Very few people—non-Muslims, that is — in the West know that the Qur’an describes Muslims as the “best of peoples” and non-Muslims as “the most vile of created beings.” It sounds like something made up by “islamophobes” to blacken the good name of Islam – but, alas, neither description is made up; both are found in the Qur’an.
If the non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings,” a corollary belief is that they are “unclean.” That, too, is in the Qur’an: “O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean…” (9:28). Christians, in the Muslim view, are “polytheists” because they worship the Trinity.
In many Muslim societies, non-Muslims find that they are punished, sometimes fatally, should they do something as innocuous as drinking water from the same cup that is used by Muslims, taking food from the same serving tray as Muslims, or using water from an irrigation tube that belongs to Muslims, and is used to waters crops that are eaten by Muslims.
In Iraq, American soldiers were surprised to discover that some — not all — of their Iraqi allies, happy to have them as fellow fighters, nonetheless did not eat from the same dishes or drink from the same sources as their American allies. And Americans in Iraq were surprised, too, to discover that the Shia cleric Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani, possibly the most respected and beloved Shi’a cleric in Iraq, well-known as a “moderate,” has for years had posted at his own website (sistani.org) a list of things which, for Muslims, are to be considered “unclean.”
This is the list of what Muslims should consider to be “najis” or “impure”:
Ruling 80. There are ten things that are impure [intrinsically]:
- disbeliever (kāfir);
- sweat of an excrement-eating animal.
So all of us, the world’s Infidels, are to be regarded as unclean as “urine,” “faeces,” “semen,” the “sweat of an excrement-eating animal” and more in that nauseating line. That is what Muslims are taught to believe: we Kaffirs are unclean, we are physically loathsome. Muslims should shun the Infidels, not merely not be friends with them “because they are friends only with each other,” (5:51) and not detest them because “they are the most vile of created beings,” (98:6), but actively avoid coming into physical contact with them or with anything – a cup, a dish, a water-hose – they might have used. For the Infidels are “impure” just like faeces, blood, and semen. Non-Muslims must not drink from the same fountain or vessel Muslims use, not eat from the same communal dishes Muslims eat from, not clean themselves with water from an irrigation pipe that waters the crops that Muslims eat. Should non-Muslims do any of these things, and many others, they may be subject to a hysterical, even murderous reaction.
Two recent cases, both in Pakistan, offer examples of this Muslim hysteria. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was harvesting falsa berries along with a group of non-Muslim women. At one point, she was asked to fetch water from a nearby well; she complied, but stopped to take a drink with an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well. One of the Muslim women, Musarat, saw her and angrily told her that it was forbidden for a Christian to drink water from the same utensil from which Muslims drink, and that some of the other workers considered her to be unclean because she was a Christian. That ultimately led to a trumped -up claim that she had been making blasphemous remarks about Muhammad, and a sentence of death, which the Pakistani Supreme Court ultimately reversed. After many travails, Bibi found refuge in Canada. What matters for the discussion here is Bibi’s initial crime: that she had dared to drink water using the same cup from which Muslims drank. That would have been enough to cause her to receive punishment – a severe beating from the other women, and possibly a fine or even imprisonment by the state.
The second case, described at International Christian Concern, involved one Saleem Masih:
Saleem Masih, a 22-year-old Pakistani Christian, was severely tortured by a Muslim landlord in Pakistan’s Kasur District because he used the landlord’s tube-well to bathe. Three days later, on February 28, Saleem died at Lahore General Hospital due to the severity of his injuries.
On February 25, Saleem was working as a day laborer in an agricultural field owned by Sher Dogar in Bhagiyana village, located in the Kasur District. Early in the morning, after Masih finished unloading chaff in the fields, he rinsed himself off in a nearby tube-well. When Dogar and other Muslims saw what Saleem was doing, they rushed over, pulled Saleem out of the water, and began to beat him.
A “tube-well” lifts water from an underground aquifer, in order to use it for irrigating crops.
“They abused and tortured [Saleem] for ‘polluting’ the Muslims’ water,” Waris Masih, Saleem’s uncle, told ICC. “They got aggressive because a ‘Choora’ (a derogatory term used to denote Pakistani Christians as unclean) dared to make their water unclean. They claimed this would make their entire crop filthy.”
According to multiple reports, Dogar and six other Muslims, including Muhammad Iqbal, Altaf, Ali Shehzad, Jabbar Arain, Mushtaq, and Haji Muhammad, dragged Saleem to Dogar’s cattle farm where they chained him down and tortured him for two hours. According to Saleem’s relatives, he was beaten with sticks and iron rods, struck with electric shocks, and rolled over by an iron rod, causing multiple fractures to his left arm and ribs.
At approximately 9:00 a.m., Saleem’s father, Ghafoor Masih, was called by the police to Dogar’s cattle farm. There he discovered Saleem unconscious and bloodied due to the torture. Saleem’s father rushed him to the district hospital where he received initial treatment, but was transferred to Lahore General Hospital due to the severity of his injuries. Saleem remained in a coma for three days until he died on February 28….
This inoffensive man was beaten most savagely to death because he had dared to rinse himself off using water flowing from an irrigation pipe. To his torturers, by allowing the water to flow over his own, Infidel, “unclean” body, he was also making all the crops watered by that pipe unclean, and in their view, “ruined.” It’s a nearly insane notion, but it led to the torture and murder of Saleem Masih.
There has been little international attention paid to this killing, and others like it over the years, where the slightest of acts by a “najis” non-Muslim – Asia Bibi using a communal cup to drink water, and thereby making it “unclean” for Muslims, or Saleem Masih using an irrigation pipe to wash off the chaff that had stuck to his body, thereby rendering that pipe, too, “unclean,” and “unclean,” too, all the water that subsequently flowed from it, and the crops, as well, that were irrigated by that water. These examples of collective Muslim insanity needs to be given much greater attention in the Western world, and pressure applied, wherever possible, to change things. The Western countries ought to raise the matter both bilaterally, with Muslim governments, and at the U.N., to ask publicly what the Muslim states intend to do about the listing of Infidels as “najis” (unclean) and the consequences that have followed, in such cases as those of Asia Bibi and Saleem Masih. They should ask that the Muslim governments undertake a campaign against those who continue to insist that Infidels are “najis.” On what grounds could Muslim states refuse that most modest request?
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