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Author Topic: Sharia 101  (Read 78870 times)
Power User
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« on: September 30, 2008, 11:01:55 AM »

Let's discuss sharia and it's impact on humanity as it spreads globally.
Power User
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 11:02:37 AM »

Sharia Law: Coming to a Western Nation Near You?

By Cinnamon Stillwell | 9/30/2008

Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) will be hosting a conference on October 23 that asks the loaded question: “Is There a Role for Shari'ah in Modern States?”
The Saudi-funded ACMCU and its founding director, John Esposito, one of the foremost apologists for radical Islam in the academic field of Middle East studies, have certainly been doing their bit to make the idea more palatable.

The Saudi prince for whom ACMCU was named has been pumping millions of dollars into Middle East studies at Georgetown, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and beyond, and as the case of Esposito demonstrates, it magnifies the voices of scholars with a decidedly uncritical bent. As a result, ACMCU analysis regarding Sharia (or Islamic) law tends to focus not on its injustices (amputation, stoning, hanging, honor killing, punishment for blasphemy, execution of apostates, persecution of non-Muslims, sanctioned wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and so on), but rather on repackaging it in ways that will appeal to Western sensibilities. The concept of a more “moderate” version of Sharia law that is compatible with democracy is at the forefront of this effort.

While it’s difficult to predict exactly what will take place at the upcoming ACMCU conference, the fact that Esposito will present the opening remarks provides considerable insight into the politics of the event.

Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, a book co-authored by Esposito and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies Dalia Mogahed, has been widely criticized for its blatant inaccuracies and attempts to whitewash anti-Western and extremist sentiment in the Muslim world. Accordingly, Sharia law is framed in a non-threatening fashion. As Robert Satloff put it in the Weekly Standard:

…Amazing as it sounds, according to Esposito and Mogahed, the proper term for a Muslim who hates America, wants to impose Sharia law, supports suicide bombing, and opposes equal rights for women but does not “completely” justify 9/11 is . . . “moderate.”

At the Newsweek/Washington Post “On Faith” blog earlier this year, Esposito referenced his book as a means of downplaying concerns over support for Sharia law in the Muslim world:

…for many any mention of Shariah is often equated facilely with Taliban-like laws. In fact, as the Gallup World Poll shows, majorities of mainstream Muslims (women as well as men) want some form of Shariah, religious values, as a source of law. This sentiment is not all that different from a majority of Americans who want to see the Bible as a source of legislation. (See Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think)

But comparing Sharia law under a dictatorial or clerical regime to biblical inspiration in a secular, democratic nation is like comparing apples and oranges. Yet this is precisely the kind of moral equivalency one expects from Esposito at the ACMCU conference.

Providing further cause for concern, keynote speaker and Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman is a notorious champion of Sharia law. In a March, 2008 New York Times Magazine article on the subject, Feldman claimed:

In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world. Today, when we invoke the harsh punishments prescribed by Shariah for a handful of offenses, we rarely acknowledge the high standards of proof necessary for their implementation.

…At its core, Shariah represents the idea that all human beings — and all human governments — are subject to justice under the law.

Reviewing Feldman’s latest book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, Jonathan Schanzer elaborates on this disturbing thesis:

Feldman’s central premise is that the scholars of early and medieval Islam were guardians of justice. These independent scholars, he argues, kept the all-powerful caliph in line by judiciously ensuring that his decrees were in accordance with Shari'a law. The proper application of Shari'a ensured fair governance. Thus, Feldman claims, resurrecting the scholarly class is needed today.

Yet Feldman’s book, Schanzer concludes, “fails to convince the informed reader that Islamic law and democracy are destined for marriage.”

In an aptly titled piece on Feldman’s scholarship, “Shilling for Sharia at Harvard,” Hillel Stavis warns that “it can only be a matter of time before the professor, having asserted that Sharia law is desirable, will assure us that its introduction in the United States is inevitable.”

Considering recent developments in Britain, the inevitability of Sharia law may not just be an abstraction. As reported last week by The Times Online:

Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Melanie Phillips, writing for National Review Online, notes the role of Saudi funding and Middle East studies in furthering this process:

Even thought itself is being Islamized, with academic objectivity in the teaching of Islam and Middle East studies set aside in favour of indoctrination and propaganda. An as-yet-unpublished report by Prof. Anthony Glees says that extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centers linked to British universities and backed by multi-million-pound donations from Saudi Arabia and Muslim organizations. Professor Glees says, ‘Britain’s universities will have to generate two national cultures: one non-Muslim and largely secular, the other Muslim. We will have two identities, two sets of allegiance and two legal and political systems.

Britain can serve as a cautionary tale for the West. Scholars who downplay the threats to democratic societies posed by the encroachments of Sharia law, and push a sanitized, idealized version thereof, may one day help usher in our worst nightmare.

Now there’s a subject that would make for a truly groundbreaking Middle East studies conference.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the Northern California Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at
Power User
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 11:42:50 AM »

From | Original article available at:

Resisting Islamic Law
by Daniel Pipes
Jerusalem Post
February 21, 2008

Westerners opposed to the application of the Islamic law (the Shari‘a) watch with dismay as it goes from strength to strength in their countries – harems increasingly accepted, a church leader endorsing Islamic law, a judge referring to the Koran, clandestine Muslim courts meting out justice. What can be done to stop the progress of this medieval legal system so deeply at odds with modern life, one that oppresses women and turns non-Muslims into second-class citizens?

A first step is for Westerners to mount a united front against the Shari‘a. Facing near-unanimous hostility, Islamists back down. For one example, note the retreat last week by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a dispute concerning guide dogs used by the blind.

Muslims traditionally consider dogs impure animals to be avoided, creating an aversion that becomes problematic when Muslim store-owners or taxi drivers deny service to blind Westerners relying on service dogs. I have collected fifteen such cases on my weblog, at "Muslim Taxi Drivers vs. Seeing-Eye Dogs": five from the United States (New Orleans, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Brooksville, Fl.; Everett, Wash.); four from Canada (Vancouver, twice in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Alberta); three from the United Kingdom (Cambridge, twice in London); two from Australia (Melbourne, Sydney); and one from Norway (Oslo).

News accounts quote Muslim cabbies rudely rejecting blind would-be passengers, yelling at them, "No dog, No dog, Get out, get out"; "Get that dog out of here"; and "No dogs, no dogs." The blind find themselves rejected, humiliated, abandoned, insulted, or even injured, left in the rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere, made late for an appointment, or caused to miss a flight.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes and his guide dog. Innes is often denied service by taxi drivers.
Islamist organizations initially responded to this problem by supporting anti-canine cabbies. The Muslim Association of Canada pointed out how Muslims generally regard dog saliva as unclean. CAIR on one occasion echoed this assertion, claiming that "the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual purity needed for prayer." On another, the head of CAIR, Nihad Awad, declared that "People from the Middle East especially … have been indoctrinated with a kind of fear of dogs" and justified a driver rejecting a guide dog on the grounds that he "has a genuine fear and he acted in good faith. He acted in accordance with his religious beliefs."
However, when the police and the courts are called in, the legal rights of the blind to their basic needs and their dignity almost always trump the Muslim dislike for dogs. The Muslim proprietor or driver invariably finds himself admonished, fined, re-educated, warned, or even jailed. The judge who found a cabby's behavior to be "a total disgrace" spoke for many.

CAIR, realizing that its approach had failed in the courts of both law and of public opinion, suddenly and nimbly switched sides. In a cynical maneuver, for example, it organized 300 cabbies in Minneapolis to provide free rides for participants at a National Federation of the Blind conference. (Unconvinced by this obvious ploy, a federation official responded: "We really are uncomfortable … with the offer of getting free rides. We don't think that solves anything. We believe the cabdrivers need to realize that the law says they will not turn down a blind person.") And, finally, last week, the Canadian office of CAIR issued a statement urging Muslims to accommodate blind taxi passengers, quoting a board member that "Islam allows for dogs to be used by the visually impaired."

CAIR's capitulation contains an important lesson: When Westerners broadly agree on rejecting a specific Islamic law or tradition and unite against it, Western Islamists must adjust to the majority's will. Guide dogs for the blind represent just one of many such consensus issues; others tend to involve women, such as husbands beating wives, the burqa head coverings, female genital mutilation, and "honor" killings. Western unity can also compel Islamists to denounce their preferred positions in areas such as slavery and Shar‘i-compliant finances.

Other Islam-derived practices do not (yet) exist in the West but do prevail in the Muslim world. These include punishing a woman for being raped, exploiting children as suicide bombers, and executing offenders for such crimes as converting out of Islam, adultery, having a child out of wedlock, or witchcraft. Western solidarity can win concessions in these areas too.

If Westerners stick together, the Shari‘a is doomed. If we do not, we are doomed.


Feb. 21, 2008 update: A nasty attack by an Australian blogger named Irfan Yusuf has appeared; his long analysis accuses me of a mistake in the caption to the picture that accompanies this column. The caption, seen above, reads: "Australian Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes and his guide dog. Innes is often denied service by taxi drivers."

Yusuf jumps on me, saying that "It is unclear how Mr Pipes reached this conclusion about Commissioner Innes," concluding that I "misrepresented" Innes.

Misrepresented him? Hardly. Innes has repreatedly spoken about being denied taxi service on account of his seeing-eye dog. For starters, read here, here, and here. Further, Innes indicates that the drivers sometimes cite a religious reason for refusing his guide dog, a clear allusion to the Shari‘a, the only religious law with strictures about contact with dogs.

My innocuous caption is factually correct. Yusuf's insulting blog is factually incorrect. I bother to point this out because Yusuf's screed is so typical. And to point out how sensible debate cannot proceed when the other side is hysterical and inaccurate.

Mar. 28, 2008 update: For an interesting response to this article, see Omar Amine, "Lettre d'un musulman modéré aux occidentaux « modérés »."


From | Original article available at:
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 12:03:21 PM »


Book 008, Number 3309:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine. She further said: We went to Medina and I had an attack of fever for a month, and my hair had come down to the earlobes. Umm Ruman (my mother) came to me and I was at that time on a swing along with my playmates. She called me loudly and I went to her and I did not know what she had wanted of me. She took hold of my hand and took me to the door, and I was saying: Ha, ha (as if I was gasping), until the agitation of my heart was over. She took me to a house, where had gathered the women of the Ansar. They all blessed me and wished me good luck and said: May you have share in good. She (my mother) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and embellished me and nothing frightened me. Allah's Messenger (, may peace be upon him) came there in the morning, and I was entrusted to him.

Book 008, Number 3310:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

Book 008, Number 3311:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 12:04:23 PM »


Book 008, Number 3432:
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah her pleased with him) reported that at the Battle of Hanain Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's Messenger (may peace te upon him) seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that:" And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (iv. 24)" (i. e. they were lawful for them when their 'Idda period came to an end).

Book 008, Number 3433:
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) sent a small army. The rest of the hadith is the same except this that he said: Except what your right hands possessout of them are lawful for you; and he did not mention" when their 'idda period comes to an end". This hadith has been reported on the authority of AbuSa'id (al-Khudri) (Allah be pleased with him) through another chain of transmitters and the words are: They took captives (women) on the day of Autas who had their husbands. They were afraid (to have sexual intercourse with them) when this verse was revealed:" And women already married except those whom you right hands posses" (iv. 24)

Book 008, Number 3434:
Qatada reported a hadith like this with the same chain of transmitters.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 12:31:32 PM »

Saudi Arabia

International Religious Freedom Report 2008
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
There is no legal recognition of, or protection under the law for, freedom of religion, and it is severely restricted in practice. The country is a monarchy and the King is both head of state and government. The legal system is based on the government's official interpretation of Shari'a (Islamic law). Sunni Islam is the official religion.

The Government confirmed that, as a matter of public policy, it guarantees and protects the right to private worship for all, including non-Muslims who gather in homes for religious services. However, this right was not always respected in practice and is not defined in law. Moreover, the public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited, and mutawwa'in (religious police) continued to conduct raids of private non-Muslim religious gatherings. Although the Government also confirmed its policy to protect the right to possess and use personal religious materials, it did not provide for this right in law, and the mutawwa'in sometimes confiscated the personal religious material of non-Muslims.
While overall government policies continued to place severe restrictions on religious freedom, there were incremental improvements in specific areas during the period covered by this report, such as better protection of the right to possess and use personal religious materials; sporadic efforts to curb and investigate harassment by the mutawwa'in; increased media reporting on, and criticism of, the mutawwa'in; somewhat greater authority and capacity for official human rights entities to operate; and limited education reform. In addition, there were larger public and private celebrations of Shi'a holidays in the Qatif oasis of the Eastern Province.
There were also several positive developments in government policy that, if fully implemented, could lead to important improvements in the future. The Government reiterated its policy to halt the dissemination of intolerance and combat extremism, both within Islam and toward non-Muslim religious groups, in the country and abroad. For example, officials advised that they were monitoring sermons at government-supported mosques and would dismiss or retrain imams whose preaching promoted religious extremism. The Government continued to state its goal of "balanced development," by promising greater infrastructure development in predominantly Shi'a and Isma'ili areas of the Eastern and Najran Provinces. Most significantly, this year saw the beginning of an interfaith dialogue process, led by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The King, along with the support of the Muslim World League, sponsored an intrafaith dialogue in Mecca between June 4-6, 2008, bringing Sunnis and Shi'a together, and at the end of the reporting period, was planning to hold a similar conference in Madrid, Spain, in July, bringing together Christians, Jews, Muslims, and adherents of other faiths.
The King's official title is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques." As such, upholding Islam within the country is regarded as one of his and his government's paramount functions. In addition, the conservative religious establishmentexerts significant pressure on the state and society to adhere to the official interpretation of Islam and conservative societal norms. Moreover, there is intense pressure within the society to conform accordingly. However, while the majority of citizens support a government and society based on Shari'a, there are varying views among the citizenry on how it should be interpreted and implemented.
Despite this diversity of views, the Government continued to enforce its official interpretation of Sunni Islam. Non-Muslims and Muslims who do not adhere to this interpretation faced significant political, economic, legal, social, and religious discrimination, including limited employment and educational opportunities, underrepresentation in official institutions, and restrictions on the practice of their faith and on the building of places of worship and community centers. There were also charges of harassment, abuse, and killings at the hands of the mutawwa'in, or religious police, who work for the Commission to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice (CPVPV). These incidents caused many non-Muslims to worship in fear of, and in such a manner as to avoid discovery by, the police and mutawwa'in. There were also concerns about Saudi textbooks that continued to contain overtly intolerant statements against Jews and Christians and subtly intolerant statements against Shi'a, Isma'ilis, and other religious groups, notwithstanding government claims that it was reviewing educational materials to remove or revise such statements. Furthermore, while government officials stated prospective and current teachers who espoused extremist religious views would be screened out or dismissed, and some screenings reportedly did take place, there were multiple incidents where teachers, in defiance of Saudi government policy, promoted intolerant views in the classroom without being disciplined. Discriminatory and intolerant statements were also made by public officials and government-paid imams.
Senior U.S. officials discussed a number of key policies concerning religious practice and tolerance with the Government, as well as specific cases involving the infringement of the right of religious freedom. In November 2006, the U.S. Secretary of State re-designated Saudi Arabia as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for violations of religious freedom, and the Government was issued a waiver of sanctions "to further the purposes of the Act."
Section I. Religious Demography

The country has an area of 1,225,000 square miles and a population of more than 28.5 million, including an estimated foreign population of more than 8 million. The foreign population reportedly includes 1.6 million Indians, 1.5 million Bangladeshis, 1.2 million Filipinos, 1 million Pakistanis, 1 million Egyptians, 600,000 Indonesians, 400,000 Sri Lankans, 350,000 Nepalese, 250,000 Palestinians, 150,000 Lebanese, 100,000 Eritreans, and 30,000 Americans.
While accurate religious demographics are difficult to obtain, approximately 90 percent of citizens are Sunni Muslims, who predominantly subscribe to the Government-sanctioned interpretation of Islam. In the western Hejaz region, there are sizeable communities following other Sunni interpretations.
Ten percent of citizens are Shi'a Muslims. The reportedly 1.5 to 2 million Shi'a are primarily located in the Eastern Province, southern Najran Province, and western Medina area. An estimated 150,000 Shi'a also reside in the Medina area of the western Hejaz region, including the Ashraf (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) and approximately 50,000 Nakhawala. In addition, there are reportedly 250,000 – 450,000 Sulaimaniya Isma'ili Shi'a in the southern Najran Province and the Eastern Province. The majority of the country's Shi'a are "Twelvers" (i.e., they are followers of Muhammad ibn Hasan, whom they recognize as the Twelfth Imam) and are primarily located in the Eastern Province and the Medina area of the western Hejaz region. The Sulaimaniya Isma'ili, are known as "Seveners" (i.e., they are followers of Isma'il ibn Jafar, whom they recognize as the Seventh Imam).
Comprehensive statistics for the religious denominations of foreigners are not available; however, they include Muslims from the various branches and schools of Islam, Christians (including Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and over one million Roman Catholics), Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. In addition to European and North American Christians, there are Christian East Africans, Indians, Pakistanis, Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, and large numbers of other South Asians residing in the country. Ninety percent of the Filipino community is Christian. Private Christian religious gatherings reportedly take place throughout the country.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call, and Guidance (MOIA) is responsible for 72,000 Sunni mosques and over 50,000 Sunni imams. The Grand Muftis of the two holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina report directly to the King.
In December 2007 the country hosted almost three million Muslim pilgrims from around the world and all branches of Islam for the annual Hajj to Mecca.
Section II. Status of Religious Freedom
Legal/Policy Framework
According to the Basic Law, the Qur'an and the Sunna (traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) constitute the constitution, and Islam is the official religion. It is the Government's policy that non-Muslims are permitted to privately practice their religion freely within their homes without interference. However, under the Government's interpretation of Islam, there is no legal recognition or protection of religious freedom, which is severely restricted in practice.
The Government considers its legitimacy to rest in part on its interpretation and enforcement of Islam, which are derived from the writings and teachings of 18th-century Sunni religious scholar Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab. The Basic Law establishes the system of government, rights of citizens and residents, and powers and duties of the Government. Neither the Government, nor society in general, accepts the concept of separation of religion and state in terms of governance.
Although no law specifically requires citizens to be Muslim, Article 12.4 of the Naturalization Law requires that applicants attest to their religious affiliation, and Article 14.1 requires applicants to get a certificate endorsed by their local imam. Most non-Muslims and Muslims whose beliefs do not adhere to the Government-approved interpretation of Islam must practice their religion in private and are vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, detention, and if a noncitizen, deportation. Blasphemy carries the death penalty. Conversion by Muslims to another religion (apostasy) and proselytizing by non-Muslims are both punishable by death, but there have been no confirmed reports of executions for either crime in recent years.

The judicial system is based on Shari'a, the traditional system of interpreting laws derived from the Qur'an, the Sunna, and other religious sources. The Government recognizes all four Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence and the Shi'a Ja'afari school of jurisprudence. However, while government universities provide training on the other Sunni schools, they focus on the Hanbali school. Consequently, most judges adhere to the Hanbali school.
The Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council) is responsible for approving laws and regulations that are compatible with Shari'a. The 150 male members are supported by 6 female advisors. There are three Shi'a members.
The Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars) is an advisory body of reportedly 20 Sunni religious jurists, including the Minister of Justice, who reports to the King. Established in 1971, the Council is headed by the Grand Mufti of Mecca
. Itmeets periodically to interpret Shari'a and establish the legal principles that guide lower court judges. Three Ulema members belong to non-Hanbali schools of Shari'a, but none of them are Shi'a.
The Government permits Shi'a judges presiding over courts in the Eastern Province to use the Ja'afari school of jurisprudence to adjudicate cases limited to family law, inheritance, and endowment management. There are only seven Shi'a judges, all of whom were located in the Eastern Province cities of Qatif and al-Ahsa, where the majority of the country's Shi'a live. Shi'a living in other parts of the Eastern Province, Najran Province, and the western Hejaz region, among other places, have no access to local, regional, or national Shi'a courts. Two of the Shi'a judges serve on the Qatif Court and two of the Shi'a judges serve on the al-Ahsa Court. The remaining three judges serve on the Qatif-based Court of Appeals, which oversees the Qatif and al-Ahsa Courts.
In accordance with the country's official interpretation of Islam, it is considered acceptable to discriminate against religions held to be polytheistic. Christians and Jews, who are classified as "People of the Book," are also discriminated against, but to a lesser extent. This discrimination is manifested, for example, in calculating accidental death or injury compensation. In the event a court renders a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who is a Jewish or Christian male, the plaintiff is only entitled to receive 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive, and all others (including Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs) are only entitled to receive 1/16 the amount a male Muslim would receive. Furthermore, judges may discount the testimony of non-practicing Muslims or individuals who do not adhere to the official interpretation of Islam. For example, testimony by Shi'a can be deemed to carry less weight than testimony by Sunnis or be ignored in courts of law altogether, despite official Government statements that judges do not discriminate based on religion when hearing testimonies. Moreover, a woman's testimony is worth only half that of a man's, and a non-Muslim's testimony is worth less than that of a Muslim's. Legally, children inherit their mother's religious affiliation unless the father is a citizen, in which case the law deems such children to be Muslims.
In addition to the secular National Day on September 23, the Islamic religious feasts of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are the only recognized national holidays.
Power User
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2008, 12:34:05 PM »

The Commission to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice (CPVPV) is a semiautonomous agency with the authority to monitor social behavior and enforce morality consistent with the Government's interpretation of Islam, primarily, but not exclusively, within the public realm. Founded by King Abdul Aziz in 1926, the CPVPV reports to the King through the Council of Ministers. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) coordinates with, but does not have authority over the CPVPV, and its full-time or volunteer field officers are known as mutawwa'in. The mutawwa'in do not wear uniforms, but they are now required to wear identification badges and can only act in their official capacity when accompanied by a regular policeman. The 1980 law that formally established the CPVPV defines the body's mission as "guiding and advising people to observe the religious duties prescribed by Islamic Shari'a, and . . . to preclude committing [acts] proscribed and prohibited [by Shari'a], or adopting bad habits and traditions or taboo [sic] heresies."
While the 1980 law does not clearly define the CPVPV's jurisdiction, that law's Executive Regulations state that the mutawwa'in are authorized to monitor various practices including: mixing of the two sexes; men's advances toward women; practicing or displaying non-Muslim faiths or disrespecting Islam; displaying or selling media contrary to Islam, including pornography; producing, distributing, or consuming alcohol; venerating places or celebrating events inconsistent with Islamic practices; practicing magic for profit; and committing or facilitating of lewdness, including adultery, homosexuality, and gambling.
In 2006 the Government declared that religious police could no longer detain or interrogate suspects or violate the sanctity of private homes. However, on July 1, 2007, Interior Minister Prince Nayif bin Abulaziz Al Saud rolled back the previous year's prohibition on entering private homes but reaffirmed the need for mutawwa'in to hand over any suspects to the regular police for detention. Additionally, the mutawwa'in can only act in their official capacity when accompanied by a police officer, and they are not allowed to administer any kind of punishment. Nevertheless, the Government conducted investigations into several incidents that occurred during the reporting period where the mutawwa'in were accused of violating these restrictions. In addition, the government-controlled press frequently criticized mutawwa'in activity.
The Government's stated policy is to permit private worship for all, including non-Muslims who gather in homes for religious practice, and to address violations of this policy by government officials. However, the mutawwa'in sometimes did not respect this policy. Individuals whose ability to worship privately had been infringed could address their grievances through the MOI, the official government Human Rights Commission (HRC), the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR-- a quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organization (NGO)), and when appropriate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The HRC and NSHR reported that they received and acted on complaints against the mutawwa'in. No information was made available on the number of complaints filed during the reporting period or the Government's response to these complaints.
The Government-stated policy is that religious materials for private personal use are allowed in the country, and customs officials and the mutawwa'in do not have the authority to confiscate personal religious materials. However, the mutawwa'in did not always respect this policy. It is also the Government's stated policy to inform foreign workers at its missions abroad that they have the right to worship privately and possess personal religious materials, and to provide the name of the appropriate offices where grievances can be filed. However, during the reporting period there was no evidence the Government carried out this policy, either orally or in writing, and there were no reports of any grievances filed by such workers.
In a February 16, 2008, interview with the English language daily Saudi Gazette, the CPVPV President stated that the CPVPV had 5,000 staff members, including 3,227 mutawwa'in spread throughout all 13 provinces. He added that all new staff members had a one-year probationary period before they were allowed to work in the field. A study reported in the November 3, 2007, Saudi Gazette stated that 44 percent of CPVPV members were college graduates and 79 percent were high school graduates. Reportedly 4 percent had traveled abroad, 15 percent were unable to speak any language but Arabic, and 23 percent were considering a career change. The pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported on April 9, 2008, on a CPVPV-commissioned independent study that showed that the CPVPV conducted 406,000 arrests in 2007. According to the study, during this period, CPVPV members committed 37 violations and 25 members were victims of assault. There were reports that the mutawwa'in claimed they referred very few arrests to the "relevant authorities," supposedly to protect the privacy of those involved and reduce the caseload of the overstretched police force.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call, Guidance, and Endowments (MOIA) was established in 1993 as a bridge between the Government and religious leadership. The MOIA supervises and finances the construction and maintenance of most Sunni mosques; however, approximately 30 percent of Sunni mosques were built and endowed by private persons, either as acts of charity or at private residences. Shi'a mosques do not receive MOIA support and instead rely on private contributions, which can vary widely, depending on the number and generosity of the congregants they serve. The process for obtaining a Government-required license for a Shi'a mosque is reportedly unclear and arbitrary.
The MOIA employs approximately 78,000 persons, including 50,000 Sunni imams, who are chosen by their communities and approved by the Government. Based on the size of their communities, the imams receive monthly MOIA stipends ranging between $500 and $800 (1875 and 3000 riyals), which is considered low, compared to other full-time civil servant salaries. Preachers who deliver the Friday prayers receive an additional monthly stipend of $425. The majority of Sunni imams are full-time MOIA employees, with some private mosques employing non-Saudi imams. However, the government salaries paid to imams is supplemental, rather than their primary source of personal income, as most imams have separate businesses. As with Shi'a mosques, Shi'a imams are not funded by the MOIA and instead rely on community contributions, which can vary widely, depending on the number of congregants they serve.
An MOIA committee defines the qualifications of Sunni imams, and the MOI is responsible for investigating complaints against imams for promoting intolerance, violence, or hatred. While not always followed, the Government's policy is to counsel imams who issue intolerant fatwas or who make religious statements that promote intolerance, violence, or hatred, especially of non-Sunnis, though this policy is not always followed. In 2003 the MOIA created a program to monitor imams. Provincial committees of senior religious scholars supervise mutawwa'in who monitor all mosques and imams within their respective provinces. Based on the mutawwa'in reports, the committees summon the imams accused of preaching intolerance to meet with them. If they are not able to dissuade the imams of their thinking, then the committees refer the imams to a central committee in Riyadh. The first phase of this program ran from 2003 to 2006. MOIA officials claim that 1,300 imams were dismissed during this first phase. The second 3-year phase will end in 2009.

The official government HRC was created to address human rights abuses and promote human rights within the country. The 24-member HRC board, which does not include women, was established in December 2006. Two HRC board members appointed in 2007 are Shi'a and Sulaimaniya Isma'ili Shi'a, respectively. The HRC reported that it received a variety of human rights complaints, including infractions by mutawwa'in. The HRC was also given the mandate to improve human rights awareness in the country, including the promotion of tolerance. In this endeavor, the HRC worked with the Ministry of Education and provided materials and training to the police, security forces, and mutawwa'in on protecting human rights. The King also issued a decree that ministries had 3 weeks to respond to complaints filed by the HRC.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for primary and secondary public education, while the Ministry of Higher Education is responsible for tertiary public education. Both ministries also monitor private education. In 2006 the Government formed the High Commission for Education (HCE) to oversee the ongoing reform of the primary and secondary educational system. The HCE reports to the King and is chaired by the Crown Prince. Its members include the Ministers of Justice, Islamic Affairs, Education, Higher Education, and Labor; two members of the Shura Council; the Secretary General of the Islamic League; and a representative of the Council of Senior Ulema. The HCE's mandate is to oversee the effort to improve textbooks (including the removal of intolerant language), educational curricula (including the promotion of human rights), and teacher training. The Minister of Education is in charge of the joint MOE-MOIA anti-extremism campaign.
Restrictions on Religious Freedom
Public religious practice is generally limited to that which conforms to the officially approved version of Islam. Practices contrary to this interpretation, such as the celebration of Maulid al-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet Muhammad) and visits to the tombs of renowned Muslims are forbidden, although in some places enforcement was more relaxed than in others. Similarly, the Government also prohibits the public propagation of Islamic teachings that differ from the officially accepted interpretation of Islam.
Although there was an increasing degree of public discussion questioning the official interpretation of religious traditions and criticism of their enforcement during the reporting period, including in the media, discussion of many sensitive religious issues, including sectarian differences, remained limited, and criticism of Islam was forbidden. Individuals who publicly criticized the official interpretation of Islam risked harassment, intimidation, detention, and if a foreigner, deportation. Journalists and activists who wrote critically about the religious leadership or who questioned theological dogma risked detention, travel bans, and government shutdowns of their publications.
The Government restricted the establishment of places of worship and public training of non-Sunni clergy. The Government officially did not permit non-Sunni clergy to enter the country to conduct religious services, although some did so under other auspices, and the Government generally allowed them to perform discreet religious functions. Such restrictions made it difficult for most non-Muslims to maintain contact with clergy, particularly Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, whose faiths require a priest on a regular basis to receive sacraments. However, many non-Muslims continued to gather for private worship.
The Government required noncitizens to carry a legal resident identity card, which contained a religious designation for "Muslim" or "non-Muslim." There were unconfirmed reports that some mutawwa'in pressured sponsors and employers not to renew the residency card of non-Muslims they had sponsored for employment if it was discovered or suspected that those individuals had led, sponsored, or participated in private non-Muslim worship services. Similarly, there were reports that mutawwa'in pressured employers and sponsors to reach verbal agreements with non-Muslim employees that they would not participate in private non-Muslim worship services.

During the reporting period Shi'a continued to face systemic discrimination and intolerance tied to a variety of factors, including historical perceptions and ongoing suspicions of foreign influences on their actions. Nevertheless, most Shi'a are loyal to the Government and actively try to contribute to Saudi society. While they coexist with their Sunni neighbors in relative peace, most Shi'a share general concerns of discrimination in education, employment, political representation, the judiciary, religious practice, and media.
In higher education, the Government discriminated against Shi'a in the selection process for students, professors, and administrators at public universities. For example, it was estimated that Shi'a constituted 2 percent of professors at a leading university in al-Ahsa, an area that is at least 50 percent Shi'a. At the primary and secondary levels of education in al-Ahsa, there continued to be severe underrepresentation of Shi'a among principals, with approximately 1 percent of area principals being Shi'a. There were no Shi'a principals in female schools. Shi'a were also underrepresented among principals in Qatif, where they comprise approximately 90 percent of the population. In addition, Shi'a teachers were not permitted to teach certain courses, including religious studies at the intermediate and secondary levels, even in predominantly Shi'a areas.
There were reports that some Shi'a students experienced discrimination within the primary and secondary school systems. Some religious education teachers told their students that Shi'a practices were un-Islamic and that Shi'a students must follow Sunni traditions to be true Muslims. Some teachers told their students that Shi'a were not Muslims, but rather kufaar (unbelievers), rafidah (rejectionists), infidels, or polytheists. In January 2008 a Qatif student was reportedly accused of witchcraft, when a turbah (small piece of soil or clay used for Shi'a prayer) was found among her personal belongings. That same month, the story of a former Qatif-area school teacher who was recorded making harsh anti-Shi'a comments to a private gathering and claiming to have converted nine students to Sunni Islam during a trip to Mecca was widely reported. Despite stated government policy to the contrary, these teachers went without reprimand, although in some cases they were transferred to other schools. In addition, there were reports that many public schools routinely punished Shi'a students academically for their absence during holidays unrecognized by the Government and there continued to be reports of prejudicial questions on exams.
Regardless of their personal religious traditions, public school students at all levels receive mandatory religious instruction based on the Government's interpretation of Sunni Islam. Non-Muslim students in private international schools, which citizens can attend only with special permission, were not required to study Islam. Private religious schools not based on the official interpretation of Islam were not permitted. Despite governmental claims that elementary and secondary education textbooks had been revised, they still retained language that was intolerant of other religious traditions, especially Jewish, Christian, and Shi'a beliefs.

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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2008, 12:41:49 PM »

Saudi Arabia=Not poor, not in AFRICA
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2008, 02:15:31 PM »

Saudi Arabia=Not poor, not in AFRICA

Glad we FINALLY cleared that up!      rolleyes

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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 02:52:26 PM »

Harems Accepted in the West
by Daniel Pipes
Fri, 24 Dec 2004
updated Sun, 17 Aug 2008
As the definition of marriage loosens from its once-strict notion of a man and a woman, all sorts of novel arrangements are turning up – notably homosexual "marriages" and polygamy. This development has come at just the right moment for the growing, demanding Muslim populations in the West, which are asserting their right to one husband and multiple wives. This weblog entry looks, in reverse chronological order, at some of the more interesting signs of polygamy's advance in the West.


Moroccan immigrant fights polygamy in Italy: Souad Sbai, 47, a Moroccan immigrant living in Italy since 1981, is fighting an uphill battle against harems in Italy, Tracy Wilkinson reports for the Los Angeles Times. She estimates the existence of 14,000 polygamous families in Italy and argues that polygamist husbands practice a particularly abusive household: feeling threatened by Western culture, they often imprison their wives, leaving the wives "in a kind of ghetto," according to Sbai. She created a hotline for Muslim immigrant women and heard from about 1,000 of them in the first three months. She realized she had found a hitherto hidden community, many isolated in polygamous households, most of them Moroccan and illiterate. (July 15, 2008)

Keysar Trad and his wife Hanifeh pictured at their Sydney, Australia, home.
Australia recognizes polygamous marriages contracted elsewhere: Natalie O'Brien, a senior writer with the Australian, tells the story of Keysar Trad, 44, drops and in the course of it, drops a bombshell. She reports that "In Australia it is illegal to enter into a polygamous marriage. But the federal government, like Britain, recognises relationships that have been legally recognised overseas, including polygamous marriages. This allows second wives and children to claim welfare and benefits."

O'Brien presents Trad's polygamous urges with great sympathy, telling how his wife Hanifeh returned with their six children to the couple's native Lebanon for several months, leaving him lonely in Sydney's western suburbs. Taking a second wife "seemed the natural thing to do for Trad," writes O'Brien, for he

had already lived through the experience of being the son of his father's second wife, who became part of the family after the first wife became too ill to look after their children. A childhood spent living with a mother and a stepmother was completely normal. "There was nothing out of the ordinary," Trad tells The Australian. "My mother and my stepmother were always best friends. They never argued. She looked at my mum like she was her sister."

Their extended family took shape in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in the 1960s. "That society was very open-minded," Trad recalls. "Even though it was not the norm. I was not aware of any other family with that sort of relationship. But generally, I found people didn't care as long as the relationship was a peaceful one." But Trad's mother warned him not to talk about the family arrangements, saying people really were not that open-minded.

Back to Sydney in 2008, however:

Whether a second wife would work in the Trad household remains another issue. The Trads say they have discussed the idea only in principle. Trad's wife, Hanifeh, is not against the idea of having another woman in her husband's life. She says she has enough confidence in herself not to let it affect her ego. However, she's concerned of the effect it might have on her children and how they would be affected by the stigma. "We don't know whether it would work for us. We have only intellectualised, we have never practised it," Trad says.

Although Trad in the end did not marry a second wife, he supports Khalil Chami's call (see below) for Australia to recognize polygamous marriages on the grounds that doing so helps protect the rights of women in such relationships. Now, Trad says women are left in a vulnerable financial position if the man dies.

O'Brien also quotes Silma Ihram, described as an Anglo-Australian convert to Islam and a pioneer of Muslim education in Australia, urging a public discussion of polygamy, and not just for Muslims. "Take away the Islamic tag because that is irrelevant. There are many people whose marriages are not registered and there are a large number of people having affairs. … Where are we going with the family structure? Where are we going on relationships? We need to ask the questions: How important is it to have a one-on-one relationship and is it acceptable to have more than partner?" (June 26, 2008)

More privileges to polygamous marriages in Belgium: The Belgium Constitutional Court annulled a stipulation in the alien law of 2006 that denied the right of family reunification to children born of a polygamous marriage and who were descended of an alien established in Belgium or from an alien who was already permitted or authorized to an unlimited stay and from one of the spouses not living in Belgium. (June 26, 2008) July 15, 2008 update: In another ruling, the Belgian Constitutional Court has forbidden discrimination against the children of polygamous marriages, for example in the handling of visa applications to enter the country. The ruling does not clearly apply to spouses in polygamous marriages, though Freddy Rosemont, head of the Alien Affairs Department (DVZ), says that the court also annulled the article of the law that bans spouses in polygamous marriages.

Australian sheikh calls for polygamy to be legalized: Khalil Chami of the Islamic Welfare Centre in Sydney has called for polygamous marriages, which already exist in the country, to be recognized and regularized in Australia. Chami told a radio program that he is asked almost weekly to conduct polygamous ceremonies; although he declines, other sheikhs accede. "There are a lot of sheikhs here without any qualifications, without any place. They'll conduct that marriage no problem at all."

To this, Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia added his agreement (for the rights of women to be protected, of course), revealing that he

once proposed to another woman with the consent of his wife, Hanefa, but the second marriage did not proceed. "I certainly would not have entertained the thought of having a relationship without a religious marriage and I thought the relationship with that person was developing to the stage where we had become too friendly with each other," he told the program. "Rather than entertain any thoughts of an affair I thought the only decent thing to do was to consider a proper commitment to that person. This idea of plural sexual relationships, it is not so much frowned upon by society as long as these people don't say we want a polygamous relationship."

Trad also told about his own mother being the third wife in a polygamous relationship and praised the family setup in which the women admired, respected, and supported each other.

In a sense, it's a compliment to the original partner that if he didn't find marriage to be so good why would he go into it again," he said. "In a sense, he's saying that his first wife has made life like heaven for him so he's willing to provide the same service, love and support to a second woman." He said women were choosing to enter into such marriages.

Trad's mother also got on the radio and praised polygamy. Then, asked if it is about men wanting sex with several women, she replied: "Yeah it can be, but having it in the right way instead of having it in like go to prostitute or just date."

To this talk, Attorney-General Robert McClelland responded severely: "Everyone should be on notice that the law in Australia is that marriage is between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. That's based on a long tradition. It's based on the culture of our community and polygamous relationships are entirely inconsistent with that culture and indeed with the law. Polygamous relationships are and will remain unlawful." (June 25, 2008) June 26, 2008 update: This exchange appears to have inspired Ismail Yusanto, the head of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Indonesia (and husband to two wives), to advise Australia to legalize polygamy immediately. "Do you allow prostitution [in Australia]?" he asked. "Why? Even though it enables women to become chattels, to be traded, and given a price?" Polygamy, he argues "should be accepted. If you believe in what you call human rights and freedom of expression, then it must be allowed. If someone wants to marry and take responsibility for a woman, why wouldn't you let them?"

More pro-polygamy propaganda from National Public Radio: Barbara Bradley Hagerty focuses on Philadelphia's African-American Muslims and recounts the story of Zaki and Mecca, who are in their late 20s, have been married to each other for nearly 12 years, live in the Philadelphia suburbs, work in the real estate business, have a 5-year-old son – and also a second wife. How this jolly development came to pass:

Two years ago, Mecca told her husband she wanted to study Arabic in the Middle East, which would mean a lot of time away from home. (NPR is not using any full names in this story because some of those we interviewed could be prosecuted for bigamy.) "We were talking about it," Mecca recalls, "and the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘I'm going to have to find you another wife!'"

Zaki was game. After all, he had been raised in a polygamous home in Philadelphia. Like many black Muslims, his father subscribed to an orthodox view of Islam that allows a man to marry several women. Zaki says he loved having seven siblings and four mothers, especially at dinnertime. "I would find out who's making what that particular night. I know that this mom makes barbequed chicken better than my other mom makes fried chicken, so I'm going with the barbequed chicken tonight. Things of that nature," he says with a laugh. …

When it came to finding a second wife, Zaki said he had no one in mind, and he asked Mecca to conduct the search. "You know, he gave me the baton, and I took it and ran with it," Mecca says. Mecca launched a nationwide search. She found candidates by word of mouth. She scoured the Internet. Eventually, she interviewed about a dozen women. "I had to make sure that she'd be the right fit — not just for my husband, but for our whole family," Mecca says.

But the ultimate match was right under their noses: 20-year-old Aminah, who was a friend of Zaki's younger sister. Aminah knew Mecca was looking for a second wife but thought she was too young. That is, until one night after a dinner party when Mecca pulled her aside. Mecca asked Aminah if she would consider marrying Zaki. "And I said, ‘That's funny, because I was thinking the same thing,'" Aminah says.

Zaki was the last to know the identity of the final candidate to be his bride. He could have vetoed the choice, of course, but he was delighted. In October 2007, he and Aminah married in a religious, not civil, ceremony. Many polygamous marriages are conducted in secret and are not legally binding because state laws prohibit them.

Aminah recalls that Mecca helped prepare the wedding feast. Aminah, who's finishing college, lives in an apartment a few miles away from Mecca's house. Zaki moves between homes on alternating nights. But every week after Friday prayers, they get together as a family. "It can be a variety of things," Zaki says. "Going to a nice restaurant, catching a movie, going bowling, maybe seeing a concert. All kind of things." "I always call it family date night, because it's one big date," Mecca says. "We just chill. I always look forward to it. We always have a ball, laughing, goofing around."

(May 28, 2008)

50,000-100,000 American Muslims live polygamously: So reports National Public Radio in the first of a two-part series. It quotes Daisy Khan, head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, to the effect that polygamy is more common among Muslim immigrants from Africa and Asia and rarer among those from the Middle East. Being NPR, it stresses the cheery aspects of polygamy, as in this story about Mona, a Palestinian woman with six children from her first marriage, who is happy to have had the chance to become a second wife.

When Mona got divorced in 1990, she became a pariah in her conservative Muslim community in Patterson, N.J. "When ladies divorce," she says, "the people look down on her — looking to her like [she's] second class." Then 14 years ago, a man approached her to be his second wife. She resisted at first but then grew to admire him and agreed to become his wife. She says her problems evaporated.

"When I married the second husband, everybody's OK," she says, smiling. "If I go anywhere, I'm free, nobody talks, because I have a husband." He provides for both of his families, and he divides time between the two homes. Mona says the first wife was initially angry, but she got used to it. "What is the problem? If he is not happy with the first marriage, why he stay all the life like this? You know, my religion is good because it gives man and woman another chance to be happy."

(May 27, 2008)

Toronto imam officiated at over 30 polygamous marriages: Noor Javed of the Toronto Star tells the story of Aly Hindy and his polygynous marriage-making:

Safa Rigby holds the youngest of her five children.
There were no pleasantries, there was no small talk. Safa Rigby had expected to hear her husband's voice when the phone rang one morning. Instead, the caller didn't even bother to say hello. "You think you know your husband. You don't know him at all," said the man, a friend of her husband's. "His car is parked outside my house right now. He is with my ex-wife. They just got married last week," the man said.
It took a minute for the news to sink in. Then she called her husband of 14 years, demanding to know if what she had just been told was true – that while she spent a year in Egypt raising their four children in a more Islamic environment, he had used it as an opportunity to marry not just one, but two other women in Toronto.

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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2008, 03:02:04 PM »

"Yes, I'm married," he said, quashing all her dreams of their future together. He told her he was married in a small ceremony 20 days earlier, officiated by Aly Hindy, a well-known Toronto imam, at his Scarborough mosque.

"I cried for six days straight. Lost my appetite, ignored the kids, even had to start taking antidepressants," said Rigby, 35. "What I couldn't understand was how such a thing could happen in Toronto, my hometown, where polygamy is supposed to be illegal."

It was easy. He simply found an imam willing to break a Canadian law, in exchange for upholding an Islamic one. "Polygamy is happening in Toronto; it's not common, but it's happening," said Hindy, imam at Salahuddin Islamic Centre.

Aly Hindy, a pro-polygamy imam at the Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, Canada.
Hindy says he has "blessed" more than 30 polygynous marriages, most recently just two months ago. "This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion. If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that."
The laws of the country do indeed conflict with the Shari‘a when it comes to polygamy, outlawed in Canada in 1892, punishable with up to five years in prison. That said, the last time the Canadian authorities prosecuted polygamy was over 60 years ago.

Despite this record, Hindy is not an enthusiast for the practice. "I don't encourage people to do it, unless they have reason for it. Life ends up being very complicated. You have to jump from one house to another all the time." (May 24, 2008) June 1, 2008 update: Publication of the above story in the Toronto Star inspired Fouad Boutaya, the man who made that telephone call to Safa Rigby, to go public with his side of the story. Particularly dramatic was how he found out about his wife suddenly being married to Rigby's husband, Hossny Ismail.

Boutaya remembers every detail of the moment of revelation he has relived in his mind many times since. The former civil servant came home early from a job-hunting trip to Ottawa to surprise his wife and two children, picking up a cake on his way. When he arrived, he found Ismail sitting at the dinner table, eating comfortably, as if he was in his own home.

"I asked him, ‘What are you doing here, my friend? You should not be here alone with my wife when I am not here,'" said Boutaya. "What's the problem?" Boutaya said Ismail replied. "She is my wife."

In shock, Boutaya stormed out with his two children – a daughter, 7, and son, 11 – and drove to the local police station in Hamilton. "It was my first reaction. I just needed someone to listen to me and protect me," said Boutaya. Instead, he was told that he didn't have much of a case.

So Boutaya sought proof. He spent the next month talking to imams while taking care of his children and trying to adjust to life at the Good Shepherd Centre, a local shelter, where they lived for four months. His wife continued to live in their home. "It's been so hard for my kids. They were in shock for weeks afterwards," said Boutaya, who now lives in subsidized housing.

Dutch will not prosecute polygamy: Dutch justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told parliament that polygamous Muslim marriages should be dealt with via dialogue, not the legal system. Hirsch Ballin gave this response in answer to questions from two Labor Party members, Khadija Arib and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who suggested the government should actively persecute polygamists. They noted some of the problems of such marriages, for example that children produced from them cannot be registered and thus are not eligible for official papers. To this, the minister replied that if the father recognizes the child, there should be no problem. (April 21, 2008)

Mohammed Anwar, restaurant owner, polygamist, speed driver.
Scottish court accepts polygyny as reason for speeding while driving: Mohammed Anwar, owner of "Sanam," a restaurant in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, was caught driving at 64 mph in a 30 mph zone in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 21, 2007, driving so much above the speed limit that he ordinarily would have automatically lost his driving license. Except that he offered an excuse that tugged on the heart strings of Sheriff John C. Morris in Airdrie Sheriff Court who allowed Anwar to keep his license in the course of a five-minute court appearance. The excuse? Let Anwar's lawyer, Paul Nicolson, explain the argument he made in court:

He realises his licence is at risk, but this is an unusual case and is very anxious to keep his driving licence. He has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow and sleeps with one night and stays with the other the next on an alternate basis. Without his driving licence he would be unable to do this on a regular basis. He is also a restaurant owner and has a restaurant in Falkirk, which he has had for the past 30 years. He has had a clean driving licence until now, and on this particular evening was on his way home after a busy evening at his restaurant.

When caught speeding, by the way, Anwar was on his way from the restaurant to the Glasgow wife. Given these special circumstances, Morris merely fined him £200 and gave him six penalty points.

Commenting afterwards, Anwar told Alex Dowdalls of the Daily Mail: "It is true I have two wives. Muslim men are allowed up to four. But I am not a religious leader and it is not my place to comment. As a matter of respect to my wives I would not comment on my home life. The sheriff did not ban me because I need my licence to run my business, although my wives were also part of the decision." (April 5, 2008)

Italian harems "on the rise": Muslim scholars estimates the number of polygynous marriages in Italy at 15,000-20,000, La Repubblica reports, with the phenomenon increasing along with Muslim immigration as well as conversions. Unlike Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Ontario, however, the Italian state does not offer welfare benefits to more than one wife per husband. The paper tells the story of Baba Kar, who reached Italy wifeless in 1999 from Senegal. He began by bringing Fadu, along with their three-year-old son. On getting a work permit, Kar brought Nkeir. The four of them lived in a two-room apartment in Brescia. "The Koran says I can have up to four wives. I observe my religion, and I have never had any problems with the Italian state," Kar reflected.

