The Ideology Problem in Timbuktu Is Not al-Qaeda’s Making — It Is Classical Islam

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy:

Andrew’s post describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali is essential, if excruciating, reading. Beyond the monstrously cruel but all too usual punishments being imposed, I’m struck by two things, which really show how willful blindness leads inexorably to spring fever: The Guardian attributes the atrocious penalties to the “menace of al-Qaida”; it also notes, however, that the “ban [on music] comes in the context of a horrifically literal and gratuitous application of Sharia law in all aspects of daily life.”

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, al Qaeda did not make up sharia law. Islam did. And in the West, it is a key tenet of due process that law is imposed literally — ambiguous laws violate the principle that people of ordinary intelligence must be on fair notice of what is prohibited. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about applying as it is written.

16044762We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem. As I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that al Qaeda’s local franchise is enforcing in Mali is “literal” because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, while it seems only militant jihadists proudly urge this construction in practice, it is enthusiastically endorsed in principle by two of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East: al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Don’t just take my word for it. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law is not some al Qaeda pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s reliance (1)provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think-tank begun in the early eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”) — and from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West (“We certify,” the famed scholars wrote, that the “translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…. There is no objection to printing it and circulating it…. May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.” There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.).

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Reliance is also endorsed by Islamic authorities in Jordan (leading influences on a largely Palestinian population that may well overthrow the pro-Western monarchy) and Syria (leading influences on the “rebels” on whose side interventionists — including both presidential candidates — would have us jump to abet the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing campaign to oust the minority Alawite Assad regime).

Here, as I summarize in Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about the arts:

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

“Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage), and “[o]n the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” However, if unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Those sharia provisions are complemented by these — again, endorsed by al-Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and our “moderate” “allies” in the region:

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

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

[Note: These latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah or the prophet are the basis for imposing death for blasphemy. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated worse than Muslims by sharia (see, e.g., Sura 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.”)]

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

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity” –zakat can only be given to Muslims and is designed strictly to fortify the Muslim community, not benefit the less fortunate generally); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster…. They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1-17.)

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

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

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliancep50.0 & ff; p.74.0& ff.)

The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year.” (Relianceo12.0 & ff.)

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

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

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliancep42.0 & ff.)

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

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

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Relianceo14.0.)

The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes.” (Reliance o16.3; p.14.2.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliancep7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Relianceo24.7.)

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

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

This is not al Qaeda doctrine. This is sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. It is not the construction of Islam that many Muslims in the West wish to live under. But it is the mainstream supremacist Islam of the Middle East, which Islamic leaders — including those who come to the West to preach it — would not dream of discrediting, even if they are not as enthusiastic as al Qaeda where imposing it is concerned.

The State Department and the leading foreign policy voices of both major American political parties say sharia is perfectly compatible with “democracy” and the Western conception of human rights — of liberty and equality. Sure it is. And then you wonder why the Obama administration opens a consulate in Benghazi, one of the most perilous places in the world for Americans, refuses to safeguard it despite multiple pleas for beefed up security, and then fraudulently claims a pluperfectly predictable atrocity was caused by a video no one ever saw. If you’re going to live in a dreamworld, better get used to nightmare consequences.

‘Three Choices’ and the bitter harvest of denial: How dissimulation about Islam is fueling genocide in the Middle East

download (79)By Mark Durie:

Published first by Lapido Media.

Republished by permission.

In northern Iraq religious genocide is reaching end-game stage.  Islamic State (IS) soldiers, reinforced with military equipment originally supplied by the US, are driving back Kurdish defenders who had been protecting Christians and other religious minorities.  While hundreds of thousands of refugees have been fleeing into Kurdistan, around 40,000 Yazidis and some Christians are trapped on Mount Sinjar, surrounded by IS jihadis.  (Yazidis are Kurdish people whose pre-Christian faith derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, with overlays and influences from other religions.)

The Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq has reported that children and the elderly are dying of thirst on Sinjar.  Parents are throwing their children to their deaths off the mountain rather than see them die of thirst or be taken into slavery by IS.

The IS jihadis are killing the men they capture.  In one recent incident 1500 men were executed in front of their wives and families.  In another incident 13 Yazidi men who refused to convert to Islam had their eyes plucked out, were doused with gasoline and burned alive.  When the men are killed, captured women and children are enslaved to be used for sex, deployed as human shields in battle zones, or sold to be used and abused as their new owners see fit.

The United States has ironically called for greater cooperation.  UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, urged ‘all parties to the conflict’ to allow access to UN relief agencies. She called on Iraqis to ‘come together’ so that Iraq will ‘get back on the path to a peaceful future’ and ‘prevent ISIL from obliterating Iraq’s vibrant diversity’.

Of course it is not ‘vibrant diversity’ which is being wiped out in Iraq, but men, women and children by their tens of thousands.  This is not about the failure of coexistence, and the problem is not ‘conflict’. This is not about people who have trouble getting on and who need to somehow make up and ‘come together’. It is about a well-articulated and well-documented theological worldview hell-bent on dominating ‘infidels’, if necessary wiping them off the face of the earth, in order to establish the power and grandeur of a radical vision of Islam.

The American administration, according to Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute, ‘withholds arms from the Kurds while awaiting a new, unified Iraqi government with a new prime minister. Meanwhile … no Iraqi troops are in Nineveh province.’  Only at a few minutes to midnight on the genocide clock has the US begun to launch military strikes against IS forces.

These events ought to be sobering to the West, not least because thousands of the IS jihadis were raised and bred in the mosques of Europe, North America and Australia, not to mention the madrassas of nations such as Malaysia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.  Having been formed by the theology of radical Islam in their home societies, would-be jihadis are flocking to Syria and Iraq where they seek victory or martyrdom, killing and raping as they go.

Why is this so?  How did the Arab Spring, hailed by so many armchair western commentators as the next best thing for the Middle East, blossom bright red into a torrent of blood?

Part of the answer is that the West is in the grip of theological illiteracy.  It has stubbornly refused to grasp the implications of a global Islamic revival which has been gaining steam for the best part of a century.  The Islamic Movement looks back to the glory days of conquest as Islam’s finest hour, and seeks to revive Islamic supremacy through jihad and sacrifice.  It longs for a truly Islamic state – the caliphate reborn – and considers jihad to be the God-given means to usher it in.

This worldview was promoted in compelling, visionary terms by Indian scholar Abul A’la Maududi, whose writings continue to be widely disseminated by Islamic bookshops and mosques across the West.  Maududi argued in his radicalisation primer Let us be Muslims that the only valid form of government is Islamic theocracy – i.e. sharia rule – and Muslims are duty-bound to use whatever power they can muster to impose this goal on the world: ‘whoever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God. … The name of this striving is jihad.’  And ‘If you believe Islam to be true, you have no alternative but to exert your utmost strength to make it prevail on earth: you either establish it or give your lives in this struggle.’

My own copy of Let us Be Muslims, which lies open before me as I write, was bought from a well-respected mainstream Islamic centre here in Melbourne, Australia.

When Pope Benedict gave a lecture in Regensburg in 2006, in which he suggested that Islam had been spread by force, the Muslim world erupted in violent protests.

Sheikh ‘Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, responded with a revealing defence of Islam’s record. Without a glimmer of irony he argued that the Pope was wrong to say Islam had been spread by force, because the infidels had a third choice, apart from death or conversion, namely to ‘surrender and pay tax, and they will be allowed to remain in their land, observing their religion under the protection of Muslims.’  He claimed that those who read the Qur’an and the Sunna (the example and teaching of Muhammad) will understand the facts.

The reality unfolding in north Iraq today reveals to the cold light of day exactly what the doctrine of the three choices means for conquered non-Muslims populations, and why the dogma of the ‘three choices’ is no defence against the assertion that Islam was spread by the sword.

It is crystal clear that IS is not playing by the world’s rules.  It has nothing but contempt for the Geneva Convention.  Its battle tactics are regulated by sheikhs who implement the sharia’s rules of war.  Many of the abuses committed by IS being reported by the international media are taken straight from the pages of Islamic legal textbooks.

Consider IS’s announcement to Christians in northern Iraq:  ‘We offer them three choices: Islam, the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this, they will have nothing but the sword.’

These words are cobbled together from the pages of Islamic sacred texts.  It was Sa’d b. Mu’adh, a companion of Muhammad, who said of the pagan Meccans ‘We will give them nothing but the sword’ ( A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, OUP 1955 p. 454). Muhammad himself was reported to have said ‘When you meet your enemies who are polytheists [i.e. they are not Muslims] invite them to three courses of action.  … Invite them to Islam… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. … If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them’ (Sahih Muslim. The Book of Jihad and Expedition [Kitab al-Jihad wa’l-Siyar] 3:27:4294).  When the Caliph ‘Umar attacked Persia, he announced to them ‘Our Prophet [Muhammad] … has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or pay jizya’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, The Book of al-Jizya and the Stoppage of War 4:58:3159).

I have analysed the doctrine of the three choices in my book The Third Choice: Islam, dhimmitude and freedom, drawing extensively on Islamic sources to explain the worldview of jihad and the dhimma.  That book now reads as a grim prophecy of the tragedy unfolding in Syria and Iraq.

Read more at Mark Durie’s blog

Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum, and director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

 

World Ignores Christian Exodus from Islamic World

by Raymond Ibrahim:

“They were trying to kill us… because we were Christians.” — Teenage girl from Homs, Syria.

There have been house-to-house searches in Mali for Christians who might be in hiding, and people tortured into revealing Christian relatives. At least one pastor was beheaded.

It is to the media’s shame that those who slaughter, behead, crucify and displace people for no other reason than that they are Christian rarely get media coverage, while Israel, which kills only in the context of trying to defend itself from rocket attacks and terrorism, and not out of religious bigotry, is constantly demonized.

