The Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris – as well as all the other recent acts of violence against “blasphemers” in Europe, the United States and Canada – show us something very important about the long shelf-life of Islam. It shows that Islam has sustained itself through such violence.
Think about it.
For hundreds of years at a stretch, Islamic societies – as well as all those Muslims within them - would have experienced almost zero critical views of Islam. And when rare criticisms did escape from that void, the critic would have almost immediately been either killed or imprisoned.
And we're not talking about the 8th century here; or the 12 or 15th century. This is true of the Muslim world right up until today. Think of what happens in Pakistan/Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (Shia) when it comes to blasphemy and apostasy.
Indeed we can also bring all this bang up to date and apply it to the entire non-Muslim world.
For example, one of the largest United Nations (UN) institutions is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); which includes an incredible 56/57 Muslim states. (It has permanent delegations to both the UN and European Union.)
For the last 46 or so years (since 1969) it has been systematically attempting to get all non-Muslim countries (I.e. the entire world) to implement sharia blasphemy law. But, of course, the OIC doesn't call it sharia blasphemy law. That would be silly and politically counterproductive. It speaks, instead, of 'hate crimes', 'human rights', 'racism' and 'disrespect'. That is, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has rather cleverly co-opted the language of the West.
(This is an article by the OIC telling us about its long-running attempt to impose sharia blasphemy law on the United States and how it has tried to use the services of various notables – such as Hilary Clinton – in order to do so.)
Islam's Long Shelf-life
This Islamic tradition which demands death for apostasy – as well as punishment for blasphemy (or “hate speech”/“racism” as it's now called) – started with Mohammed himself. In 1,400 years, every apostate and blasphemer was either killed or imprisoned.
In Islamic or Muslim countries/empires, it was impossible to criticise Islam, Muhammed or the Koran in any way whatsoever. Sharia law made sure of that. Yes, there were indeed debates within Islam on interpretation, etc., though certainly no debates about Islam itself.Islam has lasted for so long because of these overreactions to all and every criticism (or ‘offence’/‘insult’/'mockery'). That’s why Islam survived. Death for apostasy also helped it survive and spread.
So even a train-spotters' religion would survive and prosper if all criticism - or ‘insults’ - were forbidden on pain of death. The Train Spotting Religion would also survive if all apostates had their heads chopped off.
Islam's One Billion Muslims?
So why are there so many Muslims?
Muslims often tell us that there are over one billion Muslims in the world. (They usually state this in response to any criticism of Islam.)
This is a roundabout way of saying:
How can a religion with so many adherents be false or intrinsically violent?
Well, how could communism have been wrong/false when at its height it had millions of adherents (say, in the 1940s and before)? And what about Nazism? At its peak (say, the mid-1930s) there were tens of millions of Nazis and fascists in Europe and beyond. (Though both communism and Nazism relied on their own political versions of death for apostasy and blasphemy law.)
Numbers on their own prove neither truth nor goodness.
And then there's the demographic fact that Islam was simply passed on from generation to generation. This means that in Muslim societies - which also outlaw all criticism of Islam and stipulate death for apostasy - the numbers of Muslims would (by definition) increase from generation to generation. It could never have been any other way. In a sense, there was bound to be a billion Muslims on this planet at some point for simple reasons of demographics and the outlawing of all internal criticism of Islam.
We can also add to all the Islamic tradition of forced conversion and dhimmitude which were the result of Islamic expansionism and imperialism.
What we also have, then, is the lineal progeny of Islam through generations and generations of Muslim families. Millions of Muslim families that never considered – not even for one moment - the possibility of not being Muslim or changing their faith.
Now tell me that one billion Muslims says that much about either the truth or morality of Islam.
Islam has survived with the utterly necessary help of relentless violence. And that violence has now come to Europe and America.
It fact it arrived in Europe some time ago. (If we discount the historical Muslim invasions which predated the Crusades.)
Muslim have rioted in Malmö, Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and in many other European cities. They have also rioted in the UK cities and towns of Bradford, Oldham, Keighley, Rochdale, Blackburn, etc. They rioted and killed over Salman Rushdie and the Danish cartoons of Muhammed. They assassinated Theo van Gogh and have threatened to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Gert Wilders and Salman Rushdie. They have bombed the streets of London, Paris and Madrid. They have demanded that sharia blasphemy laws be implemented in the UK to deal with all criticisms of Mohammed, the Koran and Islam itself. And no doubt they will eventually riot and kill over these issues in the future.
So when Muslims and Western Islamophiles tell you about Islam's long history and the “billion Muslims”, remind them of the Islamic traditions of death for apostasy and the violence against all critics of Islam.
Remind them of the Charlie Hebdo killings too.