Mark Humphrys: Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Gates of Vienna:

The man in the video below is a very rare bird: an Irish Counterjihadist. His name is Mark Humphrys, and his talk was part of a debate at the Literary and Debating Society, NUI Galway, on October 9, 2014. He spoke in opposition to the proposal “Islam is a religion of peace”.

Mr. Humphrys’ words are spot-on, although a bit mild by Gates of Vienna’s standards. However, Ireland is an extremely hostile environment in which to be an “Islamophobe”, so he is to be commended for his courage in speaking out:

 

A full transcript is available at Mark Humphrys’ website. A video of the entire debate is here.

Why Sam Harris Is Wrong about Islam

Real Time With Bill Maher

By Roger Kimball:

No doubt many of my readers know about the encounter about Islam [1] between Ben Affleck, the Hollywood actor, and Sam Harris, the “New Atheist” writer and neuroscientist, on Bill Maher’s show.

I do not know Ben Affleck’s work as an actor, so I don’t know whether he is commonly cast in comic roles. He was pretty funny, in a slightly deranged sort of way, on Bill Maher’s show, but perhaps that is his usual modus operandi.

I propose to leave the substance — if “substance” is the correct word — of Mr. Affleck’s effusions to one side.  His performance did make me wonder anew about the odd place of “celebrities” in our culture. Why, I have often wondered, does any thinking person care what Barbra Streisand (for example) has to say about . . . well, about anything not intimately concerned with pop singing? And yet clearly they do, since it’s a rare month that passes without the news that the chanteuse has weighed in [2] about some matter of political controversy. I’m not sure exactly which subjects I would be prepared to take Ben Affleck seriously on; Islam is certainly not one of them.

This is not, to say, however, that I am prepared to take Sam Harris seriously about Islam either.  As the Canadian and (more to the point) former Muslim writer Ali Sina points out in a brilliant article for the Jerusalem Post [3], the fact that Ben Affleck is wrong about Islam  ”does not mean Harris is right.” Indeed.

Harris is widely considered a critic of Islam.  In his debate with Ben Affleck, however, he simply recycled a well-meaning but pernicious myth about the followers of Muhammed. “Hundreds of millions of Muslims are nominal Muslims,” Harris cheerfully reported, where by “nominal” he meant that they “don’t take their faith seriously,” “don’t want to kill apostates,” and “are horrified by ISIS [Islamic State].”  These are the people, he concluded, “we need to defend,” to “prop them up and let them reform their faith.”

How often have you heard this? I hear it all the time, as often from conservatives as from liberals.  The trouble is, as Ali Sina points out, “reforming Islam the way he envisions it is an illusion.”

Why? Harris’s argument — you’ve heard it a hundred times — is basically this: Christianity was once intolerant. There were the Crusades, for instance, but think also of such episodes as the siege of Béziers, a Cathar stronghold, in the early 13th century. Here were Catholics besieging an heretical sect of their own people.  When asked by a soldier how they could distinguish the good guys from the bad, Arnaud Amaury, a Cistercian abbot who was helping to lead the fight, advised “Tuez-les tous! Dieu reconnaîtra les siens”: “Kill them all! God will know his own.”

But look at Christianity today. It’s all bake sales, bingo, and transgender-awareness retreats.  Maybe the same thing will happen to Islam.

Not likely, as Ali Sina points out. “Even though at one time the religion associated with Jesus had become violent and intolerant,” he notes, “there is nothing violent and intolerant in his teachings. The Crusades were the response of Christendom to jihad, and the Inquisition was the copycat of mihnah, a practice started by Caliph Ma’mun, which means ‘inquisition.’ They have no basis in the teaching of Christ.”

Read more at PJ Media

Islamic Burial Rituals Blamed For Spread Of Ebola

Dead-girlInvestors Business Daily, By Paul Sperry: (h/t BNI)

Islam isn’t just at the heart of the terror threat posed by the Islamic State. The religion is also contributing to the other major crisis plaguing the globe: the spread of Ebola.

Washington and its media stenographers won’t tell you this, lest they look intolerant, but Islamic burial rituals are a key reason why health officials can’t contain the spread of the deadly disease in West Africa.

Many of the victims of Ebola in the three hot-spot nations there — Sierra Leone and Guinea, as well as neighboring Liberia — are Muslim. Roughly 73% of Sierra Leone’s and about 85% of Guinea’s people are Muslim. Islam, moreover, is practiced by more than 13% of Liberians.

When Muslims die, family members don’t turn to a funeral home or crematorium to take care of the body. In Islam, death is handled much differently.

Relatives personally wash the corpses of loved ones from head to toe. Often, several family members participate in this posthumous bathing ritual, known as Ghusl.

Before scrubbing the skin with soap and water, family members press down on the abdomen to excrete fluids still in the body. A mixture of camphor and water is used for a final washing. Then, family members dry off the body and shroud it in white linens.

Again, washing the bodies of the dead in this way is considered a collective duty for Muslims, especially in Muslim nations. Failure to do so is believed to leave the deceased “impure” and jeopardizes the faithful’s ascension into Paradise (unless he died in jihad; then no Ghusl is required).

Before the body is buried, Muslims attending the funeral typically pass a common bowl for use in ablution or washing of the face, feet and hands, compounding the risk of infection.

Though these customs are prescribed by Shariah law, they’re extremely dangerous and should be suspended. Mosque leaders must step in to educate village Muslims about the dangers of interacting with corpses.

