Archive for the ‘Islam and the West’ category

Islamic Extremism: Who is Purest of Them All?

December 13, 2017

Islamic Extremism: Who is Purest of Them All? Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, December 13, 2017

In Europe, Islamic radicalism has caused the largest emigration of Jews since the Holocaust (40,000 Jews have left France just in the last decade). Many Europeans might sentimentally think of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into Europe as “the new Jews” — even though their culture is virtually opposite to the Jews’ — but perhaps the Europeans should be aware that they have now forced the Jews to flee twice in the modern era.

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In the twentieth century, targets were churches and synagogues; today, they are churches, synagogues, mosques, temples — wherever there is a faith, even a Muslim one, that these Islamic fundamentalists want to “purify”.

Radical Islam has declared war on the pillars of the West: modernity, science, rationalism, tolerance, equality under the law, freedom of expression and the dignity of the individual, to name only a few. Many of these ideas are currently under threat in Western Europe.

Many Europeans might sentimentally think of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into Europe as “the new Jews” – even though their culture is virtually opposite to the Jews’ — but perhaps the Europeans should be aware that they have now forced the Jews to flee twice in the modern era.

The number of victims in the jihadist attack at a Sufi Mosque in Egypt has risen to 305 and is destined to rise even more. Inside this number there is another one, even more tragic: the 27 children murdered by Islamic terrorists. It has been not only one of the world’s most sickening terror attacks since 9/11. It was, in intent, a genocidal attack aimed to erase a religion and a community from the face of earth.

The murder of children is the most ruthless face of the war that radical Islam has declared: Palestinian children used as human shields by HamasIsraeli children butchered in buses and cars, Iraqi children massacred by smiling terrorists with candy, French children brought as recruits to RaqqaIranian children sent by the Ayatollah Khomeini to Iranian camps, Christian children wiped out by the Taliban in Pakistan, Western children murdered in BarcelonaManchester and Nice, and the children of Beslan forced to drink their own urine before being killed. How much longer will we have to update the ferocity of radical Islam?

Some Muslim writers have compared the savagery of extremist Muslims to that of the Nazis. In his novel “Le village de l’Allemande“, the Muslim Algerian writer Boualem Sansal compared the similarities: “Single party, militarization, propaganda, falsification of history, xenophobia, affirmation of a plot hatched by Israel and the United States, etc.” According to another Muslim dissident, Naser Khader, “the radical Muslims are the Nazis of Islam”.

Naser Khader, a Muslim dissident who is a Danish Member of Parliament, says “the radical Muslims are the Nazis of Islam”. (Image source: Jyske Bank TV video screenshot)

The massacre at the Sufi mosque in Egypt is reminiscent of the worst Nazi massacre France, in Oradour-sur-Glane, where German troops executed 642 people. Women and children were taken to the church, which was then set on fire. In the twentieth century, the targets were churches and synagogues; today, they are churches, synagogues, mosques, temples — wherever there is a faith, even a Muslim one, that these Islamic fundamentalists want to “purify”.

Physical violence is how the Nazis were able to “cleanse” most of Europe of the Jews — by shooting, terrorizing, gassing and pressuring others to flee. The same strategy, for Christians and other minorities as well, is being pursued by the Islamists. By butchering 350 people, they want to terrify Christians and Sufis and erase them from Sinai. Random lynchings and other attacks were able to pressure Jews into abandoning North Africa and the Middle East, almost in its entirety. In Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, pogroms erupted against the Jewish communities; nearly a million Jews fled.

Radical Islam is building, under our noses, a Brave New World of mass-murder and religious submission. Its adherents seem to want to change individuals in the name of a deadly totalitarian ideology based on a specific interpretation of Islam.

Just as Nazis led a war of extermination against Jews, Slavs, Romanis, Jehovah’s Witnesses, leftists, Catholic clergy, Freemasons, gays and others, extremist Muslims have declared war on Jews, Christians, Atheists, Yazidis, minorities such as Alawites, Kurds, Baha’is, Sufis and Druze, and even many of their own Muslims, branded as “apostates”. At the same time, radical Islam has declared war on the pillars of the West: modernity, science, rationalism, tolerance, equality under the law, freedom of expression and the dignity of the individual, to name only a few. Many of these ideas are currently under threat in Western Europe.

