MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 222-286

1A6A9599PJ Media, by Robert Spencer:

Do you want a guardian from Allah when you go to bed? Find out how below — but if you start any anal sex, the deal is off. This segment of the Qur’an’s second chapter says that right out.

My friend Jeff once told me that he had tried to read the Qur’an many times, but he “could never get through the damn ‘Cow.’” With this segment, we have.

One reason why it’s tough to get through is because “The Cow” is packed with legal regulations. Allah, according to Islamic theology the Qur’an’s sole speaker (although he refers to himself in the third person often enough), concerns himself in the latter part of “The Cow” primarily with various laws for marriage and divorce (vv. 222-242). He forbids intercourse during menstruation (v. 222).

In the next verse, he tells Muslims, “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish” (v. 223), which some Muslims understand as prohibiting anal sex — so says Ibn Kathir. According to a hadith recorded by the Imam Muslim, considered by Muslims to be the second most reliable collector of hadith (after Bukhari) and others, the Jews are behind the revelation of this verse. “The Jews used to say that when one comes to one’s wife through the vagina, but being on her back, and she becomes pregnant, the child has a squint” (Sahih Muslim 3363) — or, according to other sources, is cross-eyed.

To refute this, this verse was revealed: “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed [tilth] for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish” (v. 223). Sayyid Qutb says that the use of the word “tilth” (Arabic حَرْثٌ), with its “connotations of tillage and production, is most fitting, in a context of fertility and procreation” — or, as Maududi puts it, Allah’s “purpose in the creation of women is not merely to provide men with recreation.” It is also to provide them with children.

Allah’s regulations for divorce emphasize regarding women that “men have a degree over them” (v. 228). This may be why men can divorce their wives simply by saying, “Talaq” — I divorce you — but women may not do this. Such an easy procedure leads to divorces in a fit of pique, followed by reconciliation — and the Qur’an anticipates this and attempts to head it off by stipulating that a husband who divorces his wife three times cannot reconcile with her until she marries another man and is in turn divorced by him: “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until she marries a husband other than him” (v. 230). This has given rise to the phenomenon of “temporary husbands,” who marry and divorce thrice-divorced women at the behest of Islamic clerics even in our own day, so that these poor women can then return to their original husbands. This practice has, as one may imagine, given rise to abuses, and a hadith depicts Muhammad condemning it. Muslim clerics insist that the poor woman’s new marriage and divorce must be genuine before she can return to her original husband.

Allah then goes on to detail the arrangements men make for their wives in their wills (vv. 234, 240); those interested in the doctrine of abrogation will be interested in the fact that Ibn Kathir contends of v. 240 that “the majority of the scholars said that this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234).”

After that, it’s time to rake the Jews over the coals again. Allah in verses 243-260 refers to several Biblical stories, none in much detail. The Jews refuse to fight after having been commanded to do so (v. 246) and they rebel at the appointment of Saul as king (v. 247). If Allah had willed, the nations would have believed the prophets he sent to earth, but this was not his will, although his reasons are left unexplained (v. 253). It would have been interesting to know why he sent prophets while willing that they not be believed, but we’re not let in on the secret.

Then comes the Throne Verse (Ayat al-Kursi), v. 255. According to Islamic scholar Mahmoud Ayoub, this verse is “regarded by Muslims as one of the most excellent verses of the Qur’an. It has therefore played a very important role in Muslim piety.” The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, is said to have agreed with a claim that this verse is so powerful that “whenever you go to your bed, recite the Verse of ‘Al-Kursi’ (2.255) for then a guardian from Allah will be guarding you, and Satan will not approach you till dawn” and with another about its being the “greatest verse in the Book of Allah.”

Qurtubi reports that “when the Throne Verse was revealed, every idol and king in the world fell prostrate and the crowns of kings fell off their heads,” and recounts a saying by Muhammad in which Allah tells Moses of the many blessings that people will receive if they recite the Throne Verse — another manifestation of the assumption that the People of the Book had at least some of the contents of the Qur’an, but perversely effaced them from their own Scriptures.

Immediately following that verse comes the Qur’an’s famous statement that “there is no compulsion in religion” (v. 256).

Muslim spokesmen in the West frequently quote that phrase to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. However, according to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against and subjugate the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that the “no compulsion” verse was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29). No compulsion indeed.

Many see the “no compulsion” verse as contradicting the Islamic imperative to wage jihad against unbelievers, but actually there is no contradiction because the aim of jihad is not the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but their subjugation within the Islamic social order. Says Asad: “All Islamic jurists (fuqahd’), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of conversion or the sword.” Quite so: the choice, as laid out (according to a hadith) by Muhammad himself, is conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or the sword: “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 4294)

Qutb accordingly denies that the “no compulsion” verse contradicts the imperative to fight until “religion is for Allah” (v. 193), saying that “Islam has not used force to impose its beliefs.” Rather, jihad’s “main objective has been the establishment of a stable society in which all citizens, including followers of other religious creeds, may live in peace and security” — although not with equality of rights before the law, as 9:29 emphasizes. For Qutb, that “stable society” is the “Islamic social order,” the establishment of which is a chief objective of jihad.

In this light, verses 256 and 193 go together without any trouble. Muslims must fight until “religion is for Allah,” but they don’t force anyone to accept Allah’s religion. They enforce subservience upon those who refuse to convert, such that many of them subsequently convert to Islam so as to escape the humiliating and discriminatory regulations of dhimmitude — but when they convert, they do so freely. Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world, abolishing Christianity and thus the need for the jizya that is paid by the dhimmis. Muhammad is depicted in a hadith as saying: “‘By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts.’” (Bukhari 3.34.425) Then religion will be “for Allah,” and there will be no further need for jihad.

After all that, Allah exhorts the believers to charitable giving, and condemns usury (vv. 275-281) — which is the foundation of the Islamic abhorrence of interest-based banking. He then stipulates, veering from subject to subject, that two women are equivalent to one man in giving testimony (v. 282). Muhammad is depicted as explaining, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” (Sahih Bukhari 3.48.826)

So much for “The Cow.”

Watch What Happens When 3 Muslim Spokesmen Are Asked About Islam’s Death Penalty for Apostasy

A case study in Islamic supremacist deception.

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 24, 2015:

A recent episode of the BBC program The Big Questions was anomalous: instead of pumping out more of the usual fog of obfuscation and denial regarding the aspects of Islamic law incompatible with Western standards of human rights and human dignity — as do most BBC shows — it actually featured an honest discussion of Islam’s death penalty for apostasy.

Or it would have, that is, if the Muslim spokesmen on the show had been remotely honest about that penalty. Instead, they offered an instructive case study in how Islamic supremacists deal with uncomfortable aspects of Islam when speaking with infidels.

Despite denials from Muslims in the West, Islam’s death penalty for those who leave the faith is abundantly established.

The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated:

The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.

There is only disagreement over whether the law applies only to men, or to women also — some authorities hold that apostate women should not be killed, but only imprisoned in their houses until death.

The BBC program begins with ex-Muslim Amal Farah of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) and several Muslim spokesmen discussing Islamic law’s death penalty for apostasy. Farah, despite her affiliation with CEMB — which is often more concerned with smearing and demonizing genuine critics of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism than with actually defending apostates from Islam — is the one sane and rational voice in the discussion.

