Leaflets in London Mosque Encourage Killing Ahmadiyya Muslims

leaflets on AhmadisIPT, by John Rossomando  •  Apr 11, 2016

Pamphlets left at London’s Stockwell Green Mosque threaten death to Ahmadiyya Muslims unless they convert to mainstream Sunni Islam. Opponents have accused this mosque of helping promote acts of terror and hate in Pakistan in 2011, prompting a denial from a mosque trustee.

The mosque lists itself on official United Kingdom government documents as the official “overseas office” of Khatme Nabuwwat, a Pakistani Islamist movement known for its strong anti-Ahamdi sentiment, the BBC reports. It also is listed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Council of Britain.

Ahmadis suffer intense persecution in Pakistan and are regarded as heretics due to their belief that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed of Qadian, was a prophet after Muhammad. They also differ from Sunnis by rejecting offensive jihad and believing that military jihad no longer is applicable in the modern world. In a 1983 ruling, the sheikh of Al-Azhar, one the most highly respected authorities in Sunni Islam, declared the Ahmadis “apostates.”

The English-language Khatme Nabuwwat pamphlets found at the Stockwell Green Mosque derisively refer to the Ahmadis by the epithet “Qadiani” and say they should be killed as apostates.

“Those who refuse to convert to mainstream Islam within three days should face a ‘capital sentence’ — or death penalty,” a pamphlet cited by the BBC says.

“Khatme Nabuwwat do not inflict violence themselves, but they provide an enabling environment for a number of actors to do so,” Human Rights Watch official Saroop Ijaz told the BBC.

“There are enough violent groups in Pakistan, enough radical population in Pakistan, that if accusation is made enough times and loudly enough – that is murder. Khatme Nabuwwat do this with the very clear desire of leading to that outcome.”

The mosque denied placing the pamphlets in its literature rack, with a spokesman saying they may have been planted by someone with malicious intentions.

The pamphlets’ discovery comes in the wake of the murder of Asad Shah, an Ahmadi, in Glasgow last month. Tanveer Ahmed of Bradford, England, said he killed Shah for disrespecting Islam and falsely claiming to be a prophet.

The MCB responded to the attack against Shah, saying that Muslims should not be forced to classify Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so and for Muslims to “respect all people irrespective of belief or background.”

The MCB statement represented the sentiments that fueled the growth of intolerance and extremism in Pakistan, an Ahmadi spokesman said in response.

Also see:

Islamic University of Minnesota a Hotbed of Extremism

radical Imamby John Rossomando
IPT News
April 8, 2016

The Minneapolis-based Islamic University of Minnesota (IUM) has an extremism problem.

It is run by a man who used a recent sermon to invoke a Hadith commonly espoused by Muslim terrorists to kill Jews for causing “corruption in the land.” Waleed Idris al-Meneesey also has written that Muslims should place sharia law above “man-made” law.

During a November sermon, al-Meneesy referred to the Hadith, a saying from Islam’s prophet Muhammad, describing how Jews had been punished by God repeatedly for “corruption.”

“When the Children of Israel returned to cause corruption in the time of our Prophet Muhammad,” al-Meneesy said in a translation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “and they disbelieved him, God destroyed him at his hand. In any case, God Almighty has promised them destruction whenever they cause corruption.”

History will repeat itself, he said.

“The Prophet related that in the Last Days his Umma [people] would fight the Jews, the Muslims East of the Jordan River, and they [the Jews] west of [the Jordan River] … Even trees and stones will say: O Muslim, this is a Jew behind me, kill him, except for Gharqad trees, the trees of the Jews. Because of this they plant many of them…”

Jerusalem “remained in the hands of the Muslims until it fell into the hands of the Jews in 1387 AH [1967 AD], and has been a prisoner in their hands for 34 years [sic], but the victory of God is coming inevitably.”

Al-Meneesy, the IUM’s president and chancellor, also serves as an imam at a Bloomington, Minn. mosque where at least five young men left the United States to fight with terrorist groups al-Shabaab and ISIS.

IUM opened in 2007, claiming 160 students registered for classes, which cost $150 each. Current enrollment figures could not be found. IUM’s website describes programs ranging from two year associates degrees to full doctorates. A bachelor’s program helps students “acquire all essential Islamic knowledge.” The Ph.D. program costs $3,000, including thesis review, and is structured “along the lines of Universities in the Middle East and Africa.”

The university’s website cites recognition by Holy Quran University in the Sudan,founded in 1990 by the regime of Sudanese war criminal and President Omar al-Bashir. Holy Quran University’s leaders signed a 2002 declaration saying it was forbidden for Muslims to buy American and Israeli goods.

IUM also professes to serve as the official representative of Sunni Islam’s most important institution – Al-Azhar University, which has grown increasingly radical – in the U.S. and Canada. Al-Azhar officials have refused to condemn the Islamic State (ISIS) as apostates and heretics. According to Egypt’s Youm 7, IUM’s curriculum, offered to American students, endorses many practices used by ISIS. These include: “[K]illing a Muslim who does not pray, one who leaves Islam, prisoners and infidels within Islam [those who do not have a clearly specified creed or sect]. [It also allows] gouging their eyes and chopping off their hands and feet, as well as banning the construction of churches and discriminating between Muslims and Ahl al-Kitab [Christians and Jews], and insulting them at times.”

1478Al-Meneesy’s extremism goes further back than his anti-Semitic sermon. In 2007, he authored a paper for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists Association of America (AMJA), where he sits on the fatwa committee. Muslims should refrain from participating in non-Islamic courts that do not follow Islamic shariah law, particularly those in the West guided by “man-made” law, al-Meneesey wrote.

“The authority to legislate rests with Allah alone,” al-Meneesey wrote.

Anyone who uses law other than shariah, such as civil law, is a “corrupt tyrant,” the paper said. Judging by something other than shariah equals disbelief in Allah, injustice and sinfulness, he wrote.

Muslims should be forbidden from serving as judges in non-Muslim countries, except if they are able to rule “according to the judgments of Allah,” al-Meneesey wrote. Muslims who adhere to secular law and refuse to follow the shariah are infidels. Classical interpretations of the shariah say that apostates should be killed.

In 2008, the AMJA issued a declaration telling Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement “in countries which do not rule by Allah’s dictates.” That includes the FBI. The declaration invoked many of the same arguments as al-Meneesey’s 2007 paper.

Meanwhile, al-Meneesey’s own Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center and Al-Farooq Youth & Family Center have produced at least five young members who left to fight for ISIS or al-Shabaab in Somalia. They include:

It does not appear that al-Meneesy has addressed these cases publicly.

His radical views are not aberrations at IUM.

Instructor Sheikh Jamel Ben Ameur refused to denounce ISIS in the fall of 2014 amid stories about its brutality because news reports were “confusing” and “complicated,” the website MinnPost reported.

“We don’t need to accuse people of something we don’t know about. We don’t have to jump into judgment,” Ben Ameur told about 100 congregants at his Masjid al-Tawba in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Ben Ameur disputed the authenticity of the ISIS propaganda videos showing the beheadings of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, suggesting he didn’t know whether ISIS was responsible or not.

