HAND OF ISLAM
THE DEAD HAND OF ISLAM
(By Colin Maine)
There has been a resurgence of Islam recently. This has
plunged the countries where this has happened into the dark
ages. They have been set back a thousand years.
In THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD dated 13.2.79 it
was reported that Pakistan is going to bring back stoning.
Moslems caught drinking alcohol will be given 80 lashes, and
thieves will have either their foot or hand cut off.
In Iran men are sent to the firing squads on charges of
"warring against God and his emissaries". Courts have frozen
pending divorces by women.
"Three girls' secondary schools were closed after being
raided by Khomeini's supporters, and unveiled women were
being attacked in the streets...Women who were protesting
about Khomeini's speech telling women in the government to
wear clothes covering hair, neck, arms and feet, were
threatened with shouts of 'get dressed or get beaten'."
Also in Iran, Moslem demonstrators shouting "purifica-
tion by fire", set alight the red light district in Tehran.
Prostitutes were attacked, brothels, bars and nightclubs looted.
An Abadan cinema was set alight and 377 people were
burnt alive. Those who set fire to it closed the exit doors
from the outside, and systematically set it ablaze at its four
corners. NEWSWEEK, September 4, 1978 reported that there
had been 30 cinema fires in Iran in the previous month.
It was reported on February 6, 1978 that the 23-year-old
Princess Misha was executed in Jiddah either for marrying a
commoner or adultery.
In Malaysia Moslem fanatics have been invading Hindu
temples and smashing their images and gods. This could start
a religious war. There are some Moslems who are demanding
that the Islamic punishment of stoning and whipping be impos-
On the Australian Broadcasting Commission radio news
on May 9, 1979 it was reported that in Iran militant Moslems
announced that they intended to convert the world to Islam,
and that their first task was to "root out deviations."
These events are not as Moslems apologists assert,
aberrations but an inevitable outcome of the basic teachings
of Islam. All can be justified either by the KORAN or by the
HADITHS--the traditions concerning the acts and sayings of
Mohammed. Both are considered a guide as to how life should
be ordered in an Islamic society.
The KORAN was written down 20 years after Moham-
med's death, and the first HADITH 220 years after his death.
Many HADITHS were invented in the intervening years to
support a particular course of action.
According to both HADITH and KORAN, Islam must be
the world's most oppressive religion. It is undemocratic; it is
puritanical; it is barbarously punitive; it oppresses women; its
laws are cruel to animals; it is intolerant towards other
religions; it is anti-intellectual; it places restrictions upon art.
CRUCIFIXION. This is permitted by the KORAN for
"Making war against Allah and his messengers".
FLOGGING. 100 lashes is given for adultery or forni-
cation. 80 lashes is given for bearing false witness. (Here this
is only mentioned in reference to charges against chaste
Flogging is also given for drinking alcohol. No
punishment is prescribed in the KORAN for this. It merely
states that it is a sin and an abomination. In practice in many
Moslem countries, 80 lashes is the penalty for merely drinking
a glass of wine.
Yet there is no mention whatever in the KORAN about
drugs, and in countries like Iran where alcohol is strictly
forbidden, there are estimated to be 2 million drug addicts;
heroin and hashish are openly sold in the streets, and ''addicts
huddle by an open drain with rags over their heads inhaling
amid a stench of stale urine."
MUTILATION. "As to the thief, male or female, cut off
his or her hands." So not just one hand is to be cut off but
both of them.
WOMEN TO BE IMMURED. "If any of your women are
guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four reliable
witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify,
confine them to their houses until Death do claim them, or
Allah ordain for them some other way." So for some vague
sexual trifle women can be locked up for their entire life.
PENALTY FOR MURDER. The KORAN seems to regard
sexual misdemeanours as being more reprehensible than mur-
der. For killing another human being, one has only to make a
compensation to the relatives of the person killed. These are
the only references I could find in the KORAN to punishment,
so for most crimes we have to rely on the HADITH.
