The Moderate Muslim Majority Myth


Front Page Magazine, by William Kilpatrick, October 17, 2016:

The head of Britain’s M-16 recently told a panel of intelligence officers that jihad terror “will certainly be with us for our professional lifetimes.” Which prompts a question. How can that be so when we are repeatedly assured that extremists are only a tiny minority and that the vast majority of Muslims are moderates? Why should it take a lifetime to defeat such a small number?

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the assumption that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. It’s true, of course, that the vast majority of Muslims are not engaged in terrorist activities, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily moderate.

Not currently killing people is a poor gauge of moderation. A better gauge would be to determine the potential for turning to violence in a given population. The fact is, we do have such a gauge. It’s the belief system that one adheres to. If beliefs do have consequences, it’s legitimate to ask if there is something about the Islamic faith that predisposes to violence.

The evidence suggests that Islam does not encourage moderation. The Pew Global Survey of Muslim Attitudes show that the majority of Muslims in Muslim countries support practices we would consider to be extreme–amputation for theft, stoning of adulterers, and the execution of apostates.

All of the above are sanctioned in the Koran, the Hadith (the sayings of Muhammad), and the Islamic law books. The reason you get so much violence in the Muslim world is that Allah commands it. Ever since 9/11, we in the West have wondered, “why do they hate us?” Well, a recent issue of Dabiq, the official magazine of the Islamic State, provides the answer: “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah.” That, contends the author, is their main grievance. We (non-Muslims) are infidels, and we have to be fought because that is what Allah wants. Read through the Koran and you will quickly see that Allah has nothing but disdain for unbelievers.

The other reason for Islamic terrorism is that the chief role model for Muslims is a man named Muhammad–a warlord who engaged in almost constant jihad against his neighbors. In Islam, he is considered the perfect man—the one whom Muslims are supposed to emulate. If role models are as important as Americans seem to believe, we shouldn’t be surprised at the consequences that follow when 1.6 billion people take Muhammad as their model.

Some readers might object that such talk is provocative–that if you say these things out loud, it will only serve to drive the moderate Muslims into the radical camp. But that argument is itself evidence that Islam is not a moderate faith. If the moderates can be so easily driven into the arms of the radicals, it must be a relatively short drive. We don’t worry that insults to Christianity or even to Jesus are going to turn moderate Christians into bomb-throwing radicals. Why do we worry that Muslims can be so easily radicalized? The difference is that Islam is not a peaceful religion and was never meant to be one.

The vast majority of Muslims can be considered moderate in the sense that they refrain from killing. But that does not mean that none of them have sympathy for terrorists. A Muslim may be personally averse to killing, but may, nevertheless, be willing to lend moral or financial support to those who do kill. Or he may simply look the other way.  A poll taken in the UK last year revealed that two-thirds of British Muslims would not report a terrorist to the police. An informal survey taken in Molenbeek shortly after thirty people were killed at the Brussels airport found that ninety percent of Muslim teens considered the terrorists to be heroes.

In the West Bank and in Gaza, terrorists are also widely regarded as heroes and martyrs. City streets, squares and parks, are named in their honor, and children are encouraged to follow their example.  Much as Catholics honor saints for their devotion, Palestinians hold the martyrs in high esteem for their willingness to do what the majority are reluctant to do—namely, to sacrifice all for Allah.

Given the potential that exists in the Muslim world for turning to violence, or for supporting those who do, we should not take much comfort in the fact that most Muslims, most of the time are simply going about their business. For many, that daily routine will include studying the Koran, and perhaps entertaining doubts about one’s own worthiness when compared to the martyrs and the mujahideen.

It’s not wise to get too comfortable with the notion that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. A significant portion of that majority may simply be working up the courage to join the highly honored minority.

William Kilpatrick is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad (Regnery Publishing). For more on his work and writings, visit his website,

Washington State Mall Shooter May Not Be a Jihad Terrorist


Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Sept. 27, 2016:

The evidence is scant that Arcan Cetin, a Muslim migrant from Turkey, murdered five people in Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington last Friday night in the name of jihad and Islam, but the evidence that does exist is striking. Amid his busy online activity, Cetin posted admiration for the Islamic State caliph al-Baghdadi and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and a call for Muslims to repeat “SubhanAllah” multiple times.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which someone who did not have jihad sympathies would post anything positive about Baghdadi or Khamenei, but the problem in Cetin’s case is that these references come without any supporting context. Dahir Adan, who stabbed nine people in a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota last week, had a sparse social media presence, but did take the time to list the Qur’an as his favorite book on his Facebook page. Cetin, who by contrast was all over social media, never speaks about Islam or jihad – except in the posts about Baghdadi and Khamenei, and the “SubhanAllah” post.

And so NBC News reported that “when asked on Sunday whether they could rule out terrorism as a motive, Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock said no.” It couldn’t be ruled out, but there was no initial indication that Arcan Cetin was a hardcore true believer a la Orlando jihad mass murderer Omar Mateen, who called 911 in the midst of his massacre to declare his allegiance to the Islamic State and repeatedly proclaimed that his murders were for Allah.

But Cetin could be something even worse. CBS News reported that he “was described by those who knew him as ‘creepy’ and a ‘bully,’ and he had a handful of arrests for assaulting his stepfather, as well as a DUI.” He was “reportedly ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation in August 2015, and that was completed as of March 2016.”

He scared at least one neighbor: “Amber Cathey, 21, lived in an apartment next to Cetin for the past three months and said she was so frightened by him that she complained to apartment management and kept a stun gun handy. Cathey said she blocked him on Snapchat after he sent her a photo of his crotch. ‘He was really creepy, rude and obnoxious,’ Cathey said.”

A high school classmate recalled that Cetin “was very hurtful towards girls. He would sexually harass them. And bully a lot of them.”

So Cetin had a history of violent, abusive behavior, and sexually harassed women. Not coincidentally, he comes from a cultural that sanctifies violent, abusive behavior, particularly toward women: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them” (Qur’an 4:34). The Qur’an also teaches that Infidel women can be lawfully taken for sexual use (cf. its allowance for a man to take “captives of the right hand,” 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59) The implication there is that if women do not cover themselves adequately with their outer garments, they may be abused, and that such abuse would be justified.

Arcan Cetin may not have known or cared about any of those Qur’an passages. But he may have lived in an environment in which such attitudes were taken for granted. Ex-Muslim cartoonist Bosch Fawstin has recounted how, even growing up in a secular, non-observant Muslim household, anti-Semitism and misogyny were commonplace and taken for granted. Even though no one in the house was particularly devout, no one thought to question the bedrock assumptions that Jews were evil and women were inferior.

If that is the kind of household Arcan Cetin, another apparently secular Muslim, grew up in, he and people like him should concern authorities even more than people like Omar Mateen and the San Bernardino killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Mateen, Farook and Malik were all devout and observant Muslims; Cetin, at least as far as we know right now, was not. When devout, observant Muslims who believe that the supreme being has ordered them to “kill them wherever you find them” (cf. Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, 9:5) end up doing so, it should surprise authorities who aren’t thoroughly sold out to politically correct fantasies. When, on the other hand, someone like Arcan Cetin goes jihad, his actions show that the violent jihad option is a live one even for the “moderate,” secularized Muslims upon which Western authorities are staking the future of the free world.

Arcan Cetin shows that even thoroughly assimilated Muslims who love video games and kidding around with non-Muslim friends on social media still retain a good many Islamic cultural attitudes that are incompatible with Western culture, and, at times of personal crisis, may pick up a rifle and start shooting.

This is a case that proponents of the massive Muslim migrant influx into the West should ponder. But they won’t.

Also see:

Bill Warner: Moderate Muslims Cannot Save Us

moderate_radical-islamPolitical Islam, by Bill Warner, Sept. 7, 2016:

It is frequently said that moderate Muslims can solve the problem of jihad and terror. Everyone has met nice Muslims, some of whom are willing to admit that Islam has problems and may even say that Islamic State is bad. Moderate Muslims are nice people who come to interfaith events, interviews and talks at schools and churches. Moderate Muslims even tell us that they are the real victim, not the Kafir.

Here is the problem—Islam cannot be changed by anybody, moderate or not. Islam is the civilizational doctrine found in the Koran, Sira and Hadith. Nobody can change the Sunna and the Koran. Their words are eternal, perfect and universal. Nobody can change Islam. It is fixed and frozen by its unalterable doctrine.

What we call moderation is simply ignoring the violence and hate. But the jihad cannot be removed, it can only be denied by ignoring it. A moderate has the same Allah and Mohammed that a jihadist has.

Moderate Islam is Islam light, Islam ignored. Islam changes Muslims; Muslims can only choose not to practice the dark side of Islam, but they cannot change it or get rid of it. Islamic doctrine is fixed, eternal, unchangeable and forever.



For reformist Muslims like Raheel Raza, who recently spoke at the Act for America 2016 conference, Islamic doctrine is interpreted by leaving all objectionable verses out as “only applicable in the 7th century”.  One current effort underway by the reform movement is to create a Quran only Islam. The problem is, how do you convince millions of Muslims and the authorities of Islam at Al Azhar University that this is legitimate? And how do you come up with a peaceful interpretation of Quran 9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humiliated.”

For a discussion on why it is impossible to reform Islam without essentially creating a new religion read CounterJihad’s recent piece by Immanuel Al-Manteeqi:

A Woman Under Sharia: 8 Reasons Why Islamic Law Endangers Women

Here is the relevant excerpt:

Conclusion and a Possible Pathway for Reform.

…Now, the job of Western leaders and those in the intelligence community is to educate themselves about the underlying religious motivations of Islamists (and not censor talk about Islam in willful blindness). Muslim reformers, on the other hand, are tasked with the more difficult job of reforming Islam,and rejecting interpretations or Islamic source texts that are at odds with contemporary Western and egalitarian values.

Muslim reformers need to focus on cultivating a peaceful and tolerant Islam, one that bestows a much higher place to women than traditional Islam, and one which is not a prisoner to the above- interpretations or source texts.

However, as mentioned above, Muslim reformers should not just dismiss problematic stories like that of Ṣafiyya as ahistorical or unislamic whilst simultaneously accepting other material in the same earliest sources as being historical and Islamic. This is unlikely to convince any Muslim with a proclivity to the less palatable interpretations of Islam, and certainly not those who are intimately familiar with the source texts.

These Muslims, especially the non-Western ones, will immediately indict the Muslim reformer as succumbing to Westernizing influences in his/her understanding of Islam. They will challenge the reformer to explain why what he/she happens to find unpalatable in the sources is ahistorical or unislamic, and why what he/she finds palatable is historical or Islamic. The reformer will very likely be unable to provide a satisfactory answer here.

So Muslim reformers need a way to reform Islam without playing fast and loose with the source texts, an endeavor which is bound to fail (the proof of this is that so far it has failed miserably). Now, the reformation of Islam is a burden that moderate Muslims must carry themselves—reform cannot be imposed from outside the Muslim umma, but must arise naturally and organically within it. In a word, it is for Muslims themselves to go about the very difficult task of reforming Islam.

