Inside Jihad

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Frontpage, by Danusha V. Goska, August 24, 2015:

Here’s my four-sentence review of Dr. Tawfik Hamid’s new book Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works; Why It Should Terrify Us; How to Defeat It. Buy this book. Read this book. Refer to this book. Share this book.

I’ve read and reviewed counter-jihad classics by bestselling experts including Robert Spencer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bernard Lewis, Andrew Bostom, Wafa Sultan, Brigitte Gabriel, Mosab Hassan Yousef, and Phyllis Chesler. I think highly of each. This is how good Inside Jihad is. If someone said to me, “I want to read just one book about jihad.” I’d give that reader Dr. Hamid’s book.

Inside Jihad is brief. Hamid’s style is direct and fast-paced. He says what he needs to say without sensationalism, emotionality, literary ambition, or apologies. He pulls no punches.

Tawfik Hamid was born and raised in Egypt, the most populous Middle Eastern country. He was raised Muslim. Hamid’s mother was a teacher; his father, a surgeon and a private atheist who taught him to respect Christians and Jews. The family observed the Ramadan fast but had little other religious observance. Arabic is his first language and he has studied the Koran in the original Arabic. From 1979-82, he was a member of Jamaa Islamiya, a terrorist group. He met Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda.

Hamid grew up under Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab socialism. Nasser wanted to modernize Egypt. He suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, executed one of its leaders, Sayyid Qutb, and curtailed travel to and from Saudi Arabia, fearing Wahhabi influence.

The 1973 Oil Embargo sparked a revival of Islam. Muslims concluded that Allah rewarded Saudi Arabia for the Saudis’ strict religious observance. Allah’s reward was the Saudi ability to humble the United States.

Islamization in Egypt “started mildly enough.” Hamid warns the reader to pay careful attention to slow Islamization. He says that the same methods that were used in Egypt are now being used in the West. “The more we surrender” he warns “the more Islamists will demand.”

The camel’s nose under the tent was something few could object to: individual prayer. Previously, if an employee interrupted his workday to perform one of Islam’s mandated five daily prayers, it was perceived as bizarre. Now it was admirable.

Another straw in the wind: the hijab. In school photos taken before the 1970s, many Egyptian girls are without hijab. After America’s humbling in the oil shock, more and more girls began to wear hijab. Men stopped wearing gold wedding bands; gold was deemed “un Islamic” for men. More toxic Islamizations, including Jew-hatred, followed. Imams preached that Jews are monkeys and pigs and that they poisoned Mohammed.

Islamization on campus also began in an innocuous way: Islamists used the moments before class began to talk about Islam. One day, the Christian professor of one class said that it was time for discussion of Islam to stop and the academic hour to begin. The Islamists called the professor an infidel and broke his arm. “The Christian students were terrified,” Hamid reports.

“I remember the first time I looked at a Christian with disdain,” Hamid reminisces. He was reading a required textbook. The book told him that Mohammed said, “I have been instructed by Allah to declare war and fight all mankind until they say ‘No God except Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah.'” Hamid, who had previously had Christian friends, turned to a Christian student and said, “If we applied Islam correctly, we should be doing this to you.”

Jamaa Islamiya actively recruited medical students like Hamid. It took six months for Hamid to become “sufficiently indoctrinated.”

Hamid details several lures that recruiters used to bring young people into their movement:

  • fear of hell,
  • a demonization of critical thinking,
  • a sense of superiority over non-Muslims,
  • suppression of any emotional life outside of Islamism,
  • suppression of sexual expression,
  • a promise of sex for jihadis,
  • and upholding of Mohammed as the perfect example, beyond criticism.

Author Don Richardson estimates that one in eight verses in the Koran mentions Hell. By contrast, the Old Testament mentions Hell once in every 774 verses, and it is never described as graphically as it is described in the Koran. Hamid quotes Islamists using many Koranic passages that vividly describe Hell to terrorize potential members: “garments of fire shall be cut out for them … burning water will be poured over their heads causing all that is within their bodies as well as the skins to melt away … they shall be held by iron grips; and every time they try in their anguish to come out of it, they shall be returned and told ‘Taste suffering through fire to the full!'” Infidels in Hell will eat thorns and drink scalding water as if they were “female camels raging with thirst and disease.” Their intestines will be cut to pieces.

Another method used to Islamize recruits was “al-fikr kufr” – “one becomes an infidel by thinking critically.”

Recruiters flattered recruits, telling them that they were superior to non-Muslims. “Take not Jews and Christians for friends,” they quoted from Koran 5:51. Jews are monkeys and pigs: Koran 5:60. Those who worship Jesus are infidels: Koran 5:17. Do not offer the greeting “As-salamu alaykum,” or “peace be with you,” to Christians or Jews; whenever you meet Christians or Jews in a road, force them to its narrowest alley: Sahih Muslim. Muslims who did not carry out jihad were also inferior.

Terror recruits’ emotional outlets were cut off. They were forbidden from creating or consuming music, dance, or visual art. They were discouraged from having sex, but lured with promises of great sex in paradise. The houris – dark-eyed virgins – are graphically described in Muslim literature as very soft, without complaint, and easily satisfied. Houris regain their virginity immediately after sex. Men are promised organs that never go limp. Mohammed, recruits were assured, could have sex with eleven women in an hour.

Finally, the example of Mohammed himself was not to be questioned. Mohammed married a six-year-old. He raped war captives, in one case immediately after decapitating the captive’s brother and father and after she had witnessed her mother being carried off also to be raped. Mohammed approved of the dismemberment of Um Kerfa, a poetess who criticized him. Mohammed is the “perfect example, worthy of emulation.” Muslims today must unquestioningly approve these behaviors.

Hamid’s fellow extremists were aware that Muslim countries were no longer in the cultural forefront. Islam had spread as far as Spain and India in only the first century after Mohammed’s death. Terror recruits believed that early Islam’s success was caused by strict adherence to Islamic doctrine. They believed that their strict observance could bring back Islam’s early dominance.

Some wonder how women could be recruited into a movement that keeps them in an inferior position in relation to men. Hamid clarifies: Muslimahs were told that they would be superior – to infidel women.

Hamid expounds uncompromisingly on the power and importance of hijab. He insists that when prominent Westerners such as Nancy Pelosi and Laura Bush travel to Muslim countries and wear hijab, they are making a grave error. Hijab is not “a neutral, or merely traditional, fashion statement.” Hijab’s purpose “is not modesty or to encourage observers to focus on a Muslim woman’s personality.” Hijab exists to proclaim “deep Islamic doctrinal connections to slavery and discrimination. Western women who cover themselves are unwittingly endorsing an inhumane system.” Hijab’s purpose, Hamid argues persuasively, is to create a society where superior free Muslimahs are visually distinct from inferior infidel slave women.

Islamists “despise women who did not wear hijab. We considered them vain … we believed they would burn in Hell.” Further, “the hijab serves to differentiate between slave girls and women who are considered free … it creates a feeling of superiority among the women who wear it.” The Koran promises that women who wear hijab will not be “molested.” Women without hijab are slaves and can be raped without guilt.

Australia’s foremost Muslim cleric restated this Islamist position in 2006. In Sydney, fourteen Muslim men gang-raped non-Muslim women. Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said that it was the victims’ fault. “If you take out uncovered meat” and cats eat it, the cats are not to blame. Women possess “igraa,” “the weapon of enticement.”

Hamid emphasizes that hijab is both vanguard and emblem of Islamic supremacy. During their 1953 meeting, the first thing Sayyid Qutb asked Nasser to do was to force women to wear hijab. A YouTube video documents this conversation. In the video, Nasser is speaking to a large assembly. When he repeats Qutb’s demand, the crowd laughs. One wag shouts out, “Let him wear it!” Nasser points out that Qutb’s own daughter does not wear hijab. The crowd laughs even more, and bursts into applause. This video is at least fifty years old. It is a reminder that fifty years ago, countries like Egypt and Iran were modernizing. Women, in cities at least, could be seen in public in miniskirts and without hijab.