STONING. Though there is no mention in the KORAN
about stoning for adultery, Mohammed did use the punishment
according to a HADITH. One account says that a man who had
become a Moslem confessed to fornication. Mohammed
ordered him to be stoned at the Musalla (Mosque outside
Medina). When the stones struck him he ran away, but he was
caught and stoned until he was dead. Then Mohammed spoke
well of him and prayed over him.
Another HADITH relates that a Jew and Jewess were
brought before Mohammed for fornication. Omar relates:
"They were stoned on the level ground and I saw the man
leaning over the woman to shield her from the stones."
I find this story rather far fetched, as it relates that the
Jew was brought a BIBLE, and was told to read from it. He is
supposed to have tried to cover the words about stoning with
his hand. He would have been extremely stupid to have tried
to do this in full view of a group of Moslems, as this would
only draw attention to the words.
Women will be happy to know that it is considered
laudable to spare their modesty should they be stoned. A hole
dug, and she is buried up to her waist before she is killed by
having rocks thrown at her.
The DICTIONARY OF ISLAM says that stoning "has
become almost obsolete in modern times." So this religion is
becoming more repressive, not less. The victims will be happy
to know that they will get the full funeral rites.
THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN
Islam is very harsh on women, particularly in sexual
matters. The KORAN says: "Your wives are as filth unto you.
So approach your filth when or how ye will." The word 'filth'
comes from till--to work by plowing, sowing, and raising crops
So a man can have sex with one of his wives at any time,
and in any way that he wants. The woman does not have
similar rights. As punishment, the KORAN says that if women
are disloyal their husbands should refuse to sleep with them.
Sexuality in women seems to be considered undesirable. The
KORAN ways that slaves girls should be "chaste, not lustful."
In the Moslem heaven men will be given dark-eyed virgins who
are perpetually young. There is no mention of women being
provided with virile young men, so they had better take their
knitting with them as there will be little else to do. The only
pleasures described in the KORAN are sitting on thrones,
walking through gardens eating fruits, and drinking heavily
wine (which does not even intoxicate).
As Ramon Lull said of it: What will their paradise be but
a tavern of unwearied gorging, and a brothel of perpetual
ISLAM HYPOCRITICAL ON SEX
The Moslem religion is completely hypocritical on sexual
matters and it is all in favor of the men. The mere
performance of ceremony permits a man to have sex with any
of his four wives in any manner and at any time.
Also the KORAN permits men to use women captured in
war for their sexual amusement. They can also be bought.
Mohammed himself received two slave girls as a present from
the governor of Egypt. One he gave to a man called Hassan,
and the other he kept for himself, and she subsequently had a
son by him. The KORAN allows a Moslem to have as many
concubines as he wants.
The SOCIAL LAWS OF THE KORAN says: "...he is
permitted to cohabit with his female slave. In this case
nothing is said as to number; they are allowed to him without
any restriction whatever."
Yet Islam punishes women more severely than men for
sexual offenses. In a Moslem country this year a man and a
woman were flogged for adultery. The man got 25 lashes and
the woman 100 lashes.
On June 19, 1979 it was reported in THE AUSTRALIAN
that an Iranian woman was executed for having illicit sexual
relations. The man involved got a lighter sentence. The
report said that the woman was put to death by her mother,
father and a brother.
Though he placed such severe restrictions on women,
Mohammed himself had as much sex as he wanted. His wife
Ayesha who he married when she was 10, and he was 53 said of
Mohammed: "He loved three things, women, perfume and
food, and of the first two he had his heart's desire.
Mohammed had 11 wives, as well as concubines, even
though he restricted his followers to four wives. A 'special
revelation' from Allah permitted him to have as many wives as
he liked. Oddly enough his revelations always seemed to tell
him the sort of things that he wanted to know.
We have already seen that women can be punished for
lewdness with life imprisonment. Yet the following verse of
the KORAN says: "If two men among you are guilty of
lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend let
them both alone."
As two men are mentioned this must only refer to
homosexuality. One translation says "punish them lightly".
When he tires of one of his wives a Moslem can get rid of
her by a mere verbal formula. The SOCIAL LAWS OF THE
KORAN says "The ceremony of divorce among Muhammedans
is very simple, the husband merely saying 'Thou art divorced'
or 'I herewith dismiss thee'." The KORAN does not give a
woman the right to a divorce for any reason whatsoever.
Women are also oppressed in other ways, and are regard-
ed as being very much inferior beings. The KORAN says that
men are a degree above them and that they should be obedient
to their husbands, and that for disloyalty they can be beaten.
It was Mohammed who imposed the veil on women.
Millions of women through large parts of the world in the last
1200 years have never been able to go out without wearing the
I have myself spent 1-1/2 years in Aden, not far south of
the area where Mohammed spent his life. I have seen women
completely covered with veils that cover their entire faces in
humidity so high that as soon as one puts on a shirt it is
soaking with sweat.
If they had appeard unveiled they would probably have
been killed. It is worth noting that the Moslem religion mostly
exists in countries that are near the Equator, so this impost_
tion of the veil is not a trivial matter.
The Islamic law says of circumcision and clitorectomy,
"It is an obligation for men and women to do it for themselves
and their children, and if they neglect it, the Imam may force
them to it for it is right and necessary."
In THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD of January 16,
1979 there was an article on clitorectomy (female circum-
cision) in Egypt. Nawal Alsa'adawi, the Egyptian gynaecolo-
gist and psychiatrist, was reported to have said: "You can't
separate sexual oppression from political and religious oppres-
In an article on the practice it was claimed that nearly
all of the young girls in Egyptian villages, where most of the
people live, are circumcised. The article went on: "This
circumcision is, in effect, castration of women. For the
women the pleasure of sex is gone."
Some of the girls bleed to death. Others develop
abcesses. The article claimed that the religious establishment
found her view too threatening. Nawal defended Islam, and
claimed that it was not responsible for these circumcisions,
and that Mohammed was progressive in regard to women. I
have shown in my section on this that this was not the case.
She could hardly do otherwise in a country as religious as
Egypt. She has enough of a problem trying to prevent these
mutilations from taking place, without challenging the very
basis of the religion itself.
WOMEN BEFORE ISLAM
Women had a much higher status in Arabia before Islam.
There are accounts of women fighting in battles, riding across
the desert, visiting men alone, and taking part in public
Each of these stories ends with the words: "This was
before the Apostle received the revelation about veiling." The
freedom women enjoyed before Islam is shown by the example
of Khadija, Mohammed's first wife. She was an heiress, and
business woman, and she proposed to him.
Women took a great part in the apposition to
Mohammed. One of his foremost opponents was Hind the wife
of Abu Sofian, the leader of the Meccans.
When Mohammed finally marched on Mecca and captured
it, Abu Sofian made a speech to the people telling them that
it was useless to oppose the Moslems. Hind jumped up beside
him and shouted: "Don't take any notice of this fat old fool.
A fine protector of his people he is."
A poetess called Asma who lived in Medina wrote some
satirical verses, making fun of her fellow citizens' adoption of
Mohammed as their religious leader. These were passed from
mouth to mouth, holding him up to ridicule. Moham med
arranged for her to be assassinated. She was stabbed in her
tent, surrounded by her five children.
INTOLERANCE TOWARDS OTHER RELIGIONS
Islam is the only religion in the world which teaches
that converts can be won at the point of a sword. The KORAN
says that those who won't accept Islam are to be killed. "When
ye encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye
have made a great slaughter among them."
The KORAN says: "Fight those who believe not in Allah"
and that Moslems are to fight against non-believers until
"there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and every-
where." We have already seen what kind of 'justice' exists
when Islam is established as the religion of a country.
The KORAN says: "Fighting is prescribed for you, and
ye dislike, but it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is
good for you." "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam
(submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of rim." The
KORAN continues: "How many populations have we
A great deal is made of the tolerance of Islam towards
Christianity and Judaism. This is exaggerated. Islam was
more tolerant towards these two religions than it was towards
paganism, but that is not saying much.
Mohammed regarded the Christian doctrine of the trinity
as being the worship of three gods. Also that the central
teaching of Christianity--that Jesus is the son of God--is
blasphemous. The KORAN says that those who believe these
two things will go to hell. The KORAN says: "O ye who
believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends
and protectors. They are friends and protectors to each
It should be remembered that the Moslems delivered an
entirely unprovoked attack on many Christian countries. When
they took Christian Constantinople the streets ran with blood.