That being said, I suggest that one promising pathway of reform, at least one that is much more promising than cherry-picking what to believe in the early sources, is the methodology that is advocated by Ahmad Ṣubḥī Manṣūr, an Egyptian graduate of al-Azhar. Manṣūr is a prominent Muslim reformist who is a former Azharī PhD graduate and Azharī professor.

His reformist agenda is very simple: Islam should be based on the Qur’ān alone. To this end, he has written a whole book entitled al-Qur’ān wa Kafa (“the Qur’ān is Sufficient”) wherein he defends the Qur’ān-only view, of which he is currently and incontrovertibly the number-one proponent.

Manṣūr believes that the extra-Qur’ānic Islamic sources, written as they were many generations after Muhammad’s death, are historically unreliable, and are a byproduct of a later sectarian milieu with concerns that were alien to the time of Muhammad and the Qur’ān.[31] Indeed, he describes much of the unpalatable material found in the ahādīth as “garbage.”

An upshot of his view is that many of the unpalatable teachings in mainstream Islam are not found in the Qur’ān, but in the extra-Qur’ānic sources, and so will be eliminated from his version of Islam. Examples of unpalatable doctrines or events that are not found in the Qur’ān but are present in the extra-Qur’ānic sources are as follows: the view that women make up most of hellfire and are lacking in faith and intelligence; the view that apostates should be killed; the stories that Muhammad enslaved women and had (ostensibly non-consensual) sexual relations with some female captives; the view that Muhammad wanted Jews and Christians expelled from the Arabian peninsula; the view that people should be fought until they believe in Allah and Muhammad’s prophethood, etc.

It must be noted that the view that Islam should be based solely on the Qur’ān and not on the extra-Qur’ānic sources is not something that is completely without intellectual merit. The extra-Qur’ānic sources of Islam are in fact written long after Muhammad’s death and contradict each other on many important points. That a ḥadīthin Sahih al-Bukhari has Muhammad saying that whoever changes his (Islamic) religion should be killed is hardly good evidence that Muhammad said such a thing.

Furthermore, eminent Western (non-Muslim) scholars of Islam, like Gabriel Said Reynolds of the University of Notre Dame, consider the extra-Qur’ānic Islamic sources, viz., the sīyar (plural ofsīra), tafasīr (plural of tafsīr), and aḥadīth (plural of ḥadīth), to be historically unreliable for constructing the context of the Qur’ān, or giving us accurate information about Muhammad.[32] He views many of the extra-Qur’ānic stories as being Midrashic interpretations of enigmatic Qur’ānic verses that should be read as secondary literature rather than as historical accounts.

All this being said, the putative reformist pathway of Manṣūr is not without its demerits. First, the Sunna (or way of Muhammad) is firmly entrenched in early Islam and many Muslims would see a Qur’ān-only Islam as being very foreign from their understanding of the religion. And they would be correct. Qur’ān-only Islam is an alien form of Islam, after all, most of Islamic praxis today is based not on the Qur’ān but  on the extra-Qur’ānic sources (particularly the aḥadīth); for example, the obligation to pray five times a day is not something that is taught in the Qur’ān, but in the extra-Qur’ānic source materials.[33] So in one sense, a Qur’ān-only Islam is arguably a different religion than the mainstream Islam that is practiced today. [emphasis added]

Second, most scholars of Islam, whether Muslim scholars in Muslim countries, orientalist scholars, or otherwise, do believe that while the earliest extra-Qur’ānic Islamic sources are embellished, even to a high degree, they nevertheless retain a solid core of historical truth. Scholars like Reynolds are, as he himself notes, in the minority here. Orientalists still follow the methodology of the great Islamicist, Theodore Noldeke (1836 – 1930), which is different from the traditional Muslim approach to the sources only insofar as it utilizes a more critical approach.[34]

Third, while the Qur’ān-only approach does eliminate many things that are unpalatable to a Western audience, one is still left with apparently unpalatable verses in the Qur’ān. Some Qur’ānic verses, like the ones mentioned earlier in this article, will need to be explained by Muslim reformers. However, given that the Qur’ān is, as the Islamicist F.E., Peters notes, “a text without a context,”[35]there is much room for interpretive maneuvering.[36]

All things being equal, the less that is known about the context of an ancient text, the greater the plausible interpretations of the text. This gives Qur’ān-only Muslims much greater leeway in explaining the prima facie unpalatable verses than Christians and Jews have in explaining away the violent or unpalatable elements in the Old Testament (the context of which are quite clearly stated in the text itself).

This is just one of a few putative approaches that Muslim reformers can adopt in order to combat certain religious doctrines that are not compatible with an egalitarian and Western ethic. Whatever the path that Muslim reformers take, it will certainly be an uphill battle for them. Manṣūr himself was tried by an Azharī tribunal and expelled from the University in 1987. And after being on the receiving end of many death threats for his unorthodox views, he sought political asylum in the United States and was granted it in 2002.

More recently, a young reformist, Islam al-Buhayrī, was imprisoned by ʿAbd al-Fatah al-Sisi’s “secular” Egyptian government for his vociferous efforts to reject much of what is unpalatable in the mainstream Islamic tradition. Likewise, Sayyid Al-Qumni is currently being taken to court in Egypt for his allegedly blasphemous reformist views. These courageous reformers are leading the drive towards reforming Islam, but when it comes to women under sharia, Muslim women themselves should be more proactive and they should take the lead in demanding equal treatment.

As can be seen from the above, there is much in the Islamic source texts that is not compatible with contemporary Western conceptions of the equality of man and woman. However, there are possible pathways for reforming these elements of Islam. And reformists who apply an intellectually consistent methodology, people like Dr. Manṣūr, should be encouraged.

UTT Historical Throwback: Al Qaeda’s Abdurahman Alamoudi Advised Two U.S. Presidents

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Aug.24, 2016:

Abdurahman Alamoudi was considered the “pillar of the Muslim community” in Washington, D.C.

Abdurahman Alamoudi

Abdurahman Alamoudi created and/or led nearly two dozen of the largest Islamic organizations in North America, was a “Good Will Ambassador” for the U.S. Department of State, created the Muslim Chaplain program for the Department of Defense, worked with the Department of Education to determine what went into American public school texts discussing Islam, and met with U.S. leaders across the spectrum.


And Abdurahman Alamoudi was a financier for Al Qaeda.

Alamoudi was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2003 with $340,000 cash he got from the Libyan government for the global jihad.  He said he found it outside his hotel room.  He was extradited to the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) where he pled guilty to an 18 count indictment.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s press release dated July 14, 2005 stated:

“In 2003, MIRA (Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia) and (Al Qaeda affiliate Saad al) Faqih received approximately $1 million in funding through Abdulrahman Alamoudi. According to information available to the U.S. Government, the September 2003 arrest of Alamoudi was a severe blow to al Qaida, as Alamoudi had a close relationship with al Qaida and had raised money for al Qaida in the United States. In a 2004 plea agreement, Alamoudi admitted to his role in an assassination plot targeting the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and is currently serving a 23 year sentence.”

Alamoudi was also caught on video in 1999 speaking adjacent to the White House grounds publicly declaring he is a fan of Hamas and Hizbollah – both designated terrorist organizations – to the loud cheer of the Muslims attending.  It should be noted this behavior did not get him fired from his positions inside the U.S. government.

Let’s review:  Abdurahman Alamoudi was the Islamic advisor to President Clinton and then went on to work with the Bush administration.  Alamoudi created the Muslim Chaplain Program at the DoD, worked as a Good Will Ambassador for the State Department, was widely recognized as a “moderate Muslim,” had unfettered access to the highest levels of power in our government, publicly pronounced his support of terrorist organizations and was an Al Qaeda financier who plotted with two UK-based Al Qaeda operatives to kill Saudi Crown prince Abdullah, who went on to become King Abdullah.

[Note:  The U.S. government also considered Imam Anwar al-Awlaki a “moderate Muslim” and he gave presentations at the Pentagon, the U.S. Capital, and worked with government officials.  That lasted right up until he was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.]

Many of the Muslim chaplains assigned by Alamoudi are still working with our military.  The numerous Islamic organizations that Alamoudi created and led, and the individuals who worked with him providing material support to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, can still be found walking the streets of Washington, D.C., the halls of Congress, working with the national security staffs, and elsewhere in America.

This dangerous pattern of our leaders and our media lifting up and proclaiming leaders in the Islamic community “prominent moderate Muslims” continues today.

Funny how so far they all turn out to be terrorists.

UK: Clerics Who Threaten Reformers and Praise Murderers

Gatestone Institute, by Douglas Murray, August 22, 2016:

  • Anjem Choudary has gone to jail. He was the most visible part of the problem. But he was not the greatest or deepest problem in this area. That problem is shown when two extremist clerics with pre-medieval views come to Britain they are welcomed by an ignorant British establishment.
  • “These people teach murder and hate. For me personally I find it sad that a country like England would allow cowards like these men in. Why are they allowing people [in] that give fuel to the fire they are fighting against?” — Shahbaz Taseer, the son of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was murdered for opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
  • “They have got hundreds of thousands of followers in the UK,” the imam of the Madina Mosque and Islamic Centre in Oldham, Zahoor Chishti, said of the two clerics.

The conviction of radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary — the most prominent extremist in Britain — has been widely welcomed in the UK. For years his followers and he have infuriated the vast majority of the British public (including most British Muslims) with their inflammatory and hate-filled rhetoric. They have also provided a constant stream of people willing to follow through the words with actions. More people around Choudary have been convicted of terrorism offences in the UK than any other Islamist group — including al-Qaeda.

But Choudary’s conviction for encouraging people to join ISIS should not be greeted as though that is the end of a matter.

The conviction of radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary (centre) — the most prominent extremist in Britain — has been widely welcomed in the UK.

Last week we noted here how, after the murder of an Ahmadiyya Muslim in the UK at the hands of another Muslim, some Muslims are “more Muslim than others” and that those outside a particular theological group can be killed is not an idea held only by the murderer. It is an idea with a significant following in the UK Muslim community, as well as among Muslims worldwide. A recent test of this issue was the execution in January this year in Pakistan of Mumtaz Qadri. This was the man who murdered Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province in Pakistan. Taseer had opposed the strict blasphemy laws which operate in his country. In Qadri’s eyes, Taseer was an apostate for even thinking of watering down the blasphemy laws that jihadists and Islamists such as the Taliban wish to preserve. And so Qadri killed the governor.

Of course one would like to think that everyone could unite in condemning the actions of a man such as Mumtaz Qadri. What is striking is how many people fail to do so, and how many Muslim clerics and religious leaders — even in the West — not only fail to do so but have been open in their praise of Qadri and their condemnation of Pakistan for putting him to death. Prominent among the latter group is the imam of the largest mosque in Scotland — the Glasgow central mosque.

This past month, however, an even more significant event occurred. In July, two Pakistani clerics started a tour of the UK. Their seven-week expedition, called “Sacred Journey,” goes on until September 4, and includes appearances in Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham and the Prime Minister’s own constituency of Maidenhead. One of the first things that Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman and Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman did when they arrived in the UK was to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop welcomed them in Lambeth Palace and claimed that the meeting would strengthen “interfaith relations,” as well as address “the narrative of extremism and terrorism.” One wonders how far the Archbishop got in this task?

If there is a “narrative of extremism and terrorism,” Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman and Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman can take some serious credit for the fact. Both men took an enthusiastic stand in Pakistan in support of Mumtaz Qadri. That is, they supported the murderer of a progressive Pakistani official. Listen here, for instance, to Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman delivering a hysterical speech in support of Mumtaz Qadri while his fellow cleric, Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman, looks on approvingly from the platform.

Here is Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman whipping up the vast crowd of mourners after the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. During his speech he repeatedly refers to Qadri as ashaheed [martyr]. Tens of thousands of people attended the funeral, and afterwards rioted, chanting slogans such as “Qadri, your blood will bring the revolution” and “the punishment for a blasphemer is beheading.”

After Qadri’s execution, Haseeb ur Rehman said on social media “Every person who loves Islam and Prophet is in grief for the martyrdom of Mumtaz Qadri.”

So what are two clerics who approve of murdering reformers and mourn the death of fanatics and assassins doing touring the UK? Shahbaz Taseer, the son of the Salman Taseer, is among those who has criticised the UK authorities for allowing the two men into the country. “These people teach murder and hate,” he has said.

“For me personally I find it sad that a country like England would allow cowards like these men in. It’s countries like the UK and the US that claim they are leading the way in the war against terror [and] setting a standard. Why are they allowing people [in] that give fuel to the fire they are fighting against?”

“They have got hundreds of thousands of followers in the UK,” the imam of the Madina Mosque and Islamic Centre in Oldham, Zahoor Chishti, said of the two clerics. Chishti denied that the event was organised by his mosque and said that he was not aware of the views of the speakers. “When I found out I was upset. I think it was really upsetting and wrong. They come to the UK every year and give messages of love, so that’s why they’re booked on that basis.’

Elsewhere, the “Sacred Journey” tour has already thrown up another interesting connection. Mohammed Shafiq runs a one-man outfit called the “Ramadan Foundation” in the UK, and is regularly called upon by the British media. He appears to be viewed as a “moderate” Muslim because he has been outspoken in opposition to the mass rape of children by gangs of Muslim men. Despite this heroism, his own liberal credentials (not least as a member of the Liberal Democrat party) have often come into question. Several years ago, for instance, when the Liberal Democrat candidate and genuine anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz re-Tweeted an innocuous cartoon from the “Jesus and Mo” series, Shafiq was among those who tried to get up a lynch-mob against Nawaz. Shafiq wrote on social media that Nawaz was a “Ghustaki Rasool,” Urdu for “defamer of the prophet.” He warned that he would “notify Islamic countries.” Shafiq angrily denied that these and other messages constituted incitement against Nawaz.

But now, on the visit of two clerics to the UK who applaud and mourn Mumtaz Qadri, where is Mohammed Shafiq to be found? Why, warmly greeting the cleric who praises the murderers of reformers and glad-handing with the terrorist-apologists and blasphemy lynch-mob, of course.

Almost everyone in Britain is pleased that the loudmouth Anjem Choudary has gone to jail. Like the hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza before him, Choudary was — as a case — almost too easy. He was the most visible part of the problem. But he was not the greatest or deepest problem in this area. That problem is shown when two extremist clerics with pre-medieval views come to Britain, they are welcomed by an ignorant British establishment. The problem is shown when they tour mosques, they do so to packed houses because they have “hundreds of thousands” of followers of Pakistani origin in the UK. The problem is shown when you scratch the surface of one of the self-proclaimed “moderates” like Mohammed Shafiq and discover that he is happy to pal around with the people who threaten reformers and praise murderers.

That is the problem for British Islam in a nutshell. And that is a problem we still remain woefully unable to confront.

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.

Also see:

Bad Ideas Created Benghazi


Front Page Magazine, Bruce Thornton, July 5, 2016

The House Select Committee on Benghazi report confirms what we pretty much already knew. The Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completely politicized this country’s foreign policy in order to ensure the reelection of Obama and to serve the future presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton. Along the way Obama, Clinton et al. made dangerous decisions, such as establishing the consular outpost in Benghazi, and ignoring the consul’s pleas for more security. They also ignored the many warning signs of incipient attacks, bungled the response to the attack on September 11, 2012, and then obfuscated, spun, and outright lied in the aftermath. The House report adds new details that flesh out the story, but enough had already been leaked to confirm Clinton’s despicable sacrifice of American lives on the altar of her obsessive ambition.

Toxic ambition, sheer incompetence, and the self-serving politics of the individuals involved mean they bear the primary responsibility for this disaster. But Benghazi illustrates as well the climate of bad ideas that make such decisions possible. Bad politicians eventually go away, but malignant ideas and received wisdom are deeply rooted in our institutions, transcending individuals. The Benghazi fiasco illustrates two particularly tenacious ones.

The military intervention in Libya, the origin of the Benghazi tragedy, was another act of Western wishful thinking about “democratizing” and “reforming” the Muslim world. Despite the failure of George W. Bush’s efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, the so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions encouraged the Wilsonian “freedom and democracy” promoters in 2011 to make Libya yet another poster-child for this doomed project. Moreover, intervention seemingly could be done on the cheap. No troops need be deployed, since jets and missiles could topple the psychotic Muammar Gaddafi––an autocrat straight out of central casting, whose genocidal bluster gave the West a pretext for intervention.

For Hillary and Obama, this was the perfect opportunity to show those neocon militarists what “smart power” was all about, and strike a contrast with the “cowboy” Bush’s “unilateralist” bumbling in Iraq. A UN resolution was secured, and a NATO-led coalition of 19 states assembled for enforcing a no-fly zone. The mission soon escalated into bringing about regime change and the death of Gaddafi.

For a while, this was a perfect, low-cost, quick little war that would illustrate the various shibboleths of moralizing internationalism: international diplomatic approval for the use of force, multilateral coalition building, a reliance on air power that minimized casualties among participating militaries, and a smaller role for the US, which would be “leading from behind,” as an Obama advisor said. This last idea reflected Obama’s belief that the US needed to diminish its role in world affairs and avoid the arrogant overreach that stained its history abroad, most recently in Iraq. This notion of America’s global sins is another bad idea reflecting ideology, not historical fact.

For Secretary of State Clinton, the Libya intervention would be the showcase of her tenure at State and proof of her superior foreign policy skills and presidential potential. Of course, we all know that the toppling of Gaddafi has been a disastrous mistake. Gaddafi was a brutal creep, but he kept in check the jihadists from Libya eager to kill Americans in Iraq and foment terror throughout the region. His departure created a vacuum that has been filled with legions of jihadist outfits across North Africa, including ISIS franchises. They are armed in part with weapons plundered from Gaddafi’s arsenals such as surface-to-air missiles, assault rifles, machine guns, mines, grenades, antitank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Yet eager to protect her defining foreign policy achievement, Hillary kept open the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi even as other nations pulled out their personnel because of the increasing danger caused by the new Libyan government’s inability to control and secure its territory.

Four dead Americans were the cost of political ambition and adherence to the bankrupt idea that liberal democracy can be created on the cheap in a culture lacking all of the philosophical and institutional infrastructure necessary for its success: inalienable rights, equality under the law, transparent government, accountability to the people, separation of church and state, fair and honest elections, and the freedom of speech and assembly. The folly of expecting democracy in a culture alien to it became clear in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s downfall, when the Libyan National Transitional Council’s Draft Constitutional Charter proclaimed, “Islam is the religion of the state, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” The idea of exporting democracy, however, still has a tight hold on many in the West both on the left and the right, which means we have not seen the last of its bloody and costly failures.

Equally bipartisan has been the next bad idea: that al Qaeda, ISIS, et al. are fringe “extremists” who have “hijacked” Islam, and that the vast majority of Muslims are “moderates” grieved by this tarnishing of their noble faith. It was George W. Bush who said in his first address after 9/11 that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah,” establishing the model for his administration’s policy of “outreach” to Muslims. Obama has taken this delusion to surreal extremes, refusing in the face of mountains of evidence to link the numerous ISIS attacks of the last few years to Islam, and proscribing “jihad” and “radical Islamist” from the government’s communications and training manuals.

It was this imperative to sever Islamic terrorism from its roots in traditional Islamic doctrine that in part accounted for the lies that Hillary, Obama, and their minions like National Security Advisor Susan Rice told in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks. They peddled the narrative that a spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video insulting Mohammed had morphed into a violent attack. This lie traded in the delusional belief that despite its 14-century-long record of invasion, murder, slaving, colonization, and occupation­­––all in fulfillment of the divine commands “to slay the idolaters wherever you find them” and “to fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah” –– Islamic doctrine could not possibly justify the actions of modern terrorists. So powerful was the need to protect this belief and, of course, her political future that Clinton lied to the faces of the parents of the four dead Americans, promising to “get” the hapless filmmaker, even as she knew on the very night of the attacks that there was no protest against the video near the consular outpost.

Nor are the various pretexts for this evasion of historical fact convincing. The worst is that making explicit the link between jihadism and Islam will endanger innocent Muslims and stoke “Islamophobia.” There is no evidence that this is the case, and hate crimes against Jews still vastly outnumber those against Muslims. Not much better is the notion that pious Muslims, supposedly offended by “blasphemers” like al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, will not cooperate with police and the FBI if we state simple facts about their faith and its history.

This idea is psychologically preposterous. It assumes that Muslim pique at infidel statements about their religion trumps their assumed desire to stop the violent “distorters” of their beloved faith. It also assumes that to Muslims, such insults justify keeping quiet about the planned murders of innocents––a damning indictment of the very people whom the “nothing to do with Islam” crowd are so anxious to mollify. Worse, it confirms the unique triumphalism of Islam, whose adherents expect from non-believers deference to their faith, even as Muslims across the globe are slaughtering and torturing people simply because they are non-believers. Such careful monitoring of our discourse about Islam, at the same time Muslim intellectuals routinely attack the West for its alleged historical sins against Islam, is a sign of weakness and fear that encourages our enemies to hit us again.

We’ve been operating by this double standard for decades, and terrorist groups have expanded across the globe, while jihadist violence has murdered Americans in Boston, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando, to name just the deadliest attacks. It’s safe to say that the tactic of flattering Muslims and confirming their sense of superiority to infidels has failed to keep us safe.

But if we really want to be honest, we won’t just rely on the weasel-word “Islamist,” which still suggests that the beliefs of the jihadists are somehow a doctrinal aberration. Those of both parties who continually talk about “moderate Muslims” and use the word “Islamist” to distinguish them from jihadists should heed Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan: “The term ‘Moderate Islam’ is ugly and offensive; there is no moderate Islam; Islam is Islam.” Using “Islamic” rather than “Islamist” will recognize the continuity of modern jihadism with traditional Islamic doctrines. Whitewashing that fact has done nothing to stop jihadist violence, and it is an enabler of those ordinary Muslims who refuse to acknowledge Islam’s illiberal and violent doctrines.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the opprobrium history will inflict on them for sacrificing our security and interests to their personal ambition and ideological obsessions. But bad ideas had a hand in the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, and those bad ideas will continue to cripple us until we discard them and start facing reality.



What did not happen to save American lives the night of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya? In recent days, the House Benghazi Committee released results of its investigation. Full Measure asks real intelligence officers what should have happened that night.



Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) Press Conference June 29, 2016 – National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
CCB releases new report and comments on release of House Select Committee on Benghazi report.
Participants are as follows:
Roger Aronoff, Clare Lopez, Dennis Haney, Charles Woods, Tom McInerney, Ace Lyons, Chuck Kubic, John Clarke

Also see:

‘Radical’ vs. ‘Moderate’ Islam: A Muslim View


Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, June 1, 2016:

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

After his recent electoral victory, it emerged that Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, had described moderate Muslim groups as “Uncle Toms”—a notorious racial slur used against blacks perceived to be subservient to whites, or, in this context, Muslims who embrace “moderate Islam” as a way of being subservient to the West.

One of Iran’s highest clerics apparently shares the same convictions.  After asserting that “revolutionary Islam is the same as pure Muhammadan Islam,” Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad recently declared:

Some say our Islam is not revolutionary Islam, but we must say to them that non-revolutionary Islam is the same as American Islam. Islam commands us to be firm against the enemies and be kind and compassionate toward each other and not be afraid of anything….

According to AB News Agency, “Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad stated that revolutionary Islam is this same Islam. It is the Islam that is within us that can create changes. The warriors realized that Islam is not just prayers and fasting, but rather they stood against the enemies in support of Islam.”

How many Muslims share these convictions, one from a Sunni living (and now governing) in London, the other from a Shia living and governing in the Middle East?

An Arabic language article offers perspective.  Titled (in translation) “The Truth about the Moderate Muslim as Seen by the West and its Muslim Followers,” it is authored by Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Khadr in 2011.

According to the findings of this article,

Islamic researchers are agreed that what the West and its followers call “moderate Islam” and “moderate Muslims” is simply a slur against Islam and Muslims, a distortion of Islam, a rift among Muslims, a spark to ignite war among them.  They also see that the division of Islam into “moderate Islam” and “radical Islam” has no basis in Islam—neither in its doctrines and rulings, nor in its understandings or reality.

Khadr goes on to note the many ways that moderates and radicals differ.  For instance, radicals (“true Muslims”) aid and support fellow Muslims, especially those committed to jihad, whereas moderates (“false Muslims”) ally with and help Western nations.

This sounds similar to Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad’s assertion that “non-revolutionary Islam is the same as American Islam. Islam commands us to be firm against the enemies [“infidels”] and be kind and compassionate toward each other.”

Among the more important distinctions made in Khadr’s article are the following (translated verbatim):

  • Radicals want the caliphate to return; moderates reject the caliphate.
  • Radicals want to apply Sharia (Islamic law); moderates reject the application of Sharia.
  • Radicals reject the idea of renewal and reform, seeing it as a way to conform Islam to Western culture; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals accept the duty of waging jihad in the path of Allah; moderates reject it.
  • Radicals reject any criticism whatsoever of Islam; moderates welcome it on the basis of freedom of speech.
  • Radicals accept those laws that punish whoever insults or leaves the religion [apostates]; moderates recoil from these laws.
  • Radicals respond to any insult against Islam or the prophet Muhammad—peace and blessing upon him—with great violence and anger; moderates respond calmly and peacefully on the basis of freedom of expression.
  • Radicals respect and reverence every deed and every word of the prophet—peace be upon him—in the hadith; moderates don’t.
  • Radicals oppose democracy; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals see the people of the book [Jews and Christians] as dhimmis [third class “citizens”]; moderates oppose this.
  • Radicals reject the idea that non-Muslim minorities should have equality or authority over Muslims; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals reject the idea that men and women are equal; moderates accept it, according to Western views.
  • Radicals oppose the idea of religious freedom and apostasy from Islam; moderates agree to it.
  • Radicals desire to see Islam reign supreme; moderates oppose this.
  • Radicals place the Koran over the constitution; moderates reject this.
  • Radicals reject the idea of religious equality because Allah’s true religion is Islam; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals embrace the wearing of hijabs and niqabs; moderates reject it.
  • Radicals accept killing young girls that commit adultery or otherwise besmirch their family’s honor; moderates reject this.
  • Radicals reject the status of women today and think it should be like the status of women in the time of the prophet; moderates reject that women should be as in the time of the prophet.
  • Radicals vehemently reject that women should have the freedom to choose partners; moderates accept that she can choose a boyfriend without marriage.
  • Radicals agree to clitorectimis; moderates reject it.
  • Radicals reject the so-called war on terror and see it as a war on Islam; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals support jihadi groups; moderates reject them.
  • Radicals reject the terms Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism; moderates accept them.
  • Radicals reject universal human rights, including the right to be homosexual; moderates accept it.
  • Radicals reject the idea of allying with the West’ moderates support it.
  • Radicals oppose secularism; moderates support it.

Khadr makes other charges outside of his chart, including that moderates believe religion has no role in public life, that it must be practiced in private, while radicals want it to govern society; that moderates rely on rationalism, while radicals take the text of the Koran and hadith literally; that the first place of loyalty for moderates is the state, irrespective of religion—marveling that the moderate “finds hatred for non-Muslims as unacceptable”—whereas the radical’s loyalty  is to Islam, a reference to the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity.

Khadr’s conclusion is that, to most Muslims, “moderate Muslims” are those Muslims who do not oppose but rather aid the West and its way of life, whereas everything “radicals” accept is based on traditional Islamic views.

If true—and disturbing polls certainly lend credence to Khadr’s findings—the West may need to rethink one of its main means of countering radical Islam: moderate Muslims and moderate Islam.

Terrorism and Islam

Illustration on Muslim reformation and the differences between "spiritual and "political" Islam by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Illustration on Muslim reformation and the differences between “spiritual and “political” Islam by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

, April 7, 2016: (h/t Sebastian Gorka)

In the wake of the terror attacks in Belgium, Americans will again be at each other’s throats over the connection between terrorism and Islam. Blind amateurs assert there’s no linkage between the two. The ignorant indict all Muslims as terrorists. Ineffectual government technocrats put forward flaccid lingo that dances around the actual threat with catch phrases such as “violent extremists” that could apply to everything from communist rebels in Colombia to Illinois Nazis. But we don’t have to rely on these pseudo “experts” to define the threat. Why? Muslims do it for us.

Muslim colleagues in the defense sector tell us what the score is: there are spiritual Muslims and political Muslims.

Spiritual Muslims, we’re told, rely on Islam as a moral compass throughout life. They are tolerant of different religions and other ways of life. And that goes for even the most conservative of this group. These are our allies and fellow countrymen.

Political Muslims, (aka, “Islamists” and “Islamists jihadists”) are the opposite. Their beliefs are rooted in fascist philosophers such as Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah and Sayyid Qutb.

Ibn Taymiyyah asserted in the 1200-1300s that strict Shariah law must rule all governments, globally. Otherwise, God’s will could not be done.

In the 1950s-‘60s, Muslim Brotherhood sage Qutb took Taymiyyah’s philosophy to a new level. He argued in his book, “Milestones,” that Western politics and lifestyles were literally attacking Islam, and that Islam had to defend itself with political subterfuge and violence. Subsequent Islamists have taken lines from the Koran, the Sunnah, and the Hadith to further justify their twisted goals.

Don’t have Muslim colleagues in the defense and security sector? Not to worry. Muslims provide the details for us in scores of books.

Ed Hussain wrote “The Islamist: Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left.” He tells the full story of his journey from spiritual Islam, to political Islam, and back. Maajid Nawaz did the same in, “Radical: My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism” and so did Tawfik Hamid in his book, “Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It.”

No time to read a book? Watch or read the news.

Three prominent international Muslim leaders have spoken tirelessly on the subject.

On New Year’s Day, 2014, Egyptian President Abdel el-Sisi called for a “religious revolution” to take back Islam from the Islamists. He said, “the Islamic world is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost. And it is being lost by our own hands.” Mr. el-Sisi is neither an “Islamophobe” nor an Illinois Nazi. He’s a pious, conservative Muslim.

In November 2015, universally respected King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan defined Islamist terrorists by pronouncing, “This is a war, as I’ve said repeatedly, within Islam.” He said ISIS were ” savage outlaws of religion, devoid of humanity,” and that “our fight as Muslims [is] against those who aim to turn our societies and future generations toward fanaticism and extremism.”

In February 2016, after an ISIS attack in Jakarta, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the “Indonesian Digital Initiative: Empowering Peaceful Leaders,” which he wants to be a global, integrated counternarrative campaign against Islamist ideology. President Joko is also a backer of the 50-million strong Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), a Muslim organization that is part of Indonesia’s private sector/government campaign against political Islam. NU’s messages are resolutely powerful, such as, “Many who memorize the Quran and Hadith love to condemn others as infidels while ignoring their own infidelity to God, their hearts and minds still mired in filth.”

Again, none of this is from the mouths of “Islamophobes,” but from Muslims fighting for the very survival of their religion and their countries.

So there it is. Muslims decisively define the nexus between political Islam and terrorism. We don’t have to define it. We don’t have to deny it. It’s prepackaged, ready for consumption like takeout sushi from Whole Foods. The enemy is “political Muslims.” Or “Taymiyyah-ists.” Or “Qutb-ists.” One Muslim military officer has suggested calling them kufar, or infidels.

Regardless of what label we use, let the administration pick one, direct from the mouths of our Muslim compatriots, and apply it to the enemy. This way, Americans can let go of each other’s throats and exclaim, “Oh, so that’s who the enemy is!” We can stop fighting each other and focus on the opposition. We can stop assailing spiritual Muslims, and stop placating political Muslims. We can stop saying, “That political party over there is at war with all Muslims.” And we can coordinate with our Muslim partners and get this counterterrorism fight on the road using not just force, but ideology as a primary weapon. It’s the smart way. And it’s the only way.

Jeff Moore, the CEO of Muir Analytics, is the author of “Spies for Nimitz: Joint Military Intelligence in the Pacific War” (Naval Institute Press).

Massachusetts Islamism

Gatestone Institute, by Samuel Westrop, April 4, 2016:

  • The response of “non-violent” Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) as genuine representatives of the Muslim community.
  • Very few American Muslims believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam. A 2011 Gallup poll revealed that around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.
  • It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. Many in them have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.
  • Counter-extremism work is best achieved by marginalizing such groups — by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, and by working instead with the genuine moderates.

A number of Massachusetts Muslim groups, led by Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazen, are currently spearheading a campaign against the Obama administration’s program, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), which has designated Boston as one of its pilot cities.

From the government’s perspective, Boston was an obvious choice. The city has a long, unfortunate history of producing internationally-recognized terrorists, including the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston marathon; Aafia Siddiqui, whom FBI Director Robert S. Mueller describes as “an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator;” Abdulrahman Alamoudi, the founder of the Islamic Society of Boston, and named by the federal government as an Al Qaeda fundraiser, and Ahmad Abousamra, a key official within Islamic State, whose father is vice-president of the Muslim American Society’s Boston branch.

During the past decade, in fact, twelve congregants, supporters, officials and donors of the Islamic Society of Boston alone have been imprisoned, deported, killed or are on the run in connection with terrorism offenses.

Despite these alumnae, a number of extremist Islamic organizations, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), have claimed that the government’s attempt to combat radicalization “targets American Muslims” and “undermines our national ideals.”

Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazen, who is also a director of CAIR’s Massachusetts branch, has spoken at a number of anti-CVE rallies, condemning the government’s approach as “authoritarian” because it included “violent practices like surveillance and racial profiling.”

In response, Robert Trestan, the Massachusetts director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL),points out that the CVE program “is relatively new in this country. It’s not fair to judge it yet and be overly critical.” He added: “Nothing I’ve seen or participated in has gone anywhere near proposing or suggesting anything close to surveillance, crossing the line of people’s civil rights or profiling.”

What, then, is the basis for this opposition?

Critics of Nadeem Mazen look with concern at his opposition to policing that protects Americans from terrorist attacks. In May, Mazen voted against the Cambridge Police Department budget. He argued that the funding for SWAT teams and the police’s participation in CVE programs only served to “alienate the Muslim community.” The Cambridge SWAT team, however, played a crucial part in the arrest of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just hours after he and his brother murdered three spectators and injured hundreds at the Boston marathon.

Mazen has also taken part in protests against Boston police departments. Addressing a crowd of activists from a group named Restore the Fourth, Mazen claimed that police counter-terrorism units are part of a larger conspiracy to suppress free speech: “They are working very hard…in the background….but really, there’s never any need. … Some of the research is looking at free speech activists…like me. … It is that type of government operation, it’s that that is the best and the most evident hallmark of tyranny.”

Are Mazen and CAIR, then, simply free speech campaigners?

CAIR does not exactly have a reputation for liberal activism. It was founded in 1994 by three officials of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which, the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial would later determine, was a front for the terrorist group, Hamas. During the same trial, the prosecutors designated CAIR as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis concluded that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR… with the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”

One of CAIR’s original Islamic Association of Palestine founders, Nihad Awad, is today CAIR’s Executive Director. Awad peddles conspiracy theories that the U.S Congress is controlled by Israel, and has stated that U.S. foreign policy was propelled by Clinton administration officials of a particular “ethnic background.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes that CAIR has long expressed anti-Semitic and pro-terror rhetoric. The ADL adds that, “[CAIR’s] public statements cast Jews and Israelis as corrupt agents who control both foreign and domestic U.S. policy and are responsible for the persecution of Muslims in the U.S.”

In November 2015, CAIR, which in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial was determined to be a front for the terrorist group Hamas, organized a “lobbying day” at the Massachusetts State House.

Not all of Massachusetts’s Muslim groups have opposed involvement in the CVE program. In February, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), which is partly run by the Muslim American Society, took part in the White House’s summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

The ISB’s Director, Yusufi Vali, however, would later criticize the CVE program on the grounds that by focusing on radicalization rather than violence, the authorities were unfairly targeting Muslim-Americans simply because of their faith.

Instead, Vali has urged, the government should deputize responsibility for combatting extremism to groups such as his. Boston is a pilot city for the CVE program, he claimed, because of the “strong relationship” between law enforcement and institutions such as the ISB. Only the ISB’s version of Islam, Vali proposed, can “appeal to young people” and “win in the marketplace of ideas.”

But the ideology underpinning the Islamic Society of Boston itself is cause for some concern. In 2008, the Muslim American Society (MAS), which runs the ISB’s Cultural Center, of which Vali is also a board member, was labelled by federal prosecutors “as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

Religious leaders of the Muslim American Society have included Hafiz Masood, the brother of Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai Massacre in which 164 people were murdered. While he was living in the Boston area, according to a Times of India report, Masood was raising money and trying to recruit people for his brother’s terrorist group. After being deported by the government for filing a fraudulent visa application, Masood has since become a spokesperson for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a branch of his brother’s terrorist group, Lashkar-i-Taiba.[1]

The ISB itself was founded by the Al Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in 2004 for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The ISB’s other trustees have included prominent Islamist operatives, including Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood.

In October, an event hosted by the ISB featured a number of extremist preachers. One of them, Hussain Kamani has cited Quranic verse and commentary to warn Muslims, “do not resemble the Jews” and has advised parents to “beat” their children “if they do not [pray].” In a talk titled ‘Sex, Masturbation and Islam,’ Kamani explains that a Muslim man must only fulfil his sexual desires “with his spouse…[or] with a female slave that belongs to him.” Those who commit adultery or have sex outside of marriage, Kamani further declares, must be “stoned to death.”

If one looks to European experiences with counter-extremism programs, some of which have been in place for over a decade, Yusufi Vali and the ISB have good reasons to lobby against a focus on radicalization. In Britain, under Prime Minister David Cameron, the government has come to the realization that some of the Islamic groups entrusted with counter-extremism initiatives are, in fact, part of the problem.

In a speech delivered in Munich in 2011, Cameron stated:

“As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called ‘non-violent extremists’, and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. … Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement.”

Groups similar to the ISB and CAIR, the Conservative government reasons, represent the “non-violent extremists.” These are likely the first stop on the “conveyor belt” path to radicalization: a young is Muslim exposed to anti-Semitism, excuses for terrorism and claims of victimhood and gradually becomes open to committing violent acts.

This insight was not without foundation. The previous Labour government, under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, partnered with British Muslim groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Britain’s most prominent Muslim group — similar in ideology to CAIR and the ISB — to counteract extremist ideas in the Muslim community. In 2008, however, the Labour government severed all relations with the Muslim Council of Britain after it emerged that the group’s deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, had signed a declaration supporting attacks against Jewish communities and the British armed forces.

By seeking the partnership of groups such as the ISB, the Obama administration risks making the same mistakes of Britain’s last Labour government. And, in time, the U.S. government will arrive at the same realization as the British government — that non-violent extremists do not offer an alternative to violent extremism; in fact, they make the problem worse.

But all this invites the question: why do some Islamist groups oppose CVE programs while others join in? Although the ISB backed out of the Boston CVE initiative, the Islamic Council of New England (ICNE) remains a key partner. As with CAIR and the ISB, the ICNE is part of the “soft Islamist” network — groups that emerged from Muslim Brotherhood ideology and which have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.

In 2002, the ICNE hosted a conference with the Muslim Brotherhood academic, Tariq Ramadan, and the British Salafist, Abdur Raheem Green, a former jihadist who warns Muslims of a Jewish “stench,” encourages the death penalty as a “suitable and effective” punishment for homosexuality and adultery, and has ruled that wife-beating “is allowed.”

The ICNE has announced its continued involvement in CVE programs because “rather than obsessing about the insidious erosion of our ‘civil rights’, Muslims should focus on the more immediate risk of being blind-sided by the overwhelming tsunami of Islamophobia.”

While CAIR protests against CVE, the ICNE believes it can work with counter-extremism programs to its advantage. The ISB lies somewhere in the middle. And yet all these Islamist groups are key partners, mostly founded and managed by the same network of Islamist operatives.

Has the CVE program really caused such discord?

Again, the European experience offers some answers. Daud Abdullah, the former deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, had his group work closely with the British government’s counter-extremism program, before later hosting an event with his other group, Middle East Monitor, which denounced the scheme as a “Cold War on British Muslims.” Similarly, the Cordoba Foundation, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood think tank, procured counter-extremism grants in 2008 only to run events condemning counter-extremism programs in 2009.

learn both to exploit and criticize counter-extremism initiatives to their benefit. By working in tandem, some Islamist voices accept government funds that legitimize them as leaders of the Muslim community and portray them as responsible Muslims concerned with extremism; while other Islamist groups oppose counter-extremism efforts in an effort to style themselves as civil rights champions and gain the support of libertarians on both the Left and Right.

The response of “non-violent” Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake, if it is one, made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and ISB as genuine representatives of the Muslim community. Very few American Muslims, it seems, actually believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam. Accordingto a 2011 Gallup poll, around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.

As for the ISB, it operates under the aegis of the Muslim American Society, which claims to be a national group for American Muslims. A 2011 report produced by CAIR itself, however, demonstrates that a mere 3% of American mosques are affiliated with the Muslim American Society. 62% of mosques claimed that they were not affiliated with any organization.

It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. CAIR Massachusetts Director Nadeem Mazen has denounced counter-Islamist Muslim groups that “foist secular attitudes on Muslims” and promote ideas that “are being projected, imperialist-style on to our population.”

American Islam is diverse. No group can claim to represent either Massachusetts Muslims or American Muslims. Islamist bodies have imposed their leadership on American Muslims. As inherently political movements, they were best organized to style themselves as community leaders. When politicians in D.C ask to speak to the “Muslim community,” groups such as CAIR and the ISB step forward.

Counter-extremism work is best achieved, in fact, by the government marginalizing such groups — by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, by working instead with the genuine moderates among American Muslims, and by recognizing the link between non-violent and violent extremism. European governments have finally understood this reality, but far too late. For the sake of moderate Muslims everywhere, let us hope American politicians are quicker on the uptake.

Samuel Westrop is Research Director for Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

[1] In 2001, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell designated Lashkar-e-Taiba a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Myth of the ‘Moderate Muslim’


“When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.”

– The Quran, Surah 9:5

Townhall, by Matt Barber, Jan. 3, 2016:

When it comes to the global scourge of orthodox Islam, the Western world, which Islamists expressly seek to “destroy from within,” is an upside-down realm wherein objective facts, logic and reason must yield to multiculturalist make-believe, “progressive” propaganda and political correctness run amok. Faithful Muslims want to kill you, and faithless progressives seem all too happy to help them along. Look at the ongoing Muslim invasion of Europe. This progressive paradise, a burgeoning multicultural dystopia, is beginning to look an awful lot like hell on earth.

Fact: Islam is about control. The word itself means “submission.” It is a socio-political pseudo-religion based upon the incoherent scribblings of one man – the “prophet” Muhammad, a warring tyrant who, as even the Quran concedes, was a murderous misogynist and pedophile. This unholy book is loosely plagiarized from the Bible’s Old and New Testaments – Scriptures that, by contrast, were seamlessly transcribed over centuries by roughly 40 men under the direct and divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Muhammad taught, and the Quran stresses, that a central tenet of Islam is to convert, enslave or kill the infidel. An infidel is anyone who is not Muslim or, depending on who’s doing the killing, belongs to a different sect of Islam. Those who fall into that elusive, perpetually mute category tagged “moderate Muslim” are also infidels. They’re bad Muslims and so, according to the Quran, not Muslims at all.

To be sure, “moderate Muslim” is a contradiction in terms. It is intrinsically oxymoronic. Whereas “moderate” (read: liberal) “Christians,” such as those belonging to the PCUSA, embrace certain apostasies that run directly counter to the biblical teachings of Christianity (e.g., the pagan embrace of homosexual sin and child sacrifice by way of abortion), “moderate Muslims” likewise embrace an apostate version of Islam that runs directly counter to the clear teachings of the Quran.

While devout followers of Jesus Christ, who is Life – God incarnate – are, like He, characteristically peaceful; devout followers of Muhammad, the dead, child-raping, woman-beheading founder of Islam – demon incarnate – are, like he, characteristically violent. Whereas “Muslim extremists,” that is, faithful Muslims, kill people extremely; “Christian extremists,” that is, faithful Christians, love people, including their enemies, extremely.

Islam explicitly requires a worldwide caliphate (global domination and the violent imposition of Islamic Shariah law). This fact is not open for serious debate and is available for all to read, hear, see and, tragically, experience. Islam, therefore, is inherently at odds with freedom, democracy and the United States Constitution. While devout followers of Muhammad readily admit this reality, the suicidal left yet remains hell-bent, head in the sand, on “tolerating” itself, and the rest of us, to death.

According to the Islamic watchdog group – a fantastic resource for the unfiltered facts on Islam – “The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.” The aim of these verses is to dehumanize all non-Muslims, making it easier for Muslims of every stripe to slaughter them with impunity when the time is right. In addition to Surah 9:5, cited above, here are but a handful of Muhammad’s bloody calls to arms:

  • “Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.” – Quran (9:73)
  • “O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” – Quran (9:123)
  • “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.” – Quran (17:16)
  • “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” – Quran (48:29)

From the Hadith (sayings of Muhammad):

  • “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” – Bukhari (52:177)
  • “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” – Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992
  • “Allah’s Apostle said … ‘I have been made victorious with terror.’” – Bukhari (52:220)

“But the Bible says to kill unbelievers too!” cry the Muslim apologists. Nonsense. “Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence,” observes, “the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text.” (Christian theologian Dr. Michael Brown has penned a brilliant contrast/comparison between the Quran and the Old Testament, which thoroughly debunks manipulative false equivalencies often drawn by those who wish to sow confusion.)

Still, we need only look to the many polls to affirm the alarmingly high percentages of Muslims (hundreds-of-millions in number) who seek, through the most violent means imaginable, Islamic world domination. Again, here are but a few:

  • 83 percent of Palestinian Muslims, 62 percent of Jordanians and 61 percent of Egyptians approve of jihadist attacks on Americans. World Public Opinion Poll(2009).
  • 1.5 Million British Muslims support the Islamic State, about half their total population. ICM (Mirror) Poll 2015.
  • Two-thirds of Palestinians support the stabbing of Israeli civilians. Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (2015).
  • 38.6 percent of Western Muslims believe 9/11 attacks were justified. Gallup(2011).
  • 45 percent of British Muslims agree that clerics preaching violence against the West represent “mainstream Islam.” BBC Radio (2015).
  • 38 percent of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. (Forty-three percent disagree.) The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015).
  • One-third of British Muslim students support killing for Islam. Center for Social Cohesion (Wikileaks cable).
  • 78 percent of British Muslims support punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons. NOP Research.
  • 80 percent of young Dutch Muslims see nothing wrong with holy war against non-believers. Most verbalized support for pro-Islamic State fighters. Motivaction Survey (2014).
  • Nearly one-third of Muslim-Americans agree that violence against those who insult Muhammad or the Quran is acceptable. The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015).
  • 68 percent of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam. NOP Research.
  • 51 percent of Muslim-Americans say that Muslims should have the choice of being judged by Shariah courts rather than courts of the United States (only 39 percent disagree).The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015).
  • 81 percent of Muslim respondents support the Islamic State (ISIS). Al-Jazeerapoll (2015).

Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and the moderate Muslim: Even as we hear of the occasional sighting, most reasonable people remain skeptical as to whether, in reality, these mysterious creatures even exist.

Just Asking about Islam and Terrorism

jihadiNational Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Dec. 26, 2015:

Let me ask you a question.

Let’s say you are an authentically moderate Muslim. Perhaps you were born into Islam but have become secularist. Or perhaps you consider yourself a devout Muslim but interpret Islam in a way that rejects violent jihad, rejects the concept that religious and civic life are indivisible, and rejects the principle that sharia’s totalitarian societal framework and legal code must be imposed on the state. Let’s just take that as a given: You are no more inclined toward terrorism than any truly peaceful, moderate, pro-democratic non-Muslim.

So let me pop the question: Is there any insulting thing I could say, no matter how provocative, or any demeaning video I could show you, no matter how lurid, that could convince you to join ISIS?

Mind you, I am not asking whether, upon my insulting and provoking you, you would ever want to have anything to do with me again. I am asking whether there is anything that could be said or done by me, or, say, Donald Trump, or Nakoula Basseley Nakoula — the video producer (Innocence of Muslims) whom Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tried to blame for the Benghazi massacre — that could persuade you to throw up your hands and join the jihad? Is there anything so profoundly offensive to Islam that we could conjure up that would make a truly moderate, peaceful Muslim sign up for mass murder? Torching and beheading? Killing children? Participating in systematic rape as a weapon of war?

I didn’t think so.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Yet, understand, that is what Washington would have you believe. Whether it is Barack Obama sputtering on about how Guantanamo Bay drives jihadist recruitment, or Hillary Clinton obsessing over videos (the real one by Nakoula that she pretended caused terrorism in Libya, and the pretend ones about Donald Trump that she claims have Muslims lined up from Raqqa to Ramadi to join ISIS), you are to believe violent jihad is not something that Muslims do but that Americans incite.

And it’s not just Democrats who’d have you buy this bunkum. Think of the Arab Spring fairy tale — about Libya, Egypt, and, most recently, Syria — that Republicans have been telling for years, critiqued by yours truly in Spring Fever. It is still GOP gospel, glibly peddled by Marco Rubio just a couple of weeks ago at the 2016 presidential candidates’ debate. (Disclosure: I support Ted Cruz.)

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

The fairy tale goes something like this. There is a terrible dictator who so tormented his people that they rose up against him. These were noble people, overwhelmingly moderate, secular Muslims — adherents of a “religion of peace” (or, as Bush secretary of state Condi Rice put it, “a religion of peace and love”), who craved democracy. (Caution: You can call them “rebels,” but words like “Muslim Brotherhood” and “sharia” are not to be uttered — we’re trying to build a narrative here!) Sure, the noble people may have tolerated the occasional jihadist in their midst, but that could happen to even the most well-intentioned peaceful moderate, right? (The pervasive presence of jihadists who used Syria and Libya as gateways to jihad against Americans in Iraq is also not to be mentioned.)

Now let’s let bygones be bygones. No need to tarry over small details — like how the noble people installed anti-democratic Islamists who imposed a sharia constitution on Egypt after ousting their pro-American dictator; or how Libya became a jihadist playpen where Americans are murdered after the U.S. government sided with the noble people to oust the U.S.-supported dictator who had been giving us counterterrorism intelligence about jihadists in places like Benghazi.

Let’s just skip ahead to Syria. There, the noble people needed America’s help, but Barack Obama turned a deaf ear. (No need to get into Obama’s collusion with the Islamic-supremacist governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to arm and train the “rebels.”) This forfeited our golden opportunity to intervene actively and empower the bounty of moderate, secular, America-loving, democracy-craving Muslims (because that worked so well in Libya). But for Obama’s default, these moderate legions could simultaneously have toppled the dictator and purged the teeny-tiny number of jihadists who might have been skulking about. (Let’s not get into how there don’t seem to be enough of these moderates to man a soccer team, let alone a legion; or how weapons supplied to these “rebels” somehow keep ending up in the hands of the jihadists.) Obama’s default, coupled with the ruthlessness of the dictator, created a leadership and territory void into which jihadists suddenly poured (apparently out of nowhere). Somehow, these spontaneously generating jihadists managed to entice recruits, vastly increasing in number and power (even though — you’ll have to trust us on this — the moderate, secular Muslims really want nothing to do with them).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how ISIS was born and al-Qaeda rose from the ashes.

You buying it? Me neither.

RELATED: Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban Should Touch Off a Badly Needed Discussion

About 20 years ago, I prosecuted a dozen jihadists, led by the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, for waging a terrorist war against the United States — including the World Trade Center bombing and a plot to attack the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, as well as other New York City landmarks. The defendants were caught on tape building bombs, scheming to strike at American military sites, and planning attacks timed to achieve maximum infidel carnage.

At trial, the jihadists tried to tell the jury they were just moderate, peace-loving Muslims who had been provoked by American foreign policy, a perception of anti-Muslim bias, and videos of Muslims being persecuted in Bosnia. The Blind Sheikh insisted his incitements to jihad were simply a case of faithfully applying sharia principles, which, according to his lawyers, the First Amendment gave him the right to do.

So I asked the jury a simple question:

Is there any obnoxious, insulting, infuriating thing I could say to you, or show to you, that would convince you to join up with mass-murdering terrorists? To become a terrorist yourself?

Of course, a dozen commonsense New Yorkers did not need to be asked such a question. They laughed the defense out of the courtroom.

Alas, in the 20 years since, the defense they laughed out of the courtroom has become the bipartisan government policy of the United States.

Go figure.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

‘By the Numbers’: Watch Clarion’s New Short Film


Clarion Project, Dec. 11, 2015:

“By the Numbers” is an honest and open discussion about Muslim opinions and demographics. Narrated by Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, this short film is about the acceptance that radical Islam is a bigger problem than most politically correct governments and individuals are ready to admit.

The film addresses the questions: Is ISIS, the Islamic State, trying to penetrate the US with the refugee influx? Are Muslims radicalised on U.S. soil? Are organizations such as CAIR, who purport to represent American Muslims, accepting and liberal or radicalized with links to terror organizations?

The Hard Line | Raheel Raza and Ryan Mauro discuss a new film about Islamic extremism

The Muslim Reform Movement Plays Fantasy Islam

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Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.

Frontpage, by Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, Dec. 10, 2015:

In December 2015, a small group of “Muslim reformers” met in Washington DC to discuss the reform of Islam.  They stated they were “Muslims who live in the 21st century” who were “in a battle for the soul of Islam.”  They proclaimed that they stood for “a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam.”  They called their meeting the Summit of Western Muslim Voices of Reform and named themselves the Muslim Reform Movement.  On December 4, 2015, fourteen “founding authors” from this movement signed the Declaration for Muslim Reform, laying out their beliefs.

At the conclusion of the event, two participants posted a signed copy of this Declaration on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington DC (a la Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in 1517).  The document was quickly removed, and so far there has been little, if any, support for this reform movement from the greater Muslim-American community.

Here is the reason for that lack of support: the Preamble and Declaration are only two pages in length.  But in those two pages these “founding authors” fundamentally rejected the commands of Allah in the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad in an effort to create their own Fantasy Islam that is more compatible with Western, Judeo-Christian values.  Let’s examine some parts of that Declaration for Muslim Reform.

We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence…

So starts out the second paragraph of the Preamble.   But the commands of Allah in the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad are rife with violence.

The Koran commands Muslims specifically to kill non-Muslims (9:5), specifically to fight against Jews and Christians (9:29), and generally to fight against and be violent toward non-Muslims (e.g., 2:216, 4:74, 5:33, 8:12, 8:39, 8:57, 9:14, 9:73, 9:111, 9:123, 48:29, and 66:9).

