Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Fulfilling the Prophecy

A few weeks ago, I posted a list of quotes from Muslim leaders calling for - or predicting - the Islamic conquest of Europe - often by specifically referring to an alleged prophecy of Muhammad's that the Muslims would conquer first Constantinople, and then Rome.

Next month, on April 10th, the Association of Italian Muslim Sisters will be holding a conference in London entitled "Fulfilling The Prophecy". As you can see from the banner on their website, above, AIMS takes great inspiration from the aforementioned prophecy:

As one of these signs, Imam Ahmad reports in his Musnad that Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-'As (ra) mentioned: "Whilst we were around the Prophet (saw) writing he was asked, 'Which of the two cities will be opened first, Constantinople or Rome?' He (the Prophet Muhammad) answered, 'The city of Heraclius will be opened first!'"

The Great Ottoman, Sultan Muhammad Fatih (rh) fulfilled the first part of this prophecy by conquering Constantinople. Thus, remains the second part. Having been forced out of Andalusia, and more recently, dispersed across the Balkan states, the city of Gaius Julius Caesar (Rome) remains. So let the da'wah [proselytisation] begin...

Note also the fact that at this conference, there will be "segregated seating". Thus it is quite clear that the form of Islam AIMS wishes to bring to Rome will not be in keeping with the Western conception of full equality between men and women, and will likely entail an accompanying political system, namely sharia law, which would inevitably supersede Italian (and eventually European) law.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Islam Channel Further Exposed

Back in January I blogged about the Islam Channel, Britain's most-watched Muslim TV channel, and its ties to jihadist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as other unsavoury connections to radicalism.

Now, a report by the Muslim Quilliam Foundation has revealed that the channel is running programmes saying that women should not refuse their husbands' sexual advances, should not leave the house without their husbands' permission, and that if they wear makeup, they are prostitutes.

The new report notes that “Although the channel does not directly call for terrorist violence, it clearly helps to create an atmosphere in which religiously-sanctioned intolerance and even hatred might be seen as acceptable."

It is good to see the Muslims of the Quilliam Foundation actually opposing these things, but the report does not help matters when it refers to these particular teachings as "a single narrow version of Islam, [namely] Saudi Wahhabism". In fact, they are mainstream Islamic doctrine:

"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 Muslim, v.4, b.54, no.460)

"The husband may forbid his wife to leave the home, because of the hadith related by Bayhaqi that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to allow someone into her husband's house if he is opposed, or to go out if he is averse." (Reliance of the Traveller, a classic manual of Islamic law endorsed by Cairo's Al-Azhar University in 1991 as conforming "to the practise and fasith of the orthodox Sunni community")

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.” (Qur'an 24:31)

The article further mentions that a scholar on the "Islam Q & A" programme declared that "the majority of people in hell will be women". Again, he was simply following the example of his Prophet:

“The Prophet said: 'I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.' It was asked, 'Do they disbelieve in Allah?' (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, 'They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them.'” (Bukhari v.1, b.2, no.28).

Finally, the channel "has already been found by Ofcom to have breached the broadcasting code on impartiality during elections, and for broadcasting an unbalanced programme about the ownership of Jerusalem." I've seen that one myself. It was appalling.

The famous words of Ibn Warraq seem appropriate here: "There may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate."

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Erdogan Funfair Is Still Open

Genocide denier and genocide inventor

Following on from the psychotic Turkish PM's threat to deport 100,000 Armenians, he is at it again today as he once more publicly denied the Armenian genocide, before suggesting that "[i]n 1915 and before that, it was the Armenian side that pursued a policy aimed at exterminating our people which led to hunger, misery and death.”

The article also notes that Erdogan followed a similar line of reasoning last November when he stated that the universally condemned massacres of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur, Sudan were not a genocide. “Muslims don’t commit genocide,” he said. He also said last July that "[t]he killings of Uighur Turks by the Chinese police during demonstrations constitute genocide."

Erdogan is a depraved menace. His comments accurately reflect the cognitive dissonance and displacement of responsibility which is typical of Islamic jihadists, and which is represented throughout the Qur'an. Muslims are the best people on Earth, you see (3:110), while unbelievers are the vilest of created beings (98:6). Therefore, whenever bad things happen, it can't possibly be Muslims' fault. Morally upright people like Muslims just don't do things like genocide - at least, not without good reason. Such supremacist attitudes successfully negate any meaningful self-reflection and moral/legal reform which is necessary to prevent more such atrocities in the future.

