The 9/11 Museum Controversy and Sheikh Gameia: Recalling How Al-Azhar’s Then U.S. Emissary Reacted to the Jihad Carnage

download-11By Andrew G. Bostom:

Controversy has erupted just weeks before the May 21, 2014 formal opening of the 9/11 Museum beneath the World Trade Center Plaza. The source of this imbroglio is a brief documentary film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” which apparently confirms that the mass murderous September 11, 2001 attacks were motivated by the ideology of jihad. As the New York Times’ Sharon Offerman observed on 4/23/14:

The documentary is not even seven minutes long, the exhibit just a small part of the museum. But it has over the last few weeks suddenly become a flash point in what has long been one of the most highly charged issues at the museum: how it should talk about Islam and Muslims.

What Offerman alludes to as a “flash point” is actually a threadbare effort—linking the irrefragably jihadist organization Al-Qaeda, and Islam’s institution of jihad war—to push back against the relentless campaign of doctrinal and historical negationism waged by Muslim and non-Muslim apologists for Islam.

Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, who was interviewed by Offerman for her story, epitomizes this negationist trend in all its brazen hypocrisy. Ahmed opined,

The terrorists need to be condemned and remembered for what they did. But when you associate their religion with what they did, then you are automatically including, by association, one and a half billion people who had nothing to do with these actions and who ultimately the U.S. would not want to unnecessarily alienate.

The namesake for Ahmed’s American University “Chair,” Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), was a seminal Muslim historian, and jurist, who wrote the following about jihad, summarizing six centuries of prior, well-established Islamic jurisprudence:

In the Muslim community, the holy war [jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force… The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense… Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

Ahmed’s strident, pseudo-academic disingenuousness, and the documentary film kerfuffle, notwithstanding, the 9/11 Museum’s exhibit also obfuscates the nexus between Islam, and the cataclysmic jihad terror attacks nearly 13 years ago. This guiding mentality of pious cultural relativism was made explicit by Joseph C. Daniels, President and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum:

What helps me sleep at night is I believe that the average visitor who comes through this museum will in no way leave this museum with the belief that the religion of Islam is responsible for what happened on 9/11.

Mr. Daniels and the entire 9/11 Museum organization must be made aware, repeatedly, of the following:

  • How Sheik Muhammad al-Gameia (Gamei’a) —who on September 11, 2001, was an Egyptian imam at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, and the American emissary from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the pinnacle of religious authority, and education, in Sunni Islam—characterized the 9/11 attacks, during an October 4, 2001 interview, in Egypt. (Original Arabic interview here; Translated extracts here)
  • Frank analyses of the doctrine and history of jihad, a living Islamic institution.
  • Data on contemporary global jihad terrorism, which validates this doctrinal and historical legacy of jihad, and provides the ongoing, expansive “context” for the Al-Qaeda-orchestrated carnage of 9/11/2001.

Moreover, Daniels and the 9/11 Museum should be consistently encouraged to add this material (and other similar materials) to future “updates” of the exhibit.

Since its founding in 973 C.E., Al Azhar University (and its mosque) have represented the apogee of Islamic religious education, which evolved into the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam.Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Al-Gameia, the Al-Azhar University representative in the U.S., and Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, was interviewed for an Al-Azhar University website, on October 4, 2001. Sheikh Gameia returned to Egypt after September 11, 2001 alleging, without any substantiation, that he was being “harassed.”

Gameia’s interview (original Arabic; extracts translated here) was rife with conspiratorial Islamic antisemitism, which riveted upon his invocation of the central Koranic motifs of Jew-hatred. Al-Azhar’s representative to the U.S. melded this sacralized anti-Jewish bigotry to virulent calumnies against Americans, and threats to the U.S.—witless “dupes” of the Zionist Jews.

Read more at PJ Media

 

Attempting to Rewrite the History of September 11th

september-9-11-attacks-anniversary-ground-zero-world-trade-center-pentagon-flight-93-second-airplane-wtc_39997_600x450ACT! for America, By Brigitte Gabriel:

On May 21st, more than 13 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the National September 11 Memorial Museum will open its doors to the public to make certain that Americans will never forget what happened that day.

