Brigitte Gabriel and Zuhdi Jasser disagree on the idea of instilling Jeffersonian Democratic Ideals in the Middle East

In the first video they seem to agree on the nature of threat from the rise in Islamic terrorism and lack of moderate Muslim condemnation of it. In the second video however a point of contention arises over why moderates are not speaking out. Zuhdi believes it is due to a lack of committed, sustained American leadership to help Muslims “evolve into a Jeffersonian type Democracy” over a period of generations (nation building) “Brigitte is shaking her head “No”. She says you must first confront the ideology driving radicalization. Watch…

Brigitte Gabriel Explains the Rise of Jihad

 

Why has jihadist threat escalated in last 3 years?

 

 

On Hannity Show Brigitte Gabriel and Ali Sina Agree that ISLAM is the problem

A discussion of Boko Haram led to an examination of the ideology that motivates them. Ali Sina explained that he left Islam when he read the Quran and realized how evil it was. He went on to say that most Muslims have not read the Quran and moderate Muslims such as Zuhdi Jasser are not telling the truth about Islam.

BrigitteBrigitte Gabriel explained that it is Islamic ideology which subjugates women and persecutes Christians that is motivating Boko Haram. She said she goes into Arabic chat rooms online and sees them laughing at us and our twitter hashtag campaign, #BringBackOurGirls.

Ali Sina asserted that political correctness is what prevents us from admitting that the problem is Islam…not radical Islam or Wahhabi Islam or extreme islam…just ISLAM and the example of Mohammed.

When asked if she agreed, Brigitte cited a 2006 Pentagon study that came to the conclusion that Islam was the problem but the media avoided it as if it was” nuclear and harmful to your health” She then asserted that it is the ideology “coming straight from the mouth of Mohammed” that is driving Boko Haram and radicals always win in debates with moderates because they quote doctrine supporting their case. She went on to say that In the Arabic world it is an insult to say “moderate Islam” or “radical Islam”…there is only one Islam. “Moderate Islam is an American verbiage” that we came up because we could not believe that this was coming out of a religion.

This is a departure from Brigitte’s long time use of the term ‘Radical Islam” in her writings and lectures.

Listen to the podcast here:

http://www.iheart.com/talk/show/24392822/?episode_id=26883064

Click on this one:

Tue, May 20th, 2014 Hour 3

May 20, 2014 | 32 min

Air Force Vet Anthony Coleman discusses the poor treatment he received from the VA Hospital in AZ; Brigitte Gabriel and Ali Sina discuss the terrorist group Boko Haram

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Zuhdi Jasser, seems to negate as historically unreliable anything negative about Mohammed and still professes him to be “the best example for man”. Is this a heartfelt conviction or a political calculation? If you want to know more about Zuhdi Jasser, a very insightful article was written by Andrew Harrod when he reviewed Jasser’s book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam”.

Watch this 2011 debate between Spencer and Jasser moderated by Andrew McCarthy:

 

Ali Sina actually had an interesting twitter conversation with Zuhdi Jasser recently which he wrote about. Jasser defends his version of Islam with whether it is politically expedient not whether it is true. He seems to be promoting “Jeffersonian Liberty” not Islam.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: The Deception of Moderate Islam by Ali Sina May 9, 2014

Zuhdi-Jasser1-300x223These days the discussion everywhere is about the 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria and offered for sale by the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram. And guess who the media is turning to for answers! The self-proclaimed “moderate Muslim” Dr. Zuhdi Jasser! He will tell the Americans that slavery has nothing to do with Islam and terrorism is un-Islamic.

He sent a tweet announcing that he had been invited by Fox News for an interview. I sent him a tweet, congratulating him for having another chance to bamboozle the American public. Here is our mini debate on twitter.

Dr. Jasser is under the delusion that if he shows Muslims the superiority of American constitution they will abandon the Quran. Nothing can be further from the truth. Muslims follow the Quran not because it is good, ethical or even logical, but because they think it is the unaltered word of God. That is the end of discussion. If Dr. Jasser really knows Islam and Muslim he should know that for them the Quran is the ultimate authority. It is ridiculous to expect them to turn their back to Allah and his messenger and follow a non-Muslim American president. Is he really this deluded or is he deceiving his audience? But let us see the rest of our tweets.

