Reminder: Jihad Makes Islam’s Borders, and Innards, Bloody

20130924_islamicjihadby ANDREW G. BOSTOM:

As of Sunday December 8, 2013, there were at least 22,023 documented fatal terror attacks committed by Muslims since the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11/2001. This is by nature a gross underestimate given the horrific level of jihad violence across the globe, which has gone underreported. [ref 1]

Dr. Tina Magaard-a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual anal­ysis-published detailed research findings in 2005 [ref 1a] (summarized in 2007) [ref 2] com­paring the foundational texts of ten major religions. Magaard con­cluded from her hard data-driven analyses:

The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree [emphasis added]. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with. [ref 3]

For example, in her 2007 essay “Fjendebilleder og voldsforestillinger i islamiske grundtekster” ["Images of enemies and conceptions of violence in Islamic core scriptures"], Magaard observed,

There are 36 references in the Koran to expressions derived from the root qa-ta-la, which indicates fighting, killing or being killed. The expressions derived from the root ja-ha-da, which the word jihad stems from, are more ambiguous since they mean “to struggle” or “to make an effort” rather than killing. Yet almost all of the references derived from this root are found in stories that leave no room for doubt regarding the violent nature of this struggle. Only a single ja-ha-da reference (29:6) explicitly presents the struggle as an inner, spiritual phenomenon, not as an outwardly (usually military) phenomenon. But this sole reference does not carry much weight against the more than 50 references to actual armed struggle in the Koran, and even more in the Hadith. [ref 4]

My own copiously documented The Legacy of Jihad describes the doctrinal rationale for Islam’s sacralized jihad violence, and its historical manifestations, across an uninterrupted continuum from the seventh-century advent of the Muslim creed through the present. Consistent with Magaard’s textual analysis, I cite the independent study of Australian linguist and renowned Arabic to English translator Paul Stenhouse, who maintained the root of the word jihad appears forty times in the Koran. With four exceptions, all the other thirty-six usages in the Koran and in subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries-the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam-and to ordinary people meant and means, as described by the seminal Arabic lexicographer E. W. Lane: “He fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like.” [ref 5]

Muhammad himself waged a series of bloody, proto-jihad campaigns to subdue the Jews, Christians, and pagans of Arabia. Numerous modern-day pro­nouncements by leading Muslim theologians confirm (see for example, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model” [ref 6]) that Muhammad has been the major inspiration for jihadism, past and present. Jihad was pursued century after century because it embodied an ideology and a jurisdiction. Both were formally conceived by Muslim jurisconsults and theologians from the eighth to ninth centuries onward, based on their interpretation of Koranic verses and long chapters in the canonical hadith, or acts and sayings of Muhammad. My own research also confirmed Magaard’s observation that the canonical hadith, whose significance to both Islam’s foundational jurists, and individual Muslims, as a permanent guide to pious behavior remains equivalent to the Koran, [ref 7] contains extensive, detailed discussions rationalizing jihad war, with a particular emphasis on jihad martyrdom. [ref 8]

Read more: Family Security Matters

Audio: Four 11/25/13 Interviews with Andrew Bostom on the Iran “Deal” Fiasco

download (40)Andrew Bostom  discussing this blog, “Nuke Deal Fiasco Analyses Ignore Iran’s Genocidal Islamic Jew-Hatred,” and also his new (and related) monograph, “The Mufti’s Islamic Jew-Hatred: What the Nazis Learned from the ‘Muslim Pope’

Very interesting speculation as to possible Socialist Utopian ideological motive for entering into such negotiations.

Lars Larson Interview (bear with opening glitch!)

1041thetruth Jon Justice interview

WBX Interview

1360 KIUK Interview

 

The Ultimate “Unmentionable”?: Bernard Lewis Served with Huma Abedin & A.O. Nasseef on the IMMA Editorial Board

Huma Abedin

Huma Abedin

By Andrew Bostom:

This past week my colleagues Andrew McCarthy and Diana West strove gamely to remind (at least) conservatives of “tweet-martyred” Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood/Wahhabist connections, most notably vis a vis her longstanding (and familial) ties to the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs.

Having explored these connections in great detail last August, which McCarthy and West now deftly allude to in their excellent commentaries, a more detailed summary of my original findings merits recapitulation. Moreover, McCarthy’s apt title, “The Huma Unmentionables,” is the perfect segue to a rather striking (if disconcerting) discovery I made that may indeed be the ultimate “unmentionable” regarding the conservatives’ (especially neoconservatives’) ultimate sage on all-things-Islamic, Bernard Lewis.

Over the past 34 years, Huma Abedin’s family has been responsible for the editorial production of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA)’s academic journal, known as Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs. Journal, from 1979-1995, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs [JMMA], from 1996. till now, starting with family patriarch Syed Z. Abedin’s, and Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin‘s, founding involvement since 1979, and subsequently joined by Huma’s brother Hassan Abedin (1996 to present), Huma herself (1996 to2008), and Huma’s sister, Heba (married name Khalid, or Khaled2002 to present).

Syed Abedin, in the inaugural edition of the IMMA journal, gives an effusive tribute to one of his IMMA co-founders, Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef,Chairman of the IMMA. During his concurrent tenure as Secretary-General of the Muslim World League — a combined Saudi Wahhabi, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated organization — in July, 1988, Naseef also created theRabita Trust, and became its chairman. On October 12, 2001, then President George W. Bush’s Executive Order named Rabita Trust as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity, and the US Treasury Department froze its assets, while Naseef was still serving as the Trust’s chairman. Nasseef remained on the IMMA journal Editorial Board through 2003, overlapping Huma Abedin’s tenure for 7-years (i.e., 1996-2003).