The Muslim spokesmen, by contrast, practice various forms of evasion and deflection, claiming victim status repeatedly. Abdullah al-Andalusi of the ironically named Muslim Debate Initiative is the worst, ascribing Islam’s death penalty for apostasy to “Victorian translations,” claiming that it is only a law in “post-colonial secular states,” and pouting that the BBC is conducting an “Inquisition court.” Note also how he dodges the question of whether or not he condemns the words of UK imam Haitham al-Haddad, who has defended the death penalty for apostasy.

After that, Usama Hasan, author of The Way of the Prophet: A Selection of Hadith, comes across as honest and forthright, but in reality, his obfuscation is just more sophisticated than al-Andalusi’s. He claims that the apostasy law is a product of the early Muslim states, never mentioning what the author of a hadith collection should know and undoubtedly does know: that according to a hadith, Muhammad said:

Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him (Bukhari 9.84.57).

This distinction is important, because if the death penalty for apostasy comes from the early Muslim states, it can be changed, but if it comes from Muhammad, the supreme example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21), it can’t.

Finally there is Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, who claims that “we believe in religious freedom. People are free to leave Islam.” Then he is exposed as having branded as a “defamer of the prophet” the professional moderate Maajid Nawaz for tweeting a Muhammad cartoon — a term that carries the death penalty in Pakistan. He backpedals here, while insisting that he was right to “defend” Muhammad.

The yawning absence here is that of a Muslim voice who will simply acknowledge that Islam has a death penalty for apostasy and say that it has to be reconsidered and reformed. There are no such voices. Instead, it’s the same as always: claims of victimization, deflection, blaming of the infidels, claims of hatred for Muslims — the usual responses we have seen thousands of times from Muslims in response to critics of jihad terror.

Britain Surrenders

Muslim-rape-gang-450x260Frontpage, March 23, 2015 by Robert Spencer:

The phenomenon of Muslim rape gangs in Britain, and the unwillingness of law enforcement officials had of prosecuting them for fear of being tarred with charges of “racism,” is hardly summed up by the word “scandal” anymore. This isn’t just a scandal, it’s a surrender – a cultural and societal collapse unprecedented in human history.

The BBC reported last week that “South Yorkshire Police knew hundreds of young girls were making claims of sexual abuse in Sheffield but did not act, an ex-police officer has alleged.” The tally of these abused girls is beyond belief: last month, the Mirror reported that “there could be up to a million victims of child sexual exploitation in the UK, it is feared.”

What kind of society allows a million – a million! — of its young girls to be pressed into service as sex slaves and prostitutes by predatory gangs? What kind of society declines to hunt down, prosecute, imprison, deport more than a small number of these gang members, because its guardians of law and justice know that the Leftist establishment would accuse them of racism, bigotry and Islamophobia, and bring them to certain professional ruin, if they dared try to bring these men to justice?

What kind of society allows this? A desperately ill society. A dying society.

And there is no doubt that that is what happened. 1,400 British non-Muslim children were gang-raped and brutalized by Muslims in the British city of Rotherham, in accord with the Qur’anic allowance for the sexual enslavement of infidel women that the Islamic State has pointed to in order to justify its exploitation of captive Yazidi and Christian women. British officials there “described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

It was the same thing in Sheffield. According to the BBC, more then 200 girls were sexually abused there by over 320 men – subjected to rape, trafficking, beatings, and threats. Some of the girls involved were as young as twelve years old. The BBC, ever careful not to offend Muslims, fastidiously notes that “the nationalities of the alleged abusers include a mixture of Iraqi Kurds, white British, black British, and Pakistani Heritage, among others.”

But these men did not victimize and brutalize these girls because of their nationality. They did so because they believed that their religion justified such behavior. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general, as does this passage. “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6).

The rape of captive women is also sanctioned in Islamic tradition:

Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa’id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): 0 Abu Sa’id, did you hear Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-’azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Muslim 3371)

Notice that the controversy is not over whether the Muslims can rape the captives but only over coitus interruptus. The rape is taken for granted.

How many more of these Muslim rape gangs have yet to be discovered? How many will it take for shattered, staggering, dhimmi Britain to discard its willful ignorance and recognize why this is happening?

The question is rhetorical. A society that would allow one million of its young girls’ lives to be destroyed just so as not to appear racist is already galloping down the road to ruin. Farewell, Perfidious Albion.

***

Also see:

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

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

When is it permissible to break moral laws?

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

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

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

Muhammad himself led many of these raids.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ibn Ishaq explained this verse:

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

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

Here again Allah answered in a revelation, saying:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maulana Bulandshahri explains the traditional view:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How much is your life worth?

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

Skeptical? Read on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

declaration of war

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn Beck to NRA: It’s Norquist or Me

Grover-Norquist-450x337Frontpage, March 16, 2015 by Robert Spencer:

Glenn Beck has declared that he will leave the National Rifle Association (NRA) if Republican Party kingmaker Grover Norquist remains on the Board of Directors.

This is long overdue: it has now been over eleven years since FrontPage Magazine first published revelations about what David Horowitz described as Norquist’s “alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities.” Horowitz added:

“Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends.”

Nothing has changed in the intervening years. Norquist has dismissed concerns about his ties to Islamic supremacists as “bigotry” and “hatred,” and this has apparently satisfied the Republican establishment and prominent conservative spokesmen – until now, with Beck breaking ranks.

Beck’s peers and Republican leaders could have and should have ended Norquist’s baneful influence on the Republican Party and the conservative movement years ago. The November 1, 2001 issue of The New Republic (hardly a “right-wing” organ) noted that right after 9/11, President Bush met with several Muslim leaders with unsavory ties to the global jihad:

To the president’s left sat Dr. Yahya Basha, president of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have repeatedly called Hamas “freedom fighters.” Also in attendance was Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who on the afternoon of September 11 told a Los Angeles public radio audience that “we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list.” And sitting right next to President Bush was Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America, who last fall told a Washington crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans, “America has to learn if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” Days later, after a conservative activist confronted Karl Rove with dossiers about some of Bush’s new friends, Rove replied, according to the activist, “I wish I had known before the event took place.”

Why didn’t he? Because of Norquist, who

“helped orchestrate various post-September 11 events that brought together Muslim leaders and administration officials…Indeed, when Jewish activists and terrorism experts complained about the Muslim invitees to Adam Goldman, who works in the White House public liaison’s office, Goldman replied that Norquist had vouched for them.”

In 1999, the prominent American Muslim leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is now in prison for financing al-Qaeda, wrote two $10,000 checks to Norquist’s Islamic Institute (aka the Islamic Free Market Institute). Alamoudi is also notorious for proclaiming to a Muslim rally in Washington in 2000: “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here? … Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. I wished they added that I am also a supporter of Hizballah.” There is no indication that Norquist denounced Alamoudi, or returned his checks, after Alamoudi’s open embrace of jihad terror groups.

Even closer to Norquist is Suhail Khan, Norquist’s American Conservative Union (ACU) colleague. The ACU hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservatives, and many observers have charged that Norquist and Khan have foreclosed on any honest discussion of the jihad threat at CPAC. Investigative journalist Paul Sperry revealed in the New York Post in January 2011 that Khan accepted an award from Alamoudi in 2001, commenting: “Abdurahman Alamoudi has been very supportive of me. . . . I hope, inshallah, we can keep working together.”