Dr. Jasser’s says by highlighting the evil teaching of the Quran I am radicalizing Muslims. So for 1400 years Muslims lived peacefully, like angels, until I began pointing out the hate and the violence in the Quran. It is then that they became radicalized.

This is really what he thinks. I heard this argument numerous times. This is the typical Muslim thinking. They blame their victim for their violence. By virtue of following a narcissist, Muslims share his psychosis and reason like their prophet.

I tried to show the fallacy of his argument with the following question.

There you have it. One he saw he can’t defend his absurd argument he ended the discussion. Of course Islam is violent. Of course the Boko Haram is not doing anything that Muhammad did not do. Muhammad made immense fortunes by enslaving women and children and selling them or ransoming them in exchange with money.

The truth is that Zuhdi Jasser and his Canadian counterpart, Tarek Fatah, a closet Ahamdi not even recognized as a Muslim, have no effect on Muslims. Not only are they not converting the radicals to moderates, they will most likely be killed just like any apostate, if they go to a real Islamic country.

Muslims don’t care how others interpret the Quran. They are not illiterate. They can read for themselves. Those who read the Quran and Tafseer know that the so called radicals have the correct understanding of the Quran. The solution to end the Islamic violence is not to lie more and claim Muhammad was a man of peace. The solution is to tell them the truth and show them that the Al Qaida, the Wahhabis and the mullahs of Iran are the real Muslims. The differences between them are superficial. They perfectly understand the spirit and the essence of Islam and follow the examples of Muhammad. It is my belief as well as experience that most Muslims, once see the ugly truth, will leave Islam.

That is how we can put an end to Islamic violence, with truth, not with more lies. But truth is ugly, so most people prefer lies. But lies are only a mask covering the truth. That is why Zuhdi Jasser and Tark Fatah get invited by the Media and ex-Muslims are ignored.

This reminds me of a joke. A man lost his keys in the dark, unable to see anything, he went farther away searching they under the light. When his friend said, but you lost them over there, he replied, “here I can see better”. Our politicians and the media love to interview the “moderate Muslims” even though they have no answers because those who have the answer say things that are not pleasant to hear.

Needless to say that Dr. Jasser’s reasoning that Muslims can’t handle the truth and will become radicalized if they hear is is an insult to Muslims. He basically saying Muslims are stupid, incapable of accepting the truth. Muslims become offended and throw tantrum when their religion is slighted. The solution is not to lie more. They don’t need anyone to patronize them.

Many Muslims are leaving Islam silently. I have received thousands of emails personally. We need to intensify our efforts and spread the truth to everyone. A well written, well documented and well produced movie can bring that change.

Truth is often bitter, that is why people resort to sweet lies. But lies kill us, and truth will set us free

Boko Haram violence explodes; the West struggles to “understand”

Mitigating Religious Conflict in Nigeria
Boko Haram in Focus at Washington, DC, Briefings

by Andrew Harrod:

(Washington, DC) Nigeria’s jihadist group Boko Haram was recently featured in several Washington, DC, briefings, including a presentation by a Nigerian teenager who was the lone survivor of a family massacred by Boko Haram.  These briefings highlighted significant challenges in combating Boko Haram’s brutal terror campaign.

Deborah Wakai Peters was forced to watch the murders of her father and brother at the hands of the Boko Haram.

Deborah Wakai Peters was forced to watch the murders of her father and brother at the hands of the Boko Haram.

Fifteen-year old Deborah Peters appeared at a May 13 Hudson Institute panel to discuss a December 22, 2011, Boko Haram attack on her home near Chibok in Nigeria’s Borno state.  Peters saw Boko Haram assailants, one of whom she knew, shoot her pastor father.  Targeted after rebuilding his church which had been burnt down by Boko Haram the previous November, the pastor suffered martyrdom after refusing to recant his Christian faith.  The terrorists then killed her brother as well, and left the young girl lying between the bodies.

The girl’s mother, described by Nigerian human rights activist Emmanuel Ogebe as a Muslim convert in “one of those strange love stories that doesn’t end very well,” was not in the house at the time.  Nonetheless, she cannot return home as Boko Haram would kill her as an apostate.  Another pastor who helped bring Deborah Peters to the United States was himself a victim of a May 2013 Boko Haram attack.