A great part of the Moslem empire consisted of countries that
had formerly been Christian.
Just before Mohammed died, he expressed the wish that
there "not remain any faith but that of Islam throughout the
whole land of Arabia." In accordance with his wishes the Jews
and Christians were expelled from that country.
The pagans bore the brunt of Islamic fury. Sir William
Muir says of these: ". . .but for the rest the sword is not to be
sheathed till they be exterminated, or submit to the faith
which has become superior to every other religion."
The KORAN says: "...fight and slay the pagans
wherever you find them." Another translation says: "Kill
those who ascribe partners to God." Again, the KORAN says
that pagans are unclean. Other translations use the word
'polytheist' instead of 'pagan' and one translates this verse as
'polytheists are filth'.
This is sometimes considered to be justified as most
people are ignorant of the nature of the religion of Arabia
before Islam. The image conjured up is of hideous idols, and
human sacrifices, and corrupt priesthood. This is not borne
out by the facts.
There was no religious prejudice or persecution before
Mohammed and charities existed to look after orphans; they
also collected money to buy the freedom of slaves.
The Meccans did not turn against him until he attacked
their gods, and announced that their ancestors were in hell.
Glubb says that the attitude of the pagans towards their
temples and images were similar to that of the British to
Westheimer Abbey, and other similar places in England
It is worth noting that there was no priesthood in the
paganism of Arabia of the time. Though Islam is not supposed
to have priests, the equivalent has developed in most Moslem
countries, and a religious establishment has arisen, which in
many of them has enormous power. So in this respect Islam
was a retrograde step.
Also the god concept of Islam can hardly be an improve-
ment on paganism, as even though Allah is called 'the merci-
ful, the beneficent', this is hardly borne out by his action in
torturing all non-believers in hell forever. A description of the
Moslem hell will give some idea of the nature of the sort of
god they believe in.
THE MOSLEM HELL
In the Moslem hell one's skin is constantly being renewed
after being roasted through so the victim can "taste the
penalty." They will be wearing a garment of fire. They will
eat foul fruits and be made to drink boiling water. Over their
heads will be poured boiling water. The water is not just
boiling but foetid and "in gulps will he sip it, but never will he
be near swallowing down his throat. Death will come to him
from every quarter, yet will he not die; and in front of him
will be a chastisement unrelenting." It will last forever, and it
will not be lightened and he will be in despair. They will beg
for death but it will be denied. As if that were not
enough--"there will be maces of iron to punish them,"
The intolerance of Islam towards polytheism (the worship
of more than one god) has drowned the world in blood. This
was particularly the case in India. In most parts of the world
the pagans found it easier to give in and become Moslems. But
the Hindus were prepared to fight.
When the Moslems got to India they attacked the Hindus,
killed them, and destroyed their temples and images. In
Kanauj alone 10,000 temples were destroyed, and 50,000
Hindus were killed.
The Hindus Bet on with each other quite well. There has
been very little conflict between the various sects of that
religion. As far as they are concerned a man can worship
anything he wants or nothing at all. Hinduism is very tolerant
in the matter of religion.
The religious strife between Moslems and Hindus is still
continuing. An eyewitness to the religious fighting during the
British Raj states:
"The moment the crowd decided that one of the opposite
religion had been killed, then everyone in one form of
dress would turn on the others... Thousands upon
thousands an hour being killed, and of course it was a
most terrifying sight. They'd pick up any weapon they
could, they shouted, they smashed, they always tried to
whittle out the opposition so that they were heavily
outnumbered... Or you could go across Harrar Bridge,
and you could see them being laid on their faces, with
their heads poking out over the bridge, and being behead-
ed into the river, and their bodies being thrown in after-
wards. Of course, at ter the riot the river was
practically choked with dead bodies ..."
In the years since Islam was first established vast
numbers of people must have died as a result of its teachings.
Glubb estimates that perhaps one or two people might have
been killed in a normal Bedoin raid. In the religious wars that
took place when Mohammed proclaimed Jihad (holy war) many
millions have been killed.
