According to an article published here in Brazzil, on June 1, 2006, free copies of the Koran were distributed by Muslim academics, to the São Paulo Trade Association, São Paulo State University and the São Paulo City Council. Thousands more copies will be distributed to other Brazilian institutions, courtesy of the Saudi Embassy.
The Koran is the central guiding text of Islam. It is regarded by Muslims as the unalterable word of God (Allah), given piecemeal in Arabic, to Islam’s founder, Mohammad, over about a 20 year period in the early 7th Century. The actual text was finalized, and all competing versions banned, by Mohammad’s immediate successor.
On its face the Koran donation in Brazil seems to be an ordinary cultural exchange to expand knowledge of Islam. However, pure cultural exchanges are based upon mutual respect and reciprocity. There is no evidence that Brasil, or any other non-Muslim country, is allowed corresponding rights by Muslim governments.
Furthermore, the Koran is being freely donated without any thing or idea actually being exchanged. Gifts, whether religious or from corporations, are intended to promote an idea or sell a product. Furthermore, gifts given by governments usually have a political motive, thus making it necessary to question the donor’s motives and beliefs.
Equally disquieting is why a secular Brazilian state university and the São Paulo City Council are receiving copies of the Koran at all. It is difficult to see the connection or relevance between these bodies and Islam, or for that matter any religion.
The Koran distribution in Brasil is in fact not an isolated event but part of an ongoing effort by Muslim activists to spread Islam in non-Muslim countries. Orthodox Islamic teaching divides the world into two mutually exclusive camps; the house of peace or “Dar al-Islam” and the abode of war, “Dar al-Harb”, as represented by the “infidels”, especially the West.
It is a fundamental tenet of Islam to bring “infidel” nations under its religious and political control. This relentless belief has driven Islamic expansion since Islam began in 7th Century Arabia. In the past Islamic domination was brought about by the sword, however, in the modern era, Islam’s “soft power” and demographics are just as effective.
Islam’s soft power is largely based on petro-dollars. After the 1973 oil price hike raised Arab, and in particular Saudi, wealth to staggering levels, part of that money was targeted for the expansion of Sunni Islam in the West and Asia.
In the United States, for example, the majority of mosques have been constructed with Saudi money. In fact, many of the preachers or imams at these mosques are also appointed by the Saudi religious establishment.
Mosques aside, Saudi and other Muslim money has also been busy financing Islamic studies Departments at American universities. Georgetown University even has a center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, which was funded by and named after one of the world’s wealthiest men, Alwaleed bin Talal – a member of the Saudi ruling elite and also a close friend and business partner of ex-President George H. W. Bush.
In the face of Islamic expansionism, “infidel” countries, such as Brazil, before allowing their institutions to accept free Korans, should be asking basic questions about the underlying Islamic agenda.
Of course Brazil is no stranger to religious infiltration; American evangelicals have been busy reducing Catholic influence there for decades. However, as opposed to Islam, there is reciprocity and relative openness with evangelism; Catholics are free to practice and preach in the U.S. and other western countries.
This is not the case with Islam. While the Saudis feel entitled to finance the spread of Islam in the West, they allow no reciprocal rights to other faiths. Saudi Arabia acting under the dictate of the Koran and Islamic law bans the practice of any faith other than Islam.
In virtually every Islamic nation, non-Muslim minorities occupy second-class status and live in fear and insecurity. Under Islamic Shariah law, a non-Muslim may not even testify against a Muslim. Therefore, while Muslims ceremoniously donate the Koran in Brazil, Muslim countries offer no rights, or second-class citizenship at best, to non-Muslim minorities.
Before well-meaning Brazilian intellectuals and politicians accept free copies of the Koran, they need to ponder over these moral and human rights contradictions and ask some difficult questions. Countries like Saudi Arabia, which exploit western liberalism and have the gall to donate Korans in Brazil, should be stopped and challenged over their treatment of non-Muslims.
Would Saudi Arabia allow, for example, Brazilian bishops to donate the Christian bible in Mecca? No and since it never will, why then does Brazil extend this right to Islam?
The courage to ask these questions requires setting aside the culture of political correctness and moral relativity that pervades the western liberal intelligensia. Western passivity in the face of Islam’s soft power makes a mockery of all concepts of universal human rights and equality.
It is an urgent matter of self respect and self preservation that the people of Brazil, and the West in general, ask these critical questions instead of allowing intellectually dishonest academics and self-serving politicians to jeopardize their country’s political and cultural well-being.
Paolo Bassi is an attorney in Colorado. He was raised in Europe and has visited Brazil and fell in love with the country and its people. He is very interested in the social aspects of football and how it helps to define certain groups of people. Bassi has also written on politics and culture. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.