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Thoughts On The PRC Election

Thoughts on the PRC Election by Peter Burrows, elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 5/18/18 

I attended the forum last week for the two Democrats running in the primary for Public Regulations Commission, District 5, Stephen Fischmann and incumbent Sandy Jones.  The Grant County Beat and the Daily Press covered the meeting with excellent articles. 

 

As would be expected at any forum of Democrats, both candidates made ritual genuflections at the alter of “the little guy” and then proceeded to defend a program, net metering, that favors wealthy electricity users at the expense of all other rate payers. (See my recent article, “What is ‘Net Metering’ and Why Should You care.”)

 

When asked if net metering was a good thing, my question, both said it was a good thing — wrong answer — but both also said it was something that needed to have a cost-benefit review.  We can hope such a review would look at Vermont, where the Public Utility Commission recently estimated that net metering costs rate payers $21 million a year, most of which subsidizes homeowners wealthy enough to afford solar panels. 

 

As an aside, earlier this month I asked two of the Republican candidates, Ben Hall and Chris Mathys, the same question: Is net metering a good idea.  Neither one knew what I was talking about. Hall tried to tell me it was some sort of Federal program, and he was a PRC commissioner from 2010 to 2014! 

While Fischmann showed an impressive familiarity with all of the issues discussed, several things he said made my BS Meter go off.  The first was something he said about electricity storage, which is the big bottleneck to using more solar and wind-generated electricity.    

Fischmann made the incredible statement, as reported in the Beat article, that such storage was “substantially cheaper” than natural gas-generated electricity, currently the cheapest fossil fuel-based electricity.  

  

Jones correctly said that there is no storage technology that can supply large scale electricity at reasonable prices. 

 

Fischmann doubled down, claiming there was a large-scale storage project underway in New Hampshire that subsidizes homeowners because it saves the utility moneyA quick Internet search revealed the “large-scale” project to be a pilot program that would install Tesla Powerwall batteries in about 300 homes initially and up to 1000 homes if the project proves economical. (Liberty Utilities Proposes Battery Program for Lebanon, Valley News 4/4/18.)

  

There are 7,500 homes just in little Grant County, so the above project is hardly large scale. Furthermore, the Tesla batteries are subsidized to the tune of about 80 percent, something that wouldn’t be needed if it made economic sense for homeowners to buy their own batteries. The project will test the assumption that distributed storage makes more sense, somehow, than centralized electric storage.   

 

Regardless, it’s a little premature to herald this as proof that electricity from storage is cheaper than electricity from natural gas plants. A recent article in Forbes favorably commented on two small storage projects in Arizona, but also noted that they benefited from the 30% Federal investment tax credit that all solar projects get. (“Energy Storage is Coming But Big Price Declines Still Needed,” Joshua Rhodes, Forbes, 2/18/18.) 

 

Fischmann also cited a recent Colorado case where bids to provide power from wind and solar plus storage were “substantially cheaper than the cheapest natural gas.” Once again, Fischmann hadn’t done his homework. 

  

The utility, Xcel Energy, received proposals to provide electricity from wind-plus-storage and solar-plus-storage that, to quote an article in Carbon Tracker, “highlight the incredible cost reductions in renewable energy with storage.” The article cited the median for wind-and-storage as 21 cents per kWh and that for solar-and-storage as 36 cents per kWhneither of which compares favorably with the 11-12 cents you and I pay here in New Mexico.

 

What is absolutely mind blowing is that the article then states: “Details on the bids are sparse. Crucially, the amount of storage is unknown. The combination of renewables plus storage bids are $3-$7/MWh higher than standalone wind and solar bids, suggesting a limited amount of storage.”

  

How can the bids show “incredible cost reductions in renewable energy with storage” if the amount of storage involved in the bids is unknown?  If Tesla dropped the price of an electric car from $35,000 to $10,000 but only had a 12-volt battery in the latter model that would get you to the corner before it died, would that be an incredible cost reduction in the cost of electric powered transportation? 

 

The Investment banking firm Lazard, a BIG backer of “alternative energy technologies,” mainly solar and wind, had this to say in their latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, November 2017, emphasis mine: “Although alternative energy is increasingly cost-competitive AND STORAGE TECHNOLOGY HOLDS GREAT PROMISE, alternative energy systems WILL NOT BE CAPABLE OF MEETING THE BASE-LOAD GENERATION NEEDS OF A DEVELOPED ECONOMY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.”

   

Fischmann also claimed that San Antonio, Texas, was getting cheap energy from Austin Energy, “which is 50 percent renewable.” That is wrong on two counts: San Antonio doesn’t buy electricity from Austin. Each city has its own municipally owned utility, and neither is 50 percent renewable, although San Antonio’s CPS Energy plans to be 50 percent by 2040. 

 

(The cost per kWh in Austin is 10.7 cents, in San Antonio, 10.8 cents, about what we pay here in Silver City.) 

 

To Fischmann’s credit, he did acknowledge that renewable energy is subsidized, but claims that renewables are cheaper even without subsidies. He also told me privately that Renewable Portfolio Standards are not needed if renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, something I would agree with. 

 

The problem with Mr. Fischmann is his uncritical acceptance of renewable energy claims.  He wants a PRC that is “passionate about fact-based renewable energy” but wants his own facts. He also appears to have his lips firmly planted on the derriere of Mariel Nanasi, the director of New Mexico’s most intransigent environmental group, New Energy Economy, in Santa Fe.  

 

I think he would make decisions that favor environmentalists at the expense of the rest of us. He would say there is no conflict, but some of us would strongly disagree.  The only way I MIGHT vote for him is if he was running against Republican Ben Hall next November.  

 

At the moment, Sandy Jones has got my vote. He knows the issues, knows how to listen, works hard and is not a “true believer” environmentalist.  He is not a fan of Mariel Nanasi, either. That’s a big plus in my book.  

 

I’ve requested that the editor of the Grant County Beat give both Jones and Fischmann the opportunity to comment on this article should they care to.      

 

Correction to my article on the PRC election by Peter Burrows 5/19/18 elburropete@gmail.com 

My subconscious has been grinding away for couple of days about something I wrote in my article on the PRC elections.  I rechecked, and sure enough, I had made a big mistake when I wrote that Xcel Energy had received bids for wind-plus-storage electricity and solar-plus-storage electricity at 21 cents and 36 cents per kWh respectively.   

The proper numbers should have been 2.1 cents and 3.6 cents per kWh, which explains the enthusiasm those numbers generated in the press, as they are far lower than what would be expected of bids that included storage, even after the 30% investment tax credit.   

Regardless, since the amount of storage included in those bids was not disclosed, and since the bids were only 15-20% higher than stand-alone solar and wind, one commentator wisely noted that there was probably only “a limited amount” of storage involved. 

I should have caught my decimal point error – too many zeros! –and used 2.1 cent and 3.6 cent per kWh to illustrate a larger point: Even if solar and wind electricity was free, the current cost of storage makes 100% reliance on wind and solar prohibitively expensive.  

Tesla has just completed a $50 million battery project in Australia that can provide electricity to 30,000 homes for one hour.  Since there are 7,500 homes in Grant County, one of these Tesla “batteries” would give us four hours, and we would need three to get through the night, nothing to spare.  That’s $150 million capital cost, and at 5% interest and 5% depreciation/debt reduction, we would have a bill of $15 million per year.   

That would add about $167 per month to the electricity bill for each of the 7,500 homes.  That’s just for storage, zero cost for the electricity.  

Someday storage costs may be low enough to lower our electricity bills, not increase them, but that is not the case today.    

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Ethanol’s Lessons for New Mexico

Ethanol’s Lessons for New Mexico by Peter Burrows 5/10/18  elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com              

Last March, New Mexico’s Senator Tom Udall introduced a bill that would revise the Renewable Fuel Standards to virtually eliminate blending corn ethanol into gasoline.  It would drop the current 10 percent standard to 9.7 percent and begin a ten-year reduction of the required use of corn ethanol from 15 billion gallons in 2018 to 1 billion by 2029. The Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation strongly support the bill.    

This is very good news.  The evidence has been piling up for over 20 years that using corn as a biofuel source has been wasteful, unnecessary and counter-productive.  Here’s what Michael Bruce, Executive Director of the Sierra Club said about the proposed bill and its supporters:   

“The Sierra Club applauds Senator Udall, Congressman Welch, and all the members of Congress who are putting common sense first rather than continuing to permit a dirty and destructive policy to remain intact. Instead of continuing to play political games with our environment and public health, these legislators are moving policies that will help undo the damage caused by the ethanol mandate. We urge Congress to pass this legislation immediately rather than continuing to push false theories about ethanol.”  

As the saying goes, “Strong letter to follow.”  The above statement could have been made 10 years ago, but hey! Better late than never.     

One of the “false theories about ethanol” was that its use would reduce CO2 emissions. Study after study has shown just the opposite: producing and using corn ethanol actually increases CO2 emissions.  Furthermore, using corn has increased the world-wide cost of food by billions of dollars while increasing, not decreasing, the cost per gallon of gasoline.   

The conclusion that ethanol increases CO2 emissions is what has earned the environmentalists’ wrath. In the Church of Global Warming, to increase CO2 emissions is to sin. The fact that it is also very costly is of no concern. After all, they have a world to save.   

To that point, Udall’s bill maintains a cellulosic biofuel mandate.  Cellulosic biofuel uses waste organic plant material, from corn stalks to grass clippings. In theory, it’s a good idea, but the reality is that It is ridiculously expensive.  The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 mandated a goal of 9 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2017. The actual production: 540,000 gallons.   

This lack of cellulosic ethanol didn’t deter the EPA from attempting to punish refiners of gasoline for not using the mandated cellulosic feed stocks that did not exist!!  Fortunately, that EPA effort was struck down by a federal court.     

To Udall’s credit, his bill eliminates the ridiculous cellulosic ethanol mandated by EISA, which rises to 21 billion gallons in 2022, and replaces that with a cap of “only” two billion gallons, which doesn’t have to be reached until 2037, at which time the mandate ceases to exist.  I think this is essentially a small concession to the ethanol “true believers” to get their support for the overall bill.   

Regardless, Udall’s bill is a big first step toward curbing an industry, ethanol, that would not exist in anything near its present size without government mandates and subsidies.  Will Udall’s bill get through Congress? It will face opposition from the owners of the over 200 distilleries that have been built to produce ethanol, and opposition from thousands of corn farmers.    

Even if Congress can overcome the millions that will be spent to stop Udall’s bill, President Trump, wearing his RINO hat, has said he will “protect” the corn farmers. “Corn farmers” of course means Iowa, and Iowa means “first primaries,” which in turn means, “Kiss those corn farmers’ tractors, cows and asses.” A wag once noted that if Florida had the first primaries, we’d be making ethanol out of orange juice.     

