Archive for the ‘Political Islam’ category

Glazov Gang Standoff: Saba Ahmed vs. Shireen Qudosi on “Does Islam Need Reform?”

March 7, 2017

Glazov Gang Standoff: Saba Ahmed vs. Shireen Qudosi on “Does Islam Need Reform?” via YouTube, March 4, 2017

 

The West’s Politically Correct Dictatorship

December 6, 2016

The West’s Politically Correct Dictatorship, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, December 6, 2016

The brave work of the artist Mimsy was removed from London’s Mall Galleries after the British police defined it “inflammatory.”

In France, schools teach children that Westerners are Crusaders, colonizers and “bad.” In their efforts to justify the repudiation of France and its Judeo-Christian culture, schools have fertilized the soil in which Islamic extremism develops and flourishes unimpeded.

No one can deny that France is under Islamist siege. Last week, France’s intelligence service discovered another terror plot. But what is the priority of the Socialist government? Restricting freedom of expression for pro-life “militants.”

Under this politically correct dictatorship, Western culture has established two principles. First, freedom of speech can be restricted any time someone claims that an opinion is an “insult.” Second, there is a vicious double standard: minorities, especially Muslims, can freely say whatever they want against Jews and Christians.

There is no better ally of Islamic extremism than this sanctimony of liberal censorship: both, in fact, want to suppress any criticism of Islam, as well as any proud defense of the Western Enlightenment or Judeo-Christian culture.

Twitter, one of the vehicles of this new intolerance, even formed a “Trust and Safety Council.” It brings to mind Saudi Arabia’s “Council for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”

Under this political correctness, the only “win-win” is for political Islam.

It might look like a golden age for free speech: more than a billion tweets, Facebook posts and blogs every day. But beneath this surface, freedom of expression is dramatically retreating.

Students at the City University of London, home to one of Britain’s most respected schools of journalism, voted to ban three newspapers from its campus: The Sun, Daily Mail and Express. Their “crime”, according to the approved motion, is to have published stories against migrants, “Islamophobic” articles, and “scapegoating the working classes that they so proudly claim to represent.” City University, supposedly a place dedicated to openness and questioning, became the first Western educational institution to vote for censorship, and ban “right wing newspapers.”

The filmmaker David Cronenberg called this self-censorship, after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo: “a weird, serpentine political correctness.” It is one of the most lethal ideological poisons of the 21st century. It is not only closed-minded and ridiculous, it makes us blind to the radical Islam that is undermining our mental and cultural defenses.

The countless attacks by Muslim extremists testify that the multicultural world to which we have been led is a fiction. Political correctness simply encourages the Islamists to raise the stakes to win the war they are advancing. The resulting tension has been fed by the Western elites with their sense of guilt for “colonialism” in the Third World.

ISIS Threaten Sylvania” — an art exhibition featuring cute little stuffed animals picnicking on a lawn, and unaware of other cute little stuffed animal terrorists carrying assault rifles on a knoll just behind them — is the work of the artist known as Mimsy (she hides her identity). The protagonists of this series of light box tableaux are a family of stuffed animal dolls that inhabits an enchanted valley. Gunmen, dressed like the Islamic State henchmen, strike the innocent inhabitants of the valley, at school and on the beach, at a picnic or in a gay pride parade. It looks like an updated version of Maus by Art Spiegelman, a graphic novel depicting Nazi cats and Jewish mice during the Holocaust.

Those wishing to see this artistic panel at the Mall Galleries, in London, will now have to console themselves with the work of Jamie McCartney, “The Great Wall Vagina,” nine meters of female genitalia, less important and less provocative.

The brave work of Mimsy, after the British police defined it “inflammatory,” has been eliminated from the program of this London cultural event. Its organizers informed the gallery owners that if they wanted to put it on display, they would have to shell out £36,000 ($46,000) to “secure the venue” for the six days of the exhibition.

2101The brave work of the artist Mimsy, satirizing the brutality of ISIS, was removed from London’s Mall Galleries after the British police defined it “inflammatory.” (Image source: Mimsy)

Under this politically correct dictatorship, Western culture has established two principles. First, freedom of speech can be restricted any time someone claims that an opinion is an “insult.” Second, there is a vicious double standard: minorities, especially Muslims, can freely say whatever they want against Jews and Christians.

And so it came to pass that the most famous Spanish football team, Real Madrid, removed the cross from its crest after a commercial deal with Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Christian symbol was quickly ditched to please the Islamic Gulf sponsors.

Perhaps soon the West will be soon asked to change the flag of the European Union — twelve yellow stars on a blue background — because it contains a Christian message in code. Arsène Heitz, who designed it in 1955, was inspired by the Christian iconography of the Virgin Mary with a crown and twelve stars on her head: what a heartless “Western Christian supremacist” message!

Political correctness is also having a huge impact on big business: Kellogg’s withdrew advertising from Breitbart for being “not aligned with our values” and Lego dropped advertising with Daily Mail, to mention just two recent cases.

It should not cause alarm if companies want to decide where to advertise their products, but it is very alarming when it happens due to “ideology.” We have never read about companies abandoning a newspaper or website because it was too liberal or “leftist.” If the Arab-Islamic regimes were follow these views, why should they not ask their companies to stop advertising in Western newspapers that publish articles critical of Islam, or which publish pictures of half-naked women?

Libraries on US campuses are now putting “trigger warnings” on works of literature: students are advised, for example, that Ovid’s sublime Metamorphosis “justifies” rape. Stanford University even managed to exclude Dante, Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare and other giants of Western culture from the academic curricula in 1988: supposedly many of their masterpieces are “racist, sexist, reactionary, repressive.” This is the vocabulary of Western surrender before totalitarian Islamic fundamentalism.

France has removed great figures, such as Charlemagne, Henry IV, Louis XIV and Napoleon, from schools, to replace them, for instance, with studying the history of Mali and other African kingdoms. At school, children are taught that Westerners are Crusaders, colonizers and “bad.” In purportedly justifying the repudiation of France and its Judeo-Christian culture, schools have fertilized the soil in which Islamic extremism develops and flourishes unimpeded.

It is a question of priorities: no one can deny that France is under Islamist siege. Last week, France’s intelligence service discovered another terror plot. But what is the priority of the Socialist government? Restricting freedom of expression for pro-life “militants.” The Wall Street Journal called it “France’s War on Anti-Abortion Speech.” France already has one of the most permissive and liberal bodies of legislation on abortion. But political correctness makes one blind and ideological. “In four and a half years, the Socialists have reduced our freedom of expression and attacked public freedoms,” commented Riposte Laïque.

In the US, academia is rapidly closing its doors to any debate. At Yale, professors and students these days are very busy with a new cultural emergency: “renaming.” They are changing the name of buildings to erase all traces of slavery and colonialism — a revisionism out of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

Everywhere in the US and in the UK, an air of hostility is spreading against opinions and ideas that could cause even a hint of distress in students. The result is the rise of what a writer such as Bret Easton Ellis called “Generation Wuss“.

The jihadists surely grin at this Western political correctness, since the result of this ideology will be the abolition of the Western critical spirit and a surreal reeducation of the masses through the annihilation of our history and a hatred of our truly liberal past.

Bristol University in the UK just came under fire for attempting to “no-platform” Roger Scruton for his views on same-gender marriage. Meanwhile, British universities are giving a platform to radical Islamic preachers. In the politically correct universe, conservative thinkers are more dangerous than ISIS supporters. London’s former mayor, Boris Johnson, called this dystopia “the Boko Haram of political correctness.”

Students and faculty at the Rutgers University in New Jersey cancelled a speech by former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Students and professors at Scripps College in California protested the presence of another former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who, according to the protesters, is a “war criminal.”

A New York University professor, Michael Rectenwald, who attacked political correctness and the coddling of students, was recently booted from the classroom after his colleagues complained about his “incivility”. The liberal studies professor was forced to go on paid leave. “It’s an alarming curtailment of free expression to the point where you can’t even pretend to be something without authorities coming down on you in the universities,” Rectenwald told the New York Post.

There is no better ally of Islamic extremism than this sanctimony of liberal censorship: both, in fact, want to suppress any criticism of Islam, as well as any proud defense of the Western Enlightenment or Judeo-Christian culture.