The April/May 2012  issue of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs journal (JMMA) featured two essays, introduced with lavish praise by Editor Saleha Abedin, which champion, unabashedly:

  • The global hegemonic aspirations of major 20th century Muslim Brotherhood jihadist ideologues, such as the eminent Muslim Brotherhood theoretician, Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), and Abul Hasan Nadwi (d. 1999)
  • The more expansive application of Sharia within Muslim minority communities residing in the West, with the goal of replacing these non-Muslim governing systems, as advocated by contemporary Muslim Brotherhood jihadist ideologues, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Taha Jabir al-Alwani

One of these JMMA essays repeats, approvingly, Qutb’s pejorative characterization of the West as a “disastrous combination of avid materialism, and egoistic individualism.” Abul Hasan Nadwi, was a founding member of the Muslim World League, a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (now Cooperation), a member of the World Supreme Council of Mosques, and a member of the Fiqh Council of Rabita.  In a triumphal 1951 manifesto extolling Islamic supremacism, Nadwi had proclaimed  ”Behold the world of man looking with rapture at the world of Islam as its savior, and behold the world of Islam fixing its gaze on the Arab world as its secular and spiritual leader. Will the world of Islam realize the hope of the world of men? And will the Arab world realize the hope of the Muslim world?” Citing Nadwi with admiration, the same JMMA article opines, “[T]he confrontation has taken the shape of an ‘Islamic project’ in the Muslim world against Western modernity…. The war that has been declared against Western modernity now seeks a new modernity…unlike Western modernity.”

Another featured essay from the April/May 2012  issue of the JMMA is a fitting complement to  the journal’s endorsement of the global Islamic supremacist agenda. This essay endorses the so-called “innovative” application of the  “Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities,” living, for example, in the West, whose stated purpose is, “enforcement of shari’ah on the Muslim communities.” However, by the essay’s own expressed standard: “The theory of the Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities is most easily clarified by shedding light on its founders.”

The two founders of this legal doctrine, as the essay  notes, are Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Qatar, and Taha Jabir al-Alwani of Virginia, USA. Qaradawi haspublicly advocated:

  • The re-creation of a formal transnational United Islamic State (Islamic Caliphate)
  • The jihad conquests of Europe, and the Americas
  • Universal application of the Sharia, including Islamic blasphemy law, and the hadd punishments (for example, notably, executing so-called “apostates” from Islam)

Al-Alwani, writing as president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, stated, regarding a (then) new English translation of the classic Shafiite manual of Islamic jurisprudence Reliance of the Traveller,  “from a purely academic point of view, this translation is superior to anything produced by orientalists in the way of translations of major Islamic works.” Notwithstanding al-Alwani’s glowing tribute,  Reliance of the Traveller sanctions open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic Caliphate; rejection of bedrock Western liberties-including freedom of conscience and speech-enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel (who must be segregated and undergo female genital mutilation); and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption. Moreover, Al-Alwani wished Islamized Spain had conquered America and spread Islam in our hemisphere, not Christianity. He stated,  “Perhaps some of them [Muslims from Spain] would have been the ones who discovered America, not someone else, and America could have possibly been today among the lands of the Muslims”

Al-Alwani was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami Al-Arian who pled guilty to conspiracy to aid the terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, al-Alwani published an essay online, discovered (and translated from Arabic to English) in July 2011, entitled “The Great Haughtiness”, which promoted conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred replete with Koranic references, conjoined to modern “Zionist conspiracies”

The Abedin family “academic” journal is a thinly veiled mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sharia-supremacist agenda.

Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis

But now the ultimate “unmentionable” omitted by both McCarthy and West in their fine expositions. Bernard Lewis’ apologetic tendencies must have been attractive to the Muslim Brotherhood/Saudi Wahhabi front Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, and its pseudo-academic Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA). Regardless of whether Lewis was a willing dupe, or not, he served on the editorial board of the JMMA for some 14 years, from 1996 to2010, thus overlapping with Nasseef for 7-years (like Huma), and Huma herself for 12-years. This revelation should be pondered in conjunction with a very lengthy WSJ analysis-a Bernard Lewis pom-pom section if there ever was one-by Peter Waldman, circa February, 2004  (“A Historian’s Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight  Bernard Lewis’s Blueprint — Sowing Arab Democracy — Is Facing a Test in Iraq Peter Waldman /Wall Street Journal, Feb 3, 2004). The WSJ investigative essay stands as confirmation of Lewis’s profound influence in shaping the “Islamic democracy agenda,” no matter what Lewis has done to disingenuously reinvent  his role in the Iraq invasion and larger “Islamic democratization” efforts (as in this April, 2012 interview), including his support the removal of  the “cunning autocrat” Hosni Mubarak.

These critical limitations of Bernard Lewis’ judgment have implications which must be recognized by all those for whom Lewis remains an iconic source of information, and advice, especially policy advice.

 

Deposing Morsi Won’t End the Chronic Rejection of Secularism in Egypt

Egypt-Protest--IVby Andrew Bostom:

What the late P.J. Vatikiotis left for Egypt delusionists of all ilks, past and present, to learn:

The [1923] constitution itself proclaimed Islam as the official religion of the state, inevitably undermining its other provisions relating to the rights of citizens such as freedom of worship or belief, speech, and so forth…Until a secular formula of identity and social cohesiveness is found that is acceptable, the religious or traditional one will dominate the social order. And to this extent the question of religion and state will remain unresolved. But that will require a commitment on the part of the leadership to remove religion from the public realm altogether and relegate it to the realm of private belief. However, as long as it insists on identifying itself with the theoretical unity of the umma, the Islamic community, it will always suffer the consequences of the fusion, real or assumed, between sanctity and power

**

The late, brilliant political scientist, P.J. Vatikiotis (d. 1997),  educated at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and author of many important analyses of Egyptian socio-political history, opened his seminal  1981 study, “Religion and State,” with these words:

“Religion and State” is not a new preoccupation in the study of Egyptian or any other society where the faith of Islam predominates.

Vatikiotis adds that this “difficult and largely unresolved problem”—present since the 7th century advent of Islam—derived from, and continued to manifest, in Egypt, the

…curious “marriage” between a universal religious truth or message and an otherwise very parochial community that held it and fought for it or in its name 

Three decades later, despite widespread euphoria regarding the mass movement which prompted a military coup deposing Egypt’s first popularly-elected President, Muhammad Morsi, and his coterie of Muslim Brotherhood ideologues, the ancient-cum-modern conundrum elucidated by Vatikiotis, remains tragically unresolved within this Muslim-dominant society. Vatikiotis’ sobering and remarkably compendious 1981 analysis also explodes theinstantly manufactured (and popularized) canard that Morsi’s ouster somehow “discredited and marginalized Islamism”—a chimerical Western construct invented to avoid dealing forthrightly with mainstream, traditionalist Islam, and its votaries in Egypt, and beyond.