Indeed, the Italian state, while only recognizing Fadu as Kar's wife, has indicated that polygamous marriages legally contracted abroad are acceptable. Recently a court in Bologna allowed a Muslim immigrant to bring the mothers of his two children to Italy on the grounds that the dual marriages had been legally contracted. (April 2, 2008)

Polygamous Canadian wives recognized and eligible for benefits: The Ontario Family Law Act accepts polygamy. It defines "Polygamous marriage" as "a marriage that is actually or potentially polygamous, if it was celebrated in a jurisdiction whose system of law recognizes it as valid." In other words, the act recognizes polygamous marriages legally contracted in other countries.

Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims.
According to Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, "several hundred" Muslim men in the Greater Toronto Area engage in polygamous marriages, for "Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims." They do this by the man and one wife and children first entering Canada as landed immigrants, then they sponsor the other spouses and children, or these arrive as visitors.
Ali also says some of them receive welfare and social benefits for their additional wives. "There are many people in the community who are taking advantage of this," Ali said. "This is a law and there's nothing wrong with it." He is proud of Canada's record: "Canada is a very liberal-minded country. Canada is way ahead of Britain in this respect." That said, the families receiving benefits keep their identities hidden, fearing too many questions and a cut off of benefits, Ali added.

In contrast, city and provincial officials say that welfare applicants can claim only a single spouse; other adults living in the same household must apply on their own for welfare. According to Brenda Nesbitt, Toronto's director of social services, "There may be polygamous cases we are not aware off. They can apply as single people and we won't know." Erike Botond, spokesman for the Ontario Community and Social Services, notes that social assistance may only include a single spouse. "Other adults residing in the same dwelling place as a recipient and their spouse may apply as individuals."

The immigration authority seems not to realize that the rules have changed. "I can assure you," says its spokesman, Karen Shadd-Evelyn, "that polygamy is not recognized under immigration legislation. A conjugal relationship, whether involving marriage or a common-law partnership, must be exclusive." (February 8, 2008)

Polygamous UK wives recognized and eligible for benefits: British law recognizes only a single spouse and bigamy is punished by up to seven years in jail. But if a husband should arrive in Britain from a country that permits polygamy is legal, then the law recognizes multiple wives. More than recognizes; the UK benefits system formally accepts multiple wives as dependents and pays for them. The Department of Work and Pensions guidelines on housing and council tax benefits read:

If you were legally married to more than one partner under the laws of a country that permits this, then your relationship is called a polygamous marriage. In this case your household consists of you and any partners who live with you and to whom you are married.

The DWP pays couples up to £92.80 a week (in jobseeker's allowance, housing and council tax benefits) and each "additional spouse" receives another £33.65. Now that this policy has become public, however, and raised a small furor, the DWP is reviewing its policy. (April 18, 2007) Feb. 3, 2008 update: A year-long government review has confirmed this policy, The Sunday Telegraph reveals today in "Multiple wives will mean multiple benefits" by Jonathan Wynne-Jones. In addition to the DWP, three other departments were involved in the review: Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Home Office. They reached their conclusions in December 2007 but did not publicize the results. Despite the fact that bigamy is punishable in Britain by up to seven years in prison, the departments concluded that recognizing multiple marriages entered into in foreign countries was "the best possible" option. Wynne-Jones explains the implications:

Even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, the decision by ministers means that polygamous marriages can now be recognised formally by the state, so long as the weddings took place in countries where the arrangement is legal. The outcome will chiefly benefit Muslim men with more than one wife, as is permitted under Islamic law. Ministers estimate that up to a thousand polygamous partnerships exist in Britain, although they admit there is no exact record. …

New guidelines on income support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state: "Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate ... The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65." Income support for all of the wives may be paid directly into the husband's bank account, if the family so choose. Under the deal agreed by ministers, a husband with multiple wives may also be eligible for additional housing benefit and council tax benefit to reflect the larger property needed for his family.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 03:04:06 PM »

New York City establishment accepts polygamy: A space heater set off a fire that climbed quickly through a three-story Bronx row house, killing ten immigrants from Mali, including nine children of two fathers and three wives. As the city's deadliest fire in nearly 20 years, the tragedy attracted enormous attention, with the mayor and many dignitaries attending the funeral and consoling the two men, Mamadou Soumare and Moussa Magassa. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner volunteered to pay for the funerals. No one said a word about the polygamy. An Associated Press report refers casually to this fact:

The woman who leaped out the window, Assia Magassa - Moussa's 23-year-old second wife – was at Lincoln Medical Center on Saturday with broken legs. … According to Mali's Muslim traditions, a man may have more than one wife.

(March 10, 2007) Mar. 23, 2007 update: The New York Times directly takes on polygamy in its home city. Nina Bernstein writes in "In Secret, Polygamy Follows Africans to N.Y." that

Polygamy in America, outlawed in every state but rarely prosecuted, has long been associated with Mormon splinter groups out West, not immigrants in New York. But a fatal fire in a row house in the Bronx on March 7 revealed its presence here, in a world very different from the suburban Utah setting of "Big Love," the HBO series about polygamists next door.

The city's mourning for the dead  a woman and nine children in two families from Mali  has been followed by a hushed double take at the domestic arrangements described by relatives: Moussa Magassa, the Mali-born American citizen who owned the house and was the father of five children who perished, had two wives in the home, on different floors. Both survived.

No one knows how prevalent polygamy is in New York. Those who practice it have cause to keep it secret: under immigration law, polygamy is grounds for exclusion from the United States. Under state law, bigamy can be punished by up to four years in prison. No agency is known to collect data on polygamous unions, which typically take shape over time and under the radar, often with religious ceremonies overseas and a visitor's visa for the wife, arranged by other relatives. Some men have one wife in the United States and others abroad.

But the Magassas clearly are not an isolated case. Immigration to New York and other American cities has soared from places where polygamy is lawful and widespread, especially from West African countries like Mali, where demographic surveys show that 43 percent of women are in polygamous marriages.

And the picture that emerges from dozens of interviews with African immigrants, officials and scholars of polygamy is of a clandestine practice that probably involves thousands of New Yorkers. …

Don't-ask-don't-know policies prevail in many agencies that deal with immigrant families in New York, perhaps because there is no framework for addressing polygamy in a city that prides itself on tolerance of religious, cultural and sexual differences  and on support for human rights and equality.

… stories of polygamy, New York style, are typically shared by women only in whispered conversations in laundries and at hair-braiding salons. With no legal immigration status and no right to asylum from polygamy, many are afraid to expose their husbands to arrest or deportation, which could dishonor and impoverish their families here and in Africa.

In sum, this report suggests, polygamy is in New York by the thousands, it causes much suffering, but no one has the will to take it on. Mar. 7, 2008 update: In a one-year update on the surviving family members, the New York Times again blithely accepts polygamy, reporting that Moussa Magassa, 46, the father of five children who died in the fire, said in an interview that "his family has grown since the fire: Two wives recently gave birth, one to twins." The reporter, Timothy Williams, notes delicately only that Magassa "is from Mali, where polygamy is legal and widespread." The New York Post causally provides the eye-popping information (in the caption to a picture) that Magassa has taken a third wife: "Moussa Magassa now has nine children with his wives, Aisse, Manthia and Niekale."

Comment: I wonder if Magassa trekked back to Mali to marry Niekale or whether he "married" her in the United States. If the latter, he is as liable to charges of polygamy as any Mormon fundamentalist, but something tells me, much less likely to have the law after him.

Taxpayer subsidies for UK harems: According to a sensationalist story by Nigel Nelson in The People, "Have a Harem: Geta Handout," it's not just Inland Revenue but other government agencies that recognize polygamous marriages. He finds that the British taxpayer spends £5m a year on polygamous immigrants who bring harems into the country for such benefits as jobseekers' allowances, housing benefits, and council tax relief. Their children can claim child benefits and family tax credits. For example, as Nelson colorfully puts it, "The exhausted husband also gets a Jobseeker's Allowance of £90.10 a week for himself and his first wife. Extra wives get £32.65 each." The Welfare Minister, Philip Hunt, is quoted acknowledging that "British law recognises those marriages. Income-related benefits can be paid for more than one wife." (November 12, 2006) May 28, 2007 update: The Times (London) follows up with more information: The Department for Work and Pensions estimates there are "fewer than 1,000 valid polygamous marriages in the UK, few of whom are claiming a state benefit." Here's how it works:

Britain does recognise polygamous marriages that have taken place in countries where the custom is legal, such as Pakistan, Nigeria and India. The Home Office said that multiple wives in polygamous marriages may be allowed into the country as students or tourists. Officials are advised to let extra wives into Britain even if they suspect that a husband is trying to cheat the system by getting bogus divorces. "Entry clearance may not be withheld from a second wife where the husband has divorced his previous wife and the divorce is thought to be one of convenience," an immigration rulebook advises. "This is so, even if the husband is still living with the previous wife and to issue the entry clearance would lead to the formation of a polygamous household." …

A husband may claim housing benefit for each wife even if she is abroad, for up to 52 weeks, as long as the absence is temporary and for pressing reasons. In a draft Commons reply released under the Freedom of Information Act, officials explained another way in which the system made it easy to receive handouts. "A polygamous marriage is the only circumstance in which an adult dependency increase is payable in income-related benefits," it stated. "In any other circumstances an adult ‘dependent' would have to make a separate claim."

To calculate the amount of income support that is payable to an extra wife, officials subtract the rate paid to an individual from that paid to a couple. This produces the amount that a cohabiting spouse is deemed to need in social security benefits. If a man lives with two valid wives, his household is paid the rate for a couple, plus an amount for the extra spouse, the documents show.

Tax credits for UK harems: The paymaster general of the Treasury, Dawn Primarolo, gave this reply at a parliamentary inquiry:

Where a man and a woman are married under a law which permits polygamy, and either of them has an additional spouse, the Tax Credits (Polygamous Marriages) Regulations 2003 allow them to claim tax credits as a polygamous unit. It is only those in legal polygamous unions who are covered by these regulations and there is no provision for those in less formal arrangements to claim as a polygamous unit.

Azouz Begag, French minister for promoting the equalty of opportunity.
(December 2, 2005)

Accepting polygamy in France: Azouz Begag, French minister for promoting the equalty of opportunity (yes, such a position exists) laconically addressed the issue of polygamy by saying that the country "could find a way to live with it." (September 9, 2005)

Polygamous UK wives inherit tax-free from husbands: Nicholas Hellen, "Muslim second wives may get a tax break" provides rich details, which I feel compelled to quote at length so as not to lose their texture:

The Inland Revenue is considering recognising polygamy for some religious groups for tax purposes. Officials have agreed to examine "family friendly" representations from Muslims who take up to four wives under sharia, the laws derived from the Koran. Existing rules allow only one wife for inheritance tax purposes. The Revenue has been asked to relax this so that a husband's estate can be divided tax-free between several wives.

The move is bound to create controversy if it leads to a change in the rules. It is seen as a breakthrough by Muslim leaders who have been campaigning to incorporate sharia into British domestic law. Ahmad Thomson, of the Association of Muslim Lawyers, said: "Wives and immediate children should be exempt from inheritance tax. If the government is family friendly they should change a tax which is unfairly hitting minority religious values."

Any concession by the Revenue could open a wider debate about the legality of plural marriages. At present a person married to more than one people can be charged with bigamy. Muslim marriages to second, third and fourth wives are not valid in civil law, with the women effectively regarded as mistresses with no legal or tax rights.

However, some official bodies have already pointed out that tax laws are unfavourable to religious groups that recognise more than one spouse. The National Audit Office (NAO) recently concluded that the tax system inadvertently penalised devout Muslims. An NAO inquiry into inheritance laws found that devout Muslims were not able to take full advantage of British tax law, which allows spouses to inherit an entire estate from their husband or wife tax free. …

Sadiq Khan, a leading Muslim politician, said: "I am pleased to see the Inland Revenue applying common sense to the application of Islamic law on uncontroversial matters such as inheritance. There are some other uncontroversial areas of Islam law which could easily be applied to the legal system we have in the UK." …

Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has already made one significant concession to adapt to the dictates of sharia. In the 2003 Finance Act he spared Muslims from paying stamp duty twice on their properties when they took out "Islamic mortgages" that complied with the sharia ban on paying interest. The Islamic mortgages involve the lender buying the house — ownership is transferred to the purchaser only at the end of the repayment period.

In a totally startling development, perhaps what most stands out is the idea that polygamy is already deemed "uncontroversial." (December 26, 2004)
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2008, 05:41:17 PM »

It is true; time's are changing.  On my street in one house there is single gay man, in another house live two gay men together and in another, two lesbians live together; still, most of my neighbors are married traditional (man/wife) and a few are single either by choice or divorce.  Mind you, most of the single ones are successful single women making the big bucks.  And one poor single mom struggling a bit.  My father's generation is still a bit shocked.  However, everyone seems to get along just fine.  The laws are changing; gay people are getting married.  Yet only a few years ago in America, many of these actions were a crime and you could/would be sent to jail not to mention being ostracized.  Why not polygamy?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a proponent.  Me, I'm too old and tired  smiley  but if adults voluntarily agree, well, why not?  Why is it criminal?   And while Islam is being criticized, look in the Bible; Abraham, David, Solomon, et all all had multiple wives.  It didn't seem to a problem for our Christian God or any of the participants except for the normal jealousies.  And do I care if my neighbor is gay, lesbian, straight, or polygamist?  Or Christian, Jew, or Muslim?  No, I really don't if they are all good neighbors.
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2008, 12:27:43 PM »

It is true; time's are changing.  On my street in one house there is single gay man, in another house live two gay men together and in another, two lesbians live together; still, most of my neighbors are married traditional (man/wife) and a few are single either by choice or divorce.  Mind you, most of the single ones are successful single women making the big bucks.  And one poor single mom struggling a bit.  My father's generation is still a bit shocked.  However, everyone seems to get along just fine.  The laws are changing; gay people are getting married.  Yet only a few years ago in America, many of these actions were a crime and you could/would be sent to jail not to mention being ostracized.  Why not polygamy?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a proponent.  Me, I'm too old and tired  smiley  but if adults voluntarily agree, well, why not?  Why is it criminal?   

**Why not incest then? It's just another lifestyle choice, right?**

And while Islam is being criticized, look in the Bible; Abraham, David, Solomon, et all all had multiple wives.  It didn't seem to a problem for our Christian God or any of the participants except for the normal jealousies. 

**Western civilization developed monogamy, which worked quite well, back when it was taken seriously.**

And do I care if my neighbor is gay, lesbian, straight, or polygamist?  Or Christian, Jew, or Muslim?  No, I really don't if they are all good neighbors.

**The problem being, that gay or straight neighbors are probably not directly or indirectly supporting or funding terrorist groups. By practicing polygamy, this creates a long term demographic wave that eventually allows for islam to gain the dominance it craves. Watch what is happening in europe now.**
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2008, 12:29:02 PM »

War On Terror Hits New Front -- The First Amendment
by Robert Spencer (more by this author)
Posted 10/02/2008 ET

British authorities arrested three Muslims in London on Saturday after fires broke out in the offices of the publishing house Gibson Square and at the home of the publisher, Martin Rynja. Gibson Square had been planning to publish The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones, a trashy novel sensationalizing the marriage of the Islamic prophet Muhammad to the child Aisha (Muhammad was in his fifties, and Aisha was nine, when the happy union was consummated).

Then on Monday the book’s American publisher, Beaufort Books, closed its offices, explaining that it had received no specific threats but was nevertheless taking a “precautionary action” -- and that it still planned to publish the book.

Meanwhile, over at Random House, they must be drawing a sigh of relief. That venerable house was originally planning to publish the novel but dropped it at the last minute after determining that it might offend Muslims -- even though its portrayal of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha is favorable, never straying into territory that might violate the strict tenets of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ media guide. Nevertheless, it looks as if those who thought Muslims would find the book offensive were right -- at least as far as the three Muslims arrested in London are concerned.

But when he picked up the British rights to the book last month, Rynja said some things that Random House -- and the rest of us -- would do well to keep in mind. In “an open society,” he declared, “there has to be open access to literary works, regardless of fear. As an independent publishing company, we feel strongly that we should not be afraid of the consequences of debate.”

Now those consequences have come, however, and Rynja is wavering. According to Alan Jessop of Compass, Gibson Square’s sales representative, Rynja “is in good spirits, but has put publication in suspended animation while he reflects and takes advice on what the best foot forward is.”

I can tell you that right now, Mr. Rynja. The best foot forward is to stand up for the principles of free discussion and inquiry on which free society depends and not to show that violent intimidation works. Of course, neither Rynja nor the employees of Gibson Square probably ever thought that by publishing books they would be taking their lives in their hands, but these are perilous times for everyone. Some will no doubt say these fires could have been prevented; if Muslims have found the novel offensive, for whatever reason, it shouldn’t be published as a gesture of multicultural solidarity.

The fires themselves show that much more is at stake. Although The Jewel of Medina is a silly, stupid book, the prospect of its being deep-sixed by bullying Muslims and cowering infidels doesn’t bode well for the future of freedom in the West. The legal protections on free speech were developed precisely in order to protect speech that some groups may find offensive so as to prevent the creation of a privileged class that is beyond criticism. But that is just what the three men who firebombed Martin Rynja’s home and the Global Square offices were trying to create by frightening non-Muslims into conforming to Islamic sensibilities -- or else.

London author Kenan Malik recently observed, “In the 20 years between the publication of The Satanic Verses and the withdrawal of The Jewel of Medina, the fatwa [against Rushdie]…has become internalized. Not only do publishers drop books deemed offensive but theaters savage plays, opera houses cut productions, art galleries censor shows, all in the name of cultural sensitivity.” But if they continue down this road, how long will we continue to be able to speak openly about the jihad threat -- and indeed, how long will we continue to be able to dissent from the Islamic perspective on the world in general?

Beyond the issue of this novel, if the people in America, Britain, and elsewhere who are threatened by the global jihad and Islamic supremacism are not willing to stand up and fight for the ability to hold in conscience to views that differ from those that Muslims wish us to hold, then all is lost.

The jihadists are willing to go all the way -- to give up their very lives -- in their quest to control ours. For them, no price is too high.

What price is too high for us?

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)", "The Truth About Muhammad" and the forthcoming"Stealth Jihad" (all from Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2008, 12:48:33 PM »

Afghan on trial for Christianity

An Afghan man is being tried in a court in the capital, Kabul, for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Abdul Rahman is charged with rejecting Islam and could face the death sentence under Sharia law unless he recants.

He converted 16 years ago as an aid worker helping refugees in Pakistan. His estranged family denounced him in a custody dispute over his two children.

It is thought to be Afghanistan's first such trial, reflecting tensions between conservative clerics and reformists.

Conservatives still dominate the Afghan judiciary four years after the Taleban were overthrown.

The BBC's Mike Donkin in Kabul says reformists, like the government under President Hamid Karzai, want a more liberal, secular legal system but under the present constitution it is hard for them to intervene.


Afghanistan's post-Taleban constitution is based on Sharia law, and prosecutors in the case says this means Abdul Rahman, whose trial began last Thursday, should be put to death.

We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him
Trial judge Ansarullah Mawlazezadah
When he was arrested last month he was found to be carrying a bible and charged with rejecting Islam which is punishable by death in Afghanistan.

Trial judge Ansarullah Mawlazezadah told the BBC that Mr Rahman, 41, would be asked to reconsider his conversion, which he made while working for a Christian aid group in Pakistan.

"We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him," the judge told the BBC on Monday.

But if he refused to reconvert, then his mental state would be considered first before he was dealt with under Sharia law, the judge added.

He said he expected the case to take about two months to be heard.


The Afghan Human Rights Commission has called for a better balance in the judiciary, with fewer judges advocating Sharia law and more judges with a wider legal background.

Several journalists have been prosecuted under blasphemy laws in post-Taleban Afghanistan.

The editor of a women's rights magazine was convicted of insulting Islam and sentenced to death last year - but was later released after an apology and heavy international pressure.

Mr Karzai's office says the president will not intervene in the case.

Observers say executing a converted Christian would be a significant precedent as a conservative interpretation of Sharia law in Afghanistan.

But it would also outrage Western nations which put Mr Karzai in power and are pouring billions of dollars into supporting the country.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/03/20 13:15:27 GMT

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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2008, 01:59:49 PM »

It is true; time's are changing.  On my street in one house there is single gay man, in another house live two gay men together and in another, two lesbians live together; still, most of my neighbors are married traditional (man/wife) and a few are single either by choice or divorce.  Mind you, most of the single ones are successful single women making the big bucks.  And one poor single mom struggling a bit.  My father's generation is still a bit shocked.  However, everyone seems to get along just fine.  The laws are changing; gay people are getting married.  Yet only a few years ago in America, many of these actions were a crime and you could/would be sent to jail not to mention being ostracized.  Why not polygamy?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a proponent.  Me, I'm too old and tired  smiley  but if adults voluntarily agree, well, why not?  Why is it criminal?   

**Why not incest then? It's just another lifestyle choice, right?**

And while Islam is being criticized, look in the Bible; Abraham, David, Solomon, et all all had multiple wives.  It didn't seem to a problem for our Christian God or any of the participants except for the normal jealousies. 

**Western civilization developed monogamy, which worked quite well, back when it was taken seriously.**

And do I care if my neighbor is gay, lesbian, straight, or polygamist?  Or Christian, Jew, or Muslim?  No, I really don't if they are all good neighbors.

**The problem being, that gay or straight neighbors are probably not directly or indirectly supporting or funding terrorist groups. By practicing polygamy, this creates a long term demographic wave that eventually allows for islam to gain the dominance it craves. Watch what is happening in europe now.**

Actually, I think incest is different.

And while I agree that my gay or straight neighbors are probably not directly or indirectly supporting terrorism, it is also true that if they did practice polygamy,
they wouldn't necessarily be be supporting terrorism either.  And don't most Muslims live in a monogamous relationship? 
Given today's economics, I can't imagine supporting 3-4+ wives!   smiley
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2008, 03:04:33 PM »

Why is incest different? It's illegal as a reflection of our society's values (The few we haven't yet done away with in our post-modern, post-moral age). Not all cultures forbid it, some actually prefer it. In the arab world, the wedding of first cousins is seen as optimal.
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2008, 03:14:08 PM »

Howabout "age of consent" laws and marriage of children? Under sharia, in it's various interpretations globally, it's just fine for an adult male to marry a young girl, citing Mohammed's marrying Aisha when she was six. Why should we forbid what allah has allowed?
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2008, 03:29:35 PM »

Why is incest different? It's illegal as a reflection of our society's values (The few we haven't yet done away with in our post-modern, post-moral age). Not all cultures forbid it, some actually prefer it. In the arab world, the wedding of first cousins is seen as optimal.

I think most medical doctors/scientists suggest against it for both DNA and mental health issues.  If I remember my history classes this caused a few problems among royalty in Europe.
But yes, you are right, not all cultures forbid it. Actually, like Islam, many if not most states here in America permit a wedding of first cousins and the Bible is full of stories of incest
without any negative comment.  Yet going back to science, inbreeding being illegal is not just a reflection of our society's values rather ... I think it's different.  But I suppose you
are right; if you want...
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 03:31:14 PM by JDN » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2008, 03:34:15 PM »

It's nothing I want or support, but again, if we want to live in the "post-modern, post-moral" age the left advocates, then why any limits on anything? Just call it a lifestyle choice and be done with it.

BTW, incest laws say nothing about reproduction. It's just as illegal for an elderly brother/sister to marry as those capable of bearing children.
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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2008, 03:38:10 PM »

Howabout "age of consent" laws and marriage of children? Under sharia, in it's various interpretations globally, it's just fine for an adult male to marry a young girl, citing Mohammed's marrying Aisha when she was six. Why should we forbid what allah has allowed?

Actually, it is rather interesting.  Again, the Bible has numerous examples of child marriages; again no problem.  And, here in America many states differ on what is "legal". Some states say 18 years old is the minimum, others 16, others 15, others 14 and other states even permit marriages among even younger children with the signature of the parent and the court.  It all seems
rather strange to me, but that's the law.
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2008, 03:44:50 PM »

It's nothing I want or support, but again, if we want to live in the "post-modern, post-moral" age the left advocates, then why any limits on anything? Just call it a lifestyle choice and be done with it.

BTW, incest laws say nothing about reproduction. It's just as illegal for an elderly brother/sister to marry as those capable of bearing children.

Never meant to imply that is was what you wanted or supported. 
And while you seem strongly against the "post-modern, post-moral" (me, I can't make up my mind, but you do have some points) so is Sharia Law very much against many of
these so called modern lifestyle choices isn't it?  Interesting dichotomy.

And yes, I know incest laws say nothing about reproduction, but ... it happens...
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2008, 03:54:28 PM »

States do differ, but very few 14 year olds do get married in 2008. Why? Because our society recognizes that a 14 year old male or female isn't capable of giving an informed consent due to maturational/developmental issues. Again, thankfully we don't use either the bible or the koran or the life of Mohammed as the standard on which we develop our laws. What might have been acceptable in 1908 isn't necessarily so in 2008. Whereas in an islamic society, what Mohammed did in 628 is just as valid in 2008, or 2128.
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2008, 04:10:16 PM »

It's nothing I want or support, but again, if we want to live in the "post-modern, post-moral" age the left advocates, then why any limits on anything? Just call it a lifestyle choice and be done with it.

BTW, incest laws say nothing about reproduction. It's just as illegal for an elderly brother/sister to marry as those capable of bearing children.

Never meant to imply that is was what you wanted or supported. 
And while you seem strongly against the "post-modern, post-moral" (me, I can't make up my mind, but you do have some points) so is Sharia Law very much against many of
these so called modern lifestyle choices isn't it?  Interesting dichotomy.

**The key division here is the role of government in matters of personal morality. I personally find male homosexual acts repulsive. However, I have no interest in seeing any governmental force being used against those that engage in such activities. Consenting adults, in the privacy of their own homes can do as they wish. If god has an issue with that, it's between them and god. People have a right to their views on the topic, including the condemnation of such activities, but do not have the right to interfere with those that choose to engage, again as long as it's between consenting adults in their own homes.**

And yes, I know incest laws say nothing about reproduction, but ... it happens...

**Sure, lots of deviant, sick things happen. There are adult women that have consenting sexual relationships with their fathers, having been sexually assaulted as children and taught that it's normative behavior. Stomach turning, but sadly, very true.**
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2008, 04:58:37 PM »

Afghan Clerics Call for Abdul Rahman's Death

In my previous blog entry about Abdul Rahman, the 41-year-old Afghan man who may face the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity, I noted that while a number of Islamic states outlaw apostasy, "the greater threat comes from vigilantes." I made a similar observation in a February 2004 article that I wrote for Commentary:

The greatest threat to apostates in the Muslim world derives not from the state, however, but from private individuals who take punishment into their own hands. In Bangladesh, for example, a native-born Muslim-turned-Christian evangelist was stabbed to death in the spring of 2003 while returning home from a film version of the Gospel of Luke. As another Bangladeshi apostate told the U.S. Newswire, "If a Muslim converts to Christianity, now he cannot live in this country. It is not safe. The fundamentalism is increasing more and more."

The Abdul Rahman situation bears this out. Even if the state doesn't put Abdul Rahman to death, Afghan clerics have announced that they will incite others to kill him. The Associated Press reports today (with emphases added):

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001. . . . Diplomats have said the Afghan government is searching for a way to drop the case. On Wednesday, authorities said Rahman is suspected of being mentally ill and would undergo psychological examinations to see whether he is fit to stand trial. But three Sunni preachers and a Shiite one interviewed by The Associated Press in four of Kabul's most popular mosques said they do not believe Rahman is insane. "He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian," said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque. "The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed." Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, concurred. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled."

"Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left." He said the only way for Rahman to survive would be for him to go into exile. But Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country. "If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can, too," he said. "We must set an example. . . . He must be hanged."

These clerics add their voices to a growing chorus of Aghan citizens calling for Abdul Rahman's death, including his own father: "He is my son. But if a son does not care about the dignity of his family, the dignity of his father, God can take him away. You cannot make anything out of such a son. He is useless."

This case makes clear that the threat to converts out of Islam does not just come from the state, but from private citizens as well. And it makes clear that the belief that apostates deserve death is not an aberration, but is more widespread that many would like to acknowledge. The resolution of this case may well be a barometer of Afghanistan's future, and the future of democracy in the Middle East.

Posted by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross at 09:47 AM
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2008, 05:05:09 PM »

Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 208
February 18, 2005   No. 208

Accusing Muslim Intellectuals of Apostasy
By: Aluma Dankowitz. *

Marking the 16th anniversary of the Fatwa calling for author Salman Rushdie's death issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced: "The day will finally come when the apostate Salman Rushdie will receive his due punishment for his disgraceful and slanderous move against the Qur'an and the Prophet [Muhammad]." Iran's Leader Ali Khamenei stressed that the death sentence following the publication of Rushdie's ' The Satanic Verses ' "is irrevocable." [1]

The accusation against Muslims - particularly intellectuals, artists, and writers - of "unbelief" (an accusation known as " takfir " ) recurs in the Muslim world. The traditional punishment for an apostate ( murtadd ) set in early Islam was capital punishment. This punishment was implemented on a large scale in the period following the death of the Prophet Muhammad, when Muhammad's successor Abu Bakr fought the ridda wars against the tribes that abandoned Islam. In modern Muslim history too, there are several cases of charges of apostasy against intellectuals who deviated from the dictates of Islamist circles.

Section 228 of Iran's Islamic Penal Code states that a "criminal" should be exonerated "if it is proven to the court that the blood of the victim was permitted." An example of the implementation of this law is the cash prize of over $2 million set for the murder of Salman Rushdie, who was accused of apostasy. Other prominent examples include the 1985 execution of Sudanese Sufi philosopherMuhammad Mahmoud Taha on charges of ridda and the 1992 assassination by Islamists, following similar accusations, of secular Egyptian intellectual Faraj Foda.When Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazaliwas asked for his view on this assassination, he simply said that "the sentence for ridda that the [country's] ruler refrained from carrying out has now been implemented." In 1994, Islamists made an attempt on the life of Egyptian Nobel Prize laureate Nagib Mahfouz. [2]

In other cases, conservative Muslim activists exploited the Hisbah law enabling anyone to file suit in a court of law against anyone else in the name of society. Thus, the charge of ridda was filed against several intellectuals; if found guilty, the court could force them to divorce their spouses [ tafriq ], because if one party to an Islamic marriage became an apostate, the marriage was nullified. Thus, in 1995 an Egyptian court forced Dr. Nasser Hamed Abu Zayd, an intellectual who had published critical research on the Koran, to separate from his wife. In 2001, a similar suit was filed against feminist Egyptian author Nawal Al-Sa'dawi;however, the prosecutor-general, who, according to a 1996 amendment, was the only one who could decide whether such a suit was warranted, rejected the claims against her.

Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi Advocates Implementing the Ridda Death Penalty

In an interview with the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, one of the most prominent clerics in Sunni Islam and among Islamist circles and a spiritual leader for the Muslim Brotherhood movement, discussed the view of modern religious law on carrying out the punishment for ridda, and permitted the murder of free Muslim intellectuals whose views differ from those of Islamist clerics.

Asked, "In Muslim society, has an individual the right to change his religion as he wishes?" Al-Qaradhawi drew a distinction between two types of ridda: "One of the freedoms that Islam does not accept is the freedom of ridda that expands [from the realm of the individual to that of the group] and threatens the social fabric and its foundations. [On the one hand,] there is limited ridda, and [on the other,] there is ridda that expands [from the individual to the group].

"Limited ridda is the ridda of the individual who switches religion and is not interested in others. According to Islam, the punishment for this individual is [Hell] in the world to come…

"But [the other] ridda,which expands [from the individual to the group], is a ridda in which the individual who abandons Islam calls [upon others] to do likewise, [thus creating] a group whose path is not the path of society and whose goal is not the goal of the [Muslim] nation, and whose allegiance is not to the Islamic nation. Such [individuals] endanger the social fabric, and they are like the murtaddoon [apostates],who were fought by [the first Caliph] Abu Bakr together with the Companions of the Prophet [the Sahaba]. Those murtaddoon falsely claimed that they were prophets with the same inspiration as was given to the Prophet Muhammad…"

Asked what the view of the modern Muslim sage should be about the danger of ridda, Al-Qaradhawi replied: "The gravest danger facing the Muslim is the one that threatens his spiritual existence – i.e., that threatens his belief. Therefore, apostasy, or unbelief after having been Muslim, is the gravest danger to society…

"In our generation, Muslim society has been subject to violent invasions and severe attacks aimed at uprooting it, and these were manifested by the invasion of Christian missionaries that began with Western colonialism and is continuing in the Islamic world and among the Islamic communities and minorities [outside the Muslim world] … [and by] the Communist invasion that destroyed entire Muslim countries in Asia and Europe and made every effort to eliminate Islam and remove it ultimately from people's lives … and by the third and worst invasion, the secular invasion that is continuing to this day in the heart of the Islamic world, sometimes openly and sometimes covertly, and which persecutes the true Islam…

"For Muslim society to preserve its existence, it must struggle against ridda from every source and in all forms, and it must not let it spread like wildfire in a field of thorns. This is what Abu Bakr and the companions did when they fought the people of ridda who followed the false prophets… There is no escape from struggling against and restricting the individual ridda so that it will not worsen and its sparks scatter, becoming group ridda… Thus, the Muslim sages agreed that the punishment for the murtadd [who commits ridda ] … is execution…" [3]

In his book ' Islam and Secularism,' Al-Qaradhawi explains: "The Muslim sages agreed unanimously that anyone who denies something that is known in the religion … is an apostate who abandons his religion. The Imam must demand of him to repent, and recant his deviation from the righteous path, or the laws regarding the murtadd will apply to him."

The progressive Egyptian intellectual Sayyed Al-Qimni, who cited the above quote in an article in the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, explained what it meant: "According to Al-Qaradhawi, [the ridda ] punishment does not apply only to someone who decides freely to leave Islam for what satisfies his heart and his conscience – whether this be another religion or nothing at all. It applies in principle [also] to the Muslim who clings to the laws of his religion … but disagrees with those who have appointed themselves the priests of Islam and who call themselves religious sages … especially when the disputes concern the understanding of a particular matter in Islam … because [the priests of the religion] have determined that their understanding of the holy scriptures is the only [permitted] understanding and the absolute truth, and anything else is absolute falsehood… Any attempt at new thinking in reading the scriptures is thrust away [on the pretext] of [accusations of] abandoning the religion … and the punishment for new thought or expressing a different opinion is death." [4]

The issues of ridda, takfir, and tafriq are a constant concern in the Muslim world. The following are several recent cases.
Recent Egyptian Lawsuit: Forcing a Divorce upon an Intellectual

The latest affair to take Egypt by storm concerns statements by Egyptian author and TV writer Usama Anwar Ukasha, who slandered one of the Prophet's Companions, 'Amr ibn Al-'Aas, who commanded the forces that brought Islam to Egypt. Ukasha called him "the most contemptible figure in Islam" for causing divisiveness and internal conflict in Islam. Attorney Nabih Al-Wahsh, who in the past filed a suit against Egyptian author Nawal Al-Sa'dawi, filed a similar suit to separate Ukasha from his wife, claiming that by attacking ibn Al-'Aas, Ukasha had become a murtadd who had left the fold of Islam.

Egypt's shapers of public opinion are divided on the affair. For example, Dr. Abd Al-Sabour Shahin, lecturer on Islamic law at the University of Cairo, stated that Amr ibn Al-'Aas has an important place in Islam and therefore "we will not permit any secularist to deride him." He expressed support for legal measures against Ukasha in order to put an end to the harming of the Prophet's Companions and as a deterring measure against the distortion of the image of Islam heroes.

In contrast, Islamic intellectual Gamal Al-Bana,the brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood movement Hassan Al-Bana, firmly rejected all demands to ostracize any individual or to make charges of apostasy, arguing that criticizing the Companions of the Prophet was legitimate. He said: "The lawsuits we are seeing today to ostracize and prevent [different] ideas recall previous eras. We must understand that Islam has given man freedom of thought. Islam's history proves that no one is immune to error except the Prophet. The Companions of the Prophet made errors, and therefore it is not right for them to be exempt from criticism. This doesn't give us the right to curse any of the Companions of the Prophet or anyone else, or harm their belief, but it does permit us to describe their deeds in political terms. It is known that 'Amr ibn Al-'Aas has a controversial political history; therefore, there is nothing to prevent us from opposing him from the historical point of view." [5]

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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2008, 05:07:02 PM »

Islamist Circles: Sunna Deniers Who Oppose the Sunna as a Source of Religious Rulings Are Apostates

Gamal Al-Banna himself recently made headlines when the Islamic Research Institute of Al-Azhar University in Cairo banned his book, ' The Responsibility for the Failure of the Islamic State '. [6] His name also appeared in a detailed study against " Sunna deniers" that was posted on the Muslim website, the motto of which is "Life in the Way of the Prophet Is Harder than Death for His Sake" and which encourages Muslims to devote themselves to Allah in accordance with the Koran and the Sunna.

The study reviewed the history of Sunna denial that began in the second century of Islam (the eighth century CE), which sees the Koran as the only source of Islamic legislation and rejects the Sunna as an additional source for religious rulings. The study presents the various groups that rejected the Sunna, in part or in whole: the Shi'a, the Khawarij, [7] the Mu'tazila, [8] and the Orientalists. It goes on to review the development of Sunna denial in different countries, and discusses the important centers of Sunna denial in India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt.

The study also focuses on the main figures who advocated and still advocate this approach, including the prominent reformists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Egyptian scholar Muhammad Abdu (d. 1905) and his disciple, Syrian scholar Muhammad Rashid Rida (d. 1935); Egyptian writers Taha Hussein (d. 1973), Ahmad Amin (d. 1954); Tawfiq Al-Hakim (d. 1987); Libyan ruler Mu'ammar Qaddafi; former Al-Azhar University lecturer, fired for his anti- Sunna views, Ahmad Subhi Mansour; and liberal Syrian intellectual Muhammad Shahrour.

Following its comprehensive review of Sunna denial, the study determines that the doubts raised by opponents of the Sunna, past and present, should be studied and that it must be clarified that they are all disproved, and that their writings must all be subjected to a thorough examination; further, they must all be decreed apostates ( irtidad ) and Allah's laws must be applied, with the knowledge of the judicial system. The punishment for introducing forbidden innovations into Islam must be applied to those who oppose the proper Islamic traditions, and they must atone or be condemned. In addition, a world association for those wishing to defend the Sunna must be created. [9]

A similar view was expressed by Al-Azhar University member Sheikh Mahmoud 'Ashour, who stated in an interview with the Egyptian paper Al-Masri Al-Yawm: "Anyone who calls to rely on the Koran alone and ignore the Sunna of the Prophet is an apostate and has left the fold of Islam, because he has denied a definitely known [aspect] of the religion. Further, he is denying half of the religion, because the Prophet said: 'I have left for you something that if you cling to it you will never err after [my death] – [that is,] Allah's book [the Koran] and my Sunna.' The Sunna of the Prophet illuminates and interprets what the Koran says. It also includes matters that do not appear in the Koran, such as the way of prayer, pilgrimage, giving charity, and the rest of the commandments between man and Allah, and the rest of life's affairs. Anyone who says that the Sunna should be ignored is beyond doubt an apostate." [10]

Reformists: The Koranic Texts Are the Sole Authentic Source; There Should Be No Monopoly on the Interpretation of the Holy Text; Ijtihad Must Be Renewed in Line with the Present Century

The issue of rejection of the Sunna as a source of legislation was discussed in a workshop on "Islam and Reform," held in Cairo on October 5-6, 2004. The workshop's concluding statement stressed "the importance of implementing both religious and political reforms in order to achieve comprehensive reform." It called "for creating a new intellectual context for Islamic thought based on clear assumptions and unity that will take into account all the changes in Muslim society throughout the past 11 centuries." To this end, the statement said, there must be "a profound reexamination of Islamic heritage, including all the Islamic sciences established during the past three centuries of Islam – Koran commentary, the Hadith [Islamic traditions], the roots of the religion, and religious law," and "reliance on the Koranic texts as the only authentic source for the purpose of reexamining all of Islamic heritage."

The concluding statement further called for "confronting all the institutions that claim a monopoly on the religion and on the proper interpretation of the holy text [the Koran]. Instead, there is [a need for] a new trend that will establish everyone's right [to implement] Ijtihad, under the banner of Islamic reform that is right for this century." [11]

The concluding statement was signed by leading progressives and reformists in the Arab and Islamic world: Dr. Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim, chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center in Cairo; Egyptian intellectual Gamal Al-Banna; Egyptian intellectual Dr. Sayyed Al-Qimni; Syrian intellectual Muhammad Shahrour; Dr. Radhwan Masmoudi, executive director of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in the U.S.; Dr. Najah Kadhim, director of the Islamic Forum for Islamic Dialogue in Britain; Sharifa Macarandas, president of the Mindanao Women's League, the Philippines; Tunisian intellectual Salah Al-Din Al-Jurashi; Dr. 'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former director of the Faculty of Shari'a Law, Qatar University; Dr. Fabyola Badawi, director of the European Arabian Union for Democracy and Dialogue in France; and Abdallah Ali Sabri, editor-in-chief of the Yemenite Saut Al-Shura daily.

The workshop and its recommendations enraged Egypt's religious establishment. In statements to the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai Al-'Aam, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi said that the workshop had sounded "an explicit call to deny the Sunna of the Prophet, and the Al-Azhar [establishment] and [Egyptian] society rejects this." He added, "These centers [whose representatives participated in the workshop] have a destructive influence on Egyptian society, and [their activity] must be stopped and [their representatives] must be brought to trial… This is an explicit call to abandon the main source from among the sources of religious law in Islam – the Sunna of the Prophet. This is a danger that some of [our] foreign enemies are interested [in promoting]." [12]

In response to Sheikh Tantawi's statements, the Ibn Khaldun Center issued a communiqué arguing that it was not seeking to abolish the Sunna of the Prophet, but calling to issue religious rulings based solely on the Koran when disputes arose. In answer to Sheikh Tantawi's statement that the workshop participants were "a group of separatists, one of whom was in the past charged with treason," the communiqué explained that Tantawi was obviously referring to a case against Dr. Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim and the Ibn Khaldun Center employees, and clarified that Dr. Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim had not been charged with treason but with other false charges and the Egyptian Supreme Court had found him and the center's employees innocent.

The communiqué asked: "Is the Al-Azhar Sheikh entitled to accuse some of the Muslim intellectuals of separating from Islam? Doesn't that mean accusing us of apostasy and endangering our lives? Weren't similar charges responsible for the assassination of Faraj Foda, and for the assassination attempt on the world-renowned author Nagib Mahfouz? We call on Al-Azhar not to descend to the path of takfir taken by the violent and extremist groups…" [13]

About a month after the workshop,Al-Azhar Sheikh Tantawi again attacked the Sunna deniers who see the Koran as the sole source for religious rulings, calling them "ignoramuses, liars, and hypocrites" and warning the public not to listen to their views, which were aimed at fomenting confusion. In statements delivered on November 5, 2004 at a conference organized by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Tantawi said, "The attack on the Sunna is a means employed by the enemies of Islam for the [upcoming] attack on the Koran, because the Sunna is only a clarification of the laws appearing in the Koran… Thus, anyone who raises doubts about the prophetic Sunna as a source of legislation is acting according to a plan that is hostile to Islam… We have no life, future, or greatness among the societies except by clinging to the Koran and the Sunna. It is incumbent upon us all to stand in one rank and in one thought against anyone who attacks and denies the Sunna, because the laws [regarding matters] between man and Allah are not correct without the Sunna that explains in detail the rules and clarifies the things that are important." [14]

The Critical Approach to the Koran Is Also Considered Apotasy

Islamic circles refer to the critical or scientific approach to the Koran as apostasy as well. For example, a weekly talk show on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV channel dealt with removing certain Koranic verses from the school curricula in Arab and Muslim countries. Al-Azhar University lecturer Ibrahim Al-Khuli accused a program guest, the progressive author and journalist Shaker Al-Nabulsi, of denying Allah, and said that he should be expelled from the fold of the Muslim community.

Speaking by phone from the U.S., Dr. Nabulsi stated: "There should be a distinction between the Koranic chapters concerning belief, most of which were revealed in Mecca during the first 10 years [of the Prophet Muhammad's activity] and the chapters dealing with legislation or the life of the Prophet and his relations with his wives and his Companions and so on. That is, there are chapters that cut across history, and these are the verses revealed at Mecca … and there are circumstantial verses of legislation that were revealed at Al-Madina as a result of events that took place 1,400 years ago and which are no longer in existence. Frankly, there are many verses that we call political and military verses, that is, 'verses of the sword,' that are connected to circumstances that existed in the past but exist no longer. The verses revealed at Mecca, about the Jews, the Christians, and the People of the Book, for example … were usually verses of support for them, but the verses concerning the Jews and Christians at the stages of the revelation at Al-Madina were contrary to these verses. Why? Because the verses revealed at Al-Madina were the result of the changing political relations [of the People of the Book and] the Muslims…

"Politics are fluid, not static; therefore, the laws built on a political foundation are also subject to movement, and are not static. On the contrary, most of the verses revealed at Al-Madina regarding this matter [the People of the Book] contradict each other…

"What is happening now in the Arab world [the debate over removing Koranic verses from the school curricula] is not the removal of the permanent verses of belief that cross history, but an attempt not to emphasize or teach the circumstantial verses that incite to accusing the other of apostasy and to hatred of the other. Why was [the Second Caliph] Omar ibn Khattab, 1,400 years ago, more courageous than us when he eliminated [even] the verses connected to the heart of the faith, not [only] circumstantial verses… Why was Omar ibn Khattab capable of doing this 1,400 years ago, while today [Ibrahim] Al-Khuli calls anyone who eliminates any verse or chapter of the Koran an apostate…?"

Ibrahim Al-Khuli rejected Al-Nabulsi's statements out of hand, saying "He doesn't understand [Caliph] Omar, and he spoke nonsense that is unworthy of a response. Neither Omar nor any of the Sahaba ever dared to eliminate even a single letter of the Koran. What changed was the circumstances of the implementation [of the words of the Koran]…"

According to Al-Khuli, "Al-Nabulsi and Nasr [Hamid] Abu Zayd and their gangs speak of the historic aspect of Koranic scripture… Nasr Abu Zayd went so far as to say that the Koran is a human text that developed and crystallized, and is a cultural product. This is a lie, [and therefore] the Egyptian court's sentence regarding him was the sentence of ridda – and had he not left Egypt he would have been executed… Al-Nabulsi is not worth holding a discussion with, or of me mentioning him. He lied when he said that there are Koranic verses that contradict one another. When you say that in the Koran there are verses contradicting one another, you commit apostasy, and you leave the fold of the [Muslim] community through its widest gate. I take responsibility for these words." [15]

* Aluma Dankowitz is Director of MEMRI's Reform Project.

[1] IRNA (Iran), February 12, 2005.

[2] See article by liberal Tunisian intellectual Lafif Lakhdar,, July 1, 2003.

[3] Al-Ahram Al-Arabi (Egypt), July 3, 2004.

[4] Roz Al-Yusouf (Egypt), September 17, 2004.

[5] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), October 19, 2004.

[6] Al-Hayat, London, September 9, 2004.

[7] Khawarij, the first religious opposition in Islam, was formed when a group of Muslims left the camp of the Fourth Caliph 'Ali bin Abu Taleb at the Battle of Sifin in 657.

[8] Mu'tazila, a theoretical rationalistic stream of the 9th and 10th centuries, sought to set out the principles of religious faith in logical and rational formulae.


[10] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 25, 2004, as cited in Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), October 26, 2004.

[11] Ijtihad, or using individual judgment, was suspended in the 10th century by a consensus of ulema (Islamic clerics), and its resumption has not been permitted since. For the full text of the recommendations, see

[12] Al-Rai Al-'Aam (Kuwait), October 8, 2004.


[14] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, November 7, 2004.

[15] Al-Jazeera TV, Qatar, October 5, 2004.
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2008, 08:12:53 PM »

Sharia 101, ok, what about western civilization 101, thats all that matters.
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2008, 08:51:00 PM »

Sharia 101, ok, what about western civilization 101, thats all that matters.

That's pretty much my intent. The left wishes to empower sharia under their cultish "multiculturalism" concept, thus destroying the concepts of western freedom that allow them their existence. Ironic, no?
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2008, 11:55:24 PM »

Sharia 101, ok, what about western civilization 101, thats all that matters.