Hamid reports that the Muslim Brotherhood does not announce its end goal openly. “They pose as peacemakers … The Muslim Brotherhood will accept circumstances that offend their beliefs – temporarily – if doing so will advance their goals.” They will – temporarily – permit western dress for women and alcohol consumption. This is all part of taqiyya. The Muslim Brotherhood has a four stage plan: at first, merely preach. Then, move on to participation in public life. Next, consolidate power “while faking legitimacy.” Finally, enforce sharia.

A few turning points turned Hamid away from Islamism, for example, when a fellow terror recruit described his plot to bury alive an Egyptian police officer.

Hamid had been studying the Bible so that he could better debate Christians. Jesus’ words haunted him. “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” He asked himself, what profit to Islam if it subjugated the entire world but lost its soul? “Exposure to the Bible was crucial in helping me question the violent aspects of Salafist teaching.”

His medical studies also gave him pause. “I wondered if the divine DNA molecule was violent. Did it attempt to conquer the rest of the cell? Did it try to force other cellular components to behave like itself? It did not. Rather, it worked harmoniously within an organism to create and sustain life.”

The clincher for Hamid was “the existence of alternative forms of Islamic teaching.” Hamid met Muslims called “Quranics,” who reject the hadiths. The Quranics “stood against killing apostates, against stoning women for adultery, against killing gays. They viewed the Islamic Conquests as immoral and senseless.” The Quranics “allowed me to think critically.” “If this alternative sect had not been available, it would have been much more difficult for me to resist jihadism.”

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‘Sandboxing’ Islam: How to Protect America from Jihad Terrorism

image8 (1)Jihad Watch, AUGUST 21, 2015, BY

Enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) can give us the legal and tactical edge in countering the threat from Islamic supremacism.

Background

It should be obvious for anyone with eyes to see that Islam — its scriptures, the example of Muhammad, its doctrines, and its overall ideology — is behind the spread of most terrorism and unrest in the world today. 

From the Islamic State (ISIS), Boko Haram, al-Nusra and al-Shabaab, to slightly older groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to lesser known jihadi organizations throughout Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim, and China, a survey of terrorist attacks reveals Muslim involvement throughout the entire world.

Here in the United States, we are seeing a dramatic rise in Muslim “lone wolf” jihad terrorist attacks (and, as some have described them, known wolves”). Further, from all points of the compass, we are seeing literally tens of thousands of Muslims flocking to the Middle East to join the Islamic State caliphate and support the jihad with their very lives. 

The scenario gets worse. Some analysts argue that we are seriously underestimating the numbers of Western Muslims joining the Islamic State. 

Here at home, we have a “full blown insurgency.” The FBI has already arrested seventy IS-inspired Muslim terrorists, and has active investigations of IS-inspired jihad plots in all 56 of its field offices. NewsMax reports “the government’s terrorist watch list carries 700,000 to a million names.”

mosques_mapThe Challenge: Jihad-Linked Mosques

This is all indisputable fact. The threat is real and growing. Even worse, the threat is specifically from devout, observant Muslims who attend mosque. Behind every lone-or-known-wolf jihadi and every Islamic State recruit there is a mosque where they are receiving instruction in Islam.

That should give us pause, as four separate studies in recent years show that 80% of mosques in the U.S. teach, preach or advocate for jihad and the imposition of sharia law in America. 

Confirming these mosque studies are proven links between mosques and terrorists.  For example, one of the two Mississippi Muslims recently arrested for trying to join the Islamic State is the son of the imam at the local mosque. Many terror-linked mosques have spawned multiple jihadis. The Phoenix mosque attended by the Garland TX jihadis is notorious for having two other members in federal prison on terrorism-related convictions. Perhaps most infamous is the Islamic Society of Boston, which was attended not only by the Boston Marathon Bombers, but by numerous other jihad-terror-linked Muslims. The list goes on and on.

For many people, especially in our political class and certainly among the 2016 field of presidential candidates, there seems to be no solution to this national security nightmare of terror-linked mosques and known wolf jihadis. To date, there is no coherent, principle-based policy to address Islamic terrorism in the United States. 

The Solution: ‘Sandboxing’ Islam in America

This is where I believe the simple analogy of “Sandboxing” can help us.

You’ve probably heard the term, even if you’re not a computer geek. One tech source offers this definition:

A “sandbox” is a play area for young children: it is supposed to be safe for them (they cannot hurt themselves) and safe from them (it is sand, they cannot break it). In the context of IT security, “sandboxing” means isolating some piece of software in such a way that whatever it does, it will not spread havoc elsewhere.

If we think of America as being, ideally, a safe and free place for its citizens, within which we should be able to live, work, play, and, as the ubiquitous bumper sticker says, “Coexist,” then when it comes to Islam and Muslims, we need a solution analogous to the IT security process of “sandboxing.” We need to isolate malicious jihadi forces, “in such a way that whatever they do, they will not spread havoc elsewhere.”

What would “sandboxing” look like when it comes to Muslims in America? In practice, it could include the following policies:

  • A moratorium — a complete freeze — on Muslim immigration. Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul expressed a similar policy concept following the Chattanooga jihad murders of five US servicemen, proposing a halt to immigration from Muslim countries with known jihad activity. Going one step further, Franklin Graham wrote at the same time that “We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled.
  • All mosques must be classified and treated as “agents of foreign power,” in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a U.S. law (22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq.) passed in 1938.

The law presciently allows for application in gray areas such as Islam presents, as it states that any entity with a “political or quasi-political capacity” disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate “evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons.” [Source]

Islam certainly thinks and behaves like a foreign power, is guided in America by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis and other foreign Islamic groups, and has a definite political dimension. (See also here.)

  • Any and all mosques associated with Muslim terrorists must be investigated, and if found to be advancing jihad doctrine, sharia law, and Islamic supremacism over the United States, they should be prosecuted and closed, in accordance with the FARA act referenced above.
  • Stop all foreign funding of mosques, whether by FARA, new legislation, or executive power. We already know that Saudi Arabia is providing extensive funding to advance its extremist Wahhabi strain of Islam worldwide, including of mosques in America, as is Turkey. There already exist covert lobbying groups for Muslim nations, including Iran.

 These are just some starting points to aid in getting this conversation going. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has an 18-point platform with similar policy proposals which may be considered as well.

We must have hope that, just as illegal immigration has become a major issue in the presidential race, so also we may be successful in elevating public awareness of the clear and present danger from Islam and Muslim jihad terrorists. This is a generational if not century-long struggle ahead of us, and should resonate with voters.

The concept of “sandboxing” is, I believe, the most helpful image in making our case to not only the American people, but also to the political elite and the 2016 candidates. 

We must publicly challenge the Republican presidential candidates to take the initiative, and to fearlessly raise the issue of Islam up to the same level as Immigration. We must demand of them to be bold and daring when it comes to defeating jihad. The defense of our nation, our freedoms, and the lives of our fellow citizens and men-and-women in uniform should be paramount for whoever would be Commander-in-Chief. This issue will be topmost on that person’s desk in the Oval Office from Day One. Better to tackle it now with a strong and visionary policy, than to be knocked back on our heels by a surprise attack in 2017.

Now is the time to put misbehaving Muslims and their terror-linked-mosques on time-out. Islam is at war with us. More and more Muslims are heeding the summons from Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, taking up arms against us in this war, and killing American citizens right here at home. Denying the reality and threat of Islamic jihad is not a valid policy, it is civilizational suicide.

It is time to “sandbox” Islam in America, and use decisive, legal means to counter its threat to our freedoms and our way of life.

_______

Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.

Also see:

How Nazism Explains ‘Moderate’ and ‘Radical’ Islam

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Were non-violent Nazis the “real” Nazis?

PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, Aug. 14, 2015:

If Islamic doctrines are inherently violent, why isn’t every single Muslim in the world — that is, approximately 1.5 billion people — violent?

This question represents one of Islam’s most popular apologetics: because not all Muslims are violent, intolerant, or sponsor terrorism — a true statement — Islam itself must be innocent.

Let’s consider this logic.