Unfortunately, some are working to ensure that future generations of Americans never fully understand the attacks, which were the most deadly terrorist attacks in the history of the United States.

One of the exhibits in the museum will feature a 7-minute film called “The Rise of Al Qaeda.”

In that film, the Al Qaeda terrorists are referred to as “Islamists” who were waging “jihad” with the attacks upon America.

Those two words, “Islamists” and “Jihad” have caused a controversy, with a variety of critics calling for whitewashing the description of Al Qaeda and the attacks by sanitizing the museum commentary by removing those two words.

This would be a tragic mistake.

Despite the complaints, the use of the terms “Islamist” and “jihad” in no way suggest that all Muslims are terrorists or support violence. No serious analyst in his or her right mind would make such an assertion.

Nevertheless, in warfare the enemy’s reality becomes your reality, so it makes perfect sense to call Islamists “Islamists” and to call Jihad “Jihad.” After all, in World War II, Nazis were referred to as Nazis, because they themselves referred to themselves as such.

America’s enemies in the war on terror do NOT refer to themselves as “extremists,” “militants,” or “radicals.”

They refer to themselves as Jihadists and Jihadis.

Interestingly, critics on both sides of the issue seem to dislike the term “Islamist.” Apologists for organizations such as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood claim that the term too closely identifies Islam with “extremism.” Many in the countershariah and counterjihad movement say that the term “Islamist” is a term concocted in the West that has no meaning in the Islamic world.

Both are wrong.

The first known use of the term “Islamist” came from the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late dictator of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

Khomeini said: “We are neither capitalists nor communists. We are Islamists.”

There are many different definitions listed for the term “Islamist,” but that is not the point. The point is that one of the world’s most prominent Muslim leaders coined the term to describe the revolution he led. It is entirely proper for the 9/11 museum to use the term “Islamists” to describe Al Qaeda.

The same is true for the term “jihad.” There has long been a debate about the use of the term jihad, with Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as CAIR particularly objecting to its use to describe violent warfare or terrorism.

The Muslim Brotherhood in America aims to convince Americans that Jihad only means “to struggle” or, more specifically, an internal, personal struggle.

This is only partially correct and any campaign that claims that the term Jihad only means an internal, personal struggle amounts to disinformation. The dualistic nature of Islam, in this case as it applies to the meaning of “Jihad,” is well documented both in historical Islamic doctrine and in contemporary use of the term.

And Jihad definitely does not only mean an internal, personal struggle. In fact, the most widespread meaning of the term that is of particular interest to Westerners who are threatened by Jihad does in fact entail violence.

A false and misleading statement has been attributed to the San Francisco chapter head of CAIR, Zahra Billoo:

“A common misconception of the word jihad is that it means armed struggle or holy war, and that is something that has been perpetrated by many who’ve made careers out of pushing anti-Muslim sentiment.”

Such a meaning for Jihad has nothing to do with anyone with an “anti-Muslim sentiment.” It has everything to do with Islam itself.

Let us examine definitions of Jihad from two authoritative sources.

Jihad According to the Quran

The first is the Quran itself. In this case, specifically The Noble Qu’ran, translated into English by two scholars: Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, PhD, professor of Islamic Faith and Teachings at the Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia and Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan of the same institution. The Noble Qu’ran was published by Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It has been catalogued by King Fahad National Library. On page 818, in a glossary accompanying the text of the Quran, The Noble Qu’ran provides the following definition of Jihad:

“Jihad: Holy fighting in the Cause of Allah or any other kind of effort to make Allah’s Word superior. Jihad is regarded as one of the fundamentals of Islam.”


Can the Quran itself be promoting “anti-Muslim sentiment” as CAIR’s Zahra Billoo asserts?

Jihad According to Shariah

Our second source is Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.

Reliance of the Traveler is one of the world’s most widely read manuals of Shariah law. It has been endorsed by a variety of Islamic authorities, including Al Azhar University in Cairo, IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought) in Herndon, Virginia, the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Mufti of the Jordanian Armed Forces and the Imam of the Mosque of Darwish Pasha in Damascus, Syria.