Ebola victims can be more contagious dead than alive. Their bodies are covered in rashes, blood and other fluids containing the virus.

“Funerals and washing dead bodies in West African countries have led, to a great extent, to spread the disease,” a World Health Organization spokeswoman recently warned.

WHO has issued an advisory to Red Cross and other relief workers in African Muslim nations to “be aware of the family’s cultural practices and religious beliefs. Help the family understand why some practices cannot be done because they place the family or others at risk for exposure.”

Video: Timothy R. Furnish joins MidPoint to discuss why ISIS beheads its victims

Published on Oct 16, 2014 by NewsmaxTV

Visit Dr. Furnish’s website, http://mahdiwatch.org/

Also see:

IS THE ISLAMIC STATE ISLAMIC?

iraq-al-qaeda-convoy-APBreitbart:

Robert Reilly, former director of the Voice of America, has written a seminal article on the religiously-motivated threat America currently faces. The original was published on Tuesday by the Liberty Fund and is reposted with permission.

Nothing could be more curious to Muslims than Western non-Muslims telling them what their religion is about.

Would not Christians find it odd to hear from Muslims what the true meaning of their religion is? Nevertheless, after almost every terrorist act against a Westerner, particularly the more gruesome ones like beheadings, Western heads of state reflexively react with protestations that such acts are absolutely un-Islamic, despite the explicit claims of their perpetrators that they are done precisely as religious acts, as they exultantly declare, “Allahu Akbar.”

For example, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, noted Muslim scholars both, were the first to assure us that the Islamic State or ISIS, after it had decapitated an American and a British citizen, has nothing to do with Islam. (Of course, we can trace the genealogy of this thinking at least back to former President George W. Bush who said, after 9/11, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. . . Islam is peace.) Their subalterns also chimed in. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Islam is a “peaceful religion based on the dignity of all human beings.” He denounced the Islamic State as “this enemy of Islam.” U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond asserted that the Islamic State “goes against the most basic beliefs of Islam.”

Clerics were not far behind. The Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia, Mark Coleridge said, “It has nothing to do with real Islam.” At a September press conference, retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick claimed that “Catholic social teaching is based on the dignity of the human person . . . [and] as you study the holy Koran, as you study Islam, basically, this is what Muhammad the prophet, peace be upon him, has been teaching.” Therefore, these killings were not canonically correct. So they must not be due to Islam, but to a lack of opportunity—something we can fix.

This sort of exculpation happens so frequently that I can only understand it as a kind of preemptive Stockholm Syndrome. Because we don’t want to face the consequences if such acts are Islamic, we will simply insist that they are not: they can’t be because we find that unacceptable. The preemptive Stockholm Syndrome not only provides huge psychological relief to us, but it also lets Islam off the hook.

Why don’t we wait to hear from Muslims on this? Wouldn’t they be in a better position to say? In Jordan, politician Muhammad Bayoudh Al-Tamimi, a Palestinian, adamantly defended ISIS during a television appearance posted online in late August. Islamic State ideology “stems from the Quran and the Sunna,” he said, according to the translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “The Quran and the Sunna constitute their ideology, doctrine, and conduct. . . . There is no such thing as ‘ISIS ideology’—it’s Islam.”

That of course supports the position of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who has declared himself caliph and claims descent from Mohammed. Unlike Obama and Cameron, he has a PhD in Islamic studies. As any good caliph would, he has commanded the allegiance of all Muslims in order that they might reclaim their “dignity, might, rights and leadership,” and announced that ISIS would march on Rome. If he is a real caliph, there is nothing particularly unorthodox about this, and it would resonate with a desire in the hearts of many Muslims.

“We look forward to the coming, as soon as possible, of the caliphate,” said Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most popular preacher and scholar in the Sunni Muslim world. However, he cautioned, the “declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria,” adding that the title of caliph can “only be given by the entire Muslim nation,” not by a single group.

So the problem is not with the idea of the caliphate, but with this particular pretender to the title. However, as the long history of Islam has shown, power is self-legitimating in the Muslim world. Power comes from Allah; otherwise, how could one have it? Therefore, further success in battle and more oaths of allegiance from other Muslim groups may vindicate Al-Baghdadi’s claim. That is why Muslim rulers, particularly in the Middle East, are particularly anxious that he be defeated. Otherwise, their goose is cooked.

This is essentially a Muslim quarrel. In fact, the Muslim opponents of ISIS refer to its members as Kharijites, referring to a 7thcentury intramural conflict over the caliphate that was likewise settled with a great deal of blood.

However, we in the West are unlikely to hear of the struggle in these terms. More likely, we are assuaged by statements like that made in August by former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who said: “There is no place for violence in Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and some people have wrongly interpreted the religion.” No doubt, and there have been many such protestations from Muslim leaders and religious figures.

But how is peace defined in Islam? The key is to understand the Islamic jurisprudential context in which these things are said. I have no doubt of the sincerity of most Muslim leaders in saying the things they do, but we in the West are largely unaware of what they mean by what they say. This is due to our ignorance of Islam.

Read more at Breitbart

Robert Reilly is the Senior Fellow for Strategic Communication at the American Foreign Policy Council. He is the author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis (ISI Books, 2010) and The Prospects and Perils of Catholic-Muslim Dialogue (Isaac Publishing, 2013) .

Is the Islamic State the Islamic ‘Reformation’?