There are many people who identify themselves as Muslims but who do not necessarily adhere to or support Islam’s more supremacist and intolerant doctrines. If you have lived in a Muslim majority nation, you would know this to be true. The all-important question then becomes: “What do such Muslims represent?” Are they following a legitimate, “moderate” version of Islam, one more authentic than the terrorist variety?

That’s what the media, politicians, and academics would have us believe. The best way to answer this question is by analogy.

German Nazism is a widely condemned ideology due to its (“Aryan”/”white”) supremacist element. But many Germans who were members or supporters of the Nazi party were “good” people. They did not believe in persecuting Jews and other “non-Aryans,” and some even helped such “undesirables” escape at no small risk to themselves. Consider Oskar Schindler: An ethnic German and formal member of the Nazi party, he went to great lengths to save Jews from slaughter.

How do we reconcile his good deed with his bad creed? Was Schindler practicing a legitimate, “moderate” form of Nazism? Or is it more reasonable to say that he subscribed to some tenets of National Socialism, but when it came to killing fellow humans in the name of racial supremacy, his humanity rose above his allegiance to Nazism?

Indeed, many Germans joined or supported the National Socialist Party more because it was the “winning” party, one that offered hope, and less because of its racial theories. That said, other Germans joined the Nazi party preciselybecause of its racial supremacist theories and were only too happy to see “sub-humans” incinerated.

Now consider how this analogy applies to Islam and Muslims: first, unlike most Germans who chose to join or support the Nazi party, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world were simply born into Islam. They had no choice. Many of these Muslims know the bare minimum about Islam — the Five Pillars — and are ignorant of Islam’s supremacist theories.

Add Islam’s apostasy law to the mix — leaving Islam can earn the death penalty — and it becomes clear that there are many nominal “Muslims” who seek not to rock the boat.

That said, there are also a great many Muslims who know exactly what Islam teaches — including violence, plunder, and enslavement of the kafir, or infidel — and who happily follow it precisely because of its supremacism.

In both Nazism and Islam, we have a supremacist ideology on the one hand, and people who find themselves associated with this ideology for a number of reasons on the other hand. We have those born into it, those who join it for its temporal boons, and those who are sincere and ardent believers.

The all-important difference is this: when it comes to Nazism, the world is agreed that it is a supremacist ideology.

Those who followed it to the core were “bad guys” — such as Adolf Hitler. As for the “good Nazis” who helped shelter persecuted Jews and performed other altruistic deeds, the world acknowledges that they were not following a “moderate” form of Nazism, but that their commitment to Nazism was nonchalant at best.

This is the correct paradigm for viewing Islam and Muslims: Islam contains violent and supremacist doctrines. This is a simple fact. Those who follow it to the core were and are “bad guys” — for example, Osama bin Laden.

Still, there are “good Muslims.” But they are good not because they follow a good, or “moderate,” Islam, but becausethey are not thoroughly committed to Islam in the first place.

Put differently, was Schindler’s altruism a product of “moderate Nazism” or was it done in spite of Nazism altogether? Clearly the latter.

In the same manner, if a Muslim treats a non-Muslim with dignity and equality, is he doing so because he follows a legitimate brand of “moderate Islam,” or is he doing so in spite of Islam, because his own sense of decency compels him?

Considering that Islamic law is unequivocally clear that non-Muslims are to be subjugated and live as third-class “citizens” — the Islamic State’s many human rights abuses vis-à-vis non-Muslims are a direct byproduct of these teachings — clearly any Muslim who treats “infidels” with equality is behaving against Islam.

So why is the West unable to apply the Nazi paradigm to the question of Islam and Muslims?

Why is it unable to acknowledge that Islamic teachings are inherently supremacist, though obviously not all Muslims are literally following these teachings, just like not all members of any religion are literally following the teachings of their faith?

This question becomes more pressing when one realizes that, for over a millennium, the West deemed Islam an inherently violent and intolerant cult.

Peruse the writings of non-Muslims from the dawn of Islam up until recently — from Theophanes the Confessor (d. 818) to Winston Churchill — and witness how they all depicted Islam as a violent creed that thrives on conquering, plundering, and subjugating the “other.”

Here, read Marco Polo’s thoughts.

The problem today is that the politically correct establishment — academia, mainstream media, politicians, and all other talking heads, not ones to be bothered with reality or history — have made it an established “fact” that Islam is “one of the world’s great religions.”

Therefore, the religion itself — not just some of its practitioners — is inviolable to criticism.

The point here is that identifying the negative elements of an ideology and condemning it accordingly is not so difficult.

We have already done so with Nazism and other ideologies and cults. And we know the difference between those who follow such supremacist ideologies (“bad” people), and those who find themselves as casual, uncommitted members (“good” or neutral people).

In saner times when common sense could vent and breathe, this analogy would have been deemed superfluous.

In our times, however, where lots of nonsensical noise is disseminated far and wide by the media and tragically treated as serious “analysis,” common sense must be methodically spelled out. Yes, an ideology/religion can be accepted as violent or even evil, and no, many of its adherents need not be violent or evil — they can even be good — for the reasons discussed above.

This is the most objective way to understand the relationship between Islam as a body of teachings and Muslims as individual people.

 

YES, ISLAM IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RELIGIONS

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Philos Project, by Andrew Harrod, August 15, 2015:

“What are Western policymakers frequently talking about when they are talking about religion? Islam.”

So wrote Transatlantic Academy Senior Fellow Michael Barnett in his report “Faith, Freedom and Foreign Policy: Challenges for the Transatlantic Community,” which was presented during a recent Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs panel that focused on Islam while unconvincingly minimizing that religion’s fundamental differences with other faiths.

Elaborating on Barnett’s report, George Mason University professor Peter Mandaville spoke about the globally popular opinion that religion is superfluous in world affairs, and pointed to a “secular bias” in modern bureaucracies, noting that the American Constitution’s establishment clause often raises questions about the government’s involvement in religion. Berkley Center Senior Fellow Jocelyne Cesari cited Soviet Dictator Josef Stalin’s famous quote, “The Pope! How many divisions has he got?”

Claiming that the common viewpoint of Islam as the “religion of the sword” stemmed from such ignorance, Cesari said that today’s global discourse on Islam resembles the historic views of the Catholic Church by emphasizing aggressive and authoritarian elements. This concept was echoed in the TA report’s repeated equivalences between Islam and other faiths. The fact that South African Muslims once argued against apartheid with Islamic texts that are now claimed by terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda supposedly indicate that societal context – not scriptural text – is the critical variable.

Mandaville questioned Islam’s current status as a violent religion and asked that a distinction be made between the “mainstream nonviolent Islamism” seen in groups like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the brutal Islamic State. He attributed the rise of ISIS in Iraq to “decades and centuries of old political and economic tensions among different demographic groups, not Islamic sectarian divisions.” He dismissively spoke about the infamous article “What ISIS Really Wants” by Graeme Wood in The Atlantic – an insightful examination of ISIS Islamic ideology – but caveated that American officials “have no standing or creditability to define Islam for Muslims.”

Evelyn Finger, the religion editor for Germany’s leading newspaper weekly Die Zeit, deviated from her fellow panelists’ discussions and called for an analysis of the Islamic sources that underlie the numerous ISIS atrocities. She even warned that – although Islam as a whole is broader than the Islamic State – it is dangerous to get stuck in politically correct discussions that defend this religion.

In his report, Barnett claimed that “the Middle East provides an object lesson of what happens when religion goes wild and spills out of the private and into the public. If peace is going to have a fighting chance, then religion needs to go back to where it belongs – in in the private realm.” He also claimed that it made no sense to speak of a “political” Islam when referencing the traditional Islamic faith, “because Islam already incorporates politics.” He then brought up what he called the “Christian definition of religion, in which religion is part of the private,” adding that the average Muslim looks at the promotion of religious freedom as a campaign against religion.

Barnett said that to call the Western liberal order a “Christian liberal order” a century ago – when “Western, liberal states wore their religions on their shirtsleeves” – would have been stating the obvious. For example, the Red Cross’s cross logo indicates that organization’s Christian roots. While he said that religious figures worldwide have led some of the great moral campaigns to counterbalance religious violence, he failed to identify most of these individuals as Christian.

