Posted tagged ‘Islamic conquests in Europe’

Islam, Not Christianity, is Saturating Europe

March 26, 2017

Islam, Not Christianity, is Saturating Europe, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, March 26, 2017

(There is little to no good news from Europe. Ditto Canada, with its new anti-“Islamophobia” law. When will the spreading Islamist plague result in the conquest of America and death of all for which she stands? — DM)

In Germany, Angela Merkel has no children, as British prime minister Theresa May and one of France’s leading presidential candidates, Emmanuel Macron. As Europe’s leaders have no children and no reason to worry about the future (everything ends with them), they are now opening Europe’s borders to keep the continent in a demographic equilibrium. “I believe Europeans should understand that we need migration for our economies and for our welfare systems, with the current demographic trend we have to be sustainable”, said Federica Mogherini, the European Union representative for foreign affairs.


Jihadists seem to be leading an assault against freedom and against secular democracies.

Sunni Islam’s most prominent preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi, declared that the day will come when, like Constantinople, Rome will be Islamized.

It is Islam, not Christianity, that now saturates Europe’s landscape and imagination.

According to US President Trump’s strategic advisor Steve Bannon, the “Judeo-Christian West is collapsing, it is imploding. And it’s imploding on our watch. And the blowback of that is going to be tremendous”.

The impotence and the fragility of our civilization is haunting many Europeans as well.

Europe, according to the historian David Engels will face the fate of the ancient Roman Republic: a civil war. Everywhere, Europeans see signs of fracture. Jihadists seem to be leading an assault against freedom and against secular democracies. Fears occupy the collective imagination of Europeans. A survey of more than 10,000 people from ten different European countries has revealed increasing public opposition to Muslim immigration. The Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs carried out a survey, asking online respondents their views on the statement that “all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped”. In the 10 European countries surveyed, an average of 55% agreed with the statement.

Mainstream media are now questioning if “Europe fears Muslims more than the United States”. The photograph used in the article was a recent Muslim mass prayer in front of Italy’s monument, the Coliseum. In echoes of the capture of the great Christian civilization of Byzantium in Constantinople, Sunni Islam’s most prominent preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi, declared that the day will come when Rome will be Islamized.

Hundreds of Muslims engage in a mass prayer service next to the Coliseum in Rome, on October 21, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Do civilizations die from outside or inside? Is their disappearance the result of external aggression (war, natural disasters, epidemics) or of an internal erosion (decay, incompetence, disastrous choices)? Arnold Toynbee, in the last century, was adamant: “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder”.

“The contemporary historian of ancient Greece and ancient Rome saw their civilisations begin their decline and fall, both the Greeks and the Romans attributed it to falling birth rates because nobody wanted the responsibilities of bringing up children,” said Britain’s former chief rabbi, Lord Sacks.

Everywhere in Europe there are signs of a takeover. Muslim students now outnumber Christian students in more than 30 British church schools. One Anglican primary school has a “100 percent Muslim population”. The Church of England estimated that about 20 of its schools have more Muslim students than Christian ones, and 15 Roman Catholic schools have majority Muslim students. In Germany as well, there are fears of a massive Muslim influx into the school system, and German teachers are openly denouncing the threat of a “ghettoization”.

France saw 34,000 fewer babies born last year than in 2014, a new report just found. The number of French women having children has reached its lowest level in 40 years. A low fertility rate has become a plague all over Europe: “In 1995 only one country, Italy, had more people over 65 than under 15; today there are 30 and by 2020 that number will hit 35.” Welcome to the “Greying of Europe“.

Additionally, if it were not for Muslim women, France would have an even lower birth rate: “With a fertility rate of 3.5 children per woman, the Algerians contribute significantly to the growth of the population in France”, wrote the well-known demographer Gérard-François Dumont.[1]

Thanks to Muslim migrants, Sweden’s maternity wards are busy these days.[2]

In Milan, Italy’s financial center, Mohammed is the top name among newborn babies. The same is true in London, in the four biggest Dutch cities and elsewhere in Europe, from Brussels to Marseille. It is Islam, not Christianity, that now saturates Europe’s landscape and imagination.

Meanwhile, Europe’s leaders are almost all childless. In Germany, Angela Merkel has no children, as British prime minister Theresa May and one of France’s leading presidential candidates, Emmanuel Macron. As Europe’s leaders have no children and no reason to worry about the future (everything ends with them), they are now opening Europe’s borders to keep the continent in a demographic equilibrium. “I believe Europeans should understand that we need migration for our economies and for our welfare systems, with the current demographic trend we have to be sustainable”, said Federica Mogherini, the European Union representative for foreign affairs.

The Battle of Poitiers in 1356 was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in Western Europe. If Christians had not won, “perhaps,” wrote Edward Gibbon, “the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet”. Does that sound familiar these days?

Islamists take culture and history more seriously than the Westerners do. Recently, in Paris, an Egyptian terrorist tried to strike the great museum, the Louvre. He planned to deface the museum’s artwork, he said, because “it is a powerful symbol of French culture”. Think about an Islamic extremist shouting “Allahu Akbar” while slashing the Mona Lisa. This is the trend we need to start reversing.

Is the Islamic State’s Plan to Conquer Rome So Far-Fetched?

September 8, 2016

Is the Islamic State’s Plan to Conquer Rome So Far-Fetched? Clarion Project, William Reed, September 8, 2016

islamic-state-break-the-cross-ip_0Photo: Islamic State propaganda magazine Dabiq

They are trying to actualize their goals not only through violent jihad, but also through population jihad (influx of Muslims) and by demanding Islamist privileges, such as parallel sharia courts.

Despite its centuries-long resistance to jihad-waging armies, much of Europe appears blind to history today. With its politically correct governments and misguided, “multi-cultural” ideologies, the European Union seems alarmingly clueless and desperate in the face of once-again rising Islamist threat.


The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) made a call to its cells in Europe through an encrypted text message in English, French, and Arabic on the social media over the weekend.

The Turkish news outlet NTV reported that via the ISIS-affiliated “Nasir Foundation,” the terror group sent a message to its members and sympathizers in Europe who are preparing for attacks, telling them to “either act immediately or annihilate all organizational information they possess.”

“Our brothers and sisters in Europe and especially in France, hurry up to carry out your acts. Also, be careful and cautious,” ordered the terror group.

“We hear that a lot of our brothers get arrested before carrying out their acts. We suggest you to delete all of the information and messages in your devices relating the Islamic State including photos, videos and applications. We also suggest you to carry out your acts before it is too late.”

ISIS allegedly made the warning after Syrian-born Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the official spokesperson and a senior leader of the Islamic State, was killed in Aleppo. The U.S. and Russia both announced in separate statements that they killed al-Adnani in their airstrikes.

Since al-Adnani’s death, there have been calls for revenge attacks to be carried out by jihadist operatives, the Daily Mail reported.

“According to the respected Site Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity, the threats were made on a pro-ISIS account on the encrypted Telegram messaging service, with one warning: ‘We will exterminate you.’”

In 2014, al-Adnani declared that supporters of the Islamic State from all over the world should attack citizens of Western states, including the US, France and UK.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be,” he said.

“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

IS declares it will conquer Istanbul, Rome

In its recently-released new English magazine Rumiyah (Rome), ISIS declared it will conquer Istanbul and Rome.

The magazine, which is the terror group’s second international publication after Dabiq, is published in several languages including English, Turkish, Russian and French.

As to why they chose the name Rumiyah, ISIS explained: “Rasulallah [prophet of Allah – Muhammed, the founder of Islam] heralded the Islamic conquest of Rome in end times. We ask our God to enable us to conquer this district and Konstantiniyye [Istanbul] which will be conquered before Rome.”

The Islamic State made Abu Muhammad al-Adnani the cover boy of the first edition of their new magazine, with calls for revenge of his death. The terror group called on their supporters to “sacrifice themselves,” a statement interpreted as a call to carry out terror attacks against European countries and other members of the anti-ISIS collation forces.

The Islamic State and Rome

“The conquest of Rome has been a primary goal since the beginning of the Islamic State,” writes journalist Dale Hurd of CBN News. “Muslim scholars say Muhammed prophesied that the two great Roman cities would be conquered: Constantinople and Rome.

“The Islamic State reveals part of its plan in its publication ‘Black Flags From Rome’,” added Hurd. “It will use sleeper cells and expects to get help from Muslims serving in European armies and from non-Muslim sympathizers. It also wants to fire missiles into Italy.”

Islamic Expansionist Campaigns in History

Muslim jihadist armies have targeted European territories since the inception of the religion in the 8th century.

The Islamic invasion of Hispania, for example, was the initial expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate over Hispania from 711 to 788. The invasion resulted in the establishment of the Emirate of Cordoba under the Muslim ruler Abd ar-Rahman I, who completed the unification of Muslim-ruled Iberia, or al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), between 756 and 788.

Europe was also a popular target of Ottoman jihadist armies.  Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453 in a bloody military campaign, which marked the end of the Byzantine Empire.

Throughout centuries, Ottomans also occupied many other European nations such as Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary and Cyprus. They targeted and attacked other European lands, including Austria, Venice, and Poland.

Much of the present-day “Muslim world” was invaded and captured by Muslim imperial armies. Anatolia – today’s Turkey – was mostly Christian before the Turkish conquests of the 11th century. It also had sizable Jewish and Yazidi communities.  Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity were the major religions in Afghanistan during pre-Islamic era.

Today’s Iraq and Islamic Republic of Iran were a majority-Zoroastrian empire. In the Arabian Peninsula, there were Pagans, Jews, Zoroastrians and Christians before Islam took over.

Similarly, before the advent of Islam, the region which is today termed Pakistan was quite a diverse region with several religions — mainly Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism as well as local shamanistic and animist religions.

In Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population today, the primary religions were Hinduism and Buddhism, as were Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Violent or civilizational jihadi efforts have tremendously changed the demographic character and culture of entire nations in much of the world. The once-majority non-Muslim communities in those lands are either extinct or dwindling minorities today.

This is not to say that Christian armies have never used force to spread their religious beliefs. The conquest of Eastern Europe by the Teutonic Knights or the conquest of South and Central America by the conquistadors saw Christianity carried forward at the point of a sword.

The important factor is that while contemporary Christian movements look back on those periods of history as squarely in the past, Islamist movements see this history as inspiration for their dreams of the future.

The Islamic military conquest of Europe might sound unrealistic now, but the Islamic State and many other Islamist groups openly declare that they are still dedicated to their goal of world domination.

They are trying to actualize their goals not only through violent jihad, but also through population jihad (influx of Muslims) and by demanding Islamist privileges, such as parallel sharia courts.

Despite its centuries-long resistance to jihad-waging armies, much of Europe appears blind to history today. With its politically correct governments and misguided, “multi-cultural” ideologies, the European Union seems alarmingly clueless and desperate in the face of once-again rising Islamist threat.


July 15, 2016

Enough, PJ MediaMichael Walsh, July 15, 2016


Western civilization has defended us for centuries. Isn’t it about time we defended it?


The latest Muslim atrocity in Nice will have far-reaching international consequences, and not just for the countries of Europe. After promising a “pitiless” war against Islamic aggression, the Hollande government in France effectively came to an end last night on the Promenade des Anglais and will soon enough be replaced by the Marine Le Pen government. The British, having voted themselves out of the European Union, are effectively under siege by hordes of invaders gathered in Calais, preparing to storm the Chunnel in order to bring their unique brand of vibrant diversity to perfidious Albion’s shores. Meanwhile, in Germany, the charmless Mutti Merkel mutters to herself as she plots to import even more “refugees” in order to destroy the Bundesrepublik she grew up learning to hate as a child in communist East Germany.

It will also affect the course of the American election. The utter bankruptcy of the Obama administration’s deliberately feckless, see-no-evil approach to Muslim terrorism is now on plain display for all the world to see. It is written in blood on the bodies of the children who died for the crime of celebrating France’s national day on a fine summer night along a sea that used to protect them from the north African Arabs, but now no longer does. It will be impossible for Hillary Clinton, whose charmless bovinity becomes more apparent to the electorate every day, to disassociate herself from what she herself has, in part, wrought, and her punishment at the polls should be spectacular.

Finally, it will set off a chain of events that will result in a serious sorting-out of the Arab world, the Muslim ummah, and its hostile intentions toward Christendom and the West. Although the secular liberals and cultural Marxist want to convince you that the West is no longer Christian, that’s a lie. The atheists in government — starting with the self-worshipping, Muslim-sympathizing man in the White House — want you to believe that freedom of religion now means “freedom of worship” (the use of the Islamic-favored word “worship” is telling), but the fact is that almost everything about the West is Christian, from the late Roman empire on through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and into our own time. Some of our history may have been anti-clerical (the French Revolution comes to mind) but even the attacks on sect and dogma have derived from the rational principles of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Confronted with its own overwhelming cultural, moral, physical and spiritual inferiority, the raging death cult that swept out of the north African desert and slaughtered its way across Asia Minor, the Indian subcontinent and all the way to Indonesia did its best to erase all traces of the captive lands’ pre-Islamic past. Zoroastrian Persia fell to these barbarians, as did much of Hindu civilization. Although the Arabs soon lost control of their empire to those even more savage than they (the Turks, Mamelukes, and the Mongols, for example), the religion bound them all together in a shared hatred for the West.

One of the western bulwarks against Islam had been the Byzantine empire, the old, Greek-dominated eastern half of the Roman empire. While never militarily strong enough to defeat the Muslims, it was for hundreds of years strong enough to keep them at bay; meanwhile Byzantine diplomacy (every bit as Byzantine as it sounds) did the rest. The fall of Constantinople (“Istanbul” is merely a corruption of the city’s real name) in 1453 left much of eastern Europe open to Islamic conquest, including Albania, which remains largely Muslim to this day, Bulgaria and Hungary, where memories of Muslim rule are as fresh today as they were in half a millennium ago.

What’s past is prologue. From time to time, the Western powers undertook punitive expeditions against fanatical Muslim irruptions, such as Kitchener’s demolition of the Mahdi’s forces at Omdurman in 1898, in revenge for the sack of Khartoum and the death of General Gordon 13 years before. Gordon, one of Britain’s greatest heroes, had earlier been instrumental in stopping the Arab trade in black African slaves, and was tasked with helping Khartoum’s garrison of Egyptian Ottoman Muslims return to Cairo at the time of his death.

Islamic military prowess is long in the past; the West has not suffered a major defeat in any confrontation with Islam on the battlefield since Saladin expelled the Crusaders from Jerusalem in 1187.  But pitched battles between great armies are no longer the confrontation of choice. As Nice, Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino and everywhere else a “holy warrior” has self-detonated have shown, the war has come to the streets of western cities, unpredictable in its timing and ferocity. And yet still the West refuses to take even the most rudimentary steps to protect itself against a known, sworn enemy. Why?

Lots of reasons: ennui, cultural Marxism, the mutation of the Left into a suicide cult that wants to take the rest of us with it. A loss of faith in organized religion (some of it brought on by the faiths themselves, or rather the imperfect men who represent and administer them). The transformation of government schools into babysitting services for subsections of the populace with severe cultural learning disabilities, no matter the skin color of the pupil. The marginalization of the very notion of excellence. And a political class that is little more than a collection of criminals, throne-sniffers, pantywaists and bum-kissers, all dedicated to their own enrichment.

As I argued in The Devil’s Pleasure Palace  — and will expand upon in the forthcoming companion volume, The Fiery Angel — the antidote to this is a return to our cultural roots, including the pre-Christian principles of Aristotle (passed down via St. Thomas Aquinas, among others) and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Those roots are neither race- nor faith-specific and in fact the genius of Western civilization is that its principles — not “conservative” principles but civilizational principles — have proven so successful that they resulted in the United States of America, the very embodiment of those ideas.

Which is, of course, why Islam and its ally of convenience, the Left, hate America so. We and our cultural heritage are the refutation of every satanic principle they hold so vengefully dear.

Western civilization has defended us for centuries. Isn’t it about time we defended it?

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.


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.


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.

The Muslim World is a Permanent Refugee Crisis

May 25, 2016

The Muslim World is a Permanent Refugee Crisis, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, May 25, 2016


The permanent Muslim refugee crisis will never stop being our crisis unless we close the door.


Forget the Syrian Civil War for a moment. Even without the Sunnis and Shiites competing to give each other machete haircuts every sunny morning, there would still be a permanent Muslim refugee crisis.

The vast majority of civil wars over the last ten years have taken place in Muslim countries. Muslim countries are also some of the poorest in the world. And Muslim countries also have high birth rates.

Combine violence and poverty with a population boom and you get a permanent migration crisis.

No matter what happens in Syria or Libya next year, that permanent migration crisis isn’t going away.

The Muslim world is expanding unsustainably. In the Middle East and Asia, Muslims tend to underperform their non-Muslim neighbors both educationally and economically. Oil is the only asset that gave Muslims any advantage and in the age of fracking, its value is a lot shakier than it used to be.

The Muslim world had lost its old role as the intermediary between Asia and the West. And it has no economic function in the new world except to blackmail it by spreading violence and instability.

Muslim countries with lower literacy rates, especially for women, are never going to be economic winners at any trade that doesn’t come gushing out of the ground. Nor will unstable dictatorships ever be able to provide social mobility or access to the good life. At best they’ll hand out subsidies for bread.

The Muslim world has no prospects for getting any better. The Arab Spring was a Western delusion.

Growing populations divided along tribal and religious lines are competing for a limited amount of land, power and wealth. Countries without a future are set to double in size.

There are only two solutions; war or migration.

Either you fight and take what you want at home. Or you go abroad and take what you want there.

Let’s assume that the Iraq War had never happened. How would a religiously and ethnically divided Iraq have managed its growth from 13 million in the eighties to 30 million around the Iraq War to 76 million in 2050?

The answer is a bloody civil war followed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and migration.

What’s happening now would have happened anyway. It was already happening under Saddam Hussein.

Baghdad has one of the highest population densities in the world. And it has no future. The same is true across the region. The only real economic plan anyone here has is to get money from the West.

Plan A for getting money out of the West is creating a crisis that will force it to intervene. That can mean anything from starting a war to aiding terrorists that threaten the West. Muslim countries keep shooting themselves in the foot so that Westerners will rush over to kiss the booboo and make it better.

Plan B is to move to Europe.

And Plan B is a great plan. It’s the only real economic plan that works. At least until the West runs out of native and naïve Westerners who foot the bill for all the migrants, refugees and outright settlers.

For thousands of dollars, a Middle Eastern Muslim can pay to be smuggled into Europe. It’s a small investment with a big payoff. Even the lowest tier welfare benefits in Sweden are higher than the average salary in a typical Muslim migrant nation. And Muslim migrants are extremely attuned to the payoffs. It’s why they clamor to go to Germany or Sweden, not Greece or Slovakia. And it’s why they insist on big cities with an existing Muslim social welfare infrastructure, not some rural village.

A Muslim migrant is an investment for an entire extended family. Once the young men get their papers, family reunification begins. That doesn’t just mean every extended family member showing up and demanding their benefits. It also means that the family members will be selling access to Europe to anyone who can afford it. Don’t hike or raft your way to Europe. Mohammed or Ahmed will claim that you’re a family member. Or temporarily marry you so you can bring your whole extended family along.

Mohammed gets paid. So does Mo’s extended family which brokers these transactions. Human trafficking doesn’t just involve rafts. It’s about having the right family connections.

And all that is just the tip of a very big business iceberg.

Where do Muslim migrants come up with a smuggling fee that amounts to several years of salary for an average worker? Some come from wealthy families. Others are sponsored by crime networks and family groups that are out to move everything from drugs to weapons to large numbers of people into Europe.

Large loans will be repaid as the new migrants begin sending their new welfare benefits back home. Many will be officially unemployed even while unofficially making money through everything from slave labor to organized crime. European authorities will blame their failure to participate in the job market on racism rather than acknowledging that they exist within the confines of an alternate economy.

It’s not only individuals or families who can pursue Plan B. Turkey wants to join the European Union. It’s one solution for an Islamist populist economy built on piles of debt. The EU has a choice between dealing with the stream of migrants from Turkey moving to Europe. Or all of Turkey moving into Europe.

The West didn’t create this problem. Its interventions, however misguided, attempted to manage it.

Islamic violence is not a response to Western colonialism. Not only does it predate it, but as many foreign policy experts are so fond of pointing out, its greatest number of casualties are Muslims. The West did not create Muslim dysfunction. And it is not responsible for it. Instead the dysfunction of the Muslim world keeps dragging the West in. Every Western attempt to ameliorate it, from humanitarian aid to peacekeeping operations, only opens up the West to take the blame for Islamic dysfunction.

The permanent refugee crisis is a structural problem caused by the conditions of the Muslim world.

The West can’t solve the crisis at its source. Only Muslims can do that. And there are no easy answers. But the West can and should avoid being dragged down into the black hole of Muslim dysfunction.

Even Germany’s Merkel learned that the number of refugees is not a finite quantity that can be relieved with a charitable gesture. It’s the same escalating number of people that will show up if you start throwing bags of money out of an open window. And it’s a number that no country can absorb.

Muslim civil wars will continue even if the West never intervenes in them because their part of the world is fundamentally unstable. These conflicts will lead to the displacement of millions of people. But even without violence, economic opportunism alone will drive millions to the West. And those millions carry with them the dysfunction of their culture that will make them a burden and a threat.

If Muslims can’t reconcile their conflicts at home, what makes us think that they will reconcile them in Europe? Instead of resolving their problems through migration, they only export them to new shores. The same outbursts of Islamic violence, xenophobia, economic malaise and unsustainable growth follow them across seas and oceans, across continents and countries. Distance is no answer. Travel is no cure.

Solving Syria will solve nothing. The Muslim world is full of fault lines. It’s growing and it’s running out of room to grow. We can’t save Muslims from themselves. We can only save ourselves from their violence.

The permanent Muslim refugee crisis will never stop being our crisis unless we close the door.

Qatari Educational Software on Islamic Conquests in Europe

April 21, 2016

Qatari Educational Software on Islamic Conquests in Europe, MEMRI-TV via YouTube, April 21, 2016

The blurb following the video states,

Animated videos posted on the Internet teach children about Islamic conquests in Europe. The videos were produced as educational software for “Boys and Girls,” the children’s section of the Qatari government-owned Internet portal A large number of the portal’s educational videos were posted on various YouTube accounts. One video discusses the conquest of Al-Andalus, which was “in order to spread the light of Islam.” “This is how Islam entered Al-Andalus, where it built a great civilization,” an animated character says. Another video describes the conquest of Belgrade, “the fortified city that was the pride of Europe.” The videos were posted on the Internet in February 2016.