Smokescreens in Islam: Confusing the Public about the Facts

Gatestone Institute, by Denis MacEoin, April 29, 2017:

  • Qadri’s admirable take on terrorism conceals another large elephant in the room. Islam has for centuries used violence against non-Muslims in what is considered a legitimate manner: through jihad. It is not simply that Muslim armies have fought their enemies much as Christian armies have engaged in war. Jihad is commanded in the later verses of the Qur’an, is endorsed in the Traditions and the biography of Muhammad, and codified in the manuals of shari’a law. Qadri knows this perfectly well, and at times inadvertently reveals as much in several ways.
  • Qadri does not just insist that Islam is a religion of peace and security. By tucking all references to jihad in footnotes in transliterated Arabic, he never has to explain what it is about and how it relates to his rulings on what is and what is not permissible.
  • It is hard to be a reasonably knowledgeable Muslim and not know that calls for violence pervade the Qur’an and sacred traditions, or that Islamic armies have been fighting European Christians, Indian Hindus, and others since the 7thcentury.
  • Islam, after all, conquered Persia, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Spain and most of Eastern Europe — until its armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

Following the terrorist attack outside Britain’s Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017, it was not surprising or wrong that many Muslims denounced the attack and declared it to be un-Islamic. Two days afterwards, Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Shropshire Islamic Foundation, said:

We need to be united in this situation.

We should not give any religion a bad name and these people need to be dealt with in full force and there should be zero tolerance when it comes to dealing with them.

My heart goes out to these victims. And my heart goes out to the people’s families and those who are injured. I pray they all have peace in their minds.

He added:

There is no place for these acts in the religion of Islam.

The people are being radicalised and the young and vulnerable people need to be protected.

We need to disassociate this with Islam, as Islam is a religion of peace.

This view was echoed in a press release by the Foundation, in which sympathy for the dead and their families was followed by a commitment to non-violence: “as a community, we need to come together to condemn violence and hatred and work towards cohesion and tolerance”.

More recently, a document about Islamophobia published by the Green Party of the United States affirmed the purportedly peaceful character of Islam:

The highest goal of the Islamic faith is Peace. Peace is pursued over all and for Muslims the world over, ‘holy war’ has nothing to do with the concept of jihad. The Arabic word translates as ‘struggle,’ and is used a handful of times in the Quran to speak of the struggle to stay on the righteous path, to fulfill obligations to family, community and Creator, what the Islamic scholars call a higher jihad.

These claims, however, seem innocent of the verses that say:

So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds…. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah — never will He waste their deeds. Surah Muhammad [47:4]

Or:

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. [Sahih International] Verse (8:60)

There are said to be 123 verses in the Quran concerning fighting and killing for the cause of Allah — more than a few.

These claims also show that many people seem to be buying into the narrative of Islam as a perfect religion of peace, even if saying so runs counter to more than 1400 years of history and the official record of classical Islamic scholarship about jihad. Islam, after all, conquered Persia, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Spain and most of Eastern Europe — until its armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

At the same time, there can be no doubt that Muslim leaders who speak out against terrorism and radicalism need our support and that they must be the very people governments, churches, and the security services speak to and work with if we are to head towards the deradicalisation of Muslim communities in the West. Qureshi’s remarks deserve to be taken at face value. Neither he nor his foundation and its associated mosque and academy has any known links to radicalism. They belong to the largest mainstream form of Sunni Islam, the Hanafi school of Islamic law, and there is no overt reason that Qureshi is not sincere in his belief that Islam is a religion of peace.

At the same time, however, he must know better. His own second name is Mujahid, which means “a fighter in the jihad”. Not only that, but his mosque is, like most others in the UK, Deobandi in orientation; and it is out of Deobandi madrasas [Islamic religious schools] that the Taliban originated. Deobandi Islam, although mainstream, has over the years appealed to Muslims in Pakistan and abroad who have a fundamentalist disposition. Qureshi cannot be unaware of that. It is hard to be a reasonably knowledgeable Muslim and not know that calls for violence pervade the Qur’an and sacred Traditions, or that Islamic armies have been fighting European Christians, Indian Hindus, and others since the 7th century.

What we in the West know is that a string of modern politicians and churchmen in Europe and North America have, like Qureshi, insisted — perhaps in a sometimes-desperate attempt to dissociate Islamic terrorism from the religion of Islam — that Islam is a religion of peace. The violence, they say, is a perversion of Islam, and they say this even as terrorist after terrorist invokes Islam as his motivation and shouts “Allahu Akbar!” [“Allah is the greatest!”] while committing the crime. Terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State, confidently quote the Qur’an, Traditions [Hadith] and shari’a legislation to justify their attacks.

Western leaders often turn to Muslim imams and scholars to confirm their view that Islam is essentially like modern Judaism or Christianity, if not a mirror image of the Quaker religion. A major expression of this approach is a book by a leading Pakistani scholar, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Translated into English, this book of some 400 pages is entitled, Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings (London, 2010). It has been widely praised as an outstanding authoritative text that demonstrates that terrorism of any kind is contrary to Islamic teachings and law — an argument reinforced by hundreds of citations from the Qur’an, Traditions, and a host of classical Muslim authorities.