Barnett’s fellow contributor, Turkish commentator Mustafa Akyol, critiqued “politically correct, but factually wrong” platitudes including the ideas that “Islam is a religion of peace” and “violent jihadists have nothing to do with Islam.” Past reformers tended to incorporate their wishful thinking into their interpretations of Islamic texts. This led to the idea that apostasy is a crime that deserves capital punishment in all classical schools of sharia, for example. He pointed out that a tension now exists between democratically elected Islamists who have intolerant goals and liberals whose views are not popular enough to win them democratic elections.

Janice Gross Stein’s chapter spoke of ISIS as part of a “long tradition of movements that seek to purify Islam.” She said that throughout Islam’s history, enemies such as the MB and Saudi Arabia and Al-Qaeda and ISIS have clashed about the “true voice” of Islam. To face these entities, she said that the West will need “resolve, stoicism, patience and intelligence in a struggle that will go on for generations.”

In all, the TA’s senior fellow contributors did not seem fazed by Islamic doctrine. Clifford Bob cited the discredited book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” and its thesis of undue Israeli influence on American policy, and repeated the increasingly common fallacy that “anti-Islam activism has – in recent years – joined anti-Semitism as a dangerous form of politics.” Instead of focusing on Islamic doctrine, Sir Michael Leigh asked Western schools to emphasize past Western misdeeds with an “understanding of the lasting legacy of imperial expansion, including perceptions of the role of missionaries.”

The writers in residence at the German-American TA indicated the muddled state of elite thinking regarding Islam. Almost 15 years after the Taliban’s Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, politically correct Western guilt and cultural relativism continue to cloud policy analysis. As the TA writers demonstrated, though, Islam’s stark realities are gradually becoming all too apparent.

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape

Photo by Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

Photo by Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

New York Times,  by

QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.

The trade in Yazidi women and girls has created a persistent infrastructure, with a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them.

A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.

A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.

“Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, a 15-year-old girl who was captured on the shoulder of Mount Sinjar one year ago and was sold to an Iraqi fighter in his 20s. Like some others interviewed by The New York Times, she wanted to be identified only by her first initial because of the shame associated with rape.

“He kept telling me this is ibadah,” she said, using a term from Islamic scripture meaning worship.

A 15-year-old girl who wished to be identified only as F, right, with her father and 4-year-old brother. “Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, who was captured by the Islamic State on  Mount Sinjar one year ago and  sold to an Iraqi fighter. Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

A 15-year-old girl who wished to be identified only as F, right, with her father and 4-year-old brother. “Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, who was captured by the Islamic State on Mount Sinjar one year ago and sold to an Iraqi fighter. Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

“He said that raping me is his prayer to God. I said to him, ‘What you’re doing to me is wrong, and it will not bring you closer to God.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s allowed. It’s halal,’ ” said the teenager, who escaped in April with the help of smugglers after being enslaved for nearly nine months.

Calculated Conquest

The Islamic State’s formal introduction of systematic sexual slavery dates to Aug. 3, 2014, when its fighters invaded the villages on the southern flank of Mount Sinjar, a craggy massif of dun-colored rock in northern Iraq.

Its valleys and ravines are home to the Yazidis, a tiny religious minority who represent less than 1.5 percent of Iraq’s estimated population of 34 million.

The offensive on the mountain came just two months after the fall of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. At first, it appeared that the subsequent advance on the mountain was just another attempt to extend the territory controlled by Islamic State fighters.

Almost immediately, there were signs that their aim this time was different.

Survivors say that men and women were separated within the first hour of their capture. Adolescent boys were told to lift up their shirts, and if they had armpit hair, they were directed to join their older brothers and fathers. In village after village, the men and older boys were driven or marched to nearby fields, where they were forced to lie down in the dirt and sprayed with automatic fire.

The women, girls and children, however, were hauled off in open-bed trucks.

“The offensive on the mountain was as much a sexual conquest as it was for territorial gain,” said Matthew Barber, a University of Chicago expert on the Yazidi minority. He was in Sinjar when the onslaught began last summer and helped create a foundation that provides psychological support for the escapees, who number more than 2,000, according to community activists.

Read more

Beheading in Islam

Islam-BeheadPolitical Islam, by Bill Warner, Aug. 11, 2015:

When you hear of beheading, do you assume that Islam is involved? Beheading is an integral part of Islam. Mohammed repeatedly ordered people beheaded and the Koran even includes beheading. Beheading is threatened to settle arguments about Islam. Men were threatened with beheading if they did not become a Muslim. Beheading is mentioned nine times in the Hadith of Bukhari, once in the Koran and 41 times in the Sira. Beheading is recommended and common in the doctrine of Islam.

To see the references go to: http://cspipublishing.com/statistical/beheadings.html

 

Lifting the Veil of Islam with Tomi Lahren & IQ al Rassooli “ISIS is Islam”

lifting-the-veil (1)Published on Aug 1, 2015 by On Point with Tomi Lahren

IQ al Rassooli left Iraq as a young man to study abroad. He took advantage of the opportunity to compare the Bible to the Quran. What he discovered shocked him and set him on a 30 year examination.
He shares the true faces of Islam ‘On Point with Tomi Lahren’

Glazov Gang: Choudary, Spencer and Jasser Battle It Out On “Jihad in Chattanooga.”

free-672x372By Jamie Glazov July 31, 2015:

This special episode of The Glazov Gang was joined by Anjem Choudary, a London Imam, Robert Spencer, the Director of JihadWatch.org, and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

The three guests came on the show to discuss “Jihad in Chattanooga.”

Don’t miss the fireworks:

Islamic State Employs Sexual Violence Against Women to Further Their Caliphate

Center for Security Policy, by Caitlin Anglemier, July 31, 2015:

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing Wednesday, July 29th, on Islamic State’s targeted violence against women and girls. The hearing featured Institute for Strategic Dialogue CEO Sasha Havlicek; Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Ariel Ahram; Director and producer of Escaping ISIS, Edward Watts; and Kathleen Kuehnast for The United States Institute of Peace.

Ms. Havlicek’s opening statement focused on the increasing numbers of women voluntarily choosing to leave their homes and families to travel and join Islamic State forces. While these women are not necessarily “foreign fighters”, given that they are prohibited to enter the battlefield, they are indeed “proving to be agents of the groups as much as the men”. These women, many traveling from western countries, are “terrific online and great for propaganda”-they speak to individuals who are unable to act overseas on the battlefield about acting where they are at home.

Havlicek later elaborated on the women making the decision to leave home “on their own volition” and join IS. Many come from western countries and have converted to Islam. The women joining IS are increasingly younger, which is more appealing to IS fighters who desire “untarnished and pure women” to become their wives.

Dr. Kuehnast discussed the role on young children in the Islamic State’s ideology. Dr. Kuehnast indicated that both young boys and girls are utilized by IS, stating that, “Boys as young as 6 are recruited as cubs in the lions’ den of the caliphate” and young women are “kidnapped, enslaved, and sold as child brides”. Because sexual violence is such a key component and tactic of the Islamic State, forced marriages and rape are not uncommon. Those born as a result of these incidents are then brought up to augment Islamic State forces.

Dr. Kuehnast also broached the issue of refugee camps that are available, particularly for the victims of Islamic State crimes. She and Mr. Watt’s discussed the severe physical and emotional trauma that these individuals endure that often alters them for the rest of their lives, and consequently why it is imperative to support the refugee camps. Mr. Watts, who in his film Escaping ISIS portrays “first hand accounts of women who escaped the brutal reign of ISIS”, spoke to the immense strength and perseverance of these young women and girls to survive and have a chance at a normal life again. However, for many female victims of the Islamic State, this may never be possible.

As Dr. Ahram highlighted in his opening statement, the sexual violence that the Islamic State employs is not only “emphasized in the war it’s conducting, but also in the kind of state it is building”. The goal of IS is to establish a global caliphate in accordance with what it calls the “prophetic methodology”. Not only would sexual violence be used to establish said caliphate, but it serves as a key component of enforcing its ideology and everyday practice.

