In his own words: Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam

future-must-not-belong-to-those-who-slander-prophet-islam-mohammad-barack-hussein-obama-muslimBy Thomas Lifson:

A website called Now The End Begins has compiled 40 comments by Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam. Collectively, they create quite an interesting picture.  I admit that there may be instances of the president speaking as favorably of Christianity as he does of Islam, but I am not aware of them. I do remember in the 2008 campaign that he said he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and that was in response to public awareness of his attendance at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, Trinity United. What the president left unsaid is the nature of Jesus as understood in Black Liberation Theology. But that is a discussion for another time.

The list has been reprinted here and here. (hat tip :iOwnTheWorld.com). See what you think:

1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

6. “Islam has always been part of America”

7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

Here he is on Christianity:

1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?  Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination?  Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

Read more at American Thinker

Islam and Human Rights

militants1n-3-web-450x343 (1)by :

Recently, I met a Syrian Salafist while speaking to Leaders of Democracy Fellows about Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Islam and human rights violations in Syria.

The individual who lives in Syria, and who seems to sympathize with Jubhat Al- Nusrah (Al-Nusrah Front) drew several distinctions between Islamic objectives of the global Jihad movement, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Jubhat Al-Nusrah.

The argument was that these powerful movements in Syria and beyond attempt to create an Islamic state anchored in Shari’a law, the teachings of Islam, Muhammad, and Allah. But the difference between Jubhat Al-Nusrah and ISIL, according to the person, was that the mission of the Jubhat Al-Nusrah aims at only establishing Islamic social order and an Islamic state in Syria. Whether this mission spreads to other countries is not a part of their objectives, though other countries can adopt this political Islamic platform if they desire.

On the other hand, the objectives and mission of ISIL is a return to the Caliphate system and establishment of an Islamic state throughout the region. In other words, creating an Islamic state and Shari’a law-based government in Syria or in Iraq is not sufficient and will not fulfill the desire of God, Muhammad, and Islamic teachings.

Currently, we can contend that Syrian oppositional groups are functionally dominated by Jihadists from around the world, other Islamist groups, and external groups attempting to create an Islamic order and pursue their own ideological goals.

Regarding these Islamic movements, my major question is on where human rights stand for them, regardless of the minor or significant differences between these Islamist oppositional groups?

Recently, a seven-year-old boy died because fighters believed him to be an apostate. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a 15-year-old Syrian boy was also killed in the northern city of Aleppo in front of his parents because the Islamist groups believed what the boy said was heretical.

Some of the proponents of Islam and Islamic laws would point out that the ideology and religion of Islam sit at the heart of human rights standards and are totally compatible with the modern notion of human rights.

But when I delve into the issue, and going into the nuances and details of the question, they seem to dodge answering. How can Islam be compatible with a modern notion of human rights and gender equality, when social and legal laws of Allah’s words in Quran, depict women as inferior to men in every aspect?

Article three of the universal declaration of human rights, states that ” Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. But in Islamic countries, a person who rejects and abandons Islam has no right to life. According to Islam, unbelievers commit the gravest sin in Islam.

While article four of the universal declaration of human rights says “one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”, slavery is officially recognized and accepted in Quran.

Article five states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Cases of stoning, lashings, and other violent acts, are rampant in Islamic countries.

How can Islam be compatible with human rights when, according to Muslims and the Quran, Allah specifically states in the Quran that a woman’s testimony in a court of law is considered half the value to that of a man?

Read more at Front Page

 

The Ultimate Source of Islamic Hate for Infidels

stop christian genocideBy Raymond  Ibrahim:

Who is ultimately responsible for the ongoing attacks on Christians and their churches throughout the Islamic world?

Focusing on one of the most obvious nations where Christians are regularly targeted—Egypt’s Coptic Christians—one finds that the “mob” is the most visible and obvious culprit.  One Copt accused of some transgression against Muslim sensibilities—from having relations with a Muslim woman, to ruining a Muslim man’s shirt—is often enough to prompt Muslim mobs to destroy entire Christian villages and their churches.

Recently, for example, after her cross identified Mary Sameh George as a Christian, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood mob attacked, beat, and slaughtered her.

However, a recent Arabic op-ed titled “Find the True Killer of Mary” looks beyond the mob to identify the true persecutor of Christians in Egypt. According to it:

Those who killed the young and vulnerable Mary Sameh George, for hanging a cross in her car, are not criminals, but rather wretches who follow those who legalized for them murder, lynching, dismemberment, and the stripping bare of young Christian girls—without every saying “kill.”  [Islamic cleric] Yassir Burhami and his colleagues who announce their hate for Christians throughout satellite channels and in mosques—claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God—they are the true killers who need to be tried and prosecuted…  The slayers of Mary Sameh are simply a wretched mob, with the body of a bull but the brain of a worm.  It’s not the puppets on the string who need punishing, but rather the mastermind who moves the puppets with his bloody fingers behind closed curtains that needs punishing.

One fact certainly validates this Arabic op-ed’s assertions: the overwhelming majority of attacks on Christians in Egypt and other Muslim nations—including the slaughter of Mary Sameh George—occur on Friday, the one day of the week that Muslims congregate in mosques for communal prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can easily be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially and consistently violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

The Arabic op-ed also does well to name Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami as one of those who “announce their hate for Christians throughout the satellite channels and in mosques, claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God.”

For example, Dr. Burhami—the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement—once issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, forbidding Muslim taxi- and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

As for hating non-Muslim “infidels,” many Islamic clerics, especially Salafis, believe that the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity” (or wala’ wa bara’) commands Muslims never to befriend or be loyal to non-Muslims.

Burhami himself appears on video asserting that if a Muslim man marries a Christian or Jewish woman (known in Islamic parlance as “People of the Book”)—even he must still hate his wife, because she is an infidel.

