Into the fray: Will the West withstand the Obama presidency?

By MARTIN SHERMAN:

The really chilling aspect of the Obama-incumbency is that it is difficult to diagnose whether the abysmal results it produced—including the recent Geneva debacle—reflect crushing failure or calculated success

US President Barack Obama.

US President Barack Obama. Photo: Reuters
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. – Barack Hussein Obama, Cairo, 2009For anyone who understands that the US Constitution is not a Sharia-compliant document –neither in letter nor in spirit – it should be alarmingly apparent that the Obama-incumbency is a dramatic and disturbing point of inflection in the history of America and its “Western” allies. By “Western” I mean countries whose political practices and societal norms are rooted in Judeo- Christian foundations in a cultural rather than in any religious sense.

The devil is not in the details 

One does not have to be an expert in Islamic history or culture, or be familiar with the details of Koranic verse or Hadithic texts to realize that Obama’s characterization of the alleged affinity between America and Islam is entirely detached from any reality on the ground–particularly with regard to the matters he enumerates in the preceding excerpt from his 2009 Cairo speech.

All one has to do is follow the daily news that routinely convey reports of the Hobbesian horrors that flared across Syria, Libya, Egypt and other Arab countries once the Leviathan “cap” of tyranny, holding these bestial impulses in check, was “uncorked.”

Worse, in some parts of the Muslim world, blood curdling atrocities have become so commonplace they hardly make the news at all.

For when it comes to issues such as justice, progress, tolerance and respect for societal and/or religious diversity, a yawning chasm divides America from Islam. Indeed, American society, as a product of the values embodied in the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian values it draws on; and Islamic society as a product of Sharia and the Muslim values it draws on, are irreconcilably exclusive and antithetically opposed to one another.

No amount of convoluted scholarly debate on the intricacies of Islamic scriptures or benign interpretations of their “real” significance, can change the gruesome facts that prevail throughout Muslim-majority societies – from West Africa to East Asia.

Justice? Like stoning of female rape victims for “adultery? Progress? Like fathers slaughtering daughters to preserve their “honor”? Tolerance? Like summary lynching of “gays” because of their sexual preferences? Dignity of all human beings? Like butchery of non- Muslim “infidels” for practicing their faith?

Pervasive and perverse 

Neither are these unrepresentative or isolated anecdotal instances of barbarity and bigotry that occur in Islamic societies. Indeed, they– and other manifestations of harsh brutality, totally foreign to American and “Western” ways –pervade much of the Muslim world. Extensive surveys of Muslim majority countries across Africa and Asia show that there is widespread endorsement for making Sharia the law of the land and adopting the severe practices prescribed in it.

A recent 2013 poll by Pew Research Center found that “solid majorities in most of the countries surveyed across the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia favor the establishment of sharia, including 71% of Muslims in Nigeria, 72% in Indonesia, 74% in Egypt and 89% in the Palestinian territories.”

An earlier pre-Arab Spring survey conducted in 2010 across seven major Muslim countries from Nigeria to Indonesia found that in most there were large majorities in favor of stoning for adultery, amputation of limbs for theft and death for apostasy (leaving Islam).

So while there is considerable country-to-country variation in the degree of support for the enforcement of the more brutal Sharia compliant prescriptions, it is clear that in terms of defining societal parameters – individual liberties, gender equality (including equality before the law), religious tolerance and socio-cultural pluralism – a gigantic gulf separates America from Islam.

One would be hard pressed to find any area where they do in fact “overlap and share common principles” in any significant manner.

‘Islam has always been part of America’s story’

In his Cairo “outreach” speech, with the Muslim Brotherhood seated in positions of prominence –much to the chagrin of his host Hosni Mubarak – Obama told his audience: “I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” Then extolling the alleged Muslim contribution to the development of the US he declared, no more than a few years after 9/11, when in the name of Islam, Muslims reduced the Twin Towers to a pile of rubble, he remarked: “Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have… built our tallest building [sic].”

Admittedly, much water has flown under the bridge since Obama’s initial outreach address to the Muslim world in June 2009, shortly after his election. But precisely because it was delivered when he was still unencumbered by domestic constraints and foreign frustrations, it perhaps reflected most accurately the unfiltered essence of the political instincts he brought to the Oval Office and the inputs that have gone into shaping his geopolitical credo.

His interpretation of the international role the US should play, the nature of the country’s interests, and the manner in which they should be pursued; his perception of friend and foe and the attitudes that should be adopted towards them, all seem to entail dramatic and disconcerting departure from that of most of his predecessors.

In this regard, he is the first US president who is explicitly and overtly unmoored, both cognitively and emotionally, from the bollards of America’s founding Judeo-Christian heritage, and who somehow conceives that Islam is not inherently inimical to American values.

It is through this Islamo-philic prism that the Obama-administration’s attitude to, and performance of, its foreign policy must be evaluated–including last weekend’s acquiescence on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The chilling thing 

In the course of half a decade, under the stewardship of Obama, the US has had its standing shredded both in the eyes of its allies – and worse – in the eyes of its adversaries.

Debacle has piled upon debacle. Allies have been abandoned and enemies emboldened, worse, empowered. Inappropriate action has been complemented by equally inappropriate inaction. True, in 2009 Obama was handed an unenviable heritage from the preceding administration–a severe financial-turned-economic crisis and two ill-considered ground wars in Asia. But Obama has ensured that the latter will end in futile failure– even demoralizing defeat; while in dealing with the former he has precipitated soaring deficits, crippling debt and chronic and debilitating joblessness, coupled with burgeoning dependence on welfare.

But the really chilling aspect of the Obama incumbency is that it is genuinely difficult to diagnose whether the abysmal results we see represent a crushing failure of his policies or a calculated success; whether they are the product of chronic ineptitude or purposeful foresight; whether they reflect myopic misunderstanding, moronic incompetence or malicious intent.

This general conundrum is particularly pertinent with regard to what transpired in Geneva last Sunday, which appeared to many – including erstwhile Obamaphiles – to be an inexplicable US climb-down from what looked “suspiciously” like positions that heralded emerging success.