Boko Haram has perpetrated “massive genocides” of Christian Nigerians in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria in order to establish a Muslim rule, with Taliban-style stadium beheadings in the “old-fashioned way,” Ogebe noted.  The terror group marked Christian dwellings for subsequent nocturnal attacks and had an “MO” of close range “shoot to kill” headshots.  While sporadic killings of Christians are “normal in northern Nigeria,” such as when Muslims blame Christians for an eclipse, Boko Haram presents “persecution on steroids.”  Boko Haram attacks, for example, have “virtually de-Christianized” Nigeria’s Yobe state, Ogebe wrote online, leaving hardly 80 pastors where once over 1,000 churches existed, a percentage loss greater “than the decimation of Christians in Iraq.”

Twice denied an American visa for insufficient family ties (“You can’t make this stuff up,” Ogebe observed), Deborah Peters had a low profile once in the United States.  Ogebe and his colleagues “tactically decided not to put her in a public space” because “we could not sacrifice the mental health of this young child” suffering from trauma.  International outcry over Boko Haram’s April 14 kidnapping of hundreds of mostly Christian girls, however, some of whom Peters had “literally…played with” moved her to “put a face to this travesty,” in Ogebe’s words.

The April 14 attack marked Boko Haram’s transition away from “gentlemen terrorists,” Ogebe noted.  Boko Haram in the past had often spared women, children (in an exception, Boko Haram feared that Peters brother would grow up to be a pastor like his father), and the elderly — in what Ogebe had described online as a “religious gendercide.”  Boko Haram had now moved to “gender-based targeting of women,” though, after the men had left various regions to avoid death.  Girl captives who had escaped Boko Haram horrifyingly related how their captors had forced them upon pain of death to convert to Islam and marry Boko Haram supporters.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalitionn with video

 

National Intel Partners: Islamists In, Muslim Reformers Out

Hooper and Awad

The U.S. gov’t is letting Islamist groups and their global propaganda machines determine who has ‘credibility.’

By Ryan Mauro:

Newly declassified documents obtained by the Clarion Project show that personnel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI, or, for the ease of our readers,“National Intel”) were well aware of the work of anti-Islamist Muslim activist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, acknowledged that he was promoting the right message, but chose instead to favor and work with pro-Islamist groups.

As our previous expose showed, when five members of Congress specifically asked National Intel about their relationship with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhoodentity, National Intel falsely told the congresspersons that it did not use Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and individuals for outreach. However, files show that such a relationship existed.

And while National Intel embraced groups with radical histories, Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam, was shunned. This happened even though one of Jasser’s writings was passed around National Intel as an example of the type of messaging that was needed.

***********

Impact on National Security From Embracing Islamists

When MPAC released its counter-terrorism study, Building Bridges to Strengthen America, National Intel was excited and receptive. Multiple emails were exchanged within National Intel to spread word of it. The office staff was invited to a MPAC briefing about it on April 8, 2010.

Then a two-hour meeting was arranged with MPAC’s Governmental Liaison on November 18, 2010.

Unfortunately, information about the Muslim Brotherhood in MPAC’s study is limited to this idea: “Conservative groups like the Muslim Brotherhood pose long-term strategic threats to violent extremists by siphoning Muslims away from violent radicalism into peaceful political activism.” [emphasis added]

The study also disputes the notion that the Brotherhood acts as a “conveyer belt” leading Islamists to engage in terrorism. Instead, MPAC presents the Brotherhood as a “conveyer belt” leading awayfrom violence. The footnote for the sentence references an article titled, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood.”

On October 25, 2011, MPAC announced that Building Bridges was cited in the National Intel’s National Counter-Terrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security policy document, “Countering Violent Extremism: Guidance and Best Practices.” It was the sole non-governmental organization source.

Noticeably, the language used by MPAC study about the Brotherhood is similar to the language used by Clapper in his January 2012 testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

During that testimony, Clapper stated: “Al-Qaeda probably will find it difficult to compete for local support with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that participate in the political process, provide social services and advocate religious values. Non-violent, pro-democracy demonstrations challenge Al-Qaeda’s violent jihadist ideology and might yield increased political power for secular or moderate Islamist parties.”

When reading Clapper’s testimony, it’s easy to see the parallels between his opinion and those of the pro-Brotherhood groups that were advising his office.

MPAC also used its relationship with National Intel to complain about materials that it felt promoted “Islamophobia.”

For example, on July 11, 2012, MPAC’s Young Leaders Government Summit delegates met with National Intel and National Counter-Terrorism Center staff, including Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie O’Sullivan, National Intel’s Civil Liberties Protection Officer Alexander Joel and Matthew Rice of the National Counter-Terrorism Center Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning.

At that meeting, MPAC’s delegates complained about National Intel’s counter-terrorism policy plan titled, “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.”

The section they took issue with reads: “…communities—especially Muslim American communities whose children, families and neighbors are being targeted for recruitment by Al-Qaeda—are often best positioned to take the lead because they know their communities best.”

Virtually anyone reading this would view the statement as being pro-Muslim in nature. It states the factual problem — Al-Qaeda recruitment of Muslims — and says that Muslims are the solution. Further,  it assumes that Muslims are also against Al Qaeda.

But for MPAC’s delegates, the mere acknowledgement that Al-Qaeda would like to recruit Muslim-Americans is offensive.

In a follow-up later on July 17, 2012, MPAC again criticized the policy plan because it “assumes that young American Muslims are susceptible to the threat” and that could cause their “marginalization.”

MPAC was also upset with a National Intel calendar that had photos of terrorists on it because it “disproportionately presented terrorists from Muslim majority countries. It also insinuated a problematic message: That only Muslims are terrorists.” The group warned of “unintended consequences” negatively affecting Muslims.

Read more at Clarion Project

American Islamist Coalition Launches with Empty Rhetoric

CAIR Again Shows It Can’t Stand Other Muslim Viewpoints

IPT, By Steven Emerson:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) waged a new attack Tuesday on anti-Islamist Muslim Zuhdi Jasser, asking that a federal commission investigate Jasser’s financial supporters.

Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, also serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). CAIR and other Islamist groups tried to block that appointment in 2012. Now, CAIR wants the USCIRF to investigate Jasser’s donors, who also give to other groups CAIR doesn’t like. The AIFD received $45,000 from the Abstraction Fund from 2010-12, a letter from CAIR’s Corey Saylor said.

The New York-based fund also gives money to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Middle East Forum and Jihad Watch. All, Saylor claimed, play an “active role in spreading anti-Islam prejudice.”

“At issue here is the reasonable concern that arises regarding Dr. Jasser accepting financial support from anti-Muslim groups while he is serving on a commission advocating for religious freedom,” Saylor wrote.

What a load of nonsense. As we have shown, CAIR and others toss around accusations of “Islamophobia” as a means of stifling criticism and deflecting attentionfrom their own shady records. Jasser is a devout Muslim who repeatedly points out that Muslims are freer to practice their faith in the United States than anywhere else in the world. He calls out the victimization narrative promoted by CAIR and other Islamist groups.

In response to CAIR’s attack Tuesday, Jasser posted a link to a 2011 IPT reportshowing CAIR solicited money from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad praised Gaddafi’s rambling, 100-minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly for having “an impact in the hearts of many people in the world.” Awad later sought financial help from Gaddafi to underwrite a program to give away 1 million Qurans to government officials and the general public in America and to help start up a new foundation.

In addition, State Department records obtained by the IPT show CAIR solicited huge donations during 2006 trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Despite that, CAIR continues to label information about its foreign financial support as “Internet Disinformation.”

“CAIR’s operational budget is funded by donations from American Muslims,” its website says. (To see a debunking of CAIR’s “disinformation” claims, click here.)

Tuesday’s letter was CAIR’s second to the USCIRF about Jasser in the past month. It also took statements Jasser made during a recent television appearance to argue that he would “deny religious rights to Muslim military personnel.” In fact, Jasser – a Navy veteran – said that during his service “I was able to practice my faith, fast, pray, and I never saw the need for” new policies allowing for beards, turbans and other religious garb for active duty military members.

It’s fine to debate that point. But CAIR’s ongoing campaign to strip Jasser of his position shows they don’t want debate. They want a monopoly on determining what is acceptable for American Muslims to believe.

National Park Service Promotes ‘Women’s Rights in Islam’

muslim womenProduced for the National Park Service, the New York-based Women’s Rights National Historical Park’s website has posted a three-video series arguing that Islam is a force for women’s rights.

In one video, we hear that:

“Seventh century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home. Islam gave women the right to own property. Islam gave women the right to divorce. Islam gave women the right to choose who she marries. Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th Centuries. And we’ve had these rights since the Seventh Century A.D., and it’s just not acknowledged worldwide.”

A Muslim woman states, “People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong.”

The first in the three-video series can be seen here. The second can be seen here.  The third can be seen here.

Viewers are left with the impression that the oppression of women in Muslim countries is rare, when it is actually the norm. Needless to say, the presentation leaves out the ideological basis for this oppression.

A look at the videos shows, for example, that viewers don’t learn about the rising problem of Female Genital Mutilation in the United States. The Clarion Project posted this informational video about FGM.

Nor is the problem of honor killings in the U.S. addressed, information that is readily available. Muslim anti-Islamist activist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser documented the honor killing cases of Aiya Altameemi, age 19, of Maricopa County, AZ; and Shaima Alawadi, of El Cajon, CA.  In 2009, Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, was run down by a car driven by her father, who thought she was “too Westernized.”

Instead, the message of the videos focuses on negative stereotypes of Islam and its adherents.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

ICNA-MAS Linked Professor Attacks Christians on Facebook

by John Rossomando:

Bin Bayyah Statements Underscore Support for Terrorism

by John Rossomando
IPT News
July 12, 2013

Keeping Our Heads in the Sand After Boston

IPT News
May 14, 2013

How American Muslims Radicalize

aggBy Karen Lugo:

Mosques become a state within a state, except for the welfare assistance.

If radicalized means self-segregated, embittered, and angry enough to be ambivalent about the mentorship of jihadists, then America needs to pay close attention to neighborhood Islamic centers. There is a nexus between disaffected Muslims and those who graduate to violence, and two studies point to the American mosque. Now that another plot has been executed rather than foiled, there is finally overdue focus on the imams who foment resentment and alienation.

We have allowed mosques to serve as citadels, cutting Muslims off from the democratic society outside. When Muslim marriages are arranged, then officiated and filed within the mosque; when large and small contract disputes are adjudicated by a sheikh; when marriages are ended and custody determined by the imam, and financial disagreements assessed by mosque officials, observant Muslims might as well be living anywhere.

Certainly, the conditions for those that live under tight mosque control do not reflect anything that resembles America.

Constitutional rights and due process protections do not penetrate many sharia-observant mosque domains. After speaking with several Muslim individuals seeking to reassert constitutional rights after summary judgments were rendered, it is apparent that what purports to be Islamic arbitration is really more akin to kindergarten sandlot refereeing. The documents reveal that there was no semblance of legal process expected in arbitration proceedings, no conflict of interest disclosures, and no provision for structural fairness rules.

Even Muslim legal scholar M. Ali Sadiqi, writing for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, noted that Muslims would have difficulty bringing internal arbitration standards into conformity with American legal principles, since under sharia inheritance rules women are entitled to only one quarter of the estate — and one eighth if there are children.

In Germany, law enforcement authorities now see the Islamic courts as a competitive “shadow justice system,” and complain that sharia-styled tribunals interfere with the government’s duty to administer both civil and criminal justice.

In Britain, Baroness Cox has been working tirelessly for years to see British law reinstated and sharia jurisdiction reversed. During hearings on her bill, now called the Arbitration and Mediation Services Equality Bill, Baroness Donaghy (Labour Party) called the presumed acquiescence of women to unequal and often cruel treatment as “consensual as rape.” A Muslim woman told Baroness Cox:

I feel betrayed by Britain, I came to this country to get away from all this but the situation is worse here than in my country of origin.

From Britain to the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, France, Germany, and America, it is possible for Muslims to experience no notable difference between life in the West and the conditions that they fled back in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Iraq. The only mentionable difference: the generous social welfare programs offered in the Western cultures.

When I inquired of a local imam as to how he identified radicalization and whether he was concerned about it, he tellingly pivoted to accusations that the U.S. government does not do enough for immigrant Muslims.

In contrast, Western-oriented American Muslim Dr. Zuhdi Jasser called out clerics who urge adherents to “focus on their own victimization, patronizingly reminding the rest of America not to be ‘racists’ [or] ‘bigots.’”

Islamic society of Boston

Islamic society of Boston

The unquestionably radical nature of the Islamic Society of Boston mosque and its counterpart the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (called “small one” and “big one” by locals) illustrates the worst of Islamist subversion. Whether the Tsarnaev brothers attended to the degree that the mosque was a key part of their radicalization is unknown, but it could not have been a mitigating influence in their conversion to terrorism. The pedigree of convicted terrorists that have emerged from IBS/IBSCC incubation, the close Muslim Brotherhood connections, the terror group ties, and the criminal convictions of leadership figures lead one to wonder how much more radical activism still seethes within this mosque community.

