In defense of Michael Noah Guebara, the ISIS panel did in fact turn the discussion into a personal attack session against Christianity. As the student who sat right behind Guebara, and also engaged the imam throughout the entire discussion session, I can attest to the fact that the imam was presenting a whitewashed version of Islam that does not exist in reality. There are several points that need to be addressed, but first it must be mentioned that the Muslim Student Association did not upload the entirety of the discussion — there is an important part of the discussion missing, which is about jihad.

Point 1: The imam frequently makes comparisons between the violence in the Quran and the violence in the Old Testament of the Bible. The problem with this comparison is that the Bible clearly has an Old and New Testament where new instructions are given for Christians. In addition, the violence in the Old Testament was bound by context, making it descriptive and only relevant to a certain instance. This is in sharp contrast to the Quran, whose verses are prescriptive, and the Quran does not have a “New Testament.”

Point 2: The imam’s wife talked about “protection” for non-believers. This is akin to the mafia extortion and blackmail scheme, where innocent people are threatened if they don’t pay up. The notion of “protection” for non-believers is non-existent in Islam. First of all, why should non-believers need protection from Muslims in the first place? Second, this notion of “protection” is actually a euphemism for the jizya head tax, more appropriately described as a capitulation and subjugation tax that only targets non-Muslims living in Muslim lands.

Point 3: The notion of jihad was deliberately misrepresented by the imam through a straw-man argument. Nobody had claimed that jihad was a holy war, yet the imam stated this and then attacked it. Here is what Reliance of the Traveler says about jihad: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. Jihad is a communal obligation. When enough people perform it to successfully accomplish it, it is no longer obligatory upon others. He who provides the equipment for a soldier in jihad has himself performed jihad... As for subsequent times, there are two possible states in respect to non-Muslims. The first is when they are in their own countries, in which case jihad is a communal obligation, and this is what our author is speaking of when he says, ”Jihad is a communal obligation,” meaning upon the Muslims each year. The second state is when non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or near to one, in which case jihad is personally obligatory upon the inhabitants of that country, who must repel the non-Muslims with whatever they can.”

Americans need not become fooled by the deception being propagated by Muslims. As an American and an Army veteran, I am vehemently opposed to Islam. I am not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, but Islam clearly is not a “religion of peace.” Furthermore, the notion of equality and justice in Islam only apply under a condition: you must be Muslim first. Mohammed himself said the best of all people are the Muslims. The Quran also states that Muslims should be lenient and kind towards fellow Muslims (real Muslims), but harsh towards unbelievers. Such touching descriptions of equality and justice taught by Islam should all bring us to tears.


Samuel Ryu

UNM student