When India was granted independence over 1,000,000
were killed in the strife which broke out between members of
the two religions.
Even as I write these words reports are coming in from
all over the world--in India, Indonesia, Iran, the Philippines,
North Africa--of Moslems fighting each other, and the mem-
bers of other religions. One does not read of Buddhists, Jains,
Parsees fighting members of other religions. It's always the
Moslems who are involved--apart from Protestants and Catho-
lics fighting each other in Northern Ireland.
One can only conclude that there is something about this
religion that causes this to happen. This is the 'holy' book of
Islam, the KORAN, that incites its followers to attack and kill
those who belong to other faiths.
THE SUPPRESSION OF KNOWLEDGE
One myth that is widely believed is that Islam promoted
knowledge, but this is not the case. In later centuries a high
civilization did develop in Moslem countries, but this was
despite Islam, not because of it.
Gibb says: "The struggle to subordinate all intellectual
life to the authority of religion went on for many centuries in
successive regions of the Muslim world."
In the first and second centuries of Islam "a Moslem's
duty was to practice Islam and not medicine." The KORAN
and the mosque remained the basis of Arab education until the
Abbasids initiated a great age of learning in the 9th century.
Arab civilization was built on that of Greece, Persia, and
Rome. Islam initially set these back. It is said that the
Moslems preserved the knowledge of the Greeks, but it was
already being kept by the Byzantines, and Moslems merely
continued this process. All the evidence indicates that Islam
was a danger to Greek thought, and that it was just a lucky
accident that it survived at all under this religion.
In 744 the rationalist Caliph Yazid 111 decreed that the
doctrine of predestination should give way to that of free will.
Then in 762 the capital of Islam was moved to Baghdad, in
Persia, and civilization began again to flourish in the middle
east. This owed more to the ancient civilization of Persia,
which had already been 1,000 years old when Mohammad was
born, than it did to Islam.
"... Persian songs, as well as Persian ideas and
thoughts, won the day...and paved the way for a new era
distinguished by the cultivation of science and scholarly pur-
The Islamic world has sunk back into ignorance again,
and even in such great universities as Al-Azhar at Cairo--the
largest Moslem university in the world--the KORAN is the
basis of education. In many schools the children learn nothing
else. The KORAN remains the basis of the law, and the
foundation of the Moslem legal, judicial, and political system,
and the guide to every aspect of life.
Another myth about Islam is that it promoted equality.
In reality Islam permitted the ultimate inequality--slavery.
As Muir says of Mohammed: "He rivetted the fetter." "There
is no obligation whatever on a Moslem to release his slaves.'
Mohammed himself had slaves--17 men and 11 women.
One of the early Caliphs, Omar "insisted on a medieval
Apartheid with the Arabs as master race."
In subsequent years the Arabs had one of the worst
records as slavers, and this has continued right up till the
later years of the 20th century and may still be going on.
Some of the worst feudal regimes in history were based on
Islam as is the present regime in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed himself set a procedure for this by ruling
Arabia as absolute dictator. Nutting says: "Mohammed con-
centrated all power, temporal and spiritual in his own hands,
and had combined in himself the offices of lawgiver, chief
judge, and commander, head of state and head of church."
He never bothered (or Allah never revealed to him) to
convey the method by which he was to be succeeded. After
his death this led to the bloody wars between the @#%$ite and
DON'T PRAY FOR RELATIVES
On returning from a raid against a tribe called the Banu
Lahyan, Mohammed stopped at the grave of his mother. The
following 'revelation' prevented him from praying for her
soul: "It is not fitting for the Prohet and those who believe,
that they should pray for forgiveness for pagans, even though
they be next of kin ... "
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
According to Moslem halal rites, when any animal is
slaughtered, the man who kills it must face towards Mecca,
and say a prayer when he cuts its throat. It is essential for the
animal to bleed to death, and it must be fully conscious, and
cannot be tranquilized, or stunned.
The very essence of Islam is a supine acceptance of a
grovelling acceptance of one's lot. The word tIslam' itself
means submission. That is the will of Allah. They believe that
nothing happens without His permission, so there is no point in
trying to do anything about improving this life.
