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"?