Here Come the Sympathetic Media Profile Pieces on the London Jihadist

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, March 24, 2017

Sorry victims, you had your 15 minutes. Now it’s time to find excuses for the Islamic terrorist who murdered you. Excuses that divert attention away from the dreaded “I” word.

After privileged childhood, London attacker became a troubled loner – Washington Post

There are two things going on here.

1. The terrorist is individualized. His actions are reduced to an individual pathology. He’s not an Islamic terrorist. He’s a troubled loner. Who just did something crazy.

2. The Washington Post is taking a tone eerily close to sympathy.

But plenty of other terrorists, including the Tsarnaev monsters, received a similar treatment from the media with extensive explorations of their family ties and background. As long as they carefully led away from Islam.

Also see:

UTT Throwback Thursday: Treasonous Leadership Decisions by Ohio Officials Have Deadly Consequences

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, December 1, 2016:

Ohio is reaping what it has sown.  They have protected and promoted jihadis for several years.

In 2009, the Ohio Department of Homeland Security hosted a day-long seminar which included senior Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood officials, including Hani Sakr, a member of the U.S. MB’s Board of Directors, and the leader of Hamas in Ohio, Asma Uddin.

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Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Hani Sakr Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference

Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Hani Sakr Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference

Ohio Hamas Leader Asma Uddin Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference in 2009

Ohio Hamas Leader Asma Uddin Speaking at Ohio DHS Conference in 2009

In 2010, the Strategic Engagement Group (predecessor to UTT) conducted a 3-day training program at the Columbus (Ohio) Police Department.  At the end of the program, the Ohio DHS Director Bill Vedra, the Chief of the Columbus Police Department, and others came into the room and defended Hamas (doing business and CAIR), the outreach programs to the Muslim community, and commented negatively about the 3-day program even though none of them sat through one minute of the training.

Several of the officers in the room stood up and confronted the leadership, calling them out.

Ohio DHS Director Vedra, Omar Alomari (Ohio DHS), & Hamas Leader Babak Darvish (CAIR)

Ohio DHS Director Vedra, Omar Alomari (Ohio DHS), & Hamas Leader Babak Darvish (CAIR)

One of the people Ohio DHS Director Vedra defended was Omar Alomari, a Jordanian who was later fired from Ohio DHS.  Alomari produced a pamphlet for Ohio DHS which listed organizations they worked with including Hamas (dba CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) – all Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood organizations.

After this was made public in articles by The Jawa Report, Ohio DHS tried to secretly destroy all the pamphlets.

As recently as 2015, Hamas (dba CAIR) trained the Columbus Police Department on “diversity.”

In February 2016, Somali Mohamed Barry walked into the Nazareth Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio with a machete screaming “allah u akbar” and began attacking customers.  He injured four people and was later shot dead by police.  The restaurant is owned by an Israeli.

Columbus police spokesman Sergeant Rich Weiner stated, “There was no rhyme or reason as to who he was going after.”  The FBI investigated Barry in 2012 for making “radical Islamic threats” but then abandoned the investigation, and FBI Special Agent Rick Smith said it was “too early” to jump to conclusions. (dallasnews.com, 2/12/16, “Man Killed After Machete Attack”)

CNN is still searching for a motive.

In describing this attack, the Washington Post wrote, “Did the quiet immigrant suffer a mental breakdown? Or was the attack an orchestrated act of international jihad as claimed by a host of anti-Islamic groups?”

Is it possible the entire effort by the jihadi Movement in Ohio – and everywhere else across the nation – was/is to get the leadership of the police and FBI to place their trust in the Muslim leaders to “help” them “understand” acts of “terrorism” in a way that never points back to jihad, Islam and sharia?

This week, after yet another jihadi attack in Ohio, the response was the same.

Until law enforcement decides to prosecute and lock up terrorists instead of befriending them and allowing them to train their departments, this nonsense will not end.

Citizens must stand firm and hold elected officials, police chiefs and state homeland security officials feet to the fire, and ensure they are trained by UTT, not by Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Get them a copy of Raising a Jihadi Generation for Christmas.

WaPo Fact Checker Misleads on Huma Abedin & the Muslim Brotherhood: What’s the Truth?

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The Journal openly endorsed the positions of Brotherhood theoreticians and called for the imposition of sharia law among Muslim minorities in the West.

CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, Aug. 25, 2016:

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post conducted a particularly inept attempt at “fact checking” reports that Clinton chief of Staff Huma Abedin has “ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood. Kessler’s attempt rests on essentially four claims:

1. That Huma Abedin held a position as Associate Editor for the Journal for Muslim Minority Affairs for twelve years, but never did any actual work.

2. The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs is not regarded as “radical” by its own board of advisors and selected “experts.”

3. That the Journal’s founder Abdullah Omar Naseef’s ties to World Muslim League is irrelevant.

4. That the World Muslim League could not have been a Saudi-funded operation and a Muslim Brotherhood-led organization at the same time.

To take Kessler’s objections in order:

Point 1 is simply a restatement of the Clinton campaign’s position, and Kessler does nothing to examine it critically. It is an undisputed fact that Huma Abedin was an employee of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) for 12 years, and appeared on the masthead of the organization’s journal, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA) right up until the time she began to work at the State Department for Secretary Clinton.

As noted by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy:

The journal was the IMMA’s raison d’etre. Abedin held the position of assistant editor from 1996 through 2008 — from when she began working as an intern in the Clinton White House until shortly before she took her current position as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff.

Whether one finds it plausible that an individual might be listed as an “associate editor” for a period of 12 years, yet never be called upon to perform the task which their position suggests (i.e. editing) is not a question of fact. The readers, (Kessler’s and ours) will need to determine for themselves whether such an excuse holds water, but a reasonable person might look upon their own life’s experience and wonder whether they ever approached a decade or longer in a position without even having seen the work ostensibly produced there during their tenure.

Kessler’s Point 2 is that the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs was not “radical” as defined by certain hand-picked academics who agreed with Kessler’s position and members of the journal’s own advisory board (who can safely be said to have a dog in the fight.)

To begin with, one should understand what is meant by “Muslim Minority” affairs. Kessler infantilizes this fascinating and complex area of Islamic studies, noting only that the journal’s interest in minority affairs, “continues to be demonstrated in the recent issue, with five articles on Muslim life in Australia.”

In fact “Muslim minority affairs” is principally concerned with questions of the Fiqh (jurisprudence) of Minorities, the area of Sharia law jurisprudence concerned with the role and status of Muslims who have immigrated to non-Muslim states. As Uriya Shavit notes in his work, Islamism and the West: From “Cultural Attack” to “Missionary Migrant”, this form of jurisprudence was created by prominent Muslim Brotherhood associated scholars, notably Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and Taha Jaber Alwani, who were principally concerned with how to transform Muslim migrants living in the West into “missionaries” for the cause of Islam in order to overcome a perceived civilizational/cultural conflict between the West and the Islamic world.

As a result it is entirely unsurprising to find that the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs contains repeated, and approving citations to prominent Muslim Brotherhood thinkers, including Qaradawi, and Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb. Far from being “cherry-picked”, as Kessler asserts, one should be surprised if there were NOT Islamist thinkers approvingly cited in a journal dedicated to an area of modern Islamist thought.

Understood in this way, it is impossible to understand the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs as anything other than a journal concerned with Sharia, particularly jurisprudence on Sharia as it relates to Muslim Minority Affairs. Kessler’s attempt to claim otherwise only serves to confirm that he is ignorant of Sharia or the scholarship and jurisprudence surrounding it.

The question than is only whether such Islamist thinkers are rightly deserving of the pejorative “radical.” Kessler’s academics say no, but who can blame the New York Post for thinking that approving citations to Qaradawi, who issued the fatwas permitting Hamas suicide bombings, or Sayyid Qutb, whom the 9/11 Commission described as inspiration for Osama Bin Laden, ought to earn the moniker.

Indeed can’t readers decide for themselves whether it was “radical” for Huma Abedin’s mother, JMMA Editor Saleha Abedin to blame 9/11 on U.S. perpetrated “injustices and sanctions” as she did in a 2002 issue of the journal?

This is a subjective question, which can not be fact-checked. It can however be quoted, and individuals can make the decision for themselves. Abedin the elder wrote:

“The spiral of violence having continued unabated worldwide, and widely seen to be allowed to continue, was building up intense anger and hostility within the pressure cooker that was kept on a vigorous flame while the lid was weighted down with various kinds of injustices and sanctions . . . It was a time bomb that had to explode and explode it did on September 11, changing in its wake the life and times of the very community and the people it aimed to serve.”

Rather than allowing readers to make up their own minds as to how much support for terrorism might be considered “radical,” Kessler chooses to rely only upon those who would be predisposed to defend the journal’s contents anyway, most notably Harvard scholar Noah Feldman, who is after all on record describing the Hamas-supporting Qaradawi as an “Islamic democrat.”

That’s good enough for Kessler. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Point #3 for Kessler’s apologetic is poo-pooing the fact IMMA was founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef, an influential Saudi leader, with the help of Abedin’s father Syed Abedin in the late 1970s. While Kessler attempts to paint Naseef’s position as having been essentially too long ago to be worth examining, the reality is that Nassef and Huma Abedin overlapped at IMMA for a period of seven years.

The heart of the controversy is Naseef’s ties to the Muslim World League. Kessler attempts to distance Naseef by reflecting that the Saudi leader held the position of Secretary General of MWL for a decade, from 1983-1993, while the Muslim World League offices in Herdon, VA weren’t raided by Law enforcement until after 9/11.

Never mind that The Muslim World League was specifically mentioned by Osama bin Laden as a source of funding or that MWL’s subsidiary, the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) had two of its branches named as specially designated global terrorist entities, Kessler does not see fit to mention these facts.

Another WML subsidiary founded by Nassef, the Rabita Trust, is also a specially designated global terrorist entity according to the U.S. Treasury Department. While Kessler acknowledges the Rabita Trust connection, he attempts to downplay it by noting that it wasn’t until years later that the United States would get around to designating the Rabita Trust for supporting AL Qaeda.

But what Kessler choose not to tell you, is that when the U.S. Treasury Department did so, they designated Rabita Trust’s Director General Wael Hamza Julaidan, a close associate of Osama Bin Laden. Who appointed Julaidan to the post?

None other than Abdullah Omar Nassef.

As National security analyst David Reaboi put this all in context when the allegations first surfaced in 2012:

In other words, many of the people and groups with whom a man like Naseef surrounds himself (at minimum) tend to be what you’d call “problematic,” and a locus of these links should (again, at the very minimum) give a background investigator pause–or, more sensibly, ring the alarm bells–if he finds not one but several links to Naseef or people like him.

The last, and perhaps most inept arrow in Kessler’s quiver is his pointing out that the Saudi government, for which Naseef worked and which funded the World Muslim League, designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group in 2014. Ipso facto, he suggests, they could not possibly have coordinated to stand up a journal of Islamist thought.

Of course every student of the history of Islamist movements knows full well that the Saudi government cooperated with the Muslim Brotherhood in standing up the Muslim World League, and in many other projects besides. This is why the Muslim World League’s founding intellectuals included Said Ramadan (son-in-law of Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna) and the aforementioned Taha Jaber Alwani.

As Shavit notes in his previously mentioned work, “while Islamists provided expertise in theorizing and proselytizing, Saudi Arabia provided generous funding that promoted publications, conventions and missions dedicate to da’wa around the world.”

In other words, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs discusses the very kinds of issues that Muslim Brotherhood thinkers were working on at the time of its founding, supported by an organization founded by the Muslim Brotherhood intellectuals who were examining these issues, and was established, funded and supported by the Saudi government,including Abdullah Omar Naseef, in exactly the manner one would expect, if one had any serious inclination to the study the issue at all.

Kessler could have openly made the argument that these ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi proselytizing organs exist, that there is nothing wrong with them, and that Huma Abedin should not be held to account for these associations. That would be a weak argument but would accept all of the known facts. Still Kessler cannot quite bring himself to do that. Instead he stakes out the more expansive, and ultimately indefensible position, that none of these organizations have any Muslim Brotherhood connections whatsoever.

As a result Kessler’s fact-check goes from not just subjective to aggressively counter-factual.

Islam, Child Marriage, and the Washington Post

maxresdefault (4)Answering Muslims, by David Wood, August 2, 2016:

The Washington Post recently published an article titled: “Six-Year-Old Afghan Girl Reportedly Sold in Marriage.” The article claims that child marriage is an Afghan tribal practice that violates the teachings of Islam. Apparently, writers at the Washington Post have never studied Islam. In Islam’s most trusted sources on the life of Muhammad, we read:

Sahih Muslim 3480—It was narrated that Aishah said: “The Prophet married me when I was six years old, and consummated the marriage with me when I was nine years old.”

Sahih Muslim 3482—It was narrated from Aishah that: “The Messenger of Allah married her when she was six years old and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine years old, and he died when she was eighteen years old.”

No Sacred Cows? The Washington Post Continues Carrying CAIR’s Water

cair23by Steven Emerson
IPT News
July 5, 2016

Let’s say the Church of Scientology launched a program it said was aimed at creating healthy work environments and bridging family divides, even those involving church critics.

What would the news stories read like? After all, there are ever-expanding accounts of former Scientologists who say they were physically abused, or who werecut off from loved ones deemed hostile to the church.

Virtually any news story about the new program would cover this context in detail. It’s reasonable to expect major news outlets would devote entire stories comparing the new claims to the church’s history. It would be inconceivable to omit that background even if the new program proved to be a smashing success.

This is what makes the Washington Post‘s coverage of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) so confounding. The newspaper, which rarely hesitates to investigate the backgrounds of politicians, companies and more, has never seen fit to delve into CAIR’s checkered history.

Independence Day brought yet another story casting CAIR as a reliable partner in the fight against terrorism and Islamist extremism. CAIR’s Florida chapter, the headline says, “is doing what the government has so far failed to do.” It tells the story of “intervention teams” on alert in South Florida to help cases of radicalized Muslims who might be thinking of committing violence. Some of the seven individuals identified so far have been referred to law enforcement, the story says.

There’s no way to know if that assertion is true. It is a claim taken at face value.

There’s also no way – short of doing their own independent searches – for readers to know that CAIR itself has direct, court-acknowledged connections to a terrorist group. They don’t know because the Post didn’t mention it in this, or any other story, since the information came to light in 2007.

From its first days, CAIR was a cog in a Hamas-support network called the Palestine Committee, records show. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood created the committee to help Hamas “with what it needs of media, money, men and all of that.”

1675At least three original CAIR officials, Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad and Nabil Sadoun, are on the Palestine Committee’s telephone list. Mousa Abu Marzook, a longtime Hamas political leader, is the first name listed. Ahmad, who sometimes was identified as “Omar Yehya,” also is listed on the Palestine Committee’s executive board.

Eyewitnesses told federal investigators that Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood connections shared by CAIR founders were widely known when the organization was founded.

Bylaws establish that the Muslim Brotherhood executive office created the Palestine Committee “to serve the Palestinian cause on the U.S. front.” A 1991 document repeatedly refers to the Brotherhood’s role directing Palestine Committee activities. Among the instructions that year: “Collecting of donations for the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] from the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] and others.”

Another report from around that time explicitly states that the committee sees its charge as “defending the Islamic cause in Palestine and support for the emerging movement, the Hamas Movement.”

This is the mission into which CAIR was born.

Omar Ahmad, a co-founder and longtime CAIR national chairman, was described as “a leader within the Palestine Committee” in testimony by FBI Special Agent Lara Burns.

Nihad Awad, the only executive director in CAIR’s history, joined Palestine Committee colleagues during a weekend-long emergency meeting in 1993 to discuss ways to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords. The deal was hailed as a potential peace breakthrough and created an autonomous Palestinian Authority.

That was unacceptable to the Palestine Committee because it sidelined the Islamists in Hamas, and because it included Palestinian acceptance of Israel’s existence. Concerned that the American public would see them as terror supporters, the group’s officials instructed members never to mention Hamas by name, instead choosing to reverse the spelling and talk about “Samah.” Awad, in this FBI transcript, did just that.

The group also discussed creating “a new organization for activism” which might be better received publicly because “we are marked.”

CAIR was created the following summer, where it promptly appeared on the Palestine Committee’s next meeting agenda.

The exhibits described above have never been reported in the Post.

When the Post has written about CAIR’s background, it has been at the most superficial of levels: CAIR minimizes its status as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Texas Hamas-financing trial in which these documents became public record; a “fact-check” which concludes that the unindicted co-conspirator label “is one of those true facts that ultimately gives a false impression.”

Would the Scientologists receive similar kid-glove treatment? Would a candidate for office?

This is not a case of differing perspectives. The documents were seized from the participants and reflect real-time Palestine Committee activities.

While CAIR was never charged, prosecutors made it clear in court filings that they had evidence showing CAIR was part “of the conspiracy” and acted “in furtherance of the conspiracy.”

“CAIR has been identified by the Government at trial as a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization, a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew,” they wrote.

The Post is led by Marty Baron, a man who has demonstrated the tenacity to take on religious organizations as mighty as the Catholic Church when they might be engaged in improper activity. So far, however, that same gritty determination has not been focused on the Islamists who run CAIR, despite their profile and their organization’s checkered history.

That is a shame.

Also see:

The Washington Post’s Chronic CAIRless Syndrome

WashPo-Logo-Large
CAMERA, June 29, 2016

Why do Washington Post reporters and editorial systematically keep relevant background about the Council on American Islamic Relations from readers?

CAMERA has questioned Post coverage of CAIR—an unindicted co-conspirator in the United States’ biggest terrorism funding trial to date—for years. No answer has been forthcoming, not even after CAMERA provided the newspaper’s last three ombudsmen with public record information casting doubt on CAIR’s self-portrait as a civil rights advocate for Muslim Americans.

The late Deborah Howell, Post ombudsman from 2005 to 2008, told CAMERA’s Washington office she had brought its complaint to the newsroom’s attention but, in essence, staffers rebuffed discussion of it. And The Post has continued citing CAIR as a credible source, virtually never telling readers that, among other things:

*In that 2009 federal case, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development retrial, five men were sentenced to prison for raising more than $12 million for Hamas. Hamas is the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, a U.S.-government designated terrorist organization. Receiving a 65-year term was Ghassan Elashi, co-founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter;

*In an out-of-court settlement of a suit it brought, the council reduced libel claims to omit contesting assertions it was founded by Hamas members, founded by Islamic terrorists and funded by Hamas supporters;

*Including Elashi, at least five former CAIR lay leaders or staffers have been arrested, convicted and/or deported on weapons or terrorism charges; and

*A council “media guide” to proper reporting of Islamic issues was “pure propaganda,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.

All this and more can be found in CAMERA’s 2009 Special Report, “The Council on American Islamic Relations: Civil Rights, or Extremism?” copies of which have been provided to Post staffers on numerous occasions.
Giving CAIR a pass. And another. And another

CAMERA has not urged The Post, or other news outlets, to ignore CAIR. Rather, it repeatedly has recommended that the newspaper and other media provide the minimum context necessary. Readers reasonably ought to be able to determine for themselves whether the council is, as it implies, a Muslim American version of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) or the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), or, as its history indicates, a Muslim Brotherhood derivative.

But no. When it comes to CAIR, The Post has its back. Among recent examples:

*“How the Trump campaign decided to target Muslims; Influenced by 9/11, candidate and aides focused on ‘radical Islam,’” June 22, 2016. CAIR’s Corey Saylor, director of its “department to monitor and combat Islamophobia” is quoted. No information about CAIR is included;

*“After Orlando, anxiety fills Muslim congregations; Worshipers in nightclub shooter’s town, already enduring epithets, worry about what might come next,” June 19. This Post report cites “Omar Saleh, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Florida chapter, which has offered free legal assistance to the Muslim community in which [Omar] Mateen [who committed the Orlando nightclub massacre] lived.” Again, no background on CAIR;
*“Trump’s broadside after massacre shakes Islamic group,” June 15. The feature leads with, and follows uncritically,CAIR’s claims of rising anti-Muslim sentiments and actions across the United States. Yet again, nothing in the article would flag the organization’s credibility for readers;
*“‘It could get a lot worse for Muslims in America’,” a May 4 Op-Ed by Post columnist Dana Milbank. Writing “[Presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Donald] Trump can’t be blamed for everything his followers do. But his ascent has coincided with a rise in the number of anti-Muslim incidents to the highest level the Council on American-Islamic Relations has ever found.” Readers are not told that CAIR has a history of exaggerated claims about anti-Muslim activity. Nor are they reminded that, the council’s old and new warnings of “Islamophobia” notwithstanding, according to FBI hate crime statistics Jews still are members of the religious group most likely to be targeted. In 2014, for example, of more than 1,100 reported hate crimes based on religion, nearly 57 percent aimed at Jews, 16 percent at Muslims.
Coincidentally, while The Post repeatedly presented CAIR as a credible source, including reporting its post-Orlando offer of legal assistance, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the council should be tried for fraud. The case involves hundreds of people who had relied on CAIR for legal aid. See “CAIR to Stand Trial for Massive Fraud; The Council on American Islamic Relations is now charged with fraud and cover-up perpetrated against hundreds of Muslims,” The Clarion Project, June 22. The project is a non-profit organization that describes itself as “fighting extremism, promoting dialogue.”

If a tree falls on you in the forest …

The Post does not appear to have covered the appeals verdict. A Nexis search indicates no U.S. newspapers did.

The Clarion Project, like CAMERA, like historian and publisher of Middle East Quarterly Daniel Pipes, The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steven Emerson and many others have been listed, or better, putatively black-listed, in a CAIR report. The council tars them as key players in an imagined national network fostering Islamophobia. The report, referred to obliquely by The Post in its June 15 article, is risible, slanderous and potentially libelous.

Asked about it by KPFA-FM radio, Berkeley, Cal., CAMERA replied, in part:

“CAIR’s self-described study of ‘Islamophobic networks’ alleges ‘CAMERA is pervasively inaccurate and disguises its anti-Muslim agenda by omitting important information.” ‘Pervasively inaccurate’ sweepingly implies a pattern of error. Yet the study appears to supply not one example. The allegation itself is not only pervasively inaccurate, it is slanderously and perhaps libelously so.

“As to our supposed camouflaged ‘anti-Muslim agenda,’ again, where are the examples? The one specific mention is of our ISNA [Islamic Society of North America] Special Report—but nothing in the report itself is quoted. Perhaps because it can’t be; CAIR attempts a weak smokescreen, confessing ‘unlike other Islamophobic organizations, CAMERA does not communicate obvious bigotry in their literature.’ (See CAMERA’s Special Report, “The Islamic Society of North America: Active, Influential and Rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood,” 2012)
“In fact, CAMERA does not communicate bigotry at all. But it’s our contention, which we believe the public record amply supports, that CAIR’s objective is not so much to fight anti-Muslim prejudice but to use the cry of ‘Islamophobia’ to censor discussion and analysis of Islamic extremism.”
FBI Director James Comey said that last year the bureau had more than 900 active cases, some in each of the 50 states, into suspected Islamic State sympathizers or other potential terrorists. George Washington University’s Program on Extremism noted the arrests in the United States in 2015 of 56 individuals on suspicion of plotting on behalf of or otherwise supporting the Islamic State. (See “Washington Times Notes Record Terror Levels,” CAMERA, Dec. 7, 2015.) Islamophobia, or newsworthy information?
Islamic extremism short of terrorist radicalization also would seem to be newsworthy, by definition. But not apparently to CAIR, which purports to find “Islamophobia” everywhere. As the Clarion Project notes, “CAIR wages an unrelenting campaign to discredit its critics as anti-Muslim bigots and moderate Muslims as puppets of an “Islamophobia network” (“Special Report: The Council on American Islamic Relations; Fact Sheet”. The paper covers some of the same material as CAMERA’s Special Report on CAIR, but extends the period under review through 2013.)

In relying uncritically on CAIR as a source, The Washington Post and other news media undercut themselves and short-change readers, listeners and viewers. The question is why? The answer would be newsworthy.

5 Things We Know About Sharia Law (But the Washington Post Won’t Tell You)

78728a4d-db5a-4373-adc1-d47aef511c68There is no controversy amongst Muslim scholars as to the meaning of Sharia—it is Islamic law.

CounterJihad, by Immanuel Al-Manteeqi · @Al_Manteeqi | June 30, 2016

Asifa Quraishi-Landes writes frequently on Sharia– and always from a very positive, promotional point of view. While an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin School of Law and a frequent speaker affiliated with the Islamic group Karamah, she wrote a story for the Islamic Society of North America’s Islamic Horizons magazine in 2013 arguing that,

When it comes to dealing with diversity, America could learn a lot from Islamic law, if only it could stop painting it as something that it is not.

Interestingly, Prof. Quraishi-Landes’ article, “How to Talk About Sharia,” appeared on the magazine’s cover. Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna graced the cover of a 1999 issue of the same Islamic Horizons magazine, heralded as, “A Martyr of Our Times.”

On June 24th, Quraishi-Landes penned an article for the Washington Post entitled “Five Myths About Sharia.” The “myths” that she delineates and attempts to refute are as follows: (i) Sharia is “Islamic Law”; (ii) in Muslim countries, sharia is the law of the land; (iii) Sharia is anti-woman; (iv) Islam demands brutal punishments; (v) Sharia is about conquest. These so-called myths, with the possible exception of (ii), are not myths at all; they are verifiable truths.

1. Sharia is “Islamic law”

The first “myth” that Quraishi-Landes mentions is the “myth” that “Sharia” means Islamic law. For her to call this identification a “myth” is very strange, and frankly nothing short of absurd. It is linguistically incorrect—period.

In the Arabic language, “Sharia” (شريعة) does in fact mean Islamic law. Indeed, the word “Sharia” in Arabic comes from the triliteral root, sh-r-a (شرع), which means “to legislate.” This can be readily gleaned from a quick consultation of the most renowned Modern and Classical Arabic-English dictionaries and lexicons.[1] Quraishi-Landes’ statement here is factually incorrect on a very basic level. Sharia has incontrovertibly been understood to mean Islamic law by Muslim scholars for centuries. To take but one of innumerable examples, IslamQA.com, run by the Saudi cleric Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, has the following answer posted in response to the question, “what is Sharia?”:

Shariah is all of [Islamic] religion. It is what God gave to his servants in order to bring them from the darkness into the light. And it  is what God legislated to his servants [the translation is mine], consisting of commands and prohibitions, what isharam (forbidden), and what is halal (permitted).

There is no controversy amongst Muslim scholars as to the meaning of Sharia—it is Islamic law.

However, to support the proposition that Sharia does not mean Islamic law, Quraishi-Landes attempts to drive a wedge between “law” and “Sharia,” stating that the latter “isn’t even ‘law’ in the sense that we in the West understand it.” She does this by emphasizing that Sharia is understood by Muslims ultimately to originate from God rather than the state. But this is hardly evidence that Sharia is not understood to be “law” in the “Western sense”—as if the general concept of law differs between East and West—rather, it is evidence that Sharia is understood by Muslims to be divine law.

But not only is Quraishi-Landes grossly mistaken in calling this a myth, she seems to be inconsistent: for only a few sentences earlier—in her same article—she states that Sharia is “Islam’s legal framework.” One wonders how Quraishi-Landes believes that Sharia is “Islam’s legal framework” without simultaneously believing that Sharia is Islamic law. Either she is being flagrantly inconsistent, or she is using a definition of “law” that is so idiosyncratic as to make her central claim here—viz., that it’s myth to say Sharia is “Islamic law”—utterly irrelevant to the public discourse on Islam.

All this being said, the idea that Sharia means Islamic law is, far from being a myth, a rock solid truth.

2. In Muslim countries, Sharia is the law of the land

The second “myth” that Quraishi-Landes seeks to bust is the “myth” that in “Muslim countries, sharia is the law of the land.”

However, her statement of the so-called myth is ambiguous; whether or not this is a myth will depend on what she means by the proposition in question. Does she intend the proposition “in Muslim countries, Sharia is the law of the land” to mean that (i) in Muslim countries the law is greatly influenced by Sharia? Or does she intend the proposition to mean the bolder statement that (ii) in Muslim countries Sharia, tout court, is the law of the land?

If the latter, then she is surely correct in describing it as a myth. There are many secular provisions in the laws of most, if not all, Muslim countries. Indeed, because of the practicalities and realities of modern life, it would be surprising if a Muslim country could be ruled by pure and authentic Sharia.

However, if she intends the proposition that, in Muslim countries the law, is greatly influenced by Sharia, then she is not correct to say that it is a myth. In most, if not all, majority Muslim countries, the legal system is greatly influenced—and to some extent governed—by Sharia law. For example, Article 2 of the 2014 Egyptian constitution explicitly states that “Islam is the religion of the state,” and that “the principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.”

To take another example, the introduction to Pakistan’s constitution reads “Islam shall be the state religion.” Furthermore, the following is stated in the Pakistani constitution’s preamble:

Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed; Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah;

Even Iraq’s 2005 constitution, which the Iraqis received help from the Americans in drafting, contains such totalitarian Islamic provisions. The first section of Article 2 of the Iraqi constitution reads as follows:

Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation.

(1) No law may be enacted that contradicts the established provisions of Islam; (2) No law may be enacted that contradicts the principles of democracy; (3) No law may be enacted that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this Constitution.

Egypt, Pakistan, and Iraq are only three Muslim majority countries, but there are many who have such provisions in their legislation. While it is true that virtually no Muslim majority country is ruled strictly (only) by Islamic principles, sharia does purvey the legislation of many Muslim majority countries. There does not seem to be any mythology here.

3. Sharia is anti-woman

The third myth that she seeks to blow out of the water is the idea that Islam is anti-woman.

While Prof. Quraishi-Landes grants that, in many Muslim majority countries, the rights of women are infringed upon, she downplays the connection that this has been due to Islamic doctrine. Indeed, she goes so far as to say that “on a range of issues, Islam can fairly be described as feminist.” As examples of this Islamic feminism, she cites how some fiqh scholars (i.e., Islamic jurisprudents) believe that first-trimester abortions are permissible.

Most comical is when she favorably cites how fiqh scholars “have concluded that women have the right to orgasm during sex and to fight in combat.” Can you imagine a group of Catholic cardinals coming out and saying that that in Christianity wives have the right to be sexually pleasured by their husbands? Of course not—it would go without saying. That Islamic jurisprudents or fuqaha even have to conclude this is in and of itself evidence of the low status accorded to women under sharia.

The “patriarchal rules in fiqh,” she says, is a byproduct of human interpretation, and not of Islamic doctrine. But this is just false.

There is much in Islamic doctrine that is patriarchal and that infringes on the rights of women. For example, according to Q 4:34, husbands are allowed to beat their wives if they “fear disobedience;” according to Q 2:282, the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man’s; according to Q 4:11 and Q 4:176, a woman should only inherit half as much as a man does;  according to Q 2:223, women can be “plowed” at the whim of their husbands; according to Q 65:4, sexual relations with females who have not yet had their menstrual cycle (i.e., prepubescent girls) are permissible; according to Q 4:24, having female sex slaves, “those whom your right hand possess” (ما ملكت ايمانكم), is permissible. These verses are all from the Qur’an, the most authoritative source for Islamic doctrine and praxis.

However, such anti-woman teaching is also found in the ahadeeth, which, it must be remembered, are the sources of most Islamic praxis. The following hadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari, the most authoritative Sunni collection of ahadeeth, is instructive:

Once Allah’s Messenger [i.e., Muhammad] went out to the Musalla [place of prayer] (to offer the prayer) of `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” [emphases are mine].

All these texts speak for themselves. Sharia is, in fact, anti-woman.  Not surprisingly, Quraishi-Landes does not even bother to mention any of these texts in her attempt to refute the “myth” that sharia is anti-woman. The simple truth is that women are not equal to men in mainstream Islam—they are considered inferior.

4. Sharia demands brutal punishments

This one is no myth at all. Islam does demand brutal punishments.

The Qur’an, for example, clearly states that the hands of thieves should be cut off (Q 5:38), and that fornicators are to be publically flogged with one-hundred lashes (Q 24:2). It demands that polytheists be fought and punished for being non-Muslim polytheists (Q 9:5). It demands that Christians and Jews be fought and brought under submission for their beliefs (Q 9:29). It states that the punishment for “those who sow corruption on the Earth” (الذين يسعون في الارض فسادا), which can include large swathes of people, is to be executed, crucified, or mutilated (Q 5:33). The Qur’an commands that Muslims be harsh against unbelievers, and merciful amongst themselves (Q 48:29).

Further, according to a well-known, though by no means universally accepted hadith, those who engage in homosexual acts are to be put to death. So brutal is sharia that the great Muslim philosopher, Ibn Rushd (Averroes, 1126 – 1198 A.D.), states that there is disagreement among Islamicists as to whether it is allowed in time of war to “slay hermits who have retired from the world, the blind, the chronically ill and the insane, those who are old and unable to fight any longer, peasants, and serfs.”[2] He cites as-Shafi’i (c. 767 – 820 A.D.), the founder of one of the four main schools of Islamic jurisprudence, as being in favor of slaying all such people.[3] In Sahih al-Bukhari, Muhammad clearly and unambiguously lays out the penalty for leaving the religion of Islam—execution.

Furthermore, the idea that apostates should be executed is not a fringe view; rather, it is the view of the five greatest schools of Islamic law—the Sunni Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki, and Shafi’i schools, and the Shi’i Ja’fari school.

5. Sharia is about Conquest

This last so-called myth is ambiguous, due to Quraishi-Landes use of the word “about.” However, it seems like Quraishi-Landes intends this proposition to mean that “sharia prescribes conquest.”  But if this is the case, which it seems to be, then she is once again mistaken.

Islamic law does, in fact, seem to legitimize expansionism. One can point to Q 9:5 and Q 9:29 as evidence, which seem to imply that fighting non-Muslims (polytheists and “People of the Book”) because of their beliefs is God-ordained. One can also point to Q 8:39, where the Qur’an mandates Muslims to “fight [polytheists] until there is no fitna [i.e, strife] and all religion belongs to Allah.” Furthermore, there is a notorious sahih (correct) hadith where Muhammad seems to outright command that all non-Muslims should be fought. The notorious hadith is as follows:

I have been commanded that I should fight against people till [حتى] they declare that there is no god but Allah, and when they profess it that there is no god but Allah, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection from me except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah [emphasis is mine].

The straightforward interpretation of this hadith is that non-Muslims are to be fought until they become Muslims—and only then will their lives and property be spared from Muhammad. Indeed, in mainstream Islam, the world is divided into two main blocks: Dar al-Harb (The House of War), and Dar al-Islam (The House of Islam), indicating a design for permanent war and expansion to the lands of non-Muslims. Classical jurists even argued that truces can only last for so long, perhaps as long as Muhammad’s treaty of  Hudaybiyyah, after which Muslims must continue their expansionist jihad against the infidels occupying Dar al-Harb. As the Dutch Islamicist Rudolph Peters notes,

The crux of the doctrine [of jihad] is the existence of one single Islamic state, ruling the entire umma. It is the duty of the umma to expand the territory of this state in order to bring as many people under its rule as possible. The ultimate aim is to bring the whole earth under the sway of Islam to extirpate unbelief.[5]

The fact is that if one looks soberly at Islamic history, one cannot help but conclude, along with Samuel Huntington, that since the 7th century Arab conquests or “futuhat,” Islam has had “bloody borders.”

Conclusion

As we have seen, none of these so-called myths that Quraishi-Landes mentions, with the possible exception of the second one—depending on what it means—is in fact a myth. Rather, they are demonstrable truths based in reality.

In any case, it should be noted that even if Islam apologists like Quraishi-Landes are correct–that Sharia is not, actually, a bad thing, and that some Islamists have merely misinterpreted it for their own ends–that does not mean that there does not exist a certain type of Sharia that is a threat. The Sharia that is common to Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbollah, ISIS, Al-Qa’ida, and others is still a threat—and it is not one that is outside the interpretive parameters of Islamic tradition.

[1] Hans Wehr, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, ed. J. Milton Cowan (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrasowitz, 1979), 541; Edward W. Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, ed. Stanley Lane Poole (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1984), 1534.

[2] Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Clasiscal and Modern Islam (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1996), 33.

[3] Ibid, 34.

[4] Ibid, 39.

[5] Ibid, 3.