Moreover, across the political, ideological, and cultural spectrum a broad consensus has emerged that Egypt’s dire economic status—exacerbated demonstrably under Morsi’s brief, inept stewardship—was the overriding motivation for the removal of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President, and his administration. Millers and bakers in Egypt, the world’s largest wheat-importing nation, recently warned imported international wheat stocks  had “sunk to levels that could reduce the availability of the flour they need to produce bread of an acceptable quality.” One-quarter of Egyptians live below the poverty limit of $1.65 a day, with millions dependent on bread loaves that sell for a state-regulated price of less than 1 U.S. cent per loaf—held constant since 1989, and one-seventh of actual present costs. Egypt’s currency crisis hashindered the Supply Ministry’s ability to make timely payments to the millers, and in April, Morsi failed to secure grain, and a loan from Russia (one of Egypt’s main suppliers of grain) worsening the already dire economic crisis. Egypt’s persistent economic woes have resulted in widespread malnutrition, stunting the growth of 40% of its population, and afflicting the impoverished nation with added healthcare and educational costs, as well as decreased human productivity.

Read more

 

Related articles

Sharia Über Alles

130430_sharia1By Andrew Bostom:

[T]he concept of an Islamic state attracts a following determined to realize it now or as soon as practicable. They bend their energies to the achievement of this goal. That they pursue concrete political aims is clear from their use of the word “ideology” which has no rightful place in a reli­gious context as religion is understood in the West. But it may be justified if Islam is understood in its traditional sense—as a faith and a way of life for man in society and state. . . . The fate of the Sharia will decide not only what Islam is to be today and tomorrow, but also what part it is to play in the confrontation between Europe and the East, between Islamic and Western civilization.

—Erwin I. J. Rosenthal, 1965

 

**

Cross-posted at The American Thinker

Despite a number of (deliberately?) mitigating biases, both methodological and interpretative, the latest Pew Research Forum report, “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society,” released April 30, 2013, confirms the broad appeal of the totalitarian Sharia, Islam’s religio-political “law,” across Islamdom.

The data were pooled from surveys conducted between 2008 and 2012, representing, as touted by Pew, “a total of 39 countries and territories on three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe.” Collectively, the surveys included “more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages and dialects, covering every country that has more than 10 million Muslims.” Pew did acknowledgethis important caveat about Muslim populations not surveyed because, “political sensitivities or security concerns prevented opinion research among Muslims.” Notably excluded countries were Saudi Arabia, The Sudan, and Iran—all Islamic states, governed by the Sharia, Saudi Arabia and The Sudan under Sunni Islam, the third, Iran, being the world’s largest Shiite Muslim state.

Responses to four related questions on the Sharia, comprise the surveys’ salient—and pathognomonic—findings. The questions were, “Do you favor or oppose making sharia law, or Islamic law, the official law of the land in our country?”, and these three internally validating (and equally edifying) queries, “Do you favor or oppose the following: punishments like whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery?”, “Do you favor or oppose the following: punishments like whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery?”, “Do you favor or oppose the following: the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion?” Summary data from the nations with the five largest Muslim populations (as per 2010) surveyed, Indonesia (204 million), Pakistan (178 million), Bengladesh (149 million), Egypt (80 million), and Nigeria (76 million), revealed:

  • 72% of Indonesian Muslims, 84% of Pakistani Muslims, 82% of Bengladeshi Muslims,  74% of Egyptian Muslims, and 71% of Nigerian Muslims supported making Sharia the official state law of their respective societies. The population-weighted average from these 5 nations was 77% support. (Composite regional data confirmed these individual country trends—84% of South Asian Muslims, 77% of Southeast Asian Muslims, 74% of Middle Eastern/North African Muslims, and 64% of Sub-Saharan African Muslims favored application of the Sharia as official state law.)
  • 37% of Indonesian Muslims, 85% of Pakistani Muslims, 50% of Bengladeshi Muslims,  70% of Egyptian Muslims, and 45% of Nigerian Muslims favored Sharia-based mandatory (“hadd”) punishments “like whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery”
  • 42% of Indonesian Muslims, 86% of Pakistani Muslims, 54% of Bengladeshi Muslims,  80% of Egyptian Muslims, and 45% of Nigerian Muslims favored the Sharia-based hadd punishment of stoning for adultery
  • 16% of Indonesian Muslims, 75% of Pakistani Muslims, 43% of Bengladeshi Muslims,  88% of Egyptian Muslims, and 29% of Nigerian Muslims favored the Sharia-based hadd punishment of execution for “apostasy”

Furthermore, the Pew survey results confirm the abject failure of the US mid-wived Iraqi and Afghan “democracies” to fulfill the utopian aspirations of the much ballyhooed “(BernardLewis doctrine.” Instead, the negative prognostications, epitomized by my colleague Diana West’s evocative description “Making the world safe for Sharia,” have been realized. Specifically, the Pew data indicated:

  • 91% of Iraqi Muslims and 99% of Afghan Muslims supported making Sharia the official state law of their respective societies
  • 55% of Iraqi Muslims and 81% of Afghan Muslims favored Sharia-based hadd punishments “like whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery”
  • 57% of Iraqi Muslims and 84% of Afghan Muslims favored the Sharia-based hadd punishment of stoning for adultery
  • 42% of Iraqi Muslims and 79% of Afghan Muslims favored the Sharia-based hadd punishment of execution for “apostasy”

Religious piety, as evidenced by frequency of prayer and “Following the Prophet’s Example,” increased support for Sharia, which was unaffected by age, gender, or educational level.

The Pew report fails to elaborate on these strong associations, offering no explanation about why increased compliance with prayer and pious conformity with the behavior of Islam’s prophet Muhammad might result in broad Muslim approval for mutilating thieves, stoning adulterers to death, or executing those who simply exercise freedom of conscience, and forsake Islam. Yet the Pew investigators readily proffer these mollifying comments, insisting the predilection for Sharia “varies widely,” noting “many favor democracy over authoritarian rule,” and even concluding,

Overall, Muslims broadly support the idea of religious freedom. Among Muslims who say people of different religions are very free to practice their faith, three-quarters or more in each country say this is a good thing.

