Radical Islam’s War against the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

taliban_buddahs_3-24-15-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muslims in Europe – Documentary by Zvi Yehezkeli and David Deryi Allah Islam

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Published on Dec 3, 2012 by Vandoren333

Islam Exposed:

Allah Islam, also known as Islam in Europe, is a documentary series about the rise of Islam by Israeli film makers Zvi Yehezkeli and David Deri. The 4-part series was first broadcast by Israel’s Channel 10 in September, 2012, and looks at the effect of the rise of the Islam religion in Europe, and the growth in numbers of Muslim migrants. The filmmakers go into Muslim immigrant neighborhoods in European nations to investigate the conditions and culture. The film documents a rise in jihadism and antisemitism.

Part 1 – Isolation
Part 2 – Sharia law or State law 0:44:02
Part 3 – Terror 1:23:23
Part 4 – Europe\’s Jews 2:06:55

Why Islam Needs a Reformation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the five areas that require amendment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mind of Muhammad

Prophet_MUHAMMAD_by_SoulFlamer-CopyBy F. W. Burleigh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at American Thinker

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

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

When is it permissible to break moral laws?

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

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

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

Muhammad himself led many of these raids.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ibn Ishaq explained this verse:

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

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

Here again Allah answered in a revelation, saying:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maulana Bulandshahri explains the traditional view:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 141-210

Reading the Qur’an to understand why Obama keeps failing with the world’s Muslim states. (Read the prior post here.)

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 18, 2015:

How much is your life worth?

In Islamic law, a Muslim woman is worth half of a man, and a Jew or Christian is worth one-third of what a Muslim is worth.

Skeptical? Read on.

muslims-praying-to-the-direction-of-mecca

Continuing our tour through “The Cow,” the second and longest sura of the Qur’an, we encounter in verses 141-150 a discussion of the qibla, the direction for prayer. Allah tells the Muslims to face the sacred mosque in Mecca when they pray (v. 150), when previously they had joined the Jews in facing Jerusalem. According to Islamic tradition, this came at the end of Muhammad’s attempts to convince the Jews that he was a prophet in the line of the Jewish prophets.

Allah tells Muhammad that only “the foolish among the people” (v. 142) will protest the change. And who are they? You guessed it: the Jews. On that identification the relatively moderate commentator Muhammad Asad and the comparative hardliner Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Ilahi Bulandshahri agree.

Asad says: “This ‘abandonment’ of Jerusalem obviously displeased the Jews of Medina, who must have felt gratified when they saw the Muslims praying towards their holy city; and it is to them that the opening sentence of this passage refers.”

Allah further criticizes the Jews and Christians for following “their desires” even though they knew Muhammad’s qibla is from Allah (vv. 144-6).

We already saw that Allah’s announcement that when he abrogated a verse, he would replace it with a better one (v. 106), and that some Muslims believe that refers to things in the Qur’an, and others think it applies only to the Bible’s having been superseded by the Qur’an. The change in the qibla has some bearing on this.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and an important early Islamic authority, says that “the first abrogated part in the Qur’an was about the Qiblah.” However, there is nothing in the Qur’an directing Muslims to pray facing Jerusalem, so this is an abrogation of an extra-Qur’anic regulation. Abrogation, as we shall see, is far more important in other contexts.

The qibla change is also the first time that we encounter a running theme in the Qur’an: Allah’s solicitude for Muhammad. An attentive reader of the Qur’an will come away thinking that in the eyes of the Supreme Being, Muhammad is the most important person who ever lived — or the authors of the book wanted to make sure that readers thought so.

Allah presents the new qibla as if it is a gift especially for Muhammad, who “will be pleased” by the new direction for prayer (v. 144). Several other passages in the Qur’an show Allah’s special concern for Muhammad; another is Allah’s gently rebuking him for initially declining to marry his former daughter-in-law (a legendary beauty) when Allah wanted him to do so (33:37).

Such passages have led unbelievers to think that Muhammad was enjoying the personal perks of prophethood, but for Muslims they only underscore Muhammad’s special status: the details of his life, and even his desires — in longing to pray facing the Ka’ba — are vehicles through which Allah reveals eternal truths and divine laws. And his example is normative.

Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy explains:

No religious leader has as much influence on his followers as does Muhammad (Peace be upon him) the last Prophet of Islam. … So much so that the words, deeds and silences (that which he saw and did not forbid) of Muhammad became an independent source of Islamic law. Muslims, as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life. Thus Muhammad is the medium as well as a source of the divine law.

