I came to my study of Islam late in life, but I had studied religious texts all of my life starting being a teenager. I’ve studied Torah through an Orthodox synagogue. I’ve studied the New Testament a fair amount. I’ve studied Buddhist sutras, I’ve studied the Bhagavad Gita, I’ve studied a lot of religious texts, and then I came to Islam. Islam was very different, because it was so concerned with the non-Muslim. You see, when you read Buddha’s sutras, it’s concerned with how to be a Buddhist. It doesn’t concern itself with non-Buddhists.
Now here’s the problem – not only did Islamic doctrine concern itself with non-Muslims, the treatment of non-Muslims was terrible. There were two treatments of the son-Muslim – one is religious in that they went to hell, but the other is political, what happened to them in life today. So we need a special name for the non-Muslim, because non-Muslim is a neutral term, and yet the non-Muslim is not treated neutrally. They can be enslaved, tortured, raped, lied to, deceived, plotted against. These are not neutral things, these are political terms and they’re very harmful.
Now the Koran has a word for the non-Muslim. It’s called Kafir. K-A-F-I-R. Now, like everything else in the Koran, the meaning slightly shifts over time. At first the word Kafir just means someone who is not grateful, or who covers the truth. But as time goes on, finally the non-Muslim, the Kafir, can be destroyed in Jihad. So there’s a progression of different meanings the Kafir but in the end the Kafir can be harmed. And that’s the reason I don’t like being a Kafir. Now you all know I like to measure things, and so one of the things I measured was how much of the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith are about the non-Muslim. The answer – fifty one percent.
That is, most of Islamic doctrine concerns itself with the Kafir, which is a political problem, not just a religious problem. Now then, the Koran uses lot of different words for the non-Muslim that are religious. People of the book, pagan, polytheist, Jew, Christian apostate, infidel, but all of those who did not submit to the Sharia suffered a political consequence, which was some form of harm – death, torture, execution, assassination. These were political ends.
Now, Muslims like to tell us, we’ve seen, the people of the book, Christians and Jews, they’re not really Kafirs. They’re brothers in the family of Abraham. Let’s see how these brothers in the family of Abraham are treated. Do you think the Jews that they were executed, as people of the book, felt any different than the pagan who was executed? No.
The political consequence is the same. Submission of some form or another. There are different classes of Kafirs in the Koran. We have atheist, polytheist, deist, idolaters, and then Jews who believe in revelation but don’t believe in Mohammed’s revelation. But in the end, everyone’s a Kafir who does not believe in the Shahada. The Shahada is ‘There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.’
I view Islam as a political system, and the Sharia extends to all other religions, which is a political thing. They must all submit and run their lives according to the Sharia. The Kafir is a political class. Unfortunately, historically, their victims stand and suffer alone. That is, the Buddhists suffer and who knows about it? The suffering of the Africans under Jihad involved in slavery, who knows about that? The Hindus know about their own suffering, but they don’t really know about the suffering of the Christians who were in what was originally called Asia Minor, or what is called Turkey today. So, although the people suffer, they suffer alone. And I want to use the word Kafir to show that they all are the same political class.
Now I’m coming to one of my main points. Any time I make a video about religion that includes Christians and Jews, I get hate mail about that. People hate the Jews, they hate the Christians, they hate the Jesuits, they hate the Catholics, they hate the Protestants. Here’s the thing, go ahead and hate ’em, but know this, you, the hater, you’re going to suffer the same political result as the Jew, the Christian and everyone else.
Get the picture. You may not like other religions, but in the end, whether you’re an atheist or not, you’re going to suffer the same political consequences. This is the reason I want to use the word Kafir – to unite us politically. We’re all the same in a political class. Now then, how do you know that if you use Kafir as the right word?
And by the way, I use Kafir with a capital K, because I use it to mean a special meaning – all those who suffer under Islam. Here’s how you know you’re using the right word. You know who doesn’t want you to use that word? Muslims. You see, it’s their little dirty word that’s a secret. Now, we have a word in the English language that we can’t use and we call it the N-word. Well, Kafir is the K-word in Islam. So, Muslims hate it, which is the proof that we need to use it.
In the Arabic, the plural of Kafir is Kuffar, K-U-F-F-A-R. But I don’t use that. I want to use the English plural Kafirs, plural with an S, because I want the word to become adapted and used. We must understand that all Kafirs are the same in the end. So, therefore, we need to use the same word for each other. Thank you.
Bill Warner PhD writes at PoliticalIslam.com and is the author of several books on the subject.