Widgets Magazine

International lawyer Karim Khan argues peace at core of Islam

International lawyer and prosecutor Karim Khan QC argued that human rights are at the core of Islam in a Thursday talk on campus sponsored by the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

Khan, a Muslim himself, opened his talk at the Stanford Humanities by highlighting the peace and universal tolerance that Islam teaches. Islam, he said, means peace; the standard Muslim greeting means, “upon you, peace.” He stressed that this “you” refers not just to Muslims but to all of humanity.”

In fact, Khan believes that tolerance is at the core of Islam, citing the Ashtiname of Muhammad as a “shining example” of Islamic human rights from 628 CE. The Ashtiname of Muhammad is a covenant written by the prophet Muhammad guaranteeing the protection of Christians.

“We are with them,” the text reads. “I, my servants, my followers defend them … No compulsion is to be on them. Their judges are not to be removed, nor their monks from their monasteries.”

Furthermore, the text calls on Muslims to defend the Christians, saying that “no one is to force them to travel or fight” and that “the Muslims will fight for them.”

When asked about Robert Spencer, the controversial conservative writer and self-proclaimed Islamophobe who spoke on campus Nov.14, Khan said that many of the Islamic verses Spencer cited were taken out of context.

“The case put forward by [Spencer] is born of a lack of information and maybe a smidgen of prejudice,” he said.

However, he stressed that Spencer is free to make his own decisions.

“If Mr. Robert Spencer and others [such as] … President Trump view the whole religion, the whole philosophy … [as] a real and present threat [that] is oppressive, that’s them to make that determination,” he said.

He said he simply does his best at presenting what he believes in and what is supported by evidence, stating he would not interfere with the audiences’ assessment of his work.

Violence taken in the name of Islam, whether by Al-Qaeda or the “not-Islamic” Daesh, is done by “so-called Muslims,” he argued. Religions, he argued, are judged by their “teachings” rather than by the actions of their followers.

“Otherwise, I would reject every religion,” he said, citing atrocities committed in the name of various faiths such as the Spanish Inquisition, led by Christians.

He said he would even reject Islam because of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist attacks.

To Khan, violence shows that the Islamic world has been “hijacked for largely political purposes” because politicians often radicalize their messages to win support. But despite the “nonsense high-flouting theologians” may espouse, he said, citing Islamic text, “to murder one individual is to murder humanity … and to [be kind to] one individual … is to save [it].”

Ultimately, Khan argued that all religions are similar in that they are rooted in justice and have room for improvement.He lamented that many countries that call themselves “Islamic this and Islamic that” are less Islamic than Christian-majority countries in terms of adhering to the ideals of tolerance in the Quran.

“Whether we are Muslim, … Christian, or Jew or Hindu, what side [do each one of us] want to be on?” he said. “Enlightenment and kindness and peace or…violence and division and hate? I think it’s clear.”
Contact Justin Daniels at justinmd ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Justin Daniels

Justin Daniels '20 is a writer for campus life studying French, Italian and History from Baltimore, Maryland. He has an adorable golden retriever named Makenzie and a lovely sister. He loves getting lost in the stacks of Green and spending time with friends, preferably speaking French.
  • xyz

    Abu – there’s carnage daily in Islam. We can debate details until we turn blue in the face. But all that matters is reality.

  • Abu Salma

    yes, there is carnage in the Muslim world, it needs to be fixed – the carnage you are talking about is a joke as compared to the carnage done by the father of modern day terror: Sir Aurthor Harris. This man, systematically and INTENTIONALLY bombed and murdered countless innocent civilians in bombing raids. Terrorism which is taking place in the Muslim world is nothing compared to what Christians have done, are are doing today. I tell Muslims all the time – we should be thankful that things are not as bad what happened to other people.

  • xyz

    So you are admitting Islam isn’t peaceful then.

    So what are Christians doing today? Give a list please. And western nations aren’t Christians.

  • Abu Salma

    Trump is relevant because he has researched this issue as found your argument as false. Right now you are chanting. But not presenting any evidence. Let me provide you some more evidence – If Islam is the problem, then the terrorists should be the people who understand Islam the best, such as a PhD student on Islam. Question – How many graduates from the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia have committed terrorist acts? If Islam causes terrorism, then the Val Victorian should have strapped a bomb to himself and blown him up! 🙂 Yet, what we find, is University of Medina and their students CONDEMN terrorism. Keep in mind, tens of thousands of graduates are here in the USA. Yet, they all condemn terrorism. How do you explain this contradiction in your argument ?

