Radical Islam’s War against the Past

Taliban soldier stands in front of an empty shell of a destroyed Buddha statue in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, March 26, 2001. The centuries-old Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban after an order by their supreme commander Mullah Mohammad Omar. (AP Photo/Amir Shah)

Taliban soldier stands in front of an empty shell of a destroyed Buddha statue in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, March 26, 2001. The centuries-old Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban after an order by their supreme commander Mullah Mohammad Omar. (AP Photo/Amir Shah)

PJ Media, by Davis Solway, March 25, 2015:

We have heard much of late of the slash-and-burn frenzies of the Muslim hordes pillaging and slaughtering their way through parts of Africa and the Middle East. It is not only Christians, lapsed communicants, perceived heretics and foreigners who are the victims of their confessional ferocity and predatory aims, but the architecture and muniments of civilization itself. The threat which Islam poses to the life of the West should be obvious to anyone who is not complicit, gullible or mentally defective. To fully understand the menace, we must recognize that the Islamic attack is multi-pronged, taking place on a number of levels or fronts all working in concert, and gaining traction with every passing day.

Terror is the preferred means of those we call “extremists,” “radicals,” or (the new favorite) “gunmen,” whether “lone wolves” (who often seem to roam in packs) or established, heavily armed organizations the media like to refer to as “militants.” The warrant for their habitual violence is rooted squarely in the Koran and the Hadith, not in poverty or unemployment despite assurances from their sympathizers and appeasers. As the Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, cited by Raymond Ibrahim in a penetrating article for PJ Media, makes clear:

Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.

Jihad, Ibrahim points out, “is integral to Islam, doctrinally and historically,” located prominently within the founding scriptures and ancillary texts.

More potent in the long run than the tactic of terror is the strategy of massive immigration, enabling the metastasizing growth of Muslim populations in the progressively febrile democracies of the West. Once Islam in any of myriad forms is allowed into the body social, and in light of the agenda articulated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” a zymotic future is foreordained as societies begin to unravel and countries to lose their national character. Ten percent of the census is the tipping point. Scholars like Peter Hammond and the aforementioned Raymond Ibrahim have canvassed approximately 50 countries on four continents and done the math, and the results are indisputable.

The consequences of this covert invasion are glaringly evident in many European nations where Islamic no-go zones have proliferated, Sharia law has been incrementally introduced, thoroughfares have become prayer venues, welfare rolls have been depleted, jihadist recruitment has escalated, rape has acquired the magnitude of an epidemic (the true “rape culture”), and Muslim voting blocs determine the outcome of elections, as conniving politicians are well aware. Such are the conditions that Western compromisers, accommodationists and tolerists, priding themselves on their putatively enlightened ideas, are ensuring for their progeny, if not for themselves.

Additionally, the Iranian march toward nuclear status is part of the Shi’ite plan for world domination, which in the Twelver version of the faith requires a universal conflagration and bloodletting to hasten or welcome the arrival of the Twelfth Imam, aka the Hidden Mahdi. The Middle East is already heating up to a higher temperature than we have seen before, civil wars erupting everywhere, nations falling apart, Israel bracing for nuclear annihilation, Saudi Arabia signing a nuclear development pact with South Korea — as the administration of Barack Obama continues to stoke the flames. Indeed, U.S. National Intelligence has just dropped Iran, the world’s most tentacular terror state, and Hezbollah, its largest and most lethal terror proxy, from its list of terrorism threats.

taliban_buddahs_3-24-15-1

As we have been warned repeatedly by the most astute observers and critics among us — Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson, Andrew Bostom, Bruce Bawer, Raymond Ibrahim, Emmanuel Sivan, Serge Trifkovic, Geert Wilders, Peter Hammond, David Horowitz and others — we are under siege by the armies of a supremacist faith operating through terror (the latest such atrocity occurred on March 18 in the Bardo museum in Tunis where twenty European tourists were killed), unfettered immigration and nuclear capability. To this triple array of hostile forces, we must add a fourth front opened (or re-opened) by the warriors of Muhammad — the offensive against the past.

The Taliban demolition of the 1,700-year old Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 should have sounded the alarm loud and clear. The systematic destruction of Hebrew/Israeli artifacts attesting to the millennial sojourn of the Jewish people in the Holy Land, a project carried out by the Islamic waqf in control of the Temple Mount, is an undeniable attempt to erase the signs and proofs of the historical presence of an entire nation in what was always its natal homeland. And today we see Islamic militias rampaging through the Middle East demolishing synagogues, churches, temples, palaces, statues, biblical tombs, historical monuments, remnant cities like Hatra and Nimrud, and inestimable cultural treasures anchoring antiquity to the living present.

What we are witnessing here, working in tandem, as noted, with terror, social infiltration and the imminent nuclear and ballistic capability of a deranged and religiously dedicated rogue regime, is the deliberate and ongoing effacement of the historical, cultural and architectural record of Judeo-Christian civilization and its ancient precursors. The attack on ancient artifacts amounts to a surgical operation on the cultural psyche of the occident, a kind of chronosectomy, or removal of the temporal organ, leading ultimately to the gradual elimination of communal memory.

According to Daniel Pipes, the motive for this orgy of destruction is to “confirm the superior power of Muslims and, by implication, the truth of Islam.” There is something to this, of course — a platitude need not be untrue. One will also agree with Robert Spencer’s unexceptionable thesis that for the Muslim sensibility, the relics and shrines of “pre-Islamic civilizations, and non-Islamic civilizations, are all jahiliyya — the society of unbelievers, which is worthless,” as stipulated in the Koran (3:137). But the real quarry is the historical logbook of the West and the material ledger of its antecedents. And the goal is their extirpation.

This initiative against the collective memory of the West, tantamount to the razing of a world-historical library, is nothing less than an auto-da-fé of astronomical significance. As London mayor Boris Johnson writes regarding the “moronic demolition of the past” and the unmaking of our “common story,” “I simply cannot understand the sickening silence and complacency with which we are absorbing news of this tragedy.” But it is not entirely unexpected. For the barbaric iconoclasts of Islam have profited greatly from a tribe of elite Western academics. Looked at from the perspective of a mordant irony, it is as if these Islamic marauders constitute the activist arm of the Western university and its curricular reduction of the magisterial pageant of Western history in favor of a postmodern pastiche of marginal cultures, dubious movements and anti-Western polemics. The ground of desecration has been well prepared by a legion of witting and unwitting collaborators. This malignant tillage is now being pursued to its desired harvest by a host of beneficiary savages.

The four-front assault is what the West is currently up against, but it remains plainly incapable of understanding or resisting the combined onslaught upon its cultural integrity, social consensus, political cohesion, and — Islam’s renewed foray against the mind of the West — the retention of the traditional armature of its past, that is, the glue of retrocognition. A person without memory is a hollow shell, living from moment to moment, unable to plan for the future or survive without help. A civilization that loses its heritage, whose evolutionary development is wiped out, and that no longer knows where it has come from or the identity of its parentage enjoys an aimless and frivolous existence until it eventually collapses and disappears. It survives paradoxically only in the triumphant if sketchy memory of the civilization that has replaced it. The eclipse of memory, the decoupling of the archive from the present, is nothing short of death by other means. When, owing to the eradication of memory, time no longer functions as a sustaining medium, the will to persist is paralyzed and life becomes meaningless. The murder of the past is a particularly effective form of cultural homicide.

“It makes me weep with fury even to think of it,” says Johnson. So should we all. Weeping, however, will get us nowhere. “We cannot allow these people to smash our history,” Johnson concludes. “They must be defeated.” He is right — presuming, of course, that we still remember how to fight.

David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012. Visit his Website at www.davidsolway.com and his Facebook page here.

Why Islam Needs a Reformation

“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.

It is not just al Qaeda and Islamic State that show the violent face of Islamic faith and practice. It is Pakistan, where any statement critical of the Prophet or Islam is labeled as blasphemy and punishable by death. It is Saudi Arabia, where churches and synagogues are outlawed and where beheadings are a legitimate form of punishment. It is Iran, where stoning is an acceptable punishment and homosexuals are hanged for their “crime.”

As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts. It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been “hijacked” by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.

Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland clichés about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.

As it turns out, the West has some experience with this sort of reformist project. It is precisely what took place in Judaism and Christianity over the centuries, as both traditions gradually consigned the violent passages of their own sacred texts to the past. Many parts of the Bible and the Talmud reflect patriarchal norms, and both also contain many stories of harsh human and divine retribution. As President Barack Obama said in remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast last month, “Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Islamic State militants marching through Raqqa, Syria, a stronghold of the Sunni extremist group, in an undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Islamic State militants marching through Raqqa, Syria, a stronghold of the Sunni extremist group, in an undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Yet today, because their faiths went through a long, meaningful process of Reformation and Enlightenment, the vast majority of Jews and Christians have come to dismiss religious scripture that urges intolerance or violence. There are literalist fringes in both religions, but they are true fringes. Regrettably, in Islam, it is the other way around: It is those seeking religious reform who are the fringe element.

Any serious discussion of Islam must begin with its core creed, which is based on the Quran (the words said to have been revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad) and the hadith (the accompanying works that detail Muhammad’s life and words). Despite some sectarian differences, this creed unites all Muslims. All, without exception, know by heart these words: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; and Muhammad is His messenger.” This is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.

The Shahada might seem to be a declaration of belief no different from any other. But the reality is that the Shahada is both a religious and a political symbol.

In the early days of Islam, when Muhammad was going from door to door in Mecca trying to persuade the polytheists to abandon their idols of worship, he was inviting them to accept that there was no god but Allah and that he was Allah’s messenger.

After 10 years of trying this kind of persuasion, however, he and his small band of believers went to Medina, and from that moment, Muhammad’s mission took on a political dimension. Unbelievers were still invited to submit to Allah, but after Medina, they were attacked if they refused. If defeated, they were given the option to convert or to die. (Jews and Christians could retain their faith if they submitted to paying a special tax.)

No symbol represents the soul of Islam more than the Shahada. But today there is a contest within Islam for the ownership of that symbol. Who owns the Shahada? Is it those Muslims who want to emphasize Muhammad’s years in Mecca or those who are inspired by his conquests after Medina? On this basis, I believe that we can distinguish three different groups of Muslims.

The first group is the most problematic. These are the fundamentalists who, when they say the Shahada, mean: “We must live by the strict letter of our creed.” They envision a regime based on Shariah, Islamic religious law. They argue for an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version. What is more, they take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else.

I shall call them Medina Muslims, in that they see the forcible imposition of Shariah as their religious duty. They aim not just to obey Muhammad’s teaching but also to emulate his warlike conduct after his move to Medina. Even if they do not themselves engage in violence, they do not hesitate to condone it.

It is Medina Muslims who call Jews and Christians “pigs and monkeys.” It is Medina Muslims who prescribe death for the crime of apostasy, death by stoning for adultery and hanging for homosexuality. It is Medina Muslims who put women in burqas and beat them if they leave their homes alone or if they are improperly veiled.

Muslim children carry torches during a parade before Eid al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, on July 27, 2014, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Muslim children carry torches during a parade before Eid al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, on July 27, 2014, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The second group—and the clear majority throughout the Muslim world—consists of Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence. I call them Mecca Muslims. Like devout Christians or Jews who attend religious services every day and abide by religious rules in what they eat and wear, Mecca Muslims focus on religious observance. I was born in Somalia and raised as a Mecca Muslim. So were the majority of Muslims from Casablanca to Jakarta.

Yet the Mecca Muslims have a problem: Their religious beliefs exist in an uneasy tension with modernity—the complex of economic, cultural and political innovations that not only reshaped the Western world but also dramatically transformed the developing world as the West exported it. The rational, secular and individualistic values of modernity are fundamentally corrosive of traditional societies, especially hierarchies based on gender, age and inherited status.

Trapped between two worlds of belief and experience, these Muslims are engaged in a daily struggle to adhere to Islam in the context of a society that challenges their values and beliefs at every turn. Many are able to resolve this tension only by withdrawing into self-enclosed (and increasingly self-governing) enclaves. This is called cocooning, a practice whereby Muslim immigrants attempt to wall off outside influences, permitting only an Islamic education for their children and disengaging from the wider non-Muslim community.

It is my hope to engage this second group of Muslims—those closer to Mecca than to Medina—in a dialogue about the meaning and practice of their faith. I recognize that these Muslims are not likely to heed a call for doctrinal reformation from someone they regard as an apostate and infidel. But they may reconsider if I can persuade them to think of me not as an apostate but as a heretic: one of a growing number of people born into Islam who have sought to think critically about the faith we were raised in. It is with this third group—only a few of whom have left Islam altogether—that I would now identify myself.

These are the Muslim dissidents. A few of us have been forced by experience to conclude that we could not continue to be believers; yet we remain deeply engaged in the debate about Islam’s future. The majority of dissidents are reforming believers—among them clerics who have come to realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.

How many Muslims belong to each group? Ed Husain of the Council on Foreign Relations estimates that only 3% of the world’s Muslims understand Islam in the militant terms I associate with Muhammad’s time in Medina. But out of well over 1.6 billion believers, or 23% of the globe’s population, that 48 million seems to be more than enough. (I would put the number significantly higher, based on survey data on attitudes toward Shariah in Muslim countries.)

In any case, regardless of the numbers, it is the Medina Muslims who have captured the world’s attention on the airwaves, over social media, in far too many mosques and, of course, on the battlefield.

The Medina Muslims pose a threat not just to non-Muslims. They also undermine the position of those Mecca Muslims attempting to lead a quiet life in their cultural cocoons throughout the Western world. But those under the greatest threat are the dissidents and reformers within Islam, who face ostracism and rejection, who must brave all manner of insults, who must deal with the death threats—or face death itself.

For the world at large, the only viable strategy for containing the threat posed by the Medina Muslims is to side with the dissidents and reformers and to help them to do two things: first, identify and repudiate those parts of Muhammad’s legacy that summon Muslims to intolerance and war, and second, persuade the great majority of believers—the Mecca Muslims—to accept this change.

Islam is at a crossroads. Muslims need to make a conscious decision to confront, debate and ultimately reject the violent elements within their religion. To some extent—not least because of widespread revulsion at the atrocities of Islamic State, al Qaeda and the rest—this process has already begun. But it needs leadership from the dissidents, and they in turn stand no chance without support from the West.

What needs to happen for us to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have been proposed and some of them deployed. But I believe that these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed.

Such a reformation has been called for repeatedly at least since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent abolition of the caliphate. But I would like to specify precisely what needs to be reformed.

I have identified five precepts central to Islam that have made it resistant to historical change and adaptation. Only when the harmfulness of these ideas are recognized and they are repudiated will a true Muslim Reformation have been achieved.

Here are the five areas that require amendment:

1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.
Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a premodern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. And although Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.

2. The supremacy of life after death.
The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.

3. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.
Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.

4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.
There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.

5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.
Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.

I know that this argument will make many Muslims uncomfortable. Some are bound to be offended by my proposed amendments. Others will contend that I am not qualified to discuss these complex issues of theology and law. I am also afraid—genuinely afraid—that it will make a few Muslims even more eager to silence me.

But this is not a work of theology. It is more in the nature of a public intervention in the debate about the future of Islam. The biggest obstacle to change within the Muslim world is precisely its suppression of the sort of critical thinking I am attempting here. If my proposal for reform helps to spark a serious discussion of these issues among Muslims themselves, I will consider it a success.

Let me make two things clear. I do not seek to inspire another war on terror or extremism—violence in the name of Islam cannot be ended by military means alone. Nor am I any sort of “Islamophobe.” At various times, I myself have been all three kinds of Muslim: a fundamentalist, a cocooned believer and a dissident. My journey has gone from Mecca to Medina to Manhattan.

For me, there seemed no way to reconcile my faith with the freedoms I came to the West to embrace. I left the faith, despite the threat of the death penalty prescribed by Shariah for apostates. Future generations of Muslims deserve better, safer options. Muslims should be able to welcome modernity, not be forced to wall themselves off, or live in a state of cognitive dissonance, or lash out in violent rejection.

But it is not only Muslims who would benefit from a reformation of Islam. We in the West have an enormous stake in how the struggle over Islam plays out. We cannot remain on the sidelines, as though the outcome has nothing to do with us. For if the Medina Muslims win and the hope for a Muslim Reformation dies, the rest of the world too will pay an enormous price—not only in blood spilled but also in freedom lost.

This essay is adapted from Ms. Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” to be published Tuesday by HarperCollins (which, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp). Her previous books include “Infidel” and “Nomad: From Islam to America, A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.”

Islam Bulldozes the Past

by Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
March 20, 2015

The recent bulldozing by the Islamic State (ISIS) of the ancient cities of Nimrud, Hatra, andKorsabad, three of the world’s greatest archaeological and cultural sites, is just this group latest round of assaults across the large area under its control. Since January 2014, the flamboyantly barbaric ISIS has blown up Shi’i mosques, bulldozed churches, pulverized shrines, and plundered museums.

Worse, the ISIS record fits into an old and common pattern of destruction of historical artifacts by Muslims.

Some attacks target the works of other, rival religions, such as Orthodox churches in northern Cyprus (since 1974), the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan (in 2001), the Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia (2002), an historic Hindu temple in Malaysia (2006), and the Assyrian antiquities (“idols”) in Mosul (2015). On a personal level, a Saudi national smashed historic statues at the Senso-Ji Buddhist temple in Tokyo in 2014. Nor is this danger over: Islamic leaders have bruited plans to destroy Persepolis in Iran, St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

After the 1974 invasion, Turkish forces made many churches in northern Cyprus fit only for animals.

In some cases, conquerors turn non-Islamic holy places into Islamic ones, thereby asserting the supremacy of Islam. This can be done by converting them into Islamic sanctities, such as the Kaaba in Mecca, the Cathedral of St. John in Damascus, and the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; or building on top of them, such as Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India.

Muslims of one denomination sometimes destroy the legacy of other Islamic sects. Recent examples include the tomb of Sidi Mahmoudou, a medieval structure in Timbuktu (2012), Sufi tombs in Libya (2012), and the libraries of Mosul (2015). But best known is the Saudi destruction of antiquities inMecca since the 1990s, applying strict Wahhabi principles of non-intercession; even Muhammad’s tomb in Medina is in jeopardy.

The Taliban blew up a monumental sixth-century Buddha statue in 2001.

Destruction also accompanies the fighting of war; the Syrian conflict since 2011 has been particularly devastating in this regard, with battles causing severe damage to such grand antiquities as the Citadel of Aleppo, the Umayyad Mosque, and Crac des Chevaliers. Alongside, smuggling and other profit-making activities to pay for war costs leads to the wholesale stealing and trafficking of rare antiquities; UNESCO reports, for example, that the ancient Syrian site of Apamea is “completely destroyed.”

Ancient artifacts might even be demolished because their space is needed for something deemed urgent. The Palestinian Authority threw out precious Temple Mount archeological remains as mere rubble in 2000 to build a mosque. In 2013, Hamas bulldozed part of the 3,000-year-old Anthedon Harbor in Gaza for military purposes and the Turkish authorities damaged the Byzantine-era walls of the Yedikule Gardens to build a decorative pool.

Al-Qaeda bombed the Ghriba Synagogue in Tunisia in 2002.

Finally, there are gratuitously self-inflicted cultural wounds. These include the pillaging of Iraqi museums, libraries, and archives (2003), the burning in 2011 of L’Institut d’Égypte and looting of the Egyptian Museum, the 2013 destruction of manuscripts in Timbuktu and the ransacking of the Mallawi Museum in Minya, Egypt, and the 2014 destruction at the Saeh Library in Tripoli, Lebanonand at the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo.

Why does Islam inspire its adherents to annihilate their own patrimony? Because humiliation establishes and reinforces one’s superiority. Destruction of infidel remains confirms the superior power of Muslims and, by implication, the truth of Islam. In parallel, eliminating the vestiges of Muslim rivals establishes the superiority of Islamism over other, less assertive interpretations of Islam.

ISIS blew up Shi’ite mosques in Mosul in 2014.

While the seizure and appropriation of other monuments began at the very inception of Islam (i.e., the Kaaba), the destruction that has reached orgiastic heights with ISIS is something new; note that nearly all the examples listed here date from the twenty-first century. Turned around, those recently-destroyed antiquities survived so long because Muslims had left them alone. In this regard, things are far worse these days than ever before – not a surprise, as Islam is in its worst shape ever. All other major religions have moved beyond such crudely violent impulses whose motive is unacceptable and whose results are tragic.

Is there a Middle Eastern country that exults in its multi-religious heritage, celebrates ancient artifacts on coins and stamps, builds fabulous museums for its antiquities, treats archeology as a national pastime, and studies manuscripts rather than burns them? Well, yes, there is. It’s called Israel. The rest of the region could learn a thing or two about historical appreciation from the Jewish state.

Both the name of the Quwwat al-Islam (“Power of Islam”) Mosque in Delhi and the fact that it was built with materials from “27 idolatrous temples” point to Islamic supremacism.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.


Mar. 20, 2015 addendum: For more details on most of the incidents mentioned above, see my blog, “Islam vs. History.”

The Mind of Muhammad

Prophet_MUHAMMAD_by_SoulFlamer-CopyBy F. W. Burleigh:

For insight into the workings of Muhammad’s mind, consider Chapter 33 of his Koran, entitled “The Confederates.”  This is one of the chapters Muhammad composed in Yathrib (later called Medina) where he fled after his Meccan compatriots determined they needed to kill him to preserve their way of life.

The chapter is like a wild theme park ride that races in and out of numerous topics.  In the 73 verses that make up the chapter, Muhammad covers the following, using the God-voice he adopted for the Koran: He recaps a recent battle with the Meccans and excoriates people who were afraid to fight and die for him; he gloats about his extermination of the men and boys of one of the Jewish tribes of Yathrib, the confiscation of their property, and the enslavement of their women and children; he authorizes himself to take as many wives as he likes, permits himself to marry the wife of his adopted son, forbids himself from taking any more wives after he has taken as many as he likes, but allows himself sex slaves.

As the verses of this “revelation” continue, Muhammad imposes full body and face cover for women when outside the home, threatens people with humiliating punishment in the afterlife for annoying him, threatens to murder his critics, prohibits the practice of adoption, and dishes up images of sadistic torture in Hell awaiting people who don’t believe in him.  He also praises himself as a “lamp spreading light,” and holds his behavior as a “beautiful pattern” for people to follow if they want to score well with Allah.

Among the verses is a celestial advisory that he must be obeyed:

“It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”  (Koran 33:36)  [All of the Koran quotes in this article are taken from the Yusuf Ali translation.]

Despite their tediousness, it is worth exploring some of these verses because, in addition to providing evidence of his strange mentality, they also show that his Koran was like a blog in which he commented on the happenings of the moment.  The happenings of the moment recorded in Chapter 33 had to do with war, sex, and Muhammad’s betrayal of his adopted son.

In the war part of these verses, Muhammad covers the Meccan assault on Yathrib that came to be known as the Battle of the Trench, so named because of a three-mile defensive trench he dug around vulnerable parts of the valley to fend off the attackers.  By the time of this battle, he had been waging war on the Meccans for almost five years.  The two major battles of Badr and Uhud had already  been fought.[1]

The Battle of the Trench was the third major fight, which took place in A.D. 627.  The Meccans attacked with an army of 12,000 warriors, drawn from numerous tribes who were itching for payback for all the harm Muhammad had caused them.  But they were unable to get beyond the trench and finally gave up after a fierce windstorm leveled their encampments.

Verses 9 to 25 recap the action, but most are Muhammad’s diatribe against cowardly or fake believers who he was certain would have betrayed him had been given the opportunity.  But he declares that Allah did not provide them with the opportunity because he sent the windstorm that disheartened the invaders and sent them packing.  The battle was a test of faith of the believers who held firm, and Allah knows how to reward those who hold firm in their faith.

And rewarded they were: After the invaders left, Muhammad attacked the only remaining Jewish tribe of Yathrib and ended up distributing their wealth to the faithful.  When he arrived in the valley, half of its 20,000 population was Jewish, divided among three major tribes.  By the time of the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad had forced out two of the Jewish tribes.  Hoping to escape the same fate, the remaining tribe at first insisted on not taking sides during the Meccan attack, then agreed to aid the invaders, but then backed out of it.  Muhammad used this as an excuse to behead all of the men and boys.

Read more at American Thinker

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 211-221

islamic doctrinePJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 20, 2015:

When is it permissible to break moral laws?

That is the impact of the small, easily overlooked phrase “fitnah is worse than killing,” or “persecution is worse than slaughter,” which appears in Qur’an 2:191 (and 2:217).

Allah devotes a large section of “The Cow” (vv. 189-242) to answering various questions that the Muslims had ostensibly asked Muhammad. Allah begins his answers to Muhammad with “They ask you” (vv. 189, 215, 217, 219, 220, 222).One of these questions was whether or not fighting was permissible during the sacred month, which Allah takes up in v. 217.

Muhammad’s first biographer, an eighth-century Muslim named Ibn Ishaq, gives the background of this verse. After the Hijrah, Muhammad’s move from Mecca to Medina, the Muslims began raiding caravans of the pagan Quryash — Muhammad’s own tribe, which had rejected him.

Muhammad himself led many of these raids.

These raids served a key economic purpose: keeping the Muslim movement solvent. At one point Muhammad sent one of his most trusted lieutenants, Abdullah bin Jahsh, along with eight other Muslims out with orders to watch for a Quraysh caravan at Nakhla, a settlement not far from Mecca, and to “find out what they are doing.”

Abdullah and his band took this as an order to raid the Quraysh caravan, which soon came along, carrying leather and raisins. But it was the last day of the sacred month of Rajab, during which — by longstanding Arab custom — fighting was forbidden. This presented them with a dilemma: if they waited until the sacred month was over, the caravan would get away, but if they attacked, they would sin by killing people during the sacred month.

They finally decided, according to Ibn Ishaq, to “kill as many as they could of them and take what they had.”

On the way home to Medina, Abdullah set aside a fifth of the booty for Muhammad (as per Qur’an 8:41). But when they returned to the Muslim camp, Muhammad refused to share in the loot or to have anything to do with them, saying only: “I did not order you to fight in the sacred month.”

But then Allah revealed v. 217, explaining that the Quraysh’s opposition to Muhammad and supposed persecution of the Muslims was more offensive in his eyes than the Muslims’ violation of the sacred month.

The raid was therefore justified: “for persecution is worse than slaughter.”

Whatever sin the Nakhla raiders had committed in violating the sacred month was nothing compared to the Quraysh’s sins.

Ibn Ishaq explained this verse:

They have kept you back from the way of God with their unbelief in Him, and from the sacred mosque, and have driven you from it when you were with its people. This is a more serious matter with God than the killing of those whom you have slain.

Once he received this revelation, Muhammad took Abdullah’s booty and prisoners. Abdullah was considerably relieved, and asked: “Can we hope that it will count as a raid for which we shall be given the reward of combatants?”

Here again Allah answered in a revelation, saying:

Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah — those expect the mercy of Allah (v. 218).

“Fought” here is jahadu (جَاهَدُو), which is a form of jihad, and “jihad for the sake of Allah” or “jihad in the way of Allah” (جَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ) in Islamic theology always refers to jihad warfare, not to more spiritualized understandings of jihad.

Ibn Kathir, following Ibn Ishaq, also recounts this incident, which was a momentous one: good became identified with anything that was to the benefit of Muslims, and evil with anything that harmed them, without reference to any larger moral standard.

Moral absolutes were swept aside in favor of the overarching principle of expediency.

Sayyid Qutb explains that “Islam is a practical and realistic way of life which is not based on rigid idealistic dogma.” Islam “maintains its own high moral principles,” but only when “justice is established and wrongdoing is contained” — i.e., only when Islamic law rules a society — can “sanctities be protected and preserved.”

So evidently they need not be or cannot be protected before that point.

Like a rejected suitor, Allah then returns to the Jews, again reminding them of all of his spurned favors toward them (v. 211). He notes how the unbelievers scoff at the Muslims (v. 212) and then reveals in capsule form the Islamic view of salvation history:

Mankind was one religion; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it — after the clear proofs came to them — out of jealous animosity among themselves (v. 213).

The people who were given the Scripture are the Jews and the Christians.

And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path (v. 213).

That is, Allah guided the Muslims to the truth about the things the People of the Book disagreed about. Ibn Kathir explains that they disagreed about the “day of Congregation”:

The Jews made it Saturday while the Christians chose Sunday. Allah guided the Ummah [community] of Muhammad to Friday.

They also disagreed about the direction to face when praying (qiblah), postures of prayer, fasting, and the true religion of Abraham: “The Jews said, `He was a Jew,” while the Christians considered him Christian. Allah has made him a Haniyfan Musliman” — that is, a pre-Islamic monotheist.

Don’t like the idea of waging war for Allah? Tough.

Allah exhorts the believers to fight, even though they “dislike it” (v. 216).

Maulana Bulandshahri explains the traditional view:

While the Muslims were in Makkah, they were weak and few in number, never possessing the capability nor the divine permission for Jihad (religious war). After migrating to Madinah, they received the order to fight their enemies in defense, as a verse of Surah Hajj [chapter 22 of the Qur’an] proclaims: “Permission (to fight) has been granted to those being attacked because they are oppressed” [22:39]. Later on the order came to fight the Infidels (kuffar) even though they do not initiate the aggression.

Bulandshahri was a modern-day theologian, but this view of the three stages of development of the Qur’an’s teaching on warfare is found in Ibn Ishaq’s Eighth Century work, and in the writings of mainstream Islamic theologians throughout the ages, including Ibn Kathir, Ibn Qayyim, Ibn Juzayy, As-Suyuti, and many others.

Besides essentially destroying the idea of moral absolutes, v. 217 is also important for those who leave Islam, or wish they could:

And whoever of you reverts from his religion and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally (Qur’an 2:217).

The Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and mainstream exegesis of the Qur’an, explains:

Scholars disagree about whether or not apostates are asked to repent. One group says that they are asked to repent and, if they do not, they are killed. Some say they are given an hour and others a month. Others say that they are asked to repent three times, and that is the view of Malik. Al-Hasan said they are asked a hundred times. It is also said that they are killed without being asked to repent.

After that, Allah also forbids alcoholic drinks and gambling (v. 219). Several early authorities — Ibn `Umar, Ash-Sha`bi, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and `Abdur-Rahman bin Aslam — say it was the first of three verses to be revealed on this subject, and that would mean that the other two would take precedence over it. Here Allah says that there is “some benefit” in alcohol, but in 5:90 he says that it is “Satan’s handiwork,” which would rule out the ol’ demon rum as being beneficial at all.

Then Allah forbids Muslims to marry “unbelieving women” (v. 221). Ibn Kathir records a large amount of disagreement among Islamic authorities over whether this prohibition applies to Jewish and Christian women, or just to polytheists. However, he notes that there is Ijma — consensus — among Islamic jurists that such marriages are allowed, although of course Muslim women are not allowed by any school of Islamic law to marry Jewish or Christian men.

In a culture that requires women to be utterly subservient to men, these unequal laws ensure that non-Muslim communities remain subjugated, not enjoying equality of rights or equality of dignity with Muslims.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

CIA’s Brennan: Islamic State not Islamic — they’re “psychopathic thugs”

brennan_blindJihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 13, 2015:

“CIA Director John Brennan at an event Friday warned against ascribing “Islamic legitimacy” to the overseas terrorist group, saying that allowing them to identify themselves with Islam does a disservice to Muslims around the world.” The fallacious assumption here is that Muslims around the world are looking to non-Muslims in the West to show them what is legitimately Islamic and what isn’t. That is simply not the case. The “best of people” (Qur’an 3:110) don’t derive their legitimacy from the opinions of the “most vile of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6).

“CIA director on ISIS: They aren’t Muslims – they’re ‘psychopathic thugs,’” by Reena Flores, CBS News, March 13, 2015:

Call them “psychopathic thugs” or “murderers,” but don’t call the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Muslims.

CIA Director John Brennan at an event Friday warned against ascribing “Islamic legitimacy” to the overseas terrorist group, saying that allowing them to identify themselves with Islam does a disservice to Muslims around the world.

“They are terrorists, they’re criminals,” Brennan asserted during the audience Q&A portion of an interview at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Most–many–of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers who use a religious concept and masquerade and mask themselves in that religious construct.”

“Let’s make it very clear that the people who carry out acts of terrorism – whether it be al-Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – are doing it because they believe it is consistent with what their view of Islam is,” the intelligence agency director continued. “It is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world.”…

The real question is, is it consistent with the Qur’an and Sunnah, or mainstream views thereof?

***

Speaking to the ACT for America chapter in Mission Viejo, California on March 9, 2015  – Robert Spencer on Why ISIS is Islamic

 

THE DRAIN – by Eric Allen Bell

Published on Mar 5, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

THERE IS A DARK SPOT and seen from the sky, it appears as a drain, with people circling around it in a brainwashed daze. This drain sucks away human potential. It speaks to what is good in a person and says, “Bow in this direction 5 times a day” and then it sucks all of their goodness away. It speaks to what is bad in a person and says, “Now this is the way to be. Evil is good and good is evil”. The dark drain is heavily protected, not just by a military, but by a dark doctrine, which surrounds itself with a ring of ignorance, foolishness, corruption and censorship – both voluntary and involuntary.

The dark drain sucks in more souls every single day. It drains resources, it takes lives, it appeals to the darkest side of the human mind. The cowardly masses, who are not captured directly by the strong gravitational force of the drain, turn their heads away and try to pretend it is not there, that it does no harm. Some go so far as to tell themselves it is peaceful and beautiful and worthy of respect. Such is the power of evil.

Those who speak for the drain tell me that women are second-class. But it is women who bring life into the world. Every one of us was cared for and nurtured by a woman when we were hungry and naked and helpless. It is the love of a mother that has allowed us all to stand on our feet, to speak and to go forth into the world. Evil despises this. It sees real truth, real power, real beauty and it tries to suck it all into its drain.

The drain says that a killer and a rapist was the final prophet of “god”. But that which is Infinite needs no such final spokesman. That which is Infinite, it thinks you, it breathes you. It needs no special vows, chants or hymns, as all of creation sings its praises. It is nameless and all names. You can hear it in every word and in the silences between each word. You can hear it in the sound of the breeze. You can find it looking out through your eyes.
The dark drain in the dry desert sucks in only those who seek to avoid knowing who and what they truly are. But if we remove the drain, if we were to blast it from the sky – would we remove also the condition in man which caused it to be built? To see the drain is to be free of it.

– Eric Allen Bell

The Cube of Mecca and How it Got That Way

1 - Kabah after reconstruction-final with captions-white

An Inquiry Into Islam:

The following was written by F.W. Burleigh, author of It’s All About Muhammad, A Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet.

In the beginning of the world, there was the Kabah — at least, if you believe what Muslims are indoctrinated into believing about the draped temple of Mecca that is orbited by masses of people every year during the pilgrimage season.

The story goes it was a jewel sent down to the world by Allah from his throne far above the seventh of the seven heavens. Adam, the first man, built the Kabah as the first temple of worship of Allah, but it was destroyed in the great flood that Allah inflicted on the world for disobedience to his will. It was rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael, and Ishmael fathered a line of Arabs that led finally to Muhammad. But by Muhammad’s time, the temple had fallen into the wrong hands, into the hands of idolaters who worshiped other gods than Allah.

Muhammad, as hero of this narrative that he crafted about himself, was commissioned by Allah to rescue the temple from idolatry and restore the one-God worship of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, and other heroes of Biblical fame.

Muhammad had a way of inserting himself into other people’s religious narratives, a compulsion derived from his many psychological disorders, not the least of which was grandiosity. He was like Woody Allen in Zelig where he grafts himself into historical footage showing himself on stage with Adolph Hitler — except that Muhammad was notoriously unfunny. In his unfunny way he grafted himself onto the line of Jewish prophets; he put himself on stage with the heroes of Jewish legends and proclaimed himself to be the best of them all, the last and final prophet before the Day of Doom, superior to all the other prophets, even Jesus. Muhammad included Jesus in the prophet lineup, but he had to demote Jesus to being merely a man, for if he acknowledged Jesus as divine, he, Muhammad, would have had less importance.

The truth about the Meccan temple is yawningly prosaic. It was a moon temple built by the early nomadic Arabs of the valley of Mecca, descendants of Yemeni emigrants who worshiped the moon, the sun, and other celestial objects. A couple of hundred years before Muhammad, the temple was an enclosure whose walls of stacked rocks were so low that goats could jump over them. In one corner, atop a pillar of rocks, was the Black Stone meteorite the desert Arabs had discovered and believed to be a gift of the moon god.

Kabah is a nickname. It means cube in Arabic, and the temple of Mecca did not acquire its cubic shape until the year A.D. 605 when Muhammad was 35 years old. Until then, it had remained a stone enclosure without a roof, though its walls had been built up higher than in previous centuries — above a man’s height and having a door. The statue of the moon god Hubal was on a pedestal in the interior. Polytheists from all over Arabia made a visit to the moon shrine during their pilgrimage.

It is in the Muslim records that Muhammad was part of the construction crew that used salvaged wood from a shipwreck to rebuild the temple and give it a roof. The temple had been damaged in a flash flood and needed to be replaced. It was Muhammad’s job to carry rocks from nearby hills on his shoulder. The evidence of the literature is that during the construction he suffered an epileptic fit. This came about after his uncles and others pestered him to remove his clothes like everyone else did, and use them as a cushion to protect his shoulder while carrying rocks, but when he removed his garments he fell to the ground in a seizure. Epilepsy is central to the Muhammad story because the neurological explosions of his malformed temporal lobe gave him ecstatic experiences that eventually convinced him he was in communion with God and that God had selected him as a prophet.

Once the temple attained its final form, then and only then did it become known as “The Cube.” It sported a semicircular stone platform on one side that served as a meeting site for the town notables and as a stage for orators when crowds gathered on important occasions.

When Muhammad conquered Mecca, he took over the Cube and made it central to the worship of his peculiar God concept, an idea that reflected his own psyche, particularly his stunning capacity for hatred and thirst for vengeance. His followers no longer orbited the moon shrine in imitation of celestial objects, but in worship of Muhammad’s God concept.

It is the practice that Muslims — Submitters to Muhammad’s God concept — blindly continue today.

F.W. Burleigh is the author of It’s All About Muhammad, A Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet. He blogs at www.itsallaboutmuhammad.com.

ISIS is the Syndrome, Sharia the Real Malignancy

20150301_shariawilldominatetheworldsignFamily Security Matters, by Alex Alexiev, March 11, 2015

As the US-led kinetic war against ISIS continues with indifferent success and less than certain prospects to date, answering the obvious question of what motivates that murderous organization becomes more pressing by the day. Remarkably, there have been no visible efforts in that direction by either the White House or the Defense Department. Indeed, the much touted Obama Administration-sponsored conference on “countering violent extremism” further obfuscated the issue by its oxymoronic definition of terrorism as “acts of violence” committed “against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths.” Neither did the “Team America” high-level Pentagon-sponsored recent meeting in Kuwait help much with its lapidary conclusion that the US strategy against ISIS is correct.

Against that meager analytical background, a much discussed and praised effort to decipher ISIS ideology by journalist Graeme Wood in the March issue of the Atlantic Magazine deserves close scrutiny, because it is a good example of just how muddled and unrealistic our understanding of radical Islam with respect to ISIS has become.

Titled “What Does ISIS Really Want,” the article’s main contribution is its common sense proposition that ISIS is Islamic, indeed, “very Islamic.” Unfortunately, the rest of it is a largely failed effort to explain what drives ISIS to do what it does with a confused exegesis of its Islamic beliefs and interviews with several sympathizers. Key emphasis is given to its ostensible eschatological predilections as a “key agent of the coming apocalypse” and a “headline player in the imminent end of the world” when the messiah Mahdi will show up on Judgment Day. Mr. Wood also makes much of ISIS’s reported faithfulness to something called the “prophetic methodology of the caliphate” and implies strongly that what they practice is a “distinctive variety” and a “coherent and even learned interpretation of Islam,” which aims “returning civilization to a seventh century legal environment.”

Much of this makes little sense to anybody who’s familiar with the foundational texts of Islam. It is true that the Quran does deal with Judgment Day in Sura 75 (Yawm al-Qiyamah), but much of what it says appears to be borrowed from the Bible and Mahdi, an essentially Shia concept, is not mentioned at all. ‘Prophetic methodology’ is a propaganda term used by ISIS and means nothing, especially in connection with the caliphate, which is not mentioned in either the Quran or the traditions (Sunna) of Muhammad. As far as the “seventh century legal environment” is concerned, it’s worth noting that during Muhammad’s life time and that of his immediate successors, there was no Islamic corpus juris in existence and to the extent that a legal system existed at all, it was mostly the old Arab customary law (urf) and arbitration that were practiced. In fact, the codification of sharia as Islamic law did not begin until the middle of the 8th century and was not completed until the end of the 9th century, or 2nd and 3rd century of Islam.

If ISIS ideology thus has little to do with “prophetic methodology” and eschatological propaganda, it has everything to do with sharia.  And the reason for that is very simple, for sharia is the most radical possible interpretation of Islam and a real source of legitimacy for those practicing it among the millions of Islamist sympathizers.

So what exactly is sharia? To radical Islamists, salafis and jihadists of all kinds, sharia is ‘God’s sacred law’ to be obeyed to the letter if a Muslim were to end up in heaven. More than that, it is also the constitution of the Islamic state and the guarantee of the perfect synergy between religion and the state (din wa dawla). To reform-minded Muslims and most non-Muslims it is nothing of the kind. Rather it is a post-Quranic, man-made doctrine designed to legitimate the imperialist policies of the hereditary Muslim empires that followed Muhammad and his successors and the open discrimination against non-Muslims and women widely practiced by them. Moreover, sharia was based for the most part not on the Quran, but on secondary and often unreliable sources such as the hadith (Muhammad’s sayings).

To the extent that sharia is based on the Quran, the cornerstone of its interpretation is the doctrine of abrogation (naskh), which invalidates most of the peaceful and tolerant verses of the earlier Meccan period and replaces them with the later violence-preaching Medinese verses.  As a result, sharia is not only radical and intolerant, but is also in direct conflict with many Quranic injunctions. Thus, the punishment for apostasy is death in sharia, but 100 lashes in the Quran. The former makes the establishment of the caliphate and sharia a religious obligation for Muslims, while the latter does not mention either one of them at all. In the Quran, Muslims are enjoined to fight in self-defense, sharia makes offensive jihad for the spread of Islam mandatory among many other examples.  If one were to characterize sharia today, which Muslims have been obligated to follow blindly (taqlid) since the 10th century, what comes readily to mind is the Catholic faith at the time of the inquisition.

The discriminatory and violent nature of sharia’s injunctions made it impractical as a law early on in Muslim states that were multi-national and multi-confessional, as most of them were, and though it was regularly paid lip service to, it was seldom practiced, except occasionally as family law. In the early Muslim empires, for instance, justice was administered mostly by courts of grievance (mazalim), police courts (shurta) or market judges (sahib al souk), rather than sharia, while in the historically greatest Muslim state of all, the Ottoman empire, the law of the land was kanun osmanly, an essentially secular law.

In fact, sharia’s political fortunes did not change for the better until the patron saints of contemporary radical Islam, Abul ala Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb, elevated the imposition of sharia as the sole criterion of whether or not a state is Muslim or apostate in middle of the 20th century. Since then, with the help of huge amounts of Saudi money and the spread of Muslim Brotherhood networks, sharia has become the sine qua non of the radical Islamist idiom that currently dominates the Muslim establishment worldwide. It is simply a fact that from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on down to countless mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim organizations, no rule, regulation or bylaw is viewed as legitimate if it contradicts sharia.

What the widespread support for sharia among Muslims means is that President Obama’s repeatedly expressed belief that there is no radical Islam, but just individual terrorists, is widely off the mark. In just a couple of examples relevant to ISIS, a recent open letter signed by 126 prominent Muslims from around the world, including many US Islamists, denouncing ISIS’ tactics, nonetheless endorses sharia. In another example, a radical Wahhabi preacher and passionate sharia supporter named Mohamed al-Arefe, approved of raping kidnapped Yazidi women in a tweet to his 10 million followers, while the prominent Islamist and member of the influential “senior council  of clerics” in Saudi Arabia, Saleh al-Fawzan, issued a fatwa arguing that whoever denies the legitimacy of slavery in sharia becomes an infidel.

For jihadist organizations like ISIS, being sharia-compliant in a self-proclaimed caliphate bestows them huge legitimacy in the eyes of the devout. What we view as barbaric practices, including raping and enslaving “infidel” women, crucifixions, killing homosexuals and Muslim apostates, are fully justified in sharia. Undoubtedly, the ISIS cutthroats believe that some of their more recent gruesome innovations, such as chopping off women’s hands for using cell phones or beheading smokers, are also legitimate under sharia.

Muslims are also obligated by sharia to emigrate to the caliphate, which helps explain the huge number of volunteer jihadists who continue to flock to ISIS. The ISIS’ self-anointed  “Caliph Ibrahim” enjoys yet another political benefit under sharia, which orders Muslims to obey him even if he is “unjust,” because  “a rebellion against a caliph is one of the greatest enormities.”

What is beyond doubt is sharia’s absolute incompatibility with basic human rights, democratic norms and the law of nations and its highly seditious nature in calling for violence against non-Muslims and non-conforming Muslims both. Until the community of nations and the Muslims themselves come to terms with this malignant doctrine and act to delegitimize it, its poisonous offshoots like ISIS will continue to thrive.

Alex Alexiev is IASC’s Senior Fellow for Eurasia Affairs.  He has more than 35 years of analytical experience in U.S. national security as a senior analyst and project director with the Rand Corp’s National Security Division, and several think tanks in Washington D.C.  He has directed numerous research projects for the Department of Defense, Office of Net Assessment, U.S. Army Intelligence, USAF intelligence, DIA, CIA, and other U.S. Government agencies, and has testified before Congress numerous times. He is the author of several books and myriad monographs and articles on national security issues.

Why Politicians Pretend Islam Has No Role in Violence

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
March 9, 2015

Prominent non-Muslim political figures have embarrassed themselves by denying the self-evident connection of Islam to the Islamic State (ISIS) and to Islamist violence in Paris and Copenhagen, even claiming these are contrary to Islam. What do they hope to achieve through these falsehoods and what is their significance?

First, a sampling of the double talk:

President Barack Obama tells the world that ISIS “is not Islamic” because its “actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith.” He holds “we are not at war with Islam [but] with people who have perverted Islam.”

British

Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama agree that violence perverts Islam.

Secretary of State John Kerry echoes him: ISIS consists of “coldblooded killers masquerading as a religious movement” who promote a “hateful ideology has nothing do with Islam.” His spokesperson, Jen Psaki, goes further: the terrorists “are enemies of Islam.”

Jeh Johnson, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, assents: “ISIL is [not] Islamic.” My favorite:Howard Dean, the former Democrat governor of Vermont, says of the Charlie Hebdo attackers, “They’re about as Muslim as I am.”

Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, has declared himself a Muslim?

Europeans speak identically: David Cameron, the Conservative British prime minister, portrays ISISas “extremists who want to abuse Islam” and who “pervert the Islamic faith.” He calls Islam “a religion of peace” and dismisses ISIS members as not Muslims, but “monsters.” His immigration minister, James Brokenshire, argues that terrorism and extremism “have nothing to do with Islam.”

On the Labour side, former British prime minister Tony Blair finds ISIS ideology to be “based in a complete perversion of the proper faith of Islam,” while a former home secretary, Jack Straw, denounces “the medieval barbarity of ISIS and its ilk” which he deems “completely contrary to Islam.”

Across the channel, French president François Hollande insists that the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher criminals “have nothing to do with the Muslim faith.” His prime minister, Manuel Valls, concurs: “Islam has nothing to do with ISIS.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte echoes the same theme: “ISIS is a terrorist organization which misuses Islam.” Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a left-wing German politician, calls the Paris murderers fascists, not Muslims. From Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agrees: “Extremism and Islam are completely different things.”

This is not a new view: for example, prior U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also aired their insights about what is and is not Islam, though less assertively.

Summarizing these statements, which come straight out of the Islamist playbook: Islam is purely a religion of peace, so violence and barbarism categorically have nothing to do with it; indeed, these “masquerade” and “pervert” Islam. By implication, more Islam is needed to solve these “monstrous” and “barbaric” problems.

But, of course, this interpretation neglects the scriptures of Islam and the history of Muslims, steeped in the assumption of superiority toward non-Muslims and the righteous violence of jihad. Ironically, ignoring the Islamic impulse means foregoing the best tool to defeat jihadism: for, if the problem results not from an interpretation of Islam, but from random evil and irrational impulses, how can one possibly counter it? Only acknowledging the legacy of Islamic imperialism opens ways to re-interpret the faith’s scriptures in modern, moderate, and good-neighborly ways.

Why, then, do powerful politicians make ignorant and counterproductive arguments, ones they surely know to be false, especially as violent Islamism spreads (think of Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and the Taliban)? Cowardice and multiculturalism play a role, to be sure, but two other reasons have more importance:

First, they want not to offend Muslims, who they fear are more prone to violence if they perceive non-Muslims pursuing a “war on Islam.” Second, they worry that focusing on Muslims means fundamental changes to the secular order, while denying an Islamic element permits avoid troubling issues. For example, it permits airplane security to look for passengers’ weapons rather than engage in Israeli-style interrogations.

According to non-Muslim politicians these Taliban members have nothing to do with Islam.

My prediction: Denial will continue unless violence increases. In retrospect, the 3,000 victims of 9/11 did not shake non-Muslim complacency. The nearly 30,000 fatalities from Islamist terrorism since then also have not altered the official line. Perhaps 300,000 dead will cast aside worries about Islamist sensibilities and a reluctance to make profound social changes, replacing these with a determination to fight a radical utopian ideology; three million dead will surely suffice.

Without such casualties, however, politicians will likely continue with denial because it’s easier that way. I regret this – but prefer denial to the alternative.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.


March 9, 2015 addendum: For many more details on the cases cited here, see my weblog entry “Islam vs. History” at DanielPipes.org.

 

 

Also see:

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: How to Win the New Cold War Against Muslim Theocracy

Published on Mar 8, 2015 by Rebel Media

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy tells TheRebel.media’s Brian Lilley how the West should fight the spread of Muslim supremacism here and abroad.

Liberty and Islam Cannot Coexist – STOP ISLAM

Published on Mar 5, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

The meaning of the word Islam is literally “submission”. The goal of Islam, as stated in the Quran, is to force the world to submit to Islam. The meaning of the word Liberty is “you own you”. Islam and Liberty cannot coexist. The enemy of Islamic domination is information. Spread information about Islam. Spread it like Napalm.

***

slavery terrorism islamThe information in the above video has it’s origins in a book by Dr. Peter Hammond. The following is an article he wrote for Frontpage Magazine in 2008 where he explains his ideas on the effects of Muslim demographics on non-Muslim populations:

The following is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:

Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.

Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called ‘religious rights.’

When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to ‘the reasonable’ Muslim demands for their ‘religious rights,’ they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)).

As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:

United States — Muslim 1.0%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1%-2%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%

At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:

Denmark — Muslim 2%
Germany — Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
Spain — Muslim 4%
Thailand — Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.

They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. ( United States ).

France — Muslim 8%
Philippines — Muslim 5%
Sweden — Muslim 5%
Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad &Tobago — Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris –car-burnings). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam – Mohammed cartoons).

Guyana — Muslim 10%
India — Muslim 13.4%
Israel — Muslim 16%
Kenya — Muslim 10%
Russia — Muslim 10-15%

After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:
Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%

At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:

Bosnia — Muslim 40%
Chad — Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%

From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:

Albania — Muslim 70%
Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%
Qatar — Muslim 77.5%
Sudan — Muslim 70%

After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:

Bangladesh — Muslim 83%
Egypt — Muslim 90%
Gaza — Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%
Iran — Muslim 98%
Iraq — Muslim 97%
Jordan — Muslim 92%
Morocco — Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan — Muslim 97%
Palestine — Muslim 99%
Syria — Muslim 90%
Tajikistan — Muslim 90%
Turkey — Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%

100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace — there’s supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:

Afghanistan — Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%
Somalia — Muslim 100%
Yemen — Muslim 99.9%

Of course, that’s not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons.

‘Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world and all of us against the infidel. – Leon Uris, ‘The Haj’

It is good to remember that in many, many countries, such as France, the Muslim populations are centered around ghettos based on their ethnicity. Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. Therefore, they exercise more power than their national average would indicate.

Video: Information Age will be the Death of Islam

Published on Mar 3, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

We do not vandalize. We do not engage in hate speech. We have respect for the law. We do not harm our fellow citizens. We are slow to anger and when we finally get angry, we express that anger in a civilized way. UNDER THAT BANNER, I WILL STATE THE FOLLOWING:

Follower of Islam, I do not tolerate you. Your feigned or willful ignorance, about Islam, is no longer an excuse. I hold you personally accountable.

I am offended by you. I cannot and will not tolerate a person, who follows an ideology, which teaches the inferiority of women, the killing and hatred of Jews, the execution of homosexuals, the silencing of free speech, forced amputations, the stoning of rape victims, genital mutilation, and the violent overthrow of all non-Islamic governments and civilizations.

Islam is Nazism with a god. And I cannot and will not “coexist” with Nazis. I will not patronize your places of business. I will not hire you. I will not buy your products. I will not support politicians who support you. I will not be your friend. And if I am your neighbor, I will always be suspicious of you and cautious. I want you to feel so uncomfortable in my free country, in my civilized country, that you renounce your allegiance to this savage and fascist ideology or leave.

ISLAM IS THE ENEMY of free speech, of human rights and of Liberty. If you follow Islam, you are my enemy. I encourage you now to leave Islam and take your place among the civilized people of this world. But if you insist on remaining loyal to the brutal savagery of Islam, your enemies will grow faster than can be contained, by an Islamic lobbyist group or the media or any government agency. This is a zero sum game and the Civilized World will win.

ISLAM HAS BEEN AT WAR FOR 1,400 YEARS with freedom and all that is good. But my head is no longer hidden in the sand. I am at war with you. All people who value human rights, freedom and Liberty should be at war with you. And they will be soon enough, because the enemy of Islam is information and we are spreading information faster than you can keep up with. There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle now. The information age will be the death of Islam.

Your 1,400 year reign of terror is coming to an end. And you, follower of Islam, are on the wrong side of history.

It is time for all civilized people to find the moral clarity and the courage to GET ANGRY and to BECOME INTOLERANT. You have the ability to do this in a civilized way. We must not become like the savages whom we oppose – otherwise they win. Islam is Nazism with a god. Islam must be stopped. When you support the followers of Islam, you support an ideology that promotes genocide against the unbeliever – as clearly outlined in the Quran.

THE TIME HAS COME TO BOYCOTT THE FOLLOWERS OF ISLAM. FOLLOWER OF ISLAM, I PERSONALLY HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR SUPPORTING THIS FASCIST IDEOLOGY.

Tolerance is overrated. If you follow the Quran, you are the enemy of freedom and you are my enemy.

Robert Spencer in PJM: How The Western Intelligentsia Denies Islam’s History of War and Crime

juancole-300x174Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 5, 2015:

Over at PJ Media, I explore how voices on both “Left” and “Right” want you to stick your head in the sand and ignore centuries of imperialism and brutality.

The Western intelligentsia is very, very anxious to make sure that you have a positive view of Islam. Thus we see a steady stream of articles in the mainstream media assuring you that the Qur’an is benign, the U.S. Constitution is Sharia-compliant, and the Islamic State is not Islamic. These articles come in a steady stream, and they have to, because they are asking non-Muslims to disregard what they see every day — Muslims committing violence against non-Muslims and justifying it by referring to Islamic texts — and instead embrace a fictional construct: Islam the religion of peace and tolerance.

This takes a relentless barrage of propaganda, because with every new jihad atrocity, reality threatens to break through. It wasn’t accidental that Hitler’s Reich had an entire Ministry of Propaganda: lying to the public is a full-time job, as the cleverest of propaganda constructs is always threatened by the simple facts. This propaganda not just from the Left (the Huffington Post, Salon, etc.), but also from the Right, or at least the Right-leaning media (Forbes); it seems as if whatever divides Americans politically, they’re all united on one point: Islam is just great, and only bigoted, racist “Islamophobes” think otherwise.

Yet the pains that must be taken to establish this betray the futility of the enterprise. A sampling: establishment academic Juan Cole, a Board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has been established in court as a front group lobbying for the Islamic regime in Iran, pointed out last Tuesday in The Nation that Rudy Giuliani and Paul Wolfowitz had taken issue with Barack Obama over whether Islamic terrorism was really Islamic, and asserted that this question was “actually about what philosophers call ‘essentialism,’ and, as Giuliani’s and Wolfowitz’s own interventions make clear, it is about absolving the United States for its own role in producing the violent so-called ‘Caliphate’ of Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.”

Oh, really? Yet I readily agree with Cole that Bush’s removal of Saddam Hussein and naive trust that a stable Western-style republic would take its place was ill-considered, as I argued back in March 2003. And the Islamic State filled the vacuum thus created. But this is an entirely separate question from that of whether the Islamic State has anything to do with Islam or not. Whatever Paul Wolfowitz or Rudy Giuliani said or did is simply irrelevant to the question Cole claims to be investigating: if Giuliani and Wolfowitz are right that Islamic jihadis have something to do with Islam, that does nothing whatsoever to absolve the U.S. “for its own role in producing the violent so-called ‘Caliphate’ of Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.”

As for “essentialism,” Cole added:

“Essentialism when applied to human groups is always an error and always a form of bigotry. Zionists bombed the King David Hotel in British Mandate Palestine in 1948, killing dozens of civilians and some British intelligence officials. If a British official had responded then by arguing that ‘everyone knows that Judaism has something to do with what we’re fighting,’ it would be fairly clear what that official thought about Jews in general.”

“Essentialism when applied to human groups” may be “always an error and always a form of bigotry,” but when applied to belief systems it is not. Cole is, perhaps deliberately, conflating Islam and Muslims, and claiming that to speak of what Islam is and is not, which is established by reference to Islamic texts and teachings, is to make a bigoted judgment against all Muslims. Islam in all its forms teaches certain things. Its teachings are knowable. To speak about Muslims acting upon them, when they themselves explain and justify their actions by referring to those actions, is not bigotry, despite the endless charges to the contrary from leftists and Islamic supremacists. It is simply to notice reality.

Cole then embarks upon a labored argument to establish that the Salafi jihadis are a “sect” and a “destructive cult,” charging anyone who disagrees with him with the cardinal sin of “Orientalism,” claiming that “it is now typically forgotten that in the early twentieth century the Ku Klux Klan was a Protestant religious organization or that it came to power in the state of Indiana in the 1920s and comprised 30 percent of native-born white men there. It was a large social movement, with elements of the destructive cult, in the heart of North America. More recent groups such as Jim Jones’s People’s Temple and David Koresh’s Branch Davidians may have begun as high-tension sects, but at a certain point they became destructive cults. The refusal to see ISIL in these terms is just a form of Orientalism, a way of othering the Middle East and marking its culture as inherently threatening.”

Cole here ignores, of course, the fact that the KKK, the People’s Temple and the Branch Davidians represented obvious deviations from Protestant Christianity, and were condemned as such. The Islamic State and jihadists have likewise been condemned by Muslim authorities, but these condemnations have all too often rung hollow: Tahir ul-Qadri’s vaunted 300-page fatwa against terrorism doesn’t even mentionthe passages of the Qur’an that exhort believers to violence against unbelievers; and the recent “Letter to Baghdadi” from Muslim scholars to the self-styled caliph of the Islamic State endorsed central concepts of jihad doctrine that Western analysts usually think are limited only to “extremists.” Cole likewise ignores the fact that all the traditional schools of Islamic jurisprudence (madhahib) teach that the umma has the responsibility to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. It is not “othering the Middle East” to point this out — it is simply noting the severe limitations of Cole’s analogy.

Ultimately Cole’s argument rests on “essentialism” — that is, the idea that anything really is anything, as opposed to anything else. That this is nonsense, and that Cole knows it’s nonsense, is shown by this very article: Cole assumes that he and his readers both know what the KKK is and the People’s Temple and the Branch Davidians are, but Islam? — a mystery, and you’re a bigoted Orientalist Islamophobe if you think otherwise. In any case, even if one grants that Islam has no essence, nonetheless the Islamic State jihadis claim to be acting in accord with Islam, and make their case based upon an interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah that is well established in Islamic history and theology. The fact that other Muslims have a different understanding of Islam doesn’t negate this.

Even worse, Cole claims that the Islamic State “is put under the sign of religion, but it is in fact a form of nationalism appealing to medieval religious symbols.”

To claim that the Islamic State is a form of nationalism leads inevitably to the question: which nation? And that’s where Cole’s analysis is most absurd: the Islamic State is not nationalistic in any sense. It is neither Iraqi nor Syrian, for it has erased the border between the two. It is, in fact, the most internationalist of movements, with over 20,000 Muslims from all over the world traveling to Iraq and Syria to join it. The only nation that the Islamic State could conceivably be said to be fighting for is the international Muslim nation, the worldwide umma — but Cole can’t acknowledge that, as it would be granting the point he is trying clumsily to rule out.

Even clumsier, however, was Cole’s counterpart on the (relative) Right, Loren Thompson of Forbes. Thompson began his case that the Islamic State is not Islamic by noting that “when you do the math, it appears that the ‘addressable market’ for ISIS ideas is 5% of the global Muslim community, and as of today most of that market isn’t buying.” Yes, and the Bolsheviks were never a majority in Russia, and the National Socialists never won an absolute majority in a German election. But where is the Muslim pushback against this organized, energized vanguard? We have recently seen hundreds of thousands of Muslims demonstrate against cartoons of Muhammad; there have not been any Muslim demonstrations, however, against the Islamic State — much less efforts to teach against its understanding of Islam in Muslim communities.

Thompson’s case went downhill from there. His second point against the Islamic character of the Islamic State was that “non-Muslims have committed similar atrocities.” But of course, the fact that there is “nothing uniquely Islamic” about what the Islamic State does in no way establishes that its behavior isn’t sanctioned and justified by Islamic texts and teachings….

Read the rest here.

Islamic Hatred for the Jews And How it Got That Way

siege of the fortressAn Inquiry into Islam:

The following was written by F. W. Burleigh, author of It’s All About Muhammad.

On Tuesday, March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of the United States Congress at the invitation of the Speaker of the House John Boehner. This will take place despite strong opposition from the White House, whose approval for this event was not sought.

Netanyahu will address the danger that an Iran with nuclear weapons would represent not only for Israel, but also for the United States and the entire world. More pointedly he will seek to persuade Congress not to support a deal that the Obama administration appears to be working out with Iran that will guarantee that Iran will soon have such weapons. Allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons would be catastrophic, Netanyahu will say.

His concerns are well founded. Iran’s leaders hate Israel for merely existing, and they have a history of threatening to annihilate the Jewish state. Nuclear weapons would give them a means to do so in one strike. One of Iran’s former presidents, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a man considered a moderate by Iranian standards, said that “it is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”

It will be interesting to hear what Netanyahu has to say about “such an eventuality.” It is likely to be a momentous speech, but due to the time allotted, he will have to leave out much of what needs to be explained — chiefly, why these theocratic Iranian leaders hate Israel so much that they would love to incinerate it out of existence.

The short explanation: It has to do with an ancient hatred so thick you would need a chainsaw to cut through it.

Since it is unlikely the Israeli prime minister will address this phenomenon of hatred, I have written a speech for him that says what needs to be said about this very important subject. Perhaps he will see fit to insert this into his speech. The theme of this is Iran’s hatred for Jews and how it got that way:

“Distinguished members of Congress, I want to emphasize that this hatred did not come about as a result of creation of the State of Israel in 1948, nor from any of the conflicts, major and minor, between Israelis and Arabs that have occurred since then. The cause of the hatred goes back 1,400 years to the founder of Islam. Muslims hate Jews because Muhammad hated Jews. Muhammad hated Jews because they refused to accept his claim that he was their prophet.

This hatred is the story of Muhammad and his claim that God talked to him through an angel and dictated the contents of the Koran to him. It is the history of the rejection Muhammad first got from his compatriots in Mecca who thought he was devil possessed. Muhammad proclaimed to them that he was of the line of the Jewish prophets, and was commissioned by God to restore true faith in the one God of Abraham. They should listen to him and obey him if they wanted to achieve paradise and avoid hellfire. The Meccans put up with him for ten years before deciding they had to kill him to preserve their way of life. He fled to Yathrib, now called Medina, two hundred miles north of Mecca.

This is where the Jewish part of the story begins. Half of the population of the sprawling valley was Jewish, divided among three major tribes. The other half of the population consisted of Arabs who practiced the same polytheism as the Meccans. Muhammad built a mosque in the center of the valley and turned it into his al-qaeda, his base of operations for a war he declared against the Meccans. This consisted first of attacks on their caravans and ended in pitched battles. Within 18 months, he began to purge the Jewish population from Yathrib.

When Muhammad first arrived in their valley, the Jews listened politely to him, but when they analyzed the prophet verses he had come up with in Mecca, they realized they were not based on the Torah. They were versions of the derivative Jewish legends about the prophets, but even then there were significant variations, yet Muhammad claimed his versions were the correct ones because he got everything from God. When he insisted they accept him as their prophet, the Jews laughed in his face and began mocking him.

While in Mecca, Muhammad had developed curse prayers — hate prayers — that he and his followers recited against the Meccans. He now turned his curses on the Jews. He branded them as apes and pigs and stirred up hatred against them in diatribes from the pulpit at his mosque. “They are mischief makers. They are fools. The Jews deny the truth,” he screamed on one occasion. (Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, p. 248)

He composed numerous Koran verses that seethed with the hatred he felt for the Jews for rejecting him. In verse after verse he warned them that hellfire awaited them for not believing in him. “Sufficient for the Jew is the Flaming Fire!” he said in Koran 4:55. In another he said, “There is a grievous punishment awaiting them. Satan tells them not to believe so they will end up in Hell.” (Koran 59:14)

He made life for them a hell on earth. His hatred turned deadly after a battle near the caravan stop of Badr in which his small band of 300 men defeated a Meccan army three times larger. This battle took place about 18 months after his flight from Mecca. When he returned victorious to Yathrib, he began assassinating Jewish poets who had mocked him in their poems. Within a month of his victory over the Meccans, he forced one of the Jewish tribes to leave and confiscated all of their property. He wanted to behead all of them, but was dissuaded by one of their pagan allies.

genocideFrom the battle of Badr on, the Muhammad story is largely the account of atrocities he committed, particularly against the Jews. A year after purging Yathrib of the first Jewish tribe, he forced another to leave under penalty of death if they did not, and he distributed their fortresses, date plantations, and farms to the elite of his Meccan followers. This had been Jewish land for nearly a thousand years. The remaining Jewish tribe, the Qurayzas, suffered a worse fate after they took sides against him during a Meccan assault that ended in failure because of a defensive ditch Muhammad dug around Yathrib. He beheaded as many as 900 men and boys. His attacks against the Jews continued with the conquest of Khaybar, a wealthy Jewish oasis known as the date farm of Western Arabia, and other ancient Jewish centers in western Arabia.

On his deathbed he ordered his followers not to allow any religion but his to exist on the Arabian Peninsula — or anywhere else for that matter.

Hatred is as transmissible as electricity. Because Muslims believe Muhammad’s Koran came from God and that everything he did was in accordance with the will of God, the Muslims of his day absorbed his hatreds. His hatred of the Jews became their hatred of the Jews. This hatred has been passed down generation after generation, and today we see it with the Iranians. It is because of the hatred that has been transmitted through 14 centuries that the Iranians seek to destroy Israel.”

Perhaps Netanyahu can be persuaded to include these remarks in his speech. It is the story behind the story, and it is the story that people need to hear.

Frank Burleigh is the author of It’s All About Muhammad, A Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet. He blogs at www.itsallaboutmuhammad.com.