Some had little doubt as to what lay behind the move. In a forceful article, Caroline Glick asserted bluntly: “His goal is not to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power…The goal of Obama’s foreign policy is to weaken the State of Israel.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post

Islam: Silencing Its Critics with Violence

Under-Sharia-those-who-insult-Muhammad-or-300x225By Rachel Molschky:

Few dare to criticize the “religion of peace” for fear of a violent retaliation. Ironic? Not really, considering the fact that violence pervades the very essence of this “peaceful” religion. Case in point, the recent case in France of Abdelhakim Dekhar, who stands accused of four recent attacks, one being a shooting at a Paris newspaper office where he shot an assistant photographer. As usual, the mainstream media ignores the Muslim name and suggests the motive is “hazy.” However, Dekhar had written a letter complaining of “media manipulation,” that “evil” capitalism, and was angry about Syria among other things. These are all typical Muslim grievances.

The Islamic response to criticism is death. When there is no self-defense, and armed with no logical explanation in order to combat the critics, the only way out is violence. That’s why whenever there are “peaceful” protests, the placards Muslims proudly hold high call for our beheadings. If you’ve never witnessed this firsthand, there are countless photos to prove it. Men, women and children all parade around with signs calling for our savage murders. Why? Because we dared to criticize.

619545-childsign-225x300Yet criticism brings about change, which is how we progress as a society. Sometimes we progress a little too far and make excessive changes, but certainly some reform is a good thing. For example, some critics of Judaism will say that the punishment of stoning exists in the Torah. Gary T. Panell of Bible Christian discusses capital punishment in the Bible and offers his interpretation regarding the use of rocks to administer it: “As harsh as it may seem, using stones to kill someone, there was a practical side to it. Wherever you were, there would always be plenty of rocks.”

Guess there are a lot of rocks in the Muslim world.

No matter how you want to interpret those verses, the fact remains, Jews no longer “stone” people, which makes such criticism positively senseless. Furthermore, different denominations of the religion have come about as civilization has progressed, and people disagree over the meaning of this or that as well as the application of it in our lives today.

The same is true of Christianity. Martin Luther brought about the Protestant Reformation, and even the Catholic Church itself has made tremendous changes throughout the years and is not the same as it once was. There will always be critics of those changes. Sometimes the modifications may be a step in the wrong direction, but overall the Judaism and Christianity of today cannot be compared to the barbaric stonings and beheadings which not only exist in Islam today but are an intrinsic part of it.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

Islamists Take Nose Dive in 2013 Issue of “Muslim 500″

Muslim 500

The Islamist ascent in the first wave of the Arab Spring triggered a movement against the Muslim Brotherhood in the second wave.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The second wave of the Arab Spring defined the Muslim world in 2013. The Islamist ascent in the first wave triggered a movement against the Muslim Brotherhood in the second wave. The power shift’s importance is apparent in the rankings in this year’s issue ofThe Muslim 500, an annual publication compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan which ranks the most influential Muslims worldwide.

Last year, seven of the top 10 Muslims ranked by the publication were Islamists, with Saudi King Abdullah and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan topping the list. This year, the number has fallen to four. Overall, this year’s tally is very negative for the Muslim Brotherhood and very positive for Muslim leaders less hostile to the West.

The opening of the issue includes a blistering critique of the Brotherhood by Professor S. Abdallah Schleifer, a prominent Middle East expert. Notably, he talks about a backlash against the Islamists.

“So if a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt stood in the beginning of 2013 as the highest expression of the tide of Islamism, it is also possible that the overthrow of that government … may be a sign that this Islamist tidal wave is beginning to recede,” Professor Schleifer writes.

The Muslim 500 identifies three ideological camps in the Muslim world:

The first and largest one is “Traditional Islam” or “Orthodox Islam” and is based on scholarly consensus. The publication says that this represents 96% of the Muslim world and (supposedly) is not politicized. All of the Islamic schools of jurisprudence are included in this category.

This camp includes Islamists like the Saudi King and non-Islamists like the Jordanian King.

The second camp is “Islamic Fundamentalism, ” which is highly politicized and explicitly anti-Western. The fundamentalists describe themselves as “reformers” and are very aggressive. The Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists/Wahhabists and Revolutionary Shiites are included in this category.

The publication says this camp represents 3% of the Muslim world.

The third and smallest camp is “Islamic Modernism.” Adherents consider themselves to be “reformers” but want Islam to become more pro-Western and “progressive.”

In the words of The Muslim 500, “this subdivision contextualized Islamic ideology for the times—emphasizing the need for religion to evolve with Western advances.” It says:

“They thus called for a complete overhaul of Islam, including—or rather, in particular—Islamic law (sharia) and doctrine (aqida). Islamic modernism remains popularly an object of derision and ridicule, and is scorned by traditional Muslims and fundamentalists alike.”

According to the publication, this camp only represents 1% of the Muslim world. The most influential modernist is Queen Abdullah of Jordan. She took 32nd place, whereas last year she was in 37th.

The second most influential modernist is Professor Dr. M. Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of the Muhammadiyya organization in Indonesia. The organization has 35 million members. He is in 33rdplace. He was in 39th last year.

It could be argued that the Indonesian organization Nahdlatul Ulamafalls into this category. Its leader, KH Said Aqil Siradj, is now ranked as the 15th most influential Muslim. He came in 19th last year.

This year’s most influential Muslim is Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He is a traditionalist opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood who endorsed the Egyptian military’s overthrow of President Morsi.

Read more at Clarion Project

British Education System: The New Start of the Islamisation Process

16808382_458703c-300x199By Paul Wilkinson:

In 2007 the ‘Muslim Council of Britain’ (MCB) was empowered to produce a glossy 72-page brochure entitled ‘Towards Greater Understanding; Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools’. However this ‘guidance’ was really a set of demands to accommodate Islam within the state education system.

Through political correctness, Islam has unfortunately been successful in elbowing its way into British society. The entitlement has grown and is highlighted in this uninspiring MCB statement:

“Islam and Muslims are part of the mosaic that comprises modern Britain, 50% of the Muslim population being British born… The faith commitments encompass all aspects of everyday life and conduct, including daily life in school. It is important therefore, that educators and schools have good understanding of how they can respond positively to meeting the needs of Muslim pupils.”