Sperry also noted that

“in September 2001, four days before the 9/11 attacks, Khan spoke at the Islamic Society of North America’s convention….At the event, Khan shared his experiences from ‘inside’ the White House, and praised his late father, Mahboob Khan, for helping found ISNA — which the government now says is a front for the radical Muslim Brotherhood and has raised money for jihad….Khan vowed in his speech to carry on his father’s ‘legacy.’”

There is much more on Norquist’s unsavory associations and activities, as you can see in these articles on Norquist by Daniel Greenfield, Pamela Geller,Patrick Poole, Jamie Glazov (interviewing Paul Sperry), and David Horowitz. Conservatives have suffered from being in Norquist’s shadow for too long. Particularly in these dark latter days of the Obama Administration, it is imperative that conservative candidates establish themselves as a genuine loyal opposition formulating a realistic and coherent alternative to Obama’s disastrous pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies.

Grover Norquist is the biggest single obstacle preventing that from happening. Glenn Beck is to be commended for being the first major figure on the Right to stand up and say that Grover must go. We can only hope that others will soon follow suit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

 

AFDI free speech victory: Philadelphia must run ad against Islamic antisemitism

8c0a8e142cb440ce8754fc552c00e292Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 12, 2015:

Ace lawyer David Yerushalmi’s parting words below are worth setting in stone: “A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose. Act accordingly.”

At AFDI, we are not just raising awarness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat with our campaigns; we’re also setting legal precedents that have implications that can’t be understated: for decades, the left has been chipping away at our First Amendment rights. Without most Americans realizing, they’ve placed almost as many hedges and restrictions around the First Amendment as they have the Second.

This has to stop. The freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any free society. Without it, a tyrant can do whatever he wants and those who oppose him won’t be able to speak out. That’s just what all too many of our “leaders” want today: to be able to do their evil deeds without a murmer of dissent from the public.

At AFDI, we are standing up and saying no. We are defending not just our own rights, but those of every American. In city after city, we are rolling back rules and regulations that for too long have allowed only one point of view to have a public hearing.

Enough is enough. If we don’t stand now for freedom, it could be lost to us forever. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the great cause of the defense of freedom. So do we.

“Federal Judge Orders SEPTA to Display ‘Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred’ Advertisement,” American Freedom Law Center, March 12, 2015:

Late yesterday, a federal judge sitting in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the American Freedom Law Center’s (AFLC) motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) refusal to run a “Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred” advertisement on its advertising space violated the First Amendment.  As part of his ruling, the judge ordered SEPTA to run the ad.  (Read the judge’s Memorandum Opinion here).

The motion was filed on behalf of the advertisement’s sponsors, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and its co-founders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and is part of a civil rights lawsuit filed against SEPTA last year.

In May of 2014, AFDI submitted the below advertisement for display on SEPTA’s advertising space:

Pro-Israel Ad

SEPTA rejected the ad, claiming that it “tends to disparage or ridicule any person or group of persons on the basis of race, religious belief, age, sex, alienage, national origin, sickness or disability.”

In its court filings, AFLC argued that SEPTA’s speech restriction is content- and viewpoint-based in violation of the First Amendment.  The federal judge agreed with AFLC on all of the issues presented, holding “that SEPTA’s anti-disparagement standard violates the First Amendment,” and stating further that he was “compelled to [reach this conclusion] under established First Amendment precedent.”

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented,

“AFLC has made it clear in lawsuits across the country that government censorship of speech will not stand in the face of serious judicial scrutiny.  Indeed, it is refreshing, but unfortunately rare these days, to have a case before a judge who is ‘compelled’ by the law and not by his only personal biases or political agenda when deciding important constitutional issues.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, added,

“Across the country, we have successfully litigated cases where government transit authorities permit the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations to run ads misleading the public about Jihad and Islamic Jew hatred.  When our clients run ads exposing this Jew hatred, all of a sudden the transit authorities are worried about the ‘tone’ of the conversation and attempt to shut it down.  A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose.  Act accordingly.”

Also see:

Jihad on the Offensive — on The Glazov Gang

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

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

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

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

Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 1-39

Read the entire Qur’an and its commentaries with us, then challenge the Obama admin and the media to do the same. (Read about the first Sura here.)

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 11, 2015:

Smell that? It’s Satan passing gas — the Qur’an’s second chapter must be being recited!

When you see the title of the Qur’an’s second chapter, Al-Baqara (“The Cow”), you might be tempted to think that it’s about . . . a cow. You’d be wrong. The chapters of the Qur’an generally take their titles from something recounted within them, even if it’s an insignificant detail. In this case, the chapter name comes from the story of Moses relaying Allah’s command to the Israelites that they sacrifice a cow (2:67-73), one of the Qur’an’s many stories from the Bible and Jewish tradition, altered and retold.

This is the longest chapter (sura) of the Qur’an — 286 verses. It begins the Qur’an’s general (but not absolute) pattern of being organized not chronologically or thematically, but simply running from the longest to the shortest chapters, with the exception of the Fatiha (sura 1), which has pride of place as the first sura because of its centrality in Islam.

This means that you should not take “The Cow” as the original, first, or primary message of Islam, simply because of its position. According to Islamic tradition, it actually dates from the latter part of Muhammad’s career, as it was revealed to Muhammad at Medina — to which he is supposed to have fled from Mecca in the year 622. In Medina for the first time, Muhammad became a political and military leader.

Islamic theologians generally regard Medinan suras as taking precedence over Meccan ones wherever there is a disagreement, in accord with verse 106 of this chapter of the Qur’an, in which Allah speaks about abrogating verses and replacing them with better ones. (This interpretation of verse 106, however, is not universally accepted. Some say it refers to the abrogation of nothing in the Qur’an, but only of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. More on that later.)

“The Cow” contains a great deal of important material for Muslims, and is held in high regard. The medieval Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir (whose commentary is still read and respected by Muslims) says that recitation of “The Cow” distresses Satan: he says that one of Muhammad’s early followers, Ibn Mas’ud, remarked that Satan “departs the house where Surat Al-Baqarah is being recited, and as he leaves, he passes gas.” Without Ibn Mas’ud’s poor taste, Muhammad himself says: “Satan runs away from the house in which Surah Baqara is recited.”

What Is Included in the Second Sura of the Qur’an?

“The Cow” begins with three Arabic letters: alif, lam, and mim. Many chapters of the Qur’an begin with three Arabic letters in this way, which has given rise to a considerable amount of mystical speculation as to what they might mean. But the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, another classic Qur’anic commentary, succinctly sums up the prevailing view: “God knows best what He means by these [letters].”

The verse immediately following those letters contains a key Islamic doctrine: “This is the Book about which there is no doubt.”

The Qur’an is not to be questioned or judged by any standard outside itself; rather, it is the standard by which all other things are to be judged.

The Qur’an Is Never To Be Doubted

That, of course, is not significantly different from the way many other religions regard their Holy Writ. But there has been no development in Islam of the historical and textual criticism that have transformed the ways Jews and Christians understand their scriptures today.

God-and-Gay-Christian1

(No books like this are allowed, for example.)