Women and young girls, both Muslim and non-Muslim, face severe danger and violence while living under the rule of the Islamic State. As Watts said in his opening statement, “Renewed action is not only necessary, but urgent”.

***

Islam between Radicalism and Reform

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Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, PhD. – July 28, 2015:

“We can give up the business of saying that this has nothing to do with Islam,” stated Hudson Institute scholar Hassan Haqqani while discussing jihadist violence at Washington, DC’s American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on July 21.  Haqqani and AEI’s conference “Islamic Extremism, Reformism, and the War on Terror” examined insightfully radicalism’s literal rootedness in Islam and its reform prospects to a conference room filled with about 80 listeners.

Notwithstanding prevalent “political correctness,” AEI moderator Danielle Pletka stated that the atrocious Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria, or ISIL) “may not be the form of Islam that should be, but it is, in fact, certainly a form of Islam.”  The ideology of groups like ISIL, noted the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Haqqani, “may be a variant, it may be a distortion, it may be an extreme view, but it does have to do with Islam.”  Brookings Institution scholar Shadi Hamid noted that Graeme Wood, the author of the “great Atlantic article,” had once expressed on a panel with Hamid that, theologically speaking, “ISIL is an example of the Islamic reformation.”

Hamid explained that, by reverting to the sources of Islamic doctrine, Muslim “reform and reformation can lead to ascendant conservative forces.”  A “reformation of sorts” by late 19th and early 20th century Islamic thinkers, for example, led to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  Their “mainstream Islamism” is an “attempt to reconcile pre-modern Islamic law with the modern nation-state.”

Hamid questioned whether “Islam is uniquely resistant to secularization.”  “Prophet Muhammad,” Hamid noted of Islam’s founding figure, “was not just a prophet or theologian, but also a politician, a warrior, a merchant, and, perhaps most importantly, a head of state, a small kind of mini-state.”  Thus any advocacy in Islam of separating religion and politics must “go up against the prophetic model,” which “even not particularly religious Muslims really value.”  “There are ways to do that,” he qualified, “but they are challenging and it’s unlikely to get a critical mass of support in the Muslim world.”

Hamid added that Islam’s “Quranic inerrancy” entails a “creedal requirement to believe that the Quran is not just the word of God, not just inspired by God, but God’s actual speech.”  Contrary to Christian understanding of divinely-inspired, but man-made scripture, in Islam’s view of the Quran “every single letter and word is not mediated.”  “Even a lax Muslim has a more intense commitment to the [Quranic] text theoretically than a right-wing evangelical does to the Bible.”

Against such dogmatism Abbas Kadhim, a School of Advanced International Studies professor originally from the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, presented a more flexible understanding of Islamic reform.  For him this entailed “going back to the roots of Islam and then trying to derive from those roots what works for this time and this age, just like the Muslims throughout the centuries.”  Appearing on the panel after Kadhim, the Gallup pollster Mohamed Younis appeared to concur, stating that Islamic law or “sharia is the utopian ideal” mediated in implementation throughout history by complex, prudential human jurisprudence.  “ISIL is not a traditionalist movement,” he argued, but “actually a complete deviation or walking away from the traditions of jurisprudence within Islam,” demonstrating a “need to increase the jurisprudential literacy” of Muslims.

Kadhim took an almost iconoclastic approach to various Islamic tenets befitting his background in which, he argued, Shiite theology’s greater emphasis on ijtihad or individual intellectual exertion contrasted with Sunni doctrine.  The Islamic doctrine ofQuranic abrogation, for example, entails that later revealed (and often more violent) verses in the Quran replace earlier (often more benign) verses.  Yet German orientalist Theodor Nöldeke showed that “this is a mess here” trying to determine the Quran’s chronological order.

Kadhim also noted that Islam’s second canonical source, the hadith relating what Islam considers as Muhammad’s exemplary biography, are sayings about him recorded some 200 years after his death.  Hadith validity therefore depended upon a narrator “chain of transmission” or isnad, yet Kadhim rhetorically questioned his audience “how many of you can reproduce what we said in the last 15 minutes?”  He concluded that “Muslims have lied and attributed things to the prophet for 1,400 years,” dishonestly using Quran and hadith to “advance a certain agenda.”  Nonetheless, “in certain schools of Islam certain dead people have an omnipresent authority,” like the 13th century Ibn Taymiyyah among the Sunni Hanbali legal school dominant in the Arabian Peninsula.

Such outside-the-box Islamic thinking appealed to Haqqani, who noted that groups like ISIL have a “radical ideology, and all ideologies when they are fought need an ideological counter-narrative,” like Cold War Communism.  “Give a voice to the voices in the Muslim world that are being shut up” was his global strategy for encouraging Islamic diversity in the face of often repressive Muslim-majority societies.  He noted, for example, an Egyptian scholar for whom the initial Muslim community under Muhammad in seventh-century “Medina was not really a state in the modern sense.”  Similarly, panelist Jennifer Bryson, an Arabic scholar whopreviously questioned Pletka and others calling the Islamic State as such, described Muhammad “as more of a community leader.”

In this view, Haqqani stated, the “purpose of Islam is piety and not power” and the “whole notion of an Islamic state is flawed.”  Given his apolitical, pietistic understanding of Islam, he noted that Islam’s Shiite-Sunni division derives from seventh-century conflicts over Muhammad’s choice of succession in the initial Muslim caliphate.  “What relevance does it have in the 21st century?” he asked, and proclaimed among his mixed Shiite-Sunni fellow panelists “let the Shia be Shias, and let the Sunnis be Sunnis.”

Kadhim’s fellow Iraqi Shiite conference presenter, Zainab Al-Suwaij from the American Islamic Congress, concurred in a “need to diversify the voices” among Muslims.  In particular, “certain organizations” in the United States habitually unnamed by her inappropriately claim to speak for all American Muslims.  Did she have in mind the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose representatives were in the AEI audience?

Islamic diversity and nuance formed Bryson’s antidote for aggressive and authoritarian Islamic agendas.  For the recentChattanooga jihadist, the “problem was that he was disconnected from the very rich and complex traditions of Islam” characterized by “ongoing discussion.”  Yet precisely such variety explained for Hamid Islam’s recurring malign manifestations throughout the world.  “If you want to find something in Islamic tradition to justify whatever you are doing,” he stated, “you probably will be able to find it somewhere because Islam is such a diverse, rich tradition.”

While groups like the Muslim Brotherhood or ISIL in fact have an anchoring in Islamic canons, protestations by Bryson and others of Islam’s diversity do not explain how benign Islamic views would necessarily overcome opposition.  Kadhim’s scriptural critiques could just as well call into question Islam in its entirety and outrage the devout as lead to religious refinement.  Haqqani’s appeal for Shiite-Sunni tolerance downplays recurrent historical hostility within a divided Dar al-Islam among theological groups whose cosmic conflicts are no less passionate than America’s Civil War.  Making Islam, a faith not known for accepting debate and discussion, into a true religion of peace will be difficult indeed.

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School.  He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies.  He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

Open Letter to the Archbishop of Westminster

Gatestone, by Denis MacEoin, July 30, 2015:

  • With Islam, how it is possible to dialogue with a faith that denies the divinity of Christ, regards the Bible as corrupt, believes that all Christians are the inferiors of Muslims and are destined to hell fire? What is there to talk about if both sides are to be honest about their beliefs?
  • When members of ISIS murder apostates, it is hard to condemn them, as that is what the Prophet did. When they take slave girls as war booty, that is what the Prophet did. Waging jihad is an injunction in many chapters of the Qur’an.
  • I do not know what copy of the Qur’an Pope Francis has been shown, but it is clearly very different to any copy in my possession, whether the original Arabic or a translation.
  • When hate preachers in British mosques convey a violent or intolerant message to their congregants, they do so by quoting the Qur’an as the Word of God, thereby sanctioning acts of jihad. To ignore this is to hamper us in our efforts to bring Muslims into peaceful relations with the West, with all non-Muslims and especially with one another.
  • What was striking was that, instead of successive generations of Muslims becoming better integrated into British society, the younger they are, the more radical they become. Apparently the majority of Muslims do not feel particularly progressive.
  • Only 34% of British Muslims believe the Holocaust happened. 62% of Muslims here do not support freedom of speech. Only 7% of Muslims in the UK consider themselves as British first. CSP Poll this year reported that 38% of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. Figures such these are indicative of a wider level of acceptance of extreme ideas than your comments and those of many politicians suggest.

