The Psychopathic and Insincere Jihad

lp_1Front Page Magazine, by Raymond  Ibrahim, October 28, 2016:

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Whenever Muslims engage in behavior that ostensibly contradicts Islam—from taking drugs and watching porn to killing fellow Muslims—Islam’s apologists loudly proclaim “Aha, see, they’re not true Muslims!”  Or, in the words of CIA head John Brennan on the Islamic State: “They are terrorists, they’re criminals.  Most—many—of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers who use a religious concept and masquerade and mask themselves in that religious construct.”

Overlooked is that many self-styled jihadis are indeed “psychopathic thugs, murderers”; some may not even believe in Allah at all.  Yet this does not exonerate Islam, for its “religious construct” was designed to entice such men.

As usual, this traces back to the prophet, Muhammad.  After telling his followers that Allah had permitted Muslims four wives and limitless concubines (Koran 4:3), he later claimed that Allah had delivered a new revelation (Koran 33.51) permitting him, Muhammad alone, to marry and sleep with as many women as he wanted.  In response, his young wife Aisha quipped: “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.”  (Apostates from Islam regularly cite this episode as especially disenchanting them with the prophet.)

But it is the concept of jihad that especially comports with those who seek to indulge their carnal appetites.  For whoever fights in the name of Allah and/or seeks to empower Islam—that is, jihadis/terrorists—is exonerated of all blame and, if he dies fighting, guaranteed the highest levels of paradise (where more sex awaits).

That’s because Allah made a “pact” with them.  According to Koran 9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them Paradise: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain….  Rejoice then in the bargain you have struck, for that is the supreme triumph.”   Muhammad elaborated: “Lining up for battle in the path of Allah [jihad to empower Islam] is worthier than 60 years of worship.”  Moreover,

The martyr is special to Allah. He is forgiven from the first drop of blood [that he sheds]. He sees his throne in paradise…. He will wed the ‘aynhour [supernatural, celestial women designed exclusively for sexual purposes] and will not know the torments of the grave and safeguards against the greater horror [hell]. Fixed atop his head will be a crown of honor, a ruby that is greater than the world and all it contains. And he will copulate with seventy-two ‘aynhour.

As for those Muslims who reject jihad, Muhammad said “they will be tortured like no other sinful human.”  (For many more Islamic scriptures depicting jihad as the greatest undertaking, one that earns unconditional forgiveness and paradise, see here.)

There is no denying that the historic growth of Islam is related to its carnal incentives.  After more than a decade of preaching in Mecca, Muhammad had about 100 followers, mostly relatives.  It was only when he became a successful warlord and caravan raider that his followers grew and multiplied.  So long as such fighters helped spread the banner of Islam into infidel lands, they were deemed good and pious Muslims—regardless of their true intentions, priorities, or even faith.

Many of the original jihadis now revered in Islamic hagiography were by modern standards little more than mass killing psychotics.   Consider Khalid bin al-Walid: a Meccan pagan, he opposed Muhammad for years; but when the prophet seized Mecca, Khalid—like many of Muhammad’s foes, such as his archenemy, Abu Sufyan—expediently converted, proclaimed the shahada, joined the winning team, and then went a-jihading—mutilating, plundering, raping, enslaving, crucifying, and setting people on fire in the process.  But because he did so under the banner of jihad, this serial killer and rapist is today one of Islam’s most revered heroes.

The reason for this is that nowhere in Islam is there talk about the “condition” of the jihadis’ “heart,” or if he’s “right” with God.  Allah is not God: he is not interested in “hearts and minds” but in fighters and swords.  So long as his fighters proclaim the shahada—“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”—and fight under the banner of Islam, they can take, plunder, murder, and rape the infidels; and if they die doing so, they go to paradise.

Such was the genius of Muhammad: in the Arabian society he lived in, members of one’s tribe were as inviolable as non-members were free game, to be plundered, enslaved, or killed with impunity.  Muhammad took this idea and infused it with a pious rationale.  Henceforth there would be only two tribes in the world: the umma—which consists of all Muslims, regardless of race—and the “infidels,” who deserve to be plundered, enslaved, or killed with impunity for rejecting Allah.

This explains why other tribal/nomadic societies—Turks and Mongols/Tatars, whose way of life consisted of preying on everyone outside their tribe—also converted to Islam and, under the banner of jihad, continued preying on the other, the infidel, but now as venerated “champions of the faith.”

Christian Europe was aware of Islam’s true appeal from the very beginning.  Theophanes the Byzantine scholar (d. 818) wrote the following about Muhammad in his chronicles:

He taught those who gave ear to him that the one slaying the enemy—or being slain by the enemy—entered into paradise [see Koran 9:111].  And he said paradise was carnal and sensual—orgies of eating, drinking, and women. Also, there was a river of wine … and the women were of another sort, and the duration of sex greatly prolonged and its pleasure long-enduring [e.g., Koran 56: 7-40, 78:31, 55:70-77].  And all sorts of other nonsense.

Centuries later, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) made similar observations:

He [Muhamad] seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine…. Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning.  Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower’s by the violence of his arms.

There is, finally, another group of Muslims who should not be overlooked.  These do not give a fig for Allah nor wish to be “martyred” in exchange for paradise, but they rely on Islam to justify robbing, enslaving, raping, and killing non-Muslims, as many Christian minorities in nations like Pakistan and Egypt will attest.  Because their victims are just “infidels”—and it’s a sin to aid a non-Muslim against a Muslim (that is, a non-tribal member against a tribal member)—Muslim criminals target non-Muslim minorities precisely because they know Muslim authorities will not do a thing on behalf of the victimized infidels.

In short, enough of these claims that this or that jihadi is, in the words of the CIA’s Brennan, “terrorists,” “criminals,” “psychopathic thugs,” and “murderers.”  Yes, they are.  But that doesn’t change the fact that one group of them is convinced that no matter how immoral or perverse their behavior is, as long as they continue fighting and dying in the name of jihad, paradise is assured them; and another group doesn’t care a bit about the afterlife, but knows that, as long as they only victimize “infidels,” no Muslim will hold them accountable.  In both cases, Islam aids and abets their behavior.

Islam’s Will to Power

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An Interview with Shillman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim.

Front Page Magazine, by October 21, 2016

Reprinted from Linformale.eu.

Of Egyptian Coptic parents and fluent in Arabic, Raymond Ibrahim is among those scholars and commentators who, like Robert Spencer and David Horowitz, is not afraid of calling a spade a spade. In this times of ours poisoned by politically correctness it comes like a breath of fresh air.

He will not talk of Islam as “the religion of peace” pretending that it is something that it never was. On the contrary, he will emphasize that contemporary jihadists just follow a strict application of the Koran, much alike the Protestant Reformers with their concept of sola scriptura (scripture by itself). The main difference is that the latter usually do not make themselves explode, or behead “infidels” or are committed to a permanent strife with the West to subjugate it.

The reason for this is that in the Koran, jihad is prescriptive and Mohammed, the perfect example for every Muslim, was  a prophet but also a warlord.

A regular contributor to the David Horowitz Freedom Center and previously associate director of The Middle East Forum, Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians and editor of the seminal The Al Qaeda Reader: The Essential Texts of Osama Bin Laden’s Terrorist Organization.

He has kindly accepted to answer our questions.

The first issue I would like to address is the widespread notion that ISIS is the facto a product of the U.S.A intervention in Iraq. The implication is very clear. If the U.S.A wouldn’t have invaded Iraq there would be no ISIS around. How would you comment on this?

Facts are facts.  Before the US invaded, Saddam Hussein was renowned for suppressing Islamist movements.  Indeed, one of the reasons for his later human rights abusing reputation was that he was brutally stomping out the jihadis, a label Western media regular omit when talking about secular Arab dictators using brutal means, such as Assad and his efforts against jihadis.  A decade after Saddam was ousted, killed, and the U.S. proclaimed victory for having brought “freedom and democracy” to Iraq, all we have to show is the emergence of ISIS, which, when it comes to human rights abuses, makes Saddam look like Santa Claus.

I usually look to the situation of Christian minorities in Muslim countries to understand the nature of those who rule.  Under Saddam, they and their churches were protected; the year America brought “freedom and democracy” to Iraq, Christians were savagely persecuted and dozens of their churches bombed.   Incidentally, it’s not just in Iraq that American intervention gave rise to ISIS.  Libya and Syria are also part of ISIS’ caliphate, again, thanks to the U.S. paving the way by ousting Gaddafi and trying to oust Assad.  I don’t claim to know the reason behind this phenomenon, but the facts speak for themselves: where the U.S. ousts secular Arab strongmen—whose human rights abuses were often in the context of fighting even worse human rights abusing jihadis—ISIS follows.

Anti-Americanism is still strong among the left both in Europe and in the States. The likes of people like Noam Chomsky have spread the notion that the U.S.A is evil incarnate together with Israel viewed as its proxy in the Middle East. Which are the main factors, according to you, behind this attitude?

Ultimately, I believe these views are based less on objective facts and more on subjective distortions of history.  The mainstream view today is that, at least historically, white, Christian men are the source of all evil on planet earth;  therefore, the least they can do by way of reparations is to be passive while the Muslim and other third worlds experience their growing pangs—which manifest themselves as atrocities against non-Muslims, including Westerners.  So whenever the US or Israel do anything for their interest and security that would be deemed absolutely normal and standard for other, especially non-Western nations, the left cries foul, racism, etc.

The apologists of Islam tells us that Islam is very much part of the West as it helped shaping our culture with its innovations when it was still an empire. Here in Italy a renowned historian, Franco Cardini, recently said that “Islam is at the base of modernity”. What is your personal view?

This view is just another example of how the true history of Islam and Europe has been so thoroughly distorted and warped in a way to glorify Islam and humble formerly Christian Europe.  Reality and history—as recorded by Islam’s most renowned historians—has a very different tale to tell, one that was known by the average European child but which is now “taboo” to acknowledge: war—or jihad—on Europe is the true history of Islam and the West.  Consider some facts for a moment: A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia.  Two-thirds of what was then Christendom was permanently conquered and much of its population put to the sword and/or pressured to convert, so that almost no one today realizes that Syria, Egypt, and all of North Africa were once the centers of Christianity.  Then it was Europe’s turn.  Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination are, to give them their modern names in no particular order,: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, etc.

