Last Friday, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden gave a virtual speech to Emgage Action, a Muslim advocacy group. Two experts on Islam analyzed Biden’s pre-written speech and both concluded that it gave a disturbing message the former VP (hopefully) did not intend.
“Look, one of the things I think is important… I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It’s one of the great confessional faiths. What people don’t realize is… One of my advocation is theology. Don’t realize is that we all come from the same root here in terms of our fundamental, basic beliefs.”
“Under this administration, we’ve seen unconscionable, an unconscionable rise in Islamic phobia in incidents, including kids being bullied in school and hate crimes in our communities. He’s named people with a history of open Islamic phobia, open, straightforward, who have no business serving in high positions in our government to key leadership roles in our Department of Defense, the U.S. Agency for International Development.”
“I’m here today to ask you to join me in a fight to rip this poison from our government root and stem, or as the famous case said, root and branch,” starting by making Donald Trump a one-term president this November.”
“We need you. I need you. I need you to mobilize and motivate one another to register to vote, to make a plan for how to vote safely in November. Make it now. Talk to all your friends and families, to engage colleagues from your mosque and your community centers to get them engaged as well.”
Biden then quoted a section of the Koran.
“Hadith from the prophet Muhammad, instructs, “Whomever among you sees wrong, let him change it with his hand. If he is not able, then with his tongue. If he is not able, then with his heart.”
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, explained the significance of this verse to Muslims.
“This hadith talks about correcting anything that is against Islam,” Dr. Kedar explained. “If there is a democracy, a Muslim needs to correct it, since it is incompatible with Islam. If there is a republic, like the US, a Muslim needs to alter it, to correct it. The country must have Islamic rule, be governed according to Sharia Islamic law. When a Muslim hears Biden, a non-Muslim, say this verse from the Koran, he will laugh at him. Biden is displaying absolute ignorance of what he is speaking. But it’s okay because Muslims are very used to such useful idiots. They now know that if they demand it, he will kneel down and lick their shoes.”
Dr. Kedar noted that Islam is usually perceived incorrectly in the west.
“Muslims keep saying that Islam is the religion of peace because of the proximity of the word Islam to the word Salaam (peace). This is very well-known even among non-Muslims. Islam means to accept the religion of Islam peacefully. When all non-Muslims submit to Allah, this is the Islamic peace, when they peacefully convert to Islam.”
Dr. Kedaar also noted that many speakers at the Emgage virtual summit referred to taking down the “fascist regime.”
“Muslims do not understand fascist in the same manner as non-Muslims,” Dr. Kedar explained. “We consider Qatar, Syria, Afghanistan as fascist. The Muslims at that summit do not condemn Trump because of his policies. They condemn him as ‘fascist for standing against Islamic rule. During the Obama administration, Islam had direct access to the White House and this was clear in the policies. They do not have the same access to Trump.”
David Wood, an American evangelical apologist and the head of Acts 17 Apologetics Ministry, also interpreted Biden’s speech.
“Unfortunately, we’ve got a man running for President of the United States of America quoting Mohammad without having the slightest clue what the verse actually means,” Wood says, prefacing his analysis.
Wood made a personal study of Islam and has participated in numerous public debates with Muslims and atheists. In his video, he noted that the verse Biden quoted was Sahi Muslim 177. This concept is basically repeated in the next two verses but verse 179 is slightly different.
“Who among you sees strives against it with his hand is a believer. Whoever strives against it with his tongue is a believer. Whoever strives against it with his heart is a believer.”
Wood points out that the opponent, or enemy, Mohammad is calling to strive against are the unbelievers, i.e. the non-Muslims. The ‘word’ that the believers are striving to bring about is Sharia, Islamic law universally enforced. Wood also points out that the Arabic word for ‘strive’ used in verse 179 is “jihad”, a holy war.
“Mohammad brought sharia and his followers have to establish and enforce it,” Wood said. “There’s the jihad of the hand, establishing sharia through fighting and carrying out the legal punishments; think ISIS. There’s the jihad of the tongue: preaching and condemning [non-Muslims] and calling for Sharia. And there’s Jihad of the heart: hating the evil around you and longing for the day it will be destroyed.”
Wood explained how a Muslim familiar with the Koran would understand the verse quoteed by Biden.
“The United States of America is in rebellion against the Prophet Mohammad, so wage whatever form of jihad you can against it because if you don’t you’re not a real Muslim,” Wood explained. “It’s probably not what Biden intended but that is what informed Muslims just heard him say.”
Wood suggests that the speech might have been composed by a non-Muslim in which case the implications of the quote were inadvertent.
“A more disturbing possibility is that an informed Muslim wrote that speech for Biden,” Wood suggested. “And that was a coded message to other informed Muslims. The message would be something like, ‘This guy will say whatever we tell him to say. To prove it, we’ll have him call for Jihad against his own country. Vote for him because he is ours now.’”
“This is not about Republican versus Democrat. George W. Bush said some of the dumbest things ever about Islam. This isn’t about party. This is about stupid and dangerous. Whatever he was in the past, Joe Biden, right now in 2020, is completely, utterly, totally stupid and very, very, dangerous.”