Tuesday, September 2, 2014

“Water for Elephants” with Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz (2011)

Beautiful cinematography and a wonderful screenplay make this film a sensual experience to watch. The film begins with Hal Holbrook; who plays the main character of Jacob as an old man; talking to a younger man who runs a circus. He is obviously “missing” from his nursing home and has a tale to tell. The younger man decides to listen and the film dissolves into a flashback, where it will remain for the entire film.

The young Jacob; played by Robert Pattinson; is unable to complete his education at Cornell, where he was studying to be a veterinarian. While riding the railroads during the early days of the Great Depression he meets some men who introduce him to life working odd jobs at a circus. The star attraction of this circus is a beautiful woman named Marlena; played by Reese Witherspoon; who rides an equally beautiful white stallion. Jacob is taken with both the woman and the animal.

Marlena is married to the owner of the struggling circus, a man named August; played by Christoph Waltz; who is always looking for another way to make his circus unique; and profitable. His relationship with his wife is odd and he seems to be lost in his own dreams and fantasies. Marlena is clearly unhappy.

When Jacob notices that the horse is not well he finds himself at odds with Marlena; who thinks she knows more than he does about her horse; and August, who is insanely jealous and controlling. When Jacob tells them that he is a veterinarian he is given the job of taking care of the horse and restoring it to health.

Realizing that the horse is in great pain and will never recover, Jacob puts him down with Marlena’s consent. This infuriates August who tries to kill Jacob over the incident. But soon he has his sights set on an elephant named Rosie as a way to make his show turn a profit. Accordingly he places Jacob in charge of the animal.

When the elephant seems not to be able to learn any tricks August becomes enraged, beating the elephant within an inch of its life. The carny’s and roustabouts all pitch in and help Jacob bring the elephant back to health. But they must come up with a way to keep August from hurting Rosie again.  During this time Jacob and Marlena become very close; verging on the edge of a romantic relationship. August senses this and takes his rage out on Rosie as well as Jacob.

While tending to Rosie Jacob discovers that the elephant used to belong to a Hungarian circus and has been trained in that language. With the help of his fellow workers he is able to turn Rosie back into the class act she once was. This further fuels August’s anger and sets up a confrontation with Marlena.

To find out what happens you’ll have to see the film. Suffice to say the film ends with Hal Holbrook finishing the tale he began, leaving his one man audience flabbergasted enough to offer the old man a job in the circus.

Based on Sara Gruen’s bestselling book of the same name, this film with keep you in your seat waiting to see how it all turns out for Rosie, Jacob and Marlena as they navigate the three rivers of life, love and loyalty. Beautifully directed and filmed this is a movie you will want to watch more than once.

Monday, September 1, 2014

"This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed" by Charles E. Cobb (2014)

White Supremacists take note; African-Americans have the same love affair with the Second Amendment as you do. And more reason to cherish that right. After all, they were actually enslaved, you weren't. In this engaging little book the author has taken on the subject of just what part guns played in the non-violent movement for Civil Rights in the 1960’s.  And you know what? Even Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. kept a loaded pistol handy.

Tracing the story of slavery and the early slave rebellions Mr. Cobb shows just how the mere specter of armed blacks sent cold fear up the spines of their owners. (What a nasty term to apply to another human being – owner!) This is also a book filled with heroes; the ones they never taught you about in school. These were the people behind the headlines; the ones who sheltered the Civil Rights workers from the north when they came down south to help secure the Right to Vote.

Each chapter is filled with new names of ordinary people who; though down at the bottom the pecking order of a racist environment; managed to make not only make a difference, but also maintained some of their dignity in the process. 

How to explain the actions of old Mr. “Joe” McDonald who, after being shown the Constitution for the first time by the author, went into town and demanded that the sheriff return the shotgun which had been confiscated illegally. “I came to get my gun”, was what he said. When the sheriff told him he had no right to it, old Mr. Joe produced the book which the author had given him and said, “This here book says I do.” The startled sheriff returned the weapon without any further ado.

The author also traces the relationship between slavery and the path of gun control in America. The first gun control law was passed in 1640 in Virginia and was aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of slaves. Since Africans outnumbered the colonists this was of genuine concern. Have you ever seen the film “Mandigo”? This was a real fear to the plantation owners.

