Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Islam’s Most Eloquent Apostate

ILLUSTRATION: ZINA SAUNDERS

WSJ, by Tunku Varadarajan, April 7, 2017:

The woman sitting opposite me, dressed in a charcoal pantsuit and a duck-egg-blue turtleneck, can’t go anywhere, at any time of day, without a bodyguard. She is soft-spoken and irrepressibly sane, but also—in the eyes of those who would rather cut her throat than listen to what she says—the most dangerous foe of Islamist extremism in the Western world. We are in a secure room at a sprawling university, but the queasiness in my chest takes a while to go away. I’m talking to a woman with multiple fatwas on her head, someone who has a greater chance of meeting a violent end than anyone I’ve met (Salman Rushdie included). And yet she’s wholly poised, spectacles pushed back to rest atop her head like a crown, dignified and smiling under siege.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia in 1969, is Islam’s most eloquent apostate. She has just published a slim book that seeks to add a new four-letter word—dawa—to the West’s vocabulary. It describes the ceaseless, world-wide ideological campaign waged by Islamists as a complement to jihad. It is, she says, the greatest threat facing the West and “could well bring about the end of the European Union as we know it.” America is far from immune, and her book, “The Challenge of Dawa,” is an explicit attempt to persuade the Trump administration to adopt “a comprehensive anti-dawa strategy before it is too late.”

Ms. Hirsi Ali has come a long way from the days when she—“then a bit of a hothead”—declared Islam to be incapable of reform, while also calling on Muslims to convert or abandon religion altogether. That was a contentious decade ago. Today she believes that Islam can indeed be reformed, that it must be reformed, and that it can be reformed only by Muslims themselves—by those whom she calls “Mecca Muslims.” These are the faithful who prefer the gentler version of Islam that she says was “originally promoted by Muhammad” before 622. That was the year he migrated to Medina and the religion took a militant and unlovely ideological turn.

At the same time, Ms. Hirsi Ali—now a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, where I also work—is urging the West to look at Islam with new eyes. She says it must be viewed “not just as a religion, but also as a political ideology.” To regard Islam merely as a faith, “as we would Christianity or Buddhism, is to run the risk of ignoring dawa, the activities carried out by Islamists to keep Muslims energized by a campaign to impose Shariah law on all societies—including countries of the West.”

Dawa, Ms. Hirsi Ali explains, is “conducted right under our noses in Europe, and in America. It aims to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and also to push existing Muslims in a more extreme direction.” The ultimate goal is “to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with Shariah.” It is a “never-ending process,” she says, and then checks herself: “It ends when an Islamic utopia is achieved. Shariah everywhere!”

Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the West has made a colossal mistake by its obsession with “terror” in the years since 9/11. “In focusing only on acts of violence,” she says, “we’ve ignored the Islamist ideology underlying those acts. By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam—or ‘Islamism’—and against those who spread that ideology in our midst, we’ve committed a blunder.”

There is a knock on the door. I hear hushed voices outside, presumably her bodyguard telling someone to come back later. To add to the mildly dramatic effect, a siren is audible somewhere in the distance, unusual for the serene Stanford campus. Ms. Hirsi Ali is unfazed. “What the Islamists call jihad,” she continues, “is what we call terrorism, and our preoccupation with it is, I think, a form of overconfidence. ‘Terrorism is the way of the weak,’ we tell ourselves, ‘and if we can just take out the leaders and bring down al Qaeda or ISIS, then surely the followers will stop their jihad.’ But we’re wrong. Every time Western leaders take down a particular organization, you see a different one emerge, or the same one take on a different shape. And that’s because we’ve been ignoring dawa.”

Ms. Hirsi Ali wants us to get away from this game of jihadi Whac-A-Mole and confront “the enemy that is in plain sight—the activists, the Islamists, who have access to all the Western institutions of socialization.” She chuckles here: “That’s a horrible phrase . . . ‘institutions of socialization’ . . . but they’re there, in families, in schools, in universities, prisons, in the military as chaplains. And we can’t allow them to pursue their aims unchecked.”

America needs to be on full alert against political Islam because “its program is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution”—with religious pluralism, the equality of men and women, and other fundamental rights, including the toleration of different sexual orientations. “When we say the Islamists are homophobic,” she observes, “we don’t mean that they don’t like gay marriage. We mean that they want gays put to death.”

Islam the religion, in Ms. Hirsi Ali’s view, is a Trojan horse that conceals Islamism the political movement. Since dawa is, ostensibly, a religious missionary activity, its proponents “enjoy a much greater protection by the law in free societies than Marxists or fascists did in the past.” Ms. Hirsi Ali is not afraid to call these groups out. Her book names five including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which asserts—and in turn receives in the mainstream media—the status of a moderate Muslim organization. But groups like CAIR, Ms. Hirsi Ali says, “take advantage of the focus on ‘inclusiveness’ by progressive political bodies in democratic societies, and then force these societies to bow to Islamist demands in the name of peaceful coexistence.”

