George W. Bush Didn’t Create ISIS; Islam Did

pic_giant_052115_SM_ISIS-FightersNRO, by David French, May 21, 2015:

There are few things the Left loves more than a college liberal “speaking truth” to conservative power. Days ago, 19-year-old University of Nevada student Ivy Ziedrich seemed to enjoy just such a moment and “made headlines around the world” when she confronted Jeb Bush about ISIS. Ms. Ziedrich had the gumption to confront Bush in the midst of a scrum of reporters and confidently recite leftist conventional wisdom about the current Middle East crisis, declaring: “Your brother created ISIS!” After all, according to accepted academic conventional wisdom, the war in Iraq is the source of all (recent) jihadist evil.

And with that statement, the clock started running on 15 minutes of fame — no, 15 minutes of public adulation. Interviews with ABC News, the New York Times, and other outlets followed, with reporters eager to hear her thoughts on the Middle East. And while Ms. Ziedrich is no expert, there is one thing she said that is all too true: “It’s frustrating to see politicians ignore the origins of our conflicts abroad.”

Yes, Ms. Ziedrich, it certainly is. And if you’re on the left or from some quarters of the right, it must be downright exhausting to not only “understand” those origins but also link them in some way to the failings of American, Israeli, or imperialist European policies. Here’s the current scorecard: ISIS is George W. Bush’s fault. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban exist because of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (through the Afghan war against the Soviets and then the Desert Storm-related American troop presence in Saudi Arabia, of course), with the various al-Qaeda franchises in Syria, Yemen, and North Africa merely the fruit of the same poisonous Reaganite tree. The jihadist destruction of ancient — pre-Muslim — world heritage sites? That’s just collateral damage in the war against Reagan and the Bushes. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO are easy to peg — Israeli creations, one and all, existing solely because of the “Occupied Territories.” As for Libya, we actually put those jihadists in power. But what about Boko Haram? I’m sure any decent professor can tell me some way we’re responsible for their atrocities.

But that’s just the last few decades. What about tracing further back? To the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood or to the Ikhwan of the Arabian peninsula? The Ikhwan — as savage as ISIS — trace their origins back to 1913, before the Europeans dominated the Middle East. What about the centuries of conflict between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire? Vienna must have richly deserved its sieges. After all, Europeans launched the Crusades, right?

And before the Crusades, when jihadist Muslim armies invaded and conquered the Christian lands of the Middle East and North Africa, capturing the Iberian Peninsula and threatening modern-day France, there’s little doubt that they were simply striking out at . . . something the Christians did. No, Ms. Ziedrich, George W. Bush didn’t create ISIS. Islam did. Embedded within this faith is a concept called “jihad,” and no matter how many professors tell you otherwise, there are countless millions of Muslims throughout more than a millennium of history who’ve interpreted “jihad” not as a mandate for self-help and personal improvement but as a mandate for war and conquest, a mandate to purify and spread the faith at the point of the sword. The influence of militaristic jihadists waxes and wanes, but it is there, always.

To believe that American actions have created the jihad is to give America greater influence over the Muslim heart than Allah. The current jihad is an extension of the ancient jihad. The foes have changed (the Habsburgs are long gone, and the Holy League peaked at Lepanto in 1571), but the motivation is the same. Why did Osama bin Laden mention “the tragedy of Andalusia” (the more than 500-year-old reconquest of Muslim Spain) in his post-9/11 address? Because, for the jihadist, it’s all one war.

So, by all means, let’s not ignore “the origins of our conflicts abroad.” Regarding our conflict with Islamic terrorists, the origins lie in a religious imperative, one that predates the founding of the United States by more than ten centuries. George W. Bush is no more responsible for creating that conflict than he is for writing the Koran, passing down the Hadith, or establishing the first Caliphate. And in confronting that foe, our choices are the same choices faced by the great non-Muslim powers that came before us: convert, submit, die, or fight. Given those options, there is but one valid choice for a free people. It’s too bad that Ms. Ziedrich, her peers, and her media cheerleaders can’t see past the politics to understand the troubling truth. After all, it will soon be her generation’s turn on the wall. Will they accept the challenge? — David French is an attorney, a staff writer at National Review, and a veteran of the Iraq War.

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Daniel Greenfield explains another leftist narrative:

De-Islamization Is the Only Way to Fight ISIS

ISIS_Coptic_Christians-450x254Frontpage, May 19, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Obama can’t defeat ISIS with soft power, though ISIS could beat him with soft power assuming its Caliph ever decided to agree to sit down at a table with John Kerry without beheading him. Iran has picked up billions in sanctions relief and the right to take over Yemen and raid ships in international waters in the Persian Gulf just for agreeing to listen to Kerry talk for an hour. And that might be a fair exchange.

As bad as having your capital or ship seized by Iran is, listening to John Kerry talk is even worse.

If ISIS were to agree to a deal, it could pick up Baghdad and Damascus just in exchange for showing up. All it would have to do is find a Jihadi who hasn’t chopped off any heads on camera to present as a moderate. The administration and its media operatives would accuse anyone who disagreed of aiding the ISIS hardliners at the expense of the ISIS moderates who also represent the hardliners.

If Obama did that, he would at least lose in a way that he understands; instead of in a way he doesn’t.

So far ISIS has preferred the classical approach of killing everything in its path. The approach, deemed insufficiently nuanced by masters of subtlety like Obama and Kerry, has worked surprisingly well. Their response, which is big on the Bush arsenal of drone strikes, Special Forces raids and selective air strikes, hasn’t. But Bush was fighting terrorist groups, not unrecognized states capable of taking on armies.

It’s hard to destroy something if you don’t know what it is. And it’s hard to know what a thing is if you won’t even call it by its name or name its ideology.

The left loves root causes, but the root cause of ISIS isn’t poverty, unemployment or a lack of democracy.

It’s Islam.

The Islamic State isn’t unnatural. Its strength comes from being an organic part of the region, the religion and its culture. Its Arab enemies have performed so poorly fighting it because their institutions, their governments and their armies are unstable imitations of Western entities.

The United States can’t make the Iraqi army work because Iraq isn’t America. The assumptions about meritocracy, loyalty to comrades and initiative that make our military work are foreign in Iraq and Afghanistan where the fundamental unit is not the nation, but the tribe, clan and group.

Iraq and Syria aren’t countries; they’re collections of quarreling tribes that were forced into an arrangement that included the forms of Western government without any of the substance. When the Europeans left, kingdoms quickly became military juntas. Now the juntas are fighting for survival against Islamic insurgencies that are striving to return the region to what it was in the days of Mohammed.

ISIS is the ultimate decolonization effort. It’s what the left claims that it wants. But real decolonization means stripping away everything the Europeans brought, including constitutions, labor unions and elections. The cities that ISIS controls have been truly decolonized. There is no music, there are no rights, slavery is back and every decision is made by a cleric with a militia or a militia leader with a cleric.

That’s Mohammed. It’s the Koran. It’s Islam.

ISIS, or something very much like it, was always waiting to reemerge out of the chaos. Before ISIS, there were the Wahhabi armies of the Ikhwan which did most of the same things as ISIS. The British bombed them to pieces in the 1920s and the remainder became the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

The insistence on democratic institutions weakened the military juntas holding back Islamist insurgencies. Islamists took power across the region. Where they couldn’t win elections, they went to war. But whether they won on the battlefield or the ballot box, violence and instability followed them.

The fundamental mistake of the Arab Spring was the failure to understand that Islamist democracy is still a road leading to the Caliphate. Turkey’s Erdogan, the Islamist whose rule was used to prove that Islamist democracy can work, now openly promotes the reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire.

Or as Mullah Krekar of Ansar Al-Islam put it, “The resistance is not only a reaction to the American invasion; it is part of the continuous Islamic struggle since the collapse of the Caliphate. All Islamic struggles since then are part of one organized efforts to bring back the Caliphate.”

A decade later, the Norwegian Jihadist leader has proven to be more accurate than his Western hosts.

ISIS is not a reaction. It’s the underlying pathology in the Muslim world. Everything planted on top of that, from democracy to dictatorships, from smartphones to soft drinks, suppresses the disease. But the disease is always there. The left insists that Western colonialism is the problem. But the true regional alternative to Western colonialism is slavery, genocide and the tyranny of Jihadist bandit armies.

Our policy for fighting ISIS is colonialism by another name. We are trying to reform Iraqi institutions in line with our values and build a viable Iraqi military along the lines of our own military. We’re doing much of what the British were doing, but without their financial interests or imperial ambitions.

And all of this is reluctantly overseen by Barack Obama; the progressive campaigner against colonialism.

To deal with a problem, we must be honest about what it is and what we are doing about it. If we lie to ourselves, we cannot and will not succeed.

After the failure of democracy and political Islam, Obama has been forced to return to what works. Islamization has failed and so we are back to trying Westernization. The missing element is admitting that Islamization has failed because Islam was the problem all along. The West is the solution.

But institutional Westernization that that never goes beyond a few government offices and military officers won’t work. Neither will the attempt to artificially inject a few big ideas such as democracy into an undemocratic tribal culture. The only alternative to depending on military juntas is transforming the people. Sunni Gulf Arabs responded to their military and economic dependence on the West with a largely successful campaign to Islamize the West. The West won a culture war with the USSR. It is capable of winning one with Saudi Arabia. It has even unintentionally won a culture war with Iran.

ISIS is not a military force. It is a cultural one. Much of its success has come from its cultural appeal.

As long as the Middle East is defined in terms of Islam, some variation of the Islamic State or the Muslim Brotherhood bent on recreating the Caliphate will continue reemerging. We can accept that and give up, but the growing number of Muslim migrants and settlers mean that it will emerge in our country as well.

We have a choice between Islamization and de-Islamization.

After defeating Saddam, we pursued the de-Baathization of Iraq. If we are going to intervene in the Muslim world, it should not be to reward one Islamist group, whether it’s Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood, at the expense of another. Instead we must carve out secular spaces by making it clear that our support is conditional on civil rights for Christians, non-believers and other non-Muslims.

Our most potent weapon isn’t the jet, it’s our culture. We disrupt Islamists with our culture even when we aren’t trying. Imagine what we could accomplish if we really tried.

But first we must abandon the idea that we need to take sides in Islamic civil wars. Any intervention we undertake should be conditioned on a reciprocal degree of de-Islamization from those governments that we are protecting. Instead of pursuing democracy, we should strengthen non-Islamic and counter-Islamic forces in the Muslim world.

We can’t beat ISIS with Islam and we can’t fight for freedom while endorsing constitutions that make Sharia law into the law of the land in places like Iraq and Libya.

We don’t only need to defeat ISIS. We must defeat the culture that makes ISIS inevitable.

Also see:

“Islam is the Religion of War”

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

UTT, by John Guandolo, May 18, 2015:

When the leader of the Islamic State, al Baghdadi, said “Islam is not the religion of peace, Islam is the religion of war,” he meant it.

Here are 6 reasons indicating al Baghdadi is correct:

1.  Islamic World is United in Teaching Jihad Must Be Waged Until Islam Rules the World

At Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt – the pre-eminent school of Islamic jurisprudence in the world and the oldest – they teach the purpose of Islam is to destroy the Dar al Harb (House of War) until the entire world is the Dar al Islam (House of Islam) and Sharia (Islamic Law) is the law of the land.  The vehicle to do this is called “Jihad” which is only defined in Sharia as “warfare against non-Muslims.”

In Islamic schools across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Central/South America, Mexico, Asia, and North America, first graders are taught that Islam must rule the world, and Christians and Jews are to be hated by Muslims.

All published Sharia mandates jihad until a Caliphate is created and Sharia is the “Law of the Land” across the globe.  All published Sharia only defines “jihad” as “warfare against non-Muslims.”

Note: It is a capital crime in Islam for a Muslim to teach another Muslim something that is incorrect about Islam.

2. Senior Islamic Scholars Call for Jihad Against Non-Muslims

The most prominent and well-educated Islamic scholars call for jihad and the implementation of Sharia, and many are even labeled as “terrorists” by the West.

Omar Abdel Rahman is arguably one of the most respected Islamic scholars alive on the planet today. As some of you may know, he is also known as the “Blind Sheikh,” and is in federal prison in the United States for his involvement with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other plots in New York and beyond. Yet today, Rahman is hailed as a great scholar and many are calling for his release from prison.  He is an Al Azhar trained/educated Islamic scholar.

Abdullah Azzam graduated with a degree in Sharia from Damascus University before being invited to attend Al Azhar University.  After he finished his studies, he was asked to teach at Al Azhar, putting him in a very small and elite group of Islamic scholars.  This is the man who, with Osama bin Laden, developed Al Qaeda and its beginnings.

Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi is one of the most widely respected and sought after Islamic scholars in the world today, and hosts the most popular show on Al Jazeera (“Sharia and Life”).  He is currently the President of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS) and leads the European Council for Fatwa and Research.  He has twice been offered the position of “Supreme Guide” of the International Muslim Brotherhood, and is the man who led the first Jummah prayers in Tahrir Square in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood overthrew the Mubarak regime.  That was his first time back in Egypt in 30 years because he was banned from Egypt for his involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood’s assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.  Qaradawi is also the Islamic scholar who called for the killing of American civilians in Iraq.

3.  All “Terrorists” Get Their “Version” of Islam Wrong in the Exact Same Way

ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Abu Sayyef, Al Shabab, Hamas, Hizbollah, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and all Islamic “terrorist” groups on the planet state they are doing what they are doing in order to establish the Caliphate (Global Islamic State) under Sharia law.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s By-Laws say they exist to impose “Allah’s law (sharia) in the land” and establish an “Islamic State.”

The Al Qaeda operatives who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993/USS Cole/US Embassies in Africa (1998)/etc, the 9/11 Hijackers, Major Nidal Hasan (Ft Hood), the “Underwear Bomber,” the Time Square Bomber, the “terrorists” who killed the British soldier in Woolwich (England), the Somalis from Al Shabab who killed citizens in the mall and university attacks (among others) in Kenya, the Muslim who sawed his colleague’s head off in Oklahoma, Terry Lee Lowen who attempted to bomb a plane in Kansas, the jihadis who were killed in Texas in April 2015 (Garland), and all of the other jihadis we and our allies have faced over the last 30 years have all done what they did because they were following the Sharia – and they all say so.

Isn’t it interesting they all say it is a command from Allah to wage jihad until the infidels submit to Allah’s law and an Islamic state is created?  Isn’t it interesting they use the same source materials to quote these commands – all of which have unquestioned authority in Islam?

They all get it wrong in exactly the same way.

4.  Former Muslims Confirm Islam Obliges Jihad and Strict Adherence to Sharia

Scores of men and women who have left Islam – under penalty of death – confirm Islam teaches exactly what Al Qaeda says it does – Jihad is an obligation until Islam rules the world.

Former Muslims United, interestingly, never gets much traction from American media, but their stories are powerful, and they openly discuss the truth about Islam.

Nonie Darwish, whose father was a Shaheed, says “Islam wants to rule the world.”  Former Muslim and Al Azhar scholar Mark Gabriel (alias) makes clear Al Azhar teaches Jihad is a permanent obligation until Islam rules the world under Sharia.   The Quran commands it, and the Prophet Mohammad taught and did it.

5.  The History of Islam is Consistent with Their Doctrine (Sharia)

Over the last 1400 years, when Islam had the material ability and strength to do so (per Sharia), it has waged Jihad on the non-Muslim world.  From the 7th century to today, this has been true.  Western Civilization has defended itself against the Islamic armies since the time Mohammad became a political and military leader in Medina in approximately 623 AD.

In the early 1920’s, the Ottoman Empire (Caliphate) was dissolved by Mustapha Kamal and the nation state of Turkey created. While most people in the West forgot or never knew this, the Muslim world has not forgotten.  Since the Islamic community began growing their wealth from oil money in the 1960’s and ’70’s, the world has watched the growth of the Islamic Jihad – because the Sharia demands it.

Our “ally” – Saudi Arabia – continues to fund the global jihad today.

6.  Where is the Other “Version” of Islam Taught?

The obvious question must be asked: Where is this other mystical and peaceful version of Islam and where is it taught? Can anyone name one authoritative text of Islamic jurisprudence from any country or century that teaches something other than the fact Islam exists to wage Jihad until the world is under the rule of Sharia?

The answer is – “NO.”

There is no authoritative Islamic text that teaches something different because there is no other “version” of Islam.  While you may find books that discuss other definitions of “jihad” and other “versions” of Islam at your local book store, those books are written for YOU, not the Muslim community.  If you want to read what Muslims are taught, you must go to Islamic/Mosque bookstores and read their stuff.

Why Islam Is More Dangerous Than Other Religions: Shariah, Jihad, and Muhammad

A woman holds a placard during a march and rally in east London, December 13, 2013. They were participating in a rally organized by British Islamist Anjem Choudary condemning use of alcohol and promoting Shariah law.

A woman holds a placard during a march and rally in east London, December 13, 2013. They were participating in a rally organized by British Islamist Anjem Choudary condemning use of alcohol and promoting Shariah law.

Christian Post, BY MIKE DOBBINS, May 14, 2015:

In the wake of the Muhammad cartoon contest attack, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, tens of thousands of Muslims worldwide flocking to join ISIS, and the chronic oppression of women and minorities in Islamic nations, millions of people are taking a second look at Islam. Journalists, politicians, Muslims, and the public are realizing that something is fundamentally different about the religion. With every Islamic inspired beheading, bombing, burning, crucifixion, hanging, kidnapping, raping, shooting, stabbing, beating, lashing, amputation, and stoning, the difference becomes clearer.

If nations are serious about addressing the root cause of Islamic violence and oppression, they must stop deceiving themselves about the cause. The world must acknowledge the features of Islam that make followers more susceptible to acts of terror and tyranny and put out to pasture the discredited excuses of Islamic apologists.

Just like it would be absurd to say all governments are the same and equally benign, it is the height of irrationality to believe religions are the same and don’t differ in their dangerous teachings. While nearly all religions can teach violence and oppression, each religious text and founder is distinct. What they emphasize means the difference between extreme non-violence, as is the case with fundamentalists in Jainism, or extreme violence, as is the case with fundamentalists in Islam.

If the mainstream media persists on shielding Islam from criticism in the name of political correctness and religious sensitivities, the cycle of Islamic violence will continue ad infinitum. Only when we show moderate Muslims that we care more about saving their lives, improving their well being, and protecting their human rights than we care about possibly offending them will we be able to take our first steps towards ending the violence.

Three key aspects of Islam make it different and more dangerous than other religions: Sharia, Jihad, and Muhammad. Please feel free to reference and share this with the many apologists who still remain ignorant or in denial.

1. Sharia: Islamic law, called Sharia, is the only religious law that is incompatible with democracy and human rights. Wherever Sharia is embraced by an Islamic nation, oppression of women, religious minorities, gays, atheists, and ex-Muslims follows. Cruel and unusual punishments are employed and fear is used to control the population.

In Sharia, if you’re a Muslim who commits apostasy and renounces Islam you will be killed. Women have unequal rights in divorce, inheritance, freedom of movement, freedom of dress, and freedom of employment. Sharia supports killing or punishing gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people. Sharia enforces blasphemy laws by stating those who criticize Islam, including the Quran or Muhammad, should be killed or severely punished.

The inhumane treatment of people in Sharia is why the Supreme Court of Turkey, a fledgling Islamic democracy, has effectively banned Sharia. It is also why the European Court of Human Rights ruled Sharia “incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy.”

According to Pew Research Center, a 2013 poll of Muslims worldwide revealed the majority believe Sharia to be revealed by Allah and not created by man. Since Sharia is the law of God, no manmade law can supersede it. Ones allegiance is to Sharia, not secular laws.

As a legal code, Sharia blurs the line between faith and government, making the two indistinguishable. Consequently, religion becomes the rule of law and there is no separation of church and State. This diverges from Christianity that says render unto God what is God’s and Caesar what is Caesar’s and from Jewish law, Halakha, which says Jews should follow the laws of the land they live in.

While some Islamic nations only embrace the civil law aspects of Sharia, for many Sharia is fully implemented and encompasses the personal, cultural, social, political, economic, and legal aspects of life. Though Sharia can be understood differently by the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence, it is often interpreted very strictly as it is in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Brunei, and many others Islamic countries. It’s no coincidence that these countries have some of the most atrocious human rights records in the world.

The strongest evidence that Sharia makes Islam more oppressive than other religions is the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights (CDHRI). 45 Islamic nations have signed the Cairo Declaration that proclaims a number of human rights only to renege on them if they contradict Islamic Sharia. It is a devious way to give the appearance of caring about human rights when in reality it guts the historic 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by declaring Sharia the only source for Muslim ‘human rights’.

To even call the CDHRI a declaration of ‘human rights’ is an affront to the principles of human rights. The Cairo Declaration is an attempt by the majority of Islamic nations to enshrine religious inequality and oppression for eternity and create an Orwellian parallel version of ‘human rights’ to compete with the UDHR. They believe it is a Muslims ‘human right’ to oppress and be oppressed, to carry out cruel and unusual punishments, and to treat women and non-Muslims as inferior.

The Cairo Declaration offers no protections for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or equal rights. For instance, Article 2, section D of the CDHRI states “Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it without a Sharia-prescribed reason.”(Emphasis added) Endless ‘rights’ are no sooner given then they are taken away by declaring that Sharia supersedes all laws guaranteeing human rights.

In case there was any misunderstanding the signers of the declaration included Article 24 that states “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.”
If any rights guaranteed in the Cairo Declaration contradict the Sharia, the Sharia always wins. If any of the rights of the Declaration are not found in the Sharia, then they are not ‘guaranteed.’ Islamic nations would have saved a lot of time had they simply called it the ‘Cairo Declaration of Sharia Over Human Rights’.

No other nations on earth have set up a parallel version of ‘human rights’ to undermine the UDHR in the name of religion. By doing so, Islamic countries have declared Islamic Sharia to be incompatible with human rights and Islam very different than other religions. I unequivocally agree with them.

2. Jihad: Islam is the only major religion to have violent resistance, or violent Jihad, embedded into its sacred scriptures and endorsed by the founder. While Jihad can mean to struggle to improve oneself, Jihad meaning ‘violent struggle’ is prevalent in the Quran, Hadith, Islamic history, and modern day Islam. One need only turn on the evening news to see Jihad in action.

No matter where you go in the world, no matter their economic or educational background, race, age, gender, profession, or country of origin you will find a minority of Muslims turning to violent jihad. No matter where you go in the world, no matter their economic or educational background, race, age, gender, profession, or country of origin you will never find any Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mormon, or humanist followers committing violent Jihad. Violent Jihad is unique to Islam.

Since no other religion has the doctrine of Jihad, we should expect more Muslims to succumb to violence then followers of other faiths. That is exactly what is happening. What would truly be baffling and in need of an explanation is if Muslims weren’t turning to violent Jihad.

Here are but 3 of the many quotes in the Quran and Hadith supporting Jihad. If you read them in context as I suggest you do, it will only reinforce their support of violent jihad.

“Fight those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Quran 9:029

“Our Prophet ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: ‘Whoever amongst us is killed as a syahid shall go to paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master.” Sahih Bukhari 4:53:386

“A single endeavor of fighting in Allah’s Cause is better than the world and whatever is in it.” Sahih Bukhari 4:52:50
Astonishingly, even with Islamic terrorists referring to these passages as their inspiration for Jihad and the Quran and Muhammad’s endorsement of Jihad, Islamic apologists still deny that Islam has anything to do with terrorism or that Islam is different than other religions. It’s like trying to talk to someone with their head buried in blood soaked sand.

While the majority of Muslims do not support Jihad, a sizeable minority does. According to a 2013 Pew Poll of Muslims worldwide, 13% support Al Qaeda’s Jihad. When you take into account that there are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, 13% comes to 208 million Muslims scattered around the globe supporting terrorism. There are 15 times more Muslim Al Qaeda supporters than the entire world Jewish population of 13.9 million.

The goal of Jihad is simple: to spread Islam until it conquers and rules the world and all non-Muslims submit to Islamic rule. Non-Muslims and Muslims deemed apostates would be killed, asked to convert, or forced to pay the Jizyah. They will then implement a version of oppressive Sharia law on the conquered lands.

Jihad will not stop next year, next decade, or next century unless there is a worldwide concerted effort to wipe the legitimacy of Jihad from Islamic doctrines.

3. Muhammad: The prophet Muhammad is the only founder of a major religion to also be a warrior and military leader. This crucial distinction between him and founders of other major religions should be significant for obvious reasons. From the beginning the sacred and profound of Islam were bound to be entangled with the violent and cruel.

Like other military leaders of his day, Muhammad committed many ruthless acts. Islamic biographers reveal that he warred with neighboring tribes, ordered assassinations, killed prisoners of war, exploited women and children, gave his blessing to violent religious Jihad, and made people slaves. Many Muslims are only taught Muhammad’s merciful deeds and still remain shockingly ignorant or in denial of his complete life history.

For Muslims who do know and accept his life story, it can be a strong motivation to cause violence. Islam teaches Muslims that Muhammad is the ultimate role model for and they are encouraged to follow in his footsteps. As the supposed last prophet chosen by God his behavior and character are revered as holy and he is an example to be emulated.

It should come as no surprise that Muhammad’s support for violent acts is a significant source and inspiration for violence committed in Islam’s name. Radical Muslims, including ISIS, are simply doing what their prophet encouraged them to do or did himself. By behaving like Muhammad, Jihadi’s believe their violent acts will bring them closer to God, closer to the prophet, and make them more worthy of entrance into paradise.

If Muhammad had preached non-violence, to love non-Muslims, or to live in peace, then we’d have tens of thousands of Muslims around the world acting like Jesus. Because Muhammad was the antithesis of Jesus, we have tens of thousands of Muslims acting like warriors. This makes Islam, and Muhammad, much more dangerous than other religions.

To live in peace, Muslims and non-Muslims must denounce the violent and hateful parts of Muhammad’s life. They must admit that Muhammad was flawed and that his violent actions and sayings were not holy and contradict the Islamic precepts of mercy and forgiveness.

Ultimately, all Muslims, Imams, Islamic Scholars and Universities, Islamic political leaders, Islamic culture, Western political leaders, and Western culture must renounce Sharia, Jihad, and the violent aspects of Muhammad’s life. The alternative is 1400 more years or murder, mayhem, and broken lives.

Jihadophobia

AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara

AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara

Breitbart, by Daniel Akbari, May 15, 2015:

I’m stunned by how Americans panic when they are threatened with the label “Islamophobe.” They become terrified, their judgment gets clouded, their insight is crippled so that they cannot pause for a moment to ask themselves what Islamophobe means. For Americans, being called an Islamophobe is in the same category as being called homophobic, racist, or sexist. The term Islamophobia has successfully silenced many voices and created an atmosphere in which people deliberately self-censor.

But people should not surrender freedom of speech – the right that Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) said was the most important right of all – in response to propaganda. The goal of propaganda is to provoke an emotional response, but Americans deserve a strongly reasoned argument – a reason that makes sense – to give up their freedom of speech. Unfortunately, the mainstream media and even academia have created a culture of shallowness that stops Americans from thinking profoundly when it comes to controversial issues. In the culture of shallowness, people are unable to analyze things deeply, they just look superficially.

The term Islamophobia is the perfect example of this culture of shallowness at work. Breaking Islamophobia down into two separate words, Islam and phobia, enables us to cut through that culture of shallowness. Both Islam and phobia have simple meanings that are easy to understand if used separately. “Islam” is a religion, it is a set of ideas and rules derived from Islamic authoritative sources: the Koran, Hadith, and the consensus of Islamic scholars over the last 1400 years. “Phobia” is a fear that “is in no way justified by reality.” Since phobias are irrational they are considered a psychological disorder. On the basis of the offered definitions, the term Islamophobia means a fear of Islam that lacks a rational basis.

Islam, as a religion, has been subject to different interpretations. The interpretation that is consistent with the authoritative Islamic sources generates sharia and commands jihad. However, there is a broad spectrum of interpretations, some close to the true understanding of Islam and some considered heretical. Being afraid of the fundamental and traditional Islam from which sharia and jihad are spawned is not irrational. In this regard, calling somebody an Islamophobe is tantamount to calling them a Jihadophobe or Sharia-phobe. The fear of jihad and sharia, for those who know them, is a rational fear, it is not a phobia.

Numerous Koran verses explicitly command jihad. Some of the most famous are surah nine of the Koran 9:5,29,73 verse 5, the Verse of the Sword, verse 29, jihad against People of the Book, and verse 73 jihad against hypocrites and unbelievers. Sharia comes from surah 5: 44-48, among others, and tells Muslims they are unbelievers if they do not judge by what Allah has revealed. Sharia is simply the rules for how to practice Islam, formulated by scholars from the Koran and Hadith. For an explanation of the qualification of scholars and how they formulate sharia see Chapter 2 of my latest book, Honor Killing.

The propaganda machine that tars people with the label Islamophobe never dares to discuss the teachings of the authoritative Islamic sources. When they call someone an Islamophobe, it has nothing to do with Islam– they take advantage of the culture of shallowness to make people think the speaker is somehow opposed to Muslims. If they were honest they would say “Muslimophobe.” But who is a Muslim? Many people who come from Islamic countries or have Islamic-sounding names might not be Muslim at all. Many do not practice or even believe in Islam. In the United States, people have come from all parts of the world, including Islamic countries. America has never been against immigrants – against flesh and blood – it is opposed to the ideas that destroy freedom.

As a sharia lawyer, someone who truly understands Islam and sharia law, I know firsthand that living under sharia law is something to be feared. Why Americans have become so shallow and superficial that they do not bother to take the time to question new terms like Islamophobe stuns me.

Daniel Akbari is certified by the Iranian Bar Association as a Number One Attorney, is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Iran, and is the author of two books:HONOR KILLING: A Professionals Guide to Sexual Relations and Ghayra Violence from the Islamic Sources and New Jihadists and Islam.

ISIS Leader: ‘Islam Is the Religion of War’

isis-chief-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-Reuters-640x480Breitbart, by John Sexton, May 14, 2015:

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has released a call to arms which asks Muslims everywhere to physically join ISIS in the area it now controls or simply take up the struggle against unbelievers wherever they are.

The title of the message “March Forth Whether Heavy or Light” comes from a verse in the Koran which calls on believers to “strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.” In Baghdadi’s view that striving is ISIS’s war against unbelievers.

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,” al-Baghdadi says, according to an English language transcript of the speech promoted by ISIS-affiliated social media accounts. The transcript, which was posted online at Downrange, portrays Islam’s Muhammad as a warrior:

Where are you in relation to your Prophet (peace be upon him), whom you claim to emulate, and who spent his whole life (peace be upon him) as a mujāhid for the cause of Allah, fighting His enemies? His lateral incisor tooth was broken in battle, his forehead was wounded, two rings from his chainmail cut his cheeks, his helmet was broken on his head, and blood ran down his face.

Baghdadi frames the necessity of war against unbelievers as a religious duty but also as a necessity, saying, “the Jews, the Christians, and the rest of the disbelievers will not approve of you nor abandon waging war against you until you follow their religion and apostatize from yours.” The only place of safety in this global war between Muslims and unbelievers, Baghdadi says, is with ISIS:

This war is only against you and against your religion. Has the time not come for you to return to your religion and your jihād and thereby bring back your glory, honor, rights, and leadership? Has the time not come for you to know that there is no might nor honor nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of the Caliphate?… Therefore, O Muslims, seek shelter – after Allah – with the Islamic State.

The final pages of the letter are devoted to praise for the so-called “lions of the Caliphate” who are already fighting for ISIS around the world. In addition to numerous areas within Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi mentions fighters in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, and West Africa.

Last month, sources claimed Baghdadi had been seriously injured by an airstrike in Iraq sometime in March. Baghdadi was reportedly recovering but unable to maintain daily control of the terrorist group, however, those reports were not confirmed by U.S. officials. The audio message released Thursday is being viewed by some analysts as proof that Baghdadi (injured or not) is still leading the group.

According to the Iraqi military, ISIS’s 2nd in command Abu Alaa al-Afri was killed in an airstrike this week. That report appears to have been unsupported by any verifiable facts, and U.S. officials are said to be skeptical.

Also see:

In his first public adress after being declared Caliph in late June 2014, Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi called on professionals to immigrate to the territories under his control in order to help build up the fledgling state. “We make a special call to the scholars, fuqahaa’ [Islamic jurisprudence experts], and preachers, especially the judges, as well as people with military, administrative, and service expertise, and medical doctors and engineers of all different specializations and fields.”[1]

This statement stems from ISIS’s ambition to build itself as a viable project.[2] In order for its project to last, ISIS knows that it needs to supply basic services to the population and to create revenue, and it knows that educated professionals are an integral part of forming a successful, operational society. Therefore, in addition to its heavy emphasis on recruiting young men from abroad to serve as fighters in its ranks, ISIS is also making an effort to recruit men and women who are able to assist with their professional know-how and experience.

To recruit these elements, ISIS propaganda appeals to their desire to be part of a succesful community that implements Islamic law. At the same time, it stresses the religious obligation on those who have such professions to come and join its ranks, as part of the duty of hijra and jihad. Recent ISIS media releases have showcased young Western operatives who came to Syria to work for ISIS in the profession that they acquired in their countries of origin. On social media, individuals share their day-to-day experiences of working in various capacities, as doctors, nurses, teachers, and so on. These methods are used to entice other capable Muslims to join ISIS.

This report will look at a number of examples of highly educated professionals who have immigrated to join ISIS, and at the roles some of them play in it.

***

Schrödinger’s Jihad

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Sultan Knish, by Daniel Greenfield, May 13, 2015:

The great paradox of the War on Terror is that we are fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist. We are told incessantly that there is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist.

There may be a tiny minority of violent extremists, but they are only a tiny minority of no importance whatsoever. And yet we’ve been at war with this same infinitesimally tiny minority for decades.

This tiny minority has killed thousands of Americans. It has the support of entire governments in tiny countries like Pakistan (182 million), Iran (77 million) and Syria (22 million). We are told that this tiny minority is no way representative of the world’s billion Muslims, and yet it’s hard to find a Muslim country that doesn’t support or harbor a terrorist group.

We were told that the problems was their governments, but the Arab Spring showed us that democratic elections lead to governments that are even more supportive of tiny minority of extremists who are somehow taking over entire countries.

Everything we’ve been told is obviously a lie. And the best evidence comes from the liars themselves.

The media is howling that a bunch of cartoonists in Texas were irresponsible for sketching Islam’s dead warlord because they should have known that Muslim terrorists would come to kill them for it. But if the media is right and Islam is a religion of peace, then why should they have anticipated a terrorist attack?

And if Islam isn’t a religion of peace, then the media has been irresponsibly lying to us and the cartoonists have been risking their lives to warn us of that lie.

The talking heads on the television insist that the cartoon contest was irresponsible because there were bound to be “some crazies” who would “take the bait”. But if Islam is no more violent than any other religion, shouldn’t it be just as statistically likely that some Christian or Jewish crazies would attack one of the art exhibits, plays or musicals ridiculing and blaspheming against their religions?

Weren’t museums and galleries exhibiting “works of art” like Piss Christ or Shekhina provoking and baiting those Jewish and Christian crazies? And since there are more Christians than Muslims in America, isn’t it statistically far more likely that there should have been far more Christian terror attacks targeting blasphemous exhibits?

We can only conclude that there is a much higher proportion of “crazies” among Muslims than among Christians. How much higher? 78 percent of Americans identify as Christians. 0.6 percent claim to be Muslims. Only 0.3 percent appear to be Sunnis, who are responsible for ISIS and Al Qaeda attacks.

There is indeed a tiny minority of extremists in America. It’s known as Islam.

What keeps the lie alive is another paradox. Call it Schrödinger’s Jihad. The more famous Schrödinger’s Cat is a paradox in which a cat in a sealed box with poison that has a 50 percent chance of being released is in an indeterminate state. It is neither dead nor alive until someone opens the box.

In Schrödinger’s Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and radicalizes him. The two Muslim Jihadists were in an indeterminate state until Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin and the other “provocateurs” suddenly turned them into terrorists in a matter of days or weeks. It didn’t matter that Elton Simpson, one of the Garland terrorists, had already been dragged into court for trying to link up with Jihadists in Africa.

Every Muslim is and isn’t a terrorist. He is both a peaceful spiritual person who is eager to embrace our way of life and a violent killer who can be set off by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we decide what he will be.

The Jihadist paradox is that the Muslim terrorist is always defined by what we do, not by what he does.

magnumphotographers5Islamic terrorism does not exist independently of the Western observer. It is not a Jihad with deep historical and theological roots within Islam, but a reaction to our interactions with Muslims.

Obama insists that talking about Islamic terrorism ‘summons’ them into being. By admitting the existence of Islamic terrorists, we ‘radicalize’ Muslims. Even the words ‘Islamic terrorism’ creates Islamic terrorists who otherwise wouldn’t exist.

The real threat is not from the terrorists, it’s from the truth.

When we tell the truth, people die. The truth turns Muslims into terrorists while the lies soothe them back into non-existence. Underneath all the academic terminology is the dream logic of wishful thinking. If we believe that Islam is a religion of peace, it will be a peaceful religion, and if we accept the reality that it’s violent, then it will become violent. Islam does not define itself. We define it however we want. Our entire counterterrorism policy is based around the perverse ostrich belief that Islamic terrorism is a problem that we create by recognizing its existence. If we ignore it, it will go away.

The lies about Islam are sustained by a deep conviction among liberals that the “Other” minorities are not real people with real beliefs and cultures, but victims in a game of power played out in the West. Islamic terrorism, like gay marriage or Global Warming, is just another step in the progressive pilgrim’s progress. It’s a problem that we caused and need to atone for in our cosmic karmic journey.

Westerners are privileged observers who have power while those minorities they observe do not. The duel between the Western left and right is taking place outside the box to determine what will be in the box once it’s forced open, while the oppressed minorities are in a state of indeterminacy in the box.

The Schrödinger’s Jihad paradox has many other adjoining boxes. Some are filled with dictators and criminals. If the progressive observer can open the box and find the root cause, out comes a good person; if the right opens the box, then out will march the terrorists, drug dealers and warlords.

The other side of the rhetoric about oppression and colonization, of punching up and punching down is the conviction that those at the bottom do not have free will or agency. If the mugger chooses to mug, rather than being driven to it by poverty, if Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union gleefully chose conquest instead of being forced to it by Western imperialism, and if the Muslim terrorist is not a helpless victim, but an abuser, then the moral imperative of the left’s worldview collapses in a heap.

If Muslims are real people who are at least as capable of imperialism, racism, slavery and destroying the planet as any Westerner, and who have been doing all of these things a lot longer, then leftists would have to accept that they are tearing down the most progressive civilization on the planet on behalf of ridiculously reactionary civilizations. Not only would they no longer be the privileged observers in control of the future, but they would have to see themselves as destroyers of what is left of the future.

The left refuses to blame Islam or Muslims because that would mean admitting that they are people.

Schrödinger’s Jihad is a child’s toy box for overgrown children who view Muslims as social justice dolls and terrorist action figures instead of people as flawed and complicated as they are. The left refuses to take Islamic theology seriously because it is incapable of understanding different points of view.

It approaches Islam as a race, rather than a religion, because it refuses to delve into what its beliefs are. Instead it chooses to see Muslims as blank slates to be filled with its ideology, as indeterminate patterns that can be reshaped into whatever they want them to be. It does not want to know what it says in the Koran, because that ruins its wonderful fantasy of Muslims as an oppressed race, rather than a creed.

dest18Lies that are based on what we want to be true are the hardest to disprove. A lie that is tied into identity cannot be touched without destroying the entire identity of an individual or a movement.

The lies about Islam run into the heart of what the left is. To the left, everything is indeterminate and everything can be reshaped. Existence flows from power and power is pitted against progress. By destroying that which exists, they can bring their dreams to life. The dream is stronger than reality.

The left doesn’t really believe that Muslim terrorists exist except when we bring them to life. The real animating force behind Al Qaeda was George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. The true power behind ISIS is Pamela Geller or the Pentagon. The Westerner opens the box and the Muslim terrorist comes out. When Western civilization as we know it is destroyed, then the left believes Muslim terrorism will end. Kill the observer and the cat never existed. Destroy the dreamer and the nightmare dies with him.

The truth is more dangerous than the terrorists. Terrorists can kill the body, but truth can kill the dream.

VIDEO: Geert Wilders on Hannity

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By Pamela Geller, May 13, 2015:

Watch. this. now.

Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament, was the keynote speaker at our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest. He discussed with Sean Hannity his desire to plan to follow up on our event with a “Draw Muhammad” contest in the Dutch Parliament at The Hague.

Sean Hannity said last night that champions of free speech are refusing to back down after being accused of provoking radical Islamists to attack the Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas.

One of the speakers at that event, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, is planning to stage a Muhammad cartoon expo in the Dutch Parliament.

Hannity asked Wilders if he is anti-Islam

“Well, I’m certainly not anti-Muslim, but indeed I believe Islam is a threat to our civilization,” Wilders replied. “I believe that our country is based on values that are based on Christianity and Judaism, and that Islam is really a threat to our freedom.”

Wilders explained why people are offended by a Muhammad cartoon.

“For more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, Muhammad is a kind of role model, he’s an example,” he stated. “That’s why every time somebody depicts or mocks Muhammad, Muslims get angry.”

In responding to a question Hannity asked about Muhammad’s life, Wilders said that Muhammad was a “terrorist.”

“He’s certainly not a role model to so many Muslims,” Wilders said. “Muhammad, as a matter of fact, was a terrorist. He was a warmonger. He beheaded Jewish tribes … I believe that if Muhammad would be alive today, he would be tried and convicted of terrorism.”

Wilders remarked that people shouldn’t be intimidated by Muslims who are offended by the Muhammad cartoons.

“If our reaction is that we should not make more cartoons or not accept them, the terrorists will win,” Wilders said. “So we have to give them a signal that terrorism does not win. We will not be intimidated.”

He added that is the reason why he presented the idea of a Muhammad cartoon expo in the Dutch Parliament.

“I want the Dutch Parliament to expose exactly the same exhibit—not to provoke, but to show the terrorists that if you make an attack, we will give you 10 times more cartoons of Muhammad,” Wilders stated.

Watch more in the video above.

***

Also see Pamela Geller’s archives: http://pamelageller.com/category/afdi/afdi-muhammad-art-exhibit-and-contest/

Don’t Take Jews and Christians as Friends?

kl (1)Frontpage, By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby On May 11, 2015:

Some claim that Chapter 5, Verse 51 of the Koran prohibits Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians. Others claim that there are various ways of interpreting this verse, and that this verse is only advising Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as, for example, legal or spiritual advisers. Because the Koran is considered the timeless Word of Allah to be followed by Muslims, let’s see which claim is supported by Islamic doctrine.

The Koran

Since most Muslims do not speak Arabic, the Koran has been translated into numerous languages to help Muslims learn about their faith. Since it is blasphemy to provide an incorrect translation of the meaning of a Koran verse, there is a tremendous burden on the shoulders of the translator to make sure the translation accurately reflects the Arabic verse. With this in mind, let’s look at how 5:51 has been translated into English by Muslim scholars in five different modern translations of the Koran:

O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliya’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust).

Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an, trans. Khan and Al-Hilali (2007)

O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.

The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, trans. Marmaduke Pickthall (1930; rpt. 1992)

You who believe! do [sic] not take the Jews and Christians as your friends; they are the friends of one another. Any of you who takes [sic]them as friends is one of them. Allah does not guide wrongdoing people.

The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of its Meaning in English, trans. Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley (2011)

O ye who believe! take [sic] not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali (2010)

For some years the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been distributing a particular translation of the Koran at no charge. This translation was done by Muhammad Asad, and here is how he translated 5:51:

 O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another – and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

The Message of the Qur’an, trans. Muhammad Asad (2003)

In Footnote 72 for this verse, Asad explained that “allies” meant “friendship”:

According to most of the commentators (e.g. Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents – i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and the Christians to the Christians – and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur’an.

The Koran Commentaries (Tafsirs)

Asad referred to commentators who have provided an explanation for this verse. Asad is referring to authoritative Islamic scholars who have written commentaries (tafsirs) on the Koran that Muslims have used for centuries to understand the meaning of each verse. So let’s see how some of those authoritative scholars have explained 5:51.

In a section titled The Prohibition of Taking the Jews, Christians and Enemies of Islam as Friends, Ibn Kathir explained this verse by pointing out that,

 Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them. Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this, And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 3, p. 204

The Tafsir Al-Jalalayn (p. 256) explained that this verse meant Muslims were not to join Jews and Christians “in mutual friendship and love,” or “in their unbelief.”

The Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas (p. 143) stated that Muslims who take Jews and Christians as friends are “not included in Allah’s protection and safety.”

One might point out that these three tafsirs were written centuries ago, and then make the claim that the understanding of this verse has surely been “modernized.” So let’s look at two, more recent tafsirs.

The Tafsir as-Sa’di was written in the early 20th century. Here is how 5:51 is explained:

 Allah, while describing to His believing servants the ignorant condition and unethical demeanor of the Jews and the Christians, orders them to not maintain alliance with them. This is because the Christians and the Jews aid one another and are united in their opposition of others. You should not make them your allies; rather, they are your enemies and they care not the least concerning your loss; they will leave no stone unturned to misguide you. Only a person who is like them will make alliance with them.

Tafsir as-Sa’di, Vol. 1, p. 512

The Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan was first published on 1995; here is how this tafsir explained 5:51:

 The verse forbids Muslims to keep intimate relations with them and take them as protectors and helpers, because they are the enemies of Allah, the Muslims, and Islam. It should be noted that those who take them as protectors and helpers will be considered among them.

Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 1, p. 616

So here we have five authoritative tafsirs joining together in explaining that 5:51 prohibits Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians; and in the context of this verse, three of these tafsirs (including the two most modern) specifically refer to Jews and Christians as the enemies of Islam.

Additional Evidence

The idea that Muslims should not take Jews and Christians as friends is reinforced in the following verses of the Koran:

Chapter 5, Verse 82

Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews…

Chapter 9, Verse 29

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Chapter 98, Verse 6

Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qu’ran and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun, will abide in the fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.

These ill-feelings towards Jews and Christians were repeated in teachings of Muhammad, e.g.:

 Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.

Sahih Muslim, No. 2167

Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”

Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 2926

Muhammad even said that Jews and Christians would take the place of Muslims in Hell:

 Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit instead of him a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim, No. 2767R1

And on his death bed Muhammad had this to say regarding Jews and Christians:

 It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. Al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) saying: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.

Sahih Muslim, No. 1767

Conclusion

In 5:51 Allah commands Muslims not to be friends with Jews and Christians. This understanding is supported by five modern translations of the Koran; the message of additional verses of the Koran; five authoritative tafsirs, written at different times between circa 900-1995 AD; and the teachings of Muhammad.

But what about Muslims who appear to be friends with Jews and Christians in defiance of Allah’s timeless command? There are a number of explanations:

  1. In reality they might be following another command of Allah: Chapter 3, Verse 28 of the Koran allows Muslims to pretend to be friends with non-Muslims if those Muslims live in a non-Muslim society and fear for their safety.
  1. They might just decide they can actively deny certain verses in the Koran. But Muhammad had a warning about this:

 It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever denies a Verse of the Qur’an, it is permissible to strike his neck (i.e. execute him)…”

Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2539

  1. They might just use their own personal opinion in re-interpreting the commands of Allah. But Muhammad had a warning about this too:

Muhammad bin Jarir reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Prophet said, ‘Whoever explains the Qur’an with his opinion or with what he has no knowledge of, then let him assume his seat in the Fire.’

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, pp. 32-33

  1. Or they might just simply decide to passively ignore this timeless command from Allah.

Keep in mind that denying or ignoring a doctrine does not mean that doctrine is no longer valid. 5:51 is a valid part of Islamic doctrine and has been so since the 7th century. And anytime a wayward Muslim wants to, he can return to that doctrine.

Talking Honestly About Islamic Hate Speech

Muhammad on a camel and Jesus on a donkey

Muhammad on a camel and Jesus on a donkey

(Are images allowed?)

History News Network, by Timothy R. Furnish, May 9, 2015:

On May 3-4, 2015, Boston University (BU) was the site of “Apocalyptic Hopes, Millennial Dreams and Global Jihad”—a conference jointly sponsored by they BU History Department, Center for Millennial Studies (CMS) and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. The organizer and driving force was Dr. Richard Landes, eminent scholar of medieval European (Christian) apocalyptic thought and director of the CMS until its demise in 2003. This conference, the CMS’ last hurrah as it were, brought together the dozen or so American and Israeli researchers into the topics of Muslim apolcalyptic beliefs and movements in the modern world.

Landes set the stage for the conference with his introductory lecture, In which he pointed out that Islamic apocalyptic ideas might be a “bad joke” to some, but in reality they are very “bad news.” The reason so many scholars and analysts prefer the former description is a subset of the worst problem bedeviling Islamic/Middle East studies as a whole today: the fear of the charge of “Islamophobia,” in which writing or speaking about (Islamic) hate speech is branded hate speech itself.

Landes’ position—which appeared to be the majority view among the folks attending this conference—was questioned, at times vehemently and indeed increasingly vitriolically, by several participants. The argument—which has become quite tiresome to many of us in the field, frankly—was that connecting modern jihadism and Islamic terrorism to any Islamic roots would somehow impugn all Muslims and place them at risk.

This position was ably refuted by many conference presenters, especially the journalist Graeme Wood, author of the influential article “What ISIS Really Wants” (in the March 2015 issue of The Atlantic). Wood’s presentation, entitled “On Resistance to Seeing Global Jihad as Apocalyptic Movement,” discussed the fervor and frequency with which ISIS interviewees would bring up apocalyptic Islamic ideas and how this was motivating them to behead Christians, reimpose slavery and call for attacks on Rome—and the incredulous stares which resulted whenever Wood told his (liberal) journalist friends about this. Beyond that, Wood recounted how many times interlocutors actively tried to refute his data and experience, refusing to accept that any modern Muslims—even members of ISIS—really held eschatological beliefs. (My own research into ISIS led me to conclude, last summer, that it was indeed apocalyptic.)

Dr. Jeffrey Bale, of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, lent scholarly heft to Wood’s anecdotal narrative. In particular, he focused on the phenomenon of “mirror imaging” among Westerners—the tendency to assume that the other “thinks like me,” or at least not too differently (as Wood described encountering). Thus, no matter how many times ISIS or al-Qa`idah or Boko Haram or the Taliban state, unequivocally, that they are waging jihad fi sabil Allah (“holy war in the path of Allah”), unbelieving Westerners try to explain it as really being motivated by political grievances, lack of jobs, or Western meddling in the Middle East.

Others scholars brought data and solid research to bear, on topics such as: the apocalyptic beliefs of ISIS’ predecessor group the Islamic State in Iraq; the 1979 eschatological coup manqué in Saudi Arabia, perpetrated in the name of the Mahdi (Islam’s “rightly-guided one” who will, along with the returned Muslim prophet Jesus, Islamize the planet); the nascent eschatological beliefs of Nigeria’s brutal Boko Haram movement; jihadist millennialists’ use of social media; and the apocalyptic content of Hamas’ propaganda against the Israelis.

That last topic proved a major bone of contention among the Jewish folks at the conference. At least one presenter simply hectored attendees on the blindness of many fellow Jews to see the clear Islamic roots of much of Palestianian violence—while saying nothing at all about the topic of the conference: Islamic apocalyptic thought. At least one indignant academic returned the favor, upbraiding the other side for “essentializing” all Muslims as violent (which no one at this conference had done, even implicitly)—while also ignoring the topic at hand. The vacuuity of this latter position was reached when, at the final panel, a Pakistani Muslim woman stood up and pointed out that female genital mutilation (FGM) is accepted in all four Sunni Muslim schools of jurisprudence—only to be attacked by the aforementioned panelist, who argued that FGM is only an African tribal custom. When yours truly pointed out the irony that another participant had called for “non-Muslims not to try to define Islam for Muslims”—and here a non-Muslim presenter was attacking a female Muslim—I was pilloried, as well. But having long ago left academia, I mostly found the brouhaha amusing.

My own presentation was “Rejecting Millennial Time: the Ottoman Empire’s Wars against Mahdist Movements, 13th-19th centuries.” I discussed how the foremost Sunni state of all time dealt with eschatological challenges to its rule and, sometimes, legtimacy, from state (the Twelver Shi`i Safavid Empire of Iran), non-state (“lone wolf” Sufi Mahdis) and quasi-state (Yemeni Zaydi Shi`I Imams) angles. Ottoman responses ranged from the kinetic (violent force via janissaries) and political (co-opting; limited acceding to demands) to the “soft power” of propaganda and information warfare (fatwas delegitimizing self-styled Mahdis). My major point was that modern attempts to de-fang apocalyptic groups (overt ones like ISIS; quasi-eschatological ones like Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusrah) need to emulate the Ottoman example: that is, actually employ Islamic religious texts (Qur’an, hadiths, scholarly works) to undermine eschatological jihadists (as I first called for in August 2014). Simply labeling them “non-Muslim” will not do the trick.

I first wrote about Islamic apocalyptic in 1997—the year after Landes established the CMS at Boston University—as a grad student, with an article on the famous Arab Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun and his position on the Mahdi. Over the intervening two decades, Mahdism has proved to be not just a relic of Islamic history or a narrowly Twelver Shi`i belief, but a belief deeply held by hundreds of millions of Muslims (both Sunni and Shi`i) and, increasingly, the sharp edge of the jihadist scimitar (as per Wood’s aforementioned article, and my own starting summer 2014). It’s a pity that Landes’ CMS has run its course, for as the Islamic year 1500 AH (after hijrah)/2076 AD approaches, Muslim eschatological fervor—almost certainly to include jihadist leaders thinking themselves the Mahdi—will only increase.

Note: The entire conference was recorded, and should be available to view in a week or two. Watch www.mahdiwatch.org for updates.

Timothy R. Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic history; writes, lectures and consults on Islamic world issues; and blogs on Mahdism and Muslim eschatology at www.mahdiwatch.org. He is on Twitter: @Occidentaljihad 

Winner of “Draw Mohammed” contest Bosch Fawstin speaks out

My Winning Mohammad Contest Drawing

Bosch Fawstin, winning Garland “Mohammed” cartoonist: Polls show “far more Muslims are bloodthirsty than act on it themselves”

***

http://fawstin.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bosch.fawstin?fref=ts

More videos here:

Videos! Media firestorm over Geller and Spencer’s tactics in the fight to protect free speech

Islam’s ‘Reformation’ Is Already Here—and It’s Called ‘ISIS’

vcBy Raymond Ibrahim, May 7, 2015:

The idea that Islam needs to reform is again in the spotlight following the recent publication of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.  While Ali makes the argument that Islam can reform—and is in desperate need of taking the extreme measures she suggests to do so—many of her critics offer a plethora of opposing claims, including that Islam need not reform at all.

The one argument not being made, however, is the one I make below—namely, that Islam has already “reformed.”  And violence, intolerance, and extremism—typified by the Islamic State (“ISIS”)—are the net result of this “reformation.”

Such a claim only sounds absurd due to our understanding of the word “reform.”  Yet despite its positive connotations, “reform” simply means to “make changes (in something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.”

Synonyms of “reform” include “make better,” “ameliorate,” and “improve”—splendid words all, yet words all subjective and loaded with Western connotations.

Muslim notions of “improving” society can include purging it of “infidels” and “apostates,” and segregating Muslim men from women, keeping the latter under wraps or quarantined at home. Banning many forms of freedoms taken for granted in the West—from alcohol consumption to religious and gender equality—is an “improvement” and a “betterment” of society from a strictly Islamic point of view.

In short, an Islamic reformation will not lead to what we think of as an “improvement” and “betterment” of society—simply because “we” are not Muslims and do not share their first premises and reference points.  “Reform” only sounds good to most Western peoples because they naturally attribute Western connotations to the word.

Historical Parallels: Islam’s Reformation and the Protestant Reformation

At its core, the Protestant Reformation was a revolt against tradition in the name of scripture—in this case, the Bible.  With the coming of the printing press, increasing numbers of Christians became better acquainted with the Bible’s contents, parts of which they felt contradicted what the Church was teaching.  So they broke away, protesting that the only Christian authority was “scripture alone,” sola scriptura.

Islam’s current reformation follows the same logic of the Protestant Reformation—specifically by prioritizing scripture over centuries of tradition and legal debate—but with antithetical results that reflect the contradictory teachings of the core texts of Christianity and Islam.

As with Christianity, throughout most of its history, Islam’s scriptures, specifically its “twin pillars,” the Koran (literal words of Allah) and the Hadith (words and deeds of Allah’s prophet, Muhammad), were inaccessible to the overwhelming majority of Muslims.  Only a few scholars, or ulema—literally, “they who know”—were literate in Arabic and/or had possession of Islam’s scriptures.  The average Muslim knew only the basics of Islam, or its “Five Pillars.”

In this context, a “medieval synthesis” flourished throughout the Islamic world.  Guided by an evolving general consensus (or ijma‘), Muslims sought to accommodate reality by, in medieval historian Daniel Pipes’ words,

translat[ing] Islam from a body of abstract, infeasible demands [as stipulated in the Koran and Hadith] into a workable system. In practical terms, it toned down Sharia and made the code of law operational. Sharia could now be sufficiently applied without Muslims being subjected to its more stringent demands…  [However,] While the medieval synthesis worked over the centuries, it never overcame a fundamental weakness: It is not comprehensively rooted in or derived from the foundational, constitutional texts of Islam. Based on compromises and half measures, it always remained vulnerable to challenge by purists (emphasis added).

This vulnerability has now reached breaking point: millions of more Korans published in Arabic and other languages are in circulation today compared to just a century ago; millions of more Muslims are now literate enough to read and understand the Koran compared to their medieval forbears.  The Hadith, which contains some of the most intolerant teachings and violent deeds attributed to Islam’s prophet—including every atrocity ISIS commits, such as beheading, crucifying, and burning “infidels,” even mocking their corpses—is now collated and accessible, in part thanks to the efforts of Western scholars, the Orientalists.  Most recently, there is the Internet—where all these scriptures are now available in dozens of languages and to anyone with a laptop or iphone.

In this backdrop, what has been called at different times, places, and contexts “Islamic fundamentalism,” “radical Islam,” “Islamism,” and “Salafism” flourished.  Many of today’s Muslim believers, much better acquainted than their ancestors with the often black and white teachings of their scriptures, are protesting against earlier traditions, are protesting against the “medieval synthesis,” in favor of scriptural literalism—just like their Christian Protestant counterparts once did.

Thus, if Martin Luther (d. 1546) rejected the extra-scriptural accretions of the Church and “reformed” Christianity by aligning it exclusively with scripture, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (d. 1787), one of Islam’s first modern reformers, “called for a return to the pure, authentic Islam of the Prophet, and the rejection of the accretions that had corrupted it and distorted it” (Bernard Lewis,The Middle East, p. 333).

The unadulterated words of God—or Allah—are all that matter for the “reformists,” with ISIS at their head.

Note: Because they are better acquainted with Islam’s scriptures, other Muslims, of course, are apostatizing—whether by converting to other religions, most notably Christianity, or whether by abandoning religion altogether, even if only in their hearts (for fear of the apostasy penalty).  This is an important point to be revisited later.  Muslims who do not become disaffected after becoming better acquainted with the literal teachings of Islam’s scriptures, and who instead become more faithful to and observant of them are the topic of this essay.

Christianity and Islam: Antithetical Teachings, Antithetical Results

How Christianity and Islam can follow similar patterns of reform but with antithetical results rests in the fact that their scriptures are often antithetical to one another.   This is the key point, and one admittedly unintelligible to postmodern, secular sensibilities, which tend to lump all religious scriptures together in a melting pot of relativism without bothering to evaluate the significance of their respective words and teachings.

Obviously a point by point comparison of the scriptures of Islam and Christianity is inappropriate for an article of this length (see my “Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam” for a more comprehensive treatment).

Suffice it to note some contradictions (which naturally will be rejected as a matter of course by the relativistic mindset):

  • The New Testament preaches peace, brotherly love, tolerance, and forgiveness—for all humans, believers and non-believers alike.  Instead of combatting and converting “infidels,” Christians are called to pray for those who persecute them and turn the other cheek (which is not the same thing as passivity, for Christians are also called to be bold and unapologetic).  Conversely, the Koran and Hadith call for war, or jihad, against all non-believers, until they either convert, accept subjugation and discrimination, or die.
  • The New Testament has no punishment for the apostate from Christianity.  Conversely, Islam’s prophet himself decreed that “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”
  • The New Testament teaches monogamy, one husband and one wife, thereby dignifying the woman.  The Koran allows polygamy—up to four wives—and the possession of concubines, or sex-slaves.  More literalist readings treat all women as possessions.
  • The New Testament discourages lying (e.g., Col. 3:9).  The Koran permits it; the prophet himself often deceived others, and permitted lying to one’s wife, to reconcile quarreling parties, and to the “infidel” during war.

It is precisely because Christian scriptural literalism lends itself to religious freedom, tolerance, and the dignity of women, that Western civilization developed the way it did—despite the nonstop propaganda campaign emanating from academia, Hollywood, and other major media that says otherwise.

And it is precisely because Islamic scriptural literalism is at odds with religious freedom, tolerance, and the dignity of women, that Islamic civilization is the way it is—despite the nonstop propaganda campaign emanating from academia, Hollywood, and other major media that says otherwise.

The Islamic Reformation Is Here—and It’s ISIS

Those in the West waiting for an Islamic “reformation” along the same lines of the Protestant Reformation, on the assumption that it will lead to similar results, must embrace two facts: 1) Islam’s reformation is well on its way, and yes, along the same lines of the Protestant Reformation—with a focus on scripture and a disregard for tradition—and for similar historic reasons (literacy, scriptural dissemination, etc.); 2) But because the core teachings of the founders and scriptures of Christianity and Islam markedly differ from one another, Islam’s reformation is producing something markedly different.

Put differently, those in the West calling for an “Islamic reformation” need to acknowledge what it is they are really calling for: the secularization of Islam in the name of modernity; the trivialization and sidelining of Islamic law from Muslim society.  That is precisely what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is doing.  Some of her reforms as outlined in Heretic call for Muslims to begin doubting Muhammad (whose words and deeds are in the Hadith) and the Koran—the very two foundations of Islam.

That would not be a “reformation”—certainly nothing analogous to the Protestant Reformation.

Habitually overlooked is that Western secularism was, and is, possible only because Christian scripture lends itself to the division between church and state, the spiritual and the temporal.

Upholding the literal teachings of Christianity is possible within a secular—or any—state.  Christ called on believers to “render unto Caesar the things of Caesar [temporal] and unto God the things of God [spiritual]” (Matt. 22:21).  For the “kingdom of God” is “not of this world” (John 18:36).  Indeed, a good chunk of the New Testament deals with how “man is not justified by the works of the law… for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Gal. 2:16).

On the other hand, mainstream Islam is devoted to upholding the law; and Islamic scripture calls for a fusion between Islamic law—Sharia—and the state.   Allah decrees in the Koran that “It is not fitting for true believers—men or women—to take their choice in affairs if Allah and His Messenger have decreed otherwise. He that disobeys Allah and His Messenger strays far indeed!” (33:36).   Allah tells the prophet of Islam, “We put you on an ordained way [literarily in Arabic, sharia] of command; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who are ignorant” (45:18).

Mainstream Islamic exegesis has always interpreted such verses to mean that Muslims must follow the commandments of Allah as laid out in the Koran and the example of Muhammad as laid out in the Hadith—in a word, Sharia.

And Sharia is so concerned with the details of this world, with the everyday doings of Muslims, that every conceivable human action falls under five rulings, or ahkam: the forbidden (haram), the discouraged (makruh), the neutral (mubah), the recommended (mustahib), and the obligatory (wajib).

Conversely, Islam offers little concerning the spiritual (sidelined Sufism the exception).

Unlike Christianity, then, Islam without the law—without Sharia—becomes meaningless.   After all, the Arabic word Islam literally means “submit.”  Submit to what?  Allah’s laws as codified in Sharia and derived from the Koran and Hadith—the very three things Ali is asking Muslims to start doubting.

The “Islamic reformation” some in the West are calling for is really nothing less than an Islam without Islam—secularization not reformation; Muslims prioritizing secular, civic, and humanitarian laws over Allah’s law; a “reformation” that would slowly see the religion of Muhammad go into the dustbin of history.

Such a scenario is certainly more plausible than believing that Islam can be true to its scriptures and history in any meaningful way and still peacefully coexist with, much less complement, modernity the way Christianity does.

Note: An earlier version of this article first appeared on PJ Media in June 2014

Islam’s Anti-Prophet: Geert Wilders Confronts a Political Faith

wildersAustria-300x225Religious Freedom Coalition, By Andrew Harrod, PhD, May 6th, 2015:

“I founded my party only to fight Islam,” stated Dutch parliamentarian and Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid or PVV) founder Geert Wilders during an April 29 Capitol Hill interview. Wilders’ interview comments and subsequent presentation before about 40 at the Rayburn House Office Building (as well as a press conference the next day) showed once again this legislator’s forthrightness concerning Islam’s dangers to freedom.

“Islam looks like a religion, but in reality it is a dangerous totalitarian ideology,” stated Wilders, the author of Marked for Death: Islam’s War against the West and Me; the “less Islam, the better. It is as simple as that.” In the past he has publicly called for banning in Holland the Quran alongside Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf that Dutch law allows only for academic use, an appeal made to reveal “double standards,” he said in his interview. “If you are consistent,” he said to leftwing parliamentarians, “then here we have another book which is even worse, it has more anti-Semitism, there is more violence, there is more everything.” His well-known arguments met with strong applause from many similarly minded audience members, including Andrew Bostom, Frank Gaffney, Matthew Vadum, Deborah Weiss, Diana West, and Representatives Louie Gohmert and Steve King.

Wilders’ presentation listed several negative impacts of Islamic influence upon Holland. While the “police goes everywhere” in Holland, people face harassment for not following Islamic law or sharia norms in “Little Morocco” or “Little Saudi Arabia” Dutch neighborhoods. Individuals in Holland and elsewhere in Europe committed to jihad or Islamic holy war presented “walking time bombs.” For Wilders, who now lives with constant death threats and police protection, getting lost without his security detail that day on Capitol Hill gave him the “first 20 minutes of freedom in the last ten years.”

marked for deathWarning that the “whole free Western world is under attack,” Wilders earlier in the day had described the “Islamization process” in his home country to congressmen from the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS). Holland has gone in 50 years from one thousand to one million Islamic immigrants, or 6% of the Dutch population, despite the “vast majority” of Europeans disapproving of current immigration policies. Holland “failed to demand that immigrants adopt our Judeo-Christian values and assimilate.” These immigrants have “little loyalty to our home countries” as one poll showed that 73% of Holland’s Muslims consider Dutch Muslims who fight in Syria heroes. Islamic State sympathizers also paraded recently with swastikas and black jihad flags while shouting “Death to the Jews” in Wilders native city of The Hague.

“I repeat it wherever I go,” Wilders assured COS, “I have nothing against…many moderate Muslims who do not live according to the violent commands of the Koran….But there is no moderate Islam.” The Dutch, he said in his interview, “have nothing against” Muslim individuals but “feel that something wrong is happening” in their country. Even if a reformed Islam were possible as suggested by his colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wilders argued that “we cannot afford to wait for it” in a process that “will take centuries.”

Wilders’ answer was “stop the immigration from Islamic countries…full, stop,” a policy opposed particularly by leftist parties. These “parties invented the mass immigration from Islamic countries” as well as the “big fat welfare state.” Such policies give Muslim immigrants, disproportionately dependent upon social services, politically “their oxygen.”

Wilders applied his beliefs to not just domestic, but foreign policy as well. “It’s not too popular” in Europe, he stated in his interview, “to be a friend of Israel, but I don’t care.” “Israel is fighting our fight…If Jerusalem falls, Rome and New York and Amsterdam will be next.” Anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) measures are therefore “total crazy,” a “travesty.” The recent nonproliferation “deal with this criminal country called Iran” is similarly the “most stupid thing you can do.”

Wilders’ presentation denounced that “liberal-leftist elites adhere to the stupid political correct view that all cultures are equal. That’s why we are such a big mess today.” This “disease called cultural relativism” notwithstanding, Western “Judeo-Christian culture is far superior to Islam” and forms the “best civilization on Earth.” He elaborated in his interview that “I am not for monoculture,” but he also does not support a position of “hold hands and sing kumbaya and dance around the table all day long.” “There is nothing wrong with that….You are not talking about people, you are talking about the culture.” Judeo-Christians roots underlie Western identity, such that “even if you are not a Christian, you often subscribe to the values that are peaceful and belong to Christianity and Judaism.”

Wilders’ presentation noted from personal experience that not just Muslim death threats, but also legal speech restrictions made it “really risky to tell the truth about Islam” in Holland. He expressed to his American listeners being “envious of your wonderful country” where free speech under “your First Amendment really is the cornerstone of all your liberties.” Post-World War II European hate speech laws sought to prevent another Holocaust, but now, “used in a totally different way by totally other groups,” target “people who want to prevent anti-Semitism because of the growing Islamization.” If various political forces “cannot win the hearts of the people, they try to do it by law.”

Wilders’ speech itself received condemnation from an April 23 letter from Congress’ two Muslim members, André Carson and Keith Ellison. The pair called upon the State Department to deny Wilders entry into America due to his “Islamaphobia” [sic] and “hate speech.” “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are sweeping through Europe,” the congressmen wrote, apparently not considering Wilders’ Islam-Jew-hatred link. He dismissed the letter as “a lot of nonsense…really crazy stuff.”

“Most Western leaders are very weak,” assessed Wilders’ before his audience, but the “people are not stupid….More people than ever say ‘enough is enough.’” “We must repeat the truth about Islam over and over again” and make politicians listen; “no death threats, no court cases will stop us.” The “optimist” Wilders concluded, “we are the future; we are the forces of liberation.”

Also see:

Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 6, ‘Cattle’

quran2PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, May 5, 2015:

After five chapters denouncing unbelievers, the Qur’an’s sixth sura, “Cattle,” spends most of its time … denouncing unbelievers.

Are you starting to notice a pattern?

“Cattle” dates, according to Islamic tradition, from Muhammad’s last year in Mecca, before the Hijra, or Flight, to Medina during the twelfth year of his prophetic career. In Medina he became for the first time a political and military leader as well as a religious one. At Mecca, he had been solely a preacher of his new and uncompromising monotheism in an atmosphere of increasing antagonism with his own tribe, the Quraysh, who were pagans and polytheists.

Sura 6 is preoccupied with that antagonism, and features, among imprecations against the unbelievers, Allah speaking to Muhammad to console him for the Quraysh’s rejection of his message.

Allah begins by reaffirming that the unbelievers have rejected the truth of their Creator (vv.. 1-12). He warns: “See they not how many of those before them We did destroy?” (v. 6). Allah mocks their unbelief, saying that if he had sent Muhammad a “a written message on parchment,” the unbelievers would have dismissed it as “obvious magic” (v. 7), and if he had sent an angel in the form of a man, they would have just been confused (v. 9). Nothing will satisfy the unbelievers: they are inherently perverse.

If you ever get into a discussion or debate with a devout and knowledgeable Muslim, you will see this contempt for unbelievers up close — it’s imbibed from the Qur’an.

Then Allah emphasizes his own oneness (vv. 13-32), and claims that “those to whom We have given the Book” — that is, the Jews and Christians — “know this” — that is, the truth of Muhammad’s message — “as they know their own sons” (v. 20).

This is because, says Ibn Kathir, “they received good news from the previous Messengers and Prophets about the coming of Muhammad, his attributes, homeland, his migration, and the description of his Ummah.” That is, their unbelief in Islam is not a sincere rejection based on honest conviction, but sheer perversity: they “lie against their own souls” (v. 24).

And there is nothing worse than this. Nothing. 

Allah asks, “And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie or denies His verses?” (v. 21). “Verses” here again, is ayat or signs, the name used for the verses of the Qur’an: they’re signs of the truth of Allah. Allah emphasizes here that there can be no greater sin than shirk, the association of partners with him. The Tafsir al-Jalalayn asks, “And who, that is, none, does greater evil than he who invents a lie against God, by ascribing to Him an associate, or denies His signs?”

In Islam, there is no greater evil. In 1997 the “Invitation to Islam” newsletter asserted [1]:

Murder, rape, child molesting and genocide. These are all some of the appalling crimes which occur in our world today. Many would think that these are the worst possible offences which could be committed. But there is something which outweighs all of these crimes put together: It is the crime of shirk.

Some people may question this notion. But when viewed in a proper context, the fact that there is no crime worse then shirk, will become evident to every sincere person.

There is no doubt that the above crimes are indeed terrible, but their comparison with shirk shows that they do not hold much significance in relation to this travesty. When a man murders, rapes or steals, the injustice which is done is directed primarily at other humans. But when a man commits shirk, the injustice is directed towards the Creator of the heavens and the earth; Allah. When a person is murdered, all sorts of reasons and explanations are given. But one thing that the murderer cannot claim, is that the murdered was someone who provided him with food, shelter, clothing and all the other things which keep humans aloft in this life.

Yet those who commit this worst of all sins are still doing so not out of their own free choice, but because Allah has “thrown veils on their hearts,” so that they do not understand Muhammad’s message (v. 25). Hellfire awaits them (vv. 26, 30).

Muslims should be careful not to value the things of this world, for “What is the life of this world but play and amusement?” (v. 32). Says the Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, “Do you not comprehend that this world is evanescent and that the Hereafter is everlasting?”

Many do not. In verses 33-73 Allah consoles Muhammad for the unbelievers’ rejection of his message: “We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee” (v. 33), but they are “deaf and dumb” (v. 39), and wouldn’t believe even if they witnessed great miracles (vv. 35, 37). The fact that Allah, in a perfect book that has existed from all eternity, is so solicitous of his prophet and concerned about his grief at being rejected, is for pious Muslims only further confirmation of Muhammad’s importance and exalted status. Allah’s solicitude for Muhammad became the springboard for an exaltation of Muhammad in the Islamic mystical tradition. The Persian Sufi mystic Mansur Al-Hallaj (858-922) said that Allah “has not created anything that is dearer to him than Muhammad and his family.” The Persian poet Rumi (Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, 1207-1273) said that the scent of roses was that of the sweat of the Prophet of Islam:

Root and branch of the roses is
the lovely sweat of Mustafa [that is, Muhammad],
And by his power the rose’s crescent
grows now into a full moon.

Likewise a modern Arab writer opined that Allah “created Muhammad’s body in such unsurpassable beauty as had neither before him nor after him been seen in a human being. If the whole beauty of the Prophet were unveiled before our eyes, they could not bear its splendor.”

In verses 40-49 Allah discusses how he has sent messengers all over the world, warning of punishment to those who disbelieve. He then instructs Muhammad to issue various warnings to the unbelievers (vv. 5-58). The he emphasizes his absolute sovereignty (vv. 50-59), with v. 59 making a succinct statement of his omniscience: “And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry but that it is in a clear record.” (Similarly, “We have neglected nothing in the Book,” v. 38, is believed by some Islamic interpreters to refer to theLawhul Mahfuz, the Protected Tablet, on which Allah has written everything that occurs in the universe, even the minutest actions of animals and birds.) Allah tells Muhammad to “leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world” (v. 70).

Then he discusses Abraham rejecting polytheism by noting the deficiencies of various pagan objects of worship: the stars, the moon, the sun (vv. 74-83). Those who glibly associate Allah with the moon-god — a pre-Islamic Arabian god of war — should note v. 77: “When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: ‘This is my Lord.’ But when the moon set, he said: ‘unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.’”

Allah then expands upon the immediately preceding discussion of Abraham’s rejection of idolatry by enumerating the other prophets of Islam (remember, Abraham was a Muslim according to Qur’an 3:67): Noah before Abraham, then Abraham’s children Isaac and Jacob, and then after that David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Elijah, Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot (vv. 84-90).

These are, of course, all Biblical figures, although we shall see later on that the Qur’an does discuss some prophets who don’t appear in the Bible. Nevertheless, the Qur’an situates Muhammad as the crown and perfection of the Biblical prophetic tradition, explaining the differences between what Jews and Christians understand Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the rest to have said and what Muslims believe they said to the Christian corruption of their own scriptures.