African-Americans fighting in the American Revolution faced the hard choice of gambling on becoming free men if they worked for the British, or maybe becoming free men sometime in the future by working for Independence. Surprisingly few slaves actually went over to the British. But their participation in the fight for freedom did nothing to assuage their lot as slaves. As a matter of fact, with the passage of the new Constitution they were enshrined forever as less than whole human beings.

The Civil War was a kind of tipping point for African-Americans and their exposure to weapons. W.E.B. DuBois characterized it like this, “The slave pleaded; he was humble…. And the world ignored him. Then the slave killed white men; and behold he was a man!”

But the best part of this book is the section which covers the African-American journey to freedom between the two World Wars and just after. The old song “How You Gonna Keep ‘em Down On the Farm” was never more applicable than it was for African-Americans returning from the First World War. Having been treated on a somewhat equal basis in Europe, the average black soldier was hard pressed to dampen his disappointment upon returning to the United Sates. He had fought for this country and half expected that sacrifice to be acknowledged. It wasn't.

After the First World War the South seemed to double down on restrictions where African-Americans were concerned. Jim Crow became even tighter and lynching’s; which were never uncommon; increased. Night riding KKK members resurrected the old bed sheets and began a reign of terror against the African-American which would continue unabated for the next 50 years.

I must note, here, that there is a common misconception which holds that the average African-American at the time did not consider the Second World War to be of concern to black folk. This belief is common to both black and white people, but the fact of the matter is that the Second World War was all about race; from genocide in Europe at the hands of the Germans, to enslavement in the Far East by the Japanese. Black folk had to have known that. And after fighting against racism abroad they expected some improvement back home. Moreover, they were now willing to fight for it.

At the end of World War Two things really began to stir. In early 1946, in Columbia Tennessee, an ex-serviceman named James Stephenson, along with his mother Gladys, went to a department store to retrieve a radio which had been left for repair. The radio had been sold after 30 days, which was store policy. But the way in which they were treated and even beaten by store employees on the way out created an incident in which Stephenson; who had been a boxer in the Navy; knocked out a white man. The mother and son were arrested, but the arrests caused such outrage that they were released. But it didn't end there.

Fearing reprisals the black residents of the town massed in the section known as the “Bottom” and organized a defense. Many of the men were ex-servicemen and all had rifles or shotguns in their homes. When the local riff-raff showed up, intent on violence, they got it. Caught between cars of sentries posted at both ends of town, the white intruders were allowed to enter and then escape under a withering fire of bullets. They didn’t bother to return. This was probably the beginning of the armed resistance to the outrages of Jim Crow.

By 1949 this scene would be repeated in several locations; and nowhere more dramatically than in Monroe, North Carolina. Monroe was home to a returned serviceman named Robert Williams; no relation to me, unfortunately. I would be honored to have it so.  After another black man in Monroe was beaten for needing a half day off work and asking for his pay, there was a fight and the man was convicted of murder for defending himself. He was executed in 1947. The KKK would not allow the townsfolk to have a funeral. They threatened the undertaker and anyone else who sought to simply bury the man, who was also a wounded ex-serviceman with a Purple Heart.

At this point Mr. Williams began to organize the towns African-American citizens into a defense league. They surrounded the funeral home armed to the teeth. When the KKK showed up they were fired upon. Just as in Columbia, Tennessee, the KKK fled under a hail of bullets. Williams eventually became President of the local NAACP, over the objections of many other blacks, including Thurgood Marshall, who all considered him to be too radical. He was later exiled to Cuba, later returning home to America where he died in 1996. Rosa Parks gave the eulogy.

The story of a man named C.O. Chin is so fascinating and inspiring that I will leave it to you to read the book if you want to know about him. He was a legend in Madison County, Mississippi and had land holdings, night clubs; including the famous Club Desire; and a thriving liquor business. He played an instrumental role in the early life of CORE.
The Deacons for Defense and Justice, the SNCC, CORE and all the rest; even Martin Luther King; owe a great debt to the Second Amendment and the people who availed themselves of that right while living under great peril during the time of Jim Crow. Their stories are told here, some for the first time, by the author.