  • xyz

    What contradiction? So some condemn terrorism. Many do not. And that is what they say, not necessarily what they think. Not to mention you admitted there was carnage in the Muslim world.

    I presented a list of daily terror attacks, so please don’t say I haven’t provided evidence. These attacks aren’t one-offs and happen every single day. Why is there so much “political grievance” then in Islam? Why do other religions not have these grievances? Why don’t you tell us what Dar al harb means, vs Dar al Islam? Why don’t you ask Anjem Choudary about this? At least he tells the truth.

  • Sandydog

    You’ve already tried that line. Didn’t work then. Doesn’t work now.

    Qur’an 18:83-86—And they ask you about Dhul-Qarnain.
    Say: “I shall recite to you something of his story.” Verily, We
    established him in the earth, and We gave him the means of everything. So he followed a way. Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of black muddy (or hot) water. And he found near it a people.

    Sunan Abu Dawud 3991—Abu Dharr said: I was sitting behind the
    Apostle of Allah who was riding a donkey while the sun was setting. He
    asked: Do you know where this sets? I replied: Allah and his Apostle
    know best. He said: It sets in a spring of warm water.

  • Sandydog

    “And all MARRIED women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you.”

    That includes CURRENTLY married women captives whose husbands have been taken captive–and are still alive–too.

    That’s what whomever wrote Qur’an said.

  • Sandydog

    “Bomber” Harris did NOT “murder” countless innocent civilians in bombing raids conducted during WWII on German cities–a nation with which England was at war and fighting for its very existence.

  • Sandydog

    Trump, Petreaus and Hagel are Islamic scholars, now?
    Like Mufti McMaster?

  • Abu Salma

    the verse states: ” and We gave him the means of everything”. This is a miracle. Science does not apply to miracles by definition. Therefore God gave him the means to reach the setting of the sun.

  • Abu Salma

    then what do you have to say about this bible verse: Deuteronomy 21:11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.

  • Abu Salma

    I will provide you a list of christian terror, but wait…. you have not provided me an explanation why a Medina University students and faculty would condemn terrorism… if Islam teaches terrorism, they should be endorsing it… please provide detailed explanation

  • xyz

    Dar al harb?

  • Abu Salma

    Not a concept found in the quran on or Hadith, as of today I have not found a scholar or Theologian who is so stupid enough to think that any non Muslim country is darul harb… all Scholars are in your enemies agreement that we should live in peace and be a beacon of light for the non-muslims to be inspired by through our actions and deeds

  • xyz

    Then what, exactly, is a jihadi?

  • xyz

    Oh well that settles it then I guess. Provide us with an explanation of why there are daily terrorist attacks, and these apparent “political grievances” seem to invoke the words “Allahu Akbar” quite frequently given their political nature, and these political grievances only involve persons from Islam and not other religions. I mean, what a coincidence!

  • Abu Salma

    “Allahu Akbar”? what about all millions of Muslims who also say “Allahu Akbar” when they see terrorism and condemn it? In fact,Im saying “Allahu Akbar” right now! why dont our voices count? The reason why there are terrorist acts are because of 2 reasons:

    1. They are following Sir Aurthor Harris, the father of modern day terrorism. The reason whey he murdered so many innocent people, is the same reason why terrorists do.

    2. They reason wny we see beheadings/mosque shootings/suicide attacks is because unlike Sir Aurthor Harris, terrorists dont have air force , navy, or advanced technology… therefore they are improvising.

    Therefore – beheadings/mosque shootings/suicide attacks only prove one thing – lack of technology. Nothing more.

  • xyz

    Where’s that list of Christian terrorism? Can’t wait to see how many years back you go.

    So are you saying terrorism is justified then?

    Your voices don’t help resolve the problem. So many supposedly peaceful Muslims, and what do they worry about after an attack? Backlash. Headline: Muslims bracing for backlash after tomorrow’s terrorist attack.

  • Abu Salma

    I have exhaustively looked through the anti-Islamic websites on this issue, and I have found no scientific errors in the Quran. Let me know if you think you find any

  • Sandydog

    Yazidis.

  • Sandydog

    We.
    A mouse in his pocket.

  • Sandydog

    I note that Nadir still hasn’t answered:

    Where on the planet–anywhere on the planet–is the punitive amputation of a human being’s hand and foot on opposite sides morally acceptable to you?

  • Sandydog

    Tell us, Nadir:
    At what point does a Muslim’s compliance with Qur’an (not Sunna) become “extremism”?

  • Abu Salma

    raping slave captives of war is an imitation of people of the book(followers of Bible.) Islam condemns this:

    Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari reported: “When I was beating my servant, I heard a voice behind me (saying): Abu Mas’ud, bear in mind Allah has more dominance over you than you have upon him. I turned and (found him) to be Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). I said: Allah’s Messenger, I set him free for the sake of Allah. Thereupon he said: Had you not done that, (the gates of) Hell would have opened for you, or the fire would have burnt you. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Oaths (Kitab Al-Aiman), Book 015, Number 4088)”

    Needless to say, rape is a brutal violent act, Islam condemns any beating from this passage.

    Here is a practical example of a captive woman who refuses:

    When the Muslims conquered al-Qamus (the fort of B. Abu’1-Huqayq), Bilal (one of Muhammad’s companions) brought Safiyah and another woman to Muhammad. He led them past the slain Jews, and when the woman with Safiyah saw them she shrieked and slapped her face and poured dust on her head. Muhammad said, “Take this she-devil away from me.”

    “Take this she-devil away from me.” <– notice she was NOT forced when she showed she did not want to participate.

  • Abu Salma

    what ? not sure what you mean

  • xyz

    That list? And Arthur Harris has been dead 33 years. Anyway this is pointless. The details on the list from the Religion of Peace website will change, but the list will be just as long next week. And the weeks that follow. The details of any Christian list will probably be at least mostly the same next week, and thereafter. I’m not sure what you are trying to prove – that Islam is peaceful, or Christianity is just as bad.

    If Christianity was doing what Islam is today, leftists would be all over it and have a field day. Anyone trying to preach that Christianity is peaceful would be shot down in a heartbeat.

    And I’m not sure why, when there’s so much evidence to the contrary, you keep denying the obvious. There are teachings that clearly lead to violence, and there are followers of those teachings. At least admit the truth to yourself for your own sanity. Later.

  • Abu Salma

    Houston – we have a problem. The problem here…from your responses, it is that you are only understanding 50% of the information given to you.
    It’s ok. It is quite common in these types of discussions. To understand someone’s point of view…. It’s a process. You need
    To make more effort to understand.

    For example – I pointed out to you the “Orthodox Church, which is fully backing Assad and his killing methods” which is terrorism. You had no response.
    My mistake, is we proceeded to the next piece of evidence. Rather.. you need to present a credible refutation or agreement to this. You did not.

    Let me prove it – repeat back to my argument of Sir Aurthor Harris. It doesnt matter if my logic is wrong/right… I am asking you… what is my argument… ball is in your court.

  • xyz

    No Abu. You fail to grasp reality and ignore it by pointing at something else. The question is whether Islam teaches peace – it isn’t relevant what the Orthodox Church thinks about Syria. And Syria isn’t the only place there’s a problem with Islam. And, you still haven’t provided that list. Give it up.

  • Abu Salma

    impossible to respond. everything you are saying is proving that you have very little understanding of what was conveyed to you. again.. the problem is you need to make a concerted effort to understand another point of view. You are not even able to repeat back to me my point on Sir Aurthor Harris. Islam is not the problem here. I believe I am not being listened to, which is fine. But if you don’t want to listen to what I have to say, then there is no point of continuing. this converstation can server no purpose anymore.

  • xyz

    Whatever Abu. Arthur Harris has been dead 33 years yet you keep mentioning his name. Regardless of what happens in Syria, the carnage in the Muslim world will continue, while you try to argue that Islam teaches peace, despite the evidence to the contrary that occurs on a daily basis that you try to pass off as political grievance as if Islam has some kind of monopoly on such grievances. The bottom line is reality, not what you or I say. And the reality is there’s an attack every day within this supposedly “peaceful” religion. That, to me, isn’t peaceful. Islam is the only religion that has these issues constantly. I’ve explained why political grievance doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s pretty simple.