That's pretty much my intent. The left wishes to empower sharia under their cultish "multiculturalism" concept, thus destroying the concepts of western freedom that allow them their existence. Ironic, no?

That is not true at all. Sharia Law is not cultural so much as it is religious insanity. There is a big difference. I fall to the left in my political views but I can tell you that the last thing I want is Sharia Law. You know what else I don't want? Biblical Law. I don't want it for the same reasons. The bible is filled with dangerous superstitious nonsense that will destroy the very things this country stands for.

I was talking to a muslim just the other day about this subject. He went off for a time about how stupid other cultures were, and then he went on to say: "but you know the dumbest culture of all? Muslims! They have the wealth of the world in their hands and all they can do is fight over a book!" He is pakistani. He is totally against Sharia Law. If it were a cultural thing you would think he would have a different viewpoint on the subject right?

Why not incest? Because of very clear health risks. Why not polygamy? I don't know, but you are probably on to something when you say that monogamy worked so we kept it. I think what you are invoking is called "the slippery slope," and it is a well known logical fallacy. There is no evidence what-so-ever to indicate that allowing gay marriage will lead to incest or polygamy being legalized.

All of that being said, you are correct when you state that Sharia Law should not be protected behind the curtain of multiculturalism. We do agree on something after all GM! Cheesy

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« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2008, 09:20:28 AM »

Why not incest? Because of very clear health risks.

MD: Agreed.

Why not polygamy? I don't know, but you are probably on to something when you say that monogamy worked so we kept it.

MD: Can it not be argued that polygamy has worked in certain times and places and that those who believe that God say polygamy is good show be allowed to follow their religion?  How do we answer that?

I think what you are invoking is called "the slippery slope," and it is a well known logical fallacy. There is no evidence what-so-ever to indicate that allowing gay marriage will lead to incest or polygamy being legalized.

MD:  I must have missed the exposition of this point.  Would you please be so kind as to break down for me why the slippery slope is a logical fallacy?  Furthermore, I challenge your assertion that there is no evidence that there is building legal pressure for polygamy.  I cannot quote the citations, but it is my understanding that there are cases beginning to wend their way through the legal system pushing for exactly that.

All of that being said, you are correct when you state that Sharia Law should not be protected behind the curtain of multiculturalism. We do agree on something after all GM!

MD:  I'm delighted we agree that some of the tenets of Sharia are, to use your term, "religious insanity".  However, what is necessary and what remains to you/us to do is to articulate/define where the boundary between relgious freedom/tolerance and what we will not tolerate lays. 

Care to take a stab at it?  smiley
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« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2008, 11:48:39 AM »

Can it not be argued that polygamy has worked in certain times and places and that those who believe that God say polygamy is good show be allowed to follow their religion?  How do we answer that?

I don't really know that it ever worked. People did it, but the historical record doesn't really contain much on the personal relationships of the people involved. As for what to do about it in the modern day... hmm... this is a tough question and I am certainly not advocating making it legal. At least not without serious debate and consideration. My instinct is that this infringes on the rights of the females involved... although what do you say to people that want to be subservient? Do you let them? I am interested to hear others ideas on this subject.

I must have missed the exposition of this point.  Would you please be so kind as to break down for me why the slippery slope is a logical fallacy?  Furthermore, I challenge your assertion that there is no evidence that there is building legal pressure for polygamy.  I cannot quote the citations, but it is my understanding that there are cases beginning to wend their way through the legal system pushing for exactly that.

GM implied (maybe I am wrong here?) that gay marriage would somehow lead to incest and polygamy.

It's nothing I want or support, but again, if we want to live in the "post-modern, post-moral" age the left advocates, then why any limits on anything? Just call it a lifestyle choice and be done with it.

There is no causal chain between gay marriage, incest, and polygamy. Not that I have seen. This is the "slippery slope argument." One thing leads to another, and although on outward appearance they would seem to be related, there really isn't any hard evidence to support it. Consider this:

"I don't want my son to become an undertaker because it may lead him to necrophilia."

The profession of mortician, and the the condition of necrophilia have commonalities... the "handling" of dead bodies, but is there really a causal relationship between the two? Not really.

That last link is an interesting article I found when I googled the slippery slope. I have not read the entire thing yet but plan on it. It goes into the legal ramifications of the slippery slope argument.

Now that I think about it GM is also setting up the "false dichotomy," by claiming that all people on the left advocate the "post-modern, post-moral" lifestyle. This turns it into a black and white issue which clearly is not the case. People don't fall into two categories. I side with the liberals on a lot of things... but on an equal amount I side with conservatives... I don't think intelligent people vote purely along party lines, or definitions like "conservative" or "liberal." I suppose this is a different subject though...

I'm delighted we agree that some of the tenets of Sharia are, to use your term, "religious insanity".  However, what is necessary and what remains to you/us to do is to articulate/define where the boundary between religious freedom/tolerance and what we will not tolerate lays. 

Care to take a stab at it?

I think we make this question much more difficult than it really is. You have every right to marry whoever you want, but you don't have the right to force a marriage on someone else. You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But so do I, and that means that when your beliefs infringe on my rights we shouldn't tolerate it. Additionally, Sharia Law is based on religious belief. Religion has no place in the Law, or in the Government. We moved away from that model, and rightly so. It was oppressive and lead to such joyous time as the dark ages. And such merry events like witch burnings. All of this is pretty much covered in our constitution, and what a work of genius it is Smiley

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« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2008, 02:12:52 PM »

Sharia 101, ok, what about western civilization 101, thats all that matters.

That's pretty much my intent. The left wishes to empower sharia under their cultish "multiculturalism" concept, thus destroying the concepts of western freedom that allow them their existence. Ironic, no?

That is not true at all. Sharia Law is not cultural so much as it is religious insanity.

**Call it as you wish, but sharia is part of the islamic construct, where there is no divide between church and state.**

There is a big difference. I fall to the left in my political views but I can tell you that the last thing I want is Sharia Law. You know what else I don't want? Biblical Law. I don't want it for the same reasons. The bible is filled with dangerous superstitious nonsense that will destroy the very things this country stands for.

**The big difference is that there is the separation between church and state in christian theology. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's....." Unlike islam, there in no mandate to conquer the world and impose christianity.**

I was talking to a muslim just the other day about this subject. He went off for a time about how stupid other cultures were, and then he went on to say: "but you know the dumbest culture of all? Muslims! They have the wealth of the world in their hands and all they can do is fight over a book!" He is pakistani. He is totally against Sharia Law. If it were a cultural thing you would think he would have a different viewpoint on the subject right?

**No, many muslims chafe at the totalitarian nature of islam, but most dare not speak out least the face imprisonment of death, even in western nations.**

Why not incest? Because of very clear health risks.

**Again, as I stated earlier, there is no requirement that reproduction occur as an element of the crime. It's just as illegal for an elderly brother to marry his post-menopausal sister as those capable of bearing children.**

Why not polygamy? I don't know, but you are probably on to something when you say that monogamy worked so we kept it. I think what you are invoking is called "the slippery slope," and it is a well known logical fallacy. There is no evidence what-so-ever to indicate that allowing gay marriage will lead to incest or polygamy being legalized.

**NAMBLA cites the gay political movement as a model for the push for the social acceptance and legalization of what they are trying to label "intergenerational sex". Of course, an adult male marrying a 6 year old is already approved under sharia.**

All of that being said, you are correct when you state that Sharia Law should not be protected behind the curtain of multiculturalism. We do agree on something after all GM! Cheesy

I'm glad we can agree on this point.
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« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2008, 02:34:32 PM »

**Call it as you wish, but sharia is part of the islamic construct, where there is no divide between church and state.**

So lets do our best to keep that wall of separation in tact.

**The big difference is that there is the separation between church and state in christian theology. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's....." Unlike islam, there in no mandate to conquer the world and impose christianity.**

I am familiar with that passage in the bible, but the christian dominionists don't seem to pay it any heed. Much like the rest of the bible they cherry pick the parts they like and ignore the rest. Let me be clear that I have no problem with christians for the most part, but there are some very scary people that number amongst them. They have a clear goal. They seek to overthrow, or infiltrate the American government and take us back to "biblical values." This would be a theocracy no different than islamic countries have.

**No, many muslims chafe at the totalitarian nature of islam, but most dare not speak out least the face imprisonment of death, even in western nations.**

Well, we seem to be in a unique position to help them get out from under that tyranny... and I am glad in many ways that we are.

**Again, as I stated earlier, there is no requirement that reproduction occur as an element of the crime. It's just as illegal for an elderly brother to marry his post-menopausal sister as those capable of bearing children.**

And it is illegal to tie your alligator to the fire hydrant in Detroit... It makes sense, but do we really need it? The law is not broken so it goes largely unnoticed. I am ok with that. For whatever reason, incest is illegal and I am glad.

**NAMBLA cites the gay political movement as a model for the push for the social acceptance and legalization of what they are trying to label "intergenerational sex". Of course, an adult male marrying a 6 year old is already approved under sharia.**

And everyone damn well knows their request is completely absurd. Again, unless such a thing is actually considered, the causal connection simply doesn't exist. No such law is on the books in this country, nor is any such law being voted on. Why? Because everyone knows that it would be wrong. Do I really need to go into the reasons why?

I'm glad we can agree on this point.

I bet we agree on more than we disagree. But those conversations are much less engaging right?

When life gives you lemons make lemonade
When life gives you hemlock, do NOT make hemlockade!
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« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2008, 03:51:30 PM »

**Call it as you wish, but sharia is part of the islamic construct, where there is no divide between church and state.**

So lets do our best to keep that wall of separation in tact.


**The big difference is that there is the separation between church and state in christian theology. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's....." Unlike islam, there in no mandate to conquer the world and impose christianity.**

I am familiar with that passage in the bible, but the christian dominionists don't seem to pay it any heed.

***Who are these christian dominionists? What sect of christianity are they and what percentage of the US and world population of christians fall into this grouping? Please cite your sources.***

Much like the rest of the bible they cherry pick the parts they like and ignore the rest. Let me be clear that I have no problem with christians for the most part, but there are some very scary people that number amongst them. They have a clear goal. They seek to overthrow, or infiltrate the American government and take us back to "biblical values." This would be a theocracy no different than islamic countries have.

***Again, please cite your sources on this group, including numbers.***

**No, many muslims chafe at the totalitarian nature of islam, but most dare not speak out least the face imprisonment of death, even in western nations.**

Well, we seem to be in a unique position to help them get out from under that tyranny... and I am glad in many ways that we are.

**Again, as I stated earlier, there is no requirement that reproduction occur as an element of the crime. It's just as illegal for an elderly brother to marry his post-menopausal sister as those capable of bearing children.**

And it is illegal to tie your alligator to the fire hydrant in Detroit... It makes sense, but do we really need it? The law is not broken so it goes largely unnoticed. I am ok with that. For whatever reason, incest is illegal and I am glad.

**NAMBLA cites the gay political movement as a model for the push for the social acceptance and legalization of what they are trying to label "intergenerational sex". Of course, an adult male marrying a 6 year old is already approved under sharia.**

And everyone damn well knows their request is completely absurd.

***Is it? 20 years ago the same thing would have been said about gay marriage.***

Again, unless such a thing is actually considered, the causal connection simply doesn't exist. No such law is on the books in this country, nor is any such law being voted on. Why? Because everyone knows that it would be wrong. Do I really need to go into the reasons why?

***According to post-modernism, everything is just a cultural construct. There is no right or wrong. Gender is a construct, age is a construct.***

I'm glad we can agree on this point.

I bet we agree on more than we disagree. But those conversations are much less engaging right?

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« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2008, 05:24:26 PM »

University of California-Jihad.

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Posts: 15533

« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2008, 06:56:21 PM »

**Watch what you say about islam, kaffir.**,2933,432502,00.html

U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Resolution Curtails Free Speech, Critics Say
Friday, October 03, 2008
By Jennifer Lawinski

Religious groups and free-speech advocates are banding together to fight a United Nations resolution they say is being used to spread Sharia law to the Western world and to intimidate anyone who criticizes Islam.

The non-binding resolution on “Combating the Defamation of Religion” is intended to curtail speech that offends religion -- particularly Islam.

Pakistan and the Organization of the Islamic Conference introduced the measure to the U.N. Human Rights Council in 1999. It was amended to include religions other than Islam, and it has passed every year since.

In 2005, Yemen successfully brought a similar resolution before the General Assembly. Now the 192-nation Assembly is set to vote on it again.

The non-binding Resolution 62/145, which was adopted in 2007, says it “notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001.”

It “stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.”

But some critics believe the resolution is a dangerous threat to freedom of speech everywhere.

The U.S. government mission in Geneva, in a statement, told the U.N. Human Rights Council in July that “defamation-related laws have been abused by governments and used to restrict human rights” around the world, and sometimes Westerners have been caught in the web.

Critics give some recent news events as examples of how the U.N. "blasphemy resolution" has emboldened Islamic authorities and threatened Westerners:

-- On Oct. 3 in Great Britain, three men were charged for plotting to kill the publisher of the novel "The Jewel of Medina," which gives a fictional account of the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride. reported U.S. publisher Random House Inc., was going to release the book but stopped it from hitting shelves after it claimed that “credible and unrelated sources” said the book could incite violence by a “small, radical segment.”

-- An Afghan student is on death row for downloading an article about the role of women in Islam, also reported.

-- In December 2007 “a court reportedly sentenced two foreigners to six months in prison for allegedly marketing a book deemed offensive to Aisha, one of the Prophet Muhammad's wives,” the U.S. government said.

-- A British teacher was sentenced to 15 days in jail in Sudan for offending Islam by allowing students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad in November 2007.

-- In February 2007 in Egypt an Internet blogger was sentenced to four years in prison for writing a post that critiqued Islam.

-- In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered after the release of his documentary highlighting the abuse of Muslim women.

“It’s obviously intended to have an intimidating effect on people expressing criticism of radical Islam, and the idea that you can have a defamation of a religion like this, I think, is a concept fundamentally foreign to our system of free expression in the United States,” said former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

Passing the resolution year after year gives it clout, Bolton said. “In places where U.N. decisions are viewed as more consequential than they are in the U.S., they’re trying to build up brick-by-brick that disagreement with this resolution is unacceptable.”

Kevin “Shamus” Hasson, founder and president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm in Washington that opposes the resolution, said it is a slap in the face of human rights law.

“The whole idea of the defamation of religion is a Trojan horse for something else," Hasson said. "When you talk about defamation, you talk about people being defamed and people being libeled, but ideas can’t be defamed. Ideas don’t have rights, people have rights.”

He said the resolution is a shield for Islamic fundamentalists who retaliate against perceived offenses and want to make Islamic Sharia law the law of the land. He said the resolution passes under the guise of protecting religion, but it actually endangers religious minorities in Islamic countries.

“Who could possibly be in favor of defamation?” Hasson said. “God may well punish blasphemy in the hereafter, but it’s not the government’s job to police in the here and now.”

Paula Schriefer, advocacy director for Freedom House, a member of the Coalition to Defend Free Speech, agrees.

“You have to remember that many of the governments that are pushing forward this idea are not democratic governments,” she said. “Citizens of Pakistan or Egypt, who have been two of the ringleaders of this movement, are frequently put in prison or arrested. Even if they’re not arrested, the fear of being arrested creates an environment of self-censorship.”

Floyd Abrams, Visiting Professor of First Amendment Law at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, said that while Americans are protected by the Constitution at home, the U.N. resolution could affect those who travel to countries with anti-free-speech laws and isolate Westerners who oppose restricting religious dialogue.

Neither the Pakistani, the Indonesian nor the Egyptian missions to the U.N. responded to requests for comment. All three are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
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« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2008, 09:06:48 PM »

For a plethora of examples, see the closely related thread "Islam vs. Free Speech".
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 11:39:08 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2008, 07:27:19 AM »

Muhammad’s Dead Poets Society   
By James M. Arlandson
The American Thinker | Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The peaceful non-assassinations of mockers

In their replies to the uproar over satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslim spokespersons who have access to the national media have recently withheld some valuable but unpleasant information about early Islam. Killing those who ridicule Muhammad is in the Quran.

On national television, Feb 2, 2006, Ibrahim Hooper, a leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), spoke only of the forgiveness and kindness of his prophet.
HOOPER:  Let me tell you how the Prophet Muhammad responded to attacks on himself.
There was a lady who threw garbage in the path of the prophet on a daily basis.  One day, she didn’t do it.  The prophet went to inquire about her health, because he thought she might be sick.  This lady ended up converting to Islam.  So, that‘s how you respond to people who attack you, with forgiveness and with kindness. (Source)
On February 8, 2006, Amir Taheri, a reputable journalist who often explains Islam to the West, used the absolutist word “never” in the context of chopping off the heads of satirists during Islam’s founding.
The truth is that Islam has always had a sense of humor and has never called for chopping heads as the answer to satirists. Muhammad himself pardoned a famous Meccan poet who had lampooned him for more than a decade. (Source)
On February 9, 2006, a journalist for al-Jazeera, Abderrahim Foukara, appeared on the Charlie Rose Show saying about the same thing. After Muhammad conquered Mecca “peacefully” (in early AD 630), he forgave a satirical poet. Never mind that twenty-eight Meccans died in the “peaceful” conquest, after their city—weakened by eight years of Muslim raids on Meccan trade—was surrounded by 10,000 jihadists. [1]
In truth, however, while Muhammad forgave a poet and a singing girl right after his conquest of Mecca, he killed satirical poets more often than he forgave. Muhammad violently created a dead poets society of his own. He also killed non-poetic or ordinary mockers, and he used a poet to mock a tribe of Jews just before their conquest, slaughter, and enslavement.
These spokesmen for Islam presented only peaceful aspects. This is not full disclosure. This is wrong. The truth about all of Islam must be publicized, if we want to understand this religion fully. This article is intended to balance out the picture of Islam from the one that these spokespersons have presented.
The assassination of satirical poets
Once Muhammad reached Medina in AD 622 and gradually grew in military power, his tone and outlook changed. The following murders occur after the Hijrah.
(1) March 624: Al-Nadr bin al-Harith
Before Muhammad’s Hijrah, he used to sit in the assembly and invite the Meccans to Allah, citing the Quran and warning them of God’s punishment for mocking his prophets. A Meccan named Al-Nadr bin al-Harith would then follow him and speak about heroes and kings of Persia, saying, “By God, Muhammad cannot tell a better story than I, and his talk is only of old fables which he has copied as I have.” On other days al-Nadr would interrupt Muhammad until the prophet silenced him.
It was Nadr’s bad fortune to join Mecca’s army, riding north to protect their caravan, which Muhammad attacked at the Battle of Badr in AD 624. It pitted about 320 Muslims against about 1,000 Meccans, near the north-south trade route following the Red Sea. The story-telling polytheist was captured, and on Muhammad’s return journey back to Medina, Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, at Muhammad’s order, beheaded him, instead of getting some possible ransom money. He was one of two prisoners who were executed and not allowed to be ransomed by their clans—all because he harassed Muhammad and wrote poems and told stories critiquing him. [2]
(2) March 624: Uqbah bin Abu Muayt
A similar story as that of Nadr can be told about Uqba bin Abu Muayt. He too harassed and mocked Muhammad in Mecca and wrote derogatory verses about him. He too was captured during the Battle of Badr, and Muhammad ordered him to be executed. “But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?” Uqba cried with anguish. “Hell,” retorted the Prophet coldly. Then the sword of one of his followers cut through Uqba’s neck.
After the prophet’s victory at Badr, he was not always magnanimous. This passage finds him mocking the enemy dead in the middle of the night, as their bodies lie motionless in a pit:
. . . The apostle’s companions heard him saying in the middle of the night, “O people of the pit: O Utbah, O Shayba, O Ummayya, O Abu Jahl,” enumerating all who had been thrown in the pit, “Have you found what God promises you is true? I have found that what my Lord promised me is true.” The Muslims said, “Are you calling to dead bodies?” He answered: “you cannot hear what I say better than they, but they cannot answer me. [3]
The reliable hadith collector and editor Bukhari confirms Ibn Ishaq’s account.
These were the battles of Allah’s Apostle (which he fought), and while mentioning (the Badr battle) he said, “While the corpses of the pagans were being thrown into the well, Allah’s Apostle said (to them), ‘Have you found what your Lord promised true?” ‘Abdullah said, “Some of the Prophet’s companions said, “O Allah’s Apostle! You are addressing dead people.’ Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘You do not hear what I am saying, better than they.’  (Bukhari )
In this tradition the prophet is shown taunting the dead in a well, not a pit, and he seems to have done this in broad daylight. Maybe these are two different episodes in Ibn Ishaq and Bukhari; regardless, they convey the same unpleasant message. [4]
(3) March 624: Asma bint Marwan
She was a poetess who belonged to a tribe of Medinan pagans. She composed a poem blaming them for obeying a stranger (Muhammad) and for not taking the initiative to attack him by surprise. Perhaps in March 624, when the Allah-inspired Prophet heard what she had said, he asked, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” A member of her husband’s tribe volunteered and crept into her house that night. She had five children, and the youngest was sleeping at her breast. The assassin gently removed the child, drew his sword, and plunged it into her, killing her in her sleep. [5]
(4) September 624: Kab bin al-Ashraf
Kab b. al-Ashraf had a mixed ancestry. His father came from a nomadic Arab tribe, but his mother was a Jew from the powerful al-Nadir tribe in Medina. He lived as a member of his mother’s tribe. He heard about the Muslim victory at the battle of Badr, and he was disgusted, for he thought Muhammad the newcomer to Medina was a trouble-maker and divisive. Kab had the gift of poetry, and after the Battle of Badr he traveled down to Mecca, apparently stopping by Badr, witnessing the aftermath. Arriving in Mecca, he wrote a widely circulated poem, a hostile lament, over the dead of Mecca.
Angered by the poems and now able to strike back after the Battle of Badr, Muhammad had had enough. He asked, “Who would rid me of [Kab]?” Five Muslims volunteered, one of whom was Kab’s foster-brother named Abu Naila. They informed him, “O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies.” He answered, “Say what you like, for you are free in the matter.”
After deceitfully gaining Kab’s trust over time, a Muslim yelled to the four other murderers, “Smite the enemy of God!” Though outnumbered, Kab mounted a strong defense, so their swords were ineffective. Finally, one of the conspirators remembered his dagger, stabbed Kab in the belly, and then bore it down until it reached his genitals, killing him.
They made it back to Muhammad. They saluted the prophet as he stood praying, and he came out to them. They told him that the mission was accomplished. Early Muslim historian Tabari (d. 923) reports that the five Muslim thugs severed Kab’s head and brought it to Muhammad. [6]
(5) July-August 625: A one-eyed, unnamed Bedouin
In revenge for an ambush on some Muslim missionaries, Muhammad sent Amr bin Umayya and a companion to assassinate Abu Sufyan, a leader of the Meccans. This shows that the Prophet could get caught up in the cycle of violence that went on endlessly in seventh-century Arab culture. Umayyah failed in his attempt, and he had to flee under pursuit, hiding in a cave, murdering a man named Ibn Malik along the way. As the pursuit was dying down, a tall, one-eyed, unnamed Bedouin entered the cave, driving some sheep. Umayyah and the Bedouin introduced each other. After they settled down, the shepherd sang a simple two-line song in defiance of Muslims and Islam.
Unfortunately for this Bedouin, he was in the cave with a radical Muslim, who said: “You will soon see!” The Bedouin fell asleep, snoring. Umayyah recounts what he did: . . .  “I went to him and killed him in the most dreadful way that anybody has ever been killed. I leaned over him, stuck the end of my bow into his good eye, and thrust it down until it came out of the back of his neck.” He fled back to Muhammad, who said, “Well done!” The account ends: The prophet “prayed for me [Umayyah] to be blessed.” [7]
(6) After January 630: One singing-girl
After Muhammad conquered Mecca in early AD 630, a conquest that saw some bloodshed of twenty-eight Meccans, he showed amnesty to the newly conquered.  But on the list of those excluded from amnesty was not only Abdullah b. Katal, collector of legal alms, who had killed his slave for incompetence, apostatized from Islam, and took the money back to Mecca. But his two singing-girls who sang satirical verses about Muhammad, which Abdullah had composed, were also excluded from the list. He was killed, even though he was clinging to the curtain of the Kabah shrine. And one of the girls was killed, but the other ran away until she asked for pardon from Muhammad, who forgave her. [8]
(7) After February 630: close call for Kab bin Zuhayr
Confident with the victory over Mecca, Muhammad returned to Medina a hero and firmly in charge of the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula. In this context Muhammad nearly murdered another poet who satirized Muhammad and Muslims, Kab bin Zuhayr (here called Zuhayr to distinguish him from Kab bin al-Ashraf, above, no. 4). Zuhayr’s brother wrote him that Muhammad had killed a number of satirical poets during his conquest of Mecca, but that the Prophet would forgive a poet who came to him in repentance, which really meant becoming a Muslim. His brother told him that the poets who were left had fled in all directions.
“If you have any use for your life, then come to the apostle quickly, for he does not kill anyone who comes to him in repentance,” wrote the brother, continuing: “if you do not do that, then get to a safe place.”
Finding no way out, Zuhayr wrote a letter extolling Muhammad. Soon afterwards, he traveled up to Medina to ask for security as a Muslim. Muhammad was saying his morning prayers, and a friend took Zuhayr into Muhammad’s presence. “Would you accept him as such if he came to you?” his friend asked. The Prophet said he would.
As Zuhayr came into the Prophet’s presence, one of the Ansars (helpers or native Medinans who helped Muhammad after his Hijrah) leaped upon Zuhayr and asked Muhammad if he could behead the enemy of God, for some of Zuhayr’s verses mocked the Ansars, too. The apostle said to leave him alone, for Zuhayr was breaking free from his past. The implication is clear: if Muhammad had caught Zuhayr before his repentance, Muhammad would have allowed him to be beheaded. Either he converts or he dies—for writing derogatory poetry.
What is remarkable about the anecdote is how the morning prayer provides the setting for a Muslim leaping on a poet and threatening to cut his head off, as if this is an ordinary day and act. [9]
Murder of ordinary mockers
Two examples of murder demonstrate that Muhammad did not like mockery even by non-poets. Any ole insulter is vulnerable in original Islam.
(1) A blind man murders his slave-wife
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas:
A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet . . . and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet . . .  and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet was informed about it.
He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling, the man stood up.
He sat before the Prophet . . .  and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.
Thereupon the Prophet . . . said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood. [10]
The last line of this hadith shows Muhammad not allowing even blood-wit (compensation for bloodshed) to be paid on her behalf. Apparently, she was worth nothing, even though she bore the blind man two sons.
(2) An unnamed man strangles an unnamed Jewish woman.
Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib:
A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet . . . and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah . . .  declared that no recompense was payable for her blood. (Abu Dawud)
This hadith communicates that a Jewish woman is worth nothing. In early Islamic sources, Jews too often appear as extra-bad. Who was killed? Who is a murderer? A Jew?
That’s no big deal. Of course. That’s to be expected. So what else is new?
Is it any wonder why so many Muslims who are educated in their source documents hate Jews? How can Muhammad and his sacred texts tell them to stop?
Regardless, in both murder cases, no one was arrested or executed, like-for-like. No one was even scolded. The murderers were let go on the grounds that insulting the Prophet deserves death. The translator of Abu Dawud informs us that all Jews or any non-Muslims who insult the Prophet should also be killed (vol. 3, note 3800).
Muhammad uses a satirical poet
Muhammad is fresh off a victory against a coalition of 10,000 Meccans and their allies in AD 627. After they depart, the last remaining major tribe of Jews, the Qurayza, is left alone, without allies. During Muhammad’s twenty-five-day siege of this tribe, which resulted in the slaughter of the men and pubescent boys and the wholesale enslavement of the women and children, he employed a poet to abuse them.
The Prophet said to Hassan, “Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you).” (Through another group of sub-narrators) Al-Bara bin Azib said, “On the day of Quraiza’s (besiege), Allah’s Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit, ‘Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you).’” (Bukhari)
This shows how valued poetry was in seventh-century Arabia. In the absence of mass media, gathering around and listening to poets was an opportunity to persuade, smear, mock, praise, and otherwise influence large numbers. Now that Muhammad has the power, he employed a satirical poet without fear of reprisal. In fact, he refers to the Jews as brothers of monkeys, citing a legend that he believed, namely, that God turned some disobedient Jews into apes.  (see also Ibn Ishaq pp. 461-62).
While it is true that Muhammad forgave a satirical poet and a singing girl (see no. 7 in “Assassination of satirical poets,” above), he murdered more than he forgave. Omitting the violent episodes in the Prophet’s life, the spokespersons for Islam act irresponsibly in their television appearances. Possibly their strategy is to make Islam and its Prophet seem only peaceful and loving, perhaps so that the uninformed may be drawn to this religion or at least not be turned off by it.
However, aggressive Islam is on the march. The riots over the cartoons are only one symptom. The stakes are high. Thus, the peaceful spokespersons’ partial presentation of Islam is misleading at best and dangerous at worse. When or if Islam gets a foothold in a region on the basis of “peace and love,” what happens when the hard line and traditional (not to mention nonviolent and violent fanatics) Muslims come to the region later and impose all sorts of violent laws and policies and practices in the Quran and hadith? Honesty demands full historical and scriptural disclosure, even if it hurts.
James M. Arlandson can be reached at
[1] Go here  for more information, and scroll down to no. 3, looking for a critique of Karen Armstrong. The transcript is available by purchase only. Here is a video clip  of the discussion between Foukara, Rose, and others.
[2] Source: Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, (trans. A. Guillaume, Oxford UP, 1955, 2004), pp. 136, 163, 181, 262, 308. Reputable historians today consider Ibn Ishaq to be a reliable source of early Islam, though they may disagree on his chronology and miraculous elements.
[3] Ibn Ishaq, p. 306
[4] Bukhari, Spoils of War (online source); Muslim nos. 4421, 4422, and 4424; These are parallels in Bukhari about taunting the dead: here and here.  Ibn Ishaq, pp. 306-08. Muslim is also a reliable collector and editor of the hadith (records of the words and deeds of Muhammad outside of the Quran).
[5] Ibn Ishaq, pp. 675-76.
[6] Bukhari, Military Expeditions (online sources: here; see also the one below); this one  and this one show Muhammad giving permission to his assassin to say anything, i.e. lie; Muslim no. 4436 ; Ibn Ishaq pp. 364-69 ; Tabari, The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 7, (trans. by M.V. McDonald and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt, SUNYP, 1987), pp. 94-98. Reputable historians today consider Tabari to be a reliable source of data on early Islam, though they may not agree on his chronology or miraculous elements.
[7] Tabari, vol. 7, pp. 149-50; A later editor incorporated some of Tabari’s account into Ibn Ishaq’s biography, pp. 674-75.
[8] Bukhari, Military Expeditions, (Online source) ; Ibn Ishaq, pp. 550-51.
[9] Ibn Ishaq, pp. 597-602. Some Muslim polemicists consider him to be unreliable mostly because he preserves so many traditions that portray Muhammad as violent. But here the prophet is forgiving, so now Ibn Ishaq’s reliability cannot be doubted.
[10] Abu Dawud no. 4348  (he is another reliable hadith collector and editor)
Supplementary material:
This article contrasts the reactions of Jesus and Muhammad when they were insulted and threatened.
This short analysis discusses the similarities between assassinations in early Islam and the ones today.
This analysis examines the many causes of assassinations of journalists and intellectuals in several Islamic countries, notably Algeria, but the analysis fails to go back to the ultimate source: Muhammad himself.
In November 2004, Theo Van Gogh was assassinated by a Muslim because the descendant of the brother of the famous artist had made a film that depicted a Muslim woman who was forced into an arranged marriage, abused by her husband, and raped by her uncle. These two articles examine the assassination of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in light of the assassinations in early Islam.
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« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2008, 07:37:24 AM »