On June 19, when Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke at the 2015 Global Security Forum in Bratislava, one section (under the heading ‘Clarity’) drew widespread attention from the media and politicians, and from some the religious realm.

In that passage, Cameron spoke about the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, or, in Arabic, Da’ish). “In ISIL,” he started, “we have one of the biggest threats our world has faced.” He went on to express concern about the way in which young British Muslims were being drawn into the ISIS web through the internet or within their communities:

The cause is ideological. It is an Islamist extremist ideology — one that says the West is bad and democracy is wrong that women are inferior, that homosexuality is evil. It says religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and Caliphate trumpsnation state and it justifies violence in asserting itself and achieving its aims.The question is: how do people arrive at this worldview?

How does someone who has had all the advantages of a British or a European schooling, a loving family, the freedom and equality that allow them to be who they want to be turn to a tyrannical, murderous, evil regime?

There are, of course, many reasons – and to tackle them we have to be clear about them. I am clear that one of the reasons is that there are people who hold some of these views who don’t go as far as advocating violence, but who do buy into some of these prejudices giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims, “you are part of this”.

This paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent. To go from listening to firebrand preachers online to boarding a plane to Istanbul and travelling onward to join the jihadis. We’ve always had angry young men and women buying into supposedly revolutionary causes. This one is evil; it is contradictory; it is futile – but it is particularly potent today.

I think part of the reason it’s so potent is that it has been given this credence.

So if you’re a troubled boy who is angry at the world, or a girl looking for an identity, for something to believe in and there’s something that is quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of your local community, then it’s less of a leap to go from a British teenager to an ISIL fighter or an ISIL wife, than it would be for someone who hasn’t been exposed to these things.

For what may be the first time, a head of state dared to make a connection between ordinary Muslims and extremism, by arguing that fundamentalist views might be quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of a local Muslim community.

A report written in 2007 by this author for the British think tank Policy Exchange, titled “The Hijacking of British Islam,” exposed the existence of hate literature in mosques across the UK. As soon as it was published, all hell broke loose, and everything possible was done to pretend that our evidence had been somehow faked. Many British writers and journalists such as Douglas Murray, Samuel Westrop and myself have tried over the years to draw attention to the realities of Islamic ideology and practice in schools, shari’a courts, and in politics, but we were severally rebuffed.

But now, over one thousand young British men and women have travelled to Syria and Iraq to support the Islamic State, and it is becoming clear to everyone that something is amiss — not with British society, values or aspirations, but in parts of our two million strong Muslim community. Innes Bowen’s study of the UK Muslim population, “Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam,” shows in some detail just where these radical influences may come from.

Inevitably, Cameron’s references to the Muslim community brought condemnation from the usual suspects (and one unusual one). Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of a Muslim think tank, the Ramadhan Foundation, found the remarks “deeply offensive.” The Muslim Council of Britain found Cameron’s statement “wrong and counter-productive.” In a radio interview, Muslim Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi argued that, “To make the comparison he has done the way he has done, it is not only unhelpful but actually wrong.” Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who sits in the House of Lords, described the speech as “misguided” and “demoralizing.”

That Muslim leaders might respond this way was not surprising. Muslims in the UK, with several notable exceptions such as Haras Rafiq and Majid Nawaz, have been in denial for decades, and show few signs of facing up to the dangers facing them any time soon.

The unusual rebuke came, not from a Muslim, but from Britain’s most important Catholic prelate, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster. Speaking on LBC Radio on the day of Cameron’s speech, the Archbishop spoke unfavourably about the Prime Minister’s remarks on Muslims. His remarks bear quoting almost in full here:

The interviewer started by saying that “he [Cameron] seems to be laying this squarely at the door of the Muslim community. Too many people in the UK are sliding into violent extremism. He’s warned that British Muslims risk quietly condoning ISIS. Do you think that’s fair?”

To this, Nichols answered:

No. I think the community is a very diverse community. I was at a Muslim meeting last Saturday week. It was a Shi’a Muslim meeting. It was looking at dialogue and how people live together. And then they were absolute in their condemnation of ISIS. So there are many voices, Muslim voices in this country, that condemn ISIS and condemn it absolutely. We don’t hear those [voices] in the public media very often, but they’re there. It is an enormous challenge to Islam in this country, and I know many of the Muslim leaders are deeply, deeply concerned about this. I would say for most of them and the families they represent, they feel a bit helpless in terms of the access to the Internet and to that whole seduction and manipulation that goes on. I think they need help with that.

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On the face of it, the Archbishop’s remarks are worthy of respect, since he is active in interfaith work and considers it to be his mission, like that of the current Pope Francis, to work for peace and conciliation. But interfaith work can often be marred by an underlying refusal to come clean about beliefs that contradict those of others.

With Islam, I have to ask how it is possible to dialogue with a faith that denies the divinity of Christ, denies that he was crucified or resurrected, denies the Trinity, denies Mary as the mother of God, denies the belief in original sin and salvation through Christ, regards the Bible as corrupt, believes that all Christians are the inferiors of Muslims and are destined to hell fire? What is there to talk about if both sides are to be honest about their beliefs?

Even if a majority of Muslims may be concerned about extremism in their midst, there are reasons to think that David Cameron’s view is close to the mark: that some Muslims unwittingly or wittingly condone what goes on because much of it is in keeping with the Qur’an, the hadith [traditions], the Shari’a law books, and Islamic practice from the time of Muhammad.

Read the open letter

Denis MacEoin was born in Belfast, where he learned at first hand the dangers of religious strife

Submission – Islam does not mean peace

Submissiony-Position-for-PJ (1)By Bill Warner, July 30, 2015:

The word “Islam” means “submission”. In Islam one submits to the Koran, the words of Allah, and to the Sunna, the life example of Mohammed. One does this by following them without question. One also submits to the “umma”, the community of Islam, and to the “Sharia”, the divine law of Allah.
The problem is that submission does not just apply to Muslims, it applies to the Kafir, the non-believer as well.

Why Muslim Rapists Prefer Blondes: A History

swedish_rape_victimFrontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, July 30, 2015:

The Muslim penchant to target “white” women for sexual exploitation—an epidemic currently plaguing Europe, especially Britain and Scandinavia—is as old as Islam itself, and even traces back to Muhammad.

Much literary evidence attests to this in the context of Islam’s early predations on Byzantium (for centuries, Christendom’s easternmost bulwark against the jihad).  According to Ahmad M. H. Shboul (author of “Byzantium and the Arabs: The Image of the Byzantines as Mirrored in Arabic Literature”) Christian Byzantium was the “classic example of the house of war,” or Dar al-Harb—that is, the quintessential realm that needs to be conquered by jihad.  Moreover, Byzantium was seen “as a symbol of military and political power and as a society of great abundance.”

The similarities between pre-modern Islamic views of Byzantium and modern Islamic views of the West—powerful, affluent, desirable, and the greatest of all infidels—should be evident.  But they do not end here.  To the medieval Muslim mind, Byzantium was further representative of “white people”—fair haired/eyed Christians, or, as they were known in Arabic, Banu al-Asfar, “children of yellow” (reference to blonde hair).

