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Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Topic: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom (Read 57406 times)
Moses led Muslims out of Egypt
Reply #150 on:
April 03, 2012, 01:45:03 PM »
Several source citations
Reply #151 on:
April 20, 2012, 02:12:01 AM »
To enjoy all the content in this newsletter press "Always Display Images from This
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In This Issue:
[#v9]Muslim Brotherhood Wants ‘United Arab States’ With Capital in Jerusalem[#col]
[#v2]Democracy Used by Islamists Lead to Antithetical Results
[#t0]How the Mainstream Media Whitewashes Muslim Persecution of Christians
[#n32]News and Blogs
Muslim Brotherhood Wants 'United Arab States' With Capital in Jerusalem
The Brotherhood's candidate is poised to become the next president of Egypt. The
Brotherhood's popular preacher, Dr. Safwat Hegazy, talks about how he yearns to see
Arab nations become "like the United States"—only the "United Arab States" – with
Jerusalem as the capital.
Democracy Used by Islamists Lead to Antithetical Results
By Raymond Ibrahim
again, we see how Western concepts, when articulated through an Islamic framework,
lead to results antithetical to the West. For instance, "democracy" and
"elections"—which in the West suggest "freedom," "human rights," "liberty," etc.—are
today being used to bring sharia law, the antithesis of Western law, to power.
How the Mainstream Media Whitewashes Muslim Persecution of Christians
By Raymond Ibrahim
When it comes to Muslim persecution of Christians, the mainstream media (MSM) has a
long paper trail of obfuscating. While they may eventually state the bare-bone
facts—if they ever report on the story in the first place, which is rare—they do so
after creating and sustaining an aura of moral relativism that minimizes the Muslim
Featured Videos: Britain's Determination to Self-Destruct
 Exposing Honor Killings in America
 Melanie Phillips Cuts to the Chase
 News & Blogs
Gov. Hides Connection Between Female Genital Mutilation and Islam
Releases $147 Million to Hamas Government Despite Congressional Hold
[http://www.radicalislam.org/blog/hate-crime/hate-crime-not-likely]Hate Crime, Not
Muslim Converts: Dangerous Anti-Americanism
The Next Nightmare: How Political Correctness Will Destroy America
By Peter Feaman
The Next Nightmare is interspersed with recent reporting on the jihadist movement
and rounds up ancient and contemporary history in 122 succinct pages. Feaman draws
on classic allegories to illustrate the deadly dangers of failing to grasp the
determination of such a committed foe.
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Clitorectomies under Sharia
Reply #152 on:
May 17, 2012, 02:55:30 PM »
Sex Slave marriages
Reply #153 on:
July 15, 2012, 03:51:17 PM »
Sodomy "For the sake of Islam"...
Reply #154 on:
July 15, 2012, 04:21:30 PM »
Notice how literally ANYTHING is permitted "for the sake of jihad" according to the overwhelming majority of Muslim clerics, and every major school of Islamic jurisprudence:
Sodomy "For the Sake of Islam"
by Raymond Ibrahim
July 12, 2012
Not only did the original "underwear bomber" Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri hide explosives in his rectum to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef—they met in 2009 after the 22-year-old Asiri "feigned repentance for his jihadi views"—but this "holy-warrior" apparently had fellow jihadists repeatedly sodomize him to "widen" his anus to fit the explosives—and all in accordance with the fatwas of Islamic clerics.
A 2010 Arabic news video that aired on Fadak TV gives the details. Apparently a cleric, one Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, informed al-Asiri and other jihadis of an "innovative and unprecedented way to execute martyrdom operations: place explosive capsules in your anus. However, to undertake this jihadi approach you must agree to be sodomized for a while to widen your anus so it can hold the explosives."
Others inquired further by asking for formal fatwas. Citing his desire for "martyrdom and the virgins of paradise," one jihadi (possibly al-Asiri himself) asked another sheikh, "Is it permissible for me to let one of the jihadi brothers sodomize me to widen my anus if the intention is good?"
After praising Allah, the sheikh's fatwa began by declaring that sodomy is forbidden in Islam,
However, jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that 'necessity makes permissible the prohibited.' And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions—and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you.
Two important and complementary points emerge from this matter: 1) that jihad is the "pinnacle" of Islam—for it makes Islam supreme (based on a Muhammad hadith); and 2) that "necessity makes permissible the prohibited." These axioms are not limited to modern day fatwas, but in fact, were crystallized centuries ago, agreed to by the ulema, or Islam's leading doctrinaires.
The result is that, because making Islam supreme through jihad is the greatest priority, anything and everything that is otherwise banned becomes permissible. All that comes to matter is one's intention, or niyya.
From here one may understand the many ostensible incongruities of Islamic history: lying is forbidden—but permissible to empower Islam; intentionally killing women and children is forbidden—but permissible during the jihad; suicide is forbidden—but permissible during the jihad, called "martyrdom."
Indeed, the Five Pillars of Islam—including prayer and fasting—may be ignored during the jihad. (So important was the duty of jihad that the Ottoman sultans, who often spent half their lives on the battlefield, were not permitted to perform the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca.)
More recently, these ideas appeared in different form during Egypt's elections, when Islamic leaders portrayed voting as a form of jihad—leading to the abuse and even killing of those not voting for the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to these two doctrines—which culminate in empowering Islam, no matter how—one may expect anything from would-be jihadis, regardless of how dubious the effort may otherwise seem.
Even so, this uncompromising mentality, which is prevalent throughout the Islamic world, especially along the frontlines of the jihad, is the same mentality that many Western leaders and politicians think can be appeased with just a bit more respect, well-wishing, and concessions from the West.
Such are the great, and disastrous, disconnects of our time.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
The worldwide rise of anti-semitism
Reply #155 on:
August 08, 2012, 11:25:10 AM »
Ibrahim: The Tip of the Iceberg
Reply #156 on:
September 10, 2012, 03:12:12 PM »
Guest Column: The Tip of the Iceberg of Christian Persecution
by Raymond Ibrahim
Special to IPT News
September 10, 2012
Two Christians living in the Islamic world under arrest and awaiting execution—the one charged with apostasy, the other with blasphemy—were just released.
According to a September 8 report on CNN, "A Christian pastor sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy was reunited with his family Saturday after a trial court acquitted him... Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, born to Muslim parents and a convert to Christianity by age 19, was released after being held in prison for almost three years under a death sentence.... Setting aside the death sentence, a trial court convicted Nadarkhani of a lesser charge—evangelizing Muslims—and declared that his prison sentence had already been served... His case drew international attention after his October 2009 arrest, and the 34-year-old pastor refused to recant his Christian beliefs."
In a separate story published the same day, "Pakistani authorities on Saturday released a teenage Christian girl detained over accusations of blasphemy," for allegedly burning pages of a Koran. Up till then, local Muslims were calling for the death of the 14-year-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, warning that, if released, they would "take the law into their own hands."
Why were these two Christians released—when both apostasy and blasphemy are great crimes in Islam? Is this a sign that Iran and Pakistan are reforming, becoming more "moderate"? One U.S. paper, for example, optimistically offers the following title, "Rescue of Christian Girl may be Turning Point in Abuse of Blasphemy Law."
Nadarkhani and Masih were certainly not released because their governments are acting according to universal standards of justice or reason. If so, they would not have been arrested in the first place. Nor do these releases suggest that Iran or Pakistan are rethinking their Islamic apostasy and blasphemy laws.
The fact is, there are many more Christians imprisoned in both countries for apostasy and blasphemy. Unlike Nadarkhani and Masih, however, the Western mainstream has never heard of these unfortunate Christians. And that's the whole difference.
In Iran, where at least as early as 1990 a convert to Christianity, Pastor Hossein Soodmand, was executed by the state, apostates from Islam are under siege. A few examples from the last few months include:
• A six-year prison sentence for Pastor Farshid Fathi Malayeri—whose crime was to convert to, and now preach, Christianity—was upheld last July following an unsuccessful appeal hearing.
• Another prominent house church pastor, Benham Irani, remains behind bars even as his family expresses concerns that he may die from continued abuse and beatings, leading to internal bleeding and other ailments. The verdict against him contains text that describes the pastor as an apostate who "can be killed." According to one activist, "His 'crimes' were being a pastor and possessing Christian materials." He is being beat in jail and getting sick, to the point that his hair has "turned fully gray."
• A woman, Leila Mohammadi, who had earlier converted to Christianity was arrested when security agents raided her house. Imprisoned for five months in Iran's notorious Evin prison without any word on her fate, she was later sentenced to two years in prison.
• A June 17 report indicated that, five months after five Christian converts were arrested, their condition and fate had remained unknown. They were accused of "attending house church services, promoting Christianity, propagating against the regime and disturbing national security." Being imprisoned for 130 days without word "is an obvious example of physical and mental abuse of the detainees …. one of the prison guards openly told one of these Christian detainees that all these pressures and uncertainties are intended to make them flee the country after they are released."
• A young woman, who had recently converted to Christianity and was an outspoken activist against the Islamic regime, was found dead, slumped over her car's steering wheel, with a single gunshot wound to her head.
Then there are Iran's many other faces of Christian persecution, including the shutting down of churches, regular crackdowns on house-church gatherings, detaining and abusing Christians, banning church services in Farsi, and confiscating Bibles and other Christian literature.
As for Pakistan's blasphemy law—which calls for the death penalty—here are a few stories from the last few months:
• A Muslim mob doused a man with gasoline and literally burned him alive for "blaspheming" the Koran (graphic picture here).
• A 26-year-old Christian woman was arrested after neighbors accused her of "uttering remarks against Muhammad." A few days prior, some of her relatives who converted to Islam had pressured her to do likewise: "She refused, telling them that she was satisfied with Christianity and did not want to convert." She was arrested of blasphemy soon thereafter.
• A female Christian teacher was targeted by Muslims due to allegations that she burned a Koran. A mob stormed her school in an attempt to abduct her, but police took her into custody.
• A Christian man was arrested and charged with "blasphemy" for rescuing his 8-year-old nephew from a beating at the hands of Muslim boys who sought to force the boy to convert to Islam. Later, "a Muslim mob of about 55 led by the village prayer leader besieged the Christian's house," and insisted that "the blasphemer" be turned over to them.
• A banned Islamic group attempted to burn down a Christian village after accusing a 25-year-old mentally retarded Christian man of "blasphemy."
• A 20-year-old Christian man was arrested and charged with "blasphemy" after Muslims accused him of burning a Koran soon after a billiard game. The Muslims kept taunting and threatening him, to which the Christian "dared them to do whatever they wanted and walked away." Days later came the accusation and arrest, which caused Muslim riots, creating "panic among Christians" who "left their houses anticipating violence."
In the last two decades, over 50 people have been murdered in Pakistan for blasphemy. Even the recent assassination of the nation's only cabinet-level Christian, Shahbaz Bhatti, was in retaliation for his being an outspoken critic of Pakistan's "blasphemy" laws.
In light of all the above, why were Pastor Nadarkhani and Masih, the Christian girl—whose fates were sealed—released? Because unlike the many nameless and faceless Christians persecuted for blasphemy and apostasy in Pakistan and Iran, not to mention the rest of the Islamic world, the mainstream media actually reported their story in the West, prompting much public outrage, international condemnations, and the threat of diplomatic actions and/or sanctions.
For example, Canada just cut relations with Iran, citing, among other reasons the fact that Iran is "one of the world's worst violators of human rights." It was the very next day that Pastor Nadarkhani was "coincidentally" released, even as the Iranian regime, feigning innocence, accused Canada of being "racist."
In short, these two particular Christians were simply too much of a liability to punish as Sharia law demands—the same Sharia, incidentally, that teaches Muslims to be lax and tolerant when in their interest. While it is good that Western outrage and condemnation was fundamentally responsible for the release of Nadarkhani and Masih, the West must learn that these two Christians merely represent the tip of the iceberg of Christian persecution in Muslim countries.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum
Muslim Brotherhood's lies
Reply #157 on:
October 16, 2012, 03:46:37 PM »
Not quite sure in which thread to put this:
Muslim Brotherhood's Lies Reach Ridiculous New Depth
October 16, 2012
A senior Muslim Brotherhood official is denying the group's leader called for "holy jihad" against Israel in a newspaper article last week, even though strikingly similar language remains on the Brotherhood's Arabic website.
The denial follows a call from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for President Obama to condemn the comments by Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mohammed Badie, and for the United States to cut off all interaction with the Brotherhood until they are withdrawn.
Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper quoted Badie calling for "holy Jihad" because "the Zionists only understand force," and saying that justice cannot be attained "through the corridors of the United Nations or through negotiations."
Badie's statement "confirms our long held view that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous anti-Semitic organization in the world today," Wiesenthal Center leaders Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper said in a statement. Brotherhood spokesman Waleed Shalaby denied Badie made the statement. But Badie's weekly message, still posted on the Brotherhood's Arabic-language website, mirrors much of what Al-Ahram reported.
According to an Investigative Project on Terrorism translation, Badie said:
"The Zionists only know the method of force. They will not step back from transgression, unless they are forced to. This will only be by holy Jihad, and enormous sacrifices and all forms of resistance. One day they will be certain that we will choose this Way, and raise the flag of Jihad in the Way of God. We will go forth to the field of Jihad."
Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque is "the life of the Islamic Umma is not just memories of history time will erase with the blowing winds," Badie said, "nor will Muslims forget it through long occupation, but Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are buried in the depths of Muslims, and love for it is in the veins of the faithful. ... By God, it is dearer to us than our lives which we have. For its sake, a Muslim will not spare his life in sacrifice for it."
In a subsequent statement issued Sunday, the Wiesenthal Center called the Brotherhood denial "laughable," noting Al-Ahram is government-owned.
As we've noted repeatedly, the Brotherhood has a long track record of issuing benign-sounding statements to English-language audiences, but speaking in more radical terms in Arabic. For example, during Egypt's first electoral campaign since the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood removed portions of its bylaws which call for "establishing the Islamic State" from its English-language website. But in a speech, Badie reminded supporters of the path Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna spelled out to develop "the rightly guided caliphate."
The Brotherhood struck a seemingly positive tone after American commandos killed Osama bin Laden, telling English language audiences "one of the reasons for which violence has been practised in the world has been removed." But to Arabic speaking audiences, bin-Laden was referred to with terms of honor, such as Sheikh and even "shaheed," or martyr. It condemned the American attack as an assassination and reinforced the right to "legitimate resistance" against occupation in Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere.
It is in this context that the denials of Badie's statement by an Egyptian government media outlet, and on the Brotherhood's own website must be seen.
The Brotherhood is Egypt's undisputed power today, with President Mohamed Morsi resigning only after becoming a candidate for president. It cannot be ignored or dismissed as idle chatter when his colleague, Badie, calls for holy jihad to liberate Palestine.
"We are not dealing with a YouTube video or a lone extremist Imam, but a call to anti-Semitic violence by a man who has tens of millions of followers and leads the organization that controls Egypt's future. It cannot be business as usual in Washington when such an assault is launched against the Jewish people," the Wiesenthal Center statement said.
Given the support the Brotherhood enjoyed from Islamist groups in America, and the fact that several are direct descendants, the Muslim American Society, Islamic Society of North America and Council on American-Islamic Relations should denounce the comments, too.
Pope Benedict challenged Islam to live up to the slogan: religion of peace
Reply #158 on:
February 14, 2013, 08:37:55 PM »
Pope Benedict XVI challenged Islam to live up to the slogan, religion of peace. in the 2006 Regensburg Lectures:
Re: Islam the religion and theocratic politics
Reply #159 on:
February 14, 2013, 08:46:33 PM »
Indeed, as noted here
The languages of jihad
Reply #160 on:
February 16, 2013, 06:45:35 AM »
OK to rape Alawite women
Reply #161 on:
April 03, 2013, 09:48:53 AM »
An example of the appeal of Islam ;-)
Reply #162 on:
May 10, 2013, 05:02:59 PM »
Re: An example of the appeal of Islam ;-)
Reply #163 on:
May 10, 2013, 08:21:11 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on May 10, 2013, 05:02:59 PM
Too bad Andrew can't lecture them on the peaceful and benign nature of islam. Funny how many muslims seem to not know this.....
Reply #164 on:
June 18, 2013, 02:43:02 PM »
Guest Column: The 'Sex Jihad'
by Raymond Ibrahim
Special to IPT News
June 18, 2013
News emerged a few weeks ago in Arabic media that yet another fatwa had called on practicing Muslim women to travel to Syria and offer their sexual services to the jihadis fighting to overthrow the secularist Assad government and install Islamic law. Reports attribute the fatwa to Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-'Arifi, who, along with other Muslim clerics earlier permitted jihadis to rape Syrian women.
Muslim women prostituting themselves in this case is being considered a legitimate jihad because such women are making sacrifices—their chastity, their dignity—in order to help apparently sexually-frustrated jihadis better focus on the war to empower Islam in Syria.
And it is prostitution—for they are promised payment, albeit in the afterlife. The Quran declares that "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons [their bodies] and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain (Yusuf Ali trans. 9:111).
On the basis of this fatwa, several young Tunisian Muslim girls traveled to Syria to be "sex-jihadis." Video interviews of distraught parents bemoaning their daughters' fates
are on the Internet, including one of a father and mother holding a picture of their daughter: "She's only 16—she's only 16! They brainwashed her!" pleads the father.
Most recently, the Egyptian-based news service Masrawy published a video interview with "Aisha," one of the Tunisian Muslim girls who went sex-jihading in Syria, only to regret her actions. While in Tunisia, Aisha said she met a Muslim woman who began talking to her about the importance of piety, including wearing the hijab; she then went on to talk about traveling to Syria to help the jihadis "fight and kill infidels" and make Allah's word supreme, adding that "women who die would do so in the way of Allah and become martyrs and enter paradise." (According to mainstream Islamic teaching, dying in jihad is the only guaranteed way to avoid hell.)
Aisha eventually came to the conclusion that she was being exploited in the name of religion and left.
While news that Muslim girls in hijabs are prostituting themselves in the name of Islam may surprise some, Islamic clerics regularly issue fatwas permitting forbidden things—so long as they help the jihad. For instance, not only did the original "underwear bomber" Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri hide explosives in his rectum to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef—they met in 2009 after the 22-year-old Asiri "feigned repentance for his jihadi views"—but, according to Shi'ite talk-show host Abdullah Al-Khallaf, he had fellow jihadis sodomize him to "widen" his anus to fit more explosives.
Al-Khallaf read the fatwa that purportedly justified such actions during a 2012 Fadak TV episode.
After praising Allah and declaring that sodomy is forbidden in Islam, the fatwa asserted:
However, jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that "necessity makes permissible the prohibited." And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions—and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you.
While all these sex-fatwas may seem bizarre, they highlight two important (though little known in the West) points. First, that jihad is the "pinnacle" of Islam—for it makes Islam supreme; and second, the idea that "necessity makes permissible the prohibited." Because making Islam supreme through jihad is the greatest priority, anything and everything that is otherwise banned becomes permissible. All that comes to matter is one's intention, or niyya (see Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi's discussion along these lines).
As for the intersection between sex and violence (jihad), it was once explored by the Arabic satellite program Daring Question, which aired various clips of young jihadis giddily singing about their forthcoming deaths and subsequent sexual escapades in heaven. After documenting various anecdotes indicative of jihadi obsession with sex, Egyptian human rights activist Magdi Khalil concluded that "absolutely everything [jihad, suicide operations, etc.] revolves around sex in paradise," adding, "if you look at the whole of Islamic history, you come up with two words: sex and violence."
Indeed, Islam's prophet Muhammad maintained that death during jihad not only blots out all sins—including sexual ones—but it actually gratifies them:
The martyr is special to Allah. He is forgiven [of all sins] from the first drop of blood [that he sheds]. He sees his throne in paradise, where he will be adorned in ornaments of faith. He will wed the 'Aynhour [a.k.a. "voluptuous women"] and will not know the torments of the grave, and safeguards against the greater terror [hell]. … And he will copulate with 72 'Aynhour (see The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 143).
This goes to one of the many seeming contradictions in Islam: Muslim women must chastely be covered head-to-toe—yet, in the service of jihad, they are allowed to prostitute themselves. Lying is forbidden—but permissible to empower Islam. Intentionally killing women and children is forbidden—but permissible during the jihad. Suicide is forbidden—but permissible during the jihad—when it is called "martyrdom."
One may therefore expect anything from would-be jihadis, regardless of how un-Islamic the means may otherwise seem.
Even so, this uncompromising mentality, which is prevalent throughout the Islamic world, especially along the frontlines of the jihad, is the same mentality that many Western leaders and politicians think can be appeased with just a bit more respect, well-wishing, and concessions from the West.
Such are the great, and disastrous, disconnects of our time.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of the new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, 2013). A Middle East and Islam expert, he is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.
David Bukay: Islamic Hatred of the Non-Islamic
Reply #165 on:
July 01, 2013, 10:33:07 PM »
slam's Hatred of the Non-Muslim
by David Bukay
Middle East Quarterly
Summer 2013, pp. 11-20 (view PDF)
Print Send RSS
It is accepted as a truism by many liberals and multiculturalists and touted by much of the Western media that the "clash of civilizations" between the West and the Islamic world is a clash of values between a secular, tolerant, post-Christian world and a minority (albeit a large one) of Muslims, fundamentalists, and literalists who pervert the meaning of their faith-traditions. The Qur'anic verse, "There is no compulsion in religion," is frequently invoked to prove that Islam is not the intolerant, subjugating religion that Islamist clerics like Yusuf Qaradawi or terrorists like Osama bin Laden make it out to be. The belief is that "Islam," as former president George W. Bush said not long after the 9-11 attacks, "is peace."
But what if Bush's statement, along with the mainstream view, ignores the reality of Islam's central tenets? Are the Islamists' beliefs really only a warped minority position or are they a truer reflection of the inherent nature of the Muslim faith-system? Can the West ever reach a modus vivendi with an Islam that by its very nature considers Western civilization an unclean "other" that must be brought into the orbit of Islam through subjugation at best or destruction at worst?
Despite attempts to reframe the meaning of jihad for Western audiences, as in this ad on a Chicago bus, classic Muslim commentators are clear: Jihad reflects the normal relations existing between the believers and the infidel. Islam sees jihad as the means of creating peace by subjugating all others and enforcing Islamic order. A pax Islamica covering the globe is the aim of jihad, which is thus a just war.
A closer examination of Islam's central tenets is called for, one that gets past the feel-good nostrums of multiculturalism and that engages the Muslim belief-system on its own terms, beginning with one of the most fundamental of those tenets, the doctrine of al-Wala wal-Bara (love and hate for the sake of God).
Love and Hate for the Sake of Allah
In the introduction to the 2005 exposition of al-Wala wal-Bara by Muhammad Qahtani, Sheikh Abdar Razaq Afifi, deputy president of the Department of Guidance and a member of the Board of Great Ulema of Saudi Arabia, declares:
The subject matter is of paramount importance and utmost interest: Firstly, it is concerned with one of Islam's main foundations, which has two major prerequisites of true faith: al-Wala is a manifestation of sincere love for Allah, his prophet and the believers; al-Bara is an expression of enmity and hatred toward falsehood and its adherents. Both are evidence of true faith. Secondly, it has been written at a very crucial time where Muslims are no longer aware of those qualities which distinguish the believers from the nonbelievers; their faith has become so weak; and they have taken the disbelievers as their friends while displaying enmity toward the believers.
Qahtani's English publisher adds the following:
It is impossible to provide a literal translation in English of the al-Wala wal-Bara, but the meaning of this Arabic term indicated, on the one hand, drawing near to what is pleasing to Allah and His Messenger and, on the other hand, withdrawing from what is displeasing to Allah and His Messenger.
Al-Wala wal-Bara means then total loyalty to Islam and total disavowal of anything else. It is one of Islam's main foundations and is of paramount importance, second only to Tawhid, acknowledgement of the oneness of God. Total allegiance and love are only to be given within the Islamic community, and rejection, hate, and enmity against the other is commanded, based upon Qur'anic foundations:
Say: "If you love Allah then follow me that Allah may love you and forgive your faults… Allah does not love the infidels. … They are the residents of Hell, and will there forever abide."
Al-Wala wal-Bara doctrine originated in the pre-Islamic Arab tribal system from which it was passed on to the umma (Islamic community). The constructs of love and loyalty were extended to the family and the hamula (clan) while suspicion and hatred was directed toward those outside the clan, the "other" who did not embrace Muhammad's teachings. The Islamic umma has evolved into a super-tribe by way of religious linkage.
The medieval exegete Ibn Taymiya (1263-1328 C.E.), one of the authorities cited most by Wahhabis and Salafists, expressed al-Wala wal-Bara this way:
Whoever loves for the sake of Allah, and hates for the sake of Allah, and whoever seals a friendship for His sake, or declares an enmity for His sake, will receive the protection of Allah. No one may taste true faith except by this even if his prayers and fasts are many.
A real-world application of this conceptual framework was provided by Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, formerly chief mufti of Saudi Arabia, who issued a fatwa (religious ruling) before the 2003 Iraq war prohibiting seeking help from the infidels (kuffar) in jihad and urging Muslims to hate non-Muslims and show animosity toward them.
Islam and Infidels
The issue of the Muslim's relationship with the infidel is one of the most important in Islam. The amount of attention devoted to the infidel is huge: 64 percent of the total Qur'an addresses that relationship while 81 percent of the Sira (chronological biographies of Muhammad) and 37 percent of the Hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad) focus on this as well. In sum, nearly two thirds of Shari'a (Islamic law) is devoted to the infidel.
What comes through clearly by examining this subject is that Islam is not about universal brotherhood, as is often claimed, but about the brotherhood of believers, members of the umma. The flip-side of this is a total denunciation of the "other." There are more than four hundred verses in the Qur'an alone that describe the torment in hell that Allah has prepared for the infidel. The Qur'an dehumanizes infidels: They are vile animals and beasts, the worst of creatures and demons; perverted transgressors and partners of Satan to be fought until religion is Allah's alone. They are to be beheaded; terrorized, annihilated, crucified, punished, and expelled, and plotted against by deceit. Believers must be in a constant state of war with the infidel.
According to Ibn Taymiya:
Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is entirely for Allah [2:189, 8:39] and the word of Allah is uppermost [9:40], therefore, according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. Whosoever contends with Muhammad deserves death.
The Qur'anic pedigree for this view is unambiguous. In the spirit of al-Wala wal-Bara, Muslims are to be compassionate with one another but ruthless to the infidel. The infidels must not be taken as friends. "Hostility and hate" exist between them forever until the infidel "believe in Allah alone." They are a hated and cursed people; vile and evil-doers; disgraced and misguided. Even one's relatives should not be taken as friends if they are not Muslim. As Bernard Lewis has put it:
Islam is still the ultimate criterion of group identity and loyalty. It is Islam that distinguishes between self and other, between insider and outsider, between brother and stranger … the ultimate definition of the other, the alien outsider and presumptive enemy, has been the kafir [infidel].
The Qur'an says that all other religions are cursed by Allah. All those who join idols or false gods to Allah, or invent lies about Him, or deny Allah, or change even one word of Allah's book, or do not believe in Allah's messenger Muhammad are to be "seized wherever found and slain with a slaughter."
Judaism and Christianity are rejected and not acceptable to God since he has sent his final messenger to the entire world, who has revealed their errors. To love God is to reject those who reject Him.
O believers do not hold Jews and Christians as your allies. They are allies of one another; and anyone who makes them his friends is surely one of them; and Allah does not guide the unjust.
The practical applications of this are delineated by the Hadith:
Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah's apostle said: "I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's apostle."
There are approximately seven hundred verses in more than fifty Qur'anic suras that have direct and explicit negative references to the Jews; together with the other major books of Islam, they comprise in total 9 percent of the total Shari'a. The characterizations employed against Jews are situated in the attitude toward the "other" that al-Wala wal-Bara perpetuates.
Jews are cursed forever, having been transformed into apes and swine (or apes alone). The ultimate sin committed by the Jews is that they are the devil's minions, and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam, they will burn in hellfire. Jews conceal the truth, being "the vilest of all creatures," most wicked with hearts harder than stones. By perverting the words of God, Jews corrupted the scriptures and killed the prophets. Jews are "fond of lies," "devour the forbidden," and are "cowards, vulgar, and fools." They are the worst of God's creation; rats are, in fact, "mutated Jews." From an operational standpoint, the Hadith takes these views and offers a prescription for their application (albeit sometime in the future):
The hour will not be established until you fight the Jews, and the stone and the tree behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: "O Muslim! O Servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, so come and kill him."
As for Christianity, Islam believes that it is a corrupted and distorted religion based on myths and legends. Jesus is a Muslim prophet; Christ's divinity is a blasphemy and thus the foundations of Christianity are false. Christians have invented lies about God by ascribing partners to Him, which is the worst of sins. For that, they too are condemned forever to Hell. Jesus will one day come back and destroy Christianity by breaking the cross, and on the Day of Judgment, he will be a witness against them.
As a final act before his death, Muslim tradition claims that Muhammad ordered an ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians from Arabia. Whether that took place under the auspices of the Muslim prophet or happened in some other fashion, the reality is that Jews have been banished from the territory of Arabia and that Saudi Arabia—the modern nation-state that occupies that peninsula—bars all Jews from dwelling in its borders to this day.
Supremacy of the Muslim and the Way of War
The logical outcome of this world-view is the Islamic imperative to subjugate the world through the establishment of a universal umma. Since Allah's word (as transmitted by Muhammad) is inherently superior, man-made laws are intrinsically sinful and must be replaced by the Shari'a. It would be wicked and embracing al-Bara to permit humanity to ignore the perfect law of Allah, and thus it is a religious duty to create the most perfect world by political or other means.
As Islam is the perfect religious system, consisting of God's wisdom from the beginning of time and thus above and beyond all other religions, Muslims are the best of all peoples, and their reward is a luxurious life in Paradise. Dawa, often translated as "preaching" or "teaching," is more literally an "invitation" to humanity to accept Islam as the only true religion and submit to its dictates. Alternatives, such as allowing others to wallow in their ignorance, would essentially be doing the opposite of al-Wala wal-Bara, something no good Muslim (who knows better about the superiority of his faith) should do.
The imperative that flows from this is that killing or being killed for the sake of Islam is a hallowed duty:
Behold, Allah has bought of the believers their lives and their possessions, promising them paradise in return, [and so] they fight in Allah's cause, and slay, and are slain: a promise which in truth He has willed upon Himself in [the words of] the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur'an. And who could be more faithful to his covenant than Allah?
Being God's chosen people, Muslims need have no guilt or remorse toward the infidels. The world is divided into two distinct realms: Dar al-Islam (the house of submission) and Dar al-Harb (the house of the sword), and the normal and only justified relationship between the two is a state of perpetual war. There can be no peace with non-Muslims, only temporary truces. Islam's concept of a just war is any war directed against the infidels, whatever its causes and circumstances, since fighting the infidel is always morally justified and religiously legitimized.
Jihad reflects the normal relations existing between the believers and the infidel. Islamic wars are futuhat, derived from the Arabic root for "open" in the sense that they open the world to the call of Islam; wars instigated by the infidel are hurub, derived from the Arabic root for "anger." Any territory conquered during jihad by Muslims is waqf, never to be returned, while territory conquered by the infidel is considered occupation that must be returned by force. By this reasoning, territorial expansion through war by Muslim forces is not aggression but fulfillment of the Qur'anic command to disseminate Islam.
Islam then sees war as the means of creating peace by subjugating all others and enforcing Islamic order. A pax Islamica covering the globe is the aim of jihad, and therefore, it is a just war. A hudna or truce does not imply the abandonment of jihad but rather a suspension of hostilities, a dormant status from which a leader may revive fighting at any time at his will. For the Muslim, a permanent peace is a theological state to be achieved for the sake of the good (al-Wala) rather than a political one, which is no more than a temporary truce to gain strategic advantage.
Love, Hate, and Prayer
Five times a day, Muslims declare their total allegiance and submission to God by reciting the opening verses of the Qur'an. While the first six verses seem unobjectionable, verses 6 and 7 take on a different complexion in light of the doctrine of al-Wala wal-Bara:
 Guide us to the straight path,  the path of those whom you have favored, not of those against whom there is wrath, nor of those have gone astray.
One of the earliest Qur'anic exegetes, al-Tabari (838-923), explained in his Commentary on the Qur'an that "those against whom there is wrath" are the Jews while "those who have gone astray" are the Christians.
This view is maintained to this day as can be seen in recent translations of the Qur'an by al-Hilali and Khan endorsed by the Saudi government and circulated in bookstores, mosques, even prisons. Thus, notwithstanding the extensive whitewashing of the inherent prejudice within Islam in an attempt to portray Jews and Christians as honored and protected "people of the book" (ahl al-Kitab) rather than plain infidels, one of the central pillars of the Islamic faith maintains that Jews and Christians are the "other" to be avoided if one is to live by al-Wala wal-Bara.
In fact, Muslim jurists are careful to make this distinction: Under Islamic rule, and only under Islamic rule, are Jews and Christians to be considered ahl adh-Dhimma, a protected group of second-class citizens designated as such because of their connection to the "Book" (the Bible). When Jews and Christians reside outside Islamic rule (as do Jews in the State of Israel), then they are no longer ahl adh-Dhimma but infidels.
The "Saved Sect"
Loving and hating for the sake of Allah is not only mandated for members of other faith groups but has an internal component as well. The practice of declaring other Muslims infidel (takfir) due to insufficient piety is widely practiced by Salafists and Wahhabis and used by jihadists to justify the use of violence against other Muslims.
Jihadists frequently point to a saying attributed to Muhammad:
This community will be split up into seventy-three sects, seventy-two of them will go to Hell, and one will go to Paradise, and it is the majority group.
They, along with Muslim fundamentalists, believe they are that "Saved Sect" (at-Ta'ifa al-Mansura), the only group possessing the correct Islamic beliefs. The concept of takfir, propounded by Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (founder of the Wahhabist movement), includes the command that anyone who does not show sufficient levels of wala (allegiance to his view of true Muslim belief) and adequate bara (rejection of non-Muslims, including the wrong kind of Muslims) is at risk of committing apostasy.
A jihadist web forum quotes Sayyed Imam al-Sharif, aka "Dr. Fadl" and Abdul Qadir bin Abdul Aziz, mentor of al-Qaeda's current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri:
The most important duties of …[the Saved Sect] in this age are to wage jihad against the apostate rulers who have changed the rules of Allah and who govern Muslims using heretical man-made laws … the Salafi-Jihadists are at-Ta'ifa al-Mansura who have been promised victory against its enemies and the enemies of Islam.
The linkage to al-Wala wal-Bara could not be made clearer on another popular jihadist Internet forum:
Who are at-Ta'ifa al-Mansura? Al-Bukhari says they are the people of knowledge. Other scholars say they are Ahl al-Hadith [Sunna]. Al-Nawawi says: They are those who enjoin good and forbid evil [al-Wala wal-Bara].
The doctrine of al-Wala wal-Bara is used to distance Muslims from infidels but at the same time to identify other Muslims as being taghut (idolaters). As the Saved Sect, Salafist-jihadist groups are believed to have the divine right to judge other people's levels of observance and to kill them if necessary. Muslims have an obligation to struggle against idolaters who do not follow what Allah has revealed.
Labeling groups taghut is at the heart of the jihadists' struggle against Muslim regimes that do not comply with their Islamic conceptions, and the doctrine legitimizes their terrorist attacks. In their view, this is grounded in a hadith: "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." Salafi-jihadists can accuse any ruler who implements a political system that conflicts with their exact interpretation of Islam of being takfir.
Doctrine of al-Fitra
The doctrine of Fitra encompasses the Islamic concept of human nature. Fitra is the natural predisposition of all humans to recognize that there is but one God and, by extension, to submit to His will. Islam is called Din al-Fitra, the religion of human nature, because in the Muslim view, its laws and its teachings are relevant to the entire universe and all human beings.
In line with this doctrine is the belief that all of mankind is innately Muslim. All babies who come into the world are born Muslim and only their inconsiderate or ignorant parents have changed their religion. The supposed proof for this view comes from the Old and New Testaments: All Jewish and Christian patriarchs and prophets were actually Muslims who preached Islam from the outset, and who clearly testified that Muhammad is the messenger of God and the "Seal of all Prophets."