You’re probably thinking, “OK, Burro, what’s all this got to do with New Mexico.”  Here’s the answer: Every politician in New Mexico, regardless of party, top-to-bottom, thinks that New Mexico has a great future with renewable energy.  All the winners and losers in the upcoming primaries, all the winners and losers next November, all of them, will tout solar panels and windmills as great businesses for New Mexico’s future. If you know of one who doesn’t think that, please tell me who.  Please.  

You’re thinking, “Well, what’s wrong with that?”  What’s wrong is that, like the ethanol industry, windmills and solar panels are almost wholly dependent on government mandates and subsidies.  I would guess that solar is about 90% dependent on government, and wind 100%.    

The second or third largest owner of windmill farms in America is Berkshire Hathaway. The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway is life-long liberal and mega-billionaire Warren Buffett, who is famous for his blunt-spoken opinions. Without tax credits, he said, wind-generated electricity “doesn’t make sense.”    

Without those tax credits, New Mexico has no wind farms and no future as a big producer/exporter of windmill electricity.   

At this point, some of you are saying, “But Burro, New Mexico is so sunny! We should encourage people to put solar panels on their roofs, in fields, on buildings, along the road sides, everywhere! And then we could export all that solar electricity which would save the world from global warming and we’d get rich in the process!”  

The problem with that fantasy is the hard reality of costs.  Even if solar electricity was free, which it isn’t, the cost of storing solar electricity so it can light your house at night is very expensive.  Tesla, the electric car company, is a leader in battery technology and recently completed a project Tesla’s owner, Elon Musk, called the “world’s largest battery.”   

It is a $50 million electric storage facility in Australia that will power 30,000 homes for —-Drum roll please ––one hour.  There are about 7,500 homes in Grant County, so Musk’s “battery” would provide us four hours of electricity.   If we only occasionally had a cloudy day and never had two cloudy days in a row, we would need 36 hours of storage. (No sun from 6 PM through 6 PM the next day is 24 hours, and until 6 AM the next morning is an additional 12 hours.)  

That means we would need nine of Tesla’s batteries at a cost of $450 million.  Financed at 5% and depreciated over 20 years, or 5% per year, means this “battery” will cost Grant County $45 million per year. The cost per 7,500 households would be $6,000 per year, or $500 per month.  

How does $500 per month compare to your current electricity bill?  This is with only 36 hours of storage when at least triple that would be needed. This is with zero cost electricity, i.e. free solar panels that last forever, producing electricity with no transmission costs on free land that is not taxed.    

Last year, a couple of New Mexico’s legislators proposed that 80 percent of NM’s electricity be from renewables by 2040, a huge increase from the 20 percent mandated by 2020.  Some environmentalists want to be 100 percent by 2035. Either option would require massive amounts of storage and a massive increase in your electricity bill.      

Someday, I don’t know when, even in New Mexico it will be recognized that renewable energy is ridiculously expensive. When that day comes, and it will, wind and solar will face a “Udall bill” that will end mandates and subsidies.  Does New Mexico really want to invest its future in industries that depend on subsidies and mandates that will someday end?        

What is “Net Metering” and why should you care?

What is “Net Metering” and why should you care? By Peter Burrows 5/4/18  elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

 To encourage homeowners to install solar panels, most public utilities, including Public Service of New Mexico (PNM), are required by law to pay homeowners for any excess electricity the solar panels produce.  This doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, the excess electricity is fed into the utility’s grid for sale to other customers. 

Imagine that homes with solar panels have two meters, one that measures the electricity coming into the home from the electric utility, and another that measures the excess solar electricity that goes into the utility grid on those occasions when the solar panels produce more electricity than is being used.  The net of the two is the “net metering” that determines the electric bill.  

In reality, when excess electricity is fed into the utility’s grid, the homeowner’s meter runs in reverse, lowering the electric bill in real time. 

A very important feature of net-metering is that the utility is required to pay the homeowner the same price it charges the homeowner, i.e. the retail price.  At first glance, this sounds fair.  If you’re paying the utility $.11 per kwh for the electricity they sell you, the utility should pay you $.11 per kwh for the electricity you sell them.  

There are two problems with that thinking. The first is that when the utility buys a kwh from you for $.11 and then resells that kwh at for $.11, the utility loses money.  Even a co-op run by pathological profit haters will realize that there must be a markup over the cost of something to cover heat, lights, taxes, accounting and so on.  

You may say, “Oh no, the utility doesn’t need to charge for all that because it’s only giving me back my own electricity when I need it.”  In essence, the utility has stored your excess electricity so you can use it at a later time. Conceptually, that is perfectly accurate.  In practice, that is hugely inaccurate. 

This is the second problem with net metering: It allows the homeowner to use the electric grid as though it was a huge COST-FREE storage battery when there is no such thing as cost-free electric storage, battery or otherwise.   

To illustrate the point, if you disconnect your home from the utility’s power, go “off the grid,” any excess electricity generated by your solar system will be wasted unless you can store it.  The most economical way to do that today is to buy a Powerwall battery from Tesla Motors. Tesla’s 7-kilowatt/13.5-kilowatt-hour storage system costs $5,900, plus “supporting hardware,” whatever that is, and installation.   

You’ll probably need several of these, depending on the size of your solar array, how much sunshine you get, and how much electricity you need.  Regardless, it’s hardly free.  

Bottom line: Net metering is a subsidy to homeowners who have solar installations. If you think this subsidy is paid by the electric utility, you are sadly mistaken.  Look at your electric bill. You will note that there is a “Renewable Energy Rider” which is an addition to your bill, not a reduction. On my bills, this adds about five percent to my electricity cost, before taxes.  

This is how WE, not Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) help to pay the monthly electric bills of people wealthy enough to install solar panels. This is in addition to the subsidy we paid, indirectly, through tax credits given to people as an incentive to buy the solar systems. Tax credits are a reduction in income taxes owed, which means somebody else must pay higher income taxes.   

A case can be made that such subsidies are necessary in order to get a new industry up and running.  I don’t agree but, regardless, it would be a great victory for transparency if candidates for public office would say: “I am in favor of raising your taxes so that rich people can install solar systems and have lower electric bills in order to save all of us from global warming.”   

Or something like that.  

Until recently, 41 states required net metering at retail prices. In Michigan, the Public Service Commission, the equivalent of our Public Regulatory Commission, just last month replaced retail pricing with something closer to wholesale pricing, a step in the right direction.  Montana is considering a similar change. 

In New Mexico the chances of anything so sensible are remote.  Politicians of both parties are enamored of renewable energy, and the Public Regulatory Commission (PRC) will do what is necessary to help PNM meet the renewable fuel standards mandated by New Mexico’s legislators, something the PRC should do, even if that means raising our electric bills. 

Considering its importance, one would hope that candidates running for election to the PRC would be familiar with net metering.  There are five candidates running to represent our district, District Five, two are Democrats, three are Republicans. 

I have met two of the Republicans and neither was familiar with net metering.  One, Ben Hall, was on the PRC from 2010 to 2014 when he was defeated for reelection, and I think he should have been knowledgeable about net metering. Instead, he tried to tell me that it was some kind of Federal mandate.  Ben Hall should withdraw from the race.  

The other candidate I have met, Chris Mathys, also didn’t know about net metering but at least he didn’t try to BS me. There’s hope for him.  I have not met the third Republican candidate, Joe Bizzell, but I did email him yesterday, “Is net metering a good idea?”  

No answer yet. I plan on asking the two Democratic candidates the same question, and I’ll let you know how all three respond.   

 

How To Read The Koran

How To Read The Koran – by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com – 5/01/18  

Table of Contents 

 Introduction – 1                                                                                                                       Winston Churchill and Islam – 2                                                                                       Fundamentals of the Koran – 3                                                                                       Abrogation Simplifies Reading the Koran – 6                                                               Summary: How to Read the Koran – 8 

Appendix One: Chapter Nine Also Invalidates the Religion of Islam – 9                            Appendix Two: Is the Abrogation Verse the Most Important Verse in the Koran? 10 – Appendix Three: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Muhammad 12– Appendix Four: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Non-Muslims 13 – Appendix Five: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Women – 15          Appendix Six: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Christianity 17– Appendix Seven: How a Devout Muslim Views the Koran – 19                                        Appendix Eight: Conclusions – 20                                                                    Footnotes/Bibliography – 21  

Introduction 

Anyone who has read the Koran, or even parts of it, knows that it is not an easy read.  My first Koran was the venerable translation by Yusif Ali, first published in 1934.  It has no explanatory footnotes or commentary.   My second Koran came many years later and was the result of watching a You Tube lecture by Robert Spencer, one of America’s foremost experts on Islam.   

The Koran Spencer used in his talk was a translation by Sayyid Mawdudi, who died in 1979.  Mawdudi spent much of his life translating the Koran from Arabic to Urdu, the language of Pakistan, and simultaneously adding voluminous explanatory footnotes.  It was because of Mawdudi’s footnotes that Spencer recommended this translation.    

I would add that Mawdudi’s explanatory notes are in everyday language and frequently reflect the ardor and passion of a devout Muslim.  These footnotes, from a contemporary, 20th Century Muslim, occasionally provide a mind boggling read for a non-Muslim, as we shall see.  

Since the Mawdudi Koran is a translation from Arabic to Urdu and then from Urdu to English, I thought it might be useful to also have a translation that is straight Arabic to English.  By chance, I came across a translation even more helpful than Mawdudi’s.  

“Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an In The English Language,” is published in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and the translators are two Saudi Arabian scholars, Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan, and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali.  First published in 1996 and revised in 1999, this, too, is a contemporary translation, hereafter referred to as the Khan translation.  

This translation, which has an accompanying Arabic text, is also extensively footnoted.  Unlike the conversational footnotes in Mawdudi, the Khan footnotes usually cite other sacred texts or authoritative historical interpretations of the Koran.  As such, the Khan translation is much more scholastic, more of a textbook.    

Both of these translations are contemporary guides to what Islam is TODAY.  Every word, including the commentaries, has been approved by Islamic authorities.  If you are a devout Muslim there is nothing – nothing — in either of these two translations that you can disagree with.     

 To do so would be to question accepted Islamic doctrine, and that is an apostasy. Islam treats apostasy like nations treat treason, with the death penalty.  The Reliance of the Traveller (that’s how it’s spelled) is, to quote the cover, “A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.”  On page 597 it declares it an apostasy to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it.   

“Scholarly consensus” is the key.  Over the centuries, “scholarly consensus” has become unassailable dogma. As Muhammad said, “Whoever speaks of the Book of Allah (the Koran) from his own opinion is in error.”  From the beginning, Muslims were not allowed to think, not allowed to challenge religious authority.   

 For the average person who wants to buy a Koran, I would recommend Mawdudi’s. It is both smaller and easier to read. For someone who wants to get into the weeds of Islam, the Khan translation is superb.  It references a number of learned interpretations of the Koran, called tafsirs; it frequently quotes Muhammad as recorded in the “gospels” of Islam, called the Hadith; and it occasionally tells us when a verse has been abrogated by a later verse.   

