Exposing David Wood: Of Mosques and Men, Pt. 2

David Wood Rambles

In my last article I debunked the lies and disinformation in the first half of David Wood’s anti-Muslim/anti-Mosque diatribe. Since then we have received a lot of comments and tips regarding the background of David Wood. Apparently David Wood is a Teaching Fellow at Fordham Universitywhere he is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy. I wonder if the administration at Fordham would consider Wood’s anti-Muslim activities as being in line with its Jesuit traditions and values? Maybe we should start a campaign to let them know?

Paul Williams, of the Muslim Debate Initiative has also stated that David Wood told him during a debate, in front of an audience of a hundred or more, that he attempted to murder his father and that he was sent to a mental institution for the attack which left his father permanently disabled,

About a year ago I moderated a debate at Westbourne Park Baptist Church (my old church here in London), between Wood and a Muslim. In front of an audience of probably one hundred people, mostly Christians, Wood told the audience of some of the more disturbing aspects of his past including his unspeakable attack on his own father with a hammer. Happily his father did not die (though Wood says he really wanted to kill him). His father is permanently disabled however. Wood spent time in a mental institution.

Yahya Snow, an Islamic apologist who has been following David Wood’s work also commented that Wood told him that, “his blog is not about evangelising to Muslims but about ‘warning’ non-Muslims about Islam.” This would explain why he and his group were the sole Christian Evangelical group arrested at the Dearborn Arab Festival, slamming on its face the argument that they were being “persecuted” for preaching Christ.

In fact, a few Evangelical Christians who witnessed the event wrote on David Wood’s blog (via. MDI),

Spiffy the Basset said…

‘This is a complete and total lie and David and Nabeel should be ashamed of themselves. Tonight, just as last night, there were dozens of Christians and former muslims at the festival witnessing to muslims. None of them had problems with people. None of the other several dozen “Christian preachers” were arrested. Lies, lies, and more lies.

The same happened last night. I saw Nabeel and David showboating and trying to cause a scene and know they were not only expecting to be arrested, but to some degree, trying to get arrested.

They care more about their hatred for islam than their love for muslims. I have evangelized in many continents and in places far more hostile than the dearborn festival, but can say with experience that they did not at all suffer for the cross, they suffered for their egos.’

June 19, 2010 10:52 PM

All of this makes me wonder if I should waste time even debunking the rest of the anti-Mosque video. David Wood is an obvious huckster with real problems. Maybe a longer stay at the mental institution was in order?

Anyhow, someone has to drudge through the swamp and refute the lies, lies, lies.

Of Mosques and Men

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxFzFIDbKpg&feature=player_embedded 350 300]

Picking up from the 3:00 mark David says,

This is when I first realized that there were two forces at work within Western Muslims like Nabeel. On the one hand he was born and raised in the United States, his father was in the US military, he loved America, but on the other hand, even though he came from the most peaceful sect of Islam there was something in Nabeel that allowed him to smile when there were terrorist attacks. Now those of you who know personally, who know Muslims close enough to where they can tell you what they really think, you know that this is really quite common, good citizens in public, not so good citizens in private.

What words can describe the above verbal barf and pseudo-psychological sewage spewed by Wood? He uses Nabeel, a Christian apologist and leader in Wood’s organization, (who seems not to mind being used as his ex-Muslim-mascot-that-evidences-the innate-evil-of Muslims-example) to drive the point home that even if you are a “peaceful Muslim,” there is something hidden, somethingstealth about you.

If this doesn’t sound eerily similar to the anti-Semitic racism and sinister conspiracies about Jews that were propagated in the past then you need to read up on history. Wood’s entire monotone delivery has the timbre of a sleazy used car salesman combined with a soothsaying Nazi propagandist trying hard to sound like Captain Kirk.

The hypocrisy is also glaring, someone needs to tell David Wood that if he really wants to talk about “good citizens in public, not so good citizens in private” he should look towards his Christian brethren; to the likes of Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard, not to mention those family value politicians who love to trumpet their Christian bona fides while fondling male pages at the same time. I think there was once a Jewish carpenter who summed it up best, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Wood is not content to end the disinformation and pseudo-psychological babble about “duel-Muslim natures,”

Interestingly, this duel Muslim nature is advocated in the Quran. If you turn to Surah 3, verse 28, you will see that the Quran says, “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security.” So if you’re a Muslim you are not supposed to be friends with unbelievers unless to protect yourself.

What this means is that if Muslims feel threatened by a stronger advisory, say the United States of America, they can pretend to be friendly in order to protect themselves, in order to guard themselves against these unbelievers. The greatest Islamic  commentator of all time, Ibn Kathir comments on Surah 3:28, and he says, that when Muslims are outnumbered by a stronger advisory, “…believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly but never inwardly.”

He goes on to quote Muhammad’s companion, Abu Darda who said “we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.”

Wood again propagates half-truths and lies to further mislead his audience into viewing Muslims as a sinister bunch not to be trusted even when they smile. He throws out context, history, theology and the polyvalent interpretations within Islamic canon. All with the aim of portraying Muslims as a deceiving group of untrustworthy criminals who telepathically communicate taqqiyah with each other like mindless ants as part of a plot to destroy the West.

THE FACTS:

The Literalist Ultra-Conservative interpretation:

The truth is there is a minority of Literalist ultra-Conservative Muslims who hold the opinion that Muslims should not be intimate friends with non-Muslims (I would venture to say 1% or less), because they fear Muslims will be put into a position of harm (physically and spiritually), will lose their religion, and take on the ways and mores of other religions.

However, even here there is a necessary caveat that must be made, this literalist minority while espousing the belief that one should not be close intimate friends with non-Muslims also states that one should deal justly and kindly with them, they say this based on the verse,

Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity. (60:8)

As for the latter part of the verse, the interpretation and selective quotation of Ibn Kathir, (presumptuously labeled the “greatest Islamic commenter ever” by Wood when no such position or authority exists) does not support Wood’s theory. In fact, it is an intellectually deceptive attempt that leaves out the true import of the verse and is even a clumsy handling of the Ultra-Conservative interpretation.

The ellipses that Wood inserted is the key to understanding the context. No where does Ibn Kathir mention “when Muslim are outnumbered by a stronger advisory,” (David Wood made that up whole-cloth). What he actually writes is,  ‘do not take disbelievers as friends in preference to Muslims,’ and the portion in question, unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, is rendered as unless you indeed fear a danger from them. Ibn Kathir then interprets it as “meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.”

So clearly we see that the ellipses purposely inserted by Wood hides the true interpretation given by Ibn Kathir. Ibn Kathir was essentially saying that Muslims who fear for their lives may be friendly in order to guard themselves from harm.

Think for example of the Spanish Inquisition, that was a time and a place where Muslims (and Jews) might have put the above into practice. Fearing for your own and your families safety is cause enough to show a “duel nature.” In fact, many Jews and Muslims under intense persecution proclaimed outwardly to have converted to Catholicism, while inwardly they remained Muslims and Jews, these crypto-Muslims (Moriscos) and crypto-Jews (Marranos) were known as Conversos.

Can David Wood honestly find fault with a verse that gives a dispensation to Muslims to save their lives and protect their religion by hiding it or acquiescing to their enemy in the face of danger or persecution?

David Wood bastardizes the verse by attributing an interpretation to Muslims that does not exist. He does this by asserting half-truthfully the minority ultra-conservative literalist interpretation.

The lie comes in the second half of the verse, where he attempts to say that when Muslims are “outnumbered,” they can be friendly with non-Muslims but inwardly they must hate them until a time comes when they have the numbers to take over, a position that the ultra-conservatives don’t advance. We have demonstrated that the literalist ultra-conservatives are in fact referring to a situation of danger that Muslims may find themselves in and not a tactic of domination.

The Context:

When we analyze this verse and its surrounding verses in context we learn that the verse was directed at the “hypocrites” (Munafiqoon), a group who entered Islam in outward appearance only in an attempt to destroy it. They had allied themselves with the sworn enemies of Islam, the pagan Meccans and their allies.

The Prophet Muhammad was speaking to his community in Medina and prophesied to them that one day they would hold sovereignty over the lands of Persia and Byzantium. The hypocrites responded by saying, “How preposterous!”

In response to this, verses 3:26-29 were revealed,the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, written about 100 years after Ibn Kathir’s exegesis explains,

When the Prophet (s) promised his community sovereignty over the lands of Persia and Byzantium, the hypocrites said, ‘How preposterous!’, and so the following was revealed, “Say, ‘O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.’” (3:26)

“You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.” (3:27)

Then we come to the verse in question, in it the word Awliya, which instead of being translated as  “friends” is more accurately rendered in the context as “allies,”

Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah , except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination.(3:28)

The Tafsir Jalalayn explains,

Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers — for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway — unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, ‘as a safeguard’, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts… (emphasis added)

The hypocrites in particular and humanity in general is then told,

Say, “Whether you conceal what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it. And He knows that which is in the heavens and that which is on the earth. And Allah is over all things competent. (3:29)

Tafsir al-Jalalayn explains,

Say, to them: ‘Whether you hide what is in your breasts, in your hearts, of patronage to them, or disclose it, manifest it, God knows it and, He, knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; and God is Able to do all things, and this includes punishing those who patronise them.

The above is indicative of how the majority of Muslims explain these verses; revelation in a context of war and betrayal. Particularly in response to the hypocrites who claimed to be Muslims but concealed their alliance and patronage with enemies who wanted to annihilate the nascent Muslim community.

We also see that the dispensation referred to in verse 3:28 pertains to particular situations Muslims might find themselves in when they are in danger.

This becomes even more evident when we realize that at the time of the revelation of this verse there were Muslims who lived in pagan Mecca who concealed their religion and had to show patronage to the enemies of the Muslims due to fear of death or torture. Referring to them the Quran says, ‘you may outwardly show that you are allied with those who are at war with Muslims and may harm you for being Muslim, but inwardly you should feel differently.’

To drive the point home we look at one more verse that puts this subject into context,

For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes and support others in driving you out, from turning to them for protection (or taking them as wali). Those who seek their protection they are indeed wrong- doers. (60:9)

Also, logically we have to question, if Islam doesn’t allow Muslims to befriend non-Muslims, why would it allow Muslim men to marry non-Muslims? Marriage is even more intimate than friendship, it is based on love and friendship.

Abu Darda’s statement: “We smile in the face of some…”:

David Wood then goes on to quote Muhammad’s companion, Abu Darda who said, “we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.”

The above quote from Abu Darda, which Wood employs as a means to bash us into the belief that Muslims have a “duel nature” actually comes back to bite him in the butt.

Abu Darda’s (hadith) statement can be found in Saheeh Bukhari, under the chapter heading, Al-Mudaaraah ma3 An’Naas which means “Politeness/Gentleness with the People.” So rather than being something Taqqiyah or Jihad related, this statement actually pertains to polite manners and etiquette!

In explaining the statement, Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, writer of one of the seminal explanations of Saheeh Bukhari wrote,

Ibn Battaal  said: Politeness is part of the attitude of the believers, and it is lowering the wing of humility to people, speaking gently, and not speaking harshly to them, which are among the best means of creating harmony.

Ibn Muflih, an eminent 14th century scholar of the Hanbali school wrote concerning Abu Darda’s statement,

This attitude of Abu Darda does not mean approving of something haram (prohibited); rather it is politeness that may achieve some purpose.

Ibn Abd’ al-Barr, an eminent scholar and jurist who predates Ibn Kathir also quoted Abu Darda’s statement with regard to the virtues of good manners.

Abu Darda’s statement was intended to be a spiritual teaching, meant (in Islamic theological semantics) as a “heart softener” toward those who have “hard hearts.” The context given is that some individuals have brash and very rude manners, and the best way to deal with them, even though you dislike them in your heart is through politeness and good manners, because that may eventually lead to the rude individual reforming him or herself. It is the actualization of the Quranic verse, “Repel evil with that which is better,” i.e. respond to evil with goodness.

“Don’t trust those evil Mooslims, please!”:

Wood continues,

What’s my point you ask? Well, the Muslims who want to construct a massive mosque here, assure us that they are doing it to honor the victims of 9/11 and not to construct a symbol of Islamic supremacy. They assure us that they are going to build a beacon of understanding and harmony. A place where people of all faiths to gather and condemn extremism.

[Pause]

Do you believe that?

If so, I would like to sell you a bottle of Wood’s magical cure all, from the miracle springs of Poland for the low low price $870.

This mocking and very ineffectual attempt at a joke falls dead on delivery. In this instance David Wood may not be selling “magic” holy water like many of his televangelist preacher/prophet brethren are want to do, but he is selling something else — hate.

Wood is pitching the idea that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a supporter of American intervention in Afghanistan and a Sufi is in cahoots with Bin Laden. You see, David Wood tells us, Muslims are all the same at the end of the day, when they speak of harmony and peace, and when they condemn terrorism they are not to be trusted.

What makes this especially ironic is that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf knew people in the Twin Towers! Many of his congregants worked there, but in Wood’s world those facts just don’t matter because the “Muslim other” cannot be allowed to share in the tragedy and suffering of 9/11, that would humanize them, that you would make them Americans.

Of Churches and Men?:

Wood then attempts to prove his point,

My friends, what did Muslims do when they conquered Mecca? They went to the Ka’ba, the center of pagan worship and they claimed it for Islam, what did Muslims do when they took Jerusalem, where did they build their mosque, they built it on the Temple Mount, when Muslims conquered Damascus, where did they build their mosque? They demolished the Church of St. John the Baptist and replaced it with a mosque. Why?

Cordoba Mosque with the Cathedral in the Middle

While Muslims have had their share of taking over Churches or other places of worship and converting them into Mosques (Hagia Sophia), in that age and time that was the practice of most religions, including Christianity. The Spanish did it when they invaded Cordoba and transformed the famous Cordoba Mosque into a Catholic Church by plopping a Cathedral right in the middle of the Mosque.

As far as the capturing of Mecca goes, then the uniqueness of the circumstances and context must be elaborated. According to Arab tradition, the founder of the Ka’ba was Prophet Abraham who dedicated it to the One God. The Muslims, whether we view them as correct or not, believed essentially that they were only restoring the Ka’ba for its original purpose as the House of the One God, similar to the Temple created by Solomon in Jerusalem. They did not believe that by abolishing the practice of idolatry at the Ka’ba that they were supplanting the old and original religion with a new one.

As for Jerusalem, we must note that when Muslims gained sovereignty over the city, the Temple Mount was being used as a trash dump by the Christians. There was no Jewish Temple and it is highly likely there was no Church. In fact, it was only under Muslim rule that Jews were allowed to come back to Jerusalem to worship, having previously been banned by the Byzantine Christians.

As for the Church of St. John the Baptist or what is known as the Umayyad Mosque today, then we are about to give David Wood a history lesson. Damascus is one of the, if not the, oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The site of the Umayyad Mosque has an interesting and unique historyof conquerors building religious structures devoted to their specific God(s) and cults,

It was 1000 BC at the latest when the Arameans built a temple here for Hadad, the god of storms and lightening. A basalt orthostat dating from this period, depicting a sphinx, has been discovered in the northeast corner of the mosque.

In the early first century AD, the Romans arrived and built a massive temple to Jupiter over the Aramean temple. The Roman temple stood upon a rectangular platform (temenos) that measured about 385 meters by 305 meters, with square towers at each corner. Parts of the outer walls of the temenos still survive, but virtually nothing remains of the temple itself.

In the late fourth century, the temple area became a Christian sacred site. The Temple of Jupiter was destroyed and a church dedicated to John the Baptist was built in its place. The church was (and is) believed to enshrine the head of the Baptist, and the site became an important pilgrimage destination in the Byzantine era.

Initially, the Muslim conquest of Damascus in 636 did not affect the church, as the building was shared by Muslim and Christian worshippers. It remained a church and continued to draw Christian pilgrims; the Muslims built a mud-brick structure against the southern wall where they could pray.

Under the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid, however, the church was demolished and the present mosque was built in its place between 706 and 715. An indemnity was paid to the Christians in compensation.

The Mosque still contains relics attributed to John the Baptist. It is a beacon of interfaith interaction and draws Christians (such as Pope John Paul II) and Manadeans. One notices also that the Church of St. John the Baptist itself was built after the destruction of a Roman Temple dedicated to Jupiter! Will David Wood say that act was a practice of Christian supremacy? Can we link that action with current projects by American Christian missionaries in Iraq and say that they are a sign of Christian supremacy?

In contrast to the Byzantines, the early Muslims who conquered Syria left the Christian Holy places untouched. If it was a practice of Muslims to convert the Holy places of non-Muslims into mosques to “show that they are in control,” surely the zealous companions of Muhammad would have immediately gone to the Church and made it into a mosque? However, it was 70 years later that the Mosque was built in its place, and quite out of pattern for conquerors, the Muslims actually paid an indemnity to the Christians as compensation for demolishing the Church.

The Conspiracy Theory Rears its Ugly Head:

Keep in mind, this was in the mind of Muslims all along, right after the September 11th attacks, Muslims were joking about filling the city with mosques and now they tell us that they are doing it to honor the victims of 9/11. Smiling in our faces while cursing us in their hearts. Come out of the cave America, it’s dark in there.

This brutally long and disgusting ode to disinformation, Islamophobia and bigotry finally comes to a close with one final outright and bold embrace of the conspiracy theory that has been the theme of this whole video: “keep in mind, this was in the mind of Muslims all along.”

Those crafty Muslims have been conspiring this whole time to take over our country and subjugate us to Islam! Somehow, in David Wood’s world the so called proposed Cultural Center and Mosque which he repeatedly and falsely refers to as “massive” was in the “mind of Muslims all along.” Bin Laden and his goons were working with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to build this Mosque. The plans announced by Cordoba Initiative that this is not a “massive mosque” but a center that will honor the victims (which by the way included 300 Muslims), contain a mosque, theater, gym, etc. cannot be believed because what Muslims say should never be trusted.

Why do I get the feeling that the only one who is truly smiling in our faces and cursing us in his heart is David Wood? A loon trying by any means possible to sow seeds of hate and suspicion. Such a person would benefit from the teaching of another famous Jew who was instructing his flock, “what­ever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

 

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