Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Grim Christmas For Iraqi Christians

Pictures of slain Iraqi Christians are displayed during Mass on December 10th at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad

As you celebrate Christmas this year, please take a short amount of time to think about all those throughout the world who, for a variety of reasons, will be unable to. In particular, contemplate those Christians in the Islamic world who, every year, cancel Christmas celebrations out out of fear of violence from adherents of the Religion of Peace. USA Today provides details on the latest example:

No decorations, no midnight Mass. Even an appearance by Santa Claus has been nixed after Iraq's Christian leaders called off Christmas celebrations amid new al-Qaeda threats on the tiny community still terrified from a bloody siege on a Baghdad church.

Christians across Iraq have been living in fear since the assault on Our Lady of Salvation Church as its Catholic congregation was celebrating Sunday Mass. Sixty-eight people were killed. Days later Islamic insurgents bombed Christian homes and neighborhoods across the capital.

On Tuesday, al-Qaeda insurgents threatened more attacks on Iraq's beleaguered Christians, many of whom have fled their homes or the country since the church attack. A council representing Christian denominations across Iraq advised its followers to cancel public celebrations of Christmas out of concern for their lives and as a show of mourning for the victims.

"Nobody can ignore the threats of al-Qaeda against Iraqi Christians," said Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako in Kirkuk. "We cannot find a single source of joy that makes us celebrate. The situation of the Christians is bleak."

Church officials in Baghdad, as well as in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul and the southern city of Basra, said they will not put up Christmas decorations or celebrate midnight Mass. They urged worshippers not to decorate their homes. Even an appearance by Santa Claus was called off.

"It's to avoid any attacks, but also to show that people are sad, not happy," said Younadim Kanna, a Christian lawmaker from Baghdad.

Even before the Oct. 31 church attack, thousands of Christians were fleeing Iraq. They make up more than a third of the 53,700 Iraqis resettled in the United States since 2007, according to State Department statistics...

Maher Murqous, a Christian from Mosul who fled to neighboring Syria after being threatened by militants, said his relatives are still at risk in Iraq, and since they cannot celebrate, neither will he.

"We will pray for the sake of Iraq. That's all we can do," he said from his home in Damascus.


Be safe this Christmas, and have a good one.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Why Islam Is A Religion AND A Terror Ideology

You look a bit bemused, Jocelyne. Don't worry, let me explain it all for you

This is an old article by now, but it is worth examining because it demonstrates the general ignorance about Islam among certain circles in the West - particularly in the mainstream media, but outside of it also.

It's from CNN, it's by Jocelyne Cesari, and it's called "Islam Is A Religion, Not A Terror Ideology". It's principle "gripe" can be summarised in the following segment:

Another trait shared by anti-Islamic movements on both sides of the Atlantic is that they increasingly justify their opposition by arguing that Islam is not a religion.

For example, in his campaign preceding Holland's recent elections, extreme right-wing parliamentarian Geert Wilders repeatedly argued that Islam is a political ideology. Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, in his failed gubernatorial bid, suggested that the freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment might not apply to Muslims. "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, a cult," the Republican candidate told an audience in Murfreesboro.

Disturbingly, these assertions are often embraced by people looking to justify their intolerance. Counterclaims and evidence from religious leaders, intellectuals, government officials and others have little impact on this misperception.

Why is Islam no longer considered a religion?

American and European debate on Islam often revolves around the question of whether Islam is compatible with Western-style democracy and values. But because many Westerners associate Islam with al Qaeda, Palestinian militant groups and Iranian theocracy, they have a constricted, one-dimensional view of a faith that is multifaceted and complex.

It is telling that Cesari questions the idea that Islam is a political ideology, but offers no contrasting evidence to justify this dispute. If she had taken time to do some real research, instead of making vague generalisations, she would have found that the description of Islam as a totalitarian political ideology comparable to Nazism and Bolshevism appears in the writings of numerous revered scholars and academics, including but not limited to: Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Carl Jung, G.H. Bousquet and Bernard Lewis.

But if Cesari is inclined to think that all of these authorities are just ignorant Islamophobes, she should know that Muslims themselves frequently refer to Islam as not just a religion, "but a way of life" that encompasses all aspects of a person's existence, including the political. Here is one example:

Islam is a “total way of life.” It has provided guidance in every sphere of life, from individual cleanliness, rules of trade, to the structure and politics of the society. Islam can never be separated from social, political, or economic life, since religion provides moral guidance for every action that a person takes. The primary act of faith is to strive to implement God's will in both private and public life. Muslims see that they, themselves, as well as the world around them, must be in total submission to God and his Will. Moreover, they know that this concept of His rule must be established on earth in order to create a just society.

Here is another Muslim website that says the same thing.

In his book Cairo to Damascus, investigative journalist John Roy Carlson describes a conversation he had in the 1950s with Aboul Saud, a member of the Arab League. Carlson quotes Saud saying the following – and with immense pride:

“You might describe Mohammedanism as a religious form of State Socialism. The Koran gives the state the right to nationalize industry, distribute land, or expropriate property. It grants the ruler of the state unlimited powers, so long as he does not go against the Koran. The Koran is our personal as well as political constitution.”

Carlson concluded based on his conversations with Egyptian Muslims that Islam is “both a political creed and a way of life encompassing the sum total of a Muslim's temporal and spiritual existence.”

Finally, witness the writings of Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi (d.1979), one of the most influential Muslim thinkers of the twentieth century. Maududi believed that “Islam is a revolutionary ideology and programme which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals.” Specifically, “Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and programme”. Maududi taught that “Islam is not merely a religious creed or compound name for a few forms of worship, but a comprehensive system which envisages to annihilate all tyrannical and evil systems in the world and enforces its own programme of reform which it deems best for the well-being of mankind.” Muslims must wage jihad against unbelievers, the purpose of which “is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of State rule.”

Again, Cesari might argue that this is just these particular Muslims' interpretation of Islam, and that there are others who disagree. Perhaps, but their influence in determining normative Islamic doctrine is minimal to non-existant, and this view of Islam as a "total way of life" that governs politics as well as the spiritual is a traditional version that will not go away just because Cesari wishes it would.

Later in the piece she opines:

It's worth noting that we did not seek to explain the violence and terrorism of Northern Ireland through the lens of Catholicism and Protestantism only; nobody scoured the Bible for verses about violence and war. Observers, instead, cited political, economic and historic factors to explain the conflict. By the same token, no one would argue that Gush Emunim, or Block of the Faithful, exclusively represents Judaism, or that the murder of abortion doctors represents the essence of Christianity.

She does not mention, however, that the Northern Ireland troubles were not primarily justified by reference to Biblical teachings. Islamic terrorists, on the other hand, frequently and almost exclusively justify their actions by reference to Islamic texts and teachings. The IRA's stated intentions were secular, and their name, the "Irish Republican Army", carries a nationalist character. For contrast, see the Charter of Hamas, which is fervently religious, including quotes from the Qur'an and other Islamic texts to incite the global genocide of the Jewish people. And of course, the group's name is a religious one: "Hamas" is an Arabic acronym for Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamat al-Islāmiyyah, or "Islamic Resistance Movement".

I recommend that Ms Cesari read Raymond Ibrahim's The Al Qaeda Reader, a collection of translated texts from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. She will find that they are absolutely saturated with quotes from Islamic religious sources. Indeed, a typical essay by al-Zawahiri will typically devote at least half of its total text not to his own words, but to quotes from Islamic texts and scholars. Cesari suggests elsewhere in the piece that men like Zawahiri and the authors of the Hamas Charter are merely "using" religion for political ends, but for this she has no evidence other than her own speculation, and in any case she ignores the joint religious and political character of Islam. She also fails to explain how Islamic texts are "manipulated" and "misrepresented" so frequently in exactly the same way by people all across the world and far removed from each other.