 Hopefully, after reading this you will not feel the need to buy a Koran.  Knowing how to read it makes over 95 percent of the Koran irrelevant.    

 In this essay, I’ll use whichever of the three translations is the easiest to understand or has the most informative commentary. The translations will be shorthanded as “Ali,” “M,” or “K.”  For example, verse 106 of chapter two from Mawdudi would be (M V2:106 pg. 21). The Reliance of the Traveller will be “R of T” with the page number, e.g. (R of T pg. 751.) Chapters in the Koran are traditionally called suras, but for clarity will be referred to as “chapters.”   

Winston Churchill and Islam  

Winston Churchill, in the first volume of his History of World War II, “The Gathering Storm,” wrote that when Adolph Hitler came to power, Hitler’s treatise on politics and philosophy, Mein Kampf, was of such importance that “there was no book that deserved more careful study from the rulers, political and military, of the Allied Powers. All was there -– the programme of German resurrection — the concept of the National-Socialist State, the rightful position of Germany at the summit of the world. Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless but pregnant with its message.” (1)  

Churchill described Mien Kampf as the NEW Koran of faith and war.  If he were around today, Churchill would tell us that there is no book more deserving of our study than the OLD Koran:  “turgid, verbose and shapeless but pregnant with its message.”    

 Churchill recognized the threat of Islam at an early age.  As a young officer in the British military, he fought against Muslim armies in both Pakistan and the Sudan. The latter experience led him to write “The River War,” published in 1899, in which he made this remarkable observation, in somewhat overwrought prose: 

 “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.  —  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.” (2) 

 That was in written in 1899.  The only thing not true today is that Europe is no longer “sheltered in the strong arms of science.”  Muslims in Pakistan have developed nuclear weapons and Muslims in Iran will soon follow suit.  Muslim oil money buys fighter jets and AK-47s by the boatload and sponsors terrorists by the thousands, many of whom are being welcomed into Europe as immigrants. 

 It is a puzzle to me that Churchill had it figured out over a hundred years ago, yet the three most recent Prime Ministers of Britain have defended Islam, calling it “a religion of peace.”  Ditto Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama.   

 Even Pope Francis has joined the chorus. A Papal decree in 2013 said, “Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for the true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” (3)  

 “Disconcerting acts of violent fundamentalism” is another way of saying, “I’m confused by acts of terror committed by Muslims in the name of their religion.” Saying that “a proper reading of the Koran” reveals Islam to be “opposed to every form of violence” is akin to saying “a proper reading of the Heavens shows the Sun revolves around the Earth,” something believed by previous Popes, much to Galileo’s distress.  

 Popes, along with Prime Ministers and Presidents, are NOT infallible.   

Muslims commit acts of violence against non-Muslims every day, and yet many Western leaders refuse to connect these acts of violence to the religion of Islam, even though the perpetrators do, sometimes quite overtly, e.g. shouting “Allahu Akbar” — Allah is Greater – while killing people.  

How is it that Churchill, without daily acts of terror driving home the point, could identify Islam as a deadly threat to Western civilization, while so many contemporary Western leaders cannot? Was Churchill that smart? Yes, indeed. He studied his enemies.  He read Mien Kampf. He read the Koran!     

It’s is time we do so, too.  I want to stress at the outset, reading the Koran is NOT difficult if you know HOW to read it, but that takes a little explaining.      

Fundamentals of the Koran 

Since the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, Muslim terrorists, somewhere around the world, have committed about 2,000 deadly acts of terror EVERY YEAR.(4)  We are told by all sorts of pundits, including presidents, prime ministers and Pope Francis, that these Muslims are perverting a “religion of peace.”   

Really? Let me quote the Ayatollah Khomeini, the religious ruler of Iran after the fall of the Shah. An ayatollah in Shi’a Islam is something like a Cardinal in the Catholic Church, a highly respected religious authority.  He said, “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam councils against war. They are witless. Islam says kill all the unbelievers —.” He cited the Koran as having many verses “urging Muslims to value war and to fight.” (5)  

The Koran? How can that be if Islam is a “religion of peace?”  Well, let’s look at the Koran, and from the perspective of a Muslim, not a president or a Pope or anybody else who “knows nothing of Islam.”             

The first thing you must know is that the Koran is NOT like the Bible.  The Bible is full of Jewish history and stories about Jesus in the Gospels, but there are only a few words that Christians and Jews believe are literally from God, and they are the Ten Commandments revealed through Moses.    

The Koran is just the opposite. Almost every word is the literal word of God revealed through Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad.  The few words in the Koran that aren’t from Allah constitute the first chapter, a very short prayer Muslims recite many times a day. It’s called Al-Fatiha, The Opening, and it’s discussed in Appendix Six.    

Since both Islam and Christianity are “revealed” religions, the Koran is therefore a far more powerful sacred text than the Bible – if you are a Muslim.  This is something that may be difficult for non-Muslims to understand: as the literal word of God, the Koran can neither be disobeyed nor disagreed with.  Only Allah can disagree with Allah, an important point we’ll get to later.   

The forward to the Mawdudi Koran, written by a devout Pakistani economist, tells us how MUSLIMS view the Koran. Paraphrasing for brevity:  

The Koran is the foundation of Islamic faith. (Its) uniqueness lies in it being the Final Revelation meant to be preserved exactly as it had been communicated to Muhammad because it (the Koran) was meant to serve as a BEACON LIGHT FOR THE GUIDANCE OF ALL HUMANITY TILL THE END OF TIME!” (M pg. (x), my emphasis.)                                                                                                 

He goes on, “The Koran, uncreated Word of God though it doubtlessly is—” by which he means devout Muslims believe the Koran is without question the literal word of God that has existed forever, hence “uncreated.”  God just picked it up and commanded the angel Gabriel to reveal it to Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad. This is what Muslims believe happened, one revelation at a time, for the last 23 years of Muhammad‘s life.   

To repeat: The first thing you must know about the Koran is that Muslims believe everything in it is the literal word of Allah-God to be obeyed forever, all but the first few sentences. It ain’t the Bible, folks.   

The second thing you must know about the Koran is that there are a number of verses that are invalid because Allah changed His mind at a later date.  Remember, Muslims believe Allah made revelations to Muhammad for 23 years.  Over those years, as Muhammad’s circumstances changed, so did Allah’s revelations. 

This idea of Allah changing His mind needs a little background. Muhammad began his missionary work in Mecca, where he preached for 12 years with little success. When his wife died, he lost the political protection of her family and he fled Mecca to avoid assassination.   

He and his followers settled in Medina, some 300 miles away, where Muhammad built his first mosque – he hadn’t been allowed to build one in Mecca.    

As he began preaching in Medina, his sermons attracted rabbis from the nearby Jewish tribes who wanted to hear this self-proclaimed prophet of God. The Jews had long prophesized the coming of a savior other than Jesus, and maybe this was the man.   

Nope. This guy Muhammad frequently contradicted himself, something no God-sent prophet would ever do. When they pointed this out to Muhammad, he had no answer, but fortunately, Allah did.   

As Allah frequently did, He came to Muhammad’s rescue with a new revelation specific to the problem at hand.  This one is called the abrogation verse, to abrogate meaning to supersede, to cancel and is a pretty sophisticated word for the supposedly illiterate Muhammad.   

In my opinion, this particular revelation not only saved the day for Muhammad, it saved Islam. For our purposes of understanding the Koran, it’s the most important revelation in the Koran. It is verse 2:106:    

“For whatever verse We might abrogate or consign to oblivion, We bring a better one or the like of it. Are you not aware that Allah is All-Powerful?“ (M pg. 21. Allah always speaks in the royal “We.”)  

 

Here is Mawdudi’s footnote: “This is in response to a doubt which the Jews tried to implant in the minds of Muslims. If both the earlier Scriptures and the Qur’an were revelations from God, why was it – they asked – that the injunctions found in the earlier scriptures had been replaced by new ones in the Qur’an?”    

The bottom line is that the all-knowing God of Islam would occasionally CHANGE HIS MIND, and who are you to say He can’t? As mentioned earlier, only Allah can disagree with Allah.   

(Mawdudi’s footnote two verses later, to V2:108 on page 22 is both humorous and sad: “The Jews, who were addicted to hair-splitting arguments, instigated the Muslims to ask the Prophet (peace be on him) a great many questions. God, therefore, cautioned the Muslims against following the example of the Jews in this matter and admonished them against unnecessary inquisitiveness.”  In other words, no thinking allowed for Muslims. OK for Jews, though.)   

If Allah can change His mind, which Allah did frequently, this means, and this is very, very important, that the chronology of “Allah’s” revelations determines their legitimacy.  This wouldn’t be of any concern if the abrogated verses had been removed from the Koran, but they weren’t.   

Defenders of Islam frequently quote the Koran out of chronological context, probably the most well-known out-of-context revelation is the one that says there is no compulsion in religion.  This was abrogated by numerous revelations that came at later dates. (6)  

Why, you ask, was abrogation necessary? Because as Muhammad’s power grew, so did his despotism and egomania. The butt-kisser of Mecca became the butt-kicker of Medina and he had to figure out how to get rid of the peaceful revelations of Mecca and even those of his early days in Medina.   

Hey!! Allah can change his mind!! Problem solved.    

The old adage that power corrupts is on full display in Islam.  As Muhammad gained power, Allah’s abrogations almost always were from benign to malign.  I could find only one verse in which Allah showed mercy by abrogating an earlier verse, and that one verse is detailed in Appendix One.      

The importance of abrogation cannot be overstated. Without abrogation, the Koran, that literal word of Allah, is hopelessly contradictory. That is why knowledge of abrogating and abrogated verses has been of fundamental importance in Islamic theology since the beginning of Islam.   

Sharia law — Islamic law –requires Islamic judges to know which verses abrogate which other verses, and Sharia law even cautions the layman from discussing the Koran without knowledge of abrogation, as this would risk “discussing the Koran in error,” which is a mortal sin.  (R of T pg. 626 for clerics, pg. 752 for the lay person.)  

As mentioned, the confusion caused by abrogated verses could have been avoided had those verses been removed from the Koran, BUT THEY WERE NOT REMOVED.  In lieu of that, things wouldn’t be so confusing if the abrogated verses were identified in the Koran, BUT THEY ARE NOT IDENTIFIED.   

To repeat: The second thing you must know about the Koran is that because Allah changed His mind, the chronology of the verses is all important.    

The third thing you must know is that THE KORAN IS NOT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. After the very short first chapter, the Al-Fatihah prayer, it is pretty much longest chapter to shortest. For example, the very long chapter two is the 87th chapter chronologically.   

