Where is the Ummah?
My next question concerns the teaching of the Quran on “Ummah” – unity among Muslims, that you are one nation and one people. Now Christianity does not require Christians to be one nation and one people, Christianity acknowledges multiple nations. Jesus said, “Think not I came to bring unity but a sword”. (Mt. 10:34) Paul the apostle writes. “There must be divisions among you to prove which is true”. (1 Cor. 11:19) Tragedy that it is, Northern Ireland can still be allotted for in the Christian belief system. The killing and prejudice cannot be, but the fact that there’s a schism within the belief system can be. The Quran is different. While Jesus prayed that the true believers would be one, He said he came to bring division. There’ll be factions among you to prove what is true, teaches the New Testament, but Ummah says that Muslims are one.
Now in the Katub, in the book of Genesis, we are told that Esau’s sword will always be against his brother and that Ishmael's seed will always be divided. Islam teaches that the Arab nations are descendents, of course, of them. Christians and Jews believe the Messiah, the Savior, would come through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Islam takes the Old Testament prophecies that Christians believe to be about Jesus and applies them to Mohammed. Having said that, I have to ask which is right: Is Esau’s sword against his brother? Is Ishmael’s seed divided? Or are Muslims “Ummah”? Are they one nation and one people?
One of the most popular films ever made by the motion picture industry was based on a book about the legendary T. E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, a British military officer who attempted to unite the warring Arab tribes against the Turks. He tried to unite them from fighting each other to a combined force to attack the Turks who were aligned with Germany. The Turks, who were themselves Muslims, mistreated the Bedouins and virtually enslaved those people who were today called, or call themselves, “Palestinian Arabs”. Lawrence of Arabia tried to unite these people, but they would not stay united. Islam was always looking for a Mahdi figure to unite Islam, but the Mahdi was defeated by the British ultimately despite the Battle of Khartoum and the death of General Gordon. Abdul Gamal Nasser tried to make Ummah, a pan-Arab unity militarily backed by the Soviet Union, but it did not work or did not last.
Many people have tried to bring Ummah. Mohammed was no sooner dead when the Sunni and Shi’a began to fight each other, ultimately in the Battle of Karbala, over who should take his place, Ali or his theocrats. Then there was a third sect, “Khariji”. They said Allah would reveal who was to be the successor of Mohammed on the battlefield. They began to slaughter each other. This hatred and killing went on until the 20th Century in the war between Iran and Iraq. 1.5 million Muslims were killed by other Muslims in a war between Sunni and Shi’a going back to the Battle of Karbala. (We’re going back here to the 8th Century.)
Why has it never worked? Why is there no Ummah? Why is it that the only way it appears to a Westerner that Muslims can be united is if they have a common enemy? Because it seems unless they have a common enemy they will kill each other.
The invasion of Kuwait – raping, burning, pillaging. The Americans and British liberate Kuwait and the Kuwaitis begin pogroms against the Palestinians, murdering, raping, pillaging.
When Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Arabs tried on the Jordanians what they today are doing with the Israelis – Palestinian nationalism – in September of 1970, King Hussein of Jordan systematically exterminated between 15-18,000 Palestinian Arabs in 12 days.
This is Muslims doing it to Muslims. They kill far more of each other than the Americans, the British, the West, or the Israelis ever killed. The West or the Israelis have never done to Muslims what they have done to each other. 1.5 million killed in the war between Iran and Iraq alone? The wars between Yemen and North and South – it goes on – the Polisario conflict in Morocco. I've heard the followers of Arafat saying, “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people. First we’ll kill the Jews, then we’ll kill the Christians.” Right now they're killing each other. Again, they did the same thing in Lebanon. Without a common enemy they kill each other.
If Allah is God, and if the Quran is true, why is it that Ummah has never been able to deliver what it promised?
Now again, Christendom can allow for schism and division; however, whenever two Christianized nations had a war, one was not a democracy. In the Western Judeo-Christian world, as opposed to the Muslim world, no two democracies have ever had a war. I have heard fundamentalist Islamic imams in Iran sing of the virtues of the English Puritans because of their piety, but they overlook the fact that those same English Puritans, for all their mistakes they may have had, established parliamentary democracy. Not a single Muslim country in the world is a democracy. Not really. Turkey comes the closest but it isn’t.
Not a single Muslim country will give Christians and Jews the rights they demand in Britain or America, but that is not my point or my question. My question is this: Since no two Westernized Christian Judeo-Christian democracies have ever had a war, but most Jihads – and they’ve called them “Jihads” – have been Muslims killing other Muslims, which religion should I believe? Should I believe a religion that has given rise to democratic institutions where no two democracies based on Judeo-Christian principles have ever had a war, or a religion where because of the religion there’s been nothing but war? There is no Ummah.
Historically there has been no Ummah, there never has been Ummah. The book of Genesis seems right. Esau’s sword remains against his brother, Ishmael’s seed remains divided. The Quran and Hadith has clearly been wrong. My question, my dear Muslim friends, and I’m only asking the question, if I have a Judeo-Christian worldview that has given rise to democratic freedom that does not exist in the Islamic world, why should I believe in Islam that cannot deliver the goods?
You only need to drive across the causeway from Malaysia to Singapore; you only need to cross the border at Elath into Jordan or Tabot into Egypt; you only need to take a ferry across the Bosporus or from Algeciras, Spain to the north coast of Morocco. The moment you as an educated Muslim go from the Judeo-Christian world to the Muslim world you see a big change. You know the air smells different. I just don’t mean the dirt or the grime or the congestion, I mean the freedom, the tolerance. Why have the sciences not bloomed in the Islamic world since its Golden Age when it was dominated by a philosophical Islam controlled by the Turks, not by a fundamentalist Islam controlled by the Saudi Wahab or the Iranian Shi’a imams? It just doesn't work. Why every morning in Terminal 3 at Heathrow are there so many Muslims bending over backwards to get into Britain? Why are they arriving in Italy and France every day of the week illegally? Why are they doing anything they can to get into to the United States via Mexico or whoever? Why don't they want to stay in the Islamic world? Some would say because they are missionaries for Islam, sent to convert it. These are not imams, most of them, these are economic refugees and you and I both know it; they’re intellectuals coming for intellectual freedom not available; they’re escaping war and conflict between Muslims like they do from Somalia.
Again, my question is since you have no Ummah, since your religion has been unable to deliver what it promised, why should I turn my back on a religion that has and accept one that hasn't? Why should I reject something that has worked in favor of something that has not? Let’s be honest – if it worked, you wouldn't be here.