Another IUM instructor, Hasan Ali Mohamud, offered condolences after Israel killed Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004.

Writing under the name Sheikh Xasan Jaamici on the Minneapolis Somali community news website SomaliTalk, Mohamud said that Yassin had achieved martyrdom and that the “Hamas mujahideen” were fighting for the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque from Israeli control. His Facebook page suggests that Jaamici is his middle name.

Jews will face Muhammad’s wrath. Muslims who adhere to civil law over Islamic sharia are infidels. These are ideas supported by Waleed Idris al-Meneesey, who is responsible for a “university” teaching Muslims about their faith. Where will Islamic University of Minnesota students get a more modern and accepting education?

Video: Why I Left Islam and Now Help Others Who Are Doing the Same

why-i-left-islam-and-now-help-others-who-are-doing-the-same-1455725081Vice News, By Imtiaz Shams, February 17, 2016:

The first thing you need to know about ex-Muslims is that the best term in Arabic to describe us is basically a swear word: murtadd, meaning someone who “turns their back” on Islam. The word has a dirty, spit-on-the-ground feeling to it, with a rolling “R” and a sharp drop at the end. This is where you need to start if you want to even begin unpacking the ubiquitous, systematic discrimination we face that can pervade all aspects of our lives.

One key form of discrimination is the erasure or downplaying of our experiences through stereotypes, the most common of which is, “You probably weren’t a real Muslim.” I spent half my life growing up in Saudi Arabia, travelling to Makkah every year for Umrah, a holy pilgrimage. My first book was a gorgeous red and gold-trimmed copy of the Riyad us-Saliheen, a compilation of hadiths (transmitted sayings and actions) of the Prophet Muhammad and his Sahaaba (companions). I’ve been praying, fasting and memorizing the Quran since as long as I can remember and would devour books proving Islam’s truth through scientific miracles and its moral code.

My family moved to the UK just before 9/11, and many Muslims will understand what I mean when I say the atmosphere changed after that day. At school boys gave me the nickname “terrorist” and to this day I still own a shirt where some of them drew explosives and bombs on my last day of high school. That discrimination didn’t affect what was then a deep and abiding love for Islam — it just strengthened it.

So what happened? If everything was geared towards me spending my life as a practicing Muslim, why would I leave? One of the key tenets of orthodox Islam is its perfect nature and the infallibility of the Quran, two claims I unwaveringly held on to for two decades. But as I grew older and my critical thinking developed, the accepted truths about the morality of the Prophet’s actions and the miracles described in the Quran got harder to swallow.

Watch the VICE News documentary: Rescuing Ex-Muslims: Leaving Islam:

I stopped believing mountains were “stakes” or “pegs,” protecting the Earth from earthquakes. Ironically, mountains are actually most common where earthquakes are most plentiful: in tectonic zones.

I no longer believed that Islam had come down to slowly phase out the loathsome institution of slavery. Instead I began to feel that the institutionalization of slavery in Islamic scripture under the auspices of “prisoners of war” allowed for millions of Africans and other non-Arabs to be taken as slaves by the various Caliphates, in some places exceeding even the horrific Transatlantic slave trade.

I had thought that Islam had given women equal rights to men, and this may or may not have been true if we were talking about 1,400 years ago. However, taken literally the same scripture can be used to reduce the inheritance and legal rights of women, enforce certain ritualistic clothing and practices on women but make them either a choice or non-existent for men, ban women from marrying non-Muslims but extend that right to men… the list went on and on in my mind.

Yet through all this I could not internally accept I had left Islam because I didn’t know I could leave. The very idea that one could be a practicing Muslim but then leave Islam was completely and utterly alien to me. I was finally forced to accept I no longer believed in Islam at the beginning of 2012, but I had no identity to go to and nobody who understood what I was going to speak to. My friend Aliyah described this stage as being like an “alien in your own skin,” and I felt like a complete outcast.

Another feeling that hovered over my leaving Islam was fear. Islam had presented itself as a complete and objective blueprint for my life, in charge of dictating my role in this world and my relationship to death and an afterlife. This left me believing that without the religion, even if I lived life making a difference in this world I would no longer be abd Allah, a slave of Allah, and thus my life would be aimless. It told me that that apocalyptic Yawm al-Qiyamah(day of judgement) would come when I would be judged as an apostate, one of the worst of sins, and put into Jahannum (hell). The language around hell in Islamic scripture can be terrifying — is it any wonder many new ex-Muslims have to cope with the anxiety it creates?

This period of fear and isolation did not last very long as I quickly found others out there when I stumbled on a Reddit group called /r/exmuslim. Suddenly I had access to thousands of active ex-Muslims, their stories, advice and experiences of discrimination. Almost all of these Redditors were anonymous because of the inherent physical and social risks to leaving Islam, so I began to reach out. I came up with a vetting protocol, carefully checking people out one at a time and hosting private ex-Muslim socials of sometimes up to 60 people. Sharing your story for the first time with another ex-Muslim is exhilarating, and there were so many of us to share with! Sure we still felt like aliens, but there were a lot of us aliens and we felt more comfortable in our own skin.

Around this time, I had a chance meeting with two gay lawyers who gave me some advice: what really changed for LGBTQ people in Britain was not just that they organized into communities but that they began to come out publicly. This resonated strongly with me so I joined forces with Aliyah Saleem, a feminist ex-Muslim activist, and we started what grew to become “Faith to Faithless,” an organization that creates online and offline platforms to promote apostate voices.

The very first Faith to Faithless event was a year ago at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Although we had members of the QMUL Islamic society and some da’wah(preaching) groups leafleting our event, it was a massive success. Some of the ex-Muslims we met there have since spoken at other events. Although we received support from the wider public (including Muslims), we also received plenty of hate mail and abuse. I’ve had people spit on the ground and call me a murtadd, while insults to female Faith to Faithless speakers are always framed in disgustingly sexist terms. Even worse is that we’ve often been let down by the very people who should be helping us, including some feminist and leftist activists who have used racialized terms like “native informant” to describe us, undermining our agency as a minority within a minority.

As you would imagine, many ex-Muslims contact Faith to Faithless for advice or urgent help and have faced abuse in different forms. Some, although accepted as members of their family, are constantly told that they are going to “burn in hell” and should repent. Others are forced out into the streets with no financial support whatsoever. Some are physically abused, such as one ex-Muslim girl who was kicked in the stomach by her brother and then locked into her room by her parents.

It’s important to note that not all Muslims have treated ex-Muslims in this way. Some of the most important voices to me were my Muslim friends who privately messaged me giving me their support and love. We need to be able to stand together to fight both anti-Muslim and ex-Muslim discrimination, which can often go hand-in-hand. If you’re a young ex-Muslim who has left their faith and feels alone or isolated, get in touch. You are definitely not alone.

Follow Imtiaz Shams on Twitter: @imtishams

Founding Fathers’ Criticism of ‘Musselmen’ Sinks Suhail Khan’s Islam-Is-American P.R.