Abrogation Simplifies Reading The Koran  

The chronology of the chapters, as generally agreed to by Islamic scholars, can be found on the Internet. The chronology is not some deep, dark secret.  So, to avoid wasting your time reading verses that may have been abrogated by later verses, simply read the Koran in reverse chronological order, starting with the last chapter of revelations, chapter 110.  

Chronologically, chapter 110 was the last of the 114 chapters, chapter 96 was the first.  Confusing, right?   

Here’s is Mawdudi’s footnote to chapter 110: “According to reliable traditions, this was the last sura (chapter) of the Qur’an that was revealed some three months before the Prophet’s demise.” (M pg. 977.) Though it is not necessary, this footnote alone would prove the Koran is not in chronological order.)  

Here is chapter 110 in its entirety, Allah’s final revelation: “When the help comes from Allah and victory (is granted) and you see people entering Allah’s religion in multitudes, then extol the praise of your Lord and pray to Him for forgiveness. For He indeed is ever disposed to accept repentance.” (M pg. 977.)  

That’s it. Now, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t find much in there that we could call “a beacon light for the guidance of humanity till the end of time.” So, you’re probably thinking, “What is the next to the last chapter of revelations?”  

Good question! The next to last is Chapter nine, and it is the most important chapter in the Koran, some 28 pages in Mawdudi, 26 in Khan.  In Chapter nine are the final, unabrogated (with one exception) revelations from Allah, to be obeyed. forever. It is the only chapter we need to read in the entire Koran.   

Perhaps the most well-known revelation in chapter nine is the Verse of the Sword, 9:5, which some Muslim scholars say abrogates 124 peaceful verses in the Koran. (7)    

The clearest version of V9:5 is in the Yusuf Ali translation, page 114: “But when the forbidden months are past, (there are four holy months in which Muslims are forbidden to initiate war) then slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)” — unless the pagans “repent” and become Muslims.  

Allah commands: “Slay the pagans wherever you find them,” and you’re thinking, “Well, I’m no pagan, I’m Jewish” or “I’m Christian.” Sorry. There’s another verse in chapter nine, Verse 9:29, that specifically accounts for you: “Fight against those who do not believe in Allah—even if they are people of the book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” (Ali pg. 116.)   

The “book” is the Bible, and “people of the book” are Jews and Christians; the jizya is the tax Jews and Christians pay to live in peace in Muslim ruled countries. Mawdudi’s illuminating footnote to this verse leaves no room for the Constitution’s First Amendment in the religion of Islam:   

“The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather, its purpose is to put an end to the suzerainty of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over people. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the True Faith; unbelievers who do not follow the True Faith should live in a state of subordination. Anyone who becomes convinced of the Truth of Islam may accept the faith of his/her own volition. The unbelievers are required to pay jizya (poll tax) in return for the security provided to them as the dhimmis (“Protected people”) of an Islamic state. Jizya symbolizes the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam.”  (M pgs. 275 – 276.)   

“Those who follow of the True Faith” are Muslims and therefore only Muslims should have political power. That’s the eternal word of God to guide humanity forever.  This is totally incompatible with the Constitution’s First Amendment which prohibits government from either favoring or disfavoring a religion.    

So far, in chapter nine Allah has laid down the forever law to slay or convert Pagans, slay, convert or enslave Jews and Christians and you’re thinking, “That about does it.”  Not quite. One more group to go.  Verse 9:123 says, “Believers! Fight against the unbelievers who live around you –” these being, as explained in the footnotes, “hypocrites” who are those who do not fulfill”their obligations as Muslims despite having embraced Islam.”(M ftnt. Pg. 296.)  

As a practical matter, this means Muslims are to kill other Muslims with whom they have theological differences, or even those Muslims deemed to be insufficiently devout.  That’s why Shi’a and Sunni Muslims kill each other, and why Islamic law, Sharia, prescribes death for Muslims who forget to pray at the correct time, as that is an obligatory duty for devout Muslims.. (R of T pg. 109.)   

So, Muslims fight pagans, Christians, Jews and other Muslims, and this is not optional.  Starting with verse 9:38 and continuing through verse 9:41, Allah commands believers to: “March forth in the cause of Allah. Do you prefer the worldly life to the Hereafter?” (In other words, if you die for Allah, you will go to Heaven, a better place!) “—march forth whether light or heavy and strive in the way of Allah with your belongings and your lives.” (M pgs. 280.) 

And the purpose of all this marchin’ around?  Verse 9:33 explains, and this is very important: “(Allah) has sent his Messenger with the guidance and the True Religion that He may make it prevail over all religions, howsoever those who associate others with Allah in his Divinity might detest it.” (M pg. 277.)   

In other words, Allah commands Muslims to fight until Islam rules the world.  Period. Whether non-Muslims like it or not. Mawdudi’s footnote contains this illuminating tidbit:   

Since a Prophet is the representative of the Lord of the Universe, he seeks to make the Right Way prevail. If any other way of life continues to exist, it should be satisfied with the concessions made to it by Islam. For example, the rights granted to the dhimmis to enjoy the protection offered by Islam in lieu of jizya. The opposite of this should not happen, i.e. the unbelievers should not be dominant and the believers should lead the life of dhimmis instead.” (M pg. 277.)    

Finally, still in chapter nine, verse 9:111 is the verse of the bargain: “–Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their belongings and in return has promised they shall have Paradise. They fight in the way of Allah and slay and are slain. Such is the promise He has made—. Rejoice, then, in the bargain you have made with Him.” (M pgs. 293-294.)  

Let’s summarize what Chapter Nine tells us: In return for slaying and being slain so that Islam can rule the world, Muslims will live in Heaven forever. Nobody else. Peace will come when Muslims rule the world.  That’s Islam in a nutshell. Islam is NOT a religion of peace as non-Muslims understand the word “peace.”.  Muslims make no secret of this and haven’t for 1400 years. 

Chapter nine proves that Ayatollah Khomeini was correct to say Islam commands Muslims to fight, and that Pope Francis is wrong to say “authentic Islam and a proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”   Somebody should tell the Pope to read chapter nine.  The iconic leader of Christianity should be in the vanguard of the fight against Islam, not Islam’s most useful idiot.                       

To avoid wasting your time with Popes and others who “know nothing of Islam,” just ask them a simple question: “Was the Verse of the Sword abrogated?” You know the answer, and they won’t know what you’re talking about.       

Summary: How To Read The Koran 

There are four things to know about the Koran that make it a much easier read:  

(1) The Koran is the literal word of Allah, to be obeyed forever, by all mankind. 

(2) Since Allah frequently changed his mind, abrogating earlier revelations, knowing the chronology of the revelations is crucial for understanding Islam, especially since the abrogated verses were neither removed from the Koran nor identified. 

(3) The Koran is not in chronological order, so don’t waste your time trying to read it as published; read it starting from the last chapters revealed, 110 and 9. 

(4) Chapter 110 is just a few lines of platitudes, so chapter nine is virtually the last chapter of revelations and is by far the most important chapter.  Nine is 95% of what you need to know about the Koran.                                                         

Appendix One: Chapter Nine Also Invalidates The Religion of Islam 

There are many verses in the Koran that strongly suggest the Koran is the self-serving fabrication of a Seventh Century Arab warlord, not an omniscient God. Chapter nine, that indispensable chapter, has two –TWO—proofs that behind the curtain of Islam, the Wonderful Wizard of Allah was Muhammad the megalomaniac.   

The first is an indirect proof found in Verse 9:41: “March forth whether light or heavy and strive in the way of Allah with your belongings and your lives. That is best for you if you only knew it.” (M pg. 280.)  

When I first read this, in either Ali or Mawdudi, I thought “light or heavy” referred to how well one was armed. Light, for example, could mean having only a knife while heavy could mean an AK-47, or a tank, etc.   This is a case where having multiple Korans was invaluable, The Khan translation reads, “March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor) —.”  

Well, that was a surprise. Light and heavy had nothing to do with weaponry. Just to check, I went on the Internet to the most authoritative Koranic interpretation, The Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, which not only confirmed Khan but also declared that V9:41 was ABROGATED by V9:91 which says, “There is no blame on the weak nor on the sick nor on those who have nothing to enable them to join (the struggle in the Way of Allah) provided they are sincere to Allah and to His messenger.” (7) 

It is not difficult to imagine Muhammad, at the peak of his powers, arrogantly demanding that EVERYBODY join the battle lines. Then, seeing that the old, the ill and the shoeless were a liability to his army, Muhammad “revealed” a new verse, V9:91, that abrogated V9:41.  

We are told throughout the Koran that Allah is “all-knowing, all-wise.”  Sounds to me like Islam’s Allah is pretty stupid not to foresee the problems the sick and indigent would have on Muhammad’s army.  I also think Allah was pretty stupid not to remove V9:41 from the Koran, as it offers proof to some of us unbelievers that Allah was really Muhammad.  

This is reinforced by the belief that the Koran has always existed, unchanged, just like it is.  Since many verses are specific to the time of revelation, it is obvious Allah can see into the future. Surely, an omniscient Allah would have avoided this trivial mistake.    

By the way, 9:91 is the only verse I could find in the entire Koran that effected a merciful change from the verse abrogated.      

The other Chapter Nine proof of the Koran’s earthly origins is found in verse 9:30: “And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say” Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!” (K pg. 253.) 

In researching this verse, I came across the observation that this was an “enigmatic” verse because the Jews had never worshiped any human as son of God, not Jesus and certainly not Ezra.  “Enigmatic” is hardly the word. Wrong, mistaken, erroneous, fabricated or delusional would all be more apt words.  

The footnote to this verse, V9:30, in Khan refers to a sacred text that doubles down on the Islamic belief that the Jews worshiped Ezra.  It quotes extensively from something Muhammad said in the most authenticated “Gospel” of Islam, the hadith Sahih Bukari.    

The hadith, stories, are collections of Muhammad’s sayings and doings as recalled by those who knew him, and are thus similar to the Gospels of Christianity. Those compiled by Imam Bukhari are the most authenticated and revered, which is what “sahih” means, and are given a status almost equal to the Koran.  

Exceptions are those ahadith (the plural of hadith) in which Muhammad quotes words of Allah not found in the Koran. Those are hadith qudsi, holy hadith, and are given equal status to verses in the Koran. (8) 

Paraphrased for brevity, here is the holy hadith from Sahih Bukhari: “The Prophet said, on the Day of Resurrection the Jews will be called and it will be said to them, ‘Who did you use to worship?’ They will say, ‘We used to worship ‘Uzair (Ezra) the son of Allah.’ It will be said to them, ‘You are liars, for Allah has never taken anyone as a wife or a son.’ ” 

Into Hell go the Jews. Then come the Christians. Same question, but answered, “We used to worship ‘Isa (Jesus) the son of Allah.”   Allah calls them liars too, and into Hell the Christians go. (K pgs. 123-124.) 

What we have here are two of the most sacred texts of Islam, The Koran and Sahih Bukari, in which Allah claims that the Jews worshiped a human being, Ezra.  This is manifestly false. Why the critics of Islam don’t point this out at every opportunity is a mystery to me.  