Censorship is happening not only in the liberal enclaves on the coasts of the United States, but also in France. The Eagles of Death Metal — the American band that was performing at Paris’ Bataclan Theater when ISIS terrorists murdered 89 people there on November 13, 2015 — were banned by two music festivals: Rock en Seine and Cabaret Vert. The reason? Jesse Hughes, the band’s frontman, gave a very politically incorrect interview:

“Did your French gun control stop a single f*cking person from dying? I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them. Because I’ve never seen anyone that’s ever had one dead, and I want everyone to have access to them, and I saw people die that maybe could have lived, I don’t know.”

After the jihadist massacre at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub, Facebook enforced the pro-Islamic injunction and banned a page of the magazine Gaystream, after it had published an article critical of Islam in the wake of the bloodbath. Gaystream‘s director, David Berger, had heavily criticized the director of the Gay Museum in Cologne, Birgit Bosold, who had told German media that gays should be more frightened of white bigoted men than of Islamic extremists.

Jim Hoft, a gay journalist who is the creator of the popular Gateway Pundit blog, was suspended from YouTube. Twitter, one of the vehicles of this new intolerance, suspended the account of Milo Yiannopoulos, a prominent gay critic of Islamic fundamentalism — but probably not the accounts of Islamic fundamentalists who criticize gays. Twitter even formed a “Trust and Safety Council.” It brings to mind Saudi Arabia’s “Council for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.” Could it be an inspiration for the liberal mullahs?

Yes, it might have looked like a golden age for free speech. But under this dictatorship of political correctness, the only “win-win” is for political Islam.

Trump Sec of Defense Pick: Enemy of Islamism and Iran

December 4, 2016

Trump Sec of Defense Pick: Enemy of Islamism and Iran, Clarion ProjectRyan Mauro, December 4, 2016

united-states-general-james-mattis-640-320-getty-drew-angerer_0General James Mattis with President-elect Trump (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

General Mattis completely and utterly rejects the romanticized interpretation of the Iranian regime as “moderate” or part of the solution to Sunni terrorism. In April, he described the Iranian regime as the “single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East;” one greater than Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

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President-Elect Trump has chosen Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for secretary of defense, eliciting widespread enthusiasm focusing on his status as the “most revered Marine in a generation” and factory of quotable quotes.

Deserving of more positive attention is his emphasis on confronting Political Islam and the Iranian regime.

General Mattis has advocated for significant changes in both the military fight against the specific Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, as well as the fight against the Islamist ideology that births them. Although ISIS’ caliphate is on the decline, General Mattis doesn’t settle for an encouraging positive trend. He wants to win quickly and decisively, yet humanely with care for civilians.

In August, he said the strategy still is “unguided by a sustained policy or sound strategy [and is] replete with half measures.”

Mattis was one of the chief architects of the counter-insurgency campaign that turned Iraq around so rapidly that it even surprises many of its supporters.

In testimony to the Senate in 2015, he said, “The fundamental question I believe is, ‘Is political Islam in our best interest?’ If not, what is our policy to authoritatively support the countervailing forces?”

In another speech, General Mattis said that the fundamental flaw in our strategy has been a failure to define Political Islam as the enemy of U.S. interests. He made the correct observation that such a delineation between friend and foe would allow us to identify supportable Muslim allies.

“If we won’t even ask the question [if Political Islam is in U.S. interests], then how do we ever get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight? And if we don’t take our own side in this fight, we are leaving others adrift,” he said.

He then referenced his recent trip to Egypt and the widespread perception that the U.S. actually intends to empower the Muslim Brotherhood. The failure to base policy around a rejection of Political Islam inevitably leads to a tolerance or even an embrace of Islamists who surpass the low bar of condemning Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The Muslims who oppose Islamists are, as Mattis put it, left adrift.

Countless articles have been written claiming that a policy based on fighting “radical Islam,” “Political Islam,” “Islamism” and similar terms will inflame the Muslim world. Islamists and allied institutions will undoubtedly cry foul, as they always have at every minor slight, but the delineation will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Overlooked allies amongst Muslims and non-Muslim minorities will surface as U.S. policy forces the Muslim world to take stances on Islamism and its adhering organizations. New allies will be born as the discussion of Islamism leads to rejections of it. If messaged correctly, the U.S. will end up with more Muslim allies of better quality.

This view of Islamism as the adversary, rather than just specific terrorist groups targeting the U.S. homeland, is why General Mattis rejects the notion of a “moderate” Iranian regime. He was fired by the Obama Administration for his tough questions about the ramifications of current U.S. policy towards Iran.

General Mattis completely and utterly rejects the romanticized interpretation of the Iranian regime as “moderate” or part of the solution to Sunni terrorism. In April, he described the Iranian regime as the “single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East;” one greater than Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

We recently pointed out that four of Trump’s picks want to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and wage a long overdue ideological offensive against Islamism, also known as Political Islam.

Trump then chose K.T. McFarland as deputy national security adviser and Katharine Gorka as part of his Department of Homeland security “landing team” to manage the transition between administrations. Both are strong advocates of an ideological war against Islamism and Gorka has advocated for the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.

The U.S. war against Islamist extremism now enters a new, decisive phase, but let not our enthusiasm for this strategy blind us from the risks.

The successful implementation of the anti-Islamism strategy is not solely dependent upon Trump’s national security team. It’s dependent upon him.

If his decisions prevent demonstrable success, the ideological strategy will be considered a failed concept. Its advocates will have their credibility tarnished, perhaps unfairly, and the Western response to Islamism will be put on an indefinite hold as the ideology marches on.

The Doctrine of Cowards

December 1, 2016

The Doctrine of Cowards, Political Islam, November 30, 2016

 

Why are so many Muslim refugees coming to the US? Why do so few persecuted Christians come? The answer is the position of the churches. The biggest door into US society is the church door. The Christians and Jews love to attend interfaith gatherings where they sit and nod their heads yes to all that the Muslims say.

But the Christian and Jewish leaders are ignorant about Islam. They know nothing about the Islamic doctrine of Christian and Jew hatred. But what is worse is that they refuse to learn.

Christian leaders have developed a doctrine of the coward to justify their pious ignorance and fear. They are all about turning the other cheek, loving their enemies, and doing nothing while waiting for Jesus to return. They are incapable of boldness and courage. Wimps all (well, about 95% of them).

And if you are not a Christian, why aren’t you concerned with the greatest human rights tragedy happening today—the killing of religious minorities in Islamic lands? Why can’t persecuted Christians come as refugees to America? When will Christians care about the persecution of their own brothers and sisters?

What has happened to us (Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists and all others) that we are no longer able to have moral outrage? Righteous anger?

How James Mattis As Defense Secretary Could Bust Our Deathly Political Correctness About Islam

November 30, 2016

How James Mattis As Defense Secretary Could Bust Our Deathly Political Correctness About Islam, The Federalist, November 31, 2016

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Is political Islam in America’s best interests? This question should be central to our strategy of fighting ISIS and Islamist terrorism in general. Yet it’s one that many political leaders would rather not answer, because of our politically correct climate. But since Trump’s transition team announced last week that it’s considering retired Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense, this reluctance might fade.

In a speech given at the Heritage Foundation last year, Mattis spoke about America’s position vis à vis political Islam. Rather than equivocating on the matter in order to avoid saying something uncomfortable or politically incorrect, Mattis simply pointed out that America needs to make a decision about its stance toward this ideology.

Recall that political Islam, or Islamism, is a movement within Islam: it works toward the increasing implementation of Islamic law and values in all areas of life—usually via state control—in order to make Islam a dominant force in the world.

Why We Don’t Talk About Islamism

Mattis’ suggestion—which sounds like a basic element of defense strategy—has been surprisingly neglected in the years since 9/11. The U.S. tends to deal with Islamism on a case-by-case basis. And so long as any particular group or political entity doesn’t have a direct and obvious link to terrorism, we tend to give them a pass. Even then, this is sometimes too high of a bar, as is the case with the Muslim Brotherhood and associated groups.

No one wants to delve into the question of Islamism because it has become a politically charged issue, one that often leads to accusations of bigotry and Islamaphobia. As Islam is increasingly treated as a protected class by America’s progressive Left, any scrutiny of any faction within Islam is considered off limits. This is done in the name of tolerance, but is in fact a highly intolerant position. But it’s successfully scared off politicians and military personnel, who tend to make vague and noncommittal statements on the topic.

This makes Mattis’ statements all the more notable. He’s simply urging the U.S. to make a decision. And what’s more, he’s arguing that this decision ought to be based on what we believe is in our best interest:

“Is political Islam in the best interest of the United States?…If we won’t even ask the question then how do we even get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight? And if we don’t take our own side in this fight we’re leaving others adrift.”