The table has been fully turned by the stealth jihadists of the MCB because Islam does not affect non-Muslims’ lives in any way, shape or form, unless of course we pander to it. The MCB’s objective is a deliberate attempt at undermining our secular society based on Judeo-Christian values by differentiating Islam and calling for special status on an exponential scale.

Throwaway statements such as “Islam holds knowledge and learning as sacred and, therefore, central to the development of any civilisation”, are aplenty and just do not mesh with reality. In the Muslim world there has been a total lack of progression, scientific discoveries and almost continuous violence and war since the illiterate, caravan robbing Prophet Muhammad was told to read by Angel Gabriel in mountain cave near Mecca!

The MCB predictably makes a case for Islam’s ‘Golden Era’, where mostly existing concepts and ideas from Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian and Chinese civilisations were used.

Above and beyond this, Islam’s main ‘contributions’ to the world have seen an almost relentless 1,400 years of invading Africa, Europe, Persia and Asia, spreading Islam by the sword, enslavement and destroying civilisations and cultures. Approximately 270 million people were killed in the process. Now Qur’an inspired Islamic terrorism is a continual threat towards global peace.

news_alert_photo-300x225Even if the Islamic Golden Era were to be true, where has it all gone wrong? What has Islam achieved since the Dark Ages? Why has it not progressed? The answer is simple:Islam cannot progress due to the oppression of science that will factually refute the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. As Richard Dawkins highlighted: “All of the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge.” Or a quick look at previous Nobel Peace Prize winners will reveal very few Muslim recipients compared to Jewish awardees, despite Jews constituting approximately 0.23% of the world population with a 22% share of Nobel Prizes! Even Muslim medical students have boycotted lectures on evolution because it ‘clashes with the Qur’an’.

It is frightening that approximately 22% of the world’s population contribute so little, with Muslim countries generating <5% of global GDP. Western countries spend around 5% of their GDP on research, whereas the Muslim population spends <1%.

European civilisation was in the Dark Ages, but Christianity was reformed, and society progressed into the Age of Enlightenment. Separation between Church and State was a key element because scientific discoveries were allowed to be made, whereas Islamic societies have never done this. Even Muslim countries’ main source of revenue, oil, is reliant on Western innovation and technology. Oil just happens to be under their soil/sand. 

MCB neglects to mention any of these truths or even when Muslims emigrate to ‘better themselves’, children from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish and Somali backgrounds still under-perform on a supposed ‘level playing field’. Muslim adults fare no better becauseapproximately 76% of Muslim women and 53% of Muslim men are economically inactive in Britain. 

However MCB continue to rejoice unabated in nonsensical statements, such as: “Today, Muslims form a vibrant community that forms an integral part of British society.”

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

 

Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years

4by Nicolai Sennels:

While almost all other cultures changed from primitive and medieval to democratic and egalitarian societies, one culture managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values for 1,400 years until today. Still today, the majority of Muslims prefer to live by values that can be traced all the way back to the desert tribes in which the founder of their religion lived. Getting to know life in Muslim families and societies is like traveling back in time to the time of Muhammad. Here one finds shocking laws and traditions that are obviously criminal and inhumane — but for some reason accepted — in our otherwise humanistic culture.

While non-Muslim scientists invent new fantastic medicines and technologies daily, discover the most amazing things about the universe, its building blocks and inhabitants, and Western voters and politicians have created the most humane, rich and free societies in world history, most Islamic countries are still amputating limbs for theft, stoning women and homosexuals, heavily inbred, denying people free speech and democracy, and contributing absolutely nothing when it comes to science, human rights or peace.

What are the cultural psychological factors making Islam able to stay medieval for 1,400 years?

Religion

One main factor is that while all other religions allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death. The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into modern, humanistic civilisations.

The fact that Muslims deviating from the Quranic world view are to be punished has the direct consequence that scientific facts conflicting with the naive and childish world view held in pre-Enlightenment cultures are suppressed. Together with massive inbreeding — 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many generations) — this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners. Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.

Within Islam, faith and tradition is obviously valued far, far more than inventions and discoveries that would ease suffering and lead to a more reasonable understanding of the complexity of the universe and the potential of its inhabitants.

Read more at Jihad Watch

Britain: “A World Capital for Islamic Finance”

sovereign-wealth-funds-are-also-more-cautious-about-investing-in-europeby Soeren Kern:

“I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain.

But critics say that British ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel financial system based on Islamic Sharia law. The Treasury also said some sukukIslamic bond issues may require the government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

The London Stock Exchange will be launching a new Islamic bond index in an effort to establish the City of London as one of the world’s leading centers of Islamic finance.

Britain also plans to become the first non-Muslim country to issue sovereign Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, beginning as early as 2014.

The plans are all part of the British government’s strategy to acquire as big a slice as possible of the fast-growing global market of Islamic finance, which operates according to Islamic Sharia law and is growing 50% faster than the conventional banking sector.

Although it is still a fraction of the global investment market — Sharia-compliant assets are estimated to make up only around 1% of the world’s financial assets — Islamic finance is expected to be worth £1.3 trillion (€1.5 trillion; $2 trillion) by 2014, a 150% increase from its value in 2006, according to the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, published in May 2013 by the consultancy Ernst & Young.

But critics say that Britain’s ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel global financial system based on Islamic Sharia law.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans during a keynote speech at the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, which was held in London from October 29-31, the first time the event has ever been held outside the Muslim world.

“Already London is the biggest center for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world,” Cameron told the audience of more than 1,800 international political and business leaders from over 115 countries.

“And today our ambition is to go further still. Because I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”

 

UK Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London on October 29, 2013. (Image source: 10 Downing St. Facebook page)

Cameron said the new Islamic bond index on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would help stimulate fixed-income investments from Muslim investors — especially investors from oil-rich Persian Gulf countries — by helping them identify which listed companies adhere to Islamic principles.

Investors who practice Islamic finance — which is said to be structured to conform to a strict code of ethics based on the Koran and Sharia law — refuse to invest in companies that are linked to alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork. Islamic finance also forbids collecting or paying interest and requires that deals be based on tangible assets.

Unlike conventional bonds, sukuk are described as investments rather than loans, with the initial payment made from an Islamic investor in the form of a tangible asset such as land. The lender of a sukuk earns money as profit from rent, as in real estate, rather than traditional interest.