In my opinion, the explanation for this “enigmatic” claim that the Jews worshipped Ezra is that when it came to the “people of the book,” Jews and Christians, Muhammad found it easy to condemn the Christians to Hell because he considered the Trinity to be proof of polytheism, associating others with Allah.  No bigger sin than that, so into Hell go the Christians.  

The steadfastly monotheistic Jews were a problem.  Perhaps Muhammad fabricated the worship of Ezra, but more likely he heard a story that somewhere or at some time some Jews worshipped Ezra.  We’ll probably never know.  Regardless, Muhammad created a Jesus for the Jews and into Hell they went.   

Appendix Two: Is The Abrogation Verse The Most important Verse In The Koran? 

I once read a supposed learned commentary that said the Koran couldn’t be taken literally because it contradicted itself so often.  It doesn’t if you are a Muslim, because the abrogation revelation reconciles the contradictions.   

Muslims have lived with the idea of Allah’s abrogations since the beginning of Islam and, as mentioned earlier, it is an integral part of Islamic law.  The Reliance of the Traveller on page 626 specifies that to be a judge in Islamic societies you must know which verses of the Koran abrogate which other verses.  If you are a layman, page 752 cautions you against even discussing the Koran without knowledge of abrogation.  

Abrogation has also provided the basis for an extensive rationalization of the 12 years Muhammad spent in Mecca. In Mecca, the powerless Muhammad found it prudent to temper his opposition to the local pagan rulers, and Allah’s revelations reflect that fact. It wasn’t until Muhammad arrived in Medina that he received the first revelation from Allah ordering Muslims to fight. (See K-V2:190 page 50 and the extensive footnote on jihad as a pillar of Islam.) 

There are 86 chapters in the Koran that are Meccan revelations, 28 that are Medina.  To reconcile all those passive revelations of Mecca with the aggressive revelations of Medina is no problem for a Muslim who accepts the idea of a mind-changing God.  

Like any True Believer, the devout Muslim will rationalize reality to fit his beliefs. Mecca? Why that was part of Allah’s plan. Before Muslims could wage war on the rest of humanity, they first had to be imbued with the True Religion, which is what happened in Mecca. Only then and only after they had achieved sufficient numbers would Allah command them to fight, which is what happened in Medina.   

Furthermore, the first Medina revelations to fight were limited to defensive fighting, only later becoming offensive. Thus, Allah’s plan was to have Muslims live in peace while they achieved religious purity and gained strength, the Meccan period.  

Then Allah allowed the Muslims to defend themselves, the early Medina period, and finally Allah commanded Muslims to wage war until the world was ruled by Muslims, the final and perpetual Medina period.   

Allah is All-Knowing, All-Mighty and All-Wise. 

In my opinion, the abrogation verse is the most important verse in the Koran for two reasons: it is the key to how to read the Koran, i.e. in reverse chronological order; and it proves to us infidels that the Koran was the creation of Muhammad, not Allah.  God changing HIS mind? Right.  

But that is the point of view of an infidel. For Muslims, abrogation is a given. They probably can’t understand why anybody would doubt something so obvious or think it so important.    

For example, neither the Mawdudi nor Khan translation give the abrogation verse any special mention.  Khan gives the first jihad revelation, 2:109, far more attention, and Mawdudi has a very long footnote on page 121 to verse 4:59, which suggests he may think that is the most important in the entire Koran:  

Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those vested with authority among you; and then if you were to dispute among yourselves about anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger–.” 

Here is Mawdudi’s lengthy footnote:  

This verse is the cornerstone of the entire religious, social and political structure of Islam and the very first clause of the constitution of an Islamic state. It lays down the following principles as permanent guidelines:  

(1) In the Islamic order of life, God alone is the focus of loyalty and obedience. A Muslim is the servant of God before anything else. 

(2) Another basic principle of the Islamic order of life is obedience to the Prophet (peace be on him). 

(3) In the Islamic order of life the Muslims are further required to obey their fellow Muslims invested with authority (ulu al-amr). These include all those entrusted with directing Muslims in matters of common concern. Hence, persons “invested with authority” include intellectual and political leaders of the community, as well as administrative officials, judges of the courts, tribal chiefs and regional leaders. 

(4) In an Islamic order the injunctions of God and the way of the Prophet (peace be on him) constitute the basic law and paramount authority in all matters.  Whenever there is any dispute among Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled the matter should be referred to the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Muhammad’s life and sayings) and all concerned should faithfully accept the judgement that is arrived at.  

Obviously, Mawdudi considers 4:59 to be hugely important. It establishes both the fact that Islam is more than just a religion, and that Muhammad is a Jesus-like figure. This virtual divinity of Muhammad is derived from a few key verses in the  Koran.                                                                                                      

Appendix Three: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Muhammad 

Other than the abrogation verse, there are only a few very important verses in the Koran that are not in chapter nine.  Verse 4:59 discussed above is one of them, but perhaps of even more importance are those verses in which Allah gives Muhammad His blessings.   

In many verses, Allah commands Muslims to obey “Allah and His Messenger,” but the most unequivocal is verse 4:80: “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad) has indeed obeyed Allah –.” (K pg. 130.) 

This revelation gave Muhammad carte blanche as a ruler, but since there is nothing in the Koran, ostensibly, that quotes Muhammad, why is that verse so important today? Because there are volumes upon volumes of stories, hadith, about Muhammad, what he said and did.  Many of these form the basis for Islamic law, sharia, today.  

The Reliance of the Traveller is full of laws based on what Muhammad said. For example, on page 665: “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.’ ”  

Well, that’s it for homosexuals. Goodbye, Elton John. Actually, Elton may have slipped under the radar in Muhammad’s time because he wouldn’t have been playing a piano anywhere near where Muhammad could have heard it. On page 774, Muhammad says, “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments—.”  

And the reason you will never hear the Muslim equivalent of opera great Renee Fleming? “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” (R of T Pg. 775.)  

The musical talents of over a billion people have been suppressed because Muhammad said, “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.” (R of T pg. 775.) The Koran defines hypocrisy as insufficient devotion on the part of those who say they are Muslims, so apparently Muhammad thought listening to music could distract from one’s daily prayers, or something like that.   

Not only does the Koran enshrine what Muhammad SAID, it also deifies what he DID. This is found in what I call the “verse of the ego,” verse 33:21: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting) with Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (K pg. 548.) 

The Yusif Ali translations says Muhammad provides a “beautiful pattern of conduct” for Muslims. Regardless of the translation, the meaning is clear: Whatever Muhammad did was approved by God and could be emulated by Muslims with God’s approval. Forever.  

Muhammad beheaded and tortured prisoners, authorized the rape of captive women, owned and sold slaves — including women he raped — and ordered the death of anyone who criticized him, amongst other niceties. He also consummated his “marriage” to a six-year-old when she was nine.   

The age of marriage for brides in Iran, today? Nine. Does ISIS behead prisoners, on You Tube, no less? Yes.  Were there slave markets in ISIS controlled territories, where women were bought and sold? Yes.  

The very long Mawdudi footnote quoted above puts “obedience” to Muhammad right after obedience to God.  A non-Muslim could be forgiven for thinking that Muslims worship Muhammad as much as Christians worship Jesus.  That, of course, would be what Muslims call shirk, worshipping others beside Allah, and would be a mortal sin.  

However, another footnote from Mawdudi leaves no doubt that Muslims worship Muhammad in all but name. Here is V3:70 and its footnote from pages 78 and 79. “People of the book” are Jews and Christians, the book being the Bible:  

“People of the Book! Why do you reject the Signs of Allah even though you yourselves witness them?”  

Footnote: Another rendering of this could be, “and you yourselves bear witness” to Muhammad’s prophethood. However it is translated, the sense remains the same. In fact, the impeccable purity of the life of the Prophet (peace be on him), the astounding impact of his teachings on the lives of his Companions, and the loftiness of the teachings of the Qur’an all constituted such illustrious-signs of God that it was very difficult for anyone conversant with the lives of the Prophets and the tenor of Divine Scriptures to doubt Muhammad’s prophethood. 

This is quite a statement of belief.  To think that Muhammad led a life of “impeccable purity” is beyond comprehension. The only way anybody could think that is if they believed that non-Muslims are simply not part of the human race.  Apparently, because the acts of atrocity Muhammad committed were all against non-Muslims at God’s behest, they were therefore of “impeccable purity.” 

This belief should send chills down the spine of every non-Muslim on earth. 

Appendix Four: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Non-Muslims  

If killing Christians and Jews can be considered acts of impeccable purity, it shouldn’t surprise us to learn that Allah has a low opinion of Christians and Jews. Sure enough, verse 98:6 says:  Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) —will abide in the fire of hell. They are the worst of creatures. (K pg. 810.)  

If Jews and Christians are “the worst of creatures,” you might guess that somewhere in the Koran Allah would prohibit his Muslims from befriending Jews and Christians. Go to the head of the class. Verse 5:51: Believers! Do not take Jews and Christians for your allies. They ae the allies of each other. And among you who takes them for allies, shall be regarded as one of them.” (M pg. 168.)  

The Khan translation defines allies as “friends, protectors, helpers.” To be “one of them” is to turn your back on Islam, to be an apostate, which is punishable by death (Reliance of Traveller pgs. 109, 595.) A similar verse, 4:144 says much the same: Believers! Do not take the unbelieves as you allies in preference to the believers. Do you wish to offer Allah clear proof of guilt against yourselves?  (M pg. 141.)    

Once again, Khan expands on “allies” to mean “friends, protectors helpers, ” and says such a sin is “manifest” proof against oneself. (K pg. 142.) Essentially, what both these verses say is that it is an unforgivable sin for a Muslim to have a non-Muslim friend.    

Do Muslims get any leeway in dealing with non-Muslims? A little. Verse 3:28 says, “The believers may not take the unbelieves for their allies in preference to the Believers — unless he does so in order to protect himself from their wrongdoing.” (M page 71-72.)  However, one of Mawdudi’s footnotes to this verse puts limits on how far a Muslim can go “to protect himself.”   

“One may resort to prudent concealment of faith (taqiyahin order to save one’s life. This concealment should, however, remain within reasonable limits. The most one is permitted to do is to save one’s life and property without jeopardizing either the interests of Islam or the Muslim community as a whole, and without causing loss of life and property to other Muslims. One must never allow saving one’s own life to lead to the propagation of unbelief at the expense of Islam and to the dominance of unbelievers over Muslims.”  

Read that last sentence again and it should come as no surprise that at least one Islamic religious scholar considers it a sin for a Muslim to be guilty of “wanting the life of this world” more than the next. (R of T pg. 967.)  

For Muslims who live in non-Muslims lands, something becoming more and more prevalent as Muslim immigrants pour into Europe, Mawdudi has another revealing footnote, this one to verse 4:100: “He who immigrates in the way of Allah will find in the earth enough room for refuge and plentiful resources.” (M pg. 131.)  