Allah then encourages the believers to be steadfast (vv. 151-157) and approves of a pre-Islamic practice during the Hajj (v. 158), the pilgrimage to Mecca, before returning to one of favorite themes: the perversity of the unbelievers (vv. 159-177). Those who reject Islam will incur the curses of Allah, the angels, and all mankind (v. 161), and will dwell in hell (v. 162).

Meanwhile, the burden of the believers is not heavy. They only need abstain from certain foods, including pork (v. 173). There are among the unbelievers those who stubbornly conceal what they know Allah has revealed (v. 174).

Those who argue about what Allah has revealed in the Qur’an are in “open schism” (v. 176). The Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that these are — yet again — the Jews.

After that, Allah legislates on various matters: zakat (almsgiving), the Ramadan fast, the Hajj, and jihad (vv. 178-203). He establishes the law of retaliation (qisas) for murder (v. 178): equal recompense must be given for the life of the victim, which can take the form of blood money (diyah): a payment to compensate for the loss suffered. In Islamic law (Sharia) the amount of compensation varies depending on the religion of the victim: non-Muslim lives simply aren’t worth as much as Muslim lives.

Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), a Sharia manual that Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar University certifies as conforming to the “practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” says that the payment for killing a woman is half of that to be paid for a man and for killing a Jew or Christian one-third that paid for killing a male Muslim (o4.9).

For an explanation of this, see the Sufi Sheikh Sultanhussein Tabandeh’s statement here.

The following are among the Qur’an’s most important words about jihad warfare (vv. 190-193).

“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress” (v. 190) is often invoked today to show that jihad can only be defensive. Asad says that “this and the following verses lay down unequivocally that only self-defence (in the widest sense of the word) makes war permissible for Muslims.”

However, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that this verse was abrogated by 9:1, which voids every treaty between the Muslims and nonbelievers. On the other hand, Ibn Kathir rejects the idea that the verse was abrogated.

What constitutes a defensive conflict? A clue to that comes in v. 193: “Fight them until there is no fitnah and worship is for Allah.” Fitnah is persecution or unrest. Ibn Ishaq explains that this means that Muslims must fight against unbelievers “until God alone is worshipped.”

Says Bulandshahri: “The worst of sins are Infidelity (Kufr) and Polytheism (shirk) which constitute rebellion against Allah, The Creator. To eradicate these, Muslims are required to wage war until there exists none of it in the world, and the only religion is that of Allah.”

That amounts to a declaration of perpetual war against all non-Muslim religions.

declaration of war

Nonetheless, this conflict would be essentially defensive, against the aggressions of unbelief: if Muslims must fight until unbelief does not exist, the mere presence of unbelief constitutes sufficient aggression to allow for the beginning of hostilities.

This is one of the foundations for the supremacist notion that Muslims must wage war against unbelievers until those unbelievers are either converted to Islam or subjugated under the rule of Islamic law, as Qur’an 9:29 states explicitly.

As the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, puts it in a hadith:

“I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.” (Sahih Muslim 31)

Thus one may reasonably assume that if one does not accept him as a prophet, one’s blood and riches are not safe from those who read these words as the words of a messenger from the one true God.

In keeping with the theme of war, Allah then warns believers not to doubt, backslide, or follow Islam half-heartedly (vv. 204-210):

“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (v. 208).

This kind of statement makes reform difficult, for the reformer is always vulnerable to the charge that he is not entering Islam completely.

Crash Course in Islam

declaration of war

Published on Mar 15, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

The enemy of Islamic brutality is information, shared on social media. Carpet bomb the internet with this information. Spread it far and spread it wide. Spread it like Napalm. – Eric Allen Bell

The Jihad Triangle

Published on Mar 14, 2015 by Acts17Apologetics

http://www.answeringmuslims.com
Many people are confused by jihad. If Islam is a religion of peace, why is there a persistent problem of radicalism in the Muslim world? If Islam is the problem, why are there so many peaceful Muslims? In this video, David Wood explains that jihad isn’t the product of a single factor, but of three factors: belief, knowledge, and obedience. These three factors come together in what we’ll call “The Jihad Triangle.”