Burhami

When asked at a conference how Islam can allow a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman and yet expect him to hate her, Burhami expounded as follows:

Burhami even said that the Muslim husband cannot initiate greetings to his non-Muslim wife when he comes home—according to the teachings of Islam’s prophet as recorded in the hadith.Where’s the objection? Do all men love their wives?  How many married couples live together despite disagreements and problems? Huh? That being the case, he [Muslim husband] may love the way she [non-Muslim wife] looks, or love the way she raises the children, or love that she has money. This is why he’s discouraged from marrying among the People of the Book—because she has no [real] religion. He is ordered to make her hate her religion while continuing marriage/sexual relations with her. This is a very standard matter….  Of course he should tell her that he hates her religion. He must show her that he hates her because of her religion, and because she is an infidel. But if possible, treat her well—perhaps that will cause her to convert to Islam. He should invite her to Islam and call her to Allah….  In fact, let me tell you: whoever rapes a woman, does he necessarily love her? Or is he just sleeping with her? He’s sleeping with her for her body’s sake only, and he does not love her in reality, because if he loved her, he wouldn’t have hurt her. Therefore it is possible to have sexual relations [between a Muslim man and a Christian or Jewish woman] without love. This is possible, but as we said, he is commanded to hate her (emphasis added).

Like all other Islamic clerics, Burhami justified “infidel-wife-hating” by quoting some of the Koran verses that form the cornerstone of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity:

Otherwise what do you do with the undisputed texts [of the Koran], such as “Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist [or reject submission to] Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred… “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors…”  [Koran 58:22 and 5:51, Yusuf Ali translation].  What do you do with such a verse? What do you do will all these verses?

Indeed, what does a Muslim do with all these Koran verses and sayings attributed to Islam’s prophet Muhammad?

Such is the dilemma.

From here it becomes clear that the aforementioned Arabic op-ed discussing the slaughter of Mary Sameh George is only partially correct.  It is true that behind the mindless mob stand Islamic clerics like Burhami, inciting hatred for Christians and other infidels.  But that is not the complete picture; for behind all these clerics stand Islam’s scriptures—the Koran and hadith—commanding enmity for the infidel.

In short, it’s not just a few “radical clerics”—a few “rotten apples”—that incite mobs to attack Christians, but rather the core texts of Islam itself.

The False Dichotomy: Moderate Muslims vs. Radicals

islam-will-dominate-the-world-450x319by :

The liberal mainstream media has long portrayed the picture of moderate (good) Muslims versus extremist Muslims. This narrative has been institutionalized in the thinking of Western Muslim scholars who advocate for Islam as well. This has led to the thought that Islam is an ideology and religion of peace, because a majority of Muslims fall in the category of moderate or good Muslims.

If we analyze this dichotomy in-depth, the reality of this phenomenon on the ideology of Islam can become clear. Besides analytical and theoretical frameworks, I will also draw on my own experience growing up in the Muslim world.

We were taught in school that the Qur’an has descended, word for word, from the creator Allah, through Muhammad. This is accepted throughout the entirety of the Islamic word. If we take this speculation as accurate information of Islam, then every Muslim is supposed to follow Allah’s verses exactly in order to be a good Muslim and to be considered a representative of the real ideology and religion of Islam.

Secondly, if we take the assumption that the Qur’an is made up of Allah’s words as accurate, then Qur’anic verses should be followed for eternity, as long as human beings exist in this universe. No changes are allowed to Allah’s rules and words because Allah, as Muslims say, is perfect and his knowledge is absolute, as a result, his words cannot be relative and every word he utters or reveals should apply in any time of human history.

In fact, even Muhammad himself repeatedly said two things a Muslim should follow are the Qur’an (words of Allah) and the Hadith (Muhammad’s teachings).

Considering this information and based on these standards, a true Muslim, who represent the real Islam, should be the one who follows and obeys Allah’s words (from the Qur’an) completely.  As a result, anyone who ignores some of the rules is not, and cannot be, considered a reflection of Islam, a good Muslim, or even a Muslim. Accordingly, Allah’s words and rules are not a basket of vegetable to choose from, meaning that one cannot obey some orders and disregards others.

In this concept, the whole dichotomy of a good Muslim as opposed to an extremist as portrayed by the mainstream liberal media must be altered. By this definition, real, true, and good Muslims who represent Islam, are people such as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah Khomeini (the founder of Iran’s political theocracy), Osama Bin Laden, Hassan Nasrullah (the leader of Hezbollah), Ayman Alzawaheri, Hasib Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinjead, and the likes, because they follow the Qur’an and Allah’s social and legal rules word for word. All these people who committed crimes against humanity will be considered to be the real Muslims, representing the actual ideology of Islam, Qur’an, Allah’s words, and Muhammad’s teachings because they follow the rules of Islam.

Read more at Front Page

Why ‘Moderate Islam’ is an Oxymoron

By Raymond Ibrahim:

At a time when terrorism committed in the name of Islam is rampant, we are continuously being assured—especially by three major institutions that play a dominant role in forming the Western mindset, namely, mainstream media, academia, and government—that the sort of Islam embraced by “radicals,” “jihadis,” and so forth, has nothing to do with “real” Islam.

quran (1)“True” Islam, so the narrative goes, is intrinsically free of anything “bad.”  It’s the nut-jobs who hijack it for their own agenda that are to blame.

More specifically, we are told that there exists a “moderate” Islam and an “extremist” Islam—the former good and true, embraced by a Muslim majority, the latter a perverse sacrilege practiced by an exploitative minority.

But what do these dual adjectives—“moderate” and “extremist”—ultimately mean in the context of Islam?  Are they both equal and viable alternatives insofar as to how Islam is understood?  Are they both theologically legitimate?  This last question is particularly important, since Islam is first and foremost a religious way of life centered around the words of a deity (Allah) and his prophet (Muhammad)—the significance of which is admittedly unappreciated by secular societies.

Both terms—“moderate” and “extremist”—have to do with degree, or less mathematically, zeal: how much, or to what extent, a thing is practiced or implemented.  As Webster’s puts it, “moderate” means “observing reasonable limits”; “extremist” means “going to great or exaggerated lengths.”

It’s a question, then, of doing either too much or too little.

The problem, however, is that mainstream Islam offers a crystal-clear way of life, based on the teachings of the Koran and Hadith—the former, containing what purport to be the sacred words of Allah, the latter, the example (or sunna, hence “Sunnis”) of his prophet, also known as the most “perfect man” (al-insan al-kamil).   Indeed, based on these two primary sources and according to normative Islamic teaching, all human actions fall into five categories: forbidden actions, discouraged actions, neutral actions recommended actions, and obligatory actions.

In this context, how does a believer go about “moderating” what the deity and his spokesman have commanded?    One can either try to observe Islam’s commandments or one can ignore them: any more or less is not Islam—a word which means “submit” (to the laws, or sharia, of Allah).

The real question, then, is what do Allah and his prophet command Muslims (“they who submit”) to do?  Are radicals “exaggerating” their orders? Or are moderate Muslims simply “observing reasonable limits”—a euphemism for negligence?—when it comes to fulfilling their commandments?

In our highly secularized era, where we are told that religious truths are flexible or simply non-existent, and that any and all interpretations and exegeses are valid, the all-important question of “What does Islam command?” loses all relevance.

Hence why the modern West is incapable of understanding Islam.

Indeed, only recently, a Kenyan mosque leader said that the Westgate massacre, where Islamic gunmen slaughtered some 67 people, “was justified.  As per the Koran, as per the religion of Islam, Westgate was 100 percent justified.” Then he said: “Radical Islam is a creation of people who do not believe in Islam. We don’t have radical Islam, we don’t have moderates, we don’t have extremists. Islam is one religion following the Koran and the Sunna” [emphasis added].

Note his point that “Radical Islam is a creation of people who do not believe in Islam,” a clear reference to the West which coined the phrase “radical Islam.”  Ironically, the secular West, which relegates religious truths to the realm of “personal experience,” feels qualified to decide what is and is not “radical” about Islam.

Consider one example: Allah commands Muslims to “Fight those among the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth [i.e., Islam], until they pay the jizya [tribute] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued”  [Koran 9:29].

How can one interpret this verse to mean anything other than what it plainly says?  Wherein lies the ambiguity, the room for interpretation?  Of course there are other teachings and allusions in the Koran that by necessity lend themselves over to the fine arts of interpretation, or ijtihad.  But surely the commands of Koran 9:29 are completely straightforward?

In fact, Muhammad’s 7th century followers literally acted on this and similar verses (e.g., 9:5), launching the first Muslim conquests, which saw the subjugation of millions of Christians, Jews, and others, and the creation of the “Muslim world.”  Such jihadi expansion continued until Islam was beaten on the battlefield by a resurgent West some two or three centuries ago.

Read more at CBN with video

Western Ignorance of the ‘Conditions of Omar’

Church in RaqqaBy Raymond Ibrahim:

A jihadi group occupying the Syrian town of Raqqa recently gave Christian minorities living there three choices: 1) convert to Islam, 2) remain Christian but pay tribute and accept third-class subject status, or 3) die by the sword.

According to the BBC, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria issued a directive

citing the Islamic concept of “dhimma”, [which] requires Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety. It says Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public.  Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives.  The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices—they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS’ conditions, or reject their control and risk being killed.  “If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” the statement said.

Because several Western media outlets uncharacteristically reported on this latest atrocity against Syrian Christians, many Westerners are shocked—amazed to hear of such draconian conditions.

In reality, however, these three choices are fully grounded in Islamic teachings, as shall be demonstrated below.

So why is the West, here in the “information age,” utterly if not abhorrently ignorant of the teachings of Islam?   Because those responsible for making such knowledge available—specifically academia, media, and government—are more interested in whitewashing Islam andbemoaning Islamophobia (see pgs. 219-249 of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for specifics).

Western Dissembling

Most symbolic of all this is that right around the same time news that jihadis were subjugating and extorting jizya-money from Syrian Christians appeared, the Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.,  held a seminar discussing how Islam is misunderstood and being demonized by so-called “Islamophobes.”

I have direct experience of this.  Many years ago, as a graduate student at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, my interest in medieval Islamic history, Sharia, and jihad received askance looks from professors—not least because most classes offered were about the evils of colonialism and Orientalism, or Islamic “feminism.”

It was the same when I worked at the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, a governmental institution; there, our conferences regularly focused on the purported achievements of Islamic civilization.

As for the endemic Muslim persecution of Christians—past or present—apparently only an “Islamophobe” would raise that topic up.

Speaking of government, also around the same time jihadis were giving Christians the three classic choices of Islam—conversion, subjugation, or death—a delegation of Syrian Christian clergy came to the Senate Arms Services Committee meeting room to offer testimony concerning the sufferings of Syria’s Christians.  Then,

Sen. John McCain marched into the committee room yelling, according to a high-level source that attended the meeting, and quickly stormed out. “He was incredibly rude,” the source told Judicial Watch “because he didn’t think the Syrian church leaders should even be allowed in the room.” Following the shameful tantrum McCain reentered the room and sat briefly but refused to make eye contact with the participants, instead ignoring them by looking down at what appeared to be random papers. The outburst was so embarrassing that Senator Graham, also an advocate of U.S. military intervention in Syria, apologized for McCain’s disturbing outburst. “Graham actually apologized to the group for McCain’s behavior,” according to the source, who sat through the entire meeting. “It was truly unbelievable.”

Less dramatically but equally revealing, CIA chief John Brennan recently declared that the ideology of those offering Christians three choices is “a perverse and very corrupt interpretation of the Koran,” one that has “hijacked” Islam and “really distorted the teachings of Muhammad.”

And if the attempts to suppress the reality of Christian suffering under Islam by academia, media, and government were not enough, months and years back, when the plight of Syria’s Christians was becoming known, even random (but supposedly nonbiased and independent) think tanks and writers also tried to suppress it.

Is it any wonder, then, that Christians in Syria being offered three choices—Islam, subjugation, or death—is mindboggling to the average person in the West, appearing as a wild aberration?

The Conditions of Omar

Yet knowledge of the particulars of Islam’s three-fold choice has been available for centuries; early Western peoples were much acquainted with it, including the now much maligned “Orientalists.”