Turkey must NEVER be allowed to formally join the European Union.

From Tantawi To Al-Tayyeb

Two weeks ago, on March 10th, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi passed away at the age of 81.

For almost fourteen years up until his death, Tantawi was the Grand Imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's most prestigious religious institution, holding a position similar (but not identical) to that of a pope.

Despite not exactly upholding the Islam of al-Qaeda (and receiving condemnation for this fact from the Muslim Brotherhood), Tantawi was not in every way an exemplary moderate. For example, his antisemitism was well known. Andrew Bostom's brilliant book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism contains extensive extracts from a Ph.D thesis Tantawi wrote back in the 1960s, entitled The Jews In The Qur'an And The Traditions. In it, among other things, Tantawi writes this of the Jews:

“[The] Qur’an describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness…only a minority of the Jews keep their word…[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims, the bad ones do not.”

He wrote this treatise before attaining such a prestigious position, but he did not mollify his views after being named Grand Imam in 1996, as his statements on the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” make clear. Also, in 1998, he stated: “[I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them, all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation.”

Additionally, Tantawi was on record as endorsing suicide bombings against Israeli civilians - although, bizzarely, he also condemned them. He also encouraged Muslims to wage jihad against Coalition troops in Iraq - even though he publicly condemned others who made the same call.

Following Tantawi's death, he was replaced as Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar by Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, who had been president of the institution since 2003. But like Tantawi, al-Tayyeb comes with some unsavoury baggage. MEMRI has extracts from two interviews given by al-Tayyeb, one from 2002 and the other from 2007.

In one interview, al-Tayyeb stated that while Al-Azhar initially condemned the 9/11 attacks, "our feelings have changed somewhat, or considerably", and suggested that Israelis might actually have been behind the attack. He also said that because of the nature of the Israeli "occupation" (actually a lawful annexation in self-defense of lands that didn't legally belong to anyone else anyway), "it is the Palestinians' right to blow up whatever they want", including civilians.

In another notorious interview, al-Tayyeb justified the Qur'an's command for men to beat their disobedient wives (4:34), saying, ""By Allah, even if only one woman out of a million can be reformed by light beatings...It's not really beating, it's more like punching...It's like shoving or poking her. That's what it is."

Well, that makes it OK, then!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Delusions of Tarek Fatah

At the National Post recently, so-called "moderate Muslim" Tarek Fatah published an unbelievably dishonest op-ed slamming courageous Syrian ex-Muslim Wafa Sultan.

Fatah's piece followed a debate between Sultan and Daniel Pipes, to which Fatah was a witness, at a Toronto synagogue. Fatah says he was "deeply hurt" and "traumatised" by Sultan's comments, and that they were a clear example of "joining the ranks" of "Islam-haters".

And what was it that Sultan said that was so hateful? Well, first of all, she said that "Muhammad was a child rapist", and then that the Islamic Prophet was a "Jew killer". Further, adds Fatah, she "delivered an astonishing account of how the Prophet had slaughtered Jews and then raped the wife of the defeated Jewish tribe."

Our friend Tarek never once explains how it is hateful to say any of this, especially given the fact that all of the statements attributed to Sultan here are demonstrably true. According to the hadith, “[The Prophet] married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years old.” (Bukhari v.5, b.58, no. 234, and others). Although embarrassed Muslims today try to deny that Aisha was nine when Muhammad had sex with her, there is overwhelming evidence in the hadith and other Islamic literature that this is exactly what happened. Obviously, most civilised people would classify a fifty-four year old man having sex with a nine year old girl as rape.

Similarly, the accounts of Muhammad slaughtering Jewish tribes and raping their women is recounted in the most pious Muslim sources about Muhammad's life. These tribes were the Banu Qurayza and the Jews of the Khaybar oasis. Muhammad's earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, describes the massacre of the Qurayza this way: “Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of Banu Qurayza] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” Ibn Ishaq puts the number of men that Muhammad beheaded in this way at “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.” The biographer then recounts that Muhammad "had chosen one of the women [of the Banu Qurayza] for himself, Rayhana d. 'Amr b. Khunafa...and she remained with him until she died, in his power." Again, it is not unreasonable to refer to this as rape. Would a woman whose people have just been annihilated willingly "get with" the man who oversaw their annihilation?

In the case of the Jews of Khaybar, after describing Muhammad "seiz[ing] the property piece by piece and conquer[ing] the forts one by one as he came to them,” Ibn Ishaq says that the Prophet "married" one of the Jewish women in a tent following the attack. Again, consent can be ruled out in this case, as the woman was the daughter of a man who Muhammad had earlier had tortured to death.

The point of all of this is simple: it can't be hateful for Wafa Sultan to say any of this if it is true. As a supposedly "secular" Muslim who upholds freedom of speech, Tarek Fatah should understand this.

But that's not all. Fatah approvingly quotes Sultan's oppent in the debate, Daniel Pipes, as saying that "The problem is not Islam, it is Islamism." Pipes has many good things to say about Islam and terrorism, but when he makes this distinction between Islam and "Islamism", he is simply wrong, for no such distinction actually exists. No orthodox, substantial school of thought exists in Islam that rejects the idea that Muslims must wage jihad against unbelievers for the purpose of imposing sharia law upon them. All the mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that such war is not only permitted, but obligatory. Again, if Wafa Sultan said this, Tarek Fatah cannot possibly charge her with "hate" unless he can demonstrate that what she says is false.

But Fatah really goes off the deep end when he claims that Sultan's overall view on Muslims is: "Force Muslims to convert or die." Journalist Joanne Hill, who was also at the event and recorded the entire thing, points out that in actual fact, "Dr. Sultan said nothing that would lead the listener to come to this conclusion."

For example, here is a verbatim quote from Sultan reproduced by Hill:

"Give them [Muslims] the freedom to choose: that's all I'm asking for. Give them the freedom to search, to ask, to be exposed to different sides, different values, different lifestyles. I can tell you from my very own experience, what has helped me to reform myself is being exposed to Western values and being free to express my conclusion. I always compare between my life under Islamic Sharia and my life as a free woman in America and I write about that on my website in Arabic. So when you expose people to different [sic], and you give them the freedom to choose, that's all we need in the Islamic world. I'm not asking [them] to convert to a different religion; I'm asking to grant them the freedom to choose, the freedom to be, to follow whatever path they want to follow. That's all."

There are more quotes from Sultan, which provide much-needed context to counter-balance Fatah's mindless screed, at the link above. You can also read Fatah's futile attempt to defend his original article in the comments field underneath Hill's piece.

This case demonstrates once again that those the media has dubbed - or who have dubbed themselves - as "moderate Muslims" simply cannot be relied upon to actually contribute towards the debate on Islam and jihad, or to seriously oppose, unambiguously and with concrete action, the jihadists who are supposedly "corrupting" their peaceful religion. When the moderate Muslim community is represented by individuals this dishonest and unreliable, it really speaks volumes about the state of Islam itself.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Memories of Genocide

Victims of the Armenian genocide

In a terrifying display of jihadist hatred and supremacism, Turkey has threatened to expel 100,000 Armenians from the country in response to the US branding the First World War killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks (which were part of a classical Islamic jihad, as I explained here) as "genocide".

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said:

There are currently 170,000 Armenians living in our country. Only 70,000 of them are Turkish citizens, but we are tolerating the remaining 100,000. [Well, that's good of them! ~ Ed]

If necessary, I may have to tell these 100,000 to go back to their country because they are not my citizens. I don't have to keep them in my country.

But yesterday there was uproar in Armenia over the suggestion of deportations. Hrayr Karapetyan, an Armenian MP, condemned Mr Erdogan's remarks as blackmail. "The statement once again proves that there is an Armenian genocide threat in present Turkey, thus world community should pressurise Ankara to recognise [the] genocide," he said.

Karapetyan's observation that "there is an Armenian genocide threat in present Turkey" is well-placed. If Turkey was to deport 100,000 Armenians, this action would be disquietingly reminiscent of the events leading up to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century genocidal killings.

As Vahakn Dadrian, a leading historian of the genocide, writes:

Alleging treasonable acts, separatism, and other assorted acts by the Armenians as a national minority, the Ottoman authorities ordered, for national security reasons, the wholesale deportation of the Armenian population of the empire's eastern and southeastern provinces. This act resulted from a concerted drive by the military authorities, in collusion with the Central Committee of the Ittihad party, to divest Anatolia of its Armenian population under cover of the war...

The disguising of this order, ostensibly a wartime emergency measure of relocation, served to mask the planned execution of the Armenian population. The vast majority of the deportees perished through a variety of direct and indirect atrocities perpetrated during the deportations. (The History of the Armenian Genocide, p.219)

Thus, Prime Minister Erdogan's latest threat, whether intentionally or not, brings back horrific memories for the families of those Armenians who were callously murdered by the Ottomans during the genocide - a genocide which Erdogan himself refuses to acknowledge.

The Prime Minister should be made to apologise for his shameful comments immediately. I would like to see this demand for an apology come from Barack Obama.

I will not, however, be holding my breath.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Ian McEwan: Slightly Better Than Sebastian Faulks

British Booker Prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan has said in a recent interview that criticising Islam is not racist and blamed left-leaning thinkers for "closing down the debate".

In an interview with today's Telegraph Magazine, McEwan said: "Chunks of left-of-centre opinion have tried to close down the debate by saying that if you were to criticise Islam as a thought system you are a de facto racist. That is a poisonous argument.

"They do it on the basis that they see an ally in their particular forms of anti-Americanism," he said. "So these radical Muslims are the shock-troops for the armchair Left who don't want to examine too closely the rest of the package – the homophobia, the misogyny and so on."

In this sense, McEwan is absolutely right. To brand people "racist", or even bigoted in any sense, for criticising an ideology, is absurd. Islam is a set of beliefs about the world and our place in it, and just because some people believe those ideas derive from God does not oblige the rest of us to, which means that these beliefs are just as open to criticism as any other. To ban criticism of any ideology - especially when that criticism is legitimate, as in the case of Islam, but even if it is not - is the first step down the path to totalitarianism.

However, that said, there are indications in this article, and in earlier statements by McEwan, that his main gripe is actually not with Islam per se, but with "Islamism", a false construction of "radical Islam" which Mr. McEwan apparently shares with Charles Krauthammer, but is generally not accepted by Muslims themselves. For example, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said: "These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

In this sense, McEwan appears little better than fellow novelist Sebastian Faulks, but at least, unlike his spineless colleague, he appears unwilling to surrender to those who would try to force him to repent from resisting the Leftist dogma that there is no jihad problem and that anyone who says there is must be full of hate.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Unbearable Wrongness of Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a political commentator who has been a pundit on Fox News, and who generally has some interesting things to say when it comes to the War on Terror and the conflicts in the Middle East.

He doesn't always get it right, however, as is evident in his recent comments published at the National Review "Corner".

Krauthammer writes of Geert Wilders:

What he says is extreme, radical, and wrong. He basically is arguing that Islam is the same as Islamism. Islamism is an ideology of a small minority which holds that the essence of Islam is jihad, conquest, forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam].

Is it really "extreme, radical and wrong" to argue that "Islam is the same as Islamism"?

According to Krauthammer's definition of "Islamism", the two are certainly interchangable. As I demonstrated at this blog last year, fourteen centuries of Islamic theological and legal tradition demonstrates that orthodox Islam DOES teach that the Muslim community has a divine obligation to wage war upon non-Muslim nations in order to forcefully subject them to Islamic law. This is not something that only a few "radicals" believe - it is an idea that enjoys widespread support in the Islamic world today, both at the clerical level and among lay Muslims. Does this mean that all Muslims agree with this particular interpretation of the Islamic religious texts? Of course they don't, for a variety of reasons, but unfortunately, these Muslims are not representative of any kind of accepted, coherent form of Islam that can be documented as comprehensively and easily as the jihadist Islam, the "Islamist" Islam. Some Muslims, such as Tawfik Hamid, are doing what they can to fashion an authoritative version of Islam that truly rejects jihad violence, but they are so few and far between that it seems they have no hope of succeeding at this point in time.

Charles Krauthammer also goes on to provide this asinine assessment of Islam in the West:

The untruth of that is obvious. If you look at the United States, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the U.S. are not Islamists. So, it's simply incorrect. Now, in Europe, there is probably a slightly larger minority but, nonetheless, the overwhelming majority are not.

Here, he is just being naive. First of all, as Robert Spencer notes in his rebuttal of Krauthammer's statements, the fact that most Muslims aren't waging jihad attacks or outwardly showing any hostility to Western freedoms or nations does not mean they disapprove of such attitudes at all. For "[t]here may be any number of reasons why someone is not doing something, and it would be silly to assume that anyone who is not doing some particular thing is refraining because he believes that to do it would be wrong."

In any case, the claim that "the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the U.S. are not Islamists" may be belied by the investigative findings of counter-terrorism researcher Dave Gaubatz, who discovered during a tour of over two hundred American mosques and Islamic centres that "[t]he vast majority teach the worshippers ‘Apostates should be killed’ because it is a major sign of disrespect to Allah, the family of the Apostate is dishonored, and it may lead others to leave Islam." As for Europe...keep your eyes and ears open.

Finally, even if we were to take it as given that the number of "Islamists" in Europe and America constitutes a tiny minority, should we really take comfort from this? After all, the 9/11 attacks, which claimed over 3000 innocent lives, were carried out by no more than nineteen Muslims. It may seem unlikely that a minority could take over and transform an entire society, but history proves otherwise (the rise of the Bolsheviks is a prime example), and in any case, minorities are still capable of causing enormous amounts of damage in pursuit of their goals...even if they never achieve those goals in totality.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Eurabia Calling

"Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice - once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens." ~ Yusuf al-Qaradawi, prominent Muslim cleric

"We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians, who carve crosses on the breasts of the Muslims in Kosovo - and before then in Bosnia, and before then in many places in the world - will yet pay us the Jizya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under Muslim rule], in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam…" ~ Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Arifi, Saudi cleric

"The first conquest was carried out, as is known, by Muhammad the Ottoman conqueror, 800 years after the Prophet told of it, and the second conquest [that of Rome] will be carried out, Allah willing, and it is inevitable…" Naser Muhammad al-Naser, Saudi cleric

"The Prophet said that the Muslims would take India, saying: 'Allah saved two groups of my nation from the fire of Hell: one group that would attack India and a second group that would be with Jesus the son of Mary [in the battle of Judgment Day].' The Prophet Muhammad told us of the conquest of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine state, and of the conquest of Rome, where the Vatican is situated…Some of what the Prophet said has already come to pass. The Muslims conquered Persia, the Muslims conquered Byzantium…the Muslims attacked India and Allah conquered it for us, until they reached the borders of China. The Muslims conquered Constantinople, where Eastern Christianity is situated, and in the future, a mighty king will arise for the Muslims; through him, Islam will spread and Rome will be conquered…" ~ Muhammad Abd al-Karim, Sudanese cleric

"The whole of Europe will become Islamic. Like the army of the sultan we will conquer Rome." ~ Necmettin Erbakan, former Turkish prime minister

"There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe - without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades." ~ Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan despot

"Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you." ~ Anonymous Muslim leader at European Muslim-Christian interfaith dialogue meeting

"One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere to go to the northern hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory." ~ Houari Boumedienne, former Algerian president

"Mr Vadillo, a Spanish Muslim, called on all followers of Islam to stop using western currencies such as the dollar, the pound and the euro and instead to return to the use of the gold dinar. He said the introduction of the gold dinar to the world's economies would be the single most unifying event for Muslims in the modern era. Shortly afterwards, he said, the capitalist structure would quickly fall and it would make the Wall Street crash of 1929 seem minor by comparison. The conference also heard from Abu Bakr Rieger, a German Muslim. He said Islam could only be practised in Europe in a traditional way, not in one adapted to European values and structures." ~ BBC News

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Threat To The State

A bad man

In the latest in a long string of human rights outrages by that textbook Islamic state, Iran, a protestant clergyman, Wilson Issavi, has been jailed for “converting Muslims”. He has been tortured and threatened with execution.

This is far from the first time something like this has happened in Iran. In her must-read book Religious Minorities in Iran, University of Southern California professor Eliz Sanasarian notes that for decades, there has been an "intense preoccupation with conversion of Muslims to other faiths and proselytizing among the Muslims. On any major piece of legislation...involving religious minorities, blunt comments on the floor of the Majlis by deputies as well as various cabinet ministers point to an unceasing fixation on the possibility of Muslim conversion." (p.129)

Publications widely circulated in the mainstream in Iran since the Khomeini revolution have openly discouraged Muslims from getting close to non-Muslims in case they are "seduced" by them into converting away from Islam. For example, one religious advisor in a youth magazine from 1986 wrote: “For common people it is unlawful to go to church because going to church and having fellowship with Christians gradually puts the people under their influence.”

Such bigoted attitudes quite obviously stem from the Qur'an and Islamic law. Apostasy is, of course, punishable by death, and is described by the renowned Islamic legal manual Reliance of the Traveler as "the ugliest form of unbelief". And to prevent such ugly disbelief, the Qur'an explicitly commands Muslims in several places (see 3:28, 5:51, etc) not to befriend unbelievers, lest they become "one of them". Furthermore, one of the many oppressive restrictions imposed upon dhimmis, or non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, is that they are forbidden to evangelize. It seems clear that Islam's one-sided rules for proselytisation must account for the spread of Islam over the years, coupled with the decline of non-Muslim religions in Islamic countries. If Ahmed changes the rules of a chess game so that he can take Dave's pieces, but Dave can't take Ahmed's, there can and will only be one winner.

Those are the simple facts. What the Iranian regime has done here, as well as in many other similar cases over the years, is to simply follow the orthodox teachings of Islam. Perhaps they have got their religion all wrong, wrong, wrong, as we are constantly told, but fourteen centuries of tradition and jurisprudence, as well as documentable history, appear to say otherwise.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Who Is Really Fascist?

So, Geert Wilders in back in the UK, having just shown his film Fitna at the House of Lords. Outside Parliament, about 200 protesters jeered and chanted "Fascist thugs off our streets." Police scuffled with several demonstrators who tried to block a street to prevent a demonstration of pro-Wilders activists from the English Defense League from approaching Parliament.

And that's all the information you need. Because it is clear who the real fascists are here. It is the group that has tried to shut down all points of view that disagree with their own, and it was the thuggish group who police were forced to "scuffle" with. Meanwhile, Wilders, in his speech in front of peers, spoke calmly and articulately about freedom and democracy, while his supporters in the EDL engaged in no thuggish violence.

As an antidote to the stupidity, here is some truthiness from Wilders, who states explicitly that he opposes Islam because it is....fascist.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Phantom Media

No, I said the Phantom MEDIA...

This article at The Examiner by Sakina al-Amin really typifies a certain kind of argument that has been made continuously by both "moderate" Muslims and their left-wing sycophants ever since 9/11. The article concerns Joseph Stack, who recently flew a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Al-Amin writes: "It is unfortunate that CNN did not include the man's religion in their reporting of the incident. If they had, we could easily add an '-ist' to the end of his faith, to give it an ominous, and contrived, meaning."

The implication here is obvious: When Muslims fly planes into buildings, we call them "Muslim terrorists". So when this man did the same thing, why don't we mention his religion?

First of all, I don't know which world Ms al-Amin lives on where the media are actively hostile towards Muslims. It certainly isn't Planet Earth. But in any case, the question is still there: why mention the religious identity of Muslim terrorists, but not other ones?

The major mistake is in assuming that the Muslims who have committed almost 15,000 acts of terrorism since 9/11 alone did all this in spite of their faith, that their religion was somehow incidental to their motivations. In fact, the Muslims who committed those acts explained in their own words that they did them in the name of Islam. Take 9/11, for instance. In March 2009 five Muslims convicted of plotting the attacks wrote an “Islamic response” to the charges levelled against them by the American government. In it, they quote from the Qur'an at least a dozen times in order to justify their actions on that terrible day. They write: “In God's book, he ordered us to fight you everywhere we find you, even if you were inside the holiest of all holy cities, The Mosque in Mecca, and the holy city of Mecca, and even during sacred months.” Immediately following this is a notorious passage from the Qur'an: “Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, and besiege them and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush...” (9:5)

We can't understand the actions of Islamic terrorists without referring to their Muslim identity, since that is what they themselves insist motivates them. We don't even need to have a debate about whether they are representing the true teachings of Islam or not - although of course, they are. All that matters is that their Islamic religion can't be separated from their actions. In the case of Joseph Stack, he was not following a religious agenda, and that is why the phantom "Islamophobic" media did not mention his faith: because it was irrelevent.

With "moderate" Muslims like this filling up the mainstream, it is no wonder that no one within the umma has gotten around to actually combatting the terrorists in their midst yet.

Monday, 1 March 2010

How Martyrdom Wipes Out Sinning

In this article today at PJ Media, Raymond Ibrahim, who always publishes insightful, thought-provoking pieces on Islam, gets to the bottom of an important question: "Is it inconsistent for Muslim “holy warriors” to engage in voyeuristic acts of lasciviousness?"

As Ibrahim explains: "Because would-be jihadists and martyrs have been known to frequent strip bars — such as the 9/11 hijackers and Major Nidal Hasan, whose “late-night jiggle-joint carousing stands at odds with the picture of a devout Muslim” — many Americans have concluded that such men cannot be “true” Muslims, leading to the ubiquitous conviction that they are “hijacking Islam.”

But that's not so. Ibrahim goes on to provide a characteristically concise explanation of why, culminating in these observations:

In this context, the problem is not Muslims frequenting strip clubs, but misplaced Western projections that assume religious piety is always synonymous with personal morality — a notion especially alien to legalistic Islamists whose entire epistemology begins and ends with the literal words of seventh-century Muhammad and his Koran.

And it is this slavishness that best explains Islamist behavior. For the same blind devotion to the literal mandates of Islam which encourages Islamists to lead lives of deceit also explains why Islamists are callous to human suffering, why they are desensitized to notions of human dignity and the cries of their raped victims, and, yes, why they cheerily forfeit their lives in exchange for a fleshy paradise. In all cases, Muhammad and his Allah said so — and that’s all that matters.
The article does a fantastic job of essentially summarising Islamic ethics: anything goes, as long as it ultimately benefits Islam.

The example of Muhammad - whose example Muslims are obliged to emulate in all things, as per Qur'an 33:21 - practically illustrates this. After the Hijra (Muhammad’s move from Mecca to Medina), the Muslim forces under Muhammad began raiding caravans of the pagan Quryash – Muhammad’s own tribe, which had rejected him. Muhammad himself led many of these raids. At one point Muhammad sent one of his most trusted lieutenants, along with eight other Muslims, out with orders to watch for a Quraysh caravan at Nakhla, a settlement not far from Mecca, and “find out what they are doing.”

The Muslim scouting party took this as an order to raid the Quraysh caravan, which soon came along, carrying leather and raisins. But it was the last day of the sacred month of Rajab, during which, by longstanding Arab custom, fighting was forbidden. This presented them with a dilemma: if they waited until the sacred month was over, the caravan would get away, but if they attacked, they would sin by killing people during the sacred month. They finally decided, according to Ibn Ishaq, the earliest known biographer of Muhammad, to “kill as many as they could of them and take what they had.”

When they returned to the Muslim camp, Muhammad refused to share in the loot or to have anything to do with them, saying only: “I did not order you to fight in the sacred month.” But then Allah revealed a new verse of the Qur'an: “They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing.” (2:217) The raid was therefore justified, “for persecution is worse than killing.” Whatever sin the Nakhla raiders had committed in violating the sacred month was nothing compared to the Quraysh’s sins. Ibn Ishaq explained this verse: “they have kept you back from the way of God with their unbelief in Him, and from the sacred mosque, and have driven you from it when you were with its people. This is a more serious matter with God than the killing of those whom you have slain.” The famous Islamic scholar Tabari concurs: “[S]edition in faith [or temptation away from the true faith] far graver than the killing of associators [polytheists] during the sacred month, even though this is not lawful”.

So in other words, while it may have been wrong to slaughter their enemies in this way, worse still were the crimes of the unbelieving Quraysh. Therefore, to fight back against this, even by otherwise undesirable means, was justified.

This attitude – the idea that one can set aside all moral principles if one feels that growing unbelief threatens the Muslim community – remains with some Muslims to this day, and may be used to justify terror attacks against innocent civilians. Sayyid Qutb, a twentieth-century Muslim writer of enormous influence, explains that “Islam is a practical and realistic way of life which is not based on rigid idealistic dogma.” Islam “maintains its own high moral principles,” but only when “justice is established and wrongdoing is contained” – i.e. only when Islamic law rules a society – can “sanctities be protected and preserved.” So evidently they need not be before that point.

That's your spiritually uplifting, morally upright "religion" right there.