I should have foreseen how my system in the inevitable wrong hands would produce such horrors.
It’s been more than a thousand years since my followers swept across the Middle East and North Africa, even into Europe, and down into Southeast Asia. My teachings have spread far and wide, reaching even the distant lands of Chile, Russia, and Northern Europe. While for a long time I gloried in the temporal success of my movement, it has become clear what a tragic, historic mistake I made in launching it. I hereby retract it all, and apologize to all who were hurt. I am so, so, sorry.
The list of victims owed an apology or two of course begins with the Jews, who by some miracle are still around despite my followers’ – and their Nazi allies’ – best efforts. The chants of “Khaybar, Khaybar” still echo through the Islamic world, each time filling me with increasing shame. I created a monster. Hundreds of millions of monsters through the centuries. Jews, nothing can expiate my wrongs, but at least now I acknowledge them.
Non-Muslims in general, not just Jews, have fallen victim to our supremacist ideology, as have homosexuals, women who demand rights, and political opponents who can conveniently be labeled heretics. For this, I apologize. I should have foreseen how my system – any system – in the inevitable wrong hands would produce such horrors. So drunk with my own vision was I that I could not give proper attention to that eventuality.
This profound shame and regret in no way ignores the atrocities and violence in its various forms directed at my followers through the centuries, of course. The very notion that one must be wholly a victim or wholly an evil perpetrator represents one of the poisonous legacies of my absolutist world view. While such phenomena are hardly unique to Islam – “you’re either with us or you’re against us” is a universal human weakness – it has proved especially pernicious among my followers. I should have foreseen that any system requiring submission – the very meaning of the word “Islam” – would devolve into absolutes of that kind. And encouraging everyone to spread this new faith by the sword only exacerbated that trend. I bear deep, deep shame.
I realize that issuing this apology constitutes merely the beginning of a journey toward reconciliation and forgiveness. The violent, corrupt manifestations of the flaws in my vision and leadership – not to mention phraseology – will continue to wreak havoc on the world, and that is my moral burden. I can only hope that one day those who now use my system as a tool for self-worth by subjugating others will attain the clarity that no such proxy self-esteem will ever work, and only invites further self-doubt.
I am so, so sorry for inflicting this upon you all.
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