Cameron says the British Treasury will issue £200 million (€235 million; $320 million) worth of sukuk as early as 2014. The objective is to enable the government to borrow from Muslim investors. The Treasury plans to issue fixed returns based on the profit made by a given asset, thereby allowing Muslims to invest without breaking Islamic laws forbidding interest-bearing bonds.

The Treasury also said some sukuk bond issues may require the British government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

 

The Desert of Islamization

sahara desertby Daniel Greenfield:

Wars are fought with steel and of words. To fight a thing, we have to understand what we are fighting and why. A blindness in words can kill as effectively as blindness on the battlefield.

Words shape our world. In war, they define the nature of the conflict. That definition can be
misleading. Often it’s expedient.

The real reasons for the last world war had very little to do with democracy. The current war does involve terrorism, but like fascism, it’s incidental to the bigger picture. The United States would not have gone to war to ensure open elections in Germany. It hasn’t been dragged into the dysfunctional politics and conflicts of the Muslim world because of terrorism.

Tyranny and terrorism just sum up what we find least appealing about our enemies. But it’s not why they are our enemies. They are our enemies because of territorial expansionism. The Ummah, like the Third Reich, is seeking “breathing room” to leave behind its social and economic problems with a program of regional and eventually world conquest.

Islam, like Nazism, makes a lot of utopian problems and pays the check for them through conquest. Like Communism, we’re up against a rigid ideology, brainwashed fanatics, utopian fantasies and ruthless tactics. And we can only win by being honest about that.

We are not yet dealing with armies. This is still an ideological conflict. Terrorism is just the tip of a much more dangerous iceberg. It’s the explosion of violence by the most impatient and least judicious of our enemies.

What we are dealing with is Islamization. Islamization is the imposition of ideological norms in increasing severity. Like Nazification, it transforms a society by remaking it in its own image from the largest to the smallest of details.

Islamization begins with the hijacking of “secular” spaces transforming them from neutral into explicitly Islamic forms and functions. The process can be grandiose or petty. A group of Minnesota Muslim taxi drivers who refuse to transport passengers carrying alcohol are “Islamizing” part of the transportation system around that airport. They are imposing Islamic norms on the airport and the passengers. Similarly a Target cashier who refuses to scan pork is Islamizing her line.

Islamic organizations encourage this form of seemingly petty Islamization even while they angle for bigger things. Their followers are foot soldiers in the same political war that destroyed secular spaces in their home countries.

Small scale Islamization becomes large scale Islamization. The women who begin wearing Hijabs are imposing a new social norm that eventually leads to Burkas. By then, women no longer have the right to leave the house, either legally or in social norms. The outlawing of liquor or pork begins in the same way. It doesn’t just happen in large ways, it also happens in small ways.

In Germany, the exchange of the greeting “Gruss Gott” for “Heil Hitler” was the bellwether of a larger social change underway. Nazification was not just a matter of Hitlerian speeches, it was in what you read, what you saw and how you said hello to your neighbors. A Nazi was not just someone who marched around in a uniform. It was also someone who said “Heil Hitler” or who in any way participated in the Nazification of public spaces.

Similarly an Islamist is anyone who participates in the Islamization of public spaces. The media has mischaracterized Islamist as a follower of some rogue branch of Islam followed by a tiny minority. But there is no rogue branch. Even Wahhabism is hardly rogue. If anything, it’s simply more literal.

Islam is Islamist in that it “Islamizes” what it comes into contact with. Islamists are not a separate movement. They are Muslims following a legacy of intolerance by practicing Islamization.

Read more

 

Geneva Conference Moves Toward Criminalizing “Islamophobia”

oic_summit_cairo_02_06_2013-450x346By Deborah Weiss:

In its quest to criminalize speech that’s critical of all Islam-related topics, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)* endorsed the formation of a new Advisory Media Committee to address “Islamophobia.”

This past September, the OIC held “The First International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media.”  The conference endorsed numerous recommendations which arose from prior workshops on Islamophobia from media, legal and political perspectives.  A main conclusion was the consensus to institutionalize the conference and create an Advisory Media Committee to meet under the newly established OIC Media Forum based in Istanbul Turkey.

Supposedly, the purpose of the conference was to support an OIC campaign to “correct the image of Islam and Muslims in Europe and North America.”  By this, it means to whitewash the intolerant, violent and discriminatory aspects of Islam and Islamists.  The OIC has launched a campaign to provide disinformation to the public, delinking all Islam from these undesirable traits and attacks all who insist on these truths, as bigots, racists and Islamophobes.

The OIC is a 57 member organization consisting of Muslim countries whose long term goal is the worldwide implementation of Sharia law and seemingly the ultimate establishment of a Caliphate.  Its members tend to vote together as a block in the UN, so it is extremely powerful, despite the fact that few people have heard of it.

Its present goal is the international criminalization of all speech that “defames” Islam, which the OIC defines as anything that sheds a negative light on Islam or Muslims, even when it’s true.

Its target is the West and one of its tactics is to accuse those who criticize Islam or its various interpretations as “Islamophobic.”  It is attempting to pass the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy codes in the West, using accusations of bigotry to silence anyone who speaks the truth about Islamic terrorism or Islamic persecution of religious minorities.

The OIC uses international bodies such as the UN and international “consensus building” as a platform to achieve its goals.  Certainly, if the OIC straightforwardly informed America and Europe of its aspirations to silence speech, it would gain no strides.  Therefore, it uses bureaucratic, unaccountable entities such as the UN as a means to make inroads, using watered down language and words that sound palatable to the West in order to deceive the public about its underlying goals.

Unfortunately, the OIC has been fairly successful in passing UN resolutions that if implemented, would have the effect of stifling speech that “defames religions.”  Of course, the OIC is only concerned with the defamation of Islam.  Indeed, OIC countries all have some sort of Islamic blasphemy laws which prohibit such defamation.  To be certain, these laws are regularly used to criminally punish those who speak critically of Islam.  These laws are also used to justify persecution of religious minorities.  For example, in many OIC countries, openly practicing a version of Islam not sanctioned by the government can land one in jail for blasphemy.  The OIC has no reciprocity in refraining from “defamation” of Judaism, Christianity, or other religions.