What Is In The Country’s Best Interests?

This is a surprisingly unpopular question to ask in general, and specifically when it comes to Islam. The concept itself—asking what is in America’s best interest—has largely been ignored as of late. Under Obama, America has pursued a policy of “leading from behind,” and more or less disregarding America’s interests abroad. The Obama administration has done this based on the notion, central to the progressive narrative of history, that America is a de facto colonialist power, whose influence in the world is malign and ought to recede of our own volition.

But if the U.S. can’t identify what is in its best interests, or refuses to pursue those interests out of an oversized sense of political correctness, there’s no way to forge a comprehensive global defense strategy. As Mattis points out, if we won’t even talk about political Islam with a critical eye, how can we figure out which side we’re on, and make decisions from that point? Neglecting the question not only hurts our interests—it leaves our allies unsure of where we stand and how we will proceed when Islamist movements gain traction in their countries.

Mattis also points out that ISIS is counting on Americans not having a debate on whether political Islam is good for America. If we don’t examine this question, we can’t create a cohesive strategy, and our fight against ISIS’s self-proclaimed Caliphate (or other groups like them) will ultimately fail.

This is the opposite of what some Islamist apologists and those on the left insist, which is that ISIS wants us to talk about the connections between Islam and violence, in order to make Muslims feel like the West is at war with their entire religion. Then, so the thinking goes, Muslims will turn on the West.

Mattis Would Change Our Reputation

As it is, ISIS has largely won this battle. Any serious strategic discussion about the relationship between political Islam and American national interests has been deemed illegitimate and offensive by the political Left. See, for example, the scrubbing of terms related to Islam from Department of Homeland Security training materials.

Mattis’ appointment as Defense Secretary would be a marked change not only from the Obama administration, but also from the Bush years. Both administrations were reluctant to substantively engage in a debate on the merits or threats of political Islam.

Since giving this speech at Heritage, ISIS has experienced significant territorial losses. But the question Mattis raises has not lost its relevance. It will be central to many of the Trump administration’s foreign policy challenges. Political Islam remains, and will remain, a problem for the West both in terms of domestic security and global strategy. Whether it’s the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the U.S., or political Islam in a post-Arab Spring Middle East, the U.S. needs to know where it stands on this issue.

Mattis concludes that political Islam is not, in the end, good for America. But he acknowledges that what’s most important is that we have a discussion about it—so that we can develop a broader strategy for how to deal with Islamism in the world. Without a cohesive strategy, there is little hope of checking the destructive influences of political Islam both at home and abroad.

Egypt’s parliament responds to UK Commons’ ‘defence of political Islam’

November 23, 2016

Egypt’s parliament responds to UK Commons’ ‘defence of political Islam’, Ahram on LineGamal Essam El-Din, November 21, 2016

The Egyptian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said its report aims to expose Europe and the UK’s false views on “political Islam”

egyptparliament

“The UK parliament report ignores – either on purpose or due to a lack of knowledge about historical facts – that since it was established in the first third of the previous century the Muslim Brotherhood has been responsible for spreading the radical Islamic ideology upon which all terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida, ISIS, Hamas, Ezzeddin Al-Qassam, Al-Nusra Front and Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis were based,” said the report, adding that “most of the leaders of these terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida’s current leader Ayman Al-Zawahri were once members of Muslim Brotherhood.”

“This group is the godfather of all jihadist and Salafist ideologies which dream of resurrecting the state of the caliphate against the infidel West,” said the report.

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A 10-page report issued by the Egyptian parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Sunday launched a scathing attack on EU and UK politicians and MPs who defend “political Islam.”

The report, issued in response to a 7 November UK House of Commons’ foreign affairs committee’s report on the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam, said it does not aim to defend the Egyptian government’s security and legal measures against the Brotherhood group and its affiliated militant and terrorist organizations.

“Our report reflects our responsibility as elected MPs to stand against a group which seized its one year in power to turn Egypt into a religious state and show the world the true meaning of “political Islam,” said the report.

It added that the “Muslim Brotherhood tried to steal history and turn the Arab world’s first civilian state into a theocratic state that is hostile to human civilization and the values of freedom, equality and citizenship.”

The report said “if Europe and the West are really keen to stem the tide of religious terrorism and the political hijacking of Islam, they should correct their understanding of all political Islam movements which claim they have a licence from God to implement his laws on earth and impose the state of the caliphate on the world .”

Ahmed Said, head of the Egyptian foreign affairs committee, told reporters Sunday that Egypt’s parliament deplores the UK report’s inclusion of a number of horrible lies.

“Our committee’s report aims to expose these lies. We intend to send it to the Egyptian ambassadors in England and Germany to stand against  the attempts of several politicians and MPs in these two countries to polish the image of political Islam ,” the report said.

Said said “we know from history that Europe was able to move ahead and achieve progress only after it made a separation between religion and politics.”

“So we are surprised by the new generation of European radical liberals and progressives who defend political Islam and thereby give cover for Islamist movements which claim victimhood to spread across Europe and create a fertile ground for Islamist radicals there,” said Said.

The report said the UK parliament’s report offered a very artificial interpretation of “political Islam.”

“We wonder how a parliament that was based on separating religion from politics  approves that a country like Egypt be governed by a theocratic state,” said the report, adding that “this is a setback from all the democratic and liberal ideals which formed the foundation of European civilization.”

The report said that “the UK parliament made a very artificial and marginal differentiation between Islamist movements that exploit democracy to reach power on the one hand, and Islamist movements that seek the path of violence and armed jihad to impose their radical ideology on societies, on the other.”

“All studies that have been conducted on political Islam movements show that there are no essential differences among them and that they all seek one objective – that is trying to impose a strict code of Islam and Islamic Sharia law on the world, and to launch an armed Jihad against ‘infidel rulers’ everywhere,” argued the report.

“In other words,” the report added, “these groups want to Islamise the entire world and they only differ on when and how these objectives should be implemented,” said the report.

“While a group like the Muslim Brotherhood shows the face of artificial Islamic moderation to gain ground in the West and infiltrate societies there, other groups seek the road of violence. Each complements the other,” said the report.

The report described the Muslim Brotherhood “as the mother of all jihadist and Salafist movements.”

“The UK parliament report ignores – either on purpose or due to a lack of knowledge about historical facts – that since it was established in the first third of the previous century the Muslim Brotherhood has been responsible for spreading the radical Islamic ideology upon which all terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida, ISIS, Hamas, Ezzeddin Al-Qassam, Al-Nusra Front and Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis were based,” said the report, adding that “most of the leaders of these terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida’s current leader Ayman Al-Zawahri were once members of Muslim Brotherhood.”

“This group is the godfather of all jihadist and Salafist ideologies which dream of resurrecting the state of the caliphate against the infidel West,” said the report.

“We doubt that UK politicians or MPs have any books about the ideological basis of this group, which is highly hostile to the West and what they describe as its “liberal and infidel culture,” said the report.

To press its case, the report reviews a number of political assassinations which the Muslim Brotherhood has carried out since it was established by its leader Hassan Al-Banna in 1928.

The second part of the response accuses the UK report of making “a big mistake” by drawing a comparison between the experience of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia.

“The Media and politicians in the West always like to portray Tunisia as the democratic, inclusive model in the Middle East,” said the report, adding that “this is a big mistake because facts show that Tunisia has become a fertile ground for Islamist jihadists who spread extremism and terrorism in France and Europe and that more than 1,000 Tunisians — the greatest number from any Arab country — a have joined the IS group.”

“Doesn’t this show that the Muslim Brotherhood ideology was behind the transformation of Tunisia into a breeding ground for jihadists,” wondered the report, adding that “not to mention that Tunisia is a small country – with 11 million people – but Egypt is a country with 90 million and the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which exploited political tolerance over eight decades to create a wide network of businesses and secret armed militias.”

“The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt owns banks, charity organizations and receives huge donations from wealthy sympathisers in the Arabian Gulf and throughout the Islamic world,” said the report.

The report also argued that the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia accepted democracy only for tactical reasons. “After they saw how millions in Egypt revolted against their mother group, they decided to backtrack only for tactical reasons,” said the report.

The report’s third section is devoted to explaining the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and internal structure “which is highly hostile to all democratic values.”

“Their ideology is based on strict obedience to the group’s supreme guide, not to mention that its main ideologues, such as Sayyid Qutb, were the ones who invented the jihadist ideology which states that “democracy goes against the rule of God and Islamic Sharia,” said the report.

The report also reviews in detail “the one year of the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt.”

“They exploited the collapse of (former president) Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party to exclude all civilian political forces from power and impose their rule on the country. When millions revolted against them and expelled them from power on 30 June, 2013, they resorted to claims of victimhood again, only to find an ear in the UK and its parliament,” said the report, insisting that “Egyptians stand firm against the rule of ‘the supreme guide’ and will not allow their country to become a religious state.”

“Egyptians are in a battle of life and death against this group, which is the mother of all radical Islam movements,” said the report.

The report also said that many of those who implemented terrorist attacks against the US on 11 September, 2001 received training at the hands of old and veteran Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

The report spotlights what it calls the Muslim Brotherhood’s “empowerment ideology” which seeks to Islamise the entire world in a gradual way.

The report urges the UK parliament and politicians to review “the dark history of the Muslim Brotherhood” and to verify their information about it “instead of issuing distorted reports about political Islam.”

“While the world has become increasingly aware of the dangers of all radical Islam movements, we are surprised that the UK MPs and politicians still live in a coma, insistent not only on polishing the image of these movements, but also propagating the biggest lie: that it is a peaceful and moderate movement,” the report concludes.

The report includes a great number of details about the yearlong rule of former president Mohamed Morsi and how the Brotherhood exploited this year to isolate all political forces.

“For all those who believe in the West that Islamist movements can be integrated into the political process of Arab countries, we offer this bitter experience to put an end to this lie,” said the report.

The UK House of Commons’ foreign affairs committee released its report on 7 November, commenting on the findings and conclusions of a December 2015 review by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The 2015 FCO report concluded that the group has long maintained a dubious position vis-à-vis the use of violence and terrorism to achieve political change.

The UK parliament committee said that the FCO review “undermined confidence in the impartiality of the FCO’s work” due to the “misguided appointment” of Sir John Jenkins, the UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to head the review effort.

Satire?| Obama Ratifies Treaty on Sharia Law

September 4, 2016

Satire?| Obama Ratifies Treaty on Sharia Law, Dan Miller’s Blog, September 4, 2016

(The views expressed in this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

Having personally ratified the Iran Scam Treaty and the Climate Change Treaty with China, President Obama today met with Turkish, Saudi and Iranian heads of state to ratify a new treaty making Sharia Law binding in the United States. Please see also, The West Needs Sharia Law – Pakistani cleric. Obama, a renowned constitutional scholar, quickly rejected objections by Senate leaders that “He shouldn’t oughta do that because it’s our job” by reminding them that He is the President and is therefore empowered by the Constitution to do whatever pleases Him.

TOTUS Seal

Here is the text of President Obama’s statement on ratification of the Sharia Law Treaty, provided by The Incomparably Honorable I. M. Totus, Teleprompter of the United States:

My beloved Islamist colleagues, men, women and whatever: today, with great pleasure and a heart-felt desire for a better future for all, I today ratified a treaty with The Republic of Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran making Sharia Law officially binding in America just as it is in those great progressive, humanitarian nations.

As United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently stated, the debate about the horrors of man-made climate change is over and the issue is settled. So be it with any debate over My success in preventng Iran from using nuclear weapons and, indeed, over My constitutional powers as your humble President. I have settled those matters as well, as all loyal Americans must agree.

Sharia Law will make America a far happier and better place for all including, most importantly, refugees coming to our shores in increasing numbers from other Islamist nations. I can think of no better way to welcome them than by guaranteeing them the dignity, honor and freedoms under Sharia Law they so richly and justly deserve.

For too long has America based its laws on flawed Judeo-Christian principles. But that’s not who we are; we have a long, honorable and mutually beneficial history with Islam and many if not most of our best citizens are Muslims. The treaty I ratified today will finally put us on the right side of history. It will also facilitate My brilliant countering violent extremism initiative by encouraging an honest discussion of Sharia law, long rejected by “America First” nationalists and other Islamophobes who despise Allah and His one true Religion of Peace.

I am confident that all loyal Americans will be happy to abide by our Sharia Laws; common sense steps will be taken to encourage all to do so. Observers from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will soon come to America to assist us in implementing whatever encouragements may be needed.

We should all thank the three other splendid freedom loving nations which also ratified the new treaty and encourage all other nations of the world to join us as soon as possible.

Thank you and have a pleasant day.

Hated by many Americans until now, The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown that it is a truly glorious example of Islamist democracy in action, where Sharia Law is enforced, followed and enjoyed by all.

hangings_in_iran

With Obama leading the way as always, we are joining them. Just look at the Iranians depicted in the following Iranian propaganda video! They are proud, happy, peaceful, patriotic and loving despite the shameful efforts of America in the past and, indeed, of some war-mongering Americans today, to humble and destroy them and their beloved nation.

No longer will that happen. The President has spoken! This will be the most beneficial and longest lasting of all of His many great leaps forward to make America a country of which He, His beautiful wife Michelle and all other good people can and will be truly proud.

It is anticipated that President Obama will soon issue an executive order changing the name of the country from The United States of America to The Islamist Republic of Obama. The flag of the new Islamist Republic of Obama will combine the best elements of the flags of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A photo of Obama as the bringer of true Islamic peace and understanding will be superimposed over the other flag elements.

Obama:

Obama death to America

Iran:
Iranian flag

Turkey:
Flag_of_Turkey.svg

Saudi Arabia:
saudi flag

Oh well.

what me worry

The West Needs Sharia Law – Pakistani cleric

September 3, 2016

The West Needs Sharia Law – Pakistani cleric, Dan Miller’s Blog, September 3, 2016

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

According to a leading Pakistani imam, Islamists need to convince western civilizations that Sharia law is good and that we need it to root our the evils which possess us. His wise words must be music to Obama’s ears.

In a recent article, leading Pakistani cleric Maulana Zahidur Rashdi noted that Islam and the West are indeed in a clash of civilizations, as argued by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

The article, titled “The Cultural and Civilizational Struggle Between Islam and the West,” was published by Roznama Islam, an Urdu-language daily published from Karachi and Lahore, which is known for advocating Islamist causes and pro-jihad arguments.

Maulana Zahidur Rashdi is a leading Islamic scholar who frequently writes in newspapers and has visited several countries to preach Islam, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bangladesh, Iran, Kenya, Iran, Uzbekistan, India, the U.K., Canada, the U.S., and others.

. . . .

“[Our Intellectuals See It Not As A War Of Civilization But As] A War Of Interests … Between The Developed And The Developing Countries, In Which Muslim Countries And Nations Are The Underdogs Due To Lack Of Progress”

“‘Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has said that those Muslims who believe in shari’a should be expelled from America. Before this, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump had too demanded a ban on the entry of Muslims into America. Newt Gingrich… has said in an interview: Western civilization is in a state of war. Shari’a is not compatible with the Western civilization, and we will gladly accept those Muslims who do not believe in shari’a. Newt Gingrich has also proposed monitoring mosques in America along with imprisoning individuals who visit websites of extremist organizations.

Accordingly,

“The West’s standpoint is very clear in that it is not ready to accept the enforcement of shari’a. In response to this, it is our responsibility to point out the errors of the Western civilization based on the common collective interests of human society and revealed [Islamic] teachings, to clarify the damages caused to human society by it [the Western civilization], and to bring forth benefits and necessities of Islamic Shari’a through reason and logic…”

President Obama has contended that America should not bar immigrants or refugee seekers who favor the imposition of Sharia law; that’s not who we are. Perhaps He does not want to stop His thus far successful efforts to end our terrorist shortage. In July of last year, Obama

condemned the terrorist attack in France that killed 84 people and denounced politicians who have suggested that Muslims be subjected to extra scrutiny in the United States because of their religion.

“In the wake of last night’s attacks, we’ve heard more suggestions that all Muslims in America be targeted or tested for their beliefs,” Obama said. The president appeared to be referring to former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s call on Fox News to deport all Muslims who follow sharia law.

Without mentioning Gingrich by name, Obama called his suggestion of a religious test “repugnant and an affront to everything we stand for as Americans.” [Emphasis added.]

“We cannot give in to fear or turn on each other or sacrifice our way of life,” Obama said. “We cannot let ourselves be divided by religion, because that is exactly what the terrorists want.”

Alas, some Muslims reject governmental adoption of Sharia law. Raheel Raza recently took issue with CNN commentator Sally Kohn, who had tried to defend Sharia law.

Raza’s response came after Kohn recently pretended to be an Islamic theologian and lectured the public on how “progressive” sharia law allegedly is:

There is a difference between personal, spiritual Sharia and the political incorporation of Sharia into law,” Kohn stated. “And within both, there are progressive interpretations as well as more fundamentalist conservative interpretations. So the word Sharia doesn’t mean one thing.” [Emphasis added.]

Kohn then blasted Donald Trump for “not knowing” what sharia law really stands for. This is likely when Raza’s radar went up, considering that the Muslim activist has first-hand knowledge about sharia law and the threat it poses.

Raza, who at great personal risk travels the world to educate people on the dangers of sharia law and who has worked for decades to wrestle her faith from the hands of extremists, thinks it odd that a progressive would defend the very Islamic tenets that promote homophobia, anti-Semitism, and the subjugation of women.

In an open letter to Kohn published on the Huffington Post, Raza writes:

Political commentator Sally Kohn has made several statements regarding sharia law, which were not only offensive but dangerous. In using her voice to propagate this liberal apologist position, she is doing a great disservice to progressive reform-minded Muslims like myself. Her words are an affront to me, a female Muslim activist, as I have made it my life’s mission to educate others on this topic and to wrestle back my religion from the clutches of extremists who wish to make sharia the law of the land. And I would be happy to debate her on this topic. [Emphasis added.]

As an openly gay woman, Ms. Kohn would be killed, jailed or persecuted under sharia law. As a devout Muslim woman, I – along with many true progressive Muslims – rightly view sharia, as it is practiced today, as an archaic distortion of Islamic law.

In a very diplomatic way, Raza suggests that perhaps Kohn doesn’t know as much about Islamic law as she thinks she does, and then offered up the following “brief lesson in sharia”:

What many sharia laws and statutes have in common are the following. They are:

· Homophobic
· Anti-semitic
· Anti-women
· Advocate amputations and stoning
· Preach killing of apostates
· Uphold the Blasphemy Law (which could get me killed)

“This homophobic, anti-woman, repressive sharia is no longer confined to the mosque or to majority Muslim nations,” Raza writes before providing the example of England’s 100 sharia councils that have been allowed to harm women in the West.

“As a woman, and as someone who enjoys the freedoms and liberties that are systematically assaulted by sharia law, Sally Kohn needs to think twice before defending this oppressive, perverse practice.”

“Words are powerful — so Sally, I beg you and others to stop defending the indefensible and to stand with us, not them,” the Muslim activists concluded.

It is typical of progressives, so willfully blind, that they hurt the very people they claim to champion. Sadly, progressives like Kohn would rather propagate left-wing lies about Islam without regard to how many people get hurt in the process, than actually learn from the people who know best.

Obama may think that Sharia law is good and that we need it, but rejects any “honest discussion” about it.

Would Iman Obama agree with Sally Kohn and Pakistani imam Rashdi that western cultures need the enlightenment that Sharia law brings? Then, perhaps we could become enlightened and progressive (but I repeat myself) like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. Saudi Arabia recently sentenced a man to ten years in jail and two thousand lashes for “tweeting” about being an atheist.

The hardline Islamic state’s religious police in charge of monitoring social networks found more than 600 tweets denying the existence of God, ridiculing Koranic verses, accusing all prophets of lies and saying their teaching fuelled hostilities…

Turkey is enjoying an epidemic of child rape. The Islamic Republic of Iran likes to have mass executions and, when convenient, throws homosexuals off tall buildings.

gays off hall building

Stoning, pursuant to Sharia law, is also popular in Iran.

Of course, it has to be done only in conformity with Iran’s Sharia law, generally after a “confession.”

And on and on and on. Never mind, though, Iran is very technologically advanced, doubtless due to scientific guidance provided by its ayatollahs based on the teachings of Mohammad. Indeed, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi recently promised that the “Hidden Imam” will arrive soon, and in “a vessel like a space ship.

Islamic Hijrah, migrating from Islamic countries to non-Islamic countries, is a way of conquest by political Islam — by Islamists. With it, comes Sharia law. If you haven’t the time or inclination to watch any of the other videos, please watch this one. Yes, it’s thirty minutes long, but well is worth the time.

Perhaps, by extending hands of welcome to more Islamist immigrants and refugees who seek to conquer us and “help” us by bringing Sharia law with them, we will accept that only based on Islamist teachings can we

clarify the damages caused to human society by it [the Western civilization], and . . . bring forth benefits and necessities of Islamic Shari’a through reason and logic…”

Obama would be very proud of them, and of us for imposing no religious ideological tests.

A Ramadan Piece: The “Other” Islam

July 5, 2016

A Ramadan Piece: The “Other” Islam, Gatestone InstituteSalim Mansur, July 5, 2016

(A fascinating history of the battle between political Islam and non-political Islam. The battle continues. — DM)

♦ Abrahamic monotheism as represented in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, precedes and stands apart from politics as an ethical vision that transcends history. It was a vision which invited people to embrace their common humanity as created and gifted by one omnipotent deity, and to follow a revealed code of ethics for righteous living, holding the promise of peace with an end to interminable conflicts that divided people into warring tribes.

♦ Thoughtful Muslims, for nearly a century before the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the Caliphate, had been writing about the need for an Islamic reform. Europe’s cultural advancement following the Reformation and Enlightenment held up a mirror for the Islamic world to follow in similar direction to similar ends. There was a consensus among Muslims that Islam was not intrinsically opposed to the modern world, and a readiness to follow in the footsteps of the West.

♦ This is the “other” Islam. This is submission to truth, whose most righteous exemplar was Abraham when his faith was tested by his Deity, according to the Hebrew Bible, to sacrifice his son. And this is the faith of Sufis who took Muhammad’s message to people in places far removed from the desert confines of Arabia. It is simply, as the Qur’an reminds (30:30), deen al-fitrah, the natural religion, or inclination, of man to know his Creator. There is no return of this “other” Islam; it never went missing.

The cover of the January 1976 issue of Commentary magazine announced its main story, “The Return of Islam,” by Bernard Lewis. The year of publication coincided with the coming end of the fourteenth century of Islam, and the anticipation of a new Islamic century beginning in 1979. Forty years later this essay by Lewis, widely recognized and respected as the most eminent scholar on the Middle East and Islam alive today, came to be celebrated as the first warning of the coming upheaval inside the world of Islam.

Lewis’s essay was a corrective to viewing the Middle East and its people, Arabs and Muslims, in terms of Western values. “Modern Western man,” wrote Lewis, “being unable for the most part to assign a dominant and central place to religion in his own affairs, found himself unable to conceive that any other peoples in any other place could have done so… [or to] admit that an entire civilization can have religion as its primary loyalty.” This meant, Lewis continued, the “inability, political, journalistic, and scholarly alike, to recognize the importance of the factor of religion in the current affairs of the Muslim world”.

Recent events have proven that Lewis was correct in pointing to this critical flaw in much of Western understanding of Islam and Muslims. But the title of the essay was unfortunate and misleading; there was no “return of Islam” for Muslims, since at no point in Islamic or Muslim history had Islam been missing, or dormant.

Instead of the “return of Islam,” it was the return of political Islam, or Islamism. Lewis’s essay was a timely review of Muslim history in terms of political Islam. But political Islam is but one facet of Islam. It is a recurring mistake to see political Islam as the defining feature of Islam that obscures Islam’s spiritual dimension, which is more vital than the coarse authoritarian features of political Islam.

In antiquity, politics was inseparable from religion. It might be said that politics was the handmaiden of religion. A ruler among people in ancient times was a chief priest, or a demigod. This feature of the ancient world in which religion and politics were bound together could be described as “theopolitics”, and Islam was as much influenced in its history by theopolitics as were Judaism and Christianity.

Lewis wrote:

“The three major Middle Eastern religions are significantly different in their relations with the state and their attitudes to political power. Judaism was associated with the state and was disentangled from it; its new encounter with the state at the present time raises problems which are still unresolved. Christianity, during the first formative centuries of its existence, was separate from and indeed antagonistic to the state with which it only later became involved. Islam from the lifetime of its founder was the state, and the identity of religion and government is indelibly stamped on the memories and awareness of the faithful from their own sacred writings, history, and experience.”

A lot of history is compressed in this passage, and so some misreading of that history is inevitable. Lewis went on to discuss Islam as being entwined with political Islam since its inception. “Islam was associated with power from the very beginning,” wrote Lewis, “from the first formative years of the Prophet and his immediate successors.” Consequently, in Islam “religion is not, as it is in Christendom, one sector or segment of life, regulating some matters while others are excluded; it is concerned with the whole of life—not a limited but a total jurisdiction.”