Muslim Group Accuses Government of Trying to ‘Criminalize’ Islam

muslim-lives-matter-AFP-640x480

Breitbart, by Andre Walker, March 12, 2015:

A group of “Imams, sheikhs, advocates, activists, community leaders, community organisations and student bodies of the Muslim community” have issued a joint statement claiming the government is trying to “criminalise” Islam.

The 128 signatories to the letter claim that Muslims are being unfairly accused of being a threat to national security, inorder to solicit votes at the General Election. The group make nine specific points on the website 5Pillars, they are printed below:

1) We reject the exploitation of Muslim issues and the ‘terror threat’ for political capital, in particular in the run up to a general election. Exploiting public fears about security is as dishonourable as exploiting public fears about immigration. Both deflect attention from crises in the economy and health service, but are crude and divisive tactics, where the big parties inevitably try to outdo each other in their nastiness.

2) We deplore the continued public targeting of Muslims through endless ‘anti-terror’ laws. There have been around ten pieces of legislation since the year 2000, all giving huge powers to the state, which have fuelled a media hysteria even though in most cases no crime was committed. This has created a distressing and harmful backlash towards Muslims, especially women and children.

3) We reject the portrayal of Muslims and the Muslim community as a security threat. The latest Act of Parliament, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, threatens to create a ‘McCarthyite’ witch-hunt against Muslims, with nursery workers, schoolteachers and Universities expected to look out for signs of increased Islamic practice as signs of ‘radicalisation’. Such a narrative will only further damage social cohesion as it incites suspicion and ill feeling in the broader community.

4) The expedient use of undefined and politically charged words like ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ is unacceptable as it criminalises legitimate political discourse and criticism of the stance of successive governments towards Muslims domestically and abroad. We strongly oppose political proposals to further ‘tackle’ and ‘crack down’ on such dissenting voices in the Muslim community despite their disavowal of violence and never having supported terrorist acts.

5) Similarly, it is unacceptable to label as ‘extremist’ numerous normative Islamic opinions on a variety of issues, founded on the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), implying there is a link between them and violence, using such labels as an excuse to silence speakers.

6) We affirm our commitment to robust political and ideological debate and discourse for the betterment of humanity at large. The attempts by the state to undermine this bring into question its commitment to its very own purported values and liberal freedoms.

7) We affirm our concern about peace and security for all. We, however, refuse to be lectured on peace-building and harmony by a government that plays divisive politics and uses fear to elicit uncertainty in the general public, whilst maintaining support for dictators across the Muslim world, who continue to brutalise any legitimate political opposition to their tyranny.

8) We affirm our intention to hold on to our beliefs and values, to speak out for what is right and against what is wrong based on our principles, whether that be on matters such as the securitisation of society, corporate hegemony, war and peace, economic exploitation, social and moral issues in society, nationalism and racism. Not to do so would be dangerous and leave our community unguided.

9) We call on all fair minded people in Britain – including politicians, journalists, academics, bloggers and others concerned about fairness for all – to continue to scrutinise the scare tactics, fear-mongering and machinations of politicians, which do not bode well for societal harmony and only increase the alienation felt and experienced by Britain’s Muslim community.”

Amongst the signatories was the former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Moazzam Begg. Mr Begg now serves as the outreach Director for CAGE, the group that claimed Mohammed Emwazi was radicalised because he was harrassed by the British Inteligence Services.

There were also two signatories from the Islamic Human Rights Commission, the group that named Charlie Hebdo “International Islamophobe of the Year” despite the staff having been murdered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

 

THE DRAIN – by Eric Allen Bell

Published on Mar 5, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

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

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

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

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

– Eric Allen Bell

The Cube of Mecca and How it Got That Way

1 - Kabah after reconstruction-final with captions-white

An Inquiry Into Islam:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jihad on the Offensive — on The Glazov Gang

ISISty-450x253By Frontpagemag.com On March 13, 2015:

This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by scholars Bruce Thornton (Freedom Center Shillman Fellow), Raymond Ibrahim (Freedom Center Shillman Fellow) and Robert Spencer (Director, JihadWatch.org).

The three titans joined the Gang at the Freedom Center’s 2015 West Coast Retreat, held March 6-8 in Palos Verdes, CA.

The discussion focused on Jihad on the Offensive, a topic in which the three scholars unveiled the evil the free world is up against. TRANSCRIPT

ISIS is the Syndrome, Sharia the Real Malignancy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Politicians Pretend Islam Has No Role in Violence

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
March 9, 2015

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

First, a sampling of the double talk:

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

British

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

 

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