Thus, Abraham is said to have prayed, "Make us submit, oh Allah to your will" while Jacob's sons later declare: "We shall worship your Allah and the Allah of Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, the one and only Allah, and to him we submit." Moses is said to have exclaimed: "O my people, if you do believe in Allah place your trust in him if you are obedient. They answered: We have placed our trust in Allah."
The appropriation of biblical figures into the fold of Islam extends further to Christianity. Mary is told that Jesus will declare,
Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him; this is the right path. But when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, he said, who will be my helpers in Allah's way? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the way) of Allah: We believe in Allah and bear witness that we are submitting ones.
Like the church fathers who scoured the Old Testament for proofs that Jesus Christ had been foretold by the prophets, Muslim exegetes also find testimony to Muhammad and his truth in the Old and the New Testaments. The biblical promise to one day raise up another prophet for the Children of Israel is interpreted as foretelling the coming of Muhammad as the "seal" of all prophets. The Song of Moses found in Deuteronomy 33:2—"The Lord came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran"—is similarly reinterpreted: Sinai is said to be the place where Moses received the Taurat (Torah), Seir the place where Jesus received divine revelation while Paran is a mountain range in the area of Mecca where God manifested himself to mankind for the last time through his revelation to Muhammad. Muslim exegetes also quote Isaiah 42:1-4, Psalms 72:8-17, and Micah 4:1-2 as further proofs of Muhammad's prophethood and superiority.
On the face of it, Fitra would seem to contradict the understanding of al-Wala wal-Bara. Al-Wala wal-Bara is divisive; Fitra is inclusive. Al-Wala wal-Bara rejects the other: Fitra annexes the other. However, a close examination demonstrates that Fitra affirms the practical application of the former through a totalist approach. Both understand the world as being under the sway of Allah and the superiority of Islam as being evident. The Fitra doctrine is intended to prove Islam's superiority by declaring that the innate religion of all mankind (as testified to by both Old and New Testament prophets in words and deeds) is the religion embodied in Muhammad's message. All other faith-systems are hence inferior. This is precisely what is advanced by the al-Wala wal-Bara doctrine—drawing near to Allah's word and rejecting all that He hates—especially the corrupted beliefs of the other.
The doctrine of al-Wala wal-Bara is critical to understanding the Islamic world-view and its perception of the other as it is second only to attesting to tawhid, the oneness of God, for the faithful. Faith is incomplete without it, and it is the criterion used to distinguish between believers and the enemies of Islam. Tawhid will never be achieved on earth until believers apply al-Wala wal-Bara through adherence to Muhammad's way of life (as-Sirat al-Mustaqim).
Since it is the deepest Islamic obligation to have all recognize the truth of Muhammad's message, it is a Muslim duty to impose Shari'a on humanity. The infidels who resist Islam are thus responsible for the persistence of violence and the absence of world peace. It is they who force Muslims to take defensive measures to protect the truth of Islam through jihad, if necessary. Submission is the only solution to world peace, and it is in the best interest of humanity for the other to lose his otherness. This self-image helps explain why multitudes of Muslims react violently at almost every situation in which the honor of their prophet or their faith seems to be belittled while simultaneously complaining of being victims of oppression, aggression, racism, and the new and custom-made bête noir, "Islamophobia."
David Bukay is a lecturer in the school of political science at the University of Haifa.
 Qur. 2:256.
 George W. Bush, remarks, Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 2001.
 Sheikh Muhammad Said al-Qahtani, al-Wala wal-Bara (Jeddah: Kashf ul Shububat Production, 2005), p. 4.
 Sheikh Muhammad Said al-Qahtani, al-Wala wal-Bara, According to the Aqeeday of the Salaf, Part 1, Omar Johnstone, trans. (Jeddah: Kashf ul Shubuhat Publications, 1992).
 Qur. 3:31-32; 2:257; see, also, Qur. 4:89; 5:51; 9:71; 60:4.
 Ignac Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981), pp. 50, 230-1; Ibn Khaldun, al-Muqaddima (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), pp. 98-9; Ira Lapidus, "Historical, anthropological, methodological, and comparative perspectives: Tribes and State Formation in Islamic History," in Philip S. Khoury and Joseph Kostiner, eds., Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), pp. 30, 34.
 Al-Ihtijaj bil-Qadir (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyya, 1993), p. 62.
 Ta'qib Ala Maqalat ash-Sheikh Jad al-Haq Sheikh al-Azhar bi-Unwan: Ilaqat al-Islam bil-Adyan al-Ukhra, accessed Apr. 29, 2013.
 Compiled from data by Bill Warner, "Statistical Islam," Center for the Study of Political Islam, Nashville, Tenn., accessed Nov. 21, 2012.
 Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), p. 32.
 Qur. 49:10.
 Qur. 2:65; 5:60; 7:176; 8:55; 46:29-35; 98:6.
 Qur. 3:10, 82, 110; 4:48, 56, 76, 91; 7:144; 9:17, 34; 11:14; 13:15, 33; 14:30; 16:28-9; 18:103-6; 21:98; 22:19-22, 55; 25:21; 33:64; 40:63; 48:13.
 Qur. 2:193; 8:39; 9:5,111, 123; 47:4.
 Qur. 8:12; 47:4.
 Qur. 3:151; 8:12, 60; 33:26; 59:2.
 Qur. 2:191; 4:89, 91; 6:45; 9:5, 36, 73; 33:60-2; 66:9.
 Qur. 5:33.
 Qur. 5:33; 8:65; 9:9, 29,123; 25:77.
 Qur. 3:54; 4:142; 8:30; 86:15.
 Qur. 61:4, 10-2; 8:40; 2:193.
 Qur. 3:141; 4:115; 5:17, 52, 72-3; 10:68-70; 29:68; 36:49-64.
 Qur. 60:4; 9:123.
 Qur. 7:44; 9:37; 23:97; 33:60; 40:35; 33:60.
 Qur. 6:25; 9:37; 37:18.
 Qur. 9:23; 58:22; Sahih Muslim (Cairo: Dar al-Kitab al-Misri, n.d.), bk. 1, no. 417.
 Bernard Lewis, "Metaphor and Allusion," The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), pp. 4-5.
 Qur. 9:30; 48:28; Muhammad Ibn Isma'il al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari (Lahore: Kazi, 1979), vol. 8, no. 427.
 Qur. 14:30.
 Qur. 11:14.
 Qur. 29:17.
 Qur. 40:63.
 Qur. 6:115; 10:64; 30:30.
 Qur. 2:99; 4:150-2; 13:33-4; 16:28-9; 22:19-22.
 Qur. 33:60-2.
 Qur. 5:51.
 Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 1, bk. 2, no. 25, bk. 8, no. 387.
 Compiled from data by Warner, "Statistical Islam."
 Qur. 4:47; 5:13.
 Qur. 5:60.
 Qur. 2:65; 7:166.
 Qur. 4:60.
 Qur. 4:55; Sahih Muslim, bk. 001, no. 0284.
 Qur. 2:42, 61; 3:112; 98:6.
 Qur. 2:74, 78, 145; 4:160-2; 7:132; 18:27.
 Qur. 2:75, 87, 100; 4:46; 5:13, 62, 70; 17:4; 9: 30-1.
 Qur. 2:93-6, 142; 3:183-4; 4:51-2, 161; 5:42, 52, 79.
 Qur. 8:55-6; 98:6; Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, bk. 54, no. 524.
 Qur. 8:55-6; 98:6; Sahih Bukhari, 4:52:176-7; 4:56:791; Sahih Muslim, 41:6981-5.
 Qur. 4:171; 5:17, 73; 19:88-93.
 Qur. 10:68-9.
 Qur. 7:37; 29:68.
 Qur. 10:70; 5:72-3.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 55, no. 657.
 Ibid., vol. 5, bk. 59, nos. 362, 392; vol. 4, bk. 52, no. 288; Sahih Muslim, bk. 10, no. 3763, bk. 019, no. 4366; Abu-Dawud Sulaiman bin al-Aash'ath al-Azdi as-Sijistani, Sunan abu-Dawud, Ahmad Hasan, trans. (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 1990), vol. 2, no. 28.
 Qur. 7:158; 9:33; 21:107: 12:109; 21:22.
 Qur. 9:33.
 Qur. 4:141; 5:17; 10:68; 40:62; 46:33; 48:14; 63:8.
 Qur. 5:3; 9:33; 12:109.
 Qur. 9:72; 48:17; 61:12.
 Qur. 16:125.
 Qur. 7:158; 14:44.
 Qur. 9:111.
 Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1979), pp. 53-4, 64-5, 134-6, 220-1.
 Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa-Nihayat al-Muqtasid (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiya, 1991), vol. 1, pp. 454-87; Naqib al-Misri, Umdat as-Salik (Lahore: Qazi, 1997), pp. 599-605.
 Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa-Nihayat al-Muqtasid, vol. 1, pp. 454-87; Misri, Umdat as-Salik, pp. 599-605; Hasan Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (Reading: Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1996), pp. 43-7, 137, 182.
 Muhammad Ibn Jarir at-Tabari, Tafsir al-Qur'an (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah, 1992), relating to Qur'an, 2:61; Jews, 5:60; Christians, 5:77.
 Ibn Qaym al-Jawziyah, Ahkam Ahl adh-Dhimma (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1997).
 Derives from hadith of Sijistani, Sunan abu-Dawud, vol. 3, no. 4580.
 Sheikh Muhammad Said al-Qahtani, al-Wala wal-Bara fil-Islam (Cairo: an-Nur al-Islamiyah, 1980), pp. 3, 34-5.
 Dr. Fadl, "Istifadat A'ada' al-Islam Min Wathiqat Tarshid al-Jihad wa-Faq al-Itifaq," accessed Apr. 19, 2013.
 Qahtani, al-Wala wal-Bara fil-Islam, p. 29.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 9, bk. 84, no. 57.
 Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, "Wujub Tahkim Shar' Allah wa-Nabza Ma Khalafahu," accessed Apr. 19, 2013.
 Qur. 2:127-8.
 Qur. 2:133.
 Qur. 10: 84-5.
 Qur. 3: 51-2; 5:111.
 Deut. 18:17-9.
 Qur. 33:40, Ismail Ibn Umar, Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Azim (Cairo: Maktabat al-Malik Faisal, 1984), pp. 493-4, 501.
 Zaghlool Al-Najjar, "Paran in the Bible is Mecca today," accessed May 3, 2013; Qur. 3:3, 7:157; "Mecca is Bacca and Paran," Pss. 84:5-6; Qur. 3:96-7.
 "Eleventh Hadith: Man's Good-Seeking Nature," Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project, al-Islam.org, accessed Apr. 19, 2013.
 Taqi ad-Din Ahmad Ibn Taimiya, Majmu al-Fatawa (Riad: Maktabat al-Abiqat, 1998), vol. 28, р. 37.
 Qur. 3:118; 4:89; 9:32, 34; 47:34-5; 2:217.
From Mecca to the Vatican
Reply #166 on:
November 12, 2013, 04:49:54 PM »
Guest Column: The Orient Express from Mecca to the Vatican
Christians in the Cross Hairs
by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
November 12, 2013
On November 3, 2013, Christian figures from around the Middle East gathered in Beirut to hold an emergency meeting. Most of them came from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq, seeking to create a dynamic to improve and reinforce the defenses of Arab Christians, who are currently being persecuted by radical Islamists in their own countries.
The atmosphere at the meeting was one of extreme distress. The representatives reported that the so-called Arab Spring had led to the strengthening of violent Islamist movements which were now targeting the Christian sects in the Arab-Muslim world, especially in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Attacks on Christians reflected the refusal to recognize other religions, especially Christianity, as having the right to exist in the Arab-Muslim world, and damaged the delicate fabric of unity, "coexistence, forgiveness and dialogue," according to Lebanese MP Michel Aoun, that had existed until now among the various religious sects in the Arab countries.
The conference was motivated by the increasing lack of tolerance displayed by violent Islamists in their efforts to deprive the Christian sects, which until now were part of the Arab national identity, of their right to religious and physical existence in the Islamic territories of the Middle East. Syrian novelist Colette Khoury said that Syrian Christians could no longer be silent. They would no longer be the victims of the situation in Syria caused by the Islamist takeover and its political agenda. She said that the Christians in Syria would do whatever necessary to prevent the disintegration of Syria as their homeland and keep it from falling into the hands of the Islamists. She accused the United States of apathy and indifference to the fate of the Christians, who had always been a target for Islamist extermination.
In fact, the spread of Islamism throughout the Middle East has accelerated since the days of Muhammad. In the seventh century, Islamic jihad fighters overcame the Persian and Byzantine Empires, after they had exhausted one another in battle, and conquered Christian Egypt as well. The Christians remaining in the resulting Islamic Caliphate were regarded as second class citizens, dhimmis, with their rights, especially political rights, restricted and paid taxes no Muslim had to pay (jizya), retaining that status for hundreds of years.
The Crusades temporarily bolstered the position of the Christians in the Middle East, once Jerusalem had been liberated from Islamic occupation. However, the Crusader state was abandoned by its supporters after less than a century and receded into the mists of Middle Eastern history. In the 12th century Saladin defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin, effectively ending European presence, and the Christians were subsequently beaten and returned to their historic status as dhimmis, dependent on the mercies of various Islamic rulers.
Since the collapse of the Crusader state and the reconquest of the region by Islam, Christians have lived in uncertainty, in an atmosphere of hostility and discrimination and in fear of extermination, new emigrating from the Middle East in an ever-increasing tide. Coptic churches in Egypt are torched by Muslims so often it is barely reported by the news, and the Copts themselves are subjected to deadly attacks by Muslim mobs that kill the men and violate the women. The same is true of Christian communities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The artificial establishment of new states in the wake of the Ottoman Empire's downfall of (creations of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916) was a new Christian illusion. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire led to the renewed involvement of Christians in the political life of the newly created national Arab states, which came into existence by the stroke of pen to erase the Empire's militant Islamic base and introduce a sense of pan-Arab nationalism to protect all the local sects, religions and ethnic groups.
The recent so-called Arab Spring shattered the illusion of the Arab nation (qawmiyya) and national Arab homelands (wataniyya) and restored the runaway horses of reaction, violent extremist Islamist nationalism (ummah) and the Caliphate. Extreme Islamists decided the time was right to settle accounts with the Christians who collaborated with the secular regimes in an attempt to create a national alternative to Islamist rule and its mission to take over the world. The Christians in the West Bank, mainly in Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip, suffered a similar fate after the United States brokered an Israeli withdrawal.
The Oslo Accords took the Israeli forces out of the Palestinian Authority-administered territories, exposing the Christians, with Palestinian Authority sponsorship, to the ruthlessness of the Palestinian terrorist organizations, the abuse of Hamas and endless scheming, attacks, robbery and rape carried out by Islamic street thugs from Hebron and its environs. The attempts of the Christian leadership to represent their communities as anti-Israeli pro-Palestinian in order to satisfy extreme Palestinian Islamists failed miserably.
The attempts of the Palestinians to invade Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, are repelled by the Israeli security forces. Therefore, the Christian churches and the few remaining Christians in united Jerusalem are as safe and secure as its synagogues and mosques, its Jews and Arabs. The government of Israel preserves freedom of religious worship and the sensitive status quo of all the city's residents. The Israel Police Force prevents the occasional attempts made by the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, to "represent" and take over Christian property and holy places, especially in Jerusalem and Nazareth.
The "Palestinian Jesus" and Western Betrayal
Radical Islamist operatives, not content with attacks on the lives and property of Christian and Jewish "infidels," have now turned their efforts to undermining the foundations of the Christian and Jewish faiths. They have always claimed that the Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkey, that they forged the Bible and were cursed by Allah to be persecuted, and that they certainly do not have the right to a country of their own. The so-called "Zionists" in Israel ("Palestine") are not even Jews, they claim, but imposters. In their eagerness to vilify the Jews they conveniently ignore the passages in the Qur'an that give the Jews exclusive, divine right to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. They ignore the fact that Muhammad changed the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca and they deny the Islamic interpretation that the holiness of Jerusalem is a Jewish concept and forbidden to Muslims (Israilyat). To deny the historic rights of the Jewish people to Israel and Jerusalem, Islamic clerics claim that Jesus was a Palestinian and that the existence of Second Temple is a Zionist fabrication.
The Muslim Brotherhood not only attacks lives and property, it also wants to negate Christian spirit and faith, one of whose pillars is Jesus' work as a reformer – for example when he threw the money-lenders out of the Temple. By denying the existence of the Jewish Temple and calling it a "Jewish fake, they deny Jesus and crucify him again. In one of their recent protest demonstrations, the Muslim Brotherhood in Suez held signs proclaiming that their firm opposition to the interim government was part of their plan to liberate Jerusalem from the hands of the "infidels."
Anyone who denies that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jews and ignores the Temple Mount, the Jews' most holy place cannot continue believing in Jesus, and thus crudely rejects the entire Christian faith. At no time in its history was Jerusalem ever the capital of any people other than the Jews, it was the Jewish capital before the existence of Athens or Rome, London, Paris or Washington. There was never a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel. The Land of the Jews was conquered again and again, but it was liberated in the last century by the Jews. The newly created and basically non-existent "Palestinian people" is not so much as mentioned in the Qur'an, but the Jews are, and they are called the exclusive heirs of the Land of Israel. There is no precedent in Islam for a holy city as state capital. Mecca, which is sacred to Islam, is not Saudi Arabia's capital. Riyadh is. That is known to every Muslim who faces Mecca when he prays on the Temple Mount, and turning his rear end to the remains of the holy Second Jewish Temple. Jesus, who brought the world Christianity, began as a reformer in the Holy Land, that is, Israel. That is not only a tenet of the Christian faith, it is also a historical fact, but it is denied by the Muslims in their efforts to expel both Christians and Jews from the Middle East as they wage their jihad to take over the world.
Radical Islamism has its own code of action, taken directly from the actions of Muhammad as described in the Qur'an and in the oral tradition (sira and hadith). As far as the Islamists are concerned, the Qur'an contains the solution for every problem, they only have to adapt what is written to current needs. By analogy, for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, the State of Israel represents the Jewish community living in Khaybar in the Arabian Peninsula, slaughtered by Muhammad in the seventh century and buried in a mass grave in the city of Al-Madinah. By analogy, the Islamists feel compelled to destroy the State of Israel today. Its existence as an ally of the West represents the European Crusader state destroyed by Saladin. Thus, by denying both history and the tenets of Christian and Jewish faith, along with the physical destruction of the Jews in Israel and the Christians in the Middle East in general, the Islamist ideologues wage their jihad for the Islamic takeover of the world, while the leadership of the Western world closes its eyes to the seriousness of the threat.
From the Vatican Back to Khaybar
Looking at the monumental Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a church turned into a mosque, it is hard to believe that Turkey was once the Eastern Christian Byzantine Empire and that it converted to Islam. For its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a sworn Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood supporter, the megalomanic Islamic desire to take over the world is not a personal interpretation; it is a grand Islamic plan. The persecution of Christians and Jews and their expulsion from Islamic territories is an Islamic religious imperative to which Erdogan is committed, as are the rest of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the other radical Islamist terrorist organizations.
For the Muslim Brotherhood and ideologues like Erdogan, the mission of "cleansing" the Middle East of the Christians and Jews is entirely within the bounds of the possible and will promote the Islamic mission begun by the followers of Muhammad. As the Byzantines were destroyed and converted to Islam, so will the Europeans be destroyed and converted, and eventually the Americans, north and south, as well. The tunnel recently dug under the Bosphorus linking Turkey to Europe is symbolic of the age-old Islamic desire to conquer the Holy Roman Empire, especially Rome and the Vatican to include Europe in Islam.
If Turkey is allowed to join the EU it will accelerate the inevitable Islamization of Europe. It will accelerate the emigration of Turks and enable them to unite the already growing Islamic enclaves in the European countries. Radical Islamism is laying the tracks for an Orient Express that will run from Iceland to Iran, its engineers and conductors Islamist terrorists and its shackled passengers Christians and Jews on their way to another mass grave in Al-Madinah.
Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel's top experts on Arab affairs.
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #167 on:
January 15, 2014, 11:58:13 AM »
Arab Neighbors Take Split Paths in Constitutions
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and CARLOTTA GALLJAN. 14, 2014
On Tuesday, soldiers helped a man into a polling station in Cairo, where Egyptians were set to vote in the third referendum on the constitution in three years. Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times
CAIRO — One is setting a standard for dialogue and democracy that is the envy of the Arab world. The other has become a study in the risks of revolution, on a violent path that seems to lead only in circles.
Tunisia and Egypt, the neighbors whose twin revolts ignited the Arab Spring, are a dual lesson in the pitfalls and potentials for democracy across the region.
On the third anniversary of the flight of the former strongman, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s constituent assembly was poised on Tuesday to approve a new constitution that is one of the most liberal in the Arab world. A carefully worded blend that has won the approval of both the governing Islamist party and its secular opposition, the new charter presents the region with a rare model of reconciliation over the vexing question of Islam’s role in public life.
Egyptians, meanwhile, trudged to the polls on Tuesday and Wednesday for their third referendum in three years to approve a new constitution: this time for one that validates the military ouster of their first fairly elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and gives power and immunity to both the military and the police.
“ ‘Train wreck’ might be a charitable way to describe where Egypt is right now,” said Nathan J. Brown, an expert on Arab legal systems at George Washington University. In Tunisia, he said, “everybody keeps dancing on the edge of a cliff, but they never fall off.”
The difference, scholars said, lies in the shape of the shards left after each country’s revolt. Tunisia’s brutal security police virtually collapsed during its revolt, while its small, professionalized military historically had no interest in political power. In civilian politics, its Islamist and secular factions were relatively evenly matched, with the Islamists winning only a plurality in Tunisia’s first free vote. Each side needed the other to govern.
In Egypt, where the military has been a political player since Gamal Abdel Nasser’s 1952 coup, the generals stepped in to remove President Hosni Mubarak, himself a onetime military man, and never fully receded. Further complicating matters, each side of the political divide had reason to hope it might rule alone: The Islamists dominated the elections, while their opponents knew the military was waiting in the wings.
“The opposition knew that, first, it might never win another election and, second, the military was there,” Mr. Brown said.
With the ouster of Mr. Morsi and the violent crackdown on his supporters last summer, what started out as a revolution in Egypt became just another chapter in “the very old and always violent story” of “the rivalry between the security state and the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Zaid al-Ali, a legal expert in Cairo tracking both charters for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
“In Tunisia, we have turned the page completely, and you really feel that a revolution has taken place,” he said. “In Egypt, that is debatable.”
Tunisia, scarred by its own grinding and sometimes violent conflict between secular autocrats and political Islamists, was trapped in an even more restrictive police state than was Egypt, with less space for political participation or dissent before the revolt.
Egyptians lined up to vote on a new constitution under the watch of the security forces and military leadership of Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. A bomb exploded early in the day, but no one was injured.
Until mid-December, its process also appeared to teeter on the brink of collapse. There were assassinations of left-leaning political leaders and allegations that the moderate Islamist ruling party, Ennahda, had done too little to combat a militant Islamist insurgency. For five months, a political deadlock halted the drafting of the constitution. Perhaps prodded by the overthrow of the elected Islamists in Egypt, however, the two sides finally reached an accommodation last month, settling on a caretaker prime minister for the government and getting back to work on the charter.
Ennahda won wording stating that Islam is the religion of Tunisia but gave up on any reference to Islamic law. “Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign state, Islam is her religion, Arabic her language and republic her regime,” a clause of the preamble reads. The more liberal parties, with strong lobbying from civil society groups, secured guarantees that Tunisia would remain a civil state with separation of powers and pledges of freedoms and rights. “Tunisia is a state of civil character, based on citizenship, the will of the people and the primacy of law,” the counterpart clause of the preamble reads.
Neither clause can be amended by future governments.
The constitutional assembly “finally found some equilibrium,” said Ghazi Gherairi, secretary general of the International Academy of Constitutional Law in Tunis, the capital. “It is a result of consensus, and this is new in the Arab world.”
Egypt’s referendum on Tuesday appeared to be set to produce a near-unanimity in votes but hardly a consensus. A landslide approval is expected to open the presidential campaign by the military leader who removed Mr. Morsi, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi. Voters at several polling places seemed to doubt that anyone might vote against it.
“What? Everybody is voting yes to the constitution,” one man exclaimed on leaving a polling place after he mistakenly thought he had overheard another say he had cast his ballot against it.
“No, I meant I voted against the last one,” that voter, Sami Hadid, 73, clarified, referring to the constitution drafted by an Islamist-led assembly and approved in the referendum a little more than a year ago. “I hate the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The public debate has been one-sided, to say the least. The Brotherhood boycotted the referendum, dismissing the vote as an attempt to legitimate an illegal coup. The government has shut down Egyptian news media outlets sympathetic to the group, declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, jailed its leaders, seized its assets and criminalized membership.
In recent days, the new government has arrested at least seven activists merely for trying to hang signs or stickers opposing the new charter. On Tuesday, more were arrested, state news media reported.
The voting began with a small explosion near a court building in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, across the river from Cairo, damaging the facade but injuring no one.
By nightfall, the Ministry of Health said that at least 11 people had died, but even the deaths were disputed. The Brotherhood said at least four of the dead were civilians, including a child, who had been killed by the police. The Interior Ministry said the four had been killed by members of the Brotherhood. Dozens of other supposed members of the Brotherhood were arrested on charges of attempting to disrupt the vote, but there were no major protests.
“This time it has surpassed Mubarak at the height of his authoritarianism,” said Hossam Bahgat, the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
For virtually the first time since the 1989 one-candidate plebiscite that granted Mr. Mubarak a fourth term, Mr. Bahgat planned to sit out the vote, he said. “Like most Egyptians, I guess that I am indifferent,” he said.
About a third of the electorate turned out in December 2012, to vote on the last charter, which passed by a ratio of about two to one. During the run-up to the vote, anti-Islamist politicians, judges, government officials and most of the privately owned news media attacked the draft of the charter for opening a door to potential religious restrictions on individual rights.
The new charter retains the main clause stipulating that the principles of Islamic law are the wellspring of Egyptian jurisprudence. But it removes a more controversial clause that sought to constrain the way judges interpret those principles, by defining them according to the broad schools of mainstream Sunni Muslim scholarship.
Many voting Tuesday said they sought mainly to be rid of the Brotherhood, which had failed to master the bureaucracy, revive the economy or calm the streets. With patriotic music blaring from military vehicles outside and helicopters flying low overhead, polling places had the feel of a kind of martial pageant.
“It is all for the love of our country and the love of Sisi!” said Nadia Sayed, 64, sitting with a group of female friends in Nasr City. “He will do everything good for our grandchildren,” she said, before the women broke into ululation and a pop song, “Bless the Hands,” celebrating the army and police for removing Mr. Morsi.
Al Jazeera says Islam believes in Creationism
Reply #168 on:
February 10, 2014, 08:48:27 PM »
Conversion through humiliation
Reply #169 on:
May 12, 2014, 10:31:04 AM »
Obama's Alliance with Boko Haram...
Reply #170 on:
May 13, 2014, 07:40:44 AM »
Obama has been entirely consistent in siding with violent Islamic groups since he took office. Here is just the latest example:
Obama’s Alliance with Boko Haram
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 13, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com
Leftist policy is the search for the root cause of evil. Everything from a street mugging to planes flying into the World Trade Center is reduced to a root cause of social injustice. Throw poverty, oppression and a bunch of NGO buzzwords into a pot and out come the suicide bombings, drug dealing and mass rapes.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, or a drug dealer with a record as long as his tattooed arm.
Obama and Hillary resisted doing anything about Boko Haram because they believed that its root cause was the oppression of Muslims by the Nigerian government. Across the bloody years of Boko Haram terror, the State Department matched empty condemnations of Boko Haram’s killing sprees with condemnations of the Nigerian authorities for violating Muslim rights.
Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton haven’t championed #BringBackOurGirls because it’s a hashtag in support of the kidnapped girls, but because it undermines the Nigerian government. They aren’t trying to help the kidnapped girls. They’re trying to bring down a government that hasn’t gone along with their agenda for appeasing Boko Haram and Nigerian Muslims.
The hashtag politics aren’t aimed at the terrorists. They’re aimed at helping the terrorists.
There’s a reason why the media and so many leftists have embraced the hashtag. #BringBackOurGirls isn’t a rescue. It denounces the Nigerian government for not having already gotten the job done even as the State Department stands ready to denounce any human rights violations during a rescue attempt.
Obama and Boko Haram want to bring down the Nigerian government and replace it with a leadership that is more amenable to appeasement. It’s the same thing that is happening in Israel and Egypt.
State Department officials responded to Boko Haram attacks over the years with the same litany of statistics about unemployment in the Muslim north and the 92 percent of children there who do not attend school. When Hillary Clinton was asked about the kidnappings by ABC News, she blamed Nigeria for not “ensuring that every child has the right and opportunity to go to school.”
Clinton acted as if she were unaware that Boko Haram opposes Muslim children going to school or that it would take the very same measures that her State Department has repeatedly opposed to make it possible for them to go to school. This is a familiar Catch 22 in which the authorities are blamed for not fixing the socioeconomic problems in terrorist regions that are impossible to fix without defeating the terrorists and blamed for violating the human rights of the terrorists when they try to defeat them.
The mainstream media has been more blatant about carrying Boko Haram’s bloody water. Their stories begin with the kidnapped schoolgirls and skip over to a sympathetic reading of history in which Boko Haram only took up arms after government brutality.
Two years ago the New York Times ran an op-ed titled, “In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the Problem.”
The op-ed contended that Boko Haram didn’t exist, that it was a peaceful splinter group and that the Nigerian army was worse than Boko Haram. Somehow these three claims were made on the same page. The editorial warned the US not to give the impression that it supports Nigeria’s Christian president or it would infuriate Muslims and suggested that Christians might really be behind the Muslim terror attacks.
Last year, Secretary of State John Kerry , after a pro forma condemnation of Boko Haram terror, warned, “We are also deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism.”
Kerry was blaming the victims of Boko Haram for the violence perpetrated against them and claiming that resistance to Boko Haram caused Boko Haram’s attacks.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, three of whose members had been appointed by Obama and one by Nancy Pelosi, issued a report blaming Nigeria for Boko Haram’s murderous Jihad.
The report’s findings claimed that the Nigerian government’s “violations of religious freedom” had led to “sectarian violence.” It echoed the propaganda of the Islamic terrorist group, stating that, “Boko Haram also justifies its attacks on churches by citing, among other things, state and federal government actions against Muslims.”
The report suggested that the Nigerian government was too focused on fighting Boko Haram and not focused enough on dealing with Christian violence against Muslims. “The Nigerian government’s failure to address chronic religion-related violence contrasts with its commitment to stop Boko Haram, which at times has resulted in the indiscriminate use of force against civilians and in human rights abuses.”
The solution was to scale back the fight against Boko Haram and appease Nigerian Muslims.
“In meetings with Nigerian officials, including Secretary Clinton’s meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in August 2012, the U.S. government consistently has urged the Nigerian government to expand its strategy against Boko Haram from solely a military solution to addressing problems of economic and political marginalization in the north, arguing that Boko Haram’s motivations are not religious but socio-economic,” the report stated.
“Additionally, senior U.S. officials frequently warn in private bilateral meetings and in public speeches that Nigerian security forces’ excessive use of force in response to Boko Haram is unacceptable and counterproductive.”
A year earlier, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns had proposed helping Nigeria develop “a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy” that includes “citizen engagement and dialogue.” This was really a proposal to export Obama’s failed appeasement strategy in Afghanistan that had cost over 1,600 American lives to Nigeria.
Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the schoolgirls is both convenient and inconvenient for Obama and the State Department. On the one hand it has brought negative attention to their stance on Boko Haram, but on the other hand it may end up toppling the Nigerian government and empowering Muslims. And they see a more flexible Nigerian government as the only means of coming to terms with Boko Haram.
This isn’t just their strategy for Nigeria. It’s their universal approach to Islamic terrorism. It’s why Kerry blamed Israel for the collapse of the peace talks with the PLO. It’s why Egypt is being pressured to free its Muslim Brotherhood detainees. And It’s why the United States is never allowed to defeat Al Qaeda.
Obama is trying to bring down governments that fight Islamic terrorism, whether in Egypt, Israel or Nigeria, and replace them with governments that appease terrorists. This shared goal creates an alliance, direct or indirect, open or covert, between Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama and the PLO and Obama and Boko Haram.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
That is a lot of virgins and servant girls!
Reply #171 on:
July 27, 2014, 06:09:41 PM »
but they may not be what you expect
Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 06:23:51 PM by Crafty_Dog
Howard Bloom has a good security plan I hope...
Reply #172 on:
August 01, 2014, 07:42:59 AM »
Reza Aslan on CNN
Reply #173 on:
October 04, 2014, 08:25:12 PM »
More than a little glibness herein, but some really interesting things to think about too. Is he right about FGM?
Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 09:28:10 AM by Crafty_Dog
Muslim leaders face a dilema
Reply #174 on:
December 03, 2014, 09:20:24 AM »
Muslim leaders face a dilemma
Can Muslim leaders condemn the terrorism of ISIS without endangering their own lives and the integrity of the Qur’an?
James Schall SJ | 2 December 2014
comment 1 | print |
Recently I saw a series of colored photos of the execution, beheading, crucifixion, or shooting in the head of numerous Christians in Iraq or Syria by members of the Islamic State. I have seldom seen anything so gruesome. It was so revolting that I had to stop looking at them. But that reaction was probably exactly what those photos were designed to accomplish. “These are the things that will happen to you soon enough” was the implied message. The Archbishop of Mosul warned pretty much the same thing of the West after he helplessly watched his people and church destroyed.
We are told that such “incidents” are works of “extremists” and “terrorists”, as if people do these things just for the sake of doing them. Yet, they have a clearly thought-out purpose, based on a known principle seen to be of the highest worth, in this sense, in the name of Allah. For many, the only way to cope with such realities is to deny their immediate possibility or even their fact.
The Wall Street Journal reported the following item: “Speaking to journalists during his return flight (from Turkey), the Pope said that Muslim leaders should issue a global condemnation of violence by Islamist extremists. But, he added, ‘no one can say that all followers of Islam are terrorists, any more than you can say that all Christians are fundamentalists.’”
Needless to say, that passage deserves attention.
First, it would indeed be very encouraging if Muslim leaders could gather to condemn their own “extremists,” if that is what they are. It is striking that the Bishop of Rome is the one to call such leaders to do what seems, to most people, to be their own obvious duty.
The question is, however: Can Muslim leaders (whoever might qualify as a Muslim “leader” in a religion with no central authority) really make this condemnation without endangering both their own lives and the integrity of the Qur’an itself? Many writers have pointed out that the relative silence of Muslim leaders before such scenes of persecution and terror is not primarily because they too are not sometimes horrified. The reason is theological. They know that the Qur’an does not condemn violence in the pursuit of its religion. It sometimes approves it; it sometimes disapproves it.
Further, Muslim leaders may not be much interested in dealing with outside calls for them to do what others see as their duty. “Muslims believe that Islam is the ultimate and definitive revealed religion,” Samir Khalid Samir SJ wrote. “They believe that the Qur’an includes true Judaism and authentic Christianity. Muslims are convinced that Jews and Christians falsified their own Scriptures. For Muslims who believe that they already have the full truth, there is very little to gain or to learn through inter-religious dialogue” (111 Questions on Islam, 213). The very notion of “dialoging with the Qur’an or subjecting it to scientific criticism is itself a form of blasphemy.
The Pope has, in any case, presented the Muslim leaders with a very curious dilemma. If they, as Muslims, condemn the “terrorists”, they risk violating the Qur’an’s specific wording. If they do not, they are held to be complicit in the atrocities. In either case they lose. So they avoid taking a principled stand on the basis of their own tradition. Muslim leaders also know that they are themselves targeted if they seem to criticize the Islamic State which claims to be the authentic understanding of Islam.
Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that Muslim leaders did “condemn” such violence. On what grounds would they do so? This question involves the integrity of the Qur’an, the bedrock of the religion. A Pakistani Christian couple was recently murdered for supposedly burning two of its pages. If the leaders condemned religiously motivated violence on the grounds of reason, however, that itself would imply the existence of some authority higher than the Qur’an. That would undermine all those many passages in the Qur’an that contradict each other and make the book seem incoherent. That concern is why Muslim philosophers devised a system that could maintain that both sides of a contradictory can be true. Generally, when one passage in the Qur’an is contradicted by another, the one later in time takes precedence. But both passages are retained.
The issue of the unity of the Qur’an has been resolved within Islam itself by what is in effect voluntarism, often known as the two-truth theory or Averroism. This position means that Allah is not bound by the principle of contradiction. That principle would presumably undermine his all-powerfulness. Thus, he is free to change the meaning of right and wrong, good and evil by his will. This position means that a condemnation by Muslim leaders of violence would threaten the integrity of the Jihadist tradition that constituted the basis of Muslim expansion in the first place. Basically, it means that the essence of God is not Logos, truth, but Voluntas, will.
The other side of Pope Francis’ comment is also worth reflection. He noted that not all people within a religion necessarily follow the tenets of the religion. Christians sin, too, he keeps telling us. Thus, not all followers of Islam are “terrorists”, but evidently some are with good conscience.
The question here is which group is more in tune with the Qur’an, those who reject violence or those who do not? And who decides? The so-called “terrorists” think they are following the Qur’an. They condemn as heretics those who do not engage in violence, especially at a time when it seems to them possible rapidly to expand Islam into a lethargic West. Again, no authority within Islam itself can resolve this dilemma. Therefore, both positions are valid.
Yet, to relate “terrorists” to Christian fundamentalists seems quite unusual. I suppose one could call the so-called “terrorists” to be “fundamentalists”, though often they are supported by the most sophisticated Islamic philosophers of modern times. But do any Christian fundamentalists advocate terror? Do not most of them believe about 95% of what the Pope himself believes? Are they not ecumenical brothers? Surely the Pope did not intend this implication that Christian fundamentalists were “terrorists” or anything like them. Not all fundamentalists are alike; it depends on what one is fundamental about.
On the other side, however, do not many peaceful Muslims sympathize with the “terrorists” when they succeed? Was there not widespread rejoicing in the Muslim world after 9/11? But the Pope’s point is well-taken. Why are Muslims themselves so reluctant to condemn the atrocities we are beginning to see if we would look at them? In this sense, the Pope might justly ask: “Why is there so little coverage of these atrocities, these persecutions in the rest of the world press and media? Part of it is because certain strands of modern thought have made “fundamentalism” the only public crime, because it is the major force that opposes its agenda on life and family issues. In this sense, fundamentalism, Catholicism, and Islam are all three seen as enemies of modern liberty, the liberty that, like all voluntarism, denies any order, either natural or supernatural, in human things.
This examination of will-based regimes, in fact, is the line of thought that Benedict XVI spelled out in his “Regensburg Lecture.” Islam, fundamentalism, and liberalism all need logos. What they too often have in common is voluntas. What we see being worked out in both the West and in Islam is what happens when voluntas reaches full power. The Western and Islamic versions seem to reach the same ends by different routes. Both Allah and the Leviathan claim the power to make what is wrong right, and what is right wrong. Once the mind is made up on such principles, there will be men who strive to put it into effect. This striving is what we see in both Islam and in the West. The voices that speak for Logos are rare. Implicitly, this silence about Logos is what the Pope was trying to reverse.
Rev. James V. Schall SJ taught political science at Georgetown University for many years. He is the author of numerous books.
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10 Ways the Mafia and Islam are Similar...
Reply #175 on:
December 09, 2014, 06:30:49 AM »
Ten Ways the Mafia and Islam Are Similar
Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On December 9, 2014
Note: The following article was published on PJ Media where it is supplemented with clips from various mafia-related movies like The Godfather to help demonstrate the ten similarities. Portions of this article were earlier serialized on FrontPage Magazine.
During a debate on HBO’s Real Time last October, host Bill Maher declared that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Maher was apparently referring to Islam’s “blasphemy” laws, which ban on pain of death any “insult”—as found in a statement, a picture, a book—to Islam and especially its prophet, Muhammad.
While Maher has been criticized for his “Islamophobic” assertion, he and others may be surprised to learn that the similarities between Islam and the mafia far exceed punishing those who say, draw, or write “the wrong thing.”
In what follows, we will examine a number of these similarities.
We will begin by looking at the relationship between Allah, his messenger Muhammad, and the Muslims, and note several parallels with the relationship between the godfather, his underboss, and the mafia.
Next, we will examine the clannish nature of the mafia and compare it to Islam’s tribalism, especially in the context of the Islamic doctrine “Loyalty and Enmity.” For example, in both Islam and the mafia, members who wish to break away, to “apostatize,” are killed.
We will consider how the mafia and Islam have both historically profited from the “protection” racket: Islam has demanded jizya from non-Muslims under its authority/territory and the mafia has demanded pizzo from people that fall under its jurisdiction.
Finally, we will consider what accounts for these many similarities between Islam and the mafia, including from an historical perspective.
1. Allah and Muhammad/Godfather and Underboss
The padrino of larger mafia organizations and families—literally, the “godfather” or “boss of bosses”—has absolute control over his subordinates and is often greatly feared by them for his ruthlessness. He has an “underboss,” a right-hand man who issues his orders and enforces his will. The godfather himself is often inaccessible; mafia members need to go through the underboss or other high ranking associates.
Compare this with the relationship between Allah and his “messenger” Muhammad (in Arabic, Muhammad is most commonly referred to as al-rasul, “the messenger”). Unlike the Judeo-Christian God—a personal God, a Father, that according to Christ is to be communed with directly (Matt 6:9)—Islam’s god, Allah, is unreachable, unknowable, untouchable. Like the godfather, he is inaccessible. His orders are revealed by his messenger, Muhammad.
If the Judeo-Christian God calls on the faithful to “come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), Allah says “Do not ask questions about things that, if made known to you, would only pain you” (Koran 5:101). Just follow orders.
2. A “Piece of the Action”
The godfather and his underboss always get a “piece of the action”—a “cut”—of all spoils acquired by their subordinates.
So do Allah and his messenger, Muhammad. Koran 8:41 informs Muslims that “one-fifth of all war-booty you acquire goes to Allah and the messenger” (followed by Muhammad’s family and finally the needy).
The godfather, through his underboss, regularly sends mafia men to make “hits”—to assassinate—those deemed enemies of the family.
So did Allah and his messenger. One example: A non-Muslim poet, Ka‘b ibn Ashraf, insulted Muhammad, prompting the latter to exclaim, “Who will kill this man who has hurt Allah and his messenger?” A young Muslim named Ibn Maslama volunteered on condition that to get close enough to assassinate Ka‘b he be allowed to lie to the poet.
Allah’s messenger agreed. Ibn Maslama traveled to Ka‘b and began to denigrate Islam and Muhammad until his disaffection became so convincing that the poet took him into his confidence. Soon thereafter, Ibn Maslama appeared with another Muslim and, while Ka‘b’s guard was down, slaughtered the poet, bringing his head to Muhammad to the usual triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar!”
4. Circumstance is Everything
While the mafia adheres to a general code of conduct, the godfather issues more fluid orders according to circumstances.
This is reminiscent of the entire “revelation” of the Koran, where later verses/commands contradict earlier verses/commands, depending on circumstances (known in Islamic jurisprudence as al-nāsikh wal-mansūkh, or the doctrine of abrogation).
Thus, whereas Allah supposedly told the prophet that “there is no compulsion in religion” (Koran 2:256), once the messenger grew strong enough, Allah issued new revelations calling for all-out war/jihad till Islam became supreme (Koran 8:39, 9:5, 9:29, etc.).
While other religions and scriptures may have contradictions, only Islam rationalizes them through abrogation—that is, by giving prominence to later verses which are seen as the “latest” decision of the deity.
5. Clan Loyalty
Loyalty is fundamental in the mafia. Following elaborate rituals of blood oaths, mafia members are expected to maintain absolute loyalty to the family, on pain of death.
Similarly, mafia members are expected always to be available for the family—“even if your wife is about to give birth,” as one of the mafia’s “ten commandments” puts it—and to defend the godfather and his honor, even if it costs their lives.
Compare this to the widespread violence and upheavals that occur whenever Allah or his prophet is offended—whenever non-Muslim “infidels” blaspheme them. Or, as Bill Maher put it: “Its’ the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Islam’s “Loyalty and Enmity” doctrine (al-wala’ wa’l bara’)—which calls on Muslims to be loyal to one another even if they dislike each other—is especially illustrative. Koran 9:71 declares that “The believing [Muslim] men and believing [Muslim] women are allies of one another” (see also 8:72-75). And according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him…. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor”—precisely those three things that mafia members respect among each other. This is why Muslims like U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, whose “worst nightmare” was to be deployed to fight fellow Muslims, often lash out.)
6. Death to Traitors
Once a fledging mafia member takes the oath of loyalty to the mafia—including the Omertà code of silence and secrecy—trying to leave the “family” is seen as a betrayal and punishable by death. Any family member, great or small, is given authority to kill the traitor, the “turncoat.”
Compare this to Islam. To be born to a Muslim father immediately makes the newborn a Muslim—there are no oaths to be taken, much less any choice in the matter. And, according to Islamic law, if born Muslims at any point in their lives choose to leave Islam, they are deemed “apostates”—traitors—and punished including by death. Any zealous Muslim, not just the authorities, is justified in killing the apostate (hence why Muslim families that kill apostate children are rarely if ever prosecuted).
In the words of Muhammad—the messenger (“underboss”) of Allah (“godfather”): “Whoever leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.”
7. Distrust and Dislike of “Outsiders”
Aside from loyalty to the family, mafia members are also expected not to befriend or freely associate with “outsiders”—who by nature are not to be trusted, as they are not of the “family”—unless such a “friendship” helps advance the family’s position.
Similarly, the second half of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity—the enmity (al-bara’)—calls on Muslims to maintain distance from and bear enmity for all non-Muslims, or “infidels.”
Thus Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them.” According to the mainstream Islamic exegesis of al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” that is, a defector, an apostate, an enemy.
Similar scriptures include Koran 4:89, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” Koran 60:1 declares, “O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?” And Koran 4:144 declares “O you who believe! Do not take the infidels as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah [“godfather”] a clear case against yourselves?”
8. Deception and Dissimulation
As mentioned, close relations to non-mafia individuals that prove advantageous to the family (for example, collaboration with a “crooked cop”) are permissible—as long as the mafia keeps a safe distance, keeps the outsider at arm’s length.
Compare this to Koran 3:28 which commands “believers not to take infidels for friends and allies instead of believers… unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.” According to the standard Koran commentary of Tabari, “taking precautions” means:
If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [but know that] Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.
After interpreting Koran 3:28 as meaning that Muslims may “protect” themselves “through outward show” when under non-Muslim authority, Ibn Kathir, perhaps Islam’s most celebrated exegete, quotes Islam’s prophet (“underboss”) saying: “Truly, we smile to the faces of some people, while our hearts curse them.”
Similarly, a few years ago, Sheikh Muhammad Hassan—a leading Salafi cleric in Egypt—asserted on live television that, while Muslims should never smile to the faces of non-Muslims, they should smile, however insincerely, if so doing helps empower Islam, especially in the context of da‘wa.
The idea of hating “outsiders” is apparently so ingrained in Islam that another leading Salafi cleric, Dr. Yasser al-Burhami, insists that, while Muslim men may marry Christian and Jewish women, they must hate them in their heart—and show them that they hate them in the hopes that they convert to the “family” of Islam.
(For more on the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity,” including references to the exegetical sources quoted above, see al-Qaeda leader Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s comprehensive treatise by that name in The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs. 63-115.)
9. “An Offer You Can’t Refuse”
Although the novel-turned-movie, The Godfather, is fictitious, it also captures much of the mafia’s modus operandi. Consider, for example, that most famous of lines—“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”—spoken by the Godfather to one of his “godsons,” an aspiring actor and singer. After being turned down by a studio director for a role that he desperately wanted, the godson turned to his Godfather for aid.
As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that the offer that can’t be refused consists of nothing less than violence and death threats: after the Godfather’s messenger to the director asking that the actor be given the role is again rejected, the director awakens the next morning to find the bloodied and decapitated head of his favorite stallion in bed with him. The godson subsequently gets the movie role.
Throughout the context of the entire Godfather trilogy (which captures well the mafia’s approach to business) making someone “an offer they can’t refuse” means “do as I say or suffer the consequences,” possibly death.
Compare this to Islam’s threefold choice. On Muhammad’s orders, whenever Muslims conquer a territory in the name of Islam, its non-Muslim inhabitants are given three choices: 1) convert to Islam (“join the family”), 2) keep your religious identity but pay tribute (jizya, see below) and live as an “outsider,” a subjugated dhimmi or 3) execution.
Throughout history, converting to Islam has been an “offer” that countless non-Muslims could not refuse. In fact, this “offer” is responsible for transforming much of the Middle East and North Africa, which were Christian-majority in the 7th century when the jihad burst forth from Arabia, into the “Muslim world.”
And this offer is still alive and well today. For example, several older and disabled Christians who were not able to join the exodus out of Islamic State controlled territories opted to convert to Islam rather than die.
Like the mafia, then, Islam’s offer to conquered non-Muslims (“outsiders”) is basically “join our ‘family,’ help us and we will help you; refuse and we hurt you.”
10. The “Protection” Racket
Once the mafia takes over a territory, one of the primary ways it profits is by collecting “protection money” from its inhabitants. While the protection racket has several aspects, one in particular is akin to an Islamic practice: coercing people in the mafia’s territory to pay money for “protection,” ostensibly against outside elements; in fact, the protection bought is from the mafia itself—that is, extortion money, or pizzo. Potential “clients” who refuse to pay for the mafia’s “protection” often have their property vandalized and are routinely threatened and harassed.
Compare the collection of pizzo with the Islamic concept of jizya: The word jizya appears in Koran 9:29: “Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (emphasis added).”
In the hadith, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad—in our analogy, the “underboss”—regularly calls on Muslims to demand jizya from non-Muslims: “If they refuse to accept Islam,” said the prophet, “demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay jizya, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”
The root meaning of the Arabic word “jizya” is simply to “repay” or “recompense,” basically to “compensate” for something. According to the Hans Wehr Dictionary, the standard Arabic-English dictionary, jizya is something that “takes the place” of something else, or “serves instead.”
Simply put, conquered non-Muslims were to purchase their lives, which were otherwise forfeit to their Muslim conquerors, with money. As one medieval jurist succinctly puts it, “their lives and their possessions are only protected by reason of payment of jizya” (Crucified Again, p. 22).
And to top it off, just as the mafia rationalizes its collection of “protection money” by portraying it as money that buys mafia protection against “outsiders”—when, as mentioned, the money/tribute serves only to protect the client from the mafia itself—so too do Islam’s apologists portray the collection of jizya as money meant to buy Muslim protection from outsiders, when in fact the money/jizya buys protection from Muslims themselves.
Conclusion: Mafia—What’s In a Word?
What accounts for all these similarities between Islam and the mafia? One clue is found in the fact that the very word “mafia,”which means “hostility to the law, boldness,” is derived from an Arabic word, mahya, which in translation means “bragging, boasting, bravado, and swaggering.”
This etymology is a reminder that Sicily, birthplace of the mafia, was under Arab/Islamic domination for over 200 years. Aside from a borrowed etymology, could some of the mafia’s modus operandi also have been borrowed from Islam? Isolated on their island, could native Sicilians have co-opted the techniques of social controls that they had lived under and learned from their former overlords—albeit without their Islamic veneer?
The mafia is not the only historical example of a non-Muslim criminal organization to be influenced by Islam. For example, the Thuggees — whence we get the word “thug” — were a brotherhood of allied bandits and assassins who waylaid and savagely murdered travelers in India, often by first feigning friendship. Although they were later associated with the Hindu cult of Kali, the original Thuggees were all Muslim. As late as the 19th century, a large number of Thuggees captured and convicted by the British were Muslim.
The similarities are clear: Along with assassinating his opponents, including, as seen, through treachery, Muhammad also personally engaged in banditry, ransacking the caravans of enemy tribes.
And if the words “mafia” and “thug” have Arabic/Islamic etymologies, the words “assassinate” and “assassin” are derived from a Medieval Islamic sect: the Hashashin, who pioneered the use of political assassination—with promises of a hedonistic paradise for the assassin who almost certainly died—in the name of Islam.
At any rate, when HBO personality Bill Maher recently proclaimed that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book,” he was barely touching on the similarities between the mafia and other criminal organizations, and Islam.
Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 06:32:59 AM by objectivist1
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
SA Grand Mufti: Child marriage OK because Mohammed did it.
Reply #176 on:
December 25, 2014, 07:27:41 PM »
Egypt's Al Sisi lets fly
Reply #177 on:
January 02, 2015, 02:01:18 PM »
Egypt’s President: Islamic ‘Thinking’ Is ‘Antagonizing the Entire World’
Jan. 2, 2015 12:01pm
Raymond Ibrahim is author of the new book Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (Regnery Publishing 2013). A Middle East and Islam specialist, he is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum. Ibrahim’s dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East—has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
Speaking before Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year’s Day, 2015, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam, made what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date on the subject.
Among other things, Sisi said that the “corpus of [Islamic] texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years” are “antagonizing the entire world”; that it is not “possible that 1.6 billion people [reference to the world’s Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live”; and that Egypt (or the Islamic world in its entirety) “is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”
The relevant excerpt from Sisi’s speech follows (translation by Michele Antaki):
I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma[Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!
That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!
Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!
I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.
All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it from the outside, to root it out and replace it with a more enlightened vision of the world.
I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.
Note: It is unclear if in the last instance of umma Sisi is referring to Egypt (“the nation”) or if he is using it in the classical sense as he did initially to refer to the entire Islamic world.
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #178 on:
January 05, 2015, 02:37:54 PM »
It would be nice if this caught on. More likely he will be killed bysomeone screaming Allah Akbar !