- Chesler Chronicles - -

An American Dissident’s Fighting Words. My Speech at Columbia on 10/24/07
October 26, 2007 - by Phyllis Chesler

It is an honor and a privilege to be here today. Talking about Islamo-fascism and the violent Islamic oppression of Muslim women, Muslim intellectuals, and Muslim homosexuals is exactly the right thing to do at this moment in history. The western university campus is exactly the right place to do so since it is the university that has been hijacked, Palestinianized, Stalinized, Edward Said-ized, by a series of truly Great Lies.

It is time to take the campus back so that the rights of “free speech” and “academic freedom” also apply to those who tell the truth about Islam and who espouse minority and dissident intellectual points of view. Such rights also belong to those of us who are pro-American and pro-Israel and not only to those who demonize the West and valorize Islamist misogyny, death-cult terrorism, and Wahabi and Salafi fundamentalism.

Telling the truth about Islam is, apparently, “provocative.” One risks everything for doing so. In my opinion, one risks even more for failing to do so.

I want to thank the students at Columbia who have made this evening possible as well as David Horowitz and the Horowitz Freedom Center which has organized similar panels all over the country this week and has, in addition, published a pamphlet which I co-authored together with Robert Spencer which is titled The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam.

It is both extraordinary and tragic that one needs serious security in order to be heard on campus, that one must run a gauntlet of hostility for the right to teach. Please note who needs the security and who does not. Who disrupts and protests speeches and who does not. Goon-squad tactics of intimidation and disruption should have absolutely no place in the free exchange of ideas. We should exchange competing ideas civilly, with an open mind, and our ideas should be based on facts and truth, not on propaganda.

I have spoken at Barnard and Columbia many times over the years. Long ago, in the 1960s and 1970s, when I was a politically correct “rebel-girl,” I was more than welcome here.

More recently, in 2003, my words about Islamic gender and religious Apartheid caused a near-riot at a feminist conference at Barnard and I had to be hustled out for my safety.

In 2006 or 2007, I was persona non grata at Barnard at a panel organized by the Veteran Feminists of America. Although I am a founding member, my own group would not allow me to speak about the Islamist War Against Women. Here’s why.

No western academic is supposed to criticize anything that a formerly colonized man of color does–including gang-rape or stone women of color to death. Nor can he or she focus on the savage persecution of homosexuals or on the epidemic of homosexual pederasty in the Islamic world; or on the persecution of heroic Muslim and ex-Muslim intellectuals and human rights activists.

Muslim-on-Muslim homicide and genocide are also “unmentionables.” Any western academic who dares discuss such tabooed subjects will be defamed as a “racist” and “colonialist.” Fear of this allegation is so great that false concerns about racism have inevitably trumped all feminist concerns about sexism. This is the new McCarthyism and it is coming to us from the left.

In the early 1960s, I was held captive in Kabul, Afghanistan, in fairly posh purdah. I was a young bride. I escaped, I survived, I learned a thing or two. I write about this in The Death of Feminism which describes Islamic gender apartheid both way back then and now, as it is penetrating the West.

For example, I learned that what characterizes Islam (not Islamism) is mainly indigenous to the culture, the region, and the religion and is not necessarily caused by Western imperialism, colonialism, or capitalism.

The Christian crusades did not “cause” Arab or Muslim slavery, racism, polygamy, arranged child marriage, female genital mutilation, honor murders, forced face-veiling, capital punishment for apostates (Muslims who leave Islam), or the segregation of women. It did not cause Islamic jihad or Islamic imperialism which preceded the Crusades by centuries.

In the early 1970s, American imperialism and Israeli policies of self-defense did not force Bangladeshi Muslims to murder their own women for the crime of having been raped by enemy Muslim soldiers.

In the 1980s, when Iranian village mullahs ordered that women be lynched, the villagers did not stone their daughters, mothers, and sisters because America had, in the past, interfered with Iranian politics.

No American or European oil company ordered the men of Saudi Arabia to prohibit Saudi women from driving, or from going out without a male escort, nor did they order the be-heading of a Saudi Princess for daring to choose a love match.

No Israeli law forced Palestinians to honor-murder their women, beat their wives and daughters, or to force-veil women against their will. Only Hamas did that.

My Second Wave feminist credentials are rooted in a universalist vision of human rights. Because I believe that all women and men are equal, I am therefore, not a multi-cultural relativist. I believe that all human beings deserve certain unalienable rights, whether they live in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or in New York City.

I especially support such human rights for the most heroic of heroes today who are fighting against Islamism in their own countries and who are themselves Muslims, ex-Muslims, or Arab and Asian Christians. Their extraordinary heroism is in sharp contrast to and puts the blindness and cowardice of our tenured western radicals to shame.

Such secular and religious activists, influenced by western concepts of democracy, freedom, human rights, and women’s rights, are now fighting for those very rights in their own countries. They are being murdered, imprisoned, tortured, and censored for daring to hold the ideas that we safely take for granted in the West.

Fatwas (or death threats) have been issued against them. Some who live in hiding require serious, round-the-clock protection. Some must write under pseudonyms. Many such dissidents live in exile and simply cannot understand why western multi-cultural relativists refuse to side with them and instead, side with their persecutors.

Think: Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali for starters.

For daring to defend them I (and many others) are being censored in both Europe and America, whose Islamification is well under way.

Western dissidents have also been sued for telling the truth about Islam and about the Saudi and Islamic funding for terrorism against Western civilian targets.

Think: Oriana Fallaci, Rachel Ehrenfeld.

Western feminists and pro-woman academics must understand that like women everywhere, Arab and Muslim women have internalized their culture’s views of women. Therefore, like men, some women will justify wife-beating, purdah, polygamy, veiling, and female genital mutilation. Thus, just because Muslim women can be trotted out to support Islamic Gender Apartheid, does not necessarily mean that their words on such subjects are any more inviolate than those of their male counterparts.

In America, in the 1960s, most women denied that they were economically discriminated against or, if proven wrong, insisted that it did not bother them. They blamed themselves entirely when they were sexually harassed, raped, or beaten. Only years of education and struggle have begun to change these attitudes among American women and men.

If Western feminists are not committed to the same struggle for Muslim, Arab, and Third World women they have betrayed their own moral vision of equality for all women and men.

Today, in Muslim countries, women are being more forcefully and fully veiled. They are being imprisoned, gang-raped, flogged, and in Iran, often hung or stoned to death when they allege rape or run away from unusually cruel and life-threatening-families. Honor murders are either increasing or have become more visible – perhaps because Western and Western influenced feminists and human rights activists have begun to document them.

Recently, in the fall of 2006 (the end of Ramadan), perhaps a thousand men conducted a ‘sexual wilding’ in Cairo. They surrounded individual girls and women who were fully veiled, partly veiled, and unveiled, and groped and assaulted them. Individuals tried to help these women – who escaped from the male crowds naked and half-naked. The police refused to make any arrests and the media did not cover it. I and others only learned of this incident because some foreign journalists blogged it – and because one brave Egyptian woman spoke about it on a live Egyptian television programme.

Pro-Islamists are perfectly free to criticize, even to demonize the West in the West, because they live in a democracy where academic freedom and free speech are (still) taken seriously. Were they to dare criticize the barbarism, misogyny, and despotism of Third World countries, were they to do so in Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Bangladesh or Saudi Arabia (to name only a few such countries), they would be in serious danger of being shot to death in her own home, as happened recently to an Afghan woman journalist, or of being imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. This has happened to many Muslim dissidents and feminists.

In 2003, Wajeha Al-Huwaider was barred from publishing in the Saudi Kingdom; in 2006 she was arrested, interrogated, and forced to sign a statement agreeing to cease her human rights activities.

Bangladeshi writer Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, had his office bombed, was jailed for two years and is now on trial for his life. His crime? ‘Praising the Jew and Christians’, ‘attempting to travel to Israel’, and ‘predicting the rise of Islamist militancy’. These charges may carry a death sentence.

Women are not yet free from violence and inequality in America but really, we do not face these conditions.

In The Death of Feminism, I also describe another incident which took place in July 2001 in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria, in which a mob of three hundred men conducted a three-day pogrom against thirty-nine economically impoverished Algerian women. In his Friday sermons, the local mullah, Amar Taleb, had described these women as ‘immoral’ because they were working for a foreign company. The men tortured, stabbed, mutilated, gang-raped, buried alive and murdered these women.

Feminists especially need to acknowledge that this is happening. We need to wrestle with it and take a stand against it. We need to make common cause with Third World and Muslim feminists and dissidents who want to create alliances.

Western feminists and academics must end their unnatural obsession with the so-called “occupation” of Palestine and focus of the occupation of women’s bodies throughout the Muslim world. If they care about women, they must confront the issues that characterize Islamic gender apartheid and affect at least half a billion women in the Islamic world.

Western feminist academics have now become allied with Islamists—against Muslim and ex-Muslim women and against their own feminist principles. Now is the time for western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists or committed to human and women’s rights to stand with Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents. To do so, requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism which justifies, even romanticizes, indigenous barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals, and intellectuals.

Our abject refusal to judge between civilization and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny even further.

Article printed from Chesler Chronicles:

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« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2008, 07:47:27 AM »

March 29, 2002 8:30 a.m.
Postmodern Palestine
The new amorality in the Middle East.

There is a postmodern amorality afloat — the dividend of years of an American educational system in which historical ignorance, cultural relativism, and well-intentioned theory, in place of cold facts, has reigned. We see the sad results everywhere in the current discussions of the Middle East and our own war on terror.

Palestinians appeal to the American public on grounds that three or four times as many of their own citizens have died as Israelis. The crazy logic is that in war the side that suffers the most casualties is either in the right or at least should be the winner. Some Americans nursed on the popular ideology of equivalence find this attractive. But if so, they should then sympathize with Hitler, Tojo, Kim Il Sung, and Ho Chi Minh who all lost more soldiers — and civilians — in their wars against us than we did.

Perhaps a million Chinese were casualties in Korea, ten times the number of Americans killed, wounded, and missing. Are we then to forget that the Communists crossed the Yalu River to implement totalitarianism in the south — and instead agree that their catastrophic wartime sacrifices were proof of American culpability? Palestinians suffer more casualties than Israelis not because they wish to, or because they are somehow more moral — but because they are not as adept in fighting real soldiers in the full-fledged war that is growing out of their own intifada.

We are told that Palestinian civilians who are killed by the Israeli Defense Forces are the moral equivalent of slaughtering Israeli civilians at schools, restaurants, and on buses. That should be a hard sell for Americans after September 11, who are currently bombing in Afghanistan to ensure that there are not more suicide murderers on our shores. This premise hinges upon the acceptance that the suicide bombers' deliberate butchering of civilians is the same as the collateral damage that occurs when soldiers retaliate against other armed combatants.

In fact, the tragic civilian deaths on the West Bank make a less-compelling argument for amorality than the one revisionists often use in condemning the Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo bombings. Then British and American planes knowingly incinerated civilians in their quests to shut down the warmaking potential of the Third Reich and imperial Japan. Unlike what the B-17s and B-29s did to stop fascist murdering on a global scale, the Israelis are not carpet-bombing indiscriminately. Rather they are doing precisely what we ourselves were forced to do in Mogadishu: Fighting a dirty urban war against combatants who have no uniforms, shoot from houses, and are deliberately mixed in with civilians. So far the Israelis have probably killed fewer civilians in a year of fighting on the West Bank than our trapped soldiers did in two days of similar gun battles in Somalia.

An ignorance of historical context is also critical for such postmodern revisionism. If the conflict is due to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, then the first three wars for the survival of Israel itself must be conveniently ignored. If there is a push for the exchange of land for peace, then we must overlook that some in the Arab world who have suggested just that bromide in the past three decades were either assassinated or executed. And if we accept that both sides are equally culpable for the current killing, we must forget that less than two years ago the Palestinians rejected an Israeli offer to return 97 percent of the West Bank, along with other major concessions — assuming that unleashing the present intifada could get them still more.

Facts mean nothing. The dispute is purportedly over the principle of occupation — but next-door Syria holds far more Lebanese land than Israel does the West Bank. The dispute is supposedly over ethnic intolerance and gratuitous humiliation — but Kuwait, quite unlike Israel, ethnically cleansed their entire country of Palestinians after the Gulf War. The dispute is said to be about treating the "other" fairly — but Syria and Iraq summarily expelled over 7,000 Jews after the 1967 war, stole their property, and bragged that they had rid their country of them. The upcoming Arab Summit could spend weeks just investigating the Arab murder and persecution of its own people and Jews.

Multicultural distortion also appears in a variety of strange ways. Palestinian spokesmen harangue Americans about their tilt toward Israel. Yet they also speak in grandiose terms of an "Arab summit" and a global Islamic brotherhood. Apparently, fellow Muslims, Arabs — and kindred autocracies — are supposed to support Palestinians unquestioningly because of religious, cultural, and political affinities. Yet we multicultural Americans are not entitled to exhibit similar sympathy for Israel, which like us and unlike Mr. Arafat's regime, is a Western, democratic, open, and free society.

Why do such bankrupt arguments find resonance? I think the causes have now permeated well beyond a few coffeehouse theorists blabbering away in Cambridge or Palo Alto. Rather it is because we live in a society in which playground fights in our schools are now often adjudicated by concepts such as "zero tolerance" and "equal culpability." Rather than exercising moral judgment — and investing time and energy in such investigation — our school principals simply expel any student caught fighting, as if the bully and his victim occupy the same moral ground.

Our schoolbooks devote more space to Hiroshima than to the far, far greater casualties on Okinawa. Students are not told that the two tragedies are connected — as if the American bombing to prevent an enormous bloodbath on the Japanese mainland is somehow not a direct result of the Japanese imperial military's efforts a few weeks earlier to unleash 2,000 kamikazes, and through suicide attacks and banzai charges kill every American (and tens of thousands of civilians) on the island rather than surrender.

Rather than do the hard work of learning about the historical relationships, conflicts, and similarities between Islamic and Christian culture, East and West, and Europe and Asia, our teachers simply avoid the trouble. They claim that all cultures are just "different," and thereby hope to avoid the hard and unpleasant questions that might prompt hurt feelings and eventual enlightenment, rather than ensure their own immediate raises and promotions. No wonder I have had college students who affirm that British imperialism in India was no different from Hitler's attempt at dominance in Europe — as if there were gas chambers in New Delhi, as if the Nazi "super-race" might have sought to eradicate the caste system, or as if Gandhi's civil disobedience would have worked against Himmler.

I do not think there is some grand postmodern scheme afloat to undermine the legacy of empiricism, history, and logic. Rather the spread of such amorality is simply a result of our own sloth and timidity — and perhaps ultimately the dangerous dividend of an increasingly affluent and cynical society. Teachers, professors, and reporters embrace such dubious notions because they either bring rewards or at least the satisfaction of being liked and in the majority.

It is also less demanding to watch television than read, safer to blame or praise both than investigate the culpability of one, neater to create rather than recall facts, and better to feel good about oneself by adopting platitudes of eternal peace and universal tolerance than to talk honestly of evil, war, and the tragic nature of man. When you combine such American laziness and lack of intellectual rigor with worries over oil and anti-Semitism, then our baffling nonchalance about the current war against Israel begins to make sense.

Moral equivalence, conflict-resolution theory, utopian pacifism, and multiculturalism are, of course, antirational and often silly. But we should also have the courage to confess that they bring on, rather than avoid, conflict and killing, and breed rather than eradicate ignorance. In short, they are not ethical ideas at all, but amoral in every sense of the word.

— Victor Davis Hanson, author most recently of Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power.



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« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2008, 06:16:30 PM »

October 5, 2008

Raymond Ibrahim: Islam and Innocence

Just recently, a high ranking Pakistani cleric, one Munib ur-Rehmen, asserted that “Islam does not allow anybody to take lives of innocent people by any means.” However, when he was grand mufti, two years earlier, he also said that “truly Islamic” states must kill the apostate from Islam. Considering his former statement, that Islam forbids the taking of “innocent” lives, has Munib been caught fibbing? Either way, this anecdote occasions the question: who is “innocent” in Islam?

Whereas other Muslims may shy away from this question, opting for the naïve Westerner to simply assume that “innocence” in Islam is akin to the liberal West’s notions of “innocence,” al-Qaeda—which seems to be supported by nearly half of the Muslim world—has been only to happy to clarify this matter.

Back in December, the terrorist organization’s primary media conduit, al-Sahab (the “clouds”) announced that al-Qaeda’s number two, Ayman Zawahiri, would be taking questions from the public and that he would “respond as soon as possible.”

Then, a few months later in April, according to the Associated Press, Zawahiri released a 90 minute audio tape, “billed as the first installment of answers to the more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al-Qaida supporters, critics and journalists.”

In response to a question that suggested al-Qaeda was responsible for the deaths of innocents in Baghdad, Morocco, and Algeria—Muslim areas where countless terrorist attacks in the name of al-Qaeda still occur daily—Zawahiri adamantly maintained that “We haven’t killed innocents,” not in any of those regions mentioned; “nor,” added Zawahari, “anywhere else”—which obviously includes 9/11, the London and Madrid bombings, and the rest.

