look at one of the above verses:
Qur'an 2:276—"Allah does not love any ungrateful sinner."
Qur'an 3:32—"Allah does not love the unbelievers."
Qur'an 3:57—"Allah does not love the unjust. "
Qur'an 4:36—"Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful."
Qur'an 7:31—"[Allah] does not love the extravagant."
Qur'an 8:58—"Allah does not love the treacherous. "
Qur'an 28:77—"Allah does not love the mischief-makers."
Qur'an 57:23—"Allah does not love any arrogant boaster."
Qur'an 3:31-32—Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.Notice that Allah only loves those who accept the message of Islam. Allah has no love for those who reject Islam. What Allah's "beneficence" and "mercy" amount to, then, is that if you turn to Allah in repentance, and you obey Muhammad, Allah will then love you. How does this qualify as "cherishing mankind"? Allah clearly states that he has nothing but contempt for Christians, Jews, and idolaters, going so far as to call us "the worst of creatures":
Qur'an 98:6—Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.So Williams claims that Allah cherishes mankind, while Allah claims that he despises everyone except obedient Muslims. It seems that Western converts like Williams know more about Allah than Allah knows about himself! Perhaps they should rewrite the Qur'an for him, so that people like me won't be so confused!
Moving on . . .
(2) "I find a religion that encourages independent thought, compassion for humanity, and social justice."
Oh my goodness. Independent thought? Allah demands mindless obedience. Consider a few verses:
Qur'an 4:65—But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.Muslims can "have no faith" until they "find in themselves no resistance" against Muhammad's decisions. Any critical thinking about Muhammad's decisions is therefore a sign of apostasy! (Note: In reading Williams' comments about Islam, we can see that she "finds resistance" against many of Muhammad's decisions. But the Qur'an condemns such "independent thought.") Here's another:
Qur'an 33:36—It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.Notice again that believers "have no option" but mindless obedience.
The Qur'an even commands Muslims not to ask too many questions, because such questioning may lead them away from Islam:
Qur'an 5:101-102—O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most-forbearing. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.Think about this. Allah will give you clear answers in the Qur'an (which Muslims must mindlessly obey). Apart from that, questions aren't exactly welcome. Somehow, Williams reads this and concludes that Islam encourages independent thought!
What about "compassion for humanity"? As we have seen, Allah only loves obedient Muslims. But Allah also commands his followers to treat people accordingly. Thus, he commands Muslims to show mercy only towards fellow Muslims:
Qur'an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.So "compassion for humanity" really means "compassion for fellow Muslims only."
As for "social justice," Islam is diametrically opposed to the most basic principles of social justice. Islam allows Muslim men to beat their wives into submission (Qur'an 4:34) and to rape their female captives and slave girls (Qur'an 4:24). Islam allows Muslim men to have sex with prepubescent girls (Qur'an 65:4). Islam commands Muslims to execute anyone who leaves the religion (Sahih al-Bukhari 6878, 6921, 6922). Islam commands adherents to violently subjugate non-Muslims and to extort money from them (Qur'an 9:29; Sahih al-Bukhari 6924). I am not aware of any mainstream ideology on the planet that is more detrimental to social justice than Islam.
(3) "The jihadis claim to love these same things about Islam, but have somehow decided that the best way to share God's message of mercy and compassion with the world is to blow up mosques and behead humanitarian aid workers. Great plan, guys."
Here Williams mocks the jihadists for spreading Islam by the sword. But that plan comes from Allah and Muhammad, not from ISIS.
Qur'an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.So here's the sad reality. Jennifer Williams, like most Western converts to Islam, is completely clueless about what Islam actually teaches. Yet she puts herself forward as a true follower of Islam, opposing herself to Islamic State jihadists who follow the Qur'an to the letter.
Qur'an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).
Sahih Muslim 33—The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.
This is, of course, quite common in the West, where people have absorbed the cultural principle that they're free to believe whatever they want to believe. Westerners then carry this principle over to Islam, and they assume that they can believe whatever they want about Islam. While this is true from a Western perspective, it's completely false from an Islamic perspective. Muslims, according to the Qur'an, are not free to believe whatever they want to believe and still call themselves Muslims. The Qur'an calls such Muslims "hypocrites" and orders Muhammad to wage jihad against them (9:73).
The saddest part is that Williams is ultimately serving the jihadists, whether she knows it or not. ISIS is slaughtering apostates (as Islam commands), subjugating hypocrites and unbelievers (as Islam commands), raping female captives (as Islam allows), seizing property (as Islam allows), collecting jizyah (as Islam commands), and so on. Meanwhile, Williams and other Western apologists for Islam protect the Qur'an and Muhammad from criticism, thus allowing the ideology of jihadists to spread unchecked.
Great plan, Jennifer.