Recently in Iraq, a new mass grave was found, filled with Yazidi children. The day before that, a mosque in Nigeria was attacked. It is almost impossible to make a detailed account of the jihadist massacres that take place each week. Ten years ago, Islamic terrorists attacked Yazidi villages in Iraq: 500 people were murdered; entire communities were wiped out. Recently, 500 more people were slaughtered in a Somali terror attack.

In Europe, Jewish synagogues, if they were not protected by police and soldiers, would meet the same fate. That is what came to pass with Christians in the genocide of the Armenians in Turkey (1914-1923), the murder and expulsion of its Pontic Greeks (1915-1922) , the continuing attacks on Christian Copts in Egypt, as well as with Iraqi Christian churches in Nineveh and throughout the Middle East. In Toulouse, France, Jewish children were gunned down just for being Jews for the first time since World War II.

These murderers are working to build a pan-Islamic dictatorship that sucks in the spilled blood of every culture and faith — including their own. Islamic extremists have effectively been able to redraw the map of the Middle East by committing genocide against so many.

In Europe, Islamic radicalism has caused the largest emigration of Jews since the Holocaust (40,000 Jews have left France just in the last decade). Many Europeans might sentimentally think of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into Europe as “the new Jews” — even though their culture is virtually opposite to the Jews’ — but perhaps the Europeans should be aware that they have now forced the Jews to flee twice in the modern era.

The level of persecution against Christians is “worse than at any time in history,” according to the European-based Aid to the Church in Need. It also predicts that if the decline of its religion continues at the same rate as in the past two years, Christianity in Iraq could be wiped out as early as 2020. Islamists are erasing civilizations. Is Europe’s next?

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East

October 14, 2017

Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East, Gatestone Institute, Philip Carl Salzman, October 14, 2017

Many Middle Easterners see the disasters around them, and blame outsiders: “It is the fault of the Jews”; “The British did this to us”; “The Americans are to blame.”[5] Many Western academics and commentators say the same, dignifying this counter-historic theory with the label “postcolonialism.” But given that tribal dynamics were dominant in the region for a thousand years since the foundation of Islam, and thousands of years before that, blaming outsiders for regional dynamics is hardly credible. Nonetheless, “postcolonialists” will claim that pointing to regional culture as the foundation of regional dynamics is “blaming the victim.” We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love “victims.” But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

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Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour that is won by such loyalty.

There was no group and no loyalty above the tribe or tribal confederation until the rise of Islam. With Islam, a new, higher, more encompassing level of loyalty was defined. All people were divided between Muslims and infidels, and the world was divided between the Dar al-Islam, the land of believers and peace, and Dar al-harb, the land of unbelievers and war. Following the tribal ideology of loyalty, Muslims should unite against infidels, and would receive not only honour, but heavenly rewards.

Honour is gained in victory. Losing is regarded as deeply humiliating. Only the prospects of a future victory and the regaining of honour drives people forward. An example is the Arab-Israel conflict, in the course of which the despised Jews repeatedly defeated the armies of Arab states. This was not so much a material disaster for the Arabs, as it was a cultural one in which honor was lost. The only way to regain honor is to defeat and destroy Israel, the explicit goal of the Palestinians: “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.” This why no agreement over land or boundaries will bring peace: peace does not restore honor.

We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love “victims.” But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

Living as an anthropologist in a herding camp of the Yarahmadzai tribe of nomadic pastoralists in the deserts of Iranian Baluchistan clarified some of the inhibitions to peace in the Middle East. What one sees is strong, kin-based, group loyalty defense and solidarity, and the political opposition of lineages, whether large or small.[1] This raised the question how unity and peace could arrive in a system based on opposition.

Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour which is won by such loyalty. These are the cultural imperatives, the primary values, held and celebrated. When conflict arises and conflict-parties form based on loyal allegiance, the conflict is regarded as appropriate and proper.