Mawdudi’s footnote cautions: “It should be understood clearly that it is only permissible for a (Muslim) to live under the dominance of an un-Islamic system on one of the following conditions. First, that the believer strives to put an end to the hegemony of the un-Islamic system and to have it replaced by the Islamic system of life–. Second, that he stays in a land where an un-Islamic system prevails because of his inability to depart from that land, but he is utterly unhappy at living under such a system.”   

Any country welcoming Muslim immigrants should bear the above in mind.  To “immigrate in the way of Allah” is to immigrate as a Muslim, and if that Muslim settles in an un-Islamic country, it is his duty to turn that country into an Islamic one. Should he be HAPPY living in that un-Islamic land, he has sinned.  

Doesn’t that make assimilation of devout Muslims into Western societies virtually impossible?    

Finally, while most interpretations of verse 3:28 above say it authorizes widespread deception of non-Muslims, Mawdudi’s restrictions make V3:28 a questionable justification for such deception. Here is where a saying of Muhammad in a hadith is of much more importance than a verse in the Koran.    

In the Reliance of the Traveller, we learn Muhammad said it was permissible to lie when conducting war.  Scholarly consensus, as binding as anything in the Koran, says that is obligatory –obligatory – for a Muslim to lie if the goal is obligatory.   

Since to fight in the way of Allah until the world is ruled by Islam is an obligatory goal, we should not be surprised when devout Muslims lie to us.  Muslims are advised that such lies should “employ words that give a misleading impression, meaning to intend by one’s words something that is literally true, in respect to which one is not lying, while the outward purport of the words deceives the hearer –.”   (R of T pgs. 765, 746.)  

The most common example: “Islam is a religion of peace.” I think many Muslims could pass a polygraph while saying that because they actually believe Islam will bring peace, but only after, of course, all the non-Muslims are warred into their graves.    

Appendix Five: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Women   

Pope Francis recently wrote, “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” He apparently had not read verse 4:34. It contains a little marital advice from Allah:  “As for women of whom you fear rebellion, admonish them, and remain apart from them in beds, and beat them.” (M pg. 114.) 

No actual transgression required. If a husband just “fears rebellion” from a wife, Allah says: Scold her, then don’t sleep with her, and if that doesn’t work, give her a whuppin’.    

Mawdudi has this helpful footnote: “This does not mean a man should resort to these three measures at once–.” The Reliance of the Traveller on page 541 has some more helpful advice to follow when beating one’s wife: Do not break the skin, do not break any bones, and do not draw blood.  Proof positive that only compassionate wife beating is allowed under sharia law.   

Verse 4:34 sounds almost like the disciplining of a child, and it could well be that one or more of a Muslim’s wives is in fact a child. I say “wives” because verse 4:3 allows Muslim men to have as many as four wives, and verses in the Koran, both directly and indirectly, permit Muslim men to marry prepubescent girls.   

The direct proof is found in verse 65:4, which concerns the waiting period required prior to a divorce: “The waiting period of those of your women who have lost all expectation of menstruation shall be three months in case you entertain any doubt; and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated.” (M pg. 866.)  

Mawdudi’s footnote says that “those who have not menstruated” could be “because they are too young.” The khan translation reads: “—and for those who have no courses (i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, –.” (K pg. 737.) Both Korans thus leave no doubt that Allah approves of the marriage of pre-pubescent girls. 

The indirect Koranic proof is in verse 33:21 in which Allah says Muhammad is a good example for Muslims to follow. Muhammad married a six-year-old and consummated the marriage when she was nine.  Lest you think that is some long-discarded tribal custom, the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Ruler of Iran after the Shah was ousted, had married a ten-year-old when he was 26. After he came to power, the legal age for brides was dropped to nine.    

Iran was not an aberration. In Pakistan last year, a Senate committee rejected a bill that would have banned child marriage as “contrary to Islamic injunctions.”  In 2011, a Muslim cleric in Bangladesh said any law banning child marriage would put Muhammad’s character into question and he said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives to oppose any law restricting child marriage. (9)  

From this you can safely deduce that such marriages are sanctioned by the bride’s parents. Even worse, such marriages are often arranged by the parents. The Ayatollah Khomeini called a prepubescent marriage a “divine blessing” and urged Muslim fathers to get their daughters married before they began menstruating.   

Muhammad’s child bride had no say in the arrangement, and so it is today. On page 522 of The Reliance of the Traveller it states that a father can compel the marriage of his daughter, if she is a virgin, without her consent.  This is how Muslim men treat their daughters in many Islamic countries TODAY.   

There are many verses in the Koran in which Allah mentions slave women, referred to as “those whom your right hand possess.”  Mawdudi’s footnote on page 102 to V2:3 says: “This expression denotes ‘slave girls,’ i.e. female captives of war who are distributed by the state among individuals when no exchanges of prisoners of war rakes place.”   

Such women are immediately subject to sexual exploitation, and if they are married women, raping them, or even marrying them if they ae Jews or Christians, is not considered adultery. As explained Mawdudi’s footnote to V4:24:    

“Women who come as captives of war, leaving their husbands behind in Dar al-Harb (Domain of War), are not prohibited, for their marriage is nullified by virtue of their entry into Dar al-Islam (Domain of Islam).” (M pg. 411.)  

Reliance of the Traveller on page 604 confirms this as sharia: “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.”    

Since this is from “A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law” based on the Koran, and since the Koran is a “beacon light to guide humanity” forever, it should be no surprise that Muslim men, today, will enslave non-Muslim women whenever the opportunity arises.   

In the last few years, Iraq and Syria have been the battleground for a new Islamic state, ISIS –Islamic State of Ira and Syria – complete with self-appointed Caliph.  In 2014, ISIS issued a guide to its soldiers on how to treat slave women, mostly women captured when Yazidi communities, who are not Muslims, were overrun by ISIS forces.  (Google: ISIS Slave Women Manual.)   

In a separate Q and A pamphlet published by ISIS we find this revealing answer to Question 13: “Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty?” (A) “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however, if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.” (10)    

It was reported last November that the retreating ISIS forces had moved their slave markets into Turkey, something not possible without the tacit approval of Turkey’s strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdoğanwho is showing signs that he would like to become Islam’s next caliphate. (11)    

Finally, Robert Spencer has remarked on the circular reasoning so prevalent in Islam, e.g. we know the Koran is the word of God because Muhammad says so, and we know Muhammad is God’s messenger because the Koran says so.  Similar circular reasoning is displayed in a hadith (Bukhari 1:6 :301) in which some women ask Muhammad why it is he thinks women are “deficient” in their intelligence.  

Muhammad told them the proof was in the Koran, verse 2:282, in which Allah says that written debt obligations must be witnessed by two males, and if two males can’t be found, it is permissible to have one male and two women, “so that if one of the two women should fail to remember, the other might remind her.”  (M pg. 64.) 

My wife does not think there is ANY humor to be found in that timeless advice from Allah, and she, the daughter of a Lutheran minister! Truly, Allah’s work is never done.   

She doesn’t care for another of my favorite Muhammad quotes: “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (R of T pg.672.) Also: “A people that leaves its leadership to a woman will never succeed.” R of T pg. 641.)  This is Islam’s “Sacred law.”   

Sarcasm aside, how can anyone deny that women are second class citizens under Islam?   

Appendix Six: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Christianity 

I read an article recently in which a Muslim said there were 156 verses of mercy in the Koran, 65 verses of peace and 93 verses of love. (12) Mercy, peace and love. Sounds like something Christians can relate to.  

He even had the audacity to list a few of them. For example, one “peaceful” verse cited was 49:9, which says, “If two parties of the believers happen to fight, make peace between them.” Believers means Muslims, nobody else. A deceiving use of the word “peace”, don’t you think? 

As an example of a verse of “love” he cited verse 3:31 that says that Allah loves His followers, as any Christian would concur with. But the next verse (3:32) says, “–Allah does not love those who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.” (M pg. 73, K pg. 82.) That means that Allah loves ONLY Muslims. Literally true while deceiving the hearer.  

He also didn’t mention the verse (48:29) which says Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. (M pg. 761, K pg. 673.) Love thy neighbor? Only if thy neighbor is a Muslim.  

The Koran is full of nasty stuff like that. Muslims won’t quote those verses. Instead they will purposely quote the Koran out of chronological context confident that most infidels won’t know a damn thing about abrogation.   

Muslims will truthfully tell us that Christians and Muslims have much in common: Both believe in one God, an all-powerful creator who is ever forgiving and most merciful and that believers go to Heaven. Says all that in the Koran.  

What they don’t tell you is that the Allah of the Koran is forgiving and merciful only toward Muslims. Kill and enslave everybody else. In return for slaying and being slain in Allah’s way, Muslims go to Heaven. Nobody else. (M verse 9:111 pg. 293.) 

Turn the other cheek? Not for Muslims: verse 2:191: “For though killing is sinful wrongful persecution is even worse than killing.” (M pg. 90.) Mawdudi’s footnote says “persecution” is when “a person or group is subjected to harassment or intimidation for having accepted what is right and rejected what is wrong.”   

“Vengeance is mine” sayeth Allah? Not for Muslims. Verse 9:14 says, “Make war on them. Allah will chastise them through you–.” (M pg. 272.) Verse 9:52 says much the same thing, so in two places in the most important chapter in the Koran, Muslims are encouraged to wreak vengeance on Allah’s behalf. 

That’s why Muslim sociopaths scream “Allahu Akbar” — Allah is greater — while they’re killing infidels. 

Love and forgive the sinner? Hah!  Allah once commanded Muhammad to not pray or even stand at the grave of a Muslim – A MUSLIM — who wasn’t a “good” Muslim. (M verse 9:84 pg. 288, K pg. 262.) 

Muslims tell us that Islam considers Jesus a revered prophet who was born of a virgin, performed miracles and was lifted to Heaven by Allah It’s all in the Koran. (V4:157-4:158 M 143, K 144.) What’s also in the Koran is Jesus denying his divinity, to Allah no less, and at the same time Allah declaring the trinity to be Jesus, Mary and Allah. Jesus, MARY and Allah. 

“–Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say unto men, ‘Worship me AND MY MOTHER as two gods besides Allah?’ He (Jesus) will say ‘Glory be to You, it was not for me to say what I had no right to say. –Never did I say to them aught except what You, Allah, did command me to say: Worship Allah–.” (K verses 5:116 and 5:117, pg. 175.) 

The translators then add: “This is a great admonition and warning to Christians of the whole world.”  That’s from a 1999 translation with a contemporary interpretation, not from a thousand years ago. 

Did you know that Jesus was not crucified? “And the Jews said, “We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Mary but they killed him not, nor crucified Him but it appeared so to them (the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man and they killed that man) but Allah raised him (Jesus) unto Himself (in Heaven).” Therefore, Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected. (Verses 4:157 – 158, K 144 and M 143.)  

Mawdudi has this footnote: “This verse categorically states that Jesus was raised on high before he could be crucified, and that the belief of both the Jews and the Christians that Jesus died on the cross is a misconception.” That’s what devout Muslims believe BECAUSE IT IS IN THE KORAN! 

It is important to note that Muhammad had to discredit the Resurrection, the foundational miracle of Christianity, in order to establish the supremacy of Islam. There could be no Holy Spirit in the Koran’s Trinity. How could Muhammad claim to be Allah’s last and most favored prophet if he too wasn’t resurrected?  

Even Muhammad, someone I believe drank his own Kool-Aid with gusto, knew deep in his con-man soul he couldn’t pull that one off. 

Muslims claim Muhammad was not only the last of Allah’s prophets, but that his coming was prophesized by Jesus in John 14:16: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever,” and from John 15:26: “But when the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, he will bear witness to me–.”  

I’ll leave interpretations of those verses to those more knowledgeable about the Gospels, but I find it incomprehensible to claim they prophesized the coming of a warrior prophet who would kill, torture, rape, enslave and plunder until the world was governed by Christianity 

Most Christians would also be surprised to learn that the Disciples were Muslims: “Then when ‘Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said, ‘who will be my helpers in Allah’s cause?’ The disciples said ‘We are the helpers of Allah, we believe in Allah and bear witness we are Muslims.’ ” (K V3:52 pg.86.) 

There are other verses refuting Christianity, among the most important: In verse 5:72, Allah says, “They do blaspheme who say, “God is Christ the son of Mary.” In the next verse, 5:73, Allah says, “They do blaspheme who say, “God is one of three in a trinity for there is no god except One God (Allah.).” (Ali pg. 71.) 

In verse 5:75, Allah delivers the coup de grace: “The Messiah, son of Mary was no more than a messenger—.” Mawdudi’s footnote says it all: “In these few words, the Divinity of Jesus is repudiated.” (M pg. 173.) 

Finally, let’s look at the opening lines of the Koran, the little prayer, Al-Fatihah, that devout Muslims in the course of their five daily prayers, recite at least 17 times per day. It is very instructive, very symbolic:  

 In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.                                                          All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.                                          The Most gracious, the Most Merciful.                                                                                             The only Judge on the Day of Resurrection                                                                                   You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help.                                                                  Guide us to the straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed your grace, not the way of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray. (K pgs. 11-12. Slightly edited for brevity.)  

Hey! Sounds pretty good, right? Especially that part about “Guide us to the straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed your grace, not the way of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray.”  Kumbaya!   

A little problem. From the Khan translation we get this explanation of the meaning of that last line, and from Muhammad himself. When asked who were those who earned Allah’s anger, he said, “They are the Jews.” And of those who went astray? Muhammad said, “The Christians—they are the ones who went astray.” (K pg. 12, ftnt. (1).)  

Muslims know what this prayer means. They pray every day to not be like Christians and Jews, and yet Muslims around America are undertaking outreach programs at which they frequently have everybody join hands and repeat this little prayer.  Deception, indeed. 

Appendix Seven:  How a Devout Muslim Views the Koran  

Churchill implied the Koran was “turgid, verbose and shapeless.” It is also contradictory, filled with hatred and has factual errors not consistent with an “All-knowing” Allah.  The commands to obey and emulate Muhammad, as well as the numerous times that Allah comes to Muhammad’s aid, make a skeptic wonder just who wrote the Koran, Allah or Muhammad.    

A hadith even has Muhammad persuading Allah that Muslims should pray only five times a day rather than the 50 Allah had ordered, and doing so at the suggestion of Moses! (13)    

This virtual worship of Muhammad shows the hypocrisy of Muslims accusing Christians of polytheism.  That Muhamad’s life was considered by Mawdudi to be one of “impeccable purity” is both incredible and disturbing.  True believers deny the obvious. They lie to themselves and believe the lies.  They protect themselves with what Eric Hoffer called a “fact-proof shield.” Below is Mawdudi’s peon to the Koran:  

“The Qur’an itself is a strong, persuasive testimony to its Divine origin. It is inconceivable that any human being should compose discourses on different subjects under different circumstances and on different occasions and the collection of those discourses should then grow into a coherent, homogeneous and integrated work, no component of which is discordant with the rest. It is also inconceivable that such a work would be permeated throughout with a uniform outlook and attitude, a work manifesting remarkable consistency in the mood and spirit of its Author, a work so perfect that it would never require any change or revision.” (M pg. 125.)  

People who have this sort of fevered belief in a book that condemns non-Muslims to Hell and guarantees Heaven only for those who die spreading Islam, are people who should never be allowed to live and worship in America, or any other nation that rejects the idea that mankind is best ruled by a theocracy.    

Appendix Eight: Conclusion 

Muslims don’t make a secret of anything in this article.  The Korans, The Reliance of The Traveller and all of my other sources are available on Amazon. You’re probably thinking, “Why haven’t I heard any of this before?” 

Good question. Part of the answer is that Muslims have done a great job of portraying themselves as VICTIMS of discrimination –- RACISM!  ISLAMOPHPBIA!! — while simultaneously lying to us about the fundamentals of their dictatorial and primitive faith, a theocracy at odds with our Constitution. 

What is very disturbing is that there is no Christian leadership against Islam, no “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Oh, no. That would be “Islamophobia.” Pope Francis, the iconic head of Christianity, is an apologist for Islam who knows nothing, nothing about the religion. 

Equally disturbing, nowhere do I see the political courage to deny Islam First Amendment protection. In fact, the First Amendment is in danger being “abrogated” by efforts to label speaking the truth about Islam as “hate speech,” and to give Muslims special privileges in our schools and elsewhere.  

Islam teaches that separation of church and state, as set forth in the First Amendment, is a SIN. Islam also teaches that it is obligatory for Muslims to establish an Islamic theocracy, a caliphate, (R of T pg.639) under which no such law as a First Amendment would be allowed.   

Learning how to read the Koran is the first thing to do to stop that from happening.        

 

Footnotes 

(1) Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War Volume 1 – The Gathering Storm, (Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin, 1948, reprinted 1949, paperback edition), p. 50. 

(2) Winston Churchill, The River War, 1899, quote via: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/churchillislam.asp 

(3) Paragraph 253, Pope Francis, EVANGELII GAUDIUM, 24 November 2013, from Stephen Coughlin, Catastrophic Failure, (Washington D.C., Center for Security Policy Press, 2015), p. 511. 

(4) Updated terrorist attack totals and MUCH more from: religionofpeace.com. 

(5) Robert Spencer, Islam Unveiled, (San Francisco, CA, Encounter Books, 2003, paperback edition), p. 35, which references the quote from Amir Taheri, Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism (Adler & Adler, 1987), pp.241-243. 

(6) Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And The Crusades), (Washinton D.C., Regnery Publishing, 2005), p. 27. 

(7) https://archive.org/stream/TafseerIbnKathirenglish114SurahsComplete/009Tawbah#page/n85/mode/2up  

(8) ibid, Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And The Crusades), p. 33.  

(9) Robert Spencer, “Pakistan: Senate body rejects ban on child marriage as “un-Islamic,” 10/12/17-https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/10/pakistan-senate-body-rejects-ban-on-child-marriage-as-un-islamic  

(10)  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-releases-abhorrent-sex-slaves-pamphlet-with-27-tips-for-militants-on-taking-punishing-and-9915913.html.  Easier to Google the general subject, “ISIS slave manual.” Etc.  

(11) https://clarionproject.org/isis-opens-sex-slave-market-turkeys-capital/ 

(12) https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/11/hugh-fitzgerald-john-hamed-jr-and-the-misrepresentation-of-islam)  

(13) Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol 3, p. 213.  

Bibliography of Sacred Texts  

The Qur’an Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., Publishers and Distributors of Holy Qur’an, Elmhurst, New York. Sixth U.S. Edition, 2001. 

Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an in The English Language, Translated by: Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D., and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, DARUSSALAM Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Revised Edition: March 1999.  

 Towards Understanding the Qur’an, Abridged version of Tafhim al-Qur’an, by Sayyid Abdul a’la Mawdudi.  Translated and edited (from Urdu to English) by Zafar Ishaq Ansari, UK Islamic Mission Dawah Centre, Birmingham, UK, 2001.   

Reliance of the Traveller, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices. Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, amana publcations, Beltsville, Maryland. Revised edition 1994, reprinted 2015. 

A Common Sense Proposal to Increase Safety at New Mexico’s Schools

A Common Sense Proposal to Increase Safety at New Mexico’s Schools, by Peter Burrows 3/14/18 elburropete@gmail.com –  silvercityburro.com 

Last month’s horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, elicited the usual storm of hysterical cries to “do something.”  Most of the “somethings” proposed would in fact do nothing.  

Not all, however.  The common sense notion that teachers should be armed is gaining ground.  There are many who think arming teachers is anything but “common sense,” and those people are wrong.  Let’s look at some facts. 

1)  Crazy people are crazy, not stupid.  I should rewrite that at least ten times, because it is an important, crucial fact that gun control advocates just don’t get: The killers are crazy, not stupid.  

2) 98 percent of all mass shootings in the United States happen in placers that are legally designated as “gun free zones.”    

3) Almost all schools are gun free zones.  

The linkage between the above three points should be obvious.  Try to imagine you are a twisted little psychopath who wants to go out in a blaze of infamy.  You approach Stout Elementary during school hours and you notice a sign, a BIG sign, above the door that reads:  ALL EMPLOYEES IN THIS BUILDING ARE PERMITTED TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS.  

I believe the typical psychopath would read that and decide to wreak mayhem elsewhere.  Maybe he’ll go down to the Silco Theater, confident that he can shoot the place up and escape out the back, undeterred and still on the rampage.  

He gets to the Silco, however, and notices a sign, another big one, that reads: LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT HOLDERS –  HALF PRICE.  I’m betting he reads that and heads to Walmart, where the sign on the door says firearms are not permitted in the building.  

Yes, indeed. That’s the place to kill lots of folks, unless of course, there’s a lawbreaker on the premises who might shoot back.    

The bottom line is that it is not the psychopath who is stupid; it is the advocate of gun free zones.   

Thinking that an armed guard is going to solve the problem is also stupid.  Didn’t work in Lakeland, where the guard was either incompetent or cowardly. Doesn’t make any difference which, because any psychopath with an ounce of intelligence will know that the guard is the first and only person he has to take out to then have a risk-free killing zone.  

The beauty of having armed school personnel is that not every teacher has to be armed, maybe not any. But the psycho won’t know who’s armed.  Could be the janitor. Could be the little old lady helping to teach kindergarten. Could be the kindergarten teacher.   

You get my point, I hope.  