Whereas Koran 9:29 provides divine sanction to fight the “People of the Book”  (namely, Christians and Jews) “until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued,” the lesser known Conditions of Omar (also known as the Pact of Omar) lays out in detail how they are to feel themselves subdued.

Named after the second caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab (r. 634 to 644), the Conditions was purportedly agreed upon between the caliph and a community of Christians conquered by invading Muslims, ironically in the region of Syria.  It has since been referenced in most major works on the treatment of dhimmis—non-Muslims living under Islamic authority.

Read more at PJ Media

When Democracy and Multi-Culturalism Collide

Islam’s Inadvertent Patterns

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
March 10, 2014

W.T. title: “Islam’s inadvertent adverse effects on adherents: Strict traditional laws impact modern life”

How does Islam shape the way Muslims live? The religion’s formal requirements are the narrow base for a far wider structure of patterns that extend the formal rules of Islam, stretching them in unexpected and unplanned ways. A few examples:

The Koran strictly bans the consumption of pork, leading to the virtual disappearance of domesticated pigs in Muslim-majority areas, then their replacement by sheep and goats. These latter overgrazed the land which led, as the geographer Xavier de Planhol observes, to “a catastrophic deforestation” that in turn “is one of the basic reasons for the sparse landscape particularly evident in the Mediterranean districts of Islamic countries.” Note the progression from Koranic dietary injunction to the desertification of vast tracts of land. The scriptural command was not intended to cause ecological damage, but it did.

Islam’s unattainably high standards for governmental behavior meant historically that existing leaders, with their many faults, alienated Muslim subjects, who responded by refusing to serve those leaders in administrative and military service, thereby compelling rulers to seek personnel elsewhere. This led to their systematically deploying slaves as soldiers and administrators, thereby creating a key institution that lasted a millennium from the eighth century.

 

The Ottoman Janissaries were the longest lasting and most important corps of slave soldiers.

Islamic doctrine ingrains a sense of Muslim superiority, a disdain for the faith and civilization of others, which has had two vast implications in modern times: making Muslims the most rebellious subjects against colonial rule and obstructing Muslims from learning from the West to modernize.

Those scriptures also imbue a hostility toward non-Muslims which in turn generates an assumption about non-Muslims harboring a like hostility toward Muslims. In modern times, this projection has created a susceptibility to conspiracy theories which have had many practical consequences: for example, because only Muslims worry that anti-polio vaccinations secretly render their children infertile, polio has effectively become a Muslim-only scourge in 26 countries.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Islamic hajj, began in the seventh century as a local custom that then became an international meeting that facilitated the transfer of everything from Islamist ideas and political movements (the Idrisis of Libya) to luxury goods (ivory) plants (rubber to Southeast Asia, rice to Europe), and diseases (meningococciskin infections, infectious diarrheal and blood-borne diseases, and respiratory tract infections, including perhaps the brand-new MERS-CoV).

 

The hajj grew from a local ceremony into an international event at which many important exchanges took place.

Other Islamic injunctions also have unintended, negative health implications. The imperative for modesty has led some Muslim women to wear full head and body coverings (niqabs and burqas) which cause Vitamin D deficiency, discourage exercise, and are implicated in a host of medical problems, including rashes, respiratory disease, rickets, osteomalacia, and multiple sclerosis.

The daytime fast during Ramadan often leads observant Muslims to exercise less and to “tend to overeat upon breaking their fast, and usually the meal involves heavy, fatty foods that are high in calories,” notes the head of the Emirates Diabetes Society. One survey in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, found 60 percent of respondents reporting excessive weight gain after Ramadan.

 

Ramadan, ironically, is both a month of fasting and of overeating.

A preference for first-cousin marriages, which harks back to pre-Islamic tribal practices (to keep wealth in the family and to benefit from daughters’ fertility) over approximately fifty generations has led to widespread inbreeding with negative consequences, including about twice the incidence rate of such genetic disorders as thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, deafness, muteness, and autism.

With regard to women, injunctions about mahram protection by male relatives, and a vastly lower social and legal status combined to create such inadvertent patterns as physical seclusion, obsession with virginity, honor killingsfemale genital mutilation, and (Saudi-style) gender apartheid. Polygamy creates permanent anxiety in wives.

Although orphans enjoy an honored status in Islamic law (kafala), that honor is tied to a tribal structure incompatible with modern society, resulting in Muslim orphans today persistently discriminated against, even by Muslims in the West.

Islam’s scriptures have provided the base from which many other patterns evolved, including: the establishment of dynasties through conquest, not by internal overthrow; recurrent problems with dynastic succession; power leading to wealth, not the reverse; the near absence of municipal governments; inadequate regulation of cities; laws arising from ad hoc decisions, not formal legislation, reliance on hawalas for money transfers, and the practice of suicide terrorism.

Inadvertent patterns, sometimes called Islamicate, change over time, with some (slave soldiers) becoming defunct and others (polio) starting only recently. These patterns remain as powerful today as in premodern times and are key to understanding Islam and Muslim life.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Pro-Iranian Shiites to Legalize Marrying 9-Year-Old Girls in Iraq

16718Front Page, by :

Obama’s plan for Iraq has really worked out great. Iran is recreating Iraq in its own horrifying Islamic image.

About two dozen Iraqi women demonstrated on Saturday in Baghdad against a draft law approved by the Iraqi cabinet that would permit the marriage of nine-year-old girls and automatically give child custody to fathers.

“On this day of women, women of Iraq are in mourning,” the protesters shouted.

“We believe that this is a crime against humanity,” said Hanaa Eduar, a prominent Iraqi human rights activist. “It would deprive a girl of her right to live a normal childhood.”

Shi’ite Islamists have come to lead the government and look to impose their religious values on society at large.

It describes girls as reaching puberty at nine, making them fit for marriage, makes the father sole guardian of his children at two and condones a husband’s right to insist on sexual intercourse with his wife whenever he wishes.

The legislation is referred to as the Ja’afari Law, named after the sixth Shi’ite imam Ja’afar al-Sadiq, who founded his own school of jurisprudence.

The draft was put forward by Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimari, a member of the Shi’ite Islamist Fadila party.

Mohammed, the Muslim prophet, married a six-year-old, so Islamic law has no problem with raping nine-year-olds.

What U Penn Teaches Muslim Law Students

20140304_burkajusticeUSAby LANCE SILVER, ANDREW PALASHEWSKY:

Saturday evening, Feb. 22nd, University of Pennsylvania Law School hosted the “Eighth Annual Muslim Law Students Conference,” on the topic of “MUSLIM OBLIGATIONS IN PROMOTING JUSTICE IN AMERICA.” Our interest in Islamic law as American citizens is to learn first-hand exactly what Muslim American law students are being taught.

The fairly innocuous and well-meaning title of the program masked the true intent, which we believe is to lull the audience and our society into a false sense of complacency regarding the real aims and effects of Islamic incursion in our society – which Stephen Coughlin covers in his must-read thesis, ” To Our Great Detriment.”

We were greeted with “As-Salamu ‘ Alaykum” (Peace be upon you), upon entering the conference and by each speaker, prior to presentation. What a comforting greeting. I responded with “Aslim Taslam.”

As is typically the case, conference attendees were highly educated and polite. This is a high-end mix of people who are difficult to fault on any personal level.

The attendees, primarily American and foreign Muslim law students, as well as a few foreign lawyers, presented a mixed canvas racially, yet each person is culturally Islamic and a member of the ummah, the global body of believers. The speakers and each future American lawyer we spoke with advised us that Islam has been misinterpreted for 1,400 years. Isn’t that amazing? As if we had no ability to study the history of Islam from both Muslim and non-Muslim sources on our own.

We are authoring this report in response to what we believe is attempted hoodwinking, enabled by the practice of Taqiyya and Kitman, forms of lying encouraged in Islam, if such lying is to be useful for the spread of Islam. No other religion/culture encourages its adoption by lying. But, because Islam is also a political theory that embodies military notions, the ability to further aims by deception is enshrined in the Qur’an and in Shari’ah, as it would be on the battlefield. The intended recipients of this mendacity were not only us, but the attendees and the law school itself.

The first speaker, Professor Faisal Kutty, presented us with a bogus definition of the terms “jihad” and “Islamophobia.” He spoke of jihad, as if it were apple pie with vanilla ice cream, splitting the term jihad into its normative components – the “Lesser Jihad,” meaning defensive or offensive military struggle, and the “Greater Jihad,” meaning, personal struggle for good against evil. She downplayed the importance of Jihad’s military meaning to relative insignificance, ignoring the vast majority of references in the Qur’an on Jihad, compelling Muslims to wage a military struggle as the Sixth Pillar of Islam.

Jihad is offensive.  Duplicity and deception as tactics to throw off the opponent are inherent in Islam and that’s why Islam states that jihad is purely defensive. In fact, jihad was, and is still, used as the normative call to action in the military conquest of vast tracts of formerly Christian, Jewish ,Hindu lands within 100 years of its founding by Muhammad. That empire still stands in terms of the Islamic culture it forced on the conquered Nations and cultures.

The reality of jihad is that Islam considers itself to be supremacist and must triumph, be victorious, over all other religions and cultures. Islam compels Muslims to spread Islam to all corners of the earth, first by invitation, Aslim Taslam, which means, “Submit and Be At Peace.”

And, if that isn’t effective, then by the sword or forcing subject people to accept Dhimmi status.  Living in dhimmitude relegates subjects to second-class status, with vastly diminished rights, including no right for the Dhimmi peoples to defend themselves.  Muhammad conquered many with that simple statement, Aslim-Taslam, which was intended to strike terror into the hearts of those offered the choice, and it did. This is the beginning of the Muslim Mafia mentality, perfected by the Ikhwan, Wahhabis, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.

Likening it to the Mafia is no facile rhetoric. Islam offered three choices to the people of the book; Convert, Pay the Jy’izia tax or lose the right to life and property. So when Islam characterized this choice as the benefit of protection, one must ask, protection from whom? Obviously, the answer is protection from Islam, which reserved the right to take life and property if the conditions of conversion or the payment of the Jy’izia tax were not met. How different is this from the Black hand extorting protection money from the neighborhood grocer?

If Islam does not succeed in becoming the world’s only true religion, then Muslims will not have fulfilled Allah’s commands in the Qur’an. Thus, Muslims are obligated to proselytize Islam throughout the world through da’wa and Jihad. Whether violently or nonviolently, this is accomplished with 100% impunity from Allah, as per the Qur’an. One could make the comparison with Christianity being a proselytizing religion, but Christianity as found in the Gospels does not allow the use of violence to spread the faith, whereas, Islam specifically does. Muslims may quote the Koran saying, “There is no compulsion in religion.” But, that statement is superseded and abrogated by later statements in the Koran that enthusiastically endorse violent compulsion in the spread of Islam.

Professor Faisal Kutty went on to make further incredible claims, saying that Terrorism had only killed 5 people in the last ten years. In this, presumably he was referring to within the US, and ignoring events like Major Hassan’s slaughter of fellow military personnel at Fort Hood, Texas. But, he also ignored the more than 10,000 terror attacks worldwide, in the last 10 years; almost all committed by Muslims and in which, ironically, many of the victims were fellow Muslims as well. Thousands of Christians, Jews and Hindus were victims as well.

He also claimed that the popular definition of jihad is only accepted by the Taliban and by al-Qaeda, stating that they had sought to reinterpret the historical meaning of jihad to support their violent means. In this, he ignored 1,400 years of written teaching on Islam readily available from Muslim sources, as well as established treatment of jihad in recognized Sharia sources like, “The Reliance Of The Traveller,”  Shafi’i Shari’ah , Section O9.1- Page 600 – Justice-jihad.

In reality, his analysis is Taqiyya and Kitman. Is this what the law students are taught about jihad by a respected law professor?