Allah then goes back to emphasizing his oneness, and the dependence of all creation upon him (vv. 91-103). He begins this with yet another accusation that the Jews are not obeying the revelations given to Moses: they display it (“make it into separate sheets for show”) but they don’t obey it (they “conceal much of its contents”) (v. 91). Allah chastises those who say that he has not revealed anything to any human being. According to As-Suyuti’s Ad-Durrul Manthur, this verse was revealed after Muhammad teased a “hefty” Jewish scholar named Malik bin Sayf. Muhammad asked him, “Did you see in the Torah that Allah detests a hefty scholar?” Malik bin Sayf was enraged and shouted: “By Allah! Allah has not revealed anything to any human being!” His outburst is quoted, and rebuked, in v. 91.

The Qur’an is the “most blessed book,” confirming previous revelations. It also equips Muhammad to warn the “Mother of Villages” — that is, Mecca — of the impending judgment upon those who do not accept Islam (v. 92) and “invent a lie against Allah” (v. 93). Everyone will appear before Allah alone on the Day of Judgment, with no help from family or friends (v. 94). Allah pens a stirring meditation (vv. 95-103) on how he makes all things grow, sends the rain, and oversees all things: “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things” (v. 103). (لاَّ تُدْرِكُهُ الأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِ) A beautiful verse in any language. He also attempts a reductio ad absurdum on the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation: “How can He have a son when He hath no consort?” (v. 101) Ibn Kathir asks: “How can He have a wife from His creation who is suitable for His majesty, when there is none like Him How can He have a child? Then Verily, Allah is Glorified above having a son.” The idea that fatherhood and sonship might not be conceived of in physical terms is not considered.

In verses 104-117 Allah tells Muhammad to “turn aside from those who join gods with Allah” (v. 106), for “had Allah willed, they had not been idolatrous,” and it’s not Muhammad’s problem: “We have not set thee as a keeper over them, nor art thou responsible for them” (v. 107). The Muslims should not revile the gods of the unbelievers, lest the unbelievers revile Allah (v. 108); according to As-Suyuti’s Lubabun Nuqul, Allah revealed this verse in response to an actual incident, when the pagans responded to the Muslims’ denigration of their gods by denigrating Allah. Every prophet has enemies — devils who are both humans and jinn (v. 112). The jinn (from which comes the English “genie”) are spirit beings who can see humans, but humans cannot see them. The messengers from Allah have come to them also (v. 130).

Allah then tells Muslims not to eat meat unless Allah’s name has been pronounced over it (vv. 118-121); this is the foundation for the halal preparation of meat, which dictates that the jugular vein, windpipe and foodpipe of the animal be severed after the butcher recites “In the name of Allah.” Then the blood is drained out. The Muslims would be “pagans” if they obeyed the advice of unbelievers in this matter (v. 121).

According to Ibn Kathir, this means that “when you turn away from Allah’s command and Legislation to the saying of anyone else, preferring other than what Allah has said, then this constitutes Shirk.” (Shirk, of course, is the greatest sin of all, the associating of partners with Allah.)

This is one reason why democracy has had such difficulty taking root in Islamic countries.

Then Allah returns to the perversity of the unbelievers who demand signs from Allah but wouldn’t believe even if they received them (vv. 122-134). Whether or not someone becomes a Muslim depends entirely upon whether Allah wills to lead him to Islam or to lead him astray (v. 125). By following the “straight path” (v. 126) of Islam, Muslims will make Allah their friend (v. 127). In verses 128-131 Allah addresses jinns as well as humans, warning them of the same Judgment. Ibn Jarir and Dhahak say that jinn prophets were sent to the jinn; however, Mujahid and Ibn Jurayj contend that the jinn listened to the human prophets. This is the more common view.

Allah then criticizes various pagan practices, notably the sacrifice of children (verses 137, 140). “Be not prodigal” (v. 141) refers, says Ibn Jurayj, to over-enthusiasm in charity: “This Ayah was revealed concerning Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas, who plucked the fruits of his date palms. Then he said to himself, ‘This day, every person who comes to me, I will feed him from it.’ So he kept feeding (them) until the evening came and he ended up with no dates.” Others, however, maintain that it simply directs Muslims not to be wasteful in general. In verses 142-144 Allah forbids various pagan customs regarding the usage of animals.

Then in verses 146 and 147 Allah details the specifics of Jewish food laws. Allah tells Muhammad that if the Jews accuse him of lying about this, he should respond: “Your Lord is full of mercy all-embracing; but from people in guilt never will His wrath be turned back.” Ibn Kathir observes that “Allah often joins encouragement with threats in the Qur’an.”

The sura ends with a final appeal to the unbelievers in verses 148-165. According to Ibn Mas’ud, verses 151-153, a summary of what is prohibited in Islam, constitute “the will and testament of the Messenger of Allah on which he placed his seal.” One should not kill, since Allah has made life sacred, “except by way of justice and law” (v. 151). What does that mean? Muhammad explained that the “blood of a Muslim … cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas [retaliation] for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.

So adultery, apostasy and revenge are the only justifications for taking a life. Verses 153 and 161 repeat that Islam is the straight path.

Allah will “try you in the gifts He hath given you” (v.165). Muhammad explained this also: “Verily, this life is beautiful and green, and Allah made you dwell in it generation after generation so that He sees what you will do. Therefore, beware of this life and beware of women, for the first trial that the Children of Israel suffered from was with women.

Reformist Approach to Sharia a Refreshing Break with Academic Apologists

Rumee-Ahmed-ramadan-770.JPGJihad Watch, by Andrew Harrod, May 2, 2015:

In a refreshing departure from Sharia apologias common in Middle East studies, University of British Columbia Islamic law professor  rejected the “myth” of Sharia (Islamic law) as a “static, fixed, reified entity” on April 22 in the Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies’ wood-paneled boardroom. Ahmed’s presentation, “Shari’a 2.0: Islamic Systematics and the Science of Islamic Legal Reform” before a student-dominated audience of about fifteen, demonstrated simultaneously Sharia’s all-too human origins as well as its embedded dangers.

He described a “sharp, sharp disconnect” between contemporary and historical Islamic interpretations of Sharia. According to the former, Islamic legal scholars substantiated their claim of being central to legitimating Islamic regimes that claimed to rule by God’s law. Yet judges who were not legal scholars often made politically motivated legal decisions that were subject to subsequent overruling by temporal rulers such as caliphs. Campaigning armies, meanwhile, would simply make unilateral decisions without consulting legal scholars on issues such as the division of spoils.

Concerning pre-colonial Islamic legal scholars, Ahmed questioned the power and reputation of such men in a world of three percent literacy. Political patronage could compromise the purity of their intentions. Danger lurked, he noted, since their struggles with rulers could lead to imprisonment or even execution.

Ahmed expressed a “very cynical view” regarding past legal use of Islam’s canonical texts. Quran 8:67-68, concerning the Muslim victory at the Battle of Badr under Muhammad, suggested that taking prisoners manifested a failure to fulfill a divine command to fight the enemy. But “sharp breaks” throughout history in the acceptance of taking and ransoming prisoners by Sunni Islam’sHanafi school of jurisprudence demonstrated how Islamic law responded to political developments with theological reinterpretation.

Practical realities aside, Ahmed described how earlier Islamic legal scholars created in their voluminous writings “subjunctive worlds.” Although these legal visions often had no expectation of implementation, they expressed the “ideal relationship between human beings and God.” “Writing a book of law is never a waste of time,” he noted, but is a “way to express your religiosity” or a “devotional act” similar to prayer. The intricacy of such legal thinking means that attempts to reform a single point of Islamic law on, for example, punishments involving whipping necessitates considering several other elements of Islamic legal theory.

Islamic legal history is replete with controversies surrounding reform, he said. Quran 5:38 was “pretty clear” in mandating hand amputation as punishment for stealing, although some had tried to interpret this verse to mean “cut off their power” with imprisonment. Several hadith, or canonical narratives of Muhammad’s life, however, did indeed mandate amputation and formed a corresponding pre-colonial Islamic legal consensus, contrary practice notwithstanding.

Slavery’s permissibility received a similar “unequivocal yes” in Islamic law sixty or seventy years ago. Political pressures forced Muslim scholars to justify abolition in what Ahmed described as a “little bit of a technical argument” premised on the understanding that “times have changed.” The Islamic State (ISIS), though, has recently reintroduced slavery, arguing that times have changed again.

Other controversies involving Sharia have been addressed creatively, Ahmed noted. The Egyptian jihadist group Gama’a al-Islamiyya, for example, discovered in Western contract law a unique basis for abolishing airline hijacking: the purchaser of an airline ticket may not violate its terms by destroying or seizing the plane. In the political sphere, while many European diaspora Muslims vote simply for the sake of political participation, the Sharia principle of maslaha or public good allows conservative Muslims to participate in non-Muslim politics in order to advance Islam.

One of Ahmed’s Powerpoints stated, “Gender: The Greatest Challenge to Islamic Reform.” “Gender pervades every part of Islamic law,” he explained, a law that was traditionally patriarchal. The Quran, for example 4:11, prescribes half the inheritance for women as for men.

Nonetheless, Sharia’s past malleability made Ahmed optimistic that in Islam, “any law, no matter how entrenched it seems in Muslim texts, can be reformed.” To this end, he is developing an application allowing popular citation of legal arguments and sources in order to “democratize” and “crowdsource Sharia.” That way, less educated and “state-sponsored ulama” (religious scholars) will “not have a monopoly on Islamic law.”

Ahmed himself would like to “get less religion” in Muslim governance, but Sharia is not going to disappear from Muslim societies anytime soon, including pertinent national constitution clauses. An “overwhelming number” of surveyed Muslims expressed a belief in Sharia, often including corporal punishment, as divine. Alternatively, millions of Muslims sought an Islamic theological basis to justify their support for human rights norms such as gender equality. “Context driving law is not just legitimate, it’s inevitable,” he concluded.

Ahmed’s illuminating and refreshingly honest examination of Sharia raised several important concerns surrounding Islamic law and its reform. On one hand, critical examination of Sharia’s past could cause many Muslims to be as reform-minded as Ahmed and to reject Sharia as a divinely-ordained, unalterable legal code that demands future application. On the other hand, Sharia contains serious moral failings not easily resolved even with the most sophisticated (or sophistic) Islamic theological and legal arguments.

As presented by Ahmed, Islamic law suffers from an unwieldy, unstable, and incoherent structure stemming from Islam’s doctrinal foundations. As one of his slides stated, Islam’s arbitrary conception of God is “beyond our moral code.” Islamic norms then derive from Muhammad, who “is supposed to be the pristine believer” in Islamic teaching and thus, according to some Islamic teachings, incapable of sin. On the basis of the life of this seventh-century desert dweller, Islamic law has accepted slavery while possessing an “unnecessary amount of information on the law of wells.” Developing modern legal standards for a free society within such a body of law will be difficult indeed, which is why Ahmed’s insistence on reform is so important.

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project; follow him on twitter at @AEHarrod. He wrote this essay for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.