The doctrine of predestination is taught in the KORAN,
9.51 and in other passages.
ISLAM AND ART
Islam had a bad effect on art, as Mohammed disliked
painting, music and poetry. Luckily, the liking of the Arabs
for the last two of these was too great for his influence to
have much effect. It was on painting and sculpture that Islam
had the worst influence, as all representations of either human
or animal forms were forbidden, so their art was restricted to
Mohammed said that those who decorate their tombs and
churches with paintings "were the worst part of all creation."
The example of the life of Mohammed is taken, with the
KORAN, as a guide to how life should be lived. It is therefore
very important to consider his character, and acts. When I
began writing this pamphlet, I did not think that I would like
Mohammed. But the more I read about him the less attractive
did I find him.
He was guilty of the worst crimes any man can commit--
murder. On one occasion he had the entire male population of
a Jewish tribe, the Bani Quraizah, massacred and then had the
women and children sold into slavery. Every book on Moham-
med mentions this incident, and the KORAN, 33.26 refers to
Mohammed had people killed for the most trivial rea-
sons. A man called Kinana ibn All al Huquiq, who was the
leader of a Jewish tribe whose fort was captured by the
Moslems, tried to conceal the fact that he had gold. When an
informer told Mohammed of this he had Kinana tortured by
having hot coals put on his chest till he was nearly dead, and
then he was killed.
A man called Al Nadhr, who was a teller of tales, used to
say of Mohammed to his audiences: "Are not my stories as
good as his?" For this Mohammed orderd that his head be
struck off. After the battle of Badr a man called Uqba was
taken prisoner. When he was being taken away to be executed
he said to Mohammed: "What will become of my little
children." Mohammed replied: Hellfire."
It might be thought that I am quoting from books which
are hostile to Mohammed. This is not so. Only Muir's book is
slightly hostile to him. All the others go out of their way to
portray him in a favourable light. We have enough evidence in
the KORAN of Mohammed's cruel nature, in the punishments
he ordered, his descriptions of hell, and his incitements to his
followers to kill people.
Though he ordered the horrible mutilation of the cutting
off of hands for theft, he was himself one of the biggest
thieves in history. A 'revelation' from Allah permitted Moham-
med to keep one-fifth of the spoils captured from the towns
his followers invaded, and the caravans they raided.
He was incredibly prudish. At Medina it was the
practice to fertilise the female date palm tree by hand.
Mohammed was so disgusted by this that he forbade his
followers to practice it. The result was that hardly any of the
trees bore fruit, so he had to rescind his order.
At the same time he was extremely lecherous, as can be
seen by the large number of wives he had. Karl Brookelmann,
in his book, HISTORY OF THE ISLAMIC PEOPLES, says that
Mohammed's death was brought on by "an excess of pleasure-
taking in the harem."
The only thing that can be said in his favour was that he
did on occasion refrain from killing people. I can't myself see
that to be a particularly great virtue.
It might be wondered how a man with this sort of
character could become so admired, and could attain the
position he did. What is not realised is that many people of
the time detested him.
After ten years of preaching in Mecca he only had
acquired 70 followers. When he secured a base at Medina, he
used the same methods as Hitler or the American gangster Al
Capone to establish his religion. All the accounts that tell us
of him are biased in his favour, as death or exile awaited
anyone who criticised Mohammed or the KORAN when Islam
became the state religion of Arabia.
It might be said that Mohammed was a man of his time.
but we must judge him according to the standards of today,
not those of 1200 years ago. We should try to improve on the
ethics of the past. Moslems claim that Islam is a religion for
our time, and it is by the ideals of this century that we should
measure it, not by those of the 7th century.
According to these standards Mohammed was a cruel
barbarian, merciless and fanatical. He introduced religious
hatred into large parts of the world that before were tolerant
on such matters. He curtailed the freedom of women. He
endorsed slavery. He broke up families. He ordered cruel
punishments. The world would have been a better place if he
had never been born.
From publication of the Rationalist Association of N.S.W.
58 Regent Street, Chippendale, N.S.W. 2008, Australia.