In 846 Rome was sacked and the Vatican defiled by Muslim Arab raiders; some 600 years later, in 1453, Christendom’s other great basilica, Holy Wisdom (or Hagia Sophia) was conquered by Muslim Turks, permanently.  The few European regions that escaped direct Islamic occupation due to their northwest remoteness include Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany.  That, of course, does not mean that they were not attacked by Islam. Indeed, in the furthest northwest of Europe, in Iceland, Christians used to pray that God save them from the “terror of the Turk.” As late as 1627 Muslim corsairs raided the Christian island seizing four hundred captives, selling them in the slave markets of Algiers.  Nor did America escape.  A few years after the formation of the United States, in 1800, American trading ships in the Mediterranean were plundered and their sailors enslaved by Muslim corsairs.  The ambassador of Tripoli explained to Thomas Jefferson that it was a Muslim’s “right and duty to make war upon them [non-Muslims] wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners.”  In short, for roughly one millennium—punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that the modern West is obsessed with demonizing—Islam daily posed an existential threat to Christian Europe and by extension Western civilization.  In this context, what use is there in highlighting aberrations?   Even that one peripheral exception that so many Western academics tried to make the rule—Islamic Spain—has recently been debunked as a fraud in Darío Fernández-Morera’s The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise.

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Islam presents itself as the true and definitive religion of humanity. Judaism and Christianity in the Islamic view are seen as deeply defective and corrupted. As a matter of fact for Islam, the Muslim prophet Jesus will come on Judgement Day to destroy all the crosses and expose the falsehood of Christianity itself. Notwithstanding this, the Pope keeps calling Islam a religion of peace and presents it only in a very favorable light. According to you it is just political prudence or something else?

This pope sees himself as a diplomat and politician, not a spiritual leader, and certainly not as a defender of Christians.  More’s the pity since of all Europeans, historically it was the Catholic popes who most understood the dangers of Islam—physical and spiritual—especially to fellow Christians. Yet he staunchly refuses to associate Islam with violence.  Even when a journalist asked him if the recently slaughtered 85-year-old French priest Fr. Jacques was “killed in the name of Islam,” Francis adamantly disagreed; he argued that he hears of Christians committing violence every day in Italy: “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics!  If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.”  Apparently for Pope Francis, violence done in accordance with Allah’s commandments is no more troubling than violence done in contradiction of the Judeo-Christian God’s commandments.

Papa Francesco in viaggio in Turchia

By this perverse logic, if we hold Islam accountable, so must we hold Christianity accountable—regardless of the fact that Islam does justify violence while Christianity condemns it.  And when he met with the grieving relatives and survivors of France’s Bastille Day attack—another Islamic attack that claimed the lives of 86 and injured hundreds—he told them: “We need to start a sincere dialogue and have fraternal relations between everybody, especially those who believe in a sole God who is merciful,” a reference to monotheistic Muslims.  He added that this was “an urgent priority….  We can only respond to the Devil’s attacks with God’s works which are forgiveness, love and respect for the other, even if they are different.” This is certainly a different approach than that of his courageous namesake.  Its also futile vis-a-vis Islam and will only be taken advantage of.  How does one have “fraternal relations” with adherents of a religion that calls on them to hate all non-Muslims, including  family members and wives?  Even Koran 60:4 calls on Muslims to have “eternal hate” for all non-Muslims.

Do you think that there is any chance that Islam can accommodate with Western values, and if this is possible on what grounds?

For Islam to accommodate Western values it would first have to cease being Islam.  Countless forms of behavior that directly contradict Western values are called for in the Koran and/or hadith, and the ulema, are agreed to them: death to apostates and blasphemers, subjugation of Muslim women, sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women, polygamy, child-marriage, ban on and destruction of non-Muslim places of worship and scriptures, and enmity for non-Muslims—are all no less Islamic than are prayer and fasting.

Even Islamic State atrocities—such as triumphing over the mutilated corpses of “infidels” and smiling while posing with their decapitated heads—find support in the Koran and stories of the prophet.  To fully appreciate how much of Islam directly contradicts Western values, consider the findings of one Arabic language article by Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Khadr.  It lists a number of things that mainstream Muslims support even though they directly contradict Western values.  These include (unsurprisingly): demands for a caliphate that rules according to Sharia and expands into “infidel” territory through jihad; death for anyone vocally critical of Islam or Muhammad; persecution of Muslims who try to leave Islam; rejection of equality for Christians and Jews in a Muslim state; rejection of equality for women with men; and so forth (read entire article).

Anyone who understands how Islam is actually articulated knows that the assertion that it is “possible to be a Western liberal and mainstream Muslim,” as London’s Muslim mayor recently said, is a grotesque oxymoron.  It’s akin to saying that it’s possible to fit a square peg through a round hole.  It’s not—unless, of course, one forcefully hammers it through, breaking portions of the peg,  that is to say, the Muslim and or cracking the surface of the hole, that is to say, Western society.

Islam is a political religious system from its inception. Would you subscribe to the notion that it is truly an ideology with a religious coating to it, or is there something really religious about it? I am thinking about Islamic mystics and the Sufis, for example.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter: even if it has a religious coating to it, it is most certainly a political ideology, especially its early origins.  This is simply clear looking at the life of its founder prophet Muhammad.  When he was merely a powerless preacher in Mecca, he only had a very small following; when he went to Medina and became a warlord and caravan bandit—and when his followers started to grow rich from plunder—his ranks began to swell.

Many are the worldly rewards, incentives, and privileges—to say nothing of the “worldly” rewards (sex with supernatural women) in the hereafter— that come with being Muslim:  if you fight for the empowerment of Islam against non-Muslims and you can lie, cheat, kill, steal, enslave and rape.  Countless are the Muslims, past and present, who joined the Islamic bandwagon precisely for these prerogatives.  That said, I do believe that some Muslims try to turn Islam into a more spiritual thing for their own sake.  But that doesn’t change the fact that others use it for its original purpose of conquest and plunder

One of the most repeated statements about Islamic terrorism is that it is the product of various groups of fanatics. Most Muslims are moderates and will never go around beheading people or having themselves exploded. Is this evidence conclusive?

Yes and no.  It may be true that many Muslims would not want to behead people or detonate themselves, but that is because they are not committed to or interested in Islam beyond the bare basics of survival.  However, it is wrong to think that “Islamic terrorism is … the product of various groups of fanatics.”  Terrorism is actually the product of the Koran and example of the prophet—the two things all Muslims are enjoined to follow.  And so long as these two pillars of Islam stand, so will they have adherents, even if a majority of nominal Muslims—who dare not apostatize due to Islam’s death penalty—do not literally follow them.

Islam has been deeply divided in itself from the death of Muhammad in 632. It seems that warfare and strife are inbreed in the Muslim world. Do you agree?

Yes.  Perhaps the most defining aspect of Islam is the search for absolute power—power over all others whether they be infidels, women, the wrong kinds of Muslims, ad infinitum.  Accordingly, and despite some of its injunctions against for example killing fellow Muslims, Muslims have been and continue to slaughter each other, in the name of Islam.

Can we say that Wahhabism is at the core of Islamic contemporary jihadism, or is this a reductionist point of view?

We can say this, but it would be much more accurate to say a literal reading of Islam’s core texts “is at the core of Islamic contemporary jihadism.”  After all, that is what “Wahhabism” is all about.  Incidentally, no Wahhabi calls or sees himself as a Wahhabi-—a word often used in the West to distance Islam from violence and intolerance—and see themselves simply as Muslims who literally pattern their lives after the teachings of Mohammed and Koran.

What is your opinion about the longtime alliance between the U.S.A and Saudi Arabia, which is among the strictest Wahhabi states. Does realpolitik justify everything?

I think it is a sickening and disgraceful alliance that turns everything that the US stands for into a joke.  Nor is realpolitik the root source. After all, the US and the entire free world could easily put Saudi Arabia on its knees and force it to reform or else.  Its oil could be seized—and actually should, since, with that revenue, Saudi Arabia spends 100 billion annually to radicalize Muslims around the world, such as their brainchild, ISIS.  Saudi Arabia knowledge of all this is one of the main reasons it gives many millions to Western politicians and others, who in exchange stand before Western people and speak of Saudi Arabia as a “ staunch ally,” whose help in “fighting terrorism” is “indispensable”.

Do Islam and the West Share the ‘Same Values?’

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The lies of Londonistan’s first Muslim mayor against Trump.

Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Sept. 30, 2016:

Recently while touring the U.S. and Canada, London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, “attacked anti-Muslim views and policies and argued that what is needed is to build ‘bridges rather than walls’—a reference to Mr. Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.”

He specifically and repeatedly criticized the notion “that it is not possible to hold Western values and to be a Muslim.”  This notion, which he attributed to Trump, plays “into the hands of Daesh and so-called ISIS because it implies it’s not possible to be a Western liberal and mainstream Muslim, said Khan”

Can Muslims hold to Western liberal values and still be true to mainstream Islam?

This pivotal question is easily answered by determining what is and is not Islamic.  Muslims have traditionally accomplished this by asking the following questions:

What do the core texts of Islam say about the thing in question, call it “X”?  Does the Koran, believed by Muslims to contain the literal commands of Allah, call for or justify X?  Do the hadith and sira texts—which purport to record the sayings and deeds of Allah’s prophet, whom the Koran (e.g., 33:21) exhorts Muslims to emulate in all ways—call for or justify X?

If any ambiguity still remains concerning X, the next question becomes: what is the consensus (ijma‘) of the Islamic world’s leading authorities concerning X?  Here one must often turn to the tafsirs, or exegeses of Islam’s most learned men—the ulema—and consider their conclusions.   Muhammad himself reportedly said that “My umma [Islamic nation] will never be in agreement over an error.”

For example, the Koran commands believers to uphold prayers; accordingly, all Muslims are agreed that Muslims need to pray.  Yet the Koran does not specify how many times.  In the hadith and sira, however, Muhammad makes clear believers should pray five times.  And the ulema, having considered all these texts, are agreed that Muslims are to pray five times a day.

Thus, it is most certainly Islamic for Muslims to pray five times a day.

While both Muslim and Western scholars of Islam readily accept the aforementioned methodology (in Arabic known as usul al-fiqh) as foundational to determining what is Islamic—prayer is in the Koran, Muhammad clarified its implementation in the hadith, and the ulema are agreed to it—whenever the thing in question goes against Western values, then this standard approach to ascertaining what is and is not Islamic is wholly ignored.

In reality, however, countless forms of behavior that directly contradict Western values are called for in the Koran and/or hadith, and the ulema, are agreed to them: death to apostates and blasphemers, subjugation of Muslim women, sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women, polygamy, child-marriage, ban on and destruction of non-Muslim places of worship and scriptures, and enmity for non-Muslims—are all no less Islamic than prayer is.

Even Islamic State atrocities—such as triumphing over the mutilated corpses of “infidels” and smiling while posing with their decapitated heads—find support in the Koran and stories of the prophet.

To fully appreciate how much of Islam directly contradicts Western values, consider the findings of one Arabic language article by Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Khadr.  It lists a number of things that mainstream Muslims support even though they directly contradict Western values.  These include (unsurprisingly): demands for a caliphate that rules according to Sharia and expands into “infidel” territory through jihad; death for anyone vocally critical of Islam or Muhammad; persecution of Muslims who try to leave Islam; rejection of equality for Christians and Jews in a Muslim state; rejection of equality for women with men; and so forth (read entire article).

Anyone who understands how Islam is actually articulated—such as presumably London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan—knows that the assertion that it is “possible to be a Western liberal and mainstream Muslim” is a grotesque oxymoron.  It’s akin to saying that it’s possible to fit a square peg through a round hole.  It’s not—unless, of course, one forcefully hammers it through, breaking portions of the peg (the Muslim) and/or cracking the surface of the hole (Western society).

It is disingenuous to accept the well-known methodology of Islamic jurisprudence—is X part of the Koran, hadithsira, and does it have consensus among the ulema?—but then to reject this same methodology whenever X is something that clearly contradicts Western values, as much of Islam is so wont to do.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 

Also by Ibrahim:

Here is an in depth interview with Raymond Ibrahim:

Is Obama’s ‘Narrative Battle’ with ISIS or Reality?

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Sept. 23, 2016:

According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight—a narrative fight with them. A narrative battle.”  Earnest said this the day after two separate bombings occurred in New York, and an ISIS-linked Muslim went on a stabbing spree in Minnesota.  Obama’ spokesman later elaborated:

What is important in the context of political debate is to remember ISIL is trying to assert a narrative, that they represent the religion of Islam in a war against the west and in a war against the United States. That is mythology. That is falsehood. That is not true. That is bankrupt ideology they are trying to wrap in the cloak of Islam.

This, of course, is a strawman argument: the real question isn’t whether ISIS “represents” Islam, but whether ISIS is a byproduct of Islam.  And this question can easily be answered by looking not to ISIS but Islam.  One can point to Islamic doctrines that unequivocally justify ISIS behavior; one can point to the whole of Islamic history, nearly 14 centuries of ISIS precedents.

Or, if these two options are deemed too abstract, one can simply point to the fact that everyday Muslims all around the world are behaving just like ISIS.

For example, Muslims—of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, in Arab, African, Central and East Asian nations—claim the lions’ share of Christian persecution; 41 of the 50 worst nations to be Christian in are Islamic.  In these countries, Muslim individuals, mobs, clerics, politicians, police, soldiers, judges, even family members—none of whom are affiliated with ISIS (other than by religion)—abuse and sometimes slaughter Christians, abduct, enslave and rape their women and children, ban or bomb churches, and kill blasphemers and apostates.

Anyone who doubts this can access my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” reports and review the nonstop persecution and carnage committed by “everyday” Muslims—not ISIS—against Christians.  Each monthly report (there are currently 60, stretching back to July 2011) contains dozens of atrocities, most of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive nonstop media coverage in America.

Or consider a Pew poll which found that, in 11 countries alone, at least 63 million and as many as 287 million Muslims support ISIS.  Similarly, 81% of respondents to an Arabic language Al Jazeera poll supported the Islamic State.

Do all these hundreds of millions of Muslims support the Islamic State because they’ve been suckered into its “narrative”—or even more silly, because we have—or do they support ISIS because it reflects the same supremacist Islam that they know and practice, one that preaches hate and violence for all infidels, as America’s good friends and allies, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar—not ISIS—are on record proclaiming?

It is this phenomenon, that Muslims the world over—and not just this or that terrorist group that “has nothing to do with Islam”—are exhibiting hostility for and terrorizing non-Muslims that the Obama administration and its mainstream media allies are committed to suppressing.  Otherwise the unthinkable could happen: people might connect the dots and understand that ISIS isn’t mangling Islam but rather Islam is mangling the minds of Muslims all over the world.

Hence why White House spokesman Josh Earnest can adamantly dismiss 14 centuries of Islamic history, doctrine, and behavior that mirrors ISIS: “That is mythology. That is falsehood. That is not true.” Hence why U.S. media coverage for one dead gorilla was six times greater than media coverage for 21 Christians whose heads were carved off for refusing to recant their faith.

The powers-that-be prefer that the debate—the “narrative”—be restricted to ISIS, so that the group appears as an aberration to Islam.  Acknowledging that untold millions of Muslims are engaged in similar behavior leads to a much more troubling narrative with vast implications.

Even so, until this ugly truth is accepted, countless more innocents—including born Muslims who seek to break free from Islam—will continue to suffer.

The Connection between Al-Qaeda and Black Lives Matter

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Sept. 15, 2016:

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri made a new video that appeared on September 9.  It offers little that is new:  9/11 is again praised and portrayed as a product of Muslim grievances and payback for Western crimes; he vows a “thousand more” 9/11s; and warns against apostates being more dangerous than original infidels.

Only one angle stands out—again, not because it is new, but because it sheds light on a growing phenomenon: black violence against police in general, in the context of Black Lives Matter in particular.   In last week’s video, Zawahiri called on American blacks to convert to Islam, asserting that they will never receive justice and will always live in “humiliation” until they convert to Islam and rebel against the “white majority.”  He even showed footage of the Nation of Islam’s Malcolm X preaching.

While many conclude that al-Qaeda is opportunistically trying to exploit groups like BLM, the reality may be that BLM has from the start long been influenced by al-Qaeda’s rhetoric and propaganda (which, as usual, is quietly disseminated on the ground, not by al-Qaeda, but by its many Muslim sympathizers in America).  For Zawahiri has in fact for years been calling on American blacks to turn against whites and quoting Malcolm X.

Nearly a decade ago, Zawahiri issued a similar message:

That’s why I want blacks in America, people of color, American Indians, Hispanics, and all the weak and oppressed in North and South America, in Africa and Asia, and all over the world, to know that when we wage jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging jihad to lift oppression from Muslims only; we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind, because Allah has ordered us never to accept oppression, whatever it may be…This is why I want every oppressed one on the face of the earth to know that our victory over America and the Crusading West — with Allah’s permission — is a victory for them, because they shall be freed from the most powerful tyrannical force in the history of mankind.

American blacks, however, were Zawahiri’s primary targets. He again praised and quoted from Malcolm X: “Anytime you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something you have to do for yourself. The price of freedom is death.”

Surely it’s not a coincidence that, a decade after this theme started to be hammered out by al-Qaeda and America’s Nation of Islam—who are ever telling blacks that Christianity is the “white man’s religion,” made to keep blacks passive, whereas Islam is the religion of equality, strength and dignity—that blacks, many associated or even converted to Islam, have begun to engage in violence and murder, including in the context of Black Lives Matter, that is, in the so-called name of “social justice”?

Sounding like Malcolm X, just last year Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spoke words that would make Zawahiri proud:

I’m looking for 10,000 in the midst of a million. Ten thousand fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny. Death is sweeter than continuing to live and bury our children while the white folks give our killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government won’t intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us; stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling!

Apparently police are meant by “those who kill us.”  Unsurprisingly, then, Muslims and the Nation of Islam—even ISIS apparently—were “on the Ground [in Ferguson] and Active Since Day One.”  Likewise, Gavin Eugene Long, a self-styled “social justice warrior,” who murdered three Baton Rouge police officers last July, was a member of the Nation of Islam.  Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, the original Black Lives Matter cop killer, who gunned down two NYPD officers while eating lunch in their patrol car in December 2014 posted on his Facebook an image of Koran verse 8:60, where Allah calls on Muslims to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah.” Edward Archer, another black convert to Islam, shot a Philadelphia police officer and later cited “following Allah” as his motive.

The aftereffects of al-Qaeda’s propaganda—which, right after September 11, 2001, was regularly disseminated by Western media far and wide—are still with us.  Such propaganda always had several faces: if it was meant to make liberal Americans feel guilty and try to appease “aggrieved” Muslims, it was simultaneously always inciting blacks to violence against whites.  And it worked, even if its rationale is often hidden beneath the surface.

Impervious Hubris: How U.S. Intelligence Failures Led to ISIS

michael-scheuer-sized-770x415xcMEF, by Raymond Ibrahim
PJ Media
September 15, 2016

Over a decade after U.S. leadership declared a “war on terror,” all it has to show for it is the creation of the Islamic State—an Islamic body that has taken terror and atrocities to a whole new level.

How did this happen?

A key factor often overlooked is the intelligence community’s failures concerning what fuels the jihadis.

Consider Michael Scheuer, author of the 2004 national bestsellerImperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror. Scheuer’s credentials as described in that book are impressive: “For the past seventeen years, my career has focused exclusively on terrorism, Islamic insurgencies, militant Islam… I have earned my keep and am able to speak with some authority and confidence about Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, [and] the dangers they pose and symbolize for the Unites States…” Indeed, Scheuer also served as senior adviser for the Osama Bin Laden Department of the CIA and chief of the Sunni Militant Unit.

15 years after 9/11, all we have to show for the ‘war on terror’ is the creation of the Islamic State.

The fundamental thesis of his book was that al-Qaeda’s terrorism is a reaction to U.S. foreign policies: “Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. None of the reasons have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy, but everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world,” wrote Scheuer.

As proof, he regularly quoted bin Laden’s messages to the West, which did in fact validate Scheuer’s assessment. He went on to compare bin Laden, that jihadi terrorist, to heroes like Robin Hood and even Saint Francis of Assisi, and concluded that al-Qaeda’s war revolves around “love”:

Bin Laden and most militant Islamists, therefore, can be said to be motivated by their love for Allah and their hatred for a few, specific, U.S. policies and actions they believe are damaging—and threatening to destroy—the things they love. Theirs is a war against a specific target, and for specific, limited purposes. While they will use whatever weapon comes to hand—including weapons of mass destruction—their goal is not to wipe out our secular democracy, but to deter us by military means from attacking the things they love. Bin Laden et al are not eternal warriors.

American liberals, academics, politically correct media, politicians, and government—in a word, the establishment—willingly embraced and regurgitated this Muslim grievance thesis which, while not original to Scheuer, certainly received a boost thanks to his book.

American academics, media, and politicians, have embraced the Muslim grievance thesis.

It was in this context that I sought to translate al-Qaeda’s Arabic writings that I discovered in 2004 while working at the Library of Congress. As opposed to the carefully crafted communiques al-Qaeda was sending to the West—which were presented without context and accepted hook, line, and sinker by many so-called “experts”—these arcane writings were directed to fellow Muslims. They made perfectly clear al-Qaeda’s ultimate motive in attacking the West: Islam’s commands for Muslims to hate and subjugate the non-Muslim, or “infidel.”

Here’s a sampling of what bin Laden was writing to fellow Muslims, even as he was duping Western analysts with talk of “grievances”:

As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: “We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone.” So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility—that is, battle—ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed [i.e., a dhimmi], or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable [in which case, bin Laden later clarifies, they should dissemble (taqiyya) before the infidels by, say, portraying their violence as a product of “grievances”]. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy!… Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred—directed from the Muslim to the infidel—is the foundation of our religion (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).

Bin Laden also asked and answered the pivotal question:

Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: either willing submission; or payment of the jizya [tribute], through physical though not spiritual submission to the authority of Islam; or the sword—for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live.

How does one square such clear assertions with Scheuer’s claims that “None of the reasons [for al-Qaeda’s antipathy] have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy”? I raised this question in a 2008 article criticizing Scheuer’s claims about al-Qaeda’s motivations.

In response, Scheuer lashed out in the comments section of the article (see my full response to himhere). Instead of acknowledging that al-Qaeda’s own words damned his thesis, the man who insisted Islamic terrorism was a product of “imperial hubris” exhibited a sort of impervious hubris—impervious to facts and reality, that is. He sarcastically wrote:

Mr. Ibrahim’s Al Qaeda Reader is an excellent example of what passes for solid analysis and intellectual honesty among Neo-conservatives…. In this highly selective collection, Mr. Ibrahim picks and chooses from the enormous corpus of writings, statements, and interviews by bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to produce a slim volume which he claims will once and for all prove that Al Qaeda and its allies are bent on imposing a worldwide Caliphate to be governed by what the Necons are pleased to call Islamo-fascism… [T]he book deliberately misleads an America public…

For the record, my “slim volume” is 320 pages long. As for it being a “highly selective collection,” the book is actually the most balanced of its kind, as it presents al-Qaeda’s releases to the West and its exhortations to its Muslim followers. For example, whereas Bruce Lawrence’s Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden (2005), complemented Scheuer’s grievance paradigm by only presenting al-Qaeda’s propaganda communiques to the West, The Al Qaeda Readerjuxtaposes both the terrorist group’s doctrinal writings to fellow Muslims (as quoted above) and its grievance claims to the West, giving the reader a more complete picture.

At any rate, now, a decade later, the “why do they hate us” question has been settled by those best positioned to settle it: the Islamic State, or al-Qaeda 2.0. In a recent article titled “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You,” the Islamic State gives six reasons. Reason number one says it all:

We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son [Christ], you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone'” (Al-Mumtahanah 4 [i.e., Koran 60:4, the same verse bin Laden quoted above]). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option [“People of the Book”] – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims [per Koran 9:29].

It is only in reasons five and six that ISIS finally mentions “grievances” against Western foreign policies—only to quickly clarify:

What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list. […] The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you [emphasis added].

It is this unrelenting hatred that many Westerners cannot comprehend; a hate that compels Muslim husbands to hate their non-Muslim wives and America’s “friends and allies,” such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to publish government sanctioned decrees openly proclaiming their hate for America, because it is not Islamic.

And it was always this hate that fueled al-Qaeda’s jihad—not grievances.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that in Scheuer’s response to me, he mocked the idea that the caliphate would be resurrected (which I had predicted) claiming that “the Islamists know that it is as unlikely to appear in their or their grandsons’ lifetimes as Christians know that a uniform world of turning-of-the-cheek or loving-thy-neighbor is at best light years over the horizon.” Likewise in Imperial Hubrishe wrote: “At this point in history, we need worry little about the threat of an offensive and expansionist jihad meant to conquer new lands for Islam and convert new peoples to the faith” (page 7).

Really? Tell that to the many non-Muslims and non-Sunnis—Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shia—who have been enslaved, raped, slaughtered, burned and buried alive, as the caliphate expanded into their territories over the last couple of years.

Muslim hostility to the West is a product of Islamic teachings, not grievances.

All of this was enabled by the West’s embrace of the “grievance” theory, championed not created by the likes of Scheuer. It ran its course and was behind abysmal policies meant to pacify supposedly aggrieved Muslims—such as wholesale support for the “Arab Spring,” which saw the Obama administration turn its back on 30-year-long allies such as Egypt’s secular Mubarak in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. The grievance theory is partially responsible for why, a decade after the U.S. started bringing “freedom and democracy” to this and that Muslim nation—Iraq, Egypt, Libya, ongoing in Syria—specifically by ousting secular dictators long experienced at suppressing jihadis, all that the most powerful and freedom loving nation in the world has to show for it is the creation of the Islamic State.

Even so, the impervious hubris continues. Instead of accepting the hard facts—Islamic hostility is a product of Islamic teachings—the Obama administration, including the CIA, continue invoking the “grievance” and related memes concerning ISIS. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clintonsaid that it’s important to be “showing respect even for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view,” that is, empathize with their grievances?

Clinton said this at Georgetown University, which is fitting. For, you may ask, where is Michael Scheuer now—this man who didn’t have to wait till our “grandsons’ lifetimes” to see just how much he got wrong? He’s where all who excel at denying Islam has any connection to violence for the other: teaching a future generation of “terrorism experts” at Georgetown University.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Are Nonstop Muslim Atrocities the ‘New Norm’?

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, Aug. 25, 2016:

As hardly a few days pass without some Islamic terror attack in the West—recently and as of this writing an “Allahu Akbar” shouting Muslim man stabbed a Jew in France and an “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslim woman ran over two policemen in Canada—the West risks becoming desensitized to and seeing Islamic violence as “just another part of life.”

The words and deeds of Western leaders are not helping.  After the Islamic terror attack in Nice, France, where 84 were killed, counterterrorism chief Patrick Calvar said: “Today, France is clearly the most threatened country.  The question about the threat is not to know ‘if’ but ‘when’ and ‘where’.” Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that “Terrorism … is a threat that weighs heavily on France and will continue doing so for a long time.”

As if such resignation wasn’t bad enough, at the memorial event for the 84 Nice victims, Valls declared, “Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism.”

Actually, the main thing to change with time in France is its demography.  The largest Muslim population of Europe resides there and, in accordance’s with Islam’s Rule of Numbers, is the real reason why France “should learn to live with terrorism.”

More apathy was in the air during the Munich massacre, where a Muslim gunman killed nine.

While somberly addressing the massacre still in progress—with the usual boilerplate “our hearts go out to [X victim of terror]”—U.S. President Obama managed to crack a joke, grin, chuckle, and draw laughter from his audience.

After all, what is the big deal?  Shouldn’t we be used to Muslims rampaging and killing by now?  And really, what’s nine dead compared to the many hundreds killed by Islamic terrorists around the world in recent weeks?

As for the leader of the nation where the attack took place, Angela Merkel waited almost 24 hours before she delivered yet another perfunctory speech containing all the usual words, condolences, and platitudes.

Then again, what was the hurry? Muslims abusing, raping, and killing Germans in Germany is old hat.  A new poll by ZDF found that a record 75 percent of Germans “expect—which is not unlike accept—more terror attacks in their nation.  Must a statement be made after every single one?!

Needless to say, lesser Islamic terror attacks which once would’ve been extremely newsworthy and received condemnation from the highest echelons of the political wrung now receive perfunctory or no media coverage and little comment.

On July 18 in Germany, another “Allahu Akbar” shouting, axe-waving Muslim attacked train passengers and critically injured five.  The next day, on July 19 in France, a Muslim man stabbed a woman and her three daughters—the eight-year-old was left with a punctured lung and in critical condition—for being “scantily dressed.”

No immediate comments from Merkel and Valls.  (See here for numerous other examples of “minor” and “everyday” Muslim “disturbances” in Europe—such as vandalizing churches and urinating on St. Mary statues—that get little or no coverage or comment.)

Western people had better wise up: in the field of behavioral psychology, “systematic desensitization” is a well-known and effective form of graduated exposure therapy used “to help effectively overcome phobias and other anxiety disorders.”  Consider the following succinct definition with my relevant examples in brackets:

Systematic desensitization is when the client [the West] is exposed to the anxiety-producing stimulus [Islamic violence] at a low level [reports and images of Islamic violence “over there” in the Mideast], and once no anxiety is present a stronger version of the anxiety-producing stimulus is given [reports of violence closer to home, in the West]. This continues until the individual client [the West] no longer feels any anxiety towards the stimulus [Islamic violence].

Is this the plan?  Are the “global elite” producing situations, such as the manufactured “migrant crisis,” that cause the West to experience incrementally worse forms of Islamic violence, until it becomes desensitized, loses its “phobia”—in this case, “Islamophobia”—and simply “learns to live with terrorism,” in the words of France’s prime minister?

Indeed, if the attacks were to fall back to, say, just once a month, many might accept that as a “positive step” they can live with—at least in comparison to what they’ve been seeing, including four savage Islamic attacks in one recent week in Germany alone.

“Conspiracy theories” aside, a much better way exists.  Acknowledge the truth—Islam is inherently violent and intolerant—and build policies on this truth.  A ban on or serious vetting of Muslim immigration—which a majority of Americans support—and close monitoring of already existing mosques and Islamic centers would virtually eliminate Islamic terror from America.

For the fact remains: unlike natural disasters—earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and the like—we actually do not need to live with Islam.

Also see: