Posted tagged ‘Islam – the religion of war’

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?”

Where Are the Moderate Muslims?

April 27, 2017

Where Are the Moderate Muslims? Prager University via YouTube, April 27, 2017

(This is similar to what Muslim reformers, also known as “Islamophobes”, such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and the Clarion Project, which also promotes reform, have been saying. The stats were presented by Clarion Project several years ago. A Muslim reformation will be difficult, will take a long time — so did the Christian reformation — and may not happen. For America, however, I see no alternative for the reasons stated here. — DM)

 

Washington-Based Writer Mansour Al-Hadj: Fear Of Trump Presidency Is Overblown; It Is Impossible To Defeat Islamic Terrorism Without Reforming Islam

November 23, 2016

Washington-Based Writer Mansour Al-Hadj: Fear Of Trump Presidency Is Overblown; It Is Impossible To Defeat Islamic Terrorism Without Reforming Islam, MEMRI, November 23, 2016

On November 4, 2016, Mansour Al-Hadj, a liberal Saudi-born journalist living in the U.S.[1], published an article on the liberal Arabic-language website Aafaq.org about the following week’s U.S. presidential election, titled “Trumpophobia – And Why I’m Not Worried About a Trump Presidency.”

Al-Hadj begins his piece by stating that various elements had expressed, in the U.S. media and to him personally, fears of a Trump presidency, casting the candidate as dangerous not only for the U.S. but for global security; as having an uncontrollable desire to use nuclear weapons; as a new Hitler who would turn the U.S. into a Nazi Germany-style racist state; and as similar to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad – since he hinted he would not accept the results of the election unless he won – and to Saddam Hussein. Al-Hadj’s article is a response to these and other statements, which he calls symptoms of “Trumpophobia.”

Although he is a black Muslim Arab, and not a Trump supporter, Al-Hadj wrote, he believes that these fears are overblown, and unwarranted, because the U.S. is a true democracy and its president’s authority is limited, unlike in Arab and Islamic countries. Its system of checks and balances, he wrote, would prevent a President Trump from changing the core values of the country; not only have several American presidents been impeached and forced out one way or another, but Barack Obama, a black man, had been overwhelmingly voted in, twice, despite the claim that the U.S. is fundamentally racist.

Al-Hadj stated that while the “Trumpophobes” persist in accusing Trump of being an Islamophobe, their fear of him is misplaced. However, he stressed, the fear of radical Islam is absolutely warranted, and completely rational – not only on the part of non-Muslims, but for “every peace-loving Muslim” as well. Muslims, he wrote, fear Islam more than anyone else does, because it is they who are the main victims of Islamic terrorism, and it is they who are subject to oppression under Islamic regimes.

Pointing his finger at U.S. Democrats, and particularly the Obama administration, for attempting to obscure Islam’s actual connection to terrorism, in the face of the indisputable proof of such a connection provided by both history and today’s reality, he stressed that Islamic terrorism cannot be eliminated “without reforming Islam and purging it of everything that provides ideological justification for terrorist organizations and streams of political Islam.” He called on the Muslims to establish a global organization representing the entire spectrum of Muslims to deal with interpreting Islam, and for this organization to be the only world body authorized to speak for Muslims.[2]

Al-Hadj concluded by calling on Arabs and Muslims to learn from the democratic experience of the U.S., which, he wrote, entitles any citizen to run for president “in a peaceful democratic atmosphere, in which the only permissible weapon is words,” and enables anyone “to dream of reaching the highest positions with effort and determination, instead of relying on luck, tribal affiliation, wealth, religion, or sect,” as in the Arab and Muslim world.

30796Mansour Al-Hadj (Aafaq.org)

Following are excerpts from Mansour Al-Hadj’s article:[3]

I Don’t Fear A Trump Presidency Because He Cannot Abolish The Basic Values Of The American Nation

“Personally speaking – and despite the fact that I have black skin, come from a Muslim background, speak Arabic, and have an Arab name – I believe that the phenomenon of ‘Trumpophobia’ involves excessive fear, and even though I am not a Trump [supporter,] I do not fear for the fate of the U.S. if this man heads it. I am not worried because I believe the U.S. is a country run by institutions and the president’s authority there is not unlimited as it is in Arab and Islamic countries. [I believe that] Trump can absolutely not cancel the values, achievements and principles of justice, equality, and liberty that form the basis of this nation, whose pillars were established by the founding fathers who meticulously ensured the division and separation of powers. [They did this] so that the people can defend its achievements with the Constitution and government and non-governmental agencies, including the House and Senate, the Supreme Court, civil society organizations, and the judiciary, and while it faces challenges, the FBI still did not hesitate for one second to reopen the investigation into the emails of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton mere days before the election. Clinton could face incarceration if authorities decide that her violations require prosecution and if she is tried and convicted.

“For those who don’t know, the legislative branch in the U.S. can impeach a president, which has happened twice in its history: In 1998 the House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton after his sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. The president was tried before the Senate, which decided to acquit him, allowing Clinton to complete his term in office… President Nixon submitted his resignation after the Watergate scandal that involved spying on the Democratic Party before Congress could vote to impeach him.

“While it is apparent that many Americans are losing trust in their nation and are especially fearful of a takeover by white racists, this nation has proven that it deserves respect and esteem, since it has overcome all tests and fears, and succeeded in all challenges. While Arab channels reported on the racism that American blacks suffer from, and while my friends and acquaintances asked me if I was experiencing racial animosity due to my skin color, Americans – whites, blacks, Latinos, Arabs, Africans, and Asians – elected a black president, thus silencing the voices who rejected the possibility of a black man entering the White House and making Obama president. This would not have been possible if whites based their votes on his skin color rather than his positions.”