The results of absolute commitment to kin and cult groups, and the structural opposition to all others, can be seen throughout Middle Eastern history, including contemporary events, where conflict has been rife. Turks, Arabs and Iranians have launched military campaigns to suppress Kurds. Meanwhile, Christians, Yazidis, Baha’is and Jews, among others, have been, and continue to be ethnically cleansed. Arabs and Persians, and Sunnis and Shiites, each try to gain power over the other in a competition that has been one of the main underlying factors of the Iraq-Iran war, the Saddam Hussein regime, and the current catastrophe in Syria. Turks invaded Greek Orthodox Cyprus in 1974 and have occupied it since. Multiple Muslim states have invaded the minuscule Jewish state of Israel three times, and Palestinians daily celebrate the murder of Jews.

Some Middle Easterners, and some in the West, prefer to attribute the problems of the Middle East to outsiders, such as Western imperialists, but it seems odd to suggest that the local inhabitants have no agency and no responsibility for their activities in this disastrous region, high not only in conflict and brutality, but low by all world standards in human development.

If one looks to local conditions to understand local conflicts, the first thing to understand is that Arab culture, through the ages and at the present time, has been built on the foundation of Bedouin tribal culture. Most of the population of northern Arabia at the time of the emergence of Islam was Bedouin, and during the period of rapid expansion following the adoption of Islam, the Arab Muslim army consisted of Bedouin tribal units. The Bedouin, nomadic and pastoral for the most part, were formed into tribes, which are regional defense and security groups.[2]

Bedouin tribes were organized by basing groups on descent through the male line. Close relatives in conflict activated only small groups, while distant relatives in conflict activated large groups. If, for example, members of cousin groups were in conflict, no one else was involved. But if members of tribal sections were in conflict, all cousins and larger groups in a tribal section would unite in opposition to the other tribal section. So, what group a tribesmen thought himself a member of was circumstantial, depending on who was involved in a conflict.

Relations between descent groups were always oppositional in principle, with tribes as a whole seeing themselves in opposition to other tribes. The main structural relation between groups at the same genealogical and demographic level could be said to be balanced opposition. The strongest political norm among tribesmen was loyalty to, and active support of, one’s kin group, small or large. One must always support closer kin against more distant kin. Loyalty was rewarded with honour. Not supporting your kin was dishonourable. The systemic result was often a stand-off, the threat of full scale conflict with another group of the same size and determination acting as deterrence against frivolous adventures. That there were not more conflicts than the many making up tribal history, is due to that deterrence.

There was no group and no loyalty above the tribe or tribal confederation until the rise of Islam. With Islam, a new, higher, more encompassing level of loyalty was defined. All people were divided between Muslims and infidels, and the world was divided between the Dar al-Islam, the land of believers and peace, and Dar al-harb, the land of unbelievers and war. Following the tribal ideology of loyalty, Muslims should unite against infidels, and would receive not only honour, but heavenly rewards.

Honour is gained in victory.[3] Self-sacrifice in the attempt is lauded, but honour comes from winning. Having lost and being a victim is not an esteemed position in Arab society. Having lost in a political struggle results in loss of honour. This is felt deeply as a loss that should be corrected. Losing is regarded as deeply humiliating. Only the prospects of a future victory and the regaining of honour drives people forward. An example is the Arab-Israel conflict, in the course of which the despised Jews repeatedly defeated the armies of Arab states. This was not so much a material disaster for the Arabs, as it was a cultural one in which honour was lost. The only way to regain honour is to defeat and destroy Israel, the explicit goal of the Palestinians: “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.” This why no agreement over land or boundaries will bring peace: peace does not restore honour.

None of this is unknown to Arab commentators, who repeatedly refer to the tribal nature of their culture and society. Of course, today, few Middle Easterners live in tents and raise camels, but villagers and urbanites share the same tribal assumptions and values. According to the Tunisian intellectual Al-Afif al-Akhdar, the Arabs cherish their “deep-culture of tribal vengefulness” and consequent “fixated, brooding, vengeful mentality.”[4] Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has said that “We need an ideological revolution; our tribal mentality has destroyed our society.”