Screen-Shot-2014-10-14-at-2.34.22-PM1-358x350By Fjordman:

The self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world with its brutality. The British Prime Minister David Cameron, along with other Western leaders, claims that the Islamic State has “nothing to do with the great religion of Islam, a religion of peace.” The former British PM Tony Blair states that IS’ ideology is “based in a complete perversion of the proper faith of Islam.”

Notice that both the current and a previous British Prime Minister say virtually the same thing as Tariq Ramadan. He is a Swiss writer of Egyptian origin and is a Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University in Britain. Tariq Ramadan suggests that the Islamic State is ”not Islamic.”

Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Banna’s stated goal was the restoration of an Islamic Caliphate. We now have an Islamic State under the leadership of a Caliph. You could therefore argue that ISIS have fulfilled the original promise of Hassan al-Banna. What Tariq Ramadan is in effect saying is that: “The Islamic State have fulfilled the promise of my pious Muslim grandfather. Yet this has nothing to do with Islam.”

The slick Islamic infiltrator Tariq Ramadan has always reminded me of the deceiving manipulator Grima Wormtongue from Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings. It is no wonder that Western ruling elites are clueless about the true nature of the Islamic threat when we allow people such as Ramadan to be treated as experts on Islam in prestigious Western universities and advise Western authorities on matters related to Islam.

Saying that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam or Islamic teachings is false. ISIS propagandists quote authentic Koranic verses or respected hadith literature in favor of their actions. Yes, texts can be interpreted in different ways, but some interpretations have a stronger foundation than others do. A rubber band can be stretched up to a certain point, but not forever. Likewise, texts can be read in several ways, but they are not infinitely elastic.

Maybe what the militant members of the Islamic State are doing is not the only way to interpret Islamic religious texts. Maybe. What should worry us, however, is that it is a perfectly legitimate way to interpret Islamic texts.

The Islamic State now has many supporters, also in Western countries. Their atrocities resonate with quite a few Muslims who recognize something similar from Islamic history. In the earliest days of Islam, Mohammed and his companions raided and pillaged their opponents, massacred and beheaded non-Muslims, enslaved their children, raped their women and forced them to be sex slaves. Suggesting that it has nothing to do with Islam, when militant Muslims today directly copy the behavior of their Prophet as described in Islamic sources, is not credible.

Western leaders and commentators are often shockingly ill-informed about Islam. Tony Blair, then still Britain’s Prime Minister, wrote about Islam for the influential magazine Foreign Affairs in its January 2007 issue. This quote sums up the breathtaking cluelessness of Western leaders:

o-TONY-BLAIR-AND-PROTEST-facebook

To me, the most remarkable thing about the Koran is how progressive it is. I write with great humility as a member of another faith. As an outsider, the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, much as reformers attempted to do with the Christian church centuries later. The Koran is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance. Under its guidance, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands were breathtaking. Over centuries, Islam founded an empire and led the world in discovery, art, and culture. The standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones.”

Some observers suggest that Islam needs to be reformed. Yet it is arguable that we have already witnessed an Islamic Reformation, and that ISIS/the Islamic State represents a culmination of this process.

In 2007 I published an essay with the title Do we want an Islamic Reformation? The question of whether Islam can be reformed largely hinges upon one’s definition of “Reformation.” This is often implicitly taken to mean something along the lines of “peaceful, non-sharia-based with respect for individual choice, freedom of speech and the freedom to criticize and leave your religion.” In other words: “Reform” is vaguely taken to mean less Islam, or at least less traditional sharia laws, and no violent Jihad.

However, several observers argue that there are similarities between Martin Luther and the Christian or Protestant Reformation in sixteenth century Europe and the reform movement started by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab in the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th century. Wahhab’s alliance with the family of Muhammad bin Saud led to the creation of Saudi Arabia. Using its massive oil wealth, paid for by non-Muslims, that country has for generations funded strict sharia-based Islamic movements worldwide. This Islamic revivalist movement is at the base of the present-day Salafist movement.

Read more at Frontpage

Portrait of a Psychopath

51uq7H6vc6Lby EDWARD CLINE:

Review: It’s All About Muhammad: A Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet, by F.W. Burleigh. Portland, OR: Zenga Books, 2014. 555 pp. Illustrated.

Cover illustration: Artist’s rendering of Muhammad entering either Medina after his flight from Mecca in 622, or entering Mecca on his return in 630 on a pilgrimage prior to his compelling its surrender and conversion to Islam. Illustrator unknown.

As a “prophet,” Muhammad was a late bloomer. He didn’t begin hearing voices or having hallucinations about Allah’s prescription for living and dying until 610 A.D., when he was forty years old. Twelve years later he and a handful of his converts and followers took an urgent powder from Mecca, populated by the Quraysh, who were hostile to his blasphemy against their numerous pagan gods, and fled to Medina (then called Yathrib), populated by the Khazraj tribe. It was in Medina that he developed Islam by having numerous personal sessions with Allah through the medium of an angel, Gabriel (aka, Jibreel). Or so he would claim at the drop of a turban, which was often.

Islam, after closer examination, was and still is all about Muhammad. And about nothing else. You had to take his word for everything he said had happened or will happen. He insisted on it, forcefully. Like a berserker. There isn’t a single totalitarian regime that wasn’t also a personality cult. Islam fits that description. Muhammad is its personality, and Islam ishis cult.

He was the Billy Sunday of his time in that region, or if you like, a supreme showman in the way of P.T. Barnum. By the time of his death in July 632 at the age of sixty-two, Muhammad had converted all of the Arabian Peninsula to Islam, by hook, crook, military conquest, banditry, torture, extortion, genocide, terror, and murder. He was born in 570, the “Year of the Elephant,” but very likely had never seen or heard of an elephant. But Islam, especially after his demise and because of the missionary efforts of his successors, spread through the Peninsula and all compass points like scalding coffee through a cheap paper towel.

Another appropriate comparison would be that Muhammad was the Jim Jones of his time, skillful in manipulating the gullible, but his Kool-Aid was Islam, which didn’t poison men, but instead their minds, and turned them into “Walking Dead” zombies.

Or, picture Muhammad as a kind of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, ranting to his congregation about hell and damnation and God-damning the Jews and Christians and all unbelievers, his Koran-thumping eliciting vocal expressions of spontaneous fervor among the flock. That was, more or less, Muhammad’s preaching style. He was a master of working his credulous converts into near hysterics, if not into a revival tent, rolling-on-the-ground lather and foaming at the mouth for salvation.

That’s if you believe he even existed, and have instead speculated that the whole Muhammad story was woven out of whole cloth over centuries by Islamic scholars and scribes in search of the perfect and unalterable Koran, supposedly dictated verbatim by Allah to Muhammad, but which they were willing to emend, correct, embellish, and edit. These worthies labored to preserve the original Meccan verses – the banal “peaceful” ones – but abrogate them with the violent ones, over a hundred of them. It’s the violent ones that defined Islam in Muhammad’s time and which define it in our own. The implication is that these ancient editors were also hearing voices. “Press one for Arabic, press two for Aramaic.You have reached Seventh Heaven….Please, leave a message stating your question….”

Also the Hadith (plural), the collection of personal behavior, practices, recollections, and predilections of Muhammad, underwent serious revision over the centuries in order to make them comport more closely with the Koran. This perpetual project was an attempt to “humanize” Muhammad, to demonstrate that he was just like everyone else.

Or not.

Nevertheless, purists and Islamapologists near and far will damn F.W. Burleigh’s narrative of the life of Muhammad, It’s All About Muhammad: A Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet, or ignore it and just mutter under their breath. Muslim demonstrators will more likely froth at the mouth and develop laryngitis, as is their habit, because Burleigh’s book also boasts twenty-five pen-and-ink line illustrations, many of them depicting Muhammad at various points in his itinerant career.

The last one shows him giving a “thumbs-up” to Allah, both them seated on separate thrones in judgment of a cringing supplicant on the Day of Resurrection. In that scenario, Muhammad is acting as a kind of plea-deal attorney for those seeking to enter Paradise and be saved from a sentencing to eternal hellfire but had extenuating circumstances to reveal. He appointed himself to that role. After all, Allah is nothing if not “merciful” and open to suggestions from his “prophet,” while Muhammad was, to put it gently, full of himself. There was no appeal once a judgment had been made.

Among the verses is a celestial advisory that Muhammad 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. Note 12, Chapter 33, “Terror Has Made Me Victorious,” It’s All About Muhammad.

To call him merely narcissist would be letting him off easy. He invented the shadada as the universal profession of faith: “There is only one God and Muhammad is his Prophet (or Messenger).” Burleigh relates numerous instances of a person suspected of secret paganism or apostasy reciting the shadada to Muhammad to save himself from a beheading or some other form of execution. It was supposed to act as verbal shield. Often, the recitation fell on deaf ears.

And, yes, Muhammad consummated his marriage to nine-year-old Aisha, the daughter of his most loyal follower, Abu Bakr, adding pedophilia to his criminal “rap sheet,” in addition to the rape of captured women and girls after raids on caravans and Arab towns. “Weepy” Bakr, who at first objected to the proposed union, nevertheless served Muhammad to his dying day as his adviser, advance man, press agent, and public relations consultant. His submission to his employer’s desires served as an example for countless generations of Muslim parents who arranged the forced marriages of their prepubescent daughters, and still do, up to this day.

Burleigh’s biography is a compelling read, at times entertaining, but mostly informative. He brings to life what to most Westerners, and even to most Muslims, has been an abstraction, an untouchable icon never to be depicted, slandered, libeled, or mocked under pain of a death fatwa. Drawing on authoritative texts of the Koran and Hadith, together with the interpretations, histories and revisions by commentators such as Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Warraq, Al-Tabari, Edward Gibbon, Ahmed Qiresjo, and the translations of J.M. Rodwell, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, and M.H. Shakir, among others, the author presents an indelible picture of Muhammad the Monster who loosed a virulent evil on the world over fourteen centuries.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Islam Apologist Quanta Ahmed Errantly Invokes a Canonical Hadith Giving Priority to Jihad of the Sword

By Andrew Bostom:

Quanta Ahmed, at the close of her latest standard fare apologetic on Islam versus “Islamism,” published today at NRO, writes that she “knew well” the following words of Islam’s prophet Muhammad:

Whoever sees a wrong and is able to put it right with his hand, let him do so; if he can’t, then with his tongue; if he can’t, then in his heart, and that is the bare minimum of faith.

Pace Ahmed’s contention that these words compel a Muslim to “expose injustice,” they actually sanction jihad war, a context made plain by both authoritative Islamic legists, and modern Islamologists.