The Qur’an is a book never to be doubted, never to be questioned: when one Islamic scholar, Suliman Bashear, taught his students at An-Najah National University in Nablus that the Qur’an and Islam were the products of historical development rather than being delivered in perfect form to Muhammad, his students threw him out of the window of his classroom.

The Condemnation of Nonbelievers

“The Cow” then gets going with something we find again and again and again in the Qur’an: an extended disquisition on the perversity of those who reject belief in Allah. This one sounds several themes that will recur many, many times. The Qur’an, we’re told, is guidance to those who believe in what was revealed to Muhammad as well as in “what was revealed before” him (v. 4).

This refers to the Qur’an’s oft-stated assumption that it is the confirmation of the Torah and the Gospel, which teach the same message Muhammad is receiving in the Qur’anic revelations (see 5:44-48). When the Torah and Gospel were found not to agree with the Qur’an, the charge arose that Jews and Christians had corrupted their Scriptures — which is mainstream Islamic belief today.

The moderate Muslim Qur’an translator and commentator Muhammad Asad, a convert from Judaism, states it positively:

The religion of the Qur’an can be properly understood only against the background of the great monotheistic faiths which preceded it, and which, according to Muslim belief, culminate and achieve their final formulation in the faith of Islam.

Another theme in this part of “The Cow” is Allah’s absolute control over everything, even the choices of individual souls to believe in him or reject him:

“Indeed, those who disbelieve — it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.” (vv. 6-7).

Free Will Is Anathema

The Qadaris, a Muslim sect early in Islamic history, held that mankind had free will, and was thus capable of choosing to do good or evil. Their opponents maintained that Allah determined everything. While both sides had abundant Qur’anic citations to support their views, eventually Muslim authorities condemned Qadarism as a heresy, as it restricted Allah’s absolute sovereignty over all things. Thus those who reject faith do so because Allah wills them to reject faith, as per these verses, not because they have free choice. Says Ibn Kathir:

“These Ayat [verses] indicate that whomever Allah has written to be miserable, they shall never find anyone to guide them to happiness, and whomever Allah directs to misguidance, he shall never find anyone to guide him.” (A good, brief overview of the Qadari controversy can be found in the renowned Islamic scholar Ignaz Goldziher’s Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law.)

“The Cow” follows this up with a condemnation of hypocrites and false believers, who frequently bedeviled Muhammad during his career as a prophet (vv. 13-20). Then comes the assertion of the sublimity of the Qur’an, such that doubters are challenged to produce a sura like it if they refuse to believe its divine provenance (v. 23). This is a challenge many have taken up, but of course it is the kind of challenge that can never be successfully met in the eyes of those who issue it — “they could not produce the like of it” (17:88).

The Virgins in Paradise And the Story of Adam And Eve

2:25 introduces the famous gardens of Paradise, wherein the believers shall reside — you know the ones, with the virgins and all that. More on that later.

Then 2:30-39 tells the story of Adam and Eve, in a manner suggesting that the hearers of the recitation are already familiar with the story. Allah tells the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam (v. 34), a command that appears to depend upon the Biblical notion of mankind’s having been created in the image of God, although that idea does not appear here or anywhere else in the Qur’an or Islamic theology. According to Ibn Kathir, “Allah stated the virtue of Adam above the angels, because He taught Adam, rather than them, the names of everything.”

Satan refuses to prostrate himself, thereby becoming an unbeliever (v. 34), and tempts Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit. Allah promises revelations to guide mankind, warning them that those who ignore these revelations will be punished with hellfire.

We’ll be hearing that many, many more times as we go through the Qur’an.

The ‘Islamophobia’ Scam Returns

LEISURE USAFrontpage, March 6, 2015 by Robert Spencer:

In recent weeks, the terror group calling itself the Islamic State (aka ISIS and ISIL) has beheaded journalists and social workers, burned a pilot alive, and forced hundreds of captive women into sex slavery – all while citing Islamic texts to justify their actions and appeal for new recruits. A Muslim in the latest Islamic State beheading video cited two Qur’an verses (8:12 and 47:4) to refute “those who say [beheading] is cruel.” In New York Wednesday, a Muslim was found guilty of plotting to bomb the New York subway system. The previous day in London, a woman from Nigeria pleaded for asylum, as she faces certain death if she returns to her homeland: an Islamic court has sentenced her to die for being lesbian.

All this and a great deal more like it – a daily horror show of jihad attacks and plots, boasts of coming catastrophic attacks in the West, declarations of imminent conquest, and more, all carried out by people claiming to represent the truest and purest form of Islam  is why, according to a poll released last summer, only twenty-seven percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslims. Yet as far as the hard-Left Center for American Progress (CAP) is concerned, people aren’t suspicious of Muslims and Islam because of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, but because of “the efforts of a small cadre of funders and misinformation experts” which were amplified by an echo chamber of the religious right, conservative media, grassroots organizations, and politicians who sought to introduce a fringe perspective on American Muslims into the public discourse.”

This claim appears in the CAP’s new edition of its “Islamophobia” reportFear, Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America,” by Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, and Ken Sofer. It might seem to be peculiarly tone-deaf of the CAP to release this report while the Islamic State is horrifying the world and attacks by lone jihadis (and regular threats that more are on the way) are becoming more frequent in the West, but that is most likely why they felt they had to release it now: with reality threatening to break through their fog of disinformation, they have to pour on more dry ice. 

It wasn’t accidental that Hitler’s Reich had an entire Ministry of Propaganda: lying to the public is a major job, as the cleverest of propaganda constructs is always threatened by the simple facts. CAP is trying to compel non-Muslims to disregard what they see every day — Muslims committing violence against non-Muslims and justifying it by referring to Islamic texts — and instead embrace a fictional construct: Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance. This takes a relentless barrage of propaganda, and “Fear, Inc. 2.0” is just the latest in a steady stream from CAP and its allies, which are exponentially wealthier and better-funded than the groups CAP vilifies in this report

“Fear, Inc. 2.0” is filled with assertions that white is black, and that your lying eyes are deceiving you. We’re told that I myself am “the primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent and that violent extremism is inherent within traditional Islam. CAP doesn’t offer any evidence for this being a “myth” – it doesn’t have to, as its Leftist constituency takes that as self-evident. 

But CAP flatters me, as it flatters all of us named in “Fear, Inc. 2.0,” simply by suggesting that we have such persuasive power that we can create a nationwide climate of hate and fear against MuslimsI cannot accept their proffered honor of being the “primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent.” Innumerable others have noted the same reality, including Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad. In his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, he quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: “Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book…is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.” Nyazee concludes: “This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation” of non-Muslims.

But neither Nyazee nor Ibn Rushd are prominent enough to claim the role of “primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent.” How about the Ayatollah Khomeini, who said: “There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.” Better yet, how about Muhammad himself, who is depicted in a hadith saying: “I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought.” (Bukhari 1.31)

Another “don’t believe your lying eyes” moment in “Fear, Inc. 2.0” occurs when the report charges the David Horowitz Freedom Center with promoting “the myth that Muslim extremists infiltrated an array of political organizations on both the left and the right. How about the White House? In December 2012, while the Muslim Brotherhood was still in power in Egypt, the Egyptian magazine Rose El-Youssef boasted that Brotherhood infiltrators in the Obama Administration had changed American policy “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

It may have been an empty boast, but that would be hard to prove in light of Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Similarly, the CAP report claims (quoting Nathan Brown, a George Washington University professor) that the notorious captured internal Muslim Brotherhood document detailing U.S. Muslim groups’ strategy to work toward “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house” was “the daydream of one enthusiast.” Brown doesn’t explain why a copy of this “daydream” turned up in the offices of the Holy Land Foundation (once the largest Islamic charity in the United States, shut down for funding Hamas) years after it was first written, but an even more telling indication that Brown and CAP are the enthusiasts doing the daydreaming when they dismiss this report is the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups work indefatigably to oppose virtually every counter-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented. Stigmatizing defense against the jihad threat as “bigotry” isn’t trying to “sabotage its miserable house”? Pull my other leg.

I hope the next CAP report will focus on how the “Islamophobes” are so devastatingly effective that they have even been able to infiltrate mosques and Islamic schools, so as to convince young Muslims that the Islamic State is authentically Islamic and has a claim on their loyalties: over 20,000 foreign Muslims have now traveled from all over the world to join the Islamic State, indicating either that imams and other Muslim authorities are singularly failing to communicate to all too many young Muslims the true, peaceful Islam that CAP will charge you with “hatred” and “bigotry” for not believing exists, or that the “Islamophobes” have a reach far greater than Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, and Ken Sofer ever imagined even in their worst fever dreams.

I also hope that new CAP report will address motive. Nowhere does “Fear, Inc. 2.0” explain why these fiendish “Islamophobes” would care to devote their lives to spreading hatred and fear of a noble, oppressed minority group. Apparently they want us to believe that it’s for the money, but since CAP’s budget is so very much larger than those of all the “Islamophobic” groups combined, if money is all it’s about then the “Islamophobes” would be well-advised to run up the white flag and pick up a copy of How to Get Rich By Betraying One’s Friends and Principles, by David Brock. So is it racism? Then where are the supposedly well-organized, well-heeled groups of smear and fear merchants who are dedicating their time to vilifying Hindus, or Buddhists, or Mormons, or Hard-Shell Baptists?

The effect, intended or not, of the CAP report and others like it is clear enough. When CAP and its cohorts smear those who speak out against jihad and Islamic supremacism as “bigots” and “hatemongers,” they intimidate others into backtrackingapologizing, and looking the other way when they should instead be pressing the Muslim community to address the jihad problem realistically and back up its pro-forma condemnations of terrorism with honest work against the Islamic teachings that jihadists use to justify terror.

The perfect world for the likes of Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, Ken Sofer and other Islamophobia-mongers would be one in which no one speaks up against jihad violence and Islamic supremacism: they have never, ever seen a counter-jihadist for whom they had any positive words. This would render the U.S. and the West in general mute and hence defenseless before the advancing jihad. As the blood and chaos spreads, will Duss and his cohorts stand up and take a bow?

Robert Spencer in PJM: How The Western Intelligentsia Denies Islam’s History of War and Crime

juancole-300x174Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 5, 2015:

Over at PJ Media, I explore how voices on both “Left” and “Right” want you to stick your head in the sand and ignore centuries of imperialism and brutality.

The Western intelligentsia is very, very anxious to make sure that you have a positive view of Islam. Thus we see a steady stream of articles in the mainstream media assuring you that the Qur’an is benign, the U.S. Constitution is Sharia-compliant, and the Islamic State is not Islamic. These articles come in a steady stream, and they have to, because they are asking non-Muslims to disregard what they see every day — Muslims committing violence against non-Muslims and justifying it by referring to Islamic texts — and instead embrace a fictional construct: Islam the religion of peace and tolerance.

This takes a relentless barrage of propaganda, because with every new jihad atrocity, reality threatens to break through. It wasn’t accidental that Hitler’s Reich had an entire Ministry of Propaganda: lying to the public is a full-time job, as the cleverest of propaganda constructs is always threatened by the simple facts. This propaganda not just from the Left (the Huffington Post, Salon, etc.), but also from the Right, or at least the Right-leaning media (Forbes); it seems as if whatever divides Americans politically, they’re all united on one point: Islam is just great, and only bigoted, racist “Islamophobes” think otherwise.

Yet the pains that must be taken to establish this betray the futility of the enterprise. A sampling: establishment academic Juan Cole, a Board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has been established in court as a front group lobbying for the Islamic regime in Iran, pointed out last Tuesday in The Nation that Rudy Giuliani and Paul Wolfowitz had taken issue with Barack Obama over whether Islamic terrorism was really Islamic, and asserted that this question was “actually about what philosophers call ‘essentialism,’ and, as Giuliani’s and Wolfowitz’s own interventions make clear, it is about absolving the United States for its own role in producing the violent so-called ‘Caliphate’ of Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.”

Oh, really? Yet I readily agree with Cole that Bush’s removal of Saddam Hussein and naive trust that a stable Western-style republic would take its place was ill-considered, as I argued back in March 2003. And the Islamic State filled the vacuum thus created. But this is an entirely separate question from that of whether the Islamic State has anything to do with Islam or not. Whatever Paul Wolfowitz or Rudy Giuliani said or did is simply irrelevant to the question Cole claims to be investigating: if Giuliani and Wolfowitz are right that Islamic jihadis have something to do with Islam, that does nothing whatsoever to absolve the U.S. “for its own role in producing the violent so-called ‘Caliphate’ of Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.”

As for “essentialism,” Cole added:

“Essentialism when applied to human groups is always an error and always a form of bigotry. Zionists bombed the King David Hotel in British Mandate Palestine in 1948, killing dozens of civilians and some British intelligence officials. If a British official had responded then by arguing that ‘everyone knows that Judaism has something to do with what we’re fighting,’ it would be fairly clear what that official thought about Jews in general.”

“Essentialism when applied to human groups” may be “always an error and always a form of bigotry,” but when applied to belief systems it is not. Cole is, perhaps deliberately, conflating Islam and Muslims, and claiming that to speak of what Islam is and is not, which is established by reference to Islamic texts and teachings, is to make a bigoted judgment against all Muslims. Islam in all its forms teaches certain things. Its teachings are knowable. To speak about Muslims acting upon them, when they themselves explain and justify their actions by referring to those actions, is not bigotry, despite the endless charges to the contrary from leftists and Islamic supremacists. It is simply to notice reality.

Cole then embarks upon a labored argument to establish that the Salafi jihadis are a “sect” and a “destructive cult,” charging anyone who disagrees with him with the cardinal sin of “Orientalism,” claiming that “it is now typically forgotten that in the early twentieth century the Ku Klux Klan was a Protestant religious organization or that it came to power in the state of Indiana in the 1920s and comprised 30 percent of native-born white men there. It was a large social movement, with elements of the destructive cult, in the heart of North America. More recent groups such as Jim Jones’s People’s Temple and David Koresh’s Branch Davidians may have begun as high-tension sects, but at a certain point they became destructive cults. The refusal to see ISIL in these terms is just a form of Orientalism, a way of othering the Middle East and marking its culture as inherently threatening.”

Cole here ignores, of course, the fact that the KKK, the People’s Temple and the Branch Davidians represented obvious deviations from Protestant Christianity, and were condemned as such. The Islamic State and jihadists have likewise been condemned by Muslim authorities, but these condemnations have all too often rung hollow: Tahir ul-Qadri’s vaunted 300-page fatwa against terrorism doesn’t even mentionthe passages of the Qur’an that exhort believers to violence against unbelievers; and the recent “Letter to Baghdadi” from Muslim scholars to the self-styled caliph of the Islamic State endorsed central concepts of jihad doctrine that Western analysts usually think are limited only to “extremists.” Cole likewise ignores the fact that all the traditional schools of Islamic jurisprudence (madhahib) teach that the umma has the responsibility to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. It is not “othering the Middle East” to point this out — it is simply noting the severe limitations of Cole’s analogy.

Ultimately Cole’s argument rests on “essentialism” — that is, the idea that anything really is anything, as opposed to anything else. That this is nonsense, and that Cole knows it’s nonsense, is shown by this very article: Cole assumes that he and his readers both know what the KKK is and the People’s Temple and the Branch Davidians are, but Islam? — a mystery, and you’re a bigoted Orientalist Islamophobe if you think otherwise. In any case, even if one grants that Islam has no essence, nonetheless the Islamic State jihadis claim to be acting in accord with Islam, and make their case based upon an interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah that is well established in Islamic history and theology. The fact that other Muslims have a different understanding of Islam doesn’t negate this.

Even worse, Cole claims that the Islamic State “is put under the sign of religion, but it is in fact a form of nationalism appealing to medieval religious symbols.”

To claim that the Islamic State is a form of nationalism leads inevitably to the question: which nation? And that’s where Cole’s analysis is most absurd: the Islamic State is not nationalistic in any sense. It is neither Iraqi nor Syrian, for it has erased the border between the two. It is, in fact, the most internationalist of movements, with over 20,000 Muslims from all over the world traveling to Iraq and Syria to join it. The only nation that the Islamic State could conceivably be said to be fighting for is the international Muslim nation, the worldwide umma — but Cole can’t acknowledge that, as it would be granting the point he is trying clumsily to rule out.

Even clumsier, however, was Cole’s counterpart on the (relative) Right, Loren Thompson of Forbes. Thompson began his case that the Islamic State is not Islamic by noting that “when you do the math, it appears that the ‘addressable market’ for ISIS ideas is 5% of the global Muslim community, and as of today most of that market isn’t buying.” Yes, and the Bolsheviks were never a majority in Russia, and the National Socialists never won an absolute majority in a German election. But where is the Muslim pushback against this organized, energized vanguard? We have recently seen hundreds of thousands of Muslims demonstrate against cartoons of Muhammad; there have not been any Muslim demonstrations, however, against the Islamic State — much less efforts to teach against its understanding of Islam in Muslim communities.

Thompson’s case went downhill from there. His second point against the Islamic character of the Islamic State was that “non-Muslims have committed similar atrocities.” But of course, the fact that there is “nothing uniquely Islamic” about what the Islamic State does in no way establishes that its behavior isn’t sanctioned and justified by Islamic texts and teachings….

Read the rest here.

THE WORLDWIDE MUST-READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 1, ‘The Opening’

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, March 5, 2015:

See Introduction here

The Fatiha (Opening) is the first sura (chapter) of the Qur’an, and most common prayer of Islam. If you’re a pious Muslim who prays the five requisite daily prayers of Islam, you will recite the Fatiha seventeen times in the course of those prayers.

According to an Islamic tradition, the Muslim prophet Muhammad said that the Fatiha surpassed anything revealed by Allah (“the God” in Arabic, and the word for God used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews, as well as Muslims) in the Torah, the Gospel, or the rest of the Qur’an. And indeed, it efficiently and eloquently encapsulates many of the principal themes of the Qur’an and Islam in general: Allah as the “Lord of the worlds,” who alone is to be worshiped and asked for help, the merciful judge of every soul on the Last Day.

In Islamic theology, Allah is the speaker of every word of the Qur’an. Some have found it strange that Allah would say something like “Praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds,” but Islamic tradition holds that Allah revealed this prayer to Muhammad early in his career as a prophet (which began in the year 610 AD, when he received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Gabriel — a revelation that is now contained in the Qur’an’s 96th chapter), so that the Muslims would know how to pray.

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It is for its last two verses that the Fatiha is of most concern to non-Muslims.

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A Shi’ite imam, Husham Al-Husainy, ignited controversy back in 2007 by paraphrasing this passage during a prayer at a Democratic National Committee winter meeting, giving the impression that he was praying that the assembled pols convert to Islam. Then Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque prayed the Fatiha at the Texas State Senate, giving rise to the same concerns [4].

The final two verses of the Fatiha ask Allah:

Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

The traditional Islamic understanding of this is that the “straight path” is Islam — cf. Islamic apologist John Esposito’s book Islam: The Straight Path — while the path “of those who have evoked Allah’s anger” are the Jews, and those who have gone “astray” are the Christians.

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The classic Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir explains that “the two paths He described here are both misguided,” and that those “two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why ‘anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as ‘led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians.”

Ibn Kathir’s understanding of this passage is not a lone “extremist” interpretation. In fact, most Muslim commentators believe that the Jews are those who have earned Allah’s wrath and the Christians are those who have gone astray.

This is the view of Tabari, Zamakhshari, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn , the Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, and Ibn Arabi, as well as Ibn Kathir. One contrasting, but not majority view, is that of Nisaburi, who says that “those who have incurred Allah’s wrath are the people of negligence, and those who have gone astray are the people of immoderation.”

Wahhabis drew criticism a few years back for adding “such as the Jews” and “such as the Christians” into parenthetical glosses on this passage in Qur’ans printed in Saudi Arabia.

Some Western commentators imagined that the Saudis originated this interpretation, and indeed the whole idea of Qur’anic hostility toward Jews and Christians. They found it inconceivable that Muslims all over the world would learn as a matter of course that the central prayer of their faith anathematizes Jews and Christians.

But unfortunately, this interpretation is venerable and mainstream in Islamic theology. The printing of the interpretation in parenthetical glosses into a translation would be unlikely to affect Muslim attitudes, since the Arabic text is always and everywhere normative in any case, and since so many mainstream commentaries contain the idea that the Jews and Christians are being criticized here.

Seventeen times a day, by the pious.

Please note that I am not saying that the anti-Jewish and anti-Christian interpretation of the Fatiha is the “correct” one. While I don’t believe that religious texts are infinitely malleable and can be made to mean whatever the reader wants them to mean, as some apparently do, in this case Nisaburi’s reading has as much to commend it as the other: there is nothing in the text itself that absolutely compels one to believe that it is talking about Jews and Christians. And it is noteworthy that in his massive and evocatively named 30-volume commentary on the Qur’an, Fi Zilal al-Qur’an (In the Shade of the Qur’an), the twentieth-century jihad theorist Sayyid Qutb doesn’t mention Jews or Christians in connection with this passage.

At the same time, however, the idea in Islam that Jews have earned Allah’s anger and Christians have gone astray doesn’t depend on this passage alone. The Jews have earned Allah’s “wrath upon wrath” by rejecting Muhammad (2:87-90), and the Christians have gone astray by holding to the divinity of Christ: “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary’”(5:72).

The Hadith, the traditions of the words and deeds of Muhammad and the early Muslims, also contains material linking Jews to Allah’s anger and Christians to his curse, which resulting from their straying from the true path. (The Jews are accursed also, according to Qur’an 2:89, and both are accursed according to 9:30). One hadith recounts that an early Muslim, Zaid bin ‘Amr bin Nufail, in his travels met with Jewish and Christian scholars. The Jewish scholar told him, “You will not embrace our religion unless you receive your share of Allah’s Anger,” and the Christian said, “You will not embrace our religion unless you get a share of Allah’s Curse.” Zaid, needless to say, became a Muslim.

In light of these and similar passages it shouldn’t be surprising that many Muslim commentators have understood the Fatiha to be referring to Jews and Christians.

A Worldwide Must-Read: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an

Obama gambled the world’s fate on a belief that “real,” peaceful Islam can overtake the jihadists. Now — as Bibi exhorted — we’re out of time. We must read the Qur’an, every page, and understand how the world’s Muslims interpret and teach it.

PJ Media, By Robert Spencer On March 3, 2015:

Back in 2007 and 2008, I ran a weekly feature at my website Jihad Watch: “Blogging the Qur’an.” Now, with the Obama administration repeatedly reiterating the claim that Islam is fundamentally peaceful and that promoting its true and benign face will ultimately conquer the global jihad, it is time to revive it.

Here at PJ Media I’ll be presenting a new, revised version of the series.

Why Read the Qur’an

To understand the motives and goals of Islamic jihad terrorists, a good place to start is to explore what they themselves say about why they’re doing what they’re doing, and what they want. That leads directly to the Qur’an (or Koran), the Islamic holy book.

The jihadists quote the Qur’an frequently and portray themselves as those who are following “pure Islam,” the genuine article as it is taught in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition. Yet Islamic groups in the West — such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations — insist that the jihadis are misusing the Qur’an, and that non-Muslim analysts who trace the jihadis’ activity to the Qur’an are “cherry-picking” violent passages and quoting them “out of context.”

The Obama administration has crafted its entire Middle East foreign policy based on this claim.

Obama speaking at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 2009

Obama speaking at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 2009

From Nigeria to Iran, the administration believes that promoting the “in-context,” complete message of the Qur’an will bring about a peaceful, safer Middle East.

So we’re going to read the Qur’an. All of it. Nothing “cherry-picked” or “out of context.”

And we’re going to invite elected officials, journalists, and other newsmakers who have made public claims about the nature of Islam to debate and read along with us.

The inspiration for this, back in 2007, was David Plotz’s series on Slate, “Blogging the Bible.” But this series will be fundamentally different than that one: rather than just write about what I think or feel about a certain passage, as Plotz did regarding his own thoughts, I will refer to commentaries — all Muslim ones — on the Qur’an.

I’ll try to explain how mainstream Muslims who study the Qur’an will understand any given passage.

This is important, and is the only point in doing this: I will be posting on what the major translations and commentaries used by the world’s Muslims have to say about the Qur’an.

Not what I say, not what the Obama administration says, not what the terror-tied CAIR says, not what John Kerry says.

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Written by Allah vs. Written by Men

Here is a good Arabic/English text. In Islamic theology, the Qur’an is essentially and inherently an “Arabic Qur’an” (as the Qur’an describes itself repeatedly: see 12:2; 20:113; 39:28; 41:3; 41:44; 42:7; and 43:3). In Islamic belief, the Qur’an’s meaning can be rendered in other languages, but those translations are not the Qur’an, which when no longer in Arabic is no longer itself. Some Muslim scholars even claim that the Qur’an cannot be fully understood except in Arabic.

But the blizzard of translations made by Muslims for Muslims who don’t speak Arabic — who are the great majority around the world today — as well as to proselytize among non-Muslims belies that claim.

Two of the most popular and widely used English translations of the Qur’an were written by Muslims: Abdullah Yusuf Ali, and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. Those can be found here, along with four other translations by Muslims and four by non-Muslims.

What Is the Qur’an?

The Qur’an is, according to Islamic thought, a perfect copy of a book that has existed eternally with Allah, the one true God, in Paradise: “Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand. And indeed it is, in the Mother of the Book with Us, exalted and full of wisdom.” (43:3-4). According to Islamic tradition, the angel Gabriel revealed it in sections to Muhammad (570-632), an Arabian merchant. Like Jesus, Muhammad left the written recording of his messages to others.

Unlike Jesus, Muhammad did not originate his message, but only served as its conduit. The Qur’an is, for Muslims, the pure Word of Allah.

They point to its poetic character as proof that it did not originate with Muhammad, whom they say was illiterate, but with the Almighty, who dictated every word. The average Muslim believes that everything in the book is absolutely true and that its message is applicable in all times and places.

This is a stronger claim than Christians make for the Bible.

When Christians of whatever tradition say that the Bible is “God’s Word,” they don’t mean that God spoke it word-for-word and that it’s free of all human agency — instead, there is the idea of “inspiration,” that God breathed through human authors, working through their human knowledge to communicate what he wished to communicate.

But for Muslims, the Qur’an is more than inspired.

There is not and could not be a passage in the Qur’an like I Corinthians 1:14-17 in the New Testament, where Paul says: “I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.)”

Paul’s faulty memory demonstrates the human element of the New Testament, which for Christians does not negate, but exists alongside the texts’ inspired character. But in the Qur’an, Allah is the only speaker throughout (with a few notable exceptions).

Only Allah Speaks in the Qur’an

There is no human element. The book is the pure and unadulterated divine word.

Allah himself tells him this, in the Qur’an itself: “And indeed, it is a mighty Book. Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy.” (41:41-2). It is “an Arabic Qur’an, without any deviance that they might become righteous.” (39:28). In short, “it is the truth of certainty.” (69:51). Allah, speaking in a royal plural that does not, according to Muslim theologians, compromise his absolute unity, proclaims that “indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” (15:9).

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Understanding the Qur’an Requires Knowledge of Muslim Traditions

Yet even though the Qur’an says it includes “clarification for all things” (16:89), reading it is not always easy. Since so much of it consists of Allah speaking with Muhammad, it is often rather like listening in on a conversation between two people you don’t know, talking about events with which you were uninvolved. Even though a surprisingly large amount of what the Qur’an says is said more than once, still often the reader can’t figure out what’s being said, or why, without reference to Muslim tradition.

Also, it has no overarching narrative unity, although there are smaller narrative units within many chapters. With the exception of the brief first chapter (sura), its 114 chapters are arranged from the longest to the shortest.

In the longer chapters, stories are told, laws are given, and warnings to unbelievers are issued, but in them and throughout the book, there is no chronological or narrative continuity. The shorter suras, meanwhile, particularly those near the end of the book that run only a few lines, are poetic and arresting warnings of the impending divine judgment. The longer ones, by contrast, are often ponderous and repetitive — and filled also with similar warnings against unbelievers.

By the end of this journey, I believe we will see more clearly what makes the jihadists tick — and also perhaps understand what we can and must do to resist them.

In the original edition of this series I wrote: “I welcome feedback and criticism in the comments section, in e-mail correspondence, and on other blogs, and will answer questions and respond to the most thoughtful comments, criticism, and challenges.” Above all, I welcome criticism and feedback from Muslims who dispute the understandings of the Qur’an that I will report in this series.

Hamas-linked CAIR says that it’s committed to “dialogue.” Yet neither they nor their allies ever engage in honest dialogue and discussion with those whom they consider their foes.

I invite them here yet again to that discussion.

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

Who Is to Blame for the Chapel Hill Murders? The Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Industry?

Accused: Craig Hicks, 46, is pictured entering the courtroom for his first appearance at the Durham County Detention Center on Wednesday, after he allegedly shot the three students to death on Tuesday

Accused: Craig Hicks, 46, is pictured entering the courtroom for his first appearance at the Durham County Detention Center on Wednesday, after he allegedly shot the three students to death on Tuesday

PJ Media, By Robert Spencer On February 13, 2015:

Muslims are under siege in the U.S. — don’t you know that? Roving bands of Islamophobes routinely harass and threaten innocent Muslims, and a well-heeled Islamophobia Network spends millions to demonize and vilify Muslims in the American public discourse. Things have gotten so bad that pious Muslim women fear to wear their hijabs in public – and when they do, they’re spat upon and worse. The climate of fear and hatred that the Islamophobes have so assiduously whipped up culminated in the horrific murder last Tuesday of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by a psychopath seething with hatred for Muslims.

That’s the way numerous leftists and Muslims see life in Barack Obama’s America, but in reality, that scenario is almost wholly false. A psychopath really did murder three Muslims in Chapel Hill last Tuesday, but the rest is pure leftist mythmaking, providing an illustrative example of how the Left and the mainstream media ignore inconvenient facts and bend others in order to further their chosen narrative.

Who is Craig Hicks?

The problems with this narrative are many. From the looks of his Facebook page, Hicks is hardly the right-wing, anti-Muslim Islamophobic redneck of their hysterical fantasies; instead, he is a hardcore leftist and fan of the Huffington Post and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those two are among his huge and revealing list of “Likes,” which shows him much more preoccupied with Christianity than with Islam. He likes the atheists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Bill Maher, all of whom have criticized Islam, but his page includes none of their statements about Islam. He likes many anti-Christian groups but no groups that are critical of Islam, and he even likes a group called “Obama Backs Mosque Near Ground Zero: ‘This is America,’” praising Obama for supporting the Ground Zero Mosque.

Other “Likes” from Hicks’ Facebook page include Bill Nye The Science Guy; Sarah Silverman; Penn & Teller: Bullshit!; Stop the World, the Teabaggers Want Off; LGBT / Atheist Alliance; Scary Bible Quote of the Day; World Atheists: Lets Kick Islam and Christianity out of Africa; Merry christmyth; Pass The 28th Amendment – Complete Removal Of The Church From The State; The Rachel Maddow Fan Page; Pissing Off The Religious Right; Keep your Bible out of our Vaginas; Mitt Romney Sucks; Separation of Church and State; Still here? Silly Christians; Jesus McChrist; Denying Evolution Won’t Make Your God Any More Real; Dogs Against Romney; The Atheist’s Bible Commentary; Organization for Educating Misinformed Tea Party Patriots; GOPHypocrisy; Liberals Against Conservative Propaganda; Arrest the Pope and Tax Religion; Not wasting my Sundays at church; Network for Church Monitoring; Dominionism is destroying America; Christians vs. Atheists; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Stop The Westboro Baptist Church!; and many, many more. Oh, and Gun Toting Liberal.

He likes no anti-Islam groups, and his Facebook page contains no criticism of Islam other than one comparison of “Radical Christians” and “Radical Muslims.” From the looks of all this at least, if Craig Hicks had been planning to commit a hate crime, it seems much more likely that he would have targeted “right-wingers,” Republicans, evangelical Christians, etc., than that he would have targeted Muslims because they were Muslims.

What’s more, Hicks’ wife has said:

I can say with absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion of the victims’ faith, but it was related to a longstanding parking dispute that my husband had with the neighbors.

These killings were over parking, not Islam

The Chapel Hill Police said the same thing: these killings were over parking, not Islam. Karen Hicks added that her husband “often champions on his Facebook page for the rights of individuals. … He believes everyone is equal – doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are or what you believe.” U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand stated Wednesday:

“The events of yesterday are not part of a targeting campaign against Muslims in North Carolina,” and that there was “no information this is part of an organized event against Muslims.”

It is demonic madness to murder people over a parking space, but it is not the seismic event that the cold-blooded murder of three Muslims solely because they were Muslims would be. And so many decided to go with the old adage from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

 

The father of one of the victims insisted: “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.” He said his daughter told him: “Honest to God, he hates us for what we are and how we look.”

Is the sky falling on accusations of Islamophobia?

Curious that Craig Hicks would seethe with such hatred for Muslims that it would move him to murder, and yet never mention this hatred to his wife of seven years or give a hint of it on his Facebook page, where so many of his hates were on abundant display. Nonetheless, it was time to turn the legend into fact: Nihad Awad of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) thundered:

Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case.

Duke professor Omid Safi (who is so nakedly dishonest that he once claimed that I had threatened to kill him) assumed that speculation was fact as he lamented:

There is a tendency to say, “This is a nice place, these eruptions of violence don’t belong here.” And yet here we are. This is, in all of the heartbreak and violence and sadness, where we are.

Islamic supremacist activist Linda Sarsour said the murder “sends a message to other young people in the Muslim community that the fear is valid.” Abed Ayoub of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) linked the killings to the film American Sniper (which Craig Hicks actually probably hates):

It may not be directly linked to the film, but the overall way that Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment are moving in this country is portrayed in the words of those who watched American Sniper. The film gave us a look into how these individuals were feeling and for the first time we were getting raw, real messages – and they were frightening.

Where is the evidence of a hate crime?

Why did these activists and so many others assume that the killings were hate crimes despite the lack of any evidence that they were? Because for all their lamentations, they actually want and need hate crimes against Muslims, and in the absence of any significant number of actual ones, they have to invent them. Hamas-linked CAIR and other Muslims have on many occasions in the past not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes,” including attacks on mosques.

Hamas-linked CAIR and other groups like it use hate crimes against Muslims to try to gain political points: Muslims are victims, you see, and part of their victimhood is that they’re subjected to unwarranted law enforcement scrutiny. Attacks on innocent victims can be and are used to try to deflect attention away from the reality of jihad terror and to blunt law enforcement efforts to stop that jihad terror. Hate crimes against Muslims are used as weapons to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror, for it will lead to the victimization of innocent Muslims. And so when Muslims are killed for any reason, as in this heinous crime in North Carolina, these disingenuous opportunists run with “hate crime” claims, no matter how much they have to trim the facts to do so.

It’s a far more well-financed and well-oiled machine than the fictional “Islamophobia Network” of leftist and Islamic supremacist myth – witness the growing avalanche of mainstream media stories lamenting “Islamophobia” after Hicks’ “Islamophobic” killings. The facts don’t matter; how they can be twisted to prey on people’s emotions and manipulate policy is all that does matter. We have seen this machine roll into especially cynical operation in the case of the psychopath Craig Hicks.

Related at the PJ Tatler: Obama: FBI Probing Possible Hate-Crimes Violation in Muslim Students’ Murders