Monday, 30 November 2009

On Minarets

A debate is currently raging in Switzerland on the subject of a potential ban on the building of minarets atop mosques in the country. Members of the Swiss People's Party have been calling for a ban on all minaret building. This BBC article from 2007 encapsulates their arguments succinctly:

They claim the minaret is not necessary for worship, but is rather a symbol of Islamic law, and as such incompatible with Switzerland's legal system...

"We don't have anything against Muslims," said Oskar Freysinger, member of parliament for the Swiss People's Party.

"But we don't want minarets. The minaret is a symbol of a political and aggressive Islam, it's a symbol of Islamic law. The minute you have minarets in Europe it means Islam will have taken over."

This argument is exactly in line with the entry on minarets in the venerable Brill Encyclopedia of Islam:

“It seems on the whole unrelated to its function of the adhān, calling the faithful to prayer, which can be made quite adequately from the roof of the mosque or even from the house-top....To this day, certain Islamic communities, especially the most orthodox ones like the Wahhābīs in Arabia, avoid building minarets on the grounds that they are ostentatious and unnecessary…It must be remembered, however, that throughout the mediaeval period, the role of the minaret oscillated between two polarities: as a sign of power and as an instrument for the adhān.”

Thus a ban on minarets is not an infringement on Muslims' religious freedom. Aside from the fact that the minaret is an unnecessary feature, it is fundamentally a symbol of aggressive political power. The message is simple: Islam is in charge in this area. Political statements of conquest of this kind are not acceptable in the West, and must not be permitted, especially in light of the supremacist aspect of Islam, and its imperative to dominate and not be dominated, or as the medieval Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun put it, to "gain power over other nations".

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Why The UN Is Compromised

Below is embedded video from a recent forum held by the Israeli Council For Civic Action, to commemorate the anniversary of the United Nations vote to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947.

At the forum, Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, spoke candidly about the massive Muslim voting bloc at the UN, which has systematically and continuously pressured this once noble but now dhimmified organisation to take anti-Israel stances at every opportunity. Ayalon pointed out that "Many of these [Muslim] nations are dictatorial and human-rights abusers who form an automatic majority against us which is formed by political expediency and group-think." He adds: "If the Arabs or Palestinians wanted to pass a resolution claiming that the earth is flat, this would be assured of a majority."

Ayalon's observations are absolutely correct. From the 1975 Arab-initiated resolution labelling Zionism as racism, to the morally inverted Human Rights Council, to the hideously biased Goldstone Report, the UN has been vehemently anti-Israel, and vehemently pro-Muslim/pro-Arab for the past forty years. Bat Ye'or documents how this happened in her book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis. Kudos to Mr. Ayalon for speaking up against this oppressive, hostile atmosphere of hate.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Maldives To Ban Public Practice of Non-Muslim Religions

Mohamed Nasheed, the President of the Maldives, said yesterday that he would seek advice from Muslim scholars on Islam’s position on allowing non-Muslims to worship in an Islamic community.

In his radio weekly address, the president said the constitution was "very clear" that laws contrary to Islam could not be made or enacted.

"It has become very important for me to find out what Islamic sharia says about not allowing foreigners who want to worship other religions in the Maldives," he said. "When this bill comes from the People's Majlis for the president to ratify, the question before me will be what is the ruling in Islamic sharia on people of other religions living in an Islamic community to worship?"

The president said he needed an answer to the question before ratifying the bill. "When I know, it will be easier for me to make a decision on ratify the bill before it becomes law," he said.

And what is the Islamic position on this issue? The fourteenth-century Islamic legal manual Reliance of the Traveller says the following about non-Muslim communities living under Islamic rule: "...non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they...are forbidden to...ring church bells or display crosses, recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays; and are forbidden to build new churches."

Reliance of the Traveller is not just a medieval document. In 1991, it was endorsed by Cairo's Al-Azhar University as conforming "to the practise and faith of the orthodox Sunni community". Al-Azhar, the oldest and most prestiguous educational institution in the Islamic world, is the closest equivalent in Sunni Islam to the Vatican.

Thus, it is mainstream, orthodox Islamic law (not "radical Islam", "Islamism", or "a strict interpretation of Islamic law") which mandates that non-Muslim minorities must be denied equality of rights with Muslims when it comes to religious observance, amongst other things. President Nasheed will probably be told this by his scholars. And so the the return of dhimmitude - the world's greatest, and yet most ignored, human rights outrage - will continue apace.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Robertson In The Doghouse

American governor-elect Bob McDonnell continues to face calls for him to publicly repudiate donor and ally Pat Robertson today, after Robertson said of Islam: "Islam is a violent - I was going to say religion, but it's not a religion. It's a political system. It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination. I think we should treat it as such and treat its adherents as such, as we would members of the Communist Party or members of some fascist group."

I am no fan of Robertson, but what he is quoted as saying here is largely accurate. I disagree that Islam is not a religion. It is a religion. But it is also "a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination." This is easily documentable.

The Islamic doctrine of jihad derives from a number of verses in the Qur'an, most notably 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya [non-Muslim poll tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” The famous Muslim thinker Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi (d.1979), who is widely considered to be one of the most influential Islamic figures of the twentieth century, interpreted this verse as follows:

“The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not as one might think to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather their purpose is to put an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over men. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith; unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in a state of subordination...Jizya symbolises the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam. To pay the jizya of their own hands 'humbled' refers to payment in a state of submission. 'Humbled' also reinforces the idea that the believers, rather than the unbelievers, should be the rulers in performance of their duty as God’s vicegerents...

“The simple fact is that according to Islam, non-Muslims have been granted the freedom to stay outside the Islamic fold and to cling to their false, man-made ways if they so wish. They have, however, absolutely no right to seize the reigns of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines. For if they are given such an opportunity, corruption and mischief will ensue. In such a situation the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.

“One of the advantages of jizya is that it reminds the dhimmis [non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state] every year that because they do not embrace Islam...they have to pay a price – jizya – for clinging to their errors.”

Thus we can clearly see that this doctrine involves the ultimate conquest and subjugation of the world under Muslim rule, by means of violence. The medieval Muslim historian and sociologist Ibn Khaldun (d.1406) wrote: “In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universality of the [Muslim] mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force...The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense...Islam is under obligation to gain power from other nations.”

As Robertson said, Islam is also a total political system that mandates for believers not just their spiritual actions, but also their civil and political ones, right down to the smallest detail. It is, in other words, totalitarian in nature. In his 1920 Theory and Practise of Bolshevism, philosopher Bertrand Russell openly compared Islam to Soviet Communism:

Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam.

Marx has taught that Communism is fatally predestined to come about; this produces a state of mind not unlike the early successors of Muhammad.

Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of the world.

It is also interesting to note that immediately upon Robertson making his comments, the first group to jump down his throat was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad is on record as telling an audience of captive fellow Muslims: "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth." Fellow co-founder Nihad Awad has said: "I am in support of the Hamas movement." Hamas, of course, is the Palestinian terrorist group whose stated aim is to destroy Israel utterly and then wipe out all of the world's Jews. CAIR and its officials also have numerous other ties to Islamic terrorism, including direct connections to Hamas.

In short, Pat Robertson was right to say what he did, and while he should (if only on this occasion) be listened to, one group that certainly should not be listened to (under any circumstances or at any time and by anyone) is CAIR.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Islamic Slavery In Africa

On the 4th of November, I posted the first part of an essay entitled "Slavery In Islam And The West: The Double Standards of the Intellectual Elites". The first part dealt with slavery in the West, and how Western principles of equality and human rights eventually led to the emancipation of the practice. I had intended to publish the second part of the essay, which dealt with the unreformed, unconfronted problem of the historical and contemporary Islamic enslavement of non-Muslims, a couple of days later. However, unfortunately, the computer I was using died, and the Word document which contained the rest of the essay was lost.

Rather than trying to write it all up again, I thought instead that I would simply share a link to this Youtube video on Islamic slavery, narrated by John Azumah, the author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa. I have just ordered this book, and expect to receive it sometime in the next few weeks. Once I have read it, I will post a short review/summary, which will serve as a full replacement for my lost essay. I will also add the book to the Recommended Reading list on the right-hand side of the page.

In the meantime, I suggest you watch the video linked above. Education on this issue, as with a number of other Islam-related issues, is vital if we are to have genuine and meaningful "interfaith dialogue" between Muslims and other religious groups, as well as bringing a final end to dehumanising, backward practices such as slavery.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Case In (Power)Point

As I mentioned in my previous post, Major Nadil Malik Hasan once alarmed his colleagues by detouring away from a planned medical lecture by proselytising for Islam, during which he allegedly expressed some alarming views.

Today, the Washington Post has published what it claims to be the actual PowerPoint presentation used by Hasan during his presentation. Notice the open jihadist interpretation of Islam, including explanations of the doctrine of abrogation, whereby more violent verses of the Qur'an cancel out more peaceful ones, as well as declarations such as: “Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please Allah, even by force is condoned by Islam.”

That Nadil Hasan must really, REALLY be an Islamophobe.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Confronting Nadil Malik Hasan's Jihadism

"Allahu akbar!"

Recent days have seen many people, both journalists and lay people, display their intolerable ignorance, and self-inflicted denial, over the motivations of Nadil Malik Hasan, who last week gunned down dozens of people at Fort Hood, Texas. Every single person I have spoken to personally on the subject has expressed the belief that Hasan was "mentally unbalanced" and that his "anxiety" over an imminent deployment to Afghanistan caused him to "snap" and engage in an act of mass murder. His Muslim identity was, consequently, irrelevant in this case.

But let's look at the facts (keeping aside a statement in support of suicide bombing allegedly posted on the Internet by Hasan months before the attack). Nadil Malik Hasan handed out Qur'ans to neighbors just before going on his rampage and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” the jihadist’s cry, as he opened fire. When he was supposed to be giving a medical lecture, Hasan instead proselytised for Islam, during which time he said that according to the Qur'an, if you are an unbeliever, "you are condemned to hell. Your head is cut off. You're set on fire. Burning oil is burned down your throat."

One former associate of Hasan's, Col. Terry Lee, recalls that Hasan “claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans”. Finally, it has recently emerged that Hasan went to the same mosque as three of the 9/11 hijackers, and according to a fellow Muslim officer at Fort Hood, his eyes "lit up" whenever he discussed his admiration for the radical teachings of the imam at that mosque.

In short, this was an Islamic jihad attack.

Of course, there will be those who will never accept Nadil Malik Hasan's Islamic motivation for this shooting, no matter what evidence is presented to them, because the consequences of doing so frighten them senseless. If they accept the overwhelming evidence that Hasan was a jihadist, they may start to have to question their normal assumptions that Islamic terrorism is caused by poverty, or social frustration, or any number of other equally Marxist excuses. To question those assumptions leads to having to reconsider the place of Islam in Western society, and the extent of the threat posed by Islamic fanaticism even in America.

But liberals will never take these steps. To do so would make them "bigots" and "Islamophobes", reactionary and intolerant. Can't have that.

UPDATE: "U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News."

Friday, 6 November 2009

Jihad At Fort Hood

Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army psychiatrist, trained to treat soldiers under stress, opened fire yesterday in a crowded medical building at Fort Hood, Texas. When the assault ended minutes later, the attack had become what is believed to be the largest mass shooting ever to occur on a U.S. military base. Twelve were killed, 31 wounded.

Predictably, the mainstream media have been dancing gingerly around the possible motive of this murderer, as well as what religion he might belong to. This Washington Post article, however, does point out that Hasan was a "very devout" Muslim.

This "very devout" Muslim telegraphed his intentions months beforehand when he wrote in an Internet posting:

There was a grenade thrown amongs a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that "IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE" and Allah (SWT) knows best.

Hasan must have been an Islamophobe.

N.B. Hasan's assessment of the Islamic permissibility of suicide bombing is almost identical to that of Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as that of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a mainstream Muslim cleric who reaches millions of Muslims worldwide via his regular al-Jazeera broadcasts, and has been consulted on several occasions by White House officials on issues of US foreign policy!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Slavery In Islam And The West: The Double Standards Of The Intellectual Elites (Part 1)


In 2006, Tony Blair expressed his “deep sorrow” over Britain's role in the slave trade. In an article for the New Nation newspaper, the then-prime minister said it had been a “profoundly shameful” affair in Britain's history.

But Blair's words angered some African groups, such as the Pan African Reparation Coalition – because he had not been fawning enough in his apology. “An apology is just the start – words mean nothing,” said a spokeswoman.

There are a number of double standards and misplaced priorities in this scenario. Is it really right that Britain – and the West in general – should be singled out for the slave trade? And should it be necessary for Blair, or anyone else, to apologise for it at all?

The fact the mainstream media and groups such as the Pan African Reparation Coalition repeatedly ignore is that there was another slave trade which was just as shameful a blot on the history of the human race – the Islamic slave trade. Not only is this never mentioned by any reparations groups or Western courses on slavery, but the Islamic world has never been subjected to any worldwide condemnation or shame because of it.

This two-part essay is intended to redress the balance and provide the corrective to the current politically correct malaise, by examining and comparing the West and the Islamic world and their roles in the slave trade. In doing so, I hope to call attention to the neglected victims of a slave trade that no one condemns, as well as to emphasise that the West no longer has anything to be ashamed of, and has much to be proud of.


We certainly should not glorify slavery, and nor should we minimise or celebrate the role of Western countries such as Britain in participating in it. Slavery is an unethical, inhuman, degrading practice. But the West has already paid its penance for its past crimes – and it did so by being the first to push for abolition of slavery.

The roots of abolition go back to the ancient Greeks, who developed the conception of the equality and unity of man, a common brotherhood that bound all human beings regardless of race or creed. Plato put forward the argument that one of mankind's biggest mistakes was to “divide humanity into two”, treating the Greeks as a separate class while “[a]ll other nations, although their number is unknown and they do not intermingle or share any common language, are called by the single term 'barbarian', and because of this one term it is supposed that they constitute a single class.” Aristotle saw mankind as one race, distinguished from other creatures by the power of reason. Cicero, who introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans, wrote:

“That justice is based on nature will be evident, if you fully realise man's fellowship and unity with his fellow men. No two things are so closely alike as all of us are to each other...Hence, however man is to be defined, one definition is true of all men – proof enough that there is no difference between the species, for if there were, a single definition would not cover all its members...There is indeed no one of any race who, given a guide, cannot make his way to virtue.”

There was even direct criticism of slavery during the era of the ancient Greeks. Alcidamas, the fourth-century rhetorician and Sophist, condemned the practice: “The deity gave liberty to all men, and nature created no one a slave.” And although Aristotle is known to have said that some men are by nature slaves, he also recommended that “it is better to hold out freedom as a reward for all slaves”.

Such views continued to be held in the West long after the Greeks, including among Christians, who absorbed Greek and Stoic ethics into their theology. Although it condones and never condemns slavery, the Bible also affirms the oneness of man before God: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) This attitude caused Christians to question the morality of slavery even as far back as the so-called Dark Ages. St. Isidore of Seville declared that “God has made no difference between the soul of the slave and that of the freedman.” In 649, Clovis II, king of the Franks, married a slave, who later began a campaign to halt slavery. The Catholic Church now honours her as St. Bathilda. And in the sixteenth century, a Spanish missionary and bishop named Bartolomé de Las Casas was instrumental in enacting a law prohibiting enslavement of the Indians.

These aren't simply the actions and assumptions of a few; they are part of the grand universalist tradition of the West, and have formed our culture, part of who we are as Brits, or Americans, or Europeans. In time, they would form the basis for the abolition of the slave trade.

The pioneering abolitionists William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson were British. They were supported in their efforts by influential writers such as William Cowper and Laurence Sterne. In America, there was William Lloyd Garrison, and even Abraham Lincoln, both of whom based their opposition to slavery on Biblical principles. Slavery was pronounced to be against the law in Scotland in 1776. English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham called the British colonies where slavery flourished “a disgrace and an outrage on humanity.”

The eighteenth century was the high tide of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but it also gave rise to the principles of freedom, equality and human rights, which were themselves derived from the ancient Greeks and found primarily in the West. Truly one of the greatest things about Western civilisation is its ability to engage in self-criticism: to subject even its most cherished beliefs and institutions to critical analysis and change. It was this willingness for self-criticism that led to the abolition of slavery, not just in the West, but throughout the world.

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Dhimmitude In 2012

Something is wrong with this poster

Actually, it's dhimmitude right now, from film director Roland Emmerich, the man behind new disaster flick "2012". Here's the story:

He blew up the Empire State Building and the White House in Independence Day, sent a giant monster careering through the heart of Manhattan in Godzilla and destroyed the famous Hollywood sign in The Day After Tomorrow. But it seems there are places even Roland Emmerich will not go - the German film-maker has revealed he abandoned plans to obliterate Islam's holiest site on the big screen for fear of attracting a fatwa...

"I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich told "But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right.

"We have to all, in the western world, think about this. You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol ["Arab"? ~ Ed], you would have ... a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is.

"So it's just something which I kind of didn't [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out."... order to highlight his opposition to organised religion, the director decided to use CGI to destroy the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro instead. For good measure, he also blew up the Sistine chapel and St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican...

This fits in perfectly with the my blog post here yesterday, discussing sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm"'s eager willingness to have a man urinate on Christian symbols but not Muslim ones. The first question is: What do Emmerich and the film's producers glean from the fact that they won't face any death threats if they destroy Christian holy symbols, but they will if they destroy Muslim ones? And secondly, why didn't Emmerich simply leave the scene in the movie and declare that anyone who would riot and kill innocent people over a fictional event depicted in a movie is a barbaric medievalist and should not be dignified by such cowardly capitulation?

I suspect that the answer to the first question is that Emmerich knows very well what this fact means, but will never say so in public. And I suspect the answer to the second is that he does not understand the threat to free speech that Islamic political pressure on Western powers actually constitutes.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Would Larry David Urinate On The Qur'an?

I've never watched it religiously (har-de-har-har-har), but on the few occasions that I have watched the hit American sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, I have found it to be fairly amusing. In some ways, it's like an Americanised, ad-libbed version of our own One Foot In The Grave.

Today at Front Page, Jamie Glazov examines a recent episode of the show in which lead character Larry David (played by, er, Larry David) accidentally urinates on a picture of Jesus, leading to much subsequent hilarity. Glazov asks the question: "Are producers of this show, or Larry David, or anyone else connected to it fearing for their lives right now? Are there Christian groups calling for the death of anyone in connection to this episode?"


Would the producers of this show have just as easily allowed a scene in which Larry David urinates on a Koran? He couldn’t urinate on a picture of Muhammad because we all know that making a representation of Muhammad gets you an immediate death sentence. So we have to settle for the Holy Book. But how much does anyone want to bet that this would never be allowed?

Question: Why in our culture is urinating on Jesus easily permitted but urinating on the Koran is simply unthinkable? What does this signify?

Glazov repeats the question yet again:

HBO has come to the defense of the episode, saying that it is all about parody. Everyone needs to lighten up. So, if Larry David urinated on the Koran, would HBO tell everyone they need to lighten up because it is parody? What does it say that we know for a fact that the latter would simply never happen?

What meaning and lesson do we draw from this?

It goes without saying that this question is, of course, rhetorical.