Posted tagged ‘Islamists vs Islam’

Bazian Uses Islamist Convention to Push “Islamophobia” Scare

May 5, 2017

Bazian Uses Islamist Convention to Push “Islamophobia” Scare, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, May 5, 2017

Bazian’s effort to accuse “Islamophobes” of a racist clash of civilizations at the MAS-ICNA conference and on other occasions distracts from the Islamists’ stated desire to supplant Western civilization.

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University of California, Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian has made a career out of demonizing critics as Islamophobes and flipping the script, arguing jihad is not the problem, but its critics are. He accuses opponents of promoting a type of McCarthyism and a racist clash of civilizations against Muslims.

“…Islamophobia comes in as a way to rationalize a clash of civilizations, using cultural markers as a way of constructing difference,” Bazian said in a speech last month at the Muslim American Society’s  (MAS) joint conference with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) held in Baltimore. “Let me say the following: Cultural racism is another signpost for biological racism.”

Bazian’s anti-Semitism runs deep. As a San Francisco State University (SFSU) student in the late 1980s and early 1990s he campaigned against Hillel, the student Jewish organization. He allegedly participated in an assault on the SFSU campus newspaper, The Golden Gator, claiming it was filled with “Jewish spies,” a 2011 Campus Watch report said. Bazian also allegedly worked to prevent a Jewish student from being appointed to the Student Judicial Council. He also served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), which was aligned with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Bazian has a long association with the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to isolate Israel. He helped found Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in 2001 as an outgrowth of GUPS; SJP is known for its pro-Hamas stance and anti-Semitic acts such as disrupting an on-campus Holocaust remembrance event at Northwestern University. In recent years, Bazian has served as chairman of the national board of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). It is closely connected with groups that comprised the Muslim Brotherhood’s defunct anti-Israel network in the United States called the Palestine Committee. Bazian also raised money for KindHearts, a Hamas front whose assets were frozen by the U.S. government in 2006.

Bazian’s Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project that he founded in 2009 churns out academic papers through its Islamophobia Studies Journal that blames the West for terrorism. He also helped found Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in America.

For Bazian, screaming “Islamophobia” is a way to build a smokescreen against inconvenient truths when debating the facts about Islamist aggression.

Some in the Islamic community, such as California Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad, contend the entire concept of Islamophobia is about shirking responsibility.

“By declaring [Islamophobia], the number one threat to Islam and Muslims in the United States, we effectively bypass the central doctrines of self accountability, and moral fortitude; principles upon which our faith is founded,” Ahmad wrote in The Lotus Tree Blog in 2010. “The sooner we wake up and take an intrepid and honest look at ourselves, the better.”

Bazian’s hosts for his recent speech have their own ties to international Islamist movements.

Prosecutors describe MAS as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., and it has been alleged to have financial ties to Hamas. ICNA retains a strong spiritual connection with Islamist pioneer Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, founder of the radical South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. In his book Jihad in Islam, Maududi argues that Muslims should destroy “all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it.” ICNA’s 2010 Member’s Hand Book advocates the “struggle for Iqamat-ad-Deen,” or the establishment of Islam in its totality, “in this land.”

In his MAS-ICNA remarks, Bazian specifically named Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson, Pamela Geller, David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes as drivers of the “Islamophobic industry” dedicated to preserving Israel’s interests.

Playing off the foundations of Islam, Bazian defined the “five pillars of Islamophobia” starting with the government’s “constant war on terrorism that defines it as a war on Islamic terrorism.” He misleadingly cited data to argue that Muslims are responsible for only 4 percent of terrorism in the United States and Europe. He did not cite a source for his data, but did note that it covered a period ending in 1995 – before al-Qaida, ISIS, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and other Islamist terrorist movements that have recruited westerners and attacked Western targets.

Other “pillars” Bazian mentioned include the counter-jihad movement, neo-conservatives and liberal interventionists. But Bazian’s emphasis on “Islamophobes” is to be expected. One cannot expect to attract funding for an Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project without concocting the frightening specter of “Islamophobes.”

Bazian similarly denounced Emerson, Pipes and Geller following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings for connecting the bombings to jihad before the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the attacks were identified.

“…[The] crime of the terrorist is immediate, while that of the Islamophobes is long-lasting, for it creates and impresses on our collective public mind the logic of hate and racism …,” Bazian wrote in an academic paper called “Boston Bombing, Islamophobia and Sudden Ignorance Syndrome.”

But this was no wild leap of logic. The pressure-cooker bombs used in Boston were just like those recommended by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s English language magazine, Inspire. Dhzokhar Tsarnaev later told investigators he and his brother, Tamerlan, got their idea for the bombs from the magazine.

In Bazian’s world, however, it’s Islamophobic and racist to connect violent and imperialistic interpretations of Islam to acts of terrorism today. The Tsarnaevs, indeed, were the bombers, he acknowledged. “But the Islamophobic machine committed crimes against our collective consciousness by exploiting the suffering and pain of our fellow citizens.”

Much of his MAS-ICNA speech was spent attacking Samuel Huntington’s 1993 essay, “The Clash of Civilizations?” which predicted global conflict would be driven more by cultural differences than ideology and economics.

Bazian dismisses this as a “clash of ignorance,” arguing that the past sins of white Western Christians are more important to discuss than jihadist terror.

“Bernard Lewis’ question about Islam of ‘What Went Wrong?’ should be asked in relation to European history with emphasis on the Inquisition, genocide of the Natives in the Americas, the European Trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonization, 8 Apartheid South Africa, WWI and WWII, with the good White Aryan Christian Europeans responsible for the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons against civilians recorded in history to this day,” Bazian wrote.

Then as now, Bazian charged that “Islamophobes” relished in a clash of civilizations.

“It’s interesting that repeated aggressions by Islamists, both violent and non-violent [including Bazian’s speech] don’t count for anything, while criticism of Islamists is used to say that the Bill of Rights is being rescinded,” Pipes told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “That’s highly untenable considering that we’re not the cause of jihad.”

Islamophobia has nothing to do with misunderstanding Islam or Muslims integrating into Western societies, Bazian said at the MAS-ICNA convention. It’s about protecting Western dominance over the rest of the world.

“So often [what] you get with debate and discussion, immediately the Islamophobes who jumps in – ‘well Islam is not a race.’ Well, again, race is a socially constructed category, but the directions of how people are racialized could be for a number of areas,” Bazian said. “You could be racialized because of your language; you could be racialized because of your skin tone; you could be racialized because of your religion.”

Bazian’s cultural racism concept is a flawed one, said American Islamic Forum for Democracy founder and President Zuhdi Jasser. Islam is a belief system. It cannot be treated as a monolithic entity exempt from criticism.

“If you are going to believe that Islam cannot be debated and cannot be reformed, and cannot be changed, the bottom line is you have to make it into a racial identity,” Jasser said. “That’s why Islamists are wedded … to the idea of Islam as a single tribal identity that is defined by the leaders of that tribe who are imams, clerics or theocrats.”

Islamists then use this tribal identity to depict Christians, Israeli Jews and the West as the enemy, Jasser said.

Fellow Muslims also can be “Islamophobes” if they disagree with Bazian. That’s the word he used to slur Muslims who supported the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, which ended the Muslim Brotherhood’s brief rule. Presumably this included Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most important clerical institution, who blessed Morsi’s ouster.

When it comes to aggressive clash of civilizations rhetoric coming from Islamists, Bazian turns a blind eye. He chose to write for UCLA’s newsmagazine Al-Talib in the late 1990s and early 2000s despite the fact that Al-Talib regularly featured pro-jihadist articles. For example, an article he wrote in the March 1999 issue appeared along with a piece praising Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini.

The July 1999 edition contained an editorial titled “Jihad in America” that criticized calling Osama bin Laden a terrorist. Bin Laden, it said, was a “freedom fighter” who spoke out against oppressors.

By that time, bin Laden had publicly declared war on the United States, “Jews and Crusaders.” That fatwa invoked the Quran to declare that killing Americans “an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it…” The al-Qaida suicide bombing attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania took place the year before Bazian’s Al-Talib article.

Bazian could have opted to stop writing for the newsmagazine after the pro-terrorist articles were published, yet he chose to submit articles in Al-Talib’s September 1999 issue and again in Al-Talib‘s March 2000 issue.

“I think he is a classical civilizational Islamist supremacist,” Jasser said, “meaning that until he is caught and exposed on various positions he’ll do whatever possible to advance the concept that where Muslims are a majority that an Islamic state is the best avenue for governance.”

Islamists love clash of civilizations rhetoric because they view the world in terms of the Land of Islam and the Land of War ruled by non-Muslims,  Jasser said.

Bazian’s effort to accuse “Islamophobes” of a racist clash of civilizations at the MAS-ICNA conference and on other occasions distracts from the Islamists’ stated desire to supplant Western civilization.

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)

 

A bloody day in London town

March 30, 2017

A bloody day in London town, Israel Hayom, Clifford D. May, March 30, 2017

“I absolutely agree, and it is wrong to describe this as ‘Islamic terrorism’,” she [Prime Minister Theresa May] replied. “It is ‘Islamist terrorism.'”

Clever of her. She did not dismiss the attack as “violent extremism.” She did not suggest that the attacker might just as easily have been a Rastafarian, Zoroastrian or Buddhist. She tacitly recognized that ideologies based on Islamic scripture drive such terrorist attacks while avoiding the implication that most Muslims approve of such ideologies.

This nuanced explanation should have become the norm long ago. Instead, many on the left insist that Islam is simply and only a “religion of peace.” Muslims who contradict that are “perverting” Islam. Non-Muslims who contradict that are Islamophobes.

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“The kafir’s blood is halal for you, so shed it.” That’s just one of the catchier headlines in a recent issue of Rumiyah, a slick online magazine published by the Islamic State group.

A “kafir,” of course, is a non-Muslim. “Halal” means religiously permissible. As for Rumiyah, that’s Arabic for Rome, one of the Christian capitals that the leaders of Islamic State hope to conquer. (The other great Christian capital, Constantinople, fell to soldiers of the caliphate in 1453. It’s now called Istanbul.)

Was Khalid Masood — the convert to Islam who last week staged a terrorist attack at London’s Houses of Parliament, seat and symbol of British democracy — a reader of Rumiyah? If so, he might have been inspired by an article late last year urging people like him to do precisely what he did: drive a vehicle into a crowd of non-Muslims, “smashing their bodies with the vehicle’s strong outer frame while advancing forward — crushing their heads, torsos, and limbs under the vehicle’s wheels and chassis.” Masood then exited the vehicle and stabbed a police officer — a tactic used frequently against Israelis in recent years.

The Western response to such atrocities has become ritualistic. The police say they are investigating and are uncertain about the perpetrator’s motive. Foreign heads of state condemn the attack, offer condolences and pledge solidarity. Leaders of the nation attacked defiantly announce that life will go on and no one will be intimidated.

Next, comes the debate over whether Islam should be implicated or vindicated. In this instance, a conservative MP, Michael Tomlinson, asked Prime Minister Theresa May whether she agreed that the term “Islamic terror” was inappropriate.

“I absolutely agree, and it is wrong to describe this as ‘Islamic terrorism’,” she replied. “It is ‘Islamist terrorism.'”

Clever of her. She did not dismiss the attack as “violent extremism.” She did not suggest that the attacker might just as easily have been a Rastafarian, Zoroastrian or Buddhist. She tacitly recognized that ideologies based on Islamic scripture drive such terrorist attacks while avoiding the implication that most Muslims approve of such ideologies.

This nuanced explanation should have become the norm long ago. Instead, many on the left insist that Islam is simply and only a “religion of peace.” Muslims who contradict that are “perverting” Islam. Non-Muslims who contradict that are Islamophobes.

Meanwhile, many on the right believe it is only the Islamists who are practicing “true” Islam. They implicitly concur with the Islamists that 21st century Sufis, Ismailis and Ahmadis are heretics, as are Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (both have gone to war against Islamists) and the millions of Kurds who reject Islamism because they recognize the existential threat it poses to their proud nation.

Islamism is not a complicated ideology. Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, wrote: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” Among the mottoes of the Muslim Brotherhood: “Jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish.”

Some Islamists believe the path to power can be cleared only with the sword. We may call them jihadists. Some Islamists see other routes, for example through the ballot box or demographic change. Some Islamists even claim to eschew violence. But to infer from that they embrace nonviolence as a principle would be a mistake.

All Islamists, even those who are clean-shaven and wear neckties, are committed to the supremacy of their religion and their community, the umma, the “nation of Islam,” over all other religions, communities and nations.

No one would argue that when we condemn “white supremacism” we risk offending all people of pallor. So why is it “politically incorrect” to speak candidly — and condemn unequivocally — Islamic supremacism?

Another fact often avoided: Islamists can be Shia as well as Sunni. The earliest Islamist attacks against Americans (the Barbary pirates notwithstanding) were carried out in 1983 in Beirut, first against the U.S. Embassy, then against the barracks of the U.S. Marines who were there to serve as peacekeepers. Most analysts agree that Hezbollah, a Shia organization funded and instructed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, was responsible.

Neither Hezbollah nor Iran’s rulers have become more moderate over the decades since. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sees himself as leading a global jihadist revolution against the United States and the liberal world order. The significance of this appears to have eluded many policymakers.

How, for example, did President Barack Obama not understand that the deal he cut with Iran’s rulers will establish them as legitimate members of the nuclear weapons club within less than a generation — even if “Death to America!” remains their goal and rallying cry? And does U.S. President Donald Trump grasp that if the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq further empowers Tehran, the American victory will be Pyrrhic?

Sunni and Shia Islamists are rivals — not enemies. Neither would take issue with the unnamed author of the Rumiyah article noted above who asserts that “striking terror into the hearts of all disbelievers is a Muslim’s duty.”

Whether that view is based on true Islam or a perversion of Islam really doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s an expression of the most dynamic and lethal ideologies now spreading around the world. We need to more seriously study these ideologies. We need to more candidly discuss what Islamists intend to do to those who refuse to embrace or appease them. Only then can we hope to formulate a coherent and effective strategy to defend ourselves.

White Liberals Attack Brown Islamic Dissidents

March 28, 2017

White Liberals Attack Brown Islamic Dissidents, Gatestone Institute, Giulio Meotti, March 28, 2017

Self-righteous liberals love “moderate Islam” when it appears under the guise of Tariq Ramadan, whose goal has been summed up by Jacques Jomier: “His problem is not the modernization of Islam, but the Islamification of modernity”. But the same liberals target as agents provocateurs those dissidents trying to modernize Islam. The fatwas of the white liberals hit hard as the violent ones of the Muslim extremists.

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“[A] section of the Western left has adopted the ideology of the Salafists, Khomeinists and Islamists. It supports their blasphemy codes, and apologias for murder.” — Nick Cohen, The Spectator.

“Thus the defenders of liberty are styled as fascists, while the fanatics are portrayed as victims!” — Pascal Bruckner, Perlentaucher.

“It is putting bounties on the heads of Muslims like Maajid Nawaz, who are opposed to Muslim extremism (…) The document is simply an enemies’ list, of the kind that fascists, Stalinists, and other totalitarian thinkers can’t help producing.” — Lee Smith, Tablet.

“Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy—punishable by death—to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era?” — Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wall Street Journal.

Most of the solidarity to French cartoonists under threat has come from even braver — but ostracized — Muslim intellectuals.

At the time of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the literary “Left” stood with the Muslim “anger”, not with the persecuted writer — while all around, translators and publishers were being killed and wounded by the Iranian murderers.

In the global struggle for the confrontation of ideas between the West and political Islam, too often the Western values are represented by Muslim dissidents and downplayed by the liberals who should be safeguarding them. It is an unpleasant spectacle.

“The current situation in Europe is deeply troubling: not only are Muslim women within Europe subject to considerable oppression in many ways, such norms now risk spreading to non-Muslim women who face harassment from Muslim men. One would think that Western feminists in the United States and Europe would be very disturbed by this obvious misogyny. But sadly, with few exceptions, this does not appear to be the case”. — Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The French daily Le Figaro captured the tragic condition of Muslim dissidents: “Seen as ‘traitors’ by their communities, they are accused by the elites in the West of ‘stigmatizing'”.

Le Point called it “the malediction of the dissident”: “For the European left, a bright danger threatens humanity. This is not terrorism or religious fundamentalism. But dissident intellectuals in the Muslim world”.

This is the meaning of a recent list of fifteen “anti-Islamic extremists,” published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Among them are, for example, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former member of the Dutch parliament and the most famous dissident from Islamic world, and Maajid Nawaz, a British Muslim who founded the Quilliam Foundation to fight radicalism, and who has been a consultant to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has attacked principled and courageous critics of radical Islamism such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali (left), a prominent ex-Muslim writer, and Maajid Nawaz (right), a moderate practising Muslim writer, radio host and politician. (Images source: Wikimedia Commons)

Nick Cohen, in The Spectator, explained:

“in the liberal orientalist world view the only ‘authentic’ Muslim is a barbarian. A battery of insults fires on any Muslim who says otherwise. They are ‘neo-conservatives,’ ‘native informants,’ and ‘Zionists’: they are as extreme as jihadists they oppose, or, let’s face it, worse…”

In short, according with Cohen, “a section of the Western left has adopted the ideology of the Salafists, Khomeinists and Islamists. It supports their blasphemy codes, and apologias for murder”.

The Wall Street Journal, in an unsigned editorial, attacked the report of the Southern Poverty Law Center: that “as if facing down violent Islamist fanatics isn’t enough, Muslim reformers now have to dodge attacks from the American left”.

Lee Smith, in Tablet, noted:

“Yet now, the SPLC is putting bounties on the heads of Muslims like Maajid Nawaz, who are opposed to Muslim extremism… The document is simply an enemies’ list, of the kind that fascists, Stalinists, and other totalitarian thinkers can’t help producing”.

Nick Cohen called it “the first fatwa of the white left”. But it is not the first. That horrible document belongs to the long “flight of the intellectuals” denounced by Paul Berman: the abandonment of Enlightenment values in the face of threats to freedom of expression.

“It is time to extend our solidarity to all the rebels of the Islamic world, non-believers, atheist libertines, dissenters, sentinels of liberty, as we supported Eastern European dissidents in former times”, French writer Pascal Bruckner said. Most of Western liberals are doing exactly the opposite. Not only are they refusing “to extend our solidarity” to these rebels; instead, they are actually targeting them.

The Director of the Middle East-Mediterranean chair at the Ecole Normale Superieure, and professor at Sciences-Po, Gilles Kepel , just published a book, Fracture, in which he blasts “the intellectuals paralyzed by postcolonial guilt” and the “blindness which leads them to minimize the jihadist risk”. It is what Kepel in the book calls “Islamo-Leftism” (“Islamo-Gauchisme“), which currently targets Muslim dissidents to exclude them from the debate.

The debate reminds one that during the Cold War, when the Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the author of The Gulag Archipelago, was attacked by fellow writers such as Pablo Neruda, a Nobel Prize for Literature laureate and devout communist.

In 2006, a group of 12 writers put their names to a statement in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, warning against Islamic “totalitarianism”. “After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global totalitarian threat: Islamism”, read the appeal. “We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all”. Among the 12 promoters, eight came from the Islamic world. Most of the solidarity to French cartoonists under threat has come from even braver — but ostracized — Muslim intellectuals. In the global struggle for the confrontation of ideas between the West and political Islam, too often the Western values are represented by Muslim dissidents and downplayed by the liberals who should be safeguarding them. It is an unpleasant spectacle.

And what was Islamo-Leftism doing? Busy targeting them. Timothy Garton Ash, a leftist opinion-maker, has asked how much the success of Ayaan Hirsi Ali depends on her beauty, and has defined her “an Enlightenment fundamentalist”: “It’s no disrespect to Ms. Ali to suggest that if she had been short, squat, and squinting, her story and views might not be so closely attended to”.

Similar criticism against Hirsi Ali came from Ian Buruma, a Dutch “radical chic” journalist transplanted to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Ibn Warraq, another Muslim dissident isolated by the Left, attacked Buruma: “Disgraceful has been Buruma’s vilification of human rights activists, especially his attacks on such heroic figures as Afshin Ellian and Ayaan Hirsi Ali”. Buruma achieves his goals in a most insidious manner: hinting and insinuating.

In the German magazine, Perlentaucher, the French author Pascal Bruckner defended Hirsi Ali from the criticism of Buruma and Garton Ash:

“It’s not enough that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has to live like a recluse, threatened with having her throat slit by radicals and surrounded by bodyguards. She — like the French philosophy professor Robert Redeker who has also been issued death threats on Islamicist websites — has to endure the ridicule of the high-minded idealists and armchair philosophers. She has even been called a Nazi in the Netherlands. Thus the defenders of liberty are styled as fascists, while the fanatics are portrayed as victims! … It is her wilful, short-fused, enthusiastic, impervious side to which Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash object, in the spirit of the inquisitors who saw devil-possessed witches in every woman too flamboyant for their tastes”.

Geert Mak, a Dutch historian, likened the film “Submission”, written by Hirsi Ali, and which cost the life of the Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, to the Nazi propaganda film, “The Eternal Jew”. According to Mak’s “logic”, Hirsi Ali “stigmatized” Muslims as Joseph Goebbels did Jews. Leon de Winter rightly attacked Mak’s shameful comparison in a column for Volkskrant newspaper:

“If anything can be compared with the propaganda of Goebbels, these are the decapitation videos and anti-Semitic propaganda of Arab satellite stations in Amsterdam West. Mak turns the world upside down. Anne Frank has been abused enough”.

The “Index on Censorship“, in an article by the associate director of the magazine, Rohan Jayasekera, has painted Hirsi Ali as a silly girl who had allowed herself to be manipulated by a white man (van Gogh) in exploitative employment”. The Index on Censorship was founded in 1972 by Stephen Spender in response to a plea from Soviet dissidents facing show trials in Moscow, on the principle that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that the international community has a duty to safeguard. What would people have said of his organization if it had blamed those Soviet writers instead of their persecutors?

Two years ago, Hirsi Ali was even uninvited from Brandeis University, one of the cradles of American academic liberalism that was supposed to celebrate her with an honorary degree. 85 of 350 professors at the Massachusetts university refused to host such a speaker on the Third World and Islam. If one reads what Hirsi Ali would have said on campus that day, the leftist fear of Hirsi Ali it is understandable:

“We need to make our universities temples not of dogmatic orthodoxy, but of truly critical thinking, where all ideas are welcome and where civil debate is encouraged…. I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight. The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect. So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy — punishable by death — to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era?”

Dissident ex-Muslims from the Islamic world, who have fled to the West to escape persecution and sectarianism, also see their hosts are “going soft” on their persecutors. A motion in the European Parliament to fund Hirsi Ali’s U.S. security failed to reach a quorum of half the deputies in the 785-member body. She was “abandoned to the fanatics” in Europe’s shameful capitulation to intimidation and threats.

Directors, actors, producers, writers, and film critics, who usually pontificate on everything and side with any minority, all stood silent when Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam and threats were made against his brave writer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

In the last few months, we have seen many Western feminists, especially on the “left”, standing in defense of burkini. The New York Times ran an article entitled: “At the beach with my burkini“. It is the burkini and the veil, that have become symbols of human rights, and not Hirsi Ali and other Muslim feminists who fight against these religious symbols coerced on women. For many feminists and liberals, submission is demanded only by white male Christian westerners. All minorities, such as Islamic dissidents, who face this enemy are considered provocateurs. Submission of women in the Islamic world? Female mutilation such as that suffered by Hirsi Ali? Much better to rally against Dominique Strauss Khan, the French Socialist sexual predator. Hirsi Ali criticized the Western feminist silence:

“The current situation in Europe is deeply troubling: not only are Muslim women within Europe subject to considerable oppression in many ways, such norms now risk spreading to non-Muslim women who face harassment from Muslim men. One would think that Western feminists in the United States and Europe would be very disturbed by this obvious misogyny. But sadly, with few exceptions, this does not appear to be the case”.

When mullahs in Iran placed a bounty of $2.8 million — recently raised by an additional $600,000 — on the head of a British citizen, the Muslim dissident, Salman Rushdie, for having written a novel, The Satanic Verses, a large part of London’s literary “left” sided with the Ayatollah Khomeini rather than the persecuted writer. The feminist writer Germaine Greer called Rushdie a “megalomaniac, an Englishman with dark skin“. Roald Dahl, the bestselling author of children’s books, defined him a “dangerous opportunist“. The king of the literary spy stories, John Le Carré, called Rushdie an “idiot”. At the time of the fatwa, the literary “Left” stood with the Muslim “anger”, not with the persecuted writer – while all around, translators and publishers were being killed and wounded by the Iranian murderers.

The Algerian writer, Kamel Daoud, in addition to the edicts of Islamic preachers in his country, had to face a far more sinuous menace in France a year ago. Daoud had the courage to break the taboo against criticizing Cologne’s sexual attacks. According to Daoud, Europe welcomes immigrants with visas and material sustenance, but without addressing values. What Cologne showed, says Daoud, is how sex is “the greatest misery in the world of Allah”.

First, twenty leftist academics launched an appeal in Le Monde, where Daoud was accused of a series of ideological crimes, such as “orientalist clichés”, “essentialism”, “psychologizing”, “colonialist paternalism”, which correspond, all together, to an accusation of “racism” and “Islamophobia”. Then a book entitled “Kamel Daoud the Enquête Contre” — signed by Ahmed Bensaada and with a preface of a French journalist, Jacques-Marie Bourget — attacked “these intellectuals in North Africa, who are auxiliaries of the French neo-conservative thinkers” who need “the good negro”, a “native alibi”. Daoud was accused of being an instrument of “neo-colonialist thought”.

“The process of Islamophobia against Kamel Daoud is worthy of the Stalinist era”, wrote at Le Figaro political scientist Laurent Bouvet. In the weekly, Le Point Étienne Gernelle attacked “the fools of the regressive left”. Rafik Chekkat called Daoud a “native informant”, while Olivier Roy, an Islamic scholar, in an article accused Daoud of stigmatizing Muslims: “The machismo and sexual harassment exist all over the world, why isolating this phenomenon among Muslims, instead of trying to counteract all forms? Just because they are Muslims”. A great number of articles in the French press attacked Daoud.

The same treatment was reserved for the deputy editor at the time of Italy’s largest daily, Il Corriere della Sera, the Egyptian journalist Magdi Allam. He was targeted in an appeal signed by two hundred intellectuals, historians and writers, all belonging to the cultural milieu. Allam has also recently been attacked as a “racist” by the liberal Democratic Party in an Italian town which had wanted to honor him with the honorary citizenship:

“They imply that I have a prejudice against immigrants or Muslims and this corresponds to an offense because we speak of racism. I reminded them that I was a true Italian immigrant for reasons of study. They represent me as a terrorist but I am a victim of terrorism and of those who sow intolerance: I have been living under guard escort for 14 years”.

This cowardly interdiction of Muslim liberal voices in the West went ahead with Maryam Namazie, another Islamic intellectual of Iranian origin, was “disinvited” from the University of Warwick, in England, because her lecture could “feed the Islamophobia”. The left-wing press, led by The Guardian, supported the exclusion of Namazie:

“Does the withdrawal of an invitation really amount to censorship? Her words have not been banned, the state has not gagged her. Is Namazie’s capacity to share her ideas diminished if she doesn’t appear in front of 50-odd students? After all, she can still tweet and blog, as she showed over the weekend. If anything, the whole episode has increased her audience”.

Duke University students tried to stop the talk of another Islamic dissident, Asra Nomani, author of “Standing Alone”. In France, the book of the Egyptian writer, Hamed Abdel-Samad, was taken off the market because, according to the self-censoring publisher, Piranha, it would bring “water to the mill of the extreme right”. A Muslim author denouncing “Islamic fascism” was repudiated by the fascist anti-fascist “leftists” because of false “Islamophobia” claims.

Self-righteous liberals love “moderate Islam” when it appears under the guise of Tariq Ramadan, whose goal has been summed up by Jacques Jomier: “His problem is not the modernization of Islam, but the Islamification of modernity”. But the same liberals target as agents provocateurs those dissidents trying to modernize Islam. The fatwas of the white liberals hit hard as the violent ones of the Muslim extremists.

Political Islam Is Today’s Anti-American ‘Long March Through The Institutions’

March 27, 2017

Political Islam Is Today’s Anti-American ‘Long March Through The Institutions’, The Federalist, , March 27, 2017

(I agree with nearly everything Hirsi Ali says, except for her last paragraph:

We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

As written, what she proposes comes dangerously close to, and could easily be construed to be the same as, Canada’s new “anti-Islamophobia” law. We should not be required to be tolerant of Islamism or any other ideology; we should be free to criticize it for being what it is. Those who try to defend it should be as well, disgusting though they may be. 

The First Amendment recognizes our right to freedom of speech because it helps good to prevail over evil; the possibility that it may occasionally permit the reverse is not a valid argument against freedom of speech. It may be an argument — which I reject — that we are no longer capable of living in a free society. Criminalization of free speech because it may be considered “intolerant” of any religious or political view can be the end of free speech and produce a society congruent with that which the Islamists desire. — DM)

 

It cannot be said often enough that the United States is not at war with Islam or with Muslims. It is, however, bound to resist the political aspirations of Medina Muslims where those pose a direct threat to our civil and political liberties. It is also bound to ensure that Mecca Muslims and reforming Muslims enjoy the same protections as members of other religious communities who accept the fundamental principles of a free society. That includes protection from the tactics of intimidation that are so central to the ideology and practice of political Islam.

******************************

It is refreshing and heartening that President Trump acknowledges the need for an ideological campaign against “radical Islam.” This deserves to be called a paradigm shift.

President Bush often referred to a “war on terror,” but terror is a tactic that can be used for a variety of ideological objectives. President Obama stated that he was opposed to “violent extremism” and even organized an international summit around this subject. Yet at times he made it seem as if he worried more about “Islamophobia” than about radical Islam.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, Obama declared: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” In what follows, however, I shall refer to “political Islam” rather than radical Islam.

Political Islam is not just a religion as most Western citizens recognize the term “religion,” a faith; it is also a political ideology, a legal order, and in many ways also a military doctrine associated with the campaigns of the Prophet Muhammad. Political Islam rejects any kind of distinction between religion and politics, mosque and state. Political Islam even rejects the modern state in favor of a caliphate. My central argument is that political Islam implies a constitutional order fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and with the “constitution of liberty” that is the foundation of the American way of life.

Yes, Islamists Have Everything to Do with Islam

There is no point in denying that political Islam as an ideology has its foundation in Islamic doctrine. However, “Islam,” “Islamism,” and “Muslims” are distinct concepts. Not all Muslims are Islamists, let alone violent, but all Islamists—including those who use violence—are Muslims. I believe the religion of Islam itself is indeed capable of reformation, if only to distinguish it more clearly from the political ideology of Islamism. But that task of reform can only be carried out by Muslims.

Insisting that radical Islamists have “nothing to do with Islam” has led U.S. policy makers to commit numerous strategic errors since 9/11. One is to distinguish between a “tiny” group of extremists and an “overwhelming” majority of “moderate” Muslims. I prefer to differentiate among Medina Muslims, who embrace the militant political ideology adopted by Muhammad in Medina; Mecca Muslims, who prefer the religion originally promoted by Muhammad in Mecca; and reformers, who are open to some kind of Muslim Reformation.

These distinctions have their origins in history. The formative period of Islam can be divided roughly into two phases: the spiritual phase, associated with Mecca, and the political phase that followed Muhammad’s move to Medina. There is a substantial difference between Qur’anic verses revealed in Mecca (largely spiritual in nature) and Qur’anic verses revealed in Medina (more political and even militaristic). There is also a difference in the behavior of the Prophet Muhammad: in Mecca, he was a spiritual preacher, but in Medina he became a political and military figure.

It cannot be said often enough that the United States is not at war with Islam or with Muslims. It is, however, bound to resist the political aspirations of Medina Muslims where those pose a direct threat to our civil and political liberties. It is also bound to ensure that Mecca Muslims and reforming Muslims enjoy the same protections as members of other religious communities who accept the fundamental principles of a free society. That includes protection from the tactics of intimidation that are so central to the ideology and practice of political Islam.

Background on Today’s State of Affairs

The conflict between the United States and political Islam in modern times dates back to at least 1979, when the U.S. embassy in Tehran was seized by Islamic revolutionaries and 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days. In the decades that followed, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania reminded Americans of the threat posed by political Islam.

But it was not until the 9/11 attacks that political Islam as an ideology attracted sustained public attention. The September 11, 2001, attacks were inspired by a political ideology that has its foundation in Islam, specifically its formative period in Medina.

Since 9/11, at least $1.7 trillion has been spent on combat and reconstruction costs in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The total budgetary cost of the wars and homeland security from 2001 through 2016 is more than $3.6 trillion. Yet in spite of the sacrifices of more than 5,000 armed service personnel who have lost their lives since 9/11 and the tens of thousands of American soldiers who have been wounded, today political Islam is on the rise around the world.

Violence is the most obvious—but not the only—manifestation of this trend. Jihadist groups have proliferated all over the Middle East and North Africa, especially where states are weak and civil wars rage (Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, not forgetting northern Nigeria). Islam-inspired terrorists also have a global reach. France is in a permanent state of emergency, while the United States has been profoundly shaken by terror attacks in Boston (the Marathon bombers); Fort Hood, Texas; San Bernardino, California; Orlando, Florida; and Ohio State University, to name but a few.

Of the last 16 years, the worst year for terrorism was 2014, with 93 countries experiencing attacks and 32,765 people killed. The second worst was 2015, with 29,376 deaths. Last year, four radical Islamic groups were responsible for 74 percent of all deaths from terrorism: the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. Although the Muslim world itself bears the heaviest burden of jihadist violence, the West is increasingly under attack.

How large is the jihadist movement in the world? In Pakistan alone, where the population is almost entirely Muslim, 13 percent of Muslims surveyed—more than 20 million people—said that bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies.

Disturbingly, the number of Western-born Muslim jihadists is sharply increasing. The United Nations estimated in November 2014 that some 15,000 foreign fighters from at least 80 nations have traveled to Syria to join the radical jihadists. Roughly a quarter of them come from Western Europe.

Yet the advance of political Islam manifests itself not only in acts of violence. Even as billions are spent on military intervention and drone strikes, the ideological infrastructure of political Islam in the United States continues to grow because officials are concerned only with criminal conspiracies to commit acts of violence, not with the ideology that inspires such acts.

According to one estimate, 10−15 percent of the world’s Muslims are Islamists. Out of well more than 1.6 billion, or 23 percent of the globe’s population, that implies more than 160 million individuals. Based on survey data on attitudes toward sharia in Muslim countries, total support for Islamist activities in the world is likely significantly higher than that estimate.

What Scholarship on Political Islam Says

There are two sets of academic literature aimed at helping policy makers grapple with the threat of radical Islam. In the first set, Islamic religious ideas form a marginal factor at best. Authors such as John Esposito, Marc Sageman, Hatem Bazian, and Karen Armstrong argue that a combination of variables such as poverty and corrupt political governance lies at the root of Islamic violence. They urge the U.S. government and its allies to tackle these “root causes.”

For these authors, devoting attention to religious motives is at best irrelevant, and at worst a harmful distraction. They are not concerned about political Islam as an ideology, only about individual acts of violence committed in its name.

A second set of scholars—which is growing in importance—sees a radical ideology derived from Islamic theology, principles, and concepts as the driving force of our current predicament. Scholars such as Michael Cook, Daniel Pipes, Jeffrey Bale, and David Cook, and authors such as Paul Berman and Graeme Wood, acknowledge that factors such as poverty and bad governance are relevant, but argue that U.S. policy makers should take seriously the religious ideology that underlies Islamist violence.

The failed polices since 9/11 (and even before) in the struggle against radical Islam were built on false premises derived from the first set of literature, which absolves Islam wholly of the atrocities that it inspires. As the failure of American strategy since 2001 has become increasingly clear, however, the view has gained ground that the ideology underlying Islamist violence must be tackled if our efforts are to be successful.

This view is not only held by a few Western scholars. All over the world, there are now Muslims who are engaged in a long-overdue process of reassessing Islamic thought, scripture, and laws with a view to reforming them. These Muslim reformers can be found in positions of leadership in some governments, in universities, in the press, and elsewhere. They are our natural allies. An important part of our future policies in the war on Islamic extremism should be to encourage and empower them.

It’s Time to Understand Dawa

From 9/11 until now, the dominant Western response to political Islam has been to focus only on “terror” and “violent extremism.” This approach has failed. In focusing only on acts of violence, we have ignored the ideology that justifies, promotes, celebrates, and encourages those acts. By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam (or “Islamism”) as an ideology and against those who spread that ideology, we have made a grave error.

If Islamism is the ideology, then dawa encompasses all the methods by which it is spread. The term “dawa” refers to activities carried out by Islamists to win adherents and enlist them in a campaign to impose sharia law on all societies. Dawa is not the Islamic equivalent of religious proselytizing, although it is often disguised as such by blending humanitarian activities with subversive political activities.

Dawa as practiced by Islamists employs a wide range of mechanisms to advance the goal of imposing Islamic law (sharia) on society. This includes proselytization, but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia. Islamists rely on both violent and nonviolent means to achieve their objectives.

Dawa is to the Islamists of today what the “long march through the institutions” was to twentieth-century Marxists. It is subversion from within, the use of religious freedom in order to undermine that very freedom. After Islamists gain power, dawa is to them what Gleichschaltung (synchronization) of all aspects of German state, civil, and social institutions was to the National Socialists.

There are of course differences. The biggest difference is that dawa is rooted in the Islamic practice of attempting to convert non-Muslims to accept the message of Islam. As it is an ostensibly religious missionary activity, proponents of dawa enjoy a much greater protection by the law in free societies than Marxists or fascists did in the past.

Worse, Islamist groups have enjoyed not just protection but at times official sponsorship from government agencies duped into regarding them as representatives of “moderate Muslims” simply because they do not engage in violence. Islamist groups that have been treated in this way include:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
The Islamic Society of Boston

For organizations engaging in dawa, the main elements of the strategy are:

  • to have well-organized Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood claim to speak on behalf of all Muslims, while marginalizing Muslim reformers and dissidents.
  • to take ownership of immigration trends to encourage the “Islamization” of Western societies by invoking hijra, the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.
  • to reduce women to the status of reproductive machines for the purpose of demographic transformation.
  • to take advantage of the focus on “inclusion” by progressive political parties in democratic societies, then to force these parties to accept Islamist demands in the name of peaceful coexistence.
  • to take advantage of self-consciously progressive movements, effectively co-opting them.
  • to increase Islamists’ hold over the educational system, including some charter schools, “faith” schools, and home schooling.

Typically, Islamists study target societies to identify points of vulnerability. In the United States, Islamists focus on vulnerable African-American men within prison populations, as well as Hispanic and Native American communities. Recent targets of Islamist infiltration include the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter.

Agents of dawa also systematically lobby private-sector organizations, governments, and international bodies:

  • They seek to pressure governments to accede to Islamist demands on the grounds of freedom of religion or status as a religious minority.
  • They urge the United Nations and the European Council to combat “Islamophobia” by devising what amounts to censorship guidelines for politicians and journalists and by punishing those who dissent.
  • They press institutions such as the Associated Press to distort the language they use to suit Islamist objectives.
  • They wage sustained campaigns to discredit critics of radical Islam.

The Sinews of Dawa

The global infrastructure of dawa is well funded, persistent, and resilient. From 1973 through 2002, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spent an estimated $87 billion to promote dawa efforts abroad. Josh Martin estimates that, since the early 1970s, Middle Eastern charities have distributed $110 billion, $40 billion of which found its way to sub-Saharan Africa and contributed heavily to Islamist ideological indoctrination there.

Nongovernmental organizations in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia continue to distribute large sums overseas to finance ideological indoctrination and activities. Powerful foundations such as the Qatar Foundation continue to grant financial support and legitimacy to radical Islamic ideology around the world.

Many Islamic charitable foundations use zakat (mandatory charity) funds to mix humanitarian outreach with ideological indoctrination, laying the ground for future intolerance, misogyny, and jihad, even if no violence is used in the short term. When informal funding mechanisms are included, the zakat funds available could reach “hundreds of billions of dollars” worldwide each year.

The Key Problem Is Using Our Freedoms to End Them

Let it be said explicitly: The Islamists’ program is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, religious tolerance, the equality of men and women, the tolerance of different sexual orientations, and other fundamental human rights.

The biggest challenge the United States faces in combating political Islam, however, is the extent to which agents of dawa can exploit the constitutional and legal protections that guarantee American citizens freedom of religion and freedom of speech—freedoms that would of course be swept away if the Islamists achieved their goals.

In 2010, one senior American intelligence analyst summed up our predicament: “In the US there are First Amendment issues we’re cognizant of. It’s not a crime to radicalize, only when it turns to violence . . . America is thus vulnerable to a threat that is not only diversifying, but arguably intensifying.”

To give just one example: A cleric in Maryland, Imam Suleiman Bengharsa, has openly endorsed the Islamic State, posted gruesome videos, and praised terrorist attacks overseas. As of February 2017, however, he remains a free man and U.S. authorities insist nothing can be done against him because he has not yet plotted to commit a specific act of violence. One expert has said that Imam Bengharsa “can take his supporters right up to the line. It’s like making a cake and not putting in the final ingredient. It’s winks and nods all the way.” This is what we are up against.

The global constitution of political Islam is formidable. The Muslim Brotherhood, with its numerous American affiliates, is an important component, but not the only one. Even if one were able to eliminate the Brotherhood overnight, the ideological infrastructure of dawa would remain powerful. The network of radical Islamist preachers, “charities,” and organizations that perpetuate political Islam is already well established inside and outside the United States.

To resist the insidious advance of political Islam, we need to develop a strategy to counter not only those who use violence to advance their politico-religious objectives—the jihadists—but also the great and complex ideological infrastructure known as dawa, just as we countered both the Red Army and the ideology of communism in the Cold War. Focusing only on “terror” as a tactic is insufficient. We ignore at our peril the ideological infrastructure that supports political Islam in both its violent and its nonviolent forms.

It is not just that jihad is an extension of dawa; according to some observers, it is dawa by other means. Put differently, nonviolent and violent Islamists differ only on tactics; they share the same goal, which is to establish an unfree society ruled by strict sharia law. Institutionally, nonviolent Islamists have benefited from terror attacks committed by jihadists because such attacks make nonviolent Islamists appear moderate in the eyes of Western governments, even when their goals and values are not. This is known as the “positive radical flank effect. Ian Johnson, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, observed:

Al Qaeda was the best thing to happen to these [Islamist] groups. Nowadays, our bar is so low that if groups aren’t Al Qaeda, we’re happy. If they’re not overtly supporting terrorism, we think they’re okay. We don’t stop to think where the terrorism comes from, where the fish swim.

Dawa must therefore be countered as much as jihad.

Yet, as things stand, dawa cannot be countered. Its agents hide behind constitutional protections they would dismantle unhesitatingly were they in power. In 2017, Congress must therefore give the president the tools he needs to dismantle the infrastructure of dawa in the United States and to counter the spread of political Islam at home and abroad.

While recognizing that our freedoms are sacrosanct, we must also remember the wise words of Karl Popper, who memorably identified what he called “the paradox of tolerance,” namely that “unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.”

If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.

But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.

We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

As a Muslim, I am Shocked by Liberals and Leftists

March 25, 2017

As a Muslim, I am Shocked by Liberals and Leftists, Gatestone InstituteMajid Rafizadeh, March 25, 2017

(Please see also, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh: Why the Islamist State of Iran is So Dangerous. — DM)

It is the fear of this violence, torture and death, wielded by extremist Muslims, that keeps every person desperate to obey.

If liberals are in favor of freedom of speech, why do they turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran, which execute people for expressing their opinion? And why do they not let people in the West express their opinion without attacking them or even giving them the respect of hearing what they have to say? They seem, in fact, like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact.

As, in Islam, one is not allowed to attack except to defend the prophet or Islam, extremist Muslims need to keep finding or creating supposed attacks to make themselves appear as victims.

Finally, a short message to liberals might go: Dear Liberal, If you truly stand for values such as peace, social justice, liberty and freedoms, your apologetic view of radical Islam is in total contradiction with all of those values. Your view even hinders the efforts of many Muslims to make a peaceful reformation in Islam precisely to advance the those values.

If you had grown up, as I did, between two authoritarian governments — the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria — under the leadership of people such as Hafez al Assad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you would have seen your youth influenced by two major denominations of Islam in the Muslim world: the Shia and the Sunni. I studied both, and at one point was even a devout Muslim. My parents, who still live in Iran and Syria, come from two different ethnic Muslim groups: Arab and Persian.

You also would have seen how the religion of Islam intertwines with politics, and how radical Islam rules a society through its religious laws, sharia. You would have witnessed how radical Islam can dominate and scrutinize people’s day-to-day choices: in eating, clothing, socializing, entertainment, everything.

You would have seen the tentacles of its control close over every aspect of your life. You would have seen the way, wielded by fundamentalists, radical Islam can be a powerful tool for unbridled violence. It is the fear of this violence, torture, and death, wielded by extremist Muslims, that keeps every person desperate to obey.

My father was brutally tortured — justified by some of the fundamentalist Islamic laws of the ruling governments in both Iran and Syria. The punishment extended to my mother, my family, and other relatives, who were tormented on a regular basis.

What was even more painful was, upon coming to the West, seeing the attitude of many people who label themselves liberals and leftists, towards radical Islam.

These liberals seem to view themselves as open-minded, but they have a preconceived way of thinking about Islam: to them, it seems, there is no radical Islam, Islam is only a force for the good, Islam can do no evil.

How could they not see the way extremist Muslims exploit some aspects of the religion of Islam to legitimize its acts? How could they not even acknowledge that radical Islam, a force that threatens to destroy the planet, let alone my family, exists?

Instead, many liberals would criticize me or attempt to turn a blind eye, as if I were accidentally making some embarrassing mistake. They seemed instead to love being surrounded by Western Muslim “scholars”, those who are apologetic towards radical Islam and — notably — have never actually lived in a Muslim country under the strangling grip of the official fundamentalist laws, sharia.

Why do many liberals, who criticize Christianity and religious conviction in general, appear to open their arms to radical Islam so affectionately? Why are so many liberals, who call themselves the robust defenders of peace, social justice, and freedoms, apologetic for all types of fundamentalist Islamist laws?

If, as liberals argue, they support women’s and LGBT rights, why, by their silence, do they condone gays executed and women subjugated on a daily basis throughout most of the enormous Muslim world? If liberals are in favor of freedom of speech, why do they turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran that, based on the government’s radical, theocratic laws, execute people for expressing their opinion? And why do they not let people in the West express their opinion without attacking them before even giving them the respect of hearing what they have to say?

Liberals argue that they are in favor of critical thinking, but they do not like anyone challenging their “comfort zone”. They seem, in fact, to be just like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact.

Even if a person is from a Muslim country, and has direct experience with extremist Islam, many liberals will strenuously avoid this information. They seem not to want their apologetic view of radical Islam to be questioned or contradicted. They apparently have no desire to open their closed minds on the subject. The thought of a question evidently wounds them, as if an answer would mean that they were turning their backs on the ongoing crimes against humanity. How come, then, that so many liberals appear resistant to seeing that the crimes of radical Islam are those crimes against humanity? And at present, the largest?

Second, these liberals — indulging in faulty, sophisitic, logic — seem to think that if they criticize Christianity and Islamists criticize Christianity, then Islamists will like them for hating the same thing. In the same vein, many liberals hate the U.S. Republican government and many radical Muslim groups hate the U.S. Republican government, so perhaps many liberals think that Muslims will like them for hating the same government? Sadly, as these liberals will soon find out, the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

Third, and more fundamentally, sympathizing with all kinds of Islamist practices and radical Islam seems to fit a wider narrative of bashing the West and white people for “imperialism, colonialism, and any sense of superiority”. Unfortunately that view fails to take into account that there have been no greater imperialists the Muslim armies; they conquered Persia, the great Christian Byzantine Empire in Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, virtually all of Eastern Europe, most of Spain, and Greece.

As, in Islam, one is not allowed to attack except to defend the prophet Muhammed or Islam, extremist Muslims need to keep either finding or creating supposed attacks to make themselves appear as victims.

Anjem Choudary, a radical British Muslim cleric, was sentenced late last year by a British judge to five and a half years in prison for encouraging people to join the Islamic State. (Image source: Dan H/Flickr)

Many liberals, not knowing the background, buy into this claim. By siding with the “other”, they probably feel a moral superiority: they are helping a cause, championing the “other” and rescuing a “victim”! But this moral superiority is both superficial and misplaced. It is more like that of the proverbial boy who murders his parents and then asks the judge for mercy because he is an orphan.

Maybe that is why, when many liberals hear criticism of radical Islam and the nuances of some aspects it, they refuse to hear it. For them, as radical Islam is not being depicted as a victim anymore, this view does not offer them the comfort of being morally superior defending victims. Ironically, that is the same motive for many radical Islamists: feeling morally superior defending Islam. The liberals then become confused, and do not know how to answer because I am a Muslim, have grown up there — not a Western Muslim who has never lived in a Muslim society. I am not even a Western conservative, with whom the liberals are also at odds. Many liberals, like all people happily married to a fantasy, and despite towering evidence, will stick to the fantasy and to their binary way of thinking. It is like trying to tell your friend that the stripper he wants to marry might not want to stay home, make babies and cook. He is so emotionally addicted to his dream that he will do anything to protect it.

Finally, it goes without saying that, as with all of us, liberals too attempt to preserve their financial and political interests. These material and social investments are also threatened by hearing from Muslims who have endured oppression and torture under radical Islam. Those liberals seem to suspect, correctly, that this new information might create some kind of conflict of interest, so possibly decide it might be safer not to hear it in the first place. Instead, again to protect their investment, many liberals and leftists ignore or criticize Muslims such as these.

Finally, a short message to liberals might go: Dear Liberal, If you truly stand for values such as peace, social justice, liberty and freedoms, your apologetic view of radical Islam is in total contradiction with all of those values. Your view even hinders the efforts of many Muslims to make a peaceful reformation in Islam precisely to advance the those values. In addition, sadly, your view towards radical Islam actually contributes to the violence and the repression of millions of people — women, children, slaves, and all those people whom you claim you want to protect. These are the true victims. They are subjugated, dehumanized, terrorized, tortured, raped and beaten on a daily basis by the practitioners of radical Islam and the religious laws of sharia, which are at the core of that fundamentalism. It is time to open your eyes and your minds and see what is staring at you.

Are the Hard Leftists Aligned with Radical Islamists?

March 17, 2017

Are the Hard Leftists Aligned with Radical Islamists? Gatestone InstituteNajat AlSaied, March 17, 2017

The leftist media and other American liberals insist on portraying President Trump’s position as a fight against Islam and Muslims. In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase “radical Islam,” because they are very distressed by the fact that their religion has been commandeered by the radicals and transformed from a religion of peace into a more radical version.

I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support when they marched against the Muslim Brotherhood, asking for America’s help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants?

While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington. What’s worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.

Since the presidential campaign began, and then right up until the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump has kept saying the same thing: that the United States is at war with radical Islam, mainly represented by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Yet, the leftist media and other American liberals insist on portraying his position as a fight against Islam and Muslims. In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase “radical Islam,” because they are very distressed by the fact that their religion has been commandeered by the radicals and transformed from a religion of peace into a more radical version. Unfortunately, instead of the leftists giving a voice to and supporting these moderate Muslims, a kind of leftist-Islamist alliance has emerged.

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, a Saudi columnist for pan-Arab newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat, said in 2004:

“It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims… The majority of those who were suicide bombers on buses, other vehicles, in schools and other places, all over the world, were Muslim”.

This statement from a well-known columnist and a former General Manager of the Al Arabiya news channel demonstrates how moderate Muslims are critical of their own culture and how they are saddened by how their religion has been hijacked by radicals. However, these appeals fall on deaf ears with leftists; they call moderate Muslims passive, which instead supports and furthers the radical Islamists’ cause.

In 2009, while millions of Iranians were in the streets opposing a radical, theocratic regime as part of their Green Revolution, then U.S. President Barack Obama ignored this historic moment and continued reaching out to Iran’s rulers, who are designated by the U.S. government as sponsors of terrorism. His appeasing attitude was a clear sign that the US was so eager to reach a nuclear deal by befriending the Iranian regime, that it was willing to tolerate the mullahs’ brutal repression and its hegemonic policies across the region.

In 2011, we witnessed the Obama Administration’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in the form of billions of dollars that ensured its victory, ignoring the consequences their rule has had on moderate Muslims, Coptic Christians and secular groups. Many moderate Muslim women in Egypt entreated the Obama Administration to support them against the Muslim Brotherhood’s tyranny and misogyny, but to no avail.

Gameela Ismail, an Egyptian politician activist asked John Kerry in 2013 to cease supporting the Muslim Brotherhood:

“We ask you to do nothing for us. Just stop doing anything at all in our country and stop supporting tyranny and fascism, and leave us to complete our revolution and achieve our dreams. Our dreams will not stop because of your humble perceptions of us and our future.”

Kerry responded: “The United States did not take sides but had to deal with the elected legitimate government in place.” Then Kerry announced the United States would give the Muslim Brotherhood government another $250 million.

Ironically, we saw John Kerry protest against President Trump as part of the Women’s March on Washington after Trump’s inauguration. I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support while marching against the Muslim Brotherhood and asking for America’s help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants? It seems that these liberal women do not recognize the dignity of human life beyond the wall of their uterus. Abortion and contraceptive pills are their ultimate concern.

While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington. What’s worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.

Sarsour’s interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC was full of false information, yet she was still cheered by several prominent liberal leftists. She said that Muslim children are being executed in the United States [a lie], that Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie] and that there is opposition to the building of mosques [a lie: There are more than 2,106 mosques in the US]. She also admitted that she wants Islamic sharia law to be applied in the United Sates and is offended that 22 states are opposed to this. All of these lies and allegations were not challenged by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. In fact, she agreed with Sarsour by saying, “What is happening domestically around issues about bigotry is spooky”. This shows that she is not a tolerant, open-minded anchor, but proves that she is a professional liar, which is a million miles away from a balanced media that presents the truth.

In a recent interview on MSNBC, Linda Sarsour, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, said that in the United States, Muslim children are being executed [a lie], and Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie]. Pictured above: Sarsour is interviewed in a Seriously.TV video.

This is not the only example of the liberals’ hypocrisy. Their use of the “Muslim card” went to the extent that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she is prepared to “register as Muslim” in solidarity with Muslims against President Trump’s plans to take executive action affecting Muslim immigrants into the US. We wonder where warm-hearted Albright’s conscience was when she was asked in 1996 about the deaths of 576,000 Iraqi children under the brutal sanctions on Iraq during the Clinton Administration of the 1990s. She gave a cold-blooded response: that the price paid was worth it. Now she is heartbroken over restrictions on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim states.

Actually, there was nothing new about the three-month temporary block on those with passports from seven majority-Muslim countries. Donald Trump stated on his Facebook page:

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.”

The fact that the liberals are trying to undermine every single action Trump takes with continuous lies, is making them very hard to believe.

It is pathetic that the liberals are not only against President Trump in his fight against radical Islamists, but are also supporting those extremists at the expense of oppressed moderate Muslims. The alignment of the liberal leftists with radical Islamists, and playing the “Muslim card” hypocritically and exploitatively, will not make Muslims support liberals. On the contrary, this will encourage more moderate Muslims to align themselves with conservatives. So, let the liberals have the radicals as their lackeys.