As a practical matter, this does not eliminate the mass-shooter problem, it merely changes the locale. True, but it does keep the kids safe, which is the objective.  

Implementing this plan would be simplicity itself: The New Mexico Legislature passes a law that requires every employee of our public schools pass the background check required to buy a handgun.  (Not a bad idea, guns or not.) If they pass, they get a concealed carry permit, good for as long as they are employed by the school, which allows the employee to carry a concealed weapon at the school, or anywhere.  

Any employee can carry a weapon, but no employee is required to.  Training should be available for those who want it, but not required, because we don’t want to identify those who may be armed in any way.  The schools could sell weapons wholesale, but on a strictly confidential basis, for the same reason. 

Even if nobody in the school was armed, something I hope would never happen, the psycho would see the sign, ALL EMPLOYEES IN THIS BUILDING ARE PERMITTED TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS and go elsewhere.  

Any supervisor who objects to that sign should be fired. What that person is doing is maintaining the invisible sign, easily read by the psychopath, that reads: THIS IS A GUN FREE ZONE. NOBODY WILL STOP YOU FROM KILLING OUR CHILDREN. 

Stupid.  Really, really stupid. 

 

Straight up stupid

“Straight up stupid” by Peter Burrows 3/5/18  elburropete@gmail.com — silvercityburro.com 

Somebody once described the Republicans and the Democrats as “the stupid party and the evil party.”  That’s a little unfair to the Republicans, as there is plenty of nonpartisan stupidity to go around, but last week the Republicans owned the title. No contest. Two examples: 

First, Republican Lt. Governor John Sanchez visited Silver City to talk to local officials about the Air Force’s proposed Gila Wilderness flyovers.  He then spent an hour or so with local Republicans.  At that meeting, he lamented to some of us about what a money loser Governor Bill Richardson’s Rail Runner had proven to be.   

He also mentioned another money-losing Richardson folly, the Spaceport. (I note that quite a few Republicans put on their stupid hats and supported Richardson’s Spaceport idea.)  New Mexico has spent $250 million on a facility that was supposed to start sending rich people into sub-orbit starting in 2010. That’s right, 2010.  Flights to date: Zero. 

Surprisingly, the recent budget bill has $10 million for a new hangar at the spaceport, and when I asked Sanchez if that was going to get a line item veto, I got the strong impression that it would not. Sanchez told us the Spaceport has new management that is “really professional” and will sell the locale to aerospace companies around the world and the new hangar will facilitate that and blah, blah, blah.  

Besides, the Spaceport, like the Rail Runner, can’t be sold because nobody will buy it. Gee, I said, why not try to GIVE it to Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, a couple guys who might know how to make a buck down there?  

(Bezos and Musk are billionaire entrepreneurs operating their own space cargo/travel companies. I doubt if either would want a facility located in the middle of nowhere, but it would be worth a try.)   

Sanchez looked at me as though I had lost my mind. He was probably thinking, “What a crazy Old Fart. The Spaceport cost a quarter of a billion dollars and he wants to give it away!”   

Does Sanchez really think the state can hire a bureaucrat who will do a better job than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos? Is he that stupid? More likely, Sanchez has been a member of the political class for so long that he can’t bring himself to admit that the State of New Mexico has made two of the most colossal, straight up stupid investments ever made by a state government.   

That we won’t shut them down or give them away illustrates the sunk-cost fallacy, in which previous investments, the sunk costs, compel people to add to those investments even though it doesn’t make economic sense to do so.  Here’s a great definition I found on the web: 

Sunk costs “are investments which can never be recovered. An android with fully functioning logic circuits would never make a decision which took sunk costs into account, but you would. As an emotional human being, your aversion to loss often leads you right into the sunk cost fallacy.”    

From another site: “The sunk cost fallacy is sometimes called the Concorde fallacy —- a reference to the construction of the first commercial supersonic airliner. The project was predicted to be a failure early on, but everyone involved kept goingTheir shared investment built a hefty psychological burden which outweighed their better judgements. After losing an incredible amount of money, effort and time, they didn’t want to just give up.” 

Sound familiar?   

Exercise of the fallacy is commonly called throwing good money after bad.  Those of us with an MBA in finance have a more technical term for sunk costs: Spilt Milk.  

The state should shut down both the Rail Runner and the Spaceport because doing so will save New Mexico money.   It won’t recover the investments made or the obligations incurred. Those are sunk costs.  

There is no hope under any realistic scenario for the Rail Runner, but there is a slim chance the Spaceport could become viable if it was given to private investors with the promise it would be a tax-free zone — forever.  Do not hold your breath waiting for that to happen.  

I can forgive New Mexico’s Republicans for succumbing to the sunk cost fallacy concerning Richardson’s boondoggles, but it is unforgivable not to make political hay out of them. These are two examples of Democratic stupidity that voters should be reminded of — constantly. Not to do so is even more stupid than continuing to pour money into them. Damn RINOS. Might as well be Democrats. 

The other great stupidity of last week belongs to President Trump.  He proved his Republican bona fides by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, following in the footsteps of president George W. Bush, who imposed steel import tariffs in 2002.  

The President of the Peterson Institute, economist Adam Posner, said on CNBC that Trump’s tariffs were “straight up stupid,” a wonderful phrase now a part of my lexicon. He also said Trump’s move was “fundamentally incompetent, corrupt or misguided.” Yes, indeed.  Dictatorial, too. Obama-like.   

I don’t know if there is such a thing as “trade deficit fallacy,” but there should be, right alongside sunk cost fallacy. Trump doubled down on his stupidity by saying “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” I wonder if there is an example in history where a nation “won” a trade war?    

The effect of tariffs ripples through the economy in ways most people don’t see.  A good example, close to home, is Trump’s import tariffs on solar panels, a move opposed by our Senator Heinrich, a Democrat, who urged Trump to “look at the bigger picture,” that being that solar panel manufacturing is a miniscule portion of the solar industry, and the increased cost of panels would hurt demand, effecting installers, inverter manufacturers and so on.   

The senator is right. Of course, the REALLY big picture would include the subsidies the solar industry gets, the uneconomic realities of solar power and the stupidity of New Mexico trying to save the world from Global Warming. (Always capitalize a religion.) So, in this case, import tariffs might actually have a good effect, though not in the way intended.   

Stupid Republican thwarts evil Democrat.  Nothing to be happy about.  

The Case For Nuclear Power

The Case For Nuclear Power  by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com 1/1/18

For over ten years, there has been a growing realization among environmentalists that the best way to both eliminate poverty and “save the world” from carbon dioxide emissions is not with renewable energy, e.g. wind and solar, but with nuclear energy.

You haven’t heard about this because it runs counter to the entrenched, well-subsidized solar and wind industries’ interests.  Nuclear advocates present an argument that is reasoned, scientific and compassionate, the latter meaning it exposes the unaffordability of solar and wind.  How novel, coming from environmentalists.  

The most visible nuclear power advocate is Michael Shellenberger, who is running for governor of California.  I wrote about him in my blog, “A Progressive Environmentalist I’d Vote For,” 12/26/17.  I don’t think he has much chance to win, but he will be campaigning on why nuclear power is better than solar and wind, and that’s a start.  

If you want to see him in action, he gave a presentation last November, before he had declared his run for governor, “Why I Changed My Mind About Nuclear Power,” available on You Tube, about 20 minutes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciStnd9Y2ak. I’ll try to summarize his arguments, with only a little editorializing.

To put nuclear powered electricity at the front of preferred power sources, you have to convince people that it is SAFE.  For the typical consumer, the reliability and cost of electricity are the most important criteria, AFTER safety.  

I don’t think CO2 emissions are an important part of the equation, but they are to Shellenberger and other “atomic humanists.”  They can give the solar and wind folks a good whuppin’, something coal backers simply cannot do if CO2 is part of the argument. (I don’t think it should be, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend, don’t cha know.)

Shellenberger uses data from the two biggest nuclear power disasters in world history to show that the mortality from the resulting radiation was either extraordinary low, as in the case of the Chernobyl, or non-existent, as in the case of Fukushima.

Chernobyl is the biggie. It is the worst nuclear accident to date, and probably the worst that will ever happen. Nobody will ever again build such a poorly designed nuclear power plant.  It had no containment dome. When the reactor exploded, it rained radiation everywhere.  Twenty eight people died from acute radiation exposure, and over the next 25 years, another 15 from thyroid cancer.

That’s all. In fact, an increased incidence of thyroid cancer is the only serious consequence of Chernobyl that has been detected in the last 30 years. Of the 16,000 people who got thyroid cancer from Chernobyl, an estimated one percent, 160, will die from it.  This is not a trivial concern for those 160 people, but they are far, far fewer than the predicted fatalities.  

Chernobyl has been intensely researched by hundreds of scientists over the years. They have found no evidence of effects on fertility, infant mortality, birth defects, heritable defects or any increase in any cancer other than thyroid.  What is most surprising, “ there’s no evidence of any increase in non-thyroid cancer including among the cohort who put out the Chernobyl fire and cleaned it up afterward.”

One of the scientists Shellenberger cites claims that breathing passive smoke is almost twice as dangerous  as being a Chernobyl liquidator, and living in a big city’s air pollution is almost three times as dangerous.  He says all this data is available on the web, “but nobody knows it.”

Deaths from particulate matter and other air pollution such as passive cigarette smoke are suspect in my opinion, but they are always cited to oppose coal power.  If used to justify nuclear, I’m good with it. Shellenberger even quotes the sainted CO2 warrior James Hansen who says “nuclear power has actually saved 1.8 million lives.”  

His biggest surprise is when he shows a graph and says, “–look at how much more materials are required to produce energy from solar and wind compared to nuclear. As a result, solar actually produces 200 to 300 times more toxic waste than nuclear.”  This is all pollution from the hard stuff, no mention of carbon dioxide emissions.  

I won’t bore you with Shellenberger’s economic case for nuclear vs. renewables.  I do a better job of that in my blog, “Dear Public Service of New Mexico, I’m still waiting for an answer,” 11/30/17.

The fact that he thinks the economics of energy are important sets him apart from the typical apocalyptic environmentalist.  I suspect he is no longer welcome at The Church of Global Warming because an article he co-wrote in 2013 claimed that “energy poverty causes more harm to the poor than global warming.”

More harm than global warming? Yes!  No moral grandstanding for Mr.Shellenberger. He has traveled the world. He has seen a lot of poverty, and people trying to escape poverty by moving to the cities for jobs, education, opportunity.  He thinks such urbanization is a good thing, because it “allows the natural environment to come back.”

Modern urbanization means skyscrapers, which take “a huge amount of energy,” and he asks, “how do you get plentiful, reliable electricity without destroying the environment?”  By that I think he means, “How can we simultaneously reduce poverty AND carbon dioxide emissions?”

Wind and solar are NOT the answer.  They are too expensive, too unreliable, and even too polluting vs. nuclear.  Good luck, Governor Shellenberger!