From Global Faith Forum

From Global Faith Forum

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Dec. 30, 2015:

Suhail Khan, an official in the George W. Bush administration, is engaged in a media campaign that claims Islam is ingrained in the founding of the American republic.

In his Foreign Policy piece, titled “Islam is All-American,” (which would later be re-published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with the title “One Nation Under Allah“) Mr. Khan begins by insisting that American Muslims are under attack–a plea to perpetual victimization that seeks to immediately quash any legitimate debate.

Khan targets GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, insisting he has called for the “registration of all Muslim-Americans,” which is not true. As Breitbart News has shown, this was a media-created suggestion.

Khan claims that “5 million to 7 million” Muslims are living in the United States, without offering any evidence.

He tells us to look to former President George W. Bush for a more “unifying message,” and claims that “poll after poll” demonstrates support for “anti-Muslim sentiment,” without citing one such poll.

What Khan does here, whether purposely or not, is conflate criticism of Islam’s doctrines with “anti-Muslim sentiment” aimed at Muslim individuals. Unsurprisingly, he never addresses whether criticism of Islam is legitimate.

In many Islamic countries, majorities or large percentages of the population favor the death penalty for “apostates,” which includes people who criticize Islam, according to Pew Research. These countries say that the Koranic Sharia law demands they live by such methods.

Across the globe, critics of Islam are slaughtered (see Charlie Hebdo, Bangladesh secular bloggers, Saudi atheists) simply for discussing the “religion of peace.” The “lucky ones,” such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie, and others, have mere fatwas placed on their head.

While many in the Islamic world react violently to criticism of their religion, others, such as Suhail Khan, seek to delegitimize these free voices as ones that make Muslims “feel singled out.” He insists that our enemy “makes no distinction about our race, ethnicity, or religion – attacking us only because we are Americans.”

Americans turn on their televisions and see hundreds-of-thousands of Muslim men fighting on behalf of Islam, engaged in a wholesale murder campaign against religious and ethnic minorities. The free-thinking American people are gravely concerned to see these deeply-religious Islamic groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, targeting people simply because they’re Jews. Or whether it’s Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, and the Islamic State hunting down Christians simply because they’re Christians.

Yet, Mr. Khan tells us that the conflict is our fault. This supposed “anti-Muslim sentiment” trend in America needs to stop, he demands. How dare we start “casting suspicion on an entire faith group,” he suggests.

And the founders of the republic supported Islam, he claims, because they made clear their views on religious freedom, and their assertion that a belief in a particular religion should not prevent a man from holding office.

But in reality, the founders had plenty to say about Islam’s doctrines.

John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1814, stating that Islam’s Muhammad was a “military fanatic” who “denies that laws were made for him” and “arrogates everything to himself by force of arms.”

Ben Franklin, another founding father, said of Islam:

“Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book [the Quran] forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen (Muslims), who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.”

Thomas Jefferson, who would later become engaged in a war against the Barbary pirates, observed that peace was not possible with Islamic zealots, stating in a letter to Secretary of State John Jay:

“The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Our 6th president, John Quincy Adams, wrote that the Islamic Prophet Muhammad “spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.”

“He declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind …The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust: to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature … As the essential principle of his faith is the subjugation of others by the sword; it is only by force, that his false doctrines can be dispelled, and his power annihilated.”

None of those critiques make their way into Khan’s piece, as he concludes, incoherently: “In this time of real danger, let’s not allow our zeal to defend our ideals destroy them.”

#ExMuslimBecause Trend Stands Up To Extremists

1317by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2015

Is this the real Arab Spring?
Shortly after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Maryam Namazie, director of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain(CEMB), created the hashtag “#ExMuslimBecause” on Twitter. The result was a firestorm, through which tens of thousands of ex-Muslims across the world declared their apostasy, many gathering courage from the brave and often poignant words of others.

But just as quickly as their courage spread, the words of these former Muslims were soundly condemned by many others who remain within the faith.  Tweeted someone calling himself @hammamovic, whose avatar shows a clean-shaven young man in a black T-shirt, “I’m Muslim, I’m not a terrorist, but you, the #exmuslims who left Islam, must be killed. You make Terrorism.”

His words speak directly to the impetus behind Namazie’s movement, and behind the founding of the CEMB, which, according to its website, was formed “in order to break the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam.”  That taboo is as powerful as it is perverse: For Muslims, leaving the faith is punishable by death.

Yet apparently, that risk of death is one many are prepared to take in order to continue with life on their own terms. And the number of such courageous ex-Muslims seems to be more than anyone anticipated. “By early Friday morning,” reported Ali A. Rizvi, an #exMuslim himself who wrote about the phenomenon for the Huffington Post, “#ExMuslimBecause was the UK’s top trending hashtag. We heard from secret LGBT Saudis; women who had been forced into marriages; closeted atheists in Egypt and Pakistan tweeting under pseudonyms young women disowned by their families in the US; and more.”

Among them were “@Yas” from Canada, who wrote: “#ExMuslimBecause my own mother told me I should be killed because I didn’t believe the same things she did”; “@SamSedaei, who tweeted: “#ExMuslimBecause I was told I was a Muslim. But then I learned that religion is not a gene and being born to believers doesn’t make you one”; and Rizvi himself, who posted, “#ExMuslimBecause No REAL God should need protection from bloggers and no REAL prophet should need protection from cartoons.” Other notable posts include @LibMuslim’s “#ExMuslimBecause misogyny, homophobia, stoning ppl to death and killing apostates don’t suddenly become ‘respectable’ when put in a holy book” and Heina Dababhoy‘s “#ExMuslimBecause I got tired of suppressing my compassion twds LGBT+ people in the name of a deity claiming to be most compassionate.” For her part, Maryam Namazie, who has been busy adding to the conversation, also observed, “#ExMuslimBecause my being unveiled is NOT the cause of earthquakes or other calamities.”

But many Western Muslims who share their views have refused to take part, insisting that one can be Muslim and still support liberal ideals. “I do think that a lot of the questions that are coming out of the #ExMuslimBecause are issues that Muslims need to take on – such as gender equality and gay rights,” says Ayesha Akhtar, a Bangladeshi-American artist and activist living in New York.  The phenomenon is “complicated,” she says, but adds, “I think that this hashtag and all the tweets, posts, stories that come out of it deserve a round of applause, especially from Muslims, who want religious freedom to dress and live according to their faith – because the right to religious freedom must correspond with the right to be free from any religious affiliation. In a truly liberal, tolerant society, one cannot be one without the other.”

Ibn Warraq, a particularly outspoken Muslim apostate and the author of Why I Am Not A Muslim, agrees, though he is skeptical that one can remain Muslim and still hold such secular, humanist viewpoints. The hashtag, he says, “will help those who think along similar lines. It will give them moral support, reassure them that they are not completely depraved, mad, or evil. They are not alone.”

In other words, while it may seem like a mere Twitter trend, it’s a trend that potentially has very real political punch. True, 25 years after the Salman Rushdie affair, Warraq observed via e-mail, “it is still impossible to avow one’s atheism in public. All the atheists in the Islamic world keep their atheism online. But I think that is beginning to change.”