Read more at Front Page

Can Islam Be Reformed? A Response Essay To Daniel Pipes

reform of islamBy Nikolaas de Jong, July 10, 2013:

In a past article, I already discussed some issues of Islamic civilization which we are apt to neglect in our analysis of the current situation in the Middle East. Obviously, the potential force of democracy to conquer once primitive countries has been greatly overestimated; nobody will disagree anymore on that count. However, the explanations for this failure of democracy vary a lot, and quite independent of the political alignment of the commentators: it appears that all shades of opinion are quite confused by what is happening in countries recently “liberated” by the Arab Spring. The main reason for this confusion, as I stated before, is that most people in the west do not understand the wider civilizational questions involved: first, can we equate any popular uprising with an ideologically inspired revolution, but second, and most importantly, can revolutions in the Islamic world ever resemble those in the West and why are we so sure that the Islamic pattern of history must correspond to the earlier Western? The first point has been conceded by many observers, albeit implicitly and not in wider historical context, since today the dominant opinion is that these countries were not “ripe” for democracy and that popular rule does not necessarily imply democracy as we understand it in the west. The second point requires more insight, and is not even addressed by most commentators or journalists, although in fact to pose the question of essential differences in culture is not at all new; indeed, it only implies further investigation of the popular thesis Samuel Huntington developed about the “clash of civilizations”. But since western nations have lived in peace for over sixty years now, and we tend to believe that the whole world potentially is a prosperous and peaceful place like the western nation states, the concept of wholly different civilizations has become quite incomprehensible to most opinion makers. Nevertheless, we shall see it is essential to understand the ordeal the Muslim world is currently going through.

A few days ago Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, wrote an article, “Can Islam be reformed?”. As a good neoconservative, Pipes believes that Islamic culture will ultimately be able to adapt to western standards and that a reformed, reinterpreted version of Islam will emerge from the contacts with western democratic influences. In his article, he expressly  shows Islamic civilization in a very un-civilizational light: the issues in Islamic history are made to appear a variation on what happened in the history of other cultures, namely an endless sequence of wars and political upheavals, according to the classical pattern of rise and fall: the extremism that plagues the Islamic world is in fact a reaction to the decline of Islam since its golden age, and will wither away once a democratic, economically successful alternative has been offered; in this sense, the Islamist movement is not unlike communism and fascism, both ideologies cashing in on political and economic hardship. Moreover, Islam is not all that different from Judaism and Christianity: both religions have in the past embraced views we would now find unacceptable: Islam can adapt to modernity like other religions have. Pipes concedes that Islam today poses many problems and not all of its tenets are very humane, but he believes that Islam could be, as it were, absorbed by the west. In his most recent commentary on the military coup in Egypt, he reiterated his view that Islamism is just an extremist political fraction vying for influence among the electorate, and that the majority of the population are moderate Muslims desperately in search of answers to the crisis of modernity.

It is surprising that a man who is so knowledgeable on Islamic and Arab history, really thinks the Islamic world could be reformed. This is especially surprising, since in fact democracy and rule of law have hardly taken root in the rest of the non-western countries, and it remains to be seen whether the experiment will be viable in the long run, especially as western values are receding in the West itself at least since the first world war. Western self-confidence is at an historical low, so the first question is: why is there anything necessary about Muslims taking over western values and political institutions? I argued earlier that Islamic culture itself is not heading for a particularly happy future, but neither is the west, and if Islam does not take over Europe, it will still probably remain the same ossified theocratic system it has always been in the Muslim world itself. Besides, Pipes’ constant reference to the Islamic golden age, as if it were some shining example of human achievement and a tolerant, open-minded era, is disturbing to say the least: by now we should know that the power of Islam in this period was only brought about by brute military conquest, that its famous cultural achievements were largely the work of Christian and Jewish dhimmis, and that the Islamic world controlled so many material and cultural resources simply because it had invaded the lands of other cultures and withheld the benefits of trade from the Christian world. And of course, Pipes does not mention that this was not a “golden age” at all for many people, such as religious minorities, Hindus, and women. The reason it was called a “golden age” by Muslims is because it was a golden age for the Islamic conception of life, but not for humanity. So, on closer scrutiny, it becomes clear that Islam was always rigorous and it has not known any more humane periods or ups and downs like other civilizations, except in the military sense. The proper question that would invalidate Pipes’ designation of Islamism as a totalitarian doctrine on the pattern of fascism and communism, is: would the average Muslim throughout history have considered the deeds and beliefs of today’s Islamists and Islamic terrorists unjustified? Does the average Muslim today even see anything inherently inhumane or un-Islamic in the deeds of terrorists? I think Pipes knows the answer to these questions as well as most of us do.

Pipes warns us for adopting an excessively “essentialist” view of Islam, which means relying solely on Islamic scripture and doctrine in explaining Islamic history and the actions of Muslims; however, it seems Pipes should watch out not to adopt the absurdly empiricist view that is also held by many political correct pundits, and which implies that the deeds of Muslims only have general “human” motives, and religion is simply a justification of these universal motives. It is all very well that Pipes himself can provide his own moderate interpretation of Islam and sees history in the light of this interpretation, but in the end it is the Muslims who decide how to interpret their religion, not western academics. As Bill Warner put it, we can only understand the actions of Muslims and Islamic history by first understanding Islam and what it actually is, not the other way around. Otherwise we would just be fooling ourselves and evading the main question.

Read more at The Brussels Journal (H/T Andrew Bostom)

Nikolaas de Jong is a Flemish history student with a critical view on current affairs, history and culture. He is inspired by Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Raymond Aron and Jean-François Revel. He is specifically interested in islam and Russian history. He is a member of the political party Liberty GB. This article appeared July 10, 2013 in the Brussels Journal. The Brussels Journal is published by the Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe (SAFE), a Swiss non-profit organisation. http://www.think-israel.org/dejong.islamreformable.html

Jihad: A harvest of bitter destruction continues to escalate

 A wounded woman is carried from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, after the Sept. 21 attack by Islamic militants. Associated Press/Photo by Khalil Senosi


A wounded woman is carried from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, after the Sept. 21 attack by Islamic militants.
Associated Press/Photo by Khalil Senosi

World Mag, by :

Middle East expert Mark Durie, an Anglican vicar in Australia, shares the following insights on what’s fueling the Islamic violence exploding across much of the world, including the continuing attacks against Christians in Nigeria. —Mindy Belz

This violence is the culmination of two trends. One is the Islamist revival, which in response to the perceived failure of Islam in the face of Western dominance proposed a program of ideological cleansing leading to jihad as the way back to reestablish Islamic supremacy. The other is the cowardice and denial of the West over several decades, which strategically began with the adoption by the UN and Western powers of the narrative of Palestinian victimhood while not recognizing the jihad agenda, which lay under this victim plea. Thus the West lent credibility to the jihad against Israel and is now inheriting the fruits of that jihad, morphed into a global struggle.

