Saturday, February 04, 2006



One day, Mulla Nasrudin was sitting at court. The king was complaining that his subjects were untruthful. "Majesty" said Nasrudin, "there is truth and truth. People must practice real truth before they can use relative truth. They always try the other way around. The result is that they take liberties with their man-made truth, because they know instinctively that it is only an invention."
The King thought that this was too complicated. "A thing must be true or false. I will make people tell the truth, and by this practice they will establish the habit of being truthful."
When the city gates were opened the next morning, a gallows had been erected in front of them, presided over by the captain of the royal guard. A herald announced: "Whoever would enter the city must first answer the truth to a question which will be put to him by the captain of the guard."
Nasrudin, who had been waiting outside, stepped forward first.
The captain spoke: "Where are you going? Tell the truth - the alternative is death by hanging."
"I am going," said Nasrudin, " to be hanged on those gallows."
"I don't believe you!"
"Very well then, if I have told a lie, hang me!"
"But that would make it the truth!"
"Exactly," said Nasrudin, "your truth."


by Howard Bloom (author of the acclaimed books The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century)

"There is an Islamic loophole in our freedom of speech. In the 1990s, a British historical author, Paul Fregosi, was commissioned to write a book about the Islamic crusades against Europe. By April 1997, he had nearly finished the manuscript. Then his publisher, Little, Brown (a part of the AOL Time Warner media octopus), was approached very quietly by Islamic groups. Executives in the British offices of the publishing house had visions of bombs and cut throats dancing in their heads. They did what their polite Islamic visitors demanded. Without uttering a word to the public, they cancelled Paul Fregosi's book. The leading French news agency, Agence France-Presse, was the only media outlet with the guts to cover the tale. It did so in just one brief 254-word piece, then dropped the issue entirely. As an editor at Little, Brown told Fregosi: "We've got to play the game according to Muslim rules."

My publisher — Atlantic Monthly Press — was also threatened in June 1996 because my book, The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of Hisotry, rips off the masks disguising violence in every society, including the societies of Islam. Arab prsesure groups asked ever so politely that The Luciver Principle be withdrawn from print and that nothing that I write be published again. They offered to boycott my publisher's products — all of them — worldwide. And they backed their warning with a call for my punishment in seventeen Islamic countries.

While Paul Fregosi's book was being stifled and mine was under attack, Simon & Schuster, part of the Viacom media goliath, withdrew a children's book because the Islamic activists demanded it. The execs at S&S say that publishing World Religions: Great Lives by respected historian William Jay Jacobs had been an editorial mistake. The error? An illustration of the prophet Mohammed with a sword in his hand. Said the Muslim pressure groups, the painting was defamatory. Also, the section on Mohammed opens with this paragraph:

Muhammed. The Prophet (or "Messenger of God"). During his lifetime he was a man who loved beautiful women, fine perfume, and tasty food. He took pleasure in seeing the heads of his enemies torn from their bodies by the swords of his soldiers. He hated Christians and Jews, poets and painters, and anyone who criticized him. Once he had a Jewish prisoner tortured in order to learn the location of the man's hidden treasure. Then, having uncovered the secret, he had his victim murdered and added the dead man's wife to the collection of women in his harem.

Because of this paragraph and the painting of the entire book — which contains biographies of 32 major figures of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Asian religions — was recalled, and it remains out of print. Simon & Schuster sent a letter of apology to the Council on Islamic-American relations.

Was the portrayal of Mohammed in World Religions: Great Lives accurate? Mohammed ordered a minimum of 27 military raids, and personally led nine of them. That information comes from one of Islam's most popular modern biographies of Mohammed, a 120-page book published in Lahore, Pakistan, by Islamic Publications Ltd and distributed worldwide, but only in Islamic bookshops. The slender volume is Sarwat Saulat's The Life of the Prophet. Unless you are a potential convert to Islam, this is a book that Muslims do not want you to see.

The most influential twentieth-century interpreter of the Koran, the Ayatollah Khomeini, told all Muslims who would listen that military conquest was an obligation of all Godly men… including the Prophet Mohammed. "The leaders of our religion were all soldiers, commanders, and warriors," he wrote. "They put on military dress and went into battle in the wars that are described for us in our history; they killed, and they were killed. The Commander of the Faithful himself [Mohammed] (upon whom be peace) would place a helmet on his blessed head, don his coat of chain mail, and gird on a sword." So why was Simon & Schuster forced to withdraw a children's book that showed a picture of Mohammed with a sword in his hand? Because this is one of Islam's treasured views of its founder. But you are not allowed to know it."

The illustration that caused "Great Lives: World Religions" to be destroyed (Simon & Schuster)

  • Read the whole article here

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