Dr. Salman Masalha, an Israeli Druze literary intellectual, argues:

“The tribal nature of Arab societies is deeply embedded in the past, and its roots date back through Arab history to the pre-Islamic era. … Since Arab societies are tribal in nature, the various forms of monarchies and emirates are the natural continuation of this ingrained social structure in which tribal loyalty comes before all else.”

Mamoun Fandy, an Egyptian-born American scholar, wrote in the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat:

“The Arabs, even after the arrival of Islam, were never “ideological” people who sought to develop an intellectual vision of ourselves and the outside world. Instead, we are the people of blood relations and family ties, or “Shalal” as we call it in Egypt. … Despite the fact that Islam was the greatest intellectual revolution in our history, we, as Arabs, have succeeded in adapting Islam to serve the tribe, the family, and the clan. Islamic history began as an intellectual revolution, and as a history of ideas and countries; however, after the beginning of the Orthodox Caliphate, it was transformed into a somewhat tribal state. The State of Islam became the Umayyad State, and after that the Abbasid, the Fatimid, and so on and so forth. This means that we now have a history of tribes instead of a history of ideas. … Has this tribal history, alongside tribal and family loyalties and the priority of blood relations over intellectual relations gone forever after the “Arab spring?” Of course not; what has happened is that the families and tribes have dressed themselves up in the cloak of revolutions in Yemen and in Libya, and in Egypt the opposition consists of tribes rather than concepts.”

Pictured: Bedouin men in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The history of the Middle East, the centuries of tribal wars, and the ongoing fissures in Arab society all testify to the Arab tribal culture and structural opposition. There may have been good reasons to stick with tribal culture and organization in pre-modern times: states and empires were despotic, exploitative, and heavily dependent on slave-labor, and tribal organization gave some people a chance to remain independent. In recent times, with the modern state model, governments in the Middle East have tried to establish states, but these have foundered on tribal loyalties and oppositions, which do not fit with constitutional states. Rulers in the region have all turned to coercion to maintain their positions, making all Muslim states in the region despotic.

Many Middle Easterners see the disasters around them, and blame outsiders: “It is the fault of the Jews”; “The British did this to us”; “The Americans are to blame.”[5] Many Western academics and commentators say the same, dignifying this counter-historic theory with the label “postcolonialism.” But given that tribal dynamics were dominant in the region for a thousand years since the foundation of Islam, and thousands of years before that, blaming outsiders for regional dynamics is hardly credible. Nonetheless, “postcolonialists” will claim that pointing to regional culture as the foundation of regional dynamics is “blaming the victim.” We in the West, unlike Middle Easterners, love “victims.” But what if Middle Easterners are victims of the limitations and shortcomings of their own culture?

Philip Carl Salzman is Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, Canada.


[1] Philip Carl Salzman, Black Tents of Baluchistan, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.

[2] Philip Carl Salzman, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2008.

[3] Frank Henderson Stewart, Honor, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.; Gideon M. Kressel, Ascendancy through Aggression, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996.

[4] Quoted in Barry Rubin, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Hoboken, NY: Wiley, 2006), 80-81.

[5] Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel, NY: Free Press, 2007, p. 47.

Everything I Needed to Know About Islam I Learned on 9/11

September 11, 2017

Everything I Needed to Know About Islam I Learned on 9/11, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 11, 2017

The great lesson of that Tuesday morning was that it wasn’t over. It wasn’t over when we understood that we wouldn’t find anyone alive in that twisted mass of metal and death. It wasn’t over when the air began to clear. It wasn’t over when the President of the United States spoke. It wasn’t over when the planes began to fly again and the TV switched from non-stop coverage of the attacks and back to its regularly scheduled programming. It wasn’t over when we were told to mourn and move on.

It still isn’t over.

We are in the middle of the longest war in American history. And we still haven’t learned how to fight it.

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“In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,” a terrorist declares on the Flight 93 cockpit recording. That’s followed by the sounds of the terrorists assaulting a passenger.

“Please don’t hurt me,” he pleads. “Oh God.”

As the passengers rush the cabin, a Muslim terrorist proclaims, “In the name of Allah.”

As New York firefighters struggle up the South Tower with 100 pounds of equipment on their backs trying to save lives until the very last moment, the Flight 93 passengers push toward the cockpit. The Islamic hijackers call out, “Allahu Akbar.” The Islamic supremacist term originated with Mohammed’s massacre of the Jews of Khaybar and means that Allah is greater than the gods of non-Muslims.

Mohammed Atta had advised his fellow terrorists that when the fighting begins, “Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.” He quoted the Koran’s command that Muslim holy warriors terrorize non-believers by beheading them and urged them to follow Mohammed’s approach, “Take prisoners and kill them.”

The 9/11 ringleader quoted the Koran again. “No prophet should have prisoners until he has soaked the land with blood.”

On Flight 93, the fighting goes on. “Oh Allah. Oh the most Gracious,” the Islamic terrorists cry out. “Trust in Allah,” they reassure. And then there are only the chants of, “Allahu Akbar” as the plane goes down in a Pennsylvania field leaving behind another blood-soaked territory in the Islamic invasion of America.

Today that field is marked by the “Crescent of Embrace” memorial.

Thousands of Muslims cheered the attack in those parts of Israel under the control of the Islamic terrorists of the Palestinian Authority. They shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and handed out candy.

But similar ugly outbreaks of Islamic Supremacism were also taking place much closer to home.

On John F. Kennedy Boulevard, in Jersey City, across the river from Manhattan, crowds of Muslim settlers celebrated the slaughter of Americans. “Some men were dancing, some held kids on their shoulders,” a retired Jersey City cop described the scene. “The women were shouting in Arabic.”

Similar Islamic festivities broke out on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a major Islamic settlement area, even as in downtown Manhattan, ash had turned nearby streets into the semblance of a nuclear war. Men and women trudged over Brooklyn Bridge or uptown to get away from this strange new world.

Many just walked. They didn’t know where they were going. I was one of them.

That Tuesday was a long and terrible education. In those hours, millions of Americans were being educated about many things: what happens when jet planes collide with skyscrapers, how brave men can reach the 78thfloor with 100 pounds of equipment strapped to their backs and what are the odds are of finding anyone alive underneath the rubble of a falling tower. They were learning about a formerly obscure group named Al Qaeda and its boss. But they were also being educated about Islam.

Islamic terrorism was once something that happened “over there.” You saw it on the covers of Time or Newsweek back when those were staples of checkout counters and medical offices. But even after the World Trade Center bombing, it wasn’t truly “over here.” But now it was. The war was here.

Each generation is born into history out of a moment of crisis. We are defined by our struggles. By the wars we fight and do not fight. On a Tuesday morning in September, my generation was born into history.

Some of us were born into it better than others.

At Union Square, I passed NYU students painting anti-war placards even as the downtown sky behind them was painted the color of bone. They ignored the crowd streaming up past them and focused intently on making all the red letters in NO WAR line up neatly on the white cardboard.

In the years since, I have seen that look on the faces of countless leftists who ignore the stabbers shouting, “Allahu Akbar” in London or the terrorist declaring, “In the name of Allah, the merciful,” among the bloody ruin of a gay nightclub in Orlando. Instead they focus on their mindless slogans.

“NO WAR,” “Stop Islamophobia” and “Refugees Welcome.” The world of the cardboard sign and the simple slogan is an easier and neater one than a sky filled with the ashes of the dead.

On September 11, some of us opened our eyes. Others closed them as hard as they could.

That Tuesday irrevocably divided my generation. Some joined the military, the police or became analysts. Others turned left-wing activists, volunteered as lawyers for terrorists or converted to Islam.

The passengers on Flight 93 who took the lead were in their thirties. But the two firefighters who made it to the 78th floor of the South Tower, Ronald Bucca, who did duty in Vietnam as a Green Beret, and Orio Palmer, a marathon runner, were in their forties. Those men and women had the most meaningful answers to the old question, “Where were you when it happened?”

I was just one of countless people moving upstream away from Ground Zero.

The great lesson of that Tuesday morning was that it wasn’t over. It wasn’t over when we understood that we wouldn’t find anyone alive in that twisted mass of metal and death. It wasn’t over when the air began to clear. It wasn’t over when the President of the United States spoke. It wasn’t over when the planes began to fly again and the TV switched from non-stop coverage of the attacks and back to its regularly scheduled programming. It wasn’t over when we were told to mourn and move on.

It still isn’t over.

After every attack, Boston, Orlando, San Bernardino, New York, Paris, Manchester, London, Barcelona, we are encouraged to mourn and move on. Bury the bodies, shed a tear and forget about it.

Terrible things happen. And we have to learn to accept them.

But Tuesday morning was not a random catastrophe. It did not go away because we went back to shopping. It did not go away with Hope and Change. Appeasing and forgetting only made it stronger.

Everything I needed to know about Islam, I learned on September 11. The details of the theology came later. I couldn’t quote the Koran while the sirens were wailing. But I learned the essential truth.

And so did you.

“Where were you?” is not just a question to be asked about September 11, 2001. It is an everyday question. What are you doing today to fight the Islamic terrorists who did this? And tomorrow?

I found my answer through my writing. Others have made a more direct contribution.

But it’s important that we keep asking ourselves that question.

The 9/11 hijackers, the members of Al Qaeda, of ISIS, of the Muslim Brotherhood and the entire vast global terror network, its supporters and fellow travelers asked themselves that question every day.

They are still asking it.

From the Iranian nuclear program to the swarm of Muslim Brotherhood organizations in America, from the Muslim migrant surge into Germany to the sex grooming gangs of the UK, they have their answers.

Our enemies wake up every day wondering how to destroy us. Their methods, from demographic invasion to WMDs, from political subversion to random stabbings, are many.

A new and terrible era in history began on 9/11. We are no more past it than we were past Pearl Harbor at the Battle of Midway. Its origins are no mystery. They lie in the last sound that came from Flight 93.

“Allahu Akbar.”

We are in the middle of the longest war in American history. And we still haven’t learned how to fight it.

September 11 has come around again. You don’t have to run into a burning building or wrestle terrorists with your bare hands. But use the day to warn others, so you can answer, “Where were you?”

Accept Islamic Terror as the New Normal?

June 4, 2017

Accept Islamic Terror as the New Normal? Gatestone InstituteNonie Darwish, June 4, 2017

And now the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib, has moved to the West and aims at changing Western humanistic culture. It would replace respect for human rights, caring for one’s neighbor and the values of freedom and peace, with the values of bondage, terror, tyranny and fear.

Islamic jihad has always counted on people in conquered lands eventually to yield, give up and accept terrorism as part of life, similar to natural disasters, earthquakes and floods.

It did not take long for the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib to work on the psyche of Western leaders and media, who are now telling us to live with it as the “new normal.” Islam counts on turning everyone into “moderate” Muslims who will eventually look the other way when terror happens to the person next to you.

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“The use of terror under this doctrine [Targhib wal tarhib, “luring and terrorizing”] is a legitimate sharia obligation.” — Salman Al Awda, mainstream Muslim sheikh, on the Al Jazeera television show “Sharia and Life”.

Part of the tarhib or “terrorizing” side of this doctrine is to make a cruel example of those who do not comply with the requirements of Islam. That is the reason Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and entities such as ISIS, intentionally hold ceremonial public beheadings, floggings, and amputation of limbs.

Islamic jihad has always counted on people in conquered lands eventually to yield, give up and accept terrorism as part of life, similar to natural disasters, earthquakes and floods.

After terror attacks, we often hear from Western media and politicians that we must accept terrorist attacks as the “new normal.”

For Western citizens, this phrase is dangerous.

Islam’s doctrine of jihad, expansion and dawah (Islamic outreach, proselytizing) rely heavily on the use of both terror and luring. Targhib wal tarhib is an Islamic doctrine that means “seducing (luring) and terrorizing” as a tool for dawah, to conquer nations and force citizens to submit to Islamic law, sharia. It amounts to manipulating the instinctive parts of the human brain with extreme opposing pressures of pleasure and pain — rewarding, then severely punishing — to brainwash people into complying with Islam.

Most ordinary Muslims are not even aware of this doctrine, but Islamic books have been written about it. Mainstream Muslim sheikhs such as Salman Al Awda have discussed it on Al Jazeera TV. On a show called “Sharia and Life,” Al Awda recommended using extremes “to exaggerate… reward and punishment, morally and materially… in both directions”. “The use of terror under this doctrine,”‘ he said, “is a legitimate sharia obligation.”

People in the West think of terror as something that Islamic jihadists inflict on non-Muslims, and it is. But terror is also the mechanism for ensuring compliance within Islam. Under Islamic law, jihadists who evade performing jihad are to be killed. Terror is thus the threat that keeps jihadists on their missions, and that make ordinary Muslims obey sharia.

An online course for recruiting jihadists contains this description:

“Individual Dawa depends on eliciting emotional responses from recruits (and building a personal relationship). Abu ‘Amr’s approach illustrates a recruitment concept called al-targhib wa’l-tarhib, which is a carrot-and-stick technique of extolling the benefits of action while explaining the frightening costs of inaction. The concept was introduced in the Qur’an and is discussed by many Islamic thinkers exploring the best way to call people to Islam (several scholars, for example, have written books titled al-targhib wa’l-tarhib). According to Abu ‘Amr, recruiters should apply the concept throughout the recruitment process, but emphasize the benefits of action early in the process and the costs of inaction later.”

In other words, recruiters of jihadists should start by emphasizing the “good stuff” first, the “lure” — the future glory, supremacy and fulfillment of every lustful wish, such as virgins in heaven. Later, they should threaten the recruits with “terror” and shame — the consequence if they fail to participate in jihad.

Part of the tarhib or “terrorizing” side of this doctrine is to make a cruel example of those who do not comply with the requirements of Islam. That is the reason Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and entities such as ISIS, intentionally hold ceremonial public beheadings, floggings, and amputation of limbs. Countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey are more discrete, but they tolerate and support honor killings; killing apostates; beating women and children, and torture and murder in their jails. The doctrine of targhib and tarhib is alive and well, not just in Islamic theocracies but also in the so-called “moderate” Muslim countries.

Islam has been using these “pleasure and pain” brainwashing techniques, and cruel and unusual punishment, from its inception and until today. While the Bible — the Western Judeo-Christian tradition — is in harmony with, and nurtures, kindness in human nature, Islam does the opposite: it uses the human instincts for self-preservation and survival to break the people’s will and brainwash them into slavish obedience.

Like the majority of Muslims, I never heard of this foundational Islamic doctrine when I was growing up in Egypt, but have felt the impact of this doctrine on my life — in every aspect of Islamic culture; in Islamic preaching, in my Islamic family relations; in how Islamic governments operate and how people of authority, in general, treat the people under them.

The Islamic doctrine of “lure and terror” has produced a culture of toxic extremes: distrust and fear, pride and shame, permission to lie (“taqiyya“), and rejecting taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Having lived most of my life under Islam, I am sad to say that people the West calls “moderate Muslims” are frequently, in fact, citizens who have learned to live with and accept terror as normal. For centuries, many have made excuses for terror, condemned victims of terror, remained silent or equivocal, and have even compromised with the terrorists to survive. The Islamic culture in which I lived looked the other way when women were beaten. When girls were honor-murdered, the question was “what did she do?” instead of “how could that be?” When Christians were killed and persecuted, many blamed the Christians for their own persecution at the hands of Muslims. The normal Islamic response to terror became: “None of my business.”

And now the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib, has moved to the West and aims at changing Western humanistic culture. It would replace respect for human rights, caring for one’s neighbor and the values of freedom and peace, with the values of bondage, terror, tyranny and fear.

Islamic jihad has always counted on people in conquered lands eventually to yield, give up and accept terrorism as part of life, similar to natural disasters, earthquakes and floods.

It did not take long for the Islamic doctrine of Targhib wal Tarhib to work on the psyche of Western leaders and media, who are now telling us to live with it as the “new normal.” Islam counts on turning everyone into “moderate” Muslims who will eventually look the other way when terror happens to the person next to you.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 04: People are lead to safety on Southwark Bridge away from London Bridge after an attack on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Police have responded to reports of a van hitting pedestrians on London Bridge in central London. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)