This is of greater importance in the Muslim world than in the West where, for people like Akhtar, it is possible to consider oneself a practicing Muslim while maintaining Western ideas.  That ability, in fact, is allowing many Western Muslims to start trying to change the narrative – one that, until now, has largely been led by conservative Islamic organizations such as the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and by Muslim fundamentalists. Earlier this month, M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, established the Muslim Reform Movement in concert with 13 other practicing Muslims, including activist Asra Nomani and Farahnaz Ispahani, a former member of the Pakistani Parliament. The group published a nine-point “declaration,” confirming their shared belief in free speech, freedom of religion, equal rights and condemning violent jihad.

But such secular, contemporary viewpoints – let alone outright apostasy – would be impossible in an Islamic country, notes Warraq, who is also the founder of the Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (an organization that ironically bears the acronym ISIS). While it works in the West, ultimately, he says, “There is no Islam a la carte.”

Yet even for Muslims in the West, there are risks. Some are excommunicated from their families. Others are attacked by Muslims in their communities, either physically, verbally, or emotionally. When Namazie spoke at Goldsmiths, University of London on Nov. 30 at the invitation of its Atheist, Secularist, and Humanist Society, for instance, the school’s Islamic Society (ISOC) repeatedly disrupted. Making matters worse, Goldsmiths’ LGBT and feminist societies  defended the Islamic Society’s actions.

Never mind that the ISOC supports the wearing of burqas and other garments that many claim oppress women. Never mind that Namazie, a woman, was bullied by (mostly male) Muslims in the audience. Never mind that the Islamic Society itself has invited speakers who defend jihadists, including Zara Faris, who frequently refers to events like 9/11 as “So-called ‘Muslim’ terrorist attacks.'” Never mind its support for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel. Never mind that the Society accused Namazie of depriving its members their right to free speech in their efforts to protest against her, but failed to see an assault on free speech in their own efforts to silence her.

Ironically, it is exactly Namazie’s movement, says Warraq, that puts the lie to the concept of “Islamophobia” in the first place. “The unwritten subtext of such a charge is, of course, that the person so accused is ignorant, racist, and bigoted,” he wrote in an e-mail. “But the existence of millions of Middle Easterners, and South Asians, who are now atheists refutes the claim that all those critical of Islam must be racists. Islam, in any case, is not a race. Second, the young Egyptians, Saudis, Iraqis and others who have firmly rejected Islam, have had experience of Islam from the inside; many of them have studied Islam to a very advanced level, and hence cannot be guilty of ignorance. And yes, they did read the Koran in the original Arabic.  They know the social consequences of imposing Islam on the general populace: lack of freedom, those freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and which we in the West take so much for granted. The charge of Islamophobia is an effective way of curtailing all rational discussions of Islam.”

Goldsmiths notwithstanding, the response to #ExMuslimBecause suggests that Warraq may be right. If so, this would be an important step in the fight against Islamic extremism, because only if we can talk about the subject openly and frankly, debating the issue from all angles with the freedom that Western, enlightened culture holds as its core value, can we ever defeat those who would take that freedom from us.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

LEAVING ISLAM: THE STORY OF AN EX-MUSLIM

Muslim-Prayer1Philos Project, by ZUBAIR SIMONSON, July 22, 2015:

I am a Christian. Catholic, to be specific. But that has not always been the case.

While walking through Times Square in the spring of 2006, I happened to glance at the headlines streaming by on the ticker. Al-Qaeda had bombed Iraq’s Al-Askari Shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shi’a Islam.

The news made me nauseous. I had read plenty of news articles reporting sectarian violence, especially after the Sept. 11 attacks. But this particular story was the last straw: I vowed to never call myself a Muslim again.

After that day, I began to consider all religions poisonous. I saw them as just another excuse to divide humanity into “us” vs. “them.” Religion was for stupid people; it was just a means to control them. Little did I know that I would be baptized in a Christian church just one short year later.

Although I formally disavowed Islam after the Al-Askari bombing, I could hardly have called myself a practicing Muslim during the months leading up to that event. In fact, my faith had been waning for a number of years. There were many moments in which I could feel my beliefs eroding, but one in particular stands out.

The setting itself was rather mundane: I was in the passenger seat of a car. Someone very close to me, a bookish type and a Muslim, had mentioned the Banu Qurayza in passing. He went on to explain that the Banu Qurayza was a Jewish tribe in Medina that had fallen victim to a wholesale massacre under Muhammad’s direct orders. As a child, I had been indoctrinated to revere Muhammad. But in this otherwise ordinary moment, I wondered for the first time how a spiritual genius could act so ruthlessly. I tried to explain it away by considering the circumstances, but that only spawned more questions. Why would a perfect person’s actions need to be justified?

As I was only 16 or 17 at the time, I kept my questions to myself. After all, I could get in trouble for doubting Muhammad’s integrity. But the deed had been done. Those unsettling seeds of doubt had been planted.

Only in retrospect did I realize that I had been surrounded by the legacy of the Banu Qurayza Massacre throughout my entire childhood. The mosque my family attended in North Carolina was heavily influenced by the Salafi Movement (an extremist undertaking that passes for official doctrine in Saudi Arabia), as are countless mosques across the United States. My own family was moderate, but there were very few alternative places of worship for Muslims in Raleigh. Khutbas (the equivalent of a sermon or homily) during the Friday prayer service were often obsessed with politics. The tone was typically anti-American – even venomously so. In 2005, during the last khutba I ever attended at that Raleigh mosque, the speaker publicly criticized the American government for preventing young Muslims from serving jihad in Iraq.

But there was one country that we hated above all: Israel. The Jews were the penultimate “them.”

As a child, I was taught that Israel’s founding could be summarized as the Jews’ migrating en masse after the Second World War, expelling the Palestinians from their homes and wreaking havoc on every neighboring nation. I frequently heard calls for justice against Israel. Many in the Muslim community, especially those in leadership, were migrants who probably never met a Jew before they moved to America. But that did not deter them from painting an ugly picture for us, the Muslim youth, of sadistic Israeli soldiers in the West Bank; of Baruch Goldstein; of the Israel Defense Forces viciously attacking neighboring nations without warrant or regard for collateral damage.

We were often told about how the Jewish-controlled media lied to the public and of how Jewish lobbyists bribed and manipulated our government. Our family friends often shared wild conspiracy theories. One of my favorites was that the Jews (which make up approximately 15 million people worldwide) were in the planning stages of genocide against Muslims (a billion and a half people). One Pakistani man actually told me that he admired Adolf Hitler for having killed so many Jews.

We impressionable young people heard these sentiments everywhere: from our Sunday school teachers to our family friends; at the mosque and in our close friends’ homes. They were ubiquitous, and we believed them.

Bigoted statements from the mouths of fellow Muslims were just as commonplace in Michigan, where I went to college, as they were back home. I myself even once joked, “Come on. Don’t be a Jew!” to a fellow Muslim student when he left a rather miniscule tip at a restaurant (my jab worked: he ended up leaving a much better tip). My prejudice resonated with him.