Islam has gone through two crises in recent centuries. The first was the military, scientific, and economic failure—the civilizational failure—of Islam and its retreat before the West, leading to. This led to the Islamist revival, which has been cooking for more than a hundred years and is now erupting all over the place in violence against the infidel, fueled by the anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-infidel verses in the Quran and the Hadith. The simultaneous fruit of this revival has caused so many similar attacks at the same time—rather like a tree that bears fruit all over itself at the same time, and not one branch and then another.

This violence is not in a sense unprecedented: Such things have happened many times in the past. It is the history of Armenia, Egypt, Andalusia, and the Balkans. But what is distinctive now is that historical forces are aligning globally—the controlling mechanism being the Islamic revival—to bring different nations and societies to a similar point all at the same time.

But not all are at the same stage. Many Iranians are increasingly “post-Muslim” in their thinking. But in other places, like Egypt, the bitter fruits of the Islamic solution are being experienced as if for the first time.

The second crisis is one of doubt in Islam in the face of the patent failure of the Islamic revivalist solution. We are seeing that in the turning of Iranians to Christ. I see these present-day atrocities as the bitter fruit of a long period of denial by the West and fervent planning and activism by radical reformers. The question is, what will come to us beyond this violence? Will it lead to surrender to the forces of death and destruction—of radical Islam—or will Islam itself begin to collapse from within, as its adherents experience failure and pain rather than success? But in the meantime we are in the middle of a harvest of bitter destruction that will continue to escalate. Europe should prepare itself for millions of refugees from around the Mediterranean. We should all anticipate more and more violent attacks as the increasingly desperate and cornered beast of radical Islam tries to thrash itself out of its trajectory of failure into a season of triumph.

The challenge for Christians is to hold fast, to acknowledge the truth of what is happening: Islam is a failed ideology that is bringing only sorrow and failure to the world. We should repent and return to our core truths: the power of Christ to heal and save. And get ourselves ready to respond to the coming harvest among the Muslim world as the second crisis increasingly comes upon Muslims.

I note also that this eruption of jihad violence has exposed the futility of attempts at outreach across the Muslim-Christian divide: President Barack Obama’s Cairo speech and countless dialogue meetings, including deriving from the Common Word process and the Amman letter to the pope. What we are seeing now is a grassroots phenomenon, incubated for decades. And the worst is yet to come.

Mark is an Australian scholar, an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, and vicar of St Mary’s Anglican Church in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia. He is the author of The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom and hosts a blog on religious liberty.

 

The Goal of Muslim Immigration According to Muhammad’s Teachings

By: Y.K. Cherson:

The concept of Muslim immigration began with Islam’s prophet. Soon after Muhammad arrived to Yathrib (Medina) together with his close friend and father of his wife Aisha, Abu Bakr, they were joined by a ring of other friends and followers, known in Islamic history as “Companions.” They formed in Medina the first body of Muslim immigrants in history and very soon changed the face of Medina, making it the city of the victorious Islam. Immigration transformed Muslims from weak and scattered groups of individuals loyal to their religious leader, into a consolidated army, then a united community and finally, into a socio-religious political state. If Muhammad and his group had never immigrated to Yathrib in 622 AD, there would never have been any Islamic social, economic and political expansion.

Muslims learned and remembered this lesson, and since then the concept of Hijrah- Immigration- as a means of supplanting the native population and reaching the position of power became a well-developed doctrine in Islam. Immigration in Islam is not a Western liberal romance about how the newcomers gratefully search for opportunities for a better life in liberty and offer their talents and loyalty to the benefit of their new homeland. Immigration as Islam sees it is an instrument of Islamic expansionism that employs religious and ethnic separatism in order to gain special status and privilege, then subvert, subdue, and subjugate non-Muslim societies and pave the way for their total Islamization and implementation of Shari’ah law.

The main principle for a Muslim community in a non-Muslim country is that it must be separate and distinct. Already in the Charter of Medina, Muhammad outlined the basic rule for Muslims who emigrate to non-Muslim land, i.e., they must form a separate body, keeping their own laws and making the host country comply with them:

(3) The Quraysh emigrants according to their present custom shall pay the bloodwit within their number and shall redeem their prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers. 

Muslims from the beginning made it clear that they were going to live by their own laws. 

Muhammad’s teachings forbid Muslims to immigrate to a non-Muslim country if they pursue the goal of their own personal gain or pleasure. But if they immigrate with the ultimate goal of spreading Islam and making it victorious, or at least this is a part of the reason for their immigration, then they are allowed both pleasure and personal gain. A Muslim immigrant should not integrate with the host society, but if his stay depends on showing some kind of integration to the host non-Muslim society, then he is permitted to demonstrate a fake  integration, only in appearance and only temporarily, until the goal of subduing and the Islamization of this host society is achieved.

That is why all those discussions so popular among Western liberals about which method is  best for the integration of the religious Muslim immigrants into the host non-Muslim societies are not only futile; they are amusing, like disputes about the best way to make a tiger a vegetarian.

Read more at the Cherson and Molschky blog.

Like them on Facebook: Cherson & Molschky https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cherson-Molschky/522071234517347?ref=hl

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Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of Islam

by :

Rereading some early history books concerning the centuries-long jihad on Europe, it recently occurred to me how ignorant the modern West is of its own past.  The historical narrative being disseminated today bears very little, if any, resemblance to reality.

Consider some facts for a moment:Massacre-1

A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia.  Leaving aside all the thousands of miles of ancient lands and civilizations that were permanently conquered, today casually called the “Islamic world”—including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India and China—much of Europe was also, at one time or another, conquered by the sword of Islam.

Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination are (to give them their modern names in no particular order): Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.

In 846 Rome was sacked and the Vatican defiled by Muslim Arab raiders; some 700 years later, in 1453, Christendom’s other great basilica, Holy Wisdom (or Hagia Sophia) was conquered by Muslim Turks, permanently.

The few European regions that escaped direct Islamic occupation due to their northwest remoteness include Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany.  That, of course, does not mean that they were not attacked by Islam. Indeed, in the furthest northwest of Europe, in Iceland, Christians used to pray that God save them from the “terror of the Turk.” These fears were not unfounded since as late as 1627 Muslim corsairs raided the Christian island seizing four hundred captives, selling them in the slave markets of Algiers.

Nor did America escape.  A few years after the formation of the United States, in 1800, American trading ships in the Mediterranean were plundered and their sailors enslaved by Muslim corsairs.  The ambassador of Tripoli explained to Thomas Jefferson that it was a Muslim’s “right and duty to make war upon them [non-Muslims] wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners.”

In short, for roughly one millennium—punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that the modern West is obsessed with demonizing—Islam daily posed an existential threat to Christian Europe and by extension Western civilization.

And therein lies the rub: Today, whether as taught in high school or graduate school, whether as portrayed by Hollywood or the news media, the predominant historic narrative is that Muslims are the historic “victims” of “intolerant” Western Christians.  That’s exactly what a TV personality recently told me live on Fox News.

So here we are, paying the price of being an ahistorical society: A few years after the Islamic strikes of 9/11—merely the latest in the centuries-long, continents-wide jihad on the West—Americans elected a man with a Muslim name and heritage for president, who openly empowers the same ideology that their ancestors lived in mortal fear of, even as they sit by and watch to their future detriment.

Surely the United States’ European forebears—who at one time or another either fought off or were conquered by Islam—must be turning in their graves.

But all this is history, you say? Why rehash it?  Why not let it be and move on, begin a new chapter of mutual tolerance and respect, even if history must be “touched up” a bit?

This would be a somewhat plausible position—if not for the fact that, all around the globe, Muslims are still exhibiting the same imperial impulse and intolerant supremacism that their conquering forbears did.  The only difference is that the Muslim world is currently incapable of defeating the West through a conventional war.

Read more at Front Page

My life of hell in an Afghan harem

Phyllis Chesler, author of "An American Bride in Kabul," spent five months held prisoner in Afghanistan as a young bride.

Phyllis Chesler, author of “An American Bride in Kabul,” spent five months held prisoner in Afghanistan as a young bride.

By Phyllis Chesler:

Naive and in love, I married a man from Kabul — only to discover the horrible life of a fundamentalist Muslim wife.

Phyllis Chesler, 72, is a feminist scholar and a professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at City University of New York. In her 14th book, “An American Bride in Kabul” (Palgrave Macmillan) out early next month, she shares for the first time the story of the five months she spent, as a young bride, held prisoner in a Afghan household. 

I once lived in a harem in Afghanistan.

I did not enter the kingdom as a diplomat, soldier, teacher, journalist or foreign aid worker. I came as a young Jewish bride of the son of one of the country’s wealthiest men. I was held in a type of captivity — but it’s not as if I had been kidnapped.

I walked into it of my own free will.

It is 1959. I am only 18 when my prince — a dark, older, handsome, westernized foreigner who had traveled abroad from his native home in Afghanistan — bedazzles me.

We meet at Bard College, where he is studying economics and politics and I am studying literature on scholarship.

Abdul-Kareem is the son of one of the founders of the modern banking system in Afghanistan. He wears designers sunglasses and bespoke suits and when he visits New York City, he stays at the Plaza.

He is also Muslim.

I am Jewish, raised in an Orthodox home in Borough Park, Brooklyn, the daughter of Polish immigrants. My dad worked door-to-door selling soda and seltzer.

But none of this matters. We don’t talk about religion. Instead, we stay up all night discussing film, opera and theater. We are bohemians.

We date for two years. Then, when I express my desire to travel, he asks me to marry him.

The author Phyllis Chesler with her husband in 1959.

The author Phyllis Chesler with her husband in 1959.

“There is no other way for us to travel together in the Muslim world,” he says.

Like a complete heartsick fool, I agree.

My parents are outraged and hysterical. They warn me that no good will come of this union. Little did I know then how right they would be. We marry in a civil ceremony in Poughkeepsie with no family present.

For our honeymoon, we travel around Europe with a plan to stop off in Kabul to meet his family. I did not know that this would be our final destination.

When we land, 30 relatives await our arrival. Among them, not one but three mothers-in-law. I am too shocked to speak, too shocked to question what these three women might mean for my future.

I learn that my real mother-in-law, Abdul-Kareem’s biological mother, is only my father-in-law’s first wife. Her name is Bebugul.

There are bear hugs and kisses all around. The family is warm and inviting — I try to forget about my husband’s glaring omission.

But before the caravan of black Mercedes-Benzes can leave, an airport official demands that I turn over my American passport.

I refuse.

Everyone stops. Both the official and my husband assure me that this is a mere formality. It will soon be returned to me, so I reluctantly relinquish it.

I will never see my passport again.

That means — I would soon learn — that I would not be able to leave Afghanistan at will. I am now subject to the laws and custom of Afghanistan, and as a Afghan woman, that means hardly any rights at all.

Read more at NYP

 

 

Watching the Middle East Implode

jp-egypt1-articleLarge-450x330By :

The revolutions against dictators in the Middle East dubbed the Arab Spring have degenerated into a complex, bloody mélange of coups and counter-coups, as have happened in Egypt; vicious civil wars, like the current conflict in Syria; a resurgence of jihadists gaining footholds in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Sinai; and a shifting and fracturing of alliances and enmities of the sort throwing Lebanon and Jordan into turmoil. Meanwhile, American foreign policy has been confused, incompetent, and feckless in insuring that the security and interests of the United States and its allies are protected.

A major reason for our foreign policy failures in the region is our inability to take into account the intricate diversity of ideological, political, and especially theological motives driving events. Just within the Islamist outfits, Sunni and Shia groups are at odds—and this isn’t to mention the many bitter divisions within Sunni and Shia groups. Add the other players in the Middle East––military dictators, secular democrats, leftover communists, and nationalists of various stripes––and the whole region seems embroiled in endlessly complex divisions and issues.