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (1951-) is a scholar and religious leader with an LLB and a PhD in Islamic Law; a politician (he founded the anti-government Pakistan Awami Tehreek party in 1989), and an international speaker. He is touted as having studied since childhood the many branches of religious studies under his father and other teachers, and having authored on Islamic topics one thousand books (not an uncommon claim among Muslim writers). He comes from a Barelvi/Sufi background, the main opposition to Deobandi Islam in Pakistan and abroad. Qadri is also the head of Minhaj-ul-Quran, an international organization that promotes Islamic moderation and inter-faith work.

Qadri and his organization have made a mark on political and religious leaders in many places. On September 24, 2011, Minhaj-ul-Quran held a large conference in London’s Wembley Arena. Qadri and other speakers issued a declaration of peace on behalf of representatives of several religions, scholars and politicians. The conference was endorsed by the Rector of Al-Azhar University (the chief academy in the Sunni Islamic world); Ban Ki-Moon (Secretary General of the UN); Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation); David Cameron (British Prime Minister); Nick Clegg (British Deputy Prime Minister) and Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury), among others.

It is not surprising, then, that Qadri’s fatwa has made a great impression on many concerned about terrorism instigated and carried out by organizations that lay claim to a connection with Islam. There can be no doubt that a condemnation of Islamic terrorism coming from an eminent Muslim figure is an important contribution to the struggle to contain and eventually eliminate not just the terror but the radicalisation that inevitably precedes it.

At the same time, however, it may be argued that while Qadri presents strong religious rulings that reject acts such as suicide bombings that characterise modern movements as in Islamic State, he fails to prove his claim that, “Islam is a religion of peace and security, and it urges others to pursue the path of peace and protection” (p. 21). His fatwa, in fact, only proves that certain types of violence and certain types of victims are illegal within Islamic scripture and law. It does not show that Islam is, in its essence, a pacifist, peace-loving faith. Let us try to disentangle this.

The fatwa rightly devotes several chapters to important topics: “The Unlawfulness of Indiscriminately Killing Muslims” (chapter 2); “The Unlawfulness of Indiscriminately Killing Non-Muslims and Torturing Them” (chapter 3); “The Unlawfulness of Terrorism against Non-Muslims – Even During Times of War” (chapter 4); “On the Protection of the Non-Muslims’ Lives, Properties and Places of Worship” (chapter 5); and “The Unlawfulness of Forcing One’s Belief upon Others and Destroying Places of Worship” (chapter 6).

This is certainly a massive improvement on the rulings of Salafi sheikhs who support Islamic terrorist groups and issue fatwas to support things such as murder and suicide bombings. The leading Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, for example, for a long time insisted that suicide bombings carried out by Palestinian terrorists were a legitimate form of self-defence — and his fatwas encouraged other sheikhs to advocate suicide attacks.

The average reader is unlikely to read the entire book; even in a glance through it, much will be missed. One might well assume that Islam, as portrayed by Qadri, opposes terrorism for much the same ethical reasons that Jews, Christians and others oppose it. But a close reading shows that he is operating from a different premise to non-Muslims. His concern is to read everything in a close context of Islamic law — not ethics. This is particularly noticeable in the legal underpinnings he gives to almost everything. He devotes chapters 8-11 (pp.171-237) to an extremely conventional discussion of the evils of rebelling against an Islamic government even if its ruler were corrupt. Terrorists, he asserts, are to be condemned because they take up arms against their governments. By this definition, the rebel groups fighting against Bashar al-Assad in Syria must be condemned because they have taken up arms against their lawful ruler.

He also devotes chapters 12-17 (pp. 239-395) to drawing a comparison between today’s terrorists and the earliest Muslim rebellious group, the Kharijites. The Kharijites emerged after the first schism in Islam, following the assignation of the third Caliph, when they rebelled against both the fourth Caliph, ‘Ali, and the man who became the ruler of the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750), which created the first Islamic Empire. The dissenters shocked followers of the young faith by declaring those with whom they disagreed to be apostates worthy of death. In their first years, they murdered hundreds of Muslims. Their use of terror against other Muslims and their rebellion against the Islamic state earned them a reputation as the greatest threat to the unity of the Muslim world. By focusing so narrowly on the Kharijites in his anti-terror polemic, Qadri reveals that his concerns are based purely on Islamic considerations, not broader concepts of justice. Christians, Jews, secularists, and others, for instance, condemn terrorism as a breach of human rights, Judaeo-Christian ethics, and international law. Qadri is not interested in any of those things, just the impropriety of terrorist actions in relation to Islamic law. This narrow view allows him to ignore the wider questions of violence in Islamic scripture, law, and history.

Qadri’s admirable take on terrorism conceals a large elephant in the room. Islam has for centuries used violence against non-Muslims in what is considered a legitimate manner, through jihad. It is not simply that Muslim armies have fought their enemies much as Christian armies have engaged in war. Jihad is commanded in the later verses of the Qur’an, is endorsed in the Traditions and the biography of Muhammad, and codified in the manuals of shari’a law. Qadri knows this perfectly well, and at times inadvertently reveals as much in several ways.

The word jihad, for example, occurs many times in the fatwa, usually when he refers in footnotes to chapters in the great Tradition collections — records of prophetic injunctions to holy war; the prophet’s own engagements in jihad, or his sending out raiding parties to engage with non-believers. Thus, when Qadri tells us that it is unlawful to kill non-Muslim women and children, the elderly, traders and farmers, and so forth, he is citing the rules of engagement in jihad, and not that holy war against non-Muslims is foresworn in Islamic texts. Everything he cites against the use of terrorism is actually taken from classical sources that explain the rules that apply to fighting jihad; not that jihad is illegitimate.

Qadri does not merely insist that Islam is a religion of peace and security. By tucking all references to jihad in footnotes in transliterated Arabic, he never has to explain what Islam is about and how it relates to his rulings on what is and what is not permissible. He expands on this theme:

“The most significant proof of this is that God has named it Islam. The word Islam is derived from the Arabic word salama or salima. It means peace, security, safety and protection. As for its literal meaning, Islam denotes absolute peace. As a religion, it is peace incarnate.” (p. 21).

A few pages later, he expands on this, writing a long passage “On the Literal Meaning of the Word Islam” (pp. 25-34), interspersed with quotations illustrating this. He correctly links the word “Islam” to the three-consonant root “s-l-m”, which has undisputed connections to concepts of peace and security. He even writes at one point “… every noun or verb derived from Islam, and every derivative or word conjugated (sic) from it, essentially denotes peace, protection, security and safety”.

Just a minute. Qadri is a fully trained Arabist; he even makes references to major Arabic dictionaries. So he really has no excuse for writing such nonsense. It is exactly that on at least two levels. Arabic roots create dozens of words with different meanings, and “slm” is particularly rich in vocabulary. Salma and silm may indeed mean “peace”, but salam means both “forward buying” and a variety of the acacia tree. Sullam means a ladder, stairs, a musical scale, a means, instrument or tool. Salama means “blamelessness, flawlessness, and success”. Salim can mean “healthy” or “sane”. Sulama means the “phalanx” bone. Sulaymani is mercury chloride –there are many more examples.

At a deeper level, most Arabic verbs can have up to fifteen (more usually ten) forms, each with different meanings. The root that Qadri relates to peace has almost no forms that relate to peace at all. The fourth form, aslama, is the one that gives us the verbal noun islam. The fourth form has several meanings, none of which refers to peace. Instead, it means “to forsake, leave, abandon, to deliver up, surrender, to resign oneself or to submit”. The most reliable Arabic-English dictionary by Wehr translates islam as “submission, resignation”, including submission to the will of God. Unfortunately for Qadri, therefore, Islam does not mean peace. The word for peace is salam. The word Islam means, unambiguously, submission [to the will God or Allah].

Let us return to Chapter 5, where Qadri inadvertently reveals the extent of the pretence he is making that Islam is a religion of peace that cares for non-Muslim lives and property. The examples he gives are genuine, but he omits a crucial fact. Only Jews and Christians (and later, Zoroastrians in Iran) are entitled to protection within a Muslim state or empire. Qadri calls them “citizens”, but the truth is that only Muslims can be regarded in that light. Jews and Christians are dhimmi peoples, tolerated under certain humiliating conditions. They are somewhat favoured on account of their having been sent scriptures and prophets, but disfavoured because they have not accepted Allah, or God’s last prophet, Muhammad. Moreover, if they initially resist Muslim invaders, they must be fought through a jihad war. Once defeated, they only have the right to keep their lives, property, and places of worship on payment of a special tax known as jizya, a form of protection money. They are also forced to live under severe restrictions, penalties and mistreatment designed to humiliate them and keep them in their place as the inferiors of Muslims. By not speaking of dhimmitude, the payment of jizya, or more than one thousand years of vulnerability of Christian nations to jihad wars, Qadri again pulls the wool over unquestioning, if well-meaning, eyes of non-Muslims.

So what exactly is Qadri up to? He is concealing important information and distorting the Arabic vocabulary in order to drive home a narrative of Islam’s deep connection to peace and security. His strictures against terrorism are sincere and valuable, yet his whitewashing of historical, legal and scriptural treatment of non-Muslims and the actual practice of jihad only serves to perpetuate a myth.

Qadri and many others who adopt this position are, sadly, engaged in setting up a smokescreen. The tactic, as a comment explains, may be found online:

“To get people to believe in two contradictory beliefs, present them both as part of a larger belief system where it is more important to accept the whole system than question ‘minor’ inconsistencies within it.”

That, surely, is exactly how Qadri and so many others (even members of America’s left-leaning parties) come to function.

It is crucial to be able to see and identify this smokescreen if we do not want to throw the baby (opposition to Islamic terrorism) out with the bathwater (whitewashing the truth). Nevertheless, it is vital to expose and to challenge it if we are ever to come to terms with the true nature of Islam as an expansionist, religio-political ideology.

When Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri conceals important information and distorts Arabic vocabulary in order to drive home a narrative of Islam’s deep connection to peace and security, he is engaged in setting up a smokescreen. (Image source: ServingIslam/Wikimedia Commons)

Dr. Denis MacEoin has spent a lifetime studying Islam and related matters. He has been a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute since 2014.

An Islam of Their Very Own

image-see-no-evil-triangleNational Review, by Andrew McCarthy, Dec. 4, 2015:

The day after the San Bernardino jihadist attack that left fourteen dead and even more wounded, my old boss, Rudy Giuliani, came out and said what most sane people are thinking. After hours of pained, halting, incoherent babbling by public officials from President Obama on down about whether the mass-killing by two heavily armed, obviously well-trained Muslims constituted a terrorist attack, Rudy exploded:

You can come to one clear conclusion with the information they have right now. This is an act of terror. The question was motivation. . . . The question here is not, is it an act of terror. We’re beyond that. When you got two assault weapons, two handguns, you’re in body armor, you got a home that’s booby-trapped. You’ve [ACM: meaning “they’ve”] been practicing to do this. . . . If you can’t come to a conclusion at this point that this was an act of terror, you should find something else to do for a living besides law enforcement. I mean, you’re a moron.

Hard to argue with that.

But look, if you actually speak with the police and federal agents conducting the investigation into the attack, you figure out pretty quickly that they are not morons. They are actually very good at what they do. So why is it that, upon seeing two-plus-two, they can’t call it four when Islam is involved?

I’ve been trying to explain this for many years, beginning in Willful Blindness, a memoir about prosecuting terrorists in the Clinton era, and in a stack of columns here at National Review, including one from a few years back that described how our government, under administrations of both parties and the bipartisan Beltway ruling class, has constructed “an Islam of their very own.”

Rudy is right that what they’ve done is moronic, but there is a logic to it. It goes like this.

The government denies that terrorism is caused by Islamic doctrine. This is a triumph of willful blindness and political correctness best illustrated by former British home secretary Jacqui Smith, who might as well have been speaking for our government when she branded terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.” That is: the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam but becomes, by dint of its being violence, contrary to Islam. This must be so because the British government, like our government, insists Islam is a “religion of peace.”

Now, this is absurd, of course. There are various ways of interpreting Islam, and millions of Muslims manage to “contextualize” Islamic scripture’s numerous commands to conduct holy war, reasoning that these divine injunctions applied only to their historical time and place and are no longer relevant. Yet, even if you buy this line of thinking, that does not make Islam a peaceful belief system. Verses like “Fight those who believe not in Allah,” and “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war,” are not peaceful injunctions, no matter how one “contextualizes” them.

More to the point, the stubborn reality is: There will always be a large percentage of Muslims who believe these scriptures (and the many others like them) mean exactly what they say.

Our government is in denial of this. Unwilling to deal with Islam as it is, the government must make up an Islam of its very own. Regardless of the abundance of evidence to the contrary, the government holds that Islam is a religion of peace, case closed. (Such a laughable case has to be closed because it cannot withstand even slight examination).

Therefore, to the government, terrorism committed by people who happen to be Muslim is not in any way a reflection of any legitimate interpretation of Islam — even if Islamic supremacist ideology, which endorses jihadist violence, is so mainstream that tens of millions of Muslims adhere to it. Remember, here in America as in Western Europe, the violence is deemed anti-Islamic. That is what has been dictated to our law-enforcement agents by their superiors. If those were your instructions, you’d be babbling like a moron, too.

So, what are the policy implications of the government’s constructing its own fantasy Islam, the one and only principle of which is pacifism? Here are a few of the worst.

It means that Islamic doctrine can never be cited as the cause of terrorism. This leads, for example, to the preposterous government handwringingover “radicalization”: You are apparently supposed to believe young people, all of whom just happen to be Muslim, spontaneously become violent radicals — as if there were no doctrine or body of thought that was inducing the radicalization. You are only to say they have been “radicalized” — never mention by what.

Fantasy Islam also leads inexorably to the irrational decree that terrorist organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda are not Islamic. You are to conclude that they are either wanton killers or that they have “hijacked” and “perverted” Islam into something that it is not — something that cannot be dignified with the name “Islam” because Islam, after all, is a religion of peace.

The most ludicrous fallout of this line of thinking is the one Rudy rightly labels moronic: The apparent inability of government officials to call a mass-murder attack by Muslims a terrorist attack. But again, if you follow the government’s official party line, you understand the reluctance of these officials: The only terrorists the government acknowledges as terrorists are formally designated terrorist groups — ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah. As we’ve seen, the government has pronounced these groups to be anti-Islamic.

Thus, if the police come upon a mass-murder attack that is clearly instigated by Islamic doctrine, they are not permitted to conclude that it is terrorism because they’ve been directed to maintain that Islam is against terrorism. Consequently, the agents believe they cannot call terrorism terrorism unless and until they uncover evidence proving that the Muslim mass-murderers have some tie to a designated “non-Islamic” terrorist group, such as ISIS or al-Qaeda.

It is rare for such evidence to be uncovered early in an investigation. And the fact of the matter is, such evidence will often never be uncovered because it doesn’t exist. It will frequently turn out that the Muslims who’ve committed the atrocity have been “radicalized” by Islamic doctrine, straightforwardly interpreted as Islamic supremacism by their fellow Islamists at the local mosque and Islamic center. They don’t need mediation, help, or instruction from ISIS or al Qaeda. They already share the same ideology as these groups, the goal of imposing Allah’s law (sharia). All they really need in order to execute terrorist attacks is paramilitary training. That is readily available in many Muslim communities; you don’t need to go to an al-Qaeda or ISIS training camp to get it.

Notice that there is a treacherous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own content-free, obsessively peaceful Islam. Not only can terrorism never be associated with it. Anyone who is publicly associated with Islam by the government must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate the policy-making organs of counterterrorism.

The government, particularly under the control of President Obama, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization — notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand the Brotherhood as “largely secular.” Under the government’s imaginary Islam, acknowledging a group as Islamic perforce gives them a clean bill of health: They are deemed “peaceful,” “moderate,” and steadfastly opposed to terrorism.

And never you mind that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. The beautiful thing about making up an Islam of their very own is that government officials never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

And that’s why they won’t say the terrorist attack in San Bernardino is the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

***

Islam’s Dangerous Degrees of Devotion

Cartoon for 3/23/06American Thinker, By Carol Brown, Feb. 20, 2015:

The obsession to convince us that most Muslims are moderate and that Islam is a religion of peace brings to mind Shakespeare’s “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” Is there any other religion that draws such an incessant chorus of voices proclaiming the religion to be peaceful?

No.

It is only the case with Islam that we hear the ceaseless lie because it is the only religion that warrants explanation on a daily basis. If the explanation reflected the truth, we might actually win this war that has been waged against us – a war that has been raging to a greater or lesser degree for 1400 years.

The fact is, Islam is a political doctrine of war. In the West, it is also a religion of caveats.

The caveats

According to the uninformed or intentionally misleading, Muslims generally fall into one of two categories.  There is the ever-elusive “moderate” Muslim, though it’s not clear what that means.

According to the uninformed or intentionally misleading, moderate Muslims follow a peaceful religion and are presumed to be like any other group of reasonable, law-abiding, freedom-loving folk.

But there is ample evidence to show that moderate Muslims might also represent jihad lite. “Moderate” may describe the kind of Muslims the Obama administration is importing from places like Syria who have had “minor” associations with terrorists. Or perhaps they are American Muslims who believe that drawing a parody of Mohammed should be a criminal offense, with some saying the person should receive the death penalty.

In any case, if there’s a moderate version of a religion, there must be a pious orthodox version. Which brings us to the other category for Muslims: extremists. They are the ones who commit heinous acts of violence by, presumably, misrepresenting Islam. Although that’s a bit confusing because people can’t represent an extreme form of something while simultaneously not representing that something in any way, shape, or form.

So increasingly, the uninformed or intentionally misleading tell us that Islam has nothing to do with these “extremists.” Apparently it’s a gigantic coincidence that these savages keep shouting “Allahu Akbar” while quoting the Quran chapter and verse as they kidnap, rape, behead, burn, execute, and destroy every living thing in their path.

Are we to believe these barbarians have come across an imposter version of the Quran that is different from the real Quran – the one that preaches nothing but love for humankind?

By removing the words Islam/Islamic from descriptions of Islamic terror, all that remains is a vague, generic, and incomplete description of the truth: “Extremist.”

The key word that truly informs is left out: Islam/Islamic.

This verbal manipulation occurs repeatedly. It is embraced and peddled by regular folks, the media, far too many in the GOP, just about everyone on the left, and of course the Obama administration. A recent example among an ever-growing list was Obama’s summit to “fight violent extremism around the world” – as if we are witnessing a strange phenomenon of random worldwide violence perpetrated by random demographic groups targeting random people.

But back to the caveats.

If moderates represent the true nature of Islam and extremists have nothing to do with Islam, that leaves only moderates. In which case, why would those who follow Islamic teachings need an extra descriptor (“moderate”) at all? They wouldn’t. They would just be Muslims – the people who follow a religion called Islam.

So, good. We’ve found some common ground. We can toss out these needless caveats because Islam is Islam is Islam. And Islam by any standard is extreme at its core.

Now, how to awaken the brainwashed masses to this growing problem (understatement) that threatens all of civilization?

The uninformed or intentionally misleading

The uninformed or intentionally misleading willingly spew opinions as facts. The most common refrain we hear is that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

Working in tandem with the daily dishing of lies is the distraction method. This is when “not all Muslims are terrorists” is pulled out of the proverbial closet.

Complicating this disgraceful situation is the fact that the uninformed or intentionally misleading are rarely challenged when they spread this garbage around.

So when someone says that Islam is peaceful and that terrorists do not represent Islam, they need to be called out every single time and asked:

  • Upon what do you base your assertion?
  • Have you read the Quran? If so, do you understand the meaning of Chapter 2, Verse 106: Abrogation, or what the word taqiyya means?
  • Why do you assume all religions are created equal? Do you think all ideas the same; that none are better than others?
  • Are you afraid to speak the truth because you fear retaliation against you and/or your family and/or your employer?

The truth

First of all, Islam is not so much a religion as it is a political ideology. The ultimate goal is world domination. If that sounds crazy or extreme, I didn’t make it up. It’s written in the Quran and it is central to Islam’s history of conquest over the past 1400 years. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here among a long list of examples.)

Second, while it is often said that not all Muslims are terrorists, the discourse tends to stop there or gets re-routed away from the central point. But it shouldn’t. Because here’s the deal: Some Muslims are terrorists. And given the size of the population of Muslims on the planet, “some” is quite a lot.

But what of the rest of the population of Muslims?

While most do not commit outright acts of terror, many of them support terror. And they do so in a variety of ways, including financial support, political activism, and brainwashing their children. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here among numerous examples.)

Then there are those who are not terrorists and who don’t overtly support terror, but who have attitudes that support it or feel ambiguous toward it, including those who support Sharia law – an oppressive and draconian legal system based on Islamic supremacy.

When you do the math, as Ben Shapiro did, you wind up with quite a few Muslims – millions and millions of them – with a vision for civilization that is at odds with Western values. Shapiro’s analysis of a Pew Research poll revealed that more than half of the total Muslim population on earth hold radical views. Additional polls and analyses point to similar conclusions.

We can speak the truth. Or we can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the Islamic invasion that is well underway. So far the West is doing the latter. Which makes it all the more urgent that every single one of us step forward to the front lines of this battle. Speak the truth at every opportunity and educate others. Because the propaganda machine runs 24/7.

And it is powerful and effective.

Earlier this month a Des Moines Register poll of likely caucus participants revealed that 53% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats had a positive view of Islam as a peaceful religion. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say most, if not all, of those who make up these numbers are uninformed.

They need to learn the truth.

Who will tell them?

That would be us.

The threshold of outrage on jihad

1157American Thinker, by Carol Brown, Feb. 6, 2015:

Millions of people around the world were horrified by the recent display of abject barbarism when ISIS doused Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh with accelerant, put him in a cage, and burned him alive.

And horrified we should be.

Some say, as I have read in comments on blogs, that perhaps this act of terror will be the catalyst that will wake people up to the ruthless and relentless savagery sweeping across the Middle East under the banner of the Islamic State. And the awakened masses will finally understand what we are up against and who the enemy is.

But I’m not so sure.

Were many not horrified by recent beheadings of journalists and aid workers?

Were many not shocked by the murders at the office of Charlie Hebdo? (Less so by the Jews murdered later that day because, well apparently, they were just Jews.)

Remember when it was plastered all over the news that Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of girls and sold them as sex slaves? Or the plight of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar? Or people being crucified, buried alive, raped, and butchered?

Or news of daily horrors in Muslim majority countries where women are whipped, stoned, beheaded, and girls are burned alive, to name but a few barbaric practices dictated by Sharia/Islamic law.

Remember when terror tunnels reaching into Israel were discovered (tunnels that are now being rebuilt with our tax dollars)?  Or when jihadists crept into the home of an Israeli family and slit the throats of nearly every single family member who lay asleep?

People and children maimed and murdered. One at a time. A family at a time. A village at a time.

Remember Benghazi? So much horror has unfolded since that horror that it runs the risk of becoming a distant memory.

And what of the Islamic terror attack that killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11, leaving the world in shock, disbelief, sorrow, and rage? (Though many also celebrated the darkness that befell America on that fateful day.)

And then there was the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. The Fort Hood jihadist. The Islamic terrorists who bombed the USS Cole, a Madrid train, a London subway, the Boston Marathon, and Pan-Am flight 93.

There were the Air France flight 139 hijackers, the US Embassy in Beirut bombers, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires suicide bombers, as well as the jihadists who kidnapped and murdered members of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich.

Along with the bombings of US Embassies in East Africa, the Khobar Towers, the Beirut Marine barracks, and the World Trade Center (1993). And the Mumbai terrorist attack and the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking and murder.

As well as people butchered and beheaded on the streets of Western nations, one in four women raped by Muslim men in countries like Sweden, Jews who are routinely attacked in countries like France, ongoing acts of terror against Jews in Israel, Christian genocide in the Middle East, and on and on and on.

To name but a few examples.

Not only are there countless more examples from the past few years (just last month alone, nearly 4,000 people were murdered and another 2, 261 were critically injured in 266 jihad attacks spanning 28 countries), but you can go back in time – 1400 years more or less – and find nothing but violence perpetuated upon the earth in the name of Islam.

So to return to my original point: If this centuries-long history doesn’t impress. And if unthinkably savage events in our lifetime haven’t already awakened the sleeping masses, I’m not convinced anything will.

Except, perhaps, this:

Speaking the truth about the underlying ideology that drives this bloodbath. Educating others about the words written in the Koran that demand that non-Muslims convert, pay the jizya tax, or die. Helping people realize that these acts of jihad are not isolated events. Spreading the word that Islam is not a religion of peace, but rather a political ideology of subjugation and war. And rejecting at every turn this nation’s plunge into darkness as the president stands with evil – aligning himself with and negotiating with those who wish to destroy us.

May every single human being who has fallen beneath the sword of Islam rest in peace and may their deaths not be in vain.

Pope Francis: Mahmoud Abbas is a “Man of Peace”

pa1-450x307by :

AP reported Sunday that “Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel’s controversial separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts ‘unacceptable.’”

Not only that, but “Palestinian officials hailed Francis’ decision to refer to the ‘state of Palestine.’ In its official program, the Vatican referred to President Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the ‘state of Palestine,’ and his Bethlehem office as the ‘presidential palace.’ He pointedly called Abbas a ‘man of peace.’”

This is not really all that surprising. After all, this is the Pope who wrote last November that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” If “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” then Abbas is certainly a “man of peace.”

Abbas is the “man of peace” who said on March 15, 2013: “As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” He said that while undoubtedly knowing that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna is quoted in the Hamas Charter as saying: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV has featured a music video that proclaimed: “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.”

The “man of peace” heads up Fatah, which is hardly more “moderate.” Palestinian Media Watch reported on May 14 that “on one of its official Facebook pages the Fatah movement, which is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, yesterday posted a warning to Israelis. A sign showed an assault rifle and a map of ‘Palestine’ that included both PA areas and all of Israel. In Arabic, Hebrew, and English it said: ‘Warning. This is a land of a Palestinian state and the occupation to leave immediately’ (English original).”

Likewise, in mid-March, Palestinian official Abbas Zaki, a close friend of the “man of peace,” declared: “These Israelis have no belief, no principles. They are an advanced instrument of evil. They say, the Holocaust, and so on – fine, why are they doing this to us? Therefore, I believe that Allah, will gather them so we can kill them. I am informing the murderer of his death.” Fatah has also vowed to “adhere to the option of armed resistance until the liberation of all of Palestine,” and threatened to “turn the beloved [Gaza] Strip into a graveyard for your soldiers, and we will turn Tel Aviv into a ball of fire.”

Read more at Front Page

Response to A GUIDE TO REFUTING JIHADISM – Critiquing radical Islamist claims to theological authenticity

download (69)By Mark Durie:

The Henry Jackson Society had just launched a guide to rejecting jihadi theologies in Islam, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism by Rashad Ali and Hannah Stuart.  There are also forewords by two Sheikhs, including one from Al-Azhar University, and endorsements from other Muslim leaders.

Although the appearance of this guide as a welcome acknowledgement that jihadi violence is theologically motivated, its use of Islamic sources is flawed and unconvincing, and there are risks for secular governments in embracing its arguments.

It is good that the theological motivations for jihadi movements are being acknowledged and engaged with by peaceable Muslims.

This is not a new strategy.  It is necessary and the strategy has long been used by authorities as a counter to jihadi movements.  For example the British empire extracted fatwas from Mecca and Istanbul in the 19th century to declare that British India was not ‘Dar al-Harb’ [House of War], but Dar al-Islam [House of Islam]’, which meant that it was forbidden for Muslims to engage in insurgencies against the British.  Muslim leaders have always asked their scholars to produce such rulings to counter violent rebellions.  This is also a traditional Islamic technique for controlling the undeniable tendency that Islamic theology has to generate violent rebel movements.

This project is also helpful because it acknowledges what is often denied – that the credibility of radical jihadism relies upon religious, theological claims.  It claims Islamic legitimacy and uses this to gain converts.  It is true that to counter this religious legitimacy it is necessary to use theological arguments.

However there are some dangers here for Western governments.  One is that there will be a cost to adopting theological positions on Islam.  Is a secular state really in a position to make an announcement that one particular form of Islam is ‘correct’ over others? This is like saying that catholicism is correct, but the baptist faith is not.  And if the state does canonize a “theologically correct” view on Islam, would it really be persuasive to the minds of young radically inclined Muslims that a secular government is teaching Islam to them, or would it just incite suspicion, and detract from the credibility of voices of moderation within the Muslim community?  Also where does combating radicalism start and promoting Islam start? (The al-Azar Sheikh in his introduction [in Arabic] to the report sees the report as an exercise in spreading Islam, not just in combating radicalism.)

The great weakness in the arguments offered is that they appear to be opportunistic and often ignore conflicting evidence. For example on the subject of suicide bombing, a wide range of modern Muslim scholars have endorsed martyrdom operations against Israel.  It is not just al-Qaradawi or Al-Qaida ideologues who say this: senior respected contemporary jurists such as the Syrian jurist Al-Bouti have endorsed these attacks. To counter this tactic a more whole-hearted acknowledgement of the weightof Islamic voices which have endorsed it.

There is also a tendency to cherry pick texts.  For example Al-Ghazali is cited to support an argument against killing women and children, but his justification of collateral damage against civilians is ignored:

‘[O]ne must go on jihad at least once a year… one may use a catapult against them when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them.’

Another example is the discussion of ‘perfidy’ or ‘subterfuge’ in warfare.  It is claimed on the basis of a hadith from [hadith collection] Sahih Muslim that Islam forbids the use of deception in warfare, a key point in the theology of the suicide attacks often referred to as ‘martyrdom operations’.  However the hadith is cited from a secondary source, and the translation is not accurate.  The actual Arabic in Sahih Muslim (translated more accurately here) forbids stealing booty and says that a Muslim is not supposed to break his ‘pledge’, so this is not about deception in warfare in general.  The authors also have ignored a very well-known hadith of Muhammad in which he said, ‘War is deceit’.   This approach sets up a straw man – a weakly argued jihadi position – only to knock it down. In Islam, support for deception in warfare is more resistant to re-analysis than this.

In the discussion on citizenship – which is a very important issue in Islamic law: can Muslims be loyal citizens? – the authors overlook important rulings collected by the International Fiqh Academy on this issue, which go against their position.

Furthermore, in discussions on the treatment of non-combatants, the authors ignore Muhammad’s command for several hundred non-combatant Jewish men from the Qurayza tribe to be beheaded after they surrendered to him unconditionally.  For radically inclined Muslims, Muhammad’s example would trump the musings of medieval theologians.

One of the problems with citing arguments from later jurists and commentators, which is the preferred approach of the Guide’s authors, is that most jihadis’ theology is Salafist, and as such it looks to the early sources on Islam – the Qur’an, the example of Muhammad and the testimony of the companions of Muhammad – to construct their war theologies.  Such people will not be persuaded by arguments based on later interpreters, which appears to be the main polemical tactic of this Guide.

Of course, as soon as one raises such objections, one runs the risk of being accused of supporting the jihadis.  Nevertheless, the fact is that the radical jihadis have more support than this document would acknowledge, especially in the canonical sources, and the arguments used against them would convince few.  Would these arguments be convincing to a well-trained Muslim scholar? I think not.

The strongest Islamic argument of all against jihadi theology is the ‘necessity’ argument: that it will harm Islam by causing its reputation to be destroyed among Muslims, and incite infidels to attack Muslims.  We are seeking such arguments being presented these days across the Middle East. General Sisi is being applauded in Egypt for ‘saving’ the reputation of Islam from the Muslim Brotherhood.  This argument is not based upon an appeal to theological legitimacy of specific positions, but pragmatic necessity, and what is in the best interests of the Muslim community.  Of course this argument would not have any traction at all if the militaries of Islamic states had the power to challenge those of non-Muslim countries.  Then it would probably be in the best interests of the Muslim world to pursue war.  The argument only works if it is not in Muslims’ interests to be at war.

What about the Al-Azhar Sheikh’s support?  This is political.  In the current political climate Al-Azhar must support the anti-jihadi cause.  The Brotherhood are being killed and wiped out due to their violent theologies.  The wind is blowing against the jihadi position.  It is significant that the Sheikh does not endorse specific arguments of the book – I suspect he knows better – but only the general intention of the project.

Works like this guide can back-fire.  On the one hand they acknowledge that the problem of jihadi violence is theological.  On the other hand, through the use of weak arguments relying on cherry-picked sources, they run the risk of validating the radicals’ position even more.  Perhaps their real function is to ‘save Islam’ in the eyes of moderately inclined Muslims and theologically illiterate secular people, who have an ideological preference  to embrace the narrative that the jihadis have ‘hijacked’ Islam.

But will this help to defuse Islamic jihadism?  I doubt it.

Revd Dr Mark Durie is an Anglican priest, Fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, and a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum in the US.  He is the author of The Third Choice: Islam Dhimmitude and Freedom published by Deror Books.

A version of this review appears in Middle East Forum:

That was the polite review. Now read Rassooli’s refreshingly blunt “In a nutshell: BULL CRAP!” response:

The Islam I Knew

islam_title1By M. Kamal:

In my work revealing the destructive menace of Islam, I receive messages from Muslims everywhere accusing me of, and calling me, everything imaginable and unimaginable .

I have been accused of being a hate monger bent on deforming the image of Islam. I am called a Zionist, a liar, and every insulting name a woman can be called.  Although I was raised in Egypt and educated in a Muslim school system and indoctrinated on the “glories” of Islam since birth, I am also accused of being ignorant about Islam itself. In their critiques against me, many of them are practicing what is called “Taqqiya”.

Taqqiya or the holy lie, is permissible in Islam in order to deceive non Muslims about the true Islamic agenda; complete domination, by force if necessary.

Many Muslims are actually ignorant of the biggest part of their own Islamic doctrine: Jihad, derived from the Arabic root-word mujahada, meaningwarfare to establish the religion. While jihad is physical, there are other forms of jihad that are practised as well: funding terrorism, making propaganda, converting non-Muslims to Islam (even by force like in the case of Egypt and Pakistan), suing those who dare to criticize islam or to reveal its truth, islamic immigration to non-muslim lands, breeding so much, electronic jihad etc……

Many Muslims instead compel themselves to live with one perspective about Islam; that it is being hijacked by terrorists and extremists and that Islam teaches peace and love toward all of humanity, friend or enemy, Muslim or infidel.

Amazingly these relatively peaceful people think they are the “True” Muslims and the representatives of Islam’s real image… And some naive non-Muslims swallow this bait, failing to detect the hook and fire that waits behind it.

It is easier and mentally more secure for them to accept at face value that Islam contains no evil. Ironically, many of the same people believe that guns, not the people who pull their triggers, bear the destruction, injury, and death they deliver. As such, non-Muslim defenders of relieve themselves of inquiry and accept the Muslim apologist defence that Islam is innocent of all charges of evil.

As a former Muslim, who is not ignorant of its worldview, requirements, and laws, I want to attract your attention to one very important fact: You may meet or know some relatively peaceful Muslims around you, but that does not mean that Islam itself is peaceful, which will be their claim. It must be. They are not permitted by their own law to portray Islam in a negative light, particularly to non-believers, even if they are discussing Qur’anic or legal elements (those that outside observers find unsavoury).

Most Muslims have ever read very little of the Qur’an, let alone read, or understand, most of it . Lot of them learned to recite some verses from the Qur’an without understanding its meanings . Most Muslims in non-Arabic speaking countries (which comprises most of the world’s Muslims) who memorize the Qur’an in Arabic do so only phonetically, not understanding a word they are reciting.

They have been taught that the poetic rhythm of the Qur’an alone, is sanctifying and will reward them with favour in the hereafter. Most Muslims know only of the Qur’an what is read to them on Friday prayers.

Read more at No Compulsion