The Brotherhood must not be seen as moderates

yusuf

The National, by Hassan Hassan and Ola Salem, February 12, 2017

For many people, Yusuf Al Qaradawi epitomises moderate Islam. From banning female circumcision to allowing coeducation, the Qatar-based Egyptian cleric’s bold and progressive edicts have challenged conservative views for decades. But he often comes under fire for his views in favour of suicide bombing.

In April 2001, Dr Al Qaradawi said it was permissible for Palestinians to carry out suicide operations targeting Israelis, and described the tactic as “one of the greatest forms of jihad”. He was responding to a counter fatwa by Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Abdelaziz Al Sheikh. When Al Jazeera reported on the issue, it concluded: “Such a fatwa is specifically common among Palestinians fighting against the Israeli occupation.”

But the fatwa created a slippery slope. In 2014, Dr Al Qaradawi expanded the remit of his fatwa to civil wars in the Middle East. He said that it was acceptable for Syrians to blow themselves up, as long as the bomber acts as “part of a group”. Individuals cannot do it, he emphasised.

These attacks spare no one, including Muslim worshippers inside mosques. During Ramadan last year, for example, suicide attacks hit Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and killed nearly 350 people. A suicide attacker struck near the burial site of the Prophet Mohammed, killing four security guards.

After the attack in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Munir, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, asked clerics to rethink their opinion on suicide operations. “Killing innocent civilians has become common because suicide bombers rely on these fatwas to blow themselves up,” he said.

Suicide bombing is rejected by traditional clergy because suicide is explicitly prohibited in the Quran. Islamist clerics, such as Dr Al Qaradawi, who have a mainstream following legitimise views long perceived to be fringe and extremist. Also, these clerics sometimes preside over councils or are close to religious institutions that operate in the West. Dr Al Qaradawi is chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.

When he was criticised for his views on suicide bombing after the Medina attack, countless supporters expressed solidarity with him. Some pointed out that other clerics have also sanctioned suicide bombing.

What many of those who defended Dr Al Qaradawi’s view on suicide bombing do not realise, though, is that their cleric walked back on his edict in the summer.

“The Palestinian brothers were in need of the [tactic] to instal terror told in the hearts of Israelis,” he said in July. “They told me they no longer need it, so I told them I no longer approve of it.”

The way he disavowed the fatwa is telling – as though he prescribed medicine to a patient. The prescription was stopped because the patient no longer needed it. He failed to disapprove of the practice in general. He made no mention of his approval of the tactic in Syria. The genie is out of the bottle and the side effects are too damaging.

The story of Dr Al Qaradawi and the fatwa he issued more than 15 years ago should be part of the continuing debate over whether the new United States administration should designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The arguments raised by supposed experts tend to be ignorant of the insidious aspects of Islamism.

A key problem with the current debate is that opposition to the designation has led to outright apologism. Even if one argues that the US government should not label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, a mechanism to address the contribution of such groups to the jihadist world view should be in place. The opposite is happening: academics and so-called experts often call for engaging Islamists as representatives of Muslim communities, as the previous American administrations effectively did.

Suicide operations have become an accepted political tactic against opponents everywhere, not only by ISIL but also by groups that subscribe to less extremist ideologies. Should policymakers continue to ignore the fact that it is Islamist clerics such as Dr Al Qaradawi who approve of such tactics, in stark contrast to traditional clergy?

Designating the Brotherhood as a terroist group might not help, but something needs to be done to counter these views. How do the US and other countries determine that clerics such as Dr Al Qaradawi should be stopped from promoting violence in their communities or online? The Muslim Brotherhood affirm peaceful political engagement yet their television channels and writings promote extremism.

Experts who oppose the idea of designating the Brotherhood a terrorist group tend to gloss over such issues. Recognition of the troubling discourse and views that often help groom youngsters for jihadism is critical, if the world is to properly deal with the issue of terrorism.