DAR-2090Islam apologist, and revisionist Ahmed is invoking Sahih Muslim-Book 001, Number 0079, a canonical hadith which prioritizes the categories of jihad.

It is narrated on the authority of Tariq b. Shihab: It was Marwan who initiated (the practice) of delivering khutbah (address) before the prayer on the ‘Id day. A man stood up and said: Prayer should precede khutbah. He (Marwan) remarked, This (practice) has been done away with. Upon this Abu Sa’id remarked: This man has performed (his duty) laid on him. I heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand (i.e., by force); and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue (i.e., by preaching or propaganda), and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart (i.e., soul), and that is the least of faith.

Princeton Islamologist John Ralph Willis’ 1967 essay (“Jihad fi sabil Allah- Its doctrinal basis in Islam and some aspects of its evolution in 19th century West Africa” The Journal of African History, 1967, Vol. 8 [No. 3], pp. 395-415) discusses this canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim-Book 001, Number 0079), in the following bellicose context (pp. 398-99), which establishes the priority of jihad by the sword:

The Islamic community…retained as part of its ideology the desire for world domination. According to the Sharia, the world was divided in two. That part which fell outside the abode of Islam was said to be the abode of war (dar al harb). Since the Sharia could not countenance the indefinite existence of this dichotomy, the Muslim community was under obligation to declare jihad upon those who refused to submit or pay the tax of humiliation, until all peoples were brought within the fold of Islam. The jihad came to be looked upon as the instrument by which the dar al-harb would be transformed into dar al-Islam (the abode of Islam)

Willis acknowledges that nonviolent forms of jihad certainly existed—and were lauded.

…the jihad was not seen as a single-edged instrument to be employed by violent means only

But all these methods were geared towards the purpose of Islamization, and jihad by the sword assumed the ultimate, most esteemed priority. In contrast, per, Sahih Muslim-Book 001, Number 0079, “the least of faith,” was jihad from one’s heart, alone.

The classical jurists had distinguished four ways by which the believer could fulfill his jihad obligation. The jihad was defined as an effort directed against any object of disapprobation by use of the heart, the tongue, the hands, and the sword. The jihad of the heart was directed against the flesh…It was to be accomplished by fighting temptation through purification of the soul. The jihad of the tongue and hands was undertaken in fulfillment of the Koranic injunction (for example 7:157; 12:40) to command the good and forbid the bad. And the jihad of the sword was concerned exclusively with combating unbelievers and enemies of the faith by open warfare. Before combating the object of disapprobation, however, it was necessary that the warrior should at first withdraw from it; this withdrawal was called ‘hijra’ in imitation of the Prophetic model. Turning one’s mind from evil and things temporal was hijra of the heart. Withdrawal of verbal or physical support for actions forbidden by Quran, Sunna (traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), or Ijma (consensus of learned Muslim legists, etc.) realized hijra of the tongue and hands. And extrication of oneself from unbelievers—Christians, Jews, or pagans—or from those who would harm Islam, accomplished the last type of hijra.

Willis cites an exemplar of this endlessly repetitive historical “pattern of jihad”: the 11-12th century Almohad jihadst leader Ibn Tumart (d. 1128-1130). Before taking up the sword,

…he went about as a self-appointed censor of public morality—‘commanding the good and forbidding the bad’. We see him breaking the wine jars and musical instruments wherever he finds them; openly admonishing women who go about unveiled; openly blaming the established authority on the pitiful state of Islam; and publicly teaching his theological views to whomever was willing to listen.

The jihad depredations of the Almohads—inspired by Ibn Tumart—wrought enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa, permanently extinguishing the last vestiges of Augustinian Christianity in the latter region. A contemporary Judeo-Arabic account by Solomon Cohen (which comports with Arab historian Ibn Baydhaq’s sequence of events), from January 1148 C.E, described the Muslim Almohad conquests in North Africa, and Spain, as follows:

Abd al-Mumin…the leader of the Almohads after the death of Muhammad Ibn Tumart the Mahdi …captured Tlemcen [in the Maghreb] and killed all those who were in it, including the Jews, except those who embraced Islam…[In Sijilmasa] One hundred and fifty persons were killed for clinging to their [Jewish] faith…All the cities in the Almoravid [dynastic rulers of North Africa and Spain prior to the Almohads] state were conquered by the Almohads. One hundred thousand persons were killed in Fez on that occasion, and 120,000 in Marrakesh. The Jews in all [Maghreb] localities [conquered]…groaned under the heavy yoke of the Almohads; many had been killed, many others converted; none were able to appear in public as Jews…Large areas between Seville and Tortosa [in Spain] had likewise fallen into Almohad hands.

This devastation—massacre, captivity, and forced conversion—was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors”, i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries, removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators.

The true doctrinal and historical context of Quanta Ahmed’s invocation of a canonical hadith she errantly claims urges Muslims to “expose injustice,” in reality exposes her own profound ignorance, and delusion. Ahmed’s witless Islamic apologetics should be reflexively dismissed in the future.

Not Destroying ISIS

Obama-Ertoganpng-450x337by Nonie Darwish:

Western media, President Obama, all Muslim countries, and myriad groups and individuals have been telling us that ISIS does not represent Islam. Muslims, especially in the West, insist that their beloved faith has nothing to do with the terrorists who are embarrassing the good and peaceful Muslims and who are giving Islam a bad name and dishonoring the real Islam.