It Is Muslims Who Should Fear Islam More Than Anyone

“While the ‘Trumpophobes’ do not realize that their fears of his rise to power are unjustified, they insist on accusing him of unjustified fear of Islam, known as ‘Islamophobia.’ The truth is that fear of Islam is justified and rational, not only on the part of Trump and the Americans, but of every peace-loving Muslim who fears becoming a victim of an extremist Muslim martyrdom attacker who believes that murdering civilians in train stations, theaters, soccer stadiums, or dance halls will bring him closer to Allah, grant him a first class ticket to the eternal gardens of Paradise and the right to deflower dozens of heavenly beauties, and allow him to peer into the face of Allah and sit amongst the prophets, affirmers of truth, martyrs, and righteous men whom Allah favored.

“Trump, whether we like it or not, bases his slogans and ideas on his concern for his country and love of it, which is what his fans and supporters clearly see, [while] the anti-Trump media, instead of trying to analyze and criticize his ideas, try in vain to distort [his image] by focusing on his sexual transgressions, inflating statements he’s made about his views of Muslims and taking them out of context, and focusing on leaked statements and recordings of him discussing his attitude towards women… Ashraf Al-Ansari,[4] a member of the Republican Party and one of Trump’s supporters, was a guest on the panel of the show ‘Talking Points’ [on BBC Arabic], and said that Trump does not speak diplomatically like other politicians because he is a visionary, not a politician.

The Truth Must Be Acknowledged: Islamic Terrorism Is Rooted In Islam

“Trump believes that dealing with any problem starts with establishing an accurate definition of that problem, and in the case of Islamic organizations, it relates to the religion on which terrorists base [their actions] – a fact that Democrats in general, and the Obama administration in particular, try to mask by absolving the [Muslim] religion of any responsibility for [terrorism], and placing [responsibility] solely on one or more extremist groups, which they say have no connection to Islam, as Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

“The claim that terrorism is not related to Islam is a claim that historical facts disprove and current reality rejects and exposes as a distortion, since it is an undisputed fact that Islamic heritage is the ideological basis and the fertile ground granting terrorist groups justifications and motives to commit their heinous crimes. It is absurd to say that Islamic terrorism can be defeated without reforming Islam and purging it of everything that provides ideological justification for terrorist groups and streams of political Islam. I grew up in an Islamic environment that believes religion is its most valuable asset, and that the entire world is conspiring to eliminate it, and therefore that the only way to deal with this Western ‘plot’ against Islam is to adhere to the religion and spread it throughout the world, and revive the ancient glory of the [Muslims] ummah by reoccupying Andalusia, conquering Rome, and smashing the cross.

“While we [Muslims] have blackened the pages of our textbooks with the horrors carried out by European imperialism in Asia and Africa, we continue to call our Muslim ancestors’ occupation of other countries ‘Islamic victories.’ I will never forget the shocked faces of attendants at a lecture I gave at a Mosque in Blacksburg [Virginia] on the topic of ‘The Ills of the Islamic World,’ [when I spoke of] the magnitude of the crime committed by [Ottoman Sultan] Mehmed [II] who, after conquering Constantinople, turned the [Byzantine] Hagia Sophia church into a mosque. One attendee said that this was fine so long as most Muslims at the time agreed to turn the church into a mosque. Another attendee recited a hadith attributed to the Prophet [Muhammad], in which he praised the conqueror of Constantinople and said: ‘The best conqueror is he who conquers it [Constantinople], and the best leader is he who leads it.’ Thus, [this man] eliminated any possibility of a rational interpretation of Islam, based on the values of justice, liberty, and equality – [while] many people who defend Islam repeatedly claim that it ensures [these values], and engrains [them] diligently and applies them equally [to everyone], not just to Muslims but to members of other faiths as well.

“The debates that follow any terrorist attack around the world have become a kind of boring TV drama, and everyone knows how it will end before it even begins. In every debate, one side insists that the source of terrorism is ideology rooted in the Islamic heritage, which divides the world between Dar Al-Islam [the Abode of Islam] and Dar Al-Kufr [the Abode of Unbelief], sees Muslims as the ‘loftiest’ creations, and insists that the enemies wish to snuff out the light of Allah… This side insists that when Muhammad and his Companions [carried out] Allah’s verdict against the Jews of the Banu Qurayza [tribe] – as stated in a hadith: ‘Kill their men, capture their women and children, and commandeer their property’ – they committed crimes no different from the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidi people. [This side also] insists that the ‘Reformer Imam’ Muhammad bin ‘Abd Al-Wahhab [the founder of Wahhabism] declared jihad against the residents of the Arabian Peninsula because they had drifted away from the religion and violated the tenets of monotheism introduced by the Prophet Muhammad. It also insists that current curricula in [Mecca], the city that Muslims face at least five times a day [when praying], teach students that Shi’ites and Sufis are infidels, and that a person who does not pray must be called upon to repent three times, and later [if he does not repent] he must be killed, and [his body] must not be washed nor wrapped in shrouds nor buried in a Muslim cemetery.  They also teach them that the Jews are the eternal enemies of Muslims and that they, the Muslims, will fight them in the end times, and even the trees and the rocks will stand with [the Muslims] to the point that if a Jew hides behind them, they will direct [the Muslims] to him and say: ‘Oh, Muslim, oh servant of Allah – there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’

“As for the side that defends [Islam], it insists that jihadi groups have nothing to do with Islam and that the Koran forbids unlawful killing and ensures freedom of religion, as is stated in Koran 109:6: ‘For you is your religion, and for me is my religion,’ or Koran 5:32: ‘whoever kills a soul… it is as if he had slain mankind entirely,’[5] and argues that Iblis [Satan] refusing to prostrate before Adam is the best example of freedom of expression and disagreement.[6] Thus, the episodes [in defense and condemnation of Islam] end, leaving the viewer without much more [information] than he had prior to watching and without challenging the beliefs of either those who believe that Islam has no relation to terrorism or those who believe that it is the source of terrorism.

“As stated above, Muslims, who suffer from terrorism and from the oppression of regimes that purport to be Allah’s representatives on earth in order to force His laws on people, fear Islam more than anyone else. In other words, they are the most afflicted by ‘Islamophobia’ … And why wouldn’t they fear Islam when thousands of them became victims of terrorist attacks using explosive vests and car bombs that do not distinguish between a man and a woman or between children and elderly? Why wouldn’t they be afraid when hundreds of them are slaughtered like sheep after being accused of being apostates, Western spies and collaborators, merely for objecting to a backwards group ruling them in the name of the religion?

“I do not exaggerate when I say that any young woman forced to wear a hijab against her will has the right to become afflicted with the disease of ‘Islamophobia,’ and any child has the right to fear Islam if his parents forced him to pray and frightened him using tales of ‘the Bald Serpent’[7] and eternal torment in hell if he neglects his prayers. All those who expressed their opinion on Islam and paid the price for it, such as intellectual Farag Foda[8] and Mahmoud Mohammed Taha[9]… or anyone who was or still is at risk, such as Salman Rushdie, Islam Al-Buhairi,[10] Hamza Kashgari,[11] Turki Al-Hamad,[12] Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd,[13] Fatma Naout,[14] Maajid Nawaz,[15] and many others, have the right to be Islamophobic, since their lives are in the balance. As I tweeted yesterday [November 3], I believe that it is the right of any Shi’ite, Sufi, or Ahmadi, and of any liberal or [Muslim] who does not pray or fast or don a long [traditional] robe or who likes listening to music – [it is the right of any one of them] accused of apostasy and lawlessness to be afflicted with Islamophobia.

“I will never forget the nightmares that plagued me when I stopped praying over 10 years ago, and the fear that gripped me when I awakened terrified and covered in sweat in the middle of the night fearing the Bald Serpent and eternal hellfire.”

Muslims Must Establish A Global Organization To Deal With Interpreting Islam

“In my opinion, the solution… lies in Muslims establishing a global Islamic organization to which all Muslims from all sects, ideologies, and cultures, will send representatives and empower them to deal with anything related to interpreting Islamic heritage, explaining it, and establishing it, so that this [body] will be the only one officially qualified to speak for Muslims. [Establishing] such an organization is the only way Muslims can hope to take back their religion from the hands of the regimes and the groups that use it for their personal interests and use clerics to suppress any voice that proposes positions not in line with their agendas and policies. For more on this, see my article ‘Our Change to Restore Our Islam, The Religion of Peace.’[16]

“In conclusion, I reiterate that I understand the fear that many people have regarding Trump ascending to power, but I believe that the U.S. is not Syria or Iraq, or Germany before the rise of Hitler. [I believe] that instead of being fearful we should cherish the idea that Trump reaching this position – even though many oppose him and accuse him of being insane – proves the greatness of the U.S. and the beauty of its democratic experience. It allows anyone to run for or even become president – whether Trump, or Marco Rubio with his Latino roots, or Ben Carson the African-American, or a woman like Hillary Clinton, or a man with Arab roots like Ralph Nader, or a Jew like Bernie Sanders, or a Mormon like Mitt Romney, or a Catholic like late President John F. Kennedy. This, in a peaceful democratic atmosphere, in which the only permissible weapon is words. Obama’s term will end in a few weeks, and he will return to being a regular citizen who served his country and then passed [the baton] to another person to carry on this great empire’s role in leading the world.

“A quick comparison to our miserable Arab and Islamic world shows that Arabs and Muslims have a lot to learn from this unique experience in human history, rather than fragmenting countries, as happened in Sudan due to [President Omar] Al-Bashir and his Islamic men clinging to the altar and refusing to incorporate others in the regime since 1989 – a period during which the U.S. has seen four presidents, with a fifth on the way. We have a lot to learn from the U.S., which grants us free lessons… in constructing states and societies, peaceful transition of power, the conception of citizenship, work ethic, volunteering and philanthropy, the importance of freedom of expression and equality among all societal groups, and in the right of everyone to dream of reaching the highest positions with effort and determination, instead of relying on luck, tribal affiliation, wealth, religion, or sect [as happens in the Arab and Muslims world].

“As for the phenomenon of Islamophobia, which the CAIR organization [tries to cure] by handing out pills to those it thinks are afflicted with it, [17] [I say that] this is a serious problem, and dealing with it requires more than just an intense effort to defend Islam by calling it a religion of peace and offering pills to [Islamophobes]. [People fear Islam because they feel] they are threatened at any given moment by terrorism merely for being ‘infidels,’ ‘polytheists,’  ‘apostates’ or Shi’ites… or for deviating from tradition in accordance with Koranic verses and the traditions of the Prophet.”

Endnotes:

[1] Mansour Al-Hadj is Director of the MEMRI Reform Project. His previous articles include: MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6118, Liberal Writer Mansour Al-Hadj Proposes Founding An Independent Islamic Organization To Address Root Causes Of Violent Extremism, Promote Peaceful Aspects Of Islam, July 30, 2015; Special Dispatch; Special Dispatch No. 3699, Sooner or Later, the Revolution Will Reach Saudi Arabia, March 24, 2011; Special Dispatch No. 2663, In My Youth, I Was Taught to Love Death, December 1, 2009.

[2] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6118, “Liberal Writer Mansour Al-Hadj Proposes Founding An Independent Islamic Organization To Address Root Causes Of Violent Extremism, Promote Peaceful Aspects Of Islam,” June 30, 2015.

[3] Aafaq.org, November 4, 2016.

[4] An Egyptian businessman who lives in the U.S. and goes by the name Ashley Ansara.

[5] The full sentence in the verse is: ‘whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.’

[6] Koran 34:2 states: “And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam’; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.”

[7] According to an unreliable hadith, the Bald Serpent will penetrate the graves of those who neglected prayer and bite them day and night. Alifta.net, the Saudi institution for research and fatwas, fatwa #8689.

[8] A secular Egyptian author and intellectual who supported the separation of religion and state and whose books caused widespread controversy. He was assassinated in 1992 by Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya.

[9] Sudanese philosopher executed on charges of apostasy in 1985.

[10] A young Egyptian intellectual and researcher and head of the Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ daily’s Center for Islamic Studies. Al-Buhairi hosted a show on the Al-Kahira wal-Nas satellite channel in which he spoke out boldly against radical Islamic discourse and even criticized Al-Azhar and its head, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb. As a result the show was suspended and he was prosecuted for “offending religions.” In late May, 2015 he was convicted  and sentenced to five years in prison.

[11] A Saudi writer and poet who was arrested in 2012 for posting two tweets that “insulted the Prophet” and was incarcerated for two years without trial.

[12] A Saudi writer who was arrested in 2012 for tweeting that Islam needs to be reformed.

[13] An Egyptian researcher of Islam whose books sparked controversy in the 1990s by calling the Koran a cultural product. After in 1995 a sharia court convicted him of apostasy and forced to divorce his wife, the two fled to the Netherlands where he lived and worked as a university lecturer.

[14] An Egyptian writer who, in January 2016,  was found guilty of insulting Islam in a Facebook post that spoke out against the ritual of slaughter sheep on Eid al-Adha. She was sentenced to a fine and three years in prison.

[15] A British activist, author and journalist of Pakistani origin. In his youth he was a member of the Islamist movement Hizbullah ut-Tahrir, but later in life he renounced Islamism and became an activist against it.

[16] Published in Aafaq.com, July 13, 2015.

[17] This is a reference to a video circulated by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) by as part of its anti-Islamophobia campaign. The video advises Islamophobes to take a pill, Islamophobin, to treat their disease. See youtube.com/watch?v=_s57kPS_gjM.

Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre survivor: “We need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace”

October 29, 2016

Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre survivor: “We need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace”, Jihad Watch, 

As a secular Muslim, Zineb El Rhazoui is allowed to say in the mainstream what others are excoriated as “anti-Muslim extremists” for saying. The truth is true no matter who says it, but in today’s culture of identity politics, it’s truer when coming from racially and culturally approved voices.

“Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism,’” by Emma-Kate Symons, New York Times (of all places), October 18, 2016:

She leads a clandestine existence, on the move and under 24-hour guard as France’s most protected woman. Yet Zineb El Rhazoui, the Charlie Hebdo journalist who happened to be in Casablanca on January 7 last year, the day terrorists “avenging the Prophet” massacred nine people at the satirical magazine in Paris, believes she has a duty to defy Islamists desperate to silence her.

Shaken but undeterred by the fatwas and relentless, precise death threats issued via social media to “kill the bitch” since she helped produce the publication’s first survivors’ issue following the attack — and spoke about it in Arabic for the Arab press — the Moroccan-French writer refuses to assume an anonymous identity. Fleeing Paris or abandoning her human rights activism, and her unforgiving critiques of the religion she grew up with, are also out of the question.

“I don’t have the right to renounce my struggle, or to give up my freedom,” says the reporter and sociologist of religion in an interview with Women in the World, during a recent trip to New York, as part of French president Francois Hollande’s delegation when he received the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s World Statesman Award for 2016. “If the French state protects me it is not little individual me: What is being protected is my freedom to be irreverent, and freedom of expression, so I should exercise this even more because I enjoy this protection.”

“It’s totally crazy. I have done nothing against the law and have nothing to hide, yet I live with security while those who threaten us are free,” El Rhazoui declares with an air of shock and anger that underscores the arbitrariness and brutality visited on a 34-year-old woman condemned to living on the run and mostly in the shadows. “And if you call them by their names you are Islamophobic and racist. I am racist? I can teach them a few things about Arab culture. I can show them how to discover its richness and the diversity of their culture. I believe this culture deserves universality because you can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker.”…

Detruire Le Fascisme Islamique (Destroy Islamic Fascism), being released in France this week, takes the battle of ideas directly to the ideologically-driven zealots who inspired the assassins of her dear friend Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), late editor of Charlie Hebdo who preferred “to die standing than to live on my knees.”

Obtained exclusively by Women in the World, the book dedicated to “Muslim atheists” is an unapologetic strike against the strict application of Islam by imitating the first Salafists or “pious ancestors.” The Prophet Mohammed and his companions, whose violent exploits are contained in “bellicose texts from a barbaric 7th-century Bedouin tribal context,” exhibited codes of behavior El Rhazoui insists have no place in the modern world and can be directly connected to terrorism. “The most abject crimes of Islamic State are but a 21st-century remake of what the first Muslims accomplished under the guidance of the Prophet,” she writes, noting that sexual and domestic slavery, the massacre of non-Muslims (notably Jews), pedophilia, pillage, polygamy and summary executions were all adopted from pre-Islamic societies. The book is also the journalist’s way of carrying on the legacy of her dead comrades, who reveled in their right to mock established religion and fanatics everywhere — with Islam no exception to their traditional French anti-clerical ridicule — through satire and caricature.

Formerly the magazine’s religion writer, El Rhazoui is in the throes of joining the exodus of staff breaking from the magazine under its new management. Flush with cash from international donations, the fundamentally altered publication, she disappointedly explained, “will probably never again draw the Prophet” out of fear of more reprisals.

“[And] those who think that only a handful of madmen are capable of killing for a cartoon of Mohammed forget that everywhere that Islam reigns as the religion of the state, caricatures and cartoons in the press are repressed”.

El Rhazoui’s book, dedicated to “Muslim atheists,” is an unapologetic strike against the strict application of Islam.

Religion of peace and love?

“We need to admit that Islamism today is applied Islam,” El Rhazoui — who describes herself as an “atheist of Muslim culture” –writes, responding to politicians, religious figures, Islamophobia opponents and media commentators who claim after every jihadist attack that “real Islam” has nothing to do with such terror.

“When we apply Islam to the letter it gives Islamism, and when we apply Islamism to the letter it gives terrorism. So we need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace and love. What is a moderate Islamist? An Islamist who doesn’t kill?”