First, even the Pew data on Muslim support for “killing” apostates do not reflect sentiments for the less draconian punishments for apostasy: imprisonment with beatings (for women under Shiite law, timed to each of the prayer sessions, i.e., 5 times per day) until “recantation”; dissolution of marriage and  both parental and property rights. These adjunct non-lethal “punishments”—often applied to “private” apostates who do not manifest their apostasy in public—would likely have registered far more “popular” appeal. Also, both “religious freedom”  and “freedom”—(“hurriyya”; discussed below) in Islamdom bear no resemblance to Western conceptions of these ideals, as this ranking of Christian persecution—dominated by countries from Sub-Saharan Africa (where 94% affirmed to Pew “it is good that others are very free to practice their faith” ) and the Middle East/North Africa (where 85% affirmed to Pew “it is good that others are very free to practice their faith”)—makes plain.

Furthermore, the current Pew report includes no data on “blasphemy,” i.e., a simple question about Muslim attitudes toward public criticism of Islam’s prophet or the creed itself by both non-Muslims and Muslimsignoring Pew’s own August, 2011 data from its analysis,  “Rising Restrictions on Religion.” This report, released August 9, 2011, examined the issue of “defamation” of religion, tracking countries where various blasphemy, or criticism of religions are enforced. “While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice, they often serve to punish religious minorities whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical,” the report noted. These Pew findings indicated that application of the Sharia at present resulted in a disproportionate number of Muslim countries, twenty-one—Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Western Sahara, and Yemen—registering the highest (i.e., worst) persecution scores on their scale. Furthermore, the Pew investigators observed,

Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East–North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region. These penalties are enforced in 60% of the countries in the region.

As a predictable consequence of this sharia-based application of apostasy and blasphemy laws by Islamic governments, the Pew report also documented that

…the share of national governments that showed hostility toward minority religions involving physical violence was much higher in countries where laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion are actively enforced than in countries without such laws (55% versus 22%).

Pew’s reticence to present its own April 2013 findings without clumsily recasting, or ignoring their doctrinal roots, and obvious implications, can be traced to the dominant, post-modern Western narrative regarding Islam, where objective understanding has been replaced by pure apologetics. Indeed, simply presenting doctrinal Sharia without camouflage, and then demonstrating how Muslims, overwhelmingly, continue to cherish the application of this ancient system of religious totalitarianism, shatters the prevailing, rigidly enforced Western apologetic narrative.

Derived from Islam’s most important canonical texts –the Koran and hadith (the canonical collections of the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s deeds and pronouncements) – and their interpretation and codification by Islam’s greatest classical legists, Sharia, is not merely holistic, in the general sense of all-encompassing, but totalitarian, regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion to personal hygiene to the governance of a Muslim minority community or an Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order.  Clearly, this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent of more familiar modern totalitarian systems. Specifically, Sharia’s liberty-crushing and dehumanizing political aspects feature open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties – including freedom of conscience and speech – enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and of even Muslim women, to subservient chattel; and barbaric, mandatory “hadd” punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption.

Here is an apt illustration (via Andrew McCarthy’s summary)  of the contents ofReliance of the Traveller, a classic Sharia manual of Islamic jurisprudence,certified by Al Azhar University, the Vatican of Sunni Islamic religious education, as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community,” in our era:

– Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”)

– Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law”

– “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims”

– Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued (such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feastdays”

– Offenses committed against Muslims (including murder) are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims

– The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year”

– The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death

– “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris”

– A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam)

– A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them”

– A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child

– The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand

– The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes”

– The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah)

– The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man

– If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses”

– The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male

But Pew’s investigators, and journalists reporting the Pew survey results were puzzled by the seeming “contradiction” between the Muslim desire for Sharia, including application of the hadd punishments, and professions of support for “freedom,” including “religious freedom,” and “democracy,” or even so-called “anti-authoritarianism.” The Economist’s lament characterized this apparent “confused” state of mind as follows:

Almost 80% of Egyptian Muslims say they favour religious freedom and a similar number favour sharia law. Of that group, almost 90% also think people who renounce Islam should be put to death. Confused? So are they. 

These inept assessments reveal an ignorant, or willfully blind misunderstanding of the yawning gap between Western and Islamic conceptions of freedom – “hurriyya” in Arabic.  Following Sharia slavishly throughout one’s life was paramount to hurriyya “freedom.”  This earlier more concrete characterization of hurriyya’s metaphysical meaning, whose essence Ibn Arabi reiterated, was pronounced by the Sufi scholar al-Qushayri (d. 1072/74).

Let it be known to you that the real meaning of freedom lies in the perfection of slavery. If the slavery of a human being in relation to God is a true one, his freedom is relieved from the yoke of changes. Anyone who imagines that it may be granted to a human being to give up his slavery for a moment and disregard the commands and prohibitions of the religious law while possessing discretion and responsibility, has divested himself of Islam. God said to his Prophet: “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” (Koran 15:99). As agreed upon by the [Koranic] commentators, “certainty” here means the end (of life).

Bernard Lewis, in his (mid-1950s) Encyclopedia of Islam analysis of hurriyya,discusses this concept in the latter phases of the Ottoman Empire through the contemporary era.  After highlighting a few “cautious” or “conservative” (Lewis’ characterization) reformers and their writings, Lewis maintains:

[T]here is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the formation or conduct of government—to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West. While conservative reformers talked of freedom under law, and some Muslim rulers even experimented with councils and assemblies government was in fact becoming more and not less arbitrary[.]

Lewis also makes the important point that Western colonialism ameliorated this chronic situation:

During the period of British and French domination, individual freedom was never much of an issue. Though often limited and sometimes suspended, it was on the whole more extensive and better protected than either before or after.

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Through A Projector Lense Clearly

images (38)By Andrew Bostom:

Andrew Harrod has revealed the sad reality which marred an otherwise remarkable event at The Heritage Foundation,  “Silent Conquest: The End of Freedom of Expression in the West”: the Muhammad images under discussion were blurred out, effectively kowtowing to the very Islamic “blasphemy” law being decried.

One day later (Wednesday, March 20, 2013), I participated in a stirring event with my colleagues and friends, Rabbi John Hausman, Lars Hedegaard, Robert Spencer, and Tiffany Gabbay. The video of that forum and discussion, can be seen here.

Our event also included specific shots from “Silent Conquest” with the unblurred images of Lars Vilks’ cartoon , and the more renowned Jyllands-Posten Danish cartoons.

That video snippet is embedded, below:

 

 

 

 

Ten Key Points on Islamic Blasphemy Law and Non-Muslims

Qadi-IyadBy Andrew Bostom:

Qadi Iyad (d. 1149), the great Almoravid jurist, from his seminal Ash-Shifa, which includes one of the most authoritative analyses of Islamic blasphemy law’s treatment of non-Muslims: “Once Islam was firmly established and Allah had given it victory over all other religions, any such detractor that the Muslims had power over and whose affair is well-known, was put to death.”

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There is an intensifying global campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy law on non-Muslims, including those living outside Islamdom, in non-Muslim societies.

What follows are ten key points on the doctrinal origins and practical implications of this global campaign:

1)      According to the Sunna (the traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), by using foul language against the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Allah, or Islam, the non-Muslim transgressors put themselves on a war footing against Muslims, and their lives became licit (such as the poet Kaab b. al-Ashraf, who composed poems denigrating Muhammad, and was assassinated). [see 1.11.21.3]

2)      This “offense” was then constructed and legitimated by Muslim jurists when Islam was politically, militarily and economically dominant, so that it was expected that the non-Muslims under Islamic rule would not denigrate the religion of Islam, nor cast aspersions on its major figures or institutions. [see 2.1,2.22.3]

3)      The jurists saw any such denigration as an unacceptable hostile act, punishable by death, automatically, as per three of the main Sunni schools of Islamic Law (Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali), and the major Shiite schools. According to the fourth major school of Sunni Islamic law, the Hanafi, the punishment of a non-Muslim guilty of blasphemy is left to the discretion of a Muslim judge. The death penalty was in fact most often applied by the Hanafis. (see 3.13.2)

4)      On February 19, 1989, Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning author Salman Rushdie to death (along with those involved in the publication of Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses), while promising eternal salvation to any Muslim “martyred” in this cause. As noted by Muhammad Hashim Kamali, who, since 1985, has taught Sharia and jurisprudence, as a professor of law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, in his authoritative Freedom of Expression in Islam: “…no serious Muslim commentator has challenged the basic validity of the Ayatollah’s fatwa. Adjudication was generally viewed to be necessary if only to find out if Rushdie was willing to repent.” The fatwa wrought targeted murders in Europe and Japan, and  a mass killing in Turkey.

5)      This orthodox Islamic doctrine—incorporated, for example, into the “modern” Pakistani legal code (295C: “Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”) has wreaked havoc, in our era, particularly among Pakistan’s small Christian minority community.

Read more

 

Spot the ‘Xenophobic Butcher’

Andrew Higgins

Andrew Higgins

By Andrew G. Bostom:

In my earlier blog about NY Times agitprop journalist Andrew Higgins, who calumniated a real journalist and historian, Lars Hedegaard, I mentioned Higgins’ warped hagiography of The Danish Muslim Society, and its two recent leaders, whose role in fomenting the cartoon riot carnage – 200 dead and over 800 wounded — Higgins failed to discuss.

Higgins also singled out for praise Minhaj ul Quran International, which he characterized as “the Danish offshoot of a controversial group in Pakistan that has taken a hard line at home against blasphemy.” Diana West, citing a 2006 article “Free Speech in Denmark“,  which was co-authored by Lars Hedegaard, notes that Minhaj ul Quran’s leader, Tahir ul-Qadri wrote these words, consistent with the Sharia, on the universal application of Islamic “blasphemy” law:

The act of contempt of the finality of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a crime which can not be tolerated whether its commission is direct or indirect, intentional or un-intentional. The crime is so sanguine that even his repentance can not exempt him from the penalty of death.

Although ul-Qadri, of Pakistani descent, tried to deny his own words, in a failed effort at sacralized Islamic dissimulation, or “taqiyya,” watch the video, below, which captures his proud championing of Pakistan’s blasphemy law and its lethal consequences for non-Muslims, in particular.

 

These liberty-crushing, murder-inciting remarks of ul-Qadri were apparently of no concern to Mr. Higgins. But Higgins did find time to label Anders Gravers (using, perhaps, a deliberately vicious pun on his trade), “a xenophobic butcher from the north,” because Gravers opposes the aggressive efforts of Denmark’s Muslims to Islamize Danish society.  Compare Gravers’ peaceful exercise of free speech,  voicing his strong opposition to Sharia encroachment in his native Denmark, to ul-Qadri’s unabashed call for the murder of non-Muslim “blasphemers”-and then lying about that heinous record of support for the application of Islamic blasphemy law.

Who is the “xenophobic butcher” again, Mr. Higgins?

Persecuting Partners: Murdoch’s Saudis Vs. Gore’s Qataris

imagesCAQBUC44by Andrew Bostom:

Yesterday, highlighting a particularly egregious example of preening by Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, I reiterated my contention that Fox’s well-paid media personalities behave hypocritically when they ignore the morally cretinous Saudi/Rotana/Al-Risala dealings of their owner Rupert Murdoch, while lashing out at Al Gore’s sale of Current TV to Qatar’s Al-Jazeera English.

Let me preface this post by noting that I support the righteous effort of Cliff Kincaid/ Accuracy in Media demanding House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) convene hearings on the overall danger posed by Al-Jazeera’s broadcasting in America, including specific inquiries about the associations between Al-Jazeera, Al-Qaeda, and the government of Qatar. I find compelling Kincaid’s analogy between Al-Manar and Al-Jazeera, i.e., previously banning Al-Manar in the US because of its ties to the jihad terrorist organization Hezbollah, and now doing likewise with Al-Jazeera because of its support of Al-Qaeda. Indeed, to gauge Al-Jazeera’s continued grotesque supportive propaganda regarding Al-Qaeda, read this puff piece on the “gentle face” of Al-Qaeda’s butchers and thugs who recently overran Mali.

However, Fox’s shading of the civilizational jihad, due to its obeisance to Murdoch’s Saudi business partners (which includes, as but one of a myriad examples this intellectually and morally bankrupt attack on Michelle Bachmann for advocating an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood influence peddling), must also be confronted, particularly by conservatives.

The objective findings (hat tip Nina Shea; methodology here) in this World Watch List report just issued by Open Doors on global religious persecution of Christians, provides a ranked comparison of Murdoch’s Saudi Arabia (an “extreme” offender, and second worst overall to North Korea), and Gore’s Qatar (a “severe” offender, and 20th overall), noting also, that fully 10 of the 11 most egregious persecutors were Muslim nations.

Bottom line, lest we (and the Fox news personalities and loyal viewers) forget, Murdoch’s Saudi Arabia is still measurably worse than Gore’s Qatar. Details from the Open Doors report are reproduced below:

[Saudi Arabia, Rank 2; Extreme]: There is no provision for religious freedom in the constitution of this Islamic kingdom. All citizens must adhere to Islam and conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Public Christian worship is forbidden; worshippers risk imprisonment, lashing, deportation and torture. Evangelizing Muslims and distributing non-Muslim materials is illegal. Muslims who convert to Christianity risk honor killings, and foreign Christian workers have been exposed to abuse from employers.

[Qatar, Rank 20; Severe]: The state religion is conservative Islam and nearly all Qatari citizens are Sunni or Shia Muslims. Christian worship is only allowed in designated religious complexes, of which there are only two at the moment, which makes them easier to control and monitor. Many expat laborers are denied access to these complexes as they live too far away or are prevented from attending by employers. A Muslim who converts is considered an apostate and may face the death penalty. Foreign workers who evangelize non-Muslims are frequently deported.

Andrew Bostom Interview on Mainstream Islamic Jihadism, Antisemitism, and Totalitarianism

Author, Islam, Middle East, and Sharia Law expert Andrew G. Bostom, M.D. joins Host, Lee Lazerson for a very candid discussion on Islam, Sharia Law, Jihad and his conviction that Islamic “Extremism” is more in the mainstream than people want to believe. Dr. Bostom is author of The Legacy of Jihad, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, and Sharia versus Freedom – The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism. To Life, L’Chaim airs Tuesday’s at 8pm ET/PT on Jewish Life Television – JLTV. (The interview was originally conducted in the Fall of 2012.)

imagesCA1GLHSOlegacy of Islamic jihadlarge1

Why Is America Midwiving a Muslim Brotherhood-Ruled Syria?

By Andrew Bostom

Following significant military successes and diplomatic gains by Syria’s anti-Bashar Assad Sunni Muslim insurgency over recent weeks, Moscow, a key Assad regime ally, announced Tuesday 12/18/12 its preparations for an evacuation of Russian citizens living in Syria.

While the Assad regime’s ruling Alawite minority sect retained a firm hold on their indigenous base in the coastal Syrian provinces, the predominantly Sunni Muslim Syrian rebels have seized the northern and eastern border zones, near Turkey and Iraq, respectively, and dominate wide swathes of rural Syria. The continued rebel assault is even advancing on Assad’s seat of power, Damascus, near the western frontier of Lebanon, having just seized the pro-Assad Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, on the southern edge of the Syrian capital.

By Wednesday, the rebels had reportedly captured at least six towns in the central Hama governorate (Latamneh, Helfaya, Kfar Naboudah, Hasraya, Tibat al-Imn, and Kfar Zita), with skirmishes erupting in the city of Hama itself. As of Friday, the Sunni insurgents were besieging Morek, an Alawite stronghold in Hama governorate, a province which contains dozens of Alawite and Christian villages among Sunni towns, igniting fears of increased sectarian violence.

During an interview with Barbara Walters on December 11, President Obama announced the U.S. would formally recognize the recently established Syrian National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces (SNCROF), an umbrella group seeking to depose Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Obama extolled the SNCROF for its inclusiveness, allegedly being open to various ethnic and religious groups, and bonds to local councils participating in the fight against Assad’s security forces.  He opined:

At this point we have a well-organized-enough coalition — opposition coalition that is representative — that we can recognize them as the legitimate representative of Syrian people.

SNCROF

Independent analysts sympathetic to the anti-Assad forces, have concluded that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood remains the dominant force in SNCROF, as it had been in the earlier Syrian National Council opposition front. London-based Syrian journalist Malik Al-Abdeh noted:

The Muslim Brotherhood seems to be in the dominant position … However, the West feels compelled now to legitimize the Syrian opposition in whatever guise it may take, simply because of the fast pace of events on the ground in Syria.

Andrew Tabler, cofounder and former editor-in-chief of Syria Today, maintained: “The [Muslim Brotherhood-dominated] SNC [Syrian National Council] is still a major player.” Tabler also expressed this ominous concern:

And that’s just the civil end. The armed groups within the country are not included in this coalition directly. How is that going to work?

Apropos to Tabler’s worry and concurrent with President Obama’s recognition of SNCROF on December 11, the U.S. State Department designated the Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization, amending the 2004 designation of al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq (AQISI), and declaring there was “sufficient factual basis” to conclude AQISI, under the guise of Jabhat al-Nusra, was operating in Syria. Justifying the designation, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stated the group had claimed responsibility for almost 600 attacks in several cities during the past year, including homicide bombings, which had caused the deaths of “numerous innocent Syrians.” She added:

[Al Nusra] has sought to portray itself as part of the legitimate Syrian opposition while it is, in fact, an attempt by AQI [i.e., AQISI, Al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq] to hijack the struggles of the Syrian people for its own malign purposes.

Public Syrian denunciations of the State Department’s formal labeling of Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group were swift and often fierce, running the gamut from the Syrian opposition website Sooryoon.net, and the mass vox populi demonstrations of anti-Assad Syrian civilian populations,  to the SNCROF leadership itself (including comments by SNCROF’s anti-Western, antisemitic, titular leader, Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib).

Anticipating the State Department’s 12/11/12 designation of Jabhat al-Nusra as terrorists, Sooryoon.net had posted articles (on December 6 and 7, 2012) which recognized Jabhat Al-Nusra’s efforts in damaging Assad’s regime, while objecting to the motives of the (then) looming U.S. action. Sooryoon.net claimed the U.S. sought to blunt the burgeoning support and gratitude Jabhat Al-Nusra has garnered among the Syrians. Moreover, regarding Jabhat Al-Nusra’s avowed goal of establishing a strictly Sharia-compliant Islamic state following removal of the Assad regime, the Syrian opposition website insisted there was “nothing wrong” with this openly proclaimed aspiration, acknowledging it was shared by multitudes of Syrians, especially members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Sooryoon.net also warned the SNC/SNCROF leadership not to accept Jabhat Al-Nusra’s terrorist designation, while urging vigorous opposition to the U.S. action, and encouraging FSA leaders and members, and all Syrians, to declare their solidarity with Jabhat Al-Nusra. By December 11, Sooryoon.net cautioned the U.S. against intensifying its hostility toward Jabhat Al-Nusra, adding such measures would be counterproductive at any rate, and would swell the jihadist group’s popularity among the Syrian Muslim masses. The website further chastised the U.S. for allegedly missing opportunities to be effectively involved in Syria, and even forewarning that any direct U.S. commitment now would transform the country into an American graveyard.