This is a book which is long overdue, written by a man who was actually there with old Mr. Joe McDonald and showed him how to get his gun back. Until you have read this book you cannot have a complete understanding of what the Second Amendment meant to the Civil Rights movement. Simply put, this is a superb book.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Jerry Lewis Telethon - 1964

This was posted in 2010 during the Labor Day Weekend, which has always made me think of Jerry Lewis and his Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. I’m probably not alone in this, as most of us baby boomers were raised with the TV on and our families tuning in to the show; if only to see how much money was coming in.

So, this is my memory of the telethon’s history and the tear my family actually participated; collected money and brought it to the hotel in Manhattan where the telethon was being held. It was pretty exciting stuff to a 10 year old.

I remember when the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon was a local, one station affair broadcast from the Americana Hotel in New York City. This year is being touted as the 45th Annual Telethon, but I can tell you that this is incorrect.

The telethon began in 1956, with Jerry Lewis and his partner, Dean Martin, hosting a show on WNEW-TV in New York. They raised $600,000 to benefit the newly found Muscular Dystrophy Association of America. Again in 1957 and 1959, Jerry did two more shows, which he began calling “telethons.” These were the days when TV actually went off the air at about 1 or 2 in the morning, so the telethon was a huge event. I remember getting up in the middle of the night to see if it was really still on! And upon waking in the morning it was the first thing I checked.

Another aspect of those early telethons, which I found fascinating, was that at night pledges came in from faraway places such as Connecticut and even Philadelphia! The TV signal during the daylight hours was very short range, but at night I could pick up Channel 3 in Philadelphia. I suppose they had discovered the same thing about signals from New York.

When I was 10; and this would be 1964; my parents, along with my brother and I, collected for MDA and then went to the Americana to join in the long line waiting to dump their donations in the big carts that were set up inside the hotel hallway on the ground floor. I believe it was just outside the doors to the space that was being used for the Telethon. The 1966 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon was the first to be held on Labor Day weekend and the first to raise more than $1 million.

The Telethon has grown larger over the years. I believe the 1966 date for today's so-called 45th Telethon represents the date of the first broadcast from New York that was linked to other cities, like Philadelphia. Eventually the Telethon left WNEW in New York for WOR-TV and then finally moved to Las Vegas. But nothing will ever compare to the close knit feeling of those first few years when one little station in New York gave birth to this annual event.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Niagara Suspension Bridge Shell

I found this interesting shell about 25 years ago in Burtonsville, Md. while working as an assistant to a surveyor. I would compute the formulas in the field in order to get a quick “traverse” of the properties we surveyed. This was before the computer stuff took over. I was good at it due to my experience as a Quartermaster in the Navy and later as a Navigators Assistant while serving as Third Mate in the Merchant Marine.

Anyway, there was an old mobile home on one property and I went in to look around; maybe see what treasures might have been left behind; expecting nothing. I found this in the kitchen area and it evoked in me the scene from “Grapes of Wrath” where Jane Darwell is going through her old memory chest and finds the pin from the St. Louis Exposition of 1903. It must have meant a great deal to someone a long time ago.

At the time internet was still in its infancy and I couldn't find out too much about this bridge, which of course was long gone. While reading a book today I came across an item mentioning that James Roebling had built a suspension bridge over the Niagara in 1855. I Googled it and came up with a wonderful Wikipedia article on it. I wondered where the shell was and happily found it in our china closet, way in the rear where it could not be seen.

The bridge was taken down in 1897 which finally gives me an age for the shell. It is from the 1890’s or older. And the illustration is so much like the one etched in the shell that I wanted to share it. For more on this brige and it’s remarkable history hit the link;

Meantime the shell is now out of the closet so to speak, and occupies a prominent place on the piano.

Friday, August 29, 2014

"The Kings of Summer" with (2013)

This is the “new” coming of age film. It is a bit different than the innocence depicted in films such as “Stand by Me”, but in spite of that, the film is a pretty accurate reflection of today’s teenage perception of what it means to “become a man.”