  • Abu Salma

    ok, there you have the last word. let’s close this topic, look at the 30 minute debate video with Robert Spenceri sent you.

  • Sandydog

    We= more than one.

  • Abu Salma

    Arabic and Hebrew have what is known as a royal plural, which demonstrates authority and greatness not numerical.

  • Sandydog

    And like all other “religions”, they are man made.

    Still afraid to answer my question about 5:33 ?

  • Abu Salma

    Context for that verse applies to gangsters and people who murder for fun… do you have a better solution

  • Sandydog

    From my CAIR provided Qur’an:
    “for those who make war on God”
    How mere mortals can accomplish that boggles my mind.
    Do I have a better solution than punitive amputation of a human being’s hand and foot on opposite sides?
    Are you kidding?
    And your failure to denounce it, to renounce it–as being immoral–tells me what I need to know. You so believe the fairy tale that such a barbaric punishment is fine by you–today. Would you watch it being done? Would you do the cutting?
    You don’t reject that nonsense as doing so would be to challenge your guy in the sky.

  • Abu Salma

    is it accurate to say, that the bulk of your knowledge on Islam comes from anti-Islamic/right wing websites like David Wood’s blog…etc?

  • Sandydog

    No.
    My primary Qur’an came from CAIR.

  • Sandydog

    I like MEMRI, too:
    https://www.memri [dot] org/tv/kuwaiti-cleric-jihad-means-fighting-infidels-enslaving-infidels-virtue-of-islam
    What say you?

  • Abu Salma

    learning Islam from bias websites like MEMRI will not help you understand Islam. As you can see, you posted arguments to me from these types of websites, and got a response back. However, MEMRI was not able to help you formulate a counter rebuttal. David Wood’s website is just as futile. For example, I pointed out that God gave Dhul Qarnain the ability to do EVERYTHING, thus making the scientific error claim debunked. Now, go to his website … or any other source and find a counter rebuttal – you cant. Im not saying MEMRI is bad dont go there .. no. I go there myself … but I also access other non-bias sources as well

  • Sandydog

    More obfuscation and dodging from you.
    You’re not clairvoyant and have no idea where I learned about Islam.
    You didn’t debunk what that Kuwaiti cleric said. Why not?
    And, as all religions are man made–God never has and never will do anything. It’s a fairy tale.
    No, Muhammad didn’t ride Buraq anywhere and he didn’t split the moon.
    The Sun doesn’t set in a murky pool and human semen isn’t produced from between the backbone and the ribs.
    Take a look at page 174 re: 5:38 from the Qur’an CAIR provides (The Message of The Qur’an) and understand why so many people hate Islam–you’ll love it though, of course.
    Would you personally mutilate a fellow human being in order to comply with Muhammad and his pretend friend–after all, you did ask me if I had a better solution than the amputation of a human being’s hand and foot on opposite sides for “waging war on Allah”–or do you leave that to the peasants?

  • Abu Salma

    Houston we have a problem I have already addressed you on murky Waters argument and Surah 5 colon 33 you are supposed to respond to my rebuttal not repeat your original argument this shows you are not listening to what I have to say to you and I think that’s the problem if you don’t want to listen to what I have to say fine just tell me now you’re bombarded me with a lot of bogus arguments here please pick one and we can discuss that

  • Sandydog

    O.K.
    Where on the planet is the amputation of a human being’s hand and foot on opposite sides morally acceptable to you?

  • Abu Salma

    I have already answered that therefore I would like to ask you what was my counter argument which I provided you?

  • Sandydog

    No.
    Your “answer” was to ask if I had a better solution.
    If you don’t provide a straightforward answer this time–adios.

  • Abu Salma

    yes, adios indeed. The problems with religous discussion is that some people choose to “tune out”. They are closed minded and refuse to consider the other point of view. They argue back and forth because they only have 20% of an understanding of the other view point, which leads to back and forth argument. To mitigate that, ask: “repeat back to my position”. “What is my argument?” Sandydog, U are wasting your time on MMRI. we got great refutations, to debunk that nonsense. you need to spend more time trying to LEARN Islam and LISTEN sympathetically. As I pointed out… we have a communication problem, not an Islam problem.

  • Sandydog

    You didn’t answer.
    The punitive mutilation of a human being is immoral–no matter which “religion” commands it.
    You and Islam disgust me.
    Adios.