Hassan Hassan is a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. Ola Salem is a journalist in Virginia, the United States

The Latest Applicant to be “The Muslim Voice”

Gatestone Institute, by Denis MacEoin, January 31, 2017:

  • Secularism may be accepted in a Christian society but it can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society.” — Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
  • The acceptance of a legislation formulated by humans means a preference of the humans’ limited knowledge and experiences to the divine guidance: “Say! Do you know better than Allah?” (2:140)…. For this reason, the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shari’ah is downright riddah [apostasy]….” — Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
  • We Muslims believe that Allah is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the Worlds…. If they do not [observe His injunctions and to judge according to them], then they commit kufr [unbelief], aggression, and transgression.” — Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
  • There have never been any effective democracies in the Islamic world.
  • The idea that human beings can replace God as legislators is obnoxious to classical Islamic thought and to modern Islamist convictions. Men and women do not choose how to live: God has been there first.
  • Several of the ECFR’s own pronouncements indicate an unwillingness to compromise with European norms.
  • “The Shari’ah is for all times to come, equally valid under all circumstances. The Muslim insistence on the immutability of the Shari’ah is highly puzzling to many people, but any other view would be inconsistent with its basic concept.” — Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) plays an important role in the Fiqh al-‘Aqalliyyat (“Jurisprudence for Minorities”) world. It is now based in Dublin, having been founded in London in 1999 by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. Apart from issuing fatwas (principally those of leading Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi), it aims to supervise the education in Europe of local imams, to bring together Muslim scholars living in Europe, to resolve issues that arise on the continent (and UK) while operating with strict respect for shari’a law (which implies there should be no compromise), and to establish itself as an approved authority wherever Muslims live as minorities. This latter aim would suggest that the ECFR might one day possess an authority that would override that of local and national shari’a councils, and its members would expect to be the first and perhaps only voice to which parliaments and parliamentary bodies would lend an ear in their deliberations on how to treat their Muslim minority communities.

Despite the claim of the ECFR and other bodies involved in guidance for Muslims living outside Islamic jurisdiction to work towards a modus vivendi with Western governments, laws and cultural norms, the members of the ECFR nevertheless tend to approach this challenge in a way that can make the rapprochement problematic. Two matters engage much of their attention, namely secularism and democracy. Al-Qaradawi has spoken and written clearly on these. In one of his books, he separates Christian and Muslim beliefs:

Secularism may be accepted in a Christian society but it can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society. Christianity is devoid of a shari’ah or a comprehensive system of life to which its adherents should be committed. The New Testament itself divides life into two parts: one for God, or religion, the other for Caesar, or the state: “Render unto Caesar things which belong to Caesar, and render unto God things which belong to God” (Matthew 22:21). As such, a Christian could accept secularism without any qualms of conscience….

The acceptance of a legislation formulated by humans means a preference of the humans’ limited knowledge and experiences to the divine guidance: “Say! Do you know better than Allah?” (2:140)…. For this reason, the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shari’ah is downright riddah [apostasy]…. This concept is totally different from that of Muslims. We Muslims believe that Allah is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the Worlds. One Who “…takes account of every single thing” (72:28); that He is omnipotent and omniscient; that His mercy and bounties encompasses everyone and suffice for all. In that capacity, Allah revealed His divine guidance to humanity, made certain things permissible and others prohibited, commanded people observe His injunctions and to judge according to them. If they do not do so, then they commit kufr [unbelief], aggression, and transgression.” [1]

Al-Qaradawi considers himself to be a moderate, but that is not always obvious from the positions he takes. He originally rejected democracy, but later advanced the proposition that liberal democracy functions in majority Islamic countries as an alternative to dictatorship and tyranny. The problem with this should be obvious. There have never been any effective democracies in the Islamic world. Democracies require a secular approach that involves the separation of church and state even where religion is given an important role to play.

The idea that human beings can replace God as legislators is obnoxious to classical Islamic thought and to modern Islamist convictions. Men and women do not choose how to live: God has been there first. He has sent down his laws through the Qur’an, the utterances of the Prophet, or the deliberations of the law schools. Since shari’a is all-embracing, only the most emboldened reformers dare to limit it to devotional or personal issues, to go so far as to make observance of its rulings a matter for individual choice, or even to relegate the bulk of it to history.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)

Several of the ECFR’s own pronouncements indicate an unwillingness to compromise with European norms. One fatwa issued by al-Qaradawi tackles the question of challenges to the applicability of shari’a, in answer to which he says, among other things:

The Shari’ah is for all times to come, equally valid under all circumstances. The Muslim insistence on the immutability of the Shari’ah is highly puzzling to many people, but any other view would be inconsistent with its basic concept. Those who advise bringing it into line with current thinking recognize this difficulty. Hence they recommend to Muslims that the legal provisions in the Qur’an and the concept of the Prophet as law-giver and ruler should be “downgraded”.

But, as the manifestation of Allah’s infinite mercy, knowledge and wisdom, the Shari’ah cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards, rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform; it is the frame to which they must be referred; it is the scale on which they must be weighed.

The ECFR is not the only body determined to insist on the immutability and absolutism of shari’a law. According to Soeren Kern:

“the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), a large Muslim umbrella group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, has issued fatwas that encourage French Muslims to reject all authority (namely, secular) that does not have a basis in Sharia law.”

References to several other European Islamic bodies may be found in the remainder of Kern’s article.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is the author of Sharia Law or One Law for All as well as many academic books, reports, and hundreds of academic and popular articles about Islam in many dimensions. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


[1] For a wide discussion of this issue, see Gabriele Marranci (ed.), Muslim Societies and the Challenge of Secularization: An Interdisciplinary Approach, New York, 2010, 2012

Egyptian Ambassador Takes Aim at Top Muslim Brotherhood Jurist

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON. REUTERS/Toby Melville

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON.
REUTERS/Toby Melville

CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, Aug. 30, 2016:

Last week the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Yasser Reda used the opportunity of a Wall Street Journal op-ed to focus attention on the ideologues who promote and support terrorist violence, and called for United Nations efforts to curb terroristic speech with international policy instruments in a manner similar to terror financing. For the subject of their piece, Egypt’s Ambassador focused not on Islamic State’s Al-Baghdadi, or Al Qaeda’s Al-Zawahiri, but rather a man he identified as “the pontiff of terror,” Muslim Brotherhood leading cleric and sharia jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

The Egyptians have good reason to fear Qaradawi, a long-accomplished jurist with “more than a hundred tomes on theological and jurisprudential issues” to his name, who in 2013 called for those who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi to be killed.

Qaradawi’s proclamations played a substantial role in the Arab Spring, particular legitimizing jihad in Libya against Qaddafi and in Syria against Hezbollah and the Assad regime. Qaradawi’s pronouncements also played a role in massive and highly anti-Semitic protests in opposition to Israel Operation Protective Edge against Hamas throughout the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Prior to the Arab Spring, Qaradawi was perhaps best known for providing fatwas authorizing suicide bombings for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and calling for the death of Americans during the occupation in Iraq in 2004.

Unfortunately Reda’s rebuttals falls into some common rhetorical pitfalls. In particular, Reda attempts to contrast Qaradawi’s support for suicide bombings with a prohibition against suicide found in Islamic law. While it’s admirable for the Egyptian diplomat to admit that Qaradawi deals in questions of Islamic jurisprudence and not an artificial “extremism” unrelated to questions of Islamic jurisprudence, Reda’s argument against Qaradawi’s positions lack a solid basis.

The very statement Reda quotes to condemn itself invokes Qaradawi’s defense against the charge. Reda quotes Qaradawi on Al Jazeera suggesting that suicide operations must be undertaken as part of a military effort by a Jamma (party or group) and not by a single individual. But Qaradawi’s formulation eliminates the possibility that a person has taken their own life only out of their own personal despair, and not in order that “they fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.” (Sura: 9:39)

Even while making an effort to minimize Qaradawi’s juridical authority, Reda ultimately seems to accept that Qaradawi’s interpretation carries serious weight among his audience, and that those who hear his appeals to violence on the basis of sharia may act upon it.

Far too many western analysts cannot bring themselves to make even this reasonable concession to reality.

Reda also dispatches with the nonsense notion that Qaradawi’s views, which uphold suicide bombings, jihad and revolution are, in any way, the views of a “moderate.”

Qaradawi has been a bugbear for several Arab States, including Egypt, but also the United Arab Emirates, which designated Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) as a terrorist group.

Reda’s proposed solution raises some questions and some concerns. Reda proposes a United Nations apparatus to designate ideologues like Qaradawi, in the same manner as designating terror financiers, and to sanction them accordingly.

To begin with Qaradawi is already the head of a U.S. and Israeli-designated terrorist finance organization, the Union of the Good, as being designated by the United Arab Emirates.  Despite this no sanctions have ever been placed directly on Qaradawi or business associated with him.

Qaradawi, who has been banned from entry to numerous countries including the United States, France, and Ireland, faces an Interpol “red notice” seeking his arrest and return to Egypt to stand trial on charges of incitement to murder.

In other words, if the nations of the world were so inclined, the ability to take action against Qaradawi exists.

Yet Qaradawi continues to enjoy the patronage of Qatar and Turkey, nations that have sought to expand their prestige and position in the Muslim world through a mutually beneficial alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, it’s unlikely to see international consensus regarding an effort to sanction him for his calls to violence.

The other problem, of course is Egypt’s own history of seeking to utilize international forums to silence opponents have not always been focused on Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist ideologues.

Instead Egypt (with the support of the United States), sponsored a 2009 resolution targeting freedom of speech under the rubric of protecting against religious discrimination. As Anne Bayesfky noted at the time:

…Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased–for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that “freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused,” insisting on limits consistent with the “true nature of this right” and demanding that the “the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner.”

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

This is particularly worrisome since the U.N.-based effort is modeled on using “incitement to violence” to trigger legal penalties, which seems similar to the sort of trigger for sanctions proposed by Reda.

While it’s possible that the current proposal by Ambassador Reda is intended only to narrowly focus on the kinds of jihadist ideology promoted by clerics like Qaradawi, it pays to be cautious.

Still Reda’s editorial displays a rare level-headedness about the depth of the problem, and a willingness to call out not just jihadists but Islamic scholars and clerics who provide legitimacy to jihadist terror.

At a minimum however cooperation between U.S. and western countries and Arab states looking to crack down on Muslim Brotherhood ideologues and their networks would be a key turning point towards responding to the current threat, and one that the U.S. has largely turned a blind eye to. Certainly expanding current terrorism laws to include those, like Qaradawi, who provide ideological and material support to terror, along with including the Muslim Brotherhood as a designated terrorist group, would be a good first step towards “countering the pontiff of terror.”

Islamic State’s Dabiq 8 Focuses on Unifying Ummah, Criticizing Islamists

273030034
CSP, by Kyle Shideler, March 31, 2015:

The Islamic State issued it’s eighth edition of the glossy web magazine Dabiq. While most editions focus on some theme or another, Dabiq 8 may be the most clear yet. Each article is clearly selected to carry across the theme that the Islamic State represents the whole of the Muslim Ummah, and that Islamist organizations which purport to operate within a “nationalist” context are not legitimate.

The magazine begins by establishing the Sharia obligations for unity and against factionalism, citing the hadith, “whoever is killed under a blind banner, calling to ‘asabiyyah (tribalism or factionalism) or supporting ‘asabiyyah, then his death is a death of Jahiliyyah.”  Free Fire Blog has previously referenced this hadith, as it forms the basis of the Al Qaeda work “Jihad and the effects of intention upon it” by Sheikh Abul Qadir Abdul Aziz.

Building on this theme, Dabiq quotes “Khalifah” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi from his Ramadan message saying,

“By Allah’s grace- you have a state and a khilafah, which will return your dignity, might, rights, and leadership. It is a state where the Arab and Non-Arab, the white man and black man, the easterner and westerner are all brothers. It is a khilafah that gathered the Caucasian, Indian, Chinese, Shami, Iraqi, Yemeni, Egyptian, Maghribi, American, French, German, and Australian.”

This is a direct rebuttal to analysts who mistakenly stressed racism as a factor expected to impede Boko Haram joining Islamic State, and a general policy of the U.S. government which has stressed the jihad in West Africa as being linked solely to “local grievances”.  The writers of Dabiq 8 stresses, “it was a rejection of nationalism that drove the Mujahidin in Nigeria to give bay’ah to the Islamic State and wage war against the Nigerian Murtaddin (apostates)…” They continue on this theme by applauding the Danish Muslim who targeted free speech cartoonist Lars Vilks and a Copenhagen Synagogue for rejecting a conception of “Danish” citizenship in favor of religious identity.

The writers continue on this theme in order to criticize Al Qaeda’s operation in Syria accusing Jabhat Al-Nusra of allying with Islamist militias who remain focused solely on Syria, rather than global jihad across borders, noting:

The scenario of nationalist “Islamism” working together alongside nationalist secularism to set up a nationalist government with elements of “Islam” and democracy within a constitutional framework is the same scenario that Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have experienced. the crusaders, expecting the eventual division of the two sides over the cake, sit back and wait to support the side more favorable towards their interests against the other…

Although the game is clear to those with a sound understanding of iman and waqi (faith and current affairs), it was unclear to the jihad claimants of sham (the Jawlani front).

The focus then pivots slightly to a discussion of Caliph AbuBakr as-Siddiq (the first Caliph following Mohammed) who prosecuted the “Ridda Wars” and discusses the logic behind As-Siddiq’s unwillingness to compromise with Arab tribes that refused to pay Zakat (a tithe which is one of the pillars of the faith.) The point being raised regards what the Islamic State views as the failure of other Islamic groups to implement the full shariah, and seeking justification for IS’ prosecution of violence against those groups.

This theme is touched on again as the magazine celebrates the swearing of bayah by Boko Haram, the attack on the Tunisian Bardo Museum, and the suicide bombings of two Shiite mosques in Yemen noting:

“May Allah Accept all those mujahidn who fight, massacre and terrorize the Kuffar while not differentiating between them under the influence of irja (an Islamic heresy which is understood to separate Islamic belief from the fulfillment of religious obligations) or on the grounds of nationalism.”

This leads into articles focusing on Islamic State’s expansion into Libya, which relies on these claims to justify IS’s attacks on Islamist militia faction “Libyan Dawn.” In particular the writers criticize the “Manhaj (school of Islamic jurisprudence) of the Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of attempting to implement Shariah in Libya on a piecemeal basis. In particular AbdelHakim Belhadj, a major Libyan jihadist figure and leader within Libyan Dawn, is labeled as a Murtadd (apostate), which would appear to dispel earlier reports that he may have been aligning with Islamic State.

Islamic State’s quarrel with the Muslim Brotherhood is based on their opposition to the tactic of “gradualism” articulated by Muslim Brotherhood Jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi, but which draws upon the program established by Sayyid Qutb in his work Milestones, and on the work of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna, both of whom supported utilizing progressive revelation to develop Islamic societies towards the eventual full establishment of Shariah law. Historically, this difference has always been a source of tension, with Islamic State’s predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, coming under criticism from Al Qaeda

Dabiq 8 goes on to provide a substantial criticism of “Ijra” [Irja], the heresy of the Murji’ah, and a term which the Islamic State has utilized to refer to the Brotherhood and its related forces since the Caliphate Declaration which stated:

So let those leaders be ruined. And let that “ummah” they want to unite be ruined – an “ummah” of secularists, democrats, and nationalists… an “ummah” of murji’ah (a sect that excludes deeds from faith), ikhwān (the “Muslim Brotherhood” party), and surūriyyah (a sect influenced by the ikhwān claiming to be Salafī).

***

Jihadology:

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: The Islamic State — “Dābiq Magazine #8″

NOTE: For previous issues see: #7#6, #5, #4, #3, #2, and #1.

Feeling the Pinch on Free Speech

free spCSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 22, 2015:

An article in USAToday by Dean of Journalism DeWayne Wickham calling Charlie Hebdo’s decision to feature another image of Mohammed on its post-attack cover, “fighting words”, not protected by the 1st amendment reminds us how badly damaged Free Speech protections have become.  Much of the free world claimed to rally around Charlie Hebdo crying JeSuisCharlie, in the wake of the brutal terror attack perpetrated by jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The world was rightly outraged that these people were killed for having the temerity to publish cartoons. The problem is that as outrage fades, few people are paying attention to the continued efforts to use the attention that violence wrought to achieve Al Qaeda’s goals, without violence.

For example by the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s effort to see Charlie Hebdo prosecuted:

“OIC is studying Europe and French laws and other available procedures to be able to take legal action against Charlie Hebdo,” he said. “If French laws allow us to take legal procedures against Charlie Hebdo, OIC will not hesitate to prosecute the French magazine,” he said. “This (the publication by Charlie Hebdo) is an idiotic step that requires necessary legal measures,”[Secretary General] Iyad Madani said on his Twitter account while condemning the republication of the anti-Islam cartoons.

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years.  Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s “test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

The OIC’s ]continued efforts have been backed by Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, whose International Union of Muslim Scholars, also announced renewed support for criminalizing free expression:

Influential preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi wants a law to be brought in by the UN to forbid the “contempt of religions,” according to an article he wrote, which was published on the organization’s website. “The Union calls on Islamic countries to submit a global law draft criminalizing the defamation of religions and the prophets and the holy sites of all, through a global conference to discuss clauses in complete freedom,” the preacher added. He condemned the decision by the French journal to publish the cartoon saying that it gave “credibility” to the idea that “the West is against Islam,” AFP reported.

The irony of course is that OIC member states, including Jordan, Egypt, U.A.E., Algeria and Turkey (putting the Istanbul in the Istanbul Process) all attended the Paris Unity Rally following the Charlie Hebdo attack, taking credit for standing against terror and in favor of free speech. The same is true for some supposedly “moderate” Muslim organizations in Europe. For example, the French Council on the Muslim Faith (CFMF), which condemned the attacks, calling them, ““an attack against democracy and the freedom of the press” while at the same time CFMF’s membership includes the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, whose leaders have had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qaradawi. The same is true of the Muslim Council of Britain, considered to have links to Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pakistani Islamist group which has held massive protests against Charlie Hebdo in Karachi.

What needs to be recognized is that as horrific as the attacks were, they are not the main effort against free speech. It is not terror attacks like the Paris assault that will ultimately diminish free speech. Terrorism is, as in death by lethal injection, only the painful pinch of the needle that you feel. It does no good to address that threat, but ignore the efforts of groups like the OIC that represent the pressing of the plunger to finish the job.

Also see:

Radical Muslim Scholars Demand UN Impose Worldwide Ban on “Contempt of Religion”

muslim-protest-prophet-AFP1-640x480Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, Jan. 22, 2015:

Earlier this week, the Qatar-based international Union of Muslim Scholars– headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual guide of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood– called upon the United Nations to make “contempt of religions” illegal.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Union said that there should be “protection for ‘prophets’” and urged the UN to issue a “law criminalizing contempt of religions and the prophets and all the holy sites.”

The Muslim scholars also urged the West to “protect Muslim communities following the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo.”

This is very strange. Jews, Christians, Hindus, and atheists have not been attacking Muslims.

On the contrary, Muslims have been rioting, shooting, stabbing, beheading, and blowing up other Muslims and infidels, especially Jews and Christians, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Nevertheless, these Muslim scholars seem to believe that Muslims are being violently persecuted.

When Muslims honor kill a daughter or a wife, they say they did so in “self-defense.”  When a female relative allegedly commits any act of disobedience, she has shamed and attacked her family. This means they had to kill her in self-defense. These were the very words used by Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist Zein Isa, when he and his wife killed their 16-year-old daughter, Palestina Isa, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Some experts (Dr. David Ghanim) and memoirists (Nonie DarwishM.H. Anwar andAruna Papp) suggest that the normative physical, sexual, and psychological child abuse which, with exceptions, describes Arab and Muslim or tribal child-rearing styles, may also account for such behaviors.

Westerners who take free speech and the right to criticize religion for granted have not been able to understand the fury that accurate criticism of Muslim practices (persecution of infidels, persecution of the “wrong” kind of Muslim, persecution of women, etc.) can arouse. Westerners have found it even more difficult to comprehend that the “Islamic street” will riot and murder in response to cartoons. Cartoons?

In a recent, private conversation with my friend and colleague, Israeli Arabist, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, he said this:

Arabs and Muslims know that their civilization has failed. They are unconsciously filled with shame about it. They know that our critique of their culture is true and they cannot bear being exposed by infidels (or by Muslim dissidents or apostates) whom they envy, fear, and despise. If the criticism was not true—they would laugh it off. But if it is true, they are exposed in all their shame for the entire world to see.

If Dr. Kedar is right (and I think he is), such dishonoring is a “killing” offense and treated as such.

It is no surprise that the Union of Islamic scholars, and before them, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), have, since 1999, been trying to impose Pakistani, Saudi, and Iranian style “blasphemy” laws on the infidel world and using the UN to do so. The UN is a world body, much like the Muslim Ummah (“nation” or “people”) is supposed to be. Unfortunately, the UN is largely symbolic, has little supra-power over individual member states, has failed its mission as a peace negotiator, is corrupt and hypocritical, and has been effective in one thing only: It has legalized anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

For years, resolutions to condemn “blasphemy” passed in the United Nations. The OIC wanted to impose criminal penalties for “blasphemy.” Finally, in 2011, the measure failed.

According to Nina Shea, these resolutions were inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini’s “infamous 1989 fatwa, directing ‘all zealous Muslims to execute quickly the British author Salman Rushdie and others involved with his book The Satanic Verses.’” In 2005-2006, in the era of the Danish cartoons, Pakistan re-introduced the anti-blasphemy resolution in language calculated “to appeal to Western liberals.” By 2007, support for such measures “declined.”  In Shea’s view, “this sudden shift came about because, in 2006, the Bush administration took the lead in defending free speech, energetically pressing Council members to oppose the resolution. The EU also became engaged, emphasizing the need to “protect individuals.’”

President Obama has, Clinton-style, “felt the pain” of each and every “offended” Muslim and has taken great pains to defend what he believes is a “peaceful” Islam. He views Muslim violence as either non-existent or as justifiably “provoked” by mocking infidels. His administration claimed that the carefully planned assassination of our Ambassador and Marines in Benghazi had been “provoked” by an anti-Islam video.

Unbelievably, Obama’s administration sent no one of standing to stand with France and with the right to free speech  after the assassinations at Charlie Hebdo and in the kosher supermarket.

In the past, President Obama has made some pro-free speech statements. According to Counter Jihad, in 2012, Obama was quoted as saying “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech.”

Did he mean it, does he still mean it?

The White House has welcomed members of the Muslim Brotherhood for a long time. Now, their ostensible spiritual leader has spoken out. One wonders where Obama currently stands on Al-Qaradawi’s call for a worldwide blasphemy law.

Emerson on ISIS in Canada, restrictions on RCMP, and the mother of all Islamic terrorist groups; Muslim Brotherhood