We also have examples of the poisonous rhetoric purveyed at these two mosques. In just one instance, invited imam Abdullah Farooq was videotaped saying that the Patriot Act “permits [government] to come to your door” and “to come anywhere they want and to come after you anytime.” He went on to urge action in the name of Allah against “oppressors,” by “grabbing on to gun and sword … to step out into this world and do your job.”

A 2004 lesson (active link now disabled) that gave tips on disciplining a wife recommended hanging up a whip in plain sight as a deterrent, but not advocating actual physical punishment unless she really needs it.

Sheikh Ahmed Mansour, an exile from Egypt, said that the ISB mosque “was controlled by fanatics.” He likened the atmosphere to the sharia extremism that he left behind: “I left Egypt to escape the Muslim Brotherhood, but I had found it [at ISB].” When Mansour told Fox News that fiery sermons can spur impressionable young men to violence, even if the speaker doesn’t explicitly advocate it, he was warning America that radicalization comes from the rhetoric that cleverly stops short of illegal incitement to imminent violence.

Read more at PJ Media

 

CAN ISLAM BE REFORMED?

Al-Ghasali: Photo source: Die Welt

Al-Ghasali: Photo source: Die Welt

By Tiffany Gabbbay:

After turning away from Islam and becoming an atheist, young blogger Kassim al-Ghasali became a target in his native Morocco. Following a string of death threats, he sought political asylum in Switzerland, where he now lives and continues to embrace ideals of freedom and tolerance.

Ever-outspoken in his beliefs, al-Ghasali presented a speech at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in February. Speaking to the German-language news outlet Die Welt following the event, the young Moroccan shared his views (a translation of the full interview can be found in the Gates of Vienna blog), on the Arab Spring, why he believes Islam cannot be reformed in the same way that Christianity was, and why moderate Muslims should admit that “terror and violence” — or more pointedly, “unmitigated horror” — is part of the Koran.

Al-Ghasali also poignantly added that the Koran is a “politically and historically-determined book and not the word of Allah” and that Islam cannot be reformed as its tenets are anathema to Western enlightenment, which helped to reform Christianity [emphasis added].

In my opinion, there can be no reformation or enlightenment in Sunni or Shiite Islam, because there is no church to be reformed,” al-Ghasali explained to Die Welt.

“In Islam, we are subject to the power of a sacred book and the instructions it gives. Identity and understanding of self come from the Quran. If Muslims could use their reason without the instructions of a book which is recognized as the Word of God, then we could talk about enlightenment. But today most Muslims are against the ideas of the Western Enlightenment.

Read more at The Blaze

 

Zuhdi Jasser and Robert Spencer debate Islamic reform:

 

A Nasty Neologism – The term Islamophobia treats political ideology as akin to race.

OB-VX147_bkrvph_DV_20130107195332By JONATHAN SCHANZER

“The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends,” President George W. Bush declared soon after the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Bush’s statement set the tone for the tumultuous decade to come, one in which the nation prosecuted a war on terrorism in two Muslim lands while taking great pains to protect the rights of Muslim Americans.

Yet if the author Nathan Lean is to be believed, Americans today are caught in the grip of an irrational fear of Islam and its adherents. In his short book on the subject, Mr. Lean, a journalist and editor at the website Aslan Media, identifies this condition using the vaguely medical sounding term “Islamophobia.” It is by now a familiar diagnosis, and an ever widening range of symptoms—from daring to criticize theocratic tyrannies in the Middle East to drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad—are attributed to it.

In reality, Islamophobia is simply a pejorative neologism designed to warn people away from criticizing any aspect of Islam. Those who deploy it see no difference between Islamism—political Islam and its extremist offshoots—and the religion encompassing some 1.6 billion believers world-wide. Thanks to this feat of conflation, Islamophobia transforms religious doctrines and political ideologies into something akin to race; to be an “Islamophobe” is in some circles today tantamount to being a racist.

American Islamophobia, Mr. Lean claims, is fomented by a “small cabal of xenophobes.” “The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims” is less a book than a series of vignettes about some of these antagonists, who are “bent on scaring the public about Islam.” His Islamophobic figures and institutions range from political leaders like Mr. Bush, Sen. John McCain and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who, Mr. Lean says, have “harnessed Muslims and Islam to terrorism”; to the pro-Israel community, which is alleged to be animated by a “violent faith narrative” and funded by magnates who inject “eye-popping cash flows into the accounts of various fear campaigns”; to pretty much everyone who campaigned in 2010 against the construction of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks in lower Manhattan.

Mr. Lean tars with the same brush the likes of the scholar Daniel Pipes and the Muslim activist, physician and U.S. Navy veteran Zuhdi Jasser. Mr. Pipes, the author writes, is “deeply entrenched in the business of selling fear.” He
portrays Dr. Jasser as a puppetlike figure, “a ‘good Muslim,’ one that openly and forcefully denounced various tenets of his faith.”

These are crude and uncharitable caricatures of these men. Mr. Pipes was one of the first Western commentators to raise the alarm about the subterranean spread of extremist attitudes in both the Middle East and among some Muslim communities in the West. Dr. Jasser, a devout Muslim, is the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, an organization that advances the notion that “the purest practice of Islam is one in which Muslims have complete freedom to accept or reject any of the tenants or laws of the faith no different than we enjoy as Americans in this Constitutional republic.” Both men argue that the real contest is the serious war of ideas raging within Islam itself, between the forces of liberalism and pluralism and those of obscurantism.

To Mr. Lean, though, any such distinction is simply a false perception manufactured by Islamophobes. Thus the author fails to grapple with the fact that, unlike average Muslims, Islamist terror groups like al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah do commit unspeakable acts of violence in the name of Islam—actions that surely help account for why many Americans (49%, according to a 2010 poll) hold an unfavorable view of Islam, even when they view favorably Muslims that they personally know.

Read more at WSJ

 

Also see: The Monstrous Moral Inversion of the “Islamophobia” Industry
by Robert Spencer

State Department’s Continued Outreach to Radicals

788_largeby Abha Shankar

The Obama administration’s efforts to conquer hearts and minds in the Muslim world as part of its broader strategy to battle Islamist terrorism may be a laudable goal. But the administration’s continued pandering to radical Islamists both at home and abroad continues to baffle and frustrate opponents of political Islam and Islamist organizations.

The administration has been swift to embrace newly-elected Islamist regimes in the Middle-East despite their violent and pro-jihadi rhetoric. Last month for example, it heaped praise on Egypt’s new Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi for helping broker a truce between Israel and Hamas after eight days of fighting. In lauding Morsi, the U.S. government overlooked statements supporting Hamas issued by Morsi’s colleagues in the Muslim Brotherhood and their celebration of rocket attacks on Israel. Morsi was a senior Brotherhood official for years before seeking office.

This international outreach to authoritarian Islamist regimes bestows undue legitimacy on Islamists and renders democratic and secular opposition and dissident groups voiceless. The same flawed outreach is being pursued domestically.

The latest example comes from a State Department-sponsored delegation last year of five Bulgarian Muslims who came to discuss the role of religion in the United States. Details of the trip, funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs under its International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), were obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism via a Freedom of Information Act request.

The delegation hoped to “learn about the environment of religious tolerance in the U.S. and how religious groups function in a democratic society with a separation of church and state,” records in the 379-page FOIA release show. It described meetings the delegation had with leading Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and individuals in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Chicago from Sept. 26-Oct. 14, 2011.

This is a problem that has been detailed before. Rather than seeking views from the broader, more diverse Muslim American community, government officials grab at “the lowest hanging fruit,” said Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix-based doctor who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. “But they ignore ideological diversity and instead take the shortcut of generally allowing those Muslims who are part of a national and global political Islamist movement to represent our faith community.”

“When confronted the White House and State Department will say that the ideological positions of Muslim groups is not their concern,” added Jasser, whose appointment this year to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom sparked ire among Islamists.

Jasser also blamed political correctness for the government’s flawed outreach policy:

“In part this also happens out of an absurd degree of political correctness and in part because these organizations have been very successful at branding themselves as the ‘voice of the Muslims.’ Even our National Strategy on Counterterrorism has been hijacked by this behavior, where it references the word ideology over 20 times but never names the ideology. The truth is that there is not and will never be one Muslim voice. We are a very diverse community….”

Jasser’s views were echoed by Qanta Ahmed, a New York-based physician and ardent critic of radical Islam.

The government’s failure to distinguish “Islam” from “political Islam” and its “willful engagement with non-violent Islamists” has resulted in the Islamists “owning the narrative,” she said. In congressional testimony given in June, she also highlighted the threat Islamist ideology poses to the American democracy:

“While we have been pursuing conventional international warfare and in fact have assassinated the leader of Al Qaida for instance, we have remained dangerously vulnerable because of our delayed realization of the political science aspects of Islamist ideology and the very serious threat this poses to our democracy,” Ahmed said. She described threats to free speech in the debate over radical Islam due to threats of litigation and false claims of bigotry that are used to stifle other points of view. Already, due to Islamist influence, the U.S. government has stopped using words like “Islamist” and “radical Islam.”

“This sanitization of our lexicon reveals a shocking and perhaps specious reluctance to engage with the problem or worse, a foolhardy embrace, unintentional or otherwise, with the Islamist stance,” Ahmed said.

“These are vulnerabilities which cannot be safeguarded by drones, or gunships but instead must be secured by counter ideological warfare which begins here, by widening the debate, discussion and scholarship in the area.”

Read more at IPT

See also:

Washington’s Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood (counterjihadreport.com)

Daniel Pipes: Islamists are worse than dictators

Who is worse, President Mohammed Morsi,  the elected Islamist seeking to apply Islamic law in Egypt, or former President Hosni  Mubarak, the dictator ousted for trying to start a dynasty? More broadly,  will a liberal, democratic order be more likely to emerge under Islamist  ideologues who prevail through the ballot box or under greedy dictators with no  particular agenda beyond their own survival and power?

Mr. Morsi’s recent actions provide an  answer, establishing that Islamists are worse than dictators.

Intelligence Squared debate in New York City on Oct. 4, 2012.

Intelligence Squared debate in New York City on Oct. 4, 2012.

This issue came up in an interesting debate for Intelligence Squared U.S. in  early October when Reuel Marc Gerecht of the  Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Brian  Katulis of the Center for  American Progress argued, “Better elected Islamists than dictators,” while Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum  for Democracy and I made the counter-argument. Well, no one really argued “for” anyone. The other team did not endorse Islamists and we certainly did not  celebrate dictators. The issue, rather, was which sort of ruler is the lesser of  two evils, and can be cudgeled toward democracy.

Mr. Katulis blamed dictatorships for  fostering “the sorts of ideologies” that led to Sept. 11, 2001, and Mr.  Gerecht insisted that military juntas, not Islamists, generally are “the  real danger.  The only way you’re going to get a more liberal order in the  Middle East is through people of faith” who vote Islamists into office. Mr.  Katulis argued that elected Islamists change and morph, becoming less  ideological and more practical. They evolve in response to the rough and tumble  of politics to focus on “basic needs” such as security and jobs.

In Iraq, Mr.  Gerecht professed to find that “a tidal wave of people who were once  hard-core Islamists  have become pretty profound democrats, if not liberals.” As  for Egypt, he noted approvingly but inaccurately  that “the Muslim Brotherhood is having  serious internal debates because they haven’t figured out how to handle [their  success]. That’s what we want. We want them to fight it out.”

Mr. Jasser and I replied to this catalog  of inaccuracies (military juntas led to Sept. 11?) and wishful thinking (true  believers will compromise on their goals? a tidal wave of Iraqi Islamists became  liberals?) by stating first that ideologues are “dictators on steroids” who  don’t moderate upon reaching power but dig themselves in, building foundations  to remain indefinitely in office. Second, ideologues neglect the very issues  that our opponents stressed — security and jobs — in favor of implementing  Islamic laws. Greedy dictators, in contrast, short on ideology, do not have a  vision of society and so can be convinced to move toward economic development,  personal freedoms, an open political process and rule of law (for example, South  Korea).

Mr. Morsi and the Muslim  Brotherhood have followed our script exactly. Since taking power in August, Mr. Morsi sidelined the military, then  focused on entrenching and expanding his supremacy, most notably by issuing a  series of orders on Nov. 22 that arrogated autocratic powers to himself, and  spreading Zionist conspiracy theories about his opponents. Then he rammed  through an Islamist-oriented constitution on Nov. 30 and called a snap  referendum on it for Dec. 15. Consumed with these two tasks, he virtually  ignored the myriad issues afflicting Egypt,  especially the looming economic crisis and the lack of funds to pay for imported  food.

Read more at the Washington Times