These can hardly be termed as those pushing “anti-Muslim sentiment” as Billoo claims.

On page 599 of Reliance of the Traveler, readers can find the following passage:

o9.0 JIHAD

(O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion…

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:

(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);
(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);
(3) “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9:36);

and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;

and the hadith reported by Muslim,

“To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.”


Jihad According to Terrorists

If Jihad truly means to “struggle” and not warfare to establish the religion, how does CAIR explain the names of all these terrorist organizations?

Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India)
Islamic Front for Armed Jihad (Algeria)
Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine (Lebanon)
Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (Israel)
Islamic Jihad Organization (Lebanon)
Islamic Jihad Union (Uzbekistan)
Jama’at al-Jihad al-Islami (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia)
Laskar Jihad (Indonesia)
United Jihad Council (India)

So, it is completely appropriate for the 9/11 museum to use the term “jihadist” and “jihad” to describe Al Qaeda terrorists and their activity.

Conclusion

We suspect that the sensitivity expressed with regard to the 9/11 museum goes way beyond the use of the terms “Islamist” and “jihad.”

The fact is, our country has never truly come to terms with the role that Islam plays in Jihadist terrorism.

It would be great if there was truly no connection whatsoever between Islam and Jihad. But the reality is Jihad is a tenet of Islam.

As previously stated, in warfare the enemy’s reality becomes your reality. It makes no difference what Americans think about the stated motivations and doctrine behind the actions of Al Qaeda. The only thing that truly matters is what the leaders and members of Al Qaeda think about why they wage warfare.

The fact of the matter is, Al Qaeda justify their actions by invoking Islam and Allah:

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

The General Command of the al-Qaeda Organization Statement on the Succession of Sheikh Osama Bin Laden in the al-Qaeda Organization’s Command

With hearts that are satisfied with Allah’s ordainment, and assured of Almighty Allah’s promise and His good reward, the Islamic umma, the mujahideen in the al-Qaeda Organization, and in other groups received the news of the martyrdom of the reviver imam, the jihadist immigrant Sheikh Osama Bin-Muhammad Bin Laden, may Allah rest his soul in peace. We pray to the Almighty Allah to raise his rank and to reward him, on behalf of us and the Muslim umma, with the best of rewards.

Since jihad is continuing until the Day of Resurrection … the General Command of the al-Qaeda Organization announces, after completion of consultations, that Sheikh Dr Abu-Muhammad Ayman al-Zawahiri, may Allah guide him to success, has taken over command of the group…

Statement from Al Qaeda
Announcing Zawahiri as the
New leader of Al Qaeda after
Osama Bin Laden’s death


All these sins and crimes committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger and Muslims.

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in every country in which it is possible to do it…

We, with Allah’s help, call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Leader of Al Qaeda


It would be a tragic mistake if the 9/11 museum was to erase the role that their Islamic faith played in the leadership and membership of Al Qaeda’s horrific actions on September 11th, 2001. 

#MyJihad: CAIR’s New Disinformation Campaign on “Jihad”

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By Christopher Holton

The internet has literally been littered with news reports about a new propaganda campaign being waged by the head of the Council on American Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Chicago director.

The man’s name is Ahmed Rehab and his methodology has been to run advertising on buses to change the public perception of the word “Jihad.”

Rehab has chosen two of the most liberal cities in America in which to conduct his campaign so far: Chicago and San Francisco.

The name of the campaign is “MyJihad” and it aims to convince Americans that Jihad only means “to struggle” or, more specifically, an internal, personal struggle. Rehab claims that this is the “true” meaning of Jihad.

Unfortunately for Rehab, he is only partially correct and any campaign that claims that the term Jihad only means an internal, personal struggle amounts to disinformation. The dualistic nature of Islam, in this case as it applies to the meaning of “Jihad,” is well documented both in historical Islamic doctrine and in contemporary use of the term.

And Jihad definitely does not only mean an internal, personal struggle. In fact, the most widespread meaning of the term that is of particular interest to Westerners who are threatened by Jihad does in fact entail violence.

