Islam did not destroy national culture
Stabroek News
January 15, 2002

Dear Editor,

Because starting from nothing, (no Roman legions, no Industrial Revolution, no New World, no new weapons), Islam begat a world wide enduring religion, the only faith based Prophet led state known to history and within 100 years a phenomenal empire of faith wedded to knowledge, science and philosophy, and encompassing most of the then civilised world, Islam has many enemies from superpowers to Accabre Nkofis (Stabroek News 5, 17 and 31 December and 7 January 2002).

Vastly different cultures seem to pose little difficulty for Islam, whether Chinese, Mongol, African or Russian. Muslims seem to have strength no matter what the odds. Superpowers are wary because though Muslims no longer have the technology or military strength they once so gloriously wielded, Islam is still a rapidly expanding faith and in recent times, it has begun to make significant numbers of converts in industrialized societies.

Accabre Nkofi repeatedly charges Islam and Muslims with slavery "more brutal and terrible than Western slavery." (SN 17/12). My pointing out that the dehumanizing slavery known to us here, plantation slavery, existed nowhere in the muslim world and my citing of 1400 year old fundamental anti slavery tenets from the extant Quran and the chain proven transmitted sayings of Muhammad (On Whom Be Peace) (SN 9/12/2001), had nil effect. With neither historicity nor cerebration, Mr Nkofi vacuously repeats his charge of Islamic slavery.

I had two others point out from the full glare of world history, that Muslims didn't persecute but saved Bilal, (the first black muslim) from persecution. Programmed, Mr Nkofi simply repeats his charge (SN 31/12) that muslims persecuted Bilal, as though repeating the charge is proof.

Initially (SN 5/12), Mr Nkofi claimed that Islam is too difficult for Africans. To become muslims, he said, Africans would have to give up everything, their history, culture and even their names. I proved (SN 9/12) that this is not so. Now he says Islam is too easy for Africans. Their religions "are highly philosophic and require much training and commitment" (SN 17/12).

I state (SN 19/11) that the first muslims had to seek refuge with the Christians in Abyssynia. One month later, Mr Nkofi (SN 17/12) writes that "I seem to forget" that favour from African Christians.

The patent historical facts are:

(1) Huge majorities of muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia and 10% of China accepted Islam and manifestly retained their pre Islamic civilisation, their culture, history and national identity to this day. No muslim armies ever went there.

(2) Prophet Muhammad (On Whom Be Peace) exemplarily made Usama the son of his freed slave, Zayd commander in chief of the entire muslim armed forces. Following his example, several of the Caliphs of the Abbasid Empire (750 to 1250 A.D.), leaders of the then civilised world, were sons of slaves. Far from dehumanizing the P.O.W. slaves by prohibiting their reading, writing and association as plantation slavery did, Prophet Muhammad (OWBP) instituted that a slave could earn his/her freedom by teaching others to read and write. The Mamhuk Dynasty from Cairo (1250 to 1517 A.D.) led the muslims and the world for 267 years. "Mamhuk" means "slave". In other than Muslim annals, the rise and prosperity of such a dynasty as the Mamhuk is not even conceivable. With this stunning demonstration of mankind's equality, slaves and the exploited including those of the Indian caste system flocked to Islam as Mr Nkofi himself would have done.

(3) The Bible outlaws homosexuality. Guyanese law outlaws robbery with violence but homosexuality and banditry persist. Even if Nkofi could have proved his vacuous charges about Libyans and muslim slavers, who but Mr Nkofi would in lucid moments blame the law for the thieves?

How can anyone take seriously the uncle Tomism that lauds Europeans for post slavery contribution and reparation (Accabre Nkofi S.N. 7/1/02) when before the sun set on the century when slavery was abolished, those same Europeans, Maxim gun and repeater rifle to spears, brutally carved up the whole of Africa and all who stood in their way?

Triumphally, Mr Nkofi re asserts the existence of African religions before Islam when for muslims there is absolutely no question about that fact. Almighty God Himself tells us in the Quran that before Muhamad (OWBP). He sent prophets to every nation beginning with Adam (OWBP). His Quran expressly demands that all muslims believe in all those Prophets.

The issue is not whether Africa had religions. It is where, for posterity, is their book and if there is a book how was it preserved from interpolation, translation etc.? In the absence of paper and other means of record, how could the Africans or for that matter any mankind, have preserved their Gospels? If I challenged Mr Nkofi to produce two African elders (one for corroboration) who have stored the gospel of one African religion accurately and completely, he would look all over to no avail and yet the answer stares him in the face. I gave it to him in the young African imam of Kitty masjid and the thousands of Africans who can recite the entire Quran by rote. Yes, all the genuine African religions, indeed all genuine religions, taught submission to the will of God, the literal meaning of "islam" with a common "I" and thus all are contained in the Quran. When in the 7th century A.D. preservation became possible, the Almighty God ensured it was all written and preserved, free from vagaries and interpolations. To hold otherwise i.e. that God sent different religions to His "single nation of Mankind whether AD or BC, is to accuse the Almighty God of prejudice.

Now Mr Nkofi claims (SN 7/1/02) that the slaves couldn't have been muslim because Islam came to Africa after our African ancestors were wrenched from Africa but this letter is long enough. God willing, I shall deal with that separately. As Mr Nkofi says to my brother, Addul Rahim Forde, (SN 7/1/02), "any religion or action based on untruth will eventually crumble".

I repeat my call to our African brothers and sisters, Guyanese and Caribbean, to revert to the religion of their ancestors, Islam.

Yours faithfully,

Shahabudin McDoom