Trump’s ‘Principled Realism’ Is Not Very Realistic about Islam

The principal fiction in the president’s speech in Saudi Arabia was the claim that we share ‘common values’ with the sharia society.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, May 22, 2017:

So for what exactly is the “extreme vetting” going to vet?

That was the question I could not shake from my mind while listening to President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to dozens of Sunni Islamic leaders and a global television audience.

There were certainly some positives in the president’s rhetoric. Trump did not cite American policy or “arrogance” as a contributory cause of jihadist savagery, as President Obama was wont to do. He was less delusional about the splendor of Islam than were Obama and President George W. Bush. Gone were absurd inflations of Islam’s historical achievements and place in the American fabric; gone were allusions to the “religion of peace and love.” In their place was an acknowledgment that Islam is besieged by a “crisis” of terror that is engulfing the world, a crisis that is ideological in nature and that only Muslims themselves can solve.

All true. Nevertheless, the theme that came through the speech is that terrorism is something that happens to Islam, rather than something that happens because of Islam. That is simply not the case, even though it is true, as Trump asserted, that the vast majority of those killed by Muslim terrorists are themselves Muslims.

There is thus a good deal that is not real about “Principled Realism,” Trump’s name for what he heralds as a new American strategy — “new approaches informed by experience and judgment,” a “discarding” of strategies “that have not worked.”

The principal fiction in “principled realism” is that we share “common values” with Sunni Arab sharia societies. That is problematic because these purported “common values” — in conjunction with “shared interests” — are said to be the roots of Trump’s approach.

The president stressed that during his first overseas trip as president, he would be “visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic faiths.” The irony was palpable, at least to some of us. Trump is not visiting the holiest places of Islam.

Yes, upon departing Saudi Arabia, he headed to Israel where he prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In the offing is a jaunt to Rome, to the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis. But for all the treacle about “why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation [Saudi Arabia] that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic faith,” Trump sidestepped the fact that he is not welcome in those two sites, Mecca and Medina.

Why? Because the president is a non-Muslim. Non-Muslims are not allowed to step their infidel feet in Islam’s sacred cities.

That iteration of Islamic intolerance is squarely based on scripture — see, e.g., the Koran’s Sura 9:28: “Oh you who believe! Truly the idolaters are unclean, so let them not, after this year, approach the sacred mosque” — a verse that specifically relates to the Grand Mosque in Mecca (Makkah), and has been extended by Islamic scholars to Medina. That is why Trump’s House of Saud hosts enforce a ban on entry by non-Muslims to both cities.

I say that this ban is just one “iteration of Islamic intolerance” for two reasons.

First, there are many other iterations. Scripturally based Islamic doctrine systematically discriminates against non-Muslims in many particulars, and against women in many others. Since Trump’s “principled realism” is said to be rooted in “common values,” it might be worth a gander at the guidance Trump’s State Department provides to Americans pondering a trip to the kingdom:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, imprisoned, subject to physical punishments, or even executed. Penalties for the import, manufacture, possession, and consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs in Saudi Arabia are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, public floggings, and/or deportation. The penalty for drug trafficking is death . . .

Faith-Based Travelers: Islam is the official religion of the country and pervades all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi authorities do not permit criticism of Islam, religious figures, or the royal family.

The government prohibits the public practice of religions other than Islam. Non-Muslims suspected of violating these restrictions have been jailed. Church services in private homes have been raided, and participants have been jailed.

Muslims who do not adhere to the strict interpretations of Islam prevalent in much of Saudi Arabia frequently encounter societal discrimination and constraints on worship.

Public display of non-Islamic religious articles, such as crosses and Bibles, is not permitted.

[And, of course . . .] Non-Muslims are forbidden to travel to Makkah (Mecca) and Medina, the cities where two of Islam’s holiest mosques are located . . .

LGBTI Travelers: Same-sex sexual relations, even when they are consensual, are criminalized in Saudi Arabia. Violations of Saudi laws governing perceived expressions of, or support for, same sex sexual relations, including on social media, may be subject to severe punishment. Potential penalties include fines, jail time, or death.

The State Department guidance suggests that readers consult the International Religious Freedom Report produced in 2015 by State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. It relates the brutal punishments meted out by some Islamic countries — not jihadist organizations, but governments in Muslim-majority countries — for blasphemy and apostasy. The paragraph on the Kingdom is worth reading:

In Saudi Arabia, media and local sources reported that the General Court in Abha sentenced Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to death for apostasy in November, overturning a previous sentence of four years’ imprisonment and 800 lashes (the death sentence was subsequently overturned in February 2016 and a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment and 800 lashes imposed). Officials from the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice initially arrested Fayadh in August 2013, after reports that he had made disparaging remarks about Islam. In a separate incident in January, authorities publicly lashed Raif Badawi 50 times in accordance with a sentence based on his 2013 conviction for violating Islamic values, violating sharia, committing blasphemy, and mocking religious symbols on the Internet.

This is why, watching Trump and his senior aides prance about the palace in Riyadh, doing “the sword dance” with their fellow male revelers, I couldn’t help but wonder if they realized how often their host regime uses the scimitars to carry out beheadings for violations of Islamic law. There were 153 decapitations last year and 158 in 2015.

It is worth emphasizing: That is not something that was done by ISIS for violations of sharia. It was done by the government of Saudi Arabia for violations of sharia.

Which brings us to the second reason why Islamic intolerance must be noted in our consideration of “principled realism”: That intolerance is the foundation of “extremism,” the studiously unexamined term Trump now applies to jihadist terrorism, just as Obama and Bush did before him.

There was much ado in the lead up and delivery of Trump’s speech regarding how he would describe the phenomenon he labeled “radical Islamic terrorism” throughout the 2016 campaign — ridiculing the craven political correctness of rivals who shied away from this terminology. As with much else Trump said on the hustings, the label is the subject of intense infighting in his administration.

Reflecting the view of former military commanders who serve in the administration’s top ranks (and who carried out Bush’s “Islamic democracy” building and Obama’s embrace of our Islamic “partners”), national-security adviser H. R. McMaster is said to be repulsed by the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” apparently seeing it as needlessly provocative. Other Trump strategists, who supported the campaign’s promise to be unflinching in illustrating the nexus between Islamic scripture and Muslim terrorism, strongly favor the term. Trump, who simultaneously wants (a) profitable relations with the Saudis, (b) the refutation of claims that he is anti-Muslim, and (c) credit for being honest about the connection between Islam and terror, seems torn.

The intramural squabble was evident during the speech. As prepared, the text had the president calling for “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires” (emphasis added). But when he actually delivered his remarks, Trump departed from the script, speaking instead of “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.”

An unidentified aide insisted to the New York Times that the president was “exhausted” and simply misspoke when he invoked “Islamic.” To the contrary, I believe he is struggling to resolve this tension. As I pointed out prior to his inauguration, however, it is unclear that Trump grasps why the tension is significant: For him, it may reflect concern over the inevitable criticism if he abandons hot campaign rhetoric, not over whether the distinction between Islamic and Islamist is viable.

We draw this distinction out of a conviction that Islam the religion should not be confounded with Islamism the political ideology. This conviction may be more a matter of wishful thinking than anything that can be called “realism.” That is manifest when we review the afore-described State Department guidance. Intolerance of non-Muslims and subjugation of women is not a reflection of jihadist “extremism”; it is mainstream Islam as practiced and codified in sharia societies.

So here is the problem: The definition of “extremism” that Trump’s “principled realism” sets itself against is artificial and incoherent. It is true, of course, that not all Muslims who support the intolerance rooted in Islamic doctrine and expressed by the policies of majority-Muslim regimes will become violent jihadists. Nonetheless, violent jihad is a natural progression from that intolerance. Yet Trump’s “principled realism” holds that the American people and sharia societies share “common values” that will cause the latter to fight jihadism.

How could anyone believe this is the case unless he is willfully blind to how the kingdom is governed, the longstanding support Saudis have provided for terrorism, and the number of Saudis complicit in anti-American terrorism? Trump is trying to have it both ways: acknowledge that the threat is ideological (and demand plaudits for brave political incorrectness in doing so), but pretend that the violent aspects of the ideology can be — indeed, have been — compartmentalized from the intolerant dehumanization of non-Muslims at the core of the ideology.

If this is Trump’s position, then why all the fuss about “extreme vetting”?

If you are myopically focused on terrorism, you are missing most of the challenge posed by sharia encroachment.

The imperative to enhance the vetting process for people trying to enter the U.S. from hotbeds of radical Islam was a major plank of the Trump campaign. It is the eventual goal hovering over disputes over temporary travel bans the president has tried to impose since the start of his administration. But does anyone remember the objective of “extreme vetting”? It was to bar entry to those adherent to the ideology (which I prefer to call “sharia supremacism”) that promotes not just terrorism but anti-Americanism and anti-constitutionalism. Our immigration law already vets for ties to terrorism.

In his “principled realism” speech, however, the president takes the position that we’re only concerned about violence. “We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do,” he says. Our “goal is . . . to conquer extremism” — a term the president narrows to mean terrorism — lest he insult his “gracious hosts.” If you are myopically focused on terrorism, however, you are missing most of the challenge posed by sharia encroachment. Jihadist terror is not pointless; its purpose is to impose sharia — a version of it similar to what the Saudis enforce.

The president is up in a balloon because, as he explained in his speech, he has “signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.” Perhaps his strategists could inform the president that when Saudi Arabia invests in America, the result invariably includes the construction of schools and mosques that propagate the ideology that causes the State Department to issue the travel guidance outlined above. (See, e.g., my 2010 profile of the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Virginia.)

According to the president, “principled realism” is based not only on purported “common values” but also “shared interests.” That does make sense. The Trump administration is returning American foreign policy to its pre-Obama orientation against the Shiite jihadist regime in Iran. The Sunni states also oppose Iran. That is the “shared interest.” It is a significant area of agreement, but a narrow one. We should not delude ourselves into thinking it signifies “common values.”

In a passage that could as easily have been spoken by President Bush, and probably even by President Obama, President Trump asserted:

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between Good and Evil [capitalization in White House-issued text].

So we’re back to the question whether Islam has anything to do with Islamist (or Islamic) terrorism.

I’ll take it from the Saudi perspective. Let’s say, as the president does, that we are truly engaged in a battle between good and evil. When you read the State Department’s guidance regarding travel to Saudi Arabia — guidance that is necessary because of the way the Saudi government treats non-Muslims, women, apostates, and homosexuals — do you suppose the Saudis and their Sunni confederates see the United States as the “good” or the “evil” side?

President Trump is banking on the former. I’m not.

Links Between Islamism and Executions

Gatestone Institute, by Majid Rafizadeh, May 10, 2017:

  • People have, it seems, often been arrested or detained on the basis of a rumor; then convicted without trial, counsel or often even the chance to mount a defense.
  • As Amnesty International points out, “In many countries where people were sentenced to death or executed, the proceedings did not meet international fair trial standards. In some cases, this included the extraction of ‘confessions’ through torture or other ill-treatment”.
  • The laws under which these people are sentenced to death are often not only vague and open to interpretation. Charges that warrant the death penalty, for instance, include being “corrupt on earth”, “enemies of Allah on Earth”, or alleged “crimes against chastity”. What exactly does “corrupt on earth” or “enemies of Allah on Earth” mean?

Just how strict and brutal it is to enforce Islamic law, sharia, has now been revealed by Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s study, which details the number of reported executions around the world, clearly maps out the most at-risk populations. Lands ruled predominantly by sharia are apparently the most vulnerable to multitudes of executions without fair trials. At the top of the list, with the most executions, are those nations that enforce Islamic sharia law. Despite many human rights violations, these nations, apparently undeterred, continue to execute their citizens.

Sharia makes those in authority infallible and untouchable. Therefore, whatever the government or those in power deem to be “just” can be carried out without question or consequence. Under sharia law and the Islamic penal code, executions can be carried out in sickening forms. Those convicted may be beheaded, hanged, stoned, or shot to death.

As disturbing as the numbers in the report may be, they do not represent the reality that the citizens in these nations across the world face every day. There is, evidently, a connection between radical Islamist governments and extremist groups. The report does not include the gruesome executions that are carried out on a regular basis by extremist Islamist groups and non-state fundamentalists, such as members of the Islamic State (ISIS) and their affiliated groups.

These executions include, as we have seen, slitting throats, burning alive, drowning alive and crucifixion.

If these acts were included in the Amnesty International report, the total number of executions committed under the authority of Islamist law would be far higher. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, for example, pointed out that the Islamic State executed 33 people in the first week of April alone.

The report also did not include the number of Westerners being shot, executed and terrorized by Islamist groups. Many of these, such as ISIS, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), the Badr Organization, Or Kata’ib al-Imam Ali (the Imam Ali Battalions), are funded and trained by Islamist governments and oil-rich, unaccountable leaders.

Mass executions are evidently also being carried out by both extremist Islamist governments and Islamist groups. A culture of executions, often extra-judicial, as in Pakistan, seems to run rampant within the borders of these countries. Without any consequences for this horrifying disregard for human life, the numbers will only increase.

In Pakistan, Asia Bibi (pictured with two of her five children), a Christian, sits on death row for “blasphemy.” Asia’s “crime” was to use the same water glass as her Muslim co-workers. “You defiled our water,” the Muslim women told her.

Both Islamist governments and Islamist groups justify their brutal acts by referring to the “religious” Islamist legitimacy of their murders. Members of fundamentalist Islamist governments, to legitimize these types of atrocities, also exploit the right of “sovereignty”: they point out that they belong independent state with a fully operating and “legal” judiciary.

In the Amnesty International report, the Iran ranked number one, per capita, in executing people. It also accounted for 66% of all officially recorded executions in the region. Again, this amount only represents those executions that were officially registered.

It is also critical to point out that the statistics Amnesty International provides were given by the very governments that carried out the executions. This method means that those in power were the ones to calculate and decide what number should officially represent their country. The unofficial number is thought to be even higher. There is nothing to stop governments from simply keeping the true number to themselves.

Executions carried out under the strict governmental laws of sharia and Islamist judicial systems can have even more grotesque characteristics. The high number of executions included children, some convicted before the age of 18. Death sentences may frequently have lacked due process and what many would consider acceptable standards of proof. People have, it seems, often been arrested or detained on the basis of a rumor; then convicted without trial, counsel or often even the chance to mount a defense. As Amnesty International points out, “In many countries where people were sentenced to death or executed, the proceedings did not meet international fair trial standards. In some cases, this included the extraction of ‘confessions’ through torture or other ill-treatment”.

Prisoners’ vulnerabilities also had no bearing on their executions. Even those seriously ill were executed. Mass executions or stoning could be ordered and then carried out within a very short time, sometimes within days, giving those convicted no time to mount any form of appeal.

The laws under which these people are sentenced to death are often not only vague and open to interpretation. Charges that warrant the death penalty, for instance, include being “corrupt on earth”, “enemies of Allah on Earth”, or alleged “crimes against chastity”. What exactly does “corrupt on earth” or “enemies of Allah on Earth” mean? There are no guidelines to establish guilt or innocence. Those in power are therefore able to decide who has violated what laws on what can only be a capricious basis. Islamist sheikhs, imams, or judges can subjectively interpret charges any way they like. A charge of being “corrupt on earth” can apply to having fun at a party or writing poetry that government decides is critical of it. A charge of being “corrupt on earth” can apply to someone who is homosexual, someone who is claimed to have committed adultery, or who has simply declined to accepted an unwanted advance. It can mean anyone who has done anything that the ruling leaders dislike.

These Islamist laws, moreover, also serve as a perfect tool for exploitation. A woman finding herself accused of breaking a law may be assured that if she agrees to sleep with a judge, for instance, he will interpret the law in a lenient way and protect her from the death penalty. After a woman submits to this, she can be executed nevertheless. Sometimes girls are forced into sighah — the Shiite Islamist law of temporary marriage — with a cleric, or a governmental official; after “consummating” it, they can also be put to death.

What does a charge such as “crimes against chastity” mean under sharia? This accusation can apply to a girl who has been raped. Instead of the law providing protection for the victim and consequences for the rapist, the victim is accused of the crime of “adultery”, convicted without a fair trial, and swiftly executed.

When Islamist laws enter a land, it seems the number of stonings, beheadings, and executions goes up.

Leaders of these nations can use this flexibility to terrorize and control entire societies, expand their power, export their ideology, and ensure that there is no opportunity to resist. More disturbing is that those numbers are just a portion of the truth.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, political scientist and Harvard University scholar is president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He is author of “Peaceful Reformation in Iran’s Islam“. He can be reached at Dr.rafizadeh@post.harvard.edu.

The Interfaith Scam Part 2

Daily Roll Call, by Cathy Hinners, April 23, 2017:

As you read in part one of the Interfaith Scam, Dawa is simply the instrument Islamists use to convince others they are just like us, and their god is the same as ours. Well, no it’s not, but that is the sole purpose of dawa. The book the Methodology of Dawa  written by the former dawa chief at the Islamic Circle of North America, (ICNA) Shamim Siddiqi does not hide its goal. On page 81 he clearly states the reason they (Muslims) are in America is to make their religion (Deen) dominant.

The following excerpts are again from the last few chapters in the “Methodology of Dawa.” Judge for yourself.

(pg. 117) Prophets’ day like Abraham’s Day, Moses’s Day, Jesus’s Day and Muhammad’s Day (Peace be upon all of them) will be organized and celebrated by the Islamic Movement on national scale with seminars and symposium all over the country. In these gatherings the religious leaders/scholars of Jewish and Christian communities will be invited to express their views freely. The speeches will be followed by an open discussion in a scholarly manner. This will provide a good opportunity to attract the Judeo-Christian community in great numbers and put the correct status of these Prophets before them in a historical perspective. It will be presented in a very academic atmosphere, with no aggressiveness at all under any circumstances. This discussion will crystallize the position of each prophet as the Prophet of Islam and the people will have a unique opportunity to understand Islam in its true historical background. This will pave the way to present Islam to these communities as a continuity of the message from the Creator, each Prophet proclaiming, “be obedient to God alone and shun the evil forces

(Batil/Taghut)” (H.Q. I6:36).

“Islam will thus be presented to them, not as something new but as the historical development of Judeo-Christian Islam which is neither traceable in the Torah nor in the Bible. The Qur’an will thus emerge as the only book of Guidance that bears the correct and up-to-date teachings of Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the only model to humanity to follow. This will also provide the valuable opportunity to portray the life and teachings of all the previous prophets, whose life and teachings had been distorted in the Old and New Testaments, correctly. The version of the Qur’an about these prophets is the only authentic account of their lives now available to mankind.”

“Islam will thus be presented to them, not as something new but as the historical development of Judeo-Christian Islam which is neither traceable in the Torah nor in the Bible.”

(pg.119) Through Contacts With Churches, Synagogues, Colleges And Universities: These are very important public platforms that must be used for the spread of Dawa when available, either on the invitation or by offering the services of the Da’ee to these institutions for presenting the viewpoint of Islam on various issues of the time The religious dignitaries and the learned teachers of Universities and colleges will also be invited to speak in the arranged open Dawa programs of the Movement on various issues and topics of common interest. The speeches will be followed by open discussions and Question/Answer sessions. This will give an opportunity to the Da’ee to thrash out the issue and bring the discussion to the desired conclusion

“arranged open Dawa programs and bring the discussion to the desired conclusion”

(pg. 120) “Here in the educational institution, the teacher should be the top target. They are free, they have the time and they exert a lot of influence upon the students. If they are convinced about Islam as a way of life, they can motivate their students to that effect in great numbers. Teachers will therefore, be the special Dawa targets of the Islamic Movement”

“they exert a lot of influence upon the students”.

(pg128) “Service to humanity (to the common folk of the society) is perhaps one of the most effective means of communicating and delivering the message of Islam to the people.”

(pg.129) “Service to Elderly People There are about 60 million people who are above the age of 65 and retired from active service. Many of them are normally sick or incapacitated and confined to homes or elderly people care centers. They are a useful electorate”

“Reconciliation Service to Battered Families” This counseling service to battered husbands and battered wives will ultimately bring them nearer to Islam. They will all feel obliged to the teachings of Islam that changed their lives and made their matrimonial life happier and rejuvenated.”

Interfaith forums are nothing more than a ruse to disingenuously claim Muslims are tolerant and caring when it comes to other religions, and nothing less than a despicable  fraud.

Dawa is equal to another dirty deed of society, called drug dealing.  Supply those in need with what makes them feel good, and they become hooked.

***

The Outrages of Sharia

American Thinker, by  Eileen F. Toplanski, April 23, 2017:

As sharia continues to make inroads in America and Europe, we should take heed of Ralph Waldo Emerson who once wrote:
“[w]e began well.  No inquisition here. No kings, no nobles. No dominant church here, heresy has lost its terror.”
If only that founding reality of the American experience were understood by those who foolishly claim tolerance and acceptance for sharia law in this country — sadly, it is not.

The fact is, sharia is well entrenched in the Middle East and creeping forward to the West. The charge of heresy is imposed on any who would counter its mandates.  In the Muslim world, those who speak out for reformation have placed a bull’s-eye on their chests.  Consequently,

Ayatollah Boroujerdi has spoken out against political Islam and [has] been [a] strong advocate of the separation of religion and state, for which Iran sentenced him to 11 years as an Iranian political prisoner.

On September 23, 2014, Mohammad Mohavadi, prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court visited Ayatollah Boroujerdi in Ward 325 of Evin prison. Mohavadi informed him that the contents of Boroujerdi’s book were ‘heresy’ against the leadership and insulted the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Mohavadi continued that the punishment for these crimes is execution, and stated that all those who had a hand in publishing the book will also be killed. When Ayatollah Boroujerdi suggested an open, public debate with the Special Court regarding his views, Mohavadi announced that his office did not participate in debates, just trials and punishment [execution].

Iranian Kurdish prisoner Zeinab Jalalian was arrested on March 16, 2008 by the Iranian secret police. An Iranian court charged Jalalian with being a member of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), a banned Kurdish group, found her guilty and sentenced her to death. Based on her alleged membership of that Kurdistan political party, she was accused of fighting God (mohareb) and given the death penalty.

The arts are being crushed, too.  Thus, “[a] Tehran Revolutionary Court has sentenced the poets Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi to 9 years and 6 months and 99 lashes, and 11 years and 99 lashes, respectively, on charges of ‘insulting the sacred’ for the social criticism expressed in their poetry.” The flogging sentences were as a result “of their shaking hands with strangers (a person of the opposite sex who is not one’s immediate kin or spouse) [.]” Thus, “[t]hese sentences show that ‘repression in Iran is intensifying,’ said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. ‘Hardliners aren’t just going after political activists, they are determined to stamp out any social or cultural expression with which they disagree.'”

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was “arrested in 2012 and sentenced to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 1,000 lashes for ‘insulting Islam through electronic channels.'”  At the New Yorker, Robin Wright describes how the Saudi government “pulled a blogger named Raif Badawi from his jail cell in Jeddah, brought him to a square in front of a mosque, and administered the first phase—fifty lashes—of a public flogging.”

His crime? — “Badawi, . . . ran a Web site called Saudi Liberal Network, which dared to discuss the country’s rigid Islamic restrictions on culture. One post mocked the prohibition against observing Valentine’s Day, which, like all non-Muslim holidays, is banned in Saudi Arabia. (Even foreigners aren’t allowed to buy trees for Christmas.) Religious police, known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, have reportedly patrolled flower shops and chocolate shops to warn against selling items that commemorate an infidel celebration.”

Badawi’s site, “which the government ordered taken down, often pressed the Saudi monarchy to show the same degree of religious tolerance that is customary in the West.”

Suppression of expression is paramount in the Islamic world.  Yet, in Europe, as affirmed by Giulio Meotti, creeping sharia has advanced steadily, too. European writers, artists and museum directors admit that they are accepting their dhimmistatus by

  • removing the art work “Persepolis” because it combines a Persian Islamic rug and a female head.
  • veiling antique Roman statues in the Vatican to avoid offending Iran’s visiting President Hassan Rouhani.
  • censoring London’s Mall Gallery exhibition titled “Passion for Freedom” because it shows a family of toy animals living in an enchanted valley while in the background another set of toy animals are dressed as ISIS, ready to invade the idyllic view.  The installation entitled “ISIS Threatens Sylvania” was eliminated because of its alleged “inflammatory” content.
  • withdrawing a portrait of the Prophet of Islam from the Victoria and Albert Museum of London because a group of Muslims protested.
  • scrapping the dedication of a new section of the Louvre in Paris concerning the artistic heritage of Eastern Christians.  Recall that Eastern Christians have been systematically decimated by the Islamic State but the Louvre caved to fear.

According to Judith Bergman “[t]he West is submitting to blasphemy laws. Denmark, for example, has apparently decided that now is the time to invoke a dusty, old blasphemy provision. Denmark still has a provision in the penal code against blasphemy, but until now, it has only been used three times. The last time was nearly half a century ago, in 1971. Denmark’s Attorney General has nevertheless just charged a man for burning a Quran.”

Although “. . . blasphemy as a criminal offence has for centuries generally been considered a relic of the past” this is no longer the case in Europe. Thus, “[i]n a largely godless society, few people take offense to blasphemous comments or acts. Christians do not descend upon alleged blasphemers with guns and knives, and publishers do not worry about ‘offending Christians.'”

But a double standard is consistently maintained whenever Islam is invoked.

Robert Spencer in his booklet titled “The Muslim Brotherhood’s  Plan: Eliminating and Destroying Western Civilization from Within” quotes Muhammad Mahdi Othman ‘Kef who made this bold announcement:

I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America, because Islam has logic and a mission.  Thus, ‘the Europeans and the Americans will come into the bosom of Islam out of conviction.’

This stealth jihad has one irrevocable goal — to eliminate Western civilization, mores, culture, and ideas.

Living under constant security watch, Ayaan Hirsi Ali dares to describe what the future holds for Muslim women.  Instead of heeding her prescient words, she is prevented from speaking to college students to explain that “men such as Sayyid Qutb, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, or Osama bin Laden . . . claim that their vision, based on sharia law, is in all ways superior to the norms prevailing in the West.”  Ignored by far too many in the West is that “[i]n Saudi Arabia, a woman’s testimony is usually not accepted in criminal cases and is worth half a man’s testimony in civil cases.”  Also, “[i]n Iran, married women cannot leave the country without their husband’s permission. After a child is seven years old, custody of the child automatically goes to the father [.] A mother also loses custody of her young children if she remarries. In 2016, the chair of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology, an important advisory body, sanctioned ‘light’ wife-beating.”

And while feminist academics in the West would be expected to highlight this abuse, “or at least to enable students to think through the consequences of implementing sharia measures such as we see in Iran and Saudi Arabia” such is not the case. Instead, “[i]t is striking how many American university professors and students reject any analysis of a real conflict between enlightened Western values and unreformed sharia, even as Western civilization is mocked and its many contributions to human freedom and gender equality cynically dismissed.”

In fact, the left and the jihadist appear to be joined at the hip. This, despite recent reports in the international news media of gay men being jailed, murdered or tortured in the Russian republic of Chechnya, which is “a hotbed of Islamic honor killings, usually of young women, but of gay men as well.”

Michael Lucas, founder of New York’s largest gay adult film company, “referred to reports of gay men being murdered by relatives in Islamic honor killings in the Middle East, Europe, and at times the U.S.” Lucas asserts that he is referring to the Muslim world when he uses the word barbarians. He emphasizes that

We will not be able to change them but we have to protect our world and our way of life as vigorously as they protect their way of life. And yes immigration is a problem. Yes, on the left this is a very unpopular opinion. If we are taking (refugees and immigrants) we should not take from the pool of people that is so hostile to us. You know, people, they’re saying on the left, well, bring them here and they will enjoy our freedom and they will embrace gays. No, stay there, learn how to love gays and then come here.”

How many more atrocities and assaults on our way of life will it take for people to understand that sharia is an existential threat to our freedoms and our civilization?

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

Rita Panahi: Muslim video condones domestic violence the Left won’t touch

Reem Allouche and Atika Latifi stirred up controversy when they discussed how husbands could beat their wives in a Hizb ut-Tahrir video.

Herald Sun, by Rita Panahi, April 16, 2017:

IT’S hard to imagine anything more ludicrous than two Muslim women trying to defend their faith against claims of misogyny, by discussing the implements that husbands can use to beat their misbehaving wives and describing the abuse as “a beautiful blessing”.

Striking a blow for women’s rights everywhere, the women demonstrated the correct manner in which they should be hit and the type of tools appropriate for the job, including a small stick.

If it was a comedy skit it would bring the house down, but sadly what was posted on Facebook by the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia was a serious discussion that served only to show the deep gulf that exists between devout adherents of the Koran and the Australian mainstream.

Atika Latifi was keen to dispel the notion that Islam has a women problem. She did that by advising the veiled female audience in Lakemba, and those watching the video, that wives who display “disobedience to the husband” can be hit, but only after being scolded and deprived of sex: “Advise them first; leave them alone in bed; and hit them. He is permitted, not obliged, not encouraged, but permitted to hit her. That is what everyone is talking about. It should not cause pain. Not harsh.”

Fellow panellist Reem Allouche, who disturbingly identifies herself as a primary school teacher, agreed that a husband disciplining his wife could “promote tranquillity” and that “Islam is not gender biased”.

Allouche told the audience that a husband could hit his wife if she strayed from the teachings of the Koran because “he loves his wife, he fears for his wife, it’s almost a natural consequence”.

Feeling empowered yet, ladies?

It’s easy to dismiss Hizb ut-Tahrir as extremists whose views are not shared by the wider Muslim community, but the fact remains that the discussion between Allouche and Latifi came after prominent Muslim leader Keysar Trad caused outage by saying husbands could hit their wives “as a last resort” if buying chocolates and flowers didn’t fix the problem.

It’s also worth remembering it was Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Wassim Doureihi that ABC host Yassmin Abdel-Magied sought advice from after her appearance on Q&A, where she claimed that Islam was “the most feminist religion”.

Yet there are no outraged feminists, Muslim or otherwise, aiming at the group’s meetings and lectures. The courageous Ayaan Hirsi Ali — herself a victim of FGM, who campaigns for subjugated women in the Muslim world — was a target of Australian feminists but the hate preaching of Hizb ut-Tahrir doesn’t result in online video campaigns or street protests.

Trad, often presented as the moderate spokesmen for the Muslim community, is president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and a married father of nine who has spoken openly about his desire to take a second wife. Displaying incredible chutzpah, Trad was on Nine News to condemn the attitude of the women in the video. But simply attacking the women and ignoring the problematic passages in the Koran is too convenient.

If we are serious about tackling such viewpoints then we must look deeper at the belief system that not only permits but encourages this type of submission.

A statement by the Australian Muslim Collaborative claimed that “Islam categorically prohibits and denounces the abuse of women” and “any promotion of violence is against the spirit and letter of Islam”. But anyone familiar with history and the Koran would snicker at that.

Sheik Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, is one of the most influential scholars in the world and is among many Islamic theologians who are clear about how the Koran’s teachings about husbands disciplining wives should be interpreted.

“It is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive areas,” Al-Qaradawi explains.

“To be specific, one may beat only to safeguard Islamic behaviour and if he sees deviation only in what she must do or obey in relation to him.”

The AMC statement was signed by 30 prominent Muslims, including the president of the Australian National Imams Council, Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, who in the past has expressed disturbing views about women, homosexuals and jihad, and The Project host and “terrorism expert” Waleed Aly who, despite being a lecturer at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, speculated that the Boston bombings were the work of homegrown “American patriots” and seems bewildered about what motivates the Islamist terrorists of Boko Haram.

It’s extraordinary that Sheik Shady, who has said AIDS is a divine punishment for homosexuals, women should be “hung by their breasts in hell” and those guilty of adultery should be stoned to death, is judging the women in the video.

It’s also perverse that at a time when efforts to combat domestic violence see preschoolers exposed to contentious gender theories in the hope that they don’t one day become perpetrators or victims of violence against women, we have clear examples of ugly, problematic attitudes all but ignored by activists.

The Left’s disdain for the values that underpin Western secular democracies sees them continually give cover to Islamists. They would do well to heed Hirsi Ali’s words: “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.”

Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metro Area One of Top 20 Places in U.S. Where Women and Girls at Risk for Female Genital Mutilation

The Tennessee Star, by Chris Alto, April 14, 2017:

Tennessee outlawed female genital mutilation (FGM) in 1996, but 2013 data collated in a Population Reference Bureau (PRB) report, shows that the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 20th in the country for the potential risk of FGM being performed on women and girls. Tennessee is number 18 in overall state rankings for risk to women and girls from FGM.

The Population Reference Bureau is a non-profit supported financially by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the United States Agency for International Development and several other foundations.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) includes the terms FGM, female circumcision and female genital excision, under the broader heading of “female genital cutting:”

“Female genital cutting refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for any cultural, religious or otherwise nontherapeutic reasons. This practice is common in many refugee populations, particularly those from East Africa (i.e. Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan), although the practice is pervasive throughout the world. This controversial practice is considered a human rights violation by many, and it is illegal in the United States in people under 18 years of age.” 

Minneapolis, Minnesota, the metropolitan area with the largest Somali community in the country, ranks number 3 in the list of top 20 metro areas for FGM. Columbus, Ohio, the metropolitan area with the second largest Somali community in the country, ranks number 7 in the list of top 20 metro areas for FGM.

In Tennessee, FGM was criminalized in 1996 when Democrats Sen. Thelma Harper and Rep. Lois DeBerry (deceased), passed the “Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996” for the following reasons:

“WHEREAS, female genital mutilation is defended by both men and women in the cultures where it is practiced as a rite of passage and a social prerequisite of marriage as well as a method to control a woman’s sexuality; and

WHEREAS, while female genital mutilation is prevalent in many African and Middle Eastern countries, it also is found in some Asian countries and among immigrant populations in Western Europe and North America; and

WHEREAS, due to the immigration of people from countries where female genital mutilation is practiced, the mutilation has continued to take place in the United States. Usually the immigrants will either send their daughters back to the native country to have female genital mutilation performed or a group of them will pay to bring a midwife to the United States to perform the painful procedure on their young daughters…”

Federal contractors in Tennessee have been resettling refugees from countries including Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sudan, listed in the PRB report as among the “Top 10 Countries of Origin” where FGM is practiced.

Updating 1990 FGM risk in the U.S. estimates to 2012, the Center for Disease Control 2016 Public Health Report showed that “the total number of women and girls in the United States at risk for FGM/C or its consequences increased by 224%, from 168,000 to 545,000” concluding that:

“The estimated increase was wholly a result of rapid growth in the number of immigrants from FGM/C-practicing countries living in the United States.”

Despite being a crime in Tennessee since 1996, in 2011, twenty-one cases of FGM were reported in Tennessee. In 2012, Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Jeremy Faison updated the law to require that healthcare providers report cases of FGM to law enforcement.

This week, a doctor in Detroit was arrested for allegedly performing FGM on young girls brought to her from Minnesota.

U.S. based pediatrician and fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Hatem Elhagaly (AKA “Hatem Al Haj”), listed as an Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) “scholar” issued a “fatwa” (an authoritative ruling on Islamic law) in 2006, saying that Islam sanctioned FGM as “better for the husband” and acknowledged that “the majority of the scholars regard [FGM] (preferable sunnah), some regard it allowable and some consider it wajib (obligatory)…” but advised that because FGM is illegal in the West, it should not be performed.

AMJA’s website states that it is a non-profit organization, “established in response to the growing need of an Islamic jurisprudence specific to Muslims in the West.” Fatwas issued by JAMare the “decisions and recommendations” issued by their scholars and experts and are intended to guide Muslims living in the West.

“AMJA’s influence reaches far beyond the walls of mosques and Islamic Centers. Its work strengthens the moral character of society by developing the leadership capacities of Imams (religious leaders). Equipped with continued passion and tenacity to their work, AMJA scholars, experts, and Imams lead the Muslim community into a better understanding of the practice of the religion of Islam in Western societies.”

Memphis cleric Yasir Qadhi, resident scholar at the Memphis Islamic Center and Dean of Academic Affairs of AlMaghrib Institute, is listed among “our experts” by the AMJA and is a regular presenter at the annual imam training conferences the organization hosts.

***

Also see:

CAIR’s Shibly Defends Islamic Apostasy Death Laws

Africa Security, April 16, 2017

CAIR’s Hassan Shibly is the ‘Boy Terrorist’ because the UAE declared CAIR a terrorist organization and a Federal Judge declared CAIR an un-indicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist funding trial in US History.

This video exposes the duplicity of Hassan Shibly, CAIR, and most importantly the true insidious nature of Islamic apostasy laws.

Hassan Shibly after hearing the gut wrenching story of how a young Dr. Masood was nearly killed by his parents and neighbors for converting from Islam to Christianity was handed a softball question by Mr. Kornman.

Hassan Shibly had the opportunity to condemn the Islamic apostasy laws that have brought much pain and suffering to millions over the last 1400 years. Instead, Mr. Shibly chose to imply that Dr. Masood was a liar and confirmed this by running away from Dr. Masood rather than engaging him in honest dialogue for the world to see.

I have heard Hassan Shibly and many other followers of Islam tell Western audiences that Islam is a religion of peace because the Qur’an says there is no compulsion in religion.

In an Egyptian TV interview Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most respected leaders in Sunni Islam said, ” If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today. Islam would have ended since the death of the prophet, peace be upon him. Opposing apostasy is what kept Islam to this day.”

It is these very same Islamic apostasy laws that hold Islam together through fear.

If the apostate is not killed for his apostasy, it is likely his/her family will disown them severing every familial and business lifeline the individual has ever known inside their community.

The fear of death for apostasy is a very strong motivator to keep the the followers of Islam in line to this day.

It is time for people of conscience to publicly condemn Islamic apostasy laws.

Codified Islamic texts, Umdat al-Salik aka Reliance Of The Traveller page 595 has Ijma or Consensus among Islamic scholars states, “Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst…When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.”

o8.4 Reliance of the Traveller, p. 596 states, “There is no indemnity for killing an apostate, or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die.”

o8.4 says that there is no punishment for any Muslim who kills an apostate because that is killing someone who deserves to die.

If a Muslim leaves Islam it falls on that apostates family to kill the offender. If the family does not uphold their honor and kill the apostate then the responsibility falls on the immediate family, cousins, and then the community at large.

According to Islamic law there is no time limit for the execution order to be carried out, by anyone.

Now that you know the context of Islamic Apostasy Laws it becomes easier to understand why Hassan Shibly behaved as he did in this video.

Hassan Shibly and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) understand the severity and importance of Islamic apostasy laws, causing Mr. Shibly to ‘run away’ from talking with Dr. Masood on camera.

Islamic apostasy laws are Not compatible with our man made laws.

This is why Hassan Shibly’s gut reaction was to deny Dr. Masood’s story and requiring “verification”. Yet with Dr. Masood being no less than 20 feet from where this video was filmed, Mr. Shibly’s only safe play was to run away rather than confront and defend Islamic apostasy laws by engaging one on one with a man who nearly lost his life because of those same Islamic apostasy laws.

When I called Shibly a liar to his face he had two options. Most men would turn around and deny the charge of being called a liar with righteous indignation defending his honor, or run away.

Hassan Shibly, in this video, is the perfect object lesson of how a Muslim leader acts when being put in the position of having to defend his own words and the draconian Islamic apostasy laws.

Dr. Masood is 100% right when he says at 2:54 that the true nature of Islamic apostasy laws, “…paints not a good picture in the Western mind.”

It is time for individuals living in the West to condemn Islamic Apostasy Laws. More importantly, it is time for devout Muslims of conscience to render these archaic and horrific apostasy laws to the dustbin of history where they belong.

This topic is so important it doesn’t matter if you are liberal, conservative, communist, marxist, or even an anarchist – Islamic apostasy laws apply to each equally.

I hate to tell all you non-Muslims out there this but – Islamic Law is applicable to you as well especially when it comes to Islamic blasphemy laws.

God Bless America and God Bless Our Troops.