A false and misleading statement has been attributed to the San Francisco chapter head of CAIR, Zahra Billoo:

“A common misconception of the word jihad is that it means armed struggle or holy war, and that is something that has been perpetrated by many who’ve made careers out of pushing anti-Muslim sentiment.”

Such a meaning for Jihad has nothing to do with anyone with an “anti-Muslim sentiment.” It has everything to do with Islam itself.

Let us examine definitions of Jihad from two authoritative sources.

Jihad According to the Quran

****************************************

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*******************************

The first is the Quran itself. In this case, specifically The Noble Qu’ran, translated into English by two scholars: Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, PhD, professor of Islamic Faith and Teachings at the Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia and Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan of the same institution. The Noble Qu’ran was published by Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It has been catalogued by King Fahad National Library. On page 818, in a glossary accompanying the text of the Quran, The Noble Qu’ran provides the following definition of Jihad:

“Jihad: Holy fighting in the Cause of Allah or any other kind of effort to make Allah’s Word superior. Jihad is regarded as one of the fundamentals of Islam.”

Can the Quran itself be promoting “anti-Muslim sentiment” as CAIR’s Zahra Billoo asserts?

#myjihad

Jihad According to Shariah

Our second source is Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.

RELIANCE OF THE TRAVELLER

Reliance of the Traveler is one of the world’s most widely read manuals of Shariah law. It has been endorsed by a variety of Islamic authorities, including Al Azhar University in Cairo, IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought) in Herndon, Virginia, the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Mufti of the Jordanian Armed Forces andthe Imam of the Mosque of Darwish Pasha in Damascus, Syria.

These can hardly be termed as those pushing “anti-Muslim sentiment” as Billoo claims.

On page 599 of Reliance of the Traveler, readers can find the following passage:

o9.0 JIHAD

(O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion…

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:

(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);

(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);

(3) “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9:36);

and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;

and the hadith reported by Muslim,

“To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.”

Jihad According to Terrorists

If Jihad truly means to “struggle” and not warfare to establish the religion, how does CAIR explain the names of all these terrorist organizations?

Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India)

Islamic Front for Armed Jihad (Algeria)

Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine (Lebanon)

Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (Israel)

Islamic Jihad Organization (Lebanon)

Islamic Jihad Union (Uzbekistan)

Jama’at al-Jihad al-Islami (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia)

Laskar Jihad (Indonesia)

United Jihad Council (India)

Contemporary Video Evidence of Widespread Use of the Term “Jihad”

Finally, there is a mountain of video evidence which illustrates vividly the widespread contemporary use of the term Jihad:

First, we have a 10 minute video from a Palestinian Authority TV children’s show using the term Jihad:

Next we have a 1-minute video of female terrorists from the group Islamic Jihad:

Here is a 2-minute news report on Taliban fighters vowing to continue to wage jihad after the death of Osama Bin Laden:

Then there’s this 6-minute tribute to the “Lion of Jihad,” Osama Bin Laden:

A 24-second sound byte from British-based Imam Amjen Choudary on Jihad in Islam:

More from Choudary; in this case a 2-minute warning that Jihad is on its way:

A 2-minute segment from Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda, on Jihad:

A 40-second call by Zawahiri to Pakistanis to rise up in Jihad:

A 3-minute news report on Somali Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab using Social Media to call Muslims to Jihad:

A 4-minute posthumous call to Jihad by American-born Anwar al Awlaki. Keep in mind that, before he became head of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Awlaki had been an Imam at mosques in San Diego, Denver and northern Virginia and was regarded as a great “moderate” who was a favorite show pony for “outreach” programs. He was invited to the Pentagon. He delivered sermons to the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association on Capitol Hill. Prominent CAIR officers, employees and members attended these sermons. At least one former CAIR employee who attended Awlaki’s sermons on Capitol Hill in Washington DC is now in jail on terrorism charges:

A call to Jihad by Yasir Arafat–three years after signing the Oslo Accords…

A 5-minute call to Jihad by the Chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Syria:

A 4-minute call to Jihad from the Sudanese Minister of International Cooperation: