The Significance of Sisi’s Speech

Raymond Ibrahim, Jan. 7, 2015:

On New Year’s Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi—the hero of Egypt’s 2013 anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution—made some remarkable comments concerning the need for a “religious revolution.”

Watch the video below or click here to read the excerpt:


Sisi made his remarks during a speech celebrating the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad—which was ironically held on January 1, 2015 (a day not acknowledged or celebrated in the Muslim world as it is based on a Christian calendar)—and he was addressing the nation’s top Islamic authorities from among the Awqaf Ministry (religious endowments) and Al Azhar University.

Although Sisi’s words were directed to Islam’s guardians and articulators, they indirectly lead to several important lessons for Western observers.

First, in just a few words, Sisi delivered a dose of truth and hard-hitting reality concerning the Islamic world’s relationship to the rest of the world—a dose of reality very few Western leaders dare think let alone proclaim.

“It’s inconceivable,” he said, “that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!”

What a refreshingly honest statement to come from not only a political leader but a Muslim political leader who has much to lose, not least his life!  Contrast his very true words with the habitual reassurances of the Western establishment that Islamic world violence and intolerance is a product of anything and everything but Islam.


Even after the appearance of the head-chopping, infidel-crucifying Islamic State, politicians like U.S. President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister Cameron insisted that the “caliphate” is not Islamic, despite all the evidence otherwise. Yet here is Sisi, the pious Muslim, saying that the majority of the terrorism plaguing the world today is related to the holy texts of Islam themselves:

That thinking [that is responsible for producing “anxiety, danger, killing and destruction” around the world]—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

As a Muslim, Sisi will not say that Islam, the “religion,” is responsible for “antagonizing the entire world,” but he certainly goes much further than his Western counterparts when he says that this “thinking” is rooted in an Islamic “corpus of texts and ideas” which have become so “sacralized.”

Recall that here in the West, Islamic terrorists are seen as mere “criminals” and their terrorism as “crimes” without mention of any Islamic text or ideology driving them.

The Egyptian president further invoked the classical Islamic teaching—the “thinking”—that divides the world into two warring halves: the Muslim world (or in Islamic/Arabic parlance, Dar al-Islam) which must forever be in a struggle with the rest of the world (or Dar al-Harb, the “abode of war”) till, in the Koran’s words, “all religion belongs to Allah” (Koran 8:39).

“Is it possible,” asked Sisi, “that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”

Sisi made another important point that Western leaders and media habitually lie about: after affirming that Islamic “thinking” is “antagonizing the entire world,” he said that “this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In other words, Islamic terrorism and chaos is not a product of grievance, territorial disputes, colonialism, Israel, offensive cartoons, or anything else the West points to.  It’s a product of their “own hands.”

Again, one must appreciate how refreshing it is for a top political leader in the heart of the Islamic world to make such candid admissions that his Western counterparts dare not even think let alone speak. And bear in mind, Sisi has much to lose as opposed to Western politicians.  Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that he is an apostate are sure to grow more aggressive now.

The critic may ask, “All well and good, but words aside, what has Sisi actually done to help bring about this “religious revolution”?  In fact, one popular journalist, Ibrahim Eissa, recently said just this on live television in Egypt:

Five months have passed since he [Sisi] became president, after his amazing showing at elections.  Okay: the president has, more than once, indicated the need for a renewal of religious discourse….  But he has not done a single thing, President Sisi, to renew religious discourse.  Nothing at all.

Yet it seems that Sisi has an answer for this, too: it is not his job as president of Egypt to reform the thinking of the Islamic world; rather, that role belongs to the ulema—which is precisely why he addressed them with such candid words.  Indeed, he repeatedly stressed that it is the ulema’s job to lead this “religious revolution.”

Thus, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…. I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.”

Meanwhile, while Sisi was making these groundbreaking if not historic statements, the Western mainstream media, true to form, ignored them and instead offered puerile and redundant headlines, most critical of Sisi, like:

  • “Egypt President Sisi urged to free al-Jazeera reporter” (BBC, Jan 1; to which I respond, “Why, so Al Jazeera can continue lying and misleading the West about Sisi and Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution?”)
  •  “Egyptian gays living in fear under Sisi regime” (USA Today, Jan. 2; to which I respond, “Homosexuals live in fear in all Islamic nations, regardless of Sisi.”)
  •  “George Clooney’s wife Amal risks arrest in Egypt” (Fox News, Jan. 3; to which I respond, “Who cares?  Only her innocence or guilt matter, not her husband’s fame”—which is the only reason Fox News chose the story in the first place.)

Whether concerning the true nature of Islam or the true nature of Sisi, here is the latest example of how unfathomably ignorant all those millions of people who exclusively follow the so-called “mainstream media” must surely be.

Also see:

In light of President Sisi’s comments, we ask for public clarification on the following points:

  • Is it the position of ISNA that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism’

pic_giant_010715_SM_Hebdo-Attack-MainNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

There are now at least twelve confirmed dead in the terrorist attack carried out by at least three jihadist gunmen against the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. While it practices equal-opportunity satire, lampooning Islam has proved lethal for the magazine, just as it has for so many others who dare to exercise the bedrock Western liberty of free expression. Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed in 2011 over a caricature of Mohammed that depicted him saying, “100 lashes if you don’t die from laughter.”

The cartoon was obviously referring to sharia, Islam’s legal code and totalitarian framework. Don’t take my word for it. Just flip through Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, the authoritative sharia manual. You will find a number of offenses for which flagellation is the prescribed penalty.

To take just a couple of examples, “the penalty for drinking is to be scourged forty stripes,” although the caliph (the Islamic ruler) is authorized to increase this to 80 stripes — although he must pay an indemnity if death results. . . . Pretty moderate, right? (Reliance, p. 617, sec. o16.3.) For adultery “the penalty consists of being scourged one hundred stripes” — and that’s if the adulterer “is not considered to have the capacity to remain chaste” (e.g., if she “is prepubescent at the time of marital intercourse.” “If the offender is someone with the capacity to remain chaste, then he or she is stoned to death.” (Reliance, p. 610, sec. o12.2.)

What Charlie Hebdo has satirized is a savage reality. That reality was visited on the magazine again today. As night follows day, progressive governments in Europe and the United States are already straining to pretend that this latest atrocity is the wanton work of “violent extremists,” utterly unrelated to Islam. You are to believe, then, that François Hollande, Barack Obama, David Cameron, and their cohort of non-Muslim Islamophiles are better versed in sharia than the Muslim scholars who’ve dedicated their lives to its study and have endorsed such scholarly works as Reliance.

Let me repeat what I have detailed here before: Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State did not make up sharia law. Islam did. We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem.

As I detailed in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that Islamic supremacists seek to enforce is “literal” precisely because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, this “classical sharia” is enthusiastically endorsedin principle by several of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East, which explains why it is routinely put into practice when Islamists are given — or seize — the opportunity to rule over a territory.

Reliance is not some al-Qaeda or Islamic State pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements, including one from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think tank begun in the early Eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”). Perhaps more significantly, there is also an endorsement from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West.

In their endorsement, the al-Azhar scholars wrote:

We certify that the . . . translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community. . . . There is no objection to printing it and circulating it. . . . May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.

There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.

Charlie Hebdo, of course, is in the business of cartoon caricature for satirical purposes. That is a time-honored method of expression, political and otherwise, in the West. That is in stark contrast to how such expression is viewed by Islam. Here, as I summarized in my book Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about such visual art forms:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

Nor is visual depiction alone in drawing sharia’s wrath. “Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” As Reliance elaborates, singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage”), and “on the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” There is an exception, though: If unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Understand, the prohibitions just described apply to artistic expression in general; Islam need not be lampooned for caricatures to run afoul of sharia. With that hostile predisposition in mind, let’s now consider Islam’s draconian treatment of expression that renounces Islam, belittles it or, in the slightest way, casts it in an unfavorable light:

Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

It is worth pausing to mull these latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah, or the prophet. The call to kill apostates for such offensesobviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated far worse than Muslims are by sharia. See, for example, the infamous verse 29 from Sura 9, the Koran’s most bellicose chapter:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.

While insipid Western leaders cannot admonish us often enough that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” the French satirical magazine has offered a different take — one rooted in the cherished Western belief that examination in the light of day, rather than willful blindness, is the path to real understanding. In that tradition, a few other choice aspects of sharia, detailed by Muslim scholars in Reliance, are worth reviewing:

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” (Reliance o9.0.)

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity”); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster. . . . They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1–17.)

As commanded in the aforementioned Sura 9:29, non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued, such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feast-days.” (Reliance o11.0 & ff.)

Offenses committed against Muslims, including murder, are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims. (Reliance o1.0 & ff; p2.0-1.)

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliance p50.0 & ff; p74.0 & ff.)

The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death. (Reliance p17.0 & ff.)

A Muslim woman may marry only a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam). (Reliance m6.0 & ff. — Marriage.)

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliance p42.0 & ff.)

A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child. (Reliance m13.2–3.)

A woman has no right of custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries “because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending to the child.” (Reliance m13.4.)

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Reliance o14.0.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliance p7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Reliance o24.7.)

If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses.” (Reliance o24.9.)

The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male. “The Prophet . . . said, ‘Men are already destroyed when they obey women.’” (Reliance o25.0 & ff; see also p28.0, on Mohammed’s condemnation of “masculine women and effeminate men.”)

This is not “violent extremist” doctrine. This is Islamic doctrine — sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. Millions of Muslims, particularly in the West, do not abide by it and are working heroically — and at great risk to themselves — to marginalize or supersede it. Of course we should admire and help them. That, however, is not a reason to pretend that this doctrine does not exist. It is, furthermore, suicidal to ignore the fact that, because this doctrine is rooted in scripture and endorsed by influential scholars, some Muslims are going to act on it, and many millions more will support them.

This anti-liberty, supremacist, repulsively discriminatory, and sadly mainstream interpretation of Islam must be acknowledged and confronted. In its way, that is what Charlie Hebdo had been attempting to do — while, to their lasting shame, governments in the United States and Europe have been working with Islamist statesto promote sharia blasphemy standards. That needs to end. The future must not belong to those who brutalize free expression in the name of Islam.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Egypt: Leading Int’l Sunni Institution ‘Filled With Terrorists’

Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Issa

Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Issa

Clarion Project:

Al Azhar University, known as the preeminent Sunni institution of the world, has been infiltrated by terrorists, Wahhabis and Salafists, according to Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Issa.

Issa, a top tier journalist, is the co-founder of the popular Egyptian weekly Al-Dustour. He is the current editor-in-chief of Al Tahrir, which he co-founded in 2011.

Speaking on the television program 25/30, of which he is the host, Issa said that one only need to look at the student body to verify the truth of his statement. Issa emphasized that most of the students at the university, which is located in Cairo, belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government.

Issa also blamed the employees and faculty of Al Azhar University of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and other the terrorist groups, saying they support the violent acts that have been carried out by the students.

He also addressed the issue of whether or not the academic year would be able to begin, considering the plethora of Brotherhood activists amid a backdrop of violent acts and IED bombs that have been detonated.

Response to A GUIDE TO REFUTING JIHADISM – Critiquing radical Islamist claims to theological authenticity

download (69)By Mark Durie:

The Henry Jackson Society had just launched a guide to rejecting jihadi theologies in Islam, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism by Rashad Ali and Hannah Stuart.  There are also forewords by two Sheikhs, including one from Al-Azhar University, and endorsements from other Muslim leaders.

Although the appearance of this guide as a welcome acknowledgement that jihadi violence is theologically motivated, its use of Islamic sources is flawed and unconvincing, and there are risks for secular governments in embracing its arguments.

It is good that the theological motivations for jihadi movements are being acknowledged and engaged with by peaceable Muslims.

This is not a new strategy.  It is necessary and the strategy has long been used by authorities as a counter to jihadi movements.  For example the British empire extracted fatwas from Mecca and Istanbul in the 19th century to declare that British India was not ‘Dar al-Harb’ [House of War], but Dar al-Islam [House of Islam]’, which meant that it was forbidden for Muslims to engage in insurgencies against the British.  Muslim leaders have always asked their scholars to produce such rulings to counter violent rebellions.  This is also a traditional Islamic technique for controlling the undeniable tendency that Islamic theology has to generate violent rebel movements.

This project is also helpful because it acknowledges what is often denied – that the credibility of radical jihadism relies upon religious, theological claims.  It claims Islamic legitimacy and uses this to gain converts.  It is true that to counter this religious legitimacy it is necessary to use theological arguments.

However there are some dangers here for Western governments.  One is that there will be a cost to adopting theological positions on Islam.  Is a secular state really in a position to make an announcement that one particular form of Islam is ‘correct’ over others? This is like saying that catholicism is correct, but the baptist faith is not.  And if the state does canonize a “theologically correct” view on Islam, would it really be persuasive to the minds of young radically inclined Muslims that a secular government is teaching Islam to them, or would it just incite suspicion, and detract from the credibility of voices of moderation within the Muslim community?  Also where does combating radicalism start and promoting Islam start? (The al-Azar Sheikh in his introduction [in Arabic] to the report sees the report as an exercise in spreading Islam, not just in combating radicalism.)

The great weakness in the arguments offered is that they appear to be opportunistic and often ignore conflicting evidence. For example on the subject of suicide bombing, a wide range of modern Muslim scholars have endorsed martyrdom operations against Israel.  It is not just al-Qaradawi or Al-Qaida ideologues who say this: senior respected contemporary jurists such as the Syrian jurist Al-Bouti have endorsed these attacks. To counter this tactic a more whole-hearted acknowledgement of the weightof Islamic voices which have endorsed it.

There is also a tendency to cherry pick texts.  For example Al-Ghazali is cited to support an argument against killing women and children, but his justification of collateral damage against civilians is ignored:

‘[O]ne must go on jihad at least once a year… one may use a catapult against them when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them.’

Another example is the discussion of ‘perfidy’ or ‘subterfuge’ in warfare.  It is claimed on the basis of a hadith from [hadith collection] Sahih Muslim that Islam forbids the use of deception in warfare, a key point in the theology of the suicide attacks often referred to as ‘martyrdom operations’.  However the hadith is cited from a secondary source, and the translation is not accurate.  The actual Arabic in Sahih Muslim (translated more accurately here) forbids stealing booty and says that a Muslim is not supposed to break his ‘pledge’, so this is not about deception in warfare in general.  The authors also have ignored a very well-known hadith of Muhammad in which he said, ‘War is deceit’.   This approach sets up a straw man – a weakly argued jihadi position – only to knock it down. In Islam, support for deception in warfare is more resistant to re-analysis than this.

In the discussion on citizenship – which is a very important issue in Islamic law: can Muslims be loyal citizens? – the authors overlook important rulings collected by the International Fiqh Academy on this issue, which go against their position.

Furthermore, in discussions on the treatment of non-combatants, the authors ignore Muhammad’s command for several hundred non-combatant Jewish men from the Qurayza tribe to be beheaded after they surrendered to him unconditionally.  For radically inclined Muslims, Muhammad’s example would trump the musings of medieval theologians.

One of the problems with citing arguments from later jurists and commentators, which is the preferred approach of the Guide’s authors, is that most jihadis’ theology is Salafist, and as such it looks to the early sources on Islam – the Qur’an, the example of Muhammad and the testimony of the companions of Muhammad – to construct their war theologies.  Such people will not be persuaded by arguments based on later interpreters, which appears to be the main polemical tactic of this Guide.

Of course, as soon as one raises such objections, one runs the risk of being accused of supporting the jihadis.  Nevertheless, the fact is that the radical jihadis have more support than this document would acknowledge, especially in the canonical sources, and the arguments used against them would convince few.  Would these arguments be convincing to a well-trained Muslim scholar? I think not.

The strongest Islamic argument of all against jihadi theology is the ‘necessity’ argument: that it will harm Islam by causing its reputation to be destroyed among Muslims, and incite infidels to attack Muslims.  We are seeking such arguments being presented these days across the Middle East. General Sisi is being applauded in Egypt for ‘saving’ the reputation of Islam from the Muslim Brotherhood.  This argument is not based upon an appeal to theological legitimacy of specific positions, but pragmatic necessity, and what is in the best interests of the Muslim community.  Of course this argument would not have any traction at all if the militaries of Islamic states had the power to challenge those of non-Muslim countries.  Then it would probably be in the best interests of the Muslim world to pursue war.  The argument only works if it is not in Muslims’ interests to be at war.

What about the Al-Azhar Sheikh’s support?  This is political.  In the current political climate Al-Azhar must support the anti-jihadi cause.  The Brotherhood are being killed and wiped out due to their violent theologies.  The wind is blowing against the jihadi position.  It is significant that the Sheikh does not endorse specific arguments of the book – I suspect he knows better – but only the general intention of the project.

Works like this guide can back-fire.  On the one hand they acknowledge that the problem of jihadi violence is theological.  On the other hand, through the use of weak arguments relying on cherry-picked sources, they run the risk of validating the radicals’ position even more.  Perhaps their real function is to ‘save Islam’ in the eyes of moderately inclined Muslims and theologically illiterate secular people, who have an ideological preference  to embrace the narrative that the jihadis have ‘hijacked’ Islam.

But will this help to defuse Islamic jihadism?  I doubt it.

Revd Dr Mark Durie is an Anglican priest, Fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, and a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum in the US.  He is the author of The Third Choice: Islam Dhimmitude and Freedom published by Deror Books.

A version of this review appears in Middle East Forum:

That was the polite review. Now read Rassooli’s refreshingly blunt “In a nutshell: BULL CRAP!” response:

Wilders to Pope Francis: Contrasts Papal Ecumenism, With Jew/Infidel-Hatred of Current Sunni Pope Al-Tayeb

Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent

Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent

by Andrew Bostom:

In a blog yesterday (12/5/13), I analyzed recent statements and actions by the two most recent Catholic Popes, Benedict XVI, and his successor, the current Pope, Francis. I further contrasted their ecumenical words and deeds with the overt, canonical Jew-hatred espoused by their Sunni Muslim  counterparts, Al Azhar University Grand Imam Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. March, 2010), and his successor, the current Grand Imam of Al Azhar University, Ahmad al-Tayeb. My conclusions are reproduced, below:

Former Pope Benedict XVI, and current Pope Francis have openly expressed their ecumenism toward Jews and Judaism, while acknowledging Christianity’s indebtedness to Jewish ethical values. This ecumenical message has been coupled to frank, mea culpa-based contrition for the tragic legacy of Christian antisemitism. The disparity between their attitudes and their two contemporary Sunni Muslim equivalents, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and Ahmad Al-Tayeb—the latter having emphatically and triumphantly re-asserted the modern relevance of canonical Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hatred—could not be more striking.

Both Tantawi’s and his successor Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s career trajectories to the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic religious education, despite their own public endorsements of virulent, if “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred, reflect the profound moral pathology at the very heart and soul of mainstream, institutional Islam.

Now, in a welcome follow-up to my discussion, Geert Wilders has boldly ventured where no Western leader has gone heretofore: openly contrasting Papal ecumenism with the virulent Jew-hatred publicly spewed by Sunni Islam’s Vatican and its Papal equivalents.  Reproduced below is Wilders’ Open letter to his Holiness Pope Francis posted at The Gates of Vienna:

Your Holiness,

In your recent exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Paragraphs 247-248) you draw the world’s attention to the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jews and their faith. The exhortation also contains a sharp condemnation of the terrible persecutions which the Jews have endured from Christians in the past.

Your words are words which might inspire many.

Unfortunately, they are in sharp contrast to the expressions of hatred which were voiced last October by the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo.

During an interview, aired on Egyptian television on October 25, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayeb reaffirmed the relevance of Koranic verse 5:82, which states that of all people the Christians are closest to the Muslims, while the Jews are strongest in enmity towards them. This verse has inspired centuries of Islamic hatred of Jews.

Al-Tayeb’s invocation of Koranic Jew-hatred is in line with fourteen centuries of Islamic teaching. Grand Imam Al-Tayeb’s predecessor at Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, even wrote a book, entitled The Children of Israel in the Koran and the Sunna, in defense of Jew-hatred based on Koranic teachings.

The current suffering of Christians from Islamic persecution in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and so many other countries, clearly indicates what Christians have to endure from the followers of the Koran. What atheists and Jews, who are considered the worst enemies, have to endure from Islam is even worse.

In your exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (paragraphs 252-253) you state that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”Reality does not confirm this statement.The Koran is full of bellicose and hate-mongering verses against non-Muslims. Your Holiness will be able to find them if he reads the Koran, but I will name just a few:

2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, […] Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s.”

4:89: “If they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, […]: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land.”

 8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

 9:5: “When the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.”

 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah.”

 9:30: “The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them.”

9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the God-fearing.”

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.”

I hope that the Holy Father will help us defend the West’s Judeo-Christian and humanistic civilization, to which even atheists and agnostics owe their freedom and democracy.

Nothing will be gained by a refusal to face reality.

We must speak the truth about Islam — the largest threat to mankind in this present age.

Very respectfully,
Geert Wilders

Member of the Dutch Parliament
Leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)

See also:

New Egyptian Constitution: A Slap at the Brotherhood



by :

Egyptians have a new draft constitution to vote upon in a referendum to be held either later this month or in January 2014. It is meant to replace, with amendment language and new provisions, the more Islamist-oriented constitution rammed through by former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi. “It is now the right of every Egyptian to declare that this is their constitution,” said Bishop Bola, the representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church on the panel that was responsible for drafting the new constitution.

The big loser will be the Muslim Brotherhood, eclipsed by representatives from a more conservative Islamist party and from Al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni learning, who spoke for Islamists on the drafting panel and have backed the new constitution. The drafting panel also consisted of activists from Tamarod, the secular youth movement that rallied millions of Egyptians who demanded that Morsi step aside, leading to his ouster and replacement by an interim government under the rule of the defense minister, General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi.

The constitution drafters and the interim government leaders hope that there will be a significantly larger turnout of voters to approve this constitution than showed up to approve Morsi’s constitution.  A larger turnout and vote in support of the draft constitution would serve to legitimize the current interim government’s self-proclaimed move towards a more inclusive, democratic regime – at least, that is what the interim government leaders are claiming. Whether presidential or parliamentary elections would be held first following the constitution’s ratification remains an open question, possibly to provide the opportunity for Sisi to run for president and consolidate his influence in advance of more contentious, drawn-out parliamentary elections.

On paper, the new constitution would grant new important rights to Egyptian citizens, including protection against torture, human trafficking and persecution for religious belief. It bans parties founded on religion or sect and mandates equality between men and women, both slaps in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood which tried to remake the country in its own image of an Islamist state. In practice, however, the new constitution is but another in a series of constitutional documents, more honored in their breach than their observance. While the new draft pays lip service to human rights and is more secular in nature than its predecessor, the draft keeps Sharia law as the basis for legislation. Repression of dissent, limitations on freedom to practice one’s own religion, and violence and discrimination against women are likely to remain the grim reality on the streets of Egypt. State institutions such as the military and the police will retain their privileged status.

Not surprisingly, the Muslim Brotherhood has already denounced the new draft constitution. It said that “abusive coupists” were trying to “distort Egypt’s legitimate constitution,” by which they mean the Islamist-oriented constitution foisted on the Egyptian people last year by a far less inclusive drafting process.  Liberals, secularists and the Coptic Church were on the outside looking in, in contrast to their inclusion in the current drafting process.

The Obama administration appears to be taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the new draft constitution. But, in the meantime, the administration continues to punish the interim regime by cutting off vital military aid, including the delivery of F-16s, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters. It does so on the pretext that the regime’s forcible suppression of dissent and lack of inclusiveness forced the administration to the point that “we could not continue business as usual with respect to our assistance.”

Why not begin resuming at least some deliveries now that the interim government has taken at least a preliminary step on its roadmap towards a more inclusive civil democracy? The excuse appears to be a recently passed law placing restrictions on protest demonstrations, which was aimed at curbing the incessant protests by Islamists supporting Morsi before violence could erupt but has also ensnared some disaffected secularist activists. In a press statement issued on November 25, 2013, Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson, said that “this law, which imposes restrictions on Egyptians’ ability to assemble peacefully and express their views, does not meet international standards and will not move Egypt’s democratic transition forward.”  Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, piled on with this tweet on November 26th: “New law regulating peaceful protests in #Egypt simply doesn’t meet intl standards. Gov’t must protect freedoms, and this law restricts them.”

Why didn’t the administration apply the same “international standards” when it kept the arms flowing unabated to the repressive, non-inclusive Morsi regime? The truth is that the administration would have preferred the Islamist Morsi regime to remain in power.


In the words of A. Savyon, director of MEMRI’s Iran Media Project, and Y. Carmon, President of MEMRI, in their analysis of the roots of the U.S.’s policy change in the Middle East that led to the Obama administration’s disastrous interim nuclear agreement with Iran:

“In previous attempts to appeal to the peoples of the region, that is, in Ankara and Cairo in 2009, Obama presented a vision of an America that is no longer an imperialist power that maintains military bases in the region and intervenes militarily to protect the status quo, but a country that identifies with the aspirations and interests of the Arab and Muslim peoples and disregards their regimes. In Obama’s perception, the overall U.S. shift in recent years – the pinnacle of which is his attempts at reconciliation with the Iranian regime – does not stem from weakness but is ideologically directed; it dovetails with and intensifies the revolutionary changes taking place in the Arab world since the Arab Spring, with the aim of integrating the U.S. into the Arab and Muslim world of the future.”

Read more at Front Page


Open Letter to Rabbi Mark Shaftan The Temple Nashville

dawaOctober 23, 2013

Rabbi Mark Shaftan

The Temple
Congregation Ohabai Sholom
5015 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205

Dear Rabbi Shaftan:

We  understand that  you undertaking an upcoming bus trip on Sunday, October 27th to visit the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM), “A Sacred Journey of Understanding.”   You  are likely to be presented with Da’wah (proselytizing) by Imam Ossama Bahloul, who is an expert in it, trained at al Azhar University in Cairo, a bastion of Sunni Supremacism with deep connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.  The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Hassan al Banna, was an Egyptian teacher from Ismailia and an  acolyte of Adolf Hitler. The MB credo is:

“Allah is our objective, the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”.

Hardly peaceful, as attested to by the current violence in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East on the borders of Israel.

The Peculiar case of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

In June 2009, the Boston Jewish community, Massachusetts Governor Derval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino welcomed the opening of the $22 millionIslamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)  allegedly built with with funds from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.  Those allegations spurred a suit by the ISBCC in 2005, against  several plaintiffs. They  included The David Project and then  founder Dr. Charles JacobsSteve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism,The Boston Herald American and Fox News TV channel WFTX in Boston.  Jacobs went on to found Americans for Peace and Tolerance. The suit was dropped in 2007 by the ISBCC leaving the plaintiffs  to foot $2.0 million in legal defense fees.    ISBCC is controlled by the Muslim American Society (MAS), a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate.

The ISBCC sponsored a Mosque across the Charles in Cambridge. Among its attendees were the Tsarneav brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhor the perpetrators of theBoston Marathon Bombing.   Another  was Aafia Siddiqui  aka ‘Lady Al Qaeda ‘ a convicted terrorist serving a term of 86 years for being an al Qaeda courier and financier. She was  captured by US troops in Afghanistan in an attempt to kill them.  She was a Pakistani scientist and distinguished graduate of both Brandeis and MIT.   Another ISBCC attendee was an American Muslim pharmacist Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, Massachusetts who was convicted in 2012 for providing material support for Al Qaeda and is now serving a 17.5 year term. He was involved in planning a Nairobi style mall attack in the US .  Another ISBCC attendee and colleague of deceased Tamerlan Tsarneav, was Ibragrim Todaschev. Todaschev was  killed by an FBI agent and Massachusetts state troopers in his Orlando, Florida  home in May 2013. He confessed to perpetrating, along with the late Tamerlan Tsarneav, a ritualistic murder of three men in suburban Waltham, Massachusetts on 9/11//11; two of them were fellow Jews.

Now while Massachusetts Governor Patrick warmly welcomed the ISBCC Mosque opening in 2009, their current Imam, Suhaib Webb, an American convert and former Oklahoma convicted felon, was disinvited from the ecumenical service at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston the Friday following the Marathon Bombing on April 15, 2013. A substitute Imam not affiliated with the ISBCC and the Muslim Brotherhood replaced Sheik Webb at the ecumenical service.

The ISBCC has had some very problematic trustees, one of whom will appear at the ICM in a presentation  on November  3, 2013 in an Abrahamic  Religions event,“God’s Books”Jamal Badawi.

ISBCC trustee Abdulrahman Alamoudi is serving a 23 year sentence in a Federal prison convicted of being in a murder plot against the Saudi King and laundering funds for Al Qaeda. Another trustee is extremist Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian ‘spiritual leader’ Yusuf al Qaradawi. He was caught on video extolling anti-Semitic hatred during a Cairo Tahrir Square rally in February 2011 after returning from exile in Qatar. Al Qaradawi was famously quoted as saying:

“Conquest through Da’wah [proselytizing] that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da’wah.”

Jamal Badawi of Canada, a former trustee of the ISBCC, was named as a  un-indicted co-conspirator in the 2007- 2008  Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in Dallas, Texas over the funneling of upwards of $35 million to Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Badawi  has been an enduring trustee of the Islamic Society of North America  and CAIR. He was an attendee at the 1991 Philadelphia  Summit of the American  wing  of the Muslim Brotherhood  that  created  a master plan for subversion of America  and spawned  the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Badawi has some peculiar beliefs  including  wife beating and execution of apostates- more on that subject later.  Badawi and fellow MB operative, Nihad Awad, Executive director of CAIR will be present for the”God’s Books “ program at the ICM on November 3, 2013. You might consider returning to ask them some pointed questions during the Q+A.

Some things to know about the ICM

As you planning to take busloads of your congregants to visit the ICM here are some things you should know about its leader Imam Bahloul, Shariah versus Jewish Halacha and what the Rambam Maimonides had to say about  Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Imam Bahloul is a distinguished graduate who holds a Masters in Da’wah – the call to Islam- from the 1,000 year old Sunni al Azhar University in Cairo. He is  a specialist in reaching out to unbelievers like you and your congregation endeavoring to  convey  a version of Islamic doctrine representing it as a religion of peace.

Given the turmoil in the Middle East doesn’t appear  to be much evidence of peace or tolerance towards non-Muslims.  Two things about the ICM and Imam Bahloul that you ought to know.  During the controversy over the building of the ICM, we found with the assistance of Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism  screen shots on the Facebook pages of a board member of the ICM, Mosaad Rawash. They  contained  tributes to leaders of Hamas, the late blind Sheik Yassin and Dr. Rantisi, both assassinated by the IDF.  Further, when we sent Imam Bahloul and the ICM board in February 2010, a Freedom Pledge abjuring Shariah death fatwas for apostates, former Muslims, he refused to acknowledge it.  When approached by a local group in Murfreesboro in the fall of 2010 to consider a similar pledge  regarding Sharia Islamic law  concerning apostasy, treatment of women and gays he once again refused an opportunity to sign it.

Now, Imam Bahloul has every right to practice his faith with his members  of the ICM under the Freedom of Worship provisions of the First Amendment.  When Ms. Deborah Lauter, director of Civil Rights of the Anti-Defamation League was asked about the ICM board member’s support for Hamas, she said it was “irrelevant”.  What was important in her view was the ICM freedom of worship and ability under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized  Persons Act of 2000 to build a mosque wherever they wanted. The ADL backed that up by filing an Amicus Brief in the Murfreesboro Chancery Court proceedings on behalf of its Interfaith Committee on Mosques.

What’s the difference between Sharia and Halacha?

Before we go further, Shariah is not the equivalent of Halacha.  It’s not. It is a total system of law controlling every aspect of Muslim life.

Rabbi Jon Hausman of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Stoughton, Massachusetts is qualified to distinguish between the two. In addition to his Orthodox ordination, he also undertook study in Arabic and Qur’an doctrine at the American University in Cairo. He reads and speaks Arabic fluently in addition to English and Hebrew. He wrote an article for our publication, the New English Review,Halacha, Sharia and the Religious Acceptance of Constitutional Governance.  Note what Rabbi Hausman said:

In theory, Sharia jurisprudence actually intended to be applicable to Muslims only. Christians [Jews] and other non-Muslims were supposed to be exempt from the provisions of the law; a provision that is not and has never been universally followed. Indigenous Christian and Jewish populations of the Middle East whose communities pre-dated the advent of Islam by centuries later were and are subjected to jizya and other punitive taxes and dissociative treatment. This is a result of their direct or indirect refusal to submit to  Islam according the Qur’an and Hadith as applied   today. Because in Islam, Religion is State and State is Religion.  Islam is political, and is determined to conquer.

Is that the hidden agenda of ICM Imam Bahloul and his board despite their Abrahamic Faith narrative?

What did  Maimonides  warn Jews  about the Prophet Mohammed and Islam?

I’m sure  during your  rabbinic training  you read the  commentaries of Maimonides. Perhaps you may be acquainted  with his Epistle to fellow Jews in Yemen written  in 1172 C.E. to Jacob ben Netan’el al-Fayyemi, who headed the Jewish community in Yemen:

“After him arose the Madman [ha-meshugga] who emulated his precursor since he paved the way for him. But he added the further objective of procuring rule and submission, and he invented his well known religion.”

Then there is this additional comment from the  Maimonides’  Iggeret Teiman:

“Remember, my co-religionists, that on account of the vast number of our sins, G-d has hurled us in the midst of this people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us […] Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase and hate us as much as they. Therefore when David, of blessed memory, inspired by the holy spirit, envisaged the future tribulations of Israel, he bewailed and lamented their lot only in the Kingdom of Ishmael, and prayed in their behalf, for their deliverance, as is implied in the verse, “Woe is me that I sojourn with Meschech that I dwell beside the tents of Kedar.” (Psalms 120:5).

Maimonides fled his native Cordoba during the era of the fanatic Berber Almohads who stormed across the Straits of Gibraltar to take over Al Andaluz in Muslim occupied Spain. The Almohads perpetrated some of the more heinous pogroms of Spanish Jewry. Thus, the myth of ” la convivencia ” that  medievalists  on the faculties of the Jewish Theological Seminary and your own Hebrew Union  Seminary have perpetrated is a dangerous historical delusion. After all the Alhambra predated the Almohad occupation of Spain. Maimonides had no such delusions. Neither should you.

Remember the Firebombing of your rabbinic colleague in Nashville?

A final note about the  problematic Jewish  Muslim community relations  in Nashville.   A homegrown terrorists that impacted Tennessee was the unfortunate case of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly Melvin Bledsoe. Bledsoe was a Muslim convert from Memphis who killed an Army recruiter Pvt. Andy Long  in June 2009 at a Little Rock, Arkansas Mall as payback for fighting his brothers in the Muslim Ummah in Iraq and Afghanistan. Muhammad was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in July 2011. You may recall that Bledsoe/Muhammad had firebombed the home of an Orthodox member of the Nashville rabbinate, Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Sherith Israel in an attempt to kill Jews.

Then there was the incident captured on video at Vanderbilt U in a Q+A session with  Dr. Ahwad Binhazim , part time Muslim chaplain who responded to a question about treatment of gays under Shariah:

Question:  Under Islamic law is it punishable by death if you are a homosexual?”
Binhazim said, “Yes. It is punishable by death.”

We  hope this letter might  equip you for your announced trip with your congregants  to the ICM this Sunday.


Jerry Gordon

Senior Editor

New English Review

And author of The West Speaks

Jihad vs Terrorism: Listen to What Islam’s Authorities Say

def. of terrorismby :

A recent Arabic article appearing in Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper titled “Is Terrorism Jihad?” written by Islamic law expert Dr. Abdul Fatah Idris offers important lessons—from the fact that jihad does involve subjugating non-Muslims to why the Western mentality is still incapable of acknowledging it.

Idris, professor and chairman of Al Azhar University’s Department of Comparative Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Sharia Law, is a well-reputed legal scholar.  He begins his article by defining terrorism and quoting several international bodies that, in his words

define terrorism as an act of violence or threat of violence coming from an individual either on his own volition or in participation with other individuals.  It targets people or organizations or places or means of transportation or the general public in order to threaten or cause injuries or deaths of the people or simply to cripple the effectiveness of international organizations or to cause the loss or damage of those places or properties or to tamper with transportation to interfere in the friendly relations between countries or between the inhabitants of several countries or to extort concessions from some countries.  The conspiracy to commit or to intend to commit or to participate in the committing or to incite the general public to commit the aforementioned crimes constitutes the crime of international terrorism.  The first clause of the Geneva Convention which was adopted by Suppression of Terrorism Conference held in Geneva in 1937 defines terrorism as a criminal act directed against a specific nation with the aims of creating a state of terror in the minds of specific people or a group of people or the general public.

Idris also mentions how “the Islamic Research Academy, in its report issued on November 4th, 2001, defines terrorism as terrorizing innocent people and the destruction of their properties and their essential elements of living and attacking their finances and their persons and their liberties and their human dignity without right and spreading corruption throughout the land.”

Note that, although he quotes from several international bodies, it is only the “Islamic Research Academy” that includes words like “innocent” and “without right,” both of which clearly leave much wiggle room to exonerate terrorist acts committed against those perceived as not being “innocent” or who it is a right to terrorize, which according to many Muslims, includes the West.

At any rate, in the context of the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent terrorist attacks throughout Egypt—including the destruction of over 80 Christian churches—Idris goes on to agree that,

It is therefore correct to define what happened recently [in Egypt] as terrorism and it cannot be called, as some have done [e.g., Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, et al.], a jihad or ribat in the path of Allah, for the difference between them is vast.  Terrorism is a crime, both according to Sharia and the law; and all international conventions consider it a crime and call on all people to fight against it through all means.

Up until this point, Idris defines and agrees with the international definition of terrorism, and portrays the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (whom he never names) as terrorism.

So far so good.

However, Idris immediately makes a complete reversal in his follow-up sentences:

But jihad in the path of Allah, to make his word supreme, spread his religion, defend the honor of the Islamic nation [umma], and respond to the aggression against Muslims all around the earth—this is jihad: when a Muslim fights an infidel without treaty to make the word of Allah Most High supreme, forcing him to fight or invading his land, this is a permissible matter according to the consensus of the jurists.  Indeed, it is an obligation for all Muslims.  Now if the deeds of the jihad—including fighting the infidels and breaking their spine through all possible means—are permissible according to Sharia, then it is impossible to define those acts as terrorism, which Sharia-based evidence has made illegitimate. A large gap exists between them [jihad and terrorism].  And there is no connection between what is obligatory [jihad] and what is forbidden [terrorism].

At this point, the befuddled Western reader may be at a loss to understand how, exactly, jihad—“according to the consensus of the jurists,” no less—is different from the aforementioned definitions of terrorism.

What’s needed here is for the non-Muslim to try to transcend his epistemology and think, for a moment, like an observant Muslim, especially in the context of two points:

  1. According to Islamic doctrine, jihad, as Idris asserts, is an obligation for Muslims (offensive being communal, defensive being individual).  As this expert of Islamic jurisprudence states:  “But jihad in the path of Allah, to make his word supreme, spread his religion…  this is jihad: when a Muslim fights an infidel without treaty [e.g. dhimma pact] to make the word of Allah Most High supreme, forcing him to fight or invading his land…
  2. In Islamic thinking, even offensive jihad—including “breaking [the infidels’] spine through all possible means”—is seen as something of an altruistic affair, for the good of the world.  More to the point, the ends justify the means.

Taking these two points together—(1) Allah commands Muslims to wage jihad and (2) it is good for all concerned, a means to a glorious end, i.e., “making Allah’s word supreme”—how can Muslims classify jihad as “terrorism,” even when, from a non-Muslim perspective, it seems identical to the international definitions of terrorism that Idris himself delineated and agreed with?

In short, jihad is not terrorism simply because Allah says so—even if the two, back in the real world, are identical.  In the words of Idris: “Now if the deeds of the jihad—including fighting the infidels and breaking their spine through all possible means—are permissible according to Sharia, then it is impossible to define those acts as terrorism.”

Read more



Dr. Boaz Ganor – The Definition of Terrorism: A Fundamental Counter-Terrorism Measure:

Islamists on defensive throughout Middle East

1376930621000-AP-Mideast-EgyptUSA Today, By Oren Dorell:

The backlash against Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt comes as secular forces across the Middle East are rising up in opposition to political Islam. Divisions reach from top leaders to the street.

Political leaders in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan have sided with the Egyptian military and secularists who backed the July 3 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

On the streets of Cairo over the weekend, mobs and snipers attacked Morsi supporters, forcing security forces accused of slaughtering the Islamists to stand between them and the mob. The violence in Egypt echoes similar, though less deadly, backlashes against a recently installed Islamic ruling party in Tunisia, and one in power since 2002 in Turkey.

“The Egyptian uprising two years ago was against the Egyptian army,” says Michael Rubin, a Middle East expert at the American Enterprise Institute. But after one year of Muslim Brotherhood rule, “suddenly (Egyptians) are coming out in the streets seeing the army as their savior.”

Egypt’s anti-Brotherhood uprising has caused at least 900 deaths in clashes so far, with the latest deaths being 25 policemen killed Monday by masked gunmen on the Sinai Peninsula, an area of frequent clashes between Islamist militants and security forces. It comes after the May-June Gezi Park protests in Turkey against what protesters there described as the creeping authoritarianism of that country’s Islamist ruling party and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the Islamist Ennhada party has been deadlocked with secularists demanding it step aside and allow a caretaker government to take charge. Secularists emboldened by Morsi’s ouster in Egypt took to the streets there three weeks ago after the assassination of a second secularist politician this year by Islamist gunmen.

“We’ve seen a backlash against the first wave of political actors of the immediate post-revolutionary moment,” says Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Whether secularists “are making a play everywhere” is unclear, Satloff says, and Gulf states are following their own national interests.

Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are supporting the Egyptian military against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. But they are also supporting the Brotherhood in other arenas, such as Syria, where Brotherhood and other Islamist fighters are trying to topple a Shiite- and Iranian-backed tyrant, Bashar Assad.

The Gulf states want stability and to counter Shiite expansion in Syria and Iraq, so they support Islamists when it fits their national interests, Satloff says.

“If you’re looking for consistency this is not the region to do it,” he notes.

Arab kings and sheiks are speaking out in support of secular civil society and against Islamists because “they know that eventually the Brotherhood will go after them” too, says Walid Phares, author of the book The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East. “It would be a better deal to recognize civil society little by little than to fall all at once to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.”

The conflict between secularists and Islamists is also generating a new religious dialog about the role of religion in politics, something many in the West have said is needed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Phares said.

Grand sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb of Cairo’s al-Azhar University urged Brotherhood members to renounce violence and said his institution would resist political efforts to influence religious scholars, according to a translation by Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“Religious non-Islamist leaders of the Arab world want free of the sphere of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Phares said.

Aaron Zelin, who runs the Jihadology blog, an archive of primary source jihadi documents, says the Arab uprising caused people across the region to speak and act when they feel wronged by their leaders, but it’s far too early to count the Islamists out.

The military crackdown in Egypt has brought together all the strands of Islamists, causing ultra-conservative Salafists to join with jihadists in backing the non-violent Brotherhood, Zelin said. All want an Islamist state, and they see the crackdown as an affront against them all.

“They’re taking a beating now, but they’ll be back,” Zelin says.

Follow Dorell on Twitter @OrenDorell

Muslim Brotherhood: Convention to Protect Women is Anti-Islamic

Women wearing sharia-proscribed clothing.

Women wearing sharia-proscribed clothing.

By Ryan Mauro:

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official website in Arabic has published an article highlighting the comments of a senior Egyptian Islamist scholar criticizing the United Nations Violence Against Women Convention for violating Islam and promoting Westernization.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Mahdi, a member of Al-Azhar University’s Council of Senior Scholars and head of the Sharia Association, was reacting to the endorsement of the U.N. convention by Dr. Mervat Al-Talawi, the leader of Egypt’s National Council for Women.

Dr. Al-Mahdi said that the U.N. convention is part of a war on Islam and that women are treated better under Sharia than Western law. He claimed “that Islam has given women a place of honor, and has allowed them to take part in the country’s awakening, while in the West, the women have to search for employment and rely only on themselves. Islam, on the other hand, has given women partners or husbands to take care of them.”

In other words, women in the West are oppressed because they are allowed to work and to be self-sufficient. He also said that their roles as mothers, wives and daughters are protected under Sharia.

Al-Mahdi’s description of a woman’s place under Sharia Law is a good example of how Islamists present the issue of women’s rights. In their view, Sharia Law brings true freedom, justice and equality to women. When they use those comforting terms, they are actually talking about Sharia-based governance.

Read more at The Clarion Project


What Muslim Leaders Say About Islam Dispels the Myth that Jihadists are a “Fringe” Element

Ali-GomaaCitizen Warrior:

WHEN WE discover some basic facts about Islam, our first impulse is to think, “But surely it’s only a small minority of extremists!” If you’ve looked into it, and especially if you’ve read the Quran, you realize the “extremists” are following standard, mainstream Islamic doctrine. That’s a real shock when this first dawns on you.

One day when I was reading yet another popular Muslim leader giving a speech and saying something that would be considered “inflammatory rhetoric” if I said it, but that was nothing more than just plain, ordinary Islamic teachings, I thought I should start collecting a list. Here’s what I have so far (below). I’m sure I’ll add to it as I go along, and I hope you to add to it in the comments.

I thought you could send this list of quotes to those people who tell you “the terrible stuff you say about Islam” only applies to a fringe group of nutcases who have hijacked Islam and twisted and distorted peaceful Islamic teachings into something bad. You could quote chapter and verse from Islamic source books until you’re blue in the face without making a dent because they’ll think hardly any Muslims nowadays believe in that stuff.

This list should disabuse anyone of the notion that the incessant intolerance, hatred, and even violence against non-Muslims is “fringe.” This is not just a small group of “radicals.” This is Islam, plain and simple. The leaders quoted below are hugely popular,even famous mainstream leaders in the Islamic world. For each quote, I’ve provided an online source. Let’s begin:

Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt, the highest Muslim religious authority in the world, supports murdering non-Muslims. In the daily Al Ahram (April 7, 2008), he said, “Muslims must kill non-believers wherever they are unless they convert to Islam.” He also compares non-Muslims to apes and pigs. Source

Muhammad Sayyid Al Tantawi, president of Al Azhar University (the most prominent and authoritative institute of Islamic jurisprudence in the world) also approves of killing and maiming Christians, Jews, and other infidels. He added, “This is not my personal view. This what the Shari’a Law says, the law of Allah, the only valid law on the earth.” Source

Syed Abul Ala Maududi, founder of the Pakistani political party Jamaat-e-Islami, said non-Muslims have “absolutely no right to seize the reins of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines.” If they do, “the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.” Source

The Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh abdullah bin Muhammad bin Humaid teaches that “at first fighting was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after that it was made obligatory.” He clearly identifies two groups Muslims are obligated to fight: “(1) they who start fighting against Muslims, and (2) they who worship gods other than Allah.” Source

The most prominent Muslim scholar of the 20th century, Sheikh Abu Ala Maududi, stated in his book, Islamic Law and Constitution, on p. 262, that the Islamic State “seeks to mould every aspect of life and activity. In such a state no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private. Considered from this aspect the Islamic State bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states.” Maududi added “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam.”Source

There is much more at Citizen Warrior. Bookmark it.


Al Azhar Scholar: Christian Copts Will Pay Jizya

Dr. Mahmoud Shu’ban

Dr. Mahmoud Shu’ban

By Raymond Ibrahim:

During a recent interview, Dr. Mahmoud Shu‘ban, a professor at Al Azhar University, made clear that the Copts, Egypt’s Christian minority, will pay the jizya—what is often referred to in the West as an Islamic “poll tax.” According to the Al Azhar professor, “If non-Muslims were to learn the meaning of ‘jizya,’ they would ask for it to be applied—and we will apply it, just like Islam commands us to.” His logic is that, if Christians pay the jizya, they would buy for themselves “protection,” hence why they themselves should want to pay it.

Most Western apologists for Islam also claim that jizya money was historically paid to protect conquered dhimmis, though they often imply protection from outside enemies, non-Muslims. In fact, the jizya was/is protection money from surrounding Muslims themselves—precisely Shu‘ban’s point: pay up and maybe your churches won’t be burned and your girls routinely abducted; because you are not paying, you are not protected from such things and have no right to complain.

Read more at Jihad Watch

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Egypt, 2012: The Year In Fatwas

Picture-111By Raymond Ibrahim:

In previous decades in Egypt, the fatwas, or legal decrees issued by learned Muslims and based on Sharia law, revolved around questions like proper prayer, when and where women should wear the hijab, and if smoking was forbidden or permissible.

That was then.

The fatwas issued in the year 2012—the year when Islamists, spearheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood, assumed formal power—are, as one would expect, markedly different, that is, much less restrained.  The popular Egyptian Arabic website El-Watan News recently compiled a list of 2012’s most “notable” (a euphemism) fatwas.  I translate a summary of their findings below, augmented with additional observations:

Destruction of the Pyramids and Sphinx

In November, Sheikh Murjan Salem al-Jawhari, a Salafi leader, called for the destruction of all idols, relics, and statues in Egypt, specifically mentioning the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids.  He called on Muslims to destroy such “idols” just as they destroyed the Buddha statues in Afghanistan.  Of course, several months earlier, in July, I reported how several prominent Islamic clerics were calling on President Morsi to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As [the first Muslim invader of Egypt] could not.” Then and now, the MSM scoffed at the very idea, portraying it as a “hoax.” To date, reports from Egypt confirm that “some of the statues have already been destroyed by those belonging to the political Islamist parties.”

Marrying Minors (i.e., Pedophilia)

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Vice President of the Salafi Da‘wa movement, and thus an authoritative figure among Egypt’s Salafis, who are playing a prominent role in Egypt’s new parliament, opposed setting a minimum age in the new constitution concerning the marriage of minor girls, saying “they can get married at any time,” while insisting that Sharia law is clear on this matter.  Indeed, earlier, another cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, after saying that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle,” explained the fundamental criterion of when they can copulate: whenever “they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men,” which has less to do with age and more to do with individual capacity.

Permitting Lies and Hypocrisy

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami also permitted wives to “lie to their husbands”  about their whereabouts—if they were going to go and vote “yes”  on the Sharia-heavy constitution in Egypt, and if their husbands would otherwise have disapproved. The ever-expedient Salafi leader also permitted Egypt to borrow money from the IMF, rationalizing the “forbidden” interest rate away as “administrative charges.”  (Islam forbids the participation in monetary loans that charge interest, as does the IMF.)

Scrapping Camp David Accords

Sheikh Hashem Islam, member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, said that the peace treaty with Israel contradicts the teachings of Sharia and should be annulled, quoting the Koran: “So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds” (47:35).  He added that “Jews cannot be trusted.” The Islamic logic he and others use is that peace treaties with infidels are legitimate only when Muslims are weak and in need, whereas now that Egypt is under proper Muslim leadership, Allah will help it to defeat Israel.

Killing Anyone Protesting Islamization of Egypt

Sheikh Hashem Islam also permitted the killing of anti-Islamization protesters, portraying them as traitors committing “high treason.” The Sheikh also exempted the murderers from having to pay the restitution required by Sharia to a Muslim victim’s family.  Sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim issued a similar fatwa, proclaiming any Muslim who rejects the Sharia-heavy constitution of being an apostate who must be fought and killed.

Obeying President Morsi

Sheikh Ahmed Mahlawi, the leader of an Alexandrian mosque, denounced all Muslims opposed to President Morsi, pointing out that the Koran declares it to be forbidden to disobey those in authority: “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger [Muhammad] and those in authority among you” (4:59). He added that Morsi should be obeyed whether he was elected or not—as long as he enforces the laws of Allah. Indeed, according to Sharia, the Islamic ruler must always be obeyed—except whenever he fails to enforce Sharia law.

Read more at Front Page

Obama’s Favorite Islamic University Goes Zombie, Tells High School Students They Can Kill and Eat Apostates, As Long As They Don’t Cook Them

Al-Azhar University

Al-Azhar University


Everyone has standards. Even Islamist cannibals.

In 2009, Obama visited Cairo and in his famous speech praised Al Azhar University as “a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century.”

“It was Islam, at places like Al-Azhar,” Obama said, “that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.”

And nothing says light of civilization… like cannibalism.

“Listen also to what they teach to kids… It says, “We allowed the eating of the flesh of dead humans… under necessary conditions.”

It [Dead human flesh] must not be cooked or grilled to avoid Haram [wrongdoing].”

So he’s allowed to eat him without cooking or grilling.

“…and he can kill a murtadd (apostate) and eat him.”…

That’s right!

You mean… the killing of a human being and then grilling him/her and eating him/her?

Yes, because he’s hungry!!!

No, no, no…

Not only that…

This is being taught here at al-Azhar (religious university)?

Listen, sir!… “Al-Azhar al-Sharif (honorable al-Azhar) Azhari Colleges Section, Central Administration for Books, Libraries & Teaching Aide…”

“… for 3rd year high-school”.

This sentence was taken from page 256, from this year’s edition.

Also listen to this… “he can kill the married adulterer, the fighter, whoever gave up praying, and whoever has a punishment on him… even if the Imam did not give his permission for the killing.”

Take note… those are allowing people to go kill other people.

Despite some of the rhetoric in this video, this is probably not an invitation for Cannibal Islamist mobs to begin roaming the streets devouring the flesh of apostates. It would make for a hell of a zombie movie though.

Read the rest

Meet Al Jazeera’s Holocaust-Denying Televangelist…Is This What We Can Expect on the New Current TV?

stop al JazeeraBy

By now many have heard about Al Jazera’s recent acquisition of Current TV, Al Gore’s floundering television network that has, since its inception in 2005, displayed not only abysmal ratings but also blatant anti-Israel and anti-U.S. bias.

Ironically, The Blaze sought to purchase Current, but was rebuffed by its executives who stated that they could not in good conscience sell out to a network whose point of view was not aligned with theirs. Thus, the only reasonable step for Gore and company was to seal a multi-million dollar deal with Al Jazeera, because, according to Current co-founder Joel Hyatt, the Qatar-based network “was founded with the same goals we had for Current.”

So what, exactly, are those shared goals and values? And what might a revamped Al Jazeera-led lineup at the new (and likely not so improved) Current TV look like?

A glimpse at Al Jazeera’s highest-rated program to date might give us an inkling into what lies ahead and it is cringe-inducing (though not surprising) to say the least.

Current: Meet Muslim Brotherhood spiritual sherpa and Al Jazeera’s top performing Islamic televangelist Youssef al-Qaradawi, best known for repeatedly twisting the Holocaust into a mold that suits his Islamic agenda and for declaring that his greatest hope is simply to live long enough to “shoot dead Allah’s enemies, the Jews.” The prolific imam has also issued hundreds of fatwas on everything from homosexuality to music to the role of female suicide bombers in their noble pursuit of jihad.

In light of Hyatt’s disturbing statement concerning his network’s shared goals with Al Jazeera, it is perhaps prudent to review the latter’s star talent, who has graced the homes of some 60 million viewers for the past 15 years with his weekly program ”Shariah and Life.”

 Qaradawi 3Qaradawi’s Anti-Semitism

Returning to Qaradawi’s long-harbored desire to live long enough so that Allah might grant him the singular opportunity of personally slaying Jewish people, the imam stated during a televised speech:

“I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s mercy and blessings upon you.”

According to Qaradawi, for their inherent ”evil,” Allah imposed upon the Jews a series of “punishments,” the last one led by Adolf Hitler “by means of all the things he did to them.”

“He [Hitler] managed to put them in their place.”

“This [the Holocaust] was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers,” Qaradawi stated proudly during a televised broadcast in 2009.

The imam openly praised the fuhrer for teaching the Jews “a divine lesson” while in the same breath minimizing the Holocaust by saying that the Jewish people have “exaggerated the issue.”

So, the imam uses the Shoah in a way that suits him, in a way that furthers his agenda, while at the same time denying the true extent of the carnage lest he engender any “undue” sympathy for the Jewish people.

Anti-Semitic diatribes such as the one featured above are just a small taste of what Qaradawi has offered on his weekly Sunday broadcasts.

So who is Qaradawi?

According to lore, Qaradawi is no ordinary imam or mufti, having allegedly memorized the entire Quran by age 10. He was born in Egypt in 1926, graduated from Al Azhar University in Cairo and by 1942 joined the Muslim Brotherhood, the grandfather of all major militant Islamic groups including Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda.

The imam was arrested several times for the activities he carried out while with the Brotherhood and subsequently fled to Qatar in 1961, where he still resides. He has become the preeminent Muslim (or at least Sunni) “authority” on all things Islam, covering a range of topics from “mother’s milk banks” to the right of every Palestinian woman to offer herself up as a suicide-bombing martyr.

Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood

Qaradawi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood stem back to his days as a student at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he met Brotherhood-founder (and not coincidentally, Hitler admirer) Hassan al-Banna. Banna was perhaps the first to offer Qaradawi a glimpse into alternative views on the handling of societies ills and “perversions.”

Despite living in exile in Qatar — something that is more than likely to change now that his progeny,

Mohammed Morsi is at the helm in Egypt — Qaradawi has the Brotherhood leader’s ear, acting as his key spiritual adviser. While the imam turned down an official position with the Brotherhood, allegedly because he felt his true calling was to evangelize Islam, he still greatly influences the grandfather of all jihadist groups to this day, and in no small way.

Consider that as recently as 2010 Morsi viciously referred to Israeli Jews as “blood-suckers” and  ”descendants of apes and pigs,” invoking age-old anti-Semitic slurs. Here, we see Hitler’s influence via al Banna and later, Qaradawi, weaving its web of hate and vitriol over today’s Islamic leaders.

Morsi called on Muslims “outside Palestine” to “support the resistance fighters and besiege the Zionist wherever they are.”

“None of the Arab or Muslim peoples and regimes should have dealings with them,” the Egyptian president went on to state. “Pressure should be exerted upon them. They must not be given any opportunity, and must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land. They must be driven out of our countries.”

So how does Qaradawi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood relate to Al Jazeera and now by default, Current TV? According to David Reaboi, vice president for strategic communications at the Center for Security Policy, both network’s programing have shown some rather specific parallels concerning the Muslim Brotherhood from as early as the onset of the Arab Spring. In a statement to TheBlaze, Reaboi, noted that both Current and Al Jazeera, “presented the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover in Egypt as a democratic revolution.”

“Both networks pushed provably false narratives about the future of Egypt’s ‘democracy,’ it’s ideological makeup, and demonized those that correctly assessed the situation,” he continued.

“Qaradawi’s role in mobilizing public and nation-state support for the Islamic ascendancy, from Tunisia through Egypt, Libya, Syria and beyond, cannot be overstated. When Qaradawi declared Gadhafi and Assad ‘unIslamic,’ it was not just his estimated 60 million viewers that got the message.”

Reaboi added that Qaradawi’s fatwa indeed helped inform the Obama administration in its calculation about views from the “Arab Street” on such issues. Thus, the imam’s influence is indeed far-reaching and has the power to effect change in a negative way.

Read more at the Blaze