Was Zawahiri being facetious, or does he truly deem all those killed in the aforementioned attacks as not “innocent”—that is, guilty?

As for Western infidels, Osama bin Laden himself has announced on various occasions that, since America is a democracy, and thus responsible for its government (which is always portrayed as one of the greatest enemies of Islam), “Every American man is an enemy—whether he fights us directly or pays his taxes,” (The Al Qaeda Reader, 281). Accordingly, al-Qaeda issued its famous fatwa in 1998 concluding that “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilian and military—is an individual obligation incumbent upon every Muslim who can do it and in any country” (AQR, 13).

What of women and children? What of fellow Muslims? Surely all these are innocent? In fact, Zawahiri, in one of his major treatises written for Muslim-eyes only, “Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents” (see AQR,141-171), demonstrates the opposite. After quoting several anecdotes from authoritative hadith and sira sources documenting Muhammad legitimizing haphazard attacks against infidel strongholds—including by utilizing catapults (al-manjonil) and fire—even though women and children were known to be sheltered there, Zawahiri quotes the observations of a prominent exegete: “It is well known that whoever follows such a course, bombarding infidels, will inevitably hit their women and children, who are otherwise forbidden from being killed. Likewise, the same goes if Muslims are among them. It is compulsory that this [the possibility of hitting women, children, and Muslims] not dissuade the launching of an incursion against them… even if one dreads hitting another Muslim” (AQR,165).

As for “hitting another Muslim,” in Zawahiri’s April response, he concluded that “If there is any innocent [i.e., Muslim] who was killed in the mujahedeen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity.” Again, this response accords perfectly with what he wrote in “Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents”: after discussing the inevitability that faithful Muslims may be “accidentally” killed during the jihad, Zawahiri quoted the renowned Muslim jurist Ibn Taymiyya, who declared some 700 years ago that, “Based on the consensus of the ulema [Islamic scholars], those Muslims who are accidentally killed are martyrs; and the obligatory jihad should never be abandoned because it creates martyrs” (AQR,168). In other words, yes, Muslims who are slain “accidentally” are innocent; however, their recompense is to be deemed “martyrs,” that is, to attain the highest level of paradise, with all the sensual bliss that only Islam promises.

Also, the concept of “necessity” alluded to above—“any innocent who was killed…out of necessity”—seems to permeate Islam's worldview. Quoting yet another prominent sheikh, Zawahiri writes “If necessity compels one to fire at them [Muslims interspersed among infidels, e.g., the “apostate” governments of Algeria, Afghanistan, and Iraq], one should do so with impunity... For if we lay off them, they will emerge triumphant and cause even more harm…. It is better that one group [of Muslims] bear the burden and be destroyed in order to defend Islam and its territory and the welfare [of Muslims].” To this, Zawahiri concludes, “The evils produced by attacking impetuously [thereby accidentally killing Muslims] is forgiven due to the good of defending Islam” (AQR, 166).

Finally, as Zawahiri makes clear, the question of whether it is permissible to kill women, children, et. al. during the jihad was decided upon by the jurists (fuqaha) when Islam was on the ascendancy, and engaged in offensive warfare simply to conquer infidels and usurp their lands; in other words, the question of killing “innocents” was relevant only when Muslims were the aggressors, invading infidel territory. Writes Zawahiri: “But when Muslims are defending their religion and their sanctities, and the infidels are surrounding them from every corner, and instead they [infidels] are the ones seeking them out and pursuing them… —in these situations it becomes a binding obligation on every Muslim to fight them anyway he can… [even if] some Muslims might be killed mistakenly” (AQR, 168).

Indeed, this view is based on "ulemaic" consensus—which is often seen as binding on the umma. Ibn Taymiyya makes this clear: “As for defensive warfare, this is the greatest way to defend sanctity and religion.This is an obligation consensually agreed to [by the ulema]. After faith, there is nothing more sacred than repulsing the enemy who attacks religion and life” (AQR, 13).

In other words, in those Muslim countries where infidels and apostates are perceived as having the upper hand—such as Afghanistan, Algeria, and Iraq—far from worrying about whether infidel women and children are killed, Muslim women and children themselves are individually obligated to participate or at least support the jihad.

Most problematic of all is the fact that, neither Pakistani cleric Munib ur-Rehmen, nor Ayman Zawahiri, nor yet Osama bin Laden are responsible for these notions or what constitutes “innocence” in Islam. Rather, their views are grounded in the verdicts of Islam’s revered ulema and fuqaha, who, in their turn, came up with these conclusions after grappling (ijtihad) with Islam’s core texts—the way all of sharia law has been articulated. In short, though much of what was quoted here comes from the writings of al-Qaeda, such notions are not original to al-Qaeda but trace back to the ulema and sharia.

In closing, this somewhat idiosyncratic concept of “guilt” and “innocence” should better highlight the epistemic difficulties the Westerner may encounter when trying to understand Islam—a religion, it should be recalled, that deems even the Muslim who simply and peacefully wants to convert to another religion, “guilty” and worthy of execution.

As the Pakistani Munib indicated at the beginning of this discussion, only the “truly Islamic” state will execute the apostate, which itself is truly telling about Islam's notions of innocence and guilt and how radically different they are from Western ideals.

Posted at October 5, 2008 3:15 PM
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« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2008, 06:24:32 PM »

Why Islam’s Jew-Hating Hadith Matter   
By Andrew G. Bostom | Friday, October 03, 2008

Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi made the following “observations” which recently aired on Palestinian Arab Al-Aqsa TV, September 12, 2008:
Studies conducted in Tel Aviv and in the Palestinian lands occupied by the Jews showed that they plant  trees around their homes, because the Prophet Muhammad said that when the Muslims fight the Jews, each and every stone and tree will say: “Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” The only exception is the gharqad tree, which is one of the trees of the Jews, and if they hide behind it, it will not reveal their presence. According to reports of people who went there and saw it with their own eyes, many Jews plant gharqad trees around their homes, so that when the fighting begins, they can hide behind them. They are not man enough to stand and fight you.
While such hatemongering statements appear utterly bizarre to non-Muslims who are unaware of Islam’s foundational texts, Al-Arifi’s inflammatory references to Jews have sacralized origins immediately apparent to Muslim audiences. The crux of Al-Arifi’s remarks, in fact, merely reiterate verbatim, a canonical hadith, specifically Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985, which is also featured prominently in the Hamas Covenant, article 7.
Briefly (go here for an in depth online discussion), what are the hadith, and which specific anti-Semitic motifs do they contain? Hadith, which means “story” (“narrative”), refers to any report of what the Muslim prophet Muhammad said or did, or his tacit assent to something said or done in his presence. Hadith is also used as the technical term for the “science” of such “Traditions.” As a result of a lengthy process which continued for centuries after Muhammad’s death (in 632), the hadith emerged for Muslims as second in authority to the Koran itself. Sunna, which means “path” refers to a normative custom of Muhammad or of the early Islamic community. The hadith “justify and confirm” the Sunna. Henri Lammens, a seminal early 20th-century scholar of Islam, highlighted the importance of the Sunna (and, by extension, the hadith):
As early as the first century A.H. [the 7th century] the following aphorism was pronounced: “The Sunna can dispense with the Koran but not the Koran with the Sunna”. Proceeding to still further lengths, some Muslims assert that “in controversial matters, the Sunna overrules the authority of the Koran, but not vice versa”…all admit the Sunna completes and explains it [the Koran].
The hadith compiled by al-Bukhari (d. 870) and Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 875) are considered, respectively, to be the most important authoritative collections. The titles Sahih (“sound”) or Jami, indicating their comprehensiveness, signify the high esteem in which they are held.
Their comprehensive content includes information regarding religious duties, law and everyday practice (down to the most mundane, or intimate details), in addition to a considerable amount of biographical and other material. Four other compilations, called Sunan works, which indicates that they are limited to matters of religious and social practice, and law, also became authoritative. Abu Dawud (d. 888), al-Tirmidhi (d. 892), Ibn Maja (d. 896), and al-Nasi (d. 915) compiled these works. By the beginning of the 12th century, Ibn Maja’s collection became the last of these compilations of hadith to be recognized as “canonical.”
Before one can fully appreciate the major antisemitic themes in the hadith (summarized herein), it is critical to understand the antecedent Koranic motifs of Jew hatred which these hadith “complete and explain.” The Koran’s central antisemitic motif decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah. It should be noted that Koran 3:112 is featured just before the pre-amble to Hamas’ foundational Covenant.  This central motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes, (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (Sunan Abu Dawoud, Book 37, Number 4322), “He [Muhammad] then recited the verse [5:78]: ‘…curses were pronounced on those among the children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary’ ”.  And the related verse, 5:64, accuses the Jews—as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did in a January 2007 speech, citing Koran 5:64—of being “spreaders of war and corruption,” a sort of ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The centrality of the Jews’ permanent “abasement and humiliation,” and being “laden with God’s anger” is clearly enunciated in the most authoritative Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61/3:112, both ancient and contemporary. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah’s signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus. Classical and modern Koranic commentators, when discussing Koran 5:82, which includes the statement (“Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews” , also concur on the unique animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of  Koran 2:61/3:112. For example, in his commentary on 5:82, the great Muslim historian and renowned Koranic exegete al-Tabari (d. 923) writes,
In my opinion, [the Christians] are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose God in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.
Tabari’s classical interpretations of Koran 5:82 and 2:61, as well as his discussion of the related verse 9:29 mandating the Jews payment of the jizya (Koranic poll-tax), represent both Anti-Semitic and more general anti-dhimmi views that became, and remain, intrinsic to Islam to this day. Here is Tabari’s discussion of 2:61 and its relationship to verse 9:29, which emphasizes the purposely debasing nature of the Koranic poll tax:
…“abasement and poverty were imposed and laid down upon them”, as when someone says “the imam imposed the poll tax (jizya)on free non-Muslim subjects”, or “The man imposed land tax on his slave”, meaning thereby that he obliged him [to pay ] it, or, “The commander imposed a sortie on his troops”, meaning he made it their duty.…God commanded His believing servants not to give them [i.e., the non-Muslim people of the scripture] security—as long as they continued to disbelieve in Him and his Messenger—unless they paid the poll tax to them; God said: “Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden—such men as practice not the religion of truth [Islam], being of those who have been given the Book [Bible]—until they pay the poll tax, being humble” (Koran 9:29)..
The dhimmis [non-Muslim tributary’s] posture during the collection of the jizya- “[should be lowering themselves] by walking on their hands, …reluctantly
… His words “and abasement and poverty were imposed upon them”, ‘These are the Jews of the Children of Israel’. ..‘Are they the Copts of Egypt?’…“What have the Copts of Egypt to do with this? No, by God, they are not; but they are the Jews, the Children of Israel.…By “and slain the prophets unrightfully” He means that they used to kill the Messengers of God without God’s leave, denying their messages and rejecting their prophethood.
Indeed the Koran’s overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process. The Jews’ ultimate sin and punishment are made clear: they are the devil’s minions (4:60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam—the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113)—they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and swine (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19). The Koranic curse (verses 2:61/3:112) upon the Jews for (primarily) rejecting, even slaying Allah’s prophets, including Isa/Jesus (or at least his “body double” 4:157-4:158), is updated with perfect archetypal logic in the canonical hadith: following the Muslims’ initial conquest of the Jewish farming oasis of Khaybar, one of the vanquished Jewesses reportedly served Muhammad poisoned mutton (or goat), which resulted, ultimately, in his protracted, agonizing death. And Ibn Saad’s sira (i.e., one of the earliest pious Muslim biographies of the Muslim prophet) account maintains that Muhammad’s poisoning resulted from a well-coordinated Jewish conspiracy.
George Vajda’s seminal 1937 analysis of the anti-Jewish motifs in the hadith remains the definitive work on this subject. Vajda concluded that according to the hadith stubborn malevolence is the Jews defining worldly characteristic: rejecting Muhammad and refusing to convert to Islam out of jealousy, envy and even selfish personal interest, lead them to acts of treachery, in keeping with their inveterate nature: “...sorcery, poisoning, assassination held no scruples for them.” These archetypes sanction Muslim hatred towards the Jews, and the admonition to at best, “subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination,” as dhimmis, treated “with contempt,” under certain “humiliating arrangements.”
The annihilationist sentiments regarding Jews expressed by Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi, and incorporated permanently into the foundational 1988 Hamas Covenant, are also rooted in Islamic eschatology. As characterized in the hadith, Muslim eschatology highlights the Jews’ supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl—the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ—or according to another tradition, the Dajjâl is himself Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions maintain that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered— everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharqad tree, as per the canonical hadith included in the 1988 Hamas Charter (article 7). Another hadith variant, which takes place in Jerusalem, has Isa (the Muslim Jesus) leading the Arabs in a rout of the Dajjâl and his company of 70,000 armed Jews. And the notion of jihad “ransom” extends even into Islamic eschatology—on the day of resurrection the vanquished Jews will be consigned to Hellfire, and this will expiate Muslims who have sinned, sparing them from this fate.
Professor Moshe Sharon recently provided a very lucid summary of the unique features of Shi’ite eschatology, Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s deep personal attachment to “mahdism,” and the  key point of consistency between Shi’a and Sunni understandings of this doctrine—which emphasizes Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985—noting:
both Shi’ites and Sunnis share one particular detail about “the coming of the hour” and the dawning of messianic times: The Jews must all suffer a violent death, to the last one. Both Shi'ites and Sunnis quote the famous hadith [Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985]  attributed to Muhammad…
Professor Sharon further observes,
Not one Friday passes without this hadith being quoted in sermons from one side of the Islamic world to the other.
The rise of Jewish nationalism—Zionism—posed a predictable, if completely unacceptable challenge to the Islamic order—jihad-imposed chronic dhimmitude for Jews—of apocalyptic magnitude. As historian Bat Ye’or has explained,
…because divine will dooms Jews to wandering and misery [pace Koran 17:4-5/ 7:168; and 2:61/3:112], the Jewish state appears to Muslims as an unbearable affront and a sin against Allah. Therefore it must be destroyed by Jihad.
This is exactly the Islamic context in which the widespread, “resurgent” use of Jew annihilationist apocalyptic motifs, would be an anticipated, even commonplace occurrence. And for more than six decades, promoters of modern jihad genocide have consistently invoked Islam’s Jew-exterminating eschatology. Hajj Amin el-Husseini, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, and Muslim jihadist, who became, additionally, a full-fledged Nazi collaborator and ideologue in his endeavors to abort a Jewish homeland, and destroy world Jewry, composed a 1943 recruitment pamphlet (see Jennie Lebel’s 2007 biography of the Mufti , pp. 311-319) for Balkan Muslims entitled, “Islam and the Jews.” This incendiary document hinged upon antisemitic motifs from the Koran (for example, 5:82), and the hadith (including Muhammad’s alleged poisoning by a Khaybar Jewess), and concluded with the apocalyptic canonical hadith describing the Jews’ annihilation.
Forty-five years later the same hadith was incorporated into the 1988 Hamas Covenant, making clear the jihad terrorist organization had its own aspirations for Jew annihilation. Sheer ignorance of this history and theology are pathognomonic of much larger and more dangerous phenomena: the often willful, craven failure to examine and understand the living legacy of Islam’s foundational anti-Jewish animus, or acknowledge the depth of Jew hatred that pervades contemporary Islam’s clerical leadership, including within major Muslim communities of the United States.
For example, Fawaz Damra, the former Imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, was touted as a promoter of  interfaith dialogue even after evidence of his participation in fundraising events for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was produced, along with a videotape of the Imam telling a crowd of Muslim supporters in 1991 that they should aim “…a rifle at the first and last enemy of the Islamic nation, and that is the sons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews.” Convicted in 2004 for lying to immigration officials about his links to the PIJ, Damra, who was born in Nablus in 1961, was subsequently deported back to the West Bank in January 2007. And last October 30, 2007 it was announced that Imam Ahmed Alzaree—the first permanent successor to Damra—resigned as the new “spiritual leader” of the Islamic Center of Cleveland three days prior to officially beginning the job. Alzaree, who at one stage of the vetting process expressed the unusual reservation that “he would not come to Cleveland because a reporter was inquiring about his background,” ostensibly accepted the position as noted on October 26, 2007, then pre-emptively resigned a few days later, after the contents of two “khutbahs” (sermons) he had delivered on March 7, 2003, were revealed.  Alzaree concluded the second sermon with the same apocalyptic canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985)—repeated in the 1988 Hamas Covenant.
Recently, the combined efforts of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Rabbi Aron Hier of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, focused attention on the hadith collections—specifically Sahih Muslim Book 041, Numbers 6981 to 6985—posted at a website run by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of Southern California (USC). USC Provost, C. L. Max Nikias, first learned of these hadith when Rabbi Aron Hier approached USC trustee Alan Casden. Hier expressed his concerns over the five hadith advocating the Jews’ annihilation by Muslims to hasten the coming of the “final hour.” Upon reviewing these contents, Nikias declared that “the passage cited is truly despicable...The passage in the Hadith that you brought to our attention violates the USC Principles of Community, and it has no place on a USC website.” Nikias’ letter of August 11, 2008 (which can be viewed here) also stated, “I have ordered that the passage be removed.”
The USC-MSA—in grudging compliance—removed, but refused to condemn these living, sacralized invocations to genocidal violence. Moreover, another Muslim student organization at USC the Muslim Student Union also failed to repudiate the contents of these hadith, and declared it was “outraged” at the university’s “unprecedented and unconscionable” censorship. David Horowitz responded aptly to this statement by noting that the hadith which were removed from the USC website, “…may be part of the religious canon, but that doesn't make them less hateful.” Horowitz’s sober reflection recalls the lament of the late Dr. John Garang, who lead the Southern Sudanese Christian and Animist populations in their fight against the genocidal jihad campaign’s of the Arab Khartoum north during the 1990s. Garang left us with this critical question in 1999, which, almost beyond belief, remains largely ignored, and for certain, unresolved in the appropriate manner:
Is the call for jihad against a particular people a religious right by those calling for it, or is it a human rights violation against the people upon whom jihad is declared and waged?
Almost 850 years ago, elaborating on the depth of Muslim hatred for the Jews in his era,  Maimonides (in ~ 1172 C.E.) made this profound observation regarding the Jewish predilection for denial, a feature that he insists will hasten their destruction.
We have acquiesced, both old and young, to inure ourselves to humiliation…All this notwithstanding, we do not escape this continued maltreatment [by Muslims] which well nigh crushes us. No matter how much we suffer and elect to remain at peace with them, they stir up strife and sedition.
The Jews and their communal leaders like Maimonides living under Islamic rule in the Middle Ages—vanquished by jihad, isolated, and well-nigh defenseless under the repressive system of dhimmitude—can be excused for their submissive denial. There is no such excuse in our era given the existence of an autonomous Jewish State of Israel, and a thriving Western Jewish diaspora, particularly here in the United States, living under the blanket of hard won protections for their religious freedom, physical security, and dignity.
As a pre-condition to real dialogue—not its miserable simulacrum—Jews and their leadership—religious, political, and intellectual—must demand from their Muslim counterparts acknowledgment and wrenching reform of the sacralized Islamic Jew hatred which is still being taught and promoted in Islamic schools, religious institutions, and even on US university campuses. Speaking as a Jew, let us demonstrate as Jews that we are no longer content living with Maimonides’ 12th century expectations of Muslims, otherwise they will oblige us.

Andrew G. Bostom is a frequent contributor to Frontpage, and the author of The Legacy of Jihad, and the forthcoming The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.
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« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2008, 11:04:41 PM »

Fitzgerald: Islam for Infidels, Part One
Here is Part One of "Islam for Infidels," a new three-part series by Jihad Watch Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald. (Part 2 is here, the first section of Part 3 is here, and the rest of Part 3 is here.)

I. Taqiyya and Tu-Quoque
NPR’s All Things Considered. January 7, 2005 • "Jihad" is one of the few Arabic words used in English. It means "spiritual struggle," but many Muslims have pointed out that "jihad" is almost always used in English in the context of terrorism, even though the actual meaning is broader. Commentator Anisa Mehdi would like to propose a word that could be used instead of "jihad." -- From the NPR Website

Anisa Mehdi, a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered, has suggested that for the word “Jihad” – possibly the word of greatest significance in the texts, and history, of Islam – another word could be used. For Muslims, she insisted, were made uneasy by the continued use of this word “in the context of terrorism” when its “actual meaning is broader.” And so, to prevent unnecessary harm to Islam’s image, she asks if it might not be possible to avoid the word “Jihad” altogether.

She has a point. And we will sharpen her point, with a pencil-sharpener of our own choosing. But first it would be useful to describe the current state of Infidel knowledge about Islam, and of Muslim attempts to shape or limit that knowledge. An army of apologists for Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim, is abroad in the land today, yet many Infidels seem not to be following the script. Some appear determined to educate themselves, rather than rely on the Outreach Programs of local imams in local mosques or, for that matter, on National Public Radio. Not everyone seems quite as willing, as they once were, to be satisfied by the pabulum of Karen Armstrong or the coffee-table books of John Esposito. Infidels have discovered websites where four or even five Quran’ic translations are laid out for comparative reading, a horizontal pentapla that may be accessed at At the same site, or at many others, Infidels can now read for themselves hundreds of the Hadith (the sayings and acts of Muhammad), as collected and catalogued according to its relative authenticity by such trusted Hadith-compilers, or muhaddithin, as Bukhari and Muslim (a proper name). In addition to reading Qur’an and Hadith, Infidels can read the sira, or life of Muhammad. As al-insan al-kamil, the Model of Perfect Man, the figure of Muhammad is at the center of Islam, and everything he is reported to have done or said, or even remained silent about, in 7th century Arabia, remains as vivid, compelling, and emulous today.

And finally, not content with reading Qur’an and Hadith and sira, those Infidels have embarked on learning about the history of Jihad-conquest of those vast lands where, far more numerous, settled, wealthy, and advanced populations, of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists all lived and, upon conquest, when not killed or forcibly converted at once to Islam, were permitted to live as “dhimmis,” as non-Muslims under Muslim rule were called, subject to carefully elaborated financial, legal, political, and social disabilities that made life for them one of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity.

It has been quite an effort to prevent Infidels from getting the wrong (that is to say, the right) impression of Islam, at least until such time as Muslims in the West currently singing the praises of “pluralism” no longer have need for Infidel good will and tolerance. To date, the twin techniques of “Taqiyya” and Tu-Quoque have been relied on. “Taqiyya” is the religiously-sanctioned doctrine, with its origins in Shi’a Islam but now practiced by non-Shi’a as well, of deliberate dissimulation about religious matters that may be undertaken to protect Islam, and the Believers. A related term, of broader application, is “kitman,” which is defined as “mental reservation.” An example of “Taqiyya” would be the insistence of a Muslim apologist that “of course” there is freedom of conscience in Islam, and then quoting that Qur’anic verse -- “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” But the impression given will be false, for there has been no mention of the Muslim doctrine of abrogation, or naskh, whereby such an early verse as that about “no compulsion in religion” has been cancelled out by later, far more intolerant and malevolent verses. In any case, history shows that within Islam there is, and always has been, “compulsion in religion” for Muslims, and for non-Muslims. The “compulsion” for Muslims comes from the treatment of apostasy as an act punishable by death. And though “dhimmis” are allowed to practice their religion, they do so under conditions of such burdens and restrictions that many, not as an act of conscience but rather as a response to inexorable Muslim pressure, have converted (or “reverted”) to Islam.

“Kitman” is close to “taqiyya,” but rather than outright dissimulation, it consists in telling only a part of the truth, with “mental reservation” justifying the omission of the rest. One example may suffice. When a Muslim maintains that “jihad” really means “a spiritual struggle,” and fails to add that this definition is a recent one in Islam (little more than a century old), he misleads by holding back, and is practicing “kitman.” When he adduces, in support of this doubtful proposition, the hadith in which Muhammad, returning home from one of his many battles, is reported to have said (as known from a chain of transmitters, or isnad), that he had returned from “the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad” and does not add what he also knows to be true, that this is a “weak” hadith, regarded by the most-respected muhaddithin as of doubtful authenticity, he is further practicing “kitman.”

