Yes, It Is All About Islam

Front Page Magazine, by Bruce Bawer, June 23, 2017:

Douglas Murray, whose book The Strange Death of Europe I applauded here the other day, has called him “one of the great heroes of our time.” I fully agree. His name – or, at least, his pen name – is Ibn Warraq, and he’s the author of such important and eloquent works as Why I Am Not a Muslim (which I wrote about here eleven years ago), Why the West Is Best (which I reviewed here five years ago), and What the Koran Really Says. Born in India and educated in Britain, Warraq began criticizing Islam in print during the 1988-89 Satanic Verses controversy, when he was appalled by the failure of celebrated writers and intellectuals to defend Salman Rushdie’s freedom of speech. Warraq, who was then based in France and now lives in the U.S., has been publishing books on Islam ever since, and is one of the essential contemporary authors on the subject, courageously telling ugly truths about a religion – an ideology – that has been swathed in pretty lies.

His new book, The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology, is (if it doesn’t sound a bit odd to put it this way) a godsend – a comprehensive answer to every one of those duplicitous politicians, lily-livered journalists, and slimy professional “experts” and “consultants” who tirelessly insist that Muslim terrorists have hijacked a peaceful faith. Some of us don’t need to be told that this “Religion of Peace” stuff is arrant nonsense; but innumerable apologists continue to absolve Islam itself of guilt for violent terror, and tens of millions of people in the West continue to buy their bull – some because they are themselves so pure of heart that they simply can’t believe any religion would actually preach violence, and others because admitting the facts would make them feel like bigots.

Many apologists insist that violence in the name of Islam is a relatively recent development; Warraq makes it crystal clear that it’s prescribed in the Koran and has been practiced from the outset. Since 9/11, apologists have attributed Islamic terrorism to such “root causes” as poverty, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. foreign policy, Western imperialism, and the Crusades – anything but Islam itself. About this determination to formulate sophisticated answers to a question that the terrorists themselves have already answered repeatedly and definitively, Warraq observes that “[t]he centrality of religion in the Islamic world is something that Western liberals fail to understand or take seriously.” This isn’t just true; it’s one of the tragic realities of our time.

One by one, Warraq expertly shreds every one of the apologists’ fake “explanations” for terror. Imperialism? Warraq reminds us that Muslims, too, have been imperialists, destroying “thousands of churches, synagogues, and temples…in a most brutal fashion” and exterminating “whole civilizations such as the Pre-Islamic cultures of Iran (Zoroastrians) and the Assyrians.” Saudi Arabia, homeland of fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, “was never colonized by the West” but was, rather, part of an Islamic empire – namely the Ottoman Empire, governed by Turks from Constantinople. If those Saudis were spurred by a rage at empire, why not fly a plane into the Hagia Sophia?

No, as Warraq demonstrates, there’s no way around it: Islamic terrorism is jihad. And jihad is a founding Islamic concept. The apologists, of course, have their own line on this one, too: under true Islam, they say, the word jihad denotes an inner spiritual process, and has nothing to do with violence; when terrorists use the word to describe their depredations, they’re distorting the word and the faith. Warraq, citing a wide range of scholarly sources – both Western and Islamic, some recent and some dating back to the eighth century – puts that fulsome falsehood firmly in its place: yes, jihad can be used to mean an inner struggle, but in the Koran and Hadith, and in key texts ever since, it always refers, above all, to the sacred obligation to advance Islam by means of armed action against unbelievers.

Warraq also gives us a sweeping – but succinct – lesson in the history of jihad, beginning with Muhammed’s own conquests, then moving on to ninth- through eleventh-century Baghdad, seventeenth-century Constantinople, eighteenth-century Saudi Arabia, and so on, right up to today’s Muslim Brotherhood. Of course the apologists (Barack Obama among them) would have us believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and non-violent; Warraq establishes that throughout its existence, to the contrary, the Brotherhood has preached Holy War, period. Then there’s the Nazis. Some apologists argue that Islam was just peachy until some of its leaders got chummy with Hitler and were infected by his love of violent world conquest and Jew-hatred; Warraq establishes that if Islamic higher-ups cozied up to the Nazis, it was because their totalitarian, exterminationist doctrines were already extremely similar.

Warraq also introduces us to a 1979 book that has been called “the most influential treatise on why Jihad is necessary and how it must be fought.” Written by one Brigadier S. K. Malik, The Qur’anic Concept of War won the endorsement of no less a jihad enthusiast than the late Pakistani president Zia al-Haq. A brief sample: “The Quranic military strategy…enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies….[The Koran] gives us a distinctive concept of total war. It wants both the nation and the individual to be at war ‘in toto,’ that is, with all their spiritual moral and physical resources.” In addition to Malik’s tome, Warraq reads (so we don’t have to) several other vile works that have also inspired the suicide-vest set – a veritable library of holy hate.

Warraq sums up his book’s point as follows: “jihad is essential for the spread of Islam, and it is a duty incumbent on all Muslims until Islam covers the whole surface of the earth.” And what’s essential for the West’s survival is for us infidels to face up to the fact that nothing is more integral to Islam than that monstrous duty. If Islamic terror is, as apologists assert, a reaction to some action by the West, that action is, as Warraq points out, nothing more or less than our failure to “accept the Koran as a blueprint for a model society.” However much the talking heads may insist otherwise, it was Islam’s explicit call for jihadist conquest, and nothing else, that motivated 9/11 and 7/7, Atocha and Nice, Bataclan and Ariana Grande. If we insist on clinging to lies about these atrocities – and thereby lose our freedom – it won’t be because Ibn Warraq hasn’t nobly and bravely shouted the truth from the rooftops.

Hugh Fitzgerald: A Review of Ibn Warraq’s The Islam In Islamic Terrorism

Jihad Watch, by Hugh Fitzgerald, May 12, 2017:

Ibn Warraq, the celebrated apostate, author of Why I Am Not A Muslim and of scholarly works on the Koran, Muhammad, and early Islam, as well as polemical works in defense of the West, has now written The Islam in Islamic Terrorism, showing, in the words of the Islamic fundamentalists (or, more exactly, revivalists) themselves, what really motivates Islamic terrorists today, and what has motivated them since the time of the Kharijites in the first century of Islam: the belief in the need to recover the pristine Islam of the time of Muhammad, by removing all innovations (bid’a), the further belief that it is the duty of Muslims to wage Jihad against all Unbelievers until Islam everywhere dominates, and to bring about the resurrection of the caliphate, and the imposition of Islamic Law, or Sharia, all over the globe.

Ibn Warraq’s The Islam In Islamic Terrorism is a brilliant series of reported echoes down the corridors of Islam, where the same complaints about bid’a, the same insistence on regulating every area of a Believer’s life, the same refusal to allow freedom of religion or thought, the same duties of violent Jihad and Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong, the same demands for a return to the same pristine Islam of Muhammad, the same virulent antisemitism, the same quotes from the Koran and Hadith, the same hatred of Infidels, the same insistence that “we love death more than you love life,” the same call for bloodshed and Muslim martyrdom, the same dreary fanaticism, are thoroughly described and dissected, and above all the various violent manifestations of this revivalism over the centuries are linked to one another, as Ibn Warraq brings to bear the massive research he has been conducting over many years, in primary and secondary sources, and here deploys to splendid effect.

Ibn Warraq has performed a service for all those who are at last ready to look beyond the present platitudes about socioeconomic and other putative “root causes” of Islamic terrorism — Israel, the Crusades, European colonialism, American foreign policy, all held up for dissection and dismissal one after the other. He cites the studies that reveal Muslim terrorists to be both better off economically, and better educated, than the average Muslim. Most of the terrorist leaders have received solid educations in Islam, giving the lie to those apologists who claim that only those “ignorant of the true Islam” become terrorists.

He notes that Jihad against the Infidels started more than 1300 years before Israel came into existence, that the Muslims paid little attention to the Crusades until very recently, and that American foreign policy has often favored the Muslim side, rescuing Arafat from Beirut when he was besieged by the Israelis, supporting Pakistan despite its collusion with terrorists, looking away when Turkey invaded Cyprus, putting troops in Saudi Arabia to protect that kleptocracy from Saddam Hussein, and lavishing hundreds of billions in foreign aid on Muslim countries, and more than four trillion dollars on military interventions and “reconstruction” in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the hope, likely forlorn, that those countries could be made less barbarous than before.

Having dispatched these factitious “root causes,” Ibn Warraq returns us to the o’erweening fact of Islam, and begins commonsensically with the Koran, hadith, sunna, and sira, showing how violent Jihad, including the weapon of terrorism, is deeply rooted in the texts of Islam and the example of the Prophet. Muhammad was the first Islamic terrorist. Ibn Warraq then introduces readers to a course in Islamic history, bringing to bear an enormous amount of research — every vein is mined with ore — on a succession of violent revivalist movements that wished to return Islam to its pristine state, ridding it of any innovations (bida’). He begins this story in the first century of Islam with the Kharijites, with stops in ninth and tenth century Baghdad, sixteenth century Istanbul, and eighteenth-century Arabia, right up to those ideologues and thinkers who inspire the terrorists today, including Mawdudi, Qutb, Azzam, Faraj, and Khomeini. He gives considerable attention to the other duty of Muslims, that of Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong (he tentatively suggests that “Jihad” might be considered as coming under the duty of “Commanding Right”), and what that duty has meant for activists and terrorists. His account of Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong appears to be the most extensive treatment to date of this duty outside of the specialist literature.

He is a Great Debunker. He calls into question the “greater Jihad” of spiritual struggle, so beloved of Muslim apologists, quoting extensively from the modern ideologues who insist it is based at most on a single weak hadith (and some claim even that does not exist), but in any case, the non-spiritual kind of Jihad remains a duty incumbent on all Muslims. He debunks, too, the common perception of Sufis as pacific, showing how, both in Safavid Persia and, later, in India, Sufis eagerly promoted, and participated in, violent Jihad. This matters, because the myth of the “peaceful Sufis” holds out a false hope — a peaceful sect of Muslims! Maybe they can all become Sufis! — that gets in the way of recognizing a much grimmer reality.

His detailed treatment of Haj Amin Al-Husaini is an example of his thoroughness, and his ability to see what others have overlooked. He shows how Al-Husaini’s fanatical antisemitism had nothing to do with the Nazi version, but was rooted in Koran and hadith. He rejects, that is, Matthias Kunzel’s claim that Al-Husaini learned his antisemitism from the Nazis. Ibn Warraq insists that there was no need; Islamic antisemitism predated that of Hitler by 1350 years. He does offer new revelations about Al-Husaini’s role in the Holocaust. It was he who convinced Hitler not to let German Jews leave Germany, because he was afraid they would move to Palestine. Several hundred thousand Jews were thus condemned to die because of Al-Husaini. Furthermore, in order to keep Jews from elsewhere in Europe entering Palestine, Al-Husaini pressed the British to undertake a blockade so that Jewish refugees could not land in Palestine. The British, wanting to curry favor with the Arabs, agreed to this demand. How many Jews from all over Europe, who might have been saved, died as a result of Al-Husaini’s action? Possibly a million might have escaped Europe through the Black Sea port of Costanza, that remained open during the war, but only if they had a place – Palestine – that would take them in. Haj Amin Al-Husaini made sure they would not be allowed to land in Palestine.

The discussion of this is unique to Ibn Warraq. Also unique is his suggestion that it was Al-Husaini who, from 1948 to his death in 1973, kept the Islamic fundamentalist movement alive. He was the key figure linking the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to other Islamist groups. He helped organize the assassination of government officials deemed too secular. He also brought 4000 Nazi war criminals to the Middle East, helping them find jobs in the security and intelligence apparatus of several Arab states, and even converted some to Islam. It is both his role in the Holocaust, cutting off an escape route for Jews, and in his postwar work at the very center of the Islamist movement for 25 years, that only Ibn Warraq has discussed.

The book is well-sourced, with copious citations from Koran, hadith, sunna, and sira. Ibn Warraq allows the terrorist ideologues to speak for themselves, and at length. Everyone will have his own favorite examples of fanaticism: two of mine were the rant of Sayyid Qutb about American decadence, prompted by his 1951 attendance at a distinctly modest church square dance, and Khomeini’s remarkable speech about how he “spit on those” who denied the centrality of bloodshed in Islam. Finally, Ibn Warraq has read, thoroughly assimilated, and fittingly deployed, excerpts from dozens of scholars of Islam, from C. Snouck Hurgronje and Joseph Schacht to Michael Cook and Patricia Crone. The comprehensive bibliography is divided into primary and secondary sources, for those who wish to pursue the subject further.. It will be impossible for Muslim apologists to rebut any part of this incredible work. What they will do is try to have it ignored, or to dismiss a work of solid scholarship as merely an apostate’s “Islamophobia.” We must not let those efforts succeed. Buy and read this book, see that libraries order it, that those in the media and the government who make or influence policy are sent copies. For Ibn Warraq’s sake, and for our own.

Gad Saad interviews Ibn Warraq

warraq-books
Published on Feb 8, 2017 by Gad Saad

Topics covered include Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, multiculturalism, cultural relativism, Islamic doctrines, Sharia law, the Western mindset regarding Islam, the rise of atheism in the Muslim world, and Islamic reformation, among other topics.

Ibn Warraq’s Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/Ibn-Warraq-8…

Ibn Warraq’s website: http://www.ibnwarraq.com

#ExMuslimBecause Trend Stands Up To Extremists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the West is Losing to Islamic Supremacists

Muslim one world blinded coveredThe Blaze, by Benjamin Weingarten, Feb. 6, 2015:

During a recent lecture on the nature of and threat posed by Iran, with whom President Barack Obama’s Chamberlainian negotiations continue apace, an existential question arose: Why does the West remain asleep regarding Islamic Supremacism and the doctrine on which it is based?

I posit that there are three main reasons, which also go a long way towards explaining why we are currently losing to the global jihad: (i) Progressive multiculturalism, moral relativism and materialism; (ii) Profound willful ignorance; and (iii) An inability to cope with the staggering implications of the threat we face.

Since the days of George W. Bush, we have heard the oft-repeated trope that Islam is a religion of peace, and moreover one of the world’s great religions, with the same ethics, values and principles as Judaism and Christianity.

Originally, the Western elite argued that those who killed in the name of Islam were merely misinterpreting and perverting the religion. These, one should note, were the relatively more clear-eyed ones. Others attributed genocidal jihadism to poverty, lack of education or global warming.

Now we have completely severed the jihadist head from the Islamic body (theo)politic, arguing that the barbarians who comprise Islamic State, or as the Obama administration obediently likes to say, Daesh, in spite of the first “I” standing for “Islamic,” are nihilists.

For a people steeped in progressivism for decades, this can be the only reasonable conclusion.

Islamic supremacism does not comport with the belief system of our elites, who assert that all peoples are the same, all religions consist of the same values and beliefs, and that material concerns trump all others, including spiritual or idealist ones.

For those who honestly believe such things — as opposed to the ones who spout platitudes out of political expediency and to gloss over threats they dishonestly claim to have already defeated – throwing up one’s arms and claiming that jihadism stems from an ideology of nothingness is the most coherent of an entirely incoherent set of answers. Even better is to declare that violent extremism is the enemy, so as to smear conservatives while they’re at it.

This pervasive misunderstanding of Islam reflects a profound ignorance, in that it neglects the fact that the Koran and hadith comprise a unique belief system fundamentally different from, and in fact antithetical to the historically Judeo-Christian West.

For those interested, there is a mass of literature from authors such as Dr. Andrew BostomAndrew McCarthy, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq and Bat Ye’or who lay this out in concrete and copiously sourced terms.

Better yet, look to the texts and words of leading Islamic scholars such as Hassan Al Banna and Sayyid Qutb, prominent modern-day figures like Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Ayatollah Khameini,Hassan Nasrallah, and the content being taught at mosques right here in America.

If you would like to ignore the compendium of Islamic doctrine that calls for and compels Muslims to bring about a totalitarian world under which all submit to Allah’s rule, all one has to do is look at states whose governments are based in Shariah law to see Islam in practice.

(Image Source: PEW Research – The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society, Q79a, Q92a-c, dated April 30, 2013 and Spring 2014 Global Attitudes Survey, Q100.)

(Image Source: PEW Research – The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society, Q79a, Q92a-c, dated April 30, 2013 and Spring 2014 Global Attitudes Survey, Q100.)

Theory and practice aside, I am willing to wager that the vast majority of those commenting on Islam in the media and political establishment have never opened up a Koran, let alone heard the word hadith. Of the small percentage who have, invariably you will hear the argument that while parts of the Koran are violent, others are peaceful. Such a view evinces further ignorance however, as it fails to address two essential Islamic concepts: (a) Abrogation and (b) taqiyya.

Abrogation refers to the fact that as the Koran reflects Allah’s divine revealed word, where there are textual contradictions, those passages revealed later must supplant those that preceded it. These later passages are frequently more violent than the earlier peaceful ones.

Taqiyya refers to strategic lying and deception – covering up one’s true intentions so as to defeat one’s enemies. This manifests itself in acts of sabotage, subversion and the propagation of strategic disinformation, not unlike what the Communists did during and after the Cold War.

Others will argue that just as the Koran has violent verses, so too do the Old and New Testaments. But Jews and Christians do not go out and slaughter in the name of their G-d in a modern-day global Crusade like the jihadists are waging. Moreover, the values and principles that flow from these two religious systems have led to the miracle that is Western civilization. The Muslim world on the other hand, especially where Islamic doctrine is followed in its purest form, resembles the seventh century one that preceded it.

Lest you think those who have studied Islam in schools are better off, in America’s universities taqiyya has become an art form. Many of the Middle Eastern departments at our country’s most prestigious academic institutions have been found to put on a “moderate” public face while serving as Trojan horses for anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Westernism — all consistent with Islamic doctrine.

This should come as no surprise, as these departments – and even K-12 schools — are often funded by Islamic nations who are the primary backers of Islamic supremacism themselves.

For those able to see past multiculturalism, moral relativism, materialism and actually study Islam in theory and practice, recognizing that the religion at the very least as understood by millions of Muslims is not only incompatible with, but hostile to our very existence, this is a staggering realization. It offends our pluralistic, tolerant sensitivities to think that such a massive, religiously-justified threat could exist. For while similarly savage enemies marched throughout the 20th century, none were tinged with theology, and Communism for its part was explicitly anti-religious.

Moreover, there are uncomfortable practical questions that such a threat raises. Who exactly are we fighting if there are millions of jihadists, aiders, abettors and enablers all over the world? How are we to fight them? What measures can we take to secure the homeland that are both sufficient and consonant with a free society?

Today, the West is clearly not even at the point of asking these questions, which reflects a lack of education on behalf of some, and denial on the part of others. That it is considered a bold act to utter phrases like “Radical Islam,” or “Islamic extremism” or “Islamism,” in the face of now over 25,000 jihadist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001 indicates as much. Imagine what kind of stones it would take to repeat after Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan, that in effect there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” or “Islamism,” and such “descriptions are very ugly…offensive and an insult to our religion…Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

Rather than deal with reality, we figuratively bury our heads in the sand. Meanwhile, savage jihadists lop off and literally bury infidel heads in the sand.

If we are going to turn the tide in a war that we are currently not fighting, it is imperative that a sizable number of Americans wake up. It behooves all men and women of good conscience to educate their fellow citizens, and spark this awakening.

The future of Western civilization depends upon it.

Follow Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten) and TheBlazeBooks on Twitter and Facebook.

Ibn Warraq speaks at Yale

Ibn_Warraq_070-300x210Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Nov. 16, 2014:

(Editor’s note: The renowned scholar of Islam recently spoke at Yale. Here is an outline of the talk he gave. — RS)

First, I should like to thank The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale for inviting me. I should also like to thank my friends and colleagues whose ideas have profoundly influenced what I am going to say today: Sebastian Gorka, Katherine Gorka, Robert Reilly, and Hugh Fitzgerald.

James Burnham’s book Suicide of the West is full of insights on US Foreign Policy, which I find relevant to this day. In fact one has only to substitute “Islam” for “communism” in many of his observations to realise their continuing pertinence. I shall limit myself to one of his observations from Chapter XII, Dialectic of Liberalism:

“The communists divide the world into “the zone of peace” and “the zone of war”. The zone of peace means the region that is already subject to communist rule; and the label signifies that within their region the communists will not permit any political tendency, violent or non-violent, whether purely internal or assisted from without, to challenge their rule. The “zone of war” is the region where communist rule is not yet, but in due course will be established; and within the zone of war the communists promote, assist and where possible lead political tendencies, violent or non-violent, democratic or revolutionary, that operate against non-communist rule. Clear enough, these definitions. You smash the Hungarian Freedom Fighters, and support Fidel Castro; you know where you are going.” Pp.227-228. The above could easily have been a dictionary definition of the Islamic doctrine of Jihad, and its notions of “Dar al-Islam” –the Zone of Peace, and Dar-al Harb –Zone of War”

Now onto my main points:

Our foreign policy should be guided by understanding and admitting the following realities:

  1. We are engaged in a war of ideas, with our principal enemy: an ideology.

An ideology that will not collapse out of economic incompetence.

  1. The ideology of the terrorists is religiously based and derived from Islam and its founding texts, the Koran, hadith, and the sunna, and the history of the early caliphate.
  2. One, but not the only, way we know this is because they tell us so. First , if you want to understand the enemy “Read what they say”. They constantly justify their acts with accurate and apt citations from the Koran and Hadith. They also refer to, among others, Sayyid Qutb’s work Milestones, Abdullah Azzam’s Defense of the Muslim Lands, S. K. Malik’s The Quranic Concept of Power, and Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner. Some of the latter have doctorates from recognized Islamic universities, and to hear John Kerry trying to tell them their ideas have nothing to do with Islam is comical.
  3. Islamic terrorism is not caused by “poverty, lack of education, sexual deprivation, psychological problems, or lack of economic opportunity..”, Western Imperialism, or Western decadence, or the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  4. There are two kinds of Jihad: terrorism, and slow penetration of Western institutions subverting Western laws and customs from within.
  5. Ignorance, naivety, arrogance, political correctness , sheer laziness, sentimentality, and Saudi, Qatari and Iranian money have led to Islamist successes in penetrating Western institutions, from the Voice of America, The Pentagon, CIA, FBI, DHS, PBS, to the universities and colleges where Islamic propaganda is shamelessly and openly disseminated.
  6. While groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, and others are non-state actors, they are funded by states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. These three countries, for example, also provide the necessary Islamic support, framework, and propaganda that spews forth anti-Western and and anti-American hatred. They should be warned or face the consequences.
  7. It is also important to point out that it is not something we have done that is impelling the Islamists. Constantly apologising, Mr President, is pointless; they will not like or respect you the more.
  8. We must learn the lessons of the cold war, for there are striking similarities between the Islamist ideology and that of Soviet Russia [Cf B.Russell, Jules Monnerot, Maxime Rodinson]
  9. Speak out in support of the Christians who are being persecuted, and being killed almost every day in Islamic countries. Profound importance of this act of solidarity not realised by many in West.
  10. In order to succeed we need urgently to recover our civilizational self-confidence.
  11. One way we can fight jihadist ideology is to undermine their certainties, and one can accomplish this with Koranic Criticism. In the West, Spinoza hastened the Enlightenment by his Biblical Criticism.

There is an obvious need to understand the Islamic ideology to understand the mindset of the Islamic terrorists. Terrorism is not caused by poverty, and so on. It is their ideology that motivates them and is the source of its moral legitimacy. Without it, terrorism cannot exist.Terrorists are produced by a totalitarian ideology justifying terrorism.

While America has had some impressive tactical successes, and has managed to kill Osama bin Laden (May 2011) and Anwar al-Awlaki (in Sept.2011) it still fails to understand their goals, their ideology. The reasons for this failure are many:

First, there is a reluctance to address the religious inspiration of the acts of terrorism,to admit that their ideology is derived from Islam and its founding texts, the Koran, the Hadith, the Sunna and the early history of the Caliphate. Instead, the present administration exhorts us to use euphemisms such as “violent extremist”. “WhereasThe 9/11 Commission Report, published under the presidency of George W. Bush in July 2004 as a bipartisan product, had used the word Islam 322 times, Muslim 145 times, jihad 126 times, and jihadist 32 times,The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, issued by the Obama administration in August 2009, used the term Islam 0 times, Muslim 0 times, jihad 0 times.” Now Obama’s policy applies to internal government documents as well, which can only have disastrous consequences for our understanding of political groups and events in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South and South East Asia. “How can one possibly analyze the power and appeal of this ideology, the way that ideas set its strategy and tactics, why it is such a huge menace if any reference to the Islamic religion and its texts or doctrines isn’t permitted?”

Perhaps it was only in 1946, when George Kennan’s wrote his classified ‘Long Telegram’ that America began to understand the nature of the Soviet Union, why it acted the way it did, how the Kremlin thought, and why the USSR was a grave threat to America. In other words it took three decades to understand the mind of the enemy.

To complicate matters further, today there are two enemies: first, non-European, religiously informed non-state terrorist groups, like ISIS. Second, and equally dangerous, states that, in fact, fund and support them. There is evidence that, as the The Atlantic reported in June, 2014, “Two of the most successful factions fighting Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups: Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). And their success is in part due to the support they have received from two Persian Gulf countries: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Our ability to fight al Qaeda and similar transnational terrorist actors will depend upon our capacity to communicate to our own citizens and to the world what it is we are fighting for and what it is that the ideology of Jihad threatens in terms of the values we hold so dear.

To quote Sun Tsu, in war it is not enough to know the enemy in order to win. One must first know oneself. However, with the end of the Cold War America and the West understandably lost clarity with regard to what it was about its way of life that was precious and worth fighting for.

James Burnham explains with exemplary clarity the reasons for this loss of self-confidence, and what he wrote is still, mutatis mutandis, relevant:

“Judging a group of human beings- a race, nation, class or party- that he considers to possess less than their due of well-being and liberty, the liberal is hard put to it to condemn that group morally for acts that he would not hesitate to condemn in his fellows.

“When the Western liberal’s feeling of guilt and his associated feeling of moral vulnerability before the sorrows and demands of the wretched become obsessive, he often develops a generalized hatred of Western civilization and of his own country as a part of the West. We can frequently sense this hatred in …[journals like] The Nation.”

In order to succeed we need urgently recover our civilizational self-confidence.

Ronald Reagan was able to succeed because he was supremely confident of the moral and spiritual superiority of his cause. He was thus able to state with certainty and without hesitation that the SovietEmpire was evil. He was not afraid to confront reality. He was able to defend our values because he believed in them totally. He told an audience at Moscow State University, “Go into any schoolroom [in America], and there you will see children being taught the Declaration of Independence, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights-among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-that no government can justly deny….”

John Lenczowski describes what Reagan advocated unapologetically, “Altogether, the various ideas of freedom, democracy, human rights, moral order, and the dignity of the human person were promoted not only by the President’s rhetoric and personal moral witness but by the Administration as a whole in numerous forms: in Voice of America editorials, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty broadcasts, in articles in United States Information Agency-published magazines targeted at Soviet-bloc populations, on the USIA-run billboard on the sidewalk outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow, in American diplomats’ addresses at various international fora, in the distribution of books to Soviet bloc audiences and U.S.libraries abroad, in films distributed abroad, and so on.”

To quote Asian columnist Banyan in the Economist,“For all its flaws and mis-steps, [America] represents not just economic and military might, but an ideal to aspire to, in a way that China does not. And when American leaders appear to give less weight to that ideal, they not only diminish America’s attractions, they also lend more credence to the idea of its relative economic and military decline.”

The rest of the world recognizes the virtues of the West. As Arthur Schlesinger remarked, “when Chinese students cried and died for democracy in Tiananmen Square, they brought with them not representations of Confucius or Buddha but a model of the Statue of Liberty.”

Ibn Warraq is the author of Why I Am Not A Muslim, Defending the West, and many other books. His latest is Christmas in the Koran.

Exclusive Interview: Koranic Scholar – The Judeo-Christian Sources of the Quran

ibn-warraqjpgBy DR. PHYLLIS CHESLER:

He is a man who rarely reads a book of less than 600 pages and who has easily written books of that length. Engage him in conversation and he will talk about the footnotes in a particular book—and the footnotes which should have been there but which are missing in action.

I am talking about my dear friend, Ibn Warraq, the author or editor of 12 books, and the only man who has ever roundly defeated Tariq Ramadan in an Intelligence Squared debate in London.

 

His final riposte (“I do not care to live in a society where you are stoned for adultery, I would rather live in country where you get stoned first and then commit adultery”) brought down the house.

Despite this witticism, Ibn Warraq is essentially a very shy, Old World, and exceedingly courtly man.

Translated, his pen name means “the son of a paper maker.” He does not use his real name because he is an apostate, which constitutes a capital crime in Islam. He is an ex-Muslim. He is also pro-Western, anti-terrorism, pro-Israel, and pro-human rights. In many quarters, such views are also considered “killing” offenses.

Ibn Warraq is known for having dared to summarize the history of Islam as one of imperialism, colonialism, gender and religious apartheid, anti-black racism, and slavery—and for having dared to point out that, far from being odious, imperial, “Orientalists,” that European scholars, not Muslim invaders, saved, recorded, painted, preserved, and restored the narratives, scholarship, sculpture, artifacts, languages, customs, and architecture of the Islamic, pre-Islamic, and Christian Middle East, and of Asia, and India.

I can no longer remember exactly where or when we met but our work drew us together and has kept us close. By 2005, we were already familiar with each other’s work and started working together at that time. We have both been involved in a number of honor killing asylum cases—he, for his consummate knowledge about apostasy. Although Ibn Warraq is more of a long-distance intellectual, he has not hesitated to participate in certain public forums. For example, in 2006, he traveled to the Hague to participate in a conference on Islam at the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference. Fortuyn was a publicly gay politician who opposed Holland’s immigration policies. (His killer, sentenced to eighteen years, has just been released).

Also in 2006, in the wake of the Mohammed Cartoon travesty/tragedy, Ibn Warraq joined ten other Muslim and ex-Muslim intellectuals, (including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasreen, and Salman Rushdie), in co-signing a MANIFESTO: “Together Facing the New Totalitarianism.” The statement strongly opposed blasphemy laws and customs.

In 2007, as one of several conference organizers, Ibn Warraq invited me to chair the opening panel of the first Secular Islam Summit in St Petersburg, Florida in 2007. This conference gathered a number of illustrious Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents and feminists. The conference published a Declaration which urged world governments to reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, state-sanctioned religion, to oppose the penalties for apostasy and blasphemy as a violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Although he is a very private man, Ibn Warraq writes about himself in a collection of essays: Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays (2010).

“My family belongs to a distinct group of Indian Muslims known as Khatris who first appear as a Hindu subcaste in the 15th century. This caste of dyers of cloth converted to Islam in the 16th century and eventually settled in the Rann of Kutch and the Sind, slowly becoming merchants and traders. My mother tongue is Kutchi, a dialect linguistically related to Sindhi. There are ninety families in this subcaste, and my real family name is Valera…I was born…into a (Sunni) Muslim family in Rajkot, in the state of Gujarat, a town where Gandhi also grew up (though he was born elsewhere-Porbandar).”

Ibn Warraq grew up in Karachi and, when he was ten, left central Asia for a Christian boarding school in England. He is very English, accent and all, and as he tells it, he has an “English sensibility.” Living in Worcestershire, he acquired a “love of things peculiarly English, the English countryside, especially its bird-life–my early heroes being bird artist, C.F.Tunicliffe, and bird photographer, Eric Hoskins, the descriptions of the natural history and village life in Northamptonshire in the writings of Denys Watkins-Pitchford.”

Off the page, this is how Ibn Warraq often sounds. As a boy, vacationing with an English family in Norfolk, “inevitably led to a passion for English watercolours.…landscapes, and architecture…the uniqueness of London’s architectural history, hence my anguish when the University of London destroyed some parts of Georgian squares in and around Gordon Square… But I was also acquiring Englishness of manner, and feeling, the same awkwardness about sex, money and clothes.” Ibn Warraq is a life-long lover of British and European novels, paintings, poems, philosophical tracts, history, nature, and both European and North American street life.

Ibn Warraq spent two years in Mozambique. His father is buried in Quelimane, Mozambique which was then known as Portuguese East Africa. In his chapter on slavery (in Why The West is Best), Ibn Warraq writes about Quelimane because it was once a slave port; many Indians were involved in the slave trade. In 1974, when the Portuguese colonies became independent, his family lost their trading empire overnight.

My friend and colleague is a man who has sacrificed every and any material advantage in order to pursue a life of Ideas. One might say he is “religiously” devoted to the cause of freedom and truth. Although he has lived on many continents– India, Africa, Europe, and North America– he is not a man-in-exile, nor does he belong to any one country, culture, or ethnicity. Ibn Warraq is a citizen of the universe, at home, or not, in many countries. His true home is in books, either when reading or writing them.

He published two books on the subject of apostasy: Why I am Not A Muslim (1995) and Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out (2003).

His 2007 book on Edward Said, Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism (2007), skewered this Naked Emperor and dhimmi imposter. Said was born in Jerusalem; his family moved to Cairo when Said was twelve years old and by the time Said was 16, he was living in Massachusetts, in the United States. His family was Christian, not Muslim. Nevertheless, as a much lauded professor and author, Said’s ideas about Western “Orientalism,” (“Exoticizing the Other”), swept the Western intelligentsia; it has yet to recover from such exceedingly bad ideas. In Defending the West, Ibn Warraq exposed the intellectual flaws, cracks, and gaping potholes in Said’s work. I urge every professor to read this work. For non-scholars, I strongly recommend Ibn Warraq’s popularization of this critique in Why The West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy (2011).

Perhaps one of my favorite of Ibn Warraq’s essays is contained in his book, Sir Walter Scott’s Crusades and Other Fantasies (2013). Titled “George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, and Zionism: Some Observations,” Ibn Warraq presents the case for a Jewish Israel and neatly and elegantly rebuts Said’s lethal Palestinian narrative.

My friend from “the East,” has urged Western intellectuals to cherish and defend their Western values and freedom.

Although Ibn Warraq believes that “moderate Muslims” do exist, he does not believe that “Islam is moderate” and he is not optimistic about how quickly moderate Muslim theologians will be able to bring about a religious reformation that will be acceptable. Nevertheless, for years now, my scholarly friend would disappear to Europe, mainly to Germany to “do Koranic research.” I had no idea why he kept returning to work with these German scholars. Now, I begin to understand the importance of this research with the publication of his new book, Christmas in the Koran: Luxenberg, Syriac, and the Near Eastern and Judeo-Christian Background of Islam (2014).

I decided to conduct an interview with him about it.

Read the interview at Breitbart