Continues Shboul:

The Byzantines as a people were considered as fine examples of physical beauty, and youthful slaves and slave-girls of Byzantine origin were highly valued….  The Arab’s appreciation of the Byzantine female has a long history indeed.  For the Islamic period, the earliest literary evidence we have is a hadith (saying of the Prophet).  Muhammad is said to have addressed a newly converted [to Islam] Arab: “Would you like the girls of Banu al-Asfar?”  Not only were Byzantine slave girls sought after for caliphal and other palaces (where some became mothers of future caliphs), but they also became the epitome of physical beauty, home economy, and refined accomplishments.   The typical Byzantine maiden who captures the imagination of litterateurs and poets, had blond hair, blue or green eyes, a pure and healthy visage, lovely breasts, a delicate waist, and a body that is like camphor or a flood of dazzling light.[1]

While the essence of the above excerpt is true, the reader should not be duped by its overly “romantic” tone. Written for a Western academic publication by an academic of Muslim background, the essay is naturally euphemistic to the point of implying that being a sex slave was desirable—as if her Arab owners were enamored devotees who merely doted over and admired her beauty from afar.[2]

Indeed, Muhammad asked a new convert “Would you like the girls of Banu al-Asfar?” as a way to entice him to join the jihad and reap its rewards—which, in this case, included the possibility of enslaving and raping blonde Byzantine women—not as some idealistic discussion on beauty.

This enticement seems to have backfired with another Muslim who refused Muhammad’s call to invade Byzantine territory (the Tabuk campaign).  “O Abu Wahb,” cajoled Muhammad, “would you not like to have scores of Byzantine women and men as concubines and servants?” Wahb responded: “O Messenger of Allah, my people know that I am very fond of women and, if I see the women of the Byzantines, I fear I will not be able to hold back. So do not tempt me by them, and allow me not to join and, instead, I will assist you with my wealth.”[3]  The prophet agreed but was apparently unimpressed—after all, Wahb could have all the Byzantine women he desired if the jihad succeeded—and a new Sura for the Koran (9:49) was promptly delivered condemning the man to hell for his reported hypocrisy and failure to join the jihad.

Thus a more critical reading of Shboul’s aforementioned excerpt finds that European slave girls were not “highly valued” or “appreciated” as if they were precious statues—they were held out as sexual trophies to entice Muslims to the jihad.

Moreover, the idea that some sex slaves became mothers to future caliphs is meaningless since in Islam’s patriarchal culture, mothers—Muslim or non-Muslim—were irrelevant in lineage and had no political status.   And talk of “litterateurs and poets” and “a body that is like camphor or a flood of dazzling light” is further anachronistic and does a great disservice to reality:  These women were—as they still are—sex slaves, treated no differently than the many slaves of the Islamic State today.

For example, during a recent sex slave auction held by the Islamic State, blue and green eyed Yazidi girls were much coveted and fetched the highest price.  Even so, these concubines are being cruelly tortured.  In one instance, a Muslim savagely beat his Yazidi slave’s one year old child until she agreed to meet all his sexual demands.

Read more

Know Your Enemy: A Primer on Islamic Jihad

how-to-fight-isisNational Review, by Steve King, July 25, 2015:

Islamic jihad has declared war on the United States and all of Western civilization. ISIS has announced its intention to dominate the world and fly its black flag from the White House in continuation of a 1,400-year-old war against us “infidels.”

In the first 100 years after the death of Mohammed (a.d. 632)`, Islamic jihad conquered most of the known world except Western Europe. Christian forces blocked the first century of Islamic conquest at the very bloody Battle of Tours on October 10, 732. Islamic jihad continued to threaten the very existence of Christianity throughout the next millennium. October 7, 1571, marked the destruction of Islamic jihad’s massive fleet by the Holy League fleet in the Aegean Sea.

More than a century later, Islamic jihad, having conquered the Middle East and most of Eastern Europe, had surrounded and besieged the crown jewel of Western Christendom, Vienna. If Vienna fell to Islam, all of Western Europe would be likely to follow. After a two-month siege of Vienna, relief forces from Poland and Germany arrived.

The battle for relief of Vienna began on September 11, 1683, and ended with the rout of the Islamic forces the following day. On September 11, 1697, Prince Eugene caught and routed a large Islamic army and delivered a decisive blow at the Battle of Zenta.

In keeping with the September 11 theme, the British established a mandate for Palestine on September 11, 1922, and at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, eleven Israeli athletes were killed on September 11. Millions of Islamists remember the humiliations of September and seek to humiliate the “Great Satan,” the United States. Thus the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

Islamic jihad can be defeated, and it can be done in less time than it took to defeat the USSR in the Cold War. Our strategy, however, must be tailored to the times and circumstances.

Islamic jihad is our enemy. It has declared war on us and will kill us anywhere it can. No American is safe anywhere in the world until this suicidal ideology is defeated. It is not impossible to defeat an ideology. Within a span of half a century, Western civilization has defeated at least four ideologies. Nazism, Italian Fascism, and Japanese imperialism all went down literally in flames in the face of a superior culture. Next in line was the far more stubborn Russian Communism, which struggled through 45 years of cold war before succumbing to liberty and free enterprise. Islamic jihad can be defeated, and it can be done in less time than it took to defeat the USSR in the Cold War. Our strategy, however, must be tailored to the times and circumstances.

CYBER WARFARE: Islamists are not innovative but do have a history of borrowing technology and deploying it against their enemies. ISIS, for example, is using the Internet to inspire, recruit, and direct terrorists around the world. We have the capabilities to scramble their communications and cause them to doubt the sources of instructions. It’s time to launch cyber warfare against them both offensively and defensively and to do so worldwide. They will stop using the Internet only when they no longer trust the communications network. With a smart cyber-warfare system, we can watch them close down their most important recruiting tool.

FINANCIAL WARFARE: If all its resources could be shut off, ISIS would atrophy. The U.S. has a powerful global financial reach, giving us the capability of cutting off almost all funds flowing to ISIS. We need to shut off the flow of exported oil from the ISIS regions and shut off payments going to them. Banks that deal in transactions with Islamic jihad or with their suppliers can be singled out to be the target of special disincentives that raise the transaction costs well above the financial benefit of doing business with jihadists.

EDUCATION: The next and most difficult task is to shut down the elements of their educational system that teach Islamic jihad. Millions of young boys are indoctrinated daily with the ideology of Islamic jihad. The madrassas are a breeding ground for violent jihad and serve to identify and recruit the most zealous. Countering this indoctrination will require a worldwide effort and may well be endless, but it is necessary to make the attempt, because reduction in the teaching of intergenerational hatred is the foundation for a peaceful future.

HUMINT: Human intelligence remains limited in the Islamic world. The Western world had not engaged fully with the Middle East to the extent that our intelligence sources were ready-made or fully developed. Our humint began to change after September 11, 2001, as Americans saw the need to expand our network. We are still making progress, but this administration has demonstrated an unwillingness to gather strategic information. If we are to have success in defeating Islamic jihad, our intelligence community must expand significantly. It is essential to the principle of nosce hostem(know your enemy), which will require time, resources, commitment, and, most of all, leadership.

STRATEGIC ALLIANCES: Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia all have demonstrated a willingness to fight Islamic jihad. Our relationships with these countries have been badly damaged. The U.S. foreign-policy establishment clumsily found a way to be on the wrong side of each Arab Spring event, demonstrating an astonishingly dogmatic fidelity to the Muslim Brotherhood. Our credibility in the region has been badly damaged. Nonetheless, these countries are poised to take on a good share of the fight. First, our relationship with each will need to be restored. Then a strategy will need to be developed with them at the table.

EGYPT: Egypt is key to ultimate global success against Islamic jihad. Al-Azhar University in Cairo is the world’s premier center of Islamic theology. It is where Obama gave his speech to the Muslim world in 2009, and where Egyptian president al-Sisi delivered his own address to the Muslim world. Sisi made clear his opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood, to the imposition of sharia law, and to Islamic jihad. Sisi is positioned to become the modern-day Ataturk, someone who will bridge the gap between East and West. The United States needs to embrace Sisi and coordinate a strategy of diplomacy coupled with the right balance of kinetic activity.