Yet a greater impediment to understanding accurately this bloody and complex region is our preconceived biases. Too often we rely on explanations that gratify our own ideological preferences and prejudices, but that function like mental stencils: they are a priori patterns we superimpose on events to create the picture we want to see, but only by concealing other events that do not fit the pattern. We indulge the most serious error of foreign policy: assuming that other peoples think like us and desire the same goods as we do, like political freedom and prosperity, at the expense of others, like religious obedience and honor.

One persistent narrative attributes the region’s disorder to Western colonialism and imperialism. The intrusion of European colonial powers into the region, the story goes, disrupted the native social and political institutions, imposing in their place racist norms and alien values that demeaned Muslims as the “other” and denigrated their culture to justify the exploitation of resources and markets. This process culminated after World War I in the dismantling of the caliphate, and the creation of Western-style nation-states that ignored the traditional ethnic and sectarian identities of the region. As a result, resentment and anger at colonial occupation and exploitation erupted in Islamist jihadism against the oppressor.

The Islamists themselves have found this narrative a convenient pretext for their violence, thus reinforcing this explanation for some Westerners. The most important jihadist theorist, the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote, “It is necessary to revive the Muslim community which is buried under the debris of the man-made traditions of several generations, and which is crushed under the weight of those false laws and customs which are not even remotely related to the Islamic teachings.”

Qutb was clearly alluding to the European colonial presence in the Middle East, and specifically to the nearly half-century of British control of Egypt. Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other jihadist groups similarly lace their communiqués with references to colonial “oppression” and neo-imperialist interference, as when Osama bin Laden scolded the U.S. in 2002 for waging war in the region “so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.” The Arabs likewise routinely describe the creation of Israel as a particularly offensive act of colonial aggression against the lands of Islam.

Such pretexts, however, are clearly for Western consumption, exploiting the Marxist demonization of imperialism and colonialism that informs the ideology of many leftist intellectuals in Europe and America. When speaking to fellow Muslims, however, most Islamist groups ground their motives in the traditional doctrines of Islam, which call for war against the infidel and the enemies of Islam.

Read more at Front Page

Why the Peaceful Majority Might be Dangerous

Islam-Moderate-Radical1-300x214By Citizen Warrior:

The following is an article from Paul Marek (author of the outstanding piece, Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant). Reprinted with permission.

Mubarka is a Canadian born woman of Pakistani parents. She grew up in Toronto among other Canadian children and attended university where she received a degree in commerce. Today she holds a prominent position with a transportation company.

Mubarka used to be as mainstream as any Canadian young adult can be; in fact, those who met her for the first time may have been struck by her vivacious personality. Her effervescence went hand in hand with her distinct Asian beauty which she shamelessly displayed with stylish clothing including the occasional low cut top. Mubarka used to converse for hours over topics as varied as business practices in Canadian politics to contemporary music.

It comes, therefore, as a shock, when one learns what path Mubarka has recently chosen for herself. She will be wedding a Pakistani man…a devout Muslim, whom she has never met but who was chosen for her when she was an infant. Not only that, but she has donned the Hijab for the first time in her life and is strictly observing Muslim tenets. She has chosen subservience to a man and subservience to his religion over the gender freedom offered her by the Western democracy she grew up in, and she’s done so without so much as a whimper of protest.

When asked why she has picked the life of Sharia, Mubarka simply states that it is as Muhammad would will, and that there is no greater prophet than Muhammad. When asked how she will raise her children, Mubarka makes it clear…they will be raised as Muslims first, and Canadians second.

Hardi is perhaps one of the most pleasant Canadian women anyone could ever meet. In her capacity as a caregiver of seniors, she is gentle, loving, and incredibly patient. She laughs deliciously at the kind of comical moments that only seniors can deliver and her mood seems to be permanently stuck on happy. Hardi is an angel.

Those who encounter Hardi for the first time will be struck not by her character, that comes later, but by the fact that she is virtually covered from head to toe by traditional Indonesian Muslim attire. She covers her entire body with colourful costume that leaves only her hands and face exposed. Hardi is devout, in fact, so devout that during Christmas any appreciation given her by way of gifting must be void of any reference to the season. Furthermore, during quiet moments when Hardi is free to discuss her Muslim faith, it becomes clear she believes wholeheartedly in the strict observance of Sharia. For her, Islam in its pure non-secular form, is truth.

Both Hardi and Mubarka present us with a perplexing conundrum because they are members of what has become known as the “peaceful” Muslim majority. They don’t have a violent bone in their bodies, and are clearly law abiding and productive members of Canadian society. But, they are also both part of a very small minority within Canada where they and their fellow Muslims have very little effect on Canadian politics or on the evolution of Canadian cultural norms. What if though, Hardi and Mubarka were part of a Muslim majority where they and their co-religionists held the power?

Both women are Muslims first and Canadians second. No matter how much respect one may have for either woman’s character, there is little doubt where either would place her loyalty if faced with choosing between the Canadian traditions of liberty for all, or Sharia. There is also little doubt that if they were part of a majority, they would acquiesce to the demands of the Muslim clerical class and choose Sharia for all Canadians.

It is therefore irrelevant in the grand scheme of things whether or not Hardi or Mubarka are “good” people; most people on the planet are, no matter their religion, race, or culture. What matters in the greater sense, is that as parts of the Muslim collective, neither woman would set aside her Muslim beliefs in order to safeguard and protect the full rights of non-Muslims to live as they choose. What’s even more disturbing, is that both women have experienced the gender freedoms afforded them in Canada, yet both have voluntarily resigned themselves to the greater Muslim collective.

As long as each woman is part of a small minority within Canada, she offers Canada much; but once she becomes part of a significant minority, or heaven forbid, a majority, she becomes dangerous. Why? Because Muslims wherever they form a majority choose Islamic norms over the broader more tolerant standards of the West. If given a chance, as has been clearly demonstrated the world over, they would unravel hundreds of years of hard fought human rights gains and replace them with the medieval practices of their faith. As such, both Hardi and Mubarka are simply bit players in a monstrous and destructive Muslim vortex that would drag civilization backwards hundreds of years.