Her strategy to fight dawa evokes several parallels with the Western historical experience of radical Marxism and the Cold War. Islamism has the help of “useful idiots”—Lenin’s phrase—such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has denounced Ms. Hirsi Ali as an “extremist.” She sees that smear as a success for dawa: “They go to people like the SPLC and say, ‘Can we partner with you, because we also want to talk about what you guys talk about, which is civil rights. And Muslims are a minority, just like you.’ So, they play this victim card, and the SPLC swallows it. And it’s not just them, it’s also the ACLU. The Islamists are infiltrating all these institutions that were historic and fought for rights. It’s a liberal blind spot.”

Western liberals, she says, are also complicit in an Islamist cultural segregation. She recalls a multiculturalist catchphrase from her years as a Somali refugee in Amsterdam in the early 1990s: “ ‘Integrate with your own identity,’ they used to tell us—Integratie met eigen identiteit. Of course, that resulted in no integration at all.”

Ms. Hirsi Ali wants the Trump administration—and the West more broadly—to counter the dawa brigade “just as we countered both the Red Army and the ideology of communism in the Cold War.” She is alarmed by the ease with which, as she sees it, “the agents of dawa hide behind constitutional protections they themselves would dismantle were they in power.” She invokes Karl Popper, the great Austrian-British philosopher who wrote of “the paradox of tolerance.” Her book quotes Popper writing in 1945: “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

I ask Ms. Hirsi Ali what her solution might be, and she leans once more on Popper, who proposed a right not to tolerate the intolerant. “Congress must give the president—this year, because there’s no time to lose—the tools he needs to dismantle the infrastructure of dawa in the U.S.” Dawa has become an existential menace to the West, she adds, because its practitioners are “working overtime to prevent the assimilation of Muslims into Western societies. It is assimilation versus dawa. There is a notion of ‘cocooning,’ by which Islamists tell Muslim families to cocoon their children from Western society. This can’t be allowed to happen.”

Is Ms. Hirsi Ali proposing to give Washington enhanced powers to supervise parenting? “Yes,” she says. “We want these children to be exposed to critical thinking, freedom, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the rights of women.” She also suggests subjecting immigrants and refugees to ideological scrutiny, so as to deny entry, residence and naturalization to those “involved with, or supportive of, Islamism.”

In effect, Ms. Hirsi Ali would modernize the “communism test” that still applies to those seeking naturalization. “I had to answer questions when I applied for citizenship in 2013: ‘Are you, or have you ever been, a communist?’ And I remember thinking, ‘God, that was the war back then. We’re supposed to update this stuff!’ Potential immigrants from Pakistan or Bangladesh, for instance, should have to answer questions—‘Are you a member of the Jamat?’ and so on. If they’re from the Middle East you ask them about the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘or any other similar group,’ so there’s no loophole.”

Might critics deride this as 21st-century McCarthyism? “That’s just a display of intellectual laziness,” Ms. Hirsi Ali replies. “We’re dealing here with a lethal ideological movement and all we are using is surveillance and military means? We have to grasp the gravity of dawa. Jihad is an extension of dawa. For some, in fact, it is dawa by other means.”

The U.S., she believes, is in a “much weaker position to combat the various forms of nonviolent extremism known as dawa because of the way that the courts have interpreted the First Amendment”—a situation where American exceptionalism turns into what she calls an “exceptional handicap.” Convincing Americans of this may be the hardest part of Ms. Hirsi Ali’s campaign, and she knows it. Yet she asks whether the judicial attitudes of the 1960s and 1970s—themselves a reaction to the excesses of Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s—might have left the U.S. ill-equipped to suppress threats from groups that act in the name of religion.

I ask Ms. Hirsi Ali if there’s any one thing she would wish for. “I would like to be present at a conversation between Popper and Muhammad,” she says. “Popper wrote about open society and its enemies, and subjected everyone from Plato to Marx to his critical scrutiny. I’d have liked him to subject Muhammad’s legacy to the same analysis.

“But he skipped Muhammad, alas. He skipped Muhammad.”

Mr. Varadarajan is a research fellow in journalism at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

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Also see:

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.”

Counter-Jihad: We’re About Truth, Not Hate

Wafa Sultan

Wafa Sultan

Frontpage, by Danusha V. Goska, Dec. 22, 2015:

On December 2, 2015, two Muslim terrorists massacred fourteen Americans at a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California. On December 6, President Obama delivered an Oval Office address. In it, he said, “We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam … It is the responsibility of all Americans to reject discrimination.” Many listeners were disappointed that Obama focused so much passion on lecturing Americans.

Media reported that hostility against Muslims increased after the San Bernardino attack. Public figures including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, filmmaker Michael Moore, and Wheaton college professorLarycia Hawkins insisted that Muslims must be protected against the bigotry, stereotyping, and violence of non-Muslim Americans.