I believe that what saved me was the fact that I always felt more affinity for my country than for my family’s faith. When I was 6, I cried and cried when my mother broke the news to me that the Russians had beaten the United States in the race to outer space. The demonizing of our country during Sunday school and the Friday khutbas – with the thinly veiled message that I could not be both patriotic and pious – went a long way toward the undoing of my faith. My country – the United States of America – made it clear that I could practice any faith, but my faith demanded that I hate my country. In the end, it was an easy choice.

It was not until I was in my early 20s that I bothered to learn the other side of the story: that Jews had been migrating to Israel for several decades (without much controversy) prior to Israel’s founding (and raising the standard of living for everyone in the region). About the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan that Israel accepted and that Arab states rejected. About how many of Israel’s Arab neighbors had exacerbated the Palestinian issue during their failed 1948 invasion. That the Six-Day War was a legitimate, preemptive strike. About the wild contrast between citizens’ rights under the Israeli government and in the PLO-administered regions. About the very generous concessions the Israeli government had been willing to make in exchange for recognition. That Israel had served as a haven for Jews across the world, particularly the Soviet-controlled states. About how Yasser Arafat and the PLO had repeatedly stalled the peace process. About the great lengths the IDF went to protect the Christian community in Lebanon. That some Muslims actually served in the IDF.

The fact that Israel was a stable democracy surrounded on all sides by tyrants bent on its destruction made me begin to feel something very foreign for this tiny state that did everything it could to survive: sympathy.

It is difficult to gauge how far such intolerant attitudes against Israel and the United States permeate the Muslim community, both here and abroad. After all, who in Islam will honestly answer a survey on anti-Semitic attitudes? I am certain that such venomous attitudes are alarmingly high, and may very well be in the majority among Muslims.

For that reason, my support for Israel relies more heavily on subjectivity than objectivity. It took me years to realize what all of the “demands for justice” really were: hatred parading itself as justice. It is very important to respect other people’s faith – but never their hatred.

Only one nation in the entire Middle East provides its citizens with a true democratic government. Although anti-Semitism is very much alive today, only one nation welcomes all of those who suffer because of it.

The very existence of Israel raises important questions: Are we willing to stand up for the beliefs in basic human dignity that we hold dear? Do we truly seek to transcend one of the most ancient, and most virulent, historical prejudices of our collective history? And if the answer to these questions is “yes,” our support for Israel is paramount.

***

 

Secure the Border!

aisis-426x350Frontpage, February 19, 2015 by Raymond Ibrahim:

Originally published by PJ Media.

In a move reminiscent of “ancient history,” Saudi Arabia is building a 600-mile-long “Great Wall”  –  a combined fence and ditch  –  to separate itself from the Islamic State to the north in Iraq:

Plans for the 600-mile wall and ditch Saudi Arabia will build with Iraq in an effort to insulate itself from the chaos engulfing its neighbors.

Much of the area on the Iraqi side is now controlled by Isil [the Islamic State], which regards the ultimate capture of Saudi Arabia, home to the “Two Holy Mosques” of Mecca and Medina, as a key goal….

The irony here is that those Muslims that Saudi Arabia is trying to keep out are the very same Muslims most nurtured and influenced by a Saudi — or “Wahabbi,” or “Salafi” — worldview.

Put differently, Saudi Arabia is again appreciating how jihad is a volatile instrument of war that can easily backfire on those who support it.  “Holy war” is hardly limited to fighting and subjugating “infidels” — whether the West in general, Israel in particular, or the millions of non-Muslim minorities under Islam — but also justifies fighting “apostates,” that is, Muslims accused of not being Islamic enough.

Indeed, the first grand jihad was against Muslim “apostates” — the Ridda [“apostasy”] Wars.  After Muhammad died in 632, many Arab tribes were willing to remain Muslim but without paying zakat (“charity”) money to the first caliph, Abu Bakr.  That was enough to declare jihad on them as apostates; tens of thousands of Arabs were burned, beheaded, dismembered, or crucified, according to Islamic history.

Accordingly, the Islamic State justifies burning people alive, such as the Jordanian pilot, precisely because the first caliph and his Muslim lieutenants burned apostates alive, and is even on record saying that “false Muslims” are its first target, then Israel.

This is the problem all Muslim nations and rulers risk: no one — not even Sharia-advocating Islamist leaders — are immune to the all-accusing sword tip of the jihad.  If non-Muslims are, as “infidels,” de facto enemies, any Muslim can be accused of “apostasy,” instantly becoming an enemy of Allah and his prophet.

A saying attributed to the Muslim prophet Muhammad validates this perspective: “This umma [Islamic nation] of mine will split into seventy-three sects; one will be in paradise and seventy-two will be in hell.”  When asked which sect was the true one, the prophet replied, “aljama‘a,” that is, the group which most literally follows the example or “sunna” of Muhammad.

This saying perfectly sums up the history of Islam: to be deemed legitimate, authorities must uphold the teachings of Islam — including jihad; but it is never long before another claimant accuses existing leadership of not being “Islamic enough.”

Enter the Saudi/Islamic State relationship. From the start, the Arabian kingdom has been a supporter of the Islamic State.  It was not long, however, before IS made clear that Saudi Arabia was one of its primary targets, calling on its allies and supporters in the kingdom to kill and drive out the Saud tribe.

Nor is this the first time the Saudis see those whom they nurtured — ideologically and logistically — turn on them.  Back in the 1980s, the Saudis were chief supporters of the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan and helped create al-Qaeda.

But once the “distant” infidel was subdued, al-Qaeda and its Saudi-born leader Osama bin Laden came home to roost, doing the inevitable: pointing the accusatory finger at the Saudi monarchy for not being Islamic enough, including for its reliance on the great American infidel during the First Gulf War.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia is not only a chief disseminator and supporter of the Salafi ideology most associated with jihad, but the Arabian kingdom itself was forged in large measure by articulating and calling for holy war in the 19th and -20th centuries, including against Turks and fellow Arab tribes (both Muslim).

The Saudi argument then was the very same argument now being made by the Islamic State — that the rulers of Islam’s holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina (in this case, the Ottoman Turks) were not “Islamic” enough.

Such is the double-edged sword of jihad.   All Islamic governments, regimes, and kingdoms must always try to direct this potent instrument of war against enemies or neutral targets — preferably ones far away from their borders (Afghanistan, America, etc.). For they know that the longer the jihad waxes in strength and goes uncontained, the more it becomes like an all-consuming fire indiscriminately scorching all in its path.

And this explains why Saudi Arabia is a chief funder and supporter of external jihads: to send its own zealots out of its borders to fight distant infidels (a “better them than me” mentality).  It also explains why nations like Saudi Arabia, which were forged by the jihad, continually find themselves threatened by the jihad — or, to paraphrase a young Jewish rabbi: “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

The Ideology Problem in Timbuktu Is Not al-Qaeda’s Making — It Is Classical Islam

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy:

Andrew’s post describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali is essential, if excruciating, reading. Beyond the monstrously cruel but all too usual punishments being imposed, I’m struck by two things, which really show how willful blindness leads inexorably to spring fever: The Guardian attributes the atrocious penalties to the “menace of al-Qaida”; it also notes, however, that the “ban [on music] comes in the context of a horrifically literal and gratuitous application of Sharia law in all aspects of daily life.”

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, al Qaeda did not make up sharia law. Islam did. And in the West, it is a key tenet of due process that law is imposed literally — ambiguous laws violate the principle that people of ordinary intelligence must be on fair notice of what is prohibited. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about applying as it is written.

16044762We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem. As I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that al Qaeda’s local franchise is enforcing in Mali is “literal” because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, while it seems only militant jihadists proudly urge this construction in practice, it is enthusiastically endorsed in principle by two of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East: al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Don’t just take my word for it. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law is not some al Qaeda pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s reliance (1)provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think-tank begun in the early eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”) — and from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West (“We certify,” the famed scholars wrote, that the “translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…. There is no objection to printing it and circulating it…. May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.” There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.).

#more#

Reliance is also endorsed by Islamic authorities in Jordan (leading influences on a largely Palestinian population that may well overthrow the pro-Western monarchy) and Syria (leading influences on the “rebels” on whose side interventionists — including both presidential candidates — would have us jump to abet the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing campaign to oust the minority Alawite Assad regime).

Here, as I summarize in Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about the arts:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

“Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage), and “[o]n the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” However, if unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Those sharia provisions are complemented by these — again, endorsed by al-Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and our “moderate” “allies” in the region:

Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

[Note: These latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah or the prophet are the basis for imposing death for blasphemy. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated worse than Muslims by sharia (see, e.g., Sura 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.”)]

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” (Reliance o9.0.)

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity” –zakat can only be given to Muslims and is designed strictly to fortify the Muslim community, not benefit the less fortunate generally); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster…. They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1-17.)

Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued, such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feast-days.” (Reliance o11.0 & ff.)

Offenses committed against Muslims, including murder, are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims. (Reliance o1.0 & ff; p2.0-1.)

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliancep50.0 & ff; p.74.0& ff.)

The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year.” (Relianceo12.0 & ff.)

The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death. (Reliance p17.0 & ff.)

A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam). (Reliance m6.0 & ff. – Marriage.)

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliancep42.0 & ff.)

A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child. (Reliance m13.2-3.)

A woman has no right of custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries “because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending to the child.” (Reliance m13.4.)

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Relianceo14.0.)

The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes.” (Reliance o16.3; p.14.2.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliancep7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Relianceo24.7.)

If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses.” (Reliance o24.9.)

The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male. “The Prophet … said, “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (Reliance o25.0 & ff; see also p28.0, on Mohammed’s condemnation of “masculine women and effeminate men.”)

This is not al Qaeda doctrine. This is sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. It is not the construction of Islam that many Muslims in the West wish to live under. But it is the mainstream supremacist Islam of the Middle East, which Islamic leaders — including those who come to the West to preach it — would not dream of discrediting, even if they are not as enthusiastic as al Qaeda where imposing it is concerned.

The State Department and the leading foreign policy voices of both major American political parties say sharia is perfectly compatible with “democracy” and the Western conception of human rights — of liberty and equality. Sure it is. And then you wonder why the Obama administration opens a consulate in Benghazi, one of the most perilous places in the world for Americans, refuses to safeguard it despite multiple pleas for beefed up security, and then fraudulently claims a pluperfectly predictable atrocity was caused by a video no one ever saw. If you’re going to live in a dreamworld, better get used to nightmare consequences.

Sudan Detains Christian Woman Trying to Reach America

 

Another blow: Meriam poses hours after her release with her husband, Daniel (left) and her children, Martin (on Daniel's knee) and baby Maya and all those who bravely fought for her freedom in Sudan. Now she has been re-arrested with her husband and children (Daily Mail)

Another blow: Meriam poses hours after her release with her husband, Daniel (left) and her children, Martin (on Daniel’s knee) and baby Maya and all those who bravely fought for her freedom in Sudan. Now she has been re-arrested with her husband and children
(Daily Mail)

IPT News, June 24, 2014:

Dozens of Sudanese security agents reportedly stopped a Christian woman and her family from trying to leave the country Tuesday, a day after she was granted a reprieve from a death sentence for apostasy.

Meriam Ibrahim’s case garnered international attention in May when she was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man. She was pregnant at the time the sentence was issued. She also faced 100 lashes for adultery, after the court found her marriage was not valid.

An appeals court overturned those rulings. Her husband, Daniel Wani, is an American citizen. Ibrahim said she was raised as a Christian.

She was released from prison Monday after six months. Then, in a scene out of a bad movie, 40 National Intelligence and Security Service agents detained her at the airport Tuesday as she and her family tried to leave Sudan. “The authorities are saying she has been freed from prison but is not free to leave Sudan at this stage,” an official told reporters.”

Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in prison, reportedly was released a few hours later, and officials claimed the hold-up was about her paperwork.

A State Department spokeswoman said the United States is working to arrange the family’s safe passage out of Sudan.

“The [Sudanese] government has assured us of their safety,” said spokeswoman Marie Harf. “The Embassy has been and will remain highly involved in working with the family and the government. We are engaging directly with Sudanese officials to secure their safe and swift departure from Sudan.”

Also see:

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE REVERSES SHARIAH COURT DEATH SENTENCE FOR SUDANESE CHRISTIAN MOTHER

Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani - wedding photoBreitbart, by :

Earlier today, an appeal court in Sudan overturned Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag’s death penalty and released her from jail.

Ibrahim is the woman who had never embraced her absent father’s Muslim faith and whose mother brought her up as a God-fearing Christian. Shariah law demands that such a woman is an apostate and demands either execution or “reversion” to Islam. That, Meriam refused to do. She was willing to die for her faith.

This was her only crime—a refusal to convert or revert to Islam. This exceptionally beautiful woman was arrested and brutalized in a medieval fashion: Chained up in a dark dungeon and forced to give birth on the filthy floor of that very dungeon in chains. The fact that her husband is an American citizen and that her two children, including the daughter born while she was imprisoned, are also American citizens did not sway the Sudanese authorities.

What has? It is hard to say. International human rights groups and Christian groupslaunched campaigns on her behalf. An internet campaign which I quickly joined seems to have gathered some momentum, but internet campaigns do not open cell doors. Many articles were published, including mine at Breitbart, but that, too, does not usually open cell doors.

On May 24, 2014, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted that “Meriam Yahya Ibrahim’s death sentence is abhorrent.” On June 12, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement about freedom of religion and noted that the Sudanese government has violated international law and human rights. He wrote: “The United States remains deeply concerned about the conviction and continued imprisonment of Ms. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag.”

However, I have been told that the American Embassy in Khartoum would not get involved—at least, not publicly and not visibly.

On June 19, 2013, thirty eight Congressmen signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. This effort was spear-headed by two Republican Congressmen: Trent Franks and Frank Wolf. Thirty one Republicans and only seven Democrats signed this letter. Shame on the Democratic Party! Here is an African woman who is exercising her freedom of religion—a value that we in the West, particularly in America, hold dear.

Senator Ted Cruz called on President Obama to directly engage Sudan and call for her release.

And now, five days later, on June 23rd, a Sudanese Court has freed her and declared her innocent of all charges.

Really, what has opened her cell door? At this point, I cannot say. But one thing is clear: This is an international victory against Shariah law–and as Shariah law is imposed in a Muslim country. This is no small thing. The stand taken by Christian and human rights groups, coupled with the Republican-led coalition demanding that she be freed, helped.

Other questions abound as to what occurred behind closed doors. Did money change hands? if so, whose money? Have we traded away terrorists for Meriam’s freedom? Will we ever know? More importantly, will she now be protected from death threats? Will the American Embassy give her shelter? How will she get out of the country? Who will sponsor her for political asylum here? How many other Meriams will we have to rescue, campaign by campaign?

Meriam’s journey is not yet over, though she is free of the charges leveled against her. Laurie Jalbert, founder of the Christian group A Passion for Jesus who launched a petition to save Meriam, says now is the time for the White House to act to get Meriam and her children to America safely. “There are now death threats against Meriam and her lawyers,” she explained to Breitbart News, “Please continue to remember Meriam and her children as they still need to safely leave Sudan. Also, remember her lawyers who were courageous enough to represent her.”

Human rights groups call for release of condemned Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim

2827160726Center for Security Policy:

On Thursday 12 June, the Institute on Religion and Democracy along with dozens of co-sponsors led a protest at the White House calling for the release of Sudanese “apostate” Meriam Ibrahim. Ibrahim, the mother of two young children and wife of a U.S. citizen, has been sentenced to death by hanging by the government of Sudan.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

 

Faith McDonnell, Institute on Religion and Democracy

 

Magdi Khalil, Coptic Solidarity

 

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

 

Jimmy Mulla, Voices for Sudan

 

Penny Young Nance, Concerned Women for America

 

 

Sharia Rights or Human Rights: The Case of Meriam Ibrahim

hj-450x253Front Page, by Amani Gayed:

The Sudanese Criminal Court’s death sentence upon a 27-year-old pregnant woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who was found guilty of leaving Islam, has gained very wide publicity. Her plight has attracted the strongest condemnation from the world’s top politicians, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world have signed petitions for her release.

It is striking that those condemning Meriam Ibrahim’s death sentence are demanding her release, but they are not demanding the abolition of the legal code that found her guilty of apostasy and adultery in the first place.

The Sudanese Government – not unlike many Western governments, who are permitting Sharia principles and Sharia courts to become entrenched within their legal systems – is simultaneously endorsing two approaches to human rights, the one contradicting the other: Islamic Sharia Law and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

The Sudanese Government – like other Islamic governments, Islamic communities in the West, and many Islamic non-governmental organizations – have been given a free pass to move freely between the two opposing sets of rights, according to whatever suits them best.

Who’s confused?

Sudan is an Islamic State, which has embedded Islamic Sharia Laws in its legal framework. At the same time, Sudan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These two sets of rights are fundamentally opposed to each other in the way they view and understand rights and freedoms.

In response to the overwhelming media coverage of Meriam’s case, a Sudanese official at the Sudanese embassy in London reassured the BBC that Sudan is committed and will comply with its commitment to protect freedom of religion. Of course he was referring to principals of human rights as understood and accepted in the West.

Back in Sudan it was another story. Meriam was sentenced to death by a Sudanese Criminal Court which found her guilty of apostasy from Islam under article 126 of the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Law Act. This reads:

126 (1) Every Muslim who advocates the renunciation of the creed of     Islam, or who publicly declares his renouncement thereof by an express   statement or conclusive act, shall be deemed to commit the offense of     apostasy.

‪(2) Whoever commits apostasy shall be given a chance to repent     during a period to be determined by the court; if he persists in his     apostasy, and is not a recent convert to Islam, he shall be punished     with death.

‪(3) The penalty provided for apostasy shall be remitted whenever the apostate recants apostasy before execution.

According to Sharia law, and contrary to the principles of the UDHR, Meriam has no choice but to be a Muslim, because Sharia law mandates that every child born to a Muslim parent is a Muslim. A child must follow Islam if one of his/her parents is a Muslim or converts to Islam, because, according to Sharia Law, Islam is the superior religion over all other religions. In Meriam’s case she was born to a Muslim father, so, according to Sudanese Islamic Law, she cannot choose to become a Christian, despite what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.

The same court, using the same Act, also found Meriam guilty of the offence of adultery under article 145b, and sentenced her to a flogging under article 146b, which states:

Article (145): Adultery

1. There shall be deemed to commit the offence of adultery:

(a) Every man who has intercourse with a woman without a legitimate marriage;

(b) Every woman who allows a man to have intercourse with her without a legitimate marriage.

2. Intercourse is deemed to be completed when the whole head of the penis, or its equivalent, enters inside the vagina.

3. A marriage is not legitimate when its legitimacy is not determined and settled [by Islamic jurists].

Article (146)

1. Whoever commits the offence of adultery shall be sentenced to:

(a) Death by stoning when legitimately married;

(b) 100 lashes when not legitimately married.

The Sudanese official in the Sudanese embassy in London would have been fully aware of Sudanese Criminal Law, under which Meriam was found guilty of apostasy and adultery, but he chose to play the Universal Declaration of Human Rights card in an attempt to reduce tensions with the West.

“Moderate” Sharia Laws?

The Western governments that allow Sharia principles (Islamic finance, Islamic schools, halal certified food, Islam-compliant inheritance, Islam-compliant marriage) are displaying harmful ignorance. Sharia Law is a single legal code which determines crimes, offences, punishments, finance, halal and haram, and so on. The fundamental principles which determine the value and the rights of women in Sharia Law in matters of inheritance, marriage, finance, and education are the same principles which determine her rights in respect of apostasy and adultery.

The London Sudanese embassy official thought to cause confusion by referring to Western understandings of human rights. Western leaders have themselves embraced and partnered with such confusion by condemning the death and flogging of an adulterer apostate in Sudan, while at the same time accepting principles of sharia law into their countries’ legal systems. They should have known better, for whether the issue is Islamic finance, halal food, inheritance issues, apostasy, or adultery, Islamic schools in the UK, USA, Australia, France, or Germany can only teach the same fundamental principles which brought a 27-year-old mother of two to death row and earned her a flogging, for the ‘crimes’ of leaving Islam and marrying a Christian man.

Islamic Sharia law follows a set of values which do not change. The Sharia legal texts that the Sudanese criminal court judge consulted are sold in Islamic bookstores all over the Western world. The same principles that brought Meriam to death row are taught to Western Muslim children in Islamic schools all over the Western world.

To the Western leaders I say this: Millions of Muslims came to the West seeking refuge in genuine principles of human rights. They were seeking freedom and justice. Please do not hand them back to the oppression of the Islamic Sharia!

Amani Gayed practiced law in Sudan, and is now based in Sydney, Australia.

No U.S. Consular Service for Meriam

meriam-in-prison-2by Faith J. H. McDonnell:

Faith J. H. McDonnell directs the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).

On YouTube there is a video of the punishment for adultery that will soon be meted out to Sudanese Christian Dr. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim unless the United States government intervenes on her behalf. But some disturbing information revealed by Meriam’s husband, Daniel Wani, a naturalized U.S. citizen, suggests that “not leaving behind” this wife of an American citizen may not even be contemplated by the Obama Administration without strong pressure from caring advocates.

The video, featuring a terrified young Sudanese woman being whipped in front of onlookers at a Khartoum police station is so disturbing that it has been age-restricted by YouTube. Even her distress anticipating the flogging looks physically painful itself. Meriam has already had weeks to anticipate her upcoming flogging. She is to receive 100 lashes for her marriage to a South Sudanese Christian. Because the Shariah court in Khartoum considers her a Muslim, it does not recognize her marriage to Wani.

Meriam’s suffering will not end with the agony of lashes. That punishment will be followed within two years’ time by her execution for apostasy. The delay is because the court will wait until her newborn baby, Maya, has been weaned. Meriam will then be killed, according to Shariah, for the crime of refusing to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ and “revert” to Islam.

While waiting to be hanged, Meriam, 27, is shackled to the wall of the Omdurman Women’s Prison, along with her 20 month-old son, Martin. On May 27, when she gave birth to Maya, she was forced to endure labor on a filthy floor while still in leg irons, according to her distressed husband. Now, nursing Maya keeps her from the gallows, but she is not even permitted to nurse her baby and care for her toddler in peace. She has to suffer the continuous visits of Muslim clerics, attempting to pressure her into conversion.

Current photos of the gaunt inmate Meriam holding baby Maya are shocking after viewing photos of Meriam as Daniel’s beautiful bride. Traded-for-Taliban-terrorists Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl looks in the pink after his five years with Islamists (in spite of President Obama’s excuse for negotiating a deal with the devil being concern for the soldier’s health), compared to Meriam’s deteriorating appearance after just five months in Islamist captivity.

Where are the President’s grand gestures to rescue this young Christian wife of an American? Will President Obama be Meriam’s knight in shining armor, as he has been for Bergdahl?

Sadly, there is no evidence of any planned intervention by the Obama Administration for Meriam and her children. And since Meriam’s sentencing there has been no public statement in her defense coming from that direction. There have, however, been vigorous condemnations from British Prime Minister David Cameron, former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Mukesh Kapila, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and other international leaders.

Read more at Front Page

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Obama Adds Insult to Injury for Sharia-Condemned Young Mother in Sudan

1401911517362.cachedBy Nina Shea:
Khartoum says Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian, must hang for “apostasy.” Soon she’ll be flogged. Her husband is American, but the U.S. may require a DNA test to prove her infants are, too.
On death row in Sudan last week, Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a girl, whom she named Maya. The 27-year-old prisoner of conscience is now a step closer to the gallows. On May 15, Meriam was sentenced to be hanged for apostasy from Islam, but the execution was ordered delayed until the then-8-month pregnant defendant delivered and weaned the baby.Notwithstanding its assertion last weekend that Meriam would be released “in a few days,” by Monday Sudan had made it clear it has no such intention. Her defense lawyer is now pursuing legal appeals, but Meriam’s  only real hope of being spared lies in the moral pressure created in the court of public opinion.

Meriam’s case turned on the question of her religious identity—whether she is lawfully a Christian, a faith she inherited from her Ethiopian Orthodox mother and embraces, or whether, because her father was a Muslim, she too must be a Muslim, even though he abandoned the family when she was young.

The Sudanese court determined that she was a Muslim under sharia law and, after she refused to renounce Christianity at trial, convicted her of apostasy. It also found her guilty of adultery for marrying a man who is Christian, which is forbidden to Muslim women in Sudan, and, for that, the court ordered that flogging with 100 lashes be added to her punishment.

The cruel treatment and flagrant denial of religious freedom are shocking even by Sudan’s abysmal human rights standards. The case has received wide attention in the international media, and it has stirred high level outrage. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and various U.N. rights experts are among those who have raised their voices in protest.  Mia Farrow has started a hashtag campaign (#FreeMeriam) and others are circulating petitions.

But from one quarter there has been noticeable silence. For over two weeks since the verdict was announced there has been no public statements in defense of Meriam from President Barack Obama or any high level U.S. government official. The U.S. State Department spokesperson said the agency was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence imposed on Meriam but “understood that the sentence was open to appeal”, thus seeming to suggest that the administration is heartlessly preparing to stand by and passively watch the process play out .

Read more at Daily Beast

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Sudan Claims It Will Release Meriam, But What About Faiza?

Meriam Ibrahim Ishag with her husband Daniel Wani. Their son Martin, 20 months, has been in a Sudanese prison with his mother Meriam since her arrest in September for the 'crime' of being a Christian.

Meriam Ibrahim Ishag with her husband Daniel Wani. Their son Martin, 20 months, has been in a Sudanese prison with his mother Meriam since her arrest in September for the ‘crime’ of being a Christian.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Sudanese regime is claiming that Meriam Ibrahim Ishag, an imprisoned Christian sentenced to death, will be released after heavy international pressure. Her attorney is doubtful but even if it’s true, there’s another woman we must act to save: Faiza Abdalla.

Meriam is a victim of Sudan’ move towards stricter sharia governance and the culture of “honor.” This tradition pushed her own Muslim brother to redeem the family’s “honor” by turning her into the authorities. Meriam’s father is a Muslim, so the Sudanese government considered her to be an apostate deserving of death for being a Christian. She just gave birth in prison.

Change.org petition gathered over 720,000 signatures demanding that she be released. The Sudanese regime was condemned internationally, with the U.S. government becoming “fully engaged” behind-the-scenes to twist the regime’s arm.

Now, the Sudanese regime is telling the world that it is caving. Her husband, Daniel Wadi, is now allowed to visit her and their baby. A foreign ministry official claims she will be “freed within days in line with legal procedure that will be taken by the judiciary and the ministry of justice.”

It is hard to see how she can be released without violating Sudanese bans on apostasy and adultery.

International Christian Concern has been informed by a Sudanese official that it will release Meriam temporary for two years so she can take care of her baby, but the death sentencing will not be lifted. Presumably, the same is true of the 100 lashes she is sentenced to. It is possible that the Sudanese regime is hoping that she’ll be granted asylum in the U.S. during the delay.

Meriam’s attorney, Elshareef Ali Mohammed, sees it as nothing more than deceitful public relations, calling it a “statement to silence the international media.”

“If they were to release her, the announcement would come from the appeal court, and not from the ministry of foreign affairs. But at least it shows our campaign to free Meriam is rattling them. We must keep up the pressure,” he said.

Read more at Clarion Project

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