Paying jizya [special poll tax for non-Muslims] is not only about money. It is about subjugation.

While the world fixates on the conflict between Israel and Hamas—and while most mainstream media demonize Israel for trying to survive amid a sea of Arab-Islamic hostility—similar or worse tragedies continue to go virtually ignored.

One of the most ancient Christian communities in the world, that of Iraq—which already had been decimated over the last decade, by Islamic forces unleashed after the ousting of Saddam Hussein—has now been wiped out entirely by the new “caliphate,” the so-called Islamic State, formerly known by the acronym “ISIS.”

As Reuters reported:

Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul….

It said Christians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract—a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya.”

“We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract—involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the announcement said.

The amount of jizya-money demanded was $450 a month, an exorbitant sum for Iraq.

Hours after the demand for jizya was made, Islamists began painting the letter “n” on Christian homes in Mosul—in Arabic, Christians are known as “Nasara,” or “Nazarenes”—signaling them out for the slaughter to come.

Most Christians have since fled. A one-minute video in Arabic of their exodus appears here—women and children weeping as they flee their homes—a video that will not be shown by any Western mainstream media outlet, busy as they are depicting instead nonstop images of Palestinian women and children.

Christian refugees, who fled or were expelled from Mosul, crowd around a truck distributing food aid. (Image source: Facebook video screenshot)

The Syrian Orthodox bishop of Mosul said that what is happening to the Christians of Mosul is nothing less than “genocide… not to mention the slaughters and rapes not being reported… Forcing more than a thousand Christian families out of Mosul, and turning Christian churches into Muslim mosques, is equivalent to genocide.” Of course, the word genocide means to kill or make extinct a people.

Others were not as lucky to flee. According to Iraqi human rights activist Hena Edward, a great many older and disabled Iraqis, unable to pay the jizya or join the exodus, have opted to convert to Islam.

Meanwhile, the jihadis continue destroying churches and other ancient Christian holy sites in the name of their religion, and murdering any Christians they can find. Among other acts, they torched an 1800 year old church in Mosul, stormed a fourth century monastery—formerly one of Iraq’s best known Christian landmarks—and expelling its resident monks.

Most recently, in Syrian regions under the Islamic State’s control, eight Christians were reportedly crucified.

The Islamic State’s call for Christians to pay jizya is not simply about money. It is about subjugation. Most Western media reporting on this recent call for jizya have failed to explain the accompanying dhimma contract Christians must also abide by. According to the Islamic State, “We offer them [Christians] three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract—involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.”

The “dhimma contract” is a reference to the Conditions of Omar, an Islamic text attributed to the caliph of the same name that forces Christians to live according to third class citizen status.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Omaha’s Tri-Faith Initiative Mirrors “Pact of Umar”

Omar-450x300By Joe Herring and Dr. Mark Christian:

For those of you unfamiliar with Islamic history, Umar bin al-Khattab – the second Islamic Caliph – made an agreement with the subjugated Christians of Syria setting forth the conditions under which said Christians would be permitted to live in proximity to the conquering Muslims.

This Pact of Umar is the origination of the concept of dhimmitude, a dehumanizing status belonging to subjugated non-Muslims in Islamist societies.

The translation I have re-produced below comes from the stellar book by Raymond Ibrahim, titled Crucified Again.

In return for their lives, the Christians agreed:

Not to build a church in our city—nor a monastery, convent, or monk’s cell in the surrounding areas—and not to repair those that fall in ruins or are in Muslim quarters;

Not to clang our cymbals except lightly and from the innermost recesses of our churches;

Not to display a cross on them [churches], nor raise our voices during prayer or readings in our churches anywhere near Muslims;

Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims;

Not to congregate in the open for Easter or Palm Sunday, nor lift our voices [in lamentation] for our dead nor show our firelights with them near the market places of the Muslims;

Not to display any signs of polytheism, nor make our religion appealing, nor call or proselytize anyone to it;

Not to prevent any of our relatives who wish to enter into Islam;

Not to possess or bear any arms whatsoever, nor gird ourselves with swords;

To honor the Muslims, show them the way, and rise up from our seats if they wish to sit down;

Adhere to these conditions and live. Break these conditions and all bets are off. While this pact was made in the early 7th Century, it is still considered relevant today as evidenced by its widespread application throughout the Middle East.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) certainly considers these conditions to be quite pertinent to the present-day conduct of interfaith relations. They are enforcing the conditions on the Christian residents of Syria, in addition to the regions they have recently conquered in Iraq.

According to the BBC, ISIS offers a heck of a deal – you must convert to Islam or if you remain Christian, you must accept dhimmi status and pay the jizya, (a tax for non-Muslims only) or… you can just be put to the sword.

As wildly enticing as the first or third choices may appear, most opt for door number two and live out their lives as second-class subjects. This is the hard-tyranny of Islamic supremacy. The inherently political and social nature of Islam and Sharia leave no room for other forms of intersection between believers and unbelievers.

This hard-tyranny is the hallmark of the Caliphate system. Freedom is an unknown concept; liberty is blasphemy in a system that crushes the individual into mortar paste for the building of greater Islam.

The global left views the advent of a new Caliphate as something akin to an Islamic version of the European Union, an economic and political alliance designed to trade with the rest of the world on an equal footing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Caliphate is a means toward an end; that end being Islamic dominance. The Caliphate is merely the structural entity that will administer Sharia throughout an Islamist-controlled world.

Considering the recent proliferation of “interfaith” initiatives throughout Western Europe and the United States, it seems prudent to give more than a cursory glance to the preferred ground-rules of the Islamists, and to examine the role such interfaith efforts might play in an expanding the Caliphate system.

One such interfaith initiative, here in Omaha, Nebraska intends to co-locate a Mosque, a Synagogue and a Church on the same campus.

There is a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOA) that governs the interaction between the three faiths that make up the Tri-Faith Initiative, as they call themselves. It lays the ground rules for everything from site planning, to building design and subsequent use.

Read more at Front Page

Joe Herring writes from Omaha, Nebraska and welcomes visitors to his website at www.readmorejoe.comDr. Mark Christian, a former Muslim, is the Executive Director of the Global Faith Institute, also based in Omaha.

Western Ignorance of the ‘Conditions of Omar’

Church in RaqqaBy Raymond Ibrahim:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Dissembling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Conditions of Omar

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

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

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

Read more at PJ Media

Unprecedented Christian Persecution in Iran: UN Report

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A new United Nations report concludes that the persecution of Christians in Iran is at unprecedented levels. A minimum of 50 Christians are in prison, with the most famous inmate being American Pastor Saeed Abedini. Evangelical ministries see the regime as trying to suppress a rising tide of conversions to Christianity.

The report states that 35 of the 42 Christians arrested last year were guilty of forming “house churches,” where church services, Bible studies and even baptisms happen in someone’s home. The punishment for this crime against Iran’s theocracy is one to 10 years behind bars.

The U.N. report shows that the oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than what it was under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad. That is because every Islamist believes in sharia governance, so any increase in Christian numbers will lead to an increase in arrests of Christians.

The number of Christians in Iran was miniscule before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, by some accounts numbering in the low hundreds. Amazingly, the takeover of oppressive theocrats acted like a growth hormone for the faith. By claiming to represent Islam, the mullahs made many Muslims second-guess their faith.

Now, it is relatively easy to find atheist or agnostic Iranians or those who practice a reformist, liberal interpretation of their faith compatible with secular democracy. Others turn to other faiths, most commonly evangelical Christianity.

Operation World says that evangelical Christianity is growing faster in Iran than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated annual growth of 19.6%. Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development forVoice of the Martyrs told me that the church in Iran is “growing at an absolutely phenomenal rate.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Aid or Jizya?

011By Mark Durie:

In sharia law, jizya refers either to tribute paid by non-Muslim nations to ward off jihad attack, or to a head tax paid by conquered non-Muslim adult males living under Islamic conditions.

Muhammad instructed his followers:

Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah.
Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war …
When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action.
If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm.
Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them ….
If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya.
If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands.
If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.
(Sahih Muslim. The Book of Jihad and Expedition. (Kitab al-Jihad wa’l-Siyar). 3:27:4294.)

Consistent with this message, the renowned Andalusian jurist Averroes (Ibn Rushdi) wrote:

Why wage war? The Muslim jurists agree that the purpose of fighting the People of the Book … is one of two things: it is either for the conversion to Islam or the payment of the jizya. The payment of the jizya is because of the words of the Exalted, ‘Fight against such as those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah or the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah and His Messenger hath forbidden, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily being brought low.’
[The Qur'an, Sura 9:29]. (Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa Nihayat al-Muqtsid, The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer).

The Arabic word jizya means ‘compensation’ or ‘reparations’. The  root j-z-y refers to something provided as a compensation or satisfaction, instead of something else.  Muslim lexicographers defined jizya as a tax taken from non-Muslims ‘that ensures their protection, as though it were a compensation for their not being slain’. (E. W. Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon).

Paying jizya is a long-standing US tradition.  As soon as it won independence from Britain, and recognizing that its ships were no longer protected by British naval power, the US began to send tribute to the Barbary states.  The first appropriation by Congress was made in 1784 was for $80,000, and in 1795 the US government paid a million dollars in cash, naval stores and a frigate to ransom 115 kidnapped soldiers from Algiers (America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe by Gerard W. Gawalt).  In that year, total US government revenue was six million dollars.

There was a period at the start of the 19th century when the US government was consistently paying over 10% of US revenue in jizya to the Barbary states to prevent further jihad attacks against US ships.  An equivalent proportion of US Government revenue today would amount to hundreds of billions of dollars, or more than the annual cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.  The US Navy was created in 1794 to address this challenge.  Gerard W. Gawalt writes:

In fact, it was not until the second war with Algiers, in 1815, that naval victories by Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur led to treaties ending all tribute payments by the United States. European nations continued annual payments until the 1830s.

In The Third Choice  (pp.212-213) I questioned whether aid given by Western states today might  be considered by some Muslims to be ‘jizya’.  I meant by this that aid would not be received as a generous gift from a friend, but something taken as a right, a payment compensating a potentially violent aggressor:

Aid or Jizya?
One can also ask some troubling questions about the flow of funds from Western governments to organizations and nations which are committed to Islamization. This includes what is known as ‘international aid’, but might just as easily be called tribute. Some of the largest aid grants from the USA and the European Union have been going to Islamic communities which are producing large numbers of radicals, such as Egypt and Pakistan. Professor Moshe Sharon, emeritus Professor of Islam at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has written:

… the billions of dollars which stream from the EU to Muslim terror groups under various disguises are nothing less than Jizyah money paid by the dhimmisof Europe to the Muslim rulers. … European money is the collective Jizyah paid by the Europeans in the (false) hope that it will secure for them the protected status of the dhimmi.

It is an irony that clerics funded by the Palestinian Authority, who live off European and US aid, have denounced Western governments on Palestinian Television, declaring the inevitable victory of Islam over the whole world. For example, Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim al-Madhi, a Palestinian authority employee,preached a sermon broadcast on PA Television on April 12, 2002, in which he prophesied the defeat of every nation on the earth:

Oh beloved, look to the East of the earth, find Japan and the ocean; look to the West of the earth, find [some] country and the ocean. Be assured that these will be owned by the Muslim nation, as the Hadithsays … from the ocean to the ocean’…

Raymond Ibrahim has drawn our attention to a Salafist cleric’s recent pronouncement on Egyptian television that US aid to Egypt should indeed be considered as jizya:

According to the sheikh, Egypt must be less cooperative with the U.S. and at the same time insist for more monetary aid.  If so, the sheikh believes that “America will accept; it will kiss our hands; and it will also increase its aid.  And we will consider its aid asjizya, not as aid.  But first we must make impositions on it.”

When the host asked the sheikh “Do the Americans owe us jizya?” he responded, “Yes,” adding that it is the price Americans have to pay “so we can leave them alone!”  When the host asked the sheikh if he was proclaiming a fatwa, the latter exclaimed, “By Allah of course!”  The sheikh added that, to become a truly Islamic state, Egypt must “impose on America to pay aid as jizya, before we allow it to realize its own interests, the ones which we agree to.”

While the Egyptian cleric was focused on “international jizya”—that is, money paid by one non-Muslim nation to a Muslim nation, U.S money to Egypt—other Muslims have been receiving and enjoying individual “jizya” from Western, infidel governments, in the form of welfare aid.

Just last February, for example, Anjem Choudary, an Islamic cleric and popular preacher in the United Kingdom, was secretly taped telling a Muslim audience to follow his example and get “Jihad Seeker’s Allowance” from the government—a pun on “Job Seeker’s Allowance.” The father of four, who receives more than 25,000 pounds annually in welfare benefits, referred to British taxpayers as “slaves,” adding, “We take the jizya, which is our haq [Arabic for “right”], anyway. The normal situation by the way is to take money from the kafir [infidel], isn’t it? So this is the normal situation. They give us the money—you work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar [“Allah is Great”]. We take the money. Hopefully there’s no one from the DSS [Department of Social Security] listening to this.”

This issue – of Western aid being interpreted as tribute and a rightful due – is part of a broader problem of interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims.  In The Third Choice I discussed this in the context of Christian-Muslim interactions, but the issue affect non-Muslims in general:

In submitting to the requirement of grateful service to Islam, Christians may well interpret their own submissiveness in gospel categories of forgiveness and service, but from the Islamic side this can just look like the program of Islam as ‘submission’ is working. Muslims can often interpret such submissiveness as Islam’s rightful due, not an expression of grace, and even allow themselves to feel generous in accepting this service. For this reason, Christians involved in partnering with Muslims should make every effort to understand the theological grid which dhimmitude would seek to impose upon the relationship, and while continuing to be gracious, back up the grace with a strong admonition to reciprocity.

The issue here is not so much whether Muslims will misinterpret the motives of Christians. It is rather the danger of a politico-theological framework being imposed upon the Christian-Muslim relationship, to conform it to the requirements of dhimmitude…  (The Third Choice, p.223)

The Egyptian Salafist Sheikh was giving voice to a mindset which is real and widely held.  Western donors  to the Muslim world to be alert to the potential for aid to be regarded as a ‘right’ from the Muslim side.  According to this mindset, recipients of modern-day ‘jizya’ could respond with more belligerence – and not friendship – to extract even more resources from the infidels.

Aid or jizya - the difference is crucial.  Aid is a gift to friends.  Jizya is an act of surrender .  Western donors should be most wary of making military donations to sharia-compliant states.  In 2013 US aid to Egypt will amount to c. 1.5 billion dollars, most of which will be military hardware.  One of the traditional uses of jizya by Islamic states is to fund further jihad, so belligerence can extract more jizya.  It is completely understandable that US lawmakers are seeking to restructure US Aid to Egypt.

Given that Egypt is now governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, US should not be sending a single item of military hardware Egypt’s way.  Instead it should start forwarding desperately needed food aid (and see here), with ‘US AID’ stamped in large letters on the parcels.

Mark Durie is an Anglican vicar in Melbourne, Australia, author of The Third Choice, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum.

A One-Sided Suicide Pact

By Edward Cline:

Soeren Kern, writing for the  Gatestone Institute in his November  16th article, “Islam Needs a  Fair Chance in Germany,” reported a significant development in Germany that  portends dire consequences for that benighted nation and for all of Europe: the  city of Hamburg signed a “treaty” with organizations representing its Islamic   population.

The “treaty” features a series of  concessions, not by the Muslims to secular  authority, but by the secular  government of Hamburg to the Muslims. The  “treaty,” which requires ratification  by the city’s Parliament, grants Muslims  “rights” and “privileges” enjoyed by no  other religious group there.

The November 13 agreement, signed  by Hamburg’s Socialist Mayor Olaf Scholz  and the leaders of four Muslim umbrella  groups, is being praised by the  proponents of multiculturalism for putting the  northern port city’s estimated  200,000 Muslims on an equal footing with  Christian residents….

The most controversial part of  the accord involves a commitment by the city  government to promote the teaching  of Islam in the Hamburg public school  system. The agreement grants the leaders  of Hamburg’s Muslim communities a  determinative say in what will be taught by  allowing them to develop the  teaching curriculum for Islamic studies.

Moreover, Muslim officials will  also be able to determine who will (and who  will not) be allowed to teach  courses about Islam in city schools. In practice,  this means that only Muslims  will be allowed to teach Islam and that pupils  will not be exposed to any  critical perspectives about the religious, social  and political ideology of  Islam.

Under the wide-ranging accord,  Muslims in Hamburg will also have the right  to take three Islamic holidays as  days off from work. Up until now, it has been  up to individual employers to  decide whether or not to grant Muslim staff  religious days off on a case-by-case  basis. In addition, Muslim students will  be exempt from attending school on  Muslim holidays.

The agreement also includes  provisions for the construction of more mosques  in Hamburg, the upkeep of  cultural Islamic facilities, the authorization for  Muslims to bury their dead  without the use of coffins, as well as the  counseling of patients and prison  inmates by Muslim clerics.

Moreover, the “treaty” will  guarantee “broadcast slots alongside Protestant  and Catholic broadcasts on  public and private radio and television, as well as  broadcasting council seats  for Muslims with the northern Germany NDR public  broadcaster and Germany’s  federal ZDF television channel.”

The German term for treaty,  vertag, occurs no less than five times  in the article. It occurs in the  document itself. In the article, the term agreement occurs  fifteen times. But the actual document  reads, in a loose English translation, “A Draft Treaty between the Islamic Community and the Municipal Authority of Hamburg.”

However, no matter how many times  the term agreementappears in the  article, a treaty is what the  agreement is. Islam is on a cultural or  civilizational jihad against the  West and all Western institutions.  So, what is a treaty? Is it a “truce” between  the secular authorities and the  religious Muslims? Is it a “non-aggression pact”  between two powers vying for  hegemony? Is it the granting to Muslims a “separate but equal” political status?

A treaty is commonly regarded as  an agreement between belligerent nations,  states, or governments. TheOxford  English Dictionary defines treaty as:

3a. A settlement or  arrangement arrived at by treating or  negotiation; an agreement, covenant,  compact, contract.

3b. spec. A  contract between two or more states, relating to  peace, truce, alliance,  commerce, or other international relation; also, the  document embodying such  contract, in modern usage formally signed by  plenipotentiaries appointed by the  government of each state.

A treaty between belligerents  indicates a cessation of hostilities between  the parties. The Hamburg treaty  implicitly acknowledges that its Muslim  “communities” are part and parcel of the  Islamic Ummah, or the  worldwide, global “community” of Islam. The treaty  has implicitly recognized  the Ummah as a state to “treat” or “negotiate”  with. So, the  “agreement” is called a “treaty.” The German government has not  been waging  cultural or political jihad against Muslims; it is Muslims,  especially those of  Turkish origin in Germany, who have been waging all sorts of  jihad against  non-Muslim Germans in the way of rape jihad, jihad against  freedom of speech, and jihad against Jews.

This is the situation in all European countries now, especially  in the western European nations of Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and  Finland. Across the Channel, Britain is succumbing to the same phenomena.

Out of a population of about 1.8  million in the city proper of Hamburg,  Muslims of various sects, including the  Alevi, a Turkish sect, constitute over  nine percent.

Again, I think it is significant  that this agreement is consistently called  a treaty. It acknowledges that  Islam has been at war with Western  culture, and will continue to be until the  “peace” of a global caliphate is  achieved. For the time being, in Hamburg, its  activists see a short-term gain  in minimizing or playing down their necessary  and constant hostility. In Islam,  this is an instance of Dar al-Ahd, or a  temporary truce. The  “treaty,” from the Muslim perspective,  is also necessarily an instance of what  could be called “Grand Taqiyya,”  or the Koranic sanctioning of lies and deceit when dealing with the enemy kaffirs and infidels, especially in their own countries.

But these “treaties” will turn  out to be nothing but “truces,” when a  movement is renewed to exact more  concessions from the Germans. Call these  “treaties” for what they are: fleeting  “non-aggression pacts,” with Islam being  the sole aggressor.  Regardless of the nature or content of these treaties, Germany will remain  Dar al-Harb, the land of the enemy, and Dar al-Kufr, or the  land  of the kaffirs or unbelievers. It is noteworthy that all the concessions  will be  paid by non-Muslim Germans as a form of jizya, or “protection”  tax.  Germans will not “retaliate” against Islamic aggression, for political   correctness will silence them for fear of being accused of racism or  bigotry.

Islam, however, is first and  foremost, from top to bottom, a totalitarian  ideology. Its doctrine requires  that Muslims and their spokesmen advocate  Islam’s own kind of racism and  bigotry.

Islam is a nihilist ideology, as  well. It is the enemy of all human values.  In exchange for submission to it, it  promises a paradise after death. Life on  earth is merely transitory and not  important. The Hamburg “treaty” is an  extension of that nihilism; it requires  its secular signers to aid and abet the  piecemeal annihilation of their  values and their culture. The  Islamists know what they are doing. Their secular  cosigners do not. It seems  the “right” thing to do, per a Kantian categorical  imperative to pursue an end  regardless of, but especially because of, its  selfless nature, in the name of  what Mayor Scholz called “the strengthening the  societal foundation” of  Hamburg.

Which is tantamount to injecting  the bubonic plague pathogen into a human  body in order to “strengthen an  individual’s well-being.”

Read more: Family Security Matters

Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in  England  and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and  suspense  novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all  available on  Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have  appeared in The  Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other  publications.  He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security  Matters,  Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.  

Obama Dances the Jizya

By Jessica Rubin at American Thinker:

In the classic Mafia protection racket scheme, the owner of a business must pay the pizzo for the Mafia organization to protect the owner from violence by an alleged third party – usually a branch the organization itself.  In the same way, the U.S. taxpayer is paying various “moderate” Muslim countries and organization to protect us from extremist Muslim organizations.  We pay not only in money, but by chipping away at our individual human rights in order to appease Muslim elements not to go over to the extremist elements.

In many ways, we are already paying the Islamic form of the pizzo – namely, the jizya.  Formally, the jizya is a “tax” paid by kafirs already living under Muslim domination.  It is a tax that must be paid at risk of losing one’s head.  Moreover, the jizya is not just a “head” tax; it is also intended to be a form of humiliation.

Qur’an (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Paying the jizya is just part of dhimmitude.  The full status of dhimmitude is a miserable, soulless existence.  The linguist and Arabic scholar Mark Durie has traveled extensively to record and observe the status of dhimmis in the ummah (Muslim world).  Think of the life of a cowering, abused dog.  As Durie says, “it involves embracing your own inferiority.”  Indeed, Sura 9:29 of the Koran says that the purpose of the dhimmi system is to “kill the soul” of the non-Muslim, so he will render willingly everything demanded of him.

Every time you go through security at an airport, you are in effect paying the jizya.  You are also being humiliated.  This is the price we must pay in order not to be blown up.

We pay Pakistan to be “on our side’ against al-Qaeda.  We pay the Karzai Mafia to hold fast against the Taliban.  We pay in blood and money.

Obama started his presidency by paying obeisance to the leaders of the ummah in the course of his apology tour and then made his shameless Cairo speech.  This humbling of the U.S. before the Islamic world is part of the “humiliation” that is central to accepting one’s status as a dhimmi.  As Mark Durie says, “The two most characteristic psychological traits of the dhimmi are gratitude and humility.  We are seeing both these traits shaping public discourse around Islam.  President Obama, for example, has spoken of the ‘debt’ the West owes to Islam.  This sense of indebtedness is being imparted to our schoolchildren through Islamicized history textbooks.”

The worst of the tribute we pay the Islamic world is the sacrifice of our values — i.e., our souls.  The right to free speech is being chipped away.  Any criticism of Islam is labeled Islamophobia.  This is the first soul-losing step on the road to full dhimmitude – part of which contains the principle that one must never say or do anything to offend Muslims.

Starting as early as 2008, there was a government memo that warned against “offending,” “insulting,” or being “confrontational” to Muslims.

Read the rest…

 

A New Year of “Dhimmitude” for Egypt’s Copts

by Raymond Ibrahim at Stonegate Institute:

As usual, it took the army an hour to drive two kilometers to the village. “This happens every time. They wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear.”

For Egypt’s Christian Copts, the New Year began with threats that their churches would be attacked during Christmas mass (celebrated on January 7). Because many people were watching what might happen—several Coptic churches were previously attacked, including last Christmas (8 dead) and New Year’s day (23 dead), not to mention ominous episodes around the world, such as the Nigerian Christmas day church bombings (40 dead) —the Muslim Brotherhood proclaimed it would “protect” the Copts during their church services. Happily, Coptic Christmas came and went without incident.

Church of St. Mary and St. Abram, recently besieged by 20,000 Muslims.

However, if the Muslim Brotherhood “protected” Coptic churches when many around the world were watching, as soon as attention dissipated, it was business as usual: a large number of Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood members entered a church, asserting that it had no license and no one should pray in it — accompanied by hints that it might be turned into a mosque: an all too typical approach in Muslim countries where building, or even renovating, churches is next to impossible.

Currently, 2012 appears to be unfolding as the “Year of Dhimmitude” for Egypt’s Christians. Consider the following incidents from just last January alone, all of which demonstrate an upsurge in the treatment of Egypt’s Copts as dhimmis – the legal term for Islam’s “protected,” barely tolerated non-Muslim minorities—”protected,” that is, as long as they agree to a number of debilitations, such as those that follow, that render them second-class citizens:

Insulting Islam

According to the Pact of Omar (also one of the earliest sources banning the construction or renovation of churches), dhimmis must “respect Muslims” and never insult them or their religion. Accordingly, a prominent Christian, Naguib Sawiris, is charged with “contempt of religion,” for twittering a cartoon of a bearded Mickey Mouse and a veiled Minnie: “The case has added to fears among many that ultraconservative Islamists may use their new found powers to try to stifle freedom of expression.” Nor are the double standards in Egypt’s “contempt of religion” law set aside: Christianity is daily disparaged in Egypt with impunity.

Similarly, a 17-year-old Christian student accused of posting a drawing of Islam’s prophet on Facebook—which he denies doing, saying it was posted without his permission—triggered days of Muslim violence and havoc, including the burning of three Christian homes to cries of “Allahu Akbar” ["Alah s the Greatest."] The student, who was beaten, is to be “held” for fifteen days, “pending investigation.” Muslim leaders agree “that priests should publicly apologize for the images, and that the student, as well as his family, should move out of the governorate.”

Conversion Issues

Also according to the Pact of Omar, non-Muslims “shall not prevent” any of their family members from converting to Islam. Accordingly, some 20,000 Muslims just attacked a Coptic church, demanding the death of the pastor, who, along with “nearly 100 terrorized Copts sought refuge inside it, while Muslim rioters were pelting the church with stones in an effort to break into the church, assault the Copts and torch the building.” They did this, apparently, because a Christian girl who, according to Islamic law, automatically became a Muslim when her father converted to Islam, had fled from her father and was rumored to be hiding in the church. This would not be the first time churches were attacked on similar rumors.

Collective Punishment

Traditionally, if one dhimmi transgresses, all surrounding dhimmis are collectively punished. As the jurist al-Murtada writes: “The agreement [presumably to "protect" the dhimmis] will be cancelled if all or some of them break it;” another jurist, al-Maghili, taught that “the fact that one individual (or one group) among them has broken the statute is enough to invalidate it for all of them.”

Accordingly, a mob of over 3000 Muslims attacked Christians in an Alexandrian village because a Muslim barber accused a Christian of having “intimate photos” of a Muslim woman on his phone (Sharia bans non-Muslim men from marrying Muslim women). Terrified, the Christian, who denies having such photos, turned himself in to the police. Regardless, Coptic homes and shops were looted and set ablaze. Three Christians were injured, while “terrorized” women and children, rendered homeless, stood in the streets with no place to go. As usual, it took the army an hour to drive two kilometers to the village: “This happens every time,” a man said: “They wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear.” None of the perpetrators was arrested.

After the initial attacks, and in an apparent effort to empty the village of its 62 Christian families, Muslims attacked them again, burning more Coptic property. According to police, the woman concerned has denied the whole story, and no photos have been found.

Jizya

Koran 9:29 commands Muslims to “Fight … the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] until they pay the jizya [monetary tribute] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” Although abolished under Western pressure during the colonial era, Muslim demands for jizya are back. Even though it has currently not been reinstated, some Muslims have taken matters in their own hands by extorting money from Christians in lieu of jizya. (Who can forget Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini’s lament that Muslims could alleviate their economic woes if only they returned to the good old days of Islam, when plundering, abducting, and selling/ransoming infidels was a great way of making a living?) Thus, Two Christians were killed “after a Muslim racketeer opened fire on them for refusing to pay him extortion money.” The local bishop said, “I hold security forces and local Muslims fully responsible for terrorizing the Copts living there, who are continually being subjected to terror and kidnapping.”

Read the rest

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