President Obama, Zuckerberg, Moore, and Hawkins are acting on their own bigotry. In hostility and ignorance, they stereotype all Americans (except Muslims, of course) as an inherently ignorant lynch mob. That’s not who we Americans are. If Americans had been hearing from their leaders what they need to hear – a passionate defense of Western Civilization and a ringing condemnation of jihad – average Americans would not feel that they themselves must take on both rhetorical tasks. Americans, as YouTube curmudgeon Pat Condell pointed out, are trying to fill a leadership vacuum and to speak and hear unspoken truths.

It is a demonstrable historical fact that Americans have traditionally not held hatred toward or stereotypes of Muslims. A hundred years ago, if Americans thought of Muslims at all, they associated Muslims with romance. Maud Hull’s 1919 softcore novel The Sheik was a blockbuster bestseller. Superstar Rudolph Valentino made two Sheik films, in 1921 and 1926. They were record-breaking international hits.

It is primarily terrorists and Islam-apologists, people like Obama, Zuckerberg, Moore and Hawkins, who are in fact responsible for the current tension. Politically Correct speech codes suppress and demonize necessary conversations about Islam. Priests and rabbis, presidents and judges, journalists and college professors – the very people whose job it is to wield words to address matters of public import – are complicit. These cultural leaders are all covering their own posteriors, timidly mincing words so that no stray syllable can be used against them. Americans are frustrated and outraged at this absence of frank speech.

It is exactly because of this suppression of speech on a matter of life-and-death importance that some Americans have been pushed over the edge and are letting their fears and frustrations get the better of them. Some are using hateful neologisms that previously did not exist in the English language: “sand n – – – – -,” “raghead,” “koranimal,” “Mudslime.” Some are joking about nuking Mecca. Some say they hate all Muslims. Some act on that hate.

Clear and frank speech on Islam will alleviate, not exacerbate, anti-Muslim hostility and help, not hurt, Muslims. Such speech could ease tensions and educate and reassure the populace. Effective counter-jihad activists recognize the following two truths:

1.) Islam poses challenges to world civilization that are posed by no other belief system.

2.) Hating and stereotyping all Muslims is not only not helpful, hatred and stereotyping of all Muslims actually undermines counter-jihad.

Below you’ll find my story, four reasons why hate and stereotyping are counter-productive, and eight statements by counter-jihad activists who all agree: we must fearlessly address the challenges Islam presents. We must be victorious. And we must point out why hate and stereotyping undermine our cause.

My Story

I was born, grew up in, and currently live in Passaic County, NJ, home of one of the US’s largest Muslim populations.

I have had Muslim friends, bosses, landlords, doctors, coworkers, and students. I have not encountered more or less intelligence, kindness, honesty, violence, humor, or generosity among Muslims than I have in any other population.

When I was sick and needed a ride to the hospital, a Muslim drove me. Later, as I slept, she quietly entered my apartment, left food, flowers, and a heating pad, and retreated silently. When there was a problem with my prescription or my tire, it was a Muslim pharmacist, and a Muslim mechanic, who saved the day. Such encounters are part of day-to-day life in New Jersey.

While working in the Central African Republic, I traveled over night with Muslim men in a truck caravan across uninhabited jungle. I was the only Westerner, the only woman. They treated me well. In Turkey, Muslims greeted me in remote villages and in Istanbul, a cosmopolitan city. I was treated like visiting royalty.

I’ve been a guest at traditional Muslim feasts. I’ve also done very American activities with Muslim friends. I have swum at Gunnison, New Jersey’s nude beach. I’ve drunk beer and eaten lunch during Ramadan.

My Facebook friend Lucy is not from New Jersey. She has never met any Muslims. She didn’t think about Islam till September 11, 2001. When I mention my Muslim friends to Lucy, she yells and screams and types in all caps.

“Muslims are commanded not to take kuffar as friends!”

“I know,” I say. “Koran 5:51.”

“These people you talk about are not really Muslims!” Lucy insists.

I respond that we can debate semantics and accomplish nothing. I know people who identify as Muslim, who are the children of Muslim parents, whose first language is Arabic or Turkish or Urdu, who drink alcohol and eat during Ramadan and don’t pray five times a day.

“What about taqiyya?”

I respond that the Muslims I know have never heard of taqiyya, any more than most Catholics I know have ever heard of “ex cathedra” or most Americans know what the Monroe Doctrine is. For the Muslims I know, Islam is found in the kitchen, in the family room, and in the street. Islam is found in family photographs and stories of grandma and grandpa. Many Muslims I know have never read the Koran, and have at best a flimsy idea of what it contains.

“These nice Muslims are dangerous,” Lucy insists. “They provide cover for the terrorists! Their niceness gets us to lower our guard! They convince people that Islam really is a religion of peace!”

“Look,” I say. “Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch has been on the internet since 2003. If Americans are ‘fooled by nice Muslims’ they have only themselves to blame.”

Muslims vary. Some are nice. Some are jerks. Islam does not vary. Jihad and gender apartheid must be named, condemned, and defeated.

One day, back in the 1970s, I was leaving class with my friend. “Nur” was beautiful, a gentle person, and a talented artist; she used to doodle arabesques in her notebook margins. We were comparing our two religious traditions. She said “When the time for jihad comes, if you don’t accept Islam, I will have to kill you.”

I had been educated in Catholic school, where nuns encouraged me to interrogate my faith. I extended to Nur that invitation. “Just for the sake of argument, let’s imagine for a moment that there is no Allah,” I suggested.

Nur replied that she could not. She had been trained that even a moment’s doubt could lead to an eternity in Hell. Koran 49:15 says that believers are only those who do not doubt. Islam.org cites numerous verses and traditions to support condemnation of doubt.

I compared Nur’s mind-numbing and mind-imprisoning terror with the spirit of inquiry my faith had encouraged in me: to fully understand my Christian faith, I had to suspend and examine it. I thought of famous Biblical passages like John 20:24-29 and Mark 9:17-29 where Jesus does not punish, but shows compassion to doubters.

Later, in the 1980s, when I was working in Paterson, I used to hang out with a group of young, male, Arab friends and coworkers. We had hours-long debates. Some, not all of these men voiced enthusiastic support for terrorism. They said that the day was coming when jihadis would commit acts of terror in the US. They said that American culture – the culture in which they were all immersed – would topple, and Islam would replace it.

These conversations frightened and angered me. I was angry at the dominant discourse in America that made it taboo to criticize Islam.

After the September 11 terror attacks occurred, I thought, if one good thing can come of this nightmare, it will be this. America will finally speak frankly about jihad.

On September 17, 2001, less than a week after the terror attack, President George Bush, with CAIR members standing behind him, under distinctive Islamic architecture, made the demonstrably false and propagandistic statement that “Islam is peace.” His entire talk was an apologia for Islam. Bush referred to the September 11 terror attack as “the matter at hand” – rather than as the terror attack that it was. He quoted selectively from the “eloquent” Koran. He insisted that all Muslims were outraged, though we know many publicly celebrated. Bush warned against Americans harassing Muslims, as if that were the problem.

I did not encounter, in the wake of 9-11, the frank speech about jihad that America desperately needed.

America’s learning curve has been steep. In spite of PC speech codes, more and more Americans are self-educating about Islam. Some Americans are succumbing to the temptation to hate. Hate is a mistake. Here’s why:

1.) Every time a keyboard commando uses a slur or makes a threat, he is depositing capital into the grievance account maintained by CAIR, by Linda Sarsour, by academics and journalists and other victimization profiteers. Images of Muslims as victims of Western Christians are so valuable that some have staged hate crimes.

2.) Slurs and threats displace necessary facts. Schools, politicians, and churches are not educating the public about Islam. Counter-jihad activists must do this work, and we must move it from a few websites that preach to the choir into classrooms, sermons, political discourse, and mainstream media. The facts are extreme enough that they require no hateful elaboration.

3.) Americans, contrary to hateful PC stereotypes, are not a lynch mob rabble. Americans are nice, tolerant people who abhor racism. Those who speak in gutter slurs, “nuke-Mecca” memes and keyboard commando threats are not conveying the message that needs to be heard, and they are not reaching the audience that needs to hear.

4.) Your grandmother was correct. You really do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Mosab Hassan Yousef was born to be a terrorist. He was the first son of one of the founders of Hamas. His first arrest was at age ten for throwing rocks at Israelis. In his book Son of Hamas, Yousef described “an old Coptic priest.” “He was kind and gentle and had a warm, compelling voice. I liked him … he was systematically performing an autopsy on the Koran, opening it up and exposing every bone, muscle, sinew and organ and then putting them under the microscope of truth and showing the entire book to be cancerous. Factual and historical inaccuracies, contradictions – he revealed them precisely and respectfully but firmly and with conviction.” In a 2014 interview, Yousef said, “Christianity really helped me to escape from the Islamic mindset. I still follow the idea of loving our enemies and of unconditional forgiveness.”

Nabeel Qureshi‘s parents were “immigrants from Pakistan and among the most dedicated Muslims I have ever known.” In his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Qureshi describes how friendships with Christians, who politely but authoritatively challenged Islam, sparked his conversion.

Below, eight counter-jihad activists offer their thoughts about confronting jihad even while rejecting hate and stereotyping. Each was interviewed one-on-one. The presence of an individual in this article does not imply his or her endorsement of ideas expressed by others quoted here.

Read more with statements from KAY WILSON, PHYLLIS CHESLER, NEIL J KRESSEL, BOSCH FAWSTIN, WAFA SULTAN, TAWFIK HAMID, BILL WARNER and JOE CAREY

Watch and Share – Your Freedom of Speech is Under Attack

Brooke Goldstein at Lawfare Project has produced a very powerful video to raise awareness on the Islamic threat to free speech.

 

You can download the book, “Lawfare – the War Against Free Speech – A First Amendment Guide for Reporting in an Age of Islamist Warfare” by Brooke Goldstein and Aaron Eitan Meyer for free at http://www.thelawfareproject.org/

The West’s Dangerous Enchantment with Islam: Muslim Women Thrown “Under the Bus”

Gatestone Institute, by Uzay Bulut, Nov. 9, 2014:

There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women’s rights in most Muslim countries. And there is no freedom of expression in these countries; people have become virtually voiceless.