The film depicts the reasons behind the decision by 3 teenagers to leave home and set up on their own over the summer. The three all have different issues with their families and the lure to be on their own is very strong. So, when 15 year old Joe; played by Nick Robinson; approaches his 2 buddies with his idea about building a home of their own in a clearing in the woods, they are ready to listen.

Joe lost his mother to illness a few years earlier and his relationship with his Dad is adversarial at best. Complicating things is the presence of a new woman in his Dad’s life; a relationship he refuses to acknowledge.

Joe has a severe crush on Kelly; played by Elin Moriarty; who is already in a relationship with some guy named Paul. After seeing her at school and being humiliated by her boyfriend Joe heads for home accompanied by his strange friend Biaggio; played by Moises Arias. Biaggio claims to be asexual. When the two cut through the woods on the way home they discover the spot where Joe decides that they should build a house. Joe wants his friend Patrick; played by Gabriel Basso; to join them.

Patrick has an array of survivalist books from which the trio makes plans to build their home. They pilfer materials wherever they can find them, dragging everything into the woods and actually building their home. Shortly after it is finished the three boys move in to begin their new lives.

Thinking that the boys have been kidnapped the town is searching for them frantically. The police know better; since the boys took money and tools from their parent’s homes when they left. It’s just a question of where they went.

The boys are learning that living off the land; while sounding appetizing; is not as easy as it appears. They find a small grocery store from which they are able to count on fresh meat each day, and so that becomes their main source of food. Hunting, fishing and cooking have proven too difficult for them.

As the days go by Joe misses Kelly more and more, and so makes arrangements for her to come visit them in the woods. She brings a friend along. Kelly has broken up with her boyfriend and Joe is still smitten with her. He is hoping that when she sees all that he has accomplished she will become his girlfriend. But instead she is attracted to Patrick and the two slip away together. This event causes Joe to have a sort of meltdown, which breaks down the bond between the 2 friends. Patrick destroys a portion of the house he helped to build and leaves. Biaggio wants to stay but Joe sends him away also. Now he is truly alone.

The police question Biaggio and Patrick; with Biaggio turning out to be the strongest of the two. He tells the police nothing. Joe, meantime, has run out of money to buy chickens at the food store and begins to actually hunt. He captures and kills a rabbit, but feels so badly about it that he cannot eat it. It has now been over a month since the boys left home, and Joe is the only one unaccounted for.

At this point Kelly tells Joe’s father about the secret location of the house and they head there to get Joe. The ending of the film involves a poisonous snake and a heroic act by Joe, which earns him the respect of his father. And although Kelly and Joe remain only friends, he comes away with a new understanding of himself, his father and life in general.

A very ethereal film in some respects, with intense acting on the part of all the principal players, this film illuminates the never changing angst of growing up.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Christmas in July" with Dick Powell and Ellen Drew (1940)

I always watch a Christmas movie sometime in August. Maybe it’s just being tired of the heat; or that old wishing it was winter in the summer and vice versa thing. We humans are rarely ever fully satisfied with our current lots in life; always looking for what we don’t have rather than fully enjoying what we do have at the time. It’s just who we are.

This is one of the quirkiest Christmas movies ever made; as it takes place in July. Preston Sturges; arguably one of the greatest film directors ever; is in rare form in this film. Dick Powell and Ellen Drew, two young lovers, play a couple with no money but with big dreams.

When Jimmy MacDonald enters a contest for an advertising slogan he has high hopes. And when he is notified that he has won, and can now marry his true love Betty Casey, all should end well. But, this is a Preston Sturges movie, and it’s never that simple; ever.

Jimmy enters the contest with the Maxford Coffee Company and his co-workers decide to have a bit of fun with him. They send him a telegram that says he has won the prize of $25,000. He now believes he has enough to marry his girlfriend; as well as buy extravagant gifts for his friends and neighbors.

In reality though the coffee company is deadlocked on their selection and as Jimmy goes deeper and deeper into debt; with no money forthcoming; what will become of all his hopes and dreams? Will he be branded as a fraud in the heat of the summer; or will he bask in the warmth of a Christmas like miracle in July? 

I simply will not reveal the ending of this film, which is one of Preston Sturges best cinematic creations. You’ll just have to see it for yourself. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Quran's Greatest Hits

The flag above is the ISIS flag shown in the English translation.

Why is everyone so surprised at the recent beheadings by the radical group Isis in Iraq? And where are the so-called Moderate Islamics we hear so much about? I see them busily protesting the mistreatment of the Hamas groups foolish tactics in firing rockets at Israel; leading to the retaliation which they knew would cause the deaths of their own people; but I don’t see or hear them condemning the beheadings and mass killings of people who are unwilling to convert to Islam; pay the tax; or die.

Those are the choices. They are in the Quran. They are requirements of the faithful. I have run these quotes here before. I got a few complaints but no denials that these are the prayers that are said 5 times a day in the Arab countries. I have been there; awakened at dusk to the call to prayer from the minaret. It was so picturesque; so cool; until I found out what they were saying.

Here are some of the Quran’s greatest “hits” for you to ponder. And for those who would counter that there are similar passages in the Old and new Testaments of the Judo-Christian religion; read your Bible more carefully. There are many judgmental things in it; to be sure. And I have my own “problems” with organized religions in general; even my own. But nowhere does the Bible call for enslaving anyone who does not agree with our concept of God. Islam is the only religion in the world that does that.

I welcome all civilized feedback. Those who contact me calling for my death and a Fatwa will not receive the dignity of a reply; the same rules as the last couple of times we did this here. You can view these quotes in context several places online. The Quran is also available at your local library for verification. I invite scrutiny.

Qur'an:4:78 "Wherever you are, death will find you, even if you are in towers strong and high! So what is wrong with these people, that they fail to understand these simple words?"

Qur'an:9:88 "The Messenger and those who believe with him, strive hard and fight with their wealth and lives in Allah's Cause."

Qur'an:9:5 "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war."

Qur'an:9:29 "Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission."

Qur'an:8:39 "Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah."

Qur'an:8:39 "So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world)."

Ishaq:324 "He said, 'Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.'"

Qur'an:9:14 "Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them."

Ishaq:300 "I am fighting in Allah's service. This is piety and a good deed. In Allah's war I do not fear as others should. For this fighting is righteous, true, and good."

Ishaq:587 "Our onslaught will not be a weak faltering affair. We shall fight as long as we live. We will fight until you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge. We will fight not caring whom we meet. We will fight whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains. We have mutilated every opponent. We have driven them violently before us at the command of Allah and Islam. We will fight until our religion is established. And we will plunder them, for they must suffer disgrace."

Qur'an:8:65 "O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding."

Ishaq:326 "Prophet exhort the believers to fight. If there are twenty good fighters they will defeat two hundred for they are a senseless people. They do not fight with good intentions nor for truth."

Bukhari:V4B52N63 "A man whose face was covered with an iron mask came to the Prophet and said, 'Allah's Apostle! Shall I fight or embrace Islam first?' The Prophet said, 'Embrace Islam first and then fight.' So he embraced Islam, and was martyred. Allah's Apostle said, 'A Little work, but a great reward.'"

Bukhari:V4B53N386 "Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: 'Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master.'"

Muslim:C34B20N4668 "The Messenger said: 'Anybody who equips a warrior going to fight in the Way of Allah is like one who actually fights. And anybody who looks after his family in his absence is also like one who actually fights."

Qur'an:9:38 "Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah's Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom, and put others in your place."

Qur'an:9:123 "Fight the unbelievers around you, and let them find harshness in you."

Qur'an:8:72 "Those who accepted Islam and left their homes to fight in Allah's Cause with their possessions and persons, and those who gave (them) asylum, aid, and shelter, those who harbored them - these are allies of one another. You are not responsible for protecting those who embraced Islam but did not leave their homes [to fight] until they do so." [Another translation reads:] "You are only called to protect Muslims who fight."

Muslim:C9B1N31 "I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the Messenger and in all that I have brought."

Qur'an:8:73 "The unbelieving infidels are allies. Unless you (Muslims) aid each other (fighting as one united block to make Allah's religion victorious), there will be confusion and mischief. Those who accepted Islam, left their homes to fight in Allah's Cause (al-Jihad), as well as those who give them asylum, shelter, and aid - these are (all) Believers: for them is pardon and bountiful provision (in Paradise)."

Tabari IX:69 "Arabs are the most noble people in lineage, the most prominent, and the best in deeds. We were the first to respond to the call of the Prophet. We are Allah's helpers and the viziers of His Messenger. We fight people until they believe in Allah. He who believes in Allah and His Messenger has protected his life and possessions from us. As for one who disbelieves, we will fight him forever in the Cause of Allah. Killing him is a small matter to us."

Qur'an:48:16 "Say (Muhammad) to the wandering desert Arabs who lagged behind: 'You shall be invited to fight against a people given to war with mighty prowess. You shall fight them until they surrender and submit. If you obey, Allah will grant you a reward, but if you turn back, as you did before, He will punish you with a grievous torture."

Qur'an:48:22 "If the unbelieving infidels fight against you, they will retreat. (Such has been) the practice (approved) of Allah in the past: no change will you find in the ways of Allah."

Qur'an:47:4 "When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah's Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam."

Tabari VI:138 "Those present at the oath of Aqabah had sworn an allegiance to Muhammad. It was a pledge of war against all men. Allah had permitted fighting."

Tabari VI:139 "Allah had given his Messenger permission to fight by revealing the verse 'And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.'"

Qur'an:9:19 "Do you make the giving of drink to pilgrims, or the maintenance of the Mosque, equal to those who fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not comparable in the sight of Allah. Those who believe, and left their homes, striving with might, fighting in Allah's Cause with their goods and their lives, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah."

Ishaq:550 "The Muslims met them with their swords. They cut through many arms and skulls. Only confused cries and groans could be heard over our battle roars and snarling."

Ishaq:578 "Crushing the heads of the infidels and splitting their skulls with sharp swords, we continually thrust and cut at the enemy. Blood gushed from their deep wounds as the battle wore them down. We conquered bearing the Prophet's fluttering war banner. Our cavalry was submerged in rising dust, and our spears quivered, but by us the Prophet gained victory."

Tabari IX:25 "By Allah, I did not come to fight for nothing. I wanted a victory over Ta'if so that I might obtain a slave girl from them and make her pregnant."

Tabari IX:82 "The Messenger sent Khalid with an army of 400 to Harith [a South Arabian tribe] and ordered him to invite them to Islam for three days before he fought them. If they were to respond and submit, he was to teach them the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Prophet, and the requirements of Islam. If they should decline, then he was to fight them."

Ishaq:530 "Get out of his way, you infidel unbelievers. Every good thing goes with the Apostle. Lord, I believe in his word. We will fight you about its interpretations as we have fought you about its revelation with strokes that will remove heads from shoulders and make enemies of friends."

Muslim:C9B1N33 "The Prophet said: 'I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and they establish prostration prayer, and pay Zakat. If they do it, their blood and property are protected.'"

Muslim:C10B1N176 "Muhammad (may peace be upon him) sent us in a raiding party. We raided Huraqat in the morning. I caught hold of a man and he said: 'There is no god but Allah,' but I attacked him with a spear anyway. It once occurred to me that I should ask the Apostle about this. The Messenger said: 'Did he profess "There is no god but Allah," and even then you killed him?' I said: 'He made a profession out of the fear of the weapon I was threatening him with.' The Prophet said: 'Did you tear out his heart in order to find out whether it had professed truly or not?'"

Muslim:C53B20N4717 "The Prophet said: 'This religion will continue to exist, and a group of people from the Muslims will continue to fight for its protection until the Hour is established.'"

Qur'an:2:193 "Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief) and religion is only for Allah. But if they cease/desist, let there be no hostility except against infidel disbelievers."

Ishaq:470 "We attacked them fully armed, swords in hand, cutting through heads and skulls."

Qur'an:4:74 "Let those who fight in Allah's Cause sell this world's life for the hereafter. To him who fights in Allah's Cause, whether he is slain or victorious, We shall give him a reward."

Qur'an:4:94 "Believers, when you go abroad to fight wars in Allah's Cause, investigate carefully, and say not to anyone who greets you: 'You are not a believer!' Coveting the chance profits of this life (so that you may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils and booty."

Qur'an:4:104 "And do not relent in pursuing the enemy."