It is a fact that Arab/Islamic culture highly values honor and pride and has little tolerance for those who dishonor Islam and Islamic “family values.” Because honor is so vital in Islamic culture, a whole section in Islamic law is dedicated to forgiving and not prosecuting certain murders when they are linked to honor, such as the killing of adulterers and apostates. Sharia has harsh punishment for those who dishonor Islam or deviate from its values and commandments.

Because of Muslim sensitivity to dishonor one would think that the majority of moderate Muslims, especially after 9/11, would mobilize their armies, police and legal resources to arrest, punish, imprison or execute those who kill, behead and terrorize in the name of the religion of peace.

Muslim legal systems in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and Yemen, do not hesitate to whip, amputate, stone and behead those who violate Islamic sexual taboos, but never behead, amputate or whip jihadists who terrorize in the name of Islam. Almost all Muslim governments claim to be moderate, but none have apologized for 9/11. They have no interest in rounding up terror groups except those who point their guns at Muslim governments. Why is that? Why is it that many Muslim governments allow the financial support and accommodation of terror groups as long as terrorists do their business elsewhere? Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf countries financed the radical resistance against Bashar Assad for one reason: he is not Sunni. And now when the radical resistance turned into ISIS, these same nations are asking the US to do something.

There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims divided among 49 majority Muslim nations around the world and all claim to be peace-loving and “moderate.” Many of these Islamic nations have some of the largest and well-equipped armies in the Middle East and Africa. Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons. Egypt’s military has approximately 468,500 active personnel, in addition 1 million reservists. Turkey has 662,719 active personnel. Saudi Arabia’s military is estimated to have 150,000 active personnel and Pakistan has 550,000 active troops, 500,000 reserves.

Yet the huge armies of the above four Muslim nations are watching the ISIS slaughter and refuse to end it. Has anyone asked why? Where are the 1.5 billion moderate Muslims to save the reputation of Islam and fellow Muslims? Is there even a moderate Muslim army that will not hesitate to kill ISIS beheading their way from city to city? Will Muslim armies fight the alleged bad Muslims?

The answer is simple and I hope the West is ready for the truth. If Muslim governments go to war against ISIS, there is a good possibility that their armies will not kill ISIS but might actually join them against Arab governments.

Read more at Frontpage

Video: Bosch Fawstin interview on the Flipside

Published on Oct 13, 2014 by The Flipside with Michael Loftus

Michael Loftus interviews cartoonist Bosch Fawstin on The Infidel, Pigman, Islam and the comic book industry.

Visit Bosch’s website —> http://fawstin.blogspot.com/

and twitter —> @BoschFawstin

Is Ben Affleck a Racist?

By David Wood:

On a recent episode of “Real Time,” Bill Maher and Sam Harris declared that Islam is more violent than other religions and ideologies. Ben Affleck called such a view “racist.” But since the Qur’an says far worse things about non-Muslims than Maher or Harris say about Muslims, why doesn’t Affleck condemn the Qur’an? Is it because he has lower expectations for Muslims than for other people? If so, does this make him a racist?

Analysis: Does the Islamic State Really Have ‘Nothing to Do with Islam’?

by Jeffrey M. Bale
Special to IPT News
October 10, 2014

1071


Note: This analysis has been excerpted, with the approval of the author, from a much longer scholarly article that will be published in an academic journal.

“Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgement that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas – jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy – reliably lead to oppression and murder?”

Sam Harris, Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon

As is invariably the case these days in the wake of the terrorist violence, brutality, and atrocities carried out explicitly in the name of Islam, a host of dissimulating Islamist activists, other Muslims in a state of psychological denial, and apologetic Western pundits insist that the actions of the terrorist group calling itself al-Dawla al-Islamiyya (IS: the Islamic State) have little or nothing to do with Islam.

Not long ago, many such commentators also argued that the horrendous actions committed by the Nigerian jihadist group Jama’at Ahl al-Sunna li al-Da’wa wa al-Jihad, better known as Boko Haram (Western Influence is Sinful), had nothing to do with its members’ interpretations of Islam.

In all such cases, however, the perpetrators of these violent actions not only proudly insist that their actions are inspired by the Qur’an and the exemplary words and deeds of Muhammad himself (as recorded in the canonical hadith collections), but explicitly cite relevant Qur’anic passages and the reported actions of their prophet to justify those actions. Therefore, to argue that jihadist terrorists are not directly inspired and primarily motivated by their interpretations of Islamic doctrines and by clear precedents from early Islamic history, one must stubbornly ignore what the actual protagonists keep telling the entire world.

But why ignore the claims of the perpetrators and instead rely on Islamist activists, who are often peddling outright disinformation, or on Western commentators, most of whom know little or nothing about Islam or Islamism, for explanations of this behavior? These pundits are prone to minimize the central role played by Islamist ideology and erroneously ascribe the actions of jihadist terrorists to assorted subsidiary causal factors, such as garden-variety political grievances, poverty, lack of democracy, psychopathology, greed, or simple hunger for power.

Needless to say, most of the commentators who keep insisting, against all evidence to the contrary, that the actions of jihadist terrorists cannot be attributed to their interpretations of Islam do not also argue that the violent actions of other types of extremists cannot be attributed to their ideological beliefs. On the contrary, whenever other types of terrorists carry out gruesome attacks, many of those same commentators are quick to ascribe their actions primarily to their proclaimed theological and ideological beliefs – and justifiably so.

