"Submission Complete" At Harvard: Quranic Teachings Promoted As Epitome Of Justice

tvr's picture
Submitted by tvr on Tue, 2013-12-10 04:33

Earlier this year the US' pre-eminent school of law posted a verse of the Qur'an at the entrance of its law faculty.

The verse reads:

“O ye who believe!

Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses

To Allah, even as against
Yourselves, or your parents,

Or your kin, and whether

It be (against) rich or poor:

For Allah can best protect both.”

Regardless of the completeness or accuracy of the quote (the verse, Surah 4:135, is truncated and not properly translated; the full and more accurate translation may be read here: http://quran.com/4/135), the problem with it is that it invokes "Allah" as the source and arbiter of justice and rights and the Surah from which it comes is one that elaborates on what Allah's "justice" involves, commanding that:

- "humiliating punishment" will be given to anyone who is not a "believer" or who "disobeys Allah" [4:151 and 4:14 respectively], including anyone who does not share their wealth [4:37] or flaunts it [4:38];
- that under the law "men are in charge of women" [4:34];
- Allah will "drive them into a Fire" all who "disbelieve" whereby "Every time their skins are roasted through We will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment." [4:56];
- of apostates to "seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper" [4:89];
- for believers not to make non-believers allies [4:139-140];
- that one may not charge interest on loans [4:161]

Harvard Law's entrance wall has just three quotes, being the three considered by the faculty as the most universally applicable of the 150 that were submitted for consideration. The other two are “An unjust law is no law at all” [St Augustine] and “To no one will We sell, to none will We deny or defer, right or justice” [from the Magna Carta].

The ironic fact is that Harvard (and the world by following it's lead) is in effect selling, denying and deferring what remains of enlightened Western notions of rights and justice for Quranic teachings that are (by Western standards) wholly wrong and unjust.

What the West needs right now is for influential institutions like Harvard to promote the idea that justice is based in objective reality, not in mysticism, and how only objective law - that is, law derived from an objective code of ethics - can ever assign just and proper effects to appropriate actors in a societal setting, and, not to promote any ideas that are in contradiction with this basic principle.

"Non-objective law is the most effective weapon of human enslavement: its victims become its enforcers and enslave themselves." - Ayn Rand, “Vast Quicksands, The Objectivist Newsletter, July 1963, p25

[Note: edit corrections made 29/12/13]


Jules Troy's picture

That is actually a very good way of going about things!  Well said man.


tvr's picture

You wrote:

"The software installed, the virus, is the enemy and to blame, rather than the hardware. But is that then a body/soul dichotomy?"

No. The context of my comment and metaphor is the import of the emotion of hate into any attribution of blame. That is the sole choice of the person doing the judging. Adding hate to blame is self-destructive, that is my point. My "if anything" does not attribute hateful blame to the virus, it merely implies that if one must direct hate towards a thing, then it should be towards the virus and not the person. One only has an opportunity to successfully appeal to a person's free will if one does not carry or exhibit hate towards them. Good will is the key that unlocks the door to changing peoples' minds. If a person does not possess free will, then it makes as much sense to harbor hate towards them as it does to harbor hate toward a rock that might fall on your head. That is not to say that one has a moral obligation to actively pursue changing other peoples' minds, or that one should not actively avoid and defend oneself from wrongdoers and point out their wrongs. Each person is responsible for their own thoughts and actions and should act in their own rational self-interest.

Religion(s) of Rest In Peace

tvr's picture


Jonathan Swift's anecdote comes to mind: "You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place". And this one of Ayn Rand: "I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason."

I disagree that the outcome is a foregone conclusion. That would be to deny free will. But yes, things do look bleak at the moment. One can only do what one can do though, so let us make sure we do at least that.


gregster's picture

Personally, I do not consider anyone to be my enemy. Not even jihadi Muslims. Not in the sense normally implied by the term that is. I simply refuse to hold hate in my heart. One would not label an otherwise friendly dog that has contracted rabies as one's enemy, if hate were necessary to use the term. The poor fellow is a dangerous threat, sure. Unfriendly, definitely. But it is the rabies that is the dog's enemy if anything.

That is an interesting point. The software installed, the virus, is the enemy and to blame, rather than the hardware. But is that then a body/soul dichotomy? The software won't operate without hardware just as the human can't act without thought. Is the idea evil or is the person who holds the idea and acts on it evil? The software installed by humans and subhuman muslims is by their volition. The idea on its own isn't a threat, but ideas don't exist on their own, they are not metaphysical. Do we hate the virus and forgive the carrier? In the case of evil ideas, I don't believe so.

Sadly Terry..

Jules Troy's picture

There is no cure for rabies other than the anti-virals given to you before you show symptoms if you are bitten by an animal(or person) that you suspect may have rabies.

I believe this to be metaphorically true for the most part with Islam and to a lesser extent other religious beliefs as well.  At what age does a child become so irrevocably dogma-indoctrinated to set his path irrevocably away from the path of reason?

One only had to look here on past threads by Christians that posted here to see it is pretty much hopeless regardless of how well one puts forth rational discourse.  As far as religious furvor is concerned a muslim who's sole guide to action is his faith (albeit on steroids) is forever lost to using reason as his model for interacting with people of differing views.   This mindset is so entrenched that they will allow bombs to be strapped to their children in their nihilistic rabid Allah worship to strike out against innocents who do not submit to Allah's will.

The west has not the will or the moral backbone to stop it.  9/11 is proof of that.  When the US refused to avenge that act upon the truly guilty they lost the moral high ground.  13 years of chasing the snakes tail instead of cutting off its fucking head.

Religion of pieces....

Researching "Peace" In The Qur'an

tvr's picture

Jules, clearly those debating against the motion were poorly informed/prepared.

Out of curiosity I visited this website which provides six of the main scholarly translations of the Quran into English, and did a search on the word "peace" there. I invite you and others to do the same to confirm my findings below.

Of the 6326 verses in the Quran, 135 return with at least one of the six translations employing the word "peace". Of those 135, incredibly, just 13 are neither in reference to the Islamic afterlife (i.e. have the context of peace in death) nor pertain exclusively to the Islamic salutation "Peace be upon X" and when/how that salutation has or should be used. 7 of the remaining 13 verses either instruct not to pursue peace should the other party not submit to Islam, or else refer to peace in some future wholly Islamic world (see 47:35, 70:28, 49:9-10, 4:91, 4:114, 24:55, and 4:94). Of the remaining 6 verses, 3 of them are about resolving inheritance and marital disputes between Muslims (4:128, 2:182 and 4:35), leaving just three "peace" verses that have any practical relevance to this life other than commanding Muslims what they should do if one of them dies or divorces. Let us look now at the three verses:

4:90 instructs Muslims to maintain peace with other Muslims who they deem "hypocrites" for fighting for Islam but "not in the way of Allah" so long as they do not fight against those who are fighting "in the way of Allah". This verse and those surrounding it helps explain why there are so many Muslims killing Muslims. It is a recipie for perpetual conflict between those who fight "in the way of Allah" (meaning the Islamofascists, who seek total political domination for Islam) and everyone else, Muslim or not.

5:16 pertains only to Jews and Christians ("People of the Book") instructing Muslims that "Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace". In other words, Jews and Christians may only experience (Islam's version of) peace under certain conditions as prescribed by Islam.

2:224: "And do not make [your oath by] Allah an excuse against being righteous and fearing Allah and making peace among people."

This last verse, 2:224, is the only one I have found in the whole Quran that seems to instruct Muslims to be peaceful towards both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and to do so in this life. The sentence immediately preceding it however reads "And give good tidings to the believers", which calls into question whether the "people" in the next sentence is in reference to non-Muslims as much as it is in reference to Muslims. Furthermore, the Al-Baqara surah, from whence this verse comes, is chronologically earlier than the notoriously "violent" Qur'anic verses, meaning that if one applies the abrogation rule, those "violent" verses found later in the Quran should by right supersede this seemingly "peaceful" verse should there be a contradiction between the two. So the jury is out on it still, for me anyway.

How is it that Islam has gained the reputation and been afforded the title "Religion of Peace" when the word "peace" appears in but 2% of Quranic verses and where for the most part those placements pertain to "peace" in some afterlife, i.e in death?

It is interesting to note that the word "punish(ment)" is found in 563 verses. Sure, 102 verses employ the word "love", but upon digging deeper the context overwhelmingly concerns what Allah loves, such as "Allah loves those who fear Him", or what idolators love (with Allah's disapproval), or what Allah does not love.

Chillingly, many well-meaning Muslims often quote verse 9:6 as being evidence of a peaceful verse: "And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know." The way I read this verse, in the context of the surrounding verses, which is that Muhammed made a treaty with some polytheists and he wanted to honor his word before finally conquering Mecca, and, that polytheists who desert their own side cannot be considered party to that treaty any longer, is that the "place of safety" referred to is death. I am open to be shown otherwise, but for now, that is my take on it.

Personally, I do not consider anyone to be my enemy. Not even jihadi Muslims. Not in the sense normally implied by the term that is. I simply refuse to hold hate in my heart. One would not label an otherwise friendly dog that has contracted rabies as one's enemy, if hate were necessary to use the term. The poor fellow is a dangerous threat, sure. Unfriendly, definitely. But it is the rabies that is the dog's enemy if anything. I do however recognize, and most consciously so, the absolute necessity of taking whatever actions are necessary to defend myself (and others) from any and all acts of aggression by those who consider me (and others) to be an enemy of theirs. Such, I hold, is the only mindset that can ever vanquish evil from and establish peace for mankind in the long run, along with the rest of what constitutes a rational morality of course.


Jules Troy's picture

It is unfortunate that you were not on the opposing debate team..

"Submission Complete" At Oxford Too

tvr's picture

The world's most prestigious debating society, the Oxford Union, moved earlier this year that "Islam is a Religion of Peace" in what it hailed as a momentous and historic debate.

In arguing for the affirmative, political editor of the UK version of The Huffington Post and Muslim himself, Mehdi Hasan, swept the floor with his powerful oratory (see first video below). The opposition was too ignorant or meek to counter, Daniel Johnson excepted, but by his conceding that Islam could be a religion of peace, handed the affirmative side their premise (see second video). The Union thus found in favor of Islam's being a "religion of peace" with 286 Yeses and 168 Nos. 

What is notable in Hasan's delivery is that he argues using duplicitous terms while misrepresenting the facts. Examples of the former are his use of the terms "innocents", which non-Muslims typically take to mean non-criminals according to Western notions of justice and law but which Muslims use as meaning Muslims and Dhimmi (i.e., those who are compliant with Quranic notions of justice and law), and "Islam" to mean "peace" when it actually means submission ("salaam" is the Arabic word for peace). An example of the latter is his reference to a Gallup poll claiming that it reported that 93% of the 50,000 Muslims interviewed in 35 countries "rejected" the 9/11 attacks as being unjustified, when in actual fact the poll found that 38.6% of Muslims believed that the 9/11 attacks were justified (7% "fully", 6.5% "mostly", 23.1% "partially"). 

There is only one path to peace: rationality.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.