The problem with Lewis’s view of Islam is that he uncritically accepted the theology of political Islam. This theology was constructed during the three centuries after the Prophet Muhammad when, in the course of events between the seventh and the tenth century of the Common Era, Arabs came to rule a vast empire. It was consistent with the temper of late antiquity, and it put a stamp on Islam ever since that most Muslims have accepted without questioning.

Abrahamic monotheism as represented in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, however, precedes and stands apart from politics as an ethical vision that transcends history. It was a vision which invited people to embrace their common humanity as created and gifted by one omnipotent deity, and to follow a revealed code of ethics for righteous living, holding the promise of peace with an end to interminable conflicts that divided people into warring tribes.

It was the resistance of pagans and polytheists to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam at their origins that compelled their early followers in the course of their respective histories to seek in politics protection for their religious beliefs. In Judaism and Islam, the founders — Moses and Muhammad — combined in their personalities the roles of prophet, warrior, and statesman. The life of Jesus, in this respect, was different.

In Moses’s case, he never entered the promised land, and it was left to his successors to eventually found a state for the Jews. In the instance of Muhammad, there is the question that has divided Muslims ever since his death: was his prophetic mission primarily to establish an Islamic state that would define, for Muslims for all times, Islam as the ideal arrangement in which religion and politics were one and indivisible?

The answer to this question was surrounded in controversy right from the moment of the Prophet’s last illness before his death. The controversy over his succession, and what such succession meant, tore apart the immediate followers of the Prophet, and incited tribal warfare, fratricide and schisms that since then have provided the backdrop to Muslims in respect to their own understanding and practice of Islam as religion and politics.

Islam as the Abrahamic vision of man’s relation with God was supplanted by the theology of political Islam. The process began in the midst of the Prophet’s last illness and accelerated with his death. The majority Sunni sect in Islam coalesced around the view that the immediate successors of the Prophet, elected or chosen, ought to be the closest companions of Muhammad, and their rulings in the formative stage of Muslim history became the standard by which subsequent generations of Muslims innovated the requirements of ruling an empire.

Those Muslims who dissented from the majority view represented by Sunni Islam were the Shi’a, or the party of Ali. Ali was a cousin of the Prophet, raised from his childhood in the Prophet’s household and, hence, the closest companion of Muhammad. Ali was also the Prophet’s son-in-law by marriage to Fatima, his only surviving child. The Shi’a Muslims believed Ali was the designated successor of the Prophet because of their familial ties, but he was forcefully denied the succession by those who usurped it immediately following the Prophet’s demise. Shi’a Islam evolved as the main minority sect with its own theopolitics within Islam.

The first Muslims were Arabs of the desert, the Bedouins, among whom Muhammad was born. Their tribalism persisted despite the Prophet’s warnings and it shaped Islam from the first hour of the post-Prophetic history. Sectarianism within Islam was the unavoidable outcome of clan and tribal conflicts among the first Muslims, and the Sunni-Shi’a divide became the main cleavage as a result, setting the template of further divisions as sects proliferated over time in the history of Islam.

Less than a century after the Prophet’s death in 632 C.E., his followers, the Bedouin Arabs, became the rulers of an empire that stretched from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to the Indus River in the East. There was nothing in the Qur’an, or in the traditions of the Prophet, to instruct these Arabs on the mechanics of administrating an empire. They took to imitating the rulers of Persia, whom they defeated, and adopted the administrative manuals of both Byzantine and Persian officialdom to rule the lands and peoples they conquered. And in order to provide legitimacy in the name of Islam to Arab rule in Damascus and later in Baghdad, the ulema(religious scholars) worked out the details of law and society, the Sharia, derived from the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions.

The origin of Islamic culture and civilization lies in the empire that Bedouin Arabs, through the force of arms, established in a very short period. This was also the origin of political Islam, which came to represent the dominant face of Islam as theopolitics.

The fight that erupted, with the news of the Prophet’s demise, among his closest companions over succession related to temporal power that the Prophet had exercised, and not his role as a Messenger of God (Rasul Allah). This fight culminated in 680 C.E. with the defeat of the Prophet’s grandson, Husayn, killed and decapitated in the field of Kerbala, close to the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq, by the army sent out by Yazid I, the Ummayad Caliph of the rapidly expanding Islamic empire.

The event in Kerbala was a watershed in the history of Islam. Ethnic Arabs, recently converted to Islam, delivered Husayn’s cruel end. Ever since, this crime, as sordid as the crucifixion of Jesus, has stained Muslim history with the mark of Cain.

After Kerbala, it could no longer be said that Islam, as Abrahamic monotheism, guided politics ethically along the path of justice and mercy. Instead, the politics that surfaced upon the death of the Prophet hardened after the killing of Husayn, and politics henceforth came to define Islam as faith, culture, and society.

699In the Battle of Kerbala, depicted in Abbas Al-Musavi’s painting, Husayn, the son of Ali and grandson of Muhammad, was killed along with his family and all his followers by the armies of the Umayyad Caliphate. It was the most crucial moment in the split between Shi’a and Sunni Islam. (Image source: Brooklyn Museum)

The Ummayads in Damascus, the imperial capital, were the first dynastic rulers among Arabs in Islamic history. The founder of the dynasty, Muawiyyah, seized power following the murder of Ali, the fourth Caliph and the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet. With the Ummayads the institution of the Caliphate, which was an innovation to fill the void of leadership among the Arabs in Medina following Muhammad’s death, adopted the pomp and pageantry of the Persian and Byzantine rulers. The Caliphate, from that first century of Islamic history until its abolition in 1924 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was the embodiment of Oriental Despotism.

Those Muslims who witnessed the tribal conflicts erupt after the Prophet’s demise and recoiled in revulsion from politics turned inward in seeking union with the divine mystery, as mentioned in the Qur’an. They sought solace in the spiritual dimension of Islam and emulated the Prophetic tradition of withdrawal from the world through prayer and meditation. They became the founders of the Sufi, or mystical, tradition in Islam. This was the “other” face of Islam, distinct from political Islam.

The physical expansion of the Islamic empire was carried forth by the armies of the Caliphs. But the spread of Islam as a faith tradition was a slow process, carried forth by Sufi missionaries belonging to various fraternal orders and independent of political rulers of the world of Islam.

There is a world of difference in conversion brought about at the point of sword of conquering armies, and conversion that results from the communion of hearts and minds among people. The latter is more genuine and transformative than the former in every religion. The Qur’an itself — verse 49:13 — warned the Prophet that the acceptance of Islam by the Arabs of the desert was one of submission in the face of defeat, and that belief had not entered their hearts. This verse might be read as forewarning of crimes Muslims would commit through history in the cause of political Islam, beginning with the killing of Husayn in Kerbala.

Political Islam from its outset was an inquisition. It began with Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, when he subverted the Islamic principle stated in the Qur’an — “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) — and declared war on those Arab tribes who withheld their loyalty from him following the death of the Prophet. The “Ridda Wars,” or the “Wars of Apostasy,” launched by Abu Bakr inaugurated political Islam, and since then, the precedent he set for Muslim-on-Muslim violence has plagued Islamic history into our times.

The role of the a’lem (pl. ulema; religious scholars) was instrumental in the making of political Islam. The ulema provided legitimacy to the Ummayad Caliphs in Damascus in the period of intra-tribal conflicts that had led to the killings of the three Caliphs (Umar, Uthman, and Ali) after Abu Bakr and then the massacre in the field of Kerbala.

The consensus of the ulema — accepted by those who eventually came to represent the majority Sunni Muslims (the word “Sunni” derived from Sunna, meaning following the path or tradition of the Prophet) — was that political and social order however provided and maintained was preferable to fitnah (disorder). This consensus provided doctrinal legitimacy to the Caliphs. In return, the Caliphs recognized the special function of the religious scholars and jurists in the drafting, codification, and implementation of Sharia, or Islamic laws.

As a result of this bargain between men wielding swords and men wielding pens, the foundational arrangement of political Islam was firmly established. It was an arrangement consistent with the thinking prevalent in antiquity that religion (deen in Arabic) prescribed the totality of human affairs. This meant, as it was understood by the ulema in the formative period of Islamic history, that the primary function of state and government (dawlat in Arabic) was the establishment of the rule of Sharia. As Ann K.S. Lambton in her study, State and Government in Medieval Islam(1981), observed:

“The law precedes the state and is immutable at all times and under all conditions. The state is there to carry out the law. To disobey a law or to neglect a law is not simply to infringe a rule of the social order: it is an act of religious disobedience, a sin, and as such involves a religious penalty.”

Once the bricks and mortar of political Islam were set in the making of the Islamic civilization, Islam as the official doctrine of the state and empire clearly demarcated the norm as prescribed in the Sharia and made the ulema its official guardians. The Islamic state was a nearly perfect embodiment of a closed totalitarian system designed by men towards the end of the first millennium of the Common Era, and any suggestion of change or adoption of new idea in matters of either religion or politics was condemned as bid’ah (heresy deserving punishment).

But Muslim dissidents who viewed the doctrine of political Islam, or what might also be referred to as “official” Islam, as an aberration, went underground and kept the “other” Islam free from the shackles of politics. Beneath the hardened features of political Islam, the “other” Islam of Sufis provided solace to Muslims by tending to their humanity in the light of God’s most favoured attributes of mercy and compassion.

The “other” Islam, unlike political Islam, is not bound by time and space. It is directed to man’s inner yearnings for that which is eternal. It plunges in search of the inner meaning of the Qur’an as the Word of God, and the assuredness that God’s mercy is not denied to any of His creations. The Qur’an states, “We are nearer to man than his jugular vein” (50:16), reassuring man that he is not alone and God is not some distant uncaring deity.

Whereas the defining characteristic of political Islam was religion inseparable from politics, in “other” Islam politics was the corruption of religion and the dissolution of belief. Hence, from the perspective of “other” Islam, the Sharia as the corpus of Islamic laws codified by the ulema and sanctioned by the Caliphs was a poor, even corrupt, representation of the divine Sharia (in Arabic, a “path”) imprinted in the hearts of all believers as the path to acquiring God’s infinite grace.

ii.

Political Islam and the Islamic civilization it inaugurated was time-bound as a theopolitical system constructed in a certain historical period or context. It was a construct of late antiquity and the early medieval era. Since it was a fixed and closed system, it was invariably given to decay and dissolution.

During the Middle Ages, the Islamic civilization flourished just as other civilizations had. As Abdus Salam (1926-1996) — a physicist of Indo-Pakistani origin and the first Muslim scientist awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 — observed in one of his lectures, the world of Islam and the world of Christianity (Europe) were more or less at a similar stage of development around the middle of the seventeenth century.

The evidence of this relative equality of the two civilizations, Salam suggested, could be seen in their technological achievements represented by the two monuments, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England, completed about the same time. Some two decades later, Salam observed,

“there was also created — and this time only in the West — a third monument, a monument still greater in its eventual import for humanity’s future. This was Newton’s Principia, published in 1687.”

Newton’s monument had no counterpart in India, or anywhere else in the Muslim world.

The Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, led by men of astounding intellect from Leonardo da Vinci to Galileo and Newton, propelled Europe out of the medieval age into the making of the modern world. But Islamic civilization, held together by political Islam, descended into a death spiral. A century after Newton published his major work, the Ottoman Empire was turning irreversibly into a pale shadow of a civilization that once had threatened the powers of Europe at the gates of Vienna.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington by the Islamist terrorists of al Qaeda, Bernard Lewis published What Went Wrong? (2002). It was Lewis’s effort to answer why, and how, the world of Islam had failed to accommodate the imperatives of the modern world.

“In most of the arts and sciences of civilization, medieval Europe was a pupil and in a sense a dependent of the Islamic world,” wrote Lewis.

“And then, suddenly, the relationship changed. Even before the Renaissance, Europeans were beginning to make significant progress in the civilized arts. With the advent of the New Learning, they advanced by leaps and bounds, leaving the scientific and technological and eventually the cultural heritage of the Islamic world far behind them.”

The civilizational success of political Islam in late antiquity and the early medieval era ironically carried within it the seeds of its own decline and demise. World War I eventually put an end to the anachronism that the Ottoman Empire had become, and the abolition of the Caliphate was a formal effort to bury political Islam for good.

Thoughtful Muslims, for nearly a century before the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the Caliphate, had been thinking and writing about the need for an Islamic reform. Europe’s cultural advancement following the Reformation and Enlightenment held up a mirror for the Islamic world to follow in similar direction to similar ends.

In India under British rule, for instance, there were a significant number of Muslims who painfully recognized the malaise of Islamic societies and offered remedy for their advancement into the modern world. Among them the notable were Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-98), the founder of the Aligarh University; Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1928), jurist and historian; and Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), poet and philosopher.

One of the most important works was published in 1925 by Ali Abd al-Raziq (1888-1966), an Egyptian scholar and jurist at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. In his seminal work, titled al-Islam wa ‘Usul al-Hukm (Islam and the Fundamentals of Authority), al-Raziq pointed out that there was no basis in the Qur’an and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet for the institution of the Caliphate.

Al-Raziq was not someone from outside the ranks of the ulema, or a lay scholar unfamiliar with the intricacies of Islamic jurisprudence and theology in the construction of Sharia. He was a student of Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) at al-Azhar, when Abduh had been appointed the Grand Mufti of Egypt.

Al-Raziq’s main contention was based on the distinction between spiritual and temporal authority. He indicated that the confusion among Muslims in the period after the Prophet arose from their inability to distinguish between the Apostolic role of Muhammad and the authority he derived as the Messenger of God (Rasul Allah), and the Caliphate as a temporal institution. Al Raziq wrote:

“Muhammad was but an apostle, sent on behalf of a religious summons, one pertaining entirely to religion and unmarred by any taint of monarchy or of summons to a political state; and he possessed neither kingly rule nor government, and he was not charged with the task of founding a kingdom in the political sense, as this word and its synonyms are generally understood.”

Al-Raziq was denounced by his peers. He was made to appear before the Council of the Greatest Ulema of Al-Azhar to hear the judgment against him, as his license to teach and practice law was revoked. Egypt was then ruled under Britain’s supervision, which likely saved al-Raziq from even more severe punishment.

But al-Raziq had stripped away the argument of traditional Islam on the sanctity of the Caliphate, and with it went the idea of Sharia being sacred. In the half-century following the abolition of the Caliphate by Mustafa Kemal, Muslims under European rule gained their independence as new states emerged in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world of Islam.

This period in the middle decades of the last century was a period of intense expectations on the part of Muslims for progress in their living conditions. A massive effort was invested to make the transition from the world of pre-Newtonian knowledge and learning to the modern world of science, industry and democracy.

There was a consensus among the rich and the poor that Islam was not intrinsically opposed to the modern world. There was a readiness among Muslims to follow in the footsteps of the West.

This consensus was reflected in a well-known and widely circulated aphorism attributed to Muhammad Abduh. On returning to Cairo from a visit to Europe, Abduh told his students, “I travelled in the West and found Islam, but no Muslims; I have returned to the East and find Muslims, but not Islam.”

The transition into the modern world, however, proved immensely complex and difficult. Europe’s transition had required several generations and a couple of centuries to break away from the feudal age into the modern age. The resistance from those invested in the ancien arrangements of society and culture was immense, and wars that followed were fierce.

Something similar to the European experience was unavoidable for Muslims in their effort to break from the hold of their traditional culture. And not unlike the wars in Europe, wars within the world of Islam since the 1970s are symptoms of the Muslim struggle to transit into the modern world.

iii.

The abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 was the formal announcement of political Islam’s death. But it refused to die, even as it was laid to rest. Its twitching was felt in the deep dark interior of the world of Islam, in remote and unwelcome places such as Nejd inside Arabia.

Here in Nejd, the medieval theology of Ibn Taymiyyah had struck roots. It had impressed an eighteenth-century itinerant preacher in the region, Abdul Wahhab (1703-92), who turned Ibn Taymiyyah’s extremist thinking into an even more rigid and austere doctrine, hostile to all things inimical to the Bedouin tribal culture of his time and environment.

Abdul Wahhab’s version of political Islam impressed a local tribal chief, and the marriage of convenience between the preacher and the tribal leader gave birth to the first Saudi state in the interior of Arabia. But when it sent tribal warriors to raid towns inside the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire, it provoked the Caliph of Islam in Istanbul, on whose orders this nascent state of the Wahhabi ruler was destroyed.

But the eventual collapse of the Ottoman Empire provided the conditions for the rebirth of the Saudi state as a kingdom under Abdul Aziz ibn Saud in the 1920s. Fortune, in the guise of great power politics, smiled upon him. He seized the support offered by the British, in return for influence in a region of strategic importance. The discovery of oil made the Saudi kingdom a prize to be protected by the Western powers, first Britain and later the United States, with far reaching consequences for the rest of the world, and even more so for the world of Islam and Muslims.

Any modernizing revolution is hugely disruptive. The movement from one stage of social development to another is not linear; it is, instead, filled with zigzags and reversals at every stage of the process toward an uncertain future.

When a people, however, pushes back against this process of change in their midst, or seeks to abort it, this reactionary effort pins its hopes on longing for an idealized past. The Newtonian revolution and the emergence of modern Europe made political Islam anachronistic. Wahhabism, as the official doctrine of the Saudi kingdom, was much more than a return of the most extreme version of political Islam in the early decades of the last century. It was, and remains, a demented effort of the most backward people within the world of Islam to remain culturally tied to antiquity, or jahiliyya (the age of ignorance), which Islam at its origin derided and rejected.

Political Islam in whatever version — Wahhabism, Khomeinism, Ikhwanism (the Muslim Brotherhood) and their derivatives — has no answer for Muslims on how to make their historic transition into the modern world. It can continue to rage against the modern world until its civilized inhabitants, including Muslims, have had enough of its destructiveness and obliterate it.

Then that vision of Abrahamic monotheism, which Muhammad was mysteriously directed to deliver to his people, will be emancipated from political Islam.

This message Muhammad was given admonished Arabs for their lack of faith, provided them with ethics for living honorably, told them in no uncertain term that the God of Abraham made no distinction among nations and people who believe in Him, and that on the Day of Final Reckoning, they need have no fear if they strive in doing what is right.

This is the “other” Islam. This is submission to truth, whose most righteous exemplar was Abraham when his faith was tested by his Deity, according to the Hebrew Bible, to sacrifice his son. And this is the faith of Sufis who took Muhammad’s message to people in places far removed from the desert confines of Arabia. It is simply, as the Qur’an reminds (30:30), deen al-fitrah, the natural religion, or inclination, of man to know his Creator. There is no return of this “other” Islam; it never went missing.

ISIS is a Footnote: The Real Threat is Sharia and Islamic Supremacism

June 29, 2016

ISIS is a Footnote: The Real Threat is Sharia and Islamic Supremacism, CounterjihadShireen Qudosi, June 29, 2016

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a top North American Muslim Reformer, sees Muslim reformers “as the most essential head of spear in the battle against Islamic theocracy.” The largest collective of Muslim Reformers are presently in the United States.

“Ideas of freedom can happen in the laboratory of America,” adds Dr. Jasser. The West offers Muslim voices for humanity a level of freedom that is unmatched in any other part of the world, making Western Muslim reformers critical in this battle against radical Islam — particularly because truthful conversations on faith are painted as persecution, courtesy of the regressive left.

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The battle against radical Islam isn’t an ‘over there’ fight confined to the wastebin landscape of some forgotten town. It’s a ubiquitous problem that takes place on American soil in two forms. The first is through direct jihadi attacks as we most recently saw in Orlando; the second takes the form of political warfare.

Yesterday, the battle of ideas took place on the floor of a Senate hearing spearheaded by Senator Ted Cruz. The “Willful Blindness” hearing, attended by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser,Philip Haney, and Andrew McCarthy among others, offered testimony to better understand barriers to combating radical Islam.

Other witnesses included soft-Islamist Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, who refused to admit that jihad or radicalization had absolutely anything to do with radical Islam. In fact, Senator Cruz’s attempt to engage Khera in dialogue yielded a minimum of 6 instances of denial within five minutes, with Khera defaulting to a regressive left narrative that the conversation is somehow empowering ISIS.

National security consultant Chris Gaubatz debunks the myth of an all-powerful and seeing ISIS:

“The global Islamic movement is made of terrorist groups and nation states; all seeking to impose sharia.”

ISIS is a footnote at best, not the bogeyman that Islamists try to threaten free speech with. The real threat is sharia and a mindset of Islamic supremacism.

Testimony was also provided by Michael German, a fellow of the Brennan Center for Justice and a former FBI Special Agent. German sees radical Islam as a problem but not in the context we would assume is logical based on the facts and common sense. In the same line of thinking as Khera, German denounces a theological association with violent acts of terror under a political doctrine.

German’s reasoning fails. He is neither expert in nor a student of Islamic theology. Had he an objective mind and trained scholar in both academic and traditional Islam, he would see that Islam has become a highly political system that forms and orchestrates national movement. The version of radical Islam adopted by terror groups is not that different than the version of Islam adopted by Islamic states – and to go further – the version of Islam that Islamists identify with. All versions ultimately hold Islam as supreme, paving the way for what is an undeniable theological supremacy. In other words, Islamic supremacy. And that understanding of Islam is adopted by billions of adherents.

In the same vein of thought as Islamists, German believes “radical Islam” is used to smear a faith group. He further argues “collective national security [is not achieved] by undermining security of others.” For German, “Ideas cannot be killed and ideologies cannot be destroyed.” He points to Nazi ideology that while defeated, was not destroyed.

However, radical Islamic ideology can be challenged and destroyed…from within. A growing movement in partnership with allies is already underway by Muslim reformers. Reformers are the new wave of Muslim scholars appearing nearly a millennia after the original Muslim free thinkers, the Mu’tazilites. The waves of movement in Islamic critical thought from the time of the Prophet, through his passing, and till today, shows that Islam is not the monolith German and Khera try to depict.

Andrew McCarthy, a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, understands Islam has seen a struggle to define itself from its earliest days. As McCarthy points out, Muslims “have not settled the question what is an authentic Islam.”

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a top North American Muslim Reformer, sees Muslim reformers “as the most essential head of spear in the battle against Islamic theocracy.” The largest collective of Muslim Reformers are presently in the United States.

“Ideas of freedom can happen in the laboratory of America,” adds Dr. Jasser. The West offers Muslim voices for humanity a level of freedom that is unmatched in any other part of the world, making Western Muslim reformers critical in this battle against radical Islam — particularly because truthful conversations on faith are painted as persecution, courtesy of the regressive left.

For McCarthy, the focus needs to shift to the supremacist interpretation of Islam that is fundamentally at odds with Western values. A clash of civilizations between Islam and the West is not a case of multiculturalism where room can be made for both. Islamic supremacism in its nature allows for only one ideology: its own.

So while German underscores that radical Islam is not a problem – that it is a misnomer – McCarthy points to history which shows us something entirely different. He summarizes that a struggle in Islam has been “ongoing for fourteen centuries supported by centuries of scholarship,” adding that “Islam is less a religion than a political radicalization with a religious veneer.”

McCarthy doesn’t see this as something the U.S. can fix, but it is something that we need to understand and not obscure – particularly because as Chris Gaubatz added, “We can kill every member of Al-Qaeda tomorrow, but it won’t end.”

Zuhdi Jasser added that America has “a sophisticated whack-a-mole system” of combatting terrorism. These are key assessment recognizing that ultimately we need to target the ideology and develop a system that moves beyond a fear of might trigger ISIS – a running theme for both Khera and German.

Khera along with German were both supported by Senator Dick Durbin who brought up a failed ongoing argument that needs to die: Westboro and the KKK are no more Christian than ISIS is Islamic. A cheap, tired trick, it shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about both Islam and Christianity.

Westboro and KKK are not acting in the footsteps of Jesus. However, ISIS is in many ways following the post-Medina violent warring behavior of its prophet, Muhammad. If we’re to see whether something is Islamic or Christian, we need to look at the verses and the leadership. Christianity did not have a violent Jesus and the teachings of Christ himself do not advocate violence. On the other hand, Islam has a violent version of Muhamad, which however justified in whatever context, is still violent and includes violent rhetoric that justified jihadi and supremacist agendas.

Germans builds on the back and forth highlighting Nazi Germany was defeated in part by criminalizing the ideology, something he feels can’t be done with Islam because the ideology can’t be scrubbed. I would argue we’ve already scrubbed so much: over 900 instances of references to jihad and Islam from official documents in what is a systematic purge of intelligence in a critical war.

Let’s go further still and get to the actual problem: the ideology. We need to do the same to political and violent doctrines in Islam, while supporting alternate voices found in reformers who are well on their way by outrightly challenging the theology or through grassroots efforts calling for modernized adaptations.