KURDISTAN: The Kurds are loyal allies. At our encouragement, they rose up against Saddam Hussein after Desert Storm. They are likely the largest ethnic group in the world without a country. Millions of Kurds live in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. They have for years demonstrated their willingness to defend themselves. We should directly arm the Kurds with all the weapons and supplies they can use and send our special forces to them on the ground. The Kurds will not go into Baghdad or Damascus because they have no civilian population base there to support them. They will push ISIS out of Iraq, with the help of many Sunni Iraqis, and they will provide one jaw of the vise that will crush ISIS. An independent Kurdistan is likely to be the result. A perpetual ally replacing the ISIS caliphate would be strategically priceless.

SYRIA: Assad must go. Syria’s terror-fomenting alliance with Iran will breed ever more violence in the Mideast until a pro-Western government replaces the regime. However, Assad has a certain utility until ISIS is destroyed in Syria. He becomes the other jaw of the vise that, with the Kurds as the other, will crush ISIS. When that day comes, the U.S. may have a commander-in-chief who thinks strategically.

We are dealing with the complexities of a long and difficult history of conflict. Religious friction has been at the heart of conflicts in this region since the time of Mohammed. The conflict between Shia and Sunni is complex enough without the overlay of the history of conflict with Christianity.

Russian-sponsored regimes must be defeated. The wealth of and need for oil fuels the fight. Anti-Semitism, with notable exceptions, dominates the region of the Middle East. We are in an increasingly global conflict as jihadists use Western technology and exploit cultural vulnerabilities to invade through peaceful migration, recruit through the Internet, indoctrinate through their mosques and madrassas, and radicalize and direct Islamic jihad.

We can defeat this ideology because we are a superior civilization. We have the ability to reason, develop new technology, grow our economy, and control the events described above. Islamic jihad has no real capacity to compete. History is on our side. Culture is on our side. Economics are on our side. Military capability is on our side. We lack only a strategy and the will.

— Steve King, of Iowa’s fourth congressional district, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

LEAVING ISLAM: THE STORY OF AN EX-MUSLIM

Muslim-Prayer1Philos Project, by ZUBAIR SIMONSON, July 22, 2015:

I am a Christian. Catholic, to be specific. But that has not always been the case.

While walking through Times Square in the spring of 2006, I happened to glance at the headlines streaming by on the ticker. Al-Qaeda had bombed Iraq’s Al-Askari Shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shi’a Islam.

The news made me nauseous. I had read plenty of news articles reporting sectarian violence, especially after the Sept. 11 attacks. But this particular story was the last straw: I vowed to never call myself a Muslim again.

After that day, I began to consider all religions poisonous. I saw them as just another excuse to divide humanity into “us” vs. “them.” Religion was for stupid people; it was just a means to control them. Little did I know that I would be baptized in a Christian church just one short year later.

Although I formally disavowed Islam after the Al-Askari bombing, I could hardly have called myself a practicing Muslim during the months leading up to that event. In fact, my faith had been waning for a number of years. There were many moments in which I could feel my beliefs eroding, but one in particular stands out.

The setting itself was rather mundane: I was in the passenger seat of a car. Someone very close to me, a bookish type and a Muslim, had mentioned the Banu Qurayza in passing. He went on to explain that the Banu Qurayza was a Jewish tribe in Medina that had fallen victim to a wholesale massacre under Muhammad’s direct orders. As a child, I had been indoctrinated to revere Muhammad. But in this otherwise ordinary moment, I wondered for the first time how a spiritual genius could act so ruthlessly. I tried to explain it away by considering the circumstances, but that only spawned more questions. Why would a perfect person’s actions need to be justified?

As I was only 16 or 17 at the time, I kept my questions to myself. After all, I could get in trouble for doubting Muhammad’s integrity. But the deed had been done. Those unsettling seeds of doubt had been planted.

Only in retrospect did I realize that I had been surrounded by the legacy of the Banu Qurayza Massacre throughout my entire childhood. The mosque my family attended in North Carolina was heavily influenced by the Salafi Movement (an extremist undertaking that passes for official doctrine in Saudi Arabia), as are countless mosques across the United States. My own family was moderate, but there were very few alternative places of worship for Muslims in Raleigh. Khutbas (the equivalent of a sermon or homily) during the Friday prayer service were often obsessed with politics. The tone was typically anti-American – even venomously so. In 2005, during the last khutba I ever attended at that Raleigh mosque, the speaker publicly criticized the American government for preventing young Muslims from serving jihad in Iraq.

But there was one country that we hated above all: Israel. The Jews were the penultimate “them.”

As a child, I was taught that Israel’s founding could be summarized as the Jews’ migrating en masse after the Second World War, expelling the Palestinians from their homes and wreaking havoc on every neighboring nation. I frequently heard calls for justice against Israel. Many in the Muslim community, especially those in leadership, were migrants who probably never met a Jew before they moved to America. But that did not deter them from painting an ugly picture for us, the Muslim youth, of sadistic Israeli soldiers in the West Bank; of Baruch Goldstein; of the Israel Defense Forces viciously attacking neighboring nations without warrant or regard for collateral damage.

We were often told about how the Jewish-controlled media lied to the public and of how Jewish lobbyists bribed and manipulated our government. Our family friends often shared wild conspiracy theories. One of my favorites was that the Jews (which make up approximately 15 million people worldwide) were in the planning stages of genocide against Muslims (a billion and a half people). One Pakistani man actually told me that he admired Adolf Hitler for having killed so many Jews.

We impressionable young people heard these sentiments everywhere: from our Sunday school teachers to our family friends; at the mosque and in our close friends’ homes. They were ubiquitous, and we believed them.

Bigoted statements from the mouths of fellow Muslims were just as commonplace in Michigan, where I went to college, as they were back home. I myself even once joked, “Come on. Don’t be a Jew!” to a fellow Muslim student when he left a rather miniscule tip at a restaurant (my jab worked: he ended up leaving a much better tip). My prejudice resonated with him.

I believe that what saved me was the fact that I always felt more affinity for my country than for my family’s faith. When I was 6, I cried and cried when my mother broke the news to me that the Russians had beaten the United States in the race to outer space. The demonizing of our country during Sunday school and the Friday khutbas – with the thinly veiled message that I could not be both patriotic and pious – went a long way toward the undoing of my faith. My country – the United States of America – made it clear that I could practice any faith, but my faith demanded that I hate my country. In the end, it was an easy choice.

It was not until I was in my early 20s that I bothered to learn the other side of the story: that Jews had been migrating to Israel for several decades (without much controversy) prior to Israel’s founding (and raising the standard of living for everyone in the region). About the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan that Israel accepted and that Arab states rejected. About how many of Israel’s Arab neighbors had exacerbated the Palestinian issue during their failed 1948 invasion. That the Six-Day War was a legitimate, preemptive strike. About the wild contrast between citizens’ rights under the Israeli government and in the PLO-administered regions. About the very generous concessions the Israeli government had been willing to make in exchange for recognition. That Israel had served as a haven for Jews across the world, particularly the Soviet-controlled states. About how Yasser Arafat and the PLO had repeatedly stalled the peace process. About the great lengths the IDF went to protect the Christian community in Lebanon. That some Muslims actually served in the IDF.

The fact that Israel was a stable democracy surrounded on all sides by tyrants bent on its destruction made me begin to feel something very foreign for this tiny state that did everything it could to survive: sympathy.

It is difficult to gauge how far such intolerant attitudes against Israel and the United States permeate the Muslim community, both here and abroad. After all, who in Islam will honestly answer a survey on anti-Semitic attitudes? I am certain that such venomous attitudes are alarmingly high, and may very well be in the majority among Muslims.

For that reason, my support for Israel relies more heavily on subjectivity than objectivity. It took me years to realize what all of the “demands for justice” really were: hatred parading itself as justice. It is very important to respect other people’s faith – but never their hatred.

Only one nation in the entire Middle East provides its citizens with a true democratic government. Although anti-Semitism is very much alive today, only one nation welcomes all of those who suffer because of it.

The very existence of Israel raises important questions: Are we willing to stand up for the beliefs in basic human dignity that we hold dear? Do we truly seek to transcend one of the most ancient, and most virulent, historical prejudices of our collective history? And if the answer to these questions is “yes,” our support for Israel is paramount.

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