The use of the word in Qur’an and Hadith, and constantly through 1350 years of Muslim history, has certainly endowed the word “Jihad” with a meaning of struggle, usually through military means, to expand the domain of Islam. Almost all Muslims understand that “warfare” (qital, qatala) is the essential meaning of the word. But Infidels, who prefer to think otherwise, have eagerly snapped up little guides such as that put out a few years ago by Karen Armstrong, a compleat apologist and no scholar of Islam, who made sure to quote that hadith in support of her proposition that Jihad is a “spiritual struggle.” The meaning of words comes from their common and accepted usage, not from what someone wishes to convince us should, for the purpose of a temporarily comforting harmony, be believed to be the meaning.

Jihad as military conquest is of course discussed in the Qur’an and Hadith, and in the commentaries on the Qur’an. And while “qital” or combat is mentioned 27 times in the Qur’an, other instruments of Jihad are also commonly discussed; any Islamic website will provide examples. One is the use of “wealth” to create the conditions that will help to spread Islam. Another is the use of “pen, speech” – persuasion, propaganda -- to spread Islam. Still another instrument of Jihad discussed, for example, in the pages of Muslim newspapers, is the use of demography as a weapon of Jihad. Muslim populations within the Bilad al-kufr, or Lands of the Infidels, are seen as helping to spread through Da’wa, the Call to Islam, and in their own increasing presence within Infidel lands, as contributing to the inexorable spread of Islam.

The situation in the world today borders on the fantastic. Never before in history has one civilization allowed large numbers of those who come from an alien, and immutably hostile situation, to settle deep within that first civilization’s borders. Never before have the members of one civilization failed to investigate, and even willfully refused to investigate, or to listen to those who warn about, the consequences for all non-Muslims of the belief-system of Islam. In history, the phenomenon of the Barbarians at the Gates is hardly new. Those barbarians lay siege; if they win, they enter in triumph. Should they lose, the advanced civilization survives. But never before have the gates been opened, to an entering force that has not even been identified or understood. Never before have the inhabitants of the by-now vulnerable city made efforts not to recognize, or realize, what they have done, and what they have undone. That demographic intrusion shows no signs of diminishing. The systematic building of mosques and madrasas, paid for by Saudi Arabia, everywhere in the Western world, helps to make the conduct of Muslim life easier. Western populations have been trained to make much of “celebrating diversity” and “promoting difference” and constructing, on a base of militant but unexamined pluralism, an edifice of legal rights and entitlements. These rights, these entitlements, this militant pluralism are exploited by Muslims who do not believe in pluralism. Nor do they accept the individual rights of conscience and free speech, the legal equality of men and women, and of religious and racial minorities, recognized, for example, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their current claim to support pluralism is based on the need to protect, and increase the power of, the Muslim umma, or Community, within the West, until such time as that umma no longer needs to pretend to have any interest in Western pluralism and Western values.

“Taqiyya” and “kitman” are no longer needed for Muslims addressing purely Muslim audiences. While in the early days, the Shi’a were afraid of Sunni persecution, and therefore needed to practice taqiyya, today both Sunni and Shi’a, by and large, do not find that they need dissimulate about the nature of Islam for other Muslims. It is only when non-Muslims may overhear, and begin to understand, an intra-Muslim discussion, that the need to dissimulate is emphasized. Yassir Arafat could, with impunity, refer to the Treaty of al-Hudaibiyya in speeches to fellow Muslims. He was fortunate; no Westerners, or even Israelis, seemed to think that the significance of that repeated allusion to Muhammad’s treaty with the Meccans in 628 A.D. needed to be examined.

Among those who see no need to practice taqiyya when rousing fellow Muslims, but instead see the need to remind their listeners of the central tenets and teachings of Islam, are Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. The canonical texts support their view of the need for, the duty for, Jihad. And they receive a good deal of support, and admiration, all over the Muslim world. For they are not renegades, not unorthodox, not the promoters of a wild misinterpretation of Islam. Their view of Islam is exactly what Muhammad, Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Khaldun, and all the greatest Qur’anic commentators, muhaddithin, and theologians in the history of Islam, would have understood and shared. Some Muslims believe that at the moment, Islam is too weak, and therefore, for the sake of Islam itself, the truth of its teachings should not be so clearly expressed, and acted upon. It may be that Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri themselves will reach the same conclusion. That would not constitute an abandonment of Jihad, but rather a prudent relinquishing of terrorism as a weapon of Jihad, and greater emphasis on other, tactically more effective, weapons of Jihad, such as Da’wa and demographic increase. The idea that “Jihad” is primarily a “spiritual struggle” would cause laughter everywhere in the world’s mosques and madrasas, for Muslims know that this definition is flatly contradicted by their texts and their entire history. Yet, the same imam who gives a fiery speech about Jihad can show up at an Interfaith Rally and, with seemingly complete conviction, assure his Infidel audience that, of course, “Jihad” refers only to “a spiritual struggle.” This kind of thing is second nature.

Infidels need to understand that however wary they may pride themselves on being, they are still not prepared for the world of the Muslim East. After many decades of work in Egypt, Lord Edward Cecil affixed, as the epigraph to his once-famous Memoirs of an Egyptian Official, the following: “Here lies one who tried to hustle the East.” Many Englishmen regarded that epigraph as the perfect summary of their own encounters with the Muslim world. “War is deceit,” Muhammad said, and those who regard him as al-insan al-kamil, the Most Perfect of Men, have become past masters at the art of deceit. It is nearly impossible to find a Muslim who will admit to the full truth of what Islam teaches about Infidels, though occasionally it happens. Ex-Muslims are just as well-versed in the teachings of Islam as those who remain Muslims, for they do not suddenly cease to understand Islam when they leave the faith.. They remain the best sources of knowledge about what it means to grow up as a Muslim, in a Muslim society, surrounded by the attitudes toward Infidels that Islam engenders and promotes.

Sometimes Taqiyya is not enough. Muslim spokesmen often attempt to convince an audience of Infidels that Islam is a religion of “peace” and “tolerance.” This, nowadays, works less well than it used to, and if an audience shows signs of not being completely convinced, another tack – that of Tu-Quoque – is attempted. Now these same spokesmen, who a minute before were all sweetness-and-light, begin to attack Christianity and Judaism for their own lack of “peace” and “tolerance.” They support this attack with bloodcurdling passages from Leviticus or some obscure text, possibly attributed to a rabbi from 2500 years ago.

The Crusades are presented by Muslim apologists as a defining moment in Muslim-Christian relations, a moment in which the peaceful and inoffensive Muslims were attacked, without cause. In this version, not a word is uttered about the centuries of Muslim Jihad-conquest that preceded the Crusades – nearly 400 years of seizing lands formerly occupied by Christians in Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, North Africa (where, among other Fathers of the Church, Tertullian and St. Augustine were born and lived).

Nor is what prompted the Crusades ever mentioned. For in 1009 A.D. the Fatimid Caliph Hakim had ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and for almost a century the Muslims steadily made encroachments on the Christian presence in, and access to, what was for Western Christendom the Holy Land. And there were, for a thousand years, until the 19th century, a constant series of Muslim raiding-parties that came by sea, and attacked the coastal villages throughout Europe, as far as Ireland and even, in one instance, Iceland. Villages were razed, and many villagers killed, and a million European Christians were kidnapped (see the recent White Gold, by Giles Milton), brought back to dar al-Islam, enslaved, and often forcibly converted. The Crusades have to be understood in their full context.

In Islam the world is uncompromisingly divided between dar al-Islam, the House of Islam, and dar al-harb, the House of War, where Infidels have not yet been subjugated to Islam. “Islam is to dominate and not to be dominated” and eventually, all of the world, which belongs to Allah, will become part of dar al-Islam. The Jihad is the “struggle” to expand Islam, to create the conditions where Muslims may rule, and Islam may prevail. This Jihad to spread Islam has lasted 1350 years. It has no end, until its goal is reached, whatever periods of quiescence must be observed because of lack of effective instruments or power. Not every Muslim heart beats with passion for this idea, but around the world, a great many do. Furthermore, Infidels can never know when a Muslim who seemed so Westernized, so removed from such matters, may undergo a transformation, into a much more menacing True Believer.

The Crusades were different. They were limited in both time and space. There was no interest in re-conquering, for Christianity, any territories held by Muslims beyond the Holy Land itself. The Crusades lasted a mere 200 years. Yet this difference is never noted by Muslims intent on blaming “the Crusades” and not the history of Jihad-conquest of Christian lands, and of the subjugation of Christian populations, to Muslim rule and to Muslim oppression (for the “dhimmi” was not so much a member of a “protected people” as of an “oppressed” –because deliberately humiliated and degraded -- “people”).

Tu-Quoque has led to real absurdities. At one gathering with a Muslim panel and an audience of Infidels, a Muslim professor recently assured his listeners that “Ku Klux Klan members used to sing Christian hymns as they crucified Afro-Americans.” No one bothered to point out that the Ku Klux Klan did not “crucify,” but lynched, its victims; that the Grand Kleagle did not lead his followers in song, much less Christian hymns, during these lynchings, and that the stoutest enemies of slavery, and then of the Ku Klux Klan, were to be found in the churches themselves, beginning with such celebrated abolitionist ministers as the Reverend Theodore Parker and Henry Ward Beecher.

Though NPR has had hosts and guests who allude to Islam, those hosts, and those guests, almost without exception, are well-versed graduates of the Taqiyya and Tu-Quoque schools or, as the taxonomically-minded rhetoricians would say, suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. Those with degrees in Taqiyya insist on focusing on that “handful of extremists,” and “radical Islamists” who, of course, have nothing to do with “the real Islam,” the “peaceful, tolerant Islam” practiced by “the vast majority of moderate Muslims.” Graduates of the Tu-Quoque Academy (whose diplomas are still written in Latin) like to refer airily to “fundamentalists on all sides” who pose an equal threat to one another, and how important it is to “rein in the crazies” that “every society” and “every religion” throws up. But now, at least one invited guest commentator on NPR has suggested that things need to be taken one step further, and the word “Jihad” be dispensed with altogether. And should that step be taken, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will not be able to put NPR together again.
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« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2008, 11:49:57 PM »

Special Dispatch Series - No. 2085
October 17, 2008   No. 2085

Muslim Brotherhood Website: Jihad Against Non-Muslims Is Obligatory
On a website devoted to Ramadhan, the Muslim Brotherhood posted a series of articles by Dr. Ahmad 'Abd Al-Khaleq about Al-Walaa Wa'l-Baraa, an Islamic doctrine which, in its fundamentalist interpretation, stipulates absolute allegiance to the community of Muslims and total rejection of non-Muslims and of Muslims who have strayed from the path of Islam.

In his articles, the writer argues that according to this principle, a Muslim can come closer to Allah by hating all non-Muslims - Christians, Jews, atheists, or polytheists - and by waging jihad against them in every possible manner.
For full report, visit

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« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2008, 06:32:21 AM »

Idiocy from Michael Scheurer, dissected by Raymond Ibrahim.
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2008, 09:16:09 PM »

October 26, 2008

Muslim students: Bali bombers are "holy warriors"

The cognitive dissonance between what these students say and what I hear from Muslim students on university campuses in the U.S. is enormous. These students openly acknowledge the Islamic imperative of violent jihad; on American campuses, Muslim students profess outrage and wounded indignation, exhorting me to "Stop the Hate" and pretending that I made up this Islamic imperative, and that it doesn't really exist at all. But if they consider Muslims such as the students at the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school -- and those who taught them -- to be twisting Islam and distorting its teachings, why is it that they never seem to do anything within the Islamic community to fight the spread of these teachings, but instead reserve all their ire for me simply for pointing out that many Muslims understand Islam to be exhorting them to violence and supremacism?

I've asked this question innumerable times, of course, and never gotten an answer, because there is no answer. Or rather, there is only one answer, and it is obvious, but Islamic groups in the U.S. still seem to be banking on the majority of Americans not noticing, or caring about, this obvious answer and its implications.

"Islamic students praise Bali bombers," from AFP, October 26 (thanks to JE):

FOR the skullcapped students of the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school there is no question that the three radical jihadis behind the 2002 Bali bombings are heroes.
Sheltering from the equatorial sun on the steps of the school's mosque, the students crowd to offer their approval of bombers Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra.

Authorities say the three bombers will face the firing squad by early November for their role in the attack, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

"They're holy warriors, that's how I respond, they're holy warriors,'' said Sir Muhammad Royhan Syihabuddin Ar-Rohmi, a slight 18-year-old.

His friend Nawawi, also 18, leaned forward in agreement: "They are like us, they wanted to do good deeds.''

Good deeds, i.e., killing 200 infidels.

With its peeling buildings, stray sheep and low-hanging mango trees, Darusy Syahadah in Central Java has long been a key hub for recruitment and indoctrination in the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant network, experts say.
While authorities have wound up JI cells and killed and imprisoned key militants, JI-linked Islamic boarding schools across Indonesia have been left to spread the network's radical ideology.

If a new generation of JI bombers were to emerge, it would be from schools like this. Alumni include Salik Firdaus, a suicide bomber who obliterated himself in the 2005 Bali bombing that killed 20 people.

If the Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims™ really deplored the jihad ideology, as everyone from George Bush and Colin Powell to students at the MSA's around the country at colleges where I have been speaking would have us believe, it would be reasonable to assume that their highest priority, or one of their highest priorities, would be to educate their own people against it. After all, if "a new generation of JI bombers were to emerge, it would be from schools like this," it is because the teachers at the the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school are teaching their students the propriety of killing or subjugating unbelievers. This is an ideology that is spread by education. Yet nowhere in the world -- not in the U.S., not anywhere else -- is there any counter-pedagogical effort by self-professed anti-terror Muslims.

However, analysts say the picture is not quite that simple.
Hurt by the police crackdown and facing public disgust over bombings, JI is deeply split, said Sidney Jones, a JI expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

A small minority faction behind fugitive Malaysian Noordin Mohammed Top still supports and is working towards bombing local and foreign targets, she said.

The other more numerous faction, dominating the schools, continues to glorify jihad, or holy war, but many of its members have been influenced by a government "deradicalisation'' strategy that has helped halt attacks.

"I think the schools are still problematic, they are inculcating the idea of the glory of jihad. But there isn't a jihad to fight now,'' Jones said.

"The question is: what will these graduates be doing five to 10 years from now?''

Finding a jihad to fight, of course, and one that will probably end up being on the doorstep of many people who today are insisting that Islam is a Religion of Peace™ and that those who are concerned about massive Muslim immigration into the West are just bigots and racists.

For Mustaqim, the principal of Darusy Syahadah, the watchword is preparation.
The school encourages exercise and self-defence and aims to strengthen and defend Islam, said Mustaqim, sporting white robes, a wispy beard and bruises on his forehead from frequent prayer.

"It says in the Koran that infidels will strengthen each other and wage a war of falsehood. We have been instructed to strengthen Islam against falsehood,'' he said.

That's rich, given how the entire edifice of Islam in the West is built on falsehood -- a well thought-out, carefully orchestrated campaign of falsehood, that meets with furious indignation and cries of "bigotry" anyone who dares to examine the stated motives and goals of the jihadists.

On suicide bombings against civilians - the hallmark of Noordin's faction - Mustaqim stressed that the aim is noble but the methods incorrect.
"In the methods (Noordin) has taken, we're not on the same path. Methods, that's what I'm talking about, methods,'' emphasised Mustaqim, whose wife is the sister of Ubeid, a JI militant jailed for helping the fugitive Noordin.

Methods, that's what he's talking about, methods. Yet in the U.S. Lawrence Wright wrote a much-lauded piece in the New Yorker about how some jihadists were changing their methods, and innumerable commentators, conservatives and liberals alike, could scarcely contain their excitement: Muslims were denouncing al-Qaeda! The Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims™ was finally asserting itself! The end of the War On Terror was at hand!

It never seemed to occur to these learned analysts that all that was being discussed was a change of methods, not of goals, as was patently clear from Wright's piece itself, although even Wright seemed to miss it. But since they have been focused on methods (terrorism) rather than goals (Sharia supremacism) all along, they missed this one also.

There are indeed peaceful Muslims, and there are indeed some among those who aren't interested in waging any kind of jihad. They either don't know or don't care about the imperative to struggle against unbelievers. They may have what they consider to be better things to do. Of course, such people are everywhere being challenged by Muslims who insist that they represent pure and true Islam, and that those who are not waging jihad are not good Muslims. Such people, being indifferent to or ignorant of these matters, are not going to stand up against the jihadists, and the jihadists regard them as a large recruiting field.

There is a very small group of Muslims who are actively trying to reform these Islamic imperatives, but don't kid yourself: it is a very small group, and not an influential one. The group of Muslims who feign indignation when non-Muslims discuss the jihad ideology, and who claim never to have heard of such a thing or that it is a heretical version of Islam cooked up by a Tiny Minority of Extremists™ -- they are much more numerous. They are dangerous, also, because they fool so very many people.

Outside the mosque, student Nawawi said it was "up to God'' whether he would follow the example set by the Bali bombers.
"Not everyone has to follow them,'' he said.

He is quite right. In Islamic theology there are many ways to aid the jihad. Nawawi can wage the jihad of the tongue or the pen, or the jihad of the pocketbook. He may also be referring, although this is unlikely, to the fact that in classic Islamic theology jihad warfare is fard kifaya, an obligation of the community as a whole but not of every individual believer. Jihad becomes fard ayn, obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in some way, when a Muslim land is attacked. I say that it is unlikely that he was referring to that distinction because jihadists today generally argue that Muslim lands have been attacked, and that therefore jihad is fard ayn. On the other hand, he may be referring specifically to Bali, where it would be hard to argue that a Muslim land has been attacked.

At the al-Mukmin boarding school founded by alleged JI spiritual head Abu Bakar Bashir in the nearby town of Ngruki, the bombers are honoured but opinions are similarly mixed.
About 1,600 students attend classes in rooms bedecked with cardboard cutouts of assault rifles and posters extolling the virtues of "martyrdom''.

Cardboard cutouts of assault rifles in a religious school. Yet no Muslim who gets so indignant at me seems to be upset about this. Now, why is that? Is it really so unclear?

Sitting on the floor of his lounge in the school grounds, the acid-tongued Bashir blamed the main 2002 blast on a CIA "micro-nuclear'' device fired from a ship off the Balinese coast.
"The bomb Amrozi set off, the first one, at most it shattered glass and didn't wound people, or at most wounded them a little,'' he said.

''(The bombers) struggled in that way, not as terror, but with the aim of defending Islam, which is being terrorised by America and its friends ... they are counter-terrorists, not terrorists,'' he said.

Remember that one the next time you hear a Muslim say that he condemns "terrorism," without defining his terms.

But al-Mukmin school principal Wahyudin said the bombers' indiscriminate bombing of nightclubs on the island was a disproportionate response to the global oppression of Muslims.
"What I can fault is that Bali is not a conflict area, it's not an area of war. Although we can say there certainly were enemies there, there were also non-enemies. That has to be avoided. That was a mistake there,'' he said.

What Wahyudin is saying is that jihad violence is fine in a conflict area, but not in an area in which there are present in significant numbers people who are not considered to be at war with Islam. But he has no problem with the concept of violent jihad in principle.

Posted at October 26, 2008 8:30 AM
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #48 on: November 05, 2008, 08:10:21 PM »

Nov 5, 12:48
A Necessary Reminder of What the Jihadists Are About

Every once in a while, it is necessary to step back from the abstract world of ideas and see what the ideas actually mean in people’s lives. That is particularly true as the new administration enters and has to think about what the radical Islamist agenda really means to those who live under it.

It is also worth noting the little-noticed support some of the worst parts of the Islamist agenda get from so-called moderate and mainstream Islamist groups who are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nothing could be a more stark reminder than the story of the young Somali woman who was stoned to death for adultery after reporting to authorities that she had been raped.

Amnesty International reported that partway through the stoning nurses checked whether Aisha was still alive. They pulled her body out of the ground to ascertain she was still breathing before the stoning continued.

A Unicef statement said: ‘She sought protection from the authorities, who then accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death. ‘A child was victimised twice – first by the perpetrators of the rape and then by those responsible for administering justice.’

This is what the Taliban means when it talks of sharia law and what has in mind for the rest of the world. This is why the idea of engaging in talks with the Taliban over the future of Afghanistan is such a dangerous idea.

The jihadists cannot compromise and have already demonstrated, during their barbaric governance of Afghanistan from 1996-2001 that they are cannot be part of a civilized coalition to govern anything.

It is worth remembering that the Muslim Brotherhood, including its supposedly enlightened leaders like Tariq Ramadan, do not condemn this barbaric form of justice. Why? Because they can’t without disowning the same general goals the Ikhwan share with the jihadist: A world under sharia law where this is not only condoned but mandatory.

Here is the nicest possible description of Ramadan’s stand, taken from a sympathetic article in Foreign Affairs magazine.

In front of six million viewers, Ramadan refused to call for a ban on the stoning of adulterers, arguing instead for a “moratorium.” This apparently semantic distinction reveals Ramadan’s reformist logic: it is a way to stop capital punishment immediately while engaging its proponents on their terms. Ramadan concedes that stoning may be supported in part of the Muslim world and by the instructions of law books. But such punishment, he argues, should be suspended while a debate is held over the conditions of its actual application.

For some critics, this kind of reasoning is unacceptably ambiguous: Ramadan will not categorically denounce stoning! But by calling for a moratorium, Ramadan avoids the Islamic equivalent of excommunication.

So, one would be excommunicated from the Muslim faith, or at least the Muslim Brotherhood, if one does not denounce stoning. Yet we are repeatedly told by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups that they are mainstream and moderate. How do they reconcile these opposing statements? They don’t. They simply denounce those who raise the questions as Islamophobes and racists.

It is worth remembering that when one engages with groups who cannot disown criminal and barbaric conduct, one legitimizes them. The Obama camp would do well to keep this in mind as the Muslim Brotherhood front organizations come knocking on the door of the new administration, as they will, presenting themselves as enlightened and moderate forces for good.

posted by Douglas Farah
Power User
Posts: 42537

« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2008, 04:14:00 AM »

Here's an article about it:

Somali girl 'pleaded for mercy' before Islamists stoned her to death for being raped
By David Williams
Last updated at 8:00 AM on 05th November 2008

Comments (184) Add to My Stories

A girl of 13 begged for mercy moments before a mob buried her up to her shoulders and stoned her to death, it was claimed yesterday. The Somalian youngster is said to have pleaded 'Don't kill me, don't kill me' before her horrific execution in front of a 1,000-strong crowd. A boy is thought to have been shot dead amid the appalling scenes inside a football stadium in Kismayu, a rebel-held port.

 An armed soldier guards a crowd in Kismayo, Somalia, which is currently ruled by an Islamist militia (file picture). Amnesty International has said that a 13-year-old girl, who had been raped, was stoned to death there.  According to Amnesty International, the girl was 13 and had been raped by three men.

Officials say she was 23 and had confessed adultery before an Islamic court. The stoning, which took place on October 28, is the first public killing in war-torn Somalia for two years. Convicting a girl of 13 for adultery would be illegal under sharia law but the authorities said she had lied about her age. Print and radio journalists who were allowed to attend the execution put her age at 23.

Amnesty and Unicef, the UN children's agency, said that the girl, identified as Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was raped while travelling to see a relative in Mogadishu, the Somalian capital. Her family is said to have tried to report the crime to the militia who control Kismayu, only for Aisha to be arrested and accused of adultery. None of the men she accused of rape was detained.

David Copeman, Amnesty's Somalia campaigner, said: 'This was not justice, nor was it an execution. This child suffered an horrendous death at the behest of the armed opposition groups who currently control Kismayu. This killing is yet another human rights abuse committed by the combatants in Somalia and again demonstrates the importance of international action to investigate and document such abuses, through an international commission of inquiry.'

Amnesty said partway through the stoning nurses checked whether Aisha was still alive. They pulled her body out of the ground to ascertain she was still breathing before the stoning continued.

A Unicef statement said: 'She sought protection from the authorities, who then accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death. A child was victimised twice  -  first by the perpetrators of the rape and then by those responsible for administering justice.'

The agency said the incident highlighted the vulnerability of girls and women in Somalia, which has suffered civil conflict for the past 17 years.   In the latest cycle, Islamist rebels are fighting the government and their backers in the Ethiopian military.

A witness told the BBC the woman had begged for her life and had been crying as she was forced into the hole in the ground.  He said the girl had asked the Islamic administration in Kismayo: 'What do you want from me?' 

They replied : 'We will do what Allah has instructed us.'

She said: 'I'm not going, I'm not going. Don't kill me, don't kill me.'

The witness added: 'A few minutes later more than 50 men tried to stone her.'

He said no one tried to stop the Islamist officials, who were armed.
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