The Golden Age

For the past several years the 1001 Inventions Exhibition has been travelling around the world spreading enlightenment about the Islamic Golden Age….well not exactly.

This is its accompanying short promotional film aimed at children, featuring Ben Kingsley as Muslim inventor al-Jazari.

Here is J Christian Adams exposing the linguistic sleight of hand running through both the film and the exhibition.

Here is Christian minister David Woods’ sardonic dissection of the Kingsley film and the Golden Age.

Perhaps a joint screening of the Ben Kingsley film and the David Wood video would make for an interesting school lesson.

Jihad vs Crusades

Do you remember when a crusade was a noble endeavour requiring courage and self-sacrifice? Not any more. If you hear the word used today it is invariably intended to mean brutal, unprovoked aggression against peaceful Muslims, something we in the West should be ashamed of. This is a travesty. In fact the crusades were a defensive response to hundreds of years of relentless jihad.

Who could have put the false version about? How can we redress the balance?

Fortunately Bill Warner has produced this short video illustrating the shocking reality of Jihad versus Crusades.

Mohammed

Ali Sina is an Iranian/Canadian ex-Muslim and critic of Islam. Frustrated by the whitewashed version of Mohammed presented to schoolchildren, he produced this honest biography. We suggest that it could usefully be presented alongside the usual course material for older children. It would doubtless lead to some interesting discussions.

On his Faith Freedom website Sina also features this abridged version of the earliest biography of Mohammed by Ibn Ishaq. This would likely be an eye-opener for any teacher prepared to go to the source.

NB The picture shows Mohammed presiding over the slaughter of 600-900 men of a captured Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayza. The women and children were sold into slavery.

Koran

It is often said that the Koran is the best prosecution witness against Islam. The problem for the uninitiated is that it is so impenetrable and confusing.

This version, the Koran at a Glance, highlights the bits of concern to non-Muslims, and also puts the suras (chapters) in the right order.

This is the Skeptic’s Annotated Koran with explanatory, and not often complimentary, notes.

This is a searchable Koran. Older children, not of a nervous disposition, might be interested to enter, for example, the word “fire”.

Sharia

Was ever anything more talked about and less known? There are several schools of Sharia, largely in agreement with each other since they are all based on the same scriptures. The most easily accessible version to English speakers is that of the Shafi’i school due to the modern translation of its manual of Islamic jurisprudence known as the “Reliance of the Traveller”.

Section O is of most direct concern to non-Muslims with its subsections on Apostasy, Jihad, the Dhimma (ie subjugated unbelievers) and the Caliphate.

It appears and disappears on the internet because of copyright issues but currently the quickest loading version is to be found HERE.

It would be suitable for older children.

At the same time they might usefully be told about the European Court of Human Rights case in which the court found that “Sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy….It considered that sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it”.

Save Our Schools

The Q Society, Australia’s leading Islam-critical organisation, runs a “Save Our Schools” campaign, promising that “Q will campaign against an education system allowing one-sided, positive-only images of Islam to be shown, that amounts to indoctrination rather than real education”.

Here is their comprehensive response to the publication “Learning From One Another” which represents the official attempt to introduce Muslim perspectives into the school curriculum.