Muhammad was proud that he had been made victorious through terror and fear (e.g. Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 2977; and Sunan An-Nasa’i, No. 432).  He even said, “My livelihood is under the shade of my spear” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book 56, Chapter 88).  “Under the shade of my spear” means war plunder.

Muhammad is the standard of conduct for Muslims.  Muhammad supervised the beheading of 600-900 captured Jewish males, including non-combatants, and over the years ordered individuals killed for criticizing Islam.  Muhammad even ordered poets to be killed.  The following is a portion of a letter written shortly after the Muslim conquest of Mecca in 630 AD.  It was sent to a non-Muslim poet who used to satirize Muhammad, from the poet’s brother:

Allah’s Messenger killed some men in Makkah who used to satirize and harm him, and the poets who survived fled in all directions for their lives.  So, if you want to save your skin, hasten to Allah’s Messenger.  He never kills those who come to him repenting.  If you refuse to do as I say, it is up to you to try to save your skin by any means.

The Sealed Nectar, p. 521

Violence and Islam go hand-in-hand.

We reject bigotry, oppression and violence against all people based on any prejudice, including… sexual orientation…

We find this in A3 of the Declaration.  But Muhammad cursed lesbians and gays (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 5886) and said that whoever is caught in a homosexual act should be killed (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 2, p. 402).

We…consider all people equal…

This is found in B2 of the Declaration.  Muhammad felt differently.  He said that Jews and Christians were worth only half of a Muslim (Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2644).  He said that women were deficient in intelligence and religion (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 304), and that it took the freeing of two female slaves to equal the virtue of freeing one male slave (Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, No. 1547).  The Koran forbids Muslim women from marrying a non-Muslim (2:221), but a Muslim man can marry Jewish and Christian women (5:5).  And the Koran states that Jews and Christians are among the worst of people (98:6), while Muslims are the best of people (98:7).

We support equal rights for women, including equal rights to inheritance, witness…

This is found in B3 of the Declaration.  But this statement is a specific rejection of two verses in the Koran.  4:12 states that a woman only inherits one half of what a man would get, and this means that if there is more than one wife, all the wives will have to share that one-half portion.  2:282 states that in property matters it takes the testimony of two women to equal that of one man.  Are these verses not the words of Allah?

Sharia is manmade.

This is an amazing claim made in C1 of the Declaration.  In reality, Sharia Law is Islamic Sacred Law based on the commands of Allah found in the Koran and on the teachings and example of Muhammad, who spoke for Allah.  Does the word blasphemy come to mind?

Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam.

This is another amazing claim, found in C2 of the Declaration.  After all, in the Koran Allah states that Islam was perfected during the time of Muhammad (5:3).  How then can something that is perfect be criticized?  And there are many verses that specifically prohibit criticism of Islam, Allah, or Muhammad (e.g. 4:59, 4:115, 9:63, 33:36, 33:57, and 59:7).

Muhammad did not like criticism.  For example, he personally ordered the killing of certain individuals who had criticized him or Islam (‘Amsa’ Bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, and Abu Rafi’).  And he gave retroactive approval to the separate killings by Muslims of three individuals who had earlier criticized him or Islam.

Apostasy is not a crime.

This statement is in C3 of the Declaration.  These reformers are rejecting 4:89 of the Koran which commands the killing of those who leave Islam.  They are also rejecting specific statements from their prophet Muhammad, who stated that death was the penalty for those who left Islam (e.g. Sahih Al-Bukhari, Nos. 3017 and 6878; and Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas, 36.18.15, in which Muhammad specified death by beheading for apostasy).


In an effort to “reform” Islam, a small band of aspiring Muslim reformers met in the capital of a non-Muslim country, proclaimed themselves to be “founding authors” (why not go all the way and say Founding Fathers?), created a document that rejected Muhammad’s Islam in favor of Western, Judeo-Christian values, and then followed the example of an earlier non-Muslim who wanted to “reform” his own non-Muslim religion.

If folks are serious about religious reform, one thinks they would like to maintain some connection to their own religious traditions as a basis for that reform.  But the Muslim Reform Movement has apparently decided otherwise and seems more interested in establishing a connection with the non-Muslim Western world as the basis for their reform.  Such is the luxury of playing Fantasy Islam.  And this is the reason why there seems to be little, if any, support coming from the greater Muslim-American community for this small group of aspiring reformers.  It is only attention from the non-Muslim world that will sustain the Muslim Reform Movement.

Op-Ed: There is no “radical Islam” and there is also no “moderate Islam”


The recent Democratic debate where candidates were challenged to use the phrase “radical Islam” has stirred up a lot of discussion over political correctness in naming the enemy. The problem with most of these debates is that everyone keeps conflating individual Muslim beliefs with Islamic doctrine. As Dr. Kedar points out, Muslims follow Islamic doctrine in varying degrees. And adding to the confusion is the duality of the texts due to abrogation and the fact that the Quran is not written in chronological order. What must be understood is that Islamic doctrine, when followed to the letter is exactly how ISIS is conducting itself. 

Israeli National News, by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, November 12, 2015

Beginning more or less with 9/11, the expression “radical Islam” became the accepted way for the media, politicians and public to define the religious and ideological foundations of Islam-based violence when referring to what the world calls “terror.”  This expression was meant to be contrasted with “moderate Islam” which presents Muslims as ordinary people who wish to live in peace with all of mankind – Christians, Jews, Buddhists, unbelievers and the rest of us. The world created the image of two Islams, one radical and impossible to live with, and one moderate and “just like us.”

This differentiation between “radical” and “moderate” Islam is what gave rise to the claim that Islam had been “hijacked” by the radicals, implying that the real and original Islam is the moderate, not the false, radical one.

This is what allows today’s Europe to relate positively to the wave of mostly-Muslim illegal immigrants washing up on its shores – they represent “moderate Islam” and all they want is to live in peace and harmony with their European neighbors.

Permit me to raise some doubts concerning the psychological mindset that claims the existence of two types of Islam. In order to do this, let us clarify an important point: Islam is a text-based framework of ideas and behaviors, covering religion, culture, strictures, politics, law and economics. It is an all-embracing way of life. The most basic text is the Qu’ran, followed by the Hadith (oral law) and the Sura – biography – of Muhammad. The Sharia, Muslim  law, is a system of binding laws and injunctions that Muslims are obliged to obey.

There are no two Islams, no moderate one and no radical one, there is just one Qu’ran that includes everything: verses on Jihad and all out war against unbelievers along with verses that speak of recognizing the “other” and living beside him.

There are no two types of hadith, one radical and the other moderate; there is just one body of hadith that includes everything, both violent and moderate ideas.

Muhammad does not have a moderate biography and a radical one; there is only one life story of the prophet of Islam and it has stories that express a radical, violent approach and others presenting a moderate one.

There is also just one Sharia that includes everything, from the radical cutting off of a thief’s hands to the unquestionably moderate admonition to care for the poor and indigent.

That being the case, there is no “moderate Islam” and no “radical Islam”, just one Islam that incorporates both terms, ranging from extreme radicalism to extreme moderation. In practice, we see people with different cultures, some of them extremists and some moderates, all finding verses, ideas, precedents and laws that support their views on life and society in the same Qu’ran, Hadith, Sura and Sharia. The radical Muslim chooses to quote sources that support his extremist approach, while the moderate Muslim finds sources to buttress his moderate approach. [emphasis added]

Those two Muslims, the most extreme and the most moderate, are “kosher”, because they both rely on legitimate Islamic sources, and neither can claim that the other “hijacked” Islam. All the Muslims in the world, all one and a half billion of them, men, women and children, are to be found somewhere on the moderate-extremist continuum.  They may live alone or as part of families, tribes, organizations and societies.

Islamic State is a state established and continuing its operations with the participation and cooperation of a large body of Muslims and converts to Islam who are on the extremist tip of the continuum.  Al Qaeda is right there next to them, as are Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other terrorist organizations. On the other end of the continuum, the moderate one, are the members of the “Muslims for Tomorrow” organization, a totally moderate group of Muslims living in Toronto, Canada.

Along the scale connecting the endpoints of the continuum, one can find all the other Muslims in the world, each one on a point of his choosing, somewhere between radicalism and moderation. His place on the continuum is a dynamic, not a static one, and a once moderate Muslim can undergo a process of radicalization, while another, who was an extreme radical can change his views and become more moderate. Life has a way of moving people along the continuum, making it harder to predict the future of an individual or group.

Moderate Muslim migrants live in harmony with the foreign societies to which they have migrated. They blend in nicely, work for a living, are law abiding and contribute to the economy and society that absorbs them. More radical Muslims who migrate to new societies tend to live in the enclaves that preserve their culture and way of life, only partially blending into society and the work force and constantly attempting to influence and change for their own ends the society that let them in. If they are on the violent side of the continuum, that violence will be turned on the society that accepted them – a fact that is most evident in today’s Europe.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed Editor.   


Brigitte Gabriel: 15 to 20 percent of all Muslims are radical…you’re looking at 180 to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western Civilization…the peaceful majority are irrelevant”

Also see:

Why Americanized Muslim Reformers Are Failing

pl_1Frontpage, by Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, Nov. 12, 2015:

For many years we in the United States have regularly heard from a small number of Muslim American “reformers” who aspire to change Islam in ways that will make it more “modern” and compatible with American values such as freedom of speech and religion, and the equality of all people.  According to these reformers, such change would rescue Islam from the “perverted” and “radical” interpretations of thejihadists, and return it to the way the reformers claim Muhammad originally taught it: as a religion that commanded peace and tolerance toward all, and promoted the rights of women.

These aspiring reformers seem to be generally Muslim males who were either born in the United States, or have spent a significant portion of their life in the United States.  They have used the freedoms in the United States to explore Islam and to strike out on their own in providing an interpretation of that religion that conforms largely to American values.  These personal interpretations commonly focus on Islam as a religion of peace that has been perverted by a few radical jihadists, and the aspiring reformers present Islam as such to non-Muslim audiences.  I use the term “Americanized Muslim reformer” as a general reference to these aspiring Muslim reformers.

But what most non-Muslims don’t realize is that Islam prohibits exactly what these Americanized Muslim reformers are trying to do.  Let’s look in the Koran, the holy book of Islam considered by Muslims to consist of the timeless, perfect, unchangeable words of their god Allah.

Islam was Perfected during the Time of Muhammad

Allah states in 5:3 of the Koran that the religion of Islam was perfected and finalized during the time of Muhammad:

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion[.]

In 15:9 Allah states that the Koran cannot be changed.  According to Muslim scholars, 2:85 of the Koran prohibits picking and choosing among its verses (e.g., Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 1, p. 88).

And to reiterate this, the prophet Muhammad said the penalty for denying a verse of the Koran was death:

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever denies a Verse of the Qur’an, it is permissible to strike his neck (i.e. execute him)[.]”

Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2539

And Muhammad talked about being in Paradise to greet the Muslims who died after him, and seeing some of those Muslims taken away because of changes they had made to Islam after he died:

“There will come to me some people whom I know and they know me, and then a barrier will be set up between me and them.”  Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri added that the Prophet further said, “I will say those people are from me (i.e. they are my followers).  It will be said, ‘You do not know what new changes and new things (heresies) they did after you.’  Then I will say, ‘Far removed (from mercy), far removed (from mercy), those who changed, did new things in (the religion) after me!'”

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Nos. 7050-7051

And once an issue has been decided in the Koran and/or in the teachings of Muhammad, it is blasphemy for a Muslim to disagree with that decision.  This is plainly stated in the Koran, e.g:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger, have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.  And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.   (33:36)

Their god and their prophet say that Islam cannot be changed after the time of Muhammad, so what are the Americanized Muslim reformers to do?  Below are some of the major approaches I have found taken among these reformers.  These approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and the use of more than one of these approaches, or variations thereof, is not uncommon.

The Koran Only

There are Muslims known as “Koranists.”  They believe that the only source of Islamic Doctrine is what is found in the Koran.  The Koranists reject the Sunnah (the teachings and example of Muhammad).

But the Koran itself specifically rejects the premise of the Koranists.  These are some of the Koran verses that stress the importance of the Sunnah of Muhammad:

  • He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah[.] (4:80)
  • And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination! (4:115)
  • Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. (33:21)
  • And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).  And fear Allah; verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. (59:7)

In the Koran Allah specifically commands Muslims to obey and follow the teachings and example of Muhammad.  So where does a Muslim find such teachings and example, including in matters such as how to pray, actions to be taken during the Hajj, or ablution?  They are not in the Koran, they are in theSunnah.

The Koranists not only ignore the words of Allah, but they ignore the words of their prophet Muhammad:

Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I have left two things with you.  As long as you hold fast to them, you will not go astray.  They are the Book of Allah and the sunna [sic] of His Prophet.

Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas, 46.3

So in defiance of the commands and teachings of their god and prophet, the Koranist Muslims ignore theSunnah.

Personal Interpretations of Salad Bar Islam

This approach is probably the one most used among the aspiring Americanized Muslim reformers and was the genesis for my first article about Fantasy Islam.  With this approach, changing Islamic Doctrine runs the gamut from a few tweaks here and there, to Islam being simply whatever the individual Muslim wants it to be.  The common denominator is that the changes are based on the personal opinion of the aspiring reformer.

With this approach, hadith collections that have been considered authoritative since the 9th Century are questioned, with certain hadiths among them actually being deemed false, solely on the basis of the individual Muslim’s opinion.

Verses of the Koran that are specific can be deemed allegorical, the eternal words of Allah can be judged applicable only to a specific time period, and verses of the Koran can be completely dismissed, solely on the basis of the individual Muslim’s opinion.

With this approach, the Doctrine of Abrogation, based on 2:106 of the Koran, is frequently dismissed. This Doctrine is fundamental to understanding Islam, and it states that if there is a conflict between the messages of two “revelations” in the Koran, then the most recent “revelation” is the one to be followed.  Consequently, a “revelation” made in Medina would supersede a similar, earlier “revelation” made in Mecca if there was a conflict between the messages of the two. The significance is that the “revelations” in Mecca tended to be more peaceful and accommodating toward non-Muslims than the verses later “revealed” in Medina.  The verses from Medina are generally more belligerent and intolerant, and more inclined to make sharp differentiations between Muslims and non-Muslims.  By ignoring the Doctrine of Abrogation, the aspiring Muslim reformer can concentrate on the Meccan verses, which, however, while more appealing to non-Muslim ears, simply don’t carry the weight of Islamic Doctrine anymore.

This approach also dismisses centuries of accepted Muslim scholarship in the form of authoritative Koran commentaries (tafsirs), such as the Tafsir Al-Qurturbi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, and Tafsir Al-Jalalayn. This approach also dismisses such 20th Century tafsirs as Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan and Tafsir As-Sa’di.  Dismissing authoritative tafsirs allows the aspiring reformer to then rely on new, personal interpretations of the meaning of verses in the Koran, even though such interpretations might directly conflict with the writings in authoritative tafsirs over the centuries.  These new interpretations are based solely on the individual Muslim’s opinion.

These aspiring reformers apparently ignore the fact that Muhammad had his own opinions about Muslims following this approach:

Muhammad bin Jarir reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Prophet said, ‘Whoever explains the Qur’an with his opinion or with what he has no knowledge of, then let him assume his seat in the Fire.’ 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, pp. 32-33

Muhammad said: The most truthful speech is Allah’s Speech, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad.  The worst matters are the newly invented (in religion), every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a heresy, and every heresy is in the Fire.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 2, p. 588

Inaccurate Historical Information

It is not unusual to find Americanized Muslim reformers presenting historical information that is simply inaccurate. Here are three common examples:

The peaceful conquest of Mecca:  You will hear that when Muhammad led an army of 10,000 Muslim warriors against Mecca in 630 AD, the Meccans surrendered peacefully and there was no bloodshed.  You might even hear that Muhammad specifically prohibited the killing of any individuals.  In reality, there was some resistance by the Meccans that resulted in the battle deaths of 2-3 Muslims and 12-13 Meccans.  And before entering Mecca, Muhammad had ordered the killing of nine specific individuals, including four women.  Some of these individuals were subsequently captured and killed, while others saved themselves by converting to Islam before they could be killed.  As Muhammad explained it:

If anyone should say, The apostle killed men in Mecca, say God permitted His apostle to do so but He does not permit you.

The Life of Muhammad, p. 555

The Verse of the Sword is a pejorative term created by non-Muslims:  You might hear Muslims claim that non-Muslims created the term “Verse of the Sword” to disparage 9:5 of the Koran.  Here is the first part of that verse:

Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun [non-Muslims] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush[.]

In reality, Muslim scholars have referred to this verse as the “Verse of the Sword” for centuries (e.g.Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, pp. 375 and 377).

The Verse of the Sword was revealed before it was revealed:  You might hear Muslims claim that 9:5 was among the verses “revealed” during the early period of Islam, when aggressive threats by militarily strong non-Muslims were being made against the young, weak Muslim community.  You might also hear the claim that this verse was applicable only to a particular time period and/or circumstance in the past (e.g., Zuhdi Jasser claimed it was “revealed” in and applicable only to 623 AD).

In reality, 9:5 was among the verses “revealed” in late 630 AD and early 631 AD.  By this time Muhammad had already conquered Mecca, and the remaining non-Muslim tribes on the Arabian Peninsula, confronted by the burgeoning Muslim armies, were flocking to Medina to convert to Islam.  And these verses were not related to a specific battle or to a specific tribe, but rather were directed toward all non-Muslims (Life of Muhammad, pp. 617-619; The History of al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, pp. 77-79; and Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, pp. 370-376).

And there is no basis in Islamic Doctrine for the claim that 9:5 has no relevance today.  Such a claim ignores the facts that Muslims believe the Koran consists of the eternal words of Allah, and Chapter 9 of the Koran was the last chapter to be “revealed” to Muhammad.  Consequently, the commands found in Chapter 9 were Allah’s final, timeless instructions to the Muslims on how to deal with non-Muslims.

Their Audience Appears to be Mainly Non-Muslims

Americanized Muslim reformers appear on non-Muslim media and in front of non-Muslim organizations on a frequent basis, and almost always after a major jihadist attack.

But what I have yet to hear about is the number of mosques and Muslim organizations that allow these aspiring reformers to come in and advocate for their personal version of Islam.  The Muslim reformers are vocal about their appearances on non-Muslim media and in front of non-Muslim organizations, but when it comes to any occurrence of similar appearances in mosques and in front of Muslim organizations, there seems to be silence.

Based on my research into the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska, I think these Americanized Muslim reformers are silent because they seldom, if ever, are allowed to present their personal version of Islam in a mosque or in front of a Muslim organization.  The Tri-Faith Initiative is an experiment in interfaith dialogue and coexistence between Muslims, Jews, and Christians.  However, in a series of articles I have shown that Islamic doctrine prohibits such a venture and actually maligns, and preaches violence against, Jews and Christians (here, here, here, and here).  And I have also shown that most of the money for this initiative comes from non-Muslim organizations and a few aspiring Muslim reformers, with apparently no support for the initiative from mosques and Muslim organizations in Nebraska (hereand here).

When I have corresponded with Tri-Faith partners and proponents, and Nebraska mosques and Muslim organizations, about what Islamic Doctrine teaches and the lack of support for the Tri-Faith from the greater Muslim community in Nebraska, there has been only silence from the Muslims and character attacks on me from the non-Muslims.


Here are reasons why Americanized Muslim reformers are failing:

  1. They create their own versions of Islam, relying on their own personal opinions and interpretations, and arbitrarily dismissing parts of Islamic history and centuries of established Muslim scholarship.
  2. They claim to follow the Koran, but actually go against verses of the Koran by arbitrarily dismissing one of the two columns upon which Islam rests: the Sunnah of Muhammad.
  3. They go against the commands of Allah in the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad by picking and choosing, and actually dismissing verses in the Koran.
  4. They personally decide which hadiths are authentic, again arbitrarily dismissing centuries of established Muslim scholarship.
  5. As a result, their beliefs are heretical.  And as Muhammad said above, every heresy sends one to the Fires of Hell.
  6. Because these reformers are heretics, they have little, if any support for their reforms from the greater Muslim community in the United States.
  7. Consequently, the reformers have to appeal to non-Muslims to help them reform Islam.  This would be as if Martin Luther had relied on Muslims for his main support during the Reformation.
  8. So what are the chances of success for an Americanized Muslim heretic and his non-Muslim followers to change Islam from that which was taught by Muhammad to that which is advocated by the heretic?  Zero.

Does it really matter that Americanized Muslim reformers are going around trying to create personalized, “modern” versions of Islam?  Yes, because they are relying on non-Muslims for support.  And to get that support, the reformers are presenting “the true” Islam as a religion of peace, similar to Christianity and Judaism, and able to be modified and modernized.  And the reformers are presenting the jihadists as outliers who have perverted and hijacked that religion.  But the reality is that the Muslim reformers are perverting and hijacking the religion, and it is the jihadists who are following the Islam taught by Muhammad.

How one understands a religion, whether correctly or incorrectly, is a major factor in how one welcomes it adherents. In terms of the mass migration of Muslim “refugees” into Europe, the European leadership and many Europeans in general appear to think that Islam is as the aspiring reformers have presented it.  So the Muslim “refugees” have been generally welcomed with open arms.  But would there have been such a welcome if the realization had been more wide spread that the reformers are heretics with little support in the greater Muslim community?

There is support in the United States for the Obama administration’s call to bring in tens of thousands of these Muslim “refugees.”  But before allowing this to happen, we must ask the question that the Europeans should have asked, but for whom now it is too late to ask: Will these Muslim “refugees” follow the Islam of our Americanized Muslim heretics or will these “refugees” follow the centuries-old intolerant, supremacist, violent teachings of their god Allah and their prophet Muhammad?  The fate of Western culture lies in the answer.

Just as it is obligatory to accept the commandments proven by the textual evidence from the Qur’an, and that it is utter disbelief to reject them, so are the commandments proven by the hadeeths of the Messenger of Allah.  It is obligatory to act by them, and it is sheer disbelief to deny them.

Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 1, pp. 622-623