Bush Was 100% Right After 9/11...
Reply #179 on:
January 09, 2015, 07:41:09 AM »
Bush Was 100% Right After 9/11
Posted By David Horowitz On January 9, 2015
[David Horowitz’s new book, The Great Betrayal, was recently published by Regnery and is available at Frontpage.]
The Islamic terror attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo was carried out by Muslim criminals who were apparently trained in Yemen. Meanwhile, national security officials are warning of an imminent threat to Europe and the United States from jihadi soldiers who are returning from the wars in Syria and Iraq. According to the head of the FBI and other first responders there is no way to stop their re-entry because, after all, they have American passports. Nor is there any way to stop them in Syria and Iraq since Obama has surrendered both countries to our enemies. The Democratic mayor of New York — ground zero for the Islamic War — has even stopped the surveillance of jihadi mosques, the breeding grounds for domestic “lone wolves.” And with our southern border shredded by Obama and the Democrats it’s not going to be difficult even for foreign jihadis to get to their infidel targets. Of course, Obama doesn’t like the word “terror” to begin with, let alone “Islamic terror.” Thanks to him, the Islamic war against the United States is officially referred to as an “overseas contingency operation,” while domestic Islamic mayhem is filed under the category: “workplace violence.”
Fourteen years after 9/11 it is tragically clear that President Bush was right about the threat we faced and Democrats suicidally wrong. The 9/11 attacks were indeed a salvo in the war Islamists have declared on us but even now, fourteen years later, Democrats still want to regard such attacks as acts of individual criminality, and deal with them through the legal justice system, affording American rights to those who want to destroy American rights. Why, you may ask yourself, is the Boston Marathon bomber going to be tried in a criminal court of law, where he will be able to make propaganda for his cause underwritten by his victims? Because Democrats want it that way. It shows we’re superior to everybody else.
Nine days after 9/11 President Bush addressed both houses of Congress to outline his response to the terror attacks. This is what he said about states that harbor Islamic terrorists, like Yemen and Syria:
We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
When the president had completed his remarks, these were precisely the sentences that were singled out for attack by the political left. To progressives Bush was a tyrant in the making and they took his warning personally: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Unfortunately, even though Bush was not thinking of them in uttering these words, he might as well have been. When Bush decided to take on the terrorist-supporting, UN-defying regime of Saddam Hussein, Democrats went into full war mode against him, against the “war on terror” and against America’s mission to defeat the al-Qaeda armies that had assembled in Iraq. Their sabotage of the war went on for five years, making it impossible for Bush to take on the terror-supporting regimes in Syria, Iran and elsewhere.
The Obama regime is the product of this momentous Democratic defection from America’s purposes, from a robust defense of the American homeland, and from a militant response to the war that Islamists have declared on us. Why is there still a free flow of immigration from nations, like Yemen, that support or tolerate the Islamist armies ranged against us? Why isn’t our southern border secure? It is because the Obama regime, with support from Democrats in Congress, regards security measures against terror supporting states to be “Islamophobic,” and regards securing our southern border to be xenophobic. Why isn’t Obama embracing General Sisi and an Egyptian regime that has declared the Islamists to be enemies of the Islamic world? It is because Obama is committed to the Muslim Brotherhood – the fount of al-Qaeda – and against this same Egyptian regime.
Will the massacre in Paris — a repellent assault on free speech in the name of the “Prophet Mohammed” — wake up the Democrats and the Obama White House, and end their appeasement of Islamic terror? Unfortunately this is unlikely. Their leader is a lifetime, America-despising radical who has shown little appetite for changing course. It remains to be seen whether other Democrats will attribute their recent electoral drubbing to the weak-kneed security policies of the appeaser-in-chief, and find the voice to oppose him. But if they don’t, it is a safe bet that this country is in for some bloody consequences.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Wow! Al Sisi and woman reporter
Reply #180 on:
January 11, 2015, 10:19:41 AM »
I could be wrong but this seems rather huge to me (a more complete excerpt than what was previously posted) :
And this is pretty fg awesome too:
Reply #181 on:
January 11, 2015, 10:24:04 AM »
I think Sisi's speech is of course courageous and important - HOWEVER - Christians continue to be slaughtered in Egypt with impunity. The government there is doing NOTHING to stop this. Note also that Western media - particularly in the U.S. - with the exception of Fox News Channel - is NOT embracing Sisi's message. Words are worth exactly what they cost. ACTIONS are what matter - and I see no constructive action on the part of this administration, or European leaders - only empty words.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #182 on:
January 11, 2015, 12:38:28 PM »
With regard to Al Sisi, your question is right, but your facts incomplete-- probably due to a lack of coverage by the Pravdas. In point of fact Al Sisi has gone to, and spoken at, Coptic Christian services and spoken well.
Mutafa Akyol: Islam's problen with blasphemy
Reply #183 on:
January 14, 2015, 11:27:21 AM »
Islam’s Problem With Blasphemy
JAN. 13, 2015
WILL “moderate Muslims” finally “speak up” against their militant coreligionists? People around the world have asked (but, as in the past, have not all seriously examined) this question since last week’s horrific attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket in Paris.
In fact, Muslim statesmen, clerics and intellectuals have added their voices to condemnations of terror by leaders around the world. But they must undertake another essential task: Address and reinterpret Islam’s traditional take on “blasphemy,” or insult to the sacred.
The Paris terrorists were apparently fueled by the zeal to punish blasphemy, and fervor for the same cause has bred militancy in the name of Islam in various other incidents, ranging from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa against the writer Salman Rushdie in 1989 to the threats and protests against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
Mockery of Muhammad, actual or perceived, has been at the heart of nearly all of these controversies over blasphemy.
This might seem unremarkable at first, but there is something curious about it, for the Prophet Muhammad is not the only sacred figure in Islam. The Quran praises other prophets — such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus — and even tells Muslims to “make no distinction” between these messengers of God. Yet for some reason, Islamist extremists seem to obsess only about the Prophet Muhammad.
Even more curiously, mockery of God — what one would expect to see as the most outrageous blasphemy — seems to have escaped their attention as well. Satirical magazines such as Charlie Hebdo have run cartoons ridiculing God (in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim contexts), but they were targeted with violence only when they ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.
Of course, this is not to say extremists should threaten and harm cartoonists for more diverse theological reasons; obviously, they should not target them at all. But the exclusive focus on the Prophet Muhammad is worth pondering. One obvious explanation is that while God and the other prophets are also sacred for Judaism and Christianity, the Prophet Muhammad is sacred only for Muslims. In other words, the zeal comes not from merely respect for the sacred, but from militancy for what’s sacred to us — us being the community of Muslims. So the unique sensitivity around Muhammad seems to be a case of religious nationalism, with its focus on the earthly community — rather than of true faith, whose main focus should be the divine.
Still, this religious nationalism is guided by religious law — Shariah — that includes clauses about punishing blasphemy as a deadly sin. It is thus of vital importance that Muslim scholars courageously, even audaciously, address this issue today. They can begin by acknowledging that, while Shariah is rooted in the divine, the overwhelming majority of its injunctions are man-made, partly reflecting the values and needs of the seventh to 12th centuries — when no part of the world was liberal, and other religions, such as Christianity, also considered blasphemy a capital crime.
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Continue reading the main story
The only source in Islamic law that all Muslims accept indisputably is the Quran. And, conspicuously, the Quran decrees no earthly punishment for blasphemy — or for apostasy (abandonment or renunciation of the faith), a related concept. Nor, for that matter, does the Quran command stoning, female circumcision or a ban on fine arts. All these doctrinal innovations, as it were, were brought into the literature of Islam as medieval scholars interpreted it, according to the norms of their time and milieu.
Tellingly, severe punishments for blasphemy and apostasy appeared when increasingly despotic Muslim empires needed to find a religious justification to eliminate political opponents.
One of the earliest “blasphemers” in Islam was the pious scholar Ghaylan al-Dimashqi, who was executed in the 8th century by the Umayyad Empire. His main “heresy” was to insist that rulers did not have the right to regard their power as “a gift of God,” and that they had to be aware of their responsibility to the people.
Before all that politically motivated expansion and toughening of Shariah, though, the Quran told early Muslims, who routinely faced the mockery of their faith by pagans: “God has told you in the Book that when you hear God’s revelations disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them.”
Just “do not sit with them” — that is the response the Quran suggests for mockery. Not violence. Not even censorship.
Wise Muslim religious leaders from the entire world would do Islam a great favor if they preached and reiterated such a nonviolent and nonoppressive stance in the face of insults against Islam. That sort of instruction could also help their more intolerant coreligionists understand that rage is a sign of nothing but immaturity. The power of any faith comes not from its coercion of critics and dissenters. It comes from the moral integrity and the intellectual strength of its believers.
Mustafa Akyol is a contributing opinion writer and the author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty.”
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #184 on:
January 14, 2015, 11:30:35 AM »
We Need Another Giant Protest
JAN. 13, 2015
Thomas L. Friedman
President Obama was criticized for failing to attend, or send a proper surrogate to, the giant antiterrorism march in Paris on Sunday. That criticism was right. But it is typical of American politics today that we focus on this and not what would have really made the world feel the jihadist threat was finally being seriously confronted. And that would not be a march that our president helps to lead, but one in which he’s not involved at all. That would be a million-person march against the jihadists across the Arab-Muslim world, organized by Arabs and Muslims for Arabs and Muslims, without anyone in the West asking for it — not just because of what happened in Paris but because of the scores of Muslims recently murdered by jihadists in Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Syria.
Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, one of the most respected Arab journalists, wrote Monday in his column in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: “Protests against the recent terrorist attacks in France should have been held in Muslim capitals, rather than Paris, because, in this case, it is Muslims who are involved in this crisis and stand accused. ... The story of extremism begins in Muslim societies, and it is with their support and silence that extremism has grown into terrorism that is harming people. It is of no value that the French people, who are the victims here, take to the streets. ... What is required here is for Muslim communities to disown the Paris crime and Islamic extremism in general.” (Translation by Memri.org.)
The truth is there is a huge amount of ambivalence toward this whole jihadist phenomenon — more than any of us would like to believe — in the Arab-Muslim world, Europe and America. This ambivalence starts in the Muslim community, where there is a deep cleavage over what constitutes authentic Islam today. We fool ourselves when we tell Muslims what “real Islam” is. Because Islam has no Vatican, no single source of religious authority, there are many Islams today. The puritanical Wahhabi/Salafi/jihadist strain is one of them, and its support is not insignificant.
Ambivalence runs through Europe today on the question of what a country should demand of new Muslim immigrants by way of adopting its values. Is Stratfor’s George Friedman right when he argues that Europeans adopted multiculturalism precisely because they didn’t really want to absorb their Muslim immigrants, and many of those Muslim immigrants, who went to Europe to find a job, not a new identity, didn’t want to be absorbed? If so, that spells trouble.
Ambivalence runs through Washington’s ties with Saudi Arabia. Ever since jihadists took over Islam’s holiest shrine in Mecca in 1979, proclaiming that Saudi Arabia’s rulers were not pious enough, Saudi Arabia has redoubled its commitment to Wahhabi or Salafist Islam — the most puritanical, anti-pluralistic and anti-women version of that faith. This Saudi right turn — combined with oil revenues used to build Wahhabi-inspired mosques, websites and madrassas across the Muslim world — has tilted the entire Sunni community to the right. Look at a picture of female graduates of Cairo University in 1950. Few are wearing veils. Look at them today. Many are wearing veils. The open, soft, embracing Islam that defined Egypt for centuries — pray five times a day but wash it down with a beer at night — has been hardened by this Wahhabi wind from Arabia.
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But U.S. presidents never confront Saudi Arabia about this because of our oil addiction. As I’ve said, addicts never tell the truth to their pushers. The Saudi government opposes the jihadists. Unfortunately, though, it’s a very short step from Wahhabi Islam to the violent jihadism practiced by the Islamic State, or ISIS. The French terrorists were born in France but were marinated in Wahhabi-Salafi thought through the web and local mosques — not Voltaire.
Also, the other civil war in Islam — between Sunnis and Shiites — has led many mainstream Sunni charities, mosques and regimes to support jihadist groups because they’re ferocious fighters against Shiites. Finally — yet more ambivalence — for 60 years there was a tacit alliance between Arab dictators and their Sunni religious clergy. The regimes funded these uninspired Muslim clerics, and these clergy blessed the uninspired dictators — and both stifled the emergence of any authentic, inspired, reformist Islam that could take on Wahhabism-Salafism, even though many Muslims wanted it. An authentic reformation requires a free space in the Arab-Muslim world.
“Muslims need to ‘upgrade their software,’ which is programmed mainly by our schools, television and mosques — especially small mosques that trade in what is forbidden,” Egyptian intellectual Mamoun Fandy wrote in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. (Also translated by Memri.org.) “There is no choice but to dismantle this system and rebuild it in a way that is compatible with human culture and values.”
In short, jihadist zeal is easy to condemn, but will require multiple revolutions to stem — revolutions that will require a lot of people in the Arab-Muslim world and West to shed their ambivalence and stop playing double games.
ISLAM attacked Charlie Hebdo - not "Islamism"
Reply #185 on:
January 15, 2015, 08:41:42 AM »
Charlie Hebdo was Attacked by Islam, Not Islamism
Posted By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby On January 15, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical magazine with a strong record of satirizing many religious figures, and for years Islam’s prophet Muhammad has been included among the subjects of the satirical cartoons. For the folks working there, death threats from people claiming to be Muslims were not unusual, and a firebomb destroyed its old offices in November 2011, the day after the magazine had announced that it had selected Muhammad as its editor-in-chief.
On January 7, 2015 two gunmen, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, went into the magazine’s offices and gunned down eleven people, including a police officer. The gunmen then killed another police officer outside the offices. It seemed that within minutes of the massacre, pundits and members of the media went into overdrive trying to keep Islam out of the picture; we were assured that the “religion of peace” had nothing to do with this. This was in spite of the facts that the two gunmen were Muslims yelling Allahu Akbar, and were heard shouting in French, “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad.”
The disturbing reality is that Islam had everything to do with it. Satirizing and drawing pictures of Muhammad goes against 33:57 of the Koran, which states that those who “annoy” Muhammad would be cursed by Allah:
Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment.
The authoritative Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir explained this verse:
Here, Allah warns and threatens those who annoy Him by going against His commands and doing that which He has forbidden, and who persist in doing so, and those who annoy His Messenger by accusing him of having faults or shortcomings – Allah forbid. ‘Ikrimah said that the Ayah [verse]: Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, was revealed concerning those who make pictures or images [my emphasis]…The Ayah appears to be general in meaning and to apply to all those who annoy him [Muhammad] in any way, because whoever annoys him annoys Allah, just as whoever obeys him obeys Allah.
So the satirical cartoons were not only “annoying” Muhammad, they were also “annoying” Allah. This was sheer blasphemy. What were the two brothers to do?
Said and Cherif apparently looked to the teachings and examples of Muhammad. Muhammad had personally ordered the killing of four specific individuals whose only crime was that they had criticized him and/or Islam (‘Asma’ Bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, and Abu Rafi’). And Muhammad had even given retroactive approval to the separate killings by Muslims of three individuals who had criticized him and/or Islam. That the brothers had learned from Muhammad’s example was shown in Cherif’s January 9th statement to Igor Sahiri, a journalist for France’s BFMTV:
We defend the prophet. If someone offends the prophet then there is no problem, we can kill him.
So the Muslim brothers were simply following the commands of Allah in the Koran, and the teachings and examples of Muhammad when they committed the massacre.
Some have claimed that Islam had nothing to do with the massacre because the gunmen also killed two Muslims. The first was Moustapha Ourrad, a copy editor for the magazine. However, Ourrad’s involvement in satirizing and creating pictures of Muhammad meant that he was going against the commands of Allah and the teachings of Muhammad; Ourrad had therefore left Islam and was an apostate. Islamic doctrine commands that apostates be killed. And this is even assuming the gunmen knew Ourrad was a Muslim, for which there is no evidence. The second Muslim killed by the gunmen was a police officer named Ahmed Merabet. He was executed outside the office building. However, there is no evidence that he had identified himself as a Muslim to the gunmen. So the claim that the gunmen knowingly shot two Muslims is baseless.
The Islamic teachings about being killed as a martyr and being rewarded in paradise for doing so were influential on the two gunmen. On January 9th, after they were surrounded by French security forces, the brothers reportedly said they wanted “to die as martyrs.” In fact, a few years earlier, in December 2007, Cherif had stated in a court deposition that
“the wise leaders in Islam told him and his friends that if they die as martyrs in jihad they would go to heaven” and “that martyrs would be greeted by more than 60 virgins in a big palace in heaven.”
These “wise leaders in Islam” had it right. Islamic doctrine teaches that the only guaranteed way for a Muslim to get into paradise is to die as a martyr fighting in the cause of Allah (jihad); this is based on 9:111 of the Koran:
Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be Paradise. They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed…
But Cherif potentially shortchanged himself in the number of virgins, because Muhammad had promised 72 virgins to the Muslim who died fighting in Allah’s Cause:
Al-Miqdam bin Ma’diykarib narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr: He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy-two wives among Al-Huril-’Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives.”
The massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices was not committed by Islamists following a belief system called Islamism; the massacre was carried out by two Muslim brothers who were following the teachings and examples of Muhammad, and the commands of Allah found in the Koran. Islam killed Charlie Hebdo and avenged Muhammad.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #186 on:
January 15, 2015, 09:16:14 AM »
"The disturbing reality is that Islam had everything to do with it. Satirizing and drawing pictures of Muhammad goes against 33:57 of the Koran"
I wonder what would happen if a terrorist event occurred on campus at Duke University. I suppose the response would be a sit in with the Pepsi generation song playing to Islamic prayers.
religion of peace update
Reply #187 on:
January 19, 2015, 08:52:40 PM »
I bet the vast majority of peaceful Muslims are going to shut this down as soon as they find out!
Yup, any time now.....
"No-Go" Zones Looming for America...
Reply #188 on:
January 24, 2015, 08:04:36 AM »
Excellent article citing several experts on the subject:
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #189 on:
January 24, 2015, 09:30:49 AM »
One could only imagine the left's reaction to this:
****Geller argued “there is no reliable way to tell a jihadist or jihadi sympathizer from a ‘moderate.’”
She called on Muslim groups in the U.S. “to renounce the aspects of Islam that contradict constitutional freedoms, or face sedition charges if they try to advance those elements.”****
Remember when it was required to pledge allegiance to the flag?
Didn't Obama just blame the EUROPEANS for not assimilating Muslims more?
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #190 on:
February 27, 2015, 02:58:32 PM »
Hirsi Ali: Why Islam needs a reformation
Reply #191 on:
March 21, 2015, 10:51:12 PM »
Why Islam Needs a Reformation
To defeat the extremists for good, Muslims must reject those aspects of their tradition that prompt some believers to resort to oppression and holy war
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Updated March 20, 2015 10:00 a.m. ET
“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.
Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.
When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.
It is not just al Qaeda and Islamic State that show the violent face of Islamic faith and practice. It is Pakistan, where any statement critical of the Prophet or Islam is labeled as blasphemy and punishable by death. It is Saudi Arabia, where churches and synagogues are outlawed and where beheadings are a legitimate form of punishment. It is Iran, where stoning is an acceptable punishment and homosexuals are hanged for their “crime.”
As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts. It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been “hijacked” by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.
Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland clichés about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.
As it turns out, the West has some experience with this sort of reformist project. It is precisely what took place in Judaism and Christianity over the centuries, as both traditions gradually consigned the violent passages of their own sacred texts to the past. Many parts of the Bible and the Talmud reflect patriarchal norms, and both also contain many stories of harsh human and divine retribution. As President Barack Obama said in remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast last month, “Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
Yet today, because their faiths went through a long, meaningful process of Reformation and Enlightenment, the vast majority of Jews and Christians have come to dismiss religious scripture that urges intolerance or violence. There are literalist fringes in both religions, but they are true fringes. Regrettably, in Islam, it is the other way around: It is those seeking religious reform who are the fringe element.
Any serious discussion of Islam must begin with its core creed, which is based on the Quran (the words said to have been revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad) and the hadith (the accompanying works that detail Muhammad’s life and words). Despite some sectarian differences, this creed unites all Muslims. All, without exception, know by heart these words: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; and Muhammad is His messenger.” This is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.
The Shahada might seem to be a declaration of belief no different from any other. But the reality is that the Shahada is both a religious and a political symbol.
In the early days of Islam, when Muhammad was going from door to door in Mecca trying to persuade the polytheists to abandon their idols of worship, he was inviting them to accept that there was no god but Allah and that he was Allah’s messenger.
After 10 years of trying this kind of persuasion, however, he and his small band of believers went to Medina, and from that moment, Muhammad’s mission took on a political dimension. Unbelievers were still invited to submit to Allah, but after Medina, they were attacked if they refused. If defeated, they were given the option to convert or to die. (Jews and Christians could retain their faith if they submitted to paying a special tax.)
No symbol represents the soul of Islam more than the Shahada. But today there is a contest within Islam for the ownership of that symbol. Who owns the Shahada? Is it those Muslims who want to emphasize Muhammad’s years in Mecca or those who are inspired by his conquests after Medina? On this basis, I believe that we can distinguish three different groups of Muslims.
The first group is the most problematic. These are the fundamentalists who, when they say the Shahada, mean: “We must live by the strict letter of our creed.” They envision a regime based on Shariah, Islamic religious law. They argue for an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version. What is more, they take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else.
I shall call them Medina Muslims, in that they see the forcible imposition of Shariah as their religious duty. They aim not just to obey Muhammad’s teaching but also to emulate his warlike conduct after his move to Medina. Even if they do not themselves engage in violence, they do not hesitate to condone it.
It is Medina Muslims who call Jews and Christians “pigs and monkeys.” It is Medina Muslims who prescribe death for the crime of apostasy, death by stoning for adultery and hanging for homosexuality. It is Medina Muslims who put women in burqas and beat them if they leave their homes alone or if they are improperly veiled.
The second group—and the clear majority throughout the Muslim world—consists of Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence. I call them Mecca Muslims. Like devout Christians or Jews who attend religious services every day and abide by religious rules in what they eat and wear, Mecca Muslims focus on religious observance. I was born in Somalia and raised as a Mecca Muslim. So were the majority of Muslims from Casablanca to Jakarta.
Yet the Mecca Muslims have a problem: Their religious beliefs exist in an uneasy tension with modernity—the complex of economic, cultural and political innovations that not only reshaped the Western world but also dramatically transformed the developing world as the West exported it. The rational, secular and individualistic values of modernity are fundamentally corrosive of traditional societies, especially hierarchies based on gender, age and inherited status.
Trapped between two worlds of belief and experience, these Muslims are engaged in a daily struggle to adhere to Islam in the context of a society that challenges their values and beliefs at every turn. Many are able to resolve this tension only by withdrawing into self-enclosed (and increasingly self-governing) enclaves. This is called cocooning, a practice whereby Muslim immigrants attempt to wall off outside influences, permitting only an Islamic education for their children and disengaging from the wider non-Muslim community.
It is my hope to engage this second group of Muslims—those closer to Mecca than to Medina—in a dialogue about the meaning and practice of their faith. I recognize that these Muslims are not likely to heed a call for doctrinal reformation from someone they regard as an apostate and infidel. But they may reconsider if I can persuade them to think of me not as an apostate but as a heretic: one of a growing number of people born into Islam who have sought to think critically about the faith we were raised in. It is with this third group—only a few of whom have left Islam altogether—that I would now identify myself.
These are the Muslim dissidents. A few of us have been forced by experience to conclude that we could not continue to be believers; yet we remain deeply engaged in the debate about Islam’s future. The majority of dissidents are reforming believers—among them clerics who have come to realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.
How many Muslims belong to each group? Ed Husain of the Council on Foreign Relations estimates that only 3% of the world’s Muslims understand Islam in the militant terms I associate with Muhammad’s time in Medina. But out of well over 1.6 billion believers, or 23% of the globe’s population, that 48 million seems to be more than enough. (I would put the number significantly higher, based on survey data on attitudes toward Shariah in Muslim countries.)
In any case, regardless of the numbers, it is the Medina Muslims who have captured the world’s attention on the airwaves, over social media, in far too many mosques and, of course, on the battlefield.
The Medina Muslims pose a threat not just to non-Muslims. They also undermine the position of those Mecca Muslims attempting to lead a quiet life in their cultural cocoons throughout the Western world. But those under the greatest threat are the dissidents and reformers within Islam, who face ostracism and rejection, who must brave all manner of insults, who must deal with the death threats—or face death itself.
For the world at large, the only viable strategy for containing the threat posed by the Medina Muslims is to side with the dissidents and reformers and to help them to do two things: first, identify and repudiate those parts of Muhammad’s legacy that summon Muslims to intolerance and war, and second, persuade the great majority of believers—the Mecca Muslims—to accept this change.
Islam is at a crossroads. Muslims need to make a conscious decision to confront, debate and ultimately reject the violent elements within their religion. To some extent—not least because of widespread revulsion at the atrocities of Islamic State, al Qaeda and the rest—this process has already begun. But it needs leadership from the dissidents, and they in turn stand no chance without support from the West.
What needs to happen for us to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have been proposed and some of them deployed. But I believe that these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed.
Such a reformation has been called for repeatedly at least since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent abolition of the caliphate. But I would like to specify precisely what needs to be reformed.
I have identified five precepts central to Islam that have made it resistant to historical change and adaptation. Only when the harmfulness of these ideas are recognized and they are repudiated will a true Muslim Reformation have been achieved.
Here are the five areas that require amendment:
1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.
Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a premodern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. And although Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.
2. The supremacy of life after death.
The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.
3. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.
Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.
4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.
There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.
5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.
Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.
I know that this argument will make many Muslims uncomfortable. Some are bound to be offended by my proposed amendments. Others will contend that I am not qualified to discuss these complex issues of theology and law. I am also afraid—genuinely afraid—that it will make a few Muslims even more eager to silence me.
But this is not a work of theology. It is more in the nature of a public intervention in the debate about the future of Islam. The biggest obstacle to change within the Muslim world is precisely its suppression of the sort of critical thinking I am attempting here. If my proposal for reform helps to spark a serious discussion of these issues among Muslims themselves, I will consider it a success.
Let me make two things clear. I do not seek to inspire another war on terror or extremism—violence in the name of Islam cannot be ended by military means alone. Nor am I any sort of “Islamophobe.” At various times, I myself have been all three kinds of Muslim: a fundamentalist, a cocooned believer and a dissident. My journey has gone from Mecca to Medina to Manhattan.
For me, there seemed no way to reconcile my faith with the freedoms I came to the West to embrace. I left the faith, despite the threat of the death penalty prescribed by Shariah for apostates. Future generations of Muslims deserve better, safer options. Muslims should be able to welcome modernity, not be forced to wall themselves off, or live in a state of cognitive dissonance, or lash out in violent rejection.
But it is not only Muslims who would benefit from a reformation of Islam. We in the West have an enormous stake in how the struggle over Islam plays out. We cannot remain on the sidelines, as though the outcome has nothing to do with us. For if the Medina Muslims win and the hope for a Muslim Reformation dies, the rest of the world too will pay an enormous price—not only in blood spilled but also in freedom lost.
This essay is adapted from Ms. Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” to be published Tuesday by HarperCollins (which, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp). Her previous books include “Infidel” and “Nomad: From Islam to America, A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.”
Al Sisi of Egypt
Reply #192 on:
March 21, 2015, 10:58:45 PM »
Islam’s Improbable Reformer
‘We are keen on a strategic relationship with the U.S. above everything else,’ says Egypt’s new president. ‘And we will never turn our backs on you—even if you turn your backs on us.’
Photo: Zina Saunders
March 20, 2015 6:17 p.m. ET
When then-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi appointed a little-known general named Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to be his new defense minister in August 2012, rumors swirled that the officer was chosen for his sympathy with the teachings of Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. One telltale sign, people said, was the zabiba on the general’s forehead—the darkened patch of skin that is the result of frequent and fervent prayer.
A pious Muslim must surely also be a political Islamist—or so Mr. Morsi apparently assumed. But the general would soon give the world a lesson in the difference between religious devotion and radicalism.
“There are misconceptions and misperceptions about the real Islam,” now-President Sisi tells me during a two-hour interview in his ornate, century-old presidential palace in Heliopolis. “Religion is guarded by its spirit, by its core, not by human beings. Human beings only take the core and deviate it to the right or left.”
Does he mean to say, I ask, that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are bad Muslims? “It’s the ideology, the ideas,” he replies.
“The real Islamic religion grants absolute freedom for the whole people to believe or not believe. Never does Islam dictate to kill others because they do not believe in Islam. Never does it dictate that [Muslims] have the right to dictate [their beliefs] to the whole world. Never does Islam say that only Muslims will go to paradise and others go to hell.”
Jabbing his right finger in the air for emphasis, he adds: “We are not gods on earth, and we do not have this right to act in the name of Allah.”
When Mr. Sisi took power in July 2013, following street protests against Mr. Morsi by an estimated 30 million Egyptians, it wasn’t obvious that he would emerge as perhaps the world’s most significant advocate for Islamic moderation and reform. His personal piety aside, Mr. Sisi seemed to be a typical Egyptian military figure. Unflattering comparisons were made to Hosni Mubarak, a former air force general and Egypt’s president-for-life until his downfall in 2011.
The similarities are misleading. Mr. Mubarak came of age in the ideological anti-colonialist days of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, trained in the Soviet Union, and led the air campaign against Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Anwar Sadat elevated him to the vice presidency in 1975 as a colorless second-fiddle, his very lack of imagination being an asset to Sadat. He became president only due to Sadat’s assassination six years later.
Mr. Sisi, now 60, came of age in a very different era. When he graduated from the Military Academy, in 1977, Egypt was a close American ally on the cusp of making peace with Israel. Rather than being packed off to Russia, he headed for military training in Texas and later the infantry course at Fort Benning, Ga. He returned for another extended stay in the U.S. in 2005 at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
Recalling the two visits, he notes the difference. “The U.S. had been a community that had been living in peace and security. Before 9/11, even the military bases were open. There was almost no difference between civilian life and life on a military base. By 2005, I could feel the tightening.”
The remark is intended to underscore to a visiting American journalist his deep sympathy with and admiration for the U.S. He also goes out of his way to stress that he has no intention of altering the pro-American tilt of Egyptian foreign policy, despite suggestions that he is flirting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin for potential arms purchases and the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.
“A country like Egypt will never be mischievous with bilateral relations” with America, he insists. “We will never act foolishly.” When I ask about the delivery of F-16 fighters to Egypt—suspended by the U.S. after Mr. Morsi’s overthrow, and now pending a decision by President Obama—he all-but dismisses the matter.
“You can never reduce our relations with the U.S. to matters of weapons systems. We are keen on a strategic relationship with the U.S. above everything else. And we will never turn our backs on you—even if you turn your backs on us.”
There is also a deeper purpose to Mr. Sisi’s pro-American entreaties and his comments on 9/11: He wants to remind his critics of the trade-off every country strikes between security and civil liberties.
It’s a point he returns to when I note the anger and disappointment that so many Egyptian liberals—many of whom had backed him in 2013—now feel. New laws that tightly restrict street protests recall the Mubarak era. Last June several Al Jazeera journalists, including Australian reporter Peter Greste, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on dubious charges of reporting that was “damaging to national security,” though they have since been released. The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned, Mr. Morsi is in prison and on trial, and Egyptian courts have passed death sentences on hundreds of alleged Islamists, albeit mostly in absentia.
“My message to liberals is that I am very keen to meet their expectations,” Mr. Sisi rejoins. “But the situation in Egypt is overwhelmed.” He laments the Al Jazeera arrests, noting that the incident damaged Egypt’s reputation even as thousands of international correspondents “are working very freely in this country.”
Later, while addressing a question about the Egyptian economy, he offers a franker assessment. “In the last four years our internal debt doubled to $300 billion. Do not separate my answer to the question regarding disappointed liberals. Their country needs to survive. We don’t have the luxury to fight and feud and take all our time discussing issues like that. A country needs security and order for its mere existence. If the world can provide support I will let people demonstrate in the streets day and night.”
Sensing my skepticism, he adds: “You can’t imagine that as an American. You are speaking the language of a country that is at the top of progress: cultural, financial, political, civilizational—it’s all there in the U.S.” But if American standards were imposed on Egypt, he adds, it would do his country no favors.
“I talk about U.S. values of democracy and freedom. They should be honored. But they need the atmosphere where those values can be nurtured. If we can bring prosperity we can safeguard those values not just in words.”
All of this seems in keeping with Mr. Sisi’s military upbringing and reminds me of Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani general turned president. But the comparison is fundamentally inapt. Under Mr. Musharraf, Pakistan continued to make opportunistic deals with terrorists while giving safe harbor to leaders of the Afghan Taliban.
By contrast, it’s impossible to doubt the seriousness of Mr. Sisi’s opposition to Islamic extremism, or his aversion to exporting instability. In late February he ordered the bombing of Islamic State targets in neighboring Libya after ISIS decapitated 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Egypt’s security cooperation with Israel has never been closer, and Mr. Sisi has moved aggressively to close the tunnels beneath Egypt’s border with Gaza, through which Hamas has obtained its weapons.
Later this month, Mr. Sisi will host an Arab League summit, the centerpiece of which will be a joint Arab antiterrorism task force. He says he won’t put Egyptian boots on the ground to fight ISIS in Iraq, which he says is a job for Iraqis with U.S. help. And he takes care to avoid mentioning Iran’s regional ambitions or saying anything critical of its nuclear negotiations, which he says he supports while adding that “I understand the concern of the Israelis.”
But he does say the new force is needed “to preserve what is left” of the stable Arab world. In particular, he stresses that “there shouldn’t be any arrangements at the expense of the Gulf states. The security of the Gulf states is indispensable for the security of Egypt.”
He also decries the Western habit of intervening militarily and then failing to take account of the consequences. “Look, NATO had a mission in Libya and its mission was not accomplished,” he says. The U.N. continues to impose an arms embargo on Libya that adversely affects the legitimate, non-Islamist government based in Tobruk while “armed militias obtain an unstoppable flow of arms and munitions.”
“I wasn’t with the Gadhafi regime,” he says, “but there is a difference between taking an action and being aware of what that action will bring about. The risks of extremism and terrorism weren’t clear in the minds of the U.S. and Europe. It is really dangerous if countries lose control because extremists will cause them problems beyond their imagination.” The same lesson, he emphasizes, applies to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
But Mr. Sisi is not a dogmatic critic of muscular U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Pondering the prospect of a broad U.S. retreat from the region, Mr. Sisi sounds like the most enthusiastic proponent of Pax Americana.
“The United States has the strength, and with might comes responsibility,” he says. “That is why it is committed and has responsibilities toward the whole world. It is not reasonable or acceptable that with all that might the United States will not be committed and have responsibilities toward the Middle East. The Middle East is passing through the most difficult and critical time and this will only entail more involvement, not less.”
Meantime, Mr. Sisi sees it as his personal mission to save Egypt, even as he insists he has no intention of becoming another president-for-life. When I ask him to name Mr. Mubarak’s biggest mistake, he says simply: “He stayed in power for a long time.”
A day before our interview, I watched him close an investment conference in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he celebrated General Electric’s decision to invest to ease Egypt’s chronic power outages. He describes his economic philosophy as “the need to encourage the business community to come here and invest.” He constantly stresses the imperative of acting swiftly: “The magnitude of the effort needed to secure the needs of 90 million people is huge and beyond any one man’s effort.”
He’s also aware that the most important work will take time. In January Mr. Sisi went before the religious clerics of Cairo’s Al-Azhar university to demand a “revolution” in Islam. The follow-through won’t be easy. “The most difficult thing to do is change a religious rhetoric and bring a shift in how people are used to their religion,” he says. “Don’t imagine the results will be seen in a few months or years. Radical misconceptions [about Islam] were instilled 100 years ago. Now we can see the results.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t think it’s doable. “Popular sympathy with the idea of religion was dominating the whole scene in Egypt for years in the past. This does not exist anymore. This is a change I consider strategic. Because what brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power was Egyptian sympathy with the concept of religion. Egyptians believed that the Muslim Brothers were advocates of the real Islam. The past three years have been a critical test to those people who were promoting religious ideas. Egyptians experienced it totally and said these people do not deserve sympathy and we will not allow it.”
Throughout our interview, Mr. Sisi has been speaking in Arabic through an interpreter. But after delivering this point, he said in colloquial American English, “You got that?”
Mr. Stephens writes the Journal’s “Global View” column.
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Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 11:04:40 PM by Crafty_Dog
Nonie Darwish (raised Muslim in Gaza) on the nature of Islam
Reply #193 on:
April 15, 2015, 06:20:04 AM »
Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
Reply #194 on:
April 19, 2015, 09:27:10 AM »
From Islam's greatest general who fought with Mohammed. Indeed he was so revered he was asked to resign because it was felt he was overshadowing Allah. It is estimated he fought over 100 battles and skirmishes never losing even one. He used tactics that remind one of Hannibal's, but were thought of independently. It is harder to fight an enemy that truly believes this statement he made to his Persian adversaries:
****Submit to Islam and be safe. Or agree to the payment of the Jizya(tax), and you and your people will be under our protection, else you will have only yourself to blame for the consequences, for I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life.
—Khalid ibn Walid****
I don't know how many Muslims believe this today but certainly enough do as we witness one suicide bombing after another.
More on one of history's most brilliant generals who would also fight duels with opponent leaders and win them all:
He would have been a formidable stick fighter.
Robert Spencer on Hillary Clinton...
Reply #195 on:
April 19, 2015, 07:46:09 PM »
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
The Programmed Savagery of ISIS
Reply #196 on:
May 01, 2015, 11:33:45 AM »
The programmed savagery of ISIS
The leaders of Islamic State have spent decades developing a theory of terror.
Richard Rousseau | May 1 2015
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What is Islamic State’s (IS) political program? What is its ideology? Who are its theoreticians? The answers to these questions can be found in its propaganda.
IS has transformed from an ultra-minority party into one of the major political actors in the Middle East within a few months. It is tempting to explain this rapid evolution by the existence of a combination of favourable circumstances. Chief among these is the prolonged weakness of the Syrian and Iraqi governments, an obvious enabling factor for IS.
However, another major cause is less well known but equally decisive: the internal development of the organisation, which has been able to learn from the past failures of other jihadist movements and refine and sharpen its strategy.
Learning from many years of jihadist setbacks
The jihadists of IS are no small players. They follow a battle plan developed over many years by seasoned and experienced theoreticians. The British-American journalist Peter Bergen, who met the most famous of these, the Syrian Abu Musab al-Suri, in the 1990s, was highly impressed by him.
“He was tough and very smart,” the reporter recalls in an article published in the French daily Le Monde in April 2013. Bergen saw in al-Suri a real intellectual, well versed in history, who was very serious about his objectives. He was even more impressed by him than by Osama bin Laden.
Abu Musab al-Suri knows what he is talking about when it comes to armed struggle. His experience dates back to the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Hama, Syria, and its bloody suppression in February 1982 by the troops of Hafez al-Assad, the father of President Bashar al-Assad.
Musab al-Suri, who was among these rebels, has spent the ensuing years writing a series of articles on the uprising’s strategic aspects. These articles focus on the major errors committed by the insurgents. These include a list of 17 “bitter lessons” for future jihadists.
Al-Suri says that the Muslim Brotherhood’s main mistake was not to develop its strategy sufficiently before launching the uprising. A second mistake was to share too little information about its ideology and goals. A third mistake was to rely too heavily on outside support and not sufficiently develop its own resources.
Mistake number four was to place too heavy a reliance on mass recruitment instead of identifying and winning over elite fighters. Mistake number five was to have launched a war of attrition against the Syrian regime rather than a combination of terrorist acts and guerrilla warfare.
This online video featuring a doctor is part of Islamic State’s strategy of projecting the creation of a new order.
IS project has solid foundations
The lessons drawn by Musab al-Suri have provided the basis for creating a politico-military project as solid as it is comprehensive. Today, IS follows many of al-Suri’s advices. It has refrained from depending on foreign aid and has developed its own financial resources through kidnapping and the sale of crude oil.
Its doctrine and objectives are also clearly explained to its fighters. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, momentarily came out of hiding on July 4, 2014, to present his views at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul. His propaganda agencies broadcast news flashes on the internet.
After publishing several issues of IS Report, a periodical of only a few pages, IS began issuing in July of last year the online magazine Dabiq. This is a substantially more ambitious publication named after a small town in northern Syria where, according to Muslim tradition, a major battle will take place before the end of time. The IS also uses social networks intensively.
IS propaganda stresses the “oppression” and “humiliation” of which Muslims are victim throughout the world, but particularly in Western countries. It promises a final and liberating revenge for these humiliations. The first issue of Dabiq declared:
The time has come for those generations that were drowning in oceans of disgrace, being nursed on the milk of humiliation and being ruled by the vilest of all people, after their long slumber in the darkness of neglect – the time has come for them to rise.
Soon, by Allah’s permission, a day will come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master, having honour, being revered, with his head raised high and his dignity preserved … Whoever was heedless must now be alert. Whoever was sleeping must now awaken. Whoever was shocked and amazed must comprehend. The Muslims today have a loud, thundering statement, and possess heavy boots.
The ongoing war in Syria and Iraq is especially meaningful, as it is described as a throwback to heroic periods in the history of Islam. The setbacks suffered by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are deemed to remind Muslims of those of the Prophet Muhammad, who was forced to leave Mecca and then defeated at the Battle of Uhud. The violence perpetrated by the IS jihadists is considered legitimate and is supposed to correspond with that of Abu Bakr, the successor of the Prophet and the first Caliph.
In addition to the “bitter lessons” learnt during the uprising at Hama, the jihadist theoreticians have another major source of inspiration, according to Michael W.S. Ryan of the Middle East Institute in Washington and one of the best experts on jihadist movements. They are well read in the history of modern Far Eastern and Western insurgency strategists, from Mao Zedong, Che Guevara and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin to Vo Nguyen Giap, Emiliano Zapata and Ho Chi Minh. In his seminal work The Call to Global Islamic Resistance, Abu Musab al-Suri writes that he has carefully read American journalist Robert Taber’s book on Fidel Castro’s guerrilla warfare strategy during the Cuban Revolution.
Dabiq magazine reflects these influences. Its first issue outlines a strategy to seize power through three steps reminiscent of the methods used by Maoist China. This strategy is also echoed by another influential jihadist theoretician, Abu Bakr Naji, who has presented his views in his book The Management of Savagery.
He argues that “Allah’s fighters” must continually attack the vital economic sectors of some key political regimes to incite these to concentrate all their forces in these areas. It will be then possible for the fighters to increase their presence in the periphery of these countries, forcing the enemy to multiply law enforcement actions to regain control of the lost ground.
‘Savagery’ has a particular purpose
This is when the second stage should begin, that of “savagery”, in which the violence will reach such a level that people will turn away from the government and be ready to join any force capable of restoring peace. Large parts of Iraq and Syria are now enduring this second stage, according to these theoreticians.
The third and last stage is the restoration of law (Sharia) and order through the establishment of a caliphate. Afghanistan is supposedly an example of a place where this final stage had taken place, with the coming to power of the Taliban after a long and bloody reign of local warlords.
This strategy, which is not unique to jihadism, implies that an explosion of violence will happen during the second phase of the insurgency. Jihadist theoreticians do not consider this bloodshed an act of wanton cruelty but a necessary means to achieve victory. Abu Bakr Naji chillingly writes in The Management of Savagery that jihadist fighters should “drag the masses into the battle”, which means that they must:
“make [that] battle very violent, such that death is a heartbeat away, so that the two groups will realise that entering this battle will frequently lead to death. That will be a powerful motive for the individual to choose to fight in the ranks of the people of truth in order to die well, which is better than dying for falsehood and losing both this world and the next.”
Focus is now on rebuilding lost base as caliphate
Jihadist movements share many common ideas, such as the rejection of democracy, nationalism and Western culture, but they are at loggerheads on strategy. Abu Musab al-Suri had some harsh words to say about Osama bin Laden and his taste for high-profile attacks on government institutions, security forces and symbolic buildings. He severely criticised the September 11 attacks, which, he believes, incurred the wrath of the United States against the Taliban in Afghanistan. This consequently denied the “holy war” its most precious territory and wasted the time of the jihadist movement.
Fourteen years on, IS’s ambition is to rebuild this territory – though now in Syria and Iraq – in the shortest possible period by establishing a “caliphate”. This will become the central base for the spread of the international jihad.
In this perspective, the putative caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has recently changed the IS’s focus from “savagery” to the onset of a new order. One of his current priorities is to establish, in places where the military situation is sufficiently stabilised, a number of public services: law and order, of course, but also trade networks, food supplies, education and health care.
This was the background to his July 2014 speech, which he sought to spread far and wide:
Oh Muslims, hasten to your new state. We make a special call to the scholars and callers, especially the judges, as well as people with military, administrative and service expertise, and medical doctors and engineers of all different specialisations and fields.
The Islamic State knows what it wants, and it is striving to put the new “caliphate” on a permanent footing.
Richard Rousseau is Associate Professor of Political Science at American University of Ras Al Khaimah. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Those that leave the religion of pieces feel some stress
Reply #197 on:
June 20, 2015, 11:05:53 AM »
Documenting Documentarian Folly
Reply #198 on:
July 10, 2015, 09:43:37 PM »
Books and Culture
FRED SIEGEL AND SOL STERN
A brilliant satirist unmasks the Palestinian human-rights industry.
July 10, 2015
Catch The Jew!, by Tuvia Tenenbom (Gefen Publishing House, 484 pp., $24.95)
If you want to understand why there is no peace in the Holy Land despite the best efforts of the Obama administration and the billion-dollar European “peace and human rights” industry, you owe it to yourself to read Catch the Jew! by Tuvia Tenenbom. This myth-shattering book became an instant bestseller in Israel last year, yet, Germany aside, it has largely been ignored in American and European media outlets and by the reigning Middle East punditocracy. Ostensibly, Tenenbom’s book is disdained because the author lacks the academic or journalistic credentials to be taken seriously as a commentator on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Though he speaks both Arabic and Hebrew, Tenenbom possesses no professional expertise on the modern Middle East, nor has he had any previous journalistic experience covering Israel and the Palestinian territories.
So much for academic and journalistic credentials, then. In this volume full of personal observations, revealing interviews, and Swiftian satire, Tenenbom offers deeper insights into the fundamental realities of the Middle East conflict and the pathologies of the Palestinian national movement than decades of reporting by media outlets such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Israel’s Haaretz. No fair-minded person can come away from this book without wondering why such citadels of contemporary liberal journalism have neglected to inform their readers of the scam being conducted in the region by self-styled human-rights activists and their taxpayer-funded European NGOs—not to mention that this massive international intervention actually makes it even more difficult to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict.
So what’s the secret of Tenenbom’s journalism? For starters, he disarms the anti-Israel activists and Palestinian officials he engages with by dissembling about his own identity and by playing the simpleton. The author was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Israel. As an adult, he broke with organized religion and moved to America, where he became a successful playwright and founder of the Jewish Theater of New York. In his travels around Israel and the Palestinian territories, however, Tenenbom presents himself as Tobi, a German gentile and unaffiliated journalist—an innocent abroad sincerely trying to understand why the Jews have chosen to oppress the poor Palestinians. Because many of Tenenbom’s Palestinian and pro-Palestinian interlocutors assume that this well-meaning German must be on their side—a reasonable assumption, since much of the financial support for the pro-Palestinian NGOs comes from the German government or political parties—the ruse works brilliantly. The activists are willing to open up to the apparently naïve German and express their true beliefs about Israel and Zionism—hateful views they might be more circumspect about sharing with, say, a New York Times reporter.
In his tour d’horizon of the Palestinian territories, Tenenbom uncovers the fact that there are almost 300 pro-Palestinian foreign NGOs working (that is, agitating) in the West Bank and another hundred in Gaza, most financed by German taxpayers. Moreover, aid to the Palestinians by the European Union and the United Nations is the highest, per capita, in the world. Which might explain why, as Tenenbom keeps noticing all over the West Bank, so many Palestinian officials and activists are driving Mercedes.
One may wonder why these beautiful European souls see their mission now as saving the Palestinians, while none dare venture to Qatar to protest the slave-labor conditions imposed on foreign workers building the 2020 World Cup facilities. That unprecedented human rights scandal perpetrated by an Arab apartheid regime has so far led to the deaths of more than 1,000 indentured contract workers. Were human rights activists truly looking for a great victory for their cause, they could easily mount a campaign to convince the major European soccer powers (Germany, England, France, and Spain) to threaten a boycott of the 2022 World Cup. That action would almost certainly convince the Qatar royal family to close down the slave labor camps. But then again, as Tenenbom caustically observes, “where else [but in Palestine] could one practice his or her darkest wish for Judenfrei territories and still be considered liberal?”
For the German-funded NGOs in particular, exposing the Jewish state’s perfidy—“catching the Jew,” in Tenenbom’s words—becomes a psychologically convenient way to repudiate the Nazi past. Anti-Zionism thus becomes a path to liberation from the burdens of Germany’s past, indeed from all of Western colonial history.
Regarding that colonial history, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was well aware of the political value of his spiritual and political mentor, the holy man Mohandas Gandhi. Nehru once famously remarked: “You can’t imagine what it costs to keep Gandhi in poverty.” Like Israel, India was founded shortly after World War II over the violent objections of its Muslim population. Despite Ghandian rhetoric about non-violence, India’s bloody separation from its predominately Muslim regions came about through a vindictive and massive transfer of populations—Muslims to Pakistan, Hindus to India. Today in the West, little is spoken of this nasty affair; not so with comparable developments in Israel. Thanks in part to the double moral bookkeeping practiced by the human-rights industry—captained by the Swiss Red Cross and German NGOs—a contrived narrative of unprecedented Israeli cruelty toward the people now known as Palestinians has taken hold in Europe and on the American left.
Relying on his unconventional journalistic techniques, Tenenbom elicits a string of unguarded comments from the activists who work so diligently to keep the narrative of Palestinian suffering in the news. He opens a unique window allowing us to see how the victims’ game works in Palestine. For example, the popular Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub—with the help of willing European collaborators—succeeds in staging a series of morality plays that perpetuate the big lie about his people’s historical innocence and unique suffering. Rajoub lets Tobi the German in on one such full-scale operatic production in the West Bank village of Bi’lin. With compliant Western reporters told where and when to gather, Palestinian youths comes on stage and, on cue, begin stoning Israeli soldiers. The soldiers ignore the “youths,” but the stones get larger and they eventually respond. The self-righteous Western reporters now have their “story” of Israeli violence for the day. Moreover, the event is filmed for a documentary by an Israeli leftist financed by (what else?) a German NGO. Tenenbom knows something about theater, and his satirical account of this staged episode is as priceless as it is depressing.
Tenenbom’s method produces pure satiric gold, as when the wife of an American rabbi who heads a one-man organization called “Rabbis for Human Rights” (financed by a European NGO) can’t contain herself and admits to Tenenbom: “You can’t change him. Being a human rights activist in our time is to be a persona, not a philosophy; it’s a fad, it’s a fashion. A human rights activist does not look for facts or logic; it’s about a certain dress code, ‘cool’ clothing, about language, diction, expressions and certain manners. No facts will persuade him.”
Another highlight of the book is Tenenbom’s visit—arranged by a European NGO—to an inverted Potemkin village of Bedouin encampments in the Negev. In the original historical version of the Potemkin tall tale, the Russian Czar created a few model villages with false facades to convince Western visitors that all was well within the empire. In the twenty-first century version of the tale perfected by anti-Israel NGOs, the technique is to make Palestinian and Bedouin villages look as awful as possible on the outside even when they are relatively well off on the inside. After all, it can never be admitted that the Palestinian people, despite their suffering at the hands of the Jews, constitute the most prosperous Arab community (with the exception of the oil-rich Gulf monarchies) in the Middle East.
The visit to the Bedouin villages in the Negev is arranged by Adalah, a left-wing Israeli NGO financed by Europeans. Its director, Thabet Abu Rass, explains to Tenenbom that he is “representing the rights of the Palestinian people.” He then points to a map on his wall that says (in Arabic) “Map of Palestine before Nakbah [the Catastrophe] in 1948.” Dr. Rass soon makes it clear that the Nakbah is the source of the suffering, not just by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but also for the Bedouin who have always lived in Israel and enjoy all the rights of Israeli citizenship. Even as Adalah fights for the rights of the Bedouin in Israeli courts, its leader insists that the Bedouin are not really Israelis, but rather oppressed Palestinians who suffered the 1948 Nakbah.
During his visit to the Bedouin villages, Tenenbom runs into two more representatives of foreign NGOs—Michelle from France and Alessandra from Italy. Michelle, who is Jewish, has been hard at work pressing the Nakbah claim for all Palestinians, including Israel’s Arabs. She tells Tenenbom/Tobi that her NGO works with the Israeli leftist organization Zokhrot (meaning “remembrance”), which is dedicated to perpetuating the Nakbah myth and to compensating the dispossessed Palestinians by allowing millions of them to return to their ancestral homes in Haifa, Jaffa, and Jerusalem, thereby ending the Jewish state. Even in Tel Aviv, founded by Jews in 1909, Zokhrot (with Michelle’s help) is agitating to rename some streets according to their “original Palestinian names.”
Beyond its brilliant satire, Tenenbom’s book is ultimately outrageous and depressing. Outrageous, because thanks to the NGOs, so many otherwise rational, liberal people in Europe and the United States now believe some version of the Palestinian Nakbah narrative. Depressing, because as long as that destructive historical myth is believed in the West, it’s hard to imagine Palestinian leaders ever conceding that their disagreement with Israel is about the consequences of the 1967 war, which are entirely negotiable, rather than the consequences of the 1948 war, which are non-negotiable.
Fred Siegel is a City Journal contributing editor and author of The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class. Sol Stern is a contributing editor of City Journal, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred.
The End of Christianity in the Middle East?
Reply #199 on:
July 23, 2015, 12:28:19 PM »
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