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The Koran, strict transliteration, Qur'an, is the word of God revealed in Arabic by the archangel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad and thence to mankind. Muhammad's Qur'an is the final expression of God's message to mankind. The Qur'an, a difficult read, contains highly charged language. Old Testament stories: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael Solomon and David dominate the narrative in the Qur'an with Moses and Abraham significant figures. Mary and the birth of Jesus are treated as God's prophets. The Qur'an is the word of God. The Qur'an is divided into 114 chapters/suras of unequal length. The Qur'an is designed for recitation to an audience which highlights strands of thought not apparent in silent reading. Muslims do not accept the English translation of the Qur'an. The Qur'an is based on revelations made to Muhammad between 610AD and up to Muhammad's death in 632AD.

Sura 3: 'Who desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall never be accepted from him.'

Sura 61: 'God, he may make it victorious over every other religion.'

Sura 16: 'What can the infidels expect but that the angel of death come upon them.'

The strife between Shia and Sunni commenced after Muhammad's death with Abu Bakr the Prophet's father-in-law becoming the first Caliph, another group wanted Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law to succeed, these were the Shia Ali or partisans of Ali. The Sunni saw themselves as orthodox, the Shia felt ignored.

Ali was assassinated. Hassan, Ali's son did not challenge the Caliph, however, Hussain, his younger brother fought the Caliph at Kerbala and was defeated and executed. Hussain's death is re-enacted at the ceremony of Ashurah, annually. Islam spread rapidly, through military campaigns, from the Middle East to Europe and in particular to Spain. El Cid defeated and expelled the Saracens/Muslims from Spain.

In 982AD Emperor and King Otto I, defeated by the Corsairs in southern Italy, who were also termed Saracens was aware that raiding parties of infidel fighters -'mujahidin'- yearly stained the mountain passes red with blood. Mahound, whom the West believed an idol or Mohammed, as the Saracens called their prophet gloried in war and conquest. Nicephorous, in the course of his victorious campaigns, captured a sword the Saracens claimed belonged to their prophet himself. 'Zulfiqar' they called it; 'the cleaver of vertebrae', the fitting weapon for a man whom the Saracens claimed fought in battles, staged mass executions and even commissioned murder squads.

New Rome and Constantinople were threatened by these infidels. 'Fight those who believe not in God' Muhammad commanded his followers, which became for the Byzantines 'a licence to loot in religion's name.'

The Saracen frontier appeared stable with the exception of southern Italy where in 983AD a traveller witnessed the industrial scale slave trade from the Saracen port of Taranto some 12,000 white slaves destined for North Africa. Jews traded in slaves. Baghdad gave way to Egypt where the title Caliph - Successor to Muhammad - claiming a direct link to his daughter Fatima, the Fatimid Caliph was established. Slavery was not for life. The freeing of converts was a blessed act. The extortion of protection money from Jews and Christians had been laid down by the Prophet as the most solemn duty of the faithful - 'dhimmis.'

Abd al-rahman bin Mohammed bin Abd Allah established the Ummayad Caliph in Toledo, Spain. From 661-750 this was the most powerful family on Earth. Their skin was pale due to the influx of western slaves.

Muslim armies first crossed from Africa into Europe in 711. 'Jabal Tariq', Tariq's Mountain, 'Gibraltar' the straits named after their Muslim General. Christian Spain resisted from the Roman fortress of León. The Caliphate offered the ambitious merchant a free-trade area like no other in the world. Christian Spain was disregarded. Santiago sacked by the Saracens, they adorned the city of Cordoba with Christian heads, Cordobans massacred their hated Berber mercenaries and massacred them. In 1013 the Berbers besieged Cordoba an destroyed the citadel.

In Cairo, al-Hakim commanded women to be veiled, then he banned him from leaving their homes and forbade the to peer out of windows. al-Hakim became the Mahdi, the reincarnation of God. The Qu'ran may have referred to the women of Mohammed only to be veiled. In 1019 the Caliph al-Hakim directed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre be destroyed in Jerusalem. The Druze of Lebanon and Syria worship al-Hakim as the reincarnation of God. King Alfonso IV of Spain demanded tribute/dhimmis from the Saracens thereby containing them them in southern Spain.

The 2007-9 drought ensured Raqqa sent workesr to the Gulf States or to Saudi Arabia, becoming closer to Iraq and was known as the city of the Arab Spring, The 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq ensured Salafist Iraqis infiltrated Raqqa. The al-Assad regime paid €300,000 to the Tribal chiefs, however the older generation remained loyal whilst the younger generation joined the Free Syrian Army. Raqqa was declared capital of the liberation from the al-Assad regime, March 2013. By summer Al-Nosra and Islamic State and al-Sham dominated Raqqa. The crimes of IS multiplied as noted by the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

Why was Raqqa designated as the capital of IS? Raqqa was the capital of the Abbassid Caliphate of Haroun al-Rachid (765-809AD), he replaced Muhommad as Caliph, according to Al-Tabari the historian. Raqqa was described as one of the four best places to live along with Damascus, Samarkand and Ray (near Teheran). IS wanted to interdict the infiltration of Iranian pilgrims into Syria where a Shi'ite mausoleum dedicated to Mahommed's soldiers who died at the battle of Siffin in 657AD was consecrated near Raqqa in 2005. IS destroyed this site in 2013. Raqqa in October 2017, liberated by Kurdish forces is a pile of rubble.

The building of Mosques in Europe commenced after the 1991-95 Yugoslav wars initially in Bosnia. Saudi Arabia, the location of the Salafist Wahabbi sect of Islam, finances this burgeoning building programme. Greece resisted mosque building until very recently. Mosques, often well in excess of the needs of Europe's Muslim populations are very prominent. Islam is as evidenced by its long history a political, invasive movement.

Source: Millenium, Tom Holland, Fontana, 2016; The Qur'an, Phoenix Press OtIsuc Roman Emperor.

ensured King Otto I described this hypocrisy as 'a licence to lot in religion's

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