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9.29: Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the Jizyah [protective and ‘guilt’ tax] in submission.”

Speaking specifically of Sura 2:256, the Saudi Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajid, whose lectures and islamic rulings circulate widely throughout the islamic world, confirms the centuries-old Islamic teaching that “the Ayat al-Sayf [the Verse of the Sword] and similar verses abrogate those saying that there is no compulsion to become a Muslim.”

These are further codified in the revelation Muhammad received from his deity to: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizyah. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Number 4294)

Shariah is based upon the premise of inequality, which is at the heart of Islam. Shariah regards Muslims, male and female, as worthier than all non-Muslims and Muslim men as above Muslim women, which results in huge injustice, degradation and denial of basic human rights. In past caliphates Jews and Christians were severely restricted in the practice of their religious faiths, education and employment.

Many of the claims of a “golden age” of Islamic civilization rest upon the compilation, translation and then transmission of the writings and achievements of non-Muslims. Since the 11th century, with the cessation of critical enquiry (ijtihad), intellectual stagnation has characterized and blighted Islamic societies.

KATHERINE BARLOW

Vienna

The ‘war’ that wasn’t

While National Drug Control Policy Director John P. Walters laments the invasion of U.S. public lands by international marijuana cartels, perhaps he should take time to review our government’s senseless war on drugs (“Cartels grow pot on ‘national treasures,’ drug czar says,” Page 1, Monday).

Over the last several decades, the government has spent billions of dollars fighting its futile “war on drugs” and has failed to produce even the most modest results. So the drug war, which has wasted our tax dollars and even seen innocent Americans wrongly imprisoned or sometimes killed, now has a new victim: our national parks.

BILLY HANKINS

Auburn, Ala.

Biogenerics legislation

Monday’s Op-Ed “Proceed with caution” offers the biotechnology lobby’s perspective of legislation to grant the Food and Drug Administration authority to approve lower-cost biopharmaceutical products but neglects to mention why a broad coalition supports the legislation. Consumer and employer groups understand that this legislation will:

1) Spur innovation

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