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Conclusion

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her subordinate State Department advisers and minions have recklessly eschewed Wafa Sultan’s June 2005 wise, experience-based tocsin of looming calamity. The Clinton State Department also apparently never learned, or chose to ignore, the frank, unchanged truths conveyed in the State Department’s own December, 1947 assessment of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Ms. Clinton’s likely replacement as Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, judging from his own uninformed statements about the parent Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, will not change America’s delusive and dangerous empowerment of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood as “policy.” Tragically, America seems hell bent on midwiving a post-Assad Muslim Botherhood-ruled Syria.

Read more at PJ Media

Andrew G.  Bostom is the author of The  Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The  Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ”  (Prometheus, November, 2008)

You can contact Dr. Bostom at info[@]andrewbostom.org

Quenching “Sharia Thirst” on the Nile

Sharia-Supporters-in-Egypt

Will their “Sharia thirst” indeed be fully quenched?

by Andrew Bostom:

Three days before the first round of voting began for Egypt’s constitutional referendum on December 15, 2012, Hesham Darwish, from Cairo’s Hadayeq al-Qobba district, summarized the views of those who planned to vote “yes,” and affirm the charter:

People are thirsty for Sharia. [emphasis added] We do not support the president for who he is, but rather for the Islamic project he promises.

Yesterday (12/22/12), during the second round of voting, Hesham Darwish’s mindset held sway overwhelmingly in two Upper Egypt governorates on both sides of the Nile. Eighty-three percent (83.2%; 763,729/918,034) voted “yes” in Minya approximately 150 miles south of Cairo on the western bank of the Nile River, which flows north through the city), while in Qena, situated on the east bank of the Nile, some 300 miles south of Cairo, 84.7% (307,839/363,518 ) affirmed the charter, according to unofficial final tallies published by Al-Ahram. (See full results tabulated below)

When pooled with the first round of voting, a total of 64.0% (10,543,893/16,472,241), including 67.5% (162,231/240,224) of Egyptian expatriates, approved Egypt’s recently drafted, more Sharia-compliant constitution.

The referendum’s final results validate remarkably consistent polling data of Egyptian attitudes towards the Sharia chronicled since at least early 2007, through an Egyptian Vote Compass self-administered survey whose results were revealed just a week prior to voting began on 12/15/12.

Within a few days of their publication in April, 2007, I highlighted data from Egypt indicating that 74% of Egyptians favored “strict” application of the Sharia in general. As recently as December 2010, Pew polling data revealed that 84% of Egyptian Muslims rejected freedom of conscience in the most ugly terms claiming apostates should be killed (i.e., that percentage would likely be well over 90% if less draconian punishments, such as imprisonment and beating till recantation were queried), 82% favor stoning adulterers to death, and 77% approved of mutilating punishments for theft. Summarizing these findings, and other overall survey trends, pollster Douglas Schoen in an essay published February 10, 2011, cited additional composite data indicating that at least 60% of Egyptians held “fundamentalist” Islamic views, while only 20% could be classified as “secular” in their orientation. Finally, Dutch Political Scientist André Krouwel, working with an academic team of Egyptian political scientists at Vote Compass Egypt, who applied an interactive electoral literacy application, predicted in an interview published 12/8/12,

About 70 per cent of the population will vote in favor of the constitution

It is also apparent that Egyptians have voted en masse for a charter, which, relative to the 1971 constitution, more openly advances Sharia supremacism in its revised language, and by assigning an oversight role to the bastion of mainstream obscurantist Sunni Islamic religious education, Al-Azhar University.

Comparing the suspended 1971 Constitution, with the current draft charter, several features, consistent with the more pronounced influence of Sharia, are immediately apparent:

  • Egypt is now identified “as part of the Arabic and Islamic nations (Umma)”
  • Article 2 from 1971, remains intact, stating, “Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic is its official language. The principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation.”; however, the complementary Article 219, adds the specific statement, “The principles of Sharia include general evidence and foundations, rules and jurisprudence as well as sources accepted by doctrines of Sunni Islam and the majority of Muslim scholars.” Moreover, whereas no mention of al-Azhar University or its Muslim legists was included in the 1971 constitution, the current draft states plainly, “Al-Azhar is an independent and a comprehensive entity. It takes the task of preaching Islam in Egypt and in the whole world. Scholars of al-Azhar should be consulted in all matters related to Sharia.” [emphasis added]
  • Article 44—consistent with Sharia blasphemy law—warns: “Insulting prophets and messengers is forbidden.”

Accordingly, the constitution was praised by Muslim Brotherhood “Spiritual Adviser”, and renowned Sharia supremacist, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who noted it contained, “principles and values needed by Egyptians.” Qaradawi added, “Even if it contains shortcomings, they could be addressed later,”—perhaps alluding to his avowed stratagem of applying the more draconian aspects of Sharia, such as hadd punishments, gradually, during a “transitional” accommodation period.

Qaradawi’s stratagem for applying Sharia in all its liberty-crushing, totalitarian manifestations—a sine qua non of the Muslim Brotherhood first articulated by its founder, Hassan al-Banna, and reiterated (on May 15, 2012) by recently elected Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi—could be facilitated by the “Scholars of al-Azhar,” whom the constitution declares, “should be consulted in all matters related to Sharia.”

Since its founding in 973 A.D., Al Azhar University (and its mosque) have represented a pinnacle of Islamic religious education, which evolved into the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam. Unfortunately, during that same millennium, through the present era, Al Azhar and its leading clerics have represented and espoused the unreformed, unrepentant jihad bellicosity and infidel hatred at the core of mainstream Islam. The irrefragable truth of Al Azhar’s persistent Medieval obscurantism (i.e., from any rational non-Muslim, if not Islamic perspective), can be readily gleaned from a sampling of fatwas (Islamic religious rulings) and statements issued during 1739, till now. Moreover, the late (d. March, 2010) Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Tantawi’s own virulently Jew-hating writings, statements, and career trajectory—being rewarded for this public, “scholarly,” legacy of hatred—represents the apotheosis of these ugly realities.

Read more

Andrew G.  Bostom is the author of The  Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The  Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ”  (Prometheus, November, 2008)

You can contact Dr. Bostom at info[@]andrewbostom.org

Morsi Annuls Decree, Advances 12/15/12 Constitutional Referendum

Morsi-new-decree

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi (C) attends a meeting with Egypt’s Vice President Mahmoud Mekky (4th L) with other politicians and heads of parties at the presidential palace in Cairo December 8, 2012. A new decree was issued to accomplish the same popularly supported result as the 11/22/12 decree—a more Sharia-compliant constitution for a Sharia-thirsty Egyptian society

by Andrew Bostom

Al-Ahram has just published (Sunday 12/9/12)  in English translation the full text of a new constitutional declaration that revokes the controversial constitutional declaration issued by Egyptian President Morsi on November 22, 2012.

The earlier decree granting Morsi sweeping executive powers, which he insisted was necessary to move Egypt’s democratic transition forward, did in fact break the deadlock over the draft constitution. According to Mohammad Salim al-Awa, spokesman for a national political dialogue  held Saturday (albeit, boycotted by the major Morsi government opposition groups), the most contentious article from the prior 11/22/12 edict, which placed all of Morsi’s actions beyond judicial review, has been abrogated.

But the referendum on Egypt’s newly minted, increasingly Sharia-compliant draft constitution, will proceed apace, under the following conditions, outlined in item 3 of the new declaration:

3- If the people vote against the draft constitution in the referendum on Saturday, 15 December 2012, the president is to call for the direct election of a new Constituent Assembly of 100 members within three months.

The new Assembly is to finish its task within six months from its election date. The president is to then call for a referendum on the new draft presented by the Assembly within thirty days of receiving it.

In all cases, vote counting and the announcement of results in the constitutional referendum is to take place publicly in election subcommittees as soon as the voting process is finished. The results are to be validated by the head of the subcommittee.

Despite polling data reported yesterday from Vote Compass Egypt, indicating a mass Egyptian popular support of 70% for the constitution,  National Salvation Front “liberal” opposition leader Mohamed El-Baradei, with predictable (if delusive) bravado,  tweeted shortly after 2 a.m Sunday 12/9/12,

We have broken the barrier of fear: A constitution that axes our rights and freedoms is a constitution we will bring down today before tomorrow. Our strength is in our will.

Muslim Brotherhood “Machinations”, Or Vox Populi?

Egyptian Liberals (like their Egyptian-American expatriate colleague Mona Eltahawy) championing free speech

Egyptian Liberals (like their Egyptian-American expatriate colleague Mona Eltahawy) championing free speech

by Andrew Bostom

Vote Compass is an interactive electoral literacy application, originally founded by Clifton van der Linden, at the University of Toronto, and subsequently applied internationally by political scientists, including within Egypt.

Dutch Political Scientist André Krouwel, working with an academic team of Egyptian political scientists at Vote Compass Egypt, was interviewed for a story published today (12/8/12) in the Vancouver Sun (hat tip Diana West) about data on Egyptian attitudes toward the draft constitution. Despite Egypt’s ongoing political crisis, including violent clashes, precipitated by President Morsi’s assertion of executive powers to break the 6-month deadlock which had stalled Egypt’s constitutional draft and referendum process, Krouwel (ostensibly speaking for his Vote Compass Egypt team) acknowledges,

About 70 per cent of the population will vote in favor of the constitution

This overwhelming support for the draft constitution was registered despite the fact that as my colleague Andrew McCarthy re-affirms today (12/8/12), the charter effectively, “denies freedom of conscience,” and “denies freedom of expression.”

Dating back to within a few days of their publication in April, 2007, I have repeatedly highlighted data from Egypt indicating that 74% of Egyptians favored “strict” application of the Sharia in general. As recently as December 2010, Pew polling data revealed that 84% of Egyptian Muslims rejected freedom of conscience in the most ugly terms claiming apostates should be killed (i.e., that percentage would likely be well over 90% if less draconian punishments, such as imprisonment and beating till recantation were queried), 82% favor stoning adulterers to death, and 77% approved of mutilating punishments for theft. Moreover, just last week when 7 expatriate Copts and Terry Jones were condemned to death for “blasphemy” not a single high profile Egyptian  “liberal” or “non-Islamist,” or “authentic moderate reformer”—whatever moniker one wishes to use for such individuals—has forcefully and unequivocally condemned this heinous verdict in the Egyptian public square.

None of this bedrock, totalitarian, liberty-crushing mass Islamic mindset can be blamed on the behind the scenes “machinations of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)”; it is merely a reflection of Islamic beliefs and  mores the MB openly shares with the mass of Egyptians, and has shared since the undercurrent of public longings in the 1920s first lead to the MB’s flowering.

Islamologist James Heyworth-Dunne’s observations, published shortly after his death in 1949, made clear that “…should the ikhwan [Brotherhood] acquire power,” it would impose the orthodox Islamic, Sharia-based restrictions advocated by founder Hasan al-Banna (i.e., such as the compulsory veiling of women; closing “un-Islamic” newspapers and periodicals, and making impossible the purchase of English and French novels; closing bars, restaurants, and cabarets, while forbidding the sale or consumption of alcohol and scourging anyone found consuming alcoholic beverages).  However, Heyworth-Dunne added that these restrictions merely represented a “…return to their Islamic customs which, in fact prevailed only 25 years ago.”Thus Heyworth-Dunne (writing prior to1950) confirms that before 1925 (or earlier, i.e., “25 years ago”)—antedating by at least three years the advent of the MB—their “version” of Sharia and its mores represented in fact a recent, previously longstanding status quo

History and hard data—including the Vote Compass Egypt data just shared by Krouwel revealing 70% support for the increasingly Sharia-compliant Egyptian draft constitution, tell us why the “Egyptian liberals” are so afraid of a constitutional referendum despite their claims it is “unpopular”.

Now that the “Egyptian liberals” have organized into a front they should be able to defeat the proposed constitution, and force a new draft process. But the “liberals’” response seems to be violent anarchy instead—which of course likely serves the MB because the MB bureaucrats may have softened, but their ardent followers of all stripes surely haven’t become less adept at violence.

The sheer, delusive hypocrisy of the “Egyptian liberals” is epitomized by Kamel Daoud, spokesman for Hizb-el Dostour, (the Constitutional Party), led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed El-Baradei. Crowing that the opposition was “winning a new round every day,” and “I think more and more people understand why we are against what is happening,”  he nonetheless re-stated his movement’s bottom line rejection of a simple democratic referendum that would validate his contentions:

We continue to insist that there should not be a vote on the constitution.