To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly, without putting one’s life at risk, and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain.

If one is called “racist” or “Islamophobe,” the answer is that these are the accusations bullies always use to silence those who disagree with them. The real Islamophobes are those who degrade, abuse and kill their fellow Muslims.

If oppression of women is rooted in the culture, shouldn’t one be asking, ‘what makes a culture that misogynous?’

There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries. The worst thing any Western progressive or feminist can do is to stay silent.

The loudest voices in the West now seem to come from many progressives who say that criticizing of Islam is racist, intolerant, bigoted and Islamophobic. Injustices, they claim, take place all around the world, not just among Muslims or in Muslim countries. The criticism, they go on, comes from wrong interpretations of Islamic teachings. They say that Islam respects women, and that there are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.

In just seven years, however, between 2002 and 2009, the rate of murdered women in Turkey has increased by 1400 percent.[1]

There are also more than 181,000 child brides in Turkey.[2]

When those figures are provided by state authorities, they are based on factual statistics. But when they are expressed in a critical manner by Canan Arin, a lawyer and women rights activist, they are, apparently, a “crime.”

Canan Arin, 72, is a feminist lawyer who has dedicated her life to women’s rights struggles in Turkey.[3]

The Antalya Bar Association, in December 2011, invited her to its newly founded Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre to give training to the lawyers on violence against women. There, she delivered a speech about early and forced marriages, and gave two examples — one from the 7th century, the other from the 20th century — to clarify her point.

The first example concerned Muhammad, the founder of Islam, who married a girl of seven. The second was about Abdullah Gul, then-President of the Turkish Republic, who became engaged to his wife when she was 14 and married her when she was 15, in 1980.

Although both of those examples are supposedly based on the truth, speaking the truth in Turkey now seems to constitute a crime. A year later, therefore, a warrant was issued for Arin’s arrest, and on December 12, 2012, she was brought to court for “insulting religious values adopted by a part of the society” (Turkish Penal Code Article- 216/3) and for “insulting the President” (Turkish Penal Code- Article 299/1).

On May 30, 2013, the court declared its final decision, which was the adjournment of the trial. According to the ruling, if Arin commits a similar crime in three years and receives a punishment for it, her case will be reopened.

“If I do not open my mouth for three years, and do not engage in [discussions of similar] subject matters, this trial will be ignored. Their ruling is like running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. But this trial should have never been opened in the first place,” Arin said to the Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet.

It is bewildering that any prosecutor actually considers child marriage a “value.” According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, in 2012 alone, the rate of parental consent for legal marriage under the age of 18 increased by 94.2%. This increase is not taking place in a country ruled by Islamic sharia law, but in Turkey, the only so-called “secular” Muslim country.

There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women rights in most Muslim countries. And as there is no freedom of expression in these countries, people have become virtually voiceless.

Yet many people, especially the so-called progressives, seem to find limitless excuses for fundamentalist Islamic atrocities against women. These include beheadings, stonings, domestic violence, honor killings, female genital mutilation, official legal inequality, home confinement, child marriages, and Saudi Arabia’s prohibition against women driving, to name a few.

Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.

To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.

There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.

Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative. Known by an increasing number of women as “Excuses for Abuses,” these include:

Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”

For the record, Islam is not a race. Moreover, if you discuss the violent and misogynous teachings of Islam, it does not mean that you hate or are intolerant of Muslims, just of violence and misogyny.

It does mean that you care about Muslim women; that you do not want them to be forced to find four male “witnesses” to “prove” they have been raped, or to be punished by Islamic courts as adulterers if their rapists do not confess. It means you believe that their testimony in court, or their inheritance, should be valued as highly as a man’s; that you do not want them to be the victim of honor killings or child marriages at the hands of their Muslim family members, and that you do not want their husbands to be able beat them with impunity.

It also means that you want children to grow up to be honest, informed, compassionate adults, filled with love for life and fellow human beings, and who can speak up for rights and liberties that can never be taken for granted — all gained as a result of centuries-long wars, struggles and social movements.

It means you do not want to see children blowing themselves up on a bus, or people buying or selling women, or killing their sisters for not wearing the hijab. And finally, it means that you do not want children getting married at the age of seven, especially to men they have never met, or to be hypocrites who have to say, “Islam is a religion of peace” to defend themselves every time another Muslim commits a crime justified by proclaiming Islamic beliefs.

“Injustices against women take place all around the world, not just against Muslims or in Muslim countries.”

If the oppression of women is rooted in the culture, shouldn’t one be asking, ‘what makes a culture that misogynous?’

What is progressivism if its objectives do not include helping emancipate women from Islamic oppression, such as honor killings, child marriages, stonings, flogging and punishing rape victims (while releasing rapists) — all of which are employed in the Muslim world, in line with Islamic teachings, allegedly to “protect” and “respect” women and to keep them “pure,” but more probably to keep women in their place?

“What you are seeing is not the real Islam; Islam has been hijacked.”

The problem with this view is that Islam actually does teach that a woman is worth less than a man. Many teachings in Islam are misogynous — from wearing veils; requiring four male witness to prove rape; issues of inheritance; court testimony; rules of marriage; rules of divorce and remarriage; a man’s “right” to marry up to four women and then beat them, and so on.

If Western progressives and feminists care at all about their Muslim sisters, they need to protest against the actual roots of this injustice: these Islamic teachings.

Many progressives, however, seem not even to want to learn about them, let alone speak out against them. Perhaps they fear that if they knew more, they might actually have to speak out. Or perhaps they remain silent from indifference or inertia. But if all they really care about in the West is their (understandable) ability to get abortions and equal pay for equal work, they have badly failed to grasp the consequences of a theocracy on everyone, not only on women.

If they wished to inform themselves, they might read just the verses of the Quran relating to women and glance at the hadith sunnah literature — all easily found on the internet. Then — if they sincerely wished to raise future generations with humanitarian values, equal justice under law, and a respect for human rights — they might educate others about those teachings, while basing their opinions on knowledge, not on wishful thinking.

“If you accommodate Islamic misogyny,” says the writer Pat Condell, “you legitimize it and you invite it into your own life and into the lives of your children … because it’s coming your way. You also help to ensure that the woman in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, who gets beaten every day, will continue to be beaten and treated as a piece of property, as will her daughters and granddaughters all the way down the line.”

“It is not about Islam. Crimes were committed and are being committed in all places throughout history.”

The world is no paradise, but in the West, if economic, political or social causes of injustices are freely discussed, why should religious, or Islamic, causes be exempt from discussion?

In many Muslim countries, where only Islam — but not the people — has the right to survive, such discussion is impossible without extreme risk. Even in Turkey, considered one of the most “liberal” of Muslim countries, if you dare to discuss or criticize the teachings of Islam, you can be killed, arrested, attacked, exposed to social and psychological lynching campaigns, brought to court and given a prison sentence.

Do progressives not oppose supremacy and oppression? Why then do they turn a blind eye to Islamic supremacy and oppression?

In Gaza, for instance, for whom Western progressives claim to have so much sympathy, women are systematically murdered in honor killings, and the Hamas government does not protect them. Appeals court judge Ziad Thabet, told Al-Monitor that “during his time in the judiciary, he had noticed that honor killing defendants were usually given light sentences. Three years in prison was the harshest…. Life sentences or execution were never a consideration.”

Al Jazeera also reported that “the number of so-called ‘honor killings’ in Palestine doubled in 2013 from the previous year. … For the past three years, the number of women killed has increased each year.”

Can Western feminists not stand up even against a terrorist group, Hamas, on behalf of Gazan women, who cannot speak up for themselves for fear of reprisals? Or would this not be as pleasurable as condemning Israel, the only Middle Eastern country where Muslim women do have equal rights? Or can these progressives only parrot propaganda, such as, “Palestinian women are exposed to honor killings by angry Palestinian men due to the Israeli occupation”?

“Not all Muslims are the same. There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.”

First of all, thank you very much for this genius discovery. But how can it help reduce the Islamic violence around the world?

Of course it is true that there are many good Muslims, whose values do not follow Islamic teachings verbatim, but also include humanitarian values. They do not wage war on other religions or try to bring them under submission to Islam. In the eyes of jihadis or Islamists, however, who live by the harshest interpretation of most doctrinaire Islamic teachings, such a quality makes them “bad Muslims.”

“All religions are essentially the same.”

Well, not quite. Biblical values are far more benign than Islamic ones, and generally descriptive rather than proscriptive. Furthermore, the most violent of them were long ago abandoned.

No religion, for instance, other than Islam, has ever commanded that those who insult or leave it should be put to death. (See Surahs 6:93, 33:57, 33:61)

On September 24 after being found guilty of “heresy” and “insulting prophet Jonah,” Mohsen Amir Aslani, 37, an Iranian psychologist, was hanged in a prison near the city of Karaj west of Tehran, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency. Aslani, it seems, had given religious classes where he provided his own interpretations of the Quran. In one of his classes, he apparently told his audience that Jonah could not have emerged from the whale’s belly; it was this statement that led to his charge of insulting the prophet Jonah, the Iran Wire websitereported.

Left: Canan Arin, a feminist lawyer arrested in Turkey for “insulting religious values adopted by a part of the society” and “insulting the President,” after she mentioned that the Muslim prophet Muhammad married a 7-year-old girl and the President of Turkey married his wife when she was 15 years old. Right: Mohsen Amir Aslani, an Iranian psychologist who was hanged in Iran for the crimes of “heresy” and “insulting prophet Jonah,” after he said that the biblical prophet Jonah could not have emerged from a whale’s belly.

How much time will pass until Islam is reformed or reinterpreted? How many people will be killed, attacked or enslaved until that happens? How many Muslims have the free will or courage to speak out? Will Islamists even ever allow them to, without threatening retaliation? Are the Islamists so uncertain that what they are preaching can stand on its merits — as the Quran instructs, “without compulsion” — that they cannot even tolerate even a single comment about one of their prophets?

What Western progressives and feminists are doing for the sake of political correctness — or a well intentioned, if misguided, “multiculturalism” — does nothing to help Muslim women. On the contrary, “political correctness,” silence, or making excuses for atrocities caused by Islam, can only add to the suffering of women in the Muslim world.

If progressives truly want to protect Muslims, they cannot achieve this goal by “protecting” Islam from criticism.

If one is called “racist” or “Islamophobe,” the answer is that these are accusations bullies always use to silence people who disagree with them. The real Islamophobes are those who degrade, abuse and kill their fellow Muslims.

The worst thing any Western progressive or feminist can do in the face of the suffering caused by Islamic teachings, is to stay silent.

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist based in Ankara.


[1] According to the Turkish Ministry of Justice, 2009.

[2] According to the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute in 2012.

[3] Arin co-founded the Purple Roof-Women’s Shelter Foundation, the Association for the Support of Women Candidates and the Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre of the Istanbul Bar Association. Between 1994 and 1997, she acted as an expert on violence against women for the Gender Equality Commission of the Council of Europe.

THE IDIOCY OF ISLAM’S GREAT DEFENDERS

ben-affleck-hbo-real-timeBreitbart, by BEN SHAPIRO:

On Friday night, Bill Maher hosted atheist author Sam Harris, actor Ben Affleck, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to discuss Maher’s rant last week in which he discussed the violence of radical Islam and the prevalence of belief in radical Islam. Harris sided with Maher; Maher defended his comments.

Affleck, Kristof, and Steele, however, all suggested that Maher’s criticism of Islam went too far. Steele said that moderate Muslims just don’t receive media coverage. Affleck actually suggested that Maher’s criticisms of Islam were akin to calling someone a “shifty Jew.” Kristof said that because Maher and Harris had the temerity to quote polls about acceptance of anti-Muslim violence by Muslims all over the world, he was talking “a little bit of the way white racists talk about African-Americans.”

Maher, correctly, stated, “What you’re saying is, ‘because they’re a minority, we shouldn’t criticize.’” He added that Islam is the “only religion that acts like the Mafia that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book. There’s a reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards 24/7.”

After 9/11, Americans wondered why the Bush and Clinton administrations had failed to connect the dots. Perhaps it’s because the culture of political correctness means that we must see every dot as disconnected, rather than as part of a broader intellectual and philosophical framework. If you stand too close to a Seurat painting, you’re likely to miss the fact that you’re looking at a Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte, rather than a random series of colored dots.

By acting as though terrorists and their supporters are outliers, occasional needles hidden within massive haystacks, we fail to make policy based upon reality. The politically correct mob insists we look at terrorist incidents as occasional blips, rather than outgrowths of a dangerous ideology that must be uprooted completely. And so we miss signals. We miss red flags.

Now, it is possible that our politicians lie to us. It is possible that they see the patterns and monitor those patterns. It’s possible they understand the radical Islamic funding of mosques all over the world, the recruitment of Muslims across the planet to support jihad.

But those lies – if they are lies – have consequences. They are parroted by fools, both left and right, who cite Bush and Clinton and Obama and all the rest for the proposition that Islam means peace and that Islamic terror groups are not Islamic. Instead, they claim, Islamic terrorists are merely crazy folks. Which means we don’t have to take their ideology seriously, their appeal seriously, or their outreach seriously.

And so we don’t. That’s why the State Department released an ad in early September showing crucifixions, Muslims being shot in the head, a blown-up mosque, and a beheaded body. Apparently, the State Department believed their own press: they believed that by castigating ISIS as an un-Islamic outlier, they could convince potential allies to stay away. That’s idiocy. ISIS releases precisely the same sort of videos as recruitment efforts – the Islamic terrorists understand that they are, in fact, Islamic. So do those they target.

In order to defend an ideology or a religion, one should know something about the ideology or religion. Ben Affleck, Nicholas Kristof, and Michael Steele are not Islamic scholars. Neither are George W. Bush, Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton. In fact, when it comes to points of Islamic law, any average member of ISIS likely knows more than any of the aforementioned defenders of Islam.

The West cannot be the great defender of Islam, because we have no capacity to slice radical Islam out of broader Islam. We are radically unqualified to do so. We can only fight those who share an ideology dedicated to our destruction. And defending that broader ideology by downplaying a so-called “fringe minority” only emboldens those of the radical minority.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.orgFollow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

 

Published on Oct 3, 2014 by Dole Mite

Also see:

What Possible Good Does It Do To Say Anything Negative About Islam, Even If It’s True?

kabaCitizen Warrior:

One of the most important things we recommend is learn about Islam and share that information with your fellow non-Muslims.

But if you’ve ever tried to tell your friends about jihad, you’ve probably discovered most people don’t want to hear it. They will sometimes argue with you even if they know nothing about Islam, and they don’t understand why you would want to “bash” another religion.

But sharing this information is the best thing a citizen can do to help marginalize, discredit, and disempower orthodox Islam, which is the goal here. So the question is: How can you talk to people about a subject they don’t want to talk about?

There is only one answer: First you must motivate them to listen.

Almost as a prerequisite for this topic, before you can really have a good listener, you will need to explain why it’s important to know more about Islamic teachings. Most people you come across will literally not have a clue why you would even be interested, or why they should be.

So below are the top twelve reasons why it’s a sane, rational, sensible goal to know more about Islam. When you start to talk about jihad or Sharia and you can see the resistance or suspicion on the face of your listener, ask them, “Are you wondering why I’m even interested in this?” If they are curious, let them know about one or two of the reasons below.

While you’re reading the list here, pick out the ones you think would be the most effective, and make it a point to remember them for your next conversation:

1. Orthodox Muslims are immigrating to western democracies.From within our democracies, including the one we are living in, they are setting up terrorist cells right now. Their spokesmen are delivering fiery tirades at mosques and at demonstrations in our own country, calling the faithful Muslims to rise up against the infidels (you and me), telling the Muslims in their congregation it is their holy duty to overthrow the government and to establish Islamic law. They are recruiting native-born westerners into terrorist groups.

They are in free countries now, preaching hatred. And most western democracies allow more in all the time. Why? Because most westerners don’t know much about Islam.

2. The devoted ones will perpetually try to change our laws, from within and from without. They have already done so in Europe and Canada, and all over the world. Islam is a political ideology. It is the duty of faithful Muslims to work toward making every government on earth follow Allah’s law (Sharia law).

They are carefully following a 20-year plan to overthrow the U.S. government, and so far, they are succeeding. Why? Because most Americans don’t know anything about Islam.

If westerners knew what was going on, they could resist it. But our ignorance makes their job very easy.

3. They are having more children than most of us. There are many ways to wage jihad and subjugate infidels. One is through violence. Another is through reproduction. You can out-reproduce the enemy, which Muslims have been doing. They are immigrating in large numbers into western democracies, and having as many children as they can, and teaching them to be devout Muslims.

Devout Muslims will try to turn any country they live into an Islamic state, no matter how long it takes. They have to. It is their religious duty to do so, whether they want to or not.

4. The teenage children of moderate Muslims are being persuaded by terrorist recruiters. Even if many of the Muslims who immigrate are authentically peaceful (ignore the political and intolerant teachings of orthodox Islam), some of their children will be vulnerable to recruitment as they see through the hypocrisy of their parents’ incomplete worship.

The children of Muslims have heard all their lives from everyone in authority that the Koran is a direct message from the Almighty Himself. As teens, if they hear a preacher tell them what’s actually in the Koran, they will be shocked. The Koran contains clear instructions to wage continual war on unbelievers until the whole world submits to Islamic law.

The teens will look at their parents and feel disgusted. Their parents — the ones who have told them repeatedly that the Koran is the perfect word of Allah — ignore much of the book.

So in other words, it wouldn’t even matter if we could somehow screen Muslims who enter western democracies for fanaticism. Even if we only let in casual, half-hearted Muslims (peaceful Muslims), their children are potential “homegrown terrorists.”

Plus, we cannot ignore the added benefit of dying while slaying infidels:You go straight to heaven, and have 72 beautiful wives ready to do your bidding. What 15 year-old boy wouldn’t find that an attractive proposition?

All his life he’s been told the Koran is Allah’s message, and he finally reads it cover to cover (it’s not very long) and discovers those preachers were right: It says quite clearly that if he dies while killing infidels he will go straight to heaven without passing GO, without having to be judged, and there, awaiting him, is his lovely harem.

It doesn’t take any interpreting or “reading into” the Koran to know what it says. There are no vague analogies or stories open to multiple interpretations as there are in the Torah and the Bible. It is a clear, simple, direct message written by one man. Anyone who reads it will know what to do.

5. Confusing current events become understandable. Once you learn what’s really going on, the scary terrorist events that make you think, “Why are they doing this?!” are suddenly illuminated, and you know exactly why they’re doing it, and why most westerners don’t have a clue about what’s going on.

You would think that learning about Islamic jihad would make you hate Muslims, but strangely enough, it does the opposite. Most Muslims are in an even worse situation than the infidels. The more you learn about Islam, the more sympathy you have for Muslims who had no choice in the matter and cannot escape without risking their lives and the lives of everyone they love.

But sometimes learning about the subject is upsetting. It is a shock to learn what’s in the Koran, knowing that one and a half billion human beings believe this is the final message from the supreme ruler of the universe.

But after you get over the shock, it makes world events less upsetting. You will understand what’s going on for the first time. You will no longer feel as exasperated or wonder what the hell is happening in this crazy world. You’ll finally understand.