Justice Department Forces Christian Pastor to Testify on Islam Views

UPDATE: Federal Court Dismisses Entire Justice Department Mosque Case

PJ Media, by J. Christian Adams, Aug. 31, 2017:

The United State Department of Justice has issued subpoenas to force a Christian pastor in Virginia to disclose under oath his views on Islam.

Pastor Steve Harrelson of the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Boston, Virginia, has been served with a wide-ranging subpoena by lawyers for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. The subpoena demands his presence to testify under oath in response to questions from Justice Department lawyers about his views on Islam as well as several other issues:

DOJ Subpoena listing documents targets must provide to the government

Harrelson is not a party to any lawsuit or other action brought by the Justice Department. He is a private citizen. The Justice Department subpoena also demands that the pastor bring any papers or documents that he has to his deposition with government lawyers that relate to or mention Islam and turn them over to the government.

Pastor Steven Harrelson

In addition to Harrelson, other Christian third-party private citizens have also been subpoenaed to reveal under oath their views on Islam and to deliver any documents they possess related to Islam to federal attorneys.

The Justice Department case alleges that Culpeper County refused to grant a permit to allow the Islamic Center of Culpeper to pump and haul away sewage. The case was brought under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The mosque purchased land that was unsuitable for a septic system at the time of purchase.

The United States Department of Justice is pursuing the case against Culpeper County and forcing a Christian pastor and other Christians to testify under oath about their views on Islam even though the mosque itself has already settled all claims with the county. (Full settlement here).

The fact that the mosque settled with the county led one federal judge to call into question the Justice Department’s zeal to continue to pursue the case even though the purported victim is satisfied and will be building a mosque:

At a federal court hearing Friday at which the county argued to dismiss the suit for a second time, Judge Moon sided with Culpeper in providing his take on the sustained complaint, saying the continued litigation still puts the Islamic Center at odds with the county.

“It’s an artificial division of a settlement agreement. They tried to come together, said they would try to live together peaceably, now it seems you are putting a wedge between the county and the Islamic Center of Culpeper,” he told the federal attorney arguing against dismissing the case. The Justice Dept.’s continued pursuit of the lawsuit does not help the Islamic Center, Moon added.

The underlying action is a controversial civil court case alleging that Culpeper County discriminated in zoning decisions regarding an application to build a mosque.  The case was filed a month after President Trump was elected but before the inauguration by Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta. It has continued with unbroken zeal.

Federal law prohibits discrimination in zoning practices against religions. During the Obama administration, a radical new argument was pressed by DOJ lawyers: that zoning boards can be saddled with any “naked animus or resistance from the community.” In other words, if some people don’t want a mosque in the community, then any zoning decision against the mosque must be because of citizen opposition. It’s the everyone-is-racist if anyone-is-racist theory advanced by academia and others.

The lawyers on the subpoena documents are listed as Onjil McEachin and Sameena Shina Majeed.

Onjil McEachin came to the Justice Department in the last couple of years from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where McEachin’s office was deeply involved in advancing disparate impact legal theories to prove racial discrimination.

Sameena Majeed was formerly a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and won the Steere Prize in Women’s Studies at Yale for her work entitled “Feminist Voices: An Ethnographic Examination of Feminist Consciousness in Urban Pakistani Women.”

The case was brought by the Civil Rights Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. The hiring practices of the Civil Rights Division under President Obama has been the feature of PJ Media’s Every Single One series and an inspector general Report of the Department of Justice. (The lawyers featured in the Every Single One Series from that section can be viewed here.) After obtaining resumes of lawyer hires after PJ Media was forced to file a lawsuit against the DOJ, the series revealed that under President Obama, every single one of the lawyers hired was a partisan or ideological leftist. This led the inspector general to recommend that the department end certain hiring criteria that have led to the perception that only lawyers of a certain leftist ideological perspective are hired.

Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez refused to implement the recommendations of the inspector general.

The Washington Post obtained and reported information in a story about the controversial case that the Culpeper sheriff had conducted seminars on jihadi networks in the United States — a fact the Washington Post found to be relevant to the zoning dispute.

The county sheriff has previously come under fire for hosting a seminar on “Jihadi Networks in America” led by a former FBI agent who claims terrorists control most leading American Muslim groups.

Since President Trump’s inauguration, the notorious Civil Rights Division has been run by caretakers without a Senate-confirmed political appointee head. President Trump has appointed Eric Dreiband to head the Civil Rights Division.

Next week, senators have a chance to ask about whether it is a good use of resources to subpoena Christian pastors to ask them about their views on Islam when in a case where the primary parties have already settled.

Ignoring Former Muslims To Our Detriment

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, April 30, 2017:

Many men and women have left Islam and courageously speak truthfully about what Islam teaches and the threat it poses to the civilized world.

These are people grew up being taught about the obligation to wage jihad, that taking Jews and Christians for friends is unlawful because it is prohibited by Allah in the Koran, that non-Muslims are the “worst of all creatures” (Koran 98:6), and that the purpose of Islam is to impose sharia (Islamic Law) on the entire world.

We in the non-Muslim world can learn a lot from these people.  Are we hearing them?

As a Special Agent in the FBI (1996-2008), UTT Founder/President John Guandolo worked with muslim assets/informants who did dangerous and difficult work on behalf of our nation and the FBI.  While they did not adhere to sharia, they identified themselves as “muslims.”

Through this work, Mr. Guandolo came to know about an Imam from Uganda who converted to Christianity. The Imam wrote his story in March of 2007, and it included details of growing up in Islam, training to become an Imam, and what Islam teaches.  John Guandolo had this story translated into English and then disseminated it inside the FBI as well as to Christian organizations to support their work in Islamic nations.

A brief summary of the story is below which gives readers an insight into the true intentions of Islam.  It reveals Islam is a totalitarian system which enslaves people who are a part of it.

“My name is Mayanja Yiusf.  I was born into a Muslim family in Uganda…When I came of age, I enrolled for studies in Islam and Arabic which took six years:  three years of Islam and three years of Arabic.  I trained in Uganda and Sudan and I became a prominent Imam and spoke at many mosques in and outside Kampala.  I was a leader of a Muslim Association called Al-Dawahti…I was on the council of Tabliqs and my paternal uncle is the leader of that sect in Uganda.

“I was born and raised a Muslim, but now I have left that life behind…In light of the crisis in the world today, and because of the ongoing strategies to attack Christians at every level, may this also be a warning to all peoples everywhere, that Islam is obtaining dominance and is arming itself for continued war on all things not of Islam.  There is little time left to reach the many innocent Muslims who wish they could escape from the violent slavery of Islam.

“I tell you my story while I am still alive.  You see, as a Muslim who has left the faith, my days may be numbered.  I have lived under the threat of death since I left my father’s household, only until now, they have not succeeded.

“Lest you think that the religion of Islam is promoting the love of God and fellow man, here are just a few of the works that Islam engages in today:

“It is not just the “radical fundamentalists” or jihadis who participate in the terror of today.  Do you not know that it is against the Koran to refuse help to those who are in Jihad?

“There is a strategy called the “New Mosque Movement” which seeks to begin building mosques and schools and clinics all over the world.  Just look around and you can see, in Africa, South America, England, and France, and even in America.  The mosques are the centers of political thought as well as religious practice, but then again, those two are inseparable in Islam.

“Muslim fathers will gladly kill their sons and daughters if they disobey or leave the religion.

“Muslim groups are sending Muslims to Christian places for information.  They spy everywhere, especially where there is freedom of movement…They start non-profits and organizations everywhere, many with the purpose to intimidate Western societies.  In the US, CAIR and organizations like them are funded to push the free countries to accept them and their religion and practices.  They threaten to sue and intimidate if they don’t get their way.

“Wherever they begin to operate in villages, towns, etc they threaten others, especially moderate Muslims, and even other Imams who are not as aggressive as the jihadists…Peace in Islam means that the countries are operating under the rule of Islam, Sharia Law, and with religious leaders in charge.  That is their peace.

“There are no innocent civilians for the jihadist.  All may be killed because they are merely part of the evil societies to be cleansed.

“I am proud to be a Christian now because the Almighty God of the Christians fights for himself.  he doesn’t request or persuade anybody to fight, but instead reconciles people to Himself.  He says that vengeance should be left to him alone.  I hope the reader is able to distinguish between the God of Christians, Jehovah, and Allah…You are hereby invited to think about this:  the Islamic faith does not encourage any believer to reason out who Allah is.  The day you will reason about what you were taught in Islam, will be the day you are released from bondage and you will see the light of Christ.”

UTT believes there is a lot to learn from individuals who leave Islam and speak truthfully about the threat it poses to those inside and outside Islam who do not adhere to the sharia and all of its obligations.

To defeat an enemy we must clearly identify the threat.  The threat the civilized world faces today is not from “violent extremists” or “radical Islam” or any other euphemism we put on the face of it.  The threat, as 100% of the enemy clearly states, comes from Islam which commands its adherents to impose sharia on the earth through all means necessary.

Speaking truth is never wrong.  For the sake of those enslaved by Islam, it is the loving thing to do.

Former Muslim Nonie Darwish’s Crusade Against Islam

Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, PhD., April 24, 2017:

“Islamic values will take any society to Hell,” bluntly concludes Egyptian-American Muslim convert to Christianity Nonie Darwish in her recent book Wholly Different:  Why I Chose Biblical Values over Islamic Values.  With her usual engaging style, she critiques on the basis of personal experience crucial differences between Islamic and Biblical worldviews while analyzing Islam’s dangers for Judeo-Christian influenced civilization.

Comparing her 30 years in Egypt with her life after immigrating to the United States in 1978, Darwish notes recent efforts to replace the term “Judeo-Christian” with “Abrahamic.  In particular, “Muslims in the West are desperately trying to convince everyone here that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all basically one and the same Abrahamic faith,” an “intentional lie, the opposite of everything preached in mosques.”  Rather, “Islam was created six hundred years after Christianity not to affirm the Bible, but to discredit it; not to co-exist with ‘the people of the book’—Jews and Christians—but to replace them.”  For various practical desires, Islam’s prophet Muhammad created a “new, specifically Arab religion” and “built Islam on a foundation of lies,” including the Quran’s “abomination.”

Darwish sharply contrasts decidedly distinct Biblical and Islamic understandings of God.  “Muslims relate to Allah, as a far and distant God, angry, vengeful, and eager to punish.”  By contrast, “[w]hen I became Christian and heard for the first time that we human beings were made in the image of God, I wept.  I was in awe at the honor, after being given shame and little value under Islam.”

“It is unfortunate that many Americans take Biblical values for granted, assuming that kindness, honesty, and joy are the norm,” Darwish warns, whereas reality belies multicultural illusions of global moral uniformity.  “Biblical values are the product of the Bible, and they cannot be preserved separate from the Bible” even as “[m]any Americans today fear that Biblical values are eroding, and I share their fears.”  Especially the Golden Rule “is totally alien to Islam.  Nothing like love and tolerance to other human beings just because they are human exists in Islam.”

Christian refugee mothers desperately need diapers for their babies – Please help

Darwish writes that Islam “claims to be a religion, but is really a totalitarian political ideology.”  Furthermore, “[b]y making jihad the single most sacred act of worship, Muhammad made Islam an expansionist genocidal ideology.”  Islam’s canons, the

Koran and hadith collections are predominantly books about rejecting the other—other religions, cultures, and ways of life.  Islamic supremacy is taught on every page of the Koran, where Muslims are commanded never to stop until Islam dominates and destroys all other religions.

“Life under sharia is traumatic,” Darwish recalls from her personal experience as an Islamic insider in Egypt.  “Oppression permeates every level of Islamic society; from the head of state to the street sweeper.”  Accordingly, “I have no childhood memories of being happy or being around happy people.”

Among other harms to domestic tranquility, Darwish writes that the “disparity between men’s and women’s sexual lives under Islam is obscene and offensive.”  “Islamic laws promote the sadistic repression of women” such that a “Muslim little boy is brought up to regard women who are not covered as sluts who are asking for it.”  By contrast, a “Muslim man, married or unmarried, who understands all the games and loopholes that sharia allows to men will have no problem having sex as often as he wishes.”  Muhammad additionally proclaimed an “obscenely lustful Islamic Paradise” as an otherworldly “lure to recruit jihadists.”

Darwish’s contrast between Biblical and Islamic family values is correspondingly clear:

While the Bible fosters loving, happy family life grounded in the mutual fidelity between one man and one woman, Islam demands faithfulness only from the woman—on pain of death—and fosters family strife, with up to four wives (plus sex slaves) competing for the man’s attention.

Darwish attributes other distortions of the human spirit to Islam; for example, she was “amazed at the lack of initiative and drive in the Muslim population.”  Yet given Islam’s approval of plunder seized in jihad, “why would a Muslim man who is continually hammered with the values of jihad be interested in positive hard work for the betterment of society.”  “Islam deprives Muslims of so much” in other ways; “I now look at my dog and wonder how did I live half my life in Egypt without ever experiencing this unique special relationship between a human being and a dog.”

Darwish’s personal experience makes her amazed that “Western policies in the Middle East are based on the hypothesis that Muslims are just like everybody else and want the same things in life.”  “The slogan ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ was specifically created for Western consumption—I never heard that expression in all my decades living in the Middle East.”  “[T]here are moderate Muslims, but there are no moderate Islamic scriptures to support what they claim,” rather, these Muslim are “importing Biblical values to Islam.”

Darwish’s answer to Islam emphasizes that the “number one enemy of Islam is the truth.  And that has made the Bible itself the biggest threat to Islam.”  “The reason freedom of religion is banned under Islam and by Islamic states is that Islam has no confidence it would survive in free competition with Christianity.”  “Muslims’ typical response to questioning of Islam has always been to be offended, get angry, issue death fatwas, riot, and commit acts of terror.”  Such dangers mean that the “happy Muslim is the Muslim who is content not to want to know” about objections to his faith.  Meanwhile, per doctrines like taqiyya, “[d]eception in defense of Islam and its goals is big business for Islamic organizations and lobbying groups in the West.”

Darwish’s Christian convert zeal against Islam will surely shock many, but her book unflinchingly welcomes debate.  “My fear of Islam is not a phobia.  I am afraid for good reason.”  Her powerful personal testimony will challenge opponents; “I am evolving from a morally confused woman under Islamic enslavement into the kind of woman God intended me to be.”

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, April 2, 2017:

  • British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place.
  • British personalities keep opening the door to introducing Islamic sharia law. One of the leading British judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural, which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips, also suggested that the English law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law.
  • British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The academic guidelines, “External speakers in higher education institutions”, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At the Queen Mary University of London, women have had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands, just as in Riyadh or Tehran.

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together”, according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead “Londonistan“, as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, was less generous; he called the UK “a cesspit for Islamists”.

“Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism”, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said after the recent deadly terror attack at Westminster. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, is built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.

The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter’s Church has been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room and can contain only 100. On Friday, the faithful must pour into the street to pray. Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.

In Birmingham, the second-largest British city, where many jihadists live and orchestrate their attacks, an Islamic minaret dominates the sky. There are petitions to allow British mosques to call the Islamic faithful to prayer on loudspeakers three times a day.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived; the homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat”, said Ceri Peach of Oxford University. While nearly half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, a quarter of Christians are over 65. “In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers,” said Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society.

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly an Islamic face, in places such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. In 2015, an analysis of the most common name in England showed it was Mohammed, including spelling variations such as Muhammad and Mohammad.

Most important cities have huge Muslim populations: Manchester (15.8%), Birmingham (21.8%) and Bradford (24.7%). In Birmingham, the police just dismantled a terrorist cell; there is also a greater probability that a child will be born into a Muslim family than into a Christian one. In Bradford and Leicester, half the children are Muslim. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place. “Londonistan” is not a Muslim majority nightmare; it is a cultural, demographic and religious hybrid in which Christianity declines and Islam advances.

Thousands of Muslims participate in a public outdoor prayer service in Birmingham, England, on July 6, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

According to Innes Bowen, writing in The Spectator, only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain today follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States. The Wahhabis control six percent of mosques in the UK, while the fundamentalist Deobandi control up to 45%. According to a survey from the Knowledge Center, a third of UK Muslims do not feel “part of British culture.”

London is also full of sharia courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values ​​of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.

British personalities keep opening the door to introduce sharia. One of Britain’s leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural — which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips also suggested that British law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law. The British cultural establishment is rapidly capitulating to Islamic fundamentalists in accepting their demands.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The official guidelines of the university, “External speakers in higher education institutions“, published by Universities UK, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At Queen Mary University of London, women had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands — as in Riyadh or Tehran. The Islamic Society at the London School of Economics held a gala, in which women and men were separated by a seven-meter panel.

After the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, recommended self-censorship and “some restraint” in discussing Islam. The British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, converted to Islam and completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. He now calls himself Haji Collis.

What will be next?

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

“Nothing to do with Islam”?

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, December 3, 2016:

  • “Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.” — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
  • “The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs… Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches… Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?” — Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, a scholar of Islamic law and graduate of Egypt’s Al Azhar University.
  • The jihadists who carry out terrorist attacks in the service of ISIS, for example, are merely following the commands in the Quran, both 9:5, “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…” and Quran 8:39, “So fight them until there is no more fitna [strife] and all submit to the religion of Allah.”
  • Archbishop Welby — and Egypt’s extraordinary President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — has finally had the courage to say in public that if one insists on remaining “religiously illiterate,” it is impossible to solve the problem of religiously motivated violence.

For the first time, a European establishment figure from the Church has spoken out against an argument exonerating ISIS and frequently peddled by Western political and cultural elites. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, speaking in France on November 17, said that dealing with the religiously-motivated violence in Europe

“requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that ISIS is ‘nothing to do with Islam’… Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.”

Archbishop Welby also said that, “It’s very difficult to understand the things that impel people to some of the dreadful actions that we have seen over the last few years unless you have some sense of religious literacy”.

“Religious literacy” has indeed been in short supply, especially on the European continent. Nevertheless, all over the West, people with little-to-no knowledge of Islam, including political leaders, journalists and opinion makers, have all suddenly become “experts” on Islam and the Quran, assuring everybody that ISIS and other similarly genocidal terrorist groups have nothing to do with the purported “religion of peace,” Islam.

It is therefore striking finally to hear a voice from the establishment, especially a man of the Church, oppose, however cautiously, this curiously uniform (and stupefyingly uninformed) view of Islam. Until now, establishment Churches, despite the atrocities committed against Christians by Muslims, have been exceedingly busy only with so-called “inter-faith dialogue.” Pope Francis has even castigated Europeans for not being even more accommodating towards the migrants who have overwhelmed the continent, asking Europeans:

“What has happened to you, the Europe of humanism, the champion of human rights, democracy and freedom?… the mother of great men and women who upheld, and even sacrificed their lives for, the dignity of their brothers and sisters?”

(Perhaps the Pope, before rhetorically asking Europeans to sacrifice their lives for their migrant “brothers and sisters” should ask himself whether many of the Muslim migrants in Europe consider Europeans their “brothers and sisters”?)

A statement on Islam is especially significant coming from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior bishop and principal leader of the Anglican Church and the symbolic head of the Anglican Communion, which stands at around 85 million members worldwide, the third-largest communion in the world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (left), recently said that dealing with the religiously-motivated violence in Europe “requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that ISIS is ‘nothing to do with Islam’… Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.” (Image source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Only a year ago, commenting on the Paris massacres, the Archbishop followed conventional politically correct orthodoxy, pontificating that, “The perversion of faith is one of the most desperate aspects of our world today.” He explained that Islamic State terrorists have distorted their faith to the extent that they believe they are glorifying their God. Since then, he has clearly changed his mind.

Can one expect other Church leaders and political figures to heed Archbishop Welby’s words, or will they be conveniently overlooked? Western leaders have noticeably practiced selective hearing for many years and ignored truths that did not fit the “narrative” politicians apparently wished to imagine, especially when spoken by actual experts on Islam. When, in November 2015, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, a scholar of Islamic law and graduate of Egypt’s Al Azhar University, explained why the prestigious institution, which educates mainstream Islamic scholars, refused to denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, none of them was listening:

“The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc. Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from non-Muslims]. Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?”

Nor did Western leaders listen when The Atlantic, hardly an anti-establishment periodical, published a study by Graeme Wood, who researched the Islamic State and its ideology in depth. He spoke to members of the Islamic State and Islamic State recruiters and concluded:

“The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam”.

In the United States, another establishment figure, Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s incoming White House Chief of Staff, recently made statements to the same effect as the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic and we know them; we’ve seen it,” Priebus said when asked to comment on incoming National Security Adviser former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s view that Islam is a political ideology that hides behind being a religion.

In much of American society, Flynn’s view that Islam is a political ideology is considered controversial, despite the fact that the political and military doctrines of Islam, succinctly summarized in the concept of jihad, are codified in Islamic law, sharia, as found in the Quran and the hadiths. The jihadists who carry out terrorist attacks in the service of ISIS, for example, are merely following the commands in the Quran, both 9:5, “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…” and Quran 8:39, “So fight them until there is no more fitna [strife] and all submit to the religion of Allah.”

The question becomes, then, whether other establishment figures will also acknowledge what someone like Archbishop Welby — and Egypt’s extraordinary President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — has finally had the courage to say in public: that if one insists on remaining “religiously illiterate,” it is impossible to solve the problem of religiously motivated violence.

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

***

Understanding the  Threat:

The oldest and most prestigious school of Islamic jurisprudence is Al Azhar University, founded in Egypt in approximately 970 AD.

Al Azhar and its leadership continue to affirm “Jihad,” which it defines as war-fighting against unbelievers (non-Muslims), is obligatory until the world is under Islamic rule.

Oddly enough, this is exactly what Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all of the other jihadi organizations in the world teach, and what is taught in Islamic elementary schools around the world, including the United States.

***

The Doctrine of Cowards

Why are so many Muslim refugees coming to the US? Why do so few persecuted Christians come? The answer is the position of the churches. The biggest door into US society is the church door. The Christians and Jews love to attend interfaith gatherings where they sit and nod their heads yes to all that the Muslims say.

But the Christian and Jewish leaders are ignorant about Islam. They know nothing about the Islamic doctrine of Christian and Jew hatred. But what is worse is that they refuse to learn.

Christian leaders have developed a doctrine of the coward to justify their pious ignorance and fear. They are all about turning the other cheek, loving their enemies, and doing nothing while waiting for Jesus to return. They are incapable of boldness and courage. Wimps all (well, about 95% of them).

And if you are not a Christian, why aren’t you concerned with the greatest human rights tragedy happening today—the killing of religious minorities in Islamic lands? Why can’t persecuted Christians come as refugees to America? When will Christians care about the persecution of their own brothers and sisters?

What has happened to us (Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists and all others) that we are no longer able to have moral outrage? Righteous anger?

Clueless in the Vatican: Has Pope Francis Joined the Naivete Scene?

Pope Francis looks at Imam Khalid Latif, right, and Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, left, shaking hands as he arrives for an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 memorial museum in New York, Friday Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis looks at Imam Khalid Latif, right, and Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, left, shaking hands as he arrives for an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 memorial museum in New York, Friday Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The Blaze, by Lieutenant Colonel James Zumwalt, Aug. 5, 2016:

Onboard his plane to attend World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, Pope Francis spoke to reporters. Queried about terrorism committed by radical Islamists, he suggested, while what is being fought is a war, it is “not a religious war.”

He then added:

“It’s a war of interests, a war for money. A war for natural resources and for the dominion of the peoples. Some might say it’s a religious war. Every religion wants peace. The war is wanted by the others. Understood? Let’s not be afraid to say the truth. The world is at war, because it’s lost its peace!”

The real truth is the world has lost its peace because Islam mandates perpetual war until its global caliphate is established.

It appears, just like President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who claim Islam can do no wrong, the Pope has joined the naiveté scene.

With so much ongoing violence in the world linked to Islam, we simply cannot continue to accept the naiveté of leaders refusing to admit it.

Christians in the Muslim world are being forced to leave their religion to escape persecution, or to pay a tax, or to be put to death—all as a matter of Islamic doctrine—and Pope Francis refuses to see it.

Is love for his fellow man blinding the pontiff to the reality of Islam or does the reality of Islam intimidate him from speaking truth?

If the former, the Pope need understand the teachings at Cairo, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. Considered the chief center of Islamic and Arabic learning globally, it was Obama’s co-host choice for his infamous 2009 “New Beginning” speech to the Muslim world. It embraces an ideology seeking to enslave or destroy Christianity.

Initially founded more than a millennium ago by a Shiite Islamic sect, Al-Azhar University fell into Sunni hands in the 12th century. Ever since then, it has set the tone for Islamic scholarship for 90 percent of the world’s Muslims.

While Islam’s teachings have undergone little substantive change in its history, Al-Azhar did experience a bit of a renaissance in the 1960s. It opened its doors to the modern disciplines of medicine and engineering and even admitted women.

But as late as 1991, Al-Azhar embraced the Conditions of Omar—a pact drawn up by Prophet Muhammad’s successor, Caliph Omar, addressing how Muslims were to deal with Christians. Three primary conditions were offered to Christians: convert to Islam, remain Christian but pay tribute (known as “jizya”), or death.

The Conditions relied on the Koran’s Verse 9:29 which states:

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture — [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”

The 1991 republication of the 14th century book “The Reliance of the Traveller”—an authoritative summation of Islamic jurisprudence (sharia)—includes a reaffirmation of the Conditions of Omar by Al-Azhar University. University officials made no attempt to suggest the conditions were inappropriate in a 20th century world. Despite this, during Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo, he credited Al-Azhar for carrying “the light of learning through so many centuries…”

Three years later, “tolerant” Al-Azhar University outlawed judaism in Egypt.

Should we believe, then, that Pope Francis is oblivious to all this? Or is there another reason for him putting a tolerant face on an intolerant religion?

Al-Azhar’s grand imam had visited the Vatican in May 2016. The meeting by the two religious leaders sought“ reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull.”

The referenced lull occurred after then-Pope Benedict XVI dared call for greater protection for Coptic Christians in Egypt following a December 31, 2010 church bombing that killed 23.

With attacks having also taken place on Christians in Iraq as well, Pope Benedict said the Cairo bombing was “yet another sign of the urgent need for the governments of the region to adopt…effective measures for the protection of religious minorities.”

However, to the Muslim Brotherhood hardliners about to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Pope Benedict’s call for greater Christian protection represented “an unacceptable interference in its internal affairs,” prompting the government’s recall of its ambassador to the Vatican.

In 2006, Muslim leaders accused Pope Benedict of committing another egregious act. Neither condemning nor endorsing Islam, Benedict had simply dared repeat 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II’s quote about the religion:

“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Repeating this historical observation led to threats against both the Vatican and Benedict by Islam’s “tolerant” followers, ultimately causing the Pope to issue an apology.

Undoubtedly, Pope Francis is aware of these Muslim sensitivities to any negative comments about their religion—truth be damned!

While this, arguably, might excuse Pope Francis’ reluctance to call the ongoing war an Islamic one, it does not excuse another comment he made.

Asked about the “barbarous assassination” of a French priest “killed in the name of Islam,” Francis proffered, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.”

While fear of Muslim reprisals might cause Pope Francis not to speak badly of Islam, there is no excuse for equating Catholicism—a religion that left the Dark Ages centuries ago—with Islam—a religion still living in them.

Such indifference to Islam stunningly prompted an Iraqi columnist to suggest, “Israel is the last hope for Arab Christians.”

In discussing Islam, Pope Francis told reporters, “Let’s not be afraid to say the truth.” An appropriate response might be Jack Nicholson’s famous rant in the movie “A Few Good Men.” On the witness stand, pressed by a prosecutor for the truth, Nicholson shouted, “You can’t handle the truth.”

Apparently, neither can Pope Francis.

The Pope and Holy War

Gatestone Institute, by Denis MacEoin, August 3, 2016:

  • The West that jihadists now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.
  • We have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking at the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.
  • “[T]he Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. … We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings…” — Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the morning of July 26, a priest serving mass, an elderly man of 85, Father Jacques Hamel,was butchered before his altar by one of two knife-wielding devotees of the Islamic State. His killer slit his throat and might very well have proceeded to behead him, as is the wont of many jihadi executioners. The followers of a faith that honours murderers as martyrs (shuhada’) created a martyr for quite another faith.

In both Greek and Arabic, the terms “martyr” and shahid mean exactly the same thing: “a witness”. Father Hamel was the latest in a long line of Christian martyrs who have been slain by men of violence, supposedly in order to attest to the sole truth of their faith. Many Muslim martyrs have died in much that way, but even more have given their lives while waging war (jihad) to conquer territories for Islam.[1]

The flag of the Islamic State reads “la ilaha illa’llah, Muhammadun rasulu’llah“. The words mean: “There is no God but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God”. Those two phrases are known as the shahada, the bearing of witness. You see it everywhere today, now in Syria, then again in France or the UK. But shahada also means martyrdom. And martyrdom while committing violence is what the killers of an innocent man of God achieved on that day when armed police found them and shot them dead outside the church they had desecrated.

On the following day, the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, issued a statement on the event, and for a moment it seemed that he had finally got things right. He said the world was now at war. Decades after the war started, here was a religious leader and statesman who seemed to have awakened to the fact that Western countries have been unwillingly and ineffectively failing to wage a war against Islamic radicalism. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that Islamic radicalism has been waging a war with us.

But then he blew it. What he then said was:

“It’s war, we don’t have to be afraid to say this … a war of interests, for money, resources. I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”

What? Is slaughtering a priest at his altar linked to “interests, money, resources”? Were the killers driven by a longing for social justice, for more money, for access to greater resources? Did they think the violent death of a harmless priest would bring them any of that? They had not gone to steal any of the valuable altar table objects, the censers, the candlesticks, the crucifix, the monstrance. The killers had been shouting “Allahu akbar”, literally “God is greater” (than everything, especially, to Muslims, the supposedly non-monotheistic Christian Trinity and the Church). As we know only too well, “Allahu akbar” is a religious phrase that Muslims use often. It is the beginning of the call to prayer, the adhan, repeated six times, five times a day, preceded and followed by the shahada. It has been ringing in Western ears every time Muslims in Europe and North America carry out attacks or as a prelude to a suicide attack. It is precisely because Muslims believe that their God (named in Arabic as Allah) is superior to all other gods, because to them Islam is the greatest of all religions and lastly, because Islam is destined to conquer the world either by conversion or through violence.

What did Pope Francis mean when he said “Religions don’t want war. The others want war”? This is a man with access to endless colleges of scholars, to academics worldwide, to specialists in Islam and the Middle East. It is simply not true. To begin with, who are these “others”? Non-religious people? Atheists? Agnostics? Protestants?

In order to win a war, you have to be able to identify your enemy, understand his motives, figure out just what drives his soldiers to risk their lives in battle, know for what cause mothers and wives should send their sons and husbands to fight, knowing they may never return. Ignore all that, invent false motives for the enemy, or fail to know his ultimate aims, and you will lose. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”, said the great Chinese general, Sun Tzu, in his Art of War.

A day after that remark, the Pope sadly compounded his ignorance. A report in a Catholic magazine, Crux, stated that:

The pope said that in every religion there are violent people, “a small group of fundamentalists,” including in Catholicism.

“When fundamentalism goes as far as murdering … you can murder with your tongue and also with the knife,” he said.

I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true,” he continued, adding that he has had a long conversation with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the Cairo-based Islamic university often described as the Vatican of the Sunni world.

“I know how they think. They look for peace, encounter,” he said. [Author’s italics]

Unfortunately, it is clear that the Pope (along with hundreds of politicians and religious leaders in the West, although not in Israel) does not know his enemy at all. If he thinks that “religions do not want war,” it is also clear he has never studied Islam or received truthful instruction in it from anyone. Here is why.

The later chapters of the Qur’an contain dozens of verses calling on the believers to go out to fight jihad or to use their resources to pay others to do so. The purpose of jihad is “the strengthening of Islam, the protection of believers and voiding the earth of unbelief”.[2]

According to a modern expert on jihad, “the Qur’an… presents a well-developed religious justification for waging war against Islam’s enemies”.[3]

Islam is not merely a religion; it is a system of governance. Here is Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the ubiquitous Muslim Brotherhood:

Islam is a comprehensive system which deals with all spheres of life. It is a state and a homeland (or a government and a nation). It is morality and power (or mercy and justice); it is a culture and a law (or knowledge and jurisprudence). It is material and wealth (or gain and prosperity). It is an endeavour and a call (or an army and a cause). And finally, it is true belief and worship.[4]

What does this mean for non-Muslims? Banna again makes this clear:

This means that the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. Hence it is our concern, not that of the West, and it pertains to Islamic civilization, not to materialistic civilization. We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings, without which mankind cannot attain happiness.[5]

Pope Francis (right), recently said that “I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war,” and “I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true.” Hassan al-Banna (left), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote that “the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission.”

The Islamic Tradition literature, found in the six canonical collections, lays down descriptions of jihad and instructions on how to fight it. Please do not be misled by the oft-repeated obfuscation, “The greater jihad is a struggle with the self, a spiritual war”. There is no mention of this idea in the classical texts.[6] For centuries, jihad has meant physical warfare. Even the mystical Sufi brotherhoods have engaged in that extremely physical struggle.[7]

The Islamic prophet Muhammad led his men into battle on many occasions and sent out around 100 raiding parties and expeditions.[8] His successors, the caliphs, did the same. In the half-century after Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., Muslim forces had conquered half the known world. Jihad wars continued to be fought on an annual basis by all the great Islamic empires, with no exception.

The first two major Islamic empires, that of the Umayyads (661-750) and their successors under a new dynasty of caliphs, the Abbasids (750-1258) carried out annual expeditions (usually two or more per year) against the Byzantine Empire (based in Constantinople). These raids were an ongoing tradition based on the earliest jihad wars in both the West and the East. They were never haphazard, but well planned. There were usually to two summer campaigns, often be followed by winter expeditions.

The summer jihads usually took the form of two separate attacks. One onslaught was called the “expedition of the left”. It was launched from the border fortresses of Sicily, whose troops were mainly of Syrian origin. The larger “expedition of the right” would be carried out from launched from the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya, deploying Iraqi troops. These jihad expeditions reached their height under the third major empire, that of the Ottomans, who conquered Constantinople in 1453, thereby bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and its chief basilica, Hagia Sophia, was turned into the imperial mosque of the Ottomans.

Today’s jihadist organizations, from the Islamic State to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Jabhat al-Nusra, Boko Haram, Hamas, al-Shabaab and hundreds of others are simply carrying out, on a broader canvas, the jihad wars of the nineteenth century.[9]

Jihadists seem to do this in preference to missionary work (although other groups such as the Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat do plenty of that) because their wars hark back to the days of Muhammad and his companions, the first three warlike generations. The term salafi, used now for the most radical Islamic groups, comes from salaf, or “ancestor,” but with a specialized meaning of the first three generations of Islam. Muhammad, his first followers, their children and grandchildren. Jihadists do it because, having lost military strength since the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1918, they seem still to feel compelled to fight back against the power of the West, the triumph of the Christians (or in Israel, the Jews). God, in their eyes, promised his followers, the Muslims, that they would one day rule the world,[10] and for many centuries, Muslims may have thought that was actually happening. Then such hopes were dashed. Western empires started conquering, colonizing and ruling Muslim states, such as northern India, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and elsewhere — a reversal quite unthinkable.

To fight back, jihadists have chosen to use the best weapon at their disposal: terrorism. Worse, the West they now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.

The young Islamist who killed the priest in France, for example, had been twice arrested for trying to head to Syria to serve with the Islamic State. At the time of the murder, the kindly authorities had forced him to wear an ankle bracelet with which to be monitored — but his curfew was only overnight. During the day, he was allowed to wander the streets freely. On that fateful morning, he decided to walk with his companion into a nearby church and fulfil his longings for martyrdom and for killing a Christian.

Unfortunately, Pope Francis could not be more wrong. One religion has wanted to fight wars from its inception. We have had more than 1400 years to guard ourselves against that, as when the Ottoman Empire was stopped at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Now, we have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking for the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.

Why do young Muslims turn from ordinariness to recruitment for the extremists? Young Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Baha’is do not move in that direction. Could it be because so many young Muslims, first in the Islamic countries, now in the West, are taught from an early age that Islam aspires to domination, that jihad is not an evil but rather an expression of their faith, that they suffer as victims of “Islamophobia,” that Western women are immoral, and that other religions are false?

It is time to wake up. We are indeed at war, whether we like it or not. “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you”, Leon Trotsky said.

Our enemy is an extremist version of Islam that has yet to undergo a reformation, one that takes Muslims not back to the seventh century, but forwards to the twenty-first and possibly beyond.

Dr. Denis MacEoin, based in England, is an expert on Islam.


[1] “The concept of martyrdom developed differently in Islam than it did in either Judaism or Christianity. Martyrdom in Islam has a much more active sense: the prospective martyr is called to seek out situations in which martyrdom might be achieved.” David Cook, Understanding Jihad, University of California Press, 2015, p. 26.

[2] Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, The Hague, 1979, p. 10

[3] Cook, p. 11.

[4] Hasan al-Banna, Message for Youth, trans. Muhammad H. Najm, London, 1993, p. 6

[5] Wendell Charles (trans), The Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949), University of California Press, 1978, pp. 70-73.

[6] “Traditions indicating that jihad meant spiritual warfare… are entirely absent from any of the official, canonical collections (with the exception of al-Tirmidhi, who cites ‘the fighter is one who fights his passions’; they appear most often in the collections of ascetric material or proverbs.” Cook, p. 35.

[7] “This paradigm persisted into medieval times, where we often find the Sufi groups fighting the enemies of Islam. For example, after defeating the Crusaders under Guy de Lusignan at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin (1187), the Muslim leaders Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi [Saladin] (1169-91) gave the captive Crusaders to several of his Sufi regiments to slaughter.” Cook, p. 45.

[8] A comprehensive and fully annotated list is available at Wikipedia.

[9] For details of these, see Rudolph Peters, passim.

[10] “He (God) it is who sent his Messenger [Muhammad] bringing guidance and the True Religion in order to make [Islam] dominant over all other religions” (Qur’an 9:33). The fifth verse of that same sura is known as the “Sword Verse”, because it is the first to encourage physical attacks on non-Muslims.

***

The following talk by Bishop Julian Dobbs is what we should be hearing from Pope Frances.

H/T Katherine Gorka who posted this video on her facebook with this comment:

In his article about Sayyid Qutb as the philosopher of Islamic terror, Paul Berman wrote in the New York Times in 2003, “It would be nice to think that, in the war against terror, our side, too, speaks of deep philosophical ideas…it would be nice to think that someone is arguing with the terrorists…” He says presidents cannot do it (I say they can, they just haven’t–yet), and so Berman asks, “who will speak of the sacred and the secular, of the physical world and the spiritual world?…Philosophers and religious leaders will have to do this on their own.” I can think of very few religious leaders who have had the courage or the knowledge to argue with the terrorists…but Anglican Bishop Julian Dobbs is one of those rare, brave people….this is a great short clip from a talk he gave earlier this month…

 

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