Read more: Family Security Matters

Muslims Captured and Enslaved Hundreds of Americans

the-pirate-coast-richard-zacksCitizen Warrior:

The following passages are excerpted from the excellent book, The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805, by Richard Zacks:

In 1801, just after the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, Tripoli had become the first country ever to declare war on the United States. The ruler, Yussef Karamanli, had ordered his Janissaries to chop down the flagpole at the U.S. consulate to signal his grave displeasure with the slow trickle of gifts from America. Jefferson, when he learned the news, had responded by sending a small fleet to confront Tripoli and try to overawe it into a peace treaty.

For more than two centuries, the Barbary countries of Morocco, Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli (now called Libya) had been harassing Christian ships, seizing cargo and capturing citizens. Algiers once boasted more than 30,000 Christian slaves, including one Miguel Cervantes, before he wrote Don Quixote. European powers in the 1500s and 1600s fought ferocious battles against Muslim pirates like Barbarosa. However, over time, a cynical system of appeasement had developed. The nations of Europe paid tribute — in money, jewels, and naval supplies — to remain at peace. England and France — in endless wars — found it cheaper to bribe the Barbary pirates than to devote a squadron to perpetually trawling the sea off Africa. At its core, expediency outweighed national honor.

When the thirteen American colonies split off from mother England, they lost British protection. The United States found itself lumped in the pile of potential Barbary victims, alongside the likes of Sardinia and Sicily. (From 1785 to 1815, more than six hundred American citizens would be captured and enslaved. This nuisance would prove to be no mere foreign trade issue but rather a near-constant hostage crisis.)

In colonial days, preacher Cotton Mather had described Barbary slaves as living for years in dug-out pits with a crosshatch of bars above… Galley slaves also lived to tell of being chained naked to an oar, forced to row ten hours at a stretch. Slaves, facing forward, pushed the forty-foot-long oars by rocking back to near horizontal, as though in a grotesque limbo contest, and then lurching with full strength, again and again. During hard chases, they were sustained by a wine-soaked rag shoved in their mouths…

Rituals varied, but in one account (of a North African slave auction) an American stated that after being purchased: “I was forced to lie down in the street and take the foot of my new master and place it upon my neck.” Another described being forced to lick the dust along a thirty-foot path to the throne of the [king] of Algiers (now called Algeria).

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The main story of the book is that William Eaton and seven U.S. Marines organized and led a group of thousands of enemies of the king of Tripoli and captured the second biggest city in the country, making the king willing to negotiate a treaty and return the captured Americans. A few years later, the American navy became powerful enough to put a permanent end to the Muslim capture of American ships in the Mediterranean. 

The above (except what is in italics) was excerpted from the book, The Pirate Coast, by Richard Zack. Without ever saying it explicitly, these excerpts demonstrate that aggression toward Western nations in the name of Islam is not a modern phenomenon, and is not caused by recent grievances. Modern grievances used to justify violence arepretexts, used since Mohammad’s time (read more about that here). The reason Thomas Jefferson knew this is because he read the Koran.  

Read more 

The Rising Sex Traffic in Forced Islamic Marriage

tearsBy Mark Durie:

Western nations are facing what has been called an “epidemic” of forced marriages of their young Muslim women. While those who compel young Muslim women and girls into marriages could be charged with human trafficking offences and also in some cases placed on the national register of sex offenders, governments also should target for prosecution all those who are involved in the solemnisation of these illegal marriages.

This article first appeared in the March 2014 edition of Quadrant. 


In 2008, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, (here) and Nicholas Phillips, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (here), both suggested that the UK could consider, in Lord Phillips’s words, “embracing Sharia law” because “there is no reason why Sharia Law, or any other religious code should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution”. Williams commented: “it’s not as if we’re bringing in an alien and rival system”.

However, two recent widely reported cases of marriage between Muslim men and under-age girls raise troubling questions about these assumptions. One case in New South Wales where an imam married a twelve-year-old girl to a twenty-six-year-old man with her father’s consent is before the court.

In another case involving a custody battle, however, a judgment has been made that questions the way Western jurisdictions interact with sharia marriage regulations, specifically in relation to the widespread practice of conducting private, unregistered religious marriages. A Sydney Muslim girl aged fourteen was forced by her parents to become the child “bride” of a twenty-one-year-old man. Her mother had told her she would “get to attend theme parks and movies and eat lollies and ice-cream with her new husband”. Instead she endured years of sexual and physical abuse and intimidation before fleeing with her young daughter. Her story only saw the light of day ten years after her wedding when she pursued custody of her daughter through the courts.

This “marriage” was never registered with the state: it would have been impossible to do so because the girl was too young to marry under Australian law. A particularly troubling aspect of her story is that she reported her predicament to her school teacher, who under Australian law was a mandatory reporter of child sex abuse, but it seems no report was made, and no intervention attempted.

In passing judgment in favour of the woman, Judge Harman invited the authorities to take matters further: the “groom” could be presumably be charged by the police with sexual offences against a child and placed on the sex offenders register. He and the girl’s father—who in accordance with Islamic tradition would have been the two parties to the marriage contract—could also be charged with trafficking offences. There would also almost certainly have been an exchange of money—the mahr—handed over by the man to the girl or her father in accordance with Islamic law.

The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, defines people-trafficking as:

the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, [or] servitude … The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth [above] shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth [above] have been used.

The forced marriage of a fourteen-year-old girl, as reported in this Australian case, fits the definition of trafficking. The girl was transferred from the custody of parents to that of her “husband” by use of deception, and he then kept her for the purpose of sexual exploitation and servitude, controlling her by violence and threats.

Pru Goward, the New South Wales Minister for Community Services and Women, has reported that there are around a thousand cases a year across Australia of women and girls being trafficked into forced marriages. She stated, “No ethnic group has a monopoly on violence against women, but some groups experience violence against women disproportionately.” Indeed. Some groups also perpetrate violence against women “disproportionately”, and it might be more accurate to speak of “religious groups” rather than “ethnic groups”. While there have been no official statistics reported on the religious affiliation of these victims of trafficking, it seems that a great many of the victims and the perpetrators involving in “marriage” trafficking have been Muslims.