One can easily illustrate this glaring contrast with respect to the analytical treatment of Islamist terrorism by asking a simple question: when was the last time that any more or less respected commentator made the case that Nazi ideology had nothing to do with inspiring particular acts of terrorism committed by self-identified neo-Nazis, or that notions of white supremacy had nothing to do with anti-minority violence committed by members of the Ku Klux Klan? Thus it is virtually only in cases of acts of terrorism committed by jihadists that one encounters so much unwillingness to face reality and so much frantic desperation to absolve Islam itself – or even Islamist interpretations of Islam – from shouldering any responsibility for inspiring acts committed in its name.

Some academicians mistakenly minimize the role of ideology as a key factor in inspiring the violence and terrorism carried out by non-state extremist groups, not just in the case of jihadist terrorism but also in other such cases. These efforts are seriously misleading, since they tend to be based on flawed social science theories that overemphasize the role of “rational choice,” materialistic rather than idealistic motives, personal psychological factors, “really existing” political and economic grievances, or larger impersonal structural forces as causal factors in the etiology of terrorism. However, they at least have the merit of not employing double standards, i.e., of making an unwarranted and wholly artificial distinction between the causes of Islamist terrorism and other types of ideologically-inspired terrorism. Indeed, although some have specifically applied such problematic notions in the context of Islamist terrorism, there is no reason to suppose that they regard ideology as being any more important in other terrorism contexts.

But the most egregious nonsense about the Islamic State is currently being peddled by ideologues, spokesmen, and activists from Islamist organizations, both in the Muslim world and in the West. Leading Saudi clerics, Saudi-sponsored and Saudi-funded international Islamic organizations like the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and numerous Islamist groups and networks linked to the Muslim Brotherhood are now belatedly hastening to denounce the IS and to falsely claim that it has “nothing to do with Islam” or that its appalling actions are “un-Islamic” or even “anti-Islamic.”

Unfortunately, many naïve or agenda-driven Western journalists cite these deceptive statements by Islamists in an effort to challenge conservative Western media claims that not enough Muslims are speaking out against the IS. Indeed, those journalists tend to highlight such statements to give the impression that lots of supposedly moderate Muslims are publicly opposing the IS, either without actually knowing or without bothering to mention that most of the people and organizations that are making such statements are in fact Islamists who are trying to whitewash Islam and their own brands of Islamism, burnish their own tarnished images and thereby protect themselves, and/or mislead gullible “infidels” in the media.

Most of these commentators repeat the same one-sided mantras that have been endlessly repeated since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, e.g., that “Islam is a religion of peace” or that “Islam does not sanction terrorism and beheadings,” usually without providing any actual textual or historical evidence in support of their claims. This is all the more peculiar, since if the jihadists affiliated with the IS were in fact egregiously misinterpreting Islam, it should be very easy indeed for their critics to point this out by referring to Islam’s sacred scriptures and the reported words and deeds of Muhammad to explicitly repudiate barbarous IS actions such as the wholesale massacre or torture of captives, the confiscation of their land and wealth, the enslavement (sexual and otherwise) of their women, the gruesome public beheadings and stonings of designated enemies and “sinners” in order to terrorize others and perhaps also to precipitate the arrival of the Mahdi and the onset of the “end times,” the wanton destruction of places of worship and historical monuments, and the list goes on and on.

Yet they generally fail to do this. On those rare occasions when they try to demonstrate that these kinds of activities are “un-Islamic,” usually by citing a handful of Qur’anic passages out of context or by noting a few recorded examples of Muhammad’s compassion, their arguments are weak and unconvincing, if not preposterous. The jihadists themselves and certain hardline pro-jihadist clerics have thus far seemingly had little trouble rebutting their Muslim critics’ often specious arguments.

An illustrative example of such Islamist sophistry is provided by Nihad ‘Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a key component of the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S.

In an opinion piece entitled “ISIS is Not Just Un-Islamic, It is Anti-Islamic,” ‘Awad describes ISIS as a “criminal gang” that “falsely…claims to uphold the banner of Islam.” In support of his claim, ‘Awad attempts to redefine the term jihad in such a way that it cannot be associated with offensive warfare.

Much more at IPT

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bale is an Associate Professor in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), where his focus is on the study of political and religious extremism and terrorism. He obtained his B.A. in Middle Eastern and Islamic history at the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. in modern European history at the University of California at Berkeley.

Islam or Islamism: A Distinction without a Difference?

Wallpaper-islam-15679036-1105-884By David Solway:

Thirteen years after 9/11, after some 24,000 [1] terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims since that fateful date, after the atrocities carried out and still being carried out by Caliphate-aspiring terrorist militias, after civil wars, incursions, the mass extermination and eviction of Christian populations in Muslim lands and territories, hostage-takings, kidnappings, beheadings, bombings, missile barrages — after all this, many Westerners still appear to endorse a strict distinction between Islam and Islamism. The former, we believe or have been led to believe, is a “religion of peace” whose doctrines have been twisted and misinterpreted by a cadre of extremists. Islam, according to this perspective, cannot be held accountable for a band of criminals willfully violating the tenets and premises of a venerable Abrahamic faith.

The claim is unsustainable. Where it is not advanced disingenuously — for profit, power or position — it is plainly a function of culpable or lazy ignorance or, at best, of a desire to be (or to seem) tolerant and supremely civil. I suspect that the majority of such Western apologists have not cracked a single page of the Koran or perused even a scattering of the ahadith [2] and sirah [3], where the chasm on which they insist between Islam and Islamism is nowhere to be found. The Koran, in particular, brims with exhortations to violence against unbelievers, which the 1400-year imperial history of Islam has honored to the letter. The religious mandate as well as the empirical practice are undeniably Islamic, not “Islamist” — a concept that has no meaning in the theological literature.

Far too many of us cannot bring ourselves to understand that the enemy we are facing is not some fringe minority of “radicals” who are abusing not only their victims but the principles of the faith they proclaim. For one thing, the jihadists and their enablers may be a “minority,” but they number in the millions — the lowball figure [4] of 1% of theummah yields 15-16 million; a not unreasonable estimate [5] of 10% gives 150-160 million. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of people determined to kill you. When one considers that this number amounts to half the population of the United States out for one’s blood, it puts the issue into perspective. For another thing, the shahids [6] andmujahidin [7] know perfectly well how to read their sacred texts, far better than their victims, dupes, extenuators and fellow-travelers who neglect to study either the scriptures or the history of Islam in order to gain a more acute and comprehensive knowledge of the enemy who plots their destruction. Others, of course, have been bought, suborned by donations or bribes and subsidized by petrodollars, or they are trimmers who have capitalized on business interests and opportunities.

Even those who have grasped the pitiless and bellicose quality of Islamic law and normative doctrine, and, moreover, have suffered terrible losses at the hands of “the believers” will, often from the noblest of motives, insist on distinguishing between the unoffending and the barbarous members of the faith. George Reisman, whose son was among the 2,296 innocents massacred on 9/11, delivered a lambent and courageous tenth anniversary speech [8] in which he proudly declared himself an Islamophobe and excoriated the “medieval” savagery of his son’s murderers. Yet he assures us that his “hatred of Radical Islam does not extend to every Muslim as an individual. It does extend, however, to Islam as an institution.” Nor does his condemnation extend “to those brave souls who are struggling to bring Islam into the 21rst Century sensibilities.” These exceptions aside, he is clear about his “abhorrence of the 7th Century brand of Islam that the Radicals want to impose upon us and the rest of the world.”

The term “7th Century,” as employed here, is not exclusively historical but operates as shorthand for a primitive and barbaric mindset. The real problem, however — and it may well be insuperable — is that what we call  “7th Century Islam” is a 21rst century resident, inherent in the texts, judgments, precepts, usages and ceremonies followed by all believing Muslims. The distinction Reisman introduces between 7th century radicalism and the institution of Islam per se is redundant. Authentic Islam has always been a “7thCentury” religion insofar as the harsh, legalistic and invasive spirit that animates its founding documents has remained intact to the present day. As the great historian Jacob Burckhardt observed [9], Islam “spread not by mission but by conquests.” This is how it differs from the other two Abrahamic faiths, which, for that matter, date prior to the 7th century. Judaism does not actively seek converts and Christianity is intrinsically a missionary religion; moreover, the indwelling spirit that vitalizes them is universal and their congregants have for the most part adapted to the modern world.

There really is no comparison. Authentic Judaism is defined by the Decalogue and the Noahide Laws [10], which value human life, prohibit murder, and command us to establish a just and humane social order extending to all mankind.  Authentic Christianity is a religion of mercy that renders unto God what is God’s and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, with only a sparse handful of jarring or dissonant moments. The fact that Islam, deriving from the preachments and practices of Allah’s Messenger, does not share these characteristics with Judaism and Christianity but is almost uniformly aggressive, severe and vindictive in its punitive austerities, is one that too few of us are willing to recognize, owing to a reluctance to appear “racist,” bigoted or illiberal.

Individuals will always betray or deviate from the austere or exalted temper of their scriptures where these enshrine the Golden Rule — Kierkegaard’s wise distinction between Christianity and Christendom. The difference in this connection is that what we would regard as “deviation” — cruelty, oppression, the call to perpetual warfare — is in Islam not a function of individual or group delinquency but is actually intrinsic to the incunabula of Islam and ubiquitous throughout the founding library of the faith. “People ask whether Islam can undergo a reformation like the one that Christianity underwent. That’s a poor parallel,” writes Canadian ex-Muslim Ali Sina in his seminal volumeUnderstanding Muhammad and Muslims [11].

In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed, but the church; what Jesus preached was good.…In Islam, it’s the religion that is not good.

In other words, a lapsed Church is foreign to essential Christianity and a corrupt Temple is alien to essential Judaism. But such regressions are actually integral to Islam, bred in the unabrogated scriptures which permit, approve and ratify such depravities as slavery, child marriage, polygamy, gynophobia, deception (taqiyya), the breaking of treaties, the doctrinally sanctioned acquisition of booty and of women as the spoils of war, dhimmitude and, most terrible of all, wanton slaughter of unbelievers. As Koran 8:39 commands, “Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.” It is not difficult, then, to see that ancestral Islam is demonstrably contemporary Islam since the Koran is understood to be an eternal book, coterminous with Allah, and thus does not allow for revision.

Read more at PJ Media

Jeff Crouere interviews Dr. Andrew Bostom on Muslim polling data

Published on Oct 9, 2014 by Kenneth Sikorski

This radio broadcast interview on the Jeff Crouere show with Dr.Andrew Bostom 9.10.2014 was on Islam, jihad and how mainstream 7th century Islam (basic Islam 101) is in mainstream Islam.