In short, Jocelyne Cesari's article is just another puff piece that has no purpose other than to mislead Western non-Muslims and blind them to the truth about Islam and the threat it poses to our values and culture. She can label those who disagree with her as "intolerant" all she likes, but these facts will not go away. Indeed, they will continue to be eternal truths long after she and I are gone from this world.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Spanish Teacher Says "Ham", Muslim Child Traumatised

Even more offensive when you say it out loud

This might be parody. I really hope so, but I haven't seen any evidence yet to suggest that it is.

"Muslim kid in Spain traumatized by hearing his teacher say 'ham'"

If it's true, would it really be all that surprising in this day and age? The only surprising thing here would be that a member of the academic establishment actually had some balls: the teacher in question, who has been charged with "mistreatment motivated by xenophobia" for mentioning ham while discussing climate conditions in Granada, opined in a press release: "Here [in class] there are 30 students, and one of them must adapt to the 29 others, and not the 29 others to the one."

Bravo, that man.

How are they going to take over the world if they cry whenever someone says "ham"?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Ignoring Imam Rauf's "Call To Da'wa"

Recently I criticised some atheists for being overly eager to tar Christianity with the "evil" brush while ignoring the far worse teachings and practical applications of Islam.

This is no more evident than in a recent episode of "The Atheist Experience", a live call-in and discussion show broadcast from Texas. The show features Matt Dillahunty, former Baptist Minister-in-training-turned-hardened-atheist, along with other panelists and commentators, who discuss various religious issues from an atheistic point of view and take calls from viewers, often leading to heated debates with theists.

In the November 21st episode, Lee from Virginia takes the team to task for being soft on Islam. While I won't comment on the presenters' presentation of Islam in general, what does come up during the discussion is the issue of the Ground Zero mosque project that caused so much controversy over the summer. And as much as I enjoy their logical and philosophical discussions with theists, Matt and his co-presenter Martin Wagner's "analysis" of this issue is both arrogant and ignorant.

They spend much of their time emphasising the legal and Constitutional right of the mosque developers to go ahead with construction. While I am not convinced that the Constitutional right to religious freedom has ever been understood as granting any group the absolute right to construct any building anywhere, this entire argument misses the point anyway. No one has ever disputed the fact that it is perfectly legal for Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf to build his mosque. The issue has always been about whether it is appropriate to build a triumphant monument to the ideology that motivated the worst terrorist attack in American history on the site of that same attack. No one would have permitted a Shinto shrine to be built on the site of Pearl Harbour, no matter what "building bridges" claptrap its proponents spouted, so why is the mosque different?

Dillahunty and Wagner think they have an answer: the people who are building this mosque are "not the same people" as the terrorists who carried out 9/11. They are "moderates" and therefore it is wrong to tar them with the same brush. They claim that there is "no evidence", except on "conspiracy sites", that the mosque developers are in any way connected to the 9/11 hijackers.

That may be strictly true, but in their ignorance they ignore mountains of evidence that the main man behind the project, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, is indeed a jihadist - albeit not quite of the same stripes as those hijackers, but not far off.

When asked if he condemned Hamas as a terrorist organisation (which it clearly is), Rauf ducked and dodged and, ultimately, refused. Even more tellingly, in his book Islam: A Sacred Law, Rauf gives a positive account of the nineteenth-century Muslim leader Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. For Rauf, Abd al-Wahhab is a reformer, a rationalist, and a “rejuvenator of the Hanbali school” who simply wanted to “return to the religious spirit of the forefathers who, for the basic principles of their religion, referred to the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet, and who fought against the blind imitation that ‘had killed among the Islamic people serious thought and the spirit of independence and had extinguished the flame of activity.’ He was a bitter antagonist of those who held to the excuse ‘we found our fathers so doing’ without subjecting such a heritage to the dictates of reason. Commentaries, texts, opinions and whims containing any of these elements were repudiated.”

And who was Abd al-Wahhab? Why, he was the founder of the Wahhabi sect, the most viruently puritanical and intolerant form of Islam, which the 9/11 hijackers followed. So Rauf has lionised the prominent figurehead and ideology behind the same form of Islam that perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities.

And that's not all. Far from it.

Rauf is also a bald-faced liar. Despite telling the Western media that he is interested in religious dialogue, on March 24th he was quoted in an article in Arabic for the website Rights4All as saying: "I do not believe in religious dialogue.”

Rauf is also an open proponent of sharia law, including within the United States, claiming that "the American political structure is sharia compliant". This is most notable in Islam: A Sacred Law:

God’s role in the explicit philosophical construct of the law makes a big difference between the modus operandi of a righteous Muslim judge in a Muslim court and a righteous Western judge in a Western court. The judge who sits in judgment in an Islamic court sits in lieu of God as His worldly representative [khalifa] and is held responsible by God to His values. The Muslim judge explicitly ‘reports to God.’ The judge who sits in a Western court is only explicitly responsible to the Constitution, the interpretations of a civil law and its rules...

And since a Shariah is understood as a law with God at its center, it is not possible in principle to limit the Shariah to some aspects of human life and leave out others...

The Shariah thus covers every field of law—public and private, national and international—together with enormous amounts of material that Westerners would not regard as law at all, because the basis of the Shari’ah is the worship of, and obedience to, God through good works and moral behavior. Following the Sacred Law thus defines the Muslim’s belief in God...

Here Rauf is clearly calling for an implementation of a religious theocracy that would eradicate the Constitutional requirement of a separation between church and state. He has emphasised this call many times in his writings and during interviews.

The form that this sharia governance, as envisioned by Rauf, would probably take could be deduced from the following fact: In 2009, the group "Former Muslims United" issued the "Freedom Pledge", a document demanding absolute religious freedom for those who choose to leave Islam. The pledge included the delcaration: "I renounce, repudiate and oppose any physical intimidation, or worldly and corporal punishment, of apostates from Islam, in whatever way that punishment may be determined or carried out by myself or any other Muslim including the family of the apostate, community, Mosque leaders, Shariah court or judge, and Muslim government or regime." The intention was to drum up explicit rejection among mainstream American Muslim leaders of the classical sharia teaching that apostates from Islam must be executed.

The pledge was sent to hundreds of Muslim leaders throughout America, with a space for a signature and a return address. Included among the recipients were Faisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan. And as indicated by this page on "Former Muslims United"'s website, neither Rauf nor Khan ever signed the declaration (and neither, for that matter, did any other American Muslim leader, with the exception of one).

Rauf's ultimate worldview conforms with that of the Muslim Brotherhood, the original Islamic terrorist organisation founded in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna. One edition of Rauf's book What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, published by HarperCollins, contains a note on its copyright page informing us that "this edition was made possible through a joint effort of The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the office of Interfaith and Community Alliance of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Funding for this project was provided by IIIT.”

Both the IIIT and ISNA are named in Muslim Brotherhood internal documents declassified by the US State Department as "friends and allies" of the Brotherhood. More of Rauf's connections to the Brotherhood are explored here.

In its 1991 "Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America", linked above, the Brotherhood describes its plans in the US as "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

One of its many well-developed methods for doing this is the creation of "Islamic centres" across the United States. The document states:

This is in order for the Islamic center to turn - in action not in words - into a seed "for a small Islamic society" which is a reflection and a mirror to our central organizations. The center ought to turn into a "beehive" which produces sweet honey. Thus, the Islamic center would turn into a place for study, family, battalion, course, seminar, visit, sport, school, social club, women gathering, kindergarten for male and female youngsters, the office of the domestic political
resolution, and the center for distributing our newspapers, magazines, books and our audio and visual tapes.

This sounds strikingly similar to the building Rauf has planned for Manhattan. And the document goes on:

In brief we say: we would like for the Islamic center to become "The House of Dawa"' and "the general center" in deeds first before name. As much as we own and direct these centers at the continent level, we can say we are marching successfully towards the settlement of Dawa' in this country.

Meaning that the "center's" role should be the same as the "mosque's" role during the time of God's prophet, God's prayers and peace be upon him, when he marched to "settle" the Dawa' in its first generation in Madina. from the mosque, he drew the Islamic life and provided to the world the most magnificent and fabulous civilization humanity knew.

This mandates that, eventually, the region, the branch and the Usra turn into "operations rooms" for planning, direction, monitoring and leadership for the Islamic center in order to be a role model to be followed.

Da'wa is Islamic proselytising. In other words, the purpose of the "Islamic centre" is to spread Islam throughout the United States and help to ensure that Islam is "made victorious over all other religions." It is also worth noting that earlier in the document, the Islamic centres are described as "battalions".

Is this, then, Rauf's intention behind building his own "Islamic centre" on the site of America's worst ever terrorist attack? Perhaps he has different plans for his own project, but it is certainly interesting to note that his book What's Right With Islam was originally published in Malaysia as A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America post-9/11.

The bottom line is that there are perfectly good reasons (and this post hasn't even covered them all) why people can quite legitimately be concerned and oppositional towards the construction of this mosque, without being bigoted or driven by ignorance.

Despite their protestations to the contrary, the two intelligent and articulate presenters of "The Atheist Experience" are manifesting profound and dangerous acceptance of the propaganda peddled by snake-oil salesmen like Faisal Abdul Rauf. In that sense, whatever their overall attitude towards Islam, they have unfortunately discredited their otherwise well-deserved reputation as rational thinkers and debaters. If they wish to retain their integrity, they ought to be ashamed and they ought to apologise.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Nazism & Islam: Two Peas In A Pod

This great, if brief, article at Israel Today does not share a lot of new information for those who have bothered to study their history, but it does a nice job of emphasising the point. An extract:

Nazism and Islam share common values and, more importantly, a common enemy in the Jews, World War II-era Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin al-Husseini is cited as telling his German benefactors in the latest survey of declassified US wartime documents.

Prepared by the UN National Archives, the report titled “Hitler’s Shadow” references thousands of declassified intelligence and diplomatic reports in detailing Husseini’s active cooperation with the Nazi leadership in its quest to rid the world of the Jewish people.

According to the report, Husseini was paid an enormous salary for fomenting hatred of the Jews in “Palestine” and for helping to recruit Muslims as Nazi soldiers. His contract with the Nazis also promised Husseini rulership over Palestine at the successful conclusion of the war.

One document cites Adolf Hitler as telling Husseini that Nazi Germany’s only aim in conquering Palestine was to eradicate the Jewish presence there. After that, the country would be Husseini’s to rule as he saw fit.

To this day, many Western atheist liberals claim falsely that the Vatican was complicit in the Holocaust, and tar all of Christianity with this broad stroke. They rarely - VERY rarely - ever mention Hajj Amin al-Husseini.

And did you think Geert Wilders invented the comparison between Islam and Nazism? If you did, you were severly mistaken. Winston Churchill was the first to make a direct comparison between the Qur'an and Mein Kampf, referring to the latter as "the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message." And in 1939 the pioneering psychiatrist Carl Jung, when asked what might be the next step in "religious development", answered: "We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. He is already on the way; he is like Muhammad. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with wild god. That can be the historic future."

Hitler himself admired Islam very much, as can be read in the memoirs of Albert Speer, who was Hitler's Minister of Armaments and War Production:

Hitler had been much impressed by a scrap of history he had learned from a delegation of distinguished Arabs. When the Mohammedans [Muslims] attempted to penetrate beyond France into Central Europe during the eighth century, his visitors had told him, they had been driven back at the Battle of Tours. Had the Arabs won this battle, the world would be Mohammedan today. For theirs was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and subjugating all nations to that faith. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament. Hitler said that the conquering Arabs, because of their racial inferiority, would in the long run have been unable to contend with the harsher climate and conditions of the country. They could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire.

His admiration for Islam is confirmed by other sources, as well. Dr. Herman Neubacher, the first Nazi Mayor of Vienna, wrote that Hitler had told him Islam was a “male religion”, and reiterated the belief that the Germans would have been far more successful conquerors had they adopted Islam in the Middle Ages. Additionally, General Alexander Loehr, a Luftwaffe commander, maintained that Hitler had told him that Islam was such a desirable creed that he longed for it to become the official religion of the Nazi Secret Service.

Unsurprisingly, Leftists don't talk about all this very much, and their tendency to smear those who are resisting the threat of jihad and sharia as "neo-Nazis" is particularly ironic in light of these facts.

One last extract from the article at hand:

The report concludes by noting that despite the mountain of evidence against him, the Allied powers allowed Husseini to flee to Syria after the war and did not pursue a criminal investigation. Husseini died in Beirut in 1974 as a hero among his people.

The international community’s lenient treatment of Husseini even though he had openly collaborated with modern history’s most brutal and criminal dictatorship was again repeated when the world decided to take the most blood-soaked terrorist in history, Yasser Arafat, and reward him by making him a head of state.

To learn more about Hajj Amin al-Husseini, his relationship with Hitler and his role in the Holocaust, read Jennie Lebel's magnificent book The Mufti of Jerusalem: Haj-Amin el-Husseini and National-Socialism. It's very rare and hard to find, but well worth the read if you can get it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sweden: A Dying Nation

The aftermath of (yet another) terrorist attack in Sweden

Who was ever really surprised when it turned out that two explosions in Sweden yesterday were caused by terrorist attacks carried out by a Muslim?

Wait, am I getting a little ahead of the game here? After all, "police haven't confirmed Saturday's attack was motivated by Islamist views" (thanks for that, Fox News). So it could just have easily turned out to be enraged Methodists or Buddhist extremists.

Unfortunately, there are little things in this world that have a habit of determining what is and is not the case in life. These little things are called facts.

The facts in this case so far are that "an audio file sent to Swedish news agency TT shortly before the blast referred to jihad, Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan and a cartoon by a Swedish artist that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, enraging many Muslims." The voice on the tape also declared: "Now the Islamic state has been created. We now exist here in Europe and in Sweden. We are a reality. I don't want to say more about this. Our actions will speak for themselves."

Of course, it's possible that whoever was speaking on the recording was not responsible for the explosions that occurred later, but there are many reasons to believe that they almost certainly were. Chief among these reasons is that there are not many demographic groups that are known to have members repeatedly put bombs in cars and commit suicide bombings. The first place to look, then, is among the community that does this most often - they call themselves "Muslims".

And what are the Muslims of Sweden like? A good place to go to find out would be the city of Malmo, which is over 25% Muslim. In the heaviest Muslim areas of the city, emergency service drivers will not enter without protection, and Jews are terrified to walk the streets for fear of being beaten up.

Does that sound good to you?

It apparently does to the Swedish government, which recently decided to amend the country's constitution in order to make multiculturalism an official tenet of the state.

Sweden is now reaping what it has sown, and like the continent in which it resides, it is dying a horrible death.

P.S. Why do Muslims keep trying (and succeeding) to blow things up and kill people in the name of their religion? Do they know something about the teachings of Islam that the learned David Cameron and Barack Obama do not...?

Hint: Yes.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Germany: Moderate Wife-Beating

Sheikh Abu Adam: A moderate Muslim beater of women

The Qur'an gives divine sanction to wife-beating:

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.” (4:34)

Most Qur'an translators use the word "scourge" or "beat" in this verse, but a few years ago, a new translation of the Qur'an by female Iranian-American scholar Laleh Bakhtiar rendered this key line as “go away from them”. This seems highly implausible. Does this mean that all these translators got it wrong until Bakhtiar came along? Not to mention the fact that Muhammad himself, an "excellent example" for Muslims to follow (Qur'an 33:21), is recorded to have beaten his own wives, causing them pain. Her impulse to somehow explain away the real meaning of this verse is understandable, since many Muslims today view it with acute embarrassment.

But many others take this injunction completely seriously. German Sheikh Abu Adam, 40, is currently on remand in Munich while his wife, 31, is being guarded by police. She was allegedly assaulted so badly that she suffered a broken nose and shoulder and numerous cuts and bruises. And more to the point, Adam is alleged to have shouted the above verse from the Qur'an as he beat her, which he did because she "wanted to live a more 'western' lifestyle and was allegedly attacked after telling her husband."

And guess what: Adam was a "moderate" cleric who "
lectures on non-violence and advises the German government on interfaith issues".

With "moderate" Muslims like this, who needs "extremists"?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Farce Begins

The trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who stands accused of "hate speech" and "denigration of religious teaching", began yesterday, and The Tundra Tabloids live-blogged the first day of proceedings.

The totalitarian absurdity of this mock "trial" is highlighted by this summary of one of the exchanges between Sabaditsch-Wolff and the judge:

Then the quote about ”Islam is shit” is debated. Elisabeth points out that she was debating, using visual quotes, if it is legal or punishable to say ”Islam is shit”. Thus, what we are discussing here is the meta-question:

Is it illegal, or punishable, to debate the legality of saying: ”Islam is shit”?

Yes, seriously; this is what Europe has become.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Education For The Nation

"Teacher, teacher, when do we get to do our practical amputation exam?"

A BBC Panorama investigation, to be screened tonight, has identified a network of more than 40 Muslim weekend schools teaching around 5,000 children, from age 6 to 18, that promote violent sharia punishments and spread hatred against unbelievers, particularly Jews.

The schools – which offer the Saudi National Curriculum – are run under the umbrella of ‘Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland’. They are not state-funded, and do not use Government buildings. They are able to exploit a loophole which means weekend schools are not inspected by Ofsted.

The Panorama investigation identified a book for 15-year-olds being used in the classes which teaches about Sharia law and its punishments. It says: ‘For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence.’ There are diagrams showing children where cuts must be made. One passage says: ‘The specified punishment of the thief is cutting off his right hand at the wrist. Then it is cauterised to prevent him from bleeding to death.’

For acts of ‘sodomy’, children are told that the penalty is death and it states a difference of opinion whether this should be done by stoning, or burning with fire, or throwing over a cliff.

The textbooks for 15-year-olds revive the so-called ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, which teach that Zionists want to establish world domination for Jews. They instruct pupils: ‘The Jews have tried to deny them (the Protocols) but there are many proofs of their veracity and their origin among the elders of Zion.’ The textbooks say the ‘main goal’ of the ‘Zionist movement’ is ‘for the Jews to have control over the world and its resources’ which, the book allege, Zionists seek to achieve partly by ‘inciting rancour and rivalry among the great powers so that they fight one another.’

There will be those who are deeply shocked by these revelations, and these people are invariably the ones who are ignorant of Islam.

The teaching about cutting off the hands of adulterers originates in the Qur'an: "As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power." (5:38) The Risala, a renowned manual of Islamic law authored by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani of the Maliki school of Sunni jurisprudence, outlines the various stages of punishment for serial thieves:

If a person steals a quarter of a dinar in gold, or something the value of which on the day of the theft equals three dirhams of property, or something the weight of which represents three dirhams of silver, such a person shall have his hand cut off if the stolen property was in the possession of somebody else when stolen. But there shall be no amputation if the property is stolen surreptitiously. In respect of those amounts mentioned above, the hand of a man or a woman or that of a slave is cut off. Then if the person steals again, he has his foot on the opposite side cut off. If he should steal again he will have his other hand cut off. If he steals for the fourth time, he shall have the remaining foot cut off. If he should steal for the fifth time, he shall be beaten and imprisoned.

I'm not sure how a person with no arms or legs is going to steal anything, let alone something that weighs equivalent to three dirhams of silver, but you get the picture.

The grizzly and inventive punishment for homosexuality stems straight from Muhammad's teachings ("Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done”) and his closest Companions (all widely venerated experts on the Qur'an and its meaning).

As for the conspiracism and hostility towards the Jews, it is based on a number of verses in the Qur'an and hadith that describe the Jews as the worst enemies of the Muslims, who strive to work "mischief" in the land (which they might do by, say, "inciting rancour and rivalry among the great powers so that they fight one another"), and are also allied with the Muslim equivalent of the Antichrist.

Given all of this, why WOULDN'T Muslim schools - even ones in tolerant, multicultural Britain - be teaching kids "extremist" Islam? Do these Muslims read a different Qur'an and revere a different Prophet to the Muslims of Saudi Arabia?

Of course they don't. They all follow the same Islam, and that Islam is, plain and simple, incompatible not only with British values, but with the values of any civilised society on earth. The only solution is to stringently ban all those parts of it that conflict with British law and human decency, and enforce that ban to the utmost.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Fact Vs. Fiction - Part 3

"The religion [of Islam] teaches peace, justice, fairness and tolerance. All of us recognise that this great religion cannot justify violence." ~ US President Borat Obama


"An Afghan Christian, detained for months for allegedly converting to Christianity from Islam, could face trial as early as next week - and could face a potential death penalty, officials said Sunday."

Friday, 19 November 2010

Bring Question 755 To The UK!

On November 2nd, the residents of Oklahoma voted in favour of a local constitutional amendment banning sharia law.

Contrary to the monotonous whining of cultural jihadist Muslim advocacy groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the law is not a violation of religious freedom. It merely "makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases," and "forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law." Outside of the court system, in matters of personal faith, Muslims are free to behave however they wish, as long as their behaviour does not contradict American law. However, within the court system, judges are forbidden from legislating for Oklahomans on the basis of Islamic law. Thus, the necessary secular character of American law is protected, and aspects of sharia inimical to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights - such as its discrimination against women and non-Muslims - have no chance of ever being enforced. And for those who scoff at the idea of US courts implementing Islamic law, this report by the American Public Policy Alliance may be interesting reading.

Such a law is essential not just in Oklahoma, but in the rest of America also. And following that, it must come to Britain. Given the increasing influence, particularly negative, of independently arbitrating sharia courts here in the UK, a British replication of State Question 755 could not be a more important way of safeguarding justice, human rights and secularism in this country.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

How To Reform Islam

At National Review, former Muslim Ibn Warraq discusses an interesting document that provides very scant, but certainly not unfounded, hope that somewhere, Muslims genuinely are undertaking efforts to catch up with the Western world when it comes to secularised democratic reform.

“The Casablanca Call for Democracy and Human Rights” was published just last month by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and urges governments and activists across the Middle East to continue working toward democratic reforms. It is the result of a conference organized by the Arab Human Rights Movement. It calls for separation of powers and endorses the principle of the sovereignty of the people - a truly democratic demand, since, in an Islamic state, sovereignty belongs to God and His Law. As well as outlining many basic human rights reforms, it also importantly reaffirms the “interconnectedness of political reform with the renewal of religious thought, which requires support for, and expansion of, the practice of ijtihad [that is, independent reasoning] in a climate of complete freedom of thought, under democratic systems of government.”

It is believed by most Muslims, at least within Sunni Islam, that the “gates of ijtihad” are closed. Ijtihad is the process of re-evaluating the Qur'an and instating a point of Islamic law based upon this evaluation. Only a select few Muslims are considered qualified to perform ijtihad, and since the death of Ahmad ibn Hanbal – founder of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence – in the ninth century, no one has been recognised as a mujtahid of the first class. This means that critical examination of the Qur'an, and alteration of laws which may now be considered out-dated, is discouraged in the Muslim world, and so theological progression within the faith has stagnated. The classic manual of Islamic law Reliance of the Traveller states: “When the four necessary integrals of consensus exist, the ruling agreed upon is an authoritative part of Sacred Law that is obligatory to obey and not lawful to disobey. Nor can mujtahids of a succeeding era make the thing an object of new ijtihad, because the ruling on it, verified by scholarly consensus, is an absolute legal ruling which does not admit of being contravened or annulled.”

So the Casablanca Call's suggestion to reopen the gates of ijtihad, if it was actually heeded by the majority of the Muslim world, would represent the first step towards the kind of grass-roots reform that Islam so desperately needs.

But we should not deceive ourselves into thinking that this document signifies that the Islamic world is on the brink of its own Enlightenment. For "as the authors of the Casablanca Call themselves confess, there has been scant progress in many areas of political and civil life" when it comes to human rights, and much of the action the Call suggests would constitute plain heresy to the orthodox.

Finally, Warraq asks the pertinent question:

One wonders if there will ever be real progress without someone, somewhere, beginning the necessary critique of Islam and its scriptures. As Jonathan Israel showed in his two monumental studies of the European Enlightenment — the process that radically changed European and American society forever, the process that gave us the egalitarian and democratic core values and ideals of the modern world — it began with one man, and one book: Baruch Spinoza and his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, first published in Amsterdam in 1670. That was the beginning of Biblical criticism and the modern world; but where is the Koranic criticism that alone can unshackle people’s minds?

Where indeed?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fact Vs. Fiction - Part 2

"The religion [of Islam] teaches peace, justice, fairness and tolerance. All of us recognise that this great religion cannot justify violence." ~ US President Borat Obama


"Muslims set fire overnight to at least 10 houses belonging to Coptic Christians in a village in southern Egypt over rumors that a Christian resident had an affair with a Muslim girl, security officials said Tuesday."

ADDENDUM: An almost identical - but even more brutal - incident occured in a different part of Egypt around the same time.

Talaq Of The Town

The Prophet would have approved

Under Islamic law, all a Muslim man has to do to divorce his wife is to utter "Talaq!" - "I divorce you!" - three times, and the deed is done. Instantly. As if a wife is something a man may throw away like a pair of socks with a hole in them.

Ancient law? Sure, but not in India, where the top Muslim clerical authorities still uphold it, aided by twenty-first century technology. In the most recent case, a fatwa by Darul-Ifta, the fatwa department of leading Sunni Islamic seminary Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, ruled that Talaq uttered thrice by a Muslim man on a mobile phone will be considered valid even if his wife is unable to hear it all three times due to network and other problems.

And this isn't the first backward, misogynistic ruling issued by Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, either. They have previously issued fatwas against women judges and female modelling.

These facts first of all underscore the woman-hating character of much of the Islamic world. But they also demonstrate the lazy and wilfully blind short-sightedness of our Western "analysts" of Islam. A couple of years ago, this same group, Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, issued a fatwa calling terrorism "un-Islamic". The blinkered masses instantly jumped on this as a shining example of how "moderate" mainstream Islam is. But in reality, the fatwa itself was riddled with enough loopholes to drive a tank through, and the group's "moderation" is obviously belied by its medieval orthodox Islamic sexism.

Just one of many, many examples of why you must never, ever, believe the mainstream media when they describe any Muslim group anywhere as "moderate". Do your own research first. I guarantee you that you will often find that the public face of Moderate Islam is but a cutesy facade disguising the barbarism beneath.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Palestine: Atheist Arrested

A man from the Palestinian town of Qalqiliya has been arrested after publishing critical atheistic remarks about Islam on Facebook.

26 year old Walid Husayin faces a potential life prison sentence on heresy charges for "insulting the divine essence." Many Muslims in the town say he should be killed for renouncing Islam, and even his own family say he should remain behind bars for life.

"He should be burned to death," said Abdul-Latif Dahoud, a 35-year-old Qalqiliya resident. The execution should take place in public "to be an example to others," he added.

But wait a minute - Walid Husayin was arrested by for this "heresy" by the Palestinian Authority. Aren't they supposed to be the "moderate" alternative to Hamas? And aren't the vast majority of Palestinian Muslims supposed to be "moderates" who would balk at the idea of such intolerant attitudes?

The AP article heinously appears to carry water for the Palestinian regime on this one: it laments "the feeling in the Muslim world that their faith is under mounting attack by the West." It claims, with no evidence at all, that "[t]he Western-backed Palestinian Authority is among the more religiously liberal Arab governments in the region". And worst of all, it says in all seriousness, as if it were the mouthpiece of the government, "Husayin's high public profile and prickly style, however, left authorities no choice but to take action."

They had no choice, you see, because he was "prickly". Ouch.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Fact Vs. Fiction

"The religion [of Islam] teaches peace, justice, fairness and tolerance. All of us recognise that this great religion cannot justify violence." ~ US President Borat Obama


"A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed. "

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Rock-Throwers of Peace

To hear many liberals tell it, Israel is an oppressive state that employs Jewish-supremacist discrimination against its Arab Muslim residents, who have an earnest desire for peace and co-existence. The Israelis are so evil and intent of ethnically cleansing their country of Muslims that those same Muslims are left with no other choice but to take up arms and heroically fight back for the survival of their people.

The mainstream media goes a long way towards perpetuating this nonsense, which is why stories like this generally aren't seen as fit to print:

Jerusalem area Arabs once again have stoned two Israeli Magen David ambulances trying to help neighbors. This time, the medical rescue vehicles were trying to save an Arab boy who fell five floors from his home in El Azaria, a village between the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill and nearby Maaleh Adumim.

Magen David medics were resuscitating the youth when attackers began to pummel them with rocks from all directions, breaking the windshield.

Last week, a group of students and a visiting Australian narrowly escaped death when they made a wrong turn and entered an Arab village, where they were ambushed by local Arabs. One of the villagers tricked the students into driving further, where a blockade trapped the vehicle as Arab rioters attacked the car with rocks and metal pipes.

The driver was able to maneuver his car through a narrow opening and escaped the mob.

Now wait for the antisemites to come out of the woodwork and say that this story must be false because it came from the propagandising Israeli media.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Meaning of Jihad

The meaning of the word “jihad” has been the subject of much dissembling by Muslim spokesmen, who are quick to deny that the word has any violent connotations. In 2002, Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of law at the University of California, claimed: “Islamic tradition does not have a notion of holy war. Jihad simply means to strive hard or struggle in pursuit of a just cause...Holy war (al-harb al-muqaddasah) is not an expression used by the Qur'anic text or Muslim theologians. In Islamic theology war is never holy; it is either justified or not.”

El Fadl is technically right that jihad does not mean “holy war”: the Arabic word translates most literally as “struggle” or “striving”. But is there more to it than this?

The authoritative Hans-Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic defines jihad as: "fight, battle...holy war (against the infidels, as a religious duty)". Similarly, the nineteenth-century British Orientalist E.W. Lane carefully studied the etymology of the word in his seminal Arabic-English Lexicon, which is widely considered by both native Arabic and English speakers to be the greatest such work in existence. Lane concluded that the word jihad “came to be used by the Muslims to signify generally he fought, warred, or waged war, against unbelievers and the like.”

However, no study on this subject would be entirely complete without reference to some Islamic sources. It is noteworthy that E.W. Lane says that this violent definition of jihad was used generally by Muslims, and this statement is completely accurate.

Reliance of the Traveller is a medieval Islamic legal manual, written as a comprehensive guide to Islamic law by Muslims, for Muslims. In 1991, it was endorsed by Islam's highest centre of religious learning, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, as conforming “to the practise and faith of the orthodox Sunni community” – Sunnis making up some 85% of the world's Muslims. It thus carries a great deal of weight as a scholarly explanation of Islamic doctrine. The manual defines jihad as “warfare against non-Muslims”, noting that the word itself “is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.”

A similar definition of jihad was delivered by Al-Azhar during the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research in 1968. A statement delivered at the conference declared: “The word 'Jihad' means exerting all efforts. It means also struggling hard until you feel exhausted. To strive against the enemy is to fight him. Jihad – from the viewpoint of religion – means exerting all efforts in repelling the enemies and in fighting them. Jihad is an Islamic word which other Nations use in the meaning of 'war'.”

Finally, the most recent English translation of the great Islamic jurist al-Mawardi's legal treatise, The Ordinances of Government, which has been designated by the Center For Muslim Contribution To Civilization as one of the "Great Books of Islamic Civilization", contains a glossary of Arabic terms. It defines jihad as simply, "Holy war to extend Islam to unconverted regions".

What these facts demonstrate is that while the word "jihad" and its various roots and derivatives have many connotations in Arabic relating to generic "striving", as a religious concept within Islam the word has always been understood by Muslims as defining a very specific kind of striving: namely, physical warfare against unbelievers.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Reuel Is Not Gerecht

A couple of weeks ago, Reuel Gerecht published a bizarre article at the New Republic in which he deplored conservatives such as Newt Gingrich who supposedly "blur the line between militant Muslims and the everyday faithful." Specifically, Gerecht was critical of Gingrich's statement in a speech in July that: “I believe Sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it. I think it’s that straightforward and that real.”

I say Gerecht's article is bizarre because it is difficult to tell, after reading through all the posturing and moral lessons, exactly what his point is. It is also notable for the fact that he appears to contradict himself from one paragraph to the next.

(On a side note, the article comes with a headline and a picture of Bill O'Reilly, who is never mentioned once thereafter. Not sure what that's all about.)

Gerecht makes some salient points; for example:

There is, to be sure, absolutely nothing wrong with non-Muslim Americans engaging in a debate about faith and violence that ranges far and wide. Western history offers a lengthy chronicle that encourages an exploration of why devout men kill for God; Christian-Muslim parallels provide a lens through which to see where—and where not—sincere believers in the Almighty have interpreted how violence and religion intermarry. So, no, there is no sin in non-Muslims querying Muslims about why so many terrorists tend to be Muslim and why those terrorists advertise their acts of violence as a defense of their faith. There is nothing wrong with asking why so many Muslims have such a difficult time saying that Palestinian suicide bombers have committed acts of evil. There is nothing wrong, either, in asking why it is that Islamic radicals melted two skyscrapers and blew out a side of the Pentagon and yet prompted so little soulful reflection, produced no Émile Zola, no Captain Dreyfus.

And a little further on:

True, the Holy Law applied can be ugly, not least for women. Westerners, especially Europeans, are quite right to be outraged by the importation of Sharia practices to their shores. And Westerners should cast a very dim eye on any financial institution that sets up Sharia-compliant offices that could, if left unchecked, discreetly normalize anti-Semitic practices in big global institutions.

But despite these admissions, Gerecht still criticises the "blanket demonisation of the Holy Law", and spends the rest of his piece excioriating those who make these same points, peddling the completely false claim that Gingrich - let alone anyone else, anywhere, ever - is saying that "all Muslims are, basically, nuts."

He also errs when he acts as if Gingrich's sole concern with sharia is that Muslims might use it to justify "terrorism" - saying nothing of the amputations, the stonings and the general barbarism that Islamic law entails, which does indeed threaten the West if allowed to take a stranglehold on the secular, democratic values our ancestors fought so hard to define and defend.

Aside from the internal and logical inconsistences, Gerecht makes a number of basic factual errors - whether out of ignorance or willful obfuscation, I'm not certain.

For starters, he lionises as "moderates" Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, "the most revered Shiite thinker in the world, and one who tried desperately and selflessly to keep his country from descending into internecine savagery", and the late Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, "the spiritual father of Iran’s Green Movement and the nemesis of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ruler, himself a very mediocre student of the Sharia".

Doesn't Gerecht know that in 2006, Sistani issued a fatwa calling for the execution of homosexuals "in the worst, most severe way possible", which led to an increase in homophobic killings in Iraq? Similarly, doesn't he know that Sistani upholds the bigoted classical Shi'ite doctrine of najis, which declares that non-Muslims are not only ritually impure, but also physically unclean? On his website, his list of the top ten "unclean" things includes dogs, pigs, faeces.....and "kafir", or unbelievers.

As for Montazeri, in her in-depth analysis of the status of non-Muslims under the Iranian theocracy, Eliz Sanasarian demonstrates how, as a direct result of najis policies which were championed by the "moderate" cleric, non-Muslims in Iran were subjected to institutionalised discrimination. For example, non-Muslims were denied production jobs because Muslims refused to touch goods that had been manufactured by infidels, for fear that Muslims would be "contaminated" by them. According to Sanasarian, Montazeri also taught that if a non-Muslim man has a sexual relationship with a Muslim woman, he must be executed.

Later in the piece, Gerecht makes the absurd claim that "If Saudi Arabia, at home and abroad, would just welcome Hanafis, the most open-minded of Sunni Islam’s law schools, it would be an enormous triumph over Wahhabi intolerance and the hatred that spews forth from that oil-rich land."

By what definition are Hanafis more tolerant or "open-minded" than any other school of jurisprudence or sect of Islam? The Hedaya, a classic manual of Hanafi law that is still used by sharia judges in Pakistan today, makes clear that the Hanafis, like all other Sunni schools of Islamic law, believe in the religious obligation of the global Muslim community to submit the world to Islam by way of offensive jihad:

“It is not lawful to make war upon any people who have never before been called to the faith, without previously requiring them to embrace it, because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith, and also because the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war...If the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.”

It also promotes the quite intolerant commandment that once non-Muslim nations have been invaded by the Muslims, their people must become dhimmis, or subjects of the Islamic state. These dhimmis are denied equality of rights with Muslims, and discriminated against in many ways, including such rulings as:

“Malik and Shafi [the founders of the Maliki and Shafi'i schools of jurisprudence, respectively] have said that [dhimmi testimony] is absolutely inadmissible, because as infidels are unjust, it is requisite to be slow in believing anything they may advance...the evidence of an infidel is not admitted concerning a Muslim...Besides, a dhimmi may be suspected of having invented falsehoods against a Muslim from the hatred he bears to him on the account of the superiority of the Muslims over him.”

The manual also contains instructions for the execution of apostates and homosexuals. True, it does reject the idea that non-Muslims who insult or criticise Islam should be killed, but it does so not because of any kind of "Islamic tolerance":

Shafi has said that the contract of subjection is dissolved by a dhimmi's blaspheming the prophet; because if he were a believer, by such blasphemy his faith would be broken; and hence, in the same manner, his protection is thereby broken, since the contract of subjection is merely a substitute for belief. The argument of our doctors is that the blasphemy in question is merely an act of infidelity proceeding from an infidel; and as his infidelity was no obstruction to the contract of subjection at the time of making it, this supervenient [sic] act of infidelity does not cancel it.”

In other words, the assumption is that blasphemy is an inherent part of disbelief, and since unbelievers are already being punished by being made dhimmis, further punishment is not necessary. Hardly open-minded, really.

Gerecht concludes with the naive hope that what he terms "the traumatic Westernization of Islam" will render sharia irrelevant. And yet attempts to Westernise Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly failed, as both countries are now in many ways worse off than before we went in, and enshrine sharia as the law of the land in their Constitutions. Furthermore, while Western influence led in many Islamic countries to improvements, most of those improvements have since been rolled back as orthodox Islam regains vital influence.

And there is much evidence to suggest that many Muslims simply don't want to be Westernised, and do revere sharia in all its ugliness. For example, according to a 2007 World Public Opinion poll, 65.2% of Muslims surveyed in four major Islamic countries (Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia) openly declared that they wanted to see a global Muslim state, or caliphate. Concordantly, 65.5% wanted strict (that word was emphasised) application of sharia law in every Islamic country. In early 2009, a follow-up poll by the same team achieved similar results. These facts pose an acute threat to the West, for these same Muslims are being encourage to migrate into our countries in large numbers, bringing these views and desires with them. A study in 2006 reported that as many as 40% of British Muslims would like to see the British legal system replaced with sharia.

To understand why Gerecht's optimism is so unwarranted, one also need only look so far as this recent Haaretz article on the death of Egyptian Muslim thinker Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd. According to the article, Abu Zayd advocated a rationalist approach to Qur'anic interpretation, which involved a "re-contextualisation" of the Qur'an to fit the standards of our time, as opposed to the orthodox views that have prevailed in effect since the early days of Islam, according to which the text of the Qur'an represents divine, absolute and perpetual truth, which is valid for all Muslim communities regardless of time and place. Specifically, Abu Zayd wrote: "If everything mentioned in the Koran must be obeyed literally as divine law, then slavery must be reinstituted...In our times the amputation of limbs cannot be considered a religious punishment that has divine approval."

For having such views, Abu Zayd was exiled from his native country and ostracised for the rest of his life. The obituary notes in summary that "Abu Zayd apparently died with his philosophy falling to a large extent on deaf ears, particularly at home." If Reuel Gerecht took some time to think about why this might be the case, he would surely have to abandon his entire untenable thesis.

In all, Reuel Gerecht's article epitomises the problem with the "learned analysts" that prevail even on the Right today. Although he is far from the liberal apologists who go so far as to fabricate a rosy picture of Islam and demonise as racists all those who think differently, his message is ultimately one of confusion and inconsistency. And that makes him, as far as inspiration to concrete action goes, not much better than those liberals. For if we all remain as vague on sharia, Islam and Muslims as Reuel Gerecht, then the threat that Newt Gingrich was able to articulate so clearly and concisely will certainly not be met by any practical defense solutions.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

More European Leftist Fascism On Display

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff: "Inciter of hate"...and justifiably proud of it

It's not only Geert Wilders who is being forced to undergo a sham "trial" by biased Leftist Inquisitors for daring to speak some unflattering, but accurate, truths about Islam in Europe.

On September 15th, Austrian writer Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff learned through the media that she — like Wilders and Canadian publisher Ezra Levant — had been charged with “hate speech” and “denigration of religious teachings”.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s “offense” is to defend freedom of speech and much more against a tsunami of barbarism and against the politically correct silence and hushing-up. The subject of the complaint is the mere fact that she even gives Islam-critical seminars. For example, the indictment charges her with “hate speech” for the following statement: “Sharia is a definite no-no. We want no gender apartheid, no ghettoes, no social and cultural discrimination, no polygamy, no theocracy, no hate…”

This totalitarian crack-down on the free speech of law-abiding citizens is unacceptable, and must be fought to the last. Support Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in any way you can. Donate to her legal defense fund. Send the information on her trial to everyone you know who cares about basic human freedoms - which are now dually threatened by the "dream team" of the Western Left and orthodox Islam.

In giving Wolff and others like her our unwavering support, we send a clear message to that unholy alliance: We will never give up. Your tyranny will be defeated, and freedom will win out. The truth can not remain locked inside a jail cell.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

O'Reilly And Imam Rauf

O'Reilly: "Condemn 9/11, Rauf."

Rauf: "Ok, Bill (stupid infidel)."

During a recent discussion on the Ground Zero mosque controversy, noted "far-right" American talk show host Bill O'Reilly gave the following message to mosque developer Faisal Abdul Rauf:

"You tell him this. All Imam Rauf and his crew have to do is say 'we're going to dedicate this mosque -- community center -- to peace. And we are going to condemn what happened here on 9/11. (Then) I'll get a hammer and help them down there."

That's it, Bill? He just has to condemn 9/11 and you'll help him build his triumphal Islamic supremacist mega-mosque? You mean you won't rigorously question him on his refusal to denounce Hamas as a terrorist organisation, his apparent refusal to sign a declaration in support of the Muslim's fundamental human right to change his or her religion, his doublespeak and advocacy of sharia law, and numerous other unsavoury connections and words? Hasn't it crossed your mind that he might condemn 9/11 simply because he knows that you want to hear him do so? Or that even if he sincerely does condemn the attacks, he may still sympathise with the ultimate totalitarian goals of those who murdered 3000 innocent people on that day?

Shouldn't you know better than this, Bill?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Jihad Cat

One of the devoted followers of Sayyid Catb:

Fleas be upon him.

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Return of Dhimmitude In Egypt?

In her landmark book The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, historian Bat Ye'or outlines some of the ferocious persecution the Coptic Christians of Egypt suffered after the Muslims of Arabia invaded in the seventh century:

On the death of the caliph, Muhammad al-Mudabbir arrived in Egypt as minister of finance (861), coming from Palestine where he had long subjected the inhabitants to every type of misery. He tripled the jizya [non-Muslim poll tax] on Christians and Jews "so that he filled the prisons in every place." He ordered churches to be pillaged and confiscated for the diwan (Islamic treasury) the money and alms intended to maintain bishoprics and monasteries. Monks were imprisoned and put in irons, while the patriarch, unable to pay the taxes demanded from the Coptic episcopate, fled from place to place and went into hiding. (p.84)

Flash forward to today, and it is becoming increasingly clear that Egypt is reverting to its former self, with the Copts still being bullied and humiliated at the hands of the Muslim majority. Disturbingly, the attacking of churches and the kidnapping of monks is still not an uncommon occurence there.

Recently, Muslims reacted with predictable "outrage" over some statements by Bishop Bishoy, secretary of the Coptic’s Church’s Holy Synod. He believes that certain verses of the Qur'an contradict the Christian faith and were added into the book after the death of Muhammad by one of his successors.

Now, Muslims have never been known for their openness to critical scrutiny of "The Mother of the Book", but what makes this case particularly worrying is the official statement issued by Al Azhar University and its Grand Sheikh, Ahmad al-Tayyeb. Al Azhar is the most authoritative institution of Islamic learning in the world, with al-Tayyeb being the closest equivalent in Islam to the Pope in Christianity - a worrying prospect, given that al-Tayyeb justifies wife-beating and suicide bombing, and is hesitant about condemning the 9/11 attacks.

The recent Al Azhar statement decried Bishop Bishoy's statements, and further:

The Statement went on to say the Council stresses the fact that Egypt is an “Islamic State” according to the text of its Constitution, which represents the social contract between its people. “From this stems the rights of citizenship, as taught to us by the Messenger of Allah in his pact with the Christians of Najran, in which he decided that they were to enjoy rights and duties as the Muslims. However, these rights are conditional to respect for the Islamic Identity and the citizenship rights as set by the Constitution.”

The Christians of Najran, Medina, refused conversion to Islam in 631 AD, and were subsequently subjugated under Islamic rule, where they had to accept the dominance of Muslims and pay an annual tribute (the jizya).

So in this statement, al-Tayyeb was explicitly advocating the return of Egypt's Coptic population to an inferior second-class status, where they would be denied their rights as equal individuals before God. As the popular manual of Islamic law Reliance of the Traveller (which was endorsed as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al Azhar in 1991) explains, jizya-paying subjects of the Islamic state are subject to all of the following and more:

“[Dhimmis] are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); are not greeted with as-Salamu 'alaykum [the traditional Muslim greeting 'peace be with you']; must keep to the side of the street; may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed; are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, [or] 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.”

Al Azhar's advocacy for this inhuman, oppressive system of governance, whereby basic human rights are grossly violated, is extremely sad, but also extremely telling - despite Western Leftists' deluded fantasies - of how wholly immoderate mainstream Islam is. Now, the Copts of Egypt suffer the consequences. Unless the harsh realities of Islamic doctrine and law are confronted, others will surely follow.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Veil Part of "British Way Of Life"?

Quintessentially British

The full Islamic face-veil is a part of the “British way of life” and should be celebrated along with religious symbols such as the crucifix, according to a report published today.

In the new report from think-tank Civitas, Alveena Malik, a former faith adviser to the last Labour government, said: “The wearing of religious symbols, including the full veil, should be a fundamental human right of an individual in both the public and private sphere.

“The real test for religious symbols in the public sphere should always be: ‘Does the wearing of a symbol (such as the kirpan, turban, yarmulke, crucifix and the veil) hinder a citizen’s ability to perform their public civic duties?’”

Quite aside from whether the burqa is really compatible with the British way of life, and whether or not it is "practical", we need to get our stories straight here. I don't know whether Alveena Malik is herself a Muslim, although I suspect she is, but since many Muslim spokesmen say similar things to this, the point still stands. The question is: Is the veil really a "religious symbol", or isn't it? Some Muslims tell us that the veil has nothing to do with Islam at all, that it is really just a cultural hangover from certain non-Islamic tribal cultures, or even from the medieval Christian world - and they will say that anyone who says it does in fact have something to do with Islam is a greasy racist bigot. Then in the next breath, they will turn around and say that the burqa is a "religious" symbol that deserves respect. So which is it? A pre-Islamic cultural garment or an Islamic traditional dress? And if it is a religious symbol, what exactly is it a symbol of?

And will Alveena Malik ever publish a report defending the rights of Muslim women not to wear traditional Islamic dress? If not, why not?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Don't Call It Rape

Maulana Abu Sayeed (second from right) and chums discuss "major" and "minor" sins - guess which category rape falls into

A senior Muslim cleric who runs the country's largest network of sharia courts has sparked controversy by claiming that there is no such thing as rape within marriage.

Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, said that men who rape their wives should not be prosecuted because "sex is part of marriage". And he claimed that many married women who alleged rape were lying.

That's what the Independent is reporting today. For more background on Sayeed's horrible views, see here, where we learn that he believes "non-consensual sex is the minor aggression, and calling it rape is the major aggression". He also states, flat out, that to prosecute marital rapists would be "compromising Islamic religion with secular non-Islamic values,” and this should not be done, because "We don’t deviate from Quran, deviate from sunnah.”

And what could possibly go wrong with that? It's not as if the Qur'an describes the woman as a field that a man may "plough" as he wishes: “Your women are a tilth for you to cultivate so go to your tilth as ye will.” (2:223)

And it's not as if the Sunnah (i.e. the teachings and example of Muhammad) condones marital rape, either: "If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning" (Sahih Bukhari v.4, b.54, no.460).

Furthermore, the website of Sheikh Sayeed's Islamic Sharia Council says that any Muslim who dares to suggest that some sharia rulings, such as those above, are barbaric or out-of-date in the modern world is an unbeliever and will burn in Hell for all eternity.

Sharia courts in Britain - not such a good idea, eh?

What Happens When The Facts Come Out

Fascinating results from a recent debate in New York can be found here.

The debate, which took place at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, featured two sides arguing the motion "Islam Is A Religion of Peace". Arguing for the motion were:

Maajid Nawaz is director of the Quilliam Foundation. Formerly, Nawaz served in the U.K. national leadership for the Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir and was involved in HT for almost 14 years. He was a founding member of HT in Denmark and Pakistan. He eventually served four years in an Egyptian prison and was adopted by Amnesty International as a "prisoner of conscience." In prison, Maajid gradually began changing his views until he finally renounced the Islamist ideology for traditional Islam and inclusive politics. He now engages in counter-Islamist thought-generating, writing and debating.

Zeba Khan is a writer and advocate for Muslim-American civic engagement. Born and raised in Ohio by devout Muslim parents, she attended Hebrew school for nine years while actively participating in her local Muslim community. In 2008, she launched Muslim-Americans for Obama, an online network to mobilize Muslim-American voters in support of the Obama presidential campaign. Since then, she continues to work on issues of Muslim-American civic engagement and was recognized for her work by the American Society for Muslim Advancement as a 2009 Muslim Leader of Tomorrow.

Arguing against the motion were:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia and raised a devout Muslim. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament for three years. She has since become an active critic of fundamentalist Islam, an advocate for women's rights and a leader in the campaign to reform Islam. She has also become a target of death threats by Islamic extremists. Hirsi Ali is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of The Caged Virgin (2006), Infidel (2007) and Nomad (2010). She is the founder of the AHA Foundation, whose mission is to defend the rights of women in the West against militant Islam and tribal custom.

Douglas Murray is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. He is also founder and director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, a nonpartisan think-tank in Westminster, London, that focuses on radicalization and has published work on both Islamist and far-right extremism. Murray is a columnist for Standpoint magazine and writes for many other publications. In 2005, he published the critically acclaimed Neoconservatism: Why We Need It, which Christopher Hitchens praised as "a very cool but devastating analysis." He is a co-author of the NATO strategy report, "Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership."

Before the debate, the audience voted 41 percent in favour of the motion and 25 percent against. Thirty-four percent were undecided. After the debate, however, 55 percent disagreed that "Islam Is a Religion of Peace," 36 percent supported the motion and 9 percent were still unsure. A sure-fire indicator that once proper debate (as opposed to Stalinist show-trials) is allowed to take place, the nature of Islam really does unfold in front of people's eyes. And a reminder that it it is not impossible to make people see the truth before it is too late.

You can watch the debate, starting with the first part, here.