Recent reports of a link between trafficking-for-marriage and Islamic marriages have not been limited to Australia. An investigation by ITV in the UK identified eighteen mosques—around one third of those approached by the reporter—where clerics were willing to conduct a wedding of a fourteen-year-old girl against her will.

Nazir Afal, Crown Prosecutor in the North of England, has reported that there are estimated to be 8000 to 10,000 forced marriages or threats of forced marriages of people against their will in the UK each year. Britain’s Forced Marriage Unit (see here) handled 1485 cases in 2012, 35 per cent of which involved girls aged seventeen or younger, and 13 per cent where the girls were under fifteen. A British government survey found that hundreds of girls aged eleven to thirteen had simply disappeared from school rolls.

Governments have been very slow to tackle the trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of forced marriage. Kaye Quek, in a recent article in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, argues that multicultural ideals prevalent in UK society have made the authorities reluctant to criminalise this practice: they have preferred instead to treat these liaisons as violations of the women’s choice. Quek challenges the government’s preference for seeking civil remedies to forced marriages, and suggests that this is giving rise to a two-tier system of rights, in which it is acceptable for Muslim women to be sexually assaulted through forced marriage.

Read more 

Mark Durie is an Anglican Vicar in Melbourne and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, Philadelphia. He is an authorised marriage celebrant.

Islam’s Second Crisis: the troubles to come

sunset on Islam

Muslims will hold Islam accountable when Islamic revivalists promise utopia but deliver chaos and human rights abuses.

By Mark Durie:

In What Went Wrong, Bernard Lewis charted the decline of Islam in the modern era and the resulting theological crisis for the Muslim world.

Now Islam is going through a second crisis, caused by the repeated failures of revivalist responses to the first crisis.  This second crisis, combined with the cumulative effect of the first crisis, which remains unresolved, will lead to a long drawn-out period of political and social instability for Muslim societies.


The first millennium of Islam was a period of expansion through conquest.   However for five centuries from around 1500, Western powers were pushing back Islamic rule.  There were numerous landmarks of the ascendancy of the West (which includes Russia), such as:

  • the conquest of Goa in India by the Portuguese in 1510;
  • the liberation of Christian Ethiopia in 1543 with the aid of the Portuguese soldiers;
  • the defeat of the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna in 1683 and
  • the ensuing liberation of Hungary and Transylvania;
  • Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in 1798;
  • the USA-Barbary State Wars of 1801-1815, which put an end to tribute payments by the US to the north African states to prevent piracy and the enslavement of US citizens;
  • a long series of defeats for the Ottomans in Russo-Turkish wars stretching across four centuries and culminating in the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war,
  • which led to the independence of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria;
  • the overthrow of Muslim principalities in Southeast Asia by the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English;
  • the final destruction of Mughal rule in India at the hands by the British in 1857;
  • the defeat and dismantling of the Ottoman Empire as a result of WWI;
  • and finally, the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, in territory formerly ruled by Islam, which was considered by many Muslims to be the crowning humiliation in this long line of defeats.

We are not just talking about Western colonialism.  Some of the victories over Muslim principalities involved the occupation or colonisation of primarily Muslim lands, but many involved the liberation of non-Muslim peoples from the yoke of Muslim rule, such as in Ethiopia, Hungary and India, and some were defensive responses to Islamic aggression, such as the defeat of the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna.

While the external borders of Islam kept shrinking, its position of dominance within its own borders was also being challenged.  During this same period there were in many places improvements in the conditions experienced by non-Muslims under Islamic rule – a weakening of the dhimmi system – which communicated to Muslims an impression of their own faith’s loss of dominance and its loss of ‘success’. A landmark in this long process was the Paris Peace Treaty of 1856, which settled the Crimean War.  As part of this settlement the Ottomans were compelled to grant equal rights to Christians throughout their empire.

The gradual process of improvement of conditions for Christians and Jews under Islam was regretted by Muslim scholars, who saw it as evidence of Islam’s decline.  For example a request for a fatwa from a Egyptian Muslim judge in 1772 lamented the ‘deplorable innovations’ of Christians and Jews, who were daring to make themselves equal to Muslims by their manner of dress and behavior, all in violation of Islamic law.

In a similar vein, the Baghdad Quranic commentator Al-Alusi complained that non-Muslims in Syria during the first half of the 19th century were being permitted to make annual tribute payments by means of an agent, thus escaping the personal ritual degradations prescribed by Islamic law.  He concluded:  “All this is caused by the weakness of Islam.”

Why would Islam’s lack of dominance be evidence of weakness?

Islamic doctrine promises falah ‘success’ to the religion’s followers, symbolized by the daily call to prayer which rings out from minarets: ‘come to success, come to success’. The success promised by Islam has always been understood to be both spiritual and material: conquest and rule this life, and paradise in the next. The Qur’an states that Allah has sent Muhammad “with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may cause it to triumph over all (other) religions” (Sura 48:28).

Islam’s theology of success meant that the global failure of Islamic armies and states at the hands of ‘Christian’ states constituted a profound spiritual challenge to Islam’s core claims. Just as Muslim scholars had always pointed to the military victories of Islam as proof of its divine authority, this litany of defeats testified to its failure as the religion of the successful ones.

The urgency of the question ‘What went wrong?’ drove the Islamic revival, an interconnected network of renewal movements which have as their central tenet that Muslims will once again be ‘successful’ – achieving political and military domination over non-Muslims – if they are truly devoted to Allah and implement Islamic laws faithfully.   These are reformation movements in the original (medieval) sense of the Latin word reformatio, for they seek to restore Islam to its former glory by returning to first principles.

Some of the main formative strands of Islamic revivalism have been:

  • the Wahhabi movement which originated in the 18th century;
  • the Deobandi movement in India and Pakistan which dates from 1866;
  • Jamaat e-Islami, which was founded 1941 in India;
  • the Muslim Brotherhood, founded 1928;
  • and the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Out of these have come a myriad of offshoots and branches such as the Taliban (from the Deobandi movement); Al Qaida (a product of the ideology of Muslim Brotherhood theologian Said Qutb); the missionary movementTablighi Jamaat; and Hizb Ut-Tahrir.

Even the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the ‘United Nations’ of the Muslim world, is a revivalist organization: this is reflected in its Charter which states that it exists “to work for revitalizing Islam’s pioneering role in the world”, a euphemism for reestablishing Islam’s dominant place in world affairs.

In essence, Islamic revivalist movements aim to restore the greatness of Islam and make it ‘successful’ again.  This hope is embodied, for example, in the Muslim Brotherhood’s slogan “Islam is the solution”.  This implies that when Islam is truly implemented all the problems human beings face – such as poverty, lack of education, corruption, and injustice – will be solved.  The flip-side of this slogan is the thesis that all the problems of the Muslim world have been caused through want of genuine Islamic observance:  Allah allowed his people to fall into disarray because they were not faithful in obeying his laws. The correction to this spiritual problem should therefore be more sharia compliance.  This is the reason why headscarves and burqas have been appearing on Muslim women’s heads with increasing frequency all around the world.

For a time it appeared to many Muslims that the revivalist program was working.  The Iranian Islamic revolution, and the later victory of jihadis in Afghanistan and the break-up of the Soviet Union was considered to be evidence of the success of the revivalist program.  This was the certainly view of the translator of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam’s jihadi tract Join the Caravan:

“The struggle, which he [Sheikh Azzam] stood for, continues, despite the enemies of Islam. ‘They seek to extinguish the light of Allah by their mouths. But Allah refuses save to perfect His light, even if the Disbelievers  are averse. It is He who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the true religion, in order that He may make it prevail over all religions, even if the pagans are averse.’ [Qur'an, 9:32-33] Since the book was written, the Soviets have been expelled from Afghanistan, by Allah’s grace, and the entire  Soviet Union has disintegrated.”

Utopian claims are risky, because they open up the possibility for even greater failure, and amplified cognitive dissonance as the gap between one’s faith and reality widens.  The first crisis of Islam was the rise of West through superior technological, economic and military prowess.  The second crisis is the failure of Islamic revivalism as a response to the first crisis.  The second crisis could prove even more painful and profound in its effects on Islam than the first.

The manifestations of revivalism’s failures are as diverse as the Islamist movements which generated them.  One could point to:

  •  the atrocities and backwardness of the Taliban;
  • the corruption and cruelty after the 1979 Iranian Revolution;
  • the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to govern for the benefit of the Egyptian people, leading to a wildly popular military coup in 2013;
  • the present-day economic collapse of Turkey under big-talking Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan;
  • the genocidal campaigns of Khartoum’s military campaigns against its own citizens, causing more than a million casualties;
  • and the ongoing Iraqi and Syrian jihad-driven bloodbaths.

Everywhere one looks there are good reasons for Muslims to question the Islamic revivalist creed. The outcomes of more than two centuries of theological fervor are not looking good. Muslim states are not realizing the utopian goals set by these movements.  Indeed the opposite is the case: again and again, wherever revivalist movements have gained the ascendancy, human misery has only increased. Too many Muslim states continue to be models of poverty and economic failure, despite all those female heads being covered up.

One inevitable consequence of this trend is disenchantment with Islam, and a growing sense of alienation from the religion. The manifest failure of the revivalist creed creates a sense of anxiety that Islam is under threat, not from the infidel West, but from reputational damage caused by the revivalists themselves.  It is a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

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Fasten your seat-belts: the world will be in for quite a ride in the years to come, as Muslims – who constitute around a quarter of the world’s population – struggle to make theological sense of the trashing of their religion’s utopian vision.  It is one thing to blame the infidels for this – or the proxy tyrants which revivalists claim the West has foisted on the Muslim world – what is more threatening by far is the damage being done to Islam’s name by revivalist Muslims themselves.

Read more

Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at Melbourne School of Theology. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

Iran’s Outlaws of Love

vdBy Deborah Weiss:

Valentine’s Day is with us once again.

This special day of affection originally had Christian roots — honoring a Christian martyr named St. Valentine. But over time, this link has become increasingly fragmented. Valentine’s Day is now considered a secular holiday, celebrated throughout much of the world.  It is a day associated with romantic love, and a time to express it through the exchange of red roses, heart shaped candy, and mushy greeting cards.

Not so in the Islamic world, however, where the holiday’s long-forgotten Christian roots are often used as a justification to ban the holiday. Indeed, every year Islamic countries around the world either totally or partially ban aspects of Valentine’s Day, which they view as un-Islamic and as an invasion by Western culture.

The holiday didn’t used to be celebrated in Islamic countries, but it has gained increasing popularity over the last ten years, especially among young people who are both exposed to Western culture via the Internet and too young to remember the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Iran, in particular, is one of the Muslim nations that forcefully cracks down on those who celebrate Valentine’s Day. While the actual celebration of Valentine’s Day is not officially illegal in Iran as it is in Saudi Arabia, Iranian hardliners have certainly gone out of their way to make it difficult for Iranian citizens to express their romantic feelings out in the open in general and on Valentine’s in particular. Of course, Iran’s Valentine’s Day-related bans are cloaked in the language of morality, but the crackdowns are just one additional way for the authoritarian regime to demonstrate its power over the citizens and suppress behavior that the Free World would consider normal.

It is interesting to note that the Iranian regime has been rather unsuccessful in its quest to suppress Valentine’s celebrations amongst its people.

In large measure, those Iranians who insist on celebrating this day of love constitute the same population as those who protested in the Green Movement in 2009.  After President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared a win in the presidential election and announced his intent to serve a second term in what many perceived as a rigged election, Iranians, many of whom were under the age of thirty, took to the streets to demonstrate.  Their cries for freedom went largely ignored by those around the world who watched in silence, including the United States.  Thousands were jailed, scores were murdered, and many were tortured in prison.  In the end, the revolution failed, and Iran’s highly educated, western-oriented youth remain in the shackles of Islamic authoritarianism.

Read more at Front Page

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a contributing author to the book “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network”; and is the primary writer and researcher for “CAIR: its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation”.  She is a regular contributor to FrontPage magazine and The Washington Times.  A partial listing of her work can be found at http://www.vigilancenow.org.