The essay-length book is in the grand French polemical tradition of Emile Zola whose J’accuse denounced the anti-Semitism of the French state and establishment during the Dreyfus Affair, on the eve of the 20th century. El Rhazoui, who holds Moroccan and French citizenship, takes aim at a very 21st-century phenomenon: what she abhors as the “intellectual fraud” of Islamophobia, which pretends to be about anti-racism but in her reckoning is used as a weapon to silence all critics of Islam and the ideas behind it as automatically hostile towards all Muslims. Epitomized by the French Collective Against Islamophobia (CCIF), this deliberate strategy vilifies as Islamophobic voices such as El Rhazoui’s who dare question the religion the CCIF and fellow travelers define only through the prism of their own fundamentalism.

The notion of Islamophobia doesn’t even exist in Muslim countries, the author points out, because outside the West, criticism of the religion or Mohammed is officially “categorized as blasphemy.”

“Unable to pass blasphemy laws in Europe, groups like the CCIF employ a dangerous “semantic confusion,” she said. On the CCIF site it is written “Islamophobia is not an opinion: it is an offense.”

“This is very dangerous because it has even entered the dictionary as hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Yet criticism of an idea, of Islam or of a religion cannot be characterized as an offense or a crime. I was born and lived under the Islam of Morocco and live in France and I have the right criticize religion and this dictatorship of Islamophobia that says I have no right to criticize! If we criticize Christianity it doesn’t mean we are Christianophobes or racist towards the ‘Christian race.’”

The widespread pressure to self-censor is severe, El Rhazoui says.

“You can no longer speak about Islam without saying it’s a religion of peace and love. But when you open any book in Islam what do you find? Violence, blood, oppression of women and hate for other religions.

“Of course you can find this in other religions, however we are talking about something written many centuries ago during a barbaric time for humanity. As long as we don’t talk about this, and keep repeating that Islam is a religion of peace and love, many people will continue to believe the Koran is a constitution, and that rather than being a book written 15 centuries ago reflecting a particular context, it is a legal constitution to apply today.”

Zineb El Rhazoui feels she is carrying on the legacy of her dead Charlie Hebdo comrades.

After completing high school in Morocco, El Rhazoui studied languages and the sociology of religion, obtaining a Master’s degree from Paris’s prestigious social science graduate school EHESS. In her twenties she returned to the country of her birth to work as a journalist at Le Journal Hebdomadaire, becoming a campaigner for secular liberties, such as the right to break the fast and even snack in public during the month of Ramadan. This act of non-violent resistance earned her her first fatwa, ahead of her involvement in the movement supporting the Arab Spring in 2011. The wave of personal attacks and threats that came after her collective protest against Ramadan rules prompted her to leave Morocco again for France where she began to report for Charlie Hebdo, bringing her memories of having “vomited up compulsory religious classes” in a country where “being Muslim is not a choice” unless you’re Jewish or Christian.

Extreme personality cult

So-called Islamic fascism, seen in its most extreme form in groups like ISIS, shares characteristics in common with all extreme-right fascisms, El Rhazoui argues, because it combines an intense personality cult around Mohammed as the incarnation of the nation. It also employs widespread systems of suspicion and denunciation, exemplified by “sartorial branding” — for example Burkinis or niqabs — that allow for immediate identification and targeting of non-adherents. There are also familiar fascist tropes of repressive sexism against women and homosexuals, armed militias, adoption of a flag, and a strategy that confers the benign status of ‘Muslim women’ to heavily veiled adherents in the West, and characterizes them, disingenuously, as victimized objects of exclusion.

“The literary corpus of Islam is so stuffed with damning accounts it would be difficult to cleanse it without altering the fundamentals of dogma,” El Rhazoui writes.

“If the terrorists of Daesh [ISIS] behead those they judge to be miscreants, that is because they draw on their legislation in the texts like the 8th surah of the Koran, al-Anfal, verse 12: “Remember what Your Lord revealed to the angels : I am with you, so support those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. You can strike them above the neck and strike off every fingertip”.

‘You can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker’

Drawing on her personal experience and scholarly knowledge of Islam’s core Arabic texts, the politics of the post-Arab Spring Middle East, and the wellspring of reformism and dissidence embraced within the multi-faceted Islamic civilization, El Rhazoui’s book is an impassioned response to all the extremists who want to see her and her fellow opponents of politico-religious repression dead.

The greatest racism is, El Rhazoui argues, the racism of the Islamist ideology that forbids marriage with people who are not Muslims, and that rejects women. “That is the definition of racism and fascism and we must say it,” the writer adds.

“Today Islam in the world only has a role as a civilization. A civilization is defined by many things and not uniquely by religion — but also by its geographical heritage, its artistic, culinary and sartorial traditions and by literature.

“The Muslim religion has its place in the modern world if it submits itself fully to the laws that rule humanity today: universal principles of equality between men and women, sexual and individual freedom, and equality for all, no matter your creed or religion. Until Islam has admitted this and accepted that the freedom of men and women is superior to it, Islam will not be acceptable.”

‘Islamophobia whiners’

Destroy Islamic Fascism aims to puncture the hypocrisy and faux-intellectual “fakery” (the author’s word) of “Islamophobia whiners” and other “collaborationists” from across the political spectrum — particularly the hard left, “Crypto-Islamist” anti-racists on a quest for a new “Muslim proletariat,” certain feminists, cultural relativists and so-called moderate Imams. All these “willing accomplices” do is distort the noble cause of fighting racism to give undeserved legitimacy to an ideology that at its most extreme results in the horrors of Islamic State, the author says, but also makes the lives of millions of Muslims living in Islamic countries downright miserable.

“What do these Islamophobia whiners say to the millions of individuals who live in Islamic theocracies and dream of liberty?” El Rhazoui concludes in her book. “Who speaks about the nightmare of a woman who decides to cross the streets of Algiers, Casablanca or Cairo in a skirt?… those who would like to drink a glass of alcohol in countries where you have to flout the law to do it? … about homosexuals, pariahs of Muslim societies, who often only have the choice of death, prison or exile? Who speaks about this youth born Muslim but dreaming of a normal life, these teens attacked for having had a romance?”

The summer furore over Burkini bans in France agitated the author who deplored the cynical rush of Islamists and their Western sympathizers in the media, academia and politics to celebrate the controversial swimsuit as a form of “liberation” and simultaneously a banal piece of cloth preferred by “Muslim women,” even though most never wear it.

“Western media, in an intolerable readiness to oblige, have defended the Burkini as a ‘freedom’ and a legitimate cultural expression of a part of humanity,” she said, but pointed out that “in Muslim countries the beaches are not filling up with Burkinis, but they are emptying themselves of women. From one year to another, they are disappearing from the public space, because the veil has never been anything except an extension of the walls of their harem to the exterior.”

As for mainstream or moderate Muslim clerics, El Rhazoui tells Women in the World that during the Burkini debate in France not one Imam stood up and said “Hey, wait a minute, you can be Muslim and wear a [regular] bathing suit.”

History will judge those who have monopolized the debate, given a platform to Islamist fundamentalism and even given it a guarantee of acceptability, the author of Destroy Islamic Fascism told Women in the World. “This is just betrayal and it is collaboration with one of the worst forms of fascism that exists today,” she said.

According to the writer, who is repeatedly accused of bigotry, the “Islamophobia ruse” is driven by “great ignorance” and a lack of understanding of the culture of Islam and what Islam with a big ‘I’ is — “they ignore its complexity and that there have always been opposition currents and progressive and liberal pushes from within.”

“The accomplices don’t recognize the struggles playing out today in Arab countries will inevitably be won by the democrats and free people. No fascism or totalitarianism has ever been able to win in the long haul of history. The people who are the allies and collaborators of this totalitarianism today will be judged by history and seen as accomplices to this criminal ideology to which they have given a veneer of respectability.”

For El Rhazoui the true racism emerges from a condescending approach to Islamic culture that decrees an Islamic woman in a burqa is congenitally not free and that her “race” is the burqa. “We present the fundamentalists as being a race and this only shows the contempt we have for this culture. It is absolutely intolerable,” she says.

Survivor syndrome

Women in the World asked El Rhazoui how she manages to keep up her spirits, and continue her struggle for the freedom to dissent after everything that has happened since January 2015.

“It is a question people often ask me,” she said with a perceptible tremor in her voice. “But when you live through these moments in which you are confronted by a reality as cruel and simple as life and death, you realize can put many things in perspective.

“Straight after the attacks, like many of my colleagues I felt guilty for having stayed alive. I said to myself ‘Those who are dead are dead for all our work, and some are dead when it wasn’t even their work. But it was my work because I am a journalist and I am still here.’ And then you understand this is all part of survivor syndrome, which is normal when you survive a massacre like that.

“As you start to heal you say, ‘I am lucky to be alive and if I am still here perhaps that is because I still have something to do.’ I understood long before the attack on Charlie, when I engaged in a struggle for individual liberties and democracy in Morocco, that when you fight against totalitarianism, whether it is political or religious, you should never give your enemies the pleasure of stopping living. We fight so that everyone can have a free and happy life and we must continue to live this same life.

Still a day doesn’t go past when she doesn’t think of her old colleague Charb and their many heated discussions.

“He was someone who was extremely lucid and for whom the concepts were clear. He was a true humanist who didn’t fear being accused of being racist because for him it was absurd.”

El Rhazoui’s deconstruction of Islam is also a defense of Muslims, she reasoned, as “salvation will come when we stop aligning the identity of an entire community with the most fundamentalist people who pretend to represent it.”

“We have to extend a hand to all these Muslims who are free people, who have questioned their heritage, and who are fighters for liberty, battling for the same values as us but in a context controlled by Islamists,” she says….

 

“Nothing to Do with Islam”?

October 21, 2016

“Nothing to Do with Islam”? Gatestone Institute via YouTube, October 20, 2016

Does the First Amendment Protect Warrior Religions?

August 5, 2016

Does the First Amendment Protect Warrior Religions? Front Page MagazineWilliam Kilpatrick, August 5, 2016

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Reprinted from CrisisMagazine.com.

After every Islamic terrorist attack, whether in Europe or the U.S., people ask what can be done to prevent it from happening again. But when the obvious solutions are proposed, they are invariably met with the objection that “you can’t do that,” or “that’s unconstitutional,” or words to that effect.

Some of the obvious solutions are to close radical mosques and radical Islamic schools, to monitor suspected mosques, to deport radical imams, and, of course, to restrict Muslim immigration or ban it altogether. If you dare to say such things, however, it quickly becomes apparent that—for many, at least—only politically correct solutions are acceptable. The trouble is, the politically correct crowd doesn’t have any solutions. In the memorable words of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, “France is going to have to live with terrorism.”

Catholics are frequently in the forefront of those who object to these “drastic” measures for preventing terrorism in the West. Pope Francis, for example, has made generosity to refugees and immigrants a hallmark of his papacy. Christians, he has reminded us on several occasions, should build bridges, not walls. Others, Catholics among them, have objected that restrictions on Islamic immigration would violate the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution—as would surveillance of mosques and Islamic societies.

Catholics are understandably touchy about the subject of religious liberty. But concerns over Christians being forced to bake cakes for same-sex weddings shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow some other basic questions about religious liberty.

One of the questions is this: does a religion that doesn’t believe in religious freedom for others qualify for First Amendment protection? Another, related question might be framed as follows: Is a religion that calls for the subjugation of other religions entitled to the “free exercise” of that mandate? The underlying issue, of course, is whether or not Islam really qualifies as a religion. As any number of authorities have pointed out, Islam is a hybrid—part religion and part a geo-political movement bent on world domination.

The “world domination” bit, by the way, is not confined to the fevered imaginations of right-wing fanatics. In a recent interview with Religion New Service, Cardinal Raymond Burke said “there’s no question that Islam wants to govern the world.” “Islam,” he continued, “is a religion that, according to its own interpretation, must also become the State.”

Here’s what I had to say about the matter four years ago:

Does this [the 1st Amendment] make the exercise of religion an absolute right to do anything in the name of religion? Should the free-exercise clause be extended to protect suicide cults or virgin sacrifice? The First Amendment also prohibits the establishment of a state religion, but one of the main purpose of Islam is to establish itself as the state religion. It can be argued that Islam’s raison d’etre is to be the established religion in every nation. Hence, another question must be asked: does the First Amendment protect its own abolishment?

Cardinal Burke is a canon lawyer—a profession that requires one to choose words carefully. Hence, when he talks about Islam becoming the State, he should be taken seriously. According to him, “when they [Muslims] become a majority in any country then they have the religious obligation to govern that country.” As we have seen, however, long before Muslims become a majority they begin demanding that their fellow citizens comply with sharia laws regarding diet, dress, and blasphemy. Allowing Muslims the full and free exercise of their faith is tantamount to restricting the freedom of others. Or, as Dutch MP Geert Wilders likes to say, “more Islam” means “more intolerance” for everyone else.

Wilders is referring to the consequences that follow upon the mass migration of Muslims into Europe. Although his was once a lonely voice, numerous polls show that the majority of Europeans now believe along with him that Islam does not belong in Europe. Pope Francis, on the other hand, has been in the habit of chiding Christians for their opposition to accepting more Muslim immigrants. He recently went so far as to warn them that they will have to answer to Christ at the Last Judgment because he (in the guise of the migrant) was homeless, and they did not take him in.

But, although charity is the paramount Christian virtue, there is another virtue that governs the exercise of charity. It’s called “prudence.” And prudence would suggest that spiritual leaders and secular leaders should exercise caution when advocating acts of charity that put the lives of others at risk. In Europe, there are now numerous prudential reasons for slowing or halting the flow of Muslim immigration: the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Bataclan Theater massacre, the massacres at the Brussels airport and subway, the massacre at Nice, the Munich mall massacre, the axe attack aboard a German train, the bomb attack on a wine bar in the city of Ansbach, and the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults which targeted over 1,200 German women.

The most recent outrage was the slaughter of a French priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, by two Islamic terrorists who burst into a church in Normandy during Mass and slit his throat. Pope Francis condemned the attack, but on the same day in Krakow he spoke once again about the need to welcome refugees. He called for “solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights, including the right to profess one’s faith in freedom and safety.”

But how about the right of Christians and Jews to profess their faith “in freedom and safety?” Fr. Hamel is no longer free to profess his faith, and now that the Islamic State has proclaimed its intention to target more churches in Europe, Christians are going to feel considerably less safe at Sunday service. Jews in Europe already know the feeling. Most synagogues in Europe are now protected by security guards during Saturday services.

But if you really want to see the European future, just look at those nations where Muslims are already a majority. In Nigeria, where Muslims make up about 60 percent of the population, Christians are regularly attacked during church services, and on some occasions entire congregations have been burned alive inside their churches.

All of which prompts a question: should Western nations passively stand by as their own population balance shifts in the direction of Nigeria’s? A curtailment or a moratorium on Muslim immigration is one of the obvious solutions to the problem of terrorism in the West. But, as I’ve suggested above, many Americans think that such a moratorium would be unconstitutional. After all, doesn’t the Constitution forbid a “religious test” in scrutinizing immigrants? Indeed today’s top news story concerns the attack on Donald Trump by the father of a slain Muslim soldier. At the Democratic Convention, Khizr Khan challenged Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration by asking: “Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?”

In fact, the Constitution has no ban on a religious test for immigration. In a recent National Review piece, Andrew McCarthy points out that Article VI of the Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The clause has nothing to do with immigration and, as our bien pensants like to say, it has nothing to do with Islam.

The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 actually gives the president wide latitude in restricting immigration:

Whenever the president finds that the entry of aliens or any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may … suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

One of the main intents of the act was to prevent communist ideologues from entering the country, but it was also invoked in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter to keep Iranians out of the U.S. And—surprise—according to McCarthy, “under federal law, the executive branch is expressly required to take religion into account in determining who is granted asylum.” As McCarthy notes:

We have a right to require scrutiny of the beliefs of aliens who petition for entry into our country … this includes beliefs the alien may regard as tenets of his faith—especially if such ‘faith tenets’ involve matters of law, governance, economy, combat and interpersonal relations that in our culture’s separation of church and state are not seen as spiritual.

In short, if you believe your religion allows you to execute apostates or subjugate infidels, don’t bother to apply.

When Pope Francis visited Poland for World Youth Day, security in Krakow was at its highest level. Forty thousand security personnel were deployed and, according to The Guardian:

Mobile X-ray devices and metal detectors, as well as dogs trained to detect explosives, are in use at railway and bus stations, major road hubs and venues where papal events are due to take place. Police said that gas tankers and large trucks had been banned from Krakow following the use of a 19-ton truck in a terrorist attack in Nice earlier this month.

Does that suggest anything? Are the officials worried that Protestants or Jews are going to attack the Catholic youth? Are they fearful that Buddhist will attempt to bomb the popemobile? Before the era of mass Muslim immigration into Europe, such precautions would have been deemed as overkill. Now they seem like prudent measures to prevent overkill. The heightened security at World Youth Day and all over Europe is a tacit acknowledgement that Islam differs radically from all other religions. This is a point that Cardinal Burke made in his interview when he criticized Catholic leaders who “simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith.” Just so. It’s well past time to question whether a religion with totalitarian ambitions should be treated like all other religions.

In the Guardian story about the Pope’s visit to Poland, he is described as a “modern pope.” But in some respects he, along with many bishops, seems to belong to an earlier era—an era when it seemed that all people desired nothing more than peace and friendship. At a time when the world is faced with the resurgence of a seventh-century warrior religion, that sixties sensibility no longer seems so modern.

When It Comes to Islam, Western Leaders Are Liars or Idiots

July 23, 2016

When It Comes to Islam, Western Leaders Are Liars or Idiots, PJ MediaRaymond Ibrahim, July 22, 2016

Idiots

Most politicians — practically every Democrat but also a majority of Republicans, with the notable exception of Donald Trump — make the same claims.

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When it comes to the connection between Islam and violence against non-Muslims, one fact must be understood: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in the West are either liars or fools, or both.

No other alternative exists.

The reason for this uncharitable assertion is simple: If Islam was once a faraway, exotic religion, today we hear calls for, and see acts of, violence committed in its name every day. And many of us still have “ears that hear and eyes that see,” so it’s no secret: Muslims from all around the world and from all walks of life — not just “terrorists” or “ISIS” — unequivocally and unapologetically proclaim that Islam commands them to hate, subjugate, and kill all who resist it, including all non-Muslims.

This is the official position of several Muslim governments, including America’s closest “friends and allies” like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

It’s the official position of Islamic institutions of lower and higher learning: from Bangladeshi high schools to Egypt’s Al Azhar, the world’s most prestigious Islamic university.

It’s the official position broadcast in numerous languages on Islamic satellite stations that air in Muslim homes around the world.

In short, there’s no excuse today for anyone to still be ignorant about Islam, and especially for those in positions of leadership or authority. Yet it is precisely this group that most vehemently denies any connection between Islam and violence.

Why?

On July 18 in Germany, an axe-waving Muslim refugee attacked a number of train passengers and critically injured three. Although an ISIS flag was found in his room, although he called for the slaughter of any Muslim who dares leave Islam, although he yelled “Allahu Akbar” — Islam’s unequivocal war cry — authorities claimed “it was too early to speculate about the motives of the attacker.”

Catholic Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wuerzburg, where the axe attack took place, was bewildered: “One is speechless at such a moment. This fact can not be understood.”

Instead of being vigilant around Muslim migrants, he said: “Maybe we need to help the unaccompanied young refugees even more and help them to overcome their own traumas.”

About a month earlier in Germany, this same scene played out. While screaming “Allahu Akbar” and “infidels must die,” another Muslim man in another train station stabbed to death one man and injured three others. Still, German authorities “found no evidence of Islamist motive.”

In neighboring France — which has “Europe’s largest Muslim minority” and is also (coincidentally?) the “most threatened country” — this sequence of events (a Muslim attacks in the name of Islam, authorities claim difficulty in finding “motive”) is becoming endemic.

On July 19, a Muslim man vacationing with his pregnant wife and children stabbed a neighboring woman and her three daughters for being “scantily dressed.” The youngest girl, 8, was in critical condition with a punctured lung.

Although this is a common occurrence throughout the Muslim world — many Muslim women wear the hijab because they know the consequences of not in public — and although French television was brave enough to say that the man, named Mohamed B, 37, “may have acted out of religious motives,” Mayor Edmond Francou said he preferred “not to speculate about the motive of the attack.”

A few days earlier, another “Allahu Akbar”-screaming Muslim killed 84 people in Nice.

Yet according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the killer’s “motives [were] not yet established.” Asked if he could at least confirm the attacker’s motives were linked to jihadism, he said, “No.”

Reuters went so far as to write an article blaming France for its own terrorization.

Turning to the United States, one finds the same pattern. Most recently, a Muslim man entered a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49. Despite the fact that ISIS regularly kills homosexuals and that the killer — who “recited prayers to Allah during the attack” — pledged his allegiance to ISIS, “Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the investigation is still ongoing, and a motive has yet to be established,” while “the FBI was confused about [his] motive.”

Earlier this year, Edward Archer — a convert to Islam — shot and wounded Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett. He later explained his motive: “I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic state. That is why I did what I did.”

Yet after showing a surveillance video of Archer in Islamic dress shooting at Hartnett, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney emphatically declared:

In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen.…

It is abhorrent. It is terrible and it does not represent the religion or any of its teachings. This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers. It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.

 One can go on and on. From California alone:

  • Despite the evidence that the Muslim couple that massacred 14 people in San Bernardino was motivated by Islamic teachings of jihad against the hated “infidel,” Obama claimed: “We do not know their motivations.” Chris Hayes and MSNBC were also “baffled” in their search for a motive.
  • Despite the many indicators that the Muslim student who went on a stabbing spree in UC Merced was described as a “devout Muslim,” had an ISIS flag, and praised Allah in his manifesto — “local and federal authorities continue to insist that Faisal Mohammad, 18, carried out the vicious attack because he’d been banished from a study group.”
  • Despite the fact that a man named “Jihad” went to an El Monte police station, where he “used the word ‘jihad’ several times” while making a bomb threat, police “so far don’t have a motive.”

Most politicians — practically every Democrat but also a majority of Republicans, with the notable exception of Donald Trump — make the same claims.

The claims begin with President Barack Obama, who insists that the Islamic State “is not Islamic.” He calls for the “rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.” He classified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence,” despite the overwhelming evidence that it was jihad.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton admonished us to bear in mind that “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” Republican leaders like John McCain gush about how “unequivocally, without a doubt, the religion of Islam is an honorable and reasonable religion. ISIS has nothing to do with the reality of Islam.”

“Conservative” talking heads like Bill O’Reilly flippantly dismiss jihad as “a perversion of Islam, we all know that.”

What is to be made of all these claims from our “leaders” that fly in the face of reality?

Only immensely deranged or immensely deceitful people can claim that a Muslim who cites the Koran and calls on Allah is not acting in the name of Islam. Take your pick, but there are no other alternatives.

Regardless of the cause behind the lies that defend Islam — stupidity or deceitfulness — the same damage is done. Remember, Islam is not threatening the West due to its own innate capabilities, but because the West allows Islam to threaten the West.

The real battle revolves around getting the West to see reality, a battle which involves rooting out the liars and fools from government, media, education, and other positions of influence